Becky (elisabec) wrote,

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 14/?

Finally got the muse to be cooperative enough for another installment.


previous parts:
{prologue} {one} {two} {three} {four} {five} {six} {seven} {eight} {nine} {ten} {eleven} {twelve} {thirteen}

Disclaimers: TS belongs to Paramount/Pet Fly. NCIS belongs to Paramount/Belisarius.

Laud and Tarnish - TS/NCIS crossover


Alone in the hospital men’s room, Blair watched the lukewarm water sluice red-orange-pink-yellow lines over his hands then swirl down the drain of the glaringly white sink. Slowly the color faded entirely, leaving just his skin and the faint residue of antiseptic soap. He closed his eyes and took a breath, then another, before opening his eyes again and twisting off the water. Ignoring the hot air hand dryer, he wiped most of the excess water on his pants before sinking down to crouch against the wall, head lowered, eyes squeezed closed.

Tremors shook his frame and he bit his lower lip.

Keep it together, Sandburg. It’s not like Jim hasn’t been shot before.

Flashes of the wild ride to Bethesda tore through his mind. The wail of the siren. The color of the blood staining Jim. The movements of the EMTs as they stabilized their patient. Their urgent voices as they grilled him about his partner’s drug sensitivities and medical issues. The vague knowledge that he’d answered the important questions precisely and correctly. The heaviness of Jim’s badge and ID when they were pressed into his grasp.

As the ambulance had screeched to a halt at the ER entrance, Blair realized with a jolt of fear just what was really wrong.  His sentinel had pushed something, maybe everything, too far and with the danger ended, he had simply ... shut down.  Yes, there were injuries, but they were minor.  Secondary.  Tiny scratches surrounding a much larger, more damaging crack.

He idly wondered once how far Jim could push his senses, how long he could actively use them in a dangerous situation, before he’d overload, as well as questioning things like aftereffects and recovery time.  But it wasn’t as if it was something they could safely test. 

One unanswerable question answered.  The others--

>“Paging Dr. Lucas...”<

Blair jerked back to the real world, choking back what threatened to be an hysterical laugh.

Too much, too much. I’m crashing. If I'd had just one day...just one day before--

The laugh morphed into a silent sob which tore at the back of his throat.

Okay, just a few moments to indulge in some gibbering panic. Then I can go back out there.

He gave into gravity, falling gracelessly to one side, folding his legs crosswise as he sat on the cold tile. Shifting to tug his jacket around his torso, Blair tipped his head back to rest on the wall, then dug his hands into his pockets. His fingers scraped on a heavy leather billfold and he only then remembered he’d shoved Jim’s badge and ID there for safekeeping. He trusted the ER personnel would give him the rest later (along with the expected to-be-filled-out paperwork), but these he knew Jim would want to stay with him.

From beyond the closed bathroom door, he could hear the squeak of shoes, the beeps and clicks of monitors and overhead paging systems, and the firm tones of medical personnel speaking to each other and to family members.

Fingers curled around the billfold, Blair stared upward at the ceiling, idly noting the crooked tile, three water stains, and one slightly flickering fluorescent tube.

Just breathe.

He closed his eyes, trying to visualize himself in the loft, lights lowered, candles lit, something soothing playing the background, worried about his partner, stressed about the exhausting and terrible investigation, trying not to see all the pictures of those children...

Eyes popping open again and swallowing hard, Blair forced another calming breath and finally felt the terrible panic recede. One thing at a time. First, I need to call Simon, then I can find the waiting area. And sit. Maybe find some tea, even if it’s hospital tea.


The second interruption jarred him almost more than the first, and he stared blindly at the door for several moments. Did I lock it?

The door opened a crack and Abby’s voice came through it. “Blair? Are you in there?”

“Abby?” His voice cracked. “What are you--?” He struggled to get to his feet.

The door shoved open further and she took a step inside, glancing around quickly to check for others. “Blair! Are you okay?” Before he could get upright, she had moved across the room to crouch down in front of him, even if somewhat awkwardly in her chunky shoes. She grasped his shoulder with one hand. “Hey...You look like you need, well, a lot of sleep to start with.”

“Sleep has been rather sparse as of late. Jim and I...” Blair looked away from her sympathetic eyes, needing to keep himself together. “We’ve just come off a tough case involving kids.”

She made a face, understanding in her voice. “Those are the worst kind.”

Behind her, the door was shoved open a second time as a man in an NCIS jacket stepped just past the doorway, already talking as he entered. “Abby! This is the men’s room. Just because Ziva does this to Tony doesn’t mean you should--”

“McGee!” Abby interrupted him, turning her head slightly as she spoke..

The man stuttered to a halt. “Oh.” He eyed them for a long moment, then stepped back, letting the door close gently.

Blair smiled weakly. “Guess we’d better join your friend.”

Abby didn’t move. “You sure? Tim’ll understand if you need more time.”

“It’s okay.” He pushed himself slowly to his feet. “I’m done.” Abby took his proffered hand to stand back up as well. “And I need to be there for Jim.”

She pushed her arm through his and drew him towards the door. “C’mon. Let’s go find somewhere a little more comfortable to sit.”

The other man stepped away from guarding the door as it opened and the two of them moved into the hallway. Smiling politely, he held out a backpack. “Abby had me grab this for you from the bank before we left.”

Blinking at the familiar bag, Blair reached out to take it, fingers closing around the straps. “Thanks. I’d kinda forgotten about it. My phone’s inside.” He focused on the other man’s face and said, “You were at the bank earlier. My name’s Blair Sandburg.”

“Timothy McGee.”

Abby interjected. “Timmy and I work together.”

Eyes catching on the NCIS badge on the jacket, Blair frowned. “NCIS? You’re a fed, Abby?”

McGee’s eyebrows went up. “She’s our forensics scientist.”



go to part fifteen

Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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