?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
16 September 2010 @ 06:40 pm
Pack Animal 2/3  
This is Part two of Pack Animal, a crossover between The Sentinel and Wolf Lake. Part one of the fic can be found here.

Warning: Jim/Blair, NC17 rating for swearing.

Pack Animal Part Two

Blair sat outside the Dean of Faculty’s office and nervously fiddled with the bound document on his lap.

A study of the societal structure of a police department as a microcosm of primitive culture was hardly the most original or dynamic subject matter, and it wasn’t exactly the thesis Blair had been hoping to present. Still, he felt he’d made some valid arguments and backed them with enough evidence from the field. Besides, he couldn’t conscionably publish his Sentinel paper now; he was definitely no longer an objective observer.

His new supervisor had been pleased enough with the finished paper, though perhaps that was simply relief that Blair had finally submitted something.

The whole terrible business with Brad Ventriss and his suspension had only served to convince Blair that he had made the right choice; it was time to leave academia. He didn’t belong here anymore. He wasn’t sure when the shift in his perception had happened, it was probably a gradual process, but he knew that he was more cop than anthropologist now.

God help me, I’ve gone native, he thought to himself with a grin.

The way he’d acted during the investigation into Ventriss had really scared Blair. He’d always had a temper, but he’d never let it get the best of him like that before. He was ready to tear Brad a new one when it looked like he was going to get away. Although on the positive side, he’d been able to harness that rage in order to get past his fear of heights and jump from the helicopter. Okay, so it had only been three feet to the water, but nobody needed to know that part.

But the depth of his anger and the violence that he’d considered had really scared him. He still had no clue what was causing these changes in him, but he really needed to get a handle on them before something happened that ruined his life forever. Like getting fired, for example.

Thankfully, Brad’s arrest had led to Blair’s name being cleared and Chancellor Edwards bending over backwards to make him happy, including granting him a change of topic. He’d quickly brought together his copious notes into a coherent dissertation that he’d handed in to his supervisor. Now he had to go before the peer review to present his paper, hopefully a formality, and after a few months for the wheels of academic administration to grind around he would receive his doctorate.

By which point he’d probably be a cop and wouldn’t care anymore.

*-*

Blair had smelled Naomi’s perfume a few seconds before she knocked on the door and one glance at Jim confirmed his partner had too. It had been nearly a month since his senses had become heightened and although they still had no explanation for them he was beginning to adapt to living with them. But in all the confusion he’d completely forgotten that his mother was coming for a visit.

“Crap,” he muttered as he headed to the door. He heard Jim laugh from the couch and turned to glare at him before turning back and opening the door. “Mom!” he greeted her with a big grin.

Naomi breezed into the room and hugged Blair before moving past him and hugging Jim. With a shrug, Blair picked up her bag and shut the door.

“It’s so good to see you both,” she said as Blair carried her bag to his room.

He placed her bag on the floor and quickly tidied the place, changing the sheets and trying to stack his papers neatly. Grabbing a blanket for himself, he headed back out to the main room where Naomi was entertaining Jim with stories of her recent exploits.

“Oh, honey, I was just telling Jim that I’d run into...”

“Yeah, I heard, mom,” Blair replied a little testily.

“Oh, sorry was I being too loud,” Naomi asked, looking apologetically at Jim who smiled and shook his head.

“No, Naomi,” Blair answered. “Sorry, look, I’ve been going through some stuff.”

“I hear that,” Naomi replied with a warm smile and patted the couch beside her. Blair smiled and sat down. “Honey, if it’s not too conventional of me, I’m very proud that you’ve finished your thesis. Though I am a little surprised by the subject matter.”

“Well, my first line of research was turning into a dead end,” Blair replied with a significant look at Jim. He then turned his attention back to Naomi and she stared back into his eyes, her face suddenly full of maternal concern.

“Blair, honey, what’s wrong?”

*-*

The wolf padded silently across the floor of the dark jungle but from his vantage point, the jaguar was able to monitor his progress with ease. As the wolf neared, the jaguar began slipping through the trees toward him, large paws gracefully bounding from branch to branch until he finally dropped to the ground a few feet in front of the wolf, stopping it in its tracks.

The two faced off for a moment, the wolf’s hackles rising, but then it seemed to recognise the jaguar and came closer. With a whimper (of joy? affection?) he nuzzled into the jaguar, marking him with his scent.

Instead of ripping his throat out, the jaguar nuzzled back. Then the jaguar did pounce, but there was no intent to harm. Massive, silky paws flipped the wolf and began to nuzzle and lick at his soft underbelly.

With a bark (definitely pleasure this time) the wolf rolled back to his feet, knocking the bigger animal over and suddenly they were a tangle of limbs and fur. Just as suddenly, the fur was gone and Jim and Blair were rolling around naked on the jungle floor…

Jim sat upright in bed, heart pounding in his chest.

What the fuck? he thought. On instinct, he reached out to listen for the steady and reassuring rhythm of his sleeping Guide’s heartbeat only to find that Sandburg was also awake, heart beating too loud and too fast.

Concerned, he got out of bed and began to go down the stairs, but he stopped when he saw Blair standing at the foot of them looking up at him.

Blair grinned sheepishly and gave a little wave. Jim still wasn’t quite used to Blair having night-vision too, but it reminded him that he could speak quietly, even at this distance. Last thing he needed right now was to wake Naomi.

“What’s up?” they both whispered simultaneously, causing Blair to snicker and Jim to grin.

“Weird dream,” Sandburg replied at the same time Jim answered,

“Nightmare.”

At Jim’s answer, Blair looked at him oddly for a moment, almost hurt, and Jim briefly felt overwhelmingly guilty for no apparent reason. Then the moment ended and Jim indicated that Blair should come upstairs. He knew neither one of them would be able to get back to sleep unless Blair was able to talk about whatever was bothering him.

“It was strange. It was one of my wolf dreams, but this time your jaguar was there, watching me,” Blair said as he reached the top. Jim nodded.

“And then they faced off, but instead of fighting they were being … friendly,” Jim supplied awkwardly. His heart skipped as he realised that he and Blair had shared the dream. “And then…”

Blair gave him another of those odd looks before he spoke.

“And then I woke up.”

Jim tried not to let his disappointment show, but he felt like he’d been kicked in the gut. It didn’t take a Sentinel to know that Sandburg was lying. Jim felt an idiot for even hoping that the shared dream might mean that Blair felt that way about him. The parade of women that had been through their apartment over the years should have been more than enough evidence of his heterosexuality.

Not that Jim went with guys as a rule, but his feelings were different with Sandburg, it wasn’t a physical thing; correction, it wasn’t just a physical thing, there was much more to it than that.

“Yeah, I woke up too,” he said feebly. Blair nodded once, clapped him on the shoulder and then returned downstairs.

Jim lay on his bed, but sleep didn’t come back to him that night; instead he just lay there, filling his senses with Blair.

*-*

As soon as Jim said the dream was a nightmare, Blair knew where this was headed. Perhaps it was some dormant Guide instinct, but he just knew that they had shared the same dream, and that Jim had thought it a nightmare. It felt like he’d been kicked in the gut, but he really should have known that his feelings could never be reciprocated by the older man. Jim was straighter than straight, dyed in the wool ex-Ranger/cop. Besides, if Blair was serious about becoming Jim’s partner for real then there could never be any fraternization between them.

Beyond a little college experimentation, Blair had only been with women, but he accepted that he loved Jim and it didn’t matter to him what package that love came wrapped in. And because he loved him, Blair gave his Sentinel a get out of jail free card, which Jim gratefully took.

Disappointed, Blair returned downstairs to the couch but he couldn’t go back to sleep. Instead he just lay there, filling his senses with Jim.

*-*

“Blair, there’s something I need to tell you,” Naomi said. Blair eyed the plate of tongue she was holding hungrily and took a slice before indicating she should continue. She placed it on the table and they both sat down. She sat there in silence for a moment and Blair realised with shock that she didn’t know what to say. He’d never known Naomi to ever be lost for words.

“Mom, what is it?”

“I’ve been thinking about what you told me, about the dreams and your senses, and I think it’s time I told you about your father,” she said.

“My father? What’s he got to do with any of this?” Blair asked, confused.

“I’m not sure, it might be nothing, but it might explain everything. I met him when I was on my way to Seattle and I stopped off in this little place called Wolf Lake. I stayed there about a month and had the most wild and amazing time with this great guy called Willard Cates. Nine months later, you were born,” she explained.

Blair placed his hands on the table and leaned forward, fascinated. Naomi had never wanted to discuss the subject of his father before, and now she was just laying it all out for him. He’d always assumed she didn’t really know who his father was, so it was quite a shock to hear the man’s name. But he was completely confused as to how this could have anything to do with what was happening to him right now.

“That’s really interesting, Naomi, and I’m glad you’ve finally told me, but I fail to see how connecting with my father is going to answer why my senses have gone into overdrive!” Blair said.

“I hear that. But I really think you should go to Wolf Lake. I think you’ll find the answers you need there,” Naomi replied and laid a hand over Blair’s.

Blair was still confused, but Naomi was adamant. It looked like he was going to Wolf Lake.

*-*

“You don’t have to waste your weekend with me,” Blair protested as his Volvo sped along the highway as fast as its old engine could manage. Jim chuckled and examined the file he was holding.

“Are you kidding me? You’re finally going to meet your father. No matter what happens, I want to be there for that,” he said. “And I thought you’d appreciate the backup,” he added. Blair smiled warmly.

“I do. I just figured you’d have better things to do.”

“Nope. Now, it says here that Willard Cates is chairman of some local brewery and basically owns the entire town,” Jim said, reading from the file.

“Not that I don’t appreciate the info, but isn’t that misappropriation of police resources?” Blair asked. Jim chuckled.

“Have to be some perks to the job,” he replied.

They reached the town limits of Wolf Lake as the sun was setting; the waters of the lake glinted orange in the dying light and Blair had to pull over to gaze at it for a moment.

“Beautiful,” he murmured. “I can see why Naomi liked this place so much.”

They drove through the town and to the Cates family home, which was located at the top of a wooded hill that overlooked the lake. As Blair pulled up and parked outside, he couldn’t help but let out an impressed whistle.

“Looks like we’ve both got rich fathers,” he commented with a nervous chuckle.

Jim offered to stay in the car, let Blair have some time alone with his father first and Blair was grateful for that. He was also grateful to have his Sentinel so close at hand; he couldn’t remember ever being so nervous.

Since discovering his new abilities, Blair had found himself relying on smell as his primary sense and the familiar scent of Jim Ellison was reassuring and calming.

He crossed the gravel drive up to the front door and took a big, deep breath. He was beyond nervous about meeting this man, but his curiosity about his father and the changes that were happening to him were getting the upper hand in the battle in his head.

“I’ve come this far,” he muttered and rang the bell, although he could barely hear it over the thudding coming from his chest. He took in another deep breath, filling his nostrils with Jim’s scent.

After a few moments, the door was opened by an attractive young woman.

“Good evening, I’m sorry to disturb you but I was hoping to speak with Willard Cates,” he said. The woman regarded him intently for a moment.

“Dad, someone here to see you,” she called before walking out the door, down the porch steps and jogging off into the woods leaving Blair standing awkwardly in the doorway.

“Well that was odd,” he said.

“If Cates is your father, then she’s your half-sister. No wonder she’s weird, Chief,” Jim said from the car, making Blair grin. He turned and poked his tongue out before returning his attention to the house.

Shortly, a middle-aged man entered the hallway and approached the open door. Blair applied his patented make-friends-and-influence-people smile and held out his hand.

“Willard Cates? I’m really sorry to be bothering you sir, but I need to speak to you. My name’s Blair Sandburg,” he said. At the mention of his name the other man beamed and grabbed Blair’s hand, pumping it enthusiastically before pulling him into a hug.

“Blair, my boy! It’s a joy to finally meet you. Please, come inside,” he said after he let go. He stepped aside to allow Blair entry, shut the door behind them and then guided Blair into the nearest room, which Blair took to be Cates’ study.

He took a seat and asked Blair to do the same before he studied Blair in the same intense way the woman had done.

“That woman I just met; she’s your daughter? My sister?” Blair asked, already really knowing the answer. Cates nodded.

“Ruby. You have a brother too, Luke. Well, half I suppose. But you’re here! So, Naomi’s finally come clean,” Willard said, the broad smile still plastered to his face.

“Yeah,” Blair said eloquently, his mind still processing the revelation that he had siblings. “Um, I had some questions that Naomi said you’d be able to answer.”

Willard looked confused and sniffed, which only seemed to confuse him more. But the action excited Blair as it seemed to confirm Naomi’s claim that Willard knew what was happening to him.

“You know, I’m not sure I do have all the answers, son. But I know someone who might, Let me make a call.”

Blair nodded and Willard left the room. He knew it was rude of him, but Blair was too curious so he eavesdropped on the phone call. He heard Willard speak to a man named Sherman and explain that Blair was in town. Sherman then asked if Blair had flipped, to which Willard replied ‘Not quite’, which had Blair even more confused than ever, and not a little afraid.

What the hell did he mean by ‘flip’? Blair wondered.

When Cates returned to the room he offered Blair a drink, which he gratefully accepted. He had a feeling he was going to need it.

“Sherman will join us shortly, but in the meantime let me tell you a little about our town,” Willard began as he sat back down.

*-*

“So I’m the illegitimate son of the alpha male of a pack of Skinwalkers?” Blair asked several hours later.

“Kick in the head, ain’t it?” Sherman began but stopped when Blair shook his head and smiled. Sherman Blackstone had joined them about half an hour into the conversation and had helped to explain Blair’s heritage.

“No, actually, a lot of things are starting to make sense,” Blair said. Like the reason his spirit guide was a timber wolf, not a jungle animal like Jim’s. “What I don’t understand is why all this is happening to me now.”

“Oh? Some Shaman you are,” Blackstone said derisively, making Blair start.

“How do you know…”

“That you’re Shaman of the Great City, Guide to the Sentinel who’s sat out in your Volvo, probably listening to this entire conversation?” he answered with a grin. “Lucky guess.”

Blair studied him for a moment and then came to a realisation.

“You have power,” he said. It was a statement, not a question, and Blair wasn’t sure where the certainty came from. He’d never actively tried to use the Shamanic gifts Incacha had bestowed on him, never tried to research it. Never even really thought about it, beyond the occasional wisecrack to Jim. But from now on he’d definitely be taking more of an interest.

Blackstone merely nodded.

“Wait, are you saying a human has heard this entire conversation?” Willard demanded, suddenly angry and on his feet.

“Relax, boss man. The Sentinel will keep our secrets, just as we’ll keep his. Isn’t that right, Detective Ellison?” Sherman said. Blair looked up to see Jim standing in the doorway; he must have come into the house when he heard Blackstone mention the Sentinel.

“I’ve no intention of telling anyone anything,” he answered. “I could never betray Blair like that.”

The warmth and conviction in Jim’s voice filled Blair with a joy and love that he’d never felt before and yet again he was reminded how lucky he was to have a friend like Jim Ellison. Even if friendship was all he could have.

Willard scrutinised Jim for a few minutes then, seemingly satisfied, he offered Jim a chair.

“Am I going to flip?” Blair asked, returning to their original topic. “Is that’s what’s happening to me? Didn’t you say that it would kill anyone who didn’t flip as a teen?”

As the panic rose in Blair he suddenly felt a comforting warmth and he looked down to find Jim had placed a hand over his. Smiling weakly, Blair gratefully took the offered hand.

“I’d lay even-odds you won’t. I just think recent events have made your inner wolf stronger,” Sherman answered, although the sage-like effect of his words was somewhat lessened when he suggestively waggled his eyebrows. “You may develop a few other traits; increased libido, bad temper, fierce loyalty…”

Jim laughed.

“He’s always had those,” he said so Blair poked him playfully.

“…telepathy,” Sherman added. At the sceptical looks from both Blair and Jim, Willard smiled.

“Not with just anyone, only with your pack. It’s the only way we can communicate in Wolven form,” he explained. Wrong kind of vocal cords, he added mentally and Blair was shocked to find he heard him.

Blair nodded to indicate his understanding. He was about to ask another question when the clock on the mantle caught his eye.

“Jeez, look at the time! I’m sorry; you don’t want to be talking to me all night. Jim, we should go find ourselves a room in town.”

“Please, stay here,” Cates said before Jim could reply.

“That’s very generous of you, sir,” Jim began to protest.

“Nonsense. I want to get to know my son. And I’m sure you want to meet Ruby and Luke, talk to them. I insist.”

Blair nodded eagerly, so Willard led them upstairs to a guest room with twin beds. He invited them to join the family for dinner, and then left them to their own devices.

*-*

Dinner was a little awkward; Ruby, Luke and Cates’ wife Vivian were wary of the newcomers, but the Sandburg charm helped and by the end of the evening they were all happily chatting with him.

Jim watched with affection as Blair connected with his family. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen him so happy. And a happy Sandburg made for a happy Ellison.

It was quite late when everyone finally went to bed, but even then Sandburg was unable to sleep. He lay in bed excitedly going over everything that had happened, dissecting it with his anthropologist’s eye. Jim just dialled down his hearing and eventually drifted off to sleep.

The next day Jim spent exploring the woods around Wolf Lake while Blair continued his quality time with his family. All too soon it was time for them to hit the road; they had to be back at work in the morning. Jim could see that Blair wanted to stay, but he eventually said goodbye to his father with the promise that he’d come for a longer visit as soon as he was able.

Given his own tenuous relationship with his father, Jim was amazed to find that he was less cynical than he’d have thought with regards to Blair and Cates connecting. Perhaps it was an indication of how much he loved Sandburg he mused as they walked back to the car.

Blair gave him another of those odd looks again then, so he stuffed down the thoughts and got into the Volvo.

Concludes in Part Three
 
 
 
The other Weird Al: Evil Club - crossfandom bunniesaeron_lanart on September 16th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Yay, you're posting it! Missed the first part. I need to get my hands on Sentinel again, this fic makes me miss it (as well as having added wolf which is always a plus in my book).


Edited at 2010-09-16 06:27 pm (UTC)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: naked nickidontlikegravy on September 16th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
I snuck it out yesterday just after Jinxed's birthday drabble!

Are you on Demonoid? It's all available there. Sadly only season one is available on DVD and then it's Region 1. :(

Katie is going to 'an evening with' Garett (Blair) in October in Birmingham. I'm most jealous, but we couldn't both have time off work and she's more obsessed than I am!
birggitt: Looooovebirggitt on September 20th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I missed part one! But now, I found this and, wow! A Wolf Lake/Sentinel crossover! Amazing!
As soon as my boss stop wandering around, and asking irrational stuff like, you know, work, I'll read both parts. *g*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: five and ten whackidontlikegravy on September 20th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Work? *tsk* How very dare they!

Well, I'm about to put up the final chapter, so you'll be able to read it all in one go :)