by Maaaaa


The steady drip, drip, drip, of coffee intruded first upon his slumber, followed several minutes later by the muffled buzz of his alarm clock. Jim wearily pushed the sleep mask off his eyes, reached over to the nightstand, batted the towel off the clock and hit the ‘off’ button.

Pulling himself upright, he flexed the few remaining kinks from his torso. He yawned, lazily scratched his ass, and adjusted his silk boxers as he trotted down the stairs.

An empty mug and several blue books sat on the coffee table…the only evidence of the late night grading marathon Blair had pulled.

As Jim walked up to the French doors, Blair’s radio came to life with a deafening blast of classic rock. Reflexively dialing down his hearing, Jim paused a moment, then adjusted his sense of smell before opening the door to Blair’s room.

The figure under the mound of blankets was just beginning to stir as Jim called out a cheery good morning. “Move it, Sandburg!”

One hand slowly snaked out from under the covers and fumbled awkwardly for several moments before finding the radio control, silencing Carole King. The hand then turned upward and Blair returned Jim’s greeting with a one-fingered salute.

Jim continued on to the kitchen, checking on the progress of the brewing coffee and breakfast possibilities before heading to the bathroom. He emerged fifteen minutes later amid escaping swirls of steam…robe-clad, clean-shaven and breath-freshened.

Five minutes later, bacon was beginning to sizzle and Jim was gathering omelet ingredients as Blair stumbled down the hall, eyes still firmly shut, maneuvering on autopilot.

Jim temporarily halted the meal preparation, calling after the zombie like creature that made its way down the hall.
“Breakfast in ten.”

“Go to hell Ellison.” The bathroom door slammed shut. Two minutes later it reopened and the disheveled figure trudged back down the hall toward its room.

Jim cut him off before he could reach his goal. Placing two hands firmly on Blair’s shoulders, he spun the grad student around and steered him back to the bathroom.

Reaching the door, he placed one large hand squarely in the center of Blair’s back and shoved the unresisting body back into the bathroom.

Jim guided his guide to the side of the tub, reached behind the curtain, and turned on the water, adjusting the spray until the temperature was to his liking.

Blair yawned and scratched, cracked one sleep encrusted eye open and used it to stare daggers…dagger…at his roommate.

Jim returned a penetrating glare that apparently carried more threat, because Blair began to divest himself of his rumpled garments.

“Don’t forget to use soap.” Jim waved the bottle of herbal scented body wash in front of Blair’s face before shoving it into his hands. Jim adjusted the bath mat, laid out a clean towel and left, pulling the door firmly shut behind him.

Blair mumbled a cordial thank you to the retreating man. “Prick.”

Jim hurried back to the kitchen, turned the bacon, finished preparing the omelet fixings and set the table.

He then returned to his bedroom, hastily dressed, trotted once more down the stairs, detoured into the living room, gathered the blue books and dirty mug, snagged Blair’s backpack from the floor by the front door, swung into the kitchen, deposited the mug in the sink, stuffed the blue books into the backpack, dropped the pack on one of the chairs, turned down the heat under the frying pan, sidled up to the coffee pot, poured out a cup, maneuvered to the outside of the bathroom, leaned against the wall, and waited.

Thirty seconds later, an almost human looking Blair exited the bathroom. Jim held the steaming cup of coffee out, and Blair grabbed it on his way past. One almost coherent word of gratitude escaped his lips before being drowned out by slurping sounds. “’anks.’”

Another five minutes passed and the two men were seated at the kitchen table, devouring fluffy omelets with cooked to perfection bacon and sipping pineapple mango juice cocktail.

Blair finished first and jumped up from the table. He slung his backpack onto his shoulder, not bothering to check its contents, as he bounced toward the front door. Jim spoke to his partner’s back.

“Have enough to eat?”


“Got everything?”


“Your turn to cook tonight?”


“Drive carefully.”

“Yes, dear.”


Jim winced at the sound of the front door banging shut; then he smiled.




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