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

Summary: Blair does some "Jim-watching."

For Robyn who asked for a "Blair observing Jim" story. I know this isn't quite what we discussed on the phone, but this is where the muse led me.

Observations
by Becky
December 1999

Observing is what I do. Actually, teaching is my job; well, it would be if I didn't have spend all day listening to old geezers yammer on about the 'good old days'. But observing is what I do. In particular, observing Jim and his...Jimness. Blair hazarded a glance over the top of the latest issue of 'Anthropology Monthly' to see the topic of this thoughts frowning at his task at hand. Like now, for instance.

"If you're watching me again, Sandburg..."

"Nope." Blair raised the magazine back up, covering his eyes and the merriment dancing in them as well as his wide grin.

Jim grunted at him and continued with his self-appointed duty -- matching his white socks -- a task one very picky detective decided that a certain roommate couldn't do correctly after he wore so-called "unmatched" socks for a week. And considering his current state of "whiny-ness" over the day of meetings with "stuffy old professors," Jim had been even more unwilling to let Blair fold socks, worried he might do them damage or something.

Blair suppressed a snort and tried to concentrate on the article. Damage. Ha! And how can white socks be unmatched anyway? Jim, you are one strange guy sometimes.

Fifteen seconds later, he couldn't resist and peeked over the top edge of the magazine again to see Jim with his back to him, arms held in the air. Curious, Blair tried to look around Jim's form, but he moved. Blair leaned further to one side and was finally able to see that the detective was holding up two socks to the light coming through the balcony windows and squinting at them judgmentally.

As Blair watched, Jim turned them around several times, eyeing them, his mouth set in a small frown. He ran sensitive fingers over the toe and heel areas, testing the "wear-and-tear," Blair figured. Jim even brought them up to his nose, sniffing them -- and promptly sneezing at the whiff of detergent and softener. Without turning, Jim reached behind him, laid one sock over the arm of the couch, and picked up another. And started the process all over again with a serious intent that left Blair at the mercy of hysterical giggles.

Blair clapped one hand over his mouth and tried to raise the magazine to hide him from view with the other. It didn't work since the represssed laughter shook his frame so hard he lost his grip on the magazine and it fell to the floor with an audible slap. A loud laugh broke forth and he grabbed a pillow to stuff over his face to muffle the noise.

"I thought you said you weren't watching me, Chief." Jim still hadn't turned as he continued to examine the socks.

"I'm.not," Blair gasped out as he set the pillow aside and fumbled to pick up the abused magazine.

"Doesn't sound that way to me."

Pausing in the midst of smoothing out the wrinkled pages, Blair protested. "I'm just sitting here. Reading." Laughter began to sneak into his voice again as Jim nodded in satisfaction at the two socks and folded them together. Blair bit his lip and raised the magazine.

"Uh-huh. And observing. And trying to not to fall off the couch laughing." There was a pause, then a low chuckle. "Your magazine's upside-down, Chief."

Blair blinked and realized Jim was telling the truth. He turned it around and stuck out his tongue at Jim as he did. Then he frowned and re-lowered the magazine. Jim was now sitting on the couch, quickly and efficiently folding his socks, matching them with apparent ease.

"Hey!" Blair sat up, the magazine forgotten. "You were doing that on purpose, weren't you!?"

"Me?" Jim touched a hand on his chest, then shook his head. "Don't know what you're talking about." He went back to folding, humming contentedly under his breath, a slight smile on his face. His eyes met Blair's for a moment and he winked at him.

With the surprised realization that his grouchiness had vanished, Blair slowly lifted his magazine and went back to reading, a smile hanging at the edges of his lips. A minute or so later, Jim, arms full of neatly folded socks, stood and headed for the stairs. Blair lowered the magazine and said quietly, "Jim"

The bigger man stopped at the base of the stairs and turned toward him. "Hmm?"

"Thanks."

Jim just smiled at him and continued on his way up the stairs, still humming tunelessly under his breath.

Blair shook his head fondly. Like I said, you're one strange guy, Jim, but I wouldn't want you any other way.

- The End -