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

Summary: A "retro" missing scene for when Blair wakes up in the hospital. Spoilers for Blind Man's Bluff and a reference to Foreign Exchange.

There are only so many ways you can write the "Blair waking up" scene that should've been included in this episode. I've read quite a number of them and since I don't want to impinge on anyone else's already written and posted story, I'm taking my version a slightly different direction. Hopefully I won't confuse you too much.

Notes: (1) This is a missing scene bracketed by snippets of a story -- sort of a retro missing scene as the story parts happen after Megan joins the force. (2) I tend to consider all of my stories (with the notable exception of the In Time & Destiny Series) as happening in the same "universe." That noted, the "snippet" parts take place after my first OWW crossover, Dose of Confusion... and would be just prior to S2, following Night Shift. No actual references, just a timing distinction. (3) A small reference to my previously posted BMB missing scene, From the Inside.

Dedication: To my friends from IRC -- you know who you are!

Waking Memories
a story snippet bracketing a
missing scene from Blind Man's Bluff
by Becky
December 1998

"Good work." Simon closed the folder and moved it aside. "One less pusher to worry about." He leaned back in his desk chair and considered the three officers seated across from him. Well, technically, two officers and one consultant, but he'd long since considered that consultant an officer. Some days he wondered if he shouldn't find a way to make it a reality. "The three of you make a very good team."

Jim, sitting on the edge of the table, typically where Blair sat, raised an eyebrow at him, but didn't say anything.

Megan, however, sitting in one of the chairs, nodded politely, saying, "Thank you, Captain."

Simon turned slightly to look at the third member of his newly-made best team. But Blair just sat in the chair on Jim's other side, eyes unfocused, staring at some unknown point on the floor. He frowned, clearing his throat. "Sandburg? Are you with us?"

Blair jerked his head up, blinking a few times. "What? Oh, yeah, I'm with you."

After exchanging a quick look with Jim, Simon leaned forward, softening his voice. "Are you okay, Blair?"

The young man nodded, ponytail bobbing on the collar of his jacket. "Yeah, just tired, I guess. This case... Drugs, kids, hallucinations, the whole thing, well, I think it just hit a little close to home ... or something." He dragged a hand over his eyes.

Jim shifted on the table, reaching out his hand to lay it on Blair's shoulder, rubbing it. He leaned down toward Blair, lowering his voice. "I thought you told me last night you were okay."

Simon glanced over at Megan, finding her watching the two men, her mouth drawn into a perplexed frown. Obviously neither man had gotten around to explaining to her just how hard this case had been for both of them. And how much Jim had wanted to leave Blair totally out of it -- which, of course, didn't work at all once Blair found out about it. Simon remembered very clearly the day several weeks ago when he'd found himself in the middle of a very intense ... discussion/argument about the case and just who would or wouldn't be involved.

Blair had prevailed, of course. He usually did for some reason.

Turning back to look at Jim and Blair again, he found the two of them speaking in low tones. Blair shook his head once, then abruptly stood up. "I need to get some air."

Simon stood as well. "Why don't you just go home. It's been a long day."

Finally meeting his eyes, Blair let a smile cross his face, one that lit his shadowed eyes briefly. "Thanks, Simon."

"You're welcome." There were times he felt very close to Blair. Times he felt almost like a father to the young man who needed the reassurance that everything would be okay, especially in the wake of such bad memories that would never fade entirely. If no one had been there to see, he might've gone around his desk and indulged that fatherly side of him with a touch on Blair's shoulder, a few soft words, something like that. But since they weren't alone... He gestured toward the door with one hand. "Go. I'll see you tomorrow. And take this feeble excuse for a detective with you."

Jim mock-frowned as he slid off the table. "Feeble excuse? Who you calling feeble, Simon?"

Simon chuckled and waved Jim away. "Go, go. I want my office back."

"Very good, sir." Jim slung an arm over Blair's shoulders and steered him through the doorway. "Let's go, Chief." The door closed quietly behind them and Simon stepped to the glass window to watch them walk slowly across the bullpen floor, stopping by Jim's desk to gather up a few things. Brown and Rafe, also on their way out, paused by the desk to talk with them, probably congratulating them on the successful bust. Jim nodded and replied while Blair stood by, listening, hands buried deeply in his jacket pockets.

"What did he mean by it hitting too close to home, Captain?"

Simon turned, only then remembering that Megan still remained in his office. She was now standing behind and to the side of him, following his gaze out the window. He said quietly, "They didn't tell you, did they?"

She frowned, moving her eyes to look at him. "Tell me what? I knew something was up. Sandy seemed a little ... tense about this case. Jim kept asking if he was okay. I tried to ask once, but Jim stopped me."

Shifting his gaze back out into the bullpen, wondering if Jim wanted Megan to know, wondering if he had deliberately kept what had happened from her, or if he just hadn't wanted to upset Blair by bringing up even more hurtful memories of the past. Jim and Blair still stood next to Jim's desk, though they were alone. Blair leaned against the edge of Jim's desk, idly watching the other officers and personnel milling around the bullpen. From the concerned looks being thrown his way by several others, Simon knew those in his department, especially those in the "know", were very concerned about the young man. He watched Jim step around the desk, evidently finished with whatever last minute items he was taking care of. Jim again draped his arm around Blair's shoulders, head tilting downward to say something. Blair glanced up, hesitated a moment, then nodded. Jim then turned his head and met Simon's eyes through the glass office windows. He nodded once and Simon realized Jim had heard Megan's quiet comments and wanted to give Simon permission to tell her what had happened.

Nodding in return, Simon waited until Jim started to lead Blair from the bullpen before turning back to Megan. "You want to know what happened." He waved her back to her chair, stepping back to his own, settling down into it. "It's a complicated story, but I'll try to make sense of it." He knew he'd have to leave some things out -- like Jim's sentinel abilities. And since they were so wrapped up in the case itself, that would be difficult.

"Two years ago, a young woman took a designer drug named Golden..."

He told her about Lisa Hughes' fall from the dam, about the meeting Jim had set up with those who were making the drug, about Jim's inadvertent mistake with the drug itself (which had become common knowledge as a result of the incident in the garage later), and about the later meets and the failed first bust. His voice grew solemn as he spoke of the pizza and how Blair had unknowingly eaten a piece. Of how scared Blair had been in the garage. Of how scared Jim had been. He left out just how scared he himself had been. And not for himself, but for the two men whose lives had both hung in the balance that day and in the days that followed.

"....After the bust went down, I took Jim back to the hospital. Blair still hadn't woken up, though they'd taken him off the ventilator by then."

Megan spoke up quietly. "And Jim? Could he see?"

"Some. Enough obviously to drive my car - and wreck it." He sighed and shook his head.

The woman smiled. "So when he wrecked your car in the airport, that wasn't the first time he'd done such a thing."

Simon snorted. "No, it wasn't unfortunately." He fell silent, staring across the room, the small bit of welcome levity not able to dismiss the remembered worry and fear from those long-ago days when no one was sure what would happen when Blair woke from his drug-induced sleep.

Megan broke the quietude softly. "Sandy is all right, Captain."

He shifted in his seat, looking at Megan and nodding. "Yes, I know. Now he is. But then," he shook his head. "Then we weren't so sure. The doctors couldn't say for certain what would happen as a result of the overdose. Even after they removed the ventilator, Sandburg stayed asleep, drifting in and out, never really conscious. He didn't respond to much at all. Jim stayed with him after that, tried to ... connect with him, let him know he wasn't alone, but..." He sighed. "Those few days were the hardest and longest days of any of our lives. We took turns stopping in to seeing Jim, making sure he got something to eat, that he had someone to talk to if he needed it."

"We?"

Simon smiled and gestured outward toward the bullpen. "Myself, Brown, Rafe, Taggert, Rhonda, most of Major Crimes, plus some from other departments as well. I don't think we realized just how well Sandburg was liked around here until that happened. Or just how supportive we all are of his and Jim's rather unconventional partnership." He paused, then softened his voice as he continued. "I had stopped by on my way home from work and was just leaving when Blair finally began to truly wake up...."

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

The soft groan stopped Simon at the door to the hospital room. Turning back, he saw Blair shift and stir on the bed, more quiet murmurs spilling from his lips. Jim stood from his chair near the bed and leaned over the railing, laying one hand on Blair's forehead, fingers gently stroking the furrowed skin.

"Sh, sh, it's okay, Chief. You're safe."

The murmurs continued and Simon debated whether he should find a doctor. His hand tightened on the doorknob, intending to leave and do so. Jim's quiet voice stopped him.

"No, Simon, please, don't." Jim looked over at him, blue eyes piercing in the dimmed lights of the room. "I don't want Blair poked and prodded just yet. I think he's waking up and I want a few moments with him before I get tossed out. Please?"

Hesitating a second, Simon nodded reluctantly. "Okay, Jim, but only for a little bit. I don't want to take any chances here."

Jim smiled briefly. "I know. Thanks, Simon. You can stay, if you'd like." He turned back to Blair, lowering the bed rail to sit next to his partner's form, one hand still on the younger man's forehead, the other resting on the opposite side of the bed, supporting him as he lowered his head to whisper softly to the waking figure.

Simon crossed his arms and leaned against the door, watching from the shadows, not wanting to intrude, but too worried and curious himself to leave. He had to know if Blair would be okay. Jim would probably know within moments of talking to Blair. If he was okay, then Simon wanted to know so he could spread the word.

And if he wasn't... He shuddered. Not something he wanted to consider, but he knew the possibility existed.

His attention snapped back to the two men when Blair croaked out one word in a raspy, unused voice. "Jim...."

Jim's voice came instantly in response. "Yeah, buddy, I'm here. You waking up for me here?"

Dark blue eyes fluttered open, not focusing any further than the face above his. He licked his lips and blinked slowly, obviously trying to figure out what happened and where he was. "Fire...?"

Simon's breath caught. Was he still seeing the visions of fire people? Hadn't the doctor said just that morning that the drug had finally made its way out of Blair's system?

Jim remained calm, his voice soothing Blair's worries. "It's okay, Blair. They're all gone. They can't hurt you. You're safe here." His hand never stopped its movement over the young man's forehead. "You're gonna be okay, Blair."

One of Blair's hands rose weakly, shaking, latching onto Jim's arm, fingers entwining in the soft material of his long-sleeved sweater. "Tired. Wanna go home."

Jim leaned down a little further and Simon strained to hear Jim's quiet voice. "I know. I want you to come home too, Chief." He shifted his hand away from Blair's forehead to rest his own forehead against Blair's instead. Jim said something else, but the voice was too low for him to hear that time and Simon looked away to give them a little privacy, again wondering if he should've left when he'd first thought of it.

When Simon looked back, Jim was again just sitting on the edge of the bed, one hand resting on Blair's nearest arm. Clearing his throat softly, Simon stepped forward, stopping at the foot of the bed. Blair's eyes shifted and he squinted a little, trying to see. Deciding to go easy on the young man, Simon spoke. "It's me, Sandburg."

A crooked smile lit Blair's face. "Oh, hey, Simon." His voice was weak and hoarse and his eyes threatened to close on him any moment, but Simon had a feeling everything would be okay.

"How you feeling?"

"Tired. My throat hurts." He paused to swallow. "Sorry."

Simon frowned. "Sorry? About what? This wasn't your fault, Blair."

He flicked his fingers in the air. "The garage. The gun."

Simon's eyes widened and he exchanged a quick look with an equally startled Jim. "You remember?"

Blair nodded once, a shiver coursing through his body. "Most of it. Too much. Sorry."

Jim tightened his hand on Blair's arm, leaning forward. "Blair, no, it wasn't your fault."

The young man squeezed his eyes shut, lips clamped in a thin line and turned his head away.

Simon reached down and grasped Blair's lower leg, shaking it softly, startling Blair into opening his eyes. "You listen to him, Sandburg. This wasn't your fault. You were, are a victim. Nothing more. Okay?" Sleepy, self-blaming blue eyes just stared at him. Simon shook Blair's leg again. "Sandburg? Do you understand me?"

Jim added his own voice to the plea. "Chief?"

Finally Blair nodded, eyes closing again, this time out of weariness. "Yeah, I understand you."

Simon knew it wouldn't be that easy, but it was a start. A good start. He patted Blair's leg and straightened. "Now, then, I think I should find that doctor now before sleeping beauty here drifts off again." He turned toward the door, Blair's quiet voice drifting after him.

"Just bring back one of the cute nurses. She can kiss me awake again."

Simon shook his head, opening the door and stepping outside, hearing Jim's answering soft chuckle as he let the door close. No doubt about it. Sandburg would be okay. He paused for just a moment, watching the two men through the half-shuttered windows, seeing Jim touch Blair's forehead again, then grasp his hand, never letting his eyes drift away from the young man, his relief that Blair seemed to be okay written vividly across his face.

Smiling and breathing out in heavy relief, Simon turned away, intent on finding that doctor. After that he'd place a call to Major Crimes. Time to start planning that celebration.

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

"...After the little party we had at Jim's loft, the whole thing was more or less set on the back burner. It's a painful subject to think about and other than the expected one or two flashbacks, everything returned to normal pretty quickly."

Megan shook her head slowly. "How awful. Poor Sandy. I had wondered if something had happened in his past to make him so upset, but I never thought... Thank you for telling me, Captain. I hope it won't bother them that I know."

Simon shrugged. "I think Jim wanted me to tell you. He probably would've told you himself, but I think right now he was just too close to it. And he didn't want Blair to have to hear it all again."

Megan nodded silently, eyes lost in thought. Simon waited a few moments, then cleared his throat. She looked back at him quickly, standing. "Sorry. You probably want your office back. And I believe you told us to go home anyway." Smiling sweetly, she slipped out the door before Simon could say anything.

Shaking his head, Simon folded his hands in front of him and leaned back in his chair, pondering the events of the last few weeks and of the events of two years earlier. The day that Blair had awakened in the hospital had been a major turning point for all concerned. He could clearly remember the feeling that reality as he'd known it had paused and stood on the precipice, waiting to see which direction to fall, all dependent on one Blair Sandburg and what long-term effect Golden would have on him.

He also remembered those few words that he hadn't told Conner about, that he'd deliberately left out, knowing she wouldn't understand them, knowing he himself barely understood them.

While he hadn't been able to hear Jim's words during those few private moments, he had been able to hear Blair's. The younger man's raspy voice had carried to his ears far too easily for his state of mind.

"The panther told me you'd be waiting for me."

He didn't understand the words then and it hadn't been until much later, after the members of the Chopec tribe had showed up, Incacha among them, that Simon had figured it out. He'd gone out to lunch with Jim and Blair one afternoon a short time later. Blair had been in typical high energy mode, rattling on about his research and Jim's sentinel abilities. Fortunately for them, they'd gotten take-out and headed to Holden Park instead of a restaurant. For once, Simon hadn't interrupted Blair's monologue, discovering he learned a lot about Jim's role as a sentinel and Blair's place in his life just by listening to the young man.

When the term "spirit guides" put in an appearance, everything became startlingly clear and reality had again tilted on its axis and reset.

Simon laid one hand on the case file folder again, smoothing his fingers across the top of it absently. Shaking his head, he stood and walked around his desk, grabbing his coat from the rack. It had been a long day, just as he'd told Blair earlier. If he left now, maybe he could get home before those dark clouds over the hills reached Cascade and brought the forecasted evening downpour of cold rain.

And maybe, a bit later, he'd call Jim, check up on the kid, make sure everything was okay.

Nodding to himself, he flipped off the lights in his office and departed, leaving the final wrap-up of the case -- and the memories it had engendered -- behind him. Time enough for both in the morning, after the rain had come and gone and the sun was shining again.

- The End -