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Summary: Cypher missing scene.

Author's Note: This is the first fanfiction story I ever posted on the 'net, back in November 2003. It first appeared on the Sentinel Angst list.

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Outstanding Missing Scene

I Can Be You Oo Oo
By Fluterbev

November 2003

The second that Jim and Lash disappeared from view, Blair rolled his whole body to the side and threw himself off the chair. With the adrenaline still pumping through him after Jim's dramatic arrival, he wasted no attention on the jarring impact of the floor on his aching body, instead rapidly wriggling towards the stairs. He didn't even consider trying to stand, the chains holding his ankles together meaning that to walk or run was out of the question. Instead, he slithered along like a sidewinder as fast as his fetters would allow. He could still hear his partner and the nutball fighting, somewhere way off in the distance, over his own panicked breaths and the rattling of the chains.

Blair had a lot of faith in Jim's abilities, both as a sentinel and as a detective, but despite that he had been as surprised as Lash when his friend had appeared, absolutely in the nick of time. Blair had already given up hope at that point, so sure of his impending death that his fear had translated to anger, and he had recklessly goaded Lash, believing he had nothing to lose and wanting to fight back with the only weapon left to him - words. If it weren't for the now distant sounds of violent struggle, and the fact that Blair was still alive, he would still have trouble believing that Jim was really here.

But in spite of his faith in Jim, verging at this moment on hero worship, Blair was not about to take the chance that Lash might return. If anything happened to Jim, if his friend became another casualty of the sick serial killer, then Lash would be back to finish Blair off. Shackles or not, there was no way he was going to sit around and wait for that to happen.

"Come on, come on," he chided himself, feeling weakness spreading through his limbs, despite his panic. He'd tried to spit out what he could of the drug that had been forced down him, as soon as Lash's attention had shifted to Jim's precipitous entrance, but it had been his second or maybe third dose in god knows how many hours, and his muscles really did not want to cooperate. He was almost sobbing with frustration as he reached the bottom step, and looking up at the un-scalable mountainous heights of the stairs, he almost gave up.

Then nearly jumped out of his skin, at the sound of gunfire. One shot, two. Three, four, five. His body jerked in tandem with each one.

Then silence.

For a moment he remained absolutely still, terror stricken, his panicked breaths the only sound over the hiss of depleting candle wax. Did Lash have a gun? He couldn't remember. He thought he'd seen Jim drop his gun when he fell down the stairs. His eyes were drawn to where he thought he'd seen it fall, and shit! Sentinel-like, his vision honed in on it, and there it was, across the other side of the room. Oh god, was Jim dead? Trying to listen past his rasping breaths got him nowhere - the sounds of distant struggle were now absolutely silent.

Then he thought he heard movement, and in a flash of horrified insight realized that whoever had survived would now be heading back to him, and the only entrance to this room was down the stairs he was now at the foot of. There could be no escape that way.

Pure undiluted self-preservation gave him the impetus to temporarily overcome the paralyzing effect of the drug, and without any thought but: "Move! Gotta move!" running through his mind, he again began to slither painfully across the floor, this time in the opposite direction. He had no clear goal, other than to not be lying here defenseless and vulnerable when Lash got back.

He knew, as he heard the approaching running footsteps and the creaking of the stairs behind him, that he was too late. There was nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, even if he had been able to do so. Cursing and panting, he tried to move faster, slithering in sudden inspired desperation towards Jim's abandoned gun lying just out of reach on the floor, and in his panic he missed the significance of the voice calling, "Sandburg! Chief, wait up!" from behind him.

He reached out his bound hands to grab the gun, but fumbled it, clumsy with fear and advancing paralysis. Then as a hand touched him, he threw up his own hands in defense, trying to hide behind them and kick out with his shackled legs at the same time, to prevent the looming figure of a man from grabbing him.

But grab him it did, strong arms enveloping him in a confining embrace which threatened to prevent him from breathing, with Blair's arms firmly trapped between their bodies. "Chief! Blair, it's me. Settle down, it's me." Blair struggled with all that remained of his strength until he registered that it was Jim's voice. That Jim was holding him, Jim was alive. That he, Blair, was not going to die today.

Abruptly all the fight went out of Blair. The adrenaline that had sustained him during his frantic bid to escape drained abruptly away, leaving him shaking with reaction in Jim's arms. Distantly he heard his own voice, broken, exhausted. "Jim, oh Jim. Oh god. Oh thank god you're alive. I thought he'd killed you, I thought..."

"Easy. Shh, settle down. You're all right. C'mon Sandburg, you're okay." Jim loosed his fierce grip and shifted to hold Sandburg more comfortably. Blair continued to shake, inexplicably gasping for air; then involuntarily erupting into sobs that seemed to involve his entire body. It was as if he had no control over himself at all; a dead-weight leaning on Jim, gasping and sobbing, unable to speak. A distant part of him, which seemed to be strangely observing as he went to pieces in the arms of his stoic friend, was utterly horrified and mortally embarrassed.

If the silent observer within Blair was appalled at his own reaction, he marveled at Jim's. Instead of being disgusted or exasperated by Blair's lack of control, the detective simply pulled Sandburg closer, pressing his face into Ellison's jacket front. Blair felt himself being rocked as Jim talked to him in a gentle voice, reassuring him of his safety, that Lash was dead, and everything would be all right now, one hand rubbing slowly up and down his back in long firm strokes.

Gradually Blair's awful gut-wrenching sobs ceased, but Jim continued to hold and rock him as he shivered in the detective's arms. The strangeness of the situation suddenly hit Blair, and he stirred a little, uncomfortable; and although Jim's hold loosened a bit and he stopped rocking, he seemed to have no inclination to let Blair go just yet. Instead, Jim murmured, "Take it easy, Chief. The cavalry is on the way. I can hear sirens. Just relax."

A second later, Blair could hear them too, and he wanted to say so to Jim, along with is he really dead? Are you hurt? And could you let me the hell go before Simon and the rest of the PD get here and see me like this? But instead all he seemed to manage, in a shaky voice, was, "I'm sorry." Which made him sound even more weak and pathetic than he already was.

Jim didn't seem to mind, though. "Nothing to be sorry about, Chief." Then, although Blair's cynical inner voice recognized it as an attempt to keep Blair present, he said, "Hey Sandburg, I ratcheted up my hearing when I was coming in to get you, and you know what? I heard you talking back to Lash. You did great, Blair. You kept the bastard off-balance, probably kept yourself alive longer. Man, I was proud of you. You kept your cool, handled yourself better than a lot of rookies would have done. And because you kept him talking, I was able to hear where you were, find you quicker."

"You're just saying that." Blair was embarrassingly on the verge of tears again. He just could not seem to get himself under control at all. The last thing he needed was Jim patronizing him - he felt enough of a wuss already. At least Jim hadn't apparently heard him scream when Lash had first removed his gag; he wouldn't be talking about Blair keeping his cool if he had.

Jim was shaking his head. "Would I lie to you, Sandburg?"

"Maybe." The sirens were right outside now, and Blair tried to push himself away from Jim. Unfortunately, he seemed to have the strength of a baby, so got nowhere, and Jim not only ignored his pathetic attempt to move, but seemed to hold him closer.

"Not about this, Sandburg. I mean it, you did everything right. You did great."

Sandburg didn't answer, feeling suddenly even more drained. Jim said something else, but the words got lost somehow, and Blair drifted a while, knowing only that the threat had passed, trusting that Jim would deal with whatever came next. He was aware of being moved, of others being there, of the confining chains being removed, viewing it passively and obliquely from a long way off, as though his strange inner observer had taken charge and pushed him out of the way.

He surfaced back to awareness suddenly as the gurney he was now on was being loaded into the back of an ambulance, and he started, violently, as though waking abruptly from the edge of sleep, his heart rate soaring. The EMTs at his head and feet didn't notice, but Jim did and was instantly at his side. "Easy, Chief. You with me?"

Blair's tongue felt thick, unwieldy. Words seemed like too much effort, and he blinked at Jim stupidly.

But his friend seemed to understand. "You're going to be fine, Blair. You're feeling the effect of the drug you were given, but it will wear off in a while. Relax. We're just going to get you checked out at the hospital. Just a short while, Chief, then I'll take you home."

He nodded, or thought he did, then soon was aware of a feeling of motion and sirens, and throughout it all Jim's hand on his arm, a single solid presence in the insubstantial universe.

When Blair next came to himself, he was lying in an examining room in the ER. Jim was still holding onto his arm, and Blair turned his head to look at him. Jim looked tired, Blair saw, and a little banged up himself. Jim smiled at him as their eyes met. "Hey, buddy. How're you doing?"

Blair licked dry lips. "Fine. You okay?" he asked, his voice hoarse, and Jim nodded, rolling his shoulder to ease out an ache with a grimace.

"I'm a bit sore, but I'll live. Thirsty?" When Blair nodded, Jim moved to pour him a glass of water.

Blair levered himself up on an elbow to drink it, relieved that the palsied weakness which had earlier assailed him seemed to have dissipated. Carefully not letting himself acknowledge the reason for it, he did a quick inventory of how he felt, and came up with a three-day binge hangover. Could be worse.

He shuddered. Could be much worse.

"Hey." At Jim's soft-spoken voice, Blair glanced up. The tenderness in Jim's expression nearly undid him. It was not an expression he had ever seen directed at him before, although he knew from observation that Ellison's tough exterior hid a caring compassionate soul; and that, despite himself, the detective had grown to tolerate, and perhaps even like him. "You okay?"

Blair took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Then looked at Jim. "He's dead, right? You did tell me that?"

Jim nodded seriously. "He's dead," he answered. "It's over."

Blair nodded, swallowing the renewed lump in his throat savagely. He was not going to lose it again. Emotional wrecks did not ride with police detectives. Hiding as always behind words, Blair forced a tight smile. "Guess I got out of cooking last night, huh? It was my turn."

Jim mimed a blow to his head. "The things you do to avoid chores, Sandburg." The banter was forced, the humor pitiful, but it was a start.

"Chores? Man, eating the food you like is a chore. How much fat can you get into one meal, anyway?"

"At least it is food, unlike the grass you eat for breakfast." Jim's grin and firm hand on Blair's shoulder softened the teasing in his words. "I don't know, Chief. Maybe I should look for a new roommate; say... a nice Barbary ape. I've often thought Larry should have stayed instead of you - he made less mess even when he trashed the place. And we liked the same food, same TV programs..."

Blair had a sudden vision of Lash taking Larry instead of him. Lash dressed in a monkey suit and a diaper, hovering menacingly over the little ape tied up in the dentist's chair, singing, "I wanna be like you oo oo."

"Oh man." Laughter spilled out of him. "Jesus, Jim." He fought to control himself, but the amused tolerant look on Jim's face set him off again. "You do not want to know what I'm thinking!"

"Easy, Chief. You're going to blow a gasket." But Jim was smiling as Blair continued to laugh uncontrollably, recognizing this for the release it was, that Blair needed. The beginning of the return to normal programming.

After a few moments of listening bemusedly to Blair's breathless chuckles and bizarre mutterings about apes and psychos, Jim stood, stretching the tired muscles in his back, a yawn breaking free. "Ready to go home, Chief? The doc said you could leave once you woke up and were coherent." He grinned evilly. "This is about as close as you ever get."

"Ha ha, very funny, man." Managing at last to control his involuntary laughter, which had been tinged with a dose of hysteria, Blair sat upright on the exam table - unusually steady considering - and looked around. "Where are my shoes?" Jim got them from the locker, and surprised Blair by helping him put them on, and easing him into his jacket. Embarrassed, Blair batted Jim's hands away, and muttered "I'm okay, Jim. I can do this myself."

Jim grinned. "I know you can, Darwin." But he helped Blair down anyway and, even though Blair was steady on his feet, the warm weight of his arm stayed across Blair's shoulders as they headed out of the door.

The End

Comments are welcome, but absolutely not necessary - all of my stories are offered freely and without obligation. If you do wish to comment below please sign your name/pseudonym if you are not logged-in to Dreamwidth or Open ID, or alternatively you can email me at fluterbev@gmail.com

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Date: 2007-08-01 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klgrem.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this one. Thanks. :)

Date: 2009-11-05 04:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neithee26.livejournal.com
really great missing scene.... Thank you very much for it

Date: 2009-11-06 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! :-)

Date: 2009-11-26 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knitty-woman.livejournal.com
Wow. That was your FIRST fic? You are such a good writer, Bev. Happy anniversary! I'm glad it's been a good ride for you - certainly has been, for us readers - and, thankfully, it's not completely over yet!

Date: 2009-11-27 07:33 am (UTC)
ext_14365: If you made this, tell me and I'll credit (Default)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev.livejournal.com
This was the first story I ever shared with anyone - I'd been writing for years at that stage (original fantasy/sci-fi, not fanfic), but until I posted this I'd done it completely in isolation, just for myself.

It's been a mostly good ride, especially in terms of fun and friendhsips, but equally there are parts of it I won't miss :-). I'm looking forward very much to getting my last few fics done and dusted, and metaphorically putting away the parchment!


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