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

Burton Awards 2002 Nominee

Summary: Missing scene for TSbyBS. This scene takes place the night before the final scene of the episode.

It Doesn't End Here
missing scene for The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg
by Robyn
May 1999

My thesis, "The Sentinel," is a fraud.... While my paper does quote ancient source material, the documentation proving that James Ellison .... actually possesses heightened senses is fraudulent....

The outer surface of my comforter cover chills my bare arms as the dark ceiling above me blurs into a gigantic television screen, replaying every tortured word, every pained facial expression, every agonizing crack and tremble in my friend's struggling voice as he publically disgraces himself and renounces everything he's ever worked for.

For me.

He gave it all up -- for me. I can't close my eyes. I just keep staring. Remembering.

I know the scene will haunt me.

Forever.

Just like the consequences will haunt Blair forever. It's been a few days since the press conference -- his self- inflicted humiliation in an arena so public I can't begin to imagine the hurt, the grief, the shame he must have felt when he willingly disowned everything he knew to be true. No other path could have caused a brilliant, dedicated academic more disgrace, but he chose to take it.

For me.

To save my sorry life. He gave up his own. It wouldn't be the first time...

...a tear rolls down the side of my face, plopping quietly onto the pillow beneath my head. I struggle to draw a ragged breath. Why does he always seem to make the big sacrifices when I get by without so much as a scratch? "Chief," I whisper, barely loud enough for even me to hear. "I gave you your life back last time --" I swallow hard, almost unable to continue. Reality stares me in the face, and I know this time I can't just call on some spirit guide to fix it. Funny. I never knew it would be easier to restore a life than to restore a lifetime of dreams. My eyes squeeze shut and a couple more tears slip away. "But this time..."

"... I'm giving you yours," a voice whispers in return.

I turn my head toward the hushed voice, and from the top of the stairs, my partner looks at me with his deep blue eyes. They sparkle in the moonlight shining through the high loft windows, softly lighting his rumpled curls and the creases on his gray tank top and red plaid flannel boxers. Absently, I realize the kid has gotten quite good at sneaking up on me.

I push myself up to a sitting position, pulling back the covers. Gingerly, I slowly shift my legs over to hang off the side of the bed, hiding a wince as the bullet wound from Zeller's gun reminds me of its presence. I motion for Blair to join me, and he does, sitting down beside me on the edge of my bed.

We sit silently for a few moments, drawing emotional strength from each other, accepting that neither of us knows quite what to say. Finally, I look up at Blair, and the moonlight catches his sensitive face again. A minute glistening on his cheek catches my eye -- a glistening I know he tried to wipe away.

Gently, I touch his face with my hand, molding it to the curve of his cheek, stroking the residual tear track with my thumb. "You okay, Chief?"

He smiles beneath my touch. "Are you?" he counters.

"Touché," I admit, and we both chuckle a little, then fall into silence again. My hand drops back into my lap, and I look down. What do you say to someone who's made the ultimate sacrifice for you? Before I can contemplate the appropriateness or intelligence of my thoughts, my heart blurts out in a gruff voice. "I wish I could just fix everything, Blair. Everything you've done for me -- everything that's happened -- what did you get out of it?" My hands and arms gesture in reflection of my feelings of frustration and helplessness. I'm not used to owing debts to anyone, and my debt to the young man beside me is so great I know I can never hope to repay it.

"Jim --" he whispers, but I must go on.

"No!" I interrupt. "I got... scared... and I pushed you away again. I made you feel like this whole thing was your fault when it wasn't. All I was thinking about was myself. And that whole time, all you were thinking about was... me." I swallow hard, steeling myself against the self-loathing that tightens around my chest, threatening to strangle me. "I -- I'm sorry, Blair," I stammer, though I wonder how he could ever forgive me for how I've destroyed his life.

I don't know if I can ever forgive myself. "It isn't right. It's not fair! Why?..." I trail off as my throat constricts even more and my eyes threaten to brim again with overwhelming hopelessness.

"I know," he whispers. "I was scared, too." His hand grasps my arm, quieting me with the soothing contact. But soon, it too starts to shake. "I -- I d-don't know h-how I .... how I did it, man," he falters. He tries to chuckle, but his voice cracks instead, stabbing my heart the same way it did when I heard him at the press conference. "It was - - h-hard, Jim. My career -- it didn't -- h-hit me -- until -- afterward..."

"Blair..." I start to say hoarsely, but he holds up one hand to stop me. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Then, with that hand, he gently tilts my chin up and our eyes meet again.

"Jim," he says my name softly. "You're right -- it wasn't fair. But you know what? It isn't about being fair." He pauses to look deeply at me again, as if he's making sure he has my attention before he speaks again. "It's about friendship."

A concept that oddly makes the pain I feel even worse, the understanding I seek even more unreachable.

In a husky voice, he goes on. "The respect -- the fame -- the money -- four years ago it would have been everything I wanted." He pauses. "You think that if I'd never met you, at least I'd still have my career -- my life."

I nod, unable to meet his eyes.

"You're wrong, Jim. ‘Cause I wouldn't have what I really wanted."

I feel his warm hand covering mine, curling lightly around my fingers. Then he continues. "Somewhere along the line, I realized.... I realized all that stuff would be nothing compared to what I already had." He smiles a quirky grin at me. "I had a choice, Jim. I chose you."

I can only manage to nod and smile awkwardly at my friend, but just before my eyes overflow, Blair throws his arms around my neck and pulls me toward him. I encircle him around the chest with my own embrace, and we hold each other tightly. I feel a few warm droplets falling onto my back, and I watch as Blair's tank-top becomes scattered with dark gray splotches of wetness from my own eyes.

After many long moments, I feel Blair's lighter frame finally stop shaking against me. He slowly releases me enough so that we can see each other's faces again. Even with red streaks, his eyes are still beautiful and his smile still warms me. I grin back at him through my own puffy eyes.

"It really was just a book," he says, sniffling and wiping at his eyes with the back of one hand. "What kind of people would want to read an entire book about us anyway?"

I chuckle, also rubbing my eyes and wiping my cheeks. "Beats me. Probably have to be pretty bored."

"Or obsessed," he offers, his eyes twinkling again.

"Or that," I agree, and I give him a big grin.

I reach around to hug Blair again, and this time it's an embrace of joy and hope, not one of sadness. "You're the best thing that ever happened to me. I love you, Chief," I whisper softly into his ear.

"As long as we're together, I'll be okay -- we'll be okay," he whispers back, knowing I need to hear him say that. "I love you too, Jim."

Yeah, I know the future is more uncertain than it's ever been.

But it's all ours.

If Blair and I have anything to say about it, I promise you -- it doesn't end here.

~ The End ~