"You beat them up? Three of them?"
Jim sounded more confused than anything, Blair reflected, popping another of Jim's grapes into his mouth. Jim would never get around to eating them all before he got sent home from the hospital and Blair had already had a lecture about his rumbling stomach. Unearned, as he had eaten lunch, sure he had. He'd just… lost it a few hours later.
"Hey, no one messes with my Sentinel."
"I wasn't aware I was your personal property, Chief." Jim couldn't quite pull off the putdowns with his mouth swollen like that but Blair gave him points for trying.
"No? Well, you are now. Aware, I mean."
"Cute." Blair wagged his finger at Jim and took another grape. "Unless you want me to start calling you 'Jane', I wouldn't use that one again."
"But, Chief… you'd look good in a loin cloth," Jim protested, his voice a little stronger. Oh, yeah, he was going to live. Reassured, Blair left the grapes alone, spotting the telltale gold of … ooh, Godiva. Nice. Megan, he guessed. While he'd been forced into making a report at the station, she'd gone with Jim in the ambulance and got him settled. Which sucked and Blair was still seething over it but he was doing his best to play it light and relaxed while he was near Jim.
"Sandburg, they're for me."
"You'll be off your feet for a while. You need to watch your calorie intake. And you're on liquids for the next twenty-four hours." Blair opened the small box and went right for the dark chocolate raspberry truffle, letting Jim have the best orgasmic moan of pleasure he could give with his mouth full and his throat closed up because Jim didn't look good with bruises.
Jim reached out carefully, IV lines trailing, and took the chocolates away, putting them out of Blair's reach on the bed. "Tell me what happened."
Blair shrugged. "You got knocked out as soon as you walked into the warehouse -- and we're talking about that when you're better. No way should you have missed hearing them creeping up behind you, man, no way."
"I was…" Jim flushed. "I was focused on finding you, Chief. I thought they'd captured you. You'd been out of contact for thirty minutes."
Blair cleared his throat, feeling touched and a little guilty by the strain in Jim's voice. "I was pinned down and I couldn't risk using my radio or phone. But I was fine." He stood and spun in a slow circle. "See? Not a scratch."
"Your right shoulder's been wrenched and there's bruising all down your left thigh."
"I'm fine. Minor stuff for a hero like me." Blair sat down again, not bothering to hide his wince this time. "I'll have a long, hot soak tonight as you won't be there to hammer on the door and tell me you need to pee and can I move my pruney ass."
"I knew you'd miss me." Jim closed his eyes, his brief burst of energy visibly seeping away. "Blair -- I need some sleep. Tell me a nice bedtime story about how you did the superhero stunt and then tuck me in and tiptoe off, will you?"
Blair patted Jim's hand. "Okay. Just don't get --"
"Yeah, you will. Just save it until you're better and then you can yell all you want."
Jim muttered something Blair didn't even try to hear and settled his head against the thin pillows. He looked pale and tired and in a boatload of pain even though Blair had walked him through a relaxation exercise designed to deal with that.
"They knocked you out and started whaling on you, man." Blair grimaced. Jim had been so still under the barrage of kicks, his body limp and -- not going there. No. Jim would pick up on it if he freaked and he wanted to watch him slide into sleep, nice, restful, healing sleep.
Deciding to save his own personal meltdown until he was back in the loft where even Jim couldn't hear him -- and he was having one, he really was; he'd earned it, Blair moved quietly to dim the lights before settling back in his chair. Jim's hand, resting on top of the covers, turned, fingers curling up in a mute signal, and Blair, knowing Jim would pretend, eyes blank and stony, that he'd been asleep if it ever got mentioned, linked his fingers with Jim's, giving them a brief squeeze -- allowable -- and then forgetting to move his hand away. He let his voice take on the cadences suitable for a fairy tale and began to talk.
"So I had a chance to sneak out while you were providing a nice distraction --"
"You should have." Jim's jaw moved with an audible clench of muscle and teeth and Blair started to stroke his thumb across the palm of Jim's hand in gentle, soothing passes.
"Hey, I did. I knew if I could get to the truck and call for backup it'd be the best thing I could do and I swear I was heading that way…"
Only because Jim was lying between Blair and the exit, though.
"So I was tiptoeing down the stairs, quiet as a mouse…"
Screaming at the top of his lungs, using words he'd always considered boringly pedestrian. Anyone could swear; Blair prided himself on being able to tear the skin off a student's hide without once saying a single word that could qualify as obscene. Somehow, 'get the fuck away from him, you motherfucking sons of bitches' had worked better on this occasion. He'd felt the words juice him up, and he could have sworn the world turned red. When he had the chance he was going to put in a few hours researching Scandinavian berserkers.
"When I tripped…"
That part was true and thank Odin he had, as two of the three men kicking Jim had stopped, turned, and shot at him.
"I guess that, uh, alerted them, because they shot at me -- not hurt, didn't touch me, sucky shots -- hey, hey, I'm here, aren't I? And ow, ease up there, little buddy."
Jim's eyes stayed shut but his mouth was a thin, grim line and his fingers were clamped painfully tight around Blair's for a moment.
Okay, this next bit he could tell straight. He didn't believe it himself and Simon had given him a look that had curled Blair's toes when he'd heard it, but Forensics had backed him up and Simon had stalked away, muttering and shaking his head. After patting Blair's shoulder in an awkward, brusque, and kind of painful way as it was the one Blair had damaged falling down the stairs and grabbing automatically for the railing.
Four bullets. Two lost in the gloom of the warehouse. One had ricocheted off the stair railing, inches away from Blair's clutching hand, and severed a rope, bringing a packing case crashing down on the man who'd fired it, who'd started to run toward Blair. Wicked Witch time.
The last bullet had struck a propane tank and it had exploded, sending shrapnel flying -- the second shooter, who'd turned to look at the blast, had received a shard of metal two feet long through his leg. Blair could still hear his screams. Oh, yeah. He was going to be meditating for ever over this.
And the last man, the one who'd stayed by Jim, a snarl of anger twisting his face, until, lit by the flames he looked demonic --
"You woke up, Jim. I don't know how you knew, or how you did it, but you lashed out with your foot and he stumbled and then I --"
Took him down. All teeth and fists and fury. It had been glorious and sickening and he didn't regret a single blow, not when the man had been dragged off in cuffs, spitting blood, not when he'd seen the gleam of white on the ground and known without looking closely that it was part of a tooth.
And if he had thrown up, if he'd cried, tears slipping down his face that he hadn't known about until they splashed, hot and salt on his shaking hands, well, that was before he'd seen Jim tethered to monitors and drips and no one had heard or seen him.
No regrets. No fucking regrets. Not one.
"You're a wild man, Chief." Jim's voice was drowsy and his fingers were releasing their grip. "Tarzan… knew it…"
"Yeah." Blair eased his hand free with a tinge of regret and stood. He'd be back later but he had to take an hour or two to deal. He was still wearing blood that wasn't his for one thing, spattered across his shirt, and the smell of that had to be bothering Jim.
It sure as hell was bothering Blair.
"Your Jim, right?"
Jim was joking, had to be; one final effort before he fell asleep.
But that had been number one on the freak out list for years.
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