The Sentinel


Disclaimer: Without prejudice, the characters of "The Sentinel" belong to Pet Fly Productions, etc. and are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: Appropriate for all ages
Warnings: None
Note: Dues for the Sentinel Angst list for May-July 2005


The high-pitched giggle drew his attention to the small form romping through the field of wildflowers. The laughter rising on the breeze tickled his ear as a smile appeared on his face and joy rose in his soul at the display of youthful exuberance. It was very rare for his eight-year-old boy to act the child he truly was. This memory was one, Blair knew he would cherish always.

Marking his place and closing the book, he set the tome aside and rose to his feet. A soft chuckle escaped him as he watched Jamie chase after a butterfly, leaving an erratic trail in the field. When his son began to stray, he called out, “James Ellison!” That was all he needed as the child’s head swiveled around and the wide, innocent eyes met his own.

The small form running back toward him brought with it a wave of paternal love that nearly overwhelmed the anthropologist. His boy looked more like his mother than him. It was just a shame that she hadn’t lived through childbirth to see the miracle they had created. Blair had felt the best way to honor her was to let Jamie carry her last name.

The small form stopped as he plowed into Blair, ending with a big hug and receiving one in return. “Yeah, Dad?” the breathless little boy asked as he pulled back slightly so he could see his father’s face.

Sandburg swallowed, even after so many years, the thrill of being called ‘Dad’ hadn’t diminished. “I know you were having fun, but it’s time to get dinner and go home.”

“Can we go to Wonderberger?” Jamie asked, excitement dancing in his eyes.

“No, Jamie,” Blair replied, his voice brooking no argument. “No Wonderberger.” As they gathered their things and headed off toward the car, Blair felt a sharp pain in his head and closed his eyes, releasing a soft groan.

“That’s it, Chief. Time to return to reality,” the familiar, soothing voice coaxed. “Open those eyes,” it continued, notes of worry and concern tempering the gentleness of the tone.

Blair’s face twisted in pain as his eyes opened just a slit. Blinking several times, the blurry form above him finally came into focus. “J… Jim?” he asked, groaning softly and raising a hand to his head.

Ellison intercepted the hand and gently moved it down by his friend’s side. “Why don’t you just lie still and let the paramedics take a look.” This time relief was evident in the sentinel’s voice.

“’K,” Blair agreed groggily. “What… What happened?”

A soft chuckle escaped the sentinel. “We were arguing about where to eat when we came across a robbery in progress. You managed to run your head into a light pole in the process, though.”

“Did we stop them?” the injured man asked, trying to keep his eyes open.

“We did,” Jim assured.

“Good,” Blair decided. He was about to close his eyes when he noticed the puzzled look on his friend’s face. “What?” he asked, wanting nothing more than to slip back into unconsciousness.

Wondering if he should even ask, Jim finally decided he had little to lose. “Who, exactly, is Jamie?” he asked, thinking of the words Blair had spoken as he was waking.

Confusion reigned for a few minutes until the dream he’d been having came back. A sly smile appeared on Sandberg’s face as he reached out and patted Ellison’s hand. “No Wonderberger, Jamie,” he instructed, chuckling at the expression on the older man’s face.

Just then the paramedics arrived and push Jim aside. The detective made a mental note to talk to his guide later. He hadn’t been called Jamie since he was eight.


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