Birds of a Feather
Trouble Brewing
(Jim's POV)

Author: Clea Saal
Fandom: The Sentinel / Stargate: SG-1
Rating: 13+
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Buffy, the Vampire Slayer


The Sentinel

Stargate: SG-1
Crossover series

Birds of a Feather

In the Genes

A Watcher's Son


Trouble Brewing
(Jim's POV)

The good news is that things between Sandburg and his brother seem to be progressing nicely... and I really needed some good news right about now, seeing how I'm all but certain that Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter have figured out that there's something strange going on here. The way in which they are looking at me is more than a little suspicious and definitely not what I would consider to be a good sign... especially not coming from the military.

I am not naive, I can’t afford to be. We are dealing with a black ops specialist here and the fact is that he wouldn't be here if he hadn't done his homework... heck, these people have to have done their homework simply to have found us and with the clearance the colonel is likely to have their background check on us is likely to have been far more thorough than anything Sandburg and I may have hoped to run on Jackson.

That means that even in a best case scenario they are well aware of Sandburg's dissertation... and I wouldn't put it past them to have figured it all out if they had access to the transcript of my own debriefing after I came back from Peru. Brackett managed to do it and he certainly had less to go on. Brackett figured it out even though he didn't have a dissertation --discredited or not-- that explained everything that was to be found in that report in the first place. That means that their suspecting that the fraud story is a fraud is not out of the realm of possibility. That is not a comforting thought, far from it, but it is one I know I can't afford to dismiss... not with as much as Sandburg and I have riding on that secret being maintained.

The thing is that if they were suspicious before they even came here then I'm afraid that I may just have given up the game with my attempt to keep an ear on Simon's office. I really should have known better than that, I really should have been more careful but I'm afraid I just allowed my worry over my partner's well-being to get the best of me at a time when I could ill afford it. It was a stupid mistake but I know it's too late. There's nothing I can do to undo the damage... all I can do is play the fool and hope that Sandburg and I will manage to find a way to make it out of the mess I just got us into. It’s either that or to hope that my companions are worried enough about their own friend to have overlooked my little slip, but I'm not holding out too much hope in that regard.

I won't deny that I'm worried. Right now my partner is in Simon's office trying to get his bearings after being suddenly confronted with a brother he wasn't even sure he should contact in the first place... even if he really wanted to get to know him. It is only natural for me to assume that the encounter will be more than a little stressful and I can't help but think that I really should be in there in the flesh. That is where I belong, by my partner's side... and being out here is killing me. Sure, I can send in my senses, I can keep track of everything they are saying, of every move they make, I can even piggyback sight to hearing and see them as they talk but it's not the same. It's not the same as being there if I'm needed... being out here is definitely not the same as being able to offer some comfort to my partner if something were to go wrong in there.

Yes, I know this is not about me, I know my partner is a grown man, I know he is more than capable of handling this and I should respect his privacy... or at least the rational part of my brain knows it, but the thing is that the rational part of my brain is not where the sentinel lives. The sentinel in me has a prime directive: to keep the guide safe at all costs, and he perceives this whole situation as a threat to the guide, something that makes being out here a form of torture. That instinctive need to protect the guide is not a selfless position nor is it one I am particularly proud of but the fact is that the sentinel knows he can't survive without the guide and that means that keeping Blair safe is to me a form of self-preservation.

The problem is that while there are some threats I can protect him from... or I can at least try to protect him from, this situation is not one of them. I know the situation in there is one that could degenerate very quickly and I know that would be very painful for my guide, but at the same time I know the threat is not a physical one and there is nothing I can do to help him this time around. In fact so far I've only managed to make matters worse by drawing attention to what we are and that was most definitely not part of the plan.

On top of that there is also the fact that even if everything turns out fine I'm still going to have a hard time trying to convince the sentinel in me that this whole thing is for the best. It's not just the thought that things could go wrong in there that has my inner sentinel in such a turmoil... it's the fear that they will work out. I am the Sentinel of the Great City and Blair is my Guide and Shaman. Up until now that had been a given and there had been no external pressures on our partnership but right now I'm afraid that may be about to change. Sandburg wanted desperately to meet his brother from the moment he first learned that the man existed and if the colonel's words are anything to go by then Jackson is likely to want to establish a close relationship with my guide... and even though I hate to admit it the fact is that I don't know how I feel about that.

In a way seeing Sandburg and Jackson together was somewhat strange. There are plenty of differences and similarities between the two of them and in spite of the colonel's words I think Jackson is probably more subdued than my partner however the colonel's concerns as to what will happen now that the two of them are together may well turn out to be valid ones. I don't know Jackson but I do realize that things could get more than a little hairy if he turns out to be half as much of a trouble magnet as Sandburg is. That is something we may want to keep an eye on. Right now I can only hope the major and the colonel were exaggerating about that, after all, they have no real experience when it comes to dealing with the Sandburg Zone... not like I do.

That ability to get into trouble that my partner seems to possess is something I've had a hard time trying to understand... at times it almost seems to defy the most basic laws of nature but it is a source of real concern, it is something I'm painfully aware that I have to compensate for.

I know I sometimes tease Blair a little too much about his uncanny ability to find trouble but the truth is that I can't help myself... even though I know it's not entirely fair. Yes, it's true that my partner gets in trouble on a weekly basis but for the most part he is just as good at getting himself out of trouble as he is at getting himself into it... well, I did say for the most part.

Of course, I know it's not so simple as the mere ability to find trouble. It took me a while but I’ve finally managed to figure out why my partner has such an unusual talent for finding trouble and I'm afraid that if what I've seen of his brother is anything to go by then the colonel and the major were both right in that it is a trait the two of them are likely to share and that in turn is something that could easily spell disaster for the rest of us.

The thing is that Sandburg has a tendency to let his enthusiasm do the thinking for him and his brother seems to be a lot like him in that regard. I know Blair is a genius but unfortunately he is also a bit of an absent-minded professor who is currently working as a detective and --all teasing aside-- I suspect that is the root of the problem. He has a tendency to see most things from an intellectual perspective and he often fails to consider the practical ramifications of those things. He is so dogged at times in his determination to follow even the smallest lead that he often forgets to consider what he may encounter at the end of the trail... and that is one trait I fear he may well share with his brother.

Simply put, in Sandburg’s case the problem is that even after all these years --and more kidnappings than I care to remember-- he still believes that human beings are essentially good and the job we do keeps placing him in the path of individuals who are anything but. That is a recipe for disaster and one that, if what I've seen of the way in which the major and the colonel move and operate is anything to go by, is also likely to accurately describe the kind of situations their own absent-minded professor has a tendency to find himself in.

I know my little theory is nothing but a lame attempt at rationalization but it is the closest I've been able to come to finding something that could possibly be described as some sort of logical explanation short of blaming the whole thing on karma... and 'karma' is an explanation that makes me cringe, one that makes me fear that I've been hanging around Naomi too much. As far as I'm concerned it's either that or that my partner has a truly unbelievable bad luck.

Of course, the fact that I understand the reason why Sandburg is such a trouble magnet does not mean I'm not worried about the situation, it just means that I've learned what to look for in order to keep him safe, though I'm not willing to take any chances by blindly ignoring Major Carter's careful calculations. If Jackson is anything like Sandburg then all the rationalizations in the world won't change the fact that now that the two of them are together the rest of us are likely to find ourselves working overtime to keep them reasonably in one piece... and whether I like it or not, whether I trust them or not, Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter have just become my backup in that regard.

I wonder if the colonel has ever heard the term 'Blessed Protector'...

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