Blair, his riotous curls bouncing, looked up in shock and peered over the top of his glasses, perched appealingly at the tip of his button nose, as a bruised and bloodied Jim entered into the loft. "Jim!" he exclaimed, his voice full of concern, as he leaped off of the couch and hurried over to his friend. "What happened? Are you all right?"
Jaw clenched, Jim glared at his younger, energized roommate as he let out a weary sigh and ran a hand over his thinning hair. "I don't want to talk about it," he grunted as he hobbled over to the couch. Groaning, the sound of bones creaking making him wince, he sank down onto the soft cushions. "Just go grab me a beer out of the fridge."
With a gleam in his eyes, Blair hurried over and retrieved the beer. Returning to his friend, he plopped down beside Jim. "Not so fast," he said when Jim reached for the bottle. "First you tell me what happened and then you get the beer."
"Hand it over before I hurt you, Junior." Jim scowled. "I was a Ranger, Covert Ops, I know 120 ways to kill a person with my bare hands."
Blair's eyes flickered up and down Jim's body. "Sorry, man, but right now I doubt you'd be able to take on Ms. Westinghouse's five-year-old grandson. Hell, last time he was here, he kicked you in the shin and you were limping the rest of the day."
"Sandburg," Jim groaned, his voice tinged with exasperation, "just hand over the beer."
"Okay." Blair patiently waited until the other man had downed half of the bottle. "So, now tell me what happened. You were going out with that woman you met last week, right?"
"So, what happened?"
"C'mon, or I'll tell the guys who really hijacked the donut lady and diverted the last delivery of glazed donuts." He reached over and patted Jim's stomach, causing the older man to grunt. "Speaking of donuts, you'd better start going easy on 'em. You haven't been working out as much lately and... well..." He trailed off, a blinding grin on his face.
"Tell me, Jim. Please." He made his best puppy dog eyes, which never failed to work on whoever he used them on.
"Well, I picked up Sherry and... Aw, hell, it turns out she was really part of an elite team of hijackers. They were planning on hitting some shipment of some high tech something or others that were due in next week. She was dating me to keep an eye on the police department. Turns out the shipment arrived earlier than expected. She got a phone call, which I overheard and almost zoned because I didn't have you there to help me, and made some excuse. I followed her and took on the six-person team, without calling for backup because I knew I could handle them myself. Anyway, when I got to the warehouse, I accidentally stepped in a puddle of oil, dropped my gun as I fell, slid into a stack of crates, got knocked out and woke up tied up. But, fortunately, some homeless guy saw what was going down and called 911. Some uniforms showed up, untied me, then Simon showed up with Brown, Rafe and Connor. We managed to catch up with the hijackers. Connor and Sherry got into a bitch-slapping contest 'cause one of Sherry's cohorts said something about how she should have hooked up with you instead and Sherry said something along the lines of hyperactive poodle on speed. For some reason, Connor took offense and mentioned something about hair challenged, grouchy cops who need crazy glue on their guns and then it was off. I'm still not sure which of 'em won. I think they ended up calling it a draw. Of course it could have something to do with Simon getting between them and they both said something about virile, commanding, dignified gentlemen hiding a bod that won't quit under some drab suits." Jim slumped back on the couch. "All I know is that I'm going to go take a long, hot shower and then go to bed."
As Jim slowly got off of the couch, grunting and groaning the whole five minutes, Blair watched silently. When the older man was about to walk into the bathroom, he called out, "Oh, hey, there might not be any hot water. I took a shower earlier and washed my hair." He fluffed the soft curls. "I found a new conditioner that works great, but I have to leave it on for ten minutes. Takes up a little bit more hot water but my hair's never been softer or shinier."
Mumbling something about clipping shears and a grooming appointment, Jim limped into the bathroom to take his *cold* shower. As soon as he was gone, Blair hopped up and bounced over to the phone. "Hey, Megan, it's Blair. I was wondering if you'd like to go out tomorrow... Oh, hey, I understand. I hope you and Simon have a good time." Blair's shoulders slumped as he hung up the phone. But then, remembering that he already had a date with a new, attractive TA for tomorrow night, he smiled and went to get a bag of frozen peas and some liniment for Jim.
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