Do You?

by alyjude


 Blair Sandburg slipped out of bed, checked that Jim was still sound asleep, then crept downstairs.

 He grabbed his PC out of his old room, soon to be game room? Sat down at the kitchen table, booted up and started typing into his personal journal. 


 Okay, I admit it. I need to hear it. So? Who knew? But, damn, it's been four weeks. And I haven't heard it. He hasn't said it. He hasn't whispered it. He hasn't breathed it. Not in passing, not in passion, not at the height of his orgasms......

 Me? I've said it, breathed it, whispered it and screamed it. But then, haven't I always been the verbal one?


 I'm begining to get this edge. This niggling little something. Like that, maybe, just maybe, it - isn't? Love.

 And I *had* to say's what I'm feeling and I've always been verbal, and I'm, like, always "out there", you know? And he's so far "inside", "never the light of day", as they say.

But four weeks? Of not hearing it uttered?

 Four weeks ago this coming Monday. We became lovers. In the space of, "What do you want for dinner?" to kissing. Just like that. Could have knocked me over with a feather. Knocked my socks right off. And my jeans. And my two shirts. And my shoes. And my shorts.

 But it had already been that kind of day.

 A day that started out pretty bleak. Went to Rainier, cleaned out my office. Major trauma. Embarassing as hell. Students looking at *not* looking at me. Other students "glaring" at me. Fellow TA's, studiously avoiding me, years of friendship gone, as they'd catch a glimpse of me, drop their heads and scurry off in the opposite direction.

 Of course, it could have all been my imagination.


 And then my office, the years of research, the papers, files, artifacts, books, God, the books. I mean, what the hell do I do with all this stuff?

 Then the station. Clean out another desk. Knowing Simon will have no choice, couldn't be allowed to keep this particular "Thin Blue Line" dissertation, no "Closed Societies" dissertation, no reason to ride along.

Oh, did I forget to mention the fraud thing? <g>


 Taking a last look around....and suddenly I'm Jim's permanent partner. Well, I will be, in just two more weeks. But shit, it was like a surprise birthday party. Everyone looking like *they'd* swallowed the canary, grins the size of the Grand Canyon, and none bigger than Jim's, none brighter. Lit up the city for days.

 And you know? Rainier just - faded away. Faded into the smiles of Henri Brown, Brian Rafe, Joel Taggert, Megan Connor. The big, smug grin on Simon's face. And Jim. Of course, Jim.

 Good people. The best. And now *I'm* one of them, really one of them. *With* them. And it feels fuckingfantastic.

 And I'm rambling. The problem with private journals. The fingers move, type, the brain two steps behind, or two steps ahead.

 Where was I? Lovers. Oh, yeah.

 So Jim and I get home, having dropped Naomi off at the airport, we walk in, I'm still kinda floating, the grin plastered to my face, and just kind of throw out the dinner question, when Jim takes my arms, turns me around and kisses me.

 Just - kisses - me.

 With tongue.

 We didn't have dinner. We got plenty of protein, but we didn't eat.

 And I gotta say. Making love to Jim Ellison is very cool. And he never ends. His body goes on and on and on. Come to think of it, being *made* love to by Jim Ellison is pretty cool. He really seemed to get a kick out of my body. Thank God.

 He was looking down at me, his eyes were, like, trying to memorize me? And he stopped moving, he was - well, *inside* me, and I've never felt so, so, "full", so connected, but he was doing that "memory" thing, and he looked so - damn, *young*.....and I had to say it.

 "I love you, James."

 He started moving then....and well, our bodies took over....really, really took over. And it's a good thing I'd already said it, because after?

Well, me and the speech capabilities were complete strangers. Needed a whole new, "Get re-acquainted" thing the next morning. Like, "Hello, I'm the letter *A*....."

 And now? Four weeks later? We're in a routine.

 Sex, sleep, sex, eat, work, firing range (me), home, eat, tv, sex, sleep.....

 I'm looking at this, and finding something missing. We're a new couple. And judging by past experiences, shouldn't it look more like this?

 Sex, sleep, sex, eat, sex, work, sex, solve crimes, sex, interrogate suspects, sex, interrogate Jim (oh, that is sex), firing range, sex on the firing range (after hours), home, sex, eat, sex, sleep and start all over again?

 So why doesn't our routine look like *that*? And do I really want to know?

 And there is this other little problem. Three different worlds. I should be used to that, I had my life at the University, another life at the station and still another with Jim.

 Now we have one life at the station. One at home, and one upstairs. In bed.

 At the station, Jim is still cautious, but I'm the only one who sees that. What he does, is joke. More than ever. And circulates. No one on one with his soon to be permanent partner. And he calls me "Sandburg". Not Chief. Sandburg.

 At home, I'm "Chief". We eat. Take-out, almost every night. We talk, watch tv. Just two good ol' boys. World number two.

 And world number three: The bedroom. Frantic sex, exhausting sex. And I'm still "Chief".

 I seem to have lost my first name.

 Okay, I just went back and read everything I just wrote. And that feeling? It's getting - clearer.

 One confused guy is starting to see the light. And wishing the bulb would burn out.

 So, write it down, in black and white. Then go back and read it. Okay, here goes:

 Jim's a Sentinel. I've been crazy about him for months. Since Sierra Verde. He's a Sentinel, he had to have noticed. The scent of arousal? So.

 Blair Sandburg, his partner, his roommate, the guy who is in love with him, gave up fame, fortune, a possible Nobel, babes up the gumpstump.....a movie deal. So what can he do for Blair Sandburg? His friend? Jim's no stranger to sex with men. Probably, if he weren't a cop, it would be his gender of choice. So here's me, easy on the eyes, and apparently just gave up everything for the guy?

 So he gets home and Wham! Kisses me. He gives Blair Sandburg what he thinks he wants. Jim Ellison's version of "It's the least I can do, and you are cute."

 Fuck. Reads pretty solid. It would be more complicated than this, for old Jim Ellison. He's so damn noble.

 And what does that make me? His whore? No, he's my whore, right?

 And today? Lunch with Rafe and Brown? Avoiding me. Sits next to Rafe, in the booth, across from Brown. Talk football. Talk car racing. Joke. Never *looked* at me.

 So four weeks is too long to whore? Too long to give Sandburg what he needs? So what do I do?

 I shut this motherfucker off.

 Saturday, June 19, 1999


 With a click, the laptop shut down. He closed the lid, stretched cramped muscles, tilted back his head, raised his arms, yawned and then crumpled in on himself.


 Blair looked at the kitchen clock. God, it was morning. Really morning. Eight already. How long had he been at his journal? Five hours?

 Stiffly, he rose up and walked over to the window, went out onto the balcony, looked out at his city.

 He had to do something. This wasn't right. But he couldn't think here.


The park was already full of early morning runners, bikers and rollerbladers. But Blair's favorite spot, down near the water, was relatively "peoplebare".

 He sat on *his* boulder and gazed out over the water. Gulls were gliding in, swooping down on the already overflowing trashcans, looking for leftover McDonald breakfasts, no doubt. The air was cool, the sun doing a fine job of getting around the few clouds. It was shaping up to be a fine Cascade Saturday. For most people.

 But all Blair could think about was his possible early morning discovery. Jim and he. He and Jim. Just because Jim was noble? Would Jim really do that? Start a relationship with Blair, because he thought Blair had made some huge sacrifice?

 Yeah. In a New York minute. Jim might even love him. Just not *in-love* with him. Probably did love him. Like a brother. A best friend. A *partner*. But not as a lover. Not as a "forever" partner. And Blair needed that from Jim. But if it wasn't in Jim to give, what could Blair do now?

 He let his eyes travel over the rippling waters, out as far as he could see, the eyes glazing over, salty moisture filling them.


 Jim awoke alone. The warmth of Blair, long gone. He crawled out of bed, his body protesting every move, his knee still stiff.

 Downstairs, he started coffee, realizing that for some reason, Sandburg must have gone out early. Once his coffee was warming his hands, he walked over to the balcony and stood in the exact spot Blair had stood just an hour ago.

 He let his sentinel eyesight scan the immediate area, hoping to spot Sandburg.

 When he couldn't immediately find him, he let his eyes travel farther.......and finally found him at the park.

 Jim finished his coffee, rinsed out the mug, grabbed a thermos, filled it with the remaining coffee, grabbed a couple of bagels, some cream cheese, dumped them in a paper bag, along with a knife and some napkins, dropped the impromtu breakfast on the table, then ran upstairs and put on sweats and a shirt.

 Fifteen minutes later, after a quick pit stop, he and the brown bag were on their way to the park.


"Hey, Chief. Hungry?"

Blair whirled around, stunned to find Jim standing at one of the picnic tables just behind him, setting out bagels and cream cheese.

 "Jim? Hey, surprised to see you here."

 "Yeah? Well, it's one of those few, sunny days, it's Saturday, this is a park, I'm hungry, you're hungry, come on over and lets eat."

 Blair walked over to the bench, somewhat dazed, sat down and let Jim serve him up an onion bagel, liberally smeared with the cheese.

 As Blair munched, Jim poured coffee into the thermos cap and set it in front of him, urging him to drink.

 "Hey, come here often?" Jim said it as if it were a come-on line, a grin splitting his face, crinkling his eyes.

 Blair's mouth was full, so all he could do was nod.

 But as he swallowed he added, "Yeah, when I need to think."

 Jim sat down opposite Blair, his eyes leaving the younger man's face, roaming the area around them, a frown just playing over his brow.

 "And you needed to think this morning? That's why you were up so early?"

 "Yeah, Jim, I did. I needed to think about a lot of things. About us, mostly."

 Sandburg couldn't just sit there any longer, he needed to be up, moving. He swung his legs around the bench and stood.

 "There's something wrong, Jim. And we need to talk about it."

 Emotions were too close to the surface. He couldn't look at Jim, didn't want to see the truth when he said the words. Told Jim he knew.

 He started to walk toward the water when Jim's words turned all his careful conclusions to dust.

 "You're starting to regret it."

 He turned back to Jim, noting the clenched jaw, the eyes, refusing to meet his, the vein in his temple, throbbing.

 "Regret what, Jim?" But he knew. And his legs went weak, his knees turned to jello and he had to sit down, but the bench was too far, the boulder too far, so he let his body drop to the wet grass.....legs crossing, butt landing hard.

 "Come on, Blair, I knew this would happen. It's been a month. Not a very interesting month, and the fact that you are about to become a real cop, carry a gun, live with the scum of the earth....that this is your life now, well, we both know what it could have been....instead."

 Jim stood now, and took a few paces closer to Blair.

 "Three million dollars. You gave up three million dollars. And now, you're regretting it. No doctorate, no trips, no more - teaching. You loved teaching. You're human, regrets are natural. So's the realization that what you gave it all up for, is just - me. And, oh, wonders, being a cop."

 {Shit. Jim is such a shit. Does he know me at all? But, he's my shit.}

 And Blair understood the last four weeks. Understood why the words had never been spoken, why they were living in three different and completely rotten worlds.

 And what a surprise. Jim was afraid. He couldn't compete with all he perceived Blair giving up.

 "Jesus, Jim. You are such a putz."

 Blue eyes widened in amazement.


 "Asshole. Dickhead. Schmuck."

 "*And* you're forcing me to get mushy. Don't you know, someone could offer me the world on the condition that I give you up? And I wouldn't do it? Don't you know that? What world would I have without you? And the money? Can't keep me warm at night. Well, okay, it could, lots of blankets, but you keep me warmer. And the Nobel? Can't have sex with it....I mean, shit, that would be really, like - really painful, you know?"

 "God Dammit, would you sit down, I'm getting a crick in my neck, looking up."

 And Blair reached up, took a hold of material and yanked, hard. Jim came down.

 "Now all the women chasing me, that would have been cool, cause you know, I'd have had my face plastered all over magazine covers....Time's Man of the Year.....Cosmopolitan, Life, GQ......and I *do* have this cute mug.....but Jim, none of them would have been you....just so much mindless sex, whenever I wanted it.....crook my little finger.....I'm getting off the track here....and besides, I can have all the mindless sex I want with you....right? I can, can't I?"

 As Blair rambled on, Jim felt a knot, gently untying itself, and as he watched Sandburg's face, watched the man's eyes, saw the desperation there, inspite of his words, saw the urgency with which Blair was trying to get Jim to see.....well, Jim saw.

 "Jim, I'm willing to spend the rest of my life proving to you that I didn't *give* up anything. That the only sacrifice I could ever be asked to make, would be to give you up, and that would kill me. But, I need....", Blair voice cracked, wavered, "I need you to tell me....I mean, a lifetime, Jim, but only if that's what you want. And I need to hear it."

 "I *am* a schmuck."

 "An asshole."

 "A dickhead. But I'm *your* dickhead. I love you, Blair. And I need you. Life without you would be death. Little deaths everyday. Until the final death."

 "So you know, I'm where I want to be? Doing what *I* want to do? With the one person I need to be with?"

 "I do."

 "Then I now pronounce you no longer a dickhead, asshole or schmuck. Until the next time you get some stupid african bee in your bonnet. And we go through this all over again."

 "I don't wear bonnets, I don't have a bonnet. I won't ever have a bonnet. And could we go home and go back to bed? For some of that mindless sex? You do it so well."

 "I'd rather make love. We haven't done that yet, Jim. You being a schmuck and all."

 "That's ex-schmuck to you. And I can't think of anything I'd rather do."


It had been a long day....he'd managed to get in more hours on the firing range and had taken his final test earlier than planed, just that morning in fact. And passed. He hadn't told Jim his score yet. Jim wouldn't believe it anyway. No one was going to believe it. The record belonged to Jim Ellison, with someone out of the twenty-second precinct coming in second. New cadets were always trying to beat the high scorer. No one ever would. The high score belonged to a Sentinel, after all. But the record books would have a new name just under Detective James Ellison.

 The new name was Detective Blair Sandburg.

 It seemed fitting.

 Blair opened his laptop, hoping to get some journal entries in before Jim got back from the store.


Jim and I have a new schedule. It's working much better than the old one. It looks something like this:

 Sex, sleep, sex, sleep, wakeup, sex, shower, sex, breakfast, sex (usually on the table, which is getting bleached to death), work, sex ~ in the storage closet yesterday, the stairwell today, and I'm shooting for the elevator tomorrow, although, Simon's office......uh, don't go there.

Anyway, home, sex, dinner, sex, and the kitchen sink is damn hard, *and* I kept bumping my head, a little tv, during sex.....UPN is good for something, then bed and more sex.

 Now *that's* the schedule of a horny new couple.

 And he says *it*, almost as much as me.

 June 24, 1999