This is just a piece of candy corn type story. Heavy on the smarm and low on the owies.

Don't own the characters but no harm in playing with them. Right?

Thanks to Starfox for the home and to you readers for indulging me. Have a save one!

A Ghost No Longer

by K-Lyn

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It was October 31st and as a tradition, Cascade P.D. sponsored a Halloween Safe Stop for all the children at a neighborhood house. There the kids would be able to enjoy a few contests with prizes for best costumes and some treats donated by the people at the department. All done well before nightfall and enabling the smaller tikes to have fun without braving the cooler temps.

Also a tradition, was that fact that the younger members of the department were to be on hand to answer questions, help with the contests and to show the people of the neighborhood that the police were there for them not just as protection but also in an approachable non-threatening way.

Detective and department Profiler, Blair Sandburg was a natural. He made the children laugh, flirted with a few moms, chatted with the few fathers that came and never seemed to tire of the nights events. He was in his element. Det. Rafe, ever the watchful one, made sure the kids were careful with what they ate and that when they left for home, they were accompanied by an adult. Though Rafe wanted to be with his partner he enjoyed watching the children have fun. It made the detective understand the importance of making the present safer for every tomorrow. Children needed to understand that the police were there to help and be a friend when needed.

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On the other side of town - -

Det. Ellison had been assigned to a stake out at Stanley Park. There had been reports of gang members harassing the children and their parents as they tracked to and from their destinations and the captain of Major Crimes was not amused.

For four hours Det. Ellison and Det. Taggert monitored the park. When the gang struck Ellison was able chase the leader ten blocks before apprehending him and returning him into custody. The kid had eight wallets on him and some highly illegal foreign substance in his possession. Taggert had also been successful in catching two other gang members. Det. Brown, who had been on stake out three blocks away, was able to prevent what seemed like a kidnapping and turned out to be a parent trying to steal a child from the custody of the other parent.

Halloween had definitely turned out a great deal of ghouls.

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Back at the neighborhood house - -

Blair and Rafe completed their assignments and each returned to their homes grateful to be allowed to end their night at a decent hour.

Blair had snagged a few treats for his partner, knowing that his roommate would probably come home exhausted and in need of a boost in spirits. It was something most didn't know, but James Ellison was the owner of one hell of a sweet tooth.

An hour later Blair entered the loft, quickly showered and prepared some pasta for his friend. Then proceeded to pass out candy to the stragglers that happened by. He loved the costumes and the giggles he received at his own. The young profiler especially loved the little girl dressed as Belle from 'Beauty and the Beast'.

An hour or so later and with no further trick or treaters in sight, Blair eased onto the couch and watched his favorite horror film of all time 'Halloween' sometime between Jamie gazing out her bedroom window and the ride to the babysitting job, Blair dozed off clutching King's 'Dream Catcher' in his left hand.

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Ellison trudged upstairs, too tired to have the patience to wait for the elevator and exhausted because his senses were a bit off scale. The stake out proved a bit stressful and trying to maintain control without his guide had been extremely hard on his nerves. He looked forward to eating something quick and then maybe having the taffy apple he had been saving. Blair had eaten all of his and Jim's was the last. He knew how to save. The last was the best.

Jim opened the door and hung his coat. That's when he saw it. His taffy apple, which had been sitting on the purple dish on the counter, had been eaten.

Wasn't it enough that he was suffering from a sensory overload, that his roommate had piggishly eaten his last treat and that he was really really tired? The older man shook himself out of the funk he was under and went to his bedroom to gather a change of clothing. He'd shower and then eat something. Sandburg was obviously not in the mood to cook either.

Suddenly he heard a woman scream. He was halfway downstairs before he realized it was that Curtis woman in that dumb horror flick and that his hearing level had unexpectedly enhanced her voice.

The Sentinel snickered at the television in disgust. Horror flicks were just dumb, at least the poorly made ones were. He figured that if he had entered a house and the lights were out, he would either continue with his gun drawn or call for assistance. Those movies were made for idiots who should know better. Speaking of which, said idiot was sleeping on the couch. Again Ellison shook off his angry thoughts and decided he really had been through one stressful night.

He went to take a shower and when he returned to the kitchen something called 'The Fog' was playing and Adrienne 'whatsher name' was on T.V. He silently moved about the kitchen and was pleased to find that Sandburg had at least made some of his favorite pasta, noting that not only was his hearing off but so was his sense of smell. Still, none of this really mattered at the moment. What did matter was that he wanted his taffy apple. It had been his for god's sake.

The ticked-off detective finished his meal, alone, and went to wake his roommate. It was time to take the snoring concerto into the bedroom where it belonged.

When he stepped into the living room he paused, the kid had fallen asleep in a red sweatshirt, black sweat pants and on top of his head was a set of devil glittered horns. Ellison noted that with the new haircut, his roommate had the face of an angel in his sleep and the horns just seemed wrong. Still he did eat the last taffy apple. Maybe the horns were a blatant statement of the obvious. Deciding to hold off on waking the other, Ellison sat down on the opposite couch and noticed that Adrian had a nice set of ...

"Jim?" Blair woke with a start. "Hey did you eat?"

Ellison smirked. "Yeah and showered too."

As Blair wiped the sleep out of his eyes, his roommate couldn't help but notice that sometimes his guide seemed frozen in age somewhere in his teens and had mannerisms to match.

"Man I must have wiped out." He yawned and then stretched. "Oh hey, you ready for your treat?"

Ellison shook his head. "No junior, I looked. You scarfed down the last taffy apple."

Blair frowned at the snappy retort. "No way man, I wouldn't do that.Hang on." Blair stood and went towards the slightly opened balcony doors and reached out for the tray which had been seated on the bench the two men used whenever the weather was nice. The tray contained five taffy apples, two with nuts, two without and Jim's original off to the side, still in its wrapper. In the center was also a bowl with an assortment of candy. "I got these at the neighborhood house, leftovers, and, well, when I was little my mom had this friend who told me the best apples were the ones left outside for a while on Halloween. She said that they soaked up the Halloween spirit, made them special Ė magical somehow and because of this it made the apples taste better."

Blair carried the tray into the kitchen mindful of Ellison Rule Number 8: No eating on the furniture. He then wrapped a napkin around one of the taffy apples stick and handed it to his friend who now stood beside him. "I never got to celebrate these types of holidays with other kids, because most of the time I was the new kid or the freaky kid next door." Blair paused and smiled. "I always used to have the typical ghost costume, you know the one, made of a bed sheet and had three holes cut into it?"

Ellison nodded wondering why his friend was suddenly so sad and waited silently to understand the hurt he saw in the normally joy filled eyes. It was rare when Blair opened up about his past and Ellison was determined to hear him out and to help if he could.

"Sometimes I wished I really was a ghost. "He reached out and took a candy corn and popped it into his mouth. "When I was in that costume on no one knew who I was, the kids let me follow them, talk to them and play with them." Blair sighed. "Still the next morning, it was like the night before never happened. I was treated just like before, like the odd man out all over again. Just as invisible as if I really were a ghost but somehow it wasn't the same -- they saw me and didn't care how I felt."

Blair then reached out for his next treat. He took a bite of his own apple and sat down on the chair in the dining area. "I saw all those kids at the neighborhood house today with their parents and, well, I guess I started to remember how lonely it was to be an outsider. How lonely I was." Blair looked at his friend and smiled. "Donít mean to be such a downer but I wanted to say thanks for making me a part of your life, Jim."

Ellison looked at his friend and wondered why Naomi hadn't see the hurt back then. Pain his friend still carried deep inside. Deciding it was time for better memories, the older man smiled and patted the other's shoulder. "Thank you for sharing, it means a lot."

"Hey why don't we finish up here and then you can turn in? I heard about your arrests tonight. You must be ready for some heavy duty Z-time. I'll clean up and watch just one more movie before I turn in."

While Jim ate his apple he discovered that his senses no longer bothered him and that his friend had somehow managed to make him feel --better. No, it was time to return the favor, he needed to help his friend. "How about we both clean-up, make some popcorn and watch a horror movie together?"

Blair smiled at the idea and his eyes soon sparkled with joy. "Really?"

Ellison nodded. Blair never wanted much of anything from anyone. No, he was a giver and because of this he deserved everything. His was a soul to be cherished and brother to spend time with. "Yeah really."

The two men set about cleaning up and making the popcorn and then relaxed on the couch. Halfway into the 'Lost Boys' the two men finished off the popcorn and had fallen asleep. Jim to the left, Blair against his shoulder and off to the right. Both with content looks on their faces while they slept.

Ellison had woken up later, turned off the television and looked down at his sleeping friend. He wondered if the kid knew how lonely he too had felt when he grew up as well.

It had been a Halloween several years ago; Steven and he had competed for the largest amount of candy, only to have their father confront the boys in anger. The man had considered Halloween a holiday for beggars. If the Ellison men wanted something they bought it. From that day forward, neither child was allowed to participate on Halloween. Forbidden to have fun.

Blair showed him what every holiday was supposed to be like. Just a time to reflect and enjoy the presence of those closest to you and to share some of your happiness with others. The detective looked down at his friend again and noticed that the horns on the curl-covered head were sliding off. He returned to his original spot, beside his friend, reached out and removed the costume headgear. Blair mumbled something and shifted closer to him. Ellison smirked, tomorrow they were both off so downtime on the couch would be alright.

Placing a pillow beside, Jim stood and moved Blair into a better sleeping position. He then pulled the afghan from behind the couch and tucked the younger man in. Once his blessed protector duties were accomplished, he crossed over to the other couch. Tonight he was happy his friend didn't wish to be a ghost and was content to hang out with one uptight, taffy apple-eating Sentinel. Ellison looked back into the kitchen and noted the tray containing three uneaten taffy apples and some candy still in the bowl.

Blair was also there for him in ways only a brother could be. Sharing.

He closed his eyes and allowed the sound of his guide's heartbeat to lull him to sleep. It was just after 1 am, the witching hour. All was safe in the loft. And there were no nightmares.

Happy Halloween All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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