Only Words

"It gets easier."

"I don't want it to." Blair's voice was choked with tears, that weren't reaching stone-dry eyes. "I just want it not to be real."

Jim moved his hand from the back of the couch to cup Blair's shoulder in an almost-hug, a careful distance between them, waiting for it to be shrugged off. Blair hadn't been that approachable since Roy's murder. Blair tensed and then, without looking at Jim, edged away -- which brought Jim's hand against Blair's hair and, when Blair edged along another inch, the side of his neck.

Jim let his fingers stroke through a silky tangle of hair to reach skin; slow, unacknowledged, tacitly permitted trespasses, as Blair's angry, desperate words spilled out like tears and the room darkened.

Waited for Blair to give in, accept, turn his face into Jim's shoulder, and let himself be comforted.

That was the hard part for Blair.

Letting Blair walk away afterwards was what was killing Jim.

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