Disclaimer: Just borrowed, briefly.

Warning: Death Story

Additional Notes: This is a follow-up to my first new story, "What A Guide Must Do." I meant to leave that as it was, but most feedback told me it was seen as incomplete. So, I thought about it some more.

What a Sentinel Has Done

By Jayed

EMAIL: Jayed

Stunned, tears winning the fight to appear in his eyes, Simon Banks stood and looked into the bullpen. His eyes unerringly found the seated figure of his best detective, Jim Ellison. Missing from the scene was Blair Sandburg, Ellison’s partner. If the letter he read was true, and despite self-claims to the contrary, the writer was—or, Oh God, had been—an honest man, than that man was dead. By his own hand. In a final act of sacrifice. A small bit of hope flared to life in Simon’s heart when he saw Jim sitting there so unconcerned, calmly discussing the Rodriguez/Hamilton case with Megan Conner. Surely Jim would know if something was wrong…if something had happened.

Forcing himself to move, Simon stood. Reaching his door, he leaned out and called out for Jim to join him. With a final remark to Megan, Jim sauntered slowly into Simon’s office, claiming his usual chair. "What’s up?"

Simon sat quietly for a moment, staring at the detective he called into his office. Then, making a decision and nodding his head to confirm that decision for himself, he picked up the letter and handed it to Jim. He could have prolonged this, asked Jim where he thought Blair was, or offered condolences, but he couldn’t make himself play the game or offer a softening of the blow he himself had already taken.

Easily picking up Simon’s distress, Jim reached uneasily to take the paper and began to read, "Forgive the cliché, and forgive me for putting this on you, but by the time you get this, I’ll be dead. You see, Jim made a terrible mistake…" Stunned, Jim looked up, briefly meeting the sorrow in Simon’s eyes, and then turned back to the letter. "So, it’s become increasingly clear that while we have a bond, Inchaca made a mistake, and I’m not Jim’s true Guide. He doesn’t trust me. His first impulse is always to assume the worst about my motivations." Jim closed his eyes. He opened them again. The letter was still clutched in his hand. He forced himself to keep reading. Random lines continued to stand out, echoing in his head. "Jim has shown me convincingly that doesn’t trust, need, respect, or even much like me…The city needs its Sentinel. The Sentinel needs his true Guide. Yet, even a failed Guide must do everything in his power to help a Sentinel, even if it means his own death. I’ve long suspected I’d be willing to die for Jim; I just didn’t expect it to go down this way." Jim stopped again. This time he looked out the window instead of turning to look at Simon. He was afraid of what he’d see in Simon’s eyes. "I hope you will help Jim to find his true Guide. Please, look at folks in the PD or in one of his old military units. Choose someone he already trusts or is, at least, willing to learn to trust." Jim’s eyes closed almost involuntarily, but he opened them again almost immediately. He could finish reading. He could. "To help, I’ve left the only surviving copies of my notes about Jim’s abilities, allergies, and zone out cures in a safety deposit box at my bank. Enclosed is the key. Please make sure the new, no, the true Guide gets those materials." Jim didn’t look up as Simon made a sound suspiciously like a sob. "I leave no last words to Jim. I’ve said everything I could have already." Placing the letter back on Simon’s desk, Jim stood.

"Did…did they…has anyone…a body?"

Simon stared at Jim through reddened eyes. "I just got this letter through interdepartmental mail. He must have left it downstairs. I don’t know how long ago he left it. I read it and called you in here." Suddenly, forcing himself to move, Simon reached for the telephone. He spoke briefly with the clerk on duty. "Sandburg… Blair…was here about an hour ago. He gave the letter to the front desk clerk."

"Oh, God, Simon. What am I going to do? He can’t do this to me."

"What are you going to do? Damn, Blair was right. He was right." Simon’s pained whisper grated on the Sentinel’s frayed nerves.

"About what?" Jim demanded.

"You don’t much like him, do you? You’ve just read a suicide letter, one filled with information about how to help you, pleas for me to help you, and there you sit, worried about yourself. His last thoughts were of you. Apparently, so are your first thoughts." Simon paused as another idea occurred to him. "Why are you sitting here, Jim? Why aren’t you already looking for Blair? Gave up on the old Blessed Protector thing?"

"Simon, no, don’t. I … We have to find him. Maybe it’s not too late to find him, stop him."

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But it was.

END