Summary: A piece of glass mends two hearts. Originally posted to SentinelAngst.
Disclaimer: Canon characters do not belong to me. They are the property of Pet Fly and Paramount. I don't make any money etc., etc.
Notes: Thanks, as always, to my beta, Becky.
It took a moment for Jim's brain to register Simon's movements as he felt the handcuffs snap securely into place. Before he could utter a word in his own defense, the door to the interrogation room was swung open, and he was being led rather forcibly inside. The annoying sound of the wooden chair scraping across the bare floor only managed to delay his reactions even further. Strong, persistent hands pushed him into the confines of the chair, one hand lingering on his shoulder to prevent him from making any move to stand. As Jim opened his mouth to speak, Simon raised a finger close to his face in a warning gesture.
"I talk, you listen," Simon warned, his tone breaching no argument.
Clamping his mouth closed, Jim nodded slowly.
"I've been trying to get through to you for the last week. I've put up with your outbursts long enough, and it ends right here, right now." Punctuating his statement with a fist to the tabletop, Simon continued. "You will pull yourself together. You will tell me what the hell is going on. And you will conduct yourself like a member of this team. Do I make myself clear, Detective?"
A soft sigh escaped through Jim's tightly clenched teeth, his eyes fixed on a dust particle on the table. "Yes sir," Jim mumbled under his breath.
"I didn't hear you, Detective Ellison."
"I said, yes sir," Jim stated a bit more forcefully.
"Good, now that we have that straight, I want to know what the hell is going on with you. Don't bother giving me that one hundred per cent crap either. We're way beyond that, Jim."
Jim shifted restlessly in his seat, wanting nothing more than to make a run for it. "I've got a lot on my mind."
"No kidding. Spill it, Jim."
After a few moments of awkward silence, Jim continued. "It's Sandburg."
"Now we're getting somewhere." Withdrawing his hand from Jim's shoulder, Simon crossed his arms over his chest. "What now? What'd the kid do?"
"Nothing," Jim shrugged, placing his cuffed hands on the table in front of him.
"I see, so you're in the habit of taking a swing at a fellow officer because of 'nothing'. I'm sure this will go over just great in the report." Leaning in close to Jim's ear, Simon lowered his voice. "I don't buy it. I want to know what was going through that head of yours this afternoon during that training session. There's a man with a shiner the size of a baseball downstairs, and a future officer pacing in my office. I think all of us deserve an explanation, don't you?"
Tracing an imaginary line on the table with one of his fingers, Jim hesitated. "I lost it, okay? The guy took a cheap shot at Sandburg and I lost it, end of story."
"The guy as you so aptly put it was his teacher. It was a self-defense class Jim. He was learning to defend himself."
"That's my job. Protecting him is my job. I'm the Sentinel, he's the Guide. I protect the tribe, he doesn't." Anger flashed in Jim's eyes as he turned his gaze to his Captain.
Simon watched as Jim quickly broke eye contact, turning his attention back to the speck on the table. "So that's it," Simon added softly, walking to the other side of the table. After a moment of deep introspection, Simon continued. "You really don't want the kid to be a cop, do you, Jim?"
Pushing the chair away from the table, Jim jumped to his feet. "I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to." Simon nodded, a small smile on his face. "I can read you like a book. So what are you going to do about it?"
"What am I gonna do about it?" Jim repeated, pacing back and forth. "I'm gonna apologize to Masterson, and move on."
"And bury the rest of it. Sounds familiar."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jim snapped, sarcasm lacing his words.
"Just answer me this. Say for arguments sake that Sandburg actually knew how you felt. Would you talk to him about it, or would you clam up?"
Shaking his head, Jim stopped in mid-step, glaring at the man across from him. "I'd talk to him, but that's not going to happen Simon, You've got to promise me that you'll leave this conversation between the two of us. Whether or not Blair becomes a cop is his decision. I won't be a part of it. I think I've hurt him enough, don't you? I just want things back to the way they were. I just... I just want to be his friend again."
"And you think that lying to him is going to accomplish that?"
"No!" Jim yelled, turning his back to Simon. "I'm letting him make up his own mind. I owe him at least that. If this is what he wants to do, I'll support him."
"In all my years as captain, I've never met two more stubborn, devoted partners then the two of you." Crossing the gap between himself and Jim, Simon grabbed Jim by the shoulders, steering him towards the two way mirror.
"What are you doing?" Jim protested, stopping just shy of the mirror.
"What do you see Jim?"
Rolling his eyes, Jim sighed. "I see my reflection."
"Look closer," Simon encouraged, "and listen."
Opening up his hearing, Jim listened to the faint murmuring of his best friend watching him from the other side of the glass.
"This is our decision, Jim, not mine. We make it together."