Surface and Depth
Disclaimers: Nothing's mine but the words; everything else belongs to Pet Fly. No infringement is intended, and I'm not makin' a dime. (Who needs money when you've got love?) (Well, okay, but I'm still not making any money!) Please go away if you're under 18!
Summary: A late night conversation about the sorry state of Blair's love life leads to an unexpected offer.
Notes: The feedback mistress demands her sacrifice. Let me know if you liked it, hated it, read it — whatever.
Jim Ellison wasn't sure if he was home late or home early; at any rate, the stakeout, which was supposed to have kept him out until eight or nine the next morning, had come to an abrupt end when the suspect had shown up hours before she was expected — and that, as the poet said, was that. Simon Banks had cut him loose at about one in the morning, and he wearily unlocked his front door, thinking only of a beer, maybe, and then bed.
He was surprised to see that Blair was still awake; though to be fair, Blair seemed to be at least as surprised to see him. His roommate had been lying on the living room sofa, wrapped in an afghan; as Jim walked in he sat up quickly.
"Uh, hi, didn't expect you," he said, and then he coughed for a moment and quickly rubbed his face with his hands. "I — uh — I was just going to bed," he said, getting up.
"Are you okay?" said Jim, frowning, noting his friend's unhappy expression and disheveled appearance.
"Fine," returned Blair. "Just tired. Long night," he added, and turned toward his room.
Sandburg's brevity concerned Jim: his partner was not one to put things succinctly unless something was wrong. "No, wait, hang out for a few minutes. Have a beer with me," he suggested, walking to the fridge. "We got her," he added, "she showed up at 9:30."
"Congratulations, man," said Blair, sitting back down. Jim handed him a beer and realized that Sandburg was trying to put himself together. From what, he didn't know.
"You're sure you're okay?" he asked, and Sandburg shrugged.
"I'll be fine," he said carelessly. "No worries."
"What did you do tonight?" Jim asked, sitting down.
"Date," said Blair, still dammed tersely, thought Jim. He looked at his roommate questioningly. "Sort of a date, anyhow. I broke up with someone," he explained, and shrugged.
"Gee, I'm sorry, Chief," said Jim, sympathetically. "Who was she?"
Blair smiled uncomfortably, made a face. "Well, he, actually. Same difference. Just someone from school. It wasn't going — well, where it needed to go, I guess," he said, running a hand through his hair.
"He?" Jim asked before he could stop himself.
"Yeah," said Blair, lips curling upward. "Didn't think you'd be so surprised at me. Variety being the spice of life and all that."
"But, I've seen you date — "
"Yeah, Jim," said Blair, patiently, as if he were explaining to a small child, "variety being the spice of life, right?" He shook his head. "Man, you so need to get away from binary thinking. Look, forget about it: I'm fine, thanks for asking."
"Wait, wait, I'm sorry," said Jim as Blair moved to get up again. "I just, uh — I just wasn't thinking. Forget it. So you broke up with this guy tonight?"
"Yeah," said Blair.
"And that's it," said Blair.
"Well, I mean, are you okay about it?" asked Jim.
Blair laughed. "What, you want to talk about my feelings?"
"Well, yeah," said Jim defensively. "Why not? I'm a sympathetic kind of guy, aren't I?"
"Uh....sort of," said Blair, amused..
"So I don't know what you want me to tell you," said Blair.
"Well, did he mean anything to you?" asked Jim.
"Did he mean anything?" replied Blair, amazed at the question. "No."
"O-kay," said Jim. "So its no big deal then."
"Well, it's a big deal in its own way," returned Blair shortly, and Jim saw that he was suddenly irritated.
"I'm sorry," said Jim, raising his hands in a gesture of surrender. "I didn't mean to piss you off."
"Yeah, well, okay, then," said Blair. "So don't ask me stupid questions," he added, getting up.
"Look, I said I was sorry," said Jim.
"It's not you," said Blair. He blew out a long breath. "It's just — look, it's a big deal because he didn't mean anything, okay? I don't know if you can understand that." He began to pace. "You know, he didn't mean anything, and Sherri didn't mean anything, and Laura didn't mean anything, and Alex didn't mean anything, and whoever it was before that, I can't even remember any more. And after a while, man, you think: well, maybe it's you, you know?"
"You just — you just haven't found the right person yet," said Jim, feeling stupid even as the cliche left his lips.
"Maybe," said Blair. "Or maybe it's me. Maybe I just don't know how to feel anything. Maybe I'm missing, I don't know, some vital something."
"What are you talking about?" retorted Jim. "Chief, you are one of the most — well — feeling people I know. You're almost — over-feeling. Touchy-feely. You know what I mean."
"Yeah, I know. It looks that way, doesn't it?" said Blair, and his voice was sharp. "But it all just stays right here, man," he said, holding up his hand horizontally. "There's no depth there. I can't seem to get deeper. It's all surface."
"Well excuse me if I choose not to believe you," replied Jim. "That hasn't been my experience."
"Yeah, well, ask my ex-girlfriends. My ex-boyfriends. You'll get a different picture."
"You're just young," said Jim, dismissively. "You're not interested in commitment. Why should you be?"
"You're not listening," said Blair. "I am interested in commitment. It's just not happening for me. I can't seem to get deeper with anyone, I can't — there's no anchor there. I can't get past the superficial attraction part. That part goes great. I like them, they like me, the first few dates are great. And then — pfffft."
"Pfffft?" repeated Jim.
"Yeah, pfffft. No gas. Stagnation. Boredom. The conversation goes bad, the sex goes bad, and that's that. They're hurt, I'm an asshole, and I end up sitting on the sofa wrapped in an afghan. Until next time. And I keep trying, hoping that the next time will be different. But it never is, man, it never is," and his voice was sad. "So maybe it's me. Maybe I just can't commit. Maybe I never will."
"Never say never, Blair," said Jim. "You just...you just have to keep trying, that's all."
"I am trying," said Blair, and he laughed suddenly. "I mean, you can't say I'm overly picky. Sex, race, age — I'm pretty open, here. Haven't tried farm animals, yet, though," he said, grinning. "I don't know, maybe I'll find that once in a lifetime thing with Bessie the cow, what do you think?"
"Let's not even go there, Chief," said Jim, smiling. "Well, I'm sorry. I really am. It's funny, it's hard for me to really believe what you're saying."
"Why? I've lived here for three years. You've had a pretty good ringside view of my recent dating history."
"Yeah, but Sandburg, that's the point. You've lived here for three years — you've been involved with this Sentinel thing for three years — you never struck me as someone who couldn't commit."
"Yeah, but that's different," said Blair, waving his hand. "That's you. You're easy to commit to."
"I'm easy to commit to?" repeated Jim, astonished.
"Well, yeah. I know it's strange, but I find you pretty easy to be with."
"I'm easy to be with?"
"Yeah," said Blair. "Aside from being a grumpy asshole sometimes, yeah. Easy."
"You stagger me, Sandburg, you really do."
"Well, you know, you're — well, interesting."
"Uh-huh," said Jim, considering him intently. "Well, so then maybe that's your answer."
Blair blinked. "What?"
"I said, try me," repeated Jim, taking a pull from his beer.
"O-kay, when did we take the left turn into la-la land?" asked Blair.
"Well, I would hope that I rate higher than a farm animal," said Jim seriously.
"Uh...yeah, Jim: you do. But, uh, you're a cop and you're straight and — "
"You know," said Jim, waving a finger at him, "you so need to get away from binary thinking," and Blair exploded with laughter.
"Oh, man, you're kidding me, right? You are yanking my chain — I know you're yanking my chain — don't do that to me, okay? You are kidding right? You're just — you are aren't you?" and his eyes were wide as Jim smirked and shook his head no. "Oh, Christ Almighty in the morning," said Blair, covering his face with his hands. "Why didn't you say something?!"
"What did you want me to say?" asked Jim.
"Well, something!" said Blair.
"Look, as you just pointed out, I've had a pretty good ringside view of your recent dating history. I didn't think you were interested in commitment. I thought you were having a pretty good time with a lot of pretty women. Now I find out that you're not having such a good time, and its not just women, so maybe its time to say something. I have to tell you, I'm not interested in being another notch on the Sandburg belt."
"I don't want a belt," said Blair, almost whining. "I never meant for it to be a belt."
"Well okay, then," said Jim. "So maybe we have something to talk about. And I'd like to point out to you that, despite the fact that you always say I'm closed off and uncommunicative, I've laid it all out on the line here and you haven't given me a fucking clue as to what you're thinking. Are you at all interested?"
"I'm interested," said Blair quickly, laughing. "Fuck yeah. Very, very interested."
"Well, okay," said Jim, and they just looked at each other across the dim living room.
"You know, this is probably the most surreal conversation I have ever had in my life," said Blair.
"Yeah, I'm with you there," said Jim.
"So, uh, you seem to be running this pretty well: where do we go from here?" asked Blair.
"For starters, maybe I can come sit over there," said Jim, gesturing with his hand.
"Okay, that seems reasonable," said Blair. "Increased proximity is a move in the right direction. Literally."
Jim got up, sat down next to Sandburg on the couch. "How's this?"
"That's fine. That's like, you sitting next to me on the couch, like you have a million times before. It's not really conveying to me the sudden, exciting change in our situation."
"Ah," said Jim. "Well, what about this?" he asked, twining his hand into Blair's hair.
"Oh...oh yeah, that's starting to feel different," said Blair, and Jim could hear his partner's heart beginning to pick up speed. "Can I try one?"
"By all means," said Jim, and Blair reached over hand put his hand on Jim's chest, circling gently.
"Well," said Jim.
"Oh yeah," said Blair. "Did I ever tell you that you have the body of Greek God?"
"Ah, well, now we're into new territory," said Jim.
"Yeah, I think I just saw the sign go by," agreed Blair.
"Can I kiss you?" asked Jim.
"I think you'd better," said Blair, and Jim pulled Blair's head close to his and bent to kiss him. Jim's lips were softer than Blair had expected and his hand crept around Jim's neck and held him close and encouraged him to deepen the kiss. Jim responded to the gentle nudge and slid his tongue into Blair's open mouth, enjoying the heat, the texture, the taste. When he finally pulled back Blair looked back at him with large blue eyes and smiled. "Well, that was pretty good," said Blair, breathing quickly.
"Yeah, I thought so," said Jim.
"Okay, agreement is a good thing, here. Would you mind if I, uh, sort of got in your lap, there?"
"No, not at all," said Jim. "Can I ask you something?"
"Absolutely," said Blair, swinging himself around to straddle Jim's legs.
"Do you really have that nipple ring?"
Blair smiled. "I think you'll have to discover that for yourself."
Jim reached out and grasped the hem of Blair's t-shirt, pulling it up over his head. "God, you do," he murmured, hands moving to stroke the hairy chest, gliding gently over the small gold ring. Jim took it in his fingers and gave it an experimental tweak, and Blair gasped and arched his back, face clouding with desire.
"I do, yes," panted Blair, and he reached out and wrapped his arms around Jim and kissed him hard, and Jim clutched him and devoured his mouth, hands stroking over the soft hair, caressing the smooth, creamy skin of Blair's back. Their passion built, and Jim could feel his own erection straining in his jeans, could hear Blair's blood pounding, and he could hardly contain his excitement at the fact that he was kissing Blair, that he had Blair in his lap, that —
Suddenly Blair pulled away — and Jim stared at his nervous expression. "Look, there's just one thing I have to say here, before we go on, okay?"
"Listen, I meant what I said when I told you that I found you easy to be with, easy to commit to," said Blair. "I think, well, I think I'm half in love with you already, and if the sex thing works out as well as it looks like it's going to — Jim, this is the time to rescind that offer, if you're going to. Do it now, not tomorrow morning, please."
"I'm not going to," said Jim, gently stroking Blair's hair.
"Just think a moment, Jim: I need you to be sure."
"I'm sure. I'm three years' worth of sure, I swear. Okay?"
"Okay," said Blair. "In that case: your bed or mine?"
"Now?" asked Jim, grinning.
"Oh yeah, now," said Blair. "I'm three years worth of ready."
"Mine, then," said Jim, and Blair grinned, got up, and raced upstairs. When Jim arrived upstairs he found Blair on his bed, pulling off his socks; he crossed his arms, shook his head, and stared.
"What?" said Blair, looking up.
"You," replied Jim. "You're just...funny."
"Right now its not my sense of humor I'd like you to be focusing on," said Blair.
"I didn't mean funny ha-ha, I meant funny strange," said Jim, watching as Blair pulled off his shorts. His breath suddenly caught at the sight of Blair, naked on his bed — Blair looked relaxed and uninhibited and exotic and erotic and Jim wanted him very very badly.
"Strange?" replied Blair. "Thanks a lot!"
"I meant strange in a good way, not strange in a bad way," murmured Jim, unbuttoning his shirt and getting on the bed.
"So I'm funny, by which you mean 'strange in a good way'?"
"Yes," said Jim, pulling his clothes off quickly and then pulling Blair close. "Beautiful," he added, kissing his face. "Sexy. Unearthly, really," he explained, hands greedily sliding over the hard, exotic body. "Absolutely unlike anyone else."
"Oh," murmured Blair. "Well, fine, then. Touch me more," and Jim pushed him down on his back and began to make love to his body, his senses guiding him to each of Blair's pleasure spots and favorite places to be licked, kissed, and sucked and soon Blair was writhing under his hands and moaning softly, and Jim found his desire pushed beyond reason at the unabashed sexual pleasure on Blair Sandburg's face.
"Jim," Blair gasped, "would it be gauche to ask at this point if this is you, or if this is the senses, here?"
"Yes, Blair," replied Jim. "Definitely gauche."
"Well, forget I asked. Who the hell cares? Do you want to fuck me?" asked Blair, and Jim moaned.
"You're direct, aren't you?" replied Jim heavily.
"No, that was subtle. This is direct: Fuck me, Jim — fuck me, now, please, I can't take it. Please hurry," and Blair bucked his hips upward and Jim felt his head was going to explode and he scrambled in his bedside table drawer for lubricant. Setting the small tube on the bed he bent over and kissed Blair, and Blair's hands wrapped around his head and they rolled together, hungrily kissing, and they came to rest with Blair on top. Jim reached to his side for the lubricant and spread some on his fingers and then slid his hand down Blair's back to his opening; Blair immediately spread his legs wide, grinding his erection down against Jim, and Jim circled his hole and then inserted a finger, blindly seeking Blair's mouth again as he did so.
Jim kissed him, stretched him, finger-fucked him until Blair was practically ready to scream. Blair pulled his head away from Jim's mouth, desperately sucking in air, unable to believe how this had all happened so fast, how he could possibly have ever been so stupid, how he could have wasted so much time when everything he had ever wanted — physically, intellectually, spiritually — had been literally overhead, if not actually under his nose. "Please now, now," he murmured urgently, "won't last — " and then Jim rolled over with him and for a brief moment Jim was kneeling above him, and Blair inhaled violently at the sight of Jim's beauty, at the well-sculpted muscles, broad shoulders, the sweaty, smooth chest, the impressive purple-veined erection, dripping pre-ejaculate, and then Jim was gently rolling him on to his side, and had spooned up behind him, and Blair moaned as he felt Jim's cock press into him and the only word he could think to say was: "Yes."
"Mine," Jim murmured in his ear as he worked one long arm around Blair's chest and reached around with the other to grab Blair's erection, and Blair said "Yes" again and then he was undulating between the cock in his ass and Jim's hand and he had never felt so completely anchored and completely wonderful and he thought suddenly, blissfully, that this what was it was like to have finally gotten beyond the surface with someone, and on that happy thought he let his head fall back and he was coming, coming with Jim, and he heard Jim's shout and knew that Jim was coming in him, and Jim's arms tightened around him and he felt warm and drowsy and loved.
"Jim?" he said softly.
"Tell me you love me."
Blair felt Jim's lips press against his neck. "Didn't I say?" he murmured.
"No," he murmured back, smiling.
"I love you," Jim whispered.
"Do you mean it?"
"Yes. I mean it," replied Jim, sincerely.
"I love you, too," said Blair. Jim pressed his face into Blair's mop of hair and then heard his lover call to him again. "Jim?"
"So does this change house rules?"
"What?" asked Jim, amusedly.
"No sex in the loft," replied Blair. "Is that off, now?"
"It's off, Blair. Or rather, it's amended. No sex in the loft except with me."
"I can live with that," said Blair, and he promptly fell asleep.