Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its characters are completely the property of Paramount and Pet Fly Productions. I use them out of reverence, solely for fun and not for profit.

Author's Notes: This story was written as a Gift Fic through the SentinelAngst List for Julie, our listsib who passed away.




"Oh, no!" The cry of dismay echoed through the open spaces of the loft.

Jim's head came up from the copy of Red Badge of Courage he had been buried in and he turned to see his partner stockstill at the table, laptop holding him captive. "Hey, Buddy? What's wrong?"

When there was no response, Jim jumped up and hurried to Blair's side. "What is it? What's wrong?"

Blair blinked as he felt the warmth of Jim's hand on his shoulder and looked up sadly. "Bad news, Jim. You know Julie, our list sib. I told you about her a couple of days ago?"

"Julie Goldwyn, the one in the lab accident? Who inhaled the chloroform and was in hospital on oxygen?"

Blair nodded. "Now she's been moved to ICU, Jim. She's having a tough time with this. No one expected anything like this reaction. She could be in real danger, Jim."

The Sentinel heard the undertones in his Guide's voice: the worry, the hope, the fear, the determination to help.

"So what do you want to do about it, Chief?" Jim asked, knowing somehow that his partner had already made a decision.

"Well, if being Shaman of Cascade means anything at all," Blair announced, "it's gotta mean that I have to be there for a friend when she needs me."

"Wait, isn't Julie in the Netherlands? You wanna fly to Europe?" Jim was incredulous.

Blair started to smile, and Jim didn't care how stupid the question must have sounded. The smile was worth it.

"No, Jim, I'm gonna be there for her in spirit."

"Oh," Jim said, not at all sure he wanted to know anything more, and at his expression Blair broke into a full scale laugh attack. Jim joined him in a moment, after he got over his pique.

"So just what does 'being there for her in spirit' mean, Chief?" Jim ventured at last.

Blair's eyes focussed somewhere other than the kitchen. "I know a whole lot about meditative techniques and healing rituals. I think it's time to put some of them into practice, Jim."

"What do I do?" Jim asked.

"Well, I'd suggest you get a good night's sleep," his partner grinned back at him. "This isn't gonna get noisy or messy or anything. It's just a little energy transference, if it works, from me to her."

Energy transference? Jim asked himself dubiously. It was definite now: he didn't want to go there.

Blair saw the hesitation in his Sentinel's face and smiles again. "Think of it as the power of prayer, Jim. Only I don't want you doing it till I've tried it first."

"Okay, that I can deal with. Just don't stay up all night, Junior. You need some sleep of your own."

"I'm there for her, Jim, whatever it takes," the Shaman of Cascade said firmly. "It's not like I haven't pulled all-nighters before, and I'll just be meditating. So stop worrying. I'll be fine."

"If you say so," Jim said with so little faith in his voice that Blair started to howl with laughter again as he closed down the laptop and went to his bedroom.

It didn't take much preparation. Blair's usual stock of meditative aids were all he needed. That plus a piece of clear quartz crystal he'd picked up in a new age store as an aid to focus his thoughts and had never yet tried. Normally, he would have done a little experimenting with the prop first, seeing how it compared to candle flame or other meditative foci, before trying it in a healing ritual, but Julie's condition sounded serious. He wanted to give it everything he had.

He lit a few tapers, burned a little incense, and settled in a half-lotus, the crystal in his lap. Clearing his thoughts of everything except the desire to help his ill friend overseas, Blair slipped into the trance state, the crystal growing warm in his hands.

The next thing he knew was Jim breaking the peacefulness, strong hands shaking his shoulders, a light tap on the cheek. "Hey, Chief, Chief? C'mon, buddy, come out of it!"

"Jim?" Blair found his eyes weren't working quite right. He squinted up at his best friend. "Jim? What time is it?"

"It's eight in the morning, Blair. You've been up all night, haven't you?" Jim accused him.

Blair looked around. The candles had guttered and the incense had long dissipated, though he knew that Jim must still be able to smell it.

It was certainly morning. "Eight!" Blair yelped. "Gonna be late! Jim, why didn't you..."

"Hey, hey, calm down," Jim said, taking stock of his partner's state of health. It seemed fine, though Blair looked exhausted. "I tried to rouse you earlier, but you were so far under I thought you were asleep and I left you to it. I guess you weren't sleeping, huh?"

"Gee, no, I wasn't," the Shaman admitted. "This is a personal best for me, Jim! All night long in meditation." He looked incredibly pleased with himself.

Jim hadn't the heart to be angry. "Okay, then, you've got just enough time to hit the shower and dress while I get you something to eat. Then we're out of here. We're due in a briefing at nine in Simon's office."

"'Well, okay!" And with that the Energizer Bunny bounced out of bed and raced through his routine.

"I told you to eat that!" Jim scolded as Blair tore a bite out of sourdough toast and dropped the rest of the slice on the plate again.

"No time! Check your watch," his partner muttered as he grabbed for his backpack and books.

Jim exclaimed when he saw how late it was and together the detective and the police observer flew out of the loft and to the truck to get to their meeting.

Thank heavens for elevators, Blair thought as he stood next to Jim waiting for the door to open across from Major Crimes. Today was not the day he wanted to climb the stairs. He stopped as the stray idea crossed his mind. Why had it occurred to him, he wondered.

But the doors had opened and Simon was standing just outside his office and there was no time, no time, to think about anything but police business.

"Well, thank you, gentlemen! I do appreciate a little enthusiasm for your work," Captain Simon Banks was his usual sarcastic self with this comment on the fact that it was five seconds past nine o'clock.

"Hey, Simon, sorry. It's not Jim's fault. I made him late. Blame me, not him," Blair hurried to tell Jim's superior officer as Jim dumped both partners' jackets at his desk.

Simon was about to tear a strip off the police observer when he stopped and closed his mouth on the rant he had already prepared. He leaned forward and looked carefully at Blair. "You okay, Sandburg? You look like you just ran a marathon."

"Yeah, sure, I'm okay, Simon," Blair said breathlessly. He started to chafe his hands. Why was it so cold all of a sudden?

"You breathing okay, son?" Simon asked, getting a little closer to the Guide.

"Yeah, sure, just had to hustle to get here." But Blair was actually heaving for breath to get the words out.

"Jim?" Simon called across the bullpen.

The Sentinel was back to his best friend's side in a flash. The vitals had changed. Blair wasn't breathing right, his colour was bad, he was trembling with exhaustion or cold.

"He's going down," Jim exclaimed and as Blair's legs gave way, there were two pairs of hands to take him gently down to the floor. The darkness was nice and warm, Blair thought just before it wiped away all thought.

The buzz in his ears was a little annoying. He couldn't quite hear everything they were saying. But the couch in Simon's office felt soft.

"... all night long. I couldn't... wouldn't eat more than... worried..."

"... morning off. Call later..."

"Bed. Chicken soup. More bed. That's the drill."

Oh, okay, now he was hearing everything. Blair cracked an eyelid. "Uh, hi," he said uncertainly. "I guess I crashed."

The look on his face was so mournful, so full of humiliated puppydog apology, that neither Jim nor Simon could do anything but grin helplessly at him.

"Yeah, sure, laugh at my pain. That's what friends are for," Blair grumbled, trying to sit up.

"Hey, hold it," the Sentinel took charge of the Shaman before the Shaman could do any more damage to himself. "Let us help you."

He and Simon righted Blair into a sitting position. Simon shoved a cup of coffee into his hands and Jim pushed a raspberry Danish under his nose.

"Drink that."

"Eat that."

"Jeez, it's like being Alice in Wonderland," Blair groused as he chewed and swallowed obediently. "Now do I balloon up or shrink into nothingness?"

"Now, you go home to bed and stay there for a couple of hours," Jim ordered.

Blair opened his mouth but Jim reached out a long hand and returned the chin to its previous position. "Home, bed, chicken soup and more bed."

"That's the drill," Blair capitulated.

"You can walk out of here under your own power, Sandburg?" Simon asked worriedly.


But it was Jim Simon looked to for confirmation. "Yeah, he can, Captain," it came.

"Okay, then I want to two out you out of my office so I can get some work done!"

Simon got his wish.

But in the truck, Jim started the inquisition.

"Gee, I don't know. It's not just that I was up all night..."

"Yeah, Jim, I was sending out energy and that crystal got hot..."

"No, I've never tried it this way before..."

"Okay, okay, I won't do it again..."

"No, I didn't realise my breathing went funny. That is odd..."

"I'm sorry I scared you."

That stopped the cross-examination. Jim drew a deep breath.

"Yeah, it did scare me. It always scares me, Chief, when you do something all mystical or weird."

"Meditation is hardly weird. I do it all the time and you do it too, when I can get you to do it."

"Yeah, but this seems—dangerous, Blair."

"Nah, I just didn't know my limits. I was too worried about thinking about safeguards. Shoulda put my alarm clock on to wake me up to go to bed."

Jim had to smile at that. It was so typical of the grad student who had be alerted when it was too late to go on studying.

"So that's all it was? A little too much, a little too long?"

"Yeah, I'm sure of it. I don't know about the crystal, though. I don't know if I'll use it again. If I do, I'll be more careful. I think, though, it had less to do with my finding a good focus for meditation than that I really, really wanted to help Julie heal."

"Giving of yourself in a different way?"

"Yeah. Only I didn't have to do it alone, Jim, and I didn't realise it. There are people all over the world who are praying and meditating and sending her energy, you know."


"Oh, yeah, all our friends on the list. I'm going to do it again tonight."

"Oh, no you won't!" Jim was horrified.

"Yeah, I will," Blair said calmly, and smiled gently at his angry partner. "So will you, Jim."

"What? You've lost your mind, Sandburg!"

"Jim, don't run the light!"

There was a second or two of silence while Jim Ellison decided not to crash another vehicle just yet.

"No, we're not." A plain statement of fact, or a sa-sa for a duel.

"Yeah, we are. She's your friend as much as she is mine."

"I know that! But it's not safe."

"Yes, it is. I just messed up a little. I needed someone to watch my back."

"Oh, so tonight you're gonna watch my back and I'm gonna watch yours?"

"Yeah, something like that. Just a little prayer, a little meditation, a little energy transference."

"Just like that."

"Yeah. You've got lots of energy, Jim, you can spare some of it for Julie. No one collapses and we both get to bed on time."

"You're sure it's safe?"

"Hey, Jim, I guarantee it's safe. I might take stupid risks with myself sometimes..." Blair bit the sentence short, going red at what he'd nearly blurted out.

But Jim finished the sentence for him. "But you'd never take stupid risks with me. Okay, Chief. tonight we'll both be sending energy Julie's way."

Blair turned to look at his Sentinel and saw the trust in his face for his Shaman's judgement. "Thanks, Jim."

"Any time, Buddy. Whatever it takes."

It's about friendship.

~ End ~

E-Mail Ismaro at ligela@sympatico.ca
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