Title: Pain of Love
Date: April 14, 2002
Status: New, complete
Series/Sequel: Will probably be a sequel
Disclaimer: Blair says he didn't
leave the toothpaste cap off the tube again. Jim wants to know if not
Blair, than who. I'm telling you now, it wasn't me.
Warnings: DEFINITELY -PLEASE
PRESS THIS LINK FOR WARNINGS PAGE!!-
Notes: Thank you to Lisa who
beta'd this but if you guys are really smart, you'll beg her for a TS story of
her own. She's GOOD. Thank you to TSL and Jael, who also added their brilliant
corrections, and to Tricia - who is always there for me. And to Marilyn. Can't
wait until June. And thanks to Blankety, best Cheeto-eating cheerleader out
there and new archive elf. I'd also like to thank the academy---Heh.
Summary: Jim is dating and Blair
is having difficulty dealing as he discovers that love can be painful. He gets
into some serious trouble as a result.
Pain of Love
Blair cracked open one eye, then
quickly shut it. It struck him suddenly that the average person wouldn't know
what it's like to wake up naked in a motel room and not know how they got there.
It also struck him that he was probably right about that.
He opened his right eye again and
decided that he no longer qualified as someone who wouldn't know what it was
like to wake up naked in a motel room and not know how they got there, and that
scared him. It was not a distinction he wanted.
His head hurt like a son of a
bitch so Blair decided not to raise it for a few more minutes but he did look
down—just to confirm that he was, indeed, naked.
Blair was lying on his stomach
and there wasn't a sheet or blanket in sight. The room looked totally
unfamiliar, in a familiar kind of way. Then
it hit him. It looked very much like the motel he'd stayed in after Jim
had—yes, well. Blair shifted slightly and had to immediately close his eyes.
Because other places—hurt.
Places that shouldn't hurt.
God, so many places.
He felt—hung-over, but the
feeling was unlike any hang-over he'd ever experienced. Blair felt elastic. Rubbery. His mouth was
dry, fingers numb.
Aw, God, he wished the rest of
his body could have been equally numb.
He tried to think back, tried to
remember—but everything was a blank.
"Okay," he said to
himself, "what's the last thing you *do* remember?"
When no answer came, he decided
to try to sit up.
Bad idea. The pain almost doubled
him over. Blair waited for the sweating and nausea to fade and as the world
slowed back to a manageable pace, he thought—maybe his side?
He rolled slowly onto his right
hip, blinked, swiped his tongue over is bottom lip and recognized how thirsty he
was. So very thirsty.
God, where the hell was he and
what the fuck had happened last night?
On the other hand—maybe last
night wasn't where he needed to start--
Two and a half weeks earlier-
Blair stepped out of the
elevator, dug into his pocket for keys, then approached the front door. He
unlocked it, let himself in, allowed everything to drop on the floor, then moved
directly to the kitchen. He got himself a glass, turned on the water and when
the glass was full, he drank. When he was done, he filled it up again, and just
like the first one, drank it down. He rinsed the glass out and set it in the
Blair glanced around and wasn't
surprised to find that Jim wasn't home. It
was, after all, only five. Blair walked into his room and divested himself of
his clothes, then with sweats over his shoulder, he padded into the bathroom,
set his stuff down on the closed toilet and started the shower. When the water
reached a comfortable temperature, he stepped in.
Blair sighed as the hot water hit
him, because in spite of having done nothing, he was exhausted. He'd spent the
entire day in his office doing a little reading, and when he'd felt up to it,
working a bit on his dissertation. That had been the extent of his day. No
teaching, no grading, no conferences or meetings, no students.
As Blair soaped up, he decided
that other than being bored out of his skull, and maybe missing a few of his
regular students, it hadn't been all that bad. Especially the no meetings part.
Oh, and the no grading part.
Blair let the water cascade over
him, decided not to bother with washing his hair, and finally turned off the
water. He stepped out, grabbed his towel and quickly dried. After slipping into
an old pair of sweat pants, he put the towel in the hamper, then pulled on his
Cascade PD tee shirt. Walking out
into the living room, he picked up the remote and turned on the set.
As he surfed, he wondered if Jim
would be home at all or if he had another date with Lily. He also wondered how
things were going at the station. A place he hadn't been in over three weeks.
Not since a few days after closing the Ventriss case—and Jim had started
As the news came on, Blair
fingered his eye. There wasn't any evidence of the beating left, but every now
and then, he'd get this little twinge. Blair tried to get interested in Tom
Brokaw, but he kept going back to Jim and—Lily.
The evening wore on and Blair
never actually moved. NBC's Thursday night programming slipped across the
screen, but Blair couldn't have told anyone who'd said the stupidest thing on
Friends: Joey or Phoebe. No, he was seeing his own comedy flashing across his
eyes. That moment when Jim had entered the bullpen and introduced Blair to the
woman he'd been seeing for a few days.
Tall. Blonde. Leggy. Sky blue
She could have been Alex Barnes.
Blair could still remember how it
had felt seeing her as she stepped around Jim, her hand outstretched.
Worse than any beating. Gazing
into eyes so like--
Then Jim had slipped his arm
around the slender waist, smiled at her and Blair had known Hell.
All of his carefully constructed
excuses, theories and expositions had crumbled in that look. Jim had loved Alex.
No matter what else had really been going on in Sierra Verde, no matter that Jim
was going through some kind of test—he'd fallen in love with Alex.
The woman had killed Blair, but
feelings were—feelings and a man couldn't help who he fell in love with. Blair
was proof of that. Didn't he love Jim?
But damn it, he and Jim had just started to return to normal, to be able
to talk, and spend time with each other—
Then along came Lily, the Alex
Blair shut his eyes. He was a
strong man and had weathered a hell of a lot over the years, but how the hell
was he supposed to handle this? He
rested his head back against the sofa. He could still remember shaking her hand,
then grabbing his bookbag and mumbling something about having to get back to the
university. Blair hadn't missed the startled look in Jim's eyes, but damn, how
much was he supposed to take? So, like the coward he'd been imitating, he'd
fled. Which brought him to the here and now and the fact that in the last three
weeks, he'd barely seen Jim. And
that hadn't been Blair's choice, it had been Jim's.
"Nothing going on, Chief, do
what you have to do at Rainier."
"Nah, just court all day -
go - grade."
Day after day.
And night after night—Lily.
Blair turned off the set and sat
alone in the darkened room.
"All I'm saying is—he has
a life, Jim."
"I know, I know and I'm
doing what I can about it."
Lily Courtland put her hand on
Jim's thigh and rubbed lightly. "You miss him."
Numb, Jim stared out his
windshield and nodded. "He's my best friend."
"So maybe I was
"No, no, you weren't. It's
"You miss him."
Jim didn't need to answer.
Instead, he decided to change the subject.
"Better, thanks to you. I
think he'll make it, Jim." "Good,
good." He took the key out of the ignition and said, "Shall we go
Lily nodded and they both got out
of the truck.
"There's no light on,"
"He's home. That's his
car," Jim said, indicating the Volvo he'd parked beside.
Jim pushed open the door and
wasn't surprised when a light came on.
"Hey, Jim, Lily." Blair
stood and smiled.
"You were sitting in the
"Fell asleep. Rough
Jim helped Lily out of her coat
and as he hung it up, Lily said, "I can't begin to imagine what it's like
to be a TA, Blair. You do all the work of the professors, have to deal with the
students, yet you receive none of the perks."
"Perks, yeah, that's what
I'm missing," Blair chuckled. Then he moved around the couch and headed for
his room. "I'm gonna turn in. Jim, you need me tomorrow?"
Jim shook his head. "Nope.
Quiet in Cascade this week."
Blair wasn't surprised by the
answer and barely paused on his way. He opened the French doors, turned, smiled
and after giving Lily a small wave, said, "Well, night you two. Play
nice." Then he went inside and shut the door.
He could hear their
voices—speaking softly—trying to not to bother him. And he heard when
Blair rolled over so he was
facing the other wall. He pulled the covers up and glanced at his clock. It was
after eleven. His room darkened slightly and he realized that Jim had turned off
the light in the living-room.
He didn't think he could handle
this. Blair threw off the covers, climbed out, drew on the jeans that hung over
the back of his chair, then fumbled a bit and found the sweater he'd worn
yesterday. He pulled it on, stepped into his tennis shoes, laced them up,
grabbed his wallet, then stole cautiously over to the fire escape door. When he
was certain that nothing had changed in the living room, that Jim hadn't heard
anything, he slowly opened it—then slipped out.
Shutting it silently behind him,
he walked down the fire stairs to the alley, then onto the street.
For a moment he looked left, then
There was a bar down on Morrison,
which was only three blocks and considering his keys were in the basket by the
front door—and his jacket was on the peg—well, a short walk was a good
thing. He started towards Morrison.
Jim and Lily were slumped down in
the sofa, shoulder to shoulder, gazing out over Cascade. He'd turned out the
light at her request and was now glad that he had. It was a beautiful March
evening, the sky cloudless, the city a sparkling jewel.
"Do I need to talk to John's
boss again?" Jim asked softly, not wanting to destroy the peaceful mood.
"No. Really, everything is
all right on that front."
"I'm so grateful you were
there that day. I don't know what I would have done otherwise, Jim. You saved us
Jim shrugged. "Hey, protect
She smiled in the darkness.
"Well, nobody does protect and serve better than you, Jim. Mom and Dad will
be eternally grateful for at least one Cascade cop."
"I will be—in time. Gets
better every day."
He nodded and continued to gaze
out his windows. Jim felt her wiggle closer but he felt—nothing. What the fuck
was wrong with him?
Okay, this place sucked big time.
Blair pulled out a five dollar bill and tossed it down on the bar, then rose and
headed out. He needed something different.
As he took in a cold breath of
air out on the sidewalk, he remembered that a new club had opened on Travis
Avenue. That was only four blocks away. And it was exactly what he needed in
order to lose himself. Music, people watching—just the ticket.
The new club was called The
Drumroll and Blair had been right, it *was* what he needed. A man could get
seriously lost in a place like the Drumroll.
As he shouldered his way inside,
he gazed up and noticed the second floor. It took him almost fifteen minutes to
get up there, but as he hit the last step, a small table cleared a few feet away
and with a bound, he'd claimed it. A waitress in a short skirt and halter top
with breasts barely contained, bent down and asked for his order.
He thought about it for a moment,
then ordered a nice, ordinary Martini, a drink he'd never tried. He was tempted
to say, "Shaken not stirred", but resisted. It would have fallen flat
unless said by Jim. Definite James Bond type, his Jim.
Blair had a great view of the
dance floor below and the music was terrific. He sat back and enjoyed. When his
drink arrived, he enjoyed that too. As he watched the dancers, Blair sent out
the unconscious vibes that kept people away—but didn't keep men and women
alike from looking. One individual in particular.
The tall, well-muscled man
watched Blair from three tables away. He watched as interested men started to
approach, then catching the non-verbal message, veered away. He watched as women
did the same. After thirty minutes, he got up, walked to the end of the room, to
the bar, and ordered a Martini. When it was delivered, he paid, then headed
back. On the way, he dropped a
gelcap into the drink. He paused in the shadows in order to allow it to
dissolve, then as a waitress started to pass, the tall man took her arm. He
waved a twenty under her nose.
"Would you deliver this to
the long-haired young man seated at the table next to the stairs?"
The comely waitress snatched the
twenty—and the drink. "Sure
thing, mister. Sure thing. Want I should tell him anything?"
"Just that it comes from
someone at the bar."
She nodded and headed off.
"From someone at the
bar?" Blair asked, surprised.
"Yes, sir. I do believe you
have an admirer." She flashed a smile at him as she set the drink down.
Blair dropped a buck on the tray
and the waitress walked off. He refrained from looking over at the bar, but he
did drink the offering.
Jim thought of moving Lily, of
waking her, but that would mean that they might head upstairs, and he didn't
want that tonight. He was comfortable where he was, legs stretched out, Lily
wedged in between him and the back of the couch. With his arm around her, he let
As he drifted, he wondered why
he'd started dating her. Not that she wasn't beautiful, she was, and generous
too. Sweet, thoughtful, and she'd been in trouble. Or rather, her brother had
been in trouble, which as he'd learned, met that she was in trouble.
When he'd first met her, over
three weeks ago, she'd been panicking at the bank after being told that her
account was empty. There'd been tears and Jim had stepped forward, ever the
gallant police officer. From there, it had escalated.
Coffee at Starbucks, listening to
her tale of woe, then helping her by helping her brother, John, then the
inevitable first date. And from there, he'd told Lily more about himself then
he'd told any other person other than Sandburg. And she'd listened. And read
between the lines, heard what he hadn't said. After their fourth date, while
they were sitting in his truck, she'd broached the subject of—Blair.
"I'm guessing that you need
him more than he needs you for his dissertation?" She'd asked.
"No, not at all. We're
friends. Good friends."
"And yet, I mean, well, Jim,
it's been how long? You said three years?
And he still doesn't have his
doctorate? He's still riding with you? Where's
his life? You said he was an anthropologist. Does he still take
She'd cocked her head at him and
with eyebrow nicely arched, had asked, "Not since when, Jim?"
Not since he'd known Blair.
"Not since he started—"
"Riding with you?"
Jim had nodded miserably.
"That's not right, Jim. What
about his career? Good God, no expeditions in three years? It could ruin
And so it had started.
Little by little, Jim had begun
to cut the Sandburg cord, hence, no Blair by his side. No Blair at the station.
Jim had turned his senses down to normal and had kept them there, in spite of
weird looks from Megan. And Simon.
But there'd been no time for
either Simon or Conner to question him, because Jim hadn't exactly been truthful
when he'd told Blair that things had been quiet. Not hardly.
God, but Jim missed his partner.
In more ways than he'd want Lily to know.
Shit. Blair could barely keep his
eyes focused. But man, he did feel good, in a whacky way. He could get used to
Martinis. He tried to see his watch, but it kept swimming away from him--
"It's after midnight."
Blair looked up and squinted. He
could see a face, but not clearly.
The man nodded and smiled. He
looked—familiar—but Blair couldn't place him. Not that it mattered. Time to
go anyway. He stood, swayed, the room spun and a strong arm, so much like Jim's
that he sank back against it, snaked around him.
"Hey, buddy, you okay?"
"Oh yeah. Fine. Just—a
little unsteady on my—just a little unsteady."
"Sure, understood. Let me
give you a hand—"
Blair felt himself helped
downstairs and out onto the street. At some point his awareness faded so he
missed the fact that he was being led to a car then put inside and carefully
belted in. Nor was he aware as he was then driven away from the Drumroll.
Hands skimming over his bare
chest, soft words murmured in his ear, teeth tugging lightly at his bottom lip--
A face above him, short hair,
soft and bristly, and arms rippling with muscles--
beautiful," a voice said. A voice so like Jim's—
The hands felt like Jim's and
Blair floated in it, let the hands, let
*Jim's* hands, explore and he
sighed contentedly, then whispered,
A bright light spread out over
the room and before it faded, Blair saw white blond hair--
Blair began to fight.
Blair needed to get up. His
memory was still dark but between his not wanting to think about Jim and Lily
and the smell that surrounded him—he got up.
It hurt like hell. Worse. But
Blair made it to his feet. He bumped into the nightstand and something fell to
the ground. His foot hit the something and he realized that it was his glasses.
He managed to retrieve them without his head falling off. Then he made the
mistake of slipping them on.
There was blood on the fitted
He was going to throw up.
Blair just made it to the dingy
bathroom. Ignoring the screaming muscles, the torn flesh and the aches and
pains, he went to his knees and let the toilet bowl have it. Ten minutes later
he hauled himself up, stuck his head under the faucet, then with eyes closed,
reached back for a towel. He wiped his face off, then drank, swished, rinsed and
spit. He did that several times until he could no longer taste bile.
With great effort, he let his
eyes lift to his reflection in the mirror—and to the long mirror behind him.
His back was mottled with bruises and bite marks. Blair allowed his gaze to
ravel down—then he looked quickly away. Shaking, he did what he could for
himself, then walked unsteadily back into the main room.
Blair tied his shoelaces and
stood. He needed a doctor, he knew that.
And he needed a friend.
He patted his pocket and was
relieved to find his wallet. He removed it, checked the contents and sighed. His
money was all accounted for as well. Without a backward glance, he walked
unsteadily out of the motel room.
Outside, the sun caused him to
squint and shield his eyes as he tried to figure out where he was. The motel was
called The Vineyard and from where he stood, he could see the office across the
parking lot. He turned in the opposite direction.
He needed transportation. He
glanced to his right and spotted a bus kiosk. With great effort, Blair made the
several yards to the corner. Fortunately
a schedule was still visible on the wall. Apparently he was at stop 6. Charlie's
clinic was at stop--27. One transfer away. He could make it.
Blair reached out and grabbed the
back of the bench to steady himself, but didn't sit. That would have been
impossible. The schedule and his watch told him he had about fifteen minutes
until the next bus. He closed his eyes, felt the sweat trickle down his back,
felt the tremor in his legs and arms--
He had to make it.
Jim sat at his desk and regarded
his paperwork with an evil eye. He'd awakened at seven that morning only to find
himself empty-armed, but with a note on his chest from Lily.
*I have a meeting at eight, Jim,
so I'm out of here. You're sleeping so
soundly, I don't want to disturb
you. Call me later, we need to talk.*
There'd been no sound from
Blair's room, so Jim had been equally quiet as he moved about and got ready for
work. By the time he was set to leave, Blair still had not awakened.
Disappointed, Jim had left.
Now he wanted nothing more than
to pick up the phone and call Blair at the university. To hear his voice, maybe
ask him to stop by--
No, that would be unfair.
Besides, Lily had been right—they did needed to talk.
Simon stood at his door, waiting.
Jim rose and moved quickly into his captain's office. "Sir?"
"Sit. Time to talk."
"Is this a friend talk, a
boss talk or a 'what the shit is going on' talk?"
"All three. A first."
Simon sat on the edge of his desk and regarded his detective. "Three weeks,
Jim. For three weeks I've been patient and refrained from asking. But you're
different and I want to know what's going on."
Simon scoffed. "I'm not even
going to dignify that with an answer. This isn't about you the detective, but
about you the man. You're miserable."
"Has this got something to
do with Sandburg or the new lady you've been seeing?"
"Simon, there's nothing
going on. Sandburg—is fine. I'm fine. And her name is Lily. Lily Gregson."
"Jim, there *is* something
wrong. And I'd hate to think you can't function without Sandburg. Now, no
reflection on the kid, but come on, you've been at this for three years. Surely
you don't need him to do your job?"
Actually, Jim had no idea how
he'd function without Blair's presence, but he had his suspicions. None of which
he intended to share with Simon for the time being. Which meant a little
"Look, I'm just—it's an
allergy, Simon. So I'm being careful, cautious.
Jim shrugged, thoroughly ashamed
of himself for the pack of lies he was spewing out. "Not sure."
Simon narrowed his eyes at his
detective "Tell me we're not still
dealing with the Alex thing, that
this isn't some kind of fall-out—"
"No, no, Simon. Blair and I
are fine. In fact, Blair, Lily and I were together last night. Well, until Blair
excused himself around eleven and went to bed."
Apparently satisfied, Simon took
his seat behind his desk. "Well, when you see the kid tonight, tell him
we—miss him," Simon said gruffly.
"Will do, sir."
Simon waved him away and in
relief, Jim left.
The ride to the corner of Harvard
and Meadow was pure torture for Blair. By
the time he exited the bus he could barely walk and he was having difficulty
breathing. He was also sweating profusely. His vision was bleary and he felt
disconnected from the world.
As Blair stepped onto the
sidewalk from the bus, he took a few seconds to get his bearings.
The clinic was—east. East. Only
a block or two. One foot in front of the other, Blair started walking and
eventually, he spotted the building that housed Charlie's clinic.
He opened the door and walked to
"I'd—like to see Doctor
Charles Kobyoshi. I'm a friend.
The young woman in white looked
up and was about to ask the usual question regarding appointments but one glance
brought her to her feet.
"Just a moment, Mr.
Sandburg." She hurried away.
Charles Kobyoshi looked up from
his paperwork to see a worried Karen at his door.
"What is it?"
"There's a man out front,
says his name is Blair Sandburg and he looks terrible, Doctor. I think you'd
better see him immediately."
At the mention of Blair's name,
Charles stood immediately and hurried past his assistant.
He'd been leaning against the
counter, grateful that only two people were in the waiting room, when he heard
Charlie's voice. He opened his eyes.
"Hey," Blair said
weakly. Then Charlie was moving toward him, had his arm and was leading him to
He was ushered into a room and as
the door shut behind him, Charlie
said, "Okay, let's get you
up on the examining table—"
Blair shook his head. "No,
Unable to meet his friend's gaze,
Blair shook his head and said quietly, "I'm—not sure. But I can't sit
down again, I just can't."
Charles took one good look at
Blair's eyes and nodded. "Okay, let's do it like this," he said
gently. "We'll get you undressed and in a one of our super duper paper
gowns, then get you on your side, lying down, okay?"
A small smile played around
Blair's lips. "Gee, Charlie, do I get a sucker too?"
"Now that's a good sign,
Blair. You're with me. Okay, let's get you undressed."
The process wasn't easy and
required both Charlie, Karen and another nurse. As the sweater came off, Charles
found himself wincing in sympathy, but when it came time to remove Blair's jeans
and Charles got a good look, he immediately said, "Linda, get me a rape kit
and let Dennis know the clinic is his for the rest of the afternoon. Karen,
let's get some blood drawn. Two vials. One for Pharmchem and one for Cobalt
The clinic had a few cloth gowns
and after seeing Blair's condition, Charlie immediately grabbed one from the
cupboard and slipped it on his friend. "Okay, let's get you up on the table
and on your side, Blair. All
Blair nodded and with great
difficulty and lots of help, he was finally down on his right side. He sighed in
relief. Just being off his feet and with his eyes closed helped. Drawing his
knees up helped even more.
He could hear the others moving
around and Charlie's soft voice, but all he wanted to do was ignore them and
sleep. He felt—safe. For now.
Blair nodded sleepily. He felt
his arm stretched out, the rubber strip tied off and then Karen's voice asking
him to make a fist. He did. A moment later, a slight prick, then the band was
"Two vials, Karen. You know
the drill," Charles reminded.
Blair's eyes shot open. He looked
frantically around and was about to move when Charlie's hand on his shoulder
"Careful, Blair. You know we
need one vial in order to test for Aids and STD's. The other will go to a
different lab and be tested for drugs. I'm pretty sure that's why you don't
"Anything. I don't remember
anything," Blair said almost to himself.
While Karen switched vials,
Charles said gently, "What *can* you tell me?"
"I—I woke up—in some
motel—I was alone. I don't—remember anything after going to bed—last
The last vial was full and the
needle was pulled out and replaced by a bit of cotton, then a Band-Aid. Karen
hustled out, knowing that the second vial would need to go out that afternoon.
Blair had been about to close his
eyes when Charles spoke again.
Eyes full of pain, Blair shook
his head stubbornly. "Not going to tell.
Not going to tell."
Charles gazed over at the covered
tray that represented a rape kit, then
back to his friend. "Blair,
that's not like you. Someone hurt you,
"We don't know it was
rape." The words were spoken so softly that Charles almost didn't catch
them. When he did, his mouth dropped open. Then
he clamped it shut.
"You were drugged, Blair.
The last thing you remember is being in your own bed. It was rape. And you need
to report it."
Blair shook his head again.
"No. I don't remember anything. Can't
identify the person—"
"DNA evidence, Blair. You
know better than I what the cops can recover from the—scene."
"And from me? From my
body?" Blair said sharply.
Blair lowered his head back down
to the small pillow and sighed. "You're
my friend, Charlie and my doctor.
And if I don't want you to tell—"
"I'll honor your decision,
but you need to consider one thing." When Charles was certain he had
Blair's attention, he said, "Other victims."
It had been a low blow, delivered
deliberately. Charles Kobyoshi knew his friend, knew his heart and if Blair
thought someone else might suffer--
"No," Blair whispered.
Surprised, but too worried to
discuss it now, Charles patted Blair's shoulder. "All right, we won't
discuss it anymore right now. Just relax.
I need to examine you,
"I know. Just do it."
Blankets were brought in and
draped over him. Then a hand on his head, soothing him.
"I'm sorry, Blair, but you
needed—stitches. You've got some bruising and tearing, but you're gonna be
fine. I've taken care of the—other—wounds but you're a little shocky right
now and I want you to rest, all right?"
Blair nodded, eyes shut tight. He
felt his friend move away from him and said softly, "Thanks, Charlie.
His shoulder was patted again,
then he was alone. As he lay drifting and starting to warm, he thought of what
Charlie had said about reporting what happened, which started his shaking again.
The very idea of Jim or Simon or anyone else in Major Crime knowing--
He squeezed his eyes shut as he
realized that in reality—he hadn't seen any of them in three weeks and
whatever friendship he and Jim had once known, well, it was over now. What harm
could be done by anyone knowing what happened? He was a non-entity anyway. That
had been made pretty clear during the whole Ventriss thing, right?
could be spared.
Okay, so he'd report it. He had
nothing to lose.
Blair heard Charlie enter and he
opened his eyes. His friend had two cups of something hot in his hands.
"Thought you could use some
Charlie set both cups down, then
raised the head of the examining bed.
"Here," he said, as he
handed Blair one of the cups.
Kobyoshi pulled his stool over
and straddled it. He watched as his friend took a tentative sip, then said,
"It'll be a day or two before we have the results of the blood analysis.
You were slurring your words a bit when you arrived and your pupils are still
dilated. How do you feel otherwise?"
"On a scale of one to
"How about your
Blair looked at his friend over
the rim of the cup. "You're kidding, right?"
Charles smiled slightly.
"Okay, skip that question. Your blood pressure
is low, too low, so I
"Yeah, or something
Blair nodded, then said almost
conversationally, as if he weren't lying in a clinic after being stitched up
following a rape, "I was pretty dizzy and cold, still cold, in fact. I also
had difficulty breathing, but that could be and probably is, shock."
Charles nodded his agreement.
Blair looked up at his friend.
"You still want me to report it, don't you?"
Blair was suddenly overwhelmed
with it all. And with none of it. It was so strange because he'd just made up
his mind to report it, that he had nothing to lose by reporting, and yet he felt
as though his life were now over. Like he'd given his life permission to cease
"I have a friend, Blair.
He's in the Sexual Crimes Unit. His name is Dean Wilcox. You can trust him. Can
I call him?"
Blair stared at his tea.
"That's a—good unit. I don't know him, I don't think, but if you say
so—" "I do. Shall I
As Charles stood, Blair asked,
"Hey, how good of a friend?"
Charlie grinned. " A very