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.

A big thanks to DC for beta-reading and to Dawn for her answer to my legal question. Although it might not be possible, I'm sticking to it.

Comments: I thought about The Girl Next Door recently and suddenly an explanation why Simon and Jim could have arrested Blair popped into my head. The result is this story.

Spoilers for TGND.

Procedures

missing scene for The Girl Next Door

by Starfox

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Jim and Blair watched silently as the police car with Iris and her companions pulled out of the parking lot and disappeared into traffic.

Ellison laid a comforting hand on Blair's shoulder and squeezed gently. "Come on, Chief, we need to go to the station so I can take your statement. You ride with me, an officer can take the Volvo back."

Sandburg nodded. Exhaustion had settled in after the last stressful hours and he longed to go home.

His friend's silence bothered Jim, but after the ordeal Blair had gone through, he could understand that the young man needed some time to process the events. He was just glad that Blair was back with him safe and sound. With a guiding hand on his friend's back, Jim steered him towards the truck.
********************
They were waiting in the bullpen for Blair's statement to be typed so he could sign it, when Joel entered the room and immediately strolled over to Jim's desk, a concerned expression on his face.

"Blair, I heard what happened. Are you all right?" He gave the young man a critical once over, noting the lines of exhaustion that marked his face and the dark circles beneath his eyes.

Sandburg smiled tiredly. "Thanks Joel. I just want to go home and sleep for a week. I'll be fine."

"We're almost finished, Chief," Jim assured him. "Just a few more minutes and we can head home."

Their conversation was interrupted by a bellow of rage. As they turned towards the source of the noise, they could see Simon standing at his desk, phone in hand, scowling at whoever was on the line. He said a few more words, then slammed the receiver down with an audible bang. After taking a few deep breaths he opened his office door and called: "Ellison, Sandburg, my office."

Jim and Blair exchanged questioning looks, then went past Simon into the room. The captain closed the door firmly before turning towards the two men.

"Listen guys, I just got off the phone with the DA. I tried to talk him out of it, but he insists that we arrest Sandburg until we have sorted out the evidence. He wants to be on the safe side until Sandburg is cleared of collaboration."

Ellison surged to his feet. "WHAT? Simon that's ridiculous."

Banks shot his detective an exasperated look. "I know that, Jim. But since the drugs were in Blair's car, he wants to play it safe. Look, DA Roberts is on vacation and the stand-in isn't very open to arguments. He's young and inexperienced." He turned to Blair, who had listened silently, a stunned look on his face. "I'm sorry, Sandburg. I don't want to do this to you, but we have to comply with his demand. We'll work it out as fast as possible, I promise."

Sandburg had still trouble comprehending the meaning of this whole conservation. He looked like a deer caught in headlights.

Jim laid a hand on his shoulder and bent down slightly to be on eye-level with his friend. "I'll be with you, Chief. Don't worry, we'll get this straightened out in no time."

His next words were directed at their captain. "I'll Mirandize him, but I refuse to use handcuffs on him, sir."

Simon sighed. "That's okay, Jim. I'll let booking know what the situation is and that you're on your way."
********************
After being Mirandized by Jim, photographed, fingerprinted, and going through the rest of the booking process, Blair was ready to drop where he stood, curl up and go to sleep. He was standing silently near Jim, who talked to the booking officer.

"I never heard such nonsense before. Doesn't the DA know that the evidence you have proves that Sandburg is innocent?" Officer Harding shook his head in disbelief.

"I'll have a few words with him later, that's for sure." The expression on Jim's face could only be described at feral.

"I have an empty holding cell we can use, so you don't have to worry that something might happen while he's down here." Harding gave Blair a sympathetic look.

Blair flinched at the thought of being shoved into a cell like some criminal. The day seemed to get more surreal with each passing minute.

Jim shook his head declining. "No thanks. Major Crimes will take care of guarding him. We'll take full responsibility." He gave his friend a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, Chief, I won't let you down here."

Relief washed through Sandburg, and he sighed. He spoke for the first time in over an hour. "Thanks Jim. You're great. I just wish this nightmare were over."
********************
As the two men returned to the bullpen, Jim directed Blair immediately towards Simon's office. After a quick knock, they entered.

"We're done in booking, sir," Jim reported. "I told Harding that Major Crimes takes the responsibility of guarding Sandburg."

Simon looked tiredly at his friends, noting how tense Ellison was and how exhausted Sandburg looked. "Fine. Sandburg, you can stay in my office. I'm going to check out the progress Brown and Rafe made in questioning the girl. Am I right in the assumption that you want to come with me, Jim?"

Ellison nodded. "You bet, Simon. I want in on this." He turned towards his friend. "Sit down, Chief. You can rest for a while." He opened the office door, poked his head through it and called, "Joel, can you come in, please?"

Taggart, who had watched them worriedly, surged to his feet, glad he could finally do something more than sit and watch.

"Can you please stay with Blair for a while?" Jim asked in a low voice. "Simon and I want to check on the interrogation with Iris, and I don't want Sandburg to be alone right now."

"Sure, Jim. I'm glad that I can help. That DA should get his head examined." He pulled a chair over to the sofa where Blair had slumped down and sat next to him, starting to talk in a low voice.

With a last glance at the pair, Banks and Ellison left the office.
********************
Four hours later, they were finally at the loft; the cops eating the meal that was originally meant for Blair's date. Sandburg didn't join them, he was obviously too upset to eat something.

After Banks and Taggart had left, the friends could finally settle down.

Blair was still tired despite the fact that he had slept for two hours on Banks' couch. He hoped that he could get some uninterrupted rest, without nightmares.

Jim, who had been washing the dishes, crouched down in front of Blair and looked him straight in the eyes. "Why don't you get some sleep, huh? It's over, Chief. I'm sorry for what happened today, but you're safe now. Come on, go to bed."

Blair took a deep breath and smiled. "Thanks, man. You were a rock. Next time I want to make a date, I'll let you check out her records first."

Jim laughed. "That could save us some trouble."

In the comforting presence of his friend, Blair felt the trauma of the day fade away and knew, without a doubt, that he would be able to sleep peacefully now.

END

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