Title: Miracle Author: Pohlinda Rating: FRG Archive: No, but thanks Feedback: Yeah, sure, you betcha! Notes: Just a short story for this period's dues. The muse struck this afternoon and it pretty much wrote itself. This has not been beta'd. I do want to thank "The Sentinel Transcripts" (http://www.kelesa.net/transcripts/index.htm) for the quote used in this story as well as other reference points. This story happens about 8 months after TSBS but his dissertation was NEVER sent to Sid Graham!! Oh yeah between the '**' means thought/memory. It had been a long two months for newly titled Dr. Blair Sandburg. His dissertation on Police Methodologies was a complete success. He remembered the first time he proposed the idea to Simon Banks as the cover story to receive 'ride along' status with Jim Ellison. To this day, he remembered the 'thin blue line' idea about a study on the quality of evidence gathering at a crime scene, which then could affect the capture of the perpetrator and ultimately the outcome of the trial. Jim had disagreed with him about using that line of reasoning and in the end, Jim had resolved the problem by simply implying that Blair was his cousin's kid. Even then, Blair reflected, Jim was helping him. Now, the dissertation had been turned into a best selling book. Law enforcement agencies across the nation made it 'must read' material for all new recruits. The book was the best positive endorsement for all police departments. The general public loved the stories that accompanied the research. The insight, deductive abilities and bravery described in the book created a general public gratitude to their men and women in blue not seen since 9/11. Blair had traveled across the country on a publicity tour with interviews on talk shows. He had started in New York on the Today Show, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, and The Daily Show. He traveled over to Chicago for Oprah and then on to many other smaller markets. Today was his last interview. Today he was home, in Cascade. He was waiting in the Green Room at the studios of KPOV. He had agreed to allow Wendy Hawthorne to be the last interviewer on his publicity tour. She was very pleased to have Blair on her show; to have the 'local boy does good' story would raise the viewer ship on this day. Blair was tired. He wanted to go home, but at the same time, did not want to go there. He wanted.... "Dr. Sandburg, they're ready for you on stage," the page announced as she opened the door to the Green Room. "Thanks," Blair replied softly as he stood up and displayed one of his trademark smiles. "Just lead the way and I'll follow." The page held the door open as he exited the room. She led them to the stage where Wendy waited for him. Blair had asked for his segment to be a live segment, so there was also an audience waiting to see him. When he was visible to the audience, the crowd stood as one and applauded the young man as he made his way to the chair opposite Wendy. He waved to the audience, his smile gracing his face, as he sat down. Quietly, Wendy remarked, "You've quite a following out there Dr. Sandburg." "Blair, ok? Once you do the initial introduction, please, just call me Blair," he responded softly. "Certainly," she agreed. Looking to the stage manager, she saw the countdown to going back on camera. "Get ready, Blair, here we go...Thanks for staying with us this morning, Cascade. We are so happy to introduce our final guest today. He is the nationally known author of Heroes in Blue-A Look Beyond. He did both his undergraduate work and doctorial thesis here at Rainier University. He worked with the Cascade Police Department for over 3 years doing the research for this fine book. Please help me welcome to 'Cascade Today', Dr. Blair Sandburg." Wendy extended her arm towards Blair as she concluded her introduction. The audience applauded loudly when the introduction was concluded. "Well, Dr..ah.. Blair, how has all this media attention affected you?" Wendy queried. "The media has been quite kind to me actually, Wendy. I can't believe the attention my book has received, but I am grateful. I was not used to being in the limelight. I had been an observer at the police department and had always assumed a supportive role to those officers I worked with. I learned so much during my time there, and not just about solving crimes." Blair shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He recalled a moment that would always stay with him. **You might have been just an observer, but you were the best cop I've ever met and the best partner I could have ever asked for. You've been a great friend and you've pulled me through some pretty weird stuff.** "Blair, I remember you worked mostly with Major Crimes' detective James Ellison. Was he difficult to work with or ..." "Jim," he interrupted, "was the best friend I ever had. I was allowed to follow him and learned a lot about police work, but the biggest lesson I learned was about me. I learned who and what I was and my place in this world. He showed me what being a friend was all about. He..." Blair felt a tear escape the corner of his eye. He turned his head away from the audience to look upstage. "I must tell you all viewing this, that Dr. Sandburg worked for over three years here in the Cascade Police Department as I said in the introduction. What I did not say was that he and Detective Ellison worked as partners all during that time. I had the privilege to do a documentary on them a couple of years ago. I had never seen two people so outwardly mismatched as these two. You have to understand, Mr. Ellison was an ex-Army Ranger. Blair was a much freer spirit. To look at them then, you would think oil and water. However, for some reason, they worked together so well, it was like destiny or fate. One always seemed to know what the other was thinking or doing and could react to that, especially in tense situations. Truly, these two were the best of partners on the force," Wendy concluded. Blair had recovered and looked at Wendy. His eyes pleaded for the interview to finish...soon. She noted the plea and mentally picked her last question, hoping to cheer the sullen man. "So, now that you are back in Cascade after touring the country for the past two months, what are your plans? Is teaching at Rainier a possibility or perhaps working on the police force with Detective Ellison..." "I .. ah.. I have no immediate plans. I'm sorry. I just wanted to make it through this tour before I started to think about mapping out the rest of my life. I plan to visit friends here and then take it from there." Blair leaned back in his chair. Wendy was stunned at the usually ebullient man become so subdued. Still, he was a celebrity and perhaps, prone to mood swings. "Thank you so much for coming to our show today. Let's thank Dr. Sandburg again, everyone." The audience took the cue and applauded as the segment concluded, the spotlights dimmed and the cameras' red lights extinguished. As the audience started to leave, one stayed behind. Blair looked out at him and then rose to walk towards the lone figure. "Blair, or should I say, Dr. Sandburg?" Henry Brown asked as he grabbed the younger man's hand and pumped it in a handshake. "Blair is fine, as usual, H," Blair replied with a grin. "How is everyone? I, ah, I was going to the station after the interview. Think that will be okay with Simon and everyone?" "Hairboy, everyone would be totally disappointed if you didn't, man!" Brown exclaimed. "Great, great. I just have to, you know, go to one place first, then I'll come by, ok?" Blair waited for a response. "Yeah, that will be fine. When you're there, ah, say 'hi' for me too, will ya?" The detective looked at unease. "Take your time, Hairboy. We'll wait for you at the station." Brown patted Blair on the shoulder and then took his leave of him. Wendy waited upstage for Blair to return to say her farewell. "Blair," she blurted as he came towards her, "I didn't mean to upset you today, but clearly I did. Whatever I said, I'm sorry. If there's something I can do..." "You didn't do anything Wendy. I should be the one to apologize for my reactions today. I hope it didn't ruin your ratings or anything. Its just that.." Blair swallowed deeply, "I remember stuff today that had not surfaced in my mind for over half a year." Blair looked at Wendy's still inquisitive face; the reporter in her needed answers. "It's just that you mentioned Jim, Detective Ellison and, well, I thought you knew." "Know what, Blair? About Detective Ellison? I know that the last case you both worked on was when Klaus Zeller injured Jim. After that...you know...after that," she paused, "we didn't hear about him at all. Blair, what happened after that?" she persisted. "Jim was shot in the leg. It wasn't real bad. Jim being, well, Jim, wouldn't rest like the doctor told him. So, he went into the office and did paperwork. I was working on the end of my dissertation, so was at home. A call came into the office. Only he and Henry Brown were there so they went out to cover the call. Henry drove because of Jim's injured leg." Blair sat back down on the chair that he used during the interview. He rubbed his eyes to force back the wells of tears that had formed. "They never arrived at the call. Henry was sideswiped on the passenger side. Henry had hit his head on the glass of the door, broke his left arm and a few ribs. Jim was injured more severely. It took a couple of hours just to cut him out of the car. They didn't think he would survive to the hospital. But Jim fooled them all. He survived the trip to the hospital and the first of many surgeries that followed for the next few days. Still, he was so severely hurt, they used so many drugs...." The tears in Blair's eyes escaped, freely dripping over his cheeks then dropping to his shoulders. "I didn't get to the hospital right away. I ... I had turned off all the phones so I could work undisturbed on my dissertation. Eventually, they sent Rafe to the loft to find me and bring me to the hospital. By the time I arrived, they had already started him on drugs that were on his allergy list, but the attending doctor in the ER didn't see the list until after the surgery." Blair inhaled, held the breath then exhaled slowly. "Jim is in a coma. I think it is from the drugs they first used that day. It's been over eight months. The doctors don't think he, oh god, think he will ever wake up." Blair stood abruptly. "I have to go. I have to see him. His Dad put him over at the long-term care facility at Cascade General. I have to see him. Let him know I am around. Sorry." With that, the former police observer rose, walked off the stage and left the building. "Sorry Blair, I didn't know," Wendy said to the vacant chair. "I just didn't know. That never made the news..." ***************** Blair entered the subdued green colored room. His friend looked frailer than the last time he had been able to squeeze in a visit. A nurse entered the room. "Dr. Sandburg, good to see you. I think Mr. Ellison is happy too." Blair looked at the young nurse. "What do you mean, he's happy. He's just..." "Oh I can tell. His heartbeat seems to quicken ever so slightly. Don't tell the doctors, but I feel his spirit in this room. When you are here, well, it's just more at peace," the pigtailed nurse explained. "Well, I'm here for a while today. In fact, I'll stay until someone here kicks me out," Blair assured the concerned nurse. "Good, good. Keep a prayer in your heart. Miracles happen, you know. I'll leave you to your visit then." She softly left the room, a knowing smile on her face. "Hi Jim. Don't remember seeing that nurse here before, but she remembers me being here before. Oh well, it's good to see you again, buddy. Missed you. Would have been more fun doing this long road trip with you around, even if only by phone contact." Blair looked at the wires and tubes inserted or hooked up to the prone detective. "I asked the doctor about you on the way in today. You are off all drugs man, have been for a couple of weeks. They are just feeding you through these tubes now and monitoring your vitals. So, let's do it, huh? Let's surprise the hell out of these professional healers and show them the miracle that is you, my sentinel." Blair grasped with both of his hands the free hand of his friend. Using his thumbs, he slowly rubbed circles on the back of the hand. He then bent over the still figure, his hair draped in Ellison's face. "Ok Jim, come back to me. The drugs are out of your system, the body is healed. We need to bring the spirit back to your body. Listen to my voice, feel me touching you, smell the hair dangling in your face. Open your eyes Jim, see me. I'm here for as long as you want me to be. We're partners, friends. I need my friend back with me. I finished the diss man, toured the country, but still, no brass ring. You, my friend, are the brass ring. Come back, Jim. Please come back." Blair looked at the still figure. "Come back when you're ready, man. I'll be here." Blair continued to sit by his friend. The day turned to night, and the young man was there, now slumped over the bed asleep. He still held the hand of his friend that lay unmoving in the bed. The pigtailed nurse stood in the doorway and looked at the still figures in the room. She looked up at the ceiling. "Gabe, now would be a good time." She turned and left the room. Blair stirred at the voice. "Nurse, nurse? I must be hearing things." He gazed at Jim. If it was possible to see the difference, it seemed to Blair that Jim's coloring seemed vastly improved from when he had first arrived that day. "Jim, you are looking good man. Maybe that nurse was right. Maybe I should have stayed longer on the other trips, maybe..." "B'air," Jim's lips barely moved as the sound escaped. The injured man's hand flexed slightly as he repeated as softly as the first time, "B'air." "Jim?" Blair asked incredulously. "Oh god, Jim? Yeah, man, come on, follow the voice. Feel me touch your hand. Listen to me, come back. It's safe here. I'm here and I'm not leaving." Blair felt Jim's hand flex again. He looked up at his friend's face only to see two blue orbs staring back at him. "B'air...'ome?" "Yeah Jim, I'm home to stay, with you, if you'll let me." Blair's grin practically burst off his face. A short, stocky nurse entered the room. "Mr. Ellison, you're awake! This is so wonderful. I will advise the doctors." She turned to leave as Blair began to speak. "Wait, can you let the other nurse know Jim is awake. She was so sure Jim was doing better. I can't wait to let her know she was right!" Blair blurted. The short nurse looked puzzled. "We were short staffed today. I was here earlier this morning and then now to check up on Mr. Ellison. There were no other nurses scheduled for this room. I'm sorry. I need to advise the doctors about your friend now. So if you'll excuse me..." "Ah, yeah, sorry. Thanks for everything," Blair replied, confused. Blair returned his gaze back to his friend's eyes. "Well Jim, I don't know who that other nurse was, but she sure knows about miracles...you don't think...naw. I think Gabe was the only angel we've ever met. Still..." Jim smiled at his friend. He only saw Blair. That was all he needed. That was his miracle.