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.

Pet Hate

by Shedoc

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Ask anyone in Major Crimes what my pet hate is and they'll tell you: waiting. Captain Banks hates to wait.

My ex-wife knows it, my son knows it, and my friends know it. People I've arrested figure it out pretty quickly too. The closer the deadline gets the more impatient I become.

Two weeks and counting until Blair Sandburg finishes his departmental rotation and joins Major Crimes permanently. The kid aced Academy in record time, but no matter how I tried we couldn't skip the departmental rotation.

Sometimes late at night I wonder if Sandburg aced the Academy so I wouldn't have to wait so long. The kid knows how much I hate waiting.

I check up on him every day - ask his CO how he's doing, has he stuffed up? That's started people wondering if I even want him in my department. Wait until he's done his last day on rotation - I've made arrangements to swear him in the minute he's off shift. We'll do it right there in the bullpen - all the team together - and then go out and celebrate.

The reports I'm getting back are glowing. Sandburg fits in no matter where he goes - the experienced cops find working with him very easy. He makes a place for himself and doesn't ruffle feathers. I'm puzzled by all this until one night it hits me.

Sandburg is still an anthropologist. Anthropologists study the culture and society around them and learn how to interact with them too. The kid's treating the rotation like a field trip.

Part of me is awed by his ability to do his job so well. The other part is terrified.

What if he's been lying to us all these years? Playing a part - pretending to be a friend and comrade?

"Simon?" Jim Ellison asks me, concern on his face and I wave a hand at him, shaking the thoughts away.

If Sandburg had been lying then Ellison would have known. A lie screamed out to the Sentinel. Hell, he lived with the kid - no one could live with Ellison and lie all the time.

"Sir, are you ok?" Ellison asks me again and I nod and smile. We're in my office at the conference table, reviewing old case files.

"Fine, Jim. You know how I hate waiting," the reply is the truth, but vague enough not to tell him what I was really thinking.

"This time," Ellison's voice is so sincere I could sell electric eels to Arabic nomads, "This time - I couldn't agree more."

I'm relieved to hear it. Sandburg shouldn't have to sacrifice himself again. I try to keep this memory close - knowing that all too soon I'll be yelling at Sandburg for some reason and wondering why I wanted him around full time.

I can hardly wait.

To be continued in part 5

Comments, criticism, suggestions? Please e-mail Shedoc.