This is an AU story with Sentinels and Guides.
I don't own The Sentinel or Jim and Blair. But I did just get up recently at 3am to retape an episode of the show, so I think I qualify as a devoted fan.
"THE JOURNEY TO GET HERE"
Sentinels and Guides are known. Sentinels can have one sense heightened or they can have all five heightened. When a Sentinel has all five of his senses viable he needs a Guide to help him control and magnify his abilities.
Guides are scarcer than Sentinels, not because of nature's ability to produce less Guides but from the simple facts that a large number of Guides don't want to be acquiescent to the more dominant Sentinel. A percentage of Guides go into hiding, trying to blend into the population without giving away what they are.
Many Sentinels and Guides have to live their lives dependent on drugs, just to get through each day.
Sentinels without their soothing Guides have to take a suppressant each day to contain their senses to stop them from falling into a trance-like state that could ultimately kill them. Scientists developed a drug called Famminopan that allowed them to live normal lives. Some Sentinels describe the effects of the drug as trying to go through each day as if they were walking through molasses, some it caused a soporific effect, in others there were few side effects and their lives were nearly normal. The only drawback was their senses were dulled to that of a normal human and they lived without their heightened abilities. This left some grieving for their loss and others were glad they were left normal, not wanting to be different.
However, scientists didn't stop to develop a drug to help Guides. Guides were frowned upon if they didn't rush forward to become a companion to a Sentinel. But Guides found their own scientists who were sympathetic to their cause and another drug was manufactured to help the empathic Guides. This drug suppressed the Guide's abilities and as no Sentinel could detect them without bonding, they could pass as a normal person. Dexadiazapine quickly became widely available on the black market and soon it became harder to find Guides when they developed their latent abilities.
Guides' abilities develop during puberty usually between the ages of 13 and 21. Suddenly they began to sense things around them, feel people's emotions and the overwhelming pull to bond with a Sentinel. But many Guides were unwilling to initiate the bond and turned to the drugs instead.
A lot of underground drugs labs produced high quality Dexadiazapine but there were those that were ruthless and cashed in on the desperate plight of the Guides and impure drugs were taken by unwitting Guides. Many Guides died, many poisoned by the drug that was supposed to help them. But the Guides were willing to pay any price for their freedom.
For both Sentinel and Guide once the drugs were started they couldn't be stopped. Only by the bonding to their opposite half could they stop taking the drugs.
The bonding of minds of Sentinels and Guides allowed their special gifts to complement each other. The Sentinel's five senses would be focused and controlled, their Guides empathic abilities would also be focused and controlled.
The Sentinels craved their Guides, they feared madness and death if they didn't bond.
Some Guides feared their destinies and their Sentinels, not wanting to be dependant on anyone.
They didn't understand the joy the union could bring, only that their lives would no longer be their own.
Sentinel James Ellison was searching for his Guide.
Guide Blair Sandburg was desperately trying to hide from his destiny to be bonded to a Sentinel.
Detective James Ellison groaned as his radio alarm clock suddenly started buzzing loudly. He rolled over and gave the offending item a hefty whack. The alarm was going right through his head and threatening to give him an instant headache. It was the same thing every morning. He needed the alarm to wake him up for work but the loudness of it vibrated through him.
He sat up in bed and moved his legs under the duvet to the edge of the mattress. Once his feet were securely on the floor, he opened his eyes and blearily glanced round his still dark loft attic bedroom. It was still dark at 6am in Cascade. Least that was one small mercy; he didn't have the sun blaring down on him through the many windowed apartment.
Jim stood up and moved round the edge of the bed. He reached for his robe, stubbing his toe on the end of the bed. He cursed loudly, feeling the pull to just crawl back into bed. Instead he moved down the staircase, holding on to the banister as he went, to make sure he didn't fall down the stairs.
After a long hot shower, he felt better. He made himself some toast and sat at the table with a large mug of extra strength coffee. He frowned as he swallowed the dark liquid, unable to taste its rich flavour.
At thirty-six Jim had long since given up the dream of finding a compatible Guide. He had been on the register since he had first developed his Sentinel senses aged nineteen. If any compatible Guides were out there they were afraid and had gone into hiding. In some ways he couldn't blame them. They were expected to give up their lives, their dreams, to become his instrument for control.
Jim stared at the small pill bottle next to his coffee cup. Popping the lid he took out two yellow tablets and swallowed them quickly with a gulp of untasting coffee. Some days he was on the Guides' side and didn't blame them for not wanting this, but other days he felt angry that he was being denied his life. The Guide's suppressant drugs allowed them to lead normal lives. The Sentinel suppressants caused many of them to shut off their abilities to an alarming degree that food became bland; they could barely smell anything, sometimes fingers became numb and objects in hands were dropped.
Sometimes James Ellison wished he were dead and out of this half life he was living. Some nights he would stand at the large bank of windows of his apartment and gaze out over the bay, wondering where the other half of his soul was.
He was lucky in that the Sentinel suppressants had only minor side effects. He could still function pretty normally. He had to count his blessings; he was alive, could hear and see (albeit normally) had a good rewarding job and great friends. He had a lot more than a lot of people did. He just felt bereft and grieving for a Guide whose face and form he didn't know.
Finishing off his bland toast he finished getting ready for work.
At 8am Jim sat behind his desk in the Major Crimes Unit of the Cascade Police Department. Other members of the team were already in and at work. Captain Simon Banks was sat behind the desk in his office, sipping a cup of coffee and poring over various reports. Jim sighed he should be able to smell that coffee from his desk, but he couldn't even smell the coffee in his own cup a few inches away from him.
He had the start of a headache already and the day was barely new.
"Jim would you come into my office for a moment," he heard Simon Banks' voice say from the open door to his office.
"Sir," Jim immediately crossed the Bullpen to his superior's office. He sat down and waited for his captain to speak.
"I've got a new case for you Jim," Simon began. Jim accepted the manila file that the captain proffered and then continued. "Yesterday a Guide was kidnapped in front of her Sentinel. "
"And we get the case because?" Jim asked.
"You're a Sentinel."
"A Sentinel without a Guide, sir," Jim returned.
"You'll feel sympathetic to the victim. That's from the Chief not me," the Captain clarified. "If you need any help, one of the other detectives can help you."
"You know I always work alone."
"I know but you know we're with you if you need us."
"I know," Jim spat out, his teeth grinding together. He had to remember that this was his superior officer, when he wanted to ask him what the hell he knew about being a Sentinel without a Guide.
"The Sentinel is in Cascade General," Simon continued.
"Was he injured in the kidnapping?"
"He was stunned with a tazer but the loss of his Guide hit him hard. He had to be restrained and hospitalised for his own safety."
Jim stood determined to get straight onto the case.
Jim found the Sentinel Guy Baker sat up in his hospital bed staring out of the window. He didn't hear him enter the room. Both his wrists were in restraints.
"Mr Baker, my name's Detective James Ellison I'd like to speak to you about your Guide's kidnapping."
"Rosalynd," the distraught Sentinel said his voice slow and slightly slurred, his glazed blue eyes turning to look at Jim. "Gone..."
"I know this is difficult for you but I need you to tell me what you remember."
"Gone," the Sentinel replied his gaze returning to the window.
Jim was beginning to wonder just what they were pumping the poor man with. The detective took a deep breath. Being on the Famminopan made his nerves a little fraught and he had little or no patience at the best of times, and now he was supposed to be getting information on the kidnapping of a Guide from this man who had the attention span of a hamster and the vocabulary to boot.
Jim found himself getting angry at the man and he didn't know why. No that was a lie, he allowed himself to admit the reason: He was angry at the man because he had a Guide and he didn't. How could he be so careless as to let someone take her? Someone as precious as a Guide. Jim knew he would have battled to his last breath to protect his Guide.
The detective knew he wasn't going to get any information from the victim at the present. He decided to leave the man and perhaps when the initial shock was over he would be able to give him something to go on.
So Jim left the hospital and went to the scene of the kidnapping, but without his senses he didn't see or find anything that the Police officers who responded to the scene wouldn't have already found.
Jim returned to the precinct. The Rosalynd Fisher kidnapping wasn't the only case he was working on.
Jim sat at his desk inputting the information he had received on the Rosalynd Fisher kidnapping. He kept thinking about his feelings for Guy Baker. The man was so distraught over the loss of his Guide and all Jim could feel was anger and resentment towards him.
"...you... a moment."
Jim was suddenly aware of his captain's voice and that his captain who was standing right in front of his desk.
"My office, please Detective."
Jim stood and followed his superior into his office. Jim closed the door behind him and took a moment before sitting down opposite his captain. The fact that Simon hadn't offered him coffee meant this was a serious talk.
"So Jim, any development on the Rosalynd Fisher kidnapping?"
"No, I went to the hospital to interview Guy Baker but he was incoherent. I'll go back to speak to him when he's more lucid."
"That's understandable with his Guide taken in front of him."
"Yeah I guess," Jim replied non-committedly.
"Anything wrong Jim?" the captain asked noticing with concern the Sentinel's vague answer.
"No sir," Jim replied immediately becoming all business again. "Then I went to the scene of the kidnapping but there was nothing I could detect that forensics haven't already."
Simon could easily detect the bitterness in his detective's voice.
"And that bothers you doesn't it?"
"Of course not captain, I...well I..." but Jim couldn't continue, couldn't continue the pretence any longer. "It's just hard sometimes you know," Jim admitted.
Simon softened and stood up from behind his desk. He came round the front of his desk and perched on the front of it, so he could talk directly to his colleague and friend.
"I know I can't pretend to understand what it feels like to be a Sentinel and a Sentinel without a..."
"Guide. You can say the word, sir. You know when I first started showing signs of being a Sentinel I was so excited. I thought I would be able to make a difference, help people. But it's done nothing but screw me up. I didn't ask to be different," Jim swallowed and looked away.
"Is the medication still working?"
Jim thought about lying but he was so tired with trying to carry on and live a lie. Jim looked at the floor and shook his head.
"The Famminopan is wearing off earlier than it did a year ago."
"Have you spoken to anyone about increasing the dosage you take?" the captain asked concerned for his friend.
"I'm already on the maximum dose that's safe for me to take. If I, if I take any more there will be side effects."
"What sort of side effects?" When Jim didn't answer, Simon repeated the question but this time his tone was insistent.
Jim looked up at his captain and friend. "It's different for every Sentinel. It could make me drowsy or I could end up a zombie. Either way my career as a cop would be over."
"Oh Jim, I'm sorry. What about your Guide?"
"Nowhere in sight captain. He or she could be anywhere but I do know they don't want to be my Guide. Otherwise they'd be here."
The captain didn't know what to say to the tinge of hopelessness in his colleague's voice.
"Why don't you take a few days off Jim?"
"No Simon, being a cop is the only thing that gets me out of bed in a morning. I want to carry on as long as I can. I will let you know when I can't...function anymore as a cop."
"Okay Jim, I trust you on this but I want you to see the PDs Sentinel doctor though. "
"I'm fine Simon."
"Just humour me on this one okay."
"Okay sir, I understand."
Jim stood then and Simon watched him leave his office knowing there wasn't a damn thing he could do to help his friend.
Jim sat at his desk for the remainder of the day doing paperwork. He went home at 6pm to an empty loft. He had brought home pizza but the smell as he opened the cardboard box was overwhelming. It made his stomach feel queasy and he closed the lid quickly. Jim knew the Famminopan was already wearing off. He couldn't safely take anymore for another five hours.
Jim went out onto the balcony and let the evening breeze wash over him. He tried to block out the sounds and smells of the city, but with the drugs effectiveness waning in his system, his senses started to spike and overpower him. He went back inside to the safety of his territory. He felt so alone and out of control.
Instead the Sentinel went to the fridge and took out a bottle of beer. He unscrewed the lid and drank it in one. He didn't even taste it, knowing that if he did it probably wouldn't taste right anyway. He reached for another one and was about to unscrew it when he stopped himself. He knew getting plastered wasn't the answer.
So instead he went and sat in front of the TV and turned it on. He kept the volume down low and channel hopped looking for something, anything that could take his attention away from his misery.
He watched a film and then a Jags game, not really watching either. It was dark when he drew the curtains and shut out the city. The loft was plunged into darkness but he didn't put a light on, afraid that the light would hurt his eyes. It was only just after 9pm but he decided he would go to bed.
He had some Sentinel friendly sleeping pills in the bathroom. If he could sleep all night he wouldn't need to take the Famminopan until morning so he could get through work without his senses spiking at least.
The Sentinel was drawn to the windows. He pulled the curtain back and gazed forlornly out into the darkness.
Jim looked out at the dark and lonely bay as he wondered, not for the first time, where his Guide was. His vision was normal and he wasn't really focusing on anything in particular but his mind was whirling. Was his Guide out there? Were they afraid of him? Too afraid to be his Guide? Jim knew he would be a good Sentinel to them. If only they would just give him that chance. Jim sighed heavily and continued to stare absently into the darkness, feeling totally desolate and disheartened.
Next morning Jim was at his desk by 8am, feeling somewhat better after the good night's sleep. The sleeping pill had done its job and now the Famminopan was working and he felt better. The detective had already phoned the hospital and enquired about Guy Baker who had had a good night. There was a good chance he could interview him later that day.
During the day Simon watched his detective who seemed to be holding his own. He was concerned about him and wasn't sure how long he could have him in the field, if his senses were going to start to spiral out of control, even whilst taking the anti-senses drug. Seems scientists hadn't considered the prospect of a Sentinel never finding his Guide. The long term use of Famminopan hadn't been studied. Most Sentinels went mad if their Guide wasn't located within ten years.
As Simon watched his friend he wondered how long his friend could stay sane without the comforting support of a Guide by his side. Indeed Simon wondered how long his friend had left to live.
Jim had promised Simon he would see the department's doctor and that was what he did. He answered all of his questions but the doctor couldn't do anything. Jim was told to go back if he suffered any adverse effects of his senses or from the Famminopan. But Jim knew if he had any adverse effects from either he would either be dead or not be coherent enough to pay the doctor a visit anyway.
That night Jim lay in bed, the sound of the rain on the skylight above his bedroom, beating a steady rhythm like a whole orchestra of timpani kettledrums. His head was pounding but he purposelessly made himself relax by doing the breathing exercises the Sentinel doctor at the PD had told him about. They must have worked because he finally fell asleep.
That night the Sentinel dreamed he was a sleek black jaguar. He could feel the jaguar's blood pumping in his veins; feel the cat's powerful limbs as he strode purposefully through the blue jungle. He didn't know where he was going but he was being compelled forward. He came to a clearing with a huge grey boulder in the centre. The jaguar was just about to turn away when the top of the boulder moved. Looking closer the jaguar realised something was lying on top of the rock. He realised it was a large grey timber wolf with the bluest eyes he had ever seen.
The black jaguar also realised with every fibre of his being that this was his Guide. Without preamble the jaguar started to race towards that which he sought more than anything. It was his very life.
Blair Sandburg opened his eyes to a world of pain. He was disorientated and had no idea where he was. He couldn't remember what he had been doing or even why he was here - wherever here was. He shivered in the darkness. He heard the steady drip, drip of water nearby. Felt the coldness in the air and that he was lying on concrete that was leaching the warmth out of him.
He took an inventory of his injuries he knew he had received. His ribs were sore but he didn't think they were broken. He tasted blood in his mouth and his bottom lip felt slightly swollen. An assailant had punched him that he remembered. Whilst he had been stunned the man had robbed him.
Blair assuaged his surroundings. It was night now and the streetlights were shining in through the broken windows of this abandoned building. The large room was empty bar lumps of concrete that had fallen from the walls and bits of detritus from human beings who had sheltered in the building at one time or another
He tried to move but there was pain. It was then that he realised that his jacket was missing and his pockets had been turned out. He groaned as he remembered the assault. The man had grabbed him from behind. He hadn't wanted to rape him, just rob him.
Gingerly he rolled onto his side, acutely aware of the pain in his ribs. He pulled his legs up and rolled onto his knees. Cradling his ribs he pushed himself to his feet. He wobbled a bit as he stood up, but he stayed on his feet. Looking round he saw where his jacket had been strewn. The robber had picked the wrong victim. He only had a few dollars to his name, but he knew they would be gone.
He saw his backpack lying cast aside, the contents strewn aside. Blair didn't remember passing out but there was a fair sized lump on the back of his head and he reasoned he had hit his head on something.
Blair staggered over to his backpack and started to put the contents inside. Taking inventory as he did so to see if anything had been taken. Everything he owned was in that backpack. His shaving kit was there, as were his few items of clothing and a few books.
Blair stopped in horror. He searched frantically through the contents. They were gone. He knew they had been in there. Desperately he took everything back out and checked everything. They were definitely gone. He looked round the floor, feeling in a frenzied haste but knowing deep down that his assailant had taken them.
The Dexadiazapine tablets that suppressed his Guide abilities.
But even worse was he didn't have any money to buy anymore. Even if he worked every day it would take him at least three more days to get enough money together to buy more of the drug.
Blair knew he was in deep trouble. He thought back to when he had taken his last daily dose. He usually took it first thing in the morning, so he would be clear all day to shut out the thoughts and emotions of everyone around him.
They would still work in his system for some time yet. He just needed time to think and come up with a plan.
Gathering all his belongings together quickly, Blair gingerly moved to the abandoned building's exit. He wanted to leave the vile place as quickly as he could. He also wondered, with a fleeting moment of panic, if the man who had attacked him might return but he didn't think he would. He'd gotten what he wanted as meagre as that had been.
At the entrance he looked carefully out, listening and looking for signs of anyone in the vicinity. It was quiet. It was late and there was no traffic on the street and no one around. Almost staggering he wandered down the street, keeping to the shadows as much as possible. He'd walked about a block but couldn't go on anymore. He found a dark encrusted doorway and winced as he lowered himself to the ground. Blair knew the homeless shelters would already be full and shut for the night. He would have to tough it out for the rest of the night. It wasn't like he hadn't done that before. He took a blanket out of his backpack and wrapped it around himself. It didn't do much to keep out Tacoma's October chill but it was better than nothing. His breath steamed in the air as he settled down to sleep away the rest of the night. Hoping that by morning he would feel moderately better, but not expecting to.
Blair rose as soon as the sun lightened the eastern sky of Tacoma. He hadn't slept much, feeling too cold and sore to fall fully asleep. A fine layer of faint frost coated the blanket but he was grateful for its meagre warmth. His teeth chattering he stood and packed away his precious blanket in his backpack.
He straightened carefully, his body protesting the movement. Blair started to move, knowing that if he walked he would warm up. He walked a couple of blocks and came to a main road, which was already full of cars as people journeyed to work. He looked round getting his bearings. He knew the Macy Street homeless shelter would be serving breakfasts.
Blair had been there several times and they would not only give him a hot meal but also the welcome opportunity to take a hot shower and clean up.
The smell of toast and coffee assaulted his nose as he approached the mission. He walked through the front door, trying to absorb as much of the building's heat as he could. He joined the queue and got his meal and hot coffee. He tried to keep his head down and just thanked them for the food. He went and sat at a table by himself, the majority of the clientele already having had their breakfasts. A large number came in for their meal and left again but some stayed round and used the facilities.
Blair cupped the mug in both hands warming them and then drank half the coffee, relishing the hot black liquid as it slid down his throat warming him inside as it journeyed to his stomach. Then he took a bite of toast, careful of his split lip.
"Hi Blair," a male voice said suddenly as a pair of faded denim jeans came into view. Blair didn't look up; he carried on eating for a moment.
"Hi Adrian," Blair replied deliberately not making eye contact. Instead Blair took great interest in his scrambled egg.
"Fine," Blair replied reaching for his coffee.
"That split lip and black eye would say otherwise."
"It's alright, really," Blair tried to reassure the man, knowing he meant well, he just didn't understand what it was like living on the streets. The constant dangers and the hardship.
Adrian Blyton was twenty-six and had worked at the homeless shelter for two years. He genuinely cared about the people that came through the mission's doors, but even he knew he couldn't save everyone, but that didn't stop him trying. Adrian had recognised Blair, as he came through the shelter's doors which on average was about five or six times a month, looking for a meal and to clean-up.
"Do you need any medical aid?"
"No Adrian I'm fine, I've had much worse. It looks worse than it is."
"Okay, but if you change your mind, the doctor is calling in at 4pm tonight."
Blair nodded as he took a bite of toast, not speaking anymore.
A local doctor volunteered at the clinic twice a week, treating minor injuries. It was the only medical aid the majority ever received.
"Do you need a place to stay tonight?" and Blair nodded. "I'll make sure your name's on the list."
"Thanks Adrian," Blair replied gratefully as Adrian smiled as he stood. "For everything."
"You're welcome Blair," he replied but wishing he could do more.
After Blair had finished his breakfast he took his tray and deposited his rubbish in the bin. Then Blair went and grabbed a hot shower, relishing the feel of the warm water on his still cold and aching body.
He caught a sight of himself in the bathroom mirror afterwards and was literally stopped dead by the reflection that looked back at him. Was that really him? What had happened to that vibrant, idealistic man with the whole world at his feet? It wasn't just the black eye and thick lip; it was the dark circles under his eyes and the unhealthy looking skin, plus the haunted look in his blue eyes. Blair felt tears springing in his eyes, but he angrily blinked them away. He would not feel sorry for himself. He chose this life. Chose this instead of being a Sentinel's Guide. No one forced him to leave everything behind and he was free he told himself. No one could ever take that away from him.
Putting the maudling thoughts aside he checked his ribs, delicately probing the bruised flesh. He didn't think any were cracked but they would be sore for a day or so.
Putting on fresh clothes, Blair decided to spend the day searching for a job. He needed to work to buy more of the drug.
Blair always worked cash in hand, doing odd jobs wherever he could. He walked the area going to the usual places but no one was hiring that day. So on a whim he went to his dealer who sold the Guide drugs, hoping that because he was a good customer he would get credit. He knew the dealer wouldn't change his mind.
The drug dealer recognised Blair and his money was good, but he didn't speak just laughed when Blair asked for credit.
Blair returned to the homeless shelter later that night for an evening meal, his second meal of the day. Glad for two meals when some days he didn't eat at all. Buying the drug was more important than buying food. He could always scavenge for food. It was plain wasteful what was just thrown away by some restaurants and shops.
After the meal Adrian gave him a key to one of the shelter's private rooms. Blair was really grateful to the young man. The majority of the beds were in communal rooms, ten beds to a room, but there were a few rooms that offered privacy and dignity for one night at least.
So after he was full Blair retired. After sleeping in a cold doorway the night before he was exhausted. Blair undressed and got straight into bed. He pulled one of his precious books out of his backpack and started to read. He had read all his books numerous times before, and was always on the lookout for any discarded books that he had never read before. But there were a few books he could never part with and this one was one of them.
As he read he suddenly felt the beginnings of a headache. A shooting pain shot across his temple and into his brain. Blair closed his eyes and rode out the wave of pain. He began to feel nausea creep into his stomach and a hot ripple of heat flashed through his body.
"Not now," he moaned as he closed his eyes and tried to switch off the sensations.
Blair knew he was starting to feel the withdrawal of the Guide drug. The Dexadiazapine was leaving his systems and he knew he would soon be feeling the thoughts of the people around him.
Blair had nowhere else to go, he couldn't spend another night on the street in the cold, so he knew he had to endure it. The other people in the shelter their emotions began to bombard his mind. Feelings of lust, anger, depression, pain, hopelessness assaulted him and Blair fought desperately to block them.
But only the drug or a Sentinel could stop the assault and Blair had neither. Blair tried to read but the headache was causing his vision to blur. He shut his book and put it away. He turned off the light and burrowed under the covers, trying to use the duvet as a shield from the deluge of emotions.
Blair tried to withdraw into his mind, think of something else, anything to take away the pain and the emotions. The Guide thought back to the past and when he had realised what he was.
Blair sat at his school desk and noticed Catrina Hemmings for the first time. The fifteen year old had glanced over at him and smiled. Blair had smiled back and then he had felt something for the first time. He felt an emotion, it was weak but it was there, and he knew it was coming from Catrina. Blair realised that she fancied him.
At first he was pleased that his classmate liked him but then he froze as he realised he had felt the emotion, not just assumed it from her smile. Blair was scared, he knew Guides felt emotions and his mother had said that no one wanted to be a Guide. His grandfather had been a Guide and his life had been a living hell.
Blair looked away too afraid to glance at Catrina again. He tried to concentrate on the lesson but his mind was in turmoil, unsure and afraid.
Blair didn't feel anything again the rest of the day and he put it aside as his imagination, as he had wanted Catrina to like him. But over the course of the next month Blair received more emotions and they began to overwhelm him. It got so bad that just after his sixteenth birthday he ran home from school and went and hid in the basement.
Naomi only found her son when she found the door ajar when she had known it had been closed earlier. Naomi found her son in a state, babbling and in pain. She realised her worst fears were being realised. But Naomi had decided long ago to put a contingency plan in action should Blair ever show signs of manifesting Guide abilities like her father had.
Talking soothingly to her son, he allowed her to pull him into her arms. Slowly they made their way to Blair's bedroom. She got Blair lying quietly down on his bed and then she went into her bedroom. In the bottom of her closet was a locked box. She removed it and located the key. Unlocking it she lifted the lid to a stash of the Dexadiazopine drug. Most Guides took the drug orally but Naomi had it concentrated in its liquid form. She prepared a large shot for her son. The scientist that had given her the drug was an old boyfriend and lover; Naomi had seen to that. She knew befriending a man who could manufacture the Guide suppressant might come in handy.
"What is it Mom?" Blair asked.
"Shh," she cooed as she lifted the sleeve of her son's shirt. She injected the clear liquid into her son's arm.
Blair immediately sensed the silence as if the world had suddenly lost its voice.
Blair nodded suddenly feeling tired.
"You rest now Blair and we'll talk later.
The next morning before Blair had gone to school he had taken his first oral dose of Dexadiazopine as he had done every day of his life since.
Blair shook aside the reveries as the waves of unrefined emotions crashed into him. He felt like a tonne weight was pressing against his mind. He tried to build a brick wall to keep them out but the wall didn't hold and he was bombarded over and over again.
Blair knew he had to get out of the city as soon as he could. The next day he would start walking and hopefully hitch a ride. It didn't matter where he went, so long as he could go somewhere where there were few people.
If only he could find work somewhere quiet and save money for the drugs, he would be alright then. Damn that man who had mugged him.
Blair curled onto his side as a hot flash of need coursed through him. He knew enough about the drug to know that sudden abstinence of the drug caused withdrawal not unlike those suffered by heroin or cocaine addicts.
Blair's brain threatened to explode and he felt himself blacking out from the pressure he was suffering. He felt himself withdrawing into himself desperate to find relief from the pain. He found himself in a jungle tinged with a lurid blue light and he realised there was no pain. He also realised he was seeing the strange landscape from a different perspective. Looking down he realised he had paws and fur. Turning his head round he swished a large brush of a tail.
I'm a wolf Blair thought to himself knowing instinctively what he was in his spirit animal form.
The wolf immediately began to run, enjoying the sensation of running lightning fast through the jungle. When he came to a clearing with a large grey boulder in the centre, he climbed on top and lay there panting. It had been exhilarating. There was no pain, no unwanted emotions. He felt calm and happy for the first time in a very long time.
He lay there for a while just enjoying the quiet and solitude when he suddenly became aware of a scent, an unfamiliar odour in the air. The scent was safe and inviting. The wolf waited as he heard the jungle rustling.
Then a black jaguar appeared out of the foliage into the clearing. The wolf lay quietly, watching the intruder, but not feeling afraid.
The wolf knew who the jaguar was. Then the jaguar noticed the wolf and he knew who he was.
The wolf lifted his head as the jaguar noticed the movement and his blue eyes locked with his own blue eyes.
The Sentinel felt the call of his Guide.
The Guide felt the call of his Sentinel.
The wolf and the jaguar ran towards one another and then leapt towards each other. They collided each merging with the other in a brilliant flash of white light.
Then the blue jungle stood empty and quiet. The wolf and the jaguar were gone.
Blair opened his eyes. He realised he was in his bed at the homeless shelter. He also realised he'd had the weirdest dream of his life. Thoughts of being the wolf came into his mind but then he remembered the magnificent black jaguar and they had both felt the pull to each other. Blair knew it had been his Sentinel in his animal spirit form. They had collided but instead of feeling pain and fear, Blair had felt his Sentinel's longing for him, for his stability and Blair knew this Sentinel would treat him well. He realised he had to go to his Sentinel and bond with him, become the partnership they were meant to be. How could he have been so utterly wrong all these years? The bond was not to be feared but to be rejoiced.
Blair moved to get out of bed and stopped, something was very wrong. Looking down he realised he still had fur. Struggling out from under the duvet he ran into the ensuite bathroom and rose up onto the sink. Looking into the mirror beyond, his blue eyes stared back at him, but they were in the wolf's body.
Had it not been a dream after all but had he really visited the blue jungle and had he really collided with the black jaguar? Blair was beginning to think it had all been too real and somehow he had changed and come back as the wolf.
Blair tried not to panic and breathed deeply. It felt weird drawing in oxygen through his wolf's snout. Then he stopped and looked round him realising he couldn't feel the emotions of those around him. Well that was one good thing out of this. He still had to find his Sentinel and he couldn't do that in Tacoma in a homeless shelter's room.
He walked over to the door to take the first step towards his Sentinel. Only he realised his paws wouldn't turn the door's handle. The wolf padded over to the window but it was locked.
Blair went over to the door and glanced at his problem. It was a Yale type lock. Raising up on his back legs, he used a thick claw to push the lock back up. Then he tried to push the oval catch to the left to unlock the door. His paw slipped off. He tried this a couple of times and the same thing happened. Then he took the catch in his mouth and managed to twist it. The door opened.
The wolf stuck his head out of the door. The corridor was empty. He went out into the corridor and made his way carefully as he could without being seen. It was still early and there weren't many people around.
The front door was open and he heard a gasp as someone saw him coming out, but he didn't look back and ran. He ran down an alley and hid behind some rubbish bins. He took stock of his situation. He was hungry, afraid and alone. If anyone from the pound found him he would be captured and very likely taken to a zoo.
But the wolf's blue eyes were also glancing towards the north because he knew that was where his Sentinel was. The wolf began to take over, Blair's human personality shifting to the background, as the wolf's drive to find his Sentinel took over. Blair was still feeling a little apprehensive to be a Guide, to let a Sentinel take over and dominate him. But the wolf had no such inhibitions; he took control and took off for the north.
The wolf moved quickly through the back streets of Tacoma, trying to remain hidden, scared to be seen by people in fear that they contact animal control, afraid of a wolf in their city. He couldn't be stopped from his goal. His Sentinel needed him.
All day he moved through the city, being cautious and keeping to the shadows. Suddenly a smell assaulted his sensitive nose, which twitched and flared as he took on more of the aroma. It smelt like pizza. Suddenly the wolf realised how hungry and thirsty he was. He knew he couldn't go into a restaurant and had to forage for what he needed. The wolf knew that humans discarded all sorts of things and it didn't take him long to find some leftovers. He was too hungry to care where it came from, it just tasted delicious. Late afternoon the wolf decided to sleep for a few hours and continue his journey that night. He was making good time and the edge of Tacoma couldn't be that far away now.
He could journey through the darkness once he was out in the open, with much more ease. Lying down in an alley behind a pile of discarded boxes, the wolf looked longingly to the north and then put his head on his front paws and closed his eyes.
It was dark when the wolf woke up. He yawned and then listened. The alley sounded quiet. He got up and stretched, Blair's personality was still there and he was still finding it strange to have four legs and fur. But the wolf had only one purpose and his personality soon dominated again. Breaking cover the wolf looked round the alley. He could smell delicious aromas on the air again and soon foraged some leftover food.
It had rained when he had been asleep and the wolf managed to drink some fresh water from a puddle. Feeling stronger then, the wolf began to journey north once more. He continued at a steady lope and then a walk and in the early hours of the morning he had left the outskirts of Tacoma behind him and was steadily heading north.
As the sun's light kissed the horizon for the start of a new day and the eastern sky began to glow with a soft orange light, Tacoma was a long way behind him. The wolf was tired and he decided to sleep for a few hours. He walked off the road he had been following and down into a ditch. He curled up and slept.
He awoke midmorning, feeling better for his sleep. He could hear the soft whine of cars as they passed on the road above his lower position. He was trying to decide whether to break cover or stay there for a while. His ears pricked up at the sound of a nearby brook. The wolf slinked up the side of the ditch, on the opposite side to the road, and took a good look round. There was a stand of trees nearby and the sound of water was coming from that direction. Looking round at the road the cars were a good distance away. Breaking cover the wolf ran for the trees and disappeared inside. He didn't think he had been observed. He found the stream and slaked his thirst and then walked into the flowing water. The water felt good on his paws which were a little sore from the constant walking and running he was doing.
The sound of rustling to his side caught his attention. His hackles rose as he wondered what it was. His keen eyes saw movement and he realised it was a bird of some description. He was hungry again and even a raw pheasant would taste good at that moment. He was just deciding to hunt for poultry, when he smelt the unmistakable odour of waffles, which he couldn't ignore.
Forgetting the bird he sought out the waffles. Continuing through the trees he came out at the back of a farmhouse. His keen eyes saw movement inside the kitchen area and the wolf continued forward slowly, his stomach rumbling and yearning for the waffles.
The wolf was so intent on the promise of the waffles that he didn't notice the black and white collie that was lying near the back door. The collie started to bark as soon as he noticed the wolf. The wolf stopped, noticing the dog for the first time.
On hearing his dog barking the farmer came out of his house then and saw the wolf. The wolf immediately started to back up. The farmer reached inside his house for his shotgun.
"Damned wolves after my chickens again," the farmer cursed as he fired at the rapidly receding lupine.
The wolf heard the boom of the gun as he ran as fast as he could. He suddenly felt a sharp pain in his shoulder and he yelped but he didn't stop running. He carried on running until the farmhouse was long behind him.
Panting, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, he stopped and sank to the ground. His right shoulder was hurting and looking round he could see blood in his fur. It was painful but he didn't think it was too bad an injury. He licked at it the best he could, to clean it.
It was late afternoon now and the wolf pulled himself to his feet and started north again. It wasn't easy, he was tired and hungry, hurting and sore, but still he felt the overwhelming need to reach his Sentinel.
Nearing sunset he came to a diner beside the road he was still following. The delicious aromas in the air were too much for him to ignore. He went round back looking carefully to make sure no people were around, then he scavenged in the bins. It was whilst he was scavenging that a member of staff came out. The wolf immediately jumped out of the bin and moved to a safe distance away.
The young man didn't shoo him off instead he just watched the wolf retreat to a safe distance. The man disappeared back inside the restaurant, and the wolf was just thinking about leaving to find somewhere else to find supper, when the young man reappeared carrying two dishes in his hands.
The wolf shied away at first as the man approached but the man didn't seem threatening.
"Hi there fella," the man said soothingly. "You look hungry. Here you go," and he put the dishes down.
Inside one was some milk and in the other were some leftovers. The wolf didn't know what they were but he didn't care. The man backed away and the wolf went for the food. He ate every bite and then lapped up the milk.
The young man was appraising the wolf's condition and noticed the bloody fur.
"Looks like you got a bit of an injury there fella. Will you let me help you I wonder?"
As soon as the wolf had finished eating he started to back away before the man could come close enough to grab him. He locked eyes with the man briefly, as if thanking him for his kindness, and then the wolf went into the trees behind the diner.
"Good luck," the kindly man said to the receding wolf as he picked up the empty dishes and went back into the diner.
A short while later and the wolf was walking round the parking lot looking for a likely vehicle he could stowaway in. He could hear one man talking on his cellphone telling someone on the other end that he would be home in a couple of hours.
Taking a chance that he was going in the right direction, but also knowing he could jump out if he wasn't, the wolf jumped into the back of the pickup truck.
A few minutes later and the engine started and the truck began to move. The wolf waited as it negotiated the parking area and then out onto the main road. The truck turned north and the wolf lay quietly, full and exhausted in the back, knowing he was getting closer to his Sentinel with each minute and the miles of road the pickup was eating.
The wolf woke and blinked his still tired eyes. He yawned and lifted his head. He could see buildings all round them now. They had reached another city. The wolf knew his Sentinel was near. As soon as the vehicle stopped at a crossroads, the lupine jumped out of the back and into a nearby alley. No one had seen him. The pickup continued on its way oblivious to losing its stowaway.
The wolf was getting excited, his destiny was near. He ran through the streets and alleyways. Darkness was descending as he ran his injury and tiredness forgotten.
He turned into a road, the signpost said Prospect. The wolf continued to lope down Prospect until he came to a building. There were shops on the ground floor but the wolf's eyes looked upwards. His Sentinel was up there.
He walked over to the door, wondering how he was going to get in. He waited in the shadows for someone to go in or come out. He sat patiently, his eyes never straying from the door. Eventually he was rewarded when someone came out of the building. The wolf darted through the opening before it could close again. He went straight for the staircase behind the self closing doors. He ran up to the top floor and onto the corridor. He walked slowly now, knowing his goal had been reached.
The wolf stopped outside the door. He looked up and saw the numbers 307 on the door.
The wolf's muzzle seemed to turn upwards in a smile as he scratched at the door. His Sentinel was inside the apartment and he had to get to him. The wolf began to whine with frustration as he continued to claw at the door.
The Sentinel lay in bed as darkness consumed the loft. He hadn't bothered to put on any lights as the sun had set. The artificial light hurt his eyes and he preferred to lie in the dark.
As soon as he had gotten home from work he had gone straight to bed. Food left him nauseated, the neighbours were being loud and he couldn't turn his hearing down. His senses were going out of sync and there was nothing he could do about it.
Jim knew he was only deluding himself. He knew he was depressed and despondent. He knew what his future was going to hold for him. He would slowly go insane as his senses went out of control and couldn't be suppressed. Everything would slowly get louder or stronger. He didn't want that, didn't want to be a burden or ridiculed. An object of pity and labelled as – the Sentinel who couldn't find his Guide.
Jim's hand twitched on the cool metal beneath his fingers. His gun was lying on the bed next to him as he contemplated ending it, quickly and cleanly. Then there would be no more pain.
He hesitated. He wasn't sure whether he was ready or not to give up on life yet, he knew he was on the cusp of life and death. The Sentinel knew the choice was his to make alone.
He became aware of a sound nearby. He could hear scratching and wondered if there was a rat in the apartment. Least his gun would have some use after all. But then Jim heard another sound, a distinctive whining. He realised he could focus easily on it and it was coming from outside the loft, in the corridor outside his front door.
Grasping his gun the Sentinel went down the staircase from his bedroom in bare feet. He walked over to the door, the loft still in darkness, gun ready in his right hand.
Jim opened the door, his eyes dazzled for a moment at the corridor's light after the gloom of his apartment, his gun pointing outward at chest height, but there was no one there. Lowering his gaze he could see a large dog was lying on the floor in front of his door, his eyes closed. Looking up and down the corridor Jim couldn't see anyone else.
Looking closer Jim realised it wasn't a dog but a wolf. He suddenly remembered the dream he'd had of being a jaguar and running into a wolf that was running towards him. They had collided in a brilliant ball of light. Jim had woken up then, remembering the vivid dream in every detail. He had forgotten the dream until now.
"You look about tired out there boy," Jim said hunkering down.
On hearing the voice the wolf wanted to hear he opened his eyes. Jim looked into two cerulean blue eyes and felt an instant connection. Making a decision, Jim picked up the wolf and carried him inside.
Taking an afghan from the back of a couch he lay it on the floor by the fire and then lay the wolf on top. Jim lit the fire to warm the wolf up.
Jim took stock of the wolf. He looked dirty, hungry and he suddenly realised he could smell blood. Checking the wolf over he could see blood on his right shoulder. The wolf whimpered as he prodded the wound.
"Easy, I'm not going to hurt you but you've been through the wars there chief," the Sentinel stated.
He went into the kitchen and prepared a bowl of warm water with some antiseptic so he could clean and tend the wound. Jim wasn't sure why he was doing it and not just ringing animal control and letting them take the injured animal away. There was just something about the wolf that made the Sentinel want to help him.
Jim took some cold water in a bowl and put it down on the floor by the wolf's makeshift bed, but the lupine was too exhausted to lift his head up. So Jim cupped some of the water in his palm and raised it to the wolf's snout. His tongue lapped eagerly at the proffered water.
"That's good, you need some water. I'll get you something to eat in a minute; I just want to check you over so you haven't got any injuries I can't see."
Jim smiled to himself as he realised he was talking to a wolf what he was going to do as if he could understand English. And yet it seemed the right thing to do.
The Sentinel checked the wolf thoroughly, but other than the shoulder wound, and four paws that were sore and red raw, the animal didn't look in too bad a shape.
The wolf needed a bath, but that could come later. The injury was Jim's first concern. It looked like it was on its way to becoming infected. The outside of the wound looked red and inflamed. Jim cleaned the wound and checked it thoroughly with his Sentinel eyesight, not realising at first that that was what he was doing. He suddenly stopped and realised his senses were under control, his eyesight was functioning as he wanted it to. The Sentinel was amazed.
The wolf was lying quietly by the fire as Jim finished tending his wounds. Then he went into the kitchen and made him some oatmeal. It would be warm and filling.
Again Jim had to help the wolf eat, his exhaustion was so great he could barely lift his head. But finally Jim had gotten a good portion inside the lupine. Jim left the wolf to sleep. As he got up to go to bed, the Sentinel saw his gun where he had left it on the kitchen counter. He put it away, not needing it anymore.
The Sentinel realised that he felt a lot better since the wolf's arrival. It was amazing what caring for another living being could instil in you. Jim hadn't had time to worry about his out of control sense; instead he'd focused all his energies on the animal that needed his help.
Realising it was now well past midnight, Jim went up the stairs to his bedroom. He got undressed and just as he got into bed he glanced down and saw the wolf was still asleep on the afghan. He would probably sleep all night.
During the night Jim woke up. He looked at his bedside clock, it read 4:37. Jim felt something on the bed next to him. His Sentinel eyesight immediately cut in and in the darkness he could plainly see the shape of the wolf lying on top of his duvet next to him.
The corners of Jim's mouth rose in a half smile. He wasn't sure how the wolf had found the energy to mount the staircase or climb onto the bed. Jim didn't feel angry at the thought of all that fur on his bed. Instead he lay back down and went back to sleep.
Next morning, Jim opened his eyes to see two large blue eyes staring back at him. The wolf was awake and watching him.
"Well you look better this morning," Jim said as he slid his hand from under the duvet and petted the wolf's head. "Come to think of it, I feel better myself this morning."
Jim suddenly realised how much he had dreaded waking up in the mornings. The light was always too bright, there was always too much background noise and something would smell too strongly. But this morning he felt normal. He didn't have a headache and he felt...hungry. He didn't feel nauseous and actually felt like eating.
He looked solemnly at the lupine who was still watching him. How could an animal affect him so much? Or was he reading too much into it and it was just a coincidence?
Jim didn't care; he just planned to make the most of it. Sitting up in bed he swung his legs and stood up. The wolf continued to watch his every move.
"Okay there chief, let's see about breakfast first."
Jim started down the stairs and the wolf followed. The Sentinel watched the wolf as he negotiated the stairs. He was still favouring his leg but it didn't look too bad. Jim made a mental note to check the wound after breakfast.
Jim was thinking pancakes. He didn't have much in to feed the wolf. He wasn't sure that dog food would be appropriate for a wolf, so he thought about getting some real meat from the supermarket later.
As a treat that morning Jim decided to make them both pancakes. The Sentinel and wolf were soon tucking into a generous portion of the flat cakes. Jim left the wolf's plain and poured a generous portion of maple syrup on his own. As he ate his pancakes he checked his companion and found him eating his share heartily. Jim smiled but then began to think what to do about his new roommate.
Where did the wolf come from? He was tame so he had to have been reared by humans? Why did he end up outside his apartment? How had he gotten inside the building? Why the loft? Why did he feel so much better that morning? Jim had already decided to keep the wolf for the time being. He didn't know why he just knew he had to.
The wolf's bowl was empty and he was now taking a generous drink of water from the bowl beside it.
Jim sat back after finishing his own breakfast, feeling full and realising that pancakes had never tasted so good before. He sat back sipping his coffee and looked down at the wolf who was sitting watching him again. Jim looked down at the bottle of Famminopan which was his first order of business in a morning, before he could face work. But he just looked at the bottle and realised he didn't need to take it. He would take it with him just in case but he honestly thought he would not need to take it.
"First order of business is a name for you."
Jim looked at the wolf and then a name popped into his head.
"Chief. I'm going to call you Chief."
The wolf yipped at that and Jim took that as a sign that he liked the name.
The second order of business was a bath for his companion. Chief didn't seem so pleased at that.
The wolf endured the bath, actually enjoying it once he was wet. Of course the wolf shook himself to dry him and covered Jim in a good spray of water.
Jim also knew that all dogs, and that included wolves, needed exercise and that they had certain needs. The next plan of action was to get a collar and lead, but for the time being a bit of old rope on a slipknot would suffice. Soon they were ready and going out the door.
Jim took his companion round the block promising the let the wolf have a longer walk after work if his leg could stand it. The wolf was happy enough with the time he had been given.
On the way to work Jim stopped off at a pet store and bought a collar and lead and a large blanket. He also saw a dog harness for the car. Soon Chief was in the harness, the end fitting into the seat belts clasp. Chief was secure in the truck then.
Then they continued to work. Jim parked in the underground car park and took Chief up in the elevator up to the seventh floor. Everyone in Major Crimes stopped what they were doing when they saw the detective entering the Bullpen with the wolf.
Their arrival had not gone unnoticed by their captain.
"Ellison, my office now!" Captain Simon Banks bellowed from his open door. "And bring your new 'friend' with you."
"That's you Chief," Jim said looking down at his lupine friend. Chief looked up at him with diffident eyes, as if he wanted to say 'Does he always shout so loudly'.
"Sit down detective," Simon said calmly but firmly as soon as Jim had entered his office.
Jim sat and the wolf obediently sat beside him on the floor. Jim was amazed at how well trained the wolf was without being commanded..
Simon moved round to sit down at his desk. The captain placed his elbows on the desk and then clasped his hands together, staring intently at his detective the whole time as he then steepled his fingers together. Without saying a word the captain looked at his detective and then down at the wolf and then back up at his detective.
"Detective Ellison, would you mind explaining to me why there is a wolf sitting in my office?"
"Sir, it's a husky dog." Jim obfuscated, realising not everyone would welcome a wolf as readily as they would a dog.
"My apologies," replied the captain evenly but smiling dangerously. "Why is a husky dog sitting in my office?"
"He turned up on my doorstep last night, hurt and hungry."
"That's nice of you to look after him. Is it a him?"
"But why did you bring him to work?"
"Captain, you know I've been having trouble with my senses."
"Yes, because you haven't got a Guide."
"Well since Chief here turned up, that's what I've named him, my senses haven't spiked and I feel great."
"Well I must admit you do look better," the captain responded, scrutinising his detective closely. "But the dog, um Chief, he must belong to someone."
"Yes, me sir," Jim replied steadfastly.
"You can't just keep the dog!" Simon replied his voice rising.
Chief began to growl at the captain when he heard his voice being raised to his Sentinel.
"Easy Chief," Jim soothed patting the wolf's head.
"Well he does seem to have latched on to you Jim."
The captain sighed and sat back.
"Jim, I can't let you bring a dog to work. Everyone will want to bring their pets and then where would we be."
"Sir, Chief is really helping me out with my senses. The blind have their 'guide dogs', well I've got a dog for a Guide."
Simon couldn't fight that logic. "Okay Jim you win. The dog can stay for now. I hope he's house trained."
Chief whined at that and Simon looked down at the dog wondering if he had actually understood what he had said.
"Thank you sir," Jim said getting up. "Come on Chief."
Jim made his way back to his desk with the wolf at his side. Jim lay the blanket he had bought on the floor by his desk and the wolf obediently lay down on it.
"You be quiet Chief while I do some work."
The wolf closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Jim had a number of cases he was investigating. He still had the kidnapped Guide case. Nothing had been heard or seen of Rosalynd Fisher since her kidnapping. No ransom demand had been received. The Sentinel Guy Baker had been released from hospital but he wasn't doing so well without his Guide. Jim had no new leads but he thought he would go see the Sentinel later and make sure he was okay. Perhaps Chief's could help the man like he was helping him. It would be interesting to see if the wolf did have a calming influence on other Sentinels.
Jim made some phone calls and the morning moved quickly. Jim was thinking about stopping for lunch and wondering whether to go out or just grab something from a nearby deli.
A Police Sentinel/Guide team walked into the Bullpen on their way to talk to Detective Henry Brown. The Guide suddenly stopped and looked round the Bullpen. Emmett Caine was smaller than his Sentinel. His black hair was cropped close to his skull and his green eyes were alert and searching. His eyes locked on Jim's desk. By this time his Sentinel, Alec Grayson had reached Brown's desk but without his Guide.
"Guide," he said formally, slight irritation in his voice that his Guide was not at his side where he should be at all times.
"My Sentinel..." Emmett said, his voice slightly detached and confused.
His Sentinel was by his side immediately. "Are you alright Emmett?" the Sentinel asked, his irritation forgotten as now he was concerned for his companion.
"Yes fine, but there is something..."
"Are you sensing something?"
"I don't know. It felt like it was coming from over there."
Alec looked over in the direction his Guide was indicating and saw another Sentinel.
"It's just Sentinel Detective Jim Ellison. He's no threat to you or me."
"I know, it's just..." but Emmett still seemed confused.
"Is everything okay?" Jim said standing and walking towards the distressed Guide and his Sentinel.
"Everything's fine detective. My Guide isn't feeling very well. I think I should take him home."
"That would be wise, as after all a Guide's wellbeing is our top priority."
Just then Chief came round from behind Jim's desk and trotted over to stand next to his Sentinel.
"Who's that?" Alec asked.
Emmett was looking down at Chief with a hard stare.
"Sentinel, may I pet the dog?" Emmett asked.
Jim and Alec didn't know which Sentinel to whom he was asking for permission.
"If it's okay with Sentinel Ellison," Alec replied.
"Of course," Jim replied.
Emmett bent down and ran his hand over the wolf's head, looking into his blue eyes.
"He's beautiful," Emmett stated.
"He is isn't he," Jim replied proudly.
"Have you had him long?" Alec replied.
"Not long at all," Jim replied but didn't elaborate.
Emmett could tell there was something different about the dog, but he couldn't pin down what it was. There was just something unusual about him.
"Okay Emmett, I'm going to take you home now."
The Guide let his Sentinel lead him away.
"I hope you feel better soon Emmett," Jim said as the Sentinel and Guide left the Bullpen.
Alec waved and nodded as they left. Jim noticed that Chief was watching intently as the Sentinel and Guide pair disappeared from sight.
That was weird Jim thought to himself but he let the scene go as he contemplated lunch.
"Come on Chief."
Jim and Chief drove to a nearby restaurant. When Jim walked in with Chief on his collar and lead they were stopped just inside the door.
"You can't bring that animal in here," a waitress suddenly said, disgust evident in his voice.
"He's my Guide dog," Jim replied.
"You're not blind," the waitress replied.
"But I am a Sentinel," Jim replied taking out his Sentinel/Detective shield.
"Oh," the waitress replied. "I didn't realise. I'm sorry Detective um Sentinel."
"That's okay," Jim replied continuing into the restaurant and sitting down at a table.
To Jim's amusement Chief jumped up onto a chair and sat looking at him.
Jim picked up the menu and scanned through it.
"What do you fancy Chief? Lasagne looks good. How about prime rib for you?"
The wolf yipped at that and Jim laughed. Then Jim's cellphone began to chime.
"I just think lunch went out the window," Jim moaned as he fished his phone out of his jacket's pocket. "Ellison."
"Jim, it's Simon, a young girl has just been snatched from her school playground. The teacher witnessed it and raised the alarm. She said the man took off on foot to the north from the school. We haven't got a K9 unit available at the moment, so I was hoping that maybe Chief could pick up on his scent."
"It's worth a try. We'll be right there. Give me the address."
Within a minute Chief was safely harnessed into Jim's pickup truck and they were rushing under blue lights to the school. They arrived at the school within five minutes. Simon was already at the scene. The captain briefed his detective in which direction the man took off in. Jim got the location of where the man had taken the child from in the playground and headed to the spot with Chief.
"Okay Chief," Jim said to the wolf. "I know you're not trained for this but I need you to do something for me buddy. A bad man has taken a child and I need you to find him for me okay. He took the child from here. Take a good sniff Chief and find him for me."
The wolf sniffed the ground, taking the spore deeply into his nose. He discerned many odours, including his Sentinels and lots of other people's scents. Lots of human scents. A lot of children had played in the area recently. It was difficult. But then the wolf detected another odour, it was more pungent than the others sour and sweaty. More like a man's scent, like his Sentinel's. Chief knew it was the bad man. He took off to the north, straining at the end of the lead, indicating for Jim to follow him.
"We're in pursuit," Jim called back as he ran trying to keep up to his Guide wolf.
They ran down the road next to the school and round a corner into the next street. Chief paused for a moment and then took off over the road. They went down another street, each time Chief would stop and take long sniffs; but soon they would be off again.
Jim phoned Simon "We're on Lexington Simon, Chief's still following a scent. I'll keep you informed."
Jim cut the connection and continued to follow his companion. They continued like this for some distance. Then Chief suddenly stopped in front of a one storey house. It was set back from its neighbouring properties. Large trees surrounding it on all sides.
Chief stopped at the dilapidated front gate, that needed a fresh coat of paint. He looked up at Jim and then at the house.
"This the place buddy,"
Jim tried his senses sending them out towards the house and discovered two heartbeats. One was slow, the other fast as if it was excited.
Jim called it in.
"Come on Chief, quiet like," he said dropping the wolf's lead and taking his gun from the holster at the small of his back.
Jim crept forward slowly, listening as they proceeded with caution. At the front door Jim knocked. There was no answer.
"Cascade PD open up," but Jim didn't wait. One swift kick and the door was kicked in.
The wolf was straight in and heading towards a back room. Jim could hear sounds of a struggle in the room. Jim opened the door, his gun in his hand. He burst into the room ready for anything. He immediately saw a young girl lying on the bed, her arms tied behind her back, a blindfold over her eyes.
Chief growled loudly and jumped at the room's other occupant. A middle aged man was trying to get out of the room's only window. Only the window wouldn't open far enough to allow his girth to pass through. Chief bared his teeth and sank them into the man's rump. The man screamed.
"Call your dog off man, I give up!"
Jim heard a loud rip and winced as he saw the man's bad choice in underwear.
"Put your hands on your head," the man complied readily. "Back up into the room," the man squirmed but managed to release himself from the confines of the window.
Jim reached for his handcuffs. "You have the right to remain silent..."
As he read the man his Miranda rights, he glanced down at Chief who was sitting with a piece of the man's trousers in his mouth. Jim smiled at his Guide who dropped the piece of cloth and put his paw on top of it on the floor. The Sentinel was sure his Guide was sitting prouder and smiling to himself.
Soon back up was arriving and the man was being escorted to gaol. The young girl was being tended to by EMTs and Jim was giving a verbal report to his captain.
"No word of a lie Captain. Chief didn't hesitate, not only did he follow the perps scent all the way here, but he helped me apprehend him. That girl owes her life to him."
"If they give commendations to dogs, I'll see that Chief gets one," Simon said as he absently patted the wolf's head.
Chief allowed the contact and even leant into it. Pleased that his Sentinel's boss was pleased with him.
Jim lay in bed that night thinking about the day's events and how Chief had helped him apprehend the man, but even more he had saved the girl's life. The man had form, indeed he had only been out of gaol for a few days on charges of molesting young girls. Men like that should never be allowed to roam the streets.
Chief was lying on the bed beside him looking up through the skylight intently at the moon.
"Don't even think about howling at the moon there Chief. The neighbours might object to it and I've just got used to having you around."
Chief laid his head on his paws and closed his eyes. Jim turned off the light and absently stroked the wolf's fur for a few minutes. He glanced up at the moon, feeling like howling at it himself. He hadn't felt so focused in a long time. His Sentinel abilities were stable and even though he had longed for a Guide for so long, he didn't need one now. The wolf was his Guide. Jim didn't know where the wolf had come from or why, but he was helping him no end. He was just glad that he was here.
Exhausted the Sentinel slipped into sleep.
They both dreamed. Jim dreamed he was a black jaguar in a blue jungle and he was searching for something. He ran through the dense foliage towards something, instinctively he knew it was his Guide. He entered a clearing and saw the large grey rock, and sitting on top of the rock was the grey wolf. The wolf recognised the jaguar and immediately jumped down and started to run towards him. As he ran he began to change shape, his fur began to disappear to be replaced by a man's form and skin.
The man and the jaguar collided in a bright white light.
Then the blue jungle was empty once more.
It was night. Everything was dark and strange.
Feeling groggy he rose on all fours feeling disorientated and confused. He opened his blue eyes and blinked several times as his brain fought to catch up. He felt strange, disembodied and spacey.
"Chief!" a voice called in the distance but it sounded muffled, like it was underwater. "Chief!"
He used the voice to latch onto and bring his awareness in to sharpness. He glanced down and realised with a shock that he had no fur. Still the confusion was there. He straightened up, leaning on his knees. He glanced down and looked at himself. The fog was starting to lift and he realised he was human. And naked. His gaze took in the fur-less flesh, the arms, fingers, legs, toes. His gaze finally finishing on the ample genitalia, knowing instinctively, with a smile of satisfaction, that he was wasn't lacking in that department.
"Who are you?" a voice said behind him. A familiar voice. "How'd you get in here?" It was his Sentinel's voice. "Where's Chief? Chief, come here boy."
He opened his mouth to bark to tell his Sentinel that he was Chief, but as he did so he knew he couldn't bark anymore, he had to use words.
Jim looked quizzically at the naked man still kneeling in the middle of his living room. He was small with curly brown hair and blue eyes. Using his Sentinel senses he sniffed the man. It was unique and familiar, slightly different, with no underlying odour of fur. The naked man rose to his feet. The world looked different from such a lofty height after being in a wolf's form.
"Chief? It can't be. What happened?"
"I...don't...know," he responded still confused.
The Sentinel could see the man was shivering, gooseflesh rising on his skin. He didn't have fur anymore to keep him warm and he was obviously confused and in shock.
"Stay there," Jim said, almost making the words a command he would have issued to his wolf. He stalked off and returned a few moments later. He was still looking round as Jim returned with a robe. He helped him put his arms through the garment, and as he did so Jim noticed the healing wound on his right shoulder. The wound he had tended when Chief had first come to him. But even with the extra warmth of the robe he was still shivering. Jim helped him to the sofa and to sit down.
"Chief?" Blair's eyes turned to look up at Jim. "What do you remember?"
"I was asleep on... a bed...then when I woke up... I wasn't a wolf anymore."
"Do you know your name, other than the one I gave you?"
Everything was still in a haze, his thoughts foggy. It was hard enough remembering words let alone anything else. He looked at his Sentinel; he wasn't sure what he was to him now.
"I...I don't...know...who I am."
"I know who you are," he told the man who was still shivering and sitting almost naked on his sofa, his voice sure and certain. "You're my Guide." Their eyes locked both blue in colour, but different shades. "I'll make you some coffee; see if we can warm you up."
Jim was having a hard time comprehending what was happening himself. How could a wolf turn into a man? Yet this man's scent was definitely Chief's, but in a different way. Jim was pottering in the kitchen, trying to sort things out in his head.
"Blair," came the voice from the sofa. Jim looked up on hearing the voice. "My…name's Blair…Blair Sandburg."
"Hello, Blair," Jim replied as he took over a steaming cup of coffee.
He put it in Blair's hands and then sat down on the sofa beside him. Blair cupped the mug in both hands trying to leach the warmth out of it.
"Blair, do you know who I am?"
"That's right I'm Jim Ellison and I'm a Sentinel."
"Do you know where you live?"
"Prospect, apartment 307."
"No, I mean before you came here."
Blair thought for a moment, flashes of images whirling in his mind. "Tacoma."
"No place. Lots of places. My Sentinel. I had to run far to find you...be your Guide...not afraid anymore."
"You were afraid. Why?"
"Need to bond."
"I don't think you're in any condition to bond just yet Chief. I mean Blair."
"Like...name Chief. Need to bond."
Then Jim felt it the tug on his mind and he knew it was Blair seeking admittance, so that they could become one. Sentinel and Guide. Jim knew this was his Guide and he wanted to bond to him, but it was too soon.
"Later, first you need to..."
Jim couldn't complete the sentence. The Guide's mind was insistent; he was sure, desperate to forge the connection. The Sentinel felt the warmth of the mind that was trying to envelop his. He couldn't focus on anything else but that warmth, tenderness and gentleness. The Sentinel couldn't fight the call of his Guide. The Sentinel's mind opened and allowed the Guide in.
It was intense, euphoric and all encompassing. Two minds became one. At first it felt too powerful like a tornado's funnel, chaotic and full of energy, but then they meshed together forever and it was the most incredible feeling they had ever experienced.
Jim blinked awake. He was lying on the sofa with his Guide in his arms. He remembered the bond and realised that they had both become unconscious from its intensity.
The Sentinel reached out with his mind and immediately felt Blair's mind. He was still unconscious and Jim immediately checked his vitals. They were steady. He was just deeply asleep; exhausted from the bond and everything else that had happened to him of late.
Jim picked up his new Guide and carried him up to his bedroom. He put him in his bed and covered him up. Jim lay down on top of the covers content to keep vigil on his Guide as he slept.
A short while later Jim phoned Simon and told him he wouldn't be in in the morning, his Guide was here and he needed to make sure he was safe and well before he ventured out of the loft again.
Simon was amazed when Jim told him that the wolf was now human. Simon just accepted it, not balking at what should sound impossible. With Sentinels and Guides anything could happen and it usually did.
Simon told Jim to take as much time as he needed and he would stop by to meet his Guide after work.
The Sentinel drank in the sight of his Guide. His Guide. Jim smiled as he realised that fact. Finally he had found his Guide, though technically his Guide had found him.
Blair woke several times during the night and following day. Every time he did, Jim took care of his needs. Blair seemed to be getting stronger and more orientated each time he woke. His speech to begin with had been halting, as if he had been having trouble remembering English, but now he was steadily familiarising himself with being human again.
Jim could hardly believe Blair had been the wolf. How had it even been possible? Jim knew it had something to do with the blue jungle he had dreamed about. Somehow his consciousness had sought out his Guide and had found him in the blue jungle. Yet Blair was reluctant to be a Guide and had resisted even as their spirit animals had merged. Blair had said earlier that he wasn't afraid anymore. Had his fear somehow caused his spirit animal to manifest in place of his human body? Jim wasn't sure he would ever know the facts and he wasn't sure that he really wanted to.
Jim was in the kitchen preparing a light meal when he heard his Guide stirring.
"Sentinel?" the confused voice whispered, and Jim could feel the vestiges of fear in his mind.
Jim ran up the stairs to find his Guide sitting up in bed looking round him in confusion.
"Easy Chief," Jim said calmly as he went and sat down on the bed next to his Guide.
"I was a bit lost for a moment. Didn't know where I was."
"You're home. You're safe here. I won't let anything happen to you."
Blair smiled as he ran a hand over his face and into his hair.
"What time is it?"
"I've been asleep all day," Blair replied guiltily.
"You needed it. My boss is calling round in a while to meet you. Why don't you have a shower, you'll feel better?"
"A shower sounds good."
"I'll find you some more clothes that might fit you. We'll go shopping tomorrow, if you feel up to it, and you can pick out some things."
"No, Jim," Blair replied. "I have no money and don't know when I can pay you back."
"Hush, you're my Guide now and I will provide for you."
"But nothing Chief," Jim replied firmly. "Have you any idea what my life was like before you arrived. It was like hell that's what. I had to take drugs just to function and those drugs were wearing off faster and faster every day. I would have lost my mind in a month, maybe less. I even contemplated ending my life." The Guide gasped at that revelation. "You saved my life and I can never repay you for that."
Blair nodded. "I used to take drugs too to suppress my empathy. I was afraid to have a Sentinel. I felt I would lose my identity," the Guide confessed.
"You won't with me Blair. I promise. I have a lot to tell you about who I am and where I work."
"I remember some of it," Blair replied, his eyes unfocused as he caught a memory. "When I was the wolf I remember chasing after a man, a bad man. You're a policeman."
"That's right. I'm a detective."
"I'm nothing. I have nothing. I lived on the streets."
"You're my Guide. Guides are supposed to help their Sentinels in whatever role they have." Blair nodded, that was one of the very reasons why he didn't want to be a Guide. "If you don't want to I would understand and I'll help you do whatever it is you want to do."
"You mean that?" Blair asked incredulous, though he could tell his Sentinel wasn't lying.
"Link with me Guide."
Blair immediately obeyed his Sentinel and entered his Sentinel's mind. He knew whole heartedly that Jim was telling the truth and that he was sincere.
"Thank you for that Jim. But my place is at my Sentinel's side. A cop especially will need his Guide by his side."
"Good Chief. Now go get that shower."
Blair nodded and headed down the stairs. Jim watched his Guide go, trying not to smile at the too large clothing that was swamping his smaller partner.
Jim fished in his closet for something that would sort of fit his Guide. It would have to be sweats until they could go shopping.
"Blair, I've put some clean clothes for you on the floor outside the door," Jim called through the closed bathroom door.
"Thank you my Sentinel," Blair called from the shower.
"You can call me Jim you know."
"I know my Sentinel," the Guide called back.
Jim shook his head and left his Guide to it. He went back to preparing their meal, hoping that Simon would stay as well.
Simon knocked just after 5pm. Jim immediately felt Blair's trepidation and the Sentinel immediately sent reassurance through the bond to his Guide.
Jim opened the door. "Hi Simon," Jim said as he ushered his boss through the door.
Blair was stood by the sofa looking a little shyly at the imposing visitor. Blair used his empathy to read the large black man and felt only curiosity and no threat.
"Simon, come meet my Guide. Captain Simon Banks this is my Guide Blair Sandburg."
"It's a pleasure to meet you Blair."
"And you Captain Banks."
"Just Simon's fine son," Simon replied as he shook hands with the Guide.
Simon was still having a hard time trying to comprehend that yesterday this young man standing before him had been a wolf. If anyone but Jim Ellison had told him that he would have laughed at the man. But Ellison never kidded around, especially when it came to his Sentinel abilities.
"Something smells good Jim," Simon stated.
"I had some prime rib in the freezer."
"For me," Blair said smiling broadly. Obviously Jim had spoilt his Guide when he had been a wolf. "I still have a hankering for red meat."
Simon's eyebrows rose at that statement but he didn't reply.
"Will you join us Simon?" Jim asked. "There's plenty. I did mean to ask you earlier but I wasn't sure if Blair would be up to visitors but as you can see," he added indicating his recovering Guide.
"As long as I'm not imposing."
"Never Simon. Come on sit at the table. Chief will you grab the salad from the fridge."
"You called him Chief," Simon whispered to Jim.
"Blair doesn't mind," Jim replied as he went to the grille to serve the steak. He'd also baked jacket potatoes which he removed from the oven.
Soon the three men were sat at the table eating and chatting as they ate. Blair was still a little unsure of Simon and ate more than spoke, but he could see the respect that his Sentinel had for his captain. Blair could read Simon well and found a deeply honest man, who was firm but fair. Blair thought he could maybe in time even call the man friend.
Blair was too interested in the food in front of him to talk. He couldn't remember the last time he had eaten steak as a human. It was still a little rare in the middle and he wondered if it was the wolf in him that enjoyed that part of the steak the most.
After the meal, the three men went and sat on the sofa. Jim and Simon had a beer and Blair sipped a glass of milk. Jim told Simon he would take his Guide in the morning to be registered by the Sentinel/Guide Registry and then they were going shopping for clothes. Blair had arrived with nothing. Blair was still sketchy on where he had come from other than he knew he had been in Tacoma before he had came to Cascade.
Then Jim planned to come in to work for the afternoon, to acclimatise his Guide to Major Crimes. Jim wanted to get back to work as soon as he could.
After an hour Jim noticed his Guide's eyes were starting to close. He was still feeling tired from his ordeal.
"Chief, why don't you go up to bed?"
Blair nodded too tired to speak. He knew it would do no good to argue with his Sentinel to the sleeping arrangements, knowing he would not let him sleep on the sofa. He raised his hand in a goodbye gesture to Simon and then trudged wearily up the stairs.
"Where does Blair sleep?" Simon whispered.
"My bed for the moment," Jim replied.
"And where do you sleep?"
"The couch of course," Jim smiled. "I plan on fitting out the spare room for my Guide," Jim replied indicating the room under the stairs behind them. "I just haven't had chance yet."
"Well I should be going too, Jim," Simon said finishing his beer. "Thanks for dinner."
"You're welcome Simon."
At the door he said goodnight and Jim closed the door behind his friend and boss. It had been a good night. Jim could tell that Blair wasn't a hundred per cent sure of Simon yet but it had been a good start. Simon seemed to like Blair, plus Jim had been pleased at the amount Blair had eaten. Blair looked a little under nourished, a testament to the hard left he had had before. He'd even managed some dessert. Jim vowed to make sure his Guide ate regularly and healthily.
For the first time in a very long time, Jim Ellison was actually looking forward to the future.
A week went by in a blur of activity. Jim had taken Blair shopping and he was now in possession of a full set of clothing. Blair had remembered the Tacoma homeless shelter he had been in when he had changed into the wolf. So Jim contacted the shelter and had them send Blair's possessions to him. Between them Sentinel and Guide worked on converting the spare room into a bedroom for Blair. Jim had used it to house all sorts of stuff including fishing and camping gear. This was all removed to the basement. They moved in a bed, some drawers for Blair's clothes and a small desk. Jim had loaned his Guide his laptop. It was soon apparent to Jim how intelligent Blair was and how quickly he read and absorbed anything he was exposed to. Jim told Blair that if he found something he wanted to study part time, then he would be all for it. Blair eagerly surfed on the net looking for something to inspire him. Blair had accompanied his Sentinel to work and he was actually finding Police work very rewarding. The Guide was looking for something he could do in that field, that would reward him but also be useful in helping his Sentinel do his job even better.
Blair settled in well and every day he came out of his shell a little more. They talked and told each other how they had come into their abilities. It had been a traumatic time for both of them. Jim and Blair had started to become more than Sentinel and Guide – they were becoming friends as well.
Blair didn't ask his Sentinel for permission to do things like most Guides did and Jim didn't expect his Guide to. Jim looked at his Guide as an equal, a partner; many Sentinels would frown on this but Jim knew he could be no other way with his Guide.
Jim had never needed his Guide so much as when the body of the missing Guide Rosalynd Fisher was found. They had known they were looking for her body when her Sentinel Guy Baker had screamed in pain. He had been staying at a Sentinel hostel for Sentinels who had lost their Guides and were unable to cope. He had felt her dying scream in his mind. Now he was under sedation in hospital, unable to cope with her loss.
When the call had come in from the hostel, Jim had taken it hard. He had reached for his Guide and hugged him tightly. Somehow he had failed the kidnapped Guide. He had been distracted by his own Guide's appearance when he should have been on the case and searching for her.
The next day Rosalynd's mutilated body had been found by a man walking his dog. Jim vowed to catch her killer, no matter how long it took.
But Rosalynd's murder wasn't the only one he was investigating, though hers felt the more personal.
Jim was in records picking up a file from a long cold case murder as a new possible lead having surfaced, when he felt his Guide's distress. He had left Blair sitting in a chair next to his desk. Jim went racing back up to Major Crimes. But Blair wasn't there.
Jim asked everyone in the Bullpen if they had seen his Guide leave, but no one had. Jim knew his Guide was close. He turned and ran out searching with his mind for that familiar presence. Blair was close but was feeling scared and alone.
"Come on Chief where are you?" Jim whispered as he searched round him. He checked the men's room but Blair wasn't there.
Continuing down the corridor towards the elevators, Jim knew he was getting closer to him.
Jim stopped in front a janitor's supply cupboard. He opened the door to the dark room. Using his Sentinel abilities he focused in on the huddled figure of his Guide. He was huddled against the back wall, holding his head with his hands.
"Easy Chief," Jim soothed as he switched on the light and walked slowly forward.
Blair whimpered obviously in pain. He tried frantically to get further away but was stopped by the solid wall behind him.
Jim was frightened for his Guide but tried to keep it out of the bond. What had frightened his Guide so much?
"Blair, it's me Jim, your Sentinel," but there was no response. "Guide!" Jim said his voice authoritative, brooking no argument that his Guide would respond. Jim hated to do it but he had to get through to his frightened Guide any way he could.
"Jim?" came the quiet reply, so quiet even Jim barely heard it.
"Yeah Chief, it's me."
Blair's head turned marginally towards his Sentinel and Jim could see two huge blue eyes, filled with fear and terror.
Jim knelt down in front of his alarmed Guide who immediately reached for him.
"Link with me," Jim ordered.
Jim's mind was suddenly bombarded with Blair's pain. Jim almost recoiled from the foreign feelings of superiority and arrogance. These were not Blair's emotions. Jim was beginning to understand now, Blair had felt someone else's emotions and they had overwhelmed him.
"It's alright," Jim soothed his shaking Guide. "I've got you. You're safe now. I won't let anyone hurt you."
Blair was holding onto Jim like he was a lifeline.
"I felt it. A man was nearby. He killed three women and he revelled in it. His mind was so cold and so strong, I tried to shut him out, but the feelings were too strong. They were asking him about the murders. He was so smug; he knew they had no evidence. I felt so angry and sick to my stomach. I wanted to tell you, but I couldn't find you. I couldn't get his thoughts out of my head. I had to get away... had to find you. Couldn't find you..."
Blair's shaking had ceased now but so had what energy he had in reserve. He had used every ounce he had in trying to keep the man's vile thoughts out of his mind.
"Everything okay Jim?" Simon's voice suddenly said behind him.
Simon had seen Jim running out of the Bullpen and with Blair nowhere in sight he figured it had something to do with his Guide. Simon had followed his detective at a discreet distance and had let the Sentinel handle things when he had seen him enter the supply room.
"Yeah Simon, Blair's just had a little scare that's all."
The captain could barely see the exhausted Guide who was being sheltered by his Sentinel.
"Take the kid home Jim."
"Thank you Captain."
"Come on Chief let's get you home. I think you need a little bonding time tonight."
Blair let his Sentinel help him up and support him as they made their way down the corridor to the elevator. Jim kept his arm round his quiet Guide all the way down to the parking garage. He helped him into his truck and buckled him in. Blair was quiet all the way home. Jim guided him into the apartment and up the stairs to his bedroom. Blair was barely responsive as he lay him down on his bed and then lay down beside him.
"Bond with me Guide."
"My Sentinel," Blair managed to utter as he willingly opened his mind.
Jim felt a maelstrom of emotions churning round his Guide's mind, but Jim sent soothing thoughts and images. Jim thought about his favourite thing to do – fishing. He sent thoughts of his favourite fishing spot, of fishing in the country where there were no people, just trees and wide open spaces. How it always made him feel calm and small in the presence of such beauty and grandeur. The images calmed his Guide and the malevolent thoughts of the killer were finally banished.
Blair slept in his Sentinel's arms. He looked calm and peaceful now.
Jim knew Blair had to keep his guard up when at the precinct. All sorts of low lifes were brought through the building all the time. Jim wondered if he asked too much of his Guide, his empathic abilities made him susceptible to strong emotions being emitted; especially now they had bonded, his empathic abilities were even stronger; but he also knew it would get better with practice and his help.
Jim didn't move from the bed, content to lie beside his Guide as the sun started to set and darkness began to fall on the loft. His Guide was safe in his arms, protected and cosseted. Jim didn't want that warm and cosy feeling to change for a while yet at least.
The next day they were at the PD, Jim was especially attentive to his Guide not letting him out of his sight. Blair at first found Jim's over protectiveness a little claustrophobic, but when Blair relaxed he actually found it helped his control having his Sentinel nearby.
Blair resigned himself to the fact that his Sentinel would always be protective of him. He found his control getting stronger by the day. There wasn't a repeat of the time when Blair felt overwhelmed by the murderer's thoughts.
Instead of fearing and shying away from the emotions of those around him, Blair began to sort through them and face them. He had been taking the suppressant drug for over ten years and it was strange to suddenly not need to rely on it, but be free to feel the emotions around him without fear that they would overwhelm him.
It was Blair who helped in the apprehension of Rosalynd Fisher's murderer. Blair was sat at Jim's desk, his Sentinel in Simon's office. Blair caught the thoughts of someone nearby. They were thinking that they had killed a Guide. Blair started and looked round looking for someone unfamiliar. Jim became aware of his Guide's heightened heartbeat. He looked round his conversation with his captain forgotten. He was racing to his Guide's side in seconds.
"Chief what's wrong?" he asked as he reached Blair.
Blair's heartbeat had accelerated and his respiration had also increased. His eyes were darting round everywhere.
"I felt someone's mind," he whispered. "They killed a Guide."
"What? Do you know who?"
"No, they're in the building. I felt their thoughts very clearly."
Jim glanced round them looking for anyone out of place. Blair wandered out into the hall. There was a steady stream of people all round them.
Suddenly Blair turned round; he had felt another wave of gloating and superiority. The feeling was moving away.
"Jim, he's in the elevator."
"Come on Chief," the detective said running to the doors to the stairs.
Blair followed behind his Sentinel and as they reached the staircase Jim asked up or down.
"Down!" Blair cried emphatically.
They ran down the stairs to the sixth floor and then continuing down floor by floor. Blair stopped on the third floor.
"He's on this floor."
They ran out of the stairwell looking left then right down the corridor towards the elevator. The elevator's doors were already closing with the car continuing its descent. Four people were near the elevator's doors – three men and one woman. Jim ignored the woman and concentrated on the men. Two of the men he recognised from the precinct. The third man he didn't know. Jim concentrated his senses on the man, who was looking round furtively. He looked a little lost.
"Stay behind me Chief," Jim said as he started walking towards the man trying not to spook him or make him run.
"Excuse me," Jim said as the man started to walk away.
The man either didn't hear Jim or was ignoring him and he continued down the corridor. "Excuse me!" Jim said louder.
"The detective's talking to you," one of the other men said to the man.
"Who me?" the wiry man said a little surprised.
Jim caught up to the man. "Thanks Arnold," he said to the officer who he delayed the man for him.
"No problem Detective Ellison."
"Can I help you with something?" the man said depicting an outward calm, but Jim could hear his heartbeat tripping, his top lip was breaking out in perspiration and his pupils were visibly dilating.
"Is it him Chief?"
Blair glanced at the man from behind Jim's large frame.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the man said taking a step back.
"Why'd you do it?" Blair asked peeking out from behind his Sentinel. "Why did you kill the Guide? Rosalynd begged you not to kill her. She never saw your face. You didn't have to kill her. You destroyed two lives. Her Sentinel can't live without his Guide."
The man looked shocked.
"I didn't...you...there's..." the man stammered knowing he had been caught.
"You're under arrest for the murder of Rosalynd Fisher. You have the right to remain silent," Jim began to read the man his Miranda rights. Everything had to be by the book.
Skin had been found under Rosalynd's fingernails, as she had clawed her attacker as she desperately fought for her life. Jim was sure the man would have scratches on his person. The DNA from that alone should nail the bastard. Jim would see to it that the man was sentenced to death for his heinous act of taking a young woman's life. But it wasn't only Rosalynd's life; her Sentinel's life was in the balance. Guy Baker was yet to recover from the loss of his young Guide.
"I only came here to complain about a parking fine," the arrested man proclaimed as he was taken away from two uniformed officers.
"Good work Chief," Jim told his Guide as the man was half dragged, half carried away. "You okay?"
Blair nodded. It had been hard probing the man's mind and feeling such revulsion and self loathing for himself and for the young female Guide. But Blair was stronger now and much more able to cope with the emotions of everyone around him.
Jim and Blair went back up to Major Crimes. Simon came out of his office as soon as they appeared in the Bullpen.
"You okay Jim, Blair?"
"Yeah Simon," Jim began. "It looks like we just caught Rosalynd Fisher's killer."
"You did. What here? How?"
"He was in the building and Blair sensed his mind and that he had killed a Guide. We gave chase and found him on the third floor. He's in custody now."
"Good work Jim. You too Blair. It looks like you're going to be an asset to the department."
Blair blinked at the praise from the captain.
"Thank you Captain."
Jim looked at his Guide with pride.
"In fact I've got just the case for you two. Come into my office," Simon said.
"A case and I'm included," Blair whispered to Jim as they followed the Captain into his office.
When Simon told the Sentinel and Guide the case he had planned for them. Blair's smile faded as he looked from the Captain to his Sentinel.
"I don't know Captain; it could be dangerous for my Guide. I don't want him in any danger," Jim said unsure.
"The danger should be minimal," Simon added. "You'll be close by. I wouldn't suggest Blair going undercover if I didn't think it was safe."
"Blair what do you think?" Simon asked.
"I don't know. I want to catch this guy but I'd feel silly."
"Talk about it and let me know tomorrow okay?" Simon said.
So far none of the mugged pensioners had died, but the muggings were getting more violent and Blair knew it was only a matter of time before the violence escalated and a victim had a heart attack during an assault.
"I'm going to do it," Blair told his Sentinel later.
"I thought you might Chief."
Jim couldn't feel any prouder of his Guide at that moment.
At 11am the next morning, Blair was walking through Rainbow Gate Park in downtown Cascade. Five female old age pensioners had been mugged walking through the park in the last month. The last victim had broken her hip when she had been roughly pushed during the robbery and had fallen onto the concrete path.
Now Blair was dressed as a little old lady. He wore a grey wig; he was wearing make-up that aged his face. He was also wearing a blue floral dress with a blue coat, stockings, handbag and lace-up shoes completed his appearance. Blair's stature had been perfect to pass as a little old lady.
Blair was wearing an earpiece and he could hear everything Jim said. Jim's Sentinel senses were on high alert. He didn't want his Guide under any undue danger. The Sentinel scrutinised everyone who walked through the park.
Blair walked slowly with the aid of a walking stick and went and sat on a bench by the small duck pond in the centre.
The first day no one approached his Guide other than a dog walker whose dog had gone over to Blair. They had exchanged pleasantries and then the man had moved on.
The third day and Blair was thinking no one was ever going to mug him. He'd been sat on the bench for an hour. He was finding that his stockings weren't keeping out the October chill and his feet were freezing. He was concentrating on his cold feet so much that he nearly missed the mind of the mugger.
"He's here, Jim," Blair whispered.
The Sentinel was on instant alert. Then he saw the man wearing a hoodie only twelve feet from his Guide.
"I've got your back Blair," Jim whispered as he called for backup and then started to move in.
The man was looking furtively round him and then he ran and grabbed Blair's handbag. Blair had every intention of letting the bag go but the handle caught round his wrist and he felt his arm being twisted and dragged upwards.
"Ouch," Blair said.
The mugger stopped suddenly on hearing the unexpected male voice.
"You're no lady," the mugger said backing off and letting go of the handbag.
"That's right," Blair replied repeatedly hitting the mugger with the handbag.
Jim was close and he ran to his Guide. He would never forget the scene when he arrived. The mugger was backing up with Blair in close pursuit, hitting the man with his handbag with every swing.
Jim thought the mugger was actually relieved to be arrested.
Back at Major Crimes Simon was delighted to hear Jim's verbal report that the mugger had been caught. Blair was still dressed as the elderly lady and was receiving all sorts of looks from the Bullpen's personnel.
"You never seen a lady before," Blair told Brown who was watching him with a huge grin on his face.
Brown returned to his paper with a huge smile on his face. Blair looked disgruntled at the detective at first but then he forgot about it and looked for his Sentinel. Jim was still talking with Simon. Blair was hoping he would hurry up as he wanted to get out of the dress and take the make-up off. He didn't know how women went through this every day. No wonder they took longer to get ready then men did.
As he waited for his Sentinel, Blair glanced round the Bullpen. He thought back to his life in Tacoma, on the streets, running from his responsibilities as a Guide. Living from day to day and trying to raise enough money to buy more of the Guide suppressant drugs. Living in homeless shelters when they had a bed free or sleeping in abandoned buildings or doorways, not knowing where his next meal was coming from. They had been lonely days, cold and insular.
But now, now he had a home and a Sentinel that not only respected him but also treated him as an equal. He valued his contribution to his job and already he had helped apprehend two criminals. For the first time in his life, Blair felt his life was actually rewarding and fulfilling. He still had a ways to go with total control of his empathic abilities in such a crowded place as the Police Department, especially if Jim wasn't around (which wasn't often as his Sentinel was very protective of him); but this was the only place he wanted to be.
Blair thought of how he had found his Sentinel. He had no idea how or why he had changed into the wolf, but if he hadn't he wouldn't be here now. He would still be that sad and lonely person in Tacoma, still afraid and running and just living from day to day, devoid of the joys of being a Guide to his Sentinel.
The journey to get here had been a long, hard one; but here was the only place he wanted to be.
I had fun writing this one - Blair both as a wolf and in drag! I have only been a Sentinel fan for a relatively short time but I have read a large amount of Sentinel fan fiction, which has of course included the Sentinel/Guide/bond stories. I particularly like this genre in the Sentinelverse and I knew I just had to write a story based on this fictitious aspect of Blair and Jim's characters.
I've edited this story thoroughly myself, and always try to be accurate, but the odd mistake can escape you.
I hope you enjoyed reading it – please review and let me know any comments you may have.