Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Everyday Life Series

Traffic Jam II
by Becky
May 1998

"You wanted a story, well have I got one for you. It all started back in high school..."

Blair settled back happily into the truck passenger seat, prepared to hear some juicy tidbit from Jim's teenage years, probably something he never would have heard if not for the fortuitous traffic jam. A minute into Jim's story, he started to squirm, attempting to find a better way to sit on the hard truck seats. He made a face. You know, there are days when I miss the Expedition. It may've been a mommie car, but at least it was a comfortable one. Looking up, he caught Jim's glance in his direction.

"And then..." Jim's voice halted, then he asked, interrupting the story, "You got something you need to tell me, Chief."

"Huh? What?"

A smile tugged at Jim's lips and a mischievous twinkle lit in his eyes. "You remind me of some little kid who's about to tell his mother that he needs to go."

Blair huffed out indignantly, "I do not need to 'go'. Geez."

"Just checking, Junior. Wouldn't want you to have any accidents or anything." Ducking away when Blair swatted his arm, Jim laughed.

"It's these ridiculously hard seats of this truck. The seats in the Volvo aren't even this bad." He shifted again, fruitlessly, then threw his hands into the air. "I give up. I think it's a hopeless cause."

Jim patted the dashboard of the truck. "Don't listen to him, sweetheart. He's just jealous."

"Jealous?!?" Blair blurted out, choking on his laughter. "You think I'm jealous? Of what, man? The truck?" The older man didn't answer, just grinned, giving the dashboard one last affectionate pat before moving his hand back to the steering wheel as traffic edged forward a little. Blair stared at him for a long moment, then shook his head, sighing heavily, looking out the side window. "I guess Simon was right after all."

There was a moment of silence and Blair felt Jim's eyes on him, waiting for him to continue. He forced himself to stay still and to keep the semi-sad, semi-dejected look on his face. Wait, wait, he'll ask. Just a little bit longer.

Finally Jim asked tentatively, his voice only a touch suspicious, "Right about what?"

That's right, step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly. Blair took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He shrugged slightly, then said quietly, "It's a sad, sad thing, Jim. He said, well, it's so hard to repeat. He said that your truck would always be the love of your life. That everyone and everything else could only come in second." He turned and looked at Jim, letting his dark blue eyes go soft and wide, biting the inside of one cheek to keep himself from laughing.

Jim stared at him, blinking, mouth half open. Blair tried to hold on, but after a few seconds, he couldn't do it anymore and the corner of his lips twitched upwards. Jim pulled his mouth shut with a snap. The other corner of Blair's lips twitched up as well. Jim narrowed his eyes. And then Blair couldn't keep still any longer.

Peals of laugher filled the truck cab as Blair leaned forward on the seat, one arm around his waist to support himself. Jim eyed the unmoving cars around him, then reached over and pushed the button on Blair's seatbelt clasp. Blair noticed only after he felt Jim grab his arm and haul him across the seat.

"Jim? What are you...? Ack!!"

Holding Blair in a secure but gentle headlock, Jim promptly gave his partner a hard noogie, ignoring both the pleas for him to stop and the hands that tried to shove him away. Finally, happy that he'd given proper revenge, he released the younger man who scuttled back to his side of the truck. Jim watched with much amusement as Blair blew on the long strands of hair hanging in his face only to have them fall back down over his nose and mouth again.

Jim laughed.

Blair glared at him, using both hands to shove his loose hair away, wishing he'd thought to put it into a ponytail before they'd left the camping grounds this morning. He muttered under his breath, fully aware that Jim the Sentinel could hear every word that he was saying.

"That's right, pick on the little guy, use that overdeveloped musculature against the 90-pound weakling, well, not 90-pounds in the literal sense, but still . . ." His fingers found a tangle as he tried to smooth down his newly abused hair. "What did he do to my hair? Doesn't he know how long it'll take me to get the knots out of it? Man." He hid a smile, somewhat absurdly pleased that Jim was still in a good mood -- even if it was at the expense of his hair. He is such a goofball sometimes.

Hair finally out of his face and eyes, Blair looked over at Jim, only to see that the Sentinel was still grinning widely, humming tunelessly under his breath, attention focused on the road ahead as traffic moved forward again. Jim glanced at him, then away, laughing a little.

"Put your seatbelt on, Sandburg. The car's moving."

Blair reached around and grabbed the belt, refastening it. "Well, if you hadn't undone it..." He left the rest of the sentence hanging in the air.

"Don't blame this on me, Chief. You started it."

"Me? I started it? No, Jim, you started it. You're the one who wanted me to entertain you."

"And a good job you're doing at it too."

Blair rolled his eyes, "You're welcome. Weren't you supposed to be telling a story or something?"

Jim pursed his lips. "Oh, yeah, I guess I was telling a story. Where was I anyway?"

"Something about a girl named Lydia?"

Jim nodded. "Yeah, Lydia. Cheerleader. Tall, leggy, red hair..."

"Why am I not surprised?"

"Hush. You're gonna make me lose my place."

Blair opened his mouth to comment, but thought better of it when Jim threw a glare at him. Blair shut his mouth and lifted both hands in silent agreement to keep quiet. Jim looked back at the road and went on, telling Blair about the girl, her three very protective, very large brothers, and Jim's botched attempts to get close enough to her to ask her out on a date. Soon enough Blair was laughing so hard that he forgot about the traffic, the tangles in his hair, and the hard seats of the truck.

"Did you...oh, man...did you ever manage to go out with her?" Blair managed between residual laughter as he wiped tears from his eyes.

Jim smiled. "Once. But a date with her and her three brothers wasn't what I had in mind, so..." He shrugged, clearly not bothered by it, even if he ever was.

Blair shook his head, chuckling. "And I always thought my dates were interesting. You've got mine beat hands down. Do you know whatever happened to Lydia, by the way?"

"Hmm...I think she married an accountant and moved to Seattle. Nice and safe. I'm sure her brothers are happy."

The cellphone on the seat rang and Blair snatched it up. "Hello. Blair Sandburg speaking."

Simon's voice came over the line. "Sandburg, are you two still stuck in traffic?"

Blair looked out at the lines of cars surrounding them. "That would be a definite yes, Simon."

He heard Simon grumbling on the other end of the line, then a sigh before he spoke up again. "Is Jim behaving himself?"

Blair shot Jim a glance and laughed when Jim rolled his eyes. "Yes, sir, he's behaving himself. Nary an upset motorist to be seen, at least not one that Jim's done anything to."

"Good. Make sure it stays that way."

"Yes, sir, Captain. I'll do my best. Anything else?"

"No, it's quiet for once. Just get here when you can. I think I see a stack of paperwork on Jim's desk that needs tending."

Jim made a face, muttering just loud enough for Blair to hear, "Paperwork. Ugh."

Blair grinned, replying back to Simon, "I'll be sure to mention that to him. See you, Simon." He slapped shut the phone and dropped it on the seat. He looked at Jim expectantly. "So, now what do we do?"

"Find a longer way to get back to the station."

Shaking his head, Blair laughed. "Somehow I don't think that's what Simon had in mind when he told us to get there when we could."

"Yeah, well, it's all in the interpretation. You should know that better than anyone, Chief. You've studied dusty old books and artifacts for most your life." Jim paused a moment, then said solemnly, "And just so you remember, here's my interpretation of the day."

Blair lifted an eyebrow, curious.

"I still think you're jealous of the truck." He grinned, eyes twinkling.

"JIM!!"

- The End -

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

Go to Traffic Jam III...