Parallel Universe




A/N: Set post show. Written for both the Contrelamontre "fire" challenge, using the full hour and fifteen minutes, and theSentinel_Thurs "TV watching" challenge. Word Count 1271 (eep, sorry). Thanks toJodie for the title.



"I really don't get why you watch this crap," Jim said, settling down next to his partner on their slightly battered couch. The couch had been in near perfect condition two days ago, until Jim had come home from work to find Blair bouncing up and down on it, excited over some show Jim was surprised Blair had even heard of, much less could name secondary characters and plotlines.

Blair was channel surfing again, flipping through the dial until some bit of fluff caught his eye, and he put the remote down and watched, one hand in his bag of yogurt covered raisins - even his snacks were healthy - the other resting comfortably on Jim's thigh. Comfortably for Blair, that is. For Jim, Blair's warm, dexterous fingers, with their almost unconscious wriggling and scratching were an exquisite torture, much more compelling than anything he could see on the TV.

And that's where it all started; Blair's obsession with television, or at least his insistence that so many of the shows he loved paralleled the life he and Jim shared. "Look at Buffy, for instance. She's like the Sentinel of Sunnydale," Blair had commented. He thought maybe there was some sort of a paper in it. Self Identification and the Fictional Media, or some such nonsense. Jim, who could always call Blair on his bullshit, saw it for what it was: a chance for Blair to veg out on TV and DVDs and not feel guilty for slacking off.

Not that Jim blamed Blair for wanting some downtime. It had been a difficult couple of months for both of them. A scandal involving some local government officials, a few bad cops (luckily no one with whom he and Blair worked closely,) and a teenage prostitution ring had left them both feeling soiled and sad. A lesser man than Blair would have let the moral detritus of Cascade's less than finest citizens wash over him, shaking it off like a dog in a filthy puddle. But Blair was dog-like in his loyalty, his belief in the innate goodness of people, until he witnessed enough evidence to see that proven wrong. More than anything, Jim hated Blair's kicked puppy look, and if hours of mindless television would restore his partner's usual exuberance, he was all for it.

Even if it meant he had to sit through the six-hour Starsky and Hutch marathon on TVLand.

Unfortunately, Jim hated Starsky and Hutch. Hated the godawful costumes - he hadn't dressed that badly in the 70s, he didn't think. He couldn't stand the stereotypical characters, ridiculous cases, or laughable attempts at realism. Having gone through the whole Golden thing with Blair just made him scoff at the "Hutch gets forced into Heroin addiction" episode.

About the only thing Jim could relate to was the obvious bond the partners shared. That definitely paralleled his own with Blair, to the point that he was surprised it was so blatantly shown on screen. As Blair put it, "Look Jim, look at the way they leap into each other's arms. If this were HBO, they'd probably be fucking."

"Not every partnership is as lucky as ours, Chief," Jim told him, pulling Blair in closer, and kissing him through the commercial break. He didn't care about the show; much less the two doofuses who'd filmed a remake of it, and were attempting humorous commentary on the original. But he knew Blair did, so he limited his exploration of Blair's delectable lips to lulls in the programming, hoping that soon Blair would be distracted enough to forget the four other episodes the cable channel would be showing. Jim could see the little red "record" light was glowing on the VCR anyway, so it wasn't like Blair would be missing his program.

If he had to admit it to himself, what Jim hated even more than the asinine show itself, was the thought of the guys teasing them about the superficial resemblance he and Blair had to the pair. "Isn't he a little short to be Starsky?" "Yeah, but the car's still a piece of crap."

"Maybe you'll like this better," Blair had said, switching to Smallville when the old cop show failed to interest Jim. Jim could understand why he'd think so. He'd heard the Sentinel/Superman thing often enough. It was all too implausible for his liking.

Not so for Blair, who was on a television kick like Jim had never seen, finding something he could relate to in a wider variety of programs than his usual TLC and PBS watching. Sometimes Blair craved bad TV the way Jim hankered after WonderBurgers.

"Okay, Chief," he had said, after a particularly hard to believe episode. "So Clark shoots fire out of his eyes when he's turned on? How is it that he doesn't burn the house down when he's supposedly dreaming about Lana? Or even when he's thinking about his billionaire boyfriend? It doesn't make any sense. And what about the Super-hearing? It only took him a couple of hours to figure that all out-and he didn't even have a Guide!"

Blair had just looked at him like he was crazy. "Jim, you do know that he's fictional, right? Comic book characters don't have to be real. Plus, you know, it's on the WB. The only thing lower than that is UPN. Besides, he's an alien, not a Sentinel."

"Yeah, well, the whole thing bugs me. Hits too close to home, I guess."

"Oh, Jim, haven't you figured out by now that I'd rather die myself than have anyone hurt you, or experiment on you?" Damn. Jim really hadn't been trying to make Blair feel guilty.

"I know. At least your tests were supposed to help me, too. And I know how much you sacrificed for me. I'll never be able to thank you enough." Jim hated thinking about all that Blair had given up for him. He was so generous of spirit, and here Jim was, bitching about the TV? He made a mental note to pick up those DVDs of that show about the aliens with pyramids that Blair liked so much. It took so little to cheer his partner up.

If Blair had asked, Jim would have told him he'd much rather be watching Sports Night. Now there was a show he could get into. Dan and Casey were best friends, and partners, just like he and Blair were. You could see it from the way they worked off each other onscreen. True, they rarely mentioned the Jags, but that was probably because his beloved team wasn't having the best season. Blair liked Sports Night as well, though Jim had his suspicions that it was because he was speculating 'were they or weren't they?' He didn't know for sure, but more power to them if they were. It probably wasn't any easier being in love with your male partner if you were in TV sports than it was if you were a cop.

But from the way Blair had finally stopped paying attention to the action on the TV, and was in fact, currently stroking Jim's chest in the most delicious way, as he opened Jim's sweater, button by button, it was clear they weren't going to get to watch Sports Night after all.

Jim had no complaints whatsoever when Blair switched the television off. He knew Clark would save the day in some spectacular way, and he and Lana would watch the created sun sink into the Vancouver, Kansas sky.

But it would have to go on without them. He and Blair had plans for some special effects of their own.





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