I have seen him get increasingly nervous as the day in which he is to join the police academy grows closer. I know this was not his choice, but he will be a great cop, of that I have no doubt. Now if only I could get him to accept it, but he refuses to talk about it. Funny how when it comes to him not talking is suddenly OK, but I understand. I also know what "the problem" is... guns. Guns and the fact that using one goes against everything he was raised to believe in so he is having a hard time coming to terms with the idea, unfortunately with less than a week to go I'm afraid we have run out of time. We have to confront the issue now or run the risk of being ambushed by it when we can least afford it, so it's up to me to say something.
"Not talking about it won't make it go away, you know?" I say, and I know he understands just what 'it' is.
"I know, it's just that there's nothing to say." No, my friend, you will not be able to brush it off that easily. We are going to have this talk whether you want to or not.
"Let's try it anyway. You do realize that you would never let me off the hook if I were to come up with such a lame reply when you think I have a problem?"
"Maybe, but I really don't want to talk about it."
"I can see that, but the issue is not going to go away just because you don't feel like talking about it. I know that you dislike guns but I also know that there is more to this than that. Besides the obvious, why is this so hard for you?"
"I just don't know if I could kill a man if it ever became necessary. It feels so wrong."
"I know, believe it or not I do understand."
"Do you? I mean, Incacha passed the way of the shaman to me. How am I supposed to honor that legacy if I have to kill? A shaman is supposed to be a spiritual leader, a man of peace and..."
"Hold it. Where do you get that? Yes, for the most part a shaman is not a killer, but to do his duty a shaman must be a man first. Incacha was as much a warrior as any other member of the tribe, maybe even more. Blair, I'm not saying that it should be easy, it shouldn't and I understand that that is not who you are, but one thing you shouldn't worry about is that being a cop will somehow tarnish you as a shaman. I know that the idea of having to use a gun to take a human life goes against everything you were brought up to believe in but it has nothing to do with your role as my guide and shaman. For years you were an observer in the PD, and even if it was just a cover you did some research on the police as a tribe, now you are no longer an observer and to be the shaman that tribe needs you must become an active member of it. Can you think of the academy as a means to that end?"
"Sort of like a rite of passage?"
"Yes. Listen, just try to get through it. Simon knows the truth about us and the sentinel thing, he understands that you didn't make a choice here, that it was forced on you, and as soon as you make it through the academy you will be assigned as my partner. It may not be according to protocol, but I don't think Simon is going to be pushing us to change how we work. You will be expected to carry a gun, there is no way around that, but I promise I won't push you to use it. I trust you to make that choice, and the truth is that I will feel better knowing that you have that as an option even though you have proven time and time again that you don't really need it."
"I guess I could live with that."
"Good, because I really need my partner."
"And at least I won't have to cut my hair" He says with a fake grin. I almost laugh at his attempt to change the subject but I decide to let it slide. Even I was surprised when Simon took it upon himself to get Sandburg an exemption from that mandatory haircut. He gave the brass some song and dance about the fact that his looks would make it easier for Blair to go undercover. It was a good story but the truth is that Simon knew how much Sandburg had given up already and he didn't want to take anything else away from him.
"I think you are contagious, Chief. In the past few years Simon has become quite a master of obfuscation himself!"
"Well, given that he had to cover for the whole sentinel thing I would say that that's a good thing."
And I really had to laugh at that, knowing that in the end he would be just fine, that we would both be fine.