Disclaimer: I do not own lfn. This written-in-less-than-two-minutes story is for fun. A warning, it's not edited.

AN: Yes, I will be finishing New Recruit. I'm just struggling with the "when" at the moment. I start college on the 14th and am trying to finish three other stories and editing four more before that time(!). After my story load dwindles a bit, I'll be able to make room again for New Recruit.

AN2: I'm such a goof. This was meant to be posted two days ago. Not AFTER Christmas!


Nikita looked down at her panel with a frown, standing in the middle of her perch. Walter's heart went out to her.

It was Christmas morning. A time, all around the world, small ones were opening presents and families were gathered together.

But not here. Not in Section.

While the world was happily celebrating, Section One was on duty, hot on the tail of terrorists and bringing down the bad guys. Nikita had placed a Christmas tree in the middle of Section, right below, hoping to make the place look cheerier. Was it her imagination, or was the tree withering away under the stress and harsh enviroment of Section instead of doing it's duty of giving the gift of reminiscing?

Being on duty wasn't the only thing bringing her down, that much Walter could tell. Somewhere in the wide world, along with every other child, Michael was watching his own Adam opening his gifts. Enjoying the holiday spirit. Somewhere. Somewhere far away from her.

Did Adam still believe in Santa? Had Michael pretended to be the jolly fantasy, or had he taken Adam to a mall to see one? Or maybe, all of the cruelties Adam had experienced already in his young life had sucked the childlike belief out of him?

Nikita never had much of a Christmas as a child. Never believed in the mystic creatures that made Christmas so magical. She was usually somewhere where the holiday spirit just couldn't reach her. But being near Michael, even if only in Section, had always brought her joy as an adult. But there was no Michael here anymore. To ultimate source of comfort to be with her. She was alone, on Christmas. With no family and no one to love. Instead, she was Operations. What a cruel joke. An unfair trade.

Walter knocked on the entrance of the perch, walking in. She looked up at him with a world of sadness in her eyes. "Hi Walter."

"Hey Sugar. I brought you something." He handed her a neatly wrapped box that the clerk lady at the store had been so kind as to do up.

She smiled, her lips slightly trembling with the effort, as she accepted it. "You didn't have to get me anything, Walter," she said with tears in her voice.

"A Santa, even a Secret one, still needs gifts in return," he smiled in encouragement, remembering how everyone had found gifts in their quarters or lockers last night. "Oh, go on."

She pulled out a soft, fluffy teddy bear with bright sunglasses on, made specially to cuddle. "It's something to hug when you don't have me around," he said with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

She walked over and hugged him tight, resting her chin on his shoulder. "Thank you."

He kissed her cheek. "If we go any further, we'll have to dim the perch."

He succeeded in getting a laugh out of her. She looked at the dirty old man with fondness. "I'm glad I have you, Walter."

"You too, Sugarplum. Merry Christmas."

She watched him go, then held the bear close. Her Christmases might not fit in to the 'merry' catagory, but at least she had a few things to appreciate and be thankful for.