*****I have often dreamed of a far off place, where a hero's welcome will be waiting for me, where the crowds would cheer, when they see my face and the voice keeps saying this is where I'm meant to be......*****


Go the Distance

by alyjude

*How* the two children and their dog managed to get trapped was a question whose answer would have to wait - until they were rescued. Suffice it to say that the old, derelict building next to their apartment had probably proven too much temptation to the children, it's mysteries beckoning.

Several police cars, fire trucks and ambulances were parked at odd angles surrounding the structure, men and women moving about, gesturing, pointing. Off to the side, parked closest to the building, was the vehicle that had arrived first on the scene - a blue and white truck. Standing next to it, eyes straining to see inside, face creased with worry was a young man with long curly hair. He looked to be in his late twenties and at the moment, restless. He was bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet, one hand resting on the hood of the truck alternately tapping and stroking the clean surface.


The young man turned to face a much taller man with an unlit cigar in his mouth, brown eyes reflecting his own worry back through the lenses of his glasses.


"How long has he been in there?"

Sandburg checked his watch and said, "About thirty."

"Have they heard anything?"

The curls shook as Sandburg said, "Not even the dog barking."

"You know he'll find them. When no one else could. And he'll bring them out safely."

Blair only nodded.


Simon Banks surveyed the scene, took in the one side of the building that had collapsed less than an hour ago with the children inside and he marvelled at their luck. Blair and Jim Ellison had been only two miles from this quiet neighborhood when the frantic call by an alarmed parent alerted the PD and the Fire Department that part of the structure had caved in and that possibly, maybe, two children had been inside.....


The call went out and Jim had responded.


Being first on the scene had allowed him to survey the rubble without interference, target the frightened heartbeats, and with a terse, "Stay here," to Sandburg as he stripped off his jacket and his gun, leaving him in just his burgandy workshirt and jeans, he had made his way into the building and then started to work his way to the trapped children.


By the time rescuers had arrived, Sandburg was ready to fill them in, and now all anyone could do was - wait.


At first, the faint sound of barking had cheered the crowd of civil servants, but for the last several minutes, there had been no sound, none.

The news media had gathered a safe distance from the building, cameras rolling and various reporters giving updates. Overhead, no fewer than four choppers circled.

Most of the neighborhood stood off to the right, comforting the mother as she stared at the building that might become the grave site for her children....

Blair moved closer to the crumbling structure, and when two firemen tried to stop him, Simon stepped in, shook his head and flashed his Captain's I.D. The men stepped aside.

Blair walked up to the sidewalk and stopped. Slowly - almost invisibly - his lips began to move....

{I'm pretty sure you can hear me, Jim and right about now, if you haven't made your way to them, you're probably getting real frustrated with your senses so listen up. Stop right where you are.....}

Deep within the bowels of the building, Jim stopped as Blair's voice washed over him and he smiled.

Since he'd gone inside, his senses had been guiding him, saving him from beams about to crash down beside him, from floors about to give way beneath him, and of course, letting him know how close he was to the kids, who were alive, scared and crying. The dog whimpered occasionally, but Jim sensed that it was unhurt, just frustrated that it could not help its owners.....

As Jim had moved through the maze of debris, his mind had culled through every Blairlesson, every experiment the younger man had forced on him, every technique he'd learned to assist him in focusing, in utilizing his senses to their fullest....But now, so many minutes later, angry with himself for not having found them yet, his senses reeling, spiking.....

....and then Blair's voice. Easy, quiet, unassuming, calming, all-knowing......so Jim stopped, hunched down, muscles straining, but - listening.....

{Close your eyes, Jim.}

Lids lowered.

{Breathe deep. One, centering breath}

Air was pulled in.....


{Hold it}

....and held.

{Let it out, slowly, Jim....very slowly}

....exhaled, steadily, slowly....

{Your hearing, Jim. Concentrate on your hearing, and don't worry, I

won't let you zone...}

Jim cocked his head, eyes still closed, and there....off to his right......a small voice.

"It's okay, Susie, they'll come for us, don't be afraid."

"i'm not afraid."

Jim grinned and moved on....

{You've got 'em now, haven't you? Good. Just stay focused, Jim. I know

you're close. Go easy, stay cool and see you in a few minutes. I'll be


Jim focused his sight.....and there they were, huddled behind a huge chunk of wall, apparantly unharmed. It took him another ten minutes to actually *get* to them, and when he did, he said, "Hi, kids. Wanna go home?"

A small boy, about 10, gazed up at him and managed a small smile, his tear stained and dusty, dirt smeared face alight.

"uh, huh. we're bored now, sir."

Jim chuckled and with a few careful moves, began to remove the barriers to the trapped kids.

"What's your name, son?"

"i'm billy and this is my sister, susie."

Jim hefted another hunk of plaster and said, "Aren't you forgetting someone?"

The little girl piped up, "this is smokey, our dog." "our dumb dog," Billy said. "it's his fault we're in here. he ran in and i chased after him."

"and i chased after billy."

"Well, I'm Jimmy and I chased after all of you. It's a good thing we all found each other, isn't it?"

Two small, "yes's" were his answer.

Jim cleared the last of any obstacles between himself and the children, knelt down before them, smiling, and said, "Well, I say we get the heck out of here, eh, guys?"

The dog, a golden retriever, unfolded itself from Susie's lap, tail wagging. Billy nodded and said, "smokey says yes...."

Jim reached out and took the little girl into his arms, then directed the boy with, "Billy, you grab my shirt, okay? I don't want to lose you." A small hand reached out and fingers curled around the burgandy colored material and together, Smokey moving cautiously ahead of them, they began the arduous journey back.

Jim tried to concentrate on retracing his passage back to safety, but with the children, and trying to keep focused on everything around him, he was losing it....if only....


The voice was faint.....Jim strained to hear....

{jim, i'm hoping you've got them and you're on your way back, and it has

to be real confusing, so why don't i just keep talking? Eh?}

Oh, yeah, Chief, please, Jim thought....

{so, anyway, we were talking about joining Marco's Gym and you were

saying no, it was like, way too fancy schmancy, and you wanted us to

join Muldoon's and now I'm thinking - maybe you're right....but gosh,

Jim, Muldoon's really stinks, you know?}

Jim chuckled outright and a small voice said, "what's so funny, jimmy?"

"A friend, Susie, just a friend."

"my mommy is funny, all the time. she plays great games with us."

"My friend plays great games with me too. Maybe when we get up top, you can meet him."

Billy spoke up from behind Jim, his body close, his fear palpable,"he's waiting outside?"

"Yes, yes he is. He's my partner and we're both policemen."

Both children went back to their patient silence and Jim went back to listening....Blair's voice had guided him back to the right path and now his voice was much stronger, much louder....

{.....and I think you really should consider, maybe, oh, how 'bout

Carstairs Gym? On Sixteenth Street? It's a good, down to earth gym,

clean, diverse clientele, and uh, well, it smells pretty good - for a


"Okay, Sandburg, you win. Carstairs."

"did you say something, jimmy?"

"No, just mumbling...and we're almost home, guys. Just a little bit longer. You okay back there, Billy?"

"i'm good to go, sir."

My kind of kid.

{I'm getting worried here, Jim....you should be popping out any minute, right? And an idea...you know that position you keep trying to get me to try? Well, I think, now mind you, I just *think* that if I sit on the back of the couch? Well, just maybe, that might make it feasible. And where do you get all these ideas, anyway?} Jim tried to hold in the snort, but it was useless....up ahead, he could see daylight, and the hole he'd squeezed through to get to this side of the building....

"Look ahead, Billy. We're almost there. Bet your mother is right outside."

"she is, i know it."

They got to the hole and Jim lowered Susie and knelt down.

"Okay, now we won't all fit at the same time, so Susie, let me have your jacket..that's it. Now I'm gonna wrap this end around Smokey's neck, like this, see? Now you hold on and follow Smokey out and Billy will be right behind you. Now when you get to the other side, wait for me."

Susie took the other sleeve in her tiny hand and Smokey scooted through the hole, taking Susie with him...."Okay, Billy, your turn, that's it...duck your head...."

As Billy went through, Jim dropped down and crawled after him....

Once on the other side, he stood, took Susie's jacket from around Smokey's neck, picked the little girl back up in his arms and said, "Well, that wasn't so hard, was it? Just a few more mintues, and you'll both be in your mom's arms."

Walking was easy for the detective now, what with no threat of debris or caving floors. He still had to be careful, but he had headroom, and just up ahead - the outside.




Blair was still talking to Jim when a dog ran out of the building, followed closely by Jim, with the little girl in his arms and the boy, hand firmly enclosed within Jim's..

The cheering was loud and immediate as people rushed forward. The mother broke loose of the hands holding her and moments later had her children in her arms. Paramedics tried to examine the children around the strong motherly arms, but Jim waved them off, saying, "They're both fine, just a little dusty."

As Mrs. Edith Washington, single working mother, hugged her kids, people surrounded the hero of the hour. Jim found himself being slapped, hands taken and shook, his back patted, voices talking, yelling, laughing, and Joel Taggert was there, pumping his hand, and Simon, biting through his cigar and almost choking.....Jim smiled, listened, responded, shook hands, but his eyes began to search for one face....and finally, he spotted it.....He could just see Blair's face over the crowd of police and firemen around him, and slowly, he began to move toward the smiling man.....

Blair had moved out of the way the moment the dog had appeared and now stood leaning against the truck, Jim's gun and jacket resting across his arm. To Jim, nothing looked better.

Blair's hair was down, his own jacket discarded, his body tense with leftover worry, his eyes sparkling in their intense blueness, all the brighter against the pale blue shirt, open at the collar, and the holster, criss-crossing his lean, muscular shoulders.....

Jim could hear people talking, hear the reporters telling the final story, using the word *hero* over and over again, calling him brave, courageous, and he remembered his dreams, dreams as a boy, dreams of helping others, of making a difference, of travelling hard roads, winning.....perservering, against all odds, strong, facing his own fears, surviving, and the last three years....his greatest battle yet, becoming something, some*one* with these strange senses, not wanting them, but finally accepting them.....succeeding, controlling them, using them to make the difference.....

....and all the while, forgetting that another walked that same road....that Jim was *who* he was, *because* of this other individual, that his success was due to this other man....

....to Blair.

Jim's face relaxed into a small, secretive smile, his mind replaying so many small moments, moments where words kept him going, *Blair's* words. And Blair's actions, always in the background, and always for Jim.....

One action in particular began to replay itself in the Sentinel's mind......one, crystal clear moment and as he walked toward the man, he heard the words....spoken so quietly...

".....my thesis, The Sentinel, is, is a fraud......the documentation proving that James Ellison ------------------ actually possesses hyper senses is fraudulent....."

"....and my only hope is that I can be forgiven for the the pain I've caused those that are closest to me....."

And that man stood before him now....the true hero - *his* hero, but in the background no longer.

Jim Ellison stopped a few inches from Blair, gazing down at him, *that* smile playing about his lips, and Blair frowned, uncertain, wondering what was up with Jim and he started to ask, but Jim stopped him with his own words....

"my hero."


The day wound down, police work continued, as the news replayed the near tragedy far into the night. The world continued to revolve.

At six, Jim's day finally, officially, ended. He and Blair had closed another case earlier, a case that would not garner the same attention as rescuing two children, but an important case nonetheless. As they both cleaned up their work areas, Simon came to his door and spoke quietly.

"Ellison, do you have a minute?"

Jim nodded, shrugged for Blair's benefit, and joined Simon in his office. The larger man closed his door and instead of taking his seat behind his desk, he perched on the edge, one leg swinging.


Simon didn't respond right away, his eyes hidden behind the glare reflecting off his lenses. Jim was getting worried when Simon finally spoke.

"You did good today, Jim. I guess, I guess I just wanted to tell you - privately. You're one of my detectives, but more importantly, you're my friend. I know I didn't exactly embrace this sentinel thing, certainly never really understood it, but today, it just kind of came together for me and I wanted to say something. So - good job."

Air escaped from Jim's lungs as understanding flooded through him.

"Simon, I didn't *do* anything today, don't you know that by now?" At Simon's puzzled look, Jim had to stop, back up. After all, *he* hadn't understood until today...

"Sorry, Simon. You couldn't understand this any better than I did. I only came to the truth myself a few hours ago."

"Ellison, did something fall on you while you in that building?"

Jim smiled benevolently as he stood. "No, Simon. Nothing fell on me. But you have the wrong person in this office. And if you still don't understand, let me remind you with some words, *your* words, *Do you think you could've handled this sentinel thing on your own?*....Simon, I wasn't in that building by myself. I'm *never* by myself." With that, Jim Ellison turned and smiling, walked back out to his partner.

Simon watched with surprise as Jim grabbed his coat and Sandburg's, held it out for the younger man, who slipped into it, a worried frown on his face. He further watched as Jim just shook his head, smiled wider and guided Blair out the double doors.

He continued to observe the two men as they stepped into the elevator, Blair's face upturned, lips moving, Jim still shaking his head, still smiling *that* smile and lightening struck.

Blair's lips moving at the site earlier today, then moving to the side as Jim and the children came out of the building........




Sandburg had been quiet the entire journey home, but Jim hadn't missed the worried glances thrown his way. Now as he unlocked the door and stepped aside to allow Blair to enter, the younger man finally spoke.

"Okay, Jim, what's up?"

"Nothing, Chief, nothing."

He helped Sandburg out of his jacket, fully aware that his partner had no idea that Jim was doing exactly that. He hung up both jackets, dropped keys, then stood, and looked. Just - looked.

"Nothing, my ass. What's with the secrecy between you and Simon? And what the heck was that *my hero* shit all about?"

Jim crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the wall, the very model of GQ nonchalance.

"Your ass is definitely not nothing, Chief. It is very something. It figures quite prominently in many a dream."

Blair squinted at Jim, his head moving forward, craning to get a better look at him.....

"Pod people."

With those two words, Blair walked into the kitchen, opened a cupboard, took down a bag of Doritos, split it open and reached in. He plopped one in his mouth, chomped down, then as he swallowed, he offered one to Jim.

"Pod people don't like Doritos. Want one Jim?"

Ellison took the chip and plopped it happily into his mouth. Then, "See?

Nomoht a podmph, permghson."

"Well, you can't blame a guy for being suspicious. Now, what's going on?"

Jim swallowed and moved away from the wall.

"Nothing, honest. Just - happy."

"Just - happy? Fine. Good. A happy Ellison is my goal. But why is Jim Ellison so happy?"

Jim walked to Blair's side and stared down at him, eyes smiling. "You know, you've never sat in my lap," then he tugged at Blair's arm and pulled him toward the couch saying, "Come on, sit on my lap."

"Whoa! I am *not* sitting on your lap."

"Come on, it'll be fun. Sexy too."

Jim sat down, pulling Blair with him, manuevering him so that he had no choice but to land, sprawling, on Jim's lap.

"There, not too bad, is it?"

Blair squirmed a bit, pushed with his hands, but Jim kept his life/death grip on Blair's waist.

Finally, seeing something in Jim's eyes, something besides humor or lust, Blair stilled.

"Jim, come on, tell me, man. What's wrong?"

Jim's smile faded as his eyes sought out Blair's, but seeing all that beauty, all that concern, Jim had to look away, bury his face.....

"...so many years, Blair...so many years."

The words were mumbled into Blair's neck and he had to strain to catch them all....

"Jim, I can't hear you....please, you're scaring me here...."

"...loved you....and now...."

Blair froze at those murmured words....*loved* you....and his heart did a couple of flip-flops....

"Jim, if you have something to say, to tell me, just - say it."

Blair was suddenly very uncomfortable, and with Jim's arms more relaxed, he quickly slid off the larger man's lap and stood over him.

"Jim, it's okay. Well, that's a lie, it's not, but not unexpected either. I'll survive, don't worry, okay, that's a lie too.....but hey, like I said, *not* unexpected."

Jim was in the process of reaching for the crazy man when Blair's rapid heart beat and his weird words stopped him.

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

Blair scratched his head and said, "I haven't a clue, Jim. Help me out here."

Ellison pulled Blair back down and placing both hands on either side of his head, he whispered, "There was only one hero today, Blair. You. You've been the hero in my life for three years and today - today, I saw it. And it was a great moment. You were standing there - waiting, like you always do, and you'd been guiding me the whole way, like you always do, and I was thinking of all my dreams, of this race I've been running, and finally seeing that I haven't been running it alone. You've been with me, every step of the way, often ahead, clearing the path, smoothing the road, and I cherish you, and I look up to you, admire you more than any man I have ever known, more than any idol, and I love you, Blair. And I thank you."

He brought Blair's head closer, letting their lips touch, seeing the wide-eyed wonder of his partner, noting with delight the complete surprise his words had engendered......

He let his tongue snake out, gently asking and Blair's lips opened and the kiss deepened, and Jim's fingers pulled the pale blue shirt from Blair's waistband, slid his hands underneath, let one wander up the deliciously furred chest, stopping at one nipple, rubbing gently with his finger.....than his palm, listening to the small sounds of pleasure and he pulled away slightly, but kept his lips against Blair's, as he said softly, "Want to make love with you, *be* with you, commit to you...."

"yes," Blair murmured back.

They got up by mutual consent and walked upstairs, and once at the top, stopped, gazed at each other, smiling, and Jim was unbuttoning Blair's shirt, as Blair's fingers worked his buttons. Jim slipped the blue shirt from Blair's shoulders and down the younger man's arms, then removed his own, dropping it and letting it land next to Blair's.

Jim moved Blair backward, undoing the younger man's jeans, sliding the zipper down slowly, eyes locked, feeling fingers undoing his belt, then his zipper, and Blair's hand was sliding into his shorts, but before it could close on his penis, Jim shook his head and whispered, "no."

He dropped to his knees in front of Blair, his hands resting lightly on Blair's hips as he gazed up at him. Blair's shocked expression told Jim just how unusual this move was. It wasn't that they didn't both suck each other off, they had, but Jim usually did Blair in bed, in preparation for making love to him....but now, he wanted to give Blair everything, all that the younger man had given him over the years.....

Jim pulled Blair's jeans, together with his briefs, down his body, smokey blue and passion-filled eyes focused only on Blair. He lifted first Blair's right leg, slipping the jeans under, then the left, until the pants and briefs lay in a pool of denim at his side.

Jim tugged at Blair, bringing him closer, while his thumbs ran up and down the inside of Blair's thighs, and he smiled as the limbs quivered and Blair's cock jumped.

Blair's hands latched onto Jim's shoulders as his head fell forward, and Jim began to tease, his tongue flicking out, licking, tasting.... his goal, to quietly drive Blair insane......

Jim's own cock was impossibly hard, in anticipation of all that he planned for Blair....

He still had not taken Blair into his mouth, preferring instead to continue the playing, the enticing, and Blair's body, trembling in surpressed passion, told him he was succeeding....

He let his hand roam, traveling first up Blair's abdomen, stopping at his navel, finger dipping in and out, even as his tongue swirled around the head of Blair's cock, then as his hand moved up, his tongue moved down. His fingers began to play with Blair's nipple, tugging the ring, smiling at the moaned response, at the suddenly mobile hips....

Jim could see that Blair was close, too close and that wasn't in the game plan yet....he brought his hand down, gave the soft, full balls a quick tug, heard the sudden gasp, and after waiting a moment, he went back to teasing.

As his tongue slid up and down the rigid cock, he let his right hand sneak around, to tease Blair's ass, to dip in, slide out, and the hip movement was jerky now, Blair's fingers digging into Jim's shoulders, leaving bruises.....nails breaking the skin....but Jim didn't care as he finally took the full, hot, leaking cock into his mouth, but just for a moment....as he felt Blair relax into it, to finally surrender to it, he let the cock drop from his mouth and before Blair could say or do anything, Jim had him down, on his knees, facing away from him, and with the palm of his hand flat on the solid back, he gently pushed him forward, so that his chest was on the bed, head down, and starting at Blair's neck, he kissed, licked, nipped, teeth latching onto a shoulder, biting down, just deep enough, then blowing on it, lightly, teasingly, and now he could hear Blair speaking, or rather - rambling....

"god, please......jimmmm.....jimjimjim....yesyesyes....." Jim used his upper body strength to *push* Blair up further onto the bed, manuevering so that that delicious ass faced him, and he parted the cheeks, leaned in and let his tongue lick up each side, then nudging at the outer ring, moving in, urged on by the gasps, by an involuntary pelvic thrust, and he opened his sense of hearing, not wanting to miss a single moan.

Blair's voice was nothing more than a rasp, words making no sense, speaking in gibberish, a new Blair language.....

Jim felt his own orgasm building, knew Blair was closer still, so he quickened his tongue action, brought his hand around to Blair's cock, pumped in rhythm with his tongue and the orgasm started slow, with Blair's body shuddering, then his head lifted, tilted back, fingers pulling at the bedspread, gathering it in, and his voice, low, husky, rough edged, only able to whisper out Jim's name as the orgasm reached its peak, as his cock jumped in Jim's hand, shooting hard, urgently...... and Jim felt his own climax so he pulled away, feeling it take over, grasping at the long hair, pulling the head back, dropping his mouth down, latching onto the still straining neck....and he shot between their bodies.....teeth breaking skin.......


The room was filled with their breathing, harsh, gasping breaths, chests rising and falling, eyes closed, sweat and semen drying on their skins...Somehow, Jim had managed to get them both onto the bed, and there they were, sprawled haphazardly, limbs askew and tangled.....

Blair was on his stomach, head turned away from Jim, but his arm was resting on Jim's chest, his hip touching Jim's, and left leg draped over Jim's. For Jim, he still had to see Blair, so he let his head fall to the side and opened his eyes....and he drank in his fill.....sweat soaked hair, curls tightening into wet ringlets resting against his neck, his pulse, beating against skin, only now slowing, the back, the broad shoulders, the spine and lower back, the swell of Blair's ass, cheeks still clenching in remembered ecstacy, legs still convulsing periodically....

....the head turned and the face was revealed to Jim, dark lashes, hair plastered against his forehead, the pug nose, the erotic lips, slightly parted, the sexy, cleft chin, ringlets of hair matted to his temple, his jaw, adding to the sensual appearance of this man, the man that was his hero......

"love you, blair sandburg, love you for all time."

At his words, Jim was shocked to see moisture slip from under those closed eyes....to see that wetness roll down the stubbled cheek. He lifted his hand, placed a finger below the tear and caught it, puzzled, his love nearly overwhelming him....


The eyes didn't open, but fingers seemed to dig into his chest, as if he could hold Jim like that and Blair's lips moved and Jim had to strain, even for a sentinel, to hear him....

"no one....ever....no one."

"fools, all of them."

The wet lashes fluttered and those expressive eyes were finally there for the older man and Jim looked deep, saw wounds, saw healing, felt the love...

"poor jim....you have no idea, do you?"

James Ellison could only answer in one way.

He gathered the man into his arms, brought him up to place him on top of him, cradled his head under his chin, hand rubbing up and down Blair's back, as his other hand buried itself in the dense mass of damp hair and he inhaled deeply, taking in their mixed scents, separating out Blair's, imprinting it for all time....and he whispered, "rich. jim....forever rich. forever enriched. and want to try the back of the couch thingy....."


#}{ #}}


Simon Banks stopped in front of #307, pulled something from his pocket, twirled it in his hand for a moment, then set it down in front of the door. With a backward glance and a smile, he got back into the elevator.....




Blair was sound asleep, head buried in the pillow, so Jim carefully disentangled himself and headed downstairs. He'd been certain he'd caught footsteps stopping outside their door, and he was positive he could smell Simon's cigars.....

He opened the door to find - no one. He was just about to close it, when he noticed the small package on the floor, just in front of his feet. He picked it up, noted the Simonscrawl across the wrapping, closed the door and walked slowly back upstairs.

When he reached the top, he paused, startled to find Blair awake, sitting up, hands running through his tangled mess of hair, yawning widely.


Jim walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed, next to Blair and said, "Hi back."

Blair's eyes dropped down to the small package in Jim's hands, his eyebrow rising in question.

Jim glanced down at it and said, "It's for you, from Simon." He handed it to Blair, who took it in surprise.

"Simon was here?"

"Apparantly, Chief. This was on our doorstep. Open it."

Blair's fingers tore at the wrapping, pulling it away to reveal a small, flat, black box.

Blair looked up at Jim, questions moving across his face like a wheat field in the wind. Jim could only shrug helplessly and say again, "Open it, Chief."

Shaking fingers lifted back the lid and both men saw the small medal.....a gift from Simon's father to his son upon Simon's graduation from the police academy......Both Jim and Blair had seen the big man fingering it, as it hung from his keychain, fingering it in moments of stress, or in the middle of dangerous cases......

Blair lifted it from its white satiny bed, fingered it gently, and said, "I don't get it, Jim."

"Look in the lid, is that a small note?"

It was, and again, with shaking fingers, he lifted out the note, unfolded it and read....


You know the story behind this medal. I want you to have it. I learned today that not all heroes are readily visible. Some are silent, in the background, but always there, dependable, holding the rest of us up. You are such a hero, Sandburg. Don't forget it. The words on the back reflected my father's understanding of what it was to be a black man in uniform. These words mean even more to me now, because they reflect my understanding of you and your journey.

Thank you.


Blair couldn't move, couldn't think. The small medal remained in the palm of his hand, so Jim took it, turned it over and read....

"...I won't look back, I can go the distance ...I'll stay on track, no, I won't accept defeat ...It's an uphill slope, but I won't lose hope ...Till I go the distance, and my journey is complete."

Carefully, Jim placed the medal back into Blair's palm, then closed Blair's lax fingers over it.




---I will search the world, I will face its harms Till I find my hero's welcome, waiting in your arms---

##End - Go the Distance##