"I am *so* bored," Jim Ellison sighed.
Sitting beside him in the drab room Blair Sandburg snorted, "You're bored? I'd rather be grading papers than sitting here."
Jim groaned loudly, "Eight days. Eight fucking days and *nothing*."
Blair tossed a ball at the wall, it bounced and landed back in his hand, so he did it again...and again.
Lifting the binoculars to his eyes Jim grumbled, "Would you stop doing that? It is *really* pissing me off. Why did you bring a tennis ball on a stakeout anyway?"
"Strictly speaking it is not a 'ball'," Blair replied in his best and most condescending 'teacher' voice, "It's a stress reliever."
Jim glanced sideways and grinned, "Can't be a stress reliever, it has no hole in it," he sniggered.
Blair grimaced and threw the ball again, "You can be pretty revolting sometimes, you know that?"
"Yep," Jim replied.
"Shit I can't believe how bored I am," the big cop groaned again, "I'm so damned bored even *you're* starting to look good, Sandburg."
"You are *so* smooth, Ellison, you scare me," Blair sighed, "Anyway, why are you using binoculars?"
"'Cause I'm bored."
"Too bored to dial up your Sentinel sight?"
"Jeez, Jim. That is the most pathetic thing I ever heard," Blair grinned, bouncing the ball again.
"Sandburg? Bounce that thing again and I'll shove it up your ass," Jim said boredly.
"At least mine's not so tight that my 'stress reliever' wouldn't fit," Blair replied, "We're gonna have to get yours surgically opened one of these days."
"Just because I don't wiggle mine at everyone in the bullpen when I walk in, 'Chief'," Jim sneered.
"A pair of stilettos and you'd make a fine Betty Boop."
"Fuck you, Ellison," Blair yawned.
"Gotta be an improvement on watching the paint dry in the apartment opposite," Jim yawned in unison.
"God, you *are* bored!" Blair began to squeeze the ball, rolling it in his hands.
"That all you do with it?" Jim asked watching his partner out of the corner of his eye, " 'Squeeze' it?"
"Couldn't you find something more interesting to squeeze?"
"You've developed a real dick obsession, you know that?" Blair said turning slightly to look at his roommate, "You're *really* not getting enough, Jim."
"I know. So where am I? Stuck in a dingy room for eight days with you," Jim shifted uncomfortably.
"And I'm not your type," Blair snickered, "Aw, poor Jim!"
The ball bounced off the wall, hitting an open-mouthed Blair squarely on the head, "What was that?" he spluttered.
"Who said you're not my type?" Jim repeated.
"Well... no one I guess," the younger man stuttered, "I just figured that after living with you for almost four years, it's something I'd kind of instinctively...know."
"Well, your instincts are shit, Sandburg," Jim sighed, peering through the binoculars again.
Blair sat and gaped at his partner of so many years, "You're jerking my chain, right? Man, you had me going there for a minute," he laughed, "Shit, Jim. You really *are* bored."
"I'm not winding you up, Chief. I've always been attracted to you. Just never been this fucking *bored* before."
The ball rolled slowly from Blair's grasp as he sat, unmoving, watching his best friend crash out of the closet.
"You dropped your 'stress reliever', Chief," Jim smiled slightly.
"Are you trying to tell me that you're gay?"
"I'm...flexible, let's put it that way," Jim replied with a sly grin, "In fact, right at this moment that big old dog down there's looking prettydamned hot!"
"Oh.. oh... funny. You *are* jerking my chain. Jeezus, Sandburg, what kind of a *dick* are you," the younger man muttered to himself as he scooped the ball up off the floor, "Man, I don't believe I fell for *that* one."
"I'm bisexual," Jim stated suddenly.
"Bisexual. What, Sandburg, the word too big for you?"
"You mean, you 'like' guys?"
Jim let out a weary sigh, "Now I see why you're the brains of this outfit," he grumbled.
"You've had sex with other men?" Blair gasped.
"Not *every* other man on the planet, no. But some.. yes," Jim replied.
Blair shook his head and laughed shyly, "Man, I never would have guessed," he said with a degree of incredulity.
"Yeah well, I haven't touched a guy in quite a while."
"A few years."
"*How long*?" Blair insisted.
"About four years," Jim growled irritably.
"Since we met?"
Jim shifted in his seat, his body stiffened angrily, "I don't know, I just haven't!" he snarled.
"Has it been a conscious decision or just circumstances?" the younger man asked.
"Why do I get the feeling that you just went into 'guide mode'?" Jim grumped.
"You haven't answered the question."
"I don't know, okay? I just haven't been interested in guys for a while."
"Well you haven't exactly been too successful with women, either have you?" Blair grinned and flicked the ball at the wall once more.
"So speaks Mr Blair 'Oh-shit-I-saw-her-twice-she'll-think-it's-a-long-term-relationship' Sandburg," Jim sneered.
"I've never had a relationship with a guy," Blair said as he leaned back in the chair and rolled the 'stress reliever' in his fingers, "Thought about it though."
"So, why didn't you give it a try?"
"Scared, I guess."
"Of sex with another man?"
"No, of getting my head kicked in by some big, muscular *straight* guy," Blair laughed, "I only ever seemed to get hot for straight guys."
"I am *such* a loser," Blair said a little sadly.
"If we're talking losers, Chief, you're gonna have to go a bit to top me. A bisexual guy, who prefers men, marries a woman who turns out to be a lesbian. Now *that's* major loser material, for you!"
"Carolyn was a lesbian?" Blair exclaimed, "Wow, I never guessed."
"I told her to drop the buzz cut, go for something softer and leave the dungarees for when she was stripping the truck's engine down," Jim smiled.
"Jerk!" Blair laughed.
"She was a wonderfully feminine woman and I loved her dearly, but we were kind of doomed from the start."
"Man, this really is a day for surprises, huh?"
Jim groaned and rested his head back on the chair, "I never thought it was possible to be *so* bored that you had to will yourself to breathe."
"Do I really wiggle?"
Blair sighed and threw the ball against the wall, "You think anyone else notices?" he asked.
"Rafe notices, but then he wants to climb into your shorts... and preferably lick banana ice cream off your naked body," Jim yawned and stretched.
"How the *hell* do *you* know that?" Blair choked, "No, no, on second thoughts, don't tell me, I don't think I want to know."
"He told me," Jim smiled.
"Oh, he just came up to you one day and said, 'Hey Jim, do you know what I'd really like to do? I'd like to lick banana ice cream off your partners naked body'."
"Well, not exactly."
"No, I thought not."
Jim thought for a moment, "What he actually said was, 'Hey Ellison, you think I stand a chance with Sandburg? I have this fantasy that I'd love to lick banana ice cream off his naked body, then I'd like to fu.."
"Okay, okay... I get the picture. Spare me the gory details," Blair grimaced and hurled the ball at the wall even harder.
"Well does he?" the older man asked.
"Rafe. Does he stand a chance with you?"
Blair shuffled in his chair, "Just 'cause he doesn't," he said awkwardly.
"What? He's not 'straight' enough for you?" Jim taunted.
"It's not that. Rafe a good looking guy, I'm just... not interested."
"Jim!" Blair snarled, "I'm just *not* okay?"
"Ah, typical bi-curious straight guy answer," Jim smirked annoyingly, "I'm curious but I won't put my ass on the line for it!"
"Just because I'm not interested in Rafe, doesn't mean I'm not interested in *any* guys," Blair insisted. He got up and walked across the tiny room, reaching a soda from the cooler bag in the corner, and tossing one to his partner.
"Meaning what?" Jim asked, tearing open the can and chugging the liquid down.
"Meaning that I'd have to feel something for the guy before I slept with him."
"What do you mean, 'weird'?"
"Well, not all gay sex is a love affair, Chief."
"Not all het sex is a love affair, Jim. I just like to think that I was at least *attracted* to a guy before I shove my ass in his face."
"Oooooo," Jim sniggered, "Nice visual."
"Oh man, I'm getting worried about you," Blair laughed despite himself.
"Making you nervous, huh Sandburg?" the bigger man asked. He was still teasing, but his voice was edged with a genuine apprehension.
"Only in your dreams, man."
"No, in them you just make me moan and grunt a lot."
Suddenly both men glanced at each other and began to laugh. All tension in the air dissolved. Jim slapped at Blair's arm playfully and the younger man threw his stress reliever at his partner's head.
Reaching over, Jim pulled at Blair's curls and before long they were play fighting.
The game ended with Blair pinning Jim to the floor and pouring soda down his neck.
"You little shit!" Jim gasped as the fizzy liquid dribbled down his back.
Blair suddenly stopped. He was straddling Jim, who lay panting beneath him. He leaned forward and met the older man's lips. Jim's arms immediately encircled him, pulling him close, meeting the tentative kiss with ferocity.
Breathlessly Blair broke fee and sat back. He met Jim's eyes, nervous of what he would see there, "Well?" he asked, not even sure what it was he was asking.
"Well what? You want a rating?" the big cop grinned.
"What does this mean?"
Jim Ellison stretched himself like a big, self-satisfied jungle cat, "It means I'm not so bored any more," he said finally.
"Jiiiimmmm!" Blair pushed himself off his partner. The playful eroticism had suddenly been replaced by feelings of embarrassment and Blair was doing what he always did when he was embarrassed, he was trying to run.
"Blair, wait," the bigger man grabbed at his companions wrists, "I wasn't being flippant about what just happened, I'm sorry. I'm a jerk, but then, you already know that."
"Shit Jim, I... I just don't know what to do, or feel or say. I guess it's because we were just both pretty bored huh?" Blair said shyly.
"Sandburg!" Jim grinned, "This didn't happen just because I was crawling the walls bored. I've always loved you, damn it! Always will, whether we're friends, Sentinel and Guide, partners, lovers... it doesn't matter. You'll still be the only person I ever want to share my soul with," he reached up his hand and brushed a finger lightly down his partners face.
"Shit, the boredom must have rotted a few brain cells. 'Share my soul', Jeezus H Christ," Jim shook his head and laughed, his face flushing red.
"Ellison, you wouldn't know a 'nice gesture' if it leaped up and bit you on the ass, would you?" Blair sniggered, "What you just said was really... nice."
Jim's face twisted into a tortured grimace, "'Nice'?" he squirmed, "That's what women always say when they mean: 'Sorry, I'm repulsed by your body, so you don't get sex, but I need a ride home'."
"Yeah? Like you'd know about that?" Blair pushed himself off Jim's still prone body, "I'm sure you've had *lots* of women turn *you* down?"
"Enough," Jim smiled, climbing to his feet.
The two men sank back into their separate chairs, Jim taking up his position watching the apartment opposite and an uncomfortable silence fell across them both.
Jim shuffled distractedly in his seat, Blair could tell that it meant he wanted to talk about something, but wasn't sure how to approach it.
"Sandburg?" the older man said finally.
"So... you wanna try it out?"
Blair frowned, "Try what out?"
"Us!" Jim replied, obviously irritated that Blair had not in fact read his mind and worked out the cryptic meaning.
"Why, you old sweet talker," Blair grinned, "Is this a proposal?"
"If that's what it takes, man!"
"Well? Do you?"
"Sure, why not," Blair tried to force back a grin threatening to engulf him.
"You sure I'm 'straight' enough for you?"
"Well, if you're not, I always know Rafe's up for the job."
"Slut!" Jim teased.
Blair reached out and slipped his hand into his partners, "I never once doubted that we'd always be together you know? Never."
Jim tightened his grip on the smaller hand, "Me neither."
"Does this mean I get the shower first when we get home?" Blair asked tentatively.
"Not a fucking chance, short stuff!"
Blair beamed, "Yeah, I love you too Jim."