Summary: An Answer to Angie's Thanksgiving Challenge, to write a Thanksgiving story including:
1. A pumpkin pie
2. A duck (the quack, quack living variety)
4. A vroom vroom truck chase
5. The furry Fargo hat from Light My Fire
7. Some minor owies
Blair held on for dear life as the rear wheels of the truck slid around the corner of the snowpacked intersection. Why did this always manage to happen to them? There they were being your average Joe Shoppers, carrying out their last minute groceries and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Minding their own business and then it happened.
A woman screamed, "He's stealing my car!"
The car in question sped past them spinning it's tires on the occasional ice patches and of course Jim had them in hot pursuit.
"At least we're heading in the right direction," Blair mumbled.
"Cheer up, Chief. This won't take long on these streets. We'll be home before you know it."
The thief tried to turn onto Prospect at the park and slid not only into the park but through it and straight into the water. Jim let up on the gas to slow their forward momentum but it wasn't enough. They bounced over the curb. Jim tried to break thinking the ground might afford them some traction but the wheels only grabbed hold on one side. The other kept sliding. They ended up smacking the passenger side fender into a very stationary tree, jolting both occupants.
"Chief? Chief, you ok?"
Blair shook the cobwebs from his head and blinked, "Yeah, Jim, I'm ok."
Jim Ellison opened the door and jumped out, "I gotta go make sure our perp doesn't drown. Call it in."
"Hey, wait a minute. You're not jumping in that water. You'll freeze," Blair opened his door preparing to follow.
"It's not that deep, Chief. Besides, it looks like he's a swimmer. I can handle it. Call it in."
Blair nodded and picked up the phone.
Jim jogged to the water's edge and was pleased to find that their car thief was, indeed, a swimmer and already more than halfway to shore. He didn't relish the thought of having to get wet in these nearly sub freezing temperatures. Fortunately, all he had to do was stand here and make sure that the thief didn't sink. He pulled out his hand cuffs and waited.
Blair climbed over into the back seat and began gathering up the scattered groceries and stuffing them back into the bags. He tossed them outside into a snowbank and turned back to make sure there wasn't anything else they needed to remove from the truck. It was going to be sitting here for a couple of days. He didn't see anything they couldn't live without. Blair shivered in the icy breeze. Before locking up the truck, he opened the glove box and pulled out his furry cap and winced as he pulled it on over his ears. He could see the loft at the other end of the park, at least they wouldn't have far to go.
"Thank goodness for small favors," Blair mumbled to himself as he hoisted the several bags and headed for a park bench to wait for his partner. He could see Ellison had the young man cuffed and wrapped in a blanket. Jim was talking to the patrol officer who was taking notes. Maybe, if they got lucky the officer was really taking Jim's report and they wouldn't have to go back into the station.
The sudden arrival of vehicles in the park had scared most of the ducks out of the water. They seemed to be congregating around Blair's bench. He smiled at them.
"Bet you're hungry after all this excitement, huh?" Blair pulled the loaf of bread out of one of the bags and took out the first couple of slices. He tore them up and slowly tossed them out to the birds.
"Hey, it's a little early for that, don't you think. That bread's not stale yet." Jim joined Blair on the bench grinning at his hat.
"No comments, Jim. It's cold out here. A hat preserves body warmth."
"You know I love that hat, Chief." Jim chuckled and leaned back to gaze ooked wistfully back at his truck. "I suppose we're not going to get a tow truck out here tonight are we?"
"No, man, not this late on the day before a major holiday. I locked it up. It'll be fine until Friday and we can see it from the balcony." Blair pointed toward their apartment building.
"At least it's not far."
"No kidding but we still have to lug all these groceries the length of the park." Blair handed his partner half of the bags as they rose and began moving toward home.
"So, we don't have to go in and file the report?" Blair asked.
"No, the patrol unit will do it. I'll probably have to appear before the judge but that won't be until Friday either. Chief, what have we got in these bags?"
"Thanksgiving dinner?" Blair guessed.
Jim peered into the ones he was carrying. "Chief, why did you buy a jack-o-lantern? It's a little late for Halloween."
Blair rolled his eyes, that's a pie pumpkin. It's not a jack-o-lantern until you carve a face in it. It's Thanksgiving. Gotta have pumpkin pie."
"Isn't it easier to buy the pumpkin in a can?"
"Easier, yes. Does it taste better? I don't think so."
"Pie pan, do we have a pie pan? Tell me we've got a pie pan around here somewhere. It's snowing again and we can't go out and get one."
Jim Ellison had his arm in the turkey, trying to find the little bag with the gibblets. He'd been taking his time preparing the turkey and enjoying the show watching Blair try to mash the pumpkin with the potato masher, then finally resorting to a combination of the cheese grater and the food processor. "Yeah, Chief, I think it's in the top of that cupboard there." He motioned with his head.
Blair glanced up at the cupboard before dragging a chair in from the table and climbing up on it. "Hey, Jim?"
"How come you have a package of Pampers up here? An old package, it's got at least an inch of dust on it. Anyone I should know about?" Blair asked with a michievious grin.
"Emergencies?" Blair mulled it over, "Baby emergencies?"
"What kind of baby emergencies do you have?"
Jim shrugged, "Carolyn's brother's family left them here for emergencies. I figured, you never know what you're gonna end up taking care of when you work in Major Crimes, it's best to plan for all contingencies."
"Ok, sure, I can buy that reasoning." Blair nodded and suddenly grabbed the cabinet door for support closing his eyes, "Whoa."
Jim dropped the turkey in the sink and moved to his partner's side. "Chief?"
Blair heard the concern in his voice, "I'm ok. The room just tilted on me there for a moment."
Jim wiped his hands on a towel. "I think you need to come down from there." He took Blair's arm and slid his other hand around Blair's waist as the younger man stepped off the chair.
"I'll get your pie pan later. Let's sit you in this chair." Jim looked into Blair's eyes checking for proper reactions. "Did you hit your head when we landed against that tree?"
"I hit the side window but it's hardly even hurt. It's nothing."
Jim ran his fingers under Blair's hair, "Yeah, this goose egg you've got here is nothing." He moved to the freezer as Blair probed the lump on the side of his head himself.
"Where'd this come from?"
"Maybe you've been whacked on the head so many times, it's finally getting thicker," Jim hypothesized. He wrapped the ice pack in a hand towel and handed it to his roommate. "Can you make it to the sofa on your own?"
"But the pie--"
"You can finish butchering the pumpkin after you've rested a little while. It'll still be here." He raised Blair's arm so that the ice pack rested against the side of his head. "Go lay down. Turn on the weather and see how much snow we're in for tonight."
Jim woke to a white wonderland outside. It was truly amazing how a thin blanket of snow could make the city look so clean. Blair had been up early, little wonder considering the early hour Jim had insisted he go to bed. The smell of baking turkey already permeated the loft. He made a mental note to buy another turkey to keep in the freezer. They should do this more often but then again after a week of eating turkey it might be a year before they were ready to eat it again.
When Jim emerged from his shower, the smell of freshly baking pumpkin pie joined the turkey smell and he had to dial down his senses as his stomach still had a few hours to wait. It sure did smell good though.
The table was set, the turkey dressed with all the trimmings. Jim picked up his butterknife and reached for a roll, only to have Blair slap his hand away.
"First, we have to say what we're thankful for."
"Ok, I'll go first. I'm thankful for a mother that loves me and worries about me. I'm thankful for having a solid roof over my head and a warm bed because so many in this world don't have even that much. I'm thankful for finding a sentinel, even if he does get cranky about the tests sometimes."
Jim opened his mouth to protest but Blair shushed him, "uh, uh, uh. These are my 'thankful fors', you'll get your turn." Blair shook his finger menacingly at the man across the table. "And I'm thankful for finding a friend that's there for me, no matter what, whenever I need him. Ok, your turn."
Jim considered his words carefully. He wasn't usually good at this sort of thing but today the words came to him, he hoped they'd be the right ones. "I guess, I'm most thankful for finding Blair Sandburg. If he hadn't been there for me, I'd have gone crazy and ended up locked up somewhere. He keeps my sanity intact when everything else is out of control. He's always there when I need him. I'm thankful for you, Blair. I'm thankful you're a part of my life."
Blair blushed, "I was only doing what any real friend would do."
"Then, I'm thankful for real friends. No that's wrong, you're family. It's family that makes a home and this wasn't a home before you came." A little gleam appeared in Jim's eye, "Can I eat now?"
22 November 1999
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