Warnings: Jim owies and Blair angst
Summary: After Jim is injured and appears to handle his hyperactive senses on his own in dealing with the pain, Blair begins to question if he still has a place by Jim's side.
A/N: This was orginially posted on FanFiction.Net.
Blair Sandburg sat in his office, lights off, telephone off the hook, door locked. He sat on the floor, cross-legged, hands resting on his thighs. He had come here after leaving the hospital, after assuring himself Jim Ellison would be okay. Jim was asleep, getting much needed rest. He had been shook up from the explosion that happened during the raid. Jim had suffered a moderate concussion, a broken arm, several broken ribs and various bumps and bruises. Jim had been conscious at the hospital and had been able to direct his own care, signing the proper forms and approved his stay in the hospital. By the time Blair was able to get into the examination room to see Jim; a plan of treatment had been set up, without any input from Blair.
Blair had stuck around until Jim was placed in a regular room after surgery to set his broken arm. Blair had walked into the room, intent on staying with Jim. It was the normal operating procedure whenever either man landed in the hospital.
“Hey, Jim. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, ‘m fine, Chief.” Jim shifted in the bed, getting comfortable. His eyes slid shut. “Go hom’…”
Blair looked down at Jim. “Yeah, maybe I will.” Blair patted Jim on the arm. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“’kay…” Jim drifted off even more.
Blair had left the hospital, with every intention of going home to the loft. But as soon as he got to his car, it all hit him at once. He didn’t want to be at the loft alone. It was so quiet in the loft alone. Blair had experienced the sensation before and was somewhat unnerved by it. He didn’t want that this evening.
So he had made the detour to Rainier and his office. Where he was now. And had been for some time. He had been able to block out the thoughts that had tried to dominate his mind. The overriding one was the fact that Jim hadn’t needed him – had been in control. At the hospital of all places! Even though he had been hurt and in pain.
Now, the thoughts were taking over again. Was Blair’s usefulness over? Blair refused to believe that. He had done what he had promised Jim he would do – help him get control and not be totally dependent. Blair was pleased with Jim’s ability to handle things on his own. After all, that’s what they had been working on for all these years. And Jim was an attentive student who caught on quickly. Jim was no behavioral throwback to a pre-civilized breed of man – the remark Blair had made that first day by no means had any bearing on Jim’s intelligence. Jim had been in the Army – a Ranger involved in covert ops. And the Army didn’t take guys with low IQs.
Blair opened his eyes, straightened out his legs and stretched his arms over his head. Blair lay back, lying flat on the floor of his office. The meditation exercises hadn’t helped – the thoughts were dominate, running around in his head. Blair closed his eyes again, as he wondered what to do now.
A few minutes later, Blair got to his feet, opened his eyes and deftly made his way over to his desk, clicking on the light there. He slipped into his desk chair and looked at his watch. It was just past 3:00 AM. He had been here for just over nine hours. The good news was that it was Saturday and he had no classes to teach or attend. The bad news was that Jim would be expecting him at the hospital and would notice, even hurt and in pain, that Blair hadn’t gotten any sleep. Blair was hoping he could explain to Jim it was just his worry over Jim’s injuries.
Blair yawned and rubbed his eyes, feeling the fatigue claiming his body. Blair stumbled to his feet, reaching out to steady himself against his desk. He weaved his way over to the couch and dropped down there, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. Soon, soft snores filled the room.
Jim Ellison opened his eyes, looking around the room. He frowned for just a moment and then a small smile replaced it. Blair had gone home last evening after Jim had been treated and situated in the semi-private room. It had to be a first for Blair – going home and not hovering around; making sure Jim’s senses weren’t spiking or cutting out. But Jim was happy for the respite.
Jim focused on the clock on the far wall. It was 7:00 AM. He heard the activity outside his room and a few minutes later the door to his room opened and a nurse’s aide walked into the room carrying a tray. She walked over to Jim’s bed.
“Good morning, Mr. Ellison. How are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling much better.”
“I have your breakfast. Cereal, milk, juice, toast, butter and jelly. No restrictions.” She placed the tray down on the rolling table and moved it over by the bed.
The nurse’s aide turned to leave the room as Jim removed the cover over the tray. Jim wondered if he could get any coffee. Maybe he’d ask after he ate. Jim poured some of the milk over his corn flakes and started eating. It wasn’t bad as far as hospital food went – of course it was only cold cereal.
Just when Jim finished the last bite of toast and the last swallow of orange juice, the door opened again. Jim looked up, seeing Simon walking in.
“Well, you look much better than you did last evening,” said Simon as he walked over to the bed, glancing around the room.
“I’m feeling better.” Jim placed the glass back on the tray, picking up the napkin to wipe his face and hands.
Simon was now by the bed, looking down at Jim. “Is Sandburg around?”
“He hasn’t been in this morning. I sent him home last night after I was placed in the room. He went.”
“He did? That’s a surprise. He’s usually as bad as you as far as hovering.”
“He seemed to be in shock. He didn’t say much. He probably just needed some time alone.” Jim shifted in the bed, wincing slightly with the residual pain. “I’m sure he’s at the loft, catching up on his sleep.”
“Still, it doesn’t seem like the kid. I’ve seen him push himself to exhaustion. Maybe I should check on him.”
“Don’t interrupt his rest, Simon. It’s so rare when he actually gets enough.” Jim moved to a more comfortable position. “I’ll have him call you when he stops by.”
“How long are you going to be in the hospital?”
“The doctor said I’ll probably get out by Monday or Tuesday. He wants to keep me for observation. I can use the rest also.”
“Okay, Jim. I get your drift. Get your rest. If you need something, I’ll be available.”
“Thanks for stopping by, Simon.”
Simon left the hospital room. As soon as he got to his vehicle, he got out his cell phone and made the call to the loft. It was unusual behavior for Blair Sandburg not to spend the night at the hospital by Jim’s side. It’s what Jim did when Blair was in the hospital and what Blair did when Jim was in the hospital.
Simon listened as the message on the answering machine came on.
“You have reached the Ellison-Sandburg residence. We are not home right now. Leave a message after the beep and we’ll call you back.”
Simon spoke after the beep. “Hey, Sandburg? Are you there? It’s Captain Banks. I was surprised when you weren’t at the hospital when I stopped by this morning. I was just concerned that you weren’t there. Give me a call after you get this message. Bye.”
Simon turned off his cell phone and got in his car, driving back to his place.
Blair opened his eyes, looking around the room. His office. He slowly sat up, fighting off a wave of dizziness. He looked at his watch, trying to focus his eyes. Finally, he was able to, seeing the watch read 1:30. It was light out, so Blair knew it was the afternoon. He had been asleep for over ten hours. And he hadn’t eaten anything for over twenty-four hours. No wonder he felt weak and dizzy. He knew he shouldn’t neglect himself. He was able to get to his feet and over to his desk. He got the coffee mug sitting there and a tea bag out of the top drawer of the desk. He walked over to the sink, put water in the mug and then put the mug in the microwave. When the water was hot, he took the mug out of the microwave and placed the tea bag in the mug. He walked back to his desk and sat down in the chair. He opened the top drawer of the desk again and got out the bag of chocolate chip cookies. He ate several of the cookies, knowing the sugar content would combat the dizziness and fuzzy feeling he felt. Eventually, he would have to stop by the hospital and look in on Jim. But Blair already knew Jim was okay. Without going by the hospital. Jim didn’t need him.
Soon, the tea was ready and Blair put two sugar cubes in the mug to sweeten the tea. The added sugar would be enough to raise his blood sugar to an acceptable level so he could function properly. He’d wait until he was finished with the tea before he left and ventured out. And later, he’d have to get some proper food into him.
Jim was becoming concerned when Blair hadn’t stopped in to see him by noon. He was able to move around enough to reach the telephone and make a call to the loft. The ringing soon kicked over to the answering machine.
“Hey, Chief. Where are you? You’re starting to worry me here. Simon was right – usually you’re hovering around me – doing your own Blessed Protector number on me. And you were way too quiet when you were here last evening. If you’re still asleep, I’m sorry I bothered you. And I’m sure I’ll see you later. Bye.”
Jim hung up the telephone and debated about calling Simon to check out the loft and Blair’s well-being. But he didn’t want to embarrass Blair. He’d let it slide. Blair would be by later.
Blair finished his tea and ate three more cookies. He felt at least stable. He left his office and decided to go by the hospital. Jim would be getting concerned if he didn’t stop by. Blair was hoping Jim would be at least happy to see him.
Blair paused outside the door to Jim’s room. He tried to calm his heartbeat and plastered a smile on his face. He realized it was a futile gesture to try to calm his heartbeat, as Jim would know how frantically it was beating. The smile became genuine. He opened the door to the hospital room and walked inside, noticing Jim sitting up in the bed, watching television. Jim looked over at Blair and smiled.
Jim knew Blair’s arrival when he got off the elevator on the third floor. He had tracked Blair down the hall and to the point where he paused outside Jim’s room. Jim had heard the elevated heartbeat as Blair approached and then heard Blair take two deep breaths and Jim heard Blair’s heartbeat slow fractionally. Jim smiled. Blair thought he could hide that from Jim? Then the door opened and Blair walked in, smiling. At least it appeared to be a genuine smile.
“Hi, Jim. How are you doing?”
“I’m doing well, Chief.” Jim gave Blair a Sentinel once-over. He seemed to be okay. “You okay?”
“Yeah. I must have been more tired than I thought. I was sound asleep for over ten hours.”
“Simon was even concerned you weren’t by my side. It’s almost second nature.”
“You seemed to be okay. You didn’t need me.” Blair looked quickly away from Jim and walked over by the windows.
Jim could hear something in Blair’s tone and the way he avoided looking at Jim.
“Is something wrong, Chief?”
“No. I’m proud of you, Jim. That you handled things on your own. You had great control.” The last sentence was said so softly that even Jim had a hard time hearing it. And Blair still faced away from Jim.
Then it dawned on Jim. The realization and the crux of the matter. Jim had been able to handle the latest crisis on his own. And he hadn’t needed Blair to help bring things into focus. It had been an automatic thing – an unconscious action, much like breathing and walking. It’s what Blair had been telling Jim he needed to do for years. And now that Jim had accomplished that, Blair was upset.
“This doesn’t mean I don’t need you, Chief.” Jim moved around in the bed, trying to get Blair’s attention. But Blair still faced away from him. “C’mon, Blair. I do need you. Just because I was in control this time, doesn’t mean I’ll always be in control. A Sentinel needs a Guide. And that’s you, Chief. I’m not crazy enough to think I can do this on my own. You told me that.”
“I always knew you could do it on your own. It was only a matter of time.” Blair shoved his hands in his jean pockets and looked down at the floor, still turned away from Jim.
“I don’t know what to say, Blair. You want me to handle things and then you’re upset when I do.”
Blair chuckled and turned around to face Jim. “It only proves I’m too good a teacher. And you do listen to me. I am proud of you,” Blair said as he walked from the windows to stand by Jim’s hospital bed, eyeing Jim critically. “It just seemed to me like it had all come together. And it was just so sudden and I felt unneeded.”
“Never, Blair. I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“It was a combination of everything together and I drew the wrong conclusion.”
“Its fine, Chief. You deserve one mistake.”
“I shouldn’t have doubted my place. Every Sentinel needs a Guide.”
“And you’re my Guide.”