New Arrivals
Author-Wolfkin
Titles

Baseball
by Wolfkin

Notes: This is my very first attempt at writing of any kind, outside of letters and class notes so *please* be gentle. LOL. This has not been betaed and I sure hope that I'm doing this right... alrighty then, here we go...

Disclaimer: Not mine.

It was a quiet, warm evening. A gentle breeze roamed aimlessly, ruffling fledgling leaves and grass, tasting faintly of salt and far-off places. The moon was full, still hanging low in the steadily darkening, remarkably cloudless sky as one by one, silver stars blinked into existence above the humming city. Cars and people moved in ceaseless patterns through the urban landscape, perhaps oblivious to the breeze, the moon and the stars but hopefully atleast subliminally aware of that rarest of human conditions… peace. Down one of the less busy streets, a blue and white pickup truck crept almost stealthily through the gathering night, moving with unaccustomed lethargy until rolling to a gradual halt in its usual parking place.

Two doors creaked open simultaneously and two men emerged. One was taller, strongly built and very serious looking but his eyes of piercing blue, presently glittering in the half-shadow thrown by the peak of his baseball cap, were very kind. Swinging his door shut, Detective James Ellison paused to retrieve two baseball bats from the pickup's bed. Nonchalantly, he balanced the bats across his broad left shoulder, shaking his head as he turned, a crooked grin cracking his stolid visage as his eyes followed his partner's progress around the truck to his side.

Smaller and younger, the second man wore his baseball cap backwards and his long, curly hair tied back so that his expressive face and even more expressive deep blue eyes were completely visible in the twilight of mingled moon and street light. Innocence, joy, curiosity and candor thrived side-by-side there on that youthful countenance though sometimes seemingly in striking contrast to Blair Sandburg's frequent exhibitions of wisdom and eloquence.

As Blair fell into step alongside his friend, he tossed a baseball up into the air with his right hand and deftly caught it with his gloved left as he chuckled, "C'mon man! You cannot still be pissed'cause I struck you out twice!"

Having spent the afternoon playing a friendly, spirited, often hilarious game of baseball, - Jim and some of his colleagues versus Blair and a variety of Rainier's students, - the two friends were now both feeling very mellow, very relaxed and very pleasantly weary. Considering the hectic and often dangerous life they lead, this rare afternoon of R & R and the impromptu picnic that had followed the game had proved to be a most welcome diversion.

Blair flung the ball up again, lost in thoughts of the afternoon, and it went alittle off course. In trying to catch it, he lunged momentarily in front of Jim, almost colliding with him. For a fleeting moment the faint, unmistakable tang of blood froze the Sentinel in his tracks.

As Blair spun to apologize, Jim suddenly caught the student's left wrist. Before Blair could ask what was wrong, his snared arm was eased over and the sleeve of his jacket pushed up to reveal the two raw, jagged, blood-tinged scratches that ran from the young guide's woven leather watchband to his elbow, "You're hurt.", the Sentinel exclaimed almost accusingly, "What happened?"

Knowing how protective his blessed protector could get, Blair gamely tried to soothe Jim and avoid further embarrassment as he gently extricated his arm, "Oh! I think it must've happened when I covered second base that time for Rafe. I mean, McCormack did slide in pretty hard - like an out of control Mack truck, man! I thought for a second there I was roadkill!", he mumbled, briefly examining the mildly throbbing creases before shrugging, "Guess he was wearing spikes; I was too busy choking to death to notice at the time, man." He laughed, brushed at the still substantial collection of dirt that covered most of his baseball jersey and peered up at Jim uncertainly, "Great! I think that I've brought half the infield dirt home with me..." crossing mental fingers that his friend would just for once let it go for the everyday, incidental event that it'd been.

"You should've put something on those, Sandburg or are you just begging for an infection?", Jim reproved with a such an expression of long-suffering on his face that Blair rolled his eyes.

"Hey! Not to worry, Big Guy. Knowing your propensity for excessive mother henning, I made sure they sterilized the entire park - especially the dirt - before the game, just in case." He tossed the ball up again, moving to catch it, his timing perfectly gauged to avoid the affectionate cuff he knew would be aimed at his head after that facetious gem. Then he stopped, noticing the stars for the first time, sighing contentedly when a hand fell fraternally on his shoulder.

For several moments the two friends remained side-by-side, gazing upwards, enjoying the view and each other's presence before Jim murmured, a smile in his voice, "I still say that last ball was low..." The priceless laughter of true friendship was carried far by the wandering breeze that night... and if you listen hard enough, maybe you can even hear it now.

The End

****

So, how was it? ;)