Rating: PG

Written: Copyright © April 2000 MaBrown. All rights reserved.

Spoilers: Blair zone universe, Sentinel TOO

Warnings: currently not beta'd

Status:complete

Category: AU, Blair is an empath with Jim as his guide

Summary: Nightmarish vision plauge sentinel and guide.


Night Terrors



By MaBrown


Blair trudged slowly into the loft, barely managing to shut the door. His level of exhaustion was so extreme, he doubted there were words adequate enough to describe how bad he was feeling. He had gone the last week with barely any sleep trying to keep up with both his school responsibilities and his role as Jimís guide. Sometimes the act of leading two very hectic lives would catch up with him, leaving him drained and spent. Not to mention the added responsibility that went along with being an empath, sometimes it all just got to be too much to handle. Blair knew he wouldnít have things any other way though, he loved working with Jim, and would never give up his academic life. So he resigned himself to having bad weeks such as this one, figuring it was a small price to pay for living a life he thoroughly enjoyed. With a heavy sigh, Blair wearily hung up his jacket, and made his way into his small room. Spying his cluttered bed with a deep longing, he tossed his backpack haphazardly across the room, watching as it miraculously managed to land on his equally cluttered desk. Finally free of all his weighty belongings, Blair practically dove into the bed, and attempted to quell his racing thoughts.

Today had been odd for the young anthropologist. Something seemed to have been nagging at him all day, demanding his immediate attention, but for the life of him he couldnít figure out what it was. Heíd managed to get through most of his classes without a hitch, even though heíd threatened to zone once or twice. Frowning to himself, Blair tried to recall what had sparked the near zoneouts but still wasnít able to place the odd feelings that had triggered them. He finally had to turn his emphatic dial down to zero hoping to stave off anymore problems. Oddly though heíd had trouble keeping the dial in place, more than once heíd find his control slipping and he would have to put forth an extreme effort to get the dial back in place. With a heavy sigh he once again wrote the odd feelings off as simple exhaustion and decided not to worry about it anymore. If he had anymore problems, heíd speak to Jim about it.

Blair glanced at the clock on his desk noting it was close to 7pm. Since Jim was still gone on a late stake out watching for a notorious gun smuggler by the name of Corron, there was no need for Blair to cook which was just as well since he didnít seem to have much of an appetite. Which was something that seemed to be happening a lot lately, food seemed to hold little interest for him anymore. Shrugging off his rambling thoughts, Blair allowed his eyes to drift shut, as he stretched out across his bed. Relaxing further into the comforting softness which surrounded him, Blair began to drift and before long the young man was fast asleep.


~~~~&~~~~


The peaceful landscape of the humid jungle shifted and changed as an unseen force came crashing through, disturbing the tranquility and causing all the wildlife to run for shelter. Blair stood alone in the clearing watching the sky with wary eyes, as dark luminous clouds began to roll in as if a prelude to some unseen disaster. A deep, thundering sound could be heard in the distance, a streak of lightening flashed across the sky. Blair wrapped his arms tightly around himself shivering as a sudden wind picked up, whipping his long hair around his face in such a fury he was temporarily blinded by the assault. Struggling to move the mass of curls from his eyes, he finally cleared his vision and nearly dropped dead of fright as a hideously nightmarish scene played out before him.

Fire had lit upon all the treetops, lighting the dark sky like over-sized torches, their flames pulsing with an unnatural glow. Blair watched in speechless horror as three menacing figures slowly began approaching from behind the flaming trees. The wind picked up it furious pace as the strangers came closer. Blair swore his heart stopped beating for a moment as recognition gave way to chilling fear, as the identity of the three became painfully clear. All three figures came to an abrupt halt before Blair, and stood still, each gracing the young man with a menacing stare. Blair tried to turn and run, but for some reason his legs would not obey his frantic command.

Lash smiled sweetly at Blair, pleasure at having caused the young man such intense fear showing clearly on his face. Blair felt himself flinch as Lash leaned closer and gestured to his two companions. ďI believe no introductions are necessary as you know all of us quite well.Ē Blair swallowed almost convulsively as he stared at the angry faces of Rigel Cummings and Alex. Wild thoughts of panic began to fly through his mind, as he tried to sort out how heíd come to be in this precarious situation. Hadnít he just gone to bed at the loft? Why was he here alone to face these three? He couldnít do this alone he just couldnít. What did they want? Oh god, they wanted to kill him, finish off what all of them had started at one time or another, what else could they possibly want? Where was Jim, his protector, where was he now?!

Blairís heart began to pound painfully inside his ribcage, as his legs finally responded to his pleas and he began to back away from his enemies, looking around him wildly for any means of escape. But he knew there was no escape for him this time, and the finality of the moment threatened to overwhelm him.

Rigel smiled sweetly and grabbed hold of the trembling young manís arm. ďNot this time, youíre not getting away this time. Or havenít you noticed, your sentinel is not here to save you this time boy.Ē Leaning closer to Blair he whispered softly. ďTake more then a few bullets to stop me Blairry-poo, quite a bit more.Ē

On the other side of him, Blair could hear Lash began to chant ďHairry Blairry, Hairry Blairry, quite contrary, how will your death go?Ē Alexís insane laughter filled the night, adding to the demented atmosphere and Blair began to find himself wishing theyíd just get it over with.

Alex crossed over and grabbed hold of his other arm, and the two of them began to drag him towards a huge fountain that had seemingly just appeared out of thin air. Blairís heart nearly stopped as he realized this was the fountain that had never stopped haunting him, the place where he had tasted death. Panic began to claw at his senses and Blair struggled for all he was worth, but it was in vain for the two kept hold of him with an inhuman strength and before he knew it, he was in front of the fountain. The water seemed to swirl and move and Blair felt himself almost drawn to it as wave of dizziness passed over him. A violent shudder coursed through his body as a sinister voice whispered softly in his ear. ďSay goodbye Blair.Ē Blair shuddered as his empathy spun out of control and he was suddenly assaulted by all of the hate that seemed to poor off of the three murderers that surrounded him in wave after relentless wave, crashing through him as he lost himself in the melee. Blair felt himself lifted high into the air, as the sound of haunting laughter filled his soul.

Before Blair could even release his final scream, he felt himself thrown violently into the water.

And then there was nothing.


~~~~&~~~~


Jim parked the truck, and gazed wearily at the building he called home. He was so tired he swore that despite his sentinel sight, he couldnít even see straight. Groaning slightly at having to move from his comfortable position in the truckís cab, he finally managed to maneuver himself out of the vehicle and onto the parking lotís pavement.

Stretching slightly to relieve his cramped muscles, the sentinel shut his beloved truckís door and began to short trek to his loft.

The stake out had been a bust, just as Jim had predicted to his determined captain. Banks had insisted on going through with the plans regardless, and Jim had spent a long evening listening to Connor go on and on about life in Australia compared to life in the states. Jim had nothing against the woman, but quickly tired of her banter and had found himself wishing his guide were there. Megan had eventually picked up on Jimís lack of interest and had spent the rest of the time sitting quietly gazing sullenly out of the truckís window. She only spoke again once to snap Jim out of a zone heíd slid into trying to listen to a conversation taking place in the suspectís home. Simon had finally called things off around 11pm when Corron never showed and had sent his weary men home.

Stretching out his sentinel hearing he decided to check on his guide as he rode the elevator up to the loft apartment. Jim was worried about his partner, they had both been through a lot the last few months, especially dealing with Cummings, and Jim knew it affected Blair a lot more than the young man would ever admit. Blair had nearly died at the hands of the madman, something that had happened to the young man once to often for Jimís liking. Blair seemed to attract psychos like flies to honey, and Jim was growing weary of it all. He thought things would be better once the Alex fiasco had passed, but instead once again Blair had faced death thanks to Rigel Cummings. The icing on the cake was the fact that the man had been a respected professor at Rainer University, working side by side with his guide, taking Blair under his wing so to speak, all the while plotting the young manís death. Shaking himself from his dark thoughts, Jim focused on his scan of the loft. He knew the young man was home, having parked next to his Volvo, but he also realized his friend had been working a lot of hours lately, and he hoped that he would find the younger man was resting peacefully.

To his horror he found his guideís heart beating frantically out of pace, tripping over itself to keep pace with Blairís harsh panting. Once the elevatorís doors finally opened, the sentinel charged through them at a break neck pace, and practically knocked the front door in, gun drawn to ascertain the threat to his guide. He quickly realized Blair was alone and quickly went to the young manís bedroom to see what was wrong.

The sight that greeted him nearly turned the sentinelís stomach. Blair lay thrashing about on the small futon bed, his breathing erratic and his pulse pounding wildly out of control. He seemed to be struggling violently against some unseen sinister force, and it was obvious to the sentinel who was winning. The blood seemed to have drained away from Blairís face; leaving him horribly pale and a sickly sheen of sweat glistened from his forehead.

Jim immediately holstered his weapon, and knelt down by the side of the bed, intent of waking the man from what was obviously a horrific night terror. Just as he reached out to touch his guide, Blairís torso arched high into the air, a scream erupting from the young man so shrill in sound it made Jimís hair stand on end. Once the painful cry had ended Blair collapsed on the bed, and to Jimís dismay, stopped breathing altogether.

Jim let a choked ďNO!Ē as he gathered his limp guide in his arms. His sentinel hearing picked up on his guides fading heartbeat, condemning him to listen in on his friendís final moments of life. He frantically began CPR on his unconscious friend, praying Blair would respond to his efforts. All his efforts were for not, as the young man lay still as stone, his breathing nonexistent. Jim raised his head high, an unnatural cry searing through the nightís silence, as the sentinel realized his guide was lost to him once and for all.

When the last beat of Blairís heart rang through the sentinel like a death knoll, Jim gave himself over to the horrific grief rolling within his soul. Clenching his partner tightly against his chest, Jim allowed himself to slide into a zone, unable to handle to sudden loss of his friend, unwilling to accept life without his guide.


~~~~&~~~~


Blair jerked violently awake, his heart pounding madly away inside his chest. Blair feared he was going to suffer a heart attack if he didnít calm himself down soon. Fuzzily he glanced around his room, taking a minute to orient himself to his surroundings. He vaguely remembered coming home late from school and crashing immediately in bed, having been exhausted from overworking himself. Jim hadnít arrived home yet, so Blair had figured he would chance a quick nap, hoping to be somewhat bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to keep Mother-Hen Ellison off his back. The sentinel had been harping on Blair quite a bit lately about the young manís lack of sleep and his scanty eating habits. Blair had hoped by grabbing a nap, he could prevent another nights discussion based on his unhealthy habits. Glancing at the clock in his room he realized it was now well past midnight. Rubbing weary hands across his face, he couldnít seem to shake the feeling that something was wrong. What had awakened him from the first sound sleep he'd had in ages? His empathy immediately registered his sentinel was in distress, and without even stopping to think Blair was out of his room, bounding up the steps leading to his sentinelís room.

Jim lay so still that for a split second Blair feared the worse until his hearing registered the harsh breathing of the sentinel. Realizing that his friend was practically hyperventilating, Blair gently shook his friend, and murmured soft words hoping to bring the man out of his nightmare. Slight tremors began to course through Jim, as his body began to demand more oxygen than it was receiving.

Jim didnít respond to Blairís gentle pleas, his breathing growing more fractured by the second, and Blair began to worry. His empathy automatically opened up full throttle as it always did regarding his sentinel, and he was hit full force by Jimís frantic emotions. The assault was so brutal in its force Blair had to struggle to keep from blacking out. He quickly picked up on Jimís raging emotions, fear seeming the strongest one, though he could pick up traces of heavy guilt. Fear? For me? Heís dreaming of me? Blair shuddered slightly as he realized the sentinel was dreaming of him, and evidently what ever was happening must be pretty bad for Jim couldnít seem to wake himself from the nightmare. Realizing that the time to help his sentinel was rapidly growing short, Blair immediately took action.

Sitting down on the bed next to his sentinel, Blair placed his hands upon his friendís shoulders and closed his eyes. Taking a deep calming breath, Blair began siphoning off Jimís damaging emotions as he quickly replaced them with his own, struggling to keep his feelings calm and soothing. He prayed he could brake through his partnerís terror, and some how cause the nightmare to end. Blair slowly began to feel Jimís emotional torment lesson, as the sentinelís breathing began to calm. Blair felt himself sinking deeper and deeper into his sentinelís emotions, as he continued in his efforts to soothe his friend. Blair vaguely felt the sentinel began to completely relax, and he unconsciously continued to guide his friend to wakefulness.

Blair felt himself began to drift, as Jimís emotions began to overwhelm him. He had taxed himself badly in his effort to help his friend, and he had no longer had strength left to fight off the impending zone. A moment later, Blair felt himself fade away from reality, as the darkness finally over took him.


~~~~&~~~~


Jim allowed himself to come to fully awakened state slowly; not at all entirely sure that he wanted to surrender himself to the waking world just yet. He had just had the most relaxing and peaceful dream ever, and was sorry to see it end.

He had been dreaming of a far away tropical place, a warm soothing breeze caressing his deeply tanned skin as he relaxed underneath a huge palm tree near the ocean. He had opened up all of his sentinel senses to their maximum capacity so he could fully enjoy the sights and sounds surrounding him. The soft sounds of the wave brushing against the sand had mingled pleasingly with the tempting aroma of the tropical fruit, which had wafted by him on the calm breeze. The sun had beat down on his dark skin, feeling like golden fingers warming their way into his tired flesh, soothing away weeks of stress leaving him completely relaxed and nearly boneless.

He had been lying there peacefully; enjoying his tranquil surroundings when something had begun nagging at his conscience, beckoning his return to the real world. The sentinel in him had been unable to refuse the faint call to arms, and he had relinquished the dream, and was now waking up.

His first waking thought was that he didnít remember falling asleep with weights on each shoulder and he sluggishly opened his eyes, blearily gazing down to see what was holding him in place. He perked up instantly when he recognized the weight was being caused by a pair of large hands, which led up to a pair of arms, which in turn led up to his guide.

What in the world is Sandburg doing in my room? This had better be good. Jim groused as he prepared to question his friend. All of his intents fell by the wayside, as he was shocked to discover that Blair was zoned, so deeply in fact, that the young manís heart rate and breathing had drastically slowed down. Jim tried to keep from panicking to badly so as not to further assault Blairís weakened empathy. He desperately needed to find out what had happened, his mind conjuring up all sorts of scenarios. Despite his need for immediate answers, Jim focused himself and began to attend to his guide.

Gently removing the young manís stiff hands from his shoulders, he pulled himself into a sitting position. Gently taking Blairís chilled face into his hands; he began to urge his friend from his zone, expecting Blair to peacefully come out of it. His guideís reaction was anything but peacefully, as the younger man jerked violently away from his sentinelís grasp and began screaming at the top of his lungs.

Jim quickly grabbed his friend giving him a rough shake. ďBlair, snap out of it buddy, youíre dreaming!Ē Jim grimaced as he took note of his partnerís shaking; the glazed look in the younger manís eyes spoke volumes to the sentinel as to his friendís emotional state.

ďEasy Blair, take it easy. Just breathe deeply, you were zoned and I was trying to get you out of it. Iím sorry I startled you so badly buddy.Ē

Blair closed his eyes, obviously trying to calm himself down. He was trying to remember what had happened, and why he was here in Jimís room. Jim was zoned, bad dream, I---I came into help him. He was in so much pain. Man, pretty much the pain Iím feeling now! Wait a minuteóoh man I donít feel to hot. Blair wrenched away from Jimís grasp and stumbled down the stairs intent on making it to the bathroom in time.

Jim followed closely behind the distraught young man, holding Blairís hair away from his face as the young man began a painful bout of dry heaves. Jim frowned slightly as he took note of how easily he felt his guideís shoulder blades as he helped Blair lean back against the tub and offered him a washcloth to clean his face with. Gazing more intently at the younger man, Jim was a little startled when he realized just how much weight the younger man had lost. Blair had always been rather slender, but now, Jim realized, he was almost gaunt. Dark circles hung under his eyes like forgotten baggage, giving silent homage to the great stress the young man had been under recently. Automatically Jimís senses began monitoring his guide, and he noted Blairís heart had settled down to a more normal beat, and his breathing had calmed.

This has all been too much for him, first Lash, then Alex, and now Cummings. Heís not bouncing back like he usually does, why didnít I notice he was this bad. My god, he looks like heís dropped 15 pounds. Iíve got to get him away for awhile, we BOTH need a break bad. He was so deep in his examination; his guideís soft voice broke through his musings with the force of a klaxon.

ďHavenít I told you before not to scan me man, I can FEEL it when you do that. It feels weird, besides you need to check yourself out in the mirror. Youíre not looking so good yourself.Ē Blair whispered to his sentinel, while he maintained his spot on the floor, lacking the necessary energy to move just yet.

Jimís frown turned into a slight scowl, as he spared a glance in the mirror to look at himself. Man Sandburgís right! I look like death warmed over. What in the world happened here tonight?? Jim turned his attention back to his friend, surprised to see Blair now had his eyes opened, and the irises were dilated as far as humanly possible, making the normally deep blue eyes appear black.

ďBlair, where is your dial set at right now?Ē Jim asked softly, knowing the young man had to have a killer headache after zoning so deeply.

ďCanít find it right now, to tired.Ē Blair mumbled as his eyes began to slide shut. He didnít know where the dial was set, and he didnít care. All he wanted to do was curl up in a tight little ball and drift away into Never-never land.

Oh no ya donít. Jim felt weary himself, and doubted he had the energy to carry his partner to his bed, weight loss or no. Gently he pulled Blair to his feet and helped guide the half-conscious man to his room, and settled him down on his bed. Blair immediately pulled the covers over himself, and burrowed deep into his bed letting out a decidedly contented groan. Jim scanned Blair briefly once more, ignoring the irritated sigh the gesture earned him, and relaxed as he realized his guide would be fine. Sleep was what all the young man needed.

Jim wanted badly to discuss what had transpired between the two that evening, but one look at his exhausted guide, not to mention his own weariness, pretty much convinced the sentinel that the discussion would have to be tabled until a more appropriate time. Heíd have to wait until morning to discuss this with his partner.

He was just about to leave his friend to his rest and go in search of his own, when Blair spoke, his voice surprisingly clear and strong, cutting through the sentinelís hazy thoughts.

ďAre you alright man? You scared me bad Jim, Iíve NEVER seen you zone in a dream before. You almost stopped breathing on me, I thought I wouldnít be able to shake you out of it.Ē Blairís voice sounded so haunted it almost broke his sentinelís heart.

I know the feeling buddy. ďIím fine Blair, just a little worn out. Do you remember what happened to cause you to zone? Howíd did you get me out of mine?Ē Jim questioned his friend.

Blair was fading fast, but he managed to mumble out an answer before sleep over took him completely. ď Used the same trick on you that I used on Chelsea. Worked great Ďcept I got caught up in your nightmare. Why were you dreaming about a fountain, and Cummings a-an---and Alex, Lash. So dark----such pain----ď Blairís voice trailed off as his body shut down, tired of waiting for his mind to make the decision to sleep, and sent the young man on his trip to Never-never land. Blairís soft snores echoed through the loft as his sentinel stood in shocked silence.

Blairís words had brought back Jimís nightmare in full clarity, and he shuddered as he remembered watching Blair die in his arms as the young man had succumbed to his horrific night terror. For a moment, Jim got caught up in the craziness as he fuzzily tried to fit all the puzzle pieces together.

I dream about Blair dreaming, and MAN what a bad dream, then I dream I come home and find Blair dreaming only to have him die on me. Then the next thing I know Iím dreaming Iím on some remote tropical island totally relaxed only to wake up and find Blair zoned. Now I find out HE zoned on MY nightmare. Oh man, I give up, this is too much for me to think about right now.

Jim shook his head in disbelief as he realized his internal musings had led him upstairs and he now stood in front of his own bed. Realizing his body must be trying to send him a hint, the sentinel collapsed into his bed, groaning in deep satisfaction as the soft mattress welcomed his weight. Closing his eyes, Jim felt himself immediately began to drift and he barely had time for one last thought.

He and Blair had a lot of talking to do the next day when they both recovered, and Jim wanted to thank his guide for coming to save him and being there for him. How Blair had sensed Jimís nightmare while sleeping was still a mystery to the sentinel, and one Jim intended to solve very soon, probably with A LOT of tests.

With a smile on his face at that last thought, Jim finally slipped off into sleep, and joined his partner in some much needed rest.



The End (for now)

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