Disclaimer: All things Sentinel belong to Danny, Paul, Paramount, and other suit types. Not ours, no money made, no harm intended.

Rating: R for language and slight sexual contemplation of the m/m variety.

Zen babble: This story is set a couple of weeks after the events of Sentinel Too, Part Two. It's Blair trying to figure things out in his journal. So, this is my RSM Birthday offering. I was listening to the Robyn Hitchcock song "When I Was Dead", and couldn't help thinking about Blair, when he was dead. Then I puked up this ball of Blair angst. RSM sisters, this angst's for you <bg>. Thank you all, for not only putting up with me, but loving me for the person I am. The feeling is very mutual!

When I Was Dead
By Zen&nancy

When I was dead, I was wet and cold, but never felt it.

When I was dead, I had four legs and fur.

When I was dead, the jungle floor flew under my feet.

When I was dead, your vision saved me.

When I was dead, we became one.

Great, now I'm regressing back to writing bad poetry, like I used to do in high school. I just can't get past it, the fact that I was dead. That, and the fact that Jim trusted a vision, and brought me back to the world of the living. Now I know that I have an animal spirit, too. A wolf to keep Jim's panther company. Fuckin' freaky, that's what is. Freaky, but in a really wonderful way. The fact that we shared a vision, one that gave me life, means that we are so much more connected than I ever thought was possible. It was so intense, those few moments of time seemed to last forever. When we jumped into each other, it was such a physical experience for something that didn't really happen. Or did it? I'm not sure. It was sensual and cerebral and the most intense exciting thing I've ever experienced. If only Jim could see it that way. He never talks about it, never says anything remotely close to "Gee Chief, I'm really glad you're not dead", let alone talking about animal spirits and mystical trips.

I try not to be mad at him, and then get pissed off at myself for letting him push me away again. That's how it always is with us; he lets me get close, I mean really close to his damn soul, and then he freaks out and pushes me away, makes a stupid joke, or cuts me down. What's the point? If you can't tell someone how you really feel about them after you've brought them back from the dead, then you probably never will.

I know he cares about me, needs me, and probably even loves me, but he'll never say it, never let it mean anything. When our animal spirits merged, when my wolf jumped into his panther, I felt him in a way that I've never felt another human being before. He was part of me and I was part of him. We were a "we", not a "me" and a "him". Then, to have him brush it off the way he did, making a fucking crack about the rent. If I hadn't have felt like my lungs were swimming and my body had been through a meat grinder, I think I would have punched him. Seriously, there was that much anger and hurt that hit me out of nowhere. I tried to chalk it up to Jim not being able to deal with the intensity of almost losing me. Finding out that we had the same vision, and Jim saying that he wasn't ready to take that trip with me... it almost made me sorry I was alive after all. But, I have a pretty good idea how Jim really feels under all his denial bullshit. I get the feeling that his emotional investment runs a lot deeper than he's willing to admit, or even acknowledge. Of course I don't know any of this for certain, because Detective James Ellison would rather drink molten lava than talk about his feelings. After going through all of this, I don't think there's anything that could happen that would make me leave him. If I didn't leave after he tried to screw the woman who almost permanently put out my lights, I don't think I ever will.

So, I sit around and take one emotional beating after another. I'm not in the habit of letting Jim get away with shit, without at least giving him a piece of my mind, but lately I just don't have it in me. I've got too much emotional shit pent up inside to let myself fight back as much as I usually do with him. I'm afraid that if I start yelling at him about one thing, the rest of this will come spilling out.

After I saw him all over that fucking Alex bitch I was ready to kill him. I really don't think I'm being unreasonable here. The woman killed me. I still get nauseous and break out in a cold sweat when I remember sitting in my office and Alex pointing the gun at me. For chrissake, I don't care what kind of cosmic love thing is going on, if a woman killed Jim, I would not make out with her on the beach. After I followed him out of the church and saw them on the beach, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. For a minute, I couldn't even breathe I was so horrified. I know, I know, it was instinct, it was uncontrollable, yadda, yadda, yadda... she pointed his gun at me. Talk about adding insult to injury. If I'm honest, I know I was jealous of her, of the connection she had with Jim. I was witness to unexplainable, mystical shit in Peru. The whole time we were there I felt as if I should have been in my element. Instead I felt like I had wandered into an Escher drawing. Y'know, the one with all the stairways that keep running into each other and twisting upside down? Jim's visions and Alex's journey into "The Big Zone Out" should have taught me so much about Sentinels, but all I got out of it was a sense of betrayal and exclusion, and total inadequacy.

Now, when we're chasing the bad guys, I don't feel as safe as I used to. I keep getting these flashes of Alex pointing the gun at me, and Jim hesitating before stopping her. I used to trust him unconditionally, but now I get scared. I'm trying to get past it, make myself stronger, but it's not easy. After living with Jim for three years, having him save my life more than a couple of times, and always feeling that no matter how bad it seemed Jim would get us out of it, I find myself watching my own back, sometimes even wishing I had a gun. I used to get these incredible adrenaline rushes from the dangerous aspects of the police work. It used to thrill the hell out of me when the bullets were flying and Jim was taking down the bad guys, and in the moments before, when we're on the hunt, but now I dread it. My stomach ties up in knots, and in the back of my mind I'm always wondering if I'll come out of it alive.

I hate him for giving me a safety and a security that I'd never had in my life, and then taking it away from me. I hate the fact that I understand how sudden and unexpected death can be. Am I blaming Jim for my mortality? I don't know. I do know that every time I have to get out of my car at the U and walk to my office I break out in a cold sweat, even if Jim is with me. Now more than ever, I want to feel safe.

So lately, I'm wandering around, somewhat amazed that I'm still alive, and I've got all these feelings that I don't know what to do with. I have so much of myself wrapped up in Jim, and it's wonderful and terrifying, and unbelievably confusing. Sometimes, when I look at him, it's like I don't even remember all my reasons to be angry, and I'm just amazed that he gave me life, he found a way to bring me back. A classic Ellison cut down usually takes the glow away pretty quickly, though. He's been doing that a lot more lately, taking jabs at my character, or my appearance.

I can't get any perspective on this, and I'm slowly going insane. Sometimes my brain runs itself in circles of logic and rationalizations until I forget to breathe because I'm thinking so hard, trying to find answers. I end up questioning myself until I'm unsure of almost every aspect of who and what I am. Half the time I wish I could walk away from it all, let it all go, and the other half I feel guilty as hell for ever thinking that way. Jim has given me so much; friendship like I've never had, a roof over my head, and the fact that he's the physical embodiment of my life's work. And now, more than ever, I understand that this is my life's work. This is the one piece of clarity that I've been able to find with all of this introspection. Being his guide is my life, or at least the part that gives it meaning. Only, now that I realize how much more it could mean, how much deeper we could go, it's slowly killing me that he won't trust us enough to go there with me. We were part of each other, body and soul, even if was just for the flash of an instant. I'm sure that we could find that place again, if only he would want to...

And oh man do I want to. It was phantasamgorical, in the truest sense of the word. I had no body, but I could feel Jim, feel his essence, his being. It was warm and floaty, like a heated pool, like going back to the womb. Now that I've experienced Jim in this incredibly intimate sense, I crave more. Even when I'm mad as hell at him, there's this aching pull to get closer, get inside him again. I don't understand why he's distancing himself from me, when all I want is to become part of him. My insides feel like I eat razor blades for lunch everyday. Still, even with all this shit I'm going through, all this fucking pain, I know that we could find that place again.

I'm not necessarily talking about sex, but it is sexual. I think that might be why it scared Jim so badly, made him pull so far away from me. He doesn't touch me as much as he used to, and when he does it's more aggressive, less caring. He's been pretty confrontational in general, and that's always a good sign that he's repressing something and it's eating away at him. Even when he's trying to be friendly, though, he's more aggressive than he was before. I get a smack on the head or a playful punch in the arm more often than a strong hand at my back. I figure, he hasn't kicked me out, so he must still want me around, or at least feel that he needs me, so fear seems to be the logical reason for his pulling away. Why else would he change such a fundamental part of his behavior? Jim relies on communicating with touch, especially with me. So, is he afraid of what he's feeling for me, or is he afraid that I'm going to jump him if he gives me half a chance? Sometimes I see him start to put his hand out to touch me, and then pull it back, and it feels like my blood stops pumping for second.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm blowing this all out of proportion, then Jim pushes me away, and it all starts spinning around in my head again. No one has ever caused me this much pain before, and I can't help but wonder if I'm a fool for sticking around. Here I go again, running myself in circles, spinning hopelessly in this cycle of rationalizations.

I'm trying to learn something from this. I mean, I have an animal spirit, and I definitely had an out of body experience, so I thought maybe I could explore this a little. I've been meditating a lot more often, and I do feel that letting go is easier, and that I have more focus, but that's about it. No visions, no deep revealing flashes of clarity, nothing to give me any clue as to what I'm supposed to do here. Sometimes, though, when Jim and I are really getting into it, really getting into each other's faces over something, I feel it. I feel this connection, this vibe thing flying between us. I think he must feel it too, because he doesn't touch me when we fight anymore. It used to be so physical for us; arguing meant pushing and shoving and getting chest to chest. I don't let myself really get into it with him much, because all my feelings of loss and betrayal come to the surface, and then I get this weird feeling, like there's energy between us, connecting us. It makes my skin hum. I can only wonder what it does to Jim.

There's something else that's been bothering me. Now that we know that the possibility of other Sentinels isn't impossible, will Jim want to go looking for a mate? The mate that Alex could have been, if she had been a different person. I saw what happened when he talked her down from opening the canister of gas. He asked her to share his vision, then she laced her fingers in his and a jolt went through them. I fucking saw it, and it was like a knife in my gut. I couldn't help thinking that should have been me, that I should be the one Jim shares his vision with.

What if it's not? What if all of this is wishful thinking on my part? But it's not, I felt it, damn it. We did share a vision, a vision where we joined our spirits. I just wish I could help Jim past whatever it is that's keeping him from exploring this further. Then there's my other theory. The one that says Sentinels shouldn't mate with other Sentinels, that they can't control what goes on between them and they will inevitably self-destruct. Jim and Alex's first reactions to each other were very negative. Then, the pull between them went haywire, then she got greedy for enlightenment and overloaded her circuits. If she had been a better person inside, would it have made the difference, or would the outcome have been bad anyway? I just don't know.

That about sums it up; I just don't know. I don't know what to do about how I feel, I don't know what to do for Jim, I don't know what the dynamics of a Sentinel really are, and I don't know what to do about my life as stands right now. I just don't know. I'm standing at the edge of that proverbial cliff, and the only thing that I'm absolutely sure of, is that I can't step over the edge unless Jim is with me.

The End

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