Sensing Danger

by Jane Davitt

"Sandburg, do sentinels have their sixth sense enhanced, too?" Jim asked with his best innocent look.

Blair looked like his birthday had arrived early. His eyes brightened and he jumped up from his position on the floor where he'd been meditating and stinking up the loft with candles. Even the unscented ones still smelled of wax and flame to Jim. It made his nose itch.

 "Seriously? You're manifesting symptoms of ESP? Tell me all about it." He snapped his fingers. "Or wait, no, it doesn't have to be that. We talk about the five senses, but really there are a lot more than the ones Aristotle came up with." Warming to his subject as Jim, frustrated, tried to interrupt, Blair perched on the arm of the couch Jim was occupying and began to tick them off on his fingers. "We've got equilibrioception, or to you, the sense of balance, then there's the sense of pain, awareness of time and temperature changes… I'm guessing all of those are enhanced, too, but I've been so busy concentrating on the main ones that I've overlooked them." Blair tsked, shaking his head. "Never mind; we'll change that."

"Chief --"

"And what about the senses that animals have that humans don’t?" Blair gazed at Jim with a hungry, speculative expression on his face. "Do you think you're electroreceptive?"

"If that involves using me to get extra cable channels, forget it," Jim said, standing up in a huff and heading for the kitchen. The sense of pain? His head was filled with images of Blair poking at him with a pin. He didn't want to go anywhere near those tests. "And forget about experimenting on me, too," he added.

"But, Jim!" Blair was pouting; even with his back turned, Jim could tell. "Hey, man, you're the one who brought the subject up, not me."

Jim paused on his way to the fridge. "I was joking," he said, goaded into honesty. "I was going to say that I could sense you were about to offer to get me a beer, because I just didn't feel like getting up, okay?"

Blair frowned. "Why would I do that? I drank the last one while you were in the shower."

Jim made a sound like a wounded elephant, despairing, frustrated, maddened and saw Blair's satisfied smirk out of the corner of his eyes.

"I'm really sensing something now," Jim said ominously.

"What would that be?"

"Me kicking you out."

Blair's mouth drooped, his eyes losing their sparkle. "I know it's been a month and I said a week, but I thought we were getting along just fine."

Jim sighed. God, the kid got to him every time when he did the wistfully pleading thing. Totally put-on, and they both knew it, but it still worked. "I'm kicking you out so that you can buy some more beer, Sandburg," he clarified.

"Oh!" Blair beamed at him. "Sure thing, Jim." He bit his lip. "Umm, spot me a twenty?"

It didn't take a sixth sense to know that it was twenty dollars he'd never see again, but Jim handed it over anyway. With Blair out of the way for a while, he could open the windows and air the place out before the storm he could feel approaching hit. It was some fifty miles away now, making his skin tingle and the back of his neck sweat…

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