The Truth Will Set You Free - Patt
Jim Ellison loved being with men, but he was very careful about it. He didn’t want anyone in Major Crime to know, or basically anyone at the station at all. He especially didn’t want Blair to find out, because it might scare him off. Not that he thought Sandburg was homophobic, but he might feel uncomfortable and that was the last thing he wanted to do to Blair.
Jim hadn’t been on a date, a real date in about six months. He was chomping at the bit to go on this one. He knew Drew very well and they slept together now and then when things were dry. There weren’t any deep feelings or anything, just sex. Drew was going to meet him at a place on the outskirts of town called Your Man or Mine. It was one of the few really nice gay establishments in town, and Jim felt comfortable there. He wanted to do some eating, some dancing, some necking and some fucking. If everything went as planned, he would get all four.
Jim walked in and gave his name. They took him to a table where Drew sat waiting patiently. “Hi Jim,” Drew said sexily.
“Hi Drew. How are you doing tonight?” Jim asked.
“I’ll be a lot better once we get to my place. I’ve been thinking about you all day long,” Drew said softly.
“What are you going to have for dinner?” Jim asked.
“I’m not really that hungry, I thought I’d get a salad and dessert,” Drew said wiggling his eyebrows.
Jim was getting hard just thinking about sex and said, “I’m going to have a steak, because I haven’t had a thing to eat today.”
Both men ordered their dinners when the waiter came to the table and then they drank their beers in peace and quiet.
Joel had his van and it was filled with Simon, Blair, Rafe, Brown and Conner. They were all going to go to a bar on the outskirts of town and play darts all night long. Jim had plans, so he was the only one missing from the bunch.
Conner looked out the window and said, “Say, isn’t that Jimbo’s truck?”
Everyone looked out the window at the Your Man or Mine parking lot and saw Jim’s truck sitting there. They all knew it was his, but no one wanted to say anything.
“What in the hell is he doing there?” Blair asked, looking somewhat confused.
“What do you think he’s doing there, Sandburg?” Simon asked.
“No way,” Blair said showing nothing but shock.
“Whose idea was it to come all the way out here anyhow?” Henri asked.
Rafe said, “It was mine. Someone said the food was good and they had pool tables and dart boards, galore. I thought it would be fun. I didn’t know it was next to this place. I’ve never been here.”
They were all quiet for a few minutes and Joel said, “I think we should keep his secret. He evidentially doesn’t feel safe telling anyone about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but he must think he can’t tell us.”
“Bullshit, he tells me everything else, since when has he been gay?” Blair asked. “Did any of you know this?”
No one said anything, but they all turned and looked at Conner. “What?” She said.
“Did you know about this?” Joel said as he parked in the restaurant next door and shut off his van.
“I might have guessed it. He doesn’t keep much female company and not too often, so I wondered about him. But I thought he had someone at the station,” Conner explained.
“Who?” Blair asked.
“It doesn’t matter now. Let’s just forget we saw his truck and go inside and eat,” Conner said opening up the door to get out.
“I’m going next door to talk to Jim,” Blair said as he climbed out.
Simon stopped him and said, “Oh no you’re not. That’s none of your business.”
“Simon, I hate to tell you this, but fuck off,” Blair pulled away from Simon’s grasp and started walking over to Your Man or Mine.
“Anyone have any ideas? I’m going to kick Ellison’s ass for this,” Simon grumbled.
Conner said, “Let’s go inside and have dinner and play darts as planned. Sandy will be back shortly with Jim in tow. Don’t you worry about it.”
“Conner, Jim isn’t going to want to face any of us after this,” Rafe said coldly.
“You homophobic, Rafe?” Conner asked.
“I might be if it comes to Jim Ellison. I thought he was as straight as they come,” Rafe believed.
“It would seem that you’re wrong,” Henri said almost smiling.
“You find something funny in all of this, Henri?” Simon asked.
“So what if he’s gay? Who cares? He’s not hurting anyone and I think we should leave him be. And I think it’s a really bad idea to let Blair go inside,” Henri remarked.
Simon looked at Sandburg who was walking into the establishment right that moment and said, “Too late.”
Joel said, “Let’s go inside and have some dinner.”
“I’ve lost my appetite,” Rafe said coldly.
“You are such an asshole, Rafe. He’s still Jim Ellison,” Conner explained.
“Well, not quite,” Rafe snarled.
“If Sandy was here, he would kick your ass,” Conner said.
“Why do you suppose he went over there anyhow?” Henri asked.
“He’s jealous,” Conner said.
“What do you mean, he’s jealous. He’s not gay,” Simon commented.
“Yeah, well that’s what you thought about Jim too,” Joel said chuckling.
“Joel, you think this is funny?” Simon asked.
“Why not? This is Jim’s life, he can do whatever he wants with it, but I’d give good money to see Blair in there right now,” Joel said smiling.
Conner said, “Come on, let’s go in and sit down. Sandy will be back soon anyhow.”
They all walked into the restaurant next door and waited to be seated. They all wondered what in the hell was going on next door.
Blair walked into the place and looked around the dimly lit booths. He saw Jim and a man sitting in one of them and walked towards them. Jim looked up and freaked out immediately.
“Chief, what are you doing here?” Jim asked.
“I could ask the same of you,” Blair snapped.
“I’m on a date, this is Drew,” Jim said as quietly as he could.
“Isn’t that just special? And why didn’t you tell me about this, Jim?” Blair inquired.
“Because I figured you would react a lot like you are now,” Jim answered.
“Oh, fuck you. Get lost Drew, he’s not going home with you,” Blair ordered.
Jim stood up and growled, “Sandburg, you can’t waltz into this place and tell me what to do.”
“Oh yes I can,” Blair replied and then turned to Drew again, “I said take off.”
“Jim, I don’t need this shit. I had no idea you came with a little bulldog,” Drew said as he got up to leave.
“Who you calling little, you fucker?” Blair shouted.
Jim said, “Blair, please keep your voice down, everyone is looking.”
“So what? You’re in a gay establishment, Jim. And you never told me you were gay. Why is that?” Blair asked as he pushed Jim back into the booth.
Jim let Blair push him in, but he didn’t like it. “You’re acting exactly how I thought you would. That’s why I didn’t tell you.”
“Oh, fuck you,” Blair snarled.
“Are you going to tell me that this doesn’t make a difference now?” Jim asked.
“Yeah, it makes a big fucking difference. Now, why didn’t you tell me?” Blair wondered aloud.
“Because I was afraid that you would move. I like having you as a roommate and a partner at work. So I didn’t want to ruin a good thing,” Jim explained.
“Jim, are you always this stupid?” Blair asked.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Jim replied.
“I should have been told. It was important that I be told. And I feel cheated,” Blair said.
“Oh, give me a fucking break,” Jim answered.
“Well, I do feel cheated. I could have been sitting here,” Blair said none too quietly.
Jim looked at him to see if he was making fun of him and saw that Blair was as serious as a heart attack.
“Since when?” Jim asked, totally thrown for a loop.
“Since the last year. I didn’t think you swung that way and I didn’t want you to punch me out if I told you about it. You hid it really well, Jim.”
“I don’t fucking believe this,” Jim said as he put his face into his hands and just sat there with his elbows on the table.
“I take it you’re not interested in me,” Blair said sadly.
“Oh, you are such a moron sometimes. I’ve had a thing for you for a year too,” Jim said finally pulling his hands away from his face.
“So you are interested in me?” Blair asked happily.
“Yes, I’ve wanted you forever it seems,” Jim admitted.
“Well good, that works out well then. I don’t want to see you coming here anymore,” Blair instructed.
“I only came here to meet Drew,” Jim said.
“And speaking of Drew, I didn’t like him very much. I never want to see you around him again,” Blair ordered.
“You’re pretty bossy, Blair,” Jim said.
“I’m serious. I don’t want to see him around you ever again. Understood?” Blair asked.
Jim leaned across the table and kissed Blair until Blair felt like he had no brain function left at all. “I understand, but there is no need to be jealous, he’s no one to me.”
“He was someone to fuck and I don’t like that,” Blair stated angrily.
“I won’t see him ever again. I promise,” Jim swore.
“Good, now the gang is next door at the restaurant and I’d like for us to join them for dinner,” Blair said.
“Oh fuck… You mean to tell me they all know?” Jim asked.
“Well, they know about you, they don’t know about me yet,” Blair reasoned.
“Blair, let’s just go home for tonight and we’ll tackle them on another night,” Jim suggested.
“Jim, I want them to know we’re a couple,” Blair said stubbornly.
“Rafe is going to hate us,” Jim said out of the blue.
“What do you mean he’s going to hate us?”
“He hates gays. He tells gay jokes all the time and tells me how disgusting they are,” Jim explained.
“Oh, it’ll take him awhile to come around, but he’ll do it,” Blair promised.
Jim kissed Blair one more time and said, “Okay, I’m ready.”
“Don’t act like we’re on a death march or something. This is going to be me and you we’re talking about. It’s going to be fun. Jesus, I can’t wait to have sex with you,” Blair whispered, Sentinel soft.
“That makes two of us then,” Jim whispered back.
They got up and Jim paid the bill and they walked out of the restaurant. They walked over to the one next door and saw everyone at a big round table, laughing and talking. Well, everyone except Rafe. He was busy glaring at Jim and Blair.
“I told ya,” Jim said.
“I’ll win him over, don’t you worry,” Blair promised.
They walked over to the table and Blair said, “Got any room for the new couple on the block?”
Conner smiled and said, “I just knew it. I saw that look on Sandy’s face and knew he meant business.”
Simon frowned and said, “You two never do anything the easy way do you?”
“No sir,” Jim answered, still not sure how to gauge feelings towards them.
Joel pounded Jim and Blair on the back and said, “Congratulations.”
Rafe still hadn’t said a word.
Henri smiled at Blair and said, “Man, now I know why you wanted to be over there so fast. Good luck.”
Jim said, “Do you mind if we eat dinner with you?”
Rafe said, “Yeah, I do. I don’t approve of your new lifestyle and I don’t want to sit with you.”
Jim turned around and walked out of the restaurant. Blair glared at Rafe and said, “He’s been there for you forever and now you’re shitting all over him. He just wants to be happy. Why can’t you be happy for us?”
Jim walked back into the room and said, “Chief, come on.”
Blair smiled at everyone else and said, “See you later. We’ll be eating somewhere else.” Blair started to walk out of the area they were sitting in and heard Conner say, “Where are you going? We’ll meet you there. Rafe is a fucking loser.”
Blair smiled and said, “How about IHOP, I feel like breakfast.”
“We’ll meet you there,” Conner said happily and Jim and Blair walked out to Jim’s truck.
Jim opened up the truck door and Blair got in. Jim leaned across him and kissed him quickly before he shut the door.
Jim then got in on his side and said, “I’m in love with you, Blair.”
Blair looked somewhat surprised and said, “Oh yeah? Well that’s good then. I love you too.”
Jim smiled as they drove out of the parking lot. “Rafe is going to make trouble for us,” Jim said cautiously.
“I’m sure he’ll try, but we’re not going to let him win. All right?” Blair asked.
“Blair, I need you to take this seriously. Rafe might make a lot of trouble for us at the station. We might not get back-up for calls,” Jim explained.
“I am taking this seriously, if he makes trouble for us, I’m going to IA,” Blair announced.
“Things are never going to be the same now,” Jim said sadly.
“Well, life goes on. I wanted this change big time,” Blair answered.
“I was thinking maybe we should go home and have some quiet time,” Jim said quietly.
“Oh no you don’t. Rafe isn’t winning. We’re going to meet everyone at IHOP for breakfast-dinner and that’s all there is to it,” Blair ordered.
“Did you ever think that maybe I wanted to do something other than eat breakfast?” Jim asked.
Blair smiled at his soon to be lover and said, “You will soon enough. I’m hungry right now. We went all day long without eating, it’s time.”
Jim pulled into the IHOP lot and parked. He shut the car off and said, “What if no one comes?”
“Then we eat breakfast by ourselves. Life goes on. We’ll be fine, Jim, don’t you worry about it,” Blair declared.
They sat and talked about work for a few minutes, taking some of the pressure off one another and Joel’s van pulled up. When he parked, Simon, Henri, Conner and Joel got out. Rafe wasn’t with them.
Jim and Blair got out of the truck and met them at the front door. “I think that Jimbo owes us dinner since he shocked us the most tonight,” Conner said with a big smile on her face.
“You seem to be taking it rather well,” Jim said.
“Well, I sort of knew already,” Conner stated.
Simon glared at her and said, “You didn’t know. You were just guessing.”
“Either way, it worked,” Conner said still smiling.
Blair asked, “What happened to the big baby?”
Joel said, “We told him to take a cab. We haven’t got time for these types of things to be going on in the bullpen. If he doesn’t like it, that’s tough.”
Jim was feeling guilty and they all knew it. The waitress seated them all at a big round table and in walked Rafe.
“Can I have dinner with you all?” Rafe asked somberly.
“Why would you want to?” Jim asked.
“Because you’re my friends. Just give me a little time to get used to it,” Rafe pleaded.
Blair smiled and said, “Works for us. Sit. Have dinner.”
Joel said, “Rafe, if you have questions, I bet Jim and Blair would answer them.”
Simon growled, “Not tonight. I’m hungry and I just want to eat.”
Jim knew that Simon wasn’t that happy with him either and he really just wanted to go home. He didn’t even feel like being with Blair right now.
“I don’t feel well, I’m going to leave. I’ll see you at the loft later on, Chief,” Jim said.
Conner said, “Oh, that’s so typical of you. You think that Simon doesn’t approve, so you leave. You can’t leave every time someone doesn’t like it, Jimbo.”
“I never said a word,” Simon countered.
“Well, that’s part of the problem,” Joel said as nicely as he could.
“Jim, I don’t agree with your choices, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t friends anymore,” Simon commented.
“Yeah right… You’ll never ask me to a Jags game again. Things will never be the same again.” That said, Jim got up and walked out of the restaurant.
Conner looked at Simon and said, “Well? Go after him.”
“He’s a big boy, if he doesn’t want to be here, he doesn’t have to be,” Simon remarked.
Joel said, “Blair, go and get him.”
“I’m not the one that upset him, so I’m not going after him,” Blair barked.
Conner said, “Well, someone go and get him before he takes off.”
“Jim wants everyone to like him, that’s important to him. He thinks that Rafe and Simon don’t like him so he’s not going to be comfortable anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t give his notice,” Blair explained.
“You’re joking, right?” Simon asked.
“No, I’m dead serious. He needs to be accepted and you two weren’t there tonight, so he’s going to be making some changes soon. I know him that well,” Blair alleged.
“I can’t believe you let him go,” Simon said to Blair.
“I didn’t, you and Rafe did,” Blair wasn’t going to take the blame for this one.
Blair looked out the window and saw Jim drive out of the parking lot. “Well, it doesn’t matter now, because he left,” Blair snapped.
Conner couldn’t believe that Jim had driven away. He had left Blair at the restaurant. And Blair didn’t seem that upset by it. “I have a question, Sandy,” Conner started.
“Ask away,” Blair answered.
“How come you let Jim leave so easily? You didn’t even stick up for him or fight for him to stay. What message did that send to him?” Conner asked.
“Hey, I didn’t send him off, they did,” Blair replied.
“They might have started it, but you could have been on his side. I somehow don’t think you’re that serious about you and Jim. And I’m sure he’s thinking the very same thing,” Conner observed.
“Oh man, did I do that?” Blair asked shamefully.
Joel said, “You better go and talk to him soon. And I don’t want him resigning.”
“I have to take a cab home. No, on second thought, let me call him back here,” Blair said as he pulled his cell phone out. He dialed Jim and heard, “Ellison.”
“Jim, will you come and give me a ride? You kind of left me hanging here,” Blair wondered aloud.
“Chief, this isn’t going to work,” Jim said calmly, well as calmly as he could.
“It is going to work. I’m your partner in all things. Now come back and get me right now,” Blair ordered.
“Chief, I’m almost home now,” Jim said sadly.
“Please come and pick me up? I don’t have enough for a cab and I wanted to talk to you anyhow,” Blair pleaded.
“Fine, be waiting outside. I’ll pick you up in ten minutes,” Jim closed his cell phone and flipped a bitch and headed back to IHOP.
“I have to go,” Blair said as he stood to leave.
“Do you think he’s going to resign?” Simon asked.
“Probably and if he does, I’m going with him,” Blair assured Simon.
“I hate this shit…” Simon grumbled.
“Make up your mind, Simon. Do you want to be his friend or not?” Blair asked as he started to leave the table.
Simon started to leave with Blair and Blair asked, “Where are you going?”
“To tell Jim I’m sorry,” Simon informed Blair.
“Oh goody, that will make his night,” Blair said finally smiling.
Jim drove up and saw Simon and said, “Shit.”
Simon walked over to the driver’s side and knocked on the window. Jim rolled down his window and said, “What?”
“I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for being a butt head. And I would gladly take you to a game now and then. You’re still my friend,” Simon apologized.
“Thank you, Simon,” Jim answered.
Blair got in and said, “Okay, now we can leave.”
Jim looked at Simon and said, “We’ll see you in the morning, Simon.”
“No, take a couple of days off, you have plenty coming. You need time to yourselves too. Take some time to get to know each other a little better and then come into work,” Simon offered.
“Okay, thanks,” Jim answered.
“We’ll see you in two days. If you need anything, you know where I am,” Simon offered again.
Jim smiled and said, “Thank you, Simon.”
“Goodnight, Simon. Tell everyone we’re all right,” Blair called out as he got into the truck and Jim started backing up.
“Hey, I don’t have my seatbelt on yet,” Blair whined.
“So, get it on,” Jim growled.
“I still love you even when you don’t care about my seatbelt,” Blair said.
Jim stopped the truck and said, “Get it on.”
Blair buckled up and blew a kiss to Jim. Jim took off down the road quickly, he needed to get home to discuss some things with Blair.
“So, do I get to move up into your room tonight, or tomorrow?” Blair asked.
Jim started laughing, because it took some of the pressure off of him. He had been wondering the same thing.
“Tonight… I’ll help you and we’ll be ready for bed in no time,” Jim assured Blair.
“I have a couple of questions,” Blair stated.
“So ask,” Jim replied.
“You have to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Blair teased.
“I’ll always tell you the truth, Chief,” Jim said very seriously.
“The truth will set you free,” Blair teased again.
“Do you have some questions or not?” Jim was getting anxious now.
“Do you always have to be the top?” Blair asked.
Jim looked over at Blair like he had grown two heads. “No, I think we could take turns don’t you?”
“Okay, I like the sounds of that. How experienced are you?” Blair asked quickly.
“Are you asking me numbers?” Jim asked.
“Maybe,” Blair said shyly.
“I’ve been with Drew for the last year, once every few months. Other than that, it was just one nighters every now and then,” Jim admitted.
“I’ve only been with one guy and that was about ten years ago,” Blair confessed.
“Holy shit… You’re practically a virgin.”
“You’ve been with Drew for a year? That sounds almost serious. I think I need to think about this a little bit,” Blair declared.
“There is nothing to think about. I fucked him now and then, it was no different than fucking anyone. It wasn’t serious,” Jim admitted.
“You fucked him for a year, Jim. You don’t think that’s serious?” Blair asked.
“He’s with someone and just wanted something on the side now and then,” Jim said.
“So you were fucking a married man?” Blair asked sounding appalled.
“He isn’t married, he’s just in a relationship that’s open,” Jim said.
“How do I know you won’t be doing the very same thing?” Blair wondered aloud.
“I love you,” Jim answered as if that was the only thing that needed to be said.
“Did you even fuck around on Carolyn?” Blair asked.
“Blair, what does that have to do with anything?”
“Oh shit… You did. Well fuck…” Blair didn’t know what to do or say.
“I never fucked around on Carolyn. But I was unhappy with Carolyn. Does that count?”
“You promise that you’re telling the truth?” Blair pleaded.
“I promise. I love you, Chief and if I didn’t want to be with you, I wouldn’t be in this relationship to start with. “
“You promise to love only me?” Blair asked quietly.
Jim stopped at the red light and leaned in for a quick kiss. “I promise.”
“I love you too,” Blair stated.
“Are we okay?” Jim asked.
“We’re not going to be all right until after we’ve slept together. I want to get fucked, big man.”
“I know just the man to do it,” Jim smiled at Blair for the first time all evening.
“You’re not going to give your notice at work are you?” Blair inquired.
“No, I was thinking about it, but I don’t want to leave my job,” Jim said.
“Good, because I like our jobs too. And I love our friends. Rafe and Simon will come around. I know this to be true,” Blair promised.
“I’ll believe you, because I want things to be all right for us. I want us to be happy and them to be happy for us,” Jim whispered.
“You have to have patience with them all, understood?” Blair asked.
“I’ll try,” Jim answered.
“Could you put the siren on, I want to get fucked tonight sometime?” Blair teased.
Jim freaked him out because he took the siren and put it on. Something Jim never, ever did. Blair really felt important suddenly and felt great about it.
“This is going to be good isn’t it?” Blair asked almost laughing.
“You have no idea,” Jim said as he put his foot to the gas pedal and hurried home.
Things weren’t always going to go smoothly, but they were going to try anyhow. As long as they always told the truth, that’s what was important.
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Acknowledgments: Thank you to Mary and Kerensa for the beta. Thank you to Lisa Adolf for the fantastic cover art.