Bleary-eyed, Jim Ellison reached to open the door to leave the loft apartment, intending to head into work early again today, when a fluorescent bright pink post-it note appeared right in front of his face, deliberately stuck onto the door so he would be sure to see it.
Jim plz make sure I am up, need to go to Uni early
‘Goddammit, doesn’t Sandburg know how much I hate these damn brightly-colored annoying sticky notes of his?’
Jim loved Blair, he really did, but those damn sticky annoying things of Blair’s he could definitely do without. He closed his eyes, trying to block out the bright pink (thanks, Sandburg, now I am seeing bright pink even with my eyes closed) and used his Sentinel hearing to listen for his roommate and partner, picking up slow even breaths and a heartbeat thumping in the steady rhythm of a sleeping Blair.
Jim smiled at the thought of Blair all curled up under his blankets sleeping; damn, he wished he could summon up the nerve to tell Blair how he really felt about him. Blair was so many things to him: his best friend, roommate, police partner (or “police observer,” Blair’s official title in the department, but hell, everyone at work knew he was really Jim’s “unofficial” partner), and guide to Jim and all his weird Sentinel shit.
Jim knew he would be locked up in some loony house if Blair hadn’t come along and somehow managed to flow and meld himself into almost every part of Jim’s life. And still Jim wanted even more of Blair in his life. Jim just didn’t know how to voice his feelings to him and so many times when Blair was near Jim wanted to just lean over a little bit more and kiss him on the cheek; just a quick kiss to gauge his reaction and determine if their close friendship could possibly evolve into something more. Jim hoped (and prayed) that somehow fate would just step up to the plate and intervene somehow since he was just too terrified to take that step. He wanted Blair in his bed all cuddled up with him, kissing him, touching him with a lover’s touch, whispering sweet—
Gah, a bright yellow flash demanded Jim’s attention on the fridge in the kitchen. Another one of Blair’s damn brightly-colored annoying sticky notes. Moving into the kitchen and looking around, Jim noted that it looked like Blair hadn’t even bothered to eat anything the night before, at least not here in the loft; the kitchen was way too clean. Jim’s sensitive sense of smell could detect no lingering food odors. Ha, given some of the weird shit Sandburg ate, no one needed enhanced senses to detect any lingering odors from his usually heavily garlic-laced food (which oddly enough Jim had somehow developed a taste for), and the trash bin was still spotless and empty of all trash, just sporting the brand new trash bag Jim had put in it last night.
Feeling his Blessed Protector mode shift into gear, Jim sighed and decided he should make sure Blair at least ate breakfast, and hearing Blair’s concerned guide voice in his head knew that maybe he should eat breakfast too and not just grab a quick coffee and donut at the station. Yep, he really had it bad for Blair, could even hear his sweet melodic voice in his head— ‘Whoa, getting distracted again.’ Jim smiled, thinking of how he had this need to look after Blair, to protect Blair and keep him safe.
Jim made his way over to the bright yellow sticky note attached to the fridge. It was basically doing the job of a magnet, with “TRY THIS!” written on it by Blair. Jim sighed and found that note was attached to a coupon for a new push cart vendor located at the corner intersection of Prospect Avenue and Bayview Drive, a brief walk only two blocks away from the loft.
Buy one get one free, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner fresh and ready to go in your own environmentally friendly brown bag, with recyclable environmentally friendly brown napkins! Come try our delicious food at Juanita’s Hot Dog Cart!
‘Okay, I guess Blair would appreciate breakfast, and from an environmentally friendly place at that.’ Jim was really liking the idea of breakfast from a hot dog stand -breakfast dogs with eggs on a bun maybe, with some ketchup, hmm... Might not be Wonderburger but hey, it’s worth giving this Juanita’s a try.’
Jim yanked the coupon out from under the sticky note and turned to go, not noticing that the sticky note had unattached itself completely from the fridge and fluttered down onto his shirt back and then slowly rolled down and down and then somehow found a good sticking place right on his left butt cheek. Deciding not to wake Blair until he returned with breakfast, Jim headed out of the loft to walk to Juanita’s.
The loft door clicked closed, semi-waking Blair from his sleep. A click…a soft click… ‘The alarm clock makes that sound a minute before it gets ready to ring the alarm, the alarm then wakes Jim…’ Sleepily Blair grabbed his dollar-store-special alarm clock and slid the button off so the alarm would not sound because ‘it is never a good idea to wake my Sentinel with a screeching buzzing alarm clock. Ruins Jim’s mood for at least the morning if not the entire day and of course when Jim shows up at work in a mood, his coworkers all think it is somehow my fault.’
Blair, still not quite awake, his brain trying hard to crank up but still lost in thoughts of ‘don’t wake Jim and maybe I should get up and get ready for the day and wasn’t there something I needed to get, um I forget, need to remember…’ and Blair slipped off back to sleep still holding his alarm clock.
As he did Blair thought he heard Jim’s voice speaking softly; was he whispering words of love to Blair?
“Chief, wake up I got us the ‘it’s not Kosher’ bagel special from Juanita’s hot dog cart: the garlic bagel with chive cream cheese, lox, and bacon. For a vendor push cart you would not believe the stuff she offers there,” Jim was saying with a laugh.
Blair suddenly awoke, accidentally smacked himself in the head with the clock he was holding, shook his head in confusion, and looked at Jim. Wow, what a dream he was having - Jim all buff and naked and climbing into the shower, holding out his hand for Blair to come join him, saying, “Something you need, Chief,” as the shower turned on and out came a whirlwind of colorful post-it notes swirling all around Jim and sticking to his very fine naked body; next Jim was covered in the post-it notes except for his head and he turned to Blair and said, “Chief, help me out here please?” Blair reached out and slowly began peeling off a post-it note from Jim’s chest, drooling a bit, and oh yeah, so very nice…
“Chief, wake up.”
Damn, Blair was looking at a fully clothed (double damn) Ellison waving a paper bag in his face. What the hell? Oh, breakfast, Jim was handing him breakfast in a paper bag. Umm, okay, what the fuck was up with that?
“Chief, your note said to wake you up, want to eat here or…”
Jim left it an open question and waited, hopefully, for Blair to answer that of course he was going to sit down and eat with Jim there in the loft this morning.
Blair, looked up at Jim and was more than a tad annoyed at how Jim had gone from post-it note covered to fully dressed, hence absolutely ruining his plans to slowly peel off the post-it notes and then lick each exposed square of sensitive flesh. He suddenly realized he was confusing his dream-lover Jim with his flesh and blood – ‘damn not my lover but wouldn’t it be so fuckingly fantastic if it were true’ – roommate, partner, and best friend. ‘But oh, how I want so much more from you, Jim.’
“Thanks, Jim, for packing my breakfast” ‘again what the fuck was up with that?’ Blair was entirely missing the fact that it was actually takeout and their usual routine with any kind of takeout was to sit down at the table, eat, chat, and just enjoy each other’s company but he was now recalling the fact that he was running low on his post-it notes and should buy more ASAP.
“Sorry, Jim, I really need to get to the university and grade the test exams so I know what I need to review with my students in the next few classes for the final exam in a couple of weeks. I’ll be lucky if I get done before midnight tonight.”
Jim was disappointed but shrugged and said, “Okay, Chief, good luck with that, I should be getting home around six tonight and will start on the laundry. I also have a new assignment. It’s some crap protection-security duty to some posh event the Mayor is having tomorrow. I really hate those assignments but the Mayor always requests me personally, for some reason, and Simon, of course, thinks it’s good press for interdepartmental cooperation if he just gives in and lets the Mayor have me.”
“Jim, he requests you because he wants the best and you, my friend, are the best,” Blair said with a smirky grin. “So I guess I’ll see you when I see you. Thanks for breakfast.”
Jim turned to go as he said, “No problem, Chief.”
Um wait, was that a yellow sticky note on Jim’s ass? ‘Quick, think of something, Blair!’ Blair jumped up out of bed and stopped Jim. “Um, Jim, isn’t the Jags playoff game tomorrow?”
Ha! Good, distraction talk while he snuck his hand slowly behind Jim and tried to snatch the post-it note off of Jim’s ass without the Sentinel noticing. Jim had made it perfectly clear how he disliked those post-it notes everywhere, and if he even suspected one was sticking on his...um…finest asset...then, yeah… Blair managed to snatch it off of Jim’s butt.
“Yes, they play tomorrow night. I was hoping to catch the game and even hoping more so that the 50 inch HDTV we picked out and bought from that electronic store Daryl works in arrived before then, but I guess it was just not meant to be.” ‘Wait, was Blair reaching behind me and feeling my ass?’
Blair smiled and sympathy-patted Jim between the shoulders with his closed fist. ‘Whew, post-it note safely procured!’
“You bought it, Jim, you bought it. Not to mention the Blu-Ray DVD player.”
“Ah, but Chief, you helped pick them out - smart-tv-internet-enabled-app-download-marketplace whatever gizmo-maze. I just want to watch the Jags on a big screen.” ‘And, ahem, preferably while cuddling with you on the couch’ but of course Jim didn’t voice that opinion out loud.
As Jim looked around the Major Crimes bullpen, he was proud to note that his desk was the only one completely cleared of paperwork. All that was visible on top of his desk were the in-and-out baskets, his very favorite pen (a genuine Fisher Astronaut Space Pen, a gift from Blair), and those damn brightly-colored annoying post-it note squares of Sandburg’s. Jim found the stupid overly-bright sticky things too small for him to actually write anything useful on. They always managed to stick anywhere and everywhere you didn’t want them. Jim just couldn’t fathom why Sandburg loved them so much. Blair used them constantly, writing little notes to himself or comments on who-knew-what and then stuck them on his folders or in his notebooks or on various papers he was working on. Hell, he even used them when he was helping Jim write his official police reports. Fuck, one, no, two even had showed up in his face at the loft that morning. It had to be some kind of academic skill set needed to use them because Sandburg never seemed to have them stick to his shirt sleeves, or pants, or fingers.
Jim failed to hear Simon calling him, his mind drifting off on thoughts of Blair while staring at those damn brightly-colored annoying sticky notes on his desk. Wasn’t Blair just telling him the other day how therapeutic it could be for people to write down their problems in a few words and get it out of their system? Yeah, right. Well, if Blair wanted him to write down problems that he wasn’t able to vocalize, here it was. Jim grabbed his pen and wrote, I love you, just give me one simple kiss if you feel the same. Ha! He wrote very small and managed to fit the entire sentence on one side of an annoying bright orange note.
Jim imagined giving that note to Blair. ‘Bet Sandburg would be shocked, or would he? Hmm, kissing Blair, wonder what it would be like, wonder what he would taste like, these enhanced senses would probably just soak it all up and it would just be absolutely delightful—’
“Ellison!” Simon bellowed.
Startled out of his daydream, Jim looked up at his captain, Simon Banks
“DA wants to see you up in her office ASAP.”
“Okay, Simon, on my way.” Jim sighed as he stood up and glancing at that top bright orange sticky note he’d written on, peeled it off, and the thing immediately curled up and stuck itself to his shirt sleeve. Grabbing it off himself with his left hand, he tossed it toward the trashcan while walking to the door. Of course, damn sticky little annoying thing that it was, it fluttered down and attached itself to the side of Jim’s desk instead of falling properly into the trashcan.
Brian Rafe was vaguely aware of Jim leaving, busy drifting off into his own daydream. He wondered just how many dates a couple could go on before they are actually considered a couple? His new girlfriend Melissa was really something special. She was so cheerful and sweet and such a delight to be around, and that evening would be their tenth date. He was extremely hopeful that the evening dinner planned that night would also finally lead to breakfast together.
Brian realized that he might score major points if he could obtain some orders from his coworkers for that new “Edible Bouquets” business Melissa’s two sisters had just opened together and that Melissa loved to keep talking about. She was so proud of her sisters trying to get a business going and really wanted them to succeed. He had several printouts from the website of some of the most popular selling fruit bouquet arrangements.
Megan had expressed some interest earlier in possibly placing an order, and Joel was someone that could probably be persuaded to place an order as well. Oh, and when Sandburg was in Tuesday and the whole subject came up about fruit and flowers and… How the hell did Blair manage to get folks into these strange-ass conversations anyway… he mentioned that a few of his students at Rainier University talked about how wonderful it was to receive such a delightful gift. Ellison had some choice words regarding “sucking up” to girlfriends through family, etc. but Brian dropped a flyer on Jim’s too-neat desk anyway in hopes that Jim would hand it off to Blair to pass around to a few colleagues at Rainier. Seeing the pad of sticky notes there on Jim’s desk, Brian grabbed one and wrote “Sandburg, Rainier Univ.” just in case Jim was tempted to toss the flyer out. With Sandburg’s name on it, Jim might actually hand it off to Blair.
Joel Taggert was walking on cloud nine; tomorrow was going to be just fantastic! Earlier that day Simon had given him a ticket, VIP, mind you, seat right up in front, to the first basketball game playoff of the Jags on Saturday. Simon already had plans to go on a fishing trip and could not use the ticket. Simon explained it was a reward earned from the Mayor’s office, given to the department with the highest crime-solve rate in the city, as determined from statistics covering the entire last year. Joel felt the Mayor should have sprung for more than one ticket, the cheapass, and to think he’d voted for him, hmph! When Joel asked why Simon didn’t just give the ticket to Jim (after all, Jim made no secret of his love for the Jags, and basketball in general, and Jim was a large part of the reason that the department did have the highest crime-solve rate), Simon looked at him and scowling replied, “It is only one ticket, Jim wouldn’t want to go without Sandburg there to ground him from the noise and smells and—”
Frankly Joel didn’t know what the hell Simon was talking about and it clearly showed on his face. Simon seemed to realize he was starting to ramble on and quickly snapped, “Never mind about Ellison, I am offering you the ticket, Taggert. You want it?”
Joel’s face lit up with delight as he gladly accepted the ticket from Simon. Simon’s phone rang and Joel politely left the office and closed his door to give him privacy. Now Joel realized he’d never properly thanked Simon and he was heading back there to do just that but when he got there he found Simon’s office empty. Maybe he would just leave a note and… Ha! He spotted the colorful sticky notes that Blair always seemed so fond of sitting on Jim’s desk. Surely they wouldn’t mind if he used one?
Well, Joel was pretty sure Blair wouldn’t mind but Jim might be another story. Ellison just hated people touching anything on his desk – well, apart from Blair, Jim more than tolerated it when he did. Joel chuckled to himself. The dance those two did, so fucking obvious sometimes yet weird how they both seem so clueless. He peeled off the top bright blue blank note, picked up the pen on the desk and tried to write Simon a proper thank you note, space allowing.
“I want to express my thanks to you, I don’t think you” – damn, out of room on this side. He drew a small arrow and flipped the sticky thing over, pulled it off his thumb ‘damn, that is annoying when it sticks to your body’, and tried to continue writing his note – “have any idea the happiness and delight you have given me.”
Well, Joel wasn’t much for words but hopefully Simon would understand. As he headed out for the day, he kept thinking he’d forgotten something. Oh wait, had he signed the note? ‘Ah, Simon will know who it is from if I didn’t, right?’
The bright blue note that Joel was sure was securely fixed to Simon’s desk ever so slowly rolled itself loose with the very so-slight breeze produced by Joel exiting the office, then slowly rolled off the desk and onto the floor and the damn sticky little annoying thing managed to wedge itself between the bottom of the door and the lower door hinge on Simon’s office door.
Rhonda was in a hurry, her team was participating in the ladies bowling tournament tonight and she was sure that they had a really good chance of winning the top prize. She was also sure no one here at Cascade PD even had the slightest inkling how good a bowler she really was, and hopefully the other ladies on the team would put forth their very best effort tonight and make it happen! Oh, she smiled with delight imagining winning the small cash prize and a trophy for coming in at first place. She was going to give it her all. She just needed to drop off a few more forms onto Simon’s desk then she was done for the day, having asked Simon in advance for a half day off to attend to “personal matters” so the team could get in a little practice before the big event tonight.
Hurrying out she heard a phone ring and being the efficient public servant that she was she immediately picked up the phone on Jim Ellison’s desk. Dear Lord, why did it have to be Ellison’s phone and what was she thinking stopping to answer it? Didn’t they all have voice mail here in Major Crimes? And yet she promptly answered, “Hello, Major Crimes how may we—”
And was hurriedly greeted with, “Rhonda? Is that you? Listen, this is Blair, is Jim there? I really need to ask a favor of him and I wouldn’t normally do this except you know I’m so busy and I was supposed to get a ride from Matt and Matt didn’t show up yet and I’m afraid I will be late for the faculty meeting—”
“Jim’s not here at the moment, Blair. Do you want me to take a message?”
“Um, ok, yeah, message, good idea. I can leave Jim a message. You will make sure he gets it, right? It’s real important and I’d hate if the bookstore didn’t hold the book for me until I got there to pick it up before closing. They’re closing early today to prepare for the ‘amazing ladies come out and shop for romance novel special Saturday sale’ because the Jags made the playoff—”
“What is the message, Blair?” Rhonda asked as she grabbed Jim’s pen and the pad of post-it notes on the desk and started to write. “Blair, delivery —”
“Okay, right, um, the address is 1072 South —”
As Rhonda continued to write: 1072 S, Blair interrupted her.
“Oh, wait, Matt’s here, never mind the message, Rhonda, thanks so much. I got to run, enjoy your night!”
Blair quickly hung up the phone, ending their conversation. Sigh. There was no one else that could talk a mile a minute quite like Blair Sandburg. She looked at the little piece of paper, peeled it off, and tossed it towards the trash. Sticky notes being what they were, damn sticky little annoying things that avoided trash bins at all possible cost, this one managed to flutter outside the bin and stick to the inside part of Ellison’s desk leg, unseen by Rhonda, who was now getting onto the elevator and heading out to get ready for her exciting evening of tossing the bowling ball into the triangle of pins hoping to knock down all ten with every throw.
Simon’s son, Daryl Banks, strolled into Major Crimes with several purposes in mind for his trip here to the Cascade Police Department – first, to try once again to weasel out of some lame-ass fishing trip his Dad was insisting he go on tomorrow with some other police Captain and his kid. And dammit, he was not some fucking kid. How many times does he need to remind his father of that? He was going to graduate high school in less than two months, had recently obtained a part-time salesman job, and had been accepted to Rainier University for the fall semester. His Dad seemed to conveniently forget that time in Peru a few years ago when they ran into drug smugglers. If Jim and Blair hadn’t come looking for them… Anyway, he was no “kid” then and he certainly was not now!
Second, he was here to drop off money for Jim Ellison and Blair, and damn, didn’t they make just the cutest couple, and why his Dad - their boss – totally denied it, he just couldn’t figure out, pretty fucking obvious those two. Daryl looked around, located Jim’s desk. ‘Hmm, bullpen seems awful quiet today, hope there is not some major asshole terrorist loose in the city trying to blow it up,’ and walked over to leave the money, already secured in an envelope, on Jim and Blair’s desk.
Looking around for something to write a brief note on, he stared at the colorful post-it notes on the desk, obviously Blair’s, Daryl concluded, and much too small to write a note on anyway. Looking around some more, he spotted the office printer, walked over there and grabbed a blank sheet of paper and wrote the note:
Jim, since your order last week a new model came out, with better features and overall cheaper once you factor in the sale price and my employee discount. Hope you don’t mind I returned the older model and got your refund in cash, then used the cash to pay for the newer Blu-Ray player plus as a bonus you received the free Blu-Ray movies Starship Troopers 2 and Demon Under Glass. Your change is in the envelope. Dad said you are busy but gave me his spare apartment key to your place so I can help deliver the HDTV and Blu-Ray to your loft.
On the one hand, Daryl was just delighted he was able to save Jim 80 bucks, and make his first sale, with a very nice commission to boot, but on the other, he was pissed that he’d failed to get out of the fishing trip the next day. Maybe he could snag a beer when his Dad and Captain Teachmep weren’t looking… Jeez, no fucking way would he be able to get away with that. And to be forced to hang about and be polite with not only one stranger, but his son, too… Would they have anything in common besides cop dads? He was really so not interested.
Daryl headed out the Major Crimes door and towards the elevator, not noticing that the breeze created from his quick exit caused his carefully written note to hastily fall off Ellison’s desk and land dead on target into the trashcan. The elevator doors opened and Daryl walked in and saw one of the most hottest-looking babes ever standing next to a very intimidating-looking man. The man looked at him then asked “Daryl Banks? Simon’s son?”
“Um, yes,” Daryl answered tentatively, hoping he didn’t just inherit Blair’s bad luck somehow and was about to be abducted. Well, okay, the hot babe could abduct him anytime but...
“I’m Captain Carl Teachmep, you and your Dad are coming fishing with me and Mike tomorrow on my boat,” the man replied then he gave Daryl a friendly smile. “Daryl, this is my daughter, Mike. She loves boating even if she doesn’t care too much for fishing.”
Mike extended her very beautiful hand, attached to her very beautiful arm, attached to her extremely fabulous body. “Michaela actually, but Dad just calls me Mike, and really, I don’t mind.”
Wow, him on a boat with this beautiful creature all to himself. Well the “Dads” would be busy fishing and trading BS stories – bullshit ones, not Blair ones, although who the hell knew maybe they would trade Blair stories. Daryl’s Saturday was really looking up. Really, truly, oh yeah.
Megan Connor was in the “Thank God it's Friday” frame of mind. Her good friend Julie, along with Julie's eight year old daughter Jenny, were going to meet her here at work around quitting time and they planned a fun girls night out which included pizza and arcade games. Megan was delighted to be able to snag a My Little Pony toy figurine of AppleJack in the latest McDonald's happy meal girl toy offer. She was sure almost no one in the department knew about her tendency to order the kids' happy meal box for lunch on occasion; hey, it was a great deal - the burger, fries, apple slices, and a toy to boot, good for bribing little ones and for emergency gifts, maybe a gag gift in some cases, plus a drink, all included for a few dollars.
She suspected Ellison was aware of her secret a few times, and maybe he let Blair in on his suspicions, but Blair, kind soul that he was, had never said anything to her about it yet so she just ignored it, and figured her secret was still safe at the moment.
Almost her quitting time now and she looked up to see Simon and Henri both heading into Simon's office. Hmm, poor Henri, Simon had assigned him to work with Ellison on the Mayor’s political thingamajig Saturday. Neither Ellison nor Henri was happy about losing their Saturday off. After all, they’d worked a terrible murder case this week, along with Sandburg, of course, because, well, working with Ellison without Sandburg along was just plain asking for a pissed off, bitchy, grumbly detective. Of course, any other detective trying to work with Blair and his unique perspective views and unending facts of who-the-hell-cares chatter without Ellison nearby soon found themselves massively confused or with a splitting headache from Blair’s nonstop chatter and wavy hand gestures. Oh! Julie and Jenny had arrived, and Megan greeted both with hugs and cheek kisses. Little Jenny was beaming and told Megan she was learning all about reporting in school and knew how to be a newspaper lady and write down stuff people said. Megan just smiled at the little darling and patted her head. “Well, isn't that nice?”
Julie noted that the blouse Megan was wearing today was fabulous and asked if it was new?
“Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I just bought it last week on a great sale at—”
Jenny's eyes glazed over. Ugh, Mommy and her friends and stupid conversations about boring clothes, really? She looked around the office and spotted the colorful paper on the desk across the way. Oh, she could play reporter while mom and her friend talked about truly boring things. She snatched the entire pad of paper up along with the pen. Seeing the men in the little office across the way she crept closer to the door to listen in and maybe spy on them and do some proper reporting.
Simon was telling Henri Brown about his planned fishing trip this weekend with Captain Carl Teachmep, head of Vice. Teachmep had recently purchased a 40 foot cabin cruiser and claimed to have the latest fish-finding radar equipment known to man on board. Simon would much rather do the fishing thing on land but, hey, he was open to new things and fishing from the boat might prove to be a fun and relaxing time. If he and Captain Teachmep hit it off it could be a great recurring weekend activity to pass the time in a relaxing way and a chance to develop a new friendship.
Jenny listened very carefully and heard one of the men say, “I am so holding out hope that this weekend will be the start of something that lasts forever.”
Simon joked with Henri, and Jenny carefully wrote that little tidbit down ‘ ‘cause that’s what good reporting is,’ she told herself. A glance towards her Mom and her mom's friend still showed them deep in conversation, looking at each other's shoes now, her mom pointing at something on her friend’s heel. ‘Whatever, grownups.’ Tuning her attention back to the office, she spotted a stickee stuck on the door bottom, almost slipped completely under with a tiny bit of edge sticking out; she grabbed it and stuck it on her arm. She took the other stickee, her reporter stickee, and stuck that on her arm too. Then she went back to listening so she could do more good reporting. She heard something along the lines of “Mayor cancelled, weekend off—”
It was all sort of muffled, then loud and clear someone said “I am so glad to finally have the weekend off. I just want to spend the entire weekend in bed!”
‘Whoa - long sentence, might need two stickees to cover all the reporting.’ Jenny looked down at the post-it note pad and scrunched her face at the fact there was a bright green stickee on top. It reminded her of the yucky salads and vegetables her mom always tried to get her to eat. Her mom even tried to bribe her by putting some kind of cream sauce, or “dressing”, as she called it, on them, but Jenny was no fool; that stuff was all yucky. She grabbed her pen, thoroughly distracted now from her reporting duties and wrote “no dressing allowed” on the green stickee note. She then peeled it off and stuck it on her arm. ‘Ah - much better - a nice bright orange color note was next, much more acceptable to do reporting on. What did that man say that I was going to write down? Oh right, I remember now, something about weekend and bed’
“I am so glad to have the weekend off; I just want to spend the entire weekend in bed.”
Jenny was so proud; ‘I am the best reporter ever!’
Actually now that he thought about it, what Henri told Simon about spending the entire weekend in bed was so not true. Sure, a lot of sleeping, a bit of slacking off, and time to just walk around his apartment in his favorite Pink Panther boxers would be wonderful, but he had just managed to perfect his “Cascade City Honey-Wheat-Apple Bread” recipe for entry into the “Healthy Breads for our Senior Citizens” contest bake off at his aunt’s nursing home on Saturday.
When Simon told him earlier in the week he was expected to work with Ellison at some political thing of the Mayor’s this Saturday, he sadly gave up any hope of entering the contest and had to let his aunt know that most likely he would not be able to participate in the bake off because of work. His aunt was actually the one who’d got him into fresh bread baking many years ago when he first bought one of those bread machines that were all the rage. His aunt scoffed at that bread machine when she was visiting him. She had only been in the nursing home these past few months, but she still had her feisty attitude and her wits about her even if her mobility was strictly limited now. She showed him how to bake real fresh bread in the oven. It was amazing really and now he had been experimenting with new recipes and bread flavors as a hobby and as his small amount of free time allowed.
One great thing about the precinct was how he could slip his “test” loaf into the break room and gauge the reaction of how good his test recipes were by the reaction and comments of his coworkers. These guys apparently would eat anything; even the ladies here gave it a look, a sniff, and then a nibble, except Megan who just seemed to swallow it down.
He didn’t think anyone knew he actually baked the bread, except Sandburg, and if he was caught placing it on the table he just said his sister or latest girlfriend gave it to him and he wanted to share. It was weird but Henri seemed to value Ellison’s opinion on the bread flavors the highest, ever since he’d overheard Ellison name every ingredient to Sandburg one day in some bizarre game of “can you identify what’s in the bread, Jim” that they seemed to be playing.
Shortly after that Blair asked me if I was the one who baked the bread, and I freely admitted it to him. Then we proceeded to have a long-ass conversation about how I could sneak a bit more healthy ingredients into the bread and he made several suggestions such as add some tofu in, use almond milk to replace the regular milk, add applesauce instead of eggs, and his real secret - puree a small amount of spinach to add in. Damn, Sandburg was right, if you added the spinach into the whole wheat mixture the dark color of the loaf totally covered the fact that there is fucking spinach in there.
When I slipped the banana nut loaf made with his suggestions into the break room, Blair was onto me and played his little game with Ellison and, fuck, Ellison totally missed the whole tofu and spinach ingredients, but he picked up on the applesauce and almond milk switch. Sandburg smiled and confessed to me with a wide grin that Jim has real sensitive taste buds but “there are a few things he still even now hasn’t managed to identify yet. Some days it’s a real pain to try to get him to eat healthy; if left to his own devices, I think Jim would even consider breakfast at a hot dog vendor to be a healthy meal.”
Okay, no idea what goes on between those two, and believe me I don’t really want to know, but Sandburg is an okay guy in my book, which brings me back to the fact I can now enter my original “Cascade City Honey-Wheat-Apple Bread” recipe in the bake off tomorrow. And the prize the winner can look forward to? Well, it is not much money but auntie would have bragging rights there for a long time, how goddamn delightful would that be?
Damn my mind drifted away a bit here with Simon, but is he showing me pictures of fish?
“Simon? Um, sorry, I think I zoned out for a minute here, what’s with the fish picture?” Henri asked.
Simon stood up suddenly from his chair, almost in a state of panic. “Zoned?! Not you too… Oh, you mean it as a figure of speech, not literal like Jim… Oh, never mind, this here picture is of a Lingcod, I’m hoping to land one on this trip.”
“Obsessing a little over fish now, Simon?” Henri asked.
They both laughed, looking forward to good things that weekend.
Laughter was coming from the men in the room but so far nothing else seemed relevant to report on and next thing Jenny knew Megan came over and said, “Come on, Jenny; oh, you have Blair’s post-it notes, better put them back on the desk where they belong.”
Jenny dutifully went and put the paper back on the desk along with the pen and – ‘oh right, stickee paper, my teacher always sticks the pieces to a longer piece of paper,’ and here is one right here on the desk with one stickee already on it. She took her two proper journalist’s reporting notes and randomly slapped them down on the longer paper along with the yucky green-colored one and the one she found stuck on the door bottom. Then she spotted some more escapee stickees, one on the desk leg and one sticking to the desk above the trash bin. Jenny, always willing to be helpful, retrieved both pieces and slapped them down too on the longer paper. Nice, seven stickees stuck on the long paper piece. Jenny was so delighted that one could almost not see the long paper anymore; it was probably some stinky test that the poor desk person didn’t really want to take anyways.
When Melissa showed up looking for her boyfriend Brian Rafe, the lady detective he worked with and some other woman along with a child looked like they were leaving.
Megan smiled at her. “Brian should be right back, Melissa, he had to go deliver something downstairs to evidence – I think it was one of your sisters’ fruit brochure forms. Oh, the baskets sound lovely by the way but I don't really have the occasion to order one right now, sorry, wish your sisters well for me in their business.” And with that Megan and company left.
Melissa looked around and spotted what looked like one of her sisters’ flyers with a bunch of post-it notes attached. She went over to the desk and glanced down, the top post-it note read “Sandburg, Rainier U” and the one right beside it read “Blair, delivery 1072 S.” Oh nice, that is the order number for the new chocolate-covered strawberries and heart-shaped pineapple fruit basket. There were five other post-it notes that Melissa gathered was the message Brian’s coworker wanted on the card. Melissa quickly calculated the cost in her head, and figured that the size small edible bouquet would cost $80.00 with tax and delivery charges. She picked the form up and spotted an envelope. Looking in the envelope she found exactly $80. ‘Wow, her sisters would be so very happy!’
Vera dropped in and asked Melissa if Simon was still here or if he’d left for the day. Melissa smiled and said she really didn’t know, she was waiting for Brian Rafe and did Vera know whose desk this was?
Vera smirked. “Oh yes, that is Detective James Ellison’s desk.”
“Oh, and does he know a Blair?” Melissa asked, just to be sure she was reading the post-it notes correctly and had a genuine order in her hands.
“Blair? Blair Sandburg. Yes, Jim sure does know Blair.”
“Who works at Rainier University?”
Vera smiled and informed Melissa that Blair could be found working in an office at Rainier University when not working with Jim.
“Oh, so Detective James Ellison is the famous Jim here that Brian talks about, correct?”
“You got that right, dear.”
Just then Rafe came back in and was simply delighted to see Melissa.
“Hey there, beautiful!”
“Oh Brian, one of your coworkers is placing an order for his girlfriend, looks like he even left the money, but my, he has real trouble expressing himself! He needed to use several post-it notes to write out his message in full,” she said, laughing.
Huh, Brian thought for sure Jim would be the last person on earth to place an order to help him score points with his girlfriend, but, hey, guess you never really knew a guy.
Melissa carefully folded the order with the post-it notes and slipped the money inside and placed it into an envelope with several other orders she’d managed to drum up for her sisters’ new business. “I need to drop this off at the store so these orders can be filled.” ‘And this poor Jim Ellison’s girlfriend can receive the heart-shaped fruit gift from him and hopefully give the obviously smitten detective the loving he needs since he is so flustered he can’t even write a coherent note on a single piece of paper!’
Vera just watched them go and wished them well. She also had other things on her mind: big plans this weekend as her little AD&D gaming group was going to enter the AD&D tournament at the Norweson Science Fiction Convention meeting in Cascade this weekend. She had her purple velvet dice pouch all ready with her various assortments of brightly-colored many-sided dice. The blood-red twenty-sided one was her very favorite, and each year she tried to add a new die to her collection. Her black eight-sided die was getting a bit worn so maybe she could pick up a new one at the dealers’ room during the convention.
She really had her heart set on playing a Half-Elf mage, but she was not at all opposed to playing a Human or Gnome fighter if the party needed one. Tonight, however, she had to go home and decide what costume she was going to wear to the convention. She had quite a few to choose from that she’d managed to assemble over the years: Catwoman, Xena, Elvira, and even Princess Lili in her infamous black wedding dress from the movie Legends, which was secretly Vera’s favorite. Perhaps she would just dress modestly and keep it really simple and go as Security Chief Tasha Yar from Star Trek: TNG. She always found it delightful to try on all her outfits even if she was pretty set on which one she wanted to wear, because each one brought with it such wonderful memories.
Blair was just exhausted, the faculty meeting was long and boring, he missed lunch and his throat was dry and itchy from that damn stuffy room. He was hoping Jim would be able to get this weekend off but with police work one never knew exactly when emergencies would arise. And damn, Jim was working tomorrow on the Mayor thing. Jim had seemed anxious lately and Blair found once again when he tried to get Jim to talk he had hit a stone wall, but something was up, he just knew it. He told Jim time and again that some people found it easier to communicate in writing and perhaps Jim would like to write down what was bothering him. Jim gave his usual response and just glared at him like he was crazy… “Yeah, Sandburg, I’ll do that and send you the note ASAP,” he replied, his voice laced with sarcasm.
Blair walked back to his office, sat at his cluttered-filled desk and was drinking his water when someone walked in and announced, “Delivery for Blair Sandburg.”
“That’s me!” Blair replied excitedly, popping up out of his chair, wondering what the delivery might possibly be. An ancient artifact someone wanted his opinion on, some great find from his mom that she’d sent his way, a jar of deadly poisonous spiders from some psycho killer; okay, he really had no idea. He opened up the box and – wow – to his absolute delight he saw a gift of fruit and chocolate-covered strawberries! Heart-shaped pineapple…‘Oh, so cool, who is my admirer? Man, you so still got it.’ Blair immediately dug right in. Oh, the pineapple tasted so sweet and juicy, the chocolate-covered strawberries just called to him, mmm, so good, the fresh fruit was just so delightful and hit the right spot! Who would send him such a wonderful gift? Perhaps Peggy to make up for keeping him late the other night helping her with research; no, not hearts, he really was pretty sure she was not interested in him like that. ‘There is usually a card or note with these things…ah ha!’
I want to express my thanks to you, I don’t think you have any idea the happiness and delight you have given me. I am so holding out hope that this weekend will be the start of something that lasts forever. I am so glad to have the weekend off; I just want to spend the entire weekend in bed. No dressing allowed. I love you, just give me one simple kiss if you feel the same.
Jim? Whoa. He read it and thought, ‘wow.’ He knew Jim had trouble expressing himself in speech, but his writing was just as bad! ‘Goddamn, no wonder Simon is so happy when I do Jim’s paperwork. Wait, this is a love note, I think.’ Blair read it again, and then again, then turned beet red, hoping no one passing by his opened door noticed his sudden need to be the hell out of this office now. ‘Jim loves me, wants me home with no clothes on, in bed for the entire weekend? Jim appears to be asking for a kiss as a sign of my affection, hot damn!’ Looking at the clock, he knew Jim would hopefully get home at 6 pm tonight, and as it was a few minutes past six now, Blair hurriedly packed his backpack and rushed for his car. ‘Oh my,’ he thought, grabbing the notecard up in his hands, ‘I just don’t believe this, I just don’t. No, I really do believe it, Jim loves me, loves me, and sent me a goddamn heart-shaped fruit and chocolate basket to show it!’
Jim heard Blair’s car pull up and he could hear Sandburg running up the stairs, his heart beating rapidly as a scared rabbit’s or something. Jim, worried that something was horribly wrong, pulled the door open to see Blair arrive from the staircase, face flushed but also all lit up with joy.
“Jim, Jim I…we… I… of course…” Blair stuttered.
What the hell was the matter with Blair? He was not only breathless from running up the stairs but he was now speechless?
Blair just walked forward, wrapped his arms around Jim and kissed him right on the mouth, hoping and trying his best to express all the love he had for Jim in that kiss, right there in the hallway.
“Yes, yes, yes, Jim!” Blair managed to say, trying to catch his breath again after breaking from the kiss.
“Um, Blair,” stuttered a shocked but extremely happy Jim, then Blair kissed him again - deeply, passionately - and Jim became blissfully lost in the taste of pineapple and strawberries and, ‘was that a hint of chocolate?’ along with Blair’s very own delicious, spicy taste.
Jim pulled Blair into the apartment, closed and locked the door, secured the bolt chain lock, and somehow knew that this was definitely going to be a very delightful Friday evening for them both.