ROOKIE BLUE (isn't mine)

A GOOD CAUSE

I just read a story written by falling into heaven, and this story just popped up in my head… What if, for once, Andy was asking too much of Sam Swarek?

-o-

When she spoke, he was tugging on his seat belt as usual. He froze on the spot. "What?" Cocking his head, he glared at her in disbelief, hands still clenched on the strap. She was not impressed and merely smiled back. She buckled herself up with easy grace and checked the roster.

"Sam, you know we need the money," she stated matter-of-factly. "If we want to have a decent party that is," she added with a coy smile.

"McNally, we managed to throw quite a few Christmas parties before your time, some of them epic, if you ask me," said Sam adamantly while he continued to struggle with the belt. "We don't need your help," snapped, finally succeeding to buckle up. A soft click echoed his statement. He nodded in her direction to make sure they were on the same page. When she failed to respond, he put the car in gear. After a glance to his left, he pulled away from the station.

"I still think that you should," she insisted quietly. He sighed. Not again. She probably won't shut up until they butt heads and that was the last thing he wanted right now. They were almost back to normal, thanks to their trip to Sudbury. Anyway, it was far too early for him to have any kind of articulate conversation, he needed to get his fill of caffeine first. And all of the conversations they shouldn't have, this one was number one in his top ten. She folded her arms on her chest and leaned on the window, staring at him. For a few minutes, he made a show of ignoring her presence in the car. To anyone less privy to his usual MO, he was calm and steady. To Andy McNally, the clenching of jaws and imperceptible tightening of his hands on the wheel was a dead give away. She smiled to herself. "Humour me, please. Dov already placed a few calls, some of his friends were easily persuaded."

"I don't care if he knows the Pope or the king of Denmark…"

"It's actually a queen, you know."

"You know what I mean."

"It's good press for them and the same goes for us. And it'll make the department look good..."

"So very altruistic of you all."

"… and it will earn us good money. His friends, they're willing to work pro bono for this. It's a good cause Sam."

"Look at me," he shrugged, his voice a bit too loud, "I was a fool to think that your raising money for a charity was actually a selfless act."

"Since we organize a party to sell this thing, it's only fair to use the extra money for the party. It's a win-win scenario."

"McNally, listen to me. Like I said, we don't need extra money. This party is just fine as it is. I can't see why I'll go through all this trouble for a party I'm not even sure I'll go to."

She was about to bring the Monica subject up but she chose to let him simmer down before launching her second attack. They cruised in silence for a bit.

"You know that Gail already enrolled her brother and his new partner?," she stated, without looking at him. He sighed heavily, his hands clasping the wheel. "Did you know that the detectives are actually fighting for a shot at this thing?" She giggled. "I'm only doing you a favour, really," she finally said, holding her hands up in sign of rendition. "I'm sorry, I give up, didn't mean to upset you," she pushed. She shook her head and pretended to check the roster. "So you're not going to the party?"

He kept his eyes stubbornly on the road.

"Whatever," she muttered, fidgeting with the controls on the computer.

"Whatever doesn't cut it McNally," he erupted. He tapped the wheel and slightly turned to half face her. "That's still a no for you. I don't want to hear any more of that crap. What's got into you?"

"Nothing! I thought that you'd be happy to be a part of it, is all."

"You're joking right? You didn't think for one minute that I'll go for something that stupid, did you?"

Her mouth twitched. She looked away. "I guess I didn't picture you being the one with a poor ego."

"Don't do that McNally, because it won't work. You're not as subtle as you think," he hissed. "Let me tell you that you'll have to put some serious persuasion into the mix to make me do it."

"So are you going to do? It'll be fun!" she said, mimicking his signature motto.

"I never said that! Would you drop it now? Or are we going to spend the rest of the day arguing about that idiotic project of yours?"

"It's not my project, and I don't want to argue, you're the one who's getting mad over nothing. I understand that you don't feel confident enough to…"

"I said drop it."

"Yes, sir."

After a mere twenty seconds, "And I'm quite confident, just so you know," Sam added.

"In case you're wondering, it's not a first, you know," she insisted. "It's been done before in Spain…" He sniggered. "… and even here in Toronto. The fire fighters raised funds to support cancer research."

"Last time I checked, I was a cop."

"You're stubborn. Forget it. I thought you were more, I don't know, more off-the-cuff. That you'd love the adventure."

"Andy, be serious for a minute, you only need twelve of us, why is your mind set on me?"

"Because you're my partner. I will reflect on me."

"Oh, aren't you the clever one," he smirked.

"We could even sell two different sets. Team O and Team D, double the fun!"

"Huh?"

"Yep, One for the Detectives and the other for the Officers. That would probably raise even more money."

"Twice the trouble," he muttered.

"Luke volunteered," she grinned.

"McNally, you can provoke me all week long if you want, I'm not getting naked."

She grinned broadly. "Relax Sam, it's only a calendar, you know."