DISCLAIMER: As we all know, I don't own these characters. They belong to the wonderful Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, FOX, and a whole host of others whose names I don't remember. I made no money and received no Christmas presents for this story.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: They say a picture is worth a thousand words; in this case, I hope that a thousand words paints ten different pictures :). This is a simple, fluffy holiday story and I hope it brings you a few minutes of enjoyment. Feel free to let me know what you think at cheerfuloceangazer@gmail.com.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Christmas Season Snapshots
By ocean gazer


Monica stood under a window awning, sheltering from an unpredicted downpour. It wasn't the driest spot, but it kept the worst of the rain off her head.

She watched people scurry past on the sidewalk, heard their not-so-muffled curses, saw the irritation on their faces. She understood the reactions; she was in a hurry, too. She had a suspect to interview, a meeting to attend, three open cases to try and make headway on.

Still, she couldn't help but be grateful for a chance to slow down, to stop for a moment and actually notice the sights of the season.

Dana stood shock-still in front of the floral section at her local grocery store.

Red and white flowers were prominently displayed, arranged with seasonal greenery to highlight the colors of December. Purples, blues, yellows, and pinks added splashes of contrast.

She didn't normally care about flowers. She went into a store, grabbed the items on her list, and left as quickly as humanly possible.

Something here had captivated her and she couldn't seem to walk away.

Surprising herself, she reached out and grabbed a colorful bouquet, smiling a little as she cradled it in her arm.

Monica would love it.

Monica hummed under her breath as she washed the dishes. Granted, the gingerbread was still in the oven, so she couldn't really wash everything, but she wanted the house to be as tidy as possible when Dana got home.

Her partner had had a difficult week and Monica wanted to do everything in her power to make life a little bit easier for her.

The heat from the oven, the spicy smell of the baking treat, and the classical music on the radio all conspired to relax her.

She hoped those things would have the same soothing effect on Dana.

Dana sighed in relief as she slipped off her coat and kicked off her shoes.

Then she sighed in resignation, seeing the swirl of lingering fall leaves that had blown in the door behind her.

She knew she should sweep them up before she tracked the mess through the house, but the mere thought made her tired.

She half-turned as Monica joined her in the hallway. Her partner's delighted eyes were fixed on the Welcome mat; looking down, Dana noticed that the leaves made a wreath around it.

Dana smiled, grateful for the unexpected reminder that life was about perspective.

Monica grimaced, pushing away from her office desk. She'd been hunched over paperwork for hours, finishing her reports before starting the long holiday weekend. She knew Dana had spent the day doing the same.

They rarely had time off together, and they'd sworn not to let work interfere.

The clock read 11:21pm. She pulled out her phone, scrolling for messages, half-expecting an annoyed one wondering where she was. Instead, Dana's message simply said, "Wake me when you get home so I know you're safe."

Smiling, she gathered her coat, purse, and the armful of files and left the office behind.

Dana took a sip of coffee. Setting her mug down on a bookshelf next to the fireplace, she turned her attention back to the mantle. She'd already spread holly and evergreen branches across it; now she placed candles amongst the greenery.

Hearing Monica humming softly, she glanced over to see her partner positioning a wreath in the middle of the picture window.

Dana smiled. It had been years since she'd decorated for the holidays, work and personal losses making the season gloomy. It felt good to revive the tradition.

It felt like they were making their house into a home.

Monica sighed as the end credits of "It's A Wonderful Life" scrolled down the TV screen. No matter how many times she saw the movie, it still touched her.

She looked down at the auburn head pillowed on her lap; her fingers gently combed through Dana's hair. She heard a soft snore and smiled, grateful her partner had finally relaxed, as exhausted as she'd been recently.

Grabbing the remote control with her free hand, Monica flipped channels, looking for another movie. It was incredibly comfortable to sit there with her sleeping lover; she wanted to enjoy it a bit longer.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Dana had planned to go for a leisurely Christmas Eve drive and look at holiday decorations; many nearby neighborhoods had started putting together elaborate displays. She didn't want to be out in the spitting sleet and howling wind, however.

She padded into the living room, vaguely annoyed with the universe, and stopped short in the doorway.

Monica had built a fire, and two steaming mugs of...cocoa?...sat on the coffee table. The brunette sat on the couch, cuddled up under a blanket. The scene was homey, inviting.

Dana was suddenly grateful for unexpected storms.

Monica stood in front of the picture window, coffee mug in hand, staring out at the thick blanket of snow that covered the world. The raging storm of the night before had gentled, leaving behind a rare white Christmas.

It was breathtakingly beautiful.

She felt Dana's presence behind her a scant second before strong arms slid around her waist, circling her. She leaned back against her partner's body, soaking up the warmth and security of the embrace.

They stood together in silence for several minutes, looking out at the momentarily peaceful world. Monica couldn't have asked for any better gift.

Dana slid under the covers, snuggling against Monica's warm body. She chuckled as her partner mock-protested the sudden presence of cold feet.

She silenced the protests with a kiss. "I had a wonderful Christmas, Monica. I love you."

She smiled as long fingers came up to caress her face. Monica spoke softly. "Love you, too."

The emotion in the simple words touched her, reminding her how blessed she was to have this wonderful woman in her life.

Dana kissed Monica again, passionately, her hands following familiar paths along her lover's body, letting actions say what was too deep for words.

The End

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