Reflections on a Nightmare
by Ice Bear
Summary: Jim's thoughts on the incident with Lash.
Disclaimer: All things Sentinel belong to Pet Fly and Paramount.
As soon as he propped the door closed, he collapsed to his knees. He wrapped his arms tightly around his chest, and began to rock erratically as silent sobs wracked his body.
It was simply too much. Lash had come so close to taking away the one person he needed more then life itself. And while part of his brain reminded him that said person was resting comfortably at the hospital, the rest of his mind was shifting wildly through worst case scenarios, as fear continued to run through his body.
He remembered inching down the short stairway – heart in his throat - gun drawn, ready to kill Lash as he stood over Blair. The panic he realized as the stairs crumbled beneath him; grabbing Lash before he got to the dropped gun; the glass shattering and free falling three stories; the pain of landing. The only thought left to him - if Lash lived, Blair died - so he forced himself up and continued the hunt through the warehouse.
The numbness that invaded his left arm as the lead pipe connected with his hand, sending the second gun flying. Realizing Lash was going to get to the gun first. Jumping and rolling as Lash came up with a weapon, and aiming as though he were at the firing range and pulling the trigger again and again and again and again and again. Leaving one bullet in the chamber, just in case; standing over the serial killer, letting his senses process that the man was finally and truly dead; wanting to collapse due to the pain. Knowing he needed to climb back up to his Guide.
Weaving up the crumbling staircase, and catching himself after he leapt over the broken stairs that led to his final goal; using a pick to unlock the heavy chains that bound his partner; gently lifting him into his arms. The fleeting sense of peace as he held Blair close, and his senses reassured him that all was well.
Moving cautiously down the decaying stairs carrying his precious cargo; refusing to remain a moment longer in that chamber of horror. Collapsing finally on a loading ramp outside the building, rocking the figure in his arms slightly as he waited for the backup he could hear.
His answers to the barrage of questions were head nods and shakes. He seemed to have lost the ability to speak – in reality he was too weary to form the words. Tearing away from the solid grip Simon had on his arm, and moving into the ambulance with his Guide.
Lost time in the ER waiting room, hearing intent on what was taking place in the treatment room where he was not allowed. The difficulty making his body obey when a nurse came to get him; the calmness that came from brushing a gentle touch down Blair’s cheek; sinking heavily into a chair to begin the vigil. The overwhelming relief when clouded blue eyes opened and a soft voice called his name. Reassuring words exchanged.
He had to get up off the floor. The loft needed to be cleansed. Lash’s scent was everywhere. He had desecrated their home. Using his hands and his knees he pushed himself upright. He stumbled to the bathroom and vomited – producing only bile since whatever food had been in his stomach had vanished long ago.
He surveyed the damage, again, and went to work. Calling in a favor to get a new door installed right away, before he brought Blair home; opening the windows to bring in fresh air; hanging the shade on the balcony window; sweeping up the broken glass from the lamp; scrubbing the floors; doing laundry; cleaning anything and everything simply because HE had been in their home – even if HE hadn’t touched it.
After all his work was done - beds remade, clean blankets placed over the sofas - he allowed himself the one luxury of showering. He did not look in the mirror once he had stripped down. He knew where every black and blue and purple bruise was – he could feel them – he didn’t need to have visual confirmation. The hot water was a blessing as it washed the smell of his nightmare down the drain. He lit two candles before going to his room to dress; light vanilla scented candles that his partner liked to use when he mediated.
His partner’s smile as he entered the hospital room warmed him at his core, and he felt the ice that had invaded his body when he’d picked up his pager to find the 911 message slowly begin to melt. He did his best to return the smile, needing to show his own joy that they had both lived through this nightmare.
As the elevator opened to the third floor, he heard the soft intake of breath as his partner spied the new door. He unlocked it, and proceeded into their home, stepping to the side to see what the reaction would be. He felt himself relax as the man next to him caught the scent of the candles and smiled.