You should all know by now, but I'll say it anyway. Thanks to TAE for her awesome Beta Monster. Thanks to my listsibs for their encouragement.

Disclaimer: I don't own Jim, Blair, or Simon. I make no money from this, only the warm fuzzies of knowing that I brightened someone's day.

Chapter 4: Treasures


Blair rushed into the hospital. His eyes were searching wildly for any sign of his partner. All he had gotten was a quick message from Simon, saying to pick up Jim at the hospital. Knowing Jim, that could mean anything from he got a scratch or he's near death and is flipping out because he's reacting badly to medication.

The grad student was about to ask the desk nurse for information when he heard his name being called.

"Sandburg! Over here."

Blair sagged in relief when he saw Jim walking towards him from the direction of the waiting room. "Oh man, Jim. Don't do that to me. All the way over here I had visions of you lying somewhere bleeding and..." Blair started to ramble and pace back and forth, working off the nervous energy that had built up on the drive from the university.

Jim smiled a little at his friend's actions. It was at times like these that he treasured Blair's friendship the most. He reached out and placed a hand on Blair's shoulder, halting the jumpy movements. "Easy there, Chief. I wasn't the one hurt."

The Sentinel studied his Guide intently, checking him with his senses, his expression asking if the other man was alright.

The Guide took a deep breath and let himself be led to the waiting area and maneuvered into a seat.

"What happened, Jim? Last I knew you had called to say that you were on your way home and don't be too late because you were going to fix dinner."

Jim sat next to Blair and sighed. "And we call you a trouble magnet," he mumbled before turning to his friend. "I got home and realized that we needed some things. It was a nice night, so I figured I'd just walk down to the corner store and pick them up. I was in the check-out line when our usual luck decided to strike."

Blair looked up at his friend, a half smirk forming, "You don't mean..."

"Yeah, I'm afraid so. A couple of young teenagers with guns tried to hold up the store." Jim leaned back, rubbed his eyes and sighed, trying to prepare himself for the difficult part. "To make a long story short, I had to shoot one to keep him from killing the clerk. He's in emergency surgery now."

"Ah, that sucks. I'm sorry, man. Uh, what about the other one?"

Jim stood up and started pacing the waiting room. "He took off. I couldn't really go after him, because I was trying to keep the one that I'd shot from dying." Jim absently gestured to his blood stained shirt as emphasis.

"It was the clerk's first night, so he was a wreck and no help at all. The uniforms are out there now, looking for the other guy. I came in with the paramedics since they needed an extra hand with CPR."

Blair moved to stand behind his friend and placed a comforting hand on the older man's shoulder.

Just then, Captain Banks came into the waiting room. He had taken over the scene after seeing the situation. This was the soonest he could come and check up on his friend and detective.

Simon cleared his throat to announce his presence. "Jim, I thought you might like to know. We got the other kid. They're taking him down to the station now."

Jim just nodded.

"Have you heard anything about the... other one?" the captain asked tentatively.

Jim shook his head.

The three men were about to sit down, prepared for a long wait, when the doctor walked in. "Detective Ellison?"

They turned, waiting for the doctor's news.

"We were able to remove the bullet and repair most of the damage. He'll have some diminished lung capacity on his left side, but he'll live."

Even those who didn't know Jim would have been able to see the tension drain away. As a police officer and Sentinel, he treasured life and the citizens of Cascade. His job was to protect, not to kill. "Thank you, doctor."

The doctor turned and headed back towards the emergency room. After a few steps he turned back around, "Um, Detective, if you'd like to get out of that bloody shirt, we could provide you with some scrubs."

Jim seemed to take notice of his appearance for the first time. "Um, yeah, thanks," he replied and began to follow the doctor, only to be stopped by the sound of his partner's sharp intake of breath.

"Oh hey, Jim, wait," Blair said as he turned and grabbed his ever-present backpack from where he'd placed it earlier and began digging. The others could only watch and wonder about the sudden trip to the Sandburg Zone.

A few moments later Blair made a triumphant noise and turned around to show the others his treasure.

Jim's face lit up when he saw what was in his friend's hands. He quickly took off the soiled shirt, handing it to the doctor for disposal, and replaced it with the wrinkled Army sweatshirt that Blair had pulled from his backpack.

The doctor and police captain just stood in confusion as the other two men exchange impish grins.

Chapter 5

Chapter 3


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