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

Summary: Scenes set before and after the episode. Spoilers for The Rig.

House Rules
missing scenes from The Rig
by Becky
December 1997

Jim Ellison pulled open the refrigerator door and stared inside, trying to remember if there was anything worth eating in any of the containers stacked on the shelves. Tacos -- not in the mood. Chinese noodles -- had those yesterday. Primavera -- that needs to be tossed. And what is that? He picked up one of the containers and peeled up one corner of the red tupperware lid hesitantly. A rather pungent smell wafted out at him. Recoiling, he wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Oh, man." I don't think I really want to know. One of Sandburg's 'acquired taste' things. He snapped the corner back down hastily, then shoved the container back on the shelf. On the other hand, maybe I'm not so hungry. He settled for grabbing a bottle of water and shut the refrigerator door.

Leaning back against the kitchen counter, he uncapped the water and took a large swallow, hoping to wash away the smell of unidentifiable food that was lingering at the back of his throat. He looked around the front room, noting the stacks of papers on the TV and spilling of the edges of end tables, the various idols and statues decorating bookshelves and wall nooks, the huge ceremonial mask in the corner, the semi-noticeable tracks of dirt that led from the front door to Sandburg's room. Place is a mess. Need to start getting Sandburg to think about sharing the housecleaning duties more since he almost seems to have taken over in here anyway.

Jim paused with the bottle halfway to his mouth, then lowered it, setting it with a careful hand on the counter. He straightened and made himself look around again and think about the words that had come to mind. How long ago was it that he said it would only be for a week? Months? He looked over at the glass doors he'd installed on Sandburg's room. I told him that those were to keep his stuff in his room, out of the rest of the loft. He glanced around again, shaking his head. I don't think that worked too well.

Slowly the thought that he'd been pushing away came back at him, making him listen. When did this place go from being just 'the loft' to 'our home'? After another moment, the answer came to him as he tried, unsuccessfully, to shove away vague feelings of panic at the loss of his privacy. From the moment he stepped through that doorway. From the moment I agreed to let him move in 'only for a week'. From the moment I met him and he talked me into letting him work with me.

Feeling the panic beginning to overwhelm him, he strode around the kitchen island toward the main room and its mess. Finding a box that had been hiding behind one of the couches, he started picking up stuff, piling it inside haphazardly. I need my space back. I need my privacy back.

I need my life back.

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Case closed. Bad guys caught and put away. Life can now return to normal -- such as it is. Glancing at Blair again out of the corner of his eye, Jim chuckled. Over the roar of the helicopter engines as they were flown back to Cascade, he could just barely hear Blair muttering complaints under his breath about 'house rules' and Jim going overboard with the idea of couch covers. But Jim knew it was good-natured griping, that Blair was only throwing some of his teasing back at him. And he was giving Jim something to focus on other than the vast, deep water below the chopper. Always thinking of others, of me, in particular.

Jim sent his mind back to the previous morning. He'd heard Blair's heart rate go up when the younger man had come into the loft and seen Jim dumping his papers into a box. But of course I was too upset, too rattled, at myself for panicking to do anything other than razz him about the mess and the 'biochemical warfare' sandwich. He'd realized somewhere in the back of his mind that Blair was also panicking, obviously worried that Jim was planning to throw him out then and there, that he didn't want him anymore.

Which wasn't the truth at all. He needed Blair. And he wanted him to stick around. This case had shown him that better than anything else could. Ready to walk into danger at a moment's notice and always there to back him up. Blair was his Guide, his partner, and a very good friend. If he hadn't been able to stop that bomb... He shuddered. I don't want to think about that. And I don't want Blair thinking that he can just walk out or that I'm planning to throw him out.

Hence the 'house rules'. Rules gave a sense of order. A sense of stability. A sense of permanence. Something he hoped Blair realized and understood. He turned his head toward Blair and caught the younger man staring back at him. They shared a long silent look, then Blair smiled at him. Jim returned the smile, then rested his head back against the seat, closing his eyes and relaxing.

Yeah, Blair understood. It was about friendship. It always was.

- The End -