Hi, sorry for taking so long, I've sent something in the mail for you Julie. Know that I am praying for you, and keep fighting, we know you can do it. We all miss you.
This is for you, think happy and warm thoughts
It was hot, no, let's rephrase that, it was damn hot, and Blair had no idea what he was going to do about it. Cascade for all its ups and downs, was nearly always stable in one thing, the weather: Cold, cold and more cold, with a little bit of rain thrown in for good luck. Today however that was different. From the time the first rays of unexpected sunlight touched the wet ground of Cascade the heat started. By nine o'clock, the temperature was higher then any day in Cascade's long history, and by midday, it was hotter then Arizona in peak summer.
Blair was sitting at Jim's desk. The U had been closed for the day due to the heat, and with lack of crime on the street, properly for the same reason, he was left stuck in the Bullpen with twenty other hot sweaty bodies and no air-conditioner. Fans had been strategically placed, but none touched Jim's desk, and thanks to the heat, the purified water tank as well as the water vending machine had been emptied early in the day.
Blair could feel the sweat trickling down his back and under his arms, his beautiful mane of hair felt heavy and stifling, and his clothes felt like they were sticking to him. Looking over to his partner, Blair shook his head slightly, only someone with complete control on regulating their body heat, could possible find this weather enjoyable.
Lifting his hair from his neck slightly, Blair covertly looked around. It was a day like this, that would make him wish he had shorter hair, but after having heard the talk in the earlier morning about how the guys were betting that he would put it up, due to the heat, Blair let it back down and sighed, there was no way he was going to give in, no matter how hot he was.
A few hours later, Blair decided enough was enough, he needed a drink, even if it was tap water, and he needed to put his hair up, the heat was too much. As he was taking a few steps towards the brake-room, he felt the room tilt. Jim had risen his head at the same time, wondering what was wrong with his guide.
Taking another step and then another, Blair saw a strange blackness begin to encase his sight, and then suddenly a quietness descended on him, and everything seemed to happen in slow motion.
He saw Jim's mouth say something, and he saw Joel's, Rafe's and Brown's arms reaching for him, but before they could catch him, Blair hit the floor out cold, or as most said later, out hot.
Hours later the Major Crime Gang were sitting around Blair's bed, in the air-conditioned comfort of Cascade General, talking about what had happen. The doctors said a mild case of heat stroke, brought on by lack of water, air, his clothes and hair had not helped. They had shook their heads, not understanding why Blair had not put his hair up, but Jim knew, and he said so. The end result was Blair getting all the money, all $300.
Later on Simon showed up, having been left at the station to cover everyone's grand departure, and when asked why he came, his response was simple. Air-conditioning.
Okay, hope you like it, knowing it had a Blair faint in front of the gang, gives me a chance of a possible yes.
The reason I chose heat was simple, I'm setting here, on the computer in the terrible heat, I hate summer in tropical places!
As said earlier, I'm praying for you Julie as is my friends in christian union on my Uni's campus, keep fighting girl.
p.s this was not beted, opps forgot to mention that.
Here's my gift-fic for Julie. Julie, Please know that you are not alone, that we're all with you every moment.
title: A Day at the Fair
Disclaimers: (short form) The characters are not mine. I just wish they were. Pet Fly and Paramount are the proud owners.
Notes & Warnings: This is completely unbeta'd. All typos and goofs are mine. The inspiration for the Renaissance Festival is the GA Renn Fest.
"This is great! One could almost forget that one is supposed to be working." Blair Sandburg turned to watch the villge wench saunter past.
"Only if one wishes to be hauled into his Captain's office on Monday." Blair's partner, Jim Ellison followed the young man's gaze. He chuckled as the woman turned and blew a kiss at the two detectives before spotting a visitor to the village that wasn't wearing a bright red lipstick mark.
The day was bright and the village was full of happy visitors to the Renaissance period village. Cascade's annual Renassaince Festival had once again drawn a large crowd to enjoy the shows, the food and the shopping. The fact that it was Halloween weekend had brough out even more people, dressed in all types of costumes for the afternoon costume contest.
Word on the street had come down that a group was plotting to disrupt the day, their target being the large amounts of money being carried and spent at the festival. The Mayor had asked that extra security be put in place, hence the detectives of Major Crimes were spending a day at the Cascade Renn Fest.
"Come on, Romeo. Let's find a quiet spot for a few minutes." Jim frowned slightly as a roar of laughter erupted from a juggling act on the King's Stage. Instantly Blair moved closer, placing a hand lightly on Jim's shoulder.
"Oh man, turn the dials down a bit." Blair led Jim away from the growing crowd of people. "Here, this might help." He led them towards a spot in the trees, near a musician's stage where a woman quietly played a Celtic harp. The soft music helped Jim regain control of the mental dials that controlled his senses.
Blair rubbed his arm, giving Jim something else to focus on rather than just his hearing, which could lead to a zone out. "That's the bad part of this. The noise, the smells. It has to be driving your senses wild. And giving you a horrid headache."
"It hasn't been to bad, but I'm getting tired. It's harder to keep control." Jim leaned back against a tree and looked at his watch. It's 4:30pm. Another hour and a half then we're done. That's not bad. If it'll stay quiet. The crowd is beginning to thin out some."
After a few minutes, Jim straightened up. "Let's go check out the food stalls. Joel keeps telling me to try the Steak on a Stake. Who knows? Maybe we'll meet up with your new friend other there."
"Sounds like a plan. Oh look, it's Rafe and Henri. And Simon. We all had the same idea." Blair pointed to the group and waved.
As they approached the row of food stalls, Jim paused, his head tilted just slightly. His eyes focused on the the dessert booth at the far end. The dessert booth that also was the "bank" for the booths in that area of the festival.
**Nobody move. Nobody say anything.**
**Hand over the cash. Now!**
**Hey guys! The steak booth needs some change...**
A shrill scream suddenly cut through the air. Jim led the way towards the sound, stopping as he saw the source. A masked man in jeans and a plain shirt held a sharp sword in one hand, his other arm wrapped tightly around one of the village kissing wenches. She struggled briefly, going still as the sword was pressed against her.
Behind the man, stood four others, all armed with guns and swords.
"Let the girl go." Simon commanded. "No one has to be hurt, so just let her go." He paused, watching both his detectives and the armed men in front of him.
"Not until someone starts handing over some cash!" The girl whimpered as the sword pressed closer to her throat.
Just then, the final joust of the day started, the crowd roaring its approval of the Royal couple and the knights in armour. The sound startled the armed men, allowing the detectives to rush them. Jim and Blair dove for the leader who swore and pushed the girl away, to face the detectives with the steel weapon. Blair pulled the girl to safety, ducking a sword swing, feeling a sharp pain.
As suddenly as it had begun, it was over. The four suspects kneeled on the ground, handcuffed and the spectators who had been in the area to get something to eat, cheered their approval. Simon called for the uniform officers to come take their suspects away as Jim walked over to where Jim walked over to where Blair was picking himself up off the ground. "You okay Chief?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Are you okay?"
"Sure." Both men turned to the shaking girl, "Are you okay, Miss?"
The girl turned a bright smile at her two protectors, slipping into her festival character. "Why certainly, Milord. Thanks to your bravery. Let me repay the debt." She stood on tiptoe and planted a bright red lipsticked kiss on Jim's cheek before turning to Blair and doing the same.
Waving at the cheering audience, she smiled and followed the uniform officers to give her statement.
Jim squeezed Blair's shoulder as they watched the girl walk away. "So you finally got a kiss from the kissing wench." he teased. stopping as he saw Blair's face go white. "Blair?"
"Jim?" Blair gasped. "I don't feel so well." He reached for his partner as the world spun and he fell into the darkness.
"Blair!" Jim shouted, catching the young man as he sank to the ground. He then caught the smell he'd missed earlier, coppery blood, coming from a wound at the back of Blair's shoulder. "Simon! Get the medics over here!"
Henri and Rafe helped Jim ease the young man to the ground, Jim holding on to his partner, pillowing Blair's head in his lap. "Easy buddy. Hold on."
"What happened?" Simon asked, at the sight of his newest detective unconscienous on the ground.
"I don't know, but I'm guessing as Sandburg reached to pull the girl to safety, the guy with the sword took a swing and got him. Only it took a few minutes for the adrenaline to wear off and the wound to make itself known."
The paramedics arrived, gently lifting Blair from Jim's grasp and settling him on the stretcher, peeling back layers of shirts from the wound. As they worked at cleaning it, Blair moaned, twisting his head a bit as he slowly regained conscienceness
"Easy, Blair." Jim soothed. "Let them check you out."
"What happened?" The soft voice asked.
"You had a run in with a piece of sharpened steel." Jim told him, managing to hover and stay out of the way at the same time.
"Oh man. It hurts!" Blair's voice was weak.
One of the paramedics looked up from securing a bandage over Blair's shoulder. "It's not a deep cut. But you've lost alot of blood and you're going to have a trip to the hospital for stitches."
Simon spoke up, "Jim, you go with your partner. We'll finish up here."
"Thanks, Simon." Jim turned back to the paramedics who were lifting Blair onto the stretcher. The young man gasped as he was gently strapped to the stretcher. "Sorry." The second paramedic apologized.
"Come on, Romeo. Let's see if your amazing power works on the nurses as well as they do the kissing wenches."
"Oh man. You are so *not* funny."
This is my dues and my get well to Julie. This is my first fic so be kind, not beta so may have mistakes.
"Sandburg" shouted Simon from his office. Blair looked up to see Simon glaring at him through the door of his office. Jim laughed and asked Blair what he had done wrong that morning. "Nothing man, I just got here." Blair walked over to Simon's office and after he went in Simon followed behind slamming the door. Blair sat all the way back in the chair opposite Simon's desk. "So Simon what is this all about"? Simon pulled out a paper from his desk. "This is what all of this is about". "This is your lab work that came back from the routine physical you had to take. It says here that you are severely underweight care to explain that to me?" Blair started fidgeting in his chair. "Well Simon you see with working out to stay in shape for the police academy and working here well I just have not had time to eat." "Not had time, NOT HAD TIME" Simon yelled slamming the paper down on the desk. Blair jumped back as if he had been struck. "Look Blair" Simon said in a calmer voice "I am just worried about you is all, I don't want you to make yourself sick." Blair sat back down across from Simon. Look Simon I appreciate you looking out for me it is really nice of you. I promise to start eating better." With that Blair started for the door. As he and Simon moved out into the hall half the bullpen looked up wondering what had happened. Blair headed toward his desk when Simon leaned next to him and said "If I see that you are not eating I am going to set you up with the new medical examiner. Imagine what kind of conversations you could have at dinner." With that said Simon smiled to himself and went to turn away. " Simon you wouldn't" and with that he started to faint. Jim rushed to him before he hit the ground and laid him gently on the floor. Simon knelt down next to them to make sure he was ok. "Jim is he alright?" Jim looked up smiling at him. " I heard what you said in your office and I am going to make sure he eats, just then Blair started to mumble. "What was that chief?" and Jim leaned down to hear what was being said and then looked at Simon and started laughing. "What is so funny, what did he say?" Simon asked. Jim looked up and said in the most serious voice he could manage. "He says that the new medical examiner's name is John and his boyfriend is 6' tall." And with that the whole bullpen erupted in laughter.
Get well soon Julie we miss you
I've kept a candle lit for you from the moment this started - thankfully I work at a store where we sell and display candles, so no one questioned me lighting an extra one. You are in my thoughts constantly. Fight, Jules, fight!
Disclaimer: Not mine, but if they were, I'd give them to Julie in a New York Minute to make her better. Not beta'd, so all egregious, icky mistakes are all mine. Feel free to discuss on-list.
Crash & Burn
"Sandburg, my office!" Simon's voice rumbled through the bullpen. Blair cocked an eyebrow and looked questioningly at the man sharing cramped desk space with him. It was the end of an incredibly long day, the conclusion of an infinitely long week - filled with stakeouts and backed-up paperwork at the station, tests and presentations at the university. His stomach growled, reminding him that he'd missed lunch and that di nner now looked to be delayed a bit longer.
"Jim, why is Simon just calling me?" Blair murmured quietly as he started straightening papers on the desk in preparation for a trip to the glass-walled confines of the Captain's office.
"Do I look like the Psychic Friends Network?" Jim deadpanned as he kept his nose stuck in a file which had become suddenly interesting.
"Fine, whatever, man," Blair sighed as he pushed his chair back.
His approach to Simon's office wasn't quite quick enough as Simon poked his head out of the door and snapped, "Do I need to send an engraved invitation?"
"Coming, Sim.." A sharp look from the Captain and Blair amended, "Captain." He rose from his chair and mumbled, "Blye," Sentinel-soft, eliciting a snort of laughter from Jim, who continued to examine the folder in his hands like it contained the directions to Jimmy Hoffa's body.
Blair crossed the bullpen towards Simon's office, stifling a gasp as the room seemed to grow exponentially hotter. He tugged at the collar of his flannel shirt, wishing he'd had the presence of mind to dump it back at the desk. **Damn climate control,** he mused internally, **never the right temperature in this building.**
He stopped, blinking as the door to Simon's office suddenly appeared to be at the end of a narrowing tunnel. He reached out blindly for something to latch onto, closing his eyes against the black spots that now danced in his field of vision. "Jim?" he mumbled, his tongue feeling thick in his mouth. "Tell Simon he's gonna have to wait a little longer."
Jim looked up just in time to see Blair crumple to the floor. He threw down the file in his hands and crossed the bullpen in three long strides. Captain Banks had witnessed the swan dive also, and appeared at the side of the fallen observer at the same instant Jim did. "Jim," Simon whispered urgently, "is he okay?" meaning he expected the Sentinel was doing a quick scan of Blair's vital signs.
"I think he just fainted," the Sentinel confirmed with a relieved glance at Simon. "You know Blair, running himself into the ground, as usual." Simon, could you go get something for Blair to drink - something with sugar preferably." The captain nodded and headed for the breakroom. He gently patted his partner's cheek, "Blair," he cajoled softly, "Time to wake up."
Blair moaned softly, his eyelids flickered. "Oh, man," he groaned as he realized what had just occured. He cracked open one eye. Jim's face hovered above him, concern apparent in those ice blue depths. "Please, Jim. Please don't tell me I just passed out in the middle of the bullpen."
"Okay," Jim answered, his eyes twinkling in amusement. "You just performed an Olympic worthy nosedive into the carpet." He sat back on his heels, a grin threatening to split his face wide. "That sound better to you?"
Simon reappeared then and passed a cup to Jim. The Sentinel pressed the cup into Blair's hand as he helped him sit up from the floor. Blair accepted the drink and took a tentative sip. It was a carbonated soft drink, the bubbles threatening to give him a totally ill-timed case of the hiccups on top of everthing. Blair took a deep breath and one more swallow, forcing himself to breathe normally. "Thanks," Blair passed the cup back to Jim and allowed the detective and the captain to pull him to his feet. The sugar from the soda worked its magic on his blood sugar quickly and he felt one hundred times better than just a few minutes ago.
Except for his bruised ego. "Simon," Blair turned to the captain, attempting to apologize.
Simon waved off the apology. "Sandburg, you and Jim go home. I don't want to have to authorize overtime for the cleaning crew to clean up after the next time you crash and burn."
"Thanks," Blair accepted gratefully and turned to retreat to Jim's desk.
"Oh, and Blair," Simon offered from where he leaned casually against his doorframe, "I'd give it a 9.5. You lost some points on the landing."
* * *
This is my gift fic for you Julie. I'm not a religious person, but I have every confidence in the enduring human spirit, and that chancy thing called fate. I hope this finds you well.
BOUNCE BACK By Lucy S.
"How's Sandburg?" Simon Banks asked as Jim Ellison walked into his office. "He got a pretty hard knock to the head from that guy."
"He'll be okay. The doc said it was just a mild concussion. I'll take him home soon to get some rest." Jim lowered himself into a chair opposite the desk, accepting a mug of coffee from Simon.
"It's a new blend - mocha vanilla fudge. Heaven," Simon groaned as he took a long drink from the mug.
"Sounds sickly." Jim screwed up his face as he sniffed the coffee and took a small sip. "Ugh! You're as bad as Sandburg with his strange teas."
"You're just not open to new things Ellison," Simon scolded.
"Sure I am. I have Sandburg living with me don't I?" Jim grinned.
Simon laughed, "You've got a point there. But back to the subject at hand. Are you sure Sandburg's all right? Fulham held him at gunpoint for three hours after he hit him with the gun."
"Yeah. He'll probably feel terrible for a couple of days, but you know Sandburg. He'll bounce back, he always does. He doesn't let anything keep him down for long. He's kinda like the Energizer bunny," Jim laughed shortly. The soft click of the office door closing caused Jim's head to swivel around, a name on his lips, "Blair." He jumped up from his seat so quickly it almost tipped over. Yanking open the door, his eyes zeroed in on his friend.
Blair looked terrible. He was pale and shaky, and a livid bruise darkened his temple. And he looked angry as he hurriedly grabbed his backpack, turning on his heel with a decided lack of coordination.
"Sandburg," Jim called out. "Just wait a minute. I didn't mean the crack about the Energizer bunny."
Blair swung around, his eyes burning with exhaustion and anger. "Just tell the whole bullpen why don't you Jim. 'He'll bounce back, kinda like a rabbit,'" he mimicked. "Have you ever considered, just once, that I can't brush off these things like you can? Huh? Have you?"
"Blair," Jim consoled, "I didn't mean that the situation didn't affect you. I just meant that you always seem to handle it all so well. Lash, Kincaid, Alex Bar ...."
"Don't ever say her name again," Blair threatened softly. He stood there, staring at Jim, his whole body quivering with exhaustion and pain from a throbbing headache.
"Blair, I'm sorry, okay? Can we just go home and sort this out there?" Jim pleaded with his friend, glancing at the curious and the nosey.
"No! You're so quick to tell everyone your opinion of me, they can hear it all." Blair was breathing heavily now, sweat beaded on his forehead. "You always assume that I can handle everything that's thrown at me. The fact is, Jim, sometimes I can't handle it. Sometimes I can't bounce back. Teaching, studying, helping out here ... the danger, the fear ... it wears me down Jim. I'm only human! It builds up and I'm left to deal with it on my own. You're no help. You're like this brick ... you don't show emotion half the time and the other half you don't want to deal with it." Blair broke off his tirade, panting for breath, his face even paler than before.
"Chief, calm down. You're tired and you've got a concussion, everything will be fine when you've gotten some sleep."
"Don't patronize me! I know what I am! I know I feel like shit, I know my head's pounding, I know ... I know I feeel ...." Blair's voice slurred and faded away as his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed on the bullpen floor.
"Blair!" Jim raced to his friend's side, kneeling down beside him, gently patting his face. "Come on, wake up Chief."
"Does he need an ambulance?" Simon butted in gently.
"No no, he's fine. Just done a little bit too much with a concussion. Come on Blair."
Blair groaned as he surfaced to consciousness. His heavy eyelids blinked open, squinting against the bright light which pierced his throbbing skull and sent nausea roiling through him. "Ugh," he moaned softly, "I don't feel so good."
"Are you okay Hairboy?" Brown's concerned voice filtered down to him.
"Blair? How do you feel?" Joel's voice.
"Sandburg, you look terrible." Rafe's voice.
"Give the kid some air. You all have work to do don't you?" Simon's bark.
A shadow leaned over him, blocking the painful light. "Jim? Oh man, I'm so sorry I yelled at you."
"I'm sorry too Chief. Come on, let's get you home." Jim stood up and bent down to help his groggy partner to his feet, holding him upright as he swayed. "You okay?"
"No, but get me home and I will be." Blair leaned heavily against Jim, the room spinning crazily, sickeningly. "I think I'm going to be sick."
"Okay, just hang on until we reach the bathroom." Jim hooked an arm around Blair's waist and propelled him quickly out of the bullpen and into the men's room. Blair immediately pulled away and hunched over a toilet, his stomach heaving.
Jim rubbed his back and pulled his hair away from his face. "Shhh, it's okay Chief, it's okay," he murmured gently.
"Oh god," Blair moaned as he sat back on his heels, holding his aching head. "I've just made the biggest fool out of myself haven't I?"
"No you haven't. Everyone's worried about you, even Simon."
"I guess I took a harder knock to the head than I thought."
"Yeah," Jim smiled. "Come on, let's get you home and in bed."
"Right now, that sounds like heaven. My head is killing me."
On the ride to the Loft, Blair fell asleep, his head falling sideways to rest on Jim's shoulder. He stayed that way the entire ride until Jim had to wake him up to take him upstairs.
Jim practically had to carry his friend into the elevator since Blair's feet were dragging so much. He wasn't even sure that Blair was even aware of much at that moment. He kept on mumbling things that Jim had to turn his hearing up to hear.
"Sorry Jim, so sorry ... didn't mean to yell at you ... angry at you ... can't be angry at you ... best friend ... Blessed Protector ... Lash gone ... bitch gone ... all gone ...." Blair giggled softly, "Me gone too Jim."
"You sure are Blair. Nearly there."
Jim rested Blair against the wall as he dug out his keys and opened the door to the Loft. Blair couldn't stay on his feet, slowly sliding down the wall to rest on his butt on the floor.
"What am I going to do with you Chief?" Jim sighed as he lifted Blair to his feet again.
"Don't know," Blair mumbled. "Bed?"
Jim nodded, "Yeah, bed."
"'Kay." Blair lifted a shaky arm. "Take me to my bed," he said imperiously.
Jim sighed and shook his head in exasperation, leading Blair toward his room and sitting him down on his bed. He began to get Blair ready for bed while Blair started humming softly to himself.
"Okay Blair, time for bed."
"Tuck me in?" Blair whispered, looking very much like a small child bundled under his covers with his hair mussed up and the large bruise on his temple.
"You're a grown man!" It only took one look at Blair's face though for Jim to stop his protests and tuck him in. He turned out the light and turned to leave the room saying, "I'll be back in an hour to check on you, okay?" There was no answer, Blair's eyes were closed.
Just as Jim was about to close the french doors, a quiet voice called out, "I really am sorry Jim. You're my best friend and I don't like hurting you."
"I'm sorry too. I forget sometimes that the things I say can hurt you. You're my best friend too, Blair. I ...." Jim stopped suddenly when a gentle snore drifted from the sleeping figure in the bed. He grinned. "Sleep well Chief. It's gonna be rough night." Jim silently closed the doors, heading upstairs for a nap before he had to wake Sandburg.
Hi. Sorry, I just realized that my postie wasn't in a savable form, so I expanded it into a snippet so it could go into the archive.
by Ismaro. Dated November 2, 1999.
"Oh, no!" The cry of dismay echoed through the open spaces of the loft.
Jim's head came up from the copy of 'Red Badge of Courage' he had been buried in and he turned to see his partner stockstill at the table, laptop holding him captive. "Hey, Buddy? What's wrong?"
When there was no response, Jim jumped up and hurried to Blair's side. "What is it? What's wrong?"
Blair blinked as he felt the warmth of Jim's hand on his shoulder and looked up sadly. "Bad news, Jim. You know Julie, our listsib. I told you about her a couple of days ago?"
"Julie Goldwyn, the one in the lab accident? Who inhaled the chloroform and was in hospital on oxygen?"
Blair nodded. "Now she's been moved to ICU, Jim. She's having a tough time with this. No one expected anything like this reaction. She could be in real danger, Jim."
The Sentinel heard the undertones in his Guide's voice: the worry, the hope, the fear, the determination to help.
"So what do you want to do about it, Chief?" Jim asked, knowing somehow that his partner had already made a decision.
"Well, if being Shaman of Cascade means anything at all," Blair announced, "it's gotta mean that I have to be there for a friend when she needs me."
"Wait, isn't Julie in the Netherlands? You wanna fly to Europe?" Jim was incredulous.
Blair started to smile, and Jim didn't care how stupid the question must have sounded. The smile was worth it.
"No, Jim, I'm gonna be there for her in spirit."
"Oh," Jim said, not at all sure he wanted to know anything more, and at his expression Blair broke into a full scale laugh attack. Jim joined him in a moment, after he got over his pique.
"So just what does 'being there for her in spirit' mean, Chief?" Jim ventured at last.
Blair's eyes focussed somewhere other than the kitchen. "I know a whole lot about meditative techniques and healing rituals. I think it's time to put some of them into practice, Jim."
"What do I do?" Jim asked.
"Well, I'd suggest you get a good night's sleep," his partner grinned back at him. "This isn't gonna get noisy or messy or anything. It's just a little energy transference, if it works, from me to her."
'Energy transference?' Jim asked himself dubiously. It was definite now: he didn't want to go there.
Blair saw the hesitation in his Sentinel's face and smiles again. "Think of it as the power of prayer, Jim. Only I don't want you doing it till I've tried it first."
"Okay, that I can deal with. Just don't stay up all night, Junior. You need some sleep of your own."
"I'm there for her, Jim, whatever it takes," the Shaman of Cascade said firmly. "It's not like I haven't pulled all-nighters before, and I'll just be meditating. So stop worrying. I'll be fine."
"If you say so," Jim said with so little faith in his voice that Blair started to howl with laughter again as he closed down the laptop and went to his bedroom.
It didn't take much preparation. Blair's usual stock of meditative aids were all he needed. That plus a piece of clear quartz crystal he'd picked up in a new age store as an aid to focus his thoughts and had never yet tried. Normally, he would have done a little experimenting with the prop first, seeing how it compared to candle flame or other meditative foci, before trying it in a healing ritual, but Julie's condition sounded serious. He wanted to give it everything he had.
He lit a few tapers, burned a little incense, and settled in a half-lotus, the crystal in his lap. Clearing his thoughts of everything except the desire to help his ill friend overseas, Blair slipped into the trance state, the crystal growing warm in his hands.
The next thing he knew was Jim breaking the peacefulness, strong hands shaking his shoulders, a light tap on the cheek. "Hey, Chief, Chief? C'mon, buddy, come out of it!"
"Jim?" Blair found his eyes weren't working quite right. He squinted up at his best friend. "Jim? What time is it?"
"It's eight in the morning, Blair. You've been up all night, haven't you?" Jim accused him.
Blair looked around. The candles had guttered and the incense had long dissipated, though he knew that Jim must still be able to smell it.
It was certainly morning. "Eight!" Blair yelped. "Gonna be late! Jim, why didn't you . . . "
"Hey, hey, calm down," Jim said, taking stock of his partner's state of health. It seemed fine, though Blair looked exhausted. "I tried to rouse you earlier, but you were so far under I thought you were asleep and I left you to it. I guess you weren't sleeping, huh?"
"Gee, no, I wasn't," the shaman admitted. "This is a personal best for me, Jim! All night long in meditation." He looked incredibly pleased with himself.
Jim hadn't the heart to be angry. "Okay, then, you've got just enough time to hit the shower and dress while I get you something to eat. Then we're out of here. We're due in a briefing at nine in Simon's office."
"'Well, okay!" And with that the Energizer Bunny bounced out of bed and raced through his routine.
"I told you to eat that!" Jim scolded as Blair tore a bite out of sourdough toast and dropped the rest of the slice on the plate again.
"No time! Check your watch," his partner muttered as he grabbed for his backpack and books.
Jim exclaimed when he saw how late it was and together the detective and the police observer flew out of the loft and to the truck to get to their meeting.
'Thank heavens for elevators,' Blair thought as he stood next to Jim waiting for the door to open across from Major Crimes. Today was not the day he wanted to climb the stairs. He stopped as the stray idea crossed his mind. Why had it occurred to him, he wondered.
But the doors had opened and Simon was standing just outside his office and there was no time, no time, to think about anything but police business.
"Well, thank you, gentlemen! I do appreciate a little enthusiasm for your work," Captain Simon Banks was his usual sarcastic self with this comment on the fact that it was five seconds past nine o'clock.
"Hey, Simon, sorry. It's not Jim's fault. I made him late. Blame me, not him," Blair hurried to tell Jim's superior officer as Jim dumped both partners' jackets at his desk.
Simon was about to tear a strip off the police observer when he stopped and closed his mouth on the rant he had already prepared. He leaned forward and looked carefully at Blair. "You okay, Sandburg? You look like you just ran a marathon."
"Yeah, sure, I'm okay, Simon," Blair said breathlessly. He started to chafe his hands. Why was it so cold all of a sudden?
"You breathing okay, son?" Simon asked, getting a little closer to the Guide.
"Yeah, sure, just had to hustle to get here." But Blair was actually heaving for breath to get the words out.
"Jim?" Simon called across the bullpen.
The Sentinel was back to his best friend's side in a flash. The vitals had changed. Blair wasn't breathing right, his colour was bad, he was trembling with exhaustion or cold.
"He's going down," Jim exclaimed and as Blair's legs gave way, there were two pairs of hands to take him gently down to the floor. The darkness was nice and warm, Blair thought just before it wiped away all thought.
The buzz in his ears was a little annoying. He couldn't quite hear everything they were saying. But the couch in Simon's office felt soft.
". . . all night long. I couldn't . . . wouldn't eat more than . . . worried . . . "
". . . morning off. Call later . . . "
"Bed. Chicken soup. More bed. That's the drill."
Oh, okay, now he was hearing everything. Blair cracked an eyelid. "Uh, hi," he said uncertainly. "I guess I crashed."
The look on his face was so mournful, so full of humiliated puppydog apology, that neither Jim nor Simon could do anything but grin helplessly at him.
"Yeah, sure, laugh at my pain. That's what friends are for," Blair grumbled, trying to sit up.
"Hey, hold it," the Sentinel took charge of the Shaman before the Shaman could do any more damage to himself. "Let us help you."
He and Simon righted Blair into a sitting position. Simon shoved a cup of coffee into his hands and Jim pushed a raspberry danish under his nose.
"Jeez, it's like being Alice in Wonderland," Blair groused as he chewed and swallowed obediently. "Now do I balloon up or shrink into nothingness?"
"Now, you go home to bed and stay there for a couple of hours," Jim ordered.
Blair opened his mouth but Jim reached out a long hand and returned the chin to its previous position. "Home, bed, chicken soup and more bed."
"That's the drill," Blair capitulated.
"You can walk out of here under your own power, Sandburg?" Simon asked worriedly.
But it was Jim Simon looked to for confirmation. "Yeah, he can, Captain," it came.
"Okay, then I want to two out you out of my office so I can get some work done!"
Simon got his wish.
But in the truck, Jim started the inquisition.
"Gee, I don't know. It's not just that I was up all night . . . "
"Yeah, Jim, I was sending out energy and that crystal got *hot*. . . "
"No, I've never tried it this way before . . . "
"Okay, okay, I won't do it again . . . "
"No, I didn't realize my breathing went funny. That is odd . . . "
"I'm sorry I scared you."
That stopped the cross-examination. Jim drew a deep breath.
"Yeah, it did scare me. It always scares me, Chief, when you do something all mystical or weird."
"Meditation is hardly weird. I do it all the time and you do it too, when I can get you to do it."
"Yeah, but this seems -- dangerous, Blair."
"Nah, I just didn't know my limits. I was too worried about thinking about safeguards. Shoulda put my alarm clock on to wake me up to go to bed."
Jim had to smile at that. It was so typical of the grad student who had be alerted when it was too late to go on studying.
"So that's all it was? A little too much, a little too long?"
"Yeah, I'm sure of it. I don't know about the crystal, though. I don't know if I'll use it again. If I do, I'll be more careful. I think, though, it had less to do with my finding a good focus for meditation than that I really, really wanted to help Julie heal."
"Giving of yourself in a different way?"
"Yeah. Only I didn't have to do it alone, Jim, and I didn't realize it. There are people all over the world who are praying and meditating and sending her energy, you know."
"Oh, yeah, all our friends on the list. I'm going to do it again tonight."
"Oh, no you won't!" Jim was horrified.
"Yeah, I will," Blair said calmly, and smiled gently at his angry partner. "So will you, Jim."
"What? You've lost your mind, Sandburg!"
"Jim, don't run the light!"
There was a second or two of silence while Jim Ellison decided not to crash another vehicle just yet.
"No, we're not." A plain statement of fact, or a sa-sa for a duel.
"Yeah, we are. She's your friend as much as she is mine."
"I know that! But it's not safe."
"Yes, it is. I just messed up a little. I needed someone to watch my back."
"Oh, so tonight you're gonna watch my back and I'm gonna watch yours?"
"Yeah, something like that. Just a little prayer, a little meditation, a little energy transference."
"Just like that."
"Yeah. You've got lots of energy, Jim, you can spare some of it for Julie. No one collapses and we both get to bed on time."
"You're sure it's safe?"
"Hey, Jim, I guarantee it's safe. I might take stupid risks with myself sometimes . . ." Blair bit the sentence short, going red at what he'd nearly blurted out.
But Jim finished the sentence for him. "But you'd never take stupid risks with me. Okay, Chief. tonight we'll both be sending energy Julie's way."
Blair turned to look at his Sentinel and saw the trust in his face for his Shaman's judgment. "Thanks, Jim."
"Any time, Buddy. Whatever it takes."
It's about friendship.