Well, the good news is that Blair wasn't physically harmed this time around though right now he is not looking particularly happy... no, he isn't happy at all. He got up early this morning to work on his dissertation and then he went to the station with me. It was a normal day... okay maybe not normal, the weather was beyond awful. We had a major thunderstorm --which is pretty normal this time of year, come to think of it-- and it got so bad that even the perps decided to stay home. It was a quiet day --quiet, that's probably a better word than normal, seeing how normal for us includes psychos, mass murderers and Blair being either shot at or taken hostage at least once-- and we allowed that quiet to lure us into a false sense of security... we should have known things couldn't possibly go that smoothly.
When we got home the loft seemed normal enough --there it is again that word... normal-- and even the blinking eights on both the VCR and microwave's displays were not entirely unexpected. We may have had an easy day in Major Crimes but the uniforms had a hard time trying to maintain some semblance of order due to the number of blackouts, downed trees and accidents --accidents that resulted in a couple of fatalities-- so we were all too aware of just how bad the thunderstorm had really been. The thing is that when we finally made it home it took me a few seconds to realize that there was a sort of electric charge in the air and traces of a faint but unpleasant scent which I easily identified as burnt plastic... it took me even longer to recognize those seemingly minor disturbances for what they were. I didn't even think about them until I went to turn on the TV to watch the game only to discover that it was busted, with a major discharge as the prime suspect for that. I heard Blair groan almost as loudly as I did at that but then I turned around and I saw it there, on the table.
Blair had gotten up early to work on his dissertation today but then we had to leave in a hurry so he left his laptop on the table, still plugged in... and even I realized that if the TV didn't make it the computer's chances weren't good. Trying not to panic him I asked Blair to check the computer but just like I feared it was completely dead. Seeing how he usually has no money for fancy techs, Blair is quite skilled at taking his computer apart so he set out to assess the damage. As soon as he removed the keyboard the seriousness of the situation became obvious... the motherboard is toast and the hard drive is one crispy critter. The screen's status remains a mystery but it doesn't really matter, even if by some miracle the screen managed to survive his beloved laptop would still be history.
I know how much this sudden loss means to him. He had spent countless hours working not only on his dissertation but also on numerous papers --papers that represented a critical extra income he was counting on-- and even though he's always been almost obsessive about making regular backups I am sure that he's lost some important items. The hard drive is beyond repair or rescue and salvaging anything is almost certainly going to turn out to be a lost cause, it is not that the information has been corrupted, it's that the disk is physically damaged. I am supposed to protect him, that is my duty, but this time around there's nothing I can do to help... or rather I know his pride won't let him accept my help and whether he admits it or not he is stuck. He may be able to get around by driving a classic but he needs a reasonably fast laptop, and those are expensive. I know he would need almost a thousand bucks if he were to buy a fairly cheap, brand new computer though knowing Blair he will probably settle for a second hand one that will only set him back a few hundred... and that's still a few hundred more than he can spare.
The truth is that I don't want him to have to buy a used, outdated computer. He deserves better than that and the fact is I could afford to replace it without even feeling it... if only he'd let me. Unfortunately the most I can do is offer him a loan --which makes me feel terribly cheap-- knowing that he will insist on paying me back. I owe him so much and yet he stubbornly refuses to see the value of his own contribution, to allow me to help him in ways that are well within my reach. I owe him my life and my sanity but he still feels like he owes me for the roof over his head.
Blair may be incredibly smart but there are some areas where I've always feared I'd have to knock some sense into him and I think that the time for me to do some knocking has finally arrived. Over these past few years I've learned to swallow my pride and accept his help... now the time has come for me to teach him that that's a two way street.
Author's note: The title is from a song by Live, though the plot has nothing to do with it.