Author’s Note: Last in the Ariel series, set after “Priceless” but at this point I don’t remember by how much. My friend, Medie, wrote a similar series about Jim and Blair and their respective partners, one of whom was an OC, and eventually delved into the lives and friendship of their children. Another author in the fandom, Jen R, took that branch Medie’s universe and ran with it, with Medie’s blessing. One of her stories–I forget now which one–inspired me to explore my own version of the “next generation.” I got about as far with it as I did with filling in the middle of the series, but here’s a glimpse into the future that might’ve been, between Blair’s son Jamie and Jim’s as-yet-unborn daughter.
“So are you going to tell her or aren’t you?” Jim grinned proudly at his partner as he pulled up in front of Blair’s half of the duplex the two of them shared with their wives.
Blair looked embarrassed. “I dunno, man, I think Ariel’s a little young for a heart attack.”
“Which is exactly why your news won’t give her one,” the Sentinel retorted, cuffing the younger man playfully upside the head. “So get in there and tell her that her husband made cop of the year this year instead of his partner.”
“All right, all right.” His Guide ducked another swat and hopped out of the vehicle. “I’ll tell her as soon as I get inside.”
Following him out of the truck, Jim slammed the driver’s side door with a chuckle and headed up his own front steps, still keeping an eye on his partner. When Blair disappeared inside, he dialed up his hearing, turning the key in his own lock at the same time.
“Well look who’s home,” Ariel’s teasing voice greeted her husband.
“Hey,” Blair returned fondly, giving his wife an audible kiss. Jim opened the door, smiling to see Megan on the other side, fast asleep on the couch with one hand draped over her pregnant belly.
“Hey there, Jamie,” the Guide addressed his son with even more affection. “So what did you and Mommy do today?”
The Sentinel snorted softly in amusement. Sure, just as soon as he got inside he was going to tell her…
“Oh, we had a big day, didn’t we, Jamie?”
“Oh yeah? What made it so big?”
Before Ariel could answer, a clear young voice said: “dendna.”
Blair’s wife laughed quietly. “That. That’s what.”
Just then Megan stirred and grumbled sleepily, “So much for the Joey giving it a rest for an hour.” She rubbed the spot where the baby had kicked.
Jim stared in wonder from his wife to the wall that separated his home from his best friend’s–then back–and began to laugh.
“Like father, like son,” Ariel remarked on the other side of the wall.
Megan blinked drowsy eyes at her husband. “Jimbo, be nice. You know Sandy and Jenny don’t like when you eavesdrop,” she teased.
When he just smiled at her, she lifted her head from the cushions with a quizzical look.
“Jamie said his first word,” he explained softly.
“It was ‘sentinel.'”