Companion Piece to Ellison Sentinels Protect Their Sandburg Guides
After BJ made sure that Bet and Kenny were home safe he stormed off heading to the bus stop. He knew that his father and Uncle Jim wouldn't be happy with him riding the bus alone but he knew how to get to the university where his father worked and right now he just couldn't be in Bet's company.
How could she? How could she humiliate him so. To jump into a fight with boys even bigger and older than him and beat. He didn't care if she was a sentinel and that gave her some extra strength or that she thought that she had a right to protect him. She was a girl and younger than him! She had no right to butt into his business. How could he ever face his friends at school again, he mourned.
When the bus let him off right in front of the school he marched straight through the large campus until he came to Hargrove Hall. He ran up the stairs and down the hall dodging students and teachers alike ignoring the admonition not to run, intent only on getting to his father.
He burst through the door of the upstairs office his father now occupied, almost shattering the glass and ignoring his father's startlement launched himself across the room into his father's arms knocking the breath out of him.
Blair caught his distraught son a moment of panic lancing through him as he looked up and failed to see his friend in the door. He waited a minuet or two but when Jim did not appear he pushed BJ back and gazed into his tear-stained splotchy face.
Trying to keep the fear out of his voice he gently asked "What's wrong BJ? Where's Jim? How did you get here?" For a moment panic lanced through him again. "Is Jim alright? Is Bet, Kenny? What's wrong" Blair demanded taking his son by the shoulders and shaking him a little bit.
Words poured out of BJ but even though Blair was always accused of talking to fast he could not understand the fast river of words that overflowed out of his distressed child.
"Slow down BJ." Blair said firmly. He waited and when the boy had calmed he said "Now tell me again."
"It's Bet! She..she-how could she!" BJ cried emphatically.
"How could she what?" Blair asked, confused. "Is she alright. Where is Bet? Is she okay?"
"She's fine I made she and Kenny got home safe before I got on the bus and came here."
"You came on the bus by yourself?" Blair asked his voice quiet and serious.
BJ looked up at his father at that tone but then he dropped his eyes away. "I had to do Dad. I couldn't stay at the loft. Bet just made me so angry."
"What did she do that caused you to go off half-cocked as Jim would say?"
"The Morrison bulllies jumped me today. I mostly managed to stay out of their way since they usually like to pick on the boys who they know will have some money from home. But today they saw me reading under that big oak tree in front of the school while I was waiting for Bet and Kenny and they jumped me."
"There were to many of them for me to really beat but I was holding my own until something barrelled right into them and sent us all flying. Then the whirlwind came back and you could scarce tell what was going on or who was doing it but it was obvious the Morrisons were getting what they deserved. Finally they ran off and thats when I saw it was Bet."
BJ clinched his hands as he relived his embarrassement and dismay. "There she stood just this little whip of a girl." Blair had to smile at both the grown up words and the way BJ said girl. "Her hair was disarranged. Her dress was torn and she scrapes and bruises. I could see she was going to have a black eye. Well there she stood grinning smugly at me and telling me she was my sentinel and she had protected me!"
"Well I don't want her protection. I was doing fine by myself and the only reason they ran off when she came was because I'd already given them a whupping and they figured I had help. I didn't need her jumping in and having all my friends see and laugh at me."
He looked up at his father a plaintive look on his face and in his voice. "Why does she always have to be around me trying to protect me. I don't care if she is the sentinel. She is a girl and she two years younger than me. I don't want her to protect to. I told her I won't be her guide anymore so she won't fight anymore of my battles."
Blair tried not to laugh at the aggrieved tone in his son's voice. "That's just how..." He was cut off as the phone rang. He knew who it was even before he picked it up. "Hello, Sandburg speaking. Yes, why hello to you too JIm" Blair said sarcastically as JIm immediately began to question him. He relented pretty quickly when he thought of how he would feel if Bet or Kenny took off without telling him where they were going. "Yes he's here. Yes he's alright just extremely upset. Okay you deal with your end of this tangle and I deal with mine. Uh huh Jim, not like we've ever disagreed. Whatever you say oh master, oh sentinel."
Blair hung up and turned back to BJ a big grin on his face. He quickly wiped it off though when his son frowned at him. "Sorry" he mumbled uncontritely. "Okay where were we? Hmmm. Ah yes the sentinel is just wired that way BJ. I don't know how many times I've had to beat it over Jim's head I'm not an helpless child that he has to protect and guard. I've been taking care of myself for a lot longer than I knew him."
"How do I get Bet to understand that? Does Uncle Jim still do it to you?" BJ questioned frustration and quisitiveness fighting for a place on his face?"
"Oh yes he still does it but not nearly as much as he used to. It jsut takes a lot longer for the message to stick."
"Is that what I've got to do with Bet. Keep telling her and telling her until she gets it that I can protect myself?"
"Pretty much, son. You have to understand sentinels are hardwired to protect their tribe and are good for forgetting that the sentinel/guide relationship is a partnership not a protector/protectee deal."
BJ sighed "I sure wish Bet would learn it sooner. I'm going to be the laughing stock of elementary school."
"No I think Uncle Jim will have straightend her out by the time we get home. At least until the next crisis and until then we Sandburgs will jsut have to learn to deal with those overbearing, feral Ellisons."
BJ and Blair grinned at each other and Blair was glad to see most of his son't anger was gone. There was still some residule fall out but he thought over and all it had mostly burned out.
"Come on let's go home and make sure our sentinels haven't zoned and burned down the house."
"Yeah" BJ agreed wrapping his arms around his father. Let's go take care of our sentinels.