Destinies Entwined                                      Dotty    Kathy    Lvblair    Mary Ellen    Ophelia    KAM    Ronnee    Kathy 'n Mary Ellen 



(a "The Waiting Room" Missing/Alternate Scene)



Simon walked out of his office and headed over to Jimís desk. "Gentlemen! I understand that you lost your suspect."

"Yeah, Captain, but I think I found another one," Jim replied.

"Yeah. Jim doesnít think itís Dunlop anymore."

"Just donít tell me itís your ghost."

Before either one could respond to that, Joel walked up. "Excuse me, Simon. Jim asked me to pull up some information about this guy named Sam Bromly."

"You actually found him?" There was a note of surprise in Blairís voice.

"Yeah," Joel answered. "If your guyís 80 years old."

"She could have been with an older man," Jim suggested.

"Whoís she?" Simon asked.

"Uh, Molly," Blair answered.

"Molly who?"

Before either man could answer the captain, Joel said, "You know, I used to have an aunt who, uh, believed in ghosts and she used to put garlic over the door just to ward away the vampires. Maybe you should try some garlic, Jim."

"Very funny, Joel."

"Yeah," Blair agreed. "About as funny as that stunt you guys pulled the other night."

"Stunt?" There was a look of confusion on Simonís face. "What stunt?"

"It was nothing," Joel answered. "We were just having a little fun, thatís all."

"Yeah, at our expense."

"We told you we didnít mean anything by it." Joel turned to Jim. "Besides, you have to admit, it is rather hard to imagine you believing in stuff like that."

"I never said I believed in it," Jim denied, ignoring the shocked look Blair gave him. "Iím just saying that thereís been some Ö odd Ö things going on with this case."

"I canít believe you, Jim."

The detective looked over at the younger man. "What?"

"The things youíve experienced Ė how can you say that you donít believe?"

"Because, so far, weíve got no evidence to support any of it."

"Yeah, Sandburg," Simon agreed. "Youíre a scientist, arenít you? Donít you guys always have to have proof to back up things? You donít just accept something on blind faith."

"Well, maybe thatís true for everyone else," Blair replied, his eyes remaining locked on Jim, "but recently I experienced some thing that made me change my thinking on a whole lot of things. Changed my outlook, I guess you could say."

"Oh yeah." Simon looked skeptical. "Whatís that? Have a religious experience with some girl you dated?" The captain smirked.

Hearing the laughter of the detectives, Blair looked to Jim for support. But he found none Ė just a half-smile on his roommateís face. "No, Simon. It was a woman, though, but I hardly dated her. You know her. Her name is Alex Barnes."

Blair paused momentarily when the laughter abruptly died down. "And, yes, I did experience something because of her. I died. So now Iím a little more inclined to believe that death isnít the end Ė that there might be something more. Some higher plane of existence Ė a continuation of some kind. So, yeah, I guess I am a little more open-minded than you guys. Dying will do that to you."

With that, Blair turned and stormed out of the bullpen Ė leaving a group of stunned police officers behind.

Jimís breathing seemed to have stopped some time during Blairís tirade. Now, with the younger man gone, he took a gasping breath as he turned to look at his captain. "Simon Ė"

"Go, Jim." Simon had the good grace to look ashamed Ė as did Joel and the others. "Tell himÖ just tell him weíre sorry, okay?"

"Yeah." Jim nodded and then took off after Blair.

After the detective had gone, the now solemn group of men looked at each other. It was Joel that finally broke the silence. "Guess we really messed up, huh?"

"Yeah," Henri agreed. "I had no idea Hairboy felt that way. We didnít mean anything by it. I actually thought heíd get a kick out of it Ė having us ride him like that. I mean, itís something weíd do to each other." He shrugged.

"Normally, I think he would have," Simon offered. "But with something like thisÖ We all just went on like nothing happened. After Alex, I mean. None of us really wanted to face how close we came to losing him. Hell, we did lose him. But we got him back, thank the Lord. And thatís what we wanted to focus on Ė the fact that we got him back. So we just let the rest go. Blair hasnít Öor canít. I guess any of us would feel the same if itíd happened to us."

Silence greeted the captainís words as all of the men thought about what heíd said Ö and what they had done Ė finally realizing how their actions must have made Blair feel.

"I think we owe him Ö and Jim Ö a big apology," Rafe said, stating out loud what all of them had been thinking.

When Blair reached the parking garage, his rush down the stairs had burned off only a little of his anger. For a moment he looked around in confusion before remembering that he had rode to the station with Jim.

Head bent, he ignored everyone as he strode outside and began to walk down the sidewalk. He didnít have a destination in mind, he just knew he had to get away, that he couldnít face Jim or anyone else right now. His emotions were too close to the surface.

He hadnít meant to create a scene like that Ė especially not in front of Simon and the others. But he just couldnít take their ridicule anymore. Or Jimís attitude. When they were alone, Jim would, albeit reluctantly, admit to the possibility that what he had seen Ö what he had been experiencing Ö was real. But as soon as they were around Simon and the others, Jim backed down, not supporting Blair in his belief in Molly.

"I canít even see her, but I believe that Jim does," Blair muttered. "So why canít he back me up in front of the others? Why didnít he say something when Henri, Joel and Rafe pulled that stunt? As long as itís me theyíre making fun of, as long as itís me theyíre mocking, itís all right. But God forbid they should think that Jim Ellison might believe in ghosts."

As he continued walking, he softly muttered to himself from time to time, not even aware of the strange looks he was receiving.

"And why is it that Jim sees her? Why not me? Incacha Ö he passed the way of the shaman over to me. Shouldnít that mean something? I mean, why do it otherwise? Whatís the point? It sure as hell didnít make Jim trust me more Ė didnít make him have more faith in me. And it sure as hell didnít make me have any more faith in myself. Even before then I felt like I was just stumbling around in the dark. Now, itís even worse."

"A shaman is supposed to be wise, knowledgeableÖ respected. One thing I know Iím not is respected. Not by Simon, not by the others. Hell, not even by Jim the majority of the time. Youíd think that after AlÖ Youíd think that after all this time Iíd have earned at least a little bit of respect Ė that Iíd proven myself to them. But itís pretty obvious I havenít."

Walking out of the elevator, Jim scanned the garage, hoping to see Blair. Not spotting the younger man, we walked over to his truck and climbed inside.

As he pulled out onto the street, he hesitated. He should turn left to head for the loft Ė which is where he assumed Blair would be heading. But something made him pause. For some reason, he felt that he should go right. Deciding to not fight his instincts, he jerked the wheel to the right.

Scanning for Blair, he thought back over his behavior since this case had started. He didnít know why he was having such a hard time admitting to what heíd been seeing and experiencing. Even with Blair heíd felt reluctant to discuss it.

When Joel and the others had pulled that little gag, heíd been embarrassed. It was easier to just let them think that it was Blair who believed in all of that ghost stuff. To let him take the brunt of their practical jokes and laughter.

Never once did it occur to him to wonder why Blair so readily believed in Mollyís existence. His little speech in the bullpen had been quite an eye-opener. Even now, remembering how Blair had talked about what had happened Ö talked about his death Ö caused a shiver to run down Jimís spine.

They had talked about it after their return from Mexico. A little bit. Jim had been ashamed of his actions and wanted to just put everything behind them. But, and he blamed it on Blairís influence over him, he knew it couldnít be dealt with that easily Ė that they had to get everything out in the open and talk.

So, heíd tentatively approached Blair Ė hinting that he wanted to talk about the fountain, Alex Ö Blairís death. When Blair had made a hasty departure from the loft Ė claiming some forgotten appointment Ė Jim had let him go and hadnít broached the subject again.

Truth be told, he was Ö relieved Ö that Blair obviously didnít want to talk. That way, he wouldnít have to face what heíd done, wouldnít have to take a good look at his actions and his behavior toward Blair Ö and Alex.

Now, he finally realized that heíd made a mistake. As much as he dreaded it, as much as Blair obviously did too, they needed to talk things out. Now if he could just get his friend to see that as well.

Spotting his missing friend, Jim let out a sigh of relief and pulled up along side him.

Preoccupied with his thoughts, Blair kicked at a stone lying on the sidewalk and watched as it skidded towards the street. Ignoring the sound of a horn honking, he kept walking, only to stop when he heard his name being called. Looking up, he spotted Jim.

At first, he thought about ignoring the older man. But as Jim called his name again, he let out a frustrated sigh and walked over to the truck. "What?"

Arm leaning on the window, Jim paused and looked at Blair for a moment before ordering, "Get in the truck, Sandburg."

Blair bristled at Jimís tone. "I donít think so. I donít have anything to say to you right now." With that, he started to turn away.

"Maybe Iíve got something to say to you."

He turned back at Jimís words. "And thatís whatís important, isnít it? When I want to talk, itís fine for you to ignore me or brush me off. But when itís you that wants to talk, I have to drop everything and come running."

"Would you just get in the damn truck, Sandburg," Jim grated out, his jaw clenched.

Shaking his head, clearly still angry, Blair went around to the passenger side and climbed into the truck, slamming the door shut. "All right, Iím in the truck. Happy now?" Without waiting for an answer, he said, "So talk."

"Iím sorry." Jim waited for Blair to say something. When the younger man remained silent, he continued. "And Iím not just talking about this case. Iím talking about everything. The fountain. Alex. Hell, even before Alex. I know Iíve been a jerk lately. Itís justÖ You died, Blair."

Blair reached over for the door handle but Jim reached over and stopped him. "No, damn it, not this time."

"I donít want to talk about this."

"Well, I do." Jim let go of Blair, but continued to warily eye him in case he tried to flee again. "Sorry, I know itís a shock. Me actually wanting to talk about something."

"Why?" Blair demanded. "Why now?"

"Do you really have to ask?" Jim ran a hand over his face. "Hell, Blair, this caseÖ MollyÖ It justÖ It makes you think Ė has made me think. AboutÖabout a lot of things."

"No, Jim, all it does is give you and the rest of the guys another reason to make fun of me." Blair crossed his arms, the action a mixture of anger and defensiveness. "Do you know how that felt? Being treated that way? But the worse of it was when you didnít do anything. You just stood there. Itís likeÖ like as long as itís not directed at you, then it doesnít matter."

"It matters. God, Blair, donít you think I know that."

"Youíve got a funny way of showing it."

"What do you expect me to do?" A hint of anger crept into Jimís tone. "Stand up in the middle of the bullpen and declare to everyone that Iíve been talking to a ghost? That would go over real well. Simon would have my ass in for evaluation so fast my head would spin."

"You know thatís not what I meant," Blair snapped, irritated. "But you could step in; you could say something when they pull stuff like that. You could support me for once. Believe in me for once. God knows Iíve done it enough times for you. Especially where Molly is concerned. I canít see her, Jim. But I believe that sheís real because you say that she is. I have faith in you. Even afterÖ"

"After what?" Jim asked when Blair didnít finish. "Even after Alex? Thatís what you mean, isnít it?"

Blair shrugged, keeping his eyes downward to avoid looking at Jim.

"Chief Ė"

"No," Blair interrupted. "IÖ I canít, Jim. Not now. Not yet. Itís still tooÖ too freshÖ too rawÖ for me, you know." He was silent for a while. When he spoke again, his voice was low. "Hell, sometimes when Iím in my office, someone comes in and I look up andÖ and just for a few seconds I expect to seeÖ to see Alex standing there."

When he felt a gentle pressure on his shoulder, Blair finally looked over at Jim. "Iím not blaming you, Jim. At least not just you. We both have our fair share of blame over everything that happened. And I know we need to work through it Ė talk about it. But I need time. Time to let it not hurt as much. Time to deal with it myself before we can deal with it together."

"Okay," Jim agreed, not caring that his voice sounded choked. He squeezed Blairís shoulder one final time before letting go.

"So," Blair paused, clearing his throat. "So, what now?"

"Now, partner, we go see Sam Bromly," Jim answered. "Find out what, if any, connection he has to this case."

"Okay," Blair agreed as Jim pulled back onto the street.

They both knew they still had to deal with the strain put on their friendship Ė a strain created by Alexís, as well as by their own, actions.

But, together, they hoped to get past it. Hoped that they could overcome all the difficulties and hurdles placed in their way recently. And any they may face in the future.

If only they could just keep believing -- in each other as well as in themselves.

The End