Summary: Based on a lullaby from the opera 'Hansel and Gretel' by Engelbert Humperdinck written between 1890-1893. It contains the line "fourteen angels watch do keep".
Warning: An upsetting death of an oc.
Note: Mentions religious subject matter (it is named Fourteen Angels).
Spoilers: Night Shift
Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, and Paramount. All stories are written with the love of the show in mind. No money is being made. All stories are property of the author. This story was written by ljc with the love of the show in mind.
CHARLOTTE CHURCH LYRICS "When At Night I Go To Sleep"
When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep
Two my head are guarding
Two my feet are guiding
Two are on my right hand
Two are on my left hand
Two who warmly cover
Two who o'er me hover
Two to whom 'tis given
To guide my steps to Heaven
/Two my head are guarding/
End of the semester euphoria had struck. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The bees were buzzing. Everything was perfect. Right? Okay, maybe not perfect but just one last quick meeting this morning and Blair Sandburg was free as a bird for the summer. He'd elected to do research this summer since that grant came through. He loved to teach, but research about, and working with, his sentinel were his obsessions.
He raced along the walkway toward Hargrove and his meeting with Eli Stoddard. Prof. Stoddard was his mentor in the field of anthropology. He was a very respected researcher. Blair had turned him down for an expedition to Borneo, but he and his friend Margaret were helping the Professor with a last minute detail for his latest project. He was secretly pleased that the good Professor was still trying to enlist Blair as an assistant, even though he knew Blair had plans for his own research.
Blair turned to race up the steps but was grabbed around the waist and by the hand and was spun away from his destination. He heard a great crash as he struggled for balance as he was released.
"Oh my goodness, Blair! Are you alright?" Margaret cried breathlessly.
"Yeah. Margaret? What was that about?" asked a bewildered Blair.
"Indeed, my boy. That was a close thing. Are you sure you're not hurt?" questioned Eli.
Other voices intruded. Startled, horrified voices. "Kid. You okay? You coulda been killed. Didn't you see the sign? We're repairing the stonework above the arch. The scaffolding collapsed. You were almost under it. You would have been if not for these two," spoke up one of the workmen.
"You're one lucky kid, alright," the other man added.
Blair started to shake in reaction. Eli understood, "Come around to the other door, Blair. I think a bit of hot tea would help settle you. We were very lucky here today, son." He grinned and added, "No need to hurry so to a meeting with an old professor, or was it the pretty girl that had you in such a hurry," with a wink to Margaret. They gathered their friend between them into the safety of Hargrove Hall.
/Two my feet are guiding/
"Captain Banks office, may I help you?" asked Rhonda as the phone rang for the fortieth time today, and it was still very early.
"Hi, it's Naomi Sandburg. I've been trying to contact Blair this morning, and it's very important. Have you seen him? Is he there? Is he coming in today? Oh, is Jim there? Could I speak to either one, please? It is very important."
Rhonda choked back a chuckle and interrupted as soon as she could, "No Ms. Sandburg, Blair isn't here but Jim is, just hold a moment and I'll transfer the call." Like mother, like son she thought as she saw she had Jim's attention. "Jim, call on line 3. It's Ms. Sandburg." She had to chuckle when Jim rolled his eyes.
"Ms. Sandburg ..."
"Jim, you know you can call me Naomi. But listen, Charlie Springer just called and ..."
"Naomi, not Charlie ..."
"Please Jim, just this once TRY to keep an open mind. I know it's hard for a pi – cop, but this is important. It's about you and Blair. It could mean your life. Please, Jim ..."
"Okay Naomi. Calm down. Just tell me. I will listen. I can't promise I can do anything about it but I will listen."
"And promise to pass it on to Blair. Promise?"
"Promise," said Jim with a sigh.
"Well. Charlie had a vision, a foretelling I think. He doesn't know details, but you've got to stay close to Blair today. He said he's already had one close call. The next problem could be fatal for, well Charlie said many, but especially for 'the three'. Does that make any sense?"
Jim had his own brushes with the supernatural and he couldn't let his own reluctance push this aside if it meant something could happen to his friend, or friends. "I don't know Naomi. It might make sense later. I'll be sure to tell Blair. I'm not taking this lightly. Depend on it. Depend on me, okay?" He finally ended the call with Naomi but he would talk to Blair as soon as he got in. One close call already? If that was true, then what else would happen?
/Two are on my right side/
Brian Rafe and Henry Brown, H to his friends, headed to the breakroom for a late morning caffeine fix. It had been a long night and they might still make it home for dinner, tonight. Blair was fixing a cup of tea for himself and a coffee for Jim.
"Hey Bri, H. You guys look a little rough. Long night?" asked Blair.
Yawn, "Yeah Hairboy. You know how it goes. Long stakeout. Followed by a bust. Followed by a stack paperwork. Man, I could sleep ten hours and never even roll over. What are you doing here this morning?" said Henry, as he and Brian fixed their coffees.
With a faraway look, "Oh, just helping Jim out. You know, he hates to do his own paperwork." He thought of the incident earlier at the campus and after some nervous fiddling, moving things around that were perfectly fine where they were, "I better get this coffee to Jim before it's cold. If you need help with any of your stuff, just yell."
Brian and H looked at each other, "Hey Blair, sit a minute, would you?" said Brian. "H and I have been talking. You know how it is on stakeouts, there's lots of time to shoot the bull. We, uh, we'd like to talk to you about Jim."
Blair was a little surprised. He'd better hear exactly what they'd been talking about. He hoped Jim was listening. As he turned to pull up a chair, he whispered sentinel soft, "Jim, listen in please somethings up."
H began, "Brian and I, well, we've been watching you and Jim, especially since the Juno case. Jim was always a hard-nosed detective, even more so before you showed up. But he never went so far as lying about witnessing something. A good cop just wouldn't do that. He'd ruin his credibility and he'd screw up his career, but good. Jim's a good cop. Too good maybe. He's got some kind of edge. And he uses it on the side of good, so we've got no beef."
Brian added, "Even though Jim's always been a good detective, he's better with you as his partner. You may be his edge in some way. We don't know. We're good detectives too, but maybe you two have managed to keep a secret from the rest of us. That's okay," releasing a tense chuckle, "because you've also mellowed Ellison like none of us would have believed possible. We thought Carolyn would do it. But no, it was Blair Sandburg."
H broke in, "And we thank you, my man! But know this, we are behind you one hundred percent. We are your right hand men, when and if you need us. Depend on it. You don't have to tell us anything. You don't have to say anything. Just know it."
And with that, the two men left an astounded Blair to stare through the breakroom window at his partner, who had just stepped around the turn in the hall. Jim looked humbled, and grateful, for two such friends.
/Two are on my left side/
Megan and Joel balanced their salads on their laps after their meeting with Joel's snitch. As hoped, the man had come up with a tip on a case Ellison and Sandburg were working on.
Megan had been recounting her version of the croc hunting escapade at the PD, when Joel's thoughts turned to his encounter with Gabe, the angel that had been shot that night. He'd overheard Gabe telling Blair that, "the hardest thing about a miracle was to make it look like an accident". Joel found himself wondering about the accidents that befell Blair and Jim. Joel himself had witnessed some impressive detective work by that pair, and their many close calls. There were a lot of unanswered questions for a good detective like Joel.
At his silence, Megan looked at him curiously. "What's up mate?" said the Aussie transplant.
Joel considered his words carefully, "You know something about Blair and Jim, don't you?"
Megan allowed a nervous chuckle and poked a vegetable and tossed it into her mouth so she couldn't talk. Think Megan, think. After a long chew and a swallow she answered, "They're good men, Joel. You're a perceptive man. Life is complicated. People are complicated, and these two, more than most. They work good together. Sandy's a sweetie, his mom's got that right. And Jim drives me bonkers sometimes. What else is there to know?"
Joel smiled as he considered her words, "You're right. What else is there to know."
They finished their lunch and headed back to the bullpen.
/Two who warmly cover/
Joel and Megan came up in the elevator with Blair and Jim. They had immediately passed on the information from their snitch.
Blair and Jim had come back from lunch a little late because of their discussion of Naomi's phone call and Charlie's vision. They were trying to sneak in quietly. No such luck. "Ellison, my office. And bring Sandburg, too," Simon hid his grin by chomping on his unlit cigar. He'd be lucky to get to smoke it at home. His ex-wife Joan objected to it on account of Daryl, their son. Second hand smoke, and all. At least he could still enjoy his other little vice, coffee.
The matter he wanted to discuss with his own personal dynamic duo was simply plans for them all, with Daryl, to go camping on some weekend coming up, weather permitting. Plans were discussed and a round of the latest flavor of coffee Simon was brewing was enjoyed, before the friends were to part for work duties.
Jim looked at Blair with a raised eyebrow. Blair nodded a yes in response. So they let Simon in on the situation. They proceeded to recount the phone call from Naomi about Charlie's warning, and offered the campus incident as proof.
Simon's only answer was a worried look to Jim with the gruffly spoken comment, "Then keep close to him. He IS the resident trouble magnet."
Simon had then gone to talk to Rhonda, Ellison had headed for his desk and Blair had gone to get some copies made when the elevator doors opened. Two uniformed officers exited, escorting a young man sporting the colors of a local gang. When the gang member saw Brown and Rafe, he looked startled, then furious. He pushed one officer aside and into the other man, grabbing the first officer's gun. With them momentarily out of the way, he yelled a threat at the two detectives.
Ellison had grabbed his weapon from his holster at the teen's first actions and he leveled it at the boy. He and Simon simultaneously shouted, "Cascade Police. Drop your weapon. "
H and Brian dove for cover as shots shattered the glass surrounding the bullpen's outer office and embedded themselves into the wall. Joel and Megan were just as quick to drop out of range. The teenager's aim traveled the bullpen, as he searched for the cops who had shouted warning.
Blair had turned and with eyes wide, stared into the barrel of the stolen gun. Two shots rang out.
Beside Simon, Rhonda gasped as she witnessed the gang member flung back by the shots from Jim's and Simon's guns.
/Two who o'er me hover/
It was much later that a shaken Blair, Jim and Simon left Major Crimes. Blair was subdued and horrified, that his two friends had been forced to kill a teenager to save his life. The boy had wanted revenge for the previous night's bust by Brown and Rafe. Even though the young man had also tried to kill H and Brian, Blair still felt guilty that the teen had died and Blair was still alive.
Jim and Simon were devastated. Simon had mumbled something about the boy being little older than Daryl. Blair couldn't help but be sick about the whole situation. He'd need to do a lot of processing to deal with this. But first he had to take care of his friends.
He took them home. He made some soup for dinner and told Simon in no uncertain terms that he'd be staying at the loft tonight. He left the two of them to talk in private while he went to get the beds ready. Simon could take Jim's bigger bed upstairs. Jim had told Blair several times that his scent could anchor him and Blair hoped it would help his friend tonight if he slept in Blair's bed.
It was late by the time he finally got them to try to sleep. They were exhausted and they actually fell asleep fairly quickly. But Blair knew they'd have a restless night, each with their share of nightmares. He resolved to keep watch. He'd try to head off their nightmares, if he could. He could only try. He didn't know he had watchers of his own, steadfast in their duty to guard the guide, the sentinel's guardian. Jaguar paced with the guide throughout the night, and when the guide wearied, Wolf was curled at his side.
/Two to whom 'tis given
To guide my steps to heaven/
"It's been a long day. How I wish I could have been there for him throughout his life. He and his friends will be fine for now. It's hard watching my son from afar, Gabriel," spoke the first guardian.
"He doesn't lack for guardian angels. At least no miracles were needed today. Your son has good friends all about him," answered Gabe.
...Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways...
* King James Bible
Psalms 91: 5, 11
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.