By K9


"Okay, say it," Blair urged, seeing a grin spread across Jim's face, "I know she showed them to you. Just say it!"

"You had *such* a cute butt!" Jim smiled, "And such *lovely* dimples!"

"Oh, man, I knew it," Blair swept his hair back off his face, running his fingers through his auburn curls, "I *knew* she'd showed you the naked baby pictures. Oh, man, why does she do this to me? Huh? I'm her only child and she makes it her life's work to humiliate me."

Jim sat back on the sofa, gleefully watching his guide pace to and fro, "Look, Chief, it's no big deal," he smiled.

"So, what other little gems did she treat you to?" Blair said nervously twisting the hem of his shirt in his fingers. "

"What? You mean like the socks down the shorts to make it look like you're packin'?" Jim teased.

Blair stopped pacing and looked, wide eyed at his partner, "She told you *that*!" he gasped, "Oh man, how could she tell *you* that?"

Jim guffawed loudly, tears of mirth rolling down his cheeks, "She didn't," he said through sobs of laughter.

"Oh, you bastard," Blair sighed, his face flushing, "You low bastard."

"Relax, Chief. Your secret's safe with me. Why don't you go do something you enjoy...wind down a little," Jim said softly, "You can play 'Superman', sit backwards on the toilet and flush it to make it go faster if you want," he slipped back into a giggle.

"Oh man, oh man, I hate you," Blair growled picking up a cushion and hurling it at the smirking vision in front of him, "I knew this would happen. I'm never gonna live it down am I?" he groaned, "I'm going to get naked butt and sock jokes at the PD and toilet flushing jokes every time I want to use the men's room."

Jim laughed into the cushion that he had clutched to his chest, "Oh, but you were so a soft pouty kind of way," he taunted, "Funny how some things never change, huh?"

Another cushion flew through the air landing squarely on the Sentinels mocking face.

"Like it wasn't bad enough getting home to find my best friend and my *Mom* lounging upstairs on *his* bed," Blair stressed, eyeing his partner warily, "But then to find the photo album out. Oh man, talk about bad karma."

"Will you *relax*? I told you, we were just reminiscing," Jim said.

"But why on your bed, huh?"

"We went up there to try to find *my* old album, and just kind of got comfortable," the older man said innocently.

Blair glared at him, "If you're messing with my Mom, Jim. I swear," he said leaving the threat hanging in the air.

"I'm not messing with your Mom!" Jim held up his hands in surrender, "On my honor as a Sentinel, we were just talking."

"About me?"

"Yeah," Jim smiled at his friend's discomfort, "Personally I liked the cute five year old with the curls and no front teeth."

"Oh God," Blair dropped heavily down on the other end of the sofa.

"Or the ten year old with the shy smile," Jim said, fondly remembering the photograph of a young Blair, his cheeks flushed with embarrassment at having the camera pointed at him, his big blue eyes wide like a scared rabbit.

"Man, you are doing this on purpose," Blair groaned, "I was a really shy kid with a huge inferiority complex and I hated being photographed."

Jim frowned, "Why?" he asked.

"Why? Jim, I was small, skinny, geeky and I hated the way I looked," Blair shifted uncomfortably at the memories.

"What do you mean?" his partner asked, "I saw a cute kid with curls and a smile to die for. How could you hate that?"

"Because I saw something *way* different," Blair said with a passion, "I hated being smaller than the other guys. I was no good at football...too skinny. Truly *shit* at basketball..too short, and I *hated* my nose..." Blair trailed off as the memory became just too painful.

"Your *nose*?" Jim said with surprise, "Now Chief, I can see how a kid could not like being small or slender, but your nose? Hell, that's about as perfect a nose as a human being can get."

"No. You don't understand," Blair squirmed.


"It's dumb. I tell'll laugh...then you'll taunt me with it until the day I die."

"I won't. Just tell me."

"You'll snigger."

"I won't. I promise. This will be a 'no snigger zone'. You have to put me out of my misery," Jim pleaded.

"Hell, I know I'm going to regret this."

"C'mon, Chief."

"Well, when I was about eleven years old I overheard a couple of older guys talking about.." Blair paused to take a deep breath, "about how the size of a guys nose is in direct proportion to his..." The younger man stopped rubbing his hand across his rapidly flushing face.

"To his?" Jim pushed, desperately fighting the smile that screamed to get out.

"To his...dick," Blair said at last, "and I remember looking in the mirror and seeing this snub of a nose and thinking. Shit! I'm doomed!" His hands flew in the air as the nervous tension exploded from his body, "I mean, you're talking about a kid entering puberty here and pretty much hating what he sees already. But this, man, this was the last nail in the coffin that contained my confidence."

"So, let me get this straight," Jim began, "You thought, that because you had a small cute nose, you were gonna get a small cute..."

"YES!" Blair said forcefully.

An uneasy silence fell across the room. Blair glared sideways at his partner, daring him to laugh.

"And did you?" Jim said at last.

"Oh, great, " Blair bounced from the sofa and began to pace once more, "I said that telling you was a mistake, didn't I?"

"What?" Jim gasped.

"Oh yes, I can just hear all the 'small dick' jokes too. Oh my God I'm *such* a jerk!"

"Would you calm down? You really are a whole package of insecurity, aren't you?" Jim sighed, "Sandburg, when are you going to face the facts that you're not that small? You're not skinny, in fact you're quite muscular for your size. You're very good looking, check out the women I have to fight my way through to get in the door some nights. And you have the best personality of anyone I've ever known. How else do you explain the way the people down at the PD treat you? You are the only non-cop who gets that kind of respect, trust me.

All in all, you're a pretty fine package deal." Blair blushed at the compliments, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot, "Who cares if you like to play superheroes on the toilet? Not me," Jim's face broke into a devastating smile.

"You bastard!" Blair hurled another cushion at the older man, playfully punching at him.

Jim rolled on the sofa, laughter tearing at him. "You're not going to turn green and rip your shirt are you?" he sniggered.

"No, but you're gonna turn black and blue pretty soon." Blair growled, launching himself at the prone figure. The two men wrestled playfully, until they fell from the sofa with a thud.

Blair's head hit the floor, only to be followed by two hundred pounds of sentinel landing on his ribs. Both men lay there laughing, breathless from the choking sobs of mirth. "I hate you," Blair gasped.

"No you don't, you love me," Jim giggled.

"Yeah, I do," Blair said in a whisper, "Oh man, do you have something in your pocket?" he shifted uncomfortably.


"Oh!" Blair said with a gasp. Suddenly he looked up into Jim's eyes, the look that resided there shocked him, "Jim, er.."

Blair noted that big tough James Ellison actually blushed, "Hey, Chief. I guess it's getting late," he stuttered, pushing himself up off his partner and quickly turning away.

Blair took a moment to catch his breath. He watched Jim walk away and shivered at the thoughts and emotions that had just washed over him. As Jim closed the bathroom door, Blair pulled himself up onto the sofa. So many confusing feelings battled within him. He'd told Jim he loved him. He'd actually *said* it. Well, he hadn't 'said' it, he'd just agreed when Jim said it.

Jim said it.

Jim Ellison said, 'You love me'

And Blair Sandburg had agreed.


Then of course there was the.., Oh, man!

No, no, he'd definitely read all the signs wrong. Jim was teasing and fooling around, that's all.

Suddenly, the bathroom door opened and Jim wandered out, his legendary' kick-ass Ellison' face firmly in place. "Bathroom's all yours Chief, don't play on the toilet too long, will ya?" he smirked.

"Funny, man. Very funny," Blair sighed.

"See you in the morning, Sandburg," Jim called as he began to climb the stairs.

<Say something you jerk!> the little voice in Blair's head screamed, "Jim?" he choked out suddenly.

Jim stopped and looked at his partner - looked right into his eyes. Was he willing or daring him to say something?

"Not a word about the nose thing at the P.D. Promise me?" Blair said finally.

Jim's face broke into a warm smile, "You know me, Chief! Goodnight." He laughed lightly as he continued his journey.



Blair's body had spent all day at the U, what with classes and work that had to be in by a deadline: usually long since expired. But his mind had been with James Ellison. If only he had a backbone, he'd have cleared the air when it all first happened and either gotten chewed up and spit out, laughed at, or...or Jim would have said 'I'm in love with you too,


Was it worth the risk of making a fool of himself, for the slim chance that Jim loved him?

You bet it was.

He had made his mind up that tonight he was going to sit Jim down and explain to him that his feelings towards his partner had changed. He wasn't sure when or how, but it had happened.

Needing to be close to Jim, to touch him, these desires had crept upon him without him seeing. Insidiously worming their way into everyday life, the touch on Jim's arm when he was concentrating on something or a hand resting on his chest, giving him something to ground himself on, when he was in danger of zoning.

Oh yes, Blair could always find an excuse for them. Always find a logical explanation. But he was lying to himself if he insisted on believing that this closeness was for Jim's sake and not his own.

<But what if I'm wrong?> Blair considered, <What if he laughs? Hell, he'd never hurt me physically, the guys a big pussycat where I'm concerned. But what if he can't or won't take me seriously? Man, that would be almost worse than getting a sock on the jaw,> he ran his finger through his hair, <I just don't think I could cope if he mocked me.>

Sitting back and closing his eyes for a moment Blair could see himself as a child again. Small and slender compared to Martyn Harrison, and painfully shy.

"Hey, Sandburg? You really a boy?" Martyn had taunted, "'Cause you look like a girl to me."

Blair swallowed hard as he remembered standing, looking up at the towering bully. Words had no effect on this inhuman monster, so he remained silent, staring, determined not to shed tears.

"You play with girlie dolls, Sandburg?" Martyn returned to his volley of stinging taunts, "You got titties instead of a dick?"

Blair could still hear the laughter from the other kids as Martyn had spurred them on. And even after all these years, he could still feel the hurt and humiliation that went with it.

Suddenly, the huge thug had grabbed him by his shirt, pulling Blair into his face. "I think we should take a look. We need to make sure you're not a girl before we let you in the boys locker room," he sniggered, as he pushed Blair to the floor and began pulling off his shirt.

"Stop it!" Blair had shouted, "Leave me alone."

Martyn had begun to unbutton Blair's jeans, then he'd suddenly pulled them down around his knees. "Hey look, he's got a dick, but it's a mighty little one," his voice had echoed around the school yard, "Maybe he's a fag. You a queer Sandburg?"

Blair curled up into a ball, his clothes torn and his body all but naked. He could not stop the tears from falling, nor the desperate plea for his mother that choked it's way out.

Eventually, a teacher had seen what was going on and she'd gathered Blair up and hurried him away to the office, before calling his mother and nervously explaining what had occurred.

Martyn Harrison had been punished, eventually, but not until Naomi had gone nuclear over the incident and her current boyfriend, a lawyer, had threatened to take the school to court for allowing this to happen to a small seven year old boy. But, none of that had really mattered to Blair. Nothing that had gone on afterwards made up for the shame he felt, each time he looked in the mirror.


Blair sat up and stretched. All that was such a long time ago and despite the odd moment of doubt now and again, he no longer loathed his body. Long ago, he'd come to terms with the fact that he was never going to be Arnold Schwarznegger, nor did he really want to be, if the truth were known.

No, he was pretty happy with Blair Sandburg, super geek. But would Blair Sandburg, super geek be enough for Jim Ellison?

Deciding to call it a day, Blair packed up his things and headed home. It was time to face the music, once and for all.



"Hey, Jim!" Blair called as he entered the loft apartment at 852 Prospect. He'd noticed the truck parked when he got home, which meant that Jim had changed shifts, probably meant a stakeout tonight.

"Sandburg, you still working part time hours at the U?" Jim grinned as he noticed the time.

"I got bored," Blair smiled.

"Sheesh, what a job. You think Simon would fall for that line?"

Blair laughed, "I doubt it," he mumbled as he began to sort through the mail that he'd picked up on his way in. Suddenly he stopped. A large envelope with Jim's name on it caught his eye. It was his mothers writing. "There's, er.., there's a letter for you, from my mom," he said as casually as he could.

Jim just nodded and took it from his fingers, walking away, "By the way, I'm on a stakeout tonight, a warehouse down on Trent. You up for it?"

"What's my mom doing writing to *you*?" Blair said trying to sound like he was joking, but he could feel his heart in his mouth.

"No law against it," Jim replied shortly, "So, you coming tonight or not?"

Blair bit his lip nervously, "Jim, are you seeing my mom? I just need to know. It's not like I could do anything about it if you were, I just want to know," he rambled.

"Sandburg. I am *not* seeing your mom, okay?" Jim's steely gaze made it clear that the conversation was officially over.

Blair watched Jim storm up the stairs and he knew that something wasn't right. Jim was hiding something.

He had come home, intent on making a declaration of love only to piss his partner off in the first thirty seconds he was home. "Way to go, Sandburg!" he muttered miserably. This stakeout was going to make it one *hell* of a long night.


In actual fact, 'long' didn't go half way to describing it. Blair was sure that the Jurassic period had passed more swiftly than an evening sitting in the truck with a pissed off sentinel, who was nursing his own dark thoughts and certainly not sharing any with his guide.

It was just after Simon's voice had come through and told everyone to call it a night, that Blair had decided to clear the air about Jim and his mother. Yes, he was heartbroken. He loved Jim. But, if being with Naomi was what it took to make him happy, then so be it.

"Jim, about the letter, I'm sor.." he began.

"Sandburg, don't. Just read it," Jim said stopping the conversation in mid flow and handing Blair the envelope from earlier.

Frowning, Blair peered into the depths of the packet and pulled out a piece of folded paper. Suddenly, three photographs slipped from in between and landed in Blair's lap.

Puzzled, he picked them up and turned them over. They were of him. One was Blair the naked baby, lying on a crocheted blanket, toothlessly giggling at the camera.

The next, was Blair the five year old, with his front teeth missing, his curls wrapping themselves around his face and his shy eyes peeping up from beneath long lashes.

But it was the third that brought back the worst memory, it was Blair at his new school, the one that Naomi had moved him to after the incident with Martyn Harrison. He shuddered as he relived the thoughts that were going through his mind when that photograph was taken. 'Why bother? Who would want to look at me?'

Swallowing hard, he opened the letter. It read:


Dearest Jim,


Here are copies of the photographs you asked for. Wasn't he just the most beautiful child in the world? I was always so proud of him, he was such a bright and enthusiastic child, so full of life and he's always had such a huge capacity for love.

I am also so very proud of the man he's become and I suspect that some of that is due to you. You are the best thing that could ever have happened to my son. Please take care of him for me.


Love and peace



P.S. Have you told him that you're in love with him yet? If not, why not?


Blair stared at the letter. Reading it over and over. But each time, his gaze fell back on the P.S.

Suddenly, he heard Jim's voice beside him.

"I'm sorry, Chief. I never meant you to find out this way. I...I'm just too much of a coward to tell you myself. And when I saw how upset you were earlier, when you thought that I was interested in your mom, I had to do something or say something to put your mind at rest. I never meant to hurt you," Jim said resting his brow on steepled fingers. "I hope you can forgive me?"

"Forgive you? For what? For loving me? Never!" Blair found the smile he'd been nursing to fruition suddenly bursting forth. He turned around to see the most relieved expression on Jim's face that a human being could possess. "Oh Jim!" he growled, "Man, you are such a wuss!"

Jim laughed out loud, "Yeah, I know, " he said tentatively reaching out for Blair's hand.

In a moment, the younger man was across the seat and halfway in his partner's lap. His arms were flung around Jim's neck and he was hugging the living daylights out of his favorite sentinel.

Jim wrapped his arms around his guide, before burying his face into Blair's neck.

"So, you're okay with it then?" Jim whispered.

"Oh man, more than okay. Jim, I love you so much. I was going to tell you tonight, but when I saw the letter..jeez, that was so immature of me. I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry. It all worked out for the best. God, I feel like someone just lifted lead weights off my chest," Jim smiled.

"Just one thing, why the pictures? Man, they are *so* uncool!" Blair mocked.

"Blackmail, Sandburg. I always like a little something in reserve," Jim replied.

Blair grinned and punched his partner in the shoulder. With a mischievous smile, he touched his lips to Jim's at the same moment he slid his hand down across Jim's crotch. The older man jumped slightly at the twin assault on his senses. Blair giggled and continued to tease with his tongue and fingers at the same time.

Jim's breathing was becoming ragged and Blair could almost feel his heart beating through his chest.

"Sandburg, we gotta stop," he gasped, "Gonna get arrested.. doing this in public..please.."

Blair pulled back and took a moment to drink in the true beauty of the man before him, his eyes dark with passion and his strong jaw, relaxed in the softest smile.

"Okay, let's go home. Then we are going to have to talk about *me* getting hold of some of *your* baby pictures!"



As the truck headed for the cascade P.D headquarters, Blair stole a glance at his partner.

Boy, he looked good enough to eat this morning. Of course, now Blair knew how he tasted, he could imagine what it would be like to eat Jim Ellison. All that rippling muscle, not an inch of unnecessary fat. That sweet, taut skin, endlessly lickable. Those mind blowing lips..oh man, that wasn't all they blew last night. And the man's greatest asset, currently nestling beneath a layer of crisp cotton, <And all *mine*!> Blair thought with a lick of the lips.

Yes, life was good, for one Blair Sandburg.

This morning, he'd looked at that photograph and instead of seeing a lonely, unhappy little boy, he'd seen the shadow of the man he was to become.

The man that Jim Ellison fell in love with. And that was enough for Blair.

Yes, the spectre of Martyn Harrison had finally been laid to rest and Blair had been just plain 'laid'.

"Hey Jim, you didn't say anything to the guys at the P.D about what my mom told you, did you?" he asked suddenly. "Or the 'nose' thing?"

"Sandburg, you are so paranoid!" Jim sighed.

Blair snorted, "Yeah, man. Too much time spent around cops!"

"Will you just relax? Telling them that stuff would just be so...juvenile!" Jim said distastefully, "Anyway, that 'nose size' thing is a total 'phallusy'!" he grinned.

"Oh, God!" Blair squirmed at the bad pun, swatting his new lover on the arm.

Jim merely deflected the blow playfully and continued driving.

Blair studied the side of Jim's face. The older man had a quiet, satisfied smile playing on his lips. <Yeah, it should be 'satisfied',> he thought, <If last night is anything to go by, you're probably gonna fuck me to death before I'm thirty!>

"I'm just warning you. If you value your body parts, you'd better not have said anything."




"Hey, Mornin'" Rafe smiled as Jim and Blair entered the bullpen.

"Mornin' Rafe, how's it goin'?" Blair smiled.


Suddenly, Simon Banks stormed from his office, "What's going on out here?" he grouched, "What's that?" he pointed to the space behind the Blair's head.

Blair turned and looked with a puzzled frown.

"Is it a bird? Is it a plane?" Simon asked. Suddenly the whole bullpen erupted, "'s Superman!" Pulling open their shirts, every member of the Major Crimes staff wore a tee shirt with an 'S' emblazoned upon it and most of the men were now sporting a huge fake nose.

Blair's mouth fell open and he felt the flush creep from his toes to engulf him, "Ellison. You are a dead man " he growled listening to the sound of laughter and the elevator closing behind him.