Disclaimers: Canon guys not mine, get no money.

Thanks to my beta readers, Zoe and Ari. They are truly gifted with insight and grammatical grace.

Thank you wolfpup for the warm and cozy home.

Warnings: lots and lots and lots of Jim Angst. Jim's POV. Lots of bad language. Canon character death - not Jim, Blair or Simon.

Spoilers: None

Author's notes: This is a Companion piece to "The End of A Guide". Read these stories in the following order. 1: "The End of A Guide" 2: "Last Letters" 3: "Fight for Control" 4: "Another Life".


Sam Mallory

Son of a bitch! Sandburg left a crap load of Tupperware stacked on the table. It didn't hit me right away. All the pieces were his. Then the shit hit the fan when I realized there was a note propped up against his Tupperware.

Damn! Kid probably went back to the library to look up more stuff on his Academy classes. He's been going for a few weeks and I'm getting restless riding a stupid ass desk all the time. I've been caught up on my paperwork for a week and if I have to ride with Megan one more fucking time, I'm gonna lose it! Shit, I thought Sandburg talked a lot. She makes him look like he's taken a vow of silence.

Looking down at the note, I start to freak out. What the hell? What is this? Shit! I slam the note down on the table causing vibrations to travel painfully up my arm. Son of a bitch! He's gone!

I can't believe it. Maybe I can still catch him. Where the hell would he go? Not Simon. Maybe Megan's seen him. He likes her a lot. He may have decided to crash there. My senses are starting to spike all over the place. The adrenaline and fear that are warring in my system are about to make me puke.

Please, God, tell me he didn't really leave.

He was really gone. I couldn't bear to touch his stuff. It's been three days. My senses are still spiking all over the place. I put an APB out on his car. It came back at a used car dealership on the south side. It figures that he would get rid of the car to make it more difficult to trace him, but I must find him. He's my Guide and I need him with me.

He's right, you know. I've been a real bastard the past six months. I couldn't face the fact that he had actually died and I brought him back. We never talked about it and not because Blair didn't try. I just couldn't do it and look where the hell it got me.

Simon came in today after lunch in a pissed off mood and bellowed for me to get my ass in his office. That's exactly how he said it. I didn't take it as a good sign. Turns out Blair sent him a letter as well and he picked up his mail over the lunch hour. Blair's really gone. He even sent Simon a letter. Simon cancelled the APB. At least he had the balls to tell me. He said that the kid was right and that I had no right to interfere.

"Bullshit! He's my Guide, Simon," I screamed at the top of my lungs.

He gave me the look that could freeze the fire-starter and tells me I should have thought about that before I fucked everything up. I damn near knocked him on his ass, but I just couldn't, 'cause damnit, he's absolutely right.

I've been treating Sandburg like shit for awhile. Damn fear based responses get me every damn time.

When I get back to work at my desk, everyone in the bullpen is giving me the evil eye. I don't understand why until I realize that Blair must have sent them all goodbye letters. That's Blair. He could never just leave without saying goodbye.

Damnit! They probably all hate me! Well, who gives a fuck. At this point, I deserve whatever I fucking get. I shit all over Sandburg the past few months. Let 'em treat me like shit. I really don't give a fuck. I just wish I knew if my Guide was okay.

It's been a couple of weeks and I now know how completely pathetic that I am. How the hell did Sandburg ever put up with me? I've been sleeping in his room. It helps a little bit with the sensory spikes. Last night, my senses were so fucked up that I was in the bathroom puking my guts out for over an hour. Shit! I can't bring myself to get rid of his stuff. I just can't!

Here I am again, laying on Blair's futon, just praying for a reprieve from the sensory spikes. My hearing was gone for nearly three hours today. Without Sandburg, I really have no fucking control at all. Isn't that fucking great?

How could I have let this happen? I don't think Blair's coming back. I haven't heard word one from him and it scares the hell out of me.

Almost as much as the fact that tomorrow morning, I'll wake up in the fetal position in Blair's bed. And if I'm really lucky, I may actually get more than a couple hours sleep, but I don't count on it. Not anymore.

Blair's not coming back. It's been nearly six months. His stuff is still in his room. I should think about selling it, but I still can't. Simon put me back on active duty about four weeks after Blair left. I still have the sensory spikes. I just don't talk about them.

I really don't talk about much of anything. The guys still do poker night, but for the most part I can't go. Too fucking depressing and I'm depressed enough, thank you.

I'm starting to pull myself together as much as I can. Last night, I actually tried to sleep in my own bed before seeing if there was anything at all that still had Sandburg's scent on it. There's nothing left. Not a trace of him anywhere, save for all the stuff he left.

I still have all the tribal masks on the wall. Part of me hopes that he will come back and see how truly sorry that I am. I still look for him when I'm out. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, which is more or less most nights, I drive around town just to see if I can hear his heartbeat. It's funny, but I remember that damn heartbeat more than anything else.

Simon ordered me to see the department shrink. He says that this Sandburg thing really has me fucked up. If he only knew, huh?

Shit! What the hell happened? I feel like a fucking freight train ran through my chest. What's that smell? It takes me awhile to figure it out because without Sandburg around my senses don't really work worth a shit. They're still there, just not as powerful as they once had been.

Great! I just figured out what that smell is. I'm in the hospital. Now how in the hell did I get here?

I can hear Simon calling for me, but I really don't want to listen. You know, it's funny. I rarely zone, because I don't really have the power behind the senses anymore to focus that greatly.

Simon's telling me that I wasn't responding to Connor and I got shot in the chest. Shit, that hurts. He says it's not too bad. The bullet was a through and through and it tunneled through my right shoulder. Great, just fucking great! That'll put me on desk duty yet again.

Simon's yelling and I think it's really pissing him off that I'm not really listening. He stormed out of here about five minutes ago, chewing on his cigar so hard, I thought he'd choke on the damn thing.

Unfortunately, the zone out has made me think about Blair. I wonder if he's okay. I wonder what he's been doing. It's been a year today, since Blair walked out the front door of the loft.

I now know why Simon's so pissed at me. Megan's dead. The perps got the drop on us in the alley and Megan went down. I zoned on her blood. That's what happened. Shit! I could have gone the rest of my life without remembering that.

I close my eyes and mourn the loss of one hell of a feisty cop. God, Blair, where are you?

Happy Birthday, Blair.

I look down at my dinner and push it around on the plate. I think I do this to torture myself for pushing him away. It's his favorite-vegetarian lasagna. I make it every year on his birthday and then I spend the night moping around the loft.

I finally boxed up some of Blair's things, but I put them down in storage. I tried to get a hold of his mother to see if she wanted them, but you know how that goes. I left a message.

Okay, you want to know the most pathetic part of this entire day. That it took me this long to pack up his stuff. Let's just say that this is the fourth time in as many years that I've made vegetarian lasagna for dinner. Pathetic, huh?

Joel retired today. They threw him a big party. It was kinda nice. Rhonda came back in to see everybody and brought the baby. She left to be a stay at home mom. She has the most beautiful little girl. Her name is Bailey. She's almost two years old and has these huge blue eyes and curly brown hair. I can't seem to get enough of her visits.

I stepped down as lead detective last year. I just couldn't do it anymore. I'm still in Major Crimes. Simon made sure of that. Losing two partners in a year was just more than I could handle especially since one of them was Blair. Rafe and Brown do an awesome job as lead detectives and it takes the pressure off of me, which is kinda nice.

Joel's wife made a great cake for the party. It's chocolate, Blair's favorite. I can't believe after all this time, nearly six years, that little things like that still blow me away.

It's a lot better than it used to be. I don't have any more sensory spikes, but the senses aren't very strong anymore. I've been doing a lot of research about Guides. It took nearly two years before I could bring myself to do it, but I read through all of Blair's research. It got me to thinking that I should have been focusing on the Guide all along.

You see, the Guide has the true power. I have the senses, but the Guide is the strength and control. I see this now. I was a complete fucking idiot. I really wish I had realized it back then. Maybe things wouldn't have gotten so bad between us. I know that a lot of what happened was my fault and I can accept that I drove my Guide away. After all, it's the truth.

Sometimes, I curse the fact that Blair was able to get through my walls. I built them so that I wouldn't have to feel and he managed to wiggle his way through them without me even realizing what was happening.

I'll admit that I almost reverted into the emotionless bastard that I was before everything came back on-line, but I realized that I couldn't be that man anymore. Jim Ellison, the ice bastard, died when he found his Guide and even though glimpses of him have been seen since, I couldn't resurrect him entirely and I realized that I didn't want to.

The simple truth is that Blair Sandburg, grad student, TA, police observer, Guide, friend and brother changed the man that I was and that change was for the better. I owed it to him after everything to not let the man he brought out die. That's one marker I intend to honor. Thanks, Blair.

I can't fucking believe it! It's been seven years since I saw my Guide and today when I walked into Simon's office for that meeting with the antiquities appraiser, I damn near died. Blair's heartbeat was only a few feet away from me.

Damn, it was so good to see him again. I almost choked on my heart, when I saw his beautiful kids. He's done so well for himself and I know it didn't come without cost. He gave up so much and I couldn't see it until I lost him.

Simon and I ate dinner with his beautiful family. Four kids! Wow! It was one of the best nights of my life. He looked truly happy and I thank God for that. I've been so worried that something happened to him that some nights I actually make myself sick just thinking about it.

Maybe, I'll get a second chance. Obviously, things will not go back the way that they were. It wouldn't be possible. We're two different people now and I have to say that's a really great thing. He was happy and that makes me happier than I could ever imagine.

I held my breath nearly all the way back to Cascade. I need that second chance. I need to get to know my friend again. Maybe, just maybe he's willing to try.

I know now that I am.

The end