Originally posted on SA in June, 2003.
This is another story that I had that I thought would fit into the June themefic. This is a missing scene from Cypher. It takes place after Jim has killed Lash and he rescues Blair.
By Debbie Tripp
RATING: PG (a few bad words used)
DISCLAIMER: Not mine unfortunately
All mistakes are mine
Detective Jim Ellison waited for word. He had lost count a long time ago how many times he had been in the same situation, waiting for word. About a loved one, a colleague, a perp or a friend. He always prided himself on being able to remain detached from the situation so that he wouldn't become emotional or caught up in the tragedy of it all. But this time was different. He paced back and forth around the waiting area. He had been there when Blair had collapsed from the chair. After Jim had removed the chains holding him there. Jim had yelled for the paramedics and stood by as they administered to the civilian observer. Jim noticed that Blair looked impossibly young at that point. The paramedics placed him on the gurney, even though he had regained consciousness. The paramedics told him that they were transporting him to the hospital as a precaution. He had replied to them softly.
Hearing him respond to the paramedics made Jim smile. He also knew that some of the drug that the serial killer had given him had been ingested. Jim watched as Blair Sandburg gave in to the drug. Truth be told, Blair had done everything right. He had kept Lash talking, delaying long enough so that the police could find them. It had been a combination of Sentinel ability and old fashioned detective work. Jim was beginning to see how he could combine both to become even a better cop. At the beginning, he didn't see how his newfound abilities were going to be able to help him on the job. They were more of a hindrance than help. But Blair had been able to get Jim to see the advantage of having hyper senses.
Jim wasn't able to follow the ambulance to the hospital. Captain Simon Banks wanted a full account of what had happened when Jim confronted David Lash, the serial killer. Jim gave a curt and concise report of what had happened. Simon noticed that Jim was distracted and fidgety.
"Is something wrong, Jim?"
"I just wanted to -- ah, stop by the hospital to check up on Sandburg. Lash got some of that drug -- that chloral hydrate inside of him. Plus he had a pretty bad bump on the head. He really fought at the loft before Lash grabbed him. I just want to see if they are going to let him go home. I'm sure he'll have some residual fallout from this."
"Okay, Jim. Go see about Sandburg. Just make sure you come in tomorrow and write up the report. And if Sandburg feels up to it, have him write up his account also."
"Thanks, Simon. I'll be in early tomorrow."
Jim was able to leave the warehouse and go to the hospital. He thought about how close it had been. Another 10 or 15 minutes and they might have been pulling Blair's body out of the duck pond. It had all come down to Blair's ability to taunt and talk to Lash. It distracted him enough that Jim and the others were able to get to the site. Blair had gone above and beyond the call of duty. But it was self-preservation. He didn't want to die like the others. Blair had kept his head and did what was necessary. Jim would have to make sure that he told Blair that he had done well. Earlier in the case, he had all but accused Blair of being the leak. He had to make sure to let Blair know that he had done everything right after Lash had grabbed him. He had kept his head and thought about ways he could talk his way out of the situation.
Jim pulled into the hospital parking lot and walked into the emergency entrance. He walked up to the nurses' station and asked about Blair.
"He would have been brought in about half an hour ago. He had ingested some chloral hydrate."
"Oh, yes. I remember him now. I think the doctor left him in the examination room. He wanted to observe him for a while."
"Just a minute. Let me check."
She looked on her computer. And she looked back up at Jim.
"Dr. Sanchez. He should still be around here somewhere. Your friend is in examination room six. I'll see if the doctor is in there."
"I'd like to talk to him if he is."
It took Dr. Sanchez another half hour to come out to talk to Jim. He shook hands with Jim and introduced himself.
"What is your relationship with Mr. Sandburg?"
"He works with me as an observer with the police department. Is he going to be okay?"
"He should be. The dosage of trichlorelhanol wasn't that high. He's drifting in and out of consciousness right now. I'd like to keep him here overnight to make sure that there are no side effects."
"Is there any way that he can go home? We're roommates and I can look out for him. I was a trained medic in the army. I can watch him to make sure that nothing goes wrong. It's just that he's been through quite a trauma tonight and I think he'd feel better if he was home in a familiar place."
"I suppose I can release him to your care. Are you going to be there all night?"
"Yes. Just give me an indication of possible side effects."
"Well, besides the drug that he ingested, there was also a moderate concussion that he suffered. Do you know the effects of a concussion?"
"Yeah. Blurred vision, possible hallucinations, headache, bruised brain, and internal bleeding."
"Just make sure that you wake him up every hour or so. Fully awake. It may be a little tricky in conjunction with the drug. Just be persistent. To make sure that there's no problems. He also suffered bruises on his arms and legs. And there's chafing on his wrists. I've wrapped them so that they are protected."
"When can you release him?"
"Let me go and get the forms ready for discharge. You can go in and see your friend. He's in examination room six. I'll find you when I get the forms ready."
"Thank you, Dr. Sanchez."
Jim walked into the examination room. Blair lay in the bed, his eyes closed. Jim walked over to the bed and touched Blair on the arm. Two not fully coherent eyes opened and tried to focus on Jim. Jim smiled at Blair and patted the arm.
"Its okay, Chief. You're safe now."
"La -- sh?"
"He's dead. I pumped five bullets into his body. His days of identity stealing are over."
"I know. I'm going to get the doctor to let me take you home. You'll sleep better in your own bed."
"Just relax, Chief."
Jim reached up and pushed back several strands of hair that were across Blair's face. Blair sighed and closed his eyes. Jim concentrated his Sentinel hearing on Blair's heartbeat and respiration. It seemed a little slow. Blair sighed again and Jim moved his hand to Blair's forehead. There was a slight fever. All of a sudden, Blair jerked on the bed. His eyes shot open. He clawed, trying to get away from Jim. Jim was able to subdue Blair's thrashings.
"Calm down, Blair. It's okay. No one is going to hurt you. You're safe."
Blair relaxed again. But Jim noticed that his eyes were unfocused. He knew that a side effect of both the drug and a concussion was confusion. Jim was thinking that it was going to be a long night ahead for both of them.
Dr. Sanchez came back into the examination room about an hour later.
Blair's eyes were closed again.
"How is he doing?"
"He's a little confused. Can he leave?"
"Yeah. Since he probably can't sign the release forms, you can do it for him. But if there are any serious problems, bring him back in. Okay?"
"Yes. I understand."
Dr. Sanchez handed Jim the release forms and he signed them. He also handed Jim a fact sheet on chloral hydrate--side effects, etc.
"Just watch out for any of these side effects. There shouldn't be any problems because of the small dosage he received. But each person is different."
"Thank you, Dr. Sanchez. I'm sure we'll be okay."
Dr. Sanchez left the examination room. Jim looked around the small room and spotted Blair's clothes on a chair by the wall. Jim walked over and looked them over. At least the hospital personnel hadn't cut off Blair's clothes. They were a little dirty, but would be good enough to get Blair home in. Once home, Jim would help Blair change his clothes. Jim picked up the clothes and went back over to the bed. It seemed like Blair was ready to sleep off the effects of what had happened. Jim knew that he'd have to rouse him up.
"Hey, Chief. You want to wake up? I've got your clothes here and I've signed the release forms so that you can go home."
Blair moaned in the bed and partially opened his eyes. He looked up at Jim and tried to sit up. Jim held onto him and helped him to sit up. He picked up the shirt that he had put on the bed. He helped Blair slip his arms into the sleeves of the shirt. Jim held onto Blair to keep him upright. Blair reached up his hands and tried to button the buttons. But he wasn't even making contact. Jim reached out with one hand and gathered both of Blair's hands in his one hand.
"Why don't you let me tackle this, Chief? It'll go much faster that
Jim let go of Blair's hands and they fell to his side. Jim buttoned up the shirt, not bothering with the layers that Blair had previously had on earlier. He grabbed the pants and shifted his hold on Blair. He got Blair's legs into the jeans and the pulled Blair off the bed to stand up beside it. Blair started to slide down towards the floor. But Jim was able to catch him before he fell. He pulled Blair close to him, almost into a hug. He pulled up the jeans and was able to zip and snap them with one hand. He carefully moved Blair over to the chair and sat him down. Blair looked up at Jim.
"I'm sor--ry, Jim..."
"Hey, buddy. There's nothing to be sorry about. You did nothing wrong."
Jim reached back and snagged Blair's socks and shoes and got them on him. He patted Blair on the knee afterwards.
"You ready to blow this place?"
"I-I left a-a m-mess..."
"That's okay. I'll clean it up. Let's get your coat on and we'll get out of here. You think your can walk under your own power?"
"If-f you ho--ld on to me?"
"Sure. I'll hold on to you. On the count of three, I'll help you stand up. One...two...three..."
Jim pulled Blair to his feet. Blair swayed somewhat, but Jim held on. He grabbed Blair's coat and put it on him. He buttoned up the buttons. Blair closed and opened his eyes again. Jim could tell that he wasn't totally with it yet. No big surprise there. Jim moved Blair out of the examination room. Blair blinked at the bright lights and lifted his hand to cover his eyes.
"We'll be out fo here shortly. Just close your eyes and I'll guide you."
Blair did as Jim told him. Jim maneuvered the two of them out of the
emergency exit and towards Jim's truck, which was parked nearby. Jim got Blair into the passenger's side of the truck. Jim locked the door and closed it. He went over to the driver's side and got inside. He reached over and got a pair of sunglasses out of the glove compartment. He placed the sunglasses on Blair's face. He also reached over and pulled the seat belt over Blair. Blair's eyes flew open and he screamed.
Blair tried to get out of the truck. Jim tried to calm him down.
"Sh-h-h, Blair. It's okay. It's just me. You're okay. I just want to put the seat belt on you."
"Oh, God!! I can't d-do th-this."
"Sure you can, Blair. Just relax. Take deep breaths and relax. I won't let anything bad happen to you. I'm going to put the seat belt on your now. Okay?"
Jim leaned over again and pulled at the seat belt. Blair watched Jim's every movement. Jim snapped the seat belt into place. He patted Blair on the arm.
"thanks for the sun-glasses."
"I know how bad the bright lights can be. First hand experience."
Jim hooked his seat belt and started the truck. Yeah, it was going to be a long night. Blair drifted off on the ride to the loft. Jim tuned into Blair's heartbeat and breathing. Both were slower than they had been earlier. Jim was concerned that Blair seemed to be living the abduction all over again. He hoped that those feelings would pass over time. Jim got them home as fast as he could without breaking the speed limit. He pulled into the parking lot beside the apartment building. He parked beside Blair's car. Blair was still dozing in the passenger's seat. Jim reached over and undid the seat belt. There was no reaction from Blair this time. Jim pulled off the sunglasses from Blair's face and put them back in the glove compartment. Jim got out of the truck and walked over to the passenger's side. He unlocked the door and gently eased it open so Blair wouldn't fall out. He was pressed against the side of the door. Jim gently pushed Blair back against the back of the seat. Blair partially roused up at the movement. He looked over at Jim.
"We're home, Chief. Do I have to carry you inside?"
"Nah. I can do it my-self."
Jim held on to Blair's arm as Blair got himself out of the truck. Jim closed the door after Blair was out. He still held on to his arm. He steered Blair towards the building. Blair seemed to be walking better and more alert. It was dark when they walked through the lobby towards the elevator. Jim wanted to make sure that he got Blair into the elevator just in case his newfound energy suddenly waned. Blair leaned back against the wall of the elevator and watched Jim. Jim still held on to Blair's arm.
"Help what, Chief?"
"Clean up. I had to do it."
"You don't have to clean up, Blair. I told you I'd do it. You need to rest and relax."
"But...I did it."
"I don't blame you, Sandburg. You didn't do it on purpose. Did you?"
"No. He chased me..."
"Just relax, Sandburg. I understand. I'm sorry about bringing it up again."
The elevator deposited them on the third floor. Jim helped to steer Blair towards the apartment. The door was hanging on by the hinges. Jim got them through the door and went to deposit Blair on the couch for the time being. He had to figure out some way to secure the door for the night. He had already planned to leave Blair on the couch and to camp out on the other couch in order to keep an eye out for any problems during the night. Jim put Blair down on the couch and knelt down to remove his shoes. He untied the shoes and slipped them off. He was also able to get Blair's coat off at the same time. Jim took the shoes and the coat and went over towards the door. He hung the coat up on one of the hooks and dropped the shoes on the floor underneath. He looked at the door, trying to decide what would be best to do. If he were on one of the couches, no one would be able to sneak up on them and try anything. He just had to close the door the best that he could and put something in front of it. He moved the door around so that it stood in front of the framework. He leaned it slightly so that it was partially closing the entrance. He then went to Blair's bedroom and pulled out an old trunk that he had put in there when he moved in. Jim had no idea what Blair kept in it, but it was heavy enough to hold the door in place for one night. Luckily, Jim was able to pick up the trunk and carry it to the door. It wouldn't scrape across the floor and damage the hardwood finish. Jim got the trunk up against the door. It would hold for the night. Jim turned around and noticed that Blair was staring at him.
"you k-kick--ing me out?" The voice was soft and barely audible.
Jim groaned and walked over to the couch. He sat down beside Blair and pulled him into a hug.
"I'm not kicking you out. Remember, I told you that you could stay for as long as you wanted to. I'm not kicking you out. You're more helpful than nuisance. Get it?"
"Good. I'm going to get you some sweats to change into and then I'll be right back to help you."
"How about we have a camp out in the living room tonight? You stay right there and I'll be back with the sweats."
Jim could tell that Blair had drifted off again. He took the opportunity to quickly go into Blair's room and grab the sweats for Blair, along with his pillow and an extra blanket. He came back out to the living room and noticed that Blair's head was resting on the back of the couch and he was asleep. Jim sat down beside him and removed the clothes as quickly as he could. He was able to remove Blair's dirty clothes and get the sweats on him without much movement or awareness by Blair. Jim was grateful for that. Maybe now that Blair was back home; he would settle down and relax. Jim was able to get Blair to lie flat on the couch. He covered Blair with the blanket and placed the pillow under his head. Blair was lying on his back. He remained asleep there. Jim stood up from the couch and looked down at Blair. There were a couple of bruises starting to turn colors on his cheek. And Jim had seen bruises on Blair's arms and legs when he changed Blair's clothes. He'd be sore in the morning. And probably have a doozy of a headache. Jim sat down on the other couch and was content just to watch Blair. He finally did look around the apartment and thought about what Blair had said. That Lash had chased him around the apartment. It was obvious by the amount of destruction that Blair had fought quite a bit with his captor. Jim turned back to Blair and settled in for the night.
It was about an hour later when the first nightmare came. Jim detected the thrashing about and tried to get Blair to wake up. But Blair was completely caught up in the nightmare and refused to wake up. Jim was more forceful. Blair swung his arms out in front of him. Jim was able to avoid getting hit in the face. Jim tried again to get Blair to wake up to reality. But he swung out his arms again. This time Blair's left hand connected with the side of Jim's head. Jim yelled out.
"Damn!! C'mon, Sandburg!! Wake up here!!"
Blair jerked awake at the sound of Jim's voice. He scooted backwards on the couch and fell off the edge of the couch. Jim was immediately by Blair's side, trying to get him up again. But Blair was still
caught up in the nightmare somewhat. Jim grabbed hold of Blair around his midsection, holding his arms down by his side. Blair still struggled to get away, but Jim had him effectively pinned. Jim stayed perfectly still. He whispered to Blair.
"I'm sorry, buddy. I didn't mean to yell at you. It's just that I didn't expect your hand to connect with my head. You with me yet?"
Blair didn't answer Jim. Just when Jim was going to help him back onto the couch, Blair started crying. Soft sobs at first. And then it turned into cries and moans. Jim held Blair closer and Blair rested his head on Jim's chest. And Blair held on tighter around Jim's waist. Jim accepted the closeness. After Blair cried himself back asleep, Jim gently eased him back up to the couch. Jim reached out and wiped away the tears from his cheeks.
"I am so sorry, Blair. We'll get through this. Just relax and get some rest."
Jim pushed back several strands of hair. With the movement, Blair woke up again. He focused on Jim. He sat up, despite Jim trying to keep him lying down. He scooted to the farthest end of the couch away from Jim. Jim got up and sat on the couch. But he made no movement towards Blair. Blair spoke a few minutes later.
"I'm such a wuss...I'm sorry. I-I didn't kn-know wh-what was hap-- pening."
"You don't have to apologize, Chief. You did nothing wrong. The doctor told me that there might be side effects; either from the drug or from the concussion you suffered. Why don't you try to go back to sleep?"
"I-I c-can't. th-the nightmares come when I close my eyes."
"How about if I stay by your side?"
"I-I hit you b-be-fore."
"I'm willing to take a few bumps and bruises."
"I'm s-so tir--ed."
"I'll sit here with you. Just close your eyes and go to sleep."
Blair did just that. He was asleep within minutes. Jim let him sleep two hours before he woke him up to check on his lucidity. Everything was fine. Jim let Blair drift back to sleep. Blair scooted closer to Jim and Jim put his arm around Blair's shoulders. Blair rested his head on Jim's arm. Jim could feel soft tremors running through Blair's body. Residual from what had happened. Jim wondered if Blair would ever feel safe again. Especially in the loft. Jim had gone to great strides to make Blair feel at home. He had even let Blair expand from his original room under the stairs.
Jim increased his hold on Blair. Blair snuggled closer and drifted deeper asleep. Jim would keep Blair safe. As much as possible. Jim woke Blair up a couple more times throughout the night. Blair seemed
to be doing better. At 4:00 AM, Jim let Blair sleep. He still sat on the couch beside Blair, holding on to him. Blair seemed not to mind that he was still holding on for dear life to Jim.
Jim remembered he had told Simon that he'd be in to do the reports. Jim looked at the time. It was about 7:30 AM. Jim gently disengaged
himself from Blair. Blair was still asleep. Jim laid him flat on the couch and covered him with the blanket. Jim went to the kitchen and started a pot of coffee. He'd make pancakes for breakfast. Blair continued to sleep on the couch.
It was the coffee brewing that woke Blair up. He struggled but finally was able to sit up. He grimaced in pain. He looked around the loft and settled on Jim in the kitchen.
"How are you feeling?"
"Tired. And sore. I'm sorry about last night. Maybe you should have left me in the hospital."
"You didn't need to be in the hospital. You needed to be in familiar surroundings. The loft was the best place."
"He's dead. I mentioned that last night. I pumped a whole clip into the guy. And I double-checked to make sure that he was dead. Simon thought I went a little overboard. But I wasn't going to let him get
hold of you again."
"Are you hurt?"
"A few bumps and bruises. But nothing serious. I've got pancakes. You want to eat?"
"Maybe some coffee."
"Can you make it under your own steam?"
Blair got to his feet and walked, weaving slightly, towards the kitchen. He sat down at the table and Jim set down a cup of coffee.
Blair took a sip and sighed.
"That's heaven. After I take a shower, I'll help you clean things up."
"I'm going into the station. Simon wants my account of things. Do you feel up to going with me?"
"Sure. I just need to take a shower. What about the loft?"
"We'll only stay at the station until the reports are done. I'll explain things to Simon."
"You want some of these pancakes?"
"Maybe a couple."
"How's your stomach?"
"No problems. I feel a lot better than I did last night. And I want to apologize for everything I did and said last night. I remember most of it."
"I was hoping that you didn't."
Blair ate three pancakes that Jim made for him. He discovered that he really was hungry. He finished his coffee and got up to go take a shower. He looked around the loft and sighed.
"Its okay, Chief. I don't blame you."
"It just looks terrible. I will help when we get home."
"Okay. But I don't want you to overdo things if you get tired."
Jim watched as Blair slowly got to his feet and weaved his way towards his bedroom and then to the bathroom. The younger man still wasn't 100 per cent. Jim listened as the shower started and then heard the unmistakable sound of retching. Blair hadn't been able to keep the breakfast down. Jim was wondering just how bad Blair still felt. He came out of the bathroom about half an hour later. He went into his bedroom to get dressed. He came out about 20 minutes later.
"I got sick in the bathroom. No need to worry. I cleaned it up."
"Are you okay to go into the station?"
"Yeah. I need to get this over with."
"I don't want to rush you, Chief."
"I'm ready to go, Jim. I'll be fine."
Jim saw the defiant look in Blair's eyes. He knew that Blair needed to do this. Jim would still keep a close eye on Blair.
"Okay, Chief. Just take it easy. Okay?"
"Okay, Jim. Thanks."
Blair and Jim both put on their coats and left the loft. Jim propped up the door as best as he could. They took the elevator downstairs to the lobby. Blair got into the passenger's side of the truck and leaned his head back to rest against the headrest there. Jim looked over at him. But he didn't say anything. He started the truck and drove them to the station. Blair kept his head back and his eyes closed. Jim knew that Blair wasn't his normal self. He hoped that the guys at the station realized that. Maybe Jim could tell them. Jim pulled into the parking lot underneath the station. He parked near the doorway. As soon as he turned off the truck, Blair came alert. He looked over at Jim and nodded.
"I can do this, Jim."
"I know you can, partner. Let's get this over with."
Blair was quiet on the ride up to Major Crimes. He walked through the doors ahead of Jim and looked around at everyone there. He gave them a weak smile and walked towards Jim's desk. Jim followed, mouthing the words "Not now" to the well wishers. Blair sat down in the chair beside Jim's desk and got out the necessary forms to fill out. He started in on them. He was quiet the whole time. Jim had never seen him so quiet and so focused on one task. He didn't look up from the forms. And he kept writing and writing well after Jim was done. Blair finished about two hours later. He handed Jim the forms and the report he had written out. Jim glanced over it, discovering that it was complete and thorough. Jim signed off on the report and went to put it in Simon's in basket. At that time, Simon came out of his office. Jim handed Simon the reports directly.
"How's the kid doing?"
"He still has some guilt over the mess at the loft. And he's not keeping food down right now. But I think things will get better. I'm going to take him home and let him get some more rest while I clean the place up."
"You should get some sleep yourself, Jim."
Simon looked over the report that Blair handed in.
"I'm glad that Sandburg isn't a full-time detective. I'd never get through his reports. And he makes the rest of you look bad in comparison."
"It's his anthropology background, sir. They're taught to be thorough and complete. He's told me that over and over."
"Take him home, Jim. He looks like he's about to fall over."
"Thank you, sir. I'll be back full-time tomorrow."
"If you and Sandburg need more time, it's okay with me."
Jim waved as he walked back over to Blair. He was just sitting there in the chair, staring out in front of him. Jim touched him on the shoulder. Blair looked up.
"Let's get out of here, Chief. Simon liked your report."
"Just wrote down the facts."
Jim got Blair to his feet and out of the doors of Major Crimes before anyone could really bother Blair. He drove home and helped Blair to the elevator. Blair seemed to have lost all of his strength in a
short amount of time. Jim helped Blair inside the loft and over to the couch. Blair didn't complain at all. He drifted off to sleep once his head hit the pillow. Jim got Blair comfortable and placed the blanket over him. Then Jim got busy cleaning up the loft. There was a lot of broken glass and broken pottery that could only be swept up and thrown out. Jim straightened the pictures that had been on the shelves. He looked at all of them. In such a short time, Blair Sandburg had been able to worm his way into Jim's whole life. To the point that Jim wanted him to stay. Jim straightened up a row of books and then looked over at the couch. Blair had burrowed down further and was deeper asleep. Jim hoped that the sleep would be without dreams.
Of course, it didn't work out that way. About two hours later, Blair started mumbling in his dreams. And the mumbling was pierced by a blood-curdling scream a short time later. Jim made his way over to the couch and took Blair into his arms. Blair almost immediately started to calm down. He pulled away from Jim a few minutes later. He got to his feet and walked to his bedroom. He flopped down on his bed. Jim let him be. Blair hadn't said a word at all. After a few minutes, Blair had drifted off to sleep again. Jim stood by, offering to give comfort if it was needed. To listen, if needed. To just be there, if needed.
Luckily, for both of them, Blair slept most of the rest of the day. Jim was even able to doze on the couch, ever alert for anything suspicious going on. But it was quiet.
Jim watched as Blair came out of his bedroom later. Blair looked at Jim and then looked around the loft. Everything had been cleaned up. It looked almost normal. Almost. Blair looked towards the door and noticed it was back on its hinges and normal. Blair looked back at Jim.
"I said I would help."
"I had nothing else to do. I needed to do something."
"You already did enough, Jim. You took care of Lash..."
"Yes I did. But that was the easy part in all of this. I want...need you to feel safe in your own home."
"I do. Thanks to you. I can't repay what you've done..."
"There's no need, Chief. The way I see it, we're even."
"How do you figure that, Jim?"
"You've given so much as far as help with my senses. And don't even try to argue about it. It's my duty to protect you. You told me that yourself."