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Summary: A glimpse of Blair Sandburg's inner life.

Author's Note: This is a collaboration with [livejournal.com profile] rhianne, and was written for a challenge at [livejournal.com profile] sentinel_thurs. I forget now which of us wrote each bit - we each did ten, and jumbled them up!

Rating: G for non-explicit inner thoughts

20 Things You Never Knew About Blair Sandburg
By Rhianne and Fluterbev

February 2006

1. When Blair told Jim he didn’t know who his father was, he wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth. Sandburg shares DNA with a lawyer from Michigan, but he doesn’t think of that man as his father. In fact, Blair has had a dozen fathers over the years; men that he met while traveling with Naomi or on expeditions. They’ve come from all walks of life; shamans, dentists, hippies, any man that Blair has ever looked up to and admired has, at least for a time, fulfilled that void in his life. Lately, the role of his father figure has been filled by a gruff police Captain with a son of his own, but Blair won’t ever admit that to anyone.

2. Blair really hated it when Jim was dating Veronica. He tells himself that his dislike of her was because he knew intuitively that she was bad news. That he’d picked up on subtle cues, which had clued him into the fact that she was up to no good. He viciously quells the nagging inner voice, which tries to tell him he was just behaving like a jealous, jilted lover.

3. Blair loves macho culture. He idolizes basketball players, who he regards as modern-day gladiators; and has long been drawn to the study of warrior societies. Since he met Jim, he’s gradually been accepted into the macho sub-culture his friend inhabits. It’s closer than he ever thought he’d get to being one of the guys, and that fills him with a contentment he previously thought he’d never experience.

4. Blair first heard of sentinels when he was nine years old. He’d gotten lost walking home from his latest school, and heavy rain had driven him to take shelter in the first open building he could find. The bookstore owner had taken pity on him, making hot chocolate and allowing him to wander unchecked through the aisles. He’d stayed there for hours while the rain came down, poring over books about tribes and cultures a thousand times removed from his own. When he left, the owner had allowed him to take The Sentinels of Paraguay with him. Weeks later he’d tried to re-visit the store, but no matter how long and hard he searched, Blair was never able to find his way back.

5. Blair has always been a wanderer; an academic learning about other tribes because he doesn’t belong to one of his own, hiding his loneliness behind books and papers. Meeting Jim has shown him a side of life he could never have imagined; at times both incredible and terrifying. Now he knows what it’s like to live his own life, instead of watching from the sidelines as other people live theirs.

6. Riding with Jim wasn’t the first time that Blair Sandburg had fired a gun. In fact, he’s a damn good shot and he knows it, but that’s a story from another life that he won’t ever share.

7. Sandburg’s reputation as a ladies man makes him one of the guys, and adds to the layer of macho bullshit that he desperately needs to have if he’s going to stand as part of Major Crime. But in spite of all the bravado, the fast-talking, Blair isn’t the table leg that people think he is.

8. Blair never feels more alive than when he and Jim are right on the edge, staring death in the face. He lives his life moving between those moments of intense clarity, both longing for and dreading the next time he’s one step away from oblivion. He never admitted it out loud, but the second he disarmed the bomb on the Northstar 5 oil rig, he was as close to ecstasy as he’d ever been. He guesses it’s a sickness of a kind, but now he’s had a taste of it, he can no more imagine giving it up than he can voluntarily stop breathing.

9. Blair hates being cold; a legacy of living in drafty apartments with heating he couldn’t afford. It’s worse since he got shot, and he can always feel the bad weather coming. He spends freezing nights on stakeout with Jim dreaming of beaches in Hawaii or the Caribbean – somewhere hot, dry and bathed with light, with Jim by his side.

10. Sometimes Blair gets angry with himself for his neediness, and the constant quest for validation from people he respects. He knows that he has lots of good qualities, and he’s proud of the things he’s achieved in his life. But despite all that, he finds himself desperately longing for the moments where Jim tells him he’s done everything right, or for Simon to appreciate his insight. He tends to drive himself hard, hoping for approval. And he’s ashamed of the sharp disappointment he feels when he doesn’t get it.

11. He’s had some awful experiences since he started riding with Jim, but nothing had prepared him for the sheer terror he’d felt when Alex walked into his office. He’d known immediately that there would be no last minute rescue, and the grief-stricken regret that flooded him as he walked to his death still haunts him. Even now, all Blair has to do is close his eyes and he can still feel the water forcing itself mercilessly into his throat, as he fights for air that doesn’t come. In spite of the miracle that followed, there’s a part of Blair that will always be drowning.

12. If Blair was to be completely honest with himself, he’d admit that the dating game these past few years has just felt like going through the motions. Sometimes, after yet another unsatisfying liaison with someone he has no desire to see again, he thinks that he’ll move into a more exciting arena, like maybe fetish clubs or the gay scene. He tells himself it’s because his inner adrenaline junkie has spilled over to affect his sex life too; although he suspects deep down that it’s really because everyone else feels inferior next to the secret object of his desires.

13. Sometimes, Blair doesn’t hear from Naomi for months. He’s no longer surprised – she’s been traveling the world almost constantly since he went to Rainier, and she has never been very good at keeping in contact. He even understands why she feels she has to go, but it doesn’t stop him wondering where she is, and worrying. He doesn’t want to admit it to himself, but Blair knows it’s only a matter of time before the phone call that tells him she isn’t coming back.

14. In the past, Blair didn’t always go off to be alone when he was upset. He was brought up, after all, to believe that expressing your emotions was a healthy and necessary part of life. But since he’s been riding with Jim, he’s done his best to deal with his demons in private. It’s not that he’s ashamed of Jim seeing him upset – he’s just terrified that Jim will assume that he can’t handle the pressure, and will cut him loose. He can’t imagine how he’d deal with that if it happened.

15. Blair has watched his mother flit from one person to another over the years with no desire for commitment, and he’s determined not to do the same. Instead, he’s spent most of his adult life searching for a companion; someone he can spend his life with. At first he thinks he’s found it with Maya, then Katie, but somehow it never works out. It’s only as he kicks back on the sofa with Jim, sharing a beer and a game the way they always do, that Blair finally understands that his search was over the very first day he met Jim.

16. Sometimes, Blair looks at Jim surreptitiously when he comes out of the shower, wearing nothing but a towel around his hips. Blair knows that, in comparison, his own body is nothing to boast about; but it isn’t envy which motivates his prurient curiosity.

17. There are times when Blair thinks about leaving Cascade for good. Usually it’s when he and Jim are arguing; when Jim’s being hurtful and he’s being thoughtless, sniping at each other because they’re an easy target. But he knows that Jim cares, and for every bad moment there are a dozen good ones. Evenings eating out, poker night with the guys, quiet days in the loft spent just talking and laughing, and Blair treasures each and every one, holding them close to his heart whenever he needs reminding of the truth.

18. Some of the kids at Blair’s school envied his relationship with Naomi. Blair never suffered the restriction of curfew, and knew all about sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll way before his peers did. Sometimes, though, Blair secretly envied the other kids, and fantasized about having a mom he could call ‘Mom’, instead of someone who was more like a big sister.

19. Jim thinks that Blair doesn’t remember much about the time he was dosed on golden, but that isn’t actually true. Blair remembers how incredible it felt when Jim was holding him, safe and protected from the monsters he believed were invading. He also recalls Jim holding his hand in ICU, when he woke up disoriented and scared. “I’m here, Blair,” Jim had said, his voice reassuring and confident. “You’re going to be fine.” Strangest of all, Blair remembers Jim saying, “I love you,” but he’s fairly sure that part was actually an hallucination.

20. Blair loves Jim deeply; but he’s terrified that, if he tells him up front, Jim will push him away. So instead, Blair shows him his love every day, in a hundred little ways; hoping that, one day, his actions will have managed to speak louder than a million words.


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 and Rhianne at rhiannegray@yahoo.co.uk

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Date: 2007-08-01 03:59 pm (UTC)
starwatcher: Western windmill, clouds in background, trees around base. (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwatcher
Wow! This is absolutely incredible; it rings as true as a perfectly-tuned bell. Kudos to you both.

Date: 2007-08-01 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Goodness, what lovely feedback! Thank you so much! I will send this link to Rhianne, so she can read your comment too :-).

We seem to have very much a shared vision of the characters, so this fitted together so well I can barely remember which bits are mine, and which bits are hers. We tend to be pretty much in accord about these guys :-)

Date: 2007-08-11 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klgrem.livejournal.com
Very nicely done. Makes you just want to hug Blair. :)

Date: 2007-08-16 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! Blair is such an interesting, complex character. It was lots of fun trying to get inside his head :-)

Date: 2007-09-03 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanesfriend.livejournal.com
"18. Some of the kids at Blair’s school envied his relationship with Naomi. Blair never suffered the restriction of curfew, and knew all about sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll way before his peers did. Sometimes, though, Blair secretly envied the other kids, and fantasized about having a mom he could call ‘Mom’, instead of someone who was more like a big sister."

There is a story in which Blair finds out that Naomi isn't really his mother but his elder sister. IIRC, it comes out that she may have killed their father, and it ends up with her flying to Israel (from which, being Jewish, she can't be extradited.)

Date: 2007-09-03 07:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
I have a feeling I've seen that premise in a story - Naomi as Blair's sister - more than once over the years. Given the lack of exposition in canon about Bair's origins, plus the few tantalising unanswered questions we are shown (the fact that Naomi either cannot or will not tell Blair who his father is, being the main one), it's not hard to extrapolate a scenario where Naomi is actually his sister :-).

Do you happen to have a link to the story you mention? It sounds interesting!

Thanks for your comment :-)

Date: 2007-09-04 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanesfriend.livejournal.com
I'm sorry, I don't.

I think that part of the impulse to think that Naomi isn't really Blair's mother is that Leigh Taylor-Yound doesn't look NEARLY old enough to be Garret Maggart's mother; she's older, but not THAT much older. However, I'm told that she has a son a year or so older than him.

We can attribute it to a combination of good genes, a healty lifestyle, and a clever plastic surgeon.

Date: 2009-04-27 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magician113.livejournal.com
Hey kiddo.

I was tooling around and decided to go for the snippet. I don't know how I missed this, as it's right underneath one of my favorite "five times" stories. However, this was really terrific (no surprise there) -- poignant is always my cup of tea. I do have a link to the story I believe Zanesfriend is referring to:
Hunted by Rimilod. gen.

I came across it because it was a story that came up when there was a discussion of what it would take for Blair to work against Jim and take advantage of his senses. I'm sure you probably have read it by now, but just in case!

Date: 2009-07-18 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hiya! Sorry I missed seeing this comment - I don't have notifications enabled, and I've not been over to see if I had any messages for ages. I am ashamed of how many I found, yet have not yet responded to. Yikes!

Thanks for the link. I'm sure I've read it before - I like a lot of Dolimir/Rimilod's stories. I will check it out again :-).

Date: 2009-06-01 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paperspades.livejournal.com
Is that a cleverly hidden reference to Neverending Story I see in number four?

Much love for your character analysis. I definitely agree with much of it. Especially the parts about Blair wanting to be 'one of the guys' and getting validation from them.

Date: 2009-07-18 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
I'm fairly sure that Rhianne wrote that bit, so I'm not sure what the inspiration was. I think, however, that you could be right!

Thanks, rather belatedly, for this nice comment :-)


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