"I'm just saying that, if it's supposed to be Christmas, then where's the snow?" Spike grins over at Lewis watching the world pass by through the passenger seat of the car.
"Come on, Buddy," he encourages. "Snow sucks. It's cold, it's wet, it makes people drive stupid and every year, no matter what, we always get that one call where someone goes crazy and takes their family hostage that leaves us standing in the cold, wet white stuff while waiting for them to figure out that Christmas is probably not the best time for them to be killing each other."
"You're not helping," Lewis says, but the small smile on his face says Spike's monologue had done its job.
"Oh, right, because we don't get called out once a year for the…"
"Spike, we can get back to your theories on Christmas later," Greg's voice breaks in over the radio. "How far out are you?"
"Two minutes boss," Spike says. He smacks Lewis on the shoulder lightly and smiles widely. "We get this sorted, get back to the office and maybe this year is the year we make it to the party when Team One is on call."
"By the way Spike," Ed says in all seriousness in Spike's earpiece. "That tree you and Lewis put up in the Lobby is completely lopsided."
"You did not just insult our Christmas Tree," Lewis says. "That's just, not even right, that's worse than no snow at Christmas."
"Yeah," Spike agrees. "You know, Ed, I've noticed, in the right light, your left leg is like an inch shorter than your right. So."
"Gentlemen, we can discuss who's more lopsided, the tree or Ed, later." Greg is laughing, Spike can tell.
There's a tradition at the SRU of rotating watches, the tradition goes along with the tradition outside the SRU of someone, somewhere in the greater Toronto area, deciding that the day of the SRU office party is the day that they want to do something really crazy. Like holding someone hostage, robbing a bank, or one memorable year, going after that woman who bought that last Tickle Me Elmo, when it's all your kid wants for Christmas. This way only one team misses the party. Generally. Most years.
"So who did you get for Secret Santa?" Jules asks. Sam raises an eyebrow at her.
"It's a secret for a reason," he tells her. Jules grins.
"Does that mean you got me?" She asks. He shakes his head and smiles back.
"No, I didn't get you," he tells her. She shrugs and peers around the corner of the building.
"Floor three clear," she says into her radio. "Well then who did you get? What did you get them?"
Sam laughs and shakes his head but he can feel something squirm inside. What the hell do you buy a guy who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't have hair and wears the same thing to work every day?
"Boss, I've gone over this package a hundred times, there's nothing in here. I'm inclined to think it's a prank." Spike says. Behind him, Lewis watches the hallway and Spike's back.
The package is a brown paper wrapped box with a big happy face painted in yellow on one side and the words 'this is a bomb' written on the other.
"Are you absolutely sure, Spike?" Greg asks.
"Yeah boss, I'm not getting any readings of any kind. We're safe to dispose."
"Okay then, keep back to a safe distance and send in Babycakes."
"It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me this year," Lewis complains. Ed laughs and sits down at the table with a plate piled with food.
"Come on Lou, cheer up. It's the first year in like five years that the on call team made it to the party, we've got good food, good company and there are presents under the tree."
"It's not the same without snow," Lewis sighs. Greg rubs his hand over Lewis' head with a laugh.
"This from the man who last year was moaning that his family was spending Christmas in Jamaica," Spike says. He looks around the lobby with a frown.
"What's wrong?" Jules asks.
"The tree is crooked," Spike moans and drops his head onto the table. Ed's laugh echoes around the room.
"Spike, man, it's like 30 below out here right now, what are we doing?" Lewis demands. The city is fading a little in the rear view and Spike grins at him and makes a zipping motion over his mouth.
"Telling would ruin the surprise," he says.
"It's not a good surprise if you're taking me out to the woods to shoot me," Lewis reminds him with a grin, an inside joke between the two of them.
"Hey, we promised we were never, ever going to bring that up, ever again. Or anything else the evils a night of Tequila brings for that matter."
"You also promised you wouldn't take me out to the woods to shoot me," Lewis repeats and pointedly looks out the window at the road winding into the woods. Spike snorts a laugh and shakes his head.
"I'm still keeping my promise, I'm not taking you out to the woods to shoot you. Now, if you were Sam and I was Ed..."
"After last night? Who would have thought he'd be that brave!" Lewis laughs at just the picture in his head. Ed's face when he opened his Secret Santa gift.
"Well, he obeyed all the rules, didn't he?" Spike grins.
"Yeah, but my money is on Sam not making it to Monday without some sort of retribution," Lewis says. "A wig, it's kind of like a death sentence." Spike figures for a minute that he got away with the distraction tactic.
"Are we there yet?" Lewis whines. Or maybe not.
"Seriously?" Spike asks. There's a light shining in Lewis' eyes that hasn't been there since Lewis found out his family was going away without him again this year.
"I'm hungry," Lewis adds. "I have to pee."
"Well, you should have thought of that before I started the car," Spike can't help but laugh at the woeful expression on his best friends face.
"I kind of actually do have to pee, now that I think about it," Lewis adds. Spike laughs as he pulls into the driveway of his brother's house. Christmas with the Scarlatti family will either scar Lewis for life or form an unbreakable bond of trust. Lewis climbs out of the car and stretches a little, the perfect target.
"Merry Christmas, my friend, Merry Christmas," Spike says and drops the snowball, he's been saving it since he stopped at the skating rink by his house, down Lewis' neck.