The Sentinel

By Aislinn

1/4/2011

The little tree stood in the corner dreaming Christmas dreams. Its branches were weighed down with simple ornaments and twinkling lights. It stood silent sentinel over the bullpen. Only the whir of a distant machine broke the stillness of the night. A soft ding caught its attention and the soft pad of footsteps coming down the hall. A visitor? At this time of night? Maybe it was one of the cleaning staff that had forgotten something.

A quiet figure crept into the bullpen and set a small sack down on a desk. He reached in to the sack and withdrew several small gaily-wrapped boxes that he placed under the tree. He smiled and left the room as quietly as he had come.

Peace descended once more on the building and the tree waited patiently for morning. But what was this? A scuffle in the hallway drew its attention again. A giggle and whispers as two figures snuck into the room. One was tall and the other short and they too had sacks. "Shh," the short one whispered. "Chris would kill us if he caught us. You know what he said about presents."

"Looks like someone already ignored what ol' Chris had to say," the tall one muttered.

The two quickly emptied their sacks leaving more presents under the tree's branches then they left, the short one doing his best to stifle giggles.

The tree pondered the visits and waited to see if more would come. Sure enough one by one figures crept in and left gifts behind. Six had come so far and the tree wondered if the seventh would as well. The tree sensed that the seventh was a wounded soul but it knew that this was the season of miracles and what greater miracle is there than love?

It waited and just before dawn, when the night is darkest came the sound the tree had been waiting for. A footstep in the hall, hesitant and stealthy. A tall figure appeared at the door, clad in shadows and carrying a small bag. The man stopped and stared in wonder at the sight of the pile of gifts piled around the tree. He put down his burden and then he too placed packages wrapped in colorful papers under the tree. He ran a gentle finger over the star on the very top of the tree and he smiled and the joy and peace of the night seemed to transform him. The tree stood tall and proud and content as the man turned to go. It would stand guard this night over the tokens of love left for others just as this man stood guard over his team. As his footsteps receded down the hallway the little tree hummed quietly to itself waiting for Christmas morning.

Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine,
Oh night, oh night divine

77777

Thank you to my beta reader Christy. Your encouragement is priceless my friend. :D

Any mistakes left are my fault.

Thank you Mog for such a delightful AU to play in. :D

Disclaimer: The boys don't belong to me if they did they would still be riding across our screens every week. They belong to the alphabet people who quite frankly can't be trusted with them, so I am sneaking them out the back door to my place.