FEEDBACK TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: http://brothersinarms.tvheaven.com
DISCLAIMER: The characters of The Sentinel are the property of Petfly etc. This fanfic was written for my own and others' enjoyment. No money has been paid and no copyright infringement is intended.
CATEGORY: Holiday story.
WARNINGS: M/M pairing.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Originally written for My Mongoose Holiday Ezine, which I know will send some frantically scrabbling for their delete button. I've expanded it since then but I don't offer that as a plea to read this, I thought it was just fine before, once it went through the excellent beta process that I have, it was just that when I read through it again, it felt unfinished.
I know absolutely nothing about Child Protection Services in the United States though I have nursed several children here in Australia who slipped through the protection net. Some didn't survive. For that reason, I'd like to dedicate this story to one little boy in particular, who deserved a chance at life and didn't get it.
So, for Shane, you were loved and you are missed.
What better than a Christmas story on the eve of Easter.
Happy Holidays to you all.
Detective Jim Ellison looked up from where he was sprawled on the sofa as he heard his partner arriving home. Blair pushed open the door and stepped inside, immediately swiping the hated police cap from his head and tossing it onto the counter.
"Hey there," Jim greeted him. He stood and moved quickly to Blairs side, lowering his lips to the other mans forehead. He stepped back and wrinkled his nose at the sour smell that emanated from Blairs uniform.
"God, Chief, what did you roll in?"
"Sorry, man," Blair said tiredly. "Baby puked on me."
Jim placed his fingers under Blairs chin and tipped his face up, leaning in for a proper kiss that had Blair sighing and melting against him, despite the badly smelling uniform. Jim dialed down his sense of smell to compensate. He took a breath and studied his lover intently. "Are you okay? You look tired."
"I am a little beat," Blair admitted. He disentangled himself from Jims embrace and pulled off his tie. "Im going to go take a shower. I must stink."
"Well, I didn't want to say anything " Jim let the comment hang then echoed Blair's expected rejoinder silently as the other man walked to the bathroom, shedding clothes as he went.
"Smart ass," Blair threw over his shoulder.
Shaking his head, the detective gathered the items up and deposited them in the laundry hamper before going into the kitchen to boil water for tea.
When Simon Banks had first announced that the Commissioner had ordered Blair do a month-long ride-along with the uniform branch as part of his police training, Jim had balked angrily at the idea. His blessed protector instinct kicked into overdrive, not to mention a healthy dose of jealousy as he thought of his guide partnering anyone but himself.
"I thought we had an agreement, sir," he said to Simon, his anger making his words sound razor-sharp. "Blairs my partner. Hes done the required firearms training."
Blair surprisingly had quashed his complaint, agreeing readily to the duty. "I think its a good idea, Jim," hed said, one hand stroking Jims arm soothingly, calming ruffled feathers with action and voice. "Its only for four weeks." He did a quick mental calculation. "Ill be done by Christmas."
Finally, Jim had relented, but not before going privately to speak with the cop that Blair would be partnered with. Bill Griggs was a tough, no-nonsense vet with a heart of gold, who took Jims concerns with the proper dose of seriousness. "Im not going to let anything happen to your partner, Jim. I know how important a partner is. Hell be safe with me." Jim, feeling slightly mollified, had sworn the man to secrecy and left it at that.
Now, with his partner back at his side, Jim focused his hearing on the sounds of Blair relaxing under the shower and got on with making the tea. The very fact that his lover was completely silent under the shower sounded alarms. Blair was a sing in the shower kind of guy; any other night Jim would have been thanking every deity he could think of for the blessed respite from Blair's on-key but loud and repetitive bathroom concerts. Tonight, he'd give anything to hear Blair burst into a rousing rendition of "Smoke on the water."
It had been a tough four weeks. Blair had become progressively morose as his time in uniform wore on, his fatigue evident in the fine lines that framed his blue eyes. Initially, he had regaled Jim with stories of his day on the beat but as Christmas drew nearer, he became withdrawn, depressed at his inability to fix all the problems he encountered. It was probably the worst time of the year to be seeing life at street level. The festive season had a nasty habit of turning poor, honest folk into desperate, angry people and fracturing happy relationships with the upward tilt of a glass of booze.
Jim pushed away his dark thoughts as Blair emerged from the bathroom in a cloud of steam, a towel slung low about his waist, a second one doing mop-up duty on his shorter but still unruly curls. He'd been told that he didn't have to cut his hair; that he could tie it back but Blair had insisted that a visit to Jim's barber was a wise move. Coupled with concern at being the odd man out, Blair was also worried about the attention he might attract, not a foolish idea given the feeding frenzy that his fraud confession had aroused.
The detective picked up the mug of tea and headed toward his lover, following him upstairs. Blair lowered himself to the bed with a sigh and accepted the tea with a grateful smile. He blew tendrils of fragrant steam into the air before sipping appreciatively. "Thanks, man."
Jim sat beside him and waited until Blair drank his fill before taking the mug from his hands and placing it on the bedside table. He pushed Blair back to lie against the pillows, smiling as his lover sprawled out bonelessly. Reaching down, Jim pulled the towel from Blairs waist and indicating to the other man to lift up, pulled it free and tossed it over a nearby chair.
Pulling open the bedside drawer, he found a small bottle of massage oil and poured a small amount into his hands, sneezing then quickly dialing down his sense of smell at Blair's whispered command. He urged Blair over onto his stomach and began to stroke his broad hands across the tense muscles of the other mans back. He allowed his fingers to knead gently at the nape of Blairs neck, not being able to resist leaning in to deposit a soft kiss there. He took his attention lower, stroking firmly across the small of Blairs back and down over each firm, muscled ass cheek, then along the length of each leg, before gently fondling the ball of each foot.
Placing a hand on Blairs hip, Jim encouraged the relaxed man to turn to his stomach and straddled his body again before pouring more oil into his hands and repeating the performance on Blairs front. He couldnt help noticing Blairs erection hardening at the attention, despite his lovers exhausted state.
Finally Blair spoke. "We got a call to an apartment building, kids crying. The neighbor had tried to get them to open the door but they refused. Mom and dad were out on the town and the kids had been left alone for God knows how long."
Blair's voice wavered and Jim reached out and took his hand, squeezing it softly as he took a deep breath then continued. "The apartment well, lets just say, mom wasnt Martha Stewart. There was no food in the place. Three little kids. I don't think the oldest girl would have been more than eight. The two older ones were so quiet. The baby was so distraught that she puked all over me when I picked her up. The neighbor gave me a bottle of warm milk and I managed to get her to sleep. Their little faces, Jim " He leaned up on his elbows and squinted into the darkness at Jims face. "I wish Can we go tomorrow and buy some things, toys, clothes?"
"I guess we could do that," Jim said. "You know you cant buy toys and clothes for every kid you see on the job, right?"
Blair sighed and flopped back, placing his arms under his head. "Yeah, I know. Just this time, all right? Look, you dont have to get involved in this. I understand that."
"Well hit the toy shop in the mall tomorrow before they close for the Christmas break," Jim suggested. "How about we split the bill now youre earning a wage?"
Blair smiled at him. "I love you."
"Ditto." Jim pushed Blair back and extricated his hand from Blair's grasp and continued his ministrations, pausing only when a soft snore emanated from the lax body below him. The sentinel dialed up his sight. Blair was asleep, his eyes still framed with shadows of exhaustion but his brow finally free of the furrows of sadness that had haunted him for the past month. He looked at peace with himself and the world. He looked beautiful, Jim decided. It was not a word he would normally attribute to a male lover, he thought but in this case it was entirely appropriate.
Jim leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to Blairs full lips. "I got my Christmas wish, Chief. You back with me, safe and sound."
Jim awoke to something wet swiping down his foot, the sensation so delightful that it made his toes curl. As he stretched languorously, said toes were enveloped in a moist cavern and given a thorough tongue bath.
"Mm," he managed to get out. "Nice."
Blair's riotous curls appeared from the foot of the bed, a wide grin in place. "My thanks for last night," he said. He shimmied up Jim's body, his torso sliding along knees, thighs, cock and abdomen until he was face to face then bestowed a soft, lingering kiss on Jim's lips that made them tingle. "Good morning."
Jim fisted one hand gently into Blair's hair and pulled him back in for a more thorough mapping of his sweet-tasting mouth. "You've been up already," he noted, not surprised. "You taste like toothpaste."
"Yeah, well, your senses are always spiking a little first thing in the morning," Blair said with a shrug. "My guess is you need a little time awake before you can manage control." He winked rakishly before sliding back down to devour a hard nipple. "Didn't you ever wonder why I'm such a morning sex person?" he asked around a mouthful.
Jim arched up into the sweet torture, his breath catching, sweat already breaking out on his brow as Blair's hand slipped down between their bodies and scraped a fingernail along Jims already weeping erection. "Didn't want to ask," he panted, pushing his hips up to get more contact with the maddening hand. "You might have thought I was complaining and stopped."
Blair released Jim's nipple with a satisfied slurp and slid further down his lover's taut body, the hair on his chest igniting fire in Jim's groin as it scraped against the sentinel's hypersensitive skin. A hot tongue teased up his erection tearing a moan from his throat. Blair's head appeared once more from below his belly. "I take it you don't want me to stop?"
"You do and I swear I'll kill you, Sandburg."
Blair shrugged before descending on Jim's balls like a starving man. "Just checking," he mumbled.
Jim felt him push against the backs of his thighs and lifted his legs readily, bringing his knees up toward his head and holding himself open to Blair's loving. The first swipe of wet tongue over his pucker had him bucking into the air, his breath gone. Blair's hands clamped down on his hips.
"Dial it down, man. Just a fraction. I want you to come in me."
The words themselves were almost enough to make him erupt but Jim gritted his teeth and managed with short panting breaths to pull his sense of touch back. He waited, suddenly feeling foolish as he lay with his ass in the air, his hole suddenly chilled from the cool air drifting across the wetness of Blair's saliva.
"Beautiful," Blair whispered. He looked at Jim and once again a wide grin lit up his face. It was something that Jim knew he would never tire of seeing - Blair happy.
The younger man leaned in again and began to ghost across Jim's ass with feather-light touches of his tongue and just when Jim thought hed explode, Blair stopped, reaching up to fist Jim's erection once more with slow firm strokes. "Want to give you a little bit of everything today, Jim," he said.
Lowering his head once more, the ends of his hair brushed enticingly over Jim's balls as Blair went down on him and began to suck his cock voraciously. His tongue made a slow journey up one side then his teeth took over raking down until they reached his sac. He continued to suck Jim for long minutes, bringing him to the brink of orgasm, pulling his mouth away at just the right moment, leaving Jim gasping like a grounded fish. The older mans balls and cock ached and he was sure he was going to explode. "Blair, please."
"Okay, no more teasing," Blair replied, a note of reluctance evident in his voice. He leaned sideways to open the drawer of the bedside stand then stopped dead, as Jim reached out and captured his own drooling length, stroking hard from tip to root.
Blair closed his eyes and pumped steadily into Jim's tight fist. "Oh, man, that's nice, Jim." He straightened up so that he was on his knees, his legs astride Jim's body and fucked Jim's hand casually for a moment. At the first drawing up of his balls, he pulled away almost roughly and extricated a condom from the drawer.
Tearing the package, he rolled the rubber on over Jim's cock and bestowed a soft kiss to the head of the sheathed penis before grasping Jim's shoulders and rolling them both so that now he lay on his back on the bed with Jim hovering over him. He lifted his legs and placed his feet over Jim's shoulders.
"When did you get so strong?" Jim growled, rubbing his hands appreciatively over Blair's firmly muscled arms.
Blair shrugged. "Bill showed me a few tricks," he answered laconically. As Jim's hands tightened possessively on him, he smiled. "Easy, big guy. Bill's got to be like a hundred years old, man."
Jim leaned in and nuzzled at Blair's throat. "You like old men, Sandburg," he said. "You like me."
"Oh yeah, that's right, I do. Maybe I'll give old Bill a phone call, see what he's doing on the weekend." He collapsed in laughter as Jim nipped his neck lightly and trailed a tickling finger along his ribs. Blair sobered after a moment and looked up at Jim seriously. "I love you, Jim."
"I love you, Chief." Jim found the lube and slicked his fingers then pushed one inside his lover. Blair arched up at the pleasant familiar sensation, then as Jim pushed further inward, rubbing against Blairs prostate, he urged himself back onto Jim's hand, pressing until Jim's palm lay flush against his ass cheeks. He began to move back and forth, fucking himself slowly at first but then with more vigor as Jim inserted a second then finally a third finger into his ass, scissoring and rotating them.
Jim wrapped a hand around Blair's erection at the same moment as he withdrew his fingers and replaced them with his cock. Pushing gently, he breached the still firm ring of muscle and immediately felt Blair's channel clutch at him, its hot velvet grasp pulling a moan from his throat.
"Now, Jim, now." Blair was already bearing down on him, then arching up into his stroking hand, his body slick and gleaming with sweat as he rode the shaft impaling him. Simple nonsense words spilled from his trembling lips as his body writhed.
Jim grasped Blair's ankles and moved them from his shoulders, pushing himself away slightly from Blair's body and changing the angle of his thrusts so that he stroked against Blair's prostate over and over. "That's it. Come for me," Jim urged as Blair cried out when a particularly hard thrust had him pushed up almost onto his shoulders and still he bore down hard as though he was trying to get all of Jim inside him.
Feeling his orgasm surging up from his cock to obliterate all rational thought, Jim pulled Blair's legs wide apart, opening the younger man to the onslaught. He pounded him faster until with a strangled cry, he froze as his coming paralyzed him and he felt his warmth gush into the condom. Distantly, he registered Blair's passage clenching spasmodically around his cock as his lover came in a rush over his hand.
Jim pulled out and slumped to one side, his arms reaching instantly to draw Blair to him, enveloping the still shuddering young man in the warmth of his arms. His lips placed a soft kiss on Blair's brow before Jim turned him in his arms so that they were spooned together, back to chest, cock to ass. Jim stroked a loving hand down Blair's back, soothing the heaving breaths, gentling the younger man until he lay boneless, sprawled against him, eyes heavy once more with the bliss of completion.
"Sleep," Jim whispered, kissing an ear. "We've got the day off."
"That reminds me," Blair exclaimed, sitting up suddenly and throwing off the covers, letting chill air into the warm haven. "We're going Christmas shopping. Come on, Jim. Shake a leg, man."
Jim watched his lover bustle about with restrained amusement. As the other man disappeared down the stairs to the shower, Jim shook his head in fond exasperation and dragged himself from the bed.
"What do you mean, they've gone?" Blair shifted a brightly colored shopping bag from one hand to the other and regarded the social worker in shock. "Gone where?"
Margie Williams looked at the earnest young man standing in front of her, a pile of gaily-wrapped packages in his arms and several others held by the well-built police officer behind him.
She knew Jim Ellison and had worked alongside him on several underage prostitution cases when he was in Vice. She'd heard too about his partner, Blair Sandburg, and had seen the press conference regarding his fraudulent dissertation. She knew now that she'd been right all along. Jim Ellison was a tough son of a bitch, who didn't take crap from anybody. If Blair Sandburg had faked his thesis and used Ellison's name, there was no way known that the man would still working with Jim as his partner.
She looked at Blair now with new respect. Margie had seen kids like Blair before. They came from single parents, the wrong side of the tracks, had the wrong color skin. She glanced down at her own dark-skinned, now wrinkled hands. Some of them were content to hustle for a living. Every now and then a kid came along with a certain look in his or her eye, a hunger for knowledge, a desire to get somewhere in life and Margie would go into bat for them.
She'd heard that Sandburg had worked on his dissertation while riding along with Ellison plus teaching, not an easy task for anyone. Then he'd thrown it away just when he was on the cusp of achieving something he'd worked years for and joined the police force. That was one hell of a partner and friend. She hoped Jim knew just how fortunate he was.
"I'm sorry, Blair. It was entirely out of my hands," Margie said now. "Shelters and foster homes are full to brimming over at this time of the year. It's tough out there as you've no doubt seen. The parents made an application to have the children returned to them, and as there were no prior charges against them, we had no choice but to release the children back into their care. The parents have been cautioned and counseled and an appropriate report has been placed. The best I can offer you is that should the children come through the system again, they will be flagged."
"System? Flagged? You make them sound like a car part," Blair huffed.
"Easy, Chief." Jim's hand descended onto the young man's shoulder and Margie saw an unspoken understanding flicker between the two men. Blair nodded and stepped back to stand at his partner's side.
"I'm sorry, Ms. Williams," the younger detective said quietly. "I know it's not your fault."
Margie smiled gently at Blair and Jim. "I understand your anger, Mr. Sandburg, I really do. When I first got this job, I was na´ve enough to think that I could rescue every underprivileged child in this state. It didn't take me long to realize that I wasn't doing the children any good by trying to buck the system. Now I work with it and sometimes we have a victory."
Blair looked up at Jim. "We could take the gifts to the apartment," he suggested.
"They're not there anymore," Margie said. "Mr. Kramer lost his job. They told me they're moving back to Chicago. I don't think it would be a good idea for you to go there anyway. Some parents don't take kindly to accusations that they're not taking good care of their children."
"They're not," Blair replied doggedly.
"The law says they are," Margie said gently. "If you go there, even just to give some toys to a few frightened kids, and he asks you to leave and you don't, Kramer could scream harassment, and you run the risk of putting those kids totally out of our reach. I have a friend in Child Protection Services in Chicago. I'll make sure someone keeps an eye on them."
Blair stared at her for a long moment then sighed and nodded. He held the packages out to her. "Think you could find a good home for these presents?"
Margie accepted the gifts with a smile. "I'm sure I can. Thank you."
The two men turned to leave then Margie called to Blair. "Ella," she said. He looked at her in confusion. "The baby you cared for the other night," she explained. "Her name is Ella."
Blair smiled. "Thank you."
28th March, 2002.
Back to story archive