Nick of Time

He doesn't let himself think about the risk as he launches his body up, hands grabbing for the helicopter strut, metal paint flaking against his palms, sharp and rough.

He's going to be hanging over thin air with the promise of a hard landing, falling for endless (short) seconds, unless he's noticed and shot first, which, yeah, isn't that much of a comfort, but he's not thinking about that, either, he's not.

But as he snicks his cuffs around the strut and his wrist as an anchor he recalls that shove and grab as Blair arrived in the nick of time and saved him from the oncoming truck without thinking twice.

Should have remembered it before he jumped maybe but he's glad he didn't.

This isn't payback of a debt; isn't wiping the slate clean.

He'd have jumped anyway; he doesn't doubt that, not for a minute and that's a source of strength.

He did it because it's his duty, because Kincaid's all he loathes, because blood's been spilled, cop blood, spilled in a place where they should have been safe and that he wants payback for.

But part of it is because he can still hear Sandburg calling for help as he was dragged across the roof.

Simon had to hear Daryl beg, helplessly watching; Jim's damned if he's going to have Sandburg's screams echoing in his head the way Daryl's will accompany Simon's nightmares.

He jumped to get Sandburg back where he belongs, on solid ground, by his side, safe.

And he's only sweating because for a moment there he thought he'd run too slowly, jumped too late, that his clawing, reaching fingers would slide off and he'd be left on the roof.

But it's okay. Even a minute or two later with the undertow of Kincaid's weight torturing his body, racking it, mauling muscle, tearing at him like teeth, it's okay.

He was in time to save Sandburg.

It's going to be okay.

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