by ljc


Summary: A brief meeting and conversation.

Warnings, Ratings: no warnings. FRST.

Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, Paramount and the SciFi Channel. No money is being made. No copyright infringement is intended. This story was written by ljc with the love of the show in mind.


He saw him from up in the grandstand. He was easy to spot since he stood a head taller than most of the men around him. He didn't know whether he should approach him though. It wasn't as if they'd met under the best of circumstances.

He'd already made his rounds of the VIP boxes, to make sure they were happy, comfortable, and completely satisfied. Now, seeing him here, had brought to mind something that had been bothering him. He finally made his decision, and continued to make his way through the crowds. He wondered for a moment what he would do if he was brushed off, but it didn't really matter, because at least he would have tried.

The stands were noisy, so there was little chance of someone overhearing them. He knew that the trainer was back at the stable. He'd be with the jockey having a last minute strategy session before the race, so they wouldn't be interrupted for a while. This would probably be his best shot. He made his way down to the area the trainers and owners used to watch the races, but he couldn't help hesitating once again before walking up beside him.

I've seen a lot good racehorses on this track. I don't think Little Stogie is going to make you much money, Captain Banks,” he began.

Simon looked over and grinned around his cigar. “Well, I can dream anyway.” He glanced around the crowds before adding, “You seem pretty busy for a week day.”

We're doing good. Summer is always busy, and it's a beautiful day. If someone doesn't go to their beach house then this will do. It gets them out and ...,”

Simon interrupted with a chuckle, “and they can gamble legally.”

It is a 'gentleman's' sport,” he answered with a tense smile.

Mr. Ellison ...”

Call me Steven.”

Steven. Is there something I can do for you?” Simon asked him pointedly.

Steven grinned deprecatingly, “You caught on quickly.”

I'm the Captain of the Major Crimes Division of the Cascade Police. I've had a lot of practice reading between the lines.”

Steven stepped forward and leaned on the rail beside Simon and stared out at the racetrack. “I guess that's why I'm here.” He turned slightly to face Simon, “Because you're their Captain.”

Oh. Their. That would be Ellison and Sandburg.”


If you have questions about them, I think I'm the wrong person to ask.”

Maybe so. I'm not asking you to reveal any confidences.”

Simon glared briefly at Steven, “I would hope not.”

Steven turned back to the racetrack, “It's just that Jim and I haven't been ... very close for a long time. After that mess a month ago, I've only spoken to him on the phone once.”

Simon sighed shortly, and took a long puff on his cigar, “I can't make him talk to you. That's outside the scope of my duties as his Captain.”

I understand that. It's just that I called 'three' times, and two times Mr. Sandburg answered.”

Simon took another small puff before answering, “They're friends. Did you know that?”

Well, I was told that Mr. Sandburg was an Observer.”

Simon snorted, “Blair 'never' just observes. If he doesn't end up in the middle of things it's only because Jim stepped in and made him back off.”

But you're the Captain, why do you let him take part?”

Simon glanced sideways at him, “You don't know Sandburg. Just because I'm bigger, taller, and certainly outrank him, well, none of that fazes him a bit.”

Is Blair your friend, too?”

I'd like to think so. He's risked his life for me on a few occasions. And saved Jim's life more times than I even want to know.”

Steven was surprised at this revelation, but also disheartened. “Do you know why Blair was at Jim's apartment?”

Simon grinned wryly, “Well, it started a couple years ago, when Sandburg's place blew up. Jim let him stay in his spare room for a week.”

Steven's eyebrow shot up, “Blew up! A week? And then?”

Well, he never left.”

That's ... surprising. That doesn't sound like Jim.”

No it doesn't. No one was more surprised than me, except maybe Jim himself.”

Steven was silent for a long moment. “Then they're ... friends.”

Best friends.”

Steven said tentatively, “Blair seemed friendly enough on the phone.”

Simon was silent for a moment this time. “If you're looking for an ally, Sandburg would be a good choice.”

Then, you're saying that Jim would be more willing to give me another chance if Blair is on my side?”

I have no idea what happened between you and Jim, or whether he'll give you a second chance. That's up to him. I'm just saying that Blair won't stand in your way.”

That's good to know.”

Simon turned to stare forbiddingly, “I have to warn you though, don't try to come between them. Jim's come a long way in the last few years, and it's because of Sandburg. If you get your second chance, it'll be because of him.”

Steven managed a small smile, “I'll remember, Captain Banks.”

See that you do. And call me Simon.”