Bair laughed at the joke, trying to hide his confusion. Dinner? Jim wanted to take him out for dinner? Damn, must be something important. Think, Blair, think! Had it been a year since they had admitted their love to each other?
Nah, he remembered that clearly too. That had happened exactly three weeks before the hood incident. In fact, that breathless admission had spooked them both so much that it was a wonder the hood incident had ever happened at all. Both of them had been in denial for so long, neither of them knowing how to proceed.
"Or ice cream," suggested Jim helpfully. "How long has it been since we went to that parlour on the corner of Prospect and Central?"
Blair shrugged. He couldn't remember ever going to an ice-cream parlour with Jim. The thought of watching him lick vanilla and chocolate ice cream from the end of Blair's spoon had his pulse racing, and he was already reaching for his jacket when the loft door flew open.
"Happy anniversary!" Simon Banks boomed, dropping a huge brown paper bag emblazoned with the Wonder Burger logo onto the table. Joel and Rafe were right behind him, and so it seemed, were the rest of the Major Crimes department. Blair backed away, confusion radiating from every pore.
Jim pounced on the paper bag like a starving man, eyes scanning the contents hungrily, even as the other invaders placed their own offerings along side. Before too long, the table was groaning with a bewildering variety of junk food.
It was no good. He was going to have to come clean. "What anniversary?" Blair whispered, knowing that even above the cacophony of noise in the loft, Jim would hear him.
Jim had been searching for the plastic straws that came with the family sized coke beaker. He looked up, his face a picture of injured pride. "You don't remember?" he asked and Blair could swear his bottom lip was trembling. Blair shook his head, trying to look contrite, but suspecting a set-up. Jim Ellison's lips never trembled, not even in the throes of passion.
"Well I'm wounded," the Sentinel said flatly, placing the straw in his mouth and blowing. The paper sheath flew off the end, hitting Blair squarely between the eyes. "I go to all this bother for you, invite all our friends round, fork out for great food and..."
"What anniversary?" Blair shouted.
The loft was plunged into silence, as every eye in the room snapped round to stare at him. It was Simon that answered the question. "Detective Sandburg, it's a year today since you got your badge. And you haven't gotten your partner killed yet. I'd say that's cause for celebration, wouldn't you?"
Someone what thumping him on the back and the loft was filled with riotous cheering and cries of 'for he's a jolly good fellow.' Blair's eyes met Jim's over the rim of the Styrofoam beaker. The sentinel slurped his coke loudly and grinned. Son-of-a-bitch! He'd kept this one quiet.
Blair finally relaxed, remembering that the day he got his badge was also the day he had first kissed Jim Ellison, but no one else in this room knew that besides Blair and Jim. The others might *think* they were celebrating a year of 'copdom', but the two men gazing lovingly at each other over the rim of a coke knew the real significance of this day.
Blair grabbed a beaker and rummaged around in the rapidly emptying food bags.
"Hey," he shouted, scanning the happy faces of his friends. "Who took the last straw?"