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Tue, Dec. 23rd, 2008, 10:24 pm

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Chestnuts

by ljc

11/08

Summary: Holiday story (Christmas). Jim's POV.

Warning: Nuts.

Disclaimer: All characters, places, and objects from The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly Productions, UPN, Paramount and the SciFi Channel. No money is being made. No copyright infringement is intended. Any resemblance (of original characters) to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. No similarity to any person either living or dead is intended or should be inferred. This story was written by ljc with the love of the show in mind.

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The Christmas Song

(Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Written by Mel Torme, Robert Wells

Written in 1944

(Googled somewhere!)

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

And folks dressed up like Eskimos

<>

"Chestnuts ... Chestnuts ... Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ... fire ... fire,"

... With his enhanced sentinel hearing, Jim could hear the familiar strains of the old song coming from several stores as he drove down Prospect Ave. He shook his head, as he tried in vain to rid himself of the ghostly echoes of words and music out of sync.

//Isn't this just wonderful!// he thought in annoyance, //One more 'joy' of the season! Sandburg will find this fascinating, I'm sure! A case of 'chestnut overload'.//

He continued down busy Prospect Street, well beyond #852. He was looking for a parking space without much luck and was now well beyond the apartment he shared with his own personal Shaman/Guide. His patience had worn thin by the time he finally located one.

He fumed, //No doubt my space was taken by an inconsiderate shopper. I should go back and give him a ticket ...// but then he grimaced at the tone of his own thoughts which had grown darker as the day wore on, and he didn't like it. It reminded him too much of his father, who embodied the term "Bah Humbug". The space he found on the next block didn't ease his ill temper though. //Great, just great.// he sighed as he locked his truck, gave Sweetheart a quick pat, and hoped she'd be safe so far from home.

He only had one errand to accomplish before heading to the loft, but the wind was blustery and fought him every step of the way. He could feel the moisture in the air heralding something special for Christmas. It sure felt like the season even if it didn't look like Christmas yet. He tried to keep his head down so he wouldn't lose his hat, and rubbed futilely at his nose and blew into his hands in an attempt to warm them as he continued on his way.

When he caught up with a group of carolers, he swung wide around them, which wasn't easy because they were on the move and still singing ...

... Yuletide carols being sung by a choir ...”

... and not paying attention to where they were going. //Ah ... "...nuts".//

He shivered and pulled futilely at his coat collar, doing his best to block out the wind, //I hope Sandburg wore his heavy coat. What am thinking? He's probably got on three pairs of socks, three shirts, and that Fargo hat besides. He probably looks like one of those Weeble toys that won't fall down.//

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Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe

Help to make the season bright

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow

Will find it hard to sleep tonight
<>

Everything had worked out as he'd planned. After his one errand he could head home. He'd worked late finishing up what he could so he wouldn't have to face it after the holiday. //No last minute shopping for me. I finished my list in two days, unlike Sandburg who started last January and will probably finish tonight.//

He stopped for a moment as the first of the forecasted snow began to fall. He sighed wearily. //This is going to pile up fast. Well, a white Christmas is better than rain in some ways. When it's raining I have to fight the glare from all the lights. With snow, it's still bright, but more calm somehow. Sure, I'll have to clear the truck off tomorrow ... unless we get an emergency call in the middle of the night ...// He sighed wearily, //It would really be nice to have a quiet Christmas for a change.//

Continuing on, he passed a number of brightly lit doorways before he ducked into the one he wanted. He barely managed to avoid the mistletoe that had been sent swinging by the gust of air when he opened the door. //Mistletoe?// Then he saw little Jia hiding behind the counter, and hiding a chuckle - and a couple of missing front teeth - behind her hands. He could see a glint of mischief, too, as she gestured him closer. He knelt down to the child's height, and she quickly kissed him on the cheek. He stood up abruptly, surprised, as Jia ran back to the kitchen.

He allowed a brief smile while he waited for his order. Jia's mother came out with a huge bag of food, and a smile of her own. “We have a special on the menu tonight, Detective Ellison. Turkey chow mein. It's all ready and would only take a moment to get ready.”

Smells from the kitchen made his mouth water as they caught his attention and he sniffed. //Turkey chow mein? Oh, no. Bad idea! Sandburg doesn't need another idea for turkey leftovers.// He smiled, quickly wished them a Merry Christmas, and left.

He wrapped his gloved hands around the hot takeout, //Well at least my hands will be warm now, but I'll probably have to reheat this when I get home because, knowing Sandburg, he'll be late.//

The footing had turned slippery already and he slowed down his strides as he passed the little park near the corner of Prospect and Dalton. He had to move quickly out of the way of a couple of kids. They'd been attempting to build a snowman. It was pretty small but still 'Frosty-looking' with a couple of twig arms - or maybe the twigs were ears and the 'snowman' was a reindeer. The kids gave up their snow-building, ignored Jim completely, and began to run around throwing snowballs at each other. //Their parents should keep better control of their ...//

His thoughts were interrupted as Mr. and Mrs. Howard followed their kids with snowballs of their own.

Jim! Watch out!” shouted Doug Howard.

Jim ducked just in time, then shook his head at the playful commotion. //They're in good spirits! Doug and Judy must be trying to wear them out before they get them home. Good luck getting them to sleep tonight! It's no secret to kids that this is the night that the 'Big Guy' is coming to town.//

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They know that Santa's on his way

He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

And every mother's child is gonna spy

To see if reindeer really know how to fly

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As he continued on he became lost in thought, //I hope Sandburg likes his presents. He's such a big kid when it comes to holidays, but Christmas in particular. I haven't figured that out. He said that he and Naomi didn't always do the major holidays, so why is it so special to him?//

Jim unconsciously slowed down even more as he tried to 'un-puzzle' Sandburg. //He's always celebrated the holidays with me. Is it me - or, I should say - is it us? Has it always been 'the friendship thing' with us, even from the start?//

He hadn't realized he'd stopped walking altogether, not until the crowd around him at the crosswalk left him behind when the light changed. Suddenly he was alone, and he realized that he was the one that was going to be late for dinner. He shivered, and thought longingly about “roasting by the fire”, and he didn't care that the line was from the “...nuts” song.

With the door to #852 finally in easy sight, Jim picked up his pace and began singing under his breath, “... hurry Christmas, hurry fast ... please Christmas don't be late ...” As he pulled open the door, the sound of a familiar voice came to his attention over all the other street noises.

Blair was clinging to the Volvo's steering wheel and singing at the top of his voice, “Oh, Christmas elves, Christmas elves, Santa's back today. Boy it's really cold outside, wish we could fly away ...” He stopped when he spotted a parking space and pulled in right in front of their building.

//It figures!// Jim grumbled silently about the unfairness of that but he smiled as he greeted Blair, "How'd it go today, Chief?" //At least we'll both be home for Christmas Eve.//

"Great. Great! No classes to teach. No more grading to do. I just used the time to catch up on some research.”

Hey, what were you singing?”

Oh, ah, just a Christmas ... parody ... Stupid song. Hey, you wouldn't believe ..."

Jim listened with growing relaxation, even as he dialed-down Mrs. Henderson's cringe-producing rendition of “Chestnuts" on the second floor, “... said many times, many waaaays ...” Jim dialed it 'way' down.

//Sandburg looks happy tonight. What am I thinking, 'Of course' Sandburg is happy tonight! It's Christmas Eve and he thinks that he's spied out all of his presents from 'this' Big Guy. NOT!// Jim's smile grew wider.

They broke one of Jim's major house rules as they sat in front of the fire and ate the Dim Sum, and everything else that was in the bag. Jim wiggled his stockinged feet and sighed, thinking with satisfaction, //Ah, no "chestnuts" roasting on this fire!//

As he snuggled down into the cushions, it suddenly occurred to him with a little pang of regret that the old year had passed so quickly. //Another week and it'll be “Auld Lang Syne” I'll be hearing.// The impatience he'd felt all day was gone. He'd made it 'home' for the holiday, safe and sound, and so did Blair.

He was suddenly very grateful that Blair Sandburg was his friend and roommate. There were times when he hated to admit it to himself, but Blair balanced the ill-tempered loner that he tended to be. As he watched Blair turn on the Christmas lights he said a little prayer of thanks for this one gift of friendship that had changed his life in so many ways.

Blair had turned on the lights and then plopped down on the other end of the couch. He stared at Jim for a moment and asked in a serious tone, "Jim, can you name all the reindeer?"

Jim looked at him out of the corner of his eye, "Be grateful I'm in a good mood, Chief. Tell me ... why would I want to?"

"Well, to see if those brain cells are still working. HEY! Don't mess with the hair." This was followed by a good-natured tussle that settled nothing.

"You name them, Sandburg. I'll tell you if you're right."

"You're no fun."

"Just as I thought."

"What?"

"You can't name them either ..."

Can too ... Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. There! Hey, did you know the last two were originally Dunder and Blixem? ...”

You missed one.” //That stopped him short.// With Blair actually speechless for a moment, Jim grinned and leaned back with a smirk. “Rudolph,” he said.

Oh, come on! I would have gotten it! Besides, Rudolph came later.”

I'm sure you're right, Einstein.”

Blair's slow grin made him nervous.

Hey, Jim. I just had a great idea for a sentinel test!”

Jim chuckled incredulously, wondering what he was up to now, “On Christmas Eve? You do know the chances of that happening, don't you? Maybe I should call you, Scrooge.”

Jim could see Blair was trying to contain his laughter as he said, “Just a little test, Jim ... see if you can spot Rudolph's big shiny red nose!”

Jim flipped a handy pillow at his head and teased, “You didn't dip into any 'flavored' egg-nog, did you?”

Blair chuckled and asked in indignation, “Who? Me?”

Jim stood and headed for the kitchen, “Well, then, how about a glass of wine?”

Yeah, sure.” Blair bounced off the couch and added, “I'll put on some music.”

Jim stopped in his tracks and spun around so suddenly that he startled Blair. He warned loudly, “No 'Chestnuts'.”

But Jiiimm, I love that song!”

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And so I'm offering this simple phrase,

To kids from one to ninety-two,

Although its been said many times, many ways,

Merry Christmas to you

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Written for the fans on Cascade Times

To the new fans and the not-so-new dinosaurs,

Merry Christmas

from

Linda

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finis

1. Wikipedia: the reindeer info: http://

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus's_reindeer

2. Wikipedia: Weebles (human and animal figures shaped like eggs with a weight on the bottom): slogan: "weebles wobble, but they don't fall down" by Hasbro.

3. Wikipedia: The Chipmunks, The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
Songwriter: Ross Bagdasarian, Senior (a.k.a. Dave Seville): “... hurry Christmas, hurry fast ... please Christmas don't be late ...”:

4. Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”: Ebenezer Scrooge.

5. The Christmas parody was from my “Jingle Bells 2008”.