Title: Her Saviour
Author: Dreaming K
Category: could be both gen or slash
Warnings: mention of death, drugs and weapons (not connected to either of the guys), just wanted to mention it to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Sentinel or any of the characters of the show. Just dreaming :)
I actually wanted to post the next part of my wip for this challenge, but this plot bunny started nibbling at my brain and it wouldn't let go. Unbetaed, so feedback is very much appreciated and as always please feel free to point out any mistakes or typos.
I hope you enjoy the story.
Jim Ellison, Sentinel of the Great City, finished his last report with a flourish. Finally he was done with the paperwork that had taken up his whole morning. The majority of the Major Crimes unit was already out for lunch. Rhonda, Michaels and his partner Higgs, Simon and he were the only ones still in the bull pen. Hopefully Blair would arrive soon, Jim was starving and they’d agreed to meet for lunch.
He looked up and saw a tall woman enter, a small child on her hand. The little girl couldn’t be more than six or seven. Both had light, blonde hair, but Jim doubted they were mother and daughter; there was a tension in both of them that indicated forced closeness with an unfamiliar person. The little girl was very pale and the woman looked drawn and very tired.
Must be Mrs. Kensington, Jim decided. He knew that Captain Banks had an appointment with the woman regarding the Jamison case. He suppressed a shudder. The Jamisons had been found dead in their apartment yesterday evening, murdered. But after Dan Wolfe’s autopsy of the married couple evidence suggested that Timothy Jamison had killed his wife, Clara Jamison, before committing suicide. A thorough search of their apartment had yielded no signs of forced entry, but when looking through the wardrobe more than 3 kg of heroin had been found next to a whole arsenal of weapons and several fake passports.
Mrs. Kensington, Clara’s sister, was the one who’d found the couple dead in their bedroom after day-care had called her and informed her that nobody was answering at the Jamisons’ home and that their daughter Kelly was still waiting to be picked up.
He watched the two females as they approached Rhonda’s desk. The secretary nodded at them and bade them to wait while she informed Simon that his 12 o’clock appointment had arrived.
A shrill ringing tone tore through the bull pen, making Jim grimace, and dial down his sense of hearing immediately, and the little girl flinch badly.
The tall woman searched her bag and pulled out a cell phone. She started talking loudly as soon as she answered. “Hi, Nicole. Yes, I am sorry. I can’t come into the office for the next few days because…” Jim tuned her out and watched instead how the little girl took a few steps to get away from her aunt.
There was something in the way she moved. Not quite hesitant, but her steps weren’t as big as they should be for a girl her size. The small, black shoes clicked on the floor. Jim’s jaw nearly dropped when he saw her cock her head while she looked at the ground. She moved again and neatly sidestepped a chair, never even looking up. Can she even see? he wondered.
While Jim puzzled over her behaviour, Simon came out of his office to greet his guests. “Mrs. Kensington,” he greeted them, shaking her hand when she finished her call. “Please, come into my office.” The woman nodded and looked around for her charge. “Kelly!” The young girl flinched again, turned towards her aunt and winced when her hand was grabbed.
They all disappeared into the Captain’s office and Jim checked the dials again so he wouldn’t eavesdrop. The detective turned his attention back to his report to re-read it, though he found it difficult to concentrate when his mind was whirring like a beehive.
Kelly’s behaviour intrigued him. She did appear to be blind and of course he knew how blind people could navigate without the help of a white cane, but…that took lots of practice and experience and only worked in familiar surroundings. The girl was very young, too young to be trained in something like that. And then there was the way she’d cocked her head, as if she’d heard something. Jim knew it was the exact pose he took on when he strained his hearing as Blair told him often. She’d flinched when made contact with. Could it be? Or was he just jumping to conclusions….?
The door to Simon’s office opened an all three piled back into the bull pen. Kelly looked really uncomfortable at her aunt’s hand.
“Hey Jim,” Simon approached him at his desk, leaning in and lowering his voice. “I need to take Mrs. Kensington to interrogation room 2 for the interview. Could you babysit her niece for a bit? I’d ask Connor, but she already left for lunch.” The captain nodded to the young girl as he spoke. Jim could see her frown when Simon asked for babysitting.
“I am sure we will have a great time together.” The taller man seemed confused by his choice of words but didn’t comment on it. There was an interview that needed taking care of.
“Just keep her entertained for half an hour. Maybe you can take her into the break room.” Simon’s features softened. “She’s blind, Jim. Be careful with her.”
Jim didn’t speak, only nodded in reply, his guess confirmed. Simon turned and led Mrs. Kensington out of the bull pen after she’d spoken to her niece briefly. “Be nice for the Detective, Kelly. I’ll only be gone for a little while and then we can leave, ok?”
“So, Kelly…I am Jim.” Her head turned into his direction and he could now see her eyes for the first time. They were brown, open but unfocused.
“I don’t need to be babysat.” She told him petulantly, making Jim grin.
“Heard that, did you.” She blushed. “Well, I don’t think you need to be babysat either,” he told her. “But perhaps we could chat a bit. Come on, we will go into the break room and I’ll make you a hot chocolate, what do you say?” He moved slowly, taking great care to make noise – a rustle of clothes here, a click of shoes there – and Kelly followed him, moving the same way she had before.
He held the door open for her and then closed it.
She stopped in the middle of the room and turned around to him again. “You didn’t take my hand,” she stated.
Moving to the water heater in the kitchenette he answered carefully. “I didn’t think you’d need it. Get around just fine as far as I can see.” She kept silent, getting wary.
Jim fixed her chocolate and put it on the table. “It’s ready. Just be careful, it’s still hot.” Kelly didn’t move. And Jim sighed silently. Of course she would be suspicious, now that he’d basically told her he knew that she could get around on her own, seemingly without any help whatsoever. I wish Blair was here, he’d know how to talk to her without spooking her.
Jim tried to remember how it had been for him as a child when his senses had still been online. He’d always tried to keep them down, to not draw attention to them after his dad had reacted so badly. Trying so hard to hide it. Until he finally repressed them so much that they simply went offline.
“You know,” he finally said, “it’s amazing how one can get around if one just listens closely to sounds…and echoes. I certainly found it very useful last year when a drug blinded me. A friend of mine told me how to move like a bat, making sounds and listening to their echoes to know where obstacles are.”
Kelly had listened to him and now she slowly moved to the table, the clicks of her shoes sounding loud in the small room. She found the chair, sat, and reached out for the cup. Her hands found it unerringly, the heat probably guiding her.
“You can do that?”
“Yes,” he answered sincerely. “And so can you.” She gave him a tiny nod.
“and….and can you smell the oil? it’s everywhere in this building….” She whispered.
Jim nodded, sure that she could hear the movement even if she couldn’t see it. “Yes, I can. It’s the gun oil of our service weapons. There are a lot of policemen and women in this building.”
Kelly sniffled, trying so hard to keep the tears at bay. Jim moved beside her and crouched. “Hush, Kelly, it’s alright.” And as if a dam had burst she started to cry in earnest, gasping and sobbing. Contrite that he had made the little girl cry, even though Jim could guess the reason for her tears wasn’t exactly bad, he drew her into his arms. Small arms wound their way around his neck and held tight as she sobbed.
“Shh, shh, sweetheart, it’s okay. Everything’s okay.” Jim rocked her gently. “I know, sweetheart. I know how hard it is to finally share it with somebody.” The girl nodded against his neck and said in a small voice, “i’m not alone….not the…i’m not the only one….” Fresh tears soaked through his shirt, but Jim Ellison couldn’t care less. He knew exactly how she felt.
“No sweetheart, you are not alone. And I am not alone, either. We are both Sentinels, Kelly.”
“sentinels.” She echoed softly.
“Sentinels,” he repeated. “And that’s nothing bad.” The detective stroked her hair tenderly. “On the contrary, it makes us…special. Unique.” The smile he could feel against his neck made him smile as well.
“how do you know?”
He could help laughing. “Well, you see, there is this anthropology student living in my apartment who wouldn’t stop hounding me and lecturing me on the magnificence that are Sentinels, that we are, until I finally believed him. He was my saviour, really. Blair knows more about Sentinels than anybody else. He studies them for his dissertation. For him we,” he stressed, “are the best thing since sliced bread.” That made her giggle.
“I am not a freak then?” She asked him, drawing back to place a hand on his face.
His heart tightened painfully in shared and remembered pain. “No sweetheart. You are no freak. Your senses are a gift. A special gift to help people.” If Blair could hear me now, he grinned to himself, he’d start looking for pod people. “Who said you were a freak, Kelly?”
She bit her lip softly. “Mom and Dad….they said it was unnatural and I must ignore them, make them go away...and-” her voice broke and Jim started rocking her again. “They are not unnatural.”
“and…i tried jim, i tried to make them go away, but…but my…” She broke off and Jim felt a sense of dread.
“I’m here, Kelly. Tell me what happened.” Jim encouraged her. She was crying again.
Jim closed his own eyes. “Oh Kelly. You could see? And when you tried to turn your senses off you lost your eyesight…God, your parents are so stupid.” The detective cursed them in his mind.
“There is a technique,” he told the little girl, “Blair taught me to control my senses because they would spike and it really hurt. So he taught me how to ‘dial’ them down. He had me picture dials, like on a radio. If I want to hear more, or smell more, I just turn up the dial. It works great. But, and that’s a big but, he always warned me not to turn them down too far.” Kelly listened intently and he petted her hair.
“That’s probably what you did, sweetheart. Your parents wanted you to make them go away and you instinctively turned your sight down to zero, that’s why you can’t see.” She sniffled again.
“do you…do you think I could meet blair? perhaps he can help me too? perhaps…he can be my saviour...too?” Jim squeezed her when he heard her hopeful tone.
“Yes, Kelly, I think he can.” Jim looked up and smiled at the man standing in the doorway.