This is my auction story for Charity, who’s a Jim Fan. <G> She wanted a story where Jim opened up, probably via Blair or kids. This is set to lyrics by Simon and Garfunkel’s "I am a Rock", which, in my opinion sums up how far they’ve come since "Switchman." The lyrics show what was; the story, what is.


I am a Rock

by Wendy Myers


A winter=s day

In a deep and dark December

I am alone

Gazing from my window

To the streets below

On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

>What a wonderful Christmas this is turning out to be,= Jim thought grimly as he gazed out of the frosted window, watching the snow fall silently outside. About this time, Sandburg would be excitedly rambling about different winter celebrations around the world while decorating the loft.


I am a rock

I am an island

At the thought of his partner and friend, the detective turned around. Blair Sandburg lay in a hospital bed, recovering from surgery. A heart monitor had been attached and a cannula tube ran underneath his nose, providing oxygen to aid his shallow breathing. A bullet meant for Jim was the reason for the police observer=s stay. >A bullet that could=ve been avoided if it hadn=t been for my stubborn pride,= the sentinel berated himself.


I build walls

A fortress steep and mighty

That none may penetrate

I have no need of friendship

Friendship causes pain

It=s laughter and it=s loving I disdain



How could things have gone so wrong? Jim just started a new case of drug smugglers in Cascade. The case itself was a difficult one. There were as many dead ends as there were dead bodies. To anyone who knew James Ellison, a case with few to no leads led to one cranky and frustrated detective.

Jim and Blair were standing on the dock that the detective's informant had led them to and discussing where the smugglers had gone. Okay, they were arguing. Blair had wanted the Sentinel to use his senses to figure out where the smugglers had gone and Jim had been in cop mode and refused.

The argument was interrupted when gunfire broke out. Jim watched in horrific slow motion as Blair collapsed and lay unmoving amongst the barrels that lined the dock. >Oh, God!' he thought as he rushed to his partner's side.


I am a rock

I am an island

The snipers forgotten for now, Jim searched Blair for injuries. Please, please be okay.' he chanted in his mind. He ran his Sentinel-enhanced fingers over Blair and found a sticky, wet spot on the young man's shoulder. "Oh god," he whispered. Blair was still unconscious. Jim gently rolled him over to his side to see if there was an exit wound and found none. The detective ran a hand over his face. The bullet was still lodged in his shoulder. He had to get the young man to the hospital, fast.

But first, he had to get away from here. Jim carefully gathered his partner in his strong arms and ran towards the woods, to where the truck was parked.

Midway through the woods, the bundle in Jim's arms stirred. The Sentinel immediately set Blair down under a tree and knelt next to him. "Hey, there, Chief," Jim said gently.

Blair blinked wearily and looked at the detective. "Hey Jim." Then he shivered and winced. "Ah, Jim. . . it hurts..."

Jim took off his jacket and put it around his shivering partner and felt his forehead, feeling the fever that was starting. "Don't worry, Sandburg," he said. "I'll get you to the hospital." He looked concernedly at his young friend. "I'm gonna have to pick you up again. You think you can make it?" At Blair's nod, Jim carefully gathered him up again in his arms and continued his way to the truck, the gunmen completely forgotten.

Not much later, Jim made it to the truck and he bundled Blair in the passenger seat. He ran around to the driver's side and hopping in, quickly started the engine and put it in gear.

The whole ride to the hospital and admittance was a blur. Jim had called Simon as a means of distraction when he heard Blair going into surgery and informed the captain of what happened. Then he went back to the waiting room to wait for the news on his friend.


Don=t talk of love

Well, I=ve heard the word before

It=s sleeping in my memory

I won=t disturb the slumber

Of feelings that have died

If I never loved, I never would have cried

Blair had come out of surgery just fine despite the loss of blood he had suffered and was now asleep in his hospital room. Jim sat in the chair next to his bed, listening to Blair's heart beat in time with the EKG monitor in the room.

The doctor had told the detective that Blair's arrival was timely, that if he had arrived later, the chances of surviving the surgery would have been extremely slim. He also informed Jim that Blair would be okay with a weeks' worth of rest. Jim just nodded and returned to his vigil by his friend's bedside.


I am a rock

I am an island

"It's never easy with you, is it, Chief?" Jim said softly, trying to lighten the mood. He held the young man's hand, concentrating on the touch and feel of his sleeping friend, the blood flowing through his veins, the slow, but steady pulse in his wrist. He placed his other hand on Blair's forehead, gently stroking the pain away and brushing away any errant curls that fell in the anthropologist's face. "You're always somehow finding ways to scare me, aren't you?"

Blair continued to sleep. After a moment, Blair sighed and turned toward him, settling back to sleep.

Jim stayed with him throughout the night, occasionally brushing away unruly curls and talking gently to the sleeping figure.


I have my books and my poetry to protect me

I am shielded in my armor

Hiding in my room

Safe within my womb

I touch no one and no one touches me

When Blair finally awoke the next day, he blinked and looked around, trying to get his fuzzy brain to register where he was. He was in a hospital bed. >How?' Last thing he remembered was the dock, being shot and a fuzzy memory of being carried through the woods. Jim carried him. >Jim.' Blair then noticed that there was a weight holding his hand down. He looked over to see why and found Jim sitting in the chair beside him, asleep, still holding his hand. The young man smiled. >Must've stayed here all night.' he thought.

Before Jim, Blair Sandburg was securely wrapped in the protected armor of academia -- the objective observer. All the books provided answers to many questions of how society worked and why. When he had found his AHoly Grail@, the grad student=s main flow of thought was DOCTORATE and those 3 little letters -- Ph.D. Possible book and movie rights. He was safe in the world of academia. No one could touch him. That was before Jim Ellison.

"Jim?" Man, his voice sounded tired. But he knew the Sentinel's hearing would pick up his whisper. "Jim."

Jim woke at the sound of his whispered name to find a pair of blue eyes staring back at him. The detective instantly sat straighter in his chair, now completely awake and alert. "Hey, Chief," said Jim, smiling. "How d'ya feel?" He rubbed his thumb over his friend's hand in a comforting gesture.

Blair sighed. "Tired. And sore." He yawned. "What happened?"

Jim smiled and patted his friend's hand. Blair was going to be okay. Moving to sit on his partner's bedside, Jim proceeded to fill Blair in with what had happened.

During his stay with Blair in the hospital, Jim had gotten the call from Simon telling him that they had caught the smugglers and the men who had shot at them. The gunmen had apparently caught up with the smugglers downriver and ran into the Coast Guard as soon as they broke out into open water.

"The good guys win again, eh?" Blair smiled.

Jim returned the smile and patted Blair's leg. "Yeah."

About then, the doctor came into the room to check on her patient. Jim used this time to use the men's room and go get some coffee. He returned to see the doctor leaving his friend's room. "How is he, Doc?" the detective asked. "When can he get out of here and come home?"

The doctor put her pen back in her pocket. "His shoulder is healing nicely and there seems to be no infection. I'd say that he can go home tomorrow." She then looked the older man directly in the eye. "I'll allow him to go home tomorrow on two conditions, which I've already told Mr. Sandburg."

Jim nodded. "Tell me, because he won't."

The doctor smiled. "I gathered that from his attitude to the conditions. Very well, Detective Ellison. He has to wear the sling for a week while his shoulder continues to heal. The only time he can take it off is to shower or when he goes to bed. And speaking of bed, Mr. Sandburg is to get plenty of rest." She reached into her pocked and handed Jim a piece of paper. "This is for painkillers. He's to take them once a day or when the pain is too much."

Jim nodded. "You have my word. Thanks, doc."

The doctor smiled and left.

Jim entered Blair's hospital room and found that Blair's bed had been raised a little and Blair was propped up on pillows. As Jim resumed his place by his partner's side, the detective could tell there was a marked improvement from that first night after surgery. "Hey, Chief," he said. "Doc says you can come home tomorrow."

Blair looked at his friend. "Oh yeah? Cool." He paused and turned his head to look out the window. Then he turned to look at Jim. "Thanks, Jim," he said softly.


I am a rock

I am an island

It was Jim's turn to look out the window. "I should've heard them sooner, but I was being proud and stupid again. I know you've told me countless times that my Sentinel abilities have saved many people's lives, including yours, but I was just feeling. . ." He looked at his Guide. "I was feeling that was all anyone was interested in anymore, y'know? Simon had been calling me in to check on crime scenes and other things with my Sentinel senses on cases that I hadn't even been working on or wasn't in charge of. Then you were asking me for tests and I just had enough. I was a good cop before theses senses and I wanted to see if I could be again." Then he spoke in an almost whisper. "My pride almost got you killed." The detective looked down at the bed, as if the blanket had suddenly grasped his interest.

Blair sighed and placed a hand on the Sentinel's forearm. "Jim, man, remember what Incacha said? A Sentinel will always be a Sentinel, if he chooses to be.' You have always been a good cop, a great cop. The Sentinel abilities haven't changed that. They've just assisted in making you the best cop in Cascade P.D. And a better person than the loner you were." When he got the detective's attention, he continued. "And my best friend. Nothing will change that. Thanks, Jim."

Jim smiled and gave Blair's arm a reassuring squeeze. "Anytime, Chief."

Blair returned the smile and sighed. The doctor had administered the painkiller before she left and he could feel its effects taking hold.

Jim noticed his friend's battle to stay awake. "Go ahead and rest, Chief," he said gently as he got comfortable in the chair. "I'll be here when you wake up."

Blair blinked sleepily then closed his eyes. "Thanks Jim," he said softly, then drifted off to sleep.

Jim chuckled softly to himself and reached over to brush away a wayward curl from his partner's face. "Welcome, Chief," he said, smiling gently, then settling himself in the chair. "Anytime."


And a rock feels no pain

And an island never cries.

Friendship crumbled the fortress the rock had made and built a bridge to the island.


Author=s notes: dealing with the lyrics to "I am a Rock" (that's why I'm listening to it)...kinda like a retrospect of how far they've both come from where they started....Jim had "Walls...a fortress steep and mighty..." and Blair had "my books...and my poetry to protect me...I am shielded in my armor...hiding in my room, safe within my womb..I touch no one and no one touches me"...A rock and an island...during the course of their partnership... friendship broke the rock and built a bridge to the island...Together, "Rock feels no pain...and an island never cries..."