Blair let his head fall against the back of the couch as he closed his eyes. The day had started off pleasant enough, he was to juggle his schedule between the university, the station, and the mechanics. The fact that Blair's car was even in the mechanics signaled that the young man had miraculously come up with the money to fix the shaky idle, and that in itself made Blair happy. So normally, Blair would not have been upset about having his car in the shop except that for this time, the mechanic had called Blair during a 'meeting of the minds' at the university. Blair then not only had to awkwardly excuse himself from his superiors, but then listen to the mechanic ramble about needing to fix some part of the car that Blair couldn't even pronounce, and that the bill would double.
After Blair had consented and agreed to pay with money that he wasn't even sure he could get, Blair hurried through the rest of his duties at school while trying to bum a ride to the station from each of his students. He should have know that trying to get a ride from a teenager on a Friday afternoon would be as eventful as winning the lottery. He was, after all, a teenager himself once.
He arrived late at the station after hitching a ride with Phil Wears-no- Deodorant. Tardiness was not all that unusual since car trouble frequently made Blair late to everything. But because he was already in a fowl mood due to money worries and prolonged exposure to body odor, the normal banter from the friendly detectives only served to turn him off more. Blair knew his aggression was misdirected but this time, didn't care. He stormed through the bullpen and took Jim's seat because Jim was who knows where and began typing up the first report he grabbed. That was after all, his main purpose at the station.
When Jim finally returned, happy and in a teasing mood, Blair burrowed into himself further. The detective must have sensed his partner's mood and backed off for the rest of the afternoon. So now, Blair sat alone, typing up reports that weren't his, for a job that wasn't his, while his car was getting a new transporter something, which cost money that he didn't have. And now he was hungry. Because after all, it was only lunch time.
Jim had driven Blair to the mechanics and neither man said a word along the way. Blair noticed how Jim had purposely put on a display of being happy by tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the radio, murmuring to himself, and just generally annoying Blair. Jim had dropped him off with the promise of dinner tonight, which Blair bristled at when he imagined a full course meal consisting of Wonderburgers. After Jim had left and Blair had forked over almost eight hundred dollars for a short list of parts and a long list of labor, he drove back to the Rainer to collect a handful of papers that needed grading from the never-ending supply on his desk. If he considered teaching to be good, then grading papers was bad, and after all, you can't have the good without the bad. Or so he heard.
After collecting the papers Blair headed home, battling the wicked rush- hour traffic while in a wicked mood. Of course all the other drivers on the road that afternoon were complete and utter morons all in desperate need of driving lessons. Blair lost count of the number of times that he was cut off and the number of times he had given the bird to his fellow commuters. It didn't matter anymore. Once he got home the weekend could begin and this day could be buried with all the other bad days prior to it.
After running his third red light, Blair turned onto Prospect Ave. and pulled into 'his' parking spot. An angel of mercy must have smiled down on him at last to grant that one favor. As Blair got out of his car though, the stack of assignments were picked up by a breeze that he would later swear had his name on it and tossed the papers into the parking lot. He was very tempted to just stand there and let the wind take them, but that wasn't how you were suppose to end a bad day so instead Blair chased them until they were all collected and pressed protectively against his chest. He didn't want to disappoint whichever God was playing such cruel tricks on him today. After all, so much thought and creativity went into this day it would be a shame to not stick it out.
Blair was interrupted from his musing when the phone rang. He checked the caller ID because he probably didn't even want to talk to the person but was disappointed when the caller name was 'unavailable'. He sighed and took a chance.
"Blair? Sweetie is that you? I knew I should have called sooner, you sound horrible."
He was right. "I'm fine mom. I just had a bad day is all."
"I hear you. Do you wanna talk about it?"
"No I don't actually. Why'd you call?" He was sorry for being blunt but couldn't bring himself to voice it.
"I had a feeling. It took me a while to fine a phone, I'm sorry I didn't call you earlier. I'm in Zimbabwe."
"I like it here. You should come with me. I'm leaving for Syria in a week."
"Mom, you shouldn't go there at times like these..."
"What can I say? I've made friends, I like the people. You remember what that feels like don't you?"
"I have friends mom."
"You know what I mean. You hang around with Jim to much. You used to be my favorite traveling partner you know."
"What's Jim got to do with it?" Blair leaned forward on the couch, wishing he could talk to his mother in person.
"I seems like you have more bad days since you've been living with him. You're used to taking off Blair, you like going to new places and meeting new cultures-"
"That was when I was like, ten," Blair replied. Sure, the bird-in-flight behavior was fun back then. He had no job, no responsibilities...
"You spend your days trapped in a university studying people through books. Don't you want to be with me and live your own life?"
Blair opened his mouth and shut it again. He left silence play over the line while he considered what she was saying. He closed his eyes to imagine what it would be like to drop everything and fly out to join her. When life gets too rough, create a new life somewhere else. That seemed to still be his mother's motto and Blair tried to decide when it had stopped being his.
A subconscious part of him chided about wasting 'talk time', but he doubted his mother ever had to worry about long distance phone bills. "Mom, I-"
Before Blair could continue his thoughts, Jim pushed open the door. Clutched in his hands were several bags of takeout from his favorite Italian restaurant, a bottle of wine and a movie. It hit Blair then, as he sat there ignorantly watching his roommate struggle with the door and his keys and his bags, that saying yes to his mother would send him in the opposite direction of where he needed to be. He needed to be right where he was, serving as a Guide to a Sentinel, a partner to Cascade's finest detective, and a best friend to Jim Ellison.
Jim looked at Blair, and as their eyes met Blair could hear his mother starting to fret over the phone line. "Blair? Are you there?"
Blair smiled for the first time today. All his worries were calmed by the mere presence of the struggling taller man before him. "Yeah mom, I'm here," he replied. "And I don't think I'm going anywhere."
Based on the lyrics "Whenever I Run" by Keith Urban
The one I run to