by Kim Jackson
Summary: Blair starts having nightmares about the bullpen getting shot up by a guy he's never seen before. He doesn't know why. He doesn't know where they come from. And when Blair starts noticing similiarities between his dreams and real life, is there something more to these nightmares?
Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters don’t belong to me, unfortunately. I’m just borrowing them.
Blair Sandburg trudged warily into the loft. He was so exhausted he was practically dead on his feet. His arms and legs felt like lead and his backpack seemed to weigh a ton. He was tempted to just drop the pack on the floor, but Jim would kill him if he did, and then he’d start lecturing about the house rules and such. Blair wasn’t really in the mood for a lecture so he forced himself to hang onto the backpack and carry it into his room. Then he dropped it on the floor.
He hadn’t been getting much sleep lately. He had been plagued with nightmares these past few weeks that kept him up late at night. It was always the same dream. He and Jim would be in the bullpen, and then this guy shows up and starts shooting up the place. Several members of Major Crime get hit, including Jim. It would always leave him sitting straight up in bed, breathing heavily and covered in sweat. He had so far managed to keep these dreams from Jim, or at least he thought so. Jim hadn’t said anything about it yet.
Blair sighed as he dropped down on his bed, too tired to move. He didn’t even know what was causing these nightmares. Nothing major had happened recently to warrant nightmares. No shootouts, or hostage situations. Not even a car chase, which was impressive for Jim. He just couldn’t figure it out. He had finally taken to working late to try and avoid having these dreams. Now he was beyond exhaustion.
Blair was falling asleep when he heard the key in the lock. His eyes snapped open as he heard the door open followed by keys hitting the basket by the door. Blair forced himself to get up off the bed and shuffled out of his room.
“Hey Chief,” Jim said. He paused in the process of hanging up his coat when he got a good look at his roommate. “Whoa, you look like hell.”
“Thanks, Jim,” Blair said sarcastically.
“Are you alright?” He hung his coat on the hook, looking concerned.
“I’m fine. I’m just…yawn…tired,” Blair replied drowsily.
“I’m not surprised considering you haven’t been sleeping well these past few days. Don’t look so surprised. I am a sentinel, remember? I can hear you moving around down here.”
“Sorry. I’ll try to be quieter,” Blair said, walking toward the kitchen.
Jim grabbed his arm to stop his forward motion. “That’s not the point. What’s going on with you?”
Blair sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. “I’ve just…been having these dreams lately.”
“Dreams? What kind of dreams?”
“Well, they’re more like nightmares. I don’t even know why I’m having them.”
“Want to tell me about them?”
Blair closed his eyes. “Jim, I really don’t feel like talking right now.” It was almost a whine. “I’m so tired right now I can’t even think straight.”
Jim examined him with a sentinel eye. The kid was pale and gaunt. He had bags under his eyes, and he looked like he was going to fall over. The explanation could wait, Jim decided.
“All right. Have you eaten?”
“I had an apple at lunch.”
“Ok.” Jim led his guide to the kitchen table and sat him down. “I’m going to make you a sandwich, and when you’re done with that, you’re going to go to bed. Ok?”
Blair nodded, too tired to argue.
He ate his sandwich in silence under Jim’s watchful eye to make sure he ate it all. Then Jim led the exhausted young man to his room and helped him into bed. Blair was asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow, and he wasn’t even aware of Jim pulling the blankets over him.
Jim smiled down at his young friend and then went out into the living area. He wished he knew what was going on in that kid’s head. Something had to be causing Blair’s nightmares, whatever they were about, but Jim couldn’t think of anything. Even Blair said it himself that he didn’t know where they were coming from.
Jim sighed as he went into the kitchen to make himself something to eat. He then sat down on the couch to watch some TV before he too went to bed. As he was ascending the stairs, he cast his hearing into the bedroom below. Blair seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Maybe the kid would actually get a good night’s rest.
Blair shifted in his sleep. His brow furrowed as he was once again plagued by images from his dream.
**Blair walked into the bullpen and headed straight for his partner, who was sitting at his desk. He walked past Brown’s desk. Rafe was seated on the edge of his partner’s desk. They both were talking animatedly. As Blair walked by, he caught a snatch of their conversation.
“I’m telling you, man. She was gorgeous. I’ll never forget her face,” Brown was saying.
“So what did you do next?”
Blair shook his head and smiled as he continued on his way. Jim didn’t even look up as Blair dropped his backpack next to the desk.
“Hey Jim. What’s up?”
“Hey Chief. Just finishing up the report for the Hansen Case.”
Blair sat on edge of Jim’s desk and looked around the bullpen. Megan was at her desk filing her nails. Blair thought what Simon would do if he came out of his office and saw her filing her nails rather than working on her backlog of paperwork. He looked through the window of Simon’s office and saw the captain pouring himself some coffee. As he turned to sit down at his desk, he tripped and sloshed the coffee over the top of his desk. Blair snickered and quickly looked away before the captain noticed he was staring.
Joel walked by with an armload of files. One slipped from his hands and fell to the floor. The former Bomb Squad captain stooped to pick it up, trying not to drop the rest of them, and then went to his desk.
There was laughter from Brown and Rafe followed by the sound of something shattering. Blair settled his gaze on the two men and saw the remnants of a mug on the floor.
“Smooth move, GQ,” Brown said with a laugh.
Blair tried to smile. Why did he have a weird feeling all of sudden?
“Hey Chief, would you mind going to the break room and get me some coffee?” Jim asked.
Blair stood up. “Sure Jim.” As he headed toward the door next to Jim’s desk, he felt like this was wrong somehow, like there was something he should be doing. He glanced back and saw a man enter the bullpen from the other door. He had blonde hair, slicked back and a tattoo on his neck of a snake head.
The man looked around and then pulled out a MAC 10 and started firing. Blair dove to the floor as the bullets flew all around the room. For a moment, he was too scared to open his eyes as the man continued to fire. Finally, he pried his eyes open and the first thing he saw was Jim lying on the floor behind his desk. His chest was covered in blood and his eyes were wide open and staring.
With a cry of despair, he leaped to Jim’s side, trying to keep low. He put his hands on Jim’s chest to try to stop the flow of blood, but he knew it was already too late. Blair looked up from the body of his friend. It was like a scene straight out of a horror movie. Rafe lay on the ground next to Brown’s desk, three holes in his chest. Brown crouched behind his desk next to him. His hands and clothes were covered in blood. He had obviously tried to save Rafe but realized it was a lost cause. Now he had his gun in hand and was firing back at the assailant when possible. Megan was lying on her side, Joel knelt next to her, trying to sop the bleeding in her side. The glass to the captain’s office was shattered, and Blair couldn’t see any sign of Simon in his office. He prayed to god that he hadn’t been shot as well.
Time seemed so distorted as the scene played out and suddenly, the gunman was right in front of Blair, with the gun pointed straight at him. Blair didn’t know how he had gotten there or how he had ended up standing when he had been kneeling next to Jim a few seconds ago. The gunman looked Blair in the eyes before he pulled the trigger. The bullet seemed to move in slow motion before it struck Blair in the stomach.**
Blair sat up straight in bed with a cry. He clutched his stomach as he felt the sharp pain, and all he could think was, oh god, I’ve been shot. Looking around, he realized he was in his room at the loft, but how could that be when he had just been in the bullpen. Oh god, it hurt. Jim. Where are you?
Jim’s eyes snapped open as he heard the distressed cry from downstairs. He immediately sat up and opened up his hearing. Hearing the accelerated heart rate and heavy breathing, Jim shot out of bed and down the stairs to his friend’s room. Looks like Blair wasn’t going to get a good night’s rest after all, Jim thought.
He walked into Blair’s room and saw his young friend curled up on the bed, clutching his stomach, his eyes shut tightly in pain. Switching on the light, he approached the bed and knelt down next to his guide.
“Chief? Chief, what’s wrong?”
Blair opened frightened eyes. “Jim, I think I’ve been shot, man. It’s hurts so much.”
“Alright. Calm down, buddy. Where does it hurt?” Jim asked even though he had a pretty good idea.
“My stomach. It hurts so bad. Please make it stop,” Blair whimpered.
Jim gently pushed the young man onto his back and placed his hand on Blair’s stomach. He could feel the cramping muscles under his hand. He began rubbing gentle circles on his stomach as he placed his other hand on his guide’s forehead.
“It’s ok, Chief. You didn’t get shot. That was just a dream. It’ll go away in a minute,” Jim said soothingly.
“But it hurts.”
“Chief, look at me.” Blue eyes locked on blue. “Trust me. Just take some deep breaths. Calm down, and it’ll go away.”
Blair took deep breaths, never taking his eyes of that of his friend. Eventually, the pain went away, and Blair was able to relax.
“Better?” Jim asked.
Blair nodded. He didn’t know what that was, but he felt a little embarrassed that he actually thought he’d been shot for real.
“Was it that dream again?” Jim asked.
Blair nodded again. “Only this time, it felt so real,” he mumbled.
“Yeah, I can tell. You want to tell me about it now?”
Blair took another deep breath and then sat up and scooted back to lean against the wall. He looked Jim in the eye and saw only compassion and understanding there. Lowering his eyes, he began.
“It’s the same every night. We’re in the bullpen and then this guy comes in and just starts shooting up the place.” He lifted his gaze to Jim once more. “You were one of the first hit. And Rafe and Megan too. Henri and Joel were trying to fire back, but the guy had an automatic and he just kept firing.” He closed his eyes trying to keep the tears from falling. “I was leaning over your body, futilely trying to stop the bleeding, but it was too late. This time it was different though. He actually shot me too. That never happened before. He shot me in the stomach, and then when I woke and felt the pain, I thought…” His words trailed off.
Jim reached forward and squeezed his hand in a gesture of comfort. “It was just a cramp, Chief.”
Blair opened his eyes. “Is that all it was?”
“Oh. It was right where I got shot in my dream.”
“Dreams are like that sometimes.”
“But the thing is, Jim, I don’t even know who this guy is. I’ve never seen him before in my life. I don’t know why I keep having this dream.”
“There has to be a reason. We’ll figure it out. Now, do you think you can get some sleep now?”
Blair looked down at his hands. “Maybe.”
He slid down under the blankets, and Jim pulled them up over his shoulders. When Jim turned to go, Blair called, “Jim?”
Jim stopped. “Yeah?”
Blair was picking at a thread on his blanket. He felt like such a wuss to be asking this. What would Jim think of him after this?
“What is it, Chief?” Jim asked gently.
“Could you…stay…for a while,” Blair mumbled softly.
Jim smiled and sat down on the bed next to his partner. “I’ll stay as long as you like, Chief.” He gathered some pillows against the wall. Then he turned off the light and leaned back, his hand absently rubbing Blair’s arm. There was a soft sigh as Blair drifted off to sleep.
The next day, Blair entered the bullpen. He had morning classes at Rainier and now he was ready to help Jim at the station the rest of the day. He saw Rafe sitting on the edge of Brown’s desk. He didn’t think anything of it as he continued toward Jim’s desk. Rafe often visited with his partner during the day. As he walked by, however, he heard a portion of their conversation. The words made his heart beat faster.
“I’m telling you, man. She was gorgeous. I’ll never forget her face,” Brown was saying.
“So what did you do next?”
Blair paused and stared at the two men talking animatedly. He shook his head and continued walking. It was just a dream, Blair, he thought. Get a grip. Reaching his destination, he dropped his backpack next to Jim’s desk. Jim didn’t look up.
“Hey Jim. What’s up?” Blair asked.
“Hey Chief. Just finishing up the report on the Hansen Case.”
Blair faltered. No, it couldn’t be, he tried to tell himself. It was just a coincidence. Still, he could feel his heart starting to pound.
Jim picked up his partner’s faster than normal heart rate and looked up in concern. “You ok, Chief?”
Blair pasted on a smile. “Yeah Jim. I’m…fine.”
On impulse, he looked back at Megan. His mouth suddenly went dry. Megan was sitting at her desk filing her nails. Just like in his dream. Oh dear god, no. He looked quickly through the window of the captain’s office and saw Simon pouring himself a cup of coffee. Blair watched, horrified, as Simon turned, tripped, and spilled coffee all over his desk. Joel walked by at that moment and dropped a file. This can’t be happening, Blair thought as he watched the former bomb squad captain pick up his file and walk to his desk. He had to do something fast.
“Can we…” He was interrupted by laughter followed by a mug shattering.
“Smooth move, GQ,” came Brown’s words.
Swallowing hard, Blair continued, “Jim, can we go? Now?”
“Sure, Chief,” Jim answered, not looking up. “Let me just finish up this report for Simon and then we can go get some lunch.”
“No, now, Jim. Please.”
Jim looked up at the tremor he heard in Blair’s voice. The kid looked nervous and scared, and his heart was going a mile a minute. Jim opened his mouth to ask what was wrong, but he could tell that Blair was really anxious to get out of there for some reason, and Jim decided not to argue. He could ask once they were in the truck.
“Alright,” he conceded, standing up and grabbing his coat.
Blair sighed in relief. He thought for a moment that Jim was going to argue, and they really didn’t have time for that. If there was a guy coming to shoot up the bullpen, then maybe he and Jim could head him off and apprehend him without anyone getting hurt. And if there wasn’t some guy with a gun, then he just looked like a basket case, but at least he would feel better.
They waited in front of the elevator doors waiting for the conveyance to arrive on their floor. Blair shifted from foot to foot as he watched the numbers light up. The doors finally opened, and Blair’s breath caught in his throat. The elevator was occupied by only one man, and it was the same man from Blair’s dream with the slicked back blonde hair and the tattoo of a snake on his neck. Blair immediately pushed Jim to the side as the man reached into his coat, pulled out his gun, and let loose a spray of bullets.
Sentinel and guide hit the ground hard, but the guy ignored them as he walked past and entered the Major Crime bullpen. Fortunately, the detectives, having been alerted by the gunfire, had already hit the floor and were taking cover behind their desks as the man started firing blindly around the room. Blair sat up cautiously and focused on his partner.
“Jim, are you ok?”
Jim sat up and pulled out his gun. “I’m fine. Stay here.”
Jim got to his feet and went to the bullpen door. After making sure it was safe, he walked up behind the gunman and put his gun to his head.
“Freeze! Put down the gun,” Jim ordered forcefully.
The assailant stopped and slowly squatted down to place the gun on the floor. After he released the gun, he secretly pulled out a knife from his sleeve. He spun around and slashed Jim across the shin. He shot to his feet and grabbed the detective just as he was about to fall and slammed his head against the door frame. Then he wrapped his arm around him and put the knife to his throat. The other detectives moved forward, their guns aimed at the man who had a hold of Jim.
“Back off! Back off or this guy won’t have a drop of blood left in him by the time I’m done!”
“Do as he says. Back off,” Simon ordered.
The Major Crime detectives moved back but still kept their guns raised. Simon stepped forward.
“Alright. Just take it easy,” Simon placated. “What is it you want?”
“Revenge. On all of you! You’re the reason my brother’s in jail. Every single one of you. You set him up and now he’s falling apart. He can’t survive in prison.”
“Maybe there’s a way we can help you and your brother. Just let him go.”
Blair crept to the door to the bullpen and peered inside. What he saw made his heart freeze in his chest. Jim being held hostage by a crazed maniac. Backing out, he leaned back against the wall. He had to do something. The guy had his back to Blair. He hadn’t seen him yet. Maybe he could sneak up on him and get the drop on him. That might give Jim time to get away.
Peering into the bullpen again, he spotted something he could use. A spherical glass paperweight sat on the desk nearest the door. The corners of his mouth turned up in a smile. Keeping his eyes on the perpetrator, Blair slowly entered the bullpen and moved over to the desk. Reaching out, he snatched the paperweight from the desk and exited the bullpen as fast and as quietly as he could. Blair stood there for a few seconds hefting the paperweight in his hand. The voices continued talking, and Blair was sure he hadn’t been spotted.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the bullpen again, took aim, and threw the paperweight as hard as he could. The glass object flew through the air and hit the blonde man right in the back of the head. The guy dropped to the floor unconscious. Jim almost went with him, but he managed to keep his balance with Simon’s help, who had moved forward as soon as the gunman went down. The other detectives rushed forward and immediately cuffed the unconscious gunman.
Blair immediately went to Jim’s side, and he and Simon helped the injured man into the nearest chair. Simon bent down to examine Jim’s leg.
“Are you ok,” Blair asked.
“Yeah, I’ll live. That was a good job you did there, Chief.”
Blair smiled modestly. “Thanks.”
“Hey, nice shot there, Hairboy,” Brown said as he clapped the young man on the back.
“Yeah, where did you learn to throw like that?” Rafe asked.
“Oh, well, when I was little, my mom dated this guy who used to be a professional baseball player. He taught me to pitch.”
“Well, next company picnic you’re going to be our new pitcher, man,” Brown said.
“Yeah, with you on our team, we’ll kill,” Rafe commented, clapping him on the shoulder as he walked by.
“Thanks guys,” Blair said blushing. He turned to Simon as the captain finished examining Jim’s leg. “So how does it look?”
“Not too bad,” Simon replied.
“I could have told you that,” Jim grumbled.
“But you do need stitches,” Simon added.
“Oh c’mon, sir,” Jim groaned.
“No arguments detective,” Simon said sternly. “Now I can either drive you to the hospital or we can call an ambulance. Either way, you’re going.”
Jim tightened his jaw muscles. “No ambulances,” he replied.
“Alright. Then I’ll pull the car around.” With that said, Simon left the bullpen.
Blair pulled up a chair and sat down next to Jim. “So how are you doing?”
“It’s fine, Chief. It doesn’t even hurt that much.” Jim paused momentarily. “Sandburg, how did you know that that guy had a gun?” he asked curiously.
“Chief, you were pushing me out of the way before that guy even pulled his gun. You knew. Somehow, you knew. How?”
Blair ducked his head and stared at his hands. “Well, you remember that dream I told you about?”
“Well, it was him. The guy from my dream. It was the same exact guy with the blonde hair and the snake tattoo.”
“And you’re sure you’ve never seen him before?”
“No, never. Only in my dream. And it’s not just the guy. It was everything in the bullpen. It all happened exactly as it did in my dream. You working on the Hansen Case report. Joel dropping that file. Rafe and Brown breaking that mug, Simon spilling coffee on his desk. It all happened the same way.”
“And that’s why you were getting nervous and wanted to leave,” Jim said.
“Yeah. I figured that if there was some crazy guy with a gun, maybe we could sort of head him off before he got to the bullpen.”
“That was good thinking, Chief. You did a good job.”
Blair smiled. “Thanks, Jim. But I still don’t get how I could have a dream about something that hasn’t happened yet.”
“Well, you’re asking the wrong guy. This is not my area. I’m just glad you did have that dream,” Jim said, patting Blair on the shoulder.
“Yeah, me too. Hey, maybe this has to do with the whole Shaman thing. I mean Shaman’s have visions, so it would only make sense that I would have visions too since I am technically a Shaman. Of course I’m not sure if they have premonitions like that though. I always thought they had spiritual visions. I’ll have to do some more research and find out what else I might be capable of.”
Jim listened to his guide’s chatter and shook his head with a smile. Things definitely weren’t going to be the same again, that’s for sure.