"She turned you down, didn't she?" Jim couldn't keep the satisfaction out of his voice and he winced as Blair gave him a hurt look. "Sorry, it's just --" He faltered and was relieved when Blair leaped into the gap.
"Just what? I crash and burn with another woman --the third this month, Jim! -- and you're glad?" Blair shook his head. "Man, you're cold. And you fail Best Buddy 101, okay? You fail." He poked Jim's chest with an emphatic finger. "Big time!"
Cold? No. Just possessive. And she's gay, Chief, but I'm not going to tell you that because it's her secret, not mine, and you'll want me to tell you how I know.
And I know because her lipstick's smudged with a lighter shade since she came out of the restroom, and it's the same color Anna from Missing Persons is wearing today and she was in there, too. I know because she dated me once for appearance's sake and we both went for the kiss on the cheek at the end and I guess that means she knows something about me, too. I know because she turned you down and most people give you that first date, even though most of them know it's not going to work.
Because you don't realize it, but you're mine and it shows.
You live with me. You smell like me. We wash with the same soap -- ever think about how fucking intimate that is, Blair? I have… and thank God I was in the shower when I did, because I came about thirty seconds later, came so hard my ears were buzzing and my legs wouldn't hold me up. Our clothes tangle in the washer, cling together in the dryer, and I touch everything you wear, folding it, smoothing it out.
We eat the same things. We walk in here reeking of garlic and we're the only ones who don't care, because we can't smell it on each other.
Well, you can't, anyway.
You've got the imprint of my hand on you. They can lift fingerprints off fabric; if they did that to you, you'd stand there lit up like a Christmas tree. Do you know how many times today I've brushed against you and where? I do. The small of your back, your shoulders, your hand when I guided it over that wall with those threads of cotton caught in the rough surface of the bricks, lost in the shadows. Your hair touches me when we're leaning over my desk, both reading the same report, a silky tickle against my face, my shoulder. I want to feel it on my body as much as I want to feel your mouth.
You live with me, work with me, play with me, sleep under me and God, I wish that was literal. The thought of you in my bed, restless, hungry, needing me to love you to sleep, fuck all the stress out of you until you're limp, curled against me, drooling on me, hell I'd let you do that, sure I would, I'd let you do anything, Blair, any damn thing you wanted -- I can't do this, I can't --
"You could try Anna."
"Anna?" Blair's eyes brightened. "Anna from Missing Persons Anna? The one with the dark hair and the --"
"Yeah. That Anna."
Blair bit his lip, his enthusiasm fading visibly. "Yeah, I could do that, but tell me, Jim -- and I want honesty, here, okay; no bullshitting me because you feel guilty."
"I don't feel guilty, Sandburg, so that's easy."
If I felt guilt, I'd have to stop. Stop all the fantasies, stop using you to jerk off to, stop stripping you down with my senses until you're bare and shivering and you don't even know it.
And I can't stop.
Another prod in the exact same place, because Blair always knew his weak spots. "You should feel guilty, man, but I'm moving on, I'm letting it go --"
"Spit it out, kid."
Blue eyes were fixed on him, twinned with an earnest, cajoling expression; Blair was bringing out the big guns here. "Honestly, Jim, do you think I stand a chance?"
He opened his mouth to tell Blair he did, to lie, lie, lie, and ended up shaking his head mutely.
"Neither do I," Blair said softly, thoughtfully. He gave Jim a glancing look, a fleeting moment of contact that left Jim pierced, his defenses crumbling. "And we both know why."
"Maybe." Bluster and bluff.
"No maybe about it."
Jim shrugged, stonewalling to perfection.
"Do you think I stand a chance with anyone --"
"Sure you do, Chief."
"Who isn't you?" Blair finished inexorably, ignoring Jim's blurted, overly hearty reassurance.
"What the hell kind of question is that?" Blair met his gaze squarely, silent, waiting. "Sandburg, what --?" And then he gave in, because it was Blair, and he couldn't hide from Blair -- obviously, he couldn't, clearly he sucked at keeping any secrets, any at all. "Not if I can help it, no."
He watched Blair absorb that without showing surprise or anger. Blair just nodded, as if he'd gotten the final answer to a crossword and said, "So, if I asked you out -- hypothetically, as we're at work and you were due in Simon's office three minutes ago -- what would my chances of crashing and burning be?"
Oh, God. Oh, God. And Blair would ask that here, wouldn't he? Where the only answer Jim could give him was with words, a necessary space between their bodies, when he wanted to get closer, fit Blair against him and answer with a kiss that left Blair's mouth stinging and hot…
Willing himself to a surface calm, Jim put his hand on Blair's shoulder to turn him and then pushed him forward with a gentle shove to get him moving toward the meeting. "You wouldn't crash."
Blair's small, secret smile was the perfect shape for his lips to form.
Jim leaned in close, risking it, so that Blair's hair was disturbed by his words, strands floating up, sinking down. "I can't promise I won't make you burn."
Blair ran his tongue over his lips, staring straight ahead, deepening their color and making them shine. "Promise you will, and I'll say yes."
Blair gave him a sidelong glance. "With you? Just about anything."
"She turned you down because she's with someone else," he said, needing to confess that much at least.
Blair grinned and tapped on Simon's door. "So am I, now, right?"
Since the moment we met, Blair.
"Yeah, Chief. Looks like you are."
Oh, God, don't let me fuck this up --
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