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Summary: It's a couple of years after TSbyBS, and life has changed drastically for Jim and Blair - although their love for each other remains unshakeable. But their peaceful life together is threatened when the past comes back to haunt them.

Rating: NC-17 - explicit m/m sex and violent imagery

Author's Notes: This was written for [livejournal.com profile] ts_secretsanta. My prompt was: Amnesia!fic, angst, possessive!Jim, discovery!fic (friends/family finding out) but anything is fine as long as it's J/B slash w/happy ending. The lucky (or perhaps unlucky *g*) recipient was [livejournal.com profile] bluebrocade. The resulting story was perhaps a little too dark for an exchange fic, but rather satisfying to write, nevertheless.



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Rerun Awards Round 2 Nominee
Dark Side Award

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Nominee: Established Relationship








Staying Present


By Fluterbev

December 2005



For a long time now, I’ve been able to wake myself up before the alarm. Maybe it’s a legacy of my years as a Ranger, when the ability to slip from sleep into wakefulness in a heartbeat could mean the difference between life and death. Or perhaps it’s the ingrained legacy of years of habit, thanks to the regular early morning start that my life as a cop used to entail.

If you’d asked him about it a couple of years ago, Sandburg would probably have ignored the most likely explanations, and gone for the sentinel angle instead. He’d have expounded at length on how, along with detecting changes in the weather and the movement of game, sentinels had an innate ability to determine morning from night, calculating their relative spatial positioning in the day by processing minute sensory cues. “We’ll have to do some tests on that, man!” he’d say, his enthusiasm all-encompassing. The thought makes me smile indulgently - mundane explanations were never enough for him, back then.

As if my thoughts about my partner have somehow communicated themselves to his sleeping brain, the figure lying next to me stirs. He turns over, his legs brushing mine as an arm is flung heavily about my waist, and heavy-lidded eyes regard me from a few inches away. “Hey,” Blair says sleepily, the sweet aroma of his warm, just-woken musk filling my senses.

It’s the best smell in the world.

My breath quickening, I lean in to kiss him. His lips are pliant and soft under mine, the warm breath he softly exhales still resonant of sleep and security as it stirs the hairs on my face. “Hey,” I whisper into his mouth, just before I dip in once more. Without conscious volition, our arms reach around each other as the kiss deepens, and we press closely together. Blair’s lips are no longer pliant but, instead, demanding and hungry; his musk filling my mouth and assuaging my ever-present craving for his scent and taste.

As our legs entwine and we strain to get even closer to each other, I can feel that Blair is hard, and my own urgent desire is making itself felt too as our groins press together. Almost as soon as I register that thought, I gasp when his hand, hot and slippery with sweat, insinuates itself between us, and seizes both our erections. The grip on my dick is calloused, firm, sure – and I push into it needily, push into the hand and the velvet strength nestling there next to mine; wanting so much the consummation Blair’s competent touch promises.

The kiss gradually tails off as that second, lower pleasure center competes for and wins my attention. It’s hard to give Blair’s delicious mouth the attention it deserves when he is currently dragging my libido out though my cock, and I throw back my head, panting desperately, as the hand which confines us both in its merciless grip speeds up its motion, my partner knowing, as always, exactly how to work me; how to make me vulnerable to his every move.

This is a dance our bodies both know well; and we undulate - if not exactly in perfect symmetry, in a messy, determined, primal rhythm - grunting and pushing together, too far gone down the promised path to turn back, the feeling not enough, damn it, not enough, not enough!

Until suddenly…

There.

Holy mother of…

“God…” I groan, as my toes curl in reflexive rapture and light flashes go off before my eyes. Blair convulses in my arms just a second after me, hot, wet warmth spreading between us in a tidal wave of fulfillment.

A few seconds later, the alarm trills out the start of another day.

~oO0Oo~


I’m cooking scrambled eggs and toast, basking in the comforting scents of breakfast, coffee and freshly showered Sandburg.

As usual, he’s talking nineteen to the dozen. “And then she said, why should I make it difficult for myself?” Blair snorted. “Like, she hadn’t considered, man, what it was all about. That final bit of paper, the end result, that’s all she could see, you know? But what about the experience? What about learning for the sake of learning?”

“So,” I ask, as I pull out two plates which I’d earlier put to warm in the oven, “Did you convince her?”

Blair was nodding. “I think so. I hope so. I mean… she’s so young, you know? The last thing she needs is to throw this chance away by cheating. She does not need to be thrown out of college with academic fraud on her record, right?”

“Right,” I agree, as I tip the eggs out onto the plates; trying hard not to react. The words ‘academic’ and ‘fraud’ in the same sentence still make my gut ache.

As usual, Blair is oblivious. “So, she agreed to meet me a couple hours a day, between now and the exams. We’ll work through the syllabus together, and try to get her back on track.”

That’s Sandburg – always the natural teacher. “Good for you,” I say, bringing the plates over to the table.

Conversation turns to other things as we eat. Afterwards, washing up is conducted with the same fluid choreography we’ve always exhibited around each other these past six years. Our bodies remember.

I remember.

Even if Blair does not.

Blair leaves first. He has an early class - Anthropology 101. “See you later, man,” he says, as he kisses me fondly on the lips, before picking up his backpack and heading out.

“Yeah,” I agree. “Later, Chief.”

Anthropology 101. It’s like old times. Almost.

Since he got out of hospital, Blair isn’t teaching Anthropology 101 any more – he’s enrolled in it as a student.

God damn it.

~oO0Oo~


Retrograde amnesia, resulting from traumatic brain injury - that’s the official diagnosis of Blair’s condition.

What that actually means is that Blair’s memory of his life up to and including what happened to him is damaged. But it’s nothing like you see in the movies, where some poor schmuck loses six months or ten years of his life. He has lost years of his life, yes – but not in one tidy, easy to define block.

The closest to a large block of time that he can recall are his early years, right up to starting college when he was sixteen; which he remembers pretty much in their entirety. After that, though, things start to get fuzzy.

He can recall bits and pieces – sporadic, mental snapshots – which span the next fourteen years. Basketball games he watched, music he heard, books he read. But it’s piecemeal – he’ll be able to bring to mind one game but not another, recognize one recording of a Seattle grunge band but not the one he used to listen to all the time, and remember the plot of the third book in a trilogy but none of the earlier ones

He remembers how to play the guitar, although some of his fingers don’t work as well as they did, since they were so badly broken. He remembers some of the places he traveled to, and one or two of his old girlfriends. He certainly remembers enough that he’s definitely a man, not a teenager in a man’s body – he’s still my Blair, even though his past is a jigsaw with lots of pieces missing. His reasoning and intellect are intact, and so what if he needs a little help now and again to work things out? He’s a smart guy. An adaptable guy. He’s getting there.

And me. He remembers me – he knew, as soon as he regained conscious awareness, that I was the man he loved; the man who loved him, even though I had to tell him my name. But the specifics? The whole of our time together, working as a team; the cases we worked and his entire memory of the PD - as well as his expertise on sentinels - is gone. Obliterated.

Blair is lucky, though. Despite having lost pretty much all the academic knowledge he accrued during his years of study, he’s not lost his ability to learn or to create new memories. He remembers enough about Anthropology to know that it was something he loved doing, hence his decision to go back to college and start over.

I’m proud of him – he’s doing so well, just as I knew he would. My thirty-one year old, freshman lover.

It’s been two years now since it happened, and he’s improved in leaps and bounds - although the return of memory has been slow and patchy. The neurologist assures us that it’s possible that more of his memories will return in time, to gradually fill in the gaps. And Blair does have occasional flashes of recall, usually sparked by something in his surroundings. Even though it can be confusing and disorientating when that happens, he’s often ecstatic when he manages to remake some connection because something suddenly came back to him.

He’s doing okay, all told. He’s a brave man, a positive man - just like he always was before.

Thankfully, he has no memory at all of what caused his amnesia, and for that, I am more than grateful. The doc says he’s unlikely to ever get it back – people with regressive amnesia often lose all trace of the actual traumatic event which caused it.

Blair doesn’t remember, therefore, the men who took him from our home, on the orders of a criminal I once busted, so they could use him as a way to hit me where it hurt. He doesn’t remember the beatings, or the torture, or the humiliation. And he doesn’t remember the moment they pushed him off the top of a four story building, before leaving him for dead with his skull cracked open on the sidewalk.

But I do. I saw the videotape they made. I saw the mess they left of him afterwards.

I remember.

~oO0Oo~


The café I like to have lunch in is just a short walk from my shop. They serve the best chowder on this stretch of the Washington coast, and the view out over Westhaven beach is spectacular. From my outdoor table, I can see the three surfers I hired gear out to just this morning, perched atop their boards. The waves are a little disappointing for them today, I think.

I’m just emptying my bowl and contemplating apple pie, when a familiar car pulls into the lot at the side of the café. So I wait patiently, watching while my former captain emerges and makes his way over.

“Simon,” I greet, as he sits down.

“Jim,” Simon nods back. He takes a deep breath. “Clean, sea air,” he remarks reverently. “Wish I could bottle that and take it back to Cascade.”

I grin - I’m happy to see him. “Come out here more often, sir, and you won’t need to bottle it.”

“Hm,” Simon acknowledges. He catches the eye of the waitress and, as she moves over to take his order, he growls at me, “Quit it with the ‘sir’, Ellison. You don’t work for me any more.”

“Very good, sir,” I retort, relishing the mock-irritated glare he throws my way. The fun I get out of baiting Simon didn’t stop when I left the force, just as our friendship didn’t end. Some things are too precious to let go of.

Simon orders chowder, and I get my apple pie and coffee. We make small talk - about the Jags current season, City Hall bureaucracy and other innocuous stuff - in the time it takes for our food to arrive. Then, finally, between mouthfuls, I indulge my curiosity. “What brings you over here today, Simon? Something tells me this isn’t a social call.”

“That some ‘sentinel’ thing?” Simon queries, his grin a little wry, although I can see in his eyes that I’m right.

I raise an eyebrow, determined to remain inscrutable on that issue. It’s far more satisfying to play on the running joke between us – his supposed discomfort about my senses. We both know it’s a load of bull, but it’s part of the familiar posturing between us. Comforting, in its way.

The truth is far more ordinary than that. I simply know that he shouldn’t be here at lunchtime on a weekday, three solid hours drive from Cascade. Either he needs help, or a problem has come up that he didn’t want to tell me about over the phone. “Come on, Simon,” I urge. “What’s going on?”

Simon puts down his spoon, looking regretfully at the bowl of chowder as though my insistence has made him lose his appetite. When he looks at me, his face is grim. “There’s an allegation that evidence was compromised during the investigation,” he tells me. “Waters’ appeal is being considered, and there’s a chance the judge might order a re-trial.”

“God damn it!” I’m barely aware of the startled looks of the other diners, my reaction is so overwhelming. “How the hell…?”

Simon puts a hand on my arm. His steadiness reminds me of where we are, stops my tirade, but does nothing at all for my volcanic rage. He tosses down a couple of bills on the table and stands up. “Let’s walk, Jim,” he tells me.

Blindsided by the sudden anger and terror surging within me, I do what he says.

~oO0Oo~


Blair is studying at a community college in Aberdeen, about twenty miles west of our house on the beachfront. He was cleared to drive again last August, which meant that we could get a place out here in the sticks, near to the store I run, rather than in the city close to the college. We both agree it’s a nicer environment in which to live.

It’s late when Blair gets back – he had a meeting after class with the girl he’s offered to tutor. I’m sitting out on the deck when he arrives home, watching the sun go down and nursing a beer.

The familiar sounds of Sandburg’s arrival soothe me, despite my inner turmoil. There is the sound of a paper bag being dumped on the counter – apparently he went shopping for groceries on the way home. I hear fabric slide on fabric as he removes his jacket, and the distinctive sound of keys landing in the basket by the door. The fridge opens and closes.

A moment later, he is behind me, a beer in his hand. “Hey,” he says, putting a hand on my shoulder and rubbing.

“Hey.” I reach up, capture the hand and bring it to my lips. “Take a load off,” I say.

Obligingly he moves around and takes the place next to me on the swing seat. His thigh is hot against mine in the chill air, and the seat rocks slightly backwards and forwards with the momentum of his descent. “I bought fresh mussels and shrimp from the market in town,” he tells me. “I thought I’d make paella.”

Casually, I throw an arm across the back of the seat, encompassing him in my protective circle. I keep my eyes on the red ball which glows on the horizon. “Good,” I say. I’m proud of the fact that my voice is normal.

Not that that fools him for a second. “Jim?” he demands. I can feel his gaze, hot as a spot lamp, on the side of my face. “What’s wrong?”

I never could lie to him. Not about important stuff, anyway. “Simon was here earlier,” I admit. “There’s…” my voice hitches. “There’s been a problem. With Waters’ conviction.” The words nearly choke me.

“Oh,” Blair says neutrally. “What kind of problem?”

Best to just spit it out. “His lawyer is claiming that evidence was tampered with. There may be a retrial.”

Blair doesn’t say anything else, so I’m forced to look at him. He’s watching me with an expression of unmistakable sympathy. After a moment, he says, “And was it? Tampered with, I mean?”

“Jesus, Chief,” I spit out, rising to my feet as volcanic emotion surges to the surface. In my wake, the swing seat wobbles violently. “Do you really think I’d do something like that? Do you think I’d chance letting the bastard who did this,” I indicate the jagged scar which runs across his head, disturbing the hairline from the crown right down to his left eyebrow, “get off on a fucking technicality?”

His expression is serious as he looks up at me, and a little hurt. “You know I trust you, man,” he says. “I’m not accusing you. All I’m asking…” he sighs, shaking his head, “All I want to know is, is there a chance it’s true? Is he going to get off?”

Suddenly I’m heartsick; his belief in me robbing me of energy. “I don’t know.”

In the next moment, Blair is there, holding me. “Come on,” he says firmly. “Let’s go inside.” Releasing me from his embrace, he takes my hand and leads me into the house.

Once again awed by his strength, I follow him meekly.

I’d follow him anywhere.

~oO0Oo~


He makes love to me so reverently, so gently, that I can hardly stand it. “Blair,” I beg, as he stretches me, “Please…”

“Hush,” he whispers. “Easy. Just let it happen.”

Whimpering, I obey, although it’s almost more than I can take.

At last, after an eternity, he drives into me oh-so-slowly. Even though I take him without resistance, the first few strokes are slow, intended to test me, to gauge my readiness. I remain pliant, although it pains me to do so. But I know he won’t hurt me. He won’t ever hurt me, and what I desperately want from him will only happen when he’s sure I’m good and ready.

Soon, though, I get tired of waiting. “Fuck me,” I plead. “Fuck me hard.”

I feel a kiss between my shoulder blades, and his fingers shift on my hips as he gets a better grip. Then – oh God! Thank God! The pounding begins, robbing me of every thought, every feeling, every desire, other than the need to push back, meet strength with strength, absorb his power and give him back my own.

When his hand reaches round to complete the circle, I’m already coming so hard that I think I’ve lost my mind.

Afterwards, I hold him in my arms, feeling love so profound it terrifies me.

~oO0Oo~


It’s a few weeks before we hear anything else.

In the interim, I work at the shop, making sure to hit the surf myself whenever I can. Blair’s exams come and go, and both he and the girl he’s mentoring do exceptionally well. Blair’s summer vacation begins, and he spends time with me at the beach, hanging out in the sun, beachcombing, reading books and helping me in the shop. I want to teach him to surf, but he refuses - he’s too self conscious about exposing the scars concealed under his baggy clothes.

Beverly Sanchez calls one day, and asks us to come to Cascade. She doesn’t go into detail over the phone, but really, there’s no need - Blair and I are painfully aware of what it’s about.

Blair is looking out of the window of the truck, watching the scenery fly by as we head back to our old stomping ground. “That looks familiar,” he says, gesticulating out of the window.

My heart leaps for a moment, before I register that he’s yanking my chain. “Sure it does, Brainiac. It’s your hand. You see it every day.”

He grins as he peers at me over the top of his shades. “You’re no fun,” he complains. “No fun at all.”

“That’s not what you told me last night,” I deadpan. “You remember that, huh?”

“I’m not sure about that, man,” he whines dramatically. “I’ve got a pretty bad memory.”

I reach across, my hand landing on his thigh and creeping suggestively higher. “Wait until later,” I promise. “I’ll be happy to remind you.”

“Hoo, boy.” He squirms in the seat, his smile wide and happy. “Yeah, baby!”

I love him like this. He never lost his playfulness, or his ability to find humor in adversity.

I’m trying really hard to follow his example.

~oO0Oo~


Beverly greets us warmly. “Jim, thanks for coming. Blair, oh my! You’re looking so well!”

The last time Beverly saw Blair was at the trial. Then, he’d been in a wheelchair, with both legs in plaster and both arms in matching casts. His hair had grown back only patchily, his scalp still bare in places and the scar a livid legacy of what those bastards did to him – and a constant reminder of the miracle of his survival.

Today, he walks in under his own steam, and smiles at her, his teeth gleaming whitely out of his tanned face. He does look good. “Great to see you too, Bev,” he says. The scar is only really noticeable above his eyebrow now, the rest of it hidden by his hair, which he’s growing long again to help cover it.

The thought makes me grin. I’m always teasing him about his ‘comb over’.

A short while later and I’m grinning no longer, after Beverly updates us on the situation. It seems that Waters’ attorney is claiming that his client’s constitutional rights were violated during the collection of evidence.

“What about Sandburg’s constitutional rights?” I’m so angry I can hardly speak.

“Jim.” Blair’s hand on my arm is the only thing keeping me from getting up to punch a hole through the wall. He looks back at Beverly. He’s outwardly calm, but his heart is pounding fast. “In what way?”

Beverly looks at me when she answers - she’s not happy either. “Waters is claiming that you stalked him, Jim, and put him under surveillance without a warrant. He says he saw you outside his apartment shortly after Blair was abducted. He’s citing the revelations about your senses as evidence that you monitored his conversations during that time.”

Jesus. I’d always wondered if my decision to go public would come back to bite me on the ass. After I left the force, there was no reason to perpetuate the lie that Blair had told for me – that I did not possess hyper-senses. During the trial, when some of the seedier press latched onto Blair’s declaration of fraud - bringing it all up again along with the allegation that his amnesia was faked - I came clean publicly, to set the record straight and spare him further pain.

But once Waters was put away for life, I never expected my admission to be turned against us like this. “What possible proof does he have? I mean, come on – even if I was seen near his place,” I decide not to deny it – I did keep tabs on the bastard, after all – “doesn’t mean that I listened in.” I shrug. “My senses were not working at their best at that time.” I catch Blair giving me a concerned look.

Beverly still looks grim. “The surveillance allegations are, in my opinion, impossible to substantiate – heightened senses are not the same as wire taps, after all. So we can pretty much discount those claims. The real problem is that he also alleges you tampered with the forensic evidence.”

“What forensic evidence?” Blair looks puzzled. “I mean, wasn’t it clear cut that he paid those guys to beat me up?” I wince at the understatement.

Beverly shakes her head. “They claim they never met Waters face to face, and had no idea of the identity of the person who hired them. To be honest, the bulk of Waters’ conviction rested on circumstantial evidence. Frankly, we were lucky that it was so damning. The forensic evidence tying him to the scene definitely swayed the jury’s decision. But, really, it could have gone either way. And if he’s tried again with the forensics omitted, and such serious doubt cast on your testimony, Jim, I think it’s likely he’ll walk.”

“He’s saying I tampered with it?” I explode. “Bullshit! If I had, there wouldn’t have been any doubt in anyone’s mind that he did it.” I ignore the shocked look both of them shoot me. “I can’t believe that the judge is seriously considering a re-trial. Where the hell is Waters’ proof?”

Beverly glances at Blair, then looks back at me. “He has a witness,” she says. “A credible one.”

A credible one, it turns out, who works for Cascade PD. It looks like Waters has a forensic technician on his payroll.

What a fucking mess.

~oO0Oo~


That night, Blair wakes screaming, out of a nightmare of falling.

He can’t remember the five years we spent as partners, or ninety per cent of his time as an anthropologist. It’s so goddamned unfair - why the hell does he have to remember that?

Holding him in the aftermath, I want to kill Waters with my bare hands.

~oO0Oo~


There’s nothing else to do but wait. Much as I’d like to have a cozy little tete-a-tete with Greg Nelson - the forensic technician who has decided to back an attempted murderer against his former colleagues - I have to admit that it would be a really inadvisable thing to do at this time.

Life carries on. I seethe inside, and Blair, as usual, embraces the present. But at night, our lovemaking has a desperate edge and, although Blair doesn’t complain of any more nightmares, his sleep is often restless.

Mine is restless too.

Then, about a week after our trip to Cascade to meet with Beverly, I’m in the shop one morning when a guy in a suit comes in. I don’t need him to flash his badge – although when he does, my gut instinct that he’s a Fed is proved right. “Special Agent O’Connor. Are you Detective James Ellison?” he asks.

“Not ‘Detective’ any more,” I tell him, putting aside the board I’m working on. “But yeah, that’s me.”

Hearing my voice, Blair comes out of the back to see what’s going on. The Fed is looking at him intently, and I get in between, blocking the guy’s line of sight. “Let’s discuss this outside,” I say. And over my shoulder, I tell Blair, “Mind the shop, huh? This won’t take long.”

“Sure, man,” Blair agrees, but there’s an edge to his voice which says he’ll get me back later for excluding him.

~oO0Oo~


I get straight to the point. “Waters got to Nelson, somehow,” I tell him. “The guy’s lying. He’s either on Waters’ payroll, or he’s been threatened.”

O’Connor shrugs. “That’s what I figured you’d say. Nelson says otherwise.”

“So, you’re telling me it’s my word against his?” I snort derisively. “Give me a break.”

The Fed is unruffled. “Dr. Nelson has categorically stated that he saw you at the warehouse, the day after Detective Sandburg’s attempted murder, and that he watched you plant evidence.”

“So why is he only just now coming forward?” I’m scathing.

O’Connor shrugs. “Says his conscience was troubling him.”

“Yeah, right.” If that’s all they’ve got to go on, I’m amazed the investigation into Nelson’s allegations have gotten this far. “Well, it’s bullshit. Ask anyone - I was at the hospital. I didn’t leave Blair’s side for days.”

“That’s not entirely true,” O’Connor tells me. “On the day in question, I have several witnesses to the fact that Captain Banks took you home, so you could shower and get something to eat. He left you there alone for three hours.”

“And that coincides with when Nelson ‘saw’ me, huh? Come on.” I laugh, shortly. “I was a cop for more than ten years. You really think, if I’d done it, I’d leave myself with no alibi? What kind of idiot do you think I am?”

He’s unfazed by my sarcasm. “Did you do it, Mr. Ellison?”

“No, I did not.” I can’t believe he’s taking Nelson’s allegation seriously. “You really think I’d jeopardize Waters’ conviction? The guy tried to kill Sandburg, for Christ’s sake! My partner is still suffering from what those assholes did. He’ll never be the same again.” Speaking those words aloud cuts me like a knife.

O’Connor looks at me, still as expressionless as only a Fed can be. “I note that you keep referring to Mr. Sandburg as your partner. But as I understand it, you ceased to be partners right after the assault, when you resigned from the police department.”

It’s none of his damned business, but I’m definitely not ashamed of what we are to each other. “We’re life partners.”

“I see.” He betrays no surprise – not that I thought for a minute that our relationship would be news to him. This guy has done his homework. “Were you a couple before or after what happened to Sandburg?”

“After.” I keep eye contact, trying to break through his confident façade by the use of a bit of good old intimidation. “But then, I’m sure you know that already.”

He shrugs. “Some people tell it differently.”

Ah. The PD rumor mill, still going strong. “Your point?”

Finally, a slight crack in his armor. And to my surprise, it’s not disgust or condemnation I see.

It’s sympathy.

“My point,” O’Connor answers, “is that people sometimes see exactly what they want to see. And they can be mistaken.”

I’m still reeling as he walks off. He believes me. He actually believes me.

~oO0Oo~


Blair dreams of falling again that night. When he cries out, I wake instantly, and pull him towards me. “Easy,” I say. “I’ve got you.” My heart feels like it’s breaking.

But he pushes me away. “I’m okay,” he says breathlessly, as he sits up. “I’m okay, man.” Then, he turns to look down at me, and to my astonishment, he’s smiling, his eyes bright with wonder. “Jim?” he asks. “Did I ever jump out of a plane? You know, with a parachute?”

The sudden lump in my throat makes it hard to answer. “Yeah,” I croak out.

He’s thinking out loud, trying to put the pieces together. “Trees,” he says. “There were trees. And I was scared shitless, man. But I didn’t want you to leave me behind.”

“It was in Peru.” The words are calm, but inside, I’m in turmoil.

He’s looking thoughtful. “Yeah,” he says. “That seems right. We parachuted over rainforest, huh?”

I nod. But I can’t speak.

He reaches out. “Hey,” he says gently. “It’s okay.” Arms come around me as he lies back down. “It’s okay,” he says again, as his body blankets mine; warm, alive.

I hold him back, breathing raggedly. It’s the first thing he’s ever remembered of our years together. And the significance of the memory is overwhelming - it’s the time when he chose not to leave me. The first time he told me – and showed me - that our friendship was more important than his career.

“Chief,” I murmur helplessly, as his light eyes, full of love, gaze into mine from just inches away. I’m moved beyond words.

His mouth presses down, hard, on mine. And, thankfully, words cease to be necessary.

~oO0Oo~


We’re both on a high after that. It’s easy, for a day or two, to forget about the allegations against me, and the continuing threat that Waters might get off with what he did.

I even manage to persuade Blair to get in the water with me. He’s all bright eyes and laughter, the water running in rivulets across his rapidly-tanning skin as he attempts to follow my instructions. “Whoa,” he exclaims, as he climbs back atop his board after another topple; his self-consciousness forgotten, chased away by his love of adventure. “You make it look so easy, man!”

“You’re not doing so bad, sport,” I tell him. “Try standing up this time, in one move – no kneeling. Remember what I showed you about where to put your feet.”

“Okay.” He looks determined. “I’ll try.”

It takes a few more attempts, then suddenly, he’s up, riding the wave, whooping with joy. Beautiful, sleek, graceful.

Unbroken.

“Did you see it?” When I catch up with him in the shallows, he’s euphoric. “Did you see it, man?”

“Yeah.” God, he’s stunning like this. This is the guy who wore multi-colored vests, and pushed me out of the way of a garbage truck. The guy who got such a kick out of riding the roller-coaster. “Yeah, I saw it, Chief. You did good.”

“Didn’t I, though?” He slaps me on the arm. “C’mon,” he says. “Let’s go again!” And he’s off, paddling powerfully back out across the whitewater.

I can’t stop smiling, as I follow in his wake. And I ignore the salty droplets on my face. If he asks why my eyes are red, I’ll tell him it’s just spray from the sea.

~oO0Oo~


We don’t switch all that often. I like getting fucked too much, and Blair can take it or leave it. But tonight, it’s what he wants.

I know it’s a common misconception that people have of our relationship: that I’m the pitcher, and he’s the catcher, period. I’ve heard the snide speculation, and caught the sidelong looks. In a perverse way, it amuses us both that people have no idea how much big bad Jim Ellison loves to take it up the ass.

On the occasions when we do swap around, I like to open Blair up slowly. In a way, I think with amusement, it’s payback for the way he always makes me wait before giving me the hard fucking I want. Right now, I’ve got my tongue as far up his ass as it will go, one thumb pressing against his perineum, and a finger of the other hand circling the slit at the head of his cock.

He’s pretty non-verbal right about now, which is exactly where I want him to be.

“Uhhhh…” his moan is long and drawn out, and the sound of it makes my cock twitch in anticipation. As a reward I take my hand off his dick to cup his balls, and I blow warm air across his hole before thrusting in a finger and going for gold.

“Jimmmmmm…” he pleads, his hands gripping the sheets as though they are the only thing anchoring him to the bed. I shift up a little, so I can lick up the length of his cock from base to tip and, suddenly, the only thing keeping him down on the bed is the grip I have on his scrotum and the finger I’m thrusting up his ass. He’s hyperventilating by the time I suck his cock into my mouth.

He tastes of pure sex, with a side of sun and surf.

I feel his balls begin to draw up, and I squeeze slightly, tugging them down to stave off his impending orgasm. He groans in frustration, but it’s a token protest – he loves it when I make him wait. As a top, he’s pushy, assertive – just the way I like it. But on the rare times he bottoms, he loves to surrender control, to let me be in command of his pleasure.

He trusts me that much.

I decide he’s had enough. I pull my finger out, and move away. He’s glistening with sweat, his mouth open and his thighs parted. I still cup his balls in my hand. “Hey,” I say, forcing his attention.

Glazed blue eyes open.

“Turn over,” I order softly.

He takes a deep breath and, as I let go of his sac, he shifts jerkily, and turns onto his front. “Hands and knees, Chief,” I tell him, and he complies, shuddering.

He loves it when I take charge. Just as I like him to do the same, when the roles are reversed.

“Good,” I praise, and I place my palm flat on the small of his back. “Open wider.” Muscular thighs obediently part a little more, and I reach for the lube I put out in readiness. “Keep still,” I tell him, as I coat my fingers. His cock, hanging underneath, twitches at my words.

It doesn’t take long to prepare him – he’s loose and relaxed from the rimming I gave him. Coating my cock, I move in, and push. As I breach the outer ring of muscle and push further in, I lean forward, covering him. His arms shake under my weight, but they withstand it. He’s strong enough for this.

It feels incredible. Just like every time we do this, I wonder why I don’t top him more often. So tight. So fucking hot.

Reaching forward, I grab his wrists, and push his upper body down on the bed as I stretch his arms above his head and hold them there. I scatter kisses on the back of his neck, and begin to thrust gently. Beneath me, he’s trembling; so fucking close. But I want him to keep going a while yet, so I ignore his needy dick for now - he usually needs a little extra manual stimulation to get him off at times like this. Unlike me – I can come just from being fucked.

I gradually pick up speed – god, I love this! And I breathe in his scent – sweat, pre-come, aloe lotion, and under it, undistilled Sandburg, squirming with need and lust underneath me. He’s breathing like a freight train, lost in a haze of rapture.

Jesus. He’s not the only one.

I let go of one of his wrists, and reach around between his legs. As my hand grabs hold of his slippery cock, I speed up my thrusts, and match the movement of my hand to the same rhythm.

I want us to come together, and I know I’ve timed it right - I’m good at this. He’s moaning helplessly, now. He’s so close. So close.

I suckle on the side of his neck, basking in the strong, musky scent I find there, and the salty taste of his sun-kissed skin. I feel the tension in his body as he nears the peak, floods of pheromones filling my senses as he writhes under me. A primal, undulating cry is torn from his lips as he hurtles over the edge, lost to the pleasure I’m forcing from him. His asshole grips me like a vice, and the combination – smell, sound, touch, taste, and the sight of my partner going to pieces under me - throws me over the precipice as well, in a cascade of sensory ecstasy.

It’s so intense that, in the aftermath, neither of us have any words. Instead, we hold each other tenderly, speaking in long, eloquent looks and gentle touches.

~oO0Oo~


I’ve been doing a little careful digging into Dr. Gregory Nelson. Nothing too obvious, and nothing that can be traced back to me.

I only have vague recollections of Nelson from when I worked at the PD. An unassuming man in his early thirties, wearing a white lab coat and poring over samples or sitting at a computer. He started working for Cascade PD shortly after Carolyn left for San Francisco. I only dealt with him directly once or twice, and I can’t recall ever saying or doing anything that might cause him to bear me a grudge.

Not for the first time, I wish fervently that more of Blair’s memories were intact, so I could quiz him about Nelson. Because it’s possible that the guy might have something personal against him rather than me. Back when he was riding as an observer, Sandburg was no stranger down in Forensics, thanks to his explosive relationship with Sam, and his jones for Cassie Wells.

For a while, I wonder about some kind of territory thing. That perhaps Nelson was attracted to one or the other of those ladies himself and, maybe, resented being a witness to Sandburg’s patent mating cha-cha.

Then I find out the guy is gay - so that blows that out of the water.

Apart from his sexuality – which he’s apparently kept quiet about at work – Nelson is squeaky clean. A world class geek, who sailed through college, and then worked for Seattle PD before getting a transfer to Cascade. He has a long-term live-in lover – a professor at Rainier.

That gives me pause. Another angle to pursue.

~oO0Oo~


I wasn’t lying when I told Special Agent O’Connor that we got together as a couple after the attack on Blair, once we’d ceased to be cops. The truth is that there was a definite attraction between us from the beginning, and I have no doubt that it was obvious to everyone who saw us together. But honest to god, neither of us acted on it during our five years as a professional team.

I’m bisexual – always have been (although I had to be discreet about my encounters with men in the military, as well as when I became a cop). And even though I saw Sandburg exclusively date women, it was obvious to me from day one - from things he said, as well as the unspoken electricity between us - that he was of a similar stamp.

When Blair was in the hospital, a couple of months after the assault, he asked me outright if we had been lovers. I told him the truth; that we weren’t – yet – but that I did love him. That, as far as I was concerned, he was my partner, end of story - and that could mean whatever he wanted it to mean. That I’d be there for him no matter what, and that I’d only take whatever he felt able to give me.

To be honest, I never expected the reaction I got.

“I know there’s a lot I don’t remember, man,” he said. “But I know one thing.” His eyes teared up, and it broke my heart. “I love you, Jim,” he said. “I know that much. I can’t remember it, man. But I feel it. It’s the only real thing I can feel, apart from all this goddamned pain.”

Blair’s therapist cautioned us both against making life-changing decisions while he was still so vulnerable. But my partner – my brave, incredible, pushy little shit of a partner – knew what he wanted, and he was determined to get it. He wanted me.

No one else has ever wanted me that much. And that’s a fact.

Since there was no longer any need to keep it a secret – I’d resigned from the PD so that I could give him the constant care he needed, and Blair would never be going back there – we came out. We treated the time immediately afterward as a kind of honeymoon period, despite the fact that we had to wait several months before any kind of physical consummation could take place. It was the one bright spot in the dark times we were living through.

But needless to say, not everybody sees it the way we do.

Our respective parents, for one thing, are less than ecstatic. My dad, in fact, is horrified – he still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that his son is a queer, and it’s a topic we never discuss during our rare telephone conversations. The old bastard can’t even bring himself to ask after Blair’s well being.

And Naomi? She’s convinced I’m taking advantage of her son. That I moved in on him when he wasn’t able to think for himself. That she knows what’s best for him, and it is emphatically not me.

People call me a control freak. Jeez, that woman has control issues up the wazoo – I’m an amateur in comparison.

Still, she’s Blair’s mom, and he loves her. He’s had enough of his past ripped away from him – I’m not about to deprive him of her as well.

Thank god, though, that she only visits occasionally.

~oO0Oo~


My covert investigation of Nelson’s lover is, disappointingly, another dead end.

Looks like it might be time for plan ‘B’.

God forgive me.

~oO0Oo~


Summer segues into Fall, and there is no further official word about the investigation into Waters’ conviction. Blair goes back to college, and the shop is busy. The weather’s not so nice, but that doesn’t harm business at all - there are actually more surfing days this time of year. Dedicated surfers don’t let a little thing like thirty degree water deter them when there are twenty foot waves to be harnessed.

We’re both beginning to convince ourselves that we’ve heard the last of it, when Simon arrives unexpectedly one evening.

I take one look at his face. “Shit, Simon,” I say. “Can’t you come out here for any other reason? Like just to visit with us, or something?”

“I’m sorry Jim.” He moves past me, into the house. “Sandburg here?”

Blair comes out of the kitchen door behind me. “Yeah, I am.” He glances my way, and his face emphatically states: don’t shut me out.

We usher Simon into the kitchen. As he shucks off his coat, I go to get beer for the three of us.

“How you doing, Blair?” Simon is asking, as I open the fridge. His manner is gentler than it would have been a few years ago, when Blair still tended to rub him up the wrong way.

“I’m good.” Blair understands that Simon was a friend from before; someone he got close to, despite their differences. But, like many things, he doesn’t remember, and he no longer knows Simon well at all. He falls back on rote hospitality to mask the nervousness only I can perceive. “Oh, hey. Take a seat, man.”

I go to join them at the kitchen table, handing out the beers. “Okay,” I say, getting to the point. “What’s going on?”

Simon takes a deep breath. “The word is,” he says, “that the retrial is going ahead. Nelson is unshakeable. He’s going to testify that he saw you plant evidence.”

“Damn it!” I’m momentarily shocked by Blair’s outburst – he’s been so calm throughout this whole thing. “How the hell can anybody accuse Jim like that? I mean – come on, man!”

“You’re preaching to the choir here, Sandburg,” Simon tells him. “I’m just here to tell you what I heard.” He looks at me. “I hope you’ve got a good lawyer, Jim,” he says. “This won’t stop at a retrial, you know.”

“Already on it.” I know what he means. Cops who pervert the course of justice by manufacturing evidence tend to get the book thrown at them, big time. Worst case scenario? I’m looking at a few years in jail, here.

Not that I’m telling Blair that. If all goes to plan, it won’t get that far.

~oO0Oo~


It’s another week before the news arrives.

“The coroner has confirmed that it was an accident,” Simon tells me on the phone. “There was a fault with an electrical cable in the prison laundry. It seems he died instantly.”

“Don’t expect me to show any sympathy,” I tell him. “That bastard got what he deserved. Correction – he got better than he deserved.”

There’s a pause on the other end of the phone. Then Simon tells me, “It doesn’t stop the allegations against you, though, Jim.”

“Yeah.” I pretty much suspected that might be the case. “So what happens next, huh?”

“Things will move faster, now that Waters is dead,” he tells me. “Instead of the focus being on gathering evidence for a retrial, it’s likely that the Feds will go all out to prosecute you. Nelson hasn’t changed his story, from what I’ve heard. I’d say he’s trying desperately to save face by perpetuating the lie.”

“Uh huh.” That’s disappointing. “So, how’s everyone taking it, around the station? He still working there?”

Simon’s voice is hard when he answers. “Let’s just say, the good Dr. Nelson’s not made himself popular around these parts. He’s taken a leave of absence, from what I hear.”

“I see.” I knew that already, of course. “Well, let’s just hope he comes to his senses, huh?”

“Amen to that.” Simon sighs, the sound heartfelt. “We’re all behind you, Jim, one hundred per cent. We all know you’re innocent.”

“Thanks, Simon,” I tell him, deeply moved by his loyalty. “That means a lot.”

~oO0Oo~


Blair’s going off to a student party tonight. So that he can participate fully in the ultimate student bonding experience - by partaking of a few beers - he’s planning to stay overnight in Aberdeen instead of driving back later.

It’s the first time we’ve slept apart since… well, since before. I feel more than a little like an anxious parent – an incongruous and wholly inappropriate sentiment that I know would both amuse and horrify Blair, if I were to share it with him.

He’s been getting ready for a while and, at last, he comes out of the bedroom, looking like the personification of sex. He’s wearing his well-fitting jeans and royal blue button-down, and his hair is loose, the curl enhanced by whatever weird dippity-doo he’s slathered onto it.

I whistle admiringly. “You do clean up well.”

He grins. “Hey, a guy my age has to make a bit of an effort. I’m ten years older than most of my classmates, man!”

He doesn’t look it, and he knows it. As he puts his overnight bag down on the table, I move over and embrace him. “You going to be okay?” I ask him softly.

“Yeah.” His arms come round my waist. “I’m a big boy now. I think I’m old enough for a sleepover.”

I grab his butt, and pull him hard toward me. “Yeah,” I leer. “You’re definitely a big boy.”

“Cut it out, man!” he protests; but his eyes are shining with mischief, and he makes no effort to wriggle free. “And be careful, huh? Don’t mess up the hair.”

I sink to my knees, and start to unbutton his fly. “Don’t worry,” I tell him, looking up at his flushed face, his lush lips parted with sudden arousal. “I won’t go anywhere near that hair!”

~oO0Oo~


With Blair gone, it’s best to move quickly, so I make the call to my contact as soon as he’s out the door. The arrangements have been in place for a while – I just hoped I wouldn’t have to go through with this part of the plan.

Greg Nelson is pretty easy to apprehend. He’s a geek, not a cop, after all. Some geeks – like Sandburg - can cut it. Others – can’t.

Nelson is sitting beside me in the back of the car, trembling, scared to death. I take pity on him – he’s not a bad guy, after all. “Easy, sport.” I say. “Calm down.” He starts as my hand lands on his shoulder – he didn’t see it coming, because of the blindfold.

“I know who you are,” he says, his voice shaky. I can’t help but admire his spunk. “It’s Ellison, right? I recognize your voice.”

“You’re a smart guy, Greg,” I tell him.

“Smart enough to know you’re gonna kill me,” he says hopelessly.

“If I was going to kill you,” I tell him, “I wouldn’t have done this.” I flick at the blindfold, and he flinches.

“Don’t give me that crap,” he snaps, his terror hiding beneath anger. “I know who you are, okay? What you gonna do when you’ve… when you’ve done whatever it is you’re gonna do, huh? Ask me nicely not to tell, and then let me go?”

“That’s exactly what I’m gonna do,” I tell him. “The blindfold is to protect the identity of the others with me. That’s all. Now, calm down, and shut the hell up. Unless you want me to gag you as well.”

The threat works, and he shuts up. But the stench of his fear is overwhelming in the confined space of the car.

My eyes meet the driver’s in the rear view mirror – a guy from the classified part of my past, who owes me a favor. He looks as grim as I feel.

Jesus. We both thought we’d left crap like this behind us years ago.

~oO0Oo~


I’m in bed, sleeping like the dead, when Blair gets back in the morning. “Hey.” His voice is soft, as I drift up from sleep, feeling a cool hand on my brow. “Are you okay?” He sounds worried.

I stretch, yawning. “Morning, Chief,” I say.

He’s watching me with intense concern. “Are you sick, man? Jeez, I’ve never known you to sleep this late.”

I pull him down onto the bed with me, and put my arms around him so I can kiss away the worry lines. “I just couldn’t sleep without you, babe,” I tell him. “I stayed up reading a book,” I point toward the well-thumbed volume of Kerouac’s collected work on the nightstand. “It was getting light before I finally drifted off.”

“Oh, man! I knew I shouldn’t have gone. You’re under all this stress, Jim, about the Nelson thing. I should have been here…”

“Hey,” I shush him. “It’s okay, Chief. You were right to go – this is your life, what you do. It’s important to you.”

He looks miserable. “Not as important as you,” he tells me, his eyes shadowed with concern.

I pull him in, and kiss him soundly. “It’s okay, Chief,” I assure him. “It’s okay.” My hands get busy, undoing his shirt. “Everything’s going to be okay.”

As I slide down his body to nibble at one of his nipples, distracting him with sensation, I feel the truth of it deep inside.

It’s going to be all right from now on. No question.

~oO0Oo~


A couple of days later, I’m in the shop when my cell rings. It’s Beverly Sanchez. She gets straight to the point: “I just got a call from Agent O’Connor. Nelson’s withdrawn his allegation,” she tells me. “The investigation is over, Jim. You’re in the clear.”

I don’t have to fake my relief. “Oh, thank god.”

“Nelson admitted that Waters coerced him into testifying, by making threats toward his boyfriend,” she tells me. “Now that Waters is dead, Nelson decided to come clean.”

“Just like we suspected, huh?” This isn’t, of course, news to me.

“Exactly,” she says. “I’m just so sorry it got this far, Jim. You have enough to worry about as it is.”

“I appreciate your concern,” I tell her. “And I’m glad it’s over. But really, life is pretty good right now. Blair’s doing great, and so am I. I’m not saying it’s not a weight off my mind, though.”

We chat a bit more, back to small talk now the crisis is over. And as the call concludes, I allow myself to feel just a little bit of satisfaction.

I’ve managed to put right a mistake so ill-considered, that it could have freed the man who hurt my partner so brutally. It could have destroyed the trust between Blair and I, as well as my friendship with others, and eliminated any chance we might have of a happy future together.

At the time I did it, I had been blinded by anger and grief. My senses had been so out of kilter, that I hadn’t noticed the silent observer who watched me from the shadows, when I placed items at the crime scene which irrefutably linked Waters to that location.

Waters was as guilty as sin. He knew that, and I knew that. I heard him admit it. But the asshole was careful, and hid his tracks well enough that only a sentinel like me could ever know the truth.

By planting the evidence, all I did was to help justice along a little bit.

Thank god Gregory Nelson saw sense when we had our little ‘talk’ the other day - I’d hate to have had to kill an essentially honest and ethical man like him. Waters never actually threatened him at all – Agent O’Connor had the right of it, when he’d said that Nelson’s conscience was troubling him, simple as that. And when all was said and done, it was Nelson’s conscience I ended up appealing to. It didn’t take too much effort to make him see it my way.

I had no similar compunction about Waters. If I’d dealt with him decisively in the beginning, it could have saved us all a lot of grief. I guess I was still too much of a cop at that time to kill him outright.

Thankfully, I’m not a cop any more. And at last, that particular threat has been eliminated for good.

~oO0Oo~


We’re celebrating the good news in a Pakistani restaurant in Aberdeen, eating lamb pasanda, pilau rice and a huge pile of chapattis. Blair pours me another glass of Australian shiraz – which goes surprisingly well, I think, with the curry.

He raises his glass, his eyes shining with happiness. “Here’s to the present, man – because I’m exactly where I want to be right now.”

I knock my glass against his, the bell-like peal ringing in the start of the rest of our lives. “To the present,” I toast.

We can’t, after all, change the past. And from now on, the future will take care of itself.




The End





Comments are welcome, but absolutely not necessary - all of my stories are offered freely and without obligation. If you do wish to comment below please sign your name/pseudonym if you are not logged-in to Dreamwidth or Open ID, or alternatively you can email me at fluterbev@gmail.com



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Date: 2007-08-05 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gillyp.livejournal.com
Ooh... My favourite. (o:

Date: 2007-08-05 11:00 am (UTC)
ext_14365: If you made this, tell me and I'll credit (Default)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev.livejournal.com
::squishes you:: :-)

Date: 2007-08-05 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klgrem.livejournal.com
Ooh. Wow. I never expected those revelations from Jim. Great fic! Loved it. Thanks for sharing with us. :)

Date: 2007-08-06 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Glad you liked the sting in the tale! Thanks again :-)

Date: 2008-01-06 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] betagoddess.livejournal.com

Just reread this and enjoyed it as much as the first time! =>}

Thanks for writing. *g*

Date: 2008-01-07 10:55 am (UTC)
ext_14365: If you made this, tell me and I'll credit (Default)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev.livejournal.com
Heh, thanks very much! :-D

Date: 2008-02-10 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bumpkin-is.livejournal.com
First time I read this I was floored, it was just so good - dark and grim and all. This second time re-reading it, even knowing the outcome it was still powerful enough to give me a nice 'oof' feeling and leave me feeling very satisfied as a reader. Very nicely written!

thanks for sharing and keep penning,
Marns
~pN

Date: 2008-02-16 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hey, thanks a lot! It's really great to hear that you enjoyed it :-)

Date: 2008-02-11 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lit-gal.livejournal.com
Yep, just reread this and I still so totally love it.

Date: 2008-02-16 11:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks! That's so nice of you to say :-)

Date: 2008-03-01 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wesleysgirl.livejournal.com
Hi! Just read this for the first time and it's lovely. Really nicely done.

:-)

Date: 2008-03-02 10:37 am (UTC)
ext_14365: If you made this, tell me and I'll credit (Default)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev.livejournal.com
Hey, there! Thanks for the feedback - I'm delighted you like it! :-)

Date: 2008-03-17 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missfaeagain.livejournal.com
Just read your wonderful story and I really loved it.... Why did I think that Jim had actually planted the evidence. But I didn't care because he did what had to be done....hugs to you...

Date: 2008-03-17 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much! I am delighted you enjoyed it ::hugs::

Date: 2008-12-08 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cho-sa.livejournal.com
I loved this. A lot of writers tend to never really bring to attention that Jim had been an army ranger, often glossing over that or never using what skills Jim would have retained from his time as a ranger. It makes one forget this part of Jim. But you did a fantastic job of reminding us that Jim is indeed a dangerous man to mess with.

Date: 2008-12-13 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks so much! I'm delighted to get your nice feedback. I have a bit of a thing for dangerous Jim :-)

Date: 2009-02-04 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stoneygirl77.livejournal.com
Wow Bev, very powerful. That side of Jim's past has always creeped me out a bit but you utilized it so well. Our sweet Blair no worse for the wear and now they can live blissfully happy forever. RIGHT? Or not? I can see so much to follow from this. Loved it. Great job. You are a wonderful writer.

Date: 2009-02-05 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hey Deb, glad you enjoyed it! You're very kind to comment :-)

Date: 2009-05-31 11:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
One of the better braindamage!fics I've read in this fandom =)

Date: 2009-07-18 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! :-)

Date: 2010-02-11 05:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chipped-diamond.livejournal.com
That was amazing. It's one of my greatest regrets I never watched this series when it was on television - I borrowed the first season from an acquaintance and to my shock I found out they never made the rest of the seasons on DVD. So now I just scour the internet for fic... and I'm so glad I did. This is beautiful - the spot-on characterization, the flow of the story, just the amazing imagery. Awesome! <3

Date: 2010-02-14 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hey there, thanks so much for your kind words! I am delighted you enjoyed it :-)

It's sad you never got to see the rest of the series. There are definitely people out there who may be able to help - maybe you could ask on [livejournal.com profile] ts_talk?

Staying Present

Date: 2010-05-17 02:56 pm (UTC)
iadorespike: (JB Love by luna_61)
From: [personal profile] iadorespike
I love this story. I do believe that Jim would go to any lengths to keep Blair safe and, if need be (and it WAS) avenge him. Who doesn't? I mean, really? Yeah, love this. I also love that they've built a happy life together, and I'm so, so glad that they're able to move on from where they were. A lot of it is Blair, but I love that Jim is so willing to make Blair his number one priority. Who says that you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Bless him.

Thanks so much for this wonderful, moving, powerful, loving story.

<3

Re: Staying Present

Date: 2010-05-18 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hey there, thanks for popping in and letting me know what you think of this story. You brightened an otherwise crummy day! :-)

Re: Staying Present

Date: 2011-02-16 02:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This story was actually recommended on litgal's site but the link was broken. I was so intrigued by the review that I searched for it by title various other sites. About a year later I found it here, and I was not disappointed. It was GREAT!!! There was romance and angst and surprises. Jim is not without flaws but he is still the perfect lover and protector for Blair. Wonderful story and definitely a new favorite of mine.

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