Author notes: Thanks to Moonglow for fine-tuning the plot.
“Naomi! Blair didn’t tell me you were coming.” Jim opened the door wider to let his roommate’s mother in.
“He doesn’t know, I thought I’d surprise him.” Naomi carried her suitcase inside and dumped it beside the door.
“I think you’re the one who’s going to be surprised, Naomi. He’s not here.”
“I can see that, Jim. When is he due home?”
“He left last night for a seminar in Chicago. One of the professors at Rainier couldn’t make it and he was asked to go in his place.”
“Oh! I was hoping to surprise him for his birthday.”
Jim could see where Blair inherited his pout from now. That pout that always appeared when Jim refused to do any more tests; that pout that always made Jim want to suck that bottom lip into his mouth and nibble on it. He realised he didn’t get the urge to do that with Naomi though, which was a huge relief.
“You’re welcome to stay though, I think he left his room tidy, and the sheets have just been changed.”
“Thank you, Jim, I’ll take you up on that offer.” Naomi looked around the loft and wandered further into the living area. “You’ve redecorated.”
“Uh, yeah, Blair’s masks didn’t really look right against white walls.”
“And a new sofa.” She smoothed her hands over the suede cushions.
“Look, Naomi, don’t get me wrong, but you’re not going to start rearranging things are you?”
“Oh no, Jim, I can see you and Blair have learnt your lessons on Feng Shui this time.”
Jim gritted his teeth, mentally chanting 'I will not kill my roommate’s mother, I will not kill my roommate’s mother', though he did wonder how long it would be before anyone would realise she was missing. No, as much as he thought her a pain in the ass, Blair did love her and would miss her. So, Jim would let her live.
“How long do you think you’re going to be here?”
“Trying to get rid of me already, Jim?” Naomi cut through his, to him, insincere protestations with a tinkling laugh. “Only three or four days, Jim, don’t worry. I’m expected at a retreat in Sri Lanka and will be away for six or seven months.”
“Will you be leaving a number where Blair can contact you?”
“I expect so.”
Jim spent the next couple of days avoiding the loft as much as possible. He remembered Blair once saying that a little of Naomi went a long way and he realised how true that was. She didn’t have the soothing, calming presence that Blair had for all his energy.
Three days into her stay Simon threw him a lifeline and sent him out of state to bring back a suspect in the murder case they were working on.
“I’ll say goodbye now, Naomi, you’ll probably be gone by the time I get back.”
“You take care, Jim.” She wrapped him in a perfumed hug and he manfully held back the sneeze.
“You too. Don’t forget to leave a contact number for Blair.”
“Oh man, it’s good to be home.” Blair leaned back against the loft door and let his duffle slip from his fingers to the floor. The seminar had been informative but he’d hated the schmoozing he’d had to do. That was the worst part of academia but he’d managed to obtain two grants that would see him through the next semester.
“Jim? You home?”
Silence greeted him and he sighed. All he wanted was a nice, long hot shower and his bed. Actually that wasn’t all he wanted, but he wasn’t likely to get Jim in either of those locations. Oh well, an anthropologist could dream couldn’t he?
He shuffled to the bathroom where he indulged in his long hot shower, scrubbing the travel stains from his body and letting the hot water soothe residual aches and pains.
With just a towel round his hips and now clean and relaxed, he carried his duffle into his room and opened his closet for a clean pair of sweats.
“What the...” He stared at where his flannel shirts used to be. In their place were a range of Jim’s shirts. Hanging next to them were Jim’s pants and on the shelves, neatly folded, were Jim’s T-shirts. Loafers were neatly placed on the shoe rack along with a pair of hiking boots. Nowhere to be seen were his clothes, although his books and papers were neatly stacked on his desk, exactly how he’d left them.
“Oh god…” He sank down onto his bed. No wait, was this really his bed? Was Jim telling him in a less than subtle way that his time was up and he had to go?
No, they were friends. Jim wouldn’t do that, would he? He wouldn’t throw out Blair’s clothes and put his own in their place?~~~
Jim took the stairs two at a time, pleased to be home. Blair was due back today and he wanted to have a hot meal waiting for him.
He extended his hearing effortlessly to check that Naomi was really gone and was alarmed to hear the sound of Blair in the middle of a panic attack. He burst through the door, threw his bag down and rushed into Blair’s room. His breath left his body at the sight of his roommate sitting on his bed in just a towel, hyperventilating.
Blair turned shocked eyes to see Jim standing in the doorway. He made a serious effort to control his breathing but he couldn’t seem to manage it.
Jim came forward and sat beside him, laying a hand on his back and rubbing in circles to try to calm him down.
“What’s up, Chief?” He finally asked as Blair got his breathing under control.
“I thought we were friends, Jim.” Blair said quietly.
“Friends tell each other things.”
“Yes, they do.” Jim was starting to get a bit worried, what was Blair trying to say.
“You could have told me you wanted me to move, you know. You didn’t have to let me come home to this.” Blair motioned vaguely with his hand.
Jim's hand stilled on his back as he looked around the room; nothing seemed out of place.
“What? What the hell are you talking about?”
“What did you do with my clothes?”
“I didn’t do anything with your clothes, Chief.”
Blair was getting over his shock and starting to get angry.
“Then where the hell are they, Jim? They were there last week.”
“Well I didn’t…” Jim stopped. “Naomi.”
“Naomi. She turned up the day after you left, said she wanted to surprise you for your birthday.”
“Some birthday present.” Blair’s anger had died down, leaving him feeling deflated.
“Simon sent me out of state three days after she arrived, she must have done this because I certainly didn’t.”
“Oh.” Blair’s shoulders slumped. “Sorry, Jim.”Jim was staring into the closet and suddenly noticed something on one of the shirts.
“Uh, Chief? Have you actually checked these clothes out?”
“Because they all seem to have labels on them.”
“What?” Blair jumped to his feet, securing the towel when he felt it start to slip, not hearing Jims stifled moan in his haste to check out his closet. “Oh man, not again.” He groaned as he rifled through the hangers.
“What do you mean, not again?”
“She’s done this before, man. I’ve been choosing my own clothes since I was eight years old but every once in a while she comes along, throws everything out, buys me new stuff that she thinks I should wear and then waltzes off, leaving me having to replace it all.” Blair pulled out a blue silk shirt and waved it in Jim’s face. “I mean, can you really see me wearing this?”
Jim caught hold of the sleeve and rubbed it between his fingers. He looked up at Blair and then looked at the shirt, imagining seeing him dressed in the shirt - and nothing else.
“Oh yeah.” He breathed, lost in the mental image.
“Uh, Jim?” Blair caught his breath at the look on Jim’s face, and his body started to respond accordingly, making him aware that he was dressed in just a towel.
Jim looked away from the shirt and up at Blair. He immediately noticed the interest Blair was showing and the corners of his mouth turned up in a smile.
“C’mere.” He hooked his fingers into the towel at Blair’s waist and tugged him towards him.
“What?” Jim pulled him closer and nuzzled his face into the soft hair at Blair’s navel.
“This some new zone I don’t know about?” Blair’s breathing hitched as Jim’s tongue snaked out to investigate his navel.
“Nope.” Jim’s hand moved round to the back of his thigh and cupped one of the cheeks of his ass, making Blair groan.
“Gonna tell me what it is?”
“The right time.”
“It’s the right time for us. We’ve had this hanging between us since you moved in but I was never really sure though if you felt the same way. You’ve never given any indication that you liked me this way before.” Jim smiled up at Blair’s dumbfounded look.
“I thought you were straight.” He finally squeaked as Jim pulled away the towel.
“It’s been a while.” Jim admitted, not taking his eyes from the evidence of Blair’s arousal.
“I heard it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget.”
“Uh huh.” Blair dropped the blue shirt and placed his hands on Jim’s shoulders. “Uh, Jim?”
“You’re a little overdressed here.”
Jim surged to his feet, both of them groaning at the full body press. Blair looked up into Jim’s face and moved his hands from his shoulders to his face before pulling him down for a kiss.
Clothes were rapidly discarded, and for once were left where they fell. The futon groaned but proved sturdy enough when two bodies landed on the colourful spread and proceeded to make full use of the space.
Hours later, all appetites sated, Jim’s rule about eating in bed cheerfully disregarded, Blair sifted through the racks of shirts in his closet, shaking his head over Naomi’s choices. Jim was sprawled against the pillows, looking like a contented cat that had got the cream and was confident that it would get more whenever it liked.
“With any luck she’s left the receipts.” Blair shuddered as he pulled out a pair of heavy weight cords in pale green.
“On your desk.” Jim pointed out.
“I like some of her choices.” Jim’s eyes roamed over the blue silk he’d persuaded Blair into wearing for the last bout of lovemaking.
“Yeah well…” Blair’s eyes went dark at the memory and Jim reached over to tug at his hand, pulling him back onto the bed.
“The garbage truck hasn’t been yet, we’ll check tomorrow to see if we can salvage your clothes.” Jim tucked his lover under his arm and kissed the top of his head.
“Do me a favour Jim?”
“Next time my mother comes to visit? Tell her to fu…” Blair wasn’t allowed to finish as Jim kissed him into silence.
One of the last things Jim thought before his brain turned to jelly was that maybe he wouldn’t kill Naomi the next time he saw her, but he would put a lock on his closet.
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