Don't Turn Around

By Demeter

EMAIL: Demeter

One day after work, Simon and I retreat to a small, rather quiet bar near the station, in order to talk things through. There hasn't been much opportunity lately, or maybe there are just too many subjects he doesn't know how to approach, and I don't know how to put into words.

"I don't know what to say," he admits. "You've been thinking about this for quite some time, haven't you?"

I nod, my thoughts unwillingly wandering back to the moment I've previously held this conversation. Predictably, Simon asks the same question.

"It's -- because of Blair?"

"Hell, just why is everybody thinking that?" I take a deep breath, apologize. I didn't mean to shout, but something about this assumption makes me angry - maybe because there's a grain of truth in it, and I couldn't admit it the first time. And what the hell is so wrong about it? "Yes, maybe. It's true that I always had the security thing in mind as some kind of alternative - but right now, it seems the only way for us. For both of us."

"Then why don't you start the whole thing together?"

Good question, isn't it. I stare into my beer solemnly for the moment, wishing I could answer that. Maybe Blair had some solid arguments there. And if he had, when will there ever be a moment for us to start over?

"I'm sorry, Jim," Simon says when he still hasn't got an answer from me. "This must be hard on both of you. It's not just the job you have to consider."

Can you say suicide attempt? Can you? But hey, we're men. We don't indulge ourselves in drama, right?

"You're missing him."

"Yes, I am," I admit, not overly surprised that my voice is shaky. I take another swig of beer to cover it up. "It *will* all work out. We'll give it a little more time."

"Well, I think it would be a damn shame if I have to lose both of you from this team. You could still do consulting work for the department."

"Thanks. I'd like that - and I'll tell Sandburg about it next time I call."

"Yeah. And you tell him we care, will you?"

I feel myself grin in answer. It might only be glimpses at the moment, but there is a better life out there. Letting Blair walk out the door was the hardest thing, but I think he needed that trust from me. Space.

That's okay with me as long as I can make myself believe he'll be back someday.