Detective Jim Ellison, the Cascade P.D.'s one saving grace, opened the door to his castle-- a loft he shared with Blair Sandburg, a weak, pathetic kid who got into trouble so often that Jim had found it more convenient to have him move in, than to have to search the city to find his trouble-prone ass. "Get me a beer," he yelled at the form sitting hunched over a laptop computer. He sneered at the scene. What did anyone need with an education that went past the high school level?
"Just a minute, Jim," Blair whined. "I'm trying to finish my diss--"
"Did I ask you what you were doing? Do you actually think I care?" he growled. "Get me a beer, dammit!"
Blair scrambled to do his master's bidding. "I don't smell any dinner," Jim muttered, as the cold beer was pressed into his hand.
The grad student paled. "Oh, no," he wailed. "I forgot all about dinner."
The detective drained the beer in one long gulp. "Keep it up, and the next time I'm going to forget about saving your ass. You're such a useless wuss. I'm going to have a big, thick, juicy, bloody steak with Simon."
Blair's stomach roiled at the thought of red meat. "What am I supposed to do about eating?"
Jim shrugged. "Maybe the laptop's tasty." With that, he picked up his keys and walked out of the loft.
Blair sat down and cried.
Blair stood in the middle of the ICU of Cascade General, torn in two directions. Captain Simon Banks was in one room, and Inspector Megan Connor was in the other. Both had nearly died because of him. He knew this to be true because Jim had told him, and Jim never lied. The whole situation was so horrible. His mother, Naomi, had given his dissertation to a publisher, and suddenly everyone knew Jim was the Sentinel. The reporters had jumped on him so badly that Jim couldn't catch the hit man he was after. Then the hit man had shot Simon and Megan. Blair hoped God would forgive him, because he knew there was no chance Jim would. But he had to try to get Jim's forgiveness, because Jim was his life, and without his approval...well, hell, life just wasn't worth living. So, he had stood up at a press conference and said that his life's work was a lie, that the Sentinel story was completely fabricated. He hadn't wanted to cry, in case Jim was watching, but it had been difficult.
He turned, seeing his beloved Sentinel standing behind him. "Jim? What are you doing here?"
Jim hated hospitals. He never visited anyone there. Too many germs and things that hurt him-- like needles and nasty medicines.
"I saw the press conference," Jim said softly, and Blair froze. "What the hell did you think you were doing, Chief? Now, everyone knows I'm partnered up with a liar. Thanks for thinking of me, pal."
Blair watched him stalk away, and he couldn't keep the tears from streaming down his face. With a lingering glance at the two friends he had injured, he left and went home. In the bathroom of the loft, he cut his wrists.
The Sentinel smelled the blood as soon as he opened the door. What the hell had the kid done now? He followed the scent to the bathroom. With a wail of distress, he dropped to his knees and stared at the horrible scene. "Nooooo!" he screamed aloud, beating his fist against the floor in anguish.
Long minutes later, he peeled himself off the floor, and made his way to the telephone. His hand was trembling as he dialed. "Uh, Home Depot? When's your next 'How To Lay Tile' seminar? You wouldn't believe the mess my roommate made in the bathroom."
Relieved to find out the seminar was being held the upcoming Saturday, Jim dialed another familiar number, doing what must be done. "Joel? Something's happened. You wanna buy Blair's ticket to tomorrow night's Jags game? I'm pretty sure he won't be using it."