Title: Christmas Eve


Pairing: J/B and SC/MSC

Okay, Santa and Mrs. Santa aren't actually in the story, but you know she loves slash!


Date:December 20



Disclaimer: Well, you see, it's like this --- I took them, I admit it. I'm not giving them back either. So sue me. You can have Lucy. Scratch that, you can have my mom.

Warning: Don't tweak Rudolph's nose - he'll shit all over you. On purpose. He's not very nice.

Notes: Okay, story time: I do rubber stamping for friends and I'm on a couple of stamper lists under an appropriate stamper psuedonym. I meant someone new, we got to talking. She said she makes cards, I said I make matte frames and buttons and stuff for a fandom I'm in. She asked what fandom, I told her The Sentinel. There was a pause in the chat, then she came back and said, "Um, I don't suppose, I mean, you don't believe in that abiding love crap, do you?" I said, "yes, but I also believe in that fuck me into next year, Jim, please, crap." We discovered we're kindred spirits and one thing led to another and I said, "Oh, but I'm aly." And she said, "Prove it, write a Christmas Eve story with this challenge." She gave me the challenge and you have to figure it out.

So Karen on sxf, here you go, your Christmas Eve Challenge story from aly.

And thanks to Greenie as always for the beta and the example she gives us all. And thanks to Melvin, my welp, as always.

Summary: Jim is lonely - Blair doesn't live with him anymore but he thinks he should fix that.

Post TSbyBS. Um, takes place at Christmas time. Duh.


Christmas Eve

by alyjude


I hate the truck, I hate my desk, I hate my home and to tell the truth, I'm not too happy with myself at the moment.

Basically, I and my life suck - big time.

Shit, I really hate this fucking computer. If Blair were here ---

God, I hate Cascade.

The phone looks pretty far away right now and it's what, twelve inches from my hand?

I want to call him so bad, I can taste it. I need to call him, to hear his voice. And that isn't so strange. I mean, since he moved to Seattle we talk every week. Okay, we talk almost every day, but always at the end of our respective days. I've never called him from work, but right now, my fingers are itching and my arm is straining under the pull as I hold back, muscles clenched in the refusal to give in to this need.

He never gave the academy a try. He couldn't.

Not because he couldn't, but because - he couldn't. So three weeks after his press conference he said the words I'd been dreading for three years...with a slight variation.

"It's time, Jim. I talked with Naomi and she's put in a word with a friend of hers in Seattle and I can start in two weeks. I think it's the right thing to do."

Damn, I knew what he meant. The weeks since his revelation hadn't been easy. The media may have moved on, but the stain remained. Feeling like a pariah did nothing healthy for Sandburg and he began having stomach problems. Oh, not because of what was said about him, but rather how it hampered his ability to be with me - to help me. And of course, I wasn't much assistance once I retreated behind my granite wall as my own stomach started doing loop-the-loops at the thought of losing Blair.

As the first day of the academy loomed large before us, he made the call to his mother which was quickly followed by those words.

I remember standing in front of him, staring down at his upturned face

and nodding. Which was odd, because on the inside I was shaking my head

back and forth and screaming, NO!

He sold the Volvo for some quick cash and flew to Seattle for two days, during which time he had his interview, took the required physical and met with his new landlords, the Wellingtons, also friends of Naomi who were offering him a room over their garage until he could find his own place.

He returned, packed, sold stuff, gave stuff away, said his good-byes to the gang, to Simon and on Saturday, I drove him to the airport.

It was so damn, fucking easy - and so damn fucking hard.

The friendship wasn't over; just long distance.

We never cut the cord, we simply lengthened it to stretch between Cascade and Seattle.

When Blair told me once that it was about friendship, he hadn't been lying. And nothing that had occured in the last months could destroy it. Dampen it, quiet it down a bit, but not destroy it.

So here I sit, a few days before Christmas, hating my job, the loft, my desk and my truck. I want to scream, yell and throw things. I want to hurt someone.

I want - Blair to come home.

I want to kiss him and have him kiss me back. I want to erase that moment when he said those words or better still, I want that moment back so that instead of nodding, I grab him and say, "NO, you're not going anywhere without me. I love you, you jackass and you love me, so what are we waiting for?"

But life doesn't work that way, you can never undo that which has been done. You can't go home again and damn it, spilt milk will always be spilt milk and when you break a fucking egg, you have a broken egg. Make an omelet if you want, but you'll always know that you wanted an egg - sunnyside up.

No, I don't have a clue what that profound thought has to do with anything. Christmas is almost here, so is Chanukah, and I don't want to spend the holidays alone. I can't.

Blair loved me enough to leave, to exit his life with me without saying the words, without admitting his feelings so do I love him enough to pick up that phone?


I watch, amazed, as my hand, almost of its own volition, moves toward the black phone. Fingers curl around the receiver and my other hand joins the first as one finger punches in his number at work.

"Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture."

"Blair Sandburg, please."

"Hold while I connect you."

Sure - I can do that. I'll hold for however long it takes to be connected in every way possible to Blair Sandburg.




"Man, we're good with this dialogue thing, aren't we?"

He's chuckling. A good sign. Then he gets serious on me.

"What's wrong, Jim? You okay? Everybody okay?"

What can I expect? I've called him in the middle of the day. Cut to the chase, Ellison.

"Come home, please."

There's a lengthy pause and I hear his breath catch at my words. I'm betting his fingers are as white as mine are right now.

"Blair, please come home. I love you."

I'm in the middle of the bullpen, I haven't lowered my voice and I've just said words that I should have said months ago. And I don't care because I have said them now. I glance up and notice that Joel heard me and he's staring.

I watch as he picks up a pencil and tosses it over to Connor's desk. She looks up at him, he points to me.

"Blair, did you hear me?"

"Where are you, Jim?"

"I'm at work. At my desk, which I hate, unlike you, whom I love."

I catch the gasp again, faint, but I hear it.

Megan is now staring open-mouthed and as Rafe walks by she snags his

jacket and points. These guys are almost as funny as a circus full of


"Do you know what you're saying, Jim?"

"No, you dick, I was hit on the head earlier by a flying bagel and I'm out of my mind. You shouldn't listen to me. Will you come home?"

I bet he's looking around him right now. Checking to see if anyone is listening. And now it's caught up to him that I'm in the middle of the bullpen and my voice is normal.

"Who's there, Jim?"

"Well," I say calmly, with a hint of a smile, "Joel and Megan, and Rafe was just leaving, but Megan stopped him so now he's staring at me. In fact, they're all staring at me. I'm thinking of charging them."

"How much?" he asks, his natural humor at this absurd conversation returning.

"How does five bucks sound?"

"Yeah, five bucks is good."

I wiggle my fingers at the three of them and smiling, Joel stands, reaches into his pocket, pulls out his wallet, slides a bill into his hand, saunters over to my desk and drops the money into my outstretched hand. Megan quickly follows suit. Rafe, never the brightest bulb, is a little slower but Megan pushes at him and he offers his five.

"Hey, buddy, just made fifteen bucks. So, you coming home?"

"What flavor was the bagel?" he asks, voice full of emotion.

"Blueberry, your favorite."

I can hear his fingers tapping nervously on something tinny, then his voice comes back to me.

"I'll have to give Craig notice."

"How much notice?" I hold my breath and I'm not surprised that the three idiots standing in front of my desk are holding theirs.

"Um, well, at least a week. So - I could be," there's a slight pause, then almost breathlessly, he says, "home - for Christmas."

"Could be, Chief?" I'm grinning madly and add, "Come on, Blair, say it."

I can hear that low, throaty chuckle of his and all three detectives have unconsciously leaned in closer to me.

"Okay, I'll - be home for Christmas."

All four of us expell the breaths we were holding.

"I can plan on you?"

"Please have snow?"

"Yep and mistletoe."

"But I bet no presents under the tree."

"Hell, Sandburg, no tree. But by the time you get here - I'll have one and the requisite gifts along with candles in the window, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and..."

"God, stop, you're killing me!" His laughter is rumbling through the phone and even the two wise men and one wise woman standing in front of me can hear it.

"Give me a date, Sandburg."

"Hang on," and I can hear the sound of material as it rubs against the receiver so I know he's cradling the phone between hs cheek and shoulder and I can almost see him reaching for a desk calendar...

"If I call the airline now, I might get out on one of the Seattle-Cascade puddle jumpers as early as the - twenty-fourth."

I smile stupidly. "Christmas Eve."

"Yeah," he says softly.

"Give me flight information as soon as you have it and I'll be there with..."

"Bells on, right?"

"You got it, babe." I don't even blush as I say it, but damn if Megan isn't and somehow I just know that Blair's blushing to the roots of his hair.

"Just tell me they're not still standing there?"

"Sorry, but they are."

"Charge them another five, Jim."

"Oh, I think hearing me call you babe is worth more than another five."

"You're right, make it ten."

"Done. Call me right back, Sandburg."

"Will do. But Jim, this doesn't solve ---"

I don't let him finish.

"Blair, you'd be surprised at how much this solves. Just get your ass home."

"God, I love it when you talk sexy."




He was able to make the flight reservation, by the skin of his teeth. He arrives on the twenty-fourth, as promised, his plane due to land at seven. I'm antsy, cranky and I don't think I'll survive until then. But he calls me everyday, twice a day, somethimes three times. He knows.

I've talked with Simon and to say that he's pleased by this turn of events is a vast understatement. He was almost as upset as me when Blair left. Simon's more fond of Sandburg then he's ever let on and the whole mess following the dissertation fiasco hurt him, especially as he was the one who had to watch the fall-out.

He's been talking to people and the upshot is that when Blair returns, he'll have choices. Which is more than he had before. And no matter what he chooses, he'll be by my side.

Business is brisk, criminals not caring in the least that come the twenty-fourth of December I'm gonna get lucky. But I manage to stay focused, to catch who I need to catch and I even manage not to kill my computer.

Only two more days.




The airport is a madhouse.

His plane is due in thirty minutes but I suspect it will be late. We were hit by a sudden snowstorm less than fifteen minutes after his flight took off from Seattle.

I'm pacing in front of the window that overlooks the tarmac, my head is splitting and my eyes are burning because I'm in an airport on Christmas Eve. I need to focus on something so I stop pacing and stand in front of the cold pane.

It seems strange to stare out over the empty runways, now blanketed in snow, to see only white and shades of gray against an inky blackness when behind me there is color, brisk movement, bright lights, people hurrying and scurrying and enough noise to wake Santa the day after Christmas.

I pray it won't be long now.

There is a collective groan behind me and I turn to see the flight message board over the ticket counter flash the words:

Flight 36, Seattle/Cascade - DELAYED.

The word "delayed" surprised me - a bit. After all, I knew the flight had taken off. So unless they'd been forced to re-route, which was highly unlikely, there being no place to reroute a puddle jumper coming into Cascade from Seattle, the word - delayed - could only mean that there was a problem.

I was now officially worried. I didn't bother with the attendants at the gate. The main offices for Travelways Shuttle were right here in the airport. I headed upstairs.

I enter throught the glass door marked Travelways and at the front desk, I remove my badge, flash it in front of the secretary's face and introduce myself. She gets her boss.

A woman about Simon's age steps out and addresses me with a patented just for the customer smile.

"Detective Ellison, I'm Martha Carlisle, General Manager for Travelways.

I understand you have someone on Flight 36?"

"Yes, my partner." I deliberately refrain from saying anything else, allowing my eyes to do that for me.

"Yes, well," she pauses, gauging me, then apparently satisifed, says, "They've lost power to one engine, Detective Ellison and while that would not ordinarily be worrisome, the..."

"The storm," I finish for her.

She nods and I know she doesn't have to offer anything else, but she does.

"Right now, they're about forty minutes out, bucking a strong headwind. Our crews are on the runway doing everything they can to light up the flight path. The storm is increasing and the plane can't turn back or change course. Their only chance is bringing her in."

Shit. This woman doesn't pull any punches.

"I see." There isn't anything else I can say. I do see, all too clearly. Oddly enough I'm not worried. But I do have the feeling that I need to be out there, on that runway.

She's never going to understand this.

"I'd like permission to join the crew, to help." Hey, I've got to try, you know?

She's surprised. "Detective Ellison, that is simply not possible. But I'll have my secretary escort you..."

"No, I need to be out there. I can help in ways you can't imagine."

There, I've said it. I hope it's enough.

And I can see by her eyes - that it is. She's no fool and doesn't live in a vacuum. She knows exactly who I am and now her brown eyes tell me she knows more. Martha Carlisle is frowning slightly, but thank God, she nods.

"All right, Detective. If you'll have a seat, I'll make the arrangements."

And it's that simple.

Twenty minutes later, dressed in borrowed cold weather gear that includes overalls, a heavy parka with a hood and goggles to protect my eyes from the sleet, I'm standing on icy asphalt in the middle of the runway, waiting for Blair.


It's dark, windy and the cold cuts through everything I'm wearing like a hot knife. Sheets of the white stuff are slicing through the air, making vision difficult for everyone, me included. I may have an edge but it's doing me no good yet. Besides, I suspect it will be my hearing we'll need - and soon.

Back at the Travelways hanger, Martha Carlisle had introduced me to Mike Gallagher, a large man with a weather beaten face and icy green eyes. He's also the man in charge of the rescue crew and I knew from the look he shot in my direction that she'd told him what he needed to know to make this happen.

And it was while driving out here that he'd given me some additional not so great news, namely that the Airbus Industrie A320 twin engine, single aisle plane was also low on fuel, thanks to the headwind and loss of one engine.

He stands a few feet in front of me now, staring uselessly up at the sky. We received word three minutes ago that the men in the cockpit of Flight 36 are coming in on instruments only, but no one is surprised. That's why we're here.

Vision is impossible and we know they can't see two feet in front of them and certainly won't be able to see their way to land.

There are no other planes coming down, the airport being socked in. All departures have been cancelled and arrivals have been re-routed - except one. His.

Huge lights have been set up due to the limited visibilty but I have my doubts. Even with all that's been done, the pilot probably won't see anything until he's right on top of us. But that hasn't stopped anyone from positioning trucks, cars, and rescue vehicles so that their headlights can be added to the glow that is currently aimed up to the skies. A beacon for a struggling plane.

I've now joined Gallegher in staring upward but in my case - it's because I can hear the plane.

"They're coming. Maybe - five miles out."

Gallagher spins around to stare at me. He's an ex-Navy pilot and back at the hanger we'd immediately sized each other up and recognized the same man beneath the civvies.

As he opens his mouth now, the radio crackles.

<They're in position, five miles out. They look good>

He closes his mouth. Seeing is believing.

I'm focused on nothing but the sound of that one engine as it comes closer. I hear the change, signaling that the plane has veered left and I'm thinking they've gone off course.

"They're drifting - left - toward the water."

Gallagher doesn't hesitate; he's on the radio instantly. Instructions are given and it doesn't take long before I know the plane is back on track.

I continue to listen and after a moment, my heart thuds into my throat.

The engine - something is wrong.

"I think they're running out of fuel," I say to no one in particular.

I'm not sure why, but the man next to Gallagher, I missed his name in the introductions, has started humming and I recognize the song immediately.

I'll Be Home For Christmas.


They're close now and men are running, drivers are jumping up and behind the wheel of the emergency vehicles, but Gallagher and I remain in place. The engine is really struggling and as I stare in the direction of where they should be, I catch the glint of something shiny through the darkness. I know it's flight 36.

"They're here," I say unecessarily.

Moments later I can see the lights of the plane.

No one else can - yet.

The plane seems to be in good position but as I watch, it lurches to the right and stays there. They're now off course. They're going to miss the runway.

I yell to Gallagher who is barking orders to his crew, but when he hears me he stops and his hand goes to the small switch on the cord hanging from his ear. He gives me the high sign and I yell out instructions. He repeats them into the mouthpiece.

Jim Ellison, Sentinel of the Great City and faster than a speeding - radar signal.

Everyone can see the plane now. It's immediately overhead and as it drifts down I can hear the engine die. But the wheels are touching down and the wonderful sound of brakes being applied reaches my ears.

The plane bumps and lurches as its braking ability is severely hampered by the loss of power. It skids to the right and at that moment, I'm very grateful for the snow which has banked and provides a soft barrier for Flight 36.

As the plane finally stops, the other vehicles start rolling and I jump happily into the truck with Gallagher.

Three large transport vehicles have been standing by in case the plane couldn't taxi to its docking station and the buses now get into position to receive their passengers.

The storm has increased and snow flurries are swirling around the stairs as the crew rolls them to the door of the plane.

Gallagher swings in alongside one of the ambulances that was thankfully not needed and as we climb out, says, "So who are you meeting again?"

I'm staring at the plane's door, which has been pulled inward, and say, "My partner. Just my partner."

"Uh, huh," Gallagher says, skeptically.

The passengers start down the steps, most shivering in the sudden cold, all underdressed for our little snowstorm. They're quickly hustled into the heated buses and as each one fills, it heads back to the airport, to warmth, lights and loved ones.

Then, framed against the dim interior lighting of the cabin, I see him.

Blair - and he's one of the last ones out.

He pauses at the top and I frown as his head turns first right, then left. He's looking - for me. I lift my arm as I start forward. He spots me, shakes his head and gives me an exaggerated roll of his eyes.

As he walks down, one slow step at a time, our eyes never waver from each other's faces.

Then he's beside me, gazing up, eyes crinkled in mirth, snow drifting down to rest in his hair and eyelashes and it takes every ounce of willpower to keep me from crushing him to my chest in the biggest bear hug he's ever experienced.

"You're impossible. How'd you manage this, Ellison?"

"When you have a badge, doors open, Sandburg."

"Evidently so do airports."


As we exchange our first face to face remarks, I grab his arm and start leading him toward Gallagher and the truck.

The ex-Navy pilot is standing with the door open, wearing a huge smile, and I get the feeling that Sandburg is definitely not what Gallagher expected in any partner of mine. I can't help but return his grin.

The three of us squeeze into the truck and Gallagher turns it around, albeit sluggishly as tires fight the slush, to follow the last bus carrying the flight crew.

Behind us, the empty airplane sits in the snow as she's prepared to be towed home.


I say my good-byes which include giving Martha Carlisle a hug and exchanging thank-yous and a firm handshake with Mike Gallagher. Blair stands slightly off to one side, happily watching but is stunned when they want to shake his hand.

We make a mad dash for the truck, Blair's large, oversized shoulder bag thumping against his hip. The rest of his luggage will be delivered, courtesy of Travelways, the day after Christmas.

The road before us is surprisingly clear and as I drive through the streets of our city, I can't help but notice the nervous jiggling of Blair's left leg. Or the way his face is almost plastered to the frosted window pane as he tries to see the city through the snow.

I'm not sure whether it's the way Cascade looks tonight, city sidewalks dressed for the holiday, or a case of nerves that's keeping his attention from focusing on us.

Other than the heater pushing warmth into the cold cab and the windshield wipers dancing to what I imagine is their own rendition of Baby, It's Cold Outside, we're quiet. And it's weird, because now that we're alone, all the words we need to say - can't be said.

I decide to break the ice - so to speak.

"Looks like we'll beat the worst of it home, Chief. I'd bet that in the next couple of hours, the city will be shut down."

"Yeah," he says, without turning his head, "I'd say you'd win your bet."

I decide to try again - this time maybe a little humor to alleviate the strange silence.

"So," I ask innocently, "have a nice flight?"

It works. His head slowly swivels toward me and his leg stills. He stares at me a moment, then his lips curl up.

"Um, it was a little - rough - in spots, but they had honey covered peanuts so it wasn't a complete bust."

"Ah, yes, I hate it when they only have those plain almonds. If you gotta fly, you've got to have the honey-covered peanuts."

I can see his smile in the darkness and for me, it's a lighthouse that promises me safety, warmth and a snug harbor. And God, he has the best smile this side of the Mississippi.

Scratch that, the best smile this side of the Atlantic. Aw, hell, he has the best smile in the galaxy.

I park the truck and we run for the lobby as the wind tries to push us away from our home. But we perservere and minutes later we're inside number 307.

As the door closes behind me, I'm suddenly nervous and to hide it, I turn from him and make a show out of removing my sodden jacket and dropping the keys on the table. As I glance at my keys, I wonder if Blair brought the basket with him. I've missed it. Like I've missed him.

The blood is pounding in my head and my mouth is suddenly so dry, the Sahara Desert would be a rain forest by comparison.

It seems I can only hear my own heart beating, so when he finally speaks, it catches me by surprise. And his first words floor me.

"Where is it?"

I turn toward him, puzzled, and gaze about the room. As I scan our home, the action gives me time to regroup and steady myself. But ultimately, I must accept that everything looks as it should.

I kept my promise and a tree stands in the corner next to the stereo. It's a spruce and decorated from top to bottom. On the ground, nestled at its feet, lay the gifts.

But I didn't stop with just a tree. All around the loft I'd hung garlands of evergreen and a menorah stands on the coffee table. And if that weren't enough, I'd placed candles throughout.

One last touch; on the kitchen island stands a Mrs. Santa doll with a bowl in her arms and a wooden spoon in one hand. A gift from Megan to Blair last year.

It is obvious to me that with Blair home - nothing is missing. So I have to ask.

"Where's what, Chief?"

He lets his bag slide to the floor and says, "The mistletoe. Of course."

All nervousness dissipates at his words. I'm calm and happy and as I fumble in my pocket and withdraw my hand, I say, "Look up." He does. I'm holding the mistletoe above his head.

I lean down and kiss those cold, icy, chattering lips.

It doesn't take long before both our mouths are nice and warm, thank you very much.

And he had at least two bags of honey coated peanuts. Flight attendants always give him extras. He doesn't even have to ask.

Someone once wrote, A kiss is just a kiss but it's fairly obvious they could never have kissed Blair Sandburg, because this is not just a kiss. This kiss is orgasmic, karmic, spiritual, metaphysical, physical, erotic, life affirming, sexy and to top it all off - it's simply one damn fine kiss.

My arm is tiring and he feels it. Laughing against my mouth, he pulls my arm down and whispers, "Shower. Then whatever you want, we do, okay?"

I nuzzle at his wet hair and nod lazily. "But we shower together."

"Still trying to save the hot water, eh, Jim?"

"Yep and why I didn't think of this earlier, I'll never know."

I drop the mistletoe on the table and we walk into the bathroom.

As we step inside, I manuever him back a bit and slowly we start to undress each other. We kick off our shoes and as I'm slipping his jacket off and unbuttoning the damp flannel shirt, he's working my zipper. His hands push my jeans down and I obligingly step out of them. He indicates my white sweater and I raise my arms. He brings the cardigan up and I have to help him here, which I do by bending slightly, and he manages to pull it off. I'm now standing in the bathroom, wearing only my plaid boxers.

He's grinning because they're the red and green plaid boxers.

His hands reach for the elastic but I arch one eyebrow and nod toward his state of still dressed. He looks down and I'm stunned that he's actually blushing. God damn. He is still, after all this time - shy. This is the guy who wrote detailed descriptions of his lovemaking and yet, he can't undress in front of me.

I remove my boxers, take two steps into his space, kiss him again, then let my hands finish the job of removing his clothes. The red Henley worn under his flannel shirt is pulled over his head, his jeans are removed between hungry kisses and finally - as I attack his neck, his navy blue briefs join the puddle of clothing on the floor.

With one arm around his waist, I pull the curtain aside and turn on the water. When the temperature is right, we step in.

We let the liquid heat stream over us, basking in the warmth and slickness of it. His skin is heating up and I'm fascinated by the moisture trapped within his curling chest hair. It's remarkably soft and my fingers move through it, then down to his groin to slide in between his thighs and I gently finger that hair. And more.

Like me, he's already hard. Achingly hard. I run my hand over the rigid, slick, satiny flesh and he groans. Neither one of us has said a word yet, so this sound, this almost inhuman guttural plead sends me over the edge. I drop to my knees in front of him and with one look up, my pale blues meeting his slightly darker orbs, I smile, then bend back to the task at hand.

God, I love this man.

His fingers are digging in as I taste him, as I let my tongue skim over his flesh, as my own hands knead his hip and thigh, my thumb drifting up and down the wet skin. He's talking, but oddly enough, no words are being used, at least no words I understand. Maybe the old gods know what he's saying, but I don't. Don't care either - all that matters is the sound. The richness of it, the lustiness of it, the complete - maleness of it.

He needs this, wants this, wants me. I'm doing this to him, driving him over the edge but I have no sense of power, only of - my own submission - to him.

I draw this out, take my time, bring him to the brink time and again, and my name comes from deep within him, over and over and over again and I'll never be able to hear him say it without remembering this moment.

Jim is such a simple name, but not now, not coming from Blair and not like this. And suddenly my name has at least three syllables.

He's begging now, back against the tile, head swinging left and right, bottom lip clenched tightly by his teeeth. But I don't want him to come like this, so I reluctantly leave his dick, stand and turn him. He understands and he's nodding and the words tumble out of him.

"yesyesyes, jim, yes jim..."

He's straining and thrusting backwards, eager for me and grabbing for the natural soap, I quickly prepare him and it begins.

We move, I nudge, press, he thrusts, I pause, one hand on his, both slapped against the wall, our fingers entwined. My other hand is on his chest, fingers playing with his left nipple. Blair's head flies backward to rest against me and I'm inside, buried deep and a slow ahhhh rumbles out from deep within his chest.

I'm using every sense I possess and some I didn't know I had, to feel, scent, see, hear, taste, meld, and love him. I'm so attuned to his body, my senses so full of him that he is me and in me and it's as if he's working his way out of me.

I begin to move easily at first but this tender slowness quickly ends as Blair reaches back hungrily and pulls me to him in a rush. He's mumbling something, and I realize it's those strange meaningless words again but I love listening to his voice reverberate in the confined space that is our shower.

The sound moves through me and spurs me on and we're quick now, grunting, urging, stroking, my fingers still wrapped around his as my other hand now pulls at his dick because I'm coming and I want so much for us to come...


The water is still warm, at least warm enough that we haven't moved. I'm on the floor of the shower stall, back against the tile, Blair between my legs. We're both still breathing heavily but God, I've never felt so incredible.

This sense of floating, yet connected to him, our flesh pressed together, my arms around him, holding him, grateful beyond measure, and the only really adequate word is - blissful.


The tree lights are on and sparkling, the loft alight with the glow. Blair and I lit the candles and I have a fire going so we're warm and comfortable enough that all either of us have on are sweat bottoms. Mine are navy blue, his grey. We're on the floor and in much the same position as when we collapsed in the shower. Only this time - the softness of the couch is hosting my bare back.

I'm working a towel carefully through Sandburg's hair and you haven't lived until you've heard the sound of contentment he's making. I won't call it a purr, but damn, it's close.

Frank Sinatra is crooning the Christmas Song and it doesn't take long for Blair's purring to become more musical.

As I rub and listen to this strange duet between Sandburg and Sinatra, I take in the gifts under the tree and I can't for the life of me keep back the childlike grin. It seems that the one bag Sandburg carried on board the plane was full of presents, not clothes. He had some toiletries, briefs, socks, one set of sweats, half of which he's wearing now, but the rest of the bag held gifts and most - for me.

I'm almost forty and in all the years, all the past Christmases, there have never been so many gifts, under any tree, that were actually for me. And I admit it, I can't wait for morning. I'm hopeless.

I've finally discarded the towel and I remember something. Grinning, I urge him to move.

"Shove it over, Sandburg." I'm a real romantic.

He leans forward and I stand and move to the tree. I reach deep into its boughs and bring something out, then hide it behind my back.

"Front and center, Chief. I've got something for you."

He's frowning at me. Must be the look on my face. He doesn't trust me one iota. But he moves.

When he's in front of me, that doubting Thomas look on his face, I say, "Chief, this is a little something I bought for you in gratitude for all that you've given me. You know I think of you as my teacher in this Sentinel thing, but more than that, I think of you as, well, my - guide."

I move my arms quickly and before he can react - I've done it.

"There. Perfect."

"You shit!"

I've perched a set of felt antlers on his head but this set is special.

It has an attached - nose. A red bubble nose.

Blair is staring at it, cross-eyed as he tries to bat it away but it's not working. Finally he gives up and hands on hips, demands, "You want to explain this, Ellison?"

"Gee, Sandburg," I say smugly, "I'd have thought it was easy. Who guided Santa's sleigh that foggy Christmas Eve?"

"Jimmm," he whines at me.

"See, it's easy; you guide me, Sandburg and Rudolph guided Santa with his nose so bright. Get it? You're my - Rudolph."

"Jim, you are so dead." But I notice he's not removing his head gear.

"Aw, what's the matter, my little bottom boy, you don't like my gift?"

Oops, wrong thing to say. Sparks are flying in those bright blues of his, even as his eyes narrow in indignation.

"Bottom boy? Did you just call me bottom boy?"

"Seems to fit, Chief."

"I. Am. Not. A. Bottom. Boy."

"Well, what happened in the shower would indicate differently, Sandburg."

He strikes a very macho muscleman pose and says very clearly, "I am a bottom man, Ellison."

"That would have worked, Sandburg - if it weren't for the antlers."

He wags an aforementioned antler at me and stalks back to the couch. He carefully lowers himself and I catch the hiss. Frowning, I'm at his side instantly.

"Chief, you okay?"

He smiles up at me and the smile is unlike any other. It's - tender, sheepish and almost - embarrassed, not to mention full of love.

"I'm, you know," he waggles his head to indicate his backside, "a little - sore."

And it all comes together.

Which causes me to drop ungracefully onto my backside.

"Oh God." It's all I can say. All I can think.

"Oh for crying out loud, don't go all dramatic on me, Jim. It's not like I haven't been with guys, it's just that, well, I've done things, other things, just not that thing."

"I, I-I....," I'm stunned and can't think.

Blair crawls over to me and starts to crawl up my body, his eyes full of light and love...

...but damn, those antlers and the red nose and suddenly I'm laughing and he's laughing and he's rubbing my nose with the big, red, rubber one...

"merry christmas, jim," he whispers.

I know he's saying so much more. And the gift he's given me - well, I can only hope the look I'm sharing with him right now says it all, because I know I can't.


The fire is slowly dying but I'm in no rush to add small chunks of wood to keep it going. I'm too comfortable on the couch with Blair asleep on top of me. He's a warm son of a gun. Furry too.

We ate the spaghetti I'd prepared earlier in the day - just for him - and enjoyed a nice bottle of wine before retiring to the couch. I'm also happy to say that we fooled around some more which explains his exhaustion. Me, I'm too happy to sleep yet. And it's Christmas - technically.

I never imagined this. Dreamed it, yes, imagined it, no. Yet here he is, in my arms. This beautiful, softly snoring man, chest hair feeling like two hundred thread count sheets against my bare skin, hair spread out and feeling even silkier. His right hand is on my shoulder and gripping it even in his sleep.

And in this moment of quiet and safety and happiness, I wonder: have I ever believed in God?

I don't think so. But I do now.

We're together. In every way and for all time. This I know and what or who else could be responsible?

God is a lovely woman.

Tomorrow I'll talk with my Dad and Steven, then Blair and I will join Simon and a few others at his home and Blair will understand just how much he's wanted.

I know everything isn't perfect, that there will be problems, but I also know that I now have faith. I believe.

Thank you, God, and Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

~~End Christmas Eve~~

Happy Holidays, fellow Sentinel Fans! May Jim and Blair live forever!