The Morning After
Summary: Where is Blair? And what will Jim do about him leaving?
Warnings: Language, angst
Word Count: 2438
Sequel to Callie’s Brownies.
A/N: There is a recipe at the end.
The Morning After
Jim finally fell asleep at 4:00 am. Jim knew it was going to be a long day.
Blair hurried into his room and got his clothing for the day and his backpack. He rushed out of the house as quietly as he could. There was nothing to say about this. Blair was hoping that he could move while Jim was at work that afternoon. This is a fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into.
When Blair arrived at the University, he went into his office and changed his clothing. Not worrying about a shower. As far as Blair was concerned he didn’t deserve a shower.
Then Blair sat down at his desk and called his friend Callie, to see what in the hell had happened. He heard the phone ringing and wondered if she was ever going to answer. Finally he heard her say, “Good morning, Blair. I’m so sorry about last night. Did Jim tell you about the mix-up?”
“No, I haven’t talked to Jim and I’m going to move while he’s at work today. I know he’s working on an important case and I can get everything out while he’s there at the station. I can’t believe I said and did the things I did last night. Those brownies were dangerous. God, where am I going to go now?”
“Blair wait until I get there to talk to you. In fact, why are you there? You don’t have any classes today.”
“I couldn’t stay there, Jim could get very angry when he woke up. Believe me, I’ve seen his temper.”
“Blair, I’ll be there in no time at all. Wait for me. Okay?”
“May as well, I have nowhere to go. I have to leave my home that I’ve been in for four years. For crying out loud I even changed my subject matter for my thesis. You know?”
“Blair, what are you talking about? I thought you did it on Closed Societies.”
“I did. I handed it in and should hear in a day or two to see how that went. Doesn’t matter now.”
“I’m hanging up, Blair. I’ll be there soon.”
“Jim, this is Callie-from last night with the brownies. Well, Blair is going to move out today while you’re at work. I thought maybe you wanted to know.”
“What do mean he’s moving?” Jim turned up his senses and realized he was alone in the loft. “Oh shit. He’s at the university?”
“Yes, and he’s panicking about you kicking him out and wants to beat you to the punch. I’m so sorry about all this, but you mentioned you had a thing for him. I just thought you should know.”
“He doesn’t have classes today, what is he doing?”
“Having a nervous breakdown. He said you were working on an important case, so it was safe to come home once you were gone.”
“I’ll take care of it, Callie. I’ll go to his office.”
“You wouldn’t hurt him, right?”
“Never. I promise I’ll take care of everything. I’ve got to make something nice for dinner tonight to knock his socks off with. It’s got to be as good as the Spaghetti Pie. Any ideas? Something new?”
“I’ll keep him busy and keep him at the office so you can cook. He’ll come home for lunch. Hide your truck so he doesn’t see it and he’ll be shocked when he gets there. I’ll stop by on the way to the university with a recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls. I made it at work one day and he ate three of them. You’re safe with that.”
“Thank you, Callie. Keep him there long enough for me to run to the store and make everything for lunch. When he gets here he’ll be surprised to say the least. I’ll park next door. He won’t even notice if he’s really having a nervous breakdown.”
“I’ll be there in a minute. I’ll meet you downstairs so you can leave and go right to the store.”
“Okay… See you soon.” Jim realized he would have to take a shower when he got home. He brushed his hair, then his teeth, relived himself and got dressed. He just made it downstairs in time to see Callie drive up.
She handed him the recipe and said, “We’ll be here to pick up his things at noon. I won’t let him eat. Have fun, Jim. The recipe is fairly simple. And delicious.”
“Thanks again, Callie.” Jim got into his truck and took off for the store.
“Thank you, Callie. Didn’t he think it was weird that you were calling him?”
“Not really, since I had to apologize to him again for doing what I did. He just mentioned it in passing.”
“You didn’t say anything about me moving did you?” Blair was pacing again. And that was hard to do in his small office.
“No, I knew better than to say anything. Not to worry Blair. Where are you going to move to?”
“I have no fucking clue, Callie.”
“I told my husband what happened and he said you could stay with us for a while if you’d like to.”
“Really? That’s so nice of Rob. I’ve got to write a big long letter to Jim to try and explain what happened.”
“If he can’t take it, that’s his problem. It wasn’t like you were hitting on him, were you?” She had asked knowing the answer.
“Yes, I did. I embarrassed both of us. There is nothing to do but move. It’s the best thing. Jim can handle his senses all by himself for a while.”
“Oh, nothing. I’m just talking to hear myself talk. And the next time you make brownies be sure I don’t get the weed ones.”
“I’ve got a few things to do in my office. I’ll see you here at 11:45. We’ll get to the loft and get everything moved before he gets home. Sound good?”
“Oh, Jesus. I can’t believe I did this. I’m going to miss him so much. I’m so fucking in love with him, it’s not even funny.”
“Write your letter, I’ll be in my office. See you soon, Blair.”
She walked out of his office almost laughing. Although, he looked heartbroken and that wasn’t funny. But she knew Jim would mend that broken heart in a jiffy.
“Hi, Jim. It’s Callie. How is lunch coming?”
“It’s done, I just have to bake it for 60-90 minutes or so. You’re still bringing him, right?”
“Yes, we’re leaving here at 11:45. So put it in now. Then it’ll be done and the house will smell wonderful. This had better work, Jim.”
“It will. Now go and get him soon. Come sooner than noon. Bring him at 11:00 or 11:30.”
“Will do. I’ll go and see how he’s doing with his 20 page letter to you.”
“He was going to leave me a fucking letter after four years?”
“He thinks his heart is broken…”
“Just hurry up. I’m ready for his quick exit when he sees me.”
“Yeah, let’s go now.”
“I’ll drive my car and follow you and then we’ll fill both cars up and move you over to my house.”
“Jesus, I feel like I’m going to burst into tears or something. What is wrong with me?” Blair wondered.
“I promise you, things will get better.”
“Callie, I don’t deserve them to be better.”
Callie’s heart almost broke in two when she saw the look on Blair’s face. Thank God, Jim would take care of this.
He always has to do things the hard way.
Callie and Blair opened the door and Blair whispered, Someone is in here and they’re cooking. Jim reached over and grabbed Blair before he could run.
“Oh shit… Jim, I can explain.”
“See Callie made brownies for her neighbor, that has cancer and I ate three of them and they were really strong. It made me say and do things I would never have done before.”
“You said you were in love with me. You’re not?”
Blair didn’t know what to say to that. Jim still had a hold of him and he wanted desperately to get away and hide. But he knew he had to stay.
“I know you’re not going to like it, but I am in love with you. I hope it won’t change things, but if it does, I understand.”
“Well, it does change things, Chief.”
“I’ll get everything out of my room right now. I’m really sorry Jim. You can let go of me now. I’m not going to run. I just need to get my things.”
“I was making lunch for us. You didn’t even notice,” Jim said, looking as hurt as he could.
“It smells like cabbage rolls, is it? I love cabbage rolls.”
“I know, Callie told me. She gave me the recipe.”
“Wait a minute. When did she give you the recipe?”
“Blair, is this what you really want to discuss right now?”
“No… Callie, I’ll pack everything from my room into my car and meet you at your house. It doesn’t look like Jim’s going to beat me up or anything.”
Callie looked at Jim and winked. Then she said, “See you later, Jim. Talk soon, Blair.”
As soon as she was out of the loft, Jim moved over to Blair and Blair looked like he thought Jim was going to hit him.
“Jesus Christ, Blair. You really believe I would punch you because you’re in love with me?”
“I made lunch for us so we could talk. About last night. What the hell were you thinking when you said, I’m going to move?”
“You’d let me stay?” Blair looked so pitiful.
Jim chewed his lip to keep from smiling. “Well actually, you do have to move out of your room.”
“Okay. I’ll start packing right now.”
“Blair, I want you to move upstairs with me.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Why don’t we eat some lunch and talk while we’re eating. The next time you tell me you love me, you had better not be high. I want the real thing and I’d like to hear it now.”
“I do love you, Jim. I’m an idiot. I was so worried about you hitting me or making me move that it never entered my mind that you might love me.”
“I do love you, Chief. Come here,” Jim said as he pulled Blair into his arms. They kissed very gently and it was something new-ish to both of them, but nice at the same time. Jim hadn’t been with a guy in ten years, he was a little nervous. Blair picked up on it.
“Everything will be fine, Jim. Let’s have our meal and then we’ll move my things upstairs.”
“Sounds like plan. Sit down, lunch is served…”
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. (I swear by this one. It’s so good.)
For the tomato sauce
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic minced
• 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes do not drain
• 15 ounce can tomato sauce
• salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
For the cabbage rolls
• 1 pound ground beef I use 85% lean
• 1 cup cooked rice
• 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon garlic minced
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves chopped, divided use
• 1 egg
• 1 head cabbage
• cooking spray
1. For the tomato sauce: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt and pepper to the pot.
3. Stir in the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
4. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. While the sauce is simmering, assemble the cabbage rolls. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
6. Immerse the cabbage head in the boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until cabbage leaves are pliable. Peel 12 large leaves off the cabbage.
7. Place the ground beef, rice, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of parsley and egg in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce to the bowl. Stir to combine.
8. Lay each cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Use a small knife to cut a V-shaped notch to remove the thick part of the cabbage rib.
9. Shape 1/3 of a cup of the meat mixture into a log shape and place in the center of a cabbage leaf. Roll the cabbage leaf around the meat mixture. Repeat with remaining meat and cabbage leaves.
10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
11. Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray. Place 1/2 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the dish. Top with remaining sauce.
12. Cover with foil. Bake for 60-90 minutes or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked through.
13. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, then serve.