Residual Evidence
by Ainm





A/N: Sequel to Destroying the Evidence. It didn't necessarily warrant a sequel, but I hate the boys to be unhappy... Takes place in the loft the morning after Blair's date with Bianca. If this messes with established canon on Jim's sense of taste, well... call it an AU. ;-) Thanks (I think! ;-) ) to misanthrope7842 for sparking the idea, and for reading it through for me.


"So what did you cook for her, Chief? It smelled great."

"Penne al' arrabiata."


"Arrabiata -- it's a spicy sauce, tomato-based with garlic and crushed red pepper and fresh basil... I like to make it with a big handful of the romano cheese we get at Luigi's, the good stuff, you know?"

"Sounds good."

"It's terrific... I haven't made it for you because it's so spicy."

"Yeah." Meaning it's yet another thing I can't share with you. Got it.

They were quiet for a minute, lost in their own gustatory remembrances.

"You know, I miss it," Jim said suddenly.

"Penne al' arrabiata?"

"Not that specifically -- I don't know that I've ever had it. But spicy food in general. Garlic. Chiles. You know."

"No, man, I don't know. I had no idea. I mean, well, Wonderburger..."

"Look, Sandburg, just because I like indulging in a nice all-American burger once in a while doesn't mean that I have the tastes of a six-year-old."

"But you only ever eat..." -- Blair looked at Jim's raised eyebrow -- "...oh. Oh."

"I eat what I have to eat to get along without trouble. Just one of the prices of being a human crime lab, hmm? Doesn't mean I don't miss it."

"I should have known; I'm sorry."

"Not your fault."

"Have you tried just dialing down taste?"

"Sure, but either it still is too sharp to taste good or it doesn't taste like anything at all. And I don't feel right when I've got taste down -- makes me kind of paranoid. I'm pretty used to it, though."

"Still, it sucks though, I guess."

"Yeah, well." Jim shrugged. "So isn't feeding your date garlic a little odd?"

"It's OK if you both have it -- or if you both love it enough not to care."

"Well I hope she loves it, because you must have fed her a ton."

"Well... she didn't really eat much. But how do you know how much was in there -- was it that strong when you came home? I tried everything I could think of to keep the scent down, especially because of the red pepper."

"No, it was OK, just enough to make it smell good," Jim reassured him, carefully not mentioning that the stench of her perfume was almost enough to ruin it for him.

"Well, what then?" Blair prompted.

"It's just that, well... I can smell it on you."

"What? I've brushed my teeth twice since then!"

"No, not like that... I think it comes through in your sweat, I can smell it coming off your skin."

"No way! That's so cool! I mean, it's a you thing, right, it's not like I'm stinky enough for everybody to smell, am I?"

"Don't worry, it's a me thing. It's kind of nice, really... I mean, it's muted so much that I can enjoy it vicariously. It's like I got to eat the meal with you instead of her." As the words left his mouth, he realized what he had just said. "I mean, I got to eat the spicy food. Like her. I mean, no, she's not spicy. Well, I don't know -- is she spicy, Chief?"

Somewhere in mid-flounder he'd decided that if he couldn't actually make sense, he could take a tip from Blair and confuse him into forgetting what they were talking about, and he put a hand on his hip and looked at Blair questioningly, even though he'd already forgotten what he'd asked.

Blair definitely looked confused. "Is she spicy? I don't know, Jim. Maybe you want to go lick her and see if she's garlicky? Feel free -- we broke up last night, after I spent a fortune on the movie, and soda and popcorn that she didn't even eat." He frowned in remembrance, while Jim shuddered at the thought at getting anywhere near that close to the bitch.

"But that's not what you really want, is it, Jim?" Blair's voice had dropped lower, a husky sound that sent a jolt through Jim's whole body. The twists and turns of this conversation had him reeling, and he was only just now processing the fact that Blair wasn't seeing her anymore, and it sounded more like he was upset about last night's monetary loss than the loss of anything more intimate.

He smiled then, realizing that Blair was unattached again and they could go back to just the two of them... but he'd somehow forgotten that they were in the middle of something and that Blair had asked him a question for which smiling might not be the right answer.

"Jim," Blair said in a tone that was somehow stern and sensual at the same time.

"What?" Jim re-focused his attention on his partner.

"You don't want her, do you?"

"God, no."

"What do you want, Jim?" It was like Blair was hypnotizing him with that voice, and Jim found himself swaying toward Blair without the slightest clue anymore what was happening, their gazes locked on one another.

"Jim... what do you want?" Blair asked again, and Jim hoped he understood what Blair was asking him but he couldn't count on it and he didn't want to ruin anything... his mind raced without anything actually coming out of his mouth, but when Blair moved almost imperceptibly towards him, Jim whispered, "Garlic?"

Maybe his answer could be taken several ways, but when Blair pushed up his shirt-sleeve and held out his bare forearm to Jim, there didn't seem to be too many ways to interpret that.

Jim closed the distance between them and nuzzled his nose into the crease inside Blair's elbow. He breathed in deeply, salt and sweat and garlic and Blair, and he touched his tongue lightly to the slightly damp skin there. It tasted just like it smelled, only more so, and only a small part of him was thinking about how bizarre it was that he was licking his partner's arm like some sort of mad house pet -- more of him was heaving a sort of whole-body sigh of "finally!", while the biggest part wasn't thinking at all, just enjoying the sensual treat of Blair as he continued to thoroughly taste the area.

He rubbed his face against Blair's forearm, then swiped his tongue along the inside of his arm from wrist to elbow. Blair wiggled away with a laugh.

"It tickles! But... it's a good tickle," he told Jim rather solemnly.

"I didn't like you cooking her dinner, Chief," Jim admitted softly.

"That's fine, Jim, I don't think any of us liked me cooking dinner for her," Blair said with another small laugh. "But you know, she was never it -- they were all just a way to pass the time, something pleasant to occupy myself with because I really didn't think we'd end up here, you know?"

"But now..."

"Now I'm only cooking dinner for you. Right? For you, with you..."

"I'll cook too, you know."

"It was a metaphor, Jim."

"I know, Chief. Only each other, from now on."

"So, Jim -- are you hungry?"





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