The Pick Up

By Travelin

EMAIL: Travelin

Summary: Blair is in the wrong place at the wrong time, again.

Notes: The muse was nowhere nearby for this one. Only have myself to blame for the contents herein. This drabble never crossed the desktop of a beta. All errors are mine!!

Feedback: Sure, you betcha...


The red light eerily filled the small, cold, enclosed area. Blair Sandburg, guide to the Sentinel of the Great City and teaching fellow in Anthropology at Ranier University, stared at the light, hoping for help he knew would not be coming to his aid this time. No, his friend, Jim Ellison, sentinel and detective in the Major Crimes division of the Cascade Police Department, was in Seattle attending a conference on urban crime.


Blair continued to look at the light as he shivered in the cold small space. Jim, he thought, would have helped him. But now, Jim was out of town. Blair had never felt so alone. Would anyone ever find him? He scolded himself for driving out to one of the professor's home to personally deliver an artifact the man wanted to inspect. The elderly professor lived in the foothills of Cascade. It was a beautiful ride there, but it was long, lonely ride back home. The roads were unlit and barely paved which made the trek back to Cascade tremulous at best. Finally, when he saw the borders of Cascade, he thought his troubles were all over.


Home, he mused silently, so near and yet so far. He should have seen it coming. Should have done something about it. Should have....


The light was growing dim. Soon the space would be totally dark. His fingers were shaking from the bone chilling cold that seeped in past the door. He would have to make his move while there was still a small amount of light. Jim, he pleaded to himself, why did you have to be gone today? I need you, man!


Jim had warned him about taking less traveled routes. There were unsavory elements all over Cascade and the detective believed that his guide attracted trouble. So, to counter the undesirable elements from approaching his guide, he advised him to keep his car in good shape and to stay on well traveled routes. Ellison did not want a repeat of the night when Blair's car was almost carjacked and they began to learn of the existence of Molly.


However, Blair did not heed the warnings. He simply wanted to be home fast as the darkness fell on the city. Now, he was in a bad place. He knew he had to make a decision. Gathering his nerves about him, he reached behind himself for his faithful backpack. He reached into the side pouch and pulled out his cell phone.


"Please..please...let there be enough battery for this call...please...please," Blair prayed aloud. He knew this call would cause problems, but it had to be done. Blair heard a voice on the other end of the call answer the ringing.


"Banks," the police captain abruptly barked into his phone. He looked at the clock next to his bed. One o'clock in the morning it soundless replied to the unvoiced question. "Someone better have a darn good reason for waking me up!"


"Simon," Blair barely breathed into the phone.


Almost unable to hear the voice on the other end of the call, Simon, concerned, questioned. "Sandburg? That you? Are you okay? Something happen to Jim? Speak up man!"


"Simon," the grad student interrupted. "I'm...I...need help man. See, I was taking this Mayan artifact to this professor. He lives in the foothills and ..."


"Babbling, Sandburg, babbling. Get to the point. It is one in the very still early morning and I'd like to try to go back to sleep yet today. Out with it!" Banks demanded.




"What? Say that again, and this time put spaces between your words!"


"I said," Blair began then took a deep breath and continued. "My car ran out of gas."


Silence. Blair hated the silence. The light that reminded him that he was out of fuel was now totally dim. He was alone, in the darkened car, phone to his ear but only hearing silence until...


With a steady, almost serene voice, the large police captain practically sighed as he commented, "...and this means what to me, except that you woke me? What do you think I am? The auto club? Call them, Sandburg, that's what they do!" Banks started to hang up the phone as he heard the desperate voice on the other pleading.


"Wait, Simon, Captain, wait! Don't hang up!" Blair pleaded. "I don't have an auto club membership. I have, um, Jim Ellison."


"Let me get this straight," Banks hissed, "Jim would come out at this hour because you ran out of gas?" Simon knew the kid was telling the truth. Jim would do anything for Blair. The whole sentinel/guide thing still baffled him. With Jim out of town.... "Okay, Sandburg. Where are you? Guess I can pick you up but let's NOT make a habit out of this, right?"


Releasing the breath he did not know he was holding, Blair agreed. "Yes, sir, not a habit. I will try not to bother you like this again," Blair vowed. "I'm just south of the intersection of Warsaw and Maple. I'm easy to find. There are NO other cars out here man. I didn't want to bother you, but Jim says when he's not around to go to you for help," Blair affirmed. Gathering strength, he continued. "Guess he thinks I may always need help. I don' t know why he thinks that. I've lived on my own for..."


Banks interrupted the young man before he started in on his life story. "Blair. I'm on my way. Hold tight." He hung up the phone. Yeah, he thought as he quickly dressed, the kid is a trouble magnet. Jim had been pulled into the Sandburg zone and now it's my turn. Hurry back Jim, he silently beseeched as he left his house. Not sure I will last long in the Sandburg zone! Simon Banks strode out of the house to rescue the stranded guide.