By Enola Jones

It must be something in the water around here. Simon struggled at his bonds, griping to himself. There has GOT to be SOMETHING in the water that brings all the loony tunes to Cascade.

Simon turned his head. Whispering, he asked the young man beside him, "How're you holding up?"

Daryl sighed and tested his own bonds. "I'm holdin'," he whispered back. "Dad, what is it about Cascade that attracts people like this?"

Despite the tense situation, Simon felt himself smile at that. "Know what? I was just thinking the same thing!" He sighed and looked over the small room they were in, once more looking for a way out.

All he'd wanted to do was update his savings passbook, which explained why they were at the bank at 10 AM on a Saturday morning. He'd brought Daryl, who was staying with him that weekend, because he thought he'd be in and out.

Yeah, right.

Simon hadn't figured on two crazed druggies busting into the bank. He hadn't figured on being all tied up along with everyone else in the bank. He kept testing his bonds and looking around, knowing the police had already arrived, and praying that they wouldn't find --

"Hey Jerry, this bastard's a cop!"

----oh, shit.

Simon's eyes grew huge. He began to surreptitiously slide in front of Daryl. He was made....but maybe at least they'd leave his son alone...

"A cop?" Jerry turned crazed eyes to Simon. "A cop?" He put the barrel of his gun under Simon's chin, forcing his chin up. "You a pig, man?"

"I'm a police officer, yes," Simon said, forcing his voice to remain steady.

"Police officer, hell!" the other man laughed. "We got ourselves Captain Simon Banks himself! He's the man!"

"Well, well...." Jerry's mouth twisted in a leer. "We can trade you for drug money then...."

"You won't get away with it," Simon interrupted. "You know the police are surrounding the place and --"

"And once they find out you're in here, they'll not do a thing!" He laughed. "Or you're dead!" His eyes widened. "Matter of fact...."

"No!" Simon roared as Daryl was pulled from beside him. He tried to rise, but was pistol-whipped to the floor. He struggled to his knees. "Leave him alone, you bastards!"

"No, I don't think so," Jerry said coldly. He studied Daryl closely, then Simon. "Boy favors you. Kin?"

Simon just glared, shooting Daryl a 'be quiet' look, then turning a 'you're dead once I reach you' look on his captor.

"Yeah..." Jerry said, smiling broader as he looked Daryl up and down. "Jace, I think we need to make an example of one of the hostages. Show the pigs out there we mean what we say ."

Jace, the slow one, piped up, "You mean give us the money we want or we knock 'em off?"

"Damn straight." Jerry moved in slow motion. He pulled the hammer back, cocking the pistol.

Simon screamed, struggling to get to his feet as Jerry laid the barrel against Daryl's chin and said coolly, "And I think I'll start with this one."

"NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Simon screamed.

In that moment, a cacophony of thoughts shot into Simon's mind.

This is my fault I never should have brought him here he's gonna die and it'll be my fault what will I tell his mother what will I do without my son my son G-d I love him don't let him die please don't let him die don't let me watch him die....

Three things happened simultaneously an instant later.

A door the perps had locked burst open forcefully.

There was the unmistakable sound of a gunshot.

And Simon jerked, going stiff as a board, his eyes behind his glasses wide and suddenly unseeing.


Blair wrapped his arms around Daryl as he untied him. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah....yeah...." Daryl said, looking at the dead body of the man who'd held the gun on him. "Who..."

"Jim got him," Blair said. "Are you sure you're okay?"

He smiled shakily. "Blair, I'm all right. Dad?"

Jim turned at that soft word, leaving Jace to be led away in cuffs by Rafe. "Simon?"

No response.

Jim knelt beside Simon, undoing the cuffs. "There's not a mark on him," he said. "His heartbeat is steady....What's going on here?"

Blair dropped to his knees in front of Simon. "Jim, if this was you, I'd say he was Zoned!"

Jim's eyes widened. "What?"

Blair shook his head. Sentinel-soft, he said, "Jim, snap your fingers right behind his ear." When Jim did, Simon flinched slightly. "Yeah, he can hear me. I'm gonna treat this like a Zone. Help me out here. Add your voice to mine."

He took Jim's hand and laid it on Simon's neck. He laid his own hand on Simon's cheek. "Simon? Simon, it's Blair. And Jim. We're both here. Come on back, Simon."

Jim added his voice then. "Simon, I know it's peaceful there....nothing can hurt you there...but we need you here. Daryl needs you here."

Tears filled the dark man's eyes. "....Daryl....dead.....shot...."

"No!" Blair began, but a hand descended on his arm.

Daryl knelt beside his father. "Dad, no I'm not dead. The guy who threatened me is. Jim shot him. I'm fine, Dad, I'm fine!"

Jim looked at Blair. "That's what caused this?"

Blair nodded. "He thought he'd see his son killed. So he just...."

"...Zoned instead," Jim sighed. "Dammit, Simon, all this time and you copy this from me?"

Blair chuckled at the attempt at levity. "He'll be okay."

Jim looked back at Simon. He was holding Daryl now, eyes filled with confusion and hope. "Yeah, he'll be fine. He's coming out of it."

The tears flowed freely as Simon held his son close, sobbing his name over and over. It was over. It was finally over.

Or was it?

"Jim...." Blair whispered, sentinel-soft. "....this is bad. Very bad."

"What do you mean?"

Blair raised haunted blue eyes to him. ".....he Zoned, Jim. A non-Sentinel Zoned. The big questions are still here --- What caused this reaction....was it just an extreme reaction to his son endangered ... and will he do it again?"

"G-d, I hope not, Chief...." Jim whispered. "I really, really hope not..."

The End?

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