Title: Pushed Too Far
Email address: email@example.com
Pairings: pre J/B
Series/Sequel: first story in the Push series
Disclaimers: The boys aren't mine; I wrote and asked Santa for them for Christmas but the letter must have gotten lost. So they still belong to PetFly and I'm using them without permission. No money made, written only for enjoyment, yadda, yadda, yadda...
Notes: This was inspired by the "Is Blair a nurturer?" discussion that's been taking place on Senad. And it isn't at all what I had intended to write. But sometimes you just have to go where the Muse leads you. Though I've been writing for years, this is my first posted story and my first time writing with these characters. Comments, good, bad, or indifferent are welcome.
Summary: Blair pushes and Jim reacts
Warnings: Spoilers for Remembrance
Jim came into the loft after taking his father home from being checked out in the emergency room. Though it was still relatively early he was exhausted, more emotionally than physically, and all he wanted was to take a shower and go to bed.
Blair walked out of his bedroom and Jim sighed at the concerned look on his face. He had a feeling that his bed would be waiting for a while yet.
"What is it Chief?" he asked, not bothering to keep his fatigue out of his voice.
"I was just-" Blair stopped and frowned as he came close enough to see Jim's expression. "Is everything all right?"
"Everything's fine, Chief," Jim said with another sigh. He knew what was coming next, knew Blair wouldn't be able to leave it alone.
There was a silence of about ten seconds. "I didn't think you'd be back so early," Blair finally said. "I thought you'd be spending some time with your father."
"I did." Jim's voice was cold and curt. "I took him to the hospital to be checked out and then I drove him home." Take the hint Sandburg, he thought desperately. Drop it.
"Yeah, well... I meant beyond that. You couldn't have had much time to talk." Blair moved closer as he spoke and Jim could practically smell the concern and worry oozing from his pores.
"Maybe I didn't want to talk, Sandburg, did you ever think of that?"
Though Jim's voice and body language were clearly broadcasting "Back off" signals as loud as possible, Blair just didn't seem capable of picking them up. Of course not, Jim thought wearily. When has he ever?
True to form Blair persisted, taking the conversation one step further than Jim wanted to go. "It's going to be awfully hard to get to know your father again if you don't talk to him."
Jim tried to suppress his growing irritation at this continued probing without much success. "I don't want to get to know him again, okay?"
Now Blair faltered for a moment, his confusion plain on his mobile features. "But- I thought- This afternoon...."
"Just because I don't want to see him dead doesn't mean I want to have anything to do with him." Jim ran a hand over his face in tired frustration. "Just leave it alone, Sandburg."
For a wonder, it looked like Blair was going to do so. Letting out a sigh of relief, Jim brushed by him and went into the bathroom to take a shower. Standing under the spray until the water began to run cold relieved some of the tension in Jim's muscles but did nothing for the turmoil in his mind. Try as he might, he couldn't calm the roiling mess of confusion, pain and anger the events of the last couple of days had stirred in him. He pushed them down as best he could, dried himself off and, slinging the towel around his waist, headed for his long awaited bed.
But it looked like it was just going to have to wait a little longer. When he exited the bathroom he found Blair sitting at the kitchen table, obviously waiting for him. Jim tightened his hold on the fraying tendrils of his temper before he addressed his friend. "What is it now Sandburg?"
Blair's voice, when he answered, was quiet and intense. "He talked to me, you know? When we were in the woods. About you. Of how proud he is of you and how sorry he is about all the mistakes he made."
Jim stiffened, the emotions he had pushed down in the shower once again threatening to overwhelm him. "I don't want to hear this," he said carefully, desperately.
Blue eyes pinned him where he stood. "I think you need to," Blair answered. "He wants a second chance, Jim. He wants to get to know who you are now and to try and make up for the past. He wants to have a relationship with his son and for you to have one with your father. Are you really going to throw that all away without even trying for it?"
The muscle in Jim's jaw started jumping. "I'm not the one who threw it away." His voice radiated barely controlled anger.
In contrast, Blair's voice was calm and soothing. "In the past that was true, but if you turn your back on him now, you *will* be the one throwing it away. I know he did some awful things to you when you were young -- deliberately setting you and Stephen against each other was just plain wrong and I'm not asking you to forget that. But he wants to make amends, Jim. He's your father, man, the only one you'll ever have. I don't want to see you dealing with the guilt of might-have-beens because you didn't take the chance to get to know him when it was offered."
"So what you're saying," Jim began, a cold, lost feeling settling into the pit of his stomach, "is that I should do this for my own good."
"I probably wouldn't have used those exact words, but yeah, man, that's essentially it."
"You're just like him." He was amazed at how quiet his voice was, considering the maelstrom of pain and anger churning inside of him. "His making me repress my senses, your trying to make me reconcile with him, it's all the same thing. You both decided you know what's best for me and you're going to get me to do it, whether I want to or not. Because it's for 'my own good.' I've got news for you, Sandburg. No one gets to decide what's for my own good except for me! If I want your damned help, I'll ask for it! Until I do just BACK THE HELL OFF!!"
Jim's volume had been gradually increasing all during his speech and the last four words came out in a roar that echoed in the silence that followed it. He stood there, panting in anger, his body trembling from the sudden surge of adrenaline and waited for his partner's response.
For once, Blair's face didn't reveal his emotions. "Fine, man," he said quietly, standing and pushing his chair in. "If that's the way you want it, that's what you'll get." He turned and went into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.
Leaving Jim wondering why, if he had won, did he feel like he just lost something precious?