By K9


The truck sat in a dark street in the rundown warehouse district, its two inhabitants miserably huddled against the cold, watching the entrance to a suspected bomb factory.

Jim Ellison chewed on his nails absently as he scanned the area for signs of life that were not four-legged or of insect origin.


"Jim?" Blair Sandburg said suddenly.


"What do you think I'd look like as a blonde?"


"Really?" Blair's dejected voice echoed.

"Why would you want to be blonde?" Jim asked.

"Dunno... just want to be different, I guess."

"Different to what?"

"Other people."

Jim glanced over at his partner, all 5' 7", one hundred and fifty-five pounds of crazy curls and sunny smiles.

Two tee shirts and three flannel over shirts finished off with a fleece and finger-less mittens. Heavy denim jeans and hiking boots. Not to mention the Betty Boop scarf one of his students had given him 'to keep him warm' and a matching woollen hat with the words 'Boop boop be do' on the rim.

And this was the guy who wanted to be 'different'?


"Trust me Chief, you're already 'different'."

"I am?"



Jim sighed, "Well, let's just say that they don't make too many humans that look like you. Maybe a few chimpanzees, but not many humans."

"Very funny, man. No, come on Jim, I'm boring, right?" Blair groaned.



"Who told you that?" Jim turned slightly to look at his roommate.

Blair shrugged and looked out of the window, "Well, no one in so many words, I guess. But women seem to get bored with me kinda quick."

"Then that's *their* problem, Chief. Not yours. There's nothing wrong with you," Jim replied, suddenly feeling slightly territorial towards his partner and guide. How *dare* someone even consider telling him that he was 'boring' when Blair Sandburg was possibly the most alive and vivacious person he knew?

"Well, if it's not 'me', why don't women ever stick with me?"

Jim sighed again, "You're asking *me*?" he said with a slight smile.

"Good point man, good point," Blair chuckled, "Neither of us have much of a track record on that score, do we? But, you stick with me, Jim. So why, why do *you* do it?"

"Sandburg, do we have to have a philosophical conversation like this *every* time we're on a stakeout?"

"Don't evade the question, why do you stick with me? We've been together for over four years, so why?"

"Because I've spent four years getting you house broken, why throw your ass out now?" Jim replied.


"Sandburg, I don't know, you're my friend, I like you and trust you and I'm comfortable having you around. There haven't been too many people in my life who I could say that about. Okay?"

Blair was quiet for a moment, "Okay," he said finally.

"Jeezus, why don't these guys just blow something up? Preferably themselves then we can go home," Jim muttered.

"Yeah, it's Friday night and we're stuck *here*," Blair pouted.

"So, you had some hot date lined up, huh?"


"No? You sick or something?"

Blair huddled down in the seat, shivering against the cold, "I resent the way you stereotype me, man. I'm just a normal guy with normal 'drives'."

"There's nothing 'normal' about humping everything that stands still long enough, Chief," Jim began to tease. He was bored and tired and baiting his partner seemed like good sport right now.

"I do *not* hump 'everything that stands still long enough'. That's a disgusting thing to say."

"Okay, Mrs. Perry's Pekinese escaped because the fur got caught in your zipper."

A reluctant laugh escaped as Blair tried to look indignant, "You are a *sick* man, Ellison."

Jim nodded and yawned, "You think if we went over there and blew the damned place up ourselves anyone would notice?"

"I like that. PD job creation... neat idea. Cut out the middle-man: the criminal, and get all the cops to commit the crime, so they know who to arrest. Very 'out there', man."

"I thought so," Jim grinned and pulled his jacket up tighter around his neck.

"So, Jim, what did you have planned for tonight if we weren't stuck here?"

"Probably watch the game on TV."

"No date then?"


Blair thought for a moment, "How come?"

"Sandburg! What is this?" Jim shot an irritated glare in his partner's direction.

"Just asking man, no need to go nuclear on me, sheesh!" Blair pouted giving it the full 'Sandburg's *hurt*' look.

"Look, I'm just tired, cold and irritable. I don't *know* why I had no date, I just didn't. What's the big deal?"

"No 'big deal'. I just wondered why a good-looking guy like you was sitting in on a Friday night watching the game when there must be *hundreds* of women just waiting for you to ask them out, that's all."


With a sigh, Jim gave up. Sandburg had used 'the weapon', the whipped puppy look and the 'I'm hurt' voice both at the same time, a deadly combination.

"Yeah, well, those 'hundreds' of women must all be on vacation at the same time."

"Don't try telling me that no one said 'yes' when you asked?" Blair snorted.

"I don't know, I didn't ask."

"Why not?"


Blair threw up his arms, "Okay, okay," he surrendered gracefully, "So what you doing next weekend? "

"Nothing much."

"Aw, Jim. Come on, man. Don't tell me you're going to sit in and watch TV again?

"Unlike you, Sandburg, I have no 'duties' to perform," Jim smirked and stared out of the window.

Blair sighed. He knew it had been a mistake to volunteer to take the Boy Scouts on a camping weekend and an even bigger mistake to tell Jim Ellison about it. "Any more 'Boy Scout' cheap shots and you are a dead man, Ellison," he tried not to grin.

"Chief, you'd look really cute in one of those little uniforms. Hell, I'd go for ya."

Mouth dropping open, Blair turned slightly, "Did you just make a pass at me?" he asked incredulously.

Stopping to think for a moment, Jim sighed deeply, "I think I probably did."

"Oh *man*, this cold really got to you, huh?"

"If you wanna run screaming, Sandburg, be my guest, just close the door behind you." Jim pulled his jacket a little tighter around him and deliberately looked away.

"Oh no, you won't get rid of me that easily. I might be small but I'm tough... not to mention 'perfectly formed'," Blair wiggled his eyebrows, the action making Jim laugh.

"And shockingly humble," the chilly Sentinel remarked.

"Ah yes. Sooo... Jim, have you really been lusting after me?"

"I only want you for your mind, Chief."


"But I guess 'smart is sexy'. In your case anyway."

Blair shuffled a little closer, "And when did these feelings first manifest themselves?" he smiled, nudging his partner with his elbow.

"Now you sound like Dr Ruth... ugh!" Jim pulled his arm away and shuddered.

"Jim, really, when did you start feeling this way?"


"Always? And I never noticed? What am I grossly stupid or something?"

"Okay, I didn't always know it myself, but when I worked it out, I realized that I'd always felt that way."

"What way?"

"In love with you." Jim took out a handkerchief and blew his nose as though nothing had happened.

"You're *in love* with me?"


Shaking his head, Blair looked around dazed, "Seriously?"



"I guess it's the cute little 'Boy Scout' image that finally did it for me," Jim teased.

"That was looking like a nice moment there and you *had* to ruin it with a cheap 'short' joke, didn't you?"

"Uh huh."

"Hey, come on, lift up your arm," Blair shuffled closer, shoving Jim's arm up and moving in close to his side, pulling the arm around him tightly, "Since you're already pitifully enamored of me, you won't mind sharing body heat, will you?"

"Who said anything about 'pitifully enamored?"

"Rhonda, actually."

"Rhonda?" Jim gasped letting Blair snuggle in close.

"Yeah, she had us figured *way* back."

"And she told *you* this?"



"Because we were talking in the store room one day."

"What were you doing in the store room with Rhonda?"

Blair grinned and scratched his nose, "Talking."

"About me?"

"Amongst other things, yeah. And she asked if we were a 'couple' and if not, why not."

Jim frowned, "And what did you say?"

"I said 'No, we're not... yet.' But I'm not against the idea."

"Oh really?"


Blair slid his arm around Jim's waist and almost crawled under his jacket. "Jim?"


"I love you too, man. Always have."

"I know."

"You know? How?"

"The eyes, Chief."

"What eyes?"

"Your eyes. They go big, like cow eyes when you look at me sometimes."

Sitting up sharply, Blair almost laughed, "Cow eyes?" he choked, "Your idea of a romantic interlude is telling someone they have 'cow eyes'?"

"I like cows, not in the biblical sense you understand, but they're intelligent, sturdy, loveable creatures."

"Which you have on a bun with onions and relish! Oh Jim, jeezus, we have *got* to work on your social skills."

Suddenly Jim Ellison began to laugh, deep belly laughs that made his face light up and his eyes sparkle.

"What?" Blair asked before falling prey to the giggles.

"I was just thinking how lucky I am. I'm sitting here, freezing my balls off, watching a warehouse, and all I can think is how 'lucky' I am because you're here with me."

For the first time in his life, Blair Sandburg was truly speechless. He looked on as Jim's laughter died away and the big man turned to smile directly at him.

"Oh man," Blair pushed his hair back out of his eyes, the strands escaping from the woolen hat like prisoners making a break for freedom.

Jim slowly leaned in and kissed his partner on the lips. Ice-cold flesh met equally cold flesh and the tingle ran straight through both bodies until it came to rest in frost bitten toes.

"Your nose is bright red," Jim pulled away and whispered the words into the young man's ear.

"That's deeply touching, man."

"You want to go home and play some 'reindeer games' later, huh Rudolph?"

Groin tightening only slightly more than his throat, Blair laughed, "Hell yes!"

Running his thumb across Blair's lower lip, removing the moisture left from the kiss, Jim smiled, "Don't want you getting chapped lips, do we?"

A wordless shake of the head was the reply.

"And Chief? No blonde hair, okay?"

"Got it. What about a nose piercing...?"


The End