Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Humor

Summary: Everything that can go wrong, does, when Jim tries to give a safety talk at Rainier University. Originally published in Sentry Post 3, published by GraphicsOne Fanzines. (This story won the Cascade Awards "Best Humor in a Zine" at the 1999 Senticon.)

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
by Becky
published September 1998; posted March 2001

It was a dark and stormy night ....

Blair laughed softly to himself as he looked out the window of the truck to the rain pelting down on the streets. Buckets and buckets of rain. Lots of wind. And it's dark. I guess the line fits after all, even if it is a cliche. He shook his head, still grinning.

From the driver's side of the truck, Jim asked, "And just what are you finding so amusing, Sandburg? I thought you hated it wet and cold."

Blair shot the older man a look. "Oh, yeah, man, I do. Definitely not my weather of choice."

"So what's so funny?"

He grinned harder, shoving hair away from his face, then gestured outside the truck. "All this just reminded me of that line of text that goes 'It was a dark and stormy night'. Don't know why I thought of it, I just did."

Jim shook his head, his lips curling up into a smile. "A dark and stormy night. Sounds like something you begin telling old ghost stories with."

Blair moved forward to look out of the windshield through the rapidly moving wipers. "Well, this would definitely be a night to tell ghost stories all right. All we need is some thunder and lightning, maybe a villain or two, and maybe even a power outage."

Jim took his eyes off the road for half a second, glaring at the younger man. "If any of those things come true tonight, Sandburg, so help me..."

"Oops, sorry." Blair was still grinning as he shifted to dig through his jeans pockets, looking for a ponytail band.

"You don't sound terribly repentant."

Finding a band and leaning forward to secure his hair back, Blair chuckled. "Maybe because I'm not?" Jim grunted and Blair laughed harder, going on as he settled back into his seat. "Man, I still can't believe Simon convinced you to give a safety talk at Rainier. Doesn't campus security usually do this?"

Jim grumbled, squinting to focus through the torrents of rain hitting the windshield. "Yes, they do. But with the recent sightings of a potential stalker hanging around campus, they wanted someone from the police department to come down." He paused, then shot another quick glance at his partner. "And because a certain partner of mine just happens to be a graduate student and teacher on Rainier campus, their security asked specifically for me. Suzanne Tomaki didn't help." He frowned. "Actually I think she may have suggested my name in the first place."

Blair nodded, a smile curling his lips. "Hmm. At least it wasn't me who suggested you."

"You sure about that, Chief?"

"Jim, I'm hurt. Do you think I would do such a thing?"

"If it got you into the girls' dorm after hours? In an instant."

Blair laughed again, but shook his head. "Maybe true, but it honestly wasn't me. At least not this time. I'm innocent, I swear."

Jim snorted. "The day I believe you're innocent is the day I get my head examined."

Blair sat a moment in quiet thought, fingers tapping on his leg, then said in a contemplative, serious tone of voice, "Hmm. I'll have to start asking around for recommendations for a good psychiatrist."

"Sandburg!!"

*****************************

Jim eased up on the gas as they drove through parking lot surrounding the women's dorm. He looked around, trying to find an empty spot to put the truck. "Where am I supposed to park again, Chief?"

"Wait a sec, let me find that paper." Blair opened the glove compartment and searched through it, finally pulling out a piece of paper. He squinted at in the low light offered by the parking lot street lamps. "Hmm, sorry, Jim, I can't read this. Maybe if you turn on the light."

Halting the truck, Jim reached over and snatched the paper from Blair's hand, "Here, let me. There's plenty of light for me."

Blair watched with avid fascination as Jim's pupils dilated and expanded to cover almost the entire iris. "Oh, man, that is so cool. I will never get tired of seeing that."

"Uh-huh." Jim mumbled the written instructions under his breath as he stared outside the windows, looking for the spot Suzanne had indicated would be marked for them. Ah-ha! There it is. He tossed the paper on the dashboard and headed the truck in that direction. Blair's statement finally filtered through his mind and he shook his head, grinning. "Never, Chief? You sound pretty sure of that. I thought maybe it'd be old hat by now."

"Are you kidding me, Jim? Anything you do that's Sentinel-related will never be old hat." He paused, then went on, shifting in his seat as Jim parked the truck. "Actually, I don't know that anything 'cop-related' will ever be old hat. Too much adrenaline."

Jim laughed, turning off the engine. "Whatever you say, Chief. You ready to get wet?"

Blair made a face, "No, but I don't think I want to stay in the truck either." He shivered. "Too cold."

Slapping his Jags cap on his head, Jim opened the door, "Which way to the front door?"

"That way." Blair pointed to his right as he opened his own door, yanking his leather coat over his head. After locking and slamming the truck doors shut, both men took off, running through the downpour toward the building. As they approached, Jim saw someone standing at the glass doors that led to the inside of the dorm lobby. When they were close enough, he recognized Suzanne. Two seconds later, as they ran under the lights just outside the doorway, she opened the doors and stepped aside for them to enter.

Jim waited until Blair dashed inside, then followed. He stayed next to Suzanne while she pulled the doors shut again. "Did I tell you already how much I appreciate you recommending me for this little talk, Suzanne?" He pulled off his cap and ran a hand over his hair.

Suzanne laughed. "Yes, Jim, in fact, I think you have. Several times. All I can tell you is probably what your captain has already told you. It's good PR for the department. Especially considering that most times you're on campus you're investigating some crime. Or at least that's what I hear."

Jim grunted. "That or trying to find my partner in the depths of the library or that closet he calls an office."

"Speaking of your partner, where did he disappear to?"

Jim gestured toward the doors of the large dorm meeting hall where the smiling younger man was holding court. "Where else? Where the girls are. He probably knows half of them, if not more."

Suzanne chuckled, "Somehow I get the feeling you're right. You go on ahead. I want to stay here, make sure any late stragglers get inside before the meeting starts."

Jim nodded, then walked over to join Blair at the doorway. Upon reaching his side, Jim smiled briefly at the girls surrounding his partner, then said to Blair, "Come on, Chief, we're here for work, not play."

Blair grinned at the girls and quickly followed Jim as he strode toward the front of the room. Catching up, he muttered good-naturedly, "Spoilsport."

"Call me what you will, Junior, but I just want to get this done and go home. You can fill your little black book on your own time."

"I wasn't filling my 'black book', Jim. Those girls were some of my students. We were just talking."

"Sandburg, you are never 'just talking'. I think it's physically impossible for you to 'just talk'. You lecture. You teach. You go on about some unknown culture and its idiosyncracies. You obfuscate. You tell stories. And you flirt." He stopped for a moment in the aisle and looked at Blair, a grin pulling at his lips, "But you never, ever 'just talk'. Trust me, I know these things." He reached over and slapped playfully at Blair's cheek before continuing on his way.

Blair watched Jim walk away, then rolled his eyes, muttering about 'overbearing, know-it-all Sentinels'.

Jim threw over his shoulder, "I heard that, Chief."

Moving forward to catch up, again, Blair retorted under his breath, "I'm sure you did, Jim. I'm sure you did."

*****************************

Jim waited until Suzanne had stepped away from the microphone, then moved forward to take her place. A brief flare of light outside the windows caught his attention and he groaned inwardly. Great. It really is gonna storm. He forced a polite smile on his face, nodding at the faces staring back at him. All girls, though he tried to tell himself that most of them weren't too much younger than Blair, therefore not really girls, but young women.

Yeah, right. Young women who are more interested in hauling my partner away for themselves rather than listen to this safety talk.

What made him even more nervous were the giggles and half-concealed looks sent his way. And from the looks his partner was sending him from his seat next to Suzanne at the side of the platform, Blair was noticing those looks and whispers as well -- and was extremely amused by them.

You'll get yours later, Sandburg. Just you wait.

Forcing himself not to roll his eyes and grimace, Jim cleared his throat and started to speak. "Good evening and thank you all for coming. As Officer Tomaki told you, I am a detective with the Cascade Police Department. I was asked by the university to talk to you tonight about your safety on campus. First, I'd like to talk to you about--"

~~CRACKLE!! CRACKLE!! BOOM!!~~

Thunder roared above them. Overhead lights flickered. Several surprised, high-pitched shrieks echoed across the room. Jim winced, stepping away from the microphone, grabbing his internal hearing dial and roughly yanking it down. Blair was at his side in the next moment, a hand on his forearm, concern in his eyes.

"You okay?" His voice was soft, barely hearable.

Jim nodded, cautiously turning the dial back up just enough to concentrate on Blair's voice. "Yeah, I'm okay. Just surprised. No harm done." He glanced back out at the audience of girls, most of whom were finally calming down again, the din of voices settling and quieting. He raised an eyebrow. "You gonna stay up here with me?"

Blair ignored the teasing, focusing instead on the potential problem. "You sure you're okay. That thunder's pretty loud, man."

"Yes, Chief, I'll be fine. Go, sit." He patted Blair's hand on his arm. He opened his mouth to add something else when the lights flickered again. Another moment passed, then lightning streaked jaggedly across the darkened, stormy skies outside, sending stark flashes of light into the room through the tall, uncurtained windows.

A few girls shrieked again in response, but Jim had the feeling it was more for effect than an actual reaction. Abruptly he remembered something his partner had said earlier and shifted his eyes down to glare at Blair, who was still at his side.

Blair blinked at him. "What?"

"Didn't you say something in the truck about thunder and lightning?"

"I ... uh, yeah, I guess I did. But it's just a coincidence, you know that. Man, in this type of storm, I think you'd expect thunder and lightning. You grew up around here. You should know that."

Jim grunted, "Maybe. But if anything else happens..."

He didn't get to finish his sentence as two girls came running in through the doors at rear of the room, one in a thin jean jacket, drenched and shivering, babbling and nearly in tears. Jim felt his nerves prime themselves as Suzanne rushed past him to join the distraught girl in the aisle. Blair's hand tightened on his arm.

"What's going on, Jim?"

Jim shook his head. "I don't know. But whatever it is, I have a feeling I'm not going to like it." He walked quickly down the few steps of the platform, Blair trailing behind him. Girls from both sides of the room were crowding into the aisle, wanting to know what was going on, why the girl was crying. Jim gently pushed them aside and eventually reached Suzanne's side.

Suzanne was trying to calm the crying girl down, hoping to find out what was wrong. Jim turned to the girl that had run inside behind her. "Do you know what's going on here, miss?"

"No, not really. I was sitting at the back and heard someone coming in from outside. When I went out to see who it was, I saw Shari. She was yanking the doors closed, really scared. I asked her what was wrong, but she didn't tell me, just ran in here."

Shari chose that moment to blurt out, "There's someone out there, a man. He was following me back from the library. Watching me. I walked faster, but so did he. I started to run, but he came after me. I don't know where he is now, but I heard him laughing at me, telling me that he would be waiting." She dissolved back into tears, hiding in Suzanne's arms.

Voices rose in both fear and anger around them, covering the sound of thunder outside. Jim lifted both hands. "Please, please, ladies, please just quiet down. Just stay calm." Blair joined him in settling the girls down, taking a more active approach by suggesting they sit back down and helping those that were the most rattled to do so. Jim turned back to Suzanne who had given Shari over to a group of her friends. "I assume you will alert the rest of campus security."

"Yes."

"Good. While you're doing that, I think I'll take a quick look around outside, make sure everything's still secure."

She nodded. "Good idea. I'll stay here, help the dorm deans keep the residents calm."

"Lock the doors after I go."

"Will do. Oh, here, take my flashlight. You might need it." She pulled the heavy duty light from her belt and gave it to Jim. "Do you want me to call your captain?"

Stuffing the light in his jacket pocket, Jim hesitated a moment, considering. "No, not yet anyway. Give me ten minutes first. If I don't get back, then do so. I should be back before that, however. If you do have to call him," he pulled his cellphone from the pocket of his leather jacket and handed it to her, "he's number three on the speed dial."

*****************************

Blair patted one of his student's arms, smiling in reassurance. "I'm sure everything will be fine. Officer Tomaki will inform campus security and my partner is here as well -- he's a cop. Nothing will happen; he won't let anything happen. Just relax."

Another girl spoke up, "Uh, Professor Sandburg? I think your friend is leaving."

He looked up and saw Jim heading toward the doors at the back of the room. "Oh, thanks. I'll see you all later." Jogging up the aisle, he called out, "Hey, Jim, wait, where are you going?" Blair grabbed Jim's arm as they left the meeting room.

"I'm just going outside to take a look around, Sandburg. Nothing big. I'll be back in a few minutes."

"I'll come with you."

Jim paused, pulling his gun from the belt holster, checking the clip. "You sure about that, Chief? You'll get soaked."

"Yes, I'm sure. I'm your partner, Jim. You need me out there." A clap of thunder sounded above them and Jim winced, squinting his eyes a little in reaction. "See?"

They stopped at the dorm outer doors and Jim nodded in reluctant agreement. "Yeah, okay. Just don't blame it on me later when you get sick."

Blair rolled his eyes and shoved the door open, stepping outside into the rain and wind. "Come on already, Jim."

Jim followed him outside, pushing the door closed. He waited until he saw Suzanne heading toward them to lock the doors, then turned to join Blair under the minuscule overhang in front of the doors. He slapped his Jags cap on his head again, hoping it would keep some of the rain out of his face. Unfortunately for them, the rain had not tapered off in the slightest. Lightning struck and he closed his eyes for a moment, letting the afterimages fade before opening them again. He felt Blair's hand on his back, anchoring him. Blair's quiet voice, pitched just loud enough to be heard over the wind and rain, followed a moment later.

"Okay, Jim, which way do you want to go?"

Jim opened his sight and hearing cautiously, wary of being blown out by the storm. A few seconds passed as he scanned their surroundings. Then he dialed everything back down, asking, "Which way to the library? I want to retrace Shari's steps."

Blair took a moment to find his bearings, then pointed off to their left. "That way."

Nodding, Jim started walking in the direction Blair indicated. "Stay close. I don't want you getting lost. Then I'd have to find you in this mess as well."

"Oh, gee, thanks, Jim." In spite of his sarcastic reply, Blair latched firmly onto the back of Jim's leather jacket. He'd much rather have that hand in his jacket pocket, where it was at least a little warmer. But even with the street lamps, it was very dark outside and Blair didn't really have a desire to get lost in the storm either. He shook his head, laughing shortly to himself. Besides, the way my luck runs, I'd run into whomever followed Shari back to the dorm.

Neither man said anything as they walked quickly and cautiously along the sidewalk that led to the library. Blair kept his hand on Jim's jacket, using that contact both to keep himself with Jim and to anchor the Sentinel as he swept their surroundings with hearing and sight. Blair kept a mental count of the time between thunder crashes, hoping maybe to predict them soon enough for Jim to turn things down before another hit.

They were rounding the last corner before arriving at the library when Jim stopped, holding out an arm to halt his partner. Blair looked around, eyeing the tall trees next to the pathway, then whispered, "What? What is it?"

Raising his gun, Jim leaned down slightly, his eyes still intent on the area around them. "I thought I heard something."

"Like what?"

"Something cracking, breaking maybe."

Blair made a face. "Jim, this is a storm. There's a lot of wind. And there are a lot of trees around."

Jim shook his head impatiently. "No, it wasn't like that. Too slow. Like someone was stepping on a twig or something."

Blair inched closer to the larger man, glancing around in the darkness. "You know, I really wish we could have stopped to get a flashlight out of the car."

"Oh, sorry, I forgot. Here. Suzanne gave me this." Jim yanked Suzanne's flashlight from his pocket and handed it over without looking. Blair took it and flipped it on immediately, somehow feeling absurdly safer. "Just keep it aimed at the ground." Jim stepped forward slowly, looking around the corner. He muttered, "I know I heard something. Where... ?"

A large, dark shape exploded from behind the trees and flung itself at them, knocking them apart and onto the ground. The flashlight went flying, the column of light skittering across the wet pavement, downhill towards the library. Blair fell hard on his back, landing with a thud and a surprised exhaled whoosh of air. Jim rolled the other direction, leaping back to his feet, his gun lifted and ready.

"Stop! Cascade PD!"

The figure didn't stop but ran across the sidewalk and onto the grass, sliding in the slick wetness. Jim paused, glancing to where his partner had fallen. "Chief? You okay?"

Blair gasped, rolling to his side and pushing himself upright. "I'm fine, Jim. Go! Go!" Stuffing the gun into its holster at his back, Jim nodded once and took off.

Stifling a groan, Blair slowly got to his feet, wiping a hand across his face. Looking around, he spotted the flashlight beam near the library entrance. Well, it looks like it's still working. He headed for it, stumbling a bit at first as his back muscles protested the movement. Reaching the light and seeing it half lying a puddle of water, he snatched it up and looked it over, very glad to see that nothing seemed cracked or broken. Thank goodness for indestructible flashlights. Lightning flared above him, followed seconds later by a crash of thunder.

Storm's getting closer. Great. Hope Jim's doing okay in this.

*****************************

Jim winced as lightning streaked across the sky above him, but ignored both it and the following crash of thunder, concentrating instead on the man fleeing from him. The other man's voice and mocking laughter rang back to the Sentinel over the rain and wind. "You think you're gonna catch me, don't you, cop. Well, you can't. No one can."

Just a little bit closer. Come on, Ellison, push it! He slipped on the grass and tumbled to the ground for a moment before rolling back to his feet again.

Ahead of him, the man dodged around a flat cement bench, laughing loudly as he whirled around to wave cheekily at Jim. "Sorry, cop, maybe another day."

Deciding not to avoid the bench, Jim took a running leap, hitting the bench with one foot and pushing off with it. He landed hard and clumsily on the other man who hadn't time to do more than raise his hands. They fell to the ground with a thud and a smack, dousing themselves in a large puddle. Rolling over several times, Jim fought for the upper hand, finally getting it long enough to strike out, knocking the other man unconscious.

He sat back, panting, running a hand over his head. His cap had flown off sometime during the chase and the struggle. Looking around, he spotted it behind him, lying upside down on the ground next to the bench. Beyond that he saw a flashing spot of light that he matched to the flashlight his partner was using. He cupped his hands and called out, "Sandburg! Over here!"

Immediately Blair's voice, anxious and concerned, came back at him. "Jim!" The light found him a few seconds later and Jim nodded in satisfaction as Blair started jogging across the grass to join him. Jim turned his attention back to the unconscious man beneath him. He yanked out his handcuffs from his back pocket -- never leave home without them -- and rolled the other man other, cuffing his hands behind his back.

At the same time that Blair arrived at his side, a campus security vehicle screeched to a halt on the street next to them. Two uniformed security officers jumped out and ran to them, shining bright lights on the scene. "Hold it!"

Blair froze where he stood, swallowing and raising both hands partway into the air. Jim spoke up slowly, "It's all right. I'm Detective Ellison. This is my partner, Blair Sandburg. Suzanne Tomaki told you about us, I hope?"

One of them nodded, lowering his weapon, "Yes, sir, Detective. Sorry about that."

Jim waved it away, then rose to his feet stiffly. Blair put a hand on his back. "Jim, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, Chief." Gesturing to the cuffed man on the sidewalk, he told the two security officers, "This is the gentleman you've been looking for, I believe."

"Yes, sir, he is. Thank you, Detective."

Jim nodded, satisfied that the two campus cops would take care of the stalker. He turned back to Blair. "Ready to get out of the rain, partner?"

Blair shivered. "More than ready, Jim. Oh, here, I think you lost this." He held out Jim's very soggy Jags cap. Jim took it, sighing, then slapped it on his head anyway. It's not like it can make things any worse. Blair chuckled at the sight, teeth chattering as a heavy wind blew past them.

Jim steered him up the pathway, wanting to stay out of the grass and hopefully away from more puddles. "Come on, Blair, let's get to the truck and head back to the loft before one of us catches pneumonia."

"What about the safety talk?"

"Oh, right, the safety talk. Damn, I forgot." He growled. "Well, if Suzanne still wants me to do it, it'll be the fastest safety talk in Rainier history."

*****************************

Suzanne was again at the outer doors of the dorm when they arrived. She quickly unlocked the doors and ushered them inside just before thunder crashed and the rain pelted down heavier than before. Suzanne looked them both over, shaking her head. Blair gave her back the borrowed flashlight, then wrapped his arms around his torso tightly, bouncing slightly on his toes as water cascaded down his body to form a puddle around his feet. Jim wasn't in too much better shape. In fact, he actually looked worse.

"I hope this means you caught the guy."

Jim nodded, ringing out his cap. "Oh, yeah, we got him. Your security arrived just in time to take him away." He looked toward the doors of the meeting room, beyond which he could hear the din of female voices.

Suzanne followed his look and smiled. "The deans decided to keep everyone in one place until we knew for sure it was okay. No use sending everyone to their rooms and have them wondering all night long what happened."

Sighed heavily, Jim ran a hand over his face, grimacing at the cold wetness. "I guess that means I should still give the safety talk, especially now.

Suzanne raised an eyebrow. "You still want to do it?"

Jim shrugged. "Simon will ask me tomorrow morning how it went. I had better have an answer for him that he likes. Saying that I didn't do it won't be what he wants to hear. In any case, the sooner I do it, the faster Sandburg and I can get home and warm up."

Blair nodded enthusiastically, teeth chattering for effect.

"Speaking of your captain, here's your cellphone back. I had just called him when I saw you coming back. So he knows what you were doing, but he also knows you're okay." Suzanne handed the phone to him. Jim held it for a moment, at a loss for where to put it -- everything he had on was pretty soaked clean through, including his pockets. Blair reached out and took the cellphone from him.

"I'll keep it for now. Unlike you, I didn't take a dip in a huge puddle of water and roll around on the grass. My pockets are dry." He paused, grinning. "Well, drier than yours at least."

Jim rolled his eyes, then reached out to tug at Blair's very wet ponytail. "Yeah, yeah."

*****************************

Leaning against the far wall on the room, off to the side of the stage, Blair wrapped his arms around himself as he tried to control his shivering. The thick blanket helped, but what he really wanted to do was get out of his wet clothes. Suzanne made a quick announcement that the stalker had been caught, then reintroduced Jim. He watched as his partner approached the microphone, leaving large wet footprints behind him on the carpet.

Soft voices from the girls nearest him caught his attention and he looked out to see a cluster of girls -- no, not girls, they can't be that much younger than me -- pointing at Jim, then grinning and whispering comments to each other. Grinning, Blair shook his head. Soaking wet, hair plastered to his head, looking decidedly unhappy and uncomfortable, the girls are still giggling at him and flirting with him.

Blair chuckled, catching Jim's quick glance his way, eyeing him. He smirked back, freeing one hand from the blanket to motion him forward. The detective turned back to the microphone, cleared his throat and painted that 'for-the-public' smile on his face as he started to speak.

The younger man settled back against the wall, trying vainly to find a way to stand without feeling like he'd been playing in the water fully clothed. He rolled his eyes at the thought. Geez, Sandburg, that's exactly what you've been doing -- playing in the water. Throwing another glance at Jim, who was probably leaving permanent water stains on the carpet, Blair grinned again. It could be worse. I could be Jim. Now he's definitely gotta be uncomfortable. Way, way uncomfortable.

Somehow that thought made him feel better.

*****************************

Jim tapped on the microphone on the stand and leaned forward a little to make sure his voice was picked up by the PA system. He worked on ignoring the faint feedback that only he could hear. He also tried to ignore the clusters of adoring female eyes watching his every move as he shifted on the platform. I hate this. Why does Simon do things like this to me? Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Blair grinning. Laughing at me, at this whole absurd situation, no doubt. I'll deal with him later.

He dredged up a smile and began talking. "Again, thank you all for coming this evening. I hope that what happened here tonight will help you remember to think about your safety." He went on for a few more minutes, reinforcing what campus security had already told them.

As he was finishing his brief remarks, lightning flashed suddenly above them, thunder crashing loudly bare moments later. Jim was grateful to hear fewer shrieks of terror from the crowd gathered in the room. The overhead lights flickered a few times and Jim waited, not wanting to compete with the lights for attention. They flickered on again, almost hesitantly.

Then they went out completely, leaving the room in darkness except for the brief flashes of light outside, interspersed with rolling thunder.

Jim groaned. You have got to be kidding. Sandburg!

Over the newly erupting din of voices, Jim located the low laughter of his partner. He turned, sentinel sight widening as he eyed him balefully. He stalked down off the stage, heading for Blair, knowing the younger man wouldn't be able to run away from him in the darkness, that he wouldn't even try. Besides, he's laughing too hard to even think about that right now anyway.

Jim reached his side and muttered, "Sandburg..."

In between laughs, Blair forced out a few words. "Oh, man, Jim, I can't believe this. This is all so coincidental. You know that."

Jim growled, reaching out to grab Blair by the scruff of the neck and shake him. "Coincidental. Right. Thunder, lightning, a villain or two, and a power outage. Isn't that what you said in the truck?"

Blair nodded, still laughing. "Yeah, that's what I said all right. But, Jim, I was only talking."

"And what did I say earlier? That you are never 'just talking'." He pulled his hand from Blair's neck and poked the younger man in the chest. "So next time you decide to try foretelling the future, don't. Got it?"

"Yeah, yeah, I got it." Blair paused, laughter dying off, then he giggled, wiping a hand across his eyes which were finally adapting to the low amount of light in the room. He looked up at the large, dark figure he knew was his partner. "How are we gonna explain this one to Simon?"

Jim opened his mouth to reply when they both heard Jim's cellphone go off in Blair's pocket. They stared at each other a moment in the darkness, then Blair pulled the phone from his pocket and handed it to the older man. Jim let it ring again. Blair could almost feel Jim glaring at him even though he couldn't really see him.

"If this is Simon ..." Leaving one hand on his partner's shoulder, Jim flipped open the phone. "Ellison." A moment went by, then Jim sighed, a reluctant chuckle in his voice. "Hi Simon. Yeah, we're okay, just really, really wet."

Blair laughed again and as Jim talked to Simon, he knew that Jim was laughing too, even if he couldn't hear it or see the smile on his partner's face. After another minute, Jim disconnected with Simon, telling him that he would give him all the details the next morning. Blair took the phone back and stuffed it into a jacket pocket, then waited for Jim to say something.

He wasn't disappointed.

"Sandburg, didn't I just say something about not foretelling the future before Simon called?"

Wide-eyed, Blair blinked innocently, knowing that the Sentinel could easily see him. "Um, I think so, yeah. But, Jim," he paused, trying to keep from grinning, "I was only 'just talking'." For a moment, he thought he would get away with the comment, then the dark shape moved toward him, shoving him against the wall at his back. Two seconds later, ten very sensitive fingers found his most ticklish spots.

No one gave any thought to the gales of panting laughter that erupted from the front corner of room as one very wet detective took revenge on his grinning partner.

-The End-