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On Shaky Ground

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Blair blew out the candle and sighed. His meditation was going nowhere; it was useless to continue. He looked around his cluttered office and decided he might as well do something useful, like grading last week's papers. He opened the first blue book, stared at it, then tossed it aside.

He knew what was wrong--he was giving serious consideration to discontinuing his ride-along with Jim.  He didn't want to, but he might not have a choice.

The problem wasn't being shot at by Tommy Juno right after Juno killed Danny Choi, or having to deal with Jim's grief over his fallen friend at the scene.  It wasn't having to witness Dylan Juno's autopsy, who'd died quite horribly after falling four stories off a roof. It wasn't strapping Dylan's body into a remote-controlled wheelchair to fool Tommy into thinking Dylan was still alive, something he could have gone his whole life without doing. It wasn't even Jim's doggedly pursuing Tommy to the point of illegally wiretapping his phone, or his lack of cooperation as Blair tried to figure out why Jim's senses were going haywire.

No, it was Banks.  Blair already felt he was skating on thin ice with Jim's boss. It's one reason he'd refused Jim's suggestion to carry a gun. He'd taken Banks' command that he was to be "strictly an observer" seriously.

Banks had yanked his credentials and threatened Blair with jail, simply for being with Jim during the wiretap fiasco--as if Blair could have stopped Jim. He'd barely been reinstated when he'd apparently pissed off the man at a crime scene. He'd explained his experience on digs and assured the captain he wouldn't contaminate anything, but Banks insisted he stay outside.

Blair could still feel that heavy hand on his shoulder, pushing him aside with an "Oh, no you don't Sandburg, stay put" as Banks followed Jim into the building.  It's like he didn't understand Blair needed to be with Jim, especially with the sensory problems he'd been having since Danny's death. Perhaps Banks had given Blair his credentials merely to placate Jim, because he'd discounted Blair pretty thoroughly in the last two days.

The phone rang, startling him out of his reverie.  "Blair Sandburg," he greeted.

"Hey, Sandburg."

"Jim! How'd everything go?"

"Not bad. Tommy's in the morgue with Dylan and Mickey. O'Toole's lieutenant has been picked up for questioning, so their organization is scrambling and Kaminski's out of their clutches."

"That's good. And how are your…"

"Everything's still okay." There was a pause. "Oh, and Beverly and I decided to just be friends."

Blair winced, remembering how he'd practically shoved her and Jim together. He briefly wondered what happened. "That sounds good, man." There was another pause. "Was there something else?"

"Yeah. With all last night's excitement, I forgot to thank you for setting up the thing with Dylan. It worked great and probably saved Beverly's life. Even Simon mentioned it."

Blair was taken aback by the praise and the captain's reaction. "Wow, that's great.  Thanks for letting me know."

"So, I didn't get anything to eat last night. Did you want to grab some breakfast? Or do you need to teach…?"

"Nah, I'm free as a bird this morning."

"Meet you out front? In fifteen?"

"Yeah, that'd be great. See ya."

Blair smiled. Maybe it would be okay after all. He just needed to figure out what made Banks tick. Maybe observe him a little closer. He stuffed the blue books into his backpack and went out to meet Jim.  Despite the cold, it was going to be a beautiful day.