For Major Crimes, the day started out as any other, in fact, better than most.
For Henri Brown, the day started out late. By twenty minutes. When his alarm went off, he ignored it, completely. Because he wasn't alone in his bed. Susie was lying curled up next to him and it had been a long time coming. But last night, she'd suggested ending the evening at his place. He didn't say no.
Of course, his partner, Brian Rafe would have something to say about Brown's lateness, he always did. But Henri just smiled, caressed the lovely lady next to him and decided to be even later.
Brian Rafe wasn't in the least bit worried about his, oh so late partner. Detective Rafe hadn't awakened alone either. As he'd rolled over expecting to see the usual empty half of his bed, he was quickly reminded it wasn't so empty. He was reminded by the slender sleeping body stretched out beside him. He smiled sleepily and let his fingers play with the curls splayed out on the pillow.
Last night had been better than any fantasy he'd entertained and he was still reeling from the fact that *it* had happened. A dream come true. Brian Rafe was, at that moment, a supremely happy man. And happier still when the body reached for him and he took Inspector Megan Connor into his arms.
No, Brian Rafe wasn't the least bit worried about a late Henri Brown.
For Detective Joel Taggert, the mornings were once again something to look forward to. Especially now that he was working with Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg. He was constantly learning this new aspect of police work, and this was certainly responsible in part, for his good mood, but the real pleasure came from watching Ellison and Sandburg. The interplay between them, the exchange of quips, the way both minds worked, coming from completely different planets and yet, each giving something to a case, often arriving simultaneously at the same answer. And how, just as often, they'd look at each other with the exact same expression because the exact same conclusion had been arrived at the exact same time.
Then Joel would watch Ellison smile at Sandburg, a smile not given to any other, and he'd watch the smile returned and he'd bask in the glow of both smiles. The two men were so obviously in love and were equally oblivious to that fact.
And that was another reason why his mornings, in fact his days, were so fun. Observing the "clueless" detectives, and trying to figure out ways to tip the idiots off.
With a smile, a new plan and a whistle, Joel left for work.
Detective Beth Jenkins started *her* morning in the usual fashion. Getting one husband off to his work and two small children off to elementary school. Which left her exactly fifteen minutes to relax, sip her tea, suggested by one Blair Sandburg, and contemplate on another day of catching the bad guys with her partner, Luis Maldonado.
Beth had been excited when four years ago, she'd been accepted into Major Crimes, a department still relatively female free. MC was the toughest assignment a detective could receive and only the cream of the crop made it.
She'd tossed and turned for many a night, trying to decide. Not because of the danger, but rather because of her family. She knew she could do the job, and do it damn well, but she was a mother, with two small children. How would that mesh? But her husband, Sam, supported her, backed her every inch of the way, so in the end, she'd gone for it. And that support had never wavered. Not once in four years.
She was firmly entrenched in MC and wouldn't have it any other way. MC was special and every detective knew it. Captain Banks was their leader and Detective Ellison, their guardian.
Beth checked her watch and realized she was now out of "mommyminutes". She was ready to slip into her "Detective Jenkins" mode. She smiled slightly as she wondered what her partner had in store for the rookie. It was Luis' turn to harass their newest member and Maldonado was the most devious, which was why he had been saved for the last day Beth almost felt sorry for Sandburg. Almost. As she grabbed her purse and keys, her grin widened.
Detective Martin Regan gave his partner, Detective Peter Sbarro, a quick jab in the ribs. The form never moved.
"Get up, you lazy bum."
An incoherent mumble was his reward this time.
"Jesus, Peter, we're gonna be late again and I hate it when Simon waves that cigar in my face. Now come on, get up."
Sbarro rolled over, grunted and opened one brown eye.
"Fuck. You're already dressed. How do you do that? And how can I pillage, plunder and ravage if you're already dressed?"
"You can't. Now get up or I leave without you."
Peter pulled himself up, running a hand over his crew-cut *and* letting the sheet slip down to show his partner a bright-eyed and wide awake cock. Martin just snorted and turned away, mumbling something about brazen hussies.
"You know, you threaten to leave without me at least three times a week. You'd think by now you'd realize that it was an empty threat."
"One of these days, Peter, one of these days."
Sbarro rolled out of bed and padded over to his lover, who stood in front of the dresser, straightening his tie. Peter slipped his arm around Martin's slender waist and rested his chin on the taller man's shoulder.
"You'd never leave without me and you know it."
Martin looked at their reflection in the mirror and marveled again at what he saw. They were both so different. So different in looks, temperment and backgrounds and yet ~ so perfect together.
Peter came from Little Italy, a family of cops. He was short and stocky, but with his blonde hair, it was obvious that he took after his mother and her northern Italian heritage. The younger man had struggled at the academy just as he'd struggled in school, but he was stubborn and he'd perservered. When he'd told his family he was going after Major Crimes, they'd prepared themselves for his first failure. But he'd surprised them all. However, once *in* MC, his temper had nearly gotten him kicked out more than once in his first year. Then he was partnered with Martin.
Calm, cool, never ruffled, Martin Regan. Black irish, but no temper and he didn't drink. His dark curly hair and irish green eyes had sparked something in Peter almost from the getgo. Martin was an overachiever from pre-school age, he'd always been a straight "A" student and graduated top of his academy class. He had no family left, but the Sbarro's had immediately adopted him. As their obvious son-in-law.
There were three inches difference in their height and eight years difference in their ages, but somehow, together, they created this incredible person. And in bed? The sparks flew.
Peter gave Martin's ear a quick nip.
"You think Ellison will ever get on the clue bus?"
"He'd better, and damn quick. How long will Blair hang around? And you? Shower ~ now."
"I'm going and Blair would never leave Ellison, he'll hang around forever, he loves the guy, he just hasn't a clue what to do about it."
"He's never been with a guy before."
"Oh, and Ellison has?"
"SHOWER! And yes, Ellison has."
Peter had started for the bathroom, but stopped at Martin's words.
"Ellison?", he squeaked.
"You know this?"
"I know this."
Peter shook his head in wonder and headed to the bathroom muttering something about his gaydar being on the blink and could you go to a doctor about something like that.....
Martin couldn't resist. He swatted his partner's very fine ass, then pulled him back into his arms and whispered, "Shower later ~ fuck now, and you're gaydar is working just fine. You found me, didn't you? Ellison just has excellent jamming equipment."
"Mmmm, so we're late again?"
Peter got no answer.
Luis Maldonado was feeling no pain as he ran the last 25 yards of his early morning ritual. Running kept him in shape and lately kept his mind off his wife, Barbara, or rather, his soon-to-be ex wife.
As he turned up his driveway, he stopped long enough to pick up the paper, then sprinted the last few feet to his backdoor. As he entered the kitchen, the smell of bacon and eggs overwhelmed him and he watched as his sixteen year old daughter, Tirza, piled eggs onto a platter that already held bacon and toast.
"Hey, Dad, just in time. Breakfast is ready."
He looked at the mound of food and wondered how to break it to his lovely girl that he was watching his cholesterol.
"Dad, don't worry, the bacon is mine and the eggs are Egg Beaters. Perfectly healthy. Dig in."
"Girl, you're a wonder."
"A jewel, that's me."
As they ate, Tirza filled him in on her life, the current school play and her newest "love". Tirza had been hit hard by her mother's absence, but harder still for her father. And she was trying so hard to take Barbara's place as the woman of the house.
He gazed tenderly at his "little girl" and felt an overpowering feeling of wonderment that he and Barbara had created this young woman.
"Hey, pop, tell me what you have planned for Blair today. Something wicked, I bet."
"Oh, yeah, it's good. And foolproof. He'll never trip onto this one."
"Poor Blair." She quickly shoveled more food into her mouth, swallowed, took a gulp of orange juice, then stood and gathered her books.
"Outta here, Dad. Bus ~ any minute." And she dropped a quick kiss on the top of his short, buzz cut, stuffed another piece of bacon into her mouth and was gone.
And he was left alone in Barbara's kitchen.
She'd been standing right there, by the stove, taking out his four hour old dinner. And telling him she couldn't handle it any more. She had to leave to preserve her sanity. Two days later, he and Tirza were alone.
That had been three weeks ago. He got up and walked slowly into his room. Major Crimes waited.
"Sandburg, where's my blue tie? The one with the dark blue triangles."
Footsteps, then Sandburg at the french doors, looking up. Jim Ellison peered over the rail and into amused blue eyes.
"And I would know where *your* tie was exactly how?"
"I need the tie, Sandburg."
"Well.....you could try the tie rack Connor got you for your birthday."
Blair turned away and walked into the kitchen but not before Jim caught the smirk. The detective walked over to his closet and sure enough, there hung the tie rack. The same tie rack that he'd stored in the very back of his closet.
"You're a sneak, Chief!"
"Hey, it wasn't me ~ it was the tie elf."
Blair was slathering strawberry creamcheese on a toasted bagel, but since he didn't have sentinel hearing, he missed Jim's snort and his comment about someday "elfing" his roommate.
Ellison came downstairs a few minutes later, dropped his jacket on the back of the couch and joined his partner in the kitchen. As he passed Sandburg, on his way to the coffee, the younger man handed off half the bagel over his shoulder and Jim deftly caught it and stuck it in his mouth.
Three bites, and two coffee gulps later he finally looked at his partner.
"Chief, you're wearing flannel."
*Chief* looked down, then up.
"Why yes, Jim, I am. Very astute."
"You get sworn in today. Four sharp. You're wearing flannel and jeans."
"It's not a real swearing in, and my suit is over there."
Jim followed Blair's head movement and sure enough, a garment bag hung on one of the pegs next to the door.
"Too bad poor Detective Ellison has court. He has to wear a suit all day. Sniffle."
"I can feel the sympathy flowing off of you, Chief."
In answer, Blair took the last of his bagel, which Jim had been eyeing, and popped it into Jim's mouth. And before the bigger man could retaliate, he scooted around him and back out into the livingroom.
"Quit stuffing your face, Ellison, we're gonna be late."
"Shit. I've got twenty minutes to get you to Major Crimes and me to court."
"Now I'm just talking off the top of my head here, I'm not a real detective yet, but, you could let me drop you."
"That would mean you drive the truck."
"Another astute observation from the senior detective. Man, I just learn *sooo* much from you."
An apple, picked up from fruit bowl, sailed across the livingroom to be expertly caught.
"Gee, Jim, for me?"
"Jerk. And just when *does* the classic get out of the shop?"
The truck keys followed the same flight path as the apple and were just as expertly caught.
"Alright, Junior, you drive."
Sandburg bit into the apple to keep from laughing outright.
Captain Simon Banks climbed into his car, eager to get to work. Today, he would officially swear in a new detective. The whole ceremony had been given the green light by the mayor, no less, and since more than a little red tape had been snipped to make this happen, it was decided that the swearing in would be private and take place in his office. Which was exactly how everyone wanted it. Just family. The Major Crimes family. His family.
And by 4:05, Blair Sandburg would be Detective Blair Sandburg and the permanent and official partner of Detective Jim Ellison.
Simon afforded himself a huge grin. Yes, it was a good day. His entire family was intact *and* Daryl had agreed to re-think college before the academy. Life was good. And he couldn't wait to see what joke Luis had planned for their new rookie.
The gang had been teasing Blair all week, playing practical jokes, most of which Blair managed to deflect back onto the perps. But Luis was the acknowledged master and Blair would fall today.
Banks gave a chomp on his cigar and chuckled.
Yep, it was going to be a very good day.
Three hours in a courtroom and he'd yet to testify. And now, court dismissed ~ for the rest of the day. Which was a good thing, as he'd been worried he'd hold up the ceremony at four. Now he stood at the bottom of the courtroom steps, waiting for Sandburg. Which was also a good thing because it gave him time to finish worrying. And worrying had become his favorite pastime of late.
He did a quick mental review of his "Ellison's Top Five Worries" list:
#5: He'd actually have to let Sandburg drive occassionally. And yes, he knew damn well that Blair was actually the better driver and would probably congratulate him for giving up some of his perceived control. Well, fuck Sandburg. Which led directly to...... #4: Fucking Sandburg.
His partner. Not kosher. Not happening yet either, but Jim had hopes, the signals seemed to be there for both of them. And they weren't exactly your average partnership. They were Sentinel and Guide. Not like they could be seperated. And damn, he did love the guy. Which sent him directly to.... #3: He couldn't make Sandburg stay in the truck anymore.
Okay, he could *never* make Sandburg stay in the truck so maybe he should go directly to..... #2: Blair and his new job. Blair, the anthropologist, now cop. Blair, who'd had two lives, one with Jim and MC, and one at the University. Now it would be Jim: 24/7.
How soon before it was all too much for Sandburg?
And then there was worry number one. Numero Uno, the big one. He could lose Blair. He could lose him in so many ways.