"Jim... hey Jim man, come on, snap out of it," Blair ordered his Sentinel, shaking lightly at his arm.
The detective's eyes snapped forward focusing on the blue orbs of Blair's eyes, his senses alight as they all clamoured at him, trying to study everything that his guide was, all at once.
"You zoned Jim... you okay?" Blair asked, concerned.
Jim nodded dumbly, his senses still focused on the man before him, who was retracting the tender touch of his hand from Jim's arm, and moving out of Jim's personal space.
"What happened?" Blair asked him.
Jim didn't reply, he couldn't, so he shrugged, stood up and left the apartment, leaving a thoroughly confused Blair Sandburg in his wake.
Blair figured Jim needed to be alone... it wasn't strange, everyone needed alone time... so why was it Blair had a suddenly increasing worry that Jim didn't need to be alone, he just needed to be without him?
Jim dug into his pocket for his car keys, barely noticing where he was going as he drove through the streets of Cascade, he just needed time, to clear his head, get himself under control, and think of a good lie to tell Blair when he returned home.
Jim knew Blair would want some explanation as to why Jim had zoned out, but Jim couldn't possibly tell him the truth... he could picture that conversation in his head...
'Well see Sandburg it's like this, I realized I was in love with you, and was trying to stop myself jumping your bones, so I zoned out on purpose so I wouldn't.'
Promptly followed by Blair being completely disgusted by him, packing his things and leaving, and Jim would never see him again.
It was dark before Jim returned to the loft, his senses focusing on Blair before he ever came to the door, hearing the gentle heartbeat that indicated sleep as he carefully let himself in, hoping if he could avoid the conversation until morning, he'd be able to avoid it all together.
Blair was sleeping on the couch, his, curly hair draped over his neck and shoulders as always, his whole body curled into a defensive ball as he slept. It took only seconds for Jim to notice the light red tear tracks on the cheeks of his guide and for his nose to catch the light salty smell of the tears.
Jim was instantly worried, forgetting his own problems in an instant as he moved closer to the sleeping man on the couch, not wishing to disturb him, but needing to be sure he was okay.
Blair didn't smell of blood, so he wasn't injured... so why had he been crying?
It took only a moment for Jim to realise.
He knew Blair had spent a lot of his life, shuffling from one place to another, and that here, with him, was probably the longest time he'd ever spent anywhere and tonight Jim had walked out on him, not a word, just leaving... damn he was thick sometimes.
"Chief?" Jim asked gently as he heard the younger man's heart rate increase as he began to wake up.
"Jim...?" a sleepy voice questioned.
"Yeah... it's late, you should get to bed..." Jim said, concerned, but also weary, he didn't want to get into a deep talk right now, he was tired, and he just couldn't handle the strain, but at the same time, he knew that they would have to talk sooner or later, and knowing his guide, he'd want it to be sooner.
"Why'd you leave earlier?" Blair asked, ignoring his comment about the late hour, and going straight for the centre of the problem.
"I just needed to be alone... nothing serious," Jim tried to shrug of his guides curiosity, but he almost knew it wasn't going to work.
"Okay... if that's they way it is..." Blair didn't continue the sentence, instead forcing himself up, and towards his bedroom.
"Sandburg..." Jim said, but Blair shrugged him off, an arm waving him away, as he disappeared into his bedroom, firmly blocking Jim outside, but Jim still heard the soft sob that emitted from Blair's lips as he fell onto his bed and the muffled sound of crying as he continued the soft sobs, his face buried in his pillow.
Jim had never felt like as much of a bastard as he did now.
"Ahh hell Sandburg..." Jim cursed the younger man, how in hells name had he managed to work his way into his heart so easily?
"Blair?" Jim questioned softly, moving into the private quarters of his flatmate, his senses focused on him intently.
"Blair I'm... I'm sorry... I'm not very good at this, never have been but... I just... I ran out earlier because I realized something that scared me... please don't ask what, just... I'm sorry okay," Jim spoke softly, only the slight din of a fresh rain starting outside disturbing the peace.
"Goodnight," Jim added, leaving and heading to his own loft bedroom, intensely aware more than he ever had been that he'd be sleeping alone... again.
Jim wasn't asleep, so it wasn't hard for him to hear the light patter of feet, as Blair got up not more than an hour later and padded across the living room.
However the sound that startled him, was when he heard those same feet padding up the stairs to his loft bedroom.
"What?" Blair asked softly, his voice croaky.
Jim looked up, flicking on the bedside lamp and giving him a questioning glance.
"What did you realize?" Blair clarified the question.
"Sandburg I... that's not... I can't tell you that..." Jim tried.
"I want to know... you walk out of here, not a word, come back and what, tell me to go to bed like a good little boy... damn it Jim I thought we were friends... I want the truth." Blair insisted.
"You don't... trust me..." Jim said, shaking his head.
"Tell Me!" Blair told him, anger seeping into his voice.
"I love you!" He said, bracing himself for Blair to walk out, and completely unprepared when the younger man fell down at the foot of the bed... and laughed.
Jim sat, shocked, unsure, until the reality of it all sunk in and he found himself chuckling as well, almost hysterically as everything came crashing down and he realized he'd just confessed to being in love with his best friend.
The two men couldn't seem to stop laughing, as soon as either of them calmed, all the had to do was look at the other before they began to laugh again, and Jim was so busy laughing he didn't notice Blair was on the bed until the young guide was practically sitting on his lap. By then it was too late to do anything but take a deep breath before his mouth was invaded by his friends tongue as he kissed him with a fierce passion that melded their lips together so tightly not even a molecule could pass between them.
By the time Blair pulled back both men were panting for air, all mirth removed from the situation, which became intensely serious, a literal, 'make or break' scenario.
"Blair..." Jim tried to start, but he had no idea what to say... he'd already told his guide he was in love with him... now it was up to Blair.
The guide smiled at him, a brilliant smile that lit up his face, and sent Jim's heart beating faster.
"I love you too Jim... I thought... when you left earlier, I thought you knew... that maybe you hated me for it..." Blair admitted, and suddenly it all made perfect sense.
They belonged together.
Jim was the Sentinel, Blair his Guide... they were a pair... like Tom and Jerry, Abbot and Costello, Beauty and the Beast... okay, maybe not the last one... the connotations on that weren't just for Jim just so great, but they were a pair.
"I could never hate you... I love you," Jim repeated his earlier sentiment, pulling Blair back into a kiss, this one tender, and soft, and as gentle as Jim could make it.
The kiss seemed to last forever until Jim released Blair's lips, and with a little effort shuffled them so they were lying on their sides, facing each other, Jim's arms firmly around his partner's waist, a position Blair copied.
Both men fell into a peaceful sleep, still unsure of what tomorrow might bring, and how things might change in the harsh light of day... but for now at least, content just to be within each others arms.