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.

Another Friend Lost

Epilogue to Sweet Science

by Leesa Perrie

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Rain.

Cold and wet.

Blair stands by the open balcony door, sheltered from the rain, but feeling the cold and hearing the splatter of raindrops. It suits his mood, to watch the rain like this.

Roy. An old friend, lost. Gone. Snuffed out like a flame. For what? Some lousy counterfeiters. He damns them all. Their deaths were too good for them. They took away his friend. Yet another friend lost, because of crime. He hates them all. He knows hate is wrong, that it will only hurt him. That it's bad for his karma. Bad for his soul. But he can't help it. They, criminals, had taken his friend. His friends.

Janet. Poor Janet. If he hadn't got her involved. If he hadn't asked her to do some looking around at Cyclops. Maybe she would have found out at some stage anyway, what was going on there. But maybe she wouldn't have died.

And Professor Buckner. Why did he have to be involved in something illegal? Why did he have to die for it? Buckner had been good to him. Looked out for him and helped him to fit into university life. Had been like a mentor, maybe even a little bit of a father figure, like Eli. It is hard for him to accept that Buckner was involved in something illegal. Even harder to come to terms with his death.

How many more friends will he lose? Is it coincidence? Or is it him? Is it too dangerous to be his friend?

Why hadn't Roy gone straight to the police? Why did he try to handle it himself? Damn him too, for getting himself killed.

And damn himself for letting two years go by without seeing Roy. Taking time for granted. Getting too busy in his own life to go see an old friend.

The rain is still falling. Cascading. This city is obviously named for the rain.

The view becomes blurred, as wetness slips from Blair's eyes. A sob, quiet and forlorn, escapes.

The anger abates. Grief fills the void it leaves behind. Grief, pure and simple. If grief can ever be pure and simple.

A key in the door. Blair closes his eyes, wiping the tears away, as Jim enters their home.

"Hey, Chief. You okay?"

A shrug of the shoulders. Jim comes over, placing the blanket from the couch around those shoulders.

"Looking a bit cold there, Chief."

"Thanks," is the mumbled reply.

"You know, if you want to talk about it, I'm all ears."

Blair raises a small smile at the old joke.

"Not right now, Jim."

"Hey, that's okay. You know where I am if you want me. I'll get started on dinner, spaghetti okay?"

"Sure."

Sounds of pans being pulled out and food being prepared fill the loft.

Blair closes the balcony doors. Outside it is still raining hard, overcast and cold. But inside, a tiny sliver of sunlight breaks through the storm. Blair walks to the couch and sits down. He will be okay. He will get through this darkness. But not alone. Never alone. The tiny sliver of sunlight has a name. And that name in Jim.

The End

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