This story was written for ts_ficathons.
Title: Not a Sentinel-Guide Thing
Author: Dreaming K
Archive: Please ask me first.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'The Sentinel' or any characters of the show. Just dreaming :)
Summary: Blair realizes some things about his life. And Jim.
A huge thank you goes to snycock , who betaed this story for me and helped me with the title. All remaining mistakes are mine.
Not a Sentinel-Guide Thing
Blair Sandburg sighed in annoyed frustration and leaned back in his chair at the kitchen table. His beloved laptop sat open before him, surrounded by books and papers.
Blair glared at the mess. He was working on a paper for one of the few classes he still attended at the university. Only in the last 30 minutes, his accomplished work had equaled zip. Nada. Nobody at home, people. And it frustrated him to no end as tomorrow he was to give his students their final exam, which meant grading their tests on a caffeine high and a minimum of sleep over the next few days.
The problem was that he caught himself staring at the door to the loft more often than not, as opposed to the computer screen and the books.
The dark wooden door with the number 307 on the other side.
The door which was graced by the big, red heron poster from the bait shop they had put up together. By now Blair could recite the text and the number of stripes printed on it by heart. He’d stared at it so long that he could trace the shape of the red heron with his eyes closed.
Blair sighed again, sadly this time. Jim.
The door through which Jim would return in only four days.
Major Crimes had been really busy for the last few weeks. Everybody had been glad that Simon was back as captain of the division. Certainly, Sarah Finkleman knew what she was doing - she’d never have made Captain otherwise - and Blair was sure she’d be an efficient boss for a team of detectives somewhere. But not Major Crimes in Cascade. Nope, that was Simon’s job and nobody would ever be able to replace him as far as the detectives of MC were concerned.
Last he’d heard, Captain Finkleman was now working for the police department in Las Vegas.
Then there’d been the whole mess with Roy, then Lila and then Clayton Falls. Blair wondered again, like he did so often, how they never seemed to have a quiet month at the PD. Even on vacation trouble found them like a heat seeking missile, precise and painful. Why is this shit always happening to us? he complained inwardly.
Blair kicked the table leg in frustration. And now Jim was on an undercover mission on a couples’ cruise from Cascade to San Francisco with Megan. More than four couples had been found dead on the cruise line during the last three months and detectives from the PDs of both cities were pooling their resources to strive to find their murderer. Needless to say that Jim not exactly been overjoyed at having to work with Megan and leave his Guide behind.
Blair, in turn, had been disappointed at having to stay in Cascade alone, but he told himself this would be an ideal opportunity to work on his papers for class, prepare the final for his students and try to catch up on his reading. Only now he couldn’t seem to concentrate. Every time he focused on a scientific fact and tried to formulate his next paragraph, his thoughts would drift to one tall, blue-eyed cop.
Jim had already been gone for two and a half days, since Saturday morning, and he wouldn’t be back until Friday night. Just four days more.
Blair wasn’t overly worried about his roommate and best friend getting into any kind of troubled. By now Jim had a good grip on his senses. All the tests and exercises had paid off. And Jim was a good detective, and with Megan, a skilled inspector in her own right, covering his back there wasn’t much that could happen to them on the cruise.
Plus, Jim had called once to let him know he was alright, telling him about the progress they had made and not to worry but to focus on finals.
Nonetheless, he couldn’t stop thinking about Jim.
He missed Jim. Like crazy. More than he ever thought he would.
Even though they had been living together for nearly three years, they’d never spent a long time apart. Blair hadn’t anticipated the hole Jim would leave in his life when he was absent for a prolonged period.
He missed Jim’s presence in the loft, in his space and life. Blair had never realized how much time they spent in each other’s personal space. Touching Jim and being touched in return was now a natural part of his everyday life. Jim’s hand was always resting on his shoulder, the small of his back or tugging at his curls affectionately. The loft was their warm haven where they relaxed, let their guard down, joked, cooked and, yes, argued.
Now it was cold and empty in the loft.
Eating dinner alone, and breakfast and lunch for that matter, royally sucked. There was nobody to talk to and laugh with. Hell, he’d take an argument about the merits of Wonder Burger and algae shakes, anything, just to have Jim there.
Sleep took its sweet time coming every night as he tossed around in his bed, restless because of the empty, cold feeling in the loft and his heart.
On Tuesday Blair proctored the final and immediately started on the stack once he got the tests to his office. He worked through a big chunk of the night, knowing sleep was only a distant possibility anyway --So cold and empty in the loft! --, but it proved rather difficult to keep his attention on the task. He took the papers home around midnight and fell on his bed, exhausted. Sleep was short and dreamless.
He went out with H and Rafe one night and had lunch with Simon and Joel, respectively, to keep himself occupied. The loft had been aired, vacuumed, dusted and scrubbed to within an inch of its life. He’d even done all the laundry and ironed the clothes.
Come home, Jim.
He once tried to work on his dissertation and finally make some progress there, but he couldn’t even look at the words he’d already written, let alone get into a scientific groove and produce more.
Through all this he caught himself as he regularly fixed his gaze on the red heron, willing it to move aside and admit Jim.
As he went through all his photo albums of him and Jim, longingly touching the pictures showing both of them having fun, he told himself that it wasn’t stupid and that missing his best friend something fierce wasn’t anything to be ashamed of or worried about.
By Friday morning Blair was going mad with missing Jim and the sleeplessness. There was nothing else to putter around with in the loft anymore. Everything was spotless, gleaming and smelling fresh.
In a last effort to distract himself he sat down with the remaining bluebooks and tests to finish grading. That done, he heaved a huge sigh and cleared them away.
After roaming through the loft for a few minutes, he went back and proceeded to arrange them alphabetically.
Finally, mentally and physically exhausted, he slumped onto the couch after igniting a fire in the fireplace. Curled up, an afghan pulled around him, he sat there, staring at the flames and recalled his most cherished moments with his Sentinel.
Gradually the inner coldness which had bothered him for most of the week disappeared and he was lulled into a hazy state between wakefulness and sleep.
He was so far gone that it took him a few seconds to realize that someone was opening the door and entering the loft. He heard the soft clink of keys hitting the bowl next to the door and turned his head slowly, his mind still dozy.
“Hey, Chief.” The words in their warm, affectionate tone finally brought it home that it was Jim standing there, Jim smiling at him and closing the door behind himself.
Jim was back and –
“Jim! You’re back!”
–he was here in the loft, with Blair…. Not close enough. Jim, Jim…The grad student propelled himself off the couch and towards the tall cop who quickly opened his arms to catch the urgently muttering bundle of sleep-deprived Blair.
Jim frowned at the dark circles under Blair’s eyes and hugged him gently. “Missed you, Chief.”
He looked down at the curly head when Blair moaned at his words. “Missed you too, Jim…missed you so much, don’t leave again.” He buried himself in Jim’s arms, face pressed tightly against the hard, warm --warm!-- chest . “Jim, Jim, stay. Missed you….Jim, Jim, jimjimjimjimjimjimjimjim…”
The frantic, desperate words worried Jim even as they warmed his heart. He petted the brown hair. “Missed you, too, Chief. And I won’t leave again. Simon gave me off ‘til Tuesday. I’m all yours.”
Blair gave an almost-sob at this and pressed closer to the strong body as if trying to crawl into Jim’s skin with him. More. He nuzzled his face against Jim’s skin wherever he could reach it, lifting his arms and winding them around Jim’s neck. He felt Jim’s arms tighten around his waist and he was glad.
His nose and mouth pressed against the hot neck and he kissed it, trying to get more of Jim. More of his heat, his presence. He just wanted more, but didn’t know what….
Jim’s nose was now buried in his own neck while comforting noises and words caressed his ear. “’m here, Blair. Shh, shh, everything’s okay, I’m here. Blair.”
And then their mouths met softly in a natural next step that made everything fall into place --Love you, Jim!-- and Blair Sandburg found the ‘more Jim-presence’ he’d so craved. Tongues winding together, stroking, pressing against each other, caressing. Cherishing each other.
Later on, neither of the two men could have said how long they stood there at the door, hugging and kissing each other. When they came up for air, Jim and Blair found themselves lying on the couch in front of the dying fire, limbs entwined and hands clasped.
“i’m glad you’re home, jim.” Blair breathed against Jim’s neck, now his second favorite place to touch after Jim’s mouth.
Jim smiled gently and whispered into his hair, “I’m glad to be back, Blair.”
Darkness settled over the loft as the moon rose outside.
Neither felt the urge to move save for a small, loving nuzzle here and a gentle stroking of skin there. They dozed for a little while; content in their tangle of limbs and skin.
“Did you know there are ten stripes on the heron poster?” Blair asked sleepily, not moving an inch.
Jim looked at the door in the dark and back at his Guide. “No, I didn’t. Is this a Guide-tests-Sentinel thing?” He asked, amused.
Blair chuckled softly. “No, man. It’s a Blair-loves-Jim thing.”
Jim just smiled, cupped Blair’s face and pulled him into another loving kiss.