Animal House

By: Lady Shelley

Answer to Challenge #20 from Jen and Suzie’s Challenge Page. This is Major Crimes’ reaction to the tape in The Real Deal

Rated PG (one bad word)     Sept. 25, 1999     28K

Author’s Notes:
Spoilers for The Real Deal and a small one for The Waiting Room
The howling scene is from the transcript on Becky’s page.
Thanks to Suisan for answering my police questions and many thanks to Toni for beta reading.
Thanks Toni!
Internal thoughts are in italics


It was a simple tape, one of those micro-tapes every student owned. It was sitting on one side of his desk, taunting him, along with a player.

Why me? Maybe I can get Sandburg to transcribe the thing when he comes in today. Damn, he’s out the rest of today and tomorrow morning with classes. Jim glared at the tape again, then glanced around the bullpen. Maybe I could get Brown to do it. He got up from his desk, picked up the tape and his coffee mug and headed toward Brown’s desk.

"Hey H, I’m heading for the break room, you want anything?"

"No thanks, Jim. And, by the way, I’m not going to do anything with that tape I see you trying to hide, either. "

"Would I do that to you?"

"In a hot second, man. We all know how much you hate documenting tapes. Get Sandburg to do it for you."

Jim quit trying to hide the tape and set it back on his desk. "I would but he’s got classes today and tomorrow. Simon wants the reports done by noon tomorrow."

"Too bad, man. " Brown tried to sound sympathetic, but the grin on his face spoiled the whole effect.

After a trip to the break room for coffee, Jim was back at his desk, glaring at the tape. The subtle smell of cigars was his only warning before Simon Banks dropped a set of earphones on his desk.

"Jim, you may be able to intimidate suspects with that glare, but the tape is not going to spontaneously combust for you."

Jim turned to glare from the tape to his captain. "Simon, are you sure you need this by noon tomorrow?" Jim knew it sounded like whining, but he really hated the hassle that came with transcribing tapes.

"It would probably be done by now if you’d stop with the faces. The tape can’t be more that 30 minutes on a side. Just do it, Detective!"

Simon walked back into his office. Jim decided he’d put things off as long as possible. Giving the earphones a dubious glance before putting them on, he inserted the tape in the player and pushed play.

Megan: My husband’s given me status and security, but he’s a great deal older. There’s just no passion anymore. Anthony made me feel alive again. I just don’t know what to do.

Marika: Well, don’t do anything. You can have it both ways.

Megan: But Charles would never…

Marika: Listen. In my experience, we usually find out that the husband’s…been unfaithful, too. Just think about what you need.

^knock, knock^

Marika: Expecting someone?

Megan: No.

Jim paused the tape several times and dutifully typed what was said. He made sure to grumble loudly enough for Simon to hear from his office. The only response from the captain was to get up and close the office door. Brown looked over at Jim and chuckled at the detective’s melodramatic effects.

Marika: Who is it?

Blair: Olivia? It’s Anthony.

Megan: Oh, my god. Tell him to go. No. Let him in, but stay close.

"Pause as door opens" was irritably typed into Jim’s report.

Blair: Olivia, I just came to… oh. Who are you? What’s with this gun? What’s going on?

Megan: She’s from a security firm. I warned you not to come here.

Blair: Come on, you didn’t think I would hurt you, did you?

Megan: You already have.

Blair: I was out of my mind when I wrote those letters. Don’t you know that I love you?

There’s a mental picture I did not need; Sandburg and Connor. Jim felt a shudder run up his spine as he paused the tape yet again and typed away.

Marika: The lady doesn’t want you here.

Megan: It’s all right, Marika. Give us a moment. I’ll call if I need you.


That last must’ve been the bedroom door.

Blair: Arrroooorrr! . . . I broke it! Arrrrrroooorr!

What the. . . Did I hear that right? Jim rewound the tape, pushed play, and turned up his hearing a notch.

^A faint crashing noise. . . ^

Megan: Ooh, Anthony, you beast!

Blair: Arrroooorrr!

Megan: Naughty boy! Look what you’ve done!

Blair: I broke it! Arrrrrroooorr!

Jim stared at the tape machine open-mouthed. Then a huge grin split his face and he started laughing. He rewound and played the tape again and laughed even louder. Brown elbowed his partner, Rafe, and both started to head for Ellison’s desk. Simon, seeing the commotion, opened his office door to see his best detective laughing and wiping at his eyes.

"Jim, if this is a bad attempt to get someone to listen to that tape and transcribe it for you, it won’t work," Simon stated as he walked over to Jim’s desk.

"No, sir. You won’t believe what’s on this. " Jim handed the earphones to his captain and hit play.

Simon’s eyes widened and he started to grin. "Rewind it and play it again." Jim did and Simon’s grin became a laugh. Handing the earphones back, Simon looked at Jim and said, "You know we can’t let this pass."

"No, sir, we can’t. Something this good should most definitely be shared."

"OK, I’ll bite. What’s so good on this tape?" Brown asked picking up the player.

Jim took the player back, pulled the earphones out of the jack and started the tape again. The sounds of Blair howling came from the small speaker.

"This is going to be better than ghost busting." Brown’s feral grin was matched by three others.

Shortly after noon the next day:

Blair walked into the precinct building feeling very good. He was finished with classes for the week and there were no papers or tests needing to be graded to spoil his weekend.

He smiled and nodded to several people who glanced at him. Many, he noticed, turned quickly away after he acknowledged their greetings. Blair paid little attention to their reactions, thinking only of what he could do with his upcoming free weekend.

As he waited at the elevator, one of the patrol officers came up behind him.

"Hey, Tiger," she whispered in his ear. "Next time you feel the need, call me." She reached around to stuff a piece of paper in the front pocket of his flannel shirt and moved away as the elevator doors opened.

Blair stepped into the elevator and took the paper out of his pocket as the lift made its way to the seventh floor.

The paper had a phone number written in red lipstick with a large kiss print beside it.

This is a little weird. I wonder what she’s heard.

Blair carefully folded the paper and put it back in his pocket. The elevator stopped at two other floors before getting to the seventh. In that short time, Blair received two more phone numbers and a thumbs-up from a detective in Homicide.

Stepping into the bullpen, Blair noticed the room was deserted and the door to Simon’s office was closed with the blinds drawn.

Earlier the same day:

Jim finished transcribing the tape in record time. Simon was at the mall getting props and Brown, Rafe and Megan were sharing the tape with as many different departments as possible. After taking considerable ribbing for her part in the tape, Megan willingly offered to help. Joel Taggart was at a nearby supermarket stocking up on munchies.

Simon came back into the bullpen with two large bags full of torments for one police observer.

"It’s a good thing this movie is so popular. The store had all kinds of party favors and toys to fit the occasion," Simon announced.

Jim peered into the bags and found streamers, hats, and tableware all along the same movie theme. "Are we setting up in your office or the break room?" Jim asked, taking one of the bags.

"My office. It might get a little crowded but he won’t suspect a thing when he comes in. How long until our victim arrives?"

Jim glanced up at the clock reading 11:00am. "I’d say we have maybe an hour, hour and a half before Sandburg gets here. Just enough time to decorate."

Jim and Simon headed for the captain’s office just as the other four conspirators returned from their assignments.

Joel set a cake box down on the conference room table and opened the lid.

Jim took one look and started to chuckle again. Megan was not as thrilled, but she smiled gamely.


Blair walked across to Jim’s desk and dropped his pack on the floor by the coat rack. Seating himself in Jim’s chair, he started to sort through the detective’s files to see what paperwork he could work on. As he was reaching for the file on the security agency, the door to the captain’s office opened and Simon walked over to the desk.

"Sandburg, I just wanted to congratulate you." With that, Simon turned and walked back to his office.

"Uh, thanks, Simon. But what did I do?" Blair was talking to empty air. Blair came around the desk and headed for Simon’s office. Just as he reached to knock, the door was flung open and Blair was greeted with the sound of howling and catcalls. Brown, standing by the bookshelf, pushed play on the tape deck.

Blair went beet red as the recording of the conversation with Megan was played through the room. The office was decorated to look like a jungle straight from Disney’s Tarzan complete with paper swinging vines. To Blair’s chagrin, the tape started again, this time through the PA system for the entire building.

Jim came around the group to lead his suitably embarrassed friend to the table at the other end of the room. The table held a cake and a large blue gorilla with wild hair standing guard. As Blair caught sight of the cake, he finally broke down and started to laugh.

Decorating the cake was a caricature of the Disney Tarzan swinging from a vine with Jane under one arm. Except Blair’s face replaced Tarzan’s and Megan was now Jane, and Arrroooorrr! was written across the bottom.