Life is Change

BY : trudyw
Category: BtVS Crossovers > Misc - Slash - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 8057
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sentinel, I make no money from the writing of this story.

Author's Note : Hi there, I'm slacking again, I do apologise, the latest chapter of 'Piercing the Veil' has been giving me problems.  Thank you to Lydia Monroe, Kuragari and Kahuna Burger for your reviews to the latest chapter, so glad that you continue to enjoy the story.  Well here it is, please read, enjoy and review.

Chapter 15

The drive back to the loft was accomplished in silence.  It had been a long day and both men were tired but that wasn’t the only reason for the lack of conversation.  There was a tenseness in the atmosphere within the truck that had Jim on edge, whilst Blair sat staring out of the side window and internally fuming at the stunt his partner had pulled earlier.

Pulling into the parking lot outside 852 Prospect Jim engaged the parking brake and killed the engine before slumping back in his seat.  “Chief,” he turned to face his stony faced Guide but Blair was already slipping out of his seatbelt.

“Not now Jim” was all the younger man would say as he climbed out of the truck and headed inside.

It was a dejected Sentinel who followed his seething Guide into the building and up the stairs.  By the time Jim walked in to the apartment Blair was already at the door of his small room.

“Chief,” Jim called again and to his immense relief Blair stopped in the doorway of his room and turned to face him.

“What do you want from me Jim?” the words were harsh, far more so than Jim was used to hearing from his easy-going partner.

“Chie...Blair, I’m sorry,” Jim made to step forward but a swiftly raised hand from the younger man stopped him in his tracks.

“Do we have to do this now?  I’m tired, I’m angry and we have only a few hours before we need to be back at the station” Blair asked angrily, but just looking at his Sentinel answered that question.  It was obvious that Jim wasn’t going to let this drop.  “Right” Blair muttered under his breath and reversing his course he took his seat on the couch.   Back in the place he’d been when Spike had first expounded all this weirdness about hellmouths and the thriving trade in human blood.  Back in the place that had seen so many revelations over the last few days Blair felt a strange sense of déjà-vu.

Gesturing Jim to the seat opposite Blair pulled his legs up to sit cross-legged as, with closed eyes, he leaned his head against the back of the couch for a moment before rallying and facing the source of his ire.

“I’m sorry, I know you’re angry, and you have every right to be...”  Jim broke off as he saw Blair shaking his head sadly.

“Yes I’m angry Jim, do you even know why I’m angry?”  Blair asked with a resigned tone.

“Because I dumped the responsibility for the explanation on you without warning?”  Although the words formed a statement the tone was questioning.

“It’s not so much that you dropped me in it with no warning, as it’s that you always do the same thing.  You’re perfectly happy to do the talking when it’s all good and normal.  Yes Simon, we’ve figured it out, we know what’s going on!”  Blair’s tone dropped on the last words in a bluff parody of his Sentinel’s voice.  “But when it’s something weird or supernatural, Sentinel stuff, Ghosts or heaven help us all, vampires! Then you hand it off to me without so much as a bye your leave.”

Jim was stunned at the sudden attack and his first instinct was to defend himself, “but Blair, you’re the expert on all the weird stuff, your anthropological background...”

“No! That’s not going to cut it Jim, sure if you’re talking about the myths and legends then I could reel off all sorts of information, from Lilith, Lilit or Lilitu, first wife of Adam, kicked out of Eden because of her feminist views, the Sumerian Ekimmu, the Nepalese Lord of Blood, from India we have the Rakshasa and the Baital, the ancient Greeks had the Lamia, the ancient Chinese had the Chiang-shihor hopping corpse.  Oh, you’ll like this one Jim, the Conchus from Peru who are believed to have been devil worshippers who drank the blood of the young.  Or what about my personal favourite, the Penanggalen from Malaysia, a disembodied head with dangling entrails that seek out the blood of the innocent.”  Here Blair stopped and glared across at Jim, almost challenging him to speak, but Jim knew better than that.  He was already on shaky ground with his Guide, there was no way he was going to make the mistake of interrupting before Blair had had a chance to get everything off of his chest. 

“Correct me if I’m wrong here, but I didn’t see any phosphoric green glow, no snakeish body parts and definitely no dangling entrails!”  Whilst Jim normally enjoyed watching as Blair cut some hapless cop or public defender down to size, he found that having that same sarcasm turned on him was far from a laughing matter.

“I thought not!  I know about the vampire myths, but even though I was kicked out of academia, I still know how to research.  I’m not going to let millennia old stories get in the way when I have the chance to talk to a genuine vampire and find out the truth behind the legends.  When it comes to the truth about vampires you know exactly as much as I do, we were both here, we both listened to Spike and Xander.  Nothing in my anthropological background gave me any great advantage tonight.  You’ve gotten into the habit of handing the tricky bits off to me and I don’t like it.  We could have talked about it in the truck on the way over, you could have asked me.  That’s all I’m saying.”  Blair sagged forward, defeated and his hands came up to rub his temples.  He hadn’t missed the way Jim had flinched when he had mentioned how his academic career had ended.  He had not intended to hurt the older man with his words but he’d needed to get some things out into the open.

“I’m sorry Jim, I didn’t mean to...”

“No, you’re right, you gave up everything for me and I’ve just been taking you for granted.  It’s the same thing we talked about the other night.  Give me another chance, I can do better, just keep telling me when I screw up.”  The earnest entreaty in Jim’s voice broke through the haze of tiredness and frustration that enshrouded Blair’s mind.  Uncurling his legs Blair pushed himself to his feet and stepped around the low coffee table to stand at Jim’s side.

Extending his hand he stood and waited for a few moments until Jim looked up to meet his gaze.  “Come on” was all he said as he wiggled his fingers slightly.  Uncertainly the Sentinel twisted to face his Guide and reached out to take the proffered hand.  With a firm tug, Blair pulled his partner to his feet, “come on” he repeated and led the larger man to the steps up to the mezzanine level where Jim slept. 

It was awkward climbing the narrow steps without releasing the hand of the man behind him but Blair managed it.  After waiting a moment for Jim to reach the upper level Blair pulled him across the floor so that they were both stood beside the large bed that filled much of the space in the small area.  Stepping into the taller man’s personal space Blair pulled Jim’s head down and gently kissed him.  A soft chaste kiss at first but then, gaining in confidence, Blair flicked out his tongue, lapping at the closed lips with a series of tiny, kitten licks.  Groaning deeply as arousal soared through him, Jim wrapped his arms firmly around his Guide and pulled their bodies tight together as he opened his lips, allowing the warm invader entrance.

They remained that way for several minutes, bodies pressed closely together, tongues duelling as each sought to devour the other.  Eventually the need to breathe became paramount and they broke apart, but not far.  Eyes still closed, heads tilted down they rested with foreheads touching as their warm breaths mingled gently in the pre-dawn light.

Finally Blair broke the silence, “we need to sleep” he murmured, unwilling to break the moment that they had shared.

Jim chuckled softly, “you take the left hand side, I sleep on the right.”

Blair just nodded tiredly and reluctantly they separated each stripping down to boxers and t-shirts before they crawled under the covers together and Blair nestled down in Jim’s arms to rest.  As his eyes slipped closed and his mind sank into the peace of sleep one thought floated through his head.  “Home at last!”



Jim awoke slowly, revelling in the warm body clasped tightly in his arms.  Even as tired as he had been he hadn’t expected to be able to sleep when he lay down.  However as he enfolded his Guide in his arms the Sentinel felt at peace in a way that he had never experienced before.  As he buried his nose in the soft, brown curls of Blair’s hair and breathed in the familiar scent of his Guide he knew that all was right with his world.  Slowly their heartbeats synchronised and he was pulled into sleep behind the man who owned his heart.

Now, drifting back to wakefulness he felt surprisingly well rested.  Shifting carefully so as not to wake Blair he peered through the mass of curls to see the clock on his bedside table.  8:05, barely three hours sleep and he felt as good as he had the previous morning after a full eight hours.  Looking down at Blair’s sleeping face he chuckled, now that was one experiment he would have no objection to taking part in.

A sound that Blair had not heard in a long time tugged at his unconscious mind, slowly pulling him back to wakefulness.  As he woke he felt the gentle shaking of the warm body wrapped so intimately around his own.  Rolling onto his back within the encircling arms he opened his eyes and smiled up into Jim’s laughing face.  “You’re cheery this morning.” He commented.

“I am,” was Jim’s only reply before the larger man leaned down to kiss Blair’s smiling lips.

As the kiss ended a low hum of appreciation reverberated from the Shaman as his eyes fluttered open once more.  “Hmmmmm, not that I’m complaining, but what brought that on?”

“Nothing, just, I love you,”  Jim realised he was on the verge of rambling and shut up quickly.

“I love you too.”  Blair answered, “now what had you so amused when I woke up?”

“Nothing, just...”  Jim broke off as he realised he was repeating himself.  Taking a deep breath he started over.  “I was just considering the beneficial effects of sleeping wrapped around my guide.  I’ve had barely three hours sleep and I feel rested and raring to go.  Don’t you feel it?”

“Actually, now you come to mention it I do feel something.”  Blair spoke with a sly grin, emphasizing his words with a sideways shift of his hips as he nudged the large protuberance that had been poking him in the side since he had rolled over.

Jim’s eyelids dropped closed and a groan issued from deep within his chest as his hips thrust forward reflexively meeting the pressure exerted by his Guide.

Blair felt the desire coiling within his gut at the need that he saw writ large across his Sentinel’s face.  Maintaining the sideways pressure he reached up to curl a hand around the back of Jim’s neck, pulling the larger man back in for another intense kiss.

It was only with an extreme effort that Jim was able to eventually draw back from the divine taste of his Guide.  It took several deep breaths before his was able to open his eyes, and a few more before he could speak.  “Chief, it kills me to say this but we need to slow down.”

Blair had to allow the words to percolate through his brain for several seconds before he was able to extract their meaning.  As soon as the understanding hit though, it was immediately followed by a wave of disappointment that he struggled to hide.  “Of course Jim, you’re not ready” and he turned his head to hide his face against Jim’s strong chest.

That forced a rueful chuckle from Jim and he brought up a hand to gently card his fingers through Blair’s luxurious curls.  “Oh I’m ready Chief, I’m more than ready” and he emphasized the words with another gentle nudge of his hips.

“Huh?” Blair rolled back, just a little, so that he could peer up with just one eye.

“I want you, probably more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life, but not like this, not just a quickie, wham bam thank you man before we rush off to work.  I want to wait until we can take our time and do this right.”

“Ah Jim, and I thought you didn’t have a romantic bone in your body.”   Blair pressed a firm kiss to Jim’s t-shirt covered chest before pulling himself away with a visible effort.

Another groan wracked the Sentinel’s body, “Blair, you’re not making this any easier.”

“Sorry Jim,” but the smile on Blair’s face belied the apology in his words, as did the long slow kiss he laid on his partner before rolling out of the bed.  “Dibs on the first shower” he called laughing before he headed off down the steps.  

“Tease” called Jim as he lay back on the bed, thanking his lucky stars once more that he had woken up to what was in front of him in time, before Blair had walked out of his life for good.

Shaking off his thoughtful mood Jim padded down the steps and over to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for both of them.  Half an hour later they were both fed, showered, dressed and in the truck heading back to the Police Department building.  Walking into the bullpen Jim was unsurprised to see Simon already working at his desk.  Shoulder bumping Blair, Jim nodded over to the glass walled office.  Shooting a quick glance in that direction Blair nodded agreement before heading over to their shared desk to make a start on the paperwork for today’s recon mission at the butcher shop in Federal Way.

Meanwhile Jim crossed the office and after rapping briefly on the glass of Simon’s door he pushed it open and stepped inside.  “Morning Simon,” he called out closing the door behind him.  Simon looked up slowly, his eyes bloodshot from the lack of sleep, tiredness evident in every line of his face.

“Shit Simon! You look like crap!”  Jim was shocked at his captain’s appearance, “did you get any sleep last night?”

Hanging his head and rubbing his eyes Simon sighed.  “When was I supposed to sleep?  Do you know how much groundwork needs to be done?”  Only now seeming to notice that Jim was alone Simon looked through the glass walls of his office to see Blair settling down at their desk.  “Speaking of which, where are your friends, there’s a lot we need to go over with them if they are going to go into that shop as representatives of Cascade PD.”

“Blair and I will be meeting with them in their Motel room this afternoon to bring them up to speed with everything they need to know.”  Jim explained.

Sudden anger bought life back to Simon’s eyes, “No Jim, that’s not good enough.  If they want to be a part of this operation then they need to get their asses down here now!”

“That’s not going to happen Simon.”  Jim paused realising that this was the point where he would normally hand off to Blair.  Thinking over their brief argument of the night before Jim took a deep breath before continuing.  “Sit down Simon, there’s more going on here than we were able to tell you last night with Williamson in the room.”

Sitting back down Simon waved off his Detective, “I know, Xander is a Sentinel and Spike is his Guide.  I’d have sworn it was the other way round but I did pick up on Xander’s almost slip last night.  That doesn’t get them any special consideration.”

“Yeah, about that, there was something else we wanted to tell you about them, you see there’s something more about Spike...”

“Well spit it out man, or do I need to get Blair in here to tell me what’s going on?”  Simon’s raised voice carried through to the bullpen and even without enhanced hearing the curly haired Detective clearly heard his words.

Turning to follow Simon’s gaze Jim saw the questioning look on Blair’s face as the younger man started to push up from his chair, but Jim waved him away.  Jim was pleased to see that his partner sank back down and immediately immersed himself once more in the paperwork that had built up on his desk in the few hours that they had been away.

“Spike hasn’t been working deep cover...”  Jim paused as Simon slumped down.

“Is he even a cop?”  Simon asked, resignation clear in his voice.

“No.”  At least that was one question that Jim could answer simply.

“OK, just tell me he’s not one of these vampire wannabe’s.”  Another straight forward question, maybe this wasn’t as hard as Blair made it out to be.

“No, he’s not a vampire wannabe.”  Jim answered with absolute conviction and honesty.

“That’s good,” Simon sounded hopeful until he noticed the cagey look still on Jim’s face.  “What is he then?”  he asked warily.

And so it came, the moment Jim had dreaded and suddenly he knew, if anything Blair made this look so much easier than it really was.  “Ok, don’t freak out Simon, Spike is a vampire.”

“A vampire.”  Simon sounded dubious, maybe the lack of sleep was catching up with him, because he was pretty sure his top Detective had just told him that he’d shaken hands with a vampire the previous night.

“Yes Simon, a genuine, card-carrying, blood drinking vampire, problems with stakes, garlic, crosses, the whole nine yards.  That’s why they won’t be able to make it to the station today.  Blair and I have arranged to meet up with them this afternoon, we’ll go over everything they need to know as well as some extra Sentinel stuff that will be helpful.  Then we’ll accompany them to the site of the operation after dark.”  Jim waited to see how Simon would take these latest revelations.

“OK, I need to get some sleep, I’d have sworn you just said that vampires are real and you brought one into MY office.”

“It’s true Simon, we were sitting down to dinner last night and just as Spike was about to take a mouthful of Blair’s stew Xander smelt the garlic.  He stopped Spike before he ate anything but...”  Jim paused as he relived those frantic minutes as his entire world view was changed forever.  “You should have seen it Simon, his face just changed, his eyes turned golden, he had these heavy brow ridges, hell he even grew fangs.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Now Simon was just confused, “you mean you had a vampire in your apartment and you didn’t notice anything odd until after you sat down to dinner with him?” 

“You’ve seen him, he’s more Billy Idol than Count Dracula.  I mean it’s not like I ever thought I’d need to check strangers on the street for a heartbeat or body temperature.  If they’re walking and talking then I generally assume that the people I meet are alive.”  Jim shook his head, it was so strange to think that his entire world view had changed so drastically in the last twelve hours.  “I’ve learned to keep the dials on my senses to a fairly normal level, if I didn’t then I’d spend half my life in a zone-out.  Last night I was a little on edge, meeting a new Sentinel will do that to me, so I had the dials turned up a little, just enough to give me a heads up if anything threatened Blair.  Everything I had was concentrated on Xander, he’s the Sentinel, if there was any threat it should have come from him.  Spike, he lit up every light on my Guide detector, my only instinct regarding him is to trust and protect.  When I saw his face change like that, it felt like I was torn in two.”

“Wait, you have a Guide detector! When did that happen?”  The revelations were coming thick and fast now, it was strange that even with all the years that these two men had been friends they had never really sat down and talked about the changes in Jim’s life since his Sentinel abilities had manifested.

“When I met Blair I think, no-body else ever tripped it until now, suddenly all those feelings that meant Blair, now I’m getting the same vibes from Spike.”  Now it was Jim’s turn to sound confused as he worked through the unfamiliar emotions evoked by the blonde Brit.  No that wasn’t true, the emotions weren’t unfamiliar, it was having them associated with someone who wasn’t Blair that was unfamiliar.

“It’s so strange Simon, Blair and I had to work so hard to make this work, you were there, you saw how hard I fought against him at the start but he pushed and pushed until he earned my absolute trust.  Now I think he could tell me to jump out of that window and I’d trust that there was a damn good reason why it had to be done.  Suddenly Spike is benefiting from that absolute trust that Blair worked so hard to earn.”

“So you’re saying that Spike and Blair incite the same emotions in you?”  Simon was worried now, they were placing a lot of faith in Spike on Jim’s say-so.  If that faith was misplaced due to some weird Guide thing then tonight could go south very quickly and in a spectacular way.

“It’s the same, and it’s not the same.  I don’t know, Blair is different, he’s mine, you know.  But Spike, he’s the same, he’s Guide and Guide is trust.  At first it was like there were two people inside of me, the Sentinel trusts the Guide implicitly but the man cannot trust a creature that lives on the blood of others.”  It was odd, working through something like this without having Blair with him every step of the way.  It was odd, but in this case Jim thought it might be essential.  After all, while they might both know of the absolute trust between them, there was a big difference between knowing it and actually voicing the words.

“It sounds like the Sentinel and the man have reached a consensus, or did the Sentinel override the man?”  Simon genuinely wanted to know, this insight into the inner working of his friend’s mind was fascinating to him.

“No, they’ve definitely reached a consensus, I think it was Xander, he made it easy.  I mean, he’s a Sentinel and that should make me wary of him, but he just screams White Knight, he’s so obviously one of the good guys and he trusts Spike like I trust Blair.  Last night, you should have seen it Simon, he’s this friendly, goofy guy and suddenly when Spike was threatened he was there, protecting his Guide against all comers.  If Spike can inspire that kind of faith in someone who knows him well, the good and the bad, then I’m prepared to trust him until I see proof that he’s not worthy of that belief.”

Both men sat, lost in thought for a while until a buzz from the intercom on Simon’s desk pulled them back into the present.  Leaving Simon to deal with whoever was calling on him now, Jim stood to leave, turning at the door to mouth ‘Get some sleep’ back at his boss before he left.

The rest of the day was spent planning the operation at the butchers shop, making sure all possible agencies were apprised of the details of the op. Top priority was ensuring they weren’t going to be getting in the way of any other investigations.  Other than that they had SWAT placements to plan, backup to place, and all the while covering the fact that they were sending in two civilians who couldn’t even take part in the pre-op planning.

Mid-morning Jim looked up, a strange sound had been teasing at his senses for the last few minutes and he scanned the bullpen trying to track it down.  Seeing his partners distraction Blair looked around too, trying to identify the problem.  With a grin he tapped Jim’s arm and nodded towards the corner office.  Looking across Jim wasn’t sure what it was that had caught Blair’s attention until he realised that for the first time in what seemed like days he couldn’t see Simon.  With a better idea now what he was looking for, he finally noticed the top of Simon’s head, just visible around the back of the couch in the office.  Simon had finally sacked out for a few hours sleep and it was the sound of his gentle snores that had attracted Jim’s attention.  Sharing an indulgent smile the partners settled back down to work, thanking heaven once more for the benefits of the Sentinel / Guide bond, even if it was only the ability to get a good nights sleep in under 3 hours when they slept in each others arms.

Finally three o’clock rolled around and they had done everything that they could to prepare for this evening.  Packing up everything they needed to brief Spike and Xander they let a now awake and refreshed Simon know where they were going and set off for Federal Way.:

A/N: Well there it is, let me know what you think of it in a review Please!!

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