AN: A new pet project of mine. I love the Sentinel and I was swept away by the Sentinel/Guide romance. Seeing as how the Guides are only very briefly mentioned in the show…as far as I know… this story is more based on and inspired by the work of Keira Marcos and her two stories 'The Sentinels of Atlantis (Atlantis/Sentinel)' and 'The Awakening (Sentinel)'. Keira's work can be found on her website. Enjoy! :-)

Playlist: 1) Here With Me Dido 2) 2 Become 1 Spice Girls 3) If You Come To Me Atomic Kitten

Here With Me: Prolog

Guide Blair: I cannot be until you're resting here with me

Blair sat up in a cold sweat. His heart was beating a mile a minute and his shields were dangerously low. He choked back a small sob as he oriented himself in the room. He had been dreaming, dreaming that he had been standing in front of his sentinel, standing just out of arms reach. He never saw his face, or heard his voice. He only knew. He knew this presence. He always had and always will. He had always felt the empty place in his soul, in his mind. And he knew the soft brush against the back of his mind was his Sentinel. All his life the other had always been there in some small way. Calming him when he was overwhelmed, protecting him. There had been times when they had been so close, close enough to almost touch. But there had always remained a little bit of distance between them. Like being on the wrong side of a two way mirror, just knowing that the very person you were searching for was on the other side.

Blair pulled his knees up to chest and wanted so much just to collapse under the emotional weight of the outside world, of the world completely outside the solitude of his own mind. One by one, piece by piece he built his shields back up and secured them securely around his mind. He was trained how to do this, he was after all a shaman how had walked the full path. However, on nights like this he found himself struggling. It was hard to rebuild, to separate himself from the overwhelming emotions from other people. An emotional blow out was uncommon for Blair, but when they happened, they were hard to recover from. Thankfully his training made it so he didn't have to seclude himself at the center.

He stood and walked over to the window. The night was cold, and the window was covered with condensation. He trailed his fingers through it and stared at the cloudy, over cast night sky. Not a star in sight. It was nights like this that he so desperately wanted to see a shooting star. So he could make a wish that his Sentinel would come to him. He had always known his Sentinel was a man and that he was far away. Yet there was the constant brush of something against the very back of his mind. He had been searching ever since he came online when he was barely seven years old, and never once did he find the other. No matter how many compatible and perfect matches the center found for him, he always able to just look at them and know they were not his. He supposed he should be flattered at how many sentinels simply wanted him; for varying reasons, but never once could he find the masses of sentinels anything but an annoyance. A disappointing annoyance.

Blair was more than certain he was out there somewhere, hiding maybe or even latent. Blair refused to think that his perfect match was dormant. The mere idea that there was some type of mental or physical defect separating them made Blair's stomach clinch. Worst case scenario, his sentinel was dead. Blair didn't know which idea was worse, his sentinel being alive but unable to get to him either because he couldn't or wouldn't, his sentinel being alive and disabled, or his sentinel being dead. No matter the scenarios, his blood ran cold and he shivered against the cold window pane.

Silently he sent a prayer, and simple longing that he could no longer wait. He had waited all he could. Any longer and he would need to be put into long term or permanent seclusion. He had gone too long, and he refused to take anyone other than the man he could feel deep in his mind. He was created for one sole purpose, and that purpose was to be with his sentinel. He leant against the window as tears slid down his face.

Sentinel Jim: I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide

Jim threw himself up in the bed. His sheets clung to him with sweat. He was barely able to find the strength to crawl from his bed, let alone stand. His knees shook and then gave way under him. Everything around him was like an agony for him. Jim had always been a strong sentinel even though he was unbounded, and he took pride in that. He had never felt the need for a guide. He was able to dial down his senses so he was able to prevent a sensory overload, and so he never felt like he needed to find his guide. However, it was nights like tonight where he could not deny who and what he was. He sat up and rested his back against his bed. The cotton sheets, normally so soft, irritated his back; and the smooth, sanded wood of his hard wood floor made it feel as if splinters were piercing his soles though none were. Jim had such strong abilities, such a strong mind that was so heavily shielded, that normally he could function like normal. Sometimes though his mind was defenseless, like now, unshielded and vulnerable.

In that moment in time Jim could not deny the truth. He had denied it his whole life; he had hid the truth from everyone including himself, as had his parents. He could distinctly remember when he came online when he was five years old. He had been in excruciating pain, he senses blown so far open he could hear whispered conversations up to five miles away. He had been able to see for up to three and, just the air on his skin had been an agony. His other senses: taste and smell were so over stimulated that he could taste things that shouldn't have had a taste, and smell the most minuscule scents. At the time, sentinels and guides were taken from their homes and families and were enrolled in special classes in special schools. He had made it clear to parents that he didn't want to be taken from them, so they had him treated anonymously at a clinic and had left before the Sentinel/Guide Council representative had reached them. A friend of his parents acted as a conservator for him, completely unregistered and under the table. He trained with this Guide for five years until he simply didn't need him anymore.

He was strong and he took pride in that. He didn't need, or frankly want, a guide. Not to mention that most Sentinels and Guides were men. Jim didn't have a problem with that in the least, he didn't disapprove of it, but he knew himself enough to know that was Heterosexual. He was secure in that. He knew that if he found his Guide, that gender and sexuality wouldn't even factor in, but he still couldn't see himself with any man. And Jim knew his Guide was man, it was in the back of his mind, that knowledge.

Jim felt a brush against the back of his mind: sad, desperate, lonely, and in pain. And with the brush came the knowledge that his Guide couldn't remain unbounded for much longer. That his Guide had remained unbounded for so long that it was painful. And with that knowledge had come a silent request for Jim to come to him finally.

Jim did hate what he was doing to the other man. He knew very well that the man could feel Jim just as Jim could feel the other man. He hated that he was keeping someone from finding happiness, at least happiness with him. Jim hoped very sincerely that the man would cave in and accept a pairing with someone that he was compatible with, even slightly. He wanted the man to find at least some degree of comfort and happiness.

Jim felt an irritated and sad brush against the back of his mind. It was as if the other man was questioning his sincerity and his seriousness in both the regards of not wanting him, but yet wanting him to be happy. Jim frowned and considered pushing the other man off, but found he was too exhausted for such things. Instead he brushed back his answer. The presence in the back of his mind was hurt and slightly angry. Jim sighed and reached out and brushed care and worry against the other's mind. Jim did care. He truly wanted him to be happy, and he was worried the stranger would never pair with anyone. The presence in his mind flared with indignation and Jim winced. He might as well be looked at as unworthy.

The brush of a mind against his own became arrogant, and Jim could almost hear, "I will find you, Sentinel. And when I do you will no longer be able to hide from me and deny anything," be whispered into his ear. Jim bristled slightly at that then sent his own message. "If you can find me, I wouldn't be able to, Guide. But if you cannot find me, I would like for you to take another Sentinel. Don't remain unbounded and alone please."

His Guide brushed again, this time with more love then Jim could never remember seeing or feeling. This perfect stranger had such intense love for him, for someone he had never met. In that exact instance Jim felt foolish for denying them both something so strong. But he had decided long ago that if he were to meet his Guide accidently that it would be fine and un-helped. So he just nodded his head. If the Guide could find him, he'd accept him and their pair bond to the full extent. If the Guide was able to find him, Jim would give him everything and deny him nothing. "Until then," seemed to be echoed in both their mind simultaneously.

Jim crawled back into bed and laid his head on his pillow. He couldn't help the smile on his lips, nor could he deny the healthier state his mind was in. Those simple little brushes had been enough solitude for him to rebuild his shields, though he also knew that his Guide had helped as much as he could. The presence was still there in the back of his mind, just as it always was, but it was further and had shields of it own in place again. Jim smiled and let himself slip off to sleep.