Merry Christmas, everyone! Just a little something to celebrate the holidays. Been quiet here again, so just consider it a small gift from me to you.

"No." Alex frowned. "Did I say no? Wait, let me amend: Hell. No."

Alex crossed her arms, mouth in a grim line. "I refuse to drink something that looks and smells like something after a college bender." For effect, she gave a shudder.

Bobby grinned. "C'mon, Eames!" He held out a glass as Alex pushed it back towards him. "I thought this would be right up your alley, the holidays and all."

Bobby shrugged and took a sip. "It's tradition!"

Alex groaned. "That's why God created hot chocolate. Or booze."

With a bark of a laugh, Bobby shrugged. "Point taken, detective."

Bobby gazed past her shoulder at the tree that Eames had basically browbeat him into getting for his house. She had told him he was becoming a Scrooge the older he got, so he was eager to prove her wrong. It was then he issued her a challenge to help him find a tree and help him decorate for Christmas, something he really had not had the will to do for years. Maybe the head games with Gyson were a bit of a help, after all.

So here he was with not only a huge tree, but Alex made sure they had to stop and get all sorts of tinsel, ornaments, and garland to pretty it up. Outwardly, he acted put upon. But privately, it felt nice to get into the spirit of things. Almost...couple-y. Quashing that direction that his brain liked to travel in more than usual these days, Bobby returned to the safer topic of holiday routines.

"Speaking of booze," Bobby smirked. "Maybe put that in. I bet you'd drink this then!"

Alex rolled her eyes as she went through the number of shopping bags, hauling out garland and ornaments and even a wreath or two.

Wonder what Bobby would have done if I had the guts to buy mistletoe? Alex mused. Stop right there, Alex. Friend zone. Friend. Zone. Partners.

Then Alex looked up as she saw her partner lick the froth of that horrible drink from his upper lip, and all of her warnings disappeared like snow in the sun. She sighed.

"There is no way in hell you'll ever get me to try...that."

Maybe it was the giddiness of the holiday, of having Eames around him while not at work, but Bobby was suddenly willing to tempt fate. To play.

"No way?" He quirked a brow.

Alex watched Bobby's eyes dance, a bit surprised yet also intrigued by the sudden shift. She remembered this Bobby, thought him long gone. To see him emerging again suddenly made her feel a bit exhilarated. She dropped the string of silvery garland she had been clutching on to his couch.

Deciding to play his game, Alex gave a haughty smirk. "Not now. Not ever."

As Bobby stepped closer with the offending beverage, Alex stepped back. His smile matched by Alex's smirk that desperately tried to hold amidst her own smile dying to emerge. The pattern continued until Alex felt Bobby's kitchen counter at her back. She broke eye contact to grimace at the glass Bobby held.

Bobby could feel Alex's breath on his face, he was so close. Seeing her revulsion at his drink, his smile deepened as he took a bit of froth - and proceeded to drop a dollop of foam on her nose. Eyes wide, Alex met Bobby's gaze, his own face registering a bit of surprise at what he had just done.

After a brief hesitation, however, the smile slowly returned as he bent forward and kissed her nose.

And what do you want for Christmas, little girl? Alex could hear Ol' Saint Nick ask in her fevered brain.

Oh, just to stick my tongue down my partner's throat, she whimsically responded to that jolly figure. Think you can help me out there?

Apparently, he could.

Alex held Bobby's gaze after his impromptu kiss. The silence became charged and she finally spoke.

"You know, there may be one way to get me to try your drink."

Bobby said nothing, but raised a brow in curiosity; he smiled almost devilishly.

Alex took a finger and followed Bobby's lead as she swiped a line of foam across his bottom lip then reached out and covered those lips with hers.

All thoughts of friend zones and the NYPD burned away as they drew closer and explored.

So much for needing mistletoe! Alex thought.

Breathless, they finally came up for air, that exhilaration still floating around them.

"So," Bobby smiled. "What do you think?"

Alex scoffed, as a hand stroked his jaw, feeling the stubble of Bobby's beard tickle her palm.

"Eggnog still sucks." She raised a brow. "But I guess traditions have their place."

THE END