Cascade had been enjoying some particularly fine weather over the last week and it was set to continue. For once, their luck was in as Blair, Jim and Simon had arranged to take a week off to go fishing at Stephen's cabin.
It was the evening before they were due to leave and Simon had challenged Blair to a fly-tying competition, the results to be tested first thing in the morning after arriving at the cabin.
They sat at the kitchen table with their fly-making paraphernalia in front of them while Jim - there was only one word for it - prowled round the loft.
"Sandburg. What's up with Jim?" Simon whispered to Blair.
Blair leaned forward, his glasses slipping down his nose, and beckoned Simon closer in a confidential manner.
"Simon, he's a sentinel, he could still hear you from the lobby if he wanted to." He said in a normal tone of voice.
"Hmph." Simon finished tying a piece of feather to his hook and then looked over to where Jim had opened the balcony doors to let some of the oppressive heat out.
"Well?" He asked Blair.
"Simon? Why don't you ask Jim?"
"Because you probably know what's up with him?"
"Well for once, I don't." Blair swung round in his seat. "Hey, Jim? What's up?"
Jim looked round, a slight frown on his face.
"Can't put my finger on it, Chief." He turned back to the balcony. "Something's coming though."
Blair put down his pliers and came across to Jim.
"You're sensing something?"
"A change in the air."
"Wow." Blair bounced slightly. "The weather forecast says it's going to stay fine, do you think the meteorologists are wrong?"
"Can't say. All I know is that my skin's itching and I can smell rain."
Before Blair could grill him further Simon called across.
"Come on, Sandburg, I've finished my fly and while Jim may be able to predict the weather I can predict a twelve pounder being caught with it."
"Simon, it's a documented fact that sentinels could tell when a change in the weather was imminent." Blair sat down, picked up his pliers, wound a strand of fishing line round the hairs on his hook and tied it off.
"What the hell is that?" Simon looked at what Blair had tied and burst out laughing. It looked like a miniature toilet brush.
"That, my fine Captain, is the fly which is going to beat yours hands down."
"Sandburg, if you catch anything with that fly, I'll stand buck naked in the middle of the river and sing Yankee Doodle Dandy."
"Now that I can't wait to see." Blair carefully released his fly and attached it to his denim fishing hat, the only one to adorn it at the moment.
"Simon, you'd better get on home, we're in for a bad storm." Jim closed the balcony doors and grabbed Simon's coat from beside the front door.
"Are you sure, Jim? The weather channel definitely didn't say anything about rain." Simon took his coat anyway and put it on.
"I'm sure." For the first time ever, Jim was confident about what his senses were telling him and he wanted Simon to be safe inside when the storm hit.
"Right, see you tomorrow morning then, five o'clock start."
Jim closed the door after Simon and bolted it. He then went into Blair's room and made sure his windows were secure.
"Jim. I've never seen you like this before." Blair packed away everything from the kitchen table and then handed Jim a beer.
"I've never felt a storm like this before, Chief."
Jim suddenly turned towards the balcony and looked out. Blair looked up just in time to see a flash of sheet lightning. He saw Jim wince and came across to him.
"Dial it down." He said, laying a hand on Jim's arm.
"It's about ten miles away."
"You can tell that?"
"Wow." Blair took a sip of beer. "You know, I was in Africa this one time, on safari with Naomi, and we were caught in a lightning storm. It was the most amazing experience. I swear my hair didn't settle down for days."
"Want to watch the storm then, Chief?"
Jim opened the balcony doors again and they stepped out.
"You might want to secure some of your plants."
Blair moved a couple of pots so that they were in a more sheltered position and settled back beside Jim who was leaning against the doors.
They didn't have long to wait before the forked lightning started. It lit up the sky and was soon followed by the crashes of thunder.
"Here it comes." Jim murmured.
Moments later the city skyline was obscured by the torrential rain, washing away the heat, leaving the air fresh and clean smelling.
Half an hour later it was all over barring a few distant flashes of lightning.
"It's over." Blair nudged Jim. "What's the weather going to be like for our trip?"
Jim closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He let it out and smiled.
"Clear for the rest of the week."
"Cool, I'm looking forward to hearing Simon singing Yankee Doodle Dandy. Can do without seeing him naked though." Blair followed Jim inside.
"Chief? Just what did you use to make your fly?"
"My own hair." Blair held up a slightly shorter lock of hair by his ear.
"Guaranteed to attract, eh Chief?" Jim came up behind Blair and buried his nose in the mass of curls, slipping his arms round his lover. Leaning back into his sentinel's arms, Blair grinned.
"Well sure, I mean, look what I've caught so far."
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