At The Beginning…
By Debbie Tripp
Blair ran after Jim, still protesting about cutting his hair and going to the academy. Jim could hear him. He ignored him, still walking towards Joel's car.
"Can I get a ride back to the station, Joel? I seem to have misplaced my ride. Well, actually, Sandburg there didn't do as he was told." Jim looked back to see Blair still following him. "I suppose we should give him a ride also. He's been through quite a bit over the last several hours."
Jim stopped by Joel's car and Blair was soon by his side.
"You didn't really mean all that you said about going to the academy, did you? It wouldn't be a good idea."
"We'll talk about it later, Sandburg. Remember what I said earlier?"
"Yeah, I remember. So, can I get a ride too? It's a long way back to my place."
"You need to give your account of what happened. You were involved. It shouldn't take too long to give a statement to one of the officers."
"Can't I just give it to you? After all, you know what was going on."
"That's the main reason I can't take your statement. I was involved also."
"But how do I explain…" Blair abruptly stopped talking, realizing he had to keep Ellison's secret. At least for a while.
"Get in the car, Sandburg. We'll sort it all out back at the station."
"Don't give the kid a hard time, Jim. He's been through a lot, what with the bomb on the bus, the explosion, and getting up close and personal with the bomber."
"He's tougher than he looks, Joel. Otherwise, he wouldn't be my new partner."
Blair could only smile as he got in the back seat of the vehicle and relaxed against the seat. He closed his eyes, trying to calm his thoughts and feelings over all he observed over the past several days. Ellison had shown he was an honest to goodness modern-day Sentinel. Blair couldn't wait to get home and get all his notes organized and in order. He had to make sure he kept everything scientific and well documented. Even if he never wrote anything public about Ellison being a Sentinel, he was still going to use it as his basis for his thesis. He knew he'd have to get Ellison's approval, but he knew that was just a technicality.
"He looks peaceful there, Jim. Do you really have to disturb him?"
Jim scowled at Joel. "I wouldn't think you'd want him in your car, Joel. You have a soft spot for him?"
"Nah, but it seems like you do. Your new partner? Simon didn't mention anything about you getting a partner to me."
"It's complicated, Joel. And I haven't told Simon about it yet. Sandburg is a graduate student at Rainier and he wants to do a ride-along with the police."
"With you, Jim? Does he even know you?"
"He's family. Once - twice removed. I don't know the exact lineage. I owe a favor to a family member. You know how it is with family."
Joel smiled. "Yeah, I understand. He just doesn't seem like he's from the same family. Do you want to wake him up?"
"I'll get him awake and upstairs. Thanks again, Joel."
Jim opened the back door of the car and leaned in, gently shaking Blair's right shoulder.
"Hey, Sandburg! Wake up, sleepyhead! It's time to get moving."
"Huh? What happened? Ow-w-w."
"What's wrong, Sandburg?"
"My hand hurts." It came out sounding like a whine.
Jim smiled, but didn't laugh. He knew how much Sandburg had actually helped with the case, although he wasn't sure he was ready to acknowledge that publicly. Or even privately to himself.
"You fell asleep on the ride to the station. I suspect your adrenaline ran out. Let's get you upstairs and get your statement done. Then you can go home."
"Oh. Okay. Sorry about falling asleep."
"No problem. Let's just get this over with."
Blair got out of the back seat and followed Jim to the elevator. It was silent on the ride up to Major Crime. Both men were lost in thought.
As they got out of the elevator, several officers offering congratulations on the outcome of the Switchman case greeted Jim. He barely acknowledged them as they walked into Major Crime.
"Henri, can I get your help here?"
Henri looked up from his desk and smiled. "You having problems with a suspect, Jim?"
"No, Henri. This is Blair Sandburg. He's a witness to the Switchman case and I need someone to take his statement for me."
"Sure enough, Jim. Hi. I'm Detective Henri Brown. Why don't you have a seat over here?"
Blair warily walked over to the detective's desk and sat down. Henri smiled at him.
"Don't worry, Sandburg. Not all of us are as brusque as Detective Ellison there. Now, why don't you just start from the beginning and tell me what you saw."
Blair looked back at Jim, wondering just how much he should explain. He knew Jim didn't want his abilities to become common knowledge. Just when he was about to say something, Jim walked over.
"One thing I forgot to mention, Henri. Sandburg here is a graduate student at Rainier and he's doing a ride-along with the police. He got up close and personal with this one."
"Oh. He doesn't look like the police ride-along type. You probably scared him away with your antics, Jim."
"Just get his statement, Henri." Jim looked over at Blair. "Just tell the facts, Sandburg."
"Right, detective." Blair knew what he had to do.
It took about an hour for Blair to finish giving his statement to Henri. He signed the report and Henri thanked him for coming in.
"Well, it was because of Detective Ellison. He made me come in."
"You're free to go now, Mr. Sandburg."
Blair got to his feet and looked around for Jim. He didn't spot him anywhere.
"He probably went to the break room. Right through that door there."
"Thank you, Detective Brown." Blair went towards the break room and Jim came out.
"Finished already, Sandburg?"
"Yep. I figured that I shouldn't be running around here by myself."
"Do you have a way home?"
"Not really. I suppose I could walk, but…"
Jim looked at his watch. He still had time before he had to meet Carolyn for dinner. "How about I take you home? I think it would be best if you didn't walk right now."
"Why, Detective Ellison, I didn't know you cared!" Blair smiled at Jim.
"Don't get wise, Sandburg! Let me sign out a vehicle and I'll take you home."
"Good. I wanted to talk to you anyway about some things."
Jim rolled his eyes and started to wonder about this new relationship. However, if Blair Sandburg could help him get a handle on his senses and get control, then it just might be worth it. Jim was sure he could stand Sandburg for a few months.