Author's Notes: This is a death story but I promise it has a happy ending. I would like to thank my beta Spacepixell for the wonderful job.


TWENTY YEARS



Kateri






It had been over twenty years now. The years and promotions had changed him, though people that had known him before would have said that he had already changed. Blair still remembered how shocked everybody had been when he had stayed in the Academy and become a cop after Jim had been killed. Originally he chose to become a cop to protect his sentinel. After he could no longer do that it stood to reason he didn't have, well, a reason to do anything.

While it had saddened him that his friends would think he would abandon them and leave Cascade it simply went to prove that they did not really know him. They also did not understand the first thing about his relationship with Jim. Jim had been everything to him, more than a roommate, more than a coworker, more than just a sentinel. Much, much, more. Jim had been his friend, his mentor, his student, and his partner, but most of all his family. Everything he had ever wanted or needed could be found in Jim.

Jim was a complex man with one underlying and driving force. He was a protector. He was a guardian. He was a defender. Being in the Army and then later being a cop had been a way of protecting people, which was ultimately what James Ellison was all about.

Since he was no longer around to do that then it fell upon his Guide to continue his work. Blair could not stand to think about all the good Jim could have accomplished in the future. So he made what would have been Jim's future his own. In order to do this he needed to take Jim's place as a cop.


Blair was able to survive a life without Jim by embracing Jim's soul. This was fairly easy to do since Jim's soul was his. Both of them had endured their early lives with only half a soul, never able to connect deeply to another person. When they had met though, their halves recognized each other. When Jim brought him back after drowning in the fountain at Rainer, it was by calling for his soul. Their two halves merged to become one.

At that moment, their two halves joined to become a single soul, and they both knew that no matter what happened in the future they would always be together. They had problems with their minds adjusting to the change over the next several months, but by the time Blair entered the Academy they were finally balanced. One soul, two bodies, and two hearts that beat as one.

And it was that soul being torn from his body leaving him bereft that let him know Jim was gone. He had collapsed in class, screaming in pain until he passed out. He remained unconscious for two weeks, machines and drugs keeping him alive as his body tried to shut down so he could follow the one most dear to him.

When he finally woke up Simon was there, fear he would lose Blair as well evident in his eyes. Simon had become upset though when Blair had not asked where Jim was. In response Blair had simply looked at Simon and said that he knew Jim was dead.

Simon had not known how to deal with Blair's apathy concerning Jim and had left him, which was fine with Blair. If he was alone he had a better chance of carrying out his plans to join Jim.

It was the Panther appearing and leading him to a small child hiding in a janitor's closet playing with chemicals that kept him alive in body. In spirit, he had died that day in his classroom when miles away a drug runner's bullet had pierced Jim's heart. Seeing the Panther made Blair realize that there were still people that needed the help and protection of the Sentinel of Cascade, even though the Sentinel was dead.

The Panther had continued to appear to Blair over the years, sometimes to show him something only a Sentinel would have noticed other times just to keep him company. The Panther was a way for the Sentinel to keep an eye on his Guide even if he wasn't still there. At times it was all that kept Blair from abandoning his duty.

But the Panther was no longer coming, and Blair had finished training his replacement as Captain of Major Crimes. He was now retired, his affairs in order, and his Sentinel research ready to be released upon his death by his lawyer and Daryl.

Most important though was his crowning achievement, and he believed the true reason he did not immediately follow his Sentinel. Three fully trained and bonded Sentinel/Guide pairs within Cascade, ready to continue his and Jim's work now embraced the mantle of protectorship. He had taught them everything he knew, had done everything in his power to help them. Now it was time for them to stand on their own and take Cascade and Sentinels into the future.

Carla and Jenny were EMTs. Best friends all their lives, closer than sisters, they were the ones Blair had entrusted with teaching future Pairs. John and Gillian, who worked in Forensics, were known as the Jack and Jill of the CPD. They fought like cats and dogs yet ran the tightest department. Last were Tyler and Simon's son Daryl, who worked in Major Crimes. When Blair had told Simon that his son was a Guide he had been furious and tried everything in his power to separate the partners.

In the end though Blair's persuasive skills won over Simon. The former Captain came to understand, as much as a non-sentinel or guide could, how deep the bond between two people in such a partnership could become. Tyler and Daryl grew together in ways Blair could only dream of with longing on those long lonely nights at home. The two patrol officers' record was outstanding. Blair's only regret was that he would not be around to see how they handled their promotions to the head of Major Crimes.

Blair's time guarding Cascade was over now; the Great City had new guardians. Now instead of helping other Guides with their Sentinels it was time to join his own. Laying down on his bed Blair closed his eyes, and then opened them to a Jungle and his smiling partner.

"About time Chief," Jim said holding his arms wide.

With a cry of happiness Blair threw himself into his Sentinel's arms and for the first time in twenty years felt happy and whole.

The End


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