Another Point of View

By: Debbie

EMAIL: debbie020556@yahoo.com

 

This is three vignettes, or snippets, incorporating Joel Taggart getting to know Blair Sandburg better. Missing scenes for 'Seige', 'Blind Man's Bluff', and 'Dead Drop' and spoilers for 'Switchman'. Written 6/2004 originally for SentinelAngst.

 

Joel Taggart walked through the bullpen of Major Crime on his way to Simon Banks' office. Joel had just been cleared back to duty after being shot in the leg. He had been off three weeks. This was after the Sunrise Patriots had taken over the station. He still had a slight limp, but the pain was a lot lett than what it had been. He knocked on Simon's door and heard him say enter. Joel walked into the office of one of his best friends on the force. And since that Sandburg fellow was part of Major Crime, he knew that Simon would give him the lowdown on the guy.

 

Simon smiled when he saw Joel walk into his office. The Bomb Squad captain was one of his friends. When he found out Joel had been shot during the station takeover, he assumed the worse. Simon knew there had been several deaths and hoped Joel hadn't been one of the casualties. Luckily, Joel had only been shot in the leg and had been able to help look after Daryl when they were all assembled together. Simon indicated for Joel to sit down in one of the chairs in front of his desk. Joel sat down.

 

"How are you feeling, Joel?"

 

"Well, I just got clearance from my doctor to come back to work. I start back full-time on Monday."

 

"That is good news. So, what brings you by here today?"

 

"I wanted to ask you what the deal is with that Sandburg fellow?"

 

"Oh. Him. He's working on his doctorate at Rainier. He's some kind of genius. He's getting his doctorate in anthropology of all things. He's here to study the inner workings of a modern police station in regards to how the quality of evidence gathering at a crime scene can affect the capture of a perpetrator and ultimately the outcome of the trial." Simon stopped to take a breath, seeing the look on Joel's face. "Those were his words, Joel."

 

Joel chuckled.

 

"You are kidding me, right? What does that even mean?"

 

Simon laughed also. "I'm not really sure. And he asked for full access credentials to observe Jim. Of all my detectives, he wanted to shadow Ellison."

 

"That's why Jim called him his new partner. During the Switchman case. I've got to say, Simon, the guy has balls. He stood up to Kincaid."

 

"So I've heard from the reports I've read from various officers. I have to admit, I didn't take him seriously when he was in my office that first day. He started to give some spiel aobut the thin blue line. I'm still not totally sure about the guy. But his background check came back clean and I've spoken to several professors at Rainier who tell me Sandburg is a great student and a great teacher."

 

Joel could only shake his head. "He sounds too good to be true, Simon. How does he put up with Ellison?"

 

"Jim pushed to let Sandburg get the access. Jim seems fine with it."

 

"Is it just me, or is Sandburg the complete opposite of Ellison?"

 

"Jim's changed, Joel. He plays better with others. I can't explain it but he gets along better with his fellow officers. He's actually almost a pleasure to be around."

 

"Well, it sounds like you have the best department at the station. I've got to go, Simon. Thanks for the information. It just seemed odd Sandburg would want to hang around a bunch of cops. But as I said, he held his own on both cases."

 

"Take care of yourself, Joel. Rest up."

 

Joel left Simon's office and saw Blair sitting at Jim's desk, looking over a stack of papers. Joel detoured past Jim's desk.

 

"How are you doing, Sandburg?"

 

Blair looked up at Joel, pushing his hair back out of his face.

 

"Oh. Hey. Captain Taggart, right? How's your leg?"

 

"I've been cleared to come back to work. What are you reading?"

 

"A pop quiz I gave my Anthro 101 students. Most of them weren't paying attention in class. I was just waiting for Jim to get back from Records. So? You're captain of the Bomb Squad, right? Is that as nerve-wracking as it sounds?"

 

"Not really. You develop a tolerance for the job after a time. Mostly, it's a matter of not showing how nervous you are."

 

"I don't think I could do that, Captain Taggart."

 

"Please, call me Joel. If you want, I can supervise a stint for you with the Bomb Squad, Sandburg."

 

"Please, call me Blair. Thanks bu no thanks, Joel. I think I'll stick to Major Crime."

 

It was then that Joel noticed Jim walk into the bullpen. There was a smile on Jim's face when he spotted Sandburg. Jim made it over to his desk.

 

"Hey, Joel! It's good to see you. This guy's not bothering you, is he?"

 

"No, Jim. I was just trying to recruit Blair for the Bomb Squad."

 

"Don't encourage him, Joel. I think he's seen enough action since he's been associated with the Cascade PD. Right, Chief?"

 

Blair smiled over at Jim. "Sure, Jim. You're the boss."

 

"Take care, guys. I've got to go rest my leg."

 

"Take care, Joel."

 

"Yeah, Joel. Take care." Blair went back to his stack of papers.

 

Joel walked from Major Crime. He reflected on the unlikely partnership of Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg. Joel wondered how long it would last. How long would an anthropologist last agains the headstrong detective? Joel would check with Blair in the future.

 

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Joel Taggart had heard through the station grapevine that Blair Sandburg had shot up the police garage while under the influence of drugs. It seemed like an improbable scenario. Joel went up to Major Crime and got the lowdown from Henri Brown.

 

Joel found out Blair was in Intensive Care at the hospital. Joel went to the hospital and asked if he could look in on Blair. When he explained he worked with Blair and he showed his badge, he was allowed five minutes.

 

"We had to send that other detective away. He was wearing himself out."

 

Joel knew the nurse was talking about Jim. He had also heard Jim had been blinded by getting some of the same drug - Golden - in his eyes. And that Blair had helped Jim into fooling the sellers of the drug that he could see. Joel thought that was no easy feat. It was no wonder the dealers had retaliated against the police. It had been a miracle that Blair had been the only one to eat any of that pizza.

 

Joel walked into the Intensive Care room after promising the nurse he wouldn't disrupt the patient. She told him Blair had been drifting in and out for several hours, but they couldn't remove the respirator because Blair's readings were still wildly fluctuating.

 

The first thing that struck Joel was how still Blair was in the bed. It was so unnatural to see Blair so still. Blair was a bundle of energy most of the time. As Joel got closer to the bed, he saw that Blair's eyes were closed, but that his eyelids were moving, which meant Blair was probably dreaming. Actually, in Blair's case, it probably meant a nightmare. A replay of what had happened in the PD garage, if Blair remembered.

 

It was a few moments later when Blair seemed to jerk awake. Joel could see the fear in Blair's eyes as one hand started to shakily lift towards the breathing tube. Joel was able to easily intercept the hand and lower it to the bed.

 

"That's not a good idea, Blair. You need to leave that in."

 

Joel could see Blair trying to focus on his face and the frown that came across Blair's face.

 

"It's Joel. The nurse gave me a few minutes to come in and check on you. i heard about what happened and I had to come to make sure you were okay."

 

Blair focused again on Joel.

 

"The nurse told me that they kicked Jim out because he was wearing himself out."

 

Joel could see Blair relax at the news.

 

"You're more worried about Jim than you are yourself. I heard you helped Jim deal with his blindness. Get some rest, Blair. I'll be back to see you when you can hold up your end of the conversation."

 

Blair lifted his hand in a limp wave goodbye. Joel left, hoping Blair recovered fully.

 

*************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Joel walked into the break room. He saw Blair standing there, his back facing the door. Joel cleared his throat.

 

"Blair?"

 

Blair didn't turn around. He gripped the counter a little harder, then spoke softly.

 

"Sorry, Joel. I'll be out of here shortly. Don't mind me."

 

Joel sensed something wrong and he walked over to stand beside Blair. He placed a hand on Blair's shoulder. He could feel Blair shaking ever so slightly.

 

"You okay, Blair?"

 

A chuckle escaped from Blair. "Yeah. It's such a silly thing. You'd think after several weeks, I'd be over this. I didn't even think about it when I walked into the station. Heck, I was to the second floor before I thought about it."

 

Suddenly, Joel understood what Blair was talking about. The elevator.

 

"I was just lucky no one was in here."

 

"If you want me to leave..."

 

"No, Joel. I'm better. Although, I think I should go splash a little cold water on my face. I feel a little flushed."

 

"It's understandable, Blair. The way you feel."

 

"Jim thinks it's silly. He says I should just face up to it."

 

"What does Jim know? Nothing scares him."

 

"That's not true, Joel. But it takes a lot more than a dropping elevator."

 

"Well, I have to say, he was worried about you on that dropping elevator."

 

"Yeah." There was a slight chuckle from Blair. "He was worried about missing lunch and maybe not getting dinner." Blair paused. "No. I'm being unfair to Jim. Plenty of things scare Jim."

 

Blair turned around to face Joel.

 

"Thanks for listening to my fears, Joel. It's cheaper than a psychiatrist."

 

"Anytime, Blair. Remember, you helped me with my phobia. Just remember to take the stairs."

 

Joel patted Blair on the shoulder.

 

"I'll be able to take the elevator again. I just have to give it a bit longer. Or at least make sure Jim is with me all the time."