RATING: G (knock it off, not all I touch turns to R/NC17 *g*)
Simon leaned back on the blanket and watched the prime team of Cascade PD's Major Crime department. It was good for once to see them both and most of Major Crime kicking back and enjoying a picnic. It happened rarely, but the annual picnic was sacred. Once a year they'd get together for a little fun, some good food and hopefully good weather.
Cascade being Cascade... well, the odds were mostly against them. Both weather and criminals seemed to conspire against them half the time.
Smiling, Simon squinted against the warm sun. This year, however, someone up there was being good to them. High temperatures and no rain.
And no wounded detectives.
Simon stifled a laugh as he watched Blair avoid the long arm of the law, AKA Jim Ellison. He was unsure if it was some warped version of touch football Jim, Blair, Rafe and Henri had going. And for all the brawns and brains of the three larger men, Blair kept dodging them and laughing delightedly, an occasional 'whoop' thrown in.
As Jim tackled his partner, Henri and Rafe were laughing so hard they could hardly stay on their feet. They looked at each other and obviously of the same mind, they headed toward the cooler, standing next to Simon's blanket.
Simon wondered, not for the first time what things had been like before Blair had bowled them all over. He caught the laughter from the two men wrestling on the grass and he had to smile.
One thing was for certain, the Jim Ellison of now was worlds from the old Ellison. Jim was not less dangerous these days, especially not if his partner was threatened, but he was an easier guy to get along with. Simon was aware that a lot of it had to have been the senses back then, not that he felt any need to know more about his prime detective's freaky senses.
Even gaining the level of control that Jim obviously had now... it would never be enough to cause such a radical change in a man who was the poster child for stoicism.
Simon exchanged grins with Henri and Rafe as they pulled couple of beers from the cooler and dumped down on the other blanket. On the other side of Simon, Joel, Megan and Rhonda, who was by now, as much a part of the gang if not more, were occupying other blankets. Without Rhonda, Simon knew, Major Crimes would never run as efficiently.
His eyes returned to the two men on the grass, who were still struggling, though Simon could tell that Blair was only putting up a token resistance. Even from his place, Simon could see the huge smile on the kid's face.
It should seem out of place to see it mirrored on Jim's face, but after all these years of being under Blair's influence... Nothing looked more natural.
Simon tried to remember what Jim had been like when he had transferred from Vice. A quiet man, who rarely if ever smiled and who kept to himself. Ill tempered when you least expected it and hard to partner with anyone. Not just because of his ...winning personality, but because Jim had preferred to work on his own.
Only Jack Pendergast had been capable of working well with the ex-ranger.
Though it had been nothing compared to the team Ellison made up with Sandburg. Sure, they had had their ups and downs, getting hurt, ...dying...
Simon shook the funk he'd sunk into and smiled again as he watched Blair tickle his way out of the grip Jim had on him, only to be pushed back down as the older man straddled him, taking his revenge.
Blair's laughter tore through the air and Simon shook his head. It was so good to see the effect Sandburg had on Jim. Just the smiles alone. Maybe he noticed because back in the days before Sandburg, Jim had rarely smiled. It seemed to light up his face, gave him a glow that was almost fascinating.
Sure, Simon could admit that Jim was good-looking, even if he was not that way inclined. He did not have to, because he suspected the man was off the market, and had been for a long time.
Not that it was any of his business. Well, officially it should be, he should not allow the two men to be partnered if his suspicions were right, but Simon would look the other way for as long as possible. What could he say? They made up the team with the highest number of solved cases and had for the past seven years.
An unconventional team of a cop and a forensic anthropologist. They had offered Blair the option of becoming a cop back then... but Simon had to admit that Blair's choice had been the wisest. And so did Jim. Simon knew that, knew deep down that if Blair had become a cop, it would have killed something in the younger man. Not exactly innocence, but something close to it.
And he did not want to think what it would have done to Jim.
He never wanted to contemplate what would have happened if Blair had simply up and left after the dissertation failure. He probably would not have had a detective Ellison in his fold.
Perhaps there would have been no Jim anymore... at all.
Simon marveled at the laughter coming from Jim Ellison. The man would probably seem simple to most. Not stupid, just... uncomplicated. Simon wondered what Blair saw, because even as their friend, Simon only caught glimpses of the Jim Ellison who lived deep inside the muscular detective. A Jim Ellison who was so complicated that words could never explain him.
Simon turned to the cooler a moment later after having watched Jim's laughter still as the older man hovered over Blair, a soft smile on his strong features, eyes probably sparkling with mirth and happiness.
No, it was none of his business as long as Jim Ellison was a happy man. And he would stay that way as long as he was with Blair. In Simon's world, that made it all worth it. The troubles, the senses, the weird Sentinel-Guide connection. It really was none of his business what Ellison and Sandburg were up to on their own time.
He had a good team, who were good friends. The weirdness? That he had learned to live with.
Who would have thought that Jim Ellison had enough layers and hidden qualities to keep a bundle of madness like Blair anchored.
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