Why am I not more freaked? Blair Sandburg sat beside his best friend as they drove to the precinct from Wilkenson Towers and the barely contained terror that had been dogging them all afternoon.
Why does this shit always happen to me? I swear it's a miracle that Jim lets me out of the apartment at all. Sighing softly, Blair glanced over at the object of his thoughts and winced inwardly. Jim's hands were clenched tight on the wheel and his teeth were doing the grinding thing again as he fought to rein in his feelings.
Anger at Galileo almost certainly, but probably anger at him too. Don't endanger the Guide; it pisses off the Sentinel. Galileo he could vent his anger on, but the anger at him? What was Jim supposed to do? Yell at him for getting stuck in the one elevator in Cascade that had happened to be the target of a mad bomber?
Then again, the anger was almost certainly fighting for dominance with fear and relief. He'd seen the empty look in Jim's eyes that had only vanished when he'd finally caught sight of him. It wasn't till he was being crushed in a typical Ellison bear hug that he had found out that Jim had thought he'd been too late... that Galileo had pressed the detonator in front of him. The Sentinel thinking he had let down his Guide must have been bad enough; factoring in the patented Ellison guilt thing, it was a wonder Galileo hadn't been torn limb from limb by the time backup had finally gotten to Jim.
Blair smiled softly. All the guys from Major Crimes had done their bit to catch the bomber. The concern in their voices when they greeted his re-emergence from the elevator had told him what they would never admit to openly - that they had been scared that this might have been the time that they were too late. The teasing and pride in their voices at his rather unique solution to the dilemma of the last bomb had been such a good thing to hear. It was acceptance... they were accepting him as one of them.
Still... trapped in an elevator by a mad bomber? Why aren't I more freaked? Oh, he'd had his fair few moments of panic while in the damn elevator, but now... on the outside... it wasn't that bad at all. Looking at Jim, he said, "I really am all right, you know.
"I'm sure there'll be a few nightmares and definitely a few twinges when I get into elevators for the next month or so. I'll get by it."
"You shouldn't have to get by it, Chief. Stopping mad bombers isn't your responsibility, it's mine."
Almost doing an Ellison growl himself, Blair placed his hand on Jim's shoulder and said in a sharp tone, "And you did. As for what happened in that elevator, that was not your fault. That was just chance and my usual luck.
"I'm not sorry it happened. I was able to help some people and that was because of the things you and the rest of the guys have been teaching me. Blair Sandburg 'grad student' might have been some use; Blair Sandburg 'grad student and police observer' was able to help a heck of a lot more.
"I knew you'd move mountains to get us out, man. If it didn't happen it wasn't going to be for lack of effort on your part, or the part of the Cascade PD.
"I will be fine, man."
Blair kept his hand on Jim's shoulder 'til he felt the tension begin to leave the older man.
He smiled when, in a lighter tone, Jim said, "It's all right if I go into Blessed Protector overdrive for the next few days, though. Isn't it?"
Grinning, Blair said, "Jim, I'd expect nothing less."
Leaning back in his seat, Blair looked at his best friend and said, "I don't think either of us feel like cooking dinner tonight. What do you say to filling in the report about this afternoon and then heading to Wonderburger?"
Ellison's smile was like the sun coming up in the morning. Blair turned his head to gaze out of the window. Sentinel happy equaled Guide happy. Galileo would rot in jail. All was right in Cascade... until the next psycho.