Title: The Wooing of Lee
Pairing: Blair/Jim, Steven/Michael, Rafe/Lee (preslash), William/Daniel (slash)
Summary: Can Rafe get Lee back?
Beta: By my sister Anna. All remaining errors are mine-with apologies.
Very Special Note: I want to thank everyone who voted for The Littlest Guide series in the LMFA. It means a lot to me and with my whole heart I thank you.
The Wooing of Lee
“Dad! Dad!” Steven yelled as he ran into the house still carrying Blair. They’d run what felt like a zillion miles to catch Lee. Never quite doing it. The Guide ran really fast. “Have you seen Lee?” He stopped just inside the door, panting wildly. “Oh!”
Lee was in his Dad’s arms sobbing his heart out. His father doing his best to calm his hysterical son. Squashed newspaper between them.
“Easy, son. I can’t understand what you’re telling me.” William looked up at Steven. “What happened? All I’m getting is an occasional word that sounds vaguely like Rafe.”
Steven placed Blair on the floor. “Give me a second to catch my breath. Did you gain weight, little brother? Whew! Okay. Well, Rafe being the stupid Sentinel that he is, tried to bond another Guide.”
“He said that he was just trying to see if he could smell another Guide’s scent. Lee didn’t like it in any case and he broke the bond with Rafe.”
William cupped his sobbing son’s face between his hands. “Oh, Lee. I’m sorry.”
Lee tears streaking down his face, nodded. “Rafe,” he replied, miserably.
“There has to be a logical explanation.”
Steven nodded. “There is. Rafe’s an idiot.”
William sighed when Lee began crying harder than before. “Steven.”
“Sorry, but he is.”
Just then the front door opened. Rafe, Jim and Michael walked in. “Lee,” Rafe whispered softly, moving toward his Guide.
Lee buried himself deeper against William as if seeking his father’s protection. Before Rafe could get to close Blair and Steven were there to block his way.
“No,” Blair told him harshly.
“You can’t keep me from my Guide,” Rafe told him angrily.
“Can. Beside no have Lee. You hurt.”
Rafe looked over at Lee, who was still crying. “I can explain, Lee. Please, let me explain.”
“Go away. Two-timer.”
“I’m not a two-timer.” He looked at Steven. “What’s a two-timer?”
“Someone who cheats, when they’re suppose to be faithful. Someone like you, dumbass.”
“I didn’t cheat.”
Lee wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “That’s only because you were caught before you had a chance. You would’ve done it if we hadn’t walk into the room. Two-timer.”
“Go away,” Lee told him, harshly. “I hate you.”
Rafe felt his face pale. “You can’t mean that.”
“I can and I do.” Lee placed his face against his Dad’s neck. Sighing softly when he felt his father tightening his arms around him comfortingly.
“Rafe,” William broke in, rocking his heartbroken son. “Leave it for now. Let Lee calm down and then let’s see if he’s willing to talk to you.”
“Rafe,” William’s tone brooked no argument.
The young Sentinel sighed unhappily. “Yes, Sir.”
Steven took a hold of Rafe’s arm. “Let’s go into the kitchen for something to eat. Let Dad talk to Lee.”
Rafe met Steven’s eyes. “I’ve only got a week. If I can’t get him back I’ll have to bond another Guide and I don’t want another. I only want Lee.”
“Well, then you shouldn’t have been so stupid,” Steven told him, tugging on the reluctant Sentinel’s arm.
Rafe turned to look back at his Guide being cradled gently in his father’s arms. William was talking to him quietly, rocking him back and forth. “I’ve made a mess of things haven’t I?”
“Yeah, asshole. You have, but it’s nothing we can’t fix. Well, if Lee doesn’t up and decide you’re too much fucking trouble.”
Rafe’s brown eyes widened in alarm. “You think Lee would do that?”
“Hell, yeah. If it were me, I’d have dumped your sorry ass a long time ago.”
Rafe sighed unhappily. “You’re a big help.”
Steven gave him a tight smile. “I aim to please. And besides it’s not my fault you were stupid. Do you want white or chocolate milk?”
“Chocolate.” Rafe rubbed his face tiredly. “What am I going to do?”
“Want my suggestion?”
“I wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t.”
“Kiss some serious Guide ass.”
Rafe frowned up at Steven as he placed a plate of cookies in front of him. “I’m a Sentinel. I don’t kiss ass.”
“Arrogant little shit, aren’t you?”
“I don’t kiss ass,” Rafe said again haughtily. “Even Lee’s.”
Steven was looking at him as if he were the vilest of critters that had ever walked the planet. “You don’t deserve Lee. I never realized until now that you truly don’t deserve him. You’re a real jerk.”
“What the fuck does Lee see in you any way?”
“Go on tell me. Because if you don’t come up with at least one good reason I’m going to make sure you never come close to Lee ever again. I’ll kill you first, if you even so much as look at him.”
Rafe gasped. “You don’t mean that?”
“I sure as hell do. Come on, Rafe, give me one reason, just one.”
Rafe sat stunned, looking up at his friend who was now glaring at him. “Steven, I thought you were Protector to not only Guides, but to the Sentinels as well.”
“I am. But right now I’m talking to someone who’s hurt my brother. Not to a Sentinel under my protection.”
“How can you differentiate?”
“I can because Lee is my brother first. My family will always come first.”
“Aren’t I family?” Rafe replied, hurt by Steven’s words.
Rafe felt as if Steven had slapped him. “Steven!”
“You asked,” Steven replied, hardening his heart to the devastated look on Rafe’s face. The Sentinel needed to learn there was no room for arrogance. Not in this. He was going to bring him down a peg or two, even if he had to chop down the whole fucking pedestal to do it.
“I never realized how much you hated me.”
“I don’t hate you, Rafe. You have to learn that you can’t set yourself apart. Not any more. You are one of two. And those two belong to six others. What you do affects us all. Arrogance has no place here.”
“Maybe I should go with my mom and dad,” Rafe said, testing the waters. Still not understanding or caring what Steven was trying to get across.
Steven nodded. “Maybe you should. Right now, the way you are you don’t belong here.” With that he walked out of the kitchen, taking the plate of cookie with him.
Rafe looked at the kitchen door, face drained of all color. He hadn’t expected for Steven to take him up on his threat. Slowly his eyes filled with tears. He placed his head on the kitchen table, crying as if his heart had just been broken into a million pieces.
“Hi, Sir. May I come in?” Rafe asked William when the eldest Ellison opened the door.
“Or course you can, Rafe.”
William looked at the youngster critically. What he saw before him was a boy who looked like he’d lost his best friend and then that best friend had kicked his puppy in parting.
Rafe stood just inside the door unsure of his welcome. “I…I came to see how Lee was.” He said, unable to meet William’s eyes.
“Oh. He’s fine. You know how Lee is on his days off from school.”
Rafe gave a small smile. “Yeah, doesn’t start moving till around ten. Lee’s not a morning person.”
“Yes. Come in. Would you like some breakfast? I’m all myself this morning, everyone else is still asleep.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you.”
Once Rafe was sitting at the table with a large plate of pancakes in front of him. “I heard what happened,” William told him.
“Yes, Sir. Steven kicked me out,” Rafe replied resentfully, around a mouth full of pancake.
“Can you tell me in your own words why Steven did what he did?” William asked, cupping his coffee mug in his hands.
“He hates me.”
“No, Rafe. The true reason.”
“That is the true reason,” Rafe replied, still unwilling to met William’s eyes.
“Rafe?” William gently cajoled.
Rafe signed unhappily. “He kicked me out because of my arrogance. He said it has no place here.” He looked up, eyes filling with tears. “He’s keeping me from my Guide.”
“From what I hear Lee is no longer your Guide.”
Rafe wiped a stray tear. “I know. I have no Guide. The only thing keeping me from going bonkers is Steven and Michael.”
“What am I going to do, Sir?” Rafe asked, wiping at another tear impatiently.
William pulled his chair away from the table. “Come here, Son.”
The young Sentinel went. “I love, Lee. He is the only Guide I want,” Rafe whispered heartbrokenly, against a broad shoulder. “The only one I’ll ever want.”
“I know,” William replied, rubbing his back soothingly.
“Steven won’t let me near him to see if I can get him back,” Rafe said, brown eyes shimmering with tears.
“H…he so much as told me to get out,” Rafe replied, bottom lip quivering. “I always thought I was a part of the family.”
William kissed the young Guide’s forehead. “You are, Son.”
“T…then why did Steven tell me to get out?”
“Because you did something to hurt Lee and weren’t willing to admit it.” William tucked a lock of long brown hair behind Rafe’s left ear. “To be able to learn from your mistakes you have to admit you made them. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
Rafe frowned as he thought about it. “I think so.”
William smiled. They were all still so young. Sometimes he as well as Simon forgot that. “Life is a learning process. To grown as a person you have to never stop learning from the good as well as the bad. You made a mistake. Did you learn anything from it?”
Rafe smiled at him tentatively. “Never piss off Steven?”
William chuckled. “That might be one. What else?”
“I am no better than anyone else just because I’m a Sentinel. To stay loyal. Not do anything that will hurt the ones I love. But Sir, how am I gonna know what not to do, so I don’t hurt someone’s feelings?”
“You follow your heart.”
Rafe looked up at William eyes darkening in confusion. “What if my heart isn’t any good?”
“Your heart is good, Rafe. Otherwise you wouldn’t be asking.”
“If you didn’t have a good heart you wouldn’t be listening to me right now, trying to understand what you did wrong. You would’ve ignored everything I’m telling you and what Steven tried to tell you. Do you understand?”
Rafe nibbled on his lower lip as he thought about it. “Hmm, I think so. I really hurt Lee by what I did, didn’t I?”
William nodded. “Yes, Son-you did.”
“I never meant to. I don’t know why I did what I did. Everyone makes a big deal out of me being a Sentinel-I guess I let it go to my head?”
William and Rafe looked up to watch a tousled haired Steven walk into the dining room.
“Hi,” Rafe told him hesitantly.
Steven smiled at him. “Hello, dork.”
“I…is it okay that I’m here? My Mom and Dad told me it’s best to face my problems head on.”
Steven poured himself a glass of milk from the gallon resting on the table. “Good advice. Hum, blueberry pancakes.” He fixed himself a huge stack, ignoring the fact that Rafe was watching him warily. He didn’t answer until he was sitting across from him and his father. “It’s fine. You do live here after all.”
“You kicked me out,” Rafe told him in outrage.
“You left because you were being an arrogant Sentinel. There is no place here for an arrogant Sentinel. Much less around an extremely sensitive Guide like Lee.”
“Does that mean every time I’m being an arrogant Sentinel you’re going to kick me out?”
Steven smiled as he took a drink of his milk. “Maybe.”
“You can’t keep doing that,” Rafe turned to William. “Can he keep doing that?”
William shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know.” Watching Steven was extremely interesting. He knew exactly what buttons to push to get his Sentinels to straighten out, doing so roughly at times. The Guides, he handled with a much gentler touch, almost delicately. Especially Lee.
Steven used his fork to cut into his pancakes. “Have you learned your lesson, Rafe?”
Rafe nodded. “Your Dad was talking to me.”
“But did you learn your lesson?”
“I hurt Lee.”
“I was a stupid Sentinel.”
Rafe frowned at Steven, who continued to work contently on his pancakes. “And what?”
“What else, Rafe?”
William bent his head slightly to whisper in Rafe’s ear. “The part about being arrogant.”
“Oh. I was a stupid and arrogant Sentinel.”
“Bingo. Even though Dad had to help you. Dim-witted Sentinel that you are. You couldn’t even get that on your own,” Steven told him, getting another drink of milk.
Rafe sighed unhappily. “I don’t know how I could have let being a Sentinel go to my head, what with you around and all.”
Steven smiled at him. “Yeah, huh? Lax of me. I need to belittle you more, moron.”
Rafe rolled his eyes. “I hate you,” he told him with no real venom.
“Hmm-and that does so bother me.”
Rafe gave him a tiny smile. “I can tell. Can I see Lee?”
“I told you he’s asleep. Sandwiched right between Blair and Jim. Don’t know how all three fit in that tiny bed, but they did.”
“I can wait. I need to talk to him.” He smiled at Steven. “Kiss some Guide bun.”
Steven returned the smile. “Cool. Are you ready to come back?”
“Really?” Rafe asked, brown eyes showing his surprise.
“Yeah. You do live here after all.”
“Hard to tell, what-with you kicking me out and all,” Rafe replied, the outrage still clear in his voice.
Steven smiled at him, blue eyes twinkling happily. “Nope. Not true.”
“You went because you wanted to. I didn’t make you do anything.”
“You told me to get out.”
“No. You said maybe you should go with your Mom and Dad. All I did was agree.”
Rafe eyebrows rose so far up his forehead they almost disappeared into his hairline. “You mean to tell me I could have spent the night here with Lee?”
“Yup. Not that Lee would have anything to do with you right now.”
“Oh-man. Now I really hate you,” Rafe told him, glaring angry brown daggers at Steven. Who let them bounce off, completely unaffected.
“Oh, now that really wounds me. I’m going to lose sleep over that tonight,” he replied, helping himself to more pancakes.
“One of these days when you least expected it, day or night, I will exact my revenge of the likes you have never, ever seen,” Rafe told him with deadly, frightening calm.
Steven put down his fork. “Is that a threat?”
Steven picked up his fork. “Rafe?”
“As threats go, that’s pretty lame. You didn’t even make my big toe tremble in fear much less all a me in my sneakers. Wanna give it another go? Several if you like, just don’t take all day. Don’t wanna spend my whole Saturday listening to your whining. I’m taking the Guides to the movies at .”
Rafe moaned letting his head hit the table in despair. He was never going to win against Steven. Not ever. He thought despairingly. Trying the best he could to ignore William’s soft chuckles. The hand rubbing his back felt kinda nice though.
Rafe sighed unhappily as he watched Lee from the bleachers at the school. Jim, Steven and Michael had taken up jogging. Steven and Jim had also begun weight training to do their consecutive jobs better. Michael had told them they were still a bit young so their weights were only five pounds. Steven had taken to calling them babybells instead of dumbbells.
Lee and Blair sat under a tree just outside of the track, reading. Blair resting comfortably on Lee’s lap.
Lee hadn’t even looked at him when he’d come down from the bedroom. Ignoring Rafe as if he didn’t even exist. Not responding to Rafe’s tentative attempts to get his attention.
Rafe had gotten so use to having all of Lee’s attention, not having it was extremely disconcerting. He’d felt his eyes fill with tears. Last night he’d even had to sleep all by himself. Lee sleeping sandwiched once again between Blair and Jim.
Yesterday after they’d come back from the movies-Rafe had wanted to go, but thought better of it. Declining when Steven had asked him to join them. Lee had gone straight to William, climbing into his lap. Where father and son had talked quietly until Lee had fallen asleep.
Rafe had sat across from them watching. Wanting to go to his Guide with a desperation that hurt. But Lee didn’t want him, might not ever want him again. Not that Rafe blamed him. Steven was right, he had been a stupid, arrogant Sentinel. He’d had it all in the palm of his hand and now it was gone in a blink of an eye because of his stupidity.
He’d been able to smell Lee’s scent as he sat across from them. Tantalizingly clean and crisp. It soothed Rafe frazzled nerves even if he could barely make out the scent.
It calmed him a little. Knowing Lee didn’t completely hate his guts. He was releasing just enough scent to let him know he still cared, but not enough to encourage Rafe to seek him out.
Rafe wiped the tears streaming down his face impatiently. He was a fool. He watched through a haze of tears as Lee laughed at something Blair told him. Blue eyes lighting happily.
Lee was so beautiful. His dark blond hair shining brightly in the sunlight coming through the leaves of the trees. Skin so pale it was almost translucent. It was soft too, really soft. Rafe ached to touch it. He grimaced in pain. It hurt not to be able to touch whenever he wanted. If Lee ever let him hold him again he was never letting go, not never.
Rafe took a deep breath. Okay, time to try again. He got off the bleachers and headed toward where Lee and Blair sat.
“Lee?” He called softly, kneeling on the ground just in front of them.
Lee froze. “What?” He asked stiffly.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Lee pulled Blair closer into his arms. “There’s nothing to talk about.”
“There is,” Rafe insisted. “I love you, Lee. Very, very much. And I’m so sorry,” his voice caught. “f…for what I did. I wasn’t thinking.”
“I love you.”
“If you loved me you wouldn’t have cheated on me.”
“But I didn’t.”
“You were going to,” Lee told him harshly. “You got caught before you could do anything.”
“I don’t like cheater.”
Rafe sighed unhappily. “I know, sweetheart.” He reached out a trembling hand. “Can I touch you?”
Lee recoiled. “You lost that right.”
“But I didn’t cheat.”
“You wanted to and that makes it worse.”
Rafe bowed his head in despair. With a heavy sigh he lifted his head allowing Lee to see how much pain he was in. “I’m sorry. Give me another chance,” he pleaded, softly. “I need you so much.”
“Then why would you go to another Guide?”
“I wanted to see if I could smell another Guide’s scent. It was all innocent. I wasn’t being unfaithful. I would never do that to you. You are my Guide. I don’t need or want another.”
“You coulda asked Blair. He would have let you see if you could smell his scent. Wouldn’t you, Blair?”
The tiny Guide nodded his head. “Yups. I let.”
“And I wouldn’t have felt so threatened. Blair is my brother and he loves Jim.”
Rafe lowered his head. “I’m stupid, I know. Steven keeps telling me that. I just didn’t use my head. And I’m really sorry.” Rafe ached with the need to touch Lee. He was so close, yet just out of reach.
Lee tilted his head as he contemplated Rafe. “Are you?”
Rafe sensed a softening in Lee attitude toward him. “Yes, very sorry,” He replied, meaning it with his whole heart. “I miss sleeping with you.”
Lee gave him a shy smile. “Do you?”
Rafe returned it hesitantly. “Yeah. Couldn’t sleep at all. All I did was stare up at the ceiling all night. Missing you something fierce.”
Lee buried his head in Blair’s curls, looking at Rafe through his lashes. “I missed you too,” he admitted bashfully.
“You did?” Rafe moved closer to the two Guides.
“Give me another chance?”
Lee watched him silently for a while. It might have worried Rafe if it weren’t for Lee’s scent. It was coming through so clearly, it made Rafe want to cry with joy.
Finally Lee looked at Blair. “What do you think, Blair? Should I give Rafe another chance?”
Blair looked at Rafe then at up at Lee. “Yup. He not so snotty now. Learn lesson.”
Rafe moaned. “God, I wasn’t that bad.”
“Yes, you were,” Lee told him softly.
Rafe gave him a sheepish smile. “Okay, yes I was. But like Blair said I learned my lesson. I won’t ever, ever do something that stupid again. If I ever want to do something concerning Sentinels and Guides I’ll asked first before doing it.”
Lee gave him a brilliant smile. “Cool. Thank you, Rafe. That means the world to me.”
Rafe inched just a little bit closer. “Can I touch you now?”
“Yeah, you can touch me.”
Rafe gently carefully gathered Lee with Blair still in his lap into his arms. He sighed happily. “Ah, this is so much better. Two of the most beautiful Guides on the planet in my arms.”
Both Guides giggled.
“Silly Sentinel,” Blair told him, still giggling.
Rafe buried his face against Lee’s neck, sniffing happily. “Oh, yeah,” he said softly as Lee began releasing scent. He knew they were going to have to rebond, but it could wait. Lee didn’t hate him anymore and that meant everything to him. The rest could wait.
“Lee’s not mad at Rafe any more,” Steven told Jim and Michael as they jogged around the track.
“Yup, did notice that,” Jim replied. “Didn’t last long. He was only mad at him for two days.”
“Guides are so freaking easy,” Steven said, rolling his eyes.
Michael chuckled. “Yeah, but it’s only with their Sentinels.”
“Damn and I was hoping to see Rafe do some serious wooing.”
“Well, it wasn’t exactly wooing, but kind of more like woeing,” Jim told them as he looked over at the Guides cuddling with Rafe.
“Yeah, there was a lot of woeing on Rafe’s part,” Steven agreed, taking a drink from the water bottle he was carrying with him.
“Yup, there was. Give me some water,” Jim told Steven. “He won’t ever be so stupid again.”
“Of course he will,” Steven told him passing the water bottle. “He’s a Sentinel.”