Jim turned the scissors in his hand, the lamplight turning the steel to gold, and widened his thumb and finger. The blades snicked open and Blair swallowed as the sound was magnified by his concentration, painfully loud in the silence. Sometimes, he wondered if Jim's abilities were rubbing off on him, because, man, he shouldn't have been able to hear that.
He kept his gaze on the scissors, watching them reshape each of Jim's nails, delicate snippets, curved and white, falling neatly into the waiting container on the floor. Ten nails, with Jim slowing down as he transferred the scissors from one hand to the other, his mouth pursed, giving the task all his attention.
Snick open, snap closed, fall down… and then the clatter as the scissors were put back on the table.
Blair shut his eyes and heard the gentle scratch-rasp of a nail file, working the clean, fresh-cut fingernails to a softer shape, interrupted now and then by a focused exhalation as Jim blew away the dusty fragments.
When the nail file was set down beside the scissors, Blair opened his eyes again. Jim was frowning, studying his hands, fingers spread wide, oh God, let him not --
One hand, Jim's right, curled into a fist, knuckles pushing white through sun-darkened skin.
The small sound clawing out of Blair's throat was a whimper, ragged, pleading.
Jim's eyes flickered but he didn't look over at where Blair was waiting, watching, wanting.
Just picked up the hand lotion and poured some into the palm of his hand, a cool, pale, unscented dollop, soaking quickly into skin as Jim worked his hands together, fingers interlocked and busy. Even to Blair's ears, dulled and deafened by the thrum of blood, it sounded obscene, that schloop and smear as the lotion was spread and absorbed. His face heated, his breathing quickened, and Jim's mouth quirked in a tight grimace that might have been a smile.
Jim wiped his hands clean on a towel, gathered up what he'd used, and tidied it away in the bathroom. He came out, paused at the foot of the stairs, staring up at his waiting bed, prepared and ready, and then said quietly, casually, the same way he always did, "Chief?"
"I -- no. I want to, I do, I just --"
His faltering words fell into silence and Jim nodded, turned a placid, smiling face in his direction and Blair heard the expected, murmured, "Well, good night, then."
He wished Jim would get angry with him for bailing at the last minute again. Wished he could say yes, give himself over into capable, loving safe hands.
Wished he could make it really simple by telling Jim it just didn't work for him, the way they'd crossed other kinks off the list, never bargaining or negotiating, because it just didn't work that way.
But as he jerked off a minute later, bathroom door pointlessly closed, unnecessarily locked, lotion-streaked cock slippery in one hand, the scissors in the other, pressing hard against his palm, warming fast, he knew that really wasn't an option.
And he heard the sound of a drawer sliding shut upstairs as Jim put away what he didn't need tonight after all, and wondered when he'd get another chance to say yes and please and scream for Jim, the way Jim cried out for him, adrift and anchored and drowning, all at once.
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