Summary: What if Margaret had turned up just a few minutes later in BMB?
There are times I’d give anything not to be a Sentinel. I may not be able to see much thanks to the Golden stealing most of my sight but my other senses have compensated for that. Instead I hear the click and pump of the respirator as it pushes air into Blair’s lungs, feel the too slow beat of his pulse from where my fingers rest on his wrist. What I want to hear is his voice, I want to feel his skin warm against me, to see his eyes open and to know that he’s okay. I’m scared I’ll never know any of those things again.
The door opens and a nurse bustles in. I can tell who she is because she has shoes that squeak a little on the tile. I hear her checking Blair’s vitals then the scratch of the pen against the paper as she notes them down. She detours over to me on her way out the door, tsks over me refusing to go lie down in the waiting room then hands me a magazine to ‘keep me occupied’. I thank her and make a pretence of opening it to read until I hear the door shut behind her then I roll it up in my hands and clench my fingers around it till the pressure makes them ache.
Maybe I zoned because the next thing I’m aware is Simon coming into the room. I know I manage to give the appearance of being interested in what’s happening with the case and I guess I am because I want to catch the bastards who did this to Blair, and to me. By the time the door opens a third time and the doctor comes in, and Blair still hasn’t woken up, I’m almost resigned to what he tells me – that there’s no way of knowing how long it will be till Blair’s out of the woods, and that I’m not doing him any good by sitting at his bedside. He’s right, I know that, but it’s still one of the hardest things I’ve ever done to walk out and leave him there.
I wait till the doctor s gone and then I lean over Blair and tell him I’m going to catch the assholes who put him here, that I’ll be back, and that he’d better still be here when I do. Then I brush my lips across his forehead and whisper that I love him. I’m surprised at how easily the words come when he can’t hear me.
It seems like forever till I can get back to the hospital but at least when I do, a long six hours later, I have the satisfaction of knowing the perps who did this are behind bars. When I’d held the gun at the creep’s head I have to admit I wanted him to try something just so I’d have a reason to shoot him.
I walk quickly down the hallway to Blair’s room, automatically sending my hearing ahead of me then breaking into a run when I realize I can’t hear the vent anymore. My heart feels like it’s climbed up into my throat till I’m almost at the door and the sound of his heart beating comes to my ears. I look inside the room and see him through the golden glow that’s still invading most of my sight. It looks like his eyes are closed, but the breathing tube is gone, and the relief of that almost sends me to my knees.
“He woke up about two hours ago,” a voice says from behind me and I turn and find the nurse with the squeaky shoes standing there. “We tried to call you but your office said you were out on a case.”
“Thanks for trying anyway. How’s he doing?” I ask, making my way over to the chair and sitting down. I pick up Blair’s hand, and just hold it gently, not caring what the nurse might think.
“I shouldn’t say too much but he’s definitely on the mend,” she replies, following me in.
“No brain damage?”
“See for yourself,” she says, nodding towards the bed, and when I look over Blair’s eyes are open and he’s looking at me.
“Jim,” he whispers, clenching down on my hand.
The nurse pats my shoulder. “I’ll give you some time alone,” she says as she walks out.
“Hey, Chief, how you doing?” I lean forward, just so I can see him better, can see the life back in his eyes.
“Okay,” he murmurs, his voice husky from the tube.
I reach around to grab for the glass of water on the bedside table then put the straw in it to his lips till he turns his head away, signaling he’s had enough.
He lifts our still joined hands and gives me a small smile. “Guess you’ve been worried about me. Sorry about that.”
“Not your fault,” I reply and keep holding his hand, wrapping my fingers more firmly around it as if he might still slip away. “We caught them,” I tell him.
“Good. Now they can’t hurt anyone else. How are your eyes?” he asks.
“Getting better. I wrecked Simon’s car chasing the perps.”
He grins at that. “Only you would drive a car when you’re pretty much blind to catch the bad guys.” His eyes close though I can see he’s struggling to keep them open. “I think I’m going to go back to sleep. I’m feeling really whacked. Sorry.”
“Not your fault,” I say again.
“Will you be here when I wake up again?” he asks drowsily.
“You bet.” Then I lean back in the chair and let my own eyes close.
It’s another five days before I can take him home and in the meantime Simon insists I take two weeks leave. I don’t argue the point with him too much over it, which makes him look suspiciously at me and wave me out of his office quickly as if he thinks I’ll change my mind.
I spend the first couple of days hovering over Blair until he finally snaps at me that I’m acting like a mother hen and will I just get over it already. I nod and tell him I will even as my heart is telling me I’ll never get over almost losing him. He, on other hand, is doing his own motherhenning, constantly asking how my sight is doing and holding things an inch from my nose and asking me to identify them. I’m more than a little relieved when, at the end of a week, my sight’s almost back to normal apart from a residual golden glow around the edges of everything and I can easily identify one of his little fetishes he holds in front of my face. The sigh of relief he lets out at the news tells me more than I think he wants me to know but I just give him a quick hug and wander over to the couch and settle myself down on it for a quick pre-dinner nap.
“Um, Jim, before you nod off there, I’ve been meaning to ask you about something,” Blair says, his voice more hesitant than I’ve ever heard it.
“Yeah?” I look up at him and he smiles nervously.
“You know how they say when people are unconscious they can sometimes hear stuff around them, you know, people talking to them?”
“Yeah,” I say again, sitting up now and swinging my legs over the side of the couch, my heart pounding, my palms sweaty, my mind chanting, ‘Ohcrapohcrapohcrap’.
“I heard something you said… or at least I thought… hoped I did,” he says softly, eyes downcast now, his fingers twiddling with the buttons on his shirt.
“Get well soon?” I quip but the seriousness in his gaze as his eyes finally meets mine makes me regret my flippancy and I get up and walk across to stand in front of him. “You heard me say I love you,” I tell him, surprised at how relieved I feel to just have it out there, between us. “If that’s a problem for you, I can’t apologize for it, Blair. It’s how I feel.”
“It’s not,” he replies quickly. “And you don’t need to apologize. It’s just… I thought with you saying how much you wanted to meet Margaret-“
“That was when I thought I didn’t have a chance with you,” I say, waiting just a moment before asking, “Do I? Have a chance?”
“Yes.” Just that one word and then he’s kissing me, his arms going up around my shoulders to pull me down.
I put all my love and relief into that kiss and when we break apart, I hug him tightly for good measure. “I take it you feel the same?” I ask, grinning.
He nods then claps a hand over his mouth and groans. “Shit!” he exclaims.
“Margaret. I kind of invited her over to meet you tonight!”
“You did what?”
As if in answer there’s a knock on the door and Blair grabs my hand and tows me over to stand in front of it. “I figured who was I to try to keep you two apart,” he says in a stage whisper, reaching for the door handle.
I waylay his hand. “You mean, you still want me to go through with it?”
“Look, just meet her properly now you’ve got your sight back and then you can decide if you’d rather see Margaret or me,” he insists.
There’s another knock and he pulls free of my hand and whispers, “One, two, three then opens the door.
“Hi,” Margaret says, leaning casually against the doorframe. She’s beautiful, no doubt about it, soft black hair curling around a sweetly pretty face. She has kind eyes, I think, and I look back at Blair then say, “Hi, Margaret, look this is going to sound really weird but in between when I asked Blair to introduce us and you coming round tonight, I fell in love with someone else. Well, I’ve been in love with them for a while but I just didn’t know how to tell them before now.”
I hear Blair gasp behind me and then Margaret reaches up and kisses my cheek gently. She leans around me to smile at Blair. “The best man won,” she says. “I wish you both all the happiness in the world. See you round campus, Blair. Bye, Jim.” Then she closes the door and leaves us alone.
“You better be sure about this, Jim,” Blair says.
I laugh and pull him into my arms and show him just how sure I am.
There are times I’d give anything to be a Sentinel. Times like this when Jim’s lying next to me, breathing deeply, with a vaguely satisfied almost-smile touching his lips. There’s still a faint residue of gold tingeing my vision, burnishing his skin, and I think how beautiful he is.
I trace my fingers over his face, down his throat, feeling his pulse beating rhythmically there, then down to his chest where I circle each nipple, not trying to arouse, simply to feel. I lay my palm flat over his heart and wish my sense of touch was as sensitive as his, so I could feel each beat of his heart beneath the sculpted muscles of his chest.
My hand trails down his flat belly, through the line of hair from his navel to his cock, quiescent now, sated, lying languorously against his thigh. I bend my head and kiss the head then move over him and lay on top of him, blanketing his body with my own, skin to skin, flesh to flesh, as close as we can be.
His hand cups the back of my head, holding me close to him and he chuckles, the vibration rumbling against me, making me smile. “You close enough, Chief?” he asks.
I nod and close my eyes and let the rhythm of his breathing lull me back to sleep.