By: Lady Shelley

Epilogue for The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg. When all else fails, go with your gut instinct.

Rated G      Sept. 23, 2000      30K

Listed in the Safe Haven

Author Notes: This is an epilogue for The Sentinel by Blair Sandburg.
Song lyrics are from: Once You Had Gold by Enya off the Memory of Trees CD.
Beta’d by Toni. Thanks Toni!
Internal thoughts are in italics

Once you had gold,
Once you had silver,
Then came the rains
out of the blue.
Ever and always.
Always and ever.
Time gave both darkness and dreams to you.


The gold badge in his hand glinted dully in the light as he shifted it back and forth. There was more to the decision of whether or not to become a police detective than ‘it’s a job’. What about the other goals in his life? What about the discoveries still to be made? What would happen to his friendships in Major Crime if he said no? What was his gut telling him to do?

Blair continued shift the badge from one hand to the other, his mind in a whir of indecision.

He paused in his tossing as the front door to the loft quietly closed. Jim was back from taking Naomi to the train station.

Naomi. She had seemed happy with the idea of her only son becoming a ‘jack-booted thug’, but he had also noticed her humor was forced. Blair knew she liked Jim, Simon, and most of the rest of Major Crime as people, but he also knew Naomi would never truly trust the police.

He tossed the badge onto his desk and flopped back on the futon. A few minutes later there was a knock at his door followed by Jim opening it a crack.

"Naomi is safely off. The train was even on time for a change," Jim said with a small smile. "I have some chili thawing on the stove. Why don’t you come eat something."

Now you can see
Spring becomes autumn,
leaves become gold
falling from view.
Ever and always.
Always and ever.
No one can promise a dream come true,
Time gave both darkness and dreams to you.


Blair nodded and followed the older man back to the kitchen. Instead of eating, however, his mind kept turning over the events of the past few days. He noticed Jim wasn’t eating much, either.

"The chili won’t do you any good if all you do is play with it."

Blair nodded but continued to stir the chili around in his bowl.

What happens now?

Can I get a job teaching somewhere?

Do I want to be a cop?

I’m an anthropologist, not a police officer!

What else can I do?

"I don’t want to be a cop."

Blair wasn’t sure he had said it out loud until looking up from his bowl, he saw Jim staring at him.

"I don’t want to be a cop, Jim," he said again, louder.

Jim stood up from the table and walked his dishes to the sink. Carefully rinsing them, he dried his hands and turned back to face the table.

"I know."

The spoon stopped twisting mid-motion. "You know? How could you know? I didn’t know I knew."

Jim sighed and walked back to the table. "I know because I know you. I knew when Simon came up with the idea that you would most likely turn it down. I meant it when I said you were the best cop I knew, but I also know you don’t want to be a cop for the rest of your life."

Blair stared back at his cooling chili and tried to organize his thoughts.

"Jim, I really don’t know what to say right now. When this mess started you told me to go for the brass ring and not look back. You can try to brush it off, but you really expected me to take the money and run. Leave you like so many others have. Now I’m telling you I don’t want this and you’re agreeing with me. I think I’m more confused now than before."

"Chief, I . . ."

Suddenly Blair stood up and started to pace, ignoring Jim.

"One part of me wants to be a cop to be able to stay with you. Even though you have great control, you still need someone to watch your back. I know both Simon and Megan and probably most of Major Crime knows about you, man. But that still doesn’t change the fact that I know more about sentinels than anyone since Burton. "

Blair’s hands started moving as fast as his speech.

"Another part of me still wants to be in a classroom. Face it man, I am a scientist, a teacher. Don’t get me wrong, I love the police work. But I need my own identity, too. I WANT MY OLD LIFE BACK!"

Shouting the last sentence, Blair threw himself onto the sofa facing away from the table where Jim sat. His body language still rigid with pent-up anger and frustration.

Jim was stunned. He knew his friend was in turmoil over the events of the last few days, but to hear his own statement, said to Simon in a different fit of anger, still echoing through the loft, was staggering.

What is the dark;
shadows around you,
why not take heart
in the new day?
Ever and always.
Always and ever.
No one can promise a dream for you,
Time gave both darkness and dreams to you.


For a long time, neither man spoke or moved. Then Blair sighed and rested his head against the back of the sofa. "What am I gonna do, man?"

Moving to sit beside his friend, Jim said, "You have it wrong, Chief. It’s what are we gonna do. And I might have some ideas in that direction. The door to academia may be closed, but what about teaching outside the ivory tower?"

Blair sat up and turned to face Jim on the sofa. "Just what did you have in mind? I doubt any education system is gonna want a fraud in it’s midst."

"You are not a fraud. Don’t you dare start to think of yourself that way, Blair."

Blair started to speak, but Jim interrupted, "No. We know the truth. Simon knows the truth. Most of our friends have guessed the truth. You are not a fraud."

"But . . ."

"No buts. We’ll have to work around the misconceptions some people may have. I will not let you start to buy into them, too. "

"Won’t let?" Blair said with a small smile.

"You got it."

"How is Simon going to take this, Jim? I don’t want to think about the strings he pulled to get me that badge. I’d hate to think of all those favors he was owed wasted."

"Don’t worry about the favors. We’ll just change your conditions of employment, that’s all. How does ‘Consultant to the Cascade Police Department, Major Crime’ sound to you?"

"Long and tedious," Blair answered, grinning now. "But much better than ‘Detective to the Cascade Police Department, Major Crime’."

"As for Simon," Jim continued. "He probably won’t be as surprised as you think. He knows you pretty well, too, you know."

"Well, if everyone knew I wasn’t going to take it, why did they offer a badge to me in the first place?"

"In a way, it was our way of telling you we wanted you to stay, I guess. So much has happened in so short a time, we just wanted to let you know, in no uncertain terms, that you were wanted and needed. It may have lost something in the translation, but the sentiment is still real. So, what do you say, Chief? Are you staying?"

"I never wanted to leave, man."