|Running with the Pack
Author: MavenAlysse PM
Blair's a Shaman, right? What would help clue him in on that fact?Rated: Fiction K - English - Spiritual - Words: 1,562 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 11-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7564757
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
'The Sentinel' story
Blair Sandburg and Jim Ellison belong to PetFly and not myself (though a girl can dream, right?
Running with the Pack
Blair stood looking out at the forest that ringed the pleasant calm lake that he and Jim were currently camping beside. Jim was hip deep out in the water, trying to catch tonight's dinner. When asked if he'd care to join him, Blair had shook his head. He'd been feeling ... antsy all day and he didn't think the cure would be found standing out in the lake.
The woods called to him, something tugging at his soul.
"Hey, Jim. I'm going for a walk around the lake, okay?"
"Sure, Chief. Just be careful, will ya?"
"You know me."
Jim smiled at his friend. "Yeah, I know you, that's why I asked you to be careful."
Blair rolled his eyes good naturedly, tightened the laces of his sneakers and headed out of camp.
All too soon, Blair lost both sight and sound of Jim as he wandered deeper into the woods, making sure he didn't stray too far away from the lake. 'Wouldn't do to get lost now, would it?'
The quiet seeped into his bones, relaxing muscles he didn't even know he had tensed, and he reveled in the way his limbs seemed to move so much more freely. He glided across the forest floor, barely disturbing a single blade of grass.
The light danced through the branches, flickering against the leaves, releasing bright flashes of color before hiding them in shadows again as the wind played with the branches.
The echo of bird song reached his ears, trailing into silence at the sudden scolding of a squirrel. Trees creaked gently in their ancient roots, the leaves rustling.
The scent of foliage surrounded him, pollen and tree sap, honey and a heavy musky scent, all suddenly so powerful that he could practically taste them.
A breeze caressed his skin, the feel of earth, twigs, grass stalks and pebbles pressed themselves through the soles of his shoes until he could swear he could feel each one. A cold nose pressed itself into the palm of his hand.
Looking down, he saw the gray-tawny form of a wolf by his side. It gazed at him with gold eyes as if trying to convey an ancient message. It studied him, then licked his hand, and Blair felt that he'd passed some kind of test. Its attention shifted and Blair noticed that he and the wolf were not alone. Peering at him from behind trees and bushes were the rest of the pack. Feeling strangely unafraid, Blair stood waiting, one hand on his wolf-friend's head, lightly stroking the soft fur between the ears.
A large black wolf, with a white scar running down one side of its face approached. It was larger than the gray, older too, and Blair guessed it to be the leader of the pack. The two wolves seemed to communicate and the leader gave a short bark. The other wolves flowed from their waiting spaces and surrounded the young Shaman. Each sniffed him, allowing him to touch each one, marking his scent and being marked themselves. Another bark and the pack retreated back into the forest. Gentle nudges on the back of his thighs and calves urged Blair to move in the same direction. Bemused, he walked with the pack.
Jim tossed his third fish onto the shore and reeled in his line. 'That's enough for tonight.' Glancing at the sky, he noted that Blair had been gone for quite some time. 'I wonder how far around the lake he got before he got sidetracked?' A fond smile graced his features, he knew his partner, the younger man was full of curiosity and would often stop to look at something just because it had caught his interest.
Jim climbed out of the lake, removed his hip waders and began the unpleasant task of cleaning the fish. 'Though, the way Blair cooks them makes this easier to handle.'
Idly, he turned his hearing up, hoping to locate his friend's heartbeat nearby. What he heard stopped him cold, one hand clutching a fish, the other the cleaning knife. Blair's unique heartbeat was calm and steady, but there were fifteen other heartbeats surrounding his friend, all much too fast. The sound was coming about a half mile to the North and moving further away.
Jim cursed, rose to his feet, the fish forgotten in his certainty that his friend was in some kind of trouble. "Ah, Chief, what have you gotten yourself into this time?"
Grabbing his gun, he checked to see if it was loaded, then took off in pursuit of his friend.
Leaping over fallen logs and darting among the trees, Jim kept his senses focused upon his friend up ahead. No words had been spoken, either by Blair, which was odd and caused not a little uneasiness in the Sentinel, nor from Blair's captor's, for who else might they be? Instead, the group moved in a north easterly direction, their pace steadily increasing.
Who could have his partner? Were there poachers in the area he was unaware of? No, the local police hadn't mentioned any problems. They did admit that a pack of wolves lived in the area, but as the pack didn't seem interested in bothering humans, the humans left them alone. Jim tried to think if there were any cases he and Sandburg were currently working on that might be cause for retribution. Nothing came to mind, and besides, if Blair was being kidnapped by someone trying to hurt him, why was his heartbeat so calm?
It was with a start that he realized that Blair's heartbeat was anything but calm. It had been steadily increasing until it now matched the rate of the others'. Not only that, but all were moving at a much faster speed, one Jim was having trouble keeping up with let alone overtaking. 'How is this possible? Did they drug him? Is this why his heart rate is so high?'
He was concentrating so hard on his hearing that he nearly zoned. Shaking himself, he dialed up his sense of smell, hoping that using more than one sense would keep him from zoning. He couldn't help Blair if he was helpless like that.
He could smell the scents of the forest, crushed plant vegetation, letting off a pungent odor. 'No, that's not vegetation, this is more musky. Like an animal. But what?' Interspersed with the musk was his friend's scent, sometimes powerful, sometimes overwhelmed by the musk. It made no sense and the Sentinel shook his head, pushing away the dilemma. He's sort this all out after he'd found his Guide.
He could feel himself starting to flag. He'd never tried to keep this level of running up for so long. It was almost a sprint, but not quite. More of a loping cantor. All he knew, was he didn't think he could keep it up for much longer.
By now, the heartbeats, and Jim, were moving in a southern direction and Jim suddenly realized they were circling the lake. 'What the hell? Do they realize Sandburg has a partner and are now after me? No, I didn't hear anyone saying anything, so how are they communicating? Sign?' He shook his head again, trying to dislodge the headache that was growing.
Jim had slowed significantly, but was doggedly determined to continue on his partner's trail. His sense of hearing, as well as recognition of certain landmarks, told him that Blair was back at camp, his heartbeat slowing to a more normal rate. The fifteen others still surrounded him, but after a moment, Jim heard what he thought was a short barking sound and the heartbeats withdrew, leaving his Guide alone.
It was several minutes before Jim returned to camp, his chest heaving, his leg muscles protesting such vigorous exercise without the proper stretching beforehand. He knew he was going to pay for this little excursion later on.
Blair sat by the fire, calmly cleaning the fish, cubing the flesh, and dropping it into a pot of water. He looked up, faint surprise on his face at Jim's appearance. "Hey, man. You okay?" He handed his Sentinel a cup of water. "Here, drink this. Slowly. Take deep breaths, man. You look like you've tried to run a marathon and lost."
Jim tried to follow his Guide's suggestions, his worry and concern turning into puzzlement. Blair had moved around that lake like greased lightning, yet showed no signs of exertion. "What happened to you?"
Blair blinked at him, confusion in his dark blue eyes. "What do you mean, Jim?"
"I was trying to catch up to you, but couldn't." The Sentinel shook his head, not really knowing how to explain. "What were you doing?"
The young Shaman locked gazes with him, contentment and an ancient wisdom shining through. "I was running with the pack, man. Running with the pack."
Disclaimer: The Sentinel and all related characters are the property of UPN, Paramount and Pet Fly Productions. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made