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.

Mosaic 2:

Scenting Sandburg

by Arnie

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There's something wrong with Jim again. He thinks I can't tell, that I don't realise, but I do. He's...scenting me again.

I noticed after I moved in that he was forever smelling me and, at first, I was paranoid about it. I'd have a shower, be in the kitchen toasting a bagel, and he'd wander past...sniffing me.

I started keeping deodorant in my office so I could spray myself before class.

Fortunately, before I cornered the market in deodorant, it finally occurred to me that it was something to do with the whole Sentinel thing, though I haven't noticed him obsessively sniffing someone else, you know? But he likes to scan me every day so maybe it's all part of that. Maybe he's thinking I'm going to drop dead and he'd like some warning. But, whatever, he scans me every chance he gets, and I've learned to put up with it. Hey, I knew getting into this that there'd be drawbacks about studying a Sentinel!

But tonight....

I came in and noticed his mood straight away. He was out on the balcony staring at ships again like he was a million miles away. I kept on talking about Mrs. Peterson and that dog of hers. Why she named him Snookums is beyond me; she should have called him Savage or Barking Mad - those names would suit him better.

But I kept on talking 'cause I knew Jim was listening and, after a few minutes, he came back in, leaned past me and sniffed me again. He thinks I don't realise he's doing it but I do. How can you miss it?

I asked him what was wrong and he promptly changed the subject on me. That's another giveaway. If I ever finish this dissertation it'll have a whole chapter on "how to tell when Jim's being secretive", though that won't be in the authorised version. That'll just be so I can keep one step ahead of him. In fact, the only time he managed to fool me was when he took off for Clayton Falls with no warning.

Oh, man, he's not going to do that again, is he? If he is, no matter what Simon says, I'm not going after him. Simon can go and get bubonic plague - I'll stay here and wait for Jim to get back.

I let Jim change the subject but I wasn't surprised when he refused to try my Tofu Surprise. I don't know why he's so resistant to tofu - it's good for you. Oh, maybe that's my answer right there. Some researcher I am.

Anyway, Jim suggested Thai food which is my absolute favourite - and he knows it. I swear he keeps that menu for when he needs to bring out the big guns. But I took the menu and ordered our food, then looked at him. He was pretending to focus on the game that was going to start but, whatever it is that's wrong, it was bugging him. Finally, I couldn't help myself and I asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

He turned and rolled his eyes at me. "Yeah, I'm fine. Now get over here. The game's gonna start."

"Okay." I went and sat beside him on the couch, pretending to turn my attention to the game like a good old American boy but, really, I was thinking about him.

Even now, halfway through the game, I can tell there's still something wrong, not that Jim's going to admit to it any time soon. But we Sandburgs have always been the tenacious type (Naomi being the exception) and whatever it is, I'll get it out of him.

After all, I'm not going anywhere, and he's gotta talk sooner or later.

The End.

23rd March 2006.

On to Mosaic 3

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