And Everything In Its Place
Epilogue to "Night Train."
DISCLAIMER: The characters of The Sentinel are the property of Di Meo, Bilson and Petfly. This fanfic was written for my own and othersí enjoyment. No money has been paid and no copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILERS: "Night Train."
AUTHORíS NOTES: Got to thinking how Jim seemed all sharp and angry in this one, especially with Blair and this is what occurred.
Jim Ellison jumped as something metallic dropped to the floor in the kitchen with a deafening clatter. "You wanna hold it down in there, Sandburg? Iím trying to watch the game in here," he griped.
"Sorry," Blair called. "It slipped from my hands."
"What the hell are you doing anyway?"
Blair appeared from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a towel. "I thought Iíd make some chicken soup for you. Thereís solid scientific evidence proving the healing properties of chicken soup, Jim."
"You could just open a can, you know? Itíd make less noise."
"Itís not the same," Blair countered. "All those preservatives just cancel out the good stuff."
Jim sighed. "I donít need a lecture, Darwin. Iím tired and a little sore after falling off that train. I just want to watch the game."
Blair had the grace to look abashed. "Sorry. I just thought it would help." He broke off and threw the towel onto the counter. "Look, the stockís made. Iíll just refrigerate it and clean up a little. The soup can wait for another day, another cold." He sneezed as though to emphasize his point.
"You going to come watch the game? Itís just about to start."
"Yeah, okay. Iíll be there in a minute."
"I hate to tell you this, Sandburg, but theyíre not going to hold the tip-off until youíre ready."
"I know that, Jim. Itís okay. You go ahead and watch. Iíll be there in a little while. I just need to tidy up a little." Blair walked back into the kitchen and Jim heard water running into the sink.
Finally, his curiosity aroused, Jim got up from the couch and muted the sound from the television. He walked out to the kitchen area and stood, leaning up against the counter. He watched the frenzied activity of his partner for a moment longer. "You okay?"
"Me? Yeah, Iím fine," Blair answered. "Taking that niktabi root really worked. Stopped me from catching your cold." He sneezed again and smiled sheepishly. "Allergies."
"What are you doing, Sandburg?"
"Iím just going to clean up a little out here. Can I get you something else? You need some juice, some tea?"
"Youíll miss the game."
Jim glanced quickly back at the TV screen. "It hasnít started yet."
"You want me to make some veggie sticks? Weíve got some dip left over from poker night."
Jim finally lost patience as Blair danced past him once more to pull something from the refrigerator. "Whatís going on, Sandburg? What are you really doing?"
Blair stopped a split second as though considering the question. "You know what? I just remembered Iíve got to do some work on this cold medicine thing. I should really start putting together a list of what affects your senses. It could come in handy if you get sick again or need to go to the hospital."
"Or get thrown off a train?"
Blair shuddered violently.
"Hey, Iím still all in one piece," Jim said. "We caught the bad guys. Itís what we do, Sandburg."
"Why donít you go watch the game? Iím going to go to my room and do some study."
As Blair went to move past him, Jim grabbed hold of his arm. "Youíre starting to worry me here, Chief. Whatís the matter?"
Blair sighed and seemed to fold in on himself. "I was worried about you, thatís all."
"Because I had a cold or because someone threw me off a train?"
Blair pulled his arm from Jimís grasp. "Stop joking about it, itís not funny," he shouted. "When they told me that theyíd thrown you off the train, I thoughtÖ I thoughtÖ"
"You thought I was dead," Jim finished for him.
Blair nodded. "The most terrible thing about it was that when you gave me that gun and told me to shoot anyone who came in? I didnít think Iíd be able to do that and I was so scared, man. Then, when they came in and told us that theyíd thrown you off the train, all I wanted was to have that gun back in my hands so I could shoot the fuckers." He drew in a deep, shaky breath.
"Iím sorry I put you through that," Jim said. "All the time I was trying to get back onto that damn train, all I could think about was that Iíd left you there to fend for yourself and try to protect two other people. You did a great job, you know. You didnít lose your cool, you kept a level head, and getting out of those handcuffs? Well, thatís quite a party trick you have there."
Blair allowed a small smile to grace his lips, then his frown deepened again. "Jim? If you wanted me to move out, youíd tell me, wouldnít you?"
"What makes you think I want you to move out?"
Blair shook his head. "Youíd be honest with me, wouldnít you?"
"When have you known me to be less than forthright, Sandburg?" Jim asked.
"Yeah, well, you have a point there," Blair commented dryly.
Jim cuffed his head amiably. "What are you trying to say here, Chief?"
"The last couple of days, you seemed a little pissed with me and I just wanted you to know that if you ever get tired of having me in your face, you only have to say the word."
"Youíre not in my face, Sandburg," Jim said. "If it wasnít for you, Iíd probably be locked up in an institution somewhere, wearing a straightjacket." Jim scrubbed a hand through his hair. "I donít do sick very well. When Carolyn and I were married, if I got sick, Carolyn used to pack a bag and go stay with her mother." He shrugged. "She wasnít exactly the mothering type."
"I know I get pushy about testing your senses," Blair admitted. "And I know I talk too much sometimes."
"Like now," Jim interrupted.
Jim shook his head. "Nothing to apologize for. We going to watch this game or what."
Blair waved a vague hand toward his room. "I should really work on that list."
"Weíll work on it together after the game. Deal?"
Blair smiled finally. "Deal. You want some dip?"
"It isnít that one with the chilies, is it? My taste buds arenít quite back to normal yet."
"No chilies. Iíll get the dip."
"Iíll get the beers," Jim said.