Home Front

By Rhyo

It was a slow morning and I was glad for it. Simon had given me some of his budget data and I was putting in into Powerpoint format for him-- he said he really needed to dazzle the Chief of Police this time. We'd had enough excitement in the last few months, with Simon and Jim and then Megan and Blair all taking off for Sierra Verde and the horrible stories about what had happened to Blair. It had seemed so unreal when they'd all gotten back, tired and very, very close-mouthed about what they had been doing.

Apparently it was another Ellison Event-- these events happened fairly often; an incredible amount of activity in the bullpen, Simon shouting in his office, all the detectives scrambling to find Jim or help him and, in the end, often as not, some branch of the Feds would show up and everything would get locked down and never discussed again.

It was frustrating and the only thing that kept me from complaining was the knowledge that one of my detectives could have been hurt or killed. Or had been hurt. Or drowned. I'd gone to see Blair in the hospital and it had been almost heartbreaking to see him so still and quiet. At the time Jim had seemed devastated by what had almost happened, but, two days later, with Blair still in the hospital, Jim and Simon had left for Sierra Verde. Simon had me make the travel arrangements and it was all I could do not to snap at both of them. Then when Megan and Blair had come to me asking me to duplicate the arrangements, the rational part of my brain made me refuse. If what Henri Brown had said was true, Blair had died at the fountain. As in dead. As in a-miracle-to-be-breathing-now. He still had a slight cough and his color wasn't good. If I knew one thing about Blair Sandburg, it was that he would follow Jim Ellison into hell without even a second thought, and I was not going to help him do it this time.

But I should have known there was no way to refuse Blair when he turned on the charm, and eventually, reluctantly, I made the reservations for them. Those of us who were left behind spent the following week in nervous silence. None of us knew what was happening and my attempts to call the hotel they had checked in to were unsuccessful. Once they'd gotten to Sierra Verde, they'd all vanished.

We all held our breath and just hoped. Joel Taggert was acting captain and I think I watched him age six months in that week. When all of Major Crime's missing came back in one piece we all let out that breath we'd been holding.

I never did get the full story of what happened, but whatever it was, it wasn't good. Jim and Blair seemed to be off somehow, as though they weren't quite so sure of each other anymore. Even Simon was withdrawn, and I noticed that he and Jim have been a little cool to each other. Megan seems angry with all of them.

I looked up from my thoughts and from Powerpoint. Most of the department was there, working at their desks, and the thing that struck me was how quiet it was. Of course, Blair wasn't there, he'd been spending most of his time at Rainier lately. Maybe he felt it, too. I wasn't a detective, and, frankly, didn't want to be, but even I could feel the tension in the room. It seemed like there was another storm waiting just offshore to break over us.

I have faith in my department, though. We've already weathered some serious storms together. I'd like to think we can get through anything.

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