Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Everyday Life Series

Summary: Jim comes home to find Blair on a 'seek and discover' mission.

This crazy little bit came to mind a day or so ago, partially because of some odd conversation Robyn and I were having about Jim coming home to find Blair....well, doing what he's doing in this story. ~grin~ You'll just have to read it to find out. It's short and blatantly without a plot.

A Study in Flannel
by Becky
April 1999

Jim knew from the moment he walked in the loft door that something was up. Or maybe down was the word he should use as he watched a gray t-shirt float through the air to land on the couch cushions. It joined two other t-shirts and a gray plaid shirt decorating the downstairs furniture. Pausing a moment, he cocked his head, listening. Muttered words from above echoed clearly in his ears. He closed the door quietly and pondered the situation for a moment. The continued noises and uninterrupted murmurs told him the culprit hadn't heard him come in.

After dropping his keys in the basket and hanging up his coat, he walked across the room, stopping to pick up the gray t-shirt. Why is he tossing my clothes over the railing? He frowned, giving the shirt a closer examination. Wait a minute. This isn't mine. He sighed and draped it over the back of the couch, then continued toward the stairs, calling out as he did.

"Sandburg?"

No answer. Just more mutterings and the soft rustle of material being pushed aside. Shaking his head, Jim jogged up the stairs.

"Sandburg?"

Still no answer. He stepped onto the landing and eyed his room, taking note of the disturbed piles of shirts on his wire racks. Another shirt lay crumpled on the bed. What is this? Early spring cleaning or something? And just my closets?

Turning away from the bed, he stepped further across the landing to stand in front of the small upstairs closet. Or rather in front of the open closet door and the space which partially hid his roommate amidst the hanging clothes.

"Sandburg!"

Blair jerked and twisted around quickly. "Oh, hey, Jim." He raised a hand to shove loose hair out of his face. "Didn't, uh, hear you get home."

Hands on his hips, lips twitching in amusement, Jim commented wryly, "So I noticed." He gestured toward the closet. "Chief, what are you doing in my closet?"

Blair glanced at the closet, then back at Jim. "Your closet? Oh, yeah, right." He turned again, ducking back inside. "Actually, to be honest, I'm looking for something. Have you seen my green flannel shirt?"

"Your green flannel shirt." Jim crossed his arms. "Chief, you're wearing a green flannel shirt."

"No, no, not this green flannel shirt. My other one. It's a little bigger than this one, older, and the front pocket is torn." Blair backed out of the closet, chewing on his lower lip as he surveyed Jim's bedroom with a critical eye. "I know it's got to be around here somewhere. I just saw it a couple weeks ago."

Jim asked, "And you would be looking up here because...?" His lips twitched again at the sight of Blair's mussed hair. Looks like he got caught in a tail wind or something.

Blair turned, blowing away the stray hairs clinging to his face. "Because I thought maybe you'd borrowed it again the other day when you were washing the truck."

"Again? What do you mean again? I don't borrow your clothes."

The younger man just stared at him, raising an eyebrow. "Uh-huh, sure, Jim, whatever you say." He snatched up the shirt from the bed and jogged down the stairs, waving a hand back behind him. "It's not like I really mind or anything, just let me know if or when you find it, okay, Jim? I need to wear it while I work on a project at the University later this week. And I don't want to get paint on any of my nicer stuff."

Jim moved to the railing, watching Blair gather the strewn clothes from the lower room. "Chief, I don't know where that shirt is. And why would I? I do not borrow your clothes."

Blair paused a moment below him, shifting the pile of shirts once, a slight grin developing on his face. "Jim, I found these up there." He lifted the pile of shirts. "I've caught you wearing this gray plaid shirt of mine several times. And if you actually take a good look at that blue shirt, which I know you wore yesterday evening, hanging on the side of the wire rack upstairs, you'll realize that's mine too." He disappeared from view, heading into his room.

Frowning, Jim turned and stared at the said blue shirt. He walked to the rack and touched the shirt with a few fingers. Soft, worn, and comfortable flannel met his touch. One of the softest thing he ... owned? Taking the shirt from the hook, he held it up, then shifted it around to look at the size tag. The size is right, so why... He flipped the tag upwards to see the other side.

And there...at the bottom of the tag...penned in a very familiar hand...with a permanent marker...was one simple word. Sandburg. Jim remembered vaguely how Blair told him once that some of his clothes had his name on the tags. Clothes that he'd brought with him on trips so he knew which ones were his.

The detective sighed. A green flannel shirt. Right. I wonder where I put it...

- The End -