Summary: Seventh story in my summer writing project. Short missing scene from Rogue…a little angst…mostly humor.
He's Still Got It
by Twilight (Dawn)
"The beauty of it was Brackett never even planned on leaving local air space." Jim stood facing the window overlooking the post office across the street from the precinct; tossing Simon's autographed baseball from hand to hand, happy to be alive and in one piece. He turned, eyeing Joel perched on the conference table in Simon's office, closed case folder in hand and Carolyn, leaning against the open doorjamb, her skirt a little shorter than usual, slender shapely legs crossed casually at the ankle. "Had one of his half-wits waiting for him on a small island out in the sound and a stolen chopper."
"The Coast Guard found the pilot this morning still waiting patiently for Brackett. He spilled the whole story." Joel laughed, his smile easy, dark eyes crinkling at the corners.
"So," Carolyn stood a little straighter, crossing her arms. "Brackett figured the two of them could strip and destroy the plane, then disappear before the Air Force caught up with them."
"Yeah," Jim gave her a little wink, tossing the ball to his boss. "That's what he figured."
"Score another one for the good guys." Simon caught it easily, his big hand nearly enveloping the hard ball. "All right, guys, out off my office. Go."
They poured out of the room, Joel heading toward the breakroom, Carolyn heading for a desk, the beautiful Dr. Price joining him on his way to the coat rack.
"Detective, I think I owe you an apology for losing my temper at the concert hall the other day. I was totally out of line." Her mouth turned up in a tiny soft smile and she leaned a little closer to him.
"Well, I kind of lost my temper there a couple of times myself. Sorry." He reached for his jacket, a plan forming to ask her out, her body language was clearly speaking to him.
"Call me Jim." He smiled, pulling on his leather coat.
"Jim, I'm curious." She tucked a loose strand of blond hair behind a delicate ear. "Are your instincts always so on the money?"
"Oh, once in a while I get lucky." He could practically hear Carolyn roll her eyes.
Deciding to just go for it, he asked, "So, you're heading back to Atlanta."
"No, I thought I'd stick around a couple days, decompress."
And he could swear there was an invitation in her words, a soft spoken seduction. "Oh, that's a good idea. Lots to see and do around here."
"Really?" Her eyes dilated, blacking out the greenish blue. Jim could hear his partner coming off the elevator, could hear him stop and greet a few people in the hall before turning the corner.
Looked like Blair would be eating alone tonight.
"Yeah. You know, I, uh..." But as the words left his mouth, she turned to the door spotting Sandburg.
"Excuse me." She barely glanced at him as she made a beeline to his roommate. "Hi."
"Uh, hi." Blair shot him a weird look, but Jim shrugged and took off his coat, hanging it on the hook near his desk, spotting Carolyn's smirk from the corner of his eye.
She was all over Blair, gushing a sweet tangy scent as they talked, using his own line on his roommate. Blair agreed to show her the sights as Jim perched on the desk.
Carolyn said goodbye, trying hard to contain her laughter.
"Okay. Ta-ta." He hoped his sarcasm wasn't lost on his roommate, who just gave a little shrug, said goodbye and chatted up the lovely doctor all the way down the elevator and to his car. Jim could hear the engine turning and the car rumbling toward the exit, could hear Blair's dinner invitation, her girly giggle and Blair's various lines of bull all the way down the street before he tuned them out, hanging his head.
"So," his ex looked up at him, eyed shining with laughter. "Were you going to ask her out?"
"Oh, I was thinking about it." He admitted. "Maybe. Yeah, kind of."
She considered his word, raising a hand to rub his arm. "I guess that old Ellison charm is slipping, huh?"
"You know, slipping is one thing, but, uh...that's a...hundred-story drop." And then another thought occurred to him, "Hey Caro, you got any plans tonight?"
She raised her brows, studying him for a full minute before responding. "You're paying."
Jim was surprised to see his roommate's car when he got home. Taking the ancient elevator to the third floor, he stopped outside the door, listening for any indication as to why Blair would beat him home.
Dinner had been…nice.
It was strange that he and Carolyn were better friends now that they didn't live together.
The living room was dark, the blinds pulled, covering the windows and blocking the city lights. A steady beat of drums, volume low, drifted out from under the closed curtain to Blair's room.
He picked up Blair's discarded coat, draped over the back of the dining chair and hung it by his own, tossing his coins and keys to the counter, locking his gun and clip in the box he kept under the kitchen island.
Opening the fridge, he pulled two beers, popping the caps with the opener that hung on a chain by the phone.
Through the crack in the curtain, he could see his roommate laid out on his stomach, feet crossed at the ankles, a small hole in the toe of one dark sock. His head rested on his arms, hair pulled back at the nape of his neck, silver hoop reflecting the light of the small lamp resting on the night stand.
But his breathing was a little fast to be sleeping. Jim moved around the kitchen island and stepped to the opening, shifting the curtain, seeing Blair's head move a fraction to eye him from the crock of his arm. "Go away, man…no need to gloat."
"Gloat?" He pulled the curtain, stepping into the room and held out the amber bottle a few inches from Blair's face.
A hand shot up and grabbed the beer, Blair flopped on his back, a sour look on his face.
He pushed himself up, gulping his beer until it was drained and handed the bottle back to Jim.
"So…did you like, have it planned? I hope you and the lovely Dr. Price had a wonderful evening." Blair slid back down, covering his face with his pillow.
"I have no idea what the hell you're talking about, Sandburg." He guessed the soft spoken statement got through to his pouting roommate, because Blair lifted the edge of the pillow to look at him, to judge if Jim was being truthful.
"You didn't take her to dinner…I thought…never mind." The pillow drifted back down and Blair turned over, rolling away from Jim.
"Sandburg…" The warning in his voice was clear, but the kid didn't turn to look at him.
"It's just…she said she…crap, just forget I said anything, okay man."
Jim pulled the desk chair, the legs scraping over the empty wooden floor, reminding Jim that he needed to get Blair's things out of evidence, wondering why his roommate hadn't thought to ask for them. "Look, I was out with Carolyn. We went to dinner at some new place on Watson."
"I guess I'm losing my touch." The words were mumbled into the pillow and then the pillow was thrown aside. Blair propped himself on his elbow. "I made a complete jackass out of myself."
"You're losing me here, Chief. Start at the beginning and use small words."
Blair laughed a little and then shook his head. "I took her to the Natural History Museum, right. They whole way over she was gushing about you…Jim this and Jim that."
Now, that didn't sound right.
"Man, she was like a broken record…she kept asking about you, your personality, your job…she was like a groupie." A small smile reached Blair's lips and Jim realized that he had moved forward a bit, resting his elbows on his knees and his head on his closed fists.
"Anyway, halfway through the exhibit I said maybe she should just ask you and so she like thought for a second and looked me over and said okay…I gave her your cell number, man. Watched her make the call as she was walking away."
Jim could tell he was smiling, although he knew he should be looking appropriately sympathetic, trying to wipe the ever widening smirk from his lips. "Well…I guess I still got it."
"Yeah man. I should learn at the master's feet." His friend flung himself back down, covering his eyes with his arm.
Jim stood, pushing the chair back in. "Well, goodnight Chief."
Halfway out the door Jim stopped, looking over his shoulder as Blair settled on his side, wondering if he hadn't been shoveled a bigger line of bull than the good doctor.
Dr. Price may have been gushing, but it wasn't over Jim. "Thanks," he whispered, heading for the steps and his own bed. Tomorrow he would have to drag the real story out of Blair.
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