God of My Heart
throat* mi mi mi mi mi mi meee. Not mine. *sniffle, sob* Understudy!
Spoilers: None. But it's best if you know who Naomi is.
Author's Notes: What I say about Peter the Great and the incense
from Bombay is... false. Sorry, I just made it up. *hanging head in shame*
Additional Notes: Inspired by Miss Saigon
Blair and Jim stood in the elevator,
waiting for it to get to the third floor. Sandburg was wearing a Burger King hat
and animatedly telling Jim all the wonders of Peter the Great and how he had actually
copied a leader of some tribe in Bombay. Jim wasnt totally sure where the
hat had come from, but it made things more interesting to watch, so he let it
go. The elevator dinged and they stepped out. Jims head tilted back and
the creases around his mouth deepened slightly.
"Do you smell
that?" he interrupted Blair.
"Smell what?" Sandburg
asked, not bothering to say that if Jim had to ask if he could hear, smell, feel,
taste, see something, that he probably couldnt.
steps grew cautious as he approached their door. Blair frowned and absently pulled
off his crown, taking a few deep breaths through his nose.
leaned down near the door.
"Its-" and was cut
off by a sneeze. Blair opened the door and disappeared through before Jim could
Jim had his
handkerchief out and was holding it against his nose when he entered.
I told you Jim was allergic to sage," Blair was saying, holding on to Naomis
upper arms, an affectionate grin on his face.
isnt sage, sweetie. Its a herb from Bombay called nautrali enjob
and its very soothing. Is it a problem?" She looked at Jim in concern.
Mom, Jims kinda sensitive to most herbs, incenses and such. You better run
them by me before you try anything else." Naomi gave Jim a look that made
him squirm. It was a mixture of pity, worry and determination.
brings you here, Mom?" Blair asked, removing his coat.
was up in Alaska- here baby, Ill get that for you- and was moving down to
New Mexico. I thought Id stop by and say hi- let me have your coat, too,
Jim- is that all right?"
"Thats great, Mom,"
Blair beamed at her.
"Were having dinner with Simon
Banks tonight, Naomi. Would you care to join us?" Jim asked, somewhat hoarsely,
giving his nose a final wipe.
"If its not imposing,"
Naomi smiled, hands clasped in front of her. "How is Captain Banks?"
doing good now that Darryls getting tutored in Algebra." While Blair
and Naomi were talking, Jim moved to the windows and opened them to air the place
out. Naomi got that look on her face again, and Blair gently drew her away.
meeting him at six, is that okay?"
It gives me plenty of time to tell you all about Fairbanks." Naomi linked
her arm through Blairs and they walked slowly to his room. Jim watched them
go, an inadvertent smile crossing his normally stern features. Forty five minutes
later, he peeked his head in through the door to Blairs room. Naomi sat
cross-legged on the bed, still talking, with Blair on his chair, elbows on his
knees, nodding earnestly.
"Are you guys ready to go?"
he gently cut in. Two smiling, glowing faces turned toward him simultaneously.
man," Blair hopped up and offered a hand to Naomi.
Jim, are you allergic to heather?" Naomi asked as the trio snagged their
coats from the rack.
"Its especially the quantities
that Jim has trouble with, Mom," Blair injected smoothly. "Youll
be better off just not burning anything while youre here. Ill work
with him." He ended with a conspiratorial whisper.
second, Jim was afraid Naomi would pursue the matter, but she dropped it.
have you two been up to?" she asked instead, waiting for Jim to unlock the
"Not a terrible lot," Blair lied. "Our
last case was embezzlement. We got it wrapped up quickly, though. The lady left
a trail a mile wide!" The two Sandburgs chatted casually about that, and
Jim was spared having to say much.
"Man, Simons going
to be surprised to see you!" Blair hopped out and held the door open for
his mother. He was right; Simon had arrived before them and saved a table. There
was a moment of chaos as Simon greeted Naomi, Blair kept a close eye on how friendly
their reunion was, the waitress stumbled up with a new chair and they rearranged
the table to fit another.
"Im sorry about dropping
in like this, Captain Banks," Naomi said as soon as the waitress took their
drinks order and they were left alone.
"Its no problem
at all, Ms. Sandburg. Its nice to see you again. You look lovely."
Simon smiled warmly at her and Jim hid a grin. Blair cleared his throat loudly
and snapped open his menu, "accidentally" hitting the police captains
"Im in the mood for some Italian," he said,
cheerfully ignoring Banks glare.
"Oh, that sounds
good," Jim replied, also looking through his menu.
Captain Banks, I want the truth. What have my son and Jim been up to lately?"
call me Simon. Well, their last case was an embezzlement-" Blair shot Naomi
a "told you so" look. "but is not near as exciting as the one before
that." This time both Jim and Blair pinned a death look on Simon.
really?" she gave her son a suspicious look. "What happened?"
not much to tell really," Simon back-peddled frantically.
and murder." He confessed weakly after receiving a stern look from Naomi.
gaze swung from Banks to Blair.
"Oh really?" she repeated
calmly, but looked angry and worried.
"It was actually Blair
who caught him," Simon was still trying to redeem himself. The eyes narrowed.
*really*?" Jim made a cutting motion with his hand and Simon snapped his
"Mom, the guys in jail and theres
nothing to worry about." Blair said
happened?" Naomi asked. They stared silently at each other for a long moment
before Blair sighed.
"I was at the bank withdrawing money
to pay for repairs on the Volvo. A man came in and shot the guard and a bank teller.
He told everyone to get on the ground. One lady was apparently slower than he
liked and he shot her too."
Blair paused and took a deep
breath. "I figured the guy was suicidal from the way he was shooting. He
had his gun trained on a little girl who had the misfortune of being there with
her mother. All the workers were frantically shoving money into these beige cloth
bags he had brought. The odd thing was, the bank teller who had been shot had
collapsed so that his weight was against the alarm. So the police showed up. The
guy went berserk and shot another teller in the arm. While his back was turned,
I grabbed a picture and knocked it over his head. He lost consciousness and was
taken away. And before you say anything, this had *nothing* to do with police
work. I just happened to be in this certain bank at this certain time."
its a good thing he was, Ms. Sandburg," Simon said softly. "He
probably saved many peoples lives. He was right about that guy having a
death wish." Naomi looked pale, and dropped her eyes to the table. She inhaled
deeply and held the breath for a moment before letting it go.
picked up her menu and looked at it resolutely and nowhere else. Jim cleared his
"Wheres that waiter?" he asked lightly,
hoping to get the conversation to return to normal. Blair was about to answer
when he felt the warm barrel of a gun nudging against the back of his head.
the kitchen along with the rest of the staff," a new voice said.
closed his eyes and swallowed hard the same time Naomi gasped. Jim and Simon instantly
reached for their guns but froze when the gun shoved against Blairs head,
knocking him forward.
"Ah ah ah, gentleman," the voice
was a tenor, controlled and rich like chocolate. Not what oned expect from
a cold-blooded killer. "Guns on the floor both of you. Kick them toward me,
easy now. *Everyone*!" he bellowed, without taking his eyes from the table
and its occupants. The noise abruptly stopped and eyes riveted on the man. He
had dressed as a waiter and carried his gun lightly under the silver tray, effectively
hiding it from the bright lights.
"I want you to stand up
slowly and exit. Get in your cars and drive home. If you refuse to follow these
orders you will be shot." Gasps, murmurs and sounds of distress rose. The
man allowed it for a second, thin mouth in a tight line before bellowing out a
quick "Now!" Chairs clattered as patrons scrambled to their feet. The
man raised the gun and shot a hole in the ceiling. Screams followed. Blair flinched
visibly. The gun returned to its spot too quickly for Simon or Jim to do anything.
Naomi sat helpless and trembling, hands twisted in the tablecloth.
said slowly!" the mob instantly slowed and within minutes the restaurant
was empty. Simon glanced at Jim and saw that his jaw was moving in an all-too
familiar way. He also noticed with a shiver that his eyes were too chips of blazing
ice- there was no one else who could master a look like that- and his body was
a knot of restrained tension. Blair had fixed wide eyes on Jims and hadnt
"Now, Detective Ellison," the man spoke.
"Please get slowly to your feet and look in that bag to your left. Any tricks
and I wont hesitate to pull the trigger." Jim stood up carefully, a
burning ball of frustration in his stomach. "Now, remove the rope and securely
tie Captain Banks feet. He will then tie yours. You will proceed to tie
his arms behind his back. Ms. Sandburg will then do yours. If I find any of the
knots less than satisfactory, I will shoot Mr. Sandburg." Naomis lips
trembled, but she nodded in understanding.
"While you are
completing that task, I will entertain you with a brief history of myself. My
name is Don Avery. I was born an only child in Minnesota to a very poor family.
My father left when I was nine and I contributed to the family funds by bringing
customers to our house. Selling your mom is a drag, you know that? Anyway, after
she died when I was fifteen, I lost the house and all our property and hitchhiked
to New York. I stayed alive as well as I could. Then I robbed a bank. Interesting,
The gun rubbed gently against the back of Blairs
head. "Then Mr. Sandburg had to go and take away my- what did you call it?-
death wish and get me arrested. Undoubtedly, one of the people dining has called
the police, but by the time they get here, they will find nothing but five corpses,
and a settled debt." Blair swallowed, and glanced at Naomi. She was staring
at him, silent tears streaking down her white face. He smiled in encouragement,
but it was a bit shaky.
"May I ask a question?" he
said after a moment, relieved his voice came out strong.
away," said Avery, chuckling at his joke.
even saw my face in the bank. How did you know it was me, and then get my name?
And Jims and Simons?" Sandburg was stalling, Jim realized, hiding
a wince as the rope pinched his skin. Naomi was being very careful in following
Averys instructions, despite her badly shaking hands.
for me to get him out of this, he thought, an odd pain coming to his chest.
He had already calculated their chances and saw them very bleak.
and Simon were seated in their chairs, side by side. Blair sat across from them.
Naomi now stood at his left shoulder. All he could really do was keep watching
for a break.
"Ah, good. Mr. Sandburg?" despite his
courteous words, Averys fingers dug into the back of Blairs neck,
pulling him up roughly. "Lets check these ropes then Ill answer
your question. Stand there, Mr. Sandburg, where I can see you." He shoved
Blair to the right. The gun shifted from Blairs head to Jims. "One
wrong move, Mr. Sandburg
" Leaving the threat hanging, Avery made quick
work of testing the binds. A pleased smile twisted the gaunt face. Blair hastily
sized up his opponent: thin as a sword blade, with a casual step. Eyes that were
pale blue and oddly focused. A buzz cut shaped a too-large head, making him look
disproportionate. The hair was dark blonde and spiky, the lights bouncing off
the pale skin that stretched over his skull and peeked through the hair.
eyes met Jims and they exchanged a long, probing look. Jim could see panic
in Blairs, and hear his quick breathing and heartbeat. But he also saw trust
and hope, as though he knew what was going to happen and knew they would get out
as they had so often before. In return, Blair saw the frustration and fury Jim
was feeling, as well as reassurance. And, for some reason neither could explain,
that single look calmed them both.
When Avery stood and turned
the gun back to him, Blair felt oddly re-energized, as though just by a exchanging
a look, he and Jim had also exchanged strength.
Sandburg, I did my research. There are people I found who are quite willing to
dig up anything in return for some cash. Cash, I didnt have. Bullets, I
did. As a result, I probably know more about you and your past than your friend
Mr. Ellison here does." He smiled again. "Pity you had to be here to
see this, Ms. Sandburg." Without hesitation, he swung his arm out with force
and cracked the gun against Blairs head. Crumpling, Blair lost consciousness
before he hit the floor. Naomi cried out and was in front of Avery before even
she knew what was happening. Jim jerked against his binds, his muscles bunching
up. Simon, too, struggled, but neither could even get some slack.
touch him!" Naomi cried, clenching her hands at her sides. "He is what
I live for."
"Touching, Ms. Sandburg." Avery replied
icily. "Get back." Naomis chin tilted up.
she said evenly. "You will not touch my boy." For the first time, Avery
lost composure. He growled and pushed Naomi out of the way.
to her knees, she reached out blindly and when she stood, she had Jims gun
clasped in both hands.
"So now you have a gun. Are you going
to use it? Huh? Going to shoot me?"
Avery spread his arms and stepped forward until the gun touched his chest. "To
save your bastard son?" The smile contorted into a snarl and Avery shoved
the gun aside. "You dont know how to kill." He turned back to
"Do not test my will!" Naomi cried, her eyes
wide with fright. "I will do what I have to." Avery ignored her and
raised his own gun. Cocking it, he took aim. A shot rang out. Averys body
jerked horribly and he fell down.
The gun clattered to the floor
from Naomis numb hands. She stared at Avery for with wild eyes before shaking
her head sharply in denial. She buried her face into her hands and began screaming.
Abruptly, she stopped and looked up.
next to him, she gathered him into her arms. At that same moment, the door burst
open and the police spilled in. Shaking with sobs, Naomi rocked Blair back and
forth, stroking the hair from his face.
Jim was on his knees
next to Naomi and Blair the second he was free.
all right, Naomi, hes alive. Hes fine. Hes going to be all right
Mindlessly uttering reassurances, Jim reached out and laid his hand over Blairs
heart. The paramedics came up near them, but Simon stepped in their way and crossed
his arms over his chest. Glaring, he said to give them a moment.
all right, Naomi, you did what you had to. I would have done the same. And he
would have too." Jim whispered. "Avery was beyond help, he wanted to
die, he did everything in his power to guarantee his death. It just happened to
be you who pulled the trigger. Its going to be all right."