I guess that this is a companion piece for 'What If...' Someone asked for it from Blair's point of view. Lots of angst, no plot. :) The usual disclaimers apply. They aren't mine. I make no money. Thank you for comments.

I Could Have.


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I could have chosen another topic for my Doctoral Thesis.

I could have refused to help him, he was such a jerk.

I could have let him get hit by that garbage truck.

I could have run my tests, asked my questions, gotten my data, not gotten involved.

I could have stayed in the plane.

I could have gone to Borneo.

I could have quit any one of the times that I got scared or hurt.

I could have done any of those things, or any number of other things, but I didn't.

No one made me help him. Follow him. No one would have blamed me if I had quit at any time. They say I'm not trained, not a cop. That I'm naive, unprepared, helpless. That I'm a trouble magnet. That I shouldn't be here. But I am. All of those things. And a lot more.

I know I've helped him. I know that he needed me, or at least, someone like me. Someone to help. Yeah. A lot of bad stuff has happened to me. But there's good stuff, too. Sure, I've been kidnapped, taken hostage, shot, scared so many times that I've lost count. But I've learned so much more than what's covered in the scope of my studies. I've learned about home. Family. Duty. Honour. ... Love.

Not that kind of love. The kind of love that let's you accept someone into your life. Someone so different from anyone you've ever known. With a different background, different values. He's shown me what a responsibility true friendship is. Always before, when things got tough, I left. He taught me to work through things. To fight for what's important. How to be a friend. He's given me so much. A home. A brother (in fact, if not in blood). Sometimes a father. A teacher. Yeah. I've probably learned at least as much from him as he's learned from me. Maybe more. I've learned the importance of friends, responsibility, commitment. All the little things.

Usually, it's me in the hospital. I think sometimes that I must be accident prone. The trouble magnet they tease me about being. The wonderful feeling of waking up and he's there, holding my hand. Waiting to tell me that I'm going to be OK. The certainty that no matter what happens, that somehow, some way, he's going to come save me. Every. Single. Time. Each. And. Every. Single. Time.

Sometimes, I wonder why he puts up with me. He's so anal. I know the house rules are his way of trying to maintain control. He needs to have control in his life. That's why he has so much trouble dealing with his senses. That's my job. I know he needs me. But it's gone so far beyond that. So very far. He once told me he'd even choose me over his own brother by blood. That is so heavy, man. I just hope I can live up to his ... his what? Trust? There is that. It's not dependence, it's much more than that. His expectations? He only expects 110% from anyone. 150% from himself. It amazes me how he says I can do something. Something I'm terrified of. Something I am absolutely positive that I cannot do. Then he says, "You can do this, Chief." And I do. Jump off a cliff, out of an airplane? No problem. I can't believe it.

When did he stop being a research subject? If I tell myself the truth, I would have to admit it started almost from the beginning. At least by the time he let me move into the loft. Certainly by the time we went to Peru to save Simon and Daryl.

It's odd, sitting here like this. It's usually me. I'm the one who gets hurt. Not him. Not Jim. He's the strong one. Of course, it would figure that when he does get hurt, it's because of me. He stepped in front of me to protect me. He wasn't wearing a vest. He nearly bled to death before they could get him to the hospital.

How does he do it? These are the most uncomfortable chairs on earth. But he does. Sits. Sits and waits for me to wake up. However long it takes. Hours. Days. It's only been one day. They said that he probably wouldn't wake up for a day or two. I hope he does, soon. I need him to open those blue eyes and tell me he's going to be all right. No. I get to tell him that he's going to be all right.

Did his fingers just twitch? Did I just see his eyes move? "Jim? Can you hear me? Jim?" Tightening my grip on the slack hand.


The hand tightens in mine. I can hardly wait. Finally, after another half an hour, the eyes flicker again and open. They're dazed, confused. Lost and in pain.

He sees me. His hand tightens in mine and a faint smile appears on his face. I'm almost splitting my face, I'm smiling so hard. He's awake. He's alive. He's going to be all right.

"Hey, Jim. You're gonna be all right, buddy." I get some ice chips and put them in his mouth, 'cause he can't talk yet. He sucks on the ice and smiles. His hand tightening on mine.

I could have done so many other things or done things differently. I'm glad I didn't.

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