Unnatural Silence
by Settiai



Timeframe: "Sentinel Too, Part Two"


It was the silence that scared him the most.

Jim gently reached out, his hand brushing a strand of hair off of Blairís forehead. As his sleeping friend shifted uncomfortably, however, he quickly withdrew his hand.

After all thatís happened, I should have expected that.

In his mindís eye, Jim once again saw Blairís lifeless body floating in that damn fountain. He could still feel the terror that had began gnawing at his heart in that moment, still hear his own heart beating so loudly that it almost drowned out the absence of Sandburgís heartbeat. Almost.

He blinked as an unfamiliar wetness trickled down his face, and it took him a moment to realize that it was a teardrop. Biting back the dry laughter that itched inside of him, knowing that it would only lead to hysterics, Jim reached up and gently wiped away the single drop of water trickling down his face.

Itís not like Sandburg to be this quiet. Even when heís asleep, heís always mumbling something under his breath. The only other time that Iíve known him to be like this was...

Jim looked away from Blairís unconscious form, momentarily reliving the pain and helplessness that he had felt after the younger man had unknowing ingested an almost lethal amount of Golden.

At least that time, it wasnít my fault that he almost died.

A slight rustling sound caught his attention, and Jim slowly let his gaze drift back toward the bed. Blairís eyes were gradually opening, a bewildered expression shining in them. As his gaze focused in on Jim, they seemed to suddenly flood with remembrance. For just an instant, the younger manís eyes darted away from his friend -- and Jim felt something inside of him die. Without even pausing, he turned toward the door.

ďGive me a minute, Sandburg, and Iíll go get a nurse.Ē

Blairís voice, so low that it was barely audible even to his heightened hearing, hesitantly called after him.


Jim paused for just a moment, his mind trying to convince him that it would be easier for him if he just kept walking.

Since when have I listened to my head?

He slowly glanced back at Blair, who had somehow managed to prop himself up enough so that their eyes could meet. There was hurt in them, which he had expected, but there was something else there... Something that he had thought he would never see again.


Jim smiled slightly, nodding slightly in the younger manís direction to let him know that he understood. Everything was going to be fine. Eventually.

ďSandburg, lay your ass back down while I go get a nurse.Ē


Jim stood in the doorway, watching the nurse carefully as she finished adjusting one of the many tubes running from Blair. As she walked past him, leaving the room, he quickly planted an expression on his face that he hoped appeared normal.

ďYou know, Chief, if you want to meet nurses, there are easier ways.Ē



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