COMPASSION 101

BY: Lyn

FEEDBACK TO: townsend297@ozemail.com.au

AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: http://brothersinarms.tvheaven.com

DISCLAIMER: The characters of The Sentinel are the property of Petfly and Paramount. This fanfic was written for my own and others' enjoyment. No money has been paid and no copyright infringement is intended.

RATING: G

SPOILERS: Murder 101.

A themefic for June 2003.

Blair followed Jim into Jennifer Olsen's office building. Stepping into the elevator, he slumped wearily against the wall of the car and gingerly touched the gash above his eye.

"Don't poke at it, Chief. You'll start it bleeding again," Jim ordered gruffly.

Blair nodded and obediently dropped his hand, closing his eyes as the elevator started upward and his stomach dropped to his feet. Cold sweat broke out on his brow and he actually felt the color drain from his face. He locked his knees as he began to sag and drew in a shaky breath, willing himself not to pass out.

"You all right?"

Jim's voice came close to his ear and Blair jumped, unaware that the detective had moved to his side. He nodded carefully, sure his head was about to drop off. "Fine. Just a little shook up."

Jim studied him carefully, then nodded and relaxed. "Sorry I had to drag you out on this, but Ms. Olsen said it was urgent."

"It's fine," Blair reassured him, though anger still flared when he remembered the concern in Jim’s tone when he’d asked the caller if she was all right; a total about-face to what he’d shown Blair. As though it had just screwed up his day having to come and save his guide from getting his head beaten in with a baseball bat. The very thought of it caused nausea to surge again and Blair gagged, desperately swallowing against the bile that rose, deciding that throwing up over Jim’s shoes would be a really bad end to a totally bad day.

"At least it'll take your mind off that student for a while. Give you a chance to cool down," Jim continued.

Fire flashed through his veins and Blair straightened, almost toppling over as a head rush hit him full force. "I told you," he ground out through gritted teeth. "The guy is a nutcase. He raped that girl and paid his goons to have me beaten up."

"And I told you," Jim replied, his voice soft, though there was an undercurrent of steel in his tone, "that there's nothing I can do, unless you have some proof. Now, can we put it on the backburner for a while and concentrate on this murder."

Blair wasn't sure he was in any condition to concentrate on anything, but he gave a curt nod, and stepped to the door as the elevator came to a halt. Jim led the way down the corridor to Jennifer Olsen's office. She clucked sympathetically at Sandburg's injuries and hustled him into the nearest chair.

He tried to glare at Jim when the detective made a comment suggesting he wear a bag on his head, but it just made the closures on his gash pull, and he knew that he looked as pathetic as he felt.

He felt a small amount of pleasure when Jennifer Olsen told him that Jim had mentioned his anthropology studies, then blew it by uttering some weird bull about the universe and karma, that had Jim rolling his eyes, and Blair wondering if he did perhaps have a concussion after all. His head was beginning to pound rather badly now he was sitting still and he sat back in the chair and let the rest of the conversation wash over him. He hadn’t realized he’d almost drifted off until someone shook his shoulder. Opening his eyes, he saw Jim leaning over him, a frown on his face and Ms. Olsen hovering just behind the detective, looking worried.

"We’re done here, Chief. Let’s get this camera back to the PD and see what’s on it."

"Okay." Blair levered his aching body upright, unashamedly accepting Jim’s help in standing.

"Are you sure you don’t need a doctor?" Jennifer Olsen asked as she followed them to the door. "I really think, Detective…"

"Thank you for your concern, Ms. Olsen," Blair said, shaking her hand. "I’ll be fine."

Nothing more was said until they were back in the truck and headed to the precinct. Jim glanced over at Blair, studying him closely. "We could run by the ER before we go to the station, if you want," he suggested.

"Jim, I’m fine," Blair insisted.

"Maybe I should drop you at home…"

"No. I let you down earlier," Blair said, forcing himself to sit up straighter. "It won’t happen again." He paused for a moment, then continued. "And you were right. This murder case is more important right now than what’s happening with Ventriss, but I’m telling you, Jim, this kid is dangerous, and I’m going to keep digging until I get something on him."

"I’d be disappointed if you didn’t, Chief," Jim replied as he pulled the truck into the underground garage. "And I believe what you’re saying about Ventriss; your gut instincts are usually spot on, but just watch your step, all right? I don’t want to have to scrape you off the pavement again."

Blair reached for the door handle. "Gee, Jim, is that a little sympathy I hear in your voice?"

Jim stared at him for a long moment, no answering smile on his face. "Just watch your back, Sandburg."

"I will." Blair felt a little of the chill that had been building between them beginning to thaw.

"Why don’t you go clean up while we’re waiting for the photos?" Jim suggested. "And for God’s sake, leave the shades on. You look like road kill, Chief."

Or not. Blair glanced up at his partner and caught the twitch of humor curling Jim’s mouth. He led the way to the elevator, then broached his major concern. "Are you majorly pissed at me or something, man?"

Jim stepped into the elevator when the doors opened and stared straight ahead. "You could have been killed today… again. If I hadn’t been…" He rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed. "I left you wide open to Alex’s attack and today, with Ventriss…"

"So, you believe me when I say I know Brad’s behind this?" Blair fingered the butterfly strip above his eye.

Jim frowned. "Guess I could ask you the same question, Sandburg. What’s got you so fired up about Ventriss? It isn’t like you to be so pissed off, so angry, that you’re not thinking things through." He grabbed Blair’s arm and shook it. "You could have been killed."

"All right! I know!" Blair pulled his arm from Jim’s grasp. "I know," he repeated quietly. He slumped against the wall of the elevator, his headache making itself known again. "Maybe it’s a reaction to Alex’s attack, the trip to Mexico. Everything. I feel like I’m wound so tight, I’m gonna break in two."

Jim shifted so that he stood beside his partner. "Me too," he admitted. "It’s been a hell of a month, huh?"

"Yeah."

"So," Jim continued. "We get Dennis Chung’s murder sewn up, see what we can do to stop this Brad Ventriss in his tracks, and then we’ll take a break. Maybe go back to Clayton Falls. Do a little fishing, catch up with Linda."

Blair eyed his partner. "Sounds like a plan."

Jim reached out and ruffled Blair’s hair. "Go get cleaned up or you’ll have Simon on your case."

"Okay, see you in five." Blair turned right and headed for the men’s room. He still ached, still felt nauseous and angry, but he hoped… he knew that he and Jim were finally healing the rift that Alex Barnes had caused.

FIN

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