This is written in response to the missing scenes challenges presented by the elves of GuidePosts. This is more of a short epilogue rather than a missing scene.

Blair and Jim walked into the bullpen of Major Crimes wearing identical smiles.

"So you think she likes me," Blair asked, waggling his eyebrows at the detective.

Jim chuckled. "What's not to like?" He glanced up at the ceiling thoughtfully. "You eat weird food, your body's pierced in frightening places, and your best friend, before you met me, was a monkey... oh, and let's not forget the cool car."

Blair glanced up at his partner and scowled. "You're just jealous."

"Ha! That'll be the day," he said, scooting around his desk and sinking into his chair.

Blair grabbed the white paper bag from the side of Jim's desk and opened it, pulling out a white take-out box. "Well, I'll be having dinner at a nice restaurant with a beautiful woman tonight, so you can stay home and reflect on how many dates you've got lined up for the month.... ooooh... let me see if I can do the math.... ah... " He rolled his eyes upward..."That'd be zero!"

Ellison glared at the pissant grad student in front of him and leaned forward. "I'm busy," he stated flatly.

Sandburg sighed. "Come on, man. No ONE is THAT busy." He slapped Ellison on the shoulder, leaning in closer as he whispered, "Hey, why don't you ask Sandy Jennings out? She likes you, you know."

Jim shrugged. "A little young, don't you think?"

Blair threw his hands up in the air. "You're just looking for excuses. Come on, she's five years older than me... and she's a redhead. You knoooow how you love redheads." He wiggled his eyebrows again. "Come on, I can arrange it."

"Thanks cupid, but I'm perfectly capable of making my own dates."

Blair sighed, then shrugged. "Fine. I'll hold you to that. You have until 5 pm tonight to make the date... then I step in."

"Sandburg!" Jim rose out of his chair, looming threateningly over his smaller partner.

Blair backed off, raising his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay! I won't say anything."

Jim pointed a finger at Sandburg. "You'd better not."

Blair chuckled. "I won't! I won't! Geez, chill out."

Ellison relaxed his shoulders and sat back down in the chair. "Aren't you dating that girl from the university, anyway?"

Blair nodded. "Yeah, she's the one I'm having dinner with tonight."

Jim furrowed his eyebrows. "Well what about--"

Blair smiled sheepishly. "Heck, I just asked if you think she likes me. You know, for future reference. Just in case. A guy's gotta keep his options open, you know." He shrugged. "Besides, we're only dating casually right now."

Jim shook his head. "You're incorrigible, Chief."

Blair raised his eyebrows in a mock expression of absolute innocence, then turned his attention to the white box in front of him. "You know, Jim, you should try this deli's tongue sandwiches. They're--"

"No thanks, Sandburg," Jim muttered. "You enjoy your lunch someplace where I don't have to look at it."

Blair clutched the box protectively against his chest and glared at Jim. "Fine. I'll go in the break room."




Blair turned and walked away from the desk, resisting the urge to look back at his partner. He suppressed a smile, wondering how long it would take for Ellison to cave in and join him. Who liked eating alone, after all?

Halfway toward the door, Blair popped open the top, eager to get a look at his stacked sandwich. He lifted the lid and was just about to grab his sandwich when he saw a large, hairy spider propped on top of the bread. His heart jumped into his throat, and, with a surprised yelp, he jumped back, flinging the box and its contents forward.

Voices erupted in laughter, and Blair, shaking, raised his head to see two uniformed officers standing in the doorway to the hall, both looking very pleased with themselves.

"Hey, man, it's just a tarantula," one of the officers said. "You should see the look on your face."

Blair's chest felt tight, making it difficult to pull air into his lungs. Get a grip, man. It was just a joke... A very sick and cruel joke.

Jim strode stiffly over to the two uniformed officers, ignoring the silent gazes of the other men and women in the bullpen. He stopped in front of the two men, his eyes cold and his expression hard.

"You two assholes don't have anything better to do than orchestrate these little practical jokes?" He took another step toward the two men, causing them to stumble backward. "What the hell do you think you were doing? You think that's funny?" He grabbed one of the men by the collar, bringing the man's face inches from his own. "How 'bout I tie you to a chair and dump a dozen lethal spiders over your scrawny little body?"


All eyes turned to see Simon Banks standing in his doorway. "Just what the hell is going on here?"

Blair swallowed, looking for a way to quickly diffuse the situation and emerge with a bit of his dignity in tact. "Uh... nothing, Sir," he stammered, aware of the pounding in his chest. He glanced at Ellison. "Come on, Jim. It was just a joke. It just took me by surprise, that's all."

Ellison clenched his jaw, glancing at Blair, then at Simon. Finally, he released his hold on the young officer and spun on his heels, walking over to the discarded box. He knelt down, carefully lifted container, and pointed to the large tarantula on the floor next to the sandwich.

"It seems Jones and Carter here thought it would be cute to put a tarantula in Sandburg's lunch," Ellison said.

Simon gazed at the young men with dark eyes. "You two care to explain yourselves?"

Jones, the young blonde man on the right, glanced at his partner, then said. "Uh, sorry, Sir. It's like Sandburg said. It was just a joke."

"Well, since it seems you two have so much extra time on your hands, I intend to speak with Briggs and see to it that your workload is adjusted appropriately."

Both men nodded. "Yes, Sir."

"Get the hell out of here," Banks said, waving the men away.

"Yes Sir!" The two men whirled around and dashed out of the bullpen.

"Did anyone here see those two jerks tampering with Sandburg's lunch," Jim asked.

"Sorry, Jim," Brown offered. "I saw Jones over by your desk, but I thought he was delivering a file, or something. I didn't pay much attention."

"It's okay, guys. Really," Sandburg said. "Except that now I've got to go round up some lunch." He managed a small smile, then walked over to Jim, careful to keep a good distance away from the menacing-looking arachnid. "I'm... uh... gonna go down the block and grab another sandwich."

Jim scooped up the mess on the floor, then picked up the large spider. He tossed the container in the nearest waistcan and walked over to Brown, depositing the ugly creature on the detectives desk.

"Take care of this guy, will  ya, H?"

Brown eyed the creature skeptically, but nodded. "Uh, sure thing, Jim."

Ellison turned back to Sandburg, indicating the doorway with a jerk of his chin, "Come on, Chief. I'll treat you to lunch."

Blair nodded, following Jim out of the bullpen. Once the two men were in the hallway, Blair turned to Jim and said, "Listen, I'm gonna make a pit stop in the restroom. I'll be right out."

Jim cocked his head, fixing Blair with a critical gaze. "You okay?"

Sandburg nodded quickly. "Yeah, man. Just gotta use the can, if you don't mind."

"Okay," Jim said, offering a small, reassuring smile. "Don't fall in."

"Funny, man," Blair said, then disappeared into the bathroom.

Once safely out of Jim's keen sight, Blair rushed over to the sink. He turned on the cold water and splashed a handful onto his face. Chill out, dude, he told himself. He gripped the cool sides of the porcelain sink and leaned forward, willing the frantic beating of his heart to calm.

He could almost feel the soft scraping of dozens of legs over his body, and he closed his eyes, clamping down on the sensation. Oh man... He hadn't realized just how much that incident had unnerved him until now. At the time, he'd been too busy trying to keep Alec alive to pay much heed to his own peril. Now, however, after the cruel joke, he found himself revisiting the events that happened last week. God, just one bite from one of the spiders and he would have found himself laying six feet under a mound of dirt.

An involuntary shiver coarsed through his body, and he swallowed, making an attempt to clamp down on the fear in his chest. He must have been standing there longer than he'd realized, because he felt a firm pressure on his shoulder, and, when he opened his eyes to look in the mirror, he saw Jim standing behind him, his blue eyes marked with concern.

"You okay, Chief?"

Blair nodded. "Uh-huh." He straightened, pushing himself away from the sink. "I'm fine."

Jim sighed, taking a step in front of the door, effectively blocking Blair's avenue of escape. "Your heart's beating a mile a minute and you're sweating like you just ran a marathon. That doesn't sound like someone who's fine to me."

Blair gazed down at the floor, taking a deep breath. "I'm just a little shaken up, that's all."

"Those guys are jerks, Sandburg. Don't give them another thought."

"Believe me, it's not them I'm thinking about." He shivered again, cursing himself mentally for his display. "It's just... well... if I never see another spider again it won't be too soon... not that I'm up for another phobia, mind you. I'd call this just an intense aversion. I'm sure it'll fade in a few months."

Jim nodded, wrapping an arm around Sandburg's shoulder. "I'm sure it will, Chief," he said, guiding the young man through the doorway. "Now why don't we go get some real lunch."

The End

I said I wasn't going to be writing for a few weeks, but I just couldn't help myself <grin> It's not a story, anyway, just a scene. So There! :-)