That's What Friends Are For
by Ice Bear
Summary: Jim helps Blair with some of his work for a change.
Disclaimer: All things Sentinel belong to Pet Fly and Paramount.
Jim showed up in the subbasement of Hargrove Hall at 6:30 pm Friday with dinner and a six pack of his partner’s favorite microbrew. He was wearing an old pair of jeans and one of his self-proclaimed ‘work shirts’.
“Hey Jim, sorry but I’m not sure I have time to eat.” Blair said with a soft smile that was reserved solely for his Sentinel. He was dusty and his hair was sticking up in various places, despite being pulled back in a pony tail. “The two undergrads who were supposed to help are no shows so I’m totally screwed here. I’ll need to work all night if I have any hope of getting this to the museum and set up by Sunday night.”
“I figured you might be able to use a strong back,” the older man said with his trademark crooked grin. “After all, you’re always saying that you’re the brains of this outfit, which makes me, by default, the muscle.” To prove his point, he flexed a very impressive bicep.
“Yeah, whatever you say, old man,” Blair laughed as he ducked a halfhearted cuff. “I appreciate the thought,” before he could finish Jim interrupted.
“Look, Chief, you help me with my paperwork, so why can’t I return the favor? You can do the inventory, and I’ll pack.”
“Jim, you’ve already put in more then a full week.”
“Like you haven’t,” he responded with a laugh, tossing a sandwich to the smaller man. “I really don’t think we should waste time arguing. Seems to me there’s a lot to do here, but I think we can have everything ready to move tomorrow morning if we divide up the work. Just point me in the right direction.”
Blair threw up his hands in mock surrender and outlined all that needed to be done. He should have known his partner would pull something like this, and the fact that he had made his smile brighter.
At 1 a.m. Blair called it a night. They had 12 crates packed and ready to move to the museum. The paperwork was done, and with Jim’s sense of touch he knew he didn’t have to worry about finding anything dented or broken.
Jim motioned him to shower first when they got home, while he settled on the couch with a beer. Blair came out 20 minutes later, warm, relaxed and ready for bed. “Hey Jim,” he called as his roommate headed for his own shower, “thanks.” He got a raised hand in response as the muscular body disappeared behind the door.
They were up at 6:30 a.m., and Jim had bagels and coffee ready when Blair got out of the shower. They went over the game plan for the day before heading back to the University. Jim loaded the crates into a moving van while Blair checked everything one more time and made sure there was someone at the museum to let them into the loading dock.
They worked in companionable silence throughout the day. Jim had suggested a walk through of the exhibit space in the museum before unloading the crates so he could place each one close to where the items would be placed. He lugged the 12 crates up while Blair started unpacking and setting up the exhibit. Once all the crates were up, Jim joined in the unpacking, placing the various objects on the small tables set in the room so Blair could label and arrange them. He placed the packing material back in the crates so nothing would be lost in the chaos.
They took a short break for lunch and had everything unloaded and set up by 8 p.m. – when the museum closed. Jim put the crates back in the van and drove them to the University to pick up the truck.
They both slept late the next morning. They ate brunch together, and Jim settled onto the couch for some football when they returned. Blair did some work at the kitchen table on his laptop before joining him for the second half.
“Thanks for helping me with the exhibit, Jim,” he said as he brought over a beer, “I never would have gotten it done this weekend without you.”
Sky blue eyes looked up. “That’s what friends are for, Chief.” He smiled as he accepted the beer and returned his attention to the game.
“I’ve never had a friend before who would give up their weekend to help me load and unload a bunch of dusty artifacts, especially after they’d already put in a 90 hour work week.” He said it quietly, eyes intent on the beer bottle he was holding.
“Blair,” Jim turned his full attention to his partner and gently picked his chin up so they were eye to eye. “You habitually spend more time on my job then your own, and you’re on call 24/7 for the Sentinel stuff. It seemed like the least I could do…besides aren’t you the one who told me I needed some culture?” There was a spark of mischief in the blue eyes that drew an answering one from the younger man, as he nodded. “Now I can tell everyone I spent the weekend at the museum!”