Whither Thou Goest
Note: The first part was written as a themefic for Jaye on SentinelAngst. The second part ... I couldn't stop there.
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.
Whither Thou Goest 1
Summary: I read a certain story a while ago (sorry, I don't remember title or author), and I remember thinking that I would have ended it differently even though the story was wonderful as it was. This is for Jaye's themefic on SentinelAngst.
Blair had worked hard to be accepted as a detective in Major Crimes. He was Jim's official partner, and whatever ... everything ... he'd been through, was worth it to be where he chose to be. He looked around the bullpen and felt immense satisfaction at his achievement. He looked at his friend, Jim Ellison, and knew with certainty that this choice was the right choice. He was guide to a sentinel, and they protected and they served, both in those roles and in the roles of detectives.
It was a heady feeling, of rightness, of belonging, of friendship like no other, of duty to that other half of his soul. It was a duty that had no sense of obligation or debt owed, but only of being where he was meant to be, and where he wanted to be.
Simon's bellow punctuated the low-key chaos of the bullpen, “Ellison, Sandburg. My office.”
Blair smiled at Jim and with a wry grin, joined him in the 'lion's den'.
“Yes, Sir?” asked Jim in his succinct way.
“Sit. I need to brief you on the Governor's visit. He's moved it up to this weekend and we need the plans nailed down by tomorrow so we can get security details arranged and the conference rooms secured by Friday.”
“That doesn't leave us much time, Simon,” said Blair.
“That it doesn't,” said Simon gruffly. “Sandburg, I want you to take lead on the Cascade Conference Center detail. Make sure the rooms, and personnel are checked out tomorrow. You'll need to arrange for personnel to stay on site to make sure no one tries to set up any surprises.”
Blair's eyebrows had risen in surprise. “Me? Lead? But I'm not the most experienced person you could have doing this. Why me? Why not Jim?”
“Because Jim is going to be lead detective on the Governor's personal security detachment. You'll be working in the same area once the Governor arrives at the Center.”
Blair felt a hollow coldness build and take over, almost a feeling of shock. Why was Simon doing this? Why was he splitting them up? He, more than anyone, knew that the whole point of everything they'd gone through had been for them to be partners. The world came back to his notice when Jim spoke the question for him.
“Simon. Captain. Why aren't we partnered on this detail?”
Simon sighed deeply. He seemed to have a hard time looking either of them in the eyes, and when he started speaking, Blair felt that feeling of shock start to overwhelm him again.
“Jim, I know you've done well with your senses since you've been working with Sandburg. You've done excellent work even when working alone. In this instance I want you, no, I need you, to be concentrating on protecting the Governor's life.”
“... And not Sandburg's?” Jim questioned brusquely.
“Sandburg won't be in any danger. He'll be heading the detail at the Center. He'll have cops all around him. He's certainly competent to handle this. And Jim, he's a cop. This is his job. He's more than competent for this detail. I wouldn't assign him if I believed otherwise ... Jim?”
But Jim hadn't bothered to argue the issue. He'd simply stopped looking at Simon since his full attention was riveted on his partner.
Blair, for his part, was thinking. First, he told himself he needed to pull himself together. He needed to stop feeling and do some serious thinking, and quickly. This was Simon. Their friend. Their confidant. Yet he seemed not to understand at all. Blair realized he needed to breathe, so he did. Several long breaths. In and out. The shock was fading. He began to realize that Simon probably thought it was a compliment to him, to put him in charge of this. But Simon didn't seem to realize that neither Jim nor Blair would be interested in separate assignments. Neither of them were interested in a promotion that would separate them. Neither of them had even entertained the thought of organizing separate living arrangements.
Blair looked at Jim finally and realized something else. Jim was waiting for him. He was waiting for 'his' decision. Blair smiled shyly and with love at his friend's acceptance. Jim trusted his decision. That meant more than he could ever explain. But he wouldn't have to, because Jim would know.
When Blair stood, so did Jim. Jim just nodded, and so Blair turned to Simon. He removed his gun and his badge and laid them gently on Simon's desk. Then he turned to Jim and held out his hands. Jim was ready. He laid his gun and badge in them without hesitation. Blair then laid them on Simon's desk beside his own.
Turning to Simon, Blair said, “Thank you, Sir, but we have to decline your assignments. You'll have our resignations on your desk before we leave. It's not a cliché to say that it's been an honor and a privilege to have served with you. I know we both owe you a lot. I know we both owe you our lives. So, I'd like to think we could remain friends. If not, well, we'll try to understand. You see, it's not just a sentinel/guide 'thing'. It's what we are ... it's who we are. We've fought hard to make it 'official', but if that's not enough, then you have to know that it 'is' permanent and irrevocable. We're sorry. We thought you understood.”
Jim closed the door softly as they left.
Whither Thou Goest 2
Summary: I couldn't leave it like that. Simon's POV.
Simon didn't know if he felt sick or relieved. A little of both, probably, if he was honest. Sick because of the result of the choice's he'd made, and relieved, too. He needed to have a serious, private talk with those two, and soon, before they made their decisions and took off for parts unknown.
He kept his breathing as steady as he could, even though his heart was beating wildly. His thoughts were chaotic as his head warred with his heart. Was this really necessary? He'd known that the higher ups in Cascade politics always had their 'senses' primed for the next big name to come along. Ellison was already a powerful name in the city because of William, and even Steven. So Jim's name had always been bandied about as a possible big player to come. His Cop of the Year award had edged him further along, as had the high profile cases that he had closed ... mostly with Sandburg as his unofficial partner.
After Sandburg's anthropology-career-ending-press-conference the talk had died down about Ellison but had not disappeared. After the favors Simon had called in to get Sandburg into the Academy and then into Major Crimes, the talk took a grim turn. There was dismaying speculation, and odd looks, and odder questions. Those things, when coupled with falsely jovial laughter, and inappropriate and manipulative posturing left Simon afraid to make any move, or even an offhand comment.
He'd hoped this maneuver to keep them apart for this assignment, would be enough for now. They'd wanted Jim for the Governor's detail, but had made it clear they didn't want Blair's presence. So he'd done the best he could and made Blair's presence nearly invisible, or at least not public, by giving him the lead on the Governor's Conference Center detail.
He hadn't intended to make them leave, although he had intended to warn them to be careful. Maybe he should have warned them first. When Blair had taken the decision into his own hands, he had almost tried to stop them. He was glad he hadn't. He could only hope that this was the right decision. He was proud of Blair. Proud of them both because they'd stood together. When he saw that, there was no way that he could interfere because he knew they'd be alright.
He watched as they sorted out the few items from their desks that they'd take with them when they left. He sighed deeply when he saw them rise and head to his office. When Jim knocked, he stood to accept their resignations. He accepted them, not knowing just what to say.
Blair looked upset, and he hesitated before saying, “I'm a little surprised that you haven't tried to stop us ... Captain.”
“It's Simon, now ... Blair, Jim. I'd like to get together to talk this weekend. I know you have decisions to make, and I'd like to talk to you before you finalize them.”
Jim looked uneasy, as if something had suddenly upset his thoughts, too, “Simon. Is there something ...”
“Not right now. We'll talk again. I - I really think you've made the right decision here, Blair. You and Jim have options ... you should explore.”
The glance Blair shot to Jim showed they now shared a bit of the disquiet that Simon had been feeling. But Simon smiled when they both looked back to him. “It has been an honor, gentlemen.” They shook hands warmly and then Simon was alone.
There should be some unhappy people at City Hall tomorrow. He'd stay in Cascade, at least for a while, and keep watch. Perhaps he could gauge the reactions of the powers-that-be. Hopefully with Jim out of reach, they'd lose interest. They were idiots, but powerful idiots with connections. They knew that Jim and Blair were partners. Hopefully, speculation was all they had to go on about the sentinel business. Simon hoped they had no real knowledge or understanding of Blair's thesis or that Jim was truly a sentinel, and that Blair was his guide.
This was the hardest thing he'd ever done, to let them go. But he was their friend, and he knew they'd understand.