Jane was one of the "snippet winners" who helped me help my son on one of his final English projects. All she asked for was a sleepy, incoherent Blair. This is what I came up with. I'd also like to dedicate this snippet to Katz, who did the right thing in a time of darkness. I hope this cheers you up, honey.
Many, many, many, many, many thanks go to Iris, Autumn and Lisa for their incredibly fast beta of this piece. I was feeling pretty cocky, but listened (thank God) to the little voice that said 'send it out for a beta'. These wonderful women kept me from being truly embarrassed about my work. Thank you!! But as always, I take the blame for any and all mistakes because sometimes I can get stubborn about things (shocking, isn't it?)
"For God's sake, Sandburg. Go. Home," Rafe said, after watching the anthropologist's head snap up for the thirtieth time.
Blair blinked, trying to focus on the faces in front of him. "'kay."
But before the police observer could rise from the large leather desk chair, Simon walked behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Just lean back and close your eyes for a few minutes. Okay, son?"
Simon waited until Blair's chin drooped to his chest then glared at his youngest detective. "Do you really want him driving like this?"
"No, sir, but he's so exhausted he's making me tired just looking at him. Shouldn't he be at home?"
"If he was at home, he'd only be doing a couple hundred end-of-semester chores." Jim walked to the work table and dumped a small stack of papers onto its surface.
Joel smiled at the sleeping observer. "Is it already finals week again? I can't believe how fast time flies."
Jim looked over at Rafe. "He's been running on empty all week. Not only did he have his own finals, but he had to turn in an article for some anthropology journal and create tests for his classes, proctor them, grade them and post the grades by eight o'clock this morning."
Henri looked up from his small stack of papers. "Didn't he go on a stakeout with you on Tuesday?"
"Yes." Jim sighed, torn between frustration, affection and guilt. "He's had about twenty hours of sleep in the last six days."
"So why's he here?" Rafe asked, then raised his hands in a warding gesture. "Don't get me wrong, if it wasn't for his computer skills we might never have gotten the information we needed to be here today; but he's completely out of it."
"You've just answered your own question." Jim smiled at his friend. "He told me he had too much invested in this case not to see the final outcome."
"You sure we can't persuade him to be a cop?" Joel chuckled, turning his chair and peeking out the warehouse window at the nondescript building across the street.
Simon grinned evilly. "And why should I buy the cow when I can get the milk for free?"
"You are so lucky Hairboy's sleeping, sir," Henri said, shaking his head.
Putting his hands on his hips, Simon blustered, "Brown, I am not afraid of one, five foot seven inch, anthropologist."
The five men sitting around the table all stopped what they were doing and stared incredulously at their captain.
Simon groaned. "So what's it gonna cost me to keep your mouths shut?"
"Pizza," all his detectives chimed in at once.
"Did you hear that, sir?" Jim asked, turning to face his captain. But before Simon could respond, Jim started to pull his automatic from its holster.
"I'd put that down if I were you, detective," a cold voice said from the shadows, as the sound of several guns cocking echoed around the warehouse. "Everyone away from the table. Hands in the air."
"Jacobson, are you insane?" Simon boomed, even as he moved to comply with the criminal's demands, taking in the odds as the hired thugs emerged from the shadows.
"Maybe. But what a coup. I get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take out all of Major Crime's primary players in one fell swoop. It's going to take the city months, maybe years, to recover. Do you have any idea how much business I can get done during that time?"
"You'll never get away with it!" Simon shouted.
"Do they teach you those cornball lines at the academy?" Jacobson laughed, then glared once he spotted the sleeping police observer. "Hey, I said everyone away from the table."
Jim growled. "Leave him."
"Leave him? Leave him? You don't seem to appreciate your position, detective."
"He's not a cop," Rafe explained, thrusting his chin toward Blair.
Jacobson scoffed. "Do I look like I care?"
"He's not hurting anyone," Henri pointed out in exasperation.
"I. Don't. Care."
Jacobson started forward but was stopped by Jim's soft words. "Touch him and it'll be the last thing you ever do."
"Are you threatening me, detective?"
"Why, yes, yes, I think I am," Jim said in a voice guaranteed to chill.
Jacobson actually hesitated but raised his gun toward the anthropologist. In the span of a heartbeat, Jim pulled his backup .45 from his pants and shot the arms smuggler in the hand, then jumped forward and pushed the chair with his sleeping partner in it toward his captain.
"Aw, hell," Simon groaned, slamming his elbow into the face of a hapless guard who had gotten too close. Catching the rolling chair, he pushed it toward Rafe.
Rafe's eyes opened in horror as one of Jacobson's goons tried to intercept the chair, but Henri tackled the man, hitting the chair in the process and causing it to spin slightly as it picked up speed and rolled down the slight incline of the cement floor. Rafe raced past the chair, gently catching it and used the momentum to swing it out of the line of fire. The young detective threw himself back into the melee by picking up a folding chair and throwing it at a thug who had managed to find a dropped gun and was bringing it to bear on Joel.
Jacobson, realizing he was in serious trouble, ran toward the door, hoping to make his escape while his men occupied the members of Major Crimes. He was almost to the door when a leather bound office chair came careening out of the shadows, knocking him off balance, causing him to slam his head against the cement floor.
"Spiders!" Blair blew out a deep breath and shuddered. Seeing a huge hairy spider dangling in front of you as soon as you awoke was so not cool. He knew the thing wasn't poisonous, but after his little adventure with Alec, he'd decided it might be time to reevaluate his phobias. He wavered slightly, the sudden jump from a sound sleep making him dizzy.
What was he doing by the wall anyway?
He turned to look back at the table, but noticed a body on the floor only a few feet from him.
"Jacobson?" he whispered, blinking in disbelief. What was the arms dealer doing in their warehouse? Wasn't he supposed to be in the building across the street? "Jim?" he called out quietly, afraid if he spoke too loudly he might wake the criminal.
Blair watched his partner jog over to him. "Good job, buddy." Jim chuckled and slapped him on the back. "For a moment there, I thought he was going to get away."
"Get... away? You mean--?"
"Yep. You single-handedly caught the most wanted man in Cascade."
Blair yawned. "Yeah?"
Blair blinked, his eyes drooping slightly. "Cool. But if it's all the same to you, I think I'd like to go home now. There's just no way I can sleep with this many people around."
Back to The Loft