Author's Notes: SYuuri, Mollylyn, Tirsh and I agreed to do a Christmas fanfic story exchange this year. We got a neutral party to assign us each a person to write for and we submitted our "wish list" of story items for our writer to choose from. Overachiever me liked something from everyone's list so I went overboard and did a story for each person. Yes, I'm that person. So, Tirsh, this story is for you as a bonus. I'm sure you won't be surprised at which of your prompts I chose. I hope you like it.

Author's Notes 2: Don't know what happened on the formatting when I first uploaded this. FFnet must be having issues cause it was correct in the file I uploaded. Hopefully this fixed it. Sorry for anyone who read it before I fixed it and thanks to JAM fan for pointing it out.

Disclaimer: The show Flashpoint and its characters were created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern and belong to them and its respective networks. I am making no money off this story and it is for entertainment purposes only. However, this particular story is my creation and should not be used without my express written permission.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

"Is it just me or did someone make today some weird Tim Burton 'Christmas Gone Wrong' movie?" Spike complained as Toronto's SRU Team One left the store and headed back to their SUVs.

It was barely one in the afternoon, an hour into their shift, but this was already the second hot call they had responded to. This one had taken place in a toy store that had been full of children. Two women had gotten into a fight over who was going to get the last of a certain toy that was on the shelf. The fight had turned almost deadly and SRU had been called in when a gun was pulled. Fortunately the situation had been resolved without injury to anyone but both women had been detained.

Sam shook his head as they loaded their gear into the back of the SUVs. "Two families are going to have a rotten Christmas all because of a stupid doll? Doesn't seem right. It wasn't like the shelves weren't full of other dolls they could have chosen from."

Ed was the last to emerge, carrying what looked suspiciously like a bag from the store. "Not just any stupid doll. That was the last remaining Pretty Princess doll in probably the whole GTA, the must have doll for every girl under the age of eight. It's been sold out for almost a month now. People would do almost anything to get their hands on one. Not saying I agree with their means but I can understand the frustration."

Jules eyed the bag he tried to surreptitiously stow in the back of the SUV. "Finishing your Christmas shopping on the job there, Ed? What did you get?" When Ed's ears turned a little pink, Jules's eyes widened as she realized what was probably in the bag. "Seriously Ed, did you just buy that Pretty Princess doll they were fighting over?"

Ed shrugged. "Consider it my part of keeping the peace. Now we won't have to be called here again today for someone else getting into a fight over it."

Greg chuckled. "What he's not saying is that it's more about keeping the peace at home. Didn't I hear Sophie tell you the other day that she expected you to find a way to get Izzy that very doll however possible before Christmas?"

"At least I didn't use my gun," Ed protested.

"Okay, Team, as Spike has already pointed out, the holiday seems to be bringing out the worst in some people rather than the best. I think we should patrol around most of the afternoon; let the city see our presence. We'll meet back at the barn at 5 for work-out. I don't know about you but I'm going to need the exercise to get ready for the feast I know Sophie and Marina are preparing for us tonight." Greg offered.

Almost just at the mention of the food, the more veteran members of the team started licking their lips. Raf shook his head, this was his first Christmas with Team One.

"It's that good?"

Spike shook his head. "No, my friend, it's better than good. Turkey and dressing would be good. What Sophie prepares is so much more. I sometimes have dreams about that sweet potato casserole she makes to go with it, truly nectar from the gods. And now that Marina is helping with the food, I'm sure we can count on some more of those delicious cupcakes to go along with the chocolate silk pie Sophie always makes."

"Marina is also making a pan of her ranch potatoes and a green bean casserole." Greg added. "Raf you do realize when you and Spike settle down, one of the requirements will be that she is able to cook well. We only let Ed on the team because his wife is a caterer."

Sam shook his head and leaned in to closer to Jules. "I noticed he didn't include me when it came to settling down. He has tasted your cooking, right?"

She slapped his arm good-naturedly. "I'll have you know I'm an excellent cook when I have to be. I just choose not to if I can help it. I don't remember hearing you complain at breakfast this morning."

Every since they'd gotten the green light to date and remain on the team, they'd been a little more relaxed about making personal comments at work. They were, however, still very careful about maintaining a professional distance most of the time in order to prevent anything from changing that ruling. Some times though, they couldn't pass up the opportunity banter back and forth.

"Go ahead, Samtastic, mock the Julesmeister's cooking." Spike urged as he slammed the back hatch of the SUV he was sharing with Jules that day. "That'll just mean when it's time to eat, she won't let you have any of the ambrosia salad that she makes every year. That'll mean more for me."

Jules raised an eyebrow at her boyfriend. "At least someone appreciates me."

As they were about to head to their respective vehicles, Sam caught her by the arm and pulled her close enough that he could whisper into her ear without any of the others overhearing him. "Trust me, tonight, after shift is over, I plan to show you just how much I appreciate you. I just hope Santa doesn't drop in when I do because I plan on being very naughty."

A shiver of pleasure ran down her spine at the anticipation of it. "Nice."

She took her place behind the wheel of the SUV while Spike went around to the passenger side. They were soon patrolling around the city. After a few minutes of silence, Jules glanced over at Spike. He was looking out the passenger side window but appeared to be miles away.

"Spike, I don't think I've asked; how are you?"

He glanced back at her, the smile not quite reaching his deep dimples. He shook his head as if confused. "I'm fine; why?"

"It's your first Christmas without your dad; I know it's tough. Probably more so since your mom moved away as well."

He was about to deny it but then his shoulders sank a little and he sighed. "I thought I'd gotten over losing him…"

Jules didn't look at him, focusing on the road instead to over him a little privacy. "Oh, Spike, it's been over twenty years since my mom died and some days the wound is as fresh as the day it happened. Holidays are the worst though. The first Christmas for me was almost more than I could bear. I wanted to just lock myself in my room for the whole season. At least my dad and my brothers were there. It made it tolerable."

"It does get easier though, right?" There was almost a boyish plea in Spike's voice that made Jules want to pull over just so she could give him a warm hug of comfort.

"Maybe not easier but not quite as painful. I don't understand; you have plenty of vacation time built up. Why didn't you take a couple of weeks off and go visit your Mom in Italy for the holiday?"

Spike shrugged. "She invited me and I considered it. But then she started talking about Roberto and I couldn't do it. It hasn't even been a year and she's already dating someone. It's weird and it's wrong. I mean, I want her to be happy but not in the arms of some other guy. How could she forget Dad so quickly?"

Jules frowned. "I don't think she's forgotten him. Maybe it's more than she can't handle the loneliness and she reached out for someone to help ease it a little."

"How long did your dad wait before he started dating again?" Spike didn't seem convinced.

Jules chewed on her bottom lip. "Yeah, I can't really answer that one. I'm pretty sure it was sooner than I was aware of at the time. I was a bit of a hellion at the time, and I think Dad worried I might really go off the deep end if I thought he was involved with someone new. I probably would have too. Looking back I can realize his dating wasn't about trying to replace my mom but about needing to need and be needed again. It's probably the same way with your mom. If I remember correctly, she did practically everything for your dad."

Spike nodded. "Yeah, I know that intellectually…"

"…but it doesn't make it any easier to see." Jules finished for him. "Trust me, I know all about that. So, what are your plans for tomorrow?"

"I don't know, maybe lock myself in my room until the holiday is over?" Spike suggested, almost parroting her words from earlier.

She shook her head. "I don't think so. Sam and I don't have any plans; we were just going to stick around the house and veg in front of the TV. Why don't you join us? Maybe I'll even forgive Sam for his crack about my cooking and make a big pot of the secret recipe Callaghan chili."

Spike looked interested but not entirely convinced. "I don't want to intrude; it is kind of your first Christmas together."

"Don't worry about it. We'll do our thing first thing in the morning and by the time you come over, we'll be over being disgustingly sweet and lovey-dovey. Please Spike, Christmas is about family and you are a part of our family. We want you there."

He grinned. "Okay, I'll come; but I'm going to run the idea past Sam first to make sure he feels the same way."

Jules nodded. "Fine, but he'll say the same thing."

Now the smile did reach his dimples. "Because he thinks it or because you'll tell him to say it?"

"What is this, Pick on Jules Day? You too keep it up and it may be peanut butter and jam sandwiches tomorrow for lunch instead."

"Team One, I'm getting numerous 9-1-1 calls directed to us about a kid with a gun threatening a street Santa on Dulhearst and 8th." Spike glanced over at Jules as Winnie finished her call out.

"A kid pulling a gun on Santa? I'm thinking that's not a good way to get off the naughty list. We're just a couple of minutes from there."

"Winnie, Spike and I will take it. See what information you can get us." Jules informed their dispatcher, all teasing gone from her voice now that there was a situation. Spike flipped on the lights and sirens.

When they pulled up at the given address, they noticed that the crowd had fallen back to what they had apparently hoped was a safe distance. The gunman, a little boy no older than 5, was pointed a gun at a man dressed as Santa. The man's white beard was dangling under his chin and he looked terrified. Jules and Spike exchanged a glance and Jules rolled her eyes.

"Seriously? I'm starting to buy into your Tim Burton theory. You want to take it or do you want me to?"

Spike shook his head. "You take it; I'm not sure I can keep a straight face."

She nodded. "Coward. Fine, you get crowd control then."

Neither pulled their own weapons as they emerged from the SUV. Jules went right up to the little boy and picked him up by the waist. He kicked back, catching her solidly in the upper thigh. It didn't feel good but he was too small to do any actual damage. She spun him around and set him down on a nearby planter. She took the convincing but completely harmless plastic toy gun from his hands and tossed it to the side. "What's going on here?"

Large tears filled his eyes and spilled down his cheeks. He pointed back at the Santa. "Officer, you needs to arrest him. He's a faker. He's not the real Santa. See he don't even got no real beard."

Spike had declined to take the kid because he hadn't been sure he wouldn't burst out laughing. Jules understood his worry all too well. Still, the kid looked so upset she couldn't help but feel sorry for him. "That made you mad, huh?"

The kid nodded. "Today's my last chance to see Santa. Mama's been so busy she didn't get no time to take me to the mall but I saw him standing here when Mama and me were about to go into the bank. I asked her if I could talk to him while she took care of business but I don't think she heard me. I didn't think she'd mind cause it's Santa and it's important. But then I got here and he's pretending to be Santa to steal money from peoples. He's a bad man and he needs to be arrested."

Jules reached out to thumb away his tears. "You know, you scared a lot of people. They thought you were the bad guy and that you were going to hurt Santa."

Again the little boy teared up. "But he's not the real Santa. I told you…"

Jules nodded and sat down on the planter next to where he was standing. He was little and even standing on the planter, he was almost at eye level with her when she sat down. "I know; he's not the real Santa but people didn't realize your gun wasn't real either. What if someone had hurt you thinking it was real?"

He sank into her lap, much to her surprise. He leaned his head on her chest. "I had to stop him just like my daddy would've. I was making a sizzling arrest."

The corners of her mouth twitched with a need to laugh as she realized he was trying to say "citizen's arrest." "Is your daddy a police officer?"

The little boy nodded. "He was but he had to go protect Heaven cause he's the best."

"AUSTIN!" A distraught woman came running up to them. The little boy scrambled off Jules's lap and ran to the newcomer who swept him up in a hug. She looked at Jules. "What happened? I was in the bank and they wouldn't let me leave because they said someone with a gun was out on the street. Austin wasn't hurt was he?"

"Mama, Santa was fake but I stopped him."

The mother paled. "Oh please no." She looked at Jules. "Please tell me Austin wasn't the person with the gun?"

When Jules nodded, the woman shook her head. "Austin, I've told you that you can't point that stupid thing at people. Where is it? I'm going to throw that stupid thing away like I should have a long time ago."

Austin began to sob in earnest. "No Mama, please no. I's got to protect you; you can't take my gun away. I'm the man of the house now. Daddy said so."

Spike, who had dispersed the crowd after assuring them everything was okay, came to stand by Jules. "Hey Buddy, would you like to see what our truck looks like? It's pretty neat?"

Austin hung his head as if not sure how to answer. He wanted to see the truck which seemed much nicer than the patrol car his dad had driven but he also wanted to convince his mom not to take his gun away. Finally he nodded and Spike took him over to the vehicle. The mother sank down onto the planter next to Jules. She wiped her eyes. Jules gave her a moment to collect herself.

"Was your husband killed in the line of duty?"

The woman nodded. "Not really. He was driving home after work about six months ago when he witnessed a car accident. It was only a minor fender bender but he stopped to help. It was dark and someone drove by way to fast without noticing what was going on. He hit Danny and kept going. He lived long enough for Austin and me to make it to the hospital to say goodbye. Danny always believed he was a cop 24/7, not just when he was on duty."

"I'm sorry." The words seemed too small but they were the only ones she had to offer. "I take it Austin carries his toy gun because he wants to be like his father?"

"Yeah, he thinks he's a cop just like him. I'm sorry, officer; Austin didn't know he was doing anything wrong. Is he going to be in trouble?"

Jules shook his head. "No, he's lucky though; people today see a gun and they assume the worst. They don't bother to check to see if it's real or not before they panic."

The woman wiped her eyes. "Thank you for not being one of those who panics. SRU? Danny always said one day he was going to try to qualify. It scared me because it seemed more dangerous than what he usually did. Seems like a silly worry given what happened to him. Austin has been so determined to see Santa and I've been so busy; if I'd taken the time to take him, maybe this wouldn't have happened."


She looked over at the truck when she heard Spike's voice over the head set. Why didn't he just come back over? "Yeah, Spike?"

"Found out a little more why our little friend was so desperate to see the real Santa. He wants Santa to bring them a new house for Christmas. Seems the bank is about to take theirs."

Jules closed her eyes. Could it get worse? "Is the bank foreclosing on your house?"

She nodded. "Yeah, Danny's benefits haven't started coming in yet. Some sort of delay with the records being filed right. We don't have much in savings and until he died I hadn't worked since I had Austin. I've taken a couple of jobs but there just hasn't been enough to cover the mortgage each month. I've tried not say anything where Austin can hear but he's pretty smart for his age."

Jules shook her head. "That's just wrong. Surely the Police Bereavement Fund could help…"

"If he'd died in the line of duty they might but because he was off duty at the time…"

"It shouldn't matter." Jules argued. "Like your husband said, we don't turn off being a cop just because we we're not on shift. We're not going to let the family of one of our own lose everything. Do you have a few days at least before the bank does anything?"

She nodded. "Yeah, they are set to foreclose just after New Year's Day."

Jules nodded. "Then let me get with my sergeant. He knows people in high places. We'll do everything possible to make sure you don't lose your house."

"I can't ask you…."

"You didn't." Jules quickly assured her. "It's what we do."

The young widow smiled wanly. "Thank you. It was bad enough knowing I couldn't do much for Austin this Christmas but to tell him we were going to have to find someplace else to live when that's the only home he's ever known; I wasn't sure how I was going to do it."

Jules waited until after Austin and his mother had left before looking at Spike with a raised eyebrow. "You thinking what I'm thinking?"

He nodded. "Halfway there already. Hey Boss, do you think…"

"Do it. Just don't get into any fights in the toy store."

- FP - FP - FP -

At promptly seven p.m., Team One, joined by Marina, Dean, Sophie, Clark and Izzy, sat down around the briefing room table to share in the meal that Sophie and Marina had prepared. The table was full of scrumptious looking morsels they were all dying to dig into. Those gathered around the table were more friends and family than co-workers and the room was full of love and laughter. Sophie had even put Clark to work decorating the briefing room so it looked festive for the occasion. It was all set to be the perfect Christmas Eve celebration.

At promptly seven fifteen, the tones sounded and Winnie's voice apologetically filled the room. "Team One, gear up, hot call. We got a disturbance at 4892 Palmer's Crest in the Exelon Building ball room. Reports of a gun man with a possible bomb strapped to him threatening guests at a Christmas part."

The team sighed heavily as they reluctantly pushed away from the table. There were a few muttered curses about it always happening when they sat down for a good meal. Sophie promised to keep the food hot and that it would be there when they returned. This time, Jules and Sam were in the same vehicle as Sam drove toward their destination. He glanced over at her after making sure the transmit button was turned off.

"So we've got a busy day planned for tomorrow after all." His tone was neutral and Jules couldn't tell if he was upset or not. She really hadn't had a chance to talk to him about the plans she'd made with Spike. The two had spent the better part of two hours shopping and after getting Winnie to find the address for them, they'd dropped off their parcels with Austin's mom so that Santa could be sure to deliver them in time for Christmas morning. The young mother was overwhelmed by their generosity and informed them that she'd already heard from someone from the Metro Police Widows' fund. Nothing much could be done about the house until after the holiday but at the very least she and Austin would be attending a big Christmas party the next day for families of fallen officers.

"You don't mind that Spike and I volunteered you to help us with the party tomorrow do you?" Jules probed gently. It had seemed to her like the perfect way to really spread the Christmas cheer to people who really needed it but now she realized she probably should have talked to Sam first.

He grinned. "I don't mind. We should have thought about checking into something like that weeks ago. The first year I was in college I was bummed about not being able to go home for Christmas - that should tell you how bad it was in itself. My roommate got tired of hearing me moan and groan about how horrible life was and dragged me down to a local soup kitchen on Christmas Day. I spent the day serving Christmas dinner to people who really had a right to complain. It made me realize how lucky I truly was and it became a tradition for me for years after that."

Jules raised an eyebrow. She'd never known that about Sam. As far as she knew, it hadn't been a tradition he'd followed since coming to SRU. "What happened?"

"Matt was the roommate that got me started with it. After what happened in Kandahar, I just couldn't bring myself to go that first year. Apparently some traditions, once you break them the first time, are hard to get back to. Maybe this will start a new tradition."

"Yeah." Jules breathed out, reaching out to give his hand a squeeze.

They pulled up in front of the Exelon Building behind Sarge and Spike. Ed and Raf completed the caravan. Thanks to Spike's floor plans of the building, they knew the ballroom was on the top floor. As they cautiously approached the room where their subject was holding the partygoers hostage, Jules surveyed the scene. She could see about twenty to thirty well dressed guests spread out cowering with fear. There subject was in the center of the room, a crude device strapped to his body. In one hand he held what appeared to be a trigger and in the other he had a gun extended to the head of a tall distinguished man in a tuxedo. A heavily pregnant woman was almost hidden behind him.

Greg stepped forward. "Sir, I'm Sgt. Greg Parker with the Police Strategic Response Unit. Can you tell me what's going on here tonight?"

The subject barely glanced at him. "What does it look like?"

They knew their jobs in such a situation. Ed branched off to get a good position even though they couldn't take a chance with a Scorpio shot as long as the subject's finger was on the trigger and a pregnant woman was in danger. Raf and Spike spread out to the periphery of the room to try to evacuate any of the guests they possibly could. Both Jules and Sam flanked Sarge, their weapons on the subject. Greg didn't look flustered by the flippant non-answer. "Looks to me like you are maybe considering making a really bad choice. I'd like to talk to you about that. See if we can't all get out of here in one piece. What do you say? Can we do that?"

The subject shook his head. "No we can't do that. Because there's no way this sorry piece of scum is getting out of this alive. So you might as well pack your little friends up and get the hell out of here before I decide to just blow us all up."

Greg held his hands up in a non-threatening way. "None of us want that, but we can't leave. Not when all these people are in danger. Sounds like your beef is with this gentlemen here. How about you let the rest of these nice folks go and we can talk about what's bothering you. What do you say?"

"NO! Nice folks? You think they're nice folks? They aren't nice; they didn't do anything to help me. Just stood there as Mr. Marvins ruined my life. Well they can stand there while I ruin his."

"What's your name, Sir? How did Mr. Marvins ruin your life?" Greg still tried even though it didn't appear he was reaching the subject. He was obviously agitated; he kept blinking his eyes almost compulsively. It could be a sign of drug use or mental defect. He was just thinking about asking Jules to take over the negotiations to see if she could reach the subject where he had failed. Before he could, however, the woman next to Marvins suddenly cried out in pain and clutched her abdomen. The bottom of her green dress was suddenly soaked and Greg knew exactly what that meant.

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! It's not going to work. You can scream and cry and beg but nothing is going to fix this."

Marvins, who had been standing impossibly still so as not to provoke the bomb wearing gunman, wrapped his arms protectively next to the pregnant woman beside him. "Dammit, Charlie, she's going into labor. Even you should be able to see she needs medical attention. Please, don't take your anger at me out on my wife and unborn child. Let her go, let the others go as well."

Charlie glanced around in time to see Spike and Raf slipping some of the hostages from the room. He turned the gun on them and fired a shot above their heads. "NOBODY GOES ANYWHERE! Next time I won't shoot; I'll blow us all up. I'll do it too."

After exchanging a look with Sarge, Jules holstered her gun and took a step closer. "Charlie, my name is Jules. Okay, nobody is going to go anywhere until you say it's okay. You're in control right now. She's in labor though; her water broke and that means the baby is coming. A baby that's not going to listen to you. If you won't let her go, then will you at least let me and one of the other officers take care of her?"

He considered her request. "Okay but you leave your weapons over there. You try anything and I'll blow us all up."

Jules nodded. She and Sam handed off their guns before moving toward the pregnant woman. They settled her onto the floor with Sam supporting her back. They instructed several of the other guests to stand with their backs to them creating a sort of human barrier to protect the woman's privacy. Jules offered her a reassuring smile. "Okay, Ma'am, just relax. I'm Jules and this is Sam; we're going to take care of you until this we get this worked out. What's your name?"

The distressed woman panted out her pain. "Sarah Marvins. I don't want my baby born here with a deranged man holding a gun on my husband."

"Just because your water broke doesn't mean the baby is going to come right away." Jules assured her, knowing it was useless to remind her that the baby wouldn't care what was going on when he or she was ready to come. Nor would it do any good to let her know that she wasn't too keen on having to deliver the baby in such circumstances either. They all had to have basic first aid training and childbirth had been apart of that. It was training neither she nor Sam had ever wanted to have to put to use, preferring to leaving all things medical to the professionals.

Sarah bit back a cry of pain. "My first child came an hour after my water broke."

Sam gave her his hand to squeeze. "See, hopefully this situation will be resolved and we'll have you to a hospital long before then."

"It only took ten minutes with my second child." Sarah added with chagrin. She glanced up into Sam's blue eyes as she admitted, "I've been in labor since we arrived tonight. I was hoping to get through the party before I had to go to the hospital. If I hadn't been so stubborn maybe we could have avoided all this."

Jules donned a pair of the latex gloves they carried with them and did a quick check and had to admit it looked as if they wouldn't have a long wait for this baby to be born. She turned her head to speak into her headset quietly so Sarah wouldn't hear her. "Winnie, see if you can patch someone from EMS into my headset. I may need them to help talk me through this."

"Copy that. Stand by."

Jules turned back to Sarah. They needed information and Sarah needed a distraction. "Don't worry, we'll take good care of you and this baby. Do you have any idea why Charlie is doing this?"

Sarah nodded, sweat standing out on her forehead as she groaned in pain. "He worked for my husband. Three months ago he fell off his roof and suffered a severe brain injury. It made him unreliable at his job but Jacob tried to keep him on. But the mood swings just got worse and he started acting violently to the other employees and Jacob had no choice but to let him go. He didn't fire him, gave him full medical disability and a nice package but Charlie didn't see it that way. He's been threatening Jacob for weeks now but my husband never though he'd do something like this."

"Sarge?" Jules asked, knowing Greg had probably heard everything. He quickly confirmed he had as Steve Morgan's voice filled her ear.

"Jules, I understand you have a baby anxious to make an arrival before Santa Claus comes."

Jules quickly filled him in on what she knew so far. He instructed her on how to check to make sure the baby was turned correctly. To her horror, she discovered a butt instead of a head. She glanced at the woman. "Sarah, has the doctor said anything to you about the baby not being turned yet?"

She nodded and groaned. "At my last visit but she said it was possible the baby would turn on his own before I went into labor. My first born was breached but the second turned herself to the right position just before I delivered. Oh God, please don't tell me I'm going to deliver a breeched baby in the ballroom of my husband's company without pain medication or a doctor while a madman holds a gun on my husband and threatens us with a bomb."

"It's okay." Jules assured her. "I've dealt with breech births before. I'm going to take good care of you and this baby. The rest of the team is going to take care of resolving this situation and getting your husband and everyone else out safely. I just need you to trust us. Okay? Sam, can you coach her with her breathing?"

Sam nodded; it had been awhile since he had his refresher course on childbirth but he thought he could handle the breathing part. He was much more grateful that it was Jules doing the actual delivery than him and he didn't care if that made him seem sexist in the process.

"Charlie, Sarah needs medical help; maybe more than my people can provide." Greg's voice was calm as he used the information he'd heard over Jules's radio. "Even if you have issues with Mr. Marvins here, I'm sure you wouldn't want to risk harm to an innocent baby. I'd like for you to consider letting my people take her out of here so she can get the medical help she needs to make sure the baby is safe."

"NO! NO! NO! Quit asking me that. Nobody is getting out of here."

Sarah screamed in pain and Jules took a deep breath. She would need her complete focus on the task before her - delivering this baby safely. She blocked out everything else. Sarah's cries of pain, the negotiations happening behind her, and, after getting his instructions, even Steve's voice in her ear; none of it mattered at the moment. The only outside distraction she allowed herself was Sam's soothing, calming voice. He was offering reassurances to Sarah but Jules needed to hear them just as much.

Fortunately, the baby was in the best possible breech position so all she should have to do was support the baby as he emerged. Jules was sweating as much as Sarah was by the time the baby's butt was out. Several minutes more and the baby had been delivered. When he uttered his first cry, Jules's eyes met Sam's. He grinned at her and mouthed the word "congratulations." She nodded and returned to the task at hand. The baby might be born and healthy but there was more to be done. She cut the umbilical cord and handed the baby to Sam to hold while she returned to taking care of Sarah. Now she did concentrate on Steve's words as he talked her through the rest of the delivery.

"Hear that, Charlie; that's a baby born on Christmas Eve. A true Christmas miracle. Can you honestly say you want to kill everyone in this room right after a miracle has occurred? Is that what you want tonight?"

The trigger dropped from Charlie's hand and he shook his head. "No, I don't want everyone to die."

Jules let out her breath in relief. It was all going to be okay. She smiled at the new mother who was only half conscious after the difficult delivery. "See everything is going to be fine. You'll have a lot to tell this little guy when he gets older."

"Only Marvins has to die." The words no sooner left Charlie's mouth when a gun shot rang out.

A multitude of screams filled the room but none louder and more pain filled as Sarah's, worse than any she'd uttered during delivery. Jules looked at Sam and his look of shock mirrored her own. Due to the wall of people between them and Charlie, they couldn't be sure who had been hit.

"Subject neutralized."

Jules lowered her head. It was never easy to lose even a subject but she couldn't help but feel grateful that this new life, this small boy she'd helped to deliver, hadn't lost his father on the same day he'd been born.

Suddenly Jacob Marvins was kneeling beside his wife, kissing her and gently cradling his son's head with his hand. In no time, Steve and his partner were also there transferring mother and child to a stretcher. Both Sarah and her husband effusively expressed their thanks but Jules and Sam both waved off their praise.

Sam came to stand behind Jules, his hand on her back. He looked down at her. "I don't think I've ever held anything that small in my hands before. Kind of a humbling experience."

She nodded. "Tell me about it. Think about it, Sam; we delivered a baby on Christmas Eve. All the other stuff aside, can you think of anything better?"

Sam switched off his transmit button and leaned close to her ear. "Maybe one day bringing our own child into the world, Christmas Eve or any other day of the year."

She nodded, her stomach doing flip flops at the sincerity and sexiness in his voice. Now that they'd been given the green light for dating, could they one day look forward to marriage and children as well? She'd never really given it much thought until Sam came into her life. Before it would have scared her, but now it just felt right. "Yeah, that could do it."

They headed downstairs, trailing behind the rest of the team. Sam reached out and took her hand in his, needing the contact with her more than he needed to maintain a professionalism. He smirked. "You told Sarah you've delivered a breech baby before. Somehow I seem to remember you saying the last time we had that refresher course that in all your years on the force, you'd never had to use the training. What gives?"

Jules shrugged and smiled. "I never said it was a human breech birth. I grew up on a farm, remember? You wouldn't want to know how many calves I've had to help deliver as a teenager."

Sam laughed. "You're right; I don't want to know."

He pulled her off to the side where no one would see them if they passed by. His head leaned down and his lips captured hers in a sweet and delicate kiss. Pulling back, he grinned at her. "Merry Christmas."

She could still feel his lips on hers and she smiled up at him. "Yeah, Merry Christmas. Maybe the best one every."

- FP -

Author's Note 3: So the prompt Tirsh gave that I couldn't resist was "hot call - Sam and Jules deliver a baby - not theirs - Christmas Eve." Tirsh, I hope this was close to what you had in mind and that I didn't leave too many typos since I couldn't send it to you to beta before I posted. Merry Christmas.