Epilogue for TSbyBS. Blair contemplates moving out, having decided not to become a cop. Jim persuades him otherwise.Author's Note:
This was written to a prompt - 'moving' - given to me by sara_merry99
. This snippet is dedicated to her, with love.Rating:
Naomi’s eternal wanderlust has always had a huge influence on Blair and the way he's lived his life. She's never been interested in staying in one place – and why should she be? “The world is full of new experiences, new ideas, different ways of life, Blair,” she has told him so often. “So much richness of experience to be found. You just have to go out there and discover it!”
By the time Blair went to Rainier at the age of sixteen he’d experienced, thanks to his mom, more diversity than most people twice his age, and he didn’t stop moving even then. His anthropological studies saw him travel to South America, Papua New Guinea and Africa over the next ten years – in fact, he’s lost count now of all the places he’s been.
Then came the biggest surprise of all, the most outlandish and surreal experience of his entire life. At the age of twenty-six, Blair stopped moving, and stayed put.
Suddenly Blair was studying a phenomenon right here in Cascade, and no more trips overseas were necessary unless, of course, Jim came too. He even moved into Jim’s home and stayed there for four years; the longest he’s ever lived in one place.
Jim kicked Blair out of the loft once and, at the time, to his very great shock, he found that it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him, which is saying something, considering some of the stuff he's been through. And now, four years after he discovered that standing still can be even more enriching than moving on, Blair is terrified. It’s as though he’s been struck by lightning, his roots seared and severed. He’s just been waiting for the next big gust of wind to come along and blow him over.
The hurricane arrived, of course, in the form of a detective’s badge. And the morning after that lifeline was tossed to him, now that he’s slept on the matter, he can come up with a million and one different reasons why he can’t take it.
This morning Blair is more scared than he’s ever been in his life, because when he turns down the offer of an official place at Jim’s side it means he’ll have to move on. He lies now in his room, tense and desperate, frozen with the terrified knowledge that today he’ll have to leave all this behind. He wishes he could hold back time with his hands, because the moment he steps out of that door and tells Jim his decision, there will be nothing left here in Cascade, or in Jim’s life, for him.
After a while, Jim comes in, no doubt sensing Blair’s unnatural stillness, and guessing that the matter has come to a head. Blair’s afraid to meet his eyes, but he makes himself do so anyway. He sits up in bed, and looks over at Jim. “I’m sorry,” is all he says, his voice choked with regret and sorrow. He fights hard to keep it together. "I can't do it, man. I can't be a cop."
He expects anger, and most certainly disappointment. Jim doesn’t deal with rejection well, and he and Simon went out on a limb to give Blair this chance. What he doesn’t expect, however, is what he gets. Jim’s looking sad – understandable, right? But there’s something else there. Sympathy, maybe. Even affection.
It’s almost more than Blair can stand, that evidence of Jim’s compassion. He’s had to hold it all together by himself during the case, the shootings at the station and throughout his own personal crisis. He’s done a pretty good job of it so far but everyone has a limit, and it seems he’s reached his. Before he knows it, he’s breathing like he’s run a marathon, feeling pain so great he wants to die from it.
Jim’s there in a flash, holding him. Normally Blair would fight him off but he feels suddenly as though he just doesn’t have the strength to go this one alone. And not only that, Jim Ellison hugs like you’re his whole world, like you belong in his arms, and Blair desperately wants to feel, for just a little while longer, like he belongs.
So Blair hugs back, clinging on like a child as he weeps. And Jim holds him, and soothes him, and it’s the best freaking thing in the world, the most precious, most perfect thing that’s ever happened to Blair, which is pretty ironic really when you consider that it’s happening right in the middle of the worst thing that’s ever happened to Blair, and when it ends, his world will end right along with it.
It goes on and on, and Blair keeps expecting Jim to get sick of dealing with his emotional breakdown and tell him to suck it up. But then Jim’s shifting on the bed, and Blair thinks for one agonizing second that it’s all over. But actually Jim’s just lying back and getting comfortable. He pulls Blair down with him, tucking him right in the crook of his arm. He’s holding tight, stroking Blair’s back, telling him over and over it’s okay, it’s gonna be okay Chief.
Blair clings on, helpless in the face of such tenderness. He loves Jim so freaking much; this man is everything to him. He’s making Jim’s shirt wet, and he tells him so in an embarrassed voice, but Jim just lets out a short, kind laugh. “It’s okay, Chief,” he says in a voice that makes Blair’s insides melt with love. “You just do what you need to do, buddy, I’m right here.”
The storm passes finally, but Blair feels boneless and exhausted in the aftermath. He’s kinda comfortable right where he is, the wet patch on Jim’s shirt notwithstanding, which makes it even harder to move, even though he knows he should. But Jim doesn’t seem to mind, which is amazing in itself, considering what a tough guy he is. But he’s always had a softer side, and Blair’s seen it before. His big ol’ heart is one of the things about Jim that make him so amazing to Blair, so precious.
The surge of love which wells up inside him makes Blair impulsively squeeze Jim tight. Jim lets out a little oof sound as he does so, which makes Blair chuckle a little bit, but it’s a sad sort of laugh that comes out. Then Jim astonishes him some more, because he’s squeezing Blair right back, and he plants a kiss right on Blair’s temple. Then he does it again, more tenderly, his lips lingering.
Jim's mouth on him starts off a bit of a chain reaction, which embarrasses Blair because Jim’s a sentinel, and he will be able to tell. He shifts a bit uncomfortably, worried about his friend’s reaction to the pheromones, but Jim just pulls him close. “It’s okay,” he whispers into Blair’s hair, stroking the back of his head tenderly. “It’s okay, Chief. Me too. Me too.”
For a minute Blair’s afraid that he’s misunderstood; then he gets it. “Jim,” he croaks. He looks up into Jim’s eyes, and what he sees there takes his breath away.
Jim cocks his head, a little smile playing around his lips. He glances meaningfully at Blair’s mouth, then back up. “Do you mind?” he asks.
Blair can’t speak, but Jim seems to know the answer anyway. He lowers his lips to Blair’s, and Blair can’t look away. Then he’s being kissed like he’s never been kissed before; drawn in, absorbed. It’s as though everything else up to this moment was just a rehearsal. This it, man, eureka. Bang, holy grail time!
Blair’s lost in sensation, more turned-on than he can ever remember. Jim’s on top of him now, still kissing him like crazy, pressing down hard onto Blair, who’s still wearing the tee-shirt and boxers he slept in. They’re not even freaking naked, but this is it, the ultimate, the best sex Blair has ever had in his life. They’re moving around on each other, sliding and pressing together, gripping each other tight, moaning into each other’s mouths, and Blair can already feel the tingle in his toes and the start of the rush.
And when, in the next moment, Jim Ellison throws back his head in ecstasy and shouts out Blair’s name as he comes, Blair loses it altogether.
They doze for a while afterwards, holding each other tenderly. Blair feels warm and loved, but gradually the feeling of cozy lassitude dissipates as reality creeps back in. He stirs a little in Jim’s arms, and knows that Jim’s awake too, waiting for him to say something.
At least, now, Blair doesn’t have to climb this mountain alone. He’s finally sure of that.
“I don’t know what to do,” he tells Jim eventually. “If I’m not a cop, I mean.”
Jim’s voice is deep and rumbling under Blair’s ear. It makes him feel safe, somehow. “You’re a smart guy, Sandburg,” Jim says. “You need to take some time; get your head together, do some thinking about it.” He squeezes Blair tight for a moment. “I’m not going to leave you high and dry, you know. I know what you did for me. I’m gonna help you put it right.”
Blair feels pain well up, at that. “Tell me this wasn’t pity or fucking gratitude, man. Because I can’t handle that.”
“Don’t be stupid, Blair.” Jim sounds angry now, and Blair regrets that he said it already. “You know me better than that.”
Blair doesn’t speak for a moment, and when he does the tears are back. “I know, Jim. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m kinda… I’m not at my best here, you know? I say stupid shit sometimes.”
“Hey, hey!” Jim holds him tight again. “That’s something you and I have in common, right? I mean, I said stuff to you, Chief, stuff I know I should never have said. I hurt you, and I’m sorry for that. I can’t even promise not to do it again, because that’s just who I am. But you’ve gotta know… Jesus. Blair. I love you. I love you so much.”
There’s more kissing then; gentle, after-the-storm kisses, which go a long way toward reassuring both of them of what exactly this is all about.
Pity and gratitude, Blair learns very quickly, are not part of the equation. Not at all.
They get up finally, get dressed, eat breakfast. They talk some more, make out a lot. In the afternoon, they end up in Jim’s bed, and this time they take it slow, do it naked, learn each other’s bodies.
Jim is a beautiful man, the most beautiful man Blair’s ever seen, and Blair can't help telling Jim so. Jim says the same about him, which makes Blair pretty speechless. He’s even more speechless after what Jim does to him next.
By the end of the day Blair knows, absolutely for certain, that he’s not moving anywhere, least of all away from Cascade. In fact if he even moves out of Jim's bed again, it will be a miracle.
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