Notes: The VA policy mentioned in here is the one in effect for the Beckley WV VA hospital. It may differ where you are, but this one was told to me by my not so former neighbor who goes there every few weeks and ran afoul of it.
Dedicated to Sarah St. Ives: We're all pulling for you love, get more better. Please? We all want to hear your 'voice' again whether you write or just talk to us. And to her brother Michael, who's persevered so much through all this.
Warnings: Death of minor character. ANGST. M/M
Fitting In by Voracity
Blair flipped through the ledger again, frowning. He finally gave up and closed the book, turning to his step-father. "This is Greek to me," he said and sighed.
"Gee, I would have thought that you knew Greek," Chris said. He smiled and patted Blair's shoulder.
Blair grinned over at his newly found family member. "Well, I do, but only with the book in front of me." They shared a quiet laugh, ending in Blair examining his step-father. Chris had dark hair, was slim like he was, muscled but not hard. He was maybe a few years older than Jim, but not in as good of shape. And he looked really tired. "Why don't you go to bed? You look wasted."
Chris looked down at himself, opening his shirt to check down the front of it. "Damn," he said, "I didn't know the Chemo was doing that to me yet." He looked back up, eyes twinkling. "Do I really look like some skeleton or are you trying to make me feel bad and get rid of me sooner?"
Blair just shook his head. If Chris could joke about his cancer then he could go with it. "Man, that wasn't what I meant and you know it." He smiled in fond tolerance at the older man. "And you *know* I don't want to get rid of you. Who else is going to teach me to run this place?" He waved his hands around at all the books and leaned back in his chair. "Seriously though, you look tired. Why don't you call it a day."
Chris almost looked offended, but then stopped and thought. "I know you worry, but I'm fine." At the 'yeah sure' look he smiled slightly. "Really. I had a treatment yesterday and it made me sick most of the night. That's all, nothing sinister. I got enough sleep." He patted the younger man's arm and leaned back in his own chair. "You know, you could get one of those cute TA's that follow you around like dogs to help you."
Blair laughed. "Oh, man, Jim would hate that."
Chris nodded, knowingly. "Yeah, he seemed like the jealous type."
Blair looked at him shocked. "How...."
"Oh, please Blair, I was with your father for almost twenty-five years." Chris leaned closer. "And let me tell you, he was not only jealous but overprotective to the highest degree."
Blair laughed and went back to learning the accounting system.
Jim looked up as Blair walked into the loft, tired, dragging his backpack behind him. "Long day?" The younger man nodded. "So does that mean we're switching nights to cook?"
Blair shook his head and held up the Kentucky Fried Chicken bag.
Jim laughed and came over to the table to rescue Blair from the bag and his backpack. He sat the younger man at the table, watching as his head promptly hit the table. He stood there for the whole thirty seconds it took for the snores to start, smiling. "Oh, Blair," he said, shaking his head. He picked up the slumbering man and put him on the couch, carefully taking off his shoes and covering him. He left the couch long enough to put the chicken in the fridge before coming back to watch the man he loved sleep.
"Sandburg," Simon yelled after the younger man.
Blair turned around and stopped, moving to the side of the hall until Simon could get to him. "Yeah, man? What's wrong?"
"I was going to ask you that." Simon looked the younger man over. "You look like you just got off an all nighter and now have to work a double shift." He glanced down at the sloppy clothes and smiled. "Dress like it too."
Blair smiled indulgently. "Well, I did spend all night up." He started to walk away. "Chris needed me last night."
Simon caught the younger man's arm before he could get too far away. "I know he's family and all, but you're wearing yourself a little thin here." Blair just shook his head. "I know, it's all a little much right now, but you got to take some time for yourself."
"Thanks man, I'll go tell Jim I'm heading home."
"Right after the meeting," Simon amended. "You're the only one that has all the info on our progress." Blair groaned and covered his face. "You do have it, don't you?"
"Yeah, it's on my laptop which is at the University, in the Tech Department to fix the case from where it dropped." He shook his head. "I was supposed to go pick it up an hour ago." Simon cuffed the younger man lightly across the back of the head. "Man, watch the hair."
Simon pulled out his cell phone while dragging Blair back to his office. "Megan? Can I, or rather Blair, ask a favor of you?" Short pause. "Could you go to the Tech Department at Rainier and pick up his laptop? It has all the information for the meeting and he forgot to get it." A short pause and a smile. "Great. Thanks." He hung up and looked down at Blair. "Now then, we are going to talk."
"Simon, I'm just tired."
"You're just stretched a little thin. What with school and here and the store." He sat down, leaning forward in his chair. "You're trying to pack too many hours into a single day, Sandburg, and we're all worried that you're going to collapse soon. Even Jim is worried." Blair's head came up, startled look on his face. "You should see some of the looks he gives your back."
Blair smiled. "I know, I just have to get through this, learn the store and all." He shrugged. "It's not like Chris will be here forever or I'll have a way of learning about my father from anyone else." He laughed a little in self depreciation. "And I'm so stupid when it comes to the store, you wouldn't believe."
"Blair, there is one thing you have never been and that is stupid."
"Then why can't I learn enough to run the store? Hmm? Tell me." He got up to pace. "I can't learn the books, hell I can't even remember which column to put sales under." He ran his hands through his hair. "I'm no good at doing ordering because what I would read, nobody else would. I haven't filled out an order form yet that wasn't amended after me by Chris, not by any *stretch* of the imagination." He turned and looked back at his friend. "I suck at it, Simon, and that's the bottom line."
Simon stood up and came around the desk, patting Blair's shoulder. "You just need to take some more time to work on learning it." He pulled Blair back to his chair and perched on the edge of his desk. "You know, most people that run businesses have either done it for years or gone to school for years to learn all the little details."
"Maybe I need to do that."
"Or, you could hire a manager to work with you." He smiled. "I'm sure you know someone who could come in, say ten hours a week, to do the books and things." His smile got wider. "Say, one of those TA's that you routinely charm."
Blair laughed. "Oh, man, not you too."
"Me too what?"
"Chris said the same thing. About me getting a TA and all." He shook his head. "I don't know any that could do this. Not in the business department."
"You don't know any business majors?"
"Only undergrads." He looked up. "And I really don't want to do that."
"I would say that that was a good idea." Simon walked around to his chair again, sitting down and leaning back.
"What I could use was some time off."
"Blair, you know....."
Blair cut Simon off. "I know. This case needs to be solved first and I'm needed on it too much for me to get any time off." He slumped down, his chin falling to his chest. "I could start taking shorter hours though. Say, come in for meetings and to help Jim for a few hours. And on stakeouts, of course." He looked up. "I've already pared back my hours at school, grading papers at the store."
Simon thought about it for a few minutes, trying to figure out how it could be worked. "Sandburg, I don't know how we could swing it." He shook his head and sat forward, resting his arms on the desk. "You're doing all the research right now, and Jim is gone too much of the time with you. I don't see how it could work." He smiled kindly. "Once this case is over, you have my blessing to cut down to a few hours a week and take some time off, but I don't see how we could work it in now."
Blair folded in on himself. "I know."
"Listen, I can let you go today after the meeting, if you promise to go home and rest." He held up a hand to stop the argument. "I don't need you to fall asleep here on a computer and delete the whole system or anything like that, and you need to rest more than you need to go to the store."
Blair thought about it and nodded. "Sure, thanks man. I'll take that." He stood up and started to leave.
"Blair, I would let you have it if we could spare you," Simon said softly.
"Oh, I know and I understand. That's what I get for making myself indispensable." He grinned and left the office, heading for Jim's desk.
They had gotten half way through the meeting when Blair's cell phone rang. Everyone watched him as he left the office to take the call in private, then left in a hurry, not even telling Jim where he was going.
Simon turned to Jim, who shook his head and got up to leave.
The meeting continued and Rafe took notes for the pair of absentees.
Jim caught up with Blair in the garage, holding open his car door so the younger man couldn't leave. "Blair, wait."
"Man, I can't. That was the hospital. Chris collapsed during his Chemo."
Jim nodded and pulled the younger man from his car, pulling him over to the truck and setting him in his seat. "You're too tired to drive, Chief, let me." He got in, started the truck and was pulling out of the garage when he thought to ask where they were headed. He turned his head, looked at his partner, opened his mouth to ask, then he noticed the snores. "Oh, Blair," he said quietly, pulling out into traffic. "Guess we'll start at the usual place and work our way around the hospitals."
Simon knocked quietly, opening the hospital door and peeking around. Jim waved him in, with a finger over his lips to tell him to not speak. He nodded and walked in, handing over the backpack on his way. He took the other seat in the room, looking at Blair, who was laying on the second bed in the room.
"They admitted him when he passed out downstairs. His blood work came back looking like he hadn't eaten in weeks." Jim scrubbed a hand along his face. "Chris yelled at him for so long and so loud, it brought the guards."
Simon patted his arm and smiled. "But he's sleeping now, that's the good thing. Exhaustion can be cured. Running his car into a wall and dying because he fell asleep behind the wheel can't."
Jim shuddered, the thought alone hurting him. "Never. I should have stopped him, put him to bed, force-fed him. Something." He put his head in his hands and dropped them between his knees.
Simon patted Jim's shoulder, knowing it was hurting the man. "I know you feel responsible, but not even you could have stopped him from overdoing it."
"Simon, I should have been there, done something, made him slow down." He sighed and sat back up. "I failed him. Again."
Simon didn't want to do what he did next, but he had to draw Jim out of his funk somehow. He reached over, taking hold of the short hairs and pulled the younger man's head around. "Stop it right now," he ordered quietly. "You can't keep him like some dog. You can't make him sleep, no matter how much you think he needs it, no matter how much you might want to. You can't force the *man* to eat or do anything else. He is an adult and knows his boundaries; and if he doesn't by now, then you still probably couldn't make him slow down." He let the hair go to the sound of quiet applause from Chris. "See, even his step-father agrees with me."
Chris smiled at them. "The only person I've seen that was more stubborn was his father; and he stopped it after I tied him to a bed one week and took care of him." His smile got just a little bit wider. "Jim, maybe you should try that."
"He does and I'm going to come after you," Blair said, sitting up. He frowned at Chris, then at Jim. "I don't need to be taken care of like some three year old child and I'm not staying here."
Jim laughed. An all out, belly grabbing, couldn't stop laugh. He knew Simon and Chris were looking at him, but he couldn't stop.
"I do believe we've broken him, Blair," Chris said. That cracked everyone else up.
Blair helped Chris into the loft's living room, settling him onto the couch and fussing over him until the older man was ready to scream. "Blair," Chris said patiently, "why don't you go check your messages or something."
Blair grinned and hopped away to listen to the answering machine.
*Beep - Blair, this is Simon. I've arranged for you to have today and tomorrow off, but you'll be needed on the stakeout the next day. Beep*
*Beep - Chief, Jim. You left your backpack in the truck. I'll drop it by when I come home to grab supper before my other shift. Six or so probably. Bye. Beep *
*Beep - This is Naomi son, call me. I'm still at the same place. Don't be mad or anything, we need to talk about this. Son, call me. Please? Beep *
"Bitch," Blair muttered under his breath, earning him a frown from Chris, the ever vigilant step-father. "What? Dad's letter plainly said she was the reason I never got to know him, that she had kept me away and told him that he couldn't see me." He shrugged and flopped into the chair. "I'm not sure I can forgive her for that."
"Blair, she's your mother and I'm sure she was just trying to do what she thought was best for all of you." Chris sat up, moaning as his new stitches pulled. They had just gotten back from a session of outpatient surgery to check a new mole, one that had to be cut out. "Son, Blair," he amended at the surprised look.
"That's so cool. No one calls me that." He smiled and got up to give Chris a hug before going into the kitchen and getting them some water. "I like that."
Chris grinned and leaned back, taking the bottle when it was handed to him. "Thanks. I know your father would have wanted us to be this close, he said so many times. I just wasn't sure about the name and stuff."
"Chris, Dad, I would be honored if you would call me son." He smiled and leaned back in the chair, throwing a leg across the arm of it. "Jim will be so shocked at that."
Chris smiled. "Oh, not as much as you might think. I asked him first."
Blair just stared at him, then laughed. "Okay then. Son and Father it is."
Jim looked up at the person standing in front of his desk. "Yeah?" He didn't know why Internal Affairs was there, but he was sure he hadn't done anything to deserve their attention recently.
"Detective, we need to talk to you." He waved into Simon's office.
Jim walked in there, mystified. Simon's expression clearly said he didn't know what was going on, so Jim just took a seat and waited.
"Detective, Captain, as you know, the police department has taken on the same drug and alcohol policy as the VA. It reads: if you take a drink, even once, you have a problem. Now, I know that you probably go home and relax on occasion with a beer or two, but your random drug test picked up on some alcohol. I've been instructed to come down and talk to you."
Jim started to swear mentally. He hadn't known about the policy change. "But..."
"Detective, you are under no fault here, but by the rules, you have to retest within the next few days."
"I had a drink last night to celebrate something with Sandburg."
"The longest we can put it off is 48 hours." The man sat down next to Jim. "I know, it's stupid to me too, but it's the rules."
"What happens if it's picked up this time?" Simon asked.
"He gets suspended and ordered into counseling." The IA detective shrugged. "This isn't a choice for me, I have to order it."
"How much was found?" He wobbled his hand. "Just enough to pick it up. Detective Ellison, I'm sure you don't have a problem, but the rules are the rules. If you refuse, I'll put you onto suspension until you agree to take it. That might be the best option, but that would also put another disciplinary notice into your file."
"We're in the middle of a multiple homicide investigation, he's the primary," Simon pointed out.
"I know, and that's the other reason why it would be in his best interest to agree to the retest."
"But I had a glass of champagne yesterday," Jim reminded him.
The IA detective thought for a second, sitting back in his chair. "There's a chance it'll be out of your system by then, but a slim one." He thought for a few seconds more. "If you can get the Commissioner to agree to let him hold it off for a week or so, I'll go with it." He smiled. "Trust me, you aren't the only one I've had to talk to today nor will you be the last."
"Why weren't we notified of the change," Simon asked. "I never got a memo."
"Me either," Jim said.
"We're sending them out after this session of testing." He smiled. "The Commissioner wanted to catch as many people as possible in the net."
"That sounds like him," Simon muttered. He picked up the phone, waving the other detective to wait. "Sir, Simon Banks." Short pause. "Speaker phone, yes sir." He pushed the button and made a face. "Sir?"
"Simon, I am aware of why you're calling and I'm sure Jim is not only in the room, but doesn't have a problem, but I can not waive him from a new test."
"Sir, we don't want me waved, we want it pushed back. Sandburg and I were celebrating something with his step-father last night and I ingested a glass of champagne. If I would retest in the next 48 hours, it would show up and I would have to be suspended."
"So you want it pushed back so you won't be taken from the case, right?" There was silence on the other end of the line. "Report to your own doctor within a week to retest. Have them sign a paper with the date that you retested and bring it to me." He cleared his throat. "Detective Ellison, how have you been able to get past the VA?"
"Sir, I never go." Jim chuckled slightly. "While I was in, I was treated by two of the worst doctors to ever graduate medical school so now I refuse to go see any doctor trained by the military."
The Commissioner laughed. "Oh, that I can understand. All too well. Just retest in a week and close this case Ellison. We can't lose you now." He was about to hang up when he remembered the other warning. "Oh, and remember not to eat poppy seeds, our new testing lab picks up on that too." The line went dead.
"Jim, please tell me you weren't eating a poppy seed bagel this morning."
"Nope, that was Sandburg. I only had a bite on the way out the door, cleared off of seeds because they hurt my stomach." He grinned. "You know how touchy it gets sometimes."
Jim walked through the door, seeing Blair looking through a big box of stuff. "Hey."
"Hey, man. How was your day?"
"You wouldn't believe it if I told you," Jim said, sitting down on the couch beside Blair. "How was yours?"
"Chris is at home, but he'll be back over for supper. Said he had something to do at home." Blair shrugged and pulled out another sheaf of papers. "He gave me these, they were my Dad's."
Jim nodded and got up, pushing the button to check the messages on the machine while he went to get his water. He listened to Simon's and his, and Naomi's two before coming back to the couch. "You avoiding her now?"
"Yup." Blair dug further down into the box, pulling out some more papers.
Jim just smiled and took a drink of water. "You have to be more careful what you eat now," he said conversationally.
"Why?" Blair asked, distracted by something he was reading.
"Because, they implemented a new drug and alcohol policy and didn't tell anyone." He took another sip and waited.
"Huh?" Blair asked, turning to Jim.
"They're going by government standards now. One drink and you have a problem. That and the new test can pick up poppy seed muffins and bagels." He took another drink.
"Oh, Jim, man, I'm sorry. Did they get you?"
Jim nodded, still swallowing. "Yup. Got to go see the doctor in the next week."
"That's going to be kinda hard," Blair said. "You got a reminder the other day that she's out of town for a month now."
Jim nodded. "I know. I made an appointment with her substitute. He's going to see me in six days." He shrugged. "Remind me?"
"Sure, anything." He patted Jim's arm and handed over something. "My father was trying to write adult fairy tales."
Jim smiled and looked at the printed pages. "He was pretty good too." He read through the meager stash quickly. "Not bad at all."
Blair smiled a little. "I would love to finish the few he left undone, but I can't write worth a damn."
"Blair, you write all the time."
"That's academic writing. Dull, boring, factual stuff. I can't write fantasy worth anything." He shrugged. "Storytelling and writing don't always follow one another."
Jim shook his head and reached over to ruffle Blair's curls. "Well, I guess you'll find someone."
Blair nodded and got up to answer the phone. "Hello?"
The color drained from his face, making Jim get up and take the phone from him. "Hello?"
#Sir, this is General. We have someone here who Mr. Sandburg is listed as Power of Medical Attorney.#
#Yes sir, that's his first name. Can you bring him down? I'm sure he's very shocked right now.#
"Yeah, I can do that. What happened?"
#Car accident. Actually car to logging truck accident. You need to hurry.#
"Okay. Has his doctor been called? Dr. Collinsary? Oh, and he had surgery, outpatient, earlier today."
#An oncologist?# The sound of flipping papers. #No, we didn't have that noted here, but we'll call him right away and the surgeon from this morning. Thank you.#
"We'll be there in twenty minutes." He hung up and turned to face Blair. "Blair, jacket and shoes."
The younger man hurried around, getting what he needed, and met Jim at the door.
"How could I have been so stupid?" he asked.
"Blair, I'm sure it wasn't his fault, nothing to do with the anesthesia or anything."
"Yeah, and I'm green with pink polka-dots, Jim. I shouldn't have let him drive." They went out the door, heading for the hospital.
It was almost midnight by the time Chris got out of surgery. The surgeon came out, taking off his cap and throwing it away. "Mr. Sandburg?" Blair nodded. "We need to talk."
"How is Chris?"
"He's going to live, maybe. He was injured very severely. The logging truck apparently pushed the engine block back into him. One of the paramedics made a comment about the radiator being on his lap." He frowned. "I know he was in surgery this morning, saw the site and repaired it. This wasn't caused by a reaction, so don't worry." He patted Blair's shoulder. "But we do have to prepare you for the worst. Your step-father is in critical condition. He's no where near stable. We have him on a few monitors, in case he stops breathing or something. We also have a DNR order if his brain stops functioning, but it's older than your medical power of attorney paperwork. Do you have any contradicting orders?"
Blair shook his head and handed over his copy of the paperwork. "That's what he gave me in case something happened." He wrapped his arms around his chest. "Is it likely?"
"We can't tell, but he's a fighter or else he wouldn't have lived this long with the tumor he has." The doctor shrugged. "I know you want to see him. He's in ICU bed 5. I'll take you up." He stood up, waiting on Jim and Blair to do the same. "He's still not conscious, and might not regain it tonight. I can give you the old adage about if he makes it through the night, he should wake up, if it would make you feel any better."
Blair smiled, a little, at him. "Yeah, it does." He took Jim's hand and got on the elevator. "Thank you."
"Oh, your step-father has been a good friend to my family for many years. I couldn't let someone else work on him." He patted Blair's shoulder. "We're all praying for him. He's a good man."
Blair nodded, too choked up to speak. They got off the elevator and went down to ICU, the doctor stopping at the nurses station to hand over the papers to be copied. He escorted them into the room and checked the monitors before leaving.
"I'm here all night if you need to speak to me," he told Jim quietly and left.
Blair sat down in the one chair, taking Chris' hand gently. "Don't die on me, please. I'm not ready yet."
Jim combed his fingers through Blair's hair, soothing him. "I'm sure he's not either, but if it happens, we'll do all we can to stop it." He hugged the younger man, holding him while he cried on the lax body on the bed. "It's all right, I understand, let it all out," he soothed.
Blair woke up and looked around the room. The sun was just starting to turn the sky brilliant shades. He looked over at the bed seeing the man laying there, not as a friend and a relative, but as the man he was. He knew the end wasn't far, so he leaned over to say something. "I'll miss you dad," he whispered and kissed the soft cheek. "I wish I could have known you both sooner, and I'll regret losing you, but if you can't come back go in peace and find him so you can be together again." He smoothed the blanket again and stood up, going to the window.
It wasn't long, only a few minutes, before the warning alarms started to go off. He quietly stepped out of the way, letting the staff get to Chris. He watched as they tried to keep him above the stated level, keep him alive, but it was no use. Chris' brain had stopped, the monitor showed it. The head nurse turned to him and shook her head. He nodded and left the room, getting a hug from the doctor who was coming in.
"I'm sorry Mr. Sandburg," the man said and walked into the room. He came out a few minutes later and said a few quiet words to Jim before leaving.
Jim stood and pulled Blair with him. "It's time."
"I know. I already said goodbye." He looked back at the room and started to walk down the hall.
Jim followed after him, wanting so much to hold him, comfort him, but knowing it wasn't the right time.
Melody's wire was active, but no one was coming up to her. Jim and Blair listened to her sigh for the thousandth time.
"Maybe nothing's going to happen tonight," Blair offered.
"No, they invited her here for a reason," Jim answered. He stretched and leaned back some. "How are you?"
Blair grinned. "Man, I know we haven't seen each other really over the last few weeks or so, but you sound like you haven't seen me in years."
Jim shook his head, smiling, and leaned forward. There was some noise, new noise, on the line. "Shh." He filtered out the foreground noise, listening to the background conversation.
/Tige, is it tonight?/
/Yeah, let's initiate her tonight./
Jim turned back down his hearing as footsteps approached the table.
/Melody! How are you?/ Daisy asked.
/Hey Daisy, Tige. What's up?/ The sound of chairs scraping, twice, and cloth rustling. /So, why the special invite tonight?/
/We want you to see something special with us,/ Daisy said.
The next sound over the wire was the sound of something hitting the table.
"Shit," Blair said and stood up. "We have to go to her."
"Shh, wait," Jim said. "The wire's still working. They aren't going to leave the building and we need more than assault on them to make it stick."
Blair didn't like the answer, it showed plainly on his expressive face, but he sat down and waited while Jim listened.
/I hope she's better than the others,/ Tige said. /It'd be a shame to have to let one like her go./
Daisy laughed. /Oh, Tige, are you getting sentimental about recruits?/ She clucked her tongue. /You told me not to do that, but here you are, doing it yourself. I never would have guessed you liked her,/ she purred.
Jim could hear someone else nearby, grunting as he picked up something, probably Melody.
/So, where are we disposing of the fake ones?/ Daisy asked.
Jim and Blair raced out of the van and into the club, Blair punching the door guard out on the way in. They made it just in time to slip in behind the three people and Melody, through the back door and down the stairs.
"Freeze, Police," Jim said.
Tige and Daisy stopped, the man carrying Melody put her down and put his hands up.
"We've done nothing wrong officer," Daisy said. "She's one of us and we were just putting her to bed."
Tige nodded. "Yeah, down here where the rest of us sleep." Then he made a stupid move. He reached behind his back.
Jim's gun came up and was cocked. "Don't move." He handed Blair his cuffs and watched them as the younger man went over to cuff them.
Blair got them cuffed together and was bent over, checking Melody, when Tige decided to be a hero. He and Daisy pulled his knife and moved toward Jim, making the detective shoot them.
Jim fired one shot, hitting Tige in the arm. "Drop it. You know what stupid means and you just made the list." He waited until the knife was out of the way, kicked by him, before he came down and started to frisk them for other weapons. He briefly looked back, seeing Blair calling for backup and an ambulance. "Now then, we're going to go have a nice long talk downtown," Jim said.
Their backup arrived, including Rafe and Brown. They recuffed the suspects and led them back up the stairs. The paramedics took Melody, taking care not to jostle her as they lifted her out.
Blair walked up the stairs behind Jim, thinking about how he was going to be yelled at later for not searching them. Jim pulled him back to the surveillance van and pushed him inside.
"I didn't tell you to search them, it's my fault," he told Blair, trying to let him off the hook of his guilt.
"I know, but I should have anyway." He started to pack away the stuff. "Jim, can I leave when we get back? The funeral is tomorrow and I need my sleep."
"We need our sleep." Blair looked at him in shock. "You didn't think I was going to let you go alone, did you?" Blair nodded and Jim laughed. "Oh, Blair, you know I wouldn't do that to you." He pulled the young man close, hugging him tightly. "I would never leave you alone for something like that. Never."
"Thanks Jim," he said and leaned against the strong and sheltering chest, taking the comfort offered.
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