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Sentinel Fanfiction
Title: Nuance
Author(s): Livia and Resonant
Date(s): November 11, 2000
Length: 34,095 words
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Sentinel
External Links: Nuance (AO3)

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Nuance is a Jim/Blair story by Livia and Resonant.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

Jim discovers a sixth sense. Not in the creepy movie way.[1]
Jim discovers that he may not only have five enhanced senses, but something that verges on a sixth. A fascinating and moving story that grips like a thriller.[2]
Ok, when I first read this story I wasn't sure if I was going to rec it. I liked the story itself, thought it was wonderfully written and that the idea was fabulous. But...I didn't like the characterization of Jim. I'm a JimBabe if I haven't mentioned it before. I love the guy. I can so see things from his character's perspective. I think Blair is cute as can be and love the little guy, but I like Jim better. He is way hot, love how he was written on the show, and I just love how Richard played him. The characterization of Jim in this one wasn't exactly true to me. I didn't think this was how Jim would react at all. Jim is just so the girl in this one, I didn't realize that until the end of the story though. It was written so damn well that I was just so fascinated by what it was about that it didn't really hit me that I had a feeling of something being off until I had finished it. It hit me, "Jim is the girl in this," and that Jim would never react in that way to this situation. We had seen Jim have to deal with some new Sentinel weirdness in the ep The Waiting Room and he freaked. No this story isn't about that, nor does it have to do with ghosts or whatever. It is supposed to occur before that ep. Jim freaks. It's what he does. And I quote(from the episode The Waiting Room)," Chief...I have about as much as I can handle with this Sentinel stuff. I'm on shaky ground here a little bit, you follow me...", he then proceeds to freak out further from there quietly in a hushed tone because they are in the bull pen after all. God, did he look good in that blue shirt from that scene. (I had to go look at my tape to get the quote. Sorry, I got lost in that image there for a moment.) Back to what I was saying. Jim would freak in this situation a little bit too, I think. One more weird Sentinel thing. I don't care if it does aid him in his job, so does the Sentinel thing and he freaks about that too. He is the overly emotional one of the pair. He's good at snapping. Blair is the calm one. It seems the other way around, but Blair is talking Jim down from the ceiling alot. And down from towers. Blair gets bouncy nervous in rough situations, and girly freaking out, but he comes through and talks Jim down. Jim flips over everyday life stuff, emotional stuff. So I have a hard time with an emotionally aware and Jim 'in the role of girl today' thing. Then, I thought ok, I don't really see Blair as all that girly really and I think Jim would make a total bottom if given the chance. So...I realized I liked the idea of Jim like that. It made me laugh ruefully, that is done to Blair so damn much in fanfic it's annoying, it's especially done on the show, so it is like a little payback. I realized I liked it. It was one of the things that hooked me on the story I found. So I decided I did want to rec it. That I thought it was damn good and even though the characterization of Jim wasn't exactly canon I liked that too. Made me smile, so here it is. I definitely recommend it. Oh, I really love the scene with Scott, that is so damn sweet. I usually have a hard time with that kindof thing in a J/B story, but I loved it in this one. Mainly, because of why Jim did it. What Jim saw in Scott and wanted to make Scott see about himself, feel about himself. I loved that. It was just so sweet and powerful to me. I don't think I'll ever forget that scene. It really hit me. Mainly, because I've seen people like that. So different from how they see themselves and just for a moment wished I could let them see what I see. Give them that to allow them to see who they really are. The best scene in the story, almost makes Jim and Blair anti-climactic it's so good, so moving.[3]
It's got plot, creative use of Jim's senses, fascinating original characters, lovely moments between Jim and Blair. And lots of other things, like good craftsmanship and interesting details. And the pacing is wonderful--usually there's at least one spot in every story's narrative that starts to bog it down (usually the point at which I stop reading for the night and go to bed). But I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading Nuance, my laptop disconnected from all its sundry attachments, curled up with it in bed unable to stop reading. At the same time, this is a story worth savoring.[4]


This just came out, and I've put it on my classics list, but I'll rec it here too. Because you should read it now. Go directly to this story, do not pass Go, do not collect $200....

Why you should read this: Characterization, plot, writing. That sort of stuff. This is understatement, by the way.

What might throw you off stride: Well, now that the suicidal thoughts have passed and I've revoked my oath never to write another word of fiction, I can say that this story caused no lasting harm to me. It was like taking ecstasy: a period of wild euphoria, then the drastic serotonin dip, then the eventual recovery. This story may be more or less hazardous to your ego, creative productivity, and diet. But of course you should read it anyway.[5]
Every rec page should have one of these. As a matter of fact, practically every rec page has one of these: a recommendation of Nuance by Livia and Resonant. This is a Sentinel story that actually has a sentinel in it, exploring a possible development of Jim's use of his senses in a very interesting way. It's also a police-show story with an actual case in it, and a Jim and Blair story with actual Jim and Blair in it, complete with snappy dialogue. And the important question that the reader starts wondering about roughly twelve screens into the story is, indeed, answered. Livia and Resonant make an excellent writing team.[6]
Fabulous. Marvelous. Delightful. As Kass said, "this story's got everything. It's a case story, it's a romance, it's a new twist on the sentinel thing, it's got hot sex, it's got fabulous dialogue." Livia and Resonant may be even better together than they are apart.[7]


In "Nuance" by Livia and Resonant, Jim's Sentinel abilities take on a new aspect, causing problems and opportunities. Sometimes you don't want to know so much about people. Sometimes people don't want you to know so much about them... which would explain why Blair is suddenly spending a lot of time ducking Jim. So what is he hiding? Once again, the blind spot we all have toward the people we think we know best keeps stopping Jim from figuring it out. There's an actual case plot in here too, a good one. Set aside an afternoon for this story. [8]
The obligatory Sentinel section, 'cause I think my fic rec'ing card gets taken away if I don't hit some of these: It's long, it's hot, it's smart, it's sweet, and yes, it's Nuance, by Livia and Resonant. If you haven't read it by now, do yourself another favor and click on the link.[9]


This story has an actual plot - a case the two are working on - as well as some very interesting sentinel mystical stuff <g>. It also has one of my favourite sex scenes between Jim and an OMC - it's sweet and hot, an unbeatable combination as far as I'm concerned.[10]


Interpreting sensory observations comes terribly close to mind-reading. Jim has to think about this. (Watch for Scott, whose babies I will be having as soon as I track him down.)[11]


Take two of the best writers in any fandom and put them together. Give them a year to work out plot and character and hot, sweaty first-time sex. Give Jim even more highly attuned senses - a sixth sense, where he's reading other people's thoughts and emotions - and see what happens. "Nuance" is what happens--it's epic, wonderfully-crafted, beautifully in character, and the first time scene ... will make you melt.[12]


Blair and Jim have just managed to settle back into normal life after the Alex incident, when Jim starts noticing that he's getting better at reading people. *Much* better, in fact, so much so that Blair starts talking ESP (albeit, ESP in a very scientific, reading body language, anthropologically explainable way). At the same time, Blair suddenly becomes almost impossible to read. Wonder why. As much as I love romances, it's sometimes nice to read a story where the romance is secondary to an actual plot, especially when the plot is as interesting as this one is. Jim and Blair are both well-written and in character, and Jim's new super-power is carefully thought out and plausible. Plus it's fun watching a whole new round of testing (with an added bonus of the downsides of actually being able to know what people are thinking about you). A good fic for those looking for a break from relationship angst.[13]


  1. Merrin Recs: because life is way too short to read bad slash
  2. It’s About Friendship, the Jim/Blair fanlisting
  3. Slash Slut's Sentinel Recs; reference link
  4. Rec by Kest
  5. 2000 rec by eliade
  6. the flambeau factory: recommendations 2000
  7. Jewels Have Flaws... or... Net (dot) Bitch Does Recs, 2000
  8. Viridian5 Fiction: The Green Room version 2.0 Fanfic Recommendations (pre-2002), Archived version
  9. Cori Lannam. Cori Lannam's Mild-Mannered Recommendations Page - 2001 Recs, 05 January 2001. (Accessed 10 April 2016)
  10. Madrigal's The Sentinel Recs, January 2004
  11. calic0cat: That TS story meme…, January 2005
  12. a 2006 rec at Crack Van
  13. 2007 comments at Epic Recs