The Object of My Erections

by Francesca

Disclaimers: Nothing's mine but the words; everything else belongs to Pet Fly. No infringement is intended, and I'm not makin' a dime. (Who needs money when you've got love?) (Well, okay, but I'm still not making any money!) Please go away if you're under 18!

Summary: Three conversations and then The Sex Scene That Simply Would Not End. Gaaagh!

Warnings: None. All right: language, again, fuck it!

Notes: I know, I know, it's been three days: you all probably think I'm dead. It's not my fault — I just couldn't end this one. Again, the feedback monster is hungry — (picture me struggling with a large, grotesque creature with big, sharp teeth that is tethered on a very flimsy leash...You don't want to be responsible for it getting loose, do you?). (Only you can prevent forest fires!)

The black jaguar raced through the trees, soft paws landing on the ground gracefully, lifting off again seconds later — and then it stopped and growled fiercely at the wolf on the edge of the clearing — the wolf dipped its head and surveyed the panther with glowing eyes, came closer, closer —

"Jesus God, Sandburg!" yelled Jim, sitting up abruptly. "Could you not scare the fucking hell out of me!"

"Sorry, sorry, sorry!" said Blair, leaping back away from the sofa. "Just checking to see you were all right! Didn't mean to freak you out!"

"All right, fine!" said Jim. "What time is it?"

"It's six o'clock," said Blair.

"Did you just come in?" asked Jim, shaking his head as if to clear it.

"Yeah, I was at the University. Look, I didn't mean to scare you — "

"I know, it's okay, I must have fallen asleep in front of the television." He looked at the television, which was off. "Didn't I?"

"You did. I turned it off," said Blair. "You're not sick, are you?" he asked, venturing closer. "You don't normally sleep in the afternoon."

"It's my day off, I can do what I want," replied Jim, irritably.

"Yeah, okay," said Blair, placatingly. "You're sure you're not sick?" he said, stepping closer still and bending over to touch Jim's forehead with the back of his hand.

Jim grabbed his wrist tightly and yanked Blair closer — then pushed him away, hard. "I'm sure," he said tightly. "Just back off, okay?"

"Jim, what's — "

"BACK OFF, I said!" yelled Jim, and Blair skittered backward to the far wall and raised his hands defensively.

"Okay, I'm back! I'm back! What the hell is the matter with you?"

"I don't know, just wait a minute, okay?" said Jim, rubbing his face.

"This is weird, man — " said Blair, stepping forward, and he was stilled by a sudden, violent move from Jim.

"I told you to stay put," said Jim.

"Jim, I think this is a little unreasonable, even for you," said Blair.

"Look, I know — something's going wild here," Jim explained, shaking his head.

"Your senses — ?" asked Blair, again stepping forward.

"Sandburg, if I have to tell you one more time, I'm going to go postal, here, I swear it!" said Jim, and Blair backed up again.

"Well, I want to help," said Blair.

"Well, help from there," said Jim. "Right now you're part of the problem, okay?"

"Well, what is the problem? Do I smell funny? — god, what did I have for lunch?" mused Blair, thinking hard.

"Some kind of pasta," replied Jim, "and no, it's not that."

"Well, what is it? I didn't do anything different today. Maybe someone touched me, and you're smelling them?" Blair suggested.

"No, no, it's — it's familiar, this — it's — " He stopped suddenly, laughed. "Oh, you gotta be kidding."


"No, no," said Jim to himself as much as to Blair, "this is too much, this is the final straw."

"What is?" demanded Blair.

"This is just ridiculous," said Jim.

"Jim, I am not going to stand in the corner all day, so you had better start telling me what is going on with you!"

"You'll laugh," said Jim.

"I'm not laughing," said Blair, and he wasn't. "Come on — go ahead. Spill."

"It's, uh...oh, God," groaned Jim. "It's pheromones, okay?"

"Pheromones? What do you mean — what, mine? You — to me?" Blair burst out laughing. "You're kidding, right?"

"No," said Jim, ruefully, " — hey, hey! Just stay there, okay?" he said, as Blair moved forward yet again.

"Oh, come on, Jim, this is ridiculous," said Blair. "This can't be happening."

"I say that to myself at least three times a day," said Jim.

"No, no, look — back to theory A, amended. I touched someone today, and you're smelling her pheromones."

"No, that's not it," said Jim, chuckling softly. "I wish it were, honest. But it's you — I know it is, I've smelled your pheromones before. They just never, you know, had any effect."

"So, what, I changed my hair or something?" teased Blair.

"No, I think it's the shirt, blue's a good color for you," replied Jim. "Look — this is funny, Sandburg, but it's not helping here."

"Well, you are kind of cute — " said Blair, and then: "Okay, okay, no more kidding."

"Good. Start thinking, funny guy, if you ever want to move away from that wall," said Jim.

"Whooo," said Blair. "All right, I'm thinking. Let's be scientific about this. What's different?"

Jim raised empty hands. "Nothing. Nothing that I can think of."

"Was this, um, sudden or — I mean, how long have you — "

"It's sudden," said Jim firmly.

"Okay. So you're saying yesterday? — nothing, today? — ha-cha-cha, right?"

"I'm going to kill myself," said Jim, burying his face in his hands. "No, that's stupid: I'm not thinking rationally. I'm going to kill you."

"Relax, okay?" said Blair. "We're only going to get through this if we're calm and keep a sense of humor about it."

"That's easy for you to say!" retorted Jim. "You're not — "

"Not what? Oh, man — are you sporting a boner for me?" asked Blair, laughing, craning his neck to look at Jim's lap. "I am, like, so flattered!"

"You're going to be impossible to live with after this, aren't you?" said Jim. "Like your ego needs a boost — science, Sandburg, please!"

"Okay, science: right. So it was your day off, today, right? That's unusual, isn't it?"

"Okay, and?"

"And you were sleeping in the afternoon — did you have a dream or something?"

"Dream," said Jim. "Dream, yeah. Yeah! — and you were in it. Or...well, a wolf was in it. But it was you, I know it was."

"Okay, good," said Blair excitedly. "And the jaguar?"

"The jaguar too, yeah, obviously," said Jim. "You think the dream triggered this?"

"Well, yeah, maybe. So you had a dream where there was another animal besides the jaguar — okay, well..." Blair stopped, lost in thought, shrugged..

"Well, what?"

"Well, what are the mating habits of jaguars?" asked Blair, and Jim made a face and shook his head in disgust.

"Oh, no, no, no, Sandburg — it was a wolf and — well, that's a whole 'nother species and — what the hell is this, Discovery Channel porn?"

"Well, look, Jim, a lot of animals engage in what we might consider to be homosexual activity and — okay, okay, maybe we don't need to explore this right now," he added as Jim started laughing helplessly, almost weeping. "It was just a thought," Blair added, and he began laughing too. "Kinda gives new meaning to the phrase 'like cats and dogs', huh?"

"Oh, yeah," said Jim, wiping his eyes. "That's us, all right. Cats and dogs. Oh boy. Okay, so what are we going to do?"

"Beats me. Look, let me get to my laptop," said Blair. "I'll do a little research, think it over."

"All right, get in your room and stay there, okay? Let me know before you come out."

"Okay. I'm going now, okay?" he said, slowly edging toward his bedroom.

"Go. And lock your door," said Jim.

"Are you — ?"

"Lock it, Sandburg," repeated Jim, and Blair rushed into his room and locked the door. "This has got to be the worst day of my LIFE!" Jim yelled suddenly.

"You could do worse, you know!" jibed Blair, from behind the closed door.


Jim cooked stir fry, listening to Blair typing frantically on his computer. When dinner was ready he put a bowl and chopsticks in front of Blair's door, knocked, and walked to the other side of the room; he watched the door open, and Blair stick his head out to grab the dish, and then shut the door again.

After dinner, he watched television, becoming increasingly aware as the long, quiet hours passed that Sandburg still was in his room, hadn't emerged — hadn't, he feared, had any ideas.

Finally, at midnight, he walked to the door and knocked — and reeled, the waft of pheromones hitting him hard through the flimsy door, clouding his mind, making his erection throb, and he realized that Sandburg must be standing right on the other side, and he quickly moved away.

"Sandburg!" he called.

"Yeah?" he heard Blair reply.

"What the hell are you doing in there — what — oh, hell," he said, and picked up the phone. He heard the phone ring in the other room, heard Blair fumble in his backpack and answer.

"Hello?" Blair said. Jim could hear him easily through the door, which gave the conversation an odd stereo effect: he tuned it out and concentrated his hearing on the phone.

"Hi, it's me," said Jim. "I can't take this talking through the door thing." He sat down on the sofa. "At least this feels — well, something like normal."

"I hear you," Blair replied, and his voice was different, now, than it had been before; there was no trace of humor left in it.

"I take it you didn't find anything," said Jim.

"No," said Blair, and Jim heard him swallow. "Nothing, Jim," and Jim could tell that Blair was on the edge of exhaustion and frustration. "There's nothing, and I can't think of anything else to even try — "

"Okay, okay, relax," said Jim. "We've been through worse than this, haven't we?"

"Have we?" said Blair, and Jim noted the tinge of hysteria in his voice.

"Calm, Sandburg — sense of humor, remember?"

"Jim, this could be it, don't you see that? This could be the thing that ends it all, the thing we can't get past. God," he said, and Jim could hear him pacing — looked up and saw his shadow moving across the curtained window to his room, "I never thought — I mean, I thought it would end because you came to hate me, not because — "

"You're over-reacting," said Jim, firmly. "Can't you see you're over-reacting?"

"Jim, I've been thinking about this and it really isn't funny: not one bit. If I can't be near you, I can't guide you, can't work with you, can't live here — "

"Sandburg, stop it," Jim said brusquely, fearfully.

"Jim, I can't live in a cage like this!"

"You're jumping to conclusions," said Jim. He blew out a deep breath. "Look, maybe we both need some sleep. Maybe this will all look different in the morning — hell, maybe the cha-cha will be gone in the morning. Maybe it really just was the way you fixed your hair today, or the sparkle in your eyes — "

"Jim, I'm over joking about this. This could be a fucking disaster, do you hear me? Look," he said softly, "I just have to tell you — I really like my life right now, okay? I don't want to lose it — I'm not ready to lose it. I don't want to leave."

"I don't want you to leave," replied Jim in equally low tones. "You won't have to, I'm sure. This is going to work itself out — there have been other problems, haven't there?"

"The thing is, Jim, that this isn't really a problem," whispered Blair. "That's why I'm having trouble finding a solution. This isn't about a problem: this is about a preference. There's nothing technically wrong — so there's nothing technically to fix. Are you understanding what I'm saying?"

"I think so," Jim said quietly. "Look, let's sleep on it, okay? Are you all right?"

"Yeah, I guess. I'll be okay," murmured Blair.

"Okay, then," Jim said. "Sleep well. I missed you tonight," he added suddenly. "Missed having you out here."

"I missed being out there," replied Blair softly. "All right. Good night."

"Good night. Don't worry. We'll think of something," whispered Jim and hung up.

The black jaguar raced through the trees, soft paws landing on the ground gracefully, lifting off again seconds later — and then it stopped and growled fiercely at the wolf on the edge of the clearing — the wolf dipped its head and surveyed the panther with glowing eyes, came closer, closer — and then the panther was Jim and the wolf tensed its muscles and sprang, and it leaped against him and knocked him over, hard, and he felt the heavy animal knocking the air out of his lungs and he raised his hands to push him off and the gray, dappled fur was soft, softer than he had expected and —

Jim opened his eyes, breathing wildly, and jerked his head sideways at the ringing phone. He grabbed it, sat up.

"Hey, are you awake, yet?" asked Blair.

"No," said Jim. "I mean, yes, now."

"Sorry," said Blair. "I just wondered — ?"

"Look, I don't know yet, okay? But I had the dream again."

"Not a good sign," muttered Blair.

"Just wait — wait, okay?" said Jim, and he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply — and he could smell Blair's pheromones rising up from down beneath him and the smell sent shivers racing up his spine.

"Well?" asked Blair. "Well?"

"No good," said Jim softly, laying back against his pillows.

"Oh, man," said Blair.

"I'm so sorry, it's not my fault," said Jim, staring up at the ceiling.

"I know," said Blair. "I know. It's just chemistry, it's not your fault."

"What I still don't understand is why," said Jim, and he just couldn't help himself: he moved his hand down to his erection and fingered it gently. "Why should this happen all of a sudden?" he asked, then he took his cock in his hand and closed his eyes and began to stroke himself.

"I don't know," said Blair, and Jim moved the phone so that Blair would not be able to hear his ragged, rhythmic breathing, but he could still hear Blair's voice. "I was thinking, though: it could be a Sentinel-Guide thing. Burton's notoriously quiet on the subject of Setinel sex — they didn't write in detail about stuff like that, then. Maybe there's supposed to be a sexual bond there — maybe Guides were traditionally female or something, or maybe they weren't as rigid about these things as we are today. Jim? Are you still with me?"

Jim gasped softly as he came, and then choked out, "Yes."

"Well, that could be it, anyway," said Blair. "It makes sense in a way: the Sentinel sort of existed on the fringe of the tribe, and his job would sort of prevent him from being tied up with a wife and kids. Not his role, you dig? Still, though, the guy must have had needs, right?"

"Yeah," said Jim, slowly calming. "Yeah. So what you're telling me is that I should have been auditioning tall, leggy blondes — "

" — instead of short, Jewish, male anthropologists? Yeah," said Blair, and Jim could hear him smiling. "Whoops!"

"Whoops," Jim repeated, laughing, hearing Blair laughing down the line, and he thought it was good to hear Blair laughing again. "All right, all right: minor mistake there," he admitted.

"Yeah," said Blair.

"So, what do we do?" asked Jim.

"Do? I don't know. I guess...well...start auditioning, man!"

"What?!" said Jim, sitting up.

"I think you're going to have to trade me in, Jim," said Blair, and his tone was light but Jim could hear the sadness underneath.

Jim swallowed involuntarily. "I don't want to trade you in," he said.

"Well, we can't live like this, can we?" said Blair. "I was thinking: maybe I could help you find someone else. I could teach her — "

"Sandburg, this is complete, total, and utter bullshit, and you know it. You're going to do what — find some woman and say, hey, would you like to devote your life to looking after a Sentinel, and by the way, yeah — he'll expect sexual favors? Forget it! What is this, the middle ages? I never thought of myself as Mr. P.C. or anything, but give me a break, here!"

"Okay, okay, I take your point," said Blair. "But, look, maybe we don't have to mention the sexual favors part right away — " "Sandburg!"

"No wait, hear me out. I mean, if this theory is right...well, look, Jim, it took three years for this to happen to us. And you said — well, you said that the jaguar told you that you had sort of a tester period. You got to test drive your senses before you decided to commit to being a Sentinel. So maybe this is the same thing, here: maybe we got to test drive each other for a couple of years before — well, before the desire hit. This is our grace period, now: we either stick with it, or we can walk away, no questions asked, no obligation to buy. So who's to say that the same thing wouldn't happen with a woman — you get a female Guide, see if you work well together, and then by time it hits — well, maybe you'll want her. Maybe she'll want you. It needn't be sordid, you know. Jim, did you follow all that?"

"Yeah. I follow," said Jim ungraciously. "I just don't like it, that's all."

"Well, I don't like it either," said Blair, tightly. "But I'm not seeing any other option, short of you wearing a gas mask."

"All right, look, let me get off the line, here: I've got to call in to work — "

"No, don't," said Blair. "Go to the station. I'll stay. We don't know how long it will take for me to find you another Guide — you're going to have to just go on as normal until then."

"We haven't agreed that I want another Guide," said Jim, shortly.

"All right, look, we'll talk about it later. Get out of here: I'd like to be able to leave this room."

"Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. I'll be quick," said Jim, and hung up. He showered, dressed, and headed for the door, and as he left he looked up to see that Blair had pulled back the curtain to his window and was watching him go, and Blair waved to him once from behind the glass that separated them, and it took everything Jim had to wheel around and open the door and walk out.

Jim sat at his desk deep in thought, twirling a pencil around and around and around in his fingers; it took three tries before Brown managed to get his attention. "Jim?"

"Yeah?" said Jim, turning his head to look at him.

"Are you all right, man? You're acting funny," said Brown, shaking his head.

"I'm fine," said Jim, accepting the file folder from Brown's hand.

"Where's the kid?" asked Brown, and Jim blinked at him.

"He's, um...he's..." and he suddenly pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and speed-dialed Blair's number. "Sandburg, hi, where are you?" asked Jim, and Brown shook his head and walked away, frowning.

"I'm home. I'm in my room," said Blair, and Jim heard a suspicious swish and clenched his teeth.

"Damn you, you're packing!" he hissed.

"That's good," said Blair meekly. "Your senses are really working, there."

Jim suddenly looked around the crowded bullpen, got to his feet, and crossed the hallway to the men's room. Ascertaining that the room was empty, he locked the door behind him. "Now you listen to me, Sandburg: you just undo whatever you did, there. You hear me? You just unpack whatever you just packed."

"What does it matter, Jim?" said Blair, unhappily. "It's not like you'll know whether I'm here or not. It looks like we're going to having a phone-based relationship from now on, anyway — at least you should be comfortable in your own house."

"Sandburg, I am going to come home and beat you to a pulp," growled Jim. "So you just stay put, okay?"

"That's definitely a mixed message, man," said Blair.

"How can you do this? Just bail out! I mean, I'm not a pet, Sandburg — I can't just be fobbed off onto some other Guide!"

"I'm not — look, I just can't stand seeing you be uncomfortable around me!" yelled Blair.

"So you're going where you can't see it? Well, thanks a lot! You're a real friend," spat Jim.

"No, no, no — look, okay, okay — I'm unpacking! Hear me unpacking?" and Jim heard the whissst of handfuls of clothes being pulled out of a dufflebag.

"Good...good," murmured Jim.

"Though I think you had better begin getting used to the idea," ventured Blair, flinging the dufflebag off the bed. "I mean...Jim," he said, and Jim heard his name as a plea. "Where was this going, anyhow? I've been thinking about this all day. Where the hell did we think this was going? Where was this all going to end? We work together, we play together, we live together — what was supposed to happen? Maybe you come home some day and tell me you're getting married again. What then? I guess I train her to help you, and then I split, get on with my life. Or maybe I meet someone, tell you I'm moving in with her — and so, I just leave? No, either I have to move in next door with my girlfriend or I have to train someone else to help you. Either way, there's going to have to be someone else in the picture some day, don't you see?

"Look, that's the way it's going to happen: it's only a matter of time," Blair continued. "The fact is, Jim, this is just our wake-up call. I mean, I know we laughed about it — about you and...well, about you and me. That it was ridiculous. But you know, in a way, it just isn't. It makes sense that you're meant to be with your Guide. And if — well, if you don't want to be with me, then I'm probably not meant to be your Guide. And so we ought to find you the right Guide. Jim, you are the most important person in my life — I think you're the most important person who's ever been in my life. And if this is inevitable — well, it's only going to get harder for me. break away..."

"You're the right Guide," said Jim softly.

"Haven't you been listening to a word I've been saying?" yelled Blair.

"I heard you. You're the right Guide."

"Jim, this is instinct, talking — the pheromones — "

"I'm on the other side of the city, you're nowhere nearby, I'm stone cold sober and I am telling you, Sandburg, you're the right Guide!"

Jim heard the whoosh of displaced air and knew that Blair had thrown up his hands. "I just don't know what to say to that, Jim, I really don't."

"Well what do you think?" asked Jim.

"What do I think? About what?" asked Blair, and Jim said nothing. "You mean, about...about..." He stopped for a moment, and Jim just waited. "About being the right Guide, you mean?" Blair finished softly.

"Yeah," replied Jim.

"Hell, I don't know, man!" said Blair, and Jim could hear his nervous breathing. "I don't know. If I said I didn't love you, I'd be lying. If said I didn't find you attractive — well, I'd still be lying. But there's a lot of space in the middle of that, you know?"

"I know. I'm sorry," said Jim. "This is wrong — this is dammed unfair to you."

"No, no, look, let me think about it, okay?"

"No, forget it — this is wrong," said Jim. "This feels like blackmail. This is not your problem — I'm the one with the haywire libido, here."

"It's not blackmail, okay? It's...I don't know, something to think about."

"It's wrong," said Jim, and then he laughed softly. "I can't believe myself," he added. "I was worried about doing this to some woman I don't even know — now I'm trying to do it to you. You've done nothing but good for me, Sandburg, and now I'm trying to turn you into — I don't even know what. You've been loyal as hell, but this is definitely beyond the call of duty, here. This is beyond the scope of any research project."

"It isn't about research and you know it, Jim. You''re just everything to me. Well, almost everything," Blair added wryly, "and I guess this is the final frontier, here. But it's more than research — even more than friendship. You — you're the object of my affections," he confessed sincerely. "And I...well, I guess I'm the object of your erections," and Jim heard a sudden whoop of laughter echoing down the line, and he bit his lip hard to keep from laughing out loud.

"So, hell, maybe it's worth a try after all," said Blair after a moment, wiping his eyes. "I mean, if we're going to avoid each other in future, at least we'll have a good reason. Like major embarrassment." I mean, I'm pretty open minded: just promise me you won't be mad if I can't, you know?"

"Jesus," said Jim, closing his eyes. "I don't know what scares me more: you saying no or you saying yes."

"Well, I guess there's only one way to find out," said Blair. "Heck, it could be good, you never know. At least it would stop me from going out on any more pointless dates."

"Either way, Sandburg," Jim said quietly, "I want you to know that — well, that I love you to pieces."

"I love you too, man. So much. Come home when you can. I'll be waiting," said Blair, and hung up. Jim stared at the phone, then clicked it shut, wondering when it was that "home" had become the place where Blair Sandburg was.

Jim Ellison walked down the hall toward his apartment, turned around, walked back down the hall, pondered, sighed, walked back toward the loft, wheeled, went back down the hall, and then his phone rang.

"Ellison," he said.

"You know, you don't need to be a Sentinel to hear you clomping around out there," said Blair. "I'm not going to bite you — come in, already!" and the staggeringly normal sound of Blair's voice made him laugh and he said, "Okay," and walked back to the door of his apartment.

He opened the door to find Blair bent over the oven, and he immediately went over to the furthest wall. "Hey, there," he said awkwardly.

"Hey, yourself," said Blair, straightening up. "I made — "

"Lasagna," said Jim. "It smells good."

"Thanks. I figured, it would keep, in case — well, you know," said Blair. "In case."

Jim nodded, and laughed nervously, saying, "Sandburg — " at the same time that Blair said: "Jim — ." They stopped, looked at each other across the room, and then Blair said, "Okay, you go first."

."I just wanted to say — I think this is a bad idea," said Jim. "It's just so unfair to you, in so many ways. You've already given so much, risked so much...for me. This is just too much: it's selfish of me to want to keep you as my Guide without considering the cost to you."

"Well," replied Blair, "true to form, I've been thinking just the opposite. Big surprise, right?" he added, making a face. "I've been thinking that, well, I've had my three years test drive, you know? And they've been the best three years of my life — honest, they have. So, maybe this is the way it's supposed to be. I've been happy enough so far: why question it now?"

"This shouldn't be your problem," said Jim, watching tensely as Blair slowly crossed the room toward him, feeling the rising tide of pheromones.

"I told you: this isn't about a problem," said Blair, coming to stand close. "This is about a preference. I think," he added softly, raising a hand to touch Jim's chest gently, "I think that this is my preference, okay?"

Jim watched almost in amazement as his own hand reached up to touch Blair's hair. The scent of Blair's pheromones was dizzying; his vision was suddenly hazy with desire. His fingers gently ran up and down the soft strands — soft, softer than he had expected — and then he reached to cup Blair's cheek in his palm. "Terrified," he heard himself saying. "I'm terrified," and then he felt himself swaying.

Blair grabbed his arm, guided him to the sofa, sat down next to him, one foot tucked underneath himself. "It's okay, Jim," he said reassuringly, reaching out to massage Jim's shoulders with firm hands. "It's okay, it's all good, just go with what you're feeling — " and Jim reached out again and traced Blair's features with his index finger, slid his finger across Blair's forehead, down his nose, across his cheek, trailed it slowly across his lips. Beautiful, Jim thought, stupidly. Why didn't I see that he was beautiful? He reached out with his other hand, caught a curl, rubbed it meditatively between his fingers.

Blair tried to keep breathing normally as Jim's finger ran slowly across his lips, as Jim caressed his hair; he hadn't expected Jim's touch to excite him, but Jim was looking at him so intensely, and his movements were so deliberate and erotic, that he found himself responding under the slow, concentrated attention. Jim trailed his fingers down his neck and he shivered; when they reached the open collar of his shirt he closed his eyes: he felt as if he were underwater — he felt that the world had become a fever dream.

And then Jim closed his fist around a large handful of Blair's hair and gently tugged his face closer, slowly bent his head towards Blair's lips, and Blair steeled himself and inhaled deeply and tried not to flinch —

— and then the dangerous moment had passed and Jim's lips were on his and it felt the same — better! — electrical! — now that the bridge had been crossed, and Blair felt this sudden, joyous, relief because this was just fine, this was intimacy, finally, warm and familiar, and they were suddenly on the same side again, and he reached out and his hands clutched at and slid over broad shoulders, and he pressed himself forward, pulled Jim close, thrilling in the similarity of it and the difference of it — the similarity of love-making in all its forms and the incredible difference it made to actually be in love with the person you were with.

Jim felt arms wrapped tightly around his back, felt hands pressing, caressing, and he reached to hold Blair's head, his hands cushioned by the cloud of dark hair, and he angled Blair's face to better devour his mouth, nearly zoning on the incredible taste, the incredible heat. He felt Blair's mouth opening wider beneath his, and he moaned, once, softly, and pushed Blair down on his back, and he could smell Blair's arousal, feel Blair's arousal, and there was some small part of him that wondered at it, wondered how something so goddamn crazy could be so absolutely, unbelievably right.

Blair slid his hands to Jim's chest, began unworking the buttons of his shirt with nimble fingers after an awkward start — after the momentary, hilarious revelation that the buttons were sewed on the other way! — and he pulled the shirt open and slid his hand down the smooth, muscular chest, so like his own, so unlike his own, and he yanked the fabric back from Jim's shoulders — and then stopped, hands flailing blindly, as Jim's kiss became intoxicating and reality suddenly became Jim's mouth, Jim's body heat, the sweet pressure of Jim's weight, and he gave himself over completely and stopped thinking, falling utterly into the moment.

When he opened his eyes Jim was skimming over his cheek, and he felt his earlobe being taken between soft lips, and he moaned softly, and he felt Jim's hands glide under his shirt, stroking his chest, and he was helpless under this assault. Jim seemed to instinctively know his favorite things, his favorite places, and he didn't know if it were because Jim was a man, or because Jim was a Sentinel, or because Jim was Jim, though he reckoned it didn't much matter: yippie for instinct!, he thought, whatever kind it was.

Blair gasped as he felt Jim's erection pressing into his leg, though he realized, suddenly, that it didn't bother him — nothing could bother him now, having survived the perils of that first terrifying kiss. They were intimate now, both on the same side now, and this was good, this was so very good, and so he bucked up sharply with his hips, wanting Jim to know that he was hard, too.

Jim knew, and he grasped the hem of Blair's t-shirt and pulled it off, over his head; and then his fingers moved to the buttons of Blair's jeans and undid them, pulled them down over his hips. Blair closed his eyes, suddenly, unable to bear the anxiety, the eroticism, of Jim looking at him, but Jim was lost in a fog of wanting, staggered by the fact that friendship and love and desire had suddenly meshed together for the first time, had clicked seamlessly into place as a unified whole focused on a single human body, that he could have laughter and passion, both; and he traced his finger gently up the graceful curve of Blair's thick erection, and then up his abdomen, up stomach, chest, and neck, and finally pressed his finger to Blair's lips, and then Blair opened his mouth and Jim slid his finger inside and Blair sucked on it, gently, and opened his eyes.

Jim groaned at the sight, at the stimulation, and turned his head away, unable to look; his erection was throbbing, and he thought that one more glance at the beautiful boy would make him come, and he couldn't do that yet: he had to take care of his Guide, first, had to please him... He slipped his finger out of Blair's mouth and then, moving on instinct, bent his head and suckled Blair's cock, kissed the sides, and then took the head into his mouth.

Blair gasped and threw his head back, unable to stop himself from thrusting up — this was good, this was great, this was the best thing ever and then some — and then he felt Jim taking him in deeper and felt Jim's strong fingers digging into his hips and he let himself go, let Jim take him —

— and for Jim sound had become a complex tapestry, a symphony, underpinned by the escalating, erratic sound of Blair's heartbeat and punctuated by Blair's faint cries of pleasure, and he found the sounds lovely and addictive, and he applied himself to making them louder, more earnest, until finally they built to a crescendo as Blair gasped "..wait, wait!.." and he knew that was Blair's warning and he didn't care, and he tracked the trembling waves of pleasure up and down Blair's body and thought they were beautiful, too — and the warm, bitter taste of semen flooded his mouth, and he was surprised that even this should please him, but it did.

Jim swallowed and released Blair gently, and moved to kiss his stomach intently, tenderly, and after a few minutes he felt Blair stirring beneath him, and then Blair pushed him back, pushed himself into a sitting position, and Blair looked sated and dreamy and he said, softly, "...let me..." and then Blair moved forward against him and he fell back under Blair's weight, and Blair was kissing him, running rough hands over his body, over his face, down his neck and across his chest, leaving him breathless, and then Blair bent his head to follow the path of his hands, and he ended up at Jim's nipples, and sucked hard, caressing them with his tongue.

Jim worked his fingers into Blair's hair, massaging his scalp as Blair worked him over, kissing and biting the smooth flesh of his torso, and then Blair's hands were scrabbling to open his pants, and Blair reached into Jim's fly and wrapped his palm around Jim's erection, and he squeezed it gently in his fist, turning his face up to be kissed, before beginning to stroke.

Blair heard Jim moan softly into his mouth, and he pulled away from the kiss, staring intently at the look of pleasure on Jim's face, and it pleased him that he had put that look there and he sped his strokes, watched Jim's face contort — and then stopped, fearing that Jim was about to come, because he wanted to try — wanted —

And he bent his head to Jim's erection, opened his mouth wide — opened it wider, feeling renewed respect for a number of his former girlfriends — and figured that what he lacked in expertise he could make up for in enthusiasm because, well, it was Jim, here. He sucked tentatively on the head, mind frantically trying to dredge up what it felt like to be on the receiving end of this, trying to figure out, without the benefit of Sentinel senses or the pressure of pheromones, what exactly he was supposed to be doing and how exactly to do it. He forced himself to relax, and as he calmed down he found himself able to take more of Jim into his mouth, and as he calmed down he also found himself able to hear the pattern of Jim's ragged breathing and moans, and that, he thought ruefully, was a better much guide than he was at the moment, and he found that Jim's body subtly encouraged him to a rhythm, and a pressure, and a technique, and as Jim's sounds of pleasure came faster and more intensely Blair's confidence soared and he began to really enjoy himself. And when Jim called out, desperately, "Blair!" Blair knew that was his warning, but he was so taken aback at the sudden, unexpected use of his first name that he didn't have time to really consider whether he wanted Jim to come in his mouth or not, and then the moment for consideration had passed, and, as so often before, Blair dealt.

He swallowed as much as he could and then withdrew and sat up, laughing, wiping semen from the edges of his mouth with his fingertips. Jim lay back on the sofa, panting, staring at him and Blair grinned and said, "Don't do that to me, man!" and Jim looked guilty and said, fearfully: "What?"

"Don't Blair me when I'm not expecting it," said Blair, laughing. "You'll make me choke."

"Sorry," said Jim, relieved, grinning back at him. "I thought that 'Sandburg' would be a little cold at this point."

"Cold, yes, I agree, but expected," said Blair, laying himself gently across Jim's body. "There's only so much change I can handle in any given day."

Jim wrapped his arms around Blair, held him close, and pondered this. "You're telling me that with everything that's happened, you got freaked out by me calling you Blair?"

"That's what I'm tellin' ya," said Blair, snuggling in.

"You're weird," said Jim.

"Yeah, well, sticks and stones, man," replied Blair.

"Hey Blair," said Jim, and Blair shot him a look of mock-outrage. "Sweetie-pie? Sugar plum? Love muffin?" he teased.

"I'll pop you one, really I will," said Blair with conviction.

"Blair, was this okay?" Jim asked, forcing the serious question in.

"Yeah," replied Blair lazily. "You were right. I'm the right Guide," and Jim relaxed and they lay there happily for a while, and later they got up and ate the lasagna, which had kept.  

The End