The power went out when Blair was mid-shower. Jim registered the sudden dip in noise as the TV went dark and the fridge stopped humming and then Blair yelped, shock making his 'hey!' a few notes higher than normal.
There was a flashlight in a drawer, candles and matches in a cupboard, but Jim, whose sight had adjusted to the darkness between one blink and the next, headed straight for the bathroom.
Even without sentinel sight, the loft wasn't pitch-black; the city was still lit for the most part; cars were still driving by, headlights shining. The power was out for a few blocks, no more -- but inside the windowless bathroom, the darkness would be inky, total, and Blair would be disorientated.
With visions of Blair slipping, falling, striking his head, Jim did what he'd never done before and opened the bathroom door when he knew that Blair was in there, naked.
They never locked the door; why bother?
Jim walked into air scented with soap, damp with steam, and paused, straining to see. "Need a hand, Chief?"
"Jim?" Blair sounded startled, which made no sense at all. "Is that you?"
"No, it's Mrs. Hennessy from 204." Jim shook his head, his lips twisted by exasperation, not caring that Blair couldn't see him. "Of course it's me."
"And you're in the bathroom when I'm wet and naked because?"
"Because I thought you might slip and bang your head in the dark."
It had seemed so reasonable a few moments ago.
"Which is why you brought me a flashlight that you're going to leave where I can reach it?"
"A candle that blew out when you rushed through the door, that you're about to relight?"
"Now you're just being sarcastic," Jim said, mortified. "Jesus, forgive a guy for caring."
The shower curtain that Blair was clutching to him in a show of modesty that Jim longed to tell him was pointless, rustled. It was translucent blue and he could see the shape of Blair's body as if it were underwater now that his eyes had woven the spill of light behind him into something that he could use, but it was dark enough that even he couldn't see details.
"I might have reamed your ass today for printing off a hundred copies of my report instead of one --"
"I went to get coffee! I didn't notice until I got back and I said I'd pay for the paper and ink."
"Be that as it may," Jim said austerely, "I didn't want to scrape your limp and bloodied body off the bathroom floor when the lights come back on. And, yeah, I might not have thought it through, but my motives were pure."
"Pity," Blair said under his breath.
"What?" Jim asked, startled. He swallowed hard. Hostility seemed to be the best plan of attack, with his heart hammering from adrenaline and the implications of a single word that Blair had known damn well Jim would hear. "Listen, Sandburg, if you think this is some lame attempt to see you naked, one, even I'm struggling to see my hand in front of my face, and two, I can sneak a peek any time I want."
Okay, that really hadn't come out the way he'd planned it in his head.
"I don't want you sneaking peeks at my ass," Blair said, sounding outraged by the very idea. "Jesus, what are you, twelve?"
"I don't -- I mean, I didn't -- I won't --" Jim ground to a halt. His face was hot enough that it should've been giving off light all by itself. From hero to pervert in the space of a few moments. Just great. "Fuck it. Stay there and I'll bring you a flashlight. With my eyes closed."
"Forget it," Jim snarled -- and the power came back on, the light dazzling him, blinding him, his eyes watering as he gasped and brought his hands up to shield them. There was a thud as Blair's feet hit the floor, and then a warm, wet body was dripping over his feet. A flicked switch brought a blessed dimness inside the bathroom, with a golden wash of light from the kitchen providing a soft illumination outside the door.
"Let your eyes adjust, yeah, that's it, don't open them all the way yet…" Blair's voice was casual and reassuring. Jim blinked away the tears and managed to achieve a balance, so that he could see but wouldn't be reduced to whimpering the next time the light went on.
"How's that?" Blair asked.
Jim nodded and wiped his face, knuckling away the last of the tears. "I'm fine."
"Good," Blair said and stepped back, his arms out at his side, hiding nothing. "So look. Look all you like. I don't mind you doing that; I just don't need rescuing. I'm not afraid of the dark, Jim."
"I didn't think you were. I just --" Jim shrugged his shoulders and kept his gaze on Blair's face. "I know what you look like," he said, a confession, a desperate, driven to it boast. "If I could draw better than a preschooler, I could put you on paper. Sitting, standing, lying down…I know the way the hair grows on your chest, the shape it makes, I know the places you're scarred, every freckle, every -- I know your body, okay?"
Blair didn't look away, but his eyes widened. There was a long silence, with Jim breathing shallowly in case he missed something, anything, and then Blair's mouth tightened decisively.
"So you've looked," he said and raised his eyebrows. "Want to touch?"
Jim reached out his hand without letting himself think about it, and did just that, his fingertips resting lightly against the side of Blair's jaw.
Blair's eyes slid closed and he sighed, tension that Jim hadn't realized Blair was carrying leaving him on that sighed-out exhalation. "Feels good."
Jim smiled, deeply content, his fingertips tingling as if he'd gotten a static shock. "Yeah."
Blair cleared his throat suggestively. "You know, I might have gotten glimpses of you over the months, but the complete picture would be nice."
"Are you asking me to get naked, Chief?"
"Oh God, would you?"
Jim stepped back and started to strip, too caught up in the moment to be cautious or inhibited. Fuck it. He wanted this. He was going to take it when it was offered. He'd just reached the point where Blair's eyes were frankly appraising and flatteringly appreciative of everything Jim had to show him when the lights went out again.
"No!" Blair wailed. "Damn it, no!"
Jim reached out, took Blair's flailing hand, and drew him closer. "Don't need your eyes," he murmured against Blair's hair, dense with water, smooth as silk. "Look with your hands."
"Yeah," Blair muttered. "I can do that. Wanted to do that for so fucking long --"
"So do it now," Jim said, forming the words with difficulty, not interested in why Blair had hung back -- he could guess the reasons, that probably matched his own -- as much as what Blair's hands were doing.
Light, tentative touches didn't seem to be Blair's style; his hands were sweeping over Jim's back and ass, long, firm strokes, claiming territory, conquering skin.
Jim retaliated with caresses of his own. When his palm curved around Blair's shoulders, it clung against the damp skin. He had to take his hand away to move it somewhere else, making his explorations a series of fleeting contacts, connect the dots. He closed his eyes for a moment or two, making him equal with Blair in blindness, and let his mouth find Blair's, unable to wait a moment longer to taste him.
Blair made a sound half groan, half purr, and rubbed himself against Jim shamelessly as they kissed. The feel of Blair's cock, hard, hot, against his thigh was too much of an invitation to pass up; Jim reached down and wrapped his hand around it, learning its shape and the different textures of the skin, thin-stretched over the shaft, thicker, looser around the hair-clouded balls.
"Want to say hi?" Blair said against Jim's lips.
"Without an introduction?" Jim moved his hand up and down, gently, in a parody of a handshake. "Hi, there. I'm Jim. Nice to meet you."
Blair was laughing silently, his body shaking with it, his face against Jim's shoulder now. "You're so formal," he managed to say. "I think we can go past handshakes."
"Well, you're a guy, so I could give you a hug…and if you were a woman, I might kiss you. On the cheek, of course."
Blair grabbed Jim's hand and flattened it against his ass. "How about that one?"
Jim bit at Blair's throat just to make him shudder and tilt his head, offering more. "If I kiss your ass, I want to be able to see what I'm doing. We could move this upstairs and take some candles with us?"
"Yeah," Blair said and he was smiling, Jim could hear it in his voice. "Let there be light."
Those words had heralded the birth of a whole new world; they didn't seem out of place to Jim on a night that had gotten him a still-damp, warm, eager Blair in his arms and bed.
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