Disclaimer: See home page.
Author's Notes: This story takes place shortly after Remembrance.
Happy Father's Day
Blair looked up, surprised, as Jim pulled into a small strip mall on their way home from the PD. He was tired from putting in a full day at Rainier then helping Jim catalogue and store the evidence from their last case. All he wanted to do was pick up some take-out (per usual on Jim's night to cook) and collapse at home. He knew that part of his irritation came from being asked by several students what he was doing for this Sunday. This Sunday being Father's Day, of course, his least favorite holiday of the year. His first thought was to tell them it was none of their business but he knew that they meant well. He gave them his stock answer, that his father wasn't around any longer. Fortunately most students took that to mean that he was either dead or his parents were divorced and he didn't have any contact with his Dad, which usually ended the conversations. A few always tried to get more info until he made it clear that the discussion was over. He was so glad it was Friday, he wouldn't have to answer any more Father's Day questions for another year.
"I just need to make a quick stop then we'll pick up something for dinner."
Jerked out of his musings Blair saw Jim opening his door and did the same. "Sure, Jim, that's fine. Where're we going?"
"In here. I need to get a card for my Dad. We're having brunch on Sunday so I already bought him a gift but I need to get a card to go with it. Maybe you can help me, I haven't bought a Father's Day card in years." As he spoke Jim was opening the door to a store with 'Annie's Hallmark' on the plate glass window.
Sure thing, buddy. With all my years of experience buying Father's Day card I'm a real whiz at it by now. He wondered how on Earth could Jim think he'd even want to look at cards that just rubbed in the fact that not only did he not have a relationship with his father but he didn't even know who the bastard was? Oops, got that backwards don't you, Blair ol' boy, that's makes 'you' the bastard, remember? All right, straighten up, Jim's really trying with his Dad so don't ruin it for him just because you don't want to be here.
By now they were standing in front of what looked like hundreds of cards. All depicting the joys of a father/son relationship. Just shoot me now. Jim was handing him a card. "What do you think of this one?" After looking at the picture and reading the front and inside inscriptions he handed it back, shaking his head. "It's a bit much for right now. Maybe by next year." Jim nodded his head, "Yeah, you're right. I need to be a little more subtle this year."
They looked at and rejected more cards. Jim was getting a bit frustrated. "This is harder than it looks. It's hard to find a card for someone you've just started talking to again after so many years apart."
"Yeah? You think maybe I can find one that says 'I don't know who the hell you are but thanks for donating your sperm'?" It was supposed to be a joke but judging by the way Jim was looking at him, he suspected that some of his bitterness must have leaked out. Great, show Jim how well you're really handling this.
"Uh, look, I think you know what you're looking for now, I think I'll, um, just go check out some, uh, stuff over there. Let me know when you're ready to leave." Walking away before Jim could respond Blair silently berated himself. That was sooo mature, Sandburg. And just what do you think you're going to check out in a Hallmark store? Precious Moments figurines?
He did manage to wander around, finding a few things here and there that caught his eye. When Jim finally found him he was looking over a selection of pens, scribbling his name with the various types on the pad provided. Jim was carrying a flat white bag with the Hallmark name and logo on it.
"Let me see what card you picked out, Jim."
"No, that's all right. You ready to go? You can pick out what we get for dinner."
Blair sighed. Jim was trying to apologize for his outburst earlier. "Come on, man, let's see it. It can't be that bad."
Reluctantly Jim turned over the bag and watched as Blair read the card. The curly head nodded as he read. Nice masculine picture. Good sentiment but not too mushy. "Good choice, Jim. I think he'll like it." Despite his hesitancy in letting Blair read it, Jim looked relieved at his approval of the card.
Back in the truck again Blair watched as Jim put the key in the ignition but leaned back in his seat with out turning it.
"Look, Blair. I'm really sorry I asked you to help me pick out a card. I guess I just wasn't thinking. You usually seem to handle not knowing so well that I guess I just didn't think before stopping in here. I'm sorry."
Blair knew that for Jim to actually say 'I'm sorry' he must really be feeling guilty. "Hey, Jim, it's all right. Really. And you're right, it usually doesn't bother me. Except this time of year. Everywhere you look the media is touting how wonderful is to have, or even to have had, a father. I know that most of it's just hype and that not everyone had the ideal, Leave It To Beaver father/son thing going. But it just reminds me that even those people who didn't have the best fathers, like you even, at least know who their father is. They know if they look like him or have his mannerisms. Stuff like that. Guess this is my annual pity party. Don't let me ruin this weekend with your Dad. I really am very happy for both of you. And I'm proud of you, Jim, for reaching out and not rejecting him like you could have. I'll be fine again once Father's Day is finally over and it's not quite so 'in your face'." A mischievous grin slowly emerged. "Now, did I hear you say that I get to pick dinner tonight? I know just the place. I've been dying to get you to try this new 'alternate cuisine' place near school."
Jim leaned forward and started the truck. Blair's heartbeat was steady and there was already a small bounce noticeable even though he was just putting on his seatbelt. He really was fine. "Alternate cuisine, Chief? Do I even want to know what that means?"
But even as he spoke he was already heading in the direction of the University.
~ End ~
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