Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters are the property of Pet Fly, UPN, Paramount, and The SciFi Channel


LIVING WITHOUT YOU



Carole






(This section written by DawnC)

"Sandburg!" Jim's voice boomed through the bullpen.

Blair, perched at the edge of Brown's desk, stopped his conversation with the detective and looked up. "Hey, J--" His greeting faded when he saw the unrestrained rage on the Sentinel's face.

"YOU SON OF A ..." In three long strides Jim closed the difference between them, pulling his arm back as he delivered a powerful blow to Blair's jaw.


"Jim! No!" Blair screamed, launching himself to a seated position on the bed. Confused eyes searched the dark room before he realized that he had been dreaming. Man, that was some dream. It seemed so real.

Blair rubbed his face with both hands. Why in the world would I dream something like that? Jim would never hit me, no matter how angry he was. Yeah, he's shoved me around a few times, but hit me? He wouldn't do that.

He listened for a moment, hoping that his nightmare hadn't woken the man sleeping upstairs, then relaxed when there was no sound from the bedroom above. Wait a minute. Why didn't Jim hear me? He hears every little noise that I make. Isn't he up there? He couldn't have left for work already. Maybe there's something wrong.

Blair swung his feet to the floor and took a step toward the door before shards of pain as sharp as a knife lanced through him. He fought to control his panicked breathing as he remembered the events of the day before. Jim's anger, the blow that had sent him to the floor, his decision to leave the only home he had ever known. He dropped to his knees. God, no. That didn't really happen, did it? Did it?

The flickering light from the bar next door came through the motel window and accented the tears that tracked down the face of the Sentinel-less Guide.


Blair looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His eyes were red-rimmed and still wide with shock. The darkening bruise on his jaw was a vivid reminder of the rift between Sentinel and Guide, friend and friend.

The soft knock at the door surprised him, and he quickly checked through the peep hole. Oh, God, Jim. I really don't want to talk to you right now.

The soft knock was repeated. Blair hesitated for a long moment, then moved to unlock the chain and open the door.

Jim's eyes were looking everywhere but at him.

Blair took a step backward. "I don't know why you're here, but I can't deal with this right now."

The Sentinel's head jerked up at those words, and pain-filled blue eyes met his. "Please, Blair."

Blair's gaze dropped to the floor as he shook his head. "No. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe... not. But not now."

"I'm sorry."

Blair shrugged his shoulders. "So you feel sorry. That doesn't make what you did okay."

"I know. And I want to make it up to you. I'll do anything."

The younger man shook his head. "There's nothing you can do."

"I was mad," Jim whispered. "And I was afraid. When I checked my voice mail and found that message for you, I thought that you had..."

Blair lifted his head to look at his partner. "You thought that I had betrayed you again. Right?"

"I'm sorry, Chief. Please come home. We can talk about what happened."

"I can't do that. Not right now, anyway."

Jim swallowed hard. "I don't think that I... that a Sentinel can live without his Guide."

Blair's eyes met Jim's with a look of steel resolve. "I guess you'll find out."

Jim's shoulders slumped as he headed for the door. He paused in the doorway, as if hoping that Blair would call him back, then continued forward when the silence became too oppressive.

Blair held the door open until Jim passed through. He closed the door, then peered through the space between the curtains to see the tall detective making his way to the truck. Jim didn't look back.

Blair slid the chain lock into position, then threw himself on the bed and tried to curb the tears that filled his eyes. He pulled the comforter over him and closed his eyes, but sleep wouldn't come. Damn it, Jim. Why did you have to come over? Being angry with you was easier when I couldn't see you, when I couldn't hear the sorrow in your voice. I don't know if I'm ready to forgive you. But I don't know how I'll live with myself if I don't.


"Did you talk to the kid?"

Jim glanced up as Simon approached his desk. "I tried to. I went out to the motel early this morning. He didn't want to talk to me."

Simon sighed. "Can you blame him?"

Jim thought back to what had happened in the bullpen just the day before. I can't believe I acted like that.

"Jim?"

The detective blinked, Simon's voice finally registering.

"No, I can't blame him," Jim admitted.

"Neither can I, but you're going to have to find a way to fix this before it's too late."

Jim nodded. I know. If I don't fix it, I'll be without my best friend and Guide, and I don't think I could survive that.

"He's probably at the university by now. Why don't you give him a call?"

Jim glanced around the busy bullpen. "Can I use your office?"

Simon gestured toward his office with understanding. "Go ahead."


Jim sat down behind Simon's desk and picked up the phone.

"Blair Sandburg's office."

Jim swallowed hard, trying to find the words that he so desperately needed to say.

"Hello?"

"Sandburg... Chief... it's me."

The silence that followed tore at Jim's heart. Please talk to me, Chief. Let me make this right. Please.

"Jim, I..."

"Blair," Jim interrupted quickly as Blair paused. "I need to talk to you. I feel awful about what happened. Please let me explain."

For a moment Jim feared that he would be rejected again.

"Jim, I know we need to talk. This wasn't all your fault. I should have mentioned the..."

"No," Jim broke in, "It was my fault. I should have asked you about that message. I should have known that..."

"That the message wasn't what it seemed."

"You weren't really selling me out."

Blair's bitter laugh came clearly through the line. "Jim, when I said that I wouldn't reveal your abilities to anyone, I meant it. Why would you think otherwise?"

Jim sighed. "Can I blame it on the old fear response? When I heard the name of that newsmagazine, and the reporter mentioned your Sentinel research, I just..."

"Lost it?"

"Yeah. I know that it's no excuse, but I was tired, and frustrated, and..."

"You took it out on me."

"I'm sorry." Please believe me, I'm really sorry.

"Jim, I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have left the way I did, without trying to talk to you about this."

"I'll understand if you decide that you don't want to live at the loft anymore. But, Chief, please don't say that you don't want to be my Guide. I need you."

"Jim, I'll always be your Guide."

"Thank you, Chief," Jim whispered. "Will you come home?"

Blair's voice caught as he answered softly. "Yeah, I'll meet you at the loft. We can talk there."

"I'm on my way." Thanks, Chief. I still don't really know what I'm gonna say... how I'm gonna make this up to you. But there's one thing that I do know. Friends... brothers... don't always get along. They disagree, they get mad, sometimes they even fight. We can work this out.


Blair wiped at his eyes as he hung up the phone. I'm so glad you called, Jim. You said that a Sentinel can't live without his Guide, but I don't think that a Guide can live without his Sentinel, either. We can work this out. We have to.

~end~

July 2000


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