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Summary:  Blairís migraine leads to insights on how Jim feels for Blair.

A Sense of Family
by
Shawnee

Jim walked into the loft and stopped, looking around.  He knew Blair was home, but it was very quiet.  The grad student had been living with the detective for a little over a month now, and Jim was not just getting used to him, but enjoyed having him at the loft.  It was nice knowing there was someone waiting for him at home, that someone cared if he came home at all.  It was like having a second chance to be a big brother, and Jim was determined to get it right this time.

Blairís keys were in the basket by the door, his backpack underneath the table, along with his shoes.  Jim walked into the loft and saw Blair was curled up on the couch.  Jim frowned as he studied Blair, however, and looked around the loft again.  The blinds were closed, making the room dark.  There was no music playing and everything was very quiet. Something was wrong.

Jim leaned down and brushed the hair away from Blairís face.  Blair didnít move.  Jim was startled by the way Blairís face was pale and drawn - he was in pain.  Serious pain.  Jim had seen that look on the faces of men wounded in battle.  This couldnít be good.

"Blair?" Jim asked gently, laying a hand on Blairís shoulder.  "Hey, Chief?"

Blair sobbed and put his hands over his ears and hunched away from Jimís touch.  "Stop, oh, god, please, stop."

Jim moved around to kneel beside the couch.  "Blair?  Look at me, please."  He kept his voice very low, barely above a whisper.

Blair slowly opened his eyes.  "Jim?"

"Whatís wrong, Blair?"  Jim reached out to lightly stroke his head.

"Migraine.  Bad one.  Hurts, Jim, oh, god, never hurt so badÖ."  He squeezed his eyes shut, his hands clenching into fists so tight, his knuckles were white.

"Did you take anything?"  Jimís thumb very lightly rubbed Blairís temple, knowing the migraine could temporarily heighten Blairís senses.

"Three Tylenol, extra strength, when I got home and again an hour ago."

"Did you keep them down?"

"Barely."

"How long have you been hurting?"

"Got homeÖabout twelve-thirty."  It was now a little before six.

"Can you walk?"

"Why?"

"Iím going to take you to the emergency room.  Donít argue with me, please, Chief.  Youíve been hurting long enough.  Let me take you and get you some relief."

Blair sighed.  "OK."  He let Jim help him sit up, moaning in pain, hands holding his head as bright lights burst behind his eyes.

Jim put his shoes and jacket on him and helped him to his feet, slid an arm around his waist and helped him toward the door.  They were halfway down the hall when Blair stopped, leaning against the wall.  An agonized moan came from him as he raised his hands to his head.  His knees buckled.  Blair was sobbing, the pain creating stabbing flashes of light behind his eyes.  Jim picked him up and carried him out.

Simon was shocked to see Jim carrying Blair when the elevator doors slid open.  "What theÖ."

Jim shook his head.  "Ssshhh, Simon.  Keep it down.  Iím glad youíre here.  I need to get Blair to the ER.  Heís got a severe migraine."

Simon knew about migraineís, heíd had his share of them, and had staggered into an ER twice because of them, ready to start screaming if he didnít get some relief.  "Weíll take my car."

Jim held Blair and whispered to him all the way to the hospital.  Blair just lay in his arms, eyes half-closed, his breathing ragged, his pulse way too fast.  At the ER entrance, Simon helped Jim get Blair out and they helped the younger man inside.  Blair kept his head down, tears running down his face.  They got him to a chair and Simon went to find some help, as Jim stayed with Blair.

Jim crouched in front of Blair, one hand on his knee, the other going to the side of Blairís head, gently massaging.  "Itís OK, Chief, just hang on a little longer."

"Iím sorry, Jim," Blair said in a soft voice, face hidden by his hair.

Jim frowned.  "Hey, you havenít done anything to be sorry about.  OK?" Jim reached up and tucked Blairís hair behind his ears.

"I just want to curl up somewhere dark and quiet.  Itís never hurt so bad, Jim, it feels like my headís going to explode!"  He huddled in his jacket, rocking slightly.

Jim hated feeling helpless, but there was nothing he could do except wait.  He sat down in a chair next to Blair and pulled the younger man close to him, one hand lightly stroking his head, the other rubbing his back comfortingly.

Jim stood as Simon returned with a nurse, who led them to a treatment room.  Simon stayed in the waiting room.  Jim didnít want to leave Blair and was allowed to stay.

A few minutes later, a doctor came in, introducing himself as Dr. MacIntyre.  Keeping his voice low, he examined Blair, asking questions about allergies and medication taken.  When Blair was slow to answer, heíd look to Jim for answers.

Finally, Dr. MacIntyre gave Blair an injection.  "That should help ease the pain pretty quickly, Blair, OK?  Itíll also make you sleepy, so you just lie back on the bed here and get some sleep.  Youíre going to be fine, I promise."

Blair laid back, his eyes closing.  Jim looked at the doctor.  "Thanks, doc."

"No problem.  His blood pressureís still elevated, I want him to stay until itís come down a bit."  Just then, the doctor was paged.  "An ER doctorís work is never done.  Just let him sleep, Iíll be back to check on him as soon as I can."  He left.

Jim continued stroking Blairís hair, massaging his temples and talking low to him.  He was surprised at himself, but it just felt so right to take care of Blair.  It hurt him to see the kid hurting.

Blair was sleeping when Simon was allowed back to see them. Dr. MacIntyre entered at the same time.

"How is he, Doc?" Jim asked as the doctor returned his stethoscope to his neck.  He was stroking Blairís hair with one hand, holding his hand with the other.  Even asleep, Blair was keeping a firm hold on him.

"Heís doing pretty good.  His pulse and blood pressure have returned to normal, at least, and heís resting now that the painís gone.  Iíd like to keep him a few hours, run a few basic tests, to make sure this isnít a symptom of something more serious."

"You mean like a brain tumor or something?" asked Jim, startled.  Blair sighed as Jim massaged his temple.

"Or an infection of some kind.  Itís highly unlikely itís anything other than what it appears to be, a particularly severe migraine, but better safe than sorry.  Also, I need these forms filled out, name, medical history, insurance, that sort of thing."

"Ah, Doc, Iím afraid we havenít known the kid long enough to know too much.  See, he just started working with me a couple of months ago."

Dr. MacIntyre looked startled.  "Youíre not brothers then?"  He shook his head.  "I was sure you were related.  But you are roommates?"

"Yeah, his place blew up, donít ask, long story, and weíve become good friends, so I let him move in with me."  Jim shrugged.  "Heís a good kid."

"Well, whatever you can fill in will help."

Jim was dismayed to discover how little he knew about Blair.  "Doc, about the insurance, Iím not even sure he has any.  Just do what you gotta do, Iíll take care of it."  Jim took the forms and sat down in a chair beside the bed Blair was asleep on.

Three hours later, Jim and Simon were helping a very groggy Blair into the loft and to his room.  They sat him down on the bed and Jim quickly stripped him down to his t-shirt and boxers.  He cupped his head, guiding him back to the pillow and under the covers.

"Jim?  Iím sorryÖfor beiní símuch trouble.  Wonít hapínÖagain."  Blair curled on his side.

Jim put a hand on Blairís shoulder.  "Blair?  Look at me, please?"  He waited until Blair looked at him.  "Youíre not any trouble, Blair. Please, promise me youíll come to me if you need me.  Especially if youíre in pain.  Promise?"  Jim found himself again lightly massaging Blairís temple.

Blair blinked at him.  Jim was making him promise to ask for help?  "IÖI promise," he whispered.

Jim smiled.  "Good.  Now get some rest.  You can sleep in tomorrow, you need the rest."  Jim patted his shoulder and stood.  When he reached the door, he stopped as Blair whispered his name.

"Jim?"  He waited until Jim stopped and turned to look back at him. "Thank you."

Jim nodded.  "Youíre welcome."  He waited until Blairís eyes had closed and his breathing had evened out in sleep, then stepped out of the room, pulling the curtain over the door.  Simon was in the living room.  "Now, Simon, what brought you over in the first place?  And would you like some coffee?"

"No, thanks, Jim, I need to get going.  I stopped by to pick up the Briggs file."

Jim picked it up from the table in front of the couch and handed it to his captain.  "Simon, thanks, for tonight."

Simon grinned.  "No problem, man.  The kid grows on you, doesnít he?"

Jim chuckled.  "Yeah, he does.  Heís a good kid, Simon.  I just hope heís not getting in over his head, yíknow?  Following me around?  It can be pretty dangerous out there."

"Well, he strikes me as a pretty resourceful guy.  He really held his own against Kincaid and his men, I was impressed, Iíll admit.  I think heíll be OK, and truthfully?  Heís good for you, Jim.  I can already see a difference in you since you met Blair.  The guys at the station have noticed too.  Youíre easier to talk to, donít have that constant air of hostility around you anymore."  Simon chuckled again, shaking his head. "Take care of the kid, Jim."  Simon gave him a wave and headed out.

Jim closed and locked the door, then wandered over to lean in the door to Blairís room.  He frowned as he remembered Blairís words, about being so much trouble.  Who had told the kid something like that?  Did Blair think Jim would kick him out if he got sick?  They were going to have a long talk when Blair was feeling better.  He wanted Blair to know that he was welcome here, that Jim liked having him around.  He sighed.  He wondered what he had done to deserve being entrusted with this precious life?  Heíd made a lot of mistakes in his life, let a lot of people down.  He bowed his head and silently prayed to whatever deity was listening, that he never let Blair down.