Blurb: Not everything is black or white in the life of Cascade's Sentinel and Guide, sometimes there's more than crime.
Note 1: Not your typical answer to a title challenge. Consider this a ficlet with a challenge of its own: see how many episode titles you can spot.
Note 2: This ended up being much longer than I thought it would be. Probably could have kept going, but I wanted to post it to this challenge before it closed tomorrow. While complete for a ficlet, I might just have to re-visit the "set-up" in later challenges.
The music in the waiting room had to be from someone's secret stash of Seventies 8-tracks, and Blair had to wonder how many people ran screaming from the area. He was dead certain that if the music didn't get him then the uncomfortable ill-formed plastic chairs or the creepy mirror image landscapes painted on the walls would. "Why are we here again?" he asked.
"Because Megan promised our Department's help and I think Simon is collecting on the debt we owe him," Jim answered, then corrected. "Or debts." Megan had handled most of this case before she had left, but when it came time for the foreign exchange detective to return home, the case had still not been solved and now it was.
"Well, this place is like something out of the past," Blair looked around again, "and it should have stayed there."
Jim smirked. "And you still call yourself an anthropologist."
Blair glared at his partner, but responded. "The relics of the seventies should remain buried. The music alone," Blair said, waving his hand, "I listen to some strange stuff, but this, this is," he made a face that seemed to say what he couldn't put into words. "Isn't it getting to you?"
"Not really, have my hearing turned down," Jim shrugged, "more or less just set to you."
Blair stared, and then smiled. "Really?" he questioned. "Can you add another sound," Blair looked around the room and then outside the only window, "like the children over on the playground and continue to keep the music out."
Jim's head tilted slightly. "Sort of," he said, but the music wants to creep back in."
Blair nodded, mentally taking notes. "We'll have to work on this; it could be a good skill."
Jim sighed, more tests, even if they were useful he still hated them. Guess though this was his payback for not having to listen to the music.
The partners were interrupted when an older lady came through the side door and greeted them. "Sorry for the wait, gentlemen, and the music, but after breaking ground for the new Second Chance at Hope building, we sort of got overzealous and started packing for the move." She looked over the two police detectives and smiled. "I'm Mrs. Helen," she introduced herself, "Megan phoned me from Australia and said you found Miss Amy's killers."
"Yes ma'am," Jim replied. "We were also able to recover your night shift's possessions. They'll just need to come down to the station and sign for them. Unfortunately though, your van was turned into spare parts."
"We did find the passenger side door," Blair said, handing Mrs. Helen a manila envelope, "and these papers should help with the insurance claim."
Mrs. Helen didn't look all that surprised by fact that the van was unrecoverable. "Young people today," she said, "and their attraction to true crime, even petty crime, I will still never understand." She sighed. "But it unfortunately, the van had been a gift to this place. We shall just have to hope for another. If you'll follow me," she turned and started back to the door she'd come through.
"I'm so glad you were still available to help us," Mrs. Helen said, "what with Megan have to return to Australia. We'd be in deep water if we lost your office's volunteers. These children are at the crossroads of their young lives and police officers make good 'big brothers' to keep them on track. Sometimes a good mentor can mean one of these kids survival in the real world, knowing that they have someone to call for help."
She stepped into a small office where boxes were stacked here and there. Several still open waiting for the last of the possessions in the room to find their way in. "Most of the children are at the new site," she sat down at her desk, "the children's section was the first part finished."
"I've driven by your new location," Blair smiled. "It looks unbelievable."
Mrs. Helen smiled. "I believe the kids say it is 'ice, man'." She pulled three file folders from the pile on her desk. "I know that Major Crimes was going to help mentor three my kids, is that still true?"
"And now with Megan gone," she looked done at a post-it note attached to the top file. "It's going to be six detectives and some of the office staff?"
Mrs. Helen smiled. "Great," she said. "I have three for your group--two boys and a girl--all under fourteen. We have an artist who wants to be the next Monet, a basketball fanatic who wants to make the first four point shot in a game, and the girl next door who wants to write the next big selling novel. Oh," and Mrs. Helen's smile grew," these three most wanted the cops as their mentors."
"That's a relief," Blair smiled in return. He had hoped whoever Major Crimes got in the mentoring program was open and up to being mentored by police officers. It was better all around if everyone was there because they wanted to be.
"So," Mrs. Helen said, passing over the files, "let me layout the real deal for you. You are going to take these files with you, everyone can read over them--and should, discuss amongst yourselves. Then, unless you are working, everyone should come and meet the kids on Saturday. New building, of course. Any questions, just give me a call," she added, attaching one of her business cards to each of the files. "One last thing," she called to the departing detectives, "and I was sworn to a vow of silence, but let's just say, pay special care to the first dates in the files."
"Will do, Mrs. Helen," Blair waved, "and we'll see you on Saturday."
Jim walked to his truck. "Wasn't too bad, Chief. Sounds like a good program."
Blair nodded, flipping through the files. "Ah, he said," while opening the passenger side door, "looks like our artist's birthday is this Saturday."
"Looks like we have much to discuss back at the station," Jim said, slowing the truck down, "but first, a trip through the drive-thru."
Blair sighed. "Man, that stuff you love kills you slowly--one order at a time."
Jim shrugged. It was an old argument. And one he sort of listened to, after all he had cut back on the Wonder Burger since meeting Blair. He just wasn't going to give it up altogether. "At least I'll die happy, you can go out healthy," he said, after placing his normal order and Blair's healthy salad and iced tea.
"Funny, Jim, real funny." Blair reached across the cab to the radio, checked the volume before pushing the on button then selected the third programmed station. "I've got to get rid of the seventies stuff." A strange blend of electric, techno and rock with soft vocals came through the speakers.
"Kinda new-agey," Jim commented.
This time Blair snorted. "Like I haven't heard that one from you before."
"Yeah, but I kinda like this one." Jim taped his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the music. "Might as well leave it on that station for the rest of the drive."
"Cool," he said, listening as the song faded to an ending.
"And that was, The Trance by Storm Warning off their new CD Hear No Evil available in stores next month; or win a copy here on KWLF. In other news, there has been an accident reported at the intersection of Remembrance and Reunion that's causing a fifteen minute delay. Please avoid the area if possible. The police are working on clearing the accident from the road. In weather, looks like the rain has decided to leave for the weekend meaning sun and fun for all you outdoor types. And, in entertainment news, Max Chang's new action flick, Flight of the Night Train opens this week. That was your KWLF sixty second news break. Now time for a couple commercials."
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