Disclaimer: We don't own any of these guys, they are the brainchild and property of: Rysher,
Panzer/Davis, Greg Widen, Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo, Paramount, Pet Fly Productions, UPN
and a bunch of other people. No money made, no harm intended. It's all in good fun, don't take
us too seriously.

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

Part 31

By Zen&nancy

Blair woke up draped half over Jim's shoulders, his cheek pressed to Jim's shoulder blade. One arm was stretched out over his head, holding onto the pillow he hadn't used, the other lay on Jim's leg. Pushing himself up on his elbow, he squinted at the clock. It said 5:25 a.m.

//Christmas morning// Blair told himself, a slow smile spreading over his face as his eyes moved over his bed mates. //I got my present early//

Jim was cuddled against Duncan's chest, really cuddled. Duncan was on his back, he had both arms wrapped around Jim, one hand holding Jim's head. They were both breathing deeply, Duncan snored very slightly, his face turned to the side over Jim's head. His Sentinel was flopped over Duncan's body, so that all he could see of his lover was the arm around Jim's back, one leg, a shoulder and his face.

Blair laid perfectly still watching them, feeling a strong combination of love and possessiveness for both of them. They looked awfully sweet for a couple of tough guys; the way Duncan held Jim made Blair wonder if he looked as happy when he was in Duncan's arms. Blair couldn't resist the urge to reach out and touch Jim, his fingers stroking lightly up and down the back of his arm. Jim sighed in his sleep, his bicep twitching from Blair's feather light touch.

Even his wildest fantasies didn't go this far, yet here he was, lying on top of Jim who was lying on top of Duncan. He lay back down on Jim, careful not to wake him. He was glad to have a little time to think, and try to figure out how they got here. The alpha male theory he had given Duncan earlier was the first thing that had popped into his head, but now he wasn't so sure. Last night there had been no struggle for dominance between Duncan and Jim, in fact, Jim had seemed very comfortable with letting Duncan take the lead. Now that he really thought about it, Jim was always submissive with him, too. Up until now Blair had chalked it up to Jim's inexperience and uncomfortableness with the situation, but maybe Jim was just naturally submissive.

When it came down to it, Blair had no idea what kind of lover Jim was with the women in his life. The few times he'd caught Jim with a woman, or anything close to it, Jim had made sure the entire situation disappeared instantly. Blair thought about it a little longer, and finally decided he'd have to give them all time to adjust to the relationship.

Blair shifted, pushing his arm underneath him to hold himself up a little higher. Jim slept soundly, but Duncan's eyes fluttered open at his slight movement. Blair's smile greeted him over Jim's head, tucked into his shoulder. Duncan met his lover's eyes, a slow smile of happiness and greeting spreading on his face.

"I love you." Duncan whispered softly.

"Merry Christmas." Blair answered, his voice hushed. Duncan thought that Blair's smile simply radiated joy.

Jim stirred at the sound of Blair's whisper, one hand coming up groggily over his head. His spread fingers bumped Duncan's face and he grunted, pulling his hand back down.

"Good morning." Duncan told him humorously, covering the hand that had almost poked him in the eye.

"Hi." Jim craned his head back to look up at Duncan, pushing himself up a little higher on the mattress when Blair scooted back to make room for him. Rolling over onto his back he arched his spine, stretching like a big cat, flexing his leg muscles one at a time.

Locking his hands behind his head, Jim turned to smile at Duncan. "No running on Christmas."

"Good." Duncan told him decisively, brown eyes laughing. "Breakfast on Christmas?"

"Definitely." Jim grinned back at him, somewhat amazed by how nice it was to wake up in Mac's bed.

"Pancakes on Christmas?" Blair asked hopefully, flopping across Jim's chest to reach for Duncan. He kissed his lover, with considerable passion, and Jim watched, bracing Blair's weight on top of him and smiling.

"Mmm, do I get one of those?" Jim asked him when they had parted.

"Absolutely." Blair mumbled enthusiastically, leaning over to kiss his Sentinel.

Jim wrapped his arms around Blair and squeezed. Full lips covered his and Jim felt Blair's rough, stubbly chin press against his face. As Blair slowly kissed him good morning Jim felt as if everything were right in his world. He was surprised that he felt so comfortable waking up naked and smelling of sex in Duncan's bed. He couldn't explain it, and he didn't understand it, but waking up on the broad expanse of Duncan's chest with Blair pressed against his back was possibly the best thing he had ever felt in his life.

Jim's happiness overwhelmed him and he squeezed Blair tighter, causing his Guide to yelp.

"Jim." Blair's voice was strained. "I can't breathe man."

Jim immediately loosened his grip. "Sorry Chief."

Blair smiled. "Don't get me wrong, a big Jim bear hug is a great way to wake up, I just don't want broken ribs for Christmas."

Jim poked Blair playfully in the ribs and laughed. "It's your own fault for being so squishable, Sparky."

Duncan laughed heartily, getting up on his knees. "You have more pet names for him than I can count. Do you want me to squish him for you, Blair?"

"Oh yeah, squeeze him till he calls uncle." Blair was laughing, the fire of mischief in his bright blue eyes.

"You got it, Caro." Duncan's arms wrapped around Jim from behind, getting him around his biceps with his elbows trapped against his sides. Blair scooted back into a corner of the mattress, watching Duncan's muscles bulge in the effort to fulfill his threat.

For a moment, it looked like he had him, although Duncan looked as though every muscle in his body was straining to accomplish this feat.

Jim laughed, shaking his head. "Not on your life, Mac. Not this morning." Jim's jaw clenched as he broke Duncan's hold, turning to flip Duncan onto his back all in one motion. They bounced on the mattress, laughing and panting from the exertion.

"So what did I hear about crying uncle?" Jim asked Duncan playfully, holding him down with his weight.

Duncan found himself flat on his back with Jim's full weight stretched out on top of him. He struggled a little, but he was having too much fun to fight dirty, and Jim was too heavy to move without seriously hurting him.

Blair's face was red from laughing, his hair flying in all directions as he vaulted from his corner of the mattress to land with a flop on Jim's huge back. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist." Blair told them, still laughing, as both men beneath him let out huffed grunts of surprise and loss of oxygen.

"Jesus, Blair..." Jim gasped, pushing his elbows up on the mattress to take some of their combined weight off Duncan, who was turning purple.

"Uncle!" Duncan offered weakly, inhaling with a gasp when Jim rolled them off of him, Blair still attached to his back.

The tickle fight that ensued proved to be bad luck for Blair, who was the only one of the three of them that was really ticklish. When Blair's wails for mercy began to sound sincere, they let him go, all three flopping back on the mattress, breathing heavily.

"That was fun," Blair told them, still panting. "Okay, I really need a shower now." Blair grinned at them, rolling over onto his stomach to prop his head up on his hands. He continued with a glimmer in his eyes, breathing a little easier. "And I am absolutely sure than the shower will only hold two of us, but whoever gets their butt in there first is very welcome to join me." Blair wiggled his eyebrows at them suggestively.

Duncan laughed, still too exhausted from play fighting with Jim to do anything but turn his head limply to look at the Sentinel across the expanse of mattress. "I'll start pancakes if you start coffee."

"Deal." Jim told him, chuckling.

"Fine, I'll shower alone, more hot water for me." Blair told them, pretending to be offended until Duncan grabbed him for another kiss on his way out of bed.

Duncan waited until Blair had closed the bathroom door before he spoke again. He wanted to say something about how right all of them together had felt, but he wasn't sure how to express the feeling. "So you're really okay with this?" He asked softly, instead.

Jim raised his eyebrows at Duncan's serious tone, but he rolled to his side to meet his eyes, nodding slowly. "Yeah... I think I am. I mean, as long as you want me to be." Jim realized how silly that sounded and rolled his eyes, feeling foolish, but Duncan only smiled and leaned across the space between them to take Jim's face tenderly in his hands.

"I most certainly do. Merry Christmas." Duncan's lips sealed over Jim's, and to the Sentinel, the kiss felt as much like a promise as a gift of Duncan's affection.

"Merry Christmas, Mac." Jim managed, his voice suddenly hoarse. "How about some coffee?"

Duncan chuckled and swung his legs off the bed. "Sounds good." He wrapped his robe tightly around himself and went to turn up the thermostat. "Must be cold out there. Maybe we should get serious about putting that fireplace in here."

Jim pulled his jeans on and went to look out the window. Fluffy white flakes were just beginning to fall.

"Hey Mac, c'mere." His voice was hushed, as if he was about to share a secret.

Duncan joined Jim at the window. He stood next to Jim, and Jim wrapped his arm around Duncan's shoulder. They stood close and quiet, watching the snow fall on their perfect Christmas morning.

"It's beautiful." Duncan's voice broke the quiet.

"Yeah." Jim sighed. "I better make some coffee before Sandburg gets out of the shower." Jim only hesitated for a moment before he hugged Duncan, and then headed into the kitchen.

Blair came out of the bathroom in his robe, water still dripping from his hair. Duncan called to him from the window. "Come look at the snow, Caro, you got your white Christmas, even if it is freezing cold."

"No way, really? It's snowing?" Blair came quickly across the room to stand next to him, holding up the blinds for a better look. "Oh wow! That is so exciting! It's Christmas!" Blair shouted, jumping onto his lover for a bear hug. "That has to be the prettiest Christmas morning I've ever seen. How come nobody's on the streets? No cars, even." Blair noticed, looking up and down the quiet street covered with a layer of perfect, pristine white.

"That would be because it's about four degrees out there, Chief." Jim told him, smiling at his Guide's exuberant enthusiasm.

"No way? That cold? Will the T-Bird start to get us to Joe's for the party?" Blair looked worried.

"If it doesn't, the truck will." Jim told him confidently. "Come have some coffee." Jim turned to the shelves behind him, pulling down three mugs and the sugar container.

"Come on, gorgeous, let's get on those pancakes." Blair nearly bounced into the kitchen, bumping into Jim in his hurry.

"I think somebody's trying to get to the presents." Jim told Duncan, pinching Blair's butt when passed him again in the narrow kitchen.

"Speaking of which, I think I need to make a trip downstairs." Duncan murmured, looking meaningfully at Jim. Weeks before, he'd stashed Blair's Christmas presents in Jim's closet.

"No no, I'll get those, Mac, you drink your coffee." Jim answered him quickly, a sparkle in his eyes. "I'll be back up in a minute." he told them, setting his coffee down and heading for the door.

"What's he up to?" Duncan asked, reaching across Blair at the counter for the coffee pot.

Blair grinned wickedly, thinking of how much fun it was going to be to watch Duncan and Jim open their presents. He knew what they had bought for each other, and keeping the secrets for so long had made him even more excited about their gifts than his own.

"I know what you're getting for Christmas." Blair sing-songed, laughing at Duncan's frown.

"Oh yeah, well I know what you're getting, too, kiddo." Duncan teased back, catching Blair around the waist and pulling him close.

"Mm, I already got my Christmas present." Blair whispered, going up on his tip toes for a kiss. Duncan's lips were soft and tasted like coffee. Blair kissed him slowly, savoring the soft touch of Duncan's mouth. Jim walked in with two shopping bags full of presents just as Duncan's tongue slipped into his mouth. They finished the kiss quickly, breaking apart with broad smiles.

Jim was putting his presents for them under the tree, the packages wrapped with what Blair could only describe as Sentinel precision. Duncan slipped away to retrieve the box he had hidden in the storage closet in the dojo.

Blair found himself standing still next to the couch, watching Jim. His Sentinel was taking great care in the arrangement of the presents under the tree. From the look on his face, Blair could tell that Jim wasn't thinking about anything at all, he was simply happy. He leaned back against the arm of the couch, his gaze caught on the small, contented smile on Jim's face as he bent over the pile of gifts. That it could be this simple, after all, amazed him. Blair told himself again that today was for celebration and joy, tomorrow would be soon enough to make them talk about it.

"Tell me you didn't get me lead for Christmas, Chief." Jim turned to smile at him, lifting the box with the tag that said To Jim From Blair. It was a little larger than shirt box sized, wrapped with foil blue and white Chanukah paper.

Blair's laughter made Jim even more curious. He shook the box experimentally, but after a moment Blair made him put it back under the tree.

"No shaking. You have to wait for Duncan. See, and you were giving me a hard time about being greedy for presents."

Duncan came up the lift listening to their laughter. In his arms was a box seven feet long, narrow in it's other two dimensions, and just a little to heavy to carry comfortably. It was Jim's present, hidden for the last two weeks behind the buckets and mops in the storage closet. One of Blair's presents was already under the tree, but the other was nestled in the bottom of his overcoat pocket, where it had been for the last three weeks. Every time he'd put his hand in his pocket and touched the little velvet box, he'd smiled.

"Mac, what the hell is that?" Jim eyed the large, oddly shaped box, wondering what could possibly be inside. It had been quite a temptation, but so far he'd resisted using his senses to find out what was in all the gaily wrapped packages. This one had his name on it.

"It's your Christmas present, as a matter of fact." Duncan's smile was full of teasing and satisfaction. It had taken him a day of looking to find exactly the right one.

"Okay, enough talking, it's time." Blair told them excitedly, coming to sit next to Jim on the floor near the tree.

"What about breakfast?" Duncan asked him, teasingly.

"Breakfast can wait handsome, so don't even try to distract me from presents man." Blair laughed as he started reaching under the tree, trying to find the present he had bought for Duncan.

"For someone who's supposedly Jewish, you're gettin' pretty good at this Christmas stuff, Chief." Jim teased him, reaching around to his left to pick up a big box and pass it to his Guide. "Merry Christmas,  Chief."

"That's for me?" Blair was so excited he nearly pulled Duncan down on top of him in his enthusiasm. "Sit down, Duncan, here, wait, this one's yours. Blair handed him a box wrapped with gold foil, a matching tag bearing the embossment, Richards and Singer, Antique Book Traders. On the inside, Blair had written "Merry Christmas, Duncan. Love, Blair."

"Thank you, Caro. Here Jim, open this so I don't have to lug it around anymore." Duncan was smiling as he pushed the big box across the floor towards Jim.

"If you say so." Jim shrugged his shoulders and pulled the wide red ribbon from the box.

Blair was ripping the paper off his box, pieces scattering in all directions as he fought Jim's careful tape job. When he finally had it unwrapped his stuck his hand into the box with his eyes closed and pulled out something heavy and leather. He opened his eyes and let out a "WooHoo!" raising one arm up in the air to emphasize his delight. It was a backpack. Exactly the backpack he would have bought himself if he could have justified spending the money.

"Thanks! This is incredible!" Blair beamed at Jim, his eyes lit up with pleasure.

"You're welcome, partner." Jim looked up from the heavy cardboard box he was struggling with. It was stapled together, and seemed to be full of metal parts.

"Give him a hand with that, Blair." Duncan was still holding the fancy gold box, one hand holding each corner of the box carefully. He couldn't wait to see what kind of treasure Blair had found him, but he wanted to watch Jim open his present.

"Okay." Blair put his backpack down reluctantly to grab one end of Jim's box. "Pull." He told him, yanking on the other end. As the wrapping paper came away Jim saw the deluxe, top of the line, eight man tent on the front of the box.

"This isn't a tent Mac, it's a condo! Wow, Eddie Bauer. When you buy a guy a tent you don't mess around. Thanks Mac, this is great, I really needed a new tent."

"Yeah, a little bird told me." Duncan smiled wickedly at Blair.

"As soon as it's warm enough we'll all have to go camping. C'mon Mac, open your present." Jim nudged Duncan's elbow in encouragement.

"Okay." Duncan used a fingernail to carefully slit the gold stickers on two sides of the box. Inside, under layers of tissue paper, was a fragile, beautiful copy of the Kama Sutra, a very old one. The ancient book was bound with silk, the embroidered cloth cover shot through with gold threads. A small plate on the cover was painted with beautiful, minute detail. For a moment, Duncan simply held the treasure, too pleased for words.

Blair watched and waited with nervous, excited eyes. When he saw Duncan's delight with the gift that had cost many times more than he should have spent, deep satisfaction spread through him. "I'm glad you like it." he whispered, almost too happy to speak himself.

"It's a beautiful gift, Caro. I'll take very good care of it. Thank you." Duncan murmured, leaning over to kiss Blair softly on the cheek.

"Now I have something for you." Duncan told him quietly, his eyes full of love as he placed the blue velvet box in Blair's hand.

"Duncan?" Blair questioned softly, looking quickly to Jim for support before he opened the box that could only be a ring.

It was, a gold signet ring, with a coat of arms formed in perfect detail. Blair gasped in surprise, looking up at Duncan. "This is for me?"

"Yes, Caro." Duncan put his arm around his lover's shoulders, taking the ring from the box Blair held. "This is the MacLeod crest. It would make me very happy for you to wear it. There's an inscription inside, see?" Duncan held the heavy ring up for Blair to take. Blair took the ring, holding it up and turning it to see the delicate script engraved on the inside.

He smiled, and blushed, looking up at Duncan with bright eyes. "I can't read it, translate for me?"

"All My Life, Beloved." Duncan's deep voice read the Gaelic script, his dark brown eyes moving from the ring to his lover's, brimming with tears.

Blair's smile trembled, and he laughed. "I'm sorry, I'm not gonna cry, really. I love you Duncan." He took the ring back from his lover with shaking fingers, slipping it on his third finger on his left hand. "Perfect fit." He managed, beaming up at Duncan's happy brown eyes.

"Let me see?" Jim asked, getting up to come sit on Blair's other side. "Wow, that's really nice, Mac." Jim admired the detail of the craftsmanship, wondering if Duncan, too, could feel Blair's joy radiating out of him. He'd never seen his Guide so happy.

"It's beautiful." Blair agreed, finally moving to throw his arms around Duncan's neck. "All my life." He whispered in his ear, his lips pressing a kiss to Duncan's neck.

Jim patted Duncan on the back and got up to get himself another cup of coffee. He figured that Blair and Duncan might want a little time alone. He briefly considered going downstairs to his apartment, but then Blair called to him.

"Hey, get me another cup, too?" His eyes pleaded as he held out his empty coffee cup to Jim.

"Sure Chief." Jim went into the kitchen, wondering if he made Blair as happy as Duncan did. He wasn't jealous, exactly, it was only the hunger for his Guide that never really went away. It was wonderful, though, to see Blair so happy. He poured coffee slowly, stretching out the time a little.

"Jim, come back, you haven't opened my present yet." Blair called to him, worried eyes scanning his Sentinel. Jim smiled reassuringly, bringing Blair his full cup of coffee.

"Okay, but I already know what it is. He gave me rocks, Mac. Rocks and lead." Jim joked, heaving the heavy box into his lap.

"Really expensive lead." Blair told him, watching in anticipation as Jim tore the paper off his present.

Jim lifted the lid off the white cardboard box, pushing away the tissue paper. His mouth dropped open, and for a long minute he just stared, in total surprise. It was a Kevlar III nylon bullet proof vest, the very latest police issue. Finally, he lifted the vest out of the box, dropping it over his head and fastening the tabs at the sides.

"This is absolutely incredible, Chief. How the hell did you manage something like this?"

"Do you like it?" Blair asked, watching with solemn eyes as Jim put his vest on. He looked like Jim again. It was both comforting and disturbing for Blair, but he smiled at his Sentinel, watching Jim adjust the fit to his liking.

"I love it, it's incredible. These things cost a fortune. It was a wonderful thing to do for me, Chief, I just don't want you worrying about me going back on the force so much."

"I'm not worried." Blair lied convincingly, his eyes moving over the vest he had picked out with careful deliberation. "I'm just making sure I get to keep you."

"Thanks, buddy. It's really the best present I could have gotten." Jim told him sincerely, taking the vest off and laying it back into its box.

"I think there's another box under there for you, Caro." Duncan murmured, getting up to refill his own coffee cup. When he returned, Jim had two small packages for him, each with a green bow in the center.

"Here you go, Mac. Merry Christmas." Jim's smile was warm, as he put his presents for Duncan into his hands.

"Thank you. Mmm, I can smell these already..." Duncan told him, unwrapping the box of Cuban cigars with obvious pleasure.

"That's a really nice present, especially since he'll get sick if you smoke a whole cigar in the same room with him." Blair laughed, remembering all the days Jim had suffered around Simon's cigar.

"It is, and I won't, I promise. Thank you." Duncan smiled, bending to inhale the aroma of the fine cigars again before closing the lid. It was an expensive gift, and Jim's shy smile of pleasure gave him a warm feeling of satisfaction.

"You still have one to go there, Duncan." Jim prompted, a look of mischief in his light blue eyes.

"Should I be afraid?" Duncan asked, unwrapping the soft, oddly shaped package gingerly.

"No, you should be grateful. Now you can run without bellyaching about how cold it is."

Duncan pulled out a dark blue ski hat with a white band. The knit was very thick, and the hat was lined with soft thermal cotton in a sweatband all the way around the crown. "This is great!" Duncan exclaimed, putting on his hat and looking up to Jim for approval. "How does it look?"

"It looks good." Jim told him, nodding in satisfaction. "Now your head won't get cold."

Duncan laughed, and left his hat on when he got up to get a bag for all the wrapping paper. There was still one present under the tree, with a To From tag that said it was for Blair from Duncan on it.

"So you going to open this, Chief?" Jim asked, handing the box over to his Guide, who took it, surprised by the weight.

"It's heavy." Blair told them, his eyes studying the medium sized box with delight. It was wrapped with pretty paper that Blair thought had probably come from a department store. What would Duncan buy him at the mall? He tore the paper slowly, enjoying the moment. Opening presents on Christmas morning was something he'd missed out on most of his life, and it seemed that Christmas itself got better every year. There had been good ones in Cascade, but usually, either Jim or both of them had to work, and stake-outs on Christmas were just as cold and boring as any other day of the year.

"Open it, Blair." Jim was getting impatient watching Blair play with the paper.

Blair got serious and pulled the neatly folded paper from the box.

"No way! You got me a Playstation?" Blair looked at Duncan in amazement.

"Yeah, although I believe I may live to regret it. There should be a second controller in there, too, and some games."

Jim laughed at Blair's glee. He looked for all the world like any other nine year old receiving his heart's desire on Christmas morning.

"You got me Tekken 3! I love you! Duncan, do you have any idea how awesome you are?" Blair was still looking at his games, turning each cd case over to read the back.

"No, I don't think I do, Caro, but I'm very glad you're happy with it. You'll have to make Jim play with you, though, I don't think I can do that."

Blair laughed long and hard, and then he got to his feet, going to give Duncan a hard squeeze. "Thank you."

Duncan released him and Blair bent down to pick up the last of the paper on the floor. It was then that he noticed the little round package wrapped up like a bag of candy, with a blue ribbon around the top to secure it. "There's one more down here, guys... Hey, it's for me."

Jim laughed nervously, and got to his feet. "It's just something to make me feel better." he told him, a strange smile on his face. Blair tried to read his Sentinel's eyes, and failed. "Go ahead, open it." Jim told him, going into the kitchen to putter aimlessly with bowls and measuring spoons for pancakes.

Duncan squatted next to him, putting a hand on his lover's shoulder at he unwrapped the small package. The paper fell away, and in a nest of cotton gauze was a clay Shiva statue, nearly an exact replica to the one Jim had broken months ago, the night that he'd kicked Blair out of the loft.

"Oh man... Oh wow. Ah shit, I'm gonna cry again, aren't I?" Blair asked them, a shaky laugh following his words.

"I just wanted to try to make it right, partner." Jim murmured quietly, looking at his Guide from the safety of the kitchen. Blair's eyes were full of tears, and his voice caught when he spoke.

"Thanks, big guy. It's right." Blair held the statue lovingly, one hand running around and around the circular base.

"Good." Jim answered softly, sharing a long look of acceptance and understanding with his Guide.

"Should I start pancakes?" Duncan asked them gently, watching the complicated exchange of emotion in their gazes.

"Yeah, absolutely." Blair answered, somewhat distracted by Jim's smile.

"Okay, then find some Christmas music on the radio and I'll get them on the griddle." Duncan told him, dropping a quick kiss onto his lover's head before rising to his feet. He went into the kitchen, taking the apron Jim offered him with a smile.

"Thanks, I think I will." Duncan kidded, tying Jim's apron around the back of his neck. "Tie my strings?" Duncan teased, turning around for Jim to do the tie lower at his back.

"That's got to be the number one come on line of the Christmas season." Blair told him, collapsing in a fit of laughter when Jim cracked up, tying the bow for Duncan.

"You're something else, Darwin. I don't know what, but I like it anyway." Jim told his Guide, shaking his head in mock despair.

"You love it." Blair answered sassily, carrying their bag of garbage to the door.

Duncan made pancakes, and the next two hours passed lazily while they stuffed themselves full of flapjacks and recovered on the couch, admiring each other's presents.

"Are you almost ready, Blair?" Duncan called through the bathroom door, which opened as he spoke, expelling a cloud of steam. Blair stood at the sink, a towel wrapped around his waist.

"Not even close."

Across the room in his best suit on the couch, Jim groaned.

"I'm just kidding. I'll be ready in five minutes." Blair called, laughing. He grabbed his jeans off the hanger hanging on the back of the door, pulling them on and dropping the towel.

"You're wearing jeans?" Jim asked critically, watching Blair pull on a white silk dress shirt.

"Yeah. I am." Blair answered, his voice muffled around the cuff links he held in his mouth. He was folding back the long french cuffs, taking great care in the fold.

"I don't care if he wants to wear jeans, Jim. Not everybody gets dressed up." Duncan came to Blair's defense, although he himself was dressed to the nines in a black Italian suit that Blair had dubbed "drop dead gorgeous."

"Okay, I'm ready," Blair told them, coming out of the bathroom in jeans, dress shoes, and his victorian style shirt.

"You look snazzy." Duncan told his lover, stealing a quick kiss.

"Thanks so do you guys." Blair beamed.

"I've been ready to go for half an hour." Jim complained. "Seems like I'm always waiting around for you Sandburg." Jim teased.

"Oh, big deal. Just because you look fabulous in anything you put on doesn't mean you shouldn't have to wait for me." Blair teased him, coming to sit on the available cushion on Jim's right.

"How does he get away with lines like that?" Jim asked Duncan, fairly sure that he wasn't blushing.

"It's a gift." Duncan chuckled, putting his arm around Jim's shoulder consolingly. He didn't think about it until his arm was resting on Jim's back, his hand wrapped around his shoulder. Duncan waited for Jim to tense, but he didn't. He laughed a little and leaned back into Duncan's arm.

"I'm serious." Blair argued. "He does."

Jim rolled his eyes, turning his head into Duncan's shoulder for a moment.

"He's right." Duncan whispered conspiratorially, in his ear.

Jim laughed and got to feet, changing the subject with finality. "Do we have that bag of presents? And the kugel? We should get everything together and get moving."

"Oh man, I would have forgot the kugel! Thanks." Blair jumped up, going into the kitchen to package the wax paper wrapped baking pan for travel.

They pulled up in front of Joe's, and Duncan helped Jim negotiate the huge pan of noodle pudding and himself out of the backseat. Joe had put up a sign on the door that read: Closed to the public, Private Party In Full Swing. Blair laughed, reading the sign out loud, and Amanda opened the door, welcoming them into the bar.

"You look beautiful." Duncan told her, hugging her briefly. "And you're tall." He joked, admiring the five inch heels of her velvet party shoes when she stuck out a leg for him to see. Amanda was wearing a short, strapless dress of burgundy velvet that hugged her curves and showed off her long, shapely legs.

"Thank you, Duncan. You look very nice. What did you bring?" She asked curiously, eyeing the long pan Jim was carrying.

"Kugel. It's noodle pudding." Blair told her, smiling when Duncan slipped his coat off his shoulders, taking it away to hang up with his own.

"Bring it over here, I'll lead you." Amanda smiled at them, turning to wind her way through the crowd. Blair followed Amanda and Jim followed Blair to a row of tables against the wall. There was enough food to feed several armies spread out and Blair had to move a few dishes around to make room. Jim smiled at Amanda, still holding the massive pan of kugel.

"Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you, Jim." Amanda purred, giving him a dazzling smile.

Methos had felt Duncan's buzz just before he saw Amanda opening the door for them. Now his eyes scanned the crowd until he found him. Duncan had stopped to say hello to Spencer and his girlfriend. Methos continued looking through the crowd and found Blair, Jim, and Amanda by the buffet table. He watched as Blair instructed Jim and the larger man did exactly as he was told. //Well, at least they have something right.// He thought to himself, smugly. After reading Blair's dissertation Methos was much more curious about how Duncan had gotten himself into this situation. He was also curious about Dr. Blair Sandburg. Methos decided that further investigation was called for and made his way to the buffet.

By the time he had pushed his way through the crowd Duncan had caught up with his entourage.

"Well, looks like the gangs all here." Methos tried to keep the sarcasm from his voice. He didn't want to be snotty, it was just a habit, a defense mechanism.

"Merrry Christmas Adam." Duncan smiled at him.

"Merry Christmas Mac. So where's this noodle pudding I've heard so much about?" Methos poked around on the buffet table.

"Right here." Blair pointed out the kugel to Adam, not sure if Adam was being friendly or snide with him.

Methos leaned down to take a whiff of the warm pudding. "Hmm, smells wonderful. Cinnamon, right?" He asked as he took in another lungful of kugel.

"Yeah, and cheese. What did you bring?" Jim asked, being friendly, but ready to cut Adam off at the pass if he started tormenting Blair again.

"Beer." Adam smiled at Jim as Jim's face conveyed disapproval.

"A special brew from India that Adam brought back with him." Duncan explained, hoping that they could all keep it civil today.

"Ooh, you were in India?" Amanda took a step closer to Methos and put her arm around his waist.

"Yes, and what have you been up to? Keeping out of trouble?" Methos appreciated the closeness of Amanda, it made him feel less defensive.

"Of course, Santa. I've been a very good girl this year." Amanda gave Methos a sexy pout, leaning against his side for a moment.

"Mm, I'll bet." Methos murmured in her ear, his left hand molding her curves to his body. She was warm and soft and smelled delicious.

"Is Richie here yet?" Duncan asked them, and just as he spoke he felt the buzz of another Immortal. All three of them turned towards the door, relief plain on Methos' face when Richie entered.

Duncan called out a greeting, and his protégé wound his way through the crowd to join them. "Hey, gangs all here." Rich smiled, accepting a Christmas hug from Mac and claiming one from Amanda as well. "You look yummy." he told her, releasing Amanda's waist a little reluctantly.

"With compliments like that, who needs Shakespeare?" Methos smiled mischievously, letting his eyes laugh at Amanda.

"Did you bring a date this year Rich?" Duncan asked, watching his student's eyes scan the crowd.

"No, but that doesn't mean I won't find one." Richie laughed at the face Duncan made. "Oh- hey. Before I forget... Happy Birthday, Mac." Richie dug into his pocket and pulled out a small package, which he placed in Duncan's hand.

"Thank you, Rich." Duncan looked tremendously pleased and he unwound the ribbon around the holiday paper. Tissue paper fell away to expose a picture in a wide plain silver frame. Tessa's smiling face looked up at him, one arm wrapped around Richie's shoulders, the other around Duncan, on her other side. They were on the barge, it was the last Christmas they'd spent together. Duncan held the picture tightly, unable to take his eyes from his beloved's brilliant smile. She looked so beautiful, so happy. It was the way he always remembered her. She was wearing her favorite dress, he remembered that they had all been getting dressed up to go to a party when Richie has insisted that they take a picture.

"I hope it's okay..." Richie told him quietly, his gaze moving uncertainly to Blair and back to Duncan.

"It's more than okay, Rich, it's... Thank you." Duncan found himself unable to speak, a hard lump lodged in the back of his throat. He pulled Richie quickly against him, hugging him hard.

"I'm glad you like it, Mac. I was afraid it'd depress you, but we were all really happy that Christmas and I wanted you to have it."

"I'd forgotten all about taking this." Duncan murmured, his eyes moving lovingly over the picture of the three of them.

"Yeah, I found it this summer, when I moved." Richie looked like he was getting uncomfortable with the level of emotion. "Hey, I could use a drink, do you guys want anything?"

"Of course they do, I'll help you." Methos gave Richie a genuine smile, forcing his eyes away from Duncan.

"We'll grab a table." Duncan told them, noticing that Jim was already scanning the room for available space.

Blair helped Jim pull two tables together, collecting stray chairs until they had enough for everyone. Duncan was calling greetings to everyone he knew, some were regulars from the bar, some musicians, some familiar faces from the neighborhood. He smiled as he noticed a few street people, Joe always brought in a few strays.

The Christmas Carols were an odd variety, some oldies, some traditional, some blues, and some were just strange. Methos and Richie had their arms full of glasses and were carefully making their way to the tables. As soon as they started passing out the drinks the music faded out and Joe got up on the stage.

"I want to thank all of you for spending Christmas with me. This is the fifth year we've been doing this shindig and it just gets bigger and better every year." Joe had to stop for a minute as everyone voiced their approval, rather boisterously. "Before we attack the buffet, I want to ask you all to raise your glasses in a toast. I'm gonna keep it real simple this year, guys... To all of us, to friendship. May we all be together again this time next year."

Everyone toasted with Joe and applauded and cheered. The holiday spirit was in full swing and when Joe announced that it was open season on the buffet there was a mad dash of happy, hungry people.

"Looks like it's every man for himself." Jim laughed as he watched the swarm.

"Yeah, and I'm not missing out." Richie took off for the buffet.

"Shall we?" Amanda offered her hand to Methos and he smiled at her.

"Absolutely." He took her arm and started looking for the end of the line.

Duncan, Blair and Jim followed, falling into line only a couple of places behind Methos and Amanda. By the time they reached the stacks of plates and bowls Blair and Jim had heard all about Mrs. Egan's son and how he couldn't fly out to spend Christmas with her this year. Mrs. Egan was Joe's next door neighbor and when he had found out that she was going to be alone for the holidays he insisted on her coming to the party. She was sweet old woman, but Jim was beginning to feel as though he had his smile plastered firmly in place.

"Here Jim." Blair poked him in the side and handed him a plate. As soon as the line started moving past the food Mrs. Egan began telling her story to the people in line behind her.

"What do you think this is?" Duncan asked, poking at something in a casserole.

At the same time Amanda and Blair both gave him their insight.

"Looks like stuffing." Blair leaned in for a closer look.

"Probably something with candied fruit and marshmallows." Amanda wrinkled her nose at the dish.

Duncan laughed and decided to skip that particular offering.

The line came to a stop and Methos took the opportunity to look back and see what Duncan and his friends were up to. Blair was stuffing a piece of something in Jim's mouth, and he seemed happy to take it. As he watched, he saw how Blair picked all the food and put it on Jim's plate for him, as Jim chatted with Duncan and Amanda. Maybe the kid wasn't as off base as he has originally thought. Blair might not have the academics right, but he certainly on the right track. He seemed to take very good care of his Sentinel, inspite of misunderstanding the power balance between a Sentinel and Guide.

What did that leave for Mac, he wondered. The Highlander certainly looked happy. Hell, he looked positively delirious. Duncan obviously adored Blair, and as far as Methos could tell, Blair practically worshipped him. Still, he had to wonder how Blair had the energy or time to give both men what they needed. There was the odd chance that Methos was wrong and they weren't all sleeping together, but he doubted it.

"That's our boy Scout." Amanda laughed. Blair had just finished regaling them with the story of how he and Duncan met and the whole table seemed to find it very amusing.

"Careful Mac, you're becoming a living cliché." Methos smiled at Duncan, teasingly.

Richie leaned over to Blair and put his hand on his arm. "Don't sweat it, I can't even count the number of times Mac saved my ass."

Blair laughed and shook his head. It was fun to see Duncan through his friend's eyes. He always saw Duncan larger than life, and it was good to get a little perspective. In a way, it made Duncan all the more precious to him.

The stories had been flying back and forth all through the meal and now that they had stuffed themselves properly, everyone seemed to be chatting in smaller groups, conversations skipping back and forth across the table.

Jim was starting to feel a little glazed. He'd been listening to everyone's conversations at once and it was beginning to make his head spin. He tuned his hearing down a little and let himself relax. The dinner had been delicious, and enlightening. The bits and pieces he'd been able to put together were fascinating. Richie had taken a head in Dallas. Amanda swore she hadn't stolen anything in over a year, though no one seemed to believe her. Beautiful and a thief, not what he would have expected. Adam always commented on everyone else's lives, but never revealed much of his own, and no one seemed to expect him to. Jim didn't know what to make of Adam. He was one of Duncan's close friends, so he couldn't be all bad. Jim wanted to like him, because he was Duncan's friend, but really, Adam was the strangest person Jim had ever met.

The guy was aloof, yet very average. He was quick witted, but always seemed to be holding back. Everywhere Jim looked, Adam was one contradiction after another. How could you trust some one like that, or even get to know them? Remembering the conversation he and Duncan had about Adam, he wasn't convinced that Duncan understood him, either. Amanda certainly seemed comfortable enough in Adam's company, glancing over at them, he noticed that she was almost in his lap. His eyes flicked across the table to check on Duncan, but he didn't look upset about their affectionate behavior.

"I'm so glad you came back to us this year, Adam." Amamda purred, her crimson fingernails raking through his hair. "Are you going to stay?"

"You never know, do you? I might." Methos conceded, enjoying the attention.

"How can those guys move, let alone play? I'm stuffed." Richie groaned, as Joe's band made their way onto the stage, the house PA coming on to replace the Christmas music Joe had in the stereo behind the bar.

"We're gonna start with something slow, and let you guys recover from dinner." Joe told the crowd, taking his place center stage at the mike. The band traded a few notes back and forth, warming up, while Joe told them all, "We're gonna play an old favorite of mine, one by Lady Day, "Do Nothing Till You Hear It From Me."

"Dance with me, Adam." Amanda rose from her perch on the arm of his chair, taking Methos' hand to draw him to his feet.

"Not that I don't appreciate the attention, but what are you up to?" Methos asked quietly in Amanda's ear as they were dancing.

"No games. Maybe I just want a little company on Christmas." Amanda held Methos a little tighter.

"Really?" Methos still sounded skeptical.

"Yes really." She tweaked Methos nose as she explained. "Let's face it, in a way we're both out in the cold since Duncan seems to have his hands full. Besides, you know I've always wondered what 5000 years has taught you." She grinned wickedly at him, hoping that Methos would realize she was on the level.

"I bet you do." He almost purred. "If you're serious, why are we wasting our time here?"

"Because I love a party! Seriously Methos, how 'bout you and me shack up for a while?" Amanda beamed at him.

"Shack up? This is getting more serious by the minute." Methos laughed. "Where do you plan on doing this shacking up? My hotel room isn't very glamorous."

"Mine is. Even if you don't trust me, look at it logically. I know you want to keep on eye on Mac, I saw the way you were watching them earlier. I could practically hear your gears turning. Wouldn't it be much nicer if you weren't in it alone?"

"Maybe. Let's take this one night at a time, shall we?" He didn't want to commit to anything, especially Amanda, but he wasn't at all sure he wanted to put her off, either.

"Okay, sounds like a deal." At that Amanda leaned in and kissed Methos softly, a hint of what was ahead.

Across the room Jim watched, shocked. He quickly looked at Duncan, who was watching his friends, and smiling.

Duncan caught Jim staring at him and he gave him a warm smile, reaching across the table to briefly squeeze his arm. "It's a good party, isn't it?"

"Yeah, great... Mac?"

"What is it?" Duncan asked, leaning in to hear Jim's voice.

"So, what, Immortal's don't have a jealousy gene or something?"

Duncan laughed, surprised how much it pleased him to have Jim's concern.

"I don't know if I'd go that far, but no, it's not going to upset me if they decide to get together for awhile."

"Oh, well, that's good, because I'd say that's pretty likely."

"Have you been listening?" Duncan's voice was pitched low, teasing Jim with a gleam in his dark eyes.

"Um, just in a peripheral sort of way." Jim obfuscated, thinking of his Guide, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth.

"I'll bet."

"Bet what?" Blair came back from the buffet with a plate full of fruit and desserts.

"You're not seriously going to eat all that." Jim laughed, shaking his head at Blair.

"What, man? It's just dessert. C'mon, it's Christmas, you're supposed to stuff yourself." Blair sat down on the other side of Jim, munching a chocolate covered strawberry. "So what's Duncan betting you?"

"Nothing Blair, I was just teasing Jim about listening in on other people's conversations." Duncan put his hand on Jim's back and reached across him to steal one of Blair's chocolate covered strawberries.

Blair laughed and shook his finger at Jim. "Uh, uh, uuh. Shame on you Jim."

Jim laughed, enjoying Blair's teasing. It seemed like it had been a very long time since they were able to joke about his senses.

"So who were you listening to? Find out anything really juicy?" Blair wiggled his eyebrows.

Before Jim had a chance to answer Duncan let him off the hook. "It seems that Adam and Amanda are working on a little holiday romance."

Blair had been wondering about what was going on with those two. Duncan seemed happy about it. "That's cool with you? I mean isn't it a little weird having your friend and your old girlfriend getting together?"

"If they're happy, I'm happy. It's not that weird, is it?" Duncan looked at Jim.

"Compared to what? Us? It's not weird at all." Jim smiled. "You've got chocolate..." He motioned to the corner of Duncan's mouth.

"Where?" Duncan's tongued snaked out to find the chocolate.

"Here." Jim reached up and wiped the piece of chocolate off of Duncan's mouth, holding it up to show him.

Duncan smiled, his eyes turning dark. He quickly leaned forward and sucked Jim's finger, and the chocolate, into his mouth. Then he just as quickly swirled his tongue over Jim's fingertip and pulled away.

Jim's quick intake of breath and whispered "Jesus" made Blair look away from Adam and Amanda on the dance floor. He saw Duncan grinning seductively at Jim and Jim staring back, just as intensely.

"Uh guys." Blair's voice was hushed, but playful. "As much as I enjoy it, maybe we should tone it down a little here." He chuckled. "You two could light a match with the looks you're giving each other."

That made both Jim and Duncan laugh, they moved a little away from each other, and Jim handed Duncan another strawberry.

A few hours later people were starting to say their good-byes, packing up plates of food to take home with them. Duncan had ducked out to the car to get Methos, Richie and Amanda's presents. He'd given Joe his present early, because it was season ticket's to Seacouver's best theater and the first play had been two weeks ago. They'd gone together and had a great time, even if the play was only so-so. Duncan was surprised when Joe had made a comment last summer about missing going to see plays. He'd said he used to go all the time, until the working with the Watcher's had taken up all his free time.

Duncan headed back to his friends, arms full of presents.

"If it isn't Santa." Methos smiled, taking all the sarcasm out of his words.

"Ooo, presents!" Amanda squealed. She'd been hitting Joe's punch in a big way.

Duncan laughed and set the presents down on the table and started to hand them out.

"One for you." He shoved a big box in candy cane wrapping paper to Methos.

"One for you." He passed a flat rectangular package wrapped in santa paper with lots of ribbons over to Amanda.

"And one for you." Richie's was an over sized holiday envelope that said Merry Christmas on it.

Everyone thanked Duncan at once and then ripped into their presents. Blair and Jim sat back and enjoyed watching the scene. Neither one of them knew what Duncan had bought his friends, and they were very curious. Methos was the first to reach his actual present.

He laughed a warm friendly laugh, and his face went all crinkly. "You never cease to amaze me MacLeod. Thank you! I've been dying to get my hands on one of these since they came out. Good game choices, too."

"You're welcome." Duncan smiled at Methos, delighted to have been able to make him so happy.

Blair laughed as well. It seemed that now he knew he had at least one thing in common with Adam. "Cool man, I got one too. Maybe we can play sometime."

"I'd like that." Methos smiled. He'd been wondering how easy it would be to find out more about Duncan's situation, playing video games with Blair was the foot in the door he was hoping for.

"Oh Duncan." Amanda had a misty look, and her voice was sweet and gentle. "Thank you." She sniffled. "I just love remembering the good old days."

Duncan hugged her. "I do too. I found it in some stuff I have stored at the Dojo." He chuckled. "Those were fun times."

"Lemme see." Richie craned his neck, trying to see the framed picture that Amanda was holding.

"Here." She handed it too him, picking up her glass of punch.

"Where are you guys? When was this?" Richie stared at the picture.

"World's Fair in Chicago. We really tore it up, didn't we?" Amanda smiled at Duncan.

"Yes we did, and it's one of the few times you didn't get me trouble." Duncan poked her in the arm.

Richie passed the photograph to Blair and Jim.

"Oh wow." Blair was awestruck. Besides the clothes, they looked exactly the same. "That's incredible."

"I do look good, don't I?" Amanda joked.

Jim took the picture from Blair's hands and stared at it, then looked up to Duncan, then back at the picture. He didn't know what to say. It was so strange, but to all the Immortals around him it was perfectly normal. Even Richie, who he knew wasn't even as old as Blair, didn't seem to find it strange at all. Jim shook his head. The reality of Duncan's past was starting to sink in.

He handed the picture back to Amanda. "You were really there."

"Mmm, it was a wonderful time. Everyone was so happy, they ate up life, it was marvelous." She pulled herself back from her memories. "Of course, now is pretty wonderful, too."

Amanda set the picture down and smiled at Methos.

"C'mon Rich, open your present."

"Oh, yeah. What is it Mac? Wait I know, the title to a Ferrari." Richie joked as he pulled open the envelope. He found himself holding a plane ticket to India, and a check for four thousand dollars. He couldn't believe it. Ever since meeting Duncan's old friend Kamir, and the horrible mess with the Kali statue, he'd been fascinated by India.

"Hey Mac, this is..." He felt a lump in his throat. He looked up at Duncan. "Thanks Mac, it's incredible."

"Your welcome. I figured it was time you went back." Duncan had been worrying about Richie's aimlessness, and hoped that this trip might help him find focus. He hugged Rich, and then found Methos waiting with a holiday wrapped bottle in his hand.

"Merry Christmas Mac." Methos pushed the present ito Duncan's hands.

"Thanks. More booze?" Duncan pulled the wrapping off the reveal a bottle shaped liked a very plump naked woman with light amber colored liquid in it.

"It's Damiana liquor, potent stuff. Enjoy!" With that he turned to Amanda and plopped a red tissues papered lump in her hand.

"For me?" She batted her eyes at him.

"Mhhm. So stop flirting and open it."

"You're even a grouch on Christmas." She grumbled as she tore through the layers of tissue paper. Finally her fingers hit something smooth and cold. It felt like a stone, a gemstone. She puled out the biggest ruby she'd seen in years. "Oh my gracious! Adam!"

Methos shrugged, looking pleased but a little wary of Amanda's astonishment. "I was in Africa last year, picked it up cheap. It reminded me of you, that time you tried to steal Isabella's rubies. Do you remember?"

Amanda looked like she was going to argue, and then she laughed, loud and long, nodding. "Yes, of course I remember. You weren't much help."

"I let you live, didn't I?"

"Hmm, well, I suppose this makes up for it. Really, thank you, Adam, it's beautiful." Amanda's eyes sparkled as she admired the polish of the precious stone, turning it in the light.

"You're welcome, wear it in freedom." Methos joked, taking the chain from her hand to fasten the clasp around her neck. "You couldn't have worn a better dress for it." He mumered, enjoying the way Amanda's creamy skin was set off by the dark red of the ruby.

He was right, her dress was the exact shade of the jewel, the low neckline drawing the eye to the ruby nestled at the top of her breasts.

"That's because we both have impeccable taste, darling." Amanda smiled at him over her shoulder, one hand reaching over her shoulder to interlace their fingers.

"Merry Christmas, Adam." Duncan admired the ruby, taking Amanda in his arms briefly to kiss her goodbye. "Be nice to him." He whispered in her ear, as quietly as he could.

"Nicer than you'd be." Amanda whispered back, giving Duncan one quick, knowing look before slipping out of his embrace.

"Merry Christmas, Mac." Methos waited a critical second too long before offering his hand, and found himself pulled into a hard hug instead. His hands came up to clasp Duncan's shoulders, more than a little surprised. He had time to feel the warmth of Duncan's body and smell his aftershave before he was released, a slightly apologetic smile on Mac's wide mouth.

"Take care." Duncan told him, thinking that if Amanda worked her charm, maybe he would be lucky and Methos would stick around for awhile.

Jim and Blair were waiting for him by the door, pulling on their coats. Both called good-byes to Adam and Amanda, and thanked Joe a last time for the festivities.

"Drive safe, Mac." Joe called back from the bar, where he was pouring a last drink for Richie and himself.

"A very good Christmas." Duncan told them decisively, walking to the car.

"The best." Jim answered, realizing that it was nothing short of the truth. Christmas with Blair and Duncan had been better than any holiday he could remember. Confusing, but very happy.

"So, did you both have a good time?" Duncan asked, leaning back against the wall of the lift. He was slightly drunk, and feeling very content.

"Terrific, it was incredible. You guys definitely know how to party." Blair smiled at Duncan, putting a hand on Jim's shoulder for balance when the motion of the lift sent him swaying.

"It was a great party, Mac. Thanks for taking me." Jim grinned over Blair's head at him, but Duncan frowned, stepping to his other side to wrap an arm around Jim's shoulders.

"I wouldn't have let you stay home." He wanted to say that Jim belonged with them, but he took too long trying to find the words and the lift creaked to a halt at the fifth floor.

Ducking under Jim's arm as he walked out of the elevator, Duncan let his body brush subtly against the other man, liking the way Jim leaned towards him slightly.

"So, let's open that bottle of liquor you have there Duncan." Blair's eyes were an irresistible mixture of mischief and sex.

"Mm, that could get very interesting." Duncan came to stand behind Blair, slipping his coat off his shoulders and taking it to hang with his own on the coat rack. Jim was kicking off his shoes, setting them neatly by the door.

"I think I'll pass. I can just imagine what that stuff would do to my senses." Jim looked suspiciously at the bottle Duncan held.

"Are you sure? It could be worth it." Blair wiggled his eyebrows at Jim, laughing when his Sentinel blushed faintly, turing away to go into the kitchen.

"I'll taste yours." Jim told him, taking down two small liquor glasses from Duncan's shelves.

"It's very powerful." Duncan told him, coming to join Jim at the counter to open the beautiful bottle shaped like the goddess of fertility. "The damiana, it's an herb, it makes you feel... very agreeable." Duncan gave Jim a dark, sexy smile as he twisted off the seal, going to rummage in the drawer for a corkscew.

"How agreeable?" Jim frowned at the bottle, not sure if he wanted to stick around for this or not.

"It is a strong aphrodisiac, but it's just liquor, it doesn't take away your awareness of the world around you, like some of the things I tried when I was younger." Duncan told him, pouring a small amount of the amber liquid into each glass.

"Come toast my birthday with me, Caro."

Blair came to stand next to Duncan, one arm wrapping lightly around his waist.

"Well, if it's to toast your birthday... just a little bit won't hurt." Jim decided.

Blair grinned from ear to ear, going around the counter to get a third glass. Duncan poured a quarter of the small glass for him, and they raised their glasses together.

"To us." Duncan told them simply, raising the delicate glass to his lips.

"To us." Blair agreed, warning Jim quickly. "Trust me, don't smell it first, just drink it. It doesn't taste anything like it smells."

Jim obeyed his Guide, letting the thick liquor burn over his tongue. It was sweet and sharp and very alcoholic, it burned all the down, like strong brandy. After he swallowed, Jim got the taste of it, and smiled. A little bit like candy. He raised the empty glass to his nostrils, sniffing hesitantly, and made a face, taking it quickly away. "Phew! That smells awful. How can it smell like that and taste good?"

"He warned you." Duncan laughed, refilling his own glass and Blair's. He took the bottle with him, walking slowly over to the couch.

"Yeah, but that's really weird." Jim insisted, his nose still wrinkled at the offensive smell.

"Think about a different smell, use it to turn that dial down." Blair spoke softly, his voice persuasive.

Jim closed his eyes for a moment, blocking out everything else to tune in to his Guide. He let Blair's scent wash over him, let his heartbeat drown out the small sounds of Duncan making himself comfortable on the sofa. Pleasure seeped slowly into his awareness, not the rushing, frighteningly intense spike of adrenaline and arousal he usually got, but a soft, steadily increasing awareness of Blair's body, the heat of his skin, and the vibrant beat of his heart. Jim felt his own pulse synchronizing with Blair's, and he opened his eyes, before the sensations could go any further.

"Thanks." He offered Blair softly, wandering past him to sit on the couch with Duncan.

"You know, Duncan, your friends are pretty strange, but I like them." Jim chuckled, thinking about all the interesting people he'd met that night.

"You do? I'm glad." A wide smile spread over Duncan's face, and Jim thought for a second that it was silly, how proud he was of creating it. Duncan's smiles lit up his whole face, he looked like a different man when he smiled. Jim mused, remembering that Blair had once told him almost the exact same thing.

"Are all Immortals so eccentric or do you just like weirdo's?" Jim asked, his tone of voice curious and amiable.

"That's a really good question." Blair put in, coming to sit on the other side of Jim on the couch. As he sat down he let his hand drop onto Jim's thigh, just above his knee, and left it there after he settled.

"I don't know, are we really that strange?" Duncan was laughing, his brown eyes sparkling at Jim over the rim of the glass.

"Well, you're not normal. I mean, I guess Richie's a pretty normal guy, but he's younger than Blair, that doesn't really count. What I want to know is does living for hundred's of years make you eccentric, or were the three of you just black sheep to start with?" Jim was teasing as nicely as he could, but he was serious about getting an answer. The picture of Duncan and Amanda taken seventy odd years before flashed back to his memory and he chuckled. They looked like a couple of goof balls, hamming it up for the camera in high fashion. Was it that easy, to enjoy life forever? The entire concept still amazed him.

"Well, I was the black sheep of my Clan, I can't deny that, and Amanda's always been trouble, but I can't speak for Adam."

"You always say something like that about him. Why can't you?" Blair asked mildly, not really expecting to get an answer.

"Because I don't want to know about his past." Duncan answered quickly, taking another sip from his glass.

"Oh, okay." Blair stretched his right arm out over the back of the sofa to touch Duncan's shoulder with his fingertips. "That makes sense."

"So maybe I do make odd friends." Duncan admitted to Jim, pouring himself another half glass of the liquor.

"Well, Sandburg's a bonna fide weirdo." Jim teased, grinning at Duncan.

"Oh yeah, and you're Mr. Normal, with the touchy feely senses." Blair teased back, poking Jim lightly in the ribs.

Jim's left hand snaked around Blair's ribcage, his fingers fluttering lightly over Blair's most sensitive tickle spot. "I'll show you touchy feely, Darwin."

"Uh-uh! No you don't, no way!" Blair argued, laughing, using all his strength to grasp Jim's shoulders and pull himself up, rolling over on top of him. "There is a tickle ceasefire in observance for the high holidays, you got that?" Blair poked one finger into Jim's pectoral, already thinking about how he'd really like to stay right here on Jim's lap.

"Okay, I think I can live with that." Jim answered, feeling a dopey grin spreading over his face. He was distracted, but not in danger of zoning.

To Jim's surprise, it was Blair who got embarrassed, rolling back to his spot on the couch beside him. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to jump all over you, man." Blair laughed, reaching for his glass.

Jim chuckled, and took Duncan's glass from his hand, sipping it gingerly. Duncan watched him, his eyes moving affectionately over his face.

"It's too sweet." Jim decided, handing the glass back.

"No, it's really good." Blair told him, passing his own glass back to Duncan to be refilled. "I had such a great time tonight, guys. Thanks for making Christmas so special." Blair looked quickly between Duncan and Jim, smiling a little uncertainly.

Duncan laughed, wondering what had Blair so hesitant. "Do you mean sharing both sides of the bed, Caro?"

"Well, yeah, I guess I do... Are we gonna talk about it?" Blair asked, sounding a little more tipsy.

Jim reached out to wrap an arm around Blair's back, pulling him against his side. He felt so good there, right up against him. "You don't look like a guy who's ready to do an in depth analysis, professor."

"Mm, maybe..." Blair mumbled, melting into Jim. He wanted to crawl back into Jim's lap, but he restrained himself, rubbing his forehead back and forth across Jim's hard shoulder instead.

"Oh yeah, sure... You're ready to spout theories and draw lengthy conclusions, Chief, I can see it now." Jim teased, his voice husky.

"I... I could come up with something." Blair argued back, humming in the back of his throat when Jim's hand strayed from his side to mold around his hip, pressing him closer.

"Yeah, what?" Jim taunted, sleepy eyes laughing at his out of control Guide. Blair was trying so hard to be cool, and he could tell that his Guide was ready to jump him. He could smell him, the pheromones hung in the air between them, the scent of Blair excited past the point of reason. He knew it well now, and Jim thought that the way Duncan' scent mixed with his Guide's was very pleasing, it was subtle, something he was barely aware of, but appealing.

"Well, my first theory got trashed by the light of reason, so I'm going with the hypothesis that you two just really dig each other."

On the other side of Jim, Duncan let out a shout of laughter. "That's a very scientific theory, Blair."

"Well, I mean, okay, I've got to be a factor in there somewhere, I'm like the saline solution for your compound, or whatever, but basically I think it's just regular mutual attraction."

"That's fascinating." Jim murmured, a smile curving his lips as he leaned in to brush Blair's lips. Blair made a little surprised sound when Jim let him go, and reached out for his shoulder, as if he was dizzy.

"Oh man, that is some very potent liquor." Blair's voice was hoarse, and he shifted uncomfortably next to Jim. Finally, he turned sideways on the couch, facing Jim and putting a tiny bit of distance between them.

"Are you sure it's the liquor, Caro?" Duncan's voice was a deep, sensual chuckle, as he leaned forward, one forearm coming down to rest on Jim's shoulder, his elbow crooked. Duncan put his head down on his arm, regarding Jim playfully through his lashes. "What do you think?"

"I think you taste really good." Jim growled back, him mouth coming down quickly to capture Duncan's lips. Duncan tasted hot and sweet, like the liquor, and it was a long time before Jim could tear himself away from that mouth.

"Oh man, that is so intense. I swear to God, I could get off just watching you two make out."

"I'm glad to know I'm not the only one." Jim whispered shakily, smiling at Duncan, still within kissing reach. There was something about Mac's mouth that was absolutely irresistible, it felt too good to think about doing anything else... So he let Duncan press him back against the couch, soft, moist lips slanting over his.

Blair watched them intently, leaning against Jim's side, his hand sliding unconsciously up and down Jim's leg. Duncan's large hands held Jim's face, holding him perfectly still while he ravaged his mouth. His Sentinel groaned deep in his chest, the sound sent Blair's hand trailing up Jim's torso to cover his pounding heart. "Easy, I know... Feels like he's going to suck your soul right out of you it feels so good, I know. Just relax, go with it." Blair leaned over Jim's shoulder, molding himself against Jim's side. He couldn't stand not to touch him, couldn't wait another second, although Duncan still had his mouth, his hands moving slowly over Jim's skull.

Blair nibbled his way slowly up Jim's neck, sucking his earlobe into his mouth to bite gently. Jim squirmed under Duncan's hand, groaning loudly when Duncan finally released him. "Ahh, I don't know if I can handle both of you like this..."

Duncan's warm chuckle in his ear preceded his next attack, as his tongue snaked out to tease Jim's other earlobe. "Oh, but we'll be good to you, won't we Blair?" Duncan asked softly, his mouth drifting to lick slowly along Jim's hairline to the back of his neck.

"Oh yeah... Promise, Jim, I bet you don't even zone, you won't want to, we'll make you feel so good." Blair was sucking over his throat, licking a line down from his Adam's apple while Duncan's sharp teeth nibbled at the back of his neck.

"I don't know..." Jim gasped, twisting his neck to the side from the pleasure of Duncan's gentle bites. "It feels so..."

"Intense? hot? stimulating..." Blair offered adjectives as his lips slid slowly over Jim's skin, pushing his face under his collar to taste more of him.

"Yeah, but weird." Jim groaned, turning his head when Duncan's hand at the back of his head guided him to look at him.

"Just let yourself have this... You haven't ever let anyone do this for you, just take care of you. Let it happen, give yourself to us, trust Blair. He's not going to let you zone, and you can always tell me to stop." Duncan coaxed gently, reminding Jim that he could let down his defenses and still be in control.

"That's what you want?" Jim pushed the words out, caught in the dark desire in Mac's brown eyes.

"Oh yes. I'd like it very much." Duncan chuckled softly, his hand massaging the back of Jim's neck. "And I think Blair is dying to."

"Can we go horizontal with this guys? Please?" Blair groaned, scooting down Jim's side until he was wrapped around his leg, hands pushing under Jim's dress shirt.

"Well, if we don't move soon, I'm not going to be able to walk." Jim told them weakly, simultaneously assaulted by Blair's erection rubbing against his thigh and Duncan's tongue in his ear.

"Okay, I think I can let you up, but I want you right back here, like this." Duncan told him, his voice like rough velvet in Jim's ear. It sent a hot, almost painful rush of desire through him, and Jim pushed himself quickly up to a sitting position. Duncan and Blair rose on either side of him, each grasping a hand to pull him to his feet.

Flat on his back in the center of Duncan's massive bed, Jim found himself buried under warm lips and strong palms and then Duncan's calves wrapped around his, holding him locked against Duncan from knee to hip, Mac's thighs were rock hard against his own, and their cocks fit perfectly against each other, hips grinding slowly. Blair moved over his chest, warm, gentle lips nuzzling over his collar bone while determined fingers fought with the small buttons on his dress shirt.

"Mac, are you trying kill me?" Jim groaned, laughing weakly when Mac's hand came up to cup his cheek, flat, callused palm moving soothingly over his cheekbone, across his jaw to hold the back of his head.

"No, I want you to live through it." Duncan murmured, smiling.

Jim laughed weakly, shaking his head at the man leaning over him. Duncan's long hair fell in his face, his breath warm on his skin. Blair was still between them, fighting the last button at the bottom of his shirt. He'd pulled it up from his waistband without any help, fingers pulling insistently at his back.

Duncan's hands released him slowly as he sat back on his knees, his hands going to the buttons on his own shirtcuffs. Duncan's eyes never left his, watching him with smoldering eyes as he slowly stripped out of his finery. He didn't bother to stand up to get his suit pants off, managing to get rid of them rolling from one side to the other and back up onto his knees.

Blair was making good progress on Jim's clothes as well as his own. He'd managed to wriggle out of his jeans, but he was still wearing his white silk shirt as he pulled Jim's belt through it's loops. Duncan had to take a moment to look his fill at his beautiful, extremely horny Blair in white silk and nothing else. Blair caught his gaze and for a moment they were still, taking pleasure in simply looking at each other.

Finally, the painful tension was released, Blair had his pants undone and Duncan was pulling them quickly down his legs, striping him of his socks, and then his boxer shorts. Jim was glad they were so enthusiastic about taking his clothes off for him, because he was sure he wouldn't be able to accomplish it himself. He couldn't even think about anything but Duncan touching him, he wanted it so badly.

"You're quite a specimen, James Ellison." Duncan's voice was barely a whisper, but the sound caressed Jim's sensitive ears, sending a shiver of anticipation down his spine. Duncan's eyes were roaming hotly over his body, taking their time in a slow, satisfied perusal of his flesh. Jim was sure that he could feel Duncan's gaze.

"Duncan..." Jim groaned softly, hanging onto the sound of Mac's voice and the feel of Blair's fingertips lightly stroking his hip.

"It's okay, it's okay. We're right here with you man, just let yourself go..." Blair whispered tenderly, laying down against Jim's side to lick and nibble at his ear again.

Duncan joined him on the other side, and they worked their way slowly in a v down Jim's neck, sucking and biting until their tongues met at the hollow of his throat, wet lips sucking hungrily at each other before returning to the man panting beneath them.

"Oh my god. The two of you feel... incredible. Ahhh." Jim groaned mindlessly as first Duncan's, and then Blair's hot mouth closed over his nipples. They licked and sucked and bit until he was thrashing under Duncan's hold, his hips twisting mindlessly against Duncan's slick, hot grip.

"Easy, let up, Caro." Duncan coaxed, raising his head to stare into Jim's wide open eyes as his hands moved to stroke slowly up and down his chest. Blair moaned, rubbing himself slowly against Jim's hip as he forced himself to gentle his attack, turning his face to the side to blow lightly over the tight flesh.

"Mmm, see, you can do this, Jim. Just relax, we're not going to eat you alive, are we, Caro? We'll take it nice and slow."

Duncan's voice was low and soothing, and although Jim's brain wasn't really able to process everything he said, his body reacted, tight muscles unclenching as he relaxed under Duncan's soothing touch.

"Good, that's better..." Duncan smiled, pressing his lips gently to Jim's open mouth before returning to his chest, sucking very softly, his tongue swirling languidly over tight skin. Blair mirrored his movements, letting his tongue wander slowly over his half of Jim's body, pausing to lick and suck lightly where ever he took the notion to.

"Duncan, can I... Do you mind if I..." Blair was panting softly, his mouth moving down Jim's torso, drawn irresistibly to his cock, slick and hard and beautiful.

"Share him with me, Caro." Duncan murmured persuasively, his lips making their own slow path down Jim's abdomen. Their tongues met over the head of his cock, flicking out to twist around each other playfully over the sensitive slit.

"Oh yeah... oh god... Please." Jim moaned helplessly, his hands coming down to bury themselves in Blair's rough curls and Duncan's thick, satiny locks. The difference in textures was enticing, as was the smoothness of Duncan's lips against the rasp of Blair's tongue. The pleasure roared in his blood, turning his body into liquid fire. Jim groaned quietly, letting the sensations build until he knew he couldn't bear it another second. All he could think was that he didn't want to zone out, and stop feeling this. "No." He moaned, pushing the sound out of his throat when it didn't want to come.

Blair stopped instantly, drawing Duncan off him with a gentle hand under his chin. "Talk to me." Blair breathed softly, concerned, loving eyes roaming over his face.

"I..." Jim had to gulp for air. "I was about to zone out on it, and it felt so good I didn't want it to stop." He whispered in a rush, his eyes locked intensely on his Guide, asking for help.

A wide, joyous smile spread over Blair's face. "Oh man, Jim, that's wonderful. No, it is. You did it! You caught yourself before you zoned, that's fantastic, Jim. Can you remember that, talk to me to keep yourself from going over the edge? I love it when you talk to me." The last was a throaty whisper over his cock. The brush of Blair's lips and the sound of his voice and the desire and adoration in his words all blended together, sending a shudder of pleasure through his whole body so intense that Jim was sure he'd never felt anything like it before.

"Yeah... oh yeah. I can do that."

"Good." Duncan murmured quietly, joining Blair on his cock, his long tongue swirling slowly up and down the shaft while Blair licked and sucked softly at his head, kissing him over and over again.

"Mmm, feels so good, so good I don't even want to... Oh god, slower? Please, I don't want to come yet."

Jim felt Duncan's lips smile against his skin, and then he pulled away, reaching to pull Blair to his mouth. They kissed passionately, their tongues devouring each other, both still touching him, cheeks pressed to his cock. It felt so intensely pleasurable that all Jim could do was groan, surrendering to feel of their tongues inside each other's mouths, still stroking him. He was completely overcome by it, by the sight of Duncan kissing Blair with such joy and passion over his cock. He couldn't take his eyes off the sight of them.

"You look... too good for words. Hot. So hot, damn... Oh god, more?" Jim moaned, unable to stop to the rush of words. He wanted Duncan's mouth over him so badly it almost hurt to look at him.

"Let me have him for a little while?" Duncan whispered hotly to his lover, who immediately slid down on the bed to rest his cheek on Jim's thigh, pressing his lips slowly to his skin, kissing a line up his sensitive inner thigh. "Thank you, Caro." Duncan smiled at Blair, who looked so beautiful, all his attention on giving Jim pleasure.

Duncan's mouth closed around him, his movements slow and gentle. Sucking very softly, he moved over Jim to take him deep in his throat. Jim groaned his name, and Duncan closed his eyes, letting Jim's loud moans of pleasure fill his ears. He felt Jim pulse against his tongue, felt his body tighten, and slowed his thrusts until he was barely moving, letting the hard flesh slide slowly against his lips, holding him with his mouth.


"That is so beautiful, Duncan. I can't believe how beautiful you look. You two are gonna turn me into a serious voyeur. That looks like it feels so good, man. Slow down again."

Jim groaned, trying to argue. Duncan's hot mouth had closed around him, wet, burning pleasure running up and down his cock until he was just about to come. His Guide knew him too well. "Blair..." Jim groaned in protest, his hips arching up off the bed, already trying to get back to the searing heat of Duncan's mouth.

"Shh, I'm not gonna take him away from you." Blair soothed, his fingertips stroking Jim's tight balls. "I just wanna watch you fuck his mouth. Hold still, Duncan, let him move..." Blair shifted to Jim's side, climbing over his thigh to get an unobstructed view. Reaching for Duncan's hand, he put it on Jim's hip, covering the back of Duncan's hand with his own. "Go ahead, I know you want to, I know you want to come." Blair whispered, pressing Duncan's hand to guide Jim forward and back, pushing him down Duncan's throat.

Duncan moaned softly around him, relaxing completely and nuzzling his face into soft brown curls when Jim thrust hard, pushing all the way down his throat. After four more violent jerks into Duncan's mouth, he came, his palms spread wide over Duncan's head, holding him tightly as he buried himself one last time in his throat.

Blair raised his head from Jim's taut thigh to watch him come. Jim's hand closed into a fist in Duncan's hair, and his whole body curled towards Duncan. His knees bent and came up a little, every muscle in his chest, arms and abdomen bulging as his body lurched forward. He shuddered, wrapping his arms around Duncan's shoulders and pulling him up to hold him tightly against his chest.

Blair stared at Jim in a haze of desire so strong he felt drugged. He was amazed, and very pleased, that Jim hadn't zoned during orgasm. His Sentinel was panting, smiling so wide he was going to split his lip, and pushing his face into Duncan's neck. For another moment Blair was frozen watching Jim, feeling pride and possessiveness and desire in overwhelming proportions. Then he shook himself, and rolled half on top of Duncan, who was still breathing hard and had his face buried in Jim's chest.

Blair kissed Duncan's shoulder, letting himself enjoy the full body skin contact. He thought that he might just come pressed against the curve of Duncan's ass. Neither of his lovers had spoken yet, and Blair forced himself to hold his breath, wanting to let them have this.

The silence was profound but not heavy, as Duncan remained pressed tightly to Jim's sternum, his long body stretched out between Jim's thighs, one arm wrapped around Jim's waist, his hand in the small of his back, the other limp against Jim's arm, clutching his shoulder. Finally, Duncan stirred, bracing his left hand on the bed to push himself up to Jim's lips. They kissed for as long as the air in their lungs would let them.

"Wow." Jim breathed, grinning at Duncan. Duncan's hair was wild, his eyes half lidded and sleepy. It made him feel even more deeply satisfied to look at him, and think about how he had put that dreamy, sleepy look in Mac's eyes.

"Oh god, make that wow to the tenth power. I have never seen anything so incredible in my life. You two are absolutely fucking beautiful." Blair whispered harshly, trying to take his weight off of Duncan without giving up any of his body.

Jim chuckled, letting go of Mac long enough to push himself back, sitting up against the headboard. Leaning forward, he pulled Duncan up on the bed and back into his embrace. Duncan helped him, rising half on his knees to scoot up on the mattress. When he'd resettled, he raised his head to look at Jim, a slow smile spreading over his features. "I'd like to do that at least a hundred more times." He voice was deep, a little rough from Jim's treatment.

"You're serious?" Jim asked, cocking his head at him. He was a little bit surprised, that it had been that pleasurable for Duncan, especially since he'd done his best to give him a tonsillectomy.

"Very. That was extremely enjoyable." Duncan told him, liking the expression on Jim's face so much he had to kiss him again.

Blair's knee nudged his legs apart, lying down between them to flatten himself across his back. "And I'd like to make love to you, handsome." Blair murmured, moving Duncan's hair out of the way to suck lightly at the side of his neck. His cock nestled intimately between Duncan's asscheeks, not moving, only making himself comfortable.

Duncan arched beneath him, his cock pressing into the warmth of Jim's inner thigh. He raised himself up a little on his arms to look into Jim's eyes, their faces barely an inch apart. "Would that be okay with you?" Duncan asked quietly, his expression open and calm, ready to accept whatever answer Jim gave him.

Jim could only nod, lost in Duncan's eyes. That Duncan asked made him feel cared for in a way that was alien to him. He realized that it was because Duncan was being protective of him, and it felt really, really good. "Yeah, of course. I want you to do whatever makes you feel as good as what you just did to me."

"Can I stay here?" Duncan whispered, his lips very close to Jim's, brushing lightly over his before he let Jim answer.

"Yeah." Jim answered hoarsely, tightening his arms around Duncan's chest, pulling him up a little higher, so that his cock slid against the crease of his thigh. "Can we? I mean, will it work like this?"

"Oh yeah, definitely." Blair assured him, moving quickly off of Duncan to the bedside table and back again. Parting Duncan's thighs a little wider with his hands, stroking up and down the backs of his legs, Blair watched them kiss, trying to calm his own urgency. Duncan relaxed, letting Jim take most his weight on his stomach, liking the feel of the hard abdominals beneath him.

"I love you both so much..." Blair whispered, lying down on top of Duncan and wrapping his arms around his shoulders to reach Jim's sides. Hugging Jim with Duncan pressed between them, Blair felt his cock swell to epic proportions, an ache forming in his balls, a need to be buried deep in his lover's body. "Oh man... I need this so bad, Duncan."

"It's not going to hurt, is it?" Jim whispered, a tiny bit embarrassed, but more concerned about Duncan than anything else.

Duncan shook his head wordlessly, his eyes holding Jim's seriously. Jim could see trust and want and certainty in the coffee brown rings of Duncan's dilated eyes. Duncan trusted Blair completely, and he trusted him, too, he could feel it in the way Duncan's arms wrapped around his, hanging on to him.

"I'm not going to hurt you, am I, handsome?" Blair spoke softly, his voice thick with passion as he stroked Duncan's ass, petting the smooth cheeks until Duncan groaned, spreading his legs a little wider in a silent request. "No, I'm not going to hurt you at all. I'm going to send you to the moon."

Blair knelt between his legs, squeezing a small amount of lubricant hurriedly from the tube he'd dropped next to him on the sheets. Duncan had settled on Jim's chest, his mouth open, sucking slightly at the rise of muscle beneath his collar bone. One slick finger slid down between his cheeks, moving in slow circles around his asshole, teasing him with the idea of penetration.

"Blair..." Duncan's moan was muffled against Jim's chest, his arms tightening around Jim's biceps, pushing back a little against Blair's light caress. "I want it." He groaned simply, unable to say anything else.

Jim's arms tightened around his ribs and his palms spread wide over his shoulder blades as Blair pressed very slowly inside him, entering him with absolute care. Duncan closed his eyes, going limp in Jim's arms. The pleasure was so intense, his lover pressing slowly into him, and the feeling of being cradled in Jim's arms, instead of pressed down against the sheets. Blair's finger fucked him very slowly, until he was so lulled by the rhythm, the slow, slick slide of pleasure over his nerves, that he barely noticed when a second finger joined the first, twisting slowly into his body.

"Ohh." Duncan cried softly, his head falling back as his back arched into the slow, deep thrusts. His eyes fluttered open to find Jim staring at him in lust and fascination.

"It feels that good?"

"Oh yes!" Duncan's answer was a loud groan, as Blair's fingers scissored inside him, stretching him gently.

"You look so good... Nothing like I imagined." Jim whispered against Duncan's lips, ducking his head to kiss him, his tongue plunging into Duncan's slack mouth.

"Oh yeah... Don't let go of him." Blair told his Sentinel, unable to wait another minute. Watching Jim devour Duncan's mouth snapped the last of his control.

"Is now good, lover?" Blair asked in a harsh whisper, pulling his fingers slowly from Duncan's heat.

Duncan's moan was as enthusiastic a consent as he could give with Jim's tongue halfway down his throat.

Blair watched Jim claiming Duncan's mouth, the heat and urgency building inside him, as he quickly covered his stiff cock with the lube. "Oh Jim, man, that's so incredible. I don't even know what it is... The way you kiss him... drives me wild."

Duncan thought, "me too", but he couldn't say it, Jim's lips had sealed over his own and showed no sign of releasing him. Which, Duncan thought, was absolutely fine with him. Jim's arms were like steel around him, holding him under his arms, wrapped all the way around his chest. Blair was moving his legs around, moving up to rub slowly against him. Duncan moaned loudly into Jim's mouth, arching back in his tight embrace.

"Yeah, now lover, I know..." Blair groaned softly, nudging the very tip of his cock against the tight hole.

Blair took a deep breath, reaching desperately for control as he pushed slowly, as slowly as he could, into heavenly, slick heat. "Oh yeah." He sighed in relief and exultation, letting himself sink into Duncan's tight ass.

Blair picked his head up when he realized the low, hungry moan came from his Sentinel, who was feeding on Duncan's mouth like a man who was starving. Jim's hands pushed slowly down from the middle of Duncan's back, leaning over him to cover his round, muscular cheeks with his palms, spreading him open for his Guide.

"Oh god, Jim..." Blair moaned helplessly, caught in the intensity of Jim's ice blue eyes. "He feels so good." Blair cried softly, only able to pull back a little way before sinking back into the heat of his lover's body, pushing all the way in, feeling Duncan opening up to accept him.

"You... you're really inside him." Jim's awed whisper made Blair smile, nodding slowly. He stopped moving, wanting to simply feel himself buried as deep as he could get into Duncan's body. Jim seemed unable to look away from his eyes. Blair leaned forward slowly, feeling the shudder of pleasure that tore through his lover as the head of his cock pushed over his prostate. Leaning over Duncan and trapping him between them, he reached for Jim's mouth, feeling the need to reassure himself with the contact. The expression of doubt and wonder on Jim's face kicked his protective instincts into overdrive. Jim kissed him slowly, one hand leaving Duncan's ass to hold the back of his head.

Duncan made a little questioning sound against Jim's chest and Blair pulled back quickly, afraid they were suffocating him. "Are you okay, handsome? You feel so good, Duncan, so tight." Blair whispered tenderly, bending down to Duncan's shoulder to nibble over his soft skin.

"Mmm... I love you." Duncan's answer was a happy moan, as he arched back against Blair's slow invasion, his hard cock sliding against Jim's warm thigh.

"Oh yeah, oh god... I love you too." Blair panted softly, trying to maintain the slow rhythm of his thrusts. He wasn't going to last long, but this was too wonderful to give up, and he didn't want to come before Duncan did.

Duncan was twisting in Jim's arms, moving as much as he was able to, arching back towards Blair and pushing himself harder against Jim's sweat slicked skin. His breathing was heavy, loud in Blair's ear when he leaned over him to press his lips hard against his Sentinel's, hanging onto the distraction of Jim's kiss as his lover undulated beneath him.

"Duncan..." Blair groaned, his hand coming down on his lover's hips to hold him still as he plunged deeply into his body, grinding his pelvis against the muscled cheeks.

"Jim... help him come? I... I want him to come." Blair panted, his eyes wide open, staring into Jim's as he fucked Duncan harder, his lover's deep groans of ecstasy filling his ears.

Jim's arms shifted Duncan sideways a little, until he could reach between them to wrap his fist around the throbbing cock pressed to his hip. Duncan pushed his face against his pec, panting harshly over his skin. "Please... oh god, Blair... Blair." Duncan cried his lover's name, his orgasm building inside him, burning, dizzying pleasure racing over his nerves.

"Yeah... so close. Oh god, come for him, Duncan." Blair groaned, falling over Duncan's back as he thrust frantically into his ass.

Jim strained to reach Duncan's mouth, managing to capture his lips once more as his hand pumped his cock evenly, setting the rhythm that brought him to orgasm quickest when he did this to himself. Duncan's soft, short moans and his gasps for breath caressed his face, heat spreading through his body as he attacked the soft lips, groaning in surprise and pleasure when he came with him, his cock splattering warm stickiness over Duncan's stomach. Jim hung onto reality by a thread, feeling the shudders of pleasure coursing through Duncan's whole body, stretched out on top of him, Duncan's thighs going taut, the corded muscles hard on top of his own. Duncan went utterly limp in his arms, his body accepting the hard thrusts as Blair pumped into him, lasting only another moment before he came.

Jim's hand raked slowly through Duncan's long hair, lifting the damp strands off his burning skin. "That was something else." He murmured affectionately, his arms relaxing to release the other man from his crushing embrace.

"Thank you." Duncan panted back, licking Jim's sweaty chest.

Blair's offering was a deep, satiated groan, as he pulled gently out of his lover's exhausted body. He fell down next to them on the bed, completely spent. "I can't move."

"Mmm." Duncan agreed. He hadn't moved off of Jim, and didn't look like he had any intention of doing so.

"Thank you, both of you." Jim whispered, his hand still moving slowly through Duncan's matted hair, untangling the long locks patiently.

Duncan nuzzled his face into Jim's chest, answering him with a series of feather light kisses over his smooth skin.

"Tomorrow night I want the middle." Blair told them, his words slurred as he curled against Duncan's shoulder. He was already more than half asleep.

"Fight you for it." Duncan whispered back, feeling Jim's chuckle rumble beneath his cheek.

"He'll win." Jim predicted, squeezing Duncan greedily to his chest as he felt himself drifting off to sleep. For the second night in a row, the covers stayed in a messy heap on the floor at the foot of the bed, and no one even thought about setting an alarm.

End Part 31

Part 32

Feedback? houseofslack@hos.slashcity.com