Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Holiday stories

Will You Be My ... Sentinel? by Robyn and Becky (graphic by Robyn)

Robyn and I went to the mall a few weeks back and while driving back home again, we were pondering what we could do for another story, since we haven't written one together in awhile. Earlier, Robyn had asked me if it was possible to do a gen Valentine's Day story for the guys. I brought this up in the car, and, well, ideas just sorta evolved from there. You know, it's dangerous when Robyn and I brainstorm in the car -- you never know just what's gonna show up. <g>

So here is a giggly gen Valentine's Day story for you. Thank you to RedSoprano for the bug line and the mask idea (you'll get it when you read it <g>). Thanks and apologies to Lois Balzer for inspiration from her good-smelling TS fic "A Rose by Any Other Name." Happy Valentine's Day to all Sentinel fans! This story happened on February 12-14, 1999.

Becky wrote the "Friday" section; Robyn wrote the "Saturday and Sunday" sections.

Spoilers for... Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. Yeah, yeah, we know it's not Sentinel <g>.

Will You Be My ... Sentinel?
by Becky and Robyn
February 1999

Friday late afternoon...

The roses arrived on Friday.

Jim stared at the delivery guy and the large vase of dark red flowers for a long moment. Then he sneezed. Twice. Scooting his chair backwards, he gestured toward the desk at his side -- where his partner typically sat nowadays.

"Just put them over...achoo!...over there." He sniffled again, feeling his eyes tear up. You would think that one day I would get used to this. Instant allergies, that is. Yanking open a side desk drawer, he pulled out a tissue from the box Blair had taken to keeping in the drawer for his super-allergen-sensitive friend. Glancing around the room through abruptly bleary eyes, Jim sighed. And the rate I'm going this week, I'm gonna need another box by the end of the day.

"Uh, Detective?" Jim returned his attention to the flower delivery guy - an older teenaged boy - who held out a clipboard. "I need someone to sign for those."

"Who are they for?"

"A Blair Sandburg."

Jim blinked once. Just once. Then shook his head. Sandburg. I should've known. He took the clipboard and scrawled his signature in the appropriate spot, still sniffling, then handed the clipboard back to the boy. The teenager nodded his thanks and took off, disappearing down the hallway in a flash.

Wiping at his eyes again, Jim shot a look at the roses, then turned back to the computer, pecking at the keyboard. A sappy romantic card on Monday. A stuffed red bear on Tuesday. Candy - Godiva chocolate, no less - on Wednesday. And that mysterious box yesterday... Jim bit back a laugh. Whatever had been in that box, it had to have been good. He hadn't seen Blair blush so hard in... I don't think I've ever seen him turn so red. I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn so red. He grinned to himself, trying to concentrate on the case file. And flowers - red roses - today. Whoever she is, she's got it bad.

Or maybe it's just the season.

Looking up from the monitor, he glanced around the room, mentally tallying the flowers, tiny stuffed bears with hearts, and other assorted Valentine's Day memorabilia on the other officers' desks. Including the desk of the ever stalwart - and currently grinning-like-an-idiot - Captain Simon Banks. Something from Amy, no doubt. That man's got it bad too. Again, he chuckled and went back to his work.


Three hours later found Jim in the same position, a headache line developing between his eyes, creasing his forehead. His mood had changed from pleasant to ... not-pleasant, shifting downward with each passing minute. The flowers had multiplied and the sentinel couldn't seem to get his sense of smell tuned down far enough to do much good. Rubbing the heel of one hand over his temple, Jim closed his eyes and tried to find the ever-popular dial. Taking a deep breath, he--

--started to cough and sneeze at the same time.

Definitely a wrong move.

Growling, he grabbed the tissue box from the bottom drawer and plunked it loudly on top of several case file folders. His eyes itched. His nose itched. His head hurt. And he was getting cross-eyed from staring at the computer monitor for so long. He stabbed at the keyboard, muttering imprecations at the love-struck holiday, paperwork, and flowers in general.

Two seconds later he added merry, too-happy, too-peppy whistling to that list as Blair strolled into the bullpen. Then proceeded to whistle his way, bouncing on the balls of his feet, to Jim's desk. He dropped one hip on the corner of the desk, peering curiously at the computer monitor.

"Hey, Jim. How's it going?"

Jim growled. Blair blinked.

"Ah, I guess that would be a 'not well'." Soft laughter and familiar teasing rode behind his voice.

Jim turned his head long enough to throw his non-repentant partner a glare. He opened his mouth to say something--

--and inadvertently inhaled yet another whiff of too-strong flower smell--

--and started sneezing--

--and coughing--

--and emptying out the tissue box.

Blair's eyes immediately grew wide and he stepped around the desk to sit in the chair at Jim's side, laying one hand on his back. "Oh, man, I'm sorry. I should've known all this ... Valentine stuff, flowers, candy, yadda, yadda, would get to you. Can't you tune some of it out?"

Jim swiped at his nose and eyes with another tissue. "I have been trying to do that all day, Sandburg. And so far, it hasn't worked."

"Well, let's try it again anyway." The young man ignored the heated glare Jim gave him. "Just humor me, okay?"

"All right, all right," Jim grumbled. He closed his eyes without prompting, focusing on the feel of Blair's hand on his back, then switching to Blair's quiet, calming voice as he spoke.

"Find the dial. See it? Good. Now inch it down, slowly, just a bit at a time. There you go. Easy, easy. Better?"

Jim opened his eyes and took a tentative breath. Still there. But bearable. He nodded, reaching over to pat Blair on the leg. "Much better. Thank you." He turned back to his computer monitor, pecking at a few more keys. Then paused. "Oh, by the way, the roses on the desk over there are yours."

"Mine?" Blair stood and stepped over to the desk.

Jim heard the small card being pulled from the holder and opened, then Blair's whispered voice reading the lines. "Roses are red, violets are blue; Hope you've taken your vitamins, 'cause I've got plans for you." Jim choked down a laugh, disguising it as a cough. Glancing toward his partner, he saw a blush working its way into existence in Blair's cheeks. Just who is this woman, Chief?

Blair caught his eyes and Jim lost the battle with his laughter. He turned back to his monitor, fighting down the large grin that wanted to cover his face. Something whapped him on the head lightly. Rose scent drifted down over his head and he sneezed a few times.

"Not funny, man." Blair stood in front of the desk, arms crossed over his chest, a long-stemmed red rose held in one hand.

Ah, a rose -- weapon of choice near Valentine's Day, I presume.

"You're not supposed to listen to me." His partner glared at him good-naturedly.

Jim shook his head, a smile still on his face. "Well then don't read those things out loud." He glanced upward, meeting Blair's eyes. "I still wanna know what was in yesterday's box."

The young man blushed again. "That is not something you're ever going to discover, Detective."

"Hmm...that's what they all say, Chief." Another delivery of flowers flew by him and Jim sneezed again, feeling that dial slowly work its way upwards again. Somehow I don't think the dial is gonna work for long on this. Another sneeze. Another sniffle. Another tissue. He could also feel the lighter mood Blair had given him start to descend downward again. Squinting a little, he returned his gaze to the computer monitor and the report he was currently working on entering. He had a date this weekend and he didn't want any paperwork waiting for him when he got back to work after the weekend.

"Jim, are you gonna be okay this weekend? I mean, with the flowers and perfume and everything that are gonna be out in abundance?" Half sitting on the Jim's desk, Blair looked at him over the top of the rose as he played with the petals.

Jim tapped a few keys on the keyboard, nodding absently. "Yeah, I'll be fine. Melissa has allergies as well, so we're going somewhere we can both handle."

"And where would that be?"

The detective laughed, shaking his head. "Wouldn't you like to know? Sorry, Sandburg, that particular little detail is mine and mine alone." Another delivery of flowers went by. Isn't that like six bouquets or something on Rhonda's desk by now? He sneezed -- twice, paused to sniffle and grab another tissue. Memo to self: buy another box before coming back in next week. As he tapped a few more keys to send the report to the printer, Jim asked, "So, Chief, you gonna tell me who this woman is you're taking out this weekend?" He looked up at Blair, grinning.

Blair laughed, a pink flush still in his cheeks. "A fellow grad student. Sara Chambers. Sociology major. She's been at Rainier for the past year. Long brown hair. Chocolate brown eyes. Bright smile. A dimple in her left cheek. Very energetic. Goes after what she wants and usually gets it."

"Like you?"

More blushing as Blair focused his eyes on the rose. "Yeah, like me." He eyed Jim. "That enough information for you, Detective? Or do you need to check her out on the database?"

Jim tried to look affronted. "That would be misusing police resources, Sandburg."

Blair snorted, muttering under his breath. "Like that's stopped you in the past."

The phone rang, interrupting Jim before he could respond. Throwing a mock glare at Blair's back as he walked back to his vase of roses, he picked up the phone, turning to his computer at the same time. "Ellison....Oh, Melissa, hi....." He queued up the suspect database as he talked and quickly typed in 'Sara Chambers', glancing over his shoulder to see Blair chatting with Rhonda. "You don't sound so good. Are you okay?.....The flu?.....Oh, no. No, it's okay, I understand....." No record that he could find. He nodded and backed out of the database, satisfied that his partner would be okay. Letting that 'big brother' thing take over again, aren't you, Ellison? "No, no, Melissa, you stay home. Get well. I'll give you a call later on in the weekend, see how you're feeling.....It's okay......Talk to you later.....Bye." Jim replaced the receiver, sighing. So much for the weekend.

Another delivery boy stopped in front of his desk, holding a huge vase of wildflowers. "Can you tell me where Blair Sandburg is?"

Jim looked up and--



--"Sandburg! Come get these things, will ya?"--


"I hate this holiday!" The words were whispered fiercely between sneezes and sniffles, but he caught Blair's startled glance as he signed for the flowers.

Jim sneezed again and pulled the last tissue from the box.

That's it. Time to leave. There must be something I can do outside of this building.

The fates must've been listening because two seconds later Simon popped his head out the door and told Jim to grab Sandburg and check out a crime scene --- not a murder, fortunately -- down by the marina.

Fresh air -- yes!

"Leave the flowers here, Chief, and let's get out of here." He strode out of the bullpen, not catching the pondering look on Blair's face or the mischievous light that filled his eyes as Blair hurried to catch up with him.

"Hey, Jim, wait up, man..."


Saturday evening...

The traffic light turned red and the blue-and-white pickup slowed to a halt at the intersection, its headlights glinting against the wet pavement. Jim rubbed at his eyes with one hand, realizing how tired he was as he struggled to adjust his heightened vision to the brightness of glaring headlights and traffic signals, the contrast intensified by the darkness of the night.

The detective took comfort in knowing that Prospect Street and home were only a left- and right-hand turn away, and he felt glad that the long day was finally over. Earlier that morning, Simon had called, saying he'd just been informed that suspect Miguel Garcia had to be transported via high-security convoy from Cascade to Seattle for extradition to Bolivia today. Immediately, Jim had volunteered to go, assuring Captain Banks there was no need for explanation when his boss had begun saying something about how Rafe, Brown, and every other qualified Major Crimes officer were busy. Jim knew the real reason Simon had called him. It was Saturday night, February 13, and everybody had plans.

Well, everybody but Ellison.

Valentine's Day was tomorrow, and on top of that it was a three-day weekend for many because President's Day was on Monday, so most of the men were out on this Saturday night. Simon had box seats for himself and Amy at the Cascade Symphony, Megan was out tangoing with that guy from Vice again, Blair was gone to a student association Valentine's Day Dance with a woman from the University who had no criminal record -- even if she does like to embarrass my partner with interesting gifts and poems, he mused, a smile lifting the corners of his mouth. Rafe's phone had been ringing off the hook all week with women dying to go out with him, and Brown and Joel had their own dates... the list went on and on. Just my luck -- my date would come down with the flu on Friday and have to cancel on me. Ah well, Jim sighed as he flipped on his left blinker and made the turn on to Prospect, pulling into the spot next to the empty space where Blair's green Volvo was usually parked. At least the other guys are having fun.

Things will be fine, though, Jim reassured himself as he took the elevator up to the 3rd floor of the building. There were worse things than having the loft all to himself, as dark or bright or quiet or noisy as he wanted it. Mentally, he congratulated himself for telling Sandburg in no uncertain terms that all objects having any trace of floral odor would be left in the bullpen. Period. The refrigerator was full of drinks and he planned to plop down on the couch and watch whichever of his favorite manly movies caught his fancy. Yeah, things could definitely be worse. He wondered what Sandburg had done all afternoon. The convoy had left Cascade at 1 p.m., and Jim had been fairly sure he wouldn't get back until later that night, probably past the time when Blair was supposed to go on his date. After a bit of friendly arguing, grumbling, and protesting, Jim had convinced his partner to stay behind. Jim was glad, because he'd been right. His watch read 9:14 p.m., and the Valentine Dance had started at 7 p.m. He must be okay, Jim thought satisfactorily. Any bomb threats surely would've happened by now, he reasoned.

Unlocking the door, tossing the keys in the key basket, and removing his jacket all in one smooth motion, Jim pulled his shoes off and set them neatly underneath the coat rack, wiggling his toes inside his white socks. In the dark, he walked over and flipped on only one small lamp on an end table for light. His stomach growled in anticipation of a very late dinner, and Jim shuffled over to the refrigerator.

A square piece of white notepaper was attached to the refrigerator door with a Cascade PD magnet, inscribed with a familiar hand in blue ballpoint pen: "Lasagna's in the blue tupperware." Jim smiled fondly as he opened the refrigerator door to retrieve the food. Not that he was that surprised; he'd smelled the residual aromas of Blair's cooking the minute he'd stepped into the loft. But it was nice to know Blair had made him dinner. Pulling out the container in question which still felt a trifle warm to his fingers, Jim's brow furrowed slightly. A very small white envelope was taped to the container's lid along with a small, foil-wrapped chocolate heart. Ripping off the envelope and opening it, he pulled out a child's small, cheap valentine card -- the kind you could buy a dozen in a box to pass out to your friends at school. Turning the card over, he read Blair's handwriting again:

Sweets from the neat.
You will notice I did clean up after myself.

Jim smiled again. Sandburg had cleaned up the kitchen impeccably, down to even drying and putting the dishes away instead of leaving them on the dish rack.

Cracking open the container in preparation for reheating, Jim popped open the microwave. A bag of unpopped popcorn sat demurely inside on the turntable, along with another white envelope. The back of this one read,

Snack to accompany the blood-and-guts movie of your choice.

"You know me too well, Sandburg," the detective muttered under his breath. Removing the popcorn bag and placing the lasagna inside the microwave, Jim punched in two minutes, then leaned back against the refrigerator to wait for his dinner to heat up. I guess I know what Sandburg was doing this afternoon besides cooking, he chuckled to himself. Acting on pure instinct, he spun around and yanked open the refrigerator again, pulling out a bottle of Coke fortuitously sitting near the front of the second shelf. Sure enough, another white envelope was wrapped around it with a rubber band. I'm on to you, Chief, Jim smiled satisfactorily to himself as he opened it, uncurled the small card and read the writing.

Cheers to the finest detective in all of Cascade.

Shaking his head, Jim set the note on the kitchen island next to all the others as a silly grin spread across his face. The kid had a knack for knowing how to make him feel warm inside.


The microwave signaled that food was ready, and Jim scooped the steaming lasagna, melted ricotta and mozzarella cheese with meaty marinara sauce oozing from between the wide noodles, into a plate. To accompany the entree, he cut a hunk of french bread from the baguette he'd bought last Monday, grabbed his drink, a fork from the silverware drawer, and the chocolate heart, and headed for the couch.

Setting his food down on the coffee table, Jim moved over to the small shelf next to the TV and selected Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. Removing the tape from its jacket, another white envelope fell out. Man, I must be more predictable than I originally thought, Jim grumbled to himself as he opened the note.

Forget that guy with the hat.
Jim Ellison is the hunkiest man I know.
(Next to Simon, of course.)
-- B. S.
P.S. Stop rolling your eyes, Detective!

Jim was of course in the process of rolling his eyes, so he finished with a groan instead. Thoughts of revenge were already forming in his mind.

Popping the tape in the VCR, he stepped back to the couch, picked up the remote and pushed "play," semi-shocked that there wasn't anything taped to it. Grabbing his plate, he speared a bite of lasagna and shoved it in his mouth. Now he felt fully prepared to relax, eat his food, and enjoy watching Indy defeat the bad guys and that annoying blonde woman. With a sigh, he leaned back against the couch cushions.


Jim froze where he sat. Slowly, he leaned forward, away from the couch cushions.


He frowned. Setting his plate back on the coffee table, he stood up and rather viciously snatched up the cushion he had leaned against. Sure enough, another white envelope was taped to the back of that couch cushion. Did that kid have anything else to do today!?! Ripping the note open, he read it, trying not to feel too perturbed.

How do I bug thee?
Let me count the ways...

"Sandburg!!!" Jim yelled aloud above the Raiders theme playing in the background, not caring that the anthropologist in question wasn't around to hear him. "Just let me eat in peace, will you!?!" Immediately he felt sheepish. I can't believe I'm talking to Sandburg and he's not even here. Get a grip, Ellison. Chill. Relax. I am relaxed. I am not perturbed. I am... starving! After taking a few deep breaths, Jim picked up his plate again and leaned back against the properly now-silent sofa. He felt himself relax as he took another bite of the baked pasta. The kid might be a bug, but at least he can cook...


About twenty minutes later, Jim had cleaned his plate, even down to wiping off the last bits of cheesy marinara sauce with the last of his bread. He'd savored the piece of Dove chocolate slowly, all the while thanking the gods he was a sentinel with a heightened sense of taste. Now he sipped at the last of his drink, watching distractedly as Indy punched one of the bad guys on a ship and subsequently fell overboard. He was loathe to admit he'd all but lost interest in one of his favorite manly movies, but the whole time he'd been eating and supposedly staring in the direction of the TV screen, Jim hadn't been able to stop thinking about all the notes he'd found so far, and he could hardly control the urge to get up and search the entire loft for any other suspicious white envelopes. Sandburg knows I can't stand stuff lying all over the place! It's a neatness thing. Yeah. He refused to admit it was more a curiosity thing, the thrill of the hunt. He refused to admit that his partner so obviously knew how to press all his buttons, including his detective instincts. I can't have Sandburg coming back and getting the satisfaction of knowing he hid some of those things so well I couldn't find them in my own home!...

The hydrogen-filled, ill-fated Zeppelin exploded on the TV screen without a captive audience as every single kitchen drawer and cupboard was opened and noisily pawed through, dishes and silverware clinking loudly together, by someone ironically behaving like a thief looking for buried treasure. Couch cushions were flung to the floor, every book and artifact on the bookcase the couch opened and examined, the undersides of every table and chair inspected, the backs of pictures checked, the key basket contents dumped out. Every so often, an "Ah-ha!" emitted from the neat-freak-cop-turned-pillaging-destroyer-of-orderliness.

Indy and his father had just escaped the Nazis on a motorbike when Jim finally plopped down on the cushionless sofa with a sigh, clutching a couple of white envelopes and panting slightly at the sudden burst of exertion. He chuckled in a very pleased manner to himself, very proud that he'd managed to efficiently pop himself the bag of popcorn while he continued his search. He'd checked everywhere except his upstairs bedroom, which he decided to save for later when he went to bed. Popping a handful of popcorn in his mouth, Jim opened the envelope he'd found taped to the bottom of the cordless phone, smiling at the message.

I'll be your backup any day.
Your partner,

The other one he'd found inside the well-used map of Washington which resided in one of the small drawers in the living room. It read,

I'm hooked on you.
Let's go fishing tomorrow at Lake Wenatchee.
The Guppy

"Yessss!" Ellison whispered to himself, paying absolutely no attention to one of his favorite scenes in which Indy was hanging perilously off the side of a tank. He looked up from the note, smiling at the prospect of a day of fishing as he stacked two more delicious Dove chocolate hearts on top of each other and prepared to eat them. His eyes came to rest on one of the tribal masks leaning against the wall next to the stereo. His forehead wrinkled as he focused in on the artifact, one of the first Blair had set up after he'd moved in. Something's different about that mask. The detective proceeded to walk over and pick it up, another wide grin immediately spreading across his face. This time he actually laughed out loud as he removed a white envelope from the mask's right and left ... nostrils.

The right one read

You gifted warrior.

The left one read

Me Chief.
Happy Valentine's Day

Jim groaned, though he continued to grin stupidly. He never figured that nickname would come back to haunt him so soon ...


The clock had just struck 11 p.m. when Jim trudged up the stairs sleepily. He yawned as he pulled off his shirts and stripped down to his boxers, pulling back the yellow comforter and sheets and collapsing onto his bed. As expected, a white envelope rested peacefully on top of his pillow with another small chocolate heart taped to it. Inside, it read,

Dear Jim,
Will you be my... sentinel?

For the umpteenth time that evening, Jim chuckled to himself. Even when his partner wasn't physically present, he managed to permeate their apartment with his energy and vibrant personality -- his friendship. Jim wondered if Blair really knew how much he did that. Abruptly, Ellison stood up, grabbing his robe and heading back downstairs. Where did I put that big empty cardboard box?....


Quietly, Blair opened the loft's front door and slipped inside, setting his keys down in the basket very carefully to make as little noise as possible. It was 1 a.m., and Jim had obviously already gone to bed as evidenced by the darkened loft and the deep, even breathing coming from the upstairs bed. The younger man felt for the small key chain light he kept inside the key basket and squeezed it, using the small stream of light from it to shuffle his way to his bedroom without bumping into any sharp furniture corners. The light barely illuminated his face, revealing his hair pulled back in a ponytail and the black tie of his tuxedo hanging undone. He'd had a good time at the dance, but he felt so tired and all he wanted was to get to bed. Once inside his room, he closed the french doors and flipped on the small lamp on the bedside table just long enough to undress and toss his tuxedo jacket, trousers, and cummerbund across the chair. He was too tired to hang them up, and besides, they needed to be dry-cleaned. Yawning, he turned off the light, pulled back the covers and collapsed onto his futon bed.

Something hard and flat and very uncomfortable greeted him, and Blair stifled a yelp, immediately jumping off his bed as quickly as he'd lain down. Grabbing the key chain light off his bedside table, he pointed it at the mattress and the offending object.

It was a very large heart cut from the cardboard of some big white box.

Written in the large, familiar block letters of his friend with a thick red permanent marker, the words read,


Blair's blue eyes twinkled as he grinned.


Fifteen minutes later...

The french doors opened silently, not waking the anthropologist sleeping soundly within the small room, the large cardboard heart propped up next to the bed. The taller man looked down fondly on his friend's peaceful, mouth-half-open-in-a-slight-smile look. Gently, Jim pulled the covers over Blair and tucked them around his shoulders and neck carefully so he wouldn't waken him. Sleep well, Chief, 'cause I won't forget to drag you outta bed to go fishing in a few hours...


Sunday morning...

Jim hummed quietly to himself as he used his towel to wipe away the fog from the bathroom mirror so he could shave. He felt great after his morning shower, and decided he'd be nice and let his tired fishing partner sleep awhile longer before getting him up to go to Lake Wenatchee. Opening the medicine cabinet, he grabbed his shaving cream can and popped the plastic lid off. "Ack!" he exclaimed as a white envelope sprung out of the cap and rudely hit him in the face.

Grumbling to himself, he ripped open the envelope.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Thank you for choosing my herbal shampoo
(I'm even more of a babe magnet than I was before!)

"SANDBURG!!!!!!" he yelled from the bathroom, flinging open the door and sticking his head out into the hallway and gesturing with the shaving cream can.


~ The End ~