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The loft was quiet. Not the comfortable quiet that signaled the welcome end of a long week, or the warm quiet of home and sanctuary.

Jim sat in the dark, throwing aside the blankets restlessly, putting his feet on the floor but not getting up. He dropped his head to his hands.

It was the quiet that warned of a storm to come.

Blair set aside his books. He wasn't able to concentrate anyhow. Hadn't really been able to for days.

Jim had gone to bed hours ago. He stood, stretching his small frame, sighing with the pleasure of popping joints. He'd been curled up in the same position since dinner, trying to force information into a brain that was preoccupied with other things. Specifically with the body of the man sleeping above him.

With a sigh he slumped back down on the couch, tentatively approaching the thoughts he'd been pushing back all week.

Is it time, then? he asked himself. Do it now, or wait a few more days?

The last time had been bad. They'd let the pressure grow too strong. His mind shied away from thinking about it.

I don't want to go through that again. that thought was very clear.

Pushing himself up, deliberately not thinking about what he was doing or the welcome he might receive, Blair went into his room and opened his bottom dresser drawer, nervously pulling out the small brown paper sack he'd stuffed there the night he'd brought it home.

That was the night before he almost ran Stacy down. He'd woken from an erotic dream, drenched in sweat, unreasonably glad Jim was off on a stakeout - because if he hadn't been Blair would have thrown himself at him like a working girl.

It had made him so uncomfortable that he'd gone for a long middle-of-the-night walk. The kind of walk Jim frowned upon.

Passing the all-night drugstore he'd gone in and bought what they needed. Because he'd known then that this time was coming.

That was the night he finally accepted it.


Jim stiffened at the first step on the stairs. He reached out, found Blair's heartbeat, racing, his breathing too fast. The second footstep was so long in coming that he began to think he was hallucinating. The barely-audible whisper added to the sensation.

"It's been a couple of weeks, Jim. It's getting stronger. I'm afraid to let it go any longer." that fear was hard to admit, but letting this go would be harder.

Jim stood and walked to the head of the stairs, looked down. In the faint moonlight he saw his friend clearly, one hand on the wall, the other clutching a bag, staring up into the darkness.

His eyes were wide and frightened.

"Come on up, Chief." he answered quietly. "This is as good a night as any."

It was all the welcome he could offer. He turned and went back to the bed, stripping out of his boxers and lying under the covers, propped against the headboard.

Blair came up quickly, determined.

"hey." he said. The light was a little better here, he could make out Jim's form and the serious expression on is face.

"Hey." Jim responded. "Come on in."

With a deep sigh Blair laid the bag on the nightstand and took his clothes off. There was no seduction, no anticipation to the movement, just practicality.

He lay on the bed, on his back, tense.

Jim watched him undress, feeling his response growing. When Blair lay down he reached over and laid his hand on his stomach, spreading it wide, fingers feeling the quivering there.

"I'm not going to hurt you again." he whispered.

"I know." Blair's voice was tight with tension. "I just - just -"

"Don't really want to do this."

"Not in my head, I don't. But that doesn't seem to be in charge now." Blair sighed.

"Same here." Jim sighed, a lost sound. "So how bad is it for you?" Jim began to move his index finger back and forth, gentle stroking caress.

Blair sighed and relaxed minutely. His heart was calming.

"Well, I didn't really want to go to a movie day before yesterday."

"You needed to be away from me."


Jim expanded the caress, now his whole hand was rubbing small circles on Blair's torso. He brushed over a nipple and Blair groaned softly.

"Why do you think I agreed to go cover on that stakeout when you came home?"

Jim rolled to his side and leaned closer to Blair, stroking hand closing on his side.

Blair closed his eyes.

"Blair. I want you to know that I'm never going to forgive myself for what I did to you. For the rest of my life I'll carry that with me."

"It's okay." Blair said, and he sounded like he meant it. "I wanted it too. That was obvious. I just didn't want to admit it."

"No." Jim sounded very sad. "I can never put it right. Don't ever forgive me, Blair. I don't want to forgive myself."

Blair took in his words and didn't answer.

Jim's hand gently stroked his flank. He leaned so that their faces were only an inch apart.

"It won't be like that this time." he whispered it like a promise.

Blair opened his eyes.

They stared at each other for long minutes.

Than Blair groaned and opened his mouth, reaching for Jim with both arms.

"oh god. Jim." he groaned as he closed his mouth over the larger man's and pulled him down on top of him.

Jim was trying to keep his weight off the smaller man, but the kiss distracted him. The taste of Blair's mouth...indescribable, hot and sweet and so uniquely Blair. He plundered it greedily. Blair opened to him, holding him close and making small hungry noises as Jim tried to sink into him, losing himself in that flavor...

"Jim. Jim."

The quiet insistence of Blair's voice brought Jim back from the edge he'd been walking. He pulled back, gasping for air, as Blair stared up at him.

"I'm sorry." Jim said it slowly. "I've never done that in bed before."

"It's okay to do it here." Blair was reassuring. "I'll watch out for you."

"I don't want to - " Jim cut off his sentence and grabbed Blair around the waist, rolling so the smaller man was on top, his legs outside Jim's. The movement brought their cocks into contact and they both groaned.

Blair grabbed Jim's shoulders and began rubbing against him, diving in for another kiss, this one as deep as the first, broken for air.

"Oh, oh." Jim panted, moving with him. "God, this is good, Blair. You feel so good." he grabbed Blair's ass and squeezed the cheeks gently, massaging, pulling him closer.

Blair felt the wave begin in his body and stopped abruptly, panting, fingers digging into Jim's shoulders until he stopped as well.

"Too - too close." he gasped.

"Maybe that's good." Jim said, even as his body protested. "Get it over with."

Blair shook his head, staring into his eyes, trying so hard to see him, to read them.

"It wouldn't be enough. You know that."

With a nod Jim agreed that they both wanted something more. It might be reluctantly, but they wanted it.

Blair sat up on his knees, reaching to the table. Beneath him Jim turned over, tension invading his body, making him clumsy.

Blair moved off of him and lay beside him. Jim heard the sound of tearing foil and winced.

"I said I was going to take care of that."

Blair's hands pushed at him.

"I already did." he said, pushing harder. "On your side, big guy. This will be easier that way."

Jim turned reluctantly, crossing his arms on his chest protectively. He knew it was stupid, but it was what he wanted to do.

Blair's arms came around him from behind and his hands caught Jim's, easing them apart, fingers lacing between his. Blair's breath was warm on his neck, then across his ear as he spoke.

"There's no hurry, Jim. We're gonna take this slow and easy."

"I didn't take it slow for you." Jim hissed. Hurt me. Punish me. he thought vengefully.

"That wasn't all your fault. We were fighting biology."

Blair soothed with his words, his body pressed to Jim's back. Jim felt his erection like it was being branded into his skin.

"ahhhh." he sighed a soft moan. "How can you stand to be around me after what I did?"

Blair licked his ear, briefly sucking on the earlobe before speaking, his breath suddenly cool on the wet skin. Jim shivered.

"Because you're my friend. You're my Sentinel. I can forgive you anything."

His words made Jim heave a deep sigh and relax, tension draining out of him.

"Blair. Make love to me." he sighed.

"I will." Blair kissed his neck.

They didn't move for a long time. A new tension was growing in their bodies but they held off as long as they could, trying to store up the sudden feeling of peace that had grown between them. It wasn't something either of them had expected, this sense of rightness.

Finally Blair moved, unable to hold off any longer. He pressed himself to Jim, undulating against him, taking his hands away to do something. Jim wondered, missed those hands, but then felt the cold slickness of lubricant being stroked between his ass cheeks and stiffened.

Blair put his other arm around him and hesitantly touched his throbbing cock.

"Show me what you like."

Jim put his hand over Blair's and closed his friend's fingers over his cock, and began stroking it with both their hands. He was all too aware of the fingers stroking and exploring his ass, but didn't respond until the first press into him.

"Uhn." he stopped their hands and grunted.

"Slow and easy, big guy. I promise." Blair began stroking him again. When Jim's hand moved with his he began to move the finger.

What a difference lubrication made. Jim thought when Blair added a second finger. It didn't hurt at all. It felt strange, definitely, but there was no pain.

A wave of shame rose in him, bringing tears to his eyes. It could have been like this for Blair. He could have given this gentleness to his friend.

His hand faltered and Blair tightened his grip on him.

"Don't think about it." he finger-fucked Jim in time with their stroking hands. "I'll give you a chance to make it up to me."

The mental image that conjured brought another, deeper groan from Jim. Blair pulled out his fingers, wiping them on the underside of his pillow, and positioned himself.

"Ready?" he buried his face at the joint of Jim's neck and shoulder, panting slightly with the effort of holding back.

"I'm ready, Chief. Oh, god, I'm ready." Jim could barely get the words out as his arousal level suddenly skyrocketed. "Did you feel that?" he gasped.

"Uh-huh." Blair sounded distracted. Jim felt the pressure, knew the source, held himself very still as Blair began to sink into him. "Stop me of it hurts." Blair panted.

"No, it's okay...feels...feels weird, Chief - too full...have to -"

"I know." Blair panted, stopping about halfway in to catch his breath. His hand clutched at Jim's hip spastically. "I know."

He was still so long that Jim felt the need to move become overwhelming. Without thinking about it he shoved his ass backwards, taking more of Blair within him swiftly. Blair shouted and bit down on his shoulder, hand digging into Jim's hip.

"Jim! Aghh!" he twisted, trying to resist the urge to thrust. "What are you doing?!"

"I want you, Chief. Want you inside me..." Jim panted, feeling the first wave of pain. "Come on, do it!"

"I won't - won't hurt you -!" Blair was gasping, hyperventilating. Jim thought he might pass out. "Just a couple more minutes..." he gained control of himself and begin to move again, still slowly, carefully. "there..."

He was all the way in, his pelvis pressed close to Jim's ass, one arm wrapped around him, the other hand clinging to his hip.

Jim curled further in on himself and Blair followed, wrapping his body around the larger man's.

The knowledge of their connection struck them both and they panted for several minutes, exploring it.

"Blair...please." Jim moaned at last. "Don't just lie there."

"I never 'just lie there'." there was a hint of laughter in Blair's voice. And he began to move, slowly thrusting all the way in and out, hips setting a steady rythym.

Jim's hand came back and took his, put it on his cock, his larger hand covering it like before. Blair squeezed and began stroking.

"Ah. Ah. Ahhh." Jim grunted with each slow thrust, began pushing his ass back to meet them. "Harder, Blair. Do it harder."

Encouraged by Jim's words Blair increased the pace, began pumping faster, harder, but still not hard.

"More." Jim groaned, his hand moving Blair's faster.

"Want to make this last." Blair panted into his skin. "Want to remember it."

"We'll never forget." Jim groaned again. Soon he was groaning regularly, at each thrust and withdrawal. "Oh, Blair. Why does this feel so good? This shouldn't feel so good."

"It feels great, Jim." Blair whispered. "I'm fucking you and it feels great. Like it's meant to be."

"Oh, yeah. Yeah. Just like that, baby." Jim released his cock and grabbed a handful of the sheet. Blair kept pumping him from both directions. "I love your hands -!" Jim gasped.

Blair felt the sudden swelling in Jim's dick and knew he was close. He pulled himself all the way out and slammed back in as hard as he could in this position, not worried about hurting him, wanting to feel Jim come in his arms, wanting to hear him...

"Jim - Jim, let go. Give yourself to me." he panted between thrusts, pounding him again. Jim lay his head back on Blair's shoulder, Blair's hair getting into his mouth as he opened it wide and howled, hot semen pouring over Blair's hand.

Blair shouted after him. Jim's ass clenched his dick so hard he thought he would come forever.

And then it was over.

They lay unmoving, their bodies sated, minds too stunned to string words together.

Jim stirred at last. Pulling free of Blair, he turned over and gently removed the condom, dropping it in the wastebasket beside the bed.

They lay facing each other, not touching.

Blair sighed.

"I guess I better go back to my bed."

He sat and began to get up. Jim's hand on his arm stopped him.


Blair looked back at him.

"Why?" wanting an honest answer.

"Because it would feel right." Jim shrugged. "I don't want to hold you or anything romantic. I just want to know you're here, beside me."

Blair considered it.


He lay back down. Jim rolled back to his side of the bed.

They settled into the quiet, soft and comfortable now. Jim was almost asleep when he heard Blair make a small sound of disgust.

"What?" he rolled over and looked at him, seeing him clearly.

With his hair tousled around his face like that and his eyes half-closed, sleepy, Blair looked very desirable. Very pretty.

Sometimes he looks like a girl Jim thought, and the thought surprised him. He'd never seen it before, but Blair really was very pretty.

"So how come I get the wet spot?" there was a touch of humor in Blair's sleepy voice and Jim smiled softly.

"Come over here where it's dry." he offered.

After a few seconds Blair did, turning onto his other side and letting Jim spoon up behind him, arms wrapped around him. This way they took up less than half the bed.

"Is this too romantic?" Blair whispered into the dark.

"Let's just consider it part of the package." Jim answered.

He kissed Blair's neck, tasting the sweat and herbal soap and special flavor that was only Blair.

"I can live with that." Blair said, thinking this feels really nice. I feel very - safe? - here.

He decided not to analyze it. Wait for the cruel light of day.

They were drifting off when another thought occurred to Blair. He had to say something about it. "Jim?"

"Hmmm." Jim was so close to sleep.

"How long do you think it will be?"

"Huh?" Jim opened his eyes and leaned over Blair's shoulder, looking into his wide eyes.

"Until we have to do this again."

"We went two weeks this time." Jim said quietly. "May be it will be longer."

"I wish we could predict it." Blair sighed and closed his eyes.

"I don't think anything about this is predictable." Jim replied.

Then he lay back down and closed his eyes.

Blair was warm and firm in his arms. Not at all like holding a woman. But he felt good, for all of that.

Like he belonged.

Even thinking that made Jim tense. So he pushed the thought away and concentrated on Blair's breathing, the steady soft beat of his heart, and let those familiar sounds sooth him to sleep.

~~ end ~~