by ljc


Summary: There's the occurrence of a tiny little mini zone. It's too small to be noticed. Really(:

No warnings. Oh, it's unbetaed.

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.


The rain was coming down in sheets. Lightning lit the sky in ever increasing displays of grandeur. Thunder rumbled in long rolling waves that shook the area down to its foundations. Jim sipped his bottle of water and shook his head in disbelief at the ferocity of this squall line coming in off the sound.

He was glad he was inside and wished that Blair was home and safe. Roads would be dangerous and Sandburg's tires were in need of replacing. There would surely be some flooding too. He watched the turn at the corner for his wayward roommate, while dinner cooked on the stove. He'd cooked instead of calling for takeout tonight. He'd gotten out a little earlier than expected since the rain seemed to be keeping the crooks in where it was warm and dry.

He gave up his watch and turned to the television waiting for a news update on the latest international crisis. After he turned the stove off and set the meal in the oven to keep warm he sat and made himself comfortable for the wait, letting his mind wander as he watched for Blair and listened.

The sound of the news program was turned low, a sentinel trick he tried not to use habitually. He had to watch himself that he didn't do it in front of guests or at the police station. It would be just one more instance of 'weird Ellison' behaviors. He didn't always have watchdog Sandburg with him. He couldn't take unacceptable risks since he wasn't as talented as Blair at obfuscation.

To be honest, the work with Blair had gotten him to a point of acceptance that his senses could be useful and not just cause him pain, embarrassment, and humiliation. He remembered his father's opinion of his gifts; calling him a freak. It had been his fervent hope that they truly were gifts as Blair had insisted since their first meeting.

When he thought of his first sight of Blair in his closet of an office, bopping around to that music, he'd had serious misgivings. He let out a long weary sigh. He had come so close to leaving right then. What made him stay? Fear. Plain and simple fear. Sandburg may be right about his fear-based responses because fear had driven him forward that day, into a confrontation he hoped the kid didn't regret. It had been a lifesaver for Jim.

He had to remember to tell Blair that. That he was grateful for his help and for his friendship. Hopefully Blair already knew. Blair had worked so hard and done so much to make his life a little better that he deserved to hear a word of appreciation now and then.

The sound of the television news anchor faded in his awareness. The rain tonight made a kind of white noise itself. When he heard the rain increase in volume he tried to push past the sound and finally heard the Volvo as it chugged up the street. Didn't it sound a little rough? It always gave the kid trouble when it was damp.

The downpour continued to increase. Abruptly, the roar of the many drops exploded onto his ears with a resultant rush into a void. Cascades of drops slowing, fading and separating into distinct drops that threatened to overwhelm the emptiness with the narrowness of his concentration. All the tiny drops of rain, some sheeting down the windows, others pelting onto the pavement, or splashing into puddles. All drawing him into the tumult. Hundreds of drops, flowing into rivulets, spilling down gutters, swirling deeper into drains, thundering deeper into Cascade. Pulling him down. Pulling him along in an undertow of sound. Torrents coursing along curbs, streaming down his haven of brick and glass, tempting his focus deeper. Thousands of drops: battering the surf in the bay; sinking into the soil in the greenway of the park; slipping and sliding down the leaves, the branches, and the trunks of the trees to splatter into brimming pools, making his existence one melodic theme. Millions of drops, with splashes scattering and begetting more splashes deafening in their multitudes. Dancing on cars and bouncing off umbrellas. Running down clothing, down faces, and hair. Soaking Blair.

Blair? He's home. He'll be cold and wet. Jim would let him have a hot shower first before getting dinner on the table.