The Lonely Guide

By: Lvblair

Disclaimer: Jim and Blair belong to Pet Fly. No money is exchanging hands here. This was written purely for enjoyment. Detective Keith King and Scott King are my own characters. I hope you all enjoy. Please send feedback. J

*****

Saturday Morning, Rainier University 10A.M.

Blair Sandburg sat in his office grading the last exam. Thank God he was finished. He put the finished exams into his desk draw for class the next morning making a note to take them with him before he went to class the next morning. Next he began entering the grades on the computer. He gave a great relieved sigh when he finished. He sat back and let his thoughts wander. He thought of his relationship with Jim and started getting depressed again. He had only been riding with Jim for a few months but Blair considered Jim a friend. Blair heard that Jim was having everyone over for the big game on Sunday, which was tomorrow. Blair had gotten all excited when he heard of the gathering. He had even saved up enough to get a case of beer and some snacks. He made a few dips too. There was only one problemÖhe wasnít invited.

//Well at least not yet maybe heíll call tonight//.

It would be so nice to watch the game at the loft with Jim and the other guys from Major Crimes instead of in his cold lonely warehouse. He shook himself out of his thoughts and finished some other work he had piling up. He completed his paper he was submitting to The Anthropologist Magazine. He could really use the cash. Then he finished his paper due for his class he was taking. He still had some time left but better to get it done now in case Jim called him (he hoped) and he wouldnít have time later. Blair stretched he was all caught up. He looked up at the clock 6:48 P.M. WOW! Where did the day go? Well there went Saturday and still no call from Jim.

//Oh well I guess itís just going to be me tomorrow. Not like this is the first time eh Blair//?

Blair stuffed his backpack with what he would need and locked up his office. He made sure he had everything he needed before he left he didnít want to have to come back. He made his way to his car and smiled as it started up. He drove home and parked infront of his place. He went inside and put some soup on for dinner. He was hungry as he realized he hadnít eaten since that morning. He sat watching TV with a steaming cup of hot soup and a feeling of depression washed over him.

//Damn it donít start feeling sorry for yourself. I have always been on my own. Iím just tired of being alone. Just once, only once I want to be a part of something//.

Blair thought about his years in school he was never really popular. He was always picked on because he was younger than everyone else and smarter. The college boys never wanted him around and the girls were nice but didnít want to be seen with him either. The only ones who did spend any time with him were the ones he tutored or the bullies that picked on him. He never really had any friends. He would pal around every now and then with someone he tutored every once in a while but no real friends. Growing up his mom was always on the move so he never had a chance to make any friendsÖshoot even Naomi wasnít around most of the time growing up Seems he was always alone. He looked down at his now cold soup and realized he had lost his appetite he tossed away the soup and washed his cup and got ready for bed. He snuggled down into the blankets on his couch. He lost his bed to a nest of rats and decided they could keep it. He had pushed it to the far side the warehouse where he hardly ever ventured and kept it surrounded with plenty of traps. As he settled down to sleep he couldnít keep the thoughts out of his head. He wished he had just one good friend. He thought Jim would be it.

//Guess I was wrong. I wonder if heíll get rid of me once he has gotten a control on his senses//?

He fell asleep feeling depressed and unwanted.

* * *

Sunday Morning, The Loft 10 A.M.

Jim sat at the table having just finished breakfast and was in the process of finishing his coffee he cleaned up after he finished then he made sure everything was in order. He opened the refrigerator beer, corn chips, beer, pretzels, beer, potato chips and more beer. Jim was a bit nervous he had only started going to poker games and having the guys over and he found that he liked having company every now and then. Everyone took turns having the poker game at their place. This Thursday it would be at Simonís. He liked the guys he worked with and found a few good friends but now they were closer. But there was something that nagged at the back of his mind something he couldnít put his finger on, something he was forgetting and he couldnít remember what. Well it couldnít be important. He got his coat and went to run a few errands before the guys got there.

 

Sunday Afternoon The loft 1 P.M.

Everyone was really enjoying themselves at the loft. Their attention was on the screen as they watched the football players execute the play. Everyone tensed with shouts of "come on, come on, yes, yes, and yes!" They all jumped as the player scored a touchdown. YES! Hands slapped in a high five as they shouted their happiness that their team was winning. When half time came the score was 28 to 0. Jim heard the delivery boy coming to the door. Earlier they ordered pizza and Buffalo wings. He opened the door just as the young man was about to knock. The surprised young man flinched as the door opened. Jim paid for the order and smiled as watched the young man walk away with a nice tip. Again he thought he was forgetting something.

//What the hell is it? Why do I feel I forgot something big? Hmm. OH well must not be important right? I would remember something important. Wouldnít I//?

* * *

Sunday Afternoon 5 P.M. Blairís warehouse

Blair sat watching the last of the commentary of the game and what a game. It was a blow out 49 to 3. It was good game. Blair had a few beers and made himself a sandwich with the last of his alpha sprouts and peanut butter. Well at least he had snacks and a case of beer for the next few days it wasnít the healthiest diet but he would have to make due he wouldnít get his stipend until the end of the month and that was still two and a half weeks away it would be tight but he would make due. Heís been in worse situations before. He turned off the little TV and took out a book. He might as well get some reading done. A half an hour had passed when Blair closed the book. He had read the same paragraph three times and still it didnít make sense. He closed the book with a sigh. He really thought Jim would have called but the phone stayed silent. It shouldnít bother him but it did he really wanted to go to that party, to be a part of that to be a part of something to be more to Jim to be a friend. He never really fit in anywhere.

//Damn it stop feeling sorry for yourself Blair! Did you really expect them to welcome you with open arms? Stop being so pathetic you will be okay//.

Blair tried to shake himself out of the depression he fell into. He tried to look on the bright side at least heíll be able to get all his work done he wrapped himself up in the blanket and snuggled down on the sofa and went to sleep.

 * * *

Monday Morning 11A.M. Rainier University

Blair finished his class and was gathering up his books and papers he now had office hours from 11:00 to 1:00 and he knew he would have quite a few students coming to see him. Some were not happy with their grades on the exam. Well no one failed most of them did well but the ones with low scores wanted higher marks. Well he hoped they would be okay with extra credit work. He ran to the cafeteria to get a coffee then went to his office. He was not surprised to find a line of students already waiting for him he opened his office and motioned for them to come in. He went over each exam with each student and was happy that they were okay with doing the extra credit work. Blair even set up a few tutoring sessions. He worked out a schedule even making some group sessions to get them all in. Boy, he would be spreading himself thin he had a lot on his plate. He looked up at the clock 1:34 P.M. Great he had more than enough time to get to the station before 2:30 P.M. He grabbed his stuff and as he got to his car he felt his stomach growl reminding him he hadnít eaten yet.

//Iíll grab something at the stationÖhopefully there was something good in the break room//.

He made good time to the station. He spotted Ellison at his desk when he got to the seventh floor. Jim looked up as he heard Sandburg get off the elevator he smiled as he saw Sandburg walk over to him.

"Hey Jim," called the younger man as he took a seat next to Ellison and grabbed some of the files he had piled up on his desk. Jim had told him there were closing up on a big case from last week there was just the paper work to finish in triplicate. Jim looked up as an officer came over to his desk to give him a file.

"Hey Ellison I just came form forensics so I figured I drop off the results from the lab you were waiting onÖI was headed past this way so I figured I drop it off."

"Thanks Rob."

"Not a problem, hey you catch that game yesterday?"

All of a sudden Jim felt sick.

//SHIT!!! I know what I forgot//.

Jim felt guilt sweep through him. He glanced at Sandburg working next to him and he felt uneasy. He pasted on a smile and gave one last look at Sandburg.

"Yea, it was a great game."

Sandburg looked up and added.

"Great it was awesome what a blowout 49 to 3 and the last play was amazing."

The young officer smiled, "yea that was a pretty awesome."

He smiled back at Sandburg and added, "Well off to catch some bad guys. Have a good one Jim", he leaned over to shake Sandburgís hand, "take care now and maybe we could catch the next game eh kid."

Blair let a mega watt smile break over his face.

"Yea that would be great!"

Jim just about fell through the floor he hardly knew Rob and Sandburg was just introduced to him recently and the man invites Sandburg to catch a game with him. Well that was just not right he was Sandburgís friend wasnít he? Jim cleared his throat and bit the bullet.

"So you caught the game yesterday?"

Sandburg just nodded his head he didnít even look at him he just kept writing.

"Where did you go?"

Sandburg just kept writing and kind of mumbled.

"No where just stayed home and watched it on TV."

Jim waited but no more information was forth coming.

"By yourself?" Sandburg looked up.

"No the president stopped by."

"Smart ass, you were alone."

Blair just shrugged nodded yes and went back to work. Jim didnít know what to say he felt really bad about forgetting Sandburg he looked over as he heard Sandburgís stomach growl. Sandburg who was unaware that Jim heard his stomach growl stood up.

"Hey Jim Iím gonna get a cup of coffee from the break room you want one?"

"I got a better idea how about we get a bit to eat instead Iím hungry."

Blair thought about the money he didnít have and knew there was no way he could go with Jim he couldnít even afford a hamburger now. So he just shrugged it off.

"No thanks Iím good I just need a cup of java."

Jim was confused he knew Sandburg was hungry he could hear it so why doesnít he want to go and eat? He heard Sandburgís heart rate speed up when he asked him to go and eat what was that about? He shook his head and started to get angry as he watched Sandburg head into the break room. Did Sandburg know about Jim having the guys over for the game? Was Sandburg upset that he wasnít invited? No, Sandburg didnít seem that type. Jim was really confused well he was going to get something to eat he got up and got his jacket and walked over to the break room.

"Hey Sandburg", when Sandburg looked over he said "Iím gonna run and grab something Iíll be back in a bit."

Blair just stood there and nodded what could he say "sorry Jim I just donít have the cash because I spent the last of my money on beer and snacks" he just sighed and watched as Jim ran into Simon who was also on his way out for a bit to eat and he just stood there and watched them go together. He watched them get on the elevator talking and laughing and he just watched them go with a feeling in the pit of his stomach. He wished Jim would be that way with him, what was it about him that no one wanted to be his friend? Or even be around him. He knew a lot of people but he could call very few of them friend. He went back and sat at Jimís desk and continued to work.

//Just work Blair donít think, just work yea keep working and you wonít be hungry anymore. You can do this, youíve done it so many times before//.

He threw himself into work and before he knew it two hours had passed and Jim was still not back. He left about 3 p.m. and now it was going just past 5 p.m.

//I hope Jim is okay//.

Blair looked over when Rafe called him.

"Hey Sandburg, Jim just called he said he and Simon responded to a robbery just after lunch and they are still there wrapping everything up. He said not to wait for him and heíll give you a call later tonight."

"Oh okay thanks Rafe."

//He couldnít call me at his desk. He knows I answer his phone for him when he is not here. Well Iím almost done with these last reports, I might as well finish them//.

Blair went back to work and soon finished all the files on Jimís desk all that was needed was Jimís signature. He put everything in a neat pile and left a note for Jim telling him it was done and ready for his John Hancock he put the note on top of the files with Jimís stapler on top to hold the note in place. He looked around 6:30 everyone was just about gone the shift was changing. He got his backpack and headed for the elevator he got on and went to the garage. He walked with his head down looking for his keys in his pocket when he smacked into the solid form of a giant of a man and would have fallen if not for the two huge arms that reached out and caught him before he could fall. He looked up and up and up at the man that caught him, he was a really BIG MAN.

"Hey little man you need to look where youíre going."

"Oh hey man Iím really sorry about that I was looking for my keys."

The man held out his hand.

"King, Detective Keith King."

Blair shook his hand and was amazed as his hand was just about swallowed up by this huge manís hand.

"Sandburg, Blair Sandburg nice to meet you."

Sandburg watched as the big man reacted to his name.

"SandburgÖyou wouldnít be Professor Blair Sandburg with Rainier University."

Blair was surprised.

"Yea, thatís me. Do I know you sir? Sorry I mean Detective?"

The big man smiled.

"No but you know my little brother Scott, Scott King."

Blairís eyes widened, "Youíre Scottís brother?"

Blair was surprised because Scott was shorter than Blair was. Blair used to say it was nice to be finally being taller than someone. Blair couldnít believe that this hulk of a man was related to the kid.

"Yea, you helped my little bro through a very tough time, you were there when he really needed someone, and I could never help him with all that stuff. He used to come home telling me all kinds of stories of how you helped him in getting his classes in order and how you even tutored him for free when he was short on cash. Youíve helped him so much Iím so thankful to you for that my little bro is very special to me. Iím glad I finally got to meet youÖumÖbut what are you doing here? Are you in any trouble?"

"Trouble oh no, no, Iím doing my dissertation on "Police a closed society" and I got a ride along pass with Detective Ellison."

"I donít believe it. You work miracles too huh?"

"Excuse me."

"I heard Ellison had a partner some new age hippyÖno offense."

"None taken," Blair chuckled.

"He was a real hard ass now we hear heís turned into a real person."

Blair smiled.

"Aww Jimís a good guy. You just have to get to know him."

"I guess where you headed little man."

"I was on my way home; Iím done for the day."

"You want to grab a bit to eat, Iíd really like to chat a bit with the fellow my little bro looks up to."

Blair blushed he was so pleased to hear that the kid had praised him but once again his financial situation reared its ugly head.

"Thanks man but I canít maybe another time."

"Sure okay."

As Blair turned to leave when the Detective stopped him and handed him one of his cards.

"Hey little man why donít you give me a call Iíd really like to get together and chat for awhile."

"Great, I will." Blair said as he accepted the card. Blair walked off and got in his car he turned the key and nothing happened.

"Oh no, no, no not now please not now."

He turned the key and pumped the gas it caught sputtered and died. Blair rested his head on his steering wheel.

"Oh man."

He wanted to scream, kick and holler he couldnít believe this was happening now he jumped when he heard someone tap on his window. He looked up to see Detective King standing there he rolled down his window.

"I see youíre having car trouble."

"Yea this just sucks."

"Well let me give you a ride I was on my way out anyway."

"Okay thanks man I really appreciate it."

The big man watched Sandburg get out of the car and he took in his appearance the grunge clothes that looked like theyíve seen better days and he really was very thin. He remember how his little brother used to tell him how hard Sandburg worked to make ends meat, hmm maybe thatís why he declined my invitation.

"Hey Sandburg since Iím giving you a lift anyway lets say we stop for a bit to eat on the way Iím starving my treat."

Blair was about to protest when his stomach growled loudly reminding him that he hadnít eaten all day he blushed as he looked at King and nodded his agreement.

"Okay, thanks."

"Give me your car keys."

Blair handed over his keys to the Volvo and watched at Detective King approached another man who was coming their way and greeted him.

"Hey Harold, how are you doing?"

"Hey Keith, whatís up?"

"Can you do me a favor?"

"Sure, what is it?"

"I got this green Volvo here that just up and died on me can you pull it into the garage and take a look at it see if you can patch her up for me make her feel better with your magic touch."

Harold beamed at the praise of his work.

"No problem Keith. But I may not be able to get to it until tomorrow."

"Okay thanks I really appreciate it."

"No problem Keith, Iíll let you know when I have her up and running."

Blair stood by stunned as he watched the Harold guy walk off with his keys Blair hurried over to Detective King.

"Look thatís really nice of you but I canítÖ"

"Hey easy Blair, I can call you Blair?" At Blairís nod he continued.

"It wonít cost you a cent I promise."

"Oh man you canítÖ" Blair was on the verge of panic.

"Blair stop donít worry besides Harold owes me a few favors okay and he is the departments mechanic the man is a genius he really knows his stuff now letís eat."

Blair didnít know what to say he was just stunned.

"Okay letís eat DetectiveÖ"

"No, no Blair its Keith."

"Okay. Letís eat Keith."

Keith drove to a vegetarian restaurant.

"I hope vegetarian is okay with you."

"Are you kidding? I love this place."

Keith and Blair chatted all through dinner and found they had a lot in common and Blair found he really liked Keith. They laughed and joked and talked about stuff that was really important to them. Blair found himself telling Keith things he had never told anyone. A bond formed between the two men they felt like they knew each other for years. After dinner Keith drove Blair home; the closer Keith got to Blairís place the more upset he became. When the finally pulled up in front of Blairís warehouse Keith was not happy. It was a dangerous high crime area and he really couldnít understand what Blair was doing here.

"Blair youíve got to be kidding me you canít possibly live here."

"Oh itís not that bad man and I have the whole place to myself. I get a lot of work done without all the partying going on itís kind of hard to study when thereís a party going on every night. I also donít have ever big bully on campus picking on me you know itís always those big Neanderthals that think Ö.sorry I didnít mean to say that."

Keith smiled.

"I donít blame you for that I hate bullies too. Little man how long have you been staying here it really isnít a safe place."

Blair smiled he liked having someone worry about himÖit felt nice.

"Iím okay thanks for everything tonight. I really appreciate it."

"No problem little man, youíre going to need a ride tomorrow?"

"I donít have to be at the University for a few days so I told Jim Iíd be there by 9:00 I can catch the bus Iíve done it a million times but thanks man."

Keith didnít look so sure but he didnít say anything other than goodnight and told Sandburg to keep in touch with him. He told him he would give him a call when his car was ready they said goodbye and Sandburg watched Keith drive off. Sandburg was happy that night. He found a friend, well someone who could be a friend he really wished he could be that way with Jim but he couldnít have everything. He changed into a pair of heavy sweats and a sweatshirt and hopped on his couch man he really had to get a bed.

 * * *

 Tuesday Morning 6AM Blairís warehouse

Blair woke feeling cramped on the couch everything hurt damn it he must have slept wrong. He stretched and then he felt something on the couch with him. He stilled his movements and then he moved a bit to the left then felt a sharp pain shoot though his left side. He jumped out of the couch with a yell and watched a rat scurry away. He felt his side and his hand came away with blood SHIT this was so not good. He grabbed a big long stick and went after the little beast he spotted it along the wall and it ran when Blair went after it he scampered along the wall. He finally trapped it in a corner and quietly went up to it and struck the beast dead in its tracks great it only took him 45 minutes. He gathered it up in a plastic bag. Shit now he had to go to the hospital. He got dressed and got his backpack and was really shaken up by the whole thingÖI canít believe it bit me. He knew the rats were practically all over the warehouse but he never had a problem with one of them going after him. He looked at the clock it was just about 7:00 he grabbed his coat making sure no critters were inside and grabbed his keys along with his dead rat and left. He was surprised to see Keith getting out of his car.

"Hey Keith what are you doing here?"

"I figured we could catch some breakfast and then I could give you a ride in," Keith noticed that Blair looked kind of shaky "Hey little man are you alright?"

"Yes, no, (he sighed) Keith I need to go to the hospital I really donít want to butÖ"

"HOSPITAL, why what happened are you okayÖ.obviously your not okay if you have to go to the hospital."

Blair handed over the bag and watched Keith look into the bag with frown of disgust.

"Ewww, tell me why you have this hideous thing in a bag."

"It bit me this morning and I spent 45 minutes running after it until I found it and killed it and now I have to go to the hospital to make sure Iím okay Shit this is just what I need today."

"Easy little man, not a problem weíll head over there now."

Keith drove Blair to the hospital and it turned out that Keith had family a first cousin in Cascade General who was a doctor there who worked the 7 to 3 shift he paged her and quickly explained what had happened. Doctor Terri Manger was an attractive young woman with very long brownish hair she took the rat and made sure tests were run for any diseases then in the mean time she treated Blair.

"This is a nasty bite. Iím going to give you some antibiotics to make sure we keep infection away; rat bites are very infectious youíll need to keep this clean."

She gave him one pill and made him take it right there Blair looked at it and figured it was better than getting sick oh well down the hatch. He swallowed it with a small cup of water and took the bottle she gave him and put it in his pants pocket. The results came back that the rat wasnít infected with rabies but the doctor insisted that he keep taking the antibiotics just to be on the safe side because rat bites were very infectious.

"That was one huge rat I donít think Iíve ever seen one that big. How did you get bitten anyway?"

"I sort of have a problem at my placeÖthey run all over but Iíve never had a problem with one until today."

"Well I suggest you move."

Blair smiled.

//yea rightÖif I could afford to I would have moved a long time ago//

"Okay all done but you should rest up today," she told Keith who had stayed off to the side and came forward to help Blair get dressed he gave his cousin a kiss and thanked her telling her he would call her later. As they got in Keithís car Blair looked at the big man.

"Hey I want to thank you for all your help I wouldíve been there a lot longer than I had to. Wow is there like anyone you donít know?"

Keith chuckled and said he had a big family and they were all over some were with the post office some were police officers like himself, but a lot were nurses and doctors and even two dentists were in the family. Blair was impressed and could never imagine a family that big. He was glad that he had found a friend in this man. Blair looked at his watch wow it was 8:30 he would be at the station on time and laughed.

"Iíll finally make it to the station on time boy Jim will be surprised Iím not late."

"Didnít Terri tell you to take it easy today?"

"I will Iím sure Jim will find some paper work for me to do today." He chuckled.

Keith didnít like it but he drove to the station and parked in his spot. He told Blair he would be by to check on him later and to make sure he grabbed something to eat in the break room. Blair waved goodbye and went up to meet Jim. He found Jimís desk empty. He looked over and saw Jim in Simonís office he walked over and knocked on the door and walked in when he heard the deep voice of Captain Banks "Come" he waved hello and the two big men smiled their greeting. Jim felt bad about not getting back to Sandburg last night. He did a lot of thinking and finally figured that Blair didnít go to eat with him because he may have been short on cash and didnít want him to know. When he came in early this morning and found all his paper work done he started to feel really guilty he couldnít believe that Sandburg finished it all the kid really must like paper work he planed to make sure he thanked Sandburg and took him out for a good lunch the kid was really way too thin.

"Hey guys whatís up?" He asked and as he walked over to a near by chair he felt the room spin and suddenly he felt funny. He sat down and took a few deep breaths and his vision started to blur what the hell was going on now? He felt himself start to shake. Jim was up like a shot and standing next to Sandburg.

"Hey chief whatís going on? You donít look so good."

Blair shook his head and looked up at Jim.

"I donít know maybe itís because I didnít eat breakfast yet."

Simon scowled he still wasnít too happy on having the kid ride along with Ellison but then he really didnít understand a lot about this Sentinel business and Ellison had changed a lot since the kid came into his life for the better.

"Well Sandburg it looks like a bit more than you forgetting to eat. Maybe youíre coming down with something."

Before Sandburg could answer there was a knock at the door and three heads turned to see Detective King at the door.

"Sorry to interrupt but I Öhey little man are you okay you donít look so good."

"No I Ö"

He couldnít seem to get a good breath and everything was getting fuzzy the three men watched as Sandburgís eyes glazed over and he pitched forward in the arms of his Sentinel.

"OH Jesus, Sandburg, Chief whatís going on here?"

Detective King ran over and had a feeling he knew what was wrong with Sandburg. He felt his forehead and his skin felt clammy.

"He may be having a reaction to the medication the doctor gave him."

Jim looked up.

"What medication?"

"I went by his place this morning to pick him up I knew he needed a ride because his car is in the shop and he told me he was bitten by a rat so I took him to the hospital and he was given some meds and he looks like he is reacting to it. Let me take him back to Cascade General my cousin was the doctor that treated him."

He reached for he young man only to pull back when Jim literally growled at him.

"Youíre not taking him anywhere Iíll take him."

"With all due respect Jim but I took him this morning it would be easier for me to take him."

"And I said back off King."

"THAT IS ENOUGH!"

The two men winced as Captain Banks voice just about made everything in the room vibrate.

"The two of you stop acting like five year olds and get that kid the help he needs before he gets any worse. The both of you will take him."

Jim was stunned into silence he couldnít believe when Detective King scooped Sandburg into his arms and took off through the bull pen. All activity in the bull pen stopped when the big man came though holding Sandburg in his arms and Ellison right behind him. "Hold the door," he called when he saw the elevator open and he shot in with Ellison hot on his heels the doors closed just as Ellison got on. When they got to the garage he followed Ellison to Ellisonís truck and sat in the back with Blair, who now was unconscious, putting the younger man in his lap. King told Ellison to radio ahead and have Doctor Manger ready for them. Jim had the sirens going all the way to the hospital and help anyone who got in his way. He screeched into the hospital entrance and helped King out with Sandburg who really didnít look good. They got him onto the gurney and rushed him inside. Jim was not happy as he was made to wait outside while Detective King went in.

//Since when did Sandburg get all buddy, buddy with Detective King? He really didnít even know much about Detective King. He know he was a good cop with a high arrest record and a good man but how did he hook up with Sandburg//

Jim looked up at the clock he had been here waiting for almost an hour with out any word on how Sandburg was. Well that was it as he got up to look in on his partner out came Dr. Manger and Detective King. They walked over to Ellison. Dr. Manger held out her hand.

"Hi, Iím Dr. Manger I treated Blair this morning."

"Treated him for what?" Jim asked bewildered.

King replied, "He was bitten by a rat and when I went to pick him up this morning he was real shaken and asked me to take him to the hospital and I knew that my cousin," he motioned to Dr. Manger, "was on call today so I paged her and she took care of him."

"So I put him on antibiotics to prevent infection and he seems to be having a reaction to the medication. I gave him something to counteract that and he seems to be responding to that Iíd like to keep him here for the day he still seems very disoriented and I donít want to release him until he is alert and aware of whatís going on."

"Can I sit with him for a while?"

"Sure just let me get him settled then I call you in," she turned to Keith as she spoke but made sure both men understood, "Iím sorry about all this but thanks for getting him back here so quickly and Iíll put it in his chart but make sure he tells his regular doctor that he has a bad reaction to this medication okay Iíll be right back."

Once she left Jim turned his attention to Detective King.

"Well I thank you for all youíve done but how did you know his car was in the shop?"

"I ran into him yesterday as he left the station and his car wouldnít start so I had it taken care of and we went for a bit to eat and then I took him home. Do you know where Sandburg lives Ellison? I know he is an adult and can make his own decisions but he lives in a really bad and Iím talking bad neighborhood the rent may be low but the crime is high. He said he had a problem with rats but you should have seen the one that took a bite out of him it was the size a kitten the thing was huge."

"You got him to go and get something to eat yesterday?"

Jim asked feeling hurt that Blair wouldnít go with him.

"Only after I offered to pay Blair helped my kid brother out a lot last year at Rainier he spoke about him all the time. Tell me Ellison how much do you know about the kid?"

Jim kind of blushed as he said.

"Well to be honest I donít really know that much about him. What did you come by Simonís office for this morning?"

Keith held up Sandburgís glasses.

"Little manís glasses fell out of somewhere I found them in my car when I went back to get something. Come on let me get you a cup of coffee and I can fill you in on some things."

Jim followed Keith to the cafeteria and got each of them a cup of coffee then sat down at a nearby table.

"Scott, thatís my brother, he used to come home all the time and tell me about his Professor Sandburg how great he was and how much he helped him. He told me how he tutored him for free when he needed it and he couldnít get in touch with me to give him some cash to hold him over and how hard Sandburg worked to make ends meat. Have you noticed how worn his clothes are and how thin he is. Grad students are under a lot of pressure to get a lot of work done and have it in on time and not only is he a student but a TA and they donít make that much but it means he has to teach also which means a whole lot more work. Now I donít know what he does with you at the station but pile that on to his plate and he is stretching himself pretty thin. I got a chance to talk to Sandburg yesterday and it turns out we had a lot in common but I want you understand one thing."

He looked Jim dead in the eye.

"He spoke a lot about you and very highly of you. The kid worships the ground you walk on and I would never get in the way of that but from the little time Iíve spent with him he doesnít seem to have any friends as smart as he is he has very low self esteem andÖtrouble just seems to follow him around. He needs someone to look out for him and remind him to eat. Right now he doesnít have two nickels to rub together."

Jim was shocked.

"He told you that?"

"No, well not really but I figured it out so I treated him to dinner and he ate like a starving man although he tried not to show it. He has done so much for my little brother Iím just returning the favor and I like Sandburg heís a good friend as I said we have a lot in common and I really like the little guy."

"I know what you mean he does grow on you. He has done so much for me and I hardly know anything about him. But I promise you that will change. First Iím going to do something about his living arrangements."

"What do you have in mind?"

Before Jim could answer Dr. Manger found them.

"Okay boys you can go see him and maybe you can convince him to stay here for a bit he is being quite insistent that he wants to leave now that he feels better but I donít recommend it. We gave him something to counteract the medication but it is still in his system and he really should rest."

Jim and Keith both stood up and told her not to worry. They would both have a word with the young man and make sure he stayed in that bed for as long as the Doctor deemed it necessary. Jim walked into the treatment room with Keith behind him both men were not happy to see Blair getting out of bed and trying to get his shirt on. He was very unsteady. Jim wanted to strangle him.

"What do you think youíre doing Sandburg?"

Blair whirled around as Jimís loud voice startled him with a wobbly spin he would have ended up on the floor but Jim reached out and caught him steadying him and settling him back on the bed.

"Damn Ellison, give the kid heart failure why donít you."

Ellison looked at Sandburg and said,

"Sorry Sandburg I didnít mean to startle you."

Keith came up on the other side of the bed.

"Hey little man, where do you think youíre going?"

"Well Iím feeling okay so I need to get out of here, besides Jim thereís still a lot of paper work to finish."

"Donít worry about the paper work Sandburg you finished that yesterday there really wasnít much to do and Simon was assigning me a new case when you walked in this morning. The doctor said she wanted you to spend some time here to make sure you were okay so you need to follow doctorís orders."

"Man Iím sorry I messed up you guys donít have to stay here I know you guys have to get back to work. Iíll call you later."

Jim and Keith looked at each other. Jim took a deep breath and said.

"Chief Iím not going anywhere I want to make sure youíre okay and we need to do something about your living arrangements, it seems this rat problem is pretty bad if they are crawling into bed with you we are going to have to do something about it I have a solution if youíre up to it."

Blair looked from Jim to Keith and wondered what was on Jimís mind. Keith was just as in the dark because he didnít know what Ellison had in mind for the kid he didnít have a chance to finish the conversation when his cousin came to get them.

"Well seems you have a serious rat problem and you really canít stay there so I think you should stay with me for a while. I have a spare room you could have and we can take it from there."

Blair was shocked; Keith was equally shocked Blair looked at Keith then at Jim.

"You want meÖ" he looked at Keith and Jim again, "You want me to stay with you?"

Ellison was a bit taken aback by the shock he saw on both faces. What? He couldnít help someone out once in a while. Besides this way he could keep an eye on the trouble magnet.

"Why is that so hard to believe? We can call the landlord and get him to get an exterminatorÖ"

He stopped when he heard Sandburg laugh and mumble "yea right".

"Sandburg what do you mean by yea right? You donít think the landlord will do it?"

"Jim I spoke to the landlord and he laughed at me and hung up he wouldnít even talk about it. He said if I wanted an apartment with out rats to move."

This upset Keith and he added.

"Well little man, why donít you give us the landlords name and address and weíll have a talk with him."

"Okay, but I donít think it will do any good."

Keith took down the name and address and Jim asked Blair for his keys to his place that he would pick up some stuff for him and he could get the rest when he was feeling better. Jim looked over at Keith.

"I donít think Keith would mind helping me move some stuff like your bed."

Keith smiled at Jim but Jim saw Blair frown.

"Um Jim, you canít move my bed from the warehouse."

Both men looked at each other confused then at Sandburg.

"Why canít I move your bed? Youíll need a bed Sandburg and youíll be more comfortable in your own bed."

Sandburg blushed and then in a very quiet voice said,

"Jim you canít move my bed because I donít have one."

Keith sat next to Sandburg.

"Then where have you been sleeping little man?"

Blair hung his head he was so embarrassed once they got to his place theyíd see it all. He was on his last legs this month and he really had nothing. He had to save and be careful of his budget so he could afford the warehouse. SHIT! In a small voice that even Jim had to strain to hear.

"I sleep on the couch. My bed was trashed and I couldnít afford to get one right away so I just sleep on the couch. Itís not so bad."

Was the kid really this bad off? He didnít have a bed! Keith was so right in telling me how bad off Sandburg wasÖis that why he is so thin? He canít afford to eat. Oh God, Jim felt sick here Sandburg was helping him so much and Jim couldnít take the time to see his friend; a friend who needed his help. He looked over at Keith who gave him a nod, he had an idea what was running through Ellisonís head and he was all for it. Jim sat down on the other side of the bed and put two fingers under Blairís chin to lift his head so he could look in his eyes.

"Look at me Chief; donít worry about the bed okay. You think youíll be okay here for a while so we can go get some of your stuff and bring you a change of clothes weíll even have a chat with the landlord see what we can do okay?" As Blair nodded his head looking like he lost his best friend Jim patted his face. "Hey, Iíll be back as soon as I can okay. I want you to do what the doctor says okay Chief?"

Blair didnít say anything he just nodded his head. Jim and Keith stayed silent until they got in Jimís truck then Jim looked at Keith.

"Okay I say we go to his place first pick up some stuff and then see the landlord and have a nice chat."

Keith nodded.

"Yea thatís good and if he refuses to clean up and get an exterminator weíll just toss him out the window."

Jim looked at him shocked and Keith smiled.

"Just a figure of speech Ellison donít get all bent out of shapeÖokay, okay we wonít throw him out a window", Keith smiled an evil grin, "Weíll feed him to the rats."

Jim looked at Keith and laughed out loud. He was beginning to like this man. As they drove into Sandburgís neighborhood Jim was not happy he couldnít believe the kid was living here. King wasnít kidding when he said it was a really bad neighborhood they parked right infront of kidís door and went inside and both men cringed. As they walked in rats scattered all over the place they were everywhere, both men felt sick to see this. They went around grabbing what they could and they got just about all of Blairís stuff it only took two trips to Jimís truck to load it all up. The only thing left was some books and clothes they could get later; Jim couldnít believe that Sandburg had so little. There was one crate that had not been unpacked and it looked like it had Sandburgís personal stuff so Jim didnít look through it he just put it in the back of his truck with the rest of Blairís belongings. Then they drove to see the landlord. A man King and Ellison both knew well he was always involved in crime but they could never catch him red handed.

"Well Detectives to what do I owe to the pleasure of this visit?" replied the pudgy little man from behind his desk.

"Well Mr. Jones we are here on behalf of Blair Sandburg."

"Oh donít tell me, let me guess the little brat filed a complaint against me."

King wanted to put the man through the wall.

"No but that doesnít mean he wonít unlessÖ," said Jim and Keith gave him a slight nod letting him know that he would play along.

"Unless what?"

"Well," continued Jim, "unless you give him back this and last months rent and cover his hospital bill because he was being treated for a rat bite that should not have happened in the first place had you had the place exterminated against rats."

"Are you kidding me? NO FUCKING WAY!"

Keith grabbed him and hauled him to his feet.

"Oh yes FUCKING WAY! Or youíll have to be hospitalized for what bites you and Iím not talking about those beasts in Sandburgís apartment."

Mr. Jones eyes narrowed and he tried to pull away from the Giant of a man that had him in his clutches.

"Are you threatening me?"

Keith picked the pudgy man off the floor and brought him face to face with him.

"Thatís not a threat," he whispered in a menacing voice, "itís a promise."

"You hear that Detective he just threatened me."

Jim shrugged, "I didnít hear anything you can go to the station and complain but I should warn you we are two decorated officers with great records and youíre Öyou."

Jim smiled he could smell the fear coming off him. The man looked at both men again and the sweat was starting to form on his brow.

"What was it you wanted again?"

"Two months back rent and payment for the hospital bills of one Blair Sandburg."

The man looked at the two big men and nodded his head. Anything to get these guys off his back, they looked like real bad asses and he had a feeling if he said no he would be one sorry man.

"Okay, okay done, if you just let me down Iíll write you a check."

He was interrupted by King.

"No checks cash."

"Yes, yes cash, please put me down and Iíll get it."

King put Jones down and he walked unsteadily over to his desk where he pulled open the middle draw pulled out a key and went over to his file cabinet. He opened the top draw with the key and pulled out a two handfuls of cash. He started to count and hand over the bills but Jim put his hand over the manís left hand and King put his over the right hand and they both took the money

"I think this will just about cover it," said Jim with a big smile, "thanks for being so understanding Iím glad we could resolve this matter in quiet adult timely fashion have a good day now."

Keith tried to keep a straight face as they walked out. Jim told King he had one more stop to make. They stopped at a mattress store to pick up a bed for Blair. They both went half and half on it. Keith said he wanted to do what he could to help out Sandburg. They also bought sheets, bed spread and pillows for it. They had the bed to be delivered by that after noon. King and Ellison went back to his place and they got the room in shape and put some of Blairís clothes away and some books on the bookcases that Jim had there. They set up the desk for him and as they finished the bed arrived. Once the bed was up and sheets and spread and pillows put on they left to pick up Sandburg.

Blair smiled as he saw his two friends come to pick him up. Dr. Manger said he was doing just fine but to keep the rat bite clean and to keep taking the new antibiotics she prescribed for him and she wanted to see him next week to see how he was doing. Jim, Keith and Sandburg all got in the car with Sandburg sandwiched between the two big men. Sandburg asked what Jim had picked up for him.

"Sandburg donít worry you can pick up the rest of your stuff later."

He didnít let on that most of Sandburgís stuff was already at the loft just needed to be put away and sorted. He was really glad that Sandburg would be staying with him he couldnít see sending the kid back to that warehouse. Those rats were huge. They got to the loft and Sandburg got the shock of his life when they went inside. He couldnít believe it. He had his own room and it was a nice size room but what got him the most was the bed. Jim said it was bought just for him and him alone. It was a beautiful full size bed with sheets, a quilt, pillows the works it was the nicest thing he ever got and the loft was great he had been there before visiting Jim it was in a nice neighborhood one that no way could he afford. He turned and looked at Jim.

"Thank you I donít know what to say, itís beautiful IÖyouÖoh man thank you."

He hugged Jim and Jim welcomed his embrace and he whispered something in Sandburgís ear. Sandburg looked up at him and Jim nodded. He looked at Keith with eyes welling up.

"Thank you both so very much for the bed. Itís wonderful. You both have been great."

Jim stepped closer to him.

"SaÖBlair you have done so much for me and I never even once said thank youÖIím sorry. Iím glad youíre my friend and Iíll always be here for you no matter what."

Sandburg smiled at him knowing what the man said was true. He turned when he heard Keith clear his throat.

"That goes for me too little man; Iíll be here when ever you need some help or just want to talk. In the little time Iíve known you I feel like weíve been friends forever and youíve done so much for Scott."

Blair was so happy he could bust. He always wanted a friend a close friend and now he had two. Two really big friends who were always there for him, making sure he ate and made him rest when he pushed himself too far, took care of him when he got sick helped him when he felt overwhelmed and were there to take care of the next bully that threatened him. They would go on to take very good care of him and he always made sure his two buddies were okayÖ.but thatís another story.

 

THE END?