by Ice Bear
Summary: Blair accompanies Jim to San Diego for a trial. Rated PG-13.
Author's note: This story resulted from a very long day in the Phoenix Airport trying to get to home after a business trip to San Diego.
Disclaimer: I don't own them and make no money when I play with them.
“Hey man, what’s wrong?” Blair called out softly from his bed as he looked at the silhouette of his Sentinel against the window.
“Sorry Chief…having trouble sleeping. The wind – can’t seem to shut it out.” Jim responded before turning from the sliding glass doors to look back at his guide. Blair joined him and looked at the view of San Diego Harbor from their 11th story room and noted the flags from the NBC studio across the street were flying straight out as the wind buffeted them as it howled through the city.
“I know. It sounds like something out of an old horror movie. Can you dial it down?”
“Tried – every time I have it in check, it changes pitch and the dial spirals up again.”
Blair smiled slightly, knowing that his partner could see it, even in the dark. “I have an idea.”
“Scary words coming from you, Darwin.”
“Funny guy. If you want to sleep tonight, I suggest you drop the sarcasm and get back into bed.”
“Yes sir, sir.” After a military precise salute, he returned to the double bed closest to the door and folded his long body onto it. He stiffened slightly when the younger man crawled in beside him.
“Sorry, Jim, but the only way for you to tune out the wind is to give your senses other stimuli to focus on – something familiar. And like it or not, man, the only ‘familiar’ thing here is me.” By the time he finished speaking he’d managed to insert himself beside his partner. Lying on his back he took hold of a tense hand. “One hand here,” he said softly as he placed the warm palm over his heart. “There, now close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths…keep ‘em closed.” He took long, slow breaths like those he used when he mediated and smiled when he felt Jim’s breathing finally change to match his. Familiar grounding heart beat, herbal shampoo, soft puffs of Blair scented breath, and Jim was asleep in no time – as the wind continued its rampage.
Blair woke to find himself tucked neatly in beside his partner. “Thanks, Chief,” Jim uttered softly before releasing him. He rose and got the paper off the door, stopped to deliver it, and then headed off to shower.
“So what do you and Ted have planned for today?” He asked as he emerged fifteen minutes later, tucking a light blue dress shirt into his slacks.
“Not sure. I’d like to take a harbor tour if it’s warm enough. If not, there are a couple of museums. You?”
“Seven and a half deadly hours of court time. Dinner?”
“Sure. Why don’t we meet back here at 7? I’ll ask the Concierge for some recommendations.”
“Sounds like a plan – you have your cell phone?” “Yes, Mother.” A well placed pillowed knocked the paper from his hands, eliciting a laugh.
“The assistant AG wants to go over part of the file before court so I’ve gotta run. How are you fixed for money,” knowing as he asked that the younger man would be surprised when he found the twenties he’d slipped into the worn wallet.
“I’m good, man. You go play nice with the feds, and I’ll see you tonight.” He waited until he heard the elevator doors close. “I don’t suppose the fact that the assistant AG could have been a model has anything to do with your eager exit?”
In the elevator, Jim grinned foolishly and shook his head. He was in San Diego as a witness on a federal case involving crimes in Washington, Oregon and California. He’d been part of the task force that had brought down the gun running ring. Since the room was paid for, he’d invited Blair and given him the plane ticket for his birthday. The fact it coincided with the U’s break worked out well as far as the detective was concerned. Blair had been so busy burning the candle at both ends that Jim had been worried about his health – both mental and physical – and had been happy when his offer had been met with genuine enthusiasm. The fact Blair had a friend at UCSD to play tourist with was an added bonus.
Three days later, Blair returned to their room at 5 to find his partner downing a beer from the mini bar. The beer wasn’t an issue, but Jim had a house rule that covered travel – never, ever use anything in the mini bar because the price was outrageous. “Hey, how’d it go today?”
Blue eyes flashed open. “You ready for dinner?”
“Jim, what’s wrong?” The older man rose gracefully and stalked to the window.
“The case is unraveling – Garcon is going to walk.”
“No way, man. He’s responsible for…well, you know! Tell me what happened,” the last a quiet command.
“The defense attorney - he’s convinced the judge to throw out Oregon’s case – some issue with the chain of evidence – and he’s going after the California evidence as well.”
Swinging around, blue eyes hooded, Jim shook his head slightly. “He tried, but the judge denied it. I’m not sure it’s enough on its own to put the bastard away for life,” he finished and returned his attention to the window.
“What do all those federal attorneys say?”
“Who the hell cares – that…that son of a bitch is responsible for 12 deaths we know of; another 14 we can’t prove and god only knows how many we’ll never know about!” The hands were in tight fists and the body posture of his Sentinel was screaming of his need to protect his tribe from this serious threat.
“Jim – you said these lawyers were good.” Blair was at a loss. His partner was wound way too tight. He knew how much he’d put into bringing Garcon down – he’d never seen the man so single minded in his pursuit as he had been on this case.
“Clearly they’re not good enough!” He growled.
“You did your part – if it wasn’t for you there wouldn’t even have been a trial. You told me once that your job – a cop’s job – was to solve the crime, find the guilty party, and it was the court’s job to hand out justice.”
“You can remember that, but not ‘stay in the truck’?” The older man asked with a smirk, his posture easing slightly.
“What can I say? The mind’s a tricky thing – let’s go downstairs, grab a burger since I’m guessing you probably skipped lunch, and then come back up and watch the game.”
After turning off the light that night, Jim turned so he was facing his partner’s bed. “Thanks, Chief, sleep well.”
Jim endured three days of brutal cross examination where he was questioned about everything related to the case, as well as his past. The high priced defense attorney brought up the helicopter crash, his time in Peru – the son of a bitch had even gotten hold of his Army records that were supposed to be classified – and the barrage of medical tests he’d had during the Switchman case. Jim was wound so tight that Blair kept waiting for the explosion. He wanted to come to court – offered, begged even. He wanted to help in some way, but Jim refused. “It helps knowing one of us is having a good time. I’ll be alright.” He repeated every time his Guide asked.
The third night Blair returned to the room and heard the water in the shower. “Hey Jim, glad you’re back. I went to the zoo today. Man, wish you could have been there – they have wolves – a big pack. Pretty awesome.”
“Just tell me you didn’t feed them,” Jim said stepping into the room, a towel slung across narrow hips.
“Nah, thought about it though…would have been kind of fun to see what Simon would have said when he got that call.”
Jim shook his head. “Clean up – we’re going out. I want to see something other than the inside of this room or the court house. I figure you’re now as qualified as any tour guide, so let’s go.”
“Cool! Just let me take a quick shower.” He came out ten minutes later to find his partner, still clad in his wet towel, curled on his side, the stuffed panther Blair had picked up at the zoo clutched to his chest. The Guide wished desperately for a camera – this was a lifetime’s worth of blackmail material.