CHiPs and its respective characters are property of MGM Studios. All other characters © 2008 Carolyn Gates, All Rights Reserved. No profit gain is intended, story is solely for entertainment.

Daddy's Little Girl

Chapter 1

Officers Hayley Baker and Christina Poncherello of California Highway Patrol were cruising down the highway after another grueling eight-hour day of speeders, wrecks, directing traffic, and various annoying traffic violations. Both were tired. Hungry. Awaiting the best to come, Christina, particularly, anticipating a frothy cup of hot cocoa with a touch of cinnamon and maybe a scoop of her homemade rum ice cream. Home, with Jeff Wilcox, one of her recent frequent dates, snuggling in front of her DVD player and watching the classic television special "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Hayley, however, expected something else. She was coming to her apartment, to a tree illuminated with lights that resembled tiny fireflies, decorated with frosty ornaments of endless varieties, from Disney to Peanuts to an ornament Christina had found for her online last year, which resembled a California Highway Patrol badge, a gold star, with her name inscribed underneath the words, "Heaven Protect California's Finest." She was coming home to homemade apple cider, a fluffy, heavenly square of steamy Gingerbread with Chantilly Cream, a recipe her mother once had, before she, a Highway Patrol officer herself, died in the line of duty in 2004. Hayley was coming home to a quiet evening filled with gentle music by the Carpenters. And the one man who was visiting from Sacramento who had come to share it all with her, Captain Jon Baker of California Highway Patrol, North Division. Jon Baker, who was once an officer at CHP Central Division, where she and Christina now worked, after being tired of Los Angeles and wanting a change of scenery after being named Captain of the squad, finally finding an opening for Captain up there.

Come to think of it, the day wasn't quite that bad. The speeders were mostly shoppers who were hurrying to either get a sale, bargain, or that last coveted, popular toy that would be gone in the blink of an eye, they felt, if they weren't fast enough. Hayley and Christina themselves were compassionate to a certain extent, somehow, they felt they needed to be much so today, even while telling the speeders that they must obey the law, nevertheless. The two wrecks were actually trucks, one a Toys 'R' Us truck filled with toys and the other evergreen trees, the latter fender-bending the former after the latter was cut off by a speeder who weaved in between them, then took another road, toppling the toy truck to his side and littering Barbie dolls of all sorts, stuffed animals of endless varieties, and almost every newly created video game onto the highway, while the latter truck managed to land in a ditch and miraculously, didn't lose a thing.

Even more miraculously, no one was hurt and the speeder was caught and arrested on a DUI charge. The two woman officers had to laugh to themselves about the whole situation.

The traffic violations were various types, but Hayley and Christina noticed that they weren't quite as many. They weren't surprised, though, after all, this month and season were different. A season where almost everyone was just a little warmer, more open, and a whole lot friendlier. A season where almost everyone had a smile on their face as warm as California sunshine. Where almost everyone believed in hope, happiness, and enjoying humanity, hospitality, and life.

The girls giggled to themselves in almost childish delight.

For the month was December.

And it was Christmas.