Home is Where the Heart is
By Paula C.
Inspired by Home.
Blair and Meagan sat at the Bistro as Jim and Simon went into the travel office to secure their flight back home to Cascade. Blair sat calmly in his seat his arms folded on the table. He would have been resting his head if he didn't cough every few seconds.
"Sandy that is not clearing up."
Blair looked at her, " I... know." He felt like someone had wrapped his chest. "When we... get back to Cascade...I guess it's back... to the hospital for me."
"Do you think you'll last that long?"
Blair shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe I'll be... lucky and die... before we leave here. That should solve a lot of problems."
"Sandy, don't say that. You were dead before, you can't say that."
Blair looked at Meagan and wondered if she knew all there was going on around them. "I don't have a home... Jim almost made love with my killer... The Sentinel stuff just went up to more levels... I love Jim... but I can't get over this... I came here to help him."
"Which you did," Meagan pointed out.
"Which I did, but now ... What is left? ... I don't have a home. The only one that I ever had." Tears came to Blair's eyes; he now did seek comfort in burying his head into his arms. "God I hurt."
Jim let Simon make the arrangements. They couldn't leave till tomorrow afternoon. Simon found them a hotel near the airport and was able to get two rooms. He kept his observation on Blair, keeping his hearing in tune to his partner.
The coughing was getting worse and his vitals were all over the place. He listened to what he was saying to Meagan, but what caught him off guard was the 'I love Jim' part.
Simon settled the arrangements and they headed back out onto the street.
"What's wrong Jim?" Simon asked. Noticing that Jim was already looking ahead.
They walked over to the Bistro. Jim kneeled beside the coughing and now crying Blair. He rubbed Blair's back trying to sooth him. Blair looked up and shut his eyes, crying harder. Jim looked up to Simon. "Hail a taxi so we can get to the hotel. I'll get him."
Blair didn't know what was going on. He felt himself be picked up and held for the ride. He didn't care. It hurt both in his heart and his head.
The ride in the taxi was quick. Before Blair even cared that they were moving the car stopped.
"Come on Chief, stand for me." Following the order, Blair somehow stood on his own two feet as they others got their luggage. An arm came around his waist and guided him into the building.
He could sense Meagan next to him. "You hanging in there Sandy?"
Blair opened his eyes. He didn't dare talk; the coughing fit having eased for the moment. Simon returned from the desk with two keys.
"We're on the third floor. Meagan and I have 312 and you're in 316, it has a king bed and a fully stocked bathroom."
"Did you ask about a doctor on call?" Jim asked.
"He's away for the afternoon but they'll leave word to call you."
Blair looked blankly, trying to follow the conversation but gave up. His head was pounding. Jim went to move and he stayed still.
"Chief? " Jim called as he looked at Blair.
The exhaustion caught up with Blair who's legs finally gave out. Jim caught him. Simon and Meagan got their bags as Jim picked up Blair to carry to the elevator.
They got to their room and Jim laid Blair out on the bed. Blair's eyes were open but he couldn't say anything nor move.
Meagan got a wet washcloth and towel from the bathroom and started wiping his face.
Blair felt strange, watching what was going on around him, an organized chaos, and he was unable to say anything. After Meagan washed off Blair's face, Jim started unbuttoning his shirt.
Simon asked, "What happened?"
"Exhaustion. I'll get him cleaned up and settled. I'll let you know what the doctor says once I talk to him."
Meagan stood at the foot of the bed, looking worried. "Don't go Sandy, promise me you won't go."
Blair knew what she was meaning but couldn't say anything.
Jim stood up and looked at them. "You go wash up and get me some dinner. I'll take care of him."
Hearing that, Blair finally closed his eyes. He had no strength left, nothing left to fight Jim, the man who had thrown him out of his home, who had kissed his killer. Tears came to his eyes and started to fall silently.
"Ah Blair," Jim said as he fell to his knees by the bed. "What have I done?"
Blair opened his eyes to see Jim looking at him with his own tears to be shed.
Jim reached to touch Blair's cheek. "Chief, I know that you're suffering, a lot. Just hang in there for me. Please. Let me take care of you right now and we'll talk when you're up to it."
Blair blinked his eyes to that.
Jim got a determination to him and stood up. He walked around to the other side of the bed and pulled down the sheets then returned to Blair, stripping him down to his boxers. Using his strength, he picked up his charge and laid him down on the other side of the bed. Pulling the sheets up to his neck, Blair watched Jim turn off the lights except the desk light. Pulling the overstuffed chair to be by the bed, Jim sat down to look at his friend. "Close your eyes and get some sleep, I'm here to watch you. And Chief, though it seems I don't, I do, I do love you."
Blair went into a deep sleep. He was in the cocoon of darkness for a long time. Then he found himself in his spirit world. *Not now* he mumbled to himself. *Can't I get myself back in order* He stood in the meadow looking around him. The gray wolf entered the meadow. It looked like he was on his last legs. He limped to Blair, looking mange, like he had been in a battle. *I know how you feel buddy* Blair dropped to his knees to hug the creature. *Why did he leave us?* Blair asked. *How could he take what we had given him and turn us away* Blair cried.
A cat cry came to him. Blair looked up to see the Black Panther enter the field. Blair stood up and looked at the cat. "You promised me." Blair yelled. "What the fuck! You did what everyone else has done; throw me out when you were through. I fucking loved you man!"
The cat stopped a few feet away from him and the wolf. Slowly it morphed to be Jim.
"I was scared Chief."
"Scared? Scared of what?" Blair wondered.
"Of you, what you could do to me. Thought it was safer to tell you to leave."
"Do to you? Look man, I died for you!"
"I know, I was there, remember."
"And you brought me back," Blair pointed out.
"Yes I did."
"Why then? To torment me? You followed her here, and you kissed her!"
"It's not like I did it on my own. It wasn't a conscious thing."
Blair heard the whimper at his feet. He dropped down to sooth the spirit guide. "Look at him. This is me. I'm barely hanging on here."
Jim kneeled by them. "I'm sorry. But I want to help now." He touched Blair's chin making him look up. "I love you."
"And that makes everything better?"
Jim shook his head, "No. It gives you something to think about. Just rest and let me take care of you for awhile."
Blair looked down at the wolf. Jim reached to touch it. The wolf turned its head to take in the pat.
"Please Blair, give me a chance to help you."
The wolf dropped and rolled onto it's back, letting Jim stroke it. Blair sighed. His spirit guide was letting Jim take care of him. "What else is new, you took care of me before."
"But this is a new beginning Blair. We love each other."
Blair looked at Jim and saw the serious look. Jim pulled Blair up to stand before him. For the first time in a long time, he initiated it. He pulled Blair into his arms and held him. "I want you to come home."
Blair rested in those arms and murmured in Sentinel soft words, "I am home."
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