Rating: PG-13, maybe R to be safe.
Pretty descriptive of a gory situation.
Category: Angst, smarm
Summary: The aftermath of a grisly case. Smarm alarm and angst abound.
Disclaimer: They aren't mine. Deal.
as one of his books fell and hit the ground with a loud thud. It just appened
to fall spine up, making the pages bend and fold under its own weight. On top
of this, it was an old and frail one, and that position couldnt be good
for it. A large hand reached down and scooped it up.
Chief, Ill get those. Blair blinked as the large stack of books he
had been balancing in his arms suddenly disappeared.
Jim, just toss em in my room. Jim nodded, but rather than tossing
as Blair suggested, he set them neatly on the floor, out of the way.
will be done in half a sec. Jim said as he walked back to the stove and
whatever he was fixing. Blair wandered next to the couch, and saw that the TV
was on, and the news was being reported. He settled himself down to watch, feeling
tired for some strange reason. He had spent the day at the library, trying to
drown himself in the wealth of information there. He had only partially succeeded.
He stared at the TV, not really seeing the news. After a while, his gaze shifted
to Jim, and a small smile worked its way to his face. The bigger man was working
on whatever culinary delight he had dreamt up with the intensity of a soldier
going to war. Blair sighed, feeling badly for the other man. He was hurting, so
there for Jim was hurting.
would always be that one thing that got them each time. They would be going along,
smooth and easy, and some pothole would disrupt them. That disturbance was usually
something connected with one of Jims cases. And this latest one had hit
Blair hard. He kept seeing that little girl every time he closed his eyes. An
abusive father had gotten angry at his daughter and smashed her head into the
wall. Blair had only caught a glimpse of the twisted body, but it was already
tattooed in his memory. The corpse of a child stood out in stark contrast to a
glaringly white background. The girls head had been crushed, her skull broken
in pieces. There had been blood on the wall. The wall had been brick, chipped
and cracking, but the blood stood out terribly. Fluid and brains had been smattered
on the floor around the indented head. The father had hung himself after he had
killed his daughter. He was in the same room, parallel to his child, so Blair
hadnt even been spared that sight; a blue, lifeless face, eyes glazed, blood
seeping from the tight rope around his neck.
done, Sandburg, Blair jerked, snapping back to reality. He shook his head
sharply and lifted himself off the sofa with extra effort. They seated themselves
and Blair silently contemplated the man across from him. Jim had been quiet and
there, a silent shadow, a gentle whisper.
He understood that Blair wasnt ready to talk yet, wasnt ready to feel
yet. After Lash it had been the same way, Blair seemingly unchanged. However,
two weeks after restful nights and packed days, the gravity of the situation had
sunk in. The cases, the corpses came and went, Blair slowly wearing down. The
reaction time quickened, the brightness in his eyes dulled after each new body.
He didnt like what was happening, and knew Jim felt equally. But they were
at an impasse, no way to go but forward, into the sea of decay and death, of mutilation
And Jim was
there, was constantly there. He was so lucky, Blair speculated, to have a friend like Ellison.
Little things; touches, his bed made, his favorite meals cooked, a Cadbury egg-
his favorite candy- mysteriously popping up on his pillow or stack of work, these
were all examples of Jims surprising thoughtfulness.
blinked at his plate, the food was somehow gone, and Jim was grinning proudly
at him. Realizing his stomach was full for the first time in days, a small smile
reciprocated on his own mouth.
that old movie you like on TNT tonight, Jim said, clearing off the table.
Zhivago? Blair asked, returning to his spot on the couch.
it should be on in a half and hour.
The smaller man focused on the paper, waiting for the time to be up and the movie
to start. After a while he felt the cushion next to him sink down. Dropping his
paper to his lap, he beheld Jim making himself comfortable, a large bowl of popcorn
clutched in his hands.
figured its about time I watched it, too, Jim explained seriously,
positioning the popcorn between them. A brilliant smile covered Blairs face
and he happily turned up the volume. A third of the way into the movie, both men
were absorbed, hands shoveling popped kernels to their mouths. Blairs hand
suddenly froze in the air. The girls
arm had been twisted, reaching in an obscure position for the door
carefully returned his handful to the bowl. The stench hung heavily in the air
His stomach twisted, and
the popcorn he had just been enjoying made him feel sick. Blood soaked the mans collar
He could feel his breathing
quicken. The girls hair had been wet,
a strand glued to her cheek
Blair gasped, staring wildly at Jim for a moment. His body began to shake and
despair clawed at his throat.
She was so yo
She didnt even have a chance! Blair
reached over blindly, felt Jims strong arms encircling him, pulling him
I know, Chief,
I know. Jims own voice sounded strangled and sad. Tears didnt
come, but Blair continued to shake, just holding on tightly to Jim.
woke up some time later, the television showing an old movie.
He stared blurrily at it, trying to place his surroundings. Jims
arm was draped over his shoulders, and he was tucked closely to the larger mans
side. He laid his head back down, cheek rubbing against the fabric of Jims
shirt, watching Katherine Hepburn talking to Tracey Spencer. His thoughts wandered.
He tilted his head back, watching Jims face; mouth half open, eyelashes
brushing his cheeks. They were both saviors for the other. Besides saving each
others lives on more than one occasion, that was. He had saved Jim from going
crazy, Jim had saved him from being a wanderer. They had both been saved from
being very lonely.
shifted, and Blair expected the arm to drop away. It stayed. Jim yawned and said:
How are you feeling, Chief?
right. Its just
Its hard, you know? he replied pensively.
itd be bad if it wasnt, Blair, Jim said matter-of-factly. Blair
tilted his head back again and looked up at the solemn face above him.
do you deal with it? he asked, needing to hear an answer. Jim sighed, as
though he had been expecting this question.
sounds terrible, but I cant let it eat away at me.
you just ignore it? Blair interrupted, wincing instantly at the accusing
tone of his voice. Jims hand came up and rubbed the back of Blairs
say that, he said softly. You cant become complacent, but you
cant let it consume you. You just have to gather yourself and take another
it? Blair felt frustrated. He had wanted a magic formula, some carefully
hidden secret that would ease this pain and these nightmares as soon as he spoke
the magic words.
human heart wasnt meant to deal with this stuff, Chief. Theres no
easy answers. You know that. Blair propelled himself to his feet. The warmth
from Jim was instantly snatched away, leaving him cold and shivering. He wrapped
his arms around himself and started pacing.
nothing I can do? he asked plaintively. Jim didnt answer, just stood
up and pulled Blair forcefully into his arms. Blair struggled instinctively for
a moment before relaxing against Jim. His arms were still hugging himself, trapped
by Jims strong embrace. His face was buried in Jims chest, and he
took in the other mans scent with each breath. He was exhausted emotionally,
and that feeling seeped into his physical state. Jim supported his weight, keeping
him upright. He moved his head so his cheek pressed against Jims shirt.
are you always the strong one? he asked sadly. Jim chuckled roughly.
not, I just react differently. Blair closed his eyes.
Do you think Ill
learn to react differently, too? Jim hesitated, then said softly: I
rather hope you dont, Chief. Sandburgs breathing was slowing
down and he mumbled: Id better get to bed.
Jim agreed. You need your sleep. But neither one moved. Peace and
a feeling of safety was ringed around them, keeping them tightly together. For
the moment, their minds were eased. For Blair, it felt like his mind could finally
take a break.
he had been pondering a difficult math problem for days and finally discovered
the answer, his mind felt light with the relief from his burden. Ironic that he
had rather been struggling to think of nothing. Exhausted, and secure for the
first time in days, he slipped into sleep.