By Paula C.
Spoilers: TS by BS
Sitting on the balcony to the loft, Blair sits huddled in the corner, legs drawn up, arms hugging himself, head bowed over.
The last week's turmoil finally taking the last of his strength, he retreated to the loft, cutting himself from anyone who tried to reach him.
Eyes closed, a slight rocking took to Blair.
He lost the life he thought he was rightly to do. The road he had chosen upon entering the halls of academia, a place that he could use his passion to the limit. Now, now he had found himself feeling like he hit the biggest cement wall he had ever seen.
No, he had dwindled for a time on a small path, seeing the life of the cop, how it works and how society needed them. He had learned a lot there, finding that his learning could help in cases that they thought were beyond closing.
A new road.
Could he travel this road as well as his chosen one?
"Can I be a cop?" He thought. "Can I carry the gun?"
All this time he kept him somewhat separated from the rest, he was the observer. He didn't carry a gun; he didn't even earn a paycheck.
Now they wanted him, want him to join in their ranks.
Could he join them?
It wouldn't be the Blair they knew, it would be a new Blair. He couldn't bring the former with him. He was to wide eyed, to open hearted to bring to this new path.
Rocking more, he didn't want to lose that self of him. How could he do this?
Taking a deep breath, he did his best to settle himself.
What this was going to cost him. What it did cost him.
He tried to look, reason, see another path, but all he could see was leaving his Sentinel, leaving Cascade to find another life. But that was not an answer. Never was.
Jim entered the darkened loft. His senses did their normal survey of the loft and found Blair. He had been gone for two days. It took Jim, with Simon's and Joel's, all he could to not go searching the city for him.
Time, they told him he needed time, time to re-evaluate, decide for himself what he needed.
So for two days, Jim came home to an empty home, made a simple meal, watch tv, mulling over what had happened in the past week.
A man had put his integrity, life dreams, before his own life. Jim couldn't see his own father or brother doing that for him. He once thought his commander would do it for him, but that turned out to be a farce of it's own.
Blair had jumped to the defense of his friend and now he was paying with his blood and sweat.
Jim had hoped Blair would return home; so he could talk to him, tell him things he should have said a long time ago.
Taking the afghan from the couch he went to the balcony.
"Blair?" Jim asked softly.
The smell of fear, tears, two-day-old cloths came to Jim.
Blair raised his head to look at Jim.
The eyes were lost. The brightness of knowledge, curiosity, and confidence were now gone.
Jim brought the cover around Blair. "I'm sorry Blair."
Confusion still reigned in Blair's eyes.
"I'm sorry that you had to do this. It shouldn't be like this. It should have been 'us' not 'you' to take care of this."
"It was my fault if Mom didn'tů"
"But if I had been in my right mind, I would have helped you find a way."
Blair shook his head, it was all wrong. "I had to do something, you were getting hurt."
"We weren't prepared. We knew underneath that it could happen, and we never faced that." Jim needed to sit down. "Think you can come in. I need to get off this leg."
Blair's nurturing personality took over. He swiftly stood up, but felt dizzy. Jim grabbed him, steadying him on his feet.
"Are you okay?"
Blair shook his head again. He wasn't okay, not in over a week. "Didn't eat."
"We're both a mess," Jim commented.
They headed in. Jim sat down on the couch lifting his leg on to the table. "Come here Chief." Blair shuffled over to the couch. "Lay down, use my good thigh for a pillow."
"But .." Blair tried to interject.
"Just do it." Jim left little room for argument.
Laying down, Blair faced away from Jim. He heard Jim a call on his cell phone, not paying attention. A hand was massaging his head and upper back. It felt good.
"Dinner is on it's way Chief." Blair nodded. "I hope you're okay. I did my best not to go after you. But I had to tell you some things, things that I should have told you before now."
Blair waited, wondering what Jim had to say.
"I want to thank you. When we first met I was ready to call it a day and leave this hell behind. Soon he had me back in the game. Then you stuck by me and made me face all the demons that I had haunting me, taking them down and reshaping them.
"I would never had made cop of the year without you. You made it happen. It takes your peers to make it, and before you, my peers would have disowned me.
"Something happened Blair. You happened. You guided me to my family. My guide Blair. That is what you are."
"I know." Blair answered.
"You made your decision?" Jim asked.
"Was there one to make?"
"You could leave. No one would fault you that."
"That's not an option, we both know that."
"You're going to take the shield?"
"After I get a few things straightend out. I have to find a lawyer, take care of few things."
"Already called, waiting for you to come in."
"Dad called, he's offering his personal lawyer."
"We need to do some damage control, get myself back on my feet."
A knock sounded at the door. "Dinner," Jim announced.
Blair sat up and looked to Jim. "We'll make it."
"You'll make it." Jim corrected.
"Yup, I'll make it, new road and all. You know, the road less traveled."
"Sounds like you, new road, new life."
Blair smiled meekly, "Rationalizing, it's what I do."
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