You're not the only one who can
smell fear...

Sentinel Recommendations.

I have kind of an odd relationship with this fandom. I mean, I've been reading the
fic almost as long as I've been *in* fandom, but I've never been on any
of the mailing lists, I've only seen a few complete episodes, and fragments of several
others. (My mother had a crush on Burgi. Heh.) Before I started this overhaul,
it never would've occurred to me that I'd have enough recs to give these guys
their own page, but... I do.

Who knew?

So. Caveat lector and all that.

Page updated August 2, 2002 with two new recs.

Newer Sentinel recs can be found here.

Olivia: The Meaning of Motion

Snagged this off Merry's rec page, and I'm oh-so-glad I did. There are things
that tangle you up inside, that get you in a snarl and won't let go no matter

But if you're lucky -- damned lucky -- there are people who can get through those
snarls to the heart of you, who can feel you, know you, understand you, even
when the world makes you feel deaf, dumb, and blind to all its capricious

And really, that's the beauty of this story. The subtlety with which it illustrates
the meaning of being a Sentinel. Not to mention the pain that comes of being
a parent's child.


Bone: Back To Good

So I went looking for all the other Due South stories I've forgotten to rec over
the years and got completely distracted by this. I think you can forgive me. *g*

I'm not really sure how we got from where we were to where we are. That trip
went by in a blur. I'm not complaining exactly; I'm just a little confused. I thought
I was the Guide. So how come I end up following Jim all the time? We
probably should have talked about this more. That's what they'll put on our
tombstone. They'll bury us side by side and they'll carve that on the headstone:
"We probably should have talked about this more."


This is just pure, perfect Bone. Maturity, style, brilliant characterization, and the
kind of rueful humor that just *works*. It runs right through the whole piece as
she deftly trades characterizations, and gets the guys, well, back to good.


Anna: A Long Time Looking

Jane St Clair started a glorious meme that has us all scurrying about looking
for our favorite lines from our favorite stories. Livia picked a few from this
one, and I realized that somehow I'd missed reading it when it was first
posted. Christ knows what I was smoking.

Everything here is both solid and subtle, from the moments of actual police
work (in a Sentinel story? Who knew?) to the ruthless characterization. Anna
has a razor eye for this sort of thing, an ability to stare her characters down
to the heart and lay them open on the page.

And the language, God, the language... I'm picking a few quotes myself:

"What's up with that double 55?"

Jim waited two seconds to reply, pause enough to make Blair aware that
this piece of slang hadn't rolled trippingly off the tongue; a subtle critique
that he considered his duty. He'd told the kid. You had to have your shit
down perfect, or cops would pick up on it and ride your ass through a
grinder. "Both witnesses are solid," he said after this carefully judged
moment. "Case is going down."


"I think you were right about Rafe." He pulled out his wallet, made a
show of fishing out a ten and tossing the folded money Blair's way.

Blair's brow furrowed then cleared. "No way." He took the money, tucked
it in his shirt pocket. "Popcorn. So, what happened? He ask you out?"
There was humor in his voice, something else in his eyes.

"He just sort of--" Jim waved a hand, reached for words, failed to find

"Played grabass in the locker room? Complimented your manicure?" Blair
grinned. It was hard to tell how much of that enjoyment was real, how
much was Sandburgian verbal peachfuzz covering a hard bite beneath.

Jim ignored the gibes. "He's been eyeballing me. Up close and personal.
Making these little remarks that don't mean anything but could."

Blair nodded. "Hey, I told you. He's got a thing going."

Covering his discomfort, Jim picked up his beer. "A thing. Right." Neutrally.
Then he sipped. Put the glass down. Snapped a glance Blair's way. The
other man's lips had settled into a smooth line. A bad sign; too quick a
transition. It told Jim the humor was indeed all surface.

"You just admitted it."

Had he, Jim wondered. And of course he had. His heart rate ran spooked
while he tried to remain still.

"Does it bother you?" Blair asked.

A woman laughed on the far side of the restaurant. Jim unclamped his
hand from his glass of beer, deliberately, moved cool palm to his own
thigh underneath the level of the table. He had no napkin in his lap. It
was a pointless gesture. "I suppose you'll tell me it shouldn't."

"I wouldn't say that."

"Why not. Maybe it shouldn't."

Blair's hands moved and clasped at the edge of his plate, as if he were
about to say grace. Jim's eyes sighted there. "You're tolerant. I know
you well enough. You don't have to try--I mean, you do have to try. We
all have to try to be more tolerant. Of...things. Whatever. But I'm saying.
You feel what you feel." Matter of factly. "We can't help that."

The waiter brought them their dinners, and Jim couldn't tell if he'd heard
the remark about feelings. It would be par for the course. The waiter was
ostentatiously gay. He smelled gay, looked gay, spoke gay. Jim, grimly
resigned to the evening's theme, let the waiter hand off their dinners,
setting one plate on top of another, then patiently waited as the man
whisked away their litter, rearranged their table and asked if they needed


Jim took his face in hand and kissed him. He hadn't known what to
expect, or what he'd even feel. The kiss took shape in thoughtless
impulse, dry and muscular, but grew stronger as Blair opened his ready
mouth, talking desperately to Jim in this new way as if he'd had a lot to
say before now and hadn't been able. Jim gave back everything he'd
ever taken from Blair, glad he could do so without words. Blair was
clinging to him, his backpack crushed to the truck door like a turtle's shell,
his warm face upturned and busy. Jim inhaled and the other man was
right there with his freckles smashed up against Jim's, evening bristles
sanding his chin, his lips light as cream puffs and more soft. Crazy to kiss
him, to feel Blair's tongue linked between their open lips and flirting
against his own.

*siiiiigh* Anna's always had a gift for language, a door opening into the
land of metaphor and beauty that most writers would gladly kill for. Over
the years she's only gained more and more control over it. No fandom
she's visited has ever been anything less than thrilled to have her, and really,
can you blame them?


Bone. We like Bone. She has one hell of an accurate nom de
porn. Let's visit her, shall we?

I love, love, *love* first times. All that emotion. All that buildup.
All that helpless need that tumbles our BSOs into the sack that
first time.

Or, you know, there's also the clever and cleanly plotted
and wonderfully characterized and cut-through-the-bullshit kind
of first time that Bone should have a patent on.

Because even if she didn't do it *first*, she sure did do it *right*.

"Territorial Imperative"

In which the shocks on Jim's truck get their chance to shine.
Oh, just read it.

But oh, somehow, despite her being awesome in everything she
does, it's Mairead's Sentinel fic that drives me wild. I mean,
I've been reading Senfic since I got here, a nice, mild fandom
that cleared my M/K and HL abused palate.

And yeah, don't jump on me, I *know* Senfic has it's fair share
of rape and violence and nastiness, but come *on*. These two
guys are just generally nice, sane people who most of us wouldn't
mind buddying up with. Something that can't really said about
some of my other fandoms.

But along comes Mairead and "Paying Silence"

Which is... damn. My good, decent guys happen to be flawed
individuals. A little too much need here, a kudzuesque control,
creeping up over everything and strangling it. It's about going
through the motions because it's the closest thing you can get to
real. It's about doing it because there's just no other choice.


Let's go visit Juniper again, shall we? Singlehandedly dragging me
back into Sentinel land no matter what *I* want. Her guys are
somehow, somehow adult human males living in the real world. These
guys are uncomfortable and in love and prickly and needy and gruff and...
Well, everything they *should* be, you know it?

I just... god, these two were just such *lovely* slices of life. Go. Read.


Tepid Apocalypse


Run! Run in fear! It's... CURTAIN fic!

And it's good!

The Apocalypse is near! I really hope it's a Buffy style Apocalypse,
because everyone's so very *attractive*... but that's another
story. And not this story. Not this lovely, wonderful story by Anna
called, well, "Curtains."

A Sentinel fic in which the boys are happily Together, and have been
for a fairly large amount of time. You know, that point in the relationship
where Jim and Blair give their twinned souls over to goddess after
consuming patchouli flavored hummus and making love by candlelight
and making me GAG?!

Except that doesn't happen here. Here's a wonderfully *content*
Jim and Blair who have somehow managed to live without figuring out
just *how* the jaguar (panther? *I* don't know) mounts the wolf
without causing major internal damage. They're *guys*.

They're shopping. Like themselves! Not Martha Stewart Stepford

And you know, it's a *damned* fun read. Pulled me right out of a
funk, it did. Happy me. <g>


Oh, God, I cannot *believe* I forgot to rec this. Aristide. Fall in
love with her, please. Trust me, she's magnificent. And she.... she
*did* things to me with strawberries in "Fruit of the Vine."

Why can't *I* be her alpha reader? Why can't *I* be in her notes?
Why doesn't she love me me meeee???

Um. The story.

A look at Jim's senses, and Blair's crumbling security, and fruit, and
hot, *hot* sex. My only complaint was that I wanted much, much more.
I *felt* these guys, as I rarely do, and fell in love. We love Aristide.


Merry Lynne: The Heart Hath Its Reasons

Case file! Plot! And I was actually *into* it. This is a cool one, people.
Jim and Blair, a serial killer (I know, I know...), and a whole slew of
new possibilities with a minimum of mysticism. (Thank GOD) What we
have here are the *real* Jim and Blair, human flaws doing nothing to
mask their genuinely giving natures.

Here's a look at what equality means among the superheroes, and
the responsibility of a Guide.

I was sucked in from the very beginning, I *had* to read this to the
very end, leaning close to the monitor, barely blinking. I just
*love* this stuff, you know? It's the sort of thing that reminds
me of those *other* reasons I love fandom:

A chance to continue the shows we love in the style to which we
would like to become accustomed, no matter how unlikely it
is that we'll ever see our beloved actors again.

Good stuff, and sent me on the hunt for... More gen! Yes! Look into
my eyes and know fear, slash-babies...


Alexis Gunn: Deja Vu

*snif* Oh, man, this one just *got* me. A Sentinel take on Groundhog
Day, with Jim reliving the same day over and over again. Darker than
most takes on the theme, and just *lovely*. Intensely atmospheric and
very, very real. Get to know the real Jim Ellison, the one lurking behind
the layer of irritation of control, beyond the layer of carefully
snide humor, beyond even the layer of fear. This story peels Jim to the
core over the course of several days, and I don't know how anyone
could avoid falling in love with the man revealed.

I was sniffling by the end, and, somehow, deeply in love with Jim and
Blair again. Which led to...


The fabulous Aristide and her beautiful novella Solitary Creatures.

Ohhhh... this was just. Perfect Jim, right in his head. Watching Blair
be incredible and terrifying and beautiful. Two solitary creatures
finding each other, complete with humor, and feeling, and blisteringly
hot sex. Just when I thought Jim and Blair couldn't turn me on anymore,
Aristide proves me wrong. Happiness.

I don't know what else I can say about this one beyond mentioning my
deep desire to kick myself for not reccing this sooner. Let's face it,
there's never going to be *too much* good fic out there, eh? Aristide
is a legend in some circles, and ought to be in far, far more. She's deep,
she's raw, she's brave and tough with her BSO's.

She's a *writer*, and she gets better with every time her pen touches
the paper. And my Christ can she ruin my underwear.

Er... yes.

Kit Mason: Rosie,

Oh my God. It's Sentinel fic, and there's no goosh. No mush. No leaping
into each other's arms. No sex that could kill universes.

Just tightly lazy plotting, fantastic characterization, and a plausible look
inside Jim's mind. There are one or two tiny, tiny false notes -- the sort of
thing that speak of the writer having read maybe a little too much fiction --
but in the end, it just left me feeling warm. At peace. A wonderful tale.


Lemon Drop: Cloud Mountain

I sighed and I moaned and I wanted to cry, everything so beautiful, everything
with just the right amount detail. Blair and Jim, growing and remembering.
Melancholy sweet and love painful and all so honest and true to them. Plus,
a fine and memorable Naomi. Oh, I adored this.

And Tempus Fugit, which is a beautiful story about life, love, and the turning
of years and seasons. Once again, how I love to love people who understand
Naomi, and her part in Jim and Blair's lives. It's just wonderful, and... well,
it showed me peace. What beauty.


Saraid and Jane Mailander: In Another Life

This story... well, it's beautiful, well-written, life-affirming... and made me
soak my shirt in tears because I couldn't help but *believe* in it. What if,
what if, what if... only it's desperately hard to think of it as an AU. Better
just to go with the title, in another life that may or may not be their own.
I'm still brokenhearted.


Betty Plotnick: Once Upon

Yet another great story today. The gods, they are a'smilin'. And Betty hits
on *precisely* why lucid dreaming never worked for me, not to mention
some wonderful Jungian analysis that has me *itching* for a university
library. Oh, yeah, and Jim and Blair are there, too. Can you even *stand* it?

Best of all, this is just one part in a gorgeous series, all of which can be
found here. (Though this one could be read on its own.)


Betty Plotnik: Waterfall

TS Part eleven of The Sixteen Instinctive Behaviours series. I'm pretty sure
I recced the series before, but you know what? I'm doing it again. Or
at least this part. I can't even begin to tell you how many post-fountain
Sentinel stories I've slogged through. The good, the bad, and the oh-
please-god-break-this-writer's-hands. This, my friends, is how it's done.

Short, with that maddeningly precise kind of awkwardness that only a
truly wonderful writer can create between two characters who know
each other just a little bit too well.

I think. Damn, how to express it? This story sums up quite a lot of
what I've been loving about this series. Themes and moods and deep,
important observations about the characters lives in a few seemingly
careless brushstrokes.

Only they're not brushstrokes at all. Cuts deep, these stories. Heh. You
*will* remember them, and keep coming back for more.

Recs Index