Disclaimer: The main characters are not mine, this is an amateur effort written purely for the fun of it, and no money has exchanged hands, and it is not intended to breach the copyright of Paramount and Pet Fly Publication.

 

With thanks to Olwyn, Meercat and Gail for all your help.

Wishing you a Very Happy Christmas.

 

 

Learning Curve Of Commander Dan Slater

My Guide has Fleas

 

 

Thursday

Cascade Police Department

 

Commander Dan Slater walked into the break room at the PD, and saw Jim Ellison and Edwards with another, younger sentinel, sitting at a table drinking coffee.  He was acknowledged and then forgotten as they continued their conversation.  He began to boil the kettle for his tea, the vending machine having given up the ghost.

 

He had often wondered what the sentinels talked about in private.  Did they talk about their senses, their job, or the clan?  He decided to do a little eavesdropping himself for a change.

 

The young man he recognised  as Len Pratt, an unbonded sentinel and on a placement at the PD to see if he wanted to enter the police when he left the Institute. He had been placed with Edward. It had been hinted that he might get a chance to shadow Jim Ellison.

 

Dan was surprised to see that Jim tolerated him.  The Senior Sentinel Prime was notorious for having zero tolerance for the unbonded, but then, since Blair was absent, it might explain the fact the he was mellower over Pratt being there.  All too vividly Dan remembered the events of only a scant three days ago.

 

Tuesday

Rainier University

 

Blair was bouncing, juggling a pile of blue books that he needed to grade, and talking a mile a minute.

 

“So Christopher asked would I look in on the mixer.  He’s met a sentinel named Burt Norton, looks like they could be a pair.  Chris wants me to do the old Dark Guide mojo and see if they’re compatible.”  Blair glanced up at Jim when the older man ground to a halt just as he was about to open the office door and let them out into the corridor.  “Like I would tell him I was a Dark Guide, Jim, get real man.”

 

Jim caught Blair by the arms and held tight.  “Just stand still for a moment, Chief.  I am not going to let you go to that mixer, just forget it, you’re claimed and marked.”

 

“I know, big guy, I know.”  Blair lightly stroked his sentinel’s shoulder, trying to calm the burst of possessive aggression that he could feel welling up inside him.  “But as Senior Guide Prime, Dan wants me there, to help out.  Some of the guides are a little shy, you have no idea how intimidating a sentinel can be,” he chuckled.

 

Jim’s hand caught the front of Blair’s jacket and lifted him up on his toes, and pulled him close.  “Then we both go.”

 

“Jim, as much as I appreciate this show of support, you’re not exactly...”  Blair trailed off.

 

 He had seen the glint in Jim’s eyes, and knew that his sentinel was coming regardless of what he said.  Then Jim suddenly pulled the blue books out of his hands and threw them on the floor, the backpack followed suite.

 

“Uh oh.”  Blair breathed.

 

“Yes, Chief.  Uh, oh.” Light flashed in blue eyes as the Dark Sentinel came out to play.

 

Blair could see an intense bonding in his immediate future.  With a gentle push he was sent towards the cupboard that housed the quilt and sleeping bag, emergency supplies for an overloaded guide.

 

He looked over his shoulder as Jim started to close the door of his office.  Blair winced as he saw the look fellow TA  Cathy gave as Jim firmly closed it on her  with a sharp bang. Then he threw the bolts. Cathy was forgotten as Jim stalked towards him, at each step becoming more like his panther spirit guide.

 

When Cathy came into the GDP office she was in a flustered state.  Guard Knight listened carefully.  “Now Miss, there is no need to worry, a sentinel will be protective of his guide.”  He passed her a wad of paper hankies, “Sentinel Ellison would never hurt Guide Sandburg.  But if you are worried, I will go over and check on them.” 

 

As he started to stand up, Commander Dan Slater came out of the office. 

 

“It’s all right Mr. Knight, I’ll go across.  Senior Guide Prime Sandburg is coming to the mixer with me.”

 

Dan approached the door, put a hand out and rattled the handle.  It was locked. The snarl from beyond the door made him jump back, then he gingerly leaned forward against it again.

 

“Blair, are you okay?”

 

“Commander, back off and leave us alone okay.  It’s all right big guy, he’s not here to take me away from you, er well he is, it’s time for the mixer.  Oh come on Jim, you have to let me go.” There was a loud thump.  “Jim you have to let go of my ankle, I can’t walk like that.  Jim come on, that’s my shirt.”   There was the sound of ripping cloth, “Okay, that was so not my favourite, but now what am I going to wear?  Oh… very funny.”  A chair could be heard skidding across the floor.  “I am not a chew toy for an overfed, oversized pussy cat. Yeah, you heard me, an oversized fur ball. Now hand it over, or god is my witness I am walking out like this.” There was a pause, “The least you could do is hold onto my,” there was a yelp.  “Did I tell you to hold there?  Go ahead and laugh, sentinel, you just wait and see.” 

 

A few minutes later the door opened ahead of a rather flushed Blair Sandburg. The Guide stood there, his smaller frame engulfed in a too large plaid shirt.  Jim stood right behind him, and arm round his waist.

 

“Are you ready, Blair?”

 

“Yeah. Change of plan, Jim is coming along, and he’s going to behave, aren’t you big guy?”  Carefully he peeled his sentinel off him and shot an apologetic look at the GDP Commander, ignoring the deep rumbling growl from behind him.

 

“It’s okay, Commander, we're ready now”

 

Dan fell into step with the guide and sentinel as they headed towards the GDP office, the sentinel looked mellow, the result of the bonding, but at the same time he was taking in everything round him..

 

Just as they were about to enter a hand caught Blair’s shoulder and jerked him back.  The Dark Sentinel entered first, stopped in his tracks and looked round him.  His mouth dropped open. If any of the sentinels were over 10 years old it would be pushing it.

 

Blair ducked round him.  “See what I mean, big guy.  No threat, but since you’re here, you can chaperone the sentinels and I’ll take the guides.”

 

“They don’t bond at this age.”

 

“Duh”, Blair grinned, “it’s Slater's idea, to get the two sides meeting now, get some of the crap out of their system about  superiority of the sentinel. They can’t bond until they're mature, so we are…” Blair came to a halt as a young sentinel, all of eight years old, came up and tugged on his shirtsleeve.

 

“You’re a guide aren’t you?  Can I touch you?  Mum said that I can only touch a guide if their sentinel says it’s okay.”

 

Blair looked across, “Well, Jim?”

 

For a moment the primal instinct to protect his claim began to come forward, and then Jim pushed it down.  “You can, but he is mine.” It was said gently, but the child still looked at him twice, even at that age, reading the subtext behind the words.

 

Chris came up, and grinned. “Hi, Blair.  Thanks for coming.  Burt is over there riding herd with the sentinels.  Could you give him a once over?  You know, work the Guide Prime magic.”  His smile slowly faded as he saw the look on Ellison’s face. He quickly glanced from sentinel to guide and back again.

 

Even as his Dark Sentinel persona begged to come out and play, Jim heard someone clear their throat.  He looked down and saw a small girl looking up at him, her head tilted to one side.  “You’re a sentinel.”  She put a hand out,  “Come on, let me show you my friends I am going to be a guide one day.

 

There was pride in her voice, and for a moment Jim was thoughtful. Pride not fear. This young one would grow up knowing her potential for what it was, a gift, not a curse. This would be the future.

 

The rest of the mixer had been uneventful,  dissolving into more of a party with games for the children,  but for Dan and the grown ups it was an important step towards the two sides, sentinel and guides, blending.

 

At the beginning of next term the first co-educational Guide/Sentinel classes would start.  They would be taught as children first, and guides and sentinels second, a new generation to learn the new way, the way of the future..

 

Thursday

Break Room, Cascade PD.

 

Slater came back to the present to find Sentinel Prime Edward in full flow, “So, Jim, there is in this shop, it’s called ‘Breeze of the Sea’. Don’t look at me like that, Ellison, you’re really going to thank me for this.  Now they mix all kinds of scents.  I went in the other day, because between you and me that latest deodorant of David’s had been souring his scent for the last week.”

 

Jim nodded, the same with Blair, “When he wants to bond, that damn hair shampoo gets in the way.”

 

Dan looked up surprised, and then quickly concentrated on his tea. He’d never thought to hear sentinels discussing their guides. This was an eye opener

 

“Why don’t you stop him using it, Sentinel Prime?” the younger sentinel put in, then immediately swallowed hard as Jim’s look pinned him to his seat.

 

“Because, Pratt, Blair likes it.”  His tone indicated that that should be enough of a reason for the younger sentinel.

 

Edwards nodded, “The same with David.  Since he got his own bank account and money, he nips out and buys things, and,” There was a pause, “I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t like it, hence the Breeze of the Sea.”  He glanced round, “They have this blank deodorant and then they mix in the scent you like.”  Edwards continued.  “I found this Hawaiian flower. When I mixed it with the Sandalwood…it was wow,  brought his scent out to perfection.  I can scent him easily, and best of all he likes it.  So I brought him the whole range, soap, shampoo and conditioner, the lot.  And believe me, it was the best $79 dollars I have ever spent.  Now I brought these for you.  They kinda reminded me of Sandburg’s scent.  What do you think?”

 

Dan watched as Ellison took the swatch and carefully scented it, and for a moment the big Detective’s face grew still. “A little on the sweet side, but it would bring his scent out, you know the high notes of the scent. But I would need to thicken out the base notes of it.”  Edwards took another sniff of the scent, then Jim nodded, “I’ll have to take him with me and get an exact match.”  He paused, “Is that on the Causeway, east of Prospect?”

 

“Sure, now ask for Chelsea, she is really sentinel helpful.“

 

Dan swore and jumped back, he had overfilled his cup and the hot tea was puddling on the floor.  

 

He suddenly found himself being pinned by three pairs of eyes, and he knew they knew he had been listening in.  Then Jim Ellison just laughed as he got up and threw his paper cup away. 

 

Just then the subjects of their discussion entered, David grinning, a parcel of books under his arm, deep in conversation with Blair who was juggling his own pile of books.

 

“See what I mean, Jim?”

 

Both guides recognised the way Jim tilted his head and inhaled the scent of the guide in front of him, it was done openly.  “You’re right, Edwards. It does make a difference.”

 

Jim closed the distance between him and Blair. He rested his hand on the  smaller man’s waist and pulled him nearer, then pressed the swatch against Blair’s neck, and dipped so he could scent him.

 

“Well, Edwards?” Taking that as an invite, Edwards only then moved nearer.  At a slight nod from Jim, he placed a hand on Blair’s shoulder and openly scented him. Without Ellison’s permission, that act could have gotten his head ripped off.

 

“A bit sweet, but I think they should be able to mix it for you.”

 

More amused then concerned Blair asked, “Mind clueing me in here, boys?” 

 

The young sentinel reached out towards Blair. The next moment he was pinned to the wall, his feet kicking in mid-air. Edwards’s eyes burned into him. “You don’t touch unless you’re asked… understand me?”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

Only then was he lowered back onto the floor. “Now apologies.”

 

“Sentinel Prime Ellison,”  he saw the look and added,  “ Senior Guide Prime Sandburg, I am sorry, Sirs, I should not have tried to touch or scent you.

 

For a moment his apology hung in the air.  Blair patted Jim’s chest “It’s all right, no harm done.”  But Blair was not looking at Pratt when he answered. His whole attention was focused on his own sentinel.  The acceptance was the slightest of nods from Jim, as he tightened his grip momentarily on his guide.

 

“Mind explaining this, Jim? As much as I like being scented as if I was the last rose of summer, what going on?”  Blair’s voice reflected his puzzlement as well as his amusement.

 

Jim ignored him but coloured slightly, seeing the “we will talk” look Blair gave him. He changed the conversation abruptly.

 

Dan could help but try to suppress his grin.  Big bad James Ellison cowled by Blair Sandburg.  The man actually squirmed under the dark blue eyes that pinned him in place.

 

Jim reached up, caught one of the long strands of dark hair, and gave the curl a gentle tug.  He wrapped it round his fingers, detecting the grime of city life on the individual strands.

 

 “Has your guide ever gotten fleas, Edwards?  Blair caught them climbing through the outflow pipe when he rescued the Miller girl.  Took me ages to get the knots out of his hair, he looked as if he had been dragged through a hedge backwards.  And then I had to de-flea him. Embarrassed the hell out of you didn’t it Chief?” 

 

Jim chuckled as he released the strands to ruffled Blair’s hair affectionately.

 

Blair grinned as he ducked; he was juggling his books as he tried to tie his hair into place. They had an appointment with DA De’ath and the District Attorney frowned on guides in general and long haired guides in particular. Jim caught the books before they could fall and thrust them back into his arms.  Then plucked the tie from Blair’s fingers as he tugged his guide in front of him, lightly pulling the long hair back and tied it in place.  His hand brushed the side of Blair’s neck with the back of his fingers.  The sentinel’s need for physical contact with his guide.

 

Slater saw the way that Blair didn’t pulled back. For someone who had been so badly abused and battered, the trust he gave to his much larger sentinel was humbling. The interaction between the two of them was so natural.  This was the way that guide and sentinel should be. More and more he realised that the changes in the GDP he had started must continue. The wrong must now be addressed.

 

Blair carried on as if it was the most natural thing in the world for his sentinel to fuss over him. “Yeah, but who suggested that I try to crawl through it?”

 

Jim gave the ponytail a light tug; Blair turned and grinned at him, as he was gathered close to his sentinel’s side.

 

Edwards smiled. “I heard you’re getting a bravery award from the PD for that one Blair.”

 

Blair looked flustered. He still could not believe that the PD would give an award to a guide.

 

Jim squeezed his shoulder to reassure him.  “He is, he’s being awarded it on the 14th.”  The pride in Jim’s voice replaced the humour.  He deliberately met each of the other sentinels eyes as he said. “Each morning I thank god that he’s come into my life. My Guide…Claimed and Marked.” His arm tightened on Blair, his words making a warm glow run through Blair.  Jim was not always keen on voicing his emotions, but when he did, he meant it.

 

Edwards nodded, “Claimed and Marked Sentinel.” The other sentinel’s words reaffirmed Jim’s claim on his guide. ” Now the Berry Case, do you think that IA is going to pull him in?  He’s a good kid, and well, you know Captain Hunter, he can be a real bastard at times.” He threw his hands up, “Sorry Jim, no disrespect to the Shield.”

 

“Hunter can be a little forceful at times. But what do you expect from the dark side of the force”  Jim said it with a grin.

 

Edward collected his guide to him, as the three sentinels and two guides left the break room, leaving Dan Slater on his own, to review his newest insight into the world of sentinels and guides.

 

The End.