A Prayer for Every Year

December 25th

Jack woke the next morning slightly uncomfortable. It took him a few minutes to remember what had happened and what had followed. He groaned. His gun shot wound meant he'd be in the hospital for Christmas. He knew he'd been out yesterday due to pain medication and he knew Sue would have thanked the doctors for doing so. His eyes fluttered open and the blond head he'd been missing hovered over him.

"Merry Christmas!" she exclaimed quietly, stepping back to show Myles, Bobby, Lucy and Tara – D having to celebrate with his family – all smiling happily.

"What?" he whispered, his mouth dry. Sue helped him sit up and handed him a glass of water from his bedside table. He drank thirstily.

"What is this all about?" he asked when he'd emptied the glass.

"This is Christmas!" Lucy exclaimed dancing around a bit. She and Tara were both sporting Santa hats. Jack looked around the room noticing the decorations around the room.

"You brought me Christmas," he whispered, more out of awe than a dried throat. Sue nodded with a smile handing him a Christmas present wrapped in bright Santa paper. With his first tear of the paper, the free-for-all began, paper fights, and thank you hugs as the gifts waned under the tree. Finally when all the presents were unwrapped, the others went for their coats.

"Before we leave, there's a few things that we need to say before the rest of us leave you two alone. Sue Thomas – soon-to-be-Hudson – is a woman of many talents. We can't take any credit for this. Sue put it all together and she taught me something," she said, wrapping an arm around Sue's shoulders where she sat on Jack's bed. "Sue taught me that Christmas is about who we spend it with. After all, how many people would sacrifice Christmas at home just to be with the person they loved? Most people probably wouldn't think about it, content to stay at home with a cozy fire and a couch. That doesn't even touch on what she did for the kids in the terminal ward downstairs. She and Jack wrapped gifts days back and Sue brought some of the leftovers for the kids there. This is a woman with a heart of gold, Jack. Merry Christmas."