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Just Once

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Just Once

by Katrina

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Author's disclaimer: The words are mine, the characters aren't.


"Come on. There must be something that you've always wanted to do."

Jim shrugged. Trying not to be too obviously wistful as he eyed the refrigerator, he said, "You mean besides getting some dinner on the table?"

"That's a short-term goal, Jim. I'm talking long-term." Blair leaned forward. "You're telling me -- seriously telling me -- that you've met all your goals in life? You don't have any dreams left? Nothing you want to do just once before you die?"

"I have dreams. At the moment, they all involve food."

Blair ignored him. "You've never wanted to watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal? Never wanted to ride a gondola in Venice?"

Exasperated and hungry, Jim got up from the table. "If you want to take a boat ride in an open sewer, be my guest. I'd settle for a quick trip to Wonderburger." He went to the cabinet and took out a package of cookies.

"Come on, give," Blair wheedled. He got up and joined Jim in the kitchen. "Scuba diving. Steeplechase. You want to learn to play the banjo. There's got to be something. You're going to spoil your appetite," he added as he took a cookie for himself.

"That's assuming you ever let me eat."

"We're eating now."

"Technically." The two men stood together for a few minutes. Then, reaching into the refrigerator for a beer, Jim said quietly, "Yeah, I have dreams, Sandburg."

"So why won't you tell me what they are?" Blair's voice was as quiet as Jim's.

Jim didn't answer for a long time. He opened his beer, but didn't take a drink; he looked at Blair, but couldn't meet his eyes; he shifted from one foot to the other, but didn't move away from the other man. Finally he put the beer on the counter and said, "Because talking about dreams... it's a good way to kill them."

"Not the real ones. Not the important ones." Blair ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "Jim... look, man, I know it's a cliche, but life's too short." He tried to laugh, failed. "I can vouch for that. Not talking about your dreams -- not trying to make them real -- that doesn't protect your dreams, it smothers them. And... I don't want to see that happen to you."

"Why?" The question was out before Jim could stop it.

"Why? Well -- you know, that whole dream deferred thing, drying up like a raisin. And nothing ventured, nothing gained...."

Jim watched as Blair struggled to slip his professorial mask back into place. He tuned out the actual words, concentrating instead on the gestures, and on Blair's realization that maybe he was as reluctant to expose Jim's dreams -- as well as his dreams, or their dreams, or whatever -- to the light of day.

**Nothing gained,** Jim thought. And that thought -- the thought of a life with nothing gained, nothing to show at the end except a litany of all the things he always dreamed of and never got -- was the last straw. Yes, he was afraid. So was Sandburg, from the way he was acting.

"Nothing ventured," Jim murmured. But his voice, low as it was, silenced Blair at once. And Jim took advantage of the moment.

Jim kissed Blair.

It wasn't a particularly long kiss, and it wasn't ground-shakingly passionate. It was a question, and an answer, and a promise. It was Jim's hands sliding up to thread through Blair's curls. It was Blair's muffled exclamation and the slow close of his eyes. It was two bodies slowly drawing together, as if that was the way things were supposed to be.

When they separated, Jim scrutinized Blair's face, trying to judge his reaction. He'd seen that expression before. It was the expression that Wile E. Coyote always wore right after he realized he was standing on thin air, and right before he plummeted earthward. But then, rather than waving a sad little wave and holding up a sign that read "bye-bye," Blair's face blossomed into a wide, disbelieving, delighted grin.

His breathing a little labored, Jim finally managed to say, "Well, you asked."

Neither man was ever entirely sure of what they said next, or how or when they made it up the stairs, or how they came to be naked and stretched out on the bed. Of course, once they were there, neither of them cared all that much.

Overcome by an unexpected wave of shyness, Jim ran a hand down Blair's arm. "So... I guess you're okay with this?"

Blair laughed. "My detective," he said fondly. His smile faded a little as he shifted closer, making the first tentative move to twine his legs with Jim's. "Why'd we waste so much time?" He lifted his hand and pressed his fingers to Jim's lips to stop the other man's answer. "Forget I asked."

" 'Kay." Ducking his head a little, Jim took one of Blair's fingers into his mouth. It tasted good -- not to mention that the sucking elicited a very interesting moan -- so he tried the next one before kissing his way to Blair's shoulder. God, but that was a sweet spot. The play of muscle and bone and skin right where the shoulder curved into the neck, the rushing, rippling waves as blood hurried through veins, the vibrations of Blair's moans, and the sharpness of salt against his tongue....

Just when Jim thought he could happily devote an eternity to that place, Blair moved a little beneath his lips. "Uhhh... Jim? You okay there? I mean, you're not zoning or anything?"

Pulling his head back, Jim wrapped his arms around Blair. "Just... exploring. When I stay in one place for ten minutes and start drooling, you can worry."

"Sorry...." Very carefully, Blair nudged Jim's legs apart and, even more carefully, he grasped Jim's cock in his hand. "Guess we'll have to get to know each other all over again, huh?"

"Something like that," Jim gasped. "And that's a good place to start."

Blair brushed the tips of his fingers against Jim's balls before returning to the slow, measuring strokes up and down the shaft. "It's weird, almost like -- " He stopped himself.

"Almost like what?" Jim whispered as he rolled onto his back, carrying Blair with him so the smaller man was on top. "Come on, you can tell me." But Blair just smiled, leaned down and kissed him until Jim forgot that he had a question.

Then Jim ran a single finger against the cleft of Blair's ass, and he watched as the blue eyes above him got, somehow, bigger and rounder. Both men's movement's stilled; then Blair took a deep breath, nodded, and very deliberately spread his legs. "Yes," he said, in consent and in request.

Jim slid his hand between their bodies. He put his hand over Blair's for just an instant before he found the other's cock, as hard and as ready and as heated as his own. Wetting his fingers with pre-cum and sweat, he pulled his hand out. As deliberately as Blair had opened himself, Jim tasted the other's fluids.

Blair's grip on Jim's cock tightened, and he jerked a little -- only a little -- as the first fingertip entered him. Jim's other hand was splayed against the small of his back, pressing him close, steadying his movements as his hips started to move in concert with the teasing of his anus.

"Oh, God, Chief -- " Jim moaned as their shafts rubbed together. He reached up to nip at Blair's earlobe; whimpering, Blair twisted his head around to capture Jim's mouth. They were rocking together, both of them trapped, both of them in control. Just when Jim was telling himself that he had to hold back just a little while longer, he felt Blair tense against him, straining. There was heat and thrashing, and both men trying to capture the climax in the other's eyes.

And then it was over, and it had begun.

When Jim and Blair were both as clean as they could get without leaving the bed, and once they'd arranged themselves around the wet spot, they curled up together. After a few minutes, Jim asked, "So what was weird?"

"Hush. I'm afterglowing."

"I'm going to keep asking." Jim felt Blair's laugh as much as he heard it. "I'm serious, I will."

"It's just -- " Reaching down, Blair poked carefully at Jim's limp, tender, very happy cock. "I started thinking about when we got the new TV."

Jim peered into Blair's eyes, slowly drooping closed. "The TV."

"Uh-huh. You know, the remote. The new remote. All the buttons were in the same place, but -- " He yawned. "Same buttons, but they were in different places, and the weight was balanced differently. Took a while to get used to, but after a while, it just felt... right. You know?"

Jim stared at him for long moments. Then, pulling the comforter up, he tucked it around both of them. "Go to sleep, Sandburg." But Sandburg already was.