Shack 9

by Francesca

"C'mon, where's your sense of adventure?" Blair'd said this enough times that Jim now had answers.

It's eloped to Mexico with my sense of humor.

It's on my sofa, watching my television and drinking my beer.

It's up your ass, keeping your head company.

He didn't say any of these things. He just stared at the fog of snow ahead of them and kept his hands on the wheel. "You said Vancouver."

Blair shook his head so vigorously that Jim could feel cold waves of displaced air. "No, you heard Vancouver. I said  . I said — "

Jim chirped his hand in Sandburg's face.

"Hey — lighten up! Mountain cabin. Fresh air. We can ski, snowmobile — "

" — break our legs, die."

Blair threw up his hands. "Whatever, yeah. You know everything." He leaned forward, turned up the heat, and switched on the radio. Jim listened to the faint static-y music and kept his eyes trained for Sasketoon Pass.

When he finally saw it, he was so relieved that he forgot to be angry. "It's up ahead. Maybe a mile."

Blair's face was barely visible inside of his large, fur hat. "Take the left."

The turnoff was uphill, and poorly plowed. This brought their speed down to 10 m.p.h., and honestly, there was nothing like sitting in a frozen truck with an irritated Sandburg while you drove in slow motion. "So, Jim said, as they approached a snow covered bush, approached, passed, passed the bush, goodbye bush, "how 'bout them Jags?"

Sandburg said nothing. Tree, Jim thought, watching it loom into view. Hello tree. Here we come, tree. Almost there....There were ice crystals on its low hanging branches, fluffy clouds of snow on top.

When they finally passed the tree, Jim got his first look at the cabin.

It was at the top of the hill, dark against the snow, and behind it ranged the mountains, impossibly majestic, impossibly beautiful shades of white and blue and pink.

Jim suddenly realized that Sandburg couldn't see this, that his partner's slightly damaged vision wouldn't allow him to see ten feet in front of them, let alone across the vista. They churned a few more yards before Jim shifted into park, switched off, and grabbed Sandburg's mittened hand.

"What?" Blair seemed to have been jolted out of his mood. "Something wrong?'" He held his fur hat to his head as Jim yanked him out of the cab.

"Just come on," Jim said, dragging Sandburg uphill through the snow.

Sandburg held his free hand in front of his face, like he was worried they'd slam through the fog into a brick wall. "What are — ? Where — Jim, the cabin's over — not this way, it's — "

At the top of the hill the fog suddenly cleared and Jim stopped and shoved Sandburg forward so that he could see.

"I — wow. Wow. That's just...that's..."

And there was something about seeing Sandburg awed that made Jim's heart thump in his chest. Something about those blue, blue eyes going wide.

When Sandburg turned back to him, his mouth was hanging open slightly and he looked beauty-dazed. Jim felt beauty-dazed too. "See I told you," Sandburg said vaguely, "that it was going to be — "

Jim leaned forward and kissed him — a sloppy cold kiss that landed mostly on Sandburg's slightly-open mouth. Sandburg's mouth opened further, and Jim took advantage and went deeper.

Sandburg was gasping when they finally broke apart. "I — but you never — "

"Where's your sense of adventure, Sandburg?" Jim said, and began to drag Blair back toward the cabin.

— by Francesca (595 words)  

The End