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20 September 2010 @ 06:45 pm
Pack Animal 3/3 (The Sentinel/Wolf Lake crossover)  
Here's Part three of Pack Animal, which you can read from the beginning here. Thanks again to aeron_lanart for the beta duties and general hand-holding as I took the plunge into unknown territories. *hugs*

Still not mine, just playing for fun, no harm intended.

Pack Animal Part Three

“Jim, do me a favour and spot me, will you?” Blair asked as Jim entered the apartment.

Jim took in the barbell and training bench that Blair had set up where the couch normally resided and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“A full Skinwalker is far stronger than a human. I want to see what I can do,” Blair explained.

“As long as you’re not experimenting on me for a change, I’m happy to help,” Jim replied with a grin as he walked over.

While Blair was lifting, Jim took the chance to surreptitiously admire the leaner, more muscular Sandburg that had developed in recent weeks. His t-shirt was clinging to him with sweat and with Jim’s Sentinel vision he could take in every nuanced curve and count every bead of sweat.

He followed the trace of his neck muscles up to his face, his gaze resting on those amazing blue eyes and Jim was shocked to find Blair was staring back at him. There was suddenly an almost palpable tension between them, and Jim was very aware that he was inches from his friend’s face. All he had to do was lean down and plant a kiss on those perfect lips. Jim actually felt himself leaning forward, and he could have sworn that Blair seemed to be rising to meet him halfway.

That was when the barbell slipped in Blair’s hand.

“Oh, shit, Chief, I’m sorry,” Jim said as he grabbed the bar and hoisted it onto the safety of the rest.

“No, my fault. Wasn’t concentrating,” Blair replied, rubbing his collarbone as he sat up and turned to look at Jim. For a brief moment Jim thought he saw a guilty look in the younger man’s eyes, but then it was gone.

“Guess we found your limit,” Jim said, half-joking. He looked at the weights. “Pretty impressive.”

Blair was able to bench press 300lb. Not exactly World Record material, but for a man of his size and build it was indeed impressive. His reflexes and stamina had also improved dramatically. Jim had been worried about how Sandburg would cope with the physical and combat courses at the academy but he had no such worries now. Now the only problem would be holding back enough not to raise any suspicion.

“Man, if I were a full-blood Skinwalker…” Blair began.

“Are you sorry you’re not?” Jim asked him. Blair immediately shook his head.

“Are you kidding me? I mean, turning into a wolf would be cool, but from what Willard explained to me, if I flipped my life would be, like, over. The pack are never allowed to leave Wolf Lake; it would mean the end of our partnership, the whole Shaman thing, my doctorate, everything,” Blair explained. “No, man, I got the best deal all round. All of the benefits but none of the drawbacks.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Chief. Your temper could use some work,” Jim replied with a grin.

*-*

Jim was able to leave the precinct early for a change, but it was still early evening when he got back to the apartment. Despite the gathering gloom he could see Blair was standing on the balcony, staring out across the city.

“Something wrong, Chief?” Jim asked as he joined him.

“Storm’s coming,” he replied. “Guess my inner wolf doesn’t like it.”

“That figures. I’m thinking jaguars don’t like thunder much either, because my skin is crawling with all the static,” Jim said with a grin. Blair looked up at him and returned the grin before returning his gaze out to the city.

He leaned into Jim and, well, nuzzled him. Jim probably should have been more fazed by the action, but since accepting his Wolven heritage, Sandburg had become a lot more touchy-feely, and not just when Jim zoned out. And Jim had been forced to accept that he really liked it. In fact, he liked this new Sandburg a lot, a fact that he was taking great pains to try and hide from his partner.

So far Blair had been too preoccupied with learning his limitations and prepping for the Academy. But one day Blair was going to notice that instead of the calming influence it used to be his touch caused Jim’s heart to beat just that little faster. And given that his hearing was now as good as Jim’s that day was probably going to be sooner rather than later. And then Jim could wave goodbye to everything they had.

Jim bit down the traitorous thoughts; they were petty and unfair to Sandburg. Sure, Blair was only into women and would never think of Jim that way, but he would never break up their friendship just because Jim was attracted to him.

No, he’ll probably just explain it as some Sentinel reaction to ‘hyper-intense Skinwalker pheromones’ and offer to talk me through it, Jim thought bitterly.

“Huh? Did you say something?” Blair asked, reminding Jim of his presence. Jim shook his head.

“Not a word, Chief,” he said. But I did think something, he added to himself, slightly worried as he remembered all the times that Blair had seemed to read his mind lately.

Suddenly Blair was backing away toward the door of the apartment, his face a mixture of confusion and excitement.

“Oh, man!”

“Sandburg, what is it? What’s wrong?”

Nothing’s wrong, Jim. Something amazing’s happened! Jim heard Blair’s voice as clearly as if he’d spoken aloud, but he’d watched him the whole time and his lips never moved.

“What the hell?” he muttered, bringing a hand to his temple. Blair laughed.

“Don’t you see what’s happening? Willard told me I’d probably develop a telepathic connection to my pack. But not the pack at Wolf Lake because, Jim, you’re my pack,” Blair explained excitedly, walking back inside the apartment. Confused, Jim followed.

“But I’m not a Skinwalker,” he pointed out.

“No, that’s true,” Blair agreed. But there’s no denying this is happening, he added and Jim could feel the amusement in his thoughts.

“Stop that!” Jim said. “And it’s not funny.”

Blair nodded and began pacing the room, thinking. Jim recognised the pattern from hours watching Sandburg work on his dissertation, or on a tricky part of a case, so he stood back and watched his partner’s brain work.

“Maybe… okay, this is a bit out there, but like you said, when it comes to our animal guides… Remember what I said about how maybe some of your jaguar could have been transferred to me when you brought me back?” he asked but then continued without waiting for a response, “Well, what if it worked both ways, transferred some of the wolf to you? We have a connection, on a spiritual level, which neither of us fully understands,” Blair continued, talking animatedly in the manner that he reserved for teaching and pontificating his theories. A manner that Jim found to be very endearing.

Blair stopped and looked at him askance.

“What?”

“You find that endearing?” he asked. Jim flushed.

“You would pick up on that,” he muttered before holding up a hand. “Look, Sandburg, I don’t really care why this is happening; I just want to know what we can do about it.”

“Do? Are you kidding? We use it! Think about it, with a little training we might be able to communicate silently across great distances. We’ll be unstoppable, partner!” he replied with a grin.

“Oh, swell. And in the meantime you pick up every intimate stray thought I have?” Jim asked. “I don’t get enough privacy as it is, without you being in my head too!”

“Um, sorry, Jim. I thought you’d be cool with this,” Blair said and a wave of hurt washed over Jim through their connection. Coupled with Sandburg’s puppy dog eyes it was more than Jim could handle.

“Dammit, Sandburg! This is exactly what I mean. If we can’t control this thing it could be a danger, not an asset,” he said, but that just made Blair even more upset.

Jim grunted in frustration; as usual he was doing a bang up job of expressing his feelings. He needed to make Sandburg understand and his normal eloquent standards were just making things worse. Then he realised that he didn’t need to be eloquent; the best way to explain was let Blair feel what he was feeling. This was a pivotal moment in their relationship and he needed Sandburg to realise exactly what tapping into his thoughts and feelings was going to mean.

He concentrated on Blair and tried to purposely trigger what he now realised he’d been doing by accident for weeks. He opened up all the bottled up emotions he had related to the Sentinel, to Blair and to everything that had been happening to them recently and sent it all to Sandburg.

Mother Nature apparently has a great sense of the dramatic, as the storm chose that moment to begin with a flash of lightning and crack of thunder directly overhead, causing both men to wince.

“Dial it down, Jim,” Blair said in his Guide voice and Jim nearly laughed at how Sandburg could manage to think about his needs even in the middle of an argument.

See, this is why I love you so goddamn much, he thought and then instantly regretted it, knowing that the connection was still active and Blair had heard that thought.

“You love me?”

“Yeah, dumbass,” Jim practically growled and he closed the distance between them. Blair didn’t flinch or step back, instead he stared up into Jim’s eyes.

“You love me,” he repeated and this time Jim did laugh.

“Aren’t you supposed to be the educated one with the large vocabulary?” Jim pointed out.

Blair seemed to have an internal debate with himself for a few seconds and then he literally pounced on Jim, grabbing the bigger man by the neck and pulling his head down for a crushing, bruising kiss that quickly melted into a soft and passionate embrace.

Love you too, Blair sent with a tidal wave of love and passion and lust that nearly knocked Jim off his feet. So now who’s the dumbass? he added with gentle amusement.

Jim pulled back and stared down into Blair’s eyes.

“Guess we both are,” he said before he pulled him in for another kiss.

They were suddenly interrupted by the phone ringing. Jim pulled away from Blair to answer it, but the younger man used his newfound strength to pull Jim back into his arms.

“Don’t answer it,” Blair said in a commanding way as he leaned up towards Jim’s mouth.

Jim was sorely tempted to listen, but he looked over Blair’s shoulder to the caller ID and his shoulders sagged.

It’s Simon he thought as Blair’s lips reached his. C’mon, Chief, it’s probably important,he added gently as he pushed Blair away again.

“Way to kill the mood,” Blair muttered with a pout and in his head Jim heard a wolf growl, but Blair stepped back and allowed him to answer the phone.

“Hi Simon.”

Hi Jim. I’m just calling to let you know some good news” Simon said. Jim tried to detect some note of sarcasm in Simon’s tone, but he found none.

“Well that makes a nice change,” Jim replied. Simon chuckled.

Yeah, well I thought you’d want to hear this. The Jags are making an anti-drugs commercial and they want it to be a friendly game with Cascade PD. Or, more precisely, Major Crimes,” Simon explained.

“That sounds great, Simon,” Jim answered at the same time as Blair sent,

Oo, can I play? proving that he’d been listening in to the conversation.

It’s rude to eavesdrop, Jim chided; although the effect was probably lessened by the amusement he was feeling and he knew Blair would pick up.

Never stopped you, he countered. Jim grinned.

“Um, sorry, Simon, must have zoned for a second. What did you say?” Jim covered, realising that Simon had been talking during his silent exchange with Sandburg. Jim glared at his partner, who just poked his tongue out.

“I said you’re on the starting lineup,” Simon repeated. Blair gave Jim those puppy dog eyes again and clasped his hands together in the universal gesture of begging.

“What about Sandburg? He played all-city and I’ve seen him in action, he’s actually pretty good,” Jim said.

I don’t know Jim, the insurances…”

“Come on, Simon, he’s one of the guys. Hell, it won’t be long before he’s a cadet,” Jim pointed out.

True” Simon conceded and then sighed. “Alright, I’ll see what I can do.”

Blair punched the air and did a little happy dance as Jim said goodnight to Simon and hung up the phone.

“Now then, where were we?” Jim asked as he took a step nearer to Blair. Sandburg stopped dancing and regarded him critically.

“Hm, I think I was here…”he answered and wrapped his arms around Jim’s waist, pressing himself into him. As he did, they heard another growl, this time from Blair’s stomach. Blair laughed, embarrassed.

“Sounds like your inner wolf his hungry for more than just me, Chief,” Jim pointed out with a grin. He gently pushed Blair back, the mood almost completely broken. “You order Chinese, I’ll take a shower. We’ll eat, we’ll talk and then…”

He pulled Blair in close again and kissed him hard, grinding his pelvis into him before letting go and heading for the bathroom. His progress was hindered by the hard-on pressing against his jeans and Jim almost turned back until he caught a stray thought from Blair that made it worth it.

Cocktease.

Grinning like a Cheshire cat Jim entered the bathroom and shut the door.

Twenty minutes later, Jim heard the door and, thinking it was the Chinese, he finished up in the shower and dried himself. Wrapping a towel around his waist he exited the bathroom.

“I hope you didn’t over order the rice again, Chief…” he began, but trailed off when he saw Blair.

Sandburg was standing in the middle of the room in his cadet uniform. He finished fixing the tie before he raised his arms and did a pirouette. It was possibly the sexiest thing Jim had seen.

“It just arrived, I had to try it on,” Blair explained. “What do you think?”

I think I want to rip that off you and screw your brains out, Jim thought at the same time as he joked aloud “You’ll need to lose the earrings.”

Blair licked his lips, unsure what to say. Clearly he’d heard Jim’s thought.

“We’re definitely going to have to learn how to dial that down,” he said with a nervous chuckle. “You’re right; it could prove a dangerous distraction in the field.”

Jim looked again at Blair in his uniform, but this time, with what he’d just said, it was a bucket of cold water instead of the previous turn-on. There was no way they could continue as partners and be lovers.

“What the hell are we doing, Sandburg? This is crazy,” Jim said with a shake of his head. A wave of hurt washed over him from Blair. “No, I mean, come on, you have to admit this is all kind of sudden and out of character.”

Blair looked thoughtful for a moment.

“You mean this might just be pheromones or something?” he asked, trying to sound like an objective and rational observer, but Jim could feel his hurt and disappointment.

“Maybe, yeah,” Jim agreed. “Look, I definitely love you, I’m not trying to take that back. And I’ve loved you for a long time now. But maybe this physical attraction is just pheromones, or maybe it’s because of this mental link,” he suggested.

“You might have a point,” Blair conceded. “I have to admit that I’ve only been thinking of you like this since you brought me back. So what do you want to do about it? Act like this afternoon never happened and hope it wears off?”

Jim shook his head and took a step closer.

“We both know ignoring it is a bad idea and would probably just be more of a distraction in the long run. I think we should accept that this is probably a short term thing and let it play out,” he said and gently grasped Blair around the waist, pulling him close.

“Careful, Jim, you’ll crease the uniform,” Blair joked but he was already wrapping his own arms around the bigger man.

“Really don’t care right now,” Jim replied.

*-*

Blair let out the breath he’d been holding for the last few minutes. He didn’t think he could go back to the way things were before and if Jim had suggested that he didn’t know what he might have done.

There was of course a probability that Jim was correct; that perhaps the awakening of Blair’s nascent Skinwalker DNA had caused a shift in his pheromones that had made his Sentinel react this way. It was equally likely that his own Wolven instincts had made him react to the attraction he sensed from Jim.

But he didn’t think so.

Jim was certainly right about one thing; they loved each other. It may have been a platonic love up until recently, but there was no denying that they had loved each other deeply for some time now. Was it really so ridiculous that it might become more of its own accord?

They were both in virgin territory here (no pun intended) but that was true for a great deal of their relationship. They’d been finding their way without a compass since day one. It seemed far more likely to Blair that they had fallen in love with each other.

But he could understand Jim’s reticence to accept this development. He’d just have to work extra hard to make him see the truth. Blair knew that this was where he was meant to be, wrapped in Jim’s safe and warm embrace, and if his Sentinel was going to take some time to come to the same realisation then he could find the patience.

Closing his eyes, Blair leaned into Jim, burying his head against his chest, and filled his senses with him; the deep musk of his scent, lightly masked by the fresh smell of soap. Jim shuddered as he pressed against him and Blair felt a wave of pleasure from him.

“If we’re going to do this, Chief, it has to stay in the apartment. There are rules against fraternization,” Jim said sternly as Blair leaned against his bare chest. “If the department found out, Simon would have no choice but transfer one of us,” he continued.

Unfortunately, the gravitas of his words was somewhat lost on Blair, who had just opened his eyes and realised that he was exactly the right height to lick Jim’s nipples. At the thought of those three words together it was all Blair could do not to burst out laughing; best he could manage was to grin and then begin to kiss Jim’s chest.

“Not outside the apartment. Check,” he answered between kisses.

“I…uh…” Jim stammered, then let out a moan of pleasure. Fuck!

Blair pulled back with a wicked grin on his face.

“Yes please.”

This 'verse now continues with Life and Other Minutiae
 
 
 
birggitt: TS - Toppy Blairbirggitt on September 20th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
OMG! This was such an amazing story!
I like the idea of Sandburg being part of a pack of Skinwalkers, and yet, that his real pack is Jim *g*
Blair's spirit guide is a neat way to link both Universes and makes a lot of sense all this is happening after Blair die and was brought back by Jim's animal guide.
And of course they'll hide from each other the real meaning of that shared dream *headdesk* Men!
But this is a fantastic story, and I'm holding in that The End (for now) of you to keep my hopes highs for more *g*
Thanks a lot for this!!!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on September 21st, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *bounces*

This story literally would not let me go, I was like a woman possessed for about two days and I couldn't write anything else until it was done (good for the fic, bad for the dozen or so WIPs!). I really only wrote it for myself, but aeron_lanart convinced me to post it and I'm really happy someone other than me likes it too!

As for more, I have already started writing it, but it's only vague ideas at the moment. Plus I really have too much unfinished to start anything new right now. But if the boys decide they can't be ignored, I might have no choice!
birggitt: Domestic Sentinelbirggitt on September 21st, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, well, I'm so very happy the boys were so demanding! I really enjoyed the story :D

YAY! so, sooner or later, I'm gonna get more on this Universe *bribes the boys quietly to make them annoying* What? I did nothing! *bats eyelashes innocently*

Nevertheless, I know I'll enjoy whatever story you decide to write right now *smiles*
Caro Deecarodee on September 23rd, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
Very cool crossover. I like how you've written Blair's new senses. The two of them are going to be unstoppable cops!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: headdeskidontlikegravy on November 17th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
So sorry for not replying sooner, your comment slipped through the cracks I'm afraid!

Thank you very much, I'm really glad you liked the fic, it was my first attempt at The Sentinel so I was really nervous about it. :)
Ith: Taste - Petit Foursithildyn on September 25th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: catra eyeidontlikegravy on September 26th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)