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15 September 2010 @ 06:28 pm
The Sentinel Fic 1/3  
So this is my first ever The Sentinel fic, please be gentle with me! It’s a crossover with Wolf Lake, but it’s set before that series so you don’t really need to know much about the show. Check tv.com or wiki for more info.

A/N:This is set a short time after the events of the episode Sentinel Too Part 2, and will become an AU season 4.

Warning: Pre-slash Jim/Blair which will become more in later chapters. Also giving this an NC17 rating for language and later scenes of nudity.

Disclaimer: Neither of these shows belong to me, clearly, because if they did they wouldn’t have been axed. Any characters you recognise are not mine either, and probably the ones you don’t too. Boo.

Big thank you to aeron_lanart for the beta and reassurances and to my sister for checking that Blair and Jim sounded right.

Pack Animal

Blair awoke, sweat making his blankets cling to him, his heart pounding in his ears and his breath coming hard. He sat up and pushed his hair off his face as he heard the soft pad of Jim’s footsteps down the stairs and his heart began to slow as he took in the warm and reassuring scent of his Sentinel.

Wait a minute, his scent? Blair thought, still confused by the dream. Before he could continue the thought, Jim entered the room, concern on his face.

“You okay, Chief? I heard your pulse increase…”

“Bad dream” Blair said, shaking his head. “But that’s not what’s got me freaked. A minute ago… this is crazy, but… I heard you coming, more to the point I could smell you coming.”

“Smell me?” Jim replied, sceptical. “Sandburg, you’ve only just woken up, you were probably still dreaming.”

Blair considered the idea a moment, and was about to agree but then he made a realisation.

“Jim, did you turn on the light when you came in?”

“Sorry, Chief. Would you like me to?” he asked, hand reaching for the switch.

“No, wait. I can see. I mean clearly, like I’ve got the light on and I’m wearing my glasses,” Blair answered, bringing his hand to his face to check he hadn’t gone to sleep wearing them. Satisfied he hadn’t, he looked about in wonder before looking to Jim; his thoughts racing with a million possible answers and theories. “Jim, can you sense me, as if… I mean do I feel any different to you?”

“You mean like another Sentinel?” Jim said and then shook his head without waiting for Blair to answer. “No, but I admit you do seem different somehow.”

“I thought maybe some of your jaguar crossed to me when… well, you know,” Blair trailed off and ran a hand through his hair. He knew that Jim still wasn’t comfortable talking about the more mystical aspects of that day in the fountain. Attempting to make sense of things, Blair tried to recall the dream that had woken him in the first place. “Actually, you might not have been too far from the mark with that dream idea.”

Blair shuffled over to make room for Jim, who perched on the end of the bed and looked at Blair expectantly. Blair ignored him for a moment, thinking over the remnants of his dream and considering their meaning.

“I was dreaming about the wolf, my spirit wolf. Only it was like when I died, like I was the wolf,” he explained.

“And you think that you somehow still had a wolf’s senses when you woke?” Jim suggested. Blair shrugged.

“Sounds kind of ridiculous when you put it like that,” he said with a sheepish grin. Jim held his hand up in a gesture of surrender.

“When it comes to our spirit guides and dreams, I’m willing to accept just about any theory, chief,” he said with a chuckle. He looked at the clock on the bedside table and then batted Blair’s knee playfully. “Come on, it’s nearly six. Might as well get up now,” he said as he stood up.

Blair groaned and pulled the pillow over his head, so Jim, a wicked grin on his face, pulled the cover off Blair’s feet and began to tickle them until Blair threw the pillow at him.

*-*

They’d been on stakeout for four hours now, and Blair was starting to get more and more uncomfortable. He began fidgeting in his seat, trying to stretch his limbs in the cab of Jim’s truck. It was a big, old truck with plenty of room, especially for someone as short as Blair, but today it felt cramped and tiny. Blair was almost physically itching to get outside and just run around in the fresh air.

“What is with you today, Sandburg?” Jim demanded finally. “You got ants in your pants or something?”

Blair shook his head.

“Sorry, Jim. I just can’t seem to settle today. Maybe it’s still a remnant of that dream. I felt so free, just running in the woods, nobody there. It was amazing. Guess the truck feels kinda confined in comparison, you know?” Blair knew he was babbling a little, but he also knew that Jim was used to it by now and would only shush him if it was important. “I’ve never felt that connection to my wolf before, I’ve always thought of it as just a spirit guide, a representative of the Shaman, or the Guide; never really connected it with being me.”

“I get that, chief; scared the hell out of me the first time I realised the jaguar was me, or my spirit anyway. I guess you have to try and fit all those pieces of yourself together. I don’t know…” Jim stopped mid-sentence and Blair knew immediately why.

“Gunshot,” he said, hand already on the handle of the door. Jim nodded and they got out and began running toward the building they’d been watching.

“How the hell did you hear that, Chief? It was silenced, I only just heard it,” Jim said. Blair stopped for a second, confused, but he knew now was not the time to try and figure out what was going on. Instead, they continued forward; as they reached the door he wrinkled up his nose.

“Ugh, what is that smell? It’s really sweet and metallic…”

“Blood,” Jim said darkly. He gave Blair a scrutinising look before pulling his gun and heading into the building. “Stay behind me. And we’ll discuss this later.”

“Oh, you betcha.”

*-*

Jim didn’t know what was going on with Blair, but his Guide had him really worried. Sandburg had been acting a little strangely ever since that day in the fountain, but Jim had given him some latitude this past month or so. After all, it wasn’t every day you came back from the dead. But this new stuff, with the dream and his senses, it was weird even by their standards.

Blair’s theory had some merit; neither one of them fully understood the whole Sentinel/Guide/Shaman deal, or the consequences of sharing their spirits. There was certainly a mystical element to it all, even if Jim didn’t want to admit it.

Blair didn’t feel like another Sentinel to Jim, he still felt like his Guide, like Sandburg. But there was a new side to him, a more dangerous, almost predatory part that should have made Jim uneasy, but instead made him feel more comfortable. Was it possible that his wolf spirit was somehow becoming more dominant inside him?

On entering the warehouse they’d been staking out they discovered the owner lying dead on the floor. They both heard footsteps on the supposedly empty floor above them, and Blair had gone running out the room before Jim could stop him. With a grunt of frustration, he’d caught up to Blair, who’d stopped at the top of the stairs. Jim could hear a heartbeat just around the corner from them, beating fast. He silently passed his backup to Blair, who for once took it without argument and cocked it. Giving a nod of readiness, Blair looked to Jim for guidance, so Jim hand-signalled for him to fan right, while he took the left.

Thirty seconds later, the perp was on the ground with a bullet in his shoulder, not from Jim’s gun, but from Blair’s.

As Jim cuffed the suspect, Blair was staring at the gun in his hand as if he’d only just realised he was holding it. He mutely handed it back to Jim and once backup had arrived they returned to the precinct in silence. Once they were there and had given their statements, Blair muttered something about being tired and said he was heading home.

“Okay, chief. Give me a minute and I’ll give you a ride.”

“No thanks, Jim. I’d rather walk,” he replied absently.

Jim watched him go, a cold knot in his stomach. He didn’t know who it was that had pulled that trigger, but it sure didn’t seem like Blair Sandburg.

*-*

Jim shoved his way into the apartment, banging the door loudly and making Blair jump. From his position on the floor, it looked like he’d been meditating.

“Sandburg, where have you been? I’ve been calling all afternoon,” Jim said.

“Sorry, I turned the phone off. Needed some thinking time,” Blair apologised as he shifted his position to allow Jim to sit on the couch before he blew out the candles that were placed on the coffee table.

“And? Any great insights?”

Blair sighed, ran his hand through his hair and then looked up at Jim.

“No. I’ve been testing my senses and they still seem to be heightened. But it’s different from the way you’ve described things. You’ve always described a focus, a depth to your senses; but for me it’s almost the opposite, it’s like the breadth of information available to me has increased. I’m picking up scents and sounds from all around, and the scents have all these new layers to them. It’s more like a dog or…”

“A wolf.”

Blair stood up suddenly and began pacing the floor, so Jim moved to stand in front of him.

“I don’t know what’s happening to me, Jim. I shot that guy today without a second thought; it’s making me question everything I’ve ever valued. And it scares the hell out of me,” he said quietly, and Jim could see the tears at the corners of his eyes.

He pulled Blair into a hug and held him tight, stroking his hair.

“Sssh, we’ll figure this out together, okay?” he said. He felt Blair nod against his chest and he smiled.

*-*

Jim awoke to the smell of a lit fire and freshly brewed coffee. It was their first weekend off in months but their planned fishing trip had been scuppered by heavy snowfall. Jim thought that a quiet weekend with a good book and his best friend for company could make an excellent substitute.

Still in his shorts, Jim padded down the stairs to get a cup of the coffee. He stopped at the foot of the stairs; Blair was kneeling by the fireplace, a stack of paper beside him.

“Morning, Chief, what’re you doing?”

Blair turned and smiled at him in greeting.

“Morning. I’ve been thinking about what you were trying to say the other day, actually. About putting the pieces together? And you were right; I’ve been trying to juggle these four separate parts of me and something has to give,” Blair explained, gesticulating in his usual enthusiastic manner.

“So, what gives?” Jim asked, amused. Blair indicated the stack beside him.

“I’ve decided that my priority needs to be my role as Guide and Shaman,” he answered.

A little confused, Jim read the top page of the stack and realised with shock what it was and what Blair was about to do. He slowly began edging toward Sandburg in the manner he’d approach a jumper on a rooftop.

“Sandburg, burning your dissertation, that’s a little extreme, don’t you think?”

Blair shook his head and then picked up the top page, crumpled it into a ball and threw it on the fire. Jim stopped and stared at his friend.

“The Sentinel isn’t a thing to be studied, poked, prodded. You’re my friend, my partner. You’ve saved my life more times than I care to count…”

“Right back at you, Chief,” Jim interjected, but Blair waved his hand dismissively.

“With everything that’s happened it’s made me realise what’s important,” he finished.

“Your research is important. What about your dissertation?”

“Ah, I’ve got a dozen others I could hand in tomorrow. I’ll still get my doctorate.”

“Then what about being my Guide? Simon won’t let you continue to ride along anymore,” Jim pointed out.

“I thought about that. I’m enrolling in the next Academy intake. Hopefully Simon can pull some strings to help fast track me to detective so I can be your real partner,” Blair answered.

Jim grunted in frustration. It seemed Blair had every answer thought out.

“Okay, I don’t want you to destroy it,” he said. Blair looked at him in confusion. “I’m not thrilled about it being published in our lifetime, but I do think it’s important that it is one day. If your thesis helps just one Sentinel who’s out there alone and confused then it would be worth it. So please, don’t burn your notes. Just lock them away somewhere, okay?” he pleaded.

Blair thought for a moment and then nodded; Jim sighed with relief. He didn’t know what had triggered this impulse, but he was certain that eventually Blair would have regretted burning his notes and perhaps even resented Jim for it. Maybe that made his motives selfish, but Blair was right, they were friends and partners, and Jim didn’t want to lose Blair, not again. He didn’t like where that thought was going, so to distract himself he asked Blair about his senses.

“As far as I can tell, my sense of touch hasn’t changed. Although, for some strange reason, I don’t seem to feel the cold like I used to,” Blair said as he got up and headed into the kitchen. He grabbed an elastic from the counter and scraped his hair into a ponytail, poured them both a cup of coffee and then began making bacon and eggs for two.

“You psychic too?” Jim asked with a grin. “I was just thinking about having that for breakfast.”

Blair laughed as he cracked the eggs into the pan.

“Maybe it’s a Shaman thing,” he joked with a shrug. “Anyway, my sense of smell and my hearing seem as acute as yours, although my hearing does better in the ultrasonic ranges than the infrasonic. My eyesight is better than average, but not as good as yours on distance, I can only clearly see maybe a mile, but I think I may have better night vision. And…” Blair trailed off his rambling finally and Jim realised that he was embarrassed.

“What is it, Chief? Only thing makes you shy normally is a woman.”

Blair poked his tongue out at Jim and then served up breakfast before passing Jim his plate. It wasn’t until they were both seated at the table and eating that Blair spoke again.

“I think I can see infra-red and ultra-violet light,” he said quietly.

At first Jim couldn’t understand why that had him so nervous, but then he made the connection.

“So you really think this has something to do with your animal spirit?” he asked, careful to keep his tone gentle and neutral. He didn’t want Blair to think he was mocking him about this.

“I keep having that same dream, and I can’t think of any other explanation,” Blair said.

Jim smiled reassuringly and laid a hand on Blair’s across the table.

“Whatever the explanation, we’ll figure it out and we’ll adapt. We’ll learn to handle your senses the same way we did mine. Together,” he said firmly and looked Blair in the eyes to show his sincerity.

Blair returned the smile and then quickly dropped his head. He tried to cover the gesture by shovelling a fork of food into his mouth, but because of the discussion they’d just had Jim recognised it for what it was. Blair was being submissive to his pack Alpha.

“Hey,” he said, making Blair look up again. Jim made eye contact again, but this time he leaned over the table and grabbed Blair’s chin so he couldn’t look away.

“Jim, man, what are you doing?” Blair asked with a nervous chuckle.

“None of that,” Jim scolded gently. “We’re partners. Equals.”

Blair looked like he was going to protest, maybe pretend he didn’t understand, but instead he just nodded. Jim let go of him and resumed eating his breakfast.

“I hope we figure this out soon. I feel like I’m going nuts,” Blair muttered before he also resumed eating.

continues in Part Two