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Okay, thought Shawn, staring at his blood-soaked fingers and the red spilling onto his shirt. So… three injured people.
How hadn't he noticed he'd been shot? It seemed as if just the realization had brought on a whole new level of pain. Shawn clenched his teeth, pressing his back into the desk, breathing shortly. The pain radiated from somewhere in his waist. Hesitantly, Shawn hovered his shaking, blood-stained hand over the wound, and after firmly clamping his mouth shut, he pressed down.
The pain was agonizing. Worse than when he was shot by Garth Longmore. Far worse. At least the bastard didn't shoot him and then do this. Shawn kept his hand against the wound, feeling tears sting his eyes. The pain whited out his vision, his hearing, his thinking, seemingly everything. But he had to do something to stop the bleeding.
After what seemed like ten years, the pain died down the smallest bit. Shawn blinked his eyes back open, tuning into the voice in the room just enough to hear the man demand cell phones from everyone. Clatters of metal hitting tile echoed throughout the room. Thanking the man for reminding him he had a cell phone, Shawn pulled his out of his pants pocket. His fingers shook and blood slimed over the small device. Gross, thought Shawn, making a face at it. At least he was hidden; he could send a text message to Lassiter this way. Shawn didn't know if any of the employees managed to sent out a distress call, but the sound of gunshots could easily have carried outside. There was a chance the cops already knew about this.
Either way, Shawn lifted the phone, and with one hand still holding his wounded side, he began to write a text to Lassiter.
His phone began to ring.
Startled, Shawn swore under his breath and hit answer miraculously fast, even before Check Yes Juliet could start blasting through the speakers. He slammed the phone to the side of his head, his heart beating rapidly.
"Shawn, you busy?" came Juliet's voice. Sirens blared in the background.
"...Kinda," Shawn whispered.
"Well, clear your schedule," said Juliet. "Chief wants you to meet us down at Royalty Bank. We're outside; there's a gunman inside with hostages. He was actually the suspect we were pursuing. The minute we cornered him about the murder he committed, he ran for it and took hostages. And the Chief was so impressed by how you took charge of that hostage crisis when Gus was in danger that she wants you around, just in case."
Shawn risked a glance around the desk. The man was glaring at the hostages, his gun waving wildly. He wasn't near Shawn. Shawn let out a breath. "This guy," he whispered. "'Bout 5'9"? Dark hair?"
Juliet hesitated. "Yeah. Did you just have a vision?"
"Kind of looking right at him," Shawn whispered.
Juliet's tone changed sharply. "Shawn, what are you talking about? Why are you whispering?"
"I'm in the bank," Shawn said, grimacing as the pain tightened. "There's forty hostages. Three people injured, nothing fatal. The guy's an accurate shot. But he's off his rocker. A total wild card."
"Oh, my-Lassiter!" Shawn listened as she relayed what he said to someone else-probably Lassiter. She came back a moment later. "Are you okay? Where are you?"
"Hiding under a desk," said Shawn breathlessly. He quickly noticed that the blood was creating a small pool on the ground. Not good.
"Look, Shawn, just hang in there, we have S.W.A.T. out here, we're gonna get you out of there."
"What does he want?" asked Shawn.
"His name is Charles Heston." she said with a sigh. "He just doesn't want to go to jail. He's not the first fugitive who took hostages for the same simple reasons."
Shawn jolted from the sudden shout, his gunshot wound erupting in pain from the jerked movement. He bit his lip hard enough to draw blood to keep from crying out. He breathed out a harsh breath. Juliet was saying something but he couldn't focus on the words. "Shh," he said breathlessly to her, then he slowly and carefully peered around the edge of the desk.
The gunman-Charles Heston-was angrily stalking over to two of the hostages. One of the hostages was the injured teenage girl, who'd been shot in the leg. Her skirt was already doused with blood and she was crying hysterically. A man was beside her, his jacket in his hands, and he looked very much like he was about to wrap her leg with it. He raised his hands as Heston stalked over to him, and the gun stopped a few inches from his face.
"What did I say about not movin'?" demanded Heston.
Despite the gun, the man's face didn't waver. Keeping his hands in the air, he said calmly, "Please. I'm a doctor. I just want to help her. You don't want any of us dying, do you? You need us alive, right?"
The gun pressed to his forehead and the man closed his eyes. Shawn barely breathed.
"Not all of ya," Heston said, cocking the gun.
The fear in the room was palpable. Seconds hung like hours. No one moved.
"But," Heston said finally. "It's your lucky day." He removed the gun from the doctor's head, and the man visibly relaxed. That is, until the butt of the gun came slamming down on the man's temple, knocking him out completely. He hit the floor and gasps echoed around the room. He raised the gun to the rest of the hostages. "Anyone else try ta help someone, I'm not gonna be so generous."
It took Shawn a long moment to realize Juliet was trying to talk to him. He pulled himself quickly back around, his back pressing into the underside of the desk. His heart was thudding against his chest fast and hard. "Did you say something?" Shawn whispered, his voice barely audible.
"Shawn!" said Juliet exasperatedly. "I… what happened?!"
Shawn swallowed hard. "It's not good, Jules. He's dangerous. Really dangerous. He almost just murdered a guy for trying to help one of the injured."
"Is everyone still alive?"
"Yes," said Shawn. His abdomen suddenly throbbed sharply and his hand flew to it, until he remember that touching the wound hurts and his vision whited out for a few precious seconds. He breathed hard.
Getting his breathing back under control, and thankful that the solid oak of the desk muffled his whispers and breaths, he opened his eyes. "I'm here."
Sudden crying erupted, and Shawn shifted carefully within the underside of the desk, looking out on the hostages again. One of the two kids started crying. Shawn's eyes darted to Heston, whose eye twitched dangerously. His hand tightened on the gun as he glared at the child.
Shawn pulled himself back around the desk. "Jules, we need to do something, now." He paused, thinking. He was hidden, so he had an advantage. But how could he use it? It's not as if he could jump out from under the desk and surprise the guy. The moment he stood, all eyes would go to him and he'd be dead. He needed a…
His head snapped up.
"Jules," he said breathlessly. "I need a distraction."
"You…" He could practically feel her fear through the phone. "You need a what?! Why? Shawn-" Her voice changed instantly. It became hard. "No. Whatever you're thinking, do not-"
"I'm their only chance, Jules! The next person who looks at him the wrong way is gonna get killed! He doesn't know I'm here. I have that on my side. I just need a distraction to get him to look away for two seconds. Just two."
"Juliet!" Shawn hissed, finding it incredibly difficult to keep his voice at the lowest possible decibel and invoke every ounce of fear and urgency as he felt. "I'll be fine. Just have someone… throw something at the front doors. A shoe, a stick, something. Better yet, something that could shatter the glass. I just need him to look away for two seconds."
A long pause. "What are you going to do in those two seconds, Shawn?"
Shawn swallowed hard. "I'll be fine."
It took her several long seconds to reply. Long, terrible seconds of Shawn thinking desperately, if she says no then there's nothing I can do. "Shawn…"
A footstep sounded, and Shawn painfully looked back into the room. Heston was approaching the woman and the crying child. His face was twisted in anger. Shawn yanked himself back, ignoring the pain. "NOW, Jules! I need it now!"
A half-second of hesitation, then, "Okay. Count to ten."
One, two, three…
Another footstep. Another. Heston was five feet away from the child. His gun was still held out in front of him.
...four, five, six…
The girl's mother was pulling her close, begging her to stop crying, but her own tears were falling.
...seven, eight, nine…
The gun raised. The mother closed her eyes.
The shatter of glass was deafening, cutting the fear-induced silence. Even before it did, Shawn was already moving. He yanked himself up from the ground using the edge of the desk. His wound tore agonizingly and it was all he could do to ignore it and keep going. He took heavy, fast steps and launched himself in the air straight at Heston, who was waving his gun at in the direction of the crash, distracted.
"Everyone, run!" screamed Shawn, as he struck Heston hard and he and the gunman hit the ground. The pain of the landing was excruciating. The moment he landed, agony shot up from underneath him, nearly paralyzingly him.
To his relief, the only sound he heard around him were of feet slamming on the ground, all running outside, to safety.
Pure adrenaline forced Shawn to his hands and knees. A brief look around told him that the bank was nearly empty, and he was grateful the hostages listened to him. Without bothering to look back, he picked himself up and ran, only to trip over something soft and fall straight back to the ground. He cried out this time as he collided with the floor, this pain nearly triple what he felt the first fall.
Get up, get up, get UP, echoed urgently in his head and he jerked himself up, his curiosity swiveling his head around to see what he tripped over-
The doctor. Shawn's eyes widened. The man who had tried to help the injured girl had been knocked out cold. Unable to escape. "Oh, no, oh, god," whispered Shawn breathlessly. Ignoring every stabbing pain that went through him, Shawn linked his hands under the unconscious man's arms and started to lift him up.
Until something hard collided painfully with the back of his head, and everything went dark.