The Marker Pen
"Uh, Jim...what's that for?" Blair asked, noting the way the Sentinel was looking at him and twiddling the marker pen in his fingers.
Unsettled and a little bit concerned, Blair kept an eye on his roommate while pretending to read his book. It wasn't like Jim to fiddle with things.
His concern grew as Jim wandered around the room, the pen still trapped between his fingers.
The casual whistling from Jim really raised flags for Blair, and he put his book down. Either the Sentinel was suffering from more Golden-induced blindness, or he was up to something
Blair watched as Jim wandered past the couch once more, then settled on the coffee table in front of him.
"Are you sure you're all right?"
"Well," Jim snapped the top off the pen, "I was thinking."
"Thinking what?" Blair prompted, wondering if Jim was going to start writing on the furniture.
"You know how I've security marked all the valuables?"
"Yes?" Blair knew Jim had. It was one of his yearly rituals: buy new security marker pen and mark everything expensive with address.
"Well, I realised that there's something I missed," Jim confided.
"Okay..." Blair thought it over for a moment. "But that's not a security marker, Jim, that's a Sharpie."
"Yeah, I know. I need this to be visibly marked."
Blair knew that that wasn't the point of security marker pens and he frowned as he wondered whether Jim had ingested something that had upset him...yet again. "You haven't eaten anything unusual, have you, Jim?"
"No." Jim waved the pen in the air a few inches from Blair's nose, and Blair automatically leaned back.
"Or drunk anything unusual?"
"No, no." Jim moved off the coffee table and settled next to Blair on the couch - very next to Blair.
Blair moved up a few inches until his hip was pressing against the side, only to find that Jim followed him, the Sentinel's hip tightly tucked against his.
"Then...what is it you want to mark, Jim?" Blair hoped there was a logical explanation for this, because he was getting the impression from the intent look in Jim's eyes, that the Sentinel intended to mark his Guide.
As Jim said the word, Blair made a lunge forward off the couch, only to have his forward motion stopped by the arm that snapped out in front of him.
Pushed back, cornered, Blair did what he could, planting his hands on the Sentinel's shoulders and pushing hard. "Jim, you can't mark me, I'm not property!"
The intent look in the Sentinel's eyes grew. "You're my Guide and after today, everyone will know it."
Blair wriggled furiously, then yelled out in indignant disbelief as his Sentinel somehow managed to trap him in place and still have a hand free to write with. "Jim, c'mon, man! You can't write on me!" Blair's eyes crossed as he followed the nib of the pen up.
"Just hold still, Chief; I want this to be legible."
The arm across his chest moved up and stopped beneath his chin, forcing his head back against the couch without putting pressure on his throat.
"Jim!" Blair's eyes snapped shut as he felt the Sharpie on his forehead. Maybe if he wasn't looking, it wasn't happening.
A few strokes later, and his chin was released. "Done. I think it looks good."
Furiously pushing his way free, Blair scrambled off the couch and ran to the bathroom. It took him a few seconds to read the writing as it appeared backwards in his vision. "Mine? You marked me with 'MINE'?!"
Jim smiled as he put the cap back on the pen. "Yep. I was going to put 'Ellison's' but that was too long. I figure everyone will know who wrote it anyway."
For a few seconds, Blair stared at his moronic roommate, then he hurled himself at him. "You stupid idiot! You've written on my forehead!"
Opening his eyes, Blair stared up at Jim who was standing in his bedroom doorway, then stared down at his pillow which he was attempting to throttle.
"Are you all right?"
Blair sat up in bed and glared at his Sentinel. "Tomorrow, I'm getting rid of ALL the marker pens. You understand me?!"
"Uh...if you say so, Sandburg."
Still annoyed, Blair flopped back on his bed, shoving his pillow under his head and turning his back on his roommate.
"I'm going back up to bed now, Chief. If you're sure you're okay?"
"I'm fine," Blair replied, snippily.
The light clicked off and Blair snuggled back into his pillow. It had just been a dream.
Suddenly suspicious, Blair turned on his lamp and hurried through the dark hall to the bathroom.
The brighter light was right in his eyes and for a second, he blinked at his reflection, then what he was seeing sank in.
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