ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2012-11-02 11:05 am

Fake News | Jon/wife, Jon/"Stephen", others | PG-13 | All My Roads Lead To You (2)

Title: All My Roads Lead To You (2/4?)
Rating: PG-13
Contents: 9/11 references, vague sex
Characters/pairings: Jon/Tracey, pre-Jon/"Stephen", kids, Jimmy Fallon
Disclaimer: #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement. Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

Jon the Sentinel is back in the U.S., and trying to settle into his newly awakened senses, not to mention his new civic duties. Stephen meanwhile is dealing with his own sense of overload, as the walls he's developed to keep out other people's emotions start buckling under the strain.

AO3 mirror | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5





"Yes, it's for sure. Said goodbye to Kerry — that woman deserves a medal, by the way — checked out of the hospital, riding toward the airport now."

"Oh, thank god," breathed Tracey. "Does that mean...did they figure it out?"

Stephen leaned against Jon's shoulder. "Tell her I figured it out!" he said loudly. "Tell her the doctors were useless! All they did was mess around and touch you in inappropriate ways!"

"What?"

"Stephen is overreacting," said Jon into the phone, jabbing his elbow into his friend's ribs. "They were right all along. I'm a partial Sentinel — sight, hearing, and touch. And, uh, I'm thinking the hearing may have been activated a while ago."

With careful reserve, Tracey said, "Stephen's with you."

"Apparently at some point we bonded," admitted Jon. "That was before I left too — it's how he found way here. Listen, we can talk about it in detail when I get home, all right?" A frank discussion with his wife of Stephen's capability as a Guide was something he wanted to save for when Stephen wasn't listening. "The important thing is, we're both fine, and we're coming home."


~*~


Jon had hated their first nights back in the apartment after the towers fell.

He hadn't been able to sleep. He'd barely eaten. He jumped at shadows and checked the furniture and appliances obsessively to make sure they weren't falling apart. Tracey had been the one to call the doctor and get a prescription for sleeping pills; his hands shook when he tried to hold the phone.

"You're doing no worse than a lot of people," she had assured him. She was back to work sooner than he was, to see her boss taking a Xanax every time a plane went overhead, and the receptionist fighting not to tear up, or at least not while there was someone on the phone. "And better than some. Besides, once you get back into a routine, it'll help."

Stephen had hated that first day back in the office.

Everyone was so emotional. A couple of times an hour, someone would excuse themselves to sneak off to the bathroom and have a good cry. Ridiculous. And of course they assumed Stephen was doing the same that time he vanished for half an hour, instead of recognizing that a good skin care routine needs constant maintenance, especially now that he had this inexplicable puffiness around the eyes to deal with.

Jon was the worst. Stephen could practically feel the distress seeping out of his pores.

With everyone so subdued and none of the televisions on higher than mute, the building had been eerily quiet as Stephen stomped into Jon's office half an hour before rehearsal. A patch of desktop had been cleared among the pens, sticky notes, and general office detritus; Jon's head was down on folded arms, not exactly shaking or hiding, but not confident and leaderly, either.

"Man up, Stewart!" Stephen had ordered, slamming his hands down on top of a crossword puzzle and making a plastic Starbucks lid jump to the floor. "Don't you know people are counting on you? Sure, you're not exactly Cronkite, but that's no reason to slack off!"

"I think I'm losing it," Jon had said weakly. And then for some reason it popped out, though he had managed not to admit this even to his wife: "I keep thinking I can hear things breaking."

"Well, don't listen!" cried Stephen. It came so naturally to him, he didn't understand how anyone else could struggle with the idea.

For no reason Jon could grasp at the time, it worked.


~*~


Jon's family met him in the airport. Stephen did the polite thing and hung back while Jon scooped both kids into his arms (ending up with one on each hip, which was especially impressive as he didn't really have any hips to speak of), kissed each on the forehead, and then leaned between them to kiss his wife. It was clearly a very personal moment. He didn't need to embarrass Jon for showing more emotion than men were supposed to admit to having.

Plus, the whole thing was overwhelming Stephen's own brain with warm and fuzzy feelings, and he had to focus on quieting them down.

He was jolted out of his head when Tracey seemed to materialize in front of him. "I'm sorry I was short with you on the phone. Thank you for being there for him."

"You're welcome," said Stephen automatically, accepting what he thought was going to be a handshake. He got another shock when Jon's wife kissed him on the cheek. "Whoa! Not necessary!"

"Don't mind him," put in Jon, as they started to move through the terminal. Slowly, out of respect to Jon's burden and the general decrepitude that only made it worse. "He's just afraid you have cooties."

"Mommy doesn't have cooties," offered the boy. What was his name? Ned? Nick? "She's not a girl, she's a Mommy."

"It's rationalizations like that that will get people like you killed when the plague descends," Stephen informed him.

The bottom lip of the girl (Mandy? Millie?) started to tremble. "Daddy? What's a plague?"

"Something that's not going to happen, pumpkin," said Jon. "Stephen, save the apocalyptic stuff for when the kids aren't around, will you?"

He didn't sound annoyed, exactly, but the waves of pure joy had definitely settled down a bit. "Fine," said Stephen grudgingly. After what Jon had been through, he deserved to be humored a little.

Stephen ducked into the bathroom while the others were picking up Jon's suitcases (Stephen had been in too much of a hurry to pack anything himself), and emerged to find Jon and Tracey holding a whispered conversation. They straightened up when he approached, and Jon said, "Hey, Stephen, do you want to join us for dinner tonight?"

"I'd love to, but my dog and my housekeeper must be worried sick about me," said Stephen. "And I haven't moisturized properly in days, and I probably have a bunch of soap operas to catch up on, and...oh! Were you asking because you're afraid," he glanced at the children, now on the ground, and chose his words carefully, "you'll have another ensory-say eltdown-may without my idance-guay?" Hm, that didn't sound right. "I mean, my idance-straight?"

"Can't hurt to play it safe," admitted Jon. "Feel free to bring the dog. And give your housekeeper the night off."


~*~


"So, essentially, I'm the one who deserves all the glory for Jon's success," concluded Stephen. "Pass the caramel?"

Jimmy handed him the bottle. These ice cream dates went straight to Stephen's thighs, but he couldn't let his BFF-FSM's flavor be used in a more impressive sundae, so he slathered it on over the existing layers of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and Americone Dream. "Gosh, Stephen, I thought he was the one with the extra senses."

"Yes, but who taught him how to use them?" countered Stephen, sitting back on Jimmy's office couch. (Almost as comfortable as Jon's office couch.) "You know that thing he does where he pays attention to like five TV sets at once, and can always pick it up when any one of them says something interesting?"

"No! Really?" exclaimed Jimmy, wide-eyed. "That's so cool! How come you've never mentioned it?"

"Well, I didn't know I could take credit for it before!" said Stephen. Honestly, did Jimmy not understand him at all? "I'm the one who taught him how to do it! Well, I yelled at him a couple times to pay attention to everything that was going on, and apparently it took. Pretty sure that makes me morally entitled to at least six of his Emmys."

"Mmhmm." Jimmy put a cherry on top of his sundae and lifted his spoon. "Does it ever work the other way around?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Well...has he ever done anything Sentinel-related that's forwarded your career? If nothing else, producing a a show successful enough to have its own spinoff...."

"I did not have help making the Report great," corrected Stephen. "Except maybe a smidge from my staff of about a hundred people, who should be thanking me for creating so many jobs in the field of making me look good. Besides, Jon's blood pressure was so high during the Bush years, his anger probably held me back. In fact, I bet it did! That has to put me up to deserving eight Emmys!"

"Hasn't your show only been running for seven years?"

"You are not being a very supportive friend right now, Jimmy Fallon," said Stephen sternly.

"Sorry." Jimmy sat lower in his seat, cowed. "I didn't mean to upset you, Stephen Colbert."

It wasn't as bad as with Jon, but all of a sudden Stephen was hyper-aware of the feelings all over the room. Jimmy was sad. And worried about him. Everything Stephen normally did to ignore or block out that sort of thing was having about as much effect as a Bush-era FEMA levee. Was his friend having some Category 7 emotions, or was Stephen just weakening? Had helping Jon to regain some self-control chipped away at his own?

Either way, Stephen needed to give himself some distance. "I have to go," he said, putting his sundae on Jimmy's desk. "I am urgently needed at a place. A place that is not here. You can have my ice cream. Or donate it to your interns. Whatever will make you happiest."

Jimmy stood to see him out. "Is this a Guide thing? Did you just feel the call across the city that your Sentinel has need of you?"

"Yes," said Stephen cunningly. He would have to remember what a fantastic excuse that made.


~*~


The first time they got called up, it was the tail end of one of the shows' dark weeks. Jon couldn't decide if that was a blessing or a curse.

"I was supposed to take my kids to a museum today," he said testily as the temporary ID badges were printed off that would give him and Stephen access to the precinct's inner workings. "There's this great exhibit on sarcophagi that's going to be taken down at the end of the month. And Maggie's Cleopatra phase might not even last that long."

"And I had to reschedule a mani-pedi," put in Stephen. "My nails and I are never going to get that time back. They grow up so fast."

"First time on a Sentinel round, sir?" asked the young man doing the printing. He scanned Jon's badge. "Hey, sight and hearing, you got the good ones. And no smell, which means you're never going to be put on bomb-sniffing or poison-testing. Count your blessings."

"I guess," said Jon. "Do you know what they have me doing?"

The guy shrugged. "Beats me. I just do the paperwork. Sign and date here."

They ended up in a small, blank-walled room with a table, a couple of mismatched chairs, and an old TV set that had been wheeled in on a metal cart. The cop who sat down with them, name of Wilson, reminded Jon of the black guy from whichever CSI it was that he'd watched for a while. "You ever done this before, Mr. Stewart?"

"What am I, chopped liver?" huffed Stephen.

Jon shushed him. "Never. Walk us through it."

The suspect, several photos of whom Wilson pulled from a manila envelope and spread out for Jon to study, was accused of violating a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend. The police had about eighty hours of footage from a security camera outside her workplace, and no technology capable of sorting through it as effectively as a human eye. "Do you have any idea how fast we can play a tape before you lose track of the information?"

"No idea, officer," said Jon. He hadn't even (knowingly) practiced turning his Sentinel sensitivity up before. What if he couldn't track things above normal speed at all?

"It's all right. We have a standard test tape for this. I'll load it up."

While Wilson loaded up the footage (it turned out to be a DVD, not a physical tape), Stephen said what Jon had been thinking. "If Jon turns out to be useless at this, do we have to sit through all eighty hours?"

"It isn't like jury duty. We'll keep you for the same amount of time whether you get through part of the work or finish it all early." The officer raised his eyebrows. "This was all on the release you signed."

"He read the confidentiality parts very closely," said Jon. "Didn't you, Stephen?"

"Nnnnnn—" (Jon coughed loudly.) "—yes. Sorry. Something in my throat there."

They reached in tandem for their complimentary paper cups of water.


~*~


Two and a half hours later, Jon's eyes were dry and sore. His neck was stiff from holding it in one place for so long, but that was less noticeable, and any signals of pain from lower on his body were blurred and distant. The light around the entrance of the bakery had moved at double-speed from a grey morning to a bright and sunny afternoon; people power-walked by on the sidewalk, none of them recognizable as the hollow-eyed, sullen man in the photographs.

"Jon? Did you hear him?"

"Hm?" said Jon, still deep in the focused sensory reverie. Stephen's voice fitted perfectly into it, too natural to be an interruption, like an extension of himself.

"We're stopping. You can turn it off now."

Turn what off? "I don't...."

"Close your eyes!" said Stephen impatiently.

Jon did. It snapped him back into reality, complete with awareness of a whole lot of aches.

"That was the most boring thing in the history of boring," complained Stephen, as they left the building side by side. "The guy wasn't even there! Talk about a waste of time. Do you want to grab coffee? And maybe a massage, because I've got one hell of a sympathetic neck-ache just from watching you."

"I think I just want to get home," said Jon, rubbing his eyes with the heel of his hand. Stephen had to yank on his arm to steer him away from walking into a fire hydrant.

"Fine." Stephen waved for a cab. "But you need to take it easy. Do some stretching. Otherwise your soreness will keep me up, and would that be fair? No. Your wife will back me up on this, Stewart, don't try to fight it."

"Right, right." Jon squinted curiously at him. "Stephen? How good are your senses? I mean, can you actually feel if I'm in distress or whatever when we're both at home? And does that extend to, uh, other feelings?"

Stephen tensed, his eyes shuttering against any connection they had managed to scrape together. "Even if I could, I am very practiced at blocking these things out."


~*~


"Siri!" moaned Stephen, trying to hide under his pillow. "Tell me how a Guide gets better at blocking things out!"

"I'm hearing that you want information on: travel guides to Bangkok South," chirped his phone. "Is that correct?"

Stephen glared at the phone. "Okay, now you're just doing that on purpose."

This had never happened before. Or at least, if on certain lonely nights Stephen's fantasies were a little more vivid, he had been able to remain blissfully ignorant of the reason. Now, though, he was piercingly aware that Jon Stewart was having Feelings. Specifically, feelings of great enjoyment at being touched by his wife. (At least, Stephen hoped it was his wife.)

The one mercy was that it wouldn't last long. Jon's Sentinel touch kept going into overdrive while he was getting it on, and it was the one thing he hadn't called Stephen for help with. Which was fine by Stephen. If he couldn't un-know the sordid details of his best frenemy's sex life, he should be able to pretend he didn't know them.

By the time Siri found an anonymous Guide help line, Jon's amorous encounter was over, and Stephen's head was dripping wet and freezing from the cold shower he'd stuck it under. He snuggled into a fluffy towel monogrammed ME and dialed.

"You've reached the New York State Sentinel-Guide support center," said the person who picked up. "Everything you say will be confidential as long as there is no immediate danger to yourself or others. My name is Eloisa, I've been bonded with my Sentinel for twenty-two years, and if there's anything I don't know personally, I can put you in touch with someone who does. Is there something in particular I can help you with?"

"Yes please," said Stephen, in his most winningly pitiful voice. "How do I stop knowing when my Sentinel is having sex with other people?"

After a few confused minutes of conversation, they got it cleared up that Stephen wasn't being cheated on or neglected, that he had never been sleeping with his Sentinel in the first place.

Eloisa asked some questions about his range and experience with empathy, and Stephen had to explain the whole thing about knowing his Sentinel was in distress in Afghanistan. (He was not, he hastened to add, that famous and handsome TV star whose Sentinel had had trouble in Afghanistan a month and a half ago. He was some other guy.) Again with the confusion. Stephen couldn't be sure, but he sensed Eloisa did not approve of that much separation.

"Can't say I've ever heard of a case quite like this," she said at last. "Excepting that gentleman from the TV, of course. Could be you're a natural prodigy."

"I don't want to be a prodigy!" wailed Stephen. "Not at this!"

"Easy, sugar. As I was saying, it could be your natural empathy was overstressed by that unusual distance, and will be extra-sensitized until you have a chance to adjust. It isn't as well-known a risk as Sentinels going into sensory fugues, but it does happen."

That sounded promising. "Okay! Great! How do I adjust?"

"If you talk about this with your Sentinel, and use similar techniques to the ones that work best when you're guiding his senses...."

"I don't want to talk about this with Jon!" cried Stephen. "That's the whole reason I called you!"


~*~


Over coffee and the morning crossword, Tracey remarked, "Going to be out late again today?"

"Yes!" snapped Jon. "And every day this week. We talked about this!"

Silence fell. Jon winced.

"Okay, no more coffee for you, honey," said Tracey, taking his mug (printed with a cartoon microphone and the caption COMEDIANS DO IT STANDING UP). "I'm not blaming you. You get that, right? It's just something you have to do. No different from being called up for jury duty."

"Except that with jury duty there's a good chance they already caught the guy," muttered Jon. "And either way, my daughter has decided she's never speaking to me again. Do you think ten down is 'appleseed'?"

"I was thinking 'appletree'. She's five. She'll recover. Is there anything else bothering you?"

Jon silently inked in APPLE, then sighed. "Last night..."

Tracey waved it away. She had watched Jon get his other senses under control; she trusted he would adjust here. In the meantime, it would take a while for the novelty to wear off of seeing her husband thrown into heights of ecstasy just by getting to touch her leg. "It's flattering, honestly."

"That too. But after that...please, can I have my coffee back? I didn't sleep great. Bad dreams."

"Not vision-type dreams?" said Tracey, trying to keep her voice light.

Sentinel dreams were the least-understood part of the whole phenomenon. They were lucid, except when they weren't. They could be prophetic, but the jury was out on whether they were any more effective at it than horoscopes or fortune cookies. Depending on who you asked, they were either an extension of the empathetic bond shared by Sentinels and Guides or a shared cultural archetype as common and meaningless as "having to give a presentation naked."

Tracey had always been in the "overblown fortune cookies" camp. Either way, she wasn't looking forward to seeing Jon dragged through something like that.

To her relief, Jon shook his head. "Not unless you think there's any chance I'll be lost in a rainforest any time soon."

"Doesn't sound likely," agreed Tracey, pushing the mug back across the table.

"It's always dark and misty, and there are these weird stone ruins....kind of Disney's Jungle Book as directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I'm being chased by a tiger, or sometimes a leopard. But I don't think it wants to eat me or anything."

"So, what, it wants your autograph?" joked Tracey. "Hey, 'jaguar' could be four across."

Jon's mouth twitched with something in the smile family. "Mostly it just feels disapproving,"


~*~


Three more hours of staring at video. This time Wilson got to sit back and read a book for the duration. Stephen got up halfway through and stood behind Jon's chair to start rubbing his shoulders. It wasn't much, and Jon didn't seem to consciously notice, but it took the edge off the tension.

At least, until they were going back out through the lobby, and Jon stopped short between a display of American flags and a shelf of pamphlets advertising home security systems. "I have to go back in."

"Do not," said Stephen reasonably. "What happened to wanting to spend more time with your family, huh?"

"I know, I know!" said Jon, too agitated to ask when Stephen had picked that up. "But what if he showed up five minutes after we stopped? What if he was in the part we watched and I just missed him?"

"What if he got plastic surgery? What if he's some kind of ninja with the ability to fool Sentinel senses? Let Manhattan's finest deal with it."

"He shouldn't be allowed to get away with it!" burst out Jon. "Not in my city! My people do not deserve to be stalked and harassed in my city!"

The feelings he had been trying to contain all week hit Stephen like a sledgehammer. The anger, the helplessness, territorial instincts in their most primal form corralled and thwarted like a full-grown jungle cat locked in a cage. He was supposed to protect every single human being in his tribe, which thanks to a couple thousand years of developing civilization meant about eight million people in a thriving high-tech metropolis, so he couldn't possibly pull it off —

— and the worst of it was that Stephen was supposed to protect him, and couldn't do that either, because there was nobody he could push into a pool to make everything okay.

"Fine!" shouted Stephen. "Go back in if you want! But I'm going home!"

"Problem here, gentlemen?" said a person Stephen barely registered, except for the vague impression that she was in blue, shorter than Jon, and ready to snap both of them in half if she did not have time for their nonsense.

"No!" snapped both men. Stephen over his shoulder, as he was already storming out.


~*~


With Stephen gone, Jon came to his senses. His concentration might not be great even with his Guide's help, but he knew he'd end up wasting as much time as the average person without it.

He went home. Read a bedtime story, ostensibly to his son, but he noticed Maggie listening. Drank some chamomile tea and turned in early.

Sure enough, it wasn't long before he found himself back in that jungle.

He was standing on the low remains of a wall of rust-brown stone, all but overtaken by creeping vines and patches of moss. Something moved in the trees off to his left: a shape subtle and fluid, like leaves trembling in the breeze, but otherwise unable to blend into the smorgasbord of greens and shadows. It was too bright. Too...

...grey?

The figure padded out into the clearing. It was another of those big cats, one he hadn't seen before, and sure enough, its thick fur was all white and grey. A lynx, Jon thought. Not exactly vibrant, and he might have missed it completely in an Arctic winter forest somewhere; it was just the weirdness of the dream-landscape that made it stand out.

Are you going to scowl at me too? he asked it. Tracey would tell me it's just how cats' faces look, but that jaguar last night was definitely scowling.

The lynx sniffed, turned in a circle, then looked back expectantly at him. Like instead of stalking him, this one wanted him to follow.

Why not, said Jon under his breath, and did.

He never would have imagined "trudging through an imaginary rainforest after a pushy lynx" as a metaphor for using his Sentinel senses, but in the middle of climbing over a rotting tree trunk it clicked. The focus, the sense of purpose, the feeling of taking in a lot of information and sifting through it like a pro even without knowing exactly where it would lead...

Are you, uh, me? he asked, landing back on the forest floor and brushing bark and fungus off his butt.

The lynx looked unimpressed. Not only that, it managed to look unimpressed in exactly the same way Jon did when reacting to a particularly stupid question from a FOX morning news anchor. And all in spite of the fact that it did not, strictly speaking, have eyebrows.

Okay, okay, I get it, muttered Jon. Could I at least tell me where I'm going?

It trotted onward, stub of a tail twitching.

The trees thinned out again, this time into something that was almost a meadow, grass sprouting up thickly between the carpeting of twigs and dry leaves. There was another stone structure at the far side, taller and more complete, two and a half walls of an Indiana Jones type temple with the carved feet of half-demolished guardian animals still planted outside the door. From the light through the archway Jon could tell that the roof was long gone.

His attention was drawn away by movement in the grass. Something small this time, more like a house cat, with proportions that were decidedly non-feline.

Before he could figure out what it was, the big cats began to arrive.


~*~


When Jimmy came back into the den with two bowls of popcorn, Stephen had changed into cowboy pajamas and started deconstructing the couches around the flatscreen to build a cushion fort. He looked more put-together than he had sounded on the phone. It seemed the promise of a sleepover full of quality friendship time was already doing him good.

He was definitely constructing that fort to be one-size-fits-one, though.

"Do I get to come in?" said Jimmy hopefully, holding out the larger bowl.

Stephen hung back, clutching a pillow in front of his chest like armor. In a small voice he said, "It hurts."

"What hurts? Can I help?"

"People hurt," said Stephen weakly. "I can't make them stop any more. And Jon hurts the most, so you're the only person I can turn to. The only other one who would understand." He flapped one hand at the far side of the dismembered couch. "Can you be my BFF from over there tonight, Jimmy Fallon? Please?"

"Sure. I can do that." Jimmy set down the popcorn and nodded to the DVD rack. "You grab the popcorn, I'll get a movie. How do you feel about Pretty Woman?"


~*~


Leopard, tiger, panther, mountain lion: there were at least twenty, sleek and deadly, green- and golden-eyed. Jon spotted another lynx, its fur browner and sleeker than his fluffy grey specimen, and a species he didn't recognize, like a miniature cougar with tufted ears.

He could just pick up the suggestion of their Sentinels in their shadows, the vague suggestions of human forms in a similar plethora of sizes, shapes, and weights.

It was a tiger with a magnificent ruff and an unflinching silver-grey gaze who broke the silence. In a voice that was not a voice it intoned, Jon Stewart.

Jon felt like a middle schooler called up in front of the class. That's me.

The tiger bared two rows of dagger-length teeth that glinted white in the moonlight. I love your show.

Excuse the fanboy, please, sighed a jaguar-sized cat with fur so dark it was almost a shadow itself. Granted, we are all very impressed with your work with first responders, but that's not why we're here.

Um, thanks, said Jon. Who are you all, exactly?

A pale-furred leopard cocked its head at him. Not a snow leopard, it didn't have the extra fluff, just one with a lightish beige underlying its spots. Who do you think? We're the other Sentinels of New York City.

Jon threw a suspicious look at his lynx. It licked its paw and began washing its face, the picture of innocence. Like it hadn't conspired to bring him here.

We don't usually do this, the black jaguar explained. But then, most Sentinels have the sense to come find us first.

Listen, if you're here to tell me off for stepping on your toes...uh, paws?...I completely understand, said Jon. I never wanted this gig. I'm just some guy who tells dumb jokes for a living....

I'm an electrician, she (?) interrupted. Phil over there is a janitor. Malika's still in high school.

I teach creative writing at Marymount Manhattan! put in the tiger.

We're not here to scold you, continued the black jaguar. We're here to help. Right now you've got it in your head that listening to your instincts means something like personally patrolling the whole city, and maybe the rest of the metro area with it. Isn't that right?

Jon sank to one knee to rub his lynx's head, ruffling the fur between its ears and around the ridges of its brows. Sort of.

Well, that isn't how it works any more. It doesn't come natural to us, but you can train yourself to remember that the city isn't only yours. All together, we've got it covered.

So saying, she turned and padded off into the shadows, this time to disappear completely.

Next time it gets overwhelming, look one of us up, understand? added the pale leopard. The others around him (?) were also beginning to step back and melt out of view, one by one. We don't have to be best friends or anything.

Although we could if you wanted! put in the tiger, before fading into a bank of tall grass, Cheshire-cat style.

Jon couldn't be sure, but he thought the leopard looked amused. The point is that there's no pressure. Most of us are loner types — our Guides excepted, of course. We'll understand

Speaking of, put in the reddish tuft-eared cat, one of the few remaining. A caracal, that was the word for it. You should take better care of yours! It'll be good for both of you!

It twitched its ears in the direction of the ruin. Jon turned to see. He kept his ears open, but when he looked back the other Sentinels had all made a perfectly silent exit.

Did you see them go? he asked the lynx. It shrugged.

And there, again, was that low-to-the-ground flash of something on the move.
politicette: (Default)

[personal profile] politicette 2012-11-03 12:10 am (UTC)(link)
I've re-read this like, four times since this morning and I want moooooooooooooore. *_*
kribban: (pic#4970888)

[personal profile] kribban 2012-11-04 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! Such nice weekend reading. :)

"I keep thinking I can hear things breaking."

I would imagine that would be a problem. :-(

I love that Stephen gives Jon a swift kick in the ass. :D

"Well, don't listen!" cried Stephen. It came so naturally to him, he didn't understand how anyone else could struggle with the idea.

Yep, sometimes it's just that easy. This fic is so idficcy in that it shows how "Jon" and "Stephen" balance each other out.

Partial sentinel, huh. Sight, hearing and touch - is smell the only thing he's missing? Or are there other Sentinel senses?

Tracey kissing Stephen's cheek - awwww. :)

"Mommy doesn't have cooties," offered the boy. What was his name? Ned? Nick? "She's not a girl, she's a Mommy." LOL, kid!logic.

Well, I yelled at him a couple times to pay attention to everything that was going on, and apparently it took. Pretty sure that makes me morally entitled to at least six of his Emmys."

Haha, I love that Jon's perception abilities is Stephen's doing.
I bet they don't need to use as many interns in this verse. :)

Jimmy stood to see him out. "Is this a Guide thing? Did you just feel the call across the city that your Sentinel has need of you?"

You write Jimmy really sweetly. Like the adorable puppy he is!

"It isn't like jury duty. We'll keep you for the same amount of time whether you get through part of the work or finish it all early." The officer raised his eyebrows. "This was all on the release you signed."

This seems pretty evil. Eighty hours spread over how much time?

It's understandable that they have to draft people (without pay, I assume) but they should take into consideration that people have families and jobs as well.

But I love how Stephen protects Jon. <3

Or at least, if on certain lonely nights Stephen's fantasies were a little more vivid, he had been able to remain blissfully ignorant of the reason.

:-( Poor baby.

After a few confused minutes of conversation, they got it cleared up that Stephen wasn't being cheated on or neglected, that he had never been sleeping with his Sentinel in the first place.

This seems to be a very relationship-oriented universe. :-)

Is it more common than not that a bonded Sentinel/Guide pair are also romantically involved?

This part just about killed me:

He flapped one hand at the far side of the dismembered couch. "Can you be my BFF from over there tonight, Jimmy Fallon? Please?"

:(

They are so adorably sad together.

I love Jon's dream. Of course a big city like New York would have many sentinels. He's not alone! It's interesting that they all take the shape of felines, though.

Next time it gets overwhelming, look one of us up, understand? added the pale leopard. The others around him (?) were also beginning to step back and melt out of view, one by one. We don't have to be best friends or anything.

Awww, Jon has support. I hope he really takes this opportunity instead of going it alone.









[personal profile] w_thit 2012-11-06 02:17 am (UTC)(link)
Ooh- do they both have the same animals as their daemons from the Expectingverse AU?

I'm seconding the love for Jimmy Fallon here, and the ice cream dates. I also like how Stephen spins his early unintentional help as deserving of Emmys. As much as Jon is having a terrible time of it, I almost feel like Stephen has it worse, because it's not as obvious (to him or anyone else) that he's got added sensitivity to adjust to.