Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Drama
Summary: A time of joy for Blair and his family and friends finally arrives. Spoilers for Sentinel Too and The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg.
Notes: Small smarm warning.
Dedication: For Robyn, who graduates this weekend.
On Friday night, the university has a consecration service and hooding ceremony. For those of you who don't know what a "hood" is, it's part of the academic regalia that has the colors of the university and the colors of the field the graduate is going into on it that is worn around the neck and hangs down the back. (Unfortunately I couldn't find the color for anthropology.) In our university, the hooding ceremony is done separately from the actual commencement which is held on Sunday. The graduates are "hooded" by whomever they choose, typically parents, spouses, or close friends. While watching and waiting for Robyn's turn to go up (she was hooded by her parents), a fic idea occurred to me. And so this short little story was born. Congrats Robyn! Or should I now say Dr. Robyn. <g>
Blair shifted on his feet again, fidgeting for about the hundredth time, gathering both amused looks and the occasional glare from those around him. Forcing himself to stand still, he murmured soft apologies and tried to focus on the speaker up front. Not that it was working really well, but he could always try. Anything to avoid thinking how nervous and jittery he felt.
A few last steps and it'll all be over. Well, almost, there's still Sunday, but this...this... Blair swallowed a took a deep breath, stilling his nerves that wanted to dance -- and make him dance as well. Just relax. He took another breath, closing his eyes momentarily, reaching for calm.
Opening his eyes, he caught the eyes of his friends watching him. A few hands went up in discreet waves. Bright smiles. Thumbs-up. He grinned back, lifting one hand to waggle his fingers. His friends took up nearly an entire row of chairs in the auditorium and had gotten more than one startled look by fellow students and faculty.
Blair restrained a chuckle. Probably wonder if they're my escort or something. Or if something's gonna happen tonight. The line edged forward a bit and he moved with it, attention brought back to the event. Which brought back his nerves as well. Oh, man, I can hardly believe this is finally happening. After last year, I never thought...
Last year had brought with it more trials than he'd thought any one person should have to deal with in such a short span of time. Being dead certainly tops the list. He shivered slightly, just the thought of that time still able to provoke the echoes of memory in him. With that whole dissertation fiasco coming in at a close second.
Old pain welled up in his chest, remembering just how hard it had been to renounce his dissertation as a fraud. But he'd do again in a second if he had to. Jim was right when he said it'd been my life. It was. And still is in some ways. Jim is still a Sentinel. And I'm still his Guide. That's not ever gonna change. After things had calmed down again, they'd talked one night for several long hours, discussing everything with an honesty that had both hurt and healed them. Tears and laughter had filled the night. Morning had seen them as stronger and better and closer friends than ever before. Together they had grown past old fears and conditioning, finding a new path -- for both of them.
As the months had gone on, life had changed, but parts of it remained the same. He was still Jim's partner. For awhile, it looked like he would be a cop. But he changed his mind quickly enough about that. He'd gone to Jim and Simon, told them he would qualify on the range if he had to, but as for being a full-time cop...it just wasn't for him. They'd accepted his statement and promptly began working on another way to keep him as Jim's full-time partner.
The line shifted forward again and Blair reached up to shove a loose tendril back behind his ear again, trying not to disturb the cap on his head. He glanced over at the line of chairs where his friends sat. Cameras had appeared, all raised and ready for the perfect photo moment.
Shaking his head, Blair returned his attention to the speaker. As Jim and Simon had worked out things at the station, Blair had started working on a second thesis, pulling together the one he should've done in the first place -- Closed Societies and Law Enforcement: A View From the Inside. He hadn't expected it to be accepted, but it had. Especially after a few reminders that he had never actually turned in the "Sentinel dissertation" to the committee. He hadn't exactly threatened them, but...
He took a step forward, holding out his hand to bring the woman waiting for him near the front of the stage. Naomi clasped his hand in hers and drew close to him, her face wreathed in happiness and her eyes bright with joy and a few tears. She tightened her hand on his and pressed her cheek to his briefly.
"...will be hooded by his mother, Naomi Sandburg..."
They moved forward, rising up the steps to the top where one of the faculty waited for him with the official doctorate hood. Another presence fell into step behind him. A hand touched his shoulder, sliding down to his back to press through the graduation robe. Blair smiled and tilted his head upward to catch sight of the wide grin and bright blue eyes watching him.
"...and his friend, Jim Ellison."
And right then, Blair knew, if he had to do it all over again, relive every joy, every terror, every laugh, every pain, every smile, every tear, he would.
Jim took his place behind Blair as the three of them walked up the short steps to the stage. Stacks of doctorate hoods awaited them -- one of which was held out for Blair. He rested his hand on Blair's back and met his friend's eyes briefly as they came to a stop in front of the assistant. Blair turned away from them, hands clenched in front of him. Jim could see the tiny vibrations that rattled along his partner's frame. All nerves. It's a wonder he hasn't just shaken himself to pieces yet!
Pushing away those thoughts for another time, he gave his attention to the assistant, nodding at the simple instructions. He took one side of the hood and Naomi took the other. The heavy, velvet weight, the bright colors, the softness of the material all spoke to his senses, all telling him just how momentous this occasion was. He and Naomi met each other's eyes, grinning at each other. Tears in Naomi's eyes reflected the lights. Jim had a feeling his own eyes weren't much better.
Behind him he could hear those in the "PD row" -- Simon, Joel, Megan, Brown, Rafe, and several others -- speaking quietly to each other and taking pictures as the hood was lowered over Blair's cap to rest on his shoulders. He knew all wore broad smiles on their faces. Jim also knew his own smile matched theirs, probably overpowered them. His partner was getting his doctorate. Finally he would be recognized for what he was. For who he was. Granted, the thesis he turned in wasn't the original one on Sentinels -- that remained at home, under lock and key -- but this one was just as good.
After sliding one hand over Blair's shoulder, Jim stood back as Naomi smoothed the hood over Blair's shoulders, her shaky hands turning the university colors out. Then she pulled her hands away as Blair turned around to face them. He had a wide smile on his face as he blinked tears away, swallowing rapidly. Naomi reached up and touched his cheek.
Blair drew Naomi into his arms, hugging her. Jim heard her whisper, "I'm so proud of you, Blair. I love you." Blair's choked voice returned with a "love you, too, Mom." Jim blinked a few times, standing back to watch mother and son embrace and hold each other.
Naomi had worried so much about what had happened with the original dissertation that she hadn't even protested when Jim had told her about the plan to offer the police academy to Blair. He'd wondered how long it would have taken before Naomi had realized Blair was a "pig" if Blair had gone through with it.
The soft whisper shook him back into awareness. Blair watched him, ever the Guide, ever the friend, ever the partner. Guess it's my turn. Jim took a step closer, aware of Naomi's eyes on them, aware of most of Major Crimes watching them. Putting a deliberately serious look on his face, Jim held out his hand.
He was glad he was facing away from the PD row, since he knew his eyes belied every bit of seriousness in his gaze. Blair, of course, recognized this and clasped Jim's hand, answering just as seriously, eyes twinkling with amusement.
They stayed that way a moment, holding the pose, then Jim chuckled and yanked Blair into his arms, hearing the echoing laughter from his friend. Two arms closed his waist, hands going up to lay flat against his back. His own arms captured Blair's frame and held it close, hands catching in the hood, causing it to slide off a little. Blair's cap hit his shoulder and fell backwards, tumbling down Blair's loose hair. Jim snatched it before it fell out of range, hearing Blair's bit-off startlement against his chest.
Tilting his head downward to bring his lips to Blair's ear, Jim said, "I got it, Chief."
Cameras and flashes clicked behind them, making the moment almost surrealistic.
Blair looked up at him, blue eyes wide and bright. "I did it, Jim. I did it!"
"I always knew you could, Dr. Sandburg."
Another bright grin answered that comment and the three of them turned to leave the stage, Naomi and Jim on either side of Blair. More camera flashes met them as they descended and walked past the row of cops to sit on the other end of the row. Naomi went past the chairs to sit next to Simon, impulsively hugging the tall captain, much to Jim's amusement.
Jim touched Blair's back, intending to move him in toward the seat so he could have the aisle. But then he paused, shifting over to clutch at Blair's arm. "Sandburg..."
Blair turned, looking up at him. "Yeah, Jim?"
His grin fading away into seriousness again, Jim's throat grew tight with emotion. An emotion that felt strangely new to him. How do I tell him--? Does he know that I know how much this means to him? Does he know how much he means to me?
True to who he was and who he would always be, Blair could see everything on Jim's face and in his eyes. He smiled, putting his hand on Jim's, fingers curling around his hand. "I know, Jim. I know."
Jim shook his head slightly, a soft smile curling up his lips. "I know you do, but I still need to say it." He drew Blair to him again, holding him tightly, warmly, carefully. He bent his head to whisper into Blair's ear, ignoring the speaker as he continued with the next few names and those that watched the display between the two men. "I'm so very, very proud of you, Chief. Damn proud. You're the best friend I have ever had and the only partner I will ever need." He paused to swallow past the lump in his throat. "Thank you for standing by me no matter what."
Blair's arms tightened around his back and the sentinel heard a muffled whisper against his shoulder. "Jim..." His voice failed him, emotion clogging his throat as well.
Continuing, Jim spoke past his friend's faltering tone, knowing the younger man wasn't used to hearing such words from him. "Congratulations, buddy. You did good."
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
- The End -
Author's note: Just for the record, I started this before I saw Hephaistos' piece, A Thousand Words.
<<Becky waves at Heph.>>