Author's Note: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers. I apologize for the long delay in getting this to you, but I hope you have as much fun reading it as I have writing it.
"Then I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe last night," a female rock singer crooned from Catherine's stereo.
"Interesting rendition," Grissom said raising an eyebrow at Greg.
"Now why is it that he always looks at me for the music?" asked Greg who was wearing a green elf hat atop his spiked hair. He motioned to Catherine who was singing along as she made a drink for Sara. "There's your culprit."
Continuing to mix the drink, Catherine winked at Grissom who was chatting with Greg, Nick and Warrick in her living room.
"And there's even a hot tub," Lindsey said concluding her description of the Barbie Dream House to Sara.
"That sounds pretty cool," Sara replied as Catherine handed her a drink. However, she was distracted as something sparkly caught her eye. "That's a gorgeous ring Catherine."
"Thanks," Catherine replied beaming.
"You normally don't wear that one right?" Sara asked, continuing to admire the ring.
"Nope," Catherine said, shaking her head. "I actually just got it."
"From Uncle Gil," Lindsey added rather loudly.
"Really?" Sara said with a smirk on her face.
"Yeah, I helped him wrap it in a bunch of boxes so she wouldn't know what it was," Lindsey said proudly.
"It was, uhm, definitely a surprise," Catherine said, hoping she wasn't blushing.
"Brass is here," Grissom said, coming into the kitchen.
"I thought he'd said he'd be late," Sara said making her way into the living room with Lindsey scampering close behind.
As Brass greeted Greg and Nick, Sara said to Warrick, "Do you have change for a twenty?"
"Why?" he asked giving her a funny look.
"Because I owe you, Nick, and Greg some money," Sara replied. At Warrick's once again perplexed look, she motioned to Grissom, who had his arm casually draped around Catherine's shoulder. "Check out what he got her for Christmas when you get a chance."
"What're you guys smiling about?" Nick asked making his way over to Sara and Warrick.
"She lost the bet," Warrick replied with a knowing grin.
"Which one?" Greg asked, also joining the group.
"You don't mean The Bet?" Nick asked.
"Indeed he does," Sara replied.
"No way," Nick said, rolling his eyes slightly.
"Oh come on," Greg said cocking his head slightly to where Grissom and Catherine were having what seemed like a lively discussion with Brass, arms still around each other. "Total way."
"Seriously guys, it's Christmas. The holiday season has a tendency to make people…" before Nick could finish his thought, a small hand tugged on his sleeve.
He looked down to see Lindsey grinning up at him, her blue eyes sparkling the same way Catherine's did whenever she had just made a discovery. "What Princess?"
"Some guy can't work tonight so Mr. Brass has to go back to the lab aaaaand," the little girl struck a pose for dramatic effect, looking around to make sure the four adults were paying attention.
"And that means that Uncle Gil has to play Santa Claus this year," She finished in a whispered squeal of glee.
Warrick began to chuckle slowly and was soon joined by Nick. Greg bobbed his spiky head approvingly, "Awesome!"
"I hate to take a page from Nick's book, but no way," Sara said. Everyone turned to look at her. "Honestly guys, this is Grissom we're talking about here. The man is afraid of wearing anything brighter than navy blue, I mean how does Brass think he's going to get him to wear a bright red suit?"
"I look ridiculous," Grissom muttered from the back seat of the Tahoe.
"Oh come on, I think you look cute," Catherine said with a devilish grin. "Now come on, time to put your beard on."
As Grissom continued to mutter, she placed the beard over his head and began the meticulous task of straightening it.
"Cath, this thing is itchy."
"Quit moving and it won't be."
From the front passenger seat, Lindsey turned around and squealed excitedly. "Uncle Gil, you look awesome! Just like the real thing!"
Glancing in the rear view mirror, Greg couldn't help but laugh, "Come on Grissom, give us a 'ho ho ho.'"
At Grissom glare, Greg withdrew any further comments and went back to humming Jingle Bell Rock.
"We seriously have to wear these things?" Sara muttered as she, Nick, and Warrick got out of the other Tahoe.
"Yup," Nick replied adjusting his bright green elf hat. "It's tradition."
"Looking good Sara," Greg said as he and Lindsey walked over. "Aren't these just the best hats ever?"
"Mine's better," Lindsey replied smuggling. She was wearing a headband with fuzzy reindeer horns on it.
Greg grinned, "I'll trade ya."
"No way," Lindsey replied sticking her tongue out.
After sticking his tongue out back at Lindsey, Greg said to the others, "Wait til you see Grissom. He looks…"
Before Greg could get another word, Grissom and Catherine get out of the Tahoe, and Warrick, Nick and Sara all burst into laughter. Fat suit and all, Grissom looked like an authentic Santa Claus, except slightly grumpier. Catherine on the other hand, was grinning brightly.
"Doesn't he look great? Really, you do look great Gil."
Greg gave him a thumbs up, the others nodded enthusiastically, and Lindsey hopped and clapped.
Resigned, Grissom sighed, "At least my humiliation is for a good cause."
Indeed it was for a good cause. The children at the Vegas Homeless Shelter were thrilled to meet Santa and his elves, and their parents' eyes shone with appreciation. As Lindsey helped Warrick and Sara pass out presents, she said, "Wonder what Uncle Gil's Christmas wish is gonna be.."
"That's a tough call," Warrick said thoughfully.
"Wait, I'm lost," Sara said. "Christmas wish?"
Lindsey dropped her voice to a whisper, "Mr. Brass told me that since Santa Claus is really super busy, people like him and Uncle Gil get to be helpers and as a thank you, Santa gives them one special Christmas wish everytime they help."
Sara nodded, "So Grissom gets to make a wish this year?"
After the last presents were handed out and Santa had said his proper goodbyes to all of the children, the CSI's piled into their Tahoes. Lindsey and Greg had decided to ride with Nick, Sara, and Warrick. Lindsey had wanted to continue explaining the finer points of Christmas wishes to Sara, and Greg decided to tag along on the sheer basis that being stuck in a car with Grissom and Catherine on Christmas may not be the best place for him to be. When describing this to Nick, the phrase, "like watching your parents together" came up.
Catherine and Grissom had beaten the others back to her house by roughly five minutes and were already comfortably seated on the couch.
"You looked great," Catherine said softly. "And those kids were so excited."
Grissom nodded, "It was such a great feeling. I can see why Brass enjoys doing that so much."
"And come on, the outfit is great," Catherine smirked, placing the Santa hat back on his head. They sat in silence for a moment, and she glanced down to admire the ring he'd given her earlier that day. "So Gil, what does this mean?"
He couldn't look at her, "What do you want it to mean?"
Instead of answering, Catherine leaned over and kissed him.
At that very moment, Lindsey opened the door, squealed excitedly, and shut the door again. She turned to face 3 very confused looking CSI and one smirking lab tech.
"I think Uncle Gil got his Christmas wish," she said in a singsong voice and hopped off the porch to make snow angels. The others exchanged glances for a moment and then joined Greg who'd already starting singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" at the top of his lungs.