Forewarned - Scribe
"I'm going to hurt you."
That wasn't anything that Jim Ellison had ever expected to hear when he was basking in the afterglow of good sex. He looked at Blair, but all he could see was the top of his head, the curls even more riotous after Jim had rummaged them around, as he pressed his face into Jim's neck. "You missed your cue, Darwin. You're supposed to say that before the screwing commences."
Blair didn't look up, and his voice was quiet. "I'm not joking here, Jim. I'm giving you advanced warning, so you can back out of what will in all likelihood be a trainwreck of a relationship."
"Do we have a relationship to back out of?"
Blair turned his head so that his chin rested on Jim's shoulder, and he could look up into his new lover's face. "One spectacular fuck does not a relationship make--but it could be the start of one. That's why I have to give you a chance to make an informed decision."
Jim grunted, and disengaged himself from Blair's embrace--gently. Then he rearranged his pillow and sat back against the head of the bed. Folding his arms he again looked down at Blair. "Okay, you obviously want to have a discussion. Let's discuss."
Blair settled on his pillow, curling one arm up over his head. "Nothing really to discuss--I'm just being honest with you. If either of us let this become more than what it is now--friendship with a little sex thrown in--I'm going to hurt you."
Jim frowned. "I can't believe that, Sandburg. Maybe you don't always know the right thing to say. Witness that remark you made on the first day at the precinct. I don't think that clerk has ever gotten over you telling her that her perfume reminded you of your grandmother. But you deeply and honestly care about people. I can't believe you'd ever try to hurt someone."
"I wouldn't. I won't try to hurt you, Jim, but it'll happen. I never intend to distance myself from my lovers, but I do it just the same. I tend to... drift." He sighed. "I could blame it on Naomi and the rootless life she gave me growing up, on never being around a long-term committed relationship for long. That would be too easy, though. I'm not into attaching blame to anyone else."
Jim scratched his chin. "You saying that if we really get together, you're probably going to screw around?"
Blair gave him a surprised, and a little hurt, look. "Gah, no! You've seen me operate long enough, Jim--you know that I'm a serial monogamist."
"So, what's the problem?"
"The operative word is 'serial'--as in more than one. Many more than one. I won't stay with you."
"And you think that will hurt me?"
Now Blair turned over, folding his arms under his chin, and stared at the wall. "No time for bullshit, Big Guy. I know it would. I'm not being vain, here. I'm not saying that I'm so gosh darn wonderful that losing me would ruin your life." He rolled his head to look at Jim, and his eyes were fond, and sad. "But you're the 'spouse and a house' kind, Jim. Me? I've been called gypsy often enough. I never lived in one place for more than a year at a time till I settled in at Rainier. It's a fucking miracle that I've been here in the loft, with you, for as long as I have. Any day now the itch may start. I'll fight it..." He smiled. "I'd have done that even if I hadn't just found out what a wild man you are in bed. I'd have tried to stay for our friendship. But Jim... I just don't think I'd make it." He turned his face to the pillow, and his voice was tinged with resignation. "I don't think I have it in me, so I just wanted to tell you right now--I'm going to hurt you if we take this any farther."
Jim stared at him silently for a long moment, considering what Blair had said. Finally he said slowly, "Darwin, do you think it's possible for someone to know a person better than that person knows themself?"
"Yes or no. You've studied human nature long enough to answer that."
"Yeah, it is," said Blair softly. "Sometimes a person gets blinded by their own expectations. But my analysts have said..."
"There is much about you, Sandburg, that will always remain a glorious and frustrating mystery to me, but this I know--you would never deliberately hurt anyone." He reached out and gently ran a hand down the sweep of Blair's bare back, feeling him shiver. "Maybe you have been analyzed more than most specimin slides in a biology class, but those therapists have never lived and worked with you. No one can ever know everything about anyone else, but I know enough about you to trust you, Blair." His voice dropped. "We wouldn't be here together if I didn't." He reached down and gathered Blair into his arms, kissing him. "I'm not saying I think we're going to be the gay equivalent of Ozzie and Harriet, but I think we can make it work."
Blair stared searchingly into Jim's eyes, and he was met with a level, steady gaze. His voice a little doubtful now, he said, "But what if I hurt you, even without meaning to?"
"Some things," Jim kissed him again, "are worth the risk."
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Notes: Thanks to Mary for beta and thank you to Candygram for the art.