DISCLAIMER: We all know I don't own them. Chris Carter and the folks at FOX do. And I'm ever so grateful that these kind and generous owners let me play with these characters <wink>.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's snowing outside and it got me thinking about how Monica might react to snow. What can I say; this story really has no point … other than to wish you all as happy a new year as possible. This story is for chaos … she'll know why <g>.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Peaceful New Year
By ocean gazer


Monica shivered, despite the comforter that was draped around her shoulders. She pulled the fabric more tightly around her body and fisted her hands in the loose ends of the cloth, trying to keep as much of her body covered as possible. The thought idly occurred to her that if she weren't sitting in a chair beside the window, she might be just a touch warmer. Though the Bed and Breakfast in which she and Dana were staying was well insulated for being such an old house, she could feel the bite of cold air through the panes of glass.

Still, she didn't move, her eyes locked on the sight that was laid out before her. Snow – beautiful, pristine, blanketing snow. She could see the fir trees standing tall across the back yard, their dark green needles laced with white crystals, while the rhododendrons that graced the exterior of the house only had the occasional edge of a leaf visible under the blanket of snow. The sky itself was the flat, grey-white color that she'd learned meant more snow was on the way. She hadn't seen much snow as a child, but she'd learned a lot about it once she moved to D.C. And indeed, as she sat watching, huddled in her comforter, more snowflakes began to fall. The first flakes were big and fat and erratic, as though the heavens were undecided about whether or not it should be snowing at all. But before long, the flakes got smaller as the temperature dropped a degree or two, and it began snowing in earnest. Monica sighed in delight at the sight; it was like watching a gentle, white rain.

She hadn't been expecting the snow, not at all. She and Dana had just finished up a case in Portland, Oregon, and – with John's blessing – had decided to stick around for a couple days and just enjoy a mini-vacation over New Year's. Not that the rainy season in the Northwest was the most ideal time or place for a vacation, but she and Dana had decided that endless grey drizzle would be warmer than the cold weather on the other side of the country. Apparently they'd been wrong.

Not that Monica really minded all that much. While she hadn't grown up with snow, she had a definite fondness for it, even though cold weather was not something she'd quite gotten used to. While she was quite capable of playing the role of responsible, dependable adult, she still had her childlike side. And it was that side that seemed to surface whenever it snowed. Especially at times like these, where she could just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the sight, where she didn't have to go out and try to go about her regular daily routines. She knew that snow tended to make her feel happy and excited, like a child on Christmas. But it also gave her a sense of peace … a sense of just how beautiful and good the world could be. As sappy as the mere thought sounded in her head, it was good for her soul.

She shivered again, trying to huddle more deeply inside the purple and blue patchwork comforter. Still, she didn't move from the wicker chair in front of the window. And despite the cold, she smiled as she watched the soft flakes floating through the air, as she watched the fir needles become ever more laced with snow crystals. Despite the occasional distant sounds of cars cautiously moving along the un-graveled roads and the faint sounds of childish laughter, the world outside seemed quiet and still. It was as though life were allowed to slow down for once. Monica had never considered herself an old-fashioned sort of girl, but she had to admit that she often felt distressed over the modern tendency to always be in motion, to always be busy. She couldn't imagine a life without moments of silence and stillness, and on days like this, she could just imagine what the world would be like if the pace of modern life were a bit slower.

She jumped, ever so slightly, when she felt Dana's hands on her shoulders, then relaxed as she felt the gentle kneading motion, even through the thickness of the comforter.

"Still watching the snow?"

Monica felt an embarrassed flush creep over her cheekbones. After all, it wasn't like most grown women sat staring at snow for hours on end. Her lover was always amusedly tolerant of that childlike quirk, but she still got embarrassed about it sometimes. She'd spent so much of her life feeling on the outside, whether because of her empathy or because of her somewhat mystical nature, that she still was somewhat sensitive about her personality quirks.

"Yeah. I'm sorry … I didn't mean to just ignore you or anything …"

Her voice trailed off as she felt Dana's lips brush her cheek. "You don't need to apologize, Monica. Never apologize for being who you are. I sometimes think the world would be a much better place if more of us were able to see the beauty in the ordinary."

She smiled at the unexpectedly mushy sentiment in her lover's words. It hadn't been an eloquent speech, but given that Dana wasn't always comfortable voicing her thoughts and feelings, it touched Monica deeply.

Leaning back against Dana, she felt the woman's arms circle her, holding her close in a warm embrace. Her eyes continued to watch the snowflakes fall gently from the sky, feeling safe and cared for in her lover's arms. Not to mention the feeling of peace from being understood and accepted.

She could feel a shiver rattle Dana's body, and she turned to look up at her lover. A smile quirked her mouth as she saw the woman's clear gaze fixed on the scene outside the window. She watched her lover for a long moment, seeing the look of contentment and peace on her face. The auburn haired woman had lived her share of trauma and pain, and rarely let down her guard like this. Monica felt deeply honored to be the person who was allowed to see this side of the woman she loved.

As she watched, she saw another shiver move through Dana's body. She slid a hand out of its nest in the comforter and reached up to stroke the side of the woman's face. "It's getting a little too cold here by the window. Why don't we brew some coffee, make a fire, and cuddle up together on the couch?"

She smiled as she saw a look of pure delight flash over her lover's face. Dana's lips brushed her cheek again as the woman stood up.

"Sounds good. I'll go start the coffee."

Monica levered herself out of the chair, still clutching the comforter around her body. She took one last look out at the snow-covered world, smiling at the calm, beautiful sight. Snow had always seemed like a good omen to her, and this New Year's Day it was no exception. She was warm and safe and with the woman she loved. What better way to start a new year?

The End

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