By Lyn and Annie
"You sure you're up to this?" Jim asked, placing a supportive arm around Blair's shoulders as he handed him his crutches.
Blair winced as he turned his head to look up at him.
"Sorry," Jim said moving his hand to rest below the bandage he could feel under Blair's shirt. "Burn's still painful, hey?"
"It's not too bad, a little tender maybe."
He was still pale and Jim could see the shadowing of remnant bruising from where Williams had hit him. His lower lip was scabbed over and still looked sore to Sentinel eyes. He hooked the crutches beneath his armpits and balanced himself carefully, his bandaged foot kept clear of the ground. He gave Jim a faint smile. "Really, I'm fine," he said surely. He reached a hand up and squeezed Jim's gently. "I'll be better if we do this," he added.
Jim nodded his understanding then dropped his arm from Blair's shoulder and followed him to stand beside Troy Cotton's grave.
The memorial service for the slain boy had been sad and yet oddly uplifting as Troy's schoolfriends had spoken about him, praising him as the nicest kid in class.
"He just cared about everyone," his girlfriend, Jaimee, had said. "No matter who you were or what the problem was, Troy was there for you."
They'd played his favorite song, The Reason, and there wasn't a dry eye in the overflowing church by the time the service was over.
Jim had wiped at his own eyes fiercely before following Blair to the car to make the sad journey to the gravesite where Troy was laid to rest next to his grandparents.
He stayed close to Blair as Troy's parents came and shook hands with them after the interment, thanking them for catching Troy's killer; Mrs. Cotton clucking maternally over Blair's bruises and inviting them back to the house for something to eat.
Blair shook his head as he leaned forward and enclosed Troy's mother in a warm one-armed hug. "We have something else we need to do," he said.
Jim shook hands with Troy's parents, accepting their thanks, then walked with Blair to another part of the cemetery.
It was colder here somehow, the sky seeming more overcast than it had before and even as they reached their destination, a drifting rain began to fall. It was, Jim thought, as if Heaven was weeping for these lost children.
He stood back and watched as Blair limped slowly forward on his crutches and bent down to place a yellow rose and a sprig of rosemary in the small vases in front of the headstones.
"We'll remember you," Blair whispered, tracing a gentle finger over the names. "Rest in peace, Tom. Rest in peace, Jake."
Then he stood and rejoined Jim, allowing himself to be pulled into Jim's embrace. "Thanks for doing that for them, Jim," he said. "Maybe one day, their families will come and visit them."
"Maybe," Jim agreed, though he doubted it.
Jake and Tom were throwaways; kids nobody cared enough to get to know. He kissed the top of Blair's head. He knew them and Blair knew them. That would have to be enough.