1. It Must Be My Day by CJ
  2. Right On Time by Sherrylou
  3. The Storm by Dawn
  4. Trick or Treat by Kaci
  5. Cybergerms by Lisa Morrissey
  6. The Report by Ihket

From: "CJ" <cajole@mail.techline.com>

Julie:

Here's a little story for you, I hope you enjoy it.  I hope as you are
reading this you are getting better and stronger by the minute.  We are all
thinking of you fondly and miss your presence on the list.  We just don't
have enough posting-in-parts without you!  <g>  Get well soon.

With warm regards,
CJ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It Must Be My Day
by CJ
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair struggled up the stairs, panting heavily and slowing gradually.  Of
all the days to have the elevator go out, he thought.  It must be my day. He
had just returned from his second visit to the University Health Clinic in a
week.  He'd gone first for a persistent sinus infection, finally giving in
to Jim's constant pressure to go and get some antibiotics.  It was pretty
hard to hide a fever from a man with heightened senses who also happened to
be your roommate.

The first course of antibiotics hadn't worked, and the sinus infection had
spread to his ears.  Despite his best efforts to stay away from Jim and
pretend that he was getting better, not only Jim but everyone in Major
Crimes had noticed that he wasn't improving but seemed worse.  It hadn't
helped that the ear infection made him a little dizzy and queasy, several of
the detectives having seen him weaving a crooked path to the restroom a
couple of times to splash cold water on his face.  This time Jim had gone to
the point of threatening to handcuff him and take him into the Clinic,
holding his hand.

After a stern lecture from the doctor about taking better care of himself,
the doctor changed his antibiotics and gave him new prescriptions for
decongestants and a painkiller.  As much as Blair had hated to admit it, the
pain in his ears had been making it hard for him to sleep, so he had
grudgingly accepted the medications.  The doctor had warned him that these
were stronger medications than his first round, and suggested that he take
them with food to minimize possible unpleasant side effects.  Blair was
barely listening, instead concentrating on fighting another wave of
queasiness.  Finishing off with an injection of antibiotics and directions
for bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids, Blair had finally escaped.  He
had filled the prescriptions on the way out of the Clinic and had hurried
home.

Now, momentarily resting on the landing below the last flight of steps to
the loft, he leaned heavily against the hand rail.  His heart was pounding
and sweat was pouring down his face, and he felt even more lightheaded than
before.  Grabbing the tail of his flannel shirt, he quickly wiped his face
as he worked on slowing his breathing.  After a few moments' rest, he slowly
trudged up the remaining stairs and put a weak smile on his face.  Joel and
Henri were coming over to watch the Jags game with them, and he was
determined that he was not going to miss the game because Jim thought he was
too sick and needed to be in bed.

Taking a deep breath, he grabbed the doorknob and let himself into the loft.

-------------------------------------------

Jim looked up from setting chips and pretzels on the table as Blair walked
in.

"Hey, Chief.  What did the doctor say?"

Blair stopped in his tracks, looking startled at seeing his roommate.

"Uh, Jim, what are you doing home?"

"We wrapped up the Jones case and since we've all been working double shifts
this week, Simon sent us home early.  Trust me, Chief, no one complained."

Another voice pitched in from the living room.

"You got that right, man.  He didn't have to say it twice."  The smiling
faces of Joel and Henri peered at them over the back of the sofa.

"Hey, Joel.  Hey, H."  He dropped his backpack by the door and eased out of
his wool coat.

"You didn't answer my question, Blair.  What did the doctor say?"

Blair sighed and picked the backpack up again, setting it on the table.  "He
said that I definitely have an ear infection now, too.  He gave me a shot
and some different and stronger meds, and the usual stuff about getting
plenty of fluids, lots of rest, you know, the usual."

Jim walked over and took a closer look at his partner.  Blair's face was
flushed, hiding somewhat the dark circles that had appeared under his eyes
over the last week.  As much as he had tried not to nag about it, he knew
that Blair had not been sleeping well for days.  He could tell without
touching him that he had a high fever, and he could see and smell that his
hair and T-shirt were damp with sweat.  Even as Blair was getting the
bottles of pills out of the pack Jim could see that he was trembling,
whether from fever or exhaustion Jim couldn't tell.

"You don't look too good, Chief.  Maybe you should take your pills and go
straight to bed."

"Are you kidding, and miss the game?  No way, man, I got too much riding on
it.  You guys are going to owe me big time when the Jags lose this one.
Besides, I'm fine.  I just had to hike up all of those stairs because the
elevator is out again, and my pack must weigh 50 pounds.  I'm just out of
breath, man."  He gave an encouraging smile.

"The doctor told you to rest, didn't he?"  Jim walked over and filled a
glass with water, then handed it to Blair as he returned to the table.  He
watched carefully as Blair shook pills out of two of the bottles but left
the other one on the table.  "Uh, what about these?"

Blair swallowed the four pills in his hand, grimacing as they scraped down
past his sore throat, inflamed from days of coughing.  "Those are pain
pills, I don't have to take them unless I need them."

Jim gave him a sideways glance as he picked up the bottle of pills and read
the label.  "I don't know, Chief, I think you should take one of these.  You
look like you're in pain to me."  He opened the bottle and shook one out
onto his palm and handed it towards Blair.

With a sigh, Blair reluctantly took the pill and swallowed it down.  "There,
are you happy?"

"Ecstatic, Chief.  How about some hot tea to wash those down with, I can
bring it to you in your room?"

"Forget it, Jim.  I can rest just fine on the sofa, watching the game.  And
I can make the tea myself, thank you very much.  Just let me put my backpack
in my room."

Blair picked up his backpack and disappeared into his room for a few
moments, then made a stop in the bathroom before returning to the kitchen.
Putting the kettle on the stove, he rummaged around in the kitchen cupboard
for just the right tea and set it on the counter.  Waiting for the kettle to
boil, he wandered into the living room and sat on the arm of the sofa and
chatted with Henri and Joel.  Jim watched him critically, more worried than
he would have liked to admit that Blair was sicker than he was letting on.
For Blair to have conceded to two Clinic visits in one week was
unprecedented.

When the kettle whistled Blair returned to the kitchen and made his cup of
tea, adding lemon and honey in exactly the right proportions before slowly
carrying it into the living room and perching again on the sofa arm.  Jim
called out from the kitchen.

"Hey, are you guys ready for some sandwiches?  What do you want to drink?"

Joel and Henri piped up eagerly, more than ready for sandwiches and a few
beers after such a long and hard day and week.  Blair set his tea down on
the coffee table and stood up.

"I'll give you a hand, Jim."

Jim turned to tell him that he could handle it, just in time to see Blair
raise a hand to his head as he suddenly turned pale.  He took a few unsteady
steps towards the kitchen before looking up uncertainly, a glazed look in
his eyes.

"Uh, I don't feel so good…"  He took one more step before his eyes rolled up
and his eyelids closed, slumping forwards and bouncing off of the edge of
the table.  Jim ran over and managed to catch his falling body before his
head hit the floor.

"Joel!  H!  I need a hand here!"  Blair was face down, his hair hanging down
and obscuring his face, Jim cradling his head above the floor.  With the way
that Blair had struck the table, he was worried that turning him over by
himself might aggravate any injuries.  "Give me a hand turning him over.
Careful, I think he hit the table with his head, he might have a head or
neck injury."

The three men turned over the limp form, carefully keeping Blair's head and
neck in alignment as they did so.  He gently straightened out his arms and
laid them at his sides as Henri straightened out his legs, then Jim used his
heightened senses to scan over his friend's body.  He couldn't see anything
that looked like broken bones, and his breathing and heart rate were steady,
if a little fast.  Brushing his hair back and looking into his face, gently
resting a hand on his forehead, he could feel the high fever and the
dampness of his skin.  A tiny trickle of blood seeped from his hairline high
above his left eye, and Jim could see a small cut and the start of bruising
beginning there.

Even as he was checking him out, Blair began to stir.

"Hmmm…"  Eyelids fluttering open, he tried to focus on the faces hovering
above him.  "Wha…what happened?"

Jim grinned in relief.  "You suddenly decided to take a nap.  Face down, on
the floor."

Blair suddenly seemed to realize where he was, and started to sit up.  He
didn't get far, a moan escaping his lips and his eyes closing as he slumped
back, Jim helping him gently back to the floor.

"Oh, man.  My head…"

"Yeah, you banged it on the table on your way down.  Do you hurt anywhere
else?"

"No, just my head."  He opened his eyes again, meeting Jim's concerned
glance.  "This really sucks, man."

Jim smiled and patted him on the shoulder.  "Yes, it does."  He looked over
at Joel and Henri.  "Give me a hand getting him into his room?"

They nodded their assent, and they helped Blair up into a sitting position.
He made an effort at an indignant glare.  "I can walk, I'll be fine."

Helping him up to his feet, he wavered unsteadily as Jim and Joel walked him
carefully into his room and to his bed.  He turned and sat down heavily with
a groan, holding his head.

"Yes, you will be fine, but you're not right now, Chief.  Bed for you, no
arguments."  Jim helped Blair off with his shirt, shoes and jeans before
helping him slide beneath the covers.  "I'll be right back, I want to look
at that cut on your head."

He walked into the kitchen, grabbing one of Blair's pill bottles as he
flipped open his cell phone.  Dialing the University Clinic, he pointed in
the direction of the bathroom when Joel asked where he could get first aid
supplies for him.  When the receptionist answered, he asked for Blair's
doctor and explained that it was urgent.  Joel returned with supplies and
Jim mouthed "thanks" as he took them and returned to Blair's room.

Blair was lying with his eyes closed, but Jim could tell that he wasn’t
asleep.  The trickle of blood on his forehead sharply contrasted with his
pale complexion and the dark curls scattered over the pillow.  Jim sat down
carefully on the side of the bed.  Blair didn't even open his eyes, he just
scooted over a little to give him more room.

When the doctor got on the phone, Jim explained to him that Blair had passed
out and struck his head when falling.  The doctor told him about his earlier
diagnosis and recommendations for Blair, and said that Blair had probably
passed out from a combination of the strong medications, high fever,
dehydration and exhaustion.  He made recommendations for observing his head
injury, but mainly repeated what he had told Blair: that he needed to eat,
get lots of fluids, take the meds, and stay in bed for 2 or 3 days.  Jim
thanked him and hung up.

He reached over and gently cleaned the cut on Blair's head, putting on some
antiseptic before covering it with a bandaid.  Finishing there, he took a
damp washcloth and wiped the sweat from Blair's face.  Blair opened his eyes
and looked at him balefully once he was finished.

"Sorry, man.  I'm not very good at being sick."

Jim gave him a stern look.  "No kidding.  I'm just glad you didn't get hurt
worse.  Your doctor just told me what he told you."  Blair closed his eyes
again with a groan.  "What part of "bed rest" don't you understand, Chief?
And he said that he warned you to take those pills with food in your
stomach.  Are you trying for hospital time, here?"

"Jim, Jim, please don't yell, my head's killing me.  I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Jim could see the lines of pain on Blair's face as he raised his hands to
hold his head on each side.

He sighed and shook his head in frustration, softening his voice.  "I won't
yell.  Sorry.  But you're staying in bed for the next three days if I have
to sit on you, you got that?"

Blair dropped his hands and rolled over onto his side, facing away from Jim.
"Yeah, yeah, I got it.  Just leave me alone, will you," he said petulantly.
"Just let me suffer in peace."

Jim stood up with a grin and pulled the covers up to snug them around
Blair's shoulders.  He could feel the fever and shivering there, and he went
and got another blanket out of the closet and spread it over the bed,
tucking it closely as well.  Satisfied, he grasped Blair's shoulder and gave
it a warm squeeze before reaching over and turning out the light.  He headed
for the door.

"OK, get some sleep, Chief.  Let me know if you need anything, all right?"

A soft mumble rose from the far side of the bed, Blair already on his way to
slumber as he warmed up.

"Thanks, Jim."

"You're welcome.  Sleep well, buddy."

THE END




Jules,
This story is for you, Queen of the Owies. Get better real quick!

RIGHT ON TIME
by
Sherrylou
sherrylou@home.com

Blair squeezed the last of the test papers that needed to be graded into his backpack and then hefted the heavy bag onto his
shoulders. *All right! Looks like for once I'll be on time.* He smiled as he thought about how surprised Jim would be to
see him waltz into the bullpen with minutes to spare. With his lateness over the past month becoming a regularity, his
partner had finally told him last night that he couldn't be on time to save his life. *Sandburg, you'd even be late for your
own funeral!* the grad student mouthed to himself as he recalled Jim's words that had finished their discussion. "Well," he
chuckled, "show you this time, Ellison."

Locking up his office, the anthropologist waved to Mike Knepley, one of Rainier's oldest and most-beloved janitor. "Have
a good evening, Mike!" Blair offered a cheery farewell.

"You, too, Mr. Sandburg," the elderly janitor called back. Picking up the ladder leaning against the wall, he spun around
with the large implement and struck something solid. The workman hastily dropped the ladder as an "oof" was heard and a
loud "thud" hit the floor.

"Mr. Sandburg? Oh, my god, I'm so sorry. Are you all right?" Gazing upon the sprawled form, panic filled Mike's voice.

"I think I'll live," Blair mumbled as he rubbed the back of his head and slowly pushed himself up from off the floor.
Something warm and wet clung to his palm and he wiped his hand across his pants to rid himself of the slimy wetness.
*Damn! It hurts.* He blinked his eyes several times in an attempt to clear his vision.

Sandburg focused his sight onto the man in front of him. Mike's concerned face warped before his eyes, the image rolling
like a scene in a fun house mirror. The aged janitor moved closer to the grad student, offering an arm to steady the
wavering figure.

"Maybe I should call someone--"

"No, no, I'm okay. Look, no harm done," the grad student replied with more vigor than he actually felt. He readjusted his
backpack and headed toward the exit. "I've got to get going. See you around, Mike."

~~~~~

As Blair entered the bullpen, the hustle and bustle of the busy unit overwhelmed him. *Oh, man. Was it always this loud in
here? And I don't remember it being so bright.* He rubbed his forehead, trying to ease the persistent pounding in his head,
and squinted his eyes, shielding them from the harsh glare of the fluorescent lights.

"Sandburg, about time you made an appearance," Ellison remarked, slightly miffed. After sparing his partner a quick
glance, he turned his attention back to the pile of paperwork that sat on his desk.

"Huh?" Blair asked, confused by Jim's statement. Was he late?

"Thought you said you were going to be here around five. So what held you up this time?" Rising, Jim picked up a file and,
walking around the bewildered anthropologist, crossed over to Rhonda's desk. He dropped the folder into the "in" basket
and then lifted a stack of files from another bin, flipping through the pile.

Looking at his watch, Blair realized that it had been several hours since he'd left the university. What happened? Where did
those hours go? He remembered getting into his car, it certainly didn't take two hours or more to drive to the station.

His confusion continued as he noticed the lights were now taking on a strange, swirling pattern, with bright, white flashes
zinging across his field of vision. Shaking his head to clear his sight, Blair let out a soft moan as a piercing pain penetrated
his skull. Taking a deep, shuddering breath, he grabbed onto the side of his partner's desk to steady himself. *What is going
on here, man? I feel like my head's about to explode.*

"Hey, Hairboy," Brown called from across the room. "You into something new. I mean my sister dyed her hair red, but
those streaks you have are a little too much." Brown's jolly face quickly faded as he got a good look at the pale and shaky
figure. "Jim. Hey, Jim. I think there's something wrong with Sandburg."

Dropping the files onto the desk, Ellison's whole body whirled around. Now on full alert, the Sentinel saw the
blood-smeared pants and blood-streaked hair. The coppery stench of the life-giving liquid filled his nostrils and wafted
across his tastebuds. Observing his friend hunched over in pain, Jim's gaze settled on Blair's ashen face. Glazed, unfocused
eyes stared back at him. "Chief, you okay?" he asked softly as he started to walk over to where his Guide stood. Worry
creased his brow at the heart-wrenching image of his friend, and concern hastened his movements.

Was Jim talking to him? Blair looked at his partner, struggling to understand. Jim seemed to be saying something, moving
closer. He could see the detective's lips move, but everything sounded like gibberish. Distant. Fading away, just like the
room and everything in it. Instead of the bright lights, now everything was dim, gray and murky. Indistinct. He felt only the
sharp and intense throbbing in his skull. Blood pulsing so loud that he could hear it roaring in his ears. Like a train entering
a dark tunnel. The blaring thunder of the locomotive echoing off the walls. He was there--in that tunnel--in that blackness.
And then there was nothing--nothing but darkness.

Jim and H reached Blair just about the same time as the young police observer's eyes rolled up into his head and he
released his death-grip from Jim's desk. "Blair!" the older detective gasped as he caught Sandburg and gently lowered him
to the ground.

"We need help here! Someone call for an ambulance!" Worry permeated Ellison's words as he frantically called to his
co-workers for help. Someone offered a small blanket, which he gently placed under Blair's head. Another was placed
over the fallen man and Brown elevated Blair's legs using the kid's own backpack for support. Jim's hand reached out to
touch his friend, brushing away a stray curl and then moving down to the wrist--for contact--for reassurance. A touch to
feel the warmth of Blair's skin and the thrumming of the blood pulsing through his veins.

Fraught with concern, his muscles taut with anxiety for his friend, Jim watched powerlessly as the wait for help to arrive
seemed like an eternity. Time appeared to slow down, the ticking sound of the bullpen's clock synchronized with the beat
of the injured man's heart. Each "thump" pulsed with the movement of the second hand, then the soft "thump" separated from
its mechanical companion, slowing and weakening. *No!* Jim shook his head in denial. The "whooshing" sound of the
blood and the ebbing rhythm of the heart consumed his whole being as he watched Blair's chest fall and rise, breaths
coming further apart. "Come on, Chief. Hang in there." He spoke encouraging words, soft and soothing, to his partner,
belying his foreboding feelings. But those worried-charged emotions quickly turned into panic-filled horror as Blair's body
began to convulse.

~~~~~

The soft "beeping" of the heart monitor and the dim glow of assorted lighted buttons and dials permeated the small, dark
hospital room. Jim gazed fondly at his friend lying so pale and silent and then shifted his weight once again, trying to get
comfortable on the hard institutionalized chair. Raising a hand to scrub across his weary face before returning it to rest
lightly on the arm of his unconscious friend, he leaned back and closed his eyes, pondering the night's events.

It had been too close this time. If the paramedics had arrived a few minutes later, Blair, in all likelihood, would right now
be stretched out on a slab in the morgue instead of here, safely tucked into a hospital bed. Jim shuddered as that unpleasant
thought passed through his mind. He remembered how the paramedics, in a flurry of well-executed maneuvers, had quickly
stabilized Blair and transported him to the hospital. Once there, Sandburg had been rushed off to an emergency room
cubicle while Jim had been relegated to the familiar, but unwanted, environment of the emergency waiting room.

The quiet "snick" of the door signified that the detective was no longer alone, and he opened his eyes to see the familiar
figure of his captain.

"How is he, Jim?" Simon asked as he approached the weary-looking detective.

"The doc says he's going to make it. He's going to be okay."

"That's good." Banks released a small sigh of relief and smiled. "Did anyone ever figured out what happened?"

"Yeah. Brown placed a call to the university. They informed him of an earlier incident in the day involving Blair, a janitor
and a mis-guided ladder. The janitor felt obliged to report the accident, even though Sandburg had said that he was okay.
God, Simon, he could have been killed!" Jim raised his voice unintentionally as he recalled all the possibilities of how the
night could have ended.

"What do you mean?" The captain had heard how close it had been in the bullpen, but wasn't sure to what else Ellison was
referring?

"He was late arriving at the station. There's a block of time missing after he left the university where his whereabouts are
unknown. Thankfully, he was probably just passed out in his car and nothing happened while he was driving."

A low groan directed both men's attention to the small, pallid form. Jim rose from his chair, positioning himself by the
bedrail, and grasped Blair's hand within his own. He watched as eyelids fluttered and glazed, blue eyes, filled with pain
and confusion, met his own concerned gaze.

"Easy there, Chief. How do you feel?"

Blair's tongue felt thick and his mouth was dry, but he was able to rasp out his friend's name. "...mmm...J-jim?"

"Yeah. Right here, buddy." The detective gave his partner's hand a little squeeze. His eyes twinkled with a spark of
happiness at seeing Blair awake.

"...w-was I late?"

Jim mulled over the question, then a big smile broke across his face as he reassuringly spoke. "No, Blair. You were right
on time."

~THE END~




Julie, this is for you. I hope it brightens your day. Now, I'll have you know Blair has been very accomodating letting 100 or so listsibs beat up on him to make you feel better. Jim has been less understanding, though, and we've had to *ahem* restrain him at times. So, believe me when I say Jim really, really, REALLY wants you to feel better *soon!* {grin}

~~~~~~~~~~
The Storm
by Dawn~~~~~~~~~~

"What?! My dog can shoot better than that!"

Jim raised his eyebrows. "You don't have a dog, H."

The heavy-set detective grunted. "Yeah, well, if I did, he would shoot better than that." He gestured to the TV which showed the JAGS getting their butts kicked.

Rafe chuckled. "Yeah, yeah, hand me another slice."

Jim slid the pizza box over the coffee table toward Rafe. He had suspended his famous 'Ellison house rules' for the basketball party. All the guys from Major Crimes sat around the television. Megan hadn't been able to make it, muttering something about a date, and Blair was going to be late because of a meeting he had at the university.

Jim looked at the VCR clock. 6:45 p.m. Sandburg should be home in less than half an hour. Glancing at the three large pizza boxes, he made a mental note to make sure the guys didn't finish off all the food before his partner made it home.

A quick flash brightened the loft, followed by a rumble of thunder. Jim winced, turning down his hearing, and looked to the balcony, noting the rain pouring down outside. It looked like an ugly storm. *Be careful, Chief.* There were lots of people who just couldn't drive on wet roads, even in Cascade where it rained *a lot.* Jim didn't like thinking about Sandburg behind the wheel on a night like this. He knew all too well how quickly an accident could happen -- and how deadly it could be.

"All right! 'Bout time!"

The shout snapped Jim's attention back to the television where the ball sailed down from the hoop to be snatched up by Wallace.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Volvo's wipers swooshed back and forth, fighting a losing battle against the downpour. Blair stopped the car at the intersection, releasing a tired sigh as he waited for the light to change. He tilted his head back and rubbed one hand over his face. *God, what a looong day.*

A dark blur of movement to his left caught his eye, and he snapped his head around as his outside door knob jiggled, but the lock held. Things happened too fast for him to react. He'd just lifted his foot off the break, intent on running the light, when his driver's side window shattered and pain exploded in his skull, thrusting him into immediate oblivion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Simon snagged a piece of the now-cold pizza. "Got any more beers in the fridge?"

Jim nodded. "Should still be another six-pack left. Help yourself." He glanced at the clock and frowned. It was now almost 8 p.m. Where was Blair? Reaching for the cordless he'd placed on the coffee table earlier, he dialed Blair's office phone. No answer. The voice mail picked up. Figuring Blair was on his way home, he dialed the cell phone, but, again, got only the voice mail.

His eyes strayed once again to the storm raging outside the balcony windows, and his brow creased with a worried frown. *Damn, where the hell is he?*

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pebbles. Someone was throwing pebbles at him. Cold pebbles. They slapped against his cheeks and battered his eyelids. He tried to turn his head away, but pain knifed through his skull. He groaned, forcing heavy eyelids open. Darkness. He blinked as the drops pummeled his face. Rain. It was raining.

He was laying on something hard. Cement? He blinked again. A hard, square shape coalesced within the darkness -- brick and glass. A building?

He hurt. His head pounded. He was cold. So cold. His clothes clung to his body, heavy with wetness.

*What time is it?* The sky overhead looked black and dismal. Gray clouds hovered overhead. *Tuesday? It must be Tuesday. It's dark, so it's Tuesday. Am I late? What time is it?*

His head hurt. *Jim? It's cold, man. Can you turn up the heat?*

He looked up at the clouds. What happened to the roof? Why was it raining in his room? *Sprinklers? Must have been a fire.* But where was the roof?

He shivered. God, he was so cold.

*I should get out of the shower. Make coffee for Jim.* He struggled to sit up. He thought he succeeded, but the world tilted and he felt himself falling. But how could he be falling? Did he slip in the tub? Damn, what happened to the mat?

God, his head hurt. Slowly, the dark shapes around him stopped spinning. A building loomed overhead. At the corner, a street lamp cast a golden haze over a square box -- a phone booth?

*I'm outside? How did I get here?*

He tilted his head back, letting the cold drops slap against his cheeks and eyelids. A darkened neon sign spelled out the words "Daria's Deli." Tenth Street. Daria's was on Tenth Street. Prospect was home. *Have to get home. It's late. Jags game.*

He leaned forward, shifting onto his knees and pushing himself to his feet. Was he swaying or was there an earthquake? Maybe he was on one of those little moving sidewalks like they had at airports. He looked down, but his feet weren't moving and he seemed to be standing on cement. Cement didn't move, right?

He closed his eyes. His stomach churned. The cold bit into his cheeks and stung his earlobes. *Cold.* He was so, so cold. And wet. *Cold and wet and cold and wet.*

*My head hurts.* Tears welled in his eyes, spilling over to his cheeks to be washed away by the rain. His toes were cold. He laughed suddenly. It was all so funny. Funny. Funny. Raindrops were falling on his head. Cold raindrops.

Warm. The loft would be warm. His bed would be warm and comfy and soft. Jim would be there. Jim would help. *Not too far. Few blocks.* He could walk it, no problem.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Yes!" Joel tossed his crust back in the empty pizza box. "The Jags just might win this!"

"Yeah." Jim glanced at the clock. 8:36 p.m. *Where is he?*

Simon took the last swig of his beer. "Hey, whatever happened to Sandburg? I thought you said he'd be here."

Jim frowned. "He was supposed to be. I tried his office and cell phone. No answer." Another flash lit the loft, followed by a clap of thunder. Jim had his hearing turned down, so the noise didn't bother him. "Maybe he decided to go to the library. See if the storm let up." *I hope.*

"Hairboy probably got sidetracked by some cute -- WOAH! Way to go Wallace! Did you see that?"

Jim barely glanced at the screen, his eyes lingering on the rain-streaked windows.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Home.* The elevator languished to a halt and the door grudgingly opened. Blair shuffled into the hallway. He felt heavy -- cold, wet, and heavy. His right hand fumbled at his side, trying to find his jacket pocket to get his keys. But there was no pocket. *Hey? Where's my jacket?*

*Damn, must have left it at the office.*

~squish, squish, squish~

He looked down at the trail of water he was leaving on the faded, wood floor. *Jim's gonna be pissed if I bring it in the loft.*

Wet? He stopped, blinking. *How did I get wet?*

Shower. He'd been taking a shower. Oh right. He forced his legs to move again. *No. Wait. Not shower. Raining.*

Yeah, that was it. It was raining outside. *Must have gotten wet in the rain.*

He bumped into something, looked up, and realized he'd collided with the loft door. *Home.*

He fumbled for his keys in his jacket pocket, but his hand encountered only air. *Huh?* He looked down. Where was his jacket? *Must have left it at my office.*

He shivered. *Bed. Warm.* He turned the knob and pushed the door open.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jim heard a low thump against the door and turned his head toward the sound. *Sandburg must be home.* He breathed a sigh of relief and rose from the couch. Water slid beneath the door, snaking a trail into the loft. He frowned and moved forward. "Blair?"

"He home finally?" Simon asked.

The front door swung inward and Blair shuffled inside. Dripping wet.

"God, Chief..." Jim stood stunned for one moment as he took in his friend's appearance. Blair's eyes were glazed and vacant, and he had an ugly gash on his left temple that looked closed now. It had trickled blood down the side of his face, but the redness had dried. It looked like the rain had washed some of it away. Still, the dry trail snaked down his neck to disappear beneath his shirt collar.

"What on earth...?" Simon rose from the armchair, his brow creased with concern as his eyes traveled up and down Sandburg's cold, shivering form.

Blair blinked at Jim. Tears sprung in his eyes and he shuffled forward. "I lost my jacket." Then his eyes rolled back in his head and he fell forward.

Jim lunged forward just in time to catch the young man. "Blair!" Gently, he lowered his friend to the floor, barely aware of the cluster of bodies surrounding him as he extended his hearing to listen to Blair's too-fast heartbeat. "Someone call an ambulance!"

"Doing it now!" A deep voice answered.

Jim pressed a palm on Blair's forehead, alarmed at just how cold the skin felt. "Damn, he's freezing." He looked up to see Simon, Joel, Rafe, and Brown around him. Joel had the phone next to his hear and began relaying information to the dispatcher.

Jim looked next to Brown. "Help me get him out of these clothes, H. He's borderline hypothermic, I think."

"Sure thing." Brown crouched next to Blair and began to work the buttons on the flannel shirt.

Jim jabbed his chin at the fireplace. "Simon, could you start a fire in there? And Rafe, could you go in storage closet beneath the stairs and get one of the sleeping bags?" The bags were thermal-insulated, so they should do a lot to raise Blair's body temperature.

Jim looked back down at Blair as the men mumbled their responses and jumped into action. Brown had Sandburg's right arm out of his sleeve, and Jim gently pulled off the other one. That left Blair's undershirt, jeans, shoes, and socks. Moving down to the young man's legs, Jim pulled off Blair's boots and then began working on his jeans. The soaked denim clung tenaciously to its owner, but Jim tugged and yanked on it until it gave. That accomplished, he slid off the wet socks.

Brown had removed Blair's T-shirt, so the grad student now wore only his boxers. Jim felt the cottony material, pleased to realize the shorts seemed relatively dry. They were damp, but they could stay on.

"Here you go."

Jim looked up to see Rafe holding the rolled sleeping bag. "Unzip it and lay it on the floor, please."

Rafe nodded and complied. Once the material was spread out on the floor, Jim looked back to Brown. "Help me with him, H. Grab his shoulders and I'll get his legs. Be careful with him. Okay?"

"You got it."

Together, the two of them gently lifted Blair onto the sleeping bag. Jim looked at the fireplace, pleased to see that Simon had gotten a roaring fire started. The captain moved the armchair out of the way to make room on the floor in front of the fire.

"Thanks, Simon." Jim folded the sleeping bag over Sandburg and zipped it up, pulling the string to close the top. "Okay, H, grab the sleeping bag up here and I'll grab his legs. Let's move him in front of the fire, but be easy. I don't think he's got any other injuries, but let's be careful, anyway." He glanced quickly at Rafe. "Grab a pillow, will ya? Set it on the floor over there." He jabbed his chin to the area Simon had cleared moments before.

"Gotcha." Rafe practically lunged for the pillow and rushed to the fireplace to set it down.

Jim and Brown lifted Blair off the floor and slowly carried him to the fireplace. With exquisite care, they lowered him to the floor, and Brown cupped the back of Blair's head with one hand, gently laying it on the pillow.

"Ambulance is on its way," Joel announced. "They said the storm's going to delay its arrival, though. It's a mess out there, with a ton of accidents. Plus they're short on available vehicles."

Jim sighed, rubbing one hand over his face. "The hospital's going to be a mad house."

A groan from the floor pulled his attention downward. Blair's eyelids fluttered open and he moaned again.

"Hey, Chief." Jim leaned over his partner. "Just stay still."

Blair's eyes still looked glassy. "Jim?"

"Yeah."

"Cold."

"I know. We're working on that."

"Head hurts."

Jim frowned. He didn't like the vacant look in Blair's eyes. The young man had all the signs of a Grade 3 concussion. "Blair, do you know what day it is?"

It was several long seconds before Sandburg answered. "Tuesday."

Jim's frown deepened. It was Friday.

"Can you count backward from five for me?"

"Huh?" The young man blinked as though having difficulty focusing on Jim. Suddenly, tears sprang in his eyes. "Jim?"

"Easy, buddy." He laid a hand on Blair's forehead. "It's okay."

"Jacket."

"What's that?" Jim leaned closer.

Blair's face crumbled as the tears escaped. "Lost my jacket. Swiss army knife it it."

Jim's chest tightened and he slid one arm beneath Blair's shoulder. "Shhh. It's okay, Chief." Gently, he lifted Blair enough so he could slide beneath the younger man, then cradled him to his chest and wrapped his arms around his shivering partner. "Just relax."

The fire crackled and danced, and Jim felt the dry heat from the flames beat against his cheeks. He glanced back at the guys. They all stood awkwardly behind the couch, looking uncertain. "Can one of you get a wet rag? We need to clean the blood off his face. Also, I need something warm for him to drink. Tea would be nice."

Joel nodded. "I'll get the tea."

"I'll get the rag." Rafe spun around and dashed toward the kitchen sink.

Simon moved forward to crouch next to Blair, his dark eyes pinched with concern. "What do you think happened, Jim?"

"I have no idea."

Simon leaned forward a fraction. "Sandburg, can you tell us what happened?"

Blair blinked at the captain and sniffled. "Huh?"

"Do you remember what happened to you?"

Blair answered in a whisper. "Raining in my room."

Jim tightened his hold ever-so slightly. "It's not raining anymore, Chief."

"Here's the rag." Rafe thrust the blue dishrag in between the men, and Simon grabbed it.

"Thanks." Gently, the captain began cleaning the blood from Blair's neck and face, his brow creasing more and more with each stroke. "Someone did this to him."

"Looks like it."

"A mugging?"

Jim shrugged. "You know as much as I do, sir."

Simon nodded, his gaze dropping back to Sandburg. "He's out again."

Jim looked down over the top of Blair's head to see the young man sleeping peacefully.  He tuned in again to Blair's heartbeat. It sounded slower now, more regular. A twinge of relief touched his chest.

A whistle broke the silence and Jim listened as Joel grabbed the kettle from the stove and set about making the tea. Moments later, a gently steaming mug was lowered in front of his face. He looked up with a grateful smile and took the cup from Joel. "Thanks."

Keeping his other arm firmly around Blair, he shook the younger man. "Hey, Chief, wake up. Come on."

A groan answered him and he peered down to see Blair open his eyes and blink drowsily.

"Drink." Jim placed the rim of the mug on Blair's lips and tipped it slightly, pleased when his friend sipped eagerly at the warm liquid.

Finally, Blair pulled away from the cup, dropping his head back on Jim's chest with a contented sigh. "Waaarrm."

"Yeah, nice and warm, Chief." Jim handed the cup back to Joel. "Did they say what the ETA was on the ambulance?"

The former bomb squad captain shook his head. "No." He glanced at the storm raging outside the balcony windows. "Hell of a night for this to happen."

Jim nodded his agreement, then glanced back down at Blair who was gazing sleepily at the cackling fire.

"Sandburg?"

"Hmmm."

"Do you know where you are?" He had to decide just how serious Blair's head injury was. His training as a medic and his experience in the army had given him plenty of experience with concussions.

"Home," came the mumbled reply.

"Can you count backward from five?"

"Five... Four... Three... Two... One."

Jim smiled. "Good. That's good." Some of the worry that had been eating at him dissipated. Earlier, when Blair had been confused and emotional, he'd feared the worst. Those were all the signs of a fairly serious concussion. "Do you know what day it is?"

"Hmmm... Friday? Jags game?"

Jim breathed a sigh of relief. "Yeah, it's Friday. One more question."

"'Kay, Jim."

"What's ten times five?"

"Easy one. Fifty."

Jim chuckled, his eyes stinging. *He's gonna be okay.* "That's good, Chief. Real good."

"What happened?"

"You don't remember?"

Blair shook his head. "Not really. Was in my car. Window exploded."

Simon shifted on the floor. "Carjacking?"

Jim nodded. "Maybe."

The captain looked up and waved to the phone. "Joel, put an APB out on Blair's Volvo ASAP." Then he looked back down at Sandburg. "How'd you get home, son?"

"Walked. It was raining." Blair swallowed hard. "Head hurts."

Jim shifted slightly, the hard floor cutting into his tailbone. "Ambulance is on its way."

"No, Jim." Blair's voice sounded stronger now. "No ambulance. It's a mess outside. The hospital will be a madhouse. I'm fine."

"You have a concussion, Chief."

"I'm fine, man. Really. I'd go if I weren't, trust me, but we'll just end up waiting forever and we'll be taking the doctors away from other patients. Besides, I kind of want to stay right here. It's warm."

Jim sighed, uncertainty tugging at him. "Do you hurt anywhere?"

"Just my head a little."

"Ribs? Neck? Back?"

"No. I said I'm okay. Call off the ambulance."

Jim pressed his lips in a tight line. He couldn't really make Blair go to the hospital, but he'd really rather the kid got looked at by a doctor. "Are you really feeling all right? Be straight with me, Chief."

"My head hurts, but otherwise I feel fine, Jim. I promise. If it weren't pouring rain outside, I'd go, but you know how crazy the hospitals get with this type of weather."

"Okay, Chief." Jim glanced back at Joel. "Call off the ambulance... for now." He looked back down at Blair, who was still gazing at the fire. "If you feel dizzy or sick, I want you to tell me right away. Got it?"

Blair's eyes flicked up to Jim's face. "I promise." He stiffened slightly, then twisted his head around to look at the guys clustered in the living room. "We have company?"

Jim nodded, glancing at Joel as the officer talked into the phone, canceling the ambulance. "Jags game, remember."

Blair's cheeks flared red. "Oh yeah." He seemed to suddenly become more aware of his position, and he looked down at the sleeping bag and the strong arm crossed over his chest. "Uh... I don't have any clothes on, do I?"

Simon chuckled. "We left your boxers on."

Blair swallowed. "We?"

The three guys moved forward to stand around the fireplace next to Simon. Joel lowered the cordless phone. "Ambulance is canceled."

Brown grinned down at the young man. "Yeah, Hairboy, we got to see that fine physique of yours."

Blair groaned and closed his eyes. "Great. Just great."

Jim chuckled. "Would you rather we kept you in your cold, wet clothes."

Blair straightened suddenly, his eyelids shooting open. "My car! Oh man!"

Jim tightened his hold and placed his free hand over Blair's forehead to ease him back down. "Relax, Chief. We put an APB out on it."

"Oh right. But it's stolen. You know the odds of..."

The phone rang and Joel answered it. "Ellison's residence... Uh-huh... Really? Great… That's fantastic… Did they…? He'll be happy to hear that. We'll be down there ASAP. Might take us a few minutes longer than usual because of the storm... Okay... See ya." He hung up the phone and grinned at Sandburg. "They found your Volvo."

"What?!" Blair tensed again. "Already? How?"

"The carjackers were going a bit too fast around a corner and slid into a police car."

Simon chuckled. "A police car?"

"Oh man." Blair sank back against Jim. "I can't believe this. They crashed my car."

Joel chuckled. "Don't worry. That was Baker on the phone. He said your left tail light is crumpled, but the damage looks repairable. You've got collision, right?"

Blair nodded. "Yeah, yeah."

"So no need to worry."

"But I've got $150 deductible."

Jim sighed and rolled his eyes. "Would you stop worrying about the car and the money? Just be glad you're alive, Chief."

"Yeah, you're right.." Blair relaxed back against his partner, but his eyes flickered back to Joel. "Was my backpack in the car?"

Jim snorted, but Joel smiled and nodded. "Yep."

With a happy sigh, Blair closed his eyes. "Great. I had papers in there to grade. Students would have killed me."

"I think they would have understood, Chief."

"Hmmm-mmmn. You don't know undergrads, Jim."

"Well, they've got the guys down at the station. We should get going." Joel placed the phone back on the coffee table. "I'm figuring you don't remember what they looked like, Sandburg. Right?"

"Not a clue," Blair answered.

Simon moved toward the door. "Well, we'll leave you two lovebirds alone."

The other three officers chuckled, but Jim just glared at his captain. "Funny, Simon."

Blair ignored the comment, his thoughts obviously elsewhere. "Oh, hey, Joel, did Baker say whether they found my black leather jacket?"

"Chief..." Jim growled. "I'm gonna knock you out myself. I'll *buy* you another jacket, okay?"

Blair tilted his head back to look up at Jim. "That jacket has sentimental value Jim, okay? And my Swiss Army knife was in it."

Joel opened the door to leave. "One of the perps was wearing it. Don't worry, Blair, it looks like you got everything back. They didn't have time to get away with anything. As soon as they crashed into the cop car, they were arrested. Both officers recognized your car immediately. In fact, the APB had just come over the radio when the Volvo plowed into them."

Simon laughed and followed Joel into the hall, with Brown and Rafe on his heels. "Only Sandburg..." The door closed, cutting off the rest of the captain's remark.

"Hey!" Blair moved to get up. "I want to go. I--"

Jim sighed and wrapped both arms around the young man. "If you leave the loft tonight, it's to go to the hospital, Chief. Which is it? Here or the hospital?"

Blair sank back against him. "Here."

"I thought so." Jim shifted out from beneath Blair and guided him onto the pillow. "Now lay there and be a good little soldier. I'm gonna heat up your tea and get you some soup."

Blair cracked a lopsided smile, his gaze returning to the fire. "Thanks, Jim."

Looking at Blair bundled tightly in the sleeping back with only his head visible, his curls a chaotic mess, Jim couldn't help but chuckle. "No problem, Chief."

He grabbed the mug and moved into the kitchen, grinning happily and counting his blessings. Tonight could have ended with tragedy, but Blair was okay and, remarkably, the Volvo had been recovered with minimal damage. Most importantly, *Blair was okay.*

He made a mental note to call the insurance company in the morning. That $150 deductible would magically disappear. He'd take it out of Blair's rent money he'd been stashing away in a savings account for a rainy day. *And today is definitely a rainy day." He chuckled again as he glanced at the storm raging outside.

What Blair didn't know, wouldn't hurt him.




From: Kacik@aol.com

Julie, I hope you feel better soon !
Kaci

Trick or Treat

"Trick or Treat", the tiny voices rang out at the door. A Sailor, a clown and a Wizard were holding out their bags for candy. Blair chuckled as he dipped his hand into the bowl for some goodies.

"There you go, now be careful tonight and watch out for the traffic."

The little goblins raced from the door to make their way to the next apartment.

"Jim, we should've bought more candy, I don't think there's going to be enough to go around." Blair pulled out a chocolate bar munching away on it.

"If you don't stop eating it, there won't be any, Sandburg." Jim pulled Blair's hair as he went by him.  "How about running down to the corner market and get some more.  I'll stay here and man the door."

"Thanks, Jim."  Blair grabbed his coat, pulling the twenty dollar bill out of the basket they kept for Blair emergencies. "Now remember, don't give the tiny ones any large candy balls, they might choke. Just let them have the soft candy, and be sure to…

"Sandburg, I know *all* your rules. " Jim rolled his eyes at his partner and the mother hen of the neighborhood.

"Okay, okay."  Blair skipped the elevator, running down the steps.
~~~~~~

Jim glanced at the clock again.* Where is he?  It only takes ten minutes to go the corner store and back. It's already been about forty-five minutes. When he gets back, he's going to answer every knock, for each late trick or treater we get.*

Jim was finishing the latest trick or treat to a Frankenstein and a Werewolf, when the phone started ringing.  Shutting the door quickly he answered the last ring.

"Ellison.  Sanburg where are you?"

"Jim, this is Simon.  We've sort of a situation down at the station, we need you here immediately."

"Simon, I've been waiting for Blair to get back from the store, I can't really leave until he returns.  Can it wait?"

"No! Blair's here, there's something the matter with him. He's telling everyone you're Batman !  I tried to stop him but he's locked himself into the interrogation room.  He's says monster's are after him. I think he's hallucinating, big time!  Get down here, before we have to break in the door." Jim heard the clunk of the receiver.

Jim could hear his partner singing at the top of his voice. Listening, a smile lit his face for a second. "Monster Mash, it's a graveyard smash." Leave it to Blair to sing something so appropriate.

"Hey, Simon. I see he's still at it." Jim grinned at his Captain, then said loudly,   "Blair, open the door, buddy. Let me in…"

"Jim, is that you?  I thought the monsters had got you tonight." The soft whisper came through the door.

"No, it's me. Blair, did you have an accident or something after you left me?"  Jim listened to his friends heartbeat. It was a little fast but nothing major.

"Yes, there was a big monster after me. It had two glowing yellow eyes and made a large growling noise, then it squealed when it attacked me, look Jim!" Blair opened the door and pointed to his head, " see, it hit me but I got away so I ran here to the police so they could get their guns to shoot it."

Simon pulled Jim to him saying softly, "I think he was hit by a hit and run driver." Jim nodded his agreement.

Blair pushed past them running into the bullpen.

"Trick or treat! Trick or treat", he ran around the room tossing the candy on everyone's desk.  Suddenly he stopped, his hand going to his head. "Trick or treat!" A large thud sounded as Blair hit the floor.

"Chief!" Jim turned him over carefully checking his reflexes. "I think he's down for the count, someone get some water."

Blair groaned as consciousness returned. "Oh, I've got such a headache." He rubbed his head. "Please, don't tell me I ran around the bullpen offering candy to everyone?"

Everyone in the bullpen stood staring down at him with smiles on their faces. Taggert raised his hand, everyone started swaying and singing:

 I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash He did the monster mash
The monster mash It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash It caught on in a flash
He did the mash He did the monster mash

From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

They did the mash They did the monster mash
The monster mash It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash It caught on in a flash
They did the mash They did the monster mash

The zombies were having fun The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man Dracula and his son
The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, "The Crypt-Kicker Five"

They played the mash
They played the monster mash
The monster mash It was a graveyard smash
They played the mash It caught on in a flash
They played the mash They played the monster mash

 Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
 Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist And said,
"Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?"

 It's now the mash It's now the monster mash
The monster mash And it's a graveyard smash
It's now the mash It's caught on in a flash
 It's now the mash It's now the monster mash

Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
 When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

Then you can mash Then you can monster mash
The monster mash And do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash You'll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash Then you can monster mash.

Blair groaned, then whispered to Jim, " just take me
to the morgue.

Kaci

Monster Mash Bobby "Boris" Pickett and Written by Bobby Pickett
and Lenny Capizzi the Crypt-Kickers




From: LisaRosa@aol.com

Julie, I hope this story is finding you well on your way to feeling tons
better. :-)  This is my very first posted Sentinel story and I hope you enjoy
it.  I figured you probably need some laughter right now so I tried my best
to make it light-hearted so to speak.  Laughter is supposed to be the best
medicine.

Hope you're feeling better soon! :-)
Lisa Morrissey :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cybergerms
By Lisa Morrissey
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sniffling could be heard at Detective Ellison's desk along with the clicking
of the keyboard as Blair worked on the tall stack of paperwork.  Jim could
tell that he was definitely under the weather, and it was getting worse by
the minute.  The flu bug had been spreading throughout the city that winter,
and there was no way it was going to pass up this physically rundown young
man.  A round of coughing followed another sneeze.

"Chief, why don't you go home?" Jim asked as he walked up behind him, not
touching for fear of catching Sandburg's germs.

"I'm fine and this paperwork is starting to multiply like rabbits, man."
Blair glanced up at him before blowing his nose.

Jim shook his head, still wondering where all the forced energy was coming
from.  His friend had been up most of the night from what he could tell.
Refusing the cold medicine Jim offered to get from the store, Blair had
toughed it out through the night.  "You're going to make everyone else sick,
Sandburg, if you don't go home," Jim pointed out.  "I can hear your lungs
wheezing.  You need to be in bed," he said more softly, concern in his voice.

Sighing in defeat, Blair finally nodded.  "Just let me send a couple of
messages to Simon, H and Rafe then I'll be ready to go." He typed out the
messages just as the two in question came up to them.

"Hey, shouldn't you be in bed?" Rafe sat on the edge of the desk, giving the
observer a concerned look.

"Yeah, Jim was about to get rid of me.  By the way, I sent you a copy of that
statement that you wanted from the case you were working on with Jim."
Blair's voice came out hoarse and finally cracked on the last word.

"That's it, Sandburg. Let's go. We'll see you later, Rafe." Jim handed Blair
his coat before putting on his own.  The kid was looking flushed at that
point.  No doubt he had a fever.  Just as he was about to walk out with the
young man, Blair collapsed on to the floor, out cold.  "Blair?" Jim tapped
his face.  The observer just moaned and remained unconscious.

"Want me to call an ambulance?" Henry asked, rushing over with his partner.
He helped Jim pull Blair off the floor, and nearly carry him toward Simon's
office where a couch waited.  The captain was out of the office for the day.

"He's still breathing and he seems all right otherwise.  I think it's just
exhaustion and the flu.  I'll drag him to the doctor on the way home, but we
need to get him awake first." Jim lifted Blair's eyelids to examine his
pupils. Everything was fine there as far as he could tell.

"I'll get a cold rag." Henry took off for the lounge.

"He never does anything half way." Rafe shook his head as he waited to see
how Blair was doing.

"That he doesn't, which means more than likely he's going to pass this one to
us in someway." Jim glanced at his co-worker with a chuckled.  Germs had to
be everywhere in the office by that point.  Not just from Blair but from
others that had come into the station ill.

"Oh man, I hate being sick." Rafe put a couch pillow under the young man's
head on the armrest. "He was at your computer all day, Jim.  You're going to
have to disinfect that whole desk."

"I'll do that tomorrow when I come in." He shook his head, staring down at
his friend as he monitored his vitals.  Sandburg seemed fine, everything
sounded good with the exception of his lungs that wheezed whenever Blair took
a breath.  With a moan, the young man on the couch opened his eyes.

"What happened?" Sandburg opened his eyes, confused.

"You, Darwin, passed out.  I'm taking you to the doctor from here." Jim's
tone told his friend that there would be no arguing.

Giving in, Blair sighed and nodded. "All right.  Just let me rest here a
minute."

"H is getting you a cold rag to see if it will help." Jim sat in a chair next
to the couch when Rafe pulled a couple of chairs over toward the couch and
sat down in one of them.

"Sorry about this, Jim." Blair opened his eyes briefly again to give his
friend and the other detective an apologetic look.

"No need, Sandburg.  It happens to everyone at one time or another," Rafe
reassured him.

Brown returned with the washcloth and handed it to Blair who put it over his
eyes then forehead. "Thanks, Man." He closed his eyes again.

"No problem, Hairboy. We'll see you later.  Hope you get to feeling better."
Rafe and Brown headed out the door with H giving Blair a good-natured swat to
the shoulder before he left.

"Can't go to sleep, Chief, doctor's first." Jim shook his arm slightly when
he senses that Sandburg was about to fall asleep.

"All right, but you're going to have help me up." Blair held his hand out
which Jim took and pulled to help him sit up.

"Just sit there for a minute to make sure you're not going to pass out
again." He waited and watched his friend's face closely for any sign that he
was blacking out again.  After a few minutes, Jim was sure Sandburg was on a
steady level then helped him to his feet. "How are you doing so far?"

"With the exception that I feel like my body is made out of lead, I'm doing
fine." He croaked as they slowly made their way out of the office and toward
Jim's desk again where he grabbed his keys and Blair's backpack.

"Don't forget to disinfect the computer and desk, Jim," Blair unknowingly
repeated Rafe's earlier warning.

"I won't, believe me.  Can't end up stuck in the Loft with you all day," Jim
teased, chuckling as he turned the thing off, his hand covered with the
sleeve of his sweater.

"Haha, very funny, Jim." Blair raised his tired eyes to his friend, slowly
shaking his head at the joke.

"Come on, Chief, let's get you home." Ellison slapped him gently on the
shoulder as they walked out.

****

The next morning, Jim walked into the office, sitting down at his desk,
forgetting about the fact that Blair's cold germs were probably all over it.
He started his computer and sat back while it booted up.  A sneeze could be
heard coming from someone at the coffee pot across the room. Turning to see
who it was, Jim had to shake his head. "Don't tell me…"

"Next time Sandburg insist coming in to work sick, tie him to the bed at
home, okay?" Rafe joked, blowing his nose into a tissue. "How's he doing?"

"Better.  The doctor gave him something to help knock him out so he could
breathe and rest.  He was still in bed when I left which is where you should
be." Ellison gave him a look that told his fellow detective that he should
follow his own advice.

"I'm heading there.  Brown out sick too, by the way." Rafe headed back to his
desk.

Jim chuckled and started on the paperwork that Blair had left the day before.
 Throughout the day, Ellison could feel his head becoming stuffy until
finally it was hard to breathe through his nose and his throat was very sore.
 It finally occurred to him that he hadn't cleaned the computer or the desk
before he started on the paperwork. Finally, after another hour of trying to
breathe, Jim gave up on trying to concentrate on the work.

"Sir, I'm heading home.  Sandburg gave me the flu.  I'll see you tomorrow."

"I'll you tomorrow or the next day if you're still not better.  Don't push
yourself or the kid.  We don't need anyone else here down with this stuff."
Simon sat back in his chair.

"I think we might be too late.  Rafe and Brown have it too." Jim was barely
staying on his feet.

"All right, I'll call for help from the other districts while you're out.  Go
home and take care of yourself.  Tell the kid thanks for sending the email on
the Sullivan case." Simon pointed at his computer then sneezed.

"I'll tell him, Sir, Thanks. Take care of yourself." Jim shook his head,
wondering how it was that everyone that got an email from Blair got sick.  It
was a strange mystery.

*****

Jim made it back home within minutes, wanting nothing more than to lie down
in his own bed and sleep.  He quietly went into the loft, trying not to wake
his friend.

"Jim?" Blair sat up from the couch where he had been resting and watching TV.

"Hey, Chief.  Looks like you passed your cybergerms all over Major Crimes,"
he joked as he sat heavily in the chair next to the couch, his energy level
way down by that point, but not so much that he couldn't take advantage of
the moment to have a little fun with his roommate.

"Cybergerms?" Blair gave him a puzzled expression.

"Yeah, everyone you sent email to with my computer has come down with your
flu, including me." Jim watched his friend out of the corner of his eye.

"You're kidding right?" The young man glanced over at his friend.  It was
obvious from the glassy eyed look he was giving Ellison that he was not
catching on because he was still very medicated from the medicine.  Very
gullible and will to believe anything anyone told him.

"Nope, not kidding.  Even the captain is coming down with it.  Cybergerms can
be nasty, you know." Jim was trying very hard to keep a straight face.

From the light bulb that seem to go off his in eyes, Jim could tell that
somewhere in his fuzzy brain, Blair finally caught on. "Oh you had me going,
Man." Laughing, Sandburg weakly threw a couch pillow at him.

"I'm heading up to bed, Chief, I'll see you later." Jim was still laughing,
with coughs in between, as he headed up the stairs to his room.

Lying back down on the couch, Blair shook his head with a chuckle and a
cough. "Cybergerms." He shook his head and returned to watching TV.


From: Ihket <ihket@radiks.net>

Just a little weirdness to go with all my good thoughts and prayers for your recovery. Be well and know that you are loved.

Legal stuff: Not mine, belong to pet fly, you know the drill. Not beta'd all mistakes are mine (not pet fly's) remember the A,C and M key rule, if a word doesn't make sense, insert appropriate letter as needed.

The Report
By Ihket

    I’m tired, no make that exhausted beyond all reason. I have to wonder why I do this to my self, I’ve been wondering a lot lately. I don’t sleep, I don’t eat…well, I just go, I mean there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all I have to do, well that’s not really fair, it’s more what I want to do. I do have a choice and I have chosen this life. It’s a pretty good one too, if you cut out all the serial killers, mad bombers and other psychopaths that invariably seem to come my way, I’m pretty content here. Who knew that would happen?

   Certainly not me. Blair ‘detach with love’ Sandburg has a home, a real home and a friend, no, a brother. I couldn’t ask for more, okay well maybe sleep, yes I could definitely ask for sleep. Sleep would be good.

    I know it’s bad, my brain is having a heated argument with, uh, itself about the abuse it’s suffering. Man I wish the locusts that seem to have taken up residence in my ears would keep it down, don’t they know I’m trying to concentrate here.  I know what’s coming, I am defiantly heeded for a crash, it’s kind funny really, though I know Jim won’t be amused. Things are really getting weird in this brain of mine, I want to laugh as I look at Henri, he’s not doing anything really just sitting at
his desk tapping a pencil against his head, but the look on his face, he’s not there, I mean he’s totally gone. His mouth is hanging open and his eyes are glazed over, man Henri you really need to take a break. A break, now that sounds like a plan, of course a break would mean moving from the desk and walking away which is not something I think I am capable of right now. Huh, I guess no break for me. Oh well, back to typing for me. That’s odd the monitor is filled with Z’s, that’s not
really odd it’s hysterical. I’m hallucinating! I know I laughed out loud this time, I can tell because people are staring at me, including Henri who seems to be back from where ever he went earlier. I didn’t actually hear myself laugh, who can hear over those damn locusts, who said they could move in there anyway. Geez, locusts partying in my ears. Sandburg you are really loosing it. Hey would you look at that, the reports back. Note to self, remember to thank the computer fairy.

    I have a headache now and I am really starting to feel like crap. I really should go home now, but I have to finish something. What? That is such an excellent question, wish I knew the answer. Okay who’s the wiseguy that’s playing the jeopardy theme? Must be the locusts. Now what was I doing? Report, that’s it Jim’s report…what the- how did that get
there? Okay so we’ve moved beyond weird and now are firmly planted in surreal, cause there are sheep dancing around the monitor. Ohmygod, they’re baa-ing, oh man one just fell asleep, I’d really like to join him. Shit there’s a space ship, run sheep run! This cannot be good, one of them just got beamed up, what the hell do aliens want with sheep anyway?

   “What’s so funny, Hairboy?”

    Henri is standing over me, looking at me like I am insane, which at this point is very likely true. “Sheep man, there’s sheep in the computer.” It’s all I can do to contain my self, because I know sheep have no business in Jim’s computer. Henri rolls his eyes and walks back to his desk, mumbling about practical jokers and silly programs. The sheep are all sleep now, which is very much what I’d like to be doing. Maybe I could just keep watch the sheep; I could sleep vicariously through them. Sheep are really cute when they sleep.  I really need to finish this report, but I don’t want to disturb the sheep, they look so peaceful with those little Z’s floating above them.

“SANDBURG!”

    Shit! I’m on my feet now, which is not a good thing cause the room is spinning, really spinning. I look up and see Jim and Simon staring back at me, and I was right. Jim is definitely not amused. He says something to me, but the locusts have kicked it up a notch and I can’t hear a damn thing over the noise and then I’m falling, I know this because I don’t see Jim anymore, I don’t see anything.

   The locusts have moved out. I am overjoyed. Really I am, the buzzing was grating on my nerves. There are a couple of things I need to figure out. First among them where am I? Second is why cant I see?

    “Chief? Open your eyes buddy.”

    Jim, that’s Jim and that’s good news. It means I’m okay. He sounds concerned, and I wonder what happened.

    “Come on open your eyes.”

    My eyes are closed, more good news, I’m not blind. Okay so I should open my eyes, easier said than done though, my eyelids seem to have developed an attitude problem and refuse to obey. It’s an order guys not a suggestion. Finally I can see, huh? Oh man, well there’s another mystery solved. According to my surroundings I am in the hospital... again. So this less than thrills me and now I really want to know what happened. I take a minute to evaluate my condition, I don’t hurt anywhere, well except my head. I remember having a headache, did I hit my head? Okay so other than my headache I feel okay. I am obviously not going to figure this out on my own.

    “What happened?” was that my voice? Do I have a cold or something?

    “You passed out chief, how do you feel?”

     I did? “I did?”

    “Yes you did, not sleeping or eating for days on end will do that to you.”

     Uh oh, he’s not happy with me, but I do remember now and he’s right, this was bound to happen, I have no one but my self to blame. “Sorry man.”

    “We’ll talk about it later, and we *will* talk about it. Now how do you feel?”

    “Okay I guess, head hurts a little.” maybe I could work the sympathy angle here and he won’t yell later, well he doesn’t actually yell a lot, he discusses with vehemence. Still it’s something I’d like to avoid if at all possible.  “When can I go home?”

    “A couple of hours, they want to check your blood sugar again.”

    He sighs and I can see the lines of worry etched in his face. I feel terrible bout this. “I am really sorry.”

    “You scared the hell out of me chief. You’ve got to stop doing this to yourself, how long had it been since you slept or ate for that matter?”

    I don’t know how to answer that. Really I don’t mostly because I can’t remember. Uh that’s not good, even I can recognize that. “A while I guess.” It’s as honest an answer as I have at this point.

    “Yeah a while. Well you’re off for the next week.”

    I open my mouth to argue, but he cuts me off.

    “Simon’s orders, he’s going to need that long to recover from the heart attack you almost gave him.”

    Oh man, Simon I am really sorry. “So I take it I face planted in front of everyone?”

    “Yep.”

    He’s grinning at me. I passed out infront of everyone and he’s grinning at me, does he have any idea how embarrassing that is? I just want to bury my self under the covers and never come out. Could this get any worse? “I am so humiliated.” What a moment ago I thought was impossible happens. Jim’s grin gets even bigger as he pulls out a folded paper.

    “Henri thought you might want to save a copy of this.”

    He hands me the paper. “What’s this?”

    “The report you were working on.”

    Here I am lying in a hospital and Jim can hardly contain his laughter, there is something so not right about this. I unfold the paper and begin to read and I learn all to quickly that indeed things can get worse. “Oh man!”

    “I especially like the part about the alien sheep-napping. Henri preferred the not disturbing the sleeping sheep, thought it was, and I quote ‘precious’ and Rafe-.”

    “Stop okay, oh man I’m sorry but now I can never go back. I can’t believe I wrote all that, oh man!” I want to die now, really I do. How the hell did that happen, last I knew it was impossible for your brain to leak out your fingers, onto your keyboard. Yet magically it happened because there it is staring back at me, the insane ramblings of exhaustion. Where does my mind come up with this stuff? I can never face those guys again. I can’t believe this.

    “Get some rest chief, I’ll go see about getting you sprung.”

    Please oh please yes get me out of here, I don’t know how I know but they’re coming. Simon, H, Rafe, Joel they’re all coming and I can’t very well hide in a hospital now can I? At home at least I can lock my self in my room. “Okay Jim, I would *really* like to go home.”

  “Sit tight junior, I’ll be back.”

   I nod as he leaves, this will never happen again, I will never let my self get that fried ever again. Jim man I hope you get back soon, cause I think they’re on their way here and I really don’t think I can handle them. Maybe tomorrow or next year but really really not now, just get me out of here and I promise I’ll take better care of my self. I swear, just get me out of here before they get here-

    “Hairboy!”

    Oh man!



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