Notes: Originally intended for Challenge #42 "Journal", but it never quite developed the way I'd expected it to. After a little tweaking, though, I think maybe it can stand alone...
"Sandburg?" Jim called hopefully as he opened the loft door. "Hey, Chief, you here?" Stubbornly refusing to accept what the loft's continued silence was telling him - that his roommate wasn't home - he limped over to check first Blair's room, then the bathroom. Finally, he was forced to acknowledge that his hearing wasn't playing tricks on him - again - Blair really wasn't home.
Or maybe that should be "still". Ellison wasn't entirely certain that Sandburg had been home at all in the few days since they'd offered him a place at Major Crimes as his partner. If he had been, Jim hadn't seen him.
Belatedly realizing that something had seemed out of place when he'd looked in Blair's room, Jim returned for a second look. It only took an instant to figure out what was wrong. The desk was bare, piles of reference books were gone from the floor, shelves once overflowing with journals were now empty. A hasty - not panicky, no, of course not - check confirmed that nothing else was missing. Jim sat abruptly on the corner of the futon, blaming his shakiness on his injury.
Ah hell. Who was he trying to kid. It was relief. Relief that his roommate hadn't decided to cut his losses and split.
But it was premature relief, and he knew it. The very absence of all of Sandburg's Sentinel research materials was reason enough to worry. Sandburg's original reason for associating with him was gone. And while Blair had once said that it was all about friendship, Jim wasn't sure that held true now.
The friendship that had once been so solid was stressed to near breaking point and had been for quite some time. He refused to take full responsibility for that - Blair had made his own share of mistakes - but Jim had to acknowledge, if only to himself, that the real doozies belonged to him.
Maybe, if he wanted to salvage their friendship, it was time to admit it to Blair too.
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