Summary: Missing scene for Cypher. Blair does the comforting.
Blair felt truly awful. It had taken a Herculean effort for him to shuffle the few yards from the elevator to their apartment door. Now, he stood in the doorway, his legs trembling as they fought to hold him up and looked around at the mess inside with bleary eyes. His headache was coming back and Blair didn't think it was entirely due to the drug Lash had given him. A small earthenware pot lay on the living room rug but he was sure if he bent down to pick it up, he'd end up on the floor beside it. Though he seemed to have regained his motor control almost completely, his limbs still felt heavy and his thoughts vague and inclined to vanish before he could complete a sentence.
His mouth was incredibly dry and there was a foul taste coating his tongue. He tried to swallow and ended up gagging. A hand touched his shoulder and he looked up into Jim's concerned blue eyes. "I'm okay," he reassured his partner though it wasn't entirely the truth and the frown on Jim's face showed the detective didn't believe him for a second.
Blair shuffled forward and lowered himself down onto the sofa with a groan. He felt like one huge bruise. He could really use a glass of water to ease the dryness of his mouth and maybe it would wash away the taste too, but he didn't think he was capable of getting up again, and at the thought of anything passing his lips, his stomach churned ominously. Leaning back with a sigh, he closed his eyes and allowed himself to drift off… or tried to.
Opening one eye, he stared at Jim, who stood motionless in the middle of the living room, staring back at him. If it wasn't for the worry in that look, Blair would have thought the sentinel had zoned. "What?" Blair asked finally.
The question seemed to spur Jim into action and he turned toward the kitchen. "I'll clean up this mess in a minute. First… you want some tea? I'll put on the kettle. Or maybe soup." His brow furrowed. "I think we still have some of that minestrone you cooked… you froze it, right? Or did we eat it already?"
"Jim? Jim!" When there was no response, Blair raised his voice, wincing as the sound fanned his headache to new and excruciating heights. "Jim!"
That brought the desired response though as Jim stopped his uncharacteristic prattling and turned back to Blair… and started again. "You cold? You want the afghan? Or your sweats? I could run you a warm bath, if you feel up to it… just don't lock the bathroom door." He leaned forward, scrutinizing Blair's pale face. "You look scrunched up. The doc said you'd have a headache. You want some Tylenol?"
"Sit." Blair patted the sofa beside him. "Just for a minute. Chill, just for a minute."
Jim gave a sigh, closed his eyes briefly then did as Blair had asked. Reaching up, Blair massaged Jim's tense shoulders with one hand, smiling when he felt Jim relax against him. "You hurt anywhere special?" Blair asked. "Lash got in a couple of good hits and falling down those stairs had to have hurt."
"Just stiff mostly," Jim replied. "A few bruises."
Blair continued his massage while the two men sat in silence, both processing the horror of the last few hours.
"I'm sorry, Chief," Jim finally said, his voice just a whisper. "If I hadn't gone to the gym…" His voice trailed off and Blair rubbed his shoulder sympathetically.
"You didn't know," he replied, his own voice muted. "None of us did."
"When I opened the door to the apartment, I thought… You've got no idea how I felt when I heard your voice, heard you yelling at Lash…"
Blair nodded, his throat suddenly too tight to get out the words he wanted to say. He grasped Jim's arm instead, pulling the unresisting detective down so that Jim's head lay on his lap. He sat there silently, stroking a soothing caress up and down Jim's back, letting his actions speak for him, comforting them both. He laid his head back against the couch and closed his eyes, still anchored to the present, to his sentinel by his touch. Beneath his hand, he felt Jim's breathing even out until it matched his own and the two drifted into healing sleep.
April 5th 2004
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