Author's Notes:

This story stemmed from a discussion on a list about how gen authors saw the boys' futures. Realistic or not, this is my interpretation.

Oh, Jim uses the "F" word; he's a man--forgive him. :-)

I hope you enjoy!



D.L. Witherspoon

(Posted 04-23-01)

Jim opened the door and almost tripped over the luggage and boxes piled up in front of it.


Blair stepped out of his room, his backpack swung across a shoulder. "Uh, hi, Jim. You're home early."

"Ortiz got busted in Seattle, so that sorta killed the 'stake out his apartment' plans. What's all this?"

"I'm moving out, man. Time for me to solo, you know? Can't be living with you the rest of my life. It's just downright unseemly, you know? Two men living together like we do...." He shook his head. "It just ain't done, man. So I'm heading out. Got a rental over by the university. But I probably won't be there long. Gonna find me a lady and live the normal life--aside from helping you out when you need me. Guess you'll be moving some babe in real soon, huh?"

Jim just stared at him.

Blair picked up a box and kicked a couple of others out of the way. "I better start packing the car." Jim was still silent. "Say something, man. I'm scared to turn my back to you," he half-joked, dropping his gaze to the floor.

"What the fuck is normal?"

Blair's head jerked up. "Huh?"

"What the fuck is normal and who made the final decision?"

"Whoa, man. What are you saying?"

"I'm saying I think the two of us living together is perfectly normal for us and everyone who doesn't agree can go fuck themselves."

Blair blinked, his dark blues eyes scanning his partner. "But--"

"But what? Do you want to move out?"

"No, but...but I thought you would be the one craving the norm. I thought you were just being polite not kicking me out."

"You seem to forget that I have no trouble kicking you out if that's what I want."

Blair paled, but stubbornly continued to argue. "They talk about us down at the station. They talk about us at Rainier. They talk about us at the corner deli. They--"

"Don't live here with us."

A tiny smile appeared on Blair's lips. "You're supposed to be the repressed one who needs to conform to society. I'm the one with the earring and long hair."

"I had an earring once. And hair on my face."

"You operate in a society where you need to be accepted by your peers."

"If they are my peers, they accept me. If they don't, then they are my enemies."

"But...but this is all based on a fallacy. They think--"

"What we do or don't do is our business, Sandburg. Fallacy or fact has nothing to do with this."


"Sometimes a man has to take a stand for what he believes in. I believe the two of us should stay together."

Blair grinned. "And everyone who doesn't agree can go fuck himself?" Jim nodded. "That's anatomically impossible, you know?"

Jim snickered. "You need to get out more, kid." He watched Blair look at all the stuff piled by the door. "Stay," he said softly. "Grow old with me. Everything else will take care of itself."

Blair took a step toward him. "I just want you to be happy, Jim, and secure."

"I'm both of those things with you."

"And the talk?"

"People will always talk. Even if you left, they'd still talk."

Blair sighed. "I was just doing it for you."

"Stay for me instead?"

Brown curls danced as Blair nodded.

"Good. Now I can cook dinner." Jim took off his jacket and hung up his holster. He went into the kitchen and opened a drawer. "Where's my apron?" he muttered as he looked for the scrap of floral fabric.

Blair reached down into one of the boxes and quietly held out the cooking accessory.

Jim frowned and stalked over to the boxes. He pawed through them all. "My lightweight razor.... Hey, half of this stuff is mine!"

Blair wrapped his arms around himself. "I couldn't figure out another way of insuring that you came after me," he admitted softly.

Jim concentrated on tying the apron. "Hell, Chief, if you want to make sure I come after you, all you have to do--is leave."

Blair's laugh sounded more like a sob. "I think I'm feeling emotional," he warned. "Where's the box of tissues?"

"For God's sake, Sandburg! We're men, damn it. We don't go around wiping away tears on tissues." Jim stomped away and grabbed his jacket. "We use handkerchiefs!" He handed a perfectly creased one to Blair.

Blair blew his nose loudly. "I love you, Jim."

"Yeah, I love you too. But that doesn't mean you can go around leaving your junk in the middle of the loft. Looks like you have some straightening up to do."

"Half of it's yours," Blair retorted, cramming the used handkerchief into his pocket.

"Quit with the bitching and get to work."

"I'll just save the bitching until you're too old to hear me."

"Well, with this hearing of mine that should take some time."

Blair smiled. "Yeah, man, I know."

Jim grinned, hearing the affirmation he'd wanted for so long.

"Of course this is going to put a cramp in my dating life," Blair said as he hauled a box toward his room.

"Plenty of psycho bitches out there for us, Chief. But only one you and me, right?"

"Right. Besides, it's kinda nice being the cute one in the couple," Blair teased.

"You trying to imply I'm not cute?" Jim muttered as he attacked a head of lettuce. "Doesn't matter. I'm better than cute anyway. I'm adorable."

"Yeah, right," Blair snorted. "That's us--the cute and adorable couple. You know we need to start making a scrapbook to take with us to the old folks home so that they'll be able to see how cute and adorable we were in our prime."

"Speak for yourself. I plan on being adorable for a long time to come."

Blair tossed the last box into his room and joined Jim in the kitchen. "You'll always be adorable to me."

"Well, it is a natural trait," Jim replied, turning toward the refrigerator.

"You were supposed to reply that I'll always be cute to you," Blair admonished.

"That's what you get for trying to move out on me--and about that, Sandburg...."


"Next time you get a crazy notion like that, warn me."

"So you can talk me out of it?"

Jim shook his head. "So I can pack my own stuff--and go with you."

"Sentimental sap."

"Long-haired hippie."

"Just because you're follicly-challenged--"

"Watch it, optically-challenged."

The phone rang, cutting off Blair's imminent response. Jim answered, then turned to Blair. "They want to know if Sandburg's home?"

Blue gazes met and locked.

"Home to stay, Jim."