Smoothing it Over

Jim knelt, running his hand lightly over bullet-gouged wood. He shook his head, looking grimly annoyed. "Major job sanding this down…"

"Tell me about it," Blair offered, not really caring but trying to go with Jim on this one. The rest of the loft was back to normal. Just these damaged doors to remind them both of what had happened.

"And the glass… every pane's going to need replacing; look at the crack in this one…"

"Yeah." Blair cleared his throat. "You know, Jim, I was standing in front of these doors while they were getting shot. In fact, I was what they were…"

"And the wall, God, look at it… do we still have any of that green paint left?"

"Aiming at, and it freaked me out, and can we stop talking about the doors, Jim? Please?"

Jim didn't stop touching the wood, the wall, and the remaining panes of glass in Blair's bedroom doors. "Might be easier to just get new doors…"

"Next time I'll throw myself in front of the bullets and protect them with my --"

Jim turned his head and looked up at him. Just looked.



Blair hunkered down beside Jim, apologizing without actually saying anything, and rubbed his finger over a splintered piece of door frame. "We can work on it this weekend. Get it fixed-- ow."

"Oh, for God's sake!" Jim exploded, the tips of his ears going red before he'd finished speaking. Never a good sign.

"Uh, Jim, it's just a…"

"I know," Jim said, his breathing loud and ragged "I know, okay? It's just a splinter. The bullets missed. I know, Sandburg. Just let me freak out about it a bit, will you? Is that too much to ask?"

Blair rocked back on his heels, leaning against the scarred wall and starting to grin. "This is you freaking?"

Jim frowned. "You didn't notice? Blair, you could have been killed. Our home got shot up. What, you don't think that bothers me?"

He stood up and dusted himself down. "I'm going to get a needle for your finger."

"I'll just suck it out," Blair said hastily, shoving his finger into his mouth and probing for the tiny piece of wood with his tongue. "Can't feel it," he mumbled.

"Oh, for the love of --" Jim hauled Blair to his feet and, while Blair was still processing that bad tempered yank, Jim pulled Blair's finger free and stared at it for a split second, his eyes narrowed, before diving in with his teeth and tongue.

My finger is in Jim's mouth, Blair thought dizzily. And he's licking it. Oh, man, this is just bizarre.

Obviously Sentinel tongues were really good at search and destroy; Blair felt a stab of pain as Jim's teeth dug in and a dull throb as Jim sucked really hard and then his finger slid out and Jim turned his head and spat out a shred of something.

"Do you kiss it better, too?" Blair said weakly, holding his finger up and feeling the air stroke cool and light across the spit-wet skin.

"Don't push it, Sandburg."

"Done freaking?"

Jim pursed his lips and seemed to be giving it some serious consideration. "Yeah."

"Can it be my turn, now?"

Jim's hand cupped his face and gave it a reasonably gentle pat. "Sure. Go nuts. I'll give you three minutes and then we're going out to the hardware store, okay?"

And Blair guessed it was.

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