Revelations: Indeterminate Territory IV
Jim actually felt his stomach roll as Naomi sang out her greeting. From directly behind him Joel snorted out a subvocal sound of derision. It was too quiet for Naomi to have heard... but Jim did, and had to work to hide a sudden smirk.
"Blair called. He's staying the night with that nice Megan Connor. He said he didn't feel right about leaving her alone her first night out of the hospital. Such a good boy, my Blair," Naomi virtually warbled. As she turned from the refrigerator and caught sight of Joel, that bright facade darkened a bit. "Oh, Detective Taggart, how kind of you to see Jim home. You should have called me, Jim. I would have picked you up."
Hoping rather desperately that he was misreading the innuendo he could hear in Naomi's voice, Jim was relieved when Charlie Spring stepped out from behind Joel.
"Charlie! What are you- what a lovely surprise!" Naomi floated towards them in her gauzy caftan, hands outstretched. To a man, they all stepped towards the living area and away from her grasp. "What's going on?" She asked suspiciously.
Jim focused briefly on her heartbeat, which had taken up a sudden, rapid rhythm, and knew she realized she was busted.
"Good question, Naomi. Why don't you tell us?" Jim replied, finally allowing the slow-burning anger he'd been containing for days to enter his voice. "Charlie's had an interesting story to tell."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
But Naomi was lying. Jim could hear it.
"I think you do know," he said grimly before a hand on his arm asked him to fall silent. He watched with no little astonishment as Charlie Spring stalked around him and squared off against Naomi's taller figure.
"I told them everything, Naomi. How you intentionally sent Blair's dissertation to your publisher friend. I even told them why."
"Oh, Charlie, I was afraid your visions would send you over the edge someday, but I didn't think-"
"Stuff it, Naomi," Charlie replied bluntly. "I recorded the whole thing. You know I tape my calls, in case it's a client. I bet you thought I was so pussy-whipped that I'd be willing to let this go. You were wrong. I've already played the tape for Jim, Simon, and Joel, and I'll be playing it for Blair as soon as I see him."
Jim's hand shot out and stopped Naomi's flattened palm scant inches from connecting with Charlie's face.
"I don't think you want to commit assault in front of two police detectives, Naomi."
"You son of a bitch!"
"Uh, no, I guess that would be me," Blair said, standing in the still-open door, his face pained as he looked at Naomi. Jim winced, ignoring Joel's accusatory 'why didn't you know he was there' glance and fixing on Blair, whose expression rapidly hardened to a remarkable degree.
Jim dropped Naomi's hand and barely noticed Charlie pulling him and Joel aside, leaving Naomi to stand alone.
"Blair. Sweetie, I don't know what you think you heard but-"
"I heard enough, Naomi." Blair shook his head slightly. "I wondered, you know. I really wanted to be wrong, but we both know this isn't the first time you've fucked up my life because it wasn't following your agenda."
"Blair, that's not true! Everything I've done has been for you, baby!"
"I haven't been your baby for a very long time." Blair looked away from Naomi, his gaze apologetic as it reluctantly met Jim's. "I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry for bringing this down on your head. I should have known. It was just a matter of time before it all fell apart. It always falls apart."
He turned to leave, and Jim shook off the odd paralysis that had grabbed him on seeing Blair. Naomi tried to stop him; grasping hands like pale spiders crawling over his arm. He unceremoniously brushed her off.
"Keep her out of my way," he directed towards Joel, who blocked the doorway behind his departure.
"Chief, wait!" He hobbled as fast as he could down the hall, fearfully aware that Blair was almost at the stairwell door and wasn't stopping. This was it. If he was ever going to have a chance to convince Blair not to leave Cascade, he had to act now. "Blair, please! Don't- don't leave me!"
It was, he realized much later, the only possible thing he could have said to make Blair pause.
"Jim-" Blair began, turning back to watch him, those blue eyes full of anguish and doubt as Jim approached.
"Don't leave me," he said again, dropping the cane in favor of clutching Blair's strong shoulders, feeling the tiny tremors that were escaping Blair's control. "Don't leave me," he repeated yet one more time, the only thing he could think to say. The most important thing, the only thing that mattered; what he wanted above all other things.
"'What I tell you three times is true'," Blair murmured in the kind of half-assed non sequitur that Jim had grown to love hearing over the years. He leaned his forehead against Blair's and held on tight, almost shaking himself as Blair's arms slowly crept around his waist. This, this was what he needed, what he wanted for the rest of his life, and he gasped as that knowledge forcefully shoved itself up to the front of his brain, scaring him all over again with how near he'd been- how near he was -to fucking it all up.
"I know I don't have the right to ask you to stay, but I'm asking anyway, Blair," Jim whispered and heard Blair sigh; felt the sudden resignation that rolled off him in waves.
"You still don't get it, do you, Jim. You have every right- any right where I'm concerned. Don't you know yet how much I love you?"
Blair tried to pull away on the strength of that bombshell, but Jim wouldn't let go, even more certain it would be a mistake. He slid his hands down Blair's back and held on tightly.
Blair was stiff and unyielding for a long, worrisome moment, then he sagged into Jim's body with an odd little sound that sent pure heat down Jim's spine.
"You love me love me?" Jim asked eagerly, letting Blair's weight, scent and warmth soak into him... relieved beyond measure when he felt Blair's lips twitch against the base of his throat.
"What are we, fifteen? Yeah, I love you love you."
Jim let that assurance spread through him and settle in, then moved one hand to tilt Blair's face up, promising himself that he would never forget the look in Blair's eyes; a dawning radiant joy that told him everything was going to be all right no matter what the rest of the world threw at them.
"I love you love you, too," he confessed, and watched that joy blaze bright in the instant before he kissed Blair's mouth.
"Finally," Joel muttered, ducking back into the loft and closing the door. Naomi glared at him furiously, which he ignored, turning instead to give Charlie Spring a surreptitious thumbs-up.
"You have no right to keep me here. I'll have your badge-"
"Blow it out your ass, Naomi," Charlie said, his tone remarkably relaxed.
"Charlie, how dare you-"
"Oh, I dare a lot, and you're going to listen to me dare more."
"I don't have to listen to you. Thanks to you, Blair knows the truth. There's nothing more you can do to hurt me," she announced dramatically, fat tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Gee, Naomi, martyr much? You'd better think about this. The truth is out, yes. So, what's your next move? You might consider apologizing to your son and Jim and asking them to forgive you... and hey, here's a shocking concept- you could even promise Blair you'll never meddle in his life again, and whatever he decides to do is fine with you, and you'll back him one-hundred percent. That's if you want any kind of place in your son's future," Charlie warned.
"I don't have to do anything. Blair will forgive me, he always does. I'm his mother," Naomi declared haughtily.
"I don't think it will be that easy. This time you hurt someone who matters more to Blair than his own life," Joel supplied, somberly regarding Naomi. "Just how much do you love your son, Ms. Sandburg? Enough to treat him like the strong, intelligent man he is? Enough to put his interests first?"
"Or, at least enough to pretend you do?" Charlie asked, his expression surprisingly full of pity. "You're a good actress, Naomi, you always have been. Suck it up and role-play."
Joel winced, quite sure he didn't want a mental image of Naomi Sandburg and Charlie Spring engaged in any kind of role-play.
"Whatever," Naomi said bitterly, moving over towards the balcony and looking outside. Her shoulders hunched over and she did look quite miserable, even to Joel's jaundiced eye.
"I don't want to lose Blair. He's all I have."
Charlie rolled his eyes, but his voice was gentle when he spoke.
"Then you'd better be prepared to fix this, Naomi."
Oh, sweet fucking heaven. That's what this was, Blair thought wildly, lost in sensation. Jim's mouth on his was so firm and mobile, teasing his lips apart for a deeper taste... A silky wet tongue stroked against his, and Blair felt the kiss burn all the way down to his toes and back up again. Heat settled at his dick, which leaped erect with the kind of speed a teenager would envy.
Fifteen, indeed, some part of his brain gibbered; a part that turned - like the rest of his brain - to mush when Jim's hand fisted in his hair.
He swayed, and Jim took a half-step forward that resulted in a pained groan, abruptly reminding him of Jim's injury. Regretfully pulling away far enough to see Jim's face, he was astonished by the full, beautiful smile Jim beamed in his direction.
Flushed, hot, needy, and struck mute by that smile, all Blair could do was blink.
"I need to lie down," Jim said.
Blair nodded. Yeah, fine, good. That sounded great. Very good idea. Horizontal Jim. Yeah, buddy.
"We need to lie down," Jim added, his grin beginning to look a bit smug in Blair's admittedly befuddled opinion. "Only one problem. There's a room full of people between us and the bed... you want to run away with me?"
"Run away?" He finally managed to croak out; abruptly reminded of the scene he'd just walked out on. "You want to run away with me?"
"Who else?" Jim asked reasonably. "How about a hotel? Or do you have to go back to Connor's?"
"Uh, no. Her mom- mom flew in to stay with her for a few days. She's fine."
"Then run away with me," Jim urged, that hand on his head practically petting him, one thumb rubbing insistent little circles on his temple. Apparently hypnotizing him, because why else would he be giving serious consideration to simply shrugging off all that crap with Naomi and the diss?
Just because Jim was touching him... well, that was a no-brainer.
Blair smiled for what seemed like the first time in weeks, and it felt good.
"Anytime, anywhere, man."
"Grab my cane and let's go," Jim ordered, favoring him with another mind-destroying smile. Blair was only too happy to comply.
Both Joel and Charlie were startled when Naomi threw open the balcony door and stepped outside, her expression frantic. Both men followed, grimacing when she shouted.
"They're leaving- Blair's leaving- Blair! Blair, sweetie! Wait!"
Blair was unlocking the passenger door of Jim's truck and didn't look up, but Jim did. Joel saw him stare at Naomi then touch his fingertips to his forehead, and as Blair carefully ushered Jim inside the truck, Joel understood what the little gesture meant.
So did Naomi.
"He's won," she said unhappily. Charlie grabbed her by the upper arm and shook her gently.
"Damn it, Naomi, it's not a fucking contest! Can't you just be glad for Blair that you didn't completely ruin his relationship with Jim?"
"Glad! He's not good for Blair! Look at what he's already dragged-"
Charlie shook her again, harder this time. Joel wondered briefly if he should remind the psychic about the legal definition of assault and battery in Cascade.
"Let me explain this to you in simple words, Naomi. Hear what I'm telling you! Blair and Jim are meant to be together. They will die without each other. I've seen it. Accept it and move on!"
Naomi crumpled to the balcony deck and started sobbing... and for the life of him, Joel couldn't tell if she was crying for herself or not.
In the interests of sparing Blair a walk through a hotel lobby that would have meant a gauntlet of prying eyes, Jim directed Blair to a clean little motel near the interstate. He waited in the truck while Blair arranged a ground floor room for them at the end of one wing, and by the time they were finally inside he'd never been so happy to see a big empty bed.
"Leg's hurting pretty bad, huh," Blair murmured. It was almost the first thing he'd said since they'd left 852, and he'd worried Jim with that unusual quiet.
Jim sat heavily on the edge of the bed, sighing in relief before looking at Blair, whose expression was altogether too uncertain for Jim's comfort. Jim nodded. His leg was hurting like hell, yes, but so was the rest of him; aching to hold Blair.
"Do me a favor and take off my shoes?" He asked hopefully, pleased when Blair's mouth quirked into a faint grin.
"I knew you had a reason for wanting me around," Blair quipped, then froze, face suddenly stricken.
"I have a million reasons for wanting you around," Jim said with firm determination, anxious to wipe that look off Blair's face. He might never gain a reputation as a great communicator, but he'd already made up his mind at the hospital days ago that he wasn't going to let words- or the lack of them -stand in his way ever again. Not where Blair was concerned. Blair was too important; something else Jim wasn't going to let himself forget.
"A million, huh."
Blair shook himself then knelt before Jim, carefully removing Jim's shoes and socks. Despite the pain in Jim's leg, that wasn't a sight he could see without being affected, and his cock twitched in agreement. He was forced to bite back a moan as those strong fingers bared his feet then gave them a gentle rub, sighing again when it was over too soon.
"Lie down with me."
Blair looked at him doubtfully and Jim put on the most pleading, pitiful, pouting expression he could manage. He knew he'd succeeded when Blair heaved a semi-exasperated sigh of his own.
"Okay. Stand up for a minute and let me pull back the bedspread."
Jim waited until Blair had toed off his own shoes then he lay down on the sheet, taking a deep breath while his muscles protested the change of position. Blair gingerly climbed in next to him, and he didn't give Blair a chance to start thinking before he pulled Blair into his arms. Again, Blair resisted initially then melted into his hold, eventually snuggling into his body.
"I said a million reasons, but they all boil down to three. I love you, I need you, and I don't want to lose you," he whispered into Blair's hair.
"I don't know how you can say that. Everything is so fucked up. I'm so fucked-"
"No, you're not. We're not, as long as you'll forgive me for being such a paranoid, suspicious bastard," Jim said, briskly interrupting Blair.
"If you'll forgive me for what Naomi-"
This time Jim silenced Blair by simply putting one hand over his mouth.
"Hey, babe, if I've learned one thing in life, it's that you can't pick your relatives or your in-laws."
Blair pulled Jim's hand down, practically spluttering.
Jim snickered, thoroughly enjoying himself. Ignoring the pain from his gunshot wound, he rolled over and blanketed Blair, smiling when Blair's breath caught in an airy moan and their bodies hardened at the contact.
Aw god, it was going to be so good between them. He'd always thought so, although for years he'd tried to avoid thinking about it, because he'd been so afraid it was never going to happen.
Fear-based responses, hell, he thought, abruptly deciding he was tired of being afraid. It was time for Jim Ellison to start going after what he wanted... 'Rangers lead the way', and all that.
Time to start leading.
He took Blair's head in his hands and drew their mouths together.
End for now
5 July 2004
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