Summary: Blair ponders the destruction of the Sentinel/Guide bond by Alex.
Written within the AU of my "BlairZone" series.
Spoilers: Sentinel Too parts 1&2. Originally posted to the Sentinel Angst reading group.
Blair crouched down low along the warm path, allowing his fingers to feather across the thick dark foliage. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and let the essence of the jungle fill him, centering him and instilling a sense peace he hadn’t felt in along time within his battered soul. Tranquil breezes brushed across his tanned skin, while various birds rang their distinctive calls across the jungle, adding to the transcendent atmosphere. Upon hearing the jungle’s cacophony he had to smile. This was why he’d chosen to come here, hoping that maybe the dark Peruvian jungle could somehow be a balm to his fractured soul. He and his Sentinel were no longer in sync. Hadn’t been in a long time actually. He’d cursed his empathy and it’s ability to hone in on Jim’s feelings automatically. That’s what had made all the hurtful things that had been said by his Sentinel even worse. It had been one thing to hear the harsh words uttered by his best friend, but another matter altogether to feel the actual emotions behind them. The intense hate and the loathing. That’s why he had chosen to leave. He couldn’t take knowing that Jim actually felt that much animosity towards him, even after they’d caught...her.
Standing rather relunctantly, Blair shifted his pack more comfortably across his shoulders, and turned his troubled gaze towards a dense patch of trees. He took in their unique beauty before letting his eyes drift toward a stream of water flowing lazily a few feet to his right. Closing his eyes, he briefly debated which route to take. The sound of the running water snapped him quickly out of his private ruminations, and sent a sickly chill down his spine. He could hardly stand the trickling sound of running water since his drowning, since she had taken his life, and turned it upside down. Shuddering slightly, Blair absently tucked a loose curl behind his ear, and then wrapped his arms tightly around his torso as if to protect himself from some unseen enemy. Not wanting to follow the dark path he knew his thoughts were threatening to take him, he turned toward the trees he’d previously admired and began his lonely journey. Moments later the anthropologist disappeared among the trees, hidden by the dark green of the leaves and hanging vines.
Blair stretched his tired back muscles, pausing to draw his arms high above his head, grunting lightly when he felt the desired pop in his back. He was exhausted from having traveled all day, stopping only when nature called, and once to eat. His appetite had lessened considerably in wake of recent events, and he found himself having to nearly struggle to remember to eat. Blair knew he was losing weight, but he wasn't particulary concerned about it. Food just wasn’t a top priority for him right now. He had other matters to concern himself with. He’d worry about his physique later.
Blair grimaced slightly as he yanked the rubberband from his hair, a few strays coming along for the ride. Running his hands through the tangled mass of thick curls, he smiled slightly as he realized the length he’d allowed his hair grow to. His hair was now well past his shoulder blades, reaching almost to the middle of his back. He smiled turned into a smirk as he pondered what Jim and the rest of the Major Crimes gang would think of his hair now, figuring it’d probably drive the Sentinel crazy. Henry Brown would have a field day, having already bestowed the “Hairboy” moniker on Blair long ago. Blair’s smile quickly faded as reality sank in once again, and he was reminded that Jim no longer held a place in his life, the Sentinel/Guide relationship having long ago been absolved.
Lying back on the cool ground he let his eyes slowly close, allowing the chirping of the insects around him lull him into a light, fitful rest. Eventually he began to dream that he was home again, guiding his Sentinel, protecting the tribe. Unbeknownst to the sleeping man, tears began to slowly trail down his face as his dreams continued their ruthless assault, drying almost immediately in the warm, humid jungle air.
A few hours later, Blair jerked awake, his empathy signaling that another presence was near, and headed his way. Stretching out his empathy, he was almost giddy with relief when he realized it was merely his friend Alejandro. Closing his eyes, he relaxed and waited until the older man was almost upon him.
“Good evening Alejandro.” Blair spoke to the man he knew was standing over him with a look of disapproval etched across his worn features. He then opened his eyes, offering the elder a weak smile in way of greeting.
“Blair, what am I to do with you, young one. You know better than to be alone in this part of the jungle at dusk. Many have been attacked and a few have even lost their lives venturing out in the dark like this. Come, if you don’t care what happens to you, then I will look after your sorry hide.” A small smile crossed Alejandro’s face, taking the sting out of the reprimand.
Nodding, Blair excepted the elder’s hand, allowing himself to be hauled to his feet by a strength that belied the older man’s age. Though nearly seventy years old, Alejandro, or Papa as the village children were instructed to call him, was as strong as any man half his age. A life of clean, healthy eating had served the man well, for he stood strong and tall. His eyes were as clear as a child’s and he could see farther than most people. Right into your very soul it sometimes seemed to Blair.
The anthropologist had the decency to look abashed as he collected his meager belongings and began to follow the elder back to the village.
“My apologies elder. I...I just needed some time alone. I...I had things that I need to meditate about.” Blair’s voice trailed off as he concentrated on watching were he was going. Dusk had descended quickly making it hard to see exactly what was in front of his face while he walked. The older man beside him walked with marked assurance. He was well accustomed to the dense foliage hanging all around.
A strong hand came up to rest on his shoulder, while the other hand forced him to look the elder, being made subject to scrutiny by those intense eyes.
“Young one, you still worry over what you have left behind? In all your time here, you still have not found the answer?” Alejandro’s eyes seemed to bore into Blair’s very soul, searching for a truth the younger man couldn’t accept. Not yet.
Blair turned away from the probing stare and fingered the worn shoulder strap of his tattered backpack. He didn’t really want to get into this right now. Not when the emotions were still fresh, the wounds still bleeding.
“Blair, look at me.” The older man paused and placed his weathered hands on Blair’s broad shoulders. In the distance the haunted cries of a jungle creature could be heard echoing in the dark. The sound matched the intense pain Blair felt within, and his empathy went out to the animal. He wondered briefly if the poor creature had just lost the other half of its soul. Only such a circumstance could cause such a sad, mournful cry.
A gentle shake of his shoulders drew his attention back to the village elder, and Blair looked into the deep, brown eyes of his friend. The older man studied Blair a few moments longer, then finally smiled, evidently pleased with whatever he found in the younger man’s eyes.
“Do not worry so much, young one. Your sentinel still waits, you both will be reunited one day very soon.” Alejandro patted Blair’s shoulder gently, then started walking towards the village again.
He glanced over his shoulder as he walked, smiling at the thoughtful look on the anthropologist’s face. “But not tonight. Come, let us get back, or Teresa will have our heads.” The older man then continued towards the village.
Blair smiled softly at the mention of the elder’s oldest daughter. She would be sure to scold him for keeping her father out past dusk. The mild scolding would then be followed by a warm meal and the welcome fellowship with her family, soothing away Blair’s troubled thoughts. Breathing deeply, the young man inhaled the evening air, finding it to be sweet and calming. In the distance he could see the village lights, the warm glow from the lamps lighting up the evening sky. Children’s voices could be heard laughing as they listened to the fairy tales told by their parents. The soft sounds of music could be heard, mixing with the laughter and warming Blair’s soul.
Alejandro was right, with so much joy in front of him...there was no need to worry tonight.