Originally posted to SA July, 2004.
I've chosen option 2 for Dawn's themefic request: Blair has a secret in his past that Jim is shocked to discover. However, the secret has to fit with Blair's character and the canon information (or lack of canon information) given in the show.
This story takes place after The Debt. For those of you who don't know the episode; Blair has been living in a warehouse until rival gangs decide to fight each other and the drug factory is next to Blair's warehouse. When there's an explosion at the drug factory, Blair pleads with Jim to allow him to stay at the loft for a week. (That's it in a nutshell-a small nutshell)
Anyway, Blair wants to return to the warehouse to see what he can salvage. That's where this story picks up.
A Model Citizen
By Debbie Tripp
RATING: R probably
SUMMARY: Jim sees more of Blair than he wants
WARNING: Nudity (in a sense), spoilers for The Debt
All mistakes are mine, spell-checked only
Blair had planned on going by the warehouse on his own to see what he could recover. But Jim had asked him to wait until they could go together. Blair agreed to wait.
The case between the rival gangs had been resolved. Blair had thought about going to the warehouse on his own anyway, but Jim was adamant about going with Blair, explaining about the dangers of the walls falling down or the floor giving way under him. So Blair had placated Jim and told him he could come along and carry some of the boxes. And there was more room in Jim's vehicle than there was in Blair's car.
Blair knew everything that was stored away from where the explosion happened was safe and in good shape. At least he hoped it still was.On Saturday, Jim followed Blair back to the warehouse. From what Blair had told Jim, between them they should be able to move everything in a couple of trips. Jim had asked Blair what he was going to do with the salvageable stuff and Blair explained that he had rented a storage unit which was cheaper rent than the warehouse. And that when he found himself another place, he'd store his stuff there.
The week Jim had given Blair was almost over. Blair didn't really have another place lined up yet, but he could grovel and stay with friends for probably another week or two if necessary. He knew that he couldn't push Jim into allowing him to stay at the loft any longer. Plus, there was always that seedy little motel on the outskirts of town that was available. He could stay there. But it was further from the university and the loft. And the police station.
Blair arrived before Jim and was walking up the steps to his former living area. In the daylight, he could see the destruction to the outside of the building. And he knew how lucky he had been to only come away with bumps and bruises. If Jim hadn't of been there, things might have turned out a lot different. Jim had pushed Blair out of the couch. Blair shook himself out of his contemplation by Jim arriving at the warehouse.
"I thought I told you to wait?"
"The steps are sturdy, Jim. They were the other night when we left."
"How long is this going to take, Sandburg?"
"I told you, Jim, it'll only take a few trips. Why, you got a hot date on a Saturday morning?"
Jim only glared at Blair. "You follow me and don't lean against the walls."
They walked into the former living area. Jim could see the hurt look on Blair's face. "I'm sorry about this, Sandburg."
Blair looked over at Jim. "Hey, it wasn't your fault, man. It's just that I'm not going to find this much room anywhere in the city at the same price."
"Yeah. With rats and bugs running to and fro."
"It took me years to accumulate all this stuff. And now most of it is just garbage."
"Let's get the stuff that's salvageable and get this over with."
"Sure, Jim. Look. If you don't want to be here, I can handle it myself."
"No. Let's just get started."
Blair pointed out the boxes that could be taken. Jim started carrying several boxes down to his vehicle. Blair followed with several that he put in his car. He turned to Jim.
"The storage facility is on Olive and 6th. After we finish, I'll treat you to lunch."
"You have enough money for that?"
"Sure, Jim. There's a deli nearby."
"Deli? I'll pass."
"Whatever. Let's get this done."
"My thought exactly."
Jim followed Blair to the storage facility and unlocked the door to his unit. He and Jim unloaded the boxes, placing them in the back of the storage unit.
"Do you think any of your furniture is salvageable?"
"Maybe a couple of the wooden tables. Maybe my desk and chair. The couch and the chair in the living area are waterlogged, along with my bed. And my clothes were in a closet by the kitchen that was destroyed in the explosion. I saved all I could that night when I had to leave. A couple of suitcases and boxes. We best get back and get the rest."
"What's in all these boxes anyway?"
"My life. Papers, pictures, photo albums, textbooks and my academic career."
"Well, let's go back and get the rest."
They returned to the warehouse. Jim asked Blair if he wanted any of the furniture. The only thing Blair wanted was the small desk and chair that was still in one piece. His mom had bought him that when he had started at the university. Jim loaded it in the back of his vehicle. There were three more boxes that he also loaded. He went back up to the living area. Blair was going through things in the kitchen, putting some into a box.
"Are you going to be long?"
"A while. I have to go through this stuff. Why don't you take the keys and drop off your load? I'll be there shortly."
"Okay. But be careful."
"I'll be careful, Jim."
Blair handed Jim the keys to the storage unit. Jim left the warehouse and went to drop off his load at the storage facility.When Jim went to move a couple of the boxes to make room for the desk and chair, a couple of file folders fell on the floor and the contents fell out across the floor. Jim went to pick up the contents, noticing they were pictures. Then Jim noticed the pictures.
They were drawings - of Blair. And the majority of them were nude drawings. And a lot of them were Blair at a much younger age. Jim looked through all the drawings. He was shocked to see that Blair was so young. He looked at the bottom of the pictures where the dates were. Some were as early as 1983. Blair would have only been 12 then!! How could such a thing have happened? Did his parents know anything about this? Jim continued to look at the drawings.Jim heard Blair coming. He was going to confront Blair about this. This was a disturbing find.
Blair carried in the last of the boxes. He saw Jim just standing there - the folder in his hand.
"Something wrong, Jim?"
"Yeah. Maybe you can explain these."
Jim handed Blair the folder. Blair looked through it and smiled.
"I took art classes as an undergraduate."
"You were an undergraduate at 12?"
"No. I didn't start at Rainier until I was 16."
"Then who was taking advantage of you at age 12, drawing you nude? And where were your parents?"
This was all starting to sound too much like an interrogation to Blair. "Hey, chill man. First of all, it was just my mom and me. And second of all, they needed models. It's art, man. Learning how to draw the human form. You make it seem dirty. It wasn't. I was one of the best models they had. I could keep the pose for hours. My mom gave her permission and the drawing teachers paid for my services. It gave me extra spending money. I was one of the favorites. When they had open drawing classes, I was a model for them. Most of those were clothed sessions. It helped me to earn spending money when I couldn't get other jobs because I was too young. Once I started at the university, I kept on as a model and even took an interest in art myself. I developed an appreciation for drawing the human form. I almost got a minor in art. I liked drawing the best. One time, the teacher even took us to the morgue to see a dead body. It was awesome."
"Awesome? Right. I still don't like the fact that people were drawing you nude when you were underage."
"That was years ago, man. And nothing bad happened. It was all for art."
"Do you still model?"
"Not for some time. I've got too much else to do. So, do you like the drawings?"
"I'm not sure. It was a surprise to see them. It only shows that I don't know you at all."
"We're different people, Jim."
"You're right about that, Sandburg."
Blair put the folder back into the box and locked the storage unit. He turned to Jim. "How about Chinese?"
"Much better than the deli."