DISCLAIMER: Do I need to tell you that I don't own D.E.B.S. or the characters from the movie? That privilege belongs to somebody else who isn't me. No copyright infringement is implied/meant/deliberate in anyway, shape or form and, no money is changing hands/no profit is being made, etc. It's all just good Christmas-time fun.
CHALLENGE RESPONSE: Submitted for the Passion & Perfection Xmas Challenge 2005
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
D.E.B.S. the Halls
By Del Robertson
D.E.B.S. VEHICLE - 1600 HOURS
"Lucy Diamond and her henchmen have been spotted entering the lot near the First National Bank. Apprehend her before she can abscond with the money." Mr. Phipp's image instructed from the console of the D.E.B.S.' car. "Oh, and D.E.B.S., be careful out there."
"Roger. Max out." Max flicked the console off with one long, French-manicured nail. She casually flipped her hair over her shoulder as she did a u-turn across three lanes of traffic. "You heard him, ladies; Let's go get her!"
As Max came out of the u-turn, she floored the accelerator. Tires squealing, they sped North along Main Street. Amy clutched at the door handle, bracing herself. Her eyes slammed shut as Max zipped around a corvette, narrowly missing an on-coming minivan.
"We're gonna die! We're gonna die!" Janet chanted, throwing herself down on the back floorboard, covering her head with both hands.
Beside her, Dominique calmly lit another cigarette, taking a long drag. She inhaled deeply, exhaled; relishing the sensation of the tobacco searing her throat. Casually, she double-checked both her guns, releasing the safety.
Max jerked the wheel, making a sudden left. The car jumped the curb, landing in a sand-covered lot. She cut the wheel sharply, causing a dust-cloud to swirl up, engulfing the vehicle as she slammed on the brakes. Several women screamed, grabbing their children. A couple of men took cover under their pickup trucks, covering their heads.
"Heads up, people! We're here!" shouted Max, kicking her door open, climbing out.
"Thank God," Janet groaned, picking herself up off the floorboard.
Dominique flicked Janet a disinterested glance, stepped over her as she climbed out of the car. Taking another long drag on her cigarette, she leaned against the fender.
Amy continued to clutch the dash for several long moments, eyes wide open, staring unblinkingly straight ahead. As her breathing slowly returned to normal and her heart rate slowed, she unbuckled her seatbelt. On shaking legs, she managed to stumble from the vehicle.
"Hey! You can't park there!" shouted a man with a Southern accent, wearing a pair of coveralls and a ball cap. He clutched an axe in one hand as he approached.
"D.E.B.S." Max flashed her badge. "Official business."
"We're looking for this woman. She's a dangerous felon," Amy said, as she came to stand beside Max. She showed a photograph of Lucy Diamond to the man. "Have you seen her?"
The man took the picture, staring at it intently. He pushed his ball cap farther up on his head as he examined the woman in the snapshot closely. "Yep."
"Well?" Max asked, impatiently. "Which way did she go? Is she in the bank already?"
"Nah. She went that way," He answered, pointing to the lot.
"Are you sure?" Max pressed. "She didn't double back and go into the bank?"
"Nope. Saw her myself. Went out that way with a scrawny little fella."
Amy thanked the farmer, carefully tucked the worn photograph back in her skirt pocket. Biting her bottom lip, she looked in the direction he had pointed them. The normally empty area beside the bank had been turned into a lot full of Christmas trees. It looked like a forest stretching out before them, tall Evergreens and Spruces towering for as far as the eye could see.
"Right," Max's lips pressed together in grim determination. "We're going in. Dominique, you cover the inside of the bank, just in case Lucy's doubled-back and is already inside." Max flicked her gun with one hand, heading into the forest.
They split up the moment they entered the forest. Max went straight, taking the middle. Janet went to the left, Amy to the right. They agreed to maintain radio contact, checking in every five minutes. The first one to spot Lucy would yell for back-up.
Amy had just completed her third check-in when she spotted her. Dressed in black jeans and a black tee; Long, ebony hair flowing as she darted around a large spruce. It could only be Lucy Diamond. Gun at the ready, she cautiously crept forward, keeping her body pressed as close to the trees as possible. Pine needles prickled her skin as she edged too close to a tree.
Crouching down, she quickly spun around the base of the tree, aiming her weapon. "Freeze!" she shouted.
She felt the barrel of a gun dig into the back of her neck. She stared at the empty ground in front of her. With a rueful smile, she lowered her weapon.
"I thought I had you."
"You can have me any time." Lucy flashed her trademark smirk, stepped around Amy. Her gun arm encircled Amy's waist, pulling her in close. Leaning in, she caught Amy's lips in a crushing kiss.
"Mmmm." Amy broke the kiss, pulling back. "Missed you," she said, tenderly running her hands along Lucy's collar.
"I missed you, too." Lucy leaned in, capturing Amy in another kiss. "Maybe I can stop by later?"
Amy bit her bottom lip, shook her head. "Max is making us watch a Little House on the Prairie Christmas Special." She caught the look on Lucy's face, shrugged. "She gets a little weird around this time of year."
"Well, I don't have any mistletoe," Lucy smirked, "but maybe an evergreen will work just as well."
Tenderly, she leaned forward, kissing Amy. Her tongue traced the outline of Amy's lips, demanding entrance. She heard Amy groan, felt her open her mouth beneath her. With an answering moan of her own, Lucy's tongue plunged into the welcoming heat.
Hands splayed over Lucy's back, trying to pull her impossibly closer. Blindly, Amy allowed her fingers to explore the length of Lucy's torso. Searching hands found the front of Lucy's jeans. Fingers worked, undoing the front snap, peeling the zipper down.
She thought it was Lucy calling her name. Then, she realized that Lucy's mouth was still fused with hers. That can't be Lucy, then! She registered the addition of another voice, heard the sounds of someone running through the forest. The sounds grew louder, rapidly approaching her location. With a muffled groan, she attempted to push away from Lucy. Lucy, however, only tightened her hold on Amy, hands freely roaming over her body.
Max crashed through the dense man-made forest. Her chest heaved as she fought for breath. She held her gun level, pointing it at Amy. "Where is she?"
"What?" Amy asked, looking around.
"I heard you yell "Freeze" before you cut off your radio." Janet rushed out of the forest, running into Max from behind, jarring her. "Where is she?" Max asked, shrugging Janet off.
"I thought I had her," Amy shrugged. "But, she got the drop on me." Amy made a showing of retrieving her gun from the dirt. "Lucky you heard me; I think you must have scared her off."
"You must have been scared to death." Max put her arm around Amy's shoulders, led her back towards the car. "Let's get Dominique and check-in. Then, I'm going to make you a hot cup of cocoa, complete with marshmallows and cinnamon."
"Yeah," Janet mumbled, trailing along behind Amy and Max. "I'll bet someone got lucky."
"What?" Max asked.
"I said: I'm glad nothing happened to Amy."
Amy flashed Janet a dirty look over Max's shoulder. She was certain she had heard Janet say something else. But, she couldn't very well pursue it. So, she let it drop and let Max take her home for a night of hot chocolate and television.
BOULART'S DEPARTMENT STORE - 2100 HOURS
The D.E.B.S. rappelled on thickly corded ropes through the skylight above the women's department. Silently, they landed, removing their harnesses and safety gear. Janet brushed at her plaid skirt, trying to smooth out the wrinkles caused by the harness. Dominique gathered the equipment, stashing it behind one of the cash registers. They quickly moved forward in formation Alpha-Kappa-Gamma, Max taking the lead.
"I can't believe this!" Amy complained, aiming her flashlight at a row of mannequins. "Who breaks into a department store on Christmas Eve?"
"Lucy Diamond, that's who," answered Janet. "Sources saw her enter through a basement entrance with several henchmen."
Wordlessly, the squad crept forward, keeping a sharp eye out for anything suspicious. Amy and Janet followed closely behind Max, each flanking her side. Dominique brought up the rear, pausing every few feet to check behind them.
"OH!" Janet stopped abruptly beside a mannequin.
"What is it?" Amy asked.
"I have this exact same sweater in green." Janet passed her weapon to Amy. Reaching up, she slipped the sweater off the mannequin's form. She draped it over her own shoulders, smoothing the material in place. "What do you think?"
Amy reached out, fingering the material. "You'd have to have it dry-cleaned," she stated, matter-of-factly. "And, did these sources also tell you why Lucy Diamond would be breaking into a department store?"
"How much you want to bet they're after the day's deposits?" Amy eyed her skeptically. "What? - I'm a shopper! And, any good shopper knows that most businesses don't send their employees to the bank on Christmas Eve. They wait until the day after Christmas, in case they need change for all those after-Holiday shoppers."
"That's retarded." Amy rolled her eyes.
"No, what's retarded is that you two are carrying on like this is a day at the mall!" Max hissed, sharply turning around. She grabbed Janet by the arm, yanking her towards her. "If you have to chatter, keep it to a whisper."
"You're just sore because we got called out during the middle of Lost: The Christmas Special," said Janet to Max's retreating backside. I swear, the only reason she watches that show is because she relates to Ana Lucia!
"Yeah, well I am zore about missing - " Dominique joined them, pausing beside the now topless mannequin. Giving it a cursory glance from head to toe, she reached out, striking a match on the mannequin's left breast. Amy and Janet both flinched as she calmly lit her cigarette. " - the red velvet cake."
"How can you be thinking of dessert when we haven't even had our Christmas Eve dinner, yet?" asked Amy.
"I am French." Dominique shrugged, pushed past Janet. "We think of the pastry as a prelude to the main meal - and sex."
Janet and Amy stopped in the middle of the aisle, staring at each other. They both thought that after four years together, Dominique would no longer be able to shock them. But, once again, the French woman had proven she was full of surprises. Amy passed Janet's gun back to her, rushed to assume her position in formation. Janet started to remove the sweater, then paused. She cast a sidelong glance at the mannequin. Shrugging, she hurried past the still-naked mannequin, settling the sweater upon her shoulders once again.
They fanned out as they reached the basement level of Boulart's. Max and Dominique consulted a blueprint, settling on the most likely location for the manager's office. Max was certain that if they hurried, they could catch Lucy Diamond in the act. She assigned Amy and Janet to check the perimeter, aisle by aisle while she and Dominique stormed the office.
Max and Dominique were well out of visual range, leaving Janet and Amy behind. They carefully patrolled together for the first four aisles or so. Then, Janet stopped in the middle of an aisle full of candles. Leaning against the gondola, she kicked off her left shoe, rubbing the sole of her foot.
"You okay?" Amy hissed.
"Just haven't broken in my new shoes, yet." Janet nodded. "But, aren't they just adorable?" she asked, pointing the toe of her right shoe for emphasis.
"Oh, yeah, those are cute," Amy agreed. "Listen, if we split up, we'll be able to patrol the area twice as fast."
"Okay," Janet readily agreed. "I'll take housewares," she said, pointing to an area with appliances and kitchen gadgets across the main aisle. The entire department looked to be about five aisles wide. "You take toys."
Amy turned in the direction Janet had pointed. The toy department was huge, covering nearly half of one side of the basement. Aisle after aisle of toys stretched out before her. "Okay, I'll meet you in sporting goods." Amy gamely started off down the first aisle, idly glancing at the new action figures on display.
She had gone about twelve aisles into the department when she stumbled upon Santa's Village. I must be about halfway through the toy department, now. I remember my nephew saying Boulart's has the best Santa. I really wanted to get down here and check it out this year. Gingerly, Amy picked her way through the life-size scenery.
Large candy canes towered overhead, lining each side of the red, velvet footpath. As she walked along, she marveled at the decorations and scenery on both sides of her. There was a bakery, with a motorized Mrs. Claus placing goodies in a baking tin on the windowsill to cool. A shoemaker sat at his bench, nailing soles on the bottoms of boots. And, of course, elves busily worked in a toy shoppe, assembling toy trucks and dolls.
Mannequin children played in the artificial snow outside the shops. A decorated Christmas tree with wrapped presents beneath it was visible behind them. As she neared what she guessed was almost the end of the path, Amy encountered two chocolate soldiers. They stood about six feet tall and seemed to be guarding the entrance to something.
Bending low to avoid their chocolate muskets, Amy ventured farther down the path. She gasped in delight as the red, velvet carpet led up a flight of stairs, ending at an overgrown plush chair. Lucy sat in the chair, legs draped over one arm, casually sucking a lollipop. Her head was propped on her hand, her elbow resting on the other arm of the chair. She was clad in her customary black from head-to-toe, save for the red and white Santa's hat perched atop her head.
She flashed Amy her most mischievous smile. "Well, hello there, little girl. Want to sit on Santa's lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?"
Amy laughed, hurriedly covering her mouth with her hand. The last thing I want is for super-hearing Max to come running to my rescue again! Biting her bottom lip, she holstered her weapon. Blushing furiously, she inched her way up the stairs to where Lucy waited.
"Oh, I just love school girls," Lucy breathed huskily, pulling Amy by the tie until she was settled in her lap. "Tell me, have you been naughty or nice?" she asked, tracing one hand up and down the length of Amy's leg. With each stroke, her fingers inched a little farther, until she was toying with the hem of Amy's plaid skirt.
"Definitely naughty," Amy answered, leaning in, kissing Lucy soundly on the lips.
"Um - " Amy looked up at the intrusive voice. Scud, standing on the red, velvet footpath, one boot planted firmly on the lower step leading to Santa's chair. "Like, D.E.B.S. are coming! We gotta go."
Lucy looked from Amy to Scud, then back again. She leaned in, tenderly placed another kiss on Amy's lips.
"Like, now!" Scud gestured emphatically, rushed up the steps, grabbed Lucy by the hand. He yanked Lucy out from beneath Amy, hurried them down the stairs. Even as she was led away, Lucy turned to look back at Amy, subtly wiping the edge of her mouth with her thumb.
D.E.B.S HOUSE - 2375 HOURS
"I can't believe it!" Janet groaned, dragging her feet through the front door. She carried both her shoes and socks in her right hand. Exhausted, she dropped them both by the arm of the sofa. She sat down, propping her feet up on the coffee table. "All of that, and nothing missing from the safe!"
"I know," agreed Amy, joining Janet on the the couch. "And because of the amount of business done today, it's impossible to be certain if any of the merchandise was stolen without doing a complete inventory of the store."
"Surveillance cameras spotted Lucy and her henchmen going into the building," confirmed Max, flopping down in an overstuffed chair. "Those same cameras were disabled before she left. You can bet something is definitely missing."
"Ze only thing missing around here, is the dessert in my stomach."
"How can you even think of food at this hour?" moaned Janet. "Wait until morning and we'll eat our Christmas Eve dinner for breakfast. I'll put everything in the oven on warm so it'll be nice and hot when we wake up."
"Yeah," agreed Amy, tucking a stray strand of blonde hair behind her ear. "Eat before you go to sleep and it'll go straight to your hips."
"I can't help zit." Dominique started towards the kitchen, looked back over her shoulder at Amy. "Ze heart wants what ze heart wants. And, ze stomach, too!"
Max picked up the remote control, hitting the power button. It was late, nearly midnight, but she was still hoping to catch a late-night Christmas movie on television. This was the one time of the year she craved watching television. The sappy, mushy specials reminded her of times spent with her family. And, now that the D.E.B.S. were her family, she wanted to share these memories with them, as well.
"Guys! We have zee big problem!" shouted Dominique's panic-filled voice.
Max rushed into the kitchen, flanked on either side by Amy and Janet, weapons drawn and ready. Dominique was standing there, in the middle of the room, large carving knife in hand. She stared at the table, eyes wide open.
Amy's mouth dropped open in shock. Janet screamed. Max stood immobile in the doorway as her squad rushed around her.
"What happened?" Amy gasped.
"I do not know," Dominique answered. "I came into the kitchen, pulled the knife from ze cutting board - " Her gaze swept the kitchen, taking in the empty table and countertops. " - And discovered that it iz all not here."
Janet rushed to the oven, yanking the door open, peering inside. "She's right!" She let loose the handle, allowing the door to slam shut again. "All the food's gone!"
Max knelt down, spotting something shimmering on the tile floor. "This time," she growled, between clenched teeth, "She's gone too far!"
Max grabbed the handful of diamonds, threw them across the room. Several landed on the counter, bounced into the sink. Max cocked her gun, stormed from the room in an enraged fury, a red haze blurring her bloodlust-filled vision.
NON-DESCRIPT THREE-STORY TOWNHOUSE - 0600
Max shut off the lights, killed the engine, allowing the car to roll to a stop. She jumped out, using the remote control to pop the trunk open. The rest of the D.E.B.S. looked on as Max reached into the trunk, pulling out the biggest gun they'd ever seen.
"Max, are you sure about this?" Amy asked, placing herself between Max and the house. Janet and Dominique hung back, ostensibly picking just the right weapons out for themselves.
Max stopped, glared at Amy. True, she was her best friend, but sometimes she felt that Amy wasn't as serious as she was about all things D.E.B.S. "Of course I'm sure. She stole from us, Amy! She stole Christmas from my family! I can't let this go."
"No." Wow, I've never seen Max so determined. "I meant, are you sure this is the right house? That last couple didn't seem very pleased when we burst into their bedroom and caught them playing Hide-The-Candy-Cane."
"Fine!" Max glared at Amy. "So, I was off by a block. This is the right house." She saw Amy's look. "I swear it!"
"Okay, then." Amy stepped out of Max's way, allowed her to take point. As reluctant as she was to be involved in a raid on one of Lucy's secret hideouts, she knew there was nothing else she could do but support Max on this one. I just hope Scud installed security cameras and someone's monitoring them!
The D.E.B.S. crept around the perimeter of the house, checking for the best means of entrance, as well as potential alarm systems or traps. There was no sign of evil henchmen lurking about; Which according to Max, meant there had to be a trap. Unless, of course, Lucy was so confident they wouldn't find her hide-out that she hadn't bothered with hired help.
Max paused beneath a window that was left about an inch open. The window was at least a foot above her head. She signaled for Amy, gave her a boost up. Amy pried the window the rest of the way up. Her slim figure easily disappeared from view.
Several tension-filled moments later, Amy reappeared, giving them the O-KAY signal. Max hoisted Dominique up next, watching the shorter French woman stretch for Amy's hands, needing a hand up. Next was Janet. Max struggled with her, having to try several times before being able to lift her enough to reach the windowsill. Amy and Dominique both caught Janet beneath the arms, pulling her in.
Max picked her weapon up from the ground, tossed it up to Dominique. She caught it double-handed, leaning precariously out the window, passed it to Janet, without once losing her cigarette. Max leapt up, easily catching the bottom of the windowsill. With a grunt, she pulled herself through the open window.
Combat boots left muddy, snow-covered prints on the back of the toilet as Max stepped down. She extended her arm, easily taking the heavy weapon from Dominique. She walked to the bathroom door, opened it just a crack. Peering up and down the hallway, she stepped back, opening the door wide.
"Let's go, people," Max ordered, stepping out into the brightly lit hall.
As the D.E.B.S. searched the house, room by room, everything was eerily still. Lights in half the rooms were left on, covers on the beds turned down. Judging from the amount of beds, Lucy housed dozens of her gang here. Amy was secretly relieved; looks like they may have all gotten out just before we arrived!
The sound of music broke the silence. Janet jumped as the first chord was struck, almost landing in Max's arms. Max angrily shoved her away.
"Iz that zee Copper Bells?" asked Dominique, straining her ears.
"Silver Bells, actually," corrected Amy.
"Shush!" Max paused, turning around, placing a finger to her lips. She glared harshly at her squad. She was met with abrupt silence.
Satisfied, she turned around again. "The noise is coming from this way," she whispered.
Crouching down, she crept down the long hallway. Amy followed close behind her. Behind her, Janet and Dominique. Janet was following so closely, she kept running up on Amy's back.
A loud shout rang out. Max stopped abruptly, causing everyone else to bump into her. They quickly backed up, giving her space as she peered around a corner. Three more heads followed suit, appearing around the corner, as well.
The soft glow of Christmas lights reflected, twinkled off the ceiling, illuminating the hall in an eerie light. The music was louder. And, the sound of voices - lots of voices - could be heard over the chorus of The Little Drummer Boy. "It must be her entire organization!" Max whispered excitedly, motioning for the rest of the D.E.B.S. to follow her lead. "Move in!"
Dominique and Janet stepped around Max, weapons drawn. Silently, they crept around the corner. Max signaled Amy, motioning her to go with her. Hugging the wall, they slid around the opposite corner. As they slipped into a large, open room, both of their mouths dropped open.
A seven-foot Christmas tree stood in the middle of the room, decorated from top to bottom with lights, tinsel, garland and ornaments. Amy thought she had never seen such a beautiful tree in her life. Presents were piled beneath the tree; Amy guessed there must have been over two-hundred, all gift-wrapped, complete with bows and ribbon.
Amy glanced to her left, at the wall. "Um - Max," Amy tapped Max on the shoulder.
"Hold on." Max shooed her off.
Scud stood in the middle of the room, holding a plate of cookies, drinking from a glass. A white moustache adorned his upper lip.
Max's mouth dropped open, eyes flashed. "Those are my chocolate chip cookies!"
"Max - " Amy tried again.
Max didn't respond.
And there, in the middle of it all, seated on the floor, was Lucy Diamond. She sat in the middle of a huge pile of presents, her Santa hat still on her head. A little blonde-haired girl, hair in pigtails, was sitting in Lucy's lap, unwrapping her present. Her eyes lit up as the wrapping came off, revealing a rag doll. Spontaneously, she reached up, hugging Lucy's neck.
Around her, dozens of other kids milled around, ranging in age from two on up, all dressed in pajamas. An elderly woman was seated at a piano, playing Christmas carols. Another woman came in, presumably from the kitchen, wearing oven mitts on both hands.
"She's taken the whole household hostage!" Max hissed. She signaled to Janet and Dominique. "We move in on my signal."
"Max, wait!" Amy pleaded, grabbing the Sector Leader by the arm.
Eyes narrowing, Max spun around. "She's gone too far, Amy. We have to stop her!"
Calmly, Amy pointed at the plaque on the wall beside her head. Frowning, Max read the inscription. Sunnydale Children's Home - Founded 1934. Max did a double-take, reading the inscription again. Mouth dropped open in shock.
Clenching her jaw, Max gave the signal. Janet and Dominique moved in. Clenching her gun tightly, Max entered the room.
Amy grabbed her by the arm, attempting to stop her. Max easily shook her off, stormed into the room. Scud looked up, spewed out his milk as he saw D.E.B.S. approaching from all sides.
Lucy handed out another gift, this one to a little boy standing before her, a raggedy teddy bear clutched in one hand. She looked past the toddler, straight into Max's eyes as she strode into the room. Eyes darted around quickly, trying to plan an escape. Sitting cross-legged on the floor in a room full of children, she didn't have much choice.
Max stopped inches in front of her, a feral glint in her eye. Amy was at her side, eyes full of fear. Lucy put on her best nonchalant smirk. The one she knew would make Max mad. A wide smile broke out on Max's face.
The piano had stopped playing. The woman who had been seated at the piano cautiously moved around the room, carefully approaching the unfolding scene. Several other women appeared, attempting to coax the children into coming to them.
Slowly, Max nodded her head, looking around the room. "Looks like you could use a hand." She passed her gun to one of the nuns, bent down to retrieve a present from the floor. Reaching out, she handed the present to a little, red-headed boy.
Amy came to sit on the floor beside Lucy. Smiling, Lucy took the Santa hat from her own head, placing it atop Amy's. "Merry Christmas," Lucy whispered, a wide smile on her face.
Amy bit her bottom lip, looking around the room. Max was having a blast, handing out presents to the children. Janet and Scud were happily dunking cookies in milk, sharing the sweets. And, Dominique was seated at the piano with one of the nuns, playing Deck The Halls.
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