Simon glanced out at the bullpen and sighed. Ellison and Sandburg were working on paperwork, Ellison making notes, Sandburg typing the reports on the computer. Nothing so strange about that, unless you counted the fact that Sandburg was actually sitting still instead of bouncing around the bullpen, or the fact that Ellison actually looked rather content doing the paperwork.


And maybe nothing so strange about the fact that every so often their arms would brush, or their thighs touch as one or the other turned in their chair, yet they made no effort to move farther apart. Ellison had always been a touchy-feely kind of guy, and after a while Simon figured Sandburg would either get used to it or go nuts.


But Simon suspected – only suspected, mind you; he wasn’t certain and frankly didn’t want to be – that there was more to it than that, at least in the last couple of weeks. There had been a few pieces of evidence that Simon, try as he might, found it impossible to ignore. Like the day after the Shelburn stakeout, when Sandburg had sat down and winced visibly, and Ellison had definitely, unmistakably and very knowingly smirked. Or the time a few days later when Sandburg, who was losing an argument with Ellison about working late, had abruptly pulled the tie from his hair and combed through the curls with his fingers, whereupon Ellison had flushed bright red, lost all power of speech, and conceded the argument on the spot. There had been other incidents too, conversations by the coffee machine where the two lingered a little too long, their heads too close while they talked, or when they returned from lunch with one or the other (or both) looking suspiciously mussed. Rumors had always circulated around the office about those two; now the rumors were flying.


Rumors which Simon steadfastly and determinedly ignored. With great difficulty.


Personally, if his star team were rumpling the sheets on their off time, he wished them nothing but the best. He and Jim had been friends for a long time, long enough and close enough that when one night over drinks Jim had told Simon he was bisexual, Simon had confided to Jim that he’d discovered his own bisexuality after he and Joan had divorced. They’d been close enough friends that Jim had trusted Simon with some of the darker side of his past. Close enough to consider dating. Close enough to remain good friends and coworkers after a frank conversation about desires and needs had revealed that it would probably never work between them, and that it wasn’t worth endangering their working relationship and their friendship to try to overcome the disparity.


And considering what Ellison told me, that means if he and Sandburg are – then they’re – oh, God, Banks, do not go there. Do not even go there, because sooner or later you’re going to have to stand up.


And if things were working out between Ellison and Sandburg, Simon was nothing but happy for them. Well, okay, maybe just a little envious, too, but happy. But he didn’t want to know. He didn’t want to be certain. Because if the Commissioner, who would never allow a couple to work together, asked Simon whether Ellison and Sandburg were, ahem, an item, Simon could look him square in the eye and say he had no reason to believe any such thing. Not that he wouldn’t lie on their behalf if it became necessary, but he didn’t want to have to.


In this particular case, his ignorance was their bliss.


Simon glanced down at the reports on his desk. He needed to take them back out to Ellison. Sighing, he glanced down for a status check (all systems functional but happily at ease, thanks to his thoughts about the Commissioner) stood and picked up the papers, opening the door.


And froze as he caught the end of his men’s conversation.


“Come on, Jim,” Sandburg was murmuring as he leaned close to Ellison. “You’re stiff as a piece of granite. That’s got to hurt, man.”


“Yeah, it hurts,” Ellison said with a sigh. “But I’ll just live with it. You can work on it when we get home, okay?”


“How the hell are you going to get through the day like that?” Sandburg said patiently. “There’s no way you can concentrate. Come on, let me take care of it for you. I don’t mind. I want to.”


“Not at the office,” Ellison growled.


“We’ll go in the bathroom,” Sandburg coaxed. “It won’t take long, you know that, and you’ll feel so much better afterward.”


Ellison was weakening.


“Well – “


“Come on,” Sandburg wheedled. “You know I can’t stand seeing you like this.”


“You know, it’s your fault I’m sitting here in this condition.”


“Okay, okay,” Sandburg said placatingly. “It’s my fault. Let me make up for it.”


Ellison was silent for a long moment. Then he sighed.


“Okay, Chief. Thanks. I really appreciate it.”


“My pleasure. Come on, let’s go. I’ll check out the bathroom first, make sure nobody’s in there.”


Simon stood frozen as the two men got up and walked toward the restroom. Sandburg went in first; a moment later he stuck his head out and nodded. Ellison followed him into the bathroom and the door closed.


Simon glanced around the bullpen and cringed. Rafe and Taggert were grinning knowingly at each other. Rafe tapped Brown on the shoulder, then gestured to the restroom. Together the three men got up and tiptoed to the men’s room door. All three pressed their ears to the door, stifling snickers behind their hands. Connor scowled at them, but the corners of her lips twitched suspiciously.


Simon could take no more. He dropped the reports on Ellison’s desk and strode across the bullpen. Taggert saw him approaching and hurriedly straightened up, pulling the others with him.


“What the hell’s going on here?” Simon asked the three men.


“Uh – nothing, sir,” Brown mumbled.


“Oh, come on, Captain,” Rafe chuckled. “You know what’s going on. We’re just making sure that, you know, they don’t get interrupted.”


“There’s nothing to interrupt,” Simon growled.


“You sure about that, Captain?” Rafe grinned.


“I’m sure that you three clowns are supposed to be on duty,” Simon said, giving the detectives a steely look. “I’m sure that if you gentlemen have nothing better to do than eavesdrop at the bathroom door, I can certainly find something more productive to occupy your time.”


At that point the three men suddenly remembered various tasks awaiting them at their desks and retreated. Simon turned to return to his office, then hesitated, then made his fatal mistake.


He listened.


“Come on, Jim. You know I can’t do this through your clothes, okay?”


“Do I have to take them off?”


“Nah. Pull your shirt up and your pants down. Come on, Jim, lower. There, that’ll do.”


“Man, Chief, what if somebody comes in?”


“Nobody’ll come in. It won’t take long.”


“Did you bring anything?”


“Yeah, I’ve got a little bottle of oil right here in my pocket.”


Pause. Rustle of clothing.


“How do you want me?”


“Hold on to the edge of the sink and bend over.”


Oh my God.


Simon was caught.


“Hurry up, will you, Chief?”


“Okay, okay. Don’t rush me. There’s an art to this, you know. I don’t want to hurt you.”


“You won’t, Chief. You never do. Come on, already! I need it bad.”


A pause.


A long, low groan.


“Ohhhhhhhhh – “


“Good, Jim?”


A rookie in uniform headed for the restroom. Simon drew himself up to his not-inconsiderable full height and glowered. The rookie blanched and veered off.


Guarding the door. That’s all I’m doing. I’m not some kind of – of voyeur here. I’m protecting my men, that’s all.


“Incredible, Chief. Absolutely fucking incredible. Where the hell did you learn to do that?”




“Natural talent. Bend over a little farther. How’s that?”


“Harder. Do that thing with your fingers again.”


“Like this?”




“Jeez, Jim, I’m pushing as hard as I can. Brace yourself. Is that – “


“Ohhhhh, yeah, yeah, just like that. Oh God, that’s it, that’s it.”




“Right there, right there. Yeah, that’s the spot, you’ve got it – “


OH MY GOD. There was the Commissioner, just coming off the elevator. He stopped to chat briefly with Connor.


“Chief, this is taking too long. What if somebody walks in?”


“Hey, tough luck. You think I’m going to stop with this halfway done? Too late. Let them envy.”


No fucking kidding, Sandburg. Oh, God, what the hell am I --




“Oh, God, yeah, Chief, don’t stop yet, almost there – “


Simon watched in horror as the Commissioner glanced around the bullpen – and saw Simon. He smiled and waved.




“A little more, a little more – oh, God, yeah, just like that – harder now, harder – “


The Commissioner was approaching. Taggert shot Simon a panicked look and rose to intercept. The Commissioner looked a little surprised, but paused to chat with Taggert.


What the HELL am I going to do?


Simon took a deep breath.


No time for discretion. Got to get them hidden or decent before –


He opened the door and froze.


Ellison was bent over the sink, his shirt tucked up under his arms, his slacks slightly lowered, an expression of utter ecstasy on his face. Sandburg stood behind him, panting, a little sweaty, leaning

hard –


-- massaging his lower back.


“Oh, hi, Simon,” Sandburg said absently, glancing at him briefly, then returning to his massage. “Jim twisted his back yesterday.”


“What I’d give just to be able to swallow a few aspirin,” Ellison sighed. “Man, I’ve got to admit, though, Chief, you’ve got magic hands.”


“How’s your back, Simon?” Sandburg asked, grinning. “I’ve already got my sleeves rolled up.”


Simon was glad that his dark skin didn’t readily show a blush. He mumbled something and exited, greeting the Commissioner and guiding him to his office. A few minutes later Ellison and Sandburg emerged from the bathroom, every hair in place. They walked to the lounge, presumably for coffee. Simon sighed with relief and turned back to the Commissioner.


In the lounge, Jim poured himself a cup of coffee while Blair filled his own cup with hot water to steep his teabag in. Jim leaned back against the counter, sighing with relief.


“Better?” Blair asked.


“All kinds of better,” Jim smiled. “So... what do I owe you for that backrub?”


Blair considered.


“Blowjob in the truck on our lunch break?”


Jim licked his lips.


“You got it.”


“And just for the record, Jim, it wasn’t my fault, okay?”


“Oh, yeah, right. The Tarzan fantasy was your idea, remember?”


“Yeah, but you were the one in the shower who said, ‘Wrap your legs around my waist, I can hold you up,’ weren’t you?”


“Hey, you dropped the soap I slipped on.”


“And who do you think made me drop the soap by trying to reach my tonsils from the wrong end?”


“And who pushed me backwards so I stepped on the soap?”


“Nag, nag, nag.”


Simon glanced at the lounge and smiled. Sandburg and Ellison were squabbling. Life was back to normal.


Where ignorance is bliss...


“You were saying, Commissioner?” he said.

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