John watched the snow gently fall outside as he absently listened to the sounds of children having a good time down in the lobby of the precinct.

It was Christmastime in New York, but John didn't feel like joining in on the holiday cheer. His professional life was getting stagnant and his personal one was in turmoil with Janice keeping him at a distance and with Laurie still trying to be his friend.

"John," the voice of Lieutenant Fancy broke into John's dark thoughts.

"Yes?" he asked.

"May I see you in the hall for a second?"

"Sure."

John walked into the hall and saw Martinez standing there acting a little nervous. He was a good man. He had things to learn, but John was hopeful that the younger man would catch on quickly and become a decent detective one day.

Lieutenant Fancy joined them and proceeded to present to Martinez his detective's shield. John smiled and congratulated him secretly thinking that somebody was going to have a decent Christmas.

&/&/&

John made his way downstairs in time to see his partner come in dressed up as Santa Claus. He watched the scene unfold before him with barely concealed amusement.

Andy had been volunteered for the role because he filled the costume nicely even though he didn't have a nice bone in his body.

The children didn't care. They were happy to get a visit from Santa. They came from a family home that the 15th precinct supported all year long, so that they had a safe haven to go to when taken from their parents and whatever bad situation that their parents had gotten into.

John felt a hand on his arm. He turned and saw Laurie standing there with a faint smile on her lips. He felt his heart stutter a bit. He would always have a fondness for his ex-wife no matter where life took them.

"Merry Christmas, John," she told him.

"Merry Christmas, Laurie," he murmured in return.

"Are you going to see your mom?"

"Yes."

"Give her my love."

"I will," he replied and watched her walk away.

&/&/&

John sat alone in his apartment sipping on a glass of scotch. His visit with his mother had been very painful. She had been 'sun downing' when he had arrived. She had been caught up in the past and had mistaken him for his father.

He had humored her.

He had made certain that she had eaten some of the food he had brought because the nurse had told him that she was refusing to eat again. He didn't think he could see her put in the hospital again because deep inside he knew that she would never come out again.

She had been diagnosed with Alzimer's around the time that John had married Laurie. The disease had slowly taken her from him, and now in a fit of self-pity he wished that she would just fall asleep and never wake up.

He sighed.

He finished his drink and went to bed wishing himself a Merry Christmas.