Blair Sandburg was coming home Saturday evening. He'd been invited by an old friend to a museum opening in Seattle and spent an enjoyable day catching up. As he pulled out his key to open the front door, he heard loud groaning. Thoughts of an injured Jim, perhaps still being tortured, filled his imagination. He pulled out his service revolver and leaned in closer to the door, trying to hear what was happening. Still hearing nothing but soft groans, he used his key to quietly unlock the door, then slowly opened it. He stepped through with his gun pointed out in standard position and looked around. What he saw left him flabbergasted.
Jim, Simon Banks, Henri Brown and Megan Connor were all sitting, or more accurately slouching, on the various pieces of furniture in the living room. Simon and Henri had their belts unbuckled and both were rubbing their stomachs. Megan was holding her stomach, gently patting it. Jim looked comatose, but he cracked open an eye and looked at Blair. "Hey, Babe," he said quietly.
Blair holstered his weapon and went over to feel Jim's forehead. "Geez, Jim, what the hell is going on? Where are you hurt? Do I need to call an ambulance or take you to the hospital?"
Jim rallied at the mention of hospital. "No, no hospital needed. We're not hurt."
"Speak for yourself, Ellison," Simon said. "My stomach feels like I swallowed five pounds of lead shot." He groaned and continued to rub his stomach.
"Yeah, we're hurting, Sandy," Megan spoke up. "But they're all self-inflicted wounds."
"And it's all your fault, Connor," Henri said. "It was your idea."
Megan sniffed. "Well, you didn't have to accept the challenge. Is it my fault you can't let a bet go by? Obviously, a man's got to know his limitations. Just accept your consequences, mate. You didn't complain at the time."
Blair had been looking at his co-workers while stroking Jim's hair. Their conversation didn't provide him with any more clarity. "So, I'm not understanding. What hurt you?" He wasn't prepared for the onslaught of answers coming from all directions.
" Linguiça de Porco."
"That Greek lamb and apple was the best," Megan sighed. I didn't think I could like anything better than bangers."
Blair stared at them as if they'd all lost their minds. "And where did you get so many sausages you all ended up with stomach aches?"
Jim reached up to get Blair's hand, urging him to start stroking his head again. Blair patted Jim's head and resumed. Sighing, Jim said, "It was that fair Downtown. They wanted to introduce people to all the new ethnic places that have been opening up." He shrugged. "I guess they figured that everyone likes sausage, so they chose that as the common theme
Once Jim spoke up, Blair remembered the advertising, mostly bankrolled by the Chamber of Commerce. The event was a street fair called "Links to Links". Blair thought they could use a better title. "So, was it a success?"
Again, he was overwhelmed with stories of how the day went. Of course, the PD and Fire Department made a good presence, but it also attracted a good number of Cascade's citizens, who seemed to enjoy themselves. Besides the sausages, there was plenty of other food and drink. There were bands playing traditional music and demonstrations of native dancing and other cultural exhibitions. Megan's description of H's dancing skills had the others laughing, then groaning and begging her to stop.
"Okay, okay," Blair laughed. "I'm going to get you all a round of bicarbonate and then make some tea. Sounds like you did Major Crime proud."
As he headed for the bathroom, he heard Simon say, "And we get to do it all again tomorrow. I definitely want to try that Swedish Potato sausage." Blair winced as he heard H chime in. "Yeah, and what about the Irish Guinness sausage?" He heard the others rally and decided ginger tea was the order of the evening.