Word Count: 2,450
Blair was off for the day and decided that while Jim was in court he would do the laundry for the two of them. It’s the least he could do to put Jim in a better frame of mind. When he had talked to him at lunch, he was a bear. Jim hated court worse then anything. Blair was also going to make a nice meal. He knew that Jim loved Blair’s lasagna made with round steak in it instead of hamburger. It was a recipe from an old girlfriend’s grandmother. Blair had it simmering as he collected dirty clothes to take downstairs.
Blair found out that Jim didn’t have too much, he must have done laundry sometime in between when Blair did it last. Blair ran the medium load downstairs and came back up to keep an eye on the simmering sauce.
When the timer rang, Blair went back down to get everything put in the dryer. What he wouldn’t give for a washer and dryer in the loft unit. Blair hated going downstairs every single time.
When he got back upstairs, he set the timer again. Jim would have a fit if he knew he left the clothes down there unattended. Jim always took a book and stayed down there until the clothing was all done. Blair couldn’t cook dinner and do laundry at the same time, so he was improvising.
He built the layers of the lasagna and got it all ready to go in the over when the timer went off again. Blair threw the lasagna into the oven and went downstairs to get their clothing.
Thankfully, everything was dry, so Blair put it all in the basket and took it upstairs to fold. That way he could keep an eye out for dinner too.
Once the clothes were all folded and sorted, Blair took Jim’s upstairs to put away. Jim always put Blair’s away for him, so he figured he would do the same thing for Jim.
When Blair opened the top drawer, he saw that is where underwear and socks went. He went to put them in and saw pictures underneath Jim’s socks. Blair couldn’t help it. He had to look. It was just too much to pass up. He pulled the pictures out and looked at them. They were of himself. In different poses, laughing, talking, smiling and frowning. But all were taken outside at some time. Blair didn’t know when. When did Jim take these? He looked closely at the shirt in the second picture and realized that was his new shirt Jim had bought for him for passing one of his tests at the academy. So this was in the last week or so. Why was Jim taking pictures of him and putting them in his drawer? It was past weird. It’s not like they were bad pictures. They were all nice pictures. Jim had taken care to get good shots, but for what?
Blair put all of the pictures back into the drawer and put his socks and underwear in there too. Blair walked downstairs and busied himself in his bedroom, hoping Jim would be home soon. Was he going to bring this up to him?
No, Blair thought not. It would be easier to think that Jim just wanted to have his friend’s picture around sometimes. But for what? It’s not like he was naked or anything, so Jim wasn’t being a perv. Well, he hoped he wasn’t anyway.
Dinner was done and Jim could smell it as soon as he parked the truck in the parking lot in front of the loft. How did Blair know exactly when to make lasagna for him? It had been a horrible day and it was going to be worse the next day. Jim couldn’t wait to eat.
He walked in the front door and called out, “Chief, the loft smells great.”
Blair walked out of his room and smiled at Jim. “Thanks. I had some time to kill and thought it would sound good to you.”
“When wouldn’t your lasagna sound good?” Jim asked seriously.
“It’s all ready if you’re ready to eat. I made a nice salad to go along with it. Do you want a beer?” Blair asked as he walked in to get the salad.
“I’ll get the beers, you get the salad,” Jim said.
Jim grabbed two beers and set them on the table. Then he washed his hands quickly and sat down across from Blair.
“Man, is it hot enough outside for you?” Blair asked.
“Yeah, it was pretty warm all right,” Jim answered.
“It’s enough to make a person think about sleeping in the nude, don’t you agree?” Blair inquired.
Jim choked on his food but quickly recovered and said, “What brought that up?”
“Just hot out, is all. I was thinking about letting everything hang out tonight. See if the boys cool down,” Blair teased.
Jim looked at his friend like he was insane and said, “Whatever floats your boat, Blair.”
Blair gave up. He didn’t know why Jim had those pictures in his drawer and probably never would. He was off tomorrow and he would see if any of the pictures reminded him of where they were taken. Jim was watching him from somewhere. Why? And when?
They finished dinner with talk about the court hearing and Jim told him how he had to show up for another day of testifying. Blair could tell Jim wasn’t a happy camper.
“Well, at least you’ll have some good leftovers tomorrow night when you get home,” Blair reminded Jim.
Jim smiled and said, “You’re the best. You make my days seem less horrible, believe me.”
“Why thank you. That’s one of the nicest things you’ve ever said.” Blair beamed with happiness.
“I think I ought to give you more compliments if that’s the best one,” Jim joked.
The two men cleared the table and did the dishes side by side. Jim was unusually talkative that night, which Blair was glad of. It kept him from thinking about the pictures so much.
They watched the Jags game on television and then got ready for bed. True to his word, Blair decided to sleep in the nude. He really thought that Jim might come and take some pictures of him during the night. But Blair didn’t hear Jim come in all night long. So much for that idea.
After Jim left that morning, Blair went back upstairs to see the pictures again. They were in different order this time. Maybe Jim was wise to him finding them and was trying to see if Blair would put them back right again.
Blair flipped through the photos and saw one of himself looking rather sad. He hadn’t seen that one the day before. It must have been stuck to another one. Why had he been so sad? He glanced at the surroundings and noticed that he was on the front stairs of the academy. Now he knew what that was from. He had failed the hand to hand combat test and was going to have to ask Jim for help. He was terribly discouraged about that. Why was Jim watching him? Where was he when he took the picture?
Then Blair saw another one where he was smiling at one of his fellow cadets and he wondered why this one was important to Jim. Once again, why was Jim following him and taking his picture? This was just too weird.
//I wonder if he’d notice if I took them all away?//
Blair took all of them, and put them in his pocket. He was going to wait and see what Jim had to say for himself. Blair took them downstairs and put them in his top drawer.
Blair decided to go shopping and see what he could find for the rest of the week for dinners. That’s if Jim didn’t kick his ass for going through his drawer.
Jim had the pictures from that day in his pocket and went to put them upstairs. He changed his clothes, pulled the pictures out and slid them in the drawer and noticed that the others were missing. //Fuck…//
Jim walked downstairs and heard Blair coming in the front door.
“Hey, I could use a hand with the groceries,” Blair barked.
“Sorry, Chief,” Jim said before he grabbed two bags and put them on the counter top.
“Wow, you must have gotten done early today,” Blair said.
“Yeah, today was much better. Here, I’ll take that bag and put everything away. Don’t worry about it.” Jim started putting everything in its place and Blair watched him closely.
//Jim knows. He’s not saying anything, but he knows and yet he’s not telling me why they were up there.//
Blair grabbed two beers when all of the food was put away and they sat down to watch the news.
Jim seemed fully in tune with the news and didn’t act odd at all, but Blair knew how to read Ellison body language. Jim was a wreck. Why was he a wreck?
“Jim, talk to me,” Blair said softly.
“Chief, I just wanted to be sure you were all right at the academy. I hired someone to keep an eye on you and he did. That’s all. I wanted you to be happy,” Jim confessed.
“Jim, I told you I was doing all right. Why didn’t you believe me?” Blair wondered.
“You’ve been so quiet lately and then you had study classes every night and I never saw you anymore, so I didn’t know if you were happy or not,” Jim explained.
“You hired someone to take pictures of me?” Blair questioned.
Jim blushed and said, “It’s not like the smartest thing I’ve ever done. You looked happy in all of the pictures except for one. I didn’t know how to ask you about it. I would have had to admit to hiring someone to watch you and you would have freaked.”
“That’s right I would have. All you had to do was ask. I need some help, now that you mention it. The sad picture is when I failed the hand to hand combat test. I need some help with cuffing and that type of procedure. Would you mind helping me?” Blair inquired.
“I would love to help you. We could have a day of it down at the gym and Rafe and Brown could help. We’ll do it until you have it right. How does that sound?” Jim asked.
“That would be great. I’m off again tomorrow and so are you. Do you think the guys would come over after they get off?” Blair said.
Jim smiled and said, “They’d love to help. So would Conner actually. She keeps saying we should be doing something to help you get ready. I should have listened to her.”
“Can I ask you something else?” Blair wondered aloud.
“You can ask me anything you want, Blair.”
“Why were you keeping the pictures in your top drawer? I don’t get it,” Blair explained.
“I missed you and needed to see your face from time to time. It’s not a big deal. Don’t worry about it, okay? I’m calling that guy and taking him off the case as of now.”
“Jim, do you have a thing for me?” Blair asked outright.
Jim blushed and looked at the floor. “What if I did?”
“I think it would be pretty cool. Do you have any more pictures?” Blair asked.
“I got some today. He watched you when you came out of the loft and went to the store. He just gave them to me before you got here. I’m sorry I was watching you without telling you.”
“Jim, did you hear me say that it would be pretty cool if you had a thing for me?”
“Blair, you don’t have to say that just because I said I would help you with the class work,” Jim said stupidly.
“Jim, I have a thing for you, too.”
Jim smiled and said, “Yeah?”
“Yeah, so what do we do about that?” Blair inquired.
“I say we both sleep in the nude tonight. Except for one thing, we’ll be in my big bed from now on,” Jim ordered.
“Hey, you’re sort of rushing things, don’t you think?” Blair asked.
“We can go slow. Would you like to start dating?” Jim wondered.
“Yes, I would like to start dating. The sleeping together can come later. I think we’ve got enough to worry about right now without sleeping together,” Blair said.
“Easy for you to say, you’ve had dates in the last six months. I haven’t.”
“You haven’t been out with anyone in six months? What is wrong with you? Why didn’t you say something to me?”
Jim shrugged his shoulders and said, “I didn’t want to put more pressure on you. You already gave up everything for me. I didn’t think I had anything to offer you in return.”
Blair moved into Jim’s space and slid his arms around Jim’s waist. “Come here.” He pulled Jim down for a much needed kiss. Jim kissed Blair like he had never kissed anyone before. He wanted to make a good first impression. It worked. He blew Blair away with that kiss.
“So what were you saying about us sleeping together tonight in your big bed?” Blair said as he pushed his groin into Jim’s.
“I think you might have been right, we might need time to date,” Jim admitted.
“I was wrong. I felt like we were pushing it, but that was before I realized how much you wanted me,” Blair explained.
“Oh yeah, I want you bad.”
“Jim, how about dinner, dancing and sleep for tonight. We can pick up the sex stuff as we go,” Blair suggested.
“Sounds good to me, Blair. Thank you for understanding about the private eye watching you,” Jim said sheepishly.
“Jim, you mean you paid money for those?” Blair asked somewhat surprised.
“Of course I paid money for them. He’s expensive too. But you were worth it to me,” Jim stated.
“From now on you’re going to ask me things, am I right? No more private eyes working for you. I’ll kick your ass if you ever do it again,” Blair warned.
Jim pulled him closer and kissed him again and then pulled away and said, “You’ll never have to worry about it again.”
“Let’s get dinner finished so we can dance and then head up to bed,” Blair commented.
“You got it, Chief.”
The two men began their new life that very moment. Things were going to work out just fine.