Attention: This is an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Expect things to be wacky.
That said, this story takes place in it's own time
period. Zen&nancy no longer feel the need to
comply to TPTB's time lines.
Story title and lyrics borrowed without permission from Bob Marley (r.i.p.)
Mucho thanks to Suze for always being there, and to
MoonPuppy, who is crazy enough to be
resident beta at the House Of Slack, and the wonderful people who have written us, we're still in
shock that people like this soap opera.
Vive la RSM!
Three Little Birds
Sunlight spread across the loft, slowly lighting the room. Duncan, Jim, and Blair snored happily, the variance in the tones of their snores creating a harmony. Duncan inhaled an especially deep breath and, as usual, one of Blair's curls got sucked into his mouth.
Only half awake, he spit out the curl and tried to roll over, away from Blair's hair, but found himself held firmly in place by Jim's large, sleeping body. He had spooned behind Duncan in the night and held him firmly across the chest. Blair stirred in his sleep; evidently, Duncan's small movements had disturbed him. He grumbled some indecipherable string of half words and turned on his side.
"Go back to sleep," Duncan whispered in Blair's ear, knowing his lover had never really woken up. Still, it made him feel good to see Blair smile in his sleep and settle deeper into his pillow.
Movement on the bed and the hushed sound of Duncan's voice filtered into Jim's consciousness. The next thing he was aware of was being very hot. Apparently someone had pulled the covers up during the night and it felt like 110 degrees under the blankets.
Letting himself wake up slowly, Jim rolled onto his back and flung off the covers. Stretching his back, he felt Duncan roll over next to him.
"Morning," Duncan quietly greeted Jim, rolling onto his stomach and propping himself up on his elbows to look at him.
"Hmm, morning." Jim hadn't even opened his eyes yet, but the warmth of Duncan's voice made him smile. This morning he felt completely comfortable waking up naked in Duncan's bed. Even the strong smell of sex seemed normal. Jim let memories of last night play across his mind, smiling. It had been wonderful, every minute of it, and he was relieved to realize that he had no regrets.
"You're not going to make me run this morning, are you?" Duncan asked, running his fingers across Jim's sternum.
Jim chuckled and opened his eyes. "Not immediately, no."
"Shh, I'm sleeping," Blair mumbled as he shoved Duncan with his leg.
Duncan and Jim both laughed. Jim rolled onto his side, to face Duncan, and wondered if he looked as happy as Duncan did. Jim's nose was filled with the scent of sex and sweat, and thought that a shower should probably be the first order of business. He leaned close to Duncan and spoke quietly, not wanting to provoke any more grumpiness from Blair.
"How about a shower and we take it from there?"
"Sounds good." Duncan smiled and stretched. He sat up on his knees and tilted his head to one side, questioningly. "Was that an invitation, or are these separate showers we're talking about?"
Jim wasn't sure exactly what he was getting himself into, but he wasn't going to worry about it too much. There was a level of trust he had with Duncan that was almost as strong as the one between him and Blair. Last night, Jim had been awed by the trust Duncan had shown. Holding Duncan in his arms as Blair slowly made love to him had touched Jim in a way that nothing ever had before. Last night Jim realized he had many misconceptions about what went on between Blair and Duncan, and men in general. Jim had never thought about how much love was involved.
"C'mon Mac, you can wash my back." Jim pushed himself out of bed and headed for the bathroom, Duncan right behind him.
As Duncan turned to close the bathroom door he saw Blair spread himself out in the middle of the bed and snuggle deeper under the covers. Jim was already flushing the toilet by the time Duncan could tear his eyes away from the beauty of a sleeping Blair. He took his turn at the toilet as Jim turned on the water and stepped into the shower, not waiting to let the water get hot.
"Do you always step into a cold shower first thing in the morning?" Duncan was curious. Actually, he was extremely curious about everything there was to know about Jim Ellison. Last night had bonded the three of them closer than Duncan would have thought possible. There was an equal balance, a harmony to the relationship that was developing, and he wanted to savor every minute he had with them.
"It's okay, it's warm now." Jim made room for Duncan in the shower. There was plenty of room for two people, but Blair was right, three would never fit.
Duncan shook his head and laughed. "No, I was wondering if you always get in before the water heats up." He stepped into the shower and under the warm water.
"Oh." Jim had never really thought about it. "Yeah, I guess I do. Maybe I got used to it in the Army. " He picked up the soap and started washing his arms and chest. "I guess I like the cold water to wake me up, and then it's even nicer when it finally gets hot."
Duncan watched Jim soap his pecs, and then under his arms. Seeing the strength in Jim's mass, he couldn't help but reach out and touch. His fingers pressed and rubbed the soapy skin at the top of Jim's left pectoral, feeling the muscle ripple under his fingers.
"I think you said something about washing your back." Duncan looked up to see a rather surprised look on Jim's face. "Sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable?"
"No, just a little confused, but what else is new?" Jim laughed at himself. He loved the way Duncan was looking at him, but he wasn't sure why he seemed to be so appealing to Mac.
"Confused about what?" Duncan took the soap from Jim and stepped behind him to wash his back. He hoped he could put any uneasiness Jim might have to rest. He thought that it might be easier for Jim to open up to him if he didn't have to meet his eyes.
"Lately, everything," Jim joked. "I don't necessarily understand what's going on with us, all three of us, but I'm happy anyway. It's strange how easy all this is. I thought that what went on between me and Blair was because of the Sentinel thing, but now... I just don't know."
Duncan thoroughly soaped Jim's back and then kneaded and massaged the massive muscles. He felt Jim relaxing, in spite of the topic of conversation. "Y'know Jim, one thing I have learned in four hundred and some years is that you grab love wherever you find it, no matter what package it comes in. No matter how long you live, life is too short to waste love, any kind of love."
"Makes sense." Jim nodded, thinking that he didn't really want to start questioning his sexuality at this particular moment. Here he was, getting the best back rub he'd ever had standing up from Duncan, and what sounded like damn good advice. How could anything that felt this right be worth worrying over?
"Do you regret any of it?" Duncan had to know.
"No, not a chance. How about you?" Jim wondered if Duncan resented his invading Duncan's relationship with Blair.
"No Jim, no regrets." Duncan moved lower down Jim's back and was rewarded with a grateful groan. "Wait, that's not true. I regret the way we started out. I'm sorry there was ever violence between us." With that he reached forward and pulled Jim's back to his chest, giving Jim a strong hug.
"Me too, Mac."
Jim leaned back into Duncan, enjoying both the warm, wet chest against his back, and the bond that was growing between them. He turned around and wrapped his arms around Duncan's hips.
Duncan leaned forward, resting his forehead against Jim's. He brought his hand up from where it was on Jim's shoulder to the top of his head. Running his palm across Jim's short buzz cut, Duncan watched the drops of water spraying off Jim's head.
"Never again. Swear it?" Duncan offered quietly, rubbing his hand over Jim's short hair.
"I swear," Jim answered confidently, feeling a wide smile spread over his face. It felt better than he would have imagined, to promise his friendship to Duncan.
For a moment they stood still together under the hot spray, letting the water run down their faces, then Jim took the soap from Duncan's hand and turned him around under the water, settling Duncan's back against his chest. Jim washed Duncan slowly, taking his time as he spread the lather over Duncan's chest and arms.
"You know, I thought what you did last night was really incredible," Jim mumbled against the back of Duncan's head.
"What did I do?" Duncan asked, relaxing under the gentle touch.
"Letting me watch Blair make love to you."
"Oh." Duncan tried to turn to face Jim, but a strong arm locked around his waist prevented him. He smiled, leaning back against Jim's bulk. "I thought if you saw... I'm glad you wanted to."
That seemed to be all the discussion they were going to have on the subject, Duncan thought, as Jim pushed him gently away from his body to wash his back.
"I'm sort of worried about how well Blair's going to take me going back on the force," Jim confided, running his palms up and down Duncan's muscular back, pressing into him and watching Duncan's muscles relax under the skin. He used his sense of touch, manipulating each group of muscles until he could see the tissue spread and go soft under his fingers.
"Mmm, are you? Why?" Duncan groaned softly, leaning into the wall as Jim's hands attacked every kink in his back.
"He's got a life here, Mac, he's a professor. He's not going to have time to handle stuff for me, too. I'm worried about how he's going to take it when something goes down and he's not there to help me."
Duncan thought about what Jim had told him, trying to decide if Jim was afraid of not having his Guide's protection, or how Blair would react if he didn't need it.
"Do you think you're going to be able to handle your senses without him?" Duncan asked seriously. He knew it was a delicate subject, one Jim and Blair had been talking around for days. It was obvious that Blair didn't think that Jim could handle it, and that Jim wasn't willing to have the argument. Every time Blair tried to bring it up he changed the subject.
"Well, I've been thinking about it a lot, and I really think it's not going to be that big a deal. It may mean that I won't have the freedom, or maybe it's the luxury, of being able to use my senses any time I want to, but that's a choice I'll make, based on whether or not I think it's too dangerous. I don't know, Mac... Not having him there is going to make a difference, but it's not something I can pin down. It's not like I can't do my job without him... I guess I won't feel like I have an extra edge, as much. He's so damn smart. It's funny, how much real detective work he did under the cover of playing ride-along. I guess I'm saying I'm gonna miss him like hell, but yeah, I can do it."
"That's good. I know Blair will worry about you, but I'm not going to. I have faith in you, everything will be okay."
As he pulled Duncan back under the water to rinse the soap off his back, Jim leaned his mouth to Duncan's ear. "That means a lot to me, Mac."
"Good. I'm glad." Duncan turned his face to the side under the water, pressing his lips to Jim's as the streams cascaded over their faces.
Jim pulled away laughing. "You're going to drown us, Mac. I don't get to come back if you kill me."
He was only joking, but it struck a chord in Duncan, so that he pulled Jim tightly against him, whispering in his ear. "We'll just have to make the most of the time you've got, then, won't we?"
"Any ideas?" Jim growled, pushing Duncan gently back under the water to rinse the last of the suds away.
"Many... but some of them require more space." Duncan grinned back, his eyes dark and playful.
Jim chuckled, lifting pieces of Duncan's long hair under the spray. When he was sure that all of the thick mass was saturated with water, he reached for the shampoo.
"Mm, that feels so good. Why is having your hair washed the nicest thing?" Duncan mumbled under his breath, realizing Jim would hear him.
"Couldn't tell you, I guess I'm missing out." Jim smiled, both hands buried in Duncan's thick hair, working the lather through the long strands.
"You are, it's very nice," Duncan mumbled, letting Jim's hand support the back of his head as he guided him back under the spray.
Duncan leaned under the water, his head falling back, letting Jim rinse his hair. He closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of Jim's fingers slowly pulling through his hair. Strong fingers held the back of his head and moved him so all the shampoo was rinsed from his head.
Jim watched as Duncan practically went limp in his hands. Mac had let all the weight of his head and neck fall into his hands, and the look of ecstasy on Duncan's face made his cock jump. He finished rinsing Duncan's hair and slowly pulled his head up, out of the spray of water.
"You push all my buttons, Mac, and I still have no idea why," Jim whispered, staring into Duncan's eyes as he backed him up against the wall. It was only one step forward, to press his body against Duncan and have him up against the tile, wet skin sliding against skin, sweat and steam and pheromones heavy in the air. It felt very, very good. Jim felt his cock stiffen against Duncan's hip, his hands roaming over Duncan's back and sides. Jim felt a rush of pure lust flow through him as he pinned Duncan firmly to wall.
Duncan's mouth was hungry under his, kissing Jim back with equal force as their tongues fought inside each other's mouths. Duncan's body was hot and hard underneath him, muscles flexing as Jim pressed himself against Duncan's erection. Jim's hands came down hard on Duncan's shoulders as Duncan's tongue thrust into his mouth. They were almost the same height, Jim only an inch taller, and Jim relished the strength he held as he pressed Duncan into the wall.
Duncan groaned quietly, his mouth dragging away from Jim's lips to fasten to his throat. The water would have drowned out the little noises he made, but Jim listened for them, dragging his hard cock back and forth against Duncan's in long, slow thrusts.
Duncan's hips moved under his, pushing back with aggressive enthusiasm. Jim kept up the pace, feeling the slick, easy slide of Duncan's cock against his under the water and finding it an irresistible pleasure. His sense of touch crept up without his consent, until he could feel the drag of each individual hair, the pulse and flow of the blood in the veins just under the smooth, thin skin of Duncan's cock, and the tremors that made Duncan's muscles flutter underneath him. Jim turned his face to the side, and sunk his teeth into the rounded muscle at the top of Duncan's shoulder, his mouth sucking strongly over the skin.
Duncan's head fell back, and he slipped down a little against the wall, moaning. "More."
Jim's hands molded themselves to the shape of Duncan's body, sliding down from his shoulders to his hips to hold on to him as their pace went from fast to furious. He ground his pelvis hard against the thrust of Duncan's hips, his mouth laying claim to the side of his neck, marking him and licking the injured flesh. Duncan's hands slid down his back to cover his ass, pulling him into his body even harder, encouraging Jim's aggression. "Yes. Oh please Jim, more, harder..."
Duncan became more and more vocal as Jim bit and sucked his way across Duncan's shoulders. He let himself go, not caring when he felt Duncan's skin breaking under his teeth. Mac was begging for more, and he would heal. Duncan groaned and shuddered, hanging onto Jim as he arched away from the wall, coming in a hot rush over Jim's cock.
Jim tried to hold him up, but Duncan pulled away, sinking to his knees in front of him. He took Jim's cock into his mouth, sucking him straight back into his throat in spite of the water streaming down on his head, running in rivulets down his face. He closed his eyes, his hands on Jim's hips steadying his balance as he shifted on his knees, pushing the length of the cock deep into his throat. Jim moaned mindlessly, a long vowel sound of extreme pleasure as his hips thrust forward into wet, silky heat, even hotter than the water running down his legs. Duncan's mouth enveloped him, pulled him in until all he could feel was the slide of Duncan's lips over his cock, and the press of his tongue; everything else faded away. Jim dropped his head, gasping, and was greeted by the sight of Duncan, his hair in wet strands plastered to his face, the water streaming down from the crown of his head, devouring his cock. It was more than he could take, the most erotic picture he'd ever seen, and he came with a strangled groan, deep in Duncan's mouth.
Jim slid down against the wall behind him. Falling into a sitting position with his knees pulled all the way up, he leaned forward to wrap his arms around Duncan's neck, pulling him forward to rest his head against Mac's shoulder. They were both out of breath, but Duncan recovered first, Immortal healing faster to restore equilibrium. "That was wonderful. Are we stuck? Can you move?"
Jim laughed, coughing a little. "I refuse to get too old for this."
Duncan shook his head, little lines appeared around his eyes as they crinkled in pleasure. He reached behind Jim for the water tap, using it for leverage to pull himself back up to his feet in the small space. Offering a hand, he pulled Jim up, turning him under the quickly cooling spray to wash the remainder of their come from his stomach. They each took a quick turn under the water, rinsing the sweat from their bodies before the last of the hot water ran out.
Stepping out of the shower behind Duncan, Jim accepted a towel, staring at Duncan's chest. The marks of his teeth were gone, healed magically, no trace of his mouth on the smooth, golden skin. His hand came up, two fingers pushing gently into the spots where his teeth had broken the skin.
Duncan looked down questioningly and Jim explained in an undertone. "No marks. They healed when I wasn't looking, I didn't even notice." He was slightly regretful that he hadn't been able to watch them disappear.
"They're still there, I can see them." Duncan spoke quietly, turning his back to Jim's chest to stare at him in the mirror. "And we look very nice together."
"Mm, you think so?" Jim laughed, leaning down to nip at the side of Duncan's neck, where he'd first bit him. "I look like I need a shave. Are you going to let me use your razor?"
Duncan and Jim emerged from the bathroom, towels wrapped around their waists, just as Blair was waking up. He rolled over under the covers at the hushed sounds of their voices. " 'Sokay, you don't have to be quiet. I'm awake."
"Good morning," Duncan told him, smiling at his sleepy lover twisted up in the blanket. Going to the side of the bed, he leaned down to kiss him, enjoying the softness of Blair's lips. He was wonderful to kiss before he was really awake; all pliant and hot and sleepy.
"Good morning," Blair answered him through a yawn when Duncan released him, smiling with satisfaction at Duncan's just showered form. He briefly considered pulling his towel away and seeing where it got him, but Jim interrupted the thought.
"Coffee and eggs, Chief?"
Coffee and Jim's scrambled eggs sounded good, too. "Okay, yeah. Is there any hot water left?" Blair answered Jim, watching him move across the room with one of Duncan's dark blue towels wrapped around his waist. The question of hot water he directed to them both, realizing that Duncan and Jim must have showered together.
Blair watched the mischievous, intimate look that passed between them, waking up very quickly.
"Well, no, I don't think there is at the moment, Caro. But you can have coffee and breakfast first, and by that time there should be," Duncan answered him, going around to the other side of the bed to take a pair of jeans out of a drawer. He pulled them on, his eyes unconsciously following Jim around the kitchen as he got a filter and filled the coffee-maker with water.
"Okay, I suppose that's fine. If this is going to become a permanent living arrangement, I vote for a new hot water heater."
Blair had spoken without thinking, but now the seriousness of what his words implied sunk into his pre-coffee brain and he spoke quickly, taking back his casual statement. "Wait- scratch that, forget I said it, okay? I think I just realized I'm not ready to talk about this yet."
"Coffee in a minute, Chief," Jim answered gently, letting his Guide know it was okay, that he wasn't going to be upset when Blair decided it was time to talk about what was happening between the three of them.
"That's good, thank you," Blair told him, getting out of bed and heading for the bathroom, still steamed up from Duncan and Jim's shower.
When he returned a moment later, Jim was cooking eggs in the big frying pan at the stove, trying to talk Duncan into going running. The homey, domestic feeling, a sense of rightness that he got when he looked at the two of them like that dispelled the disturbing pangs of jealousy that he'd woken up to. Blair was still trying to figure it out, turning the feelings around in his head. He wasn't really sure if he was feeling possessive of Duncan, his lover, and the way Jim's arm wrapped casually around his waist when they came out of the bathroom; or if it was the sense of a sudden need to defend and protect his position as Jim's Guide, his Sentinel. Both, Blair finally decided, getting himself a cup of coffee and foraging in the refrigerator for milk. His reactions to both of them were unwanted -quick, sharp pangs of jealousy and anger.
Listening to them argue about the weather and the icy condition of the park's jogging path, Blair drank coffee rapidly. Their good-natured banter soothed his nerves, and he was able to look up at his lover across the counter-top and smile. "It's good to see everybody happy this morning."
"You want tomatoes in these eggs, Chief, or just cheese?" Jim called from the stove, turning his eggs with a wooden spatula.
"Just cheese, thanks." Blair poured himself a second cup of coffee before joining Duncan at the table.
They ate breakfast and Duncan did the dishes. Blair took a third cup of coffee and his portfolio with next semester's class schedule in it to the couch with him. Jim finally talked Duncan into going for a run, promising him they'd turn back if the path was too icy.
"We'll be back soon, Caro," Duncan told his lover, getting his new hat from his dresser while Jim put his running shoes on.
"Actually, I think I'm gonna run over to the library, I've got some stuff to do." Blair answered him vaguely, thinking that what he needed more than anything was a few hours alone to try to understand what was happening and why he felt so many different ways about it.
"Okay, Chief, we'll catch up with you later. Where do you want to do dinner? My place or here?"
The tone of Blair's voice caused both men to turn around as they headed for the lift.
"Is everything okay, Blair?"
They asked him in unison, two pairs of concerned eyes seeking out Blair's as he rose from the couch, stuffing papers back into his backpack.
"It's cool, guys, don't worry about it, okay? I just need a little time here; that's all. Go run, I'll see you later."
"Okay, Caro, I'll see you tonight." Duncan gave him a warm smile before turning back towards the lift.
Jim's look was a bit more uncertain, but after a moment he followed Duncan out of the loft, and Blair had the space to himself. The quiet seemed unusual, and he took a long, slow breath, settling back down on the couch to think.
He didn't want to feel jealous or possessive, but he did. He felt guilty because in a way he was the one who pushed Duncan and Jim together in the first place. Now he was afraid that things would change too much, that his relationships with Duncan and Jim would never be the same. Yes, he should have thought of this sooner, but that wasn't helping him now.
He sighed and settled into the couch. The library could wait, he needed to get a handle on this before he saw Duncan and Jim again. He needed to take it apart in his brain. Part of him was overjoyed that the three of them had slept together. Another part felt threatened when he saw Jim and Duncan come out of the shower together. There was no doubt in his mind that they were messing around in there, either. He knew them both well enough.
So, the fact that they were fooling around without him was upsetting. Why? Because maybe they would need him less or love him less than they did now? Blair felt better now that he had figured that much out, but he still didn't know how to change his reactions. Blair told himself that first, before anything, he had to think about what he really wanted, what all three of them wanted, before he could decide if it was possible to obtain.
Fresh air seemed like a good idea; Duncan and Jim would be back in another half hour or so, and Blair decided that he really did want to spend the afternoon at the library. Surrounded by the familiarity of books and study, maybe he could put their situation into a more objective perspective, and be more prepared to talk to his lover and his Sentinel about what was happening between them.
End Part 32