I don't own Flashpoint in any way, shape or form but I like Raf very much. I hope you do, too.
Raf's goes to High School
"Is this a rookie thing?" asked Raf, looking down at a piece of paper detailing his newest assignment.
"It's not a rookie thing, it's a civic thing," Sgt Parker directed his gaze at Ed, the Fearless Leader of Team One, "he's had to do it too."
"I've been there, done that. How many times? Three if I'm not mistaken." Ed answered as he busily rearranged the contents of his locker. Raf thought he must have imagined it, but was that a wink Ed just shared with the Boss?
Sam nudged Raf with his shoulder, "Don't worry. It's a walk in the park." He put his arm around the rookie's shoulders. "You'll have a ball. Trust me, it's the best civic assignment ever."
"What's the best ever civic assignment?" asked Spike who just bounded in. He glanced around and saw Parker looking at him with his chin tilted slightly higher, "Oh, sorry Boss. I'm a little late. I couldn't find parking, I could've been here 15 minutes ago but I had to circle around for like 17 minutes."
"Yeah, yeah but which parking lot were you circling around in?"
The techy scratched his head, he's sharp, and said, "The Mall, but I've got a good reason." He paused, smiled sheepishly and changed the subject back to the best ever civic assignment. "What's the best ever...?"
"I'm being asked to represent SRU at a High School Careers Day."
"Oh yeah," said Spike excitedly. He and Sam high fived each other. Jules, who until then was happy just to observe, piped up. "Well, it was the best time I've had since joining the SRU. Here's a tip, you need to know your stuff. Like what type gun you carry. Other bits and pieces like the taser, the pepper spray. That sort of stuff."
Then Spike added, "You also need to know your basic requirements to join the police force. They'll ask... you know... age requirement, citizenship, height, weight, health. You know all that." He punched Raf lightly on the arm.
"What about you, Sam, any tips for me?"
"From my own experience, you also need to be all mature and cool at the same time. Definitely, full uniform – cool pants and all – you need to dress the part."
Raf looked at them resignedly, "Looks like we all have to do this at least once so I better prepare."
The rookie situated himself in the staff room and hoped that it would be quiet for sometime. He was pouring over notes, books, manuals, photos and whatever else he could get his hands on. I don't want to embarrass the SRU, he thought.
Spike stuck his head in and asked if he could help in any way, "No, I got this." Not long after, Sam came to sticky beak at what he was doing then produced a camera. "Smile. Say cheese." Raf complied. Now, there's a picture of Raf, looking all scholarly, surrounded by books and manuals. Pen and paper in hand, preparing for high school careers day.
Raf nervously fronted up to a group of young teens, mostly, to his surprise, young girls. He turned to the Careers Day coordinator and asked if he was in the right place. She assured him he was and that these young girls are indeed his audience. Ok. I can handle this quite easily.
To break the ice, Raf asked his audience what they knew about the police. The audience looked at him sort of disinterestedly. After five seconds of silence, Raf started again, "Right then, let me just tell you, first, the requirements to join the Force. This way you'll know if it is suitable for you."
A pretty girl of about 16 raised her hand, "Question."
"Sure, what would you like to know?"
"Do you have a girlfriend?" The audience clapped and hooted. Raf felt himself turn red. I'm a black man turning red, he thought. He didn't know how to answer the question without causing a public disturbance. But somehow he came to the conclusion, it's best to be honest, "No, I don't."
The audience gasped giddily and Raf didn't know how to deal with this sort of reaction. It wasn't in the manual.
Another hand came up, "What are you looking for in a girlfriend?"
Raf looked at the coordinator with pleading eyes, help. The Coordinator laughed at his uneasiness but she jumped up to the rescue. "Girls, enough. Time to get serious."
The audience settled down a bit. Next question came. "What do you do on your down time?" That's better, I can answer that. "Well, there's really no down time for a police officer. You're always training and on-call," the girls all went, "ohhhhh." Raf was again stomped.
He coughed and said, "This is your Careers Day so we should discuss career options for you." He was desperately trying to get his audience back into the subject and they obviously were not in like mind because the next question was, "Has anyone ever told you you have a beautiful voice? You can arrest me any time."
The girls got all giggly and a couple pretended to faint.
I'm going to kill them, thought Raf. Imagining himself charged with murdering five members of Team One. They sold me down the river.
Raf got a grip of himself, he said yes he's been told he has a beautiful voice and it sometimes help when trying to negotiate a subject to safety. The girls weren't interested in the negotiation bit.
"Can I borrow your handcuff?"
"No, sorry, against regulation," he was practically spluttering out the answer.
At any rate, Raf also noticed more and more young girls were coming in through the door. Suddenly, he felt like a rock star. Another hand went up.
"Yes," he asked politely.
"How old are you?" Everyone clapped, obviously they all wanted to know.
Raf felt crimson again, "Ah, I don't think that has any bearing on the subject..." Someone shouted "25" before he could finish his sentence.
"No," Raf thought, rightly, that the girls were not going to give up so he said, "29."
"Ohhh," they all went.
"You're only 12 years older than me," said a cute teenager, then the gathered masses clapped and stomped their feet.
This is insane.
The one hour period continued on like that. Raf was very relieved when the Coordinator came to center stage and took over the microphone. She thanked the audience for coming and asked them to show their appreciation to First Class Constable Raf Rousseau for attending. Raf was embarrased by the attention. The clapping, the whistling and most of all when one young girl screamed at the top of her lungs, "I love you" followed by someone who shouted, "Marry me."
Where can I hide?
But no, that was not the end of Raf's ordeal because when he got back to SRU HQ to report back the Team were gathered in the briefing room watching a tape of his performance.
Raf stood staring at the big screen with his mouth wide open.