Decisions

By Demeter

06gen.jpg (12095 bytes)

BEST EPISODE RELATED GEN STORY

EMAIL: Demeter

For Orion who did some web research for me at that time, and generally, because without her, I would have never heard of 'The Sentinel'.

 

We pass each other by downstairs in the lobby, our eyes meet, and she’s giving me a tired smile. What a shitty day this woman had today, I can’t help thinking. First to hear those words from a detective you should *never* say to any woman, then being dragged into a dangerous hostage situation. Being almost killed in the process.

"Mr. Sandburg. I’m glad to see you’re alright."

"You, too," I return honestly.

"Thanks."

I watch her cross the street, her strides quickening as she approaches the police barrier.

I wonder if there’s somebody waiting for her at home, somebody dying to know how she is, or completely oblivious to the terror she was exposed to. Or maybe she’ll come back to an empty, lonely apartment – like I will. Maybe Vera will have her private little breakdown then.

Maybe I will, later on.

As I’m contemplating this, a man emerges from a black Saab, taking her into his arms, then they kiss. Well, that about answers my question, and I feel a sting of jealousy at the picture, imagine I could see them smile, hear the words they share.

Well, Jim could, and wasn’t he *absolutely* amazing today?! He and Simon went against Kincaid’s complete force basically on their own, and the Captain’s request for an explanation later tells me that Jim must have used his senses a lot. That thought distracts me a little from the fact that no one will wait for me.

Or not.

I had hoped Jim and I could go eat somewhere – not that I could eat anything now; just spend some time together, talk a little, and I’d even agree not to take any notes. It’s not possible, of course, there’s a lot work to do now, and he can’t just walk away from the mess Kincaid and his men have made.

Did I ever say ‘thank you’? I can’t remember, the time between being dragged across the roof into the helicopter and now is rather blurred. I remember, though, asking that smart-ass question Jim never really answered.

It was a rhetoric one anyway; I just couldn’t turn away from what I’ve found, a real-life Sentinel, and astoundingly enough, it feels like we’re about to become friends. At the beginning, I thought he was going to make this very hard. Now I can tell that he, too, believes, that this partnership (okay, association, I hear you!) is going to work out.

Everything is going to turn out just fine.

~~~

Vera might have had a shitty day, there’s no denying this, but the same definitely applies to me. It could be worse, alright. Six people have lost their lives, I don’t know how, but somehow I had managed to simply ignore that fact until now. Simon must have been worried sick about his son, Daryl.

Still, I came out of this nightmare rather unscathed, with only a bullet hole – now *breathe*, would you? – in the sleeve of my jacket. As from now, I’m a civilian observer in Major Crimes and Jim’s ‘associate’ (even though ‘partner’ sounds much better, Burton would have surely agreed on that).

I am alive and did not get to find out what exactly it was Kincaid wanted to use me for.

Why complain?

~~~

I open books, close them again, it’s not like I don’t have any work to do, but I just can’t sit down and concentrate for a minute. My hands are shaking, my mind is overloaded with images of what has been, and what could have been.

Kincaid’s face is in most of them.

I need to talk to somebody, maybe knock back a few, but mostly have company other than those rats in this warehouse of which part I call my apartment. There’s a few friends I could think of, but no one could really understand what happened today. Oh yes, I have someone in mind, however, I don’t want him to think I’m a total wuss, so that’s not really an option.

Then the phone rings, the sound making me jump.

Turns out a certain Sentinel not only saved my life today, but also seems to be able to read my mind.

The future’s promising to be exciting.

~~~

"That’s when I realized I didn’t even have your phone number. I asked Vera to get it for me."

Uh-huh. He must have done some groveling. Or maybe she just thought nothing much else mattered, now that we survived the day. Jim was eventually able to leave the station, and he’s offered to buy me dinner which I’ve gratefully accepted. It means a few more hours of not being alone with my own dire thoughts, my empty fridge notwithstanding.

We smile as if over a shared joke, then I say, "You know, you almost gave me a heart attack with what you did today, hanging under that helicopter."

No, that didn’t come out right. Jim is amused, though. "Funny, Carolyn said the same."

"What I meant is... you saved my life out there. Thank you."

"It’s in the job description, Chief." He shrugs. "Besides, I couldn’t let him get away with the only person who knows what’s going on with me, could I?"

"I guess not."

I take a moment then to look outside where it’s already getting dark, raining again. We’ve met here in this restaurant, and I was a little disappointed about it, because I’d really like to see how this man lives; I’m curious about it as hell.

I realize only just now that Jim is looking at me, in a way I can’t quite decipher. "What?"

"I was just wondering – if you still want to do this. Being an observer. I’d understand if you wanted to back out of it now; today was pretty bad."

It’s not possible, that there could be a trace of uncertainty in his voice. No, not Jim Ellison who showed us all today what being a tribal protector in a modern-day society is all about. No way this decision of mine could be of so much importance to him – could it?

"No way. I admit I don’t need another day like this, but that doesn’t change anything for me. You’re my dream come true, man!"

Jim shakes his head at me, smiling. "Oh yeah. You and I are going to have lots of fun."

~~~

Outside the restaurant, we say goodbye before it’s time to go separate ways again.

"You’ll be okay?" he asks.

"I think so."

"Alright then. You did a good job today," Jim says casually, already turning into the general direction where he’s parked his car.

"Wait. You really mean that?" I just have to clarify it. I wasn’t feeling too proud when they caught me in the end.

"Sure I do. Now get out of the rain, or you’ll be starting your observer’s ride with a sick leave," he advises, putting on his Jags cap. "Goodnight, Chief." A pat to my shoulder which is half an embrace, and then he’s gone.

I’m driving home, dripping all over the seat, but I couldn’t care less.

~~~

I decide I’m not jealous of Vera any longer. I might not have anybody waiting for me at home, but I’ve found something that’s at least as good, if not better.

My Sentinel.

The real thing.

~~~

THE END