Keeping Your Cool in the Christmas Season

by ljc


Summary: Just a little snippet.

Warnings, Ratings: None

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. This story was written by ljc with the love of the show in mind.


Blair shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. Then he yawned hard enough to feel his jaw crack. He winced and rubbed the muscle when another yawn followed the first. Then he sighed deeply as he shifted feet once again. He glanced at the clock on the wall and bounced with minimally controlled restlessness. He wasn't late. He wasn't especially annoyed. It was the Christmas season ... the season of long lines and short tempers. He'd vowed years ago to never to let more than minor annoyance dim his sense of humor about it.

He was somewhat surprised that most of the people in line seemed more than usually irritated today. Of course, that could be because of the crying kids in the cart at the end of the line. He felt sorry for the mother. She was trying to keep them entertained, and quiet, but all she got for her efforts was a louder wail and dirty looks ... the wail from the toddler and the dirty looks from almost everyone else.

He could hear the little boy, who was about four, quite clearly, “When I'm grown up I'm not going to buy you any pizza.”

And the mother smiled, “Not any?”


But I buy you pizza sometimes. Just not tonight.”

The boy seemed to think for a moment, “You can have the gross pizza.”

Blair could see her grin widen, “You mean the mushroom pizza.”

Yeah,” the boy said, but he couldn't help but smile back at his mom even with the tiny tears clinging to his lashes.

Blair turned away and grinned, his restlessness momentarily cured, until a tall, well-dressed man behind him began muttering ugly commentary about the state of capitalism in general, this store in particular, and the quality of the 'help' ... slow and/or lazy.

When the clerk looked nervously at the now red-faced bully, Blair couldn't help but comment, “Hey, man, this is a busy time of year. Give her a break. Everybody's got a cart full of stuff.”

It didn't stop the man's mumbling. In fact, now his glares were directed equally to Blair and the clerk.

It didn't help the clerk's nervousness, either. When she picked up one item and couldn't find a barcode that would scan, she tried to type in the number ... several times. Her shoulders slumped and she looked resigned as she glanced at Blair, her one defender, and then to the ugly-gentleman. She took a deep breath and turned to activate her microphone, “Price check for housewares. Price check for housewares.”

Blair held his breath ... the crying baby stopped crying ... the little boy sniffled ... and his mother said softly, yet loud enough for them all to hear, “oh - no ... the - dreaded - Price - Check.”

Blair burst out laughing. The little boy giggled. The red-faced man snorted softly, and the clerk smiled for the first time since Blair had been in line.




Notes: The little boy and his mother had the pizza discussion today while I waited on them. He played up those little tears like a trooper. <g> As for the 'dreaded price check', that was a story my sister told me. She was trying to defuse the tension while 'in line'.