Lost and Found

By: Lvblair

Disclaimer: Jim and Blair belong to Pet Fly Productions no money exchanged hands this is written for my dues. Okay people I know nothing about tribes and artifacts and did my best to find something that would sound believable. The artifacts Blair refers to I found at http://starbulletin.com/2000/03/25/news/story1.html and just worked it into the story. Hope you enjoy it. If not then hit the delete button. This is set around the time Blairís apartment blows up in The Debt.

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Jim sat with Simon at the conference table in the Captainís office. They had confiscated a huge shipment of drugs last week. It was a great bust and all of the paper work was just about done but among the drugs were some tribal artifacts. They needed Sandburg to go over them to see if they were authentic or fakes. Sandburg told Jim yesterday that he would be at the station by 2:00 PM it was now almost 2:30. Simon looked at the time and then over at Jim as he fired question after question at him.

"Jim, are you sure the kid said 2:00? Maybe you should call him at the University. How reliable is this kid anyway? You hardly know him Jim. I mean I know he helps you out with this Sentinel thing but can you really trust him?"

Jim tried to get Simonís attention and get him to be quiet but Simonís temper got the better of him and he was on a roll.

"Maybe itís about time you got yourself a real partner and cut the kid loose."

Jim put his head down Simon seemed confused by this action and was going to call him on it when he heard someone clear their throat behind him. Simon turned and saw Sandburg standing in the doorway. He lookedÖhe looked awful. He looked tiredÖno he looked exhausted. He couldnít read what the kid was feeling because Sandburg had schooled his face of all emotion.

"Sorry Iím late but two of my students cornered me before I could leave and I wrapped it up as fast as I could."

Simon looked at the kid. It seemed like he had lost weight and he looked ill andÖ.NO! Simon stopped that train of thought. He would not feel guilty. This was a police department, this was HIS DEPARTMENT!

"Well next time call if youíre going to be late."

Simon heard Sandburg sigh in a small voice "Sure Simon, Sorry." Simon kept telling himself he would not feel guilty, he would not feel guilty; he would not feel guiltyÖso why did he feel like he just kicked someoneís puppy. He didnít like the feeling moving through him. Sandburg sometimes reminded him too damn much of his own son. Wouldnít he want someone to help his son if he looked this bad? He didnít get a chance to say anything else as Sandburg turned his attention to Jim and asked, "So where are the artifacts?"

Jim took a good look at Sandburg. The kid looked sick and very tired he had dark circles under his eyes and he had definitely lost weight. Jim felt a pang of guilt creeping through him. Just two weeks ago Sandburgís apartment blew up and the kid asked to stay with Jim for a week. But Jim said NO. Didnít think about it twice just no; and, damn it, hadnít even ask how he had been doing. Did he find a new place to stay? He had to have found something, right? Why didnít I bother to ask? Well what business is it of mine anyway? He is not my responsibility! So why then, did he feel so bad about it?

"They are just waiting for you on a table in a conference room down the hall."

With a wave from Simon, Jim took Sandburg down the hall to the where the artifacts were. He smiled as he saw the kidís excited look when Blair saw the artifacts. He watched as Blair took out a cloth roll from his back pack and placed it on an empty spot on the table next to some of the artifacts. As Blair opened it Jim saw a variety of strange different tools and some liquids and was fascinated as Blair began to work, Sandburg really knew his stuff. As he watched Sandburg work he found himself looking closely at the kid and he didnít like what he was seeing. He saw there was a slight tremor to his hands due to fatigue maybe and he thought he heard Blairís stomach rumble once or twice. He sounded like he had the beginnings of cold and maybe a fever starting up. Jim jumped a bit when he realized that Blair was staring at him.

"Uh, Jim you with me?"

"Yea Sandburg, I was just thinking."

"Jim this is gonna take a while so if you have any stuff to do thatís okay this will keep me pretty busy for a while."

"Yea sure, I got some reports to finish up shout if you need anything."

Jim went back to his own desk and pushed his guilt aside as he dug into his reports. The kid was not his responsibility. Thatís it there is no more to think about. Itís not my problem. Isnít it a small voice inside Jimís head whispered? This kid has done more for you in the short time youíve known him than anyone in your life. Jim angrily pushed the thoughts aside and dug into his work. Almost two and a half hours later Jim was startled by Sandburgís ravings. He looked up to see Sandburg rush towards his desk and practically pull him back to the conference room.

"Oh my God Jim, do you know what you have here?"

Jim looked about the room to see the artifacts and Sandburgís tools about along with the kids laptop plugged into a phone lineÖapparently he has been busy.

"No, but thatís why I have you here."

"I thought these looked familiar Jim but I wasnít sure and didnít want to say anything until I was positive. But these areÖ"

He stopped as Jim held up his hand "hang on a second let me get Simon in here so you wonít have to repeat this."

Jim ran off to get Simon and five minutes later the two men looked expectantly at Sandburg. Blair looked up at them and smiled.

 

"Okay six years after two ka'ai burial baskets disappeared from the Bishop Museum in 1994, as many as 80 more Hawaiian artifacts might have gone missing from the museum as a result of a 1990 federal law requiring the return of objects from Native American graves.

At issue are artistic and cultural items discovered in caves in Honokoa Gulch, Kawaihae, in 1905. Commonly called the "Forbes Caves" artifacts, they include wood statuettes, aumakua, carved bowls, ipu, tools, gourd water bottles, feather capes, and even a shard of Asian porcelain and a battered Japanese fan all of which you see here." Blair swept his hand over the area indicating the artifacts. "The objects were found near the human remains of Hawaiians thought to be chiefs. The artifacts and remains were collected and cataloged by Bishop Museum in 1906, according to the original survey by Bishop Museum Press. The objects were cared for at the museum and studied by scholars. Now it appears the objects have been secretly turned over to a group that filed a claim under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Hui Malama I Na Kupuna o Hawaii Nei was organized by attorneys Eddie Ayau and Noelle Kahanu in the early '90s to facilitate the repatriation of Hawaiian remains. Since then they have become influential in such cases and are hired to re-inter remains in an appropriately Hawaiian manner.

Hui Malama is one of four claimant groups involved in the Forbes Cave items. Although Ruth Ann Becker, Bishop Museum spokeswoman, says the other three groups are secret, other sources say they are the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Big Island Burial Council. The Forbes Cave human remains at Bishop Museum were supposedly given to Hui Malama and hidden several years ago at a Hilo home of Hui Malama members. The entire process, said Becker, is a "confidential agreement" in which neither the museum nor Hawaiian groups will confirm what was done.

Hui Malama's interest then turned to the Forbes Cave artifacts as well as the remains. According to several archaeologists and museum staffers, Bishop Museum vice president Elizabeth Tatar removed the artifacts Feb. 26 and gave them to Hui Malama. Becker would not comment on whether this exchange took place. When asked if a scholar would have trouble studying the artifacts, she said, "Probably." But these items disappeared. No one knew what happened to them. It was like they just vanished but these are in fact those lost items my friends."

Blair finished his speech with a big smile he was very proud of himself. Jim and Simon were speechless. Simon finally shook himself and looked at both men.

"Well I guess Iíll get in touch with the proper authorities and have these returned." With a smile he added, "And we can add further charges to our guests in lockup." He looked over at Blair and with a slight smile on his face he replied "You did good kid." He then went off to contact the proper authorities for the return of the artifacts. Jim smiled with pride at Sandburg, they never would have figured out where these things came from or if they were real or not. He watched as Blair started to pack away his tools and the slight tremors he noticed before had increased. Oh not by much but to the trained eye of a sentinel he could see the difference. He looked at the time and saw that it was just past 5:00 PM he turned to Blair and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey Chief what do you say we call it a night and get a bite to eat okay?"

God, that sounded like heaven. Food. Damn he was hungry. But then Blair thought about the $7.65 he had to his name. His check wouldnít come until next week and he was using he credit cardÖwell what was left of itÖ to pay for the gas in the Volvo. LunchÖha!!! Heíd be lucky if could afford a happy meal. He probably wouldnít be able to have a decent mean until next week. NoÖno, can due, man. Okay, okay, Blair you need an excuse. Think, think, thinkÖYES.

"Thanks Jim, but I really canít I have to get back to the university. I have a ton of stuff to finish; I just donít have the time sorry." Well it was true he had to get back he did still have to enter all the grades on the papers he marked today but it could have waited until tomorrow. But there was no way he could afford it and he was certainly not going to tell Jim that. Jim started to say something but then was interrupted by the arrival of Captain Joel Taggart.

"Hey Jim, Simon wants to talk to you heís waiting in his office?"

"Sure, thanks Joel, Sandburg hang on Iíll be right back." With that Jim went off to see what his Captain wanted. The big man turned to Sandburg and was concerned at the younger manís appearance. "You okay Blair? I donít mean to sound rude but you look awful." Sandburg chuckled. He really liked the big man he was a good and gentle soul. He pasted a just fine look on his face even though he felt far from it. He was incredibly tired and he just wanted to lye down in a bed and sleep for a week.

"Iím good Joel, just really tired itís been kind of crazy lately, you know. But things will fall into place soon." I hope he thought to himself.

Joel was not convinced the kid looked dead on his feet. He watched as Sandburg replaced all the items in his back pack and was about to invite him to dinner when Sandburg looked up and started talking.

"Listen Joel I really have to get going. Can you tell Jim that I had to split I really have to get back to Rainier. Tell him Iíll call him later. Thanks man, take care of yourself." And before Joel could say another word the young man was gone. Joel just shook his head he looked over the artifacts that Sandburg was working on and looked at the notepad with Blairís scribbled notes about each artifact. He was just about to leave when Jim walked in.

"Hey Joel where is Sandburg?"

"He took off said he had to get back to the university and heíd get back to you later."

He heard Jim swear lightly under his breath and decided to go ahead and ask about the kid. Hey the worst that could happen was Jim would blow up at him and he could certainly deal with that.

"Jim, I donít mean to interfere but Blair looked like he was in pretty bad shape. Is he doing okay?"

Jim sighed, "I donít know Joel. He did look kind of tired. I think Iíll take a ride over to Rainier and check up on him."

Joel smiled. Ever since Jim started hanging around the kid he gone from being a real big and mean SOB to not so bad a guy. He really was a good person underneath all the gruff stuff.

"I think thatís a good idea Jim, a real good idea."

Jim left and went to Simonís door he knocked and entered.

"Simon look itís just about 5:30 so Iím gonna call it a day."

Simon looked at Jim and nodded his head.

"Yea this was a pretty good day. I got in touch with the authorities from the Bishop Museum and arrangements are being made for the artifacts to be brought back to their rightful places. Hey being that were calling it a day what say we get a bite to eat? I think we deserve a good meal and a few beers what do you say?"

"Um, sure Simon, but I want to swing by the university first. The kid took off before I could invite him along. I think its only right I mean we would not have gotten this far without his input, besides; I want to check on him. He uhÖhe didnít look so good Simon."

Simon nodded his head. "Yea I have to agree with you there. He did look a bit under the weather. Okay how about I go with you? We can swing by the university and pick up the kid have a nice meal and drop him at home. Where is he living by the way? We need to update his observers pass anyway."

Simon was surprised to see Jim blush. The detective had the grace to look embarrassed. He lowered his head and voice and replied.

"Thatís just it Simon, I donít know." He looked at Simon with shame filled eyes and continued, "I never bothered to ask him if he found a place to stay or even if he was okay I didnít bother. He is always worried about me and my senses and whatís going on in my life and so quick to help me no matter what and I didnít bother to see how he was holding up. Not once. What kind of person does that make me?"

Simon looked shocked, then shook his head and looked back at Jim. His voice low, he said, "The same kind of person I amÖa jackass. Iíve been so quick to judge the kid and he has been damn helpful around here. I didnít bother to see if he needed anything after his place blew up and he has helped Daryl more times than I can count. Iíll admit I wasnít too thrilled when he and Sandburg started to pal around, but he has helped my son every time Daryl went to him." The captain stood up and grabbed his coat then looked at Jim. "Itís really cold out today. What say we treat a certain anthropologist to hot meal and I can thank him properly for all his work today?"

Jim smiled at the big man and grabbed his coat as he followed Simon to the elevator.

MEANWHILEÖ

After getting to his office, Blair had sat down at his desk at his office. He was exhausted and extremely light headed. He opened his desk drawer but was disappointed to find nothing. He sometimes had a cracker pack or two but he must have gone through them all. Well he did still have $7.65 left he could go out and get a coffee and roll that would hold him over until the morning. Then he could figure out something he could do. God, itís cold, he thought as he hugged himself and he knew it would only get colder. He felt so lost so very lost. He hadnít felt this way in a long time. When everyone went home the building was shut down and heat turned off until the morning. This had to be the coldest day of the year. All he had was his denim jacket and two sweaters. Oh he had his layer of t-shirt and flannel shirt on but everything else was destroyed in the fire. All he had left was the two sweaters three flannel shirts and two pairs of jeans - one of which he had on. There was no way he could afford to replace his wardrobe not for a few months anyway. DAMN IT!!! Okay deep breaths Sandburg, you can do this. You have been through worse. Blair stood up and the room spun. He sat down again, taking deep breaths. He really had to get something to eat but first he had to pull himself together. As he put his head down there was a knock at the door. He groaned. Man, I canít handle a student now Iím so damn tired, he thought. But he still shouted, "Its open" and sat up to see Simon and Jim walk in. He was shocked.

"Hey Jim, Simon, whatís up is everything okay?"

Jim saw how poorly Sandburg looked sitting behind his desk; and damn near kicked himself as he wondered how he could have missed the younger manís deterioration. He walked over to stand next to the desk.

"You took off so fast you didnít give me a chance to finish. I think we all deserve a night out to celebrate. We wrapped up this case, one that would have taken a lot longer without your help. So what say we get a bite to eat and toss back a few beers my treat?"

Blair was stunned. He couldnít believe that they really wanted him to go with them.

"Um thatís really nice guys but I have so much to do that I donít think I could spare the time."

God he really did want to go but he suddenly felt worse than before and his throat was really hurting him. There was no way he would be able to sit through a meal the way he felt. The room swayed even though he was sitting. He stood up and went to open a window, suddenly feeling hot. The room spun out of control and he felt himself pitch forward.

Simon was about to tell the kid to hold off on the work for a while just give himself an hour to eat and relax, when Sandburg turned a shade paler. He watched as Blair stood up and he was about to ask if the kid was okay when he saw the kid pitch forward. Jim moved so fast that he never saw the detective move, and he was relieved that Jim caught the kid before the younger man hit the floor Jim gently lowered Blair to the floor, then looked up at Simon.

"We need to get him to the hospital. Simon nodded.

"You take the kid, Iíll drive. It will be faster."

Jim scooped up Sandburg into his arms and couldnít believe how light the kid felt. Christ, he was skin and bones, he thought distractedly as he followed Simon out to his car. Jim gently put Blair in the back seat, pillowing the curly head on his lap. Simon wasted no time in putting on his siren and radioing Cascade General to let them know they were bringing in a man down. He made it clear it was one of his own. He looked hard in the mirror when he heard Jim say something.

"What was that?" Simon demanded.

"Iím sure Sandburg would love to have heard that. He may not believe it other wise."

"Well if you tell him Iíll deny it and youíll be busted down to beat officer." Simon threatened. Jim smiled he would have laughed out loud if he werenít so worried. Jim could feel the beginning of a fever; not only was the kid starving, it seemed he was getting sick on top of it. Ellison you really are a world class ass, he berated himself. Would it have killed you to put the kid up for a week? Just one week? Blair has done so much for you saved your damned life and you couldnít put your self out just for a little while to accommodate the kid when he was in need of help. Jim was deeply ashamed of himself. Sandburg has done so much for him and he never even once said thank you. Now the kid was in need and what did you do? You turned your back on him. Youíre a world class prick Ellison. Jim was jarred from his thoughts as Simons car skidded to a stop infront of the ER. There was a doctor, a nurse and two orderlies there waiting with a gurney they helped Jim put Sandburg gently on the gurney and ran beside it as it was wheeled into a treatment room. Simon explained that Sandburgís apartment exploded with him in it almost two weeks before and he seemed off today. With that the nurses pushed Jim and Simon out of the treatment room and someone handed Jim a clipboard with forms to fill out. Jim could fill out the kids name and that was it. He didnít know anything about Sandburg and that just deepened his shame. Jim and Simon looked at each other. Simon took the clip board and said, "Well, we will just have to wait until Sandburg is awake and okay and then weíll figure out the forms."

Jim felt just as awful. Why didnít know anything about Sandburg? The kid knew everything about him right down to what underwear he wore. Why didnít Jim know anything about Sandburg? Jim didnít like the answer that came to him. He didnít really care; and when the kid started talking most of the time he tuned him out. Well things were going to change. He didnít think Sandburg had found a place to stay yet. So he was going to come home with him. He could turn the storage room into a little bedroom for the kid. Sandburg could stay as long as he needed to so he could get himself back up on his feet. It was time he helped his partner. Because that was what partners did. He should have done it along time ago. He and Simon looked up as a doctor came up to them.

"Iím Dr. Kelly you are with the young man they brought in?"

Simon and Jim stood and shook hands with the young doctor.

"Yes, Iím Captain Simon Banks and this is Detective Jim Ellison, how is Sandburg?"

The doctor frowned both men didnít like the look the doctor gave them.

"Do either of you know if Mr. Sandburg is bulimic or anorexic?"

Simon almost fell on the floor at that one. But it was Jim that spoke up.

"No, he is notÖwell not that I know of anyway."

"Well it seems like itís been a long time since Mr. Sandburg has had a good meal. He is extremely malnourished and quite underweight plus he has the beginning of strep throat. I started an IV to get his glucose levels up; Iím also starting him on antibiotics. Itís a good thing we caught the strep in the beginning; we can knock it out before it really blooms. He is going to be very weak for a few days before he gets some of his strength back. I would like to keep him here over night but he is refusing to stay. I canít keep him if he refuses Iíll have to release him. Maybe you could talk to him and convince him he really needs to rest for the night. Give the I.V. and antibiotic a chance to work."

Jim nodded. "Can I see him? Iíll talk to him. But if he still refuses to stay, can you release him in my care? I was a medic in the army so I could take care of him. Just give me what ever he needs and Iíll take care of him."

The doctor seemed to agree. "Yes I could release him to you but I really would prefer that you convince him to stay here for the night. But if all else fails I will release him in your care. He is still in the treatment room until we can get him into a room."

Jim thanked the doctor and walked down the hall to the treatment room. Blair looked so young and small lying there with an I.V. in each arm he was pale and his cheeks were sunken in and their were dark circles under his eyes. He pulled a chair close to the bed and sat down. He placed his hand on Blairís forehead; and as he stroked his hair back, Blairís eyes opened.

"Hey Chief, how are you feeling?"

"Lousy, I canít believe this happened. Iím really sorry."

Jim looked confused.

"What are you sorry for Chief?"

"I ruined you night out; you came here instead of going out with Simon. I didnít mean to mess up your plans you donít have to stay though Iíll be okay."

"ChiefÖBlair listen to me you didnít do anything wrong. Can I ask you something?"

Blair looked at him, appearing a little frightened, but nodded.

"How long has it been since youíve eaten? Not just an apple or a quick something, I mean a good meal?"

Blair turned his head away already feeling the tears slip out from his eyes and run down to pool in his ears. When Jim sees how pathetic he really is well then it will be game over. He wonít want anything to do with me. He felt Jim hook two fingers under his chin and pull him around to face him. With his thumbs Jim gently wiped the tears from Blairís eyes.

"Easy Chief, itís going to be okay. I want to help you. Okay? So please, Blair, how long has it been since youíve had a decent meal?"

Jim had to dial up his hearing for Blairís answer; it was almost too soft for him to hear. But what he heard broke his heart.

"Since the warehouse blew up. I had to replace all my books or I would have had a real problem with the University. I was able to buy a few clothes but I lost everything in the fire. I still have to replace the camera that was destroyed and you entrusted that to me and it was my responsibility to care for itÖ"

Blair stopped talking as Jim held up his hand and then he blushed because he knew this was it. Jim was getting ready to lower the boom.

Jim was stunned. Replace the camera! Is he serious? And not a decent meal since his apartment blew up - that was a little more than two weeks ago. MY GOD, the kid hasnít really had a good meal in over two weeks.

"Sandburg you donít have to replace the camera I can take care of that through the department. It wasnít your fault and I can prove that. Look why donít you get some rest, and Iíll come by tomorrow to pick you up."

Blairís heart rate did double time.

"Jim I canít stay here I have to go. Iíll be okay. ButÖumÖ can you hand me my clothes so I can get dressed?"

"Sandburg, why canít you stay here? You have insurance right?"

When Blair nodded his head Jim continued.

"So whatís the problem? Why canít you stay for the night? The doctor really wants you to stay for observation itís for your own good."

"Jim they want information I canít give them right now."

Jim rubbed Blairís shoulder. And what would that be, Chief?"

Blairís shoulders slumped in defeat "I donít have anything to put down as an address."

Jim just wanted to grab the young man infront of him, hug him and tell him everything would be okay. God, how long has it been since the kid had anyone he could turn to? Jim heard the little voice in his head once again. He turned to you but you shut him out, you turned him away. Jim wanted to yell and scream for it to shut upÖbut he did turn Blair away when he needed him most. Well he would rectify that right now.

"Donít worry about that now okay? Let me take care of that for now. Why donít you get some rest and Iíll come pick you up in the morning after you have had a good nights sleep. Weíll figure everything out in the morning."

He pushed Blair gently down until he was settled and pull the blanket up to his chin. He knew Blair really didnít want to stay but the kid was so tired he was just falling asleep as Jim stroked his head. Jim stayed until Blair was in a deep healing sleep. He stood up and looked down at Sandburg he looked so young. What was it about Sandburg that made him want to protect and take care of him? He walked out to see Simon and the doctor headed his way.

"Hi Dr. Kelly Sandburg fell asleep and Iím sure heíll be here for the night. How long can I stay with him?"

"Well Detective Ellison, I prefer if you went home to rest youíll be able to help Mr. Sandburg if youíre well rested. You should come back in the morning."

Jim didnít like it but he agreed. Simon was happy that Blair was resting and getting the care he needed. Jim let Simon drive him back to the loft and he invited Simon up for a beer. They decided to order in being that neither of them had any dinner. As they waited for the pizza Jim told Simon his idea of setting Blair up in his spare room.

"Jim, are you sure you want to do that? This might turn into something longer than a week the kid needs a chance to get better, get back up on his feet again."

Jim smiled, "oh Iím sure Simon, Sandburg has done so much for me this is the least I can do for him." He looked deep into Simonís eyes and said, "Simon if Sandburg didnít come along when he did, well it was only a matter of time before I ate my gun."

Simon was stunned. He knew Jim was on edge, and tense, but he didnít realize how far gone Jim was with his senses. Simon closed his eyes thanking the lord for sending one very hyper anthropologist their way. If Jim was happy to put up the kid then Simon would give him all the support he needed. Simon nodded his head towards the room.

"Well if he is going to be occupying it tomorrow donít you think you should clean it up a bit?"

"Yea I was planning on doing that after we had dinner."

As if on cue Jim got up and went to the door. He opened it to find a startled young man with hand raised about to knock. Simon smiled - glad he wasnít the only one Jim did that to. Jim paid for the pizza and gave the boy a generous tip. Simon and Jim devoured the pizza along with a few beers and after they cleaned up they headed to the spare room under the stair case leading to Jimís bedroom. Simon helped Jim clear away some boxes and stuff Jim never had time to pack up. They stored everything in the basement. After they cleaned up the room, Jim unfolded the futon. He put clean sheets on it with pillows and clean comforter. Jim cleaned up the desk and night stand he had there. Carolyn and he had planned to make the little room into a guest room but it never worked out. Now it was looking pretty good. Jim dug out a bookcase from the basement where he had stored it earlier. The room shaped up nicely. Simon was even impressed. He cleaned up and told Jim to take tomorrow off to take care of the kid and headed out. Jim showered and went to bed. He thought he would have a hard time falling asleep but was out as soon as his head hit the pillow. When Jim woke up it was just past 6:30. He got up and shaved, then ate some toast with a cup of coffee. He was dressed and out the door before 7:30. He got a cab to the station to pick up his truck, then went to grocery store and stocked up on food. After that, he went back home and put away the groceries, and then he drove to the hospital. Instead of asking for Sandburgís room, he used his hearing and found the young man on the fourth floor. Dr. Kelly was speaking with him as Jim walked in.

"Now I want you to get plenty of rest and I canít stress enough that you must eat Mr. Sandburg."

Jim cut in as he entered the room.

"Donít worry about that. Iíll make sure he eats. Heíll be just fine Dr. Kelly."

Dr. Kelly smiled at Blair and then at Jim.

"Well then I see I can release him into your care then. I am going to prescribe antibiotics that I want him to take for the next few days but everything else seems fine. Iíd like him to come in for a check up in one week."

"Not a problem Doc", Jim said as he looked at Blair.

Once Blair had been released Jim got him settled in the truck and started for home. Blair looked uncomfortable but remained quite until Jim made a wrong turn.

"Um Jim, you went the wrong way the university is the other way." Jim looked over and smiled then turned his attention back to the road.

"I know were not going to the university."

Blair was puzzled but remained quiet until they stopped in front of Jimís building. He didnít know what was going on but got out and followed Jim upstairs. Once inside, Jim pointed to the couch and went to the kitchen to make some tea. He knew the kid liked tea heíd bought a few varieties. He made chamomile and handed Blair the cup.

"Jim, whatís going on man?"

"Okay hear me out first, I know youíre having a difficult time of it and right now youíre sick and need some help. Let me help, I would like you to stay here until you get back up on your feet." He motioned for Blair to stand up and took him to the spare room. "I fixed up this room I know itís not much but I think it will be okay. If you donít like something you can change it."

Blair was stunned he looked at Jim with wide unbelieving eyes, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are you offering me this room? Two weeks ago you werenít so eager to have a roommate."

Jim hung his head and took a deep breath.

"I know Sandburg and Iím sorry I really am. I donít think sometimes. You have done so many wonderful things for me and I never even once said thank you. I shouldnít have turned my back on you." Jim looked up into furious blue eyes and didnít know what he had done wrong. "Chief?"

"Thanks man but I so donít do charity."

Jim watched unable to move for a second as Sandburg headed for the front door. He moved quickly as Sandburgís hand closed on the door knob. He rushed over and grabbed Sandburgís arm stopping the kid from leaving.

"Itís not charity Chief; itís a friend helping out a friend. Let me help you."

Jim stood by ready to catch Blair if he got too weak as he watched the kid sway. He heard a sob well up in Sandburgís chest and he tried to hold it back. Jim gently took Blair and did what he wanted to do before in the hospital - he pulled him into a hug. He felt Blair stiffen at first and then relax into the hug as tears finally fell soaking his shirt. He guided the distraught young man over to the couch and held him as he cried crooning soft words of comfort. When Blair was finally spent he pulled away and chuckled as Jim gave him a Kleenex. He wiped his face and blew his nose as he looked up into the kindest eyes he had ever seen. Jim took a deep breath and started speaking in a low gentle voice.

"Iím not really good with words, Chief, but I want you to stay here; and itís not charity. It couldnít be after all youíve given me." At Blairís puzzled expression he continued. "Friendship Darwin, you helped me get a handle on my senses and you work hard at it - helping me, protecting me. God, I thought I was going crazy when I met you. You saved my life that day Sandburg and you are an incredible generous, giving, caring person. You have made such a difference in my life. I would like you to stay here Blair for as long as you like. If you want, I can get your stuff from the university later; but right now you need to rest. So what do you say?"

Blair just couldnít believe that this was happening. He looked up at Jim and wanted to cry all over again. He had felt lost for such a long time and now he it felt like he had been found - not only by his sentinel but by his friend.

"Thank you Jim, thatís the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I donít think I have ever had anyone who was worried about me, Naomi included. Donít get me wrong, she is a great mom; but not the kind to stick around and take care of a hyperactive kid, especially when I was sick. I have to admit, it is kind of nice having someone look out for you. I would very much like to stay here; thank you Jim."

Jim smiled and pulled the kid close again for a quick hug and released him. Then after a cup of tea and a grilled cheese sandwich, he helped Blair get settled in his new room. He stood by the bed and watched as Blair quickly fell asleep. He smiled at the sleeping student and felt warmth spread through his heart. What was it about this young man that brought out a protective streak in him? Was it a sentinel/guide thing? No heíd like to think it was a friendship thing. He smiled and turned away quietly, letting the young man sleep. He would talk to Blair about this connection he was feeling towards him later; for right now, he would watch over his young guide and never turn his back on him again.

 

THE END