A/N: I didn't find it easy to describe Shel's physical appearance. (He's a supporting character in Dave's World, and is played by Meshach Taylor.) I had an easier time describing what Kenny Beckett (played by Shadoe Stevens) looks like. This story takes place during the second part of I saw Mommy Kicking Santa Claus.Some of the dialogue is taken from that episode.

Kenny's Christmas Surprise

Kenny Beckett couldn't wait to go to Aspen. There'd be lots of mountains to ski down, lots of gorgeous women to flirt with (and maybe have a few making out sessions on the side), and a crackling fire to help keep him cozy throughout the entire vacation. This would be one vacation he'd never forget.

At the moment though, he was stuck in the mall doing some last-minute shopping. Kenny located a crimson snowsuit, though he wasn't entirely sure whether or not it fit well with his shoulder-length blond hair and piercing blue eyes.

"Does this suit look well on me?" Kenny asked a pair of mall elves. The only response he got were two glares before the elves walked off with disgust.

"Oh right, this from people who dress up as Candy Canes," Kenny grumbled. Just then his best friend Shel showed up. Before Kenny had a chance to ask Shel's opinion about the snowsuit, the divorced black man began a diatribe.

"Can you believe it? Someone sold my ham! Even though I had to pre-order it ahead of time so I'd have my delicious meal in time for Christmas dinner. What is this world coming to?"

Shel continued to rant some more about his precious ham, but Kenny wasn't paying attention. He just wanted to leave the mall, finish with his packing, and then drive off to the airport to catch a plane to Aspen. But as long as his best friend continued his annoying ranting, the trip excursion couldn't take place. Finally, Kenny had enough.

"It's just a ham, Shel!" Kenny snapped. "There's more to Christmas than a piece of pork!"

"But it'll be a Christmas without my ham," Shel whined, before launching into another rant about the ills of life. Kenny rolled his eyes, and waited for his friend to stop talking. Soon it became apparent that this new diatribe wouldn't be ending anytime soon.

"Shel," Kenny called out, hoping to get his friend's attention. That failed to work however.
"Shel," Kenny tried again, still with no success. How much longer would Shel yammer on like this? "Shel!" Kenny yelled. At this, his best friend finally closed his mouth. When both friends were making eye contact, Kenny spoke again. "Where's your Christmas spirit?" he asked quietly.

"In Aspen," Shel replied.

Kenny started to understand where his friend was coming from. Earlier in the day, Shel had complained that his daughter and ex-wife would have a Christmas vacation all to themselves, leaving him all alone at home. Although Kenny couldn't imagine himself settling down with any one woman, much less having kids, he knew that Shel loved his daughter very much.

"It's your first Christmas without Carly."

"I'd be tempted to fly out to Aspen to surprise Carly, but all the flights have been booked," Shel explained. "I'd also be surprising Estelle."

Kenny sat in silence, slowly feeling his own Christmas Spirit disappear. If Shel's black cloud could affect him like this, it would be worse for the Barry family.

That would be their problem, not mine. I need to get out of here.

"You may want to do some volunteering someplace," Kenny suggested. "As for me, I have some packing to do." He then gathered his stuff together and stood up to leave.

"Lucky you," Shel grumbled to himself. As soon as he noticed Kenny's crimson snow suit though, he started to laugh.

"What's so funny Shel?"

"Are- are you really gonna wear that thing in Aspen?"

Kenny bristled. "So what if I am? I need to wear something when going down the slopes."

"Kenny, if you wear that snowsuit, your whole body would appear to be covered in blood," Shel remarked seriously. "Do you really want to ruin your image like that?"

The blond editor frowned. He had always prided himself on keeping his hair, clothes, and the rest of his appearance just so. There'd be no success in landing any girlfriends if he didn't look his best.

Well, if you put it that way.

"No, I won't wear this. I'll…."

Kenny wanted to say that he'd look for a different snowsuit to wear, but the next words out of his mouth surprised even him.

"I'll stay here for Christmas. You can have my ticket."

Did I really just say that?

Shel's mouth dropped open. Although Kenny did make a good Poker partner, he usually thought only of himself. He wasn't the type of person to willingly give up a vacation, so someone else could take it in his place.

"Are – are you serious Ken?" Shel asked. "You were looking forward to visiting Aspen, and just a couple of minutes ago you said there was packing to do."

I didn't even consider going to Aspen until you mentioned it at the Barry's.

"How am I supposed to attract beautiful women, when wearing this atrocity of a snowsuit?"

"I thought so," Shel scoffed. "You only want to give me your ticket, because you're too worried about your image."

"Maybe that's part of it," Kenny admitted. "But I – You shouldn't –" The editor then turned away from Shel and looked down at the floor. "No one should be a grump on Christmas," he said softly. "The holiday is supposed to be a happy time, where a person gets to spend time with family and friends."

"That is true Ken."

"Do you want to see your daughter?"

"You know I do," Shel cried. "I miss her very much already."

"Then I'd suggest you take me up on my offer, before I change my mind."

Shel smiled for the first time all day. "Thanks Kenny."

Kenny looked into Shel's eyes. "You're welcome. Merry Christmas."