Author's Note: Well, it's finally happened. I've submitted my first story for public consumption. Wow. I've been writing my own version of fanfic since I was nine. I'll be thirty-five in December. You figure the math. Anyway, I'm a newbie when it comes to the Sentinel. I stumbled into some excellent fanfic a week after the S2 debacle. I've been soaking it up ever since.

Acknowledgements: I wish to thank HMG herself for betaing this for me. She's been great. Hopefully, I'll have yet another S2 conclusion to add to the growing list before season four starts.

Warnings/Rating: None. Rated G, missing scene for Finkleman's Folly. This is in answer to the Archive Elves missing scenes challenge.

Archive: Yes, please.

Disclaimer: You all know the drill by now. I don't own them, they belong to Bilson, DeMeo, Pet Fly, and grudgingly, UPN. I've just taken them out for a bit, and then I'll put them back completely unharmed.

Whose Heartbeat?

by KandaceK


Blair saw the strange look on Jim's face as he closed the cell phone, and knew he'd heard something, if not a voice. Making a mental note to ask about it later, he turned his attention back out the windshield.

"So, what did you hear?" the anthropologist questioned, following his partner into the loft.

Jim gave the younger man a puzzled look as he tossed his keys into the basket and began shrugging out of his coat.

"The phone call, man. I know you heard something."

"Oh." Jim shrugged, hanging up his jacket. "A heartbeat," he answered, heading into the kitchen.

"A heartbeat?" Nodding when the other man held up a beer.

"Yeah." The Sentinel opened both bottles then handed one to Blair on his way to the couch.

The long-haired grad student followed him into the living room. He sat down next to his friend, turning to face him. "Did you recognize it? Do you know whose it was?"

Jim gave him an arch look as he took a pull from the beer. "Now, how would I know that?"

"C'mon, Jim. You know mine--don't you?"

"Chief, I live with you. I hear your heart every day," Ellison reminded his partner.

"I know, I know, but you've probably unconsciously catalogued the heartbeats of the people you're around every day, too. Take Simon, for example. You see him every day, talk to him, heck, we've even rescued him a few times. You've got to have listened to his heartbeat a few times."

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean I know it well enough to pick it out in a crowd. I do that with his cigars."

"True, but if you concentrate on what you heard tonight and compare it to the heartbeats you've heard before, you might be able to tell who it was," Blair insisted.

"Chief, it was probably just a prank call."

"On your cell phone?"

Jim shrugged. "It's been known to happen."

With a frustrated sigh, Blair pushed his hands through his hair. "C'mon, Jim, why not just give it a try?"

"Sandburg," the big man growled, "it's late and it's been a long day. The last thing I want to do is go searching my brain for a heartbeat that might not even be there."

Blair held up his hands in surrender, shifting to put his back against the couch cushions. Silence descended, as the academic chewed the inside of his cheek, his mind churning over the problem. When he spoke quietly a few minutes later, it was more to himself than to his companion. "Hmm, that might be something to work on."

Jim had been wondering how long his ebullient Guide would remain silent, and now he smiled as he finished his beer. "What's something to work on, Chief?" His voice was full of amusement.

"Wha...?" Still caught up in his ponderings, it was a moment before Blair realized he'd been spoken to. He looked up at his friend. "Oh." He smiled. "I was just thinking. Cataloguing heartbeats might not be a bad idea. I mean, at least doing the ones in Major Crime. You know, Simon, Joel, Rafe, Brown." At Jim's rolled eyes, he hurried on. "Now, just hear me out, man. If you memorized the sounds of their heartbeats, you could pick them out if you ever get in a situation where you can only use sound to tell the players."

Ellison thought about this for a long moment. He reluctantly nodded as he got to his feet. "All right. You have a point, I guess. But we're not going to 'work on' this until after Simon's back." He headed to the kitchen with the now empty bottle.

"Sure, Jim," the younger man agreed, finishing his own beer and taking the bottle back to the kitchen where it was deposited in the recycle bin.

"I'm headed to bed. Night, Chief."

"G'night, Jim." Out of habit, Blair wiped the already clean counter, then headed to his own room.

The day started out well the next morning, beginning with the news that Captain Finkleman's undercover job was set to go down that afternoon. Things quickly began to go downhill, when Joel Taggert informed them that the hospital had apparently managed to lose Captain Banks.

Much later, Simon located, and disaster narrowly averted, they found themselves in the truck on the way to meet Finkleman at the ferry.

Blair caught his partner looking at him with a self-deprecating smile. "What?"

"It was Simon's," Jim said quietly.

The long-haired observer gazed at his companion in confusion.

"The heartbeat last night. It was Simon's."

"Oh." Blair's eyes widened. "OH! Wow, cool." His grin practically lit the interior of the truck. Jim found himself returning it. He shrugged in acceptance that his Guide had once again been right.

Nothing further was said on the matter, as they turned their attention to the upcoming meeting with Finkleman's quarry and the bust they hoped to make.


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