by Ozsaur

When Blair came out of his bedroom wearing what Jim liked to consider his
Seduction Clothes, Jim sat up and tossed his book onto the coffee table. Between
wearing that outfit and humming some tune, Sandburg looked way too pleased with
himself for Jim's peace of mind.

"So, you patched things up with Maria?"

"Sure did. Why wouldn't I?" Blair didn't bother closing the bathroom door and
Jim could hear him groping around in the medicine cabinet.

"Oh, I don't know. In my experience, when you stand a woman up on a date, you
generally don't get another one."

"It was just coffee. How many times do I have to tell you that?" He breezed out
of the bathroom on a cloud of cologne, the one that he only wore when he was
gearing up to get lucky.

"It doesn't matter if it's coffee or dinner or a movie. You didn't show up."

"I explained things to her, she understood."

"You're kidding! She didn't mind that you didn't show up because you were
flirting with the deli girl and lost track of time?"

"C'mon, that's not what happened."

"That's exactly what happened. You were supposed to bring me pastrami on rye
before meeting Maria. I ended up getting stale turkey on white bread out of the

"For pity's sake, Jim. Are you ever going to let me live it down?" Blair walked
over to where Jim was sitting and leaned over to grab his shoulder. With great
solemnity he intoned, "I swear on my left butt cheek that I'll never flirt with
Sara at the deli so long that I don't have time to bring you your pastrami on
rye again."

Jim grabbed a couch pillow and lobbed it at Blair's head. Laughing, Blair jumped
back and brought his hands up to fend off the assault.

"Hey, don't mess up the do. I want to give Maria a chance to mess it up," He
leered with full eyebrow wriggling and Jim rolled his eyes.

Blair went into his bedroom and came out a moment later shrugging into his
leather jacket. Yeah, he was pulling out all the stops tonight. Maria must have
been more pissed off than Sandburg was letting on.

As he headed to the door, Jim had to ask, "Hey, if you didn't tell Maria about
the deli girl, what did you tell her?"

"What do you think I told her?" For the first time, Blair sounded a little
defensive, " I told her there was a long line at the deli and there was traffic
and stuff."

"And she bought that?"

"There's nothing to buy, it's the truth. At least most of it. What's your
problem anyway? You're making a bigger deal out of it than Maria."

"No big deal, Chief."

Blair grabbed his keys from the table by the door then started patting down his
pockets making sure he had everything he needed.

"I had no idea pastrami on rye was so important to you."

"It isn't." He picked up his book and began leafing through the pages until he
found his place. He knew Sandburg was looking at him but Jim kept his eyes on
the page where he left off.

"I don't have time for this. I've got to pick Maria up."

"So go."

"I will."

He walked out the door, muttering under his breath about Jim's major

Jim knew exactly what the "malfunction" was. After six months, he still wasn't
sure how far he could trust Sandburg. He was turning out to be one of the best
partner's Jim had ever had and he was handling the Sentinel thing far better
than Jim had initially hoped for.

But Sandburg had a slippery way with manipulating the truth, especially with
the people in his personal life. He hadn't lied to Maria, exactly, just shaded
the truth a bit.

Which made him wonder how often Sandburg shaded the truth with him.




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