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Midnight Oil

by Resonant

All in all, Blair thought, it was a good thing it hadn't happened at night.

When you made love at night, it was the most natural thing in the world to fall asleep in each other's arms. And what did that lead to? Sleeping fitfully in an unfamiliar bed (or in a familiar one made unfamiliar by being filled with unfamiliar flesh). The creepy sensation of someone else's breath on your arms. Waking up with a mouth that tasted like the spot under the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator, and being expected to kiss someone whose breath smelled bad in a whole new and unexplored way.

Not to mention the near-impossibility of achieving the right emotional tone the next morning. When Blair woke up with a new lover, his mind usually demanded, with great urgency, that he do three contradictory things -- Cuddle! Piss! Bolt! -- and whichever one he chose to indulge, the desire to do the other two would pound in his head and make him nervous and edgy. More than one promising relationship had foundered on the rocks of a bad Sandburg morning after.

So it made him happy that his long-banked desire for his roommate had sprung into flame on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Afterwards, the two of them had lain in a sticky, stinky, greasy, happy mess, and Jim had been making an utterly outrageous promise about acting out one of Blair's truck fantasies -- to which Blair had replied that if Jim ever actually did such a thing, Blair would personally boil and eat his favorite thong bracelet -- when someone's stomach had let out a howl of hunger, and after that there was really nothing to do but sponge off and go make pasta, was there?

The separation this required was long enough to make awkwardness possible, but when Jim came out of the bathroom with his hands on the top button of his shirt, it turned out to be perfectly easy to say, "No. Leave it unbuttoned," and Jim's eyes flashed and he strode menacingly across the kitchen and pinned Blair to the refrigerator and kissed him, and Blair's hands went into Jim's unbuttoned shirt and stroked up his back and then down over his denim-clad ass, and just like that they had leaped from Recovering From The First Time into Anticipating The Second, which was a much more comfortable place to be.

After fifteen minutes of wet kissing, when they reluctantly separated to attend to food, there was a moment when Jim reached for the olive oil and found empty space, and when their eyes met and they remembered where the olive oil had ended up they both exploded into laughter, which didn't die down completely until long after Blair had dashed up to the loft, taking the steps two at a time, to bring the half-empty bottle back down to brown onions with. "Gonna need one of these in every room, man," he gasped, and they went off again in laughter.

And that was the way the rest of the meal preparation went -- companionable conversation and laughter, just like always, but as soon as Blair began to sink back into thinking it was an evening like any other, there would be a hand on his ass or a mouth on the back of his neck and once again he'd get to relive the blinding flash of joy he felt when he realized: Jim wants me! It's me he wants! And then there'd be another long, luxuriant kissing session, and if the pasta was gummy and overcooked and the sauce was a little on the scorched side, well, neither of them objected to the trade-off.

So he was washing dishes and Jim was drying, and Jim was touching, adorable, in his obvious relaxation, humming tunelessly and putting glasses away wet in clear defiance of the usual Ellison Standards of Dish Cleanliness. And Blair felt energized, manic, almost hysterical with it, in a mood that he recognized as being on the knife's edge between jubilation and panic. Because no matter what happened now, everything, everything had changed, and what if Jim didn't ...

Nope. Nope. Not even gonna go there, Sandburg. It was beautiful, it was overwhelming, and it has an excellent chance of happening again, as long as you don't screw it up by thinking too much.

So as a preventive measure against thinking too much, Blair took the wet dish towel out of Jim's hands, draped it carefully over the front of the sink, grasped the two sides of Jim's shirt in his hands, and pulled them slowly apart, and with no further preamble fastened his lips on Jim's left nipple. Jim reacted to this by trying to laugh, talk, and pant all at once: "Fu-fuck, Sandburg, you ... you'll do ... anything to cut the cleanup short ... won't you?"

Blair began to move across the broad chest toward the other nipple. "Hey, Jim, know what?" he asked against Jim's breastbone. "The sheets are already dirty; no matter what we do now, we can't get them any dirtier."

"Good observer," Jim growled, and shoved off the counter, propelling them both toward the stairs.

By the time they hit the mattress, Jim had already divested Blair of his T-shirt, and one part of Blair approved of the idea of maximum nakedness in minimum time, but another part of him was figuring that if a couple of hours of foreplay disguised as dinner were good, another few minutes of foreplay disguised as conversation would be even better.

"So, Jim," he said, bouncing on the bed, "seems to me that you owe me one. Matter of fact, seems to me that you owe me three."

"How do you figure that?" Jim asked, putting a stop to Blair's bouncing by the simple means of pinning down an ear and putting his tongue in it. "Way I remember it," he whispered directly into that ear, "we got one apiece, which sounds pretty fair to me, although I certainly wouldn't mind making it two in the next few minutes."

Blair shivered, but couldn't be distracted. "Get your mind out of the gutter, man," he said, ruining the message by accompanying it with an enthusiastic butt grab. "Fantasies. You owe me three fantasies. And I intend to collect, too."

"Hey, you're the one with the wild imagination," Jim said. "You'd be disappointed if I told you what's in my head. Plus you're the one with the words, too."

"Yeah, I can just hear it now," Blair said. " 'Chief, I want you to, you know. With your ... you know --' oh, hey, Jim, I don't mean anything by it, man --" because Jim was looking distinctly uncomfortable. "I don't expect you to talk dirty. I mean, when you think about it it's probably a good thing one of us knows how to shut up."

"Well, I'd like to be able to tell stories like those ones you told me," Jim said ruefully. "Hell, I'd like to be able to think of them, never mind be able to say them. It's just not me, you know?"

"Yeah," Blair said, rubbing his back reassuringly. "I know. Maybe we can figure out some way to make it comfortable for you to spin a yarn like that. Even if you, like, leave me a note or something. Buy a book and leave it open on the coffee table --"

"Oh, yeah, right. Maybe on poker night," Jim snorted. "That would go over real big --" and then, mimicking Megan's accent, "Kama what?"

Blair rolled over on his belly and buried his face in a pillow, laughing. "Maybe you could send a message through the dispatchers," he said. " 'Unit 51, we have a nipple in need of urgent attention on the northwest side ...' "

"Well, hell, maybe I should just take care of it myself while you call for backup," Jim said helpfully.

"Hey, backup always arrives too late, you know that," Blair pointed out. Then he sobered. "Hey, but all I'm saying is, I don't want it to be about what I want just because I'm better at saying it, you know? I want to do what you want. So, OK, no big narrative right now, just answer a simple question: What do you want, Jim?"

"Your mouth." Jim looked as surprised as Blair that the answer was so ready to hand.

"That's more like it," Blair said with a grin, pushing Jim to his back and starting on the buttons of his jeans.

"No," Jim said -- and at Blair's sharp look, laughing, "I mean, yes, of course, any time, but that's not what I meant."

"O-kay," Blair said slowly, "you said my mouth, what do you want me to do with it?"

"Close it," Jim growled. "I mean, we are talking fantasy here." He rolled Blair onto his back and pushed off the bed to sit on the floor beside him, running a fingertip over his lower lip and pulling his finger away from Blair's seeking tongue. "No," he said again.

"What then?"

"Just ... lie still for me, OK? And close your eyes." Blair complied with the second request but was clearly having some trouble with the first. Jim kissed him on the forehead. "Relax," he said sternly.

And then, in another tone altogether: "You have such a beautiful mouth. I used to just get glimpses -- you understand, Sandburg, what a rare thing it is to see your mouth at rest? I used to love it when we were on stakeout and you were almost falling asleep in the truck, because then you weren't talking, and you weren't laughing, and you weren't eating, and I could just ..." Again he ran his fingertip over Blair's lower lip, and Blair restrained himself from following that fingertip, though the effort was visible.

"I want to get my fill of your mouth." Jim was whispering now. "I don't want you to interfere or try to do anything. Just lie back and let me do this." And he placed a soft kiss on Blair's lips, and then lapped softly at them with his tongue. Blair opened his mouth.

"No," Jim said softly. Blair shut his mouth again and opened his eyes with an eloquent pleading look. "Can't you let me do this?" Jim whispered. This time when Blair shut his eyes, it was obviously a gesture of surrender.

In thirty seconds, Blair was shivering; in sixty, he was sweating. He wanted, longed, ached, to push Jim to the floor and plunge his tongue into that torturing mouth, and the effort not to do so was frustrating and frightening and fiercely arousing.

Jim moved his mouth back and forth just a fraction of an inch away from Blair's, letting the closeness warm their skin. He ran his closed lips over Blair's closed lips, over and over, until it felt like their two mouths were growing, swelling, alive in some changed way. Blair gasped when he felt Jim's tongue tracing around the outline of his lips, then going over them, slowly, with tiny licks, as though he was painting them with a small soft paintbrush.

Jim swiped his tongue wetly over Blair's lips, from corner to corner. He pressed a knuckle to Blair's lower lip, encouraging him to open his mouth a bit, and then began the tiny paintbrush licks again, this time along the sensitive inner surface of Blair's lips. Then at last he tilted his head, made full contact with Blair's lips, and thrust his tongue into Blair's mouth.

Blair made a tiny, high-pitched sound, gripped his cock through his jeans, and came hard, gasping and shaking.

Jim pulled back, startled. He took in Blair's heaving chest, his still-clutching fist, and the dark blot on his jeans. "You have got to be kidding."

"Shocked the ... fuck outta ... me," Blair panted. Then he frowned. He put his lips together again, as he had for the word "me," and closed his eyes, and shuddered.

"Look at that," Jim said in awe. He touched one knuckle to the notch in Blair's upper lip. Blair pulled back.

"Too much, it's too much, Jim," he said, shivering. "I need a minute to recover here, OK? I feel like you, like, rewired my body. Like now every time you hit the remote, the window's gonna open."

"Take all the time you need, Chief," Jim said. "I'm not in any hurry. I was just getting started." He leaned his elbow on the bed, propped his head on his hand, and looked at Blair.

"What? What?"

"I'm just looking at you. I like looking at you. Especially like this. Especially when I made you like this."

Blair flung an arm over his closed eyes. "You made me a quivering mass of jelly, that's what you made me," he moaned. "I may never be able to use these lips again."

"Don't worry," Jim said darkly. "I'll feed you." And he ran a hand possessively down Blair's bare chest.

Blair looked out from under his arm with one eye. "Your idea of 'time to recover' is a little shorter than mine, Ellison," he said.

"Sorry," said Jim, not a bit sorry. He wrapped his hand around Blair's far shoulder and snuggled his upper body against his side, rubbing his nose in Blair's armpit.

"Jim!" Blair said, lowering his arm quickly. "Look, wait till I can participate before you do this stuff, will you?"

"Yeah, OK, sorry," Jim said. "So is it still my turn to ... hey! I just remembered something! I did already tell you something I wanted. We just had, you know, a condom problem. Because of the, of the oil."

"Ah. Listen. About that." Blair turned on his side, facing Jim, but he wouldn't meet Jim's eye. "I had a thought about that."

"And?" Jim said cautiously.

"Well, we could get tested."


"And then we could, like, wait the six weeks and get tested again."

"Uh ... yeah?"

"Just as a way we could avoid, you know, the latex reality." Blair was pulling irresolutely at a wrinkle in the sheet. Jim touched his cheek and his face came up. He was blushing.

"But the only way that would be safe, Chief, is if we ..."

"Look, look, it was just a thought, no big deal, man, I'll go to Planet Latex with you anytime. It's just that I thought, I mean, but maybe you're not there yet, you know? And that's cool, it's cool, because quite frankly it's a bit of a shock to find myself there, given my usual mode of operations, which is not exactly ..."

"Sandburg, you're babbling," Jim said tenderly, and Blair exploded, "Look, I don't want anybody else, OK?" And then he saw Jim's face, and all the guardedness went out of his posture, and he whispered, "I don't need anybody else. If I've got you. Have I got you, Jim?"

"Oh, yeah," Jim said hoarsely. "Oh, yeah, absolutely, you've got me." And he kissed Blair's eyes, and his forehead, and his temples, and then he dove in and kissed his open mouth fiercely until they were both breathless.

"Six weeks, huh," he said when he came up for air, and there was a hint of a grin around the corners of his mouth.

"Well, that's what the recording at the health department info-line said," Blair said. "I called them," he added, ducking his head. "While you were in the bathroom."

"While I was in the ... damn. Lucky for you I had to wait for the water to run warm, huh?" Jim tugged on one of Blair's ears. "Now, I wonder what in the world we're going to do for six weeks."

"Oh, I had some thoughts about that," Blair grinned.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah." Blair said nothing for a few moments, then: "Most of them involve you being naked."

"I can do naked." Jim sat up and shrugged the shirt off his shoulders, then stood up and shucked jeans and boxers with as few wasted movements as possible. He looked at Blair expectantly. "Now what?"

Blair was pushing his own wet jeans off. "Could you, um, just, like, lie down and let me look at you for a while?"

"How long a while, Sandburg? Should I go get a book?" Jim was trying to sound irritated, but his face was suspiciously pink. He stretched out on his back, scrunched a pillow under his head, and waved his hand in an all-this-can-be-yours gesture.

"Ah, man," Blair sighed. "You don't even know how incredible you are, do you. "

"Hey, I'm only art in your dreams, Chief." Jim turned on his side and reached out. "Come closer."

Blair slid into Jim's arms and gave him a slow, wet kiss. Then he propped himself on one elbow and began running his hand over Jim's skin -- across his collarbone and down his arm, back up his ribs and over a nipple just hard enough to make Jim sigh, down the center of his chest. His hand began to slow as he reached Jim's navel, where a thin thread of hair began to appear.

"Can I?" he said.

"Anything you want," Jim said. "You don't have to ask" -- and then, opening his eyes, "You didn't ask before."

"Yeah, well, before I was sort of, you know, out of my mind with lust and terror," Blair said. "I didn't get to really appreciate it all. You OK to go slow? I mean, you didn't get, you know, the edge off like I did."

"Slow's fine," Jim said, stroking the back of Blair's head. "I like it like that."

"Oh man." Blair ran his fingertips down that trail of hair, then teased the thicker hair around the base of Jim's cock. Jim breathed a little faster, but he didn't move. Blair stroked two fingers up Jim's cock, slowly, and said, "Oh, man," again.

"Feel different?" Jim asked, watching him closely.


"From yours."

"Oh." Blair made a circle of his thumb and forefinger and began to move up and down, keeping his touch slow and light. "Yeah, it does. Curves the other way." Jim raised his head to look, and Blair rolled over from his belly to his side to demonstrate, without slowing his hand.

"Oh, yeah," Jim said. "Interesting." He grinned at Blair. "And what happened to all that time you needed to recover?"

Blair licked Jim's collarbone. "Found me a miracle drug," he said. He ran his thumb over the head of Jim's cock, where the first beads of moisture were appearing. "I want to taste you," he whispered.

"God, do it," Jim said.

Blair moved down Jim's body to lie beside his hip. He circled his fingers around the base of Jim's cock and lifted it off his belly, then ran his tongue over the head. Jim gasped.

"Tastes like tears," Blair said. He ran his lips gently down the shaft and then gently back up. "Hot," he said. "And your skin's so smooth. Soft. I didn't expect that." He made the journey again with his tongue, then lifted his head to look at Jim. "You said kissing was different. This different too?"

"Not really." Jim's voice was noticeably thicker. "Except that I know it's you doing it. Ohhh," he said as Blair's tongue picked up again on its downward journey, moving wetly over his balls.

"Shit, they move," Blair said, licking them again. Jim groaned. "How did I get to be this old and not know they move?" Then he pressed his face closer, inhaling the concentrated scent of Jim. "Jim," he said. "I want you to watch me." Jim groaned again. "You want to sit up or stand up or something? I want you to be able to see me."

"Yeah, OK," Jim said, and sat up on the edge of the bed. Blair moved between his legs and knelt up for a kiss, then sat down cross-legged. "You OK?" Jim asked.

" 'm good," Blair said. "Can you see me?" He began mouthing around the base of Jim's cock, using only his lips.

"Oh, yeah," Jim said. He leaned back slightly, his eyes never leaving Blair's mouth, which was moving up his shaft in that same nibbling motion, teeth covered by his lips. "Oh, fuck."

Blair pressed his lips to the wet tip, then opened them and took it into his mouth, swirling his tongue around it and drawing a gasp from Jim. He opened wider and took another few inches into his mouth, then pulled it out slowly. "That's harder than it looks," he said, and he licked his palm -- a little more dramatically than was strictly necessary -- before wrapping it around the base of Jim's cock and diving down with his mouth again.

Now that he had scoped out the landscape, Blair set up a slow, steady rhythm, moving his mouth and his hand in unison to contain Jim's cock in a sliding tunnel of tight wetness. He glanced up at the peak of a stroke and Jim was watching him with an expression of highly concentrated lust, mouth slack, eyes half-shut, and he moaned around the flesh in his mouth and closed his eyes as Jim's hand came down to rub over his hollowed cheeks, to stroke around his wet lips, before coming to rest on the side of his neck with a thumb softly stroking his jaw -- feeling the stubble, he realized, and that sent a bolt of excitement through his body, and he groaned and sucked harder and heard Jim's answering groan above him.

Jim's hips had begun to move, a tiny, tightly-controlled rhythm, not enough to send him uncomfortably deep into Blair's mouth, but enough to signal to Blair that, yeah, it was good, he was getting into it. Blair squeezed his hand tighter around Jim's length and brought his other hand up from Jim's thigh to stroke softly over his balls, which were pulling up close to his body, and Jim gasped out, "Blair ... soon ..."

Blair pulled back his mouth but kept his hands going, and he looked up to Jim's damp face and back down to Jim's cock in his hand. "Jim," he whispered. "Do it. I want to watch," and Jim's lips pulled back and his eyes fell almost shut and he thrust his hips jerkily into Blair's hand and came, spurting hotly over Blair's fingers and onto his own belly. Then, panting, he pulled Blair up onto the bed and kissed him hard, quickly, and thrust Blair's wet fingers into his mouth and sucked them clean.

"Oh, god," Blair moaned, and almost closed his eyes on the picture of Jim sucking his own taste off Blair's hand. Blair pushed them both over until they were lying side by side and threw one leg over Jim's legs, rubbing his cock into Jim's thigh.

"No," Jim said. "Let me." And he rolled Blair onto his back, and caught and held his eyes while he rubbed his hand over his wet skin and brought it to Blair's cock. Blair groaned and thrust up into Jim's stroking hand, and he brought his own hands up and rubbed them over his chest.

"You wanna help me?" Jim whispered. "Oh, yeah, that's good. Do it." And Blair wrapped his hand around the back of Jim's, and Jim spread his fingers so that Blair's fingers came down between them, and the hot skin of his own cock felt almost unfamiliar to him. He pressed the fingers of his other hand hard against the base, and Jim said, "Oh, fuck yes, show me, show me," and Blair was gone, coming into their clasped hands while Jim panted, "yeah, show me," in his ear.

And while he was still coming down, he felt Jim's hand on his belly, rubbing in circles through the come and the hair and the sweat, and that surprised another spurt out of him, and he said, "Oh, god, Jim," and pulled Jim's face down to rest on his neck while he caught his breath, and then pulled it back up for a long, soft kiss.

"So you wanna do that for six weeks," Jim said, rubbing his hand clean on the sheets and bringing it up to the back of Blair's neck.

"Well, not six weeks continually," Blair clarified. "I mean, I'd probably want a break for sleeping and eating and stuff. Every couple of days."

"Jeez, it's nothing but demands," Jim said. "Next thing I know you'll be unionizing."

"Hey, man, my generation are, like, free agents," Blair said loftily. "If we feel unappreciated at our current employment, we take our services elsewhere."

"Your generation my ass," Jim said. "You don't get a generation. You're in your own category."

"Sure. First it's no sleeping breaks and now you're trying to isolate me from my peer group," Blair said. "I'm working on my resume even as we speak, Jim."

"All right, all right. Say I give in to your excessive and unreasonable requests. Does that mean I'm going to see some of that fabled free-agent innovation and creativity that your so-called generation is supposed to spin off every time it sets foot outside the piercing emporium?"

"Now it's slander!" Blair said, and then, "Creativity and innovation. Hmmm."

"I mean, six weeks is a long time if all you're going to do is punch the clock." Jim was combing his hands through Blair's hair, spreading it artistically around him on the pillow.

"Well, hey, punch-the-clock sex is still a lot better than, like, a really good day at work," Blair said. "But I'll see what the old R&D department can come up with. I mean, six weeks is, what, how many days ..."

"Forty-two. Your generation didn't do so good in the math department," Jim said mournfully.

"Forty-two. And odds are good that you'll spend at least a quarter of those working late on paperwork, since you have your generation's typical inability to postpone gratification to get the tedious stuff done before the last minute ..."


"... so that leaves, what, thirty-two days ... and there are, what, four rooms in the loft, plus the bathroom, plus the balcony makes ..."

"The balcony?" Jim sputtered. "What are you, nuts?"

"Hey, I'm not the one who was making promises earlier involving a certain truck," Blair pointed out. "Looks like my bracelet is safe after all. OK, strike the balcony. That still leaves thirty-two days, five rooms, two beds, two couches, a coffee table ... a fire escape ..."

Jim made a choking noise.

"... and there must be fifty bottles of various things in the kitchen, of which we have explored the potential of precisely one ..."

"Put molasses on me and you're a dead man, Sandburg."

"Oh, yeah, man," Blair said happily. "Six weeks is nothing at all."


Read the story notes

Read "Anoint"

Read the follow-up snippets: "Cold Feet"

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September 1999