Dr. Blair Sandburg. Finally!
Disclaimer: I am getting no money for this. The Sentinel belongs to Pet Fly Prod. I am simply doing this for entertainment purposes only. Oh yeah, <BG> and my dues. This is set after S2p2. I canít help it. This just kept bouncing around in my head. So I had to get it out. // //Indicates thoughts.
Okay also a very special Thank You goes out to my beta reader. Katy thanks so much! I want you all to know I would not have finished this if not for her. I was so stuck! She helped. So, once again, here are my dues and I hope you all like it.
I lie in bed listening to Jim go through his morning routine in the bathroom. Things have been tense between us ever since the Alex fiasco. We have never spoken about it. Itís as if Jim wants to forget it ever happened. But it did.
When we got back from our little road trip, Jim moved all my stuff back into the loft. Still not a word was spoken. But things are different. He hardly speaks to me. I hear him finish up and climb the stairs to dress. I drag myself out of bed to do my morning routine. Fifteen minutes later Iím back in my room, dressed, and tying my hair back. By the time I come out of my room, Jim is putting breakfast on the table. We have scrambled eggs, toast and coffee. I can feel him looking at me. I look up.
He clears his throat.
"You coming to the station today Chief?"
"UmÖnot until later. I have a meeting. I could be there by 3:00."
"Okay. Iíll see you then."
Before I could say a word heís gone. I do have a meeting today. If it goes the way I hope it does it could turn out good for Jim as well as for me. I look at the time. 7:45. I better get going. Man, it was gonna be a long day.
* * * * * * * *
I drove to the station and went about my morning errandsÖthinking. Thinking that the gap between Sandburg and myself was getting bigger by the day. I just donít know how to fix it. We hardly speak anymore. Everyone at the station notices it, but no one says anything. Sitting at my desk looking at the growing stack of paper-work makes me feel ill. Did I mention how much I loathe paper-work? I canít really complain. Things have been pretty quiet around here, which Iím thankful for. I think Iím going to have to do something I dislike more than paper work. Sigh. Have a heart--to--heart with Sandburg. When I have to talk about my feelings I always seem to mess things up. But I have to try and fix this. I canít push Blair away again. DAMN!! He died. I donít ever want to go through that again. I have to try to fix this mess. I look at the time. 12:00 PM, Seems later. He sighed deeply. Itís gonna be a long day.
* * * * * * * * *
The elevator opened depositing Blair on the 7th floor. He said his hellos to the detectives. Jim wasnít at his desk. He made his way over to Simonís office and knocked.
The deep rich voice of Simon Banks carried through the door. Blair went in and closed the door.
"Hey, Captain, I was looking for Jim."
"He had to go down to records. He should be back any minute. How are you doing, Blair?"
Blair seemed surprised by this. So maybe Simon really did care. Blair smiled to himself.
"Iím good, thanks. I wanted to give you this."
He reached in his backpack and pulled out the letter and key and handed both to Simon.
"Itís a key to a safety deposit box."
"I can see what it is, Sandburg, but what for?"
"Well, first I wanted to say you are now looking at Dr. Blair Sandburg. I submitted my dissertation two weeks ago and defended it. The university loved it. Today I got the official verdict."
Simon seemed shocked.
"UmÖSandburg, thatís great. Iím happy for you. But I thought Jim was supposed to read it first."
"Well, you see, thatís just itÖ"
Before Blair could continue, the door to Simonís office burst open admitting one very pissed off Sentinel. He grabbed Blair by his jacket, almost pulling him off his feet, and snarling in his face.
"And just when the FUCK were you going to tell me? Huh? Youíve finished with your little lab rat, so time to move on!"
Jim shook Sandburg and kept yelling.
"What have you done, Blair? Is this why youíve been so quiet and practically hiding these past few weeks? You sneak! This is what you were up to!"
Blair shook himself free.
"Get your hands off me. I wasnít sneaking."
He fingered Ellisonís chest.
"Youíre the one keeping your distance. Iíve been walking on egg-shells around you since we came back from Peru."
"You little shit! Donít turn this around on me. This is the reason youíve been putting a wedge, a gap between us."
Blairís voice dripped with venom.
"I didnít have to. You did that all by yourself when you were sniveling and drooling after Alex---,You were so ready to get it on with the person who murdered me, you unfeeling PRICK!"
Something snapped inside Jim. The next thing he knew, his fist connected with Blairís jaw. He watched, shocked, as Blair stumbled backward and fell. Before Jim could reach out to catch him, Blairís head struck the front of Simonís desk. Simon finally shook himself out of his stunned silence. As he stood up, Detectives Rafe and Joel grabbed Jim as Simon moved to help Blair.
"Back off!" Simon growled.
He kneeled down beside Blair. He handed Blair his handkerchief to try to stop the blood coming from his nose and split lip. Blair groaned as Simon helped him sit up. Blair shook his head and looked up at Jim with such shock and hurt in his expression that Jim felt his entire being fill with shame.
"Oh God, Blair I---"ó"Jim was cut off.
"Shut up, Jim." Blair said in a quiet voice. Simon helped him up and was concerned when Blair was a bit wobbly but finally managed to stand on shaky legs.
"Blair," Simon said softly, "Are you okay?"
Blairís lip quivered. He took a deep breath and some-how held back the tears.
"No, Simon, Iím not. I donít know if Iíll ever be all right again."
Simon glared at Jim.
"Sandburg, do you want to press charges against Jim?"
Blair looked at Simon like heíd lost his mind. He looked at Jim and all the detectives in the bullpen. He turned back to Simon.
"No, Sim---Captain, I donít-,"
He said, defeated. He pulled off his observer pass and handed it to Simon. Everyone looked on in stunned silence.
"I wonít be needing this anymore."
Jim couldnít believe this was happening. Simon put his hand on Blairís shoulder.
"Sand---Blair, let me at least take you to the hospital, just to check you out and make sure youíre okay."
Blair gave him a small smile.
"Thanks, Simon, but Iím fine."
He picked up his backpack, looked at everyone one last time and made his way to the elevator. He moved slowly going to his car, feeling numb. He got in and started the engine and left.
* * * * * * * *
The bullpen was silent. Most people were staring at Jim or at the elevator. Then Captain Bankís voice filled the air.
"Donít you people have any work to do?"
Everyone scattered back to their desks. Jim turned to leave but was stopped by a sharp "Not you, Ellison."
He walked into Simonís office and closed the door. Two seconds later a very irate Banks was in his face.
"WHAT IN THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? Why in Godís name did you hit him? If Sandburg did press charges you, my friend, would be in a holding cell. Jim, whatís going on with you?"
Jim sat down his shoulders slumped.
"God, I donít know, Simon. I heard him say he went ahead with the dissertation, and something inside me snapped. He always said that heíd run it by me before he did anything. Things havenít been the greatest between us lately. OH, MY GOD, SIMON, I. HIT. HIM. How could I do that?"
Jim saw the envelope addressed to Simon in Blairís neat handwriting.
"Simon what is that?"
Simon remembered the letter. He picked it up and opened it. He read through it. He couldnít believe it. He read it again. He looked up at Jim.
"Jim, I think you better read this."
He handed Jim the letter.
I guess youíre wondering why Iím writing this. Well, I did it. After many years of studying, working, and pulling all--nighters I am finally Dr. Blair Sandburg. But my dissertation is not on Sentinels. I knew after our ordeal with Brackett that I could never publish anything on Jim. How could I? No, I had to find a way to keep him safe. So I started work on "Police: A Closed Society." That load of crap I came to you with in the first place. Well, it worked. It was the right thing to do. The key I gave you is to a safety deposit box that contains all my Sentinel research. Now I bet youíre wondering why I am giving you this. Well, in case you havenít noticed, things havenít been really great between Jim and me. So if things donít work out and we end up going our separate ways, youíll still be able to help Jim. I donít know what Iím going to do now. But at least I know that I did everything I could to protect Jim. Iím writing this in case Iím too chicken--shit to tell you and Jim this to your faces. Well, thatís about it. Thanks, Simon thanks for everything. Youíve been a good friend and Iíll never forget you.
Jim folded the letter and handed it back to Simon.
// Ellison, you really are an ass. //
God, he messed this up bad. He got up to leave, but stopped when he heard Simon clear his throat.
"Just where do you think youíre going?"
"Simon, I have to find Blair. I have to fix this somehow. I have to apologize. I have toÖ"
Simon cut him off.
"You have work to finish, detective."
Jim just looked at him, shocked.
"Excuse me, sir?"
"You have work to finish." Simon sighed. "Look, Jim, you both need some time to simmer down a bit. After your shift is over, weíll both go find him."
Jim continued to stare at him.
"Jim, Iíll feel better being with youÖ. keep things calm. Because so help me God if you hit him again, Iíll arrest you myself."
"Simon, I didnít mean to hit him, damn it! I donít know what happened."
Simon took a deep breath.
"Jim, thatís why Iím going with you, now try and get something done. Give yourself time to calm down a bit. Weíll leave in a little while."
"Okay, Thanks, Simon."
Simon watched as Jim walked back to his desk. He watched other detectives give Jim hard stares and some ignored him.
//Why isnít anything ever easy with those two? And why do I always get stuck in the middle every time? //
He placed Blairís letter and key in his desk and locked it.
It was gonna be a long day.
* * * * * * * * *
Blair walked into his office and closed the door. His head was killing him. His lip was now swollen and several spectacular colors. And he hurt. God, he hurt inside and out.
//He hit me! I canít believe that Jim actually hit me! //
He stood there for a long time. After a while he seemed to come back to himself. He took his backpack and swung it in fury.
"SON OF A BITCH!"
The backpack flew from his hands and hit the dilapidated bookcase near his desk. Blair heard a creak and a groan, and before he knew what was happening, there was a loud CRACK. His eyes widened as the shelving collapsed away from the wall. There was no time to move, to think, to do anything. The overloaded bookcase hit him full force, and he fell beneath its weight, the air forced out of his lungs.
//I knew I should have done something about that shitty bookcase a-while ago. //
The last thing he saw was the pottery on the top shelf flying towards him. Then everything went dark.
* * * * * * * *
Jim looked at the time. 4:00. A chill went down his spine. Blair. Something was wrong with Blair. His guide needed him, he could feel it. He got up and hurried toward Simonís office. He knocked once and went in without waiting. Simon looked up.
"Simon, somethingís wrong with Blair. Iím going, Iím leaving now."
"Wait, wait, wait. Hold on, Detective. Did he call you?"
"No, I justÖ. I have this feeling that he needs me. Heís in trouble., I can feel it, Simon."
"Jim, settle down. Weíll go in- -"
"No, Simon. Iím leaving now. Fire me if you have to, but Iím going to Blair."
Simon sat stunned. This was not good at all, but he believed Jim, and trouble always seems to follow Sandburg around.
"All right, Jim, lets go."
Jim looked dumb founded as Simon got his coat. Simon looked at Jim.
Jim practically ran to his desk. He got his coat and keys and met Simon at the elevator. Down in the garage Simon directed Jim to his car and pointed to the passenger side.
"You are not driving. I have enough problems without you causing 10--car pileóups, okay?"
Jim got in Simonís car.
"Please just hurry, okay?"
Jim was starting to scare him. Simon hurried to the driverís side.
"Where is he, Jim?"
Jim sat quietly for a bit.
Simon drove with sirens blaring. As soon as Simon pulled up by the anthropology building, Jim was out before the car stopped. Simon followed as quickly as he could. As he got to the hallway he almost smacked into Jim. Jim was just standing there with his head cocked to the side. Simon put his hand on Jimís shoulder.
"Jim, you with me? What is it?"
"Itís Blair. His breathing isÖitís like heís having trouble breathing. Simon, I smell blood, a lot of blood, Blairís blood."
They ran to Blairís office and opened the door to a gruesome sight. Blair pinned beneath a broken bookcase. Broken pottery surrounded Blairís head. Blood from the cuts on his forehead were forming a growing puddle.
Jim and Simon moved quickly. Jim kneeled down by his friend. Simon called 911. Then they quickly and carefully removed the heavy textbooks. Try, as they might, every time they got a few books off it would create another tiny avalanche of books falling. Jim checked the cuts. Some of them needed stitches but none were too severe. Jim moved the broken pottery out of the way and pulled out his handkerchief and wrapped it around Blairís head to stop the bleeding. As he tied it into a knot he heard Blair moan.
"Chief, he buddy, you with me? Blair, can you hear me?"
When Blair didnít answer right away, Simon and Jim moved the broken bookcase. Which was more difficult than it looked. Every time they moved something another book or knick-knack fell. Twice Jim caught a heavy text that could have done more damage to his guide
As they got the last of the shelving and books moved to one side, Blair opened his eyes. He tried to sit up and groaned as pain shot through him.
Blair gasped out "Hurts."
Jim and Simon both place a hand to his chest and kept him from sitting up.
"Easy, Sandburg," Simon said, "We donít know how badly youíre hurt. Just relax. Help is on the way."
Jim ran his hand over Blair, checking for injuries. He went very slowly from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes.
"Blair, you have some broken ribs, Try to stay still, okay? I can hear the sirens now."
Blair didnít care. All he knew right now was that every part of him hurt. He looked at Jim and said in a low voice-,
"Iím so tired, Jim, so very tired. I just want it all to go away."
Jim and Simon looked at each other. Jim put his hand on Blairís shoulder.
"Itíll be okay, Blair. Weíll work this out."
Blair just closed his eyes.
"Whatever, Jim,- Whatever."
Jim was silent the whole way to the hospital.
Jim sat by Simon in the waiting room, not knowing what to say or do. One hour later the doctor came out. Jim saw it was the Dr. Grant, the same doctor who treated Blair when heíd drowned. A shiver went through Jim. God, he never liked remembering that day.
"Detective Ellison and I believe it is Captain Banks?"
Simon and Jim stood up as the doctor walked over. They shook hands.
"Yes, Captain Banks. If I remember correctly you are Dr. Grant, How is he?"
"He is a very lucky young man. That bookcase could have done more damage. He has three fractured ribs, a concussion, he needed six stitches to close the gash over his eye, and he has twisted his knee. Heíll be very uncomfortable for a few days. Heíll also need someone to keep an eye on him when he goes home. Not only for the concussion, but heíll have a hard time getting around with the injury to his knee not to mention his ribs. Like I said, he was very lucky. Heíll be admitted for overnight observation, but heíll be able to leave tomorrow."
Jim heaved a sigh of relief. Thank God it wasnít too bad. He smiled at the doctor.
" I donít think heíll stay, but thatís okay. I can keep an eye on him at home."
The doctor looked puzzled for a moment.
"Well, I thought he was going to give me a hard time, too. Last time he was here he left AMA, and he was in no condition to go running around. When I told Mr. Sandburg I was going to admit him for the night, he was fine. Actually, he said he would prefer to stay. So Iíll get started on the paper-work, and he should be settled in a room in about an hour."
Jim felt as if someone punched him. Sandburg doesnít want to come home.
// Why the hell would he, Ellison? You have been a complete horse's ass. Not only have you been horrible to him but also you hit him. In Simonís office in front of everyone, and yet Blair did nothing. He could have pressed charges against me. SHIT! He even changed his dissertation to protect me. But he just walked quietly out of the bullpen. God, what an ass I am. //
Jim looked at the doctor.
"Can I see him?"
Dr. Grant knew something was wrong. Something must have happened between them; he could see the worry in the older manís eyes. But Blair has said he didnít want to see anyone now.
"Well, not right now." Dr. Grant watched as Jimís shoulders slumped.
"Why donít you wait until we get him settled in a room and then you could see him."
Jim read between the lines. Blair did not want to see him. Jim nodded. He didnít trust his voice. As he watched the doctor walk away he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked into the concerned eyes of Simon Banks.
"Simon, I really screwed up here. He doesnít want to see me. What am I going to do if he never wants to see me again?"
Simon watched as Jim Ellisonís eyes filled with unshed tears.
"He just needs time, Jim. Heís been through a lot. If I were in his position Iíd be angry, too. You two have a lot of talking to do. But in the mean-time, let him rest. Letís just wait until he is settled in a room, okay?"
Jim just nodded his head. What could he say? What could he do? He had no choice here. He would have to wait until Blair decided he wanted to see him.
Waiting seemed to take forever. Jim hated waiting. Even worse, Simon hated watching Jim wait. But thisÖ. this was wrong. Jim just sat there. He didnít pace, he didnít complain, he didnít talk, he just sat there. Simon could tell by the way Jim had his head cocked that he was listening to Blair. They saw Dr. Grant come back and they both stood.
"Okay, gentlemen, Mr. Sandburg is settled in a room. And he asked to speak to you, Captain Banks."
Simon saw the look of hurt cross Jimís face before the wall went back up. Can this get any worse? God, he never thought he would see the day that Jim and Blair not speaking. Well, now he had to try to help fix this, somehow. He put his hand on Jimís shoulder and whispered to him.
"It will be okay, Jim. Just let me talk to him first privately."
Jim looked at his boss and knew what he meant.
"Donít listen in."
He watched as Simon walked down the hall into Sandburgís room. Now Jim didnít promise he wouldnít listen in. Damn it he couldnít help it he had to know.
* * * * * *
Simon walked into Blairís room and sat down next to his bed. He leaned over, said his name, and watched as Blair opened his eyes. Blair gave Simon a tired smile.
"How are you doing, son?"
Blairís eyes shot open wide.
//SON! Wow, he must really be worried.//
"Iíve been better, Whereís Jim?"
"Heís outside. He wants to see you. to talk to you. He didnít mean to hit you."
"I canít right now, Simon. I just need some time to process, you know, maybe tomorrow. Okay?"
Simon knew how Jim would take this, but he knew the kid needed time. He sat with Blair for a bit and told him to call if he needed anything. He waited until Blair fell asleep and then quietly made his way outside. He found Jim looking sad and depressed. He walked over to Jim and pulled himself up to his full height.
"You were not supposed to listen!"
"I know and I apologize for that, sir, but he doesnít even want to see me."
Simon couldnít believe what he was seeingÖJim Ellisonís eyes were welling up with tears. He placed a hand on Jimís shoulder.
"He just needs some time, Jim. Why donít you go home and rest and in the morning things will be better."
Jim shook his head.
"Iíll go home later. I want to just sit here for a while. Keep an eye on him. Iíll call you later, okay?"
Simon reluctantly agreed. He headed for home, leaving Jim to his vigil.
Jim sat back down in the uncomfortable, hard plastic chairs and waited and waited and waited. He listened as the nurses woke Blair up every 45 minutes as was needed because of the concussion, which probably happened when he hit Simonís desk when Jim hit him. He listened as Blair at one point settled down and tried to go to sleep, but instead he lay there and he cried. It just about broke Jimís heart to listen to his friend cry. He wanted to go in there and beg Blair to forgive him and tell him how sorry he was. But Simon said Blair needed time. Well, he could do that. Even if it killed him he could do it. He would wait here until Blair wanted to see him. No matter how long it took, he would wait.
It was going to be a long night.
* * * * * *
Simon arrived at the hospital early the next morning. He wanted to check up on Blair before he went to the station. He wasnít really surprised to find Jim in the same spot heíd left him the night before. He was a little rumpled looking, and he was dozing. Not quite asleep, not quite awake. He looked awful. Jim sat up as soon as Simon came near him.
"Hey, Simon. What time is it?"
"Itís 7:00 and you didnít go home at all yesterday, did you? Why am I not surprised? Have you seen Sandburg yet?"
Jim shook his head.
"I figured Iíd wait until you saw him, and maybe if he is up to seeing me, then Iíll go in. I know he didnít want to see me yesterday, and I didnít want to go against that, as much as I wanted to see him. So Iíll wait until you come out, if thatís okay, sir."
Simon nodded and went in to see Blair. Blair was just starting to wake up.
"Hey, Sandburg, how are you feeling, kid?"
Sandburg let out a big yawn.
"Tired. Man, I didnít sleep much last night. Everyone kept coming in and waking me up. I feel like thereís a marching band playing in my head, and I ache all over. What time is it?"
"Itís just after 7. You know, Sandburg, Jim has been outside all night. He really would like to see you."
Blair looked up at Simon. Jim was here all night. He could at least see him and hear him out. What could it hurt? He nodded his assent. Simonís lip twitched in a slight smile. He went out to get Jim, but he didnít have to go far. There by the door was a very anxious Jim. Simon held up a finger and gave a warning.
"Be nice. Iíll be right here."
"I will, Simon. Thanks."
Jim went inside and was taken aback by how bruised Blairís face was. //Iím responsible for that.// He sat down next to Blairís bed. They both spoke together.
They chuckled, and Jim held up his hand.
"Please, Blair, there are some things I have to say. First of all, that whole thing with Alex Iím at a loss to explain. I didnít want her, but what-ever it was, I couldnít fight it. I tried. I did. I mean, how could I be with someone who killed you? Youíll never know how sorry I am for that. But more importantly, I am so sorry I hit you. I swear I didnít mean it. When I heard you telling Simon you published your dissertation, I flipped. All I could think of is, He is gonna leave now. My guide is going to leave and thereís nothing I can do to stop it! Then when Simon let me read your letter, I couldnít believe it. You changed everything to protect me. Blair, you are the most important person in my life, and it sickens me to know that I hurt you, to know that Iím the one who put those bruises on your face. I guess you were right about all those fear-based responses. Rather than listen and hear you out, I reacted. I donít know if you could ever forgive me for that. But I want you to know I donít want you to leave. If you donít want to be my guide anymore, Iíll understand that. But I want you to know the loft is your home, and you donít have to leave it. I donít want you to leave. I know that sounds selfish, Hell, it is selfish, but I need you SandÖBlair, I need you. Youíre the best friend Iíve ever had. Oh, hell, I love you, Blair. Youíre my family. Iím lost without you."
There, he finally said it. He let it all out, now let the cards fall where they may. He looked up because Blair hadnít said anything yet. He looked up and was surprised to find Blair crying.
He stopped when Blair held up his hand in a "stop" gesture. Blair tried to sit up but was having difficulty because of his fractured ribs. Jim slipped his arms around him and gently helped Blair sit up. But Blair didnít let go when Jim got him in a sitting position, and just held on to Jim in a tight hug. Jim understood and gently tightened his arms around Blair, careful of his ribs. He held Blair as he cried into his shoulder, and Jim let his own tears fall. When Blair was all cried out, he leaned back and looked up at Jim.
"I was so scared you didnít want me around anymore. I knew I could never publish my dissertation on you. I couldnít take that risk. This was the best way. And I was kind of harsh in Simonís office. Jim, youíre all the family I have besides Naomi. I donít want to leave. The loft is the first real home Iíve ever had. Donít get me wrong, Naomi was a great momÖ but we never stayed in one place too long. I have that stability in the loft and donít want to lose it. But most of all, I donít want to lose you Jim. Youíre the brother I always wanted. I wanted to die yesterday when you hit me. You mean everything to me. I love you too, man, --I love you, too."
Jim pulled Blair back into a hug. They stayed that way for quite a bit until they heard an "AHEM!" They turned to see Simon in the doorway.
"So I take it everything is okay in here."
Jim smiled at Simon.
"Just fine, Sir, Thank you."
The doctor came in and declared Blair fit enough to go home, but he was to take it easy and stay off his injured leg for the next two weeks. It was hard for him to move around with the crutches that the doctor gave him. It hurt his ribs to move at all. He just about fainted putting on his clothes. Jim had run to the store across the street to get Blair a pair of sweats instead of running home. He helped him in to the wheelchair the hospital insisted on. When they got to Simonís car (Jimís truck was brought back to loft by one of the other detectives), Jim picked up Blair and placed him gently in the back seat and then got in on the other side. The ride to the loft was quiet. Simon and Jim got Blair into the loft and settled on the couch, and then Simon told Jim he didnít want to see him for the next few days. He said both Sentinel and guide needed time together. They both smiled at him as he said his goodbyes and left.
Jim sat next to Blair, who looked exhausted.
"I donít know about you, but Iím about ready to drop. I really need a little sleep."
"I didnít think I would get so tired just on the trip home. I could lie down for a bit. Can you help me to my room?"
Jim just smiled and scooped Blair up in his arms. He gently deposited him on his bed and removed his sneakers, then covered him up. He ruffled Blairís hair and ordered his guide to get some rest.
Jim climbed up to his own room, stripped down to his boxers and crawled into bed. He fell asleep listening to his guideís heartbeat. For the first time in a long while sentinel and guide slept in peace-, knowing when they woke up everything was going to be all right.