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The Guardian complex was a maze of canals, bridges, streets and signs, and that was only the parking lot. It was a long time before Jensen was finally inside the hospital, but the fire in his veins had not cooled by then.

The whoosh of glass doors opened for him, and the sterile expanse of a hospital lobby loomed ahead. This wasn't his first time in the Guardian. He was brought here the night Jessika found him by his old apartment, the night he first realized he could save a life on the brink. He came by ambulance, or so he was told after the fact, so his view of the emergency room was rather one-sided. Someone bumped into him so hard he stumbled aside. Two men labored by, one was clutching his arm painfully, the other pointing the way to triage.

Jensen unzipped his jacket as he watched their fate. The triage nurse directed them to a station to fill out forms, he assumed. The injured man hung his head, holding his arm close, while his friend did the work. They were in for a long wait as it seemed the entire waiting room was full of the sick and injured.

Nerves crept up his spine. He'd wanted to do this alone, if it would even work. He'd been able to use the Gift for the gravely injured but was unaware if it would work on the ill. He walked through the waiting room, heart sinking as he passed within arm's reach of chair-after-chair of the suffering. His pace slowed as he peered down upon the form of a little boy about four curled up in his mother's lap. He and Jess took Gabe, their oldest, to the ER once with a high fever. Jensen thought he was going to die of fear, but before he could do anything about this poor child, his mother glared and pulled her son closer. Jensen kept going. He needed to be alone, at least at first, with a patient to see if it even worked. He wasn't sure what he was going to imagine would happen, but he knew the waiting room wasn't the place to find out.

He approached the triage nurse. "Excuse me,"
she looked up as he spoke. She looked tired. "I'm here to visit someone,"
he said. She blandly looked down. "What's their name, and are you family?" He didn't know the name of anyone in the ER, and even if he were to venture a random guess, and by coincidence matched someone, he could not claim to be family without lying. "No, I'm not family,"
he said, dejected. She shook her head and didn't even look back up at him. "Nobody gets in," she proclaimed and Jensen's already sunken heart was ready to give up, "Unless they are family, a doctor, or a member of the clergy."

He gasped. The clergy.

"I'm clergy. A pastor."
He said it before there was time to process the claim. How often had he visited members of the church in the hospital? Hundreds. Why hadn't he thought it before? He should have worn different clothes. The nurse's look was skeptical, but Jensen quickly drew out a wallet and showed her some credentials... granted they were woefully out of date, and unlikely to be acknowledged in the CCD.. he hoped they would suffice.

She shrugged, dropped a visitor's pass on the counter, which he gladly scooped up, and spun away to tend to the next person. He hurried off before he could change his mind.
Jing Peng, an illegal chinese immigrant took a detour from his normal panhandling circuit outside a fast food restaurant. A pair of bigger, stouter men with clubs convinced him to find a new spot.

He passed an entrance to a metro station longingly. They were the best positions, so heavily trafficked as they were with easy access to heat. He dug his hands deeper into oversized pockets and trudged on. The place was already claimed as was signaled by the man that shot him a look of warning.

The wind picked up, promising snow soon to fall from ever-thickening clouds. Dusk was coming too. The temperature would be dropping below safe levels unless he found a place to huddle for the night. His stomach rumbled, reminding him he hadn't eaten since being run off from his fast-food restaurant. There were plenty of half-eaten burgers and biscuits to three to share, but sharing wasn't part of the rules of this morbid world of beggars.

Jing's wandering took him to a large intersection. On the corner stood a fast-loan store, pharmacy, and nail salon. The parking lots were sparse. Most of the other stores were closed. He sighed and approached the curb.

Torrid honking struck him of his daze just as he was about to cross the street. His heart lept into his throat as he jumped from a pair of headlights in the knick of time. He stumbled back on the sidewalk, landing hard. He grimaced and scowled at the driver as they sped away.

He was gaining his feet when a second pair of headlights approached, but this time he was safe on the curb. He ignored the beams and stumbled upright. His back was going to ache for days after this.

Squealing tires made him look up, though. And his annoyance turned to terror as a car swerved randomly from the street, up the curb and straight at him.

This time there wasn't time to dodge. The next two days were a blur. He remembered a nurse asking for his name and address. Someone asked for next of kin and whether he had a will to execute. No, he answered. He had nobody and no home. The pain came and went with the nurses as they delivered their needles. His aching legs and back were braced in casts that kept him in bed.

The day he was moved from emergency to the hospital floor a visitor knocked on the door. Jing assumed it was another nurse coming to do another scan or inject him with some new drug, and didn't look up until a male voice spoke.

They said.

Jing's heavy gaze rolled, and he squinted to make out the man's appearance. He was white, younger them himself, not very tall, and dressed unlike any medical staff he'd seen yet. A pang of curiosity wafted his senses, but his voice was too weak to inquire further.

The man came to stand by the foot of the bed. "May I pray for you?"
He asked.

Jing blinked, processing the question. The man repeated himself, this time speaking slower, but Jing's hearing was the one thing that still worked on his body. The man seemed to take the lack of response as a sign and pulled a stool nearby. He laid his hands on Jing's arm below one of the i.v. lines plunging into his body.

For a prayer, the man was rather quiet although he closed his eyes and did bow his head. Any of the religion that skirted Jing's life was not western, but neither did he mind the intrusion. In fact, he partly assumed the man was a hallucination bred from boredom and pain.

Admittedly, he grew extremely relaxed. Like every sense of stress, misery and pain washed away. He breathed easier, deeper, and without the pain spreading across broken ribs. His head lightened of its weight. Even his toes tingled. Sleep took him in a few minutes.

When he woke, he was a brand new Jing. He sat easily upright and studied his surroundings like he didn't realize where he was. "Hello???" He called but nobody came. He swung his casted legs off the edge of the bed and was surprised to find he was able to put all his weight on his feet. The movement set off a flurry of alarms and a moment later, a nurse ran in, yelling at him to get off his feet.

"But I'm fine!" He said, even hopping on oddly-straightened knees, and smiled. The nurse looked at him in shock. He even laughed.

Damn, but Ivan was sick of lying in bed. As hospitals went, the Guardian wasn't a bad place to be. Bring a CCDPD officer did mean he got the the best care.

Still, use to be that the idea of being able to kick back and sleep was appealing. There was nothing like a Sunday afternoon nap in the middle of summer after a good home cooked meal at home. Belly full, one game or other on the TV, the sounds of his mother cleaning up or his brother and sister or nieces or nephews making noise, with Pops yelling at the screen- well, that was just about the best- one of them, he amended. Top 5 anyway. He'd just drift right off into that perfect sleep place and feel time slow down and he'd be alright alright.

Not in here though. All beeping of the machines and the indecipherable codes and announcements. And all the orderlies and nurses and docs running around poking him with this and prodding him with that. Not exactly conducive to resting peacefully.

He got a few visits from the precinct. Friends. Others. Ma had camped out for a few days, practically. He didn't remember much of that. Those first days had been pretty much nothing but hazy drifting sleep and a lot of pain.

Truth was, he still was pretty much high to the gills. He didn't remember the details, not really, but his side was all tight and it hurt if he sneezed or made any movements in his lower body. He felt like an invalid.

He tried to joke about it or even flirt with the female staff- anything to feel normal- but it was hard to do that when you had tubes up your nose and your eyes were puffy. And not thinking super clear.

But truth was, behind all the pain and bravado and boredom was a sense of failure. Here he'd been brought onto Domovoi because of the power, because of the "advantage" that offered. And instead, he'd gone up against someone with REAL power. Someone with experience. Worse, someone who couldn't care less about the people he hurt in the cross fire. When he though about that, he felt his stomach churn. People were hurt because of him, because he couldn't stop him. And maybe even dead. People wouldn't be straight with him about that.

He knew Zoya was ok. At least there was that, for which he was profoundly glad. Still, it burned him, to know that he had failed. He wished he had asked Ascendancy to teach him about how to use the power. Having to wait until he felt tense or threatened meant that he couldn't practice. He tried to imagine how good a shot he'd be if he only could fire his gun when under duress. Not, was the answer. Just a big fat no.

So now, he lay in bed trying to call upon the power, tried to imagine how it felt when he seized it, tried to even sense it. Nothing. He tried, but it just wasn't happening. It was so frustrating. This was a problem. Like a big one. He couldn't go back to Domovoi until he could use the power at need.

So hour after hour, for as long as he could concentrate, he tried to somehow do it. After the first few days, he gave up on that. He decided to concentrate on what happened when he could sense the power, tried to remember exactly how he'd felt, and how he pulled at it. If he could make himself feel tense or scared, maybe that would do it.

But how do you scare yourself? He was just lying there. As much as he wanted to convince himself, he wasn't in an danger at that moment. It was so damn frustrating!! He tried elaborate scenarios- imagined situations where he needed to act- but they just made him mad. Still, it was something. Anger could lead to fear.

He wasn't super imaginative- and his brain was tired- but he kept at it, thinking of horrific scenes- people he loved in danger. He remembered those creatures down below when he was with Xena. Hour after hour, day after he day he tried, his fear of failing people pushing him when thought about giving up.

It wasn't working though. Sure, he'd had a few waking nightmares. He'd even sensed the power like the sun behind a cloud one time. But that was the extent of it. It was so damn frustrating!

But he wasn't gonna give up.
The next few days were incredible. He replayed those last few moments with Mister Peng over and over in his mind. He'd sat with him for several minutes, that much was certain, but the memory of it flashed like mere seconds elapsed. It was the greatest moment of his life, comparable only to cradling his son for the first time. But God created that beautiful baby, not Jensen. Yet it was Jensen that felt that miraculous energy flow through him.

There was nothing about Peng on the news, for which Jensen was grateful. Otherwise he might not have returned to the hospital. He did return a few days later though, and this time he was more appropriately dressed in slacks and a gray button down shirt.

A different wing of the hospital swallowed him up this time. He wanted to visit the children's ward, but he couldn't brave visiting them yet. If something went wrong with a child in his hands, he'd never forgive himself. He wanted more experience first.

He paused at the intersection of two hallways, examining the signs and studying the maps. Other than avoiding the children's wing, for if he saw them he'd not be able to walk away without trying something, he didn't have a destination in mind. He must have had a confused look cross his face, because a nurse with a friendly smile on her face came up to him. Her eyes fell to the clergy's pass on his shoulder. "Is there something I can help you with, Reverend?"

Jensen smiled back, but the sincerity in her tone was so kind that he didn't have the heart to correct her use of the title. "I was here to visit the sick."
He frantically thought of an excuse to visit random people. In Dallas there were catholic or Jesuit-run hospitals that had clergy on staff. Usually at check-in patients had the option to designate a religious affiliation. The forms connected them or their family with church leaders in the event of grave illness, or worse, death. Otherwise, clergy often visited the admitted to pray and chat. That would be a valid reason to be here. "Can you think of anyone that might want someone to visit with them and pray?"

The nurse's brows rose as she thought a moment. "Yes, actually. What's your name? I'll introduce you." She led him down the hall to the left. The walk wasn't far, but they passed beneath a sign that read Post-Surgical as they progressed.

Jensen smiled and tucked hair behind his ear, "Thank you, and it's Jensen,"
he hesitated a moment before adding his last name. "James."
He winced, but she didn't react beyond showing him to the door to a patient room.

She headed in without preamble while Jensen lingered behind at the door. The patient, a man in his sixties sitting up in bed, clearly recognized her. No flowers lined the wall by the window and a tray of half-eaten food waited to be taken away. The nurse introduced him as Reverend James, which Jensen nodded despite the slight inaccuracy, and asked if the man would like a visitor.

The nurse pat Jensen on the shoulder on her way out, "I'm Jacquelyn. Ask for me if you need anything else," she said. Jensen thanked her and stepped forward to greet the patient, Yegor.

"A pleasure to meet you, Yegor,"
Jensen said as he sat in a visitor's chair that he had a feeling hadn't seen much use. His eyes scanned the wall of monitors behind Yegor's bed. He didn't understand the meaning of most of them, but he understood the significance of the many tubes trailing from Yegor's body. "What brought you to the hospital if I may ask?"

His accent was thick and guttural, "Heart gave out. They sucked something out of my thigh bone and grew a new one to stick in me." He pulled down the gown to show the top of bandages stuck to his chest likely covering the wounds. "But my pain is nothing compared to the poor young kid next door. Shot, stabbed, and heard he nearly had his arms ripped off, a cop too."

Jensen blinked, "Wow. Maybe I'll stop and see him too, if he'd like a visit. Yegor would you like me to pray with you?"

The man nodded and shifted to mute the action movie playing in the background. "Can't hurt I guess."

Jensen's heart was pounding as he laid a hand across Yegor's, careful not to disturb the tubing taped there. It was hard to think of the raging powers of the gift as something as light and love as it seemed so violent and ferocious. Yet he felt more alive than ever before when it flowed through. He felt Yegor shift under his touch, and the man asked something along the lines of what he was suppose to do, but Jensen kept his eyes closed. The gift was not long to work, but he knew the moment the work was done.

He breathed deeply as he pulled his hand away and reluctantly released the gift from himself. Yegor was staring straight ahead. For a moment, Jensen worried something had gone wrong, but a moment later the man exhaled like he released a mountain of weight from his shoulders. "I feel incredible. Like nothing is wrong at all or they just gave me another shot. Thank you." He nodded emphatically and hit the nurse button. Jensen recognized Jacquelyn's face hover in the air nearby. "Can you come back? I want to go home."

Jensen quickly stood and moved aside. "Thank God you feel better, but I should go."
He hurried from the room. Jacquelyn was coming, so he ducked into the room next door. The cop's room.

He prepared himself to see a mangled man, but by the description Yegor gave, such a patient would be better off in ICU than on the floor. Instead, Jensen saw an awake young man that looked no worse for wear for someone in the hospital.

Jacquelyn passed by without stopping, thankfully. He understood Yegor's eagerness to go home. The man was healed of his wounds, Jensen would want that catheter out too. Otherwise, he smoothed his sleeves and stepped into the room, after making sure the man was awake, "Hello. I'm ... Pastor James. I was visiting someone who said they heard you are a police officer, hurt in the line of duty. f you'd like a visitor?"

His heart beat hard again, but he carefully kept the nerves from disturbing the calmness of his voice.

Ivan stared at the ceiling, bored. And tired. Fact was, making yourself feel something based purely on day dreams was tough to the point of being nearly impossible.

Course it didn't help that he could barely move- without pain anyway. Bout the positive was when one of the cuter nurses came in to help him eat. His sides hurt by the end, from the laughing and teasing, but it was worth it. Hey, he had to do something, trapped as he was in his bed. And it took his mind off of things.

A man came into his room- looked sorta professional though his longer than normal hair said that he wasn't on the force or anything. Not a doc either. He also didn't have that take charge kinda look he and his fellow officers had, the one that made people step up and start to tell him what they knew so far so he could make the right decision.

Still, he was glad for a visitor. At the man's words, he smiled. He wouldn't say he was super-religious, but he did try to do the best he could. He'd been baptized at St. Catherine's along with most in his neighborhood. He'd been one of the altar boy's for Father Filyeva, the Archpriest and saw him occasionally on Sundays or on Easter and Christmas. The Reverend sometimes called him about a parishioner who needed help but was afraid to go the police; to talk to a kid who was having trouble staying on the right side of the law. And he had come to see Ivan while he was in the hospital.

Ivan immediately felt a familiar sense of respect in the way this man spoke and held himself. There was a quiet serenity about him. He might not be in charge the way that Ivan or a doctor might be- for a situation that needed someone to make a life or death decision right then and there- but that didn't make him or what he did any less important.

He tried to sit up and only managed a bit before the pain in his sides became too much. "Yeah. That'd be nice."
He looked around. "Day-time TV suc...I mean, is really bad."
He smiled. "You makin' the rounds?"
Jensen glanced over his shoulder. Jacquelyn hurried by without noticing he was in there. That was a relief, but when he saw the officer wince as he shifted in bed, his heart went out to him. He shouldn't have ducked in here to hide. He should have come in here willingly seeking to help.

He put on a smile and sat down in a visitor's chair. Sitting might put the person in a hospital bed at ease while standing might seem authoritative or rushed. Jensen was neither.

"You could say that I'm making the rounds. I used to visit hospitals often,"
he scratched his forehead and briefly looked aside, "but it's been a while."
His palms had stopped sweating by then, and surprisingly, he wasn't as tired as he used to be after using the gift's powers. "So what happened to you? If I may ask, of course. I understand police business is tricky to speak about, what with ongoing investigations and such."
He scanned the officer as he laid there but didn't let his eyes linger too long. He didn't want to seem pushy.

The man sat down. Now that he was here Ivan was unsure of what to say. It'd been a while since he'd been to a confession and he wasn't his childhood priest. Still, it was something. In some ways, the fact that they were strangers meant that Ivan didn't have to worry about stuff getting back to people he knew. Not that he planned on saying anything about his power. He doubted that his superiors wanted his abilities out in the open. It could undermine the new team's effectiveness.

He asked about how he was injured and Ivan had to decide. Well, it was all over the news after all. That part anyway. He laughed and wished he hadn't. They had said he had 3 busted ribs and man but they hurt. "I was in Izmailovsky Market. The attack that's all over the news?"
He went on after a moment. "I was on a date and out of nowhere this guy just attacked me and my date with..."
he trailed off. How to explain it. "...with some kind of power. I tried to stop him....but I wasn't able to."
He couldn't keep the bitterness from his voice at that last. He'd been thinking it over and over again over the last few days. He'd expected people to call him out on it- team mates, his new boss- even Drayson, if he showed. But no one did. He knew they were thinking it, though.

He realized he hadn't really been looking at the guy. He saw kind concern. After a moment, he went on, shrugging off the momentary blackness that settled over him like a blanket. "Sorry. You get couped up in bed for days and it's hard to stay positive. Anyway, so yeah. Guy attacked me with some strange kind of power and I tried to stop him before he could hurt others. I could be worse off, I guess. I should be. I think others died, though no one will tell me for sure."
Guess that blanket was harder to shake off than he thought.
Jensen balked in surprise. "That was you?"
The story was well covered on the news. Given his habits of checking scrolls every day, it was hard to miss. They compared the attack at the market to the sheer forces seen in Jeddah. Even the government responded to these alleged 'special abilities' popping up all over the place. Now, the officer whom Jensen recognized must be Ivan, admitted to the involvement of strange powers. He didn't even try to hide it. Ivan's was the only the second account of the gifted Jensen encountered, himself excluded.

"That means..,"
he started to say, but his thoughts drifted before he formed the words. Power in combat. Power in terror. Power in healing. Was this is all the same power?

Jensen's gaze refocused as he studied Ivan. "You tried to stop him? Does that mean you can... you can also?"
But he couldn't finish the question. If Ivan told him what he thought that meant an entire shift in Jensen's perspective on the gift. What he thought was from God was found randomly in men.

Ivan's stomach dropped at the man's question. He hadn't been trying to let that part on. He wasn't thinking right, that was for sure. Stupid pain meds were making him loopy. He was gonna play it off. He was a cop, after all, and special powers or not, he would have acted to stop him either way when the man's words took on new meaning. Also?

Ivan looked at him searchingly. He knew there was nothing physically different about people who shared their abilities. But still...

"Wait. Are you saying that you can use...the power?"
And then another thought came to him. "Can you use it anytime? Or do you have to be worried or upset?"
Suddenly, he felt the stirrings of hope. This man of the cloth could be an answer to his prayers.
Jensen's throat dried faster than a spilled coke in the desert. Ivan fell quiet and Jensen was sure he'd said too much. But was it so awful to bring up? Tony and Giovanni were pleasant. Connor knew about his gifts. John knew and made sure Jensen was legally able to stay in the CCD. What was the harm in telling a policeman? He was a good guy, saved people and was certainly nice. He hadn't intended to suggest they were both gifted with powers, but there was no way to answer except truthfully.

Normally Jensen was swift with words, but he struggled to find the right explanation. "Um. Well I wouldn't say that, but I know, at least I think - or thought."
His lips formed a thin line. There was only one way to explain since Jensen didn't even know what it was he could do. He spoke softly. "Can I just show you?"


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