Well, Wolfpup's back, and I've sent her the twelve stories I wrote while she was gone. Now to get back to some more writing. I've been catching up on reading, but am still behind on my emails. Oh, well. Maybe this weekend. Unless the weather stays nice and I head out on the horse.
I got a call from the vampires. They need my blood type, again. They keep running out. What a surprise. It's not real rare, but it's not that common, either. So, here's a little snippet of a musebash. As usual, I don't own them, I won't make any money, please don't sue me.
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"Man, I am, like, so not into needles, man." Blair muttered under his breath as he watched the technician preparing to insert the needle into his arm.
"Yeah, but it's for a good cause, Chief. Especially considering how often you've needed to have some replaced." Jim replied from the couch next to him.
"Besides, Hairboy, everyone's donating. That's why they call it a blood drive." Henri Brown teased from across the room.
Every single member of the Major Crime Squad was there, Captain Simon Banks included. As a part of the group, he had been expected to participate in the blood drive as well. His protestations that he wasn't really a cop didn't work. It was so unfair. They were always reminding him that he wasn't really a cop, but then they made him give up a pint of his precious blood for them. It just wasn't fair.
"Life's not fair, Chief." Jim's soft comment startled him.
"Wha? How'd you know what I was thinking, you getting psychic on me, now?"
"No. Just the way you were glaring at Simon just now. Good thing he didn't notice. Think of it as a deposit against future need, Chief."
"Yeah. Sure. I just hope I don't need it too soon, ya know?"
"Yeah. I know. I hope you never need it, to tell you the truth, Chief. But, think of what would happen if no one donated blood. If that were the case, most of us wouldn't be here. I know I wouldn't, nor would Joel, or Simon. ... Or you. This is a small thing to do to help out. It's laying by supplies for ourselves and our friends."
"I know. I even believe in donating blood. I think it was just the shock of coming by the station and being told to come down here. What if I didn't feel like doing this today, man? I wasn't given a choice in the matter." Blair complained.
"I'm sorry, Chief. I thought you knew. It's been posted on the board for almost a month. We've been getting reminders on email, regularly."
"I guess I just thought it didn't mean me. I mean, I hear often enough that I'm not a cop. This seems like a cop thing to me. I don't see any other civilians here."
"No. I guess you have a rather unique position, here, Chief. I'm sorry you feel put upon." Unable to hide the disappointment he felt at his friend's attitude.
Blair heard what his friend wasn't saying. He sighed. "No, Jim. You're right. I'm just in a pissy mood, I guess. It doesn't make any difference if I donate here or on campus. It shouldn't, anyway. I guess I was just surprised. I mean, I'm not included in an awful lot of things you guys do, the station picnic, parties, the fun stuff. But here I am, expected to give blood. It's kind of a double standard, you know?"
He had been speaking softly, not meaning for the others to hear, but they had. The members of Major Crime looked at each other. Simon, Joel, Henri, and Brian, and found themselves embarrassed by their friend's observation. Knowing how he was treated by other cops, themselves, too, at times. They were not happy about it. Feeling that there had to be something they could do to change things.
"Yes, Sir. I think it is important. You've read the reports. It's been nearly three years. He's earned this. Even if he hasn't gone through the academy. It isn't as though he'd be carrying a gun, or anything like that. I just feel that it's long past time to make this official." He listened to the voice on the other end of the line, a slow, pleased smile growing on his face. "That's great, Sir. Thank you." He listened some more. "If you'd like, we could set it up for you to give it to him....No. That's all right, Sir. I understand." Good. I get to do it myself. He thought, with a pleased smile. Now, how to set it up?
"A meeting? What kind of meeting? I have tests and papers to grade, man. Please don't make me go to some meeting."
"Sorry, Chief. Your presence is mandatory. As is everyone else's. Relax. I promise to not drag you along for the rest of the week, to make up for it. OK?"
"Man, you know that that's not an option. You have that stakeout all week. I can grade stuff then, I guess." He just wondered when he'd get any sleep. This was so unfair.
The meeting was even worse than he had expected. It wasn't a department meeting. It involved all the higher-ups. He felt even more out of place than usual. He wished he'd found any excuse to avoid this. He started to burrow into his backpack, when Jim reached over and took it away from him, smiling in response to the glare the younger man gave him. He crossed his arms and sat back, pouting. Miserable. Just another example of being forced to do something, just because they could. This really sucked.
"...Blair Sandburg. Mr. Sandburg? Is Mr. Sandburg here?" Jim had to elbow him pretty hard, to get his attention, he'd been so lost in his dark, gloomy thoughts. Wondering why he'd been dragged along to this thing. Even Jim was bored.
"Stand up, Chief. They're calling your name." Blair gave a lost, puzzled look to the grinning Jim. Then he noticed the same silly expressions on the faces of the other members of the Major Crime Division. Confused, he stood.
"Uh, I'm Blair Sandburg." Wondering what was going on.
"Would you please come forward?" The speaker was one of the assistants to the police chief, himself. Blair stood and made his way to the front. Simon was up there, waiting for him. He wondered what was going on, but all he saw were the funny grins on his friend's faces. Nervously, he came to a stop by the lectern.
"I realize that this has been a long time coming, Blair. But it took a while for it to finally soak into this thick skull of mine." There was smothered laughter from the rest of the squad. "Not to mention the even thicker skulls of the rest of the squad," with a glare at the offenders. Blair tore his eyes away from Simon for a moment to seek out his Blessed Protector. Jim wasn't laughing. He had a strange look on his face, pride? Satisfaction? That, but something else, as well. He turned his gaze back on the Captain. Afraid, confused.
"It took some doing, Blair, but here it is." He held out a leather case. Blair took it, gingerly, with a frightened look at all the strangers in the room and his friends, who were still grinning. He opened the case. There inside, was a badge. Along with an ID card in a special holder. The ID card identified Blair Sandburg as a bona fide member of the Cascade Police Department, as a special consultant/investigator with the Major Crime Division. He stared. First at the ID card. Then at the badge. It was real. Just like Jim's heavy, solid. He shivered. He looked up at Simon.
"I...I don't know what to say?" His eyes misting up. He was terrified he was going to embarrass himself, and his friends, by association.
"Well, most people ask what their paycheck is going to be." Was Simon's soft reply.
Blair's eyes widened. "Paycheck?" He whispered.
"It's real, Blair. Including the paycheck. Now, if we can just get you to take some self-defense courses, I'd feel a lot better, but that's up to you."
Blair lifted his damp eyes to look at his Captain. Straightening up, almost into a military semblance of attention, he lifted his chin and said, "Thank you, Sir. I'll do my best to uphold the principles you have taught me and to bring honour to the department and the squad." A little surprised that his voice rang out clear and true, with none of the trembling he felt inside.
It wasn't any kind of a planned speech, but it had the results of one. Jim stood up and started to clap. Followed by the rest of the squad, then the rest of the officers and department heads who were present. They had all read Simon's petition. They had read the reports and recognized the young man's contributions. In an unusual expression of solidarity, they had joined Simon in support of his petition to bring Blair on board in an official capacity. Recognizing the difference Blair's presence had made. Particularly in the changes to a certain detective; who just happened to have gone from good, to great with the addition of the kid's presence. Their conviction rate being not only the best in the state, but possibly even the best in the country didn't hurt, either. Blair sought out his partner. Eyes locking on one another. Jim's smile telling him how proud he felt.
The party afterward was pretty spectacular. The surprising number of department heads who knew who he was and the congratulations they poured on him were a little daunting. This was a group with whom he had never felt as if he really belonged, but they had gotten together and made him one of them. Officially. The large group, most of whom towered over him, were friendly and supportive, soothing to his peace of mind. He kept trying to hide behind Jim, but inevitably found himself being separated.
Finding himself hiding in a corner, trying to get his breathing back under control, striving to not hyperventilate, he was a little surprised when Simon stopped beside him. He placed a hand on Blair's shoulder, a concerned look on his face.
"You OK, Sandburg?" His normally booming voice surprisingly soft.
"Yeah. Just a little overwhelmed, is all. Where's Jim?" Holding on to his composure by sheer dint of will.
"Went to get the truck. He said you had had enough and needed to get out of here. Something about grading papers and tests." Smiling.
"Uh, yeah. That, too." Blair started watching the door for the return of his Blessed Protector. "Uh, Simon?"
"Uh, this 'job'. Does it mean I'm going to have to give up teaching to put in a forty-hour week?"
"No. You'll just keep on as you have been. Hell, I checked. Jim averages sixty hours a week, and you've been averaging thirty-five. That's full time, Blair. You won't be making as much as a regular detective, but, well, let's just say you won't have to worry about getting stranded because you can't afford to fix your car any more."
Blair lifted his amazed gaze up to the taller man. "Why?"
"Why, what?" Confused.
"Why all this? Why now?"
Simon looked at the young man, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"It was overdue. You are an important part of the team. I didn't really realize what we've been doing to you until last month at the blood drive. You were right. We did exclude you from a lot of things. And included you in a great many in which you really had no call being. Like the blood drive. I just figured that you needed to belong, officially. You're important to us, Blair. You're a part of the team. We just finally realized it, and took the steps required to make it official. Is that a problem?"
"No. No, sir, it isn't." His smile was blazing. "But, why the surprise?"
"Just to see your face. We videotaped it, by the way. As well as still photos." Smirking at the kid's surprise.
"Oh, man. I'll never live this down."
"I hope not. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Probably never will again. This was a one-shot deal, Sandburg. You're the first and only person to ever be made a member of the force without going through the academy."
"Speaking of which, do I have to carry a gun?"
"No. But you will have to qualify on the firing range with one, as well as pass the official physical. Which includes the physical agility test."
"I've run that with Jim a few times. I can do that."
"I know. I'm counting on it. Jim's going to take you out to the firing range and teach you to shoot. All you have to do is shoot at a target and get a passing score."
"But I won't have to carry a gun, though, will I?"
"Nope. Not unless you want to.
"I don't think so. Thank you.
"You're welcome. Here comes Jim. I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Uh, afternoon. I have an eight o'clock class, so I won't be in until about ten-thirty."
"That's OK. Jim's on stakeout this week."
"I know. I'm going with him."
"Why aren't I surprised?" Smiling.
"You about ready to go, Chief?" Jim asked, walking up to them.
"Yeah. I guess I am." Turning to smile at his friend. Glancing at Simon, "Thanks, guys. This meant a lot to me."
"You're welcome, San...Blair. You've earned it."
Smiling and waving at everyone, they made their way outside.
"So, Special consultant-slash-investigator Sandburg, you ready for a stakeout?"
"Yep. Got my tests, got my papers, got my red pen. All ready to go." Smiling broadly.
"Good. Let's go see if we can catch some bad guys."
"Right behind you....Partner."
Jim turned to his friend, his smile spreading across his face, he reached out and slapped him gently on the shoulder. "Sounds good, Chief. Sounds good."
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