THANKS TO: Bast, who did the hardest thing in the world, UNDERSTAND. Thank you so much for reading this for me. And to my Sociology teacher, for letting me see that it isn't a crime to doubt your Gender Identity, .

WARNING? Jim becomes feminine. My version of feminine (or at least what I think it is. I'm not sure, I don't have any feminine friends. All my female friends go from 'strong willed' to 'amazon' in intensity.) This feminine side is a more empathic, nurturing one, as opposed to the June Cleaver version (although he does bake cookies), although I don't promise that I don't give into stereotypes. I mean no offense to anyone, male or female, who is more feminine or less feminine.

This comes strictly from my Gender Identity crisis. The title is bad, I know, but it was the best I could come up with. Have fun, be safe, be well, be happy. Voracity.

Jim gets a boo-boo

Jim opened his eyes, looking into the concerned face of his guide. "Blair?"

"Oh, yes, you're all right." Blair helped him to sit up, and pressed a corner of his shirt to the bleeding spot on Jim's head. He looked over the rest of Jim, looking for other injuries, but ignored the little voice in his head that told him to pay closer attention to Jim. "Jim, are you okay? I mean, do I need to get you to a hospital?" Blair was abruptly pushed aside by a very large man.

"Of course he needs to go to the hospital, Sandburg. What sort of question is that?" Simon frowned down at the young man, who was now sitting in a very awkward position. "I've called the paramedics, Jim, they'll be here in few minutes. Just stay still."

Jim looked up at Simon, then over at Blair and back to Simon. "I'm fine, really guys." Blair started to protest, but he pulled Blair into a hug. "I'm fine. Really."

Blair hugged him back then let Jim go. He resisted the urge to turn and make a face at Simon. //See, he said he's fine, it's just a bump and a cut.// He looked back over at Jim, his Jim, and pushed back the desire to crawl back into his arms. //Nope, that wouldn't look too good right now.//

The paramedics showed up and loaded Jim after examining the cut on his head. The one riding in the back wouldn't let Blair ride with him, so Simon stepped up and said 'they'd' follow. Simon pushed him towards the car, not letting Blair stand and watch the ambulance pull away.

At the hospital, a doctor both Jim and Blair knew very well came out to give then news. "Hi, you again? What happened this time?"

"We came out of a restaurant and started towards the parking lot when someone tried to pull a drive-by shooting on us. Jim pushed me into the alley and followed. There was a low hanging flower box or something that he bumped into. He must have hit it pretty hard, he was out for almost five minutes."

"Fortunately," Simon added with a look to Blair, "I was there too, or they'd still be in that alley."

"Well, Detective Ellison, is physically fine, but you're going to have to do some adjusting around him for a while." She sat down next to Blair. "You remember that small aberration of temperament you had when you came out of the fountain?"

"Yeah, you told me then that head trauma could cause personality changes."

"Yes, well most of the time they're temporary, but I don't want to worry you."

"Does that mean that...." Simon tried to get up, but Blair's hand on his arm stopped him.

"How bad is it? Is he going to be in a worse mood than I was?"

She laughed. "No, Professor Sandburg, nobody could be in a worse mood than you were." She calmed herself and looked at the two men. "The best way to explain it is to show you." She motioned for them to follow her.

She led them through to a curtained off room. She tapped the curtain, and when Jim answered, she pulled it back.

Jim was laying on his back, hands behind his head, in a hospital gown. "Isn't it great! She says they won't keep me!" Jim was practically bouncing. His tone of voice had gotten higher, thinner, giving the men a shock. Neither one had noticed this in the alleyway. "Now if they would only do something about the colors in here. They're giving me a headache." Jim waved a hard around, a *very* feminine gesturing for the normally macho Detective.

Simon looked at Jim, trying hard not to let the shock show. "Jim, do you feel all right?"

The doctor pulled them aside, with a smile at Jim, and led them a little ways away. "I told you his personality had changed." She waited until Blair and Simon looked at her, hard. "It's probably only temporary, but you need to warn people around him *not* to act shocked at it."

"When can he go back to work?" Blair decided that the practical approach was best. //No, man, Jim can't be like that. Big, bad MACHO Detective Ellison can't be going femme.// "Please tell me this is as bad as it gets." He closed his eyes.

"Sorry, 'fraid not. He was more, ahmmm, feminine a few minutes ago." She blushed. "I have some female friends that aren't as feminine as he was a few minutes ago. He should start to go back to normal within a few days though. It shouldn't be permanent."

"What should we do?" Simon was suddenly very tired. He leaned against the wall beside him.

"I think he should get back to an almost normal routine. No street work, nothing heavy or taxing to him, but paperwork should be fine."

Blair turned to Simon. "At least he doesn't have a court appearance this week."


"And this could be worse." //Much worse.//

"True, again." He looked at the doctor. "Are you sure he shouldn't stay here, at least for tonight? I mean this is a pretty radical change for him. Doesn't he need medication, a few tests, something?"

"No, Captain Banks. He's fine, well other than this." She brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "Don't worry about this, it'll be fine. He'll be fine."


Jim walked into the loft. Blair wasn't sure that walked was the right word, though, maybe sashayed would be better. He had walked behind Jim up the stairs, in case he fell, so was at the right height to notice this.

Jim walked in and waved his arms around the loft. "Ah, home again." The new tone of his voice was starting to get to Blair, but he knew he would have to put up with it for a little while longer.

"Jim, man, why don't you go to bed. The doctor said you need your rest, and all. I'll lock up down here." Blair turned back to the door, and locked it, checking it to make sure. When he turned back around, Jim was halfway up the stairs, and leaning over the rail looking at him. "What's wrong?"

"Why do we have it so ... so bright in here. I mean, there's *no* softness at all in this room." He turned and finished going back up the stairs. Blair went to his room, hoping Jim would wake up closer to normal in the morning.

Blair got out of bed, and hearing the shower, went out to start coffee. He headed for the counter, rubbing his eyes, when Jim popped out. "I made breakfast already." Blair grunted and headed back towards the table.

Jim sat down across from him, and handed him a cup of coffee. They ate in silence, then Blair went into the bathroom to get ready to face his day.

Jim was standing in the kitchen, drinking another cup of coffee, waiting on Blair to come out. He pulled Blair into a hug, after seeing the frown. "What's wrong, Blair, would you like to talk about it?"

"Jim, man, calm down. You sound like Naomi on a bad mothering kick." He sighed. "It's nothing. I was just wondering how work was going to be today."

"Oh, that. Don't worry about it, I'm not." Jim gave Blair one last squeeze and patted his back. "Now go get ready so we aren't late."


Blair was shaking in wonder by the time they got to the station. //Jim was careful on the way here. He didn't speed, he didn't mutter about the other people. He was courteous to the woman in the convenience store when he went in for a juice and some painkillers. This is going to be so ... different.//

Jim pulled into the parking garage, and got out, waiting for Blair, before going towards the elevators. He pushed the button, and turned to brush the stray hairs and lint off Blair's shirt until it came. When they got on the elevator, Jim stood behind Blair, letting him get off first, then following him into the bullpen.


Blair knew that Simon had warned the other Detectives in Major Crimes about Jim's switch in personality, but Blair almost laughed when Rafe and Brown walked out talking about how Jim was more feminine than Megan. //He's gonna die if he heard them.//

Blair sat down to help Jim with his paperwork and Jim slapped his hand. "No, it's my job to do this, not yours. Go." He made 'shooing' motions with his hands. "Go flunk some freshmen or something."

"But, Jim, man, I said I would help you with it."

"No. This is *my* job and I'll do it." He turned his back to Blair and concentrated on getting the paperwork done.

"Okay, man, whatever." Blair went back to his desk and followed Jim's advice. Until Simon called him into the office. Blair walked in and closed the door behind him. "Yeah, Simon. What's up?"

"Did *Jim* just tell you that he didn't want your help with the paperwork?"

"Yeah. He's determined to do it himself. Told me to go flunk some freshmen when I tried to help."

Simon shook his head. "Blair, do you have any idea about how to get him over this?"

"Not. A. One. Like the doctor said, he'll come back to himself." Blair looked out the window, noticing Megan asking Jim on his opinion in something in a catalog. A clothes catalog. And Jim was giving it, enthusiastically. "Eventually." He turned back to Simon, who was also watching Jim and Megan.

Jim watched Blair go into Simon's office, wondering what was going on. He knew he wasn't able to go out on the street, but for Simon to have a private conference with *his* mate. He felt the stirrings of an irrational jealousy. He knew Simon was straight, and Blair was his, even if he didn't know it yet. So why was he jealous? His mood was interrupted by Megan.

"Mate, could I ask you a question?"

"Sure, Meg, what's up?" Jim leaned back, eager to talk.

Megan didn't say anything at the odd name, but handed Jim a catalog folded back to a page. "What do you think about this?"

Jim looked at the outfit, then Megan, then the outfit. "Depends, is it for you or someone else?"

"Me. Why?"

"Because, it would make you look, I don't know, squared off, mannish." Jim flipped though it, then handed it back, open to another page. "Try that one."

She looked it over. She looked at Jim, then the magazine. "You think?"

"Yeah, I do. I didn't know how to tell you earlier, but that outfit you wore the other day was positively ghastly. Sorry," Jim apologized as he saw Megan's face fall.

"Which one? Monday?"

"No, Wednesdays. The pink fake fur jacket with those tight blue jeans and the plaid shirt."

"Oh," She thought for a moment, then shrugged. "Thanks." She looked over Jim. "Would you like to take a break with me?"

"Sure." Jim got up and they headed for the break room.

Blair came out of the office to see Joel, who hadn't been clued in, coming in the doors looking very afraid. "Hey, Joel."

"Sandburg," Joel whispered and pulled Blair towards his desk, "what's wrong with Ellison?"

"Why, what's he doing?" //Now.//

"He's in there talking about magazines, comparing them, and gossiping with Megan. When Rafe mentioned the game last night, he told him that sports weren't the 'be all and end all of life'."

//Oh, man. This is too much.// "Joel, he got hit on the head last night. It seems to have changed his personality."

"Seems to have?!? Blair, the man said there were more important things in life than work."

Blair laughed. "Yeah, it sounds like he's gained this empathy with others. Basing it on who he's with."

Joel got up to leave, not happy with the explanation, but accepting it. Jim walked back in, and came over to Blair, touching Blair's arm with his fingertips. "Meg and I are going to the new biscuit place up the street, would you like to come?"

"Sure, let me get my coat."

They filed out of the bullpen and walked up to the new place, grabbing a table in the back to sit down with their food. Jim, who had ordered, gasp, a salad, sat down next to the wall, letting Blair sit on the outside. Jim laid his napkin down on his lap and ate, mostly silent except when spoken to directly.

"Jim, what's wrong. Does you head hurt again?"

"No, why?"

"You're just so quiet. I thought that you might be in pain again."

"Nope, just thinking."

"'Bout what, Jim?" Megan said around a mouthful of ham sandwich.

"About the truck, and why I thought it was so cool before. I was thinking about trading it for something more practical."

"But, Jim, you love the truck. Why change now?"

"That's right. From what I hear, this is the longest you two've kept a car in one piece." Megan laughed because Blair and Jim threw her dirty looks. "What? Can't a girl make a joke?"

"Yes, just not at the expense of my truck." Jim pouted.

//What do I do about this? Tell him to wait? Tell him I'm behind him? This is *so* confusing.// "Jim, she didn't mean anything by it, I'm sure."

"That's right, Mate, I didn't. It was just a funny." Megan laid a hand over Jim's.

Jim looked up at her, then smiled. "Well, okay, but don't do it again." He patted Megan's hand where it lay on top of his.

Jim ate more of his lunch, catching up with the others. "Do you think we should bring Simon back something? I *know* he won't have time to go out for anything today."

"Sure, Jim. That would be great, I'm sure he'd appreciate it." Blair watched Jim take small bites and pick through his food to find a good piece of lettuce before taking a bite. Jim wiped his mouth every two bites, then left some of the salad there. He wiped his hands and his mouth, then leaned on the table, watching the people around them.

"What do you think she does?" Jim pointed delicately at a woman across the room.

Blair looked. "I don't know, a secretary maybe. Why?"

"I don't know, I just started to wonder, that's all. You know, how she's dressed, the way she's carrying herself." He turned back to look at Blair. "Done?" When Blair nodded, he gathered up the trash, and they got up to leave. Jim threw away the trash and trotted to catch up.

Blair watched Jim as he caught up. His gait seemed funny. //He's taking smaller steps, being less aggressive in his walk.// They walked back together, Jim behind Blair and Megan. They made it back to the station, and Jim waved to the people he knew. He held the elevator doors open so someone could catch it. He avoided making some comment about another person's hygiene. Blair was taking mental notes about Jim's new behavior patterns, comparing them to the old ones. //He's more considerate, submissive, and touchy. A lot more touchy.// He had his hand on the small of Blair's back when they exited the elevator, guiding him through the doors of the bullpen. //I don't know if I can take this new Jim too much longer. I want *my* big, strong, overprotective Jim back.//


They walked back into the loft and Blair started to hang up his jacket, but Jim took it from him and did it. Jim went to the bathroom and took a shower, changing into more comfortable clothes while Blair started supper. He decided to ignore the change Jim made from what he was like at the office to now.

When Jim came out, he pushed Blair to go sit down while he finished. Jim put the finishing touches on dinner, making it 'attractive', only letting Blair set the table. They ate in a comfortable togetherness, talking about the papers that they worked on during the day. Blair did the dishes while Jim found a tabloid program on the t.v..

After a little while, it got to be too much for Blair. "Jim, what was going through your head today?" At Jim's confused and hurt look he added, "I mean about how different things were today than normal."

Jim turned himself on the couch to face Blair, a happier expression coming back to him. "Oh, that. Well, it was kind of different. I mean, I *scared* Brown this morning during a conversation." A hand wave. "Then he and Rafe started to talk about my sanity where they thought I couldn't hear. Then Simon kept walking up to me and asking how I felt. I tried to act normal at the station, but I guess they noticed." He sighed, "I guess, I felt .... uneasy about today. I mean about these changes."

"That's understandable. I mean, this is a whole different person in some ways than the normal you." //*Really* different person.//

"I know. But I also felt somewhat calmer, and yet I was frantic to get things done by myself. It was like I felt I had to prove to people that I could still do the job."

Blair nodded in understanding. "I know what you mean. I went through the same feelings when I started riding with you. For the first few months."

"Yeah, I noticed." Jim moved closer, hugging Blair. "I'm so glad you understand. It's important to me that you understand what I'm going through."

"Well, I'll try as much as I can."

"I remember when you first woke up after Alex." Jim shuddered. "You started to act like me when I haven't slept in three days. You snapped and yelled and insulted. But I knew that you were still you, in here." He tapped Blair's chest.

"Is that what you need now? For people to know that you're still in there, grumpiness and all?" Blair smiled at his best friend.

"Yeah, I guess. I don't know." He put his head on Blair's shoulder. "Would you hold me for a while. Please? I need to feel connected again."

"Sure, Jim, whatever you need, you know that." Blair held Jim until Jim fell asleep. He laid back on the couch, settling Jim comfortably on him, and grabbed the afghan off the back of the couch to cover them. He fell asleep laying under the man who needed him most in the world; the man he wanted more than anything.


The phone woke them the next morning, Jim letting Blair get it while he made coffee.

"'Ello?" Blair rubbed his eyes, then stood up straighter and looked around for something. "Sorry, Simon, we fell asleep before being able to turn on the alarm." Jim held a hand out for the phone.

"Simon." Pause. "No, I'm feeling fine." Short pause. "Thank you, sir. Yes, sir, we will." He handed the phone back to Blair.

"Simon?" Pause. "Sure, we're not going to complain about getting a day off. Okay, we'll see you tomorrow." Blair turned off the phone and got up to put it back in the charger. "That's cool of him, to give us the day off." He yawned and stretched.

"Oh, he's just worried about my acting funny in front of the others." Jim waved it off. "We'll have some fun today, if you want."

Blair got up to get his organizer. He flipped through until he found today's. "Can't, Big Guy, I have a department meeting at 1."

Jim shrugged, then turned back to the stove. "That's okay, go ahead and go. I'll be fine."

Blair walked over to Jim, who was trying hard not to pout. "I'm sorry, man, but I can't miss this. The Chair is already mad at me for missing something else of his." He rubbed the small of Jim's back.

Jim turned back around and kissed Blair on the forehead. "That's okay. I understand. I'll be here when you get back."

Blair gave him a mega-smile, brightening the room around him. "Cool. I have a few office hours today, but I should be back by four. How about we do dinner out, and a movie."

"Okay, but I get to pick. I *really* don't want to sit through another foreign film like the last one. I mean, oxen standing in as a representation of the government's abuses? Give me a break." Jim smiled down at Blair, handing him a cup of coffee.

"Okay, you pick. Just so long as it isn't *totally* violent. I mean, that last one was just guns and sex." Blair blew across the top, and took a sip.

"True, but it was funny." Jim crossed his arms across his chest and leaned against the counter.

"Okay, I'll give you that." Blair shrugged. "Shower first or second?"


"Okay, I'll save you some hot water." Blair walked into the bathroom and closed the door, leaning against it. He put his cup on the sink and turned on the water. //Oh, man, it seems like he's getting worse. Now he kissed me. Why? Did it mean something to him?// Blair stripped and got into the shower.


Blair walked back into the loft, dragging his backpack behind him. //What a day! First the chair gets mad at me for someone else being late, then he finds a way to let everything that's wrong in the department be *my* fault. I was so close to throwing my tea on him and walking out when he started to say something about how appropriate it was that I was teaching the class on women's roles in society around the world.// He started to put his keys in the basket, but Jim coming over to pull him to the couch stopped him. He sat where Jim pushed him, and looked up at his friend.

Jim was wearing a bright teal shirt, and his khaki pants. He looked worried about something. "Hi."

"Hi, are you okay?" Jim squatted down in front of him and laid a hand lightly on his arm.

"Yeah, just a sucky day at the school." Blair wanted to get up and pace, tell Jim about his day, but he didn't have the energy. "I ... I just don't want to relive it."

"Of course not. You'll tell me in your own time." Jim stood and went to the kitchen counter, bringing back a plate. He smiled at the tired young man in front of him. "I made cookies, chocolate chip." He held the plate out to Blair, who took one.

"Mm, these are good." He swallowed. "I didn't know you could bake."

Jim blushed. "I just followed the recipe on the bag." He put the plate on the coffee table, after making sure Blair had another one. "I know, why don't you go take a bath or a nap, or something," a hand wave, "until dinner. I'll come get you around six." He paused. "That is, if you still want to go out tonight."

Blair considered the alternatives. //Stay in, pretend everything is normal and you don't want him. Go out, let him keep touching me, and have fun and ignore the comments from others.// "Okay, I'll go take a bath. Thanks, Big Guy." He stood, and Jim pulled him into a short hug. "Thanks." Jim handed him the cookies, and Blair went into his room to get some things.

He came back out with a basket of stuff, the plate, and a book, and headed into the bathroom. Jim heard him draw the water, smelled the oil he added, then listened to him sigh as he got into the hot water. Jim kept his hearing turned on Blair, knowing that he tended to fall asleep in the tub when he was tired.


//Ah, hot, deep, soothing.// He laid back, resting his head on the rim of the tub. //Feels so good.// He grabbed a cookie off the plate and opened his book, making sure that the waterproof cover was on tightly. He read a few pages, getting slower and slower, until the book dropped out of one of his hands. He was startled awake, and set the book aside, grabbing a wooden ball roller to rub across his shoulders. When he felt better, he grabbed his book again, and flipped through until he found his spot. He started to doze again.

He never noticed Jim coming in, taking the now damp book out of his hand, or removing his glasses. He mumbled lightly, and turned to get more comfortable, giving Jim a great view of his body. He never saw the tender smile that came across Jim's face as he watched him sleep. He didn't hear when Jim walked out and closed the door.


Jim walked back into the bathroom, standing still to watch his Guide sleep. He was so handsome, the way he was laying, the way the light hit his hair. He kneeled down beside the tub, picking up a sponge. He brushed it lightly across Blair's chest, wetting the hair, gently waking his partner.

"Good morning, dear, how was your nap?" He asked when he heard Blair's heart rate speed up.

Blair laid there, letting Jim pet him with the sponge. //What?!? Oh, it's Jim. He's wiping my chest? Okay, I'm sure he has a good reason for it.// He opened one eye, seeing a fuzzy Jim. //Must have come in earlier to take my glasses off when he noticed I was asleep.// "What time is it?" He stretched, and Jim stopped his sponging.

"Five 'til six. Would you like a little longer?" Jim moved to get up, but Blair stopped him.

"No, and thanks for making sure I didn't drown in here." He smiled at Jim.

Jim smiled back. "I couldn't let you do that. After the last time, you promised it wouldn't happen again." He laid a hand against Blair's hair. "I'll leave so you can get out."

Blair decided then and there to make his move. //Now or never. I hope he'll take this the right way. I hope this injury isn't going to make him hate me for this later.// "Why?"

"Why what?" Jim stroked the hair, combing the curls through his fingers.

"Why leave?" Blair leaned into the touch.

"I don't know. Why not? Do you want me to stay?" Jim got his deer-in-headlights look momentarily, like he was scared of Blair, then went back to his smile.

"Yeah." He grinned over at Jim. "You see, I have this spot on my back that I keep missing with both the towel and the brush." He moved a hand over the one in his hair, bringing it to his chest.

"I can fix that, if you want." Jim said quietly. He was still smiling, but now he looked like a kid at Christmas. "But only if you're sure."

Blair brought the hand up and kissed the back of it. "Of course I'm sure, otherwise I wouldn't have asked."

Jim squeezed his hand, then leaned over and kissed his best friend. They're lips barely touched, but Blair moaned, getting what he had wanted for so long. Blair released Jim's hand so he could pull Jim's head closer.

"Would you like to join me?" Blair laid a light kiss on Jim's mouth, then the tip of his nose.

Jim took Blair's arms from around his head, then stood up. He smiled at Blair, making sure he didn't take it as a rejection. "Let me go get a few things. Rerun the water." Jim hurried out into the loft, Blair could hear him checking the locks, stopping in the living room, going upstairs. Blair let out most of the water, and then started a fresh bath. When the temperature was right, he re-stopped the tub, and added oil. He was playing with his hair, trying to decided whether or not to put it up, when Jim came back in.

Jim stood in the doorway, watching his Guide play with his hair. "Leave it down."

Blair jumped, "Man, sneaking up on your lover isn't the best idea." He smiled at Jim to take the sting out. "If I have a heart attack, I don't want it to be from fright."

"But how else am I supposed to get a chance to watch you like this." He walked in, set the cordless phone on the toilet, and the drinks he was carrying next to the tub, within easy reach. He waited until the bath was full, and steaming, before removing his robe.

Blair knew Jim could be just as shy as the next person, but he wanted to watch Jim strip for him. Jim untied the belt on his robe slowly, drawing the ties apart. He opened one side, and pushed it down, making sure Blair had a good view. He pushed the other side down, and off, then turned around to hang it over the edge of the door. When he turned back, Blair was standing in the tub, letting him get in.

Jim took the two most scary steps in his life, and then climbed into the tub. They stood there, looking at each other, then Jim kissed Blair. "Mmm, taste good." He licked at the lips beneath his. "Been eating cookies that some nice man gave you?"

"Yeah, you see I have this studly lover who, as I found out today, bakes. He made me cookies because he knew I was going to have a bad day."

Jim laughed and sat down, shifting himself until he was comfortable, and Blair could sit between his legs. It was a tight fit being a normal sized tub. Jim's knees were out of the water, and Blair's feet were on the tiled wall. But they were both happy with the arrangement.

Blair fed Jim a cookie. Jim munched it, and asked Blair about his day.

"Man, you wouldn't believe it if I told you." He shrugged, not really wanting to talk about it. //He's naked and leaning against me, and he wants to know how my day went.// "What did you do while I was gone? Well, besides bake cookies."

Jim rubbed the sore spot on Blair's neck, then kissed it so it would feel better. "Well, I moved the furniture around. Until I figured out that I like it the way it was better. I cleaned all the spots under the chair's and couches, you wouldn't believe all the dust balls." He blew a little stream of air through Blair's hair, making the hair move, and Blair moan. "Then I baked your cookies, I called the doctor to set up an appointment for next week. I took a nap. Nothing really."

"That sounds nice." Blair leaned back into the muscled expanse behind him, snuggling in.

"What about yours? What happened that wore you out so bad?" Jim leaned down and kissed the shoulder in front of him.

"Well, let's see. According to my Chair, it's my fault that the dean cut our funding, that someone else was out with Mono, and that I made everyone late, even though I was sitting there before the meeting was even *close* to starting. Then he made a comment about how nice it was that someone like me was teaching the women's roles class; about how I would be able to put a 'good spin' on the traditional ideas." Blair huffed in remembered anger.

"Well, I think I should just go talk to that man, tell him some things about my Guide, and how he wouldn't ever stick up for oppression of women." Jim hugged him, and coughed. A deep, baritone cough.

Blair turned around, as much as he could, and looked at Jim, hard. "What was that?" //He's been acting!!! I'll get him for this.//

Jim sighed, and in his normal voice answered the question. "It stopped this morning before I got up. I realized my voice was going back to normal while I talked with Simon. But you were more comfortable around this me, so I left it alone." Jim hung his head, sneaking looks at Blair under his lashes.

"Don't even try that with me. I need to think." He moved, and Jim grabbed him.

"Stay. Please?"

"Of course, where else would I go? Tibet? I'm comfortable in your arms, I can think like this." He leaned into the embrace. //Jim was hiding behind his injury because I would be more comfortable with him that way. How could he think that? Although he has been awfully touchy since it happened. I mean he's hugged me, kissed me, held me, and now we're in the tub together.// Blair reached out for his drink, and Jim handed it to him without him noticing. //Does he think I don't like his ultra masculine self? Do I like him better like that?// "Jim?"

"Yes, Blair?"

"Why did you hug me when you were still hurt? I mean, was that just because, or have you wanted to do that for a while?"

"I've wanted to do it for a long time, Blair. Since before Alex." Jim shifted and sighed. "I pushed you away then because I was scared of what I was thinking about you. I guess ... I just used the injury to feel freer ... to get closer to you. And if you don't want me here, now because I lied to you about getting better, then... oooff"

Blair elbowed him in the stomach to stop him. "If I didn't want you, you wouldn't be here. All right?"

"Yes, dear." Jim squeezed him tightly. "I know that you've been thinking about someone, but I didn't know it was me."

"You could tell?"

"Yeah, you started to leak pheromones like you were in heat." Jim nuzzled into Blair's hair. "I could only hope that it was me. Then you started leaking again the day after..."

"When you hugged me in the kitchen. I know. I was trying *so* hard not to let you know."

"But, what turned you on, the injury or my new attitude?"

"I've always been turned on by you. Since right after you comforted me about Maya. I've been turned on by your dominance, your overprotectiveness, your laughs, your smiles, the way you get enthused about the games we've watched together. Hell, I've even been turned on by your skeptical and overbearing sides." Blair squirmed until he found a more comfortable spot, one on Jim's upper abs.

Jim waited until he was finished before answering. "I didn't know. If I had.... I ... I would have moved sooner. All that time wasted because my ego wouldn't let me come to you." Jim shook, in laughter at himself. "But the injury let me come to you, let me be passive for a while. It let me give control to you, and let me touch you without it being strange." He started moving a hand across Blair's chest. "I hope you understand ..."

"What, aaahhhh, that you couldn't make the first move because you were scared. Ooh, more there please. " Blair arched into Jim's hand on his nipple. "Yeah, I understand. I know that by losing control that way, you felt more comfortable in giving in. It's a societal expectation thing about gender. You know, men don't do this, they do that, but only in this way."

"Yeah, I guess. " Jim shrugged, and went back to his explorations of Blair's chest, and the hair there. "It's so soft."

"What is? Oh, the gross forest on my chest? Yeah, it is." Blair blushed, and Jim laughed.

"I like it. It's very manly, and impressive." He pulled a piece gently. "And makes a very nice pillow."

"Thanks, man, you have no idea what it means to be a nice pillow for you." Blair turned his head to look at Jim and smile. Jim caught his mouth, then kissed him deeply.

"Why don't we go upstairs? I have some things I want to do to you, and this bathtub is a little cramped for that." He smiled down at his best-friend, soon to be lover. His Blair, his Guide, his mate.

Blair stood and held a hand out for Jim to help him. When they got out, Jim rubbed them both dry, then grabbed the cookies and Blair's hand. He led them upstairs. They made quiet noises, then sighs, until Blair decided to have the last word. "Jim, could you fake being hurt still on Monday. I really don't want to go to work."

Jim laughed, and then all that was heard from these two for the rest of their weekend was the sounds of gentle passion overtaking them.