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Earlier | Later

Title: A Zone For Christmas
Author: debbiet
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG
Word count: 720
Summary: Jim decides to decorate the loft for Christmas while Blair is away on an expedition.
Warnings: Jim is the trouble magnet this time and Blair comes to the rescue.
Author's Notes: This is the story I wrote for my Christmas cards this year for SA and CT (SentinelAngst and Cascade Times) Christmas lists. This is only spell checked and all mistakes are mine.


Jim sat in the chair, finding himself mesmerized by the blinking, colorful lights on the Christmas tree. He had just finished placing the ornaments, lights, and garland on the tree, which he had gotten from the tree farm on the outskirts of Cascade. He wanted to finish the decorating before Blair returned from his expedition in Mexico and he was due back tomorrow. Jim was pleased with his efforts.
*~*~*~*~*
Blair got off the plane, glad to be home. After spending a majority of his life traveling the world, he finally found a home in Cascade, with Jim. Jim was more than just the thesis subject in Blair's dissertation. He was a true friend.

Blair expected Jim to be waiting inside the airport terminal. Jim demanded to have a copy of Blair's itinerary, wanting to know when Blair was going to be practically every minute of every day he was away. It gave Jim a sense of security to have knowledge of Blair's movements. It was comforting to Blair to know someone cared about where he was and what he was doing.

Blair searched the terminal, looking for Jim. He even had him paged, but Jim was nowhere in the airport. Blair got out his cell phone, calling the loft and getting no answer. He decided to leave a message.

"Hey, Jim. Did you forget that I was due back this afternoon? I am here at the airport, in case you did forget. I have my cell phone, so give me a call."

Right after Blair finished the call, he had a terrible thought… what if Jim was hurt? Blair quickly called Simon Banks, hoping there wasn’t bad news.

“Banks!”

“Hey, Simon, it’s Blair. Is Jim okay?”

“Jim is fine, Sandburg. Why are you asking?”

“Well, I returned from my expedition to Mexico and Jim was supposed to meet me at the airport, but he’s not here. And that’s not like Jim.”

“Maybe he’s just running late, Sandburg. Did you think about that?”

“I called the loft but there wasn’t any answer. I didn’t try his cell phone, though. I’ll try that. Thanks, Simon.”

Blair called Jim’s cell phone, disappointed that it went to Jim’s voicemail. “C’mon, Jim! Where the heck are you?”

Blair felt like throwing the cell phone, but restrained from doing that. It just wasn’t like Jim to forget. Blair worried about where Jim was. He decided to get a cab and go to the loft. Maybe something unforeseen had happened.
*~*~*~*~*
Blair’s distress and anxiety grew on his trip to the loft. He kept trying to contact Jim, but there was no answer to his calls. As Blair got out of the cab in front of 852 Prospect, he saw Jim’s truck parked in the lot by the building. This wasn’t a good sign.

Blair bounded up the stairs to the third floor, taking the steps two and three at a time. There was something wrong with his friend and Blair had to find out what.

Blair unlocked the door to the loft and walked inside. He was taken aback by the sight there. The loft was fully decorated, Sentinel perfect. Then Blair spotted Jim sitting on the couch.

“Oh, Jim. How could you? I thought we had conquered this.” Blair could tell Jim was lost in the blinking lights.

Blair walked over to the couch, sitting down beside Jim. He placed his hand on Jim’s arm.

“Follow my voice, Jim. I hope you realize that there will be tests. Maybe we’ll do them on Christmas.”

Blair gently rubbed his hand up and down Jim’s arm, noticing that Jim was gradually coming back to the real world in the presence of his Guide.

“That’s it, Jim. I can’t believe it… done in by Christmas lights.”

Jim shook his head and looked over at Blair.

“Chief?”

“You zoned on the Christmas lights, Jim. By the way, the place looks great!”

“I wanted to finish before you got back… I didn’t mean to zone. I got lost in the whole sensation.”

“We’re going to do tests, Jim. Lots and lots of tests. That’s your Christmas present.”

“Aw-w-w, Chief!” Jim tried to use Blair’s sad puppy dog look.

“It won’t work, Jim.”

“I’ll make you fudge!”

Blair could only laugh. Maybe he would reconsider. Jim did make great fudge.

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These are my stories chronicling the continuing adventures of Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg, Sentinel and Guide, partners and friends.

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