Not Poison by Arrow

Not Poison - Arrow

Swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison.
—Bob Dylan

The door to Blair's room was closed when Jim got home, so he figured Sandburg was either sleeping off the all-nighter he'd pulled or was changing clothes or something. Blair always closed the door to change, which Jim thought was a little strange, because hadn't Sandburg had roommates before?

Jim couldn't remember the last time he'd worried about someone seeing something they shouldn't. Basic training, maybe. No, in junior high. Before J.V. football had put some muscle on him, Scotty Martin had made fun of Jim's dick in the locker room. It was a little too big for his skinny frame back then. Once he'd grown into his body and put on some bulk he'd never worried anymore about what anyone thought.

And Sandburg sure had nothing to be ashamed about. Yeah, he wasn't bulky, but from what Jim had seen, Blair didn't look weird or have an extra nipple or anything. Actually, he had a real nice shape to him—good muscle tone, not skinny but not fat. Sturdy legs, firm butt. No reason at all for him to be hiding behind his door.

And Jim knew he was in there, because he could smell him. Which was screwed up, if Jim thought about it too much. Because of course the whole loft smelled of Blair's presence—more than it did of Jim, really, which wasn't surprising with all the candles and incense and freaking sage and stuff. But it was just freaky that Jim could tell by sniffing whether Sandburg was home or not.

Especially right now, because the scent was stronger than usual, slightly musky—

It was right about then that Jim's ears, which he'd dialed down for the drive home, finally tuned up, and he heard a faint, unmistakable moan.

Jim grinned. So, Sandburg was jerking off, eh? Pretty funny that he should wait until he thought Jim wasn't home—it wasn't like Jim would be surprised or something that his oversexed roommate had to spank the monkey on occasion.

Suppressing a mean urge to knock loudly on Sandburg's door and scare the life out of his dick, Jim went to the kitchen and pulled out the milk to make himself a bowl of Cheerios for dinner. His ear stayed trained a little on the muffled porn track going on behind Sandburg's door; it wasn't like Jim was listening on purpose, but it was pretty hard to ignore sex, even solo sex, when it was happening fifteen feet away from him.

He tried to focus on the crunch of the cereal. He liked to scoop it into the milk a handful at a time, because that way it didn't have a chance to get soggy before he could eat it.

Sandburg's breathing picked up and then stopped, and Jim heard him give a small, satisfied, "Ohhh, wow," that raised the hairs on the back of his neck for some reason.

Jim scooped another handful of cereal.

When Blair opened the door, a heavy cloud of sex smell came wafting out with him, and Jim stared down at the dregs of milk in his bowl feeling embarrassed all of a sudden.

"Jim! You're home," Sandburg said, sounding dismayed.

Jim tilted his bowl up to his mouth and drank the thick, Cheerio-flavored milk. Then he raised one eyebrow deliberately at Blair to let him know, yeah, he'd been here to hear the whole thing, because damned if Jim was going to be the only person embarrassed. After all, he hadn't been the one getting his rocks off.

"Oh, what, like I'm supposed to believe you never jerk off?" Sandburg said, sounding not embarrassed at all, not even a little bit. "A tree wanking off in the forest still makes a sound, you know—and, hey, couldn't we at least try to maintain the illusion of privacy, here? I mean, do you have to listen to every fart?"

"But you fart so pretty, Chief. " Jim tried again. "And you should've heard the noises you were making. And the way you kept throwing my name in there..." he teased with an evil grin.

Jim wasn't sure why he'd decided to make that particular joke, but the effect on Blair was stunning. His blue eyes seemed to bug right out of his head, guilt and shame flashed over his features, and he closed his jaw so fast it looked like he caught his tongue.

Jim heard the sudden thump-thump of Blair's heart, and before he could wrap his brain around what had just happened, there was a flurried rush as Blair fled back to his room and slammed the door so hard that Jim's hands went up involuntarily to cover his ears.

When his eyes stopped tearing up from pain he walked uncertainly over to Blair's door. Heat flushed Jim's body with what he identified as embarrassment, and he stood there for a few minutes trying to make himself say something, anything, but what could he say?

When he couldn't think of a single thing, he went upstairs to bed.

He tried to think about what it meant, and then he decided that was a really bad idea and fell asleep instead.

///

The next morning Jim was up as usual before Sandburg. The whole thing from the night before was like a bad dream or something, and Jim let it sit behind the fog there in the back of his head where it wouldn't make him crazy.

He didn't feel much like eating, just made a pot of coffee, then dumped it into the carafe so it would still be warm for Blair when he woke up.

After Jim took his shower, he dithered for about a second before striding out into the living room with only a towel on, just like he always did.

Sandburg wasn't there to be impressed by his casual attitude, though. His door was still firmly shut. Jim didn't let himself try to listen for signs of life; he went upstairs and got dressed, then strapped on his gun. He ran his hand over his damp hair to get it in shape, and then trotted downstairs.

Still no Sandburg. Jim wasn't sure what he was supposed to do. Sneaking out the door was pretty appealing as a strategy, but he'd pay for it later. Sandburg would probably be hurt. Maybe. Or just pissed at Jim for pulling a fade. And just maybe it would be the final straw to push Sandburg out the door.

Jim rubbed the space between his eyebrows with his thumb. He hated this shit. He'd have to wait, and Sandburg would come out and probably want to talk about it, about their feelings. Process the whole thing.

Jim suppressed a shudder.

But it was getting late. He went to stand outside Blair's door and heard a faint rustle that told him Sandburg was awake but refusing to get out of bed.

"You ever gonna come out of there?" Jim finally said.

"Maybe. Maybe not," came Sandburg's muffled voice. It sounded like he had his head stuck under a pillow.

"I made coffee," Jim said coaxingly. "The Blue Mountain stuff you like." And, sheesh, he was a sap, wasn't he, because he didn't even like the stuff; too acidic.

"Go away."

Well, he'd tried. That was the thing. Sandburg couldn't put it on him later.

"Have it your way," Jim said, trying not to sound relieved.

"Hang on a sec." There was a muffled thump and then a groan.

Shit. Jim retreated to the kitchen, poured Blair a cup of coffee, and waited.

Blair came out with a robe wrapped over his T-shirt and sweatpants. Even for Sandburg that was a little much—it had to be at least seventy degrees in the loft. His hair looked wild, like he'd been run over by a thresher machine.

Walking to the fridge without looking at Jim, Blair made a sniffing noise and then took out his soymilk. He stared down at the counter as he mixed it in his coffee with a little of that agave sweetener stuff.

"So..."

"So—"

"You first," Jim said gratefully.

"So, shit. I'm-I'm sorry. About last night."

Jim let that sit for a few seconds. "Sorry about what?"

"Oh, right," Blair said, and Jim couldn't remember ever hearing him sound like that—so completely infuriated and disgusted with him. "I guess it's time for a little road trip to Repression City, huh, Jim? Stick it all somewhere so it can jump up and bite us in the ass in the middle of being shot at or drowning or something?"

That was a low dig. Jim went over and grabbed the phone off the wall.

"What're you doing?"

"I'm calling in sick."

Blair rushed over and tried to pull the phone out of his hand. "Oh, no, you don't. I'm not gonna have Simon pissed at me, too."

Jim let him take the phone and then leaned against the counter. Blair took one look at how close he'd gotten and backed two quick steps away.

"Look," Jim said. "All I meant was, you don't have anything to be sorry for. All right? We're good."

Blair didn't say anything, but his face was turning red.

"I mean, we are, aren't we? Good?"

"Oh, yeah, we're great," Blair muttered.

"So, how do we make it right, then?" Jim asked as patiently as he could. Jesus, this was like getting dental work.

"You're shitting me." Blair stomped a little circle while throwing up his hands. "You're trying to say it doesn't bug you? What I was doing last night? What I was thinking about while I was doing it?"

And, oh, shit. Coldness burned in Jim's belly. No, he really had not thought about it. He'd actively, forcefully not been thinking about it—that Blair had been—and he'd been imagining stuff about Jim while he—

What exactly were you thinking about? he couldn't ask, and so, You do know I'm not into guys, right? was right off the table.

"Thought so," Blair said with what sounded like savage satisfaction.

"No, look—" Jim recovered fast. He'd always been quick on his feet in a crisis, and this was a crisis, he recognized that much. If he didn't handle this right, Blair might sail right out the door with nothing but that rucksack he kept packed up and sitting in his closet. "—I'm really okay with this," Jim said, making it count. "I mean, Jesus, Sandburg, it's your head, isn't it? It's none of my business. We'll be fine," he added when Blair didn't respond. "We'll be good, okay?"

Sandburg was staring at him distrustfully. And he looked so damned sad—disappointed, really—that for a second Jim wished he could do something about it. But he couldn't. He just really couldn't help out there. No way.

"If you're not going to let me call in, then you have to say we're good, Chief. Otherwise, we're gonna hash this out if it takes all day."

That seemed to cheer Blair up a little, because he shook his head with a rueful grin. "And I'll bet you just love that idea, right?"

"It's on my top ten list. Next to root canals and psych evals."

"And vegan pizza crust."

Jim gave an exaggerated shiver, and Blair laughed a little, shakily.

"Okay, yeah, we're good."

The relief Jim suddenly felt was dizzying. He hadn't even realized how knotted his gut was until it eased up.

"That's terrific, Chief." Jim pushed away from the counter and took a step toward Sandburg, thinking to give him a clap on the shoulder or something, but Blair jumped back.

And then tried to look like he hadn't.

The twisty feeling was back, but Jim just held his face calm and went to grab his jacket instead.

"See you at the station later?" And how fucked up was it that he needed this guy, this brilliant, annoying, hippie child of a certified flake, to keeping working at his job?

Suddenly furious for no reason he could figure, Jim stepped out the door without waiting for a reply.

///

They were both careful not to bring it up again.

Blair sulked a little, but after a few days stopped treating Jim like he had a canister of Ebola strapped to his chest, and after a few weeks Jim no longer worried that walking around in his boxers was going to push Sandburg over the sexual edge, and he kept his ears and nose out of Sandburg's bedroom, and eventually they were just like they'd always been.

Except in the back of Jim's mind it was always there, like a hidden something, dangerous to look at too closely. The weird thing was, he wanted to—wanted to reach in and pull it out and examine it, turn it over, bend his eyes on it, like it was gold or something valuable, warm and heavy in his hand. But he just knew if he looked, really looked, everything would blow up on him, so he didn't.

And if sometimes Blair blushed when Jim gave him a friendly pat on the cheek, or if Jim felt like a jerk because he knew it might happen but he couldn't stop touching Blair anyway, well, the important thing was no matter what happened—who they fucked, or what went down—Blair stuck by him. God, Jim loved him for that. Blair never faltered, not even during the times Jim treated him like total and complete crap just because he was scared out of his mind or feeling like he was buck naked and everyone was pointing and laughing.

So maybe the thing that was making Jim both happy and guilty was, after the dissertation was history, he started to wonder if maybe the only reason Blair still stuck around was this thing sitting between them unanswered. Like maybe it was the only reason.

And because it was maybe the only thing keeping Blair by his side, Jim couldn't stop thinking about it. Because it was out there, hidden in plain sight, like a bong on the coffee table when the cops stopped by unexpectedly—Bong? What bong?

He couldn't stop looking at it. And he couldn't help the illicit glow of pleasure.

Then came the day when Blair graduated from the Academy. No big ceremony or anything, because he hadn't gone the full course, and said he didn't want to participate, anyway, that the customs and rituals were rigid and pomp-filled in order to inculcate the cadets with yadda-yadda-yadda—Jim tuned him out for a bit—so why didn't they just go to the Lonestar with the Major Crimes crew and Jim would buy the first round and every round after that?

Everyone was game for the idea, except for Jim's wallet, which made this sad, deflated sound in his head. Something like the noise that came out of the giant Porky Pig balloon during the Cascade Coffee Days Parade when that stupid redheaded kid shot it with a BB gun.

Jim bought the first pitchers and brought them back to the table. The seats near Blair were taken, so Jim ended up sitting at the end of the bench next to Simon. Blair waved his hands and told the story of how he'd almost blown off the shooting instructor's kneecap his first day on the range.

Simon leaned over and said to Jim over the crowd noise, "Well, he's a real cop now."

Jim knew, joking story aside, Sandburg had kicked ass in all his classes—not just on the shooting range, but in hand-to-hand and academics and everything else.

"He's come a long way, I guess," Jim replied, sipping his beer. The words kind of hovered there in his brain while he gazed at Sandburg with his short hair, white oxford shirt and rolled up sleeves. His forearms were tanned from being outside so much. He looked great. Fantastic, really, talking and gesturing with the same old animation, but with a harder look to his face and a stronger set to his neck from all the physical training.

Jesus, he looked like a cop.

Sure, he still had the earrings, and the stubble, and the brain and the mouth that both ran at a thousand cycles per second. He just didn't really look like a hippie anymore—hadn't for a while.

And Jim wasn't sure if that made him feel guilty or glad. It was the same damned thing—the same feeling that had been messing with him for over a year now.

He couldn't stop staring. Sandburg was going to be partnered up with him from the get-go; Simon had already taken care of it. And as Jim thought about it his stomach suddenly dropped. It felt like...a door had opened while he wasn't looking. And he hadn't even realized he'd been watching for it, waiting for it, wanting it, all this time. The two of them on equal footing—Jim no longer needing Blair for the senses, and Blair standing on his own as a career cop. Not an observer. Not a side-kick, but a full partner.

Suddenly, Jim had to get out of there. He stood and pulled his wallet from his pants to drop a couple of twenties on the scarred wooden table.

"Get the next rounds for me, will ya, Simon? I'm really not feeling so hot."

Simon craned his head and looked at him. "Christ, Jim, you look like shit. Is it..." Simon's voice dropped, "a sentinel thing?"

"My head is pretty bad," Jim said, not really lying. "Tell the gang I said 'so long.'"

Everyone's attention was still focused on Sandburg, so Jim slipped away and squeezed by the crowd at the bar to get to the door. The air outside was warm and blustery and a little bit damp; summer storm on the way, maybe. As he strode to the truck he kept his head down and his shoulders hunched against the wind.

"Jim! Jim, wait up!"

Crap. He should've known he couldn't get out of it that easy. He turned and waited for Blair to catch up.

"You were just gonna take off without saying anything?"

"I've got a headache, Chief. And you looked like you were having a good time—I didn't want to interrupt."

Blair poked out his lip. "Simon made that face at me when he said you'd left."

"Which face?"

"You know, gave me the high eyebrows: 'It's a Sentinel thing, so you handle it, Sandburg.'"

"It's not the senses. You know I haven't had any problems for a long time. This is just a headache, Chief." And at that point it was real. Looking at Blair hurt him, and not just his head.

"Do I look stupid to you?" Blair jittered beside him as he started again toward the truck. "I'm not a student anymore, so I must've dropped some I.Q. points, is that it?"

Jim didn't ask what he was talking about. He'd learned a long time ago that was exactly the wrong question to ask Sandburg. Instead, Jim continued a little faster toward his truck.

"You've been acting like a bear with a sore tail for weeks now," Sandburg said, hurrying by his side, two steps to Jim's one.

"A sore tail?" Where the hell had he parked?

"A sore something, anyway. What's the deal, man? I did it, didn't I? I made it through. You didn't think I could, but I did."

Jim stopped dead. "Why in hell would you think that? I knew you'd make it. Didn't doubt it for a fucking second, Sandburg."

Blair let out his breath in a whoosh Jim could feel from two feet away. "So, what's the problem now?"

"There isn't one."

"No?"

"Nope. Not a one. You should get back to your party, you know? It's your big night."

"Fuck that. I'm going home with you. And we're going to extract that splinter from your ass before it gets us both in trouble."

The funny thing was, even as he cringed in anticipation, Jim knew Blair was right. He'd been right too many fucking times for Jim to doubt it anymore. They couldn't leave crap between them and still be partners.

But, shit, this was going to sting.

///

"You owe me another beer," Blair said as they walked in, and he went straight to the fridge to grab one. "You want some frozen peas for your headache?"

"Yeah, that'd be good," Jim said, collapsing on the couch. He suddenly felt exhausted and slightly nauseated.

Blair dropped the peas in his lap, and Jim applied the package to his forehead with a groan.

"Thanks." A wonderful spike of cold went directly into his brain. The pack had the added benefit of covering his eyes so he didn't have to look at Blair when he said, "I didn't say anything today, but I'm really proud of you, you know? And, okay, so I don't have a right—shit, you didn't need me for any of it—but I still feel like this is something we did together."

Blair rustled next to him. "Jeez, Jim. Man, that's—well, pretty cool, really. Sappy, but cool."

Jim smiled. "And you are glad, right? I mean you want to do this thing?"

A snort of disbelief was followed by a gentle bump against Jim's shoulder. "Hell, yes. Is that what's been bugging you?"

Jim heard the laughter in Blair's voice and quailed a little at what he had to do next. "No, that wasn't it. I-I need to know something."

"Of course, Jim. What's up?" Blair sounded immediately sympathetic.

"Remember when you—well, what I'm wondering is, it's been a while, and a lot of shit has gone down since then, so maybe..."

Blair made a go-on noise.

Jesus, this was hard. Jim made himself ask, "Do you still...do you still...you know, think of me sometimes?"

There was a silence, and then he heard Blair lift his bottle and take a gurgling swig of his beer.

"I don't know what you mean, exactly."

But that was total bullshit, because now Blair sounded nervous and on the edge of pissed.

"Chief—"

"Why the hell do you want to know?" Blair said, and Jim heard him get up hastily.

Jim pulled away the pack and stared at Blair's back. "Because I—"

"This is just great. This is super, Jim." Blair started pacing. "We've got everything perfect, everything going good just like we want it, and now you're gonna tell me that that is a problem? Man, you are a piece of work, you know that? I mean—"

"Sandburg—"

"—it's been over a year, okay? And you seemed all right with it, and you know I'm not going to bug you or something—"

"Chief! Hang on—"

"—so, what's the big deal, anyway? Police observers can be a little bent, but cop partners can't? I swear to God, cop society sucks, it's Neanderthal, they need to get with the 90s already, or even the fucking 80s—"

"Blair!"

Well, that shut him up, at least for the moment. Sandburg had burned a trench in the floor walking back and forth, and now he stood about five feet away, his chest lurching with agitation.

"Blair." Jim stood and held up his hands as he approached cautiously. Peace, hombre.

"What? What?" Blair shifted back nervously.

Jim tried to get his mouth in working order. "That's not why I asked. Yeah, I wanted to know if it was still true. I mean I wanted it to be true. I wanted to...I wanted—"

Blair's eyes narrowed into gleaming blue slits, freezing the next words in Jim's throat.

It was too late, anyway. Sandburg had already decided on a verdict. "Oh, this is bullshit." He spun away. "I'm like a puppy you brought home or something. It's a joke. My life is a fucking joke."

"No. Shit, Chief, that's not even close to true—"

Blair turned back and crossed his arms. "I've been following around after you for four freakin' years, Jim. I know what it looks like. And now you're gonna drop me a bone, is that it? Pat me on the head and give me a treat for being such a good boy and graduating from cop school?" His tone was vicious, and Jim took an involuntary step backward.

"Jesus, Blair, you really think I would—"

"Oh, yeah. I think you would. You're so fucking proud, remember?"

Oh, shit. That hurt. Even worse because he deserved it. "Proud of you," Jim said, and his voice wouldn't behave, went husky on him. "I didn't have anything to do with it."

"So, you're trying to tell me after four years you've suddenly developed an overwhelming lust for my bod on the very night I graduate from the Academy?"

Jim had to look away from the angry glare. "It's not just tonight. I just—before I couldn't let myself—"

"Right."

"No, honest. I'm being honest, here, okay?"

"So, why couldn't you say something before? I mean, I was eating my fucking heart out—" The skeptical edge to Blair's voice had eased off, leaving plaintive hurt, and Jim risked looking at him.

Blair's face was flushed, making his eyes look bluer. The skin of his neck was dark against the white of his shirt. Jesus, he was beautiful. Really good-looking. Why the hell had Jim let it get to this point? He could've—months ago, years, even. And now it was too fucking late, because even if Blair still wanted to fuck, he sure the hell didn't seem to like Jim very much anymore.

Well, he'd like Jim even less when he knew the full truth, but that was all that was left.

"I was wrong, okay? That night, when you let it slip—I already needed you too goddamn much for the senses, and I was too proud, yeah, to admit I needed that, too. Wanted that. Especially since I've never—I mean, you're a guy. And shit, Sandburg, you were being a real flake there for a while, and I was fucking terrified I would fuck things up between us and you'd skip out on me without a backward look."

Jim couldn't read Sandburg's expression. And Blair didn't say anything, and he didn't say anything, and Jim could feel the heat start in his face, the crawling, tickling burn of humiliation.

"Proud. Yeah, you're fucking proud, Ellison." Sandburg looked a little uncertain now, though. "I can see how you wouldn't be able to get around your own ego."

And Jim knew what he needed to do. It was so fucking simple. It felt like sheer suicide, but the good kind, like when he took his first static-line jump from ten thousand feet.

He slowly went down to his knees in front of Blair and looked up. See? He put his palms out.

Blair stared down with wide eyes and then gave an abrupt laugh—half-mocking, half-admiration. "Oh, right. Real humble there, Jim. You should see yourself—your back is like a ramrod. You look like a prisoner of war."

"Oh, for fuck's sake," Jim said, rubbing his hand over his face. "Fine." He bent his head down. And it felt...weird. The back of his neck felt vulnerable. He could only see Blair from the knees down, and his spine tingled in warning.

"Jesus." And now Blair sounded breathless, overwhelmed.

Jim realized he was breathing rapidly himself, and he clenched his fists on his thighs. "Blair. I want this," Jim mumbled at Blair's knees, and then firmed up his voice. "I'm sorry I was too pig stubborn to figure it out. And if you'll just come over here—"

Suddenly Blair was in front of him, close. Jim raised his chin a little and found himself staring at Blair's zipper. He could smell him, that musk that had been haunting Jim for over a year, seeping into his dreams, forcing him to acknowledge what he really, really didn't want to know.

Blair gave a weird laugh and started to step back. "This is stupid. It's just not you, Jim. You still look—"

"Put your cock in my mouth."

"What?" Blair's voice was beyond shocked.

"You heard me. Put your fucking cock in my mouth—"

"Christ. Hell, no." Blair tried to move away, but Jim grabbed his legs. "Jim," Blair said, sounding overly patient, "I'm not going to fuck you to prove a point."

"No. No." Jim shook his head. This was it. No more pride, and no more hiding. He leaned forward and pressed his cheek against the thick mound resting beside Blair's zipper. "Because I want it." The words finally came. "I want to taste you, Blair. Christ, I can't believe how much I want this, want you." He stroked his cheek up and down. Blair gave a quiet moan, and, feeling bold, Jim tilted his head and opened his mouth to trap Blair's erection between his teeth.

"Jim!" Blair made a whining sound and finally, finally, took Jim's head between his palms, accepting. Petting him, almost, as Jim worked his teeth over the rigid length of Blair's cock.

It was driving Blair nuts, from what Jim could tell, but it was driving Jim even crazier because he hadn't fucking known. Blair scent was so thick here that his jeans were no barrier at all. It was the ultimate piggyback of tasting and smelling and feeling him so thick and hard, making Jim get hard in reaction.

How the Christ hadn't he known he wanted this? Jim reached up, ignoring Blair's protest to unzip his pants and pull down his boxers. Then Blair's cock was free, and so hard the shaft was standing up and twitching with his pulse. And, yeah, Jim had never been this up close and personal with anyone's dick, ever, but all he could think of was this was Blair. He could give this to Blair. He needed to.

Some part of him admitted this was one lousy way to try to tie someone to you. But the other part of him, the biggest part, was thinking Blair had already been tied to him before Jim had ever touched him like this, stroking his tongue up along the shaft, tasting him at last, memorizing the flavor—Blair—and licking as he went until he reached the top and had to use his hand to pull Blair's cock into position for sucking.

Blair was making sounds, sweet, sweet sounds of wanting this, oh, Jim, yes, God, please. And so Jim took him in, paused to try again with his teeth covered, and did his level best to suck Blair's cock.

At some point, while he sucked and drooled and grabbed Blair's hips as he tried find the perfect angle, Blair started to make some really desperate noises. Jim tilted his head to the side so he could look up, and found Blair staring down at him with his eyes and mouth wide open.

Blair caught him looking and closed his eyes, as if it were too much, and Jim got that—it was too much, knowing Blair was seeing him like this, and Jim had to drop one hand down and palm his own cock, digging the heel of his hand below the head.

Blair made a whimpering sound high in his throat, and his cock started to jerk inside Jim's mouth. A second later Jim's mouth was filling with Blair's come, sharp and almost acrid. Jim didn't try to swallow it yet, because he was busy getting his jeans unzipped, trying to get them open before he—

Jim moaned around Blair's softening cock and came into his own hand. He jerked himself frantically and got a second, stronger peak that almost blew his circuits.

The next thing he knew Blair was kneeling in front of him and saying something breathlessly as he licked the come from Jim's lips and chin. And then Blair was kissing him, kissing him hard and soft and sweet, and Jim just hung on and feebly tried to kiss back.

When he could focus again, he heard Blair say, "Jesus Christ, Jim. You are amazing. You're just amazing."

Shit, if Blair thought that traffic wreck of a blowjob was amazing, Jim couldn't wait until he got really good at it. He wanted to see if he could make Sandburg howl like a wolf.

"You ain't seen nothing yet," Jim promised. His voice was rough and he coughed a little. He could still taste Blair in his mouth, at the back of his throat.

"No, not that, dummy," Blair said, then babbled, "I mean, yeah, that too, okay? Great fucking blowjob, thanks. You get three gold stars. But, hell, Jim—I never thought you could do that."

"Do what?" As usual Sandburg had left him in the mental dust.

Jim's knees were complaining, so he pulled away and got to his feet, then hauled Blair with him over to the couch. They landed hard, and Blair slung an arm around him like he didn't want Jim going too far. That was kind of nice, so Jim let himself be tugged over.

"Do what?" Jim asked again when they were tucked close together. Almost cuddling, really, which should have embarrassed him, but didn't. Blair's sex smell still rose from his body, combining with Jim's in a way that made Jim wish he was sixteen again so they could do it all over right now.

"All right, I'll tell you, but don't take this the wrong way, Jim. You always take things the wrong way."

Jim rolled his eyes.

"Fine, fine. It's just—I didn't think you could bend like that."

Jim jerked his head back, and Blair rested a hand on his chest. "I mean, every time I think I know exactly what you're about, you do something that blows my latest theory to pieces."

"So, what you're saying is you thought I was inflexible."

"Jim..."

"Small-minded. Uptight, and maybe even a little homophobic."

"That's not what I'm talking about and you know it. Man, you gotta—"

"Well, you were right."

"—give me a fucking...huh?"

"Used to be right, is the thing. So, I forgive you for giving me a hard time." Jim patted Blair condescendingly, and Blair snorted a laugh.

"Well, that's awfully generous of you."

"It is, isn't it?"

"I guess you're feeling pretty proud of yourself right about now." Blair was smiling when he said it.

Jim buffed his nails on his chest. "Well, now that you mention it...."

"Christ, I've created a monster." Blair knocked their heads together and whispered, mock despairingly, "I am so, so doomed. Forever doomed."

Yeah, that was the plan, wasn't it?

"I hope so, Chief. I really do."


The end

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Acknowledgments: Thank you to Corinne for the beautiful cover art.