Aye!!!! Where is all the nice, finished h/c-Blair-owie fic? So what if you're studying. So am I. Does anyone have any idea just how *many* Federal Rules of Evidence there are? Unfortunately, *I* do. *groan*

Well, anyway, here is a little h/c (yes, you-know-who-you-are, it's high on the comfort. Happy, now?) :-) This is just a snippet for my study break. And so what if I take a study break every twenty mins! *G*

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The Edge
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"WHERE IS HE?!"

"I don't know!"

Parker's fist connected with Blair's jaw -- again -- and sent him slamming into the balcony's brick wall. Hands grabbed his shirt collar and lifted him off his feet, then pushed him over the ledge. His head spun, and his body ached all over from the beating it had endured. Above him, the dark, moonless sky provided a moderate level of privacy to the two men.

Blair glanced down at the ground three stories below.

Parker leaned over Blair, pinning him on the ledge and bearing down with his weight. Blair found it difficult to breath, and he closed his eyes, praying that Jim would come home early and take this guy down.

Parker's hot breath brushed against Blair's cheek. "You have three seconds to tell me before I put a bullet in you and toss you over the edge."

Blair swallowed, struggling to get the words out with the crushing weight on top of him. "I... don't know."

"Wrong answer!" Parker shifted slightly, then raised his arm and pressed the cool metal of the gun's barrel beneath Blair's chin. "I guess I'll just have to leave a message for Ellison, then."

"NO!" Blair grabbed the barrel of the gun with both hands and pushed, closing his eyes and bracing himself for the discharge.

Parker grunted, and Blair realized he wasn't dead yet. He opened his eyes and tightened his grip on the gun, struggling with Parker as he tried to gain control of the gun. His life depended on victory. Sweat made his palms slick, and he almost lost his grip. Parker was winning -- he was bigger and stronger and hadn't had the crap beat out of him.

A muffled crash sounded from inside the loft, and a second later the balcony door swung open. With a desperate cry, Parker smashed his fist into Blair's gut, grabbed the gun, and spun around. But he wasn't fast enough.

The last thing Blair saw before teetering over the edge was Jim's fist slamming into Parker's face.

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"JIIIIM!"

"Blair!" Jim lunged toward the ledge, momentarily forgetting Parker, but the intruder didn't forget about him. Parker took advantage of the distraction with a jab to Jim's kidney's that sent the detective to his knees.

Pain flared in his back, and he twisted around, rolling onto his back and bringing his legs up to catch his opponent in the groin. Parker doubled over, groaning, and Jim withdrew his gun from its holster and rose to his knees.

"Don't move." He pressed the barrel of the gun to Parker's temple, and the man fell to his knees in acquiescence.

Sparing only a single, anxious glance at the balcony ledge, Jim dragged Parker into the living room and cuffed him to one of the support beams. Then he hurried back to the balcony, his heart in his throat, and peered over the edge.

"Blair!" God, he couldn't believe it, but Sandburg was hanging by his fingertips from the bottom lip of the balcony. "Hold on!"

"What the hell does it look like I'm doing?" Blair's eyes were wild, and he kept glancing down at the ground several dizzying feet below.

Jim moved back and scanned the balcony, looking for something to use. He had to pull Blair up, but it would be hard to reach the kid without losing his own balance.

"Hurry, Jim! I'm slipping!" Blair's voice was weak and strained, but tinged with hysteria.

Damn. There was nothing he could use, so he threw himself back toward the ledge and leaned over, bracing himself with his knees along the lip of the wall. He reached Blair - barely - and wrapped his hands around the young man's wrists.

Blair stared up at him, a trickle of blood running down the side of his head, the redness stark against his pale face. His bottom lip was split open, and a dark bruise was already forming along his jaw.

"Okay, Chief, here I go." He tightened his grip and pulled, but his position was awkward and Blair's weight threatened to pull him over. He gritted his teeth and pulled harder, his legs tight and his knees digging into the brick.

Calling on every ounce of strength in his arms, Jim managed to pull Blair higher until the young man could reach the top of the wall. Then the two of them worked together, with Blair using his arms to pull himself up and Jim grabbing hold of the kid's collar.

Finally, they both collapsed in a heap on the balcony floor, panting hard. Jim lay there for several seconds, his back still hurting from Parker's blow and his arms and legs trembling with fatigue. He listened to Blair's huffing, then rolled over and pushed himself to his knees.

"You okay?" He leaned over Sandburg and performed a quick visual and auditory sweep.

Blair's heart was pounding, and his breathing was heavy and strained. He lay with his eyes closed, his brow wrinkled with pain. The blood along his face came from a cut on his forehead, and Jim focused on the wound, seeing the faint formation of a patterned bruise around the cut which told him the injury had been caused by a ring on the perp's finger.

Blair hadn't answered, so Jim leaned closer, brushing his hands across Blair's chest and torso, searching for injuries. He didn't find any broken bones, but he felt the trembles coursing through the young man. "Where are you hurt, Chief?"

Blair finally opened his eyes and squinted up at Jim. "Head... right shoulder... and my stomach."

Gently, Jim raised Blair's flannel shirt and took a look at his stomach. Shadows of new bruises were already forming, but he didn't think there was any internal bleeding. He clenched his jaw and darted a look at Parker through the balcony doors.

Blair's voice pulled his attention back down. "You... okay, Jim?"

He blinked, surprised by the question, and managed a small smile. "I'm fine, but I'm afraid you're going to have to go to the hospital, Chief."

Blair nodded slightly, his eyes pinched with pain. "Figured... Hurts."

Pulling out his cell phone, Jim dialed the ambulance. "I know. The paramedics'll be here soon."

"Parker?" Blair gasped.

"Taken care of..." A voice sounded from the earpiece, and Jim pressed the phone to his ear and gave the information to the dispatcher, requesting an ambulance and police units, then hung up and turned his attention back to Blair. "How long ago did he get here?"

"Twenty... thirty minutes, maybe." A spasm made him gasp, and he clenched his eyes shut, his hands going to his stomach.

"Chief?" Jim dropped the phone and covered Blair's hands with his own. "Breathe. Just ride it out."

Blair shifted on his side and brought his legs up, his eyes clenched tightly. "God... Hurts."

Jim swallowed hard, willing the ambulance to hurry, and moved forward. Gently, he placed Blair's head in his lap and slid his fingers to either side of the young man's neck. Then he began a slow, circular massage of the pressure points. "Just keep breathing, Chief. Try to relax your muscles."

"Easy... for you to say," Blair gasped, one hand going up to grasp Jim's arm.

"Shhh... don't talk. The ambulance will be here soon. I can here the sirens."

Blair obeyed, growing quiet. After a few seconds, Jim felt his partner relax beneath his touch. A few seconds later, Blair broke the silence.

"Do you know this guy, Jim?"

Jim automatically glanced at Parker through the glass. The man was seated on the floor, "hugging" the support beam. "Yeah. He's an old bust of mine. Mentally unstable. I didn't know he was out of prison."

The sirens became audible to normal ears, filling the night with a solemn wail. Jim continued his slow massage along Blair's neck, pleased that his partner seemed to be staying relaxed. Now, all he could do was wait for the paramedics to arrive.

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"Well, there's no internal bleeding, but there is significant bruising and abdominal trauma, and he tore some muscles in the struggle. He's also got a mild concussion and streched muscles in his shoulder."

"But he's okay?" Jim fidgeted in his chair, positioned next to Blair's hospital bed. His partner was snoring peacefully, enjoying a sedative-induced slumber.

The doctor nodded. "Yes. All he needs to do is rest and heal."

"When can he come home?"

"As soon as he wakes up. We've taken him off the sedative, and he should come around soon. I'll prescribe some pain killers and muscle relaxants for him, but, other than that, there's not much we can do for him here that can't be done at home."

Jim breathed a relieved sigh and smiled. "Thank you, Doctor."

The man nodded. "You're welcome. I'll be back to check on him in about an hour."

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Blair woke with a jerk, pain spasming through his abdomen. He gasped and closed his eyes, clenching his teeth, and then forced himself to relax and take slow, deep breaths.

After a moment, the pain subsided. Slowly, he opened his eyes. The room was dark, the yellow pipes barely visible on the ceiling. He glanced at the clock on his bureau. 4:53 a.m. He'd been discharged from the hospital only three hours ago, and already the pain killer was losing its effect.

A muffled creak broke the night silence, and Blair listened as footsteps shuffled toward his room. Moments later, his door opened and Jim peeked his head inside.

"You okay, Chief?"

Blair swallowed and nodded. "Yeah. Sorry if I woke you."

"No problem. I wasn't really asleep." He stepped into the room and sat on the edge of the mattress.

Blair squinted in the darkness, trying to make out Jim's expression, but all he could really see was an outline of his friend. And it was kind of freaking him out that Jim was just sitting there in the dark staring at him. Unless.... Oh no...

"Jim?"

"Yeah."

Blair closed his eyes briefly. "Thought you were zoned, or something."

"No, just thinking."

"About?"

There was a brief silence, and Jim shifted on the bed. "When... When I saw you go over the balcony, I... well... let's just say I'm really glad you're still in one piece."

Blair blinked, a warmth spreading through his chest. "Uh... thanks, Jim. Me too, actually. Very glad." He swallowed, taking a deep breath, his eyes drifting to his doorway and peering to the glass overlooking the balcony. "I thought I was a gonner, man. I mean, first he shoved that gun under my chin and I was just waiting for the bullet. Not that I would have really felt it, I guess, but it would have been messy." His voice trembled, but he continued. "I... uh... I really hoped you wouldn't find me like that."

He felt Jim's hand on his shoulder, and the older man slid closer to him, but didn't speak.

Blair closed his eyes, reliving the events of a few hours ago. "Then I went over the balcony and... well, that was not fun. I don't think I'll be standing out there for a while yet."

Jim's hand moved to cheek, offering a gentle caress. "I'm sorry he got to you, Chief."

Blair opened his eyes and looked up at his friend. "I'm just glad you showed up when you did. How is it you always manage to make these last-minute rescues?"

In the darkness, Blair could barely detect the soft smile on the Sentinel's face.

Jim shrugged. "Timing, I guess."

"Oh... Can you do me a favor then?"

"Anything you want, Chief."

He grinned. "Can you set your watch ahead five minutes?"

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pleeeease send me e-mail. Any e-mail. You liked it. You hated it. I should be studying. Don't quit my day job... anything!!!!! :-)
NawdC@yahoo.com