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It was a long, long day. Jim collapsed on the couch, beer in hand, and closed his eyes.

A soft rustle behind him, followed by a soft "Jim?" alerted him to his Guide's presence behind him. A slow smile spread on Jim's face.

"Hell of a day," he said, keeping his voice casual.

"You were on the Meacham case today, right?"

Jim groaned. "Yeah. I swear, Chief, the man's a marathon runner. Led me halfway across town."

He felt the heat of Blair's body as he sat down next to him. "You worked hard today, didn't you?" His voice was quiet, low, the voice that seemed to reach into Jim's brain without ever passing through his ears.

"Yeah." Eyes still closed, Jim licked his lips for the stray molecules of Blair's scent in the air, the taste welcome on his tongue.

"I think you deserve a treat." Jim shivered as he felt the warm air of Blair's words touch his skin, followed by Blair's hands on his face, coaxing him into his Guide's lap. He put his head down, facing Blair's stomach, close enough that his lips felt the altering heat from the muscle movements under the skin.

Jim held still, perfectly still. This had to be played on Blair's terms, or it couldn't be played at all. Blair knew how to make it good for him.

Blair's hand skated down Jim's body, awakening nerve ends Jim wasn't aware were even there. Keeping still was a struggle now, when he wanted nothing more than...

No. Better not to even think of that. Move, and Blair would stop. That was the way it was, the way it had to be.

One of the hot hands reached Jim's chest, tweaking a nipple gently, making Jim gasp. He let himself buck, just a tiny bit, more leaning into the touch, really. Blair would understand--

Blair's hands were not touching him. Jim stilled immediately, wishing feverently for that heated touch again. A light caress to his forehead helped calm him down. "Don't move, Jim. I'll have to stop if you move."

Jim refused to even nod. He wouldn't move. He could stay still, if Blair wanted him to. He would do anything Blair wanted.

A hand touched him again, not playing this time but pressing firmly, right down where he wanted it. He groaned - this was okay, Blair didn't mind if he made noise, as long as he didn't move. His dick was twitching, and for a mad second he thought Blair might stop because his cock wouldn't quit trying to get more of Blair's hand, he couldn't make it stop, he couldn't--

And then he couldn't keep still anymore, and with a deep moan, he shot into his best friend's hand.

He felt Blair move under him, going to get a towel. He didn't move as Blair cleaned him up, even though he was allowed now. Finally, he raised his head to look into Blair's eyes and croaked, "Thank you."

Blair smiled at him, a gentle, warm smile. He stroked Jim's cheek, and Jim leaned into it, closing his eyes. He didn't have to be strong here; in fact, it was better that he was weak, so that Blair wouldn't need to be afraid of him.

"No problem, man. Whatever you need."

As Jim climbed the stairs, he refused to wish for Blair's warm body beside him. That was the greatest treat of them all, and Blair didn't use it for anything but the absolutely worst days. Today wasn't really bad, not really deserving of anything more than a back rub, but Blair was generous sometimes.

Jim fell asleep, curled around the sound of Blair's heartbeat below and the traces of his scent on Jim's own skin.


Blair held himself tightly. No. He would not go up. He would not.

If he went unstairs now, he'd have to explain it all to Jim. That the need, although strong, was something you could ignore. He'd had such a hard time getting Jim to open up to this, and if Jim knew the truth, it would all go down the drain.

Blair smiled bitterly at the memory of the first time the need struck Jim.

Only it wasn't really the first time, was it? Only the first time Jim had admitted to what those urges of his really meant.

Well, 'admitted' wasn't quite the right word to use there. Jim had been even more shocked than Blair. Some day, he'd have to get Jim to go through a massive subconscious cleasning; there was no knowing what else was in there.

But the fact remained that one day, after a particularly distressing hostage situation, Jim had nailed him to a wall and kissed him until neither of them could breathe.

Just when Blair was certain he was nearing strangulation, Jim had let him go and backed off as if he'd been burned.

"Oh god, Chief, are you okay? I'm so sorry-- Don't know what happened to me--"

When do you ever, big guy?

But Jim had been so scared, so honestly concerned, that Blair had no choice but to ward off his attempts at apologizing. "Geez, relax, I'm fine. What's wrong with you?"

Jim had taken a deep breath, screwing his eyes shut. "Fuck me if I know."

After a whole lot of coaxing and prodding, the problem had come to the surface. Appearantly, Jim - idiot that he was - had been suffering from 'urges', as he named them, for some time now, usualy after a specifically trying day.

"What kind of urges, man? Sexual stuff?" he'd asked earnestly.

Jim had opened his eyes and glared at him. "I've just tried to stick my tongue down your throat, Sandburg. What kind of urges do you think?"

"Right, well, but are those urges kissing-specific? Do you, like, want to get me into bed or just share spit? Are they just about me, or would anybody else do? C'mon, Jim, tell me!"

Jim had flushed, and mumbled something below regular hearing range. Blair had poked him in the ribs. "What? We're not all Sentinels here, you know."

"I want your bones!" Jim hissed. "Happy?"

Blair gave him an impatient look. "Yeah, but are those my bones specifically you're after?"

"What are you suggesting here, Sandburg?" Suspicion rose in Jim's voice.

"Well, it might be that all this urge shit is coming from an adrenaline overdose. You wouldn't be the first man to nail the first thing he could after a stressing situation."

Jim looked upwards in exasperation. "For god's sake, I used to be in the fucking army. If I was some adrenaline junkie, don't you think I would have realized this before?"

"Point taken. Well, what else could it be? Have you eaten something unusual lately? Had some weird chemical around you? You know the drill."

Jim gritted his teeth. "No."

Blair scratched his head in puzzlement. "Well, what do you think it is?"

Jim shrugged. "Beats me."

Blair had spent most of that evening thinking, and Jim had done some work on jaw-muscle strength. Actually, the most likely theory had come into Blair's mind about three seconds after the kiss, but he'd dismissed it. Jim wouldn't want to hear about it.

But after dinner - very late dinner, actually - Jim had turned to him and asked, "Well?"

And Blair had sighed, and poured out the annoyingly logical explanation.

He'd done a few minutes of circling around, some bullshit he couldn't even remember right now, until Jim had snapped and told him to cut to the chase. Blair swalloed and continued.

"Look, if you think about it, this could be another aspect of the Sentinel - Guide bond. I mean, the Guide's there to take care of the Sentinel, right? So it might be that the Guide is supposed to--" he waved his hands in a comlicated gesture.

"Save his Sentinel from blue balls?" Jim had replied drily. "Thanks, Chief. I'll pass." He tilted his head in thought for a second. "Still, that doesn't explain why I'm... more interested... after work. If it's just getting my rocks off, why get it when I'm dead tired anyway?"

Blair flushed. "Well, if you look at it that way..." he cleared his throat. "Let's say you're the guy who designed this whole mess. You'd want your avarage Sentinel to be happy with his job, right? So you give him this imperative for protecting the tribe. But that's not good enough, sometimes; hell, Jim, don't tell me there weren't times you'd have run off to the jungle if you could. So you need a little... motivation, shall we call it?"

Jim's eyes narrowed. "What, like sex with you is supposed to be the Sentinel equivalent of doggie treats? I don't think so, Sandburg."

Blair shrugged. "Just a theory, man."

And they'd left it alone at that. Jim had been doing more running than he really needed, and Blair ignored it whenever Jim's fists were clenching. As long as Jim had it under control, things were fine.

So Blair hadn't really payed attention when Jim was grasping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles were whitening. They'd been on their way home from the McNeil case, which had cost the both of them more than a few hours of sleep, as well as pushing Jim's senses to their limits while trying to match the exact traces of floral scent at the crime scene with Corrine McNeil's custome made perfume. They were both stressed out, and that was completely understandable.

What wasn't understandable, however, was the fact that as soon as they entered the loft, Jim was pinning him to the wall.

Blair had let out an undignified squeak as he felt a strong, solid body pushing him into the hard surface. Jim had kissed him, thoroughly and none too gently, never letting go of Blair's mouth for what seemed like an eternity before his entire body quivered and damn near collaped, laying the full of his weight on Blair.

"Oh, Jesus, man," Blair had cursed quietly, "don't do this to me! Get up, damn you!"

Jim must've heard him, because he damn near jumped to get away from him. Blair had turned the lights on, which he hadn't done before because a certain throwback had been dry-humping him at the time. He turned back to Jim, fully prepared to lecture Jim into next week about control when he had turned around and gotten his first glimpse of the man's face since entering the apartment.

Jim Ellison had been terrified.

Not that it showed, of course, unless you knew where to look. Not unless you saw the slight trembling of his hands, the absolute stillness of his features. But Blair had known what to look for, and he let out all the air in his lungs with one soft sigh. "Aw, Jim."

Stone cold eyes looked up to his. "Sandburg, you need to move out."'

Blair knew those eyes better than to think the chill in them was for him. "Not on your life, man."

The familiar muscle in his jaw twitched. "Last time I checked, my name was still on the deed to this place."

Blair had shrugged. "Sure. Call the police if you want, but I'm warning you, they'd have to drag me out kicking and screaming."

Jim had stood up. "Fine. I'll go."

Blair had gone to him, putting his hands on the older man's shoulders. "No, you won't. The state you're in, you'll walk into traffic and leave me to scrape your sorry ass off the asphalt."

Jim lowered his eyes. "Sure that'll be such a bad idea, Chief?" His voice was just a bit too low for him to be joking.

Blair tightened his hold on Jim. "Yes, damn it, I'm sure."

Jim looked up to him, and there was such vulnerability in his eyes that Blair could have wept. "Please, Chief, I can't stay." I'll hurt you, his fingers said, skating across Blair's face.

Blair took a deep, cleansing breath. "You won't hurt me. It doesn't have to be like this."

Tell me, said Jim's look. But his mouth said, "Just let me go."

"Jim, you don't want to hurt me, right?"

"No!" Jim was obviously taken aback by this. Blair had given him a patient look and went on.

"Then why do you think I want you to hurt me? My survival instincts are just fine, I can promise you that." Quickly, before Jim could get another word in, he added, "But I don't want you hurt either, which you would be, eventualy, if I left you alone for long. Geez, just think about the zone outs you could be getting into.

"As far as I'm concerned, we have three options here. One is we forget about this whole imperative thing and pretend it didn't happen. But you can't control it, Jim, and I know you've tried." Jim had looked so forlorn at that that Blair had to pet Jim's head. "Oh, c'mon. It's not your fault." He continued before Jim could get any deeper into his guilt trip.

"Option number two is that I get my ass out of here." He grasped Jim's head gently, forcing him to look deep into him eyes. "Not happening in this universe, Ellison, so you can just forget about it."

"And nuber three?" Jim rasped.

"Number three is that..." Blair gulped. There wasn't an easy way to say this. "You let me help you. No, listen!" He tightened his grasp on Jim's head when the older man retreated. "Instead of botteling it up, you come to me when you first feel the, um, urge, and I take care of it. The difference is, you let me drive. Understand?"

"You're straight," Jim protested weakly.

"And you aren't? This isn't your fault any more than it's mine."

"You're not the one who..." Jim shrugged helplessly.

Blair sighed in frustration. "No, I'm not. But I'm your friend, not to mention your Guide. It's not such a big deal. I mean, you've cleaned after me when I was sick. How much worse could this be?"

"Way to help a guy's ego, Sandburg." But Jim's mouth was twitching, and Blair could hardly hold his own smile of relief. They were out of dangerous territory, thank god.

"So..." Blair said carefully. "You still feel any... needs?"

Jim gulped and closed his eyes. Nodded.

"Alright. Your bed?"

And to Jim's bed they went, and Blair made Jim lie down on his back.

"Now, here's the deal. I do what needs to be done, and you hold still. If you so much as twitch, I stop, alright?" He smiled to take the sting off. "Not that I don't trust you, big guy, but being nailed to the matress can seriously compromise a guy's sense of masculinity, so keep still, alright?" Blair laughed nervously. "So, uh, here goes."

He unzipped Jim's fly, hesistantly touching his dick. It wasn't really all that different from his own, but he was strangely aware to some things.

The texture, for examle. The skin was soft and fragile, so much so that Blair was nearly afraid to touch it. This was a Sentinel he was handling here, after all; he'd hate to be the cause of a sensory spike.

But Jim, his hands fisted in the covers, moaned "Please," in a very needy voice, and what could Blair do but move?

Jim had stayed completely still through it, and a deep sense of tenderness washed over Blair when he realized how vulnerable Jim was like this. All of his strength was completely and utterly under Blair's control, literally in Blair's hands. He sped up, and smiled at the pleasure in Jim's expression. Definitely better than cleaning up someone's puke.

Jim arched up then, and before Blair could remove his hand Jim came, his spunk spewing all over Blair's hand. Jim landed back on the matress with a thud.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Blair remarked casually as he cleaned Jim up with a tissue.

"Sorry..." Jim whispered. He wouldn't look into Blair's eyes.

"Nothing to be sorry for."

"Used you." Jim's voice was rough, not surprising when one considered the noises he was making a few minutes ago.

"Don't think that." Blair put a hand on Jim's chest for emphasis. "I did this because I wanted to. I want to help you, man. You know I do."

Jim didn't answer him. Instead, he curled up around a pillow. He didn't ask Blair to stay with him, and Blair didn't offer.

The first few times, Jim had to ask Blair. He never got very good at, and was increadibly embarrassed every time, the actual words hardly making their way out of his mouth. After that, Blair was mostly able to tell what Jim needed without being told.

At first, it wasn't really any different than it was before. It wasn't really about sex - not unless it became too intense for Jim to really bear. Mostly, Jim just needed to be touched. It came naturally to Blair, giving him those grounding physical connections when he felt the need for them.

Jim's need depended on a few factors, not the least of which was police work. Physical effort, usage of his special senses, quick thinking - all of those merited 'Treats', as they had come to call them.

And after a while, Blair had come to realise that he didn't mind helping Jim like that. Of course, that was pretty much predictable; even if Jim wasn't his friend, he was still a Guide, wasn't he? It wouldn't make sense to have a Sentinel pining for a Guide who didn't want him. Better to make the attraction mutual.

Still, it was a hell of a shock. There was Blair, Jim naked and at his mercy, twitching slightly under his hands like he always did just before he came with one of those endearing little moans, and Blair moved a bit and Jim's hand accidently rubbed against him and--

"Whoa," Blair said, edging away. Jim had immidiately gone still.

"Blair?" he asked, his voice uncertain.

Blair sighed. Well, wasn't this just great. "Keep still," he told Jim, just to be on the safe side, and finished the man off.

And afterwards, Blair went to the bathroom downstairs and had the best fucking orgasm of his life.

He had stood there, grabbing the edge of the sink to keep from keeling over, his mind screaming 'What the hell was that?'

Blair was thirty. In his time, he had jerked off more times than any sane human being would care to count. He hadn't remebered ever being so turned on that one tiny little stroke got him to come like a freight train, not even when he was fifteen and spent his History classes staring at Rosalie Warnes' assets. Lucky for him Jim had dropped off the moment he was finished.

But once Blair got used to sporting woodies on a semi-regular basis, y'know, it wasn't really bad. Yeah, he had moments when he was worried about zipper-shaped scars in sensitive areas, but it was just horniness. He could do horniness.

The real trouble was, he found, the Need.

It only deserved the capital N because, truth be told, Blair was too embarrassed to think up any other term for it. Cuddling? Affection? Intimacy? God, he was sounding one of those thirty-eight year old women whose husbands watched sports too often for their liking - the women's liking, that is - and then went and did exercises wearing lycra pants. The women, obviously, although he wasn't too certain about some of the men, and...

Well, he could just as well forget about it. Jim had already had one dysfunctionate marriage; he didn't need another one, especially not since Blair had appearantly forgot altogether to invite him to the wedding ceremony.

It was making him irritable. God, he must have snapped at Jim, what, three times today? Christ. Major karma black points there. And, well, the more time he spent here on his own it made less sense to him. So he'd go upstairs and wrap himself around Jim a little bit. What was a bit of post-coital touching between friends?

The thing was, it made Blair all icky inside to think about going to Jim like that. If he appeared in Jim's bed, like some sort of surreal dream made flesh - and not necesarily a good dream, either, might be one of those really emabarrassing dreams when you found yourself kissing your aunt or something like that - Jim would, induitably, let him stay, which would be a thousand times worse than if Jim would have thrown him out like a normal person.

Becuase, see, Jim was a gentleman. A nice guy. A guilt-tripping kind of guy, to be specific. He'd feel it was his Honorable Duty to give poor, abused Blair whatever he wanted in payment for supplying Big Bad Jim with his twice-a-week fix of sleazy sexual gratification. So he'd let Blair stay in his bed, which would without doubt be soft and warm, maybe even hold him a bit for good measure, easing up a bit on the consuming guilt thing, making them both happier...

Or, if he made himself think reasonably for just a couple of seconds, Jim would probably just lie there uncomfortably until morning, and then, if he had any brain at all, keep a careful distance from Blair. Until he felt the unquenchable urge to jump Blair's bones again, obviusly.

It was wrong - it was a thousand different kinds of wrong, to want things like that from someone whose very sanity you held in your hands, among other things. What if Jim got some preverted notion that he wasn't allowed to say no anymore?

Blair leaned his head against the wall and sighed. That was it, wasn't it?

He had taken Jim Ellison and turned him into his fucking pet, no pun intended. Jeez, it was a wonder the man didn't lick Blair's hands when they were done. 'Treats', for crying out loud!

That's it, Blair decided. Time for a new approach.


Jim hung his jacket as he got inside the loft. Behind him, he heard the quiet click as Blair closed the door.

"Man," Blair sighed, "that was some day."

Jim agreed. It was one of those days when every tiny little thing seemed to go wrong, all at once. First, they'd both overslept and were late for the station. After that, they spent most of the morning chasing down that bastard Jannison, and then had a ton of paper work to finish before going home. One of those days that exhausted both the mind and the body, made even worse by the fact that days like this came all too often.

Jim felt his tension melt as Blair's warm hands settled on his shoulders. Bad day, but not without its compensations.

"Upstairs?" Blair asked, and Jim nodded. Their way up was silent, and Jim was glad for that; he never did figure out what he was supposed to say in that kind of situation. He was vaguely afraid that speaking to Blair like he always did would break the fragile balance they had here, and he couldn't think of any other way to talk to him. Romance or sexiness seemed just wrong; Blair was doing him a favor, after all, and trying to make more of this would only make both of them uncomfortable. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Jim lay on the bed, waiting. He closed his eyes in anticipation, sharpening his sense of touch until he could trace Blair's movements through the air currents around him.

He nearly gasped in surprise as Blair's warm body sank on top of him, settling confortably.

"Jim?" Blair's voice was slightly hesistant, and something inside Jim grew wary as he heard it.

"I've been thinking, and, you know, I don't think we're doing this right." The wariness tightened into a knot in Jim's gut, and he forced himself to speak. "Seemed fine to me, Chief."

Blair shifted awkwardly. "Well, you know, something just feel right." Jim felt Blair's body tense, and prepared himself for what he knew would follow: 'Jim, I can't do this anymore.'

And when Blair say it, Jim would stay still, would stay still until Blair was gone. And then...

"Jim!" The urgency in Blair's voice launched Jim back into reality. "Don't zone on me now. I need to get this said." With a deep breath, Blair's body loosened on top of his. "I think, I think I shouldn't be so much in control of everything that goes on here." With those words, Blair rolled over, pulling Jim on top of him.

Jim froze. What the hell?

"Now, if you just follow your instincts," Blair whispered into his ear, the moisture of his breath doing funny things to Jim's control, "I think it would go on a lot better. Go on. Do what you feel like."

Jim clenched his fists in effort not to succumb, not to...

"Blair," he whispered hoarsely. "I shouldn't. You're straight."

"I'm your Guide. That's more important." Dear god, Blair's hands were skating down his back, don't move, don't move...

"Move," Blair ordered, and something snapped inside Jim Ellison as his arms tightened around the lithe, warm body under his own, and, god help him, he moved.

Blair's clothes didn't last long. Too long. But at last, Blair was naked underneath him, all living skin under his fingers, under his tongue. Blair's sweat was sweet in his mouth, Blair's moans smooth in his ears as he swept over Blair's nipples.

He lost track of time, of everything as Blair's body relaxed and tightened again, words spilling from those beautiful lips, so many words, and Jim clamped him mouth Blair's, capturing those strange, low sounds.

The skin at Blair's neck was smooth. His chest more so, silky skin under silkier hair, and the muscles moved enchantingly as Jim licked his ribs, his stomach. His armpits smelled of exertion and arousal, and Jim basked in that scent for a while before moving on.

Blair's legs were strong, kicking unconsciously as Jim found sensitive spots, the muscles winding and unwinding in ways that continually fascinated Jim. Blair was ticklish under the knees, turned on by the crease between his hip and his crotch.

The strongest source of scent was at Jim's reach, and he lapped it, chuckling slightly at Blair's moan. He detoured to devour Blair's balls, to lick the clear liquid spewing from his cock, and returned to the tiny, clenching hole.

The taste on Jim's tongue morphed into the sound of Blair's moans, and the clutch of Blair's hands at his shoulders, the scent of arousal, of fear--

Fear?

The much too familiar smell sent Jim crashing back into reality. Blair's hands were trying to keep him away, Blair's moans were whispered refusals - "No, Jim, stop." Jim took in Blair's body, slightly trembling, the widening of his pupils, and god, what had Jim done? Blair's taste was still in his mouth, the taste of--

Jim made it to the bathroom before throwing his guts up.

Eventually, as he felt Blair's hands rubbing his back, Jim stopped trembling. Blair's voice cut through the fog of adrenaline and sensation and self disgust. "..So sorry, man, I can't believe I was this stupid.."

"What?" Jim's voice wasn't obeying him too well, but Blair understood anyway.

"I mean, you'd think I'd have the sense not to do this without at least some preparation, god knows what you could've got into.."

"What are you talking about?" Blair, would you start making sense?

Blair looked at him. "Hygene, man. Do you have any idea what kind of infections you can get from sticking your tongue there? And that's for ordinary people; god knows what you could have gotten..."

"You were scared."

Blair had the good grace to blush. "You weren't listening to me. I had no idea what you were thinking, if you were thinking. I mean, if I couldn't have gotten you to stop..." He shrugged apologetically. "It's not that I don't trust you, but you were seriously going caveman on me. So yeah, I freaked."

It occurred to Jim that even Blair shouldn't be able to speak so clearly after being interrupted while so close to coming. A glance told him that Blair was still raring to go, amazingly. Jim felt his mouth water as he took in that scent again.

Blair must have noticed his returned interest, because he leaned on the sink, spreading his thighs. "What to finish it?" Blair asked huskily.

Jim hesitated, and Blair took Jim's chin in his hand. "Just don't go licking there, alright?" Jim nodded, once, and took Blair in his mouth.

It wasn't as good as before, the taste wasn't as strong, but he liked the pressure of Blair's hands on his head, the fullness of his mouth, the beautiful, beautiful sound of Blair's moans. It was over much too quickly, but as Blair's sperm spilled inside his mouth Jim felt something fundemental inside him loosen and flex and without a touch, he was coming as well.

He heard Blair sigh in satisfaction, and couldn't help feeling a bit of pride. Blair's hands were holding his shoulders, encouraging him up. With feet that seemed to have the solidity of jelly, Jim rose and leaned on Blair, nuzzling into his neck.

"Sleep with me," he asked impulsively, not really caring for the result. Blair, of course, would be well within his rights to refuse, but that was alright. He had Blair's scent on him, and even if the warmth went away, he'd manage.

He felt the muscles in Blair's jaw move into a smile, and the familiar voice told him, "Sure."

It took them both a while to recover enough to move, but eventually they found their way into Jim's bed, and Jim wrapped himself around Blair, nearly purring in contentment.

"Jim?" Blair's voice was hesistant, and Jim felt a sense of dread creep into his stomach. "Why d'you run like that, earlier?"

"You were scared," Jim reminded him.

Blair squirmed. "Yeah, I guess that'd make you stop, but why did you, um, react like that?"

Unpleasant memories knotted Jim's guts. The scent of desire and fear, the one he'd detected too many times in rape scenes, accompanied by the stench of blood and fear. That sickening mixture had no place anywhere near Blair Sandburg, not for as long as Jim lived. "It's the smell. All the smells. Doesn't bring up the best memories for me." He half expected, half dreaded Blair's usual attempts to poke more information out of him. Mercifully, Blair seemed to understand; he shivered slightly and let it go.


The next day, Blair did his best to keep the shit eating grim on his face in reasonable proportion. He failed miserably, and couldn't get himself to care.

Jim wasn't helping; in fact, Jim had made it worse with his own version of a wake up call, which involved his mouth and Blair's dick.

Once Blair was able to speak coherently, he pulled Jim up for a hell of a good morning hug and kissed the man for all he was worth. "You know," he told Jim once he could breathe again, "you don't have to that. Or not just that, I mean. Whatever you want, I'm pretty sure I'll be up for it if you tell me about it before you try."

Jim shrugged easily. "I like it." Blair couldn't exactly call it a lie, seeing as Jim had already taken care of himself quite happily while tending to Blair's need.

After that, sticking to the whole treat-per-preformance seemed stupid, so Blair pretty much kept touching Jim throughout the day. It looked like it was working; Jim, while managing to keep his poker face almost constantly, had been unbelievably nice all day long. To everyone. The donut girl turned such an alarming shade of red that Blair could've sworn she was about to catch fire. Blair made up a mental note to discuss that with Jim. If he kept up the nice attitude, people were bound to talk.


Jim let a slow smile spread on his face. Home. Blair. Life was good.

He hadn't done anything specifically important or trying today - mostly questioning witnesses and catching up on paper work. Still, he doubted that Blair would go on delivering 'treats' just for being a good little Sentinel.

As if Blair had read his mind, strong arms wrapped around him from behind and Blair husked in his ear, "I've been good, do I get a treat?"

Jim answered that by turning and kissing Blair slowly, hotly, as best as he could, because Blair was good, and he did deserve it, deserved anything Jim could give him and more.

They spent a few minutes that way, kissing lazily, before Blair had shoved Jim away, laughing. "That's enough for now. Get dinner ready, willya? I've got to get a shower."

Jim, still slightly stunned, complied. When Blair came out of the shower, hair damp and smelling of steam and chamomile, Jim had already warmed up some pasta from last night and so was free to go over to Blair and bury his nose in those warm, moist curls.

Blair flung his arms enthusiasticaly around Jim's waist, and they clung to each other for another minute before getting on with dinner.

Dinner was almost weirdly normal, with Blair's hands waving every which way as he told some strange, no doubt made up story about the eating habits of some tribes in some place that had too many z's in its name for Jim to remember.

Eventually, dinner was done and for the first time since the night before, Jim found himself hesitating. What now? It wouldn't be a good idea to fling Blair over his shoulder and carry him to the bed, would it?

Appearantly, he had no need to worry, because as soon as Blair put his dishes in the sink (Blair putting his dishes without being told? What a marvelous world we live in), he gave Jim a big, sloppy kiss and practically ran upstairs.

"You coming?" he asked.

"I should hope so," Jim replied, and recieved the predictable disgusted scowl from Blair, who said, "Man, you make stupid puns like this, and this is gonna be over before it started."

No, Jim thought happily. This, this weird and wonderful thing between them will have plenty of time to start before it's over.