Waiting For Word
Blair heard the ring of his cell phone as he was making his way back to his office. He couldn't answer the phone right then, as his arms were full of books and papers from his class just finished. He hoped whoever it was, would leave a message for him.
Blair suspected it was probably Jim, wanting to know where Blair wanted to have lunch today. That morning, Jim informed Blair he was due in court, probably for the morning, but thought that maybe they could meet for lunch. Blair agreed with alacrity. Over the past several weeks, they hadn't seen much of each other, what with Blair's commitments to the university and Jim spending long hours on a rash of burglaries that had escalated into violent assaults. From the little Jim had told Blair about the burglaries, there were no suspects and very little evidence left behind. Blair hoped to go with him to one of the crime scenes to see if Jim would be able to discover anything by using his enhanced senses. Jim hadn't asked for the help in so many words, but Blair caught on that it might be a useful tactic to employ. Blair had to admit that he still enjoyed dabbling in cases with the department.
By the time Blair arrived at his office, unlocked the door, dropped the books and papers on the couch inside and pulled out his cell phone, there was a message waiting for him. He saw it came from Simon. He quickly listened to it.
There had been an accident. Several vehicles, all involved in a chain reaction type accident. Jim's truck was in the middle of it all. The message from Simon said that Jim was unconscious and taken to Cascade General. Simon told Blair to meet him at the hospital as soon as possible.
"Damn! So much for lunch," worried Blair as he quickly grabbed his backpack and hastily scribbled a note to post on his office door explaining that his there were no office hours for the afternoon. He left his office then, heading towards his car in the parking lot.
He got to the hospital in record time, most of it passed in a blur. Blair's thoughts were on Jim and his reaction to medications and medical procedures. Luckily, he had been able to convince most of the doctors and nurses about Jim's sensitivities to medications and pain. But even Blair knew that it was an ongoing study, fluctuating in response to Jim, his condition, and other environmental factors. This was the most worrisome of all things connected with the enhanced senses. Blair spent many hours trying to come up with answers to various scenarios that could crop up unexpectantly. However, Blair knew there were infinite scenarios he couldn't even imagine. They just had to be flexible and Blair had to be prepared as best he could to deal with whatever life threw their way.
Blair walked into the Emergency entrance and stopped at the desk there. "I'm here to find Jim Ellison. He was brought in as a result of an accident."
Before the nurse could answer him, a hand landed on his shoulder. Blair turned to see Simon standing there.
"How is he, Simon? Did they tell you anything? Did he regain consciousness?" Blair fired off the questions nonstop.
"Calm down, Sandburg! The doctors are still doing their initial examination. They haven't been out to talk to me yet. Let's go over here and sit down."
"I should check to make sure they know about the medications "
"Blair, they know. And they don't need you interrupting when they're trying to do an examination. You'll just irritate them and they won't tell you anything. Let's go sit down." Simon gently steered Blair towards the row of seats near the far wall.
Blair allowed Simon to move him over to the seats. He sat down, but kept looking towards the examination area, wondering where Jim was, wishing, not for the first time, that he had Jim's enhanced senses and could determine where Jim was.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl as they waited for word about Jim. Every few minutes, Simon spared a glance in Blair's direction, amazed at how quiet the younger man was. He knew Blair was worried about Jim and he was too. Simon just had the word from the officers on the scene about how Jim looked and the fact that he was unconscious. Simon hadn't told Blair that there was blood covering Jim's face and it appeared as if he had impacted against something solid.
Simon noticed the doctor approaching them first. He looked over at Blair and slightly nudged him. Blair looked over at Simon.
"The doctor is coming." Simon watched as Blair looked forward and slowly got to his feet. Simon rose also to stand beside Blair.
"I'm Dr. Peters. I understand you are here for Jim Ellison."
"Yes, I'm Jim's partner, Blair Sandburg. I have Medical Power of Attorney for Jim. Has he regained consciousness yet?"
"Not yet. We're going to have to take him into surgery to check for internal bleeding. He's also suffered a broken arm, broken ribs, a broken nose and broken jaw. It's best that he's not awake to feel the pain he's in."
Simon saw the emotions play across Blair's face as he digested the news from the doctor.
"Could I see him before you take him up to surgery?" Blair asked.
"For a few minutes. If you'll follow me."
Blair turned to look at Simon. "Go on, Blair. I'll wait here for you."
Simon watched as Blair followed the doctor to an examination room. He knew Blair was still worried about Jim and would be until Jim was on his way towards recovery.
Blair followed Dr. Peters into the examination room. There was a nurse there, taking vital signs, but Blair didn't pay any attention to her. His whole focus was on Jim, lying on the examination bed. Blair cautiously approached the bed, taking in the sight of his friend. He noticed the bruises forming on Jim's face - around his nose and his jaw line. Blair could only imagine how much pain there was going to be when Jim woke. He only hoped the drugs would help. Blair decided at that moment that he would stay at the hospital, making sure he was there when Jim woke. At the very least, he knew Jim would need help adjusting his dials for his senses to compensate for the environment of the hospital, the strange sounds and smells especially when Jim awoke.
Blair reached out, touching Jim on the arm. "I'm here, Jim. They're going to patch you up and I'll be here when you wake."
Blair didn't know what else to do, so he turned to leave, passing Dr. Peters. "Thank you, Dr. Peters."
"You can go up to the surgical waiting room on the third floor. The doctor doing the surgery will be able to update you afterwards."
"Thank you." Blair left the examination room, returning to where Simon waited. "They are ready to take him up to surgery. They said I can wait and they'll update me when finished."
"Would you like some company, Sandburg?"
Blair looked up at Simon. "Sure, Simon. Thanks. It means a lot to me."
"Well, it's also the best way to get updates about Jim. I need to make a quick call to the station and then I'll join you."
Blair only nodded as he made his way to the elevator, getting inside and punching number four, the surgery floor. His thoughts were still on Jim as he moved automatically, walking into the room reserved for family and friends in surgery. He sat down after giving his name and Jim's name to the kind, older volunteer sitting at the desk inside the room.
Simon walked into the room, seeing Blair sitting in a chair up against the wall. He was staring out in front of him. Simon walked over to him, noticing Blair didn't acknowledge him.
"You okay, Sandburg?"
That seemed to bring Blair out of his contemplation. He looked up at Simon. "Yeah. I was just thinking about Ken Spencer's family."
Simon only nodded his head, knowing Blair had been close to the deceased officer and had mentioned he'd been by to see Spencer's widow and children several times since Spencer's untimely death. "It's always hardest on the survivors."
"Yeah, I know that. I've often wondered how I'd react if something happened to Jim "
"Blair, Jim is going to be fine. You saw him yourself."
"I know, but being a police officer isn't a safe profession. I have many friends on the force. It makes it more personal when one of them dies."
Simon knew how personal it was. He had gone through the same thing too many times. Simon sat down beside Blair to wait for word.
Blair hadn't acknowledged the arrival of Brown and Rafe, even though H had arrived spouting questions no one had answers for yet. Blair sat silently in his chair, staring at his clasped hands resting in his lap.
Simon had Joel sit with Blair while he dealt with the boisterous Brown and his myriad of questions. Simon led his detective out of the room into the hall.
"We're still waiting for word about Jim. He's still in surgery."
"Well, what's up with Hairboy? I've never seen him so quiet."
"It's just hard when someone close to you gets hurt. Blair was thinking about Officer Spencer earlier."
"Oh. Yeah, it's only been a couple weeks since that."
By the time they got back inside, Simon and H were able to hear the end of the doctor's assessment of the surgery performed on Jim. From the look on his face, Blair seemed pleased with the outcome.
The doctor left and Simon walked over to stand beside Blair. "Is everything going to be okay?"
"Yeah. Jim's going to be in pain for some time, but he should make a full recovery. Of course, he'll have his jaw wired shut for anywhere from six to eight weeks, so I'll have to puree his food for him. I wonder how a Wonder Burger smoothie would taste? Yuck! Just the sound of it makes me want to puke! I know! I'll go on the internet and get recipes for smoothies and shakes. Make some high-protein shakes, and things that I know Jim will enjoy." Blair looked around at the assembled group, everyone from Major Crime there to lend him support.
"I want to thank you all for being here. It means a lot to have your support. I now understand the camaraderie between law enforcement personnel and how you stand together as one."
Blair sat by Jim's bedside, waiting for the Sentinel to wake. He knew there would be pain, and some amount of confusion. He explained to everyone that he needed to be here when Jim woke. It had already been twelve hours. Blair had checked Jim's charts himself to make sure that everything was okay. It appeared as if it was a normal sleep.
Blair got Simon to drop off his laptop so he could start lining up what he would need to buy in order to help Jim. He got several recipes for smoothies and protein shakes, needed so that Jim wouldn't lose a lot of weight. He needed to look into buying nutritional supplemental drinks, fruit juices and yogurt. He had quite a list when suddenly he heard a moan from the bed.
Blair got to his feet and stood by the bed as Jim slowly opened his eyes. Blair saw the recognition light up Jim's eyes as he realized where he was.
"m - m - s - s " It was all Jim got out.
"Sh-h-h, Jim. You can't talk. They had to wire your mouth shut because your jaw is broke. Along with your nose, your left arm and several ribs. Do you remember what happened? Just nod if you do."
Jim slowly nodded his head. Then he frowned and pointed at Blair.
Blair seemed to decipher Jim's question. "No, I wasn't with you. Simon called and I've been waiting the better part of almost eighteen hours. Are your dials okay, man?"
Jim just shrugged his shoulders.
"Well that's no help, Ellison. Okay, listen to me. Let's move all the dials down to oh, let's say three. Start with sight."
Jim nodded again and did as Blair instructed. To be truthful, everything was kind of okay with Blair by his side. Blair talked him through all five senses and he had to admit, he felt better already. He sighed softly and closed his eyes.
"Yeah, get some rest, Jim. I'll stay here in case you need anything else. I'm going to do a little more surfing on the 'net and see what other nutritious recipes I can find to fix for you."
Jim opened his eyes, looking over at Blair. He pantomimed what Blair could only determine as a burger. Blair would have to burst Jim's bubble.
"Hate to disappoint you, Jim, but no Wonder Burger for the duration. I found a site that said to avoid greasy and fried foods. It will be healthy fare for the next two months."
There was a distinct groan from Jim and Blair only shook his head and smiled. He'd make sure what Jim had been good for him and nutritious. It was the least he could do for his best friend.