Sentinel Fan Fiction Page || Fanfic -- Holiday stories

Summary: Time to be nice to Simon for a day.

Technically, this story takes place after the conclusion to S2, since Boss's Day is October 16 and I wanted to include Megan in the story. I hadn't planned to write anything post-S2 until after we actually got to see the episode, but....I couldn't resist. Robyn and I came up with the idea over lunch this last weekend and we both decided I just had to do it. Suzie said it could pass for her Holiday Challenge, so that was an additional incentive. Oh, and Jen? There's a line of dialogue in here that I wrote just for you. <g>

Dedicated to all those wonderful bosses (well, my bosses are wonderful) out there who make our lives so busy and so interesting.

Boss's Day
by Becky
October 1998

Tapping a pen against his closed lips, Jim looked up briefly from the report form on his desk at the sound of Brown's laughing voice echoing in through the doors of the Major Crimes bullpen.

"Hey, Hairboy, what you doing here? Come to rescue Ellison from the torture of paperwork?"

Blair stopped at the entrance, shifting the backpack on his shoulder, grinning and meeting Jim's eyes across the sea of desks before turning back to Brown. "I just came from filling out my paperwork. No way he's getting me to do his for him as well."

Brown chuckled and clapped Blair on the shoulder before continuing out of the bullpen. Jim hid a smile from his partner when he heard the other detective say, "That's what you always say, Sandburg" before drifting out of Jim's range.

And, of course, he was right. As soon as Blair reached the side of the desk, he dragged the nearby chair over and deposited his backpack on the floor near the wall. He then proceeded to stick on his glasses and peer down at the reports scattered across Jim's desk.

"What happened to you? Forget to bring the principal an apple, and he punished you with paperwork?"

Jim glared at his partner a moment, then shook his head, smiling despite himself. After watching him and Megan bicker and pick on each other for several months and seeing how Simon constantly had to intervene, Blair had taken to calling the captain a "principal." Jim had to admit it had a certain ... ring to it that he thought quite amusing.

Not that he planning on saying such to his rather unrepentant Guide. He bent over the report again, scribbling with his pen into the space provided, keeping his commentary on the crime short and clear. He murmured, "Better not let Simon hear you call him that. I don't think he would be terribly pleased about it." Out of the corner of his eye, Jim saw Blair shrug.

"Eh, what could he do to me? Yell? He already does that." Waving one hand in the air dismissively, he pulled a form over to his side of the desk with the other hand. "Do you need any help on these?" He reached across Jim and snagged another pen from the holder next to the two picture frames.

Jim handed him a case file. "Just fill in the routine information. And about what Simon could do to you? I think he could do more than yell -- if he really wanted to."

Blair held up a hand. "Oh, I'm sure he could. But he won't."

Raising an eyebrow, Jim stared at his partner suspiciously. "And why is that, dare I ask?"

His own eyebrows waggling, Blair replied cheekily, eyes bright behind the wire frames of his glasses. "Because he likes me."

Jim snorted and shook his head, returning his attention to the case report. "He likes you. Why am I not surprised that you would say that?"

Both men fell quiet, absorbed in filling out the forms, working in silent and efficient concert, ignoring officers and other workers as they drifted in and out of the room talking quietly amongst themselves. Lunch time on that lazy Friday was rapidly approaching and the bullpen emptied out, leaving only Jim and Blair at Jim's desk, Rhonda at her own desk near Simon's office, and Brown (having come back from Forensics with several reports) and Rafe at their desks.

Simon remained sequestered in his office, door closed, blinds blocking the windows, pretty much ignoring the rest of the world.

Silence reigned.

Then, quite abruptly, Blair's head shot up.

"Oh, speaking of bosses..."

"Were we speaking of bosses, Chief?" Jim continued to write, unfazed by his partner's sudden intrusion of words. Familiarity and time had taught him that the younger man could jump from topic to topic without skipping a beat and never be confused, regardless of how confused his listeners -- including Jim himself on more than one occasion -- might become.

Blair sighed heavily. "Yes, we were, Jim. You know, Simon? Our boss? Well, your boss and by extension mine, but let's not get into that." He waved his pen in the air. "Anyway, what are you guys doing for him?"

Jim frowned, glancing over at Blair, then at Simon's office, before turning his attention back to the form on his desk, filling in the next blank line. "What do you mean what are we doing for him?"

"You do know what today is..." Blair waited, eyes expectant. "Don't you?"

"Uh, October 16?"

Blair sighed again, rolling his eyes. "Yes, it's October 16, Jim, but what else is it?"

Sighing and giving up on the report as a lost cause, Jim shrugged and laid the pen aside. Once the anthropologist got onto a topic as important as this seemed to be to him, he wasn't going to let go. "I don't know, Chief. Why don't you tell me?"

The younger man made a face and turned slightly, calling out softly across the room to Rafe and Brown's desks, where the two men were working. "Do either of you know why today is special?"

Blank stares. First at Blair, then at each other, then at Jim, then back to Blair.

Brown hesitated a guess. "It's Friday, Hairboy. That's special enough for anybody."

A long groan answered him, followed by rhythmic thumps.

A soft, Australian-accented, feminine voice spoke from the doorway of the room. "From the way Sandy is banging his head on Jim's desk, I would guess that isn't the right answer."

Jim glanced over to see Megan leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed over her chest, lips pursed in amusement. He'd sensed her presence at the doorway a minute or so ago, but hadn't said anything, waiting for her to announce her arrival. And besides, his partner had kept him too busy with guessing games to say anything anyway. Nodding at the woman briefly, he turned back to watch Blair for a few moments, letting his seemingly very frustrated Guide take out his aggression on the desk. But finally, he shook his head and reached out to place his hand on the back of Blair's head, effectively stopping his movement. "Come on, Chief, what is it?"

Rhonda, seated at her desk near Simon's office, spoke up quietly, a smile in her tone. "I wouldn't expect them to know, Blair. I don't know that they ever have."

Blair looked up, eyes wide. "Never? I know they remember Secretaries' Day, what with all the flowers and things. You would think they'd remember today. They sorta go hand-in-hand."

Jim grasped Blair by the back of the neck and shook him a little, growling in mock -- and just a touch of real -- annoyance. "Will you just spill it already? You're driving me crazy. What don't we know that we should?"

Pulling away from Jim's hand, Blair turned toward him, saying slowly, enunciating his words with extreme carefulness, "It's Boss's Day, Jim. You're supposed to do something nice for your boss today. You know, like take him out to lunch or something."

Jim's mouth rounded in a silent "oh." He exchanged looks with Rafe, Brown, and Megan, all glancing toward Simon's office briefly. Joel sauntered in, stopping next to Megan, tensing slightly at the unnatural silence.

"Something going on here that I need to know about?"

Rafe shook his head, answering quietly. "No, we, uh, well, we just found out something we should've known but didn't know."

Chuckling, Joel headed toward Simon's office. "Good, as long as it isn't anything bad. Simon and I are headed for lunch -- I'm treating and the captain would not be happy if anything disturbed it."

Megan asked, "You're treating Captain Banks to lunch?"

Joel paused, one hand reaching for the knob. "Yeah. It's Boss's Day and since I now work in this department, that makes him my boss, even if our ranks are both captain."

"You knew about today? That it's Boss's Day and all." Jim waited for his partner's reaction -- and wasn't disappointed.

Blair exploded, whacking Jim's arm. "Well, of course he knew. He's been a boss of his own unit. All bosses know." He rolled his eyes, ignoring the glare from his partner.

Joel folded his arms across his chest, staring at the three male detectives. "I can excuse Inspector Conner -- she's still fairly new and hasn't been here long. But you three have. Especially you, Jim. Do you mean to tell me in the, what is it now, seven years, I think, in the seven years you've been here you've never once celebrated Boss's Day?" No verbal answer, just a brief, abashed shrug. Joel rolled his eyes. "Okay, guys, come on, we're all gonna take Simon out to lunch." He glanced at Simon's office, frowning again at the closed door and shuttered blinds -- both signs that the captain wasn't a happy man. "And from the looks of things, I'll need all the help I can get to haul that man out that dungeon of his anyway." He pointed at Brown and Jim. "You two, with me. Rafe -- you get the door. And Sandburg...."

Blair stood up, smiling, bouncing his way over to Rhonda. "I'll escort the ladies." Rhonda stood, took Blair's arm, chuckling softly at his gallantry and let him lead her over to Megan, still standing at the doorway. With both women on his arms, Blair, grinning madly, turned to watch as Joel opened the door, studiously ignoring the snorts of too-amused laughter coming from the detectives.

Joel swung open the door to Simon's office, startling the man inside. The two other detectives followed him inside. Simon stared at three men for a long moment before yanking the cigar from his mouth. "Do you need something, gentlemen?"

Grinning widely, Joel advanced on the desk, Jim and Brown in close pursuit. "Captain Simon Banks? We're here to kidnap you for lunch."

And thus began Boss's Day.

Hauling a protesting Simon, Joel on one side, Jim on the other, (Brown being warned off after he offered to take Simon's legs) out of his office and downstairs to the parking garage was quite a feat. Officers in passing just laughed and ignored Simon's only half-joking comments about being kidnapped. Trapped in the back of the full elevator -- eight people total, including the three largest men, Jim, Simon, and Joel -- Simon discovered he wasn't going anywhere quickly.

Once in the garage, he found no way to escape either. Forced into his own car -- in the back seat, no less -- Rafe on one side, Brown on the other, Joel driving, and Rhonda in the passenger side, he was trapped. Joel led the way down the rain-slicked roads, Jim, Blair, and Megan following in the familiar hayseed truck.

He tried simple communication. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see." Joel placated him, concentrating on making a left hand turn.

He tried threatening. "I am your captain, you know."

"That's the reason we're doing this ... Captain." Rafe smiled, his soft accent rolling out with the last word.

He tried congeniality. "Rhonda?"

"Just sit back and relax," she soothed, glancing back once, her eyes alight with gentle humor and amusement.

Scowling, Simon growled under his breath. "At least you didn't let Ellison drive my car."

"He asked, but Joel didn't want anything to ruin the day." Brown explained, grinning, shifting to look through the windows.

Simon snorted. "Well, that definitely would have ruined the day." He frowned. "Wait a minute. What day is it anyway?"

Loud laughter echoed in the car and Rhonda answered him after it quieted again. "It's October 16, Captain. Happy Boss's Day."

Several minutes later, both cars pulled into the parking lot of a local steak house, one Simon loved to frequent, but didn't get the chance to very often. Jim stopped in front of the entrance, sending Blair and Megan inside to get them a table, then followed Joel to park next to Simon's car.

After exiting the truck, Jim walked around to wait next to Simon's car, a rather pleased smile on his face, glad that he had a partner who remembered the date and the pseudo-holiday and co-workers who knew just how to fall into place in a plan so quickly. Watching Rafe hop out of the car and smooth down his jacket, Jim murmured under his breath, "I love it when a plan comes together."

Even if he wasn't the one to actually originate the plan.

Simon got out of the car, stretching his back a little, muttering. "I have not been smashed into the middle of a backseat of a car since I was eight. I didn't appreciate it then and I certainly didn't appreciate it today." He glowered at Rafe, then Brown who stood safely on the other side of the vehicle, opening Rhonda's door. Neither man stopped grinning, just shared a mutual shrug.

Giving up, Simon rolled his eyes and let himself laugh. "Fine, fine. You can have your fun today." He paused a moment, then questioned, "But if this is Boss's Day, aren't you supposed to be nice to me?"

Jim waltzed over, clapping a hand on Simon's shoulder, laughing. "Come on, Simon, we'd better head inside before Sandburg gets all the waitresses' numbers. I left Conner with him, hoping she'd be able to control him, but you know Sandburg." Joel and Rhonda followed them.

Brown and Rafe exchanged a glance and Brown grinned, leaning toward his partner to stage-whisper, "I think Hairboy already has all their numbers."

Rafe chortled, nodding his agreement as the two men strode after the rest of their party.

The men stood aside at the doors of the restaurant to let Rhonda enter first, then followed her. Taking in the front waiting area with a quick glance, Jim didn't find any sign of Blair or Megan. Considering the noise level inside the restaurant -- crowded with lunch patrons -- the Sentinel didn't think it wise to open his hearing and hunt down Blair's voice. Spotting a woman approaching them, the steak house nametag attached to her shirt, Jim strode forward to meet her. He opened his mouth to speak, but she beat him to it.

"Are you the Principal Banks party?"

Jim blinked and stared, mouth falling open. Just behind him, he could hear Simon choke, Rhonda stifle a small laugh and the other three detectives cough to muffle their laughter.

The woman frowned a little. "I'm sorry. I was told that there would be six of you arriving to join Mr. Sandburg and Ms. Conner. The description the young man gave me matches the six of you," she gestured with one hand toward them, "quite well. Are you not with him?"

Jim heard Simon start to mutter something and quickly talked over his captain's voice. "Yes, yes, we're ... with him. The, uh, Principal Banks party." His lips twitched upwards into an amused smile as he fought to keep himself from laughing. Simon's growl didn't help matters much.

The woman nodded. "Very well. If you'll follow me..."

Jim stepped aside, gesturing for the others to go in front of him. "After you, lady and gentlemen." After they had all passed by him, Jim took up the rear, letting the small chuckle out and shaking his head. "The Principal Banks party. Oh, Chief, are you gonna pay for that one."

When he entered the dining area, Jim spotted his partner and Megan at the large salad bar, talking quietly, Blair pointing out things. The table set aside for them was obvious -- two smaller tables had been pushed together and more chairs added to make up a table for eight. In addition, Blair's leather jacket hung haphazardly off the side of one chair, a sleeve touching the ground. Shaking his head in fond exasperation, Jim strode around the table and swung off his own jacket to drape it over the chair next to Blair's. Then, compulsively, he straightened his partner's jacket. Glancing up, he noticed Joel watching him, a smile on his face, but the other man didn't say anything, just grinned a little wider and pointed past him toward the salad bar.

Jim turned and saw Simon standing behind Blair, arms crossed. He could just barely hear Simon clearing his throat in preparation to speak...

"Sandburg."

Blair whipped around, eyes a little startled. Then he grinned. "Oh, hey, Simon. You're all here. Cool. That means we can eat. And I am starved. They have some of the best--"

Simon leaned in closer to Blair, eyes narrowing. Blair blinked and shut up, eyes skittering past Simon to land on Jim momentarily before looking back at the captain. "Uh ... sir?" He shot a quick look to the side and realized Megan had abandoned him to his fate, wandering down the lengthy salad bar alone.

For several moments, Simon just stared at him, then he pulled back and moved his arm to drape over Blair's shoulders and guiding him toward the table. "You know what I like most about being a *principal*, Blair, my boy?"

Blair laughed nervously. "Oh, Simon, I mean, Captain, I meant that as a joke. Honest. I didn't mean--"

Simon held up a finger. "Ah-ah-ah. I'm not done yet. What I like most about being a *principal* is that I can tell my people what to do. For instance," he turned slightly and called out, "Conner, could you come here for a moment?"

Megan left the salad bar and threaded her way through the tables and patrons to stop at Simon's side. "Yes, Captain?"

Simon pointed at the chair on the other side of Blair's. "You -- sit here. Jim is sitting there. And Sandburg," he squeezed the younger man's shoulder, grinning evilly down at him, "Sandburg here will sit between you and play referee so I don't have to."

Blair's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. "What? Simon? Captain? That's--that's--that's--"

Simon laughed and patted Blair on the shoulder before releasing him to go around to the other side of the table.

Brown, Rafe, Joel, and Rhonda all laughed as they found their seats around the table, settling in with their menus to choose what they would have for lunch.

Blair stood for a moment longer between Jim and Megan, then muttered at the both of them, "I expect you two to be on your best behaviors this afternoon."

Jim tugged on Blair's ponytail. "We'll think about it, right, Conner?"

Megan smiled sweetly. "Of course. We'll ... consider it.

"Think has a better ring to it."

"Really. I've always liked consider. Sounds more ... proper, more ... refined."

Jim frowned. "Are you saying I'm not refined?"

Megan shook her head. "Oh, no, Jimbo, of course not, I was just--"

Blair intervened, waving a hand in the air, then poking at Jim's chest with one finger. "You -- sit." He turned to Megan and gestured to her chair, pulling it out for her. "You too."

Once the battling detectives were settled, Blair blew out a breath and sat down between them. He snatched up his menu and stared over it at Simon. "This is cruel, Simon."

Simon just continued to peruse his own menu, still smiling widely. "It's Boss's Day, Sandburg, as I hear you so nicely reminded everyone." He met Blair's eyes for a moment. "And, by the way, if I forget to say so later, thank you."

Blair hesitated in answering, seeing the sincerity in the captain's dark eyes shining from behind the laughter and the amusement. He inclined his head slightly in return, acknowledging that he saw the true gratefulness for what it was. Simon's smile deepened in response and held for a moment, before it altered just a tad, becoming a touch more ... sinister.

"And because it's Boss's Day, that means I can give up the *principal* role for a day and let you take care of it, right, Sandburg?" Simon grinned, eyes glittering with dark humor.

"Riiiiiight." Blair shook his head and opened his menu, scanning the pages for something he could enjoy.

Jim leaned in toward Blair, poking the younger man in the ribs, whispering softly, "And here I thought you said he liked you."

With a glare, Blair swatted his partner with his menu, smacking his hand -- and tickling finger -- away. "Keep those fingers of yours to yourself, and look at your own menu. And pick out something healthy. Preferably something with a salad."

Jim laughed and left him alone, turning away to ask Rafe what he was getting.

Blair ignored him, scrunching down a little in his chair to stare at his menu. On his other side, Megan and Rhonda chatted softly with other, discussing what they were going to order. A glance across the table showed him Simon conferring with Joel (on one side) and Brown (on the other side) on what looked good.

Simon looked up and met his eyes for a brief moment -- and only a brief moment -- before giving his attention back to Joel who made a suggestion. Blair smiled. No, he'd been right earlier. Simon did like him. Even if he did show that affection in peculiar ways.

But, after all, it was Boss's Day and for this one day, especially on this day, Blair would do what he had to do to make Simon happy. Simon was his boss, a good friend, and sometimes, a father figure.

Smiling, Blair straightened up in his chair. This was gonna be a good day.

- The End -