Blair Sandburg rolled in the mail cart filled with brightly colored boxes. He stopped at his desk in the MCU and raised his voice. "Okay, people, it's time for the Holiday Cookie Sale to begin." Everyone in the room immediately quieted.
"As a reminder, you each submitted a homemade cookie order. Each box is $20, which goes to the Police Auxiliary Fund. Come up to verify your order and pay." There was an immediate queue around Blair's desk as people talked excitedly.
"I ordered double-chocolate brownies," Rafe said to Rhonda. "What about you?"
"Syltkakor," Rhonda replied. "They're traditional Swedish cookies filled with jam. I didn't have time to make my own this year. Simon ordered oatmeal raisin cookies," she added. "He's in a meeting this morning so I'm picking them up for him."
Henri Brown was next in line. "Chocolate-dipped macaroons, Hairboy," he announced, holding out his money and getting a green-striped box in return.
You gonna share those, H?" Rafe asked, longingly.
"No way," Henri replied. "These are going to my Mom's for our Christmas Cookie table. My sisters always laugh at my efforts, but I'm gonna impress everyone this year!"
"Megan," Blair greeted as she reached the front of the line. "You ordered Snickerdoodles?"
"I did, Sandy," she replied. "They taste great and I love the name."
And so it went. Gingersnaps, chocolate chip, peanut butter and even more unusual requests of cardamom sugar and Russian teacakes were all handed out to "ohs" and "ahs". When all were were distributed, Blair stood once more. "Thank you all for your generosity and support. If you'd like another order, the bakers are ready to accommodate you. Also, there will be a general bake sale of assorted cookies, cakes, pies and pastries, as well as some kick-ass fudge and truffles in the assembly room on the second floor in…" Blair checked his watch, "forty-five minutes. You can place your cookie orders there. First come, first served on the bake sale items." There was a stampede toward the elevators. He grinned as he counted the money and put it in an envelope.
Only Jim was left in the room. Since his desk was right next to Blair's, he could easily see and hear the whole process. "What was that all about, Chief?" he asked.
Blair looked at Jim quizzically, then his eyes widened. "I forgot you were at that conference in Tacoma when they announced this year's fundraiser. Instead of the usual selection, people could special order specific cookies. That way, the cookies are sold ahead of time with less waste. They added a traditional bake sale at the end."
Jim stared at him. "And you didn't order me--us--any?" Jim asked wistfully.
"Well… I did order some espresso shortcake cookies for me," Blair said, hefting the last box out of the cart. "And," he said, opening his desk drawer, "I requested these for you." He handed Jim a large, round red-and-gold box.
Jim opened the box and his jaw dropped. Fanned on one side were almond cookies; on the other side were sesame cookies. In the center was a pile of small Nian Gao cakes. Jim inhaled deeply and sighed. "These smell just like the ones Sally used to make," he said in wonder.
Blair smiled tenderly. "Yeah. She sends her love and wants to see you before the New Year." He looked up at the love of his life. "So, did I do good?"
"You always do good, babe. But this time you've outdone yourself." He gave Blair a long, lingering kiss. "Why don't we wrap things up and go pay Sally a visit? It's definitely been too long."