They walked into the bullpen on Monday morning and Blair looked happy. He looked truly happy and I realized that he hadn't been for a long time.
I hadn't been able to make him smile like that. Why was he smiling like that, grinning like a fool?
Well I am a detective and I am trained to observe people, so I observed.
He was smiling at Jim. And Jim had an identical goofy grin on his face.
Maybe one of them had just told a joke. Blair had a hell of a sense of humor. Maybe he had just told the funniest joke anyone had ever heard.
Except they weren't laughing, they were just smiling.
Jim sat down and he winced a little just as his butt hit the chair. He looked up at Blair and I swear to god the man blushed. Blair's grin got even wider.
Oh my God. They were lovers now. I could tell. They were being pretty blatant about it, at least if you knew what to look for. The love struck grins. The blush. The wincing, god he was wincing because Blair had worn his ass out.
He never grinned like that at me after we had made love.
Stupid. He never made love to me. He fucked me.
I am so stupid. I knew he loved Jim. I knew it. But I thought he could love me too. He said he couldn't, that I shouldn't fall in love with him because he couldn't or wouldn’t love me back. But I didn't listen. I was so sure that it would just take time. Jim didn't want him. I did. Simple. The more time he spent with me, the less he would want to spend with Jim.
The problem with that is that he didn't spend less time with Jim. He was still with his partner most of the time. I had him for a few hours on Friday nights. He never even stayed 'til Saturday morning, always went home so Jim wouldn't worry.
All of the sudden I was angry. Like seeing red, spitting nails, angry with Jim. Why? Why now? He had four years, four years, to make a move on Blair. Jesus, I wouldn't have lasted four days in the same apartment with Blair without hitting on the man, let alone four years. He was never interested before, why was he interested now when Blair was mine.
Except that Blair had never been mine.
Jim raised his head sharply and looked in my direction, almost as if he could smell how angry I was and that it was directed at him.
Shit. He probably can.
Since Jim is looking at me, of course Blair has to turn and look at me too, a puzzled expression on his face. I have to get out; I can't stay in this room one more second with the two of them practically glowing at each other.
I managed to make it to the men's room before I started bawling. And then I had to laugh. I'm thirty-five years old and I'm crying in the bathroom like some adolescent schoolgirl mooning over the football captain. Except Blair was probably the debate team captain.
I turned my face away from the door as I heard someone come in.
"Brian, are you all right."
Captain Banks. Shit. He must have seen me run out of the bullpen. Wait a second, he called me 'Brian'. No one ever calls me 'Brian'. Even Blair always called me 'Rafe' even when he was coming.
Whoa, that was exactly the wrong thing to think of right now.
"Yeah Captain, I'm okay."
"Now why don't I believe that?"
"Really Captain, I'm just feeling a little under the weather."
"I suppose so. Especially with Ellison and Sandburg mooning at each other out there."
"Sir?" I finally turned to look at him hoping that my face wasn't revealing everything that I was feeling.
He came a few steps into the room and sat on the edge of the sink. "They're kind of hard to ignore. I imagine that it's very difficult for you to see them like that. Considering that you and Blair used to date."
"H-how d-did you know that?" I stuttered.
"Brian. I might be a Captain now, but I used to be a damn fine detective. And I know what's going on with my men."
I stared at him dumbfounded for a moment.
He continued, "Like for instance, I know that a lot of people think that Jim and Blair have been together since they met. But I know that that's a recent development. Very recent. And I also know that you got yourself caught in the middle. Actually it was probably you're relationship with him that finally motivated Jim to fight for Blair."
"But Jim was never interested before."
He gave me a sad smile. "Jim was always interested, he was just too chickenshit to admit it, even to himself. He saw you as serious competition. And that finally got him off his ass. Made him realize what he was about to loose."
"Well, I'm so glad I could be of service." I said sarcastically. I wet a paper towel under the faucet and scrubbed at my face with it.
The Captain took another step closer to me and laid a companionable arm around my shoulder. I met his eyes in the mirror. "I'm really sorry that this happened to you, Brian. But you have to understand that sometimes people are just made for each other. Jim and Blair are like that. It took them a while to realize it and admit it, but there was never anyone else for either of them."
I looked closer. There was a certain stiffness in his manner and a pain in his eyes. I could recognize it because the same pain was in my eyes. "Capt. . . Simon? You and Ellison . . .?"
I let the question trail off. He answered it anyway. "No. Not that I didn't want to. But he was such a mess when he came over from Vice. He was so angry at the world. Then he lost his partner. You've heard about Jack Pendergast?" I nodded and he continued. "After Jack disappeared, he just closed off. I wasn't sure how to break through. Honestly, I don't think anything I would have done would have made a difference. He was waiting for Blair. I've just tried to be his friend, and I think I've done a good job at that. No matter how personally painful it is for me, I'm happy for him."
I thought about that for a moment. I had never made Blair as happy as he was this morning. I was just a substitute. That hurt a little, but he had said at the beginning that he couldn't love me. It was all my own damn fault. I would do my best to be happy for Blair and Jim and eventually, I would get over it.
The Captain must have seen something of my sudden resolve in my face because he asked "Better now?"
I took one more swipe at my face with the towel. "Yes. Thanks Simon. And don't worry, I won't say anything about your feelings for Ellison."
"I've been over that for a while now."
"But still, it wouldn't be a good idea for anyone to find out that you had feelings like that for a subordinate."
He turned to look directly at me instead of in the mirror. He flashed a brilliant grin and his voice dropped into a low, sexy tone. "You know, the longer I work in this business the less important that is. If I found the right person, I wouldn't let a little thing like a stupid rule get in my way."
I gasped. I didn't see the pain in his eyes anymore. There was something else. Desire, maybe? Desire for me? He leaned forward, giving me plenty time to object. I didn't.
He brushed his full lips gently against mine. Then again, more firmly. He pulled back to gaze into my eyes. "I know right now that you're a little raw from what happened with Sandburg. But think about it. When you're ready, I'll still be here." Then he turned and walked out.
Wow. Simon. I had never even considered him. I was too wrapped up with Blair to notice any signals he might have been giving. I thought about it a little and I liked the idea. Maybe we could have something.
It wouldn't be easy. We had both had our hearts broken. We would both need a little time to heal, even though he had said he was over Ellison. But maybe with a little time and patience, we could build something perfect, too.