fluterbev_fic: (Three Spirals)
[personal profile] fluterbev_fic
Summary: It's Paddy's Day.

Author's Note: This is part of the Irish Saga universe.

Rating: NC-17

The Pure Drop

By Fluterbev

17th March 2008

Blair had always found St. Patrick’s Day to be a bit of an anti-climax since he’d moved to Ireland. The green beer that’d prevailed in Cascade’s Irish theme pubs, as well as the atonal renderings of ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘The Unicorn Song’, were entirely absent in this part of the world. In fact, he’d never actually met anyone in Ireland who even knew ‘The Unicorn Song’, thoroughly un-Irish adoptee in Irish-American culture as the ditty had turned out to be.

As an American adoptee in a foreign culture himself, and while living in Dublin during the first four years he spent in Ireland, Blair had annually thrown himself into the Paddy’s Day celebrations that Ireland’s capital had to offer. He’d gone to stand among the crowd which lined the streets to watch the obligatory parade, resplendent with marching bands and carnival floats decked in green, white and gold, and afterwards he’d found himself drinking overpriced pints of Guinness – most definitely black, not green – in the trendy pubs around Temple Bar. There he’d discovered an Ireland that was not quite Ireland, for all its sociable hilarity – it turned out that he’d mostly been in the company of Germans, fellow Americans and English lads over for a stag party. And when the drunken strains of ‘Danny Boy’ had, indeed, rent the air, Blair had been unable to shake the conviction that he was doing it wrong.

Paddy’s Day up in Co. Louth, where Blair had come to live several months ago was, by contrast, a muted affair. It was a national holiday and, like almost everyone else he knew, Blair had the day off – which seemed to be the most exciting thing about it for the majority of his co-workers. Dundalk, like most of the other small towns in the region, boasted no parade, and the shops were all shut. The pubs were open, though; so, wanting to show Jim a bit of the real Ireland he’d discovered five years down the line, Blair dragged his friend out into town just after lunch.

McManus’ bar was pretty empty, with just one or two die-hards propping up the bar and the strains of The Corrs – AKA local family made good - issuing from the jukebox. Jim eyed the sparse proceedings with a raised eyebrow, but didn’t seem too bothered by the lack of festivities. Instead he bought them a round: “A pint and a glass,” he asked for, his ready adoption of local turns of phrase making Blair smile. Farmer Jim, third generation Irish as he was, was really beginning to come into his own.

They went to sit in the window seat while they waited for their Guinness to settle; no quick pouring in this establishment - it’d be delivered to their table when it was done and not before. While they waited, Blair launched into his usual spiel when cultural events of note were taking place. “You know, there’s a theory that it wasn’t actually the snakes that Saint Patrick drove out of Ireland, but the pagans. It’s all to do with the cult of Crom Cruich. Hey, in fact, I should take you over to Ballymagauran in Cavan sometime, and show you where the cult used to worship…”

Jim just watched him indulgently out of the corner of his eye, and eventually Blair stopped mid-flight. “What?” he said irritably.

Jim shrugged, looking infuriatingly superior. “You’re trying too hard, Chief,” he said. “Relax, huh? I don’t need you to be a tour guide all the time.”

Only slightly stung by the criticism – Jim’s protests that he talked too much were usually only token ones, and Blair had made it a lifelong habit to ignore them – the continuance of his lecture was interrupted anyway by the arrival of their drinks. And a few moments after that it turned out there was to be entertainment in the offing after all, when a couple of people Blair recognised from Ravensdale came in, instrument cases in their hands.

It was one reason Blair liked this pub – McManus’ was a bar where the local traditional music crowd seemed to hang out, although frequently the timing of their sessions seemed to have no rhyme or reason whatsoever. Blair had not actually known there would be any music here today, since it had not been advertised anywhere he’d seen it. He suspected it was most likely an ad hoc arrangement, and that the musicians simply relied on the local grapevine, calling each other whenever one or two of them was in the mood to meet up and play. He decided to indulge his curiosity, and ask one of the ones he recognised if they were there specifically to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

The guy he’d asked shrugged his shoulders. “We’re not really here because of that,” he said, as he took his bow from its case and rosined it up. “It’s just that we’re all off work today. Any opportunity for a tune!”

It seemed that the easy-going sentiment was shared by quite a few others. As fiddles and flutes were taken out and tuned over pints and chat, more musicians arrived; their instrument cases and chatter filling the small bar. Eventually Jim and Blair relinquished their seats, it clearly being the appropriate etiquette to do so when there was music to be played and an increasing number of people in a confined space to play it. The session commenced, the music – all instrumental, not a ‘Danny Boy’ or a unicorn in sight – lively, fast and rhythmic.

As Blair and Jim stood on the fringes, Blair was in seventh heaven. This was the Paddy’s Day he’d been looking for back in Dublin – the real thing, undistilled by shamrocks and green paint. A natural, organic expression of Irishness; a celebration of the richness of this island’s culture in its purest, natural setting.

At some point when it was his partner’s round again, perhaps because Jim had picked up on his enthusiastic desire to be a part of this, Blair’s glass of Guinness had mysteriously increased to a full pint, and Jim’s pint had been demoted to Ballygowan. It seemed that Farmer Jim was driving them home – eventually. In the meantime, however, Blair stood close to Jim, bopping a little and basking in the atmosphere as the music raised the roof. And when his attention wasn’t on the music there was conversation and laughs to be had with the other people standing around in the bar, and the indulgent eyes of the man he loved upon him at intervals when Jim wasn’t similarly engaged in having the craic.

Eventually, as the day drifted into evening every bit as seamlessly as one reel segued into another, Jim slung a companionable arm over Blair’s shoulders. “Hey Chief,” he drawled, and Blair grinned at the easy, relaxed tone of his partner’s voice, liberally spiked with something a whole lot spicier. “Can I ask you something?”

“Shoot,” Blair agreed, his arm creeping around Jim’s waist in turn.

The other man pulled him close, his hot puffs of breath warm against Blair’s ear. “You got any Irish in you?” Jim murmured silkily.

Blair chuffed a laugh. “You know I don’t,” he said. “It’s you with the Irish ancestry, man.”

Jim chuckled, his lips wetly brushing the curve of Blair’s lobe and making him shudder. “Do you want some?” he asked suggestively.

“Jim!” All-too conscious of their very public location – and while they didn’t exactly hide the fact they were a couple, some discretion was necessary in a place like this - Blair pushed him away. “I think it’s time to go, buddy,” he said, his spine tingling with anticipation. “Looks like you’ve had too much of the hard stuff!”

Jim saluted Blair with his glass of sparkling water, his eyes twinkling. “Or maybe,” he noted enigmatically, pushing the double entendre for all he was worth, “not enough!” He winked. “You gonna give me some hard stuff when we get home, Sandburg?”

Blair rolled his eyes. But he wasted no time in hustling Jim out of there, anyway.

Not long afterwards, lying sated and relaxed beside Jim in bed, Blair pushed himself up onto one elbow and looked down at the man he loved. The blind in here was open, the nearly-full moon and remaining half-light of evening illuminating the white-painted walls of the room with an almost ethereal glow; and under that light Jim’s skin looked almost luminous, shining with health and sweat, his chest heaving with the aftermath of exertion. His eyes were closed, his cheeks flushed. Blair thought that he’d never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

Jim cracked open an eyelid and peered at him quizzically. “Haven’t I tired you out, yet?” he asked, in a voice filled with mock-exhaustion. Okay, Blair had to admit that maybe some of it was probably real exhaustion – Jim had certainly given his all a moment ago.

“Don’t interrupt, man,” Blair told him in response, smoothing a hand in a decreasing spiral over Jim’s flawless, smooth pectoral, and reducing the focus of its meandering to a hard little nub of a nipple, which he pinched. “I’m busy having a religious experience, here.”

Jim didn’t respond. But after a few moments of being the focus of dedicated worship, during which Blair brought his mouth into play as well, he admitted breathily, “Yeah, me too.”

Their movements after that were slow and unhurried, the urgent heat of their earlier coupling transmuted into something altogether more profound and reverent. This dance was ageless and they both knew it well; a two-hand reel in which neither Jim nor Blair led or followed, but instead both undulated in concert with each other; pushing, pulling, sliding, pressing. The music which led them was achingly soulful; a minor-keyed reel resonant of joy and tragedy in equal measure, imbued with the sum total of their lives and everything that they were to each other. And at its culmination it was not a crescendo that they reached, but rather a pinnacle of harmonic perfection. Every note in tune, every step in time, every breath and ecstatic cry merging in convulsive, melodic synchronicity.

It was fully dark by the time Blair found breath to speak. Snuggling close to his partner's hot, beloved bulk, he pulled the comforter over them both and murmured, “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Jim.”

The snore which answered him made him grin. And a moment later, he joined in the chorus.

~ 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: 2008-03-17 02:32 pm (UTC)
ext_38484: (Default)
From: [identity profile] karieflybabe.livejournal.com
Hee.. sweet.

Date: 2008-03-17 05:05 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-03-17 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bumpkin-is.livejournal.com
Awww, they are so cute.

And I really loved the insight into the way another culture celebrates a common holiday, that was neat.


Date: 2008-03-17 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

Date: 2008-03-17 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] admiralandrea.livejournal.com
Sweet! Nicely done - proper St. Paddy's day here, clearly the voice of experience *g*

Date: 2008-03-17 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Hee! I played in that bar on Paddy's day. It was definitely a trip down memory lane! LOL

So glad you liked it! ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-17 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janedavitt.livejournal.com
What a lovely surprise and what a lovely, lyrical addition to this story! I can really see Blair being dissatisfied with the touristy trappings of the day and delighting in the real deal. And Jim being flirty and naughty is just too sweet :-)

Date: 2008-03-17 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much! I'm delighted you liked it ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-17 04:31 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-03-17 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you, poppet! ::squishes you tight::

Date: 2008-03-17 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vamysteryfan.livejournal.com
::squishes you back:: hope you and the mites feel better real soon :)

Date: 2008-03-17 05:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aprilvalentine.livejournal.com
Ah, very nice. One thought I had that's totally unrelated to the story -- there's an area of the Baltimore, MD area known as "Dundalk" and I never knew it came from a place in Ireland!

Really enjoyed the story, Bev. I love sweet stories like this. sigh... they do love each other so much, don't they? Slightly drunk Jim is cute too.

Date: 2008-03-17 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, April! And I remember seeing Dundalk in MD on the map - there seem to be lots of places in the States which are named after places on this side of the pond. I know somewhere there is also a Lancaster, which is where I am now :-)

I'm so glad you liked the story! Thanks ever so much for your feedback ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-17 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bacchae777.livejournal.com
Very nice....I loved the Three Spirals series...Thanks for the add on....

Date: 2008-03-17 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm delighted you enjoyed it :-)

Date: 2008-03-17 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snycock.livejournal.com
Aw, that was just lovely, Bev! I can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, for either myself or Jim and Blair...

Date: 2008-03-20 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much, Jen! ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-17 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mab-browne.livejournal.com
Loved how Blair wanted the 'real' Ireland. And slightly dirty, flirty Jim was a great deal of fun. :-)

Date: 2008-03-20 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Blair is so determined to find the real thing! And flirty Jim is my favouritre flavour... ;-)

Thanks, hon! ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-17 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luicat.livejournal.com
Excellent. I love this - especially Jim's remarks...!

Date: 2008-03-20 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks, hon! Oh that naughty Jim... ;-)

Date: 2008-03-17 09:47 pm (UTC)
ext_9226: (Default)
From: [identity profile] snailbones.livejournal.com

Oh lovely!

::raises Murphy's finest to you::

Date: 2008-03-20 05:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
::raises glass of Jameson's in response:: ;-)


Date: 2008-03-17 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quyllur.livejournal.com
This is great! It was so nice to see how St Paddy's day is (not) celebrated but a paid day off work? Now that would be heavenly!

I love Jim's tipsy flirting. Blair was right to hustle him right out of there and into bed at home!

Enjoyed this VERY much.

Date: 2008-03-20 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
LOL well it is a day off work in Ireland, but most definitely not here in England :-).

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-18 01:01 am (UTC)
starwatcher: Western windmill, clouds in background, trees around base. (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwatcher
Aw, sweet; a lovely end note to Three Spirals. Thanks for sharing.

Date: 2008-03-20 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks so much! I'm so happy you liked it :-)

Date: 2008-03-18 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurie-ky.livejournal.com
I adored the passage at the end, describing their making love in terms of dance and music. That was wonderful. A happy, sweet and comfortable story. And how cool that you got to use your experiences, which made it sound so authentic.
Now on a more curious note. Is the unicorn song the one sung by the Irish Rovers? It goes, "A long time ago, when the earth was green, there was more kinds of animals, then you'd ever seen etc etc. I had that record when I was a kid, and I loved the Irish Rovers.

Date: 2008-03-20 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you liked it, Laurie. Thanks!

Yep, that'd be the song in question. It's not Irish at all, but I know of countless Irish musicians in the States who constantly get asked to play it, mainly because that particular recording made it famous in an 'Irish' context over there. Ask for it in Ireland, however, and you will get blank looks ;-)

Date: 2008-03-18 08:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] earth2skye.livejournal.com
What a nice little story, Bev, and all the more meaningful to have been posted on this day. It shows that you know what you're talking about and so you've done a great job in bringing what the day might be like in Ireland to life for me. In all it's (perhaps flawed) perfection. And dare I say I almost had the feeling you'd committed songfic for a song without lyrics there at the end ;-)? Very ... urhm .. hotmoving *g*.

Date: 2008-03-20 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks, Skye! And you saying it was a songfic got me thinking... LOL. I ended up posting it to Sentinel_Thursday :-)

Date: 2008-03-18 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] banbury.livejournal.com
Such a sweet story! I love you 'Three Spiral' universe and farmer Jim! And your music goes with the story very nice. Thank you!

Date: 2008-03-20 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm happy you liked it! :-)

Date: 2008-03-20 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missfaeagain.livejournal.com
you know I love your writings... and this is no exception...love the imagery and the subtlety of the sensuality..hugs...

Date: 2008-03-20 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks again! I'm so grateful for all your lovely comments ::hugs::

Date: 2008-03-20 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] willow-fae-20.livejournal.com
This was lovely, and resonant. Very much 'them', thanks.

Date: 2008-03-20 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :-)

Date: 2008-03-21 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] betagoddess.livejournal.com

I love this universe! *g*

Very nice little St. Patrick's Day fic. I enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Date: 2008-03-23 10:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thank you! :-)

Date: 2008-03-23 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] t-verano.livejournal.com
“I’m busy having a religious experience, here.”

Jim didn’t respond. But after a few moments of being the focus of dedicated worship, during which Blair brought his mouth into play as well, he admitted breathily, “Yeah, me too.”

I love that. And the moon, and the evening light coming in the window, the glow of the white-painted walls...

The whole fic is lovely and peaceful and atmospheric, and sounds so like the St. Patrick's day Blair (and Jim) would want. And how happy the guys are together, in this wonderful place, just makes me feel happy too. (And wishing I could have been in that pub for a bit. :-))

Date: 2008-03-23 10:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for your lovely comments! :-)

The Pure Drop

Date: 2008-03-24 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrs-tilford.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for your fascinating anthro-journey. I've added it to my list of "Things/Places to Do/Go." And until I get there, I have your lovely story to hold in my mind.

Re: The Pure Drop

Date: 2008-03-31 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluterbev-fic.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for your lovely comment! And I hope you get to go there one of these days :-)


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