Kissing Fate by SCH

Kissing Fate - SCH

Jim was on his way home from the police station when he heard a distressed voice coming from somewhere.

"Hey man... Hey, MAN! Let go! Leave me alone. I'm so not into violence, I promise to forget everything here, just let me go."

The man sounded scared, and this pushed Jim’s detective instincts into overdrive. He headed toward the voice as the complaints got louder, but no matter how far Jim drove he didn’t get any closer to the voice.

"What the hell..." Jim swore and stopped the car, opened the window and leaned out to listen. The voice was gone by time he stopped and he looked around in confusion to try and get a fix on it, but to no avail.

His senses had been acting up for the last couple of weeks now, however he had a fair amount of control so he didn’t worry too much. Simon Banks, his captain, had encouraged him to keep on working even though he had some sensory spikes. To Jim this had been one of the main reasons why he hadn’t totally freaked out, and still had some control over his senses. Yet the little control he did have was balancing on a knife edge, and more times than not it felt like he would lose it.

And now... Now his senses were spinning out of control in his attempt to find that voice, and Jim doubled over in pain hiding his head between his knees, trying to shut out all the sounds that assaulted him. He moaned in agony and tried to start the car, but his fingers felt numb and he couldn’t see his keys, or anything else for that matter. All his senses were gone, and he sat there in the middle of the road not able to do anything while life continued on around him.

What eventually snapped him out of his numbness was a police officer shaking his shoulder, trying to get his attention.

"Huh? Wha..?" he said in confusion, and the officer let go of him. It was Peters, one of the new guys in the department.

"Detective Ellison? Are you all right?" Peters asked in a hushed voice with a look of worry. "You didn’t answer and--" he stopped with a confused look on his face.

Jim shook himself mentally and looked at the young man with half a smile. "I’m all right now Peters," he said with a gruff voice, "I’m just tired, I think I’ll head home now."

Peters nodded and backed away from the car. "Do that, and drive carefully."

A genuine smile crossed Jim’s face, "Yes, mom." Peters laughed, and went over to his car with a wave.

Jim counted his blessings Peters hadn’t asked him about the reason to his little traffic jam action going on here. Sometimes being a detective in Major Crime gave him huge advantages, and for once he was really happy about it. Not that this mattered with Peters though, because he’d gotten along with the new officer just great. He was glad it had been Peters who’d found him, because Peters would keep his mouth shut about this little incident. Hopefully.

Damn! Jim thought when he started the car, how long had I been out of it, if someone had time to call the cops? Shit!

***

The trip home went in a haze as Jim’s senses continued to spin in and out of control, and when he got inside he only had just enough time to close the door and lock it before he fell to the floor screaming. Luckily he didn’t have any neighbors to worry about, because his scream could have woken the dead. It hurt all over. His skin, his ears, and even his eyes though they were closed. The very air hurt him and he screamed nonstop.

He tried to calm down and breathe, but the air hurt his throat and his clothes felt like sandpaper against his skin. Never having experienced this kind of pain before, not even when he’d gotten hurt before in the line of duty, he passed out. And the last thing he noticed before he passed out was blood all over him from scratches he’d put there, trying to make the pain go away but only making it worse.

***

He woke up slowly and carefully opened his eyes. It was dark inside the loft and outside; it had to be late at night, and he slowly sat up and looked down at himself. There were scratches and blood all over his chest and abdomen, his head hurt where he had banged it against the floor, his shirt was torn to pieces, and his throat felt sore.

"Jeez..." he croaked and tried to stand, but the room swayed and he sat down again, slowly. He was thirsty, but there was no way he would be able to move over to the sink and pore himself some water. Just the thought of anything sliding down his throat made his head spin, and he had to lie down on the floor.

His senses were still spinning in and out of control, but luckily they didn’t hurt as much anymore, because now they just felt numb. For this Jim was grateful and he took a deep breath and let sleep take him.

***

The next time he woke the sun was streaming in through the windows and he hissed from the spike of pain that went through his skull. He tried to open his eyes again, but decided against it when the pain got worse.

What the hell is happening to me? He cried out in his head, and moaned when the need for water became unbearable, but his limbs wouldn’t move. He panicked when he noticed that a big black panther sat on his chest, and a wolf lay over his legs.

"Um..." it came out as a croak and he cleared his throat, "Nice Kitty, don’t eat me..." It came out as a whisper, and the animals turned their attention to his face. The only reaction he got was the panther lying down comfortably on his chest and started licking his face, while the wolf started to lick his legs.

What the fuck!? Jim thought, the initial terror and helplessness leaving his body, and he tried to move the animals, but they were too heavy for him to shift. His body started to scream for him to move, to protect himself from these dangerous animals, but he fought back his fear and soon had himself under control.

The animals hadn’t made any threatening moves yet, they just kept on grooming him. Grooming..? What am I? Their baby? When he thought this, a vision of him being groomed as a boy came to mind and he gasped.

"I’ve met you two before," he said in a small voice, and the wolf yipped happily before it continued.

He finally found his voice, after a long while of trying to convince himself that this was real, and said, "Why are you here?"

This time the panther answered him with a growl that clearly meant, "Shut up!", so he shut up. You don’t argue with a panther, nu uh. And if they wanted to groom him, who was he to say otherwise, right?

The animals continued grooming him for a long while until the wolf whined long and loud. The panther stopped, and turned its head toward the wolf. Jim watched with a bemused smile as he saw the panther give the wolf a look that clearly said, "What now!?", with an irritated scowl on his face.

The wolf was clearly displeased about something and started to move restlessly over Jim’s legs. He couldn’t see the animal, but he just knew that it had to use the bathroom. Oh great, Jim thought with a sigh and tried to move the animals again.

"Hey guys, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the grooming and all, but I need to go to the bathroom too so...?" he stopped and looked at the panther. With a heavy sigh the panther stood, and moved to sit at his side, while the wolf yipped happily and ran toward the front door and straight through it.

Jim stared at the door where the wolf had disappeared and just shook his head; he was probably going crazy, no other explanation.

***

When he came back out from the bathroom, the wolf was back and was playing catch the tail with himself, while the panther watched it with an amused smile.

Can cats smile? Jim wondered and headed for the fridge with its bottled water, he was really thirsty. He closed his eyes and took long gulps of water until he heard a whining sound from the direction of his feet. It was the wolf, no doubt.

He looked down and saw the wolf lying at his feet, looking up at his water bottle. While he might find the wolf irritating, the detective was surprised to notice that the whining didn’t hurt his ears -- that the animals didn’t hurt his senses in any way.

"Thirsty?" he asked and smiled down at the wolf, the animals deserving praise after the discovery. The wolf happily jumped to its paws and started licking his hand. "Okay, okay I get it." With a laugh he took out a big bowl and filled it with cold water and put it on the floor. "There you go."

The wolf started drinking with enthusiasm, and Jim looked over at the panther, and saw the big cat grooming itself. It was totally focused on the job, and didn’t seem bothered in any way. Jim slowly went over to the big cat and sat down in front of it.

"I’ve met you two before." It was a statement not a question and the panther stopped grooming itself. With a yawn it nodded and looked at Jim with a soul-searching look.

"Eum, okay." Jim cleared his throat, "And why are you guys here?"

The panther just looked at him this time, and he thought back to that other time as a boy, being groomed by the panther and wolf. He closed his eyes and the memories came flooding back as clear as if he’d met the animals yesterday.

The school trip had gone well until his senses had acted up. What the hell? He’d had senses back then too? But the memory was crystal clear, and he let it go. He had been going down a small path with his friends when he had lost his footing and tumbled down the hill. His classmates screaming while he fell, but that had just made his head hurt more. So he had lain there at the bottom of the hill with a hurt ankle and some minor scratches and bruises when the panther and wolf had come to him.

First he had been scared and tried to get away, but he soon understood they didn’t want to eat him, or do him any harm, and he relaxed. Then they had started grooming him just like they had done now, and all his scratches and bruises had disappeared. He had been amazed and tried to talk to the animals, but they had just smiled at him and later disappeared when his teachers had found him.

Jim opened his eyes and looked at the panther, "You two came because I was hurt?" he asked and the panther nodded, and nuzzled his chest. The detective looked at his chest and saw that the scratches were gone.

"Thanks, I guess." Jim said awkwardly and smiled. The panther just huffed out a laugh, or something similar, and then the wolf joined them.

"So, are you guys going to stick around or what?" Jim asked after awhile of petting the wolf. When the panther purred and the wolf yipped happily Jim just smiled and scratched the wolf behind its ears. "Okay then, make yourself at home, but no hair on the furniture, you hear?"

When he turned back to look down at the wolf he saw a man’s face for a fraction of a second, and he gasped in surprise, but when he blinked to get a better look of the face it was gone, and the wolf was looking at him with a smile in its eyes.

"Who, what, how?" The wolf licked his face. "Who was that man?" he asked when the panther sat up in front of him and stared at him with a serious expression.

"Please tell me?" he begged, but the panther was quiet and the wolf just kept on licking his face.

"Okay, fine," he said after a while and stood, whipping his face, trying to get the wolf drool off, "don't tell me, it’s not like I care either way." But when he said this a pang of pain went through his head, and he gasped in shock. When the pain subsided and he could breathe again he looked around himself, and tried to make sense of it all, but he couldn’t.

It was then he saw the time and swore -- ten to nine -- he was due at the station in ten minutes. The detective quickly got some fresh clothes on and slid his gun into its holster took his keys and jacket and was out the door before he remembered the animals.

He turned and looked over at the two of them, "You coming?" The wolf yipped happily and ran to him with its tongue lolling out of its mouth. The panther huffed, and with much more dignity and grace followed the wolf out the door.

Jim looked at the panther and laughed. He then questioned the decision to take the animals with him to work. "I hope no one but me can see you guys," he said and the panther growled kind of an affirmative, and Jim guessed it would have to do. "Good."

***

The people at the station didn’t comment on the animals and Jim relaxed. He really hadn’t had an idea how to explain the animals if his colleagues had seen the animals. Hell, he didn’t even know how to explain them to himself.

At Simon’s door he paused and said quietly to the animals, "Behave." The wolf yipped happily, and the panther just stared at him. "Okay, okay. I know no one else can see you, but just don’t do anything, okay?" The panther actually looked insulted, and huffed before it turned and walked over to Jim’s desk. Jim took a deep breath and knocked.

"Come in!" Simon bellowed, and Jim winced at the loud voice and was surprised when the wolf stroked itself against him, making the sounds dim and he could think again.

"Thanks," he said to the wolf and scratched behind its ears before he opened the door and walked into the captain’s office.

"Ah Ellison, I was wondering when you would grace us with your presence," the captain said with sarcasm and puffed on his cigar.

"Um, yeah, sorry about that sir," Jim said and stood at attention in front of the captain’s desk. "I overslept," he explained.

"Hmm. Oh well, that’s all right detective. I need you on this new case. I was going to debrief you, but I have to be at the major’s office in ten minutes so, you’ll have to read the file yourself," Simon said and handed the detective the folder.

"That’s all right, sir," Jim said and took the folder. "I’ll get right on it." And with that he left the captain’s office and went to his desk.

There, the panther was lying on his desk with a satisfied look, while the wolf sat on the floor, whining. Jim just sighed and pushed the panther off his desk with a powerful shove, making the panther yowl in displeasure before it hit the floor with a thud.

Luckily it landed on its feet and gave Jim a dark look. "Hey, don’t look at me," Jim said before he sat down at his desk and started reading the folder. The panther growled at him, and the wolf before sitting down with a displeased huff. The wolf was having a blast though, and was running around in the bullpen sniffing and looking at everything.

The folder contained a missing person report and a photo of a young man with curly... What the hell? It was the young man the wolf had been for only a second this morning. What’s going on?

The report said a student over at Rainer University had filed a missing person report this morning when their teacher failed to show up and didn’t answer his cell- or home phone. The teacher never had missed his classes before, and this was the reason for the police involvement. But why had this case been given to Major Crimes? And him?

He continued to read and soon he understood the reason for their involvement, the teacher was popular and even the mayor wanted the teacher found as soon as possible. Jim could only sigh at the situation, but instead of complaining he would start at the University and work his way from there. The teacher was probably shacked up somewhere, having fun while the police searched for him.

He had to change his mind though when he saw that face again -- the familiar face -- the face of the wolf. The whole "having fun theory" didn’t sound right, and even though the reason was beyond him he still knew it wasn’t the right answer. Couldn’t his life be simple for once?

When he went to the elevator the panther and wolf were at his heels, and he smiled. "So you guys are coming with me?" he whispered when he saw Megan Connor, Henri Brown and Brian Rafe walk past him with a greeting. He waved back, but before the doors closed he could hear Rafe say, "What’s up with Ellison, I haven’t seen him smile this much in years--" The doors shut off the rest of the sentence, because his senses were down to normal thanks to a wet nose against his hand.

"Thanks buddy." He ruffled the wolf’s head, and smiled at the panther. He couldn’t understand why the animals were able to keep his senses under control, but he was grateful and didn’t want to question the fact they could keep his senses under control.

***

The interviews at the University went smoothly, and he soon had a home address and all the information he needed to start with. The students couldn’t tell him much about the professor, but the detective nodded and thanked them for calling it in.

The long corridor outside the teacher’s office made him debate if he should check it out or not, but the choice was taken from him when the wolf pushed him toward the teachers door, and whined for him to open it. "Why don’t you just walk through the door like you did at my place," Jim said in annoyance, but the wolf just kept on pushing. "Okay, okay. I’m going."

The detective opened the door with the key the chancellor had given him, and when the door opened he caught scent of something that made his legs wobble. He quickly closed the door behind him, trying his best not to fall to the floor.

"Why am I reacting like this?" he asked no one in particular, but the panther smiled a toothy smile and sat down in front of the desk while the wolf was pushing at the detective to move. "All right, all right, keep your pants on," he said with a huff, pushing away from the door.

Who said anything about keeping them on? Jim heard someone say with a laugh behind his back, and he spun around to see who it was, but there was no one in the office or close by. Another weird thing to add to his long list, Jim thought and sat down in the chair behind the desk, his legs giving out on him.

The scent was still there, and he took a deep breath, losing himself in the fragrance of the man. I could sit here and scent this man all day if I had to, it’s so comforting. The panther purred, and Jim looked over at it, he could see it scenting the air too.

"What is this scent?" Jim asked, but the panther just purred and closed its eyes. The wolf had other ideas though, whining and looking for something on the desk. When the wolf found it he yipped and held a note between his teeth. Jim took it and read:

Bookstore
"Sentinels of Paraguay"
$95

Jim didn’t get it, but apparently the wolf wanted him to know this so he dutifully read the note. "So now what? What’s a Sentinel? And... Anything else you want to tell me?" When the animals looked at him he sighed and stood. "Lets get out of here, we’ll check his home address first."

***

Sandburg’s place was like nothing he’d ever seen anyone live in before -- a run down warehouse. He couldn’t believe this to be a home, to anyone. He knocked on the door, no answer and he checked with his hearing, but there was no one inside.

The rest of the day was spent in this fashion, checking out places where the teacher was likely to hang out, but no one had seen the man. All this was starting to get on the detective's nerves, and the wolf kept close to him the whole time licking his hand and keeping his senses under control.

My own personal bodyguard, Jim mused and went back to the car for the nth time. The teacher had vanished from the face of the earth, and it was giving Jim a major headache. The last thing he could do before giving up for now was to try and call the teacher. Blair Sandburg, he corrected himself and called.

No one answered, and when the voicemail said, -- "This is Blair Sandburg’s phone. He can’t pick me up right now, but if you leave a message I'll tell him you called, and he'll get back to you." -- Jim dropped the phone and stared at it in shock. It was the same voice as yesterday, the voice that had sounded distressed and scared, and Jim wanted to scream in rage.

The animals understood, and the wolf whined softly and put its head in his lap. He scratched behind its ears, and when he’d calmed down enough to drive he went straight to the place where he’d lost the voice the previous night.

Jim was in control once again, and he let his hearing and nose scan the area for something that could lead him to the professor... but nothing came to him, and he growled in frustration.

Then the panther started growling all of a sudden, and its fur stood on end. It was staring at something, and Jim went over to the panther and saw it. It was a backpack, which had this lovely scent all over it, the scent he now connected to Sandburg. But why hadn’t he smelled it? The answer came to him when he got nearer, and he had to clamp his hand over his mouth not to gag. The backpack was lying just beside a garbage container, and the smell from the container kept him from scenting the backpack, the stench was horrible. Lucky for him the panther had seen it. He lifted the backpack from the ground, and hurried away from the container and the small alley.

Okay, if the backpack had been there since yesterday, which meant Blair had been here yesterday, he had probably missed Blair by a couple of minutes. He hissed in anger, and the panther growled in agreement. It wasn't until the wolf’s nose poked him he could focus through his anger.

"Okay, what now?" he said out loud, and got into the car with the animals at his heels. "His backpack's here, but where the hell is this Sandburg?" The panther roared, and the wolf whined softly.

There was something about this Sandburg kid that sang to his senses, and now when he had the backpack with the lovely scent near he could feel his senses reach out and try to locate him. This almost made him jump out of his skin when he got a call. There was a hostage situation just outside town, and all available units should get there as soon as possible. Jim held his breath, could it be Sandburg?

***

He arrived at the same time Simon Banks did, and they joined up at the SWAT team's car.

"Good, you’re here Jim," the captain said, and Jim waited for him to continue. "It seems like our missing teacher is in there, with his captors. Somehow he managed to call the police without the captors noticing, but unfortunately," the captain scowled, "the uniformed officers blew our advantage by arriving with their sirens on and now we got a hostage situation."

Jim listened to the captain, and tried to assess the situation. "That’s a rookie mistake," he spat.

"Hrumph, yes!" Banks said and looked at the officers in question, "I think traffic duty for a while will have them follow procedure in the future." The last he said with a grin, and Jim nodded. The detective had all his senses focused on the building, and with the wolf’s help he managed to pinpoint exactly where the teacher was.

"He’s at the back..." Jim said quietly to the captain, and Banks nodded and went to give orders to the SWAT team.

Jim stood and listened to the teacher’s unsteady voice as he tried to talk his captors into letting him go, but they laughed at him and hit him across the face several times. At this point Jim was growling low in his chest, as was the panther, and only the calming presence of the wolf kept Jim focused on the voice -- and what was happening outside the warehouse.

***

After a couple of tiring hours of negotiating and talking the captors had had enough, and was now threatening to kill themselves and their hostage. Jim heard someone cock the hammer of a gun, and he shouted into his earpiece -- all units move in. Before anyone knew what was happening Jim had kicked the back door in, and had taken out two of the three captors.

The last one had had time to react and stood behind the scared teacher with a gun pointing at Blair’s head.

"Drop your weapon, detective," the man said in a deadly voice and Jim did as told. Then they heard the SWAT team move in, and the man yelled, "One step closer and I’ll blow his brains out!!"

Everyone stopped.

Jim kept breathing slowly, his gaze never leaving the scared man’s. He had his senses under control thanks to the warm and comforting presence of the wolf standing close to him, but the panther on the other hand went over to the teacher, and sat down beside the man.

Blair Sandburg could only look at him, but when the panther sat down beside him he gasped in horror, but didn’t move. Jim smiled reassuringly, and said in a low and calm voice, "You can see them too, can’t you?" and when Blair nodded Jim continued, "Just stay calm and everything will be fine." Blair nodded, and Jim relaxed his muscles.

"Shut up!!" the captor shouted at Jim, "No talking or I’ll kill him!"

Jim nodded. "All right, take it easy," Jim said calmly, and the captor glared at him. "I’m just going to back away, keeping my hands where you can see them all the time, okay?" The captor nodded, and the detective held up his hands and took a couple of steps back. "I just want to know what you want, okay? Tell me what you want."

The captor looked at the detective for a long while before answering, "I want the SWAT team out of here, and no one in the vicinity when I come out. I also want a car and a free passage or I’ll kill this teacher."

Jim nodded, and gave the instructions through his headset. "It’s taken care of. See they’re leaving." Jim pointed over his shoulder at the SWAT team, and the other detectives leaving. Everyone except Jim and Captain Banks.

"What’s he doing here!?" the captor shouted and pointed the gun at the captain. "No one in the vicinity I said!" Jim nodded, but they didn’t move an inch. "What are you trying to do detective, do you want me to kill this man?"

Jim shook his head, and continued to look at the teacher. "No I don’t want you to kill him, but I’m not stupid enough to be in here without backup, and nothing you say or do is going to change that. Now why don’t you just calm down, and lower the gun. No one is going to move."

The captor looked at the police officers before he burst out laughing. "I can’t believe you!" he said and pointed the gun at the detective's chest. "Nothing is between you and one of my bullets and you act like you have this situation under control, like this is just some walk in the park."

But Jim wasn’t listening, he was focusing all his senses on Blair, and Blair only had eyes for Jim. It was as if they’d left this awful place, and were all alone somewhere else. Only they existed, and Jim’s senses were so full of Sandburg he could taste the other man with his hearing and hear him with his sight. The light around them were turning blue, and Jim could hear sounds of the jungle.

Blair was in no better shape, drowning in Jim's eyes. It was if Jim could see straight through him, all the way down to his soul. He had never experienced something like this before, and the panther and wolf just made him even more certain -- this was his destiny. This was where he was supposed to be, where he belonged. The blue jungle coming closer and closer to him all the time, the sounds and smells enveloping them both.

They snapped out of their little world when the captor shouted something, and pulled the trigger. The bullet left the gun, and before either of them could react the bullet tore into Jim's chest, and he fell to the ground with a thud. Blair screamed so loud, and with so much pain, the blood in everyone’s veins turned to ice.

Banks had fired at the same time as the captor, and the man fell dead to the ground behind Blair, but Blair hadn’t noticed. He just wanted to get to Jim, and when he was freed from the captor he jumped up and rushed over to him, but strong arms held him at away.

"No! No! NO! Let go of me, he needs my help! Let. Me. Go." But the arms wouldn’t let him go, and he screamed out in rage. "You don’t understand, he’s in pain. He needs me!!" And when Blair saw the paramedics take Jim away, he started kicking and screaming. "Let me go! Let me go!"

***

Jim woke up in a hospital room, moaning in agony, and tried to raise his hands to block out all sounds. He couldn’t move his hand though, and when he opened his eyes to see why, the pain of the bright light made him blind.

The animals were nowhere near, but he needed their calming presence right now, yet no matter how hard he wished for them to appear they didn’t. Jim tried to keep his angry and hurt cries from coming out, but he didn’t quite make it. Within minutes a doctor and a nurse were holding him down, giving him something to calm him, and he lost consciousness.

***

The next time he woke he didn’t open his eyes instead he scanned his immediate surroundings with his hearing, but nothing came to him. He couldn’t hear anything. His senses were numb, and it felt like he was floating around in water, blocking his senses.

He cried out in fear and tried to get some reaction from his senses, but nothing happened. He didn’t even hear his own scream, if he had managed to scream at all. It was hard to tell. He couldn’t feel his throat.

After a while he tried to open his eyes, it worked but he couldn’t see anything. It was pitch black all around him, and he tried to breath calmly, but his heartbeat was way off the chart and he could feel himself panic.

His heartbeat started to thump in his chest, his breathing became shallow and fast, he started to shiver all over and no matter what he did he couldn’t calm down. Not even when someone’s hands were trying to sooth him. He tried to talk, but his throat was so tight it was a miracle air made it through.

Then he felt it.

The warm presence of the wolf, and the strong presence of the panther, making his body relax. He started to cry quietly, small choked sobs making its way from his chest.

The wolf was licking his face, the panther was licking his chest, and Jim tried to smile. He could feel, more than hear, the wolf’s unhappy whining and the panther’s quiet growling. He wanted to pet the wolf, stroking its soft fur, but his arm was held fast by something and he couldn’t move them one inch.

"Let me..." he croaked, but couldn’t finish the sentence. He tried to hear, see, feel anything, but still nothing, just the presence of the animals. After a while he lost consciousness, only this time he wasn’t afraid.

***

Blair sat at the detective’s side and tried to breath calmly, but no matter what he did his heart kept on beating to fast. The quiet crying the detective had done when he’d felt the animals’ presence made Blair’s insides ache. To be so relieved even crying didn’t come easy must hurt a lot. Blair had tried to calm the detective when he had noticed the distressed signs, but nothing had worked. It wasn’t until he wished the animals to the detective’s side that the detective had calmed down enough not to hurt himself.

Blair wondered why he was even here, when it seemed the animals had the situation under control. But when he thought this the panther growled at him, and hissed angrily. Blair backed away, holding his hands up in a defensive position, "Oh-kay, man. I won’t leave."

The panther growled some more, but when Blair didn’t move it jumped off the bed and started to head butt Blair in the direction of the detective.

"What, you want me to be near?" When the panther purred, Blair smiled. "Okay, I can do that."

Blair sat down by the hospital bed, and took the detective's hand in his. The restraints held the detective’s hands down, but he loosened them and started to bring the circulation back to the cold hands.

"Shh, I just want to help you..." Blair said in a quiet voice, when he noticed the detective had regained consciousness. "I’m just trying to get the circulation back into your hands."

The big body under Blair’s hands relaxed, and he took a deep breath. "I’m Blair Sandburg, and I just wanted to thank you for saving my life." He continued to stroke those big hands. "I was so scared when they grabbed me off the street, and took me away to God knows where." Blair swallowed and continued, "And then you showed up like a gift from above, taking control over the whole situation. I must have had some good karma stored up from a past life or something. You were so cool and calm, and I felt safe. I’ve never felt safe like that before in my life. My muscles just relaxed, and I was in control too. Calm, collected and clear headed -- that was so wild, man."

The detective made a mewling sound in his throat, and Blair kissed his palm. "I’m all right, I’m not hurt. You saved me." The body on the bed made a restless move, and Blair smiled. "Just open your eyes and look for yourself." But the detective shook his head. "No?" Blair asked with a confused voice, and the detective shuddered.

"hurts..." Jim croaked, and Blair nodded.

"It’s okay, I have turned off the lights, and there is no one except you and me in the room. Well, if you don’t count the wolf and panther of course." He chuckled, and stroked Jim’s chin.

"okay..." the detective whispered and opened his eyes one millimeter at a time, and after what felt like a long time his eyes were completely open. He made a distressed sound in his throat, "can’t see..."

Blair continued to stoke the detective’s hand. "It’s okay..." he reassured, but didn’t know what to do, "Can you tell me..." he stopped, he didn’t really know what to say. The first thing that came to mind, when the detective complained about the lights and hurting all over, was that Jim was his holy grail, a Sentinel. But what were the odds of that? Blair knew this man was his other half, his soul mate.

The detective on the other hand seemed to know what Blair had asked, and cleared his throat, "senses all over the place..."

Blair smacked his forehead, and laid some ice chips on the detective's tongue, "There you go. And all right... Your senses are all -- what?" he stared at the detective in shock. A Sentinel! A real Sentinel! Unbelievable. I was right.

"my senses, they’re all over the place. but calmer now when the animals are near..." The detective's voice was weak, but calmer than before. Blair winced at those words, but quickly took a deep breath and tried to smile.

"I’m glad you’re feeling better detective," he said with false cheer.

Jim scowled, and tried to see the younger man so close to him, "Jim. Name’s Jim."

"Okay, Jim, I’m glad you’re feeling better, I was so scared when you fell to the ground. They wouldn’t let me near." Blair choked on the words, and squeezed Jim’s hand, "They held me back, and it took two days for them to let me come over here to see you."

"What happened after I got shot?" Jim asked, and squeezed back. He could hear Blair was upset about something, but he was too tired to figure out what. All he wanted right now was to get the information on what had happened, and sleep for a year or two.

"Captain Banks shot..." Blair took a deep breath and stroked his chin against Jim’s hand. The wolf was still licking Jim, and the panther was lying on Jim’s side, warming him, making Jim feel safe and warm. "... the last man, and then the paramedics took you to the hospital."

Jim shook his head, "Not me... You. What happened to you?"

Blair smiled a genuine smile, and kissed Jim’s hand, "They took me to the station, and that was so not cool, man. I don’t really like police stations, but it was fascinating seeing all that close society jazz up close, and your captain. He’s way cool!"

Don’t like police stations huh? Jim laughed, and smiled up at the enthusiastic man, he could now see Blair as clear as a day but he chose not to say anything just now. He wanted to enjoy this moment some more, to be able to study the fascinating man in front of him. While Blair continued to talk about his stay at the police station, and the days after that, Jim only listened to the voice, soothed by the words. How could this man, with this fantastic voice, mean so much to him in such short amount of time?

He didn’t even know anything about Blair. Okay, that wasn’t true. He’d got to know a lot from his search, but that wasn’t what he meant, or was it?

The panther just growled at him and nudged him closer to Blair, and the wolf yipped happily and nudged Blair closer to Jim. Blair stopped talking when he noticed this, and Jim smiled.

"I think they want to tell us something here, Chief." Jim smiled, and saw the moment Blair noticed he could see him. "Hi there, you look tired," he continued after a while and Blair beamed at him, and Jim could feel his insides melt.

"I’m fine now. No need to worry. I was just worried about you. I had to see for myself you were all right. Lucky you, the bullet just went straight through and didn’t hit any major organs." Blair shuddered and laid his hand over Jim’s bandage. "I could have lost you before I even got to know you. You’re the yin to my yang, man."

Jim had to swallow a lump in his throat before he answered, "So, I’m the yin, huh?" Blair smiled. They looked at each other a long time and then started laughing.

"You do know we’re sounding like a bad movie or something right, Chief." Jim said with a smile.

"Absolutely, wouldn’t have it any other way, Jim. I’m not going to be embarrassed over something I know I’m not going to regret later." Blair bent closer and was just about to kiss Jim, when the wolf licked Jim’s lips instead, and Jim sputtered in disgust.

"What the hell?"

Blair looked at the wolf with a questioning look, but the wolf just looked back and continued grooming Jim’s face. The panther chose that moment to leap from the bed, and started to push Blair toward the door.

"Hey! Heeeeey! What are you doing?" Blair complained all the way to the door, but the panther wouldn’t let him go back to Jim, and now the wolf joined them and helped the panther push Blair outside.

"Blair?" Jim sounded as confused as Blair was, and they could only look at each other.

"I have no idea, Jim. I mean, come on you guys, I just want to kiss the man. -- Nice panther... Don’t bite the poor teacher, okay? Eum, you too, nice wolf. Heeeeey!" and with this they were out the door, and down the corridor, and Jim could hear them slowly leaving.

Jim stared after them, and tried to listen in as far as he could, but it soon got to be too much and he had to pull back. The animals had behaved strangely from the moment they were about to kiss each other, why? Didn’t they want him and Blair to be together? Wasn’t this what they had been working for all along? He went back to sleep with a pounding headache, and an uneasy feeling in his gut.

***

He’d been left alone during his hospital visit, and no one except Simon came by to see him. Inside he was hoping that the animals had a plan for him and Blair, but the more time he was alone the more uncertain he got, and when the time came for him to be released from the hospital he put all his hope on Blair being there -- waiting for him outside the hospital.

His heart was pounding in his chest, and his mouth was dry, only the wheelchair they insisted he sit in keeping him upright right then, that’s how nervous he was.

What would he do if Blair wasn’t there?

What if the animals had taken Blair away from him to protect Blair from him?

Couldn’t they trust him to take care of Blair, was that the reason why they all had left? If that was the reason Jim knew Blair and the animals weren’t going to be waiting for him outside the hospital.

And he was right. When they rolled him out from the hospital no one was there to wait for him, not even Simon, and Jim sighed. He shouldn’t have hoped for anything. Why should he? He’d never gotten anything he’d ever wanted in his life, and every time he was close to getting it he lost it in some way. Always walking out on him.

He refused any more help from the nurses when they asked him if they should call him a cab, and it was with a heavy heart Jim left the hospital. Alone again, like he’d always been, and the small hope that had lived in him for days slowly faded to nothing.

***

When he came home a month had gone by, and Jim was now back home and sitting on his couch, drinking a cold beer. He hadn’t heard a word from Blair since that day at the hospital, and the silence hurt him. He knew he couldn’t be trusted with Blair, but there was this heavy weight in his chest and it just wouldn’t go away.

Simon and he had tried to contact the teacher, but none of them had been able to get a hold of Blair. It was like he had disappeared from the face of the earth, again! Jim wanted to scream. The long recovery period, boosted by an infection and some rehab, had done nothing to cheer him up.

And here he was now. Alone. Watching the rain hit his windows. He hadn’t been able to sleep lately though he was bone tired.

After a while he started to relax and thought about the young man who had turned his whole world upside down. Now his senses were back to normal, no acting up or sensory spikes, but Jim’s feelings were all over the map. Jim knew he should have told Blair the truth at the hospital about the calming effect he had over Jim’s senses, and not some obfuscation about the animals. Blair had taken his heart and soul in that warehouse, and Jim was afraid he would never get them back.

He was in love with Blair. Plain and simple. No denying the facts. Straight out, no obfuscation. He -- Jim Ellison -- loved a man -- Blair Sandburg -- and wasn’t bothered about it at all. Hell, he wasn’t queer or anything, but Jim knew this love was something else. Something deeper. Something more than just him and Blair. Like destiny, not that Jim believed in that crap, but for this he could make an exception.

From moment one, when he had heard Blair in the street, their lives had blended together and now Jim couldn’t stop thinking about the man. About what would come next, and about the absence of said man of destiny. The hurt tore through his chest once again, and he gasped in pain. He just wanted Blair to be here -- close and bubbling with energy like last time... Blair’s calm and sweet voice talking to him.

Jim?

The detective shot up from the couch and looked around. It was Blair’s voice... his scent. He followed the scent toward the storage room under the loft stairs. What the hell?

Inside he could see nothing and the scent was suddenly gone. He winced in pain, and walked back to the living room. He was crazy, no other word for it. He was loosing it, right here, right now. He tossed the beer bottle toward the wall, but didn’t hear it shatter.

Don’t freak man, just calm down. You’re not crazy. Just listen.

Jim cried out, and held his hands over his ears. "Stop, please stop." He pleaded, and tried to shut out the luring voice of the man he loved. The pain of knowing this was probably some weird dream or his imagination was too much for him to take. "Please, just leave me alone..." he continued in a small voice, "I don’t understand why you left and stayed away, but I promise I won't hold that against you, just please don’t make it worse, and haunt me like this."

Jim, man, come on. Would I do something like that? the beloved voice continued, Oh, I guess you wouldn’t know, but I promise this is very real, and I’m not haunting you.

Jim opened his eyes and looked around for the source of the voice, but he couldn’t find any. It was like Blair was talking straight into his head. He cleared his throat, and tried to sound normal, but his voice came out haunted and shaky. "I hate to tell you this, Chief, but you’re scaring the hell out of me."

The voice chuckled, Yeah, I can understand that, but you got to hear me out, Jim. It’s important. When Jim didn’t say anything, Blair continued, I’m in South America, man. Can you believe it, I’m in the land of my studies. The place I’ve always wanted to visit, to explore and understand. I’m currently living with the Chopec, and man, it’s way cool. There is this man here, named Incacha and he’s a Shaman! A Shaman, Jim! I’m like way in over my head here, but he keeps telling me I’m a Shaman too, and I will meet my Sentinel soon. And do you know what the most amazing part is--

Jim interrupted with an amused voice, "Except you talking to me from somewhere in South America?"

Blair's laugh came through loud and clear, Yeah man, except that. Blair paused and Jim had to smile, "What Chief?"

You’re Enqueri!!!

Jim stared up at the night sky through his balcony windows. He couldn’t see anything because of the rain, but he looked anyway. He had no idea how he was supposed to answer Blair’s excitement, but he didn’t have to wait long for Blair to continue.

Jim, don’t you understand!? ((pause)) Stupid question... Okay, let me explain. You are a Sentinel, man. A person with hyperactive senses, or a walking crime lab with organic surveillance equipment. With me so far? Good! And these Sentinels protect their tribes or cities, depending where you live, with this sidekick, partner or whatever. And I’m this partner! I really am your yang!

Jim didn’t get it yet, but didn’t interrupt Blair's little lecture. He was actually enjoying himself. Hearing the beloved voice, so excited and full of quiet wonder and amazement. He didn’t even react to the fact he could hear Blair and speak to him even though they were hundreds of miles apart.

... And this sidekick would usually be someone from the tribe who followed the Sentinel and helped him with the senses. This is all destiny man! I’ve been dreaming about a wolf and panther since I can remember. And suddenly you’re there with them in tow, and I got to tell you -- that was so cool. I could just feel our lives merge and all this mumbo jumbo you probably don’t believe in. ((pause)) Sorry, I’m losing the topic here. Anyway, the panther and wolf would show me all these visions and one day they showed me this man, a soldier, trapped in the jungle. And it was you Jim, Enqueri, the man who got stranded in Peru for eighteen months, living with the Chopec.

Jim choked on the air, and had to cough for a long while before answering, "I didn’t remember, Chief... I just -- jeez... It’s all coming back now."

He could feel Blair’s warming presence behind him, but didn’t dare turn around if it was just his imagination. I know, it’s all right Jim. Just take some deep breaths and listen to my voice. I know what you went through, I’ve seen it all in my visions, and even though I can’t feel what you felt I understand. You were reborn in Cascade as a Sentinel, and now you have to come back. Come to me... Blair’s voice faded away and Jim wanted to shout in frustration, but stopped himself. He now had a goal, and he would follow it to the end.

He had to get to Blair -- his other half.

***

One week later he stepped off the plane in Lima, Peru. After long days of wrapping up cases or reassigning them, trying to convince his captain he had to go. Simon had finally agreed when Jim told him all about Blair and the Sentinel stuff. The captain didn’t really want to know about it, and sent him away with a scowl and a good luck pat on the shoulder.

The air was warm, and Jim enjoyed the air playing across his face. Different smells and sounds from all over. One sound though caught his attention, and like a moth to the flame he spun around and faced the owner of his heart.

"Blair..." he said with a smile and the younger man smiled back, a smile making Jim’s insides turn to mush.

"Jim..." Blair answered with a deep and happy voice before he flung himself at the detective, and kissed said detective’s face over and over. Jim could hear him mumbling between kisses: "Oh my god. So good, soooo good. I can’t believe you’re finally here, man. Love you. Love you."

Jim laughed, and pulled the clinging man closer to him so Blair had to swing his legs around Jim's waist. Throwing his arms around Jim's neck.

"I’ve missed you so much, Chief..." Jim whispered, and kissed Blair’s face, but never touching his lips, just like Blair had done to him. He started walking toward the baggage claim area with Blair still in his arms. They received some strange looks, but they didn’t notice, or care.

When they reached the baggage Jim carefully put Blair down on the ground, and kissed him one last time on the nose. "Baggage Chief..." he said with an amused smile.

"Yeah, yeah, right. Baggage. Collect and then leave," Blair said with a dazzled look, and kept gazing at Jim with a goofy smile. Jim noticed Blair's hair had gotten longer, and the young man had developed a nice tan and some sleek muscles. A shudder of arousal went through him, and he had to concentrate on his baggage to not grab Blair and bend him over the nearest flat surface. Blair noticed of course, and when they left he kept on rubbing up against Jim whenever he got a chance.

***

They arrived at the Chopec village late the next day, and they were both greeted like long lost friends returning from wherever. The most touching moment, according to Blair, had to have been the meeting between Jim and Incacha.

They had hugged each other, Jim with tears in his eyes, and when they broke apart they looked at each other for a long time. Incacha had been the first to break the silence, telling Jim he knew he would be back, it was meant to be. Jim nodded, and with a goofy grin laughed so hard Blair had had to interfere and calm the Sentinel.

"You can’t screw with destiny." The detective laughed, and Blair only nodded and agreed.

Now though they were sitting in front of a blazing fire, eating a filling meal and listening to the stories told by the elders. It was cozy and warm and Jim soon found himself dosing off. Blair noticed, it was his job after all, and excused them from the circle of men and women. The Chopec smiled and waved them off toward their own little hut, given to them by Incacha.

***

That night Jim found himself dreaming about panthers and wolves, and a big temple with writing so old Jim had to gasp in awe. Amazingly enough he could read the writing, but when he tried to understand the carvings the meaning slipped through his fingers.

Touching the old walls, wanting to feel the carvings with his sensitive finger tips, but it was like they changed forms under his fingers, never staying the same, but at the same time familiar.

It felt like home. Like he belonged in the temple with the wolf and panther... and the most important of them all of course, his Guide. Blair’s presence the most important and strange in the room. It was as if he knew exactly who Blair was, but at the same time he could see Blair’s face ever changing. From an old man to a young kid, from a warrior to a shaman and many other forms and faces.

Like Blair was all -- and nothing.

***

The next morning Incacha told them to prepare for a journey and Blair jumped around, talking, packing and beaming. Jim had to smile at the sight, and when he looked around he could see many of the Chopec also watching the enthusiastic man. Some were shaking their head in amusement while others were looking at him with lust. Jim growled, and it caught Blair’s attention.

"Hey man, take it easy. Don’t growl at the people providing you with food, water and a shelter, that’s not polite," Blair said with worry, but Jim just kept on glaring at the women -- and men -- who wanted to eat his -- yeah, his -- Blair alive. Jim put a protective arm around Blair’s shoulders, and told them with a look Blair was taken. Blair soon got the idea what Jim was doing and laughed.

"Oh man, are you protecting my honor here, I’m like so touched."

"Fuck you, Chief," Jim said without heat, and Blair laughed harder.

After a while Blair calmed down. "It’s okay, they haven’t really done anything while I was here. I never really noticed their attention actually," Jim had to raise a eyebrow, but Blair just shook his head, "No, seriously man. I was so caught up in my Shaman studies, and my longing for you, I didn’t notice." Jim smiled a 'cat got the canary' smile, and together with Incacha they headed out into the jungle.

They were both dressed in the traditional Chopec loincloths and decorations. The only western clothes they wore were their boots, not up for a long hike barefoot yet. A nice breeze blowing past their private places, and Incacha smiled at them, wiggling his toes. Jim and Blair first looked at Incacha like he’d lost his mind, but they couldn’t keep it up for long, and they all started laughing.

***

The journey ended in a clearing, like the one in Jim’s dream, and they all stood still to admire the temple. It was Blair who finally broke the silence.

"It’s so cool! The Temple of Sentinels! I could faint." Jim had to agree, the sight was breathtaking and fainting could be possible. Incacha pointed at the stairs, and they started upward.

The heavy stone blocking the entrance moved quite easy when Jim pushed, and they were soon inside. The carving and writings were all over the walls, and Jim had to admire them up close with his Sentinel senses. It was quite a handiwork, and he was more than impressed. It was just like in his dream, and when he touched the wall the markings danced under his fingertips.

Blair on the other hand was way beyond impressed; he was hyper with his mouth running non-stop about the culture and tales/myths/legends about this temple.

They hadn’t noticed Incacha disappearing for a couple of minutes, but when he came back Jim couldn’t help but notice the strong smell of herbs coming from a bowl Incacha held in his hands.

"Drink." Was the only thing he said, and Jim took the bowl. When Blair nodded it was okay, Jim drank some of the strong smelling liquid. He choked when the sharp taste invaded his mouth and senses, but a calming hand from Blair took care of the sensory overload. When his senses were under control Blair took the bowl and drank some of the liquid too. Giving the bowl back to Incacha.

"Lay down." Incacha pointed toward the stone baths in the middle of the chamber. Not wanting to argue, what was the point of arguing anyway, they lay down in the surprisingly warm water and closed their eyes.

When they opened their eyes to look for Incacha, and ask him what would come next, they found themselves in a blue tinted jungle, naked.

Jim looked around in surprise. "I dreamt about this place, just last night."

"Yeah, same here."

Jim looked at Blair, and raised his eyebrow in surprise. "You did?"

Blair nodded and looked around. "I wonder what we’re doing here?"

Jim shrugged, and looked around too. "We’ll soon find out." And when he said this the wolf and panther headed toward them. "Hi guys!" Jim greeted them, and the wolf took some long strides, jumped the detective so they fell to the ground. The wolf started licking him all over his face, while Jim tried to push the animal away.

"Hey stop, aaaaw maaan..." Jim heard Blair say, and looked up to see Blair being groomed by the big panther, happily purring and licking Blair all over. Jim smiled, and stopped trying to push the wolf away.

"I missed you too..." Jim said softly to the wolf, and the wolf yipped happily and buried its face between Jim’s legs. "Eum, buddy, what are you doing?" he asked the wolf when it became apparent it was trying to bury his head under his genitals. "You want to tell me something here?" Jim continued, and turned around when he heard Blair’s yelp of surprise.

The panther had lain down on to of the smaller man and was now happily licking at Blair’s genitals. "Oh man... Oh maaaaaaan... yessss..." Blair hissed, and lay back on the ground with his eyes closed.

Jim didn’t like the idea of the panther doing that to his Blair so he quickly got up, and pushed the panther away from Blair. The panther protested, but Jim just glared at it and bent down to lick Blair’s genitals himself.

Blair had watched the fight, but had to throw his head back and howl when Jim took his dick into his mouth. "Don’t stop, don’t stop... ahh... just like that... beautiful..." Blair groaned, and stroked Jim’s head.

Jim hummed happily, and jumped when the wolf’s tongue licked at his opening. He didn’t care so he just spread his legs wider, and continued to suck Blair's cock while the wolf was fucking his ass with its tongue. The panther happily licking at Blair's nipples.

When they both were close the wolf stopped, and nudged Jim to let go of Blair, while the panther sat back on its haunches. Jim groaned in displeasure, and looked at the animals. "Are you going to run our lives or what? Just let me--" But he was interrupted by an angry hiss from the panther, and they glared at each other a long time. It wasn’t until Blair stroked his sides he relaxed, and focused his whole being on the man before him on the ground.

"Jim, I’m so close. Do something, make me come," Blair whispered, and Jim knew what to do. He knelt over the smaller man’s hips, took Blair’s dick in hand, and guided it to his opening. When the dick breached his inner ring he relaxed, and sank all the way down on Blair’s long, thick cock. It felt so good, and Jim howled in ecstasy when Blair’s cock nudged something inside him.

It felt like Blair was ripping him apart, and setting them both on fire. Blair pumped his hips while Jim slowly sank up and down. They continued like this for a long while and Jim could hear every sound, smell every scent, feel every movement, see every tiny thing and taste the very air. He was so wrapped up in the jungle and Blair he hardly noticed the wolf scratch his shoulder, leaving a mark. Blair was in a similar state of mind and didn’t notice when the panther bit him on the shoulder, leaving a mark too.

They moved in synch for a long while, not rushing anything, just feeling and moving together. When the air tasted like Blair and his senses was spinning out of control he could feel his climax coming, but it was Blair who made him lose control completely.

With three words he touched Jim’s heart so deeply he cried out in joy, "Blair!" And came all over Blair’s chest. He could feel Blair come at the same time with a shouted, "Jim!"

They both fell in a heap on the jungle floor and breathed deeply for long moments. It was Jim who broke this comforting silence with his own three words earning him a radiant smile in return. Then they fell asleep in each other’s arms kissing and cuddling close.

***

They woke simultaneously, gasping and sitting up in the big stone baths. They looked at each other and smiled. Yes, they both had experienced the same vision. They could both feel it, it was singing in their veins, and if they listened they could both hear their hearts beat as one.

Incacha spoke, "Sentinel and Shaman are now one."

The End

Back to Stories.

Acknowledgements: I want to thank Patt for inviting me to join, and supporting me all the way. You're the best! I also want to thank Kelly, Chris and Francis for the beta work, and support. Thank you guys! And last but not least I want to thank The Sentinel fandom and what you give to me on a daily basis, you guys make my day brighter when I'm feeling low and stressed. Much love, Thanks!