1. My Loft for a Tissue by Kim
  2. A Tale of Two Six Packs by Nickerbits
  3. Giftfic for Jules by Suisan "Sue" R.
  4. Show Me the Way to Go by JET
  5. 100% by Trish
  6. Blair and the Bear by Stargazer


From: "Kim" <ashber@ncats.net>

My Loft for a Tissue
By Kim Hamilton
For Exclusive for the SA list.
(Go ahead and Archive at SAHomepage)

   "I tole you I don't want to." Jim sniffled, tossing another tissue into the near over flowing wastebasket by his bed. It missed the trash can, bouncing down the stairs. Glaring after the tissue, Jim resisted the urge to go down the stairs after it. Just this once he could let it go.

   "Jim, man, just try it," Sandburg shoved the cup at his Sentinel again, as Jim turned his head away from the offered mug.

   "Nobe. Go away, go do sompeting. Anyting." Jim folded his arms across his chest, nose still pointed away from the offered cup.

   "Fine. Be miserable. See if I care." Blair snapped, slamming the mug down on Jim's nightstand. //Problem is I do care.//

   Stomping down the steps, Blair threw his hands over his head in anger. "Stupid...stubborn........Butthead!!"

   "WHAT?!" Jim bellowed over the side of his bed, sending him into a fit of coughing. Standing near the bottom stair, Blair listened with his eyes closed as Jim dryly coughed himself into a painful ball.

   "Drink the tea, man," Blair urged, resisting the instinct to run to his friend's side. Jim hadn't responded well to kindness, in fact, he'd become a down right petulant child about Blair helping him do anything. Now Blair was opting for a little tough love. //Yeah, tough on me. I can't take deal hearing him hack a lung out. It's driving me crazy!!// Listening to his friends heavy breathing, caught tight in a sick throat, Blair stepped down when his foot hit something soft and slick.

   "WHOOOAAAAAAAAA!!!"

   *BAM*the sound of solid flesh impacting with the wooden floor boards, caused Jim to wince.

   *THUNK!* Followed by the hollow thump of a head impact against the floor was equally jarring. Instead of normal cursing or even a cry of pain, there was only silence to Jim's clogged ears.

   "Sandburg?" he called out, lifting his head. Sniffing the air, he coughed, choking briefly on his own phlegm, as Ellison achily climbed out of bed. "This isn't funny, Chief."

   Stumbling to the top of the stairs, Jim froze momentarily as his entire world slowed to a halt. Blair laid at the bottom of the stairs, a pool of blood around his head as if a red halo. Sightless eyes stared upwards at the ceiling as Jim dropped to his knees.

   "Nooo NO!!! NOOOO!!!!"

******

   "Jim, man, Wake up!" A solid hand grabbed his shoulders, pinning him down. "C'mon man!!"

   "Blair?" Jim yelped, staring up into frantic blue eyes.

   "Who else?" His roommate asked, mouth set in a grim line. "Damn it, you scared me half to death."

   "Oh crap." Jim grabbed Blair into a bone crushing hug, burying his face in the wild curls that tickled his face, torturing his skin as Ellison turned every sense up to full max. Running his hands over Blair's head, he checked for bruises and bumps, feeling the thick pulse of Sandburg's heart beneath his fingertips through the thin skin of his skull.

   "Oooo-kay Jim." Blair pushed Jim's hands away, eyebrow's climbing into his forehead. Escaping from Jim's grip, he gave the cop a serious once over. " I think its time for the serious medication now."

   "Gotcha. Lay them on me." Jim nodded as Blair stopped. The Anthroplogist blinked once, twice, then again as his mouth hung open in complete shock.

   "Oh god, you're dying, aren't you?" Blair hissed, his jaw snapping shut with an audible click.

   "Nobe, I just don't want to be sick for much longer." Jim mildly arranged his bedsheet, tucking everything back the way it was supposed to be before he had mauled his guide. " Just make sure it doesn't taste like mud. I don't drink mud or eat algae or anything I can't pronouce."

   "No mud, not a problem." Blair paused at the edge of the staircase, looking back over his shoulder at Ellison. "You look like Jim. Sound like him too. What did you do with the real one?"

   "Shut up smartass." Jim huffed. "I'm sick and I need to get well."

   "Shutting up..." Blair snickered, shaking his head as he started to take a step.

   "Hey Chief," Jim spoke softly, watching Sandburg with eagle eyes. "Hold the hand rail, would ya?"

   "The handrail?" Blair stared at Jim, begining to shake his head. " It's the fever, I know, but you're still freaking me out here."

   "Humor me." Jim snapped in such a dangrous tone that Blair locked one hand around the slender rail for all he was worth instantly.

   "I'll bring you some tissues too," Blair added, pointedly looking over to where the empty tissue box sat on Jim's nightstand.

   "Never mind!" Jim hopped out of bed as quickly as he was able, gathering his comforter up. "I'll camp out on the couch for a while. Simpsons is on in a little bit."

   "Okay Jim," Blair sighed, slowly walking down the stairs, his Sentinel a paranoid footstep behind him. "You want to explain this later on?"

   "Maybe." Jim lied, knowing it wouldn't happen until Blair pried it out of him later. Much much later.

   Blair smiled, stepping safely onto the floor of the loft. A breath Jim didn't know he was holding was released in a gust of relief.

   "Sit. I'm going to make some... Whoa!!!" Blair shrieked as he hit the floor with a solid thump. " Ow ow ow!!! Dammit!!!"

   "Uh, yeah I could use some more tissues too." Jim whispered, quickly making his way to the couch.

   "I slipped on your stupid Shoes!!!" Blair yelled, stomping into the kitchen. "The house rules only work for me??"

   "Yup." Jim snickered, casting a glance back up at the staircase. "I'm sick. The rules don't apply then."

   "I need mud." Blair muttered as Jim began to chuckle.

The end....

okay it was also Jim owies and Blair didn't pass out, but I hope that it was still alright..

Kim



From: nickerbits@nni.com

Hey, Julie -

I hope you're feeling lots and lots better real soon. Please remember, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

This fic's for you! Sorry, I really do like you better than this story might indicate, but my sarcasm/cynicism genes were in full cry and demanded this be written. Uhm, I thought maybe the disgust might give you the strength you need to fight off this illness?

Okay, here we go - Not mine, no money, don't sue.

A TALE OF TWO SIX PACKS
Nickerbits

"Hey, Jim, when is that partner of yours going to get back with more beer? A man could get parched around here." Rafe's voice came out in a dry, strangled croak as he lolled his tongue, trying to demonstrate his dire circumstances as graphically as possible.

"Well, Rafe, if you're really *that* thirsty, there's always milk, water or orange juice in the refridgerator...." The big detective's voice trailed off in a chuckle at the sight of the other man's disgusted moue.

"Geez, Jim, I was looking for something that's actually *fit* to drink -"

Turning from the television set, Simon's authoritative voice broke through the conversation taking place in the kitchen. "Can you two please keep it down? Some of us are trying to watch this movie, you know."

"Sorry, Sir," the two men chorused, their voices sounding anything but properly contrite. "We'll try harder to meet with your most esteemed approval in the future."

Simon's laughter echoed through the loft. "What, did you two practice that line just so you could use it sometime?"

Jim's answering jab was preempted by the sound of slow footsteps in the hallway outside in the hallway. Striding quickly to the door, the Sentinel threw it open. "About time you got back with that beer, Sandburg..." His words died in his throat as he took in the sight of his roommate.

The younger man leaned heavily against the door jamb, his curly brown hair matted with blood, obscuring most of his face. His jeans hung in tatters around his legs, with vicious scratches and bites visible on the exposed flesh. A battered six-pack of beer hung from nearly nerveless fingers in each hand, two of the bottles broken, leaking pale amber liquid on the hardwood floors of the loft.

"Oh, thank god! You got the beer!" Rafe leaped forward, hands reaching out to grab at least one bottle of the precious brew, but was stopped by a laser blue glare from the more senior detective.

"Don't you think that just maybe we should check whether Blair's okay before we start guzzling down the beers?" Stretching out a strong, yet gentle hand, Jim ran his fingers lightly down the side of his friend's face.

"Blair, c'mon, Blair, what's happened?" Moving slowly and carefully, Jim reached out and gently snagged the two six packs, setting them safely aside before turning back to his reeling partner.

"Oh, Jim, Jim, it was terrible." Staggering forward a step, Blair's world suddenly went completely black as he sagged toward the floor.

"Whoa, Chief! Hold on just a minute there!" With a leap worthy of his spirit guide, the Sentinel managed to intercept his Guide just before the younger man's head impacted with the floor. "You know what a hard time I had getting the blood stains out the last time you collapsed on me." Settling Blair's head on his lap, Jim looked up at the faces of Rafe and Simon, crowding around, each sucking eagerly on one of the brews.

"Can one of you guys get me a warm, wet washcloth and one of those beers?"

Simon hesitated momentarily as he reached toward the six pack. "Jim, are you sure that Blair should really have a beer with that head wound?"

"Oh, get serious, Simon! The beer is for me!" Taking a quick hit off the sweating brown bottle, Jim tenderly brushed back the anthropologist's lank curls, dabbing at the long gash exposed at the hairline.

"Blair, Blair, what happened?" He spoke gently, as the other man's eyes fluttered open groggily. "I sent you out with enough money for a whole case of beer, and you only came back with two six packs. Now, I *know* you wouldn't just pocket the extra money for yourself, would you? I thought you'd learned your lesson last time." The bigger man's voice hardened, and his fingers tightened threateningly around the younger man's wrist as he finished.

Blair arched up at the pain in his grinding wrist bones as he gasped a reply for his Sentinel. "No, no, Jim! Really! I promise I learned my lesson last time! It was Mrs. Carbunckle and those attack chihuahuas of hers! They hit me as I was leaving the liquor store - it was horrible, Jim! There must have been five or six of them. I tried to fight them off, but they got tangled in my legs and I tripped and hit my head on the dumpster in the alley. They started grabbing the six packs and dragging them off! I tried, but I could only save two of them. I'm really, really sorry, Jim. I did my best. Jim, I know I was groggy, but I could have sworn I heard Mrs. Carbunckle say, 'That's it boys! Let's make a run for the border!'" The younger man's eyes closed on the last word, and he slipped back into the velvet arms of unconciousness.

Picking his injured Guide up, Jim laid Blair gently on the couch, carefully covering him with a blanket before picking up his pistol and turning to Simon and Rafe, standing expectantly behind him. "Well, what are you waiting for, men! We have a chihuahua hunt to attend to and beer to recover! We can't let them escape across the border!"

With one final glance at their fallen warrior, the three men stormed out of the loft, intent on revenge and reclamation of all the brew that was rightfully theirs.



From: Suisan@aol.com

Jules,

This one's for you, Babe! And since it was suggested to me by my beta reader that I somehow take the time to rewrite this later -- I'll probably try to do so just for her. {{Carol}} For now, it's just a snippet from the dark recesses of my mind. Oh, and any medical inaccuracies are all mine! Hey, I didn't have time to corner a Doctor or my mother (a nurse) before writing this.....

Special Thanks to my beta, CarolRoi, who was nice enough to beta read this while writing her own Gift Fic. Which is one of the few I've actually read so far.

Story is Untitled. But I'm open to suggestions. <g>

Warning: The case discussed within is an actual case in my hometown, but has not yet gone to trial so the names have been change (and most of the "evidence" as well) to protect the innocent.

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

Disclaimers: Okay, just to satisfy the 'legal-beagles' (even though we all know the routine) -- The Sentinel, The Guide and all of Major Crimes in Cascade, Washington do not belong to me. They are the exclusive property of Pet Fly Productions, Paramount Studios, and (darn it, do I have to admit to this?) UPN. I'm only taking them out for a little bit of exercise and promise to put them back, relatively, unharmed. I'm making no money off of this effort, and it's done purely so that Julie Goldwyn may read it as she recovers from a really *nasty* accident.

Personal Note: Jules? Hope that you are doing better, and stay that way! You have an awesome support group behind you, and we're all keeping you in our prayers and thoughts.

Archive: Sentinel Angst List Exclusive. For now. <g>

GiftFic For Jules by Suisan "Sue" R.
October & November 1999

He had trouble recalling his own name, let alone where he was, as he found himself staring at a computer screen with no clue as to what the words there were trying to convey to his weary mind. Sitting back in the high-backed chair with a barely audible creak, Blair Sandburg rubbed his tired eyes and tried to get his mind back on track.

Four days ago, he'd been at the station trying to assist his roommate, Detective James Ellison, catch up on paperwork when Captain Simon Banks blew into the Major Crimes Bullpen like a gale force wind.

"Ellison! My office, now!"

As the Police Observer watched his partner wince, he reached out, and with a voice too low for anyone but Jim to hear, did what he thought of as his 'real' job, Guide to the Sentinel of Cascade. "Turn the dial down, man. Got it?"

Ellison nodded, and gave a small grin of thanks, as he stood up from his own chair and calmly followed the irate commander of his division into his office. Everyone in the bullpen jumped as the door to the Captain's office slammed shut with such a force that Rhonda, the Division secretary, flinched away from the door, as if expecting the glass to shatter and come raining down on her.

Twenty minutes later, Detective James Ellison had a nasty new case to investigate and being the kind of person that he was, Blair volunteered to help him.

******

Thirteen. The victim was only thirteen years old. Male. Blonde. Good looking, but you couldn't tell from the way the body had been treated. Beaten severely. Suffocated. Naked. Brutally abused. And his mother had let him go with his abusers, thought they were good friends of the family. Strong male role models for her little boy.

She had collapsed when Jim, with Blair's help, had broken the news to her. She was still under observation at Cascade General hospital, she didn't know the two men she had entrusted her boy to while she went to work, had confessed to the crime. Bragged about it.

While the two men had been sitting in lock up, in separate cells, the younger of the two had started to brag to his fellow cell-mates just how wonderful it had felt to feel the life slowly drain from the young boy's body. His older partner had been on the phone to the ambulance, trying to get help, as he started to shred the files that showed how the two of them had planned this whole weekend from the very moment they had laid eyes on the good looking blonde kid that was the son of their cousin.

Now, not only did the Prosecuting Attorney's Office have the files the two defendants had tried to destroy, but a double handful of witnesses from the Detention center that were more than willing to testify against the two men. Open and shut case. A slam dunk.

He'd seen the body and the look of horror on the face, frozen there for all time. It contrasted starkly with the school photo taken not more than a month before the boy's death, the young man smiling without a care in the world, the background bright and colorful, like his future should've been. Nightmares had haunted Blair for three nights. It had progressed to the point where he feared closing his eyes, afraid of what he would find inside the darkness.

Four days. Three nights. No sleep. He was unable to keep anything on his stomach very long. Over worked, no reserves left, and with a hovering roommate, who kept asking him to open up to him, to talk about the case, what he was feeling. Rage. Hopelessness. Despair. Anger.

Pushing away from the desk and the computer monitor, which mocked him with the words of his own report, Blair stood up.

"Want another cup of coffee, Jim?"

"Nah, I've had enough," Jim answered as he looked up at his none too steady partner. "You might want to lay off it too, Junior. We'll be finished here in a few minutes and Simon has ordered us out of here for the rest of the weekend."

"You don't understand, I need another cup if I'm going to finish that report..."

Blair's words faded as he turned away from the desk and made his way to the breakroom. Jim watched and without thinking about it, used his senses to track his Guide to his destination.

"Ellison?"

He barely pulled back his hearing in time to avoid the sensory spike. "Yeah, Rhonda?"

"Lab just called. They found something you should take a look at."

"Now?"

Rhonda shrugged. "Sounded important."

Growling, he stood up from his desk, saving the file he was working on to the hard drive, and made his way down the hall to the elevator. As he passed by Joel Taggart's desk, he quietly addressed the man. "Joel? Watch Sandburg for me, will you?"

Joel hadn't been fooled. He knew that the case that Ellison, and therefore Sandburg, had been working on had been gruesome, and that the Observer had devoted much of his spare time to the case. "Sure, Jim. Where is he anyway?" He also knew of thedetective's fierce protectiveness of his partner, and knew that the older man of the Division's 'Odd Couple' was in full hover mode.

Jim nodded over his shoulder. "Breakroom. Coffee."

"Gotcha."

"I'll be down in the Lab. Shouldn't take too long."

"Go. He'll be fine." Joel watched as the detective headed towards the elevator. Deciding that he, too, needed a refresher on his own coffee, Captain Joel Taggart grabbed up his cold coffee mug and headed towards the breakroom and the sludge that someone joking referred to as coffee.

Entering the breakroom, Joel found the young Observer leaning heavily against the counter, sipping judiciously from a steaming mug. "Hey, Blair. Long day? You look worn out."

"Hey, Joel. You could say that." Blair sipped at the dark brew in his mug, then cradled the hot porcelain in both hands.

Using the sink to rinse out his coffee cup, Joel used the actions to make his own observations of the Observer. Pale. Dark circles under the eyes. Blood shot orbs that only served to brighten the denim blue irises. It was the body language that caught his attention though. Fatigue. Exhaustion. Refilling his cup with the coffee flavored sludge, he managed to get closer to the kid. Reaching out, he placed a considerate hand on a slumped shoulder. "Have you gotten any sleep since this case broke open?"

"A little."

"Bull."

Blair snorted. Of all the people in Major Crimes, outside of Jim and Simon, Joel Taggart probably knew him the best. "You're right. It's bull. I'll get some sleep tonight." Looking up to see the man's dubious expression, he said, "I promise!"

Lifting his hand off the shoulder, Joel realized just how warm the kid had seemed to him. "You coming down with something there, Blair? A cold?"

"God, I hope not! I have finals starting Monday. Why?"

He shrugged. "Just seemed a little warm to me, that's all."

"Must be that 'Father's Instinct' that I've seen you pull on Brown and Rafe."

"Never hope to lose it either." With a kindly smile, he made his way to the door of the breakroom, then turned back to look at the Observer one more time. "Oh, before I forget, Jim had to run down to the lab, said he'd be back shortly."

Raising his warm mug in salute, Blair nodded. "Thanks. Maybe we'll get out of here soon so I can get home."

Shaking his head, Joel let out a chuckle. "Just remember, sleep sometime between now and Monday. Okay? And eat something, I swear, you're losing weight." He slipped out of the breakroom and returned to his own desk to get back to the file he'd been working on.

Blair watched him go, then sank back against the counter again. Downing the last dregs of liquid in his mug, he turned to replenish his stock of go juice, only to have the room spin around him. "Whoa! Slow down." Firmly grasping the counter with one hand, he shakily placed his precious, hand thrown pottery coffee mug on the counter as the dizzy spell passed. "Okay. Better. Much better." He waited a few moments before refilling his mug and heading back to the bullpen.

******

Jim couldn't believe their luck. The fingernail scrapings from under the young victim's nails showed that he had struggled in his last moments of life, and matched almost perfectly the preliminary results of the FBI's DNA report. More evidence that, contrary to the statements given by the suspects, the kid had not willingly participated in the act that eventually lead to his death. He wanted another go at the younger of the two suspects in the interrogation room. But it could wait. Let the punk sweat it out in holding over the weekend. He had a partner, a Guide, to take care of first.

He closed the file in his hand as the elevator opened back up on the seventh floor, only to have his ears pick up the sounds of worried confusion coming from Major Crimes. The actions came automatically, as he'd been trai ned to do, and he filtered out the sounds assaulting his auditory senses.

//"Get an ambulance up here!"//

//"What the hell happened?"//

*Thump*

*Thump. Thump*

*Thump*

//"Here, use this. He hit his head pretty hard when he went down."//

*Thump*

//"Head wounds bleed like crazy. Rhonda! Where's that ambulance?"//

*Thump. Thump*

//"Enroute. ETA three minutes."//

*Thump*

"Heartbeat. Too slow. Chief's?" Jim started moving, plowing through people that were blocking his way into the bullpen, still not sure of what was happening.

//"Serena said that Ellison left the lab a few minutes ago.."//

He burst through the crowd, only to come to a screeching halt at the sight that greeted his eyes. Rafe was cradling Blair's head in his lap while pressing a blood soaked handkerchief to the temple of the unconscious Guide. "Sandburg? What the hell happened?!?"

"Watch your step, Jim!" Simon warned as the obviously worried detective made his way through the gathering crowd to his fallen partner's side.

Glancing down, he spotted the reason for his Captain's concern. Blair's hand thrown pottery mug lay in a widening pool of dark liquid, coffee by the smell of it, its pieces scattered, shattered beyond all hope of repair. "Got it. Captain? What happened?" He carefully stepped around the spill and the broken pottery as he knelt down beside his unconscious friend.

"Not real sure. I looked up when I heard a crashing noise, then I watched as Sandburg wilted." Simon paused in his narration as Rhonda handed him another handkerchief to pass on to Rafe who was trying to stem the flow of blood from the gash on the temple of the Police Observer.

Jim concentrated and listened as Simon explained what had happened as he tried to ascertain the condition of his Guide. His Shaman. Best Friend. The other half of his soul. The heartbeat that he'd grown so accustomed to over the years was thready, but still quite strong. Respirations were shallow, almost as if the young man was in a great deal of pain and trying to fight it off. Tilting his head, he focused in tighter on the lung sounds; clear. No sign of wheezing or fluid build up. Reaching out with both hands, the sentinel picked up one lax hand, nearly dropping it when the heat, the fever, raging through his friend's body assailed his sense of touch. He was brought back to reality when a cool hand landed on his shoulder. Looking up at the intruder, Jim met the cool gray eyes of Garry Metcalf, Paramedic, one of the best in Cascade.

"Jim? Stay put. Michelle?" Garry looked over at his EMT partner, "Take over for detective Rafe, will you?" He dropped his gear bag and knelt down beside Blair Sandburg's unnaturally still form.

The next few minutes were lost in a blur of activity, questions and orders that Garry relayed over his radio connection with the hospital. "Roger, Cas-Gen. Will transport. ETA ten minutes."

With the help of Michelle, Jim and Garry were able to load Blair onto a backboard and onto the gurney with a minimum of movement. The paramedic had, at some point, started an IV drip of 9% normal saline, immobilized the head and neck of his patient and had hastily dressed the head wound. With barely a glance at the worried roommate of his patient, Garry nodded for Michelle to get rolling. Officers and detectives alike cleared the path for them, not at all surprised when Ellison followed them--still holding onto his friend's hand.

Captain Simon Banks made eye contact with Captain Joel Taggart, who merely nodded his acceptance of the unspoken request that he take command of the Division, as he too followed the gurney bearing the Observer out of the bullpen. With a gentle hand of persuasion, he guided the sentinel into the elevator, crowded with the gurney, two medics andtwo police officers.

Garry and Michelle needed no assistance to load the lightly loaded gurney into the treatment bay of their ambulance. That was the first time since finding Blair on the floor of the bullpen that Jim had let go of his partner. Simon had wisely used that moment to direct the distraught man to his sedan, and they followed close behind the ambulance as it weaved through the late afternoon traffic to the hospital.

The admissions clerk at the Emergency Room had been warned and had the paperwork ready for Ellison to sign when he and his Captain entered the quiet waiting room.

An hour later, Doctor David Abrams found the two men pacing the floor of a private lounge area. "Ellison?"

Jim pivoted on his heel to face the young doctor. "What is it?"

David put on his best reassuring smile. "Nothing that a few days in our care won't cure." Seeing that the tall man was about to collapse himself, he stepped forward and with gentle hands, guided the man into a chair and sat down beside him. "I'm still awaiting the rest of his lab work, but it appears that Blair is merely suffering from sheer exhaustion and malnutrition. He hasn't been eating or sleeping too well, has he?"

"No. He hasn't."

"Thought so. Overwork. No matter how young and energetic one might be, the human body can only take so much before it decides to rebel and get what it needs." David looked up as a nurse hurriedly approached him with papers in hand. Taking the sheets from her, he glanced over them and nodded, hemmed, and hawed.

Jim tried to read the papers over the shoulder of the doctor, but couldn't make heads or tails of what he saw on the report.

"Okay, Debbie. Let's get him started on the antibiotics and switch him over to a D10W normal saline drip. Then make sure that room on Three West is ready." David handed the reports back to the nurse, and waited until she had gone to follow his orders before turning back to face the partner of the man he was treating. "He'll be fine, in a few days, Jim."

"What's wrong with him?"

"Well, outside of a mild concussion that he gave himself when he took that nose dive in your police department, he's fighting off some kind of infection. I'll know more when the final lab cultures are done." Standing up, he nodded. "It should only be a few more hours before I get those back, until then, he's being transferred up to room 340. You can either head up there now and wait for him, or I'll make sure that Ron and Debbie let you know when they transport him."

"I'll wait."

David snorted. "Why doesn't that surprise me?"

******

The results of the final lab tests weren't encouraging. Somehow, Blair Sandburg had contracted a form of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. And he had influenza on top of that. Before he could be fully settled into his bed on the medical floor, he'd slipped into a coma and had to be moved to ICU, where he remained for five days before he regained consciousness.

******

Blair moved sluggishly in a bed that while fairly comfortable, wasn't his own. The sounds of a heart monitor penetrated the fog surrounding his thoughts and helped pulled him to reality. Carefully opening his eyes, he groaned as he realized that he'd somehow ended up in a hospital. Again. He started to look for his friend, and didn't have to look very far as the familiar face of the sentinel filled his field of vision. "Jim?"

"Easy, Chief. You gave us quite a scare." Seeing the concerned look in the denim blue eyes, he tried to reassure the younger man. "Don't worry. You'll be fine. And I talked with your advisor at Rainier, you'll be able to make up the tests when you get back on your feet." He raised a plastic cup with a straw in it to his friend. "Here. Slow, small sips. You're no longer dehydrated, but I'm willing to bet that your mouth is dry."

He took the straw into his mouth and followed his friend's orders. The cool liquid was like a balm to him. Nodding his thanks, he reached up and took the half-full cup from steady hands into his not so steady ones. "What happened?"

"You tried to fry your brain, is what happened, Buddy. And you were fighting off the flu at the same time." Jim allowed a quirky smile to cross over his face. "By the way, Brown and Rafe gave you full marks for your graceful 'swan dive' in the bullpen."

Blair could feel the blood rushing to his face as he blushed. "No, tell me I didn't--"

Chuckling, Jim nodded. "Yeap. You did. Right in front of everyone."

"Oh, man! That sucks!" Looking around the room, he realized that no matter how good he felt right at that moment, it would probably be a while before the doctor would allow him to leave. He was still hooked up to an IV. "So? Any chance I ca get out of here soon?"

Doctor Cecily Davids chose that moment to walk into the cubicle. "Well, I'd say that depends on what I find when I get through examining you, Mr. Sandburg." She turned a baleful glare on the man that was standing next to her patient's bedside. "Okay, you know the routine, Detective. Out."

Twenty minutes later, he was allowed back into the room with his partner. "Well? What did Dr. Davids have to say?"

Incredulous blue eyes met curious ones. "You mean to tell me that you didn't listen in?"

"Nope. I called the station to let everyone know you were finally awake, Sleeping Beauty."

He couldn't help it, he fidgeted. "Well, it's like this. The doctor wants to see how well I can get around on my own two feet before she will allow me to come off the IV and the catheter. She's supposed to be making arrangements for a physical therapist to come up and help me with something called gait training."

"'Gait Training'?"

The nurse that had been in charge of Blair's care for the past three days on the evening shift, came in at that moment. "Well, look who finally decided to wake up for me! What a nice way to start off my shift! Good morning, sleepy head."

"Uh, morning?"

Janice Norren shrugged. "Okay, afternoon, then. I see that Doc Davids has been in to see you. Let's check you out before the torturer gets up here." She moved around the bed, using the monitors to check her patient's vitals, then pulling a stethoscope to make her own evaluation. She moved with quick efficiency, not once asking Jim to relinquish his position at the side of his partner. She knew better, having been treated to the 'Ellison Glare' on her first evening shift with this patient. And seeing how the younger man had responded to the mere presence of his friend, she hadn't the heart to ask him to leave.

"Everything sounds good to me, Mr. Sandburg. Now, if you get up and around before too long, I'll probably see you later. After the therapist evaluates you, I'll ask Albert to come in and take care of that catheter for you, okay?" With a friendly smile and a swish of long blonde hair, she whirled out of the room to resume her rounds.

"Wow! I like her!"

"Cool it, Lothario. In case you didn't notice, she's married."

One hour later, after the physical therapist had come and gone, muttering all the while that he had no idea why he'd been called in the first place, Blair was off the IV and the urinary catheter had been removed. Then he was moved from the ICU to the medical wing and a private room there. After he had settled into his new room, he thought to ask about the case that he'd been helping his partner with before he had had the grace to collapse.

"Hey, Jim? I was wondering--"

"About the Stover case?"

"Yeah."

"Closed. The bastards recanted their original confession and pled guilty in court yesterday."

"And the mother? Stacy?"

"She's okay. She was released from the hospital the same day that you were admitted. Staying with family in Oak Harbor."

"That's good." Blair felt his eyes growing heavy with fatigue, even as more questions tried to gain his attention.

Jim would've sworn that he saw the wheels turning in his Guide's head, even as he sensed just how worn out the young man was. "Sleep, Blair. We can discuss the case later."

"'Kay."

He watched over his friend as he drifted off to sleep, and as he settled as best he could in the chair provided by the hospital for long term visitors, Jim started to compile a new list of house rules for his young friend. Rules which would include no skipping of meals, getting to bed at a decent hour, and most importantly, telling his partner when the stress was getting too bad so that they could make arrangements for the younger man to cut back on his overloaded work schedule. At the station, not at school. Getting that Ph.D. was too important. To both of them.

The End.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ListSibs? What say you? Shall I try to develop this into a deeper story? Jules? What do you think? BTW, Jules? Snail mail enroute to you from me. I've redoubled my efforts in sending you all the healing energies that I can, and have enlisted my fellow Shamans in the area to assist. You *will* walk in beauty again.

Suisan "Sue" R.



From: DRJETB@aol.com

Disclaimer: Only the story is mine; all else belongs to Pet Fly.
This is for Julie. You're in our prayers.
Not beta'd. All mistakes are mine, and mine alone.
Rated: G

Show Me the Way to Go
by JET

Melancholy.

That was the only adjective that came close to describing the constricting, lost feeling which had wrapped itself around Blair's heart for the past few days.

Nothing was really wrong, yet nothing was quite right, either. The combination of a series of depressing, brutal cases with Jim, important deadlines at the university, and late evenings combined with very little sleep and few nutritious meals had left the young graduate student tired and more than a little sad. He felt suddenly older than his years, used up, worn out...

Melancholy.

Except for work, Blair had hardly seen the sentinel in the past few weeks, and too often, he had failed to even make it to the station, delayed by the demands of his university schedule. By the time he made it to the kitchen in the mornings, Jim had already left, sometimes leaving a short note on the table, but more often, merely gone, without a trace that he'd even been home the night before. He usually caught up with Jim sometime during the afternoon, and they worked long into the night. The cases recently had been so taxing, both mentally and physically, that even their work together lacked its usual quota of teasing and good natured joking around. Murder cases with the type of brutality as these were far too serious for any sort of humor, even the black humor cops sometimes use as a relief valve for the pressures of their jobs. By the time the two friends finally returned home to the loft, they were both too tired for anything except sleep.

Blair had to admit it; he missed being with Jim.

Today was Friday. His classes had ended early, he was actually caught up on his paperwork, and Jim had called to tell him not to come to the station. They'd wrapped up their open cases, and he was coming home early. Jim had sounded strained and tired, and Blair heard the echoes of his own exhaustion in his sentinel's voice.

An exceptionally heavy rain pounded down outside, sending rivers of water cascading down the streets. Standing in front of the open refrigerator, Blair stared at the nearly empty shelves. Whose turn had it been to go to the store anyway? Probably his, and Jim would have his hide when he returned home and found the cupboard bare and nothing ready for supper. It may not have been his week to shop, but it was definitely Blair's night to cook.

Just as he closed the refrigerator door with a disgusted sigh, the loft was plunged from light into the dimness of dusk. Blair moved to the big windows and peered out at Cascade. Nothing but darkness. A power failure had claimed the city.

"Great," Blair muttered. "Just great. Nothing for supper and now this. Jim's gonna be in a really wonderful mood tonight."

The door opened, and Jim Ellison stepped inside, shaking off droplets of water like some large, heavy coated dog. He kicked off his soggy shoes and hung his dripping coat beside the door. Then he caught sight of his roommate standing before the loft windows. "Hey, Chief," he greeted him. "What's for supper? I didn't get lunch today; Simon called a staff meeting right as I was walking out the door. I thought..." Jim stopped at the guilty look on his guide's face.

"See, Jim, I thought it was your week to go to the market, and when I got home, I realized there wasn't anything to fix. I was gonna run down to the store, but then the lights went out, and..." Blair ran out of breath and paused for a moment.

It was long enough. Ellison walked over to the kitchen and opened a cabinet door, removing two cans of vegetable soup. "Chief, after the past few weeks, the lack of dinner isn't a big enough issue to be considered a problem. Do we have cheese? Bread?" At his friend's affirmative nods to both questions, Jim smiled. "Then, what's the problem? You make some sandwiches, and I'll heat the soup on the camp stove. Canned's better than nothing, right? I wouldn't get out again tonight for a free gourmet meal." He proceeded to open the cans and pour the contents into a saucepan while Blair watched in amazement

Recovering quickly, Sandburg whipped out two cheese sandwiches while sending up small prayers of gratitude to the god of guides for sending him such an agreeable sentinel. Side by side, the partners worked to prepare a makeshift meal. As he worked, Blair felt the grip of melancholy around his heart ease just a little.

The power remained off. After their meal, both men settled in the living area, Jim on the couch and Blair settled beside him on the floor, soaking in the warmth of the fire. As he gazed at the flames, the younger man felt his earlier mood lighten even more in the company of his friend and the cocooning safety of his home. "Too bad we can't catch the Jags game tonight," he commented. "They're up in Vancouver where I bet they have power."

Jim was staring at the mesmerizing flames as well. "S'okay," he said vaguely. "A little peace and quiet's good for the soul. This is nice."

Blair only nodded. It had been far too long since they'd had a quiet evening at home. The comfortable silence continued for a time, neither man feeling the need for words. Then, Jim shifted on the couch, reaching over to touch Blair on the shoulder. "Play something." He handed Sandburg his guitar.

Smiling, Blair took the instrument and strummed a few soft chords. Then, he began to sing, a quiet, firm baritone which filled the loft with its warmth.

"Looking back now I can see me yesterday
In places I used to know.
Crossroads everywhere,
But there was no one there
To show me the way to go."

"Following your dreams
You're bound to make wrong turns.
And dreamers learn hard and slow.
I need your guiding light
To be my second sight,
and show me the way to go."

"If I go astray when crosswinds start to blow,
Come into my heart,
And show me the way to go.
I need your guiding light
To be my second sight,
And show me the way to go."

As the last note died away, silence reclaimed the loft. Blair quietly brushed the strings, marveling at the change in his mood since the evening began. What had made such a difference? The answer was clear. Blair looked up at his sentinel. "Thanks, Jim."

The light blue eyes sparkled down at him, warming his heart as no fire ever could. "For what, Chief?"

"For showing me the way to go." Blair leaned back against the couch, his shoulder lightly touching Jim's leg, then he felt the firm pressure of Jim's hands as they kneading the tired muscles in his back.

"Just following my guiding light, Blair. As always."

Outside, the storm rolled on, but inside the loft, the warmth of friendship glowed strongly, sending its powerful light out into the darkness.

THE END

(Lyrics to "Show Me the Way to Go" by Jeff Tweel.)



From: trish_fic@yahoo.com

Just a quick story for Julie. It was finished at work before I got home and checked my mail. I wasn't sure at first whether or not to post it in light of the news about Risa and Julie's surgery, but maybe it will make someone smile.

You are in my prayers.

Trish

=====

100% By Trish

Simon returned the telephone receiver to its cradle and pushed to his feet. He had just been reminded that it was time again for the annual Cascade PD Blood Drive. He looked out into the bullpen at the men and women working diligently. He marveled that they would be first in line when one of their own needed blood, but without the adrenaline laced worry it was like pulling teeth to get them to volunteer during a routine blood drive.

His face brightened when he spotted the one man he believed could talk blood from a stone. He opened the door to his office. "Sandburg, my office."

Blair looked up from the paperwork he was completing on the Milson robbery.

"What did you do this time, Chief?" Jim asked.

Blair shrugged. "I don't know, it's been quiet around here." His eyes widened. "You don't think he figured out who told Doreen he was single, do you?"

The big man grinned. "Do you have a preferred burial ritual?"

"You are so not funny." Blair pushed himself to his feet and reluctantly made his way to the Captain's office. As he walked, he described one of the more gruesome burial rites he had witnessed just loud enough for his partner to hear. Jim looked at the sandwich in his hand and, deciding he was no longer hungry, tossed it in trash.

The young observer knocked on the Captain's door.

"Come in."

"You wanted to see me, sir?" Blair asked, barely stifling the automatic need to apologize for any and all possible offenses he may have committed.

Simon turned from his coffee maker. "Would you like some coffee, Blair? It's a new blend my cousin sent me."

The younger man blinked. He knew something was up. Simon only used his first name if something happened to Jim or he needed a favor. "Sure, Captain." He took the cup proffered by the smiling Captain. He settled into a chair and waited.

Simon moved the paperwork around on his desk for a moment. "Blair, I need your help with a project."

Blair's eyes narrowed with suspicion. "What project would that be, sir?"

Simon delayed, stirring his coffee as he marshaled his arguments. "I just got word that Friday is the Cascade PD Blood Drive." He paused. "The Chief wants 100% participation. I need your help to make sure Major Crimes does its part." He looked expectantly at the young observer.

Blair stared at him with disbelief. "You've got to be kidding." He laughed. "100% of the biggest group of wusses in Cascade? They see a needle and they'll run for the hills."

"That's why I need your help. I need you to convince these big tough detectives it's no big deal." He glared at the younger man.

Blair thought for a moment. "What happens if you don't get 100%?"

Simon looked down and mumbled.

"What was that, Simon?"

"I said, the Chief has promised the departments without 100% participation, their Captain's will be on two weeks of tour duty."

Blair hissed in sympathy. Tour duty was a necessity for public relations but anything more than one day was deemed cruel and unusual punishment. "Do I have carte blanche? You'll go along with whatever I have to do to get 100%?"

Simon nodded slowly. "Whatever it takes, Sandburg. Just get it done."

"You'll have 100%, Simon." Blair smiled. "I'll get on it right away." He left in his usual whirlwind manner, leaving Simon wondering why it felt like he had just made a big mistake.

He watched the rest of the day as Blair held conferences in the breakroom. The conversations would halt if he walked into the room. Simon had a growing sense of unease. At the end of the day, Blair entered his office with a list of donation times with almost every member accounted for. Simon read over the list. "I left a space for you, Simon." Blair pointed out.

Simon filled in the empty space, totally amazed by the younger man's accomplishment. "What did you promise to get them to agree?" The Captain asked curious.

"You'll find out Friday once the last donor has given blood. Wouldn't want you to get nervous before you needed to." Blair made a quick exit.

Friday

"Come on, Sandburg, it's Friday already. Everyone is here. It's time to let me in on the deal." Simon begged for the hundredth time. "Jim, talk to him."

"Sorry, Simon, you put him in charge. You're just going to have to wait until the last drop of blood has been collected." The detective smiled, enjoying every minute of torment the captain was going through.

Simon watched as men who the previous year had bitched and moaned about needles... whining that they needed every drop 'just in case', lined up with a smile. Sandburg bounced around the room going from cot to cot, encouraging the fellow members of Major Crimes. Simon was the next to the last to donate. As he settled onto the cot, the Chief entered the room.

"Banks, I don't know what you did but I want to congratulate you. Major Crimes seems to be the only department with 100% participation." He looked over to where Sandburg was getting ready to donate. "Actually you have over 100%." The Chief smiled. "I don't see Tour duty anywhere in the future of Major Crimes for a good long time. Good work, Captain." He shook Simon's hand and left the room.

Simon after giving blood and drinking his juice, walked over to where the final pint of blood had been collected and asked again. "Okay Sandburg, everyone has donated. I'm waiting."

The rest of the Major Crimes crew gathered around as Blair stood. "Well Captain, it's like this. We knew how important it was for you to get all of us to participate in the Blood Drive. So, since you promised to do anything, we signed you up for the Cascade PD Carnival." Blair smiled and tried to ignore the lightheaded feeling that was creeping up on him. He was determined to see Simon's expression when he heard what he'd been signed up to do.

Simon had visions of a day spent in the dunking booth. His visions were shattered by the young man's next words.

"You'll be in the Kissing Booth." Just before passing out, Blair managed to see Simon's face pale, when he said. "Doreen is in charge of the Carnival."

Jim barely caught his partner before he hit the ground. After settling Blair on a cot with the nurse waving smelling salts under his nose, the detective moved over to his shell-shocked Captain. "It'll be okay, Simon. It's for charity, after all."

Simon looked at his friend. Jim patted him on the back. "H, why don't you take Simon back to his office and make sure he gets something to drink." Henry nodded and guided the dazed Captain out of the room.

Jim looked down at his unconscious partner. "All clear, Chief."

Blair opened one eye. "How's Simon?"

"One hundred percent, Chief, one hundred percent."



From: "Bonnie Heintskill" <bheint@execpc.com>

Okay, Julie. Sorry this isn't one of your requested topics, but RL hasn't been very cooperative lately. So, I "cheated" and pulled out an orphan scene that I had written a while back. I plan on finishing it someday or putting it into another full story, but enjoy anyway.

Blair and the Bear

Blair was cuddled in his sleeping bag, when he started dreaming about Sheila, the gorgeous, well, cute anyway, co-ed from his anthro grad class. He'd been trying for weeks to get her phone number, but she only gave him secretive little smiles every time he asked her for it. In his dream he had finally gotten the phone number, asked her out for a date, and was having a good time. Blair was surprised at how aggressive Sheila turned out to be, not that he was complaining, mind you. He was just used to being the one doing the chasing. Sheila snaked her arms around Blair and planted a mushy kiss on his cheek. He wiped away the wetness, only to have Sheila plant another one on his cheek. As Blair again tried to wipe the wetness away, his hand encountered something cold, wet, and furry. In his dream befuddled mind, he spoke out loud. "Come on Sheila. Can you kiss, like um, a real kiss? I don't go much for the slobbering kind like a bear!"

Blair heard a soft growl, groggily turned his head as his hand explored the odd shape under his hand. He originally thought he was caressing Sheila's head, and as his eyes opened, he was startled to find a young bear licking his hand and trying to get to his face.

Blair froze and pulled his hand back from the bear, only to have the bear step closer to him. Blair whispered fiercely to the bear, "Shoo, go back to your momma! I'm not something to eat! Shoo!"

Blair looked wildly around to see where Jim and Simon were sleeping. His feet weren't very far from Ellison's feet. He tried to scoot down into his sleeping bag so he could kick his partner awake. The farther he slid down, the closer the bear got to Blair.

"Come on, Jim, wake up!" whispered Blair fiercely. He kicked harder and Jim grunted. "Hssst! Jim! Ellison! Wake up! I gotta bear here who thinks I'm his next meal!"

The Sentinel woke with a start and saw the bear standing over the graduate student. Ellison quietly and slowly reached for his gun, then reached a hand out to feel for a piece of wood that was burning in the fire pit. He eased himself out of the sleeping bag, keeping a wary eye on the beast and Blair.

He shot his gun over the head of the bear, hoping to scare it enough, and make it run off. Blair screamed, Simon roared, the bear howled, running off into the night.

Simon grabbed his gun on instinct, pointing it at imaginary enemies. Jim grabbed Simon to wrestle the gun away so Blair or himself wouldn't get harmed by the startled Captain. Blair poked his head out of the sleeping bag, blinking at the change in light as Simon flicked on the flashlight. Jim threw his hands up to protect his eyesight that was blasted by the artificial light.

"SIMON!" yelled the Sentinel and Guide in unison.

"Oh, sorry, guys. Just trying to help," replied Simon as he sat down heavily, turning off the flashlight and once again plunging the campground into darkness.

"Would you two mind telling me what all that was about?" demanded Simon.

"A bear," stated Jim.

"A big bear," chimed in Sandburg, moving his hands as far apart as he could get them. Simon shook his head in disbelief.

"A bear."

"Yes, sir. A bear," confirmed Jim. "He was attacking Blair. So, I shot over his head to scare him off."

"Hmmpf!" came his guide's disgruntled reply, working his way out of his sleeping bag. "More like scared the piss outta me! Good thing I brought the extra sleeping bag."

Simon shook his head, holding up his hands. "I don't even want to go there, Sandburg. Just, just go change and take the sleeping bag downwind, will ya?"

Blair waved his hand at Simon, grabbed the flashlight to rummage through his backpack for extra clothes, then dragged his soiled sleeping bag off to the bushes.

"What was a bear doing in the campground?" asked Simon. "We had the fire lit, all the food was strung up out of a bear's reach...."

"I don't know, Simon," replied Jim. He got up and helped Blair spread out the clean sleeping bag. He sniffed Blair's hair. He sniffed again. Blair batted Jim's offending face away from him.

"Get away from me, man! What the hell are ya doing?"

"Trying to figure out what brought the bear in here this close," replied Jim. "Did you change your shampoo or deodarent?"

"Um, yeah," replied Blair sheepishly. "Why? The store was out of my usual brand and I didn't have time to go traipsing all over Cascade to find my regular stuff."

"Because, your new shampoo smells like honey and floral scents mixed in with the herbal stuff," explained Jim as he took one final sniff at Blair's hair. Banks was chuckling to himself on the ground.

"Oh, man, wait til I tell the guys back at the office this! They'll split a gut!"

"Oh, no you don't! If you breathe one word of this, Simon, I'll, I'll...." blustered Blair.

"You'll what? I could get you for insubordination, ya know, Sandburg, so watch what you say!" retorted the Captain, sounding officious.

Blair rolled his eyes, knowing when he was defeated. "Oh, man. That stupid bear ruined a perfectly nice dream I was having...."

Jim laughed. "Uh, oh, it's the table leg again. Sure you didn't have an erotic dream with all the trimmings....?"

"Ellison...." warned Blair.

END



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