What Christmas?

Beth Green

Christmas was Buck's favorite holiday. He loved the lights, the snow, the presents, and the general feeling of good cheer that could be found almost everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except at the No-Tell hotel. This holiday season, Buck had not been able to enjoy the festivities. He was stuck in his undercover role as low-level arms dealer 'Louie Bucklin.' As if that wasn't bad enough, it now appeared that the big fish they were trying to catch was nowhere to be found. Buck hadn't bothered to set up a single decoration in the small apartment 'Louie' occupied. The undercover agent had been at his contact's home for the past three days hoping for a lead that never appeared. Saddened and disgusted, Buck returned to the tiny hotel room 'Louie' occupied. He muttered a small prayer that today would be the day that he would receive a phone call or visit that would put an end to a waste of a valuable resource: himself. It was Christmas day.

Buck paused in mid-step when he reached his door. "What the-?" He shook his head, at first doubting that he was at the right room (although he knew that he was). He opened the door, his former frown replaced with a smile as he stepped through the entryway, his mood brightening with every step he took. It seemed he'd had a visitor or two while he'd been away. By the time Buck stepped into the kitchen and opened the door of the refrigerator, he was laughing out loud.

The beer Buck had been craving wasn't easy to find, partly because of the tears of laughter filling his eyes, but mostly because of the anonymous present he'd received from his teammates.

He popped open the beer can and took a seat on the uncomfortable sofa, his laughter increasing as the cushion crinkled beneath his weight. When he finally calmed down enough to speak, Buck raised his beer in salute. "Merry Christmas, guys. You're the best."

You can find Buck's present at: