[personal profile] starwatcher_fic

Title: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Summary: Sentinel and Guide are introspective.
Style: Gen
Size: 800 words
Warnings: None
Notes: Dues for March, 2013.
Feedback: Not necessary, but anything you want to give is treasured.
Email: If you prefer not to post a comment that everybody can see, you can reach me at starwatcher -at- dreamwidth.org

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

by StarWatcher

Yesterday, I thought I was going crazy. I couldn't possibly see what I thought I was seeing, hear what I thought I was hearing. How could sunglasses not make a dent in the headache-inducing brightness of the sunlight? How could shirts that I'd worn countless times before start feeling like burlap -- if not sandpaper -- against my skin? My workplace, that I've had no problems with for five years, was becoming intolerable. The doctors could find nothing wrong, and referred me to a psychiatrist. Seemed like the only choice left was to become a hermit somewhere in the back of beyond.

Yesterday, I had an unattainable dream. I'd found people with one or two enhanced senses, but only rumors of people able to use all five at elevated levels. Those amazing individuals were always 'from my grandfather's time', or 'living with the tribe up the river', but I never found them. I wanted to believe, searched for so many years, all over this wide and varied world, but came up bupkis. I almost gave up looking; it seemed hopeless. When I met you that day, I was excited to think you might be my dream... but still expecting to be disappointed.

Today, I know I'm sane, but wonder if crazy would be easier. 'Dial it up' -- or down -- 'piggyback' this sense to that, 'split your attention so you don't zone'... it's not as easy as you seem to think. Did those early sentinels manage so easily, or did they struggle as I do? Could they handle their senses without a guide at their back? If I'm supposed to be able to do this alone, I don't know if I can. What will I do if you leave? There's a chasm in front of me; without your help, there's no way forward.

Today, I know my dreams were so much less than reality; I found not just a sentinel, but a truly good man. I'm blown away by the strength and compassion you demonstrate as you protect your tribe. I wonder if 'protective instinct' is a sense that can also be heightened, or if that's just who you are and always will be, sentinel or not. I didn't know I'd become your guide -- teacher, and backup for your senses -- but it feels 'right', even destined. I never suspected that, when I found my sentinel, I'd finally find a purpose for my life.

Tomorrow... 'aye, there's the rub'. How many 'tomorrow's can we sustain this... partnership? You decided against Borneo, but there'll be other expeditions, other opportunities to leave. If nothing else -- after your diss, when you're a tenured professor, I doubt you'll be able to follow a grumpy cop who's fighting his wonky senses. I imagine 30 years with your help, fine-tuning my sentinel skills, but I can't honestly see it. If you're gone, all I see is darkness, and my senses driving me to madness. I hate being dependent on another person, but I don't have a choice. Will you stay?

Tomorrow... is a realm of exciting opportunities. When you really develop control of your senses... the possibilities are dizzying. Cascade will become the safest city in America, because smart criminals will go elsewhere to find prey, and you'll catch the dumb ones. I want to be part of that, helping you figure out more effective and efficient ways to use your senses, seeing how far they can be expanded, helping protect our city. Yeah, I expect it'll take years, but I'm on board with that; I really think you need me. I am your guide, after all; can I stay?

"Penny for your thoughts, Chief; you look a million miles away."

Blair pulled his gaze from the infinity of the ocean, turning to the man beside him. "More like years away. I was wondering... where do we go from here?"

Jim shifted as his own gaze turned outward; the rocks on the bluff had been comfortable until now. "Back to the loft, I suppose."

"You're not that obtuse." Blair's voice was irritated. "I think we've reached a crossroads. Do we sign up for the long haul, or do we say 'good enough' and call it quits?"

"It's your life, Sandburg. Whatever you decide works for me."

Blair snorted. "It's our lives; we're a team. And you going all 'stoic' makes me think you'd rather I hang around. But you gotta actually say something."

The silence stretched before Jim turned to face him. "I have a feeling the guide is essential to the stability and functioning of the sentinel. Think you can do thirty years?"

"Not a problem." Blair's shoulders relaxed as a grin lit his face. "But don't write yourself off early; I figure at least fifty years."


"Oh, yeah."


Together, guide and sentinel -- friends -- watched the sunset.

The End

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