I knew I would find him here. *sigh* It's been over a year, and still he comes here. I wonder still what all is truly going on with him. I doubt he'll ever tell me. I wonder if I have a right to ask him such a question.
Slowly I make my way across the quad. I know he knows someone is approaching; his heart is beating faster, yet he doesn't move to see who it is. Either he really knows it's me or just hoping it's someone who'll leave him alone.
I stop behind the bench. "There you are Chief," I announce behind him.
"Hey Jim." His voice sounds small.
I sit over the back of the bench, supporting my weight with one leg on the ground. I looked to see what he's looking at. Hardgrove Hall, the embodiment of where he spent fifteen years, following the paths of academia.
"Has it changed much?" I ask.
"No," he answers.
I look at the building searching for what he is looking at, but I realize it's not the physical he's looking at. It's the emotional part. I often tell him at times that I'm sorry, sorry that everything had to happen the way it did. And I am.
"Rachel called me."
"She tell you the news?"
"That you won the case against Rainer and Chancellor Edwards."
"Yeah, I won." His voice holds little thrill. "I may have won the battle, but I lost the war."
I reach over and touch his shoulder. "How can you say that? They didn't listen to you the first time around, or the second. You had to do this to get back your integrity."
"Integrity? I have none. I took a chance, a chance to save everything and it backfired on me. I should have known before that that things were not going to be the way I wanted them. They never do." He said in defeat.
"What do you want Chief? What does Blair Sandburg want?"
Finally he turned to look at me. The eyes should the weariness that he had been holding, the loss he had felt over a year ago.
"I want to share my knowledge of Sentinels with the world." He told me, then added before I could comment, "But that will never happen. We both know that it's too dangerous." He looked back at the school. "I have to be content knowing I'm helping at least one of them in this world, making it a safer place to live." He hugged himself, "What can be accomplished is that I can submit my other thesis, and see where it leads me to."
"You know that 'bunch of bull' I gave Simon in the beginning."
"The blue line."
"I worked on it while I was at the Academy and we were on splits shifts. I gave it to Simon to read."
"Who are you going to submit it through?"
"Washington State. I've been talking with the Criminal Department there and submitted my application pending the outcome of the case with Rainer."
"If you hadn't of won …"
"I wouldn't have been accepted at State. I have enough foundation classes from Rainer in criminology to just have to submit the paper. Sorry I didn't tell you."
"Don't be sorry. I understand." I really did. He had to do this on his own.
I saw a slight shiver run through him. "Getting cold?"
"A little." We both knew it was more than a little, but I let it rest.
"Ready to go home?"
He stood up and looked once more to the hollowed hall of his past. "Everything's going to be okay." I told him.
He looked at me and smiled a smile I hadn't seen for a long time. "I think you're right."