Summary: Blair gets a little paranoid when Jim wants to have a talk. Originally posted to SentinelAngst.
Notes: The "*" signifies Blair's internal thoughts.
Disclaimer: The Sentinel and its associated characters belong to Paramount and Pet Fly.
Blair Sandburg dropped his backpack on the floor of the loft as he shut the door behind him.
Blair's heart received a jolt from the surprise of hearing Jim's voice.
"Jim, warn a guy before you do that. What are you doing home? It's mid morning, not even your lunch time yet. Is something wrong?" Blair noticed Jim's pale, limp form on the couch and went into full fledge panic mode. "What's happened?"
"Calm down, nothing's happened. My allergies are just off kilter again today. Headache, itching, runny nose...so on and so forth."
"Why didn't you tell me this morning before I left for class? Have you eaten anything funny? What about at work? Were you out on assignment? Did you run into anything weird? Start from the beginning." Blair began to pace the floor as he talked.
"Don't worry, Blair. I just had paper work lined up for today so Simon let me have the day off to rest. My head is killing me..." Jim's forehead wrinkled as he grimaced in pain.
"Say no more, man. I've got you covered."
In an instant Blair was at Jim's side, gently rubbing his shoulders. Soon he moved on to massaging Jim's temples.
"Thanks Blair, that helps." He sighed as he started to relax.
"Chief, I'm glad you're here. There's something I've been wanting to talk to you about. You don't have to be back at school right now, do you?"
"I just came home for lunch. Here, let me make you something." Blair started to rise and was halted by Jim's hand.
"No, I'm not hungry. I would like to get this out now, while we're both here for once and we've got some time. It's really kind of awkward." Jim started to rise from the couch.
Blair halted Jim's ascent. "You just stay there, I'll grab something to eat really quick and be right back. Just relax."
Blair nervously went to the kitchen and started making a sandwich. *Oh, no. What did I do? I know I've been busy, but I've been doing well with keeping my stuff out of the way. Shoot! My bag.*
Blair make a quick trip to the front door while he was getting the bread. He scooped his bag off the floor and placed it on the counter so he would remember to put it in his room when he was done. *There, what else have I forgotten? Surely Jim isn't going to....no. It's not possible. Or is it?*
"Blair, could you get me a glass of water while you're up?"
"Sure, no problem."
*That must be it. He wants me to move out. It's been long enough. I knew it would happen one day. What else could it be?*
Blair made his way over to the couch where Jim was now sitting upright.
"Here you go, Jim. Is there anything else I can get for you?"
"No, thanks." Jim paused. He looked hesitantly at Blair. "I don't know how to say this, really."
*Here it comes.*
"I've been meaning to bring it up for a while. It seemed kind of silly, though."
*God, I don't want to move.*
*But there's nothing I can do.*
"I think it's time..."
*Make it easier on yourself, just go with it.*
"I totally agree, Jim! You're absolutely right!" Blair jumped off the couch.
"Uhh, Chief...let me finish."
*Don't show the pain, just accept it.*
"Jim, I'm fine with it, I think it's time as well. I mean, how long has it been, a year now?
"Well, I'm not sure, actually. But...Blair, do you know what I'm talking about?"
*He's trying to make me say it first. I can't do it.*
"Sure, of course."
"Really, Blair?" Jim gave Blair a skeptical look.
*Damn, he's going to make me say it.*
"Yeah, sure, it's, uh, it's...umm, it's time..."
*I can't do it.*
"Chief, listen to me for a second. I don't know what you're thinking, but all I was going to say is that it's time-"
Jim didn't have a chance to finish.
"I NEED TO MOVE OUT! There, I said it. Happy now?"
"Blair. You're not-"
"This is your place. You have every right to do this, so there's no hard feelings, Jim."
*How will I show my face here on game days?*
"Blair, for the last time, I-"
"I'm sorry if I've been in your way. I'll start looking in the papers today. See what's available. Maybe another warehouse-"
"It's my turn to interrupt now! And you're going to be quiet and listen." Jim's voice had just switched to the 'You Don't Want to Mess With Me, Punk' tone.
"I'm NOT asking you to move out."
Blair remained silent.
"You have NOT been in my way," Jim continued.
"And frankly, I don't see any reason that you would need to move out anytime in the near future."
*Am I dreaming?*
"Well, that is, if..." Jim hesitated.
"If what, Jim?"
"That brings me to what I was TRYING to say earlier. Chief, I think it's time....that you changed your sheets."
Blair's jaw dropped to the floor. "What?"
"Well, you know how my allergies have been bugging me. There's a reason I wash everything in my room once a week. Dust and pollen and other tiny things cling to the material. And, well, even though I don't go into your room, I think I'm being effected by it."
A giggle erupted from Blair.
*I can't believe this.*
"I didn't want to be a nag and mother you. A man's sheets are his own business. But, it would help me out if you washed them more often." Jim grinned. "Didn't mean to scare you."
Blair was now laughing uncontrollably.
*Sheets! All this over sheets!*
"Sorry, man." Blair managed to squeeze out a sentence in-between cackles. "I'll change them today."
"Knock it off, Blair. I've got a headache."
"Right, sorry." Blair departed quickly to his room and shut the door.
Jim sighed and smiled again as he heard the pleasant sound of clean sheets being unfolded.