Oregon Ho! by Juliet Benson

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Oregon Ho!

by Juliet Benson


Rating: G
Category: Episode Related: Crossroads
Summary: Simon and Blair have quality time together.
Disclaimer: If they were mine, and I was making money off of this, I'd take a vacation. But not to Oregon. 
Spoilers: Crossroads


Captain Simon Banks sighed and gently maneuvered his car into a gas station. Glancing over, he verified that Blair hadn’t wakened when they stopped and unbuckled his seat belt. He hesitated briefly before laughing at himself. ‘It’s just a gas station, and he’s out cold. He’ll be fine.’ But that thought didn’t prevent him from making sure the doors were locked before walking towards the entrance. There was someone occupying the bathroom, so he was forced to wait impatiently. As he stood, foot tapping erratically, his gaze fell upon a line of juices in the stores refrigerators. He placed the brand as being one he’d seen Sandburg drink a few times. The occupant of the one bathroom stepped out and scurried off. Simon was quick in and out. He faltered on his way to the door and retraced his steps over to the refrigerator. He pulled out a strawberry juice for Blair- the kind he liked- and a Ginger Ale for himself. He also snagged two apples. Blair was still fast asleep when Simon returned, a fact he was oddly grateful for. He’d have felt bad if Blair woke and found himself disoriented and alone in a locked car. Simon opened his Ginger Ale, started the car and they were on the road in no time. After a while, Blair started getting restless. A little bit later, he woke up, squinting and yawning.

“Hi, Simon,” he greeted drowsily, burrowing down into his seat. “How long has it been?”

“A couple hours. We’ve still got a while to go. Here,” he reached behind his seat and pulled out a paper bag. “Thirsty? Hungry?” He tossed it to Blair, who opened it curiously. Removing the juice, he gave Simon a wide-eyed, touched look that made Simon feel like he’d handed over the crown jewels instead of a drink that cost $2.57.

“Thanks, Simon,” Sandburg said, smiling widely at him.

“Hand me an apple,” Banks replied roughly, embarrassed. Blair complied happily, alternating between munching away on his apple and taking sips from the bottle.

“How do strawberry and apple go together, Sandburg?” Simon asked, grinning.

“Not bad, actually,” Blair replied, taking a long drink to prove it. “Hey, Simon, doesn’t it seem a pity to you that we got all this time off for nothing?” Banks glared at him suspiciously.

“I suppose…”

“And what would you do once you got home? Work?” He shuddered dramatically.

“Probably…”

“How about we take a vacation? Let’s go to Oregon!” Blair bounced in his seat, the tired lines in his face easing.

“Oregon? What’s in Oregon?” Simon’s face held a scowl that didn’t bode well for the anthropologist.

“Let’s find out!”

“No,” Simon replied firmly.

“Please, Simon?” Blair turned pleading, puppy-eyes on him. Simon kept his gaze resolutely on the road.

“No, Sandburg! You’re going home, and you’re going to sleep and get plenty of rest.”

“I can sleep in the car. Come on, Simon.”

“Enough, Blair,” Banks used his voice he reserved when Daryl was being ornery or persistent. Blair slouched back in his seat.

“Okay,” he said, defeated. “Maybe some other time.” Simon glanced over and felt rotten when he saw the crushed look on Blair’s face. He returned his eyes to the road and tightened his hands on the wheel. There was silence in the car for a long time. Half-listening to the radio, Simon noticed that the music had stopped and the DJ was giving a run-down of old rock stars. The speaker suddenly announced something about the lead singer of the Grateful Dead and caught Simon’s full attention.

“*When you first told me about this guy I was expecting an academic, not some neo-hippie flower child with time on his hands now that the Dead have broken up!*” The memory hit him suddenly and caught him by surprise. Simon had to pull over to the side of the road and stop, he was laughing so hard.

“Simon?” Blair looked confused, and even a little worried. What else happened in their first meeting?, Simon speculated. Hadn’t he called Blair “Mr. Sandburg”? That made Simon laugh even harder, causing a frightened expression to work it’s way onto Blair’s face. Taking deep breathes and getting himself under control, he pulled back unto the highway.

“So, Sandburg, Oregon you say?” Simon drove by their exit for Cascade. “If you still want to, I’m game.”

***

“How are you doing, Blair?” Simon asked later, watching Sandburg flop unto one of the two twin beds in their hotel room.

“Really good, actually. A little tired, but my head feels better than before.” Simon nodded, pleased that this had been the right choice. Blair had been enthusiastic and lively the whole ride down, and his color had improved drastically. ‘Half of everything must have been stress,’ Simon mused.

“So, what’s our plan for tomorrow?” Simon asked, sitting on his bed and pulling off his shoes. Blair tapped a finger against his lips.

“Well, I noticed the McDonald’s here has one of those play pen things with the big tubes…” he grinned at Simon’s mock glare. “Just kidding. Here, I picked up some brochures from the lobby.” He handed them to the captain and grabbed his toothbrush and toothpaste. “I’m getting ready for bed.”

“It’s only 7:00,” Simon protested absently, rifling through the leaflets Blair had given him. He frowned. ‘The Museum of Archeological Findings in East Tibet?’ He shook his head. ‘It has to be the kid’s idea of a joke.’ He stuck that brochure in the back of the pile. ‘At least I *hope* it is.’ Sandburg stumbled out of the bathroom, dumping his rolled up clothes on top of his suitcase. He dressed in sweat pants and a blue tank top, with his glasses framing eyes at half-mast. He pulled back the covers on his bed and crawled into it, pulling off his glasses and dropping them on the nightstand.

“Nigh’ Simon,” he mumbled, and was out like a light. Simon smiled, surprised at the wave of tenderness that suddenly hit him.

“Night Blair,” he replied, even though he knew Sandburg couldn’t hear him. He kept the TV turned down low and watched the news and part of a sitcom before getting ready for bed himself. In the bathroom, he shook his head in mild exasperation. There was water all over the sink and even a little dripping on the floor. Sandburg’s toothbrush and toothpaste were left in a puddle, the toothpaste uncapped. A damp towel hung haphazardly from the shower rod. ‘Either he’s really out of it, or Jim has validation for getting angry,’ he thought, chuckling to himself. However, the last half shut him up fast. Oh boy, there were going to be some real intense confrontations when they got back. Mouth tightening, Simon shook his head and straightened out the towel. After tidying up a bit more and getting himself ready for bed, he exited the bathroom. Blair had turned in his sleep and was now facing the wall. Simon sank down onto the other bed and followed Sandburg’s suit of pulling off his glasses and placing them on the night stand. He pulled the covers over himself and was soon asleep.

***

“Dude, check this out,” Blair was practically vibrating with excitement. Blair had begged and wheedled with Simon until he finally caved and agreed to spend the afternoon at a museum- a museum! Who in their right mind spends a vacation in a museum? He couldn’t drag Daryl within two blocks of one- under the condition that Simon picked the entertainment for the rest of the day. Blair was now standing in front of a large glass case, peering into it with a look of amazed delight on his face. They were in a gallery dedicated to the Oregon Trail.

“This is an actual documentation of one man in a wagon chain who was the lookout for the caravan. It states he could predict the weather, and foretell danger, such as attacks from animals and the indigenous people!” Simon nodded, a bit impatiently, not seeing why this was such a big deal.

“Oh man,” Blair fumbled around for a second. “I’ve got to get some pictures of this. Stand guard.” After dictating this order, he glanced around surreptitiously and began snapping photos. Simon idly thought about arguing, but deciding against it. He strolled over to the left, playing his part as the watchdog.

“All clear,” Blair hissed, making another look about in an exaggerated fashion. Seeing the coast clear, he pasted a smile on his face and wandered away, whistling. Banks rolled his eyes and followed.

“Are we about done, here? It’s been-” he glanced at his watch “an hour and a half, already.”

“Sure,” snapping his lens shut, Blair made a beeline for the exit. “Where to, Simon?” Nothing in the brochures had really appealed to Simon- big surprise there-, so he mildly suggested a movie. Blair bounced.

“Terrific!” Simon irritably thought it uncharitable of Blair to be so perky about this whole thing, especially after having recently suffered at the hands of maniacs. Again.

In the end, he really enjoyed himself. They caught a movie, al la mode with popcorn and candy, went back to the hotel, bickered over what television show to watch- Simon winning-, spent the next day sight-seeing, and the next packed up and headed back to Cascade. For some reason, it filled Banks with a feeling of contentment, reminding him of his family vacations when he was young. They hadn’t gone out much, but when they did, it was always special.

“Hey, look,” Blair said suddenly as they were driving along. “A man on a bicycle built for two.” Simon glanced over.

“He’s lost his partner,” he observed.

“Mabel, this is a long hill and you’re not doing your share. Mabel? Mabel?” Blair pantomimed, making Simon laugh. They rode in companionable silence for a while before Sandburg announced his hunger. They stopped at a Burger King and Sandburg insisted on one of those crowns- “You don’t understand, man, these have Pokemon on them!”- and even though Banks felt foolish ordering one, he did. Too soon, they were back at the loft, Simon dropping off Blair.

“Thanks, Simon,” Blair glowed at him, eyes wide and appreciative. “I had a great time. Thanks for coming with me.” Simon nodded.

“I had a nice time, too,” he admitted gruffly. Blair grinned cheekily.

“You’re more fun then you let on,” he teased, ducking out of the car before Simon could reply. He just shook his head, waited for Blair to gather up his stuff and shut the door, and drove away, secure in the knowledge Sandburg’d be with Jim come Monday.

The End


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