Well, I've been talking to a few people about what missing scenes I'd like to see from The Sentinel, by Blair Sandburg. All in all, it was good. I'd have liked the reconciliation scene to have been a bit longer, with a bit more emotion, but it was still good, and much better than upn would have liked.
I was reading my email last night, all the discussion on TS by BS. I'd already read the script, but it didn't do the final product justice. Sigh, I could have used some more in the reconciliation scene, but other than that, it worked for me. This will hopefully help some folks with their feelings that Jim is a Jerk (which he is definitely not!) Personally, I can see the entire series has worked toward this ep, it's simply the most realistic 'ending', now they can (Please, God) go on with a whole new season and life, going forward, once more.
As usual, the original disclaimers still apply. I don't own them, but I'm still grateful to their owners and creators for not suing me for the use of their property.
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"Thank you for seeing me, Chancellor Edwards." Detective James Ellison was wearing a suit. Nothing like dressing for the occasion. He still wasn't quite sure about what he was going to say, but still
"It's the least I could do, detective. After all, I feel just a bit responsible for Mr. Sandburg's near destruction of your reputation."
"Well, that's sort of why I'm here. About his dissertation, that is."
"Oh. I'm terribly sorry. Had I any idea that his topic was so impossible, I'd have put a stop to it long ago, I assure you."
Jim shifted from foot to foot. He was a little annoyed that she hadn't even offered him a chair, so time to put up or shut up forever.
"That's just it, ma'am. It wasn't a hoax."
"It's just so preposterous, after all, even the original Burton writings were discounted what?" She suddenly realized what he had said.
"I said, 'it wasn't a hoax.' I am a sentinel. I do have enhanced senses. All five of them. He claimed it was a hoax to protect me."
"Protect you?" She didn't understand. If he were really what Sandburg had written about, then
"Yeah. I'm a cop. I have a job to do. I protect people. I protect this city. This is my territory and I use my abilities, to help me in doing that. Surely you saw how the media reacted with an unfounded supposition? I was mobbed. A man was nearly killed because of the media attention. Blair did the only thing he could think of to protect me. I just wanted you to know the truth. His research is perfectly valid. If you want proof, I can demonstrate it for you." He stood there, watching the dumbfounded expression on the woman's face.
"You're joking." There was a hopeful tone in her voice.
Jim scowled. He tuned his hearing in to her heartbeat, "Then, why is your heart pounding so hard?" He cocked his head slightly, "You have a heart murmur." He mused, his eyes coming up to meet hers. He inhaled, deeply. "You're wearing Shalimar." He closed his eyes and sniffed again, "And you used hashish earlier, in a bong?" He opened his eyes and pinned her with them. She gasped at his accusation.
"How ? You're guessing." She insisted.
"Hardly. Let's see." He closed his eyes again, allowing his sense of smell to guide him, focusing on the odor, he turned toward it and opened his eyes, piggybacking his sight on the smell. Smiling, he walked directly to her closet. Grasping the handle, he turned back to her "So, shall I open this and see what I can see?" His grin wasn't amused.
"What do you want?" She was angry, but more than that, she was frightened. She was always so careful when she indulged, using a water pipe to help avoid any obvious odors, yet, not only had this man this policeman, this detective, managed to smell the two day old smell, but had tracked it to its hiding place, as well.
Jim shrugged, "I just want you to know the truth. What truths do you want kept hidden?"
"This is blackmail." She whispered.
"What?" His puzzled expression left her fumbling.
"No. I didn't come here to roust you or entrap you. I came here to tell you the truth. Sandburg's diss. It's real. It's factual. There was no fraud. What you do about it, I have no say in that. I just wanted you to know what a big mistake you made. He's a terrific teacher. He's brilliant. He deserves his Ph.D., but I guess he's never going to get it now. For most of his life, this has been his dream, to find and study a sentinel. Well, he found one. Unfortunately, he didn't just study me, he became my friend, my partner. He's my guide." He shook his head, "If he'd kept to his original intent, he'd never have had any trouble taking the three million dollars and the Nobel Prize. Instead, he decided for some reason that me, my life and what I do, was more important than the most important thing in his life." He looked intently at the chancellor, she was having trouble meeting his gaze.
"I've never in my life had anyone care so much about me, what I felt, what I thought, to ever give up anything even remotely as important as this. It was his whole life, but he gave it up for me. I I just wanted to have someone he respected to know the truth. Blair Sandburg is no fraud. He doesn't lie obfuscate, maybe," he grinned faintly and continued, "but he doesn't lie. He didn't lie in his diss. He just couldn't figure any way to publish it and still keep me safe. I guess I don't really expect anything from you, but I thought you should know." He turned away, realizing that he might as well have told the tide not to come in as to inform this woman of his friend's truthfulness.
He'd nearly reached the door when she called him back. "Wait. Detective Ellison?" He turned and looked at her. She saw a strong, proud man. A vulnerable man. He'd given her power over him with his admission. "Mr. Sandburg never actually submitted his dissertation, perhaps he could prepare a paper on a different subject? I think that could be possible, providing he could have it finished by the end of the summer? I'd be willing to talk to the faculty advisors. He didn't really get a chance to submit his papers, after all."
It was a tiny bone, but it was something. An awfully tight time schedule, what with Blair going to the academy during the day, that left precious little time for outside study or writing, but still
"Why don't you call him? I don't have the authority to make that offer. He's going through the academy and I don't know if he can fit it into his schedule, but maybe?"
She was startled at how handsome he was when he was pleased, his smile broad and inviting. Her heart skipped a few beats. "Well, I suppose I could give him a call, just as soon as I contact his advisors. Yes. Will he be home this evening?"
"Yeah. He'll be home. I'll make sure of it." His pleased expression warmed his features and made him much less intimidating. "Thank you."
"Thank you, Detective. I'm afraid that I can't offer him his job back, but "
"That's OK. He's found another job. One that he's really good at, one where he's needed. I don't think he'll miss this, too much. I just want him to get what he's earned."
"I understand." And she did, really. She had thought this man had come to blackmail her into doing something wrong, but he had only wanted her to know the truth, and knowing the truth, she could not in all good conscious deny the grad student his deserved doctorate. Even if it was on a different topic than originally planned.
Blair had just finished washing the dishes when the phone rang. He glanced over at his roommate, who made no move to get the phone. Brow furrowed, he crossed the room to grab the phone sitting right next to his friend. "Hello?"
"This is Chancellor Edwards."
"I recognized your voice. What do you want?" He'd already been through hell, there was no reason for her to call him now. He'd even cut his hair, well, two inches of it, anyway. It just came to his collar, but it was still shorter than he'd wanted it.
"I have a proposition for you."
"What?" Totally shocked.
"I have a proposition for you. It was brought to my attention that you hadn't actually perpetrated a fraud, as you had never actually submitted your dissertation. The committee has decided that if you can propose and complete a topic by Labor Day, that you could still possibly get your degree "
"What?" Whispered, because he suddenly had no moisture in his mouth or throat. He turned to look at his roommate, wondering if this was the reason he'd been acting so oddly all afternoon.
"Are you interested? And do you have another topic?"
"Uh, well, yeah, sort of. Uh How about 'A Study of Closed Societies, Inside a Modern American Police Force'?" He suggested. He actually had enough material already, he could have an outline done within a week, and
"That sounds like an excellent topic. How soon can you get an outline over?"
"Uh, about a week?"
"You have until Labor Day to submit the finished dissertation. There will be no extensions."
"I'm looking forward to reading your outline next week." And with that, she hung up.
"What did you do?"
"What?" He looked up from the news he was pretending to watch, managing to keep any expression from his face.
"Jim." There was something insistent in his voice. "What. Did. You. Do?"
"I stopped by Chancellor Edwards' office and told her the truth." He turned back to his news report.
"I told her the truth. I demonstrated my abilities. I told her you had not perpetrated any fraud, that you had simply protected me. She realized that I was telling her the truth, and decided that you were right. That your original diss was too dangerous, so she decided to give you another chance. She won't give you your job back, but you can still get your doctorate if you still want it."
"Want it? Want it! Of course, I want it!" The startled younger man whooped in glee. "I've even already got it finished, man! That story I've been telling everybody for the past three years? I have all the data, I thought it was a great idea for a paper. Now Oh, man." He stood in shock, watching his friend.
"So, I did OK?" Jim asked, rising to his feet and turning to face his friend.
Even now, his Sentinel was looking for the approval he never got as a child. Blair shook his head in shock. "OK? Oh, man. You did a lot more than OK, Jim." He didn't notice the tears as they began to leak from his eyes. He'd thought that he had to give everything he'd once dreamed of up. Now, even though he would probably never go back to teaching, but still "Oh, man. Yeah. Jim, I Oh, man. Thanks."
"You're welcome, Chief." He was uncertain what to do. He moved closer to his friend, tentatively reaching out to lay one hand on the shorter man's shoulder. Blair lifted his tear-filled eyes to smile damply up at his friend, his partner, his brother. With a sudden lurch forward, he wrapped his arms around his friend and gave him a surprising bear hug. Jim smiled as he returned the embrace.
"Oh, man. Jim." Blair suddenly pulled back. "I'm gonna get my degree!" He shouted and started dancing around the room to music only he could hear. "WHOOOHOOOO!"
"Hey, Darwin. Before you go to celebrating too much, shouldn't you get the work done, first? I know you have homework from the academy, now you have all this other stuff, as well. Why don't you work on the current project first, then on the diss over the weekend?"
"Oh, yeah. Good idea, man." Blair couldn't wipe the grin from his face. He pulled his books out of his backpack and settled down at the kitchen table to begin his current homework. He quickly breezed through his assignments, having already had three years of experience to draw from. As soon as he was through, he ran to his bedroom and tore through his boxes from school, searching for his notes. By the time he found them all, journals, disks, and notebooks, his room looked as though a tornado had touched down in it.
When Jim finally went to bed, some three hours later, Blair was once again ensconced at the kitchen table, tapping away late into the night.
Smiling, the Sentinel dropped quickly and easily to sleep, content that after the weeks of tension and adjustment since this whole mess started, things were back as they should be, Sentinel and Guide, scholar and cop.
And Blair worked late into the night, slipping easily back into what had been his normal life for so many years. His mind's excitement providing the energy he needed to again juggle two different lives. Only this time, his main focus was going to be on his new life, working toward becoming a 'real' cop, not just an observer.
The diss just seemed to write itself. He picked up new information at the academy. Instead of being looked down upon for his appearance, word had somehow gotten out that he was already a cop, and that he was just going through the motions with the academy. On the obstacle course, his speed and agility kept him at the head of his class. His innate intelligence and years of academic experience kept him at the top of his academic classes. The only place he had any kind of problem was on the firing range. And once Jim took him out privately several times to coach him, he managed to hold his own.
The academy was a twelve-week course, Monday through Friday. There was homework almost every night, but no term papers. The time he would have spent on that, he devoted to his new thesis subject. Jim missed him at work, but knew that when he came back, he'd never have to worry about Blair having to leave him, again. In some ways, the summer was interminable. In other ways, it simply flew past.
Blair was nervous. He was wearing a suit and tie, his hair once again tied up in a ponytail. Nervously, he awaited the results of the committee. He felt that he had left out so much, but at the same time, knew that he'd gotten far more information about the closed society of the police department than anyone else ever had. He pulled his watch from his pocket and checked the time. If they didn't hurry, he was going to have to leave without knowing their decision. But there was absolutely no way he was going to miss his other graduation. He'd worked hard for it. Earned every score. All that was left was the shouting.
"Mr. Sandburg?" It was the committee's secretary.
"Yes?" He stood, nervous.
"Won't you come in, please? The committee has a few questions for you." Blair followed her into the room. He'd already defended his diss, now he would finally learn the results.
"Mr. Sandburg, welcome. We have just a few more questions we'd like to ask you about "
"Blair Sandburg." The pretentious voice intoned. Blair stood up. He felt odd, wearing the dark blue uniform, but proud, nonetheless. Stepping up to the platform, he accepted his certificate and a handshake from the Chief of Police, then returned to his seat, blushing at the shouts, whistles and catcalls of his friends. When all the names had been read and certificates handed out, they stood and were sworn in. And with that, amidst the cheers of all in attendance, it was over.
At least, the pomp and ceremony was. Now it was time to party. And party, they did. It was a good thing that Jim didn't drink, as he was the designated driver for the folks from Major Crime. It was his job to make sure everyone got home safely. Which he did.
"Come on, Chief. Just a little farther."
"I I'm a-a-a-a cop, Jim! A re-al cop." The drunken younger man declared.
"Yep. And, starting Monday, you're going to be my partner for real, and for good, Chief."
"Yep. Detective Sh-shandburg. ~hic~ Tha's me." He giggled. "An-an-an in another coupla months, It'll be 'Doctor Detective Shandburg." And he giggled again, as his roommate carefully guided him through the door of their home and helped him to his room.
"Do you need help out of your uniform, Chief?" Jim asked laconically.
"Yup. I'm d-d-drunk. Sshhhhh. Don' tell my par'ner. He'shh a Seninel. He's The Shenninel of th' great city. D'you know 'im?"
"Yeah, Chief. I know him. Come on, let's get you out of this wool uniform, before you burst into flame, OK?"
"Shhhhurrr, Jimmmm. Ya'know wha, Jim?"
"What's that, Chief?" he carefully unbuttoned the blue wool dress uniform shirt and peeled it off his sweating, drunken guide.
"'mmm drunk." He giggled.
"I think I noticed, Chief. Step out." He'd unbuttoned and unzipped the wool uniform pants and pulled them down, pulling off Blair's shoes as he stepped out of his pants. Standing up, Jim gently pushed his friend to his bed, tumbling him into the mess he called his covers. Blair managed to pull his legs onto the futon and Jim lightly covered him, as it was quite warm, this time of year.
"Thansh, Jim. Y'r a goo' fren." He settled his head down and was snoring in moments.
"So are you, Chief. So are you."
Leaving his friend to sleep it off, he locked up. As he turned off the lights in the living room, he noticed the blinking light on the answering machine. There was only one message. Pushing the button, he listened.
"Mr. Sandburg, this is Chancellor Edwards. I'm sorry you couldn't stay to await the results of the committee, but I understand why you had to hurry off. Congratulations, Doctor Sandburg. The committee congratulates you on your achievements, as do I. I expect to hear from you some time next week. I understand that you are beginning your new career on Monday, but we really need to get together and finalize a few things." The tape ended. With a relieved smile, Jim saved the message, then headed upstairs to his own bed. Yeah, things were going to be different. Good, but different. He could handle change, after all, he had the Shaman of the Great City for his Guide, and his very own partner, complete with badge Now, if he could only convince him to actually use the gun, and not just carry it
Smiling, The Sentinel headed off to bed. Extending his senses, he checked the neighborhood. Satisfied, he undressed and slid into bed, content. Yeah, change could be good. Just as long as his friend was by his side, change could be wonderful.
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