New Beginnings - Part 1
A/N: Kinda rough, and with POV issues, but I'm tired of looking at it; I might change it a bit later if I manage what I'm hoping, which is to spin this story across whatever challenges come up. I wanted the beginning to be here, at the beginning of the year and with the 'beginnings' theme :-), hence my posting it even when it isn't quite on. Sorry! And thanks to misanthrope7842 for the encouragement!
"3, 2, 1 -- Happy New Year, Jim!" Blair turned from the TV to clink his glass of cheap champagne with his bleary-eyed partner's.
"I find it hard to believe that year after year, you can still get so excited about New Year's," Jim told him, gingerly tasting the beverage that Blair had brought home so they could "celebrate properly."
"And I don't see why you're so down on it every year," Blair countered. "It's all about beginnings, man! Fresh starts."
"But it's arbitrary. What's so different about now than five minutes ago?"
"Well, OK, I can see your point. But the way I think of it, it's more of a celebration of the concept of 'new' -- new year, new beginnings... a celebration of change, really, and too many people are stuck in old molds, living for the status quo, you see what I'm saying?"
Jim looked skeptical, but intrigued despite it. "So you're toasting the concept of change, rather than vowing to lose 20 pounds in January?"
"Are you saying I'm fat, man?" Blair asked him with a mock scowl.
"Sandburg... you know what I mean. New Year's for most people is an excuse to get drunk and get loud, followed by a day off of work where they vow not to get so drunk this year, and a bunch of resolutions that they know they won't keep past the first week and a half."
"How many years have I lived here? I'm sure you've noticed I'm not really 'most people.'" Blair paused at a snort from his partner. "I'm serious, though -- change is something that I have to embrace... I haven't really led the sort of life that allows for that kind of 'change is bad' mentality. Change has to be good."
"I guess you and Naomi had a lot of new beginnings when you were growing up," Jim conceded. "But like you said, you've lived here for years. That's pretty stable."
Blair looked at him incredulously. "Are you serious?"
"Jim, man, you know I love you, but you are just insanely dense sometimes." He shook his head with a long-suffering air.
"What?" Jim asked again, but Blair didn't help him out. Jim was quiet for a few moments, the sounds of pre-recorded TV revelry ringing loudly in the room.
"Well... um... I guess you'd have to call the career change from grad student to detective a new start," Jim said hesitantly.
"You would indeed."
"And, well, there was the, ah... with the fountain... um, when you..." Jim dropped his gaze to his lap.
"When I died, Jim." Blair's somber expression didn't change with the small, guttural sound that Jim made in response. "Can't really get more of a new beginning than that, can you?"
After a long pause, Jim finally met Blair's eyes. Raising his glass once more, he said firmly, "Thank god for new beginnings, then, Chief."
"Thanks, man," Blair said as he clinked Jim's glass again. His eyes searched Jim's, and Jim just looked back helplessly, at a loss as to what Blair was looking for. Blair finally broke the contact, staring instead at his own hand resting on the leg he had tucked up under himself on the sofa.
"I have to believe that there is always room for one more new beginning," Blair said softly, head downcast but looking up through the thick veil of his lashes at Jim with a serious expression that Jim just couldn't decipher. Long moments passed wordlessly, and Blair finally gave a small sigh and took another drink of his champagne.
"Happy New Year, Chief," Jim said, knowing that he'd let Blair down but not sure how.
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