Off for vacation and I got to watch The Sentinel on the Sci-Fi Channel. Yes, I have them on tape and yes, I have followed the proper steps asking the series be put on DVD. Still there is nothing like watching the show as it is currently being aired, screaming at the dumb places they break it off for commercials and groaning when they've muted a swear word. Hey, I am on vacation.

Anyway, this is a story on how I think Jim and Blair became more permanent roommates.

No beta was used to proof this story so read at your own risk.

Yes, I have used the boys but they are not mine to keep and I am not making any money out of this. This is a purely recreational endeavor.

Thanks to Starfox for sheltering these stories and thanks goes out to the Sci-Fi Channel for keeping the show aired. - K-Lyn

Assuming The Role As Blessed Protector

by K-Lyn

********************

... "you know something tasteful like a badge." The elevator door closed and the two men rode in silence. Each reliving the day's events.

As they exited on the garage level the desk sergeant called Detective Ellison over. Blair went to stand at a nearby doorway, hoping to get away from the station and have some time to process.

He watched as the officers came and went. Grateful to no longer be hounded by the media.

His eyes noted a piece of yellow paper lying on the pavement near a grey sedan. Yellow.

He refused to go there. He just needed to process things. He closed his eyes when he suddenly heard the voice. "It's hairy Blair." The observer spun on his heel, looking everywhere for the source of the voice and saw only the police officers milling about. Nothing out of the ordinary. "He is dead." Blair whispered. "Just keep it together."

Ellison paused in the middle of his discussion with the sergeant to look over at the kid but saw only that he was standing at the door. Knowing the kid was still recovering from aftereffects of the drug he had been forced to swallow, the detective quickly tried to end the conversation regarding a case from the other night.

Blair couldn't shake the uneasy feel in the garage and felt the need to step outside. He opened the glass door and stepped out to stand by the second set of doors. It was quieter in the inner area and he was grateful for the solitude.

He looked down the street and then back. His eyes locked on movement reflecting off the window in front of him and suddenly saw the reflection of Lash standing close behind him. "Time to t-take a b-bath. Are you ready?"

"No, not again." Blair flung the door open and ran out of the garage. The voice following close behind, whispering, laughing. He just wanted to get away. He just wanted it to stop. He ran faster then he had ever run in his life. As the pain of exhaustion pressed on him, he pushed harder. He didn't know where he was going but it was dark and cool and most importantly it was quiet. He pressed into the corner and slid to the ground. Curled into a tight ball he closed his eyes while whispering softly. "Please just leave me alone. Please."

********************

Ellison walked out of the station and looked left then right passing Det. Brown as the darker man was walking by from his not so secret coffee run. "Hey, Brown, you see Sandburg?"

"Yeah, he ran past the café a couple of minutes ago. Thought maybe he was trying to catch the bus. Didn't see me though."

Jim wondered why the kid had taken off and nodded towards his co-worker as started down the direction Brown had indicated.

********************

In an effort to slow down the crime in the area, Officer Burk and his partner Cramer slowly drove down 'Needle Alley' due to the amount of drug trafficking that occurred there at night. During the day the place was littered with drug paraphernalia and wasted junkies. The two slowed the car down when they spotted a shadow hiding in a corner. Cramer stepped out and called to the person curled in the darkened doorway. "Hey buddy, come on out. Let's have a look at you."

Burk stepped out and went to watch out for his partner. He pointed his flashlight in the corner and laughed. "Hey it's Ellison's punk observer. Knew the little creep was a junkie."

Cramer shook his head knowing the other was jealous at the younger man's presence in the highly coveted Major Crimes Unit. He also knew that seeing Det. Ellison gain all that recent media coverage was one more reason the other man was resentful. "Phil the kid is not a junkie maybe we should call this in."

Burk laughed and went to grab the little creep. "Yeah and I know a cell that would just love to house one more." He reached out and pulled the younger man up. "Time to meet some of my friends."

Blair let out a yell and shoved the man away, then took off down the alley. His heart pounding, "Time to meet some of my friends." He ran into the street and in front of a car which tried to avoid the pedestrian but failed.

Ellison heard the tires and rounded the next corner just as Sandburg became airborne and then landed on the pavement.

"NO!"

Officers Burk and Cramer reached the downed man first and Burk called in for an ambulance. "Yeah possibly on some narcotics. Thanks."

Cramer watched as the usually unemotional detective stepped up to the scene. "What the hell happened?"

Apparently much has changed.

Burk sucked in most of the gut that hung over his belt buckle and snickered. "Seems the slacker they stuck you with was in Needle Alley getting a fix and when we tried to bring him in, he bolted. Stupid fool."

"Phil shut the hell up."

Ellison bent down and carefully checked the kid over. Officer Cramer knelt beside the detective in an effort to offer some assistance. "Ellison, he was hiding in a doorway and acted spooked when Burk went to pull him out. The minute he heard Burke speak he took off."

Jim noted the bruise on the side of the younger man's face and the torn jeans at the knee. "He was the observer involved in the Lash case. He just came in to help with the report. He seemed fine at the time."

Burk snickered from behind the two. "Probably needed to get a mid-day pick-me-up."

Ellison, who had tried to maintain calm and cool, was about to strike the guy when Cramer stepped in the way. "Detective, sir. Take care of your partner. I'll set Phil straight."

Before the detective could respond, the ambulance arrived and soon the alley was returned to its original existence.

********************

Blair woke to find his arms and feet strapped to a lab table. "No. Please."

Ellison heard the voice and immediately moved to his side. "Easy Chief. It's Jim. Calm down."

"Jim?"

"Yeah, just try and relax. You were struck by a car."

"What? I don't remember..."

The doctor walked in and smiled. "Easy Blair, seems you had a flashback and that mixed with the afteraffects of the drugs that were previously forced into you which in turn made you highly agitated. The straps are to make sure you remain on the table. Took four of us to keep you there. How do you feel?"

Blair frowned. "My face feels sore and my hip. Just a bit confused."

The doctor nodded and spoke as he began to untie the patient. "Well seems the driver of the vehicle was careful enough to have slowed down before impact or you would probably be in worse shape. Just a few ugly bruises but nothing severe. Now this slip is for a prescription for some very mild painkillers. Take them if the pain becomes too much to deal with."

Blair took the prescription, while Ellison assisted in untying the final strap, and tucked it into his shirt pocket. He didn't have any money for the drug and decided to remain silent about any pain he was feeling.

Suddenly the night's event replayed in his mind. He closed his eyes in shame; he had an apartment to move to, had it in the works for a few days and was hoping to surprise the detective with the good news. Now, Jim's place was ruined because of his struggle with Lash. He hadn't meant to make a mess and was determined to give Jim whatever he could to replace what was damaged. "I'm sorry Jim. I didn't mean for this to happen."

"Hey, hey, this is not your fault. You heard the doctor, this was the drugs messing with your head."

Blair nodded and slowly sat up. "Damn another pair of jeans shredded. At this rate, I should consider wearing knee pads or trying to restart another trend."

Ellison watched the kid stand and sway. He quickly moved to help. "Thanks Jim. So, can we go?"

The detective followed Sandburg into the loft and noted that the younger man was in pain but trying to bluff his way around it. "Chief, why don't you take a shower and I'll go get something for us to eat. I should only be a few minutes."

"Alright Jim. Thanks."

Ellison smiled at the sorrowful sight knowing he shouldn't be smiling but felt so grateful that the kid was alive and well. He quickly ran to the corner store and then to Chin's Chinese Food.

Half an hour was all he needed.

********************

Blair felt better and warmer now that he was cleaned up and dressed in sweats. He paused and grabbed his backpack. He made a phone call and sighed, Theo was out. He left a message and began straightening up. God, Jim will be so happy when I am out of here. Just look at the mess I made.

The television made it through the fight unscathed but a coffee cup had seen its last morning wake up duty. Blair steadily continued to work, the couch was moved back to its spot, the carpet moved back, coffee table shoved and propped up. The place was beginning to look better.

He paused to take a breather and noted the window shade that had been pulled down. He remembered how he considered trying to get to the balcony then... he shook himself away from the thought and pulled a chair from the kitchen and shakily stood on it.

The door to the loft opened and Jim quickly placed the food on the table and went to grab the unsteady man off the chair. "Chief, leave it. Doctor said for you to take it easy."

Blair winced as Jim helped him off the chair and then took a breath, "Hey, it's my mess. Just doing my bit to correct the damage. I really am so sorry, Jim."

"None of this was your fault. Now let's eat and then you are going to lie down." He pulled the other to the dining area and seated him.

Blair had an egg roll and some rice but nothing more. "Thanks Jim, don't seem to be real hungry right now."

Ellison smiled. "Drink the tea and take these."

Blair looked at the pills - the prescription pills, "How?"

"Don't worry about it. Just take them."

Feeling too ashamed to refuse he popped a pill in his mouth and washed it down with some ginseng tea. "I'll pay you back."

"Don't worry about it. Now let's get you to your bed."

********************

The detective set about repairing the door and sighed at the fact that this was hopeless. "Tomorrow looks like I am door shopping. Damn Lash."

The phone rang. "Ellison."

"Hey this is Theo, is Blair there?"

"Sorry he's resting at the moment. Did you want to leave a message?"

"Yeah, tell Blair that I can pick him up around 2 day after next. Bobby left this morning, girlfriend is getting antsy, and the bed is available. Rent won't be due for a couple of days."

"Wait, is this for a bed or a room?"

The voice on the other end laughed. "You could call it a space. A bed, use of a shower and a corner in a closet. Blair called an hour ago and said he was still interested. Something about needing not to be a moocher."

Ellison looked at the curtained off bed room and sighed. "He won't be taking the room... Seems he and his roommate worked a plan out and, well sorry, he won't be taking the room."

"Hey no skin off my chin but let him know if he changes his mind it will be available till next Monday. Later."

Jim walked to the room and looked at the bruised younger man who was sleeping soundly and wondered what possessed him to not only try to clean the loft but to feel it necessary to think about moving in the condition he was in. Why now? And why at all? The older man thought things were going great.

He heard the kid mumble and went to quiet him down when he paused. Blair was a grown man, not a child. Still, he stepped closer, needing to make sure all was well and reached out to brush some hair off Sandburg's face. He smiled when the action caused the sleeper to sigh and relax.

********************

Blair stretched and turned to look at the clock beside his bed. "Oh damn." He carefully made it to his feet, smiling at the accomplishment. He still had a few things to pack and Theo said he'd be coming around later this afternoon. He also wanted to tell Jim about his moving plans and to give the man his new address.

He tottered a bit unsteadily to the bathroom and got cleaned up. Fifteen minutes later he stepped out. He heard a drill and looked at the front door. "Hey Jim, what's going on?"

Ellison removed the work goggles and smiled. "You look better. How do you feel?"

Blair shrugged. "Alright. So?"

Jim blinked and then remembered the initial question. "Oh, the other door was a loss, this one is steel and a lot stronger."

Blair smiled and then frowned. "Say Jim? Um, did I get a call from anyone last night?"

Ellison looked away. "Yeah some guy named Theo. Told him you wouldn't be taking the bed though."

"What? Jim, hey man, that was my new place. I've taken advantage of your hospitality for too long and thought I should consider getting a place of my own to hang my hat."

"You don't own a hat."

"What?"

Jim closed the door and looked at the confused man. "Chief we need to talk. Come on let's sit down."

Blair sighed and walked to the couch, sitting was difficult but he managed it without making a sound.

Ellison watched the slow motion movement. He heard Sandburg's heart rate speed up and heard the stressed breathing. Sandburg needed to rest more.

"Jim, I can call Theo and still get the room. Look, I know you like your privacy and after last night, I am sure you don't need me here messing up the place."

"You didn't mess up the place, Lash did. Chief, I know I did a lousy job of protecting you, hell I never saw this coming. I am sorry. As for your 'new place', I just don't think it would be wise for you to move out." He held up his hand so that he could continue speaking. "It's better this way don't you see? I promise to protect you better."

Blair blinked, "Jim, I don't blame you. I mean, like, who knew I would be Lash's next victim. This has nothing to do with that. It's just, well I don't want to be a ..." He sighed, "I-I don't want to be some kind of freeloader. I can take care of myself. Maybe not so well with local looneys but outside of that, I am capable of getting a place and paying rent."

Ellison shook his head at the lack of confidence he heard in the other's voice. "You're not a hindrance and like I said yesterday, you did all the right things." He looked around at the loft. Somehow, lately, it seemed warmer. "Look I have plenty of room, here you have more than just a bed here and well I think this is a good arrangement, still have to work on some of the house rules but we're okay. Enough said. You are not going anywere."

Blair smiled. "Guess I can't argue with 'enough said'. Are you sure you want me for a roommate?"

"Enough said."

Ellison watched the kid struggle to stand and then walk into the curtained area. His room. "Jim?"

"Yeah Chief."

"Thanks. I-I really do like it here."

"Glad to hear it." Ellison got up and opened the front door, reached past it and pulled in two partially covered French doors. ‘There had been a sale at 'Living Area' and these were half off. Anyway, Blair's room would look better with these than those thin white curtains'.

Enough said.

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