By: Lyn

Feedback to: lyntownsend_2000yahoo.com

Category: Drama

Rating: G

Author’s Notes: This is a TSbyBS scene from Jim’s PoV. Blair’s PoV was covered in "Dust in the wind". The song "When all else fails" was written by J.Farnham, R.Frazer and P.Buckle and was released by John Farnham on his album "Then Again" I have taken the liberty of using portions of the transcript as transcribed by Becky, but have slightly changed a small portion of Blair’s speech, to read the way I think it was said.

"I’m searching for something

That’s so hard to find

I’m falling down mountains

I can’t seem to climb

Driving down highways

That don’t have an end

I can’t find the sign, am I lost again

When all else fails - You will be there

When all else fails - I’ll hang on to you

When all else fails - You’ll still be there

When all else fails - I’ll turn to you

Jim Ellison sipped at his luke-warm coffee and tried to concentrate on the information that Joel Taggart was giving him about the case. He was incredibly tired and his body was complaining about the assorted bruises he had sustained at the site of the explosion a few hours before. He couldn’t remember when he’d last slept and a million worries were battling for attention in his weary brain.

He really wanted to get to the hospital to check up on Simon and Megan. They had both been taken into surgery in serious condition and there had been no further news yet. The last thing he wanted to do now was have to worry about the repugnant Bartley who had fought the protection they had attempted to give him every step of the way.

And Blair. Jim still couldn’t bring himself to really examine his feelings regarding his partner’s breach of trust. He thought of the ordeal they had both suffered at the hands of Alex Barnes, when Jim had accused Blair of keeping the other sentinel’s presence from him and Jim had forced him from his home and his life.

Blair had almost died then, no he had died until Jim was able to reaffirm the link with his guide and revive him. Slowly they had begun to rebuild the bond of friendship and trust that both had come to rely on.

Now Blair had tossed away that same bond like so much garbage. He had allowed Naomi to send his thesis to some bigwig publisher and Jim’s life would never be the same again.

Jim had never bothered to question how Blair was going to be able to validate his thesis and still keep the detective’s identity a secret. Blair had always had all the answers, from the first time Jim had walked into the tiny storage room at Rainier University. Jim still didn’t know what had drawn him there. His first impressions of the grad student had done little to instill a sense of confidence in him.

Now Blair had betrayed his trust again and this time Jim thought the fabric too frayed to ever be repaired. With that thought in mind, he had approached his Captain just before the shooting to tell him that Blair’s ridealong status was over.

Whether he could dampen his senses or not, Blair’s research was finished and he’d told the anthropologist to let it go. Hell, more than that, he’d encouraged him to take the money, to go for the brass ring. Jim shook himself mentally as Rafe’s words filtered through his cluttered mind. Sandburg was holding a press conference. So this was it, the final nail in the coffin.

"Hi. Thank you all for coming. I just have a short speech prepared here. Um... In our media-informed culture, a scientist receives validation by having his or her work published and after years of research there is great personal satisfaction when that goal is reached. However, my desire to impress both my peers and the world at large drove me to an immoral and unethical act. My thesis "The Sentinel" is, is a fraud."

‘Oh God, oh God, Sandburg, no,’ Jim’s heart stopped and he felt as though all the air had been sucked out of the room.

"While my paper does quote ancient source material, the documentation proving that James Ellison..." Blair paused, seeming lost in his thoughts, then shook himself and ploughed on. "…actually possesses hyper-senses is fraudulent. Looking back, I can’t even say that it's a good piece of fiction. I apologize for this deception. My only hope is that I can be forgiven for the pain I've caused those that are close to me. Thank you."

"I’m selfish and jealous

I’m proud and a fool

I’m walking with strangers

And strangers are cruel

I’m praying to gods

That I don’t even know

I’m ready and willing

Where do I go?"

Jim felt himself stagger backwards in disbelief. This was the last thing he’d expected hear and suddenly Jim was assailed by memories so intense that his senses felt flooded, overwhelmed.

For the past three years, Blair had put himself at Jim’s disposal, juggling classes, exams and more often than not, sleep. Granted, it had been his choice and even when there had been a chance to pull out, he had refused. It would be like swapping the rollercoaster for the merry go round, he’d said.

Finally though, he had the chance to achieve something for himself, the one thing that had been the reason for all the sacrifices in the first place. The words from so long ago came back to Jim.

"It’s about friendship. I just didn’t get it before."

‘Jesus, Ellison, he died because of you and you still didn’t get it. How could you even think that he would betray his convictions and his faith in you?’

Now Jim came full circle and saw the whole picture. Sentinel and Guide. In order for the sentinel to function, his guide must be there. He couldn’t turn off his senses, but without his guide beside him, he would have no control of them. He would be as he was before- lost, alone, terrified. One sustains and reaffirms the other, two halves making one whole.

Jim knew now what he had to do. He’d sort out Bartley once and for all and then he was going to find Blair. This was going to finish now.

"When all else fails – you will be there

When all else fails – I’ll hold onto you

When all else fails – you’ll still be there

When all else fails – I’ll turn to you"

J.Farnham, R.Frazer, P.Buckle

- Lyn Townsend - August 24th, 2000.


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