New Arrivals
Author-Kim Jackson
Titles

Deja Vu
by Kim Jackson

Summary: Blair is reliving the worst day of his life, literally. Can he figure out what's going on in order to save Jim, or is he doomed to watch his best friend's death forever?

Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters don’t belong to me, unfortunately. I’m just borrowing them.

Blair awoke to the song “Here I Go Again” blaring from his clock radio. With a muffled groan, he slapped the snooze button and turned over to catch a few more minutes of blessed sleep. He heard Jim heading down the stairs from his loft bedroom and prayed the sentinel would let him sleep just a little longer.

“Hey Chief,” Jim called.

Blair grimaced. Damn. No such luck.

“Come on, Sandburg. Up and at ‘em. We have to get going.”

With a sigh, Blair sat up and pushed the blankets aside. Man, he hated mornings, especially Monday mornings. Getting out of bed, he headed out of his room to find that Jim was already in the shower. With a huge yawn, Blair headed into the kitchen to start making a pot of coffee. There was a sudden loud crash, and Blair ran to the balcony to see what had happened. He looked down at the street and saw that a black Mustang had rear-ended a red SUV. It didn’t look like anyone was hurt, and there were only minor damages. Nothing to be concerned about.

“Chief?” came Jim’s voice from inside.

“It’s nothing, Jim,” Blair called, knowing that the sentinel had heard the accident loud and clear. “Just a minor fender bender. Don’t worry about it.”

Blair heard the bathroom door close again and returned his attention to the street below. A lot of people were out and about this morning, going to work or school, or just out to enjoy the incredibly nice day. He watched the man in the Mustang, a tall black man, get out of his car to inspect the damage. The blonde woman in the SUV seemed a little shaky as she stepped out of her vehicle.

Blair looked at the people walking along the street. There was a red-haired woman walking her dog. A man in a business suit carrying a briefcase walking and talking on his cell phone, not really watching where he was going. A guy in a blue parka riding a bicycle was paying more attention to the woman walking her dog than where he was going and nearly ran into a light pole. Blair laughed. Sometimes it was fun to people watch. Some people do some stupid and hilarious things when they don’t know they’re being watched.

“Hey Sandburg, get a move on or we’re going to be late,” Jim called.

Blair headed back inside. Jim was already upstairs presumably getting dressed so Blair went to take his own shower, hoping that Jim left him some hot water.

Blair grabbed a bagel on his way out the door while Jim opted to get something from the vending machine at the station. Walking to the truck, Blair stepped in a deep puddle, drenching his shoe.

“Oh man,” he groaned. “Stupid puddle.”

“You should watch where you’re going, Chief,” Jim said with a grin.

“Very funny,” Blair grumbled as they got into the truck.

They made it to the station on time for once. Walking into the bullpen, Blair saw Henri Brown and Brian Rafe gathered at Brown’s desk.

“Hey Hairboy,” Brown called with a grin. “I heard you struck out with Kelly down in Records.”

Blair sighed. He should have known they’d find out about that. Kelly Clayton was the desk clerk in the Records department. She was the most beautiful woman in the station, but she was known to be the hardest woman to get a date out of. Every man who’s asked her out on a date had been turned down, and Blair thought he’d try his luck. He hadn’t gotten very far.

“Yeah, yeah. But I haven’t given up yet. I’ll ask her out again sometime,” Blair said.

“Well, you’ll have to get in line because GQ over here already got a date with her,” Brown said, pointing at Rafe with his thumb.

Blair looked at Rafe in disbelief. “What? How did you manage that?”

“Good looks and charms, my man. Good looks and charms,” Rafe said, patting Blair on the shoulder as he walked back toward his own desk.

“Hey I’m good looking. I have charm,” Blair argued.

Brown snorted. “Apparently, she didn’t think so. Of course, that’s no surprise. I don’t think any of your dates have ever thought that.”

“Probably why he can’t keep a date,” Rafe joked. Both detectives laughed.

Blair tried to look indignant. “Ha ha. Very funny,” he said as he walked over to Jim’s desk where Jim was already seated shaking his head. “What?”

“When are you going to learn, Chief? Most women are not that easy.”

Blair rolled his eyes and sat down in the chair next to his partner. He hadn’t been seated for more than a minute when Simon came out of his office putting on his coat.

“Ok people. Listen up. We’ve got a report of shots fired at Warehouse 34 over on 17th Street. Let’s move.”

“Let’s go, Chief,” Jim said as he stood.

Blair got up as well and followed his partner and the rest of Major Crime. It didn’t take long to get Warehouse 34. It wasn’t in the greatest of areas. It was in an even worse neighborhood than the warehouse where Blair used to live. Perfect place for criminal activity.

When they got there, there were already a number of police cruisers outside. Jim parked behind one of them, and Simon pulled up a second later.

“Stay here, Chief,” Jim said as he got out of the truck.

“No way, Jim. I’m your backup. You need me,” Blair said.

“I’m not going to argue with you. This is too dangerous. There could be men with guns in there, and I don’t want to have to worry about your safety while I’m inside.” Jim slammed the door shut before Blair could voice another protest.

Blair crossed his arms in annoyance as he watched Jim and the other officers put on Kevlar vests before heading inside and started grumbling. “Stubborn pig-headed sentinels. Don’t know when to ask for help. Well, if you zone in there, don’t come crawling to me.” He knew Jim could probably hear him if he was listening, but he didn’t care. He was pissed that he was being treated like a child that was tagging along with his big brother or something.

Gunfire echoed from within the warehouse, and Blair got out of the truck, his anger forgotten to be replaced by worry. There seemed to be a gun battle going on inside that lasted for several long moments, and then everything was suddenly quiet. Blair waited anxiously, his heart pounding in fear.

Finally, police officers started streaming from the building, some escorting men in handcuffs to the waiting police cruisers. Then he saw Simon in the doorway.

“Somebody get an ambulance here now! Sandburg!” Simon yelled, beckoning Blair forward.

Oh god! Jim! Blair thought in horror as he ran into the building and followed Simon to Jim. He gasped when he first caught sight of his partner. Jim lay unconscious on the floor. Brown was kneeling next to him holding a cloth to the side of Jim’s neck. The cloth was red with blood, and blood streamed from one corner of his mouth.

Blair knelt next to Jim opposite Brown and took over applying pressure to the wound. Jim was still alive, but his pulse was weak and his breathing was raspy at best. He looked up at Simon with shimmering eyes.

“What happened?”

Simon sighed. “Brown, go check on that ambulance,” he ordered. Brown nodded and hurried outside. Simon knelt down in Brown’s place. “He was shot, Blair. I think he zoned.”

Blair closed his eyes in despair. “Oh god,” he whimpered as he looked down at his still partner. “Jim, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean what I said. Just stay with me.”

Jim couldn’t die. He had to live. Blair didn’t want his last words to Jim to be spoken out of anger. He hadn’t even meant it. He was just pissed off at being left behind.

Jim’s eyes fluttered opened slightly and looked around before focusing on Blair. “Chief,” he whispered so softly that Blair almost didn’t hear it. Then he started coughing, and more blood bubbled from his mouth.

“Jim?” Blair said, wiping the tears from his eyes in an effort to look more composed. “Hey, it’s going to be ok. You hang in there. The ambulance is on the way.” But Blair didn’t like the look in Jim’s eyes. Despair and resignation. He saw Jim’s lips move and he leaned down with his ear close to Jim’s mouth.

“Chief…I’m…sorry. I…love…you…” There was one last rattling breath and then nothing.

“Jim? Jim? No.” Blair let the tears fall freely as he clutched Jim’s lifeless body close to his chest and started rocking back and forth. “Please don’t leave me,” he pleaded as he started sobbing uncontrollably.

Simon stood and watched the scene unfold, tears falling down his own face. He wasn’t sure what he could do. Jim had been that kid’s whole world, and now he was gone leaving behind a void that could never be filled.

“Captain!” Brown yelled as he ran in. “The ambulance is…here.” Brown stopped as he saw Blair crying over the body of his best friend.

Simon lowered his head. “It’s too late,” he said in a strained voice.

After the coroner came to take the body away, Simon herded Blair into his car and drove him home. He had stopped crying, but now he seemed to be in shock. He just kept staring out the window without saying a word. When he pulled up in front of the loft, Blair made no move to get out.

“Blair, we’re here,” Simon said softly.

“I should have been with him,” Blair said in a near whisper.

“What?”

“I should have been with him. I should have been there. I could have stopped him from zoning.”

“Sandburg, you couldn’t have known this was going to happen,” Simon placated.

“So what! I should have been there anyway. I should have anticipated. I’m his backup. I was supposed to watch his back. God, what kind of guide am I?” Blair was beginning to get agitated.

“Blair, calm down. This isn’t your fault. Jim wasn’t about to let you go in there with him. He’d cared about you too much to deliberately put you in harms way like that.”

Blair sniffled and wiped the moisture from his eyes. “You know what the last thing I said to him was? I called him a stubborn pig-headed sentinel, and that if he zoned, to not come crawling to me. God, how could I say that?”

Simon placed a hand on Blair’s shoulder. “Did you say it to his face?”

“No. I said it as he was putting on his Kevlar vest.”

“Then I doubt he even heard you. He was too focused on what was going on in the building to be worrying about what you were saying in the truck.”

Blair looked up at the captain hopefully. “You really think so?”

“I know so. I was with him, remember?”

Blair lowered his gaze. “I still should have been with him,” he mumbling as he got out of the car.

“Look, Sandburg, just go up to the loft and get some sleep. I’ll call you later, ok?”

Blair nodded and headed into the building. When he got up to the loft, he took a look around. There were so many memories here. He could practically see Jim sitting on the couch watching a movie or a basketball game on TV. Jim cooking something in the kitchen or Jim standing out on the balcony beer bottle in hand. Tears filled his eyes as he realized that he would never see his best friend again. That they were just memories, and that’s all he’d ever have of him.

His face wet with tears, Blair closed his eyes and ran to his room and shut the doors. He leaned against the French doors and slide down them to the floor where he curled up in a tight ball. He didn’t want to remember because that just caused him more pain and reminded him that his best friend in the whole world was gone for good. He sat there for a while before he finally pulled himself up and collapsed on the bed. He cried himself to sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair awoke to the song “Here I Go Again” blaring from his clock radio. With a muffled groan, he slapped the snooze button. That’s funny. He didn’t remember setting the alarm. Shrugging it off, he turned the alarm off and rolled over. He didn’t want to get up just yet. He wasn’t ready to face the emptiness that would be his life from now on.

“Hey Chief.”

Blair’s eyes snapped open. He couldn’t have heard that, could he? No, Jim was dead, wasn’t he?

“Come on, Sandburg. Up and at ‘em. We have to get going.”

Blair sat up and stared at his closed door. He had definitely heard Jim’s voice out there, but how could that be? Daring to hope, he got out of bed and slowly crept out to the main living area. Looking around, he could see no sign of Jim. Maybe it was just his imagination. Maybe it was just wishful thinking. He was just hearing what he wanted to hear. That had to be it.

Then the bathroom door opened and Jim stepped out looking concerned. “Hey Chief, you ok? You’re heart’s racing.”

Blair’s mouth dropped open and he felt like he couldn’t breathe. That couldn’t be. Jim was dead. He had watched him die. He had cradled his lifeless body in his arms until the coroner came. His vision started to grey out, and suddenly Jim was in front of him with his hands on his shoulders.

“Chief, you need to calm down and take a deep breath. Come on, breathe.”

Blair took in several deep breaths and tried to calm himself.

“That’s it. Now tell me what’s wrong,” Jim said gently.

Blair opened his mouth, but he couldn’t speak past the lump in his throat. Finally, he launched himself into Jim’s arms. He had to make sure he was real, that he wasn’t a hallucination that would disappear at any moment.

“Whoa, hey,” Jim said as he pulled Blair against his chest. He started rubbing the kid’s back to calm him down. “It’s ok. Blair, what is it?”

Blair finally pulled out of Jim’s embrace and wiped the tears from his eyes. “You’re alive,” was the only thing he could say. He was so overjoyed that was Jim was standing in front of him alive.

Jim raised his eyebrows and then smiled. “Yeah, last time I checked. Been that way for almost forty years now.”

Blair laughed. He started to relax as he finally figured out that it hadn’t really happened. It was all just a dream, a really bad dream.

“So what’s going on?” Jim asked. “What’s got you so upset?”

“Nothing. Just a nightmare.”

“Must have been some nightmare. Do you want to talk about it?”

Blair shook his head. He didn’t want to relive that horrible experience any time soon.

“Ok, but you’re ok now?”

“Yeah, I’m ok.”

“Ok. Do you want to take the first shower?”

“No, you go ahead. Just leave me some hot water, will you please?” Blair said with a grin.

“I’ll try,” Jim said as he headed back into the bathroom.

Blair sighed in relief. He felt almost giddy. Jim was alive. He wanted to shout it from the rooftops he was so happy. His jovial mood disappeared however, when he heard a loud crash outside. He froze and stared at the balcony doors. Oh no. It couldn’t be.

“Chief?” Jim called from the bathroom, but Blair was too shocked to provide answer. Finally the bathroom door opened and Jim walked out. “Sandburg, what was that?”

When Blair finally worked up enough saliva to speak, he replied, “I-I don’t know. It came from outside.”

Jim walked out on the balcony and then came back in saying, “It’s nothing. Just a fender bender.” He paused on his way to the bathroom. “Blair, are you ok?”

“Fine,” Blair answered a little too quickly. “I’m fine.”

Jim looked skeptical but said nothing as he went back into the bathroom. The minute the bathroom door closed, Blair hurried out to the balcony. His breath caught in his throat. A black man in a black Mustang had rear-ended a blond woman in a red SUV. It was the same accident. It was even the same people driving. Then he began noticing other similarities to his “dream”. The man in the business suit talking on his cell phone, the red-headed woman walking her dog, the man in the blue parka almost crashing his bike into a light pole, it was all the same. This had to be a coincidence, he told himself.

“Hey Sandburg, get a move on or we’re going to be late,” Jim called.

Blair hurried back into the loft to take his shower, trying to forget what he just saw.

Heading down to the truck, Blair was munching on the bagel he had grabbed on the way out and contemplating what was going on. Could his dream have been a premonition or was all this really just a coincidence? But it couldn’t be a coincidence. It was too specific to be coincidence. But Blair shuddered to think that it was a premonition because then that meant that Jim was going to die today.

Lost in his thoughts, Blair stepped off the curb and right into a large puddle. “Ah!” he yelped, shaking the water off his foot. Not again, he thought.

“You should watch where you’re going, Chief,” Jim said with a grin.

Blair tried to smile, but it was strained. This is getting eerie, he thought as he got into the truck. Blair was getting more and more anxious as they got closer to the station, which didn’t escape Jim’s attention.

“Chief, what’s going on with you? You’ve been acting weird since you woke up this morning. Is that dream you had still bothering you?”

“No, Jim. I’m ok,” Blair insisted.

“Really? Because you seem agitated about something.”

You have no idea, he thought to himself. Out loud, he said, “I’m fine. Really.”

Walking into the bullpen, Blair froze when he saw Rafe and Brown gathered at Brown’s desk. He knew what was coming next, but he prayed that something else would happen.

“Hey Hairboy,” Brown called with a grin. “I heard you struck out with Kelly down in Records.”

“Yeah,” Blair said slowly.

“Well, if you’re thinking about trying again, you’ll have to get in line because GQ over here already got a date with her,” Brown said, pointing at Rafe with his thumb.

Blair felt like he was going to be sick. “How did you manage that,” he asked in a monotone, dreading the answer he knew was coming.

“Good looks and charms, my man. Good looks and charms,” Rafe said, patting Blair on the shoulder as he walked back toward his own desk.

Blair didn’t say anything.

“And apparently, she didn’t think you had those. Of course, that’s no surprise. I don’t think any of your dates have ever thought that.”

“Probably why he can’t keep a date,” Rafe joked. Both detectives laughed.

Blair closed his eyes and ran to Jim’s desk. The laughter stopped immediately.

“Whoa, Sandburg. Are you ok? We were just joking around,” Rafe said.

“Chief, what’s wrong?” Jim asked in concern.

Blair opened his eyes and looked at Jim, eyes bright. “Jim, something bad is going to happen.”

“What?”

Before Blair could explain, Simon came out of his office putting on his coat.

“Ok people. Listen up. We’ve got a report of shots fired at Warehouse 34 over on 17th Street. Let’s move.”

“Let’s go, Chief,” Jim said as he stood.

Blair was frozen in place. It was all happening again. But maybe this time, he could change the outcome. He grabbed Jim’s arm.

“Jim, don’t go, please.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“Look, something bad is going to happen. You can’t go to that warehouse.”

“Look, Sandburg, I don’t know what’s going on with you today, but I have to go. It’s my job.” He put both hands on Blair’s shoulders. “You’re probably still a little freaked from that nightmare you had. From what I saw, it was a bad one, but believe me nothing’s going to happen.” He patted Blair’s shoulder before following the rest of Major Crime.

“Damn it,” Blair swore. Well, he wasn’t giving up yet. He could still stop it.

The ride seemed to take longer to get Warehouse 34 this time around. Blair kept his eyes out the window the whole ride.

When they got there, there were already a number of police cruisers outside. Jim parked behind one of them, and Simon pulled up a second later.

“Stay here, Chief,” Jim said as he got out of the truck.

“No way, Jim. I’m your backup. You need me,” Blair said.

“I’m not going to argue with you. This is too dangerous. There could be men with guns in there, and I don’t want to have to worry about your safety while I’m inside.” Jim slammed the door shut before Blair could voice another protest.

Blair got out and confronted Jim in front of the truck. “No. You’re not going in there without me. Anything could happen in there. You could spike. You could…zone. I’m going in there whether you like it or not. Now I can either go in there with you or I can follow you in after the fact. Your choice.”

Jim shook his head with a sigh. “Fine. C’mon.”

Blair smiled inwardly as he followed Jim to where Simon and the other officers were getting ready to go inside. Simon saw them approach and put up his hand to stop them.

“Whoa, hold on. What’s wrong with this picture? Sandburg, what do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m going in, Simon,” Blair replied.

“Excuse me? Jim, you’re allowing this?” Simon asked.

“He’s being stubborn today, Captain. Nothing I say will change his mind.”

“I don’t care. You’re not going in.”

“I’m going in there,” Blair said forcefully. “Jim needs me. I’m not letting him go in there alone.”

“He won’t be alone.”

“Well, you can’t help him!” Blair snapped. “Not this time.”

Simon sighed in frustration. “Fine. You know what I don’t have time to argue. Put this on,” he said, shoving a Kevlar vest in Blair’s hands. “And stay out of the line of fire.”

“Don’t need to tell me twice,” Blair mumbled as Simon walked away.

“Chief,” Jim said as he put his own Kevlar vest on, “when this is all over, we’re going to have a serious talk. In the meantime, you stay behind me at all times.”

“So what else is new?” At Jim’s glare, Blair put up both hands. “Ok, I’ll stay behind you.”

Blair followed closely behind Jim and the other officers. Once inside the building, they split up. Simon went one way and Jim the other. Blair stuck close to Jim, following him to crouch down behind some packing crates. Jim tilted his head, and Blair quickly rested his hand on Jim’s shoulder. This must have been what he was trying to do when he zoned the first time, Blair thought. Well not this time.

Blair leaned in close to his partner. “Jim, what are you sensing?”

Jim keyed in his mike and spoke to Simon and the other officers as well as Blair. “There’s about six or seven of them all spread out on the other side of the warehouse. Looks like a drug deal gone bad.”

It all happened so fast. First one guy popped up and starting firing and then the others did the same and then the police fired back. Blair stayed hidden behind the crates with his ears covered. It was over in a matter of minutes. Three lay dead and three more were in handcuffs. And Jim was still alive. Blair felt elated.

Blair stood up from his spot behind the crates to see Jim approaching.

“You were right, Chief. I guess I did need you after all. C’mon let’s get out of here.”

Blair smiled as he followed Jim toward the exit. Yes! He’d done it! He’d saved Jim! He was so excited he didn’t notice Jim had stopped and nearly ran right into his back.

“Wait a minute. Where’s Simon?” Jim asked.

Blair looked around but didn’t see Simon anywhere. That’s weird. Simon was the captain. He should be taking charge of the scene. Where was he?

“I don’t know,” Blair replied.

“Simon,” Jim called. “Anybody seen Captain Banks?”

“Oh my god! Jim, over here!” Brown yelled.

Jim and Blair followed his voice and found Simon lying on the ground, a large pool of blood around his head.

“Oh no. Simon,” Jim whispered as he knelt down beside his captain.

Blair gasped. Oh no. It couldn’t be. But it was. Blair could tell from where he stood that the captain was dead. He’d been shot through the forehead. He most likely died instantly. Blair couldn’t breathe. Oh god. What had he done? He’d traded one life for another. Simon was dead because he had to save Jim. How could he live with that?

“Chief, it’s going to be ok. Breathe,” Jim said as he stood up.

Blair shook his head. He dropped to his knees, his vision graying out. He’d killed Simon. It was his fault Simon was dead. Please, no, he begged silently as he dropped to the ground and curled into a tight ball. I don’t want this to happen. Please don’t let this happen. He kept repeating those words in his head as he spiraled down into darkness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair awoke to the song “Here I Go Again” blaring from his clock radio. With a muffled groan, he slapped the snooze button. How did I get in bed, he wondered. Did Jim carry me? Wait. Could this be happening again?

“Hey Chief,” Jim called.

Blair sprang up to a sitting position like a jack in the box.

“C’mon, Sandburg. Up and at ‘em. We have to get going.”

Blair jumped up and ran out of his room in time to catch Jim just as he was heading into the bathroom.

“Jim, what day is it?” he asked. He had to be sure.

Jim looked at him like he had a second head growing out of shoulders. “Monday, Chief. You know that. Now go start the coffee while I take a shower.” He turned and headed into the bathroom.

It was happening all over again. Man, what was going on here? It was like he was stuck in a time loop or something. A loud crash brought his attention to the balcony doors. Yep, right on cue.

“Chief?” Jim called.

“Just a fender bender, Jim. Nothing to worry about,” Blair called back. Then he walked out to the balcony to confirm what he already knew.

Blair looked down at the street and sighed. Yep, a black Mustang had rear-ended a red SUV. Ok, if he really was reliving this day all over again, then he had to get it right this time. He had to save both Jim and Simon, but how was he going to do that? Well, the answer was simple. He had to keep them from going to that warehouse today, but that was easier said than done. He had to figure out a way to keep them occupied. It had to be something more important than going to that warehouse, more important than their jobs.

Blair snapped his fingers. Of course, friends. Jim could care less about his job if he was too busy worrying about Blair. Simon too, although he wouldn’t admit it. Now how could he make them worry about him? It had to be real. He couldn’t just say he was sick. Jim would be able to tell he was lying. And he couldn’t fake an injury because Jim would be able to tell that too. No, it had to be serious. Something that required a hospital visit.

“Hey Sandburg, get a move on or we’re going to be late,” Jim called.

Blair smiled. He had an idea. He hurried inside and into the bathroom. Ok, he had to make this look good and make it look like an accident. He turned on the shower and put his hand under the spray to test the water. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, but he was desperate.

He got undressed, stepped into the shower, and started washing his hair. When he was finished, he pulled open the curtain and took a deep breath. Then he purposely tripped getting out of the tub. Unfortunately, his foot slipped out from under him unexpectedly and he fell harder than he really wanted to. His head bounced off the hard tile floor and he was encroached in darkness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair came back to awareness slowly. He cracked his eyes open a slit and caught sight of a tiled ceiling and fluorescent lighting before he closed his eyes again. His head pounded something fierce. Reaching up to rub his temples, he found that his head had been wrapped in bandages.

“Chief?”

Blair opened his eyes again and slowly turned his head. He saw Jim sitting in a chair beside his bed. He smiled when he saw Blair’s eyes open.

“Hey, how are you feeling?” Jim asked.

“Head hurts.”

“That’s no surprise. You hit your head pretty hard. You’ve got yourself a pretty good concussion. Scared the crap out of me.”

“Sorry.”

Blair glanced at the sun peaking in through the window. Judging by the position of the sun, he surmised that it was about mid-day. The shooting had happened in the morning. That meant that they had missed it, and Jim was still alive. Then he remembered the other person he was supposed to save.

“Where’s Simon?” he asked.

“He’s outside. He had to make a phone call. He’ll be back in a minute.”

“So he didn’t leave at all?”

Jim’s brow furrowed a bit. “No. Once he heard about what happened, he came straight here from the station.”

“Good,” Blair sighed as he lay back in bed.

“Didn’t know you had such an attachment to Simon. Should I leave you two alone when he comes back?” Jim joked.

“That’s funny,” Blair said, closing his eyes. He was suddenly very tired but happy. He had done it. He had saved Jim and Simon. Maybe now he could finally get on with his life and stop reliving this day over and over again.

The sound of someone yelling out in the hall brought Blair instantly awake. “What is that?” he asked.

“Sounds like a patient’s being difficult. I better go help out. You stay here,” Jim said.

Blair settled more comfortably in bed while he waited for Jim to come back. He was so exhausted he felt like he could sleep for a week. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Just as he was drifting off, there was a gunshot out in the hall followed closely by two others. Blair sat straight up in bed, and dizziness almost sent him right back down. But he shook it off and slowly pulled himself out of bed. He walked on unsteady legs to the door and pulled it open to peer out in the hallway. There was some sort of commotion going on just down the hall.

Swallowing hard, Blair slowly made his way down the hall. His breath caught in his throat as he caught sight of Jim lying on the floor with doctors and nurses hovering over him. He almost collapsed once he got a good look at what had been done to his partner. Jim had been shot once in the abdomen and twice in the chest. There was blood everywhere, and one doctor was performing chest compressions.

“We need a gurney and a crash cart over here, stat!” the doctor yelled.

Blair backed up against the wall. Not again, he thought. He took his eyes off the grisly tableau and watched a man who looked like he was strung out on something being taken down and subdued by hospital security and police officers. It looked like he was the one who had done this. It was so random. How could this have happened?

With tears in his eyes, Blair slid down to sit on the floor, closed his eyes, and started rocking back and forth, desperately trying to block out what was going on around him. He just wanted this to stop. He wanted it to be over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair awoke to the song “Here I Go Again” blaring from his clock radio. With a grunt, he slapped the alarm clock hard just to shut it up. He was really beginning to hate that song even though it was oddly fitting with his situation right now.

“Hey Chief,” Jim called.

Here I go again, he thought with a groan.

“C’mon, Sandburg. Up and at ‘em. We have to get going.”

Blair sat up and put his head in hands, vaguely noticing that the bandage was gone. “Damn it!” he muttered in frustration. He was running out of ideas. He was going to relive this day for the rest of his life. The crash came right on schedule, and Blair took a deep breath. Well, time to face the day. Again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blair awoke to the song “Here I Go Again” blaring from his clock radio. Blair sat up and chucked the clock across the room. He didn’t know how many times he had relived this day, more times than he cared to count. Each time he tried something different to save Jim and Simon, and each time either one or both still wound up dead. He was getting really pissed now. In fact, the last time around, he had actually decked Brown in the face when he and Rafe were joking around about him and Kelly. Of course, that hadn’t gone over well. Simon was so mad he told Blair to go home and cool off so naturally, he hadn’t been there to save Jim.

“Chief?” Jim asked as he entered Blair’s room. “Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, Jim.”

“What was that crash?”

“It was nothing. You better get in the shower or we’ll be late.”

Puzzled, Jim backed out of the room and shut the door. Blair returned to his contemplation. He didn’t think he could do this on his own. He needed help. He needed Jim’s help, but what was he going to tell the detective? That he was reliving the day over and over again. He would think Blair had lost his mind, and even if he could convince Jim, he’d never convince Simon. But maybe he and Jim both could convince him, he just had to prove it Jim.

He grabbed his watch from the nightstand. He had about two minutes before that accident would occur. Scrambling out of bed, he went out to the living area.

“Jim,” he called. “Jim, get out here quick.”

Jim came out of the bathroom while putting on his robe. “Sandburg, what is it?”

Blair grabbed Jim’s arm and pulled him toward the balcony. “Come here. I want to show you something.”

“What? What is it?”

“Just go stand out on the balcony and look down at the street,” Blair ordered.

“What? Sandburg, we don’t have time for this. We’re going to be late.”

“Just do it. Trust me.”

Sighing and shaking his head, Jim walked out on the balcony while Blair stayed inside facing the inside of the loft.

“What am I looking for?” Jim asked.

“Ok,” Blair said, looking at his watch. “In about a minute and 30 seconds there’s going to be an accident. A black Mustang will rear-end a red SUV.” Blair continued to look at his watch, counting the seconds. “Right about…now.” Right as he said now, there was a loud crash. “Now a tall black man with get out of the Mustang and inspect the damage. Then a blonde woman will get out of the SUV and talk to the other driver. Now look at the pedestrians. There should be a man in a black business suit walking down the street carrying a briefcase and talking on a cell phone. A red-headed woman walking her dog will walk past him going the opposite direction, and then a man across the street in a blue parka riding a bike will almost run into a light pole because he was staring at the red-head.”

After his recitation, Blair turned around. Jim came walking back inside staring at him incredulously.

“How did you know all that?” he asked.

“Because I’ve seen it all before. I’ve relived this day dozens of times.”

Jim looked at him like he was crazy. “What? You’re joking, right?”

“No. I swear to you. I wake up every morning, and it’s the same day and the same exact thing happens every day.”

“This is nuts,” Jim said, walking past Blair.

“How else could I have known all that stuff?”

Jim rubbed his face. “Ok, say you’re right, and this day is repeating. How come you’re the only one who knows about it?”

Blair shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe because I have to change what happens.”

Jim frowned at Blair’s tone of voice. “Change what?”

“Your death. And Simon’s.”

“Wait. So you’re saying that Simon and I are going to die?”

“Well, no. Usually it’s just one or the other. I try to save you and Simon dies. I try to save Simon and you die. It’s just a never-ending cycle, and I tried to do this by myself, but I can’t. I need your help. Please,” Blair said in a rush, his eyes moist with unshed tears.

Jim pulled Blair into a tight embrace. The kid was really upset. Maybe he really was telling the truth about all this. There was no indication that he was lying or obfuscating, and like Blair said, how else could he have known all that stuff?

“Aw Chief. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that you had to watch that over and over again.”

Blair pulled away with a sniffle. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he looked up at the tall detective. “So you believe me?”

“Yeah. How could I not? So how are we going to stop this?” Jim asked.

“We need to talk to Simon. Now.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back at the station, Blair walked into the bullpen behind Jim. Brown opened his mouth to say something, but Blair beat him to it.

“Oh yes, Brown. I did strike out with Kelly, but you know what I don’t really care anymore. If she doesn’t want to date me, that’s her loss. So Rafe, she’s all yours.”

Blair continued on toward Simon’s office without even skipping a beat, ignoring the stunned looks on the two detectives’ faces.

“What was all that about?” Jim asked.

“Oh they were just going to hassle me about not getting a date with Kelly down in records. I’ve heard it dozens of times, literally.”

Jim glanced back at the two men, and by the looks on their faces, that’s exactly what they were going to do. Jim just shrugged at the two men’s questioning gazes and followed his partner as Blair barged into Simon’s office unannounced.

“Sandburg, don’t you ever knock?” Simon said, annoyed.

“Sorry Simon, but there isn’t really any time. In a few seconds, you’re going to get a call about shots fired at Warehouse 34 on 17th Street.”

Before Simon could react to that, the phone rang. Simon picked it up and listened to the person on the other end. After hastily saying that they were on their way, Simon hung up and looked at Blair.

“How did you know about that call?” he asked, standing up.

“I don’t have time to explain right now. You’re just going to have to trust me. Now this is a map of the inside of the warehouse. The red X’s indicate where each of the gunmen is going to be,” he said, pulling out the map he had drawn on the way to the station and handing it to the captain. On several previous occasions, he had spent the time studying the warehouse, where each assailant was, and who would be the most threat to either Jim or Simon.

“Now the ones you guys need to be most concerned about,” Blair continued, “are this guy, this guy, and this guy.” He pointed to three different red X’s, the ones that he felt were most directly responsible for Jim or Simon’s death from what he saw. “Now this guy in the corner,” he said, indicating one of the X’s he had pointed out earlier, “you won’t see him until the very end. Just when you think it’s all over, he’ll pop out and start shooting. Be careful.” He looked at Jim especially when he said this.

“Sandburg, how do you all this?” Simon asked.

Jim and Blair glanced at each other.

“Is this a sentinel thing?” Simon asked.

“No, sir. Actually, it’s a Sandburg thing, and he’ll tell you all about it if you really want to know. That is if you really want to take a trip to the Sandburg Zone.”

Simon put up a hand. “You know what I don’t want to know. Let’s just get this over with.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the warehouse, Blair followed Jim, Simon, and the other officers into the building. Staying behind Jim, they both knelt down behind some packing crates. Everything was going well so far. Blair prevented Jim from zoning, and he took out the first guy that started shooting. Then the gun battle ensued. Blair stayed crouched behind the crates. He had done all he could. Now there was nothing left to do but wait until it was all over.

It seemed to last forever but was really only a few minutes until finally the gunfire stopped. Men were taken into custody, and medical attention was provided for anyone who needed it. Blair stood up and walked over to where Jim stood.

“Well, you were right, Sandburg. They were all where you said they would be,” Jim said.

Blair nodded as he took a look around. “Where’s Simon?” he asked.

Jim looked around too. “I don’t know. Simon?” he called.

Blair’s heart started to race as he was hit with a major case of déjà vu. Oh no, he thought. Please be ok, Simon.

“Simon!” Jim called louder.

“Yeah, I’m over here,” Simon answered as he walked toward them holding his arm.

Jim saw the blood and was immediately concerned. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah. It’s just a graze. Everyone accounted for?”

“So far,” Jim replied.

Blair kept looking around the warehouse. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t over yet. Then he saw the guy in the corner pop up and aim his gun at his partner.

“Jim!” Blair yelled.

Jim spun around, whipped his gun out, and shot the guy without a moment’s hesitation. Then he turned back to Blair. “See, Chief? Everything’s going to be ok.”

Blair smiled.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Later that evening, Jim and Blair were sitting on the couch watching TV. Well, Jim was sitting. Blair was leaning against the arm of the couch, and he looked about ready to pass out.

“Why don’t you head on to bed, Chief?” Jim asked.

Blair sat up quickly, his eyes wide open. “I’m not tired,” he said rather unconvincingly.

“Right. Then why were your eyes closed?”

“I was just resting them.”

“Uh huh. Pretty long rest. Look, you’re exhausted. Why don’t you just go to bed?”

Blair bit his bottom lip worriedly as he stared down at the floor.

“Oh, I get it,” Jim said gently. “You’re afraid that if you go to sleep, you’ll wake up and the whole thing will start all over again.”

“Well, yeah. I mean we don’t know exactly why I was reliving the day. I mean I thought it was to save you and Simon, but what if that wasn’t it? What if I’ll be reliving this day for the rest of my life?”

“You won’t be, ok? Everyone is alive and healthy, and there’s absolutely no reason for you to relive this day again.”

Blair didn’t look convinced. Sighing, Jim pulled the young man down so his head rested in his lap.

“Now, go to sleep. Everything will be ok. I’ll be here the whole time,” Jim said, stroking Blair’s hair from his face.

Blair relaxed and closed his eyes sleepily. Within minutes, he was asleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, Blair awoke expecting to hear “Here I Go Again”, but there was only silence. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was in the living room rather than his bedroom.

“Morning, Chief,” Jim said.

Blair sat up and looked at Jim who was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. “Did I sleep here all night?”

“Yep.”

With a yawn, he stretched out his muscles and then got up. Then he came to a sudden realization. “It’s Tuesday morning,” he said in awe.

Jim smiled as he walked toward his partner. “Yes it is.”

“Yes! It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning, and I don’t know what’s going to happen today!” Blair yelled excitedly, bouncing up and down.

Jim laughed. “Alright. Breakfast is almost ready so why don’t you take a quick shower. Oh and Simon gave us the day off so the day’s yours. Whatever you want to do.”

Blair smiled widely as he practically ran to the bathroom. Yes, today was going to be a good day.

The End