The Letters

by ljc


Summary: 1. Blair's got angst, and he's pretty harsh. 2. So does Jim, but it's closer to the truth (in my humble opinion). 3. Some people come up with a plan (all I can say about this one is that I was getting tired of all that angst, but I left it the way it was:). Complete in three parts.

Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. All stories are written with the love of the show in mind. No money is being made. All stories are property of the author.


1. Dear Jim,

You're going to be mad. More than I realize probably. Your reactions always did seem over-the-top when it came to my actions regarding you. I never fully understood the trust problem you had with me. I trusted you with my life, and I had thought that trust was returned. But you trusted my Sentinel expertise and my loyalty but not my ethics, I guess.

I think you were brilliant at manipulating my needs for your own benefit. I came to you in the beginning, and that's when it started, that very first meeting. Sure, you needed my help, but I was too overboard about my 'holy grail'. You had me right there. I was hooked. I wanted that Phd. and I wanted it badly.

Then at the PD when Kincaid took over, and took me hostage, you were my hero, man. I didn't know anyone else that would hang from the bottom of a helicopter for me. But I was your Sentinel expert. You needed me. Then you called me partner, in front of Joel. I was allowed into Jim Ellison's world. You wanted me there. I was really pumped. I was going to work with a real live Sentinel and get my Phd.

I was worried about you seeing where I lived. We'd worked together for a month before you actually saw that rathole I called 'home'. You didn't seem too worried about it though. Disgusted maybe but you didn't hassle me about it. And when the place blew up and burned down around us I was in such a bind. I mean, I wouldn't have been living there if my other options were better. But you finally let me stay a 'week' and you were great, you just never asked me to leave, even after Larry's escapades. I thought you were a real prince. And I was so grateful. You gave me a home when I lost mine. I would have been sleeping in my office, or taking up floor space at various friends apartments, sponging off them for food until my next stipend came in. Not a pleasant prospect.

But I was in your home now. I had to accommodate my life to yours. And that was okay at first. Your reaction to Eli's offer to go to Borneo should have made me wake up. I just didn't see the control you had over me even when I turned down the Borneo trip. I gave up what I thought was an opportunity I would not regret, for friendship. I was the one that said it was about friendship. But you never said it back. That friendship was one way wasn't it, Jim?

But even you were regretting my not going. You planned that week away to Clayton Falls, to get away from me. Too much Sandburg. A little goes a long way, hunh Jim? But you didn't think you could do without me. All you really lacked was confidence. You haven't zoned for months. If that's because of me, it would have been nice to know. I was your friend, wasn't I? I loved you like a brother.

There was so much evidence. Why didn't I see it? I mean if your arrest of me after 'Iris and friends' kidnapped me didn't wake me up, then why didn't your reaction to the first chapter of the dissertation. You're not a stupid man, Jim. You knew I was actually writing the thesis, even if I was dragging it out as long as I could.

And then there was Alex. What can I say about Alex Barnes? You were acting so strangely, and you weren't talking to me. I guess I should have suspected something truly Sentinel-unique. I was just afraid. Of you. A gun shoved in my face by Jim Ellison, Sentinel, when I come in the door, left me speechless. You didn't hear me? Smell me? Something? And then you just ignored your own reaction and ignored me, too. You didn't even try to brush it off with a joke. I just decided to keep a low profile. Nothing to upset my Sentinel. I didn't dare. And I couldn't introduce another Sentinel to you. Sentinels in my research protected their tribes, their territory. I didn't know if you would protect against other Sentinels too. I couldn't chance it, for both your sakes.

One of my grad student friends teased that I was in an abusive relationship. I 'thought' she was teasing. Maybe she saw more than I knew. Maybe she was just letting me know she would listen when I was ready. That's one reason I talked to Carolyn. I think a lot about Carolyn. You might think that's odd, but I think she is one smart lady, definitely smarter than me. She didn't put up with your attitude. Eventually I think she realized that even being in Cascade was too close. Like I said, smart lady.

I'm finally getting to the point here, Jim. I can't take the chance of seeing you again. You know me just too well. I care about you man. I wanted to believe you needed me. That's a very powerful emotion, especially for someone like me. I think you knew that. Nobody's childhood is perfect, but you and I both know where my insecurities lie. Stability was not Naomi's life goal.

In the past Megan has helped you. With Simon helping her I think you'll be in good hands. She's one tough character. No one pushes her around and she's a detective, too. That's one thing you can't use against her. “You're not a cop” was repeated often, and even picked up and used to hammer away at me by Simon and the other cops. It wasn't a secret that I wasn't a cop. It was just an easy putdown the 'boys in blue' could share.

I wish it didn't hurt so much. Even now I wish we could stay friends, but if I'm to salvage something from the wreckage that's now my life, I have to say goodbye. I wish you well. I hope you can wish the same for me when you calm down. Please don't search for me. I think I'm strong enough now that I wouldn't let it continue. I just needed to put this down in black and white to make myself face it. I know I sound really bitter and maybe I've judged you too harshly. But I gave everything I could to this partnership. I almost didn't survive it. I hope you can forgive that I have to leave like this.

The notoriety will die down about the dissertation faster if I leave. I should be able to make a decent life for myself somewhere. I have no clue what I'll do though. But I'm nearly a genius, and I'm not even 30 yet. My enthusiasm for life is a little blunted right now, but you know me, I'll bounce back, eventually.

With this letter you'll find a copy of the diss. I hope you won't mind but I've always kept Simon, and later, Megan, up-to-date on Sentinel developments. They were always ready, if not too confident, to take over in case something happened to me. I always worried about that. About you. Will worry still.

I won't ever forget you James Ellison. I hope you can remember me fondly. I hope you don't hate me.

Your ex-roommate,

Blair Sandburg



2. Dear Blair,

I don't know why I'm writing this letter. I don't know if you'll ever receive it. Maybe that's the reason I can write this. My emotions were always hidden because I didn't know if I could control them once revealed. There was always a situation, a crisis that needed my attention and everything else could wait. Had to wait. That's what I thought.

How could I have let you think what you do? You're my best friend. Even Simon was more of an acquaintance than a friend before you came my way. But you ran right over me and into my life. All to my benefit but not my connivance. It was never calculated, Blair, never.

I doubted you at first, sure. It wasn't safe to trust anyone. Anyone can be blindsided by someone they let get close. It happened to me all my life. Mom, Dad, Steven, they all did their damage. My 'buddies' in the army were close on base, but it never carried over into our personal lives. Loyalty was one thing, but you didn't let them get closer. The mission came first, and if it went bad you had to keep your head or you were dead. Not that I don't still feel grief for the lost men on my team. I was the Captain. I was responsible for them. Those last hours were excruciating, and their deaths will haunt me till I die.

And Carolyn ... Caro ... I was still surprised sometimes when it was you that came in the door and not her. Her absence still hurts. She was smart, tough, so very strong willed, and I love her still. Two strong willed people in a relationship was a bad idea for us. Neither of us would give an inch. Compromise was in neither of our vocabularies. It was just easier to be apart than together. I took the easy path with her too. I let her leave. No, actually I drove her away.

I can't believe I drove you away. I know I did, but I was such a fool not to tell you your friendship was the only thing that made the senses worth tolerating. My life before was a simple thing: work, meals, sleep, and more work. Relaxation, fun, had no part in my routine. You dragged me to places that would have held no interest for me before. Spoke of places that sounded more exotic than ones seen in my Ranger days, maybe because you saw the life there and I only seemed to see death. You talked of ideas that ran my mind in circles and just plain wore me out. I grew to love every minute with my friend.

I miss the talk, and the wild ideas. I miss my friend. I even miss the Sentinel tests. The tests helped so much, and I gave you such a hard time about them. I thought I told you that but I guess I didn't, or maybe I thought you just knew. You always seemed to just know about Sentinel stuff. I just assumed you'd know or figure out how important the Guide stuff is, too. You were my stability. Did I ever tell you I listened for your heartbeat? Why not? I was that dependent on you and I didn't give you your due.

You deserved my respect, my protection, my friendship. I protected you because without you I was lost in more ways than one. I could see the hero worship and it scared me. It made me responsible for you. You were right when you told me about a Blessed Protector. It was for life.

That day you were kidnapped I was so angry. Iris had her gun on you. Was ready to pull the trigger. I saw her finger twitch. You almost left me. You almost died, and in my anger I punished you.

Then when I read that chapter of the diss I think that hurt worse than anything I can remember. How could you expose me like that? Was I such a total failure that fear ruled every aspect of my life? Wasn't I your friend? I don't know what hurt worst, your words or what I felt was your betrayal of our friendship with those words. I really began to close you out of my life then.

And then Alex Barnes arrived in Cascade. I was getting weird vibes for weeks even before you met her. My 'vision' showed me killing you. Why? Because of your betrayal? Or was it my betrayal of you? How could I kill you for any reason? I was afraid for you. I had to finish the job, push you all the way out of my life, save you ... my friend, my Guide.

You have no idea how much I respect your courage, brilliance, enthusiasm. You truly cared about me, not just James Ellison, Sentinel. I never doubted your ethics, Chief. It was my own darkness that showed through then. I was never good enough for you Blair, never a good enough friend. Of all my failures, that's the greatest. I feared your betrayal of our friendship and in the end it was my betrayal that drove you away. Please don't let the bitterness overwhelm you. I owe you everything and gave nothing. I gained everything and you left with nothing.

But again I'm not giving you your due. Blair Sandburg was never a fraud, never a failure, and never gave up on anything, not even this stubborn, repressed Sentinel. You even trained your replacements in case you were injured, or, God help me, died. You deserve more than you ever got from me, my friend. You deserve every good thing that comes your way.

For your sake, I'll continue to be the Sentinel of Cascade, but I don't know for how long. You see, I've lost my Guide, my Shaman, my best friend. Even with you by my side, I lost my way. What hope is there now? I fear I'll fail you in this too.

Forgive me my brother,





Meeting convened by Capt. Simon Banks.

Those attending: Joel Taggart, Henry Brown, Brian Rafe, Megan Connor

Introduction: Simon insisted this be informal, outside of police procedure and protocol, and includes highly confidential information.

Megan's presentation included excerpts from “The Sentinel” by Blair Sandburg, and personal anecdotes from her own experience and from those of Simon Banks.

Henry, Brian, Joel and I all offered our own observations (to Simon and Megan's surprise). Joel then urged our focus back to finding our wayward observer and reuniting him with his Sentinel and his friends.

Unanimous observation: Both Sentinel and Guide are too loyal, too stubborn, too guilt ridden, too self-sacrificing for either of their own goods. This must be dealt with after retrieval and reunification.

Fixing the mess (diss disaster):

1. Sue the pants off Edwards, Rainier, Sid.

2. If that isn't feasible, is blackmail possible? Oops that's illegal. Oh well! Where's the dirt on Edwards and Sid? They didn't get to the top of their fields without trodding heavily on someone(s) toes.

Detectives: detect

1. the dirt

2. where's Blair

Details assigned to committees:

1. Henri and Brian: digging up dirt

2. Joel and Megan: locating Blair

Simon assigned himself to arrange Ellison's attendance.

Progress reports due 8pm tomorrow.