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: Blair's barely hanging on

Notes: 21st story in my summer writing series, missing scene from Blind Man's Bluff

Feedback: Always welcome

All That Glitters

by Twilight (Dawn)

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The first time he came to, he could hear someone talking. Noises filtered through his muzzy mind, a constant beeping and hum, but also words.

He couldn't understand what they meant, but he knew they were words and that meant someone was nearby.

He tried to hang onto the noise, tried to tether himself to the sound, because he also knew something was very wrong with him.

He hurt, but at the same time he was somehow floating, His body felt light, but he could feel a pressure on his hand…someone was holding his hand and he tried to squeeze back, but he had no control over his limbs.

And then it was all slipping away…he tried to hang on, but in the end he just couldn't.

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The next time Blair came to, he could smell cherry wood cigar and antiseptic.

It turned his stomach and he tried to take a deep breath, but found that something stiff and unyielding was down his throat.

"Don't fight it, Sandburg…it's helping you breathe."

The pressure was back on his hand and this time his body was heavy and full, weighted down and sinking into whatever he was laying on. He thought that maybe he was squeezing back and instead of words, he clung to the hand in his weak grip.

"That's it, just calm down." Then a warm hand settled on his face, fingers rubbing under his closed eyes, wiping away the tears that fell unchecked. "Shh…You're gonna be just fine and Jim will be back in a minute…figures you would wake up while he's in the john."

He still hurt, but now it seemed hidden behind a sheer curtain. He could almost see it, but if he only thought about the weight on his hand, the pain stayed at bay.

This time when he slipped away, he was still holding Simon's hand, and he thought that maybe whatever was wrong with him, might just be okay.

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The next time he came to, his eyes just opened on their own and everything was blurry with a muted golden hue.

His body was comfortably numb, and he tried to stay very still so it would stay that way, but something itched on his belly and he squirmed a little, trying to shift.

Once he moved, his muscles came back to life and the numbness receded. His legs ached, and his back burned slow and even, and his head pounded in time with his heart.

He knew he was in the hospital because he could still smell antiseptic and hear the hum and beeps of the machines that surrounded him, but he could also feel a slight pressure on his hand and found that he was holding someone's fingers.

It took a few seconds before he could slightly turn his head, being very careful not to dislodge or disturb the tube that breathed for him, to see Jim slumped in a chair across from where he was laying.

His partner was deeply sleeping; head canted back and mouth hanging wide open and Blair's fingers jerked when he tried to let Jim know that he was awake.

Jim mumbled something in his sleep and then sat up with a start. "Blair. Buddy, are you okay?"

Jim sat forward, grabbing the bed rail and Blair frantically groped at Jim's arm to get the contact back.

"Easy." Jim told him, taking up Blair's hand again. "I got you, you're doing fine."

And Blair hung on, because it felt good to be grounded by the pressure on his skin and bones, and the words that Jim spoke, and for the first time he felt like maybe he wasn't going to slip away again.

The End

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