Nothing But The Truth
Notes: Sorry Fluterbev, I'm guilty of stereotyping!
"I didn't touch it, honest!" Blair held his hands up as Jim's computer screen went blank.
"You wouldn't know honest if it stood up and bit you on the ass!" Jim threw out angrily as he thumped the top of the monitor, furious that he's just lost an hour worth of work. He didn't see the flash of hurt in Blair's eyes before the normally soft blue turned hard.
"That's a shitty thing to say, Jim."
"But true." Jim scowled over his shoulder at the apparent culprit.
"Fine." Blair grabbed his backpack and stood up, sending his chair skittering backwards to slam into the wall behind him, and stomped out of the bullpen.
"What's up with Sandy?" Megan stared as the door banged shut hard enough to rattle the glass.
"Huh?" Jim picked up the phone to dial the IT department.
"Sandy? Small, cute guy?"
"What?…oh, this is Detective Ellison in Major Crimes…yes, my computer just crashed…yes…fine, I'll do that…" he put the phone down and pressed the restart button, then looked up at Megan.
"What's up with Sandy?"
"Don't bother." Megan sighed and hurried after Blair. Sometimes she just wanted to kick Ellison from here to Sunday, the way he treated his partner.
Eventually tracking Blair down at the university, she stood in the doorway and watched him run his hands over his face, scrubbing tiredly at his eyes before dropping them to the pile of papers lying unevenly on his desk.
"You okay, Sandy?"
"Huh? Oh, hi Megan." He started to shuffle papers around but then stopped and looked up, "Do you think I'm a compulsive liar?"
"Does everyone take what I say with a pinch of salt?"
"Where did you get that idea from?"
"…a crock of shit most of the time." Megan pulled out a chair and sat next to him, grabbing hold of a hand and shaking it to emphasize her point. "Isn't this whole sentinel thing at the station a big lie? How would he feel if you didn't come up with all these excuses to explain what he does, hmm? You'd never deliberately hurt anyone, so what does it matter?"
"Forget what Jim thinks!" Megan shook his hand again, "You're one of the most honest people I know, and if Jim can't see that, then he doesn't deserve to have his abilities."
"Thanks, I think."
"Too right. Anyway, what brought all this on?"
"He said I wouldn't know honest if it stood up and bit me on the ass. I honestly…" he rolled his eyes at the pun, "…didn't know he felt like that. I thought he knew me."
"I'm sure he does…"
"It hurt, you know? After all we've been through; it really hurt to hear it." Blair sighed, "I know it was probably him blowing off steam over the crash and everything…but it hurt, all the same."
At the sight of her friends' miserable face, Megan wished she had Jim Ellison in front of her so she could kick him. Hard. He didn't deserve to have someone like Sandy on his side, keeping his secrets at the expense of Blair's own integrity. As an idea slowly formed in her head, a smile spread across her face and she leant forward, squeezing Blair's hand to gain his attention.
"So hurt him back." She suggested.
"Don't lie…sorry, obfuscate…for him. Be completely honest for a day."
"I can't do that!"
"'Course you can."
"That's the whole point," Megan pointed out reasonably, "and he'll find out that you only do it for him."
"I suppose one day wouldn't hurt…" Blair frowned thoughtfully.
"And don't worry about upsetting anyone, Sandy, I'll tell them that it's all part of a study you're doing."
Blair managed to avoid going back to the station for the rest of the day, and was making stir fry when Jim came home. He'd decided to start the experiment straight away, so he knew he'd be tested before the evening was over. Jim had a date tonight with Sarah Johnson from Forensics (personally Blair wouldn't have gone fishing in an old pond, but Jim wasn't known for his tact even with Carolyn gone), and unfortunately she and Blair didn't get on. It may have had something to do with her being one of Sam's closer friends, or the fact that Blair just didn't like seeing Jim all over another tall, leggy redhead. Damn.
At the moment, Jim was either choosing to ignore the fact that he'd upset Blair, or he really was completely oblivious and insensitive. Blair was going with the insensitive angle personally. He watched surreptitiously as Jim hung his coat and gun up then ran lightly up the stairs to get ready for his date. It would be shower, change, and then out to pick Sarah up and then back to the loft afterwards. The 'no sex' rule only applied to Blair, who had resorted to meditating with headphones on in his room or disappearing to Megan's for the night. He chose to let Jim think he was out clubbing; deliberately misleading him into thinking he had a social life outside of the loft, even though Jim's sensitive nose could tell otherwise if he ever bothered to use it.
But, he'd promised Megan to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for the next 24 hours, so if Jim asked what he had planned for the night, he'd have to tell him. But Jim never asked him anymore.
"Still up, Sandburg?" Jim asked as he ushered Sarah into the loft, surprised to see his roommate still up. He'd expected him to be gone for the night like he usually was when Jim had a date.
"Couldn't sleep." Blair had the afghan tucked around his shoulders and a mug of…Jim sniffed appreciatively…hot milk with nutmeg and honey cupped between his hands.
"Oh. Well, Sarah came up for a nightcap." Jim went to the fridge and extracted the bottle of wine he'd placed there earlier. "You want a glass?"
"No, thanks. Not keen on that one."
"I thought you liked it?" Jim frowned; he was sure Sandburg had praised it the other day when Sarah had brought it.
"Too acidic." Blair shrugged, sipping his milk. He tucked the blanket more firmly around his shoulders and made no attempt to leave them alone. Sarah sat perched awkwardly on the other sofa and smiled at Jim in relief when he handed her a glass of wine. Normally Blair would have been chatting away, but tonight he was unaccountably silent. Jim wondered if there was anything wrong.
"You not turning in then, Sandburg?"
"I said I wasn't tired, Jim, but I can always go to my room if you and Sarah want to be alone."
"No, no, you stay where you are." Jim wasn't sure what to do in this situation; it was one thing to take Sarah upstairs when Sandburg's door was shut, and quite another to do it while he was awake and sitting downstairs, knowing what they were doing up there. It was enough to put any man off his stroke.
Fifteen minutes of awkward silence had Sarah quietly asking Jim to call her a cab, and ten minutes after that she was gone. Blair had disappeared into his room while she was saying goodbye and Jim was left alone to lock up, debating whether to confront him now or in the morning. He knocked on the French doors and entered without waiting for a response, surprising Blair in the act of changing for the night.
"You okay, Chief?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
"You're normally a lot friendlier than that." Jim leaned against the door jamb, "I thought you liked Sarah?"
Damn, now Blair would have to tell the truth, "Not really."
"Oh? What's the matter with her?"
Apart from the fact that she's in your bed? "She dyes her hair and wears too much make-up and perfume."
"That's a bit shallow, Chief, and not really a good excuse."
"So? It's the truth." Blair got in bed and turned towards the wall, "Goodnight, Jim."
"Sandburg, where's Jim?" Simon stopped by Jim's desk after lunch.
"Downstairs in Forensics."
"Getting that file I asked for? I thought that was your job."
"No, he's asking Sarah out to dinner tonight." Blair didn't bother looking up from the report he was typing, and felt a perverse pleasure that he was just about to land Jim in the shit with his boss. It also pissed him off that his Masters degree only qualified him as a gofer in Simon's eyes; he'd hate to think what a PhD would do for him.
Jim hadn't sat down for two minutes when the bellow came.
"ELLISON!" prompting him to hurry into Simon's office.
"Kindly arrange your love life on your own time, not the taxpayer's."
"I don't expect you to be chatting to your girlfriend when you should be getting me that report ready." Simon wondered what Ellison had done to turn Sandburg against him, because it must be pretty big if Blair wasn't covering for him.
"It won't happen again, Sir." No, because Sarah had just dumped him.
"See that it doesn't, and get me that report!"
"Chief? How did Simon know I was downstairs?"
"I told him."
"He asked where you were, so I told him." Blair carried on typing as Jim slumped in his chair.
Then he caught sight of what Blair was entering into the report program.
"Sandburg? What the hell are you doing?" he hissed, leaning over Blair's shoulder and jabbing a finger at the screen.
"Typing up your reports, Jim." Wide, innocent eyes looked up at him.
"You can't put that in there!"
"Why not? It's the truth."
"You know why not!"
"Oh, I was under the impression that you didn't want me to lie anymore. You should make your mind up, Jim; it can get confusing for me." Blair stood up after carefully deleting all reference to Jim using his enhanced senses, "I'd better let you do them yourself." And he sauntered off to chat to Megan.
Jim stared across the room at his friend, wondering again what was wrong with him. Blair had been in a funny mood ever since Jim's computer had crashed the day before and thinking back, Jim realized it had been his comment about Blair's honesty that had triggered it. Shit, he relied on Blair to come up with the excuses needed to explain his senses, and there were at least twenty reports to type. Still, it could be fun to watch Sandburg squirm, especially if asked particularly personal questions…
Struggling through the morass of paperwork, Jim monitored Blair for the rest of the day, tuning in on his conversations and keeping track of his heartbeat; either he had really good control over his vitals, or Sandburg genuinely believed that was he was saying was the truth. He also realized that Blair was adept at manipulating conversations so that he was never asked for his opinion on anything. Jim now felt guilty over his crack yesterday, and his damned sense memory brought back the hurt look in Blair's eyes; it had been like kicking a whipped puppy.
He really should apologize, he decided, and finished typing the last report, saving it just as Blair came back from the break room. He stood up and handed him his jacket, resting a hand on his shoulder and squeezing slightly.
"You want Chinese tonight, Chief?"
"Aren't you seeing Sarah later?"
"We had a mutual parting of the ways."
"Uh huh. She dumped you." Blair knew Jim's offer of dinner was an unspoken apology, and the knowledge that Sarah was no longer in the picture made him feel generous enough to accept.
"Chief? If I hadn't stopped you, would you really have written those reports?"
"No." Blair glanced at his watch.
An enigmatic smile crossed Blair's lips. "Would I lie to you?"
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