No Crib For a Bed

by Jane Davitt

My back is up against the wall here, man. I got nowhere else to go.

"You can just leave your stuff in that corner for now," Jim said. "It's been a long night."

"No kidding."

Blair was moving in a visible cloud of dust and smoke and ash as far as Jim's senses were concerned, shedding debris in tiny flakes. The kid looked beat up, the feverish energy he'd displayed begging for a place to stay dissipated, gone.

"Shower," Jim said. It came out more gently than he'd planned. To cover, he put his hand on Blair's shoulder, wincing at the crunch of grit against his palm, and shoved him in the right direction.

"Shoo?" Blair asked, and dredged up a wavering smile.

"Yeah. Shoo, shower, and whatever else you need to do."

Blair vanished and Jim stood still for a moment, breathing in the new scent of Blair-in-his-loft under the stink of smoke. Different, but he could live with it temporarily.

He stared at the couch. A week was a long time to sleep on something that narrow. His own bed was big enough for two -- a theory he'd like to be testing more often, but his sex life had been non-existent recently -- but if it was twice the size, Blair still wouldn't be getting, or expecting, an invitation.

Jim examined that indisputable fact of male behavior and shook his head over the absurdity of it without really wanting to change it. He'd slept snuggled up -- if Rangers had that word in their vocabulary -- between two men, the three of them part of a larger huddle of soldiers, their breath freezing on the air, and thought nothing of it. Best way to conserve body heat and it'd kept them alive -- but if Reynolds and Garcia had been here, needing a place to sleep, they'd have been offered just what Blair was going to get; the couch, the floor, or maybe...

By the time a damply fragrant Blair emerged in a cloud of steam from a wrecked bathroom Jim only discovered after Blair had fallen asleep, Jim had cleared a space in the storage room directly under his bedroom. No doors, and the bed was an inflatable one Jim used when he went camping, but it would do for the night.

Or even a week.

Blair glanced at the bed, smiled, and got on it, starfishing out and bouncing like a kid, but there was nothing childlike about the body the slipping towel revealed. Hair flattened by water curled over his chest, a nipple ring glinting, and until Blair nonchalantly tugged the towel straight, Jim got an eyeful.

Jim reminded himself that he'd showered with Reynolds and Garcia, too, no big deal. No… difficulties.

"Thanks, Jim," Blair said. The towel landed in the corner and Blair rolled to his belly, water-pinked ass in the air and dragged the sleeping bag over him. "G'night."

Jim swallowed dryly. It was going to be a long week.

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