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Day 19: Lift Off

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"Okay, Dad," Kurt said, checking off the last box on his last as Finn shoved the package into the last bag on the very top of the sleigh. "That's all the presents. You're all set to go."

The pile atop the sleigh began to wobble and Finn reached up to stabilize it. He shoved the bags around a little bit more until they were more stable, and then stepped back, brushing his hands together. Sometimes he hated being the tallest elf, but most of the time his extra height came in handy.

Burt trundled out of his office, big black boots slapping against the candy-cane-striped garage floor. "All set, eh, kiddo?"

Finn quickly took his place behind Kurt, standing at attention next to Puck. "That's everything on the list," Kurt replied, stepping forward and straightening Burt's hat. "I wish you'd wear that scarf I made for you."

Batting Kurt's hand away, Burt scoffed. "I've got this ridiculous beard. Why would I need a scarf?" Burt's eyes twinkled as he smiled back at Finn and Puck. "Now off with you, boys. I've got work to do and you've got a control room to staff."

"On it, sir," Puck said, adjusting the radio headset on his head. Finn smiled at the way Puck had dyed his stripe of hair green and red in the spirit of Christmas. He always had been the kind of elf who took the company dress code "loosely".

Finn followed Kurt and Puck to the door between the garage and the stairs to the control tower. Before going through the door, Finn paused, watching Burt settle into the seat and pick up the reins. Finn sent all of his good thoughts at the team of reindeer pulling the sled.

Beside Finn, Kurt whispered, "He'll be fine, Gumdrop. No major weather patterns forecast anywhere in the world. It's a fine night for Christmas."

"I know." Finn sighed and threw his arm over Kurt's shoulder. "I just worry. You're sure we've got all the flight plan updates from the airlines?"

Smiling, Kurt laced his fingers in Finn's and pulled him toward the stairs. "I'm sure. C'mon. We don't want to miss lift off."

As Finn walked up the stairs behind Kurt, he almost forgot to enjoy the view. He was about to ask whether Kurt thought Blitzen looked a little dodgy, when he realized he was missing the moment.

Up in the control room, Finn slipped on the headset Puck gave him and watched the sleigh zoom down the runway and take off into dark arctic sky. Not for the first time, Finn hoped he did well enough as an elf to inherit the title of Santa when Burt retired. To have all these people look out for him—not to mention being able to bring joy to all those people—was everything Finn wanted in life. Of course, he'd only be a little disappointed if Kurt or Puck got the job. As long as it wasn't that rotten Jesse St. James, Finn would be happy.

Finn grabbed a few mugs of hot chocolate from the tray Artie had prepared and began handing them out, first to Puck and Kurt, then to Laren, the head flight commander, and Mercedes, the lead Joy Coordinator. As he kept passing out mugs as fast as Artie could bring them, Finn said, "Merry Christmas, everyone!"

Kurt snuggled against Finn's side when he finished and finally took his own mug. "Merry Christmas, Finn."

Noticing the mistletoe above them, Finn chuckled and placed a chocolatey kiss on Kurt's lips.

Sorry for the late hour of posting. Today totally got away from me. It's still the 19th in my time zone!