LJ User: pattrose
Word Count: 10,658
Summary: How does Jim feel when he hears the news about his father having a heart attack? Will he and Steven grow closer or will it force them further apart?
Beta: Alex, Kelly, Kerensa, Debbie S and Susan.
Warnings: Bad language, m/m, angst
Genre: Slash, established couple.
Authors Notes: This story is for Bee, aka Bianne Bobbitt. She gave me tons of story ideas, but this one she really wanted. I didn’t get it written in time before we lost her, so it’s for her now. I know she’s in heaven smiling down having some new Sentinel fic to read that she inspired. We miss you, Bee.
Author Notes 2: Thank you so much to my betas. (Alex, Kelly, Kerensa, Debbie S and Susan) You made a simple story shine and I’ll be forever grateful to all of you. I don't want to forget to thank my wonderful artist, Zelempa. Isn't this cover, just perfect for the story? Thank you so much.
Link to Artwork: Zelempa's Art
Link to Story On AO3: William's Boys
The loft was quiet when the ringing of the phone invaded the darkness. Jim fumbled for the phone and said, “What?”
“Jimmy, this is Steven. Dad had a heart attack and he’s at Cascade General. I’m up here waiting to talk to the doctor. I thought you would like to know.”
Jim wiped his large hand across his face, hoping to wake up a little more. “How is he?”
“I don’t know, Jimmy. The doctor hasn’t talked to me as yet.”
“Do you want me to come down?” Jim asked.
“Well, I figured you would, since this might be the last time we see him,” Steven said, sounding quite upset.
“I’ll be down in an hour or two. I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Jim answered.
“Don’t bother, Jimmy.” Steven closed his cell and became very angry with his brother. How could he even think about staying at home at a time like this? Didn’t he have any feelings for their father at all?
Jim hung up the phone and sat on the edge of the bed. Blair rubbed his back gently and said, “Your dad?”
“He had a heart attack and Steven wants me to go up there and sit with him. He got mad when I asked if I should come,” Jim explained.
“I don’t blame him for getting mad, Jim. You, Steven and your dad have grown quite close in the last six months. I can’t believe you even considered staying home after hearing this news,” Blair ranted as he got out of bed and began to pace.
“Steven was always his favorite, Chief, you know that and I know that. Why should I rush up to see him? His Golden Child is already there.”
“You sound like a five year old, Jim. Now get your ass out of bed and get ready to go. This might be the last time you get to see him. Get ready and I don’t mean maybe. I’ll go with you,” Blair ordered.
“You go back to sleep. I’ll take care of it myself. Don’t worry about it,” Jim said as he stood up from sitting on the bed.
“I’m going. Don’t argue with me again,” Blair said angrily as he pulled his clothes out to wear to the hospital.
Jim jumped in the shower, finished, and was followed in by Blair. Blair glared at him and said, “Don’t you even think about leaving without me.”
“I’m waiting, I’m waiting.”
Blair hurried as quickly as he could and exited the bathroom, steam following him.
“I just need to get my shoes on, and I’ll be ready.” Blair rushed up the stairs and put them on and rushed back down the stairs again. He walked over to Jim and hugged him close and said, “I love you.”
“I love you,” Jim replied.
“Now let’s go and see how your dad is doing.” Blair bossed, sweetly this time.
The drive to the hospital was quiet and fast. Jim hit all of the easiest routes, so that it wouldn’t take long.
As they got closer to the hospital Blair said, “Do you think it will look odd if I’m with you?”
Jim looked over at him and said, “If Steven doesn’t like it, tough. But I can’t imagine my dad even knowing that we’re there this morning.”
“He’ll know it, Jim. You wait and see. He’ll be thrilled that his boys came up and wanted to see him get better.”
They drove into the hospital parking lot and Jim found the closest space and pulled in. “Chief, I just want you to know that I might be an ass tonight. I’m really upset about this. I know you can’t tell, but I am. I don’t want him to die, especially now. I was going to tell him about you and me next weekend when I went over to visit him. I really want him to be around for that talk.”
“Jim, don’t worry about me. Just worry about your dad and your brother. He’s going to need support too. He needs his big brother to help him cope.”
“I suppose so. Did you bring a book?” Jim asked.
“Yes, I did. I know I’m not going to be able to see him, so I figured I would just be there for moral support. You can rely on me for anything, Jim, anything at all.”
Jim walked up to Steven on the seventh floor and said, “Have you seen the doctor?”
“Not yet. I’m still waiting. Thank you for coming, Jimmy.”
“Hello, Steven. I hope your dad will be just fine,” Blair said kindly as he shook Steven’s hand. Then Blair whispered Sentinel soft, “Hug, him.”
Jim went over to his brother and hugged him and Steven stayed in Jim’s arms for quite a while. When he finally composed himself, he pulled back and said, “The nurse said they had to restart his heart four times.”
“Jesus…” Jim almost whispered.
“It’s fucking scary, is what it is. Why don’t you tell your roommate that you’re fine here? He can leave,” Steven suggested.
“Steven there isn’t any good time to tell you this, but Blair is my life mate and he’s here for moral support.”
“Oh God, we can’t tell dad if he survives this. It would kill him for sure. Promise me you won’t tell him, Jimmy.”
Jim was getting pissed off and wanted to strangle his brother, but instead he said, “I’m not going to tell him on his death bed. But I do plan on telling him once he’s better. I should have told him before. Blair is the best thing in my life. You and dad would be better for knowing him. He’s the one that suggested that I see the two of you again and try to remain close. He’s a good man, Steven, so give him a chance.”
“I will give him a chance, Jimmy. I just don’t want dad to know right now. It might give him another attack. If he gets better, then tell him. But if he doesn’t get better it wasn’t meant to be.”
“I’ll play it by ear, Steven. Don’t worry about it,” Jim said coldly.
Blair watched Jim’s defenses come up and could see the wall between Steven and Jim. Blair knew he was going to have to do something, he just didn’t know what.
“Jim, I could take a cab home. That way you and your brother could talk about things,” Blair volunteered.
“No, I want you to stay here for me. I need you,” Jim pleaded.
There was little Blair wouldn’t do for Jim, so he smiled and said, “Then I’ll stay. Don’t worry, I’ll be here all night or as long as you need me by your side.”
Steven started to pace up and down the hallway and Jim let him. It was better than them arguing over Blair. Jim pulled Blair into a much-needed hug and Blair was so grateful. Jim really was a good man; he just had to be reminded of it now and then.
Jim and Blair were sitting and Steven was still pacing when the doctor called their names.
“My name is Dr. Spenser and I have some good news, I think. If your dad makes it through the next six hours, we’ll do triple bypass surgery this morning. We need him a little stronger than he is right now. So I would like for you to be very uplifting when you talk to him. He’s awake and in Cardiac ICU. We’ll keep him there until the surgery. Do you have any questions?”
Steven asked, “What if he doesn’t want to have the surgery?”
“Then he’ll probably have another attack in a week or a month and this time he might not make it. He has coronary blockage. His heart is weakened at this point, we need to get it stronger and replace the veins surrounding it. We do this every day of the week. I don’t want you to worry about the surgery, instead concentrate on keeping him alive. It’s going to be a long six hours. If he’s doing well at 9:00 this morning, I will be in charge of his surgery. I’m on call right now so if anything happens, I’m here in the hospital already. So don’t worry about him. Just keep him calm and we’ll do the surgery in six hours. He already signed the papers for it. He’s lucky to be alive,” Dr. Spenser said.
“What about upsetting him in any way, would that make his heart worse?” Steven asked. Jim knew what he was talking about and wanted to slap Steven.
“Don’t upset him. Now go and spend some time with him. Take care and I’ll see you at 9:00.” Dr. Spenser left the hallway and Jim said, “What room?”
“732,” Dr. Spenser called out over his shoulder.
They all took off for room 732 and Jim said, “Just shut up about me and Blair. Don’t start trouble, Steven,”
“I wasn’t going to say anything. I figured you would say something since you’re all open about it and all. Dad’s going to wonder why Blair is here. It’s not like he’s a family member,” Steven said hatefully.
“Jim, I’ll wait right here in this waiting room. Come see me when you need a break,” Blair suggested.
“That’s bullshit, Blair. You should be able to see him too,” Jim countered.
“He knows he wouldn’t be welcome, Jim. So leave it at that.”
Blair walked into the waiting room and pulled his book out of his backpack and pretended to read. He even made it look interesting.
Jim said, “Steven, don’t talk to me anymore. Let’s just get this over with and be done with it.”
Steven glared back at Jim and said, “That’s so much like the usual Jim Ellison crap.”
Both men didn’t even realize they were outside the door of their dad’s room. William said, “Boys, stop the arguing and get in here.”
Jim walked in first and looked embarrassed. “Hi dad, how do you feel?”
“What are you boys arguing about?” William asked, ignoring Jim’s question.
“It’s not important dad. The important thing is you get better and stronger for the surgery. So don’t worry about me and Jimmy.”
William looked at his sons and knew something was up. “Where is Blair?”
The question took Jim by surprise. He recovered and said, “In the waiting room down the hall.”
“Is that what you boys were arguing about? Whether to tell me about you and Blair? I already know, Jimmy, so go and get him so he can see me too. I’d like to say hello to him.”
Jim smiled sheepishly and walked out of the room. Blair was sitting there with his head leaned back against the wall, eyes closed and doing deep breathing exercises. Jim sat down beside him and said, “He wants to see you.”
Blair jumped about a foot off the sofa. “You’re kidding. Why in the world would he want to see me?” Blair asked.
“He said he already knew about us and he wants to say hello to you. So come on, Chief, get the lead out.”
Blair followed Jim into the room in ICU and the nurse came walking in and said, “You can’t all be here at the same time. One person, per hour, for fifteen minutes. Now, two of you get out of here.”
William said, “I would like to talk to Blair first.”
Jim and Steven looked surprised and Jim said, “We’ll be in the waiting room, Chief.”
The two brothers left the room and knew that they needed to be in there, but had to follow the wishes of their dad at the same time.
Blair walked up to the bed and touched William’s hand. “It’s good to see you, Mr. Ellison.”
“Please, call me William.”
“Okay. How are you feeling right now, William?”
“Like someone is standing on my chest. But that’s not important. I want to ask you to promise that you will take good care of my son if something happens to me. He’s a good man, Blair. But he gets a little lost sometimes. Maybe you could help him find his way.”
“I would be happy to help him find his way. But you’re going to be fine. You’re going to have the surgery in six hours and feel like a new person.”
“I hope so, Blair, because I’d like to see my sons more. Thank you for getting us all together.”
“It was my pleasure, William. Now let me leave you to sleep and Steven can come in next. Then Jim. How does that sound?” Blair asked.
“That sounds perfect. I’m exhausted, so I will go to sleep for a little while, but tell Steven to wake me up when he comes in. I want to talk to him too.”
“Be well, William. Goodnight.” Blair walked out of the room and smiled all the way down to the waiting room.
When he walked in, Steven jumped up and said, “Why are you here so soon? Did something happen?”
“No, he was tired. I told him to sleep for a while and you can see him next. He wants to talk to you. So give him an hour and then he wants you to wake him up,” Blair explained.
“Oh right, like I’m going to walk in and wake the dying man up,” Steven said hatefully.
“You know what, Steven? You can hate me all you want, but be civil to Blair. After all, he’s the reason that I have anything to do with you and dad. It was his idea. So keep the remarks coming my way. Leave Sandburg alone.”
“That’s so typical. You take a friend’s side instead of your dad and your brother. Classic Jim Ellison once again,” Steven said sarcastically.
“Just shut up, Steven. Don’t go in there and upset dad. Leave him be. If he can accept me and Blair then leave him alone,” Jim ranted.
“I’m an adult, Jimmy. I can do or say anything I please. So just shut up yourself,” Steven spat back.
Blair quietly said, “Both of you shut up. You’re acting like five year olds. Knock it off.”
Both men did just that. They both seemed a little embarrassed, as well they should have been. Their father was fighting for his life and they were fighting in the waiting room.
Jim finally said, “So what is your problem, Steven?”
“I can’t believe you chose this lifestyle. You seem like a normal man to me, but to find out this…it threw me,” Steven said softly.
“I’m still Jim Ellison. I just chose to be with a man, rather than with a woman. I thought you would understand.”
“Well, I don’t. I can’t believe you’re doing this and then to find out that dad already knew about it, makes me wonder if that’s what gave him the heart attack,” Steven said.
“Oh give me a fucking break. He seemed fine with Blair. It’s you that didn’t want to tell dad. He has accepted the fact; you could see it on his face.”
“Well, don’t expect me to accept it, because I think that it’s sick and perverted. You do whatever you want with your life, Jimmy, but don’t expect me to like it. And I’m not going to pretend to either.”
“Fine, you stay away from me and I’ll stay away from you,” Jim said coldly.
Blair stood between the two men and said, “Grow up, both of you. Think about your dad now, not this. We can discuss this anytime after the fact. But right now we need to keep your dad strong for the surgery. Steven it’s time for you to go and see your dad. It’s your fifteen minutes.”
“Fine, but don’t think you can boss me around like you do Jim. I think it’s sick,” Steven said as he walked out of the waiting room.
Jim just sighed and rubbed his hand across his face.
Blair sat down next to him and said, “Jim, this arguing has got to stop. It’s time to think about who is most important right now and that’s William.”
“I know. As always, you’re correct, Chief. But Steven’s pissing me off and I can’t stand him right now.”
“Again, Jim, what is most important right now? Is it you and how you feel about Steven? Or is it your dad and his heart problems?”
“I don’t know how you can stay so calm while he says bad things about us,” Jim wondered.
“I’m thinking about William and concentrating on that. I haven’t got time for either one of you right now. Straighten up, Jim.”
Steven walked into his dad’s room and he was already awake. “I can hear you boys arguing in my room.”
“Sorry, dad. It won’t happen again.”
“Steven why do you think we’re a family once again?” William asked.
“I know, it’s because Blair talked us all into it. I know that. And I’m grateful to the man, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the idea of him and Jimmy being together. Because I don’t.”
William looked thoughtful for a moment and said, “Then you’ll probably lose him as your brother. Do you really think that Jimmy being with a man is as important as having a brother?”
“Dad, why are you so forgiving and understanding. That’s not your usual MO.”
“Steven, I’ve made a lot of mistakes with you boys through the years and I don’t want to make any more. I’ve finally got both of you in my life and I’d like to keep you there. I think if you made an effort to talk with Blair and Jimmy together as a couple, you would understand them more.”
“Dad, I don’t want to understand. I think it’s gross and perverse,” Steven mumbled.
“Then you’ll lose your brother. I was hoping if I make it through this surgery, we could all be a family again. Except this time, Blair would be included. I guess I’ll have to see them privately,” William said sadly.
“I can’t help it dad. I don’t like gay people and I don’t want to understand them. I could care less,” Steven explained.
“Fine… Now would you send Jimmy in? I’d like to talk to him,” William asked.
“So are you pissed off at me now, dad?”
“Steven, you’re my son and I love you. Now go and get Jimmy.”
Steven nodded and left the room. He walked into the waiting room and said, “Dad wants to talk to you.”
“I’ll be right back, Chief.”
Jim headed to the room and walked in smiling. William was glad to see the smile on Jim’s face. “Hello, Jimmy.”
“Hello, dad. How do you feel right now?”
“I feel more rested and I feel better. I think I can do this, Jimmy. But I wanted to tell you that if I don’t, you’re the executer of my will. My lawyer has all of the instructions. Blair is even in my will. And Steven will fight that, I want you to be ready if I don’t make it.”
“Dad, please don’t talk like that. You’ve finally gotten back into my life, I don’t want you to leave,” Jim pleaded.
“It’s very nice to hear this from you, Jimmy. For years, I was a bitter old man and thanks to Blair, we are now a family again. I’ll owe him a debt for the rest of my life, however long or short it may be. He’s a good man, Jimmy. You made a good choice. I even had him checked out when I realized that you two were an item. I’m sorry about that, but I was afraid he wanted to be with you because of the Ellison money.”
“Dad, I don’t have that much money,” Jim joked.
“But I do, Jimmy. I needed to be sure he was a good man and not some slick individual that would try to take you for everything you had. I like him a lot. And if I do make it through this surgery, I would like to have dinner at your house every Sunday instead of mine. I’m old, I’d like to be invited somewhere from time to time. Steven can come, or he can stay by himself and be an ass.”
Jim smiled and sat in the chair next to the bed. William held his hand out and Jim took it. Before long, William was asleep. The nurse walked in and said, “As long as he’s sleeping so peacefully, I’m going to leave you in here for the time being. He’s doing very well.”
Jim leaned back in the chair and listened for Blair.
“So Sandburg, what do you want out of this entire thing?” Steven asked.
“First of all, my name is Blair and I would prefer you call me that,” Blair answered.
“I heard Jimmy call you Sandburg, what’s the big deal?”
“The big deal is, that’s Jim. You’re not. So call me Blair, please.”
“Fine, Blair, what do you think you’re going to get out of this relationship? Jimmy isn’t the type who sticks. He can’t stick anything out. He wasn’t good at marriage and he isn’t good at relationships. So I have a feeling that you’re going to be dumped and hurt in the process. Why would you stay with him?”
Blair stood up and started to walk as he talked. “First of all, how long do you think we’ve been together?”
“A month?” Steven answered.
“Try two years. We’ve been very careful because he never wanted to upset your dad. But your dad knew all along. Shows what we know. I think Jim is good at relationships, just not with everyone. He and Carolyn didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean he and I won’t. He’s a wonderful man, Steven and I’m totally in love with him. He accepts me with all of my faults and I accept him with his. We’re a good couple. We both have flaws, but we both work at them all the time. He wanted to tell you at one time, but I refused to let him. I didn’t think you were ready to hear it and I guess I was right. But now I realize that you would never be ready to hear the news. We don’t need your permission, Steven, but it would be nice if you continued to have a relationship with Jim and your dad, together. I don’t have to be around. I was hoping some day that you would allow that, but I can accept your feelings and stay in the background. I don’t mind, because I love Jim that much. I want him to be happy and have his family. As long as I don’t come around, do you think you could still be part of his life?”
Steven thought for a second and said, “Give me time and I might learn to accept you two. It was quite a shock, Blair. But I’m listening to you and I like what I hear. You love my brother enough to stay in the background, while he has a relationship with his family. This is a man that truly loves the other one. So, give me time. I’m going to think on everything and try and work things out with Jimmy.”
Blair bounced in place and said, “Thank you for giving us a chance.”
“It’s no problem. I think I’m an ass for not listening to you before. I’m sorry for being so rude,” Steven said.
“Hey, it was a shock. It was a shock when it first hit me too. Believe it or not, we danced around our feelings for a very long time. Both of us were afraid to tell the other one. Now I look back on those days and almost laugh. We were such wusses.”
Steven started to laugh and said, “You know. I think my dad will make it and it’s partly because of you. He smiled when he talked about you, Blair. He likes you very much.”
“I hope everything works out all right. I wish you all well,” Blair said happily.
The two men both sat down and began talking about William. They both wondered what had happened to Jim, but neither of them said anything about it.
William's Boys Part 2