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

Summary: Jim goes to get Blair from the Feds. Spoilers for Sweet Science.

No one else has written this particular missing scene yet, so I decided to go ahead and do it. And, no, I have no idea what the real governmental logistics to what you do to someone who tries to pass off counterfeit bills or the nightly security measures of governmental buildings. All from my imagination. Just a small warning -- this does sorta descend into some smarm near the end.

Misunderstanding
missing scene from Sweet Science
by Becky
March 1998

"Sit tight, Chief, I'm on my way."

Jim snapped the phone off and set it aside. Taking only a moment to run a hand over his hair, he shoved his feet into his shoes, then stood up, stretching to release some of the tension that had developed from the brief phone call. His mind still was a little fuzzy from the inadvertent nap on the couch. That and the early time didn't make for instant alertness. But one thing was clear -- his Guide was in trouble.

Counterfeit bills? The Federal Building? Sandburg, the things you get yourself into.

On his way by the TV, currently showing snow, he turned it off, then strode to the door. He grabbed his coat, his truck keys, wallet, and gun, then quickly left the loft, taking the stairs to the outside of the building. Once outside, he realized that Blair's car was still parked next to his truck. What did he do? Walk? In this weather? For who knows how long? He shivered in the chilly early morning air, only remembering halfway to his truck to fiddle with his temperature dial.

Definitely too early for me to be outside if I'm forgetting about that.

Once inside the truck, he turned up the heat, then headed toward the Federal Building. As Jim drove through the mostly deserted streets, his mind flitted back to recent events. Roy. His death. Blair's stunned and, at first, silent reaction. It wasn't until a bit later that his partner really started to realize just what had happened. Then he simply got angry, slowly losing himself to that anger.

Jim could do nothing but watch.

For all of Blair's wanting Jim to talk to him, to open up about everything, Blair had refused to really let Jim help him. He just kept running, pushing Jim away, talking about the surface, nothing underneath, nothing deep. And then finding the blood in Jamie's car and matching it to Roy, well, that didn't make things any better. Blair was closing up on him, a little at a time. Physically and emotionally. Running out of the bullpen, turning off his cellphone all day, staying deliberately out of contact. All signs of Blair in turmoil.

"Why won't you let me help you, Chief, huh? I thought we were friends. I thought friends cared for one another, took care each other. Isn't that what you're always telling me?" Jim shook his head, chewing on his lip as he paused at a stoplight at an empty intersection. Tapping his fingers on the steering wheel, he looked around, wondering why he was waiting. All his instincts were telling him to hurry, that he didn't have time for this.

Come on, there's no one here, turn green already.

He was half-tempted to run the lights, but this wasn't technically an emergency. Technically no one's life was in danger. No crime was being committed. Extending his hearing and sight momentarily, he realized no one was coming from any direction and frowned angrily at the red light still shining brightly down at him.

Forget this.

Flipping on the lights in his windshield, Jim took one more quick look around and then pulled out across the intersection and rounding the last few corners that would take him to the long street in front of the Federal Building.

Several minutes later, after parking in the closest legal spot he could find, he jogged up the outside stairs to the heavy glass doors. They were locked of course. But there was a security guard on duty just inside, eyeing him impassively from behind his security desk.

Jim pulled out his wallet and opened it, pressing the badge and ID to the glass. The guard still looked less than impressed, but came around to the doors, opening them slowly, but standing in Jim's way, not letting him enter. "What can I do for you, Officer?"

"I got a call from a friend who is being detained upstairs. Blair Sandburg. I'm here to pick him up."

The guard finally stepped aside and Jim walked past him towards the security desk. The guard locked the doors again, then joined him, going back around to pick a phone receiver, speaking into it briefly. "There is a Detective James Ellison here about a Blair Sandburg." A pause, then, "Yes, sir. Will do." Hanging up, the guard handed Jim a visitor ID. "Keep this with you. Elevators are on your left. Fourth floor, someone will meet you there. Are you armed, Detective?"

Jim nodded and handed his gun and holster to the guard without being asked. The guard took them and placed them in a drawer. "Thank you, Detective. You can pick them up when you leave." Jim nodded again, then walked to the bank of elevators, pushing the button that would take him upstairs. The doors of the center elevator opened immediately and Jim stepped inside, stabbing at the fourth floor button.

Almost there, Chief. Then we go home and we talk about this. Jim rubbed a hand over his forehead. Or at least we're gonna try to. You need to tell me what's going on in that head of yours before we both go nuts.

A bit later, Jim was led into a semi-dark room occupied by a long table, several chairs, two men in dark suits, and Blair Sandburg. Pausing a moment before saying anything, Jim let his senses roam over his partner, anchoring himself in the knowledge that Blair was okay, even if he did look tired and frazzled. He was sitting in a chair across from the two feds, eyes closed, breathing slowly, apparently fairly calm. Jim knew better. He could see the tiny tremors in Blair's frame, the small hitches in his breathing, the slightly too rapid heartbeat.

He walked over to Blair's side and carefully rested a hand on Blair's shoulder. "Hey, Chief, your ride is here."

Blair shuddered once under his hand, then shifted to tilt his head to look back at him, a nervous smile playing on his lips. "Hey, Jim, sorry about this."

Jim waved him to silence, turning to the two feds, pulling out his ID. "I'm Jim Ellison, a detective with the Cascade PD, Major Crimes division. Blair Sandburg is my partner. If you need confirmation of that, call Simon Banks, Captain of Major Crimes. He'll vouch for both of us."

One of the feds took the ID, examining it, while the other nodded in apparent recognition. "Detective Ellison, yes, I've heard your name bandied about from time to time. I'm sorry. I didn't realize Mr. Sandburg worked with you. His name didn't come up in our files."

"Technically, he's an observer, but he works as my partner nearly full-time. Can you tell me exactly what happened here?"

"Mr. Sandburg tried to get change for a $100 bill at an all-night diner. It was caught as a fake and called in. We had to detain him. Standard operating procedure. You realize that."

Jim nodded, looking down and meeting Blair's shuttered blue eyes for a second. A $100 bill? I thought that was only for emergencies, Chief. Don't you only have one? Did you even have your wallet with you? Blair's eyes held his for another moment. There's a message in those eyes. What is it? A memory from the other night flashed across his mind. Oh, wait, Roy. He paid you back with two $100 bills. Damn.

He raised his head, nodding in reply to the fed's comment. "Yes, I know. Standard procedure. But trust me, any counterfeit bills Sandburg has he must have picked up from somewhere. He's not making them or handing them out deliberately. He's my partner. He doesn't do things like that."

The feds stared at Jim and Blair for a second, then looked at each other, coming to some sort of silent agreement. The first man handed Jim's ID back to him as they both stood, the second one saying, "You're free to go, for now, Mr. Sandburg. Seeing as it is quite early, I think that discussing this further can wait until later this morning. Detective Ellison, I'll come by the PD tomorrow morning to talk with the two of you and your captain."

Jim nodded. "Agreed." He squeezed Blair's shoulder and stepped away a bit from the chair. "Come on, Chief, let's go." Blair stood silently and went past Jim toward the door. The detective followed him, doing a little guiding of his own, his hand on Blair's mid-back as they walked through the hallways to the elevators that would lead them down and out of the buildings.

Neither spoke until they were in the truck, heading home.

Blair's voice was quiet, subdued as he stared out the truck window to the rain-slick streets. "Thanks, Jim, for coming to get me."

"You're welcome. It's not like I was gonna leave you there, even if you did run out on me when I offered to buy you dinner."

Blair shrugged, shifting in his seat. "Yeah, sorry about that. I just ..." His voice trailed off and he leaned his head back against the seat. "I just needed to get out. I just started walking, not really paying any attention where I was going. Wandering really, just going from place to place. Found myself in the park for awhile, then at that diner. All I wanted was cab fare money, nothing big. But all I had on me were those two $100 bills that ... that Roy gave me."

"That's what I gathered."

"Jim ... thanks for, well, for not telling the feds where I got those bills from, at least not yet."

"We will have to tell them something, you know. They will ask where you got them. For the investigation."

"I know, I know. It's just, well, I can't tell them I got them from Roy. He wouldn't have done anything like this, making counterfeit money. I mean, why would he? He doesn't need fake bills. He's got plenty of the real stuff. And if the feds think that Roy was into this, they'll just drag his name through the mud, making things worse than they already are. I can't, I can't let them do that, Jim, I just can't."

Jim reached out a hand and grasped Blair's shoulder, squeezing it. "Hey, hey, just calm down. It's okay. We'll figure this out, all right?" There was no answer and Jim shook him. "Chief? Blair, come on, look at me. It'll be all right. You trust me, right?"

Blair took a deep breath and finally turned his head to meet Jim's eyes. Blair's eyes were shadowed and red, bags underneath both. The kid needs sleep -- lots of it. Blair smiled slightly, whispering, "Yeah, I trust you, Jim."

Jim smiled back at him, alternating looking at Blair and the road. "Good. Here's the game plan. First, we go home and catch whatever sleep we can that's left in the night. Tomorrow we'll figure out the rest."

"Speaking of sleep, aren't those the clothes you were in when I left?"

"Good eyes. I never got to bed. Fell asleep on the couch waiting for you."

Blair blinked. "On the couch? Waiting for me? Why?"

Jim pulled the truck to a stop in front of the loft building, then turned to look at his friend and partner. "Because I was worried about you, Blair. That's why."

Blair didn't say anything for a bit, just stared at him, then a slow smile crept across his face. "Oh. Thanks, Jim. I ... I don't quite what to say."

Grinning, Jim reached out and tugged on Blair's hair. "That's okay, my friend, that's okay. It's just all in a day's work. You ready to get some shut-eye?" A yawn replied before Blair could and he nodded sheepishly as Jim chuckled. "Come, sleepyhead, let's get us both upstairs before we fall asleep in the truck cab."

Blair shook his head as he slid out of the cab. "Nah, couldn't do that. Too cold."

Joining Blair as they walked toward the building, Jim caught Blair's arm as he wavered, then wrapped his arm around his friend's waist, supporting him. I do believe the adrenaline and anger are finally wearing off. He half-led, half-carried Blair inside and headed toward the elevator. He pushed the button, then looked down at the curly head of his friend and smiled. All in a day's work, Chief. And, yes, somehow or another, we will figure this whole thing out.

- The End -