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This is a very small Easter gift to my wonderful friends at Cascade Times. I hope each and every one of you had a glorious Easter holiday.
Disclaimer: Jim and
Blair and the MC gang are owned by Pet Fly, Paramount, and others. No copyright
Summary: Jim reluctantly takes part in a traditional Easter custom.
Warning: Read at your own risk <g>....this snippet is presently unbeta'd!
Ellison continued his tirade as the Volvo sputtered to a halt in front of a large neighborhood park.
"I KNEW I shouldn't have let you drive, Sandburg! This was all some sort of convoluted plot wasn't it? You may have that innocent *who me* look, but you are plotting. Always plotting." Jim tossed his friend an icy blue glare as they both exited the small car.
"This idea of Easter egg hunts being some sort of sentinel proving grounds is absolutely the most IDIOTIC kind of reasoning I've heard from you in... what... 12 hours maybe? I should have known there was some kind of sadistic plot going on when you begged to drive us to Simon's for Easter dinner. I just should have known. But no, I accepted the fact that my FRIEND was concerned about my lack of rest and apparent fragile physical state...."
Blair chuckled as he bounced alongside the big detective. "Aw, come on, Jim. This'll be fun. I always catch an Easter egg hunt and watch the kids. It's culturally significant if nothing else. Admit it man, the day is absolutely gorgeous isn't it? We're outside watching people and their little ones all dressed up in their finest clothes. To do what? Hunt for eggs and candy in the grass. I personally find it extremely interesting and somehow refreshing."
Blair heard Jim's answering growl as he came to a stop just outside the roped off grounds for the hunt. The kids were in a giant clump, readying for the whistle that would send them in pursuit of the coveted confections. Watching the milling and excited bunch was amusing and before long Jim was scanning the area and involving himself in the proceedings. The grassy part of the *hunting area* nearest to the children was cut very short and the eggs were easily spotted. Closer to Jim and Blair the area was wooded and the grass was longer. The eggs there had been hidden with care, presumably for older or more skilled searchers. This was the domain of the infamous *prize eggs*.
Sandburg gave Jim a knowing grin when Jim snuck a sidelong glance his way.
"See what I mean?? These things are a blast. Oh man, here they go! Watch this!"
At the sound of the whistle the kids stormed out onto the grass. It was amazing to see how quickly the eggs disappeared as the young participants plopped them in their baskets. Soon the easily seen eggs were gone and the children began making their way to the more challenging part of the hunt.
Jim hated to admit it, but this egg hunting stuff was pretty darned fascinating. He laughed as he watched the frantic darting of the young hunters and wondered about the validity of Sandburg's earlier statement. Was it possible this was a type of situation in which he first learned to hone the fledgling skills of a young sentinel? If given the proper home environment, might someone have recognized his abilities and encouraged them due to activities such as this? These thoughts were actually pleasant to ponder in the festive setting of the egg hunt and Ellison felt a surge of appreciation for the guide by his side.
Suddenly, the detective's attention was drawn back to the mown area and to a little boy standing in the middle of the closely cropped grass. His young mother stood nearby as she quietly encouraged the toddler to find eggs. Apparently his small chubby legs had not been able to carry him about the course quickly enough and all the eggs were gone before he could find one. He seemed content and merely watched his counterparts dashing about the long grass trying to find the prizes. Jim was immediately struck by the baby's beautiful smile and the soft curls that framed his angelic face as they tousled in the breeze. Oddly, it was not surprising to the detective that he felt compulsively drawn to the little boy's side.
Blair watched his friend with an amused expression and followed the older man's gaze to the mother and child. Without warning, Jim grabbed the anthropologist's arm and gave it a brief squeeze before turning to step over the rope and onto the grassy course. After he briefly talked to the woman and showed his badge to reassure her, Jim took the little boy's hand and began leading him over to the tall grass and trees that hid the remaining eggs.
The small boy's expression was rapt as he listened to the big detective explaining the fundamentals of competitive egg hunting. Jim had made a new friend. Blair's smile widened as he watched the sentinel and his young charge, followed happily by a pleased mom, on their way to what surely was to be a successful venture. He was so involved with the sweetness of the gesture he was quite unprepared for the comments he overheard as the trio
"So you see, Little Chief, you gotta watch what I do here and think about it. Later you could find these strategies very useful *and* you might even need to show them to someone else as time goes on. I know *that* lucky person is bound to appreciate a keen observer such as yourself."
Blair blinked and swallowed the lump in his throat as he quietly returned the affectionate grin the sentinel sent his way.
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