SECOND THOUGHTS

By: Lyn

Feedback to: Lyn

Disclaimer: All characters from The Sentinel are the property of Di Meo, Bilson and Petfly. This story has been written for my own and others enjoyment and no money has been made from it.

Rating: G

Spoilers: Siege

Authorís Notes: A missing scene/epilogue for Siege.

For all my list sibs on the SA List, who have become friends and a second family to me.

Kincaid and his men had been dragged away and Blair moved up to talk to Jim. He still felt decidedly shaky as the ramifications of his actions in the helicopter hit him. Heíd never threatened anyone before and here he was on his first day with Cascade PD, shoving a flare gun in some guyís face. Not to mention that heíd pushed another man out of a moving helicopter.

It didnít help that Kincaid was a criminal and would probably not have blinked an eye if heíd had to kill Blair. The anthropologist felt his stomach do a slow roll and he took a couple of slow, deep breaths in order to hold on to whatever was left in it. Probably not much, as he hadnít eaten since breakfast that morning. At the thought of food, Blairís nausea surged again and he fought to control the queasiness. He couldnít lose it now; Jim would not want him hanging around if he couldnít cut it when there was a bit of action

. Blair rubbed at his reddened wrists, trying to restore the circulation and remove the tacky residue from the tape. He looked up at the sentinel. "There's just one more thing Iíve got to ask you," he said.

"What's that?" Jim asked.

"This wasn't like a typical day for you, was it?" Blair queried.

Jim laughed and shaking his head, hurried forward to catch up with Carolyn.

Blair stood his ground, unsure of whether Jim meant him to follow or not.

"Well, is it? Come on!"

Deciding he couldnít remain on the roof, Blair hurried after the retreating police officers, catching the door with his fingers as it began to close. He hurried down the stairwell, anxious to catch up to Jim, feeling an overwhelming desire to stay close to the big detective. He was beginning to feel chilled and shaky and he felt the telltale signs of an impending panic attack as his breath labored and his fingers began to tingle.

As they reached the exit to the fourth floor, Blair watched Jim hold the door open for his ex-wife, then follow her through without a backward glance. Blair stood flat-footed a moment, trying to decide what to do. He didnít know whether heíd be required to give a statement, but as his stomach rebelled once more, he decided he couldnít go through the details just yet and continued down the stairwell to the exit.

Jim looked around distractedly as the stairwell door began to close. "Anyone see Sandburg?" he asked.

The other detectives gave a shrug and headed off to the break room. Carolyn caught Jimís wrist and moved around to face him. "So we missed out on lunch. How about dinner instead, I could cook for you?"

Jim stopped his visual and auditory search for Blair and looked down at Carolyn, smiling. "Can I take a raincheck on that? I should go check on Sandburg. He did a pretty good job up there, kept his cool and then pushed Kincaid out of the chopper and convinced the pilot to turn back. Not bad for an anthropologist."

"Simon said heís your cousin?" Carolyn looked puzzled. "I thought I met all your relatives and I donít remember him."

"Yeah, well, itís complicated," Jim answered.

He pulled back from her and walked off toward the elevators. "Iíll call you, okay? I really should find Sandburg though and make sure heís okay."

Carolyn stood; her arms crossed in front of her chest and watched him leave. She grimaced in distaste and then turned back to the bullpen with a sigh. "Hippie freak,"

she said under her breath.

Jim checked the menís room on the way out but there was no sign of the young anthropologist. He checked with the desk sergeant who said he remembered Blair coming in with Jim that morning, but hadnít seen him since then. He headed next for his truck but finding it deserted and no sign of anyone except a clean up crew in the garage, he slammed his fist on the hood in anger. "Where the hell did you get to, Sandburg?"

One of the young men cleaning up debris, looked up at Jimís exclamation. "Is that the hippie guy?"

"Yeah, that would be him," Jim replied.

"He walked out of here about fifteen minutes ago. He didnít look too hot, real pale, you know?"

"Great, thanks," Jim hesitated a moment, unsure of what to do first.

He had a report waiting to be written up and he could do with a shower and some clean clothes and something to eat. He should check up on Sandburg too, but if heíd decided to walk home, he canít have been feeling too bad. The least the kid could have done was let Jim know he was leaving.

Making a decision, Jim turned back to the elevator. Heíd get cleaned up and make a start on his report, though heíd have to be careful how he phrased certain things. The last thing he needed right now was for questions to be asked about his senses. Then he'd grab a bite to eat from Wonderburger and call in to check on Sandburg on his way home.

By the time he was halfway through his report, he was finding it difficult to concentrate on what he was writing. Thoughts of Blair kept intruding and he found himself growing concerned that the anthropologist had left the PD so suddenly. He remembered the cleanerís observation that Blair looked pale and closed the folder in front of him with an exasperated sigh. He stood and walked over to the Captainís office, knocking once on the door and waiting for the invitation to enter.

"Hey, Captain, Iím going to call it a night," he said.

"You want to grab something to eat?" Simon asked, pushing back from his desk.

"Nah, thanks anyway," Jim replied. "I think Iíll stop by Sandburgís place and see how heís doing."

"Heís not here?" Simon asked.

Jim shook his head and fiddled with his keys. "No, apparently he left straight after we got everything closed down. The guys downstairs said he didnít look too hot."

"Yeah, well, this is really no place for a scientist or whatever it is he calls himself, Jim. Iíll have to revoke his ridealong if he finds it all too much. I donít want him endangering himself or anyone else."

"Heíll be fine, sir, it was a pretty heavy thing to walk into on his first day here," Jim said quickly. "He did really well up there. It would have taken some guts pushing Kincaid out of that chopper and convincing the pilot to turn back."

"Joel Taggert said he was pretty cool inside as well," Simon said. "Had Kincaid conned into believing he was a cop. All right, Jim, letís see how he goes for now. You take off, but I want that report on my desk tomorrow."

"Yes sir," Jim turned and left and found himself running to his truck.

He had an overpowering sense of unease regarding the anthropologist and he wasted no time exiting the underground garage and heading for the warehouse district.

Parking the truck at the curb, next to Blairís old classic, Jim looked up at the deserted warehouse that Blair called home and shook his head. ĎHow could anyone possibly live here?í he thought.

He pressed the intercom at the front entrance and waited, a little impatiently, for Sandburg to respond. He pressed it again, then when there was still no reply; he cautiously dialed up his hearing and pushed it past the myriad sounds of the area. He finally zeroed in on a rapid heartbeat, and then was dragged out of an almost zone out by a shaky voice echoing tinnily from the intercom speaker.

"Who is it?"

"Itís me, Ellison," Jim said, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for a reply.

After what seemed long minutes, the voice came again, just a whisper.

"What do you want?"

"Well, Iím not selling Avon, Sandburg. Will you open the door already?"

Finally, he heard the buzz of the lock and he pushed the door open to stare up a dark, rickety stairway. He trudged up carefully, his ears open for tell tale creaks and with a sigh of relief reached the upper floor unscathed.

Blair appeared from the dimly lit bathroom like a wraith. He had an old gray blanket wrapped securely around his shoulders yet he still shivered.

"Hey," he said softly, offering up a ghost of a smile.

"Hey yourself," Jim replied. "I, um, I was on my way home and I missed you at the precinct, so I thought Iíd drop by. You okay?" he asked, looking closely at the young man before him.

"Oh yeah, fine. Just cold, you know? Itís really cold tonight."

Blair shuffled over to the old couch and sat down, waving a hand in invitation for Jim to join him. Jim looked about uncomfortably for a moment, but finding that the only other seat in the vast room was covered in books, acquiesced and sat on the edge of the seat.

"I wanted to tell you that you did really well at the station today, Chief."

Blair flashed a brilliant smile that lit up his face. "I did?"

Jim nodded. "Yeah, the Captain was pretty impressed with you, too. You know, Sandburg, pushing Kincaid out of that chopper while it was in the airÖ" Jim paused as Blair closed his eyes, "and convincing the pilot that youíd flown in Desert Storm while youíve got a flare gun in his face. Well, thereíd be a lot of seasoned cops out there whoíd have trouble dealing with all of that."

Blairís face became impossibly whiter and he stood up quickly, wavering slightly as he did so. Jim heard the warning rumble from the young manís stomach and got up hurriedly to follow him. Blair just made it to the bathroom before he threw up and Jim stood just outside the door, wondering what he could do to help.

He made his way into the bathroom as he heard the vomiting ease up and found a washcloth to dampen. Kneeling next to Blair, he wiped the sweat from the young manís face and rubbed his back.

"Feel better?" he asked.

Blair nodded and accepted a hand to stand. "Nothing to throw up anyway. I havenít eaten all day. God, I hate that."

He shivered again and reached down to grab the fallen blanket, draping it once more about his shoulders. "Why is it so cold in here? Itís so cold. I canít get warm."

"I think youíre a little shocky, Chief. Youíre coming down off an adrenaline high and you went through some pretty scary stuff today."

Jim looked around at the vast warehouse, its darkened corners chilly and foreboding. He picked his keys up from the packing box Blair used as a coffee table and then motioned for Blair to follow him. "Come on, letís go,"

Blair looked at him in dazed surprise. "What? Where are we going?"

"Iím starving, I missed out on a free lunch with my ex-wife, thanks to Kincaid. I do, however, have a couple of steaks in the fridge at home and I could really use a beer," Jim said.

When Blair still did not move from the bathroom, Jim tried again. "I canít eat both steaks, Sandburg. Letís go, Iíll drop you back here in the morning on my way into work."

Blair smiled then, a gentle, grateful smile. "Thanks, Jim," he whispered.

************************************************************************

Jim looked over at his new partner sitting drowsily in the passenger seat, his drooping eyelids fighting a losing battle against the gentle rhythm of the truck as they headed for the loft.

"You didnít answer my question," Blair said around a yawn.

"What question was that, Chief?" Jim asked.

"I asked you up on the roof if this was like a normal day for you?" Blair said.

Jim smiled, the laugh lines around his blue eyes crinkling. "No way, Chief, sometimes itís a lot worse."

Blairís groan turned Jimís smile into laughter and he affectionately ruffled the dark curls. "You have now stepped over the thin blue line, Sandburg."

FIN

-Lyn Townsend November 6th 2000

SECOND THOUGHTS

By: Lyn

Feedback to: Lyn

Disclaimer: All characters from The Sentinel are the property of Di Meo, Bilson and Petfly. This story has been written for my own and others enjoyment and no money has been made from it.

Rating: G

Spoilers: Siege

Authorís Notes: A missing scene/epilogue for Siege.

For all my list sibs on the SA List, who have become friends and a second family to me.

Kincaid and his men had been dragged away and Blair moved up to talk to Jim. He still felt decidedly shaky as the ramifications of his actions in the helicopter hit him. Heíd never threatened anyone before and here he was on his first day with Cascade PD, shoving a flare gun in some guyís face. Not to mention that heíd pushed another man out of a moving helicopter.

It didnít help that Kincaid was a criminal and would probably not have blinked an eye if heíd had to kill Blair. The anthropologist felt his stomach do a slow roll and he took a couple of slow, deep breaths in order to hold on to whatever was left in it. Probably not much, as he hadnít eaten since breakfast that morning. At the thought of food, Blairís nausea surged again and he fought to control the queasiness. He couldnít lose it now; Jim would not want him hanging around if he couldnít cut it when there was a bit of action

. Blair rubbed at his reddened wrists, trying to restore the circulation and remove the tacky residue from the tape. He looked up at the sentinel. "There's just one more thing Iíve got to ask you," he said.

"What's that?" Jim asked.

"This wasn't like a typical day for you, was it?" Blair queried.

Jim laughed and shaking his head, hurried forward to catch up with Carolyn.

Blair stood his ground, unsure of whether Jim meant him to follow or not.

"Well, is it? Come on!"

Deciding he couldnít remain on the roof, Blair hurried after the retreating police officers, catching the door with his fingers as it began to close. He hurried down the stairwell, anxious to catch up to Jim, feeling an overwhelming desire to stay close to the big detective. He was beginning to feel chilled and shaky and he felt the telltale signs of an impending panic attack as his breath labored and his fingers began to tingle.

As they reached the exit to the fourth floor, Blair watched Jim hold the door open for his ex-wife, then follow her through without a backward glance. Blair stood flat-footed a moment, trying to decide what to do. He didnít know whether heíd be required to give a statement, but as his stomach rebelled once more, he decided he couldnít go through the details just yet and continued down the stairwell to the exit.

Jim looked around distractedly as the stairwell door began to close. "Anyone see Sandburg?" he asked.

The other detectives gave a shrug and headed off to the break room. Carolyn caught Jimís wrist and moved around to face him. "So we missed out on lunch. How about dinner instead, I could cook for you?"

Jim stopped his visual and auditory search for Blair and looked down at Carolyn, smiling. "Can I take a raincheck on that? I should go check on Sandburg. He did a pretty good job up there, kept his cool and then pushed Kincaid out of the chopper and convinced the pilot to turn back. Not bad for an anthropologist."

"Simon said heís your cousin?" Carolyn looked puzzled. "I thought I met all your relatives and I donít remember him."

"Yeah, well, itís complicated," Jim answered.

He pulled back from her and walked off toward the elevators. "Iíll call you, okay? I really should find Sandburg though and make sure heís okay."

Carolyn stood; her arms crossed in front of her chest and watched him leave. She grimaced in distaste and then turned back to the bullpen with a sigh. "Hippie freak,"

she said under her breath.

Jim checked the menís room on the way out but there was no sign of the young anthropologist. He checked with the desk sergeant who said he remembered Blair coming in with Jim that morning, but hadnít seen him since then. He headed next for his truck but finding it deserted and no sign of anyone except a clean up crew in the garage, he slammed his fist on the hood in anger. "Where the hell did you get to, Sandburg?"

One of the young men cleaning up debris, looked up at Jimís exclamation. "Is that the hippie guy?"

"Yeah, that would be him," Jim replied.

"He walked out of here about fifteen minutes ago. He didnít look too hot, real pale, you know?"

"Great, thanks," Jim hesitated a moment, unsure of what to do first.

He had a report waiting to be written up and he could do with a shower and some clean clothes and something to eat. He should check up on Sandburg too, but if heíd decided to walk home, he canít have been feeling too bad. The least the kid could have done was let Jim know he was leaving.

Making a decision, Jim turned back to the elevator. Heíd get cleaned up and make a start on his report, though heíd have to be careful how he phrased certain things. The last thing he needed right now was for questions to be asked about his senses. Then he'd grab a bite to eat from Wonderburger and call in to check on Sandburg on his way home.

By the time he was halfway through his report, he was finding it difficult to concentrate on what he was writing. Thoughts of Blair kept intruding and he found himself growing concerned that the anthropologist had left the PD so suddenly. He remembered the cleanerís observation that Blair looked pale and closed the folder in front of him with an exasperated sigh. He stood and walked over to the Captainís office, knocking once on the door and waiting for the invitation to enter.

"Hey, Captain, Iím going to call it a night," he said.

"You want to grab something to eat?" Simon asked, pushing back from his desk.

"Nah, thanks anyway," Jim replied. "I think Iíll stop by Sandburgís place and see how heís doing."

"Heís not here?" Simon asked.

Jim shook his head and fiddled with his keys. "No, apparently he left straight after we got everything closed down. The guys downstairs said he didnít look too hot."

"Yeah, well, this is really no place for a scientist or whatever it is he calls himself, Jim. Iíll have to revoke his ridealong if he finds it all too much. I donít want him endangering himself or anyone else."

"Heíll be fine, sir, it was a pretty heavy thing to walk into on his first day here," Jim said quickly. "He did really well up there. It would have taken some guts pushing Kincaid out of that chopper and convincing the pilot to turn back."

"Joel Taggert said he was pretty cool inside as well," Simon said. "Had Kincaid conned into believing he was a cop. All right, Jim, letís see how he goes for now. You take off, but I want that report on my desk tomorrow."

"Yes sir," Jim turned and left and found himself running to his truck.

He had an overpowering sense of unease regarding the anthropologist and he wasted no time exiting the underground garage and heading for the warehouse district.

Parking the truck at the curb, next to Blairís old classic, Jim looked up at the deserted warehouse that Blair called home and shook his head. ĎHow could anyone possibly live here?í he thought.

He pressed the intercom at the front entrance and waited, a little impatiently, for Sandburg to respond. He pressed it again, then when there was still no reply; he cautiously dialed up his hearing and pushed it past the myriad sounds of the area. He finally zeroed in on a rapid heartbeat, and then was dragged out of an almost zone out by a shaky voice echoing tinnily from the intercom speaker.

"Who is it?"

"Itís me, Ellison," Jim said, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for a reply.

After what seemed long minutes, the voice came again, just a whisper.

"What do you want?"

"Well, Iím not selling Avon, Sandburg. Will you open the door already?"

Finally, he heard the buzz of the lock and he pushed the door open to stare up a dark, rickety stairway. He trudged up carefully, his ears open for tell tale creaks and with a sigh of relief reached the upper floor unscathed.

Blair appeared from the dimly lit bathroom like a wraith. He had an old gray blanket wrapped securely around his shoulders yet he still shivered.

"Hey," he said softly, offering up a ghost of a smile.

"Hey yourself," Jim replied. "I, um, I was on my way home and I missed you at the precinct, so I thought Iíd drop by. You okay?" he asked, looking closely at the young man before him.

"Oh yeah, fine. Just cold, you know? Itís really cold tonight."

Blair shuffled over to the old couch and sat down, waving a hand in invitation for Jim to join him. Jim looked about uncomfortably for a moment, but finding that the only other seat in the vast room was covered in books, acquiesced and sat on the edge of the seat.

"I wanted to tell you that you did really well at the station today, Chief."

Blair flashed a brilliant smile that lit up his face. "I did?"

Jim nodded. "Yeah, the Captain was pretty impressed with you, too. You know, Sandburg, pushing Kincaid out of that chopper while it was in the airÖ" Jim paused as Blair closed his eyes, "and convincing the pilot that youíd flown in Desert Storm while youíve got a flare gun in his face. Well, thereíd be a lot of seasoned cops out there whoíd have trouble dealing with all of that."

Blairís face became impossibly whiter and he stood up quickly, wavering slightly as he did so. Jim heard the warning rumble from the young manís stomach and got up hurriedly to follow him. Blair just made it to the bathroom before he threw up and Jim stood just outside the door, wondering what he could do to help.

He made his way into the bathroom as he heard the vomiting ease up and found a washcloth to dampen. Kneeling next to Blair, he wiped the sweat from the young manís face and rubbed his back.

"Feel better?" he asked.

Blair nodded and accepted a hand to stand. "Nothing to throw up anyway. I havenít eaten all day. God, I hate that."

He shivered again and reached down to grab the fallen blanket, draping it once more about his shoulders. "Why is it so cold in here? Itís so cold. I canít get warm."

"I think youíre a little shocky, Chief. Youíre coming down off an adrenaline high and you went through some pretty scary stuff today."

Jim looked around at the vast warehouse, its darkened corners chilly and foreboding. He picked his keys up from the packing box Blair used as a coffee table and then motioned for Blair to follow him. "Come on, letís go,"

Blair looked at him in dazed surprise. "What? Where are we going?"

"Iím starving, I missed out on a free lunch with my ex-wife, thanks to Kincaid. I do, however, have a couple of steaks in the fridge at home and I could really use a beer," Jim said.

When Blair still did not move from the bathroom, Jim tried again. "I canít eat both steaks, Sandburg. Letís go, Iíll drop you back here in the morning on my way into work."

Blair smiled then, a gentle, grateful smile. "Thanks, Jim," he whispered.

************************************************************************

Jim looked over at his new partner sitting drowsily in the passenger seat, his drooping eyelids fighting a losing battle against the gentle rhythm of the truck as they headed for the loft.

"You didnít answer my question," Blair said around a yawn.

"What question was that, Chief?" Jim asked.

"I asked you up on the roof if this was like a normal day for you?" Blair said.

Jim smiled, the laugh lines around his blue eyes crinkling. "No way, Chief, sometimes itís a lot worse."

Blairís groan turned Jimís smile into laughter and he affectionately ruffled the dark curls. "You have now stepped over the thin blue line, Sandburg."

FIN

-Lyn Townsend November 6th 2000