Simon returned the telephone receiver to it's cradle and pushed to his feet. He had just been reminded that it was time again for the annual Cascade PD Blood Drive. He looked out into the bullpen at the men and women working diligently. He marveled that they would be first in line when one of their own needed blood, but without the adrenaline laced worry it was like pulling teeth to get them to volunteer during a routine blood drive.
His face brightened when he spotted the one man he believed could talk blood from a stone. He opened the door to his office. "Sandburg, my office."
Blair looked up from the paperwork he was completing on the Milson robbery.
"What did you do this time, Chief?" Jim asked.
Blair shrugged. "I don't know, it's been quiet around here." His eyes widened. "You don't think he figured out who told Doreen he was single, do you?"
The big man grinned. "Do you have a preferred burial ritual?"
"You are so not funny." Blair pushed himself to his feet and reluctantly made his way to the Captain's office. As he walked, he described one of the more gruesome burial rites he had witnessed just loud enough for his partner to hear. Jim looked at the sandwich in his hand and, deciding he was no longer hungry, tossed it in trash.
The young observer knocked on the Captain's door.
"You wanted to see me, sir?" Blair asked, barely stifling the automatic need to apologize for any and all possible offenses he may have committed.
Simon turned from his coffee maker. "Would you like some coffee, Blair? It's a new blend my cousin sent me."
The younger man blinked. He knew something was up. Simon only used his first name if something happened to Jim or he needed a favor. "Sure, Captain." He took the cup proffered by the smiling Captain. He settled into a chair and waited.
Simon moved the paperwork around on his desk for a moment. "Blair, I need your help with a project."
Blair's eyes narrowed with suspicion. "What project would that be, sir?"
Simon delayed, stirring his coffee as he marshaled his arguments. "I just got word that Friday is the Cascade PD Blood Drive." He paused. "The Chief wants 100% participation. I need your help to make sure Major Crimes does it's part." He looked expectantly at the young observer.
Blair stared at him with disbelief. "You've got to be kidding." He laughed. "100% of the biggest group of wusses in Cascade? They see a needle and they'll run for the hills."
"That's why I need your help. I need you to convince these big tough detectives it's no big deal." He glared at the younger man.
Blair thought for a moment. "What happens if you don't get 100%?"
Simon looked down and mumbled.
"What was that, Simon?"
"I said, the Chief has promised the departments without 100% participation, their Captain's will be on two weeks of tour duty."
Blair hissed in sympathy. Tour duty was a necessity for public relations but anything more than one day was deemed cruel and unusual punishment. "Do I have carte blanche? You'll go along with whatever I have to do to get 100%?"
Simon nodded slowly. "Whatever it takes, Sandburg. Just get it done."
"You'll have 100%, Simon." Blair smiled. "I'll get on it right away." He left in his usual whirlwind manner, leaving Simon wondering why it felt like he had just made a big mistake.
He watched the rest of the day as Blair held conferences in the breakroom. The conversations would halt if he walked into the room. Simon had a growing sense of unease. At the end of the day, Blair entered his office with a list of donation times with almost every member accounted for. Simon read over the list. "I left a space for you, Simon." Blair pointed out.
Simon filled in the empty space, totally amazed by the younger man's accomplishment. "What did you promise to get them to agree?" The Captain asked curious.
"You'll find out Friday once the last donor has given blood. Wouldn't want you to get nervous before you needed to." Blair made a quick exit.
"Come on, Sandburg, it's Friday already. Everyone is here. It's time to let me in on the deal." Simon begged for the hundredth time. "Jim, talk to him."
"Sorry, Simon, you put him in charge. You're just going to have to wait until the last drop of blood has been collected." The detective smiled, enjoying every minute of torment the captain was going through.
Simon watched as men who the previous year had bitched and moaned about needles... whining that they needed every drop 'just in case', lined up with a smile. Sandburg bounced around the room going from cot to cot, encouraging the fellow members of Major Crimes. Simon was the next to the last to donate. As he settled onto the cot, the Chief entered the room.
"Banks, I don't know what you did but I want to congratulate you. Major Crimes seems to be the only department with 100% participation." He looked over to where Sandburg was getting ready to donate. " Actually you have over 100%." The Chief smiled. "I don't see Tour duty anywhere in the future of Major Crimes for a good long time. Good work, Captain." He shook Simon's hand and left the room.
Simon after giving blood and drinking his juice, walked over to where the final pint of blood had been collected and asked again. "Okay Sandburg, everyone has donated. I'm waiting."
The rest of the Major Crimes crew gathered around as Blair stood. "Well Captain, it's like this. We knew how important it was for you to get all of us to participate in the Blood Drive. So, since you promised to do anything, we signed you up for the Cascade PD Carnival." Blair smiled and tried to ignore the lightheaded feeling that was creeping up on him. He was determined to see Simon's expression when he heard what he'd been signed up to do.
Simon had visions of a day spent in the dunking booth. His visions were shattered by the young man's next words.
"You'll be in the Kissing Booth." Just before passing out, Blair managed to see Simon's face pale, when he said. "Doreen is in charge of the Carnival."
Jim barely caught his partner before he hit the ground. After settling Blair on a cot with the nurse waving smelling salts under his nose, the detective moved over to his shell-shocked Captain. "It'll be okay, Simon. It's for charity, after all."
Simon looked at his friend. Jim patted him on the back. "H, why don't you take Simon back to his office and make sure he gets something to drink." Henry nodded and guided the dazed Captain out of the room.
Jim looked down at his unconscious partner. "All clear, Chief."
Blair opened one eye. "How's Simon?"
"One hundred percent, Chief, one hundred percent."