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.

Summary: Something unexpected happens that could change Blair's life forever.

Warnings: None really, this is just my attempt at angst mixed with a bit of humor. Special thanks to Romanse!

Unexpected

by Twilight (Dawn)

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

"Blair, I'm pregnant."

He fumbled the phone, fingers frantic as it slipped from his hand, landing with a loud thud on the hardwood floor. Blair quickly bent to retrieve it. Blood poured to his head, his cheeks flushed scarlet and the room was spinning, whirling in and out of focus.

Oh God.

Turning slightly, he caught a glimpse of Jim, sitting forward on the sofa, looking at him strangely, his mouth moving, but Blair had no idea what his friend was saying. He grabbed up the phone and pressed the receiver to his ear, a familiar voice calling his name from across the line.

"Blair?"

"Yeah, yeah...sor sorry, sorry."

Jim was moving swiftly toward him and he held up his hand to show him he was okay, relatively speaking.

Hah...relatively.

God, oh God....

"Blair?"

"Are you....I mean do you want me..." Frantically, he rubbed a sweaty palm up over his face and through his hair, knowing he was babbling.

Jim hovered a few feet away, the morning paper dangling from his fingertips.

"Just breathe." The voice was light, a little giggly.

Oh my God...this can't be...this can't be happening.

"Yeah...breathe. I can do that." Shaking his head slightly, he waited. Waited for what she was going to say next, waited for the buzzing to stop circling his brain.

Jim was beside him now, hand resting between his shoulder blades, rubbing in tiny circles, but he couldn't turn and look at him, couldn't answer his friend's unspoken question, because he didn't quite understand what was happening himself.

How could this be happening?

"How...I mean..."

"I think you know, Blair. I just wanted you to know. I don't expect you to do anything."

"But...but..." Jim grabbed his shoulders and steered him toward the stool on the other side of the kitchen island.

"Really. I'll...I'll see you soon, sweetie."

"Yeah...okay. Soon."

The dial tone sounded, but he still held the receiver in a tight grip. Was she sure...he should have asked how far along, should have asked if she knew...knew who...

She sounded so happy. That was so like her.

He lowered the phone, looking to his friend, his mouth slightly open and then he whispered, "Bye Mom."

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

His roommate had been pacing since he had gotten up a little earlier this morning. Jim watched as Blair did another circuit of the room, around the dinning table, between the sofa and table and then on to the bay windows...it was making him batty.

"So..."

Blair shot him a weird look, but went back to his wandering. It had been two weeks since Naomi had dropped the bombshell and boy was it unexpected. Sure, she was still pretty young, but a twenty-seven year age difference is a pretty damn big gap.

Blair had told him what was up that day, although it took a little while to pry the phone from his friend's fingers.

And man, Blair was a wreck. Wondering...needing to know if his mother had planned this...if she was thinking clearly.

"But it's not really my business."

Yup, Jim agreed. He was going to be a brother, not a father.

"So I'll just have to be happy for her."

But he wasn't, Jim could tell. His friend wanted to ask his mother, how far and more importantly did she know who the father was? Were they together? Was this baby going to have a father?

And Jim guessed that was the real question. Was Naomi going to raise a child with its father?

"So..." He tried again and this time Blair sank into the yellow chair by the wood stove, shoulders slumped and fingers picking at the seam of his orange flannel shirt.

A shaky hand moved through his hair and Blair sighed. "She should be here any minute."

Jim nodded, standing and moving to the fridge to grab them both a beer.

"You think she'll be comfortable in my room?"

"She always stays in your room. I'm sure it will be fine." Jim held the bottle in front of his friend and after a beat Blair reached for it, downing a good bit in one gulp.

"I know, man. But...you know."

No. He didn't.

Blair wouldn't be having this mini melt down if he had just asked the questions when his mother called back a few days later. She was coming for a visit and was going to stay for a while.

God, he didn't even ask her how long she was going to be staying.

"Relax. Just breathe, Junior." Jim sat on the sofa, grabbing the remote and flipping for a few minutes.

It had been about four months or so since Blair's mother had breezed into town last and she wasn't pregnant then...at least he was pretty sure.

Pregnant women put out a...vibe. At least to his senses anyway.

The lobby door opened and Jim could hear someone moving to the elevator. The footsteps were slow, a little shuttered. A quick sniff confirmed it was Blair's mother. Her smell was sweet, a little earthly in a good sort of way.

She took a quick breath, waiting for the car to open and bring her to the third floor. A shuffling of feet echoed as the doors closed and she hummed a little tune as the car ascended.

Jim could hear the ping as the doors parted, the wheels of her suitcase squeaking as she pulled it over the threshold into the hall. The steps were still slow and Jim shot a quick glance at his friend. Oh, oh.

He stood and Blair jumped up too.

"Is she here?" Blair zipped past him and flung open the door.

His mother pulled up short, gasping in surprise.

"Oh...man." He heard Blair mutter and then his friend moved aside, reaching for his mother's suitcase. "Hi, mom."

"Oh, man." Jim could tell his mouth was gaping. Naomi moved just inside the door, turning a bit to hug her son in an awkward embrace and my god...she was huge...like she could pop at any moment.

"Jim?"

Shaking his head he turned toward his friend's voice. Blair was coming out of his bedroom; his mother was already sitting on the sofa.

So much for the vibe...

"Um, hey Naomi. You're looking....good."

She smiled sweetly and patted her tummy. "Thanks, Jim."

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

His mother patted the cushion of the sofa, a soft smile on her lips. "Come sit with me, sweetie."

Blair nodded and moved across the room.

They were alone. Jim had made up some excuse about work and left a little quickly...coward.

"You're awfully quiet, Blair." His mother's hand reached forward and felt his forehead. "I hope you're not coming down with something..."

A nervous laugh escaped and he moved away from the tiny palm. "I'm not sick, mom. I'm just...well a little shocked, I guess."

The smile slipped from his mother's face and she moved a little closer. "I know it's a bit of a shock, sweetie."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have...it's just that I'm worried and happy and I don't know...I just want to make sure you're okay and happy...you are aren't you? Happy, I mean."

Naomi shifted a bit, her hand going to rest on her round bulge. "I'm fine. Fine and happy. I guess I didn't really think about how you might feel."

Blair stood, moving to the kitchen to put on the kettle. "I'm just a little worried, I guess. But I'm happy if you're happy."

His mother joined him, pulling herself up into the stool across from him and for the first time since she arrived Blair really looked at her. She smiled easily and played with the spoon resting on the counter. Her hair seemed more vibrant and her skin was smoother, younger and her eyes...well her eyes sparkled in the light of the afternoon sun.

"Blair. I know I owe you some explanation." She accepted the mug he handed her, raising it and blowing on the steaming liquid.

"No," he rushed out. "No, Mom. You really don't."

Shut up, shut up, shut up...

"But I know you must be curious." She sipped carefully, holding the hot mug between her hands.

Curious? He was more than curious.

"Well...I guess all I really need to know is that you're doing okay. The rest doesn't really matter."

Her face changed and a small hand went to her tummy.

"What? What's wrong?" He moved around the counter in a flash, standing close but not touching.

"It's just your sister. She's going to be a dancer, for sure. Always stomping around like she has some place to go...you want to feel?"

Before he could form a sentence she grabbed his hand and placed it over the top of her belly. A gentle swelling of his mother's flesh startled him and he looked up into Naomi's smiling face.

"Oh, man." The tiny movement continued, tickling his palm at first, but growing more demanding, to the point where he could see Naomi's stomach rising and falling with each kick.

"She's getting impatient," his mother said, resting her own hand over his. "She wants out to see her brother. To greet the world..."

Brother... Man, he was going to be a brother. A little life was going to be in his life and suddenly Blair could see a chubby faced, curly headed kid following him around, asking endless questions. Wanting him to drop everything to play a game of...

"Um...mom? Did you say sister?"

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

Jim shut the door quietly, dropping his keys to the table by the door.

His friend and roommate was snoring softly, his face buried in a pillow. His blanket hung off him, draping around the front of the couch. Throw pillows littered the floor and Blair's shirt was tossed over the back of the chair.

Moving slowly, Jim shut the blinds, blocking the moonlight and muted city lights. Blair deserved a good night's sleep for once.

Truthfully, he was a little worried about his friend. Blair was wound up so tight, nervous energy oozed from every pore, the smell sour. But in sleep he seemed relaxed. Hopefully he resolved some of his issues.

The door to Blair's room cracked open and Naomi shuffled out, looking toward the couch, her face drawn, worried.

Her hand reached out, but she pulled away and headed toward the kitchen.

"Naomi."

Her shoulders jumped, but she didn't turn from the cabinet she had opened. "Hello, Jim."

He moved from the shadows of the living room. "Can I help you?"

When she turned, a small smile turned up her lips, but she shook her head. "I'm just getting a glass of milk. Care to join me? I can warm some up if you'd like."

Jim watched as she pulled two glasses and a pan out of the cabinet with a familiar ease. "I'll take mine cold."

He hated milk, but sensed that she wanted his company or maybe just an ear.

He should have stayed, but it seemed like Blair needed the time alone with his mom and he had managed to catch the game at the bar on 5th.

She poured them both a glass, pushing Jim's to him across the counter. "I never was one for warm milk." A little chuckle escaped. "Who am I kidding, I'm not exactly June Cleaver."

He swallowed his drink quickly, choking a little. "Maybe not, but you're a good mom."

"Thanks Jim." In one quick gulp she finished her drink and placed the glass in the sink. "Night."

"Good night, Naomi."

He watched her retreat to Blair's room, closing the door with a soft click.

Dumping his own cup, he looked around one last time before heading to the steps.

"Jim?"

Blair was sitting up on the sofa, rubbing his eyes, running a hand over his hair.

"You okay?"

"Yeah...I guess." Blair shifted up a little, tucking a leg under him, hugging his pillow to his chest.

Jim moved closer, sitting on the coffee table. "Did you get your questions answered?"

Blair snorted, looking away toward his room. "I found out it's a girl, but besides that...I don't know, man." Blair turned back toward him. "I mean, she offered, sorta. It's just..."

"What?" Jim asked, leaning forward a bit.

"It's silly, but I think...I think she's hiding something."

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

The buzz of the bullpen dimmed as Blair entered with his mother.

"Um...Hi, Sandy. Ms. Sandburg." Megan gave a little wave as she stepped away from Jim's desk.

"So, how did it go, Chief?"

Blair pulled a chair a little closer but nodded as his mother moved away toward the ladies room. "It was incredible, man. We could see the heart beat and the spine and I got a picture of her little foot...look."

He plunked a grainy black and white image in front of Jim, pointing to all the bones that made up the tiny foot and toes. "She was kicking when they took that one."

Jim smiled, nodding as Blair showed him one from a newer imaging machine. This one was clear, showing the outline of the baby's tiny cheek, sucking her thumb. "Aren't these great."

Some of the others in the room moved a little closer, gathering around as Blair gushed about his sibling. Joel and Megan stopped for a second on their way out to lunch. Simon emerged from his office to see what Rafe and Brown were crowding around and immediately found his hands full of pictures.

Finally realizing that his mother hadn't returned, Blair looked toward the hall.

"She's still in the bathroom." Jim told him as the crowd broke up. "She's talking to someone on her cell."

"Oh."

Jim nodded, his jaw clenched, standing to grab his jacket from the hook. "Yeah. How about we wait for her by the elevator. We can grab lunch before you take her home."

"Okay." Blair followed behind, stuffing the pictures back into the yellow envelope, wondering whom his mother was talking to...wondering if he should just ask Jim.

As they passed the ladies room, his mother emerged, rubbing at her eyes with her fist. Her nose was a little red and she cleared her throat and sniffed before she saw them.

"Are we ready to go?" She asked, smiling instantly, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear.

"Yeah...we were going to stop for lunch. You okay, Mom?"

"Of course, sweetie." The bell dinged and the elevator doors parted. "Lets go to a deli. I've been craving feta cheese...and Italian dressing...and grape soda."

They stepped in and his mother took his arm, pulling him close. Jim stood in front of them, pressing the button for the garage. "We can go to Scoops." Jim said. "I could go for a Charlie." His friend shot his mother a quick look. "You should try it Naomi."

"Now, Jim," she laughed. "You know I don't do chicken."

"Hmm."

Hmm...Hmm? What the hell was that all about?

He tried to catch Jim's eye, but his roommate turned back to the door and his mother suddenly found the pattern on the worn carpet a bit too interesting.

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

"What the hell was that about?" The words flew from Blair's mouth as soon as his mother had closed the door to his bedroom.

"What?" Jim gave him a quick look before heading to the bathroom.

"What? You know what...in the elevator, man." Blair followed his roommate down the hall, stopping short as the door closed in his face.

"Ask your mother."

Great...what the hell was going on?

Wandering into the kitchen, he grabbed the water pot from the range and shoved it under the facet to fill.

"Sweetie?" His mother emerged from his room, a soft blue nightgown clinging to her rounded body. "Are you okay?"

"Sure, mom." The water sloshed over the kettle as he sat it on the burner to heat. "Want some tea?"

"Come sit with me." She perched on the sofa, waiting as Jim walked down the hall and up the steps to his bedroom.

"I'm going to make a run to the grocery store." Jim called from above. "Any requests?"

Blair looked to his mother, but she shook her head. "Um...can you pick up some croissants for breakfast?"

"Sure," Jim descended the steps quickly, grabbing up his keys. "Be back in a bit."

A cell phone shrilled from the other room and Naomi stood awkwardly to retrieve it. "Sorry, Blair. I'll be just a minute."

Thirty minutes and several cups of tea later his mother emerged, fully dressed, a small frown on her face. "I have to go."

He jumped up from the sofa, dropping his mug with a thump. "What?"

"I can't stay...I'm sorry, Blair. I'll call you in a few days."

"What...but you can't go...who was that on the phone, mom?" Blair moved closer, reaching for the tiny suitcase she dragged behind her.

"I just can't sweetie. Try to understand..." She made for the door, moving faster than she had all week, but Blair got in front of her.

"But...but..."

"Look, Blair. I can't explain, but I will...I promise." She gave him a quick peck and opened the front door. "I'll call soon." And then she was gone.

What the hell?

It took a few seconds for his brain to engage, but when it did he ran for the door, pulling his cell phone.

Jim's tired voice answered the line. "I can't explain now Jim, but I gotta go."

"Go...go where?"

"My mom...I'm following my mom." He shut the phone, hoping that Jim would understand.

As he slide behind the wheel and gunned his engine, he could see his mother's tail lights disappearing around the corner.

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

Jim practically jumped on the phone as it began to ring. "BLAIR?"

Silence greeted him, but then someone cleared their throat. "Um...actually I was hoping to speak with Naomi."

Folding back onto the sofa Jim sighed. "I'm sorry. She's not here."

"Oh...well I'll try back." The caller hung up before Jim could inquire about who was calling or to tell them that she probably wouldn't be back anytime soon.

After getting Blair's hurried call, Jim raced back to the loft, trying to reach Blair on his cell. His friend's voice mail picked up on each of the seven calls Jim made.

He would just have to wait it out.

Soon the news came on, but Jim paid it little attention. He was trying to formulate some kind of plan when his cell phone rang. "Ellison."

"Jim? Oh, man...I'm glad I got you."

"Sandburg? Where the hell are you?" Jim shot up and paced to the window, looking out over the night sky and city lights.

"I'm sorry I was so vague, but I had to catch her. I mean, she's my mom...and, and you wouldn't believe, like how far out in the boonies I am and man I gotta pee..."

"Blair? Blair?" Jim rolled his eyes, turning and heading for the door. "Just tell me where you are. I'm on my way."

"Oh. Man. You don't have to do that and besides...I'm not sure how long I'll be here."

"Just give me the location." Jim slammed the stairwell door open and ran down the steps and onto the street, pulling his keys. The truck was started and heading north before Blair had a chance to answer.

"Well, okay...I'm in Tacoma...I think. I stayed on the I-5...it's exit 72...maybe..."

Gunning the engine, Jim turned a corner sharp and headed for the highway. "I'll call you back as I get closer or you call me if she moves again. What's going on anyway?"

"I have no clue. She got a call and them boom...she was out the door. She seemed a little upset, but wouldn't give me a straight answer."

Jim listened to the tension in his friend's voice, stepping a little harder on the gas. "I'll be there soon. We'll get to the bottom of it."

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

Blair shifted on the worn car seat again, trying to decide if he could make a break for a nearby tree without being detected. "Four cups of tea, Blair. Brilliant."

The lights in the house across the street went out and then the porch light came on. Blair squinted at the address, searching his memory; unable to come up with an image of the blue bungalow.

Thinking that his mother was in bed for the night, he carefully opened his car door and darted for the tree line. "Man oh man oh man."

His zipper sounded loud on the quiet rural street and he took a quick look around to see if any of the nearer neighbors could see him. Just as he was zipping back up his cell phone jingled and he nearly toppled over trying to pull it from his coat pocket. "Hello."

"Why are you whispering?"

"Jim? Man, you nearly gave me a heat attack." He took a few fast strides back to his car and slid in behind the steering wheel. "Where are you?"

"I just got off the exit. How do I get to you?"

"Well..." Bright headlights skittered across his car before pulling into the long driveway leading to the house. "Who's that?"

"Who's who?"

"A car just pulled up." Blair slinked down in his seat, craning his neck up to see a man exiting the car and heading for the porch.

"Sandburg? SANDBURG?"

"I gotta go, Jim." He quickly clicked the off button and tossed his phone on the seat. The man reached the door and knocked loudly, a dog down the way barking at the unexpected noise.

When the door went unanswered he moved to the front window, trying to peer in. Blair got quickly out of the car and darted across the street, stooping down behind the bushes that lined the front yard.

"Come on, Naomi...I know you're in there."

Blair peeked above the hedge, seeing the man dig around in his pocket. Fear seized him, his heart beating faster as he advanced on the stranger standing in the shadows of the porch light.

With a roar he raced up the steps and slammed into the man, sending them both into the screen door and down, with Blair landing on top, fist raised and ready to strike.

The front door swung open, light flooded the landing. "Oh god...Blair?"

His mother's horrified face filled his vision before a meaty fist put his lights out.

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

"I can't believe you hit him."

"I didn't know who it was. He's the one who jumped me."

Blair cracked open his eyes, raising his arm to cover his forehead. His mother paced the floor nearby, her long nightgown flapping as she turned and moved back toward him. "Sweetie?"

A pair of unfamiliar loafers filled his line of vision and a blurry fat face moved closer. "I'm sorry, Blair. I didn't mean to deck you."

"Charlie." His mother's shriek went straight through his head, sending little ripples of pain down the side of his face.

"What? It's not my fault. I didn't know he was there."

The voices bickered a bit before Blair managed to push himself more upright. He was lying inside the doorway, a throw pillow tucked under his head and his mother's bathrobe covering him.

"What's going on, mom?"

Naomi knelt beside him, running a cool cloth over the sore spot on his cheek. "He's sorry, sweetie. Some psychic, huh? Found me but didn't know you were two steps behind him."

"Huh?" Strong hands lifted him by his arms, pulling back until he was resting against the sofa. A bag of frozen carrots hovered in front of his face and he reached up to press it against his stinging eye.

"Yeah...sorry, Blair." Sitting on the chair across from him was his mom's friend, Charlie.

"Umm...can someone tell me what's going on?"

"It's all my fault." Naomi said. "I just got scared and decided I needed a little time."

Blair shook his head, the beginnings of a headache pounding behind his left eye. He managed to push himself up and on to the cushions behind him. Not a whole lot was making sense.

Charlie moved closer to his mother, wrapping an arm around her and patting her protruding belly. "I love you, what's so scary about that?"

"Not, the love...the marriage thing."

That word registered and Blair shifted up on his seat. "Marriage?"

"OHHH."

"Oh...what's wrong." Charlie jumped back as Naomi folded over on herself.

"Mom?" Blair stood up quickly, the floor spinning under his feet, but he managed to stagger the few steps to his mom. "What is it?"

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

I'm going to kill him, if he's alive that is.

Jim drove slowly down the rural street; the windows down and his sense of smell way up, every foul scent assaulted him, making his eyes water and sting.

Just on the edge of cow feces and bird waste, dirty dog and decaying vegetation he could smell Blair's favorite cologne. A gift given by Jim for his birthday, not overwhelming or too flowery or musky...just the right blend and totally unique as Jim had it made from that little shop he and Blair had visited on one of their first cases together.

He had been following the scent trail since Blair had hung up on him, meaning Blair had to be close by.

He slowed to a stop at a fork in the road, looking and listening both directions. A little ways down the left sat a small white house. The TV was on, but the volume was low and quieted humming accompanied movement across the squeaky floorboards.

The other direction was lined with trees, but a single porch light a few miles down shone like a beacon and across from the light in the clearing sat Blair's car.

He turned that way, speeding up when he heard his friend's frantic voice. "Call an ambulance?"

"Too late..."

Screeching to a stop, he threw the truck door open and sprinted up the sidewalk, barreling into the door and sending it crashing to the floor.

"Jim?" Blair ran toward him.

"Jiiimmm..." Naomi lay on the couch panting.

"Thank god, Jim. Do something?" Charlie held Naomi's hand or maybe she was hanging on to him.

"Oh boy," he muttered, running a hand over his face.

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

"It's a girl," his mother told Jim, trying to sit up.

Blair pulled up short of his friend and reversed directions. "Where is the damn phone?"

"Don't have one." His mother managed, resting against the back of the sofa. "My cell is in my purse."

Searching the bedroom, Blair found the phone and dialed 911. The dispatcher promised someone was on the way.

"Okay," he announced, finding his mother walking around the kitchen and Jim still standing in the doorway. "Ambulance is on the way."

"I don't think I can wait, sweetie. I was only in labor for a few hours with you." She stood straighter, holding the counter. "And I've been having pains on and off most of the day."

"What?" Charlie looked around the room wildly. "I could have sworn we had two more days."

Snapping out of a mini zone, Jim moved into the house. "Lets just all calm down."

"Oh god..."

Blair zipped past his friend and to his mother. "Lets get you somewhere comfortable, okay?"

They moved together down the hallway to the bedroom in the back, Jim trailing behind opening doors. "I'll get some towels."

Barely at the bed, his mother doubled over again. "This is it." She flopped down, panting heavily. "The baby is coming."

"Oh, man...Jim?" Blair turned to see his friend rush in with an armload of towels.

"Go find me something to tie and cut the cord with."

Blair bolted from the room, rummaging through the cabinets and drawers, finding poultry scissors. He turned on the burner and held the tips over the flame.

"Ohhh..."

"That's it. I can see the head." Jim's calm voice spurred him on and he searched for something to tie the cord with.

A loud thump followed by a low moan had him changing directions and heading back to his mother's room.

"Charlie?"

"It's okay, Naomi. He just fainted."

"Oh, Charlie."

He entered just as the baby's head emerged. He stood rooted to the stop by the dresser, watching as two tiny shoulders and the rest of her body slid into his friend's messy hands. "Oh, wow."

Sirens wailed to a stop in front of the house, but he couldn't seem to move. Jim grabbed a towel and wrapped the whimpering baby, wiping vigorously at her head and body. Naomi reached forward, taking the tiny being in her arms and holding her close.

"I'll get the door." Jim said, stepping over the fallen father, a tiny smirk on his face.

Blair moved when his mother reached out to him, sitting beside her on the bed and looking at the little bundle she placed in his arms.

"Oh, wow. She's so tiny." A few peaceful seconds passed before paramedics surrounded them.

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

Three months later, Blair sat in the front row of the tiny chapel, holding his baby sister. The place was full, people he hadn't seen in some time, but his best friend sat by him, making funny faces and cooing sounds at the baby resting and drooling over his shoulder.

"You want to hold her?" He asked, watching as Jim quickly shook his head.

"Come on, man. She won't bite...she doesn't even have any teeth."

Jim sat a little straighter as the organ began to play the traditional wedding march. "I held her once," he defended, standing with the rest of the church.

"That doesn't count." Blair whispered, moving forward to meet his mother as she passed them. Blair heard a mutter, but couldn't make out what Jim said.

The service started and Blair was truly pleased to see the bright smile on his mother's face and the total look of love on Charlie's. Who would have thought after all these years he was finally getting a father.

Kissing the tuff of curly red hair, he whispered in the tiny ear, "Thanks, Jamie."

The End

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