To Boldly Go

By Sori


Rated R

Comments: Inspired by this picture.

No beta - all mistakes can be blamed on me. *G*


It was four am and Jim was sitting on the balcony with his chest bare and his skin cold in the early morning air. Instead of sleeping - comfortably wrapped around Blair's warm body and losing himself in the smells of Blair - he was sitting alone, outside, smelling bagels.

The bagel shop down on the waterfront was getting ready to open. The tangy aroma of dough hung in the air, mixing with ocean air and city smells. Jim could piggyback his senses - smell and sight - and he could hear the baker mixing and rolling and could smell the boiling salt water cooking the bagels.

Jim imagined that if he opened his eyes he would be able to squint and see the baker. See the dough and the bubbles in the water and possibly the rising of the dough. It was an interesting idea in a vague not-to-be-tried-really-freakish kind of way. He didn't want to know what the bagels looked like before they hit the bakery shelves. He didn't want to smell their uncooked flour and their boiling water. He wanted his knowledge of bagels to begin and end with the taste of sugary dough exploding in his mouth.

Sometimes the knowing and the sensing ruined the doing. In this case, it ruined the experience of the bagel. He'd eat the bagel but he'd be remembering the slightly bitter smell of uncooked dough and salt water.

"Jim, it's freezing. You okay?"

Jim heard Blair open the balcony door and walk over to stand behind him. He was still warm from bed, and his voice was slightly husky. Not quite awake.

For a moment, Jim enjoyed the thrill of just sensing Blair. He closed his eyes, and let the smell and sound of Blair wash over his soul. A clean, fresh scent like newly washed cotton drifted to him. He separated out the smells and pushed aside the bagels and car exhaust and salt, and concentrated on that one smell. The one that never smelled quite as good as it did in the middle of night, trapped underneath a cocoon of blankets.

He listened to the heartbeat - steady, sure, unwavering. Blair's heartbeat. Jim could never mistake that sound; a simple sound that was so very much Blair.

Jim tilted his head to the side and breathed in deeply. He felt warm hands settle on his shoulders and warm lips softly kiss the back of his neck. Fabric rustled and Jim relaxed as Blair settled next to him, legs crossed Indian style with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

"What's up with you?"

Jim relaxed against Blair and said, "I don't want bagels."

Jim sighed as Blair wrapped one arm around his shoulder, folding both of them up in a blanket of warmth and cottony smells. "So have eggs." And in Blair's world, Jim realized, it really was that simple.

"Sandburg, you're missing my point."

"And beyond the not wanting bagel part, what is your point?" Blair's hand was softly rubbing at Jim's shoulder - a soothing feeling that gave Jim the energy to explain.

"I hate not wanting the bagels. But my senses, they mess up the bagel enjoyment."

Blair leaned over and stuck his cold nose in Jim's neck and even through the shock of cold skin Jim could feel Blair shake his head. "Jim, it's just bagels. If your senses don't let you eat bagels, then you eat eggs. Put cheese on them. Add some salsa. Dip them in ketchup. Life will go on minus the bagels."

"Salsa?" Jim hated salsa and Blair knew that.

Blair lifted his head from Jim's neck and Jim looked at him. He let his sight take him where the smell and sound couldn't go. And as he looked, Jim realized that the thought of not eating bagels wasn't too awful. His senses had taken that pleasure away, but they had also brought Blair into his life.

Jim stared at the little lines around Blair's eyes and remembered tracing them several months ago. With every month they grew a little deeper, a little more pronounced. Jim couldn't figure out when he started liking wrinkles, but Blair's wrinkles told a story that Jim wanted to read. A story Jim wanted to take part in.

"Salsa, man. It's a new frontier in food. Give it a try." And Jim didn't really want to talk about salsa frontiers so he leaned over and softly rubbed his lips against Blair's until Blair opened his mouth and stopped the rubbing and started the kissing.

Jim wrapped his arm around Blair's waist and let his other hand come up and rub restlessly across the hair on Blair's chest. He thought of cotton smells, heartbeats, wrinkles, and the feel of Blair's lips. These had all been unexplored frontiers in the not so distant past. Frontiers that had proven to be well worth bold exploration.

It was a thought that made him laugh; probably not the smartest thing to do with Blair's tongue in his mouth.

"Something funny?" Blair pulled his lips away just enough to ask the question.

"I'm going to boldly go into salsa land, I guess." Jim smiled at Blair's shocked chuckle.

"To boldly go where no Sentinel has gone before, huh? Man, I knew you were a closet Trekkie…"

When Jim kissed Blair this time, it wasn't a soft rubbing of the lips but a deep, shockingly nasty kiss that was all about exploring. It explored the feel of Blair's tongue and the taste of Blair's mouth and the sound of Blair's soft moans. It was a kiss that spoke of passion and need. But somewhere in the kiss - in the soft caress of Jim's hands in Blair's hair - it spoke of something deeper.

Jim pulled his mouth away and looked into Blair's eyes and said, "You know how I feel, right?"

Blair shook his head and smiled. "Yeah, I know you love me."

And with Blair's kiss, Jim forgot to care about bagels and eggs and salsa. Right now, he was busy boldly going.

And boldly going was a great, wonderful thing when Blair was along for the ride.


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