Wrapped in Silence



Jim shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his breath a visible puff of air into the cold cab of the truck as he expelled a weary breath. Next to paperwork, stakeouts were his least favorite part of his job. Parking his truck in the remotest, darkest corner possible, he extended his sight to focus on the house they were watching, over a block away. They sat in silence, the only sounds in the truck that of Sandburg´s slow and even breaths and the steady beat of his heart, as Jim focused his hearing on the suspect. The suspect, who had gone to bed two hours earlier, hadn´t made a sound other than the deep, snuffled snoring where he lay tucked away, cozy and warm in his bed while Jim and his partner froze their collective asses off.

Jim shifted again, the multiple layers of clothes he wore to stave off the chill of night rustling against his skin. He hated stakeouts in the winter, hated the bundling-up in layers of clothing under his jacket to keep warm with the engine shut off. Hated the way Sandburg covered every exposed bit of flesh under flannel or wool or thermal (two, three, sometimes four friggin layers) and still shivered as he sat next to Jim in the truck. But as much as winter sucked, at least he didn´t run the risk of zoning to the sounds of crickets chirping or a sprinkler watering a lawn down the block, like he did in the summer.

For some reason that thought made Jim grin, and as if he somehow felt it, Blair turned to face him.

“What´s up?’ Blair asked, the beginnings of a smile touching the corners of his own mouth.

Jim just shook his head. “Nothing, Chief,’ but inside him something warmed, blanketing the chill of the night and heating his skin from the inside out.

He had only smiled, and Blair knew. Much in the same way that he knew when Jim was upset with something (which happened occasionally), or pissed about something (which happened much more frequently.) Jim had long ago passed the point of trying to figure out the whys of his relationship with Blair, even though, for him, that was an almost unthinkable act, and just accepted it. The friendship. The partnership. And that other ‘ship´. The one that was there – had been there actually from the beginning, but had grown and evolved to the point where acting on it was no longer an option.

If someone had told Jim Ellison when he first met Blair Sandburg that at some point, not soon, no siree, but at some point down the road there would be this......pull, this unmistakable bonding, this fierce animalistic instinct to take, and claim and mark his Guide – well, the old Jim Ellison would have roared obscenities or shouted or glared the ‘are you fucking nuts??´ look.

But now – well, things were different now. Neither of them knew why or how, but they both just...just knew.

Not that they would ever say anything to the other about it. Or act on it in any way. Glancing from the corner of his eye he saw that Blair had gone back to staring straight out the window, his attention seemingly focused on watching the house which was much to far down the block for him to see with normal eyesight. But his heart rate had picked up, and his breathing was quicker, the pants shallower.

They both knew. They both felt it, this primal pull they each had toward the other, but it had gone way too far to do anything about it now. Maybe in the beginning, before they knew so much about each other, they would have been ok with sharing a bed (or a shower or a kitchen table or a – God! Stop it!). But now it was too much. It would never be some quick fling or some meaningless sex. It would be them – Jim and Blair. Sentinel and Guide. Friends, partners. And it would be much more than some quick fuck. And that was a road Jim wasn´t ready to go down. Thankfully, it seemed that Blair wasn't, either.

But they were both thinking about it. And Jim had to wonder what would happen if he turned just so in his seat, bending his knee and angling his body toward Sandburg. If he focused on him, watching Blair´s breaths come even faster under his gaze. Watching Blair´s Adam´s apple bob nervously once as he swallowed hard. What would happen, if Jim stretched out his arm so it rested against the top of Blair´s seat, his fingers just above the knitted wool hat Blair had on his head? How the wool would feel -- rough? soft? -- against his fingertips as he pushed it off Blair´s head and sank his fingers deep into the thick mass of Blair´s curls, feeling his scalp against the pads of his fingers? What would...

“Uh, Jim.’

Jim shook his head, only half surprised to look and see his arm really was stretched out across the seat, his fingers so close to Blair that he could touch him. He heard Blair clear his throat.

“Jim, man...’

Sandburg´s voice was rough and Jim looked at him; really looked at him, his eyes impossibly blue and bright in the darkness of the truck.

And Blair shook his head once. The movement was barely perceptible even with sentinel senses, but Jim understood, and he, just as slowly, pulled his hand away and moved his arm off the seat. “Yeah, I know, Chief.’

And he did know; they both did. So he looked out the window and dialed his hearing back up to check on their guy -- who was still sleeping and snoring, dammit -- and tried hard not to listen to the waiting, expectant silence there in the truck between them.

Send feedback for Estrella