Old Friends and New Lovers
by Noel Goddard
Original Pub. Date: May 1997
Summary: Jim gets a wake up call from an old friend.
This one was going to be messy. I knew that in my gut as soon as I saw who the divers had pulled from the lake. The body was that of one Jake Harlan, one of the biggest mob bosses in the Northwest. I tried to focus my sight on the body to look for any clues that might have been left behind. Not finding anything, I became aware of a voice, a very persistent voice that sounded very far away.
"Jim! Yo, Jim! We just got here. Don't zone-out on me yet man."
I shook my head to try clear up my senses and rejoin the rest of the world. Sandburg. Of course. He was standing at my right shoulder, shaking it rather vigorously to bring me back. Looking over my shoulder at him, I replied, "It's okay chief. I was just looking for anything that might help us figure this out."
Simon spoke as he approached from my left, "God, Jim. This is just a mess. The FBI has descended upon the station, and they're on the way here. You're going to have the dubious pleasure of working on this case with one of their people."
I groaned and asked, "Who is it this time?"
Simon shrugged, "I don't know. Apparently they've had one of their people on the inside of Harlan's operation for about a year and a half. So, they seem pretty sure that they know who's behind this."
I nodded, and then started as I heard a voice cut through the air, "Hey Ellison! You gonna stand there all day or are you ready to bust some bad guys?"
I turned and saw Jackie. It was like a scene out of one of those bad romance movies as she and I rushed to greet each other. After a long overdue bear hug, I pounced and demanded, "Where the hell have you been?"
She smiled sheepishly and suddenly it hit me. "You were the person on the inside for the last year and a half!" I challenged accusingly.
She now grinned broadly, "Give that man a cigar." Turning more serious, she continued, "Yep. I almost had Harlan wrapped up, when his second in command, Dirk Menotti, decided that he'd been number two for long enough."
I looked over my shoulder to where Blair and Simon were watching us closely, trying to guess what was going on. Blair had that look that he gets when he's studying me just a little closely for my taste. I steered Jackie over closer to the water as we continued to talk, "Are you sure that Menotti did it?"
Jackie nodded slowly, "Jim, I saw the whole thing." She ran her hand through her hair and stared at the men loading Harlan into the coroner's wagon, "There was nothing that I could do to stop it. I would've just blown my cover and gotten myself killed in the process."
I pulled her close against my shoulder while she wiped at her eyes, but she pulled away quickly. With a wry smile, she spoke, "It wouldn't do much for my career if people spotted the lady fed bawling on a cop's shoulder. Anyway, all I have to do now is find Menotti and bust him. My people have already seized the books for the operation and rounded up most of Harlan's men. So, I repeat, are you ready to bust some bad guys?"
I smiled warmly and replied, "Yeah, sure. Let's go clue the captain in to what's going down." I pulled her over towards Simon and Blair and made the requisite introductions, "Jackie, this is my captain, Simon Banks, and my partner, Blair Sandburg. He's a special consultant to the Cascade PD."
With that, Jackie crooked an eyebrow in my direction as if to say, "Oh really."
I ignored her response and continued the introductions, "This is Jackie Meadows, the person who's been in Harlan's operation for the last year and a half. She has positive ID on Dirk Menotti as the shooter. Let's put an APB out on the guy, and Jackie and I will go check out some of his hangouts."
Simon nodded, and Jackie and I headed toward her car. I soon noticed that Sandburg was following us, assuming that he was part of this gig as usual. I turned and tossed him the keys to the truck, "Why don't you go get a jump on those papers that you have to grade, Chief? I think Jackie and I can handle this ourselves." As I turned to continue to Jackie's car, I thought I saw a look of disappointment mixed with something else cross Blair's face. As we reached Jackie's car, I took one more look towards Blair, who was now hounding Simon about something. It was probably nothing.
Several hours later, Jackie and I were back at the precinct receiving pats on the back from everyone including Simon. Jackie and I had caught up with Menotti at a local backroom gambling joint and had arrested him after a spectacular gun battle.
After I had spoken to almost everyone in Major Crimes and most of Jackie's FBI people, I realized that someone was missing - Blair. Simon wandered back in my direction, just as I was scanning to see if Blair was hiding in any corner of the room. Simon's voice startled me out of my search, "He's not here Jim. He was pretty bugged about you sending him home earlier today."
I nodded slowly, acknowledging what I had already guessed. Simon continued, "He was all over me after you left trying to find out who Meadows was. If you two were ever an item."
I laughed, "God no, Simon. Jackie was the first woman to ever make it into my army Special Forces unit. She was and still is one tough lady. We were great friends during training; we basically kept each other alive through the whole thing. She was so pissed when they determined that the Peru mission was off-limits to women. I thought she was going to take on the whole Pentagon right then and there. Turns out it was a good thing she didn't go. When I made it back, she helped me break into law enforcement, and she left the army for the FBI. We've just kept in touch over the years."
Simon didn't look convinced as he spoke, "Whatever you say Jim. I'm just warning you that I think Sandburg was pretty annoyed about you dismissing him like a kid this afternoon. You might want to give him a call."
I nodded and began to wind my way towards my desk and phone. Before I made it, Jackie caught my arm, "So, are you up for a celebratory dinner?"
"What are we celebrating, besides making the Northwest safer for everyone?" I asked in a cocky tone.
She slugged me in the arm, "That's for being a smart-ass. Actually, I was thinking more of celebrating my return to the world of the living." She spoke meaningfully, "After all, we have a lot of catching up to do."
I sighed in agreement, "Yeah, I guess we do. Just let me call Sandburg and tell him I won't be home for dinner."
She looked at me quizzically, but said nothing, knowing that she'd hear the whole story at dinner.
I picked up the phone and dialed. Blair picked up on the second ring, "Jim?"
Feeling cocky, I replied, "Are you developing psychic powers now Chief?" I felt the chill coming through the phone.
As usual though, Blair had about a dozen questions, "Naw, man. Are you okay? Did you get Menotti? Harlan's murder is all over the news."
I stopped him, "Yes on both counts. Jackie and I bagged Menotti, and we're both fine. I'm going to go out with her for some dinner to celebrate. I'll probably home late tonight. You don't need to wait up."
Sandburg was quiet on the other end. Now that was an odd occurrence. He finally spoke, sounding subdued, "Yeah, sure man. Whatever. Catch you later." With that, he hung up.
I put the receiver down slowly, wondering what Blair was so damned upset about. So, I left him behind today. He should get over that, right?
I was roused from my thoughts about Blair by Jackie's hand guiding me to the door, "I'm starving Ellison. Let's get going!"
Before long, Jackie and I were facing each other over some of Cascade's best pizza and a couple of local microbrews. She cut right to the chase, "So, how are you doing these days Jim? And who is this Sandburg person?"
I squirmed in my chair under her gaze, "Well, I pretty much have the senses under control these days, thanks to Blair. In fact, I guess things are pretty good these days."
She pushed for more, "Jim, I know you're a man of few words, but it has been a year and a half for God's sake. Can you give me a little more info than that?"
I made a show of groaning before I continued, "Let's see. You vanished from existence right after I confided in you about my senses going out of control. Right when I thought I was going nuts, my best friend dropped from the face of the planet."
Now, it was her turn to squirm. "Jim, I know. I felt awful about it. Almost immediately after you called, I was put on this deep cover assignment to infiltrate Harlan's organization. They thought I was the perfect agent since I didn't have family to complicate things. It all happened so fast. I'm so sorry."
She placed her hand on mine, and I added my other hand on top of hers and gave a quick squeeze. "I know. It's okay now. I knew it had to be something like that, but I was pretty lost. That is 'til Sandburg showed up. He's actually an anthropology graduate student who's basically using me as his human guinea pig for his thesis." Jackie chuckled as I continued, "Anyway, he helps me keep everything in control and is helping figure out how to use my senses to actually help with my police work. Anyway, Simon made Sandburg an official police consultant, so he could move around the station more freely."
She pushed for more, "And he lives with you too?
I smiled weakly, "Yeah. That's been more of a challenge. You know I'm sort of a loner by nature." I paused and then decided to continue, "But, you know, I've gotten used to having the kid around."
Having decided that I'd made enough self-revelations for now, I picked up my beer and took a swig of the dark liquid. At just that moment, Jackie said nonchalantly, "So, does Blair know that you're in love with him?" I spewed my beer across the table at her, and then sputtered, "What?"
As she mopped the beer from her blouse, she pressed, "I just asked if he knows that you are in love with him, you big dope!"
Dumbfounded, I asked accusingly, "What the hell makes you think that I am?"
She ran her hand through her hair, obviously exasperated with me, "Jim I have known you for a very, very long time. It's obvious to me. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be obvious to him, but who knows? Your eyes light up when you talk about him. You were worried about him not being at the precinct when we got back. I caught some of that conversation with Simon about how upset Blair was that he got left behind today. You actually called him to tell him you weren't going to be home for dinner. You never even did that for your wife!"
I nodded in guilty agreement, and began to wonder. I knew that having Blair in my life had given everything a newness that had replaced all the old routines of life. Everything was an adventure to him from the most mundane police work to getting shot at by some crazed bank robber. It was all new and exciting with him. His eyes would glow anytime I was able to do something unique with my "sentinel" senses as he called them. At the same time, I enjoyed having him around the house too. Despite his piles of books and papers, he somehow managed to make the open loft seem more close and homey. I knew that I didn't want him to leave.
Jackie interrupted my thoughts, "Jim, are you in there?"
I thought out loud for her benefit, "He's my best friend in the world." I looked as a quick flash of hurt passed across Jackie's face, "Damn, I didn't mean to hurt you too."
She shook her head quickly, "It's okay Jim. I know what you mean. The person that you love should be your best friend."
Still unsure of myself, I asked, "Is that what this is? Did my relationship with Blair cross over the line somewhere?"
She squeezed my hand reassuringly, "Yes, Jim. I'm pretty sure it did. Now you just have to tell him."
That was absolutely out of the question. "Are you nuts? He's already peeved enough about something! I don't think this is going to help!"
Before I could react, she'd slugged me in the arm again ...hard, "Are you just stupid Ellison?"
Completely confused again, I just said, "Huh?"
She rubbed at her temples as if trying to stave off a headache induced by my stupidity, "That kid is carrying one hell of a torch for you. He's jealous, you big ox!"
I wrinkled my brow trying to make sense of this assertion, "That doesn't make sense. I've dated plenty of women since he moved in, why would he suddenly be jealous of you?"
She spoke patiently as if trying to explain something to a child, "Let me do some guess work here. Blair has always known or at least met all the other women you've dated since he moved in, right? And none of them stuck around very long, right?" I nodded assent to both questions. She continued, "Don't you see? I'm the unknown factor. You greeted me probably warmer than anyone else he's ever seen, and then you vanished with me for the entire day, leaving him behind. He probably has no idea what is going on, and it's scaring him to death."
Pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place for me. I blanched, "I think I should probably go home and talk to him."
Jackie smiled at me patiently, "I think that would be a very good idea. Dinner's on me. Waiter, check please!"
Jackie dropped me off downstairs, knowing that tonight would not be a good night to come upstairs to see the place. As I turned my key in the door, I listened for Blair's heartbeat from inside. It was there, slow and normal, but near the door. He must be in the living room waiting for me. As I pushed the door open, I heard Blair's heart speed up and then he called out from the darkened living room, "Jim, 'sat you man?"
His speech was slurred, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath from across the loft. This was bad. I'd knocked back a few beers with the kid from time to time, but I'd never seen him drunk before. "God, chief, what have you been drinking?"
He replied angrily, "Anything and everything. You gotta problem with that? Where's your girlfriend?"
I sighed, wishing that Jackie had been wrong about the jealousy part. "She's not my girlfriend, Chief. She's just a very, very old friend of mine." Deciding that it was now or never, I took a few steps towards Blair and then spoke honestly, "She was probably the best friend I ever had, before you came into my life."
That seemed to quiet Blair some, "You tellin' me the truth, man?"
I screwed up my nerve, "Yes, that's the truth. In fact, she helped me see something tonight that's been staring me right in the face." I took a few more steps towards the smaller, uniquely handsome man who had stolen my heart while I wasn't looking.
Suddenly, Blair seemed more coherent, and he spoke with more of a tremble in his voice than a slur, "What's that Jim?"
I closed the last few steps between us and opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out. I decided that like the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. I grabbed Blair's shoulders, bent forward, and kissed him passionately. Before I could control it, the taste of Blair's lips coupled with the smell of his hair overwhelmed my senses. I was completely lost in him and would have been content to stay there, had he not pushed me away.
Blair looked hopeful and scared all at once, "Jim, I don't want to throw our friendship away on one night of passion. That's why I've never said anything about how I feel, but I was sure you knew. You must have noticed the way you turn me on."
I focused on Blair for a moment. Sure enough, his heartbeat was racing, and I could smell his arousal. I'd never paid attention before and now I wondered how stupid I was. "Actually, Chief, I was pretty clueless before Jackie clued me in tonight."
Blair now actually smiled, "Well, from the feel of that kiss, I guess I was pretty clueless too. I thought you weren't interested."
We stared at each other in silence for a few moments before Blair broke the silence, "So, now what do we do? I still don't want to throw everything away for one night of passion. Jim, I think I love you."
I smiled back at man who I could no longer live without, "Good. 'Cause I know that I love you." I pulled Blair close to me again and began to kiss him, more gently this time, savoring the taste of his lips before moving down to his neck.
Blair spoke softly into my ear, "Let's take this upstairs Jim."
I chuckled, "Your room is closer." I continued to nibble at his neck. I was amazed at how his neck tasted different from his lips, yet each taste was distinctly Blair.
Blair whispered sheepishly, "Yeah, but I'm not sure we could find room on bed for two. It's sorta buried with books and papers."
As I turned upwards to nibble at an ear, I whispered, "As usual." I then picked him up and threw him over my shoulder. Blair yelped, "Hey!! Put me down!!"
In a commanding tone, "I will when I get you where I want you!" He continued to struggle as I carried him upstairs and laid him across my queen size bed. His dark curly hair spread out on the covers around his head making him seem all the more impish and attractive. He reached out and pulled me down on top of him. We kissed passionately as our hands roamed over each other's bodies.
Soon, we had removed each other's shirts, and Blair was running his hands over my chest. He pulled back from a kiss to speak, "Jim, you are so perfect. I want you so bad."
As I played with a nipple through the dark chest hair, I murmured, "I know the feeling." My hands moved down his front to unzip his jeans and release the hard-on that had been pressed against my thigh. As I wrapped my hand around it, Blair groaned and bucked against me, "God, Jim!" His hands groped for my own fly and quickly Blair had my throbbing cock in his hands.
After a few moments of writhing, we had managed to get our pants completely off, and we lay with each other, completely nude. Blair spoke, hot with passion, "Jim, I have an idea. Do you trust me?"
After he elicited another groan from me by fondling my balls, I croaked out, "You know I do. What do you have in mind?"
He whispered a simple number in ear with impishly raised eyebrows, "69."
I shuddered with just the thought, and quickly positioned myself facing his cock. Just as I was moving to take him in my mouth, I was shocked by the sensation of Blair's mouth on my cock. In an instant, I realized that I hadn't had a blowjob since my heightened senses took effect. The feeling of Blair's hot mouth on my cock was sending me to levels of ecstasy I'd never known. Not wanting to leave Blair behind, I swallowed all of his erection in my own mouth reveling in the saltiness of the fluid leaking from its swollen tip. It didn't take long for either of us. As soon as Blair shot into my mouth, his taste drove me into my own orgasm, which was far beyond anything I'd ever known.
As the world spun back into place, Blair repositioned himself on the bed and kissed me deeply, driving his own salty tongue against mine.
After the kiss, he settled into my chest and spoke with a bit of teasing in his voice, "So, I take it that was good for you?"
I managed to find my voice, which sounded raspy and rattled to me, "Yeah. I guess you could say that my senses really make things more intense."
Blair looked up at me with a false innocence, "Well, I guess we'll just have to run lots and lots of tests to see exactly how they affect 'things'."
Playfully, I rolled over on top of him, pinning him to the bed, "Don't you wish, Sandburg!"
Blair kissed the tip of my nose just as playfully, "Yeah I do!" More seriously, he said gently, "I love you Jim."
I settled myself next to him on the bed, and answered simply, "I love you too."