by Southy

© September 2005


Blair kept his eyes closed as he floated up toward consciousness. 

His bed felt particularly cozy right now, as he was draped completely by the blankets, rather than having some part of his body exposed to the air while he shifted and kicked during sleep.

The temperature seemed perfect – not too hot, not too cold.

He mentally sighed as he straightened his bent knees. How good it felt to stretch – and how puzzling that his feet weren’t finding the edge of the futon.

He was tempted to sink back into the comfort surrounding him. After all, his body felt as though it could use more rest.

He was aware of his wrist being picked up and held in a loose grip.

Hospital? That’s what they did sometimes at the hospital. But no way could he be in a bed at the hospital. He was too cozy and there weren’t any strange smells.

Still, the thought brought him to full consciousness. He opened his eyes.

Jim stood looking down at him, dressed in sweats and an undershirt. “Hey,” he said with a gentle smile.

Blair’s eyes slowly moved about the room. It looked familiar… and yet not, from this perspective. And why would he be here?

“You’re in my bed,” Jim provided, kneeling beside the mattress. “I thought you’d be more comfortable.”

More comfortable than…?

“What do you remember?” Jim asked, placing his hand on Blair’s blanketed chest.

Blair thought hard. There were images, but they seemed so dream-like. He thought back farther. Oh, yeah. “I was going to see Tom Ralston about subbing for his class next week. I went to the house of one of his friend’s, where there was going to be a party. It’s the only time we were both free to meet. I-I think we talked.” Weird, how he wasn’t sure.

“You had some of the punch?” Jim asked with forced casualness.

Blair nodded. “I think so. I was only going to stay long enough to talk to Tom, before he started drinking.” His eyes darted to Jim’s. “You and I were going to go on stakeout, so I wasn’t going to hang around.”

Jim’s hand crept up to Blair’s neck, where it rubbed gently. “Chief, the punch was spiked with LSD.”

“What?” Blair asked, trying to comprehend that.

“The friend of Tom’s – Clarence Regis – had enemies who had a beef with him. They thought they could settle it by drugging the punch at his party with LSD.” Jim’s voice softened with regret. “Some of the students had some bad trips. It’s a wonder no one flung themselves off a building or threw themselves out in traffic. Someone called the cops early on, so they were able to get the students to the hospital and checked out.”

Blair couldn’t remember anything like that. “I went too?”

Jim’s hand left, and then moved under the covers until it found Blair’s. It squeezed. “You had already left. You had your cup of punch with you. You came back here, because you were expecting me to pick you up.” Jim was suddenly hesitant.

“And?” Blair said, his stomach tightening.

“That’s when the effects hit you. You had a bad trip, Chief.” Jim’s voice was soft and sympathetic. “I came home and found you breaking the glass on the windows. You had already overturned some furniture.”

And Golden was supposed to be worse than LSD?

Blair felt himself start to hyperventilate.

“Hey,” Jim said gently, both hands now against Blair’s shoulders. “You didn’t hurt anybody. You just scratched up your arms. You’re fine. They released you from the hospital as soon as the drug wore off.”

One of the dream images was of being in the hospital… of nurses removing his restraints.

Blair’s eyes darted around the room again. “Why am I in your bed?”

“I thought you’d be more comfortable.”

“Where have you been sleeping?”

“On the sofa. It’s just been since yesterday afternoon, when I brought you home. The trip took a lot out of you.” Jim smiled warmly. “You’re obviously on the mend now. Why don’t you go ahead and spend the rest of the night here?”

Blair furrowed his brow. “I don’t remember you bringing me home.”

Jim squeezed his hand again. “That stuff messes with your mind. I wouldn’t worry that you don’t remember.”

Blair moved his arm and was aware of a tight feeling on his skin. He brought the arm from beneath the covers and saw that his forearm was wrapped in gauze, there was a big bandage on his upper arm, and there were numerous scratches. He suspected his left arm was in similar shape. “Did they catch the guys who did it?”

“Yeah. They’re going to be put away for a long time. A lot of people were affected by this.”

“No one was hurt bad?”

“The worst was someone who had a pretty severe concussion falling down a flight of stairs. It would have been a lot worse if the cops hadn’t been called so quickly.”

“Man,” Blair said, swallowing thickly.

Jim squeezed his arm. “Would you like something to eat or drink? Maybe some soup and a sandwich?”

He saw through the skylight that it was dark outside. “What time is it?”

“After eleven on Monday. It happened Saturday night.”

Blair became aware of an uncomfortable pressure. “I need to pee really bad.” He started to move the covers.

Jim placed his hand on the bedspread. “I’ve got something you can go in, so you don’t have to get up.”

Blair blinked, a knot developing in his stomach. “I’m sure I can walk.”

“I-I know.” Jim looked bashful. “But you look so comfortable, and you probably have more taken out of you than you realize. Stay in bed one more night.”

It was so instinctive to do whatever made Jim happy. And he was very comfortable. The bathroom seemed a long ways away.

Jim moved to the stairs. “I’ll bring you something.”

Jim brought him a plastic bottle with a cap and then left him alone. By the time Jim brought up a tray with dinner, Blair’s mind was more alert. He did realize, as he shifted in bed, that he was tremendously sore all over. He had some cuts in weird places, but his hands and arms were the most injured.

So strange, to not remember any of it.

Jim cleared away the nightstand and put the bottle on the floor on the opposite side. Then he placed the tray on the nightstand.

Before Blair had a chance to shift, Jim was there, one knee on the bed, moving the pillows behind him. 

Jim handed him a mug. “Chicken soup.”

Blair accepted the mug, appreciating the warmth through the ceramic. He sipped. “Thanks.”

Jim grabbed the bottle from the floor and went back down the stairs.

Blair was contemplative as he sipped. One and one was not equaling two. 

Jim was a big softie inside, but he wasn’t about to go putting Blair up in his own bed, let alone risk Blair pissing in his bed. The man was very territorial about his space. 

When Jim returned, wearing such a deliberate smile, Blair said, “Jim, what’s going on? What aren’t you telling me?”

The smile went away as Jim approached.

“The TLC is really nice,” Blair said, “but it’s not you.” He glanced at the tray beside the bed.“This is making me really nervous.” But the soup was sure good. He tilted his head back and finished it.

Jim sat on the edge of the bed with a resigned sigh.

Blair placed his hand on top of Jim’s. “What?”

“I-I just wanted to make sure you’re okay. That I could… comfort you.”

“You have. This just seems a bit over the top. Why?”

“Chief…,” Jim glanced at him, “when I came home and you were breaking the windows with your arms, I called the paramedics and tried to restrain you. You were totally out of it. There was no reasoning with you. I had to practically sit on top of you. Then the ambulance came and… they put you in restraints.” He swallowed thickly and lowered his gaze. 

Yes, Blair had the fleeting recollection of restraints being removed in the hospital. “You didn’t have a choice.”

“I-I know. I just, you know, wish I could have handled it better.” His voice softened. “I didn’t want to hurt you more than you were already hurting yourself.”

Hence trying to make up for it now, Blair realized. “What else could you have done?”

“I don’t know,” Jim admitted with discomfort. Then he put his hand on Blair’s blanketed chest. “I’m glad you’re all right.”

Blair nodded, feeling he was now the one who needed to give reassurance. “Really, Jim, this is nice and cozy, but you can have your bed back.”

“Just stay here another night.”

Two and two wasn’t equaling four. “You’re still holding back. Come on, what is it?”

“I didn’t want you disturbed, so I haven’t gotten the windows fixed yet. It’s a little chilly down there. That’s why I wanted you up here. I’ll call someone tomorrow.”

Blair still couldn’t get this to add up. “So, you’ve been sleeping down there in the cold?”

“It’s been all right.”

Blair looked about the bed. “That’s silly. Come on, Jim, there’s enough room for both of us here.” He grinned. “I’m not going to molest you or anything.”

“All right, all right.” Jim said it as though he were trying to get Blair to stop asking questions, rather than being eager for a warm bed. He stood. “I’ll take care of things downstairs and then I’ll come back up and… join you.” He grabbed the sandwich and handed it to Blair. “Here.” He then took the tray and tucked it under his arm.

Blair slowly chewed the sandwich. He was eating in Jim’s bed, had pissed while in Jim’s bed, had been sleeping in Jim’s bed. And now he was going to sleep with Jim in Jim’s bed.

Was this really all about guilt?

He’d find out soon enough. Tomorrow things would start getting back to normal.

Jim spit toothpaste into the bathroom sink. He took a sip of water from a paper cup and swished it around.

He was surprised that he’d won the round that pitted his desire for Blair to remain in bed, versus the simple fact that Blair was quite capable of walking down the staircase and into the bathroom.

He smiled inwardly at the thought that Blair was comfortable and cozy enough that he hadn’t wanted to leave.

Or maybe he had just wanted to please Jim.

Jim spit out the remaining toothpaste. He wiped his mouth and left the bathroom.

At some point – probably tomorrow morning – Blair was going to have to see this. But not tonight.

Jim walked past the overturned furniture, some of it broken beyond repair, and felt a wave of goosebumps as a breeze blew from various broken windows.

The image would remain with him a long time of Blair’s wild eyes and frenzied behavior – and then trying to hold him down until the ambulance came. Then, once they had, helping hold Blair somewhat still so the restraints could be put in place.

For the safety of all of them. For Blair’s own safety.

Blair was an innocent victim in all of this.

This. What is mess it was. Blair was sure to take it hard. Having Larry the Barbary ape wreck the loft was bad enough. But to have Blair’s own hands be the cause of such destruction….

For tonight, Jim hoped there wouldn’t be more questions that he’d feel compelled to evade or not-quite-answer. Maybe if he snuggled up to Blair that would cause some nervous giggles and then settling in for some serious sleep.

Jim felt another inner smile at the fact that he’d lied to Blair earlier about sleeping on the sofa. He actually slept in the bed with Blair last night. As he suspected, Blair was too exhausted to wake.

It had calmed his own nerves be so close and guard his charge.

Tomorrow, he was going to have to calm Blair’s.

Jim started up the stairs and left the destruction behind.



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