A New Direction

by Nadine

ATF AU Crossover The Sentinel

This story stands alone; it has no connections with any of my other stories. This is my take on a Sentinel Magnificent-Seven crossover. My thanks to Mog for the ATF universe.

Ezra made his way silently into the hospital, for the hour was late and the hallways were deserted of all but hospital personnel. Most of them were sitting at their desks trying to keep awake through the early morning hours till their shifts ended. Ezra had in the past fled from these same halls before and knew how to avoid the nurses still on duty. Still he took his time, not wanting to meet anyone on staff or his teammates. He needed to see Vin, but wanted to do so without having to answer questions on what he knew about his friend’s condition or where he had been prior to coming back to Denver.

Ezra stood by the doorway of Vin Tanner’s room trying to make sure there was no one in the room with him. Damn he was tired; he had had no sleep at all in the last thirty-eight hours. From the time he had gotten the word Vin was in the hospital till getting back into the city he had been rushing; hurrying back to save Vin from the attention of the medical world who would have no idea how to treat Vin’s condition. Not that they would believe him of course, he still found it hard to believe himself.

+ + + + + + +

Vin had came to Ezra for help when he had first started having problems. After listening to Vin’s symptoms, he started a hunt on the Internet and through cautiously placed questions to find anything similar to what the Texan was experiencing. In his quest he came across a paper he had read in college for a psychology class. It had been on people who had hyper senses. Following the paper back to the author hadn’t been easy. The man hadn’t wanted to be found and after meeting with him he understood why. It was with this understanding that Ezra knew that getting Vin out of the hospital was too important to be delayed. Pausing at the doorway he sighed in relief. He wouldn’t have to face any of his teammates quite yet, as the room was empty of visitors. Chris must be getting coffee or have been talked into getting some rest by the others. Quietly, he walked into the room.

Vin lay on the bed unmoving, seemingly in a deep sleep. Ezra knew that not to be the case. He went and sat down in the chair beside the bed. Picking up Vin’s hand he began to stroke it and softly started to talk.

“Vin, it’s time to come back now, follow ma voice back, come on now Ah know you can do it… Ah’ll tell you about ma trip to Cascade… Well the trip was successful, Ah found the author of that paper, the one Ah told you about. And he knew what’s going on with you, in fact he has a companion who has the same gifts that you do. Yes, Ah know you don’t think they’re gifts but he assured me you would be able to learn to control them just like his companion.” Ezra reached up and touched Vin’s face and gently stroked it, then ran his hand down Vin’s shoulder and arm back to his hand.

“Come on Vin we don’t have much time. Ah was warned that there are disagreeable factions out there who would find ways to make you disappear if they find out about your gifts.”

Chris stood in the bathroom listening, wondering what the hell Ezra was talking about. He had used the bathroom and turned off the light before opening the door, stopping when he realized that Vin wasn’t alone. Chris hadn’t left Vin’s side since he had been sprayed with perfume Friday afternoon at the mall. Chris had stopped there during their lunch hour on Friday and Vin had gone in with him. At the time everyone believed Vin had had an allergic reaction to the perfume when he fell to the floor unconscious. It was when he didn’t respond that the doctors said he had gone into a coma. But it was unlike any coma they had ever seen. They had wanted to run tests. Chris told them he needed time to talk to Nathan before making a decision.

Once the doctors had gone JD stepped forward, “Guys I think I know part of what’s wrong with Vin.”

Four pairs of eyes turned toward him questioningly. JD cleared his throat before going on.

“Vin has been having problems with his senses and having blackouts. He’s been hearing things he shouldn’t be able to hear, smelling… well he can smell the coffee while we’re still blocks away from Starbucks. Food has become overpowering in taste or has no taste at all. There are days when he can’t bear to wear his clothes. As for sight, he doesn’t need the scope on his rifle to make his shots any more. Vin was afraid he was losing his mind and would end up in a mental ward if he went to a doctor so he asked Ezra for help.”

At this Nathan looked up and asked “Why didn’t Vin come to me for help?”

“Vin was concerned you’d tell the others or insist he go to a hospital for tests. He started looking around on the Internet and discovered that heightened senses can be a sign of mental illness. He’s terrified he’s losing his mind and will end up locked away. He knows that Ezra hates hospitals as much as he does and hoped Ez could figure out something else.”

Buck asked, “JD how come you know about this when rest of us didn’t and why didn’t you tell us sooner?” Buck suddenly looked like a light bulb went off over his head, as he demanded “Where the hell did Ezra go?”

“First we gave our word to Vin that we wouldn’t tell you till we had something to work with. Ezra went looking for a man who wrote a paper on hyper senses, a paper he remembered reading in college. They came to me for help in tracking down the author. Found out the guy had written more on hyper senses and didn’t believe them to be a sign of mental illness in all cases.”

Chris looked up from where he had been staring, watching Vin’s face hoping for some sign of him waking up and demanded.

“Is that why Ezra took off and left that note on my desk?

When Chris came in to work the Monday before all this had happened, he had found a note on his desk informing him that Agent Standish due to a family emergency wouldn’t be in to work till the following Monday. Chris knew that Ezra had little in family other than his Mother who treated him appallingly most of the time. When he asked the team if they knew anything about it Vin said yes that he had taken Ezra to the airport himself and that Ezra promised he’d be back by the following Monday. Chris had decided to wait till then to chew his undercover agent a new one if he didn’t have a damn good reason for his disappearance.

+ + + + + + +

That had been six days ago and Vin had been sprayed with the perfume Friday afternoon. Now it was early Sunday morning and there was the southerner sitting beside Vin’s bedside talking to him. Chris was about to step back into the room when Vin spoke in a raspy voice.

“How long?”

“Too long, Ah’m sorry ma friend, Ah wasn’t here to help you.” Ezra told him as he placed a straw to Vin’s mouth so he could drink from a cup of water.

“Wasn’t your fault, ya can’t be with me 24/7 Ez.” Vin patted Ezra’s arm that now lay on the bed beside him. “Did ya find what ya went looking for.” Vin asked with anticipation as he gazed into Ezra’s face, fearing to hear there was no hope for him.


“Well don’t keep me in suspense here Ezra. Am I going crazy?”

“No, at least not any more them usual.” Ezra answered him with a tired smile.


“What you are Vin Tanner is an individual with a genetic advantage of five heightened senses; a sentinel, which is a guardian. In prehistoric times your heightened senses would have protected the tribe from danger, helped in search for food and to find safe haven.”

“I don’t have a tribe.”

“What would you call the team? If not your tribe then your family. And don’t you protect the people of Denver from miscreants who wish harm to the people of this community?”

Vin would let that pass; there were other questions that he needed to have answered more.

“Why now? If they’re genetic why didn’t they show up years ago like when I was a kid or in the Army?”

“Ah don’t know. The person Ah spoke to says a time of isolation can trigger the senses to come online. Ma guess would be the time you spend snowbound in that damn cabin in the mountains. “Your ‘I need to get back to nature for a while vacation’ in February of all times.” Ezra almost hissed at Vin. He had been on edge the whole time Vin had been stuck in the mountain hide away.

Vin had taken a long weekend to get away from the city in a friend’s remote, mountain cabin. Just before heading back an unexpected snowstorm hit and left Vin stranded in the mountains for an additional five days before he could get out. He was able to get one short phone call out before the cellphone battery died, letting Chris know he was all right and would wait the storm out in the cabin. He wouldn’t attempt to get back to Denver till the roads were cleared and declared safe for travel.

“It was real nice up there, I enjoyed the peace and quiet. You should try it some time Ez.”

“No thank you, Ah’ll stay a city boy.”

Both men were silence for a moment, then Vin asked Ezra.

“What about the lost time, the blackouts?”

“They’re called zone outs, which happen when you concentrate on one sense too long or are overpowered by one, as you were with the perfume. Sentinels have companions, a guide that keeps them from zoning and helps them learn to use their gifts.” Ezra rubbed his forehead. He felt his headache coming back, too little sleep and too much worry. He was so tired but he couldn’t rest yet. They had to get out of here.

“You can learn how to use your senses and how not to zone but not now. Vin we have to get out of here, there are those who would use you against your will. Ah was warned to keep your senses from becoming public knowledge.”

“What can I do to control them?”

“Vin we can work on that later after we get you out of here.”

“Ez, please.”

Ezra rubbed his forehead, his headache was getting worse. He wasn’t thinking clearly or he would have been able to come up with a way to have talked Vin into waiting till later. Aw hell.

“All right Vin, Ah want you to picture a dial in your mind with numbers one through ten on it.”


“Trust me Vin and try it.” Ezra thought for a moment then added. “Picture a dial like the one on Miss Nettie’s old radio, the one you like to fool around with.”



“Ok, I’m got the dial, now what?”

“Ah want you to label it sight or have an eye over it. Anything as long as you know it’s for your vision….got it?”

“Yeah, got it.”

“Fine. Ah want you to decide where your sight is at this time and turn the dial down or up to five, that being normal.” Ezra waited a few minutes and asked. “Got it?”


“Good Ah’m going to turn the light up a bit so Ah can see better, tell me if it’s all right.” Ezra did so, turning it so Vin got a good look at his friend.

“Damn Ez you look like shit. When was the last time ya got any sleep?” The Southerner indeed looked unwell. Dark smudges circled his eyes, his face pale. His usually impeccable attire was in disarray. In short his whole being screamed of exhaustion.

“Vin!” Ezra whispered in exasperation, “Thank you for noticing, but we’ve got to get out of here before the doctors start trying to run tests.”

“The rest of them Ez.”

“ALL RIGHT!” Knowing he couldn’t win this battle of wills, Ezra helped Vin make a dial for each one of his senses.

“So all I got to do is turn this dial in my head up and down to heighten or lower my hearing or smell or any of my senses?”

“Basically yes, but there’s a lot you got to learn and practice on so as not to be over powered by input of data from your senses. The gentlemen Ah visited told me a great deal and there’s a lot Ah need to pass on to you to keep you safe, but not here, not now. Maybe out at Chris’s ranch, we have to get out of here.” Ezra wanted to stand but found he didn’t have the energy to make it to his feet. This would never do, there was still too much to do... no time…had to …what was Vin saying to him?

“Rest for a minute Ezra then we’ll go. I’ll wake you in a few minutes. We’re safe for now, the boys will watch our backs… sleep.” Vin ordered Ezra, as he reached up and pulled Ezra’s head down to rest on the bed. Vin watched as the stubborn man gave in to his body’s demands to rest and watched as he fell asleep. Looking across the room he said.

“Ya can come out of the bathroom now cowboy. Nathan come on in.”

“Vin Tanner don’t get out of bed.” Nathan told him as he walked through the door.

Vin ignored him and made it to his feet, disconnecting and pulling loose everything they had connected to his body. Turning to Ezra he started to lift him into the bed he just got out of, looking over at the other two men he asked them.

“Ain’t you going to help me?”

Chris glared at him and growled, “Damn it Vin not thirty minutes ago you were in a coma. Now you act as if nothing happened.”

“I’m alright now, it wasn’t a coma. It’s called a zone. Ya heard Ezra, he found out what’s ailing me and found a way to fix it too.” Giving the two an intense glare of his own he asked them. “Well ya goin’ to help me or not?”

With a frown Chris helped Vin put Ezra into the hospital bed. Vin pulled off Ezra’s jacket and handed it off to Chris as he loosened Ezra’s belt and took off his shoes, trying to make the weary man comfortable. Vin looked up at Nathan to find the healer staring at him.

“What’s wrong Nathan?”

“What’s wrong he asked,” Nathan threw up his hands and walked to the other side of the bed so he could face Vin.

“Vin Tanner for a day and a half we’ve been worried out of our minds that there was something seriously wrong with you. Fighting with the doctors not to place you in ICU or run a battery of tests on your scrawny body. Now you’re up and walking around as if nothing happened. Do you expect us to believe that story Ezra concocted woke you up and now there’s nothing wrong with you?”


A whimper made them turn their attention to the man lying on the bed. Even in his sleep the pounding inside his head pained the man enough to make the southerner moan in pain. Vin turned worry filled eyes to Nathan.

“Nathan this can’t be good, what’s wrong with him? A migraine?”

It was Chris who answered. He had been going through the pockets of the jacket he held.

“Exhaustion from the looks of these,” Chris held up an envelope fill with papers from a car rental place and receipts from gas stations. “Damn fool must have been trying to get back here since JD got word to him.”

“Mind explaining that Chris?” Vin asked as he watched Nathan take Ezra’s pulse.

“Denver’s airport has been fogged in since Friday night, nothing coming in or going out. Storm front settled in between here and the West Coast. Ezra didn’t get even half way back before his plane was grounded. Least that’s what these papers say; he rented a car early yesterday morning. That’s a long ride by yourself, he couldn’t have stopped and got here this soon.”

Nathan examined the man lying on the bed, shaking his head. Vin heard him mumble to himself.

“Damn fool believes he can live on coffee. Won’t believe me when I tell him different. Gone and made himself sick. Now I have two of them to worry about.” Rubbing his hands over his face to get the sleep out of his eyes, he turned to Chris in hopes that he could get at least one of them to listen to reason.

“His pulse is a little fast, and he’s too pale, most likely anemic, dehydrated as well. He needs fluids with nutrients, that means an IV and I can’t give him one without a doctor’s order.”

“Find a doctor, one look at Ezra and he won’t argue about the need for a IV. We’ll need to get Vin discharged as well seeing he’s over his allergic reaction.” Catching the disbelieving look on Nathan’s face Chris explained.

“Nathan we need to get both of them out of here with as little fanfare as possible, with the hospital believing it was nothing more than a reaction to the perfume. ”

“You don’t believe that nonsense Ezra was going on about do you?” asked the healer.

“Yeah I do, This is not the first time I’ve heard about something like this.”

+ + + + + + +

It wasn’t easy, but by the time the IV in Ezra’s arm had finished, Chris had glared his men out of the hospital. The hospital staff knew an upright and moving Vin Tanner made for a dreadful patient. As long as he was restored to health they would be happy to see him go. Nathan backed Vin up on the allergic reaction story and the doctors were willing to take Nathan’s word.

Chris had been right. One look at Ezra and the doctors all but forgot about Vin. With Ezra’s history of migraines and his obvious exhaustion the man was given an IV and orders left for the Southerner to rest. While they waited Nathan went and got Vin discharged. Chris called the others to let them know that Vin was awake, Ezra was back and for them to bring clean clothes for the Southerner and the Texan.

Knowing that their brothers we’re back and going to be all right was enough for Buck and JD for now. They took care of Ezra’s rental, cleaning out the car, making sure they got everything Ezra had out of it before returning the vehicle. They made plans to meet up later at Chris’s ranch. Josiah had brought clean clothes for both Vin and Ezra, he would have liked to ask for details of what Ezra had found but had the patience not to ask till later. He was just happy that their wayward brother was back and unharmed.

After the IV, Ezra cleaned up with a shower, while Vin kept watch over him. Nathan took the opportunity to speak to Chris.

“What do you mean you’ve heard of this before?”

Chris sat on the end of the bed and watched the door to the bathroom, hoping the sound of the water would keep Vin from hearing what he was going to say. Nathan and Josiah moved closer to the bed.

“It took place in South America, I heard the story just before Buck and I got out of the Navy. I had forgotten all about it till I heard Ezra’s explanation. It was such a wild rumor but the men involved swear it happened.”

“Tell us.” asked Josiah softy; he too was keeping a watch on the door.

“A group of us where out partying on our last leave before we got our discharge papers. We had ended up at a bar that catered to military personnel. There was a group of Army Rangers well into their cups, they had just got back from their last mission to Peru.”

“The Army had just pulled one of it’s own out of the Peruvian jungle after being lost there for over eighteen months. Seems the Army’s Ranger survived his chopper going down in the jungle. He was the sole survivor out of his team. Somehow he managed to complete his mission and stay alive with the help of the local natives. The group that went in said the Ranger seemed to know what was going to happen in the jungle around them before it happened. Kept the locals from killing them from ambush. The natives seemed to follow his orders and treated him with more respect than anyone the Rangers had ever heard of coming from the outside world into their territory. He was always one step ahead of the Rangers, reacting before they did. It spooked them to a point they were talking about it outside of their own ranks.”

Josiah looked thoughtful as he listened to Chris finish his story.

“At the time I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it, thought it was just the alcohol talking. But now… I don’t know,” he said looking towards the bathroom door as the sound of the water was turned off.

“Richard Burton.” Josiah said suddenly; Chris and Nathan turned to him. “The 19th century British explorer not the actor.” Josiah told them as if this would clear up their confusion.

It didn’t, but before they could ask for a better explanation Vin opened the bathroom door and pushed Ezra out. Vin was rubbing a towel over Ezra’s wet hair telling him to stand still. Ezra was trying to button his shirt and at the same time trying to get the towel away from Vin, declaring that he could do it himself. Ezra was dressed in what were for him casual clothes; a pair of Dockers and a dress shirt. Vin had showered and changed into a clean pair of jeans and a Tee shirt while Ezra had been napping during his IV. The good-natured banter came to a stop when they realize they had an audience.

Vin stepped in front of Ezra in a protective stance, as if to shield him from the team’s most mature member’s wrath. Ezra must have been still very tired. What else could explain why he didn’t immediately hide behind his poker face? For a few moments everything showed in his face and in those sad, tired eyes. There was uncertainty and fear of what they might do to him for not telling them about Vin’s condition; for not being here at the time of Vin’s zone to make it right. As if he suddenly realized what he was letting show on his face, his mask of indifference came down shutting them out.

Chris sighed and said “Put your shoes on boys, we’ll talk about this out at the ranch.”

+ + + + + + +

Team Seven sat around Chris’s kitchen table and ate breakfast. Each was thinking over what had been going on the last few days. They wondered what it would mean to the team and their future.

Ezra picked at his food, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Vin and Chris were closer than blood brothers and Nathan hadn’t been asked for his helped with a problem concerning a teammate’s health. They had to be furious with him for not telling them about Vin’s condition. Ezra had kept his word to Vin and hadn’t told anyone. Only JD had been let in on the secret, because they needed his skills on the computer and because Ezra wanted someone else to be there for Vin when he was out of town just in case. No one would harm JD, he had his protector in Buck, and Ezra would take full blame before he let the young man become the target of Chris Larabee’s renowned temper.

Chris and Nathan exchanged glances; they knew what was going through Ezra’s thick head. For all of the Southerner’s bravado and ego on the job, the man believed himself to have little self worth outside the work place. They also knew he would protect his two younger colleagues by placing himself between them and the wrath he thought was coming their way.

Nathan had had enough. “Ezra eat. We aren’t that mad at you or the other two fools you think you have to protect. Though I am disappointed you didn’t come to me for help.”

Chris added his two cents as well. “I would have thought by now you two could trust us when you got yourselves in trouble.”

Vin laid down his fork. “That wasn’t the reason Chris. It was because you and Nathan don’t always listen when you think you’ve got all the answers figured out. I didn’t want to find myself locked away in a mental hospital because you thought it best.” Before Chris could deny this Vin asked.

“Tell me truthfully cowboy. What would you have done first if I had come to you?”

“Call Nathan and gotten his help.”

Vin turned to Nathan; “Blackouts, heightened senses and hearing voices. Course of action?”

“Tests at the nearest hospital for a head injury, epilepsy or a brain tumor and any other test I thought was necessary.”

“Even if I asked you not to?” questioned Vin

“If your health was in question how could I not?” said Nathan getting a sick feeling as he realized where this was going.

“Would you’ve forced me to go?” demanded Vin putting the emphasis on the word force. Not letting up on Nathan, he pressed on forcing him to think about what his actions would have been; and the consequences.

Nathan didn’t answer. Vin turned to Chris.

“Chris would you have forced me to go if Nathan had said it was for my own good?”

“What else could I do if you needed help?” confessed Chris

“Listen to what I wanted and didn’t want happening to me.”

Chris didn’t answer, unsure of what to say. He knew it was true. Once a course of action had been decided upon nothing would stop him from getting the help he thought Vin needed, even if it meant dragging the Texan to the hospital against his will. Even if it meant Vin had to be locked away for his own safety.

Vin saw the understanding begin to appear in Chris and Nathan’s eyes as he kept talking.

“I went to one of the most intelligent men I know and asked for help.” Vin laid his hand on Ezra’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Someone who I knew would at least take my wants and needs into account before taking a course of action. Who would look outside the box for answers, something I couldn’t count on with the two of you.”

Words were starting to get heated; Ezra spoke up before something was said that couldn’t be taken back. Ezra knew too well how deeply words could cut into a person’s soul, wounds that might never heal. The friendship between Chris and Vin was too important to let words spoken in anger destroy it.

“Ah have more information in ma suitcase on sentinels and guides. Ah’ll go get it.” He rose to his feet too quickly, the room spun around him. The next thing he knew he was lying on a bed not understanding how he got there. Nathan was standing over him shaking his head. Vin was setting next to him with a worried expression on his face. The others were standing in the doorway waiting to find out how he was doing.

“Vin what’s wrong?” asked Ezra trying to get up. Vin and Nathan both pushed him back down.

Nathan didn’t give the Southerner a chance to say anything else.

“Ezra Standish you will stay in bed till I say you can get up. That little nap you got while you were getting that IV wasn’t enough to make up for twenty-four plus hours of hard driving you did to get back here. Lord only knows if you had any sleep the day before that or when you ate last.” Nathan placed his hand under Ezra’s chin and tilted his head so he could look into his jade eyes.

“You scared us Ezra, you scared me. Please do as I say for a while and get some rest. I don’t want to loose any of my brothers, not even the most stubborn pig headed one out of all of them.”

Ezra looked up at Nathan and saw the sincerity there. Maybe they weren’t as mad at him as he thought. Maybe it was all right to let go and sleep. He turned his gaze to Vin and got the reassurance he needed in Vin’s words.

“Go to sleep Ez, I’ll keep the watch and the boys will keep an eye on me, we’re safe.”

Through a jaw breaking yawn Ezra answered “’K’” as his eyes started to close when he suddenly jerked them back open. “JD the code is ‘Ruff.’”

“Got it Ezra, I’ll take care of everything.” called JD from the doorway.

Everyone but Vin left the room so Ezra could relax and go to sleep. That didn’t take long. Now that Ezra was sure everything had been taken care of and Vin was safe he allowed himself to relax for the first time in days. Vin sat beside him long enough to reassure himself that Ezra was indeed sleeping before picking up Ezra’s carry on suitcase and taking it out to the kitchen. He placed the case on the table. Opening it he started to growl, he could smell the other sentinel on the clothes. He didn’t like it; the other had no right to touch Ezra’s things. Ezra didn’t belong to him.

“Vin, what’s the matter?” asked Chris. He didn’t know what to think about Vin’s growling. Vin didn’t answer him, a fact that didn’t make Chris happy either. He wanted to know what was going on with his best friend.

“I can smell him, the other one like me, his scent is on Ez’s clothes, he shouldn’t have been handling Ez’s clothes.” Vin wasn’t sure himself why it bothered him but it did. Vin gathered up the garments to take them to the laundry room.

It was JD who had Vin’s answer; “When I called Ezra, he and the guide were away from the apartment. The other sentinel packed Ezra’s clothes and met them at the airport to save time. That’s why you smell him, Vin.”

“Got to wash them, get the smell off.” With that Vin started toward the laundry room.

“Hold on there Junior, where are the files Ezra said he had information on? If they’re in those clothes they might not survive ya washing them,” Buck called out to him.

Vin dumped the clothes on the top of the washer and came back into the kitchen. Picking up the suitcase he lifted a false bottom and pulled out four CD’s, that he handed to JD. He then headed back to the laundry room to get rid of the other sentinel’s scent.

Buck took the case and the false bottom, fitting them back together. He hadn’t seen where they came apart before and now that he had the parts back together he didn’t see it now. Buck couldn’t figure how Vin got them separated in the first place. He ran his hand over the seams trying to find how they came apart. To him the seams felt smooth no indication of a secret panel, nothing to grab a hold of to pull the bottom out. Buck handed the case to Chris.

“Damn if I can tell how he did it.”

Chris looked to JD. “You going to be able to access them?” He indicated the disks.

“Sure, Ezra and I set up codes to safe guard data we didn’t want found by anyone trying to access our computer’s database.” JD held up his hand to forestall Chris’s next question with one of his own.

“Chris, who did you ask to set up the computers in the office? And hide information till we’re ready to use it? Next to me Ezra’s the best hacker on the team and I did need someone who understood the systems to back me up just in case. Anyway none of you,” Indicating Chris, Buck, Nathan and Josiah “ever wanted to know how the systems work, only that they did. As long as you got the information you wanted you didn’t care what I did to get it or how I kept it safe.”

Chris shook his head, he couldn’t argue, the kid was right. He and the others took a lot for granted when it came to JD’s computer skills. Maybe he better start paying closer attention.

“How long will it take to make hard copies for us to read?”

“Depends on how much is on them. Hope you’ve got enough paper and ink on hand.” JD told Chris as he headed for the study where the computer and printer were kept.

“Well boys I guess we wait.” Looking over at the other three as he sat down, Chris asked. “When did I lose control?”

“What makes ya think you ever had it, pard?” answered Buck, “What I’d like to know is when the youngsters got so close and protective of each other?”

“You mean independent of us don’t you?” said Josiah, “I don’t think you need to worry about your big brother status with JD, he still thinks you’re the greatest. But he has grown up a lot in the past few years. Ezra and Vin have respected that growth where the rest of us still treat him like a kid most of the time.”

“I don’t know…” began Buck. He still felt his place as big brother was being usurped.

“Buck. Vin and Ezra treat JD as an equal, not a kid. Something I’m guilty of as well.” Chris told his oldest friend. “Thinking back on it now there were times when I started to yell at JD and Vin or Ezra, mostly Ezra would turn the conversation around so I ended up shouting at one of them.”

“They watch each others backs even at the office, not only out in the field.” Nathan said, “Why do they feel the need to protect each other from us?”

“Yeah.” Buck wanted an answer to that question himself. The four men sat around the kitchen table with what remained of the now cold breakfast and looked at each other. Each wondered at the closeness of the three youngest agents, of Vin being a sentinel and how that would effect the direction the team took from then on.

+ + + + + + +

In the city of falling water, the sentinel stood guard as he waited for his guide to return. From the balcony of their apartment he tracked the sound of his guide’s car as it came into the neighborhood and pulled into the parking lot. When the guide got out of his vehicle, the sentinel focused his eyesight in on one of the packages the guide was carrying and smiled. His nose was right. There were fresh buttermilk donuts in that bag. He was still standing there when Blair let himself in and set the bags on the table.

“Hey Jim, are you going to help me here? I’ve got three more bags of groceries in the Volvo and the elevator is out again.”

Jim Ellison, the Ex-Army Ranger, police detective and sentinel came in from the balcony smiling at his guide and thanking all the deities that Blair could name for allowing him to have this man in his life. The heartbeat of his guide soothed his nerves and gave the sentinel a base to ground his senses on. Without his guide Jim knew he’d have eaten a bullet by now or be in some rubber-walled room. Jim reached over and grabbed the bag with the donuts in it.

“Why, when I’ve got all I need right here Chef?” said Jim as he smiled when he pulled out the box containing the donuts.

Blair Sandburg, an ex-anthropologist, police detective, shaman and guide to his sentinel smiled back realizing that Jim meant more than the pastries when he said he had all he needed. Blair agreed, without his sentinel he would have always felt incomplete. Seeing that was Jim at ease with his life helped Blair make up his mind, it was time to ask Jim something he been wanting to ask since the Denver Guide had left Cascade.

“Jim would it bother you if we met the Denver guide and his sentinel?”

Jim had been thinking hard about that subject for a while; not really surprised that his guide and shaman was thinking along the same lines. “Yes and no, I don’t think I could handle it if he showed up on our doorstep before I got to know him. It would be too much of an intrusion into my territory. I don’t know if I could handle it without going into primal mode. I’ve learned a lot since the rogue sentinel came to town and we hurt you, something I never want to do again. I trust you to do the right thing for both of us. So if you think we need to go see this pair I’ll go with you. I know he and his guide need all the help we can give them.”

“Great!” said a relieved Blair. Sentinels were very territorial and in the center of that territory were their guides. “I hear there’s some great fishing in several of the Rocky Mountain State Parks. It would be neutral territory for both of you. We could tell everyone we’re going camping and accidentally meet up with them.”

Jim thought it over. It could work. “Yeah we could get Simon to go with us, I bet the Denver sentinel’s boss is having the same problems that Simon had when all of this first started. He could give the man a few pointers on coping.”

“You mean to help him keep his sanity don’t you?” said Blair as he picked up the cordless phone and tossed it to Jim to let him talk their boss into giving them some down time. He would contact the Denver guide through safer means and set up a time for the camping trip.

A new sentinel when first coming online had a lot to learn and adjust to. Blair was concerned for the new guide as well. Being responsible for another’s well being the way a guide must be for his sentinel could be overwhelming. And if Blair’s suspicions were right the Denver guide was a full empath as well. Perhaps meeting his sentinel had allowed his empathic ability to come online the same time as the Denver sentinel’s senses had. The guide would have to learn to block other people’s emotions or be overwhelmed by them.

Maybe together Blair and Jim could keep them from making some of the same mistakes they made when they first got together.



I know this didn’t have much of The Sentinel in it, no interaction between the Seven with Jim and Blair. I feel the need to establish the pairing first before bringing in the Cascade’s sentinel and guide. I’m a fan of the Sentinel series, reading their fan fiction lead me to the Magnificent Seven and the rest as they say is history.