Thanks to Bonnie and Sue for the inspiration. Bonnie's comments about the last chapter made me aware that it's too darn hot for warm anything, even warm fuzzies. Then one of Sue's email from back when it was actually cold (Don't ask why I saved it.) actually gave the final spark.

Standard Disclaimer: Not mine, I make no money.

Chapter 23: I Scream, You Scream...

Jim held tightly to his fresh pint of strawberry ice cream as he dug out another spoonful.

They were in the middle of one of Cascade's rare, but intense, heatwaves. Thankfully he'd gotten the cast off his ankle and for once wasn't complaining about being stuck at his airconditioned desk.

From experience, he'd found that the best way to deal with the intense weather was to camp out on the balcony with his favorite ice cream. He'd stopped by the store on his way home from the station and the frozen treat was still very much frozen. He was actually having to work to cool down.

He also found that, in addition to having to deal with extreme heat, the hand he was holding the container with, was having to deal with extreme cold.

Rubbing his chilled left hand on his leg to warm it up he prepared to excavate another sampling of the dessert. After scrapping up enough ice cream to fill his spoon, the Sentinel blew on his hand to warm it, then placed the spoon in his mouth to savor the sweet taste.

Blair dragged himself through the front door, dropped his backpack next to the door, and planted himself in front of the open refrigerator, soaking up the cool air. He bent over and brushed his long hair over his head to allow maximum exposure to the back of his neck.

It was in this position that he spotted the empty grocery sack, with the receipt sticking out, in the trash. Just enough was visible to cause Blair to stand upright, close the refridgerator and open the freezer. A chill ran up his back as he spotted the pint of chocolate peanut butter fudge ripple ice crean sitting next to the frozen peas.

The overheated grad student set the treat on the counter, pulled a spoon out of the drawer, then dashed into his room. He returned just as quickly with his arms full, grabbed the ice cream, and headed out to the balcony to join Jim.

Blair shut the door just as Jim was rubbing his hands together to warm them up.

"Ah, the age old delema of how to eat ice cream and keep your hands warm at the same time," Blair stated as he sat down and prepared his snack.

Jim paused his attempts to warm his hands to reply, "And I just bet you have the answer, Mr. Smartguy."

The answer came in the form of a peice of gray fabric sailing in his direction. Jim unfolded the Army sweatshirt and held it up, "It's a bit too hot to wear a sweatshirt, Chief, even this one."

Blair laughed and began to demonstrate with the other sweatshirt that he'd brought outside with him, "It's not for you to wear. You wrap it around the ice cream. It keeps your ice cream cold and your hands warm."

Jim quickly copied his Guide's actions and the two friends sat back to enjoy a quiet evening.

Chapter 22

Chapter 24


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