Windows to the Soul.

by Sineag

EMAIL: Sineag

This story combines the series "Tough Little Boys" and "Hell is for children." It does stand alone but if you want to read the others you can find them at

There is also a small crossover which I am sure you will recognize but is not necessary to understanding the story.

This story is in no way meant to infringe on any copyright laws. I claim no ownership to any characters in this story except for Sigh. She does belong to me. Warning Kid Fic. Implied Child Abuse.

Blair smiled at the lights of the snow-covered city. The early December snowfall had excited Sigh, when they picked her up at her sitter's this afternoon. He and Jim had been able to leave work a couple hours early and had taken her to the park to play. Sigh had been enchanted by the falling flakes and had eagerly helped to make a "snowgirl", as she had called it. Sigh did not have many memories of her life in Scotland before the accident that had taken her parents' lives, so it seemed like many things were new to her. It had been 18 months since the accident, the year before she had been in the orphanage during the Christmas season, so they were looking forward to making some new holiday traditions with her, and hopefully, helping her to remember some of the special things from her culture.

Speaking of which, Blair said to himself, as he went back to the computer to look up Gaelic holiday traditions. As he started to run an information search, he heard Sigh tossing and turning in her bed. He got up, hoping to get to her room before the nightmare started, but had only taken a few steps when she started to scream.

"Mommy, wake up," the small child cried, tears running down her face when Blair reached her bed.

"Please, mommy, don't leave me."

"Shhh, little one," Blair whispered as he picked her up and carried her over to the rocking chair. "It's okay. You're safe", he reassured her, smiling into her scared green eyes as she opened them, tears shining in the dim light.

"Uncle Blair?"

'It's me, sweetie, its okay."

"She wouldn't wake up. I was all alone. Why did she leave me alone?" she sobbed.

"It's okay, baby, she didn't want to, she loved you very much."

"I miss mommy and daddy," she gasped as she buried her face into Blair's shoulder

"I know you do, princess, and it's all right to be sad, but we love you and you're safe now."

"I know," she mumbled into his shoulder.

"You know, sometimes I miss my mommy too, and I know daddy Jim misses his."

"But you're big."

"Yeah, but even big people miss their mommies and daddies."

"But your mommy never comes to see you."

"I know, but I remember the mommy that I had good times with and I miss her."

"Did you ever build a snow girl?" she asked, her nightmare forgotten as she settled down to listen to one of her Uncle Blair's adventures.

"Well, I didn't build a snow girl, but I made a snow boy, and I also used to make snow angels."

"What are snow angels?" Sigh asked, her green eyes wide with anticipation.

"Well, how about tomorrow I show you how to make one. They are somewhat hard to describe."

"Uncle Blair, are snow angels different to real angels."

"Yeah, you know how you made a snow girl today?"

"Um huh."

"Well, that was not a real girl, was it?"

"No, real girls aren't made out of snow, silly."

"Silly, are you calling me silly?"

"Yep, you silly Uncle Blair."

"Well, would you like your silly Uncle Blair to tell you a story about snow angels?"

"Yep, story would be good."

Sigh drifted off to sleep, listening to the voice of her beloved Uncle Blair telling her about a land of snow angels, and elves and peppermint striped roads.

Blair looked down at the sleeping child, pulled the soft blanket off the back of the rocker, and covered her as he sat, holding her while she slept. His mind was far away in another park, on another winter day so many years before, and an angel who had cared for a child she had never seen and would never see again.

Denver Colorado November 1973

"Blair, baby, Greg and I need you to wait here at the park for us and we will be back soon," Naomi said to her young son as she led him to a snow-covered table in the deserted park.

"Okay", the boy said quietly, already knowing at the age of four that his being scared would not keep her from leaving and it would make Greg mad, and then Greg would hurt him.

"Now remember, don't say anything, brat, and if you see somebody, you hide in those trees, understand?" the tall man said harshly. "Or you will regret it."

"Yes, sir," he said quietly.

Naomi and Greg left, leaving the small boy, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt sitting on the wet table, ignoring the tears running down his face, his body already shivering from the cold.

Blair sat on the table for what had seemed like forever before he heard laughter and a woman's voice calling out to somebody. Blair quickly looked around and then hid behind a small cluster of trees standing close to the table he'd been sitting on.

As he watched from behind the trees, he saw a small boy about his age, a young woman, and a man in a dark blue uniform, laughing as they chased each other across the snow covered ground to the table where he had been sitting minutes before.

The woman set down a basket on the table and turned to the other two.

"Okay, now who do you think can make the best snow angel?" she asked.

"I can," the young boy cried.

"Ya think?" the man in the uniform said as he swung the boy up in the air,

The boy squealed in laughter.

"Jack, if you make him sick, you are going to have to deal with it," the woman warned, trying to sound stern but she could not hide the laughter in her eyes.

"Oh, you're not going to get sick, are ya, Charlie?"

"No, I'm flying, just like you do", the boy giggled

"Yes, you are, and you are coming in for a landing", the man said as he swooshed the boy toward the ground. "Here it comes, a crash landing", the man laughed as he dropped the boy into the arms of the woman.

"Do I have one child or two?" she laughed.

"Two," the boy and the man replied as they looked at each other.

"Okay, you two, let's see who can make the best angel," the woman challenged, the laughter apparent in her voice and her eyes. "On the count of three, okay?"

"One… Two… Three…."

On the count of three, all of them dropped backward into the snow, giggling as they moved their arms and legs in an up and down motion. Then they carefully got up from the ground.

"Well, I think we all did pretty well," the women said", great angels. Who wants some hot chocolate?"

"I do," the boy shouted. They moved over to the table and Blair gave a small gasp when he saw what remained in the snow.

"Angels," he whispered to himself. "I wish I had an angel."

Blair realized he had said it aloud and covered his hand with his mouth and looked up into the kind brown eyes of the woman with his wide frightened blue eyes.

He quickly scooted back deeper into the trees and hid behind one.

"Sara, what's wrong?" the man said as he walked up next to her.

"Nothing, I guess, I just thought I saw somebody back there."

"Are you sure?"

"No, I just heard a noise and I thought I saw something move back there."

"I'll check it out."

"Be careful, Jack."

Blair became more anxious as he heard them talk; he knew that the man would hurt him if they found him. They always did. Looking around, he spotted a tree that was fuller than the others were with its dark green branches coming all the way to the ground. He quickly climbed up a couple of the branches and made himself very small so that he remained hidden from the man's eyes.

Jack did not see anything though he did see some disturbance of the ground. The trees had protected the ground from most of the loose snow but it had frozen hard enough that he was unable to see any distinct tracks animal or human. ~ Must have been some animal ~ he thought to himself, looking around a final time, but not seeing any other sign that someone had been there. He turned to leave but could not shake the feeling that eyes were watching him. He turned around and looked again but there was nothing there. "Next thing I know I will be looking for ghosts," he said softly. ~There is not even a place for an animal to hide ~ he thought to himself, not even considering the thought that a small boy would be hiding from him.

"Well, there is nobody there, it must have been an animal," he told Sara as he came out of the trees. "We better have that hot chocolate and hit the road before it gets too late to make it back to the springs tonight."

After a few minutes, they had finished their chocolate and some cookies and started to clean up.

"Sara, why don't you take Charlie to wash up and I will go warm up the truck up," Jack suggested, looking at the mess that was also called his son, who seemed to be wearing more hot chocolate and cookies than would have gotten into his stomach.

"Chicken", Sara teased.

"You're right", Jack laughed, "I know when I am out of my league."

"Yes, right. C'mon, Charlie, let's get you cleaned up."

Jack eyed the thermos of chocolate, the smashed cookies and the flannel blanket they had used to cover the table. Seeing the mess, he did the mature responsible thing, he wrapped it all up and stuffed them into the garbage can before heading back to the truck.

Blair had climbed down from the tree when he smelled the hot chocolate and watched longingly as the small family had enjoyed their snack. He was careful to be quiet but his eyes grew big as he saw the man throw away the leftovers of their impromptu picnic. He waited for a few minutes after the family left before he came out of the trees and grabbed the bundle from the garbage can, then dashed back into the trees. After he had wrapped the blanket around him, warmed up with the cookies and the rest of the hot chocolate, he began to get a little braver and he crept out of the trees, and looked at the star angels on the ground.

"I wonder if they are real angels," he whispered to himself.

He turned around, and carefully placed the blanket on the table, held his hands outward, and fell back toward the snow, deciding he wanted to be an angel too. Before he hit the ground, he felt rough hands grab him and he heard a scary voice.

"Well, what do you know? He is exactly where Greg said he would be", the man leered as he grabbed Blair up and turned him to face him. Blair stared into dark angry eyes and began to struggle, knowing it was useless, but needing to get away from the eyes that held so much threat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jim quietly unlocked the door to the loft not wanting to wake Sigh, who should be sleeping. As he walked into the loft, he automatically dialed up his hearing to check for the presence of the two most important people in his life. He heard the rapid breathing and the soft sounds of distress coming from Sigh's room. He quickly headed to the small room, and realized Blair was having the dream.

"Chief, you okay?" he whispered as he gently shook his guide's shoulder.

Blair jerked his eyes open, expecting to see the dark eyes from his dreams, but instead he met sky blue eyes that held nothing but safety and shelter in them.

"Jim," he whispered, "you're home."

END

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