"Blair Sandburg, I will never understand you and you're my son. And I always go the mother route - I'm your mother."

She watched him struggle with the undershirt and started forward to help, but his muffled voice telling her he was fine, stopped her.

"Honey, aren't you happy about the way things have worked out?" As she spoke, she opened his drawer, pulled out a sweatshirt, then as his head appeared, handed it to him.

"Mom, I'm so confused right now, I'm seriously considering a retreat in Katmandu." He slipped the sweatshirt on, his voice once again muffled. By the time his head reappeared, he was saying,".......so straight, and yet he kissed me, and I really liked it," he straightened the shirt and continued, "I mean, we're talking really liked it, okay? Wait, I admit it, I loved it," he paused to take a breath as Naomi wisely held hers. Over the years, she'd learned to let Blair ramble until he figured out the problem for himself.

"I don't begin to understand it, but I loved it - love....I love....," Blair's body stilled, his eyes took on a dreamy quality and Naomi continued to hold her breath. Any minute now....

"I love him. I love Jim Ellison."

Well, finally. For a smart man - he was awfully slow.

Then Blair's face clouded over. "But there's no way - just no way he could, not for me...," Blair would have rambled on indefinitely, but Naomi's patience snapped.

"BLAIR SANDBURG, WHO KISSED WHOM? Don't you dare go into that I'm not worth it mode, don't you dare! Jim is in love with you, as well he should be. You're talented, smart, handsome and funny. And yes, I'm your mother and I'm prejudiced, but damn, it's all true."

"Mom, you can stop now. Okay? I get it." But the darkness in his eyes belied his words.

Naomi moved to the bed, sat down beside him and took his hand.

"Blair, I know I didn't give you the childhood you always needed, or the stability you craved, but I'd hoped that the traveling we did, the people we met would outweigh the loss of a permanent home."

"Mom, what does that have to do with.......".

Naomi put a finger to his lips. "No, let me finish. I can see that you needed more stability than I gave you, an anchor, so to speak. But Blair, you have that now. You have to see how much Jim loves you. It's real, honey. His feelings are deep, true and real. Believe in them. Believe in him."

Okay, this was not his mother. A clone. That was it. A perfect, Stepford clone. But....her words, they made sense - in a Naomi non-cloning kind of way.

Naomi watched him puzzle it out. As she observed his expressive face, the need to hold him superseded the fact that he was no longer her baby boy. She reached out and pulled him into her arms. She closed her eyes and prayed he'd let this happen. It was a needless prayer.

As they held each other, visions of other hugs, other moments, flooded her mind. A kaleidoscope of moments, small snapshots of her life with Blair, revealing moments, telling moments.

She was twenty-three and holding a struggling, wiggling six year old in her arms. He was crying, his arms trying vainly to grab something, anything, that would keep him in his room. It was the third move in the previous two years.

Then she was twenty-five and could see an eight year old Blair, sitting in the backyard of their rental home. He was in the middle of the lawn, legs crossed, elbows resting on his skinned knees, his hands holding his face.

He was staring at the grass.

She went outside to see what had so entranced him and when she'd asked what was so interesting, he'd turned those huge blue eyes up to her, eyes swimming in stubborn, unshed tears and in a voice daring her to argue, he said defiantly, "I'm watching the grass grow and it really, really takes a long time and I have to watch it, so we can't possibly move until its done!"

Naomi held her thirty year old son a bit tighter and in her mind's eye, she saw the twelve year old version pacing nervously in a counselor's office, wearing a hole in the very expensive rug, while said man informed her of her son's intelligence, so far beyond anything she'd imagined. And later; that same twelve year old, coming home from school, his glasses broken, nursing a split lip and a black eye.

Not the first fight, not the last. Bullies picking on the small kid, the smart kid. The one who wouldn't fight back.

The panic attacks started not long after and as Naomi continued to hold Blair, she could hear one of the better therapists she'd taken Blair to over the years, telling her how sensitive Blair was, how intelligent and that he was an overachiever. But that he had nothing to ground him, to anchor him. Nothing to help him relieve the stress of teachers demanding too much or not enough; or from those teachers who tested him too much, or tried to mold him, to get him to conform.

Naomi had listened to that therapist and immediately removed Blair from school to begin a three year journey with her son, an odyssey that took them all over the world.

As she watched her son in those years, watched him develop a fascination for Sir Richard Burton; the explorer, not the actor, she'd prayed that she'd made the right decision.

But the panic attacks continued and settling down seemed the only answer.

Blair was almost sixteen when they came back to the states. Was already looking at universities, anthropology departments in particular, and talking non-stop about Rainier.

The decision became simple; they moved to Cascade.

But Naomi hadn't been able to settle down.

Feeling penned in, she'd slowly started dying, a little bit every day, so she'd started taking little trips, with Blair's encouragment.

But gradually the trips became more involved, she stayed away longer. As the years flew by, she and her son grew apart as she allowed months to pass without a word to her son. But no matter where in the world she might find herself, she'd find a letter from her son.

Naomi came back to the present and pulled back a bit. Searching his face, she asked, "I know I wasn't always there for you, Blair, but you never doubted my love, did you?"

He smiled gently as he nodded. "Mom, I always knew."

Naomi Sandburg felt a knot untie itself in her heart and she relaxed. He knew. And Blair had finally found that anchor - in Jim Ellison.

And just maybe, Naomi Sandburg had finally found what she'd been looking for all these years. She stood, smoothed down her skirt and said,"I think we'd better join our guys, don't you?"

Blair arched one eyebrow at her choice of words, but stood, chuckling.

"Mom, you're impossible."

"And you wouldn't have me any other way."

Just before they walked back out, Blair asked, "Mom, are you serious about Simon? Because, man, he's a goner."

"Yes, honey, I'm serious."

"Good. I've been hoping since I introduced you two...."

"Blair Sandburg, you're impossible."

"Now, mom, you know you wouldn't have me any other way."




The aroma of Jim's special spaghetti sauce filled the loft and Naomi headed straight to the kitchen for a taste as Blair made a quick detour into the bathroom to give his back the once-over.

He closed the door and thanked the Anal Retentive Gods for creating a man who firmly believed in the concept of a place for everything and everything in its place because he was able to open the correct drawer and put his hands on the tube of analgesic cream. In almost any other home, someone would have been screaming, "Honey? Where did you put the stuff for my back?"

The only thing missing in this home were the actual tracings of each product so that it could be put back in the exact same spot.

Blair glanced at himself in the mirror and shrugged. Now for the hard part. Getting his sweatshirt up and his body twisted enough so that he could see what he was doing in the mirror.

He was in the middle of the daunting task when the door opened and Mr.

Everything In Its Place Ellison asked, "Need help?"

Shocked, Blair turned abruptly, his hand squeezing the tube in surprise and a huge white glob squirted out to land on the front of Jim's shirt.

"Uh, no, not really."

Ellison glanced down at his shirt and grinned. It matched the rest of the bathroom quite nicely, since there were globs on the sink, the floor, on Blair's sweatshirt. Hell, there was even a glob on the wall behind Sandburg. In fact, the only place that seemed untouched by the stuff was Blair's back.

Moving up behind his partner, Jim took the tube from Blair's hand, squirted some into his palm, worked it a bit to warm it up and while Blair held the shirt up, started to gently massage it into the bruised, sore skin.

"Oh, yeah, I can see you don't need any help, Chief," he just managed not to snort, " but I was the proverbial fifth wheel out there. I needed an escape route and you won."

"Gee, I'm honored."

Jim continued to his careful massage, treading gently as sentinel fingers moved around the large bruise taking shape on Blair's left side.

"You're gonna feel this tomorrow, Chief. Nice bruise too."

"I feel it now and I'm so glad you like it. Nicely mottled yet?"

"No, but well on its way."

For a few minutes, both men were silent as Jim worked his miracle on Blair's back. But finally, the gel was in and Jim gently took the shirt hem from Blair's fingers and lowered it. He put the cap back on, wiped his fingers and said, "There, how does that feel?"

Blair had long since stopped thinking about his back except in terms of

how good Jim's hands felt on his skin. But they weren't done yet because

Blair had to talk about it, the kiss

"Um, Jim? Are we going to talk about it?"

"Hey, if your mom and Simon want to kiss, that's their business."

With that, Jim walked out of the bathroom, leaving a very confused Blair behind.




Dinner turned out to be a very pleasant experience, considering that it involved four supposedly grown-up individuals trying studiously to avoid any topic that might lead to any discussion about the events of the afternoon.

However - body language managed to expose a great deal.

At every opportunity, Simon touched Naomi, served her and gazed adoringly into her eyes.

At every opportunity, Jim touched Blair, served him and gazed lovingly into his eyes.

Naomi returned every adoring glance with matched adoration.

Blair was still confused.

The meal wound down and as Jim got up to pull the dessert from the refridgerator, he tossed out a question aimed at Naomi.

"Don't you think it's time to tell us about this book?"

Naomi glanced around the table and saw the sparked interest in Simon's eyes and the excitement in Blair's. She smiled slyly. As Jim placed the bowls of Spumoni on the table and everyone dug in, Naomi asked a question of her own.

"Well, why don't you try to guess the topic?"

"Easy, Naomi. A book on meditation," Jim guessed.

But Simon countered with, "No way. It's a tell-all book about the sixties."

Jim pointed his spumoni laden spoon at Simon in a gesture saying, Got it in one.

Blair was still confused.

"It's a childrens book," she said simply.

Three voices simultaneously sputtered, "A childrens book?"

"Yes. About a very brave little boy," Naomi looked at her son, pride evident in her eyes, "who dared to be different. He lives in a city where being different is a very bad thing. When all the other adults and children realize that he is strange, they try to change him, to make him conform. But by the end of the story, he has changed them and the city."

She picked up her coffee, took a sip, giving the men a chance to recoup, then added, "Doubleday loved it, bought it for an obscene abount of money and I'll be serializing it. Eventually, the little boy will conquer the world and succeed in teaching everyone that they should celebrate their differences, cherish their simularities and love the individual."

Jim recovered first. "Naomi, that sounds - beautiful. I'd love to read it."

"Thank you, Jim." She glanced at her son again and added, "I was truly inspired." She stood quickly, seeing the flush begin on her son's neck and the strange expression in Simon's eyes. "I think it's time to clean up."




The kitchen was clean, the table cleared and Naomi and Simon had decided to take a walk.

Jim tossed the sponge in the corner, turned out the light and walked into the living room.

Blair was sitting on the chair, watching him with narrowed eyes.

Jim knew he was in for it now. He sighed. Sat down, rested his head back and closed his eyes. And waited for the barrage of questions.

Nothing happened.

He opened his eyes.

Blair was staring at him. Expectantly.

Jim decided to ignore him.

Five minutes later, Jim knew Blair was still staring. And waiting.

The fact was that Blair Sandburg was younger.

He could outlast Jim.

Jim sighed again and opened his eyes. "I don't know why, Chief. Okay?"

Nothing. Just that - steely blue gaze.

"Blair, it just happened. I mean, I know why I patted your butt. You both looked so --- and I had no explanation for the kiss, so I just decided to give you both something to think about. And later, when we got the shirt off, and you looked so damn....Well, damn it, Sandburg, in for a penny, in for a pound, you know?"

Blair's voice was deceptively quiet as he repeated, "In for a penny? That's what this was?" When he got a shrug from Jim, he stood, his expression unreadable, even to Jim.

"Fine. I get it. Familiarity. Nothing more. Maybe anger at Naomi. Fine, got it. No problem." He started towards his room. "Make my apologies to Simon, okay? My back is killing me and I'll sleep in my room til mom goes to bed, then I'll move out here."

He walked a bit unsteadily, holding in his hurt, disappointment and anger, but as he passed Jim, the older man stood and placing a hand on Blair's back, said, "Wait. Please."

He moved up behind Blair and slipped his arms around his partner's chest. Blair stiffened but as Jim lowered his face and his breath brushed Blair's neck, he found himself almost relaxing into the embrace. But he caught himself and was about to pull away when Jim whispered, "Blair, what I meant to say was that I don't know why I chose today to let you know how I feel. It just seemed - so right. Do you understand?"

Blair relaxed andmelted into the tall, warm mass behind him, the words acting as a salve to his soul. He turned in Jim's arms and started to speak, but Jim was much quicker and Blair was caught in a searing kiss.

So different. This kissing a man. Equal power, equal strength, hard muscles, and it felt - right, perfect, where he belonged.

The kiss was escalating and Jim's hands seemed to be everywhere, his body grinding into Blair's and he was almost dizzy with the heat and the need.

But at some point - the tables turned. Suddenly, it was Blair kissing Jim.

And Jim could do nothing more than hold on.

To Blair.

Menthol, toothpaste, pears, shampoo, tomatoes, basil, aftershave, sweat, all the scents and tastes associated with Blair were currently overpowering Jim. And he had no intention of stopping them.

It was staggering, how all his senses worked together to taste Blair Sandburg. It was the piggy-backing of all piggy-backs and Jim Ellison was drowning in it. Deliciously, consciously and willingly drowning in Blair.

No life preservers, please.

Who coined the phrase, "Silver-tongued devil"? Make it velvet-tongued and it would apply to Sandburg.

Blair kissed with the same single-minded devotion that he applied to any problem. He manuevered Jim's head, his mouth, his body. He controlled Jim's hands, his breathing, every minute detail and Jim had never been happier.

Surrender was - good.

Jim moaned into Blair's mouth and felt the answering smile.

Blair ended the kiss and with a devilish grin, said, "God, I'm good."

Licking his lips for a last taste of the humble man standing before him, Jim nodded. "Modest too."

Jim's smokey eyes promised more and unconsciously, Blair pressed in closer. Jim lowered his head and two mouths were about to meet again, but the front door opened and once again - Naomi and Simon interrupted the action.

This time there was no rushed parting, no clumsy attempt at explaining. The two men simply stepped slightly apart and looked sheepishly at each other.

Jim watched his friend, his boss step in behind Naomi, observed the smitten expression and smiled. Then the smile died. Naomi - staying here. Overnight. Shit.

He was concentrating so hard on the thought of how he was going to manage not to attack the man in front of him, while said man's mother slept under him, that he almost missed Naomi's words....

"Blair, honey, do you mind if I don't stay here for the night?"

Blair didn't miss the cheshire cat-like grin on her face.

Jim started mentally doing high-fives with himself.

"Mom, you can't be serious! I'm not going to let you stay in a hotel.

Absolutely not."

Jim missed one high-five and mentally slammed into a wall.

"Oh, I'm not dear. Simon has sugggested that I stay with him tonight.

Then we'll all go to the airport together."

Jim was up and running again, doing a little mental end-run happy dance this time.

"In fact, sweetie, Simon and I thought we'd head out now. We're both pretty - tired."

Jim Jr. started his own version of the happy dance.

"Jim, I trust that you'll take care of my son? Make sure he gets his rest? That he doesn't - strain himself?" Her grin was downright wicked and not in the least motherly.

Jim saluted and snapped out a crisp, "Yes, ma'am."

Hugs and kisses followed, as well as quick plans for meeting up for an early breakfast before the airport.

And finally - the two men were alone.

Blair turned from the door and looked up at Jim.


Jim smiled from the bottom step of the stairs.



Blair gave a little bounce on the tips of his toes, then back down and rubbed his hands together. "So," he repeated.

"I think you're mother is right. You need a good nights sleep. In our bed. In my arms."

"Well, I've always believed that mother knows best."

"I hear that."





Jim was used to waking up alone. To solitude. To white noise generators. To emptiness. He'd never liked it, but he was used to it. Painfully used to it.

But this morning - a warm, solid, muscular body was tangled around him like a soft, favorite blanket on a cold winter's morning. He looked down and saw the curly hair spread out over his chest, an arm draped possessively across the same chest and one leg hooked over his. He'd never felt so good. And he had no intention of ever waking without this exact warm, muscular body next to him, on top of him, over him and under him.

For Blair, waking up was very different. And while he might be said, in recent days, to have more experience waking with another body next to his, those bodies were definitely not hard. Anywhere. This body was. Most definitely hard.

And damn, it felt good. Comfortable. A strong heart beating beneath his cheek....and a strong hardness bumping up against his own morning erection.

"You shouldn't feel this comfortable, Jim."

"Fine. Let's trade. I bet that furry chest of yours would make a great pillow."

Blair started to move, chuckling as he did, and Jim changed his mind.

"Wait, I like you right where you are. Stay put."

"Jim, this isn't your truck."

"You got objections to staying put?"

"Me? Hey, no. You know I don't play the hero. I'm staying right here.

Scratchy cheek and all."

Jim ran one finger lovingly over the wiry stubble covering Blair's left cheek and whispered out huskily, "Sounds kinky, Chief."

Blair lifted his head and Jim had a clear path to that mouth. He glided in.

God, he loved this man.

They pulled away, a bit breathless and Jim tightened his grip around Blair.


"Oh, god, I'm sorry, Chief. I forgot all about your back. Guess I got a little - possessive there."

"It's okay, Jim, relax. I'm still amazed at what we were able to do last night in spite of a sore back."

Jim chuckled. "Yeah, we pretty inventive, considering we were

re-inventing the wheel, so to speak."


He gently pulled Blair up to him and in a low and husky voice, said "Take warning here. When your back is better...."

Blair laughed. "I'm holding you to that."

Jim's answer was a low growl.

"Uh, Jim? Is that your Jungle Jim voice?"

"No. Me, Tarzan - You..."

"Say it and you're a dead man, Ellison."

"Right. You're way too furry. Me, Tarzan - You, Cheetah."

"Jim, you know those plans you have for when I'm up to speed?"

"Yes, Cheetah?"

"Down the drain. Ungowah!"

"Okay - me, Tarzan, you ---- ."

"You, Tarzan, me, anthropologist. Me study Tarzan. Me study how big body have such a small brain. Me study Tarzan's body from head to toe - me dedicated scientist."

"Anthropologist will pay for small brain remark, but Tarzan looks forward to the in-depth study."

"Jim, did I mention last night that I love you?"

"Several times, usually followed by groaning and moaning and gasping out how terrific I was and that you'd never had better. Um, did I ---."

"Um, yes, between moans and groans and saying things like you'd never had better and that you'd never suspected a guy so short could have such a big ----."

"That would be mouth, Chief."

Blair laughed outright and decided on one more dig. "So, Jim, you gonna be able to handle Naomi as a mother-in-law?"

"Blair, it's not Naomi I'm worried about. It's the thought of having Simon as a father-in-law."

~End Just Another Saturday~