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Other Kinds of Things

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Other Kinds of Things

By Helen

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The truck was very dark, the kind of perfect grey darkness that comes at two in the morning and makes you believe it will never be light again. There was no moon. They'd been doing this for three nights now, and their sleeping patterns had adjusted. It was a strange thing, to be so wide awake, so late. It made you feel powerful, Blair decided--as if you had fought the gods of sleep and won. He was just opening his mouth to try this theory out on Jim, when Jim said,

"uh, Sandburg?"

"yeah?" he said. Jim had been unusually talkative during this stakeout. He had begun a lot of conversations that rapidly went nowhere, but that tended to be the nature of stakeout conversation, something about the darkness, maybe, it made pauses in conversations thick and impenetrable.

"There's something I," Jim stopped, and then soldiered on, his harsh tone at odds with his words "need to tell you."

"okay." Blair said,

"um," Jim said. Blair thought [oh shit, he's sick, he needs a kidney, oh christ]. This silence grew so long that Blair wondered if he ought to say something, but just as he was searching for the correct encouraging thing to say, Jim blurted out,

"I have this thing for you."

"what?" Blair said.

"I have, I have a thing for you," Jim repeated.

"You mean, like, a, a thing?" Blair asked.

"yeah." Jim said, resolutely.

"all right," Blair said. Jim was staring straight ahead, but he couldn't see the expression on his face in the darkness. He took a breath to say something, but Jim cut him off.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"you don't," Blair repeated stupidly. "Then, why are you telling me?"

"I had a dream," Jim said, shortly. "It was one of those."

"But don't you think,"

"Look. I had the dream, I told you, that's all. Forget it, it's not a big deal."

"what?" Blair would have said, but the men they were staking out came conveniently out of the building and climbed into a car, which pulled away at about fifty miles an hour and Jim jammed the cell phone into his hand and said,

"Call Simon."

And what with the hot pursuit and Jim getting a black eye trying to subdue the criminals and Simon saying good work and clapping him on the back so hard it basically realigned his spine, Blair didn't even get to think about the conversation until the next day. 'A thing for him' Jim had said.

"I have a thing for you," Blair said to himself, trying out the words. [You'd think he'd try to be more specific,] he thought. A sexual thing? Were there other kinds of things?

Perhaps it was just some male bonding moment and he'd misinterpreted. He hadn't had all that many traditional male bonding moments, after all. And Jim was very establishment. It was quite possible that he didn't feel comfortable expressing his completely platonic feelings except in a truck in the middle of the night and then he could never talk about them again. Which didn't make a whole lot of sense, but did make at least as much sense as Jim lusting after him in his secret heart. And there was, of course, the added evidence that Jim had been acting the same as he always did. Although, on the other hand, Blair wasn't exactly sure what Jim in a lust induced frenzy for his best friend looked like. Maybe it looked just like regular Jim. Regular beer-after-work, Sandburg's-turn-to-cook, do-you-think-you-could-stop-leaving-the-lights-on-and-wasting-the-electricity Jim Ellison. [Sure thing, Blair] he told himself. [Sure thing.] The voice in his head sounded a lot like Jim's.

He sighed and poked despondently at the pile of papers on his desk and thought that he should have questioned Jim more closely at the time. It would have been natural, he could have just said,

"a sexual thing?" but now it was too late and he couldn't just burst out with it.

It occurred to him that Jim had been able to hear the men before they exited the building and that his confession was a clever bit of timing. Damn. And now Jim had specifically asked him not to talk about it--which had never stopped him before, really, but this was tricky. Because it wasn't precisely Sentinel stuff, in spite of the dream. And no matter what Jim thought, Blair really did try not to talk about the things that Jim didn't want to talk about, because they were friends, and because Blair did actually understand about not talking. [Patience. Understanding. I’ll draw him out,] he told himself. [Fortitude. That’s me all over.]

[I shouldn't have told him,] Jim thought, watching Blair busily chop vegetables. Blair was unquestionably jumpy around him. Or, no, not jumpy. Just curious and trying desperately not to be. Sandburg, in fact, looked as if he might pop from being so understanding, so non-pestering. This was Blair in his giving-Jim-space mode and it was irritating, but it was a great deal better than letting him rummage around in his head. He sighed and shifted in embarrassment at the thought of having to recount the dream in detail to a helpful Sandburg. It wasn't a comfortable dream, for all it was sometimes enjoyable.

He hadn't wanted to bring it up at all, but the thought of it being important, of Blair turning to him at some later date and saying: "Why didn't you just tell me?" or, God forbid, getting hurt because of it, was worse. He'd learned his lesson. He'd spent some time initially trying to convince himself that it was simply a regular dream, but he'd known that wasn't true. In Sentinel dreams, his depth perception skewed and twisted. Everything was deeper, like a two-dimensional drawing gone unexpectedly 3-D, all bathed in the harsh bluish light that made it obvious, even when he didn't dream of jungles, of panthers. There were no jungles or panthers in this dream. Only Sandburg.

In any case, it was only fair to tell him, and Jim was a man who believed in fairness, in a level playing field. He had had to say it. If he was going to go nuts again, then he owed it to Sandburg to tell him in advance. But that didn't mean he wanted it analyzed. He couldn't stand the man's brutal enthusiasm over this one, and he wouldn't. He'd given fair warning.

The warning had cost him. Before, he'd been able to put the dreams away during the day. He had a lot of practice with secrets, and he was used to having certain pieces of himself that he knew he could never talk about. He knew the Sentinel thing was sometimes hard for Blair-he sometimes had a look on his face like he'd like to scream it from the rooftops, but Jim had places to keep the panther, and everything else, where they'd never surface unless he let them. He'd kept the dreams there, too, but opening his mouth that night in the truck had changed things. It had made them real. Now it wasn't only that he dreamt about being hot and horny for Sandburg, he really was.

He'd tried to ignore the dreams and he'd actually spent a sheepish hour in a bookstore furtively flipping through dream interpretation books. [The New Age section for Chrissake.] Dreams about sex, he learned, weren't always about sex—they could be about friendship or gardening. Or was it dreams about gardening that were really about sex? It might mean nothing. But he'd only been putting off the inevitable. He'd always planned to tell Blair, and he took a certain grim pride in knowing that he hadn't waited until it was too late. But now Blair smelled good and even Jim couldn't manage to convince himself that the time he spend thinking about the way Blair's mouth looked had anything to do with friendship.

And the dreams, of course, got worse--or maybe not worse. They started to mimic reality in startling and uncomfortable ways. In the dream, Blair would slide up his body and shake the hair out of his eyes and tell him how much he wanted him, and the next day, there at his desk, Blair would lean back and shake the hair out of his eyes and tell Jim how much he'd like a tuna sandwich. Or, to be more accurate, he'd say,

"Jim, hey, hello?" And Jim would say,

"yeah, what?" grasping internally for one of the reasons he'd come up with that he couldn't have Blair, he couldn't fuck Blair, he couldn't even put his hands on Blair's knees and slide them up towards his thighs while Blair's legs spread and his back arched and

"are you dialing down your hearing on me?" Blair demanded. "because that's not cool."

"No," Jim said.

Blair hated to be ignored; it wasn't a character trait he was particularly proud of, but he'd learned long ago that no amount of meditation could change it. He sometimes wondered if he'd gone into anthropology in the first place because it made a science of not ignoring people--because it posited a world in which paying attention to a few people's stone pot collection or fear of birds or ability to hear a person talking six floor away was somehow important. He had tried explaining this to Jim, who had looked blankly at him and said,

"hm what?" and kept on eating his breakfast. Which made it fairly official: Jim was ignoring him. Blair hadn't realized how often he got the full earnest precision of Jim's attention turned on him, eyes fixed on his, asking,

"Whatcha got, Sandburg?" but he missed it now that it was gone. Jim was frequently distracted, and Blair saw that he had begun to bestow a peculiar absorption on mundane tasks, as if it suddenly required a great deal of concentration to do a load of laundry or slice mushrooms. And it didn't matter how much Jim claimed he wasn't dialing down, he obviously was because he'd nearly jumped out of his skin when Blair had clapped him on the back in greeting the other day at the station.

"I told you you were dialing down," Blair had said.

"No I'm not, I was just concentrating," Jim said, eyes shifting a little from his.

"I can tell when you're lying, you know," Blair said, although he couldn't.

"Can we talk about this case?" Jim had asked. He'd sat back down and shoved the folder across to Blair.

And speaking of weird, Jim had started running, just appearing one Saturday morning wearing running clothes, dark stains around the collar and armpits of his t-shirt. He was flushed, still breathing a little heavily.

"Where've you been?" Blair asked, looking up from his book.


"Jim. you hate to run."

"I don't hate to run."

"Look, I remember this conversation very clearly, you said you hated to run, you found it boring, and you got enough of it in the military to last you the rest of your life."

"Maybe I've revised."

"You don't revise."

"Would you stop telling me what I don't do?" Jim pulled at the neck of his t-shirt.

"Sorry. You've started to run. Good. Aerobic exercise."

"I'm not doing aerobics."

"Hey, no one said you were."

"I'm taking a shower," Jim said abruptly, and walked away.

And this was no isolated incident, Jim really had revised or something, because he started running every day. There was no set schedule to his running; he'd just disappear for an hour and then head silently for the shower on his return. He seemed not to notice rainy days, appearing in sodden clothes, water dripping from his hair and jaw. Blair hadn't known that you could just suddenly start running seven or eight miles at once, but, apparently it was possible. At first he'd thought that Jim took a break in the middle, but he and Jim were down on the pier one day, checking out a lead and, incidentally, picking up hot dogs for lunch, when the vendor looked up and said,

"Hey, you're the running guy." Jim nodded curtly and dug in his pockets for quarters, but the vendor seemed inclined to talk.

"I see you out here all the time--you training for a marathon or something?"

"No," Jim said, "just, running."

"Well, maybe you should, because you are some fast," the vendor said, smiling. "You wouldn't think a big guy like that would be fast," he said to Blair, "but he is."

The pier was easily four miles from the loft. To be exact, it was 4.87 miles, which Blair knew because the next day he clocked it in his car.

He didn't talk about it with Jim, and he wasn't sure why.

[This was supposed to work,] Jim thought, hopping restlessly at a curb, waiting for the light to change. People were unreliable and he'd never really been the brainy type, and obviously, he couldn't rely on his senses, but he'd always gotten along with his body. It did what he told it to with a minimum of complaint, except for the occasional request for fries. It was the best relationship he'd ever had. The light changed. He pushed off the curb and calculated that he had only three more miles to go. This wasn't much of a comfort, in spite of the fact that his shirt was wet with sweat and chafing at his arms.

He remembered one time, long before this, at the end of a basketball game, Blair saying jokingly,

"oh, now you're gonna do a thousand push-ups or something," but it wasn't so long ago that he could do a thousand push-ups, like that, like it was nothing. He was used to having his body obey him, to be able to rely on it, and now it was betraying him. He wasn't a natural runner--not one of those lean whippy types he saw trotting happily along the boardwalk. Every mile was a strain for him and he was actually up to seven hundred and fifty pushups, in sets of fifty, but it didn't matter. No matter how he pushed himself, made himself go mile after mile until he was so tired at night that it hurt to climb the stairs to his bed, the dream still came, teasing him, torturing him, Blair hot and demanding, touching Jim, touching himself, or he'd just see Blair, down the hall, waving a casual hello to the receptionist, and his whole body would seize up with want and longing. He had started to wonder if he would make it, if he wouldn't one night just reach across the dinner table for the rolls and end up taking Blair instead.

But no, just no, he wouldn't do it, not on the say-so of his body and not on the say-so of his fucking spirit guide and then there was the fact that Blair wasn't remotely interested. It would have been one thing if, that night in the truck, he'd thrown himself into Jim's arms or whatever, but he'd just sat there with nothing to say.

Jim rarely allowed himself the luxury of fantasizing about the possibilities of that night in the truck. He hadn't been hoping for anything; he was just keeping implicated parties informed. In darker moments, hunched tensely in his bedroom in the morning, willing his erection away, listening to Blair humming tunelessly as he made breakfast, he felt more relief than disappointment. Blair hadn't, at least, laughed or said thinly, politely, "yeah, no thanks, Jim."

Finally, there was the fact that if he showed up in Sandburg's bedroom and announced that the panther wanted them to fuck, well, Sandburg would probably do it. He'd very likely consider it part of the Guide package deal. And picturing this, Sandburg leaning over him, taking mental notes, some more primitive throwback evidence, made him burn with shame. Blair tended to take an intellectual interest in minutiae, in esoterica. He found the improbable interesting. [And there's not a whole lot that's more improbable than Jim Ellison having a hankering for hot dirty sex with Blair Sandburg.], Jim thought.

Blair would love it, it would become the shining centerpiece in his curio cabinet of a brain, and he'd let Jim touch him to his heart's content, as long as he got to poke and prod his way through the why of it all. Jim was ashamed of how much he considered asking for it, usually in the long seconds before he managed to come, beating off upstairs whenever Blair wasn't home, and sometimes when he was.

But, again, no, he realized that when he came back to himself, suddenly chilled by the sheen of sweat across his shoulders and the back of his neck. He couldn't stand for Blair to do it for simple curiosity's sake, the thought was a fat raw blister right beneath his solar plexus and it was cold reminder whenever he forgot himself enough to think, [I wonder what he'd do if I just kissed him, just a kiss.]

"Damn it," Blair swore quietly.

"What's wrong?" Jim asked, looking up from the paper.

"I'm trying to sew the buttons on this stupid shirt and I can't get the needle threaded and I keep punching holes in myself." He looked over at the stove, "And the rice is boiling over." He dropped the shirt and walked quickly into the kitchen.

"Shit, Sandburg, you're burning the chicken," Jim said, coming off the couch.

"It's fine." Blair poked at it with a chopstick.

"Yeah, well, you're pulverizing the vegetables."

"Like you're gonna eat any of them."

"Here, just, let me watch them," Jim said, giving up on the paper.

"You aren't gonna be claiming you cooked last night tomorrow or anything?"

"No. Just sew your button."

"Fuck," Blair said a minute later, squinting malevolently at the needle.

"How could you get to be thirty without being able to thread a needle?"

"I can thread a needle. I just, usually, you know, someone else offers to do it."

"You mean you con some woman you're dating into it."

"ha hA," Blair said, "There, see?" he held up the threaded needle. " And I do not con. I ask politely. Sometimes I wheedle."

"You whine."

"I do not whine."

"You know, Chief, getting the women you date to do your sewing doesn't exactly fit in with the sensitive feminist guy thing you have going."

"Fuck you," Blair said sourly, pricking his thumb again.

"I'm just saying," Jim grinned.

"Oh, and you're so concerned with the feminist movement."

"I sew my own buttons." Jim said loftily.

"You want to sew mine?" Blair said.

"If you make dinner tomorrow."

"deal." Blair got up and changed places with him at the stove, handing him the shirt, needle and thread on the way. "And the only reason you can thread the needle is the Sentinel thing."

"is not." Jim said.

Blair could only think later, that the words came out because he had said them so many times over the last month, practicing, trying to get the casual tone exactly right. He wasn't thinking about it at all--he was thinking about how much water was left in the rice, but he said,

"Hey, Jim, what is it exactly, that this 'thing' of yours entails?"

Jim looked up at him, startled, unconsciously clutching the shirt, and said


"hey, it can't be so bad," Blair said, before he really caught the humiliated misery on Jim's face.


"I have to, um," Jim said, standing up, taking one uncertain step towards the door.

"Wait. I'm sorry," Blair said. "We won't. I won't, just forget I opened my big mouth," he said, and turned back to the stove.

"Here's your shirt," Jim said, long minutes later.

"thanks," he said, trying to say 'I'm sorry'. Jim nodded at him. He looked suddenly tired.

That night, Jim woke up in the middle of the part where Blair shoved him back on the bed, kissing him, mouth still wet from Jim's semen to find the panther sitting on his chest, glaring at him, tail swishing menacingly. He stared at it a long minute and then he shoved the panther off him, rolled over on top of it, batting aside velvet paws to grab its muzzle tightly and growl,

"I don't need you to pimp for me." before shoving it off the bed altogether. It fell in a clumsy heap on the floor and then slunk sulkily away. After that, it kept its distance, glowering at Jim from dark corners, and the dreams got yet worse, a furious tangle of sweaty Sandburg and wet kissing. Jim upped his mileage.

Blair was trying to wait it out. It was a new technique for him; he wasn't sure how long it would be before he just gave up and yelled at Jim until he told him what was wrong. He was expecting Jim to do something, punch a suspect or punch him, even, but Jim was, if anything, quieter. It was a little sinister: Blair would get that creepy I'm-alone-but-someone's-watching-me feeling and realize it was only Jim, hulking, silent in the armchair, studying a book. Never actually looking at Blair.

He devoted a not inconsiderable amount of time to digging around in his Sentinel research to see if there was anything he'd missed, but, of course, there wasn't, because it was his habit to look for the sexy bits first. There wasn't a lot of documentation on the sex lives of Sentinels; to be exact, there was none. Granted, he wasn't sure it was a sex thing, but it was the only thing he could think to research. Unexplained creepy quietness wasn't much of an option. It was hard to think and research and worry with nothing to show for it, and it made him cross, and, of course, eventually Jim noticed.

"What're you moping around for?"

"I'm not moping."

"get dumped?"

"No, I didn't get dumped. You don't always have to assume it's about my sex life."

"It isn't your job," Jim looked concerned.

"No, it's not my--didn't I just say I wasn't moping?"

"The dissertation—"

"is going fine. Isn't a person allowed to be a little out of sorts?"

"So you admit it," Jim said in his most reasonable voice.

"admit what?"

"You're moping."

"I'm not fucking moping," Blair snapped. "If anyone's moping, here, you're moping."


"Look at you--you haven't yelled at me in weeks. I broke the microwave and you didn't care. I moved the telescope from its appointed position a week ago and you didn't move it back. I don't think you even noticed."

"Why would I notice where you moved the telescope?"

"Because you always notice and you always move it back."

"Well, I've been busy," Jim mumbled.

"Yeah, busy moping."

"I'm not."

"you are."

"leave me alone,"

"no, you know, I won't. I mean, I tried and it obviously didn't work," Blair said, thinking resignedly [so much for waiting it out.]

"What're you talking about?

"Don't give me that, don't lie to me, I just want to help, I'm your fucking Shaman, it's my job."

"Not this," Jim walked into the kitchen and peered into the refrigerator.

"what's so terrible about it?" Blair followed him and cornered him behind the island. "Just tell me."


"Why won't you ask me for help with it, you asshole?" Blair put one hand on the counter to prevent Jim's escape.

"You can't give me what I need," Jim blurted.

"Try me. Just, for God's sake, try me."

Jim looked at Blair for a long moment and then dropped his head and put his hand over Blair's. He touched his knuckles, to be exact, and Blair realized that all the things he'd been telling himself about the platonic nature of Jim's 'thing' were completely horribly amazingly wrong. He swallowed and Jim touched his wrist, slowly, with two fingers.

His head was still down and Blair took a deep breath and thought [there's still time to stop this, he'll stop, if I ask] because it was one thing to consider in a purely academic fashion, whether someone was interested and quite another thing to have them touching you carefully and methodically and then Jim looked up at him, sideways, quickly, and his eyes were glittering with hunger, but he still shook his head and said,

"no," his voice cracking slightly. He still had his hand on Blair's. He looked down and saw it and blinked confusedly, pulling it away.

"I just, um, it's like it's not mine anymore," he said, gesturing helplessly at his body.

"We're gonna fix this," Blair said, trying to sound reassuring.

"We don't," Jim said,

"It's okay it's okay," he said, "it's going to be okay" and Jim picked up his hand and Blair thought that he was going to kiss it, which for some reason bothered him, it seemed sort of girly, and then Jim was smelling him, sniffing at his wrist and then he licked the heel of Blair's hand and Blair said,

"okay," and Jim said, unwillingly, as if the words were forced from him,

"can I kiss you?"

"okay," Blair said again. Jim moved carefully forward, and bent his head to Blair's. Jim kissed him slowly, for a long time, first, not touching him. Then one tentative hand came out and Blair felt it brush briefly along his hips and waist before settling on his ribcage, a strange place, a neutral place.

Then Jim stepped closer to him and slid his hand down and Blair found his hands on Jim's shoulder and Jim kissed his neck and the other hand was in Blair's hair, one thumb stroking the base of his skull and Jim made a choked noise against Blair's throat and stopped.

"What are you doing," Blair asked.

"I'm sorry," Jim said, "I don't mean." he stopped again, and then repeated dully "I'm sorry."

"Jim, hey," Blair said. "Jim. It's okay. It's all right."

Jim shook his head and wouldn't look at him; his breathing was a little shaky.

"Come on," Blair said and pulled Jim towards his room.

Closing the door behind them, Blair turned and smiled at Jim, thinking [christ, it's like trying to sleep with a frightened rabbit.] He nodded encouragingly, expecting more tentative caresses, but then Jim moved towards him and shoved his mouth open with his tongue, pushing past his tongue smoothly and running his hands greedily across Blair's back, down over his hips. He pushed Blair down to a sitting position on the bed and crawled on top of him, fumbling his shirt open and dropping it on the floor, straining to maintain contact with Blair's mouth. Blair reached up to catch his head, steadying his shoulders, opening his mouth for Jim's tongue and Jim's hands found his waistband.

Jim ripped down the zipper and fondled his cock through his underwear and pulled his mouth of Blair's, breathless, frustrated, and said,

"Take off your clothes."

Blair said "Take off yours."

Jim almost fell backwards off him and yanked down his pants, while Blair pulled his t-shirt over his head and skinned off his jeans. Jim's hands were back on him before he could get to his underwear. He felt a hand snake under the waistband to his ass, but he couldn't really see because Jim was kissing him again, pushing him backwards towards the bed. Jim's underwear had come off with his pants and Blair could feel his cock, hot and ready, against his stomach. Jim shoved the underwear down off his hips and then lowered him to the bed and pulled it off the rest of the way before pushing Blair down and coming down on top of him.

It wasn't so much that Jim was bigger than he was, Blair thought, as that nearly everyone who had ever sucked and nipped and teased his nipples while sliding one hand up his thigh to his cock was rather more slender than Jim. Jim's mouth was hot and desperate against his chest and then he slid up and kissed Blair with almost brutal force. He pulled away panting, and set of his shoulders was tight and agitated.

"What's wrong," Blair asked.

"It's nothing," Jim shook his head and reached for Blair's face.

"What's wrong?" Blair said, catching the hand.

"it's just, in the dream,"

"okay, the dream," Blair nodded,

"You don't, this is fine," Jim said.

"Just tell me about the fucking dream," Blair said.

"You sucked my cock," Jim said quickly.

"okay. How?"

"Does it matter?" Jim asked.

"It does to you. Go ahead, tell me."

"You were, I was," Jim sat up on the edge of the bed and gestured at the floor.

"okay," Blair said, and slid down to the floor.

[I should stop this right now,] Jim thought, not for the first time tonight, but he couldn't, Blair on the floor between his knees, petting his thigh soothingly with one hand, the other grasping the base of his dick. He hadn't fooled around with teasing kisses or licks, just slid Jim's cock as far into his mouth as it would go and started sucking. Every once in a while, he'd glance reassuringly up at Jim, eyes deep and dark and hell, it was just like the dream and then he slid one hand into Blair's hair and it no longer mattered that he was breaking every promise he'd made to himself.

He could feel himself shaking with it, feel his hips giving up the ghost and just thrusting, Blair lifted the hand off his thigh, no doubt to touch himself, but Jim said "no" and grasped his wrist, knowing he was holding too hard, unable to help himself, his vision was twisting and shimmering at the edges and he could feel himself moaning, begging for release. When it came, he fell slowly backwards on the bed. Then, there was Blair at the edge of his vision, standing a bit stiffly, licking swollen lips and asking,

"okay? better now?" just asking if his Sentinel was back on line and Jim knew he should never have asked, shouldn't ask now, but his mouth opened and he said,

"In the dream, you were more,"

"This isn't about my dick, is it?" Blair asked, almost smiling. There were still a few threads of semen on his face.

"No, no. you were just."

"What? more sexy, more dressed in a frilly tutu, more into soccer?"

"I don't know if I can,"

"hmm. Okay, something embarrassing?" and Jesus Christ it was the same expression Blair always had when Jim complained that he could smell something and no he wasn't sure what, and so Jim grabbed Blair's hands and pulled him up on top of him and opened his legs around him, rubbed his belly against Blair's fully erect cock and whispered to his chin,

"you fucked me," and just the words made him want it in an impossible way, and Blair in the dream had been hot and hard and implacable, but Blair only said, for about the millionth time that night,


He pulled back and Jim kept his legs open, opened them wider in fact, because that was the way it had been in the dream, the goddam dream, and Blair nodded at him, and found some hand cream in his bedside table and it was the same kind that Jim always used, unscented, because Blair was always so careful about introducing unknown elements into the atmosphere of the Loft and then Blair was touching him, gently but not tentatively, his face determined. He reared up over Jim and one sticky hand slid over his stomach, found a nipple, finally braced itself against his hip and Blair was running an efficient handful of lotion across his cock and saying,

"you ready? now? like this?"

Jim scrambled clumsily back a little and flipped to his knees, shoulders against the bed, ass in the air. The position made his back and thighs shake with fatigue and Blair's sheets were abrading his nipples, but the dream was pounding, playing out in his mind now and he forced his ass higher and in the dream he'd been begging for it and Blair had been rough, had put a wet savage bite on his left shoulderblade and Blair wasn't really being rough, but he was fucking him hard and he'd slid his palm across Jim's belly to find his cock and he was breathing heavily enough that Jim could feel his labored breaths against his back and it was close enough close enough close enough.

A small part of him, the small part that was still rational, that was watching him with detached interest while he heaved and gasped and moaned at the heavy perfect feel of Blair on top of him, noted that the dream was just the slightest bit kinky.

By the time Blair pulled out and got his breathing back under control, Jim was sitting on the edge of his bed.

"Thanks," he said, and Blair couldn't see his face, could only see the broad back, one or two fingertip bruises already visible from where Blair had had to hold his straining body down. Almost automatically, he answered,

"you're welcome," and Jim nodded a little and left the room, shutting the door quietly behind him. If he had slammed the door, Blair would have gone out there, shouted at him, but the subtle hunch of Jim's shoulders, the quiet click of the door prevented him. Jim often claimed he wanted to be left alone, that he didn't want to talk about it, but he said it in an agitating way, in a way that forced Blair to make him talk about it. This time, Blair knew, he really didn't want to talk about it. He just wanted to be left alone. [You're his friend,] Blair told himself, flexing his jaw gingerly. [It's a little late to start deciding you can't give him what he asks for.]

Blair woke up feeling contented, he wasn't sure why, contented and sun-warmed, and it was only when he opened his eyes and identified the ripped foil packet on his bedside table, that the feeling stopped, abruptly, and the sun was suddenly too hot, making his skin prickle with sweat. He pulled himself out of bed and took a shower and realized in the middle that he was late for a department meeting.

When he came out of his bedroom, dressed, backpack in hand, Jim was already in the kitchen. He grabbed a book off the coffee table, said,

"Jim, I have this meeting and,"

"Nine o'clock, I know," Jim said, turning.

"Right, so I'll see you at noon," he nodded and pulled his jacket off the hook as Jim picked up an apple from the counter and with only a

"heads up," tossed it to Blair.

So it had solved nothing, once again, because Blair still didn't really know what was wrong or why and he'd spent a lot of time before wondering about the dreams, but oddly, now that he knew nearly exactly what happened in the dreams, it still wasn't helping him. Part of this, he knew, was shock. He'd found it impossible to picture the dreams, and had finally settled on a sort of chaste Happy Days sort of interpretation, in which the 'thing' was embodied by oddly wholesome dates and shared ice cream sodas. Or something. It was totally fucking ridiculous, of course, but Jim had always had a certain Richie Cunningham aura to him. And this interpretation was no further from reality as he knew it than Jim's cock halfway down his throat that night.

[Or maybe it did solve something,] he thought some days later at work, throwing his sandwich wrapper in the trash and looking sideways at Jim, who was flipping through some statements, [because Jim had a thing, but we seem to have effectively gotten rid of it.] He probably ought to feel proud, because he'd done the proper guidely thing and fixed the Sentinel's problem, but he didn't feel proud, he felt depressed. In his most private moments--which, tended, unfortunately, to come at the most inopportune times, before big lectures, as he walked into the Bullpen--he would think, sickly, 'maybe I wasn't good'. But he knew that wasn't true, he knew he'd been damn good, Jim had jumped and shaken and cried out underneath him, Jim had wanted him and he had gotten him. Operative tense, Blair realized, being past. Take, for instance, right now:

"There's no motive," Jim groused, looking at the folder in front of him.

"There's gotta be a motive."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"No need to be snide," Blair took the last bite of his sandwich as Jim raised his eyebrows and said

"well, if you're gonna be the Master of the Obvious--"

"So there must be some motive," Blair said.

"It's not money; she doesn't need money."

"How can she not need,"

"Not enough to hire someone to,"

"okay, then, she's obsessed with the guy," Blair offered.

"It's really well thought out for a crime of passion, though. And it's efficient."

"cover up?"

"blackmail, you mean?" Jim considered it, and Blair said suddenly,

"but wait wait wait, what if it's the daughter?"

"the daughter."

"stop looking at me like I'm a nut job, I'm telling you this makes sense. The daughter hires the guy to, never mind. You're right, it's stupid."

"I didn't say it was stupid,"

"you gonna eat that?" Blair asked, pointing at Jim's sandwich.


"It just looked like maybe you weren't,"

"It's in front of me on my desk. I'm eating it," Jim took a bite, just to prove his point.

"all right," Blair shrugged.

"You had a sandwich."

"I'm still hungry."

"So get a freakin' candy bar and leave my ham and cheese alone."

"geez, man, touchy. Just because the great detective can't come up with a motive."

"Perhaps it's because the great detective's pesky sidekick keeps coming up with idiotic theories."

"I'd go with intrepid over pesky."

"I'd go with dumbass," Jim smirked.


"I like it: Sentinel of the Great City and dumbass."

"That's Dumbass of the Great City to you."

[There, see?] Blair told himself. He knew what it was like to have someone lust after him, and this wasn't it. Lust wasn't Jim in 'keep your grubby mitts off my sandwich' mode.

[It was just sex.] he told himself, when it was no longer 'last night' or even 'last week'. Only sex. And Blair had had plenty of casual flings with people, people sometimes just needed sex, needed to be touched, to be gotten off. He'd been happy to do that for Jim. And furthermore, it had hardly been sex--it seemed obvious that the dream wasn't about sex at all. It was about a Guide who had no idea what he was doing, and thus, Jim's subconscious had conjured up a Guide who did know what he was doing, who was completely in control.

If he was going to be honest with himself, they weren't talking about it because he didn't want to talk about it, because conversations in which Jim said,

"You don't know what the fuck you're doing." or "What do you know, anyway, Sandburg?" had almost no appeal. And, to continue in the vein of complete honesty, the sex had scared him. He had never regarded sex as a very serious phenomenon; he liked the people he was with to have a good time, he tickled people and talked to them, but that night, Jim's long body squirming underneath him, the frantic slide of his hips, that night had been utterly different. It hadn't been very much fun.

He had never been faced with that sort of need, and it had made him need fiercely, it had made him hard and rough and he'd tried not to hurt Jim but he wasn't sure he'd succeeded. It was clear that Jim had wanted to be hurt, or wouldn't have cared--either way, it wasn't a comfortable thought. Still, he couldn't regret it; Jim had cut back the running and he'd started being more of a pain in the ass about housework. Watching him lately, Blair saw how unhappy and terse he'd become in the weeks before they had had sex, and this worried him too, that he'd taken so long to notice. [But it doesn't matter now,] he told himself. [You noticed, you fixed it.] He'd gotten Jim back.

"Hey, Jim, are we gonna arrest someone today?"

"Yeah, maybe."

"I knew it," Blair announced.

"Oh, you're some kind of crime psychic now."

"No, you just get this fucking lockjaw when we're gonna arrest someone." When Jim glared at him, he said, "It's your game face, man, it makes you special."

"What's this we crap?" Jim complained.

"I'm there. Mostly."

"Yeah, your contributions in the standing around field are pretty amazing."

"Hey, last week when that guy resisted arrest, did I not throw a very rare and valuable text at his head?"

"Yes, well, but only after he just about ripped my arm off."

"I can't just go leaping into violence like you, Jim," Blair said virtuously

"Not in your nature, right?"

"Nope. Naturally bookish and quiet."

"shy and unfriendly."

"reclusive and aloof."

"A temperament suited to paperwork," Jim grinned hopefully at him. Blair nodded and said,

"pass it over here," and bent his head. Jim watched him for a moment before turning back to the report he was filling out.

Each time Blair appeared at the station, unchanged: backpack, flannel shirt, smile uncomplicated by reproach or even curiosity, Jim felt terrible relief. He'd slept only fitfully that first night, sure he'd destroyed the friendship, ashamed of the sated joyous hum of his body. After all that, after the running and worrying and promising himself he wouldn't tell Blair, he'd gone and done exactly that. This from someone who'd been put through simulated enemy capture, where they put you in rooms and played white noise until you had no idea how long you'd been there and then stripped you naked and interrogated you, but, shit, all Sandburg had to do was ask.

He could hardly believe that he'd gone and dragged Sandburg into it, used his body that way. [Pathetic,] he told himself [If you were gonna do that you could have at least tried to make it good.] He'd barely touched him. Odd, what things bothered him: It wasn't so bad to think about asking Blair to fuck him, but it was humiliating to think that Blair was walking around thinking he was inconsiderate in the sack. The morning after, he had almost hoped Blair would be angry, that he'd be sitting there with some wacked out explanation for the dreams, but there he'd come, out of his room, late, disorganized, just like any other morning.

And then he had actually shown up at the station at noon, so Jim had known that he wasn't being avoided. It might have been easier if Sandburg had been angry about it, but he was a water under the bridge sort of guy. Jim decided to cut himself some slack. He was awful at saying no to Blair. So sleeping with him hadn’t fixed the dreams; it wouldn’t happen again. Now he was just trying to accept how much he wanted Blair, realizing that it might never go away. He found that the remembrance of Blair's voice that night, like a first grade teacher, a horse handler, gentling him, holding him down, the knowledge that he'd only done it because Jim had wanted it so badly, tended to quench his more insistent erections.

[Blair doesn't want you,] he told himself, but it stopped being fraught with the old desperate pain. And, anyhow, now he knew what Blair tasted like, what he felt like. In its own way, it was a little bit fun. [Unrequited lust; more fun than a barrel of monkeys,] he thought ruefully to himself, and tried not to watch Blair too much.

"So how's Jim," Simon said. Jim was snuffling over a crime scene. Two women, kidnapped. Simon and Blair were watching, from a distance, because Jim didn't want to have to filter out their smells.

"Jim? He's fine."

"Yeah, he seems fine," Simon nodded.

"I think so too."



"The Sentinel thing's going fine," Simon asked.

"Yeah, fine."

"You sure he's fine?"

"I said he's fine," Blair stared resolutely at Jim.


"okay, then."

"Got you a present," Blair said, handing Jim a paper bag. "S'heavy."

"No kidding," Jim said, accepting it. "Can I open it?"


"Wow, Sandburg," Jim had set the bag on the coffee table and was peering inside. "It's rocks."

"Cement." Blair slung his backpack and his coat into his room. "Some mud. And there's some shale at the bottom."

"well, when you set out to give a guy rocks, you don't fool around."

"You don't know what it's for?"

"No--unless you've decided to go for the direct route instead of using your shoes to wipe mud all over the floor."

"That happened once--and only because I was in a hurry because you have that thing about not missing previews."

"Oh, you should talk, Mr. I can't watch a movie in a theater without red licorice."

"Red shoelaces, and do you really want to hear about the relocation of ritual in post-modern society?"

"Just tell me about the rocks," Jim said hurriedly.

"I just noticed there's a lot of dirt around at those burglaries."

"It's the rainy season."

"I'll forgo the usual joke about the infinite loop of Cascade's rainy season--I just thought, it might help if you knew what kind of dirt it was."


"because, you know, they always do a forensic sweep on that stuff and sometimes,"

"okay, all right, I get it," Jim said, already opening the bag and getting out the samples.

"It says on the bottom what they are." Blair turned one of the sample containers over and showed him. Jim sniffed at a few, felt them,

"Thanks, Chief, these are really good."

"well, you know, I'm a splendid guy."

"I didn't say splendid."

"You were thinking it."

"Wanna guess what I'm thinking right now?" Jim smirked and Blair flipped him off with a laugh and went in the kitchen to get a glass of water. When he came back out Jim was tasting a sample, concentrating, eyes closed, a thoughtful flick of tongue across his forefinger.

At which point Blair started fantasizing about it. He didn't even have the comfort of dreams, the comfort of thinking, 'it's not my fault, the dreams just come,' no, he'd wake up in the morning, casually horny, morning horny, and he'd be thinking about beating off and then he'd be thinking about Jim. He hadn't been sure he wanted it before, until he started imagining what the sex would be like if Jim weren't flipping out, if Jim just came home from work one day and started kissing him, pressing him against the kitchen counter, or, god, let Blair get on top of him during half-time, or better yet, in his bed, naked, he thought about waking up with Jim against his ass, asking to fuck him, and see? At this point, he had to beat off. He was late for class a few times because of it.

But that was different, that was a different thing altogether, wanting to have some sort of ongoing relationship with someone who had never even wanted to touch him, who had put it off as long as possible. Who had barely been able to look at him while they were fucking. Who didn't want to talk about it. Who had really nice arms.

At times, Jim wondered how Blair could have assumed that it could be over so easily, but, then, Blair hadn't been paying a whole lot of attention to him lately. He'd been preoccupied. [And, let's face it,] he thought, relieved that he could laugh about it, even a little, [It's not like stoic lusting Jim Ellison is so different from regular stoic Jim Ellison.] He laid it on a little thick about the dust in the apartment, just in case. Really, though, the memory of Blair's touch had faded a little, he was controlling it, enough that the prospect of Blair having a date didn't provoke panicked jealousy. Not that Blair had all that many dates lately. But then, he was busy. He'd show up at seven forty-five on his night to cook, carrying take-out, saying,

"sorry, sorry, did you eat already?" and Jim didn't have the heart to get mad at him, not really, because now he knew exactly how considerate Blair really was. Blair had calmly fucked him, and then calmly not forced him to talk about it and gotten him shale and 'considerate' was hardly the right word. 'Nice' was more like it. Really goddam nice. So he said,

"yeah, hey, no problem. I just got home anyway."

Lust, Jim found, was bearable. This surprised him some; it had at first seemed so relentless. In time, he got used to it, it was merely a salacious prickle at the base of his skull, so he ran every day and ignored the dreams, settled into friendship with intent, and made Blair soup when he got a sudden flu.

"Why're you being so nice to me?" Blair asked, pulling himself into a sitting position and coughing raggedly.

"I'm not being that nice," Jim said. He put the tray across Blair's lap. "Eat the soup."

"You made me soup," Blair pointed out. "That's pretty nice."

"I opened a can,"

"I guess that's all right then." He poked at the soup, took a few listless spoonfuls. "You didn't put anything in this did you?"

"What, like salt?"

"Like, pills."

"No, Sandburg."

"are you sure?" Blair regarded him balefully from behind a tissue.

"Yes I'm sure."

"But you might be lying."

"I'm not lying," Jim said patiently.

"sorry," Blair said, after squinting at his face.

"It's okay."

"Being sick makes me paranoid," Blair admitted.

"No kidding." Jim sat down and made an encouraging gesture at the soup and Blair started eating. After a few minutes of diligent spooning, he asked

"Do you have police stuff to do today?"

"Day off."

"If you wanna do something, I can take care of myself, here."

"Like what?" Jim shrugged.

"I don't know, go running?"

"I already did." Blair finished the soup and Jim stood and took the tray off his lap. "Do you wanna sleep?"

"I already did."

"You should some more."

"Can't. Could you, maybe, read to me?"

"well, I,"

"Oh, come on, it'll help me fall asleep, I have this really boring book I'm supposed to read about pre-Columbian artifact preservation.

"Sounds like a thrill," Jim said, but he picked it up and started reading. He looked up after ten minutes to tell Sandburg it was the most boring book he'd ever read, but Blair was asleep, his breathing thick and heavy with congestion. His nose was chapped at the tip from being blown so much and his skin was hot with fever and he looked disconcertingly good. He was wearing a thin undershirt and Jim could see the outline of his left nipple through the fabric, dialed up sight to see it, thought about tasting it and wasted chances and then he got up and went to mop the kitchen floor because it was Saturday and he wasn't one to break routine.

Funny how even lust, ultimately, became a comfort, a constant reminder of who you were. It wasn't so terrible to be reminded that you could want. The worst thing about the end of his marriage had been the ebbing of want; he had been left with disinterest, with mild distaste. There had been intermittent flares of want with other women over the next few years, but nothing like it was with Sandburg. The lust didn't run out, but it tempered, turned to a slow, an itch that he could almost keep scratched with the occasional touch, with Blair waving his fork at him across the dinner table, Blair at his back during an investigation. Every once in a while, he dialed touch up all the way before a friendly pat; but not too often.

He'd gotten everything into a pleasant equilibrium; this ought to have been warning enough. It wasn't, of course. It was terrible, in some ways, to have Sentinel senses, to say, "I should have seen it coming," and know that you really should have, that you'd heard the whisper-click of a gun being cocked, the bullet sliding into the chamber, the thin stretch of air as a body turns and aims. Hell, even Sandburg had seen it. They had just stopped to get gas, he could have even listened in, seen that there was a hold-up going on before he walked in the door, Blair coming in to get some juice while Jim paid for the gas.

The gun whipped up and he saw it then, but not before Blair said,

"Jim," and shoved him calmly out of the way, twisting and falling to the floor as the bullet hit him. The cashier took this opportunity to hit the gunman over the head with a liquor bottle, which left Jim free to fall down to the floor and scrabble at Blair's clothes.

Blair was still protesting that he was "fine, man" and making jokes about the score being "Civilians 2: Cascade PD 0" a half an hour later when the were cleared to leave. It was just a flesh wound, a narrow groove across his upper arm. They got in the truck and Blair said,

"hey, your hearing is okay, right?"

"yeah," Jim said. He didn't say anything else the whole way home.

"Are you mad or something?" Blair finally asked, when Jim started making himself a sandwich without saying anything.

"No--d'you want one?"

"no, I'm fine," He stood and watched Jim carefully spread mustard on the bread. "I'm okay, you know."

"I know."

"I've been hurt worse falling off my bike."

"yeah." Jim finished making the sandwich and took one bite of it and put it down on the plate, looking sick. He turned around and dumped it in the trash, washed the plate and put it away.



"what is it?"

Jim said nothing, knitting his lips together a moment before giving up and saying,

"why'd you do that?"

"I don't know. It just--I didn't really think about it I guess."

"you guess."

"it happened fast," Blair shrugged.

"are you stupid?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"you don't have to just do stuff for me. I don't want you to," Jim said loudly.

"We're friends," Blair started.

"No, you know what friends do? They move each other's couches. That's not, you don't."

"I don't what? I don't get what you're--"

"You'd fucking do anything for me, you little shit. I don't understand how you could just do these things,"

"I wouldn't do anything for you," Blair protested.

"I don't believe you,"

"You're such a fucking egotist, Jim."

"Look at the fucking facts, Sandburg," Jim bit out.

"Maybe I'm just a nice selfless guy."

"Well. that makes me feel a whole lot better. You'd go around getting shot at and fucking everyone," Jim threw up his hands and sat down on the couch, rubbing his forehead with the heal of his hand.

"Is that what this is about?"

"yeah, I guess so."

"So, you're angry at me because I fucked you."

Jim took a breath and then said quietly,

"You didn't have to, you didn't, I hate it when you do stuff I want just because I want it."

"Well, you know, you don't give me a lot of choice."

"Yes I do. I would have been happy to just let it lie, but no, you wanted me to open up and fuck you," Jim said bitterly.

"You didn't fuck me." Blair said coldly.

"No," Jim said, and looked quickly at Blair before looking at the ground.

"You still want it," Blair said slowly.

"I don't--"

"Shut up. You still want it."

There was a long pause and Jim said,

"I tried not to."

"Do you have to look so goddam ashamed about it?" Blair asked.

"I'm sorry," Jim said.

"Sorry isn't really cutting it for me."

"I don't know what you want me to say,"

"I don't know either." Blair sat down on the opposite end of the couch and said defeatedly, "You didn't have to thank me like I'd just done your fucking laundry."

Jim flinched. "You didn't have to say 'you're welcome' like you had."

"You left."

"We were done," Jim said shortly.

"except we're obviously not," Blair turned to face him on the couch. "What, it was so disgusting, it was so terrible? And don't even bother to lie because I saw your face, I was there, I saw your fucking face."

"I don't want you feeling sorry for me."

"oh I don't feel sorry for you--I can't even believe I'm letting you do this. It's disgusting that you could--"

"Hey. I never, I'm sorry about that one night, but I've stayed the fuck out of your way. You don't have any right to act as if I'm some lecherous asshole, I never even touched you again."

"Will you let me finish a goddam sentence," Blair said sharply. "What is it that horrifies you so much that you can't even touch me? Why don't you tell me? Go ahead. It can't be much more insulting than someone who starts running fifty fucking miles a week just so they don't have to give into their base sexual urges. What? Come on, I'm waiting."

Jim bit the inside of his cheek.

"It isn't that I'm a guy, because I know you wouldn't care, you take what you want the rest of the world can go fuck itself, which means either you think I have a rotten personality or I don't even know what."

"There's nothing wrong with you," Jim finally said.

"Oh really," Blair said.

"This isn't right, for you to live here like this," Jim said. "I'm sorry, you're right, I shouldn't have"

"You're kicking me out?"

"I shouldn't have ever touched you." Jim wouldn't look at him. "I thought it would be better, I thought, once, you know, get it out of my system, but I can't stop." There was a very long pause and Blair thought about saying several things and decided to say none of them and Jim finally said, guilt making his face tense and dark, "I want you. All the fucking time. I think, that's not very fair for you."

"You do?"

"I don't want to make you, just because I,"

"You can't, you could never,"

"But you would. You'd do it, for me, you did it once," pointing an accusing finger at Blair.

"Will you fucking listen to yourself? I can't believe you have such a low opinion of me. Or such a high opinion. Or something."

"I'm sorry,"

"Did you think I was thinking about Pamela fucking Anderson?"


"I was thinking about you, about your dick and your ass and your hands." Blair stopped and then said, "I've been thinking about them."

"oh." Jim said faintly.

"You insecure fuck," Blair finally said. "God dammit all to hell. You're going to make me do all the work here aren't you? God damn you."

Jim stared at the ground and said nothing.

"I want you," Blair said, "I mean, I have a thing for you. And I haven't had any dream about it or anything, I mean not any prophetic shamanic type dreams, but it's still real, I still," he stopped, unable to think of anything else to say. Oddly, he wasn't angry anymore.

"okay." Jim said.

"It's late," Blair said.

"Does your arm hurt?" Jim looked sideways at him.

"Not really."

"I wish you wouldn't do stuff like that," Jim said.

"Like take bullets for you."

"Like even use the words 'take bullets'. I'm really sorry that I ever rented 'In the Line of Fire'. I think it gave you ideas."

"you're right, Jim, you've pinpointed my psychological dysfunction: I can't tell the different between myself and Clint Eastwood." Blair smiled crookedly at him and before Jim knew what he was doing he had moved across the couch to kiss Blair. Blair's lips were soft against his, open, and they kissed gently for a few minutes before Blair shifted restlessly and reached out to drag Jim's head closer, nudging his mouth open.

"hey, Blair."

"hm?" Blair slid his hand down to Jim's waist.

"I have a thing for you." He grinned and fit his mouth across Blair's in a deep hard kiss.

"I know. I get it." Blair said, breathlessly, as Jim pulled him closer, hands at the small of his back.

"And I'd like. I want you."

"uh huh."

"I don't think it's a Sentinel thing,"

"I don't care,"

"Hey," Jim said softly against Blair’s jaw some minutes later, "looks like fighting makes you horny."

"Who knew?" Blair agreed. "Are we gonna do this upstairs?"

Blair was straddling Jim, kissing him, slowly thumbing his nipples, twisting his hips deliberately against Jim's hands. There were clothes on the stairs and on the floor and Blair already had a dark red hickey on his neck and a slightly bruised wrist where he'd hit it against the railing when Jim had come up behind him and put his hands under his shirt.

Jim moaned softly against his lips and humped up underneath him. The kiss broke, and they looked at each other and Blair said, uncertainly,

"The dream," there was a pause before Jim pulled him down and kissed him, one hand sliding suggestively along his ass. When Blair shuddered and pushed back against the hand, Jim deepened the kiss and slid a finger down to rub across Blair's hole. He licked Blair's lips and whispered,

"Fuck the dream, anyway. I wanna do what you want. What'd you dream of?" he moved the finger, slowly, in circles, and Blair's eyes went wide. He reached out to touch one of Jim's nipples and said,

"uh, they didn't have a lot of content."

"I don't believe you," Jim said, and pulled his finger away.

"no, don't, stop. No," Blair said, and moved restlessly on top of him. "This is good, this is really excellent."

"Just tell me something you like." Jim licked his fingers thoroughly.

"I'm not choosy."

"Choose," Jim said, and the finger was back, wet, pressing inside him, then two fingers.

"I can't," he gasped, pressing back against them, petting Jim's chest with his hands.

"You're choosing a hell of a time to be indecisive," Jim growled, and pulled his fingers out. He pulled himself up against the headboard and half dragged Blair toward him, "get up here then," he said, "get on top of me, ride me."

Blair surged forward in his arms and kissed him, rubbing his cock eagerly against Jim's stomach before, moving back slightly and lowering himself, mouth open, onto Jim's cock. When he got all the way down, Jim's hips moved involuntarily, thrusting his cock even deeper.

"oh," Blair said.

"yeah." Jim answered, leaning forward to kiss his shoulder.

"This was a good idea," Blair admitted, rocking a little.

"You like being fucked," Jim told him.

"Yeah," Blair said as Jim leaned forward to kiss him again, and Blair expected a kiss like Jim’s others, skillful and controlled, hot and forceful, but Jim was kissing him lewdly and wetly, open-mouthed, one wet teasing finger against his nipple and Blair felt his back arch as the other hand stroked down his spine and Jim opened his eyes and said

"You gonna move, Sandburg?" thrusting into him a little, mostly held down by Blair's weight. Blair nodded, and began to move, his cock tracing out an erratic pattern of pre-ejaculate over Jim's stomach. After a few minutes, Jim reached down to grasp Blair's cock, but Blair gasped,



"Touch yourself, I want you to touch yourself, show me what you like," and Jim brought his hands to his nipples and watching him seemed to undo Blair completely, because he started talking, moving faster, holding Jim's shoulders for leverage,

"You have some perfect fucking gorgeous hard cock, Jim, I love it in my ass, it makes me hot to have you in my ass, I'm gonna come all over you, I can't wait to see you wearing my come," moving faster, until Jim was matching him thrust for thrust, and had given up on his nipples to hold Blair's waist, slamming him down on his erection. When Blair came, he sagged against Jim, who said,

"no you don't," And grasped his limp body, holding it upright, so he could make his last few shaky thrusts.

"Don't you dare say thank you," was the first thing Blair said. He had pulled himself off Jim and flopped face down on the bed.

"um. okay." Jim said. He put a hand against the small of Blair's back and felt Blair smile against his arm. "I think we did better the second time." "You're just saying that because you didn't get fucked," Blair came up on his elbows.

"I am not."

"I know."

"I like getting fucked," Jim frowned.


"I love to be fucked. You can fuck me any day of the week, you hear?"

"They can hear you in Moscow, Jim. I was just giving you a hard time," Blair smiled and turned over on his back and Jim grumbled,

"Everyone always thinks I'm going to be so dominant."

"Oh, I wonder where they get that idea?"

"Shut up, Sandburg." Blair grinned snidely at him and Jim said "You're really fucking with my afterglow, here."

"Jim Ellison: master of Romance," Blair mumbled lazily, and didn't even see Jim coming until he was underneath him, his mouth gently invaded by Jim's tongue, his hair smoothed back from his forehead by Jim's big hands.

"I wanted this," Jim said when he lifted his mouth, "I want you and I like it that you talk filthy when you fuck and I don't care that you dyed half my socks pink when you washed your red sweater, and I couldn't even let myself think that I might be in love with you, but. I am."

"me too," Blair blurted.

"You don't have to say that," Jim said carefully.

"You know, if you weren't so determined to play Mr. Long Suffering, we could have solved this a long time ago," Blair said. "I love you."

"I gotcha," Jim said, and kissed him again for good measure.

"So the panther assaulted you," Blair asked, a few days later, peering over his laptop.

"No, he didn't assault me. He, just, you know, sat on me a little." Jim put his book down.


"What do you think it means?" Jim asked.

"I dunno," Blair shrugged. "Your subconscious thought we should get it on--clearly, your subconscious is a scholar and a gentleman."

"That's your analysis."

"You got a better one?"

"I think that's the point; you're the dissertation writer, you're supposed to know. You have to write about it."

"You think I'm writing about this? I can see the chapter now. On May 24 at 0630 hours, the subject refused to remove his mouth from the researcher's cock. Forget it. You aren't having the dreams anymore, are you?"


"So. There you are. All fixed."

"I'm not used to seeing you so un-analytical."

"You're not used to seeing me when I have sole jurisdiction over the finest piece of ass in the county."

Jim snorted and blushed.

"you like dirty talk," Blair said thoughtfully.

"I just, admire your creativity."

"oh, really, so if I just happen to mention how hot it would make me to fuck you, how, um, I'd like you to go upstairs and take off your clothes and get that ass slicked up and ready to be fucked, you'd appreciate it in a purely academic way."

"something like that."

"And what if I said, no, screw that, I don't want to wait for your tight hole, I just want you to take down your pants and get on your hands and knees in front of me and I'll give you what you need, you wouldn't be interested." Blair produced a tube of lubricant from his back pocket.

"right," Jim said, already moving towards Blair, "except for the not interested part."

"I don't believe for a minute you just made that all up off the top of your head."

"It's a gift."

"Bullshit. You make it up in advance--you may as well just show me the file where you keep it."

"What'll you give me?"

"What do you want?"

"How about getting my wicked way with your body and a few promises of eternal devotion--but oh, no, wait, I already have that."

"You know, I'm this close to withholding sexual favors."

"Funny. I think you're this close to giving me a blow job."

End Other Kinds of Things.