LEAVING
A Sentinel Too Missing Scene


"I just need you to be gone by the time I get back," Jim said, walking out the loft door.

Blair stood, stunned, his arms raised slightly at his sides as he gazed at the boxes, trying to make sense of what just happened. What DID just happen, he asked himself. Jim is kicking me out? He's KICKING me out?! Why? What did I do? What's going on?

He took a deep breath, trying to calm his raging emotions, his gaze locked on the cardboard boxes. Here's my life... packed in boxes... geez, you'd think there'd be more boxes. What does that say about my life? Here I thought I had finally found a home, some place I could settle into. Okay, so before I always kept material things to a relative minimum... being a student might have had something to do with that, okay, yeah... but... but... I never really had a place I intended to stay for very long, so why accumulate a lot of stuff that would just have to be moved or trashed sooner or later? He swallowed. Until now... or at least, that's what I thought. He closed his eyes. That'll teach me.

He took another deep breath, and opened his eyes. Okay, maybe you're overreacting here, Sandburg. Take a step back and look at this objectively. Jim's going through stuff right now... I don't exactly know WHAT stuff, but stuff. I'm sure he'll cool off, realize he went off the deep end, and ask me back. He'll apologize, offer to buy me dinner... gee, you'd think we were dating... Blair forced a smile, then shook his head. Yeah, that's it. He'll come to his senses, literally. He'll change his mind, I'll make him sweat a little... maybe grovel... maybe I can get a really GOOD meal out of this. Yeah, that's it, he's just going through stuff, and he'll get over it like he always does. He's Jim Ellison, after all.

His eyes scanned the loft, drifting over the living room couch, the stairs leading to Jim's room, then the french doors of his room... make that his former room. A lump of fear rose in his throat, and he swallowed. But what if he doesn't change his mind? What if he's really had it with me? A fist clenched around Blair's heart, and the air suddenly became heavy. What if this is it? I mean, really it. What if he doesn't ask me back? What does that mean? Will he still want me around at all?

Blair clenched one fist at his side, the fear in his chest giving way to anger. Where the HELL does he get off, anyway? He just packs my stuff and gives me, like, oh thirty seconds notice that I need to find another place to live. What the hell is up with that? Who does he think he is, anyway? God, what a jerk! He can be such a jerk! I should just go right back in there and unpack everything. Damnit, Jim, you ever hear of 30 day notice? What the hell do you expect me to do? Find a hotel? Live in my car? Put my stuff in storage? Geez, man, thanks a LOT. You're a real pal. I mean, you've been there to save my ass from every psycho in the western hemisphere, but, hell, apparently giving me decent notice that I need to move is, like, just WAY too much effort. Don't strain yourself, buddy. I mean, I realize the universe TOTALLY revolves around you and I'm, like, just this little piece of space garbage that you can kick out of orbit at any time. So excuse me for breathing, man.

Blair closed his eyes, inhaling a slow lungful of air. Just calm down... calm down... get your stuff outta here and find a hotel for the night. Slowly, Blair opened his eyes, grateful that he'd managed to get marginal control over his emotions. He turned his mind away from the raging questions churning in his brain and focused, instead, on more practical matters... like how many trips it would take to move all his shit... not to mention that some of the boxes were REALLY big and he had only himself to do the work. And just how long is Jim planning on being gone? He could have given me a time frame here. I mean, an hour, two hours... The anger started to rise again, and he pushed it back quickly. There was no use dwelling on the issue. Jim wanted him gone, so he'd leave. Not a problem. Life goes on, after all.



It was close to 5 a.m. by the time Blair finished. Some of the stuff he'd decided to take with him to the hotel, and some of the stuff had gone to his office. He'd have to wait 'til tomorrow to look into storage options. Make that later today, he realized, releasing a slow yawn.

He inserted the key into the door of his hotel room and stepped inside, turning on the light and tossing his backpack near the worn bureau. He took a moment to inspect his surroundings, though he'd already seen the room when he'd moved the first batch of boxes. His eyes automatically focused on the boxes sitting against the wall, just beneath the window. There were only two of them, filled with clothes, toiletries, and a few choice books.

He sighed, closing the door behind him, his shoulders hunched with exhaustion. His back hurt like hell from lifting the boxes, and his eyes stung with fatigue. Briefly, he leaned against the door and let his tired eyes drift. The room was small, and not very pretty, but it would do for the night. Hell, he'd stayed in worst places. He'd lived in a warehouse, after all, before he'd met Jim... He swallowed. Before Jim... God, his life had REALLY changed a LOT in three years. He never would have imagined he'd become so... so... attached to someone. He'd never in a million years dreamt of finding a friend like James Ellison. He stiffened, moving over to the bed. Yeah, some friend.  What he really is is an egocentric jack-ass with delusions of grandeur. Blair winced inwardly, immediately regretting the ill thought. Jim, after all, was just being Jim... acting out of some fear-based instinct. Blair furrowed his brow. But what? What has gotten into him lately? Why did he just kick me out?

Blair released another yawn. He was too tired to think about it just then. He had to be at the university in a couple of hours. Maybe, just maybe, he could get some sleep before then. He fell foward, crashing face-first onto the bed, his head hitting the pillow like a rock. He closed his eyes, letting the darkness envelope him. Sleep, however, did not come. Instead, Blair found his mind drifting to the events of the past few days. He replayed the moment Jim had asked him to leave... remembered the slow dread that encompassed him when he realized the boxes contained his things. Slowly, he pulled his legs up, curling into a ball. Tears threatened to escape, but he clenched his eyelids, refusing to let them fall. He laid there until dawn, feeling very much alone.