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The Faithful Few

by Juliet Benson

Rating: PG
Category: Episode Related: TSbBS
Summary: Post TSbBS. Blair gets a package
Disclaimer: If they were mine, no one would like what I'd do with them.
Spoilers: TSbBS

Sandburg was sitting near Jim’s desk, bent over a stack of papers. Jim and Simon were standing a short distance away, talking. Everyone was minding their own business, more than happy to get back to work and forget the whole deal that had erupted just a week and a half ago.

“Blair?” something in Rhonda’s voice made him look up, and sent a sliver of trepidation snaking through him.

“Yeah?” he asked. She looked… worried, and a bit sympathetic.

“This came for you,” she said quietly, setting a brown package in front of him. He noticed belatedly that Simon and Jim had halted their conversation, and were watching him. With an embarrassed start, he realized that Brown, Rafe and Megan had also paused in their work and were waiting. He gave a small, self-conscious smile and glanced down at the package. There was a small hitch in his breath, and his face lost its color when he saw the cover. Jim strode over.

“What is it, Chief?” he asked cautiously. Blair cleared his throat. Several times.

“Someone’s sick idea of a joke,” he said, striving to keep his voice light. Simon and the rest now crowded around. Blair was about to tell them they could go back to work, but realized it was futile. They’d just spend the rest of the time eavesdropping and speculating what the package could say.

On the front, it was addressed to: “Professor Blair Sandburg, Ph.D. c/o Major Crimes.” And that was it, no address or anything.

“How’d this get here, Rhonda?” Simon growled. She shrugged somewhat helplessly.

“I don’t know, it just appeared with the rest of the mail.” Blair’s eyes were still glued to the cover.

“Is it a bomb or something, Jim?” he asked quietly. Jim listened, then shook his head.

“No, I can’t tell what it is,” he replied in frustration.

“One way to find out,” Blair grinned weakly and tentatively opened it. It was a video. A blank video with nothing written on it. It had been packaged in a bubble wrap to disguise the shape.

“You can watch it in my office, Blair,” Simon said softly. Blair nodded.

“Thanks, captain. You guys can watch, too.” In a moment, they were all stiffly seated, waiting as Blair pushed the video into the VCR. A nervous ball coiled in his stomach, and he was almost sick with anticipation. He stepped back, next to Jim, crossed his arms, and waited.

The screen was blank for a second, before the words: “To Professor Sandburg” appeared in white against the black background. The door to the anthropology room come into view next, and piano music filtered in, along with Elton John’s voice, singing “Candle in the Wind.” The screen changed to show Blair standing in front of his class, teaching. A colorful picture had been expertly drawn on the chalkboard behind him, and he was animatedly using his hands and talking. Another picture replaced that one, showing him talking with one of the teachers, Emily Watson. Several shots of him walking through the school, into his office, down Hargrove Hall.

The chorus: “And it seems to me you lived your life/Like a candle in the wind/Never knowing who to cling to/When the rain set in” came on, showing a few brief shots of him talking with Jim, or Simon, before changing to more of him with the other teachers. Another verse appeared, showing him outside, next to a perplexed student. He had a book open and was explaining something. A light dawned in the kid’s eyes and he beamed, indicating that whatever Blair had been clarifying had penetrated.

Then the lyrics said something about dying, and the fountain from school appeared. Blair gasped before he was able to stop it. Next came scenes where he was walking into school, resolutely staring ahead or at the ground, news reporters flocking him. The chorus came on again, shocking Blair with a picture of him walking next to the fountain. The weather was bleak, so he hand his hands bunched in his pockets and his shoulders hunched to ward off the cold wind. The film changed to show more shots of him with students, and him in the library, pouring through books. The final shot, when Elton John sang: “Your candle burned out long before/Your legend ever did” stayed on Blair’s face, as he smiled up at the camera. He was seated outside on the green grass, glasses perched on his nose and a gentle breeze shifting his hair. The movie faded to black again. At the bottom of the screen a candle sat, flickering in a gentle wind. Words in white appeared: “Goodbye Professor Sandburg.” “We’ll miss you.” faded in next. The screen went black.

The room was dead silent. Blair got up and left, without a word. ‘Who would do that?’ he wondered as he walked. He had gone outside and was walking aimlessly around, in shock. Blair had thought all of his students hated him now. ‘Where the hell did they get all those shots?’ He certainly couldn’t remember being filmed. But when he thought about it, he realized that his clothes hadn’t changed that much, so they had probably took mass amounts in only a few days and pasted them together. It was very well and very professionally done.

“Chief?” Blair looked up to find Jim next to him. “Here.” Jim shrugged out of his leather jacket and draped it on Blair’s shoulders.

“Thanks,” Blair said, snuggling into the still-warm interior. They walked awhile in silence, finally stopping and sitting at a bench.

“Do you think you can find out who did it?” Sandburg asked eventually.

“Maybe,” Jim replied carefully. “Why?”

“I want to send them a thank-you note.” Blair looked out over the city. “I’ll treasure that video forever.” Jim was silent for a long moment.

“Are you going to do it?” he finally asked, referring to the offer to be a cop. It was the smaller man’s turn to be quiet.

“I don’t know,” he replied. He turned sideways so he could look into Jim’s eyes. They were back in sync, somehow. They hadn’t really discussed things, besides that scene in the hospital, but Blair had learned a long time ago that a moment of anger- righteous or not- was not worth a weeks and months of the pain of separation. So therefore he let go all of the pain and anger he had felt during this whole fiasco and was ready to try again. Besides, the whole mess stemmed from his mistakes. Jim was no more guilty than he, just in a different way.

“There’s something I feel that Naomi can’t understand, Jim,” he began. “I’m not sure I understand it, myself. I want to stay here, in Cascade, forever. I’ve never experienced anything, any feeling like that. I’m not sure if it has something to do with this Sentinel thing, or what, but for once in my life, I’m content. Mom doesn’t get why I don’t just pack up and move on, but if I did,” he frowned. “I wouldn’t feel happy anywhere else.” Jim looked thoughtful.

“If I moved, would you follow me?” he asked curiously. Blair chuckled.

“You won’t move, Jim, this is your city.”

“From the way you’re talking, I’d say it’s your city, too.” That made Blair grin.

“I guess it is. To answer your question; yeah, I’d follow you.” Jim nodded slowly, then reached out and gripped the shoulder closest to him.

“I’d follow you, too, Chief.”

The End

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