It rarely snowed in Albuquerque. Marshall's dreams of a white Christmas, 'just like the ones I used to know,' existed only in the sultry tones of Bing Crosby on his much-loved tape of Holiday Inn, and in his memories of Colorado camping trips with his father. This Christmas, like most before, was a chilly evening of around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Marshall slipped out onto the veranda behind his and Mary's desks, wrapped warmly in his thick winter coat and scarf. A soft breeze ruffled his hair as he reclined on a lawn chair. The only sounds were of a few cars on the streets below, distant and muffled, late as it was. He tucked his gloved hands into his armpits and closed his eyes, enjoying the drift of his thoughts- not tethered by work, not bound by duty, not held back by conscience. In his own mind, on the roof of a dark, empty building, Marshall was free to dream of whatever he wanted, improbable white Christmases included.
He opened his eyes to take in the endless New Mexico sky. The black of space was glowing from the lights of Albuquerque and the stars were not visible- yet another thing he missed from those camping trips of his youth. Spurred by the memory, he squinted, straining his eyes, until a pinprick of white could be distinguished from the dark gray pallor of the sky.
He settled back into the chair. What to wish for? A white Christmas would be lovely, but it was unlikely, and not worth a wish. A warmer Christmas, then, he considered as a stronger gust brought him closer to the beginnings of a shiver. That was certainly a possibility in Albuquerque.
Or maybe he would wish for another camping trip with his father. It wasn't completely unlikely; Marshall Marshall Mann III was starting to reduce his workload; he claimed it was due to the entreaties of his wife, but Junior knew him better than that. Maybe his father would find himself in the area next year.
He focused on the star and began to wish.
"Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight."
Tradition recognized, he closed his eyes and wished.
"Oh my God."
Marshall flinched and nearly twisted his neck as he looked behind him. His partner was standing in the previously empty doorway, watching him with an expression of horror.
"Disney, Marshall, really?"
Marshall smiled. The silence was broken, but hadn't he just been wishing for companionship? He gestured to the seat beside him and Mary sat down.
"Actually, that nursery rhyme was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century…"