Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Missing Scenes Collection

Summary: Set after Jim takes off on the jet ski. Spoilers for Poachers.

My muse is being temperamental and uncooperative as of late, so this took a little bit to pull together, but this story is in answer to Guide Posts missing scene challenge. Robyn thought I should've called this Bombs and Sparks, but I didn't think so... <g>

To Know
missing scene for Poachers
Guide Posts Missing Scene Challenge Response
by Becky
September 1998

'Find those bombs,' he says. Great. And just how am I, are we, supposed to do that? You'd better be okay, Jim. And please, get back here soon. I do not want to be on this boat any longer than necessary. I cannot believe how badly this whole thing went.

The thoughts tumbled one over the other as Blair rushed after the other two men through the narrow hallway of the ship. Heading to he didn't know where. One of the others mentioned the engine room, and Blair had to silently agree that an engine room would be the most logical place to place a bomb.

A logical place. Geez, Sandburg, you know where to place a bomb. Now there's a good talent to put on your resume. 'Knows best place to set a bomb.' Wonderful. I just hope they're actually there. And that we can stop them.

Visions of explosions danced merrily in his head, telling him in more detail than he wanted to know about what would happen if they didn't find them. Or stop them. And how his partner would react if they failed to find those bombs. Shuddering once at the unwelcome picture of Jim grieving his death, Blair shook the visions away, pressing forward, his steps lengthening as much as they could behind the other men.

Why is it that whenever I'm stuck with a bomb Jim is nowhere in sight? First an oil rig, then an elevator, and now this. Is it some kind of unwritten clause in the observer agreement or something? Well, he was there with that bomb from Brackett, both times, but the first was a fake, and the second, well...

Blair stumbled to a halt, his thoughts interrupted as he nearly fell against the men in front of him when they stopped in the midst of the hallway. Before he could ask what the problem was, one of the men yanked open a door, saying curtly, "Engine room." Nodding, Blair gestured them ahead of him. Taking a deep breath and glancing back down the hallway to the distant and out-of-sight doorway, he ducked and pushed through the small door.

I may have to start asking Joel for advice on bombs pretty soon. This is becoming quite the habit with me...

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Sometime later, bombs found and safely disarmed, Blair, hands shoved in his jacket pockets, stood on the deck of the ship, eyes scanning the distance intently, looking for any sign of Jim or the Coast Guard or anything at all. C'mon, Jim, where are you? A stiff breeze blew past him and he shivered slightly, hunching down in his coat, trying to think warm thoughts.

A hand touched his shoulder, startling him a little. "Sandburg, you okay?"

Blair glanced up and over at Elaine, finding her eyes on him, concern evident in her gaze. He nodded. "Yeah. I'm okay." He looked back out at the water. "Just wondering about Jim."

Her hand tightened on his shoulder, squeezing in reassurance. "I'm sure he's fine. From what I saw, he looked like he could handle the jet ski without too much trouble. I wouldn't worry if I were you."

Blair nodded again. "Yeah." Unwilling to try to explain his close partnership and friendship with Jim and the worry it sometimes provoked, on both sides, he left his answer at that. If she didn't see it after spending so much time with them, working with them, eating with them at the loft, then she wouldn't understand him trying to explain it either. She patted his shoulder once and drifted away, leaving Blair alone in his vigil.

A few minutes later, the low hum of an engine, plus the sight of a Coast Guard cutter heading toward them got Blair's attention. He straightened, leaning forward, squinting, trying to see the figures on the deck. I need to add pocket binoculars to my wish list, maybe on a key chain or something. He grinned momentarily at the image before shaking his head and refocusing on the ship.

Finally, it got close enough that Blair could make out faces. Grinning and breathing out heavily in relief, he waggled one hand at a blanket-wrapped Jim, knowing that his partner would see him, probably had seen him much earlier. Jim nodded at him in return, a small smile on his face. Blair contemplated the blanket and his very wet partner, lifting an eyebrow at him.

Just what did he do? Jump in or something? He couldn't have fallen off the jet ski ... could he?

Another minute or so went by and then the cutter pulled up next to the ship. Blair stood back to watch as the ship was boarded and the bad guys removed. Elaine took charge quickly, explaining who was who and what happened. Blair waited just long enough for Jim to have a quick conference with Elaine, then threaded his way through the mess of people now on-board, quickly making his way across the deck to where the boats were lashed together. Still on the cutter, Jim awaited him, blanket wrapped firmly around his shoulders.

"Hey, Jim, you okay?"

The detective wiped a hand over his face, then through his hair, leaving mussed, half-dry tufts in his hand's wake. Blair bit the inside of his cheek to keep from grinning. Nodding once, Jim said, "Yeah, I'm okay. Just very wet. Got dumped." He reached out a hand toward his partner, stretching a little to bridge the distance between them. "C'mon, get over here. The Coast Guard will take us back, unless you want to go back on that."

Blair took Jim's hand, fingers gripping Jim's tightly. "I think I've had enough of Tommy's ship, thank you very much." Carefully and quickly, Blair hopped from one boat to the other, stumbling slightly on the crossing. He grabbed Jim's arm with his other hand to steady himself. Jim's other hand came up, supporting him, ignoring the blanket as it started to slide away from him.

"Easy there. I got you." He waited another moment, waiting for Blair to straighten, to find his balance on the rocking cutter, then released him slowly. "Okay?"

"Yeah, thanks."

A coast guard officer went past them, then another leading a prisoner by. Yanking the blanket back into place, Jim gestured toward the other side of the deck with his chin. "Let's get out of the way. We can sit down over there somewhere, I think. Achoo!" Jim sniffled and wiped a corner of the blanket over his face before securing the blanket with one hand, resting the other on Blair's back.

Feeling his nerves finally calming from the morning's excitement and grateful for the safe and alive presence of his partner, Blair walked in the direction Jim wanted. As they swerved around another coast guard officer, he caught sight of the orange, padded cushions at the far side of the cutter. After checking the cushion for dryness, he sank down into it, releasing a pent-up breath.

Jim's eyes immediately locked onto him, narrowing slightly. His hand, still on Blair's back, pressed down through the jacket material. "You okay, Chief?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. It's just ... it's been quite a day. And night, for that matter."

The older man didn't say anything for a moment and Blair looked over at him, wondering at the silence. When their eyes met, Jim shifted, sliding his hand around to grip Blair's forearm. "About the bombs, Sandburg, I didn't mean for you to have to go after them. Well, maybe I did, but I had thought Walters..." He trailed, shaking his head. "Never mind. She told me you were responsible for finding them."

Nodding, Blair replied with a brief, unhumorous laugh. "Oh, yeah, we found them all right. And disarmed them. Nasty little critters. I'm just glad Tommy's men knew what to do with them, since I sure didn't." He rubbed the opposite hand over his face, not wanting to disturb the grip Jim had on his arm, wanting and needing the anchoring at that moment.

Jim slid his hand down Blair's arm, wrapping his fingers around Blair's wrist warmly. "You did good, Chief."

Blair squinted over at him. "You weren't even here, Jim. How would you know I did good?" The words were out before he had to time to realize what he'd said, hearing with surprise that a little anger had snuck in. Am I mad at him for leaving me like he did? I guess I must be. At least a little. He opened his mouth to say something, but Jim was already talking.

"How? Well, for one, you're still alive." Jim paused a moment, curling his fingers around Blair's wrist. The younger man could feel his pulse, tangible evidence of his life, beating against Jim's fingers. The older man went on. "Two, everyone else is still alive as well and the boat's still here." He nodded toward the boat without taking his eyes from Blair's. "Three, you knew I trusted you to find those bombs. And four, you didn't freeze up, but did exactly what I needed you to."

Blair interrupted Jim's words. "I sure wanted to, Jim. I'm gonna need Joel to start training me to defuse bombs pretty soon if this keeps up." Eyes sparkling with returning humor, he offset his words with a grin.

Shaking his head, a smile on his face, Jim finished, leaning forward slightly, lowering his voice just a hair. He released Blair's wrist and lifted his hand to touch Blair's cheek for a moment before resting it on his shoulder. "But mostly I know you did good because I know you, Chief."

I... Blair blinked once, then smiled. "Oh."

Jim returned the smile, eyes crinkling at the corners. "Sandburg, the man of many words, reduced to 'oh'. Simon will never believe me." Not waiting for Blair's response, Jim stood up, gently tugging Blair upward with him. "C'mon, Chief, the cutter captain said he had some dry clothes that might fit me below, plus I think he mentioned hot coffee in the galley." He draped an arm over the younger man's shoulders, turning them toward the door that led to below decks.

"Coffee? Coffee's good. In fact, coffee sounds really good right now." He looked up at Jim as they paused before the doorway, a grin lighting his features. "So, Jim, you and Elaine...any sparks last night?"

Jim laughed softly, shaking his head. "Unlike you, Junior, I do not kiss and tell, or write it all down in some book somewhere." He ducked into the doorway, disappearing.

Blair waited a moment, then dashed after him, his voice echoing slightly. "So was that a yes or no? Jim? Jim, come on...."

- The End -