Attention: This is an ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE. In reality, or as close to reality as Zen&nancy can get, Jim would never act this way. We love Jim!!!
This is a crossover. We're not sure where it came from, nancy doesn't even like crossovers. Zen kept pushing this outline for a Blair/Duncan piece and this monster of an ongoing work in progress is what happened. It doesn't seem to have an end in site. At first we weren't even going to post it, but now Zen really wants to share. We'd really appreciate some feedback here, so by all means, do tell us what you think. However, we really need you to read this one with the words 'alternate universe' firmly fixed in your mind. We don't think we've committed any character assassination (except that Jim isn't really a bigot), but if you do, let us know. We're tougher than we look.
That said, this story takes place somewhere roughly around the beginning of the yet to be fourth season of the Sentinel, and the never to happen seventh season of Highlander. BTW, Zen&nancy are in complete denial of the Archangel stuff and, so far, the entire sixth (crappy) season. So, none of that really matters here. :)
Story title and lyrics borrowed without permission from Bob Marley (r.i.p.)
Three Little Birds
Blair stood at the sink, washing the pot and the plates from their macaroni and cheese. He felt good, more confident about the phone call with Jim than he'd been all day. He was so glad that he'd talked to Duncan, and that his lover had agreed, albeit reluctantly, to try to make peace with Jim. Now all he had to do was find a way to get the Sentinel back on track. It wasn't going to be easy, getting Jim to talk. Blair was positive that the zone outs were directly related to Jim's inability to deal with his feelings for Blair, and the whole situation.
Reaching for a glass, he froze, a cold, prickly feeling at the back of his neck. Blair shuddered violently, and stood stock still. He was afraid, very afraid, and suddenly disoriented. Where was he? Oh, the loft...Duncan's, not Jim's. Jim.
Blair flew to the phone, his hands shaking as he hurriedly dialed the number.
Duncan was on the couch, reading a magazine. He looked up, concerned, watching Blair pace back and forth, his knuckles white on the phone, the other hand splayed through his hair.
Blair listened to the phone ring, his heart pounding painfully in his chest. One ring, then two. "Comeoncomeoncomeon," he muttered under his breath, praying he was wrong.
Someone picked up the phone.
Silence, nothing. No, he could hear someone breathing.
"Jim! Are you okay? Jim? Please, I had this really, really bad feeling, and I had to call... Jim! talk to me, buddy, please."
"Jim, are you okay?"
"No, not at all," Jim's voice shook, his finger slid slowly off the trigger to press the decocking button above it.
Blair heard a distinctive click of metal parts on metal, very close to the phone.
"Oh God, oh no. No, I know that sound. Oh God, Jim, please tell me that's not your gun."
"Oh my God, oh shit. Jim, put the gun down. Listen to me, Jim, okay? Just keep listening to me." Blair dropped bonelessly to the floor, cradling the phone against his ear with both hands. His voice became deep and calm, the Guide voice that had brought Jim back so many times before. "Okay, Jim, everything's going to be okay, as long as you keep listening to my voice. I'm here, I'm right here. Don't go anywhere on me, Jim, just keep listening to me. Did you put the gun down?"
"Yes." Blair heard the whisper, and the relief hit him so hard he was speechless for a moment. He could see Duncan, staring at him in shock.
"That's good, Jim, that's really good. You have to stay with me, buddy, okay? Concentrate on my voice. Can you tell me what happened?"
"No," Jim whispered in a broken voice.
"Are your senses messed up Jim?"
"Tell me, Jim, tell me what's not working."
"I can't see. I can't smell. I can't taste. Everything comes and goes. Blair, I don't wanna be here..."
Blair felt tears sting his eyes and brushed them away impatiently. "Yes you do, buddy, we just have to make it work again. We're gonna do that, Jim. Everything's going to be okay. Jim, I need you to do something for me, can you?"
"I don't know."
"I need you to give me your word, I need to be able to trust you, buddy. I'm going to leave right now, Jim, and get in my car and come to you, but I need you to promise me that you'll be there when I get there, okay?"
"What do you want me to do?"
He sounded so confused, in pain. Blair forced himself to breath evenly, fighting down the panic and keeping his voice low and calm.
"I don't want you to do anything at all, stay exactly where you are. Where are you?"
"Okay, not so good... Okay, Jim, this is what I need you to do, don't touch the gun again. Go downstairs, turn the T.V. on, CNN, okay? I want you to sit on the couch, and listen to the television, okay? Listen to the T.V. and don't let yourself zone. I'll be there as soon as I possibly can, but it's going to be a long time. Stay on the couch, don't go anywhere. Just wait for me. Can you do that for me, Jim? For Blair?"
"Promise me, Jim. Tell me what you're going to do until I get there."
"Okay, good. Where's the gun?"
"I don't know."
"That's okay, that's okay. You don't have to look for it. You don't need it, okay, Jim? Just leave it, I'll be there soon."
"What is it, Jim?"
"I need you."
"I know, big guy, I know. I'll be there soon, Jim."
Out of the corner of his eye Blair could see Duncan, shaking his head no. He looked both worried and angry. Well, Duncan was going to have to understand. Blair told himself he'd deal with it in a minute, held one pleading finger up to Duncan and crooned softly into the phone, "Let's go downstairs now Jim, okay? Can you stand up? Be careful."
Blair listened carefully, and heard Jim's steps on the stairs. "Good, okay, everything's okay. Just sit down on the couch, now. Is the remote on the coffee table?" Blair waited, encouraging Jim in his mind. Come on, partner, work with me here, we're gonna get you out of this, I promise. Please, Jim, oh God, please don't die on me.
"Yeah, it's here."
"Good, okay, turn it on. Can you hear it?" Blair pictured Jim, sitting blind on the couch, listening to the muted television.
"Okay, that's great, Jim. I'm proud of you buddy. Now you're going to stay right there, and just listen to the T.V. I don't want you to worry about anything, and no matter what, don't go anywhere, okay? 'Cause I'll be there soon and we'll work on this together, okay?"
Jim's voice was emotionless, but Blair decided it that this was the best he could hope for, and that it was reasonably safe to hang up the phone.
"Okay, I'll be there soon, buddy. Maybe five hours..."
"Don't worry, Jim, I'm on my way."
Blair hung up the phone, after he was sure Jim didn't have anything else to say. He looked at Duncan and realized this was not going to be easy.
"Blair..." Duncan sounded like he was prepared to be very stubborn.
"No. Listen to me," Blair's voice was harsher than he meant it to be. "He needs me. I'm going. I'll be back as soon as I can."
"No way, I'm going with you. Blair, you should call someone, let someone whose there help him. If he's suicidal, it may be too late by the time we get there..."
"Would you fucking listen to me! He's zoning. He needs me. If I sent cops and the EMS over there now, he's gonna freak, and I'm never going to get him back."
Blair went to where Duncan was standing, and put his hands on his shoulders, "I'm sorry. Please, Duncan, you have to trust me. I don't have time to argue."
"Then I'm going with you."
"Oh no, that's not going to work. He sees you and God knows what'll happen. I'm the Guide. I can help him, but not with you there making him flip."
"Blair, wait," Duncan grabbed his wallet and keys and coat, hurrying to keep up with Blair, who was stuffing clothes into his backpack. "We can talk about it on the way, okay? You are in no shape to make a five hour drive. Let me drive, we'll talk about this in the car, alright?"
"Ah, fuck. Okay, you're right, but we're leaving now. Let's go."
End Part 13