Thanks to TAE for her wonderful beta, for the warning, and for leading the mob. Also thanks to AnneACK for the her contribution of ];o) the smiley with horns.

Disclaimer: I don't own Jim or Blair or even a well-used Army sweatshirt. (Does my band sweatshirt count?)

Chapter 3: I Hadn't Noticed


A flash of lightening followed closely by booming thunder woke the loft's sleeping inhabitants. One of Washington's rare winter thunderstorms was in full swing. The weatherman had said that there was only a slight chance of rain that night, but the residents of Cascade had known better than to believe him.

After Blair got his racing heart back under control, he headed out to see how the resident Sentinel had handled the sensory onslaught. The first thing he noticed as he tossed his blankets back was that the temperature had dropped considerably. Luckily he had gotten in the habit of wearing his warm socks to bed, otherwise he would have looked pretty silly hopping around the room on the cold bare floor. His first concern, though, was his roommate in the room above him.

He quickly padded out of his room and up the stairs to find Jim curled up on his bed. The Sentinel had his hands clamped over his ears and his eyes shut tight.

"Damnit, I was afraid of this," the Guide thought to himself as he rushed to his friend's side. "He just can't get the hang of thunderstorms."

Blair quickly set to work helping Jim get the dials back down to normal.

He gently rubbed the other man's back, hoping that the touch and warmth would give his friend something to concentrate on.

"Come on, Jim. Just turn the dials down, 5, 4, 3. Leave it on three for a while," he instructed as another flash of lightening lit up the loft.

Slowly, Jim relaxed and opened his eyes to see his roommate sitting next to him.

"Thanks, Chief. That last one took me by surprise."

Blair responded with a stressed chuckle, "Last one? Jim, that was three lightening flashes ago." The rumble of distant thunder added an ominous sound effect to the Guide's words.

Jim just sat quietly, not sure of what to say.

That is until he noticed his friend's shivering. "God, Sandburg! You must be freezing!"

The older man jumped off the bed and yanked open his dresser drawer. Before Blair could protest, Jim was pulling something over the younger man's head.

"What were you thinking, running around in just a t-shirt?"

As soon as Blair's head popped through the neck of the sweatshirt that he suddenly found himself wearing, he started talking. "I hadn't noticed the cold. I was thinking that you were up here having problems with your senses because of the storm. I was right, too. Can you honestly tell me that you would have preferred lying here in pain while I took my sweet time in bundling up like Nanook of the North?"

Jim reached through the sleeve and grabbed his roommate's right wrist pulling it through. "I would prefer that you didn't get pneumonia. Aren't you the one who hates being cold and wet?"

Blair graciously put his own left arm through the appropriate sleeve at the same time, "The wet is OUTSIDE, in case you haven't noticed. Hey, it's the Army sweatshirt."

Blair's non-sequitor caused Jim to stop in mid-action as he helped the other man pull his hair out of the shirt. "Really? I hadn't noticed."

Blair snuggled deep into the warm sweatshirt, feeling it warm him both inside and out. Jim simply used the dark to hide his smile.

Chapter 4

Chapter 2


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