Not His Night
Jim Ellison opened his eyes and looked around his quiet bedroom, listening carefully. After a few seconds he shook his head and shut his eyes. He must have imagined it.
His eyes shot open and he frowned. He could have sworn....
Stretching his hearing, he listened to the sounds in the loft, then shook his head again. Whatever it was, it was gone. Wriggling a little to get comfortable, he shut his eyes once more and sighed as he started to drift back into sleep.
This time he sat up, a scowl on his face. He'd been caught up in a police case for five days straight now, snatching sleep when and where he could - although he certainly hadn't planned that unauthorised nap he'd taken at his desk - but now, the detective in him was determined to hunt this miscreant down. Swinging his legs off the bed, he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his thighs and waited. Sooner or later it would happen again.
A few minutes later, he heard it.
Thump thump thump
The thuds were getting louder each time, although they were still quiet enough to escape any ears except those blessed with Sentinel hearing. And his Sentinel hearing had given him the identity of the miscreant at work - one Blair Sandburg was punching his pillow.
Creeping downstairs, Jim hovered outside the door to Sandburg's room, waiting and listening.
There it was again, this time accompanied by an annoyed muttering. Throwing the door open, Jim stalked into the room.
"Sandburg, what the hell do you think you're doing?"
His roommate lay flat on his stomach, his face buried in his pillow and his bed dishevelled from all his tossing and turning. At Jim's demand, Sandburg raised his head and rolled one bleary blue eye in the detective's direction.
"Trying to sleep."
"Well, you're making more noise than a herd of elephants!"
"Sorry." The face dropped back into the pillow then showed itself again. "Is your hearing giving you trouble?"
"It wasn't until you started thudding around. C'mon, get up. I'm awake, you're awake."
Jim grinned at Blair's whining. "Now. Kitchen." He turned back towards the door, then stopped and turned back, "And don't make me come and fetch you."
Reluctantly, Blair dragged himself out of bed and followed his Sentinel to the kitchen.
"Sit." Jim grinned again as he turned his back on his friend. With his hair on end, and his eyes half open, Sandburg looked like he was about ten years old.
Blair dropped into the indicated seat and watched as Jim pottered around the kitchen, fetching a pan, cups, milk and cocoa, his sleep deprived mind obviously unable to understand the purpose.
"Jim, I don't need a drink, I need to sleep."
"You will." Within minutes the milk was hot and the cocoa was made. One mug of it was deposited in front of Blair. "Drink."
Jim sat down and inhaled the sweet aroma of the cocoa. If this didn't send Sandburg to sleep, he didn't know what would.
Within minutes, he knew he was right. The eyes grew dark with impending sleep, the head nodded lower and the nose headed straight for the empty mug. Standing, he grabbed Sandburg's arm and prevented his friend from diving face first into the table. "C'mon, Chief. Time for bed."
Blair muttered as he stood up with Jim's help, but even with his enhanced hearing his Sentinel wasn't entirely sure if it was a thanks for the cocoa or a curse for getting him out of bed in the first place.
"This way, Darwin." Jim kindly stopped Blair from walking into the wall and guided him back to the bed. Within minutes his Guide was in bed, tucked in and fast asleep. Jim sighed with relief. No more pillow thumping.
Grabbing the cups from the kitchen table, he hurriedly washed them then staggered up the stairs to his own bed. He was so tired he felt that he could sleep for a week.
Falling into bed, he stretched slightly, feeling his bones settle into the mattress, and sighed with pleasure. Sleep... sleep....
Jim snuggled deeper into his pillow, sure that he could ignore the dripping tap downstairs. See? Easy. It wasn't going to drip again anyway. Not at all. Not in the slighte-
Jim's eyes flew open and he growled deep in his throat. What was with everything tonight? Grim-faced, he stalked downstairs and turned the tap off. Giving it one final glare daring it to drip again, he turned and went back upstairs.
Sighing, he settled back down. Nothing was going to keep him awake, nothing was going to keep him a-
The Sentinel's eyesight focused on the fly that was his latest bete noire.
Grabbing his pillow, Jim covered his face with it and screamed silently into the softness. It definitely wasn't his night.
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