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High Spirits

Summary: See it was like this; I was doing some research on Shamans and sort of got distracted....

"Um, what's that, Jim?"

"That would be Sandburg."

"Oh, what's he doing?"

"Meditating, I think. Er, Sandburg? Wake up."

"He's not waking up, Jim."

"No, Rich, he's not."

Jim crossed the floor, ignoring the fact that the front door to the loft was still open. He was more concerned by the fact that his friend was sitting cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by candles, the curtains closed and shutting Blair off from the world. He looked so at peace that the detective was loathe to disturb him. His other friend, Richard Webber - Jim's date for the night - looked on in astonishment.

Jim crouched next to Blair and looked hard at him, listening into his heart till he was satisfied that it was beating steadily. Blair's breathing was calm, his eyes were shut, his face totally relaxed. He showed no sign of knowing that the men had entered the apartment.

Quietly, Jim stood back up and ushered Richard to the door and then they left the loft, shutting the door behind them.

"Does he often do that?" Webber asked.

Jim looked at the man standing next to him and replied, "Not really. I mean, he meditates, usually when things are getting a bit on top of him, but I've never seen him so deep. It's like he's in a trance."

Unsure what to do next, Jim sat on the top step, letting his long legs drape down the stairs till his feet caught on a step low enough to be comfortable. Webber sat next to him.

"What is it with you and Sandburg?" Webber prodded. "You've talked about him all night."

"I haven't!"

"You have, Jim. This was supposed to be a date. You know; you, me, some fun... but it's been 'Sandburg and I did this', 'Blair did that'. Are you in love with him?"

"What? NO! He's my roomie. My partner, you know? Sure, he's my friend and we do a lot of stuff together, so that's why his name came up but..."

"But nothing, Jim. He's the only one on your mind."

"If that was the case, why did I ask you out?"

"You didn't. You flirted with me but I asked you out. You only said yes after a bit of prompting. At the time I put it down to you being a cop, but you don't seem to mind people knowing that you're bi, so now I think it's because of the hippy back there."

"He's not a hippy," Jim growled, even knowing that he'd called Blair that same thing himself.

"Okay, okay, so he's not a hippy. So why the meditation, the long hair, the earrings?"

"He's Blair," Jim shrugged. "That's just the way he is."

"I thought he was a cop," Richard frowned. "Most cops aren't like that."

"He is one, but he's an anthropologist as well. Sort of became a cop by default."


"Well, he was studying us, you know, the closed society thing. It was for a dissertation."

Jim cast his mind back to the huge fight that he and Blair had had when he'd read that first chapter of the dissertation.

I can't believe you did that, man. I asked you not to.

I thought we'd talked about this, Sandburg. You are the one that's fucked up.

ME? I TOLD YOU! Didn't I? You so much as look at it before it was finished and it would invalidate everything. Three years, man. Three fucking years. You don't trust me to guide you, you don't trust me to back you up and you didn't trust me with the diss. What a fucking waste. I should have gone with my first instinct.

And what was that, Sandburg?

To stay away from you. Fucking Neanderthal. I should have known you'd not trust me. Well fuck you, Ellison. Now I have to go to the board, tell them that 'I'm sorry, my diss is down the drain because the subject read it and can I please have some time to rethink? Get a new subject maybe? Like botany.' At least those plants wouldn't fuck up the research.

Is that all I was to you? All I am to you? A subject?

No, man. You're my friend. At least I thought you were. I told you a long time ago that I could have submitted. But if I had I'd have had no reason to stay with you, to help you. I'd not be able to back you up. But I didn't submit. I held off as long as I could. My reward? I discover that all I am to you is a nuisance. Well, thank you very much Mr. Sentinel.

Blair had been furious with him that night and Jim understood. As much as he'd felt betrayed, he knew that the only one that had done the betraying had been himself. It had taken a lot of work on both their parts to get over that. Blair had written up a different dissertation in the end, got himself into trouble with the Chancellor for switching subjects, but he'd had a few people on his side. He'd worked all the hours God sent, and quite a few the devil did too. In the mean time, Alex Barnes had turned up and Blair had seen what happened to a Sentinel that wasn't in tune with his or her senses. No sense of honour or duty, all she'd wanted was profit. It had taken Blair's death for Jim to realise just how important the young man was to him.

Months of tiptoeing around each other, months of carefully rebuilding the bond had finally got them back to how they'd been. Friends. Partners. Sentinel and Guide. Knowing that Jim wouldn't be safe without him, Blair had gone to the Academy on a fast-track programme (engineered by Simon at Jim's prompting) and was now his partner. Jim knew the sacrifice made by the younger man, that despite his enjoyment of the work, it wasn't really what he'd wanted. He hadn't said no when Blair had suggested it, though, unwilling to get into a fight over that. He just determined to be a good partner, a good friend.

He explained to Richard in loose terms about Blair having a knack for detective work, that his training as an anthropologist made him particularly good at the job. He felt frustrated that he couldn't explain anything more though, how he relied on Blair to keep him grounded, how he needed him to control his senses. He could have shut his senses off, he knew that, but he also knew that that would have added to the sense of betrayal that Blair had felt. Yet another way of saying that he didn't want him around.

"So, what do you want to do now?" Richard asked quietly.

"I'd better stay," Jim replied equally softly. "Like I said, I've never seen him so deep. I'll only worry about him."

Richard chuckled and said, "You really need to think about your feelings for him, pal. Look, if you want to go out again, give me a call. But I'm not really interested in being a substitute."

Jim couldn't answer, he just nodded. He liked Richard a lot but he knew, in his heart of hearts, that his date was right. He loved Blair.

Earlier that evening

"I'm off out, Chief. Don't wait up," Jim said as he headed towards the door.

"Hot date, Jim?"

"Um, yeah."

"Anyone I know?"

"Uh, yeah, no, sort of. Know of."

"Wow, last of the great conversationalists. Well, who is it? No, don't tell me, some mobster's moll?"

"Sandburg," Jim growled.

"No? A drug runner?"

"That would be more your sort of date, Chief."

"Oh, sure, of course. Well? Who is it?"

"Richard Webber. The new accountant in Finance."

It was to Blair's credit (in Jim's eyes) that he'd cracked up at the idea of Jim dating an accountant. He'd not blinked at the idea of the accountant being a guy.

"Mind you don't get caught up in some major discussion on fiscal policy, Jim. You know how dangerous these accountants can get. Be home by midnight or I'll send out a Search and Audit team to find you."

Jim grinned, called Blair a prick and left.

When the door shut, Blair sat on the sofa with a bump. Jim was dating a man. A MAN. Not that it bothered Blair, nothing like. Blair dated guys, or at least he had done before he'd moved in with Jim. Had to stop that when he'd moved in, didn't want to give the morons at the Precinct more ammunition to use against him. But all that time he'd thought that Jim was straight.

"The dick," Blair muttered to himself. "So, he likes guys? No way is this some sudden change of heart, some mid-life sexual identity crisis. So what's wrong with me? Why doesn't he want to date me?"

Blair moved into the bathroom, took a leak, looked at himself in the mirror and sighed. "Why would he want to date me? I'm too short. My hair's too long. I'm a geek. Accountant or not, this guy's likely to be some sort of god. Probably spends a lot of time in the gym. Yeah, tall, handsome, strong... nothing like me."

His shoulders dropped and he moved back into the living room. He felt knotted up inside. No matter what had happened between them, he'd always loved Jim. He'd never said anything, didn't want the supposedly straight Jim thinking that Blair was coming on to him. Being turned down by him would have been too much to bear. Worse than dying even. How could they have worked together? Lived together? Been Sentinel and Guide if Blair had said, "I love you, Jim. In fact, I'm in love with you. Just thought you should know."

He could hear Jim's reply. "Yeah, well, Chief, I kinda like you - as a friend. Perhaps you should move out? Get a new partner?"

Like he'd let that happen. Knowing that he'd not get any peace, he figured that meditating would be a good idea. He closed the curtains, got out his scentless candles (didn't want to upset Jim when he finally got back), put them in the grate and lit them, sat on the floor, crossed his legs and shut his eyes.

He couldn't settle, his mind was in turmoil. He needed to escape, needed peace.

It seemed to Blair that he'd opened his eyes and found himself transported into the jungle. This was cool, he thought, it had been a while since he'd been in one. A quiet growl made him turn his head and he saw a wolf. In the jungle. With blue eyes. Hmmm. Okay, this was his spirit guide, he remembered. He wondered if Jim's was around somewhere. Nope, couldn't see it.

"Hey, um, wolf. You okay?"

The wolf cocked its head to one side and looked at Blair as if he'd gone quite mad. Perhaps he had, he thought. Then the wolf turned and walked away, stopping for a moment and looking over his shoulder.

"You want me to follow you?"

A quiet yowl confirmed Blair's suspicion.

"Okay, Skippy, lead on. If you find a mine shaft though, I am so not going down it."

The wolf ignored that last remark and carried on walking.

It seemed to take Blair forever - it also seemed like they were going uphill. He wasn't tired though, wasn't anything really. That knotted feeling was still there, but it was the only thing he felt. He wasn't even overly curious anymore. He snorted to himself as he realised that that was what his life was like. Blair Sandburg, doctor of anthropology, detective second grade, eternal student was no longer curious. No longer cared much about anything. The only thing that mattered was making sure that Jim was okay. If he missed meals, he didn't notice or care. If he didn't sleep much, well, it didn't seem to make any difference to anyone around him. If he didn't buy new clothes, or go out on dates, or laugh with the guys at work - well, no one seemed to notice that either. With that last thought he literally shut his mind off and followed the wolf to wherever it was taking him.

He was sure it had been a couple of hours. Must have been. As he was also sure that he was meditating, he kicked himself for not checking the time when he sat down. Not too much longer and he'd beat his mom's record but he had no way of being sure now. Typical.

"Is there a purpose to this stroll in the jungle?" he called out to the wolf. "I mean, it's nice and all, but see one steaming pile of timber which only exists in your mind, you've seen 'em all. You couldn't take me to a nice tropical beach filled with bathing beauties, could you? Or surfing dudes. I'm not fussed. Seeing as Jim's dating guys, don't see why I can't have fun that way once more. Not as if he'd care, is it? Or is it that it's okay for him and not for me? Yeah, I can see it now. 'What do you think you're doing, Sandburg? You can't go on a date. That's a man, if you hadn't noticed.' 'Gee, Jim, I hadn't noticed. What a surprise. He's cute though, can I keep him? Can I, huh?' 'No you may not, young man. And stay in the truck while I date him.' Yeah, that's what would happen."

The wolf didn't even stop, he just carried on with his walk, obviously knowing where he was going but not imparting any information towards Blair.

"Man, this is getting boring!" Blair called out. "I've had enough. I'm going to open my eyes and watch Animal Planet. At least the creatures on that are more company than you. Hell, even the Simpsons would be a step up in the company department. Now there's a functional family if ever I saw one. I reckon that Homer would be a great dad. What do you think? You don't? I think he's a terrific dad. You know why? No? Simple. He loves his kids. No matter what they do, he loves them. He might be a jerk, but he loves his wife and he loves his kids. Wish I'd had a dad like him. Wish I'd had a dad."

Blair stopped dead as he said that. Where the fuck had that come from? He'd not been bothered by not having a dad, so why did he say that? And Homer Simpson as a paternal role model? Man, he'd been in this mental jungle way too long. Time to open his eyes.

He tried. He really tried. But no matter what, he was there, in this steaming hot jungle.

"I can't do it," he said. The wolf gave him a 'well, duh' look. "Fuck. That is so good. Can't get out of the fucking trance. Okay, I get it. I have to go through this... this... whatever it is."

He walked on, muttering to himself about absentee fathers, absentee mothers. Absentee partners who were fucking DATING. The knotting in his stomach got worse, hurting him as it tightened, pulling him down till he was on the floor, kneeling and clutching his stomach tightly.

He took some deep breaths and calmed himself, talking to himself, rebuking himself. "It's only a psychosomatic reaction. You know this. Now calm, breathe, centre yourself."

Eventually, the wave of pain went and he looked up. The wolf had gone.

"Great, even my own spirit guide leaves me. Well, Sandburg, you always knew you were alone. You'll cope. You've always coped. You don't need anyone to get on. Just get up and keep walking. Your destination awaits. What that destination is I don't know, but I have a feeling I'll know it when I see it. I hope."

More painful steps, his legs starting to ache. He muttered about it adding insult to injury. He turned a corner and stopped dead. His mother. Only she wasn't as he'd last seen her. She looked so young.


"I won't be gone long, sweetie," she said. "Angie and David will take good care of you."

"MOMMY don't go. PLEASE don't go."

"It's only for a few weeks, honey. I promise. I'll be back before you know it."


Blair remembered those weeks. He'd never forget them. The first week was okay, but then Angie found out that David was having an affair, she kicked him out of the house and turned on Blair. The nine year-old hadn't known what to do. He tried to help her, knowing that she was hurting, but he was hurting too. His mommy had left him again. He put up with the smacks - they didn't hurt that much, not really. The words cuts deep though. Bastard son of a careless bitch. When Naomi had finally come for him, two weeks too late, he was bruised, underweight, haunted and scared.

Jim sat in front of Blair, knowing somehow that his Guide was upset. His face was still a mask of calm, but every so often, his lips would move as if he was speaking. No sound came out though, not even that a Sentinel could hear. All he could see was the tear that tracked its way down Blair's cheek. He called out to him, but got no reaction. Feeling totally helpless, he sat and waited it out.

Blair turned yet another corner, wondering what delights awaited him this time. Lost loves, traumas, fears... they'd all been there. There had been some good times in his life, hadn't there? So why wasn't he seeing them? Was he dying? Maybe that was it. They say your life flashes in front of you, but perhaps they mean that you only get to see the bad bits. If this were the case then he hadn't been dying at the fountain - or perhaps that was too sudden.

Blair shook himself and told himself off. No, he wasn't dying, he was meditating and because he was doing it while he was a bit depressed, all the crap in his life was coming back to haunt him. Yeah, that was it. He was a big boy now - a real live detective. He could deal.

Ah yes, the fountain. Trust him to think of that occasion. "Sure, go ahead, drown me again," he screamed. "This time don't bring me back! I've had enough. I'm sick of being alone, you get me? SICK of it. So go ahead, Alex. I've got nothing to lose anymore."

Jim concentrated on the movements of Blair's lips, copying the words as he saw them come. 'Drown me', 'sick of it'. It was enough for him to get what was going on inside his partner's mind.

"Incacha, if you're out there, help me get to him, please," he whispered.

Crossing his legs, he copied Blair's position and shut his eyes, trying to think of nothing but his Guide.

Blair watched Alex come to him, pointing a gun at him. He didn't care, he just let her do what she wanted, even though a part of him knew that if he let this happen, he may well not wake up. Jim wasn't there to bring him back this time. Reality and spirit world collided as he found himself still in the jungle but facing the water of a fountain. All he could do was say, "Goodbye, Jim. I've failed you again, haven't I?"

He knew that this was the moment that he'd die for good, and somehow, it didn't matter anymore. He just waited for it.

And waited.

A growl pierced the air. He turned, expecting to see his spirit guide, but instead, he saw a black cat. Panther. Jim.

The vision that was Alex turned and looked in horror as the panther pounced. Never had Blair seen anything more angry than this creature. Alex didn't stand a chance. It wasn't pretty, either. The panther, quite literally, ripped her throat out.

It sat back on its haunches, panting hard. Blair suddenly felt at once afraid, and calm. He knelt in front of it and said, "Go ahead. You want to kill me too? Do it. I won't fight you."

The panther stood up and padded over to him, stopping right in front of his face. Blair shut his eyes. "Do it," he whispered. "Make it quick though, will you? I've had enough of lingering deaths."

Nothing happened. He opened his eyes and realised that the panther had gone. In its place was Jim.


"She was going to kill you, Chief," came the reply. "Why were you allowing it to happen?"

"Because I'm fed up of being alone?" Blair replied with a shrug. "You weren't there."

"I know. I'm so sorry for what happened, Blair. So sorry. If I hadn't thrown you out, you'd have been with me and it couldn't have happened. I'll never forgive myself."


"What do you mean?"

"Why won't you forgive yourself? You can't foresee the future."

"I knew there was a threat. I should have kept you close."

"She was a threat to many people, you couldn't keep them close. What makes me so different?"

Jim opened and shut his mouth in shock, unable to answer that. He stood up and stumbled away from Blair, numbed by his words.

"You shouldn't have stopped her," Blair whispered. "It would have hurt less."

"How can you say that?" Jim finally got out. "How can you want to be dead?"

"I don't want to be dead," Blair sighed, twisting then flopping onto his backside. He drew his knees up and rested his head on them, knowing that if this really was Jim, he'd hear him no matter what. And if it were his psyche, well, what did it matter?

"Then what?"

"I'm fed up of being alone," he said to his knees.

"You're not alone. You live with me. Work with me. You're not alone."

"I sleep alone. I wake up alone. I've stopped dating, did you know? I don't see anyone outside of work. You on the other hand, see accountants. I don't know how you can handle the excitement, Jim, I really don't."

"Sandburg, can it, sarcasm doesn't suit you."

Well, that sounded like Jim, Blair thought. But then it would, being a product of his mind and all. He tipped his head up and looked at his imaginary partner, who looked like he was imagining many things.

"So, is this it?" Blair asked.


"Is this it? Where you kick me out of the loft? Where you say 'it's been a blast, Sandburg, but the ride's over'?"

"Chief, there have been many times in the past four years where I was glad that I couldn't see inside your mind. Now that I'm in here, I am relieved to find out that I was right. This is one weird place."

"Well, you would say that, you're a figment of my imagination."

"Oh? Is that the case?"

"Well, duh. It's my mind, if you hadn't noticed."

Jim stopped, blinked, wished that he wasn't in Blair's mind, or spirit world or wherever this was for the briefest of moments, then he steeled himself and started again.

"Why do you think that I'm going to kick you out of the loft?"

"Because you're dating," Blair replied in an 'isn't it obvious' manner.

"I've dated before."

"Yeah, but you only dated women."

"And, so, but, therefore?"

Blair rolled his eyes into his head before continuing. "You're dating guys. Unless you're dating a chick called Richard, in which case I'd have a real good Sentinel look through her stuff before getting into bed with her."

Jim felt the onset of a headache.

"Tell me, oh Great Shaman. Just what has the fact that I'm dating guys got to do with kicking you out of the loft?"

"It's your not so subtle way of telling me to get lost, isn't it? You want a guy in your life. I'm not the one. Whether this Richard is or isn't the one is besides the point. I am not the one. Ergo, you want me out so you can move the right one in."

He waved his hands to underline this, in an 'it's so logical I'm not surprised an asshole like you hasn't got it' kind of way.

Jim was astounded. Jim was, to put not too fine a point on it, flabbergasted. Shocked. In the words of an old friend, 'gobsmacked'.

"Sandburg, for a genius, you know shit."

"I know shit," Blair agreed. "You can tell a lot about a past civilisation by its dung heap."

"Why didn't I think of that as a likely reply from you?"

"Because I am the genius, remember?"

Jim tried again.

"Okay, you may be a genius, but you don't know me."

"I know you. I know what you look like when you wake up. I know your favourite meal, I know your favourite song, colour, I know the name of your first dog, your first girlfriend... you want me to continue?"

"No. You may know a lot of facts but you think you can analyse me from them?"

"Why not?"

"Because you're wrong."

All of a sudden, Jim realised something - and for once, he was going to share his thoughts.

"Sandburg? Tell me something. What do you think Richard looks like? You've not seen him, have you?"

"No, but I've talked to him on the phone. He's got a deep voice. Sounds tall. Yeah, tall. Probably got short hair, he's well-built, visits the gym at least three times a week."

Jim fell about laughing.

"I was right, Sandburg, you know shit. Do you know what he said to me tonight?"

"Um, 'I love you'. 'I want to commit to you'. Fuck, he could have wanted to bear your children for all I know."

"He said that I love you. That's I as in me. Jim Ellison. Love you. That's you as in, er, you. Blair Sandburg. And he wasn't prepared to be a substitute."


"Yeah. For you."

"No way, man."

"Way. And he was right, Chief. That's all they've been. Substitutes."

Jim sat and watched as Blair processed this information. His face was a fascinating study in emotion. Disbelief, cautious belief, hope, joy, love... fear.

"I'm not throwing you out, Chief. Never. You're going to live with me forever."

"That's a fuck of a long time, Jim."


Blair raised an eyebrow, then he stood up and shouted to the sky.

"I get it! I'm stuck here for the rest of my life! I've already accepted that, so why are you torturing me with things I'll never have? It's not fair. I've said I won't leave him, that I'll do my best to guide him, so why are you hurting me like this? He doesn't love me. Please don't make me think he does."

Tears ran down his face as he continued a tirade against the spirits, his heart breaking as he convinced himself that this wasn't real. Couldn't be real.

"Chief, why don't you believe me?" Jim was standing next to him, his hands reaching out to hold him steady.

"Because it's not real."

"Why not? You've taught me that things can happen in weird and wonderful ways. Why can't this be real?"

Blair looked up into Jim's blue eyes and whispered, "Because I want it too much."

"Blair, do you love me?" Jim asked, his voice pleading for an answer.

"More than anything. Love you so much, man. You're everything to me. Don't you know that by now?"

It was all the answer Jim needed. He leaned close and dipped his head, capturing Blair's lips with his own, then whispering, "Love you, Blair. You are my life, never forget it. Without you, I do not live. I do not love. I do not care. I don't, I can't do this without you."

Blair let it happen, hoping against hope that he'd forget it all when he woke up and found himself alone. Not wanting this real dream to be imprinted on his memory.

He let Jim pull him back down onto the ground, their mouths plundering each other's, desperately seeking out contact and comfort. Clothes fell off, skin touched skin, the air became charged with electricity as they frantically sought to touch, stroke. Possess.

"Mine," Jim growled as he bit into Blair's neck.

Blair grabbed Jim's face in his hands and held him tightly before snarling back the same word and then kissing him furiously.

There was no finesse. No tender touches. This was raw, animalistic lust. Their bodies glistened with sweat as their cocks clashed, Jim ruthlessly grinding against his lover, urging him on to swift completion. Both men seemed to be everywhere and nowhere. All at once Blair felt Jim's lips, his tongue, his hands - his entire body - as it seemed to melt into his own. They became one. Truly one. Jim felt what it was like to be Blair, Blair suddenly saw the world with Sentinel senses. It was overwhelming, awe inspiring - and too much.

They came hard, one close after the other, bodies separating in time to spiral out of control. As soon as his orgasm was wrung out of him, Blair opened his eyes.

He was back in the living room, feeling damned uncomfortable. And wet. He looked down and saw the stain grow in his pants. He was so mortified by that that he completely failed to notice the six foot two man sitting in front of him with an equally embarrassed look on his face.


"Oh crap."

"Well, I must say, that's a nice way to talk about your significant other."

Jim chuckled as his S.O. again did the goldfish impression.

"Twice in one night, not bad," Jim said.

"What do you mean? We only did that once. Or are you saying that you and the accountant did it?"

"I meant rendering you speechless."

"Oh." It took Blair a moment to recover, then he said, "So, that really happened, did it?"

"I'd say so. Jungle, fountain, nasty Sentinels, a panther with a temper, hot monkey sex, does that about cover it?"

"From your point of view, yeah."

"What happened before that?"

"Trust me on this one, Jim, you don't want to know."

"I think you're wrong there, but maybe we should leave it for another time."

"Yeah, we should. Leave it, that is. What about...?" He waggled his fingers between the two of them.

"Pledging a lifetime's commitment to each other? Not just as Sentinel and Guide? Yeah, I'd say that happened too. If you want it, that is. I've had enough from you and it's about time I did as you wanted."

Unwilling to let Jim see him speechless for a third time, Blair got on his knees and moved closer to him.

"You really want that, Jim? You know what I'm like to live with. Once this happens for real, I won't be able to go back."

"I should hope not," Jim said sincerely, reaching out for him. "This is it. No more mobster's wives."

"No more drug dealers."

"No more criminal women at all."

"No more boyfriends."


"You heard me. You think you're the only guy here that likes guys?"

"I had no idea."

"Neither did I about you till tonight, so I'd say we're equal there. So, what do you say, no more boyfriends?"

"Just the one."

"One? Which one?"

"Oh, the short, long-haired, short-sighted, hairy-chested geek. Goes by the name of Chief. Know him perchance?"

"Yeah, I know the one. Hangs out with the tall, super-sensed asshole that goes by the name of Doofus."

"That's the one."

Their noses touched and their lips got closer.

"You're in a good mood tonight, Chief."

"Hmm. I'm in high spirits," came the reply. Jim's retort was swallowed up by Blair's mouth as he closed the final gap.

"Sandburg. You're the only one left here at the moment, so can you do me a favour?"

"Ah, Captain, you know what they say about the intelligence of volunteers."

"Maybe so, but I'm volunteering you. Take this to Finance will you or there will be no expenses for anyone this month. Seems the post gal has gone home sick."

Finance, eh? Blair thought. He grabbed the folder and made his way to the office on the other side of the building. Entering the department, he scanned the name tags on the desks. Finally, he found one Richard Webber. Dropping the folder off in the right place, he looked at his opponent of that night. He was standing at the filing cabinet, which wasn't much shorter than Webber. The man turned around and saw Blair looking at him and he smiled.

Blair grinned back at him and mouthed 'thank you' to the short man with the blue eyes. He got a wink back in reply.