"Work, damn you, work!" Blair grabbed at his hair, pulling strands out of the ponytail to hang around his face. He pushed them back over his ears, and returned to his laptop.
Jim had to grin as he watched from the kitchen. "Program not working?"
"Life was *so* much easier before I started getting a paycheck. University did all the hard work. Stupid software." He banged the table next to the computer, making his coffee cup jump. "God. Deductions and expenses and I'll bet if I get anything back at all, it'll be less than this cost." He took a gulp of coffee and made a face. "Tell me again why I got it?"
"Because you thought it would be cool." Jim walked to the table, coffee pot in hand. He carefully refilled the cup, leaving a good inch or so to allow for tantrums. "Since you had actual income to report this year, you figured why not get a tax program and do it yourself, and not deal with accountants prying into everything." He bent over the screen. "What's the problem?" He used the proximity as an excuse to touch Blair's shoulder. Blair smelled like coffee and frustration.
"I can't get this thing to install...oh. There it is." He leaned back against Jim. "Thank God." He sat up and opened the file next to the computer. Jim turned to go back to the kitchen. "No! Stay. You're good luck. Stay right there." Jim complied, keeping a hand on Blair's shoulder. "Why don't you do any of this? I mean, look at these questions - mortgages, uniforms, expenses, and you told me what your grandparents left you. You should be drowning in tax forms." Blair quickly keyed in the relevant information. "Oh, cool! I can deduct the program itself!"
Jim didn't want to answer. He wanted to lose himself in standing next to his partner, and he really didn't want to talk about his finances. He put down the coffee pot and started rubbing Blair's shoulders, enjoying the play of muscle beneath his hands. He felt them relax at his touch. "That's what accountants are for, Chief. They get the paperwork, and I pay them...they could do yours, too."
Blair tensed under his hands. "No way, man. I can't afford an accountant." He pressed a few more keys. "There. I think that did it. Refund!" The number on the screen barely held three digits. "Want to go out to dinner to celebrate, Jim?"
"I guess you don't need the accountants after all." Jim smiled and bent to kiss his forehead. "Where do you want to go?"
Blair stood up and turned to wrap his arms around Jim. "I guess it's not a huge deal for you, but doing this alone - it's like a rite of passage. My first year as a non-student, you know?"
"Yeah. I know." He bent his head down to meet Blair's lips. "Why don't we just stay in tonight?"
"I love you, too." Blair smiled.