You ever do those stream-of-consciousness rambling writings? The ones where you just write whatever comes to mind, unedited? Well, here goes! Don't blame me, blame my subconscious. I just though y'all could use some new fic for the end of the three-day weekend. :-)

Remember, this is unbeta'd, only spell-checked. Not edited. Not thought about. Just written as the words came to me, so be easy (but you can still critique, if you want!)

Um, but in retrospect, I will have to now warn you that there are spoilers for Sentinel Too and TSbyBS

Experiment Ramblings

Blair Sandburg sat on a cold, wet patch of grass overlooking a sandy playground. Children yelled and screamed, some with delight, others with pain. They sky above looked down upon the despondent man, its grayness reflecting his mood.

Little Children. Childhood. Fun. Carefree. Damn, he missed it. It had gone by much too quickly. He was getting old now. Just hit thirty. Three decades and, with each passing year, he seemed to make more of a mess of both his life and others.

First the Sentinel thing with Alex. Then the dissertation. Then his academic career. Then the cop thing. The academy. The gun thing. He hadn't meant for it to happen. It just did. Like all the other things he never meant to happen. Mistakes. Mistakes he couldn't take back. Mistakes he should have seen coming.

But he did see this one coming, he'd just hoped it wouldn't come. He thought *maybe* if he was careful enough and smart enough and alert enough, it wouldn't happen. But it did happen and now it was another thing he couldn't take back.

He had shot a cop. A *cop*. One of his own. Now a'days. He was one of them now. The Thin Blue Line. He stood right on it. Blair Sandburg. A cop. With a gun.

A dangerous combination.

It had all just happened so fast. The perp had spun around and fired off three shots. One slammed into the car next to where Jim ducked, missing the Sentinel's head by only an inch. Blair had let his training take over and pulled the trigger. He didn't want to kill the guy, but he didn't want anybody else to get killed either - and he was in just the right position to take the man out. The perp shifted and the bullet missed his shoulder by a hair's length. It ricocheted. Ninety-five degrees later the renegade bullet buried itself into the right shoulder of Officer Barbri.

No one knew the bullet had come from Blair's gun until the ballistics report came back. Now he was suspended pending an investigation.

Yep. He ruined one career and now he was ruining another. He was a total screw-up, not meant for this world. He should have been born somewhere else. Another place. Another time. Another planet. Maybe with another set of genes.

Whatever Blair Sandburg touched turned to ashes.

Ashes. Fire people. You think they're alive, but they're not. Just like he used to think he was alive, but he wasn't. Isn't. Maybe he really did die at the fountain and all this was just a dying-man's dream. The last fleeting images of a lifetime filtering through a darkening brain. A chemical reaction. Instead of seeing a light at the end of a tunnel, he was living the rest of his hellish life in the span of only a few minutes. Seconds, maybe.

At least then none of this would be happening. Barbri would be okay, not laying in a hospital.

A hand on his shoulder stopped him from breathing. Jim.

Always Jim. Always there. Always watching.

"There was a mistake." The Sentinel squeezed Blair's shoulder and plopped down on the grass next to him. "It wasn't your bullet. The lab messed up. They dug two bullets out of the wall from behind Barbri. Turns out yours was one, but the bullet that hit Barbri belonged to the perp. He must have gotten hit the instant before you fired."

Blair leaned forward. He didn't know what to say. One minute his life was in shambles, the next it was back again. Just like always. How many times would he have to go through that? He didn't think he could take another one.

"You okay?"

He shook his head, buried his face in his hands, and cried silently.
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