Title: Not So Great

Summary: Maybe everything didn't turn out so great after 'Sentinel Too'.

Diclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters belong to Petfly Productions, no money is being made or infringement intended.

Timeline: This follows 'Sentinel Too,' probably mid-season 4.

Note: Previously posted on the Sentinel Angst list. Small changes have occurred, some spelling and grammar errors fixed and words added.

Not So Great

A pain in his chest had finally woken Blair up, causing him to scramble up further on the mass of pillows under his back, and cough deeply for a couple of minutes. Finally getting the coughing under control Blair relaxed back against the pillows, wheezing loudly in the quiet room as he tried to get his breathing once again under control. He refused to use the oxygen tank that sat next his bed, ready for easy access, the only time he really used it was when his breathing and coughing came so out off control that Jim would enter and force the mask on his face. However, as time progressed, that became less frequent, Jim had realised how embarrassing this was for Blair and would only come and help when he believed it absolutely necessary.

Finally as Blair's breathing became under control he turned over to look at his alarm clock, happy to note that it was actually time to get up and that his hacking fit probably hadn't woken Jim. Leaning back against his pillows once again Blair started his morning breathing exercises with a regret, it was one of the things he hated about mornings, well at least mornings after his drowning, he found it hard to believe that this was once not necessary.

Half an hour later, just as Blair had finished with his exercises a knock his bedroom door sounded before Jim entered, freshly showered and dressed.

"Hey Chief, do you want to do this now or after your shower?" Jim asked, noticing immediately the dark shadows under his friend's eyes.

"Now man, it usually better before showering," Blair replied solemnly before pushing the heap of pillows of his bed and turning to lie on his stomach. For the next few minutes Jim pounded Blair's back causing Blair to cough sharply and clear the mucus in his lungs. In reality Blair knew this helped his lungs greatly during the day but unfortunately it was the most unpleasant of all his exercises and not only for him. Blair knew that doing this, something that caused Blair so much pain was also painful for Jim, though he had never mentioned it. He was a soldier, he knew what had to be done and did it, that was Jim.

"All done Chief, better get a move on if you wanna make it to the U on time, you're still coming into Major Crimes at two, right?" Jim asked as he exited Blair's room and headed to the task of making breakfast, a task that had primarily been his since Blair's near drowning.

"Yeah man, won't miss it," Blair said coughing a few times before coming out of his room and heading for the shower.

Jim nodded and continued preparing for breakfast, his ears involuntary keeping check on Blair whom was coughing severely. Jim knew this was normal and actually the best thing for Blair if he was going to have good day with no breathing problems, but that didn't mean he had to like it. God, it was amazing how things had changed because of one stupid event, one stupid woman. There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't regret what had happened, thought of ways he could have stopped it. He blamed himself for not listening to Blair, to his dreams, for throwing Blair out. But in the end Jim knew there was no way to change things now, so he tried to accept it as best he could. He tried to ignore Blair's severe weight loss, his hacking cough from the constant bronchitis, the fact that Blair was always coming down with a respiratory infection and that in the last 6 months Blair had entered hospital twice with pneumonia. It was hard watching Blair slowly die. He hated thinking about it that way, but in the end he, no; they both knew it to be true. Blair wasn't well and as much as they pretended around all there friends that everything was normal, it wasn't, Blair's heart and lungs were getting weaker from the constant pressure put upon them. Maybe it wouldn't be for years, but in the end death was inevitable. However, at the moment life would go on, he knew that's what Blair wanted, so he did that for his friend, he owed him that much at least.

"Hey man, that smells great, you should have been a Chef," a much brighter and bouncier Blair Sandburg said as he came of his room, dressed in at least three layers of warm clothes. He always hated the morning routine, it was long, painful, and he hated to admit, caused him to fill sorry for himself. Now however, after a nice hot shower and the prospect of some nice smelling food, he felt a lot better.

Breaking out of his own reverie, Jim smiled at his rugged up guppy, "I know your game kid, but there is no way you're getting out off cooking dinner tonight."

"Whatever man," Blair replied laughing as he dug into his breakfast.

Halfway through the meal Blair got up to grab his med box and sat back at the table to sort through the dosages. Finally having all fifteen tablets out Blair started swallowing them with his orange juice. Realising that he was once again starting to feel sorry for himself Blair quickly finished taking his tablets and inhaling his inhalers.

"You alright?" Jim finally asked.

"Yeah man, I'm good, it's fine." Jim gave him a disbelieving look before picking up his empty and Blair's semi-empty plates and putting them at the sink to be cleaned later.

"Really. Hey, is the poker game still on out Brown's tonight?" Blair asked, trying his best to change topics as he grabbed his backpack and coat.

Jim shook his head as he followed Blair from the loft, "Chief, you know you don't have to pretend with me right?" Jim said as he looked mournfully at his friend.

Blair stopped his walk to the elevator and turned to look at his friend, his face taking on a sad look, as if he pitied his friend. "I do man," Blair finally replied "for both our sakes," and with that statement he turned around and continued his walk to the elevator.

+ + the end + +