Warning: Death of an original character.
This story is dedicated to all of the Brenda's, Blair/Sandy's, and Jenny/Enola's out there.
Blair smiled after Jim, marveling at how things were so --- normal. After the -- unpleasantness -- of a few weeks ago, it was a wonderful change.
'Unpleasantness'. It never failed to amaze him how he could process things so quickly. He'd drowned, for heaven's sake, and he saw that as 'unpleasantness'.
Jim was just as obfuscating, he realized. They never spoke about the bitch, but what she did had been a turning point for them. They spoke now about other things, things that hadn't seemed important before. About their friendship and its importance to them.
So, confident that Jim wouldn't go ballistic if he were a few minutes late, Blair stopped off at his favourite bread store for bagels and doughnuts.
Jim forced himself to calm. So Blair was a bit late. He'd be in when he was rea----
His cell phone jangled, making Jim jump. He snapped it open. "Ellison!" He shook his head and sighed. "No, he's not. Give me your number and I'll have him call you ba---- well, yeah, I guess I could take a message....go ahead...."
Jim frowned at the phone a moment later. "Yeah...I'll tell him. ....thanks." He slowly closed the flap.
Blair came bounding in. "Hey, Jim! I've got breakfast and --- hey, what is it?"
"Chief.... do you know a Brenda Collins?"
"Bren? Yeah, she was a friend of mine from my first stint at Rainier. Why?"
Jim laid a hand on his shoulder. ".....her mother just called, Blair."
Blair grinned. "Hey, cool! I've been meaning to get together with her, it's been forever! How is she, Jim?"
Jim just looked at him.
Blair blinked. ".....Jim, man, you're scarin' me."
"She's.... she's dead, Blair. Her heart.... apparently she had an eating disorder when she was younger, and it weakened her ----"
"Oh, God." Blair's knees buckled. Jim followed him to the floor and held him close, rocking him comfortingly as he shook.
Neither of them really noticed or cared that Major Crimes quickly emptied, leaving them alone --- Blair in his grief, Jim focused on his partner.
Back at the loft, Jim made a simple lunch and ate in silence, gently coaxing Blair to do the same. Once lunch was eaten and they were settled in the living room, his large hand rested on Blair's knee. "Wanna talk about it?"
Blair sighed. "We were best friends. We did everything together -- classes, the movies, restaurants.....everything. I was seventeen, she was nineteen, and we were inseparable."
Jim nodded. "Did you know about her disorder?"
"The bulimia? Yeah. We'd have binge-out parties together." His eyes closed. "It was a hell of a shock to realize we were killing ourselves."
Blair nodded. "We made the choices every day, Jim. Every single day. They were the wrong ones. I'm lucky --- I came out of it relatively okay."
"You had an eating disorder...."
He shook his head. "No one ever 'had' one of those, Jim. It's always present tense....it's like alcoholism. There's no such thing as a fully recovered alcoholic, and there's no such thing as a fully recovered anorexic or bulimic. Every day, the choices are still there."
Jim laid his other hand on Blair's cheek. "This time, Chief, you got someone helping you make the right choices."
"Blessed Protector?" Blair teased, smiling slightly.
"You damn well better believe it."
TWO WEEKS LATER
Jim stopped the truck and leaned over, laying a hand on Blair's arm. "You don't have to do this, Chief."
"Yeah, Jim," Blair said softly, getting out of the truck and closing the door. "I do. Will you be here in two hours?"
"I'll be here. Waiting outside, like I said."
"Thanks, man, I appreciate it. A lot." He turned and walked into the building.
Jim watched him, and drove away as he promised once Blair was inside.
The murmur of the small crowd turned into a gentle buzz as they sat down. A woman walked up to the podium at the front of the room. She smiled. "Hello, everybody. I'm so glad you came. Do we have any new ones tonight?"
Slowly, a single hand rose near the back of the room.
The smile grew. "Welcome." She began to read the minutes of the last meeting, pausing to note the willowy brunette woman who rose to her feet. She stopped speaking and the smile turned gentle. "Yes?" she asked gently, knowing what a step this was for a first-timer.
The woman twisted her hands in the hem of the too-large plaid shirt. Her mouth worked, but nothing came out for a long moment.
No one moved or spoke. They waited, silently lending their support.
Finally, licking her lips, the newcomer spoke the first words necessary to heal --- and the hardest words to say.
"H....Hi.....M-My....my name is.... is Blair.....and....." Her blue eyes squeezed shut. The woman next to her reached up and touched her arm, and the contact gave her the courage to finish the sentence.
"My name... is B-Blair.....and...and I'm a.... a....." She took a deep breath. "......and I'm .... I have bulimia..."
Return to The Realm