Written for Fandom Stocking 2018

The detectives lounge was a buzz with holiday music and merry-making. Detectives, uniformed officers, and supportive staff mingled together, talking, laughing, and partaking of the delicious assortment of cold cuts, chips, dips, candy, and assorted desserts. Many held Styrofoam cups filled with coffee, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider.

Detective Nick Knight stood in a corner of the lounge observing all the festivities. It gave his unbeating heart good to see his co-workers having fun. So much of their lives were filled with the ugliness and cruelties of humanity.

“Brooding again?” Detective Donald Schanke asked his partner.

“Observing, actually.” Nick corrected his partner with a smile.

“Same thing with you.” Schanke quipped. He slapped Nick on the back. “Come on, Nick, live a little. It’s Christmas. Join in on the festivities. Not often this place party central.”

“Technically, it’s Christmas Eve, eve.” Nick pointed out.

Schanke rolled his eyes. “Semantics. You can stay here and brood. I’m going to go have some fun.”

Nick watched his partner disappear into the crowd and returned to his silent vigil.

“Merry Christmas, Nick.”

Nick turned to see Natalie Lambert standing beside him. The ready smile Nick had on his face widened when he caught sight of the sexy Elf suit the medical examiner wore.

“You look…” he started, but Natalie interrupted him.

“Tread carefully…” She warned him already, having heard one two many not appropriate comments on her way over to the precinct.

” Amazing.”

Natalie blushed. ‘Thanks. I signed up to volunteer at the hospital’s children’s party, before I realized that those in charge decided to give the costumes a makeover. By that time, it was too late for me to back out. Besides, I really love spending time with the kids. I decided to put in an appearance here, before I went to the hospital.”

“Need any help?”

Natalie blinked. ” Really?”

Nick nodded.

“Sure. We can always us another pair of hands.”

“Lead the way then.” Nick gestured toward the door.

Natalie weaved her way through the party attendees, Nick a step behind her. Both called out their goodbyes before exiting the room together.

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