If You Can't Stand The Heat...
Summary: It's hot in Cascade and Jim comes to the rescue <g>
Warnings: None really, smarm alert towards the end. Also, this is post-TSbyBS.
Author's Notes: Well, it's dues time again (a day early!) and this little piece of fluff came to me. I do not own The Sentinel or any of the characters. This is not beta'd and only spell checked. Excuse any mistakes contained within.
Blair grabbed the water bottle and finished off the last of the liquid inside. It did very little to ease his discomfort. He got to his feet and walked over to the refrigerator to see if there were any more bottles of water inside. He was disappointed to see that there weren't. He forgot to bring them to his office from the loft. He thought about leaving his office and going to the cafeteria to get something cool to drink, but didn't want to endure the heat and humidity of walking across the campus grounds. It was unusually warm in Cascade for a change. In fact, the past week had produced record temperatures.
Although Hargrove Hall wasn't air conditioned, Blair had a fan blowing to circulate the air in his office. He was seriously thinking about canceling his afternoon class and office hours and find a pool where he could get cool. However, that really wasn't an option because Blair had several students coming by that needed his help. He always prided himself in helping students that asked, and even those who didn't ask. He took his job as teacher and educator seriously.
Blair looked at his watch and noticed it was time for lunch. He made the decision to call Jim and see if the detective wanted to take pity on him and spring for lunch, hopefully at an air-conditioned restaurant somehow. Blair would even take Wonder Burger just to get some relief from the heat and humidity of the day.
Jim absently reached over to pick up the receiver of the ringing telephone as he continued to type in the details of his next report.
"You sound distracted, man! What's going on?"
"Oh, hi, Chief. I'm just trying to finish up my backlog of reports that someone hasn't had time to do for me."
Blair laughed. "Hey, I'm a busy and very popular professor right now. Everyone wants a piece of me."
Jim responded with a chuckle of his own. "Yeah, but you're supposed to me my guide and partner first and foremost. So, what can I do for you? You're not in any trouble at the university, are you?"
"Nah, man. Everything's great here, well except for the heat. And no air-conditioning here in Hargrove Hall and I just finished off my last bottle of cold water. I was wondering if you'd like to take pity on a hot, overworked anthropologist and treat me to lunch. I'd even take Wonder Burger, just to get some relief from this heat."
"Wonder Burger, huh? I'll be there in ten minutes, Chief. Just wait for me on the steps outside Hargrove Hall."
"I'll be there, Jim. And thanks."
Jim could hear Blair's laughter as he hung up the phone. Jim saved his report and shut down his computer. He walked over to Simon's office, opening the door and sticking his head in.
"I'm going to lunch, sir. Sandburg actually wants to have Wonder Burger."
"The heat must be affecting that poor boy."
"The heat is a contributing factor in the choice. I'll see you later."
"Tell that partner of yours that we miss seeing his beaming face around here."
"He's been in great demand at the university ever since they allowed him to return after the dissertation mess. I'm glad he stood up for himself and fought his way back."
"Yeah, the kid's got more balls than a lot of people I know. Go and get relief for your partner, Jim."
Jim couldn't help but smile when he pulled up to the curb beside Hargrove Hall. Blair wasn't on the steps waiting for him, but was by the fountain, his bare feet submerged in the water there. Jim parked his truck and got out, grabbing a towel from under the driver's seat. He walked over to Blair, sitting down beside him on the edge of the fountain. He noticed Blair had his eyes closed and wondered for a moment if the younger man was asleep. But Blair opened his eyes as soon as Jim sat down.
"It was just so inviting ya know?"
"I can imagine, Chief. So, you ready to go to lunch?"
"Yeah." Blair reached over and grabbed the towel from Jim. "I see you remembered the towel."
"No way are you getting into my truck with wet feet, even if you have your socks and shoes on."
"Yes sir, Mr. Anal-Retentive!" Blair gave Jim a mock salute, which earned him a smack to the back of his head.
"Guide abuse, guide abuse!"
"Guide abuse? You're the one with the smart mouth."
Blair kept chuckling as he dried his feet, put on his socks and shoes and got to his feet, pulling Jim to his feet at the same time. "Let's go, James. I have classes and office hours."
Over lunch at Wonder Burger, Jim told Blair that Simon missed him at the station. Blair almost choked on his salad.
"You're kidding right, Jim?"
"Nope. Simon's exact words were: 'Tell that partner of yours that we miss seeing his beaming face around here'." Jim did his best Simon Banks impersonation, which cracked up Blair.
"Gee, it's nice to know that I'm appreciated wherever I go."
Jim shook his head as they finished eating their lunch. "I knew it was wrong to mention that. Now you'll have an inflated ego."
"Nah, not me, Jim. I'm an even-keeled kind of guy. Never leaning too far one way or another. It helps when you're expected to excel at an early age."
Jim nodded his head. He understood the concept all too well. Not that he was a gifted student like Blair, but that much was expected of him because of whom he was and the responsibilities he had been given in his life.
"Before I take you back to the university, I'll stop by the grocery store and you can stock up on water so you don't dehydrate during the afternoon."
"You are the best, Jim. If I had my choice of having a brother, you'd be the one I'd pick."
"Well, if I could have the choice of another brother, you'd be my pick."
Jim carried the case of water inside Hargrove Hall when they got back to the university. It was the least he could do for Blair. He had done so much for Jim over the years.
Blair unlocked the door to his office and let Jim go inside ahead of him.
"You really didn't have to carry it inside for me, Jim. I could have handled it."
"I know, Chief, but I like to feel useful once in a while."
"You useful quite a bit, Jim." Blair removed the plastic from the water bottles and placed several in the small refrigerator. "Thank you once again. I'll see if I can get to the station tomorrow. I don't have much planned."
"Well, Simon will be pleased with that news. And I will be also."
Blair shook his head. "Get out of here, Jim. It's getting a little thick around here. I'll see you later at the loft."
"Stay out of trouble, Sandburg. I don't want to have to make two trips here in one day."
"I'll be fine, Jim. After all, it's a university."
"Bye, Chief." Jim turned and left the office.
"Bye, Jim," said Blair as the door was closing. He knew Jim would hear him. Blair turned to go to his desk, amazed at his friendship with Jim Ellison. To look at the two of them, no one would suspect they would be close. It was as if they were brothers. This suited Blair just fine.