Joy to Blair and Jim by Landis McQuade

Joy to Blair and Jim - Landis McQuade

NO MORE LET SINS AND SORROWS GROW

DECEMBER 20, INT. FANCY RESTAURANT. DAY

(The restaurant is elegantly decorated for Christmas. Blair is sitting alone at a table for two perusing through some anthropology journal while he waits for someone to show up. He is almost finished with the journal when he feels someone approaching the table. He looks up and sees Stephen.)

Blair: I wasn’t sure you’d come.

Stephen: Yeah well I’ve never been a big fan of verbal brutalization, but I took my chances. I’m sorry I’m late; my meeting ran over. I’m surprised you came, Blair.

Blair: I want bygones to be bygones.

(Waiter comes to take order. They order and sit in awkward silence a few moments.)

Stephen: I’m sorry.

Blair: Me too. .

Stephen: You’re forgiving me?

Blair: The way I see it, Stephen is this: you’re his brother and well, there’s loyalty among siblings, blood ties, all that good stuff, so I get it, I do; you want what’s best for him. You wanted to protect him from the backlash…

Stephen: (interrupting) Or worse.

Blair: So, do I. So, yeah, there’s really nothing to forgive. You’re looking out for him. It’s what brothers do. You were looking out for your family. You asked me to do something and I agreed. I was complicit in the decision.

Stephen: I shouldn’t have asked.

Blair: Well if we’re gonna start talking should’ve’s and shouldn’t’ve’s, I should’ve had my dissertation password protected. I should’ve been more discreet. I never once thought about the consequences of my research and what would happen to my research subject if my research became public. I guess in the back of my mind I always assumed that I’d ditch the dissertation and pick a new topic. After all I did go native a long time ago. I’m not sure much of what I’d written was valid anyway. I was just so excited after all those years to finally have a draft. Jim’s gifts are…

Stephen: Incredible?

Blair: Absolutely. And I wanted to share that with the world. I wanted everyone to know him the way I know him and know what he can do.

Stephen: But that couldn’t happen.

Blair: No. It can’t happen and I assure you I’m not going to be doing any more research on sentinels.

(They share intense eye contact)

Stephen: That’s too bad, Dr. Sandburg.

(Blair takes a drink and watches Stephen.)

Stephen: I made a grave mistake in asking you to leave Cascade.

Blair: You had a good offer. My academic career was in ruins and I betrayed a friend; what other choice did I have? I did what I thought was best for both of us.

Stephen: I know. Are you happy here in Chicago, Blair?

Blair: My job at the university is…

(Stephen places a hand on his arm.)

Stephen: Are you happy?

Blair: Enough.

Stephen: Because he isn’t.

Blair: What? He tells me everything is fine.

Stephen: Maybe everything is fine. His senses are fine and the 15 minutes dwindled down to nothing a long time ago, but he’s not fine.

(The waiter comes and hands Stephen the check. He signs for it and slides it to the waiter. He watches Blair for a few minutes before extracting an envelope from his inner jacket pocket. He slides it across the table to Blair.)

Stephen: This is actually the reason I’m here.

(Blair picks up the envelope with suspicion. Stephen nods that it is okay to open it. Blair opens it to find a plane ticket to Cascade. He is shocked. He looks up at Stephen.)

Stephen: I don’t think any of the choices made were good logical decisions. I think we all acted on emotional current and let the tide carry us. In hindsight I can recognize how stupid that was. I can’t pretend to even grasp the magnitude of my brother’s gift, but you, can. You might be the only person who can.

(Stephen gets up.)

Stephen: Think about it.

(Blair nods that he will think about it.)

Stephen: I was wrong. You were wrong. Jim was wrong. He doesn’t want to hold you back from your career and he’s doing what he thinks is best for you. So, why don’t you both actually start doing what is best for the both of you?

Blair: Merry Christmas, Stephen.

Stephen: Merry Christmas, Blair.

(Stephen exits and Blair stays seated and continues to finger the plane ticket.)

LET EVERY HEART PREPARE

DECEMBER 21, INT. MAJOR CRIMES. NIGHT

(Jim is at his desk typing something into the computer. He seems distracted and unfocused yet aware of the bustling environment all around him.)

INT. SIMON’S OFFICE. NIGHT

(Simon lifts a piece of blind to look out into the bullpen. He notices Jim, closes the blind, sits at his desk, rubs his forehead and picks up his phone and dials. The phone rings awhile before it picks up.)

Blair: (O.S.) This is Blair Sandburg, please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Simon: Hey, Sandburg, just calling to…uh… (Simon holds the phone away for a second and then draws it back against his face)…wish you a merry Christmas or happy Hanukah or whatever it is you’re celebrating this year.

(Simon hangs up, goes to his door, opens it, and looks out at the bullpen, searching until he finds who he’s looking for.)

Simon: Inspector Connor in my office now.

(Megan looks up surprised, looks over at Jim who shrugs his shoulders, gets up and makes her way into his office.)

INT. SIMON’S OFFICE. NIGHT

(Simon shuts the door and gestures for Megan to have a seat.)

INT. BULLPEN. NIGHT

(Jim stops typing and starts tuning in.)

INT. SIMON’S OFFICE. NIGHT

Megan: Sir? What’s up? I filed that report an hour ago. Did I miss something?

(Simon goes to look out the windows at the skyscape of Cascade.)

Simon: No, Connor, the report was fine. You did a good job on the case.

Megan: Then what is it, sir?

Simon: It’s not right.

(Simon gestures for her to stand. He leads her over to the blinds, cracks one open and points to Jim. Simon can tell Jim is listening in. He lets Megan have a look, closes the blinds and they both sit down.)

Simon: Ellison, this is a private conversation. Zip your ears. That’s an order.

INT. BULLPEN. NIGHT

(Jim opens his desk drawers, extracts his white noise generator earplugs, puts them in and goes back to work.)

INT. SIMON’S OFFICE. NIGHT

Simon: We’ve got to do something about this.

Megan: What, sir? It was Sandy’s choice to leave and Ellison didn’t stop him. And…

Simon: And?

Megan: It’s been almost two years.

Simon: It’s never too late. Besides, Ellison is…well, Ellison. Do you get my point?

Megan: Yes. But I’m not sure what we can do that we haven’t tried already.

Simon: I have a plan. We have four days. Plenty of time.

(A huge grin ignites Simon’s face as he chomps on his cigar. Megan looks doubtful but listens to his plan.)

Megan: It’s Christmas, sir, you can’t make him go to a convention at Christmas. He’ll say no.

Simon: He will if it’s in Chicago.

Megan: (smiling) He might.

Simon: Send Rhonda in will you?

REPEAT THE SOUNDING JOY

DECEMBER 23, EXT. CONVENTION CENTER. DAY

(Jim is walking toward the building as he focuses in on the marquee sign that reads, Welcome Crimefighters. Jim grimaces and enters the building.)

INT. CONVENTION CENTER. DAY

(Jim follows the signs to the Crimefighters room. He stands outside for a moment eavesdropping on the conversations inside.)

Man: (O.S.) And, wham, just like that, he swooped down and using his Spidey-senses…

Woman: (O.S.) There’s a new technique I’ve developed to enhance the detection of villains. What I do is this…

(Jim opens the door to the Crimefighters room and sees a crowd of superheroes milling around.)

Jim: (laughing) This was your plan, Banks?

(Wonder Woman spots him and motions him over. Jim shakes his head no and shuts the door.)

INT. CONVENTION CENTER CORRIDOR. DAY

(He stands outside a moment to gather his bearings when the door opens and Wonder Woman places a hand on Jim’s arm. He glances at her.)

Wonder Woman: The first one’s always the strangest. Come back inside. You’ll have fun. I promise.

Jim: Oh, I’m sure I would, but not without my partner. He’d love this.

Wonder Woman: Need some expert help finding your guide?

(Jim cocks his head to his side with an expression of curiosity. He extracts a small piece of paper from his pocket.)

Jim: No, thanks. I have an address. Hey, Merry Christmas.

Wonder Woman: You too, (winks) Sentinel.

AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING

INT. MAJOR CRIMES. LATE AFTERNOON

(Blair walks into the bullpen carrying an armload of presents. H., Connor, Joel, and Rafe are there taking in a moment of Christmas spirit with their glasses of punch and eggnog and snacks. Blair has a big smile on his face at seeing his friends engaged in holiday cheer. He looks around for Jim but doesn’t see him. Blair walks over to the group.)

Blair: Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.

(They all look up, surprised and delighted to see him. Megan puts down her glass and comes over to hug him. He drops the presents. Joel, H., and Rafe pick them up.)

Megan: You devil, you. Why didn’t you tell us you were coming?

Blair: It was kind of a last minute thing.

Joel: It’s good to see you, Blair.

(The door to Simon’s office open and he steps out into the bullpen. His mouth drops open when he sees Blair. Megan waves Simon over.)

Megan: So much for your plan, sir.

Blair: Plan?

(Simon laughs nervously.)

INT. UNIVERSITY CORRIDOR. LATE AFTERNOON

(Jim walks down the quiet corridor until he finds the door he is looking for: 308, Dr. Sandburg. He knocks on the door. When there is no answer he uses his senses to scan the room. Determining it is empty he stands there disappointed. A student walking down the corridor stops at the door.)

Student: Dr. Sandburg resigned two days ago.

(Jim shakes himself from his stupor.)

Jim: Resigned?

Student: Got his grades in on time, packed up, said thanks for the good times, but he had to go home.

Jim: Home?

INT. MAJOR CRIMES. EARLY EVENING

(Rhonda comes to get Simon who is still hanging out with the crowd.)

Rhonda: Phone.

Simon: I’ll take it here.

Rhonda: I’ll transfer it.

(Rhonda goes to her desk and transfers the call to Megan’s desk.)

Simon: Banks.

(A string of cursing can be heard. Simon holds the phone away from his ear. When it peters out, Simon puts the phone against his ear again.)

Simon: A comic book convention? That can’t be right. Hold on a sec. Rhonda!

(Rhonda comes over.)

Rhonda: Captain?

Simon: I told you to sign Ellison up for that seminar on advanced tracking.

Rhonda: (shrugs) It was in Detroit. All they had in Chicago was the…

(Rhonda looks over at Blair and everyone is quiet.)

Rhonda: Hi, Blair.

(Jim can be heard talking over the phone. Blair comes over and takes the phone from Simon and claps him on the back.)

Blair: Good plan, Simon.

Jim: (O.S.) …Sandburg doing there?

Blair: (into phone): I’m here to see you. Why are you in Chicago?

(Indistinct mumbling is heard.)

Blair: Get your ass back here, man; we have a holiday to celebrate.

(Blair hangs up the phone and smiles at everyone.)

Blair: It’s good to be home.

Megan: For good?

Blair: For good.

(Everyone cheers. Rafe hands Blair a glass.)

Rafe: Hang with us awhile?

Blair: You bet.

(All are happy.)

THE WONDERS OF HIS LOVE

DECEMBER 24, INT. LOFT. NIGHT.

(Blair enters the loft and turns on the lights and is surprised to find it decorated for Christmas. His hands are full with his suitcase and shopping bags. He sets down his suitcase at the bottom of the stairs to Jim’s bedroom, puts the shopping bags on the table, and goes over to shut and lock the door. He turns the Christmas tree on and gets to work wrapping presents.)

INT. LOFT. VERY LATE AT NIGHT.

(The door to the loft opens and a weary Jim enters. He puts his luggage by the door and smiles when he sees Blair asleep on the couch. He takes off his coat and hat, hangs them up and stands by the door a moment watching Blair. Jim moves quietly as to not wake Blair. He goes into Blair’s room and gets a blanket and tries to cover Blair without waking him but he is not successful.)

Blair: Hey.

Jim: Hey.

(Blair sits up and scoots over so there is room for both of them. Jim sits down but not close enough. Blair tugs him closer, wraps the blanket around both of them and snuggles in. Jim hugs him closer.)

Blair: There’s been something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

Jim: Oh, yeah?

Blair: Yeah. I hate Chicago.

Jim: It’s cold. Very cold.

Blair: Uh-huh.

Jim: No Christmas Eve stakeouts with cold coffee and perps who don’t show…

Blair: Because not all bad guys are bad guys.

(They enjoy the silence a few moments before Blair pulls back to look Jim in the eyes.)

Blair: There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.

Jim: Okay.

Blair: (nervous) Can I come back? Here? To Cascade. Well, more specifically to the loft. I kind of…well, I did, I gave up my apartment and my job and you see, I’m…

(Jim has a large grin on his face. He hugs Blair close and kisses him on the head.)

Jim: I didn’t go to Chicago to go to some seminar on advanced tracking techniques.

Blair: No?

Jim: Sandburg, I’m not sure what I did to make you leave, but whatever it was I am truly sorry; I don’t ever want you to feel that you aren’t welcome here. Hell, this is your home as much as it is mine. It hasn’t really even been a home without you.

Blair: Jim! You didn’t do anything to make me leave. I just thought…in retrospect, I honestly can’t remember what I was thinking, but it doesn’t matter because it was a mistake. I guess maybe…

Jim: (coaxing) What?

Blair: I suppose the scientific part of me wanted to know that you could make it without me, that if you didn’t have a guide you’d be okay, that your senses wouldn’t go haywire or offline.

Jim: I’m fine.

Blair: Yes, you are, man, but we weren’t ever out of contact. Phone calls, emails, the whole digital deal.

Jim: What are you saying? We’re biologically programmed to be together?

Blair: Not exactly. Not that genetics aren’t a component between sentinels and guides...Jim, I’m saying that I want to be together.

(Jim lets out a deep breath.)

Jim: Me too. I don’t know what that means, but I missed you Blair, more than you can possibly imagine.

(Blair smiles and Jim cradles Blair’s head closer until their lips are almost touching. He strokes Blair’s cheek.)

Jim: May I?

(Blair gently brings their lips together and they share a brief kiss.)

Jim: Was that okay?

(Blair places his hands on both sides of Jim’s face and draws him in for a more passionate kiss.)

Blair: I’ve never kissed a man before.

Jim: Me either, Chief.

(Blair snuggles back into Jim.)

Blair: I liked it.

Jim: That’s good. I like you.

Blair: Like?

Jim: I don’t want to inflate your ego.

Blair: I love you, man; it is so good to be back. So what are we doing about Christmas dinner?

Jim: My dad invited us over.

Blair: Us?

Jim: Yeah, he seemed pretty confident you’d be coming too.

Blair: Hmm. Jim?

Jim: Mmm?

Blair: Do you have anything you want to say to me?

Jim: You’re pushy? Santa is coming? He told me what he’s getting you.

Blair: Oh, yeah?

Jim: Yeah.

Blair: What’s that?

Jim: Me.

(Blair starts laughing.)

Jim: You don’t like your present?

Blair: Let’s go upstairs and find out.

(They walk to the stairs and Jim sees Blair’s suitcase. He picks it up.)

Jim: That room under the stairs would make a good office.

INT. LOFT. JIM’S BED. LATE AT NIGHT

(Jim and Blair are spent, lying naked in each other’s arm.)

Blair: That was unbelievable. I’ve never felt so cherished before.

Jim: You’re going to be the death of me.

Blair: A good death.

Jim: Death by love. Can’t beat that.

Blair: Ah-hah. So, you do love me?

Jim: What do you think?

Blair: That you’re a man of few words, you’re here with me and it’s Christmas. Merry Christmas, Jim.

Jim: Merry Christmas, Blair.

(Jim starts trailing kisses up Blair’s neck up to his ear. He stops and whispers something in Blair’s ear. Blair starts laughing, pulls Jim on top of him and they kiss passionately.)

The End.

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Acknowledgements: Thanks to all who work hard to share our tales of love for Blair and Jim. Thanks to Patt for looking this over for me. Merry Christmas. Love and peace to all.