Blair was in the midst of a nightmare. The plunge off the cliff seemed to last forever, far longer than the real jump had lasted. He knew he was dreaming but couldn't wake up; he was trapped in the terror.
Jim had been immediately woken by two things. Waves of terror that washed over him and the thick stench of fear. A split-second later, Blair--the source of the panic--screamed, and Jim was halfway down the stairs before he realized it, and it was a few moments later when it dawned on him that he was standing naked outside Blair's room. Fuck. I can't go in there like this!
Thankful that Sandburg hadn't yet put up the clean laundry, he dug through the basket and grabbed his workout sweatshorts and jumped into them as he rushed into Blair's room. The young man was twisted in his bedsheets, one of which had gotten around his throat and was threatening to choke him.
Jim pounced on the bed, his hands going immediately to free Blair's throat before he hurt himself. "Blair! Blair, wake up, you're going to hurt yourself!" As he'd untangled Blair from the sheets, he'd pulled the Guide into his lap, and his squirming and writhing was causing Jim's body to react. Not now, dammit! he cursed to himself as he clung to his Guide. "Please, Chief, you got to wake up now!" He shook his friend none too gently, trying to shake him out of the terror.
The scene changed for Blair and suddenly he was free falling towards the dense jungle below. His chute deployed but he felt the straps twisting around his throat, and panicked. He knew he was clawing at them because he could feel his hands at his throat and finally he was able to breathe again.
Nothing that Jim was doing was working. He rocked Blair, held him, talked to him, and even rubbed his arms and shoulders. None of it worked.
When Jim and his brother Stevie had been kids, when Jim's nightmares woke his little brother, Stevie would get in bed with Jim and hold Jim's head in his lap. Jim even tried holding Blair's head in his lap, cradled him to his shoulder, nothing worked.
Jim was starting to choke on the heavy scent of panic that poured out off Blair's body. One last solution blared in his thoughts. Carolyn had kissed him awake when he'd fought against her in his dreams, and it was the only thing he had not tried.
You can't kiss Blair! was Jim's first thought. You do and he will leave you in a heartbeat! But I can't let him suffer either! Jim countered himself. He coughed as he tried to breathe in past Blair's panic. Find another way, Jim, before you lose him.
Jim dropped his forehead down to Blair's. "Listen to me, Blair, you got to listen to me. Come back to me, Blair, please. I don't know what has such a hold on you but I need you to come back. You're scaring me, baby, and I don't know how to deal with it." He rained light kisses all over Blair's cheeks, deliberately avoiding his lips. "I need you, Blair… I love you, and I need you in my life." He touched Blair's face, running his hands through Blair's hair.
Blair was dangling in the tree where he'd landed. He'd tried to unhook his chute and he couldn't, and he heard something almost in the background. He hung from the tree, trying to listen.
"… scaring me baby and I don't know how to deal with it." Then he felt feather-light sensations over his cheeks and face, as though he were being kissed by raindrops. "I need you, Blair, I love you, and I need you in my life."
That voice… sounded like his Sentinel… his love. "Jim?"
Jim grabbed Blair closer when Blair whispered his name. "That's right, Blair, its Jim. You're here at home with me."
"Home?" Blair blinked rapidly, trying to see. The bright light was blinding him, but he could no longer make out the outline of trees, instead of wooden shelving and metal bed railings.
"Yes, baby, home," Jim said, pressing a light kiss on each of his eyes as they fought to open. "Open those baby blues, let me see you."
"Jim, is that you?"
"Jim, is that you?" Blair fought to open his eyes as a light pressure touched briefly on each one then disappeared. The voice sounded like Jim's but not the actions. At least, not outside of his dreams, and that's where they were, right?
"Yes, it's me. Open… that's right… open those eyes." He looked down into Blair's eyes, and they were still slightly hazy but clearing rapidly. The scent of fear was lessening but it was still hanging thick in the room, and Jim was tempted to open a window but did not want to chill his Guide. "Look at me, Blair, where are you?"
"Where… my bedroom," he said, looking around and rubbing his eyes. He snuggled against the warmth at his back before he thought, and then his eyes widened as he realized what that warmth was. Jim. "The loft bedroom."
Jim exhaled softly. Yes! "Oh, man, Blair, you scared the hell out of me," he whispered, forcing himself not to cling so tightly to Blair now that he was awake.
"Wasn't too fun here either," Blair whispered, making no move to get out of Jim's arms. It just felt too good and too warm to his shivering body.
"You're shivering," Jim pointed out unnecessarily. "Here, let me help." He leaned down, pressing his chest tightly against Blair's back as he pulled up the comforter and wrapped it around his Guide's shivering shoulders. "How's that?"
"Better," Blair said, though it was the warmth from Jim's body that was comforting him the most.
"What was going on there?" Jim asked softly.
"Trapped in nightmares," Blair said quietly in response. "When we jumped, in Peru, and when we plunged off the cliff in Metaline Falls chasing Simon and Quinn. I got a thing about heights." He shivered again and pressed against Jim.
Jim sighed and wrapped his arms around Blair, thinking only about how right it felt to comfort his Guide this way. "It's okay… it's over now, you're okay."
Blair nodded as he inhaled Jim's scent. He loved it; it's why he always showered after Jim, he loved the smell of his friend. Raw and masculine, and right now, comforting.
Jim smiled as he felt Blair relax slightly. No way was he going to let his young friend sleep alone again tonight. "Blair, you want to come upstairs and try and sleep?"
"I'll be okay down here, Jim," Blair said, stirring slightly. No way he could sleep in Jim's bed. Not without making a fool out of himself.
"Then we'll sleep down here," Jim said stubbornly. "I just got you out of one set of bad dreams, Blair, I'm not going to let you get into another set!"
Blair's heart started to race. "Jim--"
"No buts, Chief. We stay down here or we go upstairs but we're doing it together." He studiously ignored Blair's warmth against his, turned down his touch dial so he would not feel the skin against skin contact. He had to stay calm, for Blair.
"All right, all right, let's just… go upstairs. We can sleep, there's more room, you won't be cranky in the morning."
Now that sounds like my Blair! Jim thought with a grin. "Come on then, let's go." He wrapped the comforter around Blair's body and pushed him from the room and up the stairs.
Under Jim's watchful eye, Blair climbed into bed and burrowed into the mattress and under the blankets. Once Blair was situated, Jim rolled into the bed beside him, slipping under the sheets and letting the rest of the blanket act as a shield separating him and Blair. He closed his eyes, listening to the steady breathing of his Guide, and was half surprised to feel Blair roll over to lay against him. "Hey, Jim?"
"Yeah, Chief?" He forced himself not to react, though he sorely wanted to.
"Did you… talk to me while I was having a nightmare?"
"Yeah, I did," he said, not opening his eyes, unaware that Blair was doing the same.
"What did you say?"
Shit. "I asked you to come back, told you that you were scaring me and that I needed you."
"Did you…" Blair opened his eyes and bit his lip as he looked over at Jim, who was lying there, facing the ceiling with his eyes closed. "Did you… say…"
"Say what, Chief?" He was afraid to look down at Blair, who had moved to rest his head on Jim's shoulder.
"Say that… you… that you love me?"
Blair's voice sounded… almost hopeful. Jim made a split-second decision; he could never lie to Blair. "Yeah, I did," he confessed softly.
"Did you mean it?" There was no mistaking the hope in Blair's voice this time, nor the hitching intake of breath.
Jim opened his eyes, finally, to look down and find Blair peering up at him, his lower lip caught between his teeth. "Yes, I meant it," Jim whispered, cupping Blair's face with his hand. "I love you." The result was not what Jim had expected.
Blair rolled completely against Jim, and wrapped his arms around the big man's chest. "Jim, please, hold me."
"Gladly," Jim whispered, putting his arms once more around the man he loved.
"Jim, I couldn't tell you before, I was afraid you'd make me leave and I couldn't leave without you. I love you, Jim, I want you and I love you and I need you."
Jim used one hand to cup Blair's chin and tilt his face up. Blair's eyes were squeezed shut, as though he couldn't bear to see the result of his words. Slowly, Jim lowered his mouth towards Blair's, and the Guide opened his eyes a split second before Jim kissed him.
Jim used his tongue to gently pry Blair's lips open, and when Blair thrust his tongue back towards Jim, tastes exploded and filled both men's mouths. Jim closed his eyes and his hands slid up to hold Blair's head still as his tongue stroked and caressed, sucking and nipping as he devoured every bit of Blair's mouth. Hungrily he nibbled Blair's tongue and lips, as he felt Blair's tongue exploring his own mouth.
He paused for a second, and Blair became the aggressor, his tongue pushing into Jim's mouth as he tasted Jim's tongue and sucked it hard. Jim moaned, the first noise that either of them made since the kiss began. At Jim's moan, Blair became even more aggressive, his tongue pushing into Jim's mouth to taste and thrust.
Blair rolled on top of Jim, their bodies separated only by the thin cotton sheet as he broke the kiss to take a deep breath. Jim's arms were wrapped around his shoulders, Jim's hands tangled in his hair. He snuggled against Jim, laying his head on the Sentinel's shoulder. "Kiss me awake in the morning?" Blair asked hopefully.
Jim nodded. "Of course, and then again and again and again and again, until it's time for a goodnight kiss, just like the one we just shared in this very spot." He ran his fingers through Blair's chest hair. "Sleep, baby, you deserve it after that nightmare."
"At least it had a happy ending," Blair yawned, curling up against Jim.
"And we both lived happily ever after," Jim responded softly as he watched Blair relax into a gentle sleep, and followed soon after.
Tell Kelly how you liked it!
Back to Story Index