Disclaimer: 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.

Summary: Fifth story in my summer writing project. Missing scenes from Cypher.

Mama's Boy

by Twilight (Dawn)

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

"I could be you."

I watched as Dr. Anthony Bates sat up in his leather chair, shifting a fraction, the smooth cowhide groaning in protest. The man took off his glasses, rubbing a hand up and over graying blond hair. "David...I had to go to school for a very long time to be a physiologist and I spent years at Quantico training in my field."

He thought he was sooo smart. Always talking about how he trained here and studied for that...but what the hell did he know?

Nothing, that's what.

Sure had nice wheels though. What a sweet ride and he dressed to the nines. Where did he think he was? Not too many people to impress in this place. Except maybe that pretty brunette that worked the C Block. She's a fine thing, slim body and perfect ass...I could be her too.

"David?"

I waited a few seconds before looking up...made him think I'm thinking about what he said.

"Lets talk some more about your mother. I know you've told your story before, but since you're pretty new here, I want to hear some more about it...see if I can help you work through some of those memories.

Memories...all alone in the moonlight...

"David?"

I've got some memories all right...good ones.

Every time I closed my eyes I could see her face.

See how she looked at me with disgust and then fear.

I could still hear her garbling as she tried to get her head above water and I could still see her eyes bulging as I held her under and then she stilled.

I was the last thing she saw...my mouth twisted in a smile and I felt fucking incredible...top of the world, mate.

I bet she thought she'd never see me again...but I was a patient man.

Moved to San Francisco but that didn't help her any. Old bat didn't even know I'd been watching.

Watching and waiting.

She struggled sure, but as she took in a lungful of water, she knew.

She knew she'd done me wrong and I was just rectifying her errors.

Fat cow begged, all done up in a fluffy white robe, ready to get in her bath...she likes them hot and that's what she got.

"David. I can't help you if you won't talk to me."

Hmm...I think I picked the wrong hospital to check into. This guy never shut up.

It should be safe now anyway. It's been a couple months and the cops haven't come looking.

It was the perfect place to hide really, but I think it's time to check out.

"I think I need to see the nurse...I got a stomach ache."

"Okay, David. Let me call over to C Ward and see if they can fit you in."

The doctor smiled as soon as the pretty brunette answered his call.

It was almost too easy.

"Linda is sending someone to get you. We'll talk more tomorrow."

"Yeah...soon."

So...I started out again easy.

The guy in the wheelchair was surprised when a nurse stopped to buy a penny bag, but even more surprised when I dragged him into my shiny new car.

Oh and Linda's taste in music...questionable at best.

My wig slipped as I pushed him into the trunk and his eyes went all big, but I could tell he was stoned.

Probably thought I was a really bad trip.

I could have done better.

But what the hell, I've been a carpenter, a doctor...that was a hoot, a bartender, a waitress, oh yeah...a gardener...umm...a taxi driver, and now a nurse.

I've lost count, but me and Adam...we're going to be the best of friends.

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

"So I was thinking...I don't mind the company." Jim sunk into the dinning chair, dishing out a helping of the lasagna Blair had just sat on the table.

They had spent the day finishing up paperwork and Blair managed to get some grading done. The past week had flown by, but he got Jim into his lab for some testing, which turned out to give his friend a major headache...so dinner was a peace offering of sorts.

His mother used to make him lasagna whenever he came home to visit her or for special occasions, so it was one of his favorite comfort food. They even had it on Christmas, which was a bit strange since technically they were Jewish.

Blair took a quick gulp of red wine, fiddling with his napkin. "Are you saying you don't want me to find my own place?"

Jim passed him the salad, getting up to pick out some dressing from the fridge. "All I'm saying is that I don't mind. I kinda like the company." He came back with a bottle of ranch and a bottle of honey mustard, holding them out.

Blair grabbed the ranch, squirting a glob on his greens. "I don't know, man. I've been on my own for a long time."

Jim nodded, "it's just a suggestion, Sandburg, not a proposal. If you don't have anything lined up you can stay. The rent's cheap and the rules are many." Jim smirked, digging into his pasta, sniffing the cooling sauce and noodles before scooping them into his mouth, closing his eyes.

Many rules? Many, many, many rules.

But Blair didn't complain, knowing that Jim was still having a hard time keeping his senses under control and it was his home after all and if Jim didn't want cups on the coffee table or shoes by the door, he would go along with it.

Blair took a bite of his salad, thinking over Jim's offer. He didn't have anything lined up, true but he didn't do too well with roommates. He'd been through several back in his dorm days and he liked his privacy...living with a sentinel would mean he probably wouldn't have any.

Of course it was a unique opportunity to study the embodiment of his life work up close and personal.

What if they didn't get along? Sure, the last couple of days had been good, despite the house rules.

"Umm...can I think about it?"

Jim scooped out another ladle full and plopped it on his plate, tearing off another piece of bread to sop up the sauce. "Sure...take your time."

They finished dinner and Blair found himself washing instead of just leaving the dishes for whenever. Jim dried and stacked the plates, putting the leftovers in a bowl.

"That was great, Chief. Thanks for taking the time to make it." He dried his hands and tossed the damp towel over the drainer. "I'm going to change and then we can hit the road. Traffic is going to be heavy near the arena."

Blair finished the glass salad bowl, carefully placing it back in the cabinet above the sink. "Cool, man. I'm ready when you are."

He wandered to the living room and looked around. The apartment was nice, a little plain, but nice. It was close to the U and the neighborhood was really cool...near the harbor and lots of little shops and markets nearby.

Maybe he could give it a go...talk Jim into painting the walls or something.

It might just work out.

"Ready." Jim stood in the doorway, Blair's jacket in his hand and he smiled. "I want to get a good spot in the lot...something near the exit."

Yup...it might just work.

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

"What do you think of this one?" I spun around, admiring myself in the full-length mirror. "No, no you're right...makes my hips look huge."

I flung the soft wool skirt onto the bed and pulled out a beaded evening gown. "Hmm...I don't know. A little frumpy, I think." The garment landed in the heap of clothes spread out over the floor of the bedroom.

"What do we have here?" The clothes hangers squeaked across the rod as I pulled a black dress from the back of the closet and held it up against me. "Hmm..." I tossed the dress and shifted some boxes, finding some black pumps and matching purse. "This is perfect, don't you think?"

I turned to her, taking in the huge brown eyes, tears streaming down and around the yellow scarf, her mouth moved behind the binding, but I didn't want to hear her voice...not yet, anyway.

She struggled on the bed, twisting from side to side, and kicking out her bound legs as I moved closer; dropping down to sit on the edge, tucking a few strands of red hair behind my ear. My fingers reached forward to caress the thick black mane of the frightened woman. She turned her face from me as I ran my hand through the silky soft hair. "I don't think I can do with a dye job this time."

She sobbed around the obstruction in her mouth as I gently turned her head and kissed her cheek. "Shhh...don't be sad baby...I'm just gonna clean you up. Mama will take care of you. Shhh."

I moved the gag and she screamed, but no one would hear her. Her house was at the end of the block and the Kimmers, her nearest neighbors, went to bingo on Saturday nights. "I'm just going to clean you up and then we can go see the ducks. I used to have a baby duck...he was so soft and tiny. I could wrap my finger around his little neck...it was so fragile."

I grabbed hold of her arm, dragging her screaming down the hall to her bathroom. "I would still have him too, if mama hadn't found him." Once I was through the door I dropped her to the floor, reaching forward to turn on the tap.

The sounds of running water filled the room, steam rose and curled away through the vent in the ceiling. I took my time unbuttoning her cream colored blouse, my excitement building as she tried to move away from my roaming hands. I slowly unzipped her skirt; pulling the slip away with it before picking her up and putting her in the filling tub.

"Shh...It'll be okay soon, baby. I just want to help you get clean."

Reaching into my pocket, I used the first of my vials, forcing the liquid drug between clenched teeth, rubbing her throat to help her swallow. She continued to splash and scream, but I waited, taking up the bath sponge and her lilac body wash, running the soapy sponge up and over her belly, gently washing under her breasts and arms. She froze as my hand moved lower, washing between her legs and that's when it happened.

She stopped moving and pulling away, her eyes clouded with tears and fear but full of resignation.

Beautiful.

She knew...

I grabbed a towel and lifted her lax body from the water, pulling the plug. It only took a few minutes to dry her off, tie her up and make my way carefully down the steps, looking both ways before sprinting to her car, dropping her body into the trunk with a thud.

The early morning traffic was light, and as I drove I made a mental list. I knew that once I got her to my house, I had the whole afternoon to play. We could visit the duck pond then and still get back to her place by the early evening, clean up a bit and pack.

The specialty store in Chelsea came into view and I pulled over, waiting as a truck backed from a parking spot right up front.

The shopkeeper greeted me and thoughts of owning my own shop flittered through my mind. "Can I help you sir?"

"Umm...yes. I need a wig for a very special occasion. I'm looking for dark black, cut into a bob."

"Oh, yes sir. I have a few. Is it for your wife?" The elderly man moved among the shelves, pulling out lined drawers. "I have some lovely human hair wigs."

"Yes. That would be good."

"How about this one?"

I reached forward, fingering the soft strands. "It's perfect."

"Good...good. Let me wrap it for you." The shopkeeper went back to the front, ringing up my purchase and carefully wrapping the wig and placing it in a box. "May I have your name for our registry?"

"Sure." I pulled out my wallet and laid the money on the counter, reaching for the box. "Billy...Billy Bright."

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

Blair held the elevator door with his foot, resting the box he was carrying on the floor, wiping his sweaty forehead with the back of his hand.

"Thanks, Chief." Jim hefted the small desk through the opening, sitting it near the back with the other boxes piled along the elevator wall. "I think we can get the rest in one more trip."

Blair nodded, pressing the button for the third floor. He was totally and utterly exhausted, having not slept very well since seeing his first dead body, tossing and turning on the sofa for the past few nights and then there was the funeral coming up and Blair couldn't help but wonder how long she would have been decomposing in her tub had not the call come in about a prowler.

As the car ascended he tried to get the image of Susan Fraiser from his brief glimpse out of his head. For as long as he lived, he would never forget the look on her pale lifeless face, the sightless staring eyes and opened mouth... A shiver shot up his spine and Jim shot him a look.

"You okay, Blair?"

"Yeah." The doors parted and Blair stuck a box against one, stopping them from closing. "Just tired I guess. We've been running the whole day."

They worked in silence, putting his desk and chair in the hallway, taking turns picking up boxes and putting them in the apartment living room. Once all the boxes were taken care of, they moved the desk to his new room and Blair looked around at his new home. He managed to get a futon bed from a friend and his chest of drawers made it through the fire. The desk was a gift from his mom when he started at Rainier and he was glad that it made it too.

"How about I make some lunch?" Jim backed out of the room, lifting the newly installed curtains to give Blair an illusion of privacy.

"Sounds good, man. I'll just see what I can finish in here." He sank to his bed, eyeing the boxes lining the walls. When he told Jim that he would like to take him up on the offer to rent the room, he still had mixed feelings.

The past couple weeks had been great and what little reservations he had dissipated when he got back to the loft the other night after the jags game. Jim was getting ready for bed, checking the doors and windows and before he climbed the steps, he turned and told Blair good night.

And he couldn't get that out of his head.

He hadn't had a single soul to say good night to since Lisa and Jim was a great guy, most times and he wanted Blair to stay.

Really wanted him to stay.

"Lunch's in ten." Jim called from the kitchen and Blair stood, opening a random box, deciding what to take out and what to pack back up and store.

He found a few pictures in frames and put them on the end table near the lamp, angling the one with his mentor and a Peruvian tribe from an exposition he took in his senior year.

"You coming?"

"Yeah..." He stepped out of the room. "Hey man, you're working late tomorrow, right?"

Jim carried two plates, the savory smell of steak, peppers and onions made Blair's stomach rumble.

"Yeah. Why, you got a hot date?" Jim smiled and then sobered. "Just remember house rule number eleven, Chief."

Blair smirked, taking a huge bite of his sandwich, drippings ran down his hand and he grabbed up a napkin, wiping his mouth as he chewed. "Mmhmm."

"I mean it, junior. No nooky in the apartment."

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

I watched them from across the crowded dance floor, their bodies swaying only inches apart. She would reach forward now and again, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him into a different kind of dance involving lips and ongue.

Never taking my eyes from the couple, I loomed closer with each beat of the drum, inching forward, dancing with a few other single women in the middle of the floor. The lights were dim and the bar was noisy, bodies pressed against my back and chest, but I went with the flow, reaching up to adjust the jet black wig.

My skirt was longer than I would have liked, hiding my bigger knees, the silky material slid easily over freshly shaved legs, and the top was tight, showing off my new curves.

The song ended and the couple next to me moved apart before the next one began. She looked right at me, smiling a little as she pushed through the crowd heading for the line to the bathroom. I watched as the younger man sidled up to the bar, ordering a few more drinks, joking with the bartender, tucking a few strands of wavy hair behind his ear.

I thought about joining my newest friend for a drink, the stool next to him was empty, but instead turned toward the restroom, getting in line right behind her. She was pretty and slim, her wavy dark hair and olive skin enhanced by the subdued lighting. She reminded me of a doll my grandmother used to have. Used to display over the fireplace when I was a kid, a China doll.

The line moved up and we made it through the door together. I waited near the sink as she went into the restroom, checking my makeup, studying her in the mirror as she washed her hands and applied another layer of pale shimmer lipstick.

Waiting a beat before leaving, I found them at the bar, talking and kissing, drinking something with little umbrellas. Before long they headed for the exit, but I wasn't in a hurry. I knew where they were going and I already had my place scouted out...knew how to get in undetected.

I stepped out onto the sidewalk, walking briskly to the parking lot across the street. Her jeep was only parked a few down from my car and I smiled as Blair opened the door for her, dotting a kiss on her forehead.

She was interesting.

Worked in a lab at Rainier, spent her days playing with the primates, but I really took a liking to Blair. I had spotted the kid the night I made the 911 call for my dear friend Susan. The younger man showed up with a brute of a cop, looking a little scared and certainly a bit squeamish. Poor kid made a beeline to the porch once he got a look at my handiwork.

I followed them back to the station, a risk but worth it, and had a nice talk with the officer out front in the lobby. It's amazing the kind of information you could get just by asking.

The kid was cute, charming, funny and apparently very smart. Gave one heck of a lecture on some tribe. I wasn't really paying attention to what was said, instead listening to the cadence of his voice and taking in his body movements.

It was intriguing to learn that Blair was working with the police for his doctorate and that his partner, Ellison ended up lead on the Frasier case. I planned my next move the second I found out, calling a reporter to leak some information, hoping to shake some things up, putting a bug in the ear of the department head, offering my expert help if needed, making a call to my previous doctor, letting him know that Cascade's finest were interested in his skills.

It was almost too easy...

I slowed my car, pulling in a few seconds behind them, waiting until they where in the building before going around to the bakery's side entrance and climbing up the fire escape to the roof. I could climb down onto the ledge outside the loft window or swing down to the terrace and stand along the wall with the plants, hiding in the shadows, but the blinds on the bay doors were pulled, so I quickly opened the window of the loft bedroom and slid in, sitting on the floor between the bed and desk, easing forward to see into the living room just as keys jingled in the lock and the front door opened.

I had spent the last few days watching, followed the kid home last night. The cop wasn't there, working late, but Blair was there and he spent most of his evening in the living room, working on his laptop, writing in a journal.

I stayed in the shadows of the terrace until he went to bed and when I was sure that Blair was asleep, I quietly slid through the opened balcony door and moved around the apartment, checking all the windows and doors, climbing the steps to the loft. I only looked at the cop's things, really only interested in unlocking the window along the large bed.

I walked softly over the hardwood floor, scanning the bookshelf and music selection by the stereo, pocketing a few tracks before going into the kitchen and opening the fridge and a few drawers. I made a trip to the bathroom, finding a pik with a few long strands of curly hair and shoved it in my coat before moving to the partly open curtain that led to the small room under the loft.

Blair slept curled in a ball under a heap of blankets, hair fanned out over the pillow and hand resting near his face.

And that's when I decided.

I could be Blair.

Talking from below brought me back to the here and now and I slid a little closer to the edge of the loft, my view clear of the couple kissing and cuddling on the couch.

She whispered something in his ear and then straddled his lap, unbuttoning his shirt and pressing the fabric back before lifting her own dress up and over her head. From my angle, I couldn't see much of Blair, but from the sounds he was making I knew he was becoming aroused.

Blair kissed and fondled her breasts and I could tell she was shoving her hand down the front of his pants. At some point the pants were tossed over the back of the couch and they both lay down, Blair pulled the blanket draped over the back of the couch over them. A glint of something metal caught my attention and I leaned closer, trying to make out what it was.

A nipple ring?

My hand drifted to my own chest and I wondered if I could do something like that to myself. I pinched the pebbling nub through my lacy shirt and decided that I could…already thinking about were I could go to get the piercing.

Moans drifted to my ears and I looked down to see Blair's face, see his eyes close as the china doll moved down his body, head disappearing under the blankets and Blair's mouth dropping open.

She was making him dirty, but that was okay...

I was going to help Blair get clean soon enough.

After a while, she moved back up his body and rested on his chest. I couldn't hear everything that was said, but the action stopped and she stood up quickly and pulled on her dress.

When the door caught on the chain, I got up and scrambled out the window and down the escape, miffed that I wouldn't know what was going to happen next, but not wanting to get caught...at least not yet.

Now…time to visit my dear friend Dr. Bates.

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

He shifted in the wooden desk chair, searching through the piles of papers and books on his desk.

Afternoon sun poured in his window, dust particles floating in the streams of light, making the room with its rows of shelving holding varies artifacts look more like a somber museum instead of an office.

Finding the article he was looking for, Blair booted up his laptop, mind still running in circles over the case he was helping Jim with.

He had screwed up big time at the victim's funeral, giving away the surveillance efforts to the suspect and even days later he felt Jim was still pissed. They had watched the tape from the reporter Hass last night and Jim figured out the suspect was really a man, which totally blew Blair away.

How many transsexual serial killers have you heard about?

Something still seemed off and Blair was determined that he was going to figure it out…make up for his mistake.

The old desktop phone rang and he pushed his computer back to answer. "Hello? Hey Chris. Tonight would be great. Yeah…I'll pick you up at seven. Bye."

"Chris?"

His head shot up and then he was standing, moving rapidly across the room, surprised but pleased. "Lisa."

He grabbed her up in a huge hug, swinging her smaller frame around before putting her back on her feet.

"Whoa." She smiled, pushing her wire rimmed glasses up, brown eyes sparking and black hair falling forward over her petite shoulders. "I'm happy to see you too, but I like to keep my feet on the ground, if you know what I mean."

"What are you doing back? Sit." He led her across the floor to the chair beside his desk, pushing some papers over to lean against the edge, holding her slim hand tightly in his. "I can't believe you're here."

"I'm just stopping by on my way to a symposium at UCLA, but I needed to tie up some things here and I wanted to see how you were doing. What happened to your apartment?" Her hands moved as she spoke and Blair smiled, thinking that was the one thing they had in common.

"Long story, Lee. I'm at a new place now, working with a detective for my doctorate."

She jumped up and pulled him into a hug. "You really found one?"

"Well…" he held her in is arms, suddenly feeling a bit sad, sorry that they hadn't worked out. "Let's just say it looks promising."

"Wanna take a walk?" she asked, taking his arm and leading him toward the door.

They walked slowly through the halls of Hargrove, stopping from time to time to chat, giving Lisa a chance to catch up with people she hadn't seen in almost a year. The sun was bright as they descended the steps to the courtyard, stopping to sit under an old maple tree across from the fountain.

This was one of their favorite places to meet on campus. The fountain was nice to look at and the bubbling sounds of water always seemed to relax them after a hard day of classes, teaching and being taught.

People milled about talking and laughing. Some sat on the concrete walls of the fountain, some at the benches or along the lush green lawn of the court yard. "So how are you really, babe. You're looking really great…and who is Chris? What happened to Melanie?"

"I'm good, Lee." He shifted back, resting against the trunk of the tree, eyes scanning the crowd talking and laughing near the fountain. Casually he asked, "You been seeing anyone new?"

"I've dated a few people, but no one special. Hey, you want to go to dinner? My flight is at seven, we can maybe grab something near the airport."

A ball rolled across the grass and a man hurried over to pick it up, his blond hair pulled back at the base of his neck. "Sorry." He scooped up the ball and turned away quickly to rejoin a group of people waiting on the other side of the walkway.

"No problem, man." Blair watched the retreating figure before tuning back to Lisa. "I would love to, but I need to be back by six."

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

In the latest twist in Cascade's brutal and mystifying female serial killer case, confidential sources report that the police are no longer looking for a woman, but a transvestite.

"Can you believe that?" I watched the captain shake his head, eyeing the detective sitting across from him.

They both seemed so mystified as to how Hass could know this information.

It was like taking candy from a baby.

The door suddenly opened and my newest friend hurried in. I was so focused on him that it was a bit of a surprise when he reached behind him to rap on the door.

"Um, you see, the killer's deal is that he trades identities with his victims. I just had a talk with Billy Bright's band over at Club Doom. And it turns out that the night Billy was killed he bought some dope from a guy in a wheelchair…that guy."

We all followed his pointing finger to the photo of dear sweet Adam. He was one of my first new friends. It was so much more fun than to just drown them and dump them in my secret place.

Making friends was always so hard for me…but that night at my mother's…she did one thing right by me. When I was dragging her to my car, I spotted her scarf hanging on the coat rack near the door and I knew.

From now on I would use a yellow scarf…yellow meant friendship, right and I sure as hell needed a few good ones.

Blair's usual steady voice rose in excitement as he theorized about Walker and he was so close, only Walker wasn't my first. My new friend was a smartie and it made me so proud to have him join my select group.

I decided to introduce myself, see if he recognized me. "Remarkable. I'm Tony Bates."

He looked at me, eyes scanning my face but then he was off again, talking about what he thought the killer's motives were and so I threw him a bone and the look of pleasure that crossed his face was priceless.

When the phone rang I had a pretty good idea what the call might be about and as Ellison raced out, I was hoping my friend would stay and chat a bit, but as I called his name, I could tell he was anxious to follow his former partner.

I wondered what it would be like to work with the police…

And wouldn't that be the ultimate irony?

He thanked me and hurried off, but no matter. I had a phone call to make. A certain reporter was going to love this newest tidbit of information.

The next day was almost too much, but then my friend pulled a whammy.

"Yeah, severe head case. Escaped a California mental institution three months ago. His name's David Lash."

"Three months?" Wow…doesn't seem that long. I need to get to my place and check on some things. Shouldn't smell too bad now.

"I've subpoenaed the patient's file from Watsonville."

Now, that should be an interesting revelation…

I really should be going, but I wanted to see their faces when they figured out my little secret. "Nice work, Detective. You too, Blair. Very impressive fieldwork."

He smiled and thanked me and I wondered if he had any idea how much fun we were going to have.

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

"Okay, just relax." Blair repeated the words over and over, hurrying to his car and slamming the door shut, locking it with his elbow.

Think, think, think.

Gunning the engine, he pulled out into traffic and tried to settle down. "It was just my imagination…yeah, that's it."

The rush hour roads were heavily congested, but he managed to dart in and out of traffic, heading south toward the precinct. Half way there he slammed on the brakes and made a quick u turn, horns blared, one passing motorist giving him the finger.

Jim had called him at his office earlier to tell him Simon had given Jim some down time. Hopefully his roommate would be home.

He threw the car into park, running into the lobby and up the steps. Once safe behind the dead bolted door, he rested against the hardwood, breathing deep to get himself under control

The bay doors to the terrace were open and the evening breeze coming off the bay blew the binds.

I really need to make sure I lock those before I leave.

Securing the door and pulling the blinds he made a beeline to the phone, swearing when Jim's voice mail picked up. Trying again, he paged his friend, remembering to put a 911 on the end of their home number, just like Jim had told him if he ever needed to get a hold of him in a hurry.

"Ring…come on, ring."

Resting along the kitchen island, he caught sight of shadows on the roof, dancing in front of the skylight and as he prepared to head for the fire escape exit, the front door blew off its hinges and a crazy David Lash in a dark curly wig advanced on him.

"Hey there, dude."

It was all he could do to run toward the back of the loft, hoping to make the rear exit, but a strong hand grabbed at his shirt and Blair turned, fist flying and landing squarely on the jaw of his attacker.

The move enraged the crazy man, who wiped a trickle of blood on his sleeve. "That was like, so not cool, man." and with extraordinary speed he barreled into Blair, knocking them both to the ground.

They both grappled, Blair tried to buck him off, finally managing to scoot out from under Lash and got his footing, just clearing the end table as the lunatic grabbed his ankle. He got the lamp and threw it, missing as Lash twisted away and incredibly he was on him again, pinning him on the sofa, digging his fingers into the soft flesh of Blair's belly and ribs. "Stop playing, man. Just relax. A nice hot bath will take care of all your problems, dude."

Blair shook his head, pushing against the man's chest, trying to bring his legs up.

"Don't be scared…I'm just going to help you."

He twisted again, sending Lash off balance, rolling to the floor and crawling as far away as he could, sending the TV crashing to the floor as he tried to stand and then something soft pressed over his mouth and nose.

"S'kay, s'kay…you'll see."

His head spun and bile rose to the back of his throat as something yellow flashed before his eyes and then he was hanging upside down. "I can't give you a bath yet…can't take the chance of my new partner barging in, but when I get you back to my place…"

Blair's vision grayed but he fought to stay alert. No one would be able to help him if he let Lash take him, but the next time he opened his eyes he was bouncing around in a dark cramped place. He could only hear his own labored breathing, squeaky brakes and the smooth tires sliding over asphalt.

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

"Hush little baby, don't say a word…"

I ran my hand through his wavy hair and along his pale cheek. His pulse was slow and I worried that I might have overdosed him. I never used the cloth before.

This was sooo boring. I wanted him to wake up so we could play.

"Mama's gonna buy you a duckling bird…" He looked so much younger, mouth pressed into a thin line and eyes fluttering under lightly closed lashes.

The skin of his throat was smooth, little hairs were growing back in around his jaw line and I ran my thumb up and over, outlining the ridge of his lower lip and fingering a little pock mark near his mouth.

He shifted away from me moaning, but I hushed him, taking a minute to unbutton his shirt, scraping my finger over the tiny metal hoop, still feeling the little ache in my own chest. He frowned as I felt his skin, breathing deep like he might wake up.

"Shhh…And if the ducky bird won't quack just yet…Mama said Davey can ring its neck." My hand went back to his throat and I pressed on the bobbing Adam's apple.

It would be so easy.

"No, no…not yet. Be patient Davey, be patient."

His eyes fluttered and I stepped back into the shadows of my hiding place. I could hardly see him, but the chains rattled and I could hear his panicked breathing from across the room.

This was going to be so much fun.

He went still again and I moved forward to pick him up.

"Man, you are no lightweight, dude." He didn't move as I carried him across the floor and into the freight elevator. My room was awash with candles, cause I knew my new friend dug them. "Careful of the step, man. That's for party crashers."

I dumped him in the chair and tapped his face. "Time to wakey, wakey."

He peeled his eyes opened and then they went all wide and he was breathing so fast I thought he might levitate out of my play chair. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay. I'd like you to meet my friends."

I took my time showing him around my home, but I don't think he was paying attention.

Rude, really, but he started to scream into the gag when I showed him my tribute to all things Blair. I had his jungle music playing softly in the background and a few of his photos taped to an Indian woven throw rug I nabbed from his room. I was wearing his coat with a piece of tape over the sleeve and I wondered about the story behind that.

"So who is your new friend, pretty little thing with long black hair, nerdy glasses? And what's with taking her to Jad's at the airport?"

He was shaking his head and I wondered if he was trying to clear it or if he was denying what I was saying.

This was my favorite part…I had poor Susan believing that her mother was slit from throat to cunt. What a hoot.

"Too bad she missed her flight…but we had a great time, man."

He was screaming so much now that I couldn't make out his mumbles, but that was okay, I needed to hear him some more anyway. He closed his eyes again and I guessed the drugs still had a good hold on him.

"Come on, Hairy Blairy…wake up." I slapped his face a few more times and his eyes opened all wide again and he screamed some more. I ran my buddy Billy's drumsticks over his face and arms and watched him squirm and yell through his gag again.

As soon as I pulled it from his mouth he yelled as loud as he could, but he was wasting his breath. "Screw you, you head case! Help! Help me!"

"You just relax. We're going to see the ducks and then you're going to have a nice… you're going to have...have a nice bath." His head was rocking back and forth on the rest and suddenly I was getting tired of this game. "Are you ready to die? Cause...I'm ready."

A swirling mass of excitement started in my belly and spread to my chest, shooting little jolts of pleasure down my legs and settling in my balls.

I hadn't ever been able to get it up, but maybe this would be the time…

He was screaming about not knowing him, but I did…I knew all about him…

Fuck Mrs. Danbush and her tree.

And he thought I was the freak?

Well screw you, man…cause I was not the one strapped to a chair getting ready to take a permanent swim.

Blair shook his head again, "You can't be me. Only I think what I think, feel what I feel."

Feeling, oh, oh, oh feelings…

"I can be you! I can be…"

It was all messed up…he was messing it up. "Shut up, man."

"You think you know who I am? I know more about you. Poor little Homer."

Homer…so tiny and soft.

"Why did you make mommy punish you? You know, if you had just been a good little boy…a good little Davey…mama wouldn't have had to scrub you in all those hot baths."

Shut up, shut up, shut up.

It took some doing, I was practically in his lap, but I managed to get him to swallow his next dose of my feel good juice. It wouldn't do a thing for him, but it sure did make me feel fantastic.

"Police. Freeze."

Well, fuck…lets make it a party.

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

Blair bolted up as soon as his eyes popped opened and yelled into whatever was covering his face.

"Easy, Chief. You're okay." Strong hands gripped his shuddering shoulders, but didn't try to ease him back down onto the bed. "You're at Mercy, but you're okay."

His eyes darted around the small room, taking in some machines and a curtain pulled across the opening. "He's…he's gone?"

Jim's hand moved around to his back, rubbing in soothing circles and Blair tried to calm his breathing, realizing he had an oxygen mask over his face. "He can't hurt anyone ever again."

An older woman stuck her head in, "Everything okay in here?"

"He was just a little disoriented this time, but he's calming down now." She nodded at Jim and slipped back out. "You want to lay down, buddy?"

He quickly shook his head, feeling the front of the bed come up to meet his back.

"I didn't think so." Jim quipped, hooking a chair with his foot and pulling it closer.

Blair scanned the windowless room again, body still shaking, but calming.

"If you can stay awake for a bit, the doctor will shake you loose."

"Huh?" He couldn't seem to focus, his mind bouncing from one thought to the next and he knew he was forgetting something.

Jim scooted closer, resting a hand on Blair's thigh through the thin white sheet. "You've been here for a while, Blair. But you haven't been too lucid. The doctor said it's just the drug. You got a little too much, but it's wearing off." Jim nodded to his hand and he noticed the tube taped to his arm, following the line up to a mostly collapsed bag hanging on a pole.

"You kill...you killed him?"

Jim nodded, "I got him, so don't worry."

"I thought I was a goner, man." A little hysterical chuckle slipped out. "How did you find me?"

"It was a joint effort, but you did a good job of staying alive until I got there."

He dropped his head, not really sure how he managed to stay alive when others weren't as lucky. He had a vague recollection of being really scared and then mouthing off, not sure where that would get him. "I don't know…"

"I do. You did everything right."

"Oh god." He leaned forward, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed, tangling his feet in the sheets, almost falling in his hurry to get up. Jim grabbed his arm, supporting him as he sank toward the floor. "Lisa…Jim, he said he killed Lisa."

"Easy, easy." Jim guided him to sit on the bed and pushed his head down between his knees. "Who's Lisa?"

"She's, she's a friend. He was watching me, I guess. Knew I took her to the airport."

"Give me her full name and I'll make some calls."

"Langley. Lisa Langley." He sat up slowly and leaned against the pillow. "She was on her way to LAX, but he said he got her before she boarded."

"Let me check it out." Jim scooted out as a man dressed in scrubs came in.

The E.R. doctor checked him over and then sent the nurse back in with his discharge papers.

He was dressed by the time Jim got back, cell phone still pressed to his ear. "I talked to the airport and they confirmed a passenger by that name boarded and exited at LAX. He was probably playing mind games with you, Chief."

"I want to call her." He stood, still feeling a little dizzy, but the cobwebs were dissipating and he could think a little better.

"Blair, it's three in the morning." Jim moved in step with him as he pushed the curtain back, squinting at the bright lights of the hallway. "How about you get some rest first?"

"No, man…now." He followed the hall to the exit, stepping through the parting doors into the cool of the morning. "I've got her number at home in my address book." Then he stopped suddenly, looking around.

"Over here, Chief." Jim led the way to the truck, opening the door for him and waiting until he was buckled in before moving around to his own side.

Blair drummed his fingers on his thighs, wishing Jim would go a little faster, wondering if he could convince him to use his lights and sirens.

As they pulled up to the parking lot, Jim turned to him. "I've got to warn you…" But Blair wasn't listening; throwing opened the door and hurried into the building with Jim on his heels.

"Let's take the elevator, huh."

Sighing, he turned from the steps, grateful the doors parted as soon as Jim pressed the button. "The apartments a little rough looking."

He nodded, but slowed as he spotted the police tape across the broken front door. Jim had to move the door away and they ducked under the tape.

The living room looked worse than Larry's last visit, but he only gave a cursory glance, wanting to get to his desk and address book. Jim left him alone as he searched, finding the little book buried under a few folders and papers.

Dialing he listened to ring after ring. "Come on, Lee. Pick up." When the ring reached eleven, he began to move the receiver away from his ear, ready to hang up when a small sleepy voice said hello.

"Lee?" Relief washed through him and he dropped down to his unmade bed.

"Blair? What's wrong?"

"I ah…I know it's late, I just needed…I needed…"

"Hey, are you all right?"

"Yeah. I'm good. I'm sorry it's so late, but I just needed to make sure you're okay. I thought maybe…something might have happened…" He shifted the phone to the other ear, cradling it between his cheek and shoulder. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be. You can call me whenever for whatever, 'kay?"

"Yeah, thanks Lee. I'll call you back at a more decent hour to explain. Night."

"Good night, Blair."

He hung up, looking around his trashed room for the first time, noting a few empty picture frames and things pulled from his closet, his clothes and books tossed all over the floor.

"Hey, Chief? How about we check into a motel and get some rest. We can clean up later." Jim stood in the doorway to his room, holding an overnight bag.

"Yeah, okay." He looked around, trying to figure out what to take.

"I got some clean clothes for you already packed."

Blair followed his roommate to the door, looking around one more time. Maybe this was a huge mistake after all. Maybe he didn't belong in Jim's world.

"You ready?" Jim held out his jacket, helping him to slip it on.

And maybe he just needed a good night's sleep and time to process.

"Thanks, man."

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

In a daring 11th-hour rescue, Detective Ellison saved the life of a police observer by gunning the killer down moments before he would have struck again. And so, Cascade will sleep easy tonight because of you, Detective.

The bullpen erupted, people gathered around to talk and joke with Jim.

Blair waited until the crowd parted, glad that they didn't ask him any questions. "Hey, Jim, last night when you said I did everything right…did you mean that?"

His partner seemed a little surprised, but reassured him that he meant every word.

"You know, the Chinese believe when you save a man's life you become his blessed protector and it's your duty to do that for the rest of your life."

They grabbed their coats and headed to the elevator and home. The apartment was back in order after a hard day of work and Jim even managed to get a new door installed and ordered a security system.

"Really? Well, here's today's rescue…call Christine. Beg, crawl, whatever you got to do."

"I'm pretty good at that, huh?" He wished he could pull the words back as soon as they passed his lips, but since they were out, he changed the subject, joking about getting a tattoo.

They stepped into the car, both reaching for the button. "Let me tell you something. You get a tattoo and your blessed protector's going to kick your ass down seven flights to the lobby."

And that's when he knew.

It was going to work out after all.

The End

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