Category: First Time, Holidays, Humor, Slash Advent Calender
Summary: You know, it can't hurt to do something nice for a friend every once in a while.
Notes: Done for the SAC-2004
Betaed by a variety of people from AG and Lj - and Snowdrop as always, kicked my grammar challenged behind *g*
Word count: 4,436
Jim pulled the collar of his coat up as he entered the airport. The cold smell and the lingering snowflakes on his shoulders grounded him for long enough to dial down his senses. It was the 23rd of December and the airport was bustling with life, noises and smells that Jim had thankfully learned to ignore.
All thanks to the man he was picking up today.
Sure, he could work without his partner's presence, since his senses were pretty much under control these days, but it just was not the same. Jim had been scheduled for duty from morning to four a clock in the afternoon that day, but Simon had sent him home with a muttered comment about Christmas, Sentinels and their bloody Guides.
Jim had not wanted to argue, because this would mean he could get to the airport and pick Sandburg up.
Two weeks... Two damned weeks without the company that he realized was what partly kept him sane and enabled him to socialize with others. Not that he had had that much trouble, but he was well aware of that the accusations of his moody behavior were not without merit.
Jim shrugged out of his coat and folded it over his arm, as he watched the flight info dance across the screens. Blair's plane had a minor delay, but with the current weather it was to be expected.
Keeping an eye on the arrival times, Jim browsed some of the stores that littered the airport. He still was not entirely happy about the gift he had gotten Blair, but he knew perfectly well that it was because he could not give Blair what he really wanted to.
'Right, Ellison, I can just imagine the kid's reaction if you put *that* under the tree.' Jim sighed. After so many years he really should know Sandburg well enough to guess what his reaction would be if Jim actually told him straight out how he felt about the man.
'Heh, straight...' Jim snorted and ignored the looks it earned him. It seemed Sandburg's sense of humor had rubbed off on him. And Jim refused to even smile at the thought of what else he would like to rub...
'It's too late,' Jim mused as he watched the boards telling him that the plane was about to land. 'We're so damned set in our ways that I'm afraid to jostle it now.' Still, his little surprise for Blair would at least give him the opportunity to test the waters.
Jim smiled a bit as he waited. He knew Sandburg always joked about how repressed he was, but Jim figured that a declaration of undying love and the admission that he *really* wanted Blair in the bed upstairs... It would definitely blow his roommate's claims to hell.
It would, most probably, also blow their friendship in the same direction. No... he would take it as painstakingly slow as possible.
Without consciously trying, Jim's senses finally zeroed in on a familiar heartbeat, and the familiar scent of his roommate. It felt like someone had lifted a veil from Jim's senses one and all. Everything was sharper, though it gave him none of the headachy feeling he had carried around for the past few days.
Jim had to smile as he watched his partner weave in and out of the people, always a smile ready on his face. He noted how the ponytail bounced and he was kind of glad that Blair had decided to let it grow out again when he had started working for the CPD full time.
'God, we're lucky,' Jim admitted to himself as he moved toward Sandburg. It had looked dark and bleak for a while when Blair, after careful considerations, had admitted that the academy was not really what he had wanted. It had been a little strange when Simon had drawn them aside and offered Blair another suggestion.
And this was partly why Blair was returning from a two week seminar. It had been a year since Blair had finished the theoretical part of his education as a forensic anthropologist.
Jim still wondered what deity was with them, because it had taken very little to convince the new police commissioner to let them hire Blair. Maybe it was just that Hamilton was a lot more open minded and intelligent than his predecessor.
A few feet from Blair, Jim had to grin as he watched the compact body stiffen and then he was met with a pair of piercing blue eyes. Said eyes crinkled as Blair's face shone with a smile that Jim realized he had never seen Blair give anyone else.
"Hey, Chief, need a hand?" Jim gestured at the backpack Blair was struggling with. The backpack, however, did not seem to want to share a shoulder with the carry-on Blair had thrown over his shoulder.
"What are you doing here?" Blair asked as he let Jim take the backpack. The smile turned to a frown. "Is everything okay?" he asked.
"Everything's fine, Sandburg," Jim said with a mock glare. 'Now that you're here, things really *are* fine.'
Blair's face lit up again and he secured the strap of his carry-on while he chuckled. "Ah, Simon got tired of you moping around."
"I do not 'mope around'," Jim said, trying to sound indignant, not succeeding very well. "Hey, Sandburg?" Jim slung the backpack over his shoulder, wondering if he was getting old, or Blair had packed rocks.
"Yeah?" Blair seemed to almost bounce into step with him and Jim was, not for the first time, glad that that trait was still a part of Sandburg's repertoire. No matter how much he had bitched about his roommate's insatiable energy over the years.
"You got a warm jacket packed where we can get to it easily?" Jim asked.
"Not really," Blair admitted. "I've got this one," he said, holding up the coat he normally wore when it was cold.
"Chief, it's beyond cold outside and it's snowing pretty heavily." Jim shook his head.
"Aw, man. I hope the heater works in the truck," Blair said with a grin.
"Oh, it does," Jim rumbled, wondering if Blair would call him a mother hen when he saw what Jim had brought along and left in the, hopefully still, warm truck.
As they wound their way out of the packed airport, Jim listened to Blair's steady stream of information about this and that he had heard at the seminar, but even if he had wanted, Jim was not sure he would have been able to tell afterwards what Blair had been talking about.
It was more the sound of the voice than what Blair was saying, and on Jim's more paranoid days, he was quite sure that Blair knew he did this. He did not listen to the words, but let the voice wash over him, let it reinforce his barriers.
Fuck, even the headache was history.
As they stepped outside, Jim forced himself to not curl his arm around Sandburg to keep him warm. Blair set his carry-on down for a moment and put on his coat, shivering as a gust of cool air curled around him.
'It's bad enough that he's gonna kill you when we get back to the loft... or laugh at you,' Jim chided himself and wondered, not for the first time, which option would be the worse. Actually, he would prefer the killing. Why prolong the pain? Then again, Blair might just take it the way it was meant. A nice surprise for a good friend.
Yup, he had gone decidedly mushy in his older days. If he had created the same setup for Carolin, she would have been on the phone with the shrink in no time.
Right, good thing Blair was nothing like Carolin. Jim shivered at the thought.
"You okay?" Blair asked, as observant as ever.
Jim decided to share a bit of the madness. "I was thinking how you're nothing like Carolin," he flung out as they walked through the huge parking lot, lines and lines of cars.
It said a lot of their friendship and years together that Blair did not even raise an eyebrow at that.
"No... there are definitely some pretty heavy differences," Blair snorted.
Jim grinned. "That too and we've lived together for a lot longer than I was married to her."
"I'm a pretty flexible guy," Blair said, voice low and mock-serious.
"Now, see, Chief. I wouldn't know anything about that," Jim deadpanned.
Blair merely snorted and Jim caught sight of the flushed cheeks out the corner of his eye. Then again, it was probably just the cold doing that.
"I hope you didn't park at the other end of the lot," Sandburg said, his teeth chattering.
"Right up ahead," Jim assured him.
Jim unlocked the truck and put Blair's backpack inside and as he pulled back out, he held out Blair's thick winter coat.
"Oh man, have I told you lately how much I love you?" Blair enthused as he quickly exchanged his thinner coat for the one Jim held out for him.
"No, lately you've been rather absent," Jim said with a laugh as he fired up the engine and the heater kicked in.
The ride home was... comfortable, familiar and Jim wondered for the umpteenth time if he might have made a mistake with his preparations.
The streets were white and the Christmas lights lent it all a strange, dreamy look. Jim turned his head a little when Blair's voice trailed off.
"What's up, Sandburg?" he asked softly, recognizing the pensive look.
"It's good to be back home," Blair admitted, a small smile on his face as he turned twinkling eyes to Jim. "I've missed the city and... I've missed you."
Jim felt warmth flood his body and he swallowed hard. This was the kind of stuff he had never been very good at, expressing his feelings, at least in words.
As they walked into Prospect 852, Jim had to smile as Blair patted the rough walls. "Missed the place, huh?"
"Oh yeah," Blair agreed as he made a beeline for the elevator. Which, surprisingly, was working. Well, it was the season of miracles.
As they stood in the elevator, Jim felt nervousness cloud him again and he wondered again what Blair would say to the apartment and the surprises Jim had prepared.
Taking a deep breath, Jim unlocked the door and walked in, turning a little to watch Sandburg's face.
And it was all worth it.
Blair's eyes widened as he took in the transformed loft. It was not that Jim had gone crazy with the holiday decorations, but the place was a lot greener than normally and the lights on the huge tree in the corner illuminated it all just perfectly.
"Oh wow... Jim... I didn't think you'd..."
"You thought grumpy old me wouldn't do this and you'd have to do it all tomorrow, huh?" Jim said with a grin.
"My God Jim. How did you get the tree up here?" he asked with a laugh.
"Simon helped," Jim admitted then laughed out loud. "I learned a few new words I didn't already know."
"I bet," Blair said, dropping his carry-on and walking over to the tree. "This is so cool, Jim."
"Glad you like it," Jim said, feeling oddly strange as the warmth from before returned full force. "Kick back, get a beer, I gotta go to the bathroom for a moment."
Blair nodded. "Just don't take too long -- I need to take a leak."
Jim grinned and nodded, fleeing to the bathroom. He quickly turned on the water to fill the bathtub and lighted the candles. When he was sure everything was right he turned out the overhead light and slipped back into the apartment.
"Jim?" Blair was fingering some of the greenery Jim had put up, raising an eyebrow as he waited for Jim to join him. "Did you put all this up by yourself?" he asked.
Jim nodded. "No, Joel helped. Why?"
Jim swallowed hard and gestured toward the bathroom. "Why don't you go and um... take a soak in the tub."
Blair frowned but nevertheless brushed past Jim. 'Oh boy,' Jim thought as he turned toward the kitchen. He really needed a beer.
A moment later, Jim heard the door to the bathroom open again and Blair joined him in the kitchen.
"Yeah?" Jim dug into the fridge and pulled out two beers and a plate of sandwiches. "Hungry?" he asked as he put it all on the kitchen table.
"You don't have to do all this for me," Blair said softly, catching hold of Jim's arm, stopping his forward motion.
"I know, I just figured you'd be tired after the long flight," Jim defended himself, trying not to sound too gruff.
Blair's smile softened. "Yeah... it's just a a little unexpected."
"Not that you never do stuff for me," Blair remedied. "I mean, we're both guys and..."
"And?" Jim asked with a raised eyebrow. Oh damn, that would probably mean this was as far as he could push things safely.
"And nothing, Jim... thanks," Blair said, letting go of his arm with a light pat.
Jim nodded toward the bathroom. "Go soak, I'll bring this out and you can tell me all about your trip."
Blair opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but changed his mind. With a smile and shake of his head, he went to the bathroom and Jim allowed himself a few moments to breathe.
He was so far out of his depth that he had no idea what was up and what was down any longer. And Sandburg was at the same time making it both harder and easier.
'Get a grip, Ellison, this is you being nice to a friend in the spirit of Christmas.'
Waiting a few more minutes he took the plates and two beers and went to knock on the bathroom door. "Chief, you decent?"
A light chuckle answered him. "As decent as I can get at the moment," Blair replied softly.
Jim pushed the door open and walked into the candlelit bathroom. With an exaggerated bow, he put the plate with the sandwiches down on a small fold-out table he had placed in the room earlier.
"You're being odd today," Blair said lightly as he reached over the edge of the tub, grabbing the beer. "But I can't complain, because this is just perfect getting home to," he admitted with a shy smile.
Jim grinned back and sat down on the edge of the tub, offering Blair a sandwich. In between bites, Blair carried on about the seminar and Jim only partly listened. His eyes kept sweeping the body underneath the foam and he hoped that the flickering light, and the deep shadows it created, was enough to cover for his... attention.
Blair's hair was wet and slicked down from the water, the hair tie gone and Jim wondered if Blair would consider it odd if he asked to wash the hair.
He covertly watched the hairy chest rise and fall where the water lapped gently against the skin. Well, at times it sloshed because Blair kept gesticulating to support whatever it was he was talking about.
"Jim... Earth to Jim."
Jim shook his head and realized that he had been contemplating his naked roommate a little too intensely.
"Damn, you're weird today," Blair said with a sigh, but his eyes twinkled with a light that drew Jim like a moth to a flame.
"Good weird or bad weird?" Jim asked as cocked his head.
"I'm thinking... good," Blair grinned. "I mean, I come home to this." He gestured at the setting.
Jim nodded with a small smile of his own. "Yeah, I was wondering if maybe you were going to start looking for the pod."
Blair laughed. "Should I?" he asked softly.
Jim shrugged. "If you think this is really so much out of character for me."
"Oddly enough... it's not," Blair admitted with a puzzled look. "Although this..." he said and held up some of the greenery he'd obviously liberated from the living room.
"You use green stuff to decorate the loft with every year," Jim defended himself, not looking too closely at the twig.
"Jim... you share your apartment with another man, neither of us have dated in ages... and I come home to a loft decorated with mistletoe..."
Jim felt blood leave his face. "Joel..." he squeaked.
"What's Joel and mistletoe got to do with each other?" Blair asked. "Unless there's something you two haven't told me."
Jim's eyes widened. "You little shit," he grinned, feeling a little more at ease. He was supposed to have an eyesight better than anyone else and he had failed to see the laughter in Blair's eyes.
Blair slipped the last bit of his sandwich between his lips and licked his fingers. Jim tried not to stare too much, but his attention was caught by a crumb sticking to Blair's lower lip and before he could stop himself, he leaned in and dislocated it with his thumb.
For a moment, Jim held his hand where it was, warm against the side of Blair's jaw and cheek. For a heartbeat Blair's eyes flickered shut only to open again, pupils larger than Jim had ever seen.
It was as if Blair could feel Jim's momentary lapse of faith, because even before Jim could flex his fingers and remove his hand, Blair's hand shot up to capture his. Heavy lidded eyes stayed on Jim, as Blair turned his head a little and placed a light kiss in the palm of Jim's hand.
Soft breath whispered over Jim's sensitive skin and it felt as if it penetrated his pores, slid into his blood stream and sent shivers through his body. It was as if every little hair on his body stood on ends.
A light tug and Jim leaned over the tub, a hand on either side of Blair as the man let go of his hand in favor of slipping both hands behind Jim's neck, slowly pulling him forward.
They were close enough for Jim to feel Blair's quickened breathing washing over him like a gentle breeze. For a moment everything seemed suspended in time. Jim's eyes did not stray from Blair's and Blair seemed to be as caught up in it as he was.
That was the point where Jim knew it could only go wrong.
For a split second his hands were resting on the edges of the bathtub and the next he found himself ducking under water as his hand slipped and he ended up sloshing water up and over the edge of the bathtub.
Gasping he managed to get to his knees, looking bewildered into Blair's surprised face.
Then Blair began laughing and for a heartbeat, Jim wanted to get angry, but how could he? The laughter was so contagious and it was funny. He should have known better than to lean over the tub this way.
The tub was barely big enough to hold them both, and a little shifting between bouts of laughter, chuckles and Jim would have sworn, giggles, they managed to end up with their arms around each other. Jim drew a deep breath, balancing in the middle of the tub with Blair's legs wrapped around his middle.
"As seductions go, I give this an A+ for effort," Blair chuckled, nuzzling against Jim's neck.
"It wasn't supposed to be a seduction," Jim muttered from where he had his face buried in Blair's wet hair.
"No?" Blair asked, pulling back enough to look Jim in the eye.
"No," Jim admitted with a sigh. How the heck had he managed to get himself to this point? Not that he was complaining, he liked this... well, apart from the fact that wet jeans weren't exactly comfortable.
"Jim... if you're seriously okay with this, man... Take off your clothes?" Maybe Blair could read his mind.
Jim let go and pulled a little further back, watching with wonder as Blair leaned back, lazily watching him, as Jim pulled the t-shirt up over his head.
Wet fingers slid reverently over Jim's chest and he shivered as they strayed to the sides, rough pads sliding over his nipples and if he did not dial his sense of touch down now, he would not make it out of his jeans.
Blair held his gaze and slid his fingers down Jim's abs to the buttons of the jeans, popping them one by one. Biting his lower lip, Blair nudged him until Jim managed to get to his feet, the water cascading down his lower body.
"Whoa... like Poseidon from the depths of the ocean," Blair breathed, barely audible, even to Jim's ears.
They both struggled to peel Jim out of the wet jeans and ended up laughing so hard because of the absurdity of it all. Jim wondered how it was standing naked in front of Blair in the bathtub was not half as odd, funny... weird as trying to get out of those damned jeans.
"Oh yeah," Blair crowed when they managed to get the jeans down and off. "Fuck, Jim... I can't believe you've been hiding this from me."
Jim felt his face heat. "Chief, this isn't..."
"Mmmm, I know," Blair said, patting his hip and guiding him back down into the water, sloshing it all over the place. Jim allowed himself to be pulled all the way down and sighed happily when Blair's mouth closed warm over his.
Jim wondered if perhaps Blair had more than two hands, because it seemed he was being touched in so many places at the same time.
With a chuckle, Blair broke the kiss and bit gently into Jim's lower lip. "Are you dialing down your sense of touch?" he asked with a bit of menace in his voice.
Jim sighed and dialed it up to normal and nearly blacked out from it.
"Shit, Jim. Don't spin the dials up so fast," Blair laughed. "I'm not big enough to carry you out of the tub," he warned.
"You're big where it counts," Jim muttered against his lips and slid his hand down between Blair's legs, feeling the warm water caress his body as he moved.
"Oh, damn... Jim, don't stop -- that's sooooo good," Blair moaned and moved against Jim's body. Once again the legs wrapped themselves around Jim's waist and Jim let go to slide his arms around Blair's body, effectively trapping their cocks against each other.
Blair groaned and thrust against him. Jim took it as a nice, gold engraved invitation and slipped his hands down to cup Blair's ass.
That move was rewarded with sloppy kisses and sounds that Jim had not thought possible from a human being. He could, at least silently, admit that some of those sounds were coming from him.
"Sandburg, you kiss like a damned porn movie," Jim grinned breathlessly as he met another open-mouthed, wet kiss with Blair's slick tongue invading his mouth.
Blair simply chuckled and teased Jim's tongue into his own mouth, then sucked on it with the same rhythm with which he was grinding against Jim.
Jim hesitated for a moment, then realized if he ever was to let go of his control, it would be with Blair. His normal iron control really was not necessary right here, right now, because Blair would catch him if he fell.
The moment he did let go, everything seemed to coalesce and his senses exploded with pleasure.
The flickering candlelight playing off wet skin and hair, dancing merrily to a non-existent tune.
The scent of soap and something that Jim would always be able to identify as being Blair. Underlined with the faintest hint of airline coffee and something sweet and chocolate-like.
The taste supported the coffee and chocolate and wound itself around the scent.
Needy noises were born in Blair's throat, and Jim homed in on them, right from the split second they came into existence until they left Blair's lips to end their life inside Jim's greedy mouth.
Touch? Touch was so far off the scale that it should have scared Jim. The only thing that kept him sane, was the fact that all his senses were working in unity, grounding him, anchoring his sense of touch.
Their slides against each other were the sweetest kind of torture that Jim could imagine. Every sense seemed so finely tuned to Blair, that it took very little from the moment Jim felt and acknowledged deep down that Blair was teetering on the edge until they clung to each other, climaxing so hard that Jim wondered if he might not survive the experience.
Blair's ragged breathing was like the wind in Jim's ears and he shifted them until he could cradle the nearly boneless body in his arms.
"Damn, James," Blair mumbled, smiling against Jim's neck. "That was so cheesy."
"What was?" Jim asked, wondering how many brain cells he had lost with that orgasm. It seemed that small jolts of pleasure were still zipping through his system, making him pleasantly buzzed.
"We actually came at the same time," Blair laughed.
Jim grinned. "Wanna see if it was a fluke or if we can do a repeat performance?" he asked mischievously. Jim closed his eyes and sighed contentedly. This was it, what he had wanted for so long. There was no trace of his old fears, at least at the moment.
Damn, looked like he had a new drug of choice.
Blair groaned. "I don't know about you, but it's gonna be a little while before I can repeat this."
"Oh..." Jim answered with a yawn.
"Oh man, Ellison..." Blair tried to sound exasperated as Jim rocked lightly against him. "Don't tell me you can keep going all night?"
"I don't know..." Jim grinned as he pushed Blair to his feet. "Care to come upstairs and run a few ...tests?"
Blair's eyes widened and the strong fingers dug into Jim's hips. "Now... I think I can come up with a few tests for that," he admitted with a wicked grin.
As they stepped out of the bathtub, Jim pulled the other man close and covered Blair's lips with his own. The kiss was slow and full of everything Jim knew he could not put into words.
"Merry Christmas, Blair," he whispered when they parted.
"Oh yeah," Blair sighed as his hands slipped from Jim's hips to clamp possessively over Jim's ass. "A very merry Christmas indeed."