Conflict of interest
Notes: I promised this for Fluterbev and the second half of the story was inspired by her raptures about tight jeans and t-shirts. Oh, and even though I'm a redhead myself, I seem to have an irrational hatred of them in relation to J&B.
"You wanted to see me, Simon?" Jim knocked on the door jamb of Simon's office, sparing a quick glance at the other person sitting in front of his desk.
"Sit down, Jim. I only want to say this once." Simon indicated the other chair and Jim lowered himself into it, thinking that somewhere out there was a failed dungeon master who'd gone into interior design, from the way his back protested.
"Does Sandburg need to be in here?" he asked.
"No, he doesn't." Simon picked up a pen and tapped it against the desk, "In fact, what I'm about to say directly concerns him."
Jim looked out of the window towards his desk to reassure himself that Blair was still there, typing up the pile of reports stacked to one side. He felt his stomach churn; was Simon going to revoke his partner's pass? Looking back at Simon, he saw that his attention was on the person sitting next to him.
Finally acknowledging her presence, Jim nodded to Cassie Wells, who nodded back, that annoyingly superior look on her face as if what Simon had to say was down to her input. Jim ground his teeth together and gave his full attention to Simon, determined not to let her get to him.
She'd rubbed him up the wrong way from day one, and her determined pursuit of Blair had almost driven a wedge between them until Blair had realised that Jim's hostility was really jealousy. With typical courage and complete disregard for his own safety, he'd plied Jim with beer and then jumped him. That had been three glorious weeks ago.
"Now, I'm only going to say this one more time to you two." Simon glared at them both from behind his desk, "You will stop this petty…whatever… you two have going over Sandburg."
"Pardon me? Are you accusing Detective Ellison and I of fighting over Blair? That's absurd!"
Cassie snorted delicately and smoothed her short skirt over her thighs, subtly drawing attention to them. Jim caught her looking at him to see if he'd noticed the movement and curled his lip slightly in contempt.
"I'm not sure what you're saying here, Simon."
"I'm saying, Detective, that I thought I had made myself quite clear on the matter of fraternization. This rivalry between you and Miss Wells is not good for departmental harmony, not to mention my blood pressure. This stops right here, right now, is that clear, Detective?"
"I don't have a problem with Detective Ellison, Captain Banks. But I would just like to point out that Blair is only an observer, and therefore the rules…"
"Officially, no, Miss Wells, but this is my department, and you will abide by my rules. Sandburg is off-limits, except in an official capacity."
"Well I'm sure that Blair will have something to say about…"
"Sandburg is aware of the consequences should this be brought to my attention. Now, do I have to repeat myself?" Simon locked eyes with her until she reluctantly nodded.
"No, Captain Banks."
"Good." He turned back to the papers on his desk in a clear gesture of dismissal.
Jim stood up and opened the door, holding it for Cassie to go through. She slid past a little closer than necessary and flicked a flirtatious look at him from under her lashes. Jim ignored her.
"Jim." Simon called him back.
"Shut the door." Simon stood up and poured two coffees, "I'm sorry about that, Jim, but I've been taking a lot of flak lately."
"Cassie Wells is not the most…"
"Tactful?" Jim helpfully supplied.
"That's one word for her, definitely. Look, she's rubbed a few people up the wrong way, and Major Crimes is a high profile department. We come under a lot of scrutiny, and if there's conflict with other departments…" Simon didn't have to finish his sentence for Jim to get the message.
"Okay, okay, I'll try to get along with her a bit better, but if she makes one more move on Blair…" Jim snapped his mouth shut before he revealed more than he should to his boss.
"Jim, that's something I wasn't going to ask and you definitely shouldn't have told. Just keep it out of the station, okay?" Oops, too late, Jim thought.
He beat a hasty retreat and reached his desk just as Cassie got up from where she'd perched on it, her thigh a hairs breadth from Blair's shoulder. Jim ground his teeth and edged her away from his partner, leaning between them to grab a report from the finished pile.
"We need to get moving, Chief." Jim tapped his shoulder with the file and Blair smiled apologetically to Cassie. He stood up and made a little shooing motion with his hand.
"Uh, guys? A little room here?" he was flanked on both sides, and Jim glared at Cassie until she stepped away into the aisle.
"I'll see you around then, Blair?" she smoothed her skirt down again, preening when she noticed his eyes following her hands.
"Sure, see you around." Blair waggled his fingers at her and she sauntered away, smirking over her shoulder at Jim.
"Come on, Chief." Jim tossed the file onto his desk and took hold of Blair's elbow, guiding him out of the bullpen and down the stairs opposite to the direction Cassie had taken.
The further he got away from her, the more Jim relaxed. Letting Blair go ahead of him, he watched in appreciation the way his jeans clung to his ass, the warmer weather being responsible for the t-shirt he was wearing instead of his usual flannel.
"Keep your eyes up, Jim." Blair murmured, knowing exactly what Jim was looking at.
"Spoilsport." Jim jogged down the stairs until he was level with Blair and glanced down at him,
"And don't think I didn't see where your eyes were back there."
"Hey, I can still appreciate a nice pair of legs, can't I?"
"I'd rather they weren't attached to Nancy Drew, though."
"Pot, meet kettle." Blair rolled his eyes.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, like you didn't put that tight t-shirt on this morning on purpose?"
"No, it just happened that this was the first one I put my hand on."
"And those particular khakis just leapt out at you as well?"
Jim looked down at the well-cut pants; his favourite pair. Okay, so maybe they were a little tighter than the ones he normally would have worn to work, but the appreciative look in Blair's eyes this morning had made it worth the extra effort.
"What's wrong with these pants?"
"Absolutely nothing, as you well know, Jim." Blair ran his eyes down the long length of Jim's legs, perfectly showcased by the material that hinted at the muscles hidden underneath.
Jim scanned the area to make sure no-one was around before crowding Blair backwards into the corner of the stairwell.
"Just like you don't know what it does for me to see you in those tight jeans, hmm Blair?" he pressed close, breathing the words against Blair's ear.
"All my others were in the laundry." Blair hooked a finger in the belt loop of Jim's pants and pulled him closer, the other hand sliding over the taut curve of his ass.
"Liar, I did the laundry yesterday."
"Worth a try, huh?"
"If it gets you in those jeans…" Jim nibbled on his earlobe and smiled as he felt the blood pounding through Blair's veins. "Come on." He pulled away and started off down the stairs, dragging Blair after him.
Still listening, he opened the staircase door on the garage floor and led the way to his truck, careful to avoid the security cameras. At this time of day there weren't many people around, so Jim knew they could get away without being held up.
"Jim, it's only eleven o'clock." Blair protested half-heartedly.
"Call it an early lunch."
"Is this about Cassie? Because I gotta tell you, Jim, this jealous, possessive streak of yours is really turning me on." Blair hopped up into the truck and sent a blinding smile at his partner.
"Do I detect a little bit of pre-civilised breed of man there, Jim?"
"Maybe a little." Jim grinned back at him.
"Cool." Blair clicked his seatbelt on, "Well? Let's get going; things to see,people to do."
"People meaning you." Jim started the engine and peeled out of the garage.
"If you've got anyone else in mind, Jim, you're heading for serious conflict."
"Ooh, lizard brain showing there, Chief."
"Yeah, well, it takes one to know one. Just get us home, Jim."
"But it's only eleven o'clock."
"Home, James." Blair rubbed a hand over Jim's thigh and laughed as the truck surged forward.
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