So Cold, So Wet
Summary: A close call. Set during the last season.
Warnings, Ratings: none, Teen.
Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, Paramount and the SciFi Channel. No money is being made. No copyright infringement is intended. Any resemblance (of original characters) to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. No similarity to any person either living or dead is intended or should be inferred. This story was written by ljc with the love of the show in mind.
Blair muttered his old familiar oft-repeated refrain, “Cold and wet is my world,” softly but clearly as he shivered involuntarily once again. The line had become a mantra throughout the present stakeout, even though the “wet” was absent tonight. Cascade was certainly cold enough that it made very little difference to this grad-student-observer.
All Blair could do was huddle in his too thin jacket in Jim's dark and cold Ford 150. They'd been on a seemingly endless stakeout waiting for some perp that seemed to have better sense than to be out tonight. He shivered once more, and Jim made no attempt to hide his smirk as he said, “I told you so.”
Blair glared at Jim, but pressed his lips firmly together to stave off the response he 'wanted' to make. In the end, all he said was, “Hand me the thermos.”
Jim sighed and shook his head, “I'm pretty sure it's empty, Chief. That last cup was it.”
Blair groaned irritably, “Are you sure?” He leaned down and grabbed the thermos from under the seat and gave it a hard shake. He sighed in frustration and looked pleadingly at Jim.
“Sandburg, you know we can't leave until our relief gets here, and you know this area is residential. It's way too suburban for a Starbucks™ on the corner. There's just no place around here to get a refill, not even a Wonderburger. You'll just have to suck it up. I did tell you …”
Blair chimed in, “... you told me so. You're right. Okay? You're right. I 'should' have worn my heavy parka,” and continued with a definite whine, “but the weather report said it was going to be milder for the next few days! Man, Daylight Savings Time was this weekend! Spring is coming! It's supposed to be warmer!”
“You trained me. Remember? I told you ...”
“Yes! You told me! The sentinel was right!” Blair sat fuming for several minutes before his curiosity got the better of him. “How did you know? What did you sense that made you think the forecast was wrong?”
Jim shrugged half-heartedly. He didn't really like to dissect what he sensed. Sometimes things just were … until the kid forced him to think through the process. How was he going to explain something he didn't have the scientific words to explain? Oh, well, he knew that Sandburg wouldn't leave him alone until he tried … and maybe it would distract Sandburg for a few minutes.
He began with a long, time-delaying sigh, then, “Okay. I had no problem with the weather report this morning, but … you know how it is ... a few hours can change everything. Let's see, I know for sure that this doesn't explain everything that was going on. I'm sure it was more complex than what I sensed. The wind was coming pretty steadily from the west this morning just the way the report said, but late this afternoon there was an increase in solar activity that seemed to … change it's direction. It wasn't a steady change, but it caused it to cloud up and I think that the heat it trapped under the clouds re-routed the air flow; just eddies from the northwest at first. Then later, just before we left the loft it was coming out of the north.”
He glanced at Sandburg and he wanted to reach over and tuck the kid's chin up since it had dropped down in shock. He sighed again and plowed on, “It was such a slow, irregular change that I really hadn't taken notice of it until you asked. Coming down from Canada like that, not from over the Pacific, well, I could tell the air was a lot drier now … and the gusts have been gaining strength.”
He glanced at Blair again, and since he hadn't interrupted with a question or comment yet, Jim figured he might as well point out some of the results as evidence of his deductions. He pointed between a pair of houses across the street as he continued, “The temperature has dropped nearly ten degrees lower than the forecast predicted, and the wind chill makes it feel worse. You can see that the stream over there is nearly frozen all the way across even though the rate of flow is pretty substantial, and you can see there's not much left of the snow we got yesterday. It's almost disappeared because of the gusts.”
Blair's jaw suddenly clicked back into place and he looked at Jim like he'd grown a second head. He finally looked where he'd pointed, squinted, and then muttered in frustration, “Maybe 'you' can see it.” When a particularly strong gust shook the truck, Blair looked askance at his partner but he didn't ask any further questions, just shrank down into his corner of the cab and shivered harder.
It was close to midnight when the perp showed up. Blair cursed under his breath as they prepared to exit the truck - at least Jim thought he was cursing, because he didn't recognize any of the words, but they were said in such a wonderfully matter-of-fact way that he felt subtitles would have been superfluous.
Jim would have grinned except he wanted to curse, too. Another ten minutes and their relief would have been there and they'd have been on their way home. Now he and Sandburg could be stuck chasing down this guy Carson, and doing paperwork till dawn. Actually that would be the 'best case scenario' because he really didn't want to have to do this all over again.
He glanced at Blair and regretted having to drag the kid out in this weather. Teasing him in the truck was one thing, subjecting him to weather that could possibly cause hypothermia was another.
“Sandburg, stay in the truck. You're already half frozen. Carson won't be a problem. He arrived alone, and after sitting here for hours, we know that there's no one inside.”
“No way, Jim. Besides, getting out and moving around will warm me up.”
It was at that very moment that one of the stronger gusts rocked the truck. Blair grimaced and quickly ducked out the door, closing it as softly as possible. Jim shook his head but let the familiar argument die. Besides, he'd learned from personal experience that it might be better for both of them if Jim knew where Sandburg was at all times.
Jim had felt restive tonight. It was at times like this that he was most temperamental. Maybe that's why he'd been sniping at Blair about the coat even though he knew Sandburg wasn't shy about bundling up in truly uncomfortable weather.
Jim didn't always understand his reactions around Sandburg. There were times when he cringed mentally at his treatment of him. His actions now were akin to how he'd acted toward a particularly obnoxious teenage babysitter he'd had when he was twelve … a babysitter he didn't want or need. At least, that's what he'd thought at the time. Then there were times when he wanted to swaddle him in blankets and tuck him in, like tonight when he'd tried to pack that heavy parka without him knowing it.
Yet, for all the pushing and prodding, there were times when he pulled him close, when his touch grounded him, when his nerves needed that steadying hand on his back … and a steady hand 'at' his back; when he trusted Sandburg to do the things that only he knew to do ... those times when Blair was there and it seemed the most natural thing in the world ....
He pulled his thoughts abruptly back to the present as they rounded the corner of the residence. They had been heading toward the back of the house and the same back exit as Carson. His senses had been on alert, of course, but a dark sedan surprised him when it pulled into the end of the street at a high rate of speed. Jim stopped and listened carefully, and Blair had stopped just a step behind, with fingertips grazing his back. Jim's senses went on high alert, trying to decide if this addition to the number of people in the area was pertinent to their stakeout and 'their' perp.
//Hey, what were the chances?// he thought grimly.
The car stopped right out front, and the two new arrivals weren't saying much, but Jim wasn't taking any chances. He immediately pushed Sandburg to the ground, and managed to force a surprised gasp from him. A fence that ran between this home and the next residence was the nearest cover available, but it would have to do for the moment. Jim knelt beside Blair and decided on his next action. He knew that Blair had learned a lot since they first became partners. He knew that he'd try to keep his silence and wait for instructions.
When the vehicle pulled into the driveway on the other side of the house and the two new players exited, Jim could easily smell gun oil on the fresh night air. He glanced at Sandburg and whispered, “Call for backup. Get Henri and Rafe to put on some speed. I don't know what's going down, but they're armed, and I don't want to lose Carson.”
Blair didn't get a chance to dial before shots were fired. Jim ducked down lower, making Blair grunt out another gust of air when he pushed him down even further and covered him. Jim noted, but ignored, the 'evil eye' that action earned him. When he heard Carson return fire to the newcomers, he jumped up and ran to the back of the house. After peering around the corner, he moved quickly out of Blair's sight.
Blair swore softly nonstop, knowing full well that Jim could use his voice to distract him from a zone. After the Dispatcher answered, he only waited long enough for confirmation of the address and then stuck his head up. It was too dark for him to see much, but the shooting had stopped. Unfortunately he hadn't heard an all-clear from Jim yet.
He finally heard running and shouts on the other side of the house and figures dashed into the trees beyond the patio. Two more shots had him hurrying along 'his' side of the patio. Where the fence ended, it skirted a few thinly spaced trees that led right down to the shore of the stream. The trees seemed better cover than the open patio but the lot sloped downward sharply at the bank. Even though he took it slowly, the footing was less secure than he'd of wished, especially as slippery patches of white interspersed with late autumn leaves.
A sudden lack of sound was almost as frightening as the shots had been. //Where are they?// It was so quiet he could hear the muted flow of the stream, and he worried that it might cover sounds that he really needed to hear. //Where is Jim?// he wondered.
A faint rustle of sound came from the area of the trees near the middle of the lot, and when he just couldn't wait any longer he finally whispered, “Jim?” His worry sent him cautiously toward the area, and he finally gave a sigh of relief as a disgruntled tabby cat dashed for the house. The relief was short-lived, because at this point his feet nearly slid out from beneath him and he slid precariously down the icy embankment. His frantic grabs at trees did nothing to stop his continued slide and almost overbalanced him. He didn't stop until he was well out onto the newly frozen stream.
He held his breath as he tried to keep upright and shuffle back to solid ground. Soggy shoes and frostbitten toes would only add to his woes tonight, so he walked slowly and gingerly, trying - praying - not to break through the thin layer of ice. Unfortunately his attempt only kept him slipping, sliding, and windmilling his arms until he made an awkward, off-balance grasp at some ice-locked cattails. He went down so hard and so fast that he didn't remember the fall at all, just the result, a terrifying breathless spin that left him sliding away from the bank.
When Blair finally slid to a stop, he froze in place, hardly daring to breathe lest that small movement would pitch him through the ice. He stared in shock at his hand that was poised over open water. When the ice cracked ominously, he finally managed to drag in a shuddery breath and whispered a strangled, “Jim!”
Jim had had to ignore Blair's first, inquiring, “Jim?” The two newest arrivals at the scene were just pulling away from the house in a loud squeal and acrid burn of tires that made him want to dial down sound and smell but he resisted. He did manage to dial up sight and get the license number.
They'd hoped Carson would be the witness they needed to crack a case. Unfortunately for Carson, he'd just become another case … or a major complication to the original case. Now Jim had to investigate Carson's murder and track down two murder suspects and find out if this was their own idea to silence a witness, or if it was a murder for hire. Or, to make things even more complicated, maybe they had their own reasons to dislike Carson enough to kill him. Yeah, just another little complication to make things interesting.
He sighed as he lowered his gun, then he heard Henri and Rafe pull into the street from the other direction. He pulled out his radio to tell them the situation, maybe they could catch those two before they got too far away. Even if they did, it would take a miracle to get the paperwork wrapped up by morning.
It was the crackling sound from the ice that made Jim forget about the radio. He halted his actions and stiffened because he realized immediately that it had come from the direction from which he'd last heard Blair. The second, terrified, “Jim!” caused him to turn and focus his sight on his guide.
Jim was standing in the driveway when he focused his dialed up sight on Blair's voice. He was much closer to the street lights than Blair was. Blair was laying on the ice, well past the patio and the trees. He could barely see Jim at all from his position, only as a dark, and distant, shadow against the light. Still, Jim could tell that Blair had no doubt that it was Jim that he saw, and he seemed relieved, if only for a moment. Afterward Jim would remember that moment when Blair's shocked yet hopeful eyes seemed to lock on his. He'd remember it very well.
Jim had regrets about many things in his life, but one of the greatest would always be that he 'knew' ... without a doubt ... that he couldn't reach Blair in time. Blair was going into that frigid water, and there was nothing he could do to prevent it.
One moment they locked gazes, the next Blair was gone. The ice disintegrated beneath him and he vanished in an instant. Jim raced toward the spot, but before he reached it Blair had already tried to surface and had lost his grip on the thin ice as it fractured easily in his grasp. Again their gazes locked as Blair lost his grip once more and was swept under the edge.
Jim screamed, “NO!” Hearing car doors slam, he yelled out, “Henri! Rafe! Blair's down!”
He didn't waste any time changing direction. He ran desperately with only one thought: to be in the right place at the right time. He followed the course of the stream bank while dialing up his sight even further ... to see through the darkness, to try to find a path, to see through the ice and the water. He thought he saw a shadow under the ice, and was rewarded with the sight of a pale hand slipping along beneath the surface, scrabbling awkwardly in an attempt to claw it's way through to air.
He scanned the ice along the bank, making frantic calculations while he ran of ice thickness, rate of water flow, and how long Blair could hold his breath. There came a point where time was running out and a spot had to be chosen. He couldn't afford an instant's hesitation. He raced to reach the spot even as he aimed his gun, firing it till it was empty then throwing it aside … then he leapt onto the ice feet-first with all the force of his weight.
Jim smashed through the ice and into the water, and even though Jim stood barely waist deep in the rushing water, it was still a struggle to stand against the current. The shocking immersion in the ice cold water was noted and disregarded so that it became a mere distraction. Focus, focus on his one goal. Everything was secondary to that one thing … to grasp that pale, bloodied, shadow of a hand before it could sweep past him. And so he stood, braced, to catch the prize, and even after it's capture he couldn't allow the loss of focus. It changed, but it's intensity could not. Now he held 'them' braced, Blair's head above the water, holding them both against the forces of 'cold and wet'.
It seemed an interminable wait till he heard splashing and welcome words of support, and hands reaching them that had not yet been weakened by the cold.
Henri was beside him, “Jim, man. We're here and help's on the way. Tell us where you want us.”
“H … Rafe … Careful! Watch your footing or you'll be swept under the ice, too. Let's get him out of the water! He's unconscious. ”
They were frantic but cautious, gentle but determined. They'd all seen Blair drown once and it wasn't going to happen again on their watch. It may have been cold as well as wet, with poor visibility and treacherous footing besides, but they managed to get to the bank before the ambulance arrived. Jim and Henri carried Blair between them while Rafe raced ahead to retrieve blankets from H's car.
Simon hurried to the door to the waiting room. He had received a call from Dispatch and had shuddered at the message he'd received. The horror he'd remembered from Blair's drowning subsided when he saw the men waiting for him. The three of them were surely subdued, but they were talking as friends do when awaiting word on a friend ... not friends waiting to hear the worst.
He caught Jim's eye when he stepped into the room, and Jim nodded quickly. It was a sure sign that Jim knew what was going on with his partner, and what was going on wasn't of a fatal nature. Simon sighed deeply in relief, and saw Jim's shared acknowledgement of the feeling.
Simon gestured Henri and Rafe over to talk privately. Hearing confirmation of Sandburg's condition and the events they had witnessed, he told them his plans and suggested they go home and rest. Ellison and his partner wouldn't be in tomorrow and he wanted someone on duty that could help him sort out this mess before Ellison and Sandburg had to deal with it.
Simon finally sat beside Jim and leaned back into a chair that was much too small and uncomfortable for the big man, but something he'd had to learn to put up with over the years. He sighed deeply and said, “Jim ... we've got to stop meeting like this. If I need to send a memo, then that's what I'll do, but getting that kind of call in the middle of the night is way too stressful.”
“I hear you, Simon.”
Simon could remember Sandburg saying those very words. He tried a mock glare at Jim, “Tell me our hippie isn't rubbing off on you, Detective.”
Jim continued to stare at his clasped hands but managed to grin slightly, “Come on, Simon. Admit that he's a good influence on all of us. And remember, you did say 'our hippie'.”
Simon snorted softly, and added loftily, “I'll admit no such thing. I can't afford to have that get back to him. He'd never let me live it down, and you know it.”
Jim's hands gripped harder until they were white and strained, “Why is it so hard to say?“
Simon sighed and muttered quietly, “The kid has given me more gray hairs than Daryl. Yet if it wasn't for Sandburg, Daryl and I probably wouldn't even be speaking to each other … screaming maybe, but not talking. Sandburg makes that stuff sound easy.”
Jim laughed roughly, “Yeah, and I think he has the idea I'm going to learn how to do it myself someday.”
Simon asked, “You, Jim? Good luck on that.” He pulled a cigar out of his pocket then sighed and slipped it back in it's case in regret. He asked, “I assume Sandburg's going to stay the night?”
“Yeah. Maybe the doc can keep him down for a few hours. If I take him home he'll only end up at Rainier tomorrow, or down at the station. That reminds me, I'll have to call the school. Tell them he'll be out until the doctor releases him … again.”
“You'll be staying with him tonight, right?” At Jim's nod Simon continued, “I figured. I'll call the University for you. I'm going to head in to the station and get started on the paperwork for this night. I wonder how many reams of paper we'll go through for this case. You two should be a line-item in my budget.”
Simon sighed and reached out to touch Jim's shoulder, “Don't worry about paperwork. We'll get as much of it cleared away as we can. You just take care of Sandburg.”
“I will, Simon. Thanks.”
“Jim?” When he had his attention, Simon added, “I heard from Henri and Rafe about what happened there tonight. If you need to talk to someone, a counselor or a friend, well I'd be happy to help. It was a pretty bad situation, especially coming so soon after that other … Don't let it wear you down. I know you'll be watching out for Sandburg, but take care of yourself, too, Jim. If you don't, you know the kid will wear himself ragged trying to take care of you.”
“Thanks, Simon … I - I think I have someone in mind.”
“It might even take care of two problems at once.”
Simon's momentarily confused look dissolved, and he grinned widely, “Good choice.”
As Simon let himself into the elevator he muttered, “And about damn time!”
Jim sat quietly waiting. It was easy because the one he was waiting for was right in front of him and resting quietly himself. Jim had already checked out the tiny scrapes and bruises on Blair's face and hands, for which he'd received a couple of tiny bandages. The hypothermia was more difficult to treat, but Blair was well on his way. The warming blankets were replaced periodically but Blair's temperature was near enough to normal that it wasn't a concern anymore. He just needed time to get over the stress to his system.
So Jim just sat, waiting and remembering a sentinel version of events … a kind of 'Hi Def Total Package' … played out before his mind's eye in searing detail ...
… The crackling of the ice that had the effect of thunder. Then that horrible feeling that time had seemed to slow and race at the same time.
… Shocked blue eyes locked on his, yet somehow still having hope when he saw Jim.
… Pale hand clawing at his icy prison … leaving Jim weak, but with a deep gratitude that he had no memory of Blair's face under that ice.
… And finally, miraculously, frozen curls dragged aside to see those blue eyes blink open and lock with his in dazed, but real, recognition.
It had been so close that 'what-ifs' almost overwhelmed him. The most damning things were … What if Blair had been wearing that heavy parka after all? Could Jim have held Blair with that extra weight? … What if he'd turned down his senses, and not dialed up 'sight'? What if he'd miscalculated? What if his senses weren't accurate enough? What if he hadn't been strong enough to hold out until help arrived? … What if … ?
“Jim?” That was one of the things Jim had been waiting for, that sound ... another was the gentle touch of abraded fingers on his arm.
Jim had been trying to prepare himself, but it was all he could do to keep his own trembling touch as gentle as Blair's had been, and his own sob as quiet as his partner's whispered question.
“Hey, hey, Jim. Are you okay?” Blair struggled against the weight of the extra blankets to turn awkwardly toward Jim. Seeing Jim's reaction had made him desperate to comfort him, but fatigue and the blankets were doing their best to defeat him.
Blair wasn't exactly sure what had happened tonight, but he mentally sorted through a kaleidoscope of memories as he sought the reason for Jim's reaction. He remembered the shock of the ice cold water, and trying to escape the ice. He remembered Jim, and he thought Henri and Rafe were there, too. Then there was confusion as lights and sirens seemed to be everywhere, and then more lights and voices in the ER, shrill in crisis. He recognized that tone of voice and that they were being very professional. He remembered being grateful for those voices, and for the many times he'd been a recipient of that kind of care, but none of that told him the reason for Jim's little breakdown? Jim - just - didn't - break - down … except there was Danny Choi and Incacha.
Jim coughed roughly, trying to hide his discomfiture. He stood abruptly, breaking the connection that he'd held for several hours and turned toward the door. That sudden… disconnect … he didn't know if that made it harder or easier … not seeing, not touching. He just knew this was something so difficult that he didn't want to deal with it right now, maybe never. So it had to be easier if he could just make it go away, and since he knew the senses were staying, then he'd have to go. And after finally deciding that, he said succinctly, “Look, Sandburg … I - I'm sorry but I have to go.”
Blair was still trying to find out what Jim's problem was, so he asked in confusion, “What? Jim, is it a case? Tell me what's going on, man. I - I haven't even seen the doctor yet. Has he been in? Did he tell you anything? Am I okay to go with you? I seem okay. Well, I'm kind of tired but that seems like it would be normal.” Blair stopped suddenly and placed a hand flat on his own chest, “Unless I … I didn't ... well, I didn't drown again did I?”
Jim turned suddenly and was shockingly loud in his response, “NO!”
Blair looked taken aback and then relaxed into his pillows, and he whispered, “Oh, that's it.”
“What? No. You didn't drown. You're going to be fine. I just have to … go.”
Jim was held by that one word. Stay or go. Go or stay. Balanced on the edge of a precipice of his own making.
“Come sit beside me.” And Blair patted the bed gently.
Stay or go. Go or ...
Jim forced one step, and another until he was close enough to sit but still he stood.
Blair looked him in the eyes, and Jim looked away, anywhere, just away.
Blair sat forward and reached out a hand and tugged Jim closer until he was right up beside the bed.
“I really didn't think I drowned, but it was pretty confusing there at the end. I guess it was kind of natural to wonder, but I see it shook you up pretty bad. I'm sorry …” At that point Blair flinched and stared at his hand, which caused Jim to suddenly release it, and jump back a step.
Blair rubbed it, “Don't …”
Jim said, “Don't ...”
They both stopped, and Blair continued, “Well, 'I' was going to say, don't leave. How about you?”
Jim sighed and said, “Why do you always say you're sorry? For what? For drowning? Don't say you're sorry. Look. It's just a … such a really bad memory and I see flashes of it sometimes. From before and now from last night, too … when you almost ...”
Blair stopped rubbing his hand and reached out again, and dragged his friend back to his side, this time he tugged him down to sit. “But Jim, I 'am' sorry that this affects you this way.”
“And don't be sorry for me!”
Blair looked tired. He felt tired, so he closed his eyes and leaned back on his pillows.
“Chief? Are you alright?”
Blair blinked his eyes tiredly as he stared at Jim. “Why do you think you should have known what Alex was going to do? Do you think I should have known? After all, I had years of research behind me. Maybe it 'was' all my fault.”
Jim was stunned. “Of course not! It wasn't your fault.”
“Then … you must think that a well-trained, ex-military, police detective, sentinel, who's certainly of sound mind and body, should have known instinctively what a whacked-out female sentinel was going to do?”
Jim gave it serious consideration. Should he have known? He certainly felt guilty for the consequences, but … should he have known? If he 'had' known, would he have stopped it? Absolutely! Even at the cost of his life. … But he hadn't known. He hadn't known. He couldn't have stopped it, not then ... not last night. He could not have stopped it. He 'would' have … but he couldn't.
He reached out and gently clasped Blair's hand, but he couldn't look Blair in the eye yet. “I'm so sorry I couldn't stop her. I'm so sorry you were hurt. I'll always be sorry, Sandburg.”
“I hear that, Jim.” Blair's words were strained but Jim heard them clearly, “I guess I can't expect you to forget all that, when I know that if I was in your place, I'd feel the same way. If I caused you to be hurt, I'd never forgive myself either …” and he whispered so very softly, “I've worried about it for years ….”
Blair squeezed Jim's hand and said, “But I want you to hear this … 'I' forgive you, Jim.” Finally blue eyes connected with blue eyes, and Blair used his grip on Jim's hand to pull himself up for that hug.
Blair finally pleaded softly, “Can we please ditch the regrets? The might-have-beens? We've carried that around with us long enough. It takes way too much energy that we could put to better use.”
Blair stilled but didn't let go, “Yeah?”
Jim hugged him nearly breathless, “You have to let them go, too. And just in case … I forgive you, too.”
When the hugging had eased, but not ended, Blair yawned widely and said, “I'm tired, Jim. Let's get out of here. I want to go home.”
Jim almost agreed. Almost. But common sense, and his sixth sense (the Blessed Protector Sense) warned him to think before he spoke, “I think 'home' is a great idea ... when you get the doctor's blessing.”
It was Blair's turn to sigh as he gently knocked his head against Jim's shoulder, “Now, Jim. Please?”
Jim finally broke the hug that had given them both comfort, and settled Blair onto his pillows. He grinned when Blair shivered and so he pulled the blankets into a neat pile on his guide and tucked him in the way Sally had when he was little, making neat furrows down both sides.
“Jim,” wheedled Blair.
“Enough to go home now?”
Blair opened his mouth but shut it quickly. His shoulders slumped a bit, “Is this another one of your 'I told you so's'?”
Jim looked bleak for a moment, “No. No teasing today. You need to stay. The doctor will say when to leave. Okay?”
“Okaaay. But only if you get that pretty nurse to come back. Her name's Jessie. The one with the long curly hair.”
“I'll remember. Jessie of the curly hair. Until then, maybe you could explain something for me.”
Blair grinned and said, “Sure! What?”
“Well, some of that technical jargon goes right over my head.”
Blair looked confused, and Jim grinned softly, “You know. 'Whacked-out'.”
Blair flushed slightly, “Oh, that.”
“Well, you said … and I do know for a fact … that you've done years of research on the subject.”
Blair squeezed his hand, and added seriously, “We're going to be okay, Jim."
Jim clasped his other hand around Blair's, "I know you're right. You know, Simon and I talked last night. He was worried about us. He told me to talk to someone. I told him I had someone in mind.”
“Who's that, Jim?”
“Well, Simon called him a hippie at one point. I call him friend. You heard Brackett name him 'guide'. But most of the time, he's just what Incacha said … he's my Shaman. I've been lucky that way.”
“Incacha was a friend of yours, and he was just what you needed, at just the right time. He was a great Shaman.”
“It takes one, to know one, Chief. Like I said, I've been lucky that way.”
AND TSBBS NEVER HAPPENED! I've always wanted to write that (and I wish they had)!
Daylight Savings Time: Time during which clocks are set one hour ahead of local standard time; widely adopted during summer to provide extra daylight in the evenings (I just wish they'd leave it saved all year round).
*Have you ever fallen and never remembered how you got from upright to flat? I swear, I just stepped down out of that pickup and didn't even remember my foot landing on that ice. The next thing I knew, I was flat on my back, but my hand was firmly clutching the armrest. (I'm sure it was very funny! To someone!)