Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Humor

Summary: After agreeing to act in a faculty skit, Blair asks Jim for a favor -- and lives to regret it.

Warning: More silly humor -- uh, I'm afraid this time is even sillier than the spittoon idea. But I think Richard and Garett would be hilarious doing this, considering how they are off-screen...

The Rehearsal
by Robyn
July 1998

The door burst open as a whirlwind containing a certain anthropologist blew into the loft. The whirlwind blustered about the loft's entrance for a few minutes as it tossed keys into the basket by the door, heaved a backpack onto the kitchen counter and zipped it open with religious fervor. After removing some contents, it blustered over to the refrigerator and pulled out a couple drinks.

Jim Ellison had lowered his newspaper in order to watch this evening entertainment with extreme amusement. He wondered whether someday the whole loft contents would be caught up in that whirlwind.

The whirlwind hadn't stopped moving yet. It swirled over to the couch where Jim was sitting and leaped over the back, plopping down beside the detective. For non-sentinels, the blurry anomaly finally came into focus as Blair Sandburg, grinning as usual. He set down four white take-out containers, a can of Coca-cola, and a bottle of Snapple on the coffee table with a flourish.

"Your evening meal, Sir James," said Blair, bowing his head and gesturing with his hands in a display of mock deference.

Sir James had been smiling but rolled his eyes upon hearing the title.

"Don't you 'sir' me. You're more likely to get knighted than I am. And to what do I owe this honor?"

"Just thought you'd like some Chinese food from your favorite Chinese restaurant. Ming told me to say 'hi' to you. I even got you some egg foo yung, just the way you like it." Blair started to open the containers, and delicious aromas wafted out. He ripped open a pair of chopsticks and handed them to Jim. "Dig in!"

"This isn't some strange sensory experiment of yours, is it, Chief?" Jim said warily.

"Come on, Jim. Would I do a thing like that?"

Jim gave him a 'If you have to ask' look.

"Never mind. No, this isn't some experiment, I promise. Eat, Jim. Mmmm. This sweet and sour chicken is out of this world!" Blair shoved some rice and chicken into his mouth, his eyes closing as he reached some new level of epicurean ecstasy.

Jim paused, chopsticks in the air, staring at his partner for one last moment. It wasn't totally unheard of for Sandburg to bring home dinner, but something about this whole thing didn't seem quite right. Still eyeing Blair, Ellison reached for the egg foo yung container and slowly bit off a piece of his favorite dish from the Red Dragon. It was good.

The only strange thing Jim noticed as he watched Blair eat was that the younger man appeared to be inhaling his food more quickly than usual, though he did chatter some about the day's events at the U and throw in a gustatory noise of pleasure every now and then. The anthropologist asked Jim how his day had been, to which Jim replied "fine" and mentioned a few new developments on the cases he and Blair were currently working on.

In no time, Sandburg had set down an empty container, tossed the chopsticks inside, took the last swig of his Snapple, and wiped his mouth with a napkin.

"You're a veritable food vacuum tonight, Chief," commented Jim, who was still finishing his portion of the meal.

"Am I?" Blair blinked innocently.

"Okay, Sandburg, spill it. I know you didn't just happen to bring home egg foo yung." Jim eyed his partner from behind the white food container as he continued to eat the last of the contents.

Blair paused as if thinking of the best way to broach the subject, then turned his body to face Jim on the couch. "Jim, man, I need your help on something," he blurted.

Jim raised one eyebrow suspiciously. "What strange sensory test do you want to do on me this time?"

"No, no, Jim, it's nothing like that. No tests, honest!" Blair laughed nervously.

"Then what is it? Women advice?"

"Nah, got that all under control right now." He laughed nervously again.

Jim searched Blair's deep blue eyes with his own, but the detective couldn't divine the reason behind his partner's hesitation. A thought crossed Ellison's mind and his face clouded. "You're not in trouble, are you, Chief?"

"Oh, NO, man, nothing like that." Blair chuckled at the thought even harder than before, slapping one knee with his hand. He suddenly jumped up from the couch, gathered all the empty containers and drink cans and headed for the kitchen.

Jim jumped up and followed him. "Everything's all right? You're sure? Bad guys aren't out to get you?" he persisted.

"Yeah, Jim, I promise!" Blair insisted as he dumped the stuff into the trash.

On other occasions, Ellison probably would have been a little aggravated by now, but he was in a good mood today and amused more than anything.

"O -- kay," said Jim, "guess I'll have to do my Simon impersonation." He put his arm snugly around Blair's shoulder as he led Blair back to the interrogation couch and changed his voice to resemble the captain's. "'Blair, my boy! I know you're hiding something, so just spill it, will you? What do you need help with?"

Blair took a deep breath, then launched into his story. "Well, uh, there's this girl ..."

Jim rolled his eyes again. "I knew it! It always comes down to women with you, Chief."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway, I've been wanting to get a date with Zoe for ages. She's a grad student in the drama department. Then I bump into her today."

"That literal or figurative?"

"Figurative, Jim. Well, she asked me a favor and of course I said yes. I'm really gonna be on her good side now," Blair said with a satisfactory air.

"So what was the favor?" Jim inquired, asking the obvious question.

"Uh, she's putting on this series of faculty skits for the student association talent show. I guess one of the guys got chicken pox at the last minute and she needed someone to pinch hit. She thinks I can act, man!" he said excitedly, slapping Jim on the arm hard enough to make the detective's whole upper body jerk.

"Riiiiight," Jim said drily. "Whatever gave her that idea? You obfuscate about your illustrious acting credits, Sandburg?"

"Hey man, I did some drama in high school. Shakespeare, to be exact," Blair defended.

"Don't tell me. You played Romeo, right?"

"Yeah," he grinned. "How'd you know?"

"Wild guess. So what does this have to do with me? You need me to come to the performance and hold up cue cards from the audience?"

"C'mon Jim. I can memorize pretty fast, as a matter of fact -- I think I already have most of it down. Kinda made that lecture on insects of South America go faster this afternoon." Blair shuddered at the idea of bugs. "I just want you to help me rehearse -- go through it a few times. My part actually isn't that long. Please, Jim?"

"All right, Chief. When is this thing anyway?"

"Tomorrow night." Blair pulled out a few 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper stapled together and folded lengthwise from his jeans back pocket. "Here," he thrust the script into Jim's chest. The other man's arms came up automatically to catch it. "There's only two parts. You read everything that says 'Bertha'."

"Wait a second, let me get this straight." Jim said, a quizzical look on his face as he stared at the script in his lap. "I'm someone named Bertha? That name is atrocious. It's a ... a cow name!"

Blair stifled a giggle at his partner's incredulous tone of voice. "You'll get over it, man. You're just reading a part. Nobody's gonna call you that. Bertha."

Jim grabbed the script and swung at Blair with it, though the younger man managed to agilely jump off the couch to avoid getting smacked.

"Okay, okay, fine," Blair laughed.

After giving him a sufficiently evil glare, Jim settled back on the couch. "I think I'm gonna regret this." He opened the folded papers again and took a closer look. Slowly, a vindicated smile spread across his face. "On the other hand, revenge is sweet. Beauregard," he said, emphasizing the name of Blair's character. "Or should I just call you Beau?" The older man broke out into a laugh.

"Don't you go calling me that, Jim," Blair winced. He knew it would take a long time for Ellison to forget it, but it was a price he was willing to pay.

As Jim continued to scan the script's contents, his face wrinkled and his eyes rolled. "Sandburg -- this thing is awful! I think I'm going to gag on the sap. This sounds like something straight out of a cheap romance novel!"

"I know, Jim. But I couldn't tell Zoe that. What am I supposed to say -- 'your skit sounds like a cheap romance novel and has no plot to speak of'?"

"You mean she wrote this thing?" said Jim incredulously.

Blair nodded sheepishly.

Jim shook his head. "Well, I hope she meant it to be comedy and not drama. Do you have to dress up like those guys on the cover? Bare-chested and all?"

"I hope not. Don't got any rippling muscles to show off, and besides, those guys never have chest hair. Are you gonna help me with this or not?" Blair gestured impatiently.

"All right, all right, Junior. You ready?"

Standing slightly to the side and in front of the couch where Jim sat, Blair shut his eyes tightly and smoothed his hair back from his forehead with both hands in a gesture of extreme concentration. He took in a deep, long, cleansing breath, mumbling a few of the lines to himself. "Okay, I'm ready. I think you have the first line."

Jim read in a rather monotone voice, "I -- I can't come back to you, Beauregard. After what happened -- after what you did ..."

"Please, don't do this to me," begged Blair, putting his hand to his chest, obvious pain in his eyes as he looked at 'her'. "I couldn't bear it -- I can't live without you!" his voice cracked just enough to be heart-wrenching.

Jim stared at the younger man's pained blue eyes, taken aback by the sudden transformation of his partner. This is terrible, he thought. Why do I feel so bad about dumping him? Really, Ellison, he's just acting and this is just a skit. Get a grip! He jerked his attention back to the next line.

"But how can I ever trust you again?" 'she' asked.

'Beau' knelt down on one knee next to the couch arm, taking one of 'Bertha's' strangely large and muscled hands in both of his. He looked pleadingly and pathetically into 'her' eyes. "What I did was wrong, horrible, inexcusable. I promise never to forget your birthday again. Please believe that. Bertha, darling, I need you. I want you," he said passionately, caught up in the moment. "Uh...uh..."

"Life without you ..." Jim prompted, trying not to lose control of his amusement.

"Oh yeah. Life without you would be endless torture, an unending nightmare! Please -- please don't leave me, my sweet!" his hands gripped 'hers' more tightly.

Jim somehow managed to overcome his twitching lips and read the next line in an awful high-pitched voice. "You mean -- you still care?"

"Oh yes, my cupcake! My love for you is like the ocean, with a vastness that can never be quenched! 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate!'" Blair lifted his arm with a flourish to emphasize the words.

"Beau, my dahling, tell me more," 'Bertha' cracked melodramatically.

"'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...'" 'Beau' groped.

'Bertha' sniffed, dabbing at her eyes with a paper napkin from the Chinese restaurant. "Awwww," she crooned. "Shhh, my sweet,' 'she' said, putting a finger to 'Beau's' lips.

Blair's blue eyes widened.

"I forgive you, you studmuffin you! Let's kiss and make up, shall we?" 'Bertha' closed 'her' eyes and puckered up.

"Ah-hem," 'Beau' stammered. He hadn't planned on 'Bertha' being such a ham, even if it was in the script.

No kiss was forthcoming, but 'Bertha' ignored 'Beau's' reluctance and plowed on like some B-rated out-of-control juggernaut. "I now see that you are the only true love for me," 'she' whispered, "the only one worthy to stay at my side. Beauregard, will you marry me?"

"Huh? What do you mean 'will you marry me?' That isn't in the script, Jim!"

"Please, don't say no," 'Bertha' continued relentlessly. "You do love me, don't you?"

"Jim, that's enough. We only have a couple more lines to go, then we can play poker or something."

"There isn't someone else, is there?" 'Bertha' said, hurt and fear in 'her' voice.

"No, no," Blair stammered, wondering if he should be pacifying his partner on the couch who seemed temporarily unable to separate acting from reality.

"Oh, good," she continued in her high-pitched voice, "because if you were double-timing me I might have to summon my five burly kinsmen to bludgeon you into oblivion. And it would pain me to have them thrash you so. You shouldn't underestimate my backup. So it's a deal then? You'll marry me?"

"Jim, snap out of it!" Blair yelled desperately. "This isn't some hostage negotiation!"

"Ooooo, I get it now. You're playing hard to get! Come heah, my dahling ..." 'Bertha' had now risen from the couch and was moving toward 'Beau' who was backing away toward the kitchen.

"Jim? Ellison? Detective? Captain? Snap out of it, I say!" Blair tried every name he could think of, hoping to trigger whatever shred of saneness was left in his partner, but his voice was rising even though he was trying to stay calm.

"A woman scorned is a terrible thing ... I might have to tickle you as punishment ..." 'Bertha' picked up the pace and held out 'her' arms toward the object of 'her' affection, and Blair took off in a run.

"I'm never gonna ask you to help me rehearse again!"

"Aaaahhhhhh! ..."

"Jimmmmm ..."

"STOPPPPPP ..."

~The End~