COVERT OPERATIONS
by fyresong

FEEDBACK: a_sayyar2118@hotmail.com

TEASER: Does Blair reeeeally know how to fly Apaches? Will Simon put Blair in the trunk? Is
Jim sporting the latest fashions in electrode-wear? Sequel to CASUALTIES OF WAR

TIME LINE/CATEGORY: Post Sentinel Too part 2. Alternate Universe or more accurately,
veering from cannon. Part 2 of a longer series. Crossover: Stargate SG-1 (but Sentinel not
Stargate is my focus people, so no worries! Stargate is just a plot device, promise, unless you
guys want otherwise, then I'll write up a nice companion piece Stargate POV of events in this
story.)

RATING: PG-13 (whatever THAT means.) More swearing. Some violence, nothing graphic
though.

DISCLAIMER: No major plot-lines, characters, setting, or major events alluded to in this story
are mine in any way. Pet Fly, Paramount, and UPN own these guys. Stargate SG-1 and its
characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double
Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. Some of the dialogue is pulled straight from the TV
show for the sake of continuity and is thus logically NOT mine. No money is being made off this
story. Please ask author before reproducing or posing anywhere else.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Everyone in the SenFan universe for writing to let me know just how
welcome I am here and how much they wanted this story to continue. Detailed comments about
what you guys liked helped me write this one. Feedback did help; I was planing on putting out
the first part of another Sentinel story arc I've been tinkering with, but all the feedback made me
change my mind! ;) Lucky you!

NOTES: Set Post Sentinel Too part 2. I mixed in Murder 101 for good measure. This is also
taking place after Stargate SG-1's Shades of Grey during third season.

***

Blair dreamed.

The wolf ran.

Blair ran.

Panting. Desperate. Searching.

*Where? Where?*

The jungle was thick, bathed in a blue glow. He should stop and explore, stop and follow the
interesting smells around him. Instead he ran heedlessly forward, padded feet barely stirring the
undergrowth, tongue lolling, ears and eyes sharp for any sound, any hint . . .

*Hurry! Hurry!*

The trees began to melt in thick gloopy piles.

*Too slow! Too slow!*

Whining, the wolf sank down low and bared his teeth as the world turned liquid around him.
Growling in frustration he whirled around, looking for an exit, a way out, a way to keep running
and reach, reach . . .

Water.

Struggling, the wolf fought against the soggy weight of its own fur dragging it down. Howling,
refusing to surrender to its concrete death grip it stumbled out of the fountain, feet scrabbling
against the stone edge only to come nose to nose, muzzle to muzzle, with the leopard.

*The enemy!*

The spotted female took a swipe at his nose, pushing him back into the water. Snarling in
response, the wolf snapped its jaws, refusing to go. The silver creature, bedraggled and wet,
threw itself forward. The two combatants circled each other, snarling and hissing, swatting and
biting.

There was the thud of footfalls to his left, and the wolf looked up, ears pricking. Those weren't
the steps of a four legged creature. The two legged creature, the man--

*Jim!* Blair recognized with a happy yelp

--was running up the steps to Hargrove Hall.

The leopard snarled again and the detective turned to glance their way. The wolf turned its
attention back to the fight; his friend was here, his Sentinel would help. He lunged again at the
interloper, the betrayer, the enemy, teeth going for the jugular when something sharp and painful
thudded into him. Thrown aside from his target, the wolf lay sprawled at the fountain's edge, tail
dangling into the bubbling water.

The wolf whined and turned to stare uncomprehendingly at the crossbow bolt that was lodged
between his ribs, piercing his heart. The fur around the bolt was already matted with blood and
chlorinated water. Painfully he reached his head around to try and yank the crossbow bolt out,
but twisting hurt, everything hurt.

Blair looked up at the sound of footsteps.

The leopard was gone. Jim stood before him, crossbow idle in his hand, watching impassively as
he bled, his lifeblood mingling with the water of the fountain.

*Why?!*

Jim didn't hear, or if he did, he no longer cared. Turning, the detective walked away.

Whining and panting the wolf pulled itself up, dragging itself after the man. This was who he was
looking for, this was who he had to find, this was who he must protect.

*Jim, wait! Don't go!*

He followed, Jim long since vanished from his sight, but he followed until he could no longer
move.

And then there were chains, a yellow scarf, and . . . *himself?*

(Who am I now?)

Trophies lined the candle lit walls, but only trophies of one person. A laptop, books littered the
floors with titles visible in the light-- closed-societies, cultural anthropology, police manuals,
Sentinels, P.D. procedure codes, Shamanism. Papers scattered everywhere. Broken shards of
ancient pottery, shattered artifacts, ghostly mannequins in lifeless poses in ripped jeans, in multi
colored vests, with earrings, in uniform . . .

The face, *his* face, no, Lash-- LASH! --leaned over him.

But it didn't look like Lash.

It looked like him, he realized with a helpless sob.

(Who am I now?)

He watched himself reach out and gently finger the bolt in his side before ripping it from his own
flesh.

The wolf threw back its head and howled in anguish.

Blood spurted out in impossibly thick red rivers washing away everything, staining everything red,
red, red.

The couch too.

The wolf lay on the couch panting, dying. It growled and barked but no one understood, no one
knew what to do. It reached out with one weak paw and padded Blair's chest, his own chest.

"He passes on the Way of the Shaman," Jim whispered.

Blair looked down at himself. The wolf looked up at himself.

*That's/That's me/me.*

The double image wrapped around their/his/its brain and the world shook and dissolved.

Jim rose to his feet and left.

Blair shook his head, staring frantically from himself to the retreating figure of the man who was
his Sentinel, the world growing dimmer, fainter as he left.

"I don't know how. Ask him how. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do! I don't
know what to do!"

The walls remained, the same walls that had remained for four months, for forever-- sandy, cold
stone dimmed by the low watt bulb that hung in the ceiling.

*Not here!* Blair howled. *I can't find Jim from here! I can't be back here! Not again!*

The wolf threw himself at the door, scratching, clawing, tearing futilely at the surface. It struck
one paw through the slot at the bottom only to find familiar booted heels come down with
cracking force.

Yelping in pain, he hobbled back, circling the small, intimately familiar space desperately,
desperately.

ring

"Calm down kid. Calm down," a soothing voice ordered hoarsely.

*Jim?*

"C'mere Jacobs," he coaxed softly. "C'mere. You know I can't get up."

The wolf padded over and nosed the other man, familiar man, the NotJim man gently.

ring

A shaking hand came up to rub his ears gently. Blair wanted to just lie down, lie down and curl
up and block out the hated walls, all the pain.

"They'll come for us soon," whispered the man reasurringly, voice cracking from dehydration.

The hands were warm and dry on his damp fur. "Any day now. Any day now."

But he couldn't wait! *What about Jim?!*

ring

The wolf's legs failed and he rested his head against the soldier's leg.

"Any day now. Any day now."

ring

Blair sat up, eyes still closed and brought the phone to his ear.

"What?" he growled as he forced his eyes open, and for a moment took in the darkness with the
wolf's eyes, seeing clearly.

"Sandburg?" Captain Bank's voice floated out of the receiver. "It's Simon. There's
been--"

Blair cut him off, the words tumbling out on their own volition. "Jim's missing, kidnaped."

There was a beat of silence on the other end, then: "Sandburg, how the hell--"

"There're no clues, nothing left behind," Blair contined on relentlessly, unable to stop himself. His
voice was tight as he stared wide-eyed out the window at the waves crashing on the beach. But
he didn't see the waves, he saw only the loft; *home and nothome.* He could picture it all in his
mind. The loft. His empty, one-time room. "The fire escape," he whispered. "A-a dart?
Government, possibly military. No ransom, they don't want money. They have what they want."

"Sandburg!" Simon yelled, flabergasted. "How? How-"

"Don't worry Simon," Blair told him sharply. He threw back the covers and stood, legs almost
giving way until he locked his knees. "I'll find him."

"Sandbur-"

click

Putting down the phone on the bedside table and flicking on the light, Blair stared down at his
shirt absently, rubbing the dried blood stains that came from . . . elsewhere.

Angrily he pushed such concerns aside.

He needed to find Jim.

***

Growling, Simon wrenched the wheel suddenly to the left, pressed the accelorator, and sped
down the road towards the airport. In the front passanger seat Megan tried not to be too obvious
as she hung on for dear life. In the back seat Rafe, Brown, and Taggart sat squished together,
trying very hard not to elbow each other in sensitive places. If the Captain of Major Crimes had
been thinking clearly when they'd left the station, he would have wondered just where exactly
Blair would sit when they found him at the airport.

*In the trunk,* Simon decided evilly. *Kid deserves it for trying to pull me into the Sandburg
Zone with all that weird Sentinel shit. Doesn't even bother to call and let me know what flight!*

Snarling, Banks laid on the horn and then merged around the annoying driver, sans indicator and
sped up.

"Uh . . . Captain?" Connor asked tentatively.

"What?!" The dark face snarled, eyes never leaving the traffic patterns.

Swallowing, the Australian inspector shrunk beneath his ire. "Nothing," she whispered.

Grunting, Simon did another impossible turn, ignoring the screeching of tires both from his car
and others. *Dammit! Why do these two keep DOING this to me?*

First Jim acts like a territorial asshole. Then Blair up and tries to *die* (he still hadn't forgiven
the kid for that, and wasn't planning to. It had taken a good ten years off his life). Then there's
the whole Alex loves Ellison thing, and more weird Sentinel shit (that's what he had labeled the
whole unadulterate mess in his mind almost three year ago). Then Blair decides to stay in San
Diego. *And who would the kid know in San Diego anyway?* And now Jim had vanished, and
Sandburg just magically knows everything.

Well he wasn't going to take this ANY MORE!

No more weird Sentinel shit.

No more Sandburg Zone.

He was going to find them, and then, he was going to kill them.

A calm and brighter career future assured, Banks smiled and rounded the last corner to Cascade
International's loading/unloading curb.

***

He'd called Jack Kelso and whispered him a name that hadn't passed his lips in years. He'd called
numbers he didn't even know he remembered, old connections, old buddies from a time he didn't
want to think about, but now he did because it was important.

His Sentinel was missing.

Jim was missing.

Every favor, every good grace he could bargain off of, his very soul if need be, went into call after
call on the air phone. By the time they were above Cascade everything was set and intelligence
from Kelso was quietly downloading itself into his computer.

Top secret stuff this.

But none of that mattered. Jim was missing. He had to find him, and if that meant playing a
hunch and following a dream, a nightmare he never wanted to remember, he would.

This was for Jim.

"This is your Captain speaking. We are now descending into Cascade International Airport.
Local time is 1:12 p.m., overcast at 62 degrees. Thank you for flying Northwest Airlines."

***

Simon paced before the gate. He had a strange suspicion he was behaving just like Jim Ellison.
This suspicion stemmed from the pale faces of his passengers when they'd disembarked from the
car. That and they were trying to placate him with glazed doughnuts.

The plane pulled up to the terminal, the doors opened, and passengers began to trickle, then
stream through. Simon and the rest of Major Crimes stood clumped together, a united front no
doubt stemming from whatever sub-culture junk Sandburg was always going on about and
interviewing people on.

Five sets of anxious eyes scanned the disembarking passengers. It wasn't until the taut figure had
almost walked past him that recognition flooded the .

"Sandburg?" Simon asked, horrified.

The anthropologist turned to look at him. He was almost unrecognizable, Simon realized, aghast,
and not just the lack of the trademark hair. His muscles were so tight he looked ready to spring
out and attack someone. His face was all angles, his expression cold, focused, hunting.
Sandburg's eyes held a wildness that just wasn't human.

*Move over weird Sentinel shit, here comes weird-- what did Sandburg call it? --weird Guide
shit.*

The others turned their attention from the door to see what had caught their Captain's notice.

"Hey Hair-- whoa!" Brown broke off, voice dropping to a whisper.

Rafe shook his head in shock. "Sandburg-- Holy shit!"

Megan stepped closer, one hand going to touch the shorn curls, stopping short when Blair jerked
his head away. She covered her mouth with one hand, eyes wide in disbelief. "Sandy what did
you do to your hair?"

"I cut it," Blair replied, enunciating every word clearly and slowly as he firmly removed his arm
from Simon's grip. "Enough of the fashion review." Turning on his heel he marched down the
terminal, incidentally away from the car.

The others, puzzled, confused, slightly afraid by turns hurried to catch up. There was no denying
who was in charge here. "Do you know where we're going?" Simon asked as he hurried along,
almost running despite his long leg advantage over Sandburg who walked with a peculiar loping
gait that ate up the ground with startling efficiency.

"Yes," was the curt reply, eyes never wavering from their path.

Banks sighed and saved his breath for more important things, like keeping up. "Ask a stupid
question."

***

With one violent shove Blair pushed back the hanger doors revealing the twin engine plane that
was obviously going to take them to whatever destination Jim was held at.

At least Simon hoped so.

He'd never seen Sandburg like this. Never. Jim was the intense one, the one that seemed almost
feral in his duty as a detective at times. He'd never expected this from Blair and judging by the
hesitant looks from the detectives and inspector, he wasn't the only one worried about the
anthropologist's state of mind.

"Rafe!" Sandburg's voice echoed eerily throughout the hanger drawing complete and immediate
attention. "You fly, don't you?"

"Yes," the well-dressed detective said cautiously.

Blair nodded once as he opened the door. "Co-pilot then. She's fueled, primed, cleared, and
ready to go."

The others quickly followed the vanishing figure who was one half of the best detective team in
Cascade.

Major Crimes stopped short after entering the plane. Strewn about were supply crates filled with
flack jackets, weapons, C-4, grenades, night scopes, goggles, fatigues . . . it was like an army
supply and weapon's locker had exploded in the plane.

"Sandy? Where did you get this stuff?" Megan asked in amazement, lifting up a flak jacket
gingerly with just two fingers.

The voice from the cockpit called back, "I called in some favors."

"FAVORS?" Simon yelled as he stared at the hardware Sandburg had accumulated. "Favors with
whom? The International Merc's Association?! Are you planning on assaulting the Pentagon?!
And since when do you know how to fly? Sandburg get out here and talk!"

Blair strode out of the forward compartment and slouched against the bulkhead. "Talk?" He
snorted derisively at the suggestion. "We don't have time Simon. Jim is *missing.*"

"Last time I checked, owning this stuff in Cascade-- let alone transporting it --is a federal offense,
not to mention a breach of municipal and state laws." Simon rounded on the anthropologist,
hoping to scare some sense into the kid. What the kid was planning had to be suicide, or at least
damn foolish judging by the equipment he had amassed. Simon was worried about Blair's state of
mind. Hell, so was Jim. Ellison had even contacted an old army shrink (probably the only one he
trusted) to help Blair before Sandburg decided to go off to San Diego for a while. "Rescuing Jim
is one thing, but flying off, literally half-cocked with no information is *not* the way to go about
it!"

"It is if Jim is being held underground in a secure mountain facility in Colorado, controlled by the
Air Force and drugged to the gills," Sandburg snarled, advancing on the Captain, height somehow
not the issue when it came to intimidation in this fight. There was something dangerous in the
student, and his barely contained fury was radiating off him in waves. "You don't have to come. I
didn't call to tell you when I was arriving in Cascade because I wasn't going to ask any of you," he
waved one arm wide indicating the whole stupefied group, "to do what I must do. This is *my*
fight," he shoved Banks back a step. "He is *my* Sentinel," he yelled, punctuated by another
shove. "I did not come back from the dead to fucking loose him! I am *not* leaving him to rot in
the hands of the military! Now either shut up and sit down or get the hell off my plane Captain!"
Turning around with a growl of disgust Blair ducked back into the cockpit.

Simon stared at his people, and then at the equipment. There was exactly enough for all of them,
plus medical supplies and comfortable clothes for Jim. He looked over to the forward cabin and
worried.

("I did not come back from the dead to fucking loose him!")

Trust the kid to pull out the heavy artillery both literally and figuratively when Ellison was in
trouble. Sighing heavily, Simon slumped down into a nearby chair and got as comfortable as he
could in the Sandburg Zone.

***

They actually hadn't outfitted themselves like combat rangers when they'd arrived at the tiny
airport in Colorado Springs under a false name that Blair gave and doctored papers he got from
God only knew where. Blair informed them that most of the stuff was "just in case."

Simon didn't ask the obvious question, *Just in case what?* He *knew* he wouldn't like the
answer.

Sandburg had delegated like a pro. Rafe was to stay with the plane, ready at the first hint of their
arrival to take off. Joel was their driver, their vehicle a van with army plates and registration
Sandburg had produced out of thin air. The former bomb squad captain was to wait outside
whatever entrance Blair had cooked up to enter the fortified mountain, engine silent and the lights
off. Megan, H., Simon, and Sandburg were the only ones actually wearing the fatigues and going
in.

They waited until well pass nightfall to move out.

Blair insisted they drive without lights, taking what he said was the long way around the
Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Mapless, the once directionally challenged young man, who Jim
was fond to remark could get lost in a paper bag, was now inexplicably an expert navigator,
snapping out directions, warning of potholes and foliage, unerringly directing them.

The others in the truck didn't offer a word of protest. Something beyond them was occurring
and every instinct they possessed as cops, as human beings, screamed at them not to interfere.

They were wise to listen.

"Stop!"

Joel braked to a halt and cut the engine. Blair turned and offered him a small smile in the
darkness, patting his arm for a moment.

"You go find him son," Joel whispered to his friend. "I'll be here."

Blair nodded seriously and grabbing his backpack darted out of the truck.

"Sandburg! Wait!" Simon hissed struggling out after the anthropologist, the inspector and
Brown at his heels. What little gear they wore weighed the cops down; Simon hadn't worn stuff
this high tech even when he had been in the military. Sandburg moved up the mountain like . . .
like . . .

*Like he was Captain James Ellison, Special Forces, Army Ranger.*

Shivering, Simon and the others followed until they nearly tripped over Sandburg who sat cross-
legged in the midst of some brush, tiny flashlight lit and held between his teeth illuminating his
free hands, laptop on and glowing.

Huddling around their leader, they watched silently as the fingers danced across the keys, calling
up page after page of numbers and letters, codes and schematics, until finally Blair paused for a
second, taking in one careful breath and hit enter.

There was a click causing all four of them to jump, but there was no alarm.

Tucking away his laptop and shouldering his bag he shone the light on the ground until he caught
sight of something silver sticking up out of the ground. Switching off the flashlight and crouching
down he began to brush dirt and leave away from the hatch.

*Maybe this won't be so bad after all!* Simon though, leaning over to help. *Hold on Jim, we're
coming.*

***

*Hurry, Hurry!*

The voice clawed at the back of his brain, opening doors he'd closed long ago, unburying skills
that belonged to a whole other lifetime, a whole other man.

*Not important Blair! Focus! Find Jim.*

The vent led them down to Level 23 where Kelso's data insisted Jim was being kept. They had
ducked into the first empty, unmonitored room they could find so Blair could pull out his
computer, rip some wires out of the wall and connect his computer to the base's. Security cell
cameras now all set on feedback loops, backpack stashed out of sight until they returned, they
exited quickly. Cautiously, gun surreptitiously held against his right thigh, taser by the left (he
wanted to get Jim out but he didn't want it to be a blood bath, dammit! no matter how much the
wolf hungered for it) Sandburg led the way through the bowels of the complex.

They walked as casually as they could, uniforms blending in with the locals if the quick glimpses
they had of other men and women around the base were any indication. They made and effort
not to look anxious or suspicious; they tried not to make eye contact.

They were in luck. Level 23 seemed mostly unused by the majority of the facility's inhabitants;
only supply lockers and a section of secured cells were housed on this level of the mountain.

Raising a hand and bringing his little group of rescuers to a halt behind him directly under a
security camera, Blair pulled out a tiny mirror on a thin metal tube from his jacket, and eased it
around a corner sighting the guard he'd expected stationed in front of room 2313.

He turned back and looked at Simon who was breathing down his neck, Megan and H. hovering
beside him. He jerked his head at the corner and held up one finger to indicate the single guard
and then three, mouthing the words //on three.//

The others nodded their consent

Before Sandburg could even reach the number two, voices we heard in the adjoining corridor by
room 2313 causing all four of them to press themselves against the wall, listening and holding
their breaths.

"I think that this time NID is just waaay out of line. I don't care about national security or
whatever claptrap those higher ups are feeding the General, kidnaping is still kidnaping," a man's
voice complained enthusiastically.

"Colonel, I don't like it any more than you do, neither does General Hammond. He's already
lodged a formal complaint with the President," a woman's voice replied. "I'm sure it won't happen
again."

"Won't happen again," the man snorted in disgust. "This whole thing is crazy, based on Danny's
translations, ancient stories, a CIA spook Brackett, and some Sandburg's master thesis."

Blair closed his eyes at the damning words.

*My fault. My fault.*

"NID will be chastised for this, I'm sure of it Colonel," the woman insisted.

There was a beeping noise and the opening of a door.

"Ya think? A slap on the wrist just like the last time? That'll scare those black op radicals but
good doc. Hopefully it's a bigger slap than last time when they were only stealing tech not
*people* for cryin' out loud! And what about Ellison in there? Even if we do need him, what use
is the guy if his lights aren't on so to speak?"

Without warning a snarl escaped Blair's lips. Jim was hurt. Jim had zoned. Jim needed him,
needed his Guide. Now.

He felt someone tugging on his arm, whispering furiously in his ear to *be quiet, calm down
Sandburg, don't--*

Jim *needed* him.

Blair yanked himself free and whirled around the corner bringing his gun down against the hapless
guard's head well before he even heard the practically feral Guide, let alone saw him. Throwing
open the partially closed door he shoved whoever was in the way forward.

*Enemy! Enemy! Shoot it! Kill it! enemeyenemyenemy!*

With wild eyes and a trembling hand Blair brought up his gun, unable to stop himself. The wolf
demanded vengeance. The wolf demanded a kill.

"SANDBURG!" Simon yelled barreling in after him, Megan dragging the unconscious guard with
them, ordering Brown to stand guard outside. H. took up sentry outside the door praying no one
would come by and demand who he was and what he was doing. Megan dropped the guard
unceremoniously, and after a nod to the detective outside, shut the door and began trussing up her
unconscious victim.

Shuddering, Blair closed his eyes and pushed back the dream. He would not let it rule him, he
would *not*! He had to find Jim. Jim needed him.

"Blair?" a familiar voice asked in astonishment.

Sandburg opened his eyes and stared at the room's occupants.

The man, the colonel, who'd asked the startled question before drawing his own gun in response
to Sandburg's raised one, was wearing green fatigues, black shirt visible through the collar. His
hair was slivering; he was only a bit taller than Blair. Next to him stood a woman in Air Force
uniform, wearing a doctor's white lab coat with short red hair. Her tag proclaimed her Doctor
Fraser. And in the bed beside the doctor, who even now held an incriminating syringe in her
hand, lay one Jim Ellison.

Blair almost let out a whimper at the sight of his friend. Strapped unconscious to the bunk,
wearing a pair of loose khaki pants and a black shirt, he was covered with sensors and needles,
machines beeping and humming about him. His features were slack and pale, his eyes closed. It
took only a look but the Guide knew; his Sentinel wasn't sedated, he was zoned.

Tucking the taser into his belt he reached out one free hand in his Sentinel's direction, drawn to
him . . .

"Blair?" The voice again. The man again, shaking the Guide's concentration. "Blair
*Sandburg.*" Realization filled the colonel's face as he put together the scene before him, after
registering Simon's unexpected use of Blair's last name. "Blair Sandburg. Blair Jacobs. Oh, shit!"
he mumbled. This was going to get hairy and fast.

Forcing himself to focus, Blair really looked at the colonel, listened to him, and then he nodded in
acknowledgment of his name. Names.

"It's been a long time," Blair murmured. "Jack."

Jack tried not to do anything sudden. The large black man held a taser in one hand. The woman
had finished tying up Meyer, gagging the boy, and now stood. After taking one look at the man
strapped to the bed, she drew her own weapon. And Blair, Blair Sandburg, Blair Jacobs looked
ready to kill someone. Jack decided it light of all the weapons to be tactful. "Will someone
please tell me what the hell is going on?!"

Blair raised his gun another inch. "Lower your weapon." He then nodded at the stupified doctor.
"And you, drop the hypo and move away from him. Now."

The doctor, Fraiser, looked peeved. "This man needs medical atten-"

"You don't know what the fuck you are talking about lady. Back off." Blair hissed.

Fraiser dropped the needle and scuttled behind the colonel despite herself. This man was nobody
to fool with.

Jack raised his free hand but kept his gun trained on the anthropologist, the man he once thought
he knew, hoping to instill a calmer atmosphere. *Dammit! This is Daniel's forte not mine! And
those two,* he thought staring at Megan and Simon who stood silent beside the anthropologist,
fury etched on their faces at the sight of Ellison's non-responsive condition, *those two are gonna
be no help at all! Looks like Blair's running this show.* He spoke with familiarity and honest
concern. "Whoa kid. Let's all calm down so no one has to die. What's going on?"

"You took something that doesn't belong to you," Blair explained casually as if he were discussing
something as ordinary as his ostrich chilli, instead of a person.

"Blair, I don't condone taking Ellison, but it *is* important," the other man explained plainly, not
a diplomat by any measure, but willing to try. *I mean how much harder can the kid be than
three hostile Goa'uld system lords? And why the hell am I taking NID's side? Those black op
goons had no right to do this!*

*Because Blair looks ready to rip off your arms and beat you to death with them, that's why!* "I
swear to you. We needed him. We didn't hurt him."

"Fuck that," Blair spat. "I'll tell you what though," he continued, voice becoming friendly in a
cold way that sent shivers down the collective spines of everyone conscious in the small cell.
"You can lower your weapon, put your hands on your head, and get down on your knees until we
leave."

Jack sighed in exasperation, losing his patience. "Look Jacobs, can't we just talk about this?"

A parody of a grin stretched across Sandburg's face; he was pissed. "If you wanted to talk you
would have talked, over dinner maybe, offered the man a choice. But you took him, locked him
up and hurt him." Blair looked the other man with disgust. "I expected better from you," he
hissed.

Jack's face, which up until now had not shown anger, became pale and as hard as steel, his voice
clipped and military, the safety going off of his weapon with an audible click. "You're out of line
Lieutenant."

Megan and Simon exchanged quick glances telegraphing their mutual disbelief at the colonel's
words.

Blair raised his chin defiantly. "Am I, sir?" He regripped the gun in his hand. "You *will* let us
walk out of here."

"Or you'll what? You'll kill me, Blair?" the other man taunted.

The instant cocking of the gun in the anthropologist's hand was all the answer he received.

The two men stared at each other for a long moment. The rest of the watchers frozen in silence.
Finally Jack said softly, "He's that important kid?"

Blair smiled again, this time it was more of a smile you gave when you'd rather not break down in
tears. "You have no fucking clue," he whispered, eyes finding Ellison again, bright with an
unearthly light.

Slowly, Jack lowered his gun onto the ground and kicked it away. Going down on his knees he
placed his hands to his head.

"Colonel O'Neill!" The doctor hissed. "They could be NID or-"

"Do it!" he snapped back. "This is the right thing to do." His eyes met hers, commanding.
"Now, doctor!"

Glancing around, helpless, she followed suit.

Simon moved forward to secure them, Megan remained standing, and Blair, Blair went to his
Sentinel.

Tucking his gun away, Blair tore at the restraints with savagery. He ripped off electrodes and
eased out needles, all the while murmuring under his breath.

The doctor made to get up, seeing her patient in danger. "Get away from him. What do you
think-!"

Simon shoved her back down. "Sit down and shut-up," the captain growled. "He's doing what
you could never do!"

His Sentinel free of offending material, Sandburg sat on the edge of the bed and taking Jim's palm
in his, held it first against his chest over his heart, and then to his throat. Crooning softly under
his breath, he rocked imperceptively.

Jack watched bewildered and a bit unnerved by the sight. He looked up at the dark man and
asked quietly. "They. . . uh- they *partners?*" *Blair love-anything-female Jacobs? No way!*

The man gave him and odd, exasperated look that made Jack feel about 10 years old again, and
the woman holding the gun let out a laugh. "Not the way you mean solider," she replied,
Australian accent marking her nationality strongly.

"Shut-up," ordered the tall man again. "Let him concentrate."

Blair, oblivious to everything except his Sentinel, kept up a constant stream of soothing words.
"Jim, Jim. It's Blair. I'm here. Come on back, okay?" he whispered. "It's safe to come back
now. Enqueri," he breathed lowering his head, trying to choke back a sob, "I'm right here. I'm
not leaving. I found you. I came for you. Come back for me," he pleaded. *What if it's been too
long? What if I took to long?* "Just listen to my voice and follow me back; focus on me, only
on me. Nothing can hurt you anymore. It's safe, it's safe now."

A hand came up and gripped what was left of his hair. "Chief." The nickname was all but
whispered.

"Here, I'm here," he said relieved beyond measure. "Here, water," Blair said sitting up eagerly,
bringing a glass from the small rollaway sideboard to his Sentinel's lips, watching avidly as the
detective drank. Jim opened his mouth to ask what was going on when Blair firmly took charge of
the bewildering situation.

"Come on, enough time to talk later. We gotta get you out of here."

"We?" Jim asked, but was unable to tear his eyes away from the intensity he was just awake
enough to notice in Sandburg's gaze.

"Simon, Megan, Rafe, H., Joel," he whispered the names, not wanting those to be overheard by
their captives. "Hell, even Rhonda wanted to come but--"

Jim blinked once, Blair new appearance now registering in his brain, Blair's presence registering in
his brain as something more than a dream. *Wasn't Sandburg in San Diego? And what the hell
did he do to his hair?* "What are you doing here?" he wondered aloud, confused.

Blair offered Jim an odd look that dissolved into a gentle smile. "I came to get you," he said
quietly, helping the man to his feet, positioning Ellison so he leaned against him for support.

Jim took in the gray walls and the bunk he had been on, complete with restraints and IV.
"Where's here?"

"Remember that bunker in Nevada I mentioned?" Blair teased trying to make light of a situation
that even now had him shaking. Ellison, feeling the tremors in his Guide and realizing what was
going on, tightened his grip on the other man.

"Fuck."

Blair laughed softly, and nodded his agreement, calmer now-- the wolf calming, the fury ebbing --
and eased a bit out of his partner's grip so he could breath and they could both move. "Let's go
home, Jim."

Jim smiled at this. He couldn't help it.

*He said home!* he thought happily.

Blair was coming home.

Military bunkers and padded rooms aside, as far as Jim was concerned all was now officially right
in his universe.

***

They were getting ready to leave when Jack spoke up. He'd watched as the black man had
gripped Ellison's shoulder in greeting, and the Australian woman had smiled and waved. Blair
never took his eyes off his friend, seeming calmer at last.

Fraiser knelt beside him sputtering and disbelieving at the sight, muttering under he breath while
greetings were being offered among the four of them.

" . . .brain wave patterns abnormal. I don't understand. He was sedated. When he wasn't sedated
he was comatose. How did . . .?"

But Ellison looked fine to Jack. Things had turned out all right, and maybe Blair wouldn't hate
him for his part in this.

"Jacobs?" he called, amending the name quickly when the four laser looks that suddenly focused
on him. "Uh . . .Blair?" He swallowed hard thinking of how to explain his guilt in this mess. "I
didn't--"

"I know you didn't sir," Blair interrupted saving him the trouble of finding the words, like he
always did.

O'Neill risked glancing at the arctic-eyed detective Blair was supporting. "Uh . . . Detective
Ellison? On behalf of the U.S. government, because their too chickenshit to do it themselves, and
NID who don't give a fuck for anything they do, let me offer you my personal apologies."

Ellison stared at him for a long, calculating moment. *I wonder if I look like that when I'm
planning on killing someone,* Jack wondered idly. Finally the man simply grunted and looked
away.

Blair smiled wryly. "That's as close as you get to okay, Jack."

Jack chuckled, and then grew serious, eyes worriedly taking in his friend's condition. Jacobs
hadn't looked so bad since . . . well, since right after Iraq. He was pale, too thin, and his breath
rattled in his lungs wanting Jack to cough for him. He sure hoped that beneath that hard-assed
exterior there was something in Ellison that would be there for the younger man; Blair was falling
apart at the seems. "You gonna make it out okay kid?" he asked softly.

The student nodded. "Sure." Blair looked to his team and nodded. Megan tapped a pattern on
the door catching Brown's attention who opened it for them with the key card Sandburg had
equipt each of them with. Simon checked their restraints once more and then he and the inspector
ducked out of the cell.

Jacobs, Sandburg, whatever the hell his last name was, steadied his friend began to follow.

"Lieutenant?" O'Neill called after them. Blair turned slightly to look at the colonel "Nice job."

Sandburg smirked. "Coming from you sir, I think that actually may mean something."

"Smart ass punk," Jack replied evenly. "Go on. Get out of here before you're caught."

"Sir, yes, sir."

Blair brought one hand up to wave briefly in gratitude and farewell, and then the door shut behind
them, locking Jack, Fraiser, and Meyers in.

Fraiser sighed and wriggled around to get more comfortable. "Shouldn't we start yelling for help
now, Colonel?"

"Nope. Next guard's due in about two hours. We'll wait."

Janet Fraiser shot the colonel an irritated look. "Just how are we going to explain this so that this
won't end in your court-martial, sir?"

"Court-martial?" Jack echoed in mock surprise as he eased his legs out from underneath him and
into a more comfortable position. "Those nameless, faceless savages overpowered us and before
we could think to guess who they were, POOF! gone like smoke, thieving away what we
rightfully kidnaped. We did yell but no one heard us. My money's on cult deprogrammers, that or
the Tok'ra, but only the security cameras know for sure," he said grinning up at the device in the
corner that even now was off.

Fraser followed his gaze and swore. "Fine! Nameless savages."

"Nameless faceless savages," Jack corrected easily.

"Whatever."

***

The plane was taxiing out onto the runway and Blair was fussing over his Sentinel as he got the
disoriented, groggy man belted in. "You feeling okay?" he asked anxiously as he knelt beside his
friend, planning on staying until they were airborne, or Jim was asleep to ensure the noise of the
engines didn't cause further pain to Ellison.

Jim nodded, and then peered at his friend through drooping eyelids, expression suddenly
sorrowful. One hand reached out to hover over Sandburg's head, hypersensitive fingers barely
brushing the shorn curls. "You cut your hair," he said mournfully.

"Really?" Blair asked with dramatic surprise. "So I did," he agreed, smiling easily.

"You pulled off one hell of a rescue." Jim had tried to offer Simon his thanks earlier but had been
quickly and gruffly rebuffed.

("Thank the kid, Jim. It was his rescue top to bottom.")

Suddenly shy in the face of praise, Sandburg looked aside. "Thanks."

"I should be thanking *you,*" Ellison muttered sleepily, the remnants of the drugs pulling at him.

The plane lifted off. "All right then," Blair agreed, tucking a blanket around the other man and
then stood.

"Thanks Chief."

A hand brushed his forehead for an instant, in comfort, in benediction, a blessing from Shaman to
Sentinel. "Your welcome. Now rest. I gotta make sure Rafe knows what he's doing."

Jim looked for the strength to open his eyes and ask his Guide just what he meant by that, and
who exactly was this Colonel Jack O'Neill, and why did he keep calling Blair, Jacobs, and . . .

Blair stared down at his now sleeping Sentinel, a great weight settling on his chest. He'd made
another mistake and Jim had suffered because of it. Changing his dissertation hadn't helped. Jim
had been hurt, and it was his fault.

Again.

Sighing softly, eyes downcast Blair headed towards the cockpit to guide his friend home.

end

Series to be continued. (See, no question marks this time!) Feedback, it's not only a good thing,
its a VERY good thing. I might just threaten to quit without it! grin
a_sayyar2118@hotmail.com

Will Jim's questions be answered? Will Blair come home to the loft? What about the
government? Will they hunt them down? And what does Simon and Major Crimes have to say
about all of this wackiness? Discussion abounds! Expect talk, talk, and more talk. (Ellison is
getting itchy as we speak! grin)

Tune in soon! Same Sentinel time, same Sentinel channel.