Title: Hugs and Kisses
Fandom: The Sentinel
Pairing: Jim/Blair (very preslash)
Summary: Friends, fun and sun.
Note: Part 10 in The Littlest Guide universe.
Beta: By my sister Anna. All final errors are mine with apologies.
Note: We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. (o:
Hugs and Kisses
“Come on, Baby. Jump. I’ll catch you,” Jim urged. “I’ll always catch you.”
Blair dipped a toe delicately into the lake, pulling it back out quickly. “Huh-huh, it cold.”
“It’s not that bad once you get in.” Jim beckoned his little Guide with his hands. Blair looked so cute in his Batman swimming shorts their Dad had gotten him. The cast had finally come off his arm so there wasn’t a problem there. It was getting Blair into the water.
“I could pick him up and throw him in,” Steven said, coming up to them, holding a can of Coke.
“Don’t you dare. I’ve almost got him convinced to come in on his own,” Jim told him at Blair’s look of horror.
“You’ve been trying-what half hour? I hate telling you this big brother, but it ain’t happening this century. I think he needs a little push.”
“If you want to die, push him in. I’ll hunt you down to the ends of the earth and make you pay and pay and then pay some more. You know I can do it, too,” Jim told him warningly.
“Ooh, another threat and us just being back together a week. I could take that all wrong, Watchman,” Steven replied, sniffing.
Jim rolled his eyes. “Oh, please give it a rest. And besides I still haven’t forgiven you for what you did to the bedroom. It took me three days to get it looking right.”
“Looking right, my buns. You’re so anal, you coded the dust bunnies under the beds.”
“I did not, you exaggerate.”
“Michael, did Jim, using his heightened eyesight, code the dust bunnies he found under the beds or not?” Steven asked the newest member of the family.
Michael smiled. “I cannot tell a lie. He was indeed coding dust bunnies at least until Blair went up and told him to stop it.” He looked over to where Blair had wandered off and was now inspection a bug. “Hey, Sweetpea why aren’t you in the water?”
Blair looked up. “Water cold.”
“Come on. Baby-it’s not that cold. Please for me,” Jim coaxed. Giving Blair a look guaranteed to woe the birds out of the trees or in this case a little Guide into the water.
“Oh, alright.” Blair sighed unhappily, walking toward where Jim waited.
The young Sentinel gave him a brilliant smile. “That’s my, Baby. We’ll teach you to swim in no time.”
“No like,” Blair said as he willingly went into Jim’s arms.
“I know, but it’ll be okay. You’ll see,” Jim replied very carefully moving Blair into the semi-warm water. Showing him it wasn’t that bad.
The little Guide wrapped his arms around his Sentinel’s neck when he got dipped. “Cold.” He shivered.
“It’ll warm up in a second and then we’ll start teaching you to swim.”
Jim moved the water over Blair so he’d get use to it. “Cause everyone should know how to swim.”
“Why?” Blair asked again as Jim moved them further into the water and away from H, Carl and Rafe who were splashing up a storm as they played volleyball in the water. Not wanting Blair to get scared. It taken way to long to get him in as it was.
“Cause I want my little Guide to know how to swim. It’s important to me.”
Blair wrapped his arms around Jim’s neck tighter as they moved further into the lake. “Oh.”
William watched from where he sat on a lounge chair, smiling. It taken some time to find a cabin that would be big enough to bring everyone, but he’d done it. A rambling cabin with a small lake the kids could swim in. It’d taken five cars to bring everyone, plus food and extra clothing, but they’d done it. They had a week with clear skies and family and friends. Could anyone ask for anything more?
He looked over at Simon, who was in charge of the barbeque. The Doctor was trying to cook the hotdogs and hamburgers and bond with his son Daryl at the same time.
Daryl had other ideas as he kept looking longingly at the water and the children playing in it.
“You do know how to get away from it all,” Mattie told him as she made herself comfortable in the chair right next to his.
William smiled at her. “I do my best.”
There was a joyful yell and they both turned to see Daryl dive happily into the water, his father giving up on the father/son bonding for now.
“Look over there.” Mattie motioned to where Blair sat on the edge of the lake. Jim close to him still in the water, face tucked against his little Guide’s neck. Blair’s cheek resting on the top of his Sentinel’s head. Arms wrapped around each other, both swaying
slightly. The contentment coming off of Jim in waves so tangible they were almost visible. “Isn’t that the cutest thing you ever saw?”
“What is Blair humming? I’ve been trying to place it and haven’t been able to.”
“It’s a religious hymn Blair heard one day on TV when we were channel checking. Can’t remember the name though,” Steven said on his way to where Sally was still laying out food on the buffet table.
“They love each other very much don’t they?” Mattie asked softly.
“Yes, they do. That’s why it’s very important to keep them together.”
Mattie shook her head sadly. “I don’t understand why Naomi would want to break up something so special. If only she could see them together.”
“Maybe one day she’ll see that she’s wrong.”
“Will you let her see Blair if that ever happens?”
William frowned thoughtfully. “I don’t know. Perhaps. Blair is after all her son.”
“Yes,” Mattie replied, looking over at the young Sentinel/Guide pair still swaying together.
“Come on, let go,” Steven told Michael as they fought over the last hot dog.
“No. You let go. You’ve already had four,” Michael replied, tugging.
“You’ve had four too, let go.”
“You let go. I saw it first, lard-ass.”
Steven gasped. “Oh, I am so telling on you. Blair. Blair. Mikey’s cussing. Do something.”
“You are SO dead,” Michael told Steven as the little Guide’s head popped up. Already having to suffer through a lecture about cussing from a three year old. “And don’t call me Mikey.”
Steven pulled the hot dog out of Michael’s hands. “Ha. Only if you survive Blair. It’s been nice knowing you, Mikey.”
“I’ll kill you before Blair can get to me. I swear,” Michael said, taking off after Steven.
“Jim. Jim. Help. Your bodyguards is trying to kill me. Help!” Steven yelled in between bites of hot dog.
Jim looked over at the two chasing each other, shaking his head ruefully he went right back to cuddling with his little Guide. Sighing contently when Blair started humming to him again.
“Do you think Steven and Michael noticed that Simon’s just finished grilling another batch of hot dogs?” William asked, chuckling softly as the two continued chasing each other. Steven barely staying ahead.
Mattie smiled affectionately. “Not yet. Give them a second. There you go, the scent of fresh food has now hit their noses.”
Suddenly Steven stopped at the buffet table when he noticed the plate stacked high with hot dogs, Michael almost running into him. “Hmm, food. Here have a hot dog, Mikey.”
“Thank you, don’t mind if I do. Pass the mustard, please.”
“Yes, please and don’t call me Mikey.”
Mattie laughed softly. “See. All is well, now.”
“I want to thank you for accepting Michael so readily into your family. He’s been drifting ever since he got out of high school, not sure what he wanted to do with his life. Well besides the weight-lifting and eating. And he loves your sons. They’ve given him purpose.”
William watched Steven and Michael fighting over a bag of potato chips. Neither of them paying any attention to the other three bags on the table. “Well he certainly fits right in,” he said, chuckling.
As the rest of the youngsters noticed that the food was ready, they started drifting toward the heavily laden table.
“Jim you and Blair quit being mushy now and come eat before muscle-head finishes all the food,” Steven yelled, loudly.
Michael turned toward him. “Who you calling muscle-head, lard-ass? And besides I’m smarter than you.”
Steven rolled his eyes as he handed Jim two hot dogs. “Oh, please like it takes brains to lift a dumbbell, dumbbell. Oh, and Blair did you hear Mikey? He cussed.”
Michael glared at Steven. “Tattle-tail.” Michael turned to Blair. “I’m sorry Blair. I promise to never, ever do it again,” He said, looking at the little Guide contritely through a veil of dark lashes.
“No do again? Never ever?” Blair asked, shaking his head when Jim offered him a root beer. Nodding when offered a little carton of chocolate milk.
“Never. Ever,” Michael readily agreed.
“Okay,” Blair replied, as he took his Sentinel’s hand as Jim led them to a nearby tree.
“Wow! That’s all it took,” Simon said in astonishment. “I am impressed.” Helping himself to potato salad. “I gotta remember that when I get in trouble.”
“You just have to have the touch,” Michael preened.
“Yeah, well you’re definitely touched. That’s for sure.” Steven snorted as he followed his brothers with a plate filled with food that belied the fact he’d just eaten enough for six.
After everyone had stuffed themselves they lay scattered around the yard. Most of the children asleep. Happily filled with good food and wooed by the warm sunshine. Jim and Blair lay under the same tree they’d eaten under sleeping peacefully, covered by a blanket Steven had brought over for them.
Steven now sat quietly next to them reading a comic. Michael sat on the other side of Blair and Jim also reading a comic from Steven’s stash. Both watching over the Sentinel/Guide protectively.
Steven had readily accepted Michael into the household. The whole family had. But with Steven it was hard to tell, the way the middle son and the bodybuilder fought. It just seemed to be the type of relationship they’d developed. Steven offered a comic over Jim and Blair’s sleeping forms. Michael smiled at him accepting it.
The adults sat around the picnic table talking quietly. “That’s a beautiful blanket.” William said of the afghan covering two of his sons.
“Yes. It was a gift,” Mattie replied.
“A gift?” William asked frowning slightly. “A gift from whom?”
Simon eyed the eldest Ellison. Damn. He was hoping to put it off for a while, but it didn’t look like it was going to happen. William was eyeing them suspiciously.
“Will, we’ve got something to tell you about the whole Naomi incident and what was involved in protecting Jim and Blair.”
William sighed heavily. “I knew it. Alright tell me.”
“You remember what I told you back at Steven’s birthday dinner. About everyone in Cascade knowing about Jim and Blair?”
“Yes. Go on.”
“I know that you want Jim and Blair to grow up as normally as possible. And I’m not quite sure how you’ll take this,” Simon said worriedly. William was an overprotective father whose sons had been threatened. Had been away from home because of that threat.
“Tell me, Simon.”
“Okay. There were many people involved in protecting Jim and Blair?”
William looked at Simon curiously. “How many people.”
Here goes. “The city of
“What? Say that again. I not quite sure I heard you right.”
*Well, William wasn’t yelling, that was a good sign.* Simon
thought to himself. “The
William blinked. “Okay, I did hear right.”
“Yes. Cascade loves
your sons, William. They’ll do and did
whatever it takes to keep them safe. The
mayor, off duty policemen and women, guarded the apartment they were at. Taxi drivers, meter-maids, postmen, regular
citizens like you and I went out of their way to make sure Naomi couldn’t get
with in an inch of your sons. Dozens of people were at the airport making sure
Naomi got on the plane for
William covered his mouth with his hand as he thought about the implications of what Simon had just told him. “Simon…”
“I know. It’s a bit overwhelming.”
“It’s a bit more than that, Simon.”
“I know, Will. I know. Your sons brought a city together in a way that has never happened before in Sentinel history.” Simon smiled. “They’re rewriting the book and they don’t even know it.”
“They will be told, Simon. There will be no secrets withheld from my sons. And this will also not influence their decision when they get older and are ready to choose where they want to go.”
Simon nodded. “Alright.”
“Is that where the blanket came from as well as the other things they brought back with them?”
“No more gifts. Urge everyone not to send gifts to my sons. This is extremely important, Simon. I do appreciate the gesture, truly I do, but I will not allow them to be overly spoiled. I want Jim, Blair and Steven to grow into strong, well-balanced men.”
“I think your half way there, William.” Mattie spoke for the first time in a while. “And you should be very proud of all your sons.”
William smiled, looking over to where his sons still rested. “I am. One problem though.”
“What?” Simon asked.
“How do you thank a city for helping you protect your sons?”
HUGS AND MANY KISSES
“William,” Blair exclaimed happily, launching himself at his father. Who was sitting in a chair enjoying the sunshine.
“Son!” William replied, easily catching him. “Did you sleep well?” he asked, tucking a stray lock of hair behind Blair’s ear.
“Good,” Blair answered as he made himself comfortable in William’s lap. “I miss you berry, much.”
“I missed you too, Son.”
“Know what?” Blair asked solemnly, blue eyes looking up at him innocently.
“Gots hugs and many, many kisses to give.”
Blair nodded earnestly. “Yups. Missed my fader, berry much.”
William felt his eyes fill with tears and he had to fight with the lump in his throat. “T…that’s the first time you’ve called me Father.”
Blair smiled up at him. “Can call Daddy?” he asked shyly.
William blinked away the tears. “You sure can. I’d love it if you did.”
“Cool. Know what else?”
Blair’s blue eyes widened dramatically. “I give Steven many makeup hugs and kisses, but no give to Daddy yet,” He said sadly.
William chuckled wetly. “Oh. Well, I think we can take care of that right now. What do you say?” Rubbing Blair’s tiny back affectionately.
Blair smiled up at him brilliantly. “Cool.”
William returned the smile. “Yes, very cool.”
William sighed happily. It’d been a great week. The haunted look on Jim’s face had finally lifted. Steven quit hovering over his brothers, thinking they were going to disappear again and Blair had learned to swim.
He smiled thinking back to when Jim had called them all over to show them. Jim had been so proud of his little Guide as Blair paddled toward him in the water. Blair smiling up at everyone shyly, when they’d all clapped encouragingly at his accomplishment.
All three of his sons now looked happy and relaxed. The vacation had done them all good. Blair was still giving him makeup hugs and kisses every chance he got. Steven had started complaining that he hadn’t gotten that many makeup hugs and kisses and was starting to feel jealous.
Blair looked at Steven, head tilted to the side as he sat in William’s lap and telling him, “Daddy, need more hugs and kisses dan you. He DADDY.”
Steven didn’t have a comeback for that one. Simply saying, “Hmm, I guess you’re right.”
They were going home now. Time to get back to work, but William was thinking of buying the cabin. His family and friend had-had such just a good time there. He’d like to bring them back again someday.
William frowned slightly looking around the gas station, wondering where everyone had gotten to. Simon was near one of the cars talking with his son. Sally was trading recipes with Mattie by her red Mustang, but no sons and no son’s friends.
“Simon, have you seen the boys?”
“I saw them all go toward the house at the back of the gas station,” Daryl answered for his Father.
William nodded, going in search of the wayward youths. He came on them all huddled together.
“How are we going to do this?” He heard Jim whisper to the others.
“We could get Blair to give Dad ‘The Look”. Steven whispered back.
“But that didn’t word so well the last time.”
“Just ask him,” Rafe suggested.
*Oh, God this didn’t sound good at all.* William thought to himself. “Ask Dad what?”
Six heads popped up startled. “D…Dad, you scared us,” Jim said, nibbling on his lower lip worriedly.
William smiled. “Obviously. Ask Dad what?”
Three boys parted to one side, three to the other, revealing Blair holding a puppy in his arms.
William closed his eyes, biting back a laugh.
“Please, Dad? We’ll all help take care of him. Please?” Steven pleaded.
“Daddy, peeze,” Blair pleaded, big blue eyes widening beseechingly.
“I’ll help take care of him too, “Jim added, eyes just as wide and pleading as Blair’s.
“Me, too. I’ll help train him,” Michael said. “We’ll all help.”
*Oh, God. I can barely resist Blair giving ‘The Look”, how the hell am I suppose to resist it seven times over?* William thought as he looked at his sons and their friends and at the squirming puppy, happily licking Blair’s face.
All of them looking at him so hopefully. Even the owner of the puppy was looking at him, smiling at his predicament . Which really wasn’t much of one when you thought about it.
“Alright. Alright. You can keep him,” William told them. Laughing at the look on all their faces. William guessed that they all thought he would need major persuading. “Oh, don’t look like that, it’s not if I’m immune to ‘The Look” after all. I can barely resist when Bair gives it. How am I suppose to resist seven of you giving it. Blair, bring your puppy here, let me have a look at him.”
William went to his knees allowing the newest member of his family to lick his face. At the rate his family was growing, he was DEFINITLY going to be needing a new house.