A giftfic for yenta49
Word count: 2, 678
My requester asked for: most of all like a slash story with a happy ending.
“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
“You’re pissed off with me, aren’t you?” Jim studies his lover over the rim of his champagne glass then puts it down quickly as the bubbles tickle his nose.
“No,” Blair replies too quickly, taking a sip of his own champagne and almost choking as he swallows too fast. He holds up a hand to ward off Jim’s instinctive offer of help and takes a few deep breaths to get his breathing back under control. “I’m a little disappointed,” he allows once he can finally speak without coughing. “I just thought it would have been the perfect time for us to come out to our friends. Thanksgiving. You know, gratitude to all men-“
“Even the gay ones,” Jim puts in then wishes he hadn’t as Blair frowns at him. “Joking, Chief, okay?” he says, holding up his hands in surrender. “Look, I just don’t think I’m ready to do the whole coming out thing right now.” Or probably ever, he thinks. “Not even to our friends.” Probably not to anyone.
“You ashamed of me, Jim?” Blair asks.
Jim sighs. Blair’s spoiling for a fight now. Jim can tell. He’s got that look about him. The one Jim knows all too well, the one he gets on his face when Jim doesn’t want to do the tests Blair devises to help him with his senses, the one he gets when Jim tells him to stay in the truck because he’s not a real cop. The one he gets when Jim doesn’t want to admit to even a few of their closest friends that he, Jim Ellison, former Ranger and all around tough guy, has fallen for his male partner. It’s got nothing to do with masculinity, Jim knows that intellectually, but somehow his brain and his heart don’t seem to be on speaking terms at the moment. As much as Jim doesn’t want to hurt Blair, this is one thing he just can’t give him. Not right now. But he says, “No,” firmly, because he’s really not ashamed of Blair at all. It goes deeper than that for him. He’s been married. He never ever ever expected to fall in love with his roommate cum guide who happens to be male. “It’s not you,” he says finally, lamely, knowing it’s a clichéd way to try to stop a fight and that it probably won’t work. He’s right. It doesn’t. In fact it’s like oil on a fire.
Blair leaps to his feet and almost tips over his chair in the process. “Then tell me what it is,” he says, banging his hand down on the table, “because I tell you now, Jim, I’m getting real tired of being your dirty little secret.”
“It’s me,” Jim says.
“You mean your idea of society’s expectations of what a tough cop should be like,” Blair retorts.
Jim sighs. He’s really not in the mood for one of Blair’s lectures tonight. “Can we please just have a nice dinner together?” he asks, lifting his glass again and taking a sip. He gives Blair what he hopes is a smoldering smile. “I was thinking we could maybe take dessert up to bed.”
But Blair’s on a roll now and not about to be appeased, not by good food, wine, and definitely not by sex. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he replies, all piss and vinegar in his voice. “What if one of the guys drops by and realizes we’ve been doing it?”
“You know, sarcasm doesn’t suit you,” Jim replies mildly. “Blair, please, come on. At least sit down. Look, I promise I’ll give it more thought and maybe New Year’s Eve we can have a party here and -”
“Forget it,” Blair snaps back. “You promised me July 4th we were going to do it at Thanksgiving dinner. Well, guess what? It’s Thanksgiving and the only people I see here are you and me.” He walks over to the coat hooks and pulls down his jacket and scarf and puts them on. “I need to get out of here for a while, think things over, decide where I’m going with this.”
Jim’s literally lost for words. He can’t believe that it’s all degenerated so quickly, can’t even really bring himself to believe that Blair’s about to walk out of, not just their apartment, but out of Jim’s life. “Are you breaking up with me?” he asks, finally making it to his feet.
“I don’t know. Are you going to call the guys and tell them you’re sleeping with me?”
“Give me some time,” Jim replies helplessly.
“You’ve had time.” And then he’s gone, slamming the door behind him. He comes back a few days later when Jim’s at work, packs up his stuff and leaves Jim a terse note telling him to call if he has problems with his senses.
Jim has plenty of problems with his senses once Blair’s gone, which pisses him off because over the past few months before Blair walked out they’d pretty much decided he had them under control for the most part. Now though he’s back to getting overwhelmed with sounds and smells, he zones more than once at a crime scene looking for clues and it’s only then that Simon finds out that Blair’s gone.
“Let me call the kid, get him over here to help you out,” Simon suggests but Jim brushes him off. All Simon knows is that they’d decided Jim was coping fine without a guide and that Blair needed to get back to working on his PhD now that Rainier’s been forced to take him back. “You sure?” Simon asks, looking worried. “This is the second time you’ve zoned in the past week. Look, I understand Sandburg didn’t want to join the police force once he knew he could go back to school but surely he’d still want to help you out with this Sentinel stuff.”
“I’m just tired,” Jim tells him, not really lying. He’s barely slept since Blair left, tossing and turning half the night trying to decide if he is willing yet to put his pride in his pocket and give Blair what he wants – public recognition. He hasn’t called Blair yet so he guesses that’s an answer in and of itself. He misses him fiercely but he tells himself that huge aching hole in his heart is exactly what he deserves and that Blair’s better off without him anyway.
“Then go home and get some sleep,” Simon orders him and Jim agrees mostly as a way of not giving away more to Simon’s eagle eyes than he wants to. They’ve been friends a long time after all. Simon knows him pretty well. They don’t mention Blair again until a couple of weeks later when Simon calls to invite him to his birthday party at his house. “Blair’s not coming,” he says as Jim trips over excuses not to attend. “He’s visiting his mom somewhere in Hawaii. Or maybe it was Fiji. Who knows, right? Anyway, it’s a Major Crime tradition. I expect you to be there, Detective.”
“Fine,” Jim says. He can go, have a drink with the guys, eat some good food and be home by midnight. At least he won’t have to worry about seeing Blair there.
“Jim! About time you got here.” Simon grabs Jim’s arm and literally pulls him through the door into the house. “I thought maybe you weren’t going to come.”
Jim refrains from telling him that’s exactly what had almost happened and instead extricates his arm from Simon’s bossy grip. “I promised I’d be here,” he says instead as he follows Simon through the house, waving to his colleagues from Major Crime along the way. His head is already aching sullenly though the party spirit isn’t in full swing yet and the noise level is nowhere near unbearable at this stage. He decides that it’s probably aching in anticipation of what’s to come, though to tell the truth he’s had more than his fair share of headaches ever since Sandburg left. Probably because he’s had to focus harder to use his senses (or to not use them) now he’s sans Guide.
“Yeah, well, I know what your promises are like when it comes to socializing, Jim,” Simon says as he stops just outside the sliding glass doors leading to the living room. “There’s someone I want you to speak to! Aht!” He holds up a hand as Jim grimaces. “Just go with me on this for once, man. You’ll be glad you did.”
Jim sighs mightily, thinks about turning and bolting for the front door. “I told you I’m not interested in blind dates, Simon.” Not interested in dating period, he adds mentally. Not anymore.
“It’s not a date. It’s an old friend. Someone I ran into the other day and that I wanted to come tonight. Someone I thought you’d be glad to see.” He pulls the door open as he speaks and shoves Jim through ahead of him then walks in front again, leading the way over to where a group of people are gathered around the buffet table. Joel Taggert is holding court there, beer bottle upraised as he tells a joke that has the others around him laughing loudly.
Suddenly all Jim’s senses feel like they’ve gone on overload. He stops dead in his tracks and Simon turns to look at him, worry in his eyes. “You okay, Jim?”
Jim nods even though it feels like all the air around him has been sucked away. He holds up a hand to get Simon to wait for a moment then he finds the dials for all his senses and wrenches them back down to normal ruthlessly. By the time he’s done, his head is thundering but he moves forward, pasting a sociable smile on his face and taps the shoulder of the man standing on Joel’s right. “Hello, Chief,” he says. “Long time no see.”
Blair turns and the smile he’s been wearing for the others suddenly disappears. “Jim,” he says, focusing a glare in Simon’s direction. “Simon said you couldn’t make it.”
Jim turns and adds his own laser-like glare to Blair’s and Simon laughs a little embarrassedly. He knows he’s been caught out but he doesn’t look all that sorry about it. He just gives that deep chuckle of his again, leans past Jim to snag a handful of chips off the table then says, “Why, look, there’s Megan. Better go mingle, you two have fun now.” He pulls Jim in for a quick hug then whispers ferociously in Jim’s ear just loud enough for only Jim to hear, “You play nice, Ellison. You break the kid’s heart again and you’ll have me to deal with.”
Jim smiles all friendly-like at him as he pulls away, and just manages not to wrap his hands around Simon’s throat and squeeze. It wouldn’t do to kill his captain in public after all. A quick glance at Blair though shows that Jim might not be the only one with homicide on his mind. Blair fixes a smile on his face though and Joel grins a little nervously and offers Jim a beer from the little portable fridge at his feet. Jim’s tempted to ask for something stronger but he takes the proffered beer and turns to Blair. “So, how have you been?” he asks as if it’s only been a few days since they’ve seen each other and not close to a month.
“Good, good,” Blair replies, taking a swig of his own beer. “You?”
“Yeah, good,” Jim replies back and then they stand and just stare at each other while around Jim the party fades into mere background noise and all he can think is how good Blair looks, how blue his eyes are, how much he wants to haul him into his arms and kiss that gorgeous mouth. He gulps down another drink, chokes and finds himself bent double with Blair pounding on his back till he catches his breath. When he straightens up, flush-faced, eyes streaming, he and Blair take one look at each other and burst into laughter. It feels good to laugh again and Jim decides that killing Simon might not be the thing to do after all. He grabs Blair by the arm and drags him over to a couple of armchairs away from the crowd where they can talk.
“So…” they both say at the same time. Then, “You first.” Again at the same time.
Finally Jim decides that one of them is going to have to get this conversation moving or they’ll be here all night, speaking together. So he says, “How have you been really?”
“Good, good. You?”
“Yeah, good.” The silence threatens to drag on again forever till Blair says, “I’m sorry. Maybe I overreacted but once I had it seemed like I couldn’t go back, you know?”
“Yeah, I know.” Jim did know. After all, he’s been castigating himself for the past weeks over his own stupid masculine pride.
“Your senses okay?” Blair sounds a little worried, like maybe he's more concerned they’d been fine, which would mean Jim didn’t need him anymore as a guide, let alone as a lover.
“I’ve had a few problems,” Jim replies. It’s true after all and he’s kind of pleased when the frown on Blair’s face smooths out.
“Yeah? Um, maybe I could come by the apartment tomorrow and we could run a few tests and exercises? Get things back on track. You know, purely just from a Sentinel-Guide perspective.”
“Yeah, sure.” Jim knows the disappointment is obvious in his voice and he doesn’t try to hide it. He adds, “Just for that?”
“Well, yeah.” Blair seems nonplussed at the question. “I mean, unless there was anything else you wanted to talk about…” He leaves it open-ended but before Jim can reply, Joel wanders over and hands Jim and Blair each a ten dollar bill.
“What’s this?” Jim asks.
“I won the pool,” Joel replies, a big shit-eating grin on his face. “So I figure as it was about you two, you deserve a share of the hundred bucks I won.”
“What pool?” Blair asks.
“The one about you and Jim getting together.”
“Us? Together?” Blair says, rising to his feet. He tries to hand Joel back the money but Joel just shoves it back into Blair’s hand. “We’re not together.”
“But you were when I won the pool,” Joel replies.
‘And we are now,” Jim says, standing up. He shoves the ten dollars into his jeans pocket. “Aren’t we?” He knows he looks like he’s begging but he really doesn’t care. He just wants this separation over, wants Blair back in his life and his bed. Wants to be back in Blair’s heart.
Blair’s eyes have gone wide at Jim’s admission in front of their friend. “Are we?” he says.
Jim reaches out and pulls him in and gives him the slowest, dirtiest, deepest kiss he’s ever given him since they got together. In the background, over the fireworks going off in his head as he feels Blair’s mouth open under his, Jim hears Joel let out a whoop. He knows all the eyes in the room are on them now and he doesn’t care. He pulls back from Blair’s addictive mouth and says, loud enough for everyone watching them to hear, “I love you. I miss you. Please come home.”
“So… about Christmas lunch?” Blair asks and there’s a wicked, teasing glint in his eyes that Jim is so going to make him pay for later when they get home to the loft.
Jim sighs mightily, the sigh of a man who knows when he’s beaten and doesn’t really mind at all. He turns to their audience and says, “Christmas lunch at our place, everyone. It might be a little crowded but Blair and I would love to see you there.”
There’s clapping then and cheering, a few wolf whistles but Jim’s oblivious to it all. He only has ears for Blair’s words. “Love you, Jim.”
The End! Happy Christmas!!