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.

Breaking Point

by Arnie

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"Go, man...just go. I'll have dinner ready by the time you've finished." Sandburg followed up his order with a slight push of his friend's shoulder. After rolling around on the rafters, having a knock down fight with Ray Krause, and having to hold on to a couple of long cables with the aforementioned murderer clinging to his waist, Sandburg figured that Jim needed to stand under the shower for ten minutes letting the hot water soak away his aches and pains.

Nodding tiredly, Jim headed for the bathroom, pausing only to collect some clean clothes on the way. Blair rifled through the cupboards, considering his options; he needed something quick and easy. Shrugging, he grabbed for the bag of pasta and put a pot of water on to boil. Nothing was easier than pasta.

Fifteen minutes later, the meal was ready and so was Jim. He wandered out of the bathroom, wearing sweats and a t-shirt, towelling his hair dry.

"Feeling better?" Blair put a dishful of garlic bread on the dinner table and turned to look at his friend.

Jim stretched. "Definitely."

"I bet Orvelle is too. I think he knew he was going to be arrested."

"He would have been too, if you hadn't come up with that information about Krause." Jim dug a fork into his mound of pasta, his eyes fixed on Blair's face. "How did you find out about Krause?"

"Huh?" Blair looked up from his meal, his face blank while his mind was racing.

"How did you know about Krause?"

Blair smiled modestly, tilting his head to one side as he retorted, "I can't name my sources, man. You should know that."

"Uh huh. This heavily-connected source of yours." Jim's tone was suspicious, as well it might be. "So it wasn't Robert then?" he asked, referring to Blair's bookie cousin.

"Robert? No, it wasn't Robert." Blair knew it was hopeless, but he had to keep on trying. Jim had become a detective because he was good at digging up the truth, and his Sentinel abilities gave him an edge. Unfortunately, it also meant that he knew when Blair was lying, which wasn't so great for Blair who'd made obfuscation almost a way of life.

"So who was it?"

"C'mon, man! I said I can't name my sources." Blair smiled then took another mouthful of pasta.

"So you did." Twirling his spoon for a second, Jim's eyes rested on Blair's face.

Knowing that Jim was staring at him, Blair kept his gaze firmly on his plate. "Did Krause say anything while you and he were hanging around waiting to be rescued?"

"He swore a lot."

Blair nodded. "He must have thought he was home free after kidnapping Shelley."

"Yeah, I guess he did."

The rest of the meal was finished in silence and Blair hurriedly grabbed the dirty dishes. "Why don't you check the news? You'll probably see yourself...well, if they bother to mention you after that Jags win tonight."

Jim smiled slightly, grabbing the TV remote and turning the set on.

Left alone, Blair pottered around the kitchen, washing the dishes and pans and dragging out the cleaning up for as long as possible. After drying the dishes, he turned to put them into the cupboard and came to a sudden stop as he ran into his large roommate.

"So who was your informant?"

"Jeez, Jim! Give a guy a heart attack!" Ducking around him, Blair put the dishes away, turned back to the kettle then stopped as he was backed into a corner. His eyes skittered away from Jim's, then he shrugged and sort of capitulated. "Look, he's no one you'd know. Robert knows him...knows of him, and called in a few favors to get him to talk to me. That's all." Looking down at the long arms that were leaning on the countertop either side of him, Blair swallowed. There was no way he was going to tell his Sentinel exactly who this 'no one you'd know' was. No way at all.

"Fine." The arms disappeared as Jim straightened, much to Blair's relief. "I'll ask Robert myself."

"What?" Almost treading on Jim's heels, Blair followed him to the couch. "You can't do that!"

"Yes, I can."

"You don't have his number!"

"I know where he lives." Jim settled himself on the couch, apparently ignoring his frantic roommate.

"Jim, c'mon, man, you can't go there and question him!"

"Sure, I can." The TV remote clicked and the channel changed to show Arnold Schwarzenegger in the middle of blowing something up.

"Look, Jim...."

"Uh uh uh...Terminator."

Glaring at Jim's hand which was held up to silence him, Blair fumed quietly, then, "Fine, I'm going to bed."

"Okay. I'll say hi to Robert for you."

Repressing the urge to scream, Blair dropped his head forward then turned back to the couch. He couldn't let Jim go and question Robert; if he did, he'd never be able to ask Robert for any favor, large or small, again. Not that Robert had wanted to do this favor for him. Once he'd realized exactly who he would be sending his cousin to see, he'd blown a gasket about the whole idea. Robert had a healthy respect for anyone as well-connected as Mr. Glimmerman, and it had taken all of Blair's gift of the gab to get his cousin to set up the meeting for him. Looking down he saw that Jim was smiling at him and Blair cursed inwardly, knowing that Jim knew he'd won.

"Okay, fine. It was Glimmerman, okay?"

The smile disappeared as Jim frowned. "Glimmerman?"

"Yes, Glimmerman."

"Joseph Glimmerman?"

Blair stood his ground, although his instincts were to run screaming from the storm that was about to be unleashed around him. "Yes. Joseph Glimmerman."

Jim shifted on the couch, turned off the TV and then turned so that he could see Blair better. "And you went and...casually... questioned Joseph Glimmerman about Krause?"

"It wasn't like that!"

"Well, what was it like?"

"I asked Robert to find someone who knew about Ray Krause and he was it. So, I -"

"Went and questioned him." Jim's voice was loud, and Blair knew it would get louder.

"Well, I -"

"Do you have any idea just who Joseph Glimmerman is?"

Blair winced; he was right about Jim's voice getting louder. "Yes."

"And you still went to see him?"

"Jim, we needed information on Ray Krause! You were going to arrest Orvelle Wallace and there was nothing anyone could do about it!"

Jim got to his feet and walked around the couch to confront Blair, who, sensibly, backed off out of his reach. "We were going to arrest Orvelle on the evidence we had. We did not go into a loan shark's office - make that a heavily-connected loan shark's office - and ask him questions!"

"Well, maybe you should have!"

The red-hot glare in Jim's eyes was enough to melt ice, and Blair backed up to the front door as his Sentinel stalked towards him, but Jim didn't stop until he'd invaded Blair's personal space.

"First of all, you knowingly withheld information about the investigation, and then you go and put your life at risk by talking to a loan shark with enough connections to fill a dozen black books!"

"Yeah, that just about sums it up." He'd known when he made that call to Robert that Jim would stop him if he'd found out, which was precisely why he hadn't said a word. But what else could he have done? He'd known Orvelle was innocent, which was one of the reasons why he hadn't mentioned the piece of rhino horn from the bracelet, and he knew that he'd just needed something to prove that someone else had a bigger motive.

"And you didn't think to tell me before you went and talked to this guy?"

"You wouldn't have let me go!"

"Damn straight I wouldn't!"

"So now you know why I didn't tell you!"

There was a few seconds silence, and then the volcano blew. "You knew I'd stop you, and that's why you didn't tell me. Did it occur to you that I might have had good reason for stopping you? That...Glimmerman is connected to a mob family. He's more than connected, he practically is family! You could have gotten your head blown off, you could have turned up with concrete shoes - and yet you casually waltzed into his office and asked him about Ray Krause!"

Jim's hands were on his shoulders now, and Blair was aware that Jim was longing to shake some sense into him. Only the fact that he was pinned to the front door and therefore had no room to be shaken in, was stopping that.

"If you ever pull that kind of a stunt again, Chief, so help me, it won't be Glimmerman you'll have to worry about! Got it?!"

Blair nodded hastily. "Got it."

The hands that were holding his shoulders so tightly finally relaxed, and Jim sighed and shut his eyes for a moment. "Okay, Chief, it's done. But next time, tell me first... okay?"

Blair nodded again, although he knew there was no danger of him ever being able to get such a big favour from his cousin again - not that he was going to admit that one to Jim.

"C'mon, Terminator's on. After fighting with Krause, I feel like some mindless violence."

"Okay, I'll make some tea." Moving around Jim, Blair made his way back to the kettle, well aware of the fact that his Sentinel's eyes were fixed on his back.

"Sandburg."

"Yeah?" Blair turned cautiously, wondering what was next, then he almost gaped at Jim's obviously reluctant words.

"You did good."

Recovering himself, a smile lit up Sandburg's face. "Thanks, man. Though I really couldn't do anything else. I mean, I knew Orvelle was innocent."

~finis~

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