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Cleaning Up

Summary: Set just before TSbBS. Blair feels like he should be moving on and moving out. Jim has other ideas.

Um. Oh boy. Things are not good. Sandburg's cleaning. Not tidying - cleaning. Scrubbing. Polishing. Maniacally eliminating all traces of something. But what? I can't see or smell anything I shouldn't. Apart from one thing. Fear. He's scared.

This poses a dilemma. What is he so scared about that he's cleaning? Something is not right. So, time to act like a professional detective and ask some questions.

"Blair. You okay?"

"Jim! You scared me there, man. Hadn't seen you come in."

"Not surprising. Me being so small and light and all. I'd not see me either."

That gets a reaction. A hesitant smile.

"Yeah," he finally says. "Not like you're noticeable at all. Not like me - being so big and heavy."

"Nobody could miss you, Chief."

I mean that in the same way, light and teasing, but his face falls.

"Sandburg? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, man. I'm fine."

Is there anyone here that believes that? No? Me neither. Something's definitely up.

I take the cloth from his one hand, the polish from the other, lead him to the kitchen table and make him sit at it. It's evening, so time for a drink, I guess. I think we're going to need one.

I pour him a Scotch, his eyes open wide but he says nothing. I do hear the quiet sigh and the pained swallow he takes before he accepts the drink. He nods in thanks.

"So, are you going to tell me why you're cleaning obsessively?"

"Nothing obsessive about cleaning, Jim. People do it all the time."

"True, true. But most people don't scrub the same bit of surface after it's cleaned. They usually, you know, move on." I wave my hand in a 'moving on' sort of way. I think I just said the wrong thing again. His face tells me that he's really worried about something. "Blair, whatever it is, we can deal with it."

He nods again, then shocks the hell out of me by changing the subject.

"What's it like to have a home, Jim?" he asks quietly.

"You've got one, why do you ask?"

Again, the small smile, then a quiet snort of... not laughter. Sadness?

"No, I don't. I live here, Jim, but it's your home. I've never had a place of my own. Never had a real home. I've had places I live in, either on my own or with someone else like you or Naomi, but I've never had a home."

"This is your home, Chief. It may be in my name, but it's yours too."

A warmer smile now.

"No," he says. "If something were to happen to you, God forbid it would, but if it did, I'd be out on the street again. If you decided that you no longer wanted me around, I'd have to go. Don't you see?"

I think I do. Something has happened and it's made him think that I'm going to kick him out. I'm not as smart as him, but I'm not stupid. And I'm not a detective for nothing.

"What's happened, Blair? Why are you thinking that now?"

I've always known that he's a very brave man. He's proved it to me time and time again. No matter how afraid he is, he always faces his fears, confronts them, deals with them. He's shaking. It's almost imperceptible, even to me, but I can see it.

"You, er, I, um... hell."

He's knocked the Scotch back in one. If I wasn't certain of his nerves before, I am now.

"Talk, Chief. There's never been anything we can't talk about, has there?"

I hand him the bottle which made its way to the table with me and he takes it, pours himself another drink and now he's cradling it in his hands.

"I've done something," he says quietly.

"I'd kinda figured that," I say. I'm trying to keep my voice quiet, calm... as if I'm trying to talk a jumper down from a bridge. "What is it?"

"I've destroyed my diss."

"Why?" I'm shocked. Stunned. Stupefied. This is his life's work.

"Because if I didn't, it could have destroyed you."

He looks ready to bolt so I put my hand out and take his in it, holding him tightly.

"You don't need to protect me."

"I do. I could have got you killed, Jim. I don't know how I could have been so stupid. Don't you see? If word got out that you were this sentinel, this guy with enhanced senses - damn, Jim, to all intents and purposes I'd have turned you into a target. The criminals of this town would have known to take you out at the first given opportunity. The CIA would likely have drafted you. Don't you get it? I could have killed you. I'd have been as guilty as the one that pulled the trigger. I couldn't do that. I couldn't be the one to hurt you."

"You never hurt me, Chief. Sure, there are times you frustrate me, scare me, annoy me even. But you don't hurt me. You always, without fail, protect me."

"So you see why I had to do this?"

"I see why you felt you did. I'm astounded. I'm what you've been looking for, for so long, but now..."

"Now you're my friend, Jim. When we started, you were my subject. I studied you, man! You're so much more to me than a subject now."

"You're my guide, Chief. My best friend too."

A slightly more relaxed smile now, but I don't know if it's my words or the whisky that he's chugging that's doing it.

"So, are you going to tell me why you're worried about the home thing?"

Hell. He's starting to shake again.

"Did you know that until I moved here, I never had two birthdays in the same place?"

"No, Chief, I didn't."

"You're right, you know. I was thinking that this was it, was my home. But now, I know that I don't belong here."

I'm about to interrupt, to argue, but somehow I know that if I stop him now, he's never going to tell me what's on his mind.

"I've outstayed my welcome, haven't I? I was only supposed to be here a week. It's been three years. All that time I justified it to myself, saying that maybe you needed me, that the dissertation was the reason. I had to be here to help you, to study you... but now, there's no reason, is there?"

He's about to stand up when he realises that I'm still holding his hand.

"You have every reason, Blair," I tell him. "You're my friend. That's a good enough reason. You're my guide. That's one hell of a reason. I still need you. There are new things, new situations that turn up out of the blue. Sometimes I can deal with them, but more often than not, I need you around."

"But do you want me around?"

"Of course I do. Believe it or not, Sandburg, I'd throw you out if I didn't want you around."

Crap, the wrong thing to say, AGAIN!

"Blair, listen to me. I wasn't thinking straight back then. I didn't mean it. I was scared, scared that you'd leave me, lose interest in me. She was taking you away from me and I couldn't bear the thought. So I reacted - and reacted badly. I can't be more sorry for that than I am. I'll never do that again, I promise."

I'm around the table, holding him in my arms. Damn, he feels good.

I've held him on a few occasions, usually when he's been shot at, kidnapped, drugged... sheesh, there is way too much that's happened to him while he's been helping me out. And for what? Nothing. He's done all of this for nothing.

"Do you still have a copy of the dissertation, Chief?"

"No, it's gone. Wiped it. Why?"

"Because everything you've gone through, all the hurts, it was for that. At least you'd have had something other than me to show for it."

He's not letting me go, holding me tighter at those words.

"You're enough, Jim," he whispers. I'm guessing that no one else would have heard those words if they'd been stood next to him with a wire and earpiece. But to me? It was loud and clear.

"You've got me, Chief. But you needed that dissertation. Why else would you have gone through what you've gone through?"

His head's turning and he's looking up at me. I can smell the fear coming from him. It's ridiculous. They say that fear has a distinct smell, but I'm guessing that to most people, it's tied in with look, touch even. To me though, I can smell it. And it's not nice. Acrid. Acid. Like sulphur and bleach all rolled into one.

"You're my friend, Jim," he says, trying to get himself under control.

I hold him as tight as I can. I have to tell him with my body what my words are failing to do. I'm not even sure what it is I'm trying to say. All I know is that if I let him go now, he'll be gone in the morning for good. He'll pack his bags as silently as he can and he'll sneak out of the door, thinking that it's in my interests.

"I should go," he says, quietly again. "You don't need me anymore."

"I need you, Chief. Trust me, I need you and I want you here. Don't leave me, please. Please, Blair."

"What am I going to do?"

"Change your subject. Join the Force. I'll sponsor you - Simon will sponsor you. Hell, all of Major Crime will fucking sponsor you. We'll all be there for you, Blair. I promise. I know I'm a fuck up when it comes to this friendship thing but I promise that I'll be there for you from now on. Just don't leave me. You don't even have to work, Blair. I'll take care of you."

I don't know where that came from. I guess I'm as scared as him.

"What, some sort of 'kept man'?" he chuckles.

"Well, no one could call you a kept woman, Chief."

"I dunno," he says carefully, "I've been called many things in my time."

"No one could call you a woman, Sandburg."

"They couldn't? Why not?" He's teasing now, challenging me. This is good. I still haven't let him go. I don't dare.

"Well, duh. No tits. The dick is a bit of a give away too, and that chest of yours is way too hairy."

"You didn't see that woman I dated some time back then. My chest hair had nothing on hers. Neither did my facial hair."

Silence reigns for a moment and then I start to laugh. I can't help it.

"Was she taller than you, Chief?"

"Man, everyone is taller than me."

He's joining in now, but he's still afraid. There's still something wrong.

"Nobody is taller than you, Chief. Not really. You're the tallest man I know in many ways."

"Um, Jim?"


"Are we having a moment?"

I laugh again. "I guess so. Make the most of it. Ellison moments are to be treasured as rare."

"I'd say that this one was unique."

"The first," I tell him. I have to get that through to him or else I'm totally fucked. "Maybe the first of many."

He's giggling. He's really giggling. Man, you have never heard a sweeter sound than a Blair Sandburg giggle. He's got such a surprisingly deep voice normally that this light giggle is almost foreign.

I'd hold him tighter but I don't want to crush his ribs.

"Are you going to let me go any time soon, Jim?"

"Nope. I've got you where I want you. I'm not letting you go."


"You have a problem with this?"

"I really need to take a leak. So, unless we're going to go crab-like to the bathroom and you're prepared to get into what would have to be a really weird position over the toilet, I suggest you let go."

"Oh. Yeah. Okay." I let him go.

"Uh, Jim?"


"I know where the bathroom is. I know where my dick is for that matter. And I don't care what my mother thinks, I haven't needed anyone to hold it for me since I was a toddler."

"I'd hold it for you."


Number one on the long, long, LONG list of things that I really, really shouldn't have said. If he wasn't going to run away before, he's going to now. Not that he's homophobic or anything, sheesh, not that at all. But you don't come on to your roomie, right?

He's frozen. Blinking rapidly. His voice is squeaking. I don't think he's actually saying anything yet though, but seeing as my brain has just taken a fucking VACATION in relation to the rest of me, especially my TONGUE, he could be delivering a complex monologue on the mating habits of the Peruvian Pink Toed Toad. There is one of those, right? No? Ah well, you know what I mean.

Damn. His jaw is definitely flapping. I listen in, but no, no words.

"Chief? Are you okay?"

"Yeah," he finally squeaks. "You... You... You..."

"Just came on to you, yeah. Sorry."

"Why?" He's still squeaking.

"Because I just came on to you. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that. Please, ignore it. Please Blair. I won't do anything. I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable." I really need to learn how to speak in longer sentences too.

"NO. Why did you come on to me. To me."

Huh? Hasn't he looked in a mirror?

"When was the last time you looked in a mirror, Chief?"

"You... You... You...?"

Damn, we're back there again. Oops, he's now got his head in his hands, pacing back and forth, running his fingers through that beautiful long hair of his...

"BLAIR!" I bring him up short. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you, okay? Have you any idea how hard it's been for me, keeping my mouth shut? Keeping my feelings to myself? I love you. I'm in love with you. Hate me if you want but please don't leave me."

OW! The bastard. I should have seen that coming, what with me being a sentinel and all. That hurt. Oh great, now he's locked himself in the bathroom.

I hear him muttering to himself, I doubt he even knows he's doing it, especially as he knows I'm bound to be being sneaky and listening in.

//Loves me, the bastard fucking loves me. I'm gonna kill him. Ah that's better. Right, *flush* I'm going to go out there, then I'm going to kill him. I've held back all this FUCKING time and for what?//

Did he really have to shout? That hurt.

And he's held back. Oh shit. It's just taken a monumental cock-up of epic proportions on my part to find out what else was upsetting him. He loves me. He's in love with me. It's why he's been protecting me like this. Sure, he'll protect anyone, especially his friends. That chat about the home and birthdays was his way of telling me that he's never had friends in the way that he's had here. And yet we haven't treated him well, not really. I've certainly treated him like shit recently, not to mention taken him for granted. But he carried on, taking everything I could throw at him because he loves me.

He really, really loves me.

Oops. I digress. Okay, I can do something about this. I've heard the taps go off. I'm guessing he's been washing his face given the time he's taken. I'm still at the door. Like I said, I don't want him to leave. I'm not leaving him either.

He's opened it. I can see the emotions written on his face.

"I love you, Blair." It's all I can say for the minute. He looks like he either wants to kiss me or kill me and chop my body up into a thousand pieces. To tell the truth, if he doesn't want to kiss me, I'm going to ask that he does the latter.

I put my hand out to him. He's stepping back, unsure of his place, unsure of his own feelings. I have to push this or else he's going to be walking out that door. I step closer, grab him and pull him against me.

"I love you." I'll keep telling him that till he believes me.

He's relaxing a little. Just a little, but he's definitely softening. Do I kiss him? I don't know if I should. I want to push this, carry him upstairs, spend the night making love to him, but I'm scared.

"I'm scared," I tell him.

"Scared of what?"

"Losing you. Scared of fucking this up. Please don't leave me."

Then he throws a spanner in the works.

"What if I want to go?"

I let go of him, stunned. I stumble back into the kitchen and pour myself another drink. Then another. He's watching me, leaning against the wall, hugging himself.

"I won't stop you," I tell him. "If that's what you really want. If it's what would make you happy. I've taken enough from you, Blair. It's about time I gave it back. But, I don't want you to go."

I see his face in the side of my vision, as clear as if he was standing in front of me. He's smiling. I think I finally said the right thing.

He's put his hand out to me. I put the glass down and step over to him. He's holding me now.

"I love you, Jim Ellison," he whispers.

It's time for my body to relax now, and he knows it.

"Don't go."

"I'm not going anywhere," he tells me.

"I'm never going to kick you out, I promise. You're going to spend many, many more birthdays with me."

"Is that 'with you' as in with you, Jim?"

"If that is what you want. Whatever you want, Blair. From now on, you're going to get whatever you want."

And why do I get the feeling that signing my own death warrant would have been a lot less painful than saying that STUPID phrase? I really, really am too dumb to live sometimes.

"Anything?" His face has broken into a broad grin, wicked twinkling eyes rake me. I think I'm due an eye colour change, given that I'm that deep in the shit, they're going to look brown soon anyway.

"Anything," I sigh, thinking I'll be able to get away with it one day. Ach, who am I trying to kid? Like I can turn him down for anything?

"This?" He's just trailed a finger over my jeans and across my ass.

"Sandburg, you fucking own that ass and have done for a long time. If that's the only thing you want, I'm getting off lightly."

"Who said I'm stopping there? How about this?"

He's running his finger over my lips.

"All yours. No one else gets to go anywhere near them."


OHMYFUCKINGGOD. There are times that being a sentinel is the best thing on Earth. Having the object of your wet dreams running his finger over your dick isn't one of them. Not if you're planning on, er, more active participation from that part of your body later on.

"Yes!" I squeak. Damn, he's got me doing the Mickey Mouse thing. I refuse point blank to say Minnie Mouse here, I have some pride.

"All mine?"

"Absolutely. No one gets near. Promise."

"To do with as I please?"

Somehow, I really know I'm going to regret this. One day. I'm not answering with words, just nodding. That will never hold up in court. "No, your honour, I did not give him permission to do that with my cock." "But you said he could do with it as he pleased." "I nodded. I said no such thing." Yeah, that would work.

Ah what the fuck. He's just pushed me against the wall, undone my flies and dropped to his knees. We haven't even kissed yet. Probably just as well. I doubt I'd want to stop when I started and this is good. Who am I kidding? It's better than good. It's incredible. Amazing. Meteoric! He has definitely done this before. With WHO? I'll kill the bastards. No, stop it. This is not the time to go all Jungle Jim on him. But, oy, what he's doing with that banana. *snigger*

He's stopped? WHY?

"You're laughing, Ellison."

"Just stunned. Happy. Ecstatic. Delirious. Why have you stopped?"

"You were laughing. It kinda puts a guy off his stroke if you know what I mean."

I'd say I do but he's still stroking. With his finger tips.

"Dial it down, Jim. You don't want this to end too soon, do you?"

Since when does Blair do sultry? That was definitely a sultry voice and it was definitely him. The bastard's been holding out on me. And in answer to his question, I don't want it to end at all. I'd suggest taking this to the bedroom but I could have someone's eye out with that.

"Okay, it's dialled down. Don't stop, please."

He's back at it... and how. Confession time here, this is not the first time I've had a guy on his knees doing this for me. It's not the first time I've enjoyed it either. But it is the first time when I've had my senses as they are and the first time that he's doing it and it's the most incredible sensation I have ever known in my life. That tongue, that amazing tongue, the one that confuses the crap out of me daily, runs me ragged and gives me a headache, is currently giving head like I've never experienced before. I didn't know it was that long. Hell, it can wrap around me a long way. Hmm, I think I'm going to come now.

"Jim? Jim? Come on, wake up. Time to come back to the land of the living and mere mortals."

Huh? What happened. He's on his feet in front of me and looking concerned.

"You zoned."

"I didn't."

"You did. Trust me on that. You get a really vacant look on your face when you zone. You zoned, man."

"No, just nearly fainted. Sheesh, Sandburg, I'm going to get Simon to register your tongue as a lethal weapon."

He's laughing out loud at that.

"Yeah, I can see you explaining that one, Jim."

"Uh huh, I leave all explanations to you, Chief. You'd tell him what happened and he'd be none the wiser at the end of it."

"Are you saying I don't explain things well?"

"No, I'm saying you're so smart you'd figure out a way to confess to everything without anyone knowing you were doing it."

He's back in my arms. I could die a happy, happy man right about now. But if it's at all possible, I'd like that to wait. For a decade or five. Right now, I have something that I have dreamed about doing planned. Yup, I can still do this. All of that time in the gym is paying off.

"JIM! Put me down!"

"Not yet."

Not until I'm upstairs and at my bedside. Our bedside. Like right now.

Now I'm going to kiss him. And undress him. Me too. He tastes good. Tastes of me and him, combined, together. As one. As it should be. It my turn to play.

He's naked as the day he was born but a damned sight hairier, I'll wager. I can see one downside to doing what I have in mind and that's hair balls. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it, and I'm man enough. I hope.

We're lying down now, he's on his back, I'm trailing kisses over his body, letting him know that I'm as serious about him as I could possibly get. Showing him how much I want him, need him. Desire him. Damn, I want him so much that I'm already recovering. I can't see that happening again in a hurry so I'm going to make the most of this.



I look and see him tilting his head to watch me. I'm near his navel now, just inhaling his scent and it's going straight to my groin.

"I want you. Please? If you want it, that is."

His eyes nearly shut when I ask that and he gives me a small smile.

"Whatever. You want it, you got it. You got the stuff?"

"Bedside cabinet." At his amused look I say, "Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?"

"You haven't looked in my bedside table drawer," he admits with a chuckle.

He's got everything out, but first, I so want to return the flavour. Um, that's favour. Whatever. I knew he'd taste this good. I fucking knew it. He feels so hot and silky against my tongue. So soft. So...

"JIM! Dial it down for God's sake!"

Oops. Okay, back down and back, er, down. Using my fingers to stroke and cajole and tickle (I love that giggle) and here he comes. So to speak. And comes. Ooh, and comes. I think I need practise, I'll make sure I get plenty of it.

"Chief? You okay?"

A thumbs up is all I'm going to get, I think. That'll do. He's breathing, his heart is beating. Being a sentinel really does have its advantages.

I've got us both ready and he's rolled over onto his stomach. I like it like this, I guess he does too. There's nothing like the feeling of a hot, naked body plastered to your back. Or the feeling of your dick inside the man you love more than life itself. I'd better be careful. Zoning now would spoil everything.

Funnily enough, I feel alert. I've dialled everything down to normal but I still feel... um... alive, that's the word. I'm alive. Awake. Aware. Wow. Nothing has ever prepared me for this moment. Nothing. Not even Blair on his knees did. I hear his heart beating faster, the tiny hitches in his breath as I make him feel good, the quiet moans as I hit the spot. I'd have thought he'd have been more vocal, but his face is turned sideways and I can see that he has a look of total bliss on it. He's literally blissed out. I'm making him happy. I can't believe it, I'm making him happy. Thank God for that.


He looks up from my chest where he's currently exploring my nipples with that clever tongue of his. He's got that post-nookie goofy look that most men get, but on him it's kinda cute. Not that I'd tell him that. I like my gonads where they are, thank you very much.


"You know that cousin of yours? The bookie?"


"What odds do you think he'd give for us being together for the rest of our lives."

"With our records at relationships? 100-1. Against."

"Then I'll stake my pension on it."

"That's a lot of money, Jim."

"Nah, it's a foregone conclusion. I'd clean up."