Don't Let the Door by Kerensa

Don’t Let the Door - Kerensa

The pale gray statue looked like a cross between a hippopotamus and a stripper, only uglier. Blair frowned at the figurine, turning it around in his hand.

“Why in the heck did I keep this thing?” Blair wondered aloud. Really, he knew exactly why the ugly bit of pottery had graced the shelf behind his desk for the last three years, because she was Tackele', the Macedonian Goddess of Fertility. “Not that she’s done me a lot of good lately,” Sandburg muttered under his breath.

Almost four years ago, Carla, his friend who was a nurse at the hospital, had sent him the information (which she so shouldn’t have done) about a man who was having trouble with his senses being out of whack. Blair’s life had taken a sharp turn to the left and hadn’t been the same since. That buff body sitting on the examination table and those flashing blue eyes when Jim had shoved him against the wall of his office had hooked Blair’s heart and his libido.

“Not that Jim ever noticed. At least, I hope not.”

Blair sighed and wrapped the sheet of newspaper in his hand around the ugly, and not very effective, statue and carefully placed her in one of the boxes he was packing. Yes, that was what he was doing; Blair was spending a fun filled evening packing up his office at Rainier. The ex-grad student had hoped that by coming here later in the day he could avoid as many people as possible and thereby miss the unwanted confrontations.

People like his students, present and ex, who gave him wide eyed, disappointed looks, when they would even deign to look at him at all. Fellow grad students and teachers had mixed reactions; they were either giving him sad ‘sorry to see you go’ looks or smirking ‘I knew you were crap all along’ glares.

Quite frankly, Blair couldn’t decide which were worse; the pity or the disgust.

The station was even worse, not that he was allowed there now. The guys in Major Crimes had seemed all rah rah when Simon offered him a badge and the chance to work with Jim for real, but in the days since then, Blair had noticed a definite cooling off. Even Simon, who knew for certain that Blair wasn’t a fraud and that he most assuredly hadn’t lied to and about Jim, was acting like offering Blair a job had been a mistake.

Blair pulled several books from the shelf, and after carefully making sure that they were his and not borrowed from a friend or the library, the curly haired man set them inside a smaller box, one that wouldn’t be so hard to carry. He picked up The Sentinels of Paraguay by Richard Burton and opened the front cover gently. The book naturally fell open to the picture of the ancient Sentinel and Blair ran a reverent finger around the edge of the page.

The observer let a small smile grace his lips as he admired the image on the page. For a moment, only a moment mind you, he let his mind wander to times when he had gotten a glimpse of Jim’s magnificent body. Stolen moments when Ellison was a little less careful about closing the bathroom door when he was going to shower. Times when the older man stood closer to the edge of his bedroom landing while changing clothes. Those few glorious moments when Jim had needed to wash the oil residue off of his skin on that oil rig, when Blair had nearly gone bug eyed trying not to stare.

There were times when he’d wondered if Jim had taunted him purposely. That maybe, just maybe, the cop was as interested in Blair as the younger man was in him. Then, the next red head appeared, or the next criminal—not that they were mutually exclusive—and Blair knew that it was nothing but a dream in his head, a glorified pipe dream. And now…

Lately, Jim acted like Blair was an inconvenient acquaintance, and he had for several months, long before the mess with the dissertation, even before Alex and the fountain. No, the problems went all the way back to when Incacha died and left ‘the way of the Shaman’ to him.

“What the hell does that mean anyway? The way of the Shaman. Humph.”

Shaking his head, Blair gave his friendly Sentinel one last look, delicately closed the book, and stuffed it into the middle of the box of other books. It would be a very long time before he wanted to read about wondrous Sentinels again. A very long time.

Glancing around the room, Blair realized that he had everything packed up. Looking at the desk, Sandburg saw a few battered boxes that were taped together with duck tape and a desk, which was normally covered with student’s papers, that was now otherwise empty.

The grad student—no, ex-grad student, ex-observer—the unemployed man, sighed yet again for his lost and broken dreams. He was never going to get his doctorate, it was highly doubtful that he would become a cop—kind of hard to do when your fellow cops didn’t trust you—and from the way Jim had been acting, he wouldn’t be allowed to ‘guide’ the Sentinel any more.

“Unemployed, no prospects, no friends and soon to be homeless. Wow, could this year get any better?” he asked sarcastically.

Blair loaded the boxes full of his possessions onto a dolly that he had secured, to make as few trips across campus as he could manage, and hesitated for a moment. The young man took a shuddering breath and let his shoulders slump; he was so tired of pretending that everything was okay.

“Not much to show for 13 years of my life,” Blair mused aloud.

With his head down, Blair grasped the handles of the trolley and walked out the door, knowing that he would never be back to this, his second home, again.

~@~@~@~@~@~

Hit You On the Butt, part 2

James Joseph Ellison paced angrily back and forth in front of the loft’s green front door. Well, actually he limped badly a few steps either way, because his leg wound, courtesy of Zeller, was still healing and bothered him more than he cared to admit.

“Damn it!” Jim exclaimed through clenched teeth; that little muscle at the corner of his jaw began its little dance. “Where in the hell is he?” Ellison asked the room; not surprisingly, there was no answer.

Blair was missing and had been for hours. The Sentinel knew that he wasn’t Blair’s keeper, despite the ‘Blessed Protector’ crap that Sandburg had spouted that time, but after all the crap they had gone through recently, it would have been nice for Blair to keep him informed.

“Inconsiderate little shit,” he muttered.

Jim paused for a second in his pacing/limping and felt a momentary twinge of his conscience. He wasn’t Blair’s keeper and on the flip side, Blair wasn’t beholden to him, either. Ellison began to remember all of the things that had happened to Blair over the last several months—from being poisoned to drowning—and for a moment, he felt bad about the things he’d been thinking. But then…he heard the Volvo’s gears grind as it turned into the parking lot. The relief he felt was so intense that it made him mad all over again, because he shouldn’t have been worried in the first place!

Unfortunately for Blair, the front door opened just a few minutes later.

====

Blair gasped in surprise. Jim was standing right in front of the door, just past where it would have hit him when opening. The former grad student had come in with his head down, as had become his wont in recent days, and so he was unprepared when he ran, literally, head first into the Sentinel.

“Jim! Man, you scared the crap out of me.” Blair rubbed his forehead and gave the detective a worried look. “Are you alright? Is your leg hurting? Has something happened?” he asked apprehensively, glancing around the living room. It wouldn’t have surprised him to find Naomi wafting in from his bedroom on a cloud of sage and gauze. He wouldn’t exactly have been shocked to find reporters camped out on the balcony either.

What he got, knocked him speechless.

“Where the HELL have you been?!” the Sentinel roared.

Blair stumbled back into the door, with Jim in his face snarling at him and just like that, the smaller man had a flashback to his office four years ago, which really wasn’t a scene that he wanted to revisit. His back was hurting, from hauling boxes and hitting the door, his heart hurt from having to empty out the trash of his old life, and his friend was yelling at him.

“Shut the fuck up!” he screamed back, close to Jim’s oh so sensitive ear. The Sentinel jerked back and grabbed his head in pain, dropping his cane in the process. “What is the matter with you?!” Blair asked in a more moderate tone. Even in his agitated frame of mind, the Guide automatically lowered his voice, touched Jim on the arm to ground him, and picked up his cane, all without really being aware of what he was doing.

Jim accepted the comfort, also without consciously realizing Blair was doing it, and glared at the curly haired man. “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?” he repeated incredulously. “I’ve been worried out of my mind about you, that’s what’s the matter.” Blair’s brow furrowed and he opened his mouth, possibly to apologize for worrying his friend, but Jim continued and the moment was lost. “Where have you been for the last,” he gave his watch a death glare, “four hours?”

Blair’s eyes narrowed and any consternation he might have felt over Jim being worried fled in a flood of white hot rage. The fear, anger and pain that he’d felt since his mother decided to ‘help’ him boiled over and onto the two of them.

“Well, Ellison,” Jim blinked in surprise at the use of his surname, “since I blew my career out on live television a few days ago, where the hell do you think I was?”

The Sentinel continued to glare, but it was in a half-hearted way as his mind whirled through the possibilities. Try as he might, the strain that he himself had gone through, coupled with the pain medication he was still taking kept his brain a semi-foggy state and so he was at a loss.

“I went to the university to clear out my office,” Blair said quietly.

Ellison grimaced, both at the thought of Blair losing the job he loved so much, and was so good at, and the idea that he went through that ordeal all alone. He ran a hand through his shorter hair as he tried to think of what to say.

“I-I’m sorry to hear that, Chief. I wish you’d told me and I would have gone with you.”

Blair started to respond, by reminding the older man that he had been less than friendly the last, well, several months, actually, but decided to cut him a break. “Jim, your leg is still hurt. Besides, I didn’t need anybody to hold my hand. I’ve been on my own since I was, like a teenager.”

“But…”

Sandburg held up a hand, forestalling whatever Jim wanted to say, because he was tired of the merry-go-round, he wanted to get off. “It doesn’t matter. I’m gonna lay down for a while.”

====

Jim was draped on the couch, his bad leg up on the cushions and the other sitting flat on the floor. The day had been an emotional roller coaster, although Jim had to admit that a lot of that was his own guilty conscience. Ever since Naomi inadvertently released Blair’s dissertation and Jim had accused the grad student of doing it on purpose, the Sentinel hadn’t known how to act. So, predictably he had struck out at the one person he should have held close.

Blair.

The man he…

Ellison sat up with a jerk, his eyes, which had been closed to rest them, snapped open. “I love him,” he realized with a gasp. Jim’s head jerked over to look at the closed French doors in astonishment. “Oh, man,” he groaned, emulating his favorite Guide.

~@~@~@~@~@~

On Your Way Out, part three

Blair looked like an angel with his hair lying on his pillow like a tangled halo. At least, that’s how he seemed to Jim’s newly opened eyes. ‘A wild angel,’ Ellison amended internally as his eyes took in the thick chest hair peeking over the top of Blair’s old, ragged t-shirt and the 1 o’clock shadow gracing his cheeks. ‘There’s way too much for it to last until 5 o’clock’ the Sentinel thought with a smirk. He noticed that the shirt Blair was wearing was one of his old Cascade PD ones and instead of being pissed off that the younger man had once again purloined some of his clothing, the Sentinel felt a warm glow which began in the center of his chest and spread outwards.

‘Geez, I’ve got it bad when seeing Blair in ratty clothes and badly needing a shave makes me all gooey inside,’ Ellison realized. He also realized that standing in Blair’s doorway in the middle of the night was stalkerish and bordering on the creepy. He slowly shut the French doors and trudged back up to his bedroom where, if things went according to schedule, he would spend several sleepless hours *not* jerking off to Blair’s scent.

====

Blair patiently waited until he heard that board beside Jim’s bed pop when he walked over it to open his eyes. The sapphire blue eyes looked heavenward, or at least, towards Jim’s bedroom.

‘Close enough to heaven,’ Sandburg mused. ‘I wonder what’s up with Jim? He’s been acting squirrely the last few days, ever since we had that fight.’

Blair frowned. He wanted to get up and pace, but he knew that the Sentinel would hear him and come investigate.

‘I wonder if he wants me to live somewhere else?’ Blair felt his stomach clench at the idea. ‘After Alex, Jim probably wouldn’t say anything, no matter how miserable he was.’ Blair pondered that for the several hours that it took for daylight to arrive and came to a hard decision. Jim was his Sentinel and if leaving was what would make Jim happy, then that was what Blair would do, no matter how miserable it would make Blair personally.

====

Blair was standing by the bar, drinking a cup of smelly tea, when Jim walked out of the bathroom. Ellison frowned, because Blair was not a morning person; sometimes Jim had to almost physically drag the younger man out of bed. The Sentinel noticed the tense lines of Blair’s shoulders as he walked up to him and decided to make a move.

“I love you,” he declared boldly, as he tensed up, waiting for Blair’s reaction.

At the exact same moment, Blair inquired, “Do you want me to move out?”

“What?”

“What?” Again, they spoke in unison.

“Of course I don’t want you to move. I never want you to leave,” Ellison stated. Blair’s mouth was hanging open.

“Say that again,” the anthropologist requested.

“I don’t want you to move.”

Blair shook his head, making his ruffled curls woosh back and forth. “No, before that.”

The Sentinel gave a small grin. He could hear Blair’s heart pounding and smell the unmistakable scent of arousal that was steadily coming from Blair’s direction, so Jim was a little more confident when he stated, “I love you,” for a second time.

“Oh, thank God,” Blair said reverently, as he threw himself at the detective; he wrapped his arms around Jim’s back and did his best to check out the durability of the Sentinel’s tonsils. By the way, they were in excellent condition.

Jim, meanwhile, was conducting his own health check on Blair and apparently the muscles of his backside were in very good shape, as well. Ellison found out by kneading them vigorously and just to make sure that he hadn’t been mistaken, the ex-Ranger went back for another look-see.

“Jim. Jim,” Blair repeated a little more forcefully, although not any louder in deference to the Sentinel’s sensitive ears. Ellison leaned back, but didn’t let go…of anything that he had a tight grip on. “Are you sure about this?”

Jim’s patrician eyebrows shot up at the question and he gave the anthropologist’s hind quarters another squeeze. “What does this feel like?” he asked with a leer.

Blair moaned. “It feels great, is what it feels like.” Jim aimed for Blair’s lips, but the smaller man leaned back slightly, forestalling another kiss. “But what about tomorrow? Or next week? Or even next month?” Ellison opened his mouth to answer, but Blair held up a hand, silently asking him to wait. “What happens the next time that you get mad at me? Or somebody at the station makes some snide remark about ‘that hippie punk’?” Sandburg took a deep breath and looked Jim straight in the eye. “Or when the next reporter asks about ‘the Sentinel’?”

The Sentinel felt his shoulders slump. He hated it that Blair was so insecure about Jim’s professed love, but he certainly understood. In the last four years, Ellison had either pulled Blair in as close as humanly—and in at least one instance, closer—or pushed him away with all of his might. A schizophrenic lover would be hard for anyone to take.

Standing up straighter, the Sentinel looked into his soon-to-be lover’s eyes. “The next reporter is going to get my cane up their butt and a lawsuit if they don’t stop hassling us. I’m sure I will get mad at you, and you will get mad at me, but let’s make the decision, right now, to never go to sleep angry and to talk things out. And, yeah, I know, neither of which is anything that you are going to have to change; that’s all to me.” Blair smiled and Jim continued, “And ‘we’ will handle any problems at the station.” Blair’s smile morphed into something incandescent when his partner emphasized the ‘we’ in that statement. “You have been my partner for almost 4 years; if anyone has a problem with you being there, then they will have their attitude adjusted.”

Blair nodded, pleased with the support and love that he could feel coming off of the cop. Speaking of feeling…

“Come here, Big Guy, I need a couple of things adjusted,” he whispered huskily.

“My pleasure.”

The End.

Back to Stories.

Notes: Thanks to Patt, who wanted a sad story for the Moonridge Auction. Hopefully, not too sad. Betaed by Bobbie.