What Remains

By Lyn

EMAIL: Lyn

Post TSbyBS Jim and Blair introspection.

Betaed by Annie. Thanks as always, sis, for your eagle eye.

It's not the decision one way or the other that bothers me. It's the letting go. Knowing that whether I stay or go, there's a part of me that has to cut loose from Jim. Whatever I choose, Jim no longer needs me to guide him, to teach him. He said as much tonight. He was a damn good cop before his senses came online, he still is, always will be. And I guess I wonder just where I fit into the equation, if at all. Jim probably would have figured it out for himself eventually, after all. I mean, it's not brain surgery. And only now am I wondering what the hell I really contributed after all… and whether my eagerness to see the fruition of my dream hasn't totally screwed up the one true friendship I've ever had.

I like to think that, as time went on, as our friendship grew, I was doing this… job for the right reasons. Because I thought I had something to offer, some way to help a man who was truly in need. The quid pro quo idea went right out the window the day Kincaid stormed the PD. When Kincaid dragged me into that chopper, I knew that Jim would come after me… and I knew that he wasn't risking his life just to stop Kincaid and his band of whackos, but because he cared about saving me. After that, despite Jim's off the cuff remarks that days like that were the norm, despite the fact that I still shook in my boots every time I went out on an investigation with Jim and a gun was shoved in my face or I was kidnapped or shot, I wanted to be there, had to be there, because deep down, I think I knew even back then, way before I realized that there was a metaphysical connection between a sentinel and the one who chose to be his guide, his shaman, that this was where I was meant to be. I wonder even if my path to becoming Jim's guide was pre-destined - and I just know too, that Jim would roll his eyes and snort at the very suggestion, despite all that we've both seen of late.

Jim still doesn't like to acknowledge openly that his abilities, his visions, have a sacred import. I know he does see it, but I wonder if the very idea of it bothers him so much, he hopes that by refusing to accept the notion, it will simply cease to exist. After taking a dip in the university fountain, courtesy of Alex Barnes, and seeing what I did while I lay in the stasis between life and death, then discovering later that Jim had the same vision, I can guarantee him that's not going to happen.

None of this stream of consciousness stuff is helping me make a decision one way or the other. I know in my heart and soul what I want to do, what I feel I need to do, but needing and wanting are a far cry from doing what should be done, and I'm not sure anyway whether I should be considering what's best for me or what's best for Jim… which leads me to the biggest problem of all. I have no idea what Jim wants of me. He seemed eager enough for me to accept the badge, even told me at the hospital that I was the best cop he'd ever known, but lately I see something in his eyes, an expression on his face, when I finally surface from musing about my future - which seems to have become an almost constant state of mind for me - that borders on sadness or perhaps guilt.

I want to tell him again that none of this is his fault, that I brought this all down on myself and taking the action I did was not only to protect him and allow him to live a normal life once more, but was the only right thing to do, for him and for me. I want to tell him that I didn't need to be offered a badge to stay with him, that what I gave up, in the end, meant far less than losing his friendship, his trust, his faith in me. If I somehow salvaged all of that, then I would never doubt I had made the right decision… and move on or stay.

Which leads me right back to where I started. Nowhere and heading south fast.

~o0o~

I'm beginning to think I made the biggest mistake of my life convincing Simon and the Chief to offer Blair the badge. It's not that I doubt he'd be a great cop. I already knew that, long before I told him in the hospital that day that he was one of the best cops I'd ever worked with, someone anyone would be happy to have watching his back.

He's already sacrificed his profession, his dream for me. He called me his Holy Grail, and I remember, even after all these years, the excitement that shone in his eyes when we spoke that first day in his office. What right do I have now to choose what path he should take? God, why should he accept second best when he had the future he'd dreamed of since he was a teenager right in the palm of his hand? No man deserved the rewards of his labor more than Sandburg did. He had not only worked tirelessly on his dissertation, he had helped me come to terms with my gifts… and now, I could finally think of them as gifts rather than the burden they'd been for so long, because of Blair, and I'm not ashamed to say that I still need him here to help me. I think I always will, that there will always be something that will throw my careful and learned control of my senses off kilter.

Now though, due to my fear of my abilities being discovered, Sandburg doesn't really have much choice in his future… if he wants to earn a living, that is. Sure, he could find some out of the way community college to teach at, but I don't want to lose him or his skills, his wealth of knowledge…. He'll be a asset to the department, and Simon had no hesitation in securing the Chief's okay… with a little persuasion that a press conference from me wasn't out of the question should we not get what we wanted. And for probably the first time in all the years we've known each other, I can finally admit to myself that I don't want to lose Blair, as my partner or as my friend.

Of course, I've yet to say that properly to the man it means the most to, and it's about time I took my sorry head out of my ass and acknowledged all that he's done - and I'm not referring to his press conference here. The bond he spoke of after his drowning has always existed for me, except I like to think of it in more earthly terms than Sandburg does, though the metaphysical aspect was certainly proven to me when Alex came to Cascade. To me though, it is, and always will be, a bond of friendship, of brotherhood.

I've been lucky to have Sandburg in my life. He has every right not to feel the same way about me.

So, it's time to find out what Blair wants, what Blair needs… and regardless of what he decides, even if that means losing his presence in my life, I will honor his decision because I would rather no longer have him here than have our friendship, our trust in each other disintegrate as though it had never existed.

I handled this badly from the beginning, my insecurities and fear coming to the fore, thinking only of myself, my future, uncaring of his.

Offering the badge may have been the salve to soothe my guilt. Giving Blair the choice to stay or go is the only way to free him of the burden of unwarranted blame he now carries.

I hope he will stay, for both his sake and mine, but I know whatever he chooses to do, he will do it well and honorably, as he always has done.

END