|This follows the episode "Sentinel Too". Blair is dead.|
|He'd been... gone... for almost a month now. Gone for 27
days. Away for 648 hours. Missed for 38,880 minutes.
Dead for 2,332,800 seconds.
Jim lay on his bed, wrapped in Blair's Indian blanket. The one he'd been unable to pack when he asked Blair to leave. When he *told* Blair to leave. When he turned his back on his best friend and let him die. Blair's scent had finally faded from the blanket days ago, overwhelmed by Jim's own. He tried to recall it, but he couldn't, not quite. But he could recall that cold, lifeless smell that clung to his Guide; the chemicals in the fountain, the water, and the tang from the coins people had thrown in, making a wish. Did Blair make a wish while the water filled his lungs?
He wasn't sure anymore about the color of Blair's eyes either. Were they pure blue? Or more grey? He could live with being unable to remember that detail. It was enough to have to see the damp black lashes resting gently against that pale, bluish skin.
And he couldn't hear him. He lay awake at night, straining, trying to pick out that one, familiar, perfect cadence. But he couldn't find it. Just the absence of. No blood pumping through his veins, no soft exhalations, nothing. He couldn't even remember the sound of his Guide's voice. Was it low? Husky? What would he trade to hear that voice once more?
He rubbed his fingers absently against the sheets, abrading the tips. They remembered. They knew how cold Blair's skin was. They felt the lax, unresponsive body. They had smoothed back that limp, wet hair. Jim clenched his hands into fists, until his nails bit bloody half moons in the palms. They remembered.
He shouldn't have tasted him. But he needed to. He had to have that last sense filled. Before it was too late, but it had been. It was desperation that made him struggle from Simon's arms, to push away the medics and try to take one last breath for his friend. To steal the one small bit of Blair that he had never had. Never needed. Never longed for, until the one blinding moment when it had been too late to ask. Too late to beg. Too late. He had rolled the taste in his mouth, filtered out the acrid bite of the sterile instruments the paramedics had used. There, beneath it, was Blair. But it had been flat and tired. Lifeless. Dead. He wished again he had never taken that tiny sip.
He was never coming back and he could taste him. Still.
And he hated him for it.
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