by Terri

“That woman would drive me insane,’ Jim says, indicating the tv before pointedly picking up his abandoned book. Then shuffles until he´s comfortable in the corner of the couch before starting to read again.

“She´s a bit flaky I suppose, but she says some smart things too,’ Blair replies, smiling when Jim makes a sound that´s like a hybrid of laughter and a snort of disgust. “No, really. You have to listen to what she says, but push aside the babble and Phoebe makes sense sometimes.’

“Like you.’

“Yeah. Hey!’ Blair looks at Jim and punches him lightly on the arm. “I don´t babble, and even if I did we´re not talking about me, we´re talking about Phoebe.’

“Okay then, talk. Tell me how someone who spends her life drinking coffee, massaging men and embracing every new age fad can say anything smart.’ Jim says, then stops speaking, looking at Blair while obviously thinking. “Actually, the new age thing and the clothes sort of remind me of your mom, especially the massaging…’

“Don´t even go there,’ Blair holds his hand up in front of Jim. “I don´t want to hear another word; you were looking at my baby pictures; that´s all.’

Jim stops talking, smiling at Blair´s muttered words. Words they both know Jim can hear. Then Blair takes a deep breath and Jim prepares to have the wisdom of Phoebe explained to him.

“Okay, you wanted to know why she was smart. Look at today, she said that whole lobster thing; that they mate for life. Which okay, isn´t totally true. But lobsters do have this highly complex courtship ritual. The female sheds her shell, then the male turns her over gently, being careful of her soft skin, he mates with her using his swimmerets and after they stay together until her shell grows back. People who have seen the ritual say….’

“Whoa, hold it Sandburg. How does this prove that she´s smart? You´ve just said her theory is wrong.’

“No, I said it wasn´t totally true. Lobsters do have this whole caring thing going on, which if you think about it is impressive for a so called dumb crustacean. You could do worse than be called a lobster, Jim.’

Jim watches as Blair settles in his corner of the couch. His feet are tucked under him and he´s looking from Jim to the tv and back again, torn between watching more Friends and talking to Jim. He looks content and Jim can´t help smiling. They´re at a point where they´re as happy sitting watching tv and drinking hot chocolate as they are when they´re wrapped around one another in bed, and Jim couldn´t be any happier. So happy in fact he can make an admission for once.

“I suppose she is smart, I prefer her version of lobsters to the scientific, not that that´s not fascinating too.’ Jim quickly adds when Blair starts to speak. “I´ll be your lobster, Chief.’

Jim feels stupid saying it, but Blair´s grin makes it all worthwhile, as does his laughter when Jim adds, “But I still prefer eating them.’





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