The Sentinel, Blair Sandburg, Jim Ellison, Simon Banks and all other characters are property of Paramount and Pet Fly. No copyright infringement is intended, and no money has exchanged hands.

Here is the 1st of 2 long awaited dues. Thanks to Dawn and Robin for being so patient with me. Also thanks to Starfox, for giving my stories a home at the Mansion. And a final thanks to my beta-reader who prefers to remain unknown.

All constructive feedback welcomed at diajo@rogers.com

Warning: Caveat Lector

The Bar

by DJ Fraser

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"Anyone sitting here?" the man asked the patron sitting alone in an almost empty bar.

"No."

Silence filled the air. The man sat down next to him and set his bottle of beer on the counter.

Blair felt him staring at him. He looked down at the counter.

"Do you need something?" he asked.

"I never need anything. You?"

Blair smirked, then frowned. "What are you doing here then?"

"I felt I was a danger tonight."

"Whom to?"

Jim took a long swig of his beer and slammed the empty bottle on the counter before him.

"You, me, the world…who knows?"

"A danger, huh?"

"I could destroy you," Jim said as he looked around the now empty bar.

"Who says I'd let you?"

"I've done it before."

"Anyway, no one is that bad…"

Jim looked at him."I can be."

"You don't know…" Blair started.

Jim looked at his empty bottle.

"I know." He raised his eyes to look at Blair.

"Can I get you another drink? You're on empty." Jim stood up and reached for the empty bottle in front of Blair.

"I don't drink, not really."

"But your bottle… it's empty."

"It's always that way."

Jim sat again. Both were silent. It filled the air. Blair finally turned to face him.

"You don’t know the whole of it, you know. You could be so much more than you are now," Blair said.

"I can see what I am. It's always the same for me, Chief," Jim sighed.

"What is?"

"Life, Relationships, love. It starts good, months pass, then disappointment, anger, and numbness. Then I wake up one morning, and it's all gone." Jim paused for a moment, and then continued. "It's always the same," he finished.

"Is it?"

"Uh-huh."

Blair stared at nothing in particular. "Always?"

"Always has been for me. Doesn't matter, really. I'm used to it." A moment passed in silence.

"Why don't I take you home? It’s late," stated Jim.

Blair sat straight up. "Home? No, I can't go there," he stated.

"Forget it…" Jim started."

It's nothing personal. It never is with me." Blair touched Jim's arm and looked into his eyes. "It's just that I’m not here now. I’m not really here anymore."

Jim jerked his arm away slightly and turned away from Blair’s gaze. "Where are you then?" Jim asked.

"Inside here…" Blair pointed to Jim's chest where his heart was beating, "A place where you won't allow anyone to enter anymore."

Jim looked at his empty beer bottle. His resolve starting to fade.

"I kinda like it this way, you know?"

Blair stared at him for a moment, then grinned to himself. He now knew that this attitude of Jim's wasn't going to last much longer. He turned back to face the front of the bar.

"Yeah okay. I'll just let you be."

Blair turned his head to look at Jim once more. "Be what?"

"In my heart."

Blair looked right into Jim's eyes. "I'd like that."

As the music played on, the two friends sat next to each other in the bar, each lost in their silence.

END

Comments, criticism, suggestions? E-mail DJ Fraser.