I own none of the rights to BtVS or The Sentinel. Actually, at one point the Sentinel folks were legally fighting over who really owns the rights to The Sentinel, so no way do I want in on that mess.
This is a ficlet... Years after the events of Kin of the Heart and Kin of the Soul, one member of the clan is a little isolated up in Cascade. I doubt I'll ever write another full story arc, so I'll give you whatever ficlets come to mind when I get them. You may have a few spoilers for Kin of the Soul in here.
Jim crossed his arms. Blair was hiding something, he knew that. The man would never make it working undercover. "Uh huh," he said slowly. "And what are these people like?"
"Angel's crew?" Blair smiled brightly and grabbed a beer out of the fridge. "Cool. Totally cool. I mean, they are--" Blair ran out of words, a condition that scared the crap out of Jim. They were something flaky enough or illegal enough that Blair didn't want to talk about them.
"Maybe I should tell Simon I can't make this training," Jim mused. Even visiting Blair's flaky friends would be better than a week of interagency training. Simon just wanted his pound of flesh after having to smooth over Jim's less than tactful handling of their latest fed invasion. If feds didn't want to hear the cold, brutal truth, they should just avoid Cascade, that was Jim's theory.
"Whoa, hey. No need to do that," Blair blurted out, entirely too quickly. Jim narrowed his eyes, even more suspicious now. "I mean, Simon would have a serious cow," Blair backtracked. "Serious. If he can't torture you with training, he's going to... I don't know... put you on cat-sitting duty or something. No way, just take your lumps like a man."
"While you visit these friends," Jim summarized. "Friends I've never heard of before."
"Yes you have," Blair said with a frown that suggested he was not only telling the truth but that he was aggravated that Jim wasn't remembering something. "Xander's the one I tutored through his last year of high school."
"Oh." Shit. Okay, Jim had actually heard about that kid more than once, but he didn't connect Xander with Angel. Blair had probably said something during one of those stakeouts where Jim had just stopped listening. It wasn't his fault that Blair's ability to talk non-stop inspired a little tuning out. "And what are these other people down there like?" Jim asked. There was something going on, and Blair wasn't getting anywhere near LA until Jim understood exactly why Blair's heart raced and he smelled of nerves every time they talked about Blair going to visit.
"They're great." Blair took a deep drink from his beer, his Adam's apple bobbing.
"Great..." Jim echoed. He watched Blair, he watched as the little shit tried and failed to hide a dozen nervous ticks. His hand was a little too tight on the bottle, his heart pounded too quickly, his left eye squinted a bit at the corner, his body smelled of salt-sweat.
Blair put his beer down and glared at Jim. "Man, you're doing something, sniffing me or something," he complained.
"I'm watching you lie," Jim said.
"Hey, I am not lying. I am totally not mentioning things, many things, but I am not lying."
Walking over to the chair, Jim dropped down and leaned forward, his elbows braced on his knees. "Sandburg, if you don't come clean, not only will I be canceling out on the training, but I will handcuff myself to you on the plane to LA. You're lying about something, and if you're going down there to hook up with some hippy society drop-outs who grow pot by the acre, I will throw you in the closest holding cell."
"Hey!" Blair made his outraged face. "Man, that is not cool."
"Tough shit. The way you get in trouble, you'll get kidnapped by a drug cartel if you go down there alone. So either tell me what has you so nervous that you can't mention LA without breaking into a cold sweat or I will go down there with you," Jim warned. He wasn't kidding either. This need he had to make sure Blair was close and that he was safe, it was starting to get a little out of control. That's one reason he hadn't protested too much when Simon gave him the Chicago training assignment. Jim needed a little space to get his head screwed back on straight before he did anything stupid. But if he thought Blair's friends posed any sort of danger, Jim knew he would be on the first plane to LA, even if it got him suspended or written up.
"Fine." Blair spit the word out and threw himself back into the couch. "They're a little unconventional. And your world is so totally square," and Blair punctuated this by drawing a square in the air with his fingers, "that you would hate them. I know this. So maybe I don't want my friend hating my friends because that would be too much hate for one space, happy?"
"Why would I hate them?" Jim asked suspiciously. Other than drug dealers and pedophiles and rapists, Jim tended to not hate people on sight. He started mentally calculating the cost of a plane ticket from Chicago to LA and silently practicing his apology speech for Simon.
Blair sighed. "Because you would. You would totally hate them. Oh, you might be okay with Graham. Maybe. But then you'd get all weird because Graham sleeps with Harmony and I slept with Harmony, and trust me, when I go to LA, I totally plan to sleep with Harmony again, and that would break some rule of politeness in your middle-class brain."
"You slept with the man's girlfriend?" Jim demanded. That broke more than a rule of politeness.
"Actually, I think Faith is more Graham's girlfriend, but Harmony is very happy to be the third there, and man, I would totally not mind being fourth in that bed, but Graham has a weird aversion to cocks in his bed." Blair blurted out, and Jim's brain sputtered and had a small brown-out as it tried to process that information. Oh, Jim had certainly suspected Blair was bisexual, but he hadn't expected the man to just blurt it out.
Now that Blair was on a roll, he kept right on going. "And then Spike. Oh man, Spike would totally not get you. Totally. I mean, he would think your square was square and totally make fun of you, and the first time Spike wanted to sleep with me, you'd be off having some hissy about Spike cheating on Cordelia, and trust me no one cheats on Cordelia. If Spike sleeps with me or Angel or Xander or anyone else, he does it with Cordelia's permission. I only hope that I've been gone long enough that everyone feels a little need for rebonding because I would totally not mind sleeping with Spike, and maybe I could even get in there with Angel, although hopefully not at the same time. I am telling you, when Spike and Angel get going? Whoa. Seriously, whoa. And then there's Lorne, and he is like..." Blair whistled. "There are not even words to describe Lorne and what that man can do," Blair said with an expression that gave Jim entirely too much information. And still, Blair wasn't done. "Faith's offered to give me a ride once or twice, but man, that would be too weird. We lived together, you know. That was back when I was getting my Master's. And then there's Wesley, who is just a total sweetie. He totally acts like he hasn't slept with anyone in that house except Fred, and trust me, there is just no way. I mean, no way. Fred's a beautiful woman, but that house has enough sexual energy to solve the country's energy crisis, and he's a little more bent than he lets on, so I'm guessing he totally sleeps with Spike, and maybe Angel. Maybe not." Blair shrugged. "Angel's a little more uptight than you'd think. He's almost monogamous with Xander, which is totally odd. Well, except that he does have a lot of sex with Spike, but then those two have history, you know? Total history."
Jim's head was spinning. Fred was a woman, monogamy was odd, cheating wasn't really cheating, and Blair was apparently planning on sleeping with half the house, including the male half. Jim could feel all the blood rush to his face. He was blushing. He was a fucking Ranger. He'd lived in barracks with men who didn't get sex for months on end and felt the need to describe every act they missed in crude and offensive terms, and he was blushing over Blair. Sometimes Jim hated life.
"I..." Jim had no words.
"Man, I knew you would react like this," Blair said, exploding up off the couch. "This is why I did not talk to you about them. I mean, they have their morals. Totally. True, their ethical standards don't exactly match society as a whole, but they are totally ethical, and you have that look on your face."
Jim didn't know what look he had on his face, but he suspected it wasn't a good one. "What, so this is a den of free love? Sandburg, do you have any idea the venereal diseases you could catch?"
Blair glared. "Sex does not go outside the family. Ever. Keep it in the clan, that's the motto."
"That is really not making it sound any better," Jim pointed out. "They all sound like..." Jim bit his tongue before he said something. From Blair's expression, his willingness to forgo the word slut wasn't winning him any points.
"Square," Blair announced, drawing another figure in the air. "Totally square."
"Yep," Jim agreed. "And I will be totally square in Chicago. You can have fun with your hippy friends, but if you catch VD, I will be saying I told you so for the next decade," Jim warned.
"Whatever," Blair said dismissively. "Your mind is closed. Monogamous pairings are not the center of everyone's universe."
With that, Blair turned around and stalked off. With a sigh, Jim watched as Blair went into his bedroom, slammed the door and turned the music up. Sadly, for him, monogamous pairings were the center of the world, and he refused to risk his heart when the person who he wanted seemed so unwilling to even consider one. Jim rubbed his hand over his face. Well, at least now he knew why Blair was trying to keep him away from LA, and truth be told, Jim really didn't want front row seats as Blair slept his way through the entire staff of the Hyperion Hotel. It looked like Chicago and cold showers were in his future.