Title: Sweaters and Rose Petals

Author: Syn

E-mail: veruca_werewolf@hotmail.com

Rating: PG-13

Fandom: Tru Calling

Challenge: Gifts

Disclaimer: Tru Calling belongs to…a bunch of people who aren't me.

Summary: Merry Christmas at the Hudson City Morgue.

A/N: A bit late for Christmas, but I'm just now getting around to uploading this. Written right after I watched Starcrossed. :)

Feedback: I would greatly appreciate it.

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"What's this?" Davis asks around the pen in his mouth as he looks up from the file in his hands. Tru smiles and holds out a sloppily wrapped paper parcel. He stares at the cheerful snowmen waving at him from the paper for a moment, blinking in the harsh morgue lights.

"I got you something…for Christmas," Tru says as he takes it, pulling the pen out of his mouth and depositing it on the metal tray with a clang. A ghost of a smile haunts the grimly set corners of his mouth and she bites her lip, tasting cherry lip-gloss. He looks from her to the present and back again, then reaches out a hand to take it from her. Its soft and the snowmen smattered paper crinkles loudly in the air between them.

"I…I…didn't get you anything. Yet!" Davis adds, sweeping his gaze over the nametag on the front. "I will though. Just…been busy…"

"I know. And don't worry about it. I wanted to get you something. A nice thank you for understanding about my…whatever. I really appreciate your help," she says, crossing the room and sitting down on the edge of his desk, ankles crossed, sleeves of her white lab coat pushed to the elbows.

"I don't mind giving it. I mean, it's not easy to…to help them," he stammers out, glancing at her and then back at the present in his fingers.

"No, but having you know makes it easier. I'm not alone anymore." Tru smiles and toes the green and maroon checked linoleum; he watches the movement and shrugs.

"You never were," he says simply. She lifts her head from her study of the floor and fixes her gaze on his. He ducks his head and blinks slowly, running one thumb over the taped edge of the present, the familiar, nostalgic smell of Scotch tape invading his nostrils.

"Felt like it sometimes. At first I thought I was going crazy, but then…it just kept happening and I couldn't explain it. I tried to tell my brother, but he thinks I'm losing it." She stops and peers up at him, eyebrows furrowed in thought. "Why don't you think I'm crazy? There's no way to prove what's happening to me is real, you know."

"You're not crazy Tru. You're too smart to be crazy and besides, there's proof enough for me. I figured it out on my own, remember?"

"Yeah, still…don't you wonder?"

"No. I trust you." His voice is firm and his eyes are unfalteringly set on hers. She sees he truly believes everything she's told him. A weight lifts off her shoulders with that knowledge and she shifts on the edge of the desk, her hand brushing a large medical book teetering on the edge.

She takes a deep breath and then smiles. "So? Are you going to open it or what?"

He looks down at the present in his hands and ghosts another smile. "Its not Christmas yet."

"No, but I think we can pretend it is…just this once," she responds with a nod of her head, her voice husky with amusement.

He drops his eyes again and then slips one thumb beneath the loose, sheared edge of the wrapping paper, breaking the tape and tearing the snowmen in half. He pulls the paper completely free and tosses it on the metal tray next to his abandoned ink pen. A sweater unfolds in his fingers and tumbles out in front of him.

He looks up at her through his lashes and sees her watching him anxiously, waiting for his reaction.

"What's this?"

"I saw it in the window and thought of you. The uh, green'll bring out your eyes. And I thought maybe you'd like a change from the ties and the…shirts…" she says in a delicate voice, gesturing to his salmon pink shirt buttoned to the collar and the paisley tie dangling down his front. He glances at it and then at the sweater.

"You don't like my shirts?" he asks her with a mock hurt tone in his voice.

"Yes…well…sure…sorta…" she stammers, quickly, holding up her hands. "Just, um…I thought…do you like it? I can take it back if you don't-"

He folds it and pulls it to his chest. "No! No! I do. Thank you."

"Good!" she exclaims and then hops off the desk, her elbow bumping the thick medical book as she goes. It thumps on the ground, flipping open and scattering dull red scraps of what look like paper all over the floor. "Oh, I'm sorry…"

She bends down to pick them up and he rushes forward, snatching up the book and scattering more red paper. At least she thinks its red paper until she picks one up and it crunches between her thumb and forefinger.

Tru frowns at the rose petals and looks up at Davis, who won't meet her eye. She opens her mouth to say something and the sound of the door opening and the squeak of wheels interrupts her.

"We got a fresh one!" a familiar voice calls from the other room and she quickly stands. Davis follows, stuffing the drying, pressed petals back into the pages of the book with slightly reddened cheeks.

"Uh…Davis…"

"Better get to work, Tru," he says shortly, putting the book away and grabbing his pen and the file. She looks at him a moment, nods her head and then steps toward the door. "Tru?"

She turns at the sound of her name and faces him. "Yeah, Davis?"

He watches her with dark, troubled eyes and then shakes his head. "Thanks for the Christmas present."

"My pleasure," she says and then turns on her heel, heading toward the Crypt. He watches her retreating back for a moment before sighing and sitting down wearily at his desk. He picks up the sweater and fingers the soft green material, a genuine smile crossing his lips.

"Merry Christmas, Tru."

(end)

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