Originally posted to SA May, 2004.
This is my offering for the May themefic. The request was for stories where Blair gets hurt (physically or emotionally) through the fault of a member of Major Crimes. And although the fault in this story could be partly Blair's, there is an accomplice.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own them, but I love to hurt them.
SUMMARY: Trouble at a safe house (I suck at summaries)
All mistakes are mine
It Was Only an Accident
By: Debbie Tripp
Blair Sandburg was bored. He had been stuck in the safe house for five days now. He wished that Jim had been able to stay with him at the safe house. But Jim had to testify in a high-profile case that had started on Monday. So, the baby-sitting assignment had fallen to the other detectives in Major Crimes. They took turns for Jim.
Truth was they all liked Blair. But no one mentioned baby-sitting in front of Blair. He thought it was silly that they were wasting money and personnel to keep him in a safe house just because there had been the hint of a threat by the men whom Blair was planning on testifying against. It had been the DA's decision, although Blair suspected that Jim and possibly even Simon had something to do with it.
It had happened eight months ago on the Rainier campus. Blair had seen the whole drug transaction go down. Blair had been able to stay back in the shadows and call Jim to alert him to what was going on.
Later, Blair had been able to positively identify both the seller and the buyer, a student on campus. They were arrested, along with several accomplices discovered during the investigation. It turned out to be a major bust by Narcotics.
All of the detectives of Major Crimes congratulated Blair on his quick wit and ability to identify the ones involved. But Jim had been worried from the moment Blair had called him. He had stayed by Blair's side for weeks afterward. He had finally eased up somewhat on his over protectiveness.
The threats came a week before the trial was to begin. It was vague remarks from the drug dealers that they would be able to get off. And those witnesses weren't always available.
Jim became more worried when he found out that he wouldn't be able to be at the safe house the entire week with Blair. Jim had tried to explain to the DA why he had to be with Blair at the safe house and that the trial he was supposed to testify at would have to be postponed. But that didn't work. That's when the detectives of Major Crimes stepped in to help. They would rotate the five days left. Everyone had tried to reassure Jim that Blair would be safe in the safe house without Jim. Especially Blair.
Jim had been able to spend Friday evening and the weekend with Blair at the safe house. It hadn't been much different than life at the loft. Blair could tell that Jim was anxious Monday morning when Joel and Megan came to relieve Jim.
"It'll be fine, Jim. You can call me. And you have to concentrate on the Warren murder. Joel, Megan, Brian, and Henri will be able to fill in just fine."
"Just make sure that you pay attention to what they tell you to do. They are the ones trained for this. And no unnecessary risks."
"I'm a big boy, Jim. I know what to do."
"I'll be checking with the others to make sure. And I'll stop by if I have a chance."
"Don't worry about it, Jim. I know how you are after full days of testifying. Just go home and try some meditation. It really helps."
"I'll try it, Chief."
"I'll be fine, Jim."
Blair had been right. The added stimuli from court were taxing on Jim. He looked forward to talking to Blair. Blair would take his cell phone into his bedroom and softly talk Jim into relaxing. They did it every night.
Brian Rafe and Henri Brown were staying with Blair for the last three days before the trial. Jim made his nightly call to the safe house. Jim and Blair were missing each other.
"Brian and H won't let anything happen to me, man. And the threats is probably just a lot of hot air. You know how drug dealers get. No one is going to intimidate me and keep me from testifying."
"Just watch yourself, Sandburg. And I'll tell Rafe and Brown to be extra diligent."
"Okay, Jim. You do that."
"I never thought I'd say this, Chief, but I miss you."
"I miss you too, Jim. But it's only for a few more days. I'm scheduled to give my testimony on Friday."
"Everything going okay?"
"Quiet as a mouse. And I'm bored. I've caught up on all my classes and even have lesson plans done for the next three weeks. I've already taken Joel's and Megan's money from poker and Brian and H won't play with me because of it."
"You need to let them win once in a while, Chief."
"Hey, I'm a struggling college student. You should get to sleep, Jim. It'll help relax you. And quit worrying about me and Rafe and Brown."
"Who said I was worried about Rafe and Brown?"
"I'll see you in a couple of days, Jim. And I'll make sure I duck."
Jim reluctantly broke the connection and went upstairs to bed. It was too quiet in the loft without Blair. Jim had resorted to putting in his white noise earplugs to block out the emptiness.
It had happened the next morning, when Jim was in court. The day before Blair's scheduled testimony. Brown called the ambulance and he made Rafe call Simon Banks. It had been an unintentional accident. Blair had been bugging Brian and Henri to teach him some defensive moves. He had been bugging them ever since they had arrived. Brian had finally relented and agreed to show Blair some moves. Everything was going smoothly until Blair had missed a hold and slipped on the floor. He landed awkwardly, with his right leg bearing most of the weight of his body. And he had banged his head and lost consciousness for a few minutes.
By the time the ambulance arrived, Blair had regained consciousness. But Henri kept him still and flat on the floor. Rafe came over a few minutes later. He didn't look happy at all.
"The captain told me we're to stick like glue to Sandburg on the trip to the hospital. He'll meet us there."
"Was Jim there?"
"No. the captain said we were lucky that Jim was still in court."
"Hey, guys? I don't blame you. It was my idea. If anything, it was my fault."
"I don't think the captain will look at it that way, Blair. And I'm sure Jim won't look at it that way, either."
"We should have known better."
The paramedics got Blair ready to transport and turned to the two detectives.
"We're ready to transport, detectives."
Brian went over to the gurney."I'm sorry about this, Blair."
"I told you - you're not - to - blame, Bri-an." Blair was trying to grin through the pain. But it was getting to be hard.
Brian and Henri followed the ambulance to the hospital. Simon was waiting for them to arrive. He was there when the gurney was wheeled in. He didn't look happy at all. He watched as Blair was wheeled into an examination room. Simon stopped Rafe and Brown outside the examination room.
"I told you on the phone, captain. It was just as I said. It was an accident."
"Whose idea was it?"
"Blair was the one who brought it up. It was actually yesterday he started. We tried to dissuade him, but he was persistent. I finally gave in. Just so he'd quit bugging us about it."
"I thought you were more professional than that, detective."
"I didn't hurt him on purpose, captain!!"
"It wasn't a smart thing to do, Rafe. Sandburg could have been seriously hurt. A safe house is no where to practice self defense maneuvers."
"It wasn't like I was trying to do any drops on him or anything dangerous."
"Okay. I'm going to get Sandburg's side of this story as soon as I can. Is there anything you'd like to add, Detective Brown?"
"No, sir. Except that it was an unfortunate slip on Hairboy's part."
"Yeah. Real humorous, detective." Simon Banks was not amused.
It was about an hour later when the doctor came out to talk to Simon, Brian and Henri.
"How is he, doctor?"
"Mr. Sandburg suffered a break of his right fibula. It's the smaller bone in the leg. It seems like it's a straightforward break with no complications at the moment. He's also suffering from a slight concussion. We should be able to release him after we put the cast on his leg and it dries."
"Can I talk to him?"
"For a few minutes. He may be a little groggy. We gave him something for the pain. And we're going to set his leg in about ten minutes or so."
"Thank you, doctor." Simon turned to Rafe and Brown. "You two stay here."
Simon walked into the examination room. He stood by the bed. Blair's eyes were open and he was looking at the ceiling.
Blair looked at Simon and smiled."Hey, Si -- mon."
"What happened, Sandburg?"
Blair's smile suddenly disappeared."It - was - all - my - fault. Don't bl-blame Bri - and H."
"They should have known better."
"Does - J-jim kn-know?"
"He was still in court. The doctor says you can be released after the cast is put on and dries."
"B-back to sa-fe house?"
"We'll see. Just relax."
"I j-just want - ed to l-learn self-defense."
"Jim's not going to be happy about this."
"He'll g-get o-ver it..."
Blair drifted off asleep. Simon left the examination room. Rafe and Brown was both still where he had left them.
"He'll be fine. I left word at the station for Jim to come to the hospital. I'm going to let you two explain to him just what exactly happened and how derelict you were in your duty."
"Jim will kill us."
"Well, you should have thought about that before you agreed to show Sandburg defensive moves in a safe house."
Jim was able to finish up his testimony by 2:30 that afternoon. He left the courthouse and decided to go back to the station. He could call Blair from there. And he also decided to relieve Rafe and Brown of their responsibility. He knew from talking to Blair, that four days apart had been too long a time. They needed to see each other again. And Jim knew he had to come up with an appropriate thank you to Rafe, Brown, Taggart and Connor.
When Jim reached the station, Rhonda got Jim's attention. "Simon wanted me to give you a message when you got back."
"What message, Rhonda?"
"You are supposed to meet him at the hospital."
"When did he go to the hospital?"
"It was several hours ago when Brian called in. They were transporting Blair to the hospital."
"Blair? Do you know what happened?"
"No. I'm sorry, Jim. Just that the captain wanted me to give you the message to meet him at the hospital."
Jim tried to control his emotions as he left Major Crimes and got into the elevator. He was the only one on the elevator. He leaned against the back wall and closed his eyes. His worst fears were being realized. Somehow, the drug dealers had gotten to Blair. He wondered if Rafe and Brown were hurt also. Jim was blaming himself for not being there. If he would have been there... It might not have happened.
The elevator reached the garage and Jim got off and headed towards his truck. He could feel himself shaking. He got into his truck and drove to the hospital, sending up a prayer that he wasn't too late.
That Blair was okay. Most of the trip to the hospital was a blur because Jim kept thinking about Blair. It was a miracle that he made it in one piece. He ran into the emergency entrance, sure that was where Blair was. He spotted Simon, Brian and Henri standing by an examination room. Jim rushed over to them.
Simon noticed when Jim ran into the emergency entrance. He saw the look of panic and worry on Jim's face. Simon knew he should have explained more to Rhonda. But he hadn't known any more details and how serious Blair really was. And he had no idea when Jim was going to get there. Simon met Jim halfway. He placed a hand on Jim's chest to stop him.
"Where is he? Is he okay? How bad was it?"
"Calm down, Jim. He's fine. It was an accident."
"Accident? How could it be an accident? He was threatened!!"
"Jim? This has nothing to do with the case against those drug dealers. It was an accident. Rafe, Brown and Sandburg were fooling around. I'll let Rafe and Brown explain things to you."
"What's wrong with Sandburg? How is he?"
"He'll be fine, Jim. Really. They're putting the cast on his leg right now. And he only has a slight concussion."
Jim closed his eyes again. He had thought the worst and it hadn't happened that way. He realized someone was talking to him. He opened his eyes and say Rafe talking. Jim held up his hand."Not right now, Rafe. I want to see Sandburg first, and then I'll listen to what you two have to say."
Jim walked away from the three men. He stood closer to the examination room and tried to hone in to Blair. But he was having a hard time. He knew it would be hard until he was able to see Blair.
It was about 20 minutes later when the doctor came out to let them know that they had placed the cast on Blair's right leg and then needed to wait until it was dry before Blair could leave. Jim asked if he could go in to see Blair. The doctor said yes.
Jim walked into the examination room. A nurse was just finishing up a last-minute check before she left. She left and Jim walked over to the bed and looked down at Blair. His eyes were closed but Jim knew he wasn't asleep. Jim touched Blair on the shoulder and let the familiar wash over him. Blair opened his eyes and smiled at Jim. It was a goofy, drugged smile, but a smile nonetheless. Jim had to smile back.
"Hey, buddy. You okay?"
"'m bet-ter t'an 'kay."
"Yeah. You sound like it. So? What happened?"
"It - was-s-s al-l-l-l m-my faul'. No' Raf-f and H."
"Okay, Blair. I understand. Why don't you get some rest? I'll be here with you."
Blair closed his eyes again and Jim kept his contact with Blair's shoulder. Jim could hear the soft sigh from Blair as he drifted off asleep. Jim stayed there, drowning in the sensations of his partner. It had been too long since they had physical contact with one another. There wasn't a day go by that they didn't touch one another at least once. Contact over the phone just wasn't the same.
It was a few minutes later when Simon walked into the examination room. He saw Jim just standing there. He walked up to Jim and noticed Jim was focused entirely on Blair. Simon touched Jim on the arm and Jim jerked around to look at Simon.
"I was going to ask you that question. You okay? You didn't zone or anything, did you?"
"No. I didn't zone. I have Blair here. Ah...he drifted off asleep. It must be the pain medication they gave him."
"I had to call the DA to let him know that Blair was in the hospital. He's worried that Blair won't be able to be in court in the morning."
"It should be okay. He may be a little dopey from the pain medication, but other than that, he'll be fine."
"Good. I'd hate to have to postpone the trial. And I was also thinking that after the cast dries; you can take Blair back to the safe house and stay with him the rest of the night. And I'll send Rafe and Brown with you and you can keep all of them in line."
"All of them, captain? I've been in court for the past week. I think I deserve a break. Sandburg, I'll be able to handle. But Rafe and Brown also? Please, captain!! Give me a break!!"
"I just want them to explain to you what happened."
"Blair told me it wasn't their fault. It was his entire fault. Which I can see. He told me that he had already beaten Taggart and Connor at poker and Rafe and Brown wouldn't play with him. They probably had enough of him. He can grate on a person's nerves."
"That's no excuse, Jim. It wasn't an appropriate thing to do. No, I just want Rafe and Brown to give you an accounting of what happened. Then they can leave. Is that okay?"
"More than okay, Simon. Thanks."
It was several hours later when the cast was dry and Blair was released into the care of Jim Ellison. Simon surprised him by arranging to have an ambulance to transport Blair back to the safe house. Jim followed the ambulance and Rafe and Brown followed Jim.
Jim was able to keep his senses on Blair in the ambulance. When they reached the safe house, Jim supervised Blair's transfer into the house and had him placed in his bedroom. Jim stayed in the bedroom after the paramedics left. He sat down on the edge of the bed and fussed with the blankets and the pillows. Blair woke up and looked at Jim.
"Where - am - I?"
"Back at the safe house. Just for tonight. And I'm going to stay with you."
"I meant - it - Jim."
"What was that, Chief?"
"Bri-an and H aren't to blame for this. It was my doing. I was bored. I kept begging them until they gave in. I think it was that or knock me for a loop. And they knew that they had to answer to you if they did that."
"They still have to answer to me. I left you in their care."
"I was the one who wanted to know the self-defense moves. Bri-an agreed to show me. It was just an accident, Jim. It wasn't intentional or on purpose."
"I'll take that into account when they give their version of what happened. You get some rest. You have court in the morning."
"Okay, Jim. Thanks for staying with me."
Jim got up off the bed and left the bedroom, closing the door behind him. Rafe and Brown were waiting in the living room, sitting on the couch like men condemned. Jim had to suppress the grin on his face.
Jim sat down opposite them in the chair there."Why don't you tell me what happened?" Jim looked from Brian to Henri with his best interrogation stare.
Rafe was the one who gave the explanation. He looked anywhere but at Jim.
"Blair kept asking and asking about self-defense maneuvers. We wouldn't play poker with him after we found out that he took Joel's and Megan's money. Blair was basically bored. We kept putting him off, telling him that this wasn't the place or the time and that it would probably be better if you taught him, rather than us. But he said that you were bigger than he was and that he wanted to work with someone about his size."
"No one is Sandburg's size." It was said dead serious.
"True. But you are a little intimidating, Jim."
"Believe me. It doesn't work on Sandburg. Never has. Not from the very first day. So? Why did you give in to him?"
"It got to be a bit much. He's like a pit bull, holding on to something."
"Don't I know it?"
"So, I told him that I would teach him a few basic moves. Nothing strenuous or dangerous. No falls or takedowns. We moved the furniture out of the way and I was starting to show him basic techniques. It wasn't anything strenuous or dangerous. I was determined not to do anything that could hurt him because I knew how you would react to something like that."
"You're a smart man, Brian. So, what happened?"
"It was just an accident, Jim. You've got to believe me."
"That's what Blair keeps saying."
"I was putting an arm hold on him, partially supporting him. Somehow, either my arm slipped off or Blair slipped. He fell to the floor. His right leg ended up under him as he fell and he hit his head on the floor. He only lost consciousness for a few minutes. Henri called the ambulance and I called Captain Banks. We were hoping you was in court, hopefully for most of the day."
"And you didn't want to face me right after the fact, right?"
"Something along those lines. We do have survival instincts."
"Smart man. Is that it?"
"Okay. You have anything to add, H?"
"Nope. I think Rafe covered it all."
"Okay, guys. I suspect Simon wasn't too happy with this?"
"That's putting it mildly, Jim."
"He'll probably reprimand you more than I can. You can get out of here. I'm staying with Sandburg until he has to go to court in the morning."
"Tell him we're really sorry about what happened. Okay, Jim?"
"Will do, guys. And thanks for watching out for him. He can be a handful. Let's just say it was an accident, no one's fault. It was just a combination of circumstances. Okay?"
"Works for us, Jim. Thanks."
Rafe and Brown stood up and left the safe house. Jim locked the door after they left. He went around the house to make sure the place was secure. After he finished, he walked back to the bedroom where Blair was. Jim opened the door without a sound and was able to see Blair perfectly by turning up his sight slightly. Blair was asleep in the bed, lying on his back. His right arm was flung half over his face, obscuring him from full view. Jim stood there content to just watch as Blair slept. Jim's own frantic worry had been assuaged and he was relieved. Everything was fine everything would be fine.