My Lips are Sealed
Author Notes: Not beta'd I'm afraid, so if anyone picks up on any mistakes, let me know.
Megan dumped her bag on her desk after hanging up her coat and made her way immediately to where Jim was doing his usual one finger typing of a report; Blair not being in for another four hours.
"Jimbo, when's Sandy going to be in?"
She ignored his laser sharp glare as she perched her butt on the corner of his desk and tapped the top of his monitor.
"Lunchtime." He grunted and backspaced the words he'd just written.
"Do you think if I ask nicely he'll give me the recipe for that ostrich chilli we had last night? My folks are coming over for a visit and I know my Dad will love it."
Joel, who was passing, heard her and stopped by the desk.
"I've been after that recipe since I first tried it, Megan, he won't tell anyone how it's made."
"What, not even you, Jimbo?"
"Not even me, Connor." Jim gave up on the report and sat back, taking a gulp of stale coffee and grimacing.
"It's a closely guarded secret, he makes it when he knows I'm not going to be home or he asks me to go out for a couple of hours."
"You're kidding." Megan was sure they were winding her up.
"No, trying to get that recipe out of Sandburg is like trying to get blood out of a stone; or a report out of Ellison." Simon had managed to sneak up on them and stood there glaring. "Don't you people have work to do?"
They scattered and Simon turned his attention to Jim.
"That Keswick report? Will I be getting it some time today?"
"This afternoon, Captain." Jim kept his head down; Simon was obviously in one of his moods.
"I expect to see it on my desk by two o'clock." Clamping a cigar between his lips, Simon stomped back to his office.
"Jeez, and they say men don't get PMS." Jim heard Megan mutter. Seeing that Simon was watching, Jim just managed to hide the smile threatening to appear on his face; he didn't want to wind up assigned to Traffic.
"Hey Jim." Blair breezed into the bullpen having acknowledged everyone who was there as he passed his or her desks, and dumped his ever-present backpack under the desk before firing up his PC.
"Simon wants the Keswick report ASAP."
"Okay, let's see what you've said so far." Blair brought up the file and read what Jim had painstakingly written earlier in the day. "Okay, I can work with this." And set to work re-writing it. Twenty minutes later he printed off the report and handed it to Jim for review.
"You never cease to amaze me with the excuses you come up with." Jim marvelled as he read the brilliant piece of fiction Blair had created to explain the way he'd used his senses to get the information needed to arrest John Keswick on fraud charges.
"I know." Blair's grin was smug as he worked his way through the rest of Jim's pile of reports.
"Better get this to Simon, he was on the warpath earlier."
Jim wasn't around the next day when Blair came in and neither were anyone else. He shrugged and headed to the break room for coffee. He was about to push the door, which was slightly ajar, a bit further open when he heard his name mentioned. He peeked through the gap and saw Joel, Rafe, H and Megan round the coffee pot.
"Sandy won't give me the recipe so I'll just have to find other ways to get it." Megan was saying.
"I've been trying for two and a half years to get that chilli recipe and he hasn't revealed it yet." Joel shook his head.
"How much do you want to bet?"
"I'm in." H rubbed his hands together. "How much?"
"Fifty dollars." Megan dug into her purse and got out her wallet. The others got out theirs and soon two hundred dollars were sitting on the table.
"Who's going to hold it?" Rafe asked.
"Me." Joel picked it up. "You've got two weeks to get the recipe, through fair means or foul."
"Cool, I've been wanting to try that new surveillance equipment." Megan grinned.
"How is that going to help?" Rafe asked. "He'll be cooking."
"Yeah, but I'll be able to see what he's putting in the pot. I'll ask him to make some for me and I'll be watching when he does."
Blair crept away, grinning, he had the upper hand now and he was looking forward to the lengths Megan would go to for that recipe.
"Simon, Jim, you want in on the recipe pool?" Joel poked his head round the door to Simon's office later that afternoon.
"What's it all about?" Simon asked.
"Megan's bet she can get Blair's ostrich chilli recipe off him in two weeks. We've all put fifty dollars in, if she wins she gets the lot, if not, she has to give us each fifty."
"I'm in, always happy to take money from the colonials." Jim grinned and handed him two twenties and a ten.
"Me too." Simon also handed over his money.
"No warning Blair now, Jim."
"Hey, no problem."
Three days later Megan was all set to stake out the loft. She had her high-powered binoculars and long range microphone and she'd asked Blair to make her a batch of chilli for some friends she was having round. He'd promised to make it that evening while Jim was working out at the gym, so she was all set.
She was checking the headphones when Blair came in mid morning. He lowered his backpack carefully to her desk and opened it up.
"I hope you don't mind, Megan, I brought this now, but don't worry, it'll keep fine in the fridge." He took an airtight container out of his bag and put it on her desk.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"The ostrich chilli you ordered. Enjoy." Blair closed his backpack and crossed over to where Jim was sitting watching. With Blair's back to Megan he was unable to see her throw the surveillance into her drawer in frustration, but Jim did and he grinned at her sour look.
It was over a week later and the pool members were in the break room. Megan had tried everything to get Blair to reveal his recipe and the secret ingredient that made it so special. She'd begged. She'd pleaded. She'd offered him money, and for a second he'd pretended to consider it, raising her hopes, but then he'd grinned and refused.
She'd offered to buy him some books, and he'd been tempted; books were his other passion, Jim being his first, but he'd again refused.
"I'm going to give it one more shot." Megan took a gulp of coffee. "If I don't have the recipe by tomorrow night I'll concede defeat and give you all your fifty dollars."
"What's your next tactic?" Simon asked.
"I'm going to seduce it out of him." She watched indignantly as they all burst out laughing. "What? You don't think I can do it?"
"No offence, Connor, but I think it's Sandburg who likes to wear the trousers." Jim was the first one to get himself under control while the others were still sniggering.
"You don't think I can do it!" Megan was getting angry.
"Sandburg's a little wary of all strong women, Connor." Simon tried to placate her.
"Just you wait, I'll show you!" Megan stormed out.
"You think we were too hard on her?" Joel asked.
"Nah, she'll get over it." Jim responded.
"See you later, Jim." Blair called out and slammed the door behind him on his way out to have a drink with Megan.
"Yeah, see you." Jim turned back to the television, unaccountably depressed.
Two hours later Jim heard the key in the door and his roommate stormed in.
"Can you believe it, Jim?" His coat was thrown at the hooks, missed and dropped to the floor.
"If you tell me what it is you want me to believe I'll tell you if I believe it or not." Jim came across and hung up his coat before following Blair into the kitchen.
"Megan tried to seduce me!" Blair grabbed two beers and opened them before handing one to Jim and taking a drink from the other.
"I take it she didn't succeed?"
"Hell no! She's supposed to be my friend! I can't believe she tried to seduce me just to win a two hundred dollar bet!"
"Not you too!"
"And Simon, so it was for a three hundred dollar bet if it makes you feel any better."
"No, it doesn't!"
"Hang on, Chief, you knew about the bet?"
"Well of course I knew about the bet!"
"Oh." Jim took a swig of beer. "Chief, they really wanted to know what's in the chilli."
"You too, Jim?"
"Not really, Chief, I could work out what it is if I really wanted to."
"You could?" Blair sank down onto the sofa next to Jim. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Can't a man have some secrets, Chief?" Jim smiled at him and Blair acknowledged the hit with a salute of his bottle.
Jim laughed suddenly.
"You should have seen her face when you brought in the chilli that day."
"Well, I couldn't have her listening in and watching, could I?"
"Not much for her to see or hear, Chief." More's the pity he thought.
Oh God, I said that out loud? Jim groaned.
"You know, Jim, I might be persuaded to reveal a few secrets." Blair scooted closer and removed the bottle from Jim's hand. "Given the right incentive."
"To paraphrase - Mr Sandburg, are you trying to seduce me?" A small smile hovered on Jim's lips as Blair ran his hand up Jim's arm and allowed it to rest at the back of his neck, urging Jim towards him.
"I might be. Is it working?"
Jim looked down at their laps; back up into Blair's eyes and grinned.
"Looks like it."
"Oh good." Blair leaned forward and his lips caught Jim's in a gentle, exploratory kiss.
Much later, in the comfort of Jim's big bed, Blair, looking thoroughly debauched, rested his chin on Jim's chest and blew a stray lock of hair out of his eyes.
"You okay, Chief?" Jim tucked it back behind Blair's ear when it fell forward again.
"I'm fine, great in fact." Blair grinned. "In fact, I think I'll let you seduce me again."
"Chief? I think it was you doing the seducing."
"Maybe the first time, Jim, but I distinctly remember you doing the seducing the second, third and fifth time."
"Not very well if you can still remember." Jim ruffled Blair's curls. "So, going to tell me what the secret ingredient is?"
Blair pondered for a moment and then leaned up and whispered the secret ingredient in Jim's ear, confirming Jim's suspicion; he was a sentinel after all.
"Promise not to tell anyone?" Blair asked.
"My lips are sealed."
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