First Published: May 1st , 2004
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Jim/Blair
Word Count: 43kb

Summary: The Major Crimes Team go to see a stage magician and hypnotist, Jim is under a spell and Police porperty (handcuffs) are definately misused

Raoul Escobar paced the entire length of the stage, his dark eyes intently scanning the faces of his victims. He'd been doing the same act for nearly twenty-five years, and there was always someone in the audience who gave him trouble. There was always one smart aleck among them who refused to believe, a skeptic, ready to denounce him on sight. He wasn't afraid of such people. In fact, he welcomed them.

The men now seated in a row up on the stage with him were such a group. Part of his preparation at each venue was to gather intel on his audience from the host, so he knew that the guys giving him a hard time throughout his conjuring act were cops. They stared at him defiantly as he launched into the second part of his act.

"Look only at me now. Do not look away. In a moment, you will extend your hands straight out in front of you, your palms approximately twelve inches apart. You will close your eyes. The moment you close your eyes, you will feel as if there are magnets in your palms."

Raoul stopped in front of a short guy with long, unruly hair. The hippie probably worked Vice, and was giving Raoul a skeptical look, unable to resist casting furtive glances at the men sitting next to him. In the chair directly to his left, a big guy with eyes like chips of ice sat poker straight, watching intently as Raoul continued to pace. This guy would be a challenge.

He'd been the quietest of the bunch, but Raoul was no fool. The big guy was also the one repeatedly giving away his secrets in loud whispers to his colleagues. Raoul was beginning to suspect that the man had some experience with stage magic, as there was no way he was close enough to actually see the sleight of hand being used. It was exasperating.

Now that the 'magic' was over and the second half of Raoul's act, the hypnosis, was underway, he silently congratulated himself on having selected the annoying group of cops as his victims. At least this way, he could incorporate their 'heckling' into the act, and perhaps even turn the tables on them.

"Your hands will begin pulling and tugging together," he continued. "As your fingers touch, you will allow them to interlock and clasp your hands down tightly."

Raoul smiled. Certain people were easy to hypnotize, the sort of people used to following orders, the sort of people used to listening to instructions. They were his bread and butter. Smile diminishing a bit, Raoul decided that the Hippie Guy wasn't one of those. He watched the kid thrust his hands out as instructed, while glancing back and forth to see if the others had also complied. Raoul placed him into the category of people whose minds were full of crap, whose attention flitted from subject to subject, never lingering in one place for long. They were always the ones who gave him the most trouble. They were difficult, but not necessarily impossible. Focusing his eyes on the men seated in front of him, Raoul went to work in earnest.

Blair's smile started out small, but soon was taking over his face. This was turning out to be a lot more fun than he'd expected. When he'd discovered that Jim had been given the task of arranging the venue for Blair's 30th birthday party, he'd expected to be dragged to some seedy strip joint. But the Major Crimes cop had surprised them all by booking them seats at Raoul Escobar's Magic Show. Escobar was a living legend, and Blair had been dying to see him in action ever since he'd first seen the show advertised.

"You're doing fine. You're doing perfectly," crooned the magician in a soothing tone. "Close your eyes. The moment you close your eyes, it will feel as if there are magnets in your palms. As I count backwards from 3 to 1, the pull will get stronger."

Blair snuck another look to his left. Jim had been systematically feeding his colleagues information on how all the magic tricks were done. His sentinel senses had given him an unfair advantage over the hapless stage magician. The ensuing jovial heckling from Rafe and Brown had earned the entire team the dubious honor of being chosen to participate more fully in the second half of the act. So now Blair sat with the other four men in a row on the stage, facing the audience, sweating under the merciless stage lighting. He was busily thinking up inventive ways to kill the detectives responsible when the magician spoke again.

"Close your eyes. Squeeze your eyelids down tightly. As you do so, your hands will move closer, tugging and pulling. Feel the magnets in your palms. Your hands are being drawn together."

Blair closed his eyes and gave his hands an experimental tug. His palms flew apart, the left hand smacking against Jim's arm. He opened one eye and shot a sideways look at his partner, ready to apologize for thumping him, but his mouth fell open in shock. Jim seemed to be struggling to keep his palms apart, brows drawn tight in a frown of concentration.

"The closer your hands get, the stronger the pull, locking down, sealing shut, fingers tightly closing together the moment they touch. 3... 2... 1, the pull is getting stronger. 3... 2... 1. Lock down, sealed shut, tighter and tighter together."

Blair gave up even pretending to go along with the act. He stared at Jim, watching in amusement as his friend's arms began shaking with effort. He would never have believed that Jim Ellison of all people could fall so easily under a hypnotic spell. Blair turned to his right to share the joke with Simon, only to find the Captain in a similar state. Blair's eyebrows achieved orbit. "3, 2, 1, locking down, sealing shut, clasping tighter and tighter together. You're doing fine."

Blair leaned forward, straining to see past Simon to the last two seats, where Rafe and Henry sat, fingers locked together, eyes squeezed tightly shut. Oh man, this was priceless!

Raoul sighed. Four out of five were good odds in anyone's book, but he would have liked to be able to count the hippie among the ones under his spell. Instinctively, he knew that the kid would have been hilarious. However, there were still ways of including him in the act. He walked the length of the stage, pausing only to finish his speech.

"There is nothing you can do, say or think that will allow your hands to separate. Try to unclasp your hands now." He stopped in front of the kid, looked down at him with a smile. The kid shrugged apologetically back. They both knew the hypnosis hadn't worked here.

"Stop trying to unclasp your hands. Allow them to remain straight out in front of you. I'm going to touch your hands. The moment I do that, they will easily and readily unlock. In fact, the moment I touch your hands, you will relax every muscle in your body and become limp and loose as if you were made from a handful of rubber bands."

Raoul walked along the row of men, pushing their clasped hands down into their laps and commanding them to, "Sleep". Four heads lolled forward, and a loud snore echoed across the stage, making the audience titter.

Raoul crossed to the microphone and looked out at the audience. "Hmm, seems one of my 'subjects' has managed to resist the awesome force of my will."

The audience roared with laughter, and Blair went crimson with embarrassment. Raoul beckoned him over to the floor mike, and he stood reluctantly, fixing his eyes on the stage as he went to stand beside the magician.

Although Blair was used to standing up and delivering lectures to an auditorium full of students, he felt very vulnerable and exposed standing there on a stage in front of an audience of over 300 people. At least at the University, he was the one in control.

"Hello, sir. How are you? And what's your name?" said Raoul, shoving the mike in Blair's face.

Blair jerked back, his eyes wide with surprise "Blair. Blair Sandburg. And I'm fine, thanks," he replied quietly, squinting into the glare of the spotlights.

"Good. Okay, Blair, can you tell us a bit about your colleagues here?" Raoul replaced the mike in its stand then stepped behind Simon, placing his hand on the Captain's shoulders. Blair licked his lips and leaned towards the mike.

"That's Simon. Captain Simon Banks, of the Cascade PD's Major Crimes Department. He's our boss. His bark is way worse than his bite, but don't tell anyone I said that."

The audience laughed. As soon as the hilarity died down, Raoul patted Simon's shoulder. "So. Cops, huh? Does he like coffee, Blair?"

"Like, duh!" Blair rolled his eyes. That was the understatement of the year. Simon had once joked that even the fancy, expensive stuff tasted like Maxwell House, but so long as it contained caffeine, Simon Banks would drink a gallon of it.

Raoul leaned forward and murmured something into Simon's ear. Next, he stepped behind Henry Brown. "And who's this?"

"Er, that's H. Detective Henry Brown. We all work in the same department. What can I tell you about H? Well, he likes women, rap music and, oh... women." Blair smirked at his own cleverness.

Raoul smiled and patted H's shoulder lightly. "Not into opera then?"

"Ah, actually yes, he is, but no one is supposed to know that. He used to be part of an amateur operatic society a few years back, but I guess he wasn't very good. Shit, he's gonna kill me for this."

Raoul murmured something into H's ear and then moved over to Rafe. By now Blair had gotten with the program. "That's Rafe. He's Brown's partner. He likes nice clothes, a tidy desk, neatly written reports, and-- and oh yeah, he loves Starsky and Hutch. Starsky is his hero."

Raoul whispered to Rafe, then moved over to Jim while the audience again roared with laughter. Blair was really beginning to enjoy himself again. So long as he didn't actually attempt to look at the audience, he was relaxing more and more by the minute.

"That's Jim Ellison. My partner. Now, see, Jim's a bit of a neat freak, loves junk food, tall redheads, and he's far too protective of me. Coming here tonight was all his great idea." Blair waved his hand at the audience and his friends. When Raoul leaned close and whispered in Jim's ear, Blair noticed for the first time that his partner was looking a little strange. He narrowed his eyes, taking in the faint sheen of sweat on Jim's forehead, the glazed expression, the rapid rise and fall of his chest. The wide grin slipped from Blair's face. Jim was... Oh fuck, Jim was zoning out on something! Spotlights, noise levels, the magician's monotonous voice -- anything could have started him off. Blair felt incredibly guilty for not having noticed sooner.

Raoul wandered to the front of the stage and began talking to the audience, so Blair edged closer to Jim, carefully moving away from the microphone. Once he got close enough he began his 'bring Jim out of the zone' dialogue and missed most of what the magician was saying.

"I have placed certain suggestions into the minds of the gentlemen seated before you. They will be compelled to act in a very precise manner when they hear trigger words. For Captain Banks, the trigger word is 'coffee', for Detective Brown, it's 'office', Detective... Rafe's word is 'major', and Detective Ellison's is 'Hutch'." The audience laughed at each of these revelations, but Raoul did not elaborate further as to what each man would actually do upon hearing the magic words. "At this point, ladies and gentlemen, I will ask that you refrain from clapping until the end of the show, as this may interfere with the hypnotic process."

Stuffing both hands into his pockets, Raoul turned his back on the audience, and scanned the line of victims seated before him. "Listen very carefully. Shortly I will clap my hands together three times. On hearing that, you will all snap out of your trances and return to normal, with no memory of what has happened. Now... all of you, wake up."

"Jim. Focus on the sound of my voice. Concentrate," Blair whispered, sighing in relief when his partner's unseeing eyes blinked, then snapped into focus.


Roaul had made his way back to the floor mike and took in the audience with a sweeping glance before looking at his slowly awakening victims. "Captain Banks, your officers are a credit to you, sir."

Simon's head snapped up, and he blinked a few times, looking like he had just awakened from a nap. "What? Oh! Yeah, thanks."

"Do they look after you, captain?" Blair squeezed Jim's wrist reassuringly, but he couldn't help turning to look at Raoul as he spoke. There was something about the tone of his voice that suggested the shit was about to hit the fan.

"Eh, yeah, I guess so." Simon was looking around in a dazed fashion, no doubt wondering what the hell he had missed.

"Do they bring you nice, hot cups of coffee?"

"JIM! MY OFFICE, NOW!" yelled Simon, leaping to his feet, his chair toppling backwards and hitting the wooden floor with a bang. He looked around with an expression of confusion and surprise. Blair's eyes widened as he caught a movement beside Simon.

He watched in horror as Brown stood up, staggered to the front of the stage, grabbed the mike, and took a deep breath before bursting into song. "Ooooooooooh, I am the very model of a modern Major General..."

"FREEZE!" Rafe rolled across the stage, coming up onto his knees and pointing an imaginary gun at Simon, who was trying to wrestle the mike out of Brown's hands. Blair silently offered up a prayer of thanks that the cops had decided to leave their real firearms at home that evening.

Simon made a face but kept on struggling with Brown, who steadfastly continued to sing. Rafe leapt over the row of chairs, knocking one flying as he went, and landed behind them in heap on the floor. The audience went wild as Rafe's head bobbed up over the top of the row. He again waved his phantom gun at Simon, while shouting at Blair. "Hutch, take this sucker down!"

Blair's mouth opened in shock. He had been so intent on helping Jim that he really hadn't been paying attention to what was going on. He began to get to his feet but found himself thrown to the floor and felt 200 pounds of cop plastered to his back. "Keep your head down, Chief," Jim growled, his eyes flying around the room.

As Blair struggled to get up, Brown launched into verse two while Rafe commando-crawled across the floor. Simon covered his ears with his hands but still heard Raoul repeat the coffee comment and barked, "Ellison! Are you in my office yet?"

Jim grabbed hold of Blair and pulled him to his feet. He shoved Blair roughly behind his back, unconsciously placing himself between his guide and the danger he saw all around.

"No, sir! Gotta protect Sandburg." He scowled at Simon defiantly.

"Hutch, get your ass over here!" Rafe wailed, ducking back behind the seats.

Yet again, Jim threw Blair to the ground. This time, Blair managed to roll onto his back before Jim landed on top of him.

"Jim. Get the fuck off me!" he mumbled, voice muffled by the muscular pecs squashing his face. Thinking was becoming quite difficult too, what with the growing erection in his pants stealing his brain's blood supply. He squirmed with embarrassment, trying to keep the evidence out of Jim's sensory range. At these close quarters, he was definitely fighting a losing battle.

Blair had come to terms with his odd attraction to his very straight roomie long ago, and so far he'd been sure he'd managed to keep it a secret from the Detective. Right now, Jim would have to be dead not to feel the hard evidence pressing against his stomach.

Jim lurched to his feet, leaving Blair where he lay. He barrelled forwards, grabbing Rafe by the front of his shirt and lifting him off the ground. "What's your problem, wise ass?" he snarled into Rafe's face.

Rafe waved his imaginary gun in Jim's face. "Hey, you're messing with the wrong cops, tough guy," he sneered, looking over Jim's right shoulder to where Blair was frantically tugging on Jim's shirt. "Cuff him, Hutch!"

Jim's eyes narrowed into tiny slits as he dropped Rafe to the floor. Blair watched in horror as his friend went on full alert, eyes darting everywhere, brain assessing a non-existent danger. A split second later, Blair found himself being thrown over Jim's shoulder.

"Fuck! Jim, put me doooooown!" Blair howled, watching the world whiz by upside down at dizzying speed. If Jim didn't put him down right away, he was going to throw up. He could hear the audience cheering madly as the 'conquering hero' made off with his struggling prize. The next thing Blair knew, he was being thrown into Jim's truck and belted in like a five-year-old.

Jim didn't say a word. He leapt into the driver's seat, threw the truck in gear and screeched out of the parking lot. Blair used his arms to brace himself as the truck roared up the road, dodging the occasional motorist that dared to get in the way. They arrived at the loft in no time, and despite Blair's desperate attempts to reach him, Jim still hadn't calmed down. "Jim, what's up? You're acting really weird, man," Blair asked worriedly as he was dragged up the stairs. Jim remained silent as he unlocked the door, making sure Blair stayed behind him as he stepped across the threshold. "Jesus, you are so freaking me out. What the hell is with you anyway? You know the guys will never let you live this down."

Jim didn't take his coat off as they entered, or allow Blair to take off his. Taking a firm hold of Blair's wrist, he hurried up the stairs to his bedroom, dragging Blair behind him. Blair began to struggle as they reached the top. "Jim, what are you doing? Why are we--?"

"Stay here, Chief. You'll be safe up here." Jim gently pushed Blair onto the bed, then stepped back. "I'll protect you," he promised, taking off his coat and throwing it on the bed. Then he turned and retreated back down the stairs. Blair gaped at his retreating back, finally getting it. Jim was still hypnotized. It was the only explanation for his over- protective behavior. Blair tried to recall anything that might help here. He had the strangest feeling that he'd missed something important. He peered over the railing and saw Jim take up a position against the far wall of the living room, where he had the best view of the windows, door and bedroom. He had clicked into full 'Sentinel' mode now, determined to protect his little tribe of two. Blair noticed Jim had retrieved his gun from its lockbox, so he ducked back out of view. He didn't think Jim would shoot him, but he also didn't want to take any unnecessary risks.

He sat on Jim's huge bed and tried to remember anything that might help here. The magician would probably have used a word to break the trance, but Blair had been otherwise occupied helping Jim with the zone out at that point and hadn't heard it. Try as he might, Blair just couldn't call to mind any specifics.

Blair lay down on the bed, turning his head into the pillow. The scent of Jim's shampoo still lingered there. Unconsciously, he rubbed his cheek against it and stared sightlessly at Jim's alarm clock, the bedside lamp, the book Jim was reading, the ticket confirmation letter for the show.

Sitting bolt upright, he grabbed the letter from the side table. At the bottom was a phone number for inquiries, along with all the dates and venues for the show. The bedside clock told him that the show had been over for half an hour. Crossing his fingers, Blair slipped his hand inside Jim's discarded coat and... hallelujah! The cell phone was there. His hands shook as he dialed the numbers, afraid that Jim might hear and try to stop him. It took some doing, but he finally managed to persuade the manager to put him through to Escobar's dressing room.

"Yeah, hi. Is this Raoul Escobar? Oh, great. Hi. Look, I hope you can help me, man. My partner and I were at your gig tonight." Blair felt himself blush to the roots of his hair when the magician immediately recognised him "Yeah, that was us. Listen, I think Jim might still be hypnotized. Yeah, yeah -- oh! Okay, three times. Check. Thanks, man, I appreciate--"

Blair didn't get a chance to finish the sentence. The phone went flying as Jim launched himself on top of Blair, growling angrily at the cell as it skittered off the bed and fell through the railings, shattering on the floor below. Blair managed to clap his hands together once, but Jim caught his wrists and pinned them to the bed on either side of his head.

"Who the fuck was that?" he asked, his breath hot on Blair's face. His eyes, in counterpoint, were cold and glittering. Blair tried to wriggle free, but Jim's body crushed him into the mattress. "Well?" Jim snarled, baring his teeth. Blair shivered. Jim was one scary dude when he got intense like this. It was terrifying, and -- well, a huge turn on, if he were honest. Having Jim's body pressing down on him was the answer to every wet dream he'd ever had. And it had happened twice in one night, so he couldn't help but get hard, but right now he had to stay focused.

"Let me go, Jim," Blair hissed, trying to stay calm, trying to stay motionless. Jim's nostrils flared once, and Blair wondered if he could smell his arousal. He watched Jim's eyes dilate, felt his muscles tense. Oh, shit. Asked and answered.

"Jim. Jim, please." Blair made one last futile attempt to wrench his arms free. In response, Jim easily pinned them both with one of his own hands while he reached into his back pocket for the handcuffs he always carried. "Oh, no, no, man, not that!" begged Blair, truly frightened now. He had never failed so thoroughly to bring Jim back from whatever world he inhabited inside his own head. And what if Blair couldn't guide him back this time? He shivered at the thought.

Jim snapped the cold metal over one wrist. Blair tried again to buck the heavier man off, gasping when his cock grazed against Jim's thigh. He might not like being cuffed to the handrail, but his cock, apparently, loved the idea.

"Jim, don't," he groaned, feeling every movement his partner made through the thin fabric of his shirt as Jim secured the cuffs and made sure they were tight enough.

"You have to stay here, Blair. It's for the best," Jim assured him in a reasonable voice. Blair took a deep breath and roared at the top of his lungs, "HELP! HELP ME, SOMEONE! Hmmmph--" Jim's hand clamped over his mouth, cutting off the frantic shouting. "Ssssh. You have to be quiet," he whispered against Blair's ear, the tiny puffs of breath sending shivers right down Blair's spine, "or they'll find you."

Blair closed his eyes and groaned. God, this was like a scene right out of one of his fantasies. He squirmed on the bed, trying to ease the pressure on his cock, which was rubbing painfully against the zipper of his jeans. Jim sniffed the air again, and Blair began reciting an internal mantra, "I am not turned on by this, I am not turned on by this, I am-- God, I am SO turned on by this!"

When Blair opened his eyes again, Jim was gazing down at him, his head cocked to one side. Reaching forward with his free hand, Jim brushed an errant curl away from Blair's eyes. "You know I'll always protect you, right?" he asked in a soft, intimate voice.

Blair nodded mutely, never breaking eye contact until Jim finally moved his hand from Blair's mouth allowing him to breath again. Jim leaned in closer, using both hands now to hold back the riot of auburn, spreading Blair's curls across the pillow. He took a fistful of hair and brought it up to his nose, inhaling deeply. Blair squirmed again, fighting for self-control in a situation that was totally out of control.

Jim let his face sink into the mass of hair on the pillow, nuzzling against Blair's neck until Blair moaned loudly. Jim's tongue, hot and wet, swiped across his throat, the sensation robbing him of breath completely. "I'll never let anyone hurt you, Blair," Jim pledged, licking Blair's jaw, the underside of his lower lip, the corner of his mouth. Blair was panting now, his chest rising and falling with shallow little breaths. There was no point in trying to hide his erection as Jim's body was covering his own so thoroughly. He tried not to arch his back, tried not to make it any more obvious that he was not only 'ready', but oh, so very, very 'willing' and 'able'.

"I'll protect you." The words were said like a sacred vow, whispered against his mouth. Blair closed his eyes, letting his lips part. He gave in, gave up, relaxing and surrendering to the sweet pleasure. Jim's kiss began softly, but rapidly caught like a brush fire and spread. Jim was eating him alive, their tongues tasting and entwining with each gasping breath, mouths parting to drag in a lungful of air, only to dive back in again a second later. Blair's arms ached from their position above his head, and he longed to be free to touch, to let his fingers roam over all that smooth, rippling flesh.

Then reality hit. Jim was straight. This couldn't be happening. It had to be an effect of the hypnosis. Maybe Jim's senses had short-circuited and he was acting on instinct. Blair wanted Jim to want him, but not like this. He wanted Jim Ellison to be as hard as nails, panting with lust and need, aware of what he was doing, and as willing as Blair was.

Dragging his mouth to the side, he pleaded, "Jim, stop! I'm begging you here!"

Jim not only ignored the plea, he upped the ante by taking twin handfuls of Blair's shirt and ripping it open, exposing the dark swirls of hair on Blair's chest. Jim frowned and cocked his head again, eyes assessing the alien landscape that was Blair's furred chest.

"No, please!" Blair moaned, but it made no difference.

Jim leaned his head down and dragged his tongue over one of Blair's already erect nipples. "Oh, GOD!" Blair arched his head back as a bolt of lust shot straight to his groin.

He gasped as Jim's tongue, lips and teeth made their way over his skin. He clasped the railing, his knuckles white and strained, arching into Jim's touch. His bowed body revealed the truth, even as his words of protest denied it. He wanted this to stop, but he needed it to go on. He wanted to give what Jim was taking, but he would have preferred to have been asked, to be given a choice. Now it seemed that they were way beyond that point. And yet, he couldn't let this happen. He would never be able to live with himself if it turned out that Jim hated him the next day.

"Jim, unlock the cuffs. Please. I want to touch you," he begged, voice rough and husky with desire. Even if only one hand were free, he could surely manage to clap three times before Jim restrained him again. Jim pulled back, glittering blue eyes searching his face. "Can't, Chief. Can't take the risk. Have to keep you here with me." Jim shifted and brought his lips down on Blair's other nipple, using his tongue to thoroughly bathe the sensitive nub. Then he blew gently on it, eliciting a startled gasp from his prisoner.

"Ahhhh Jim, fuck! You have to stop. Please!" Blair was not above begging. If only Jim would get off him. If only he would stop with the licking and, and-- oh, God, the sucking! There was sucking happening now!

Jim's mouth moved at last from Blair's abused nipple, leaving it erect and glisteningly wet, puckering still further as the cool air of the loft caressed it. Jim's head moved lower, following the intriguing line of hair that ran from the center of Blair's chest, down to his stomach. He took a moment to circle Blair's belly button with his nose before pushing his tongue deep into the indented navel. Blair couldn't have kept his hips on the bed if his life depended on it. "Jesus! Jesus, Jim, listen to me!" he cried frantically, trying to wriggle his navel out of the range of Jim's questing tongue. "Please! I couldn't stand it if you hated me, Jim. Please!"

Jim raised his head and looked up at his friend, the confusion radiating from his gaze almost enough to break Blair's heart. "I could never hate you, Blair. Don't you know I love you?" Jim whispered, bringing his lips down to kiss the quivering flesh just above the waistband of Blair's jeans.

"No! God, no, no, you don't. Jim, listen, you're still... oh!" Jim's eyes were black in the low lighting of the bedroom, glittering and intense, as he deftly unfastened the snap of Blair's jeans and pulled both them and Blair's boxers slowly down his legs. "Shit, Jim!" As his now fully-erect cock sprung free and slapped him in the stomach, Blair couldn't help but look down at his friend. Jim's grin was the sexiest thing Blair had ever seen as he buried his face in the thatch of wiry curls and inhaled deeply. "Blair, you smell so good," he mumbled again the hot flesh, his voice reverberating through every cell of Blair's body.

Blair was almost beyond reason now, knowing that he couldn't fight this much longer. "Please. Listen-- OH!" The sentence was choked off when Blair saw his cock enveloped in Jim's mouth and felt the hot wet suction begin. His head flew back, eyes crossing in pleasure at the sensations sleeting through him. His fingers closed on the steel railing, letting the cold metal bite into his palms. This felt so much better than he could ever have imagined.

Despite the fact that Jim was a novice at the art of giving head, he was picking it up remarkably quickly, alternating between licking and probing the leaking slit with the tip of his tongue, and sucking all of Blair's cock into his mouth until Blair was muttering incoherently with need.

Blair hadn't been with anyone for months. One night stands had ceased to hold any interest when he'd finally admitted that he was in love with his roommate, so what Jim was doing to him couldn't last. He wanted to warn his friend, wanted to give him some kind of sign that he was close, but his mouth didn't seem to be connected to his brain anymore. As the unexpectedly soft lips continued to slide up and down over the weeping head of his cock, all he could do was hang on tightly to the rail while writhing and moaning in ecstasy.

Jim was slowly, steadily, lovingly bringing him to orgasm, and it felt so fucking good! It felt so right. And he just didn't care anymore if Jim was under a spell or not, so long as he didn't fucking stop! Blair's orgasm coiled in the pit of his stomach, tighter and tighter, his focus narrowing until all he could see was the top of Jim's head moving up and down. All he could hear was the moist, wet noises of suction. All he could feel was Jim's mouth, tight and hot and wet, faster and faster, spiraling him out of control, until he cried out with a shout of joy and completion.

"Jim! Yes! Oh God, Jim, yessss!" It exploded outwards, tore free from him, bending him backwards like a bow, stretching his muscles taut, wrenching at his wrists still secured to the railing. He hovered there, eyes wide and glazed, trembling as his orgasm ripped through him. Then he was falling, boneless and spent, into the darkness of satiation, hardly aware that Jim was licking him clean.

"Happy birthday, Chief."

"Oh, yeah," rasped Blair, trying to get his breathing back under control. "Best..." he swallowed and started over, " damn birthday-- ever!" Then in slow motion, Jim's words registered somewhere in the logical part of his brain and his eyes snapped wide open. "Jim! You-- you're okay?"

Jim's face swam into view, the widest, most shit-eating grin Blair had ever seen, nearly splitting his face in half.

"Of course I am."

"But what about the hypnosis, the cave-man tactics, Jungle Jim?"

Jim reached up and unlocked the handcuffs, then pulled Blair into his arms, burrowing his nose in the sweat dampened strands of Blair's hair. "You're the only one who can mesmerize me, Chief."

Blair was trembling with the aftereffects of his mind-blowing orgasm and all the adrenaline still shooting through his sweat-drenched body, but at least his mind was beginning to come back online. He pulled away, twisting until he was as far away from Jim as he could manage, trying to pull the edges of his ruined shirt together. It was the only piece of clothing he still wore. "You were never hypnotized?" he accused shakily, trying not to jump to any conclusions.

Jim sat up, at least having the good grace to blush. "It didn't work. I was a little embarrassed, so I pretended to go along, and then I noticed that it hadn't worked for you, either. When Escobar whispered in my ear what he wanted me to do, it sort of gave me an idea. I wasn't zoning out, Chief. I was plotting out a little experiment in my head."

"Jim. I don't understand." If Jim hadn't been hypnotized, then all this, the kissing, the licking, oh, God, the blow-job -- what had it meant?

Jim reached out, touching gentle fingers to Blair's face. "I've known you were attracted to me for a long time, Chief. With my senses, it was impossible not to see it." Blair closed his eyes in mortification. He'd been so sure that he'd been hiding it. Jim took a deep breath and let his hand drop away. "It freaked me out to begin with, believe me. I mean, I'm not into guys at all."

Blair risked a peek, and saw that Jim was trembling too. He quickly looked away again as Jim continued. "It took me a very long time to realise that I felt the same way about you, but even then I was scared shitless. What if I hated it? What if I tried it, and didn't like it? Tonight, I guess I saw an opportunity to test the waters."

"By pretending you were hypnotized?" Blair leapt to his feet, his shirt slipping from one shoulder, the uncharacteristic flush of anger bringing pinpoints of color to his otherwise shock-white face. "Jim, do you have any idea how bad I felt, thinking you were going to hate me when you snapped out of it?"

Jim hung his head. "It seemed like a good idea at the time. My plan was to cuff you to the bed and kiss the crap out of you. If it really did suck, then I could blame the hypnosis so no one would get hurt, but it didn't work out the way I'd planned. Once I had you here, all helpless and responsive, I couldn't control myself. I'm sorry."

Blair dropped down onto the bed, his eyes falling to the expanse of pale blue quilt that separated them, unable to meet Jim's eyes. He had dreamed about how it would feel to be able to admit out loud how much he loved his partner, and to hear his words echoed back from Jim's lips. Maybe he was a romantic fool at heart, but the words 'blowjob' had never been part of his fantasy. Jim's hand reached out again, tentatively. "Can we start again, Blair?"

Blair leaned into the palm that was stroking his cheek, and took a deep breath. "Did you mean what you said about-- about--"

"Loving you?"

Blair nodded, forcing his eyes open and up to meet the warmth of Jim's gaze. "Yeah, I love you, Blair. Always have, almost from the first moment we met. Sorry it took me so long to admit it."

Blair surged forward, knocking Jim flat on his back. All the months of pent-up frustration and denied need broke forth in a kiss that left them both panting. When he finally released Jim's mouth, the Sentinel's eyes were black with desire, but Blair still harbored the faintest trace of doubt. Pushing himself up a little, he clapped his hands together three times. Jim's eyebrows rose skywards. "What the fuck was that, Sandburg?"

"Just making absolutely sure," said Blair, with a devilish grin. Jim's own grin matched it.

"Clapping, huh? Well, I'm working on a standing ovation here--" He glanced meaningfully down at his crotch where, sure enough, there was a fair amount of 'standing' going on. Blair licked his lips. He had no idea if this thing between them could work, but somehow he knew that if the love were there, then the rest would follow. Jim -- heterosexual, straight-laced, cop of the year -- Jim Ellison, had conquered his fears and conditioning tonight, and had dared to make the first move. Blair had never felt so much love and respect for one person in his entire life.

Slowly reaching for the zipper of his partner's jeans, Blair tried to let his feelings show in his eyes. Jim's slow smile lit up the loft. Oh, yeah! Blair knew it was already the best damn birthday EVER!


Simon Banks stared at the coffee machine suspiciously, wondering why he was suddenly reluctant to switch the thing on. Taking a deep breath, he flipped the switch and dodged backwards. When nothing bad happened, he shrugged and began patting down his pockets in search of his lighter.

Once he was seated behind his desk with a fine Cuban wedged between his teeth, he again tried to call to mind the events of the previous evening. He remembered the magician's act clearly, and Jim's loudly whispered remarks. He remembered them being called up onto the stage, and then things got a little fuzzy.

A moment later, his thoughts were interrupted by a quiet knock and Rafe's head appeared around the door, embarrassment clearly written on his face.

"Well, you look like you remember more than I do," said Simon, nodding his head at the detective. "Come in and close the door. I want all the details."

Rafe entered, closely followed by Brown, who shut the door behind them. The two men slipped into chairs and waited in absolute silence while their captain poured them a cup of coffee. Finally Simon joined them at the briefing table and took a deep breath. "Okay, shoot. I'm not gettin' any younger."

"I don't remember much about what I did, but I do remember you shouting a lot at Jim Ellison," mumbled Rafe. "And H was singing opera. I think he was pretty good."

Simon puffed frantically on his cigar for a moment, brows drawn together in concentration, then his eyes widened as he was rewarded with a sudden flashback. He decided that Rafe obviously wasn't an opera aficionado if he thought Henry Brown's version of HMS Pinafore was even remotely 'good'. Then he remembered something else. "Cuff him, Hutch?"

Rafe winced, suffering, it seemed, from a flashback of his own. Henry began laughing. "Oh, man, Rafe, I gotta tell you, David Soul used a freakin' stuntman to do all those flyin' leaps. And you got right in Jim's face! I thought he was gonna rip your head off!"

Simon grinned. "Do I remember seeing Jim throw Sandburg over his shoulder and making into the night with him? And where the hell did they go, anyway?"

Henry was trying valiantly not to laugh. "Dunno, captain, but I sure as hell wasn't about to stand in his way!"

Simon snorted, Rafe rolled his eyes, and pretty soon all three men were roaring with uncontrollable laughter. A couple of minutes later, Simon took off his glasses and wiped the tears away from his eyes with the back of his hands.

"And where IS Detective Ellison this morning?"

Henry shrugged, blinking through his own tears of laughter. "Phoned in sick. Blair must snore like a bastard when he's had a few beers. Jim said he kept him up all night."

Rafe nodded in agreement, and Simon hid a grin behind his hand. Swiveling in his chair, Simon gave his coffeemaker one last speculative glance before shooing the guys out of his office. Major crimes were being committed all over the city, and that meant major amounts of paperwork. He went to the window and looked out over his domain. "About fucking time, guys," he muttered under his breath. He took a sip from his cup. "I thought you'd never buy a clue!"



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