The Favor 2
(Or Jim and Blair's Adventure at Daycare)
Some words are misspelled on purpose. <g>
Reaching out a hand, Jim slapped his alarm clock when it rang. Sitting up, he rubbed a hand over his face. It was then that he realized what day it was, or more importantly, he realized what he had promised to do today. 'Oh man,' he thought, 'I am really not looking forward to this. There has to be some way I can get out of going.'
Trying to think of an excuse, he got out of bed and put on his robe. Hearing that was Blair fixing breakfast, he stretched and them went downstairs to join his friend. 'Maybe I can fake a fall,' he thought as he went down the stairs. 'No, Sandburg would have me at the emergency room getting poked and prodded all day. What I need is something a little bit simpler, something that would cause me to have to stay home but wouldn't require a trip to the hospital. But what?'
Still deep in thought, Jim made his way over to the table. Sitting down, he was struck by a sudden inspiration. "Uh, Chief," he croaked out, "I'm really not feeling to good. I think I'm coming down with something. It'd probably be best if I stayed home, you know, so that I don't pass anything onto the kids." Then he coughed while directing his most pathetic, miserable look towards Blair. 'This could actually work,' he thought as he added a few more coughs for good measure. 'God, I'm good.'
"Is that so?" Blair asked with a concerned expression on his face.
'Yeah,' Jim happily thought, 'he's gonna go for it.' He was startled from his thoughts when he felt a hand against his forehead.
"What do you think you're doing?" he asked as he jerked away from Blair's hand.
"Checking for a fever," Blair answered. "I mean there is a nasty case of the flu going around at the station. Do you think you might have caught it?"
'Is the flu going around? Why don't I pay more attention to this stuff? Has anybody been out sick? Oh no, he's staring at me. And he's got THAT look on his face. This isn't good. I'm gonna go down in flames here.' Although he was feeling rather frantic, his reply was calm. "Yeah, that's probably it," he agreed. "I really should stay here today. But don't let that stop you from going. In fact, I insist that you go without me."
"Yeah, really. I'll be all right here by myself."
"Oh no," Blair disagreed. "This is a pretty serious strain." Picking up Jim's plate, he added, "You just get right back in bed. We can't take any chances here. Go on. I'll be up in just a minute with the thermometer and then I'll call the doctor. Hopefully, he can squeeze us in today."
"Look, Sandburg, all that isn't necessary. I'll just rest here today. You know, catch up on some reading, watch a little TV." Seeing the look on Blair's face, Jim thought, 'Shit. Daycare here I come. Ankle biters and Teletubbies.' Outloud he asked, "You're not falling for this at all, are you?"
"Did I at least have you fooled there for a little while?"
"What gave me away?" Jim asked. "I thought I was pretty convincing."
"You were," Blair reassured. "But, it would have been more convincing if there actually was a case of the flu going around."
'That's it, from now on I'm paying attention to ALL the office gossip. Except for the stuff about Sandburg and me. Last time I heard some, it took me fifteen minutes to clean up the coffee I spit out. And my computer STILL isn't acting right.' Looking up into Blair's smiling face, Jim only had one thing to say. "Sometimes I really hate you, Sandburg."
"Aw, man, I think I'm gonna cry. You hurt my feelings," Blair sniffled as he sat Jim's plate down again.
Deciding to change tactics, Jim said, "You know, maybe I should just check in at the station. Simon might need me for a case or something."
"You don't have to worry about that today," Blair stated.
Suddenly feeling very suspicious, Jim asked, "Why?"
"Oh, I just had a little chat with Simon the other day. And I made an arrangement with him so that you would be guaranteed to have today off," Blair explained. "No calls, no cases. More importantly, no excuses."
"And exactly what little arrangement did that devious little mind of yours come up with this time?"
"It's a surprise."
"Yeah. But don't worry, I'm sure you're be able to handle it."
"Handle what? Sandburg? What did you do now?"
"Don't worry about it, just hurry up and eat. We have to be there in an hour."
"You know, Sandburg, I was wrong. I don't hate you sometimes."
"Yeah. I hate you ALL of the time."
With a lot of grumbling, Jim finished breakfast and then took a shower. As he was putting on his jacket, Blair came out of his room. Seeing the sack Blair was carrying, Jim asked, "What's that?"
"Didn't I tell you?"
"Tell me what?"
"Well, Denise said that we should bring a change of clothes with us."
"Why the hell would we need to bring an extra set of clothes?"
"Don't look at me," Blair replied. "I don't have a clue. But, she seemed pretty insistent about it."
"Oh for crying out loud," Jim complained as he went back upstairs to grab a set of clothes. "Here," he said when he came back downstairs, "put these in there with yours."
Taking the clothes, Blair placed them in the bag and then accepted the jacket Jim was holding out to him.
"Are you sure there isn't some way to get out of this?" Jim asked.
"No," Blair answered. "I promised Denise and you promised me. We're going."
"I really don't want to do this, Sandburg?"
"Oh c'mon, Jim," Blair reasoned, "you've faced down serial killers and psychopaths, not to mention Simon when he's on the warpath. After all that, how difficult can a groups of little kids be?"
Arriving at Rainier, Blair grabbed their clothes and the men got out of the truck and headed towards the daycare. Entering the building, they were greeted with the sounds of laughter and yelling.
"Hey, Jim, did you turn down your hearing?"
"As soon we pulled in the parking lot and I heard the first squeal, Sandburg."
When they entered the daycare, a very pretty young woman greeted them. "Blair, hi. And you must be Detective Ellison. It is so nice of the two of you to volunteer. The children are very excited about meeting you. Come on in."
Entering the room, Jim was startled when something ran into his foot. Looking down, he saw a young boy had rammed a toy truck into him. A very large toy truck. "What the fuc "
"Detective Ellison," Denise interrupted.
"Oh, sorry about that," Jim apologized and then directed a scowl towards Blair who was struggling to not bust out laughing.
"Apology accepted, Detective," Denise said, "but please try to monitor your language. Children tend to repeat just about everything that they hear. You wouldn't believe some of the things I've heard them say."
"I'll try to be more careful," Jim promised.
"Thank you. Now, let's introduce the two of you."
After escorting the two men to the center of the room, Denise clapped her hands. "Children, please gather around. We have two very special guests today. This is Mr. Sandburg and Detective Ellison; they're going to be joining us today. Can everyone tell them 'Hi'?"
"Hi," came the rather loud response from the children.
"What's a detective?" one little girl asked.
"He's a policeman, dummy," the little boy who had hit Jim's foot said. "Right, Miss Denise?"
"Yes, Billy. But remember the talk we had about name-calling. You don't want to sit in time out today, do you?"
"No, Miss Denise," came the sullen reply. Then brightening, the boy asked, "Can we see your gun?"
"Well," Jim replied, "I don't have my gun with me today?"
"Did you forgetted it?" Another little boy asked. "I was gonna brung my cars today, but I forgetted them."
"No, I didn't forget it," Jim answered. "I just left it at home today."
"Then how're you gonna shoot bad guys?" Billy asked.
"Well most of the time, I try to stop the bad guys without shooting them."
"Because it's always best just to subdue a suspect instead of shooting them."
"Huh?" Billy asked. "What's subadude?"
"I'll tell you what," Denise interrupted, "why don't we have a little bit of quiet time. Let's everybody sit down and we'll all draw some pretty pictures to take home."
After helping Denise pass out paper and crayons, Jim and Blair sat down with the children and began to draw also. Getting up, Billy came over to sit down beside Jim. "What's that?" he asked while pointing at Jim's picture.
"Well, what does it look like?" Jim asked.
"Kinda like a dog."
"Close enough, kid. It's a picture of Mr. Sandburg."
Looking back and forth between Blair and the picture, Billy said, "Mr. Sandburg's hair don't look like that. It don't goes everwhere like that."
"You haven't seen him after he wakes up in the morning. Believe me, kid, it does."
Snickering, the two finished their pictures.
Glancing up as he heard Jim laugh, Blair smiled when he saw Jim talking with the little boy. 'I knew you'd be good at this, Jim,' Blair thought.
As if feeling Blair's eyes, Jim looked up and met his friend's gaze. Shrugging his shoulders, he gave Blair a little half-smile and then went back to his picture.
A couple of hours later, after drawing, watching a Teletubbies tape and listening to a story at story time, the kids where getting ready to have their lunch. While Denise and two other daycare workers went in the small kitchen area to fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Blair and Jim tried to keep the tired kids entertained.
Blair was telling stories about several far-away places he had visited. Meanwhile, Jim was sitting on the floor playing cars with some of the other children. He was enjoying it so much that he didn't even notice when Blair left the room. In fact, he didn't notice much of anything until Billy plopped himself down on his lap.
"Hey there," he said as he looked down at the little boy and then handed him a car.
Several seconds later, Jim became aware of a very warm, very wet sensation spreading across his lap. Lifting the little boy off of his lap, Jim saw a large wet spot on the front of his jeans.
"Shi Shoot!" Jim yelled, causing the little boy to start crying.
Rushing over, Denise hugged Billy. "Detective Ellison, what " Trailing off as she noticed the condition of Jim's jeans, she said, "Oh. Billy, it's okay. Detective Ellison isn't mad. Are you?"
Seeing the stricken look on Billy's face, Jim tersely replied, "No, of course, I'm not mad. But could you tell me where Sandburg stashed my spare clothes?"
Pointing over to a closet, Denise answered, "In there."
While Jim walked over to retrieve his clothes, Denise escorted Billy out of the room. After getting the sack, Jim walked out into the hallway and headed towards the bathroom. Of course, he strategically carried the sack so that it covered the front of his jeans.
Entering the bathroom, Jim found Blair already there. Standing in front of the mirror, Blair had a handful of hair and seemed to be tugging on it. Seeing Jim in the mirror, Blair turned to look at Jim who had unknowingly lowered the sack. As Jim raised his eyes to look at Blair's head, Blair lowered his eyes to look at the front of Jim's jeans. "What the hell?" they both said. Then, meeting each other's eyes, they both added, "I won't say anything if you won't."
Nodding his head, Jim stalked over to the stalls and entered one. While changing his pants, he heard Blair muttering to himself. "Dam, that hurts. What the Why won't this come out? Ow. Ow. OW!"
Exiting the stall, and feeling very comfortable in dry jeans again, Jim went to stand next to Blair. "What exactly have you done now, Sandburg?"
When Blair turned to reply, Jim busted out laughing as he saw what Blair had been pulling at.
"Oh, yeah, this is SO funny," Blair sarcastically replied. "Keep it up, man, and I'll make sure the guys leave Depends on your desk for the next month."
"Sorry, Chief, but how the hell did you get Gummibears stuck in your hair?"
"It wasn't me, it was one of the little rugrats in there," Blair answered. Grunting slightly as he tugged on his hair again, Blair whined, "I don't think it's gonna come out."
"Hang on just a minute, Sandburg," Jim said. "I have an idea." Then, he turned to leave the restroom.
"You better not come back here with any scissors," Blair warned.
"Trust me," Jim replied.
"How come when I say that, you make some smart ass comment about it being the two scariest words in the English language? Yet when you say it, you act like I should be filled with relief?"
Laughing, Jim left the room. Several seconds later, he returned and was holding something behind his back.
"What's that?" Blair asked.
"Just close your eyes and I'll have that thing out of your hair in no time."
"If you think I'm closing my eyes, you're crazy," Blair replied.
"Close your eyes," Jim ordered.
Closing his eyes, Blair flinched as he felt Jim's hand touch his hair. Taking a deep breath, he instantly noticed a strange, yet familiar scent. Opening his eyes, he glanced down as the object in Jim's hand. "Peanut butter? You're putting peanut butter in my hair? It'll take me forever to get it out!"
"It's either this or the scissors, Chief."
"Well, all right," Blair relented. "But try not to use too much."
After several seconds, a lot of squirming on Blair's part and a not so small dab of peanut butter, Blair's hair was finally freed from the Gummibears.
"Thanks," Blair replied as he bent over the sink to rinse some of the peanut butter out of his hair.
"Sure thing, Chief. Just be glad it wasn't a Gummiworm. If it was, we'd definitely have to bring out the scissors." Chuckling, Jim left Blair in the restroom while he went back to the daycare center.
Several hours later, too very exhausted, dirty and rather sticky men entered the loft. After they both collapsed on the couch, Jim said, "I am never doing that again. I can take gun-welding maniacs, bomb-toting psychopaths and deranged ex-CIA agents, but I am never taking on a bunch of grubby fingered, Teletubbies watching, drink spilling kids again."
"It wasn't that bad," Blair replied. Then, seeing the glare Jim directed his way, he quickly shut his mouth.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. Being too tired to get up and answer it, they let the answering machine pick up the call.
"Hey, guys." Simon's voice issued from the machine. "I just wanted to see how today went. Give me a call back and let me know. And, we need to discuss the little arrangement Sandburg and I made. Everything's been set up for this Saturday. So, I'll see you there at 7am sharp."
Looking over at Blair, Jim asked, "Exactly what has Simon set up for this Saturday? Which, in case you've forgotten, is the first Saturday I've had off in over a month."
"It's just a little excursion."
"It's no big deal, really."
"What is it?"
"Well You see, Jim "
"Don't make me have to come over there and hurt you, Sandburg. I'm tired, still slightly damp and extremely sticky where that kid spilled his drink on me. I am not in the mood," Jim informed Blair. "What is happening Saturday?"
"You see, Daryl's class is taking this little field trip, and they needed a couple of extra chaperones." Hearing Jim's groan, Blair said, "Oh, c'mon. How bad could a group of teenagers be?"
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