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DISCLAIMER: Jim, Blair and all other characters from the Sentinel belong to others, not to me. This fic has been written purely for enjoyment, no money has been made from it.
Authors notes: A snippet written in response to a challenge to write a story based on things Blair may have missed out on due to his upbringing with Naomi.
Story set approximately two weeks after Blair has moved in with Jim, one week past the infamous one-week deadline.
"Johnny come lately
Theres a new kid in town"
- The Eagles.
Jim Ellison grinned as Blair walked out of his bedroom dressed to the nines. "Whoa, Chief. Very smooth. Whos the lucky lady?"
Blair grinned back, a trifle self-consciously. "No lucky lady, Jim. Im just going out with a few of the guys from the University, thats all."
"Come on, Sandburg. Youre going out with the guys to drink beer and play pool dressed like that?" Jim said, enjoying baiting his observer.
"Actually, its my birthday and I just wanted to make it feel a little special, okay? Is that all right, Jim?" Blair answered, sounding decidedly impatient.
"Oh, hey Sandburg, Im sorry, I didnt realize. Um Happy Birthday, Chief. The clothes look good. Have a good night."
Jim felt embarrassed now, Sandburg had said nothing about his birthday coming up. "Look, if Id known, I wouldnt have offered to pull this all-nighter with Henri. I honestly dont think the bad guys going to show, but I guarantee you if we dont show up, he will."
"Are you sure you dont want me to come with you, Jim? I mean your senses are nowhere near stable yet," Blair asked eagerly.
"Ill be fine, Chief. Its a stakeout, and I really think the guys in South America by now. Its your birthday, go have a good time with your friends," Jim assured him. "I just wish Id known, Im sorry I didnt get you a birthday present."
"Hey, its cool man." Blair grinned easily. "Birthdays were never any big deal for Naomi and me. Mom always hated the commercialism of occasions like birthdays, Christmas and stuff. We moved around so much anyway, we were never really in one place long enough for me to get to know people well enough to invite them to birthday parties. Naomi always said, we had each other and that was about the best gift a person could have."
"Cant say I fault her sentiments, Chief, but there must have been times you wished for a party or gifts."
"Oh sure, man. You bet," Blair agreed. I wanted the bike and the skateboard, like any kid." He looked at Jim and smiled sadly. "Most of the time, I just wanted to be somewhere long enough not to be the new kid."
Jim smiled back and spoke sincerely. "Happy birthday, Chief. Have a good night." He walked to the door, then turned back to his partner. "Wait a minute, Sandburg, I dont know when Ill be home. Were not always going to be out together and I cant guarantee to always be home when you get here."
He pulled something from the small basket set on the table by the door. "Catch."
Blair caught the silver key-chain and then looked questioningly at Jim. "Jim?"
Jim shrugged. "I know youd be happy with a spare under the mat, Sandburg, but I am not going to have everyone at the precinct laughing at me when some thief doesnt even have to break in to rob me blind. I also dont want you sitting on the front doorstep looking like a homeless waif, if you make it home before me."
"Oh wow, Jim, thank you. This is so cool." Blair graced Jim with a smile that lit up his face. "I dont know what to say. You mean I can stay?"
"Of course you can stay, Sandburg, I thought that was established already. I havent kicked you out yet despite all your disgusting habits, have I?"
"Well, no, I just thought I just figured that Id better start looking for something soon, and thats no big deal, man. Me and Naomi used to pack up and be gone in an hour if she heard of somewhere else that took her interest."
Jim took a breath and tried again, this heart to heart stuff just wasnt his strong point. "I like having you here, Sandburg, I dont want you to leave. Look, its just a key, saves us both a hassle if you come home before me."
Blairs enthusiasm however, would not be dampened. "Its not the key, man. Hey, I was the original latch key kid. Its the permanence; Ive never had that before. Its the best gift anyone ever gave me."
Jim nodded, finally understanding "Happy Birthday, Chief, see you in the morning."
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