Author's Note: I wanted to write something playful and fun. I hope this brings a smile and a chuckle. If you're a first time reader of my story, please note that I married Spike to Winnie in the story "Hope." The reference in this chapter of Spike's appearance before the Disciplinary Committee for insubordination was from the same story. I tend to write in a series format for continuity's sake.

This is dedicated to Sami Marie and Aunt Mingy.

The Letter

Spike bounced into the SRU HQ excited as per usual, he went around to the Despatcher's Desk to give his wife of six-month a hug. Their shift overlapped by four hours, the reason being their public display of affection could be saccharine sweet at times; four hours was the maximum recommended daily allowance the Fearless Leader could take of the "toothache inducing" romance between the two.

"Hello, Miss Sunshine," he said addressing his wife, Win, in his preferred term of endearment. "Hi, Angel Boy," she replied in return. After they got their tempered PDA out of the way, Win handed Spike an official looking letter, "This has been burning a hole in your pigeon hole." The thick envelope with the seal of the Ministry of Defence looked threatening, he made a face, "What did I do now?" he asked rhetorically. Win smiled, "Let me count the ways," she said.

"I heard that," he said in reply as he headed away to the locker room. He opened the letter and read it with disbelief. It's an official order and it didn't brook any dissention. He guessed rightly that a copy was supplied to Commander Holleran of the Strategic Response Unit, and another to Sargent Greg Parker. Just to be clear, it was an order, not a request. Not a "May we have the pleasure of your company" sort of letter. It came printed on an official letterhead from the Ministry of Defence, signed and dated by the Minister and embossed with the official seal of the Commonwealth of Canada.

The letter clearly stated that First Officer Michaelangelo Scarlatti was to report to the Headquarters of the Anti-Terror Unit for a full briefing in a week's time. Further to that, to attend a full Government-sponsored training and joint Anti-terror exercise in Quantico, Virginia for six-month. Six months! No, not on my chiny chin, chin!, he said to himself defiantly.

Pragmatically speaking, it was to be another feather to add to his cap. He was already a respected EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) Personnel and Tech expert for Team One of the SRU. After the joint exercise, he could add Anti-terror expert to the list of his qualifications. An accompanying "For Your Eyes Only" memo said that key element to the training would be surveillance and prevention. In plain English, it was about heightened awareness of terror activities and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Training was severely lacking within Canada's police units. As a whole, the country had not been a primary target of terror groups but that has changed with Canada's involvement in the prolonged Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If the chatters were any indication, it wouldn't be long before Canada got a taste of their version of 9/11. Officers were being "pulled" from all policing units and the intelligence communities: the Mounted Police, Immigration, Customs, SRU. He was handpicked to join 11 other Canadian officers for the joint training.

Spike read the summon with great displeasure. Ordinarily, he'd be whooping for joy but he just got married and didn't fancy seeing his lovely wife of six months just on weekends, if that was even permitted. They should be recruiting Samtastic for this, he was ex-SF and he's still single. It's a mistake. He pocketed the letter and sought out the Boss. Greg was on the phone to someone looking grim. He briefly showed his face through the glass door and left once Parker acknowledged him with a look that said just let me finish this.

Parker ended the call not long after and buzzed him into the briefing room, He was voicing his dissent before he could sit down, "Boss I can't go to this…," Greg gave him the palm of his hand, "Stop right there. I already tried to get you off the hook but to no avail. You're going or else be canned for insubordination." At the word "insubordination" they both paused. The Techie had had a brush with a disciplinary committee once for this behaviour and another would be ticket out the door. Permanently this time!

Michaelangelo looked at his hands and appealed to his Boss with a puppy face. Parker knew what Spike was doing and gave him a playful slap on the head. "It's not me you should be appealing to, and you know that." They sat quietly absorbed in their own thoughts. Spike dwelt more on personal matters. Six months was a long time to be away from loved ones; his wife and his Team. Team One had been together a good five years, and aside from a few personnel changes, it had been the same solid constitution. He liked his Team, he loved them as family. Another feather in his cap wasn't worth the six-months he'd spend apart from them, especially his wife.

Greg's thought dwelt more on a straight-forward professional matter. He wasn't sentimental about Spike going away for six-months. He knew the Techie would be back, better and smarter if that was even possible. His concern was who to replace him with?

He was glad that in the SRU they were in it together as far as selection goes. It wasn't his call alone to choose Spike's replacement albeit temporary, it was going to be a Team effort. Many heads are better than one. He failed to account for one human factor. Everybody wanted someone just like Spike!

Greg would soon find out for real that Michaelangelo "Spike" Scarlatti did cast a long shadow.

Enjoy and I hope you let me know what you think, if not in a review, in a private message.