Authors Notes: Thanks to Moonglow for the encouragement to post for the first time. Oh, and for the use of her props.
"You don't even know what I'm going to say."
"Good to hear you say that, Connor, you've just volunteered." A large dark hand was clapped down on Megan's shoulder.
"Shoulda seen that coming." Blair didn't bother to hide his smile as Simon removed his hand.
"Don't think you're exempt Sandburg, now that you are a fully paid member of this department you and Connor have both just volunteered to organise the Annual Cascade Police Department Halloween Children's Party."
"But it's October 15th already."
"That gives you two weeks, plenty of time."
"I thought Vice were organising it." Megan tried hard to keep the whine out of her voice but couldn't quite succeed.
"They were, they've had to pull out so it's been passed on to me and I, being Captain, am delegating to you two."
The brown file in his hand was slapped down in front of Megan.
"That's what they've done so far." Simon smiled the smile of someone who had, in his long career, been dumped in it many times and who now had the satisfaction of being the dumper and left them to it.
It lay there, like a bomb waiting to go off.
It was Blair who eventually grabbed the bull by the horns and opened it. Two curly heads bent over the file.
"That's it? They've had this for two months and this is all they've done?" Blair was up and pacing round the desk.
"The food is a major part, Sandy, let's face it."
"Yeah, but look at what they've ordered! Pizza! It's a five minute phone call."
"Well don't look at me, I don't know what the little monsters like to eat. Pizza's the staple diet for kids isn't it?"
"No, it's the staple diet of cops."
"Well here's your chance to show them what you can do."
"What we can do. You were volunteered as well."
"See you later, Jim." Was frequently heard, usually accompanied by the slamming of the loft door. Strange messages were left on the answering machine, all for Blair, and Jim gave up trying to figure out what the green stuff in the big bowl in the fridge was. When he complained to Simon about the amount of time Blair was spending on organising the party, he was fixed with a glare and told that more volunteers were always welcome. Nothing more was said, although a few growls were heard.
"It's for you." Jim handed his cell to Blair who was next to him in the truck.
"Oh, Hi Cindy." It was one of the civilian dispatchers that Blair was friendly with and Jim had to consciously not dial up his hearing. "She can? That's great! Can she be there a couple of hours before it starts?" 'Face painter' he mouthed at Jim. He laughed at something she said. "Yeah, the more the merrier. Catch you later."
"You're enjoying this aren't you Chief?"
"Organising this party."
"Yeah, it's so cool. It was Megan's idea to have the adults party afterwards, and having the kids sleepover in the gym was Joel's."
"You realise that if it's a success you'll be stuck with it for ever more."
"Nah, I'll have you to help next time."
"No way, no how, Sandburg, you're on your own."
Blair just laughed and Jim had a feeling that come next year he would be the one running around for his partner instead of Megan.
"You coming, Jim?" Blair was still trying to get Jim to come, even using the puppy dog eyes; his last resort.
"Oh, come on."
"I'll be watching the game."
"And frightening the trick or treaters by opening the door before they can ring the bell." Blair grinned.
"You'll have more fun at the party." Blair wheedled. "Megan's telling fortunes."
"Get out of here." Jim watched as his partner picked up carryall. "Hey, Chief, what are you going as?" It was compulsory fancy dress for all the adults.
"Not telling, you'll have to come to find out." With another laugh, Blair was gone.
"Nice costume, Sir." Jim slid into place beside Simon who was standing against the wall of the conference room on the third floor that had been transformed into a spooky castle, where the adult party was in full swing.
"I see you pushed the boat out, Ellison."
Jim looked down at his camouflage pants, army boots and muscle shirt and shrugged.
"It was all I could find at short notice, besides, Sandburg is always saying that he's the one with the imagination in this partnership."
"In this instance I'd say he's right. The kid's a genius. Where the hell did he get those coffins from?"
"Where is he now?"
"He's down in the gym helping the chaperones getting the kids to sleep. He's had them eating out of his hand all evening."
"Over there doing her Gypsy Rose Meg routine." Simon pointed to where Megan was sitting waving her hands over a crystal ball in front of Dracula who looked suspiciously like Rafe.
"As long as she doesn't do a Gypsy Rose Lee routine later."
"We'd better keep her away from the punch then."
"I'm going to check on Sandburg." Jim left the Frankenstein Monster that was his boss and made his way down to the gym; and stepped into a forest. Blair and his helpers had transformed one end of the gym into a grotto where all the mats had been put in a circle round a mock campfire, lit up to imitate flames and to double as a nightlight for the younger children.
The kids are all in their sleeping bags, all eyes fixed on the man sitting cross legged on the far side of the fire who was telling them a story about panthers and wolves. Jim watched as his partner wove his tale, hands flying in emphasis, patiently answering the occasional question from an enquiring child. He finally finished and wished them sweet dreams, pointing out the big dream catcher hanging above the 'fire' to catch nightmares, and if they needed anything in the night, the Tooth Fairy and The Sandman would be there to help. At this, the two chaperones, traffic cops in costume for the night, stepped forward and Blair was able to make his escape.
"You made it." Blair's smile lit up his face as he met Jim outside the gym.
"Yeah, you said I'd have to come to find out what you were wearing." Jim's eyes travelled over his partners' outfit, from the eagle feather braided in his hair to the fringed moccasins on his feet. "You make a great chief, Chief."
"Thanks. I'm glad I found the leggings."
"I can't dial the cold down like you."
"The loft's warm." Jim steered Blair down the stairs to the basement garage where the truck was parked.
"We should go back to the party."
"Let Connor finish up there, you've done enough." Jim gently but firmly put his partner in the truck and got in himself.
In no time at all they were back at the loft and heading up the stairs. It was too late now for the trick or treaters to be out and it was with a sigh of relief that Blair closed the door behind them.
"Yeah." Blair untied the bone breastplate and pulled it over his head, scratching his chest.
"Oh man, that feels better."
"Why don't you lose the leggings and the moccasins?" Jim handed him a beer. "But leave the feather and the breech clout."
"Only if you change as well."
"What did you have in mind?" Jim ran his fingers down the feather and followed with the same light touch down Blair's jaw and over his lips.
"I've always loved playing Cowboys and Indians." Blair caught one of his fingers between his teeth and bit gently. "And you have a convenient post over there."
"You wanna be the hostage?"
"Only if you wear the chaps."
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