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Blair Sandburg returned home to the loft at a late hour. Parking on the street below, he sat behind the wheel thinking for a moment.

He had been living with Jim Ellison for two years now, things had been rough at points but they had been able to make things stable the last few months. He didn't want anything to make it complicated again, but he had secrets and some were coming crashing back at him.

Hitting the steering wheel, he was losing his guarded control of what he held at bay. So much to reveal, and so much to lose, he thought. He looked up at the windows of the place he called home. He felt secure here, something he had seldom felt in the past, always moving or knowing it was a temporary place to stay. Here, he felt stable.

Blair sat back and rubbed his hands over his face, rubbing the tear trails away from his face. "Damn you," he called out in the car. "Damn you Naomi, damn you Samantha, damn you Lash, damn me," he spat. Catching his breath he knew what he had to do.

Taking the keys out of the ignition, he opened the door and closed it. Walking up the stairs he needed to take the steps, counting them as he went. Counting to his own benefit if he was able confront his friend.

Opening the door, the loft was dark. With a sigh he was grateful, but pensive. He couldn’t let it wait till morning, if he did he would never say it, be the coward that he was. Putting his keys in the basket, he toed the shoes off and took off his jacket, hanging it on the peg on the wall. The wall that held his friend's coat, side by side, partnership noted.

Blair wasn't ready to wake Jim. He had to gather his thoughts first before heading up the stairs to Jim's bedroom and tell him his secret.

He headed into the kitchen and filled a mug of water and put it in the microwave. A cup of tea might settle his nerves. He had to find a beginning to his speech, the one he was going to be giving soon.

"I'm a fuck up," he said out loud. "I'm a big fuck up. I make things look easy, I talk a good one but underneath I'm insecure, I'm a fraud."

The microwave dinged. He pulled the mug out and settled the tea bag into the water, dipping it.

"I'm a reborn virgin; haven’t been beyond first base in years. I'm attracted to both sexes. Both sexes give me the best opportunity to finding my true one love." He continued to steep his tea, pulling the honey out of the cabinet. "I date a lot but it's all a cover. I'm good at having a good time, but no action beyond first base usually. Really I'm too scared to go past that, to many bad memories from my past. If I do get hard, it's a miracle and lately the only one that makes me hard is you." He added the honey to his tea. "And you ask why I bring this up now? Because I'm attracted to you, a man, a very straight man who looks at me as a geeky neo-hippie kid that can't find his ass when push comes to shove." Pulling out the tea bag and disposing of it, he took a sip of the hot liquid. "Though I think lately I've done a pretty good job in saving your ass, but that's entirely another story."

"I can't keep it a secret any longer, I need to let you know; let you know that I really like you. I'm not asking you to understand. Hell, I don't even understand. It's not like me to think of a six foot plus, hard body man like you. But the thought of being held by you, being made love to by you makes me cum in fantasies." Blair leaned against the counter. "My life growing up really sucked. I'm a bastard son. I bet you had kids like me for lunch at your school. I spent many times on the receiving end of taunts and been in a few fights."

Blair shook his head in memory of Tommy Thompson and the right hook to his jaw. Wincing to the memory, Blair tried to push the memory away. "And growing up I spent more time with strangers. Naomi won't admit it. I know she thinks she was the perfect mother that she loved me and was with me more, but I know I was with strangers more than with her. I gave up on the perfect mother idea a long time ago." Blair half laughed. "And you thought I was a fraud, she's a fraud upon herself man. I can't explain it to her, she just done me in like she did any person she had a relationship. Whisk into your life, make it a merry go round, then leave when it's to boring or to frightening. She tried to make me the same way, but the last two years I've stood my ground. I love Naomi but I don't expect anything from her now."

Blair started walking around the living room; he came to stand before the doors that looked out over the city. "This is your city to protect and I'm to help you, guide you. That is so cool, finding you. A sentinel, a man with senses to help protect his tribe. So much to learn and uncover and disprove the myths, that this is my ultimate goal, to show the regime that Burton was not on crackpot when he wrote of the tribes, the sentinels do exist in this day and time."

With a sigh Blair added, "And after some work, you accepted me, accepted my help to keep you sane. It's a dream come true."

The lights of the city were agreeing. "Over the year I have found so many qualities that I love in you. I watched you, and wondered I could hold you what it would be like. But I'm scared. Scared you will do what everyone has done to me over the years. Had enough of me and tell me it's time to move on. By telling you I love you, you'll tell me that it was time for me to leave."

Leaning his head against the cool glass, he thumped his head a few times against the glass, and then stood up, turning looking around the room. "This is home." He looked to see things he had added here and there to make it looked lived in beyond the sterile feeling it had when he first walked into the place. "I've never known a home, having someone who expected you to be there, to share with. Most of my life was taken up space in someone's place, mostly unwanted. And people are creative to let you know that you are unwanted. But I'm not going there. Nope can't do that, the pain of the memories way to much." He mumbled, stopping that strain of thought.

** **

Jim rolled over in his bed, half asleep, waiting for Blair to come in. It had been a long day and after dinner Blair announced he had to go out to get some air. That had been six hours before. Now at 1 AM, Blair was moving around the loft. He was about to roll over to get some sleep when he heard Blair mumbling to himself.

He heard Blair tell himself, "I'm a fuck up. I'm a big fuck up. I make things look easy, I talk a good one but underneath I'm insecure, I'm a fraud."

Jim opened his hearing and followed Blair as he moved around the loft and continued with his self-discussion. Jim was surprised to hear Blair's confess that he was in love with him. But why not, he reasoned, he was in love with Blair. But being one to have troubling communicating his own feelings to others, he had never been able to tell his roommate his true feelings.

When Blair got on to the discussion of his mother, Jim sat up and grabbed his robe. Blair was confessing way too much about himself. He had to find out what was really bothering his friend. On his way down the stairs he heard Blair's last comment, "But I'm not going there. Nope can't do that, the pain of the memories way to much."

Jim saw Blair standing before the glass, holding himself as he did when comforting himself. Jim thought how many times he had found Blair doing this gesture, hands holding his upper arms, as if holding him as a mother would do to comfort.

Stopping just short of where Blair was standing Jim asked. "Why can't you do that Chief?"

Blair turned around to see Jim standing close to him. "Give me a heart attack man." Blair stepped away from Jim, keeping a distance between them. Then the question hit him and he realized what he had done, speaking out loud about everything. "Oh fuck," he mumbled. "Blair, you live with a Sentinel, when will you learn." He looked up at Jim and gave him big eyes, "I'm sorry man, I was going to get it straight in my mind before coming upstairs. I can be out of here tomorrow. I'm sorry, I didn't think I …"

"Chief, its okay." Jim tried to cut in. Finally he stepped closer and put a finger over Blair's lips. "Breath Chief."

Blair did that and looked up at Jim.

"It's okay," Jim stated again.

Blair nodded and took a breath again.

"Where do you not want to go to? You said, 'people are creative to let you know that you’re unwanted.' What did you mean by that?"

Blair shook his head and tried to back peddle, "nothing, I mean it's …"

"Blair, so far you have bared your soul. There is still something there to tell. I won't make it any less of you. What you have said so far was been a light."

Blair returned to holding himself. "You heard me say I'm a born again virgin."

Jim nodded, strange phrasing but he had heard it before.

"The reason being is that till I arrived here at Rainer at sixteen I had been sexually abused. I think I lost the number of times I had been abused or sexually assaulted."

"Blair…" Jim moved forward and put his arms around his friend.

"I wasn't wanted; I was just something to play with to some people," Blair explained.

"Naomi?" Jim asked.

"I didn't tell her." Blair stepped further away from Jim, looking out again over the city. "It would have broken her. I kept to myself, trying to make myself small so no one would remember I was there. When she came to get me I would pack quickly and settle in with her, happy that she came back. There was nothing we could do about the past so I just didn't tell her."

Jim touched Blair's shoulder then pulled him into his arms. Blair turned and put his face against Jim's chest. Jim ran warming hands over his back. Blair closed his eyes trying to keep the memories at bay for his past. Jim felt Blair shiver. He pulled Blair closer, trying to warm him. Jim bent his head down and made his first effort to kiss his friend. Blair turned his head up to meet his lips.

They kissed, tasting each other and trying for more. Jim broke the kiss in need of air. "How I love you."

Blair held on to Jim, holding him close. Sighing that he wasn't going to lose what he had. He was going to get more.

Jim held Blair, looking out over the city, watching the lights against the darkness of night. His city, his guide, his love revealed to him. Jim wanders what brought this all on, the confession. "Blair, what happened today? What made you feel like you had to tell me you loved me?"

Blair eased back from Jim and looked up at him. "Earlier today I got a piece of mail at school. It's was from an old friend of mine from my Undergrad days. He confessed to me that he was dieing of AIDS. He wanted to make his peace. That's why I was restless at dinner. He made me admit that I had to say something. With everything that had happened to me, with Lash, Samantha, I had to say something."

Jim hugged Blair again. He was going to reassure him that he loved him. "Where does your friend live?"

"He's back home in Arizona."

"You need to thank him. He may be dieing but he's given us life, a new life together."

Blair smiled then yawned. He looked at his watch and found it to be three in the morning. "Man its late."

"Why don't you get ready for bed and come upstairs?"

"I …" Blair didn't want to go straight to bed with Jim but didn't know how to say no.

"Just to cuddle and sleep Chief," Jim explained. "I don't want to start anything you can't handle. I just want to hold you. We'll learn more about each other before we make any moves."

Blair liked the thought of that. With dredging up old memories, he imagined he would need some peace. "Cuddling is good." He went off to his room.

Jim turned off the lamp and headed upstairs to his bed and rearranged the pillows. Blair came up a few minutes later dressed is sweat pants and t-shirt and holding his favorite pillow. "You sure about this? I've been known to be a bed hog."

"I'm sure Chief. If you do hog the bed, I'll just push you over board."

Blair climbed into bed, settling in. Jim pulled him closer and gave him another kiss.

"Jim, you're a closet kisser." Blair said in mischief.

"Sh-sh, I have a thing for pouty lips."

"I don't have pouty lips."

"Whatever you say Chief." He kissed him again and settled in, leaving his arm over Blair, holding him close. "Night Chief."


Blair closed his eyes and relaxed. He told his secrets and now he had his man. Snuggling closer to Jim, Blair let his fears go and felt confidant for the first time in a long time.
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