The Fire (Sentinel story)

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Sentinel Fanfiction
Title: The Fire
Author(s): Speranza
Date(s): 28 January 2001
Genre: slash
Fandom: The Sentinel
External Links: The Fire (AO3)
The Fire (Speranza's Fiction)

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The Fire is a Sentinel story by Speranza.

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

One story that is relatively new, and definitely thrilling, is Francesca's The fire. This is the story that launched a thousand Prospect-L posts; personally, I've always been a tad squicked by the whole predestination thing that is so frequent in Sentinel slash, and Francesca takes that concept and runs with it, in a provocative way. (Runs with it in a provocative way? Sounds like a stage direction for cheesy erotica. This is more like a provocative yet strangely logical, if a then b, kind of way. Or maybe like running with scissors.) [1]
Warning: "The Fire" might disturb some readers because of age-of-character issues.[2]


Jan says: Today I'd like to recommend The Fire, a Sentinel story by Francesca. I hadn't read any Sentinel in quite awhile, maybe a year or more, and then two friends recommended this story to me within days of each other. After that, how could I help but read it? And I was glad I did. In this story, Jim has to deal with a confusing and difficult experience from his past. Francesca has a real way with dialogue, and her Blair is strong and masculine. My favorite kind of Blair.[3]


This should push all my squick buttons - a twenty year old Jim and a ten year old Blair 'encounter' each other in a very strange situation - as the author puts it, if she was going to write underage J & B there had to be "turbans, fire, camels, people gibbering in Arabic, Naomi's gauzy dress catching fire, maybe trumpets. Faces smeared with dirt. A brass band. Muffins." What we end up with is a study of both Jim's character and the inevitability of the Sentinel/Guide bond.[4]


I think the only stories that didn't work for me by Francesca is, I believe it was titled Fire - I think; it's been a while - and another involving a teenage Blair. I believe they were some sort of experimental writing. Teen Blair is a major turn-off for me, as is teen Jim. [5]

I believe the Blair in "Fire" was much younger than a teenager, because I remember the big list brouhaha that occured when this story was first posted. Some fans consider Jim's actions to be pedophia/child molestation and thought he should be arrested or shot. Others didn't have a problem. I started the story, but never finished it, because Jim was too OOC for me. I also don't find adult/child sexual interactions to be very appealing, but I have no problem if others do. I think Blair was supposed to be

around 9 or 10 years old.[6]

In The Fire, I seem to recall reading that Francesca was exploring the ramifications of the trope of Sentinel/Guide bond and what would happen if their first meeting was earlier.

And we got to see and it wasn't comfortable reading but it was plausible.

It's an interesting story from that POV and, unlike the Nature one, Jim does actively suffer and feel guilt over his actions for many years.


I just reread it and he's 10/11. Jim is drugged, hyped up on adrenaline and we can assume Sentinel/Guide forces are at play, but it's still a little disturbing to think of a 21 year old Jim getting a hand job from a child; intentionally so, I guess.[7]


No excuses from me for another rec of Francesca’s work, but this story is far, far away in character from my first rec. Please don’t be put off by the realisation that it involves Jim and an underage boy. I almost failed to read on account of that (being one of my no-go areas) but was so pleased I stayed with it, because that element isn’t what you think it is. In fact, it’s not even what Jim thinks it is! Not only is the writing, as usual, so perfect and atmospheric – Francesca conjures up another time, place and culture effortlessly: you can feel the heat and the dust - but Jim and Blair are such fantastic characterisations here. I particularly like this Bair – an excellent cop, but still with that enormous depth of compassion and the guts to fight, and win, for what he believes to be right. Jim here, though, is a wonderful interpretation, a man tortured by a past he has tried so hard to escape and full of despair of what he thinks he might be. The premise of the story is quite, quite, believable, as are the reactions of both men to their inescapable fate as Sentinel and Guide. And it’s worth reading alone for Blair’s meltdown in the loft, at first hilarious, and then extremely moving.[8]


  1. ^ torch's recommendations: 2001
  2. ^ 2005 comments by Cindershadow
  3. ^ Jan and June's Slash Recommendations: The Jan and June Slash Weblog, 26 August 2001. (Accessed 10 April 2015)
  4. ^ calic0cat: That TS story meme…, January 2005
  5. ^ comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  6. ^ comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  7. ^ comments on Prospect-L, quoted anonymously (March 2009)
  8. ^ 2013 comments at Crack Van