At a Word

"Now I know what it's like to be you. I mean, not the enhanced senses part, but that reptilian brain, that primal man, survival of the fittest..."

"I'll drive, Conan. Give me your keys. Come on."

"No…" Blair tugged urgently at Jim's sleeve. "Not yet. I gotta... is there somewhere we can go?"

"Huh?" Jim eyed him. "You want to throw up? Take a leak? What?" He glanced around. "There's a Wonderburger over there… I could buy one while you used the restroom, I guess…"

"I don't want to do that," Blair hissed, mercifully keeping his voice low. "Jim, I'm wired. I'm on fire here. I'm so fucking horny I'm gonna pop if someone breathes on me. You got that?"

"Yeah, but I wish I didn't." Jim glanced down and whistled. "Chief, you're not kidding. Look, get in the car. I'll get you home and you can take care of --"

"Can't wait." Blair was breathing through his mouth in short, choppy gasps. "Do something."

Jim choked. "What?" Simon wasn't that close and there was so much going on that no one was paying any attention to them, but even so… "Why me? And do what?"

"Get me off."

"No fucking way."

"Don't have to touch me…" Blair met his eyes and gave him a grimace that might have been meant to be a smile. "It's you, Jim. Talk me into it. Hell, give me one of those looks of yours…"

"Did you get hit on the head?" Jim asked. "Because we can go to get you checked out for concussion, you know."

"Do it, do it, do something," Blair chanted. "Please, Jim, please, begging here. I'll owe you big time, huge, just help me out because someone's going to come over soon and see me like this--"

"Yeah, well, that's your problem…"

"With you."


Jim swallowed, giving in. A look. What look? He couldn't give Blair a look if he didn't know what he was supposed to look like… it'd have to be verbal encouragement.

"I, ah, you're looking good today, Blair. I like that colour shirt on you."

He was prepared to continue but Blair's fist hit him hard in the ribs. "God, what am I, your girlfriend?"

"I might have known you'd be critical. You probably take notes before, during, and after, don't you? Okay, uh…" Blair's blue eyes darkened expectantly and Jim was left doing a guppy impression before admitting defeat. "I can't do this, Chief. I can't do this here with everyone looking, and it's not like I can even touch you… Maybe my hand? On your shoulder? Yeah… No, don't touch me back or I'll -- Dammit, Sandburg, you come, come for me now and that's an order."

Sandburg stiffened, holding still by an effort of will Jim admired, and then sank against Jim, hands clutching his shoulders. "Oh, man, oh, Jim…"

"Ellison? Is Sandburg hurt?" Simon sounded distracted but concerned. He'd been less than pleased to find Blair in the middle of the shootout and when he'd found out how involved Blair had gotten, his voice had momentarily drowned out the sirens.

"Delayed reaction, Simon," Jim called back, making sure Blair kept his back to Simon. "I'm taking him home. He got pretty soaked using that hose anyway."

The weak giggle Blair gave at that had him seriously considering punching the kid.

"It wasn't that funny," he muttered into Blair's ear.

"Think about it."

"I got the joke," he ground out. Christ, did Sandburg think he had no sense of humour? "I just didn't think it was all that funny."

"Well, you said it."

"Get in the car, will you?" He couldn't resist smacking the back of Sandburg's head. "And that's the last time I take you to a shootout, Chief."

Blair gave him a sidelong look. "Yeah. I think we can skip the foreplay next time and cut to the chase."


But Blair wasn't listening to him anymore and no matter how much Jim glared, he kept on smiling.

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