Blair expelled a long breath of air as he watched Jim storm down the beach.
sank down to the cold sand, staring at the waves as they rolled in, skittered
up the damp sand, then slid away. He should be scared of the water. He had every
right to be scared. But he wasnt; he felt curiously calmed by the sound
of the ocean. He curled his legs under him and closed his eyes, starting to breath
slow and deep. He searched for his mind for an appropriate mantra, but only came
up with words to a lullaby Naomi used to sing to him:
sleep, say your prayers
Rest your head upon my shoulder
Slumber deep and
breathe your cares away.
If I die before I wake,
May I look upon the angels,
Standing by, come to take me home.
Dont you cry, my darling,
You and I, together make a home.*
He mouthed the
words, breathing the clean, salty air in through his nose.
noise just behind him startled him. His heart leapt and sped instantly.
Alex, shes come back to kill me again. Shes going to kill me and then
ran through an endless loop in his mind as he jerked around
and frantically backed away, wild-eyed.
"Its me, Chief,"
came Jims subdued voice.
"J-jim," Blair stuttered,
placing one sand-coated hand on his chest.
"Oh, man, you
almost gave me a heart attack."
"Thats not funny,
Sandburg," Jim snapped, still standing, hands in his pockets. Blair frowned.
"I, um, didnt mean it to be," he replied slowly, his heart still
pounding, but slowing down. Jims gaze travelled away from him, and out to
"Do you want to talk now?" At first, he
thought Jim hadnt heard him.
"No," he finally
replied, softly. "Lets head back, Chief, Simon and Megan will be up
pretty soon." Blair stood up, brushed the sand off of him, and followed Jim
up the beach. They were both silent on the walk back.
shivered, feeling the rain running down his face and, believe it or not, enjoying
it. After all, it wasnt like he was a stranger to the rain.
was really weird; he should be trying to get as far away as he could from water.
Instead, he was oddly drawn to it. Theres probably something in that,
he thought wearily. Maybe Im attracted to death, or something equally
morbid. Or maybe he just wanted that closeness with Jim again.
spirits had *merged*, you cant get any more complete than that. But now
were at the airport, in between flights. Their flight was delayed and it was pouring
buckets. Simon had made some disgusted remark about the weather, and, as if on
cue, all eyes riveted on him. As though they expected him to freak out. A smile
tugged at his mouth. He hadnt freaked out, but made some vague comment about
using the bathroom and wound up out here.
He needed space. After
all that time in the jungle- "*Welcome to the jungle*"- he suddenly
felt claustrophobic. Funny, first Jim, now him. He was too tired to even begin
with *that* one.
He turned and started back toward the entrance.
They were going to be worried about him, if he was gone too long. At least, he
hoped they would be. He looked down at his wet figure. Oh, man, he was going to
scare them all if he waltzed up like this. Bathroom.
Too late. Wincing, Blair turned around to face Jim, Megan and Simon, who were
rapidly approaching. As soon as they were close enough to get a good look at him
all of their faces went white. Shit.
"What happened, Sandy?"
Megan asked, placing a hand on his damp shoulder.
needed some air," replied Blair weakly.
"In this weather?"
Jim exploded. Blair flinched.
" Simon tried
to calm him down.
"What the hell were you doing?" This
time it was Blair who blanched, feeling sick to his stomach. "*What the hell
did you do?*" Apparently Jim was having the same memory, for his face went
blank as well. They just stared at each other, breathing hard for a moment. The
loudspeakers suddenly blared out their flight and Jim winced, one hand going up
to his head. Blair was at his side instantly.
okay, Jim, dial it down," he whispered, laying one hand on Jims upper
arm. What was he listening to? Blair thought while coaxing Jims
eyes open. My heartbeat? My breathing? Jim dropped his hand from his
head to rest it over Sandburgs, his eyes never leaving Blairs. After
a moment, he stepped back.
"Lets go," was all
he said. Blair nodded and fell in step next to him, both missing the look Simon
and Megan exchanged.
to be continued in Dance Before the