Make-up Sex by Akablonded

Make-up Sex - Akablonded

Sandburg's lying here on our bed, dopey with sleep, pretty much debauched, well-fucked, and, even better, well-loved. He's back after attending a week-long criminal justice conference in Chicago, where he represented the Cascade P.D. He chaired a symposium on "Recidivism and Minority Populations,” which he loved doing. It was like old times for the former teacher. And, from what I heard, the crowd loved him. They show remarkably good taste. But, I'm one up on all of them, because, these days, I'm the lucky bastard who gets to love Blair Sandburg for real.

I didn't think I could miss the hairy little guy so much. Being without Sandburg for the first time in, what, three years was like my heart having a piece missing from it. The God-damned Hallmark birthday card I bought for him said it all. Before you, it was all just going through the motions. Truth be told, I'm friggin' mush where the kid's concerned, even though it's still hard to say it out loud. (And, these days, 'kid' is more a term of affection, since Sandburg turned 30 awhile back.)

This mush business didn’t happened slowly. All I know is that one day, I'm giving some weird anthropologist grad student a temporary place to stay because his warehouse digs had blown up; the next, we’re at one another’s throats ready to go our separate ways; then, all of a sudden, I want to sink my teeth into his 'whacky dough' butt, and never, ever, let go.

I’m still not quite sure how Blair and I got to where we are today - tangled up together, in rumpled, ripe-smelling sheets. One thing is certain. Our relationship’s been a damned roller coaster ride of ups and downs: the good and the incredibly bad. (Sandburg once told me that after he’d jumped into being my unofficial partner and Guide, he couldn’t go back to the merry-go-round of a safe, staid, normal life.) What I have with my Blair is kind of like a pool of quicksand I once fell into during a covert operation in Zaire. If you struggle, you’re lost. But if you stay afloat, and go with it, you live and save your ass to fight another day. A life lesson like that I should have had tattooed on my forehead. But, somehow, it fell through the cracks. Damn, I guess Richard Burton was right (the 19th Century explorer -- not the actor). He was the foremost expert on Sentinels - people like me. One of the smarter things he wrote about was our collective fear-based reactions. Yes, sir, Burton had me pegged. Throughout my adult life, the Army, and now as a detective, the fear’s always been there. But I’ve kept it pretty well hidden. Nobody knew - or cared.

Until this century's foremost expert -- Blair Sandburg – discovered me at Cascade General Hospital, trying to figure out what the hell was happening to my out-of-control senses. ‘Doctor McKay’ snuck in under my radar, and began to learn everything there was to know about one James Joseph Ellison. He cared. He became my rudder, my port in the storm. He became my Guide. And, even more, Sandburg became … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Another thing, Blair's the most loyal and decent person you'll ever hope to meet. And I know that, as sure as Cubbies are never going to take the Series in this lifetime. So, how did I repay him? With a truckload of suspicion and enough bad judgment to sink a battleship. Blair deserved better from me. I should have tried a damned sight harder to get a handle on all the crap that was flying around. Not to blow my own horn, but I'm a considered a pretty smart cop. Well, for this particular fuck-up, 'smart' was just a word that came after 'schmuck' in the official Ellison dictionary. So, it didn't play out the way it should have. Things went downhill fast, so much so, that we almost crashed and burned as Sentinel and Guide - and, worse, as friends.

It all started to unravel during a wild nightshift at Metro. I'd made the mother of all fear-based bad choices and decided to read some of the opening chapter of Sandburg's dissertation. I know, I know. I shouldn't have. Sandburg asked me not to, but, come on, it was 'there.' And I was the subject of his paper, for Christ's sake. As I went through the pages, I felt like I'd been sucker-punched. What he wrote about me - about 'me,' the man who'd gotten him a job, and let him stay at my place -- pretty much pushed me over the edge. It made me sound like a coward, and even more of a freak.

I guess the part that hurt the most was that it was written by the one person who knew me better than anyone else in the world, someone I ....

I went nuts. We started fighting in the police garage, and kept it up well into the wee hours of the morning. Neither of us was willing to give an inch. I'd pretty much decided that this was the end of it all - of our partnership, our living arrangement, and of this Sentinel/Guide thing, when a strange guy named Gabe who'd been hauled in as a material witness in a murder investigation asked me the $64,000 question. "What good does it do for a man to have ears that will hear a thousand miles, if he cannot listen to the whispers of his own heart?"

I could have given him the answer, there and then. I knew it, as well as I know the face that stares back at me in my mirror. But, metaphysical claptrap has never been my strong suit. That giant leap of faith would have required me to admit my real feelings to myself -- that ex-Army Ranger, Cop of the Year Jim Ellison had an overwhelming passion for another man. That I loved Blair Sandburg, with every fiber of my being.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let that consuming need see the light of day. So I stuffed it away, like almost everything else in my repressed life. That decision began to color everything - every minute, every hour, every day we spent together. Then, ‘it’ happened. A Sentinel's version of hell. My waking nightmare come true: Blair died at the hands of Alex Barnes. Looking back now on that whole surreal episode, I see that, even though the vindictive female Sentinel actually killed Blair in the Hargrove Hall fountain, it was my pig-headed actions all along that had painted the cosmic bull’s eye on his back. In desperation and in a fear I’ve never experienced before – there’s that word, again -- and because I couldn't let Sandburg go with so much unfinished business between us, I followed my Guide to the other side, and brought him back. I gave us had another chance.

After the whole life/death thing, you'd think my first priority would be making up to Blair for all the shit I'd thrown his way. Yeah, right. The Jim Ellison track record was holding. Even the miracle of Sandburg's 'resurrection' didn't 'right' everything, like it should have.

The thesis fiasco saw to that. It blind-sided the both of us. Naomi Sandburg, Blair's mom, and a publisher friend of hers leaked my Guide's work about me to the world. It was a disaster and then some, which would have been destructive enough. But, it paled in comparison to what followed. Assassin Hans Zeller's shooting of Simon Banks, our Captain, and Inspector Megan Connor made me almost lose it. I was so off my game, I just wanted to put all of it – the Sentinel thing and who I was – behind me. Just the way Blair did, during a televised press conference about his thesis that made him persona non grata to the world. In less than five minutes, Sandburg lost his job, his credibility, and I thought, everything that mattered to him. But, even as the dust cleared, he told me that wasn't true, and that gold rings come in all shapes and sizes. And I still couldn’t – or wouldn’t – hear what Blair was saying to me.

While on the mend, Simon Banks got Sandburg admitted to the Academy, to start training as a Cascade police officer. The day that Blair became my official partner should have been one of the best and the brightest for both of us. It wasn't. And when life settled back down, something was "off" - and very wrong.

Still, Sandburg and I probably would have gone on that way indefinitely -- dancing around each other like the skittish, virtual strangers we’d become -- except for the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

I missed Blair's birthday.

Don't say it. I still have no idea what the hell happened. It had actually been my idea. I thought that maybe a big party with everybody we knew invited might show the world at large we were back on track. Back in step. That Ellison and Sandburg were “back,” and better than before. I remember morning of the big day. We started fighting in the truck about some stupid shit, and took it right into Cascade Courthouse while we waited to testify at the Carruthers arraignment. After a wolf-downed lunch, Sandburg and I headed back to Metro, where the little bastard got on my case about "raising ‘prick-dom’ to an art form." I had the mother of all headaches, the greasy burger and fries were crawling their way back up my throat, and I was damned angry at the bug that had crawled up his ass, which is exactly where I wanted to put my foot.

And I told him so, in the bullpen. At the top of my lungs. For everybody within earshot to hear. Even Simon came out of the inner sanctum of his captain's office to see what the fuck was going on. Furious, embarrassed, and hurt by being made the whipping boy in front of the other gold shield detectives, Sandburg looked at me with a wounded face.

"Jim, what's wrong with you?"

When I didn't answer, he muttered, "Later," and stormed out of the squad room, to get away from me, and back to the loft to prepare for the blowout bash scheduled later that evening.

Shit. I was batting a thousand. I could feel 20 pairs of eyes practically flaying me alive for what I'd just done. My little performance had pretty much confirmed to my boss and co-workers that I was an asshole. The Watchman of the Great City proved he was the worst kind of asshole, not to a some hippie observer/cop wannabe, but to his partner. And, more importantly, his Guide.

This wasn't the way I'd seen Blair’s 30th birthday play out in my head. See, I’d decided to go for broke. I'd made the decision to tell him that I loved everything he’d done for me. That I loved him. I'd even bought his damned present a couple of months before, figuring that by the time his birthday rolled around, it would be the "right" kind of gift. Sixty days had come and gone, and I “still” hadn’t worked up the nerve to tell him. The gift itself laid my feelings on the line. No room for misinterpretation. The box sat, wrapped, in the bottom drawer of my desk, a mute testament to wanting to take our relationship to the next level.

I would do it tonight sometime during the birthday celebration. I would declare my love for Blair Sandburg. But after what had just happened, I needed to try to calm down, to stay focused, and pull my act together before facing 40 of our closest friends at the apartment.

My first mistake was hitting Mayfield's, the local cop bar, for a little Dutch courage. I don't know what six lagers would do for the Dutch, but I know what they did for one anal-retentive, seriously-repressed Sentinel. Long story short: I didn't make it back to the loft until way past midnight. I wasn’t three sheets to the wind, exactly, but real close.

The party I was supposedly throwing for Blair was in full swing, shaking the proverbial rafters at 307 Prospect Avenue. Without me. As I fumbled my way into the festivities, I must have looked even more moronic than I felt. Sandburg just took in my un-sober condition, and dismissed me like I wasn’t even there. Expelling a cleansing breath that was more of a hiss than anything else, Blair turned to the group and announced, in a too-bright voice, "Call off the APB, guys. He's here. OK, everybody, it's cake time!" The pain and humiliation from the afternoon still hung around him. A blind man could have seen it with a cane, let alone a Sentinel with heightened senses. It seemed to anneal his normally gentle, understanding eyes into cold, blue steel.

No. I take that back. Steel would have been warmer.

***

Three-quarters of a Texas-sized sheet cake, eight magnums of surprisingly good champagne, and several stanzas of off-key, a cappella 'Happy Birthday' later, the crowd said their goodnights, and finally left.

Surrounded by the remnants of what looked to have been a rip-roaring celebration, my partner and I found ourselves alone.

To clean up.

To have it out.

Blair started throwing away everything in sight. Anger wrapped around the birthday boy's tense, unhappy frame. It was tighter than the red bow on the little box in my pocket.

"Look, chief, I'm ..."

"Can it, Jim. I'm not in the mood for a conversation." Sandburg cut me off at the knees. He probably was aiming quite a bit higher. "I'm going to finish straightening up after this shindig -- which was your fucking idea, by the way -- before I leave."

Sandburg was cursing. A really bad sign.

"You going out? It's late."

"No, I said I'm leaving. As in 'Adios.' There's a subtle difference, you son of a bitch."

This time, I knew he meant it. I began to panic. Trying to get his attention, I went to grip Sandburg's upper arm. A fist attached to 165 lbs. of ballistic Guide connected with the edge of my jaw, then ricocheted into my shoulder. If I'd been a little steadier on my feet, the little shit would have decked me good and proper.

There was a mindless brutality to the punch, as foreign to Blair Sandburg as buying clothes at the Big & Tall Shop. "Get away from me, man. I am so out of here. I'll let you know where to send my things."

"Don't go, chief."

"Screw you."

"Stay. Please."

"I don't want to hear it. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I found the card. See, cop school wasn’t wasted me, no matter what anybody else thinks."

Damn it. The card. I’d forgot about the fucking card.

"Two months. Two months, it's been sitting in the kitchen cabinet drawer. At first, I thought you'd bought it for someone else and it almost killed me. But then, every time I checked, it was still there."

"It's yours ... I got it for you." I stumbled over the explanation, my tongue still thick from the alcohol in my system.

"Uh-huh. Well, news flash, pal. The big day's come and gone. And you blew it. And it's STILL in the God-damned drawer."

"I ... Chief ... I wanted to ... but I couldn't ..."

He apparently had heard all of the bullshit he was going to take tonight. "What happened? Lose your nerve?" By then, Blair was pretty much ranting. "Or just change your mind?"

"No, Sandburg. I ..."

Sandburg waved me off with his classic 'talk to the hand' gesture. "Jesus, what I'd have given to hear, 'Blair, I love you' -- especially today of all days. But no, not the great Jim Ellison who doesn't need anybody. So, three cheers for Blair Sandburg who gets screwed. Again. Thanks, Jim, for a birthday I'll never forget." With that, my roommate stormed over to the front door where his leather coat hung.

I knew that if Blair Sandburg walked out now, I'd never get him back. Grabbing him ferociously and holding on for dear life, I yelled, "You bastard, you can't leave."

"Who's gonna stop me, Jim?"

"I am." Pulling Blair up against my body, I tried willing him into loving me.

"Go to hell, just go to hell." He struggled mightily, to shed himself of me.

"Without you I will. I'll be in hell. I love you, God damn it. Don't you know that?"

"What?"

"Jesus Christ, Sandburg ... Blair ... I ... do."

"I don't care and I don't believe you."

"I do. I love you." I pulled his long hair back, more roughly that I'd meant to, would have liked, so that his face tilted up into mine. The defiance there was chilling.

"Oh, yeah? Stupid me. Why didn't I see it? I should have known by the way you treasured me and took care of me. My. Big. Blessed. Protector." What he said next delivered an infinitely meaner one-two punch. The words were raw and nasty. "Like fucking gold. Just not when female Sentinels are around. Or near pools of water. Or when the world crucifies me for being a fraud. Then, you're a little slow on the uptake."

Jesus, Sandburg could be a vindictive so and so when he put his mind to it. I released him, because I could force him to stay, but I couldn't will Blair to love me. I turned dead eyes toward the man who had my heart in his hands.

"Take your best shot, Chief. I survived my old man, the Army, Carolyn, and all the rest. I guess I can survive you walking out on me, too."

What a pathetic lie. Who was I trying to kid? I'd never make it without Blair Sandburg. Not in a million years.

"Kneel down."

"What?"

"You heard me."

"You want me to beg your forgiveness?"

"For starters. I said down on your knees." But, suddenly, the voice was Blair's again, gentle, and kinder than it had been for the last 24 hours.

Tentatively, Sandburg touched my cheek, tracing his fingers down to the bruise forming on my jaw from the earlier right cross. I turned my head slightly so my lips could brush his hand.

God, the taste of him.

The sound of him.

The smell of him.

The look of him.

I loved it all. I loved him. So I dropped to my knees.

"Unzip me, Jim. Show me how you feel. Take me into your mouth. You heard me. That's it. You're too late to blow out the candles. So, I guess you're just going to have to blow the guest of honor."

And then Blair smiled at me, and I knew I was - we were - OK. "And, while you're at it, you dumb fuck, take me into your heart."

I did what he asked. I pulled Sandburg's jeans down, and practically fell onto that beautiful erection of his, and drew the whole thing down my throat. I sucked until I saw stars. I sucked until he saw stars. As Blair dug fiercely into my scalp with his hands, I plunged my spit-slick fingers into Blair's tight, virgin hole. My partner screamed my name as his body bucked uncontrollably, and as he came the first time that night. Explosively. I kept sucking until there was nothing left to suck, until we slid down and hit the floor together.

In the semi-darkness of the kitchen, Sandburg gasped "I love you" over and over. It was friggin' music to my ears. I finally let Blair go, just long enough for me to move up and devour the full, waiting mouth I'd dreamt about. I milked and chewed those pouting, needy lips until they looked smeared by endless summer strawberries. I kissed Sandburg hungrily as he mewled wordless, passionate moans and gravelly, aroused sounds. All the while, Blair's strong hands ran over my sweat-drenched face and neck and chest and dick and snatched my heart away from me.

Forever.

Then we went upstairs to my bed - no, now, our bed. I stripped away Sandburg's remaining layers of clothing like a plague of locusts devouring everything in front of it. He, in turn, stripped away my defenses and knocked down my barriers.

Blair was a cardiac man going for the heart. Right organ. He was just using a novel way to get to it -- through my dick.

And we finally had makeup sex. As in making up for lost time, for years of waste and want.

As in making up for never having a place anywhere, and never feeling at peace anywhere.

Until now. Until Blair.

As in making up for lonely, pointless days, and empty, best-forgotten nights.

Until now. Until Blair.

As in making up for having no one. And feeling like no one.

Until now. Until Blair.

I pounded into the birthday boy up to the hilt, and then some, until that same keeper of my heart and watchman of my soul grabbed for me - blindly, frantically, mercifully -- knowing that I needed our connection to last longer than this frenzied coupling.

That was it. We'd coupled. We were a couple.

No more him and me.

Now us.

Afterwards, Sandburg made me sing 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' at least a half-dozen times to make up for my being a 24-carat putz in front of all our friends. He made me have sex with him until I thought I'd have to splint the little Sentinel or shore it up with a coat of Plaster of Paris.

Blair accepted my apology and the gift, a panther and wolf emblazoned-gold ring, with unabashed joy.

And in the middle of our first night together, Blair Jacob Sandburg found the Jim Ellison I was meant to be. I knew I was home.

And he hasn't let me go since. So now doesn't matter if Sandburg's on top, or on the bottom. Or hanging out of my truck window on level B of the Southwest Airways Terminal, on his way to committing several dozen acts of public lewdness, which is pretty much what happened a few hours ago when I picked him up at the Cascade Airport. From any position you can think of, Sandburg's calling the shots. Like always.

And I'm never going to get the imprint of the steering wheel off my ass.

After Blair's being away five days, 11 hours, and an odd number of minutes, we needed to have some more makeup sex. Blair went down on me in the front seat of the Ford, just to take the edge off, then I followed up with boffing his brains out at the loft.

For the hell of it. And, shit, for the heaven of it.

Let's see if Hallmark can come up with something to celebrate a Sentinel finding his Guide, and a guy like me finding his missing piece. I'd pay big bucks for a card like that. Bet you would, too.

If you were so lucky.

The end

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Acknowledgments: For all of the Mongoose clan.