Strange Relationship

by J L Blackstone

Author's disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended etc.

Author's notes: Short Blair story. Jim never makes an actual appearance.

Story Notes: Sequel to Love Lost. References discussion mentioned in Time's Up. Pairing B/m Rated PG.

Strange Relationship
Jessica L. Blackstone

"...Yeah. No it wasn't as difficult as I thought. Uh-huh," Blair nodded although he knew Jim couldn't see him through the cell phone. He absently loosened the hair clasp with his free hand as he walked through the lobby. "Well, I still have the practical on Monday. Is that Simon? Okay, talk to you later."

Blair ended the call with a sigh as he left the building. It was a relief to at least have the written exam out of the way. It really hadn't been as difficult as he had thought and somehow that worried him.

He shook off his doubts as he stepped into the broad sunlight and began walking towards his hotel. Blair had been smart enough to book a room close by to the building the American Board of Forensic Anthropology utilized for their examinations. He hadn't wanted to risk the fickleness of D.C. cab drivers or the weather. The crazy plan he had outlined for Jim so long ago was just about to come to fruition. He was finally going to be officially certified as a Forensic Anthropologist.

That is, if he passed.

Within moments he was walking into his hotel and on his way up to his room. He shrugged out of his coat and promptly sprawled across the bed. Blair closed his eyes, consciously relaxing every part of his body as he began to ponder how he was going to spend the next couple of days. He had missed this, being in a new city with different sounds, sights and people. Guilt shot through him at how much he was enjoying being alone. Away from Jim.

Blair sighed as he sat up and finished undressing. He knew he had hurt Jim by refusing to let his lover accompany him, but he had needed to do this alone. Ever since the rape he felt like he wasn't in complete control of his life. No, that really wasn't the feeling exactly.

He'd been on his own since he was sixteen; living alone, roaming around the world and handling unknown situations with ease, even enthusiasm. Then he met Jim, settled down and that was good, it really was...only he wondered, worried if he was still the same person who would fly to Zimbabwe on a moment's notice if he had no prior commitments?

He still felt isolated. Even though he had been back at work for over a month now, he hadn't seen any real action. It was ten times worse than when he first started being an observer. Now he knew just how much they were keeping from him. Hell, even his patients were making no demands on him and he was their counselor! He hated being treated with kid gloves, like he would shatter into pieces at the slightest remark, or worse yet--explode.

It seemed like nobody knew how to treat him. After all, he had been kidnapped! It was interesting from a psychological or even sociological point of view but from the victim's it was extremely irritating. Thank God he had forbidden Jim to tell anyone, including Simon the full story about what happened.

It went beyond frustration to have all his attempts to return to normal repeatedly destroyed by the concerned looks and awkward behavior of everyone at the station. He felt marked every time he walked into Major Crime. Not that he could really blame them. No, they were taking their cues from Jim.

A solicitous Jim was an annoying to the extreme. He could tell that Jim was trying to make things okay, but then again that was the whole problem--wasn't it? Blair's thoughts circled once again. Everyone was trying, he was trying, Jim was trying and it was just too much. He needed to get away, somewhere where no one knew him. This trip to D.C., to take the exams he needed to pass for his certification, was an answer to his prayers.

He had to prove that it was still in him, not only to them but more importantly to himself.

Sandburg let out the breath he had been unconsciously holding as he made his way through the crowd inside the darkened club. This was one of the things he had wondered about most of all, his response to someone trying to pick him up. It had been lurking in the back of his mind for the last couple of weeks. A thought he couldn't shake. Definitely not something he could mention to Jim. He winced at even the idea.

Yeah Jim would definitely kick his ass if he knew where he was...

He walked over to the bar and ordered a beer. Blair took a casual look around, immediately noticing the couple of interested looks being thrown his way but not meeting any one pair of eyes.

After paying for the beer he started to slowly stroll around the perimeter of the dance floor. The strobe lights instantly made him think of Jim and how he would hate it here. The lights would annoy his heightened eyesight. At least that's what he always figured whenever Jim turned down the suggestion of going out clubbing. He frowned as it occurred to him that they'd never danced together, ever.

Blair gave a slight snort as he took a drink. 'Funny that he'd think of that now, when he was on the other side of the country and couldn't ask Jim about it. Come to think of it,' his musings were abruptly interrupted by the solid mass suddenly blocking his path.

He lifted his head and stared at the handsome giant with a shaved head.

"How are you doing?" the stranger asked in a surprisingly deep but gentle voice.

"Pretty good." Blair gave a slight smile and took another drink to hide his nervousness. Well, this was what he wanted.

The stranger smiled and gestured to the undulating bodies behind him. "Care to dance?"

Blair shifted his attention to the current song, a fast one that would easily allow him to maintain his distance during it. He nodded and placed the bottle down at one of the small tables they passed on the way to the dance floor.

He allowed the heavy bass beat to direct his feet and let the music saturate him. The stranger was a good dancer, complementing his rhythmic movements smoothly. Blair laughed as he was soon lost in the dance, his fears washed away in the pulsing beat and flashing lights. He had forgotten how fun this could be.

His smile of delight lingered as the song ended, and they made their way to a side table. "You're a good dancer," the guy commented as he sat across from Blair.

Blair blinked as he got his first good look at the guy. He had one of the most intense pair of eyes he'd ever seen. "Thanks, it's been a while."

The guy raised his eyebrows slightly. "I haven't seen you here before. You just move to town?"

Sandburg shook his head. "I'm only here for a few days. Um, look I'm here just to dance..."

"Fair enough. Name's Kraddick."


Kraddick glanced at the dance floor and then back to Blair. "Shall we?"

Blair slid off the stool, his heels giving a little bounce as they met the floor. The evening passed in a blur. Between dances, most of which were with Kraddick, he hung out at the table talking to the oddly handsome man. He learned that Kraddick had worked as a bouncer for the past five years but was now trying his hand at acting. He gave Blair his number before leaving, telling him to call if he wanted someone to hang out while he was in town.

Blair immediately thanked him. He seemed like a truly nice guy and the offer of friendship genuine.


His dancing slowed as the fast song came to an end and a slow song began. "Thanks, man," Blair said as he casually gestured to his current partner that he wasn't interested in another dance. He stood for several seconds just watching the couples around him slowly swaying to the music, wondering again what it would feel like to dance with Jim.

Blair began edging his way off the dance floor when he felt someone watching him from behind. He took a deep breath and slowly turned, his eyes closing in an attempt to deny seeing the second, barely admitted reason behind this lone trip to D.C.

Finally opening his eyes to find himself locked in a stare with Lee Brackett.

Lee was instantly caught by the awareness shining in the intense blue eyes and stepped forward to meet Blair halfway, smoothly slipping into the dance.

Blair's hands lightly skimmed up his muscled forearms, coming to rest on his shoulders as if it was the most natural thing in the world, not once breaking the smoldering gaze.

The magnetism that always existed between the two men flared into a firestorm, making him even more guarded.

Brackett's hands tightened as he pulled Sandburg closer and stared silently into the wonderful blue eyes. Lee had to be certain, and stilled, closing his eyes the instant that he felt those warm, and soft, so soft full lips meet his.

He moaned when Blair deepened the kiss, thrusting inside his mouth, the tongue brushing against his, just like--better than in his dreams. At last. Brackett quickly took back control, thrusting inside the beautiful mouth intent on tasting Blair down to the bone.

How long the kiss lasted, neither man knew but it seemed a lifetime. Lee regretfully released the warm sweetness with a last suck on the bottom full lip and opened his eyes to scrutinize the emotion shining from the deep blue eyes.

It was a pale shadow of the one that filled the blue eyes during even the most casual glance at Ellison. Brackett stared into those eyes, reading the silent invitation. The man would go through on the promise. He even knew that Blair would allow himself to enjoy it. But it would just be sex. Gratitude. Bitterness filled him as he gently withdrew his right hand from the soft tangle of curls and stepped back.

Blair's hands fell down to his sides when Lee pulled away. He continued to stare into the handsome face, wondering at the array of emotions flashing through the normally inscrutable blue-grey eyes until there was only one conclusion.

Brackett gave a single small nod, before turning on his heel and disappearing into the dancing crowd.

A fast song was playing.

Blair flicked on the light switch as he shuffled into the hotel room. His sight instantly drawn to the white object lying in the center of the neatly made bed. A business card.

He briefly closed his eyes as he picked up the white card, something releasing deep inside as he read the number: just a phone number, nothing else. Not even a "Mister Sandburg."

It was over.

Well it was what he had wanted. One way or the other. Blair sat down on the bed, staring blindly at the card he held in his hand, and remembered the pain he had briefly seen in Brackett's eyes. The card was the last promise he would get from the rogue agent. Now it was up to him. If he ever needed Brackett or changed his mind...

Sandburg shook his head to throw off the disturbing thoughts that were threatening. His gaze falling on the clock. It was about eleven in Cascade. Jim would probably just be getting home from work.

He picked up his cell phone and began dialing.


Dear Mr. Sandburg,

On behalf of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Inc., I would like to congratulate you on your successful certification of qualification in Forensic Anthropology.

We welcome you as the 167th diplomate to our esteemed group. As a diplomate you are entitled to use the designation "Diplomate of the American Board of Anthropology" and the initials "DABFA" whenever professionally appropriate.

Your name will be listed in the next revision of the Directory of Diplomates. Certificates of qualification in Forensic Anthropology are valid for three years.

Again, my congratulations, Blair. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call me.

Saul Eisenberg
American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Inc.

The End

Author's Notes: ABFA information acquired from the official website: