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

Summary: Blair and Katie. Spoilers for Neighborhood Watch.

Affairs of the Heart
missing scene from Neighborhood Watch
by Becky
May 1998

"Well, I guess I'd better go now." Blair shoved his hands into the pockets of his light jacket a little deeper as he stood in the open doorway of Katie's house.

Leaning against the hallway wall, arms crossed over her chest, Katie smiled shyly back at him. "Yeah, you probably should. Your, uh, uncle is probably wondering what happened to you."

Blair laughed a little, still highly amused by the idea of Jim being his uncle. He glanced over his shoulder at the house across the street, then looked back at Katie. "Maybe. Then again, Megan should keep him busy enough that he may have never noticed I was gone."

"How long have they been married?"

Grinning, Blair stifled a loud laugh, settling instead for a chuckle. "Not too long."

She nodded in understanding. "Newlyweds then."

"More or less, yeah." He paused for several moments, just looking at Katie, not saying anything. She stared back at him. They both finally looked away at the same time, laughing nervously, then speaking at the same time.

"Blair . . ."

"Katie . . ."

Laughing again, Blair motioned for Katie to go first, which she did. "Blair, I had a really nice time this evening."

"Me too."

She smiled, then went on. "Tonight was . . . special, something I haven't been able to say in a long time. Thank you."

"Don't thank me. Just tell me that we can do it again sometime. Remember what I said about not having to call it a date." He looked at her hopefully, holding his breath.

After a few moments, she nodded, saying simply. "Okay."

Removing a hand from his pocket to shove his hair aside, Blair smiled widely, bouncing slightly on his toes. "Good, good." Katie laughed softly at his obvious excitement and Blair grinned larger at her. He turned toward the door. "I guess this is good night then."

"Yeah. See you tomorrow sometime?"

"Yeah, tomorrow." He hesitated, unsure of how he should leave. A kiss? No, way too soon. Hug? Nah, too soon for that as well. Uh . . . Katie solved his dilemma by cautiously putting out a hand. He took it, squeezing it firmly for several moments before finally letting go and backing out the door.

Katie stepped forward and slowly closed the door as Blair backed down the walkway, hand raised in a farewell. "Bye, Blair." She leaned on the inside of the door, smiling, watching him.

"Bye." He reached the end of the sidewalk and nearly tripped as the concrete dipped under his feet to lead to the storm drain and the street pavement. Katie raised a hand to her mouth in half-alarm, half-laughter as Blair regained his footing and waved jauntily at her. "I'm okay."

"Go home, Blair." She grinned at him, laughter in her voice.

"I'm going, I'm going." He waved one last time, then turned around and jogged across the street to the mostly-empty house he, Jim, and Megan were staying in. He glanced back as he reached the house, but all he saw was the closed front door. As he watched, the lights behind the closed drapes went out. Sighing happily to himself, Blair turned and unlocked the front door of the house, entering quietly.

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

Upstairs, Jim stood as a silent guardian at the darkened window, staring out into the night surrounding the quiet community. His arms were crossed, his eyes alert and scanning the houses for any signs of problems. Megan had gone to bed a half hour ago, leaving him alone for his shift of the stakeout night hours. Casting his hearing out, he heard her deep, even breathing in the bedroom she'd chosen. Further down, he heard the front door latch as Blair closed it. He listened a moment longer to make sure his partner remembered to lock it.

Satisfied, he redirected his hearing to outside the house, sweeping through the neighborhood like radar. Scattered voices of people, TV's, and radios echoed in his ears. Nothing untoward, nothing that indicated trouble.

A hand on his back brought him abruptly back to the real world. Without needing to look, Jim said quietly, "Hey, Chief."

Blair left his hand on Jim's back, but shifted forward a little to stand next to the bigger man. "Were you zoning again or something, Jim?"

"Zoning?" He frowned. "I don't think so. Why?"

"Well, you didn't seem to hear me coming up the stairs and you didn't react when I said your name. You did the same thing in the truck last week with Megan when we were watching Cassidy at that Tandoori place. It was a little like a zone-out I think. You were totally focused on the conversation and didn't hear Megan talking to you."

Jim shrugged. "Yeah, I guess. Now that you mention it, I did the same thing again tonight." He turned to look at Blair. "You think this is gonna be a problem?"

Blair pursed his lips, removing his hand from Jim's back. He tugged his jacket around himself a little closer, then stuffed both hands in the jacket pockets. "I don't know. I hope not. Just be careful, will you?"

"Yeah." He paused, looking out the window again. Quietly he asked, "So, did you have a nice time at the Johnson house?"

Blair smiled, his eyes immediately going to Katie's house. "Yeah, I did. A really nice time. Katie is so sweet and Rachel's a good kid. They're a nice family. Reminds me of growing up with Naomi. Single mom on her own doing her best."

Jim nodded silently, trying to find the right words. I don't want to hurt him, but Conner had a point. I don't want him put in danger either. And we are here to observe, to watch, to keep an eye on things, not to meet people and talk them up. He glanced sideways at his still smiling Guide, obviously lost in good memories of the evening. Even if Sandburg has found someone that won't get him into trouble with drug dealers or try to burn his eyebrows off. He looked back out the window. She does seem nice. I don't know that I've seen him this . . . happy about a woman since Molly.

Damn. What am I going to do?

"Jim. Yo, Jim, you in there, man?"

Jim shook himself and looked down at Blair, finding Blair's hand on his arm. "Huh? What is it?"

Blair raised an eyebrow. "You seemed like you were zoning again. Three times in one night is not a good sign."

He rubbed a hand over his face. "Nah, I wasn't zoning. Just thinking."

"About?"

"About . . ." He hesitated, then plunged onward. "About you and Katie Johnson."

Blair frowned, his forehead furrowing in concern. "What about me and Katie?"

"I think you should be careful."

"Come on, Jim, you already gave me that speech. I'm an adult. I know how to take care of myself."

"I know that. That's not what I'm talking about. Look, Chief, I don't think you ought to be seeing Katie again until this whole thing is over."

Blair bristled and moved away from him, taking several steps back. "Why?"

Jim didn't try to go to him, knowing that his partner would need the space, that he himself would need the space at first as he tried to explain what he meant to Blair. "I'm not trying to keep you from dating her, Sandburg. Just don't do it right now, okay? We're here on a case. I know you said she makes you feel good. That's all fine and dandy with me. But if she's involved in this thing, I don't want you in harm's way. When this is all over and all the loose ends are tied up, well, then you can come back and see her all you want." He paused, hoping that Blair understood. He softened his voice, taking a step toward his partner. "Okay, Blair?"

Blair didn't move, just stared at him. Finally, he exhaled heavily and ran a hand through his hair, looking away. "Yeah, yeah, okay."

Jim took another cautious step toward him, reaching out a hand and laying it on Blair's shoulder, squeezing it. "You understand, right? I'm not trying to hurt you or stand in your way or anything like that." Slowly, Blair looked up and met Jim's eyes. In those eyes, Jim could see regret, dimmed excitement, even a little hurt -- all of which he felt guilty for having been the cause. He winced inwardly. Damn. I didn't mean to make him feel bad.

What he felt must have showed on his face or in his eyes because Blair covered Jim's hand with his own, pressing down on it. "Really, Jim, I do understand. It's okay."

"You sure?"

Blair smiled up at him. "Yeah, I'm sure. At least at the moment. I don't give any guarantees about tomorrow though. I'll probably stew about this all night and get on your nerves all day about wanting to go see her and how this whole thing sucks, but," he shrugged, "for now, I'm okay."

Jim chuckled, rocking Blair under his hand. "Okay, I think we can deal with that. Maybe I'll just keep you in sight so you won't find yourself wandering over to her door without telling me."

"Oh, come on, would I do that?" Raising an eyebrow, Jim withdrew his hand to cross his arms and just look at him. Blair waved a hand in the air. "Never mind. Don't answer that." He paused, then grinned mischievously. "So, how was your day, Uncle Jim? You and Megan get along like a good husband and wife?"

Jim rolled his eyes, then reached out with both hands to slap playfully at Blair's face. "You better watch it, Nephew Blair, or maybe I'll go see those swinger neighbors of ours. We could talk about your rental fee for this coming weekend. They did seem rather interested and I could use the extra cash for the next truck tune-up."

"Jim!"

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

A few weeks later......

Jim smothered a laugh as he heard Blair muttering under his breath in his room. He's like a kid going on his first prom date. Shaking his head, he laid aside the newspaper, found the TV remote, and flipped on the evening news.

A couple minutes later, Blair finally emerged from his room, one hand smoothing down the front of his shirt. Jim looked up from the couch and lifted an eyebrow. "I don't think I've ever seen you so nervous, Chief."

Blair paused in the act of trying to get rid of a crease Jim couldn't even see. "I just want everything to be perfect. That's all. I mean, this is the first time Katie and I will actually be going out -- by ourselves -- without Rachel along. I just . . ."

"Want everything to be perfect. I know." Jim stretched his arm along the back of the couch as he turned to watch Blair walk towards the front door. "You've been telling me that for the last two days, Sandburg. I'm sure everything will be fine. Just relax. You're gonna give yourself a coronary."

Blair grabbed his leather jacket and shrugged it on, grinning. "Nah, that'd be you and that stuff you eat that you call food. Wonderburger and Mr. Tube Steak. Sheesh."

"Hey, I've seen you eat your share of junk food, Chief, so just you cool it."

He fished his keys out of the basket and put a hand on the doorknob. "Yeah, but I don't have a steady diet of it." Blair yanked open the door and dashed outside, pulling the door shut behind him, laughing as a pillow pelted the half-closed door. He poked his head back inside and stuck out his tongue. "Missed me."

Another pillow soared through the air at him and Blair withdrew from that small space just moments before it smacked against the now firmly closed door.

Jim had to laugh as he listened to Blair chuckling as he walked down the hallway toward the elevator. Then a whisper floated back to him. "Better luck next time, Jim."

"Yeah, just you wait, Sandburg. You'll get yours."

Distantly he heard the elevator doors open, Blair step inside, then the doors shut again. Satisfied that his partner would survive the evening without another attack of nerves, Jim returned his attention to the news and the sports scores.

"Have a good time, kid."

- The End -