No copyright infringement is intended.
A short sequal to The Gift of Christmas
A New Year
by Suze777 and HLEmpress1
Simon shifted the heavy plastic bag to his other hand as he pressed the
elevator button for the third floor. It was early yet, but knowing Jim
was usually up with the sun, he figured he might as well get the chili
on the stove. It was New Year's Day and their usual poker crew was gathering
to watch the football games later that afternoon. Simon was in charge
of the main course and they had all decided it was just as easy for him
to cook it at the loft.
He left the elevator and approached # 307. Simon knew Jim would hear
him, but he was quiet on the off chance that Sandburg was still sleeping.
Last night was New Year's Eve after all. Then again, the little lothario
probably wasn't even home, Simon thought with a chuckle. He raised his
hand to knock when the door suddenly swung open.
"Damn, I wish you wouldn't do that," Simon grumbled. He smiled when
he saw a rumpled Jim standing in front of him. The sleepy eyed man was
wearing sweats and holding the new edition to the household. The small
puppy was cradled in the Jim's large hands looking just as sleepy.
"Simon?" Jim queried, his voice husky. "What time is it?"
The larger man shouldered his way into the apartment, chuckling. "Had
a busy night, Jim?" he teased. "It's already 10. I thought you'd be
up by now." Simon walked into the kitchen and placed the bags on the
counter. "Gotta get the chili started if it's going to be ready by game
Jim stood, staring at his captain. "Riiiight," he said quietly, watching
the other man unload the bags. He glanced over his shoulder at the stairs
then looked back at his friend. Just then Burton yelped, reminding Jim
of his original task, which was taking the newly trained puppy outside
to do his business.
His fuzzy brain was trying to salvage what was about to become a very
enlightening moment for his captain. "Hey, Simon, want to take Burton
out for a quick walk?"
"Yeah, right, Jim," Simon said sarcastically. "Nice try, but I am not
babysitting Sandburg's dog. I can see he left you holding the bag...again."
Simon nodded at the open doors to the anthropologist's empty room. He
looked over and saw the puppy squirming in Jim's arms. "You better get
a move on there, Jim. The little guy can't hold it much longer. I'm
sure Sandburg won't be back from his hot date in time."
Jim just shook his head, knowing the situation was spiraling beyond his
control. With one more hopeless glance up the stairs, he grabbed his
jacket and left the loft, closing the door quietly behind him.
Simon quickly got busy assembling the ingredients for his creation. He
took the largest pot out of the cabinet, not bothering to be quiet in
the empty apartment. Suddenly he froze. Was that a moan? Simon quietly
stepped into the living room, listening intently. There it was again.
Coming from upstairs. For the first time since he had entered the loft,
Simon noticed the state of the living room. The colorful throws, usually
neatly placed on the back of the couch, were on the floor. There were
two dirty plates on the coffee table, along with an empty champagne bottle
and two half empty glasses.
He closed his eyes, now realizing why Jim had been acting so strange.
The other man had had a date for New Year's Eve! Why hadn't he told
him, Simon wondered. He decided to make himself scarce for a few minutes
to give Jim and his friend some privacy. Just as he was reaching
for his coat, an unexpected voice stopped him in his tracks.
"Jiiiiimmm," the voice whined. "You promised we could stay in bed this
morning." The voice changed, assuming a lower register. "C'mon back
up, Babe. You won't regret it."
Simon stood frozen. Just then the door opened and Jim walked in. He
saw the look on his friend's face and shook his head. Placing Burton
on the floor, Jim took off his coat and grabbed Simon's as well.
The larger man stammered, "I didn't know, Jim. I'm sorry for barging
"Simon?!?!" A disembodied head popped up, the owner obviously still in
the bed which rested against the edge of the second floor. Blair's hair
was in complete disarray and the tangle of curls partially hid the shocked
expression on his face from the two men who stood looking up. "Oh, shit,"
he said quietly and the head disappeared from view.
Jim rubbed the back of his neck. "Simon, I'm not sure what to say."
Simon recovered his composure. "How about some coffee, Jim?" He followed
his detective into the kitchen and leaned against the counter watching
the other man pull mugs out of the cabinet.
"Why didn't you tell me, Jim?" he asked, his voice quiet. "I thought
we were friends."
Jim turned and handed the other man a full mug of the steaming brew.
Leaning against the opposite counter, he took a sip of his own coffee
then raised his eyes to meet those of his captain.
"It's still pretty new, Simon." Jim answered.
"Only since Christmas Eve," Jim replied. "The night I gave him Burton."
The Sentinel lowered his gaze for a moment, smiling at the creature who
was attempted to chew a hole in his new leather trainers. Looking up
again, he continued. "It's been there for a long time, Captain."
Simon sighed and then nodded. "You're right. I guess I just couldn't
take that extra step in my mind."
Jim laughed. "You! It was a hell of a shock to me as well!" Simon
joined in, laughing heartily.
A tiny bark caught the attention of the two men and they both looked
over to see Sandburg standing in the archway. He looked like a small
boy, wearing a robe several sizes too big. Worried blue eyes met those
of his lover. Jim smiled, reassuring the smaller man.
Blair relaxed slightly, bending down to pick up the puppy who was jumping
at his legs. "Hey, Baby Burton!" he said lovingly, nuzzling the small,
wriggling body. "Have you been a good boy for Jim?"
"He waited until we got outside." Jim answered for the puppy. "He's
Blair looked over at Simon who was watching him, taking in the domestic
"Good morning, Captain," Blair said quietly.
Jim walked over to Blair and gave him a quick peck on the top of his
curls. "First shower is yours, sweetheart. You better get a move on.
The guys'll be showing up pretty soon."
Blair nodded, glancing shyly at his captain. He burrowed against his
lover for a moment, then stepped back. "Thanks, Big Guy." The two men
watched as he disappeared into the bathroom, puppy still cradled in his
Jim walked back and picked up his coffee, resuming his former spot facing
his friend. "I love him, Simon. I'm not sure what else I can say. He's
The larger man was quiet for a moment, then he nodded matter of factly.
"Then that's all that matters. Everything else will work itself out."
He turned, placing his cup on the counter. Simon rubbed his hands together
as he surveyed his cooking ingredients. "Now back to the masterpiece."
He looked up at Jim who was still watching him. "Well, what are you
waiting for? Go clean up that mess in the living room so we have some
room to par-tay."
Jim smiled, then clapped a hand on the other man's shoulder. "Thanks,
Simon sat back on the couch, contented. He had a full belly, a cold
beer and a game on the TV. What more could a man ask for? Then he glanced
into the kitchen and smiled.
Rafe and Brown were noisily arguing about the last play when their captain
"You each owe me a hundred bucks. Cash only, no checks accepted." Simon
smiled at the looks on their faces.
Brown looked at him like he was crazy. "What the hell are you talking
about, man? The game ain't over yet."
"I'm not talking about the game bet." He replied. "This is another bet
that I just won, thank you very much."
"With all due respect, Simon, how much have you had to drink?" Rafe inquired,
a puzzled look on his face.
"Not enough that I can miss that," Simon nodded towards the kitchen.
"And you boys call yourselves detectives." He chuckled, shaking his head.
Rafe and Brown's heads both swiveled to see what he was talking about.
There in the kitchen stood Jim and Blair, unaware of their audience.
Blair was unsuccessfully trying to open a can of peanuts when a pair
of arms slipped around him from behind and helped him to complete the
task. Blair looked up at Jim and only a blind man could miss the loving
expressions on the faces of both Sentinel and Guide.
The two men turned back to their captain, shock plainly written on both
"One hundred bucks each, gentlemen." Simon taunted the stunned men.
"I told you both, but no one wanted to believe me. Now it's time to
pay the price." He waggled his unlit cigar at them before placing it
between his teeth.
Rafe and Brown each reached into their pockets for their wallets. Brown
glanced over his shoulder for one more look at the oblivious couple in
the kitchen. "How the hell did you know, Simon?"
Simon smiled. "That's why I'm the captain."