Many thanks to Kayjay206 for beta reading
Jim threw his keys in the direction of something flat and dragged Blair with him to the couch, making sure, even in the vague muzziness of one too many beers at the neighborhood bar, that Blair landed on top of him, not the other way around.
"Hey," Blair murmured, his mouth already finding the perfect place on Jim's neck to nuzzle into. "Move your goddamn knee."
"Moving it…" Jim did his best to get them both settled and wondered why he hadn't just done the sensible thing and dragged Blair up not down. Upstairs. To a bed. To room to sprawl and do… things. Stuff. To Blair.
He still wasn't used to that idea being a certainty, not a remote lottery jackpot of a possibility.
Wasn't sure he ever wanted to be. He liked the thrill, the way his heart beat hard and fast every time he bent down to kiss Blair, the delicious shock of surprise when Blair kissed him back, wrapping himself around Jim in a way that said yes to just about everything Jim had ever not asked.
In an echo of his thoughts - which <i>was</i> something he was used to -- Blair said, "I can do this, right?" Blair was unbuttoning Jim's shirt one-handed, his other hand a moving patch of warmth; the back of Jim's neck, his cheek, his shoulder, his mouth, restlessly caressing and touching. "I can strip you down and…"
"And?" He sounded hoarse, he knew, but God, Blair was breathing on him, malty, salty, used air and they were that close and it was driving him crazy and why the hell was he under Blair with his arms all pinned down and his field of operations reduced to nothing like what he wanted them to be?
"Oh, Jim…" Blair's tongue was a slow sweep of sweet across Jim's bared chest and his breathless chuckle was pure sin. "You don't know what I want to do to you…"
"Give me an idea, Chief." He freed one hand from its prison between his thigh and Blair's and set it to exploring Blair's ass.
His hand. On Blair's ass. His breath caught and he tipped his head back to stare sightlessly up at the ceiling. "I like your ass," he said.
Blair rewarded that piece of smooth talking with a nip, taking a fold of skin over Jim's ribs prisoner between his teeth and lapping at it busily until Jim came close to losing himself in the concentrated mixture of sensations. Blair released him, kissed the wet spot wetter and rubbed the ball of his thumb over it. "Going to mark…"
"Mmm." Jim didn't care. He'd care tomorrow, staring at the bruise in the mirror, frowning slightly, touching it lightly, troubled by it all day, feeling it throb, but now he just accepted it as something Blair had wanted to do and he'd allowed, indulgent, spoiling him.
He had the feeling that the honeymoon would be over soon and he'd get back to telling Blair no and backing it up with every ounce of conviction he had, but now, right now, he was a pushover and they both knew it.
"You're not the only one who does," Blair told him, pillowing his head on Jim's shoulder and beginning a deceptively desultory series of kisses that went from Jim's earlobe to his collarbone and back. Jim relaxed, making an appreciative rumble of encouragement. Blair's mouth, God, his mouth… he turned his head and intercepted one of the dry, dotted kisses, turning it liquid, getting his hand through the tangle of hair to the nape of Blair's neck and holding Blair still.
"Not the only one what?" he asked a while later, belatedly catching up with the conversation. His lips, away from Blair's felt cool, parched, drying too quickly.
"Who likes my ass," Blair said, wriggling it against the press of Jim's hand, the solid spring of muscle inviting, challenging. Blair was half-hard, matching Jim's own state of slightly drowsy arousal; not fully committed to sex, more of a reflex response to the possibility. One more kiss, though, and Jim thought that would change for both of them.
"Who?" Jim allowed himself to enjoy the possessiveness he felt. Been a while since he'd had anyone to feel that way about… not that he was really troubled by the idea of someone else appreciating the way Blair filled his jeans. Not when he was the only one who got to peel -- and once rip -- them off Blair.
"That transfer from Vice. Claire something."
Jim sorted through the people at the bar who'd joined them to toast Blair's upcoming birthday and nodded. "Mmm," he said again, making it neutral. "I'd say she had good taste, but that dress she was wearing... no, I can't do it."
"She remembers you," Blair said slyly. His finger ran over the skin above Jim's top lip, tracing a moustache, and then Jim hissed reprovingly as his pierced earlobe was pinched. Blair waited, and when Jim refused to comment, he added, "Said she knew some stories…"
"I don't know her." He frowned, cop training kicking in as he sorted through memories, a flashing series of faces. "Wait… yeah. Claire Johnson. She transferred in the week I left; we overlapped by a day or two, no more." He shook his head, dislodging Blair's hand because Blair had found a ticklish spot and it was bugging him. "Any stories she knows are just that, Chief. Gossip."
"Hmm." Blair didn't sound convinced, but Jim held his gaze unblinkingly.
"And she can keep her goddamn eyes off your ass," Jim said, adding in a swat for emphasis.
Blair mimed an ow and grinned. "Funny you should do that…"
Blair reached behind him, grabbed Jim's unresisting hand and brought it back, palm down, against his ass again. "That. She was asking who was dishing out my birthday spanking tomorrow."
"And just what did you tell her, Blair?" Jim asked, drawling it out to cover the emotion he was holding back. Blair liked possessive -- up to a point -- but jealousy could put an impatient flicker in his eyes that had Jim panicking.
That got him a soft snort. "Well, what do you think? I laughed it off and went to stand by Simon."
Jim smiled reluctantly, picturing it. "He makes a good refuge."
"Yeah." Blair gave him a clumsy, bobbed-head, off-center kiss, surprisingly sweet. "So do you, but if I'd gone to you I'd have climbed you like a kitten up a tree and I don't think it would've gone over well, you know?"
"Scared you, did she, Chief?" Jim patted Blair's ass gently. "Don't worry. I'll keep this safe."
"Safe from a birthday spanking?"
There was something about the way Blair said that, the way he'd made it so… specific, which made Jim hesitate before replying doubtfully, "Yes?"
Blair shifted position, working his elbow between Jim and the back of the couch and propping himself on it so he could stare down at a mildly bemused Jim. "I've never had one; how about you?"
Jim gave an uneasy chuckle. "Yeah. A couple. Given and got. You've never?"
"You're blushing," Blair commented. "I'm guessing we're talking adult birthdays here?"
"Yeah…" Jim mumbled. "And I'm not blushing."
"Clear down to here," Blair told him, resting his hand on Jim's bared chest and giving him a smirk. "Going to share?"
"Because every time it was followed by sex, and I don't kiss and tell; not even when it's you I'm telling, Chief."
"Well, fine," Blair said. "Good for you."
Blair lapsed into the silence that was his scariest weapon, a waiting patience, and Jim debated his options. Throw him a bone to satisfy him? Or would that be like drops of blood in the water to a shark?
"Once it was me getting it," he said. "In a bar, held down over a pool table --"
Blair gave an astonished huff of laughter. "You're kidding me!"
"Army days," Jim said briefly. "Four of my buddies grabbed me and they'd got this -- they'd paid this woman…"
"How old were you?"
Jim's mouth twisted in a grimly reminiscent smile, understanding what Blair was asking. "They didn't get that far, Chief. They were drunk and I wasn't, not much. I was fighting the whole time and she'd only got in about four when I broke free." He thought back to the raucous, smoke-filled bar. "She was shrieking about still getting her money…"
"Did she?" Blair's expression was glazed with a mildly salacious curiosity but from what Jim could tell, not all that turned on by the story. Good. It wasn't something he'd enjoyed -- though kicking out wildly and getting Brinkley in the balls had been satisfying -- and he could still remember the feeling of betrayal and hurt when he'd been held down by friendly hands, rendered helpless.
"I took her upstairs, and she got to earn it a different way." And he hadn't enjoyed that much, either, but it'd smoothed things over, and it wasn't like he'd paid her with his own money. Some birthday present. A spanking and a blow job from a sixteen-year-old whore.
"And the other times?"
Blood in the water. He should have known.
"Chief…" He sighed. Okay, this was it. This was the last time he gave in this easily… "Same deal with them. It never got past five, maybe six smacks. And we were both laughing. And if you think I left a mark on them --"
"Whoa! Slow down, Jim!" Blair moved to straddle him, his weight solidly heavy. "I know that. Just -- look, I needed to know --"
"Why did you?" Jim demanded, refusing to be placated. "Do I ask you what you got up to with everyone you've fucked? Names, positions, kinks? I don't think so. Just return the favor, okay, Sandburg?"
"I want you to give me one."
Jim gaped at him. "A spanking?" He shook his head. "Forget it. I won't do it."
"It's technically my birthday now," Blair went on, ignoring Jim's flat refusal the way he always did when he wanted something. Selective deafness. Sandburg had made it an art form. Four years had made it less annoying because Jim had learned how to deal with it, but this crossed a line. Which was something else Blair was good at. "Past midnight. And I'm thirty. Special birthday."
"It wouldn't be a sexual thing…"
"Right." Jim rolled his eyes. Not sexual. His hand on Blair's ass, not sexual. On what planet?
"It's an accepted rite of passage," Blair argued. "It goes back centuries."
"It was considered a way of --"
"I don't care." Jim sat up, grabbing Blair's arm to keep him from sliding sideways, and got his legs out from under Blair with a bad-tempered roughness. When they were sitting side by side, facing each other, he took a steadying breath. "Blair, what is this?"
Blair pushed his hair back. His hands were shaking slightly, which blunted the edges of Jim's irritation, partly because it was something only he would have noticed. And that was something he couldn't ever see himself confessing to Blair, because even he thought it verged on too much of a good thing, but he couldn't help it. It wasn't prying or spying; there were Blair's hands, out in the open; there was the faint tremor caused by an overload of emotion.
It was just that -- only he watched Blair with enough attention to detail to notice. He wasn't using his Sentinel abilities -- at least, he didn't think was -- he was just… looking.
"What is it?"
Blair shook his head, his tucked-back hair spilling forward again, veiling the curve of a flushed cheek. "I don't know, Jim. I just don't know, okay?"
"Yeah, you do." He pulled Blair closer, his arm around Blair's shoulders, their knees bumping. "Hey." He reached across awkwardly, left-handed, and tilted Blair's face into view. "Don't."
Blair sighed and became a weight on Jim's shoulder, his hands working their way inside Jim's open shirt to find skin. It hadn't taken Jim long to notice that given a choice, now that he had an all-access pass to Jim's body, Blair would always take bare skin over covered, even if it meant passing up the chance to touch places on Jim's body that would have been really, really grateful. When Jim's erection was imitating rock, Blair lavishing attention on his arms, for God's sake, just didn't seem right.
"You must think I'm crazy."
"Have done since we met." Jim breathed in a noseful of Blair, warm and ripe, and settled them back against the couch. The beer had made him sleepy and amorous and if Blair wanted this to count as his birthday, he was prepared to overlook the fact that it was cheating and hand over the wrapped and hidden present. Except that meant moving and he didn't want to. He kissed the tip of Blair's ear through a lot of hair and sighed contentedly. "Still do."
"I'm not joking." Jim smiled, even though Blair couldn't see it. "The way you acted, the things you were saying? Thought you were nuts. Still wanted to kiss you."
And he might have, even then, that first day, if he hadn't seen how Blair had reacted to the two girls at the market, and had it hammered home over the years that followed that Blair wasn't the kind who called you back.
He'd always wanted to kiss Blair; he'd just never wanted to have only a single night to do it in.
"Still do, Blair."
"So kiss me." Blair sounded defeated, resigned.
"Your enthusiasm is overwhelming me here."
"Fuck." Blair was suddenly a moving target, heading for the wrong bedroom.
Jim got across the room in time to have a door closed in his face which brought him to a standstill. There was no lock on the entrance to Blair's room; there had never needed to be. Once Blair had moved in, Jim had given him what he expected to get in return; privacy, space.
He didn't bother tapping at the door; Blair knew he was outside it. "Blair? Get your… open up, will you?"
"Go to bed, Jim."
"Love to. So get out here."
"Think I'll sleep in here tonight."
"Why does that not surprise me?" Jim asked, talking more to himself than Blair. He slammed his hand hard against the doorframe, needing the physical release as much as he needed the next breath he took. He heard Blair move, a startled jerk, and sighed, rubbing at the heel of his hand, already regretting his impulse.
"Look, I'm sorry, okay? But I can't -- You're being an asshole, you know that?"
He couldn't imagine sleeping alone in his bed after a month of having Blair in it, warm and in his space and in his face, the snuffling noises he made when he was falling asleep matched now to actions. One night with Blair and Jim had filled in a dozen blanks in the cryptic crossword he'd been working on for four years. That skritch-scrape? Blair's fingernails on the stubble along his jaw. And the sniff-sniff-sigh was accompanied by a nose twitch that was endearing enough to make Jim roll his eyes at himself for being a total fucking sap and make him shower cold three mornings in a row to prove… something.
"Blair, I need -- please. I said 'please', okay? Open the door, talk to me, come upstairs to sleep. Any of them. All of them." He leaned his head against the wall, willing his helplessness to get through the brick and the much denser material of Sandburg's skull. "Please," he murmured, low enough that he wasn't sure it was audible inside Blair's room.
The door opened a moment later. Blair had stripped down to what he'd used to sleep in; a T-shirt and shorts. He'd worn a lot less to bed the last month.
"I hate you," Blair said gloomily.
"Sure you do, sweetheart." Cold showers all month but it was worth it to see the pinched lines around Blair's mouth ease deeper as he smiled.
"Come here." Blair's hand grabbed at his shirt and Jim let himself get turned, pushed up against a wall and kissed, Blair's mouth hot where he'd been biting down on it, the skin ragged.
Stopping Blair from going to his knees took willpower.
"No." And because he thought they took away your 'I am male' badge if you turned down a blow job, he added, "Not yet."
Blair licked his lips and left them parted and open, which nearly undid his resolve, but he held it together enough to get them both upstairs and lying on the bed, getting undressed down to his shorts to match Blair, but not confusing the issue by getting naked.
"What I don't get," he said in a conversational tone, pushing the pillow up so that his head wasn't bumping metal, "is why you didn't just ask me. You want something; you ask. You're not usually subtle about it."
Blair really wasn't. Jim hadn't expected Blair to be shy in bed, but he'd expected him to be a lot more romantic than he was. Maybe Blair saved that for women and maybe it had all been used up, because what Jim had got instead was a raw urgency and a few bruises.
Which was why he'd been enjoying that cuddle on the fucking couch and okay, he had to calm down…
"I'm not usually asking for something like that." Blair wasn't looking at him. Wasn't even looking straight ahead. Blair's head was turned away.
Which didn't stop Jim knowing how he looked because he could pick out Blair's reflection in at least three places around the room, but it was the principle of the thing.
"You didn't have any trouble asking me to bend over the bathroom sink because you wanted to --"
"That was different." Blair's voice was tight with embarrassment.
"No kidding," Jim said with precision. "And I liked it, but even if I hadn't, I didn't mind you asking." Even if it'd been more of an order. Even if thinking about it the next day had him squirming in his seat, heat rising, the echo of the slow, languid laps of Blair's tongue getting him hard.
At work. Talking to Simon. Watching Blair lick cream and foam off the top of a fancy, pricy cup of coffee and knowing Blair was doing it deliberately… If Blair had asked for a spanking that day, Jim would have given him one without hesitation.
"Jim…" Blair's voice trailed off.
"I get it," Jim said gently. "I'm not an anthropologist, but a cop gets to know something about how people behave, too."
"Yeah?" Blair turned to look at him. "So explain it to me."
"You want something," Jim began, holding up his hand, fingers curled loosely into a fist, counting off his points. He extended his thumb. One. "It's important enough that you want to try it with someone you trust." Index finger. "I'm the first who qualifies; hell, a month? For you? We're breaking records -- but there's a problem." Middle finger. "You're not sure how I'll take it. If it'll fuck up what we're doing." Ring finger. "So you use your birthday as a cover. This birthday. Because you can't wait a year." The final finger was straightened and he stared at his hand, peripherally aware that Blair was staring, too.
"A birthday spanking. Anyone can ask for one of those without being thought kinky. Or when they get told they're getting one, struggle, sure, but give in just to be a good sport about it." He spread his fingers wide, flexing them, and then brought them together, curving his hand so his palm cupped air. "And you hoped I'd do a good enough job that you'd know --" He heard Blair swallow dryly and sighed. "You could've just asked, Blair."
"Too late now, huh?" Blair ended with the chuckle he gave when he was discomfited and started to fidget. Jim figured thirty seconds and he'd be heading back down the stairs again.
"No. But you still haven't asked."
"Oh." Blair nodded, his fingers pleating the sheet, crushing the cotton. "Yeah. Can I… maybe…another time?"
"Sure," Jim said agreeably. "No rush, is there?"
Blair exhaled, a relieved woosh of air. "No. No rush. Sorry. About being an asshole." He edged closer. "I'd have hated sleeping down there," he said earnestly. "Honest."
Jim nodded and let Blair kiss him. Let Blair work them out of their clothes and between the sheets. Let Blair suck him off with a fervent adoration Jim didn't think he'd earned but didn't protest. Let Blair have time to wipe his mouth and swallow, clearing the clinging taste of spunk from his tongue and throat.
Blair was still hard, expectant, his brain busy sorting through his options. Jim could see the moment Blair decided, and he knew from the flicker of Blair's eyes toward the night table that Blair was about to reach for slick and a condom, but he didn't wait to be told to roll over.
He watched Blair's expression change swiftly; confusion, comprehension and then indecision. Blair shook his head. "No, Jim. No, you don't have to --"
"I want to. I'm asking." He just wasn't asking for what Blair thought he was. He wondered if that would be a problem for Blair; how Blair really saw him. The hero worship of the early days hadn't lasted, but Jim liked to think it'd been replaced by respect.
Hell with it. He wasn't doing this to Blair until he'd found out what it was like -- really like -- on the receiving end, and besides… besides… "I'm asking."
"Not yet, you're not." Blair bit down on the inside of his cheek, his face contorting briefly before smoothing out. "You have to say it. I have to know what you're asking. You mean you want to spank me? Is that it? Is it, Jim?" As Jim shook his head, Blair's eyes widened. "Oh, man."
The silence that followed was strung tight, thrumming. Jim didn't break it.
"Then you've got to ask," Blair said finally, firmly. "I will, you know I will and I'm not even going to make you tell me why, but you've got to ask."
It was harder to say than he'd expected, but if he stumbled, it was in his head as he rehearsed the words, not when he spoke them.
It hurt more than he'd expected.
And he wondered if Blair would ever ask for it himself now, after his hands, steady hands, one burning hot, had cupped Jim's tear-streaked face and wiped it dry.
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