Snow Day

by Ceryndip

Note: This story alludes to incidents in "What's Good for the Sentinel is Good for the Guide" but reading the earlier story is not required.

Blair Sandburg arrived at his blessed protector's bedside cocooned in a bundle of blankets.

"Electricity's out again, It's freezing, man."

Jim automatically slid over and pulled back the covers for his shivering guide who dove into the bed, cocoon and all.

"I know, it's been out for awhile. The snow keeps tripping the transformers. The next nice weekend we have, we need to weather strip your windows. I did the whole loft about a year before you moved in. The last few winters haven't been bad enough to notice that I hadn't done your room."

"It's sure making up for it this year. I can't even tell what time it is."

"About 3am, you've still got time, go back to sleep, Chief."

"mmmhhmmm, wonderful."

Jim lay listening to the snowflakes tinkling against the skylights. The sun would be rising soon and so would his city. He reached out in the still dark and turned on the battery operated radio on the nightstand and adjusted the volume so that only he could hear it.

His guide's curly locks were the only thing visible beneath the mound of blankets on the bed beside him. From the oblong shape of the mound, Jim assumed that Blair had uncurled from his tiny ball. Jim mentally kicked himself yet again as he thought of the windows leaking like sieves in the little room beneath him. If he got near a hardware store today, he'd run in and at least get some weatherstripping. It would probably save them on the heating bill as well.

There it was on the radio, the school closings, all classes at Ranier University were cancelled. Good. He wouldn't have to worry about Blair being out in this. He wouldn't have worried anyway. He'd have taken his guide to school himself. Jim sat up and hastily wrote a note and left the pad standing up in front of the clock so Blair would find it. Then, he silently gathered several layers of clothing and padded downstairs.

Blair stretched and stuck his nose out of his warm nest to see the gloom of an overcast day lighting the loft. He had a moment of panic as he realized he had missed his first class before he saw Jim's note:

"No school today, Chief. All classes cancelled. Cops still have to work though. We usually get shifted over to traffic detail during this weather. I'll end up working a lot of fender benders. No sense in both of us freezing our butts all day. Stay home and off the streets. Call me on my cell if we need anything. Enjoy your day."

Blair took a deep breath and relaxed. He couldn't remember the last time he'd gotten a snow day. What to do, what to do? He could catch up on his own studies. No, he had a better idea. Blair rolled over and pulled himself up enough to see through the railing and grinned. Yes, there was at least a foot of snow piled on the balcony, just enough.

Detective Jim Ellison arrived home with numb toes and fingers. He was emotionally drained from dealing with hysterical motorists and accident victims all day. Why, oh why, do people think they have to go out in these conditions? Will they never learn? He hadn't heard from Blair all day but the kitchen had been well stocked after the first cold snap of the winter. So, they shouldn't need anything except the two packages of weatherstripping in his pocket.

The electricity had been on and off in the area all day, that should have kept Blair off his computer. The sentinel sincerely hoped that his partner had really taken the day off but fully expected to find him with his nose in an anthropology book or writing about yours truly in one of his journals. How that kid could write so much about Jim Ellison, Jim really didn't know and wasn't sure he wanted to.

Jim was pleased to walk into a warm loft. Blair had kept a fire going in the fireplace and had set the candles out just in case but currently the lights and the heat were on. The aroma of a big pot of chili permeated the air. The sentinel pulled his boots off and set them by the door. Blair was asleep on the sofa under his fleece comforter. Naomi had shipped it from Nepal last fall. Jim had thought it looked way to warm for Cascade at the time. How had she known they were in for such a cold winter?

He moved into the living room and picked up the book that had fallen in Blair's lap. He marked the page and smiled his approval seeing that Blair had been reading a Harry Potter book. Maybe his guide had taken that forced weekend away from his textbooks to heart.

The sentinel's attention was caught by the sound of yet larger snowflakes tinkling against the glass and glanced out the balcony doors. Immediately realizing that his partner hadn't been decadently lounging on the sofa all day. There, looking back in the door at him was a huge six foot snow warrior with a carrot for a nose and rocks taken from the potted plants for eyes and a mouth. Snow packed coat hangers had been shaped into delicately sculpted fingers and hands. He held Blair's fishing spear in one hand and a wooden shield from some African tribe in the other. An old towel had become his loin cloth. His torso had been painted with what looked like red and green food coloring. Individual toes had been sculpted on the bare feet.

Blair woke as Jim was taking flash pictures with a disposable camera, "Hey Jim, how was your day?"

"Obviously not as much fun as yours, Chief."


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