Christmas at the agency
“Come on guys!” Night Stripe cried as she ran from door to door, walking up her friends as she went along to celebrate Christmas. The one day a year everyone had off, and sometimes they’d even get the whole week off until New Years. “It’s Christmas guys wake up!”
“Night Stripe,” Camo called lazily as she opened her door to stop her friend from screaming. “Please, it’s nine in the morning. I want to sleep after that holiday part last night.”
“I go to see my family at noon. Renegade made sure of it, I just want to spend some time with everyone else before I go,” Night Stripe explained. She felt bad, knowing that she could see her family with Renegade, her new boyfriend since their mission in Russia; being captured, and fighting for your lives together will do that to agents. Though Camo had left her family behind to escape a cartel Hell bent on killing her. Now they were her family. “His sister has an announcement about her and Alex. I’m sure my adoptive brother will be happy to have me around for it.”
Camo offered her friend an understanding nod before walking out of her room in her pajamas to help wake up their teammates. Much to the dismay of everyone on their team neither girl gave up until everyone was up and moving tiredly toward the main lounge they spent their time in. When they entered they were surprised to see the work Night Stripe had put into their Christmas, an event typically looked over by agents other than a typical day off.
After all, no one can send presents to an agency no one knows about or to people their loved ones think are dead.
Night Stripe ran forward to meet Renegade who was already sorting the presents for their teammates. Each one had two presents waiting under the tree, it wasn’t much but it was more than they were used to getting.
“What is this, Night Stripe?” Demon, a long time friend and teammate asked her as she handed him a present.
“It’s a Christmas present, every one deserves a present a Christmas. I even got Raider one, but I don’t think he’ll get up. It will be here for him when he does though.”
While Night Stripe and Raider had never seen eye to eye, Demon respected the gesture, but doubted that Raider would even notice. He was too high and mighty, thought too highly of himself to consider others, but he would take the gift. Maybe even be a little less bitter to everyone else, their own Scrooge in CIRA’s own building.
“Here this one is for you,” Night Stripe said as she handed Spit Fire, who looked annoyed to have been woken up do so early, a present.
photo, given to Night Stripe by his sister. He would later find the second present to be a new pair of boots to replace the ones she had accidently burned during a training session. Raider would have a new gun, with Sharp Shooter’s approval and a certificate to say that he would start leading his own team after the new year. Well the New year after he opened the present, frankly everyone doubted he would.
Camo let out a happy squeal when she opened her gift to find letters from her brother and tore them open without bothering to open the other gift. She learned that he was safe and sound, starting life over again in a new state. They could stay in touch with letters, but for now that was all. He was still nervous that the Cardozas could find him if he wasn’t careful, and Camo knew he was right.
Demon opened his first gift to find a photo of him, Night Stripe, and Whip Lash together in high school before they were all recruited into the agency. He even cracked a smile through the sleep in his features.
While everyone else was busy looking at their gifts, Renegade leaned in to his girlfriend and kissed her forehead. “You did great baby. They all seem to really enjoy the gifts.”
“I think so too. Everyone needs a little joy, and it’s been a hard year, we’ve lost people. They needed a little something to end the year right.”
“I agree, and that’s why I got you a little something too,” he said as he handed Night Stripe her own present. “It’s nothing special, but if you can put together all of this, then I can get you a little something too.” He smiled, leaning into once again kiss her.
Night Stripe lightly kissed him back before opening the gift to find a set of brass knuckles and a silver necklace. The brass knuckles were brand new, and she knew that he gave them to her for when she got into close combat fights. The necklace on the other hand was small and fragile, a snowflake that sparkled with small fake diamonds in it.
“I know you love snow and Christmas so I thought it was a good fit,” Renegade explained as he gently helped her put on. “I hope you’ll wear when we go to see your family.”
“I wouldn’t take it off,” she promised with a smile as he wrapped her in his arms.
In this moment they both sat in silence, taking in the warm glow of the Christmas tree and the love of their friends as they had their first joyous Christmas since recruitment. It showed them that not every action had to save the world, it just had to bring joy to those around them.
Series available here: http://www.amazon.com/Sara-Schoen/e/B00Q0DI93Q/