Title:  Football, Birthdays and Holidays

Author:  Angelee

Pairing: Jim/Blair (preslash)

Summary:  Sometimes the unexpected happens.

Beta:  By my sister Anna.  All final errors are mine-with apologies.

Note:  This is part one of four-so eventually the story will fit into the title. (o:

Feedback:  Yes, please. (o:  angelee79912@yahoo.com


Football, Birthdays and Holidays


“So, am I going to have to go to Protector School like Jim goes to Sentinel School?”  Steven asked Simon, who was rubbing his nose with a Kleenex.


“I wont no,” the Doctor said, sneezing.


Steven looked at him.  “Huh?”


“I wont no,” Simon replied again, rubbing at his nose.


“You wanna try that in a language I can understand?”


William handed Simon another tissue.  “I think he said, that he didn’t know.”


The Doctor wiped his eyes with the fresh Kleenex.  “Oh, God, I hate my life,” He said miserably as he sneezed again.


William smiled at him.  “Isn’t there anyone else you can send down into the archives to research Sentinel Protectors?”


“I could, but I want to do this.  Steven’s my little buddy and I want to make sure nothing is missed.  Will, can I have another tissue?”


William handed it to him.  “You could always have someone go down there and at least dust for you.  How about I have a cleaning crew go down there and take care of it for you?”


Simon shook his head.  “The books down there are very delicate and thousands of years old even if they do have six inches of dust.”


“There has to be someone that specializes in this sort of thing,” William insisted.  “Otherwise you’re going to rub your nose right off your face by the time you find something on Protectors.”  He replied, handing the suffering Doctor another tissue.


Simon sighed heavily.  “I suppose.”


“I’ll look into it tomorrow.”


Simon nodded his agreement.  “Alright.  Thank you.”


William smiled at him.  “No reason to thank me.  You’re putting yourself through a lot to help my family.”


Simon patted William’s arm.  “My family as well.”


“Yes, that true too,” William replied softly. He turned toward Steven who was quietly watching them.  William, Simon and Steven were having a late Wednesday afternoon snack at the dining room table as had become a sort of habit, at least when they had the time.  “So, Son-are you ready to start a new school year?”


Steven bit into a chocolate chip cookie.  “Not yet.  Still have to buy clothes and writing paper. Need odds and ends mostly.”  He sighed.  “It’s just that Jim is so anal about everything and he’s being more analie than usual.  Has to have everything matching, the socks have to have the same amount of threads.  If the color is off even a little on a pair of jeans he’s looking at, he flips.  I told him it didn’t freaking matter if the blue wasn’t dark enough, they’re just jeans.”  Steven rolled his eyes.  “That got me the look that Jim gives-you know the one that can freeze you at fifty paces,” he shivered dramatically.  “Brr, I’m still cold.”


William and Simon laughed.  “Where’s Jim and Blair right now?”  William asked smiling at his middle son.


“Jim’s helping Blair pack his new Batman backpack.  Making sure that Blair’s got the right amount of pencils, that they’re lined up right, that his crayons aren’t broken or chipped or heaven forbid just a tad off the color they claim to be.”


“And what’s Blair doing during all this?”  Simon asked offering Steven another cookie.


Steven took it.  “Don’t mind if I do.  Reading a book on tribes in Peru.  Couldn’t care less that Jim is stressing himself into an early grave.  Well, until the he gets tired of Jim’s grumbling and pops him one.”


“Hey, Michael’s not in here stealing all the cookies?”  Simon said, looking around.


Steven took a drink of his milk.  “Went to go see Mattie.  He’ll be back by dinner.  Especially since dinner’s fried chicken and muscle brain loves chicken.”


“Oh,” Simon said, wiping his nose with another tissue.  It wasn’t so bad, now that the allergy pill had taken effect.  “Maybe Mattie’ll send some chocolate cake.


Steven smiled happily.  “Yeah, huh.”




“B…but Blair?”




“I don’t need to be scented?”  Jim said stubbornly.


“Do,” Blair replied, tilting his head to the side as he contemplated his Sentinel.  “Jim acting cuckoo.  Need scent.”


“But Blair, I need to finish packing your backpack for school.  It’s starts on Monday.”




Jim flinched.  Standing quickly he practically raced to the bed where Blair sat.  The book the little Guide had been reading forgotten.  “Okay.  Okay.  Don’t get mad.”


Jim picked his little Guide into his arms, burying his face against a warm little neck.  He sighed softly as Blair began releasing scent.  He began keening as the bonding scent was released as well.  He pulled Blair closed, wrapping his arms around the slight body tightly as he rocked them both.


Jim felt Blair’s little hands gently stroking his hair.  Comforting him in a way no one else on the planet could.  Stabilizing his out of control emotions as well as his senses.  Blair had been right he had gone a little cuckoo.  He knew it now that he could think straight.


He pulled away slowly.  “I’m sorry, Blair.”


His little Guide tilted his head slight as he contemplated him.  “Better.”


“Yes.  Lots,” Jim replied, gently kissing Blair’s forehead.  “I didn’t realize that I was so out of control.”




Jim smiled slightly.  “Yup, cuckoo.  It’s that getting ready for school, football practice.  Lee Brackett trying to kill me. It got to me and I didn’t even realize it.  I’m sorry.  Did I make you, Steven and Michael crazy?”  He flinched slightly when Blair nodded. “Sorry.” Jim apologized regretfully.


“Better?”  Blair asked him, stroking his cheek with a tiny finger.  It never failed to amaze Jim that Blair being as little as he was, knew so much.  Especially on stuff that kept him from going off the deep end.


“Much,” Jim replied, moving into the gentle touch.


“Dat all that madder.”


“Hmm,” Jim said, pulling Blair into a tight hug.  “I love you, Baby.”


Blair wrapped his arms around his Sentinel’s neck.  “I luvs you too.”






Jim blinked at him sleepily.  “I never realized being cuckoo took so much out of you. I could use a nap.  How about you.” 


Blair gave him a brilliant smile.  “Yuppers.”


Jim returned the smile. “Cool.” The smile deepening when Blair giggled.  He was to tired to pull the blankets free, so all he did was lay back with his Guide held protectively in his arms and closed his eyes.


Steven walked into the bedroom twenty minutes later carrying a plate of cookies and two glasses of milk to find his brothers sound asleep, tightly wrapped around each other. It looked like Blair had fixed Jim.  Laying the cookies and milk down on their nightstand right next to Blair’s stuffed panther. 


He covered them with a blanket off his bed before stretching out on it. He picked up a comic book from the stockpile he had on his own nightstand. Ready, willing and able to guard his brothers’ sleep, no matter how long it took.  He looked over at them making sure everything was alright before he opened his comic book.


The first one to stir was Jim.  He opened his eyes and looked over at Steven who was watching him. “How do you feel?”  Steven asked quietly.


“Better.  I’m sorry, Stevie.”


Steven smiled at him.  “Don’t be sorry. It’s not like you can help being an asshole.”


Jim chuckled softly.  “Geez, thanks.”


“No problem. I brought you milk and cookies.  I don’t know how cold the milk is now though.”


“How long till dinner?”  Jim asked, wiggling very carefully out from under Blair.


Steven looked over at the large Obi Wan Kenobi wall clock Daryl had brought with him when he’d moved in.  “I’m saying half an hour.  Use your nose if you want to be more accurate.”


Jim closed his eyes and tilted his head to the side.  “Hmm, potatoes are done, carrots just about.  Sally’s frying up the last pieces of chicken.  Michael’s back and he’s talking to Dad about starting to train you in self defense techniques.”


“Yeah, okay, whatever.  More importantly, did he bring back chocolate cake?”


Jim opened his eyes and gave Steven a brilliant smile.  “Oh, yeah.”


“Cool.  How soon till dinner, then.”


“Sally just told Dad it’d be ten minutes.”


Steven frowned.  “Hey, could that be considered an invasion of privacy?”


Jim shrugged.  “Don’t know.  We’ll have to ask Simon the rules on that.”


Steven rolled his eyes.  “Don’t be so anal.  You can break the rules now and then if you want, Watchman.”


“I really wish you’d quit calling me anal.”


Steven looked at his brother smiling slightly.  “Why?  That’s what you are.”


Jim tsked at him.  “Not all the time,” He protested.  Steven just looked at him.  “Well, I’m not.”


Steven stole a cookie from the plate.  “Yeah, okay-keep telling yourself that and eventually you might actually convince yourself.”


“I hate you,” Jim told him affectionately.


Steven smiled at him.  “Yeah, I hate you too, Watchman.  So when does Blair’s Grandpa get back in town?”


“Monday, I think.”


Steven stole another cookie.  “Is he gonna move in here with us after all?”


Jim took a cookie from the plate before Steven could finish them all.  “Hmm, I think he’s only gonna stay with us until his apartment is ready.”




Jim took a drink of his now lukewarm milk.  He grimaced.  “Yuck.  Yeah it is.  He wants to start taking Blair to religious services with him.  Wants him to meet his Rabbi.”


“I did warn you about the milk not being cold any more.  Is Dad gonna let Blair do it?”


Jim put the glass of milk back down on the nightstand.  Maybe Wofie and Blackie’d want it.  “Last I heard Dad’s still thinking about it.  I’m not sure he trusts Jacob to well after everything Blair’s Mom did.”


“Hmm, don’t blame Dad one bit, even if Jacob is a cool old dude.  The safeties are in place in case anything like that happens again.  So you don’t have to worry that you and Blair will ever be separated. Remember, this week it’s Joel.  If anything happens go to him and he’ll protect you and Blair. Every week the person to go to will change.  I’ll tell you at the beginning of the week who it is.”


Jim smiled at his little brother.  “Thank you, Stevie. You’ll never know how much I appreciate everything you do for Blair and me.”


“I know, Jim.  You don’t have to tell me.”  Steven smiled at him.  “I still hate you,” He replied punching Jim hard on the arm.


Jim returned the smile.  “Ow! Yeah, I know.  I hate you too.”






“Is Jim growling?”  Michael asked Steven, looking at the young Sentinel in astonishment.


“Yeah, that he is,” Steven replied, picking up a really nice Star Wars ruler.  “Hey, Daryl look at this ruler.”  Knowing how much Simon’s son loved Star Wars.  “It’s got Yoda.  You gonna want it, cause it’s the only one left, so if you’re not going to take it, I am.”


Daryl came up to them carrying a backpack, pencils, and ruled paper, everything needed to start a new school year. “Oh, that is a nice ruler.”  He looked at it longingly.  “No you can have it,” He told Steven generously, “You found it.”  Still looking at it wistfully.


“God, Buddy-do you have enough stuff?  Here let me help you with some of that.”  Steven said, relieving Daryl of the ruled paper and the backpack.  “No, that’s okay.  I know how much you like Star Wars, you take it.  I bet if we looked through all the school supply mess we’ll be able to find another one.”


They started searching through piles of paper, torn packages of pencils and scattered crayons.  Until…


Eureka.  And we have a winner,” Steven shouted triumphantly.


Daryl smiled at him in relief.  “I’m glad. It’s a really nice ruler.”


“Yeah it is.”  Steven turned to an impatient Michael who was practically stomping his foot.  “What the hell is the matter with you?”


“I want to know if Jim is growling?”


Steven looked at him quizzically.  “And I told you he was.  What, did all the muscles you’ve built up squish your eardrums so you don’t hear so good?”


Michael rolled his eyes at him.  “Funny.  I want to know WHY Jim is growling, Numbnuts.”


Daryl had gone off in search of glue.  Leaving Steven holding the backpack and the ruled paper. Steven turned to look over at his brothers.  Blair was looking at coloring books with Rafe and Jim was trying unsuccessfully to choose some pencils having more success with the growling bit.  Which was low, steady and menacing, but then Steven figured that was the whole point of growling.  “That’s what he does when Rafe is near Blair,” Steven told him.


Michael looked over worriedly.  “Should I go get Blair?”


“Naw.  It’ll stop once Blair notices that his Sentinel is upset,” Steven told him, picking up a Star Wars binder.  “Cool.  Hey, Daryl.”


Right on cue the little Guide looked over toward Jim sensing that his Sentinel was not happy, he went over to him.




Jim looked down at him.  “I’m okay.  Go look at coloring books with Rafe,” He told his little Guide testily.  A tone he rarely used on his little Guide.


Blair tilted his curly head to the side, contemplating his Sentinel.  “Now,” He said quietly.


“No, Blair.  I said I was fine.”


Before it could go any further Lee Brackett swaggered up to them.  “Well, well, well if it isn’t the freak.”


Jim taken away from the contest of wills he was having with his little Guide. He groaned inwardly.  “What do you want, Lee?”


“Nothing.  I’m school shopping just like you,” Lee replied, smugly at Jim.


“Huh, huh.”


Lee picked up a pack of erasers.  “So did you know I’m dating Daisy?”  he asked looking at it, before tossing it back in the pile with the other erasers.


“That’s nice,” Jim replied with a tense smile.


Lee looked at him.  “Yeah, I bet.  Considering you want her for you.”


Jim shook his head.  “No, I don’t.”


“What, she not good enough for you?”  Lee asked moving toward Jim menacingly.


Jim rolled his eyes.  “Oh, please.  It’s not enough you try and kill me on the football field you gotta start harassing me elsewhere too?”  he said with a heavy sigh.  “Go away, Lee.”  He really didn’t need this.  His head hurt and he was starting to feel funny.


Lee’s blue eyes narrowed.  “Last time I checked it was a free country. I’ll go wherever the hell I want.”


Blair who’d plastered himself along Jim’s side, began growling.  The young Sentinel looked down at his Guide.  “It’s okay, Blair.”


“Go away, Lee,” H told him, coming up, carrying his own just-bought stuff for school.




H put his bags down.  “Look we all know that the only reason you’re hassling Jim right now is because of Daisy.  Jim doesn’t want Daisy, so you’re more than welcome to her.  Quit looking for an excuse to pick a fight.”  H put his hands on the top of Blair’s curly head in an effort to calm the agitated little Guide.  “The way I see it you’ve got two choices.  One, go away if all you wanna do is fight.  Two, behave and join us in getting ready for school.  We’re going for ice cream after were done here.  The choice is yours.”


Lee tilted his head to the side.  “Why the hell would I want to join you for ice cream?”


H smiled at him.  “Because we’re sharing one of those ice creams from Harold’s Ice Cream Parlor that’s got everything, but the kitchen sink in it.  It’s going to take all of us and a few more to finish it.  Behave and you are more than welcome to join us.  Right, Jim?”


Jim nodded.  “Yup.”


H turned toward the quietly watching Rafe, Carl, Steven, Daryl and Michael. All of them ready to step in if Jim needed help.  “Right, guys?” 


They all nodded.  “Yup,” Steven replied.  “There’ll be enough ice cream in that thing to give all of us a sugar rush for the next week.”


“What do you say?  Join us?”  H coaxed softly.


Lee looked at him for a moment before turning to look at Jim.  Jim returned the look steadily with one of his own.  Lee then looked over at the other guys.


“I didn’t bring any money.”


“That’s okay,” Jim replied.  “Our treat.”


Lee met Jim’s eyes.  “Are you sure?”


The young Sentinel nodded.  “Yeah, it’ll be great.  I don’t wanna fight with you.  I’d like to be friends if we could.”


Lee looked at the floor then up at him.  “Alright.”


All the guys huddled around Lee slapping his back in welcome.  Glad that it hadn’t ended up with someone getting hurt.


“So do you have all your stuff for school?”  Rafe asked Lee.


Lee shook his head.  “No.  Haven’t started yet.”


“School starts in two days,” Carl replied.


“I know, but my Step-Dad forgot to give me money before he went off on his business trip to Paris.”  Lee’s face flushed brightly in embarrassment. 


“When will he be back?”  Rafe asked.


“Next Saturday.”


“Oh,” The group said almost at the same time. 


They all seemed lost in contemplation until.  “I can lend you money so you can get school supplies,” Michael said, smiling happily.


Lee shook his head.  “No, I wouldn’t feel right.”


“You’re only borrowing the money.  You can pay it back when you Step-Dad gets back.  It’ll all work out.”


Lee looked at him eyes troubled.  “I don’t know.”


“Go on, do it.  Take advantage.  Michael doesn’t lend money to anyone.  Uses all his money on muscle building drinks that taste like chalk water,” Steven said, sticking out his tongue.  “Yuck.”


Michael looked at him.  “Hey, when did you get a drink of my protein shake?”


Steven rubbed his forehead with his forefinger. “Hmm, let me think on that.  Oh, yes, it was yesterday when I accidentally spit into it.”


“Accidentally spit in to it, huh?  You are SO asking for an attitude adjustment hug.”


Steven backed away quickly from the bodybuilder.  “I didn’t really spit in to it.  I was kidding.  I was a very good boy all day yesterday,” He said hastily going to stand in back of his brothers.


Everyone laughed knowing how Steven felt about attitude adjustment hugs.  Lee looked at them curiously having no idea what they were talking about.


Michael gave Steven a finally warning look before turning back to Lee.  “Please, do it.  I don’t mind.  Really I don’t.”


“I…if your sure,” Lee replied still looking really uncertain.


Michael nodded his curly head, blue-green eyes solemn.  “I am.  What do you wanna look at first?  Clothes or school supplies?”


“Well, I could use some new jeans. Could we start there?”


Michael nodded.  “Sure thing.”


Jim watched Lee and Michael head toward the jean section, before looking down at his little Guide.   Blair’s blue eyes were flashing angrily up at him.


“B…Blair?  B…baby?”  he stuttered softly.


Blair frowned at him before he went over to Rafe and offered him his arms.  Steven came up to him.  “What’d you do?”


“I…I don’t know?”  Jim replied, frowning. Rafe gave him a thoughtful look before taking Blair back over to the coloring books. 


“Well, you must have done something.  Blair is seriously pissed at you.”


Jim glared at him.  “I told you, I don’t know what the fuck I did.  Are you deaf?”


Steven just looked at him.  “Don’t use that tone with me, Watchman.  Might work on other people, but it sure as hell doesn’t work on me.”


Jim sighed.  “I’m sorry, Steven. I really don’t know what I did,”  He replied, rubbing his head.  It was really starting to hurt.


H came up to them carrying his bags.  “I know what you did.  Wanna know?”


Jim nodded eagerly.  “Yeah.”


H smiled at him.  “It’ll cost you.”


“Don’t make me hurt you,” Jim growled menacingly.


H shivered dramatically.  “Oooh, scary.”


Jim shook his head giving his friend a small smile.  “Just tell me, already.”


“When you were growling, Blair wanted you to pick him up and you said no.”


“I…I did?”


H. nodded.  “Yeah, you did.  Told him you were fine.”


“Oh, shit.”


Steven nodded.  “I’d say you’re in a world of it right now, Watchman.”


Jim glared at him.  “Shut up.”


Steven smiled at him tightly.  “Okay.”  And walked away.  Jim had been a real ass the past few days.  Steven had had enough.


“Hey, weren’t you going help me figure out how to fix this.” 


Steven turned around giving him another smile, before going to where Daryl and Carl were looking at pencils.


“Shit,” Jim cussed under his breath.  “I’m pissing everyone off.”


H nodded.  “Yup.  You’ve really got to get a handle on that anger problem you’ve got.”


Jim frowned at him.  “I don’t have an anger problem.”


“You sure as hell do.  I heard about you trying to beat up Steven the other day.”


“That was different.  Steven hit Blair with a beach ball,” Jim told him dismissively.


“By accident.”


“I told him not to throw the freaking ball,” Jim replied angrily, lowering his voice when everyone turned to look at him.  “Blair could have been hurt.”


H sighed.  “That’s what I’m talking about, Buddy. You need to lighten up.  You’re taking everything way to serious.  I know that you’ve got a lot of pressure on you right now, being the world’s youngest Sentinel and all, but you’re only twelve. Don’t take everything so serious.”


Jim looked over at Blair who was giggling at something Rafe was telling him.  “You’re right.  It’s just…”


H interrupted. “You’ve got a lot of responsibility and it get’s to be too much for you sometimes?”


“Yeah,” Jim whispered softly.  “it does.”


H touched his arm.  “Don’t let it. You’ve got your family and friends around you to help, if you need it.”


Jim smiled at H.  “When did you get to be so smart?”


H returned it. “I hang out with Steven, it kinda rubbed off.”


Jim snorted.  “I bet.”  He looked over at his little Guide.  Blair was looking at a Batman comic book.  Rafe, Carl, and Daryl were all on their knees looking it over with him Steven had wandered off to join Michael and Lee at the school supplies.  Jim sighed heavily.  “Okay.  I better go apologize to my little Guide.  If I don’t, he won’t talk to me for a week.”


“Good idea,” H replied.  “Hey, if you need someone to talk to I’m here.  So is Rafe, even if you’re not getting along with him to well right now.  So’s the rest of the guys.  You can always talk to your Dad.  He’s got to be the coolest parent on the planet.”  H touched his arm.  “You’re not alone in this, remember that.”


Jim nodded.  “I’ll remember.”  He looked up, meeting H’s eyes.  “Thanks, H,” he said softly.


“No problem, Buddy.”


Jim approached Blair cautiously.  “Blair?” The little Guide didn’t look up. “Come on, Baby, I know you can hear me.”


Blair continued to look at his coloring book.  The other guys had moved away when they’d noticed Jim approaching.  They’d all joined Steven, Michael and Lee at the school supplies.


Jim went to his knees in front of Blair.  He was still being ignored.  He moved as close as he dared.  Warily of his little Guide’s tiny fists.  “Baby?”  Nothing.  He inched a little closer.  “Blair?”  Still nothing.  “I love you,” He said softly.  That got a twinge of a reaction as Blair flickered his big blue eyes at him, before darting away. “I really love you and I didn’t realize I was being mean to you when you only wanted to help.  I’m sorry.  Do you wanna hit me?  You can if you want.  I know I deserve it for the way I’ve been acting.  I’ll hold still if you wanna hit me.  Go on, hit me,” Jim said, sticking out his chin in offering.  Still when the punch came he wasn’t expecting it.  It sent him sprawling on his ass.  “Ow!  Feel better?” 


Blair shook his head sadly.  “No.”


Jim rubbed at his blood nose.  Damn, Blair could hit hard.  His nose really hurt.  “I’m sorry, Blair.”  He was shocked to see Blair’s blue eyes fill with tears.


“I wanted to help,”  Blair’s sentences were starting to come out clearer even though most times they were still in baby talk.  “Make Jim feel better.”


“I know you did,” Jim replied softly, sitting up straighter.


“You hurt feelings,” Blair told him, rubbing at his tear-filled eyes with the back of his hands.


Jim leaned against the back of the magazine rack.  “I know.  Sometimes I don’t know what comes over me.  I never, ever meant to hurt you.  You are my heart and soul, Blair.  Without you, I don’t live.  I can’t even exist.”


Blair climbed into Jim’s lap.  He wrapped his arms around his Sentinel waist, cuddling close.  “I luv you.”


Jim buried his face in his little Guide’s hair. “I love you too.”  He murmured softly, wrapping his own arms around Blair carefully.  “I’m sorry, so very sorry.”  He added tearfully.


“Need scent?” 


Jim lifted his head to look around the store.  They weren’t exactly in a place to do something the young Sentinel considered extremely private or at the very least not to be shared with that many people.


Steven was quietly watching.  He saw his older brother looking around knowing instinctively what he needed.  With a quiet word to the others they formed a protective barrier between his brothers and what was essentially the outside world. Their backs to the Sentinel/ Guide pair, allowing them the privacy they needed.  Jim could be an ass sometimes, but he was his brother and he would protect him with everything in him.  His little brother too.  


When he heard Jim began to keen softly he knew that Blair had started to release the scent that was critical to his brother’s well being.  He hoped that it would work to steady him.  Jim had been on edge for the last few days.  Finding fault with everything and trying to pick fights over the stupidest things.  Steven and Jim had almost come to blows over Jim’s attitude.  It wasn’t as bad as when Joel and Gladys Taggart had come over, but it’d been close.


“How long is this going to take?”  Lee whispered.


“A little while more,” Steven whispered back.  “Jim needs this to keep him sane.  Not that you can tell much difference.”


“Is this what life is like living with a Sentinel?”


“Pretty much.  There’s times where everything gets to be too much for him and he flips and then Blair needs to straighten him out,” Steven said, reaching into his pocket for a packet of bubble gum.  Taking one he offered it to Lee.  “Gum?”


Lee took the strip. “Thanks.”


“No problem.”  He offered it to the rest of their friends.  They all quietly chewed while they waited for Blair to fix Jim.


“Is this my fault?”  Lee asked, guiltily.


“Yeah, I think partly.”  Steven touched Lee’s arm when he flinched.  “It’ll be okay.  Blair will take care of it.  Jim will be a different person, you’ll see.”


“I shouldn’t have been so rough on him.”


“Well, trying to kill him at every skirmish and football practice didn’t help,” Steven told Lee truthfully and with quite a bit of censor.


Lee bowed his head.  “I know.  It’s just…”


Steven looked at Lee curiously.  “What?”


“My Step-Dad said some not so nice things about your family.  Saying your Dad is always beating him out of contacts that should have been his. That you’re family was…well not very nice.  I believed him and there was Daisy.  She said some not so nice stuff about Jim too and I believed her.”


“And now?”


“I’ve seen with my own eyes that you guys aren’t all that bad,” Lee told him with a smile.


Steven smiled back.  “Yeah, we’re not that bad once you get to know us.  I’m okay.  Blair’s okay too.  I’m not to sure about Jim, though.”


Lee chuckled. “Yeah, huh?”


“So where’s your Mom? How come she didn’t give you money to buy school stuff?”  Steven asked curiously. Jim’s keening had risen a little bit in volume.  Steven knew that Blair was now bonding Jim as well.  He wondered what that felt like? Sometimes when Blair bonded Jim it kinda sounded like it hurt.


“Mom’s in a rehab place,” Lee said ducking his head again in shame. “Mom likes to drink a little too much.”




“Yeah.  Went in two months ago and it just leaves my Step-Dad and me.”


“Hey,” Steven said, getting Lee to look at him.  “Your Mom can get better.  Mine’s dead,” He told him quietly.


“I’m sorry.”


“Don’t be.  I don’t really remember her, but Jim does and he misses her something fierce sometimes.  He’d been hoping that maybe Naomi-Blair’s Mom, would kinda be substitute Mom, but that didn’t work out to well.”


Lee looked down at his feet, thinking.  He looked up after a moment.  “If my Mom ever gets better I’ll share her with you.  She can be real cool when she’s not drinking,” He offered softly.


Steven felt his eyes fill with tears.  “Really?”  No one had offered to share their Mom before.


Lee nodded.  “Yeah.”


“That’d be really cool.  Thanks.  But what would she think about being substitute Mom for three not quite normal Ellisons.”


Lee gave him a shy smile.  “She’d think that-that would be way cool.  Just like me thinking that I have three friends by the name of Ellison is way cool.”




Lee nodded.  “Yeah.”


Michael listened to Steven and Lee talk, he’d never realized how much Jim and Steven missed not having a Mom.  He was going to have to talk to Sally and Mattie about that.  See if they could help easy the pain of them not having a Mom around just a little. 


Their real Mom couldn’t be replaced, but there were many people who would love to step in and be substitutes.  His heart hurt for them.  He’d never really had a Mom either.  His dying too when he was very young.  Like Steven he didn’t really remember her, but that didn’t make the missing any less.  More so because Jim at least had his memories, something he could touch. Him and Stephen didn’t even have that.  So lost in thought he didn’t hear Jim.  Startling slightly when the young Sentinel spoke.


“A…are we ready to go get ice cream?”  Jim said hoarsely.


Steven turned around to look at his pale brother.  Jim’s eyes were swollen and red-rimmed.  “Are you okay?”  he asked softly.


Jim carrying Blair nodded.  “Yeah, I’m a lot better.  I’m sorry guys.” 


H shook his head.  “There’s nothing to apologize for.  Let finish up so we can go get ice cream.”




Steven watched Jim carefully at the ice cream parlor.  Not liking that Jim was way to quiet and he was still to pale. 


“Are you sure you’re alright?”


Jim offered Blair a piece of banana from the huge bowl of ice cream in the middle of the table.  “I’m fine.”


“You don’t look fine.”


Jim looked at him.  “I’m just a little tired.”


“Wanna go home?”


“In a little while.  Let Blair enjoy eating ice cream with the guys.”


Steven frowned.  “Don’t you like it?  You haven’t eaten very much of it.  You’re not keeping up with the rest of the guys like you usually do.”


“I’m not really hungry for ice cream.”


Steven noticed the look Blair was giving his Sentinel.  A deep frown between his eyebrows.  “Blair?”  The little Guide looked at him.  “Should we take Jim home?”


Blair nodded.  “Home.”


“Okay.  Michael, we need to take Jim and Blair home.  Guys we’ll see you later.  Michael can come back and take you guys home, if you like.”


H shook his head.  “No, that’s alright.  My Grandma said she could pick us up if we needed a ride.”


Steven hesitated.  “Are you sure?”


“Yeah, go.”


“Okay, see you.”


H nodded.  “Yeah.  Jim?”  The young Sentinel looked up.  “Feel better.  See you in school on Monday.”


“Okay,” Jim replied quietly.  He really wasn’t feeling good.  He was shaky and really dizzy.


Steven frowned as he followed his brothers.  Jim wasn’t being himself.  He would have insisted that they stay.  Something was really wrong.


Once they got home, Steven flew out the car to get their Dad and Simon who he knew were home.  He flung the front door open startling them as they sat on the couch watching TV.


“Dad. Simon.  There’s something wrong with Jim.  Help.”


Both men jumped to their feet and raced to the door just as Michael carrying Jim came through it.  A very worriedly little Guide holding on to the body builder’s muscle shirt. “He passed out when I was helping him out of the car,” He explained.


“Put him on the couch,” Simon directed.  “Steven get my bag from my office, please.”


“What is it?”  William asked worriedly.


“I don’t know.”  Simon looked up at Steven when he handed him his bag.  “Steven, did Jim come into contact with anything unusual?  Did something happen when you guys were shopping.”


“Lee was at the store, started hassling Jim.  But that got worked out.  Blair smacked Jim on the nose cause he was being an ass again.”  Steven looked at Blair when the little Guide gasped.  Seeing Blair pale as a ghost.  “No, Blair.  Don’t think that.  This wasn’t your fault.”


Blair’s eyes filled with tear.  “I do.  I hurt my Sentinell.”


William quickly gathered the trembling little boy in his arms.  “No, Son.  It wasn’t you.”  He tightened his hold on Blair who’d begun crying.  Suddenly Jim’s body arched up off the couch.  “Dear God, Simon-Jim’s convulsing, do something.”