Title: Christmas Solace
Author: Cindy Ryan
Pairing: Simon/Rebecca
Summary: Rebecca looks for hope on Christmas Eve among a week of heavy fighting

They say war is hell.
Doctor Rebecca Gordon had found that to be true during her year in Afghanistan. She didn't know if it was a stroke of cruel fate but the week leading to Christmas had been especially bad.
So many back to back surgeries.
So many she couldn't save.
So many friends Rebecca had to tell she'd failed.

After another sixteen hour shift Rebecca stood outside leaning against the back wall of the hospital.
It was Christmas Eve.
She stared up at the moon and stars hoping the heavens had an answer for why so many had to die young.
Rebecca had been outside at least twenty minutes and she'd been surprised her beeper hadn't gone off yet. Which was a blessing because she couldn't take another surgery right now.

"You're a hard woman to find."A familiar British voice commented breaking the silence.

Rebecca didn't turn to face her friend and lover. "That was the point."

Something warm and cylinder was pressed into the young doctor's right hand. Rebecca looked down to find a cup of coffee. She turned to face Simon his profile barely visible in the shadows.

"I promise it's just coffee."Hill stated quietly.

"I could use something stronger right now."Rebecca replied ruefully.

"I know, but I also know you wouldn't have accepted it if I had given it to you."

Rebecca nodded as she took a long sip of the sweet liquid. "Thank you."

Silently Simon pulled Rebecca into an embrace wrapping his arms around her waist. Rebecca closed her eyes as she leaned back against the neurosurgeon's chest.

"This week has sucked."Gordon commented sadly.

"Yeah it has and probably won't get any better for awhile."Simon agreed.

"You're a ray of sunshine."Rebecca commented.

"Never claimed to be."Simon replied as he rested his chin on the top of Rebecca's head.

"I don't think I can' go back in there, Simon."Rebecca said quietly as she opened her eyes.

Simon turned Rebecca around to face him. "Why?"

"It's Christmas Eve and we're done nothing but watch them die for a week straight."Gordon replied angrily.

"Because it's a holiday it's supposed to be different?"Simon countered.

"There's supposed to be hope."Rebecca argued. "Hope that this will get better. Hope that we'll save some."

"We save who we can, Rebecca. No matter what day it is."Simon stated quietly. "You're good. You've saved more than you think. Some who wouldn't be alive if you weren't so bloody stubborn. Hold on to that."

Rebecca kissed Simon grateful for his presence in her life. Turning back to look at the stars Rebecca leaned back against Simon. She finished the rest of the coffee in silence. She sent off a silent prayer for those lost this week and for those that would come through the hospital doors tomorrow.

"Thank you, Simon."

"Merry Christmas, Rebecca."

Smiling Rebecca glanced back. "Merry Christmas, "

Two familiar sounds shattered the moment.
Their beepers calling them back to duty.

Rebecca shook her head wearily. "So much for sleep."

Simon stepped back squeezing Rebecca's hand once before separating. "No rest for the weary."

"Maybe today will be better."Rebecca commented.

"Maybe."Simon agreed as they walked back into the hospital.