Blair makes a decision about the child-like Jim's custody.

This is part of a series of short stories I have written in which Jim has been brain damaged in a car wreck. Nothing original or earth-shattering other than that. If you donít like one of the guys permanently damaged, pass on this story and all the LBJ (Little Boy Jim, not Lyndon Baines Johnson) snippets that will turn up here. Iím working on and off on a longer story that deals with the beginning of the AU.

This all happens post TS by BS, by the way, and includes a romance between Megan and Blair.

These were all posted to the SA list some time ago, but Iíve added a little here and taken out some there so they are a tad different from what was posted.

I have no knowledge of treatment of head trauma or custody procedings and quite honestly, don't plan to research either one.

By the way, most of these were written out of order. Iím also still looking for a couple of snippets that were posted (I think) to SA but that I haven't found on my disks yet.

Anyway: the characters are not mine and never will be. No money is being made and, considering the time I spend on these silly things, it could be argued that they cost me money. Anyway, on with the stories. Oh, yes, not betaed, either.

Decisions

By Madraf

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Blair Sandburg stood at the large window of Simon Banks' living room and watched Jim play with the puppy in the back yard.

"I didn't know you had a dog, Simon," Blair said, smiling as Jim rubbed the puppy's belly and laughed as it nibbled his fingers.

"Daryl's idea," Simon said. "He brought it home about a week ago."

"I never knew Daryl was a dog person."

"He wasn't, until Joellen mentioned what a sweet little thing that puppy was and how it would probably be put to sleep if it went to the humane society."

Blair nodded knowingly, seeing in his mind the inevitable conclusion to that remark. "What are you going to do with it?"

Simon shrugged, coming to stand beside Blair and handing him the glass of iced tea he'd made. Together they watched their friend roll the puppy on the ground and play tug of war with the old towel the puppy had claimed as its toy.

"What brings you by today?" Simon asked, moving to sit in his recliner which gave him a good view of the back yard and its occupants.

"Just wanted to visit an old friend," Blair said. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a white noise generator which he placed on the window shelf and turned on. In the yard, Jim's head snapped up and he threw a near-panicked look at the house, forgetting the puppy and rising immediately. He had already taken two steps toward the house before he focused in on Blair waving and smiling at him from inside the house. He smiled back and, confident in his friend's presence, turned his attention back toward the puppy.

"How's it working out?" Simon asked.

Blair shrugged and took a seat of his own across the room. "He's showing some improvement, I think. Not fast enough for his father, but it's there. His writing is getting better and he's reading a little."

"It's amazing what you've accomplished, Blair," Simon said. "No one thought he'd wake up again, and then they tried to say he'd never function again. You're good for him."

Blair looked up and rolled the glass between his hands. "I'm glad you think that, Simon," Blair began, "because I'm going to need your help." Simon waited patiently. "I want to get legal custody of Jim."

"Why?"

"Because I can help him. If something happens to him, I need the authority to direct his care. I won't let what happened last time happen again."

Simon leaned forward, brow creased. "What do you mean? Are you saying, Jim shouldn't be like this?"

"No, Simon," Blair said sadly. "The damage was done at the accident. No matter when I'd gotten here or if I'd been here, he would still be brain damaged. But he shouldn't have been unconscious all that time. He should have been awake much sooner, but William didn't know to keep him off of certain drugs. He didn't talk to him to wake him up." Blair stood up to pace the room.

"He's still hoping Jim's senses will go away. He doesn't take them seriously or the dangers they could cause. I'm afraid, despite his best intentions, that he'll just put Jim in a home somewhere. Jim couldn't survive in a group home environment, Simon. The sounds and the smells and the sights would get to him and he'd lose it and end up somewhere else he doesn't belong."

"Blair," Simon asked softly. "Have you really thought about this?" He pointed to the man in his back yard. "He's not going to be much better than he is now. He'll need constant care. Not to mention he's a hell of a lot bigger than you are. Have you seen the temper tantrums he can pull?"

"Jim wouldn't physically hurt me."

"Not intentionally. But he wouldn't intentionally run his truck into a telephone pole either."

"So, what? You won't help me because I'm not bigger than Jim and might makes right any way so if someone's not bigger than you, you can't handle them?"

"That's not what I'm saying."

"It's what it sounds like."

"Sandburg, just listen to me. You've put the last two years behind you. You've got your degree and despite the unpleasantness of two years ago, I'd bet you could get just about any position you want. You've just gotten married, for God's sake. That alone takes some adjustment time."

"I know what I'm supposed to do, Simon. I'm supposed to take care of Jim."

"What does Megan say about this?"

"She's behind me, Simon. I wouldn't take this step without her approval." He looked to the Cascade police officer. "I may need your help to convince the courts. If I have to, I'll tell the judge about his senses."

"You don't think they'll just go away?"

"No. They might, but I don't think so." He studied Simon. "You think I want to continue to study them, don't you? You think that's the reason I'm wanting this?"

"No, Sandburg, I know you better than that." Simon's apology came quickly and Blair chose to believe it. Simon stood and went to the window to watch his former detective. "He's different when he's with you," the Cascade police captain finally said. "He's more like the little boy they tell us he is. With his dad, he's always so quiet, so careful, so nervous."

"I know."

"I just want to slap Ellison sometime and tell him to lighten up on Jim."

"He just wants his son back," Blair said. "He won't get that son back, and he's not comfortable with this son."

"And you?"

"I'd give my life to get the old Jim Ellison back," Blair said, looking away from the captain. "But, if I can't do that, I'll just keep the friend I've found in this Jim Ellison."

"I'll do what I can, Sandburg."

End

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