by K9


Blair Sandburg waited patiently at the stop sign. He was incredibly tired and *so* late finishing. He had what felt like a thousand papers to grade tonight, before he could even begin to consider luxuries like eating and sleeping. Oh hell, and then there was that work on Professor Thorpe's book to set out….

"Oh shit!" Blair said aloud. In his mind he could see the book sitting on his desk, in his office, back at the University. He slapped his hand against his forehead, "Idiot!" he hissed. Out of the corner of his eye, he suddenly saw a familiar truck race past. "Jim?" his eyes followed the vehicle until suddenly a horn blasted from behind him. Glancing through his mirror angrily, he saw a Neanderthal in a Dodge gesturing to him. "Yeah, an' you too," he grumbled, turning at the next junction and heading back for the University.

A few minutes later, after stumbling over a pile of books he'd left stacked just inside the door, Blair swept up Professor Thorpe's 'Theory of Ancient cultures', tucked it under his arm, and began to fumble with the keys to the door. The building was *so* eerily quiet this time of night, he noted, glancing around him.

"Okay, Sandburg, what else did you forget?" he said aloud, pondering for a moment before setting off.

Dragging his feet a little as he walked down the University steps, Blair took a moment to wave goodbye to the janitor, who was fixing a vandalised lock on the science block door. The guy was a prince. He almost *never* freaked when he saw the state of Blair's office, and he knew all the gossip on campus almost before it happened.

As Blair turned towards the student parking lot, having been too lazy to go around the back onto the staff lot, he saw a familiar figure in the distance.

"Jim?" he called. When there was no response, he yelled "JIM?" Then he chastised himself for being an idiot. The guy was a Sentinel, if it *was* him, he wouldn't need Blair shouting to gain his attention. By now the man had disappeared around the back of the building, not even glancing in his direction.

<Can't be him,>Blair thought, Jim was on a stakeout with Rafe and Brown. He'd said that it was just a boring 'photograph anyone coming or going from the building' job, that didn't really need Blair to be there, especially since he was so busy and tired. And if Jim had been here looking for him, he would have answered when called. But that *did* look like his truck earlier.

Allowing his curiosity to get the better of him, Blair walked to the corner and peered into the darkness- no sign of anyone. Hell, it was time he went home, he was beginning to hallucinate.


Blair worked well into the night, until his eyes weighed heavily, and consciousness finally betrayed him. He remembered nothing of the slippery transition he'd made from a waking state to a sleeping one.

What he did know was that the next morning came alarmingly quickly.

"Hey, Sandburg, want any breakfast?" Jim's booming voice caused Blair to sit up far too quickly. His eyes refused to focus and his head spun.

"What?" he mumbled, glancing down at the sofa and blanket wrapped around him. "What am I doing on the sofa?"

"When I got back last night you were out cold. I tried to wake you, to tell you to go to bed, but you didn't want to know. You have some pretty offensive language stored in that fuzzy little head of yours," Jim grinned. Blair looked up at him groggily, trying to focus on the angles of the face that peered down at him. "Anyway, in the end, I gave up. Pulled off your shoes, tucked up your feet and threw a blanket over you. Now, *do* you want breakfast? "

"Juice." Blair said slowly, his mouth not yet fully connected to his brain.

"Come on, Sandburg. Shower first, wake you up," Jim suggested.

Blair nodded and rose to his feet unsteadily, dragging the covering with him. As he passed, Jim grasped the blanket, swinging it up off the floor and pulling it from around Blair's waist, the force of the pull jerked the younger man backwards. Jim stepped forward quickly and Blair merely bounced off Jim's chest with a resounding "Ugh."

"Don't forget to take off your clothes," he smiled as the swaying figure continued his journey. Blair merely nodded once more.

The exercise of actually removing a T-shirt and sweats felt like unravelling the mysteries of the universe. Blair could not get a grip on the cord that held up his pants, then he discovered an immovable knot, which proved far too taxing on the Sandburg brain this morning. Giving in, he pulled the pants down, squeezing them across his hips painfully. Stepping into the shower, he turned on the water, so warm, so strangely comforting, like being drowned in honey. The water felt like fingers running through his hair, stroking their way gently down his back. Large, masculine fingers, Blair thought warmly, sensitive fingers- like those belonging to a Sentinel, maybe? The half-dream was so vivid he could almost feel skin brushing skin. Blair groaned as the thoughts threatened to overcome him in this delicious dream state somewhere between fantasy and reality. The cold blast of water suddenly hit Blair so hard, it felt like a slap across the face, not to mention the other, more delicate parts of his anatomy. He sucked in a breath so hard that it hurt his chest. His body seemed to implode. He opened his eyes to see a muscular arm withdrawing through the curtain.

"Y…….Ellison!" he gasped. A throaty laugh echoed around the room.

"Breakfast's ready, Chief." Jim's voice called. Blair began to swear at him in as many native tongues as he could remember. He heard the older man laugh even louder "See, there's that language again. What would your mother say?"

Blair knew that Jim didn't understand what he was saying, but felt that if he instilled the words with enough passion, Jim would get the point.

When Blair finally made his way to the breakfast table, Jim was already halfway through his meal.

"Would have waited for you, Chief, but some of us have to work today," he smiled.

Blair shivered as he sat down, his hair still damp and his skin clammy and cold. "I thought you were working until late last night? They can't expect you to do twenty four hour shifts," he said teeth chattering.

"Yeah, well, you know police work. Never nine to five."

"Talking about police work, were you at the University last night?" Blair asked tentatively, lifting the glass of juice to his lips.

"No." Jim said a little too quickly.

Blair looked up at him in puzzlement. "It's just that I had to go back for a book, and I was *sure* it was you I saw there."

"Not me, Chief. Must have been some other stunningly good looking guy." Jim gave him his 'I'm changing the subject' smile.

"Yeah, man. Cascade's *full* of guys that look like you!" Blair said, with more than a hint of sarcasm. "Thank god, they don't have your ego though."

Jim grinned. Stuffing the last piece of his toast into his mouth, he leaned over and pinched Blair's face.

"Hey, look. You got some colour coming back into your cheeks!" he smiled.

The younger man pulled away. "Screw you, man," he grumbled.

Jim grabbed his jacket and fished his keys from the basket. "You should never offer what you're not willing to pay up, Chief," Jim grinned at his young partner's reaction. "Catch you later."

Blair watched the door close. He could feel the heat coming from his face. He hated it when he blushed in front of Jim, and over something so stupid. Burying his head in his hands he groaned. "Why do I let him do this to me?"

Later that day, sitting in his office, Blair glanced around at the mess. His 'office'; okay, it was a cupboard, looked like a bomb-site. Closing the folder that lay open on his desk, he sighed - he really needed to get himself organised one of these days. The files in front of him seemed to grow and take on a life of their own. He was finding it impossible to concentrate. His mind was still impossibly fuzzy after so little sleep, and despite his rude awakening in the shower. His thoughts insisted on drifting back to the guy he saw in the University grounds last night. He was *so* damn sure it was Jim. Joking aside, there weren't many guys who looked like Jim Ellison, in Cascade. Hell, there weren't many men who looked like Jim Ellison, *period*.

One was enough for Blair, one Sentinel of the great city, and the only man who really mattered to Blair Sandburg- hopelessly devoted friend, guide and love struck partner. Blair rested his head against the bookshelf behind him, sleep threatening to overcome him at any moment. With the sleep came the dreams, the dreams of his closest friend and himself, and occasionally a large tub of chocolate ice cream. Blair smiled to himself. Thank God, he only had to record the Sentinel's dreams for his dissertation, and not the guides.

Once again he recalled the previous evening. If Jim was lurking around the University last night why did he deny it this morning? The thoughts raced through Blair's mind, nagging and needling. Jim had been pretty insistent that Blair not help him on this stake out. Maybe it was time to put all of that police observer experience to practice, and do a little 'staking out' himself.

It was six p.m when Blair finally decided to give up on the day. He was achieving nothing in this hazy half-dream state, and figured that going home and catching up on some sleep was the best option.


He opened the front door of the loft wearily. As he stepped through, he heard the unmistakable sound of his roommate in the shower.

"Jim?" he called.

"Hey, Chief, "Jim called through the sound of running water.

" What are you doing back so early?" Blair asked.

"Ah, I had to come back, grab a shower and some fresh clothes," Jim said, wandering into the living room clad only in a white fluffy towel, dripping water all over the floor.

Blair regarded his partner with barely restrained lust. The rivulets of water still ran down that beautifully defined body, and muscles glazed with moisture shone in the fading light. A sigh caught in Blair's throat as he tried to recall the conversation they were having before his hormones kicked in and his brain melted. "What, all this trouble just to go back on a stake out?" he said.

"You should try spending a whole day sitting with sweaty cops in a building that has no working air conditioning."


"Yes, again." Jim grumbled. "I just had to get back and freshen up, it's been sending my senses crazy."

"You're okay though?" Blair said with concern.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

Part 2