AN: don't own anything, just borrowing.
Signing off another report she flipped it shut adding it to the slowly growing outbox pile. If anyone asked she told them it was the luck of the short straw. But truth be told, looking over the brightly lit skyline something was eerily satisfying about working Christmas Eve. Her battle with paper work while tedious, gently reminded that every now and then the good guys won. So far as she knew everyone had left hours ago, left only with the uniforms down stairs. "Guess this means I have to make my own damn coffee" stretching out Jane wearily made her way to the machine. Catching a glimpse of a Santa down on the street who looked just as weary.
"Ahh screw it. I can take a break." Justifying a coffee break to no one but herself she filled up two mugs and headed to the elevator. Down on the street the wind blew causing her to tense and appropriately curse at the seasonal weather.
The Santa softly rang his bell trying to get the attention of people passing by, "Merry Christmas sir! Could you spare so..."
"Screw you!" His arm and face fell shaking his head.
Jane had begun to cross the street, "Hey! Asshat, have some damn manners!"
"Yeah? Screw you too!"
"So good will to all must have got thrown in the trash too," the man in red sighed.
"Who knows, maybe he'll get coal tomorrow, here I think you could use this," he barked out a laugh gratefully accepting the steaming mug.
Taking a long draw on the coffee he turned to her, "so what brings you out here this evening, other than to take pity on a poor, cold Santa?" Shrugging and throwing a few dollars in the bucket she sighed. "You know old man I'm not sure, but don't tell me you don't need that mud as much as I do!"
"That I do miss, that I do. Don't tell me you're up there working tonight?"
"Someone has to catch the bad guys, the naughty list doesn't quite cut it anymore."
"All on you're own? That's a mighty task for anyone, but why just you?"
"I have a team," she replied a little meekly,
"At home," she mumbled out the last part beginning to feel the guilt trip.
"And you wouldn't rather be somewhere else? With someone else?
She rubbed the back of her neck while shuffling her boots a little, "Well yeah, everyone would rather be somewhere else right? You can't want to be out here freezing your snowballs off either?"
"Like you Jane I'm working too, trying to spread a little Christmas cheer and magic,"
She stopped her mug half way to her lips, "and just how do you know my name?"
The old man turned to her with a smile, "Because I'm Santa."
"Riiiiiight, I'm just going to, I really ought to be getting back to work, keep the cup a gift from BPD..." slowly backing away she eyed him suspiciously, he just stood wide smile in place. Looking back as she entered the precinct he just waved, shaking her head she went back inside.
Walking back to her desk she couldn't help but notice all the files were gone, no folders in her inbox, no completed forms waiting to be filed, nothing. Before she could even take in the fact it was all gone her computer signalled an email. Her suspicions turned to sheer bemusement when the email was a receipt showing everything had been filed, no forms outstanding. No, no this was crazy, maybe if she called the clerks there had to be a mistake. The pile of papers to be filled was almost as tall as the monitors. And now nothing, all tidy, squared away like the paper work fairy had been.
" lay off the caffeine Rizzoli, paperwork fairy? Really you can do better than that," but a quick call later and it was true everything was done, and apparently signed off. "Am I losing it? There were stacks of the stuff right there"
"Talking to ones self could be interpreted as 'losing it' if you prefer," Jane spun on the spot,
"Jesus Maura! Don't sneak up on me, I nearly shot you!"
"I would rather you didn't, I will remember to announce myself next time. Are you alright?"
Turning back to her desk she slumped in the chair, "I don't know, one minute I was here, then I went and had a coffee with 'Santa'" she punctuated Santa with air quotes, "then I came back to fight with the rest of the back log and its gone! Poof, done, gone...and the clerks say they have it all, completed and signed!"
"I don't understand the problem?"
"I didn't do it! It was all here, I should have been here half the night trying to get it done," running her hand through her hair she just looked at Maura. "I swear it was all here!" The doctor placed a reassuring hand on Jane's shoulder, "you don't believe me do you,"
"It doesn't matter what I believe Jane, but if you're that worried I can take you back to my place and run a quick test to see if you could have blacked out. Would that help?"
"Wouldn't hurt to try I guess. And if everything 'has' been done it does mean I can go home, let me just get my things." Getting up the detective reached into the drawer for her weapon. "Ok what the hell is this?" There was a small red bow and a tag attached to the gun, Jane's eyes met Maura's pleading begging to know that she saw it too.
"It says, 'you're welcome' signed by Mr.S? Who is that Jane?" Turning on a dime Jane had ran to the window, flattening her nose against the window she tried to see down to the street below.
"Where are you, you son of a bitch!"
Maura put down her things and joined the detective. "Jane you're worrying me, what's going on?" She reached up rubbing Jane's back to try and sooth her friend.
Defeated she turned to the doctor, "can you take me home, I suddenly don't feel quite right," Maura smiled taking her hand, nodding without a word she led her out of the office.
A few hours later after a fair share of exasperated sighing and swearing Jane was given a full bill of health. They were sitting on the sofa in what was now an almost comfortable silence until Jane let out a loud exaggerated groan, "ugh what is wrong with me? I'm losing my mind I swear!" She turned to see a sympathetic face, "you think it too don't you,"
"Oh Jane no, no I don't come here," Jane laid herself out using Maura's lap as a pillow facing away. She relaxed a little when she felt a hand lazily brushing through her hair. "What I think is you're tired and stressed, even if you don't think so. Don't be so hard on yourself, it's Christmas no one is allowed to be grumpy."
Jane's eyes shot open, too wrapped up in vanishing paperwork she had completely forgotten, she made to get up, a massive apology on her lips. But Maura's hand on her shoulder stopped her. "Before you start detective you don't have to apologise," rolling to face the doctor, this time she wouldn't be stopped.
"I am so sorry Maur! I got turned around and didn't even realise, shit you're probably missing some fancy pants party right now!"
Maura covered her mouth trying not to dribble wine while she laughed. "I sent them my apologies, your health is somewhat more important. Besides it would have been no fun without you."
"You mean to say I'm your bail out?" Jane mocked, covering her face pretending to be insulted.
"No! I meant it, your health is important to me. But your company is a much better alternative. And I don't know who else I'd rather spend Christmas Eve with than my best friend."
"Wait you're not going to your parents over the holidays?" Jane sat up to reach for the neglected wine glass on the coffee table. Maura shook her head,
"I don't even know where they are spending Christmas, I've not been invited." Jane gulped her mouthful down in surprise,
"They're your PARENTS, you don't need to be invited! Family do not need an invite to see each other Maura." She watched her shrug it off, this hadn't been the first time they had swanned off to the other side of the world without so much as a call let alone an offer to tag along.
"Wait, does that mean you would have been here all alone tomorrow?"
"Unless I get a call to a crime scene then yes I would. I don't see the problem Jane, it's just another day."
Jane raised her hands, "Wait, wait, 'just' another day? You'll tell me next you don't exchange presents." Maura went to speak but stopped, "No presents? What kind of hellish holiday is a Christmas with no presents?"