Send in the Clones

Jim sat down in the living room with a smile. Things were looking good.

Blair was in the kitchen, alternating between stirring something on the stove and reading over essays for class.

Jim had his feet up and was relaxing. The sound of Blair puttering made him smile.

From outside in the parking lot came the sudden sound of a car backfiring. Blair yelped, and jumped two feet into the air, dropping both his spoon and the essays.

"Wha-what was th-that?" he asked timidly, wide scared eyes seeking out Jim's for reassurance.

Jim looked over. "Relax. It wasn't a gun -- just a car." After a second's reflection he got up and went into the kitchen. Stepping up behind Blair he put one hand on the man's shoulder and kissed the top of his head.

The poor thing was shivering.

Blair turned and buried himself in Jim's embrace. "Th-there c-could've been peo-people in th-th-the car with g-g-g-guns," he said between hyperventilating breaths.

"It wasn't," Jim said again. He hadn't bothered checking with his senses, of course. It wasn't really necessary. *He* knew the difference between a backfire and a gunshot.

Behind him he heard the door to the apartment open. A very familiar voice said, "Hey Jim, didn't expect you to be home.... " only to trail off into stunned silence.

The silence didn't last for long. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!"

Startled out of his wits, Jim dropped his hands and turned around. Why hadn't his senses warned him the Real Blair was coming home?

The Real Blair dropped his backpack by the door and stalked over to where the two were standing. He stared for a long moment at the creature still cowering in Jim's arms.

Wimpy Blair looked up and tried to smile winsomely. "Uh, h-hi."

Real Blair did not smile back. "I thought I told you just to grade the essays," he said. "Not take over my home. *Or* Jim."

With a shrug and another winsome smile, Wimpy Blair fled back to the essays that were strewn all over the kitchen table.

Jim tried to think fast. "Blair? Is this really you?"

"Of course it's really me!" Blair began pacing back and forth in front of the sentinel. "I can't believe you thought that was the real me! I thought you were supposed to be perceptive, man!"

Jim backpedaled, mentally. That tactic wasn't going to work. Go for something else. "Well he cooked... I was hungry... I didn't want to ask," he fumbled verbally.

"I don't believe you."

"He offered to rub my back." Jim tried looking cute.

Blair looked at him, face dark with anger. "Is that all I am to you then? Somebody to cook and rub your back?"

"No, of course not!" Jim responded quickly. "But Blair, you haven't cooked or offered to rub my back in days and I was too happy to get the chance--"

"Excuse me," wimpy Blair spoke up hesitantly.

"Shut up!" the other two occupants of the room told him together.

Wimpy Blair cowered, face falling as he slinked back to the table where he was grading essays.

Blair turned back to Jim. "You thought you'd get the chance to what?"

Jim replied sheepishly, "I thought I'd get the chance to get some dinner and relax before you got home." He figured he was in serious trouble. Why not come clean now and get it over with?

Eyes narrowing his Guide took an aggressive step forward. "And just *how* much did this dinner and relaxing entail, Ellison?"

"Just dinner! Calm down, Blair!" Jim tried to gently bat his mate back to a safer -- for Jim -- distance.

"And what was going to be on the menu huh? Backrubs often lead to footrubs, which lead to..." he trailed off meaningfully.

"Come off it, Blair." Jim snorted. "You think I could find *that* attractive? It'd be like sleeping with a three-year-old."

Wimpy Blair frowned at them, but said nothing.

Blair calmed. Slightly. "Well you seemed quite taken with him when I walked in," he said, still a long way from mollified.

"He was scared! There was a car backfire on the street. *You* know what he's like. I wanted to get him calmed down so I could send him out for some Tillamook chocolate peanut butter ice cream."

"Was this before or after the backrub?"

"After." Jim was beginning to think he should have simply sent wimpy Blair back to Blair's office as soon as he'd shown up. But he so rarely got to play with this Blair that he'd decided to indulge.

Blair muttered and stomped off into the kitchen to start dinner. "I *knew* this clone thing was a bad idea. But no... I had to let you talk me into it: 'You're always saying you have to be in two places at once, Chief,' you said. 'This way you *can* be.' I just didn't realize that one of those places was rubbing your back." He glared at the sentinel from across the room. "That's *my* back Ellison. Nobody rubs it but me."

"Oh yeah?" Jim folded his arms across his chest. "This back and Caveman Jim's back?"

"Well if you hadn't decided to make sure 'this Sandburg can follow orders without arguing' he wouldn't have ended up being so wimpy and we wouldn't have had to get another clone to protect him." He turned to put a pot on the stove, frowning at the one already happily bubbling away. "You know I bet you didn't even ask him to make enough for me!"

Jim hesitated before coming to his and Wimpy Blair's defense. He *hadn't* made sure, but surely there was enough....

Wimpy Blair was looking at him now, big blue eyes wide like a doe's, pleading for him to counter the Real Blair's accusations.

"Oh for..." Blair rolled his eyes at the expression. "Look," he addressed his clone more kindly than before, "why don't you take a break? Go lie down and see if you can get your composure back."

Wimpy Blair nodded gratefully and bolted for his room.

"Jim if I *ever* use that expression will you please shoot me?" Blair asked, his voice a little less hostile, as he stared after his clone.

"Gladly," Jim replied. "Unless you've got my jeans around my ankles and are looking at me from here," he added, waving a hand towards his crotch. If Blair wanted to plead with him from *there* he could. Blair could do *anything* he wanted, or didn't want, if it meant he was about to give Jim a blowjob.

"I'm surprised he didn't offer you that," Blair said, letting Jim know he wasn't quite off the hook yet. "I think what they took out in courage they made up with in horniness."

Jim gave him a disgusted look. "You still think I'd go to bed with that?" He hooked a thumb towards the downstairs bedroom. Even if Caveman Jim would *let* him....

Jim didn't really like his clone, but had to admit he kept wimpy Blair out of trouble. Even if he did have trouble with words of more than one syllable.

Blair was looking at him, his eyes serious and just a touch uncertain. "I don't know Jim. You tell me. Sometimes I think you'd rather have someone who does whatever you ask without arguing, who can't function without you."

"Then why am I out here with you instead of in there 'comforting' him?" Jim asked in a reasonable tone.

"Because both I and Caveman Jim would kick your ass if you tried," Blair replied cynically but there was a slight easing of his posture that told Jim that maybe, just maybe, Blair was thinking of forgiving him.

"You don't think I could beat that brainless brute?" Jim postured a little, ready to show off his muscles if needed. Whip out his gun, which he was allowed to carry and which Caveman Jim was *not*.

"He's not the one you really have to worry about," Blair all but purred, circling Jim like a stalking animal. "I'm *much* more dangerous."

"Oh yeah?" Jim replied, growing interested. Growing, to be sure.

"Yeah." Hands were suddenly at Jim's waist plucking his gun away from him before he could react. "See?"

Jim blinked. He tried to regain his composure, as it appeared Blair was *not* going to be pouncing him and stripping them both naked.

"So? I'm not trying to fight you," he finally pointed out.

Blair grinned. "Good thing too since I've got your gun." After a moment though he relented, coming closer again. "Did you really want a backrub that bad?"

Jim tried out a cute look he'd picked up from Blair. The real one, that is.

"You could've just asked *me*, you know," Blair said with a sigh.

"You weren't home," Jim pointed out in a reasonable tone.

He hoped it was reasonable.

"I am now," Blair replied in the same reasonable tone.

Jim grinned hopefully. "So, Chief--" was as far as he got.

The phone rang.

"Hold that thought," Blair ordered, then went and answered it.

Jim eavesdropped, as usual.

"Hello?"

"Is this a Mr. Sandburg or a Mr. Ellison?" a male voice asked hopefully.

Blair exchanged perplexed looks with Jim. "I'm Blair Sandburg," he said.

"Ah, Mr. Sandburg. This is Dr. Zhivago at Clones R Us. We seem to have a slight problem."

"Uhm, how slight is slight?" Blair asked, frowning.

"The alpha clones seem to have... that is...."

"What?"

"They've escaped."

"What?!"

"I'm not exactly sure how they managed it...."

Jim heard the doctor dithering; he was already across the room and at Blair's side. They'd have to get Caveman home from the gym to watch over Wimpy Blair, just in case....

"Well you better figure it out Doc, cause those two are dangerous!" Blair told the doctor, overriding his feeble excuses. "Look, give us a half hour and we'll be there. We'll see if we can track them down."

He hung up the phone and looked up at Jim. "You heard?"

"I heard." Jim had retrieved his gun and holstered it, wondering if the two clones would be able to track down this location. Had it been included in the blueprints?

Blair was already activating Caveman Jim's beeper, which would tell him to get back to the loft ASAP. "I can't believe they let them get away!"

"We don't have time to worry about it now," Jim said. He picked up the phone to call Simon.

The Captain answered on the second ring. "Banks!"

"Simon we have a situation here. The lab called. It seems our alpha clones have escaped." He said it in a rush, hoping to get it all out before Simon yelled.

There was silence on the other end. "You mean the-"

"Yeah, Simon. Baby Blair and Abusive Jim. They're out."

"Dear Lord."

"At least it was only those two," Jim said. "The beta clones are still in their cages."

"Thank god for small favors. We'd have to seal up the city if those two got out."

Jim wondered if he ought to be offended. They *were* after all, his and Blair's clones. Granted, he agreed....

"I'll put an APB out," Simon was saying. "Do you and Blair need any backup?"

"No, sir. Last time this happened backup shot *me*."

"Oh. Yeah. Maybe you better wear something identifiable just in case."

"I would have thought speaking in comprehensible English would have been clue enough...." Jim grumbled, but acquiesced.

He hung up and relayed the gist of the phone call to Sandburg.

"I've got just the thing!" Blair said when Jim told him about them having to wear something identifiable.

He rushed upstairs and Jim could hear him digging around in the closet. Two minutes later, he ran back down the stairs and handed Jim a shirt. "These are perfect!"

Jim unfolded the shirt. He sighed, but nodded. "They'll work." He began to change, and asked, "Blair? What are you doing with these?"

"Uhm..." Blair fidgeted. "I thought they were, y'know kind of cute. In a joking sort of way."

Jim raised an eyebrow. "Whatever. Come on, "Real Blair". Let's go."

They walked out, their matching t-shirts labeling them quite clearly, "Real Jim" and "Real Blair."

Back in the loft, Wimpy Blair was on the phone with Caveman Jim, begging him to hurry home. Caveman Jim was holding out for donuts.