- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Explicit Sex
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Canon Divergence
- Fix It
“Morning Jim. Did Sandburg get out all right last night?” Simon asked as Jim came into his office.
“Yeah, I don’t know how he can handle it by the time his plane got into DC it would have been 4am their time and then he was presenting at 9” Jim shook his head in disbelief. It had been a long time since he had been able to do all-nighters with any kind of ease.
“To be in our 20s again” Simon said wistfully as he poured them both coffees. “It’s great he’s presenting on the article he got out of working with us. It’s helping to justify him being a ride along. “
“Yeah, we’ll see. At least we don’t have to come up with anything else yet.”
“He could always go to the police academy.”
Jim laughed with Simon at the thought, but it niggled at the back of his mind the rest of the day.
“Dr. Stoddard,” Blair answered as he moved away from the podium where he had just finished up his presentation. He held out his hand to the older man who was coming towards him.
“An excellent presentation as always from you. I knew you would be able to pull this together last minute.”
“Thank you for the chance. I am always willing to present at a AAA conference and my article was pretty much ready for print when you asked.”
“You have really thrown yourself into studying police subculture and it’s effect to the community. I can see why you decided not to join me in Borneo this last year. Do you have some time this week to have dinner? I have some things that we need to discuss.”
“Of course, just let me know the time and place. I’m totally flexible now that I’m done presenting.”
“Excellent, how about this evening. I found a wonderful Thai restaurant.”
As he took his leave of Dr Stoddard and finished gathering up his papers and left the room, he wondered what he wanted to talk about. Dr Stoddard had been in Borneo the last year and then gone straight to a visiting fellowship at the Smithsonian in DC. He guessed he would see tonight.
Blair and Dr. Stoddard were nearing the end of the meal, the had been discussing Borneo and the work he had been doing with the police.
The Dr. cleared his throat and gave Blair a more serious look. “I’ve known you since you were 16 and just started your college education. You were a bright-eyed boy full of curiosity and a genuine interest in the wider world. I still see that in you but as your advisor we need to discuss what you actually want to do.”
“I want to do what I have been doing. I love studying people and cultures it’s been fascinating” Blair hurried to interject. He had a bad feeling about where this was going. He knew he had been dragging his feet on getting his dissertation in. It had been a relief to have his adviser away in Borneo so he could put off finishing it.
“I don’t think you want to stay in academia.” Put in Dr Stoddard bluntly. “I know your dissertation has been nearly finished since I asked you to go to Borneo, it was why I asked you to go. One more expedition for your CV as it were. You turned me down and instead went off to Peru to rescue a friend from guerilla fighters and then spent the next year running around with the police.
“You have done some insightful work with them, I’m not saying you were wasting your time but I think it is showing that you do not want to stay in the ivory tower that those of us who stay in academia live in.”
Blair sat in silence mulling over what his mentor had just said. He wasn’t sure what to think. “I think I have been doing good. I found my sentinel. I’ve learned amazing things.”
“I’m sure you have. I can see that in the research you have done on the police. But you know you can’t just change your dissertation willy nilly. You were approved to work on heightened senses in the modern urban environment. Yes, you can address the idea of the sentinel, but it cannot be a novel on one subject with all heightened senses. “
“But he’s amazing,” Blair tried to break in.
“And he can have a chapter in the dissertation that you have been working on. He cannot be the only subject. You are not being the objective observer on this Blair. You need to get your focus back.”
Blair felt devastated, this was his mentor who was denigrating what felt like his life’s work. No that’s not right not what was his life’s work but what he wanted his life’s work to be.
Dr. Stoddard must have noticed something on Blair’s face, since his tone softened. “You do not have to give up your friend. You can still be a part of his life, but you need to make some choices. Your fellowship is up this spring. If you do not turn in and present your dissertation, I’m not sure if you will be able to present it for a long time. I’ve accepted a grant to go back to Borneo for an expedition starting in June. It is scheduled to last 3 years. I will not be able to sit your dissertation committee during this time. You are going to have to find a different Adviser if it is not finished before I leave.
“please consider finishing your dissertation and getting it in. Get your PhD. It will open so many more doors for you even if you don’t stay in academia. You could possibly go work for the police. More places are hiring anthropologists to give them a different view on how to deal with the myriad groups they interact with. “
“I’ll look through it.” Blair grudgingly answered and then changed the subject.
They spoke about some mutual acquaintances while finishing their coffee and leaving the restaurant.
“Your brilliant, Blair.” Said Dr. Stoddard as he got in a cab. “Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of what is best for you.”
“Thank you, sir. I’ll let you know what I decide and get back to you.”
He watched the cab drive off and started walking back to the hotel. He had known for a while now that he was going to have to make a choice. He really enjoyed working with Jim and major crimes. He actually felt like he belonged. For his whole life he had felt like he was on the outside just observing and when he got to college and chose anthropology it was because he knew how to observe and loved to learn about all the different people he interacted with. Then he found the monograph by Burton and learned of Sentinels. In his heart of hearts, he knew he had been looking for a sentinel because he thought that person would help him find someplace where he belonged.
He heard a noise and looked to the right. Stopping in his tracks as he saw a large dog staring at him from the alley. It stared intently at him; its fur silvered in the streetlights. It looked like a wolf and the way it was looking at Blair made him stay staring back waiting for an attack. There was a blare of a horn and he looked briefly away. When he looked back the wolf like dog was gone.
Blair sat at the table in the bar and nursed his beer as his friends weaved discussions around him. He hadn’t really contributed, he had too much on his mind. Everyone was discussing what they had been up to and what had happened since the last time they were in the same place. That had been a conference as well.
“The is good, not as good as the beer I had in South Korea,” remarked Jason, a man he’d met in undergrad and now kept a casual acquaintance with.
“This is pretty decent,” he said putting himself back into the conversation. “Cascade has gotten a couple of decent microbreweries now that are better.” And now he wanted to take himself back out of the conversation. A month ago, he had gone out with Jim and the other members of major crimes and the had been taste testing at one of the new breweries in the city. He had been teasing Jim about trying to figure out their formulas and Jim had smugly said he would not give away a proprietary recipe, even if he could tell what they were putting in their kegs.
It had been a fun night that was now leaving a pall over his evening today. It could also be because he hadn’t had any sleep in over 36 hours but what did he know. He couldn’t even seem to make a decision on what to do with his life.
“Yeah, you’ve become a bit of a homebody these days” put in Jessie, a woman he knew from his master’s program. She had gone on to a PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. “you had the in with Dr. Stoddard and were on expeditions for practically half of every year.”
“Well my diss if based in the modern urban environment not in the jungle.”
“Oh, I know but I still expected to here that you were traveling to different cities to do interview and observation studies.”
“I was lucky enough to find plenty of subjects on the west coast within driving distance of Cascade.”
“Yeah I heard you had been observing at the police dept. I missed your presentation this morning though I did read your abstract it sounded interesting.”
“You can read the article when it comes out. I’ve really been enjoying working with the police.”
“You used to be so anti government though.” Put in another woman from his undergrad days.
“People change, and I still think big government does not work but in a modern urban society a policing force is needed to keep us from having total anarchy and while that may sound cool on the surface I don’t want to be shot in the back because someone thinks they can get away with it. Too many people already think they can”
“Man, you have really changed,” Jason said in disbelief. “You’re like a grown-up boring adult.”
“Everyone has to sometime” answered Blair and that is when he finally got it. He needed to be an adult. He could not just follow after Jim trying to keep the status quo. He knew he needed to be able to get a job and make a living. He wasn’t some trust fund baby. He didn’t have money he could live on, he had to have an income. He also didn’t think he wanted to stay in the hallowed halls of academia.
“So I heard you were heading to Africa in June,” he said getting the subject off of him and focused on Jessie. He would let someone else get the attention so he did not have to deal with his indecision.
As he lay in bed listening to the snuffles and snores of the friends he was rooming with and tried to sleep he couldn’t get away from his one sticking point. He didn’t want to lose Jim. He had known him for over a year and a half and he had never had anyone in his life that he had been as close to. He never felt like he was an outsider with Jim. Even when he had been held up against the wall and called a neo hippie witchdoctor punk he had not felt like he was not a part of what was happening.
Most of his life he had never really connected well with others. He had wanted to. He always had wanted the close family that he had seen others have. His mother’s favorite saying for him had been detach with love, but often that did not feel like love at all it felt like abandonment. It had felt lately like he was making a family with Jim. They were both loners with no close attachments, which seemed odd in a way but just meant that they seemed to gravitate to each other to fill those niches that family usually did. Even if Jim was once again in contact with his brother.
He liked being the one to watch Jim’s back when they were in the field. He hated when he had been sidelined and someone else was helping Jim.
He knew it wasn’t feasible in the long run and that is what hurt. He couldn’t just keep riding along and soon he would even lose the small income he had from his fellowship. He would have to find a job. The problem was he wanted that job to be with Jim and he just could not see a way that could work.
Blair sat in the audience of a presentation on the last day of the conference and finally thought that he got what Dr. Stoddard had been trying to get him to see. The presentation had been recommended by Dr. Stoddard and was by an anthropologist who was working with a fledgling division of the FBI. They were working on using the skills that anthropologists were trained on to solve crimes.
Blair made sure to get the man’s card before he left. This might actually help some of his problems. He would need to get Simon and Jim onboard with the idea, but this looked feasible. He might not have to quit guarding Jim’s back. He may find a way that didn’t take him going through the police academy to do so. That was probably a good idea since he looked about 12 with short hair.
Jim walked into Seatac and headed for the bank of monitors listing all the flights coming in. He knew that Blair had gotten out of DC on time, but he did have a brief layover, so he hoped there hadn’t been any delays.
It looked like the plane was on time, so he headed over to the terminal to meet up with his erstwhile partner.
It had been a long 4 days without him. He had not realized how used he was to be having him around till he had almost zoned on the silence of the apartment. A car horn had knocked him out of it or there might have been issues. It also caused him to feel extra grumpy the rest of the week.
He did not like feeling like he needed someone else to function. For the most part he didn’t have any trouble controlling his senses now. The only time it happened seemed to be if he ran into something totally new which was happening less and less and when he was an emotional mess. He tried to play it off as if his emotions didn’t do that, but he at least could admit it to himself.
He couldn’t wait to have Blair back where he belonged and wasn’t that a kick in the head. When he had left the army, he had made a decision to live a normal life. Get a job, a wife, maybe some kids. A curly haired short male geek was not what he had been looking for. He had been pushing that part of himself down since he had first understood he was not just getting hard for the cheerleaders but also for the other football players. It wasn’t something he could do. He knew along with anyone else that if he looked at boys and later men that he could be labeled a deviant and he had just wanted to fit in.
After his divorce, he had just started to come to terms with the fact that he didn’t need to keep that part of him totally hidden away. He had discreetly met up with some likeminded individuals, but he hadn’t gotten past some kissing and a hand job before Blair blew into his life and he had to pack it away again. Then he didn’t want other men, he wanted Blair. He just didn’t think he would ever be able to have him. He thought that he may have seen some signs that Blair was attracted as well but then he would be chasing after another woman and Jim would second guess himself.
Then he thought maybe he should just keep it shoved away and not bring it out. He wouldn’t be able to be in an open relationship with a man and not work with the department. He thought he could trust the people he worked with, but he had never seen them in a situation where they were dealing with people they knew who were gay. He didn’t want to end up one of those cops betrayed by their brethren and shot in the back just for loving someone of the same sex. He had enough betrayal in the army.
Before his thoughts could get anymore maudlin, he sensed Blair getting close. Blair was heading down the concourse his backpack of his shoulder. He looked tired and a little manic.
“Chief, I see you made it back in one piece.” He said as he threw an arm around his shoulder and started leading him toward the baggage claim.
“Yeah man, it was a wild and crazy time with too much alcohol and too little sleep.”
“Well glad your back. I’ve saved some dishes for you to wash.”
“No way man, you were the one to dirty them you get to wash them. That is what you make me do so quid pro quo.”
Jim spotted Blair’s suitcase and they were soon headed for the truck, arguing over who needed to clean the bathroom next.
The conversation petered out as they got into the trip home. Jim could tell that Blair was troubled. He argued over petty stuff with him, but it was like it was on rote. He wondered if something had happened at the conference. He wondered if he got offered another expedition and was considering it.
“So, anything interesting at your auto service conference?”
“Oh, that’s so funny, and yes there were many interesting panels, discussions and presentations at the American Anthropological Association Conference.”
“Yeah, ok so what was so interesting” Jim glanced over as Blair got ready to answer in hopes of catching a clue on what was bothering him.
“There was this guy, he works with the FBI in a special unit. He uses his knowledge of different subcultures and groups to help solve crimes.”
“Sort of like you, though I can’t really agree with the working with the FBI.”
“Yeah, a little bit but he is actually an agent and he carries a gun. He’s actually working with the Behavioral analysis unit. You know the one that is doing profiling like Cassie wants to get into?”
“I still think that’s a little…”
“I know Cassie is a little… but I think I could do that. I bought this book by Rossi one of the first agents to profile and it’s fascinating. He goes into the make up of a criminal. I also made sure I was getting the magazine that the guy who presented article is being published so I can get a more in-depth look. I’m also going to see if I can get some of his prior publications.”
“I may want to take a look at those too.”
“Awe man! That would be totally awesome, I can put you together a reading list. It would totally help your crime fighting abilities.” Blair bounced a little in his seat and gave a little shimmy.
“Now hold on. I want to look at this guys article and maybe that Rossi book. I don’t want thousands of books you think I just have to read right now. I’m not that fast of a reader. Let’s start slow.” He grinned a little. It seemed the melancholy that seemed to be around Blair since he picked him up had lifted somewhat. If it took him reading a dry article by of all things an FBI agent, well he could skim if it was really bad.
They continued their ride home with Blair putting in where he thought he could use the new knowledge he had gotten to help Jim and Jim grumbling about how the FBI were evil.
Blair sat front of the couch and lit some candles on the table in front of him. It had been a hectic week with coming back from the conference and then dealing with Thanksgiving. He and Jim had hosted at their place for the major crimes members that weren’t going to family dinners or were just stopping by. Jim’s brother had also come over for part of the holiday as well.
It had been a potluck so they hadn’t done all the cooking just the turkey but there had been cleaning to Jim standards before and set up for the influx of guests. It had been a good time, but it had also shown to Blair that he wanted to stay a part of this group. He had never felt this way with his fellow students and colleagues.
He took a deep breath and let it out. He needed to clarify what he wanted and work out how he was going to achieve it. He planned to meditate on it and see what he came up with.
As he let his mind settle and he paid more attention to his breathing something brushed against his arm. He opened his eyes and looked over and there was a wolf.
The wolf was strange its fur seemed to be blue tinged silver and its eyes were blue. They stared at him with an intelligence you would not see in a regular animal.
Blair felt like he should be freaking out. There had not been a wolf in the apartment when he started meditating and he would have heard the door opening. Instead he was calm.
As he thought on how a wolf would have got in the apartment the animal in question walked a little away from him and then sat, still staring at him.
“So, you’re not trying to eat me or just tear out my throat. Can you let me know what you’re doing here?
“Do you need me to save Timmy from the well?”
The wolf huffed and laid down facing away from him. “Everyone’s a critic.”
“So, are you here to help me figure this out?”
Suddenly the door opened, and Jim came in. Blair was about to say something when he noticed the wolf was gone. He also saw that the candles he had lit had burned down. It looked like he had been meditating longer than he thought.
“Hey Jim, hard day at the office?”
It was after dinner when Blair decided to broach the subject he had been waffling over since the conference. He grabbed his beer and moved over to the sofa to join Jim.
“Can we talk?” He blurted out as soon as he sat down.
Jim gave him an inquiring look. “Sure Chief.”
“I had a meeting with my main advisor, my mentor Dr Stoddard while I was in DC,” He plowed right in. “He gave me some things to think about and he also gave me some deadlines.
“You know I told you that I was almost done with my dissertation but had been holding off right?”
“I wondered why you hadn’t brought that up since then.” Jim answered as he sat back giving Blair an intense look.
“Dr. Stoddard let me know that if I don’t finish and defend my dissertation in the spring that I may not be able to do it anytime soon. Also, my fellowship will be up as well which means no money. I most likely be able to get a stipend for teaching a few classes but it wouldn’t cover the expenses that my fellowship covers.
“My issue is that I want to keep working with you. I find you so amazing. It’s not just the sentinel stuff either. You’ve been through so much and you’ve come through it stronger. I wish I could say that about myself. I like having your back when you work a case. I enjoy finding the information needed to help solve the cases we’ve worked.
“If I turn in my diss I won’t have a reason to keep riding with you. But if I don’t turn it in, I also won’t really have a reason either. I think I am going to have to finish up the final draft of the diss get it in and finally graduate.
“Chief, Blair, I don’t know what to say. I guess I always knew we would have to stop but I don’t want to either. I trust you and there are very few people that I do.” Jim reached out and grabbed his hand.
Blair could barely look at his best friend. He saw the same pain he was feeling at the situation reflected back at him.
He laced there fingers together and gave Jim’s hand a squeeze. “There may be a way. That’s why I’ve been so manic on looking into Dr Graham’s work with the BAU. If an anthropologist can work with the FBI why couldn’t I consult with the Cascade PD?
“I’ve actually exchanged several emails this week with Dr. Graham and I’ve started to look into some options but I’m going to need your help and definitely Simon’s. I’ve decided not to give up until I’ve exhausted every avenue that I can find.”
“I’ve got your back on this Chief,”
“Great, how do you want to get started? Should we call Simon now or should we wait till we see him Monday? Oh, I won’t be in Monday I have to get the anthro 101 class ready for the finals in the next week.”
Blair’s monologue was interrupted by Jim grabbing his hand that he had been waving around since the other was still gripped by Jim.
Jim moved so he was kneeling in front of him still holding his hands. “I’d like to say some things too and maybe if after you hear it you want to change plans that will be fine. I’m attracted to you and I’ve been trying to hide it but with us living together and working with each other I don’t think I will be able to hide this from you. I’m not going to suddenly attack you, but I don’t want you to be uncomfortable.”
“But your straight!” Blair was stunned. This was the last thing he had ever expected to hear. He was bi and had been attracted to Jim since they first met but he had put it aside because that was not something you freely told people in the kind of environment that the police station was. He also had not seen a hint of it from Jim.
“I like both and now you in particular,” Jim said wryly. Blair was having trouble understanding what was going on. Here was Jim his best friend ever telling him that he was attracted to him and slowly running his thumbs back in forth over his hands.
“I like both too,” Blair answered in a daze looking down at their joined hands. What did this mean?
“If we move forward on getting you to be my partner and we spend even more time together this might come out. I don’t want you to move out I want you to stay. I want you to still be my friend, “Blair could tell that this was hard for Jim to get out. He was usually not this talkative.
“Oh, we wouldn’t be able to be together if we stay working together,” Blair was crestfallen. He had been starting to think about Jim being all his and it was an intoxicating thought.
“We could but if we let anyone know we could both get hurt. I don’t ever want you to know betrayal. It’s a terrible thing.”
Blair looked up at Jim and then knew exactly what he was offering, and it was everything. They could try this. They could be partners at work and partners at home and partners in bed but if they did, they would have to stay in the closet. Right now, that picture didn’t looks so bad, but he now knew why Jim brought this up. If Jim had kept this from him and Blair had found out later, it would have hurt much more.
Blair looked in Jim’s eyes and saw his future. He could have this man as long as he agreed to keep him safe and he did want him. Blair pulled the hands that now he was fully holding to his chest and urged Jim closer till he was kneeling between his legs.
“What’s between us is between us and isn’t anyone else’s business but our own. Maybe someday we’ll trust people enough to let them know.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips softly against Jim’s. He felt him tremble and then lean into kiss slightly parting his lips. Jim let go of his hands and moved his up to his hair running through his curls as Blair grabbed the nape of his neck.
The kisses gained power and soon Blair found himself spread over Jim’s body rubbing his still clothed, hard cock against Jim’s. He gasped for breath rested his head against Jim’s neck listening to him pant.
“I’m going to come in my pants if we keep this up.” Blair said as he licked Jim’s throat.
“I don’t care. I’ll come too,” Jim panted out and then he flipped them over, so Blair was on this back looking up at Jim. “Can I?” Jim was fingering the button to his jeans.
“Yeah go ahead” Blair watched as Jim unbuttoned and unzipped him and then lifted his hips to let him pull his jeans off him. Jim then leaned down and took his cock in his mouth. Blair gasped and tried not to push himself at Jim. “Oh god.”
Jim pulled off of him look up “You taste really good chief. I think I need to taste you a lot more.” And then he started licking Blair cock. He had his hands-on Jim’s head and he began to thrust up into his mouth. The pressure built till Blair came spilling with Jim swallowing him.
“So how much more do you actually need to do on the dissertation,” Jim looked curiously over at Blair who was at the table with several notebooks, books and his laptops. He had on his glasses and his hair was loose. Jim wanted to go over there and run his hands through those curls and tilt his head back for a kiss.
“Actually, I’m pretty much done. I’m just cleaning it up and making sure all of my sources are correctly noted.” He answered not even looking up from his work. Jim sighed and went back to watching the game. He’d let him get some work done and then he would see if he could lure him upstairs. He didn’t think it would be too hard.
Blair had been working diligently since he had decided what he was going to do. He had finished the last chapters of his dissertation and was cleaning it up. He would be ready to hand it in within the month which was right on time.
He had also been doing research and putting together a proposal to give to Simon. He had given he and Jim a lot of leeway and Blair wanted to make sure that He had everything he could need to give Blair a job. He had to believe that Simon would be behind their idea. He had let Blair ‘observe’ for 2 years. With some work and some luck, they would be able to get federal grant money to get a cultural attaché for the department. He at least had plenty of experience writing up grant proposals and he had managed to scrounge up some outside references, so he thought this was a viable solution. Better than him trying to get through the police academy and be placed straight into major crimes.
“How goes the dissertation,” Jim asked him as he came into the dining area.
“Good, it’s pretty much done, I’m just doing some cleanup work.”
“Can I see it?”
“Sure, fair warning it’s probably not what you’re expecting,” he said as he got the document saved and copied so he could que up the copy for Jim to read. “Take a look, let me know what you think.”
Jim took a seat and Blair pushed the computer over to him. He then went to do some laundry, so he didn’t have to watch Jim read. He was nervous on what he would think. After all he had kept going on and on about Jim being a sentinel but, in the dissertation, it is brought up briefly and not as an in-depth study. Instead he had gone with what his original work was about which was heightened senses in the modern urban setting and the relationship with the sense mythologies that were found around the world. He really didn’t want to hurt Jim’s feelings, but he really couldn’t write a full dissertation just on him.
He stayed in the laundry room and did not go back up till it was all done and folded neatly. He almost held his breath as he entered the apartment. His laptop was still open on the table, but Jim was sitting on the couch.
Blair left his clothes by the stairs and went to sit by Jim on the sofa.
“So, what did you think?” he asked as he got comfortable.
“It’s not what I expected,” Jim said giving a look that Blair was having trouble deciphering.
“I know I said a lot about how the sentinel was my focus but for my thesis that was not cutting it with my advisors when I started my PhD. I had to come up with something that they would accept that would still let me study the idea of the sentinel.”
“I get it chief, I didn’t read the whole thing, I skimmed through a lot of the testing of different heightened senses, but the mythology was interesting. “
“Thanks there was a lot more than I thought there would be when I first started it.” Blair wondered where this was going, he still was feeling nervous.
Jim move closer to him on the couch turning his whole body to face him. “I was surprised how little I’m actually in it.”
“Well for this work your only one of many, even though you are amazing, I couldn’t just focus on you. Are you upset?”
“Naw Chief, I’m actually kind of relieved that I am not put out there so much, thank you,” Blair watched as Jim moved even closer and then leaned in giving him a full passionate kiss. Blair eagerly joined in. He had found that kissing Jim was an experience.
Jim eased his hands through his hair as he continued to kiss his mouth. Blair brought his hands up to Jim’s shoulders. He loved how muscular Jim was. It made him want to lick him all over.
“Can I lick you all over?” he asked as he broke away from the kiss.
“Yeah, lets do that,” Jim said as he moved away from him and proceeded to take off his shirt. Blair could never get enough of seeing a naked Jim. He was like a Greek statue come to life.
“I might actually get this idea through the higher ups. Especially if we can get federal money to cover it.” Simon said as he leaned back in his chair.
Blair and Jim had just pitched the plan they had come up with to keep Blair in Major Crimes after he graduated in May.
“We do need to speak with the others in the department,” Jim brought up. “I’ve decided to let people know about my sensory issues but that it is not something that should impair me on cases. We think this might be a way to make it a non-issue. If everyone knows that I have heightened senses, but we downplay it so that it can’t be used against us it would be good.”
“We need to make it so that we don’t end up with another Brackett situation.” Blair put in. “That was mainly because of the fact we were trying to keep it a secret. If we make it seem like his senses are greater but not to the extreme, they are then we won’t have issues with it. It’s not like we can use his senses for when we’re building a case anyway. It may help us, but we still have to back stuff up with information that can go to court.”
“This sounds like a sound plan; I will admit that I’ve been getting worried on how we can keep this up, but this could work. Sandburg, lets set up some meetings to finish up the grant applications as well as put together the proposal for the higher ups.” Simon seem to be extremely please with their solution to the ongoing issues. Blair knew this would work.
“Well if worst comes to worse, we can always just send Blair through the academy,” Jim said smirking at Blair.
“I’m not cutting my hair Jim,” he said seriously. “I look about 12 years old with short hair.”
Blair was cleaning up his mess on the dining room table. He had been finishing up some grading for an anthro 101 class he was teaching. He had finally finished his dissertation last week and got it handed in to the committee. He was scheduled to present in 2 months. He had even given Jim a copy of the finished product so that he could really read it not just skim parts of it like he had done before.
Jim was actually upstairs in bed reading it. He had joked that it was just the thing to help him fall asleep. Blair knew that he was not quite the case but he did know that academic works could be pretty dry so he wouldn’t hold it against him much if he did fall asleep.
He headed up to join him in bed. Jim had moved him upstairs pretty much from the moment they started having sex. He had thought it would be awkward, but it really wasn’t. They had actually turned the den under the stairs he had been using as a bedroom back into an office though he still preferred to use the dining room table for most of the work he did. There was just more room.
He got up the steps to find that Jim was not asleep but was just sitting up on the bed. His dissertation was across his lap.
“This is a lot more scientific than I thought it would be,” Jim said as he set the binder aside and looked at Blair.
“Well I am a scientist,” Blair answered cautiously. He loved Jim but he knew he had a lot of knee jerk responses that he might have to get explanations for.
“I know but I guess I don’t think of these senses as something scientific. With all the mumbo jumbo I’ve dealt with because of them I just don’t see the science behind it.”
“I get it, but I can’t really put that in the dissertation and most of my other subjects did not have a spiritual component like you do. “
Jim looked a bit like he swallowed a lemon as he seemed to choose his next words carefully. Blair tried not to put him to on the spot and worked on getting ready for bed.
“I’ve been having what I can only call visions and I don’t know why.” Jim finally got out.
Blair whipped around and stared at Jim in shock. That was not what he had thought he would say. “What are the visions of,” he asked intently.
“I’m in a jungle and there is a black jaguar. I follow it and it leads me to a clearing where we watch a baby black jaguar cry over a dead dog. The jaguar leading me goes to the baby and does the kitten pick up and brings him over to me. I hold it and then we see a large shape moving away from the clearing. We follow but then we get sidetracked by another cat that runs past us and we follow it. We find that it is chasing a wolf. We then get between the wolf and the other cat. That’s it.”
“Huh,” Blair mumbled thinking hard. “would you be willing to go on a spirit walk with me, sort of like we did when we were getting your senses back?”
“Yeah, I think I would. I don’t like feeling like I’m going crazy.”
“I have a long weekend, could you get off? We could go out camping. I think that would be a better environment to focus.”
“I’ll see what I can do. I don’t think it would be an issue. This is my weekend off.”
“then it’s a plan.” Blair said decisively as he crawled on the bed heading for Jim. “Let’s make out in celebration.”
Jim pulled off some soldier maneuver and Blair ended up laying under him.
“Great idea Chief.”
They ended up renting a cabin in the Cascade forest. It was the off season since they were past the winter sports but before the summer ones. They spent the first night having sex in the ridiculously comfortable bed that was the center of the cabin. The second night is when they got down to business.
Blair was used to meditating he did it almost every day. His mind tended to move so fast and was so chaotic that he needed the time to get things in order.
Jim got the fire started in the fireplace that evening while Blair brought out some candles for lighting and got some pillows situated for ease of sitting. He then sat tailor style and waited for Jim to finish checking that they were secure till he sat across from him.
“Ok, so I know we’ve done some guided meditations before. This is going to be very similar. I want you to close your eyes and take a breath, count to five and let it out. Then take another count to 5 and release. Listen to the sounds outside of the cabin, categorize what you here and then if they belong let them be put in the background. Now I want you to listen to the noises inside the cabin and categorize them. Let them fade to the background. Feel the heat from the fire and the material of your sweats, let it fade to the background.
Blair followed his instructions to Jim, focusing all his attention on him. The light from the few candles and the fire did not extend far and it was very dark in the cabin. Jim was following his instructions completely so now it was time for him to bring him into focus.
“I want you to think of the jungle, remember the clearing with the baby jaguar. What is the story with the dead dog?”
Suddenly Blair felt a difference and a wolf stood between Jim and him. “What,” he started to say when he saw there was a black jaguar with the wolf.
“Those would be some of the animals I saw in the visions.” Jim said wryly his eyes open. That is when Blair noticed they were no longer in the cabin, but a jungle tinged blue.
“Ok, this has never happened to me,” He said as he stood up, Jim doing the same.
“I’ve been here a lot.”
“Huh, Ok, maybe you can help us,” he said looking at the 2 animals that seem to have brought them here. The wolf looked between the 2 of them and then at the jaguar and the jaguar started moving off. The wolf looked at them both and then followed him. “I guess we follow.” Blair said bemusedly with a glance at Jim and then started after them. Jim fell in with him.
They jogged through the woods till they got to a clearing. In it was a Labrador lying with a knife in its side. There was a jaguar kitten pawing at it and mewling in distress.
“Oh, I know what’s going on.” Blair said dazedly sitting on the ground looking at the scene. The wolf was the one to pick up the kitten and bring it over to him dropping it in his lap. He pulled it close petting between his ears.
Jim was prowling around them looking for the threat. “Have at it Chief.”
“You mainly see a jaguar, it leads you. I’ve been seeing the wolf, though I’ve been putting it aside. I think these represent our spirits.”
“When we rescued Simon in Peru, I saw the Jaguar and it turned into me and asked questions. I agreed to be the sentinel. It happened again when Incacha was here.”
“We need to work on our communication,” Blair huffed. “I think the kitten represents a child you. Was someone you were close to but not family murdered?” He looked at the body of the animal in the clearing. It morphed into the body of a man.
“That’s Bud, he was my mentor as a kid playing football, I think I found the body.” Jim seemed to be dredging up information from deep within as he continued to prowl the clearing. “I saw someone running away with a weapon from where we were. I remember them catching someone for the death.
“I’m smelling something, I know I’ve smelled that before.”
“Did the person who killed Bud go to prison? Could they be out on parole?”
“I don’t know, I never really remembered this before. It’s like the memories of the Chopec pass.” He turned and looked intensely at Blair. “I had the senses back then. I remember now knowing when Stevie would come to call me for dinner and could even tell what we were having from a couple blocks away. I saw the killer, but it was so far from where I and the body were, I don’t think anyone took me seriously.”
“So, you must have had heightened senses for most of your life.” Blair whispered. This made so much sense scientifically, but he had to put it aside. Jim needed him not a scientist right now. “Let’s look into this and see what we can find out. If the killer is out on parole, then maybe you caught their scent and your subconscious is letting you know that there is a danger around.
“Yeah, let’s do that. I want to know if there is a killer we need to be on the lookout for. The only reason I can think of that I would notice so much is that there is a threat to us.”
“Ok, research mode when we get back.” With that they were no longer in the blue jungle but sitting on the pillows the candles burnt low and the fire in need of fuel.
Blair watched as Jim levered himself off the pillow he had been on and head to add more fuel to the fire. He got up and turned on a lamp as he went around blowing out the candles before they burnt out.
“That was a revelation.”
“No shit, Sherlock,” Jim snarked back. “My mind is messed up, how many more repressed memories do I have. I can’t trust any of it.” He poked hard at the fire, sending sparks up the chimney.
Blair moved over to him and crouched down close to him. “Your getting it back. I know that I’ve been focused a lot on testing the physical, but I believe you will get it back. Look, you already have a lot of it. You’ve remembered the time with the Chopec and now you are getting your childhood memories. There were horrific things you were remembering. As a child it was not something you had the ability to handle. That’s not on you. It doesn’t make you weak, it just makes you young. As for the Chopec, you were coming off dealing with the deaths of your men and then finding out you had been betrayed and forgotten, anyone would need to be able to compartmentalize and repress just so they could function without becoming a hermit living as far away from anyone as possible.
“You’ve let yourself trust again and that is awesome. You needed the processing time to keep yourself from going crazy. You know how many crazy people we’ve dealt with. Bombers, serial killer, Simon without his coffee.” That at least got a little chuckle out of Jim.
“I love you,” Jim said turning to him and pulling him down to the pillows with him. Blair went willingly curling up to him.
“I love you too,” he replied and then kissed him. It seemed like the thing to do with such a big revelation. They made love on the pillows in front of the fire before moving to the bed that night.
“So ready to hear what I found out?” Blair bounced up to the couch where Jim was sprawled out on. They had left the cabin in the early morning and managed to get home relatively early, so Blair had headed to the library to do some research.
“Sure Chief,” Jim blinked up at him sleepily.
“So, I ran into one of the psych professor’s at Rainier and he just happens to be doing research on the mentality of serial killers. The one he is working on right now is the country club strangler. The MO was that the victims were businessmen who were strangled and then stabbed and left with their empty wallet over the wound. They supposedly caught the guy a Wayne Hollows, but the guy kept saying he was innocent. He ended up committing suicide before it went to trial.”
“Then what is up with the visions? Also, I am catching the scent off of you.”
“Well maybe we should go talk to Dr. McCain together.”
“Sure, why not, he had interviews scheduled this afternoon and when I happened to mention I knew the person who found the last body he asked if he might get an interview. Maybe you’ll figure something out if you meet this guy in person.”
“You could have asked me first.”
“But this could get us answers right now! Come on, Jim. Please?”
They headed to the university and went to the location that the professor was holding the interviews. As they went into the room set aside for waiting, he noticed the scent was getting incredibly strong. Also, in the room was an old man with a younger one who looked to be family. The thing that caught his attention though was the birth mark on the older man’s neck.
The grad student who was in charge of the interview list took his name with some excitement. It seemed that since he was a minor at the time, they couldn’t find who he was so his interview would be a big deal.
“So, you’re the one who found the last body,” said the old man who Jim was fairly sure was the actual killer.
“Yeah, it was pretty distressing finding a dead body as a kid, Jim Ellison, “He said holding out his hand.
“Mick Foster, “replied the old man as he shook his hand. “This is my son Aaron. We were in the area for a football game when the last murder happened. I may have actually been the last person to speak with Karl.”
“Yeah, I was playing in that game. It was the reason Bud was there. I’ve always felt guilty about that.” He wanted to try and get something out of this guy.
“It wasn’t your fault, from what I remember that man fit the profile, wealthy businessman who made money off the little guy.”
“Bud was my mentor; he was a great guy. If he hadn’t blown his knee out, he would have played professional ball.”
“Well, I’m sorry for your loss.”
“I’m surprised that Dr McCain is even doing this case. He is looking into the psychology of killers who then take their own life and the man who was said to be the country club strangler was pleading he was innocent all the way up to his suicide. I mean they really didn’t have enough evidence on him, so we don’t know if it was even really the right guy.”
“Well the papers had it that clearly it was him.” Put in the son Aaron. “They said it was a clear-cut case. They were sure of a conviction.”
“Well yeah, that’s what they wanted us to think and when there weren’t any more killings they just didn’t care. I mean it wasn’t like there was that many deaths in the first place. Who ever it was who did it was kind of a coward they were attacked from behind and then he stole from their wallets. It really just makes it seem like a petty pick pocket looking for a quick buck.”
“That wasn’t it at all, they all thought they were so smart. They took money from the hard-working folk and never gave a helping hand to anyone. They deserved what they got.” The man spit out.
“Dad, shut up,” Aaron tried to hush his father as Jim just watched dispassionately. They might actually get a confession and since Blair had decided to record in the waiting room in case Jim got something so they could figure it out later, they may get it on tape.
“Those men did not deserve what they got no one deserves that. Not even you.” Jim said crossing his arms.
“You know nothing. We lost the farm because of those rich bastards and then I lost my father to their greed. Then I lost her to one of those so-called men. She left us for him. But I got them both back and I made sure I got everyone of them that I came across.” Mick was practically spitting.
“Well you only got, what 7 of them?” Jim sneered.
“Shut up, Dad!” Aaron yelled pulling Mick away from where he had been advancing on Jim.
Mick turned and punched his son in the face. “You don’t tell me what to do! I’m your father!” he smacked him again and then turned to face Jim pulling a knife as he did. “You know nothing! I killed more than that and I’ll kill you too.” He lunged at Jim with the knife. Jim sidestepped and grabbed his arm that held the knife. He managed to get the knife from the old man and punched him in the face. Mick went down. That’s when he noticed that Blair was grappling with Aaron.
He didn’t have a clear way to help since he was now holding a struggling Mick on the floor. He looked over at the grad student who was in the room with them who was frozen in shock.
“Call the police,” he yelled at him as Blair managed to knock Aaron out.
“So, you go away for a weekend of fishing and you end up catching a serial killer,” Simon grumbled into the coffee he and Blair had brought him in that morning.
“Technically we didn’t catch him while we were fishing that was when we got home.” Said Blair earnestly.
“Right, well good work, I guess. Heads up this will probably make the papers.”
“Great wonderful,” Jim practically whimpered, he hated dealing with the press.
“Good thing is that this get’s us another mark for the commissioner since Blair’s research helped you figure things out from your report. Good work you two. Can we at least try to have a peaceful week? We have the exchange officer from Australia coming in this week.”
“Sure thing, Captain,” Jim answered with a jaunty salute as he ushered Blair out of the office. “We’ll be out here looking for the peaceful crimes.”
“Ha Ha, close the door on your way out.”
Blair hadn’t been into the station much in the last week. He had been busy with classes at the university and finishing up some things for graduation. He was also freaking out about presenting his dissertation. It was a week away and though he knew this was just the finish, the committee hadn’t sent his work back as unacceptable so there should not be any issue with him getting it, but he was still nervous for the last part.
He walked toward the bullpen and found it to be a beehive of activity. “What’s up,” he asked Jim as he leaned against his desk.
“Megan ended up part of a foiled jewelry store robbery and it’s led to a whole huge crime spree.”
“Wow, how’d that happen?”
“Right place, right time from how she tells it. They caught the burglar, Alex Barnes, in the act. They managed to trace her to a hotel and found more stolen goods drugs and it looks like plans to steal a chemical weapon.”
Jim stood up from his desk and Blair got up as well. “Come on Simon wanted to see us when you came in.”
They were soon sitting across from Simon as he finished up some work.
“I have good news,” He began as he closed the folder and set it aside.
“We got an answer?” Blair asked excitingly. It had only been about a month since they submitted the proposals, but it would be great if they got something.
“Amazingly enough, we did get an answer. The commissioner was all on board with the proposal, since it puts Cascade on the cutting edge of police work. Especially when we also got an answer on the federal money. It will be enough to fund your position as a cultural consultant for the department for the next five years as long as you keep up the study and show the work, and of course get your doctorate.”
“I can definitely handle that,” he said with a bounce. He had a job; he was getting his PhD and he had a great partner. His life was pretty great.
“I feel like there’s a catch,” Jim sounded concerned.
“Just that it is a position for a Doctor, so the professor there needs to graduate and keep churning out articles.”
“Publish or die,” Blair nodded seriously. “Luckily, I’ve gotten enough information for a couple of more articles and I will be working on a possible book. “
“Good, “Simon gave a nod of his head and chewed on his unlit cigar. “I look forward to seeing them. Now why don’t both of you go out and help Megan process all the evidence from her bust.”
“But,” Jim began.
“Et… I want you to go foster some cooperation with our exchange officer.”
Jim gave a sigh. “Fine, come on chief maybe another alligator will show up.”
“Man, I am so glad I missed that.”
“I’m starting to think it’s not you that brings the crazy around here. I think it might be Simon.”
“I can see that,” Blair said giving Simon the side eye as they walked out.
“Hey, this is not me, I think the crazy is all you, Ellison. Things were normal around here till you joined the unit.”
“Yeah yeah yeah,” Jim replied with a wave.
Blair was eager to see what Megan had found on this case. It sounded fascinating. He almost wished it had been he and Jim, but they had to let the other officers show off sometimes too. He just hoped there wasn’t another alligator. He was really glad he missed it.
“Mythology is rife with stories of heightened senses, the man with eagle eyes, the one who could smell water from miles away. The woman who heard the army sneaking up on the village. All of these stories are based on factual skills. Some peoples’ senses are heightened far above that of other people. In some cases, it is because of trauma, they lose a sense and the others are heightened to compensate for the lost one. Other times it is just what they are born with.
These people live among us and have found ways to use their heightened senses to navigate the modern urban setting.”
Jim sat and listened as Blair presented his dissertation to his committee. He knew how much work that he had put into the presentation and had listened as Blair practiced his opening. Jim had never thought that he would end up here today when he was sitting on that hospital bed thinking he must be going crazy. His job was going better then ever, he had a great set of colleagues and friends, and he finally was able to be himself with someone for the first time in his life.
As he listened to Blair go over his research, every strange, scientific test of it, he thought his life was pretty great. Sometimes good things could happen.
Blair finished putting the last of his stuff in the box before him. The room he had used as an office his whole PhD career would now go back to being just an artifact storage room. He still had the graduation ceremony which everyone in major crimes had talked him into doing. He had thought about just having them send him his papers like he had for his masters, but he would walk across the stage for his friends.
His Mom wasn’t going to make it. She was taking a trip to India, last he heard. He wasn’t that upset. She hadn’t made it for his other graduations either. He could detach with love as well as she could.
“Ready to go?” Jim asked him as he walked in the office from taking a load to the truck.
“Yeah, this is the last of it.” Blair said picking up the box in front of him while Jim grabbed the other one left.
“Then let’s head out. I was thinking Chinese for dinner.”
“Yeah, lets go to that place in Chinatown.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
They headed for where the truck was parked but as they walked by the fountain on the quad both of them saw the wolf standing in front watching them leave, the jaguar prowled around from the other side joining him. Blair looked at Jim and saw him looking back. He shrugged, gave a nod to them and headed for the truck. They had Chinese to eat and a game to watch and some making out to do. It would be a busy evening.