Holiday Spirits
by Kira

Blair carefully catalogued his situation. Arms and legs still attached...yup. Arms and legs movable...ahhh, not quite. Breathing still continuing...not too bad, not too bad, a bit tight inhaling, but on the whole doable. your eyes, Sandburg.

Blair cracked open his eyes and was confronted with a leafy curtain draped over his chest. The branch lay over his chest, another across his thighs, pinning him to the soft earth. He vaguely remembered watching as the tree fell towards him, frozen like a deer caught in the headlights. Now he was stuck, a simple walk in the woods where he and Jim had been camping turning into yet another fiasco.

The weather was warm, thank goodness, which meant that the slightly damp earth wasn't half as cold as it could have been. He was wedged firmly into the grassy dirt, immobile. Idly he wondered if a tree fell on a guide in the forest, would a Sentinel hear?

With a sigh, Blair closed his eyes and waited for his Sentinel to rescue him. He always did, he always would. That is, if he wasn't watching the playoffs on the tv. What day was it anyway? Sunday? Oh great. That meant the game was on, and Jim was glued to the tv set, oblivious to his guide's peril.

He suddenly felt something strike his forehead. Opening his eyes he blinked as a walnut hurtled down to impact on his temple. A soft chittering followed a rustling in the leaves around him. Black, beady eyes and a twitching, bewhiskered nose became visible through the foliage. It was a squirrel.

"Shoo. Go away," Blair muttered, not in the mood to be ravaged by some crazy rodent with a bushy tail. He closed his eyes, only be barraged with a hail of nuts.

"Hey, you!"

Blair's eyes shot open. He stared at the fuzzy animal.

"Yeah, you."

Blair swiveled his eyes looking for another source of the voice, which had a vaguely New York accent.

"Me?" he asked tentatively.

"What? You see anyone else around here?" The squirrel asked as it preened its tail.

"Uh, no." Blair figured that as hallucinations went, this one could be worse, so he went with it. "Hey, you wouldn't happen to have seen a wolf around here would you?"

"Nope, sorry. He's on holiday."

Blair wrinkled his brow. "My spirit guide's on holiday?"

"Well, yeah. You know, the union lets us get paid vacation when we get stuck with the hard ones," the squirrel explained as he cracked open a nut, flicking the shell onto Blair's chest.

Blair thumped his head against the ground, moaning slightly.

"I got a squirrel replacement? A squirrel? What happened to all the cool animals, like a fox, or a eagle, or a bear?"  Blair shouted to the powers-that-be, which were off answering the call of nature, having forgotten to leave the answering machine on.

"Hey! I resent that! " More nuts rained down on the stuck Shaman.

"Okay, okay, sorry. Squirrels are wonderful, caring, intelligent creatures. Now would you mind going and telling Jim's panther to bring him to me...please?" Blair turned his puppy dog eyes at the squirrel.

"Fine then," the squirrel grumbled as he darted down the tree and across the clearing. "But I'm only doing this because its in the contract!" his voice floated back to Blair.

Blair simply closed his eyes, trying to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Time passed and he was almost enjoying his forced relaxation when he heard crashing and a concerned Sentinel's voice.


"Over here, Jim!"

The Sentinel spotted his fallen partner and rushed to his side. Carefully running his hands over his partner's body, in a purely platonic way of course, he assured himself that Blair was whole, unbroken, uncut, mostly unbruised, and pretty much okay.

"How you doin' buddy?" he asked.

"Fine, just fine. Get me out of here. I think my back's gone numb from the damp."

Jim removed his jacket, and bragged hold of the tree trunk. His biceps rippled, his abs flexed under the tight white T-shirt. With a mighty, masculine grunt, Jim heaved the tree of his trapped Guide. He extended a broad hand to Blair who took it and was pulled from the ground with a sucking sound and pop.

"Thanks, Jim."

"No problem, Chief."

Jim wrapped his jacket around Blair amid much flexing muscles Blair didn't know existed, and they made their way out of the park.

"So, Jim, did the panther bring you?" Blair asked, looking about for a glance at the elusive cat.

"No, and that's the weird thing. I was watching the game and all of a sudden this constipated looking skunk is there, looking at me, telling me to listen to him...said something about the jaguar being on medical leave..."