By CI and KP

A Christmas To Remember

In the moments, moments of our lives
All the world is ours
And this world is so right
You and I sharing this time together
Sharing the same dream
As the time goes by, we will find

These are the special times
Times we'll remember
These are the sweetest times
The tender times we'll hold in our hearts forever
These are the sweetest times
These times together
And through it all, one thing will always be true
The special times are the times I share with you.

With each moment, moment passing by
We'll make memories that will last all our lives
As you and I travel through time together
Living the sweet dream
And ever day, we can say

These are the special times
Times we'll remember
These are the sweetest times
The tender times we'll hold in our hearts forever
These are the sweetest times
These times together
And through it all, one thing will always be true
The special times are the times I share with you.

These tender moments
When heaven is so close
These are the moments that I know

These are the special times
Times we'll remember
These are the sweetest times
The tender times we'll hold in our hearts forever
These are the sweetest times
These times together
And through it all, one thing will always be true
The special times are the times I share
The special times are the times we share
The special times are the times I share with you.

Monica hummed softly as the radio played in the living room of the cabin, and as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and turned the volume up, she went back to searching through the ornaments in the large box on the end table. Finding a beautiful angel ornament that she remembered making with Andrew several Christmas's ago, a large smile spread across the Irish angel's face as she placed the ornament right in the middle of the tree.

As she stepped back and surveyed her work, Monica nodded her head as she then leaned forward and grabbed the angel with golden wings for the very top of the tree. Stepping on the step stool set up next to the large tree in the middle of the living room, the auburn-haired Caseworker leaned forward and carefully set it up on the top. As she stepped down and took a seat on the couch, her brown eyes looking up at the decorated tree as it twinkled with the colorful lights, Monica sighed happily,
'Now all that this needs to be a perfect moment is for Andrew to return from his assignment.' She thought as she leaned her head back against the couch and looked up at the ceiling.

It was the morning before Christmas Eve day and she was hoping he would soon be finished with his part of the assignment. She and Kevin had small parts in this one, so once she had finished, she and Andrew had agreed to meet at the cabin once his part was finished. Kevin on the other hand, had rushed off to meet up with Carla for a few days of Christmas shopping with promises to return on Christmas Day with the rest of their friends.

Christmas was always special to angels, with knowing or remembering what had happened on that very first Christmas so long ago, and Monica and Andrew had always loved sharing that story with human assignments. But special in its own way, was a Christmas they didn't have to work and could celebrate the holiday together and that would be this Christmas and she was more than looking forward to it. Assignments had been difficult lately, with little time for teasing or fun and now the Irish angel was thoroughly enjoying her task of bringing Christmas to the cabin to surprise her best friend once he arrived.

As she jumped back up to find the garland and white lights to string from the wooden mantle above the stone fireplace, she looked out the window and smiled at the sight of snow falling. Monica loved snow for Christmas and it seemed to make the setting all the more perfect. Grinning happily, she set about her newest task as she softly sang along with the radio, which was something she wouldn't even do in the presence of her best friend, but being alone, she knew she wouldn't offend anyone.

As she continued singing somewhat loudly to the empty room as she finished stringing up the white lights and set to work and lighting the candles around the cabin, Monica suddenly stopped what she was doing and hurried back over to the radio. A Christmas song had stopped in the middle of it, and a breaking news forecast began; as she turned up the volume, the Irish angel's brown eyes widened in surprise and she sat back down in the chair.

"We interrupt this station of Christmas songs to bring you a live report. A snow storm has started up in the mountains, and all people in that area are requested to stay off the roads as much as possible..."

At those few words, the Irish angel felt her heart leap into her throat and she jumped to her feet to head over to the window. As she pushed the curtains aside and looked out, the lights from the front porch making it easier to see, Monica's heart pounded loudly in her chest as she saw the snow coming down harder then ever...a lot harder then it had been a few minutes ago.

Worry now filled her gentle heart as she thought about her best friend trying to get here in this storm and as she listened, the newscaster stated the storm was not expected to end until the early morning hours of Christmas Day.

What if Andrew couldn't get here? She shook that thought from her head, knowing her true concern was for his safety in human form on snow-covered roads. Though it broke her heart to think of him not being here for Christmas Eve, it frightened her twice as much to think of anything happening to him. He was her best friend, her soul mate, the one angel who could seemingly see right into her heart often making words not necessary. Though he was her supervisor, he was all those other things first and foremost, and she loved him with her entire heart,
"Keep him safe, Father. Please, just keep him safe."

"I am always with him, My child," The loving voice of the Father spoke to her heart and Monica lifted her concerned eyes to the ceiling and nodded her head. Sighing deeply, the Irish angel folded her arms across her chest and made her way back over to the couch and sat down, hoping and praying with her entire heart that nothing would happen to her dearest friend as he made his way through that snowstorm.

Andrew squinted as he put the windshield wipers on high, and continued to try and make his way through the snow-covered roads. But each route he decided to take, it only made him even more lost then he already was, and he could barely even see the road sign anymore...which made it so it was nearly impossible to figure out if he was anywhere near the cabin,
"Father, where am I? I can barely see out there anymore..."
His eyes growing tired of trying to see through the oncoming snowflakes, he pulled over for a few moments in order to take a break. Sighing wearily, he wondered if he would even be able to make it to the cabin, but he quickly dismissed that thought. No, he had to make it. His dearest friend in the angelic realm was there waiting for him and no doubt by this time worrying about him. The past several weeks had been so hectic for he and his two charges, that he and Monica had both been looking forward to a quiet Christmas Eve together at the cabin and some time to reconnect.

He smiled to himself, thinking of how their friendship had deepened over the years and the careless mistakes that had once occurred with their friendship had more or less become a thing of the past. There had been a time when any disagreement between them would have led to much bigger problems, but they had put all of that behind them and it had been replaced with what he knew had to be the most incredible friendship he could ever imagine being a part of.

Hearing a rustling in the box on the seat beside of him, Andrew chuckled, despite the situation he was in,
"Okay, okay, you can come out for a minute while I'm stopped, but then back in the box till we get there," He explained, opening the carrier and pulling out a small, fluffy gray tabby kitten that he had chosen as a gift for Monica. As he held the purring bundle of fur close to him, he thought about how much his Angel Girl loved animals, but Tess had never permitted to her to have one, even though Tess herself had a dog for several years.

Andrew smiled as he felt the little kitten curl up on his lap, all the while still purring, and he leaned his head back against the back of the seat, closing his green eyes as he remembered the last Christmas he had had with his friends.

(Andrew's Flashback)

"Hurry up you guys! I want to eat, I'm hungry!" Kevin shouted above the laughter heard in the living room of the cabin that Christmas morning, and he plopped down on the couch, his eyes eager with anticipation,
"I think the food is calling my name."

"When is it NOT calling your name, Wonder Boy?" Andrew joked as he grabbed his youngest charge in a playful headlock and ruffled his hair, chuckling when Kevin wrestled away and scowled at him. Taking a seat next to him and then pulling his best friend down next to him, wrapping an arm around her shoulders, the older angel continued,
"Seriously, Kev, we've got all afternoon. I don't think the food's going any place...after all, we haven't even made it yet!"

"What?" The youngest Caseworker exclaimed in horror,
"It isn't even made yet? What am I doing up then?"

Monica giggled at his dismayed expression as she stole a wink at her best friend,
"So I guess you don't want any presents then as you are going back to bed?"

Kevin raised his eyebrows in interest,
"Presents?"

Grinning, the Irish angel picked up a small tower of packages and handed them to Kevin, before she sat back down and curled back into her best friend's arms.
"Food! You bought me food, Cupcake!" Kevin chirped happily as he tore open the boxes to find different sweets in each box.

"She figured it was what you wanted," Andrew replied dryly as he rolled his eyes,
"I mean, do you ever ask for anything else?"

Kevin appeared thoughtful for a moment, before he shook his head adamantly,
"Nope, can't say that I do. Cupcake, you know me too well."

"Well, Kev, when it comes to what you like, the book isn't all that deep, ya know?" She teased lightly.

"I think I should be insulted with that remark," He retorted between mouthfuls of chocolate covered pretzels,
"But I'll let it slide."

The three angels laughed lightly before Andrew rose to his feet then and picked up a small package and handed it to Kevin before sitting back down between his two charges,
"I didn't want all of your gifts to be food, Wonder Boy, so I decided to be creative." He shot a wink at his best friend before wrapping his arm around her shoulders again and feeling her lean into him.

Tearing open the package in his lap, the Caseworker opened up the medium size box and pulled out a thick book. Tilting his head to the side, Kevin examined it for a few seconds before opening it, a smile spreading across his young-looking face,
"Whoa, cool, Simba! A photo album of all three of us!"

Smiling back at his youngest friend, Andrew replied,
"I thought it'd give you something to look at after some long, hard cases...some reminders that you are loved dearly, Wonder Boy, despite your amazing appetite."

"I love it, Andrew. Thank you," Kevin replied happily as he turned the pages on the book, grinning as he took in the pictures. He paused then and looked up at his two friends,
"You know, the Father's gift to the world was the very best Christmas present and that goes without saying, but the gift of having the two of you to work with everyday is something I don't say enough." Feeling a slight blush rise to his cheeks at an unusual moment of sentiment coming from himself, he went back to looking at the photo album and laughed,
"Simba in mouse ears-now that is one to blow up and hang here in the living room!"

(End Andrew's Flashback)

Monica gazed out the window in the wee early hours of Christmas Eve morning, having awakened early after a restless night's sleep, worrying about her best friend. The snow was still falling heavily and she had already been outside once to clear a path to the door to make it easier for him when he arrived.

If he arrived.

Christmas Eve without her best friend was something she almost couldn't imagine as they had spent so many of them together in good times and in bad times and even the bad times seemed better when he was near. She smiled a bittersweet smile remembering one Christmas Eve in particular, the one right after her traumatic experience with Philip. Her mood had been heavy, but Andrew had still managed to make her feel wrapped up in a blanket of love.

(Monica's Flashback)

Andrew stoked the fire until the flames were once again burning brightly, before he rose to his feet and headed back over to the sofa where his best friend was sitting, curled up in an afghan. Though she smiled at him, he could still see the traces of sadness in her dark eyes that he longed to erase and he smiled as a thought came to him.
"Do you know what that tree needs?" He asked seriously as he looked from her to the Christmas tree in the corner.

Confusion clouded her pretty features as she shook her head,
"It needs something?"

"It does," He replied as if she had not asked a question but had rather given a statement,
"Popcorn. Strings of popcorn. We need to get some popped, find some needles and thread and get crackin'."

Sighing softly, Monica looked up at her best friend and whispered,
"I'm not really sure I'm up for it, my friend...and actually, I think the tree looks perfect the way it is-"

"But it can look better, Angel Girl," The older angel grinned mischievously at her to try and lighten her mood. He hated to see his best friend so down in the dumps, and Christmas was supposed to be the happiest time of the year; so he was determined to do whatever it took to bring that smile back to her face,
"And popcorn is exactly what it needs." Heading over to where she sat, he reached for her hands, waiting for her to accept them.

"Andrew, really..."

Lowering his hands, Andrew knelt down in front of her and looked into her face,
"Sweetie, not only does the tree need popcorn, but I think this little activity is what YOU need." A grin spread over his face as he reached down and scooped her up, afghan and all, into his arms and looked down into her face,
"Or I may just have to tickle you..."

Unable to stop a small giggle from escaping her, the Irish angel shook her head hard,
"No, I do not want that..."

With a wink, Andrew set her back on her feet and twenty minutes later, she found herself stringing popcorn and sighing with exasperation as her best friend seemed to be eating more than he was stringing,
"Andrew, you said the tree needed popcorn, not you," She scolded with a soft smile to let him know she was not annoyed.

"Well at least 'tree' and 'me' rhyme, Angel Girl," He replied, happiness flowing through him as she giggled and threw a piece of popcorn at him, which he promptly caught in his mouth, which only caused her laugh once more.

Before long, the tree was decorated with strands of the popcorn and the older angel watched as his younger friend gazed at it, a sad smile on her face. Sitting down on the sofa with her, he wrapped his arms around her and handed her a small package,
"Merry Christmas, sweetheart," He told her softly, watching as her hands trembled slightly as she opened the beautiful snow globe he had bought for her.

"Andy, it's beautiful," Monica whispered, her voice choked with emotion.

Taking it from her, he reached underneath and wound it up, before holding it in his hand as the music began to play. As his best friend leaned back in his arms, he sang softly along with melody,
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
let your heart be light.
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
make the yuletide gay,
From now on, our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends, who are dear to us, will be near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together
if the fates allow.
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now."

"I love you so much, Andrew..." The Irish angel whispered as a tearful smile appeared on her face as she leaned her head against her best friend's shoulder and wrapped her arms around him,
"And Merry Christmas."

(End Monica's Flashback)

Glancing out the window again, Monica sighed sadly as she saw that there still was no sign of her dearest friend...and the snow only continued to come down even harder then ever. Sinking down in the chair closest to the window so that she could be on the lookout in case he arrived soon, the Irish angel rested her arms on the windowsill and leaned her chin on them,
"Keep yourself safe, Andrew...please..."

Andrew wiped at his eyes tiredly with the back of his hand as he forced them to stay open and concentrate on the road ahead of him. Although the snow continued to fall heavily around him, he was able to see thankfully...but he still had no idea where he was. None of the signs looked familiar, and the angel feared that he was only driving farther away from the cabin then closer to it,
"Father, please help me...Monica must be worried sick by now..."

Once again pulling to the side of the road, Andrew looked down at the tabby kitten in the carrier beside him and stuck his fingers through to pet the purring bundle of fur,
"We'll get there eventually, sweetie..." He sighed softly and closed his green eyes,
"Father, I'm really getting scared now. Please direct me to the cabin if it's Your will..."

As he leaned his head against the steering wheel in exhaustion, Andrew finally lifted it up as he heard the familiar voice of the Father speak to his heart to keep going, that He would direct him to his best friend. Although it was difficult to keep his eyes open, Andrew nodded his head and turned the car back on and pulled back out onto the highway.

Smiling softly once again, even as he focused on the road ahead, he remembered another Christmas where he had been on assignment and once his assignment had gone to bed, the angel had found himself heading back to his temporary apartment feeling incredibly lonely…but that feeling had not lasted long.

(Andrew's Flashback)

He sighed as he climbed the steps to his apartment, wondering what it was his friends must be doing tonight. He was accustomed to being on assignment with them or having Christmas Eve off with them, but having to work alone was a new one for him and one he was not looking forward to.

Putting his key in the door, he almost dreaded going into the small, dingy apartment to spend this evening alone. This particular assignment had been long, and he was especially missing his best friend, but he tried not to think about that, lest he made himself totally miserable.

With a sigh, he opened the door, his emerald eyes widening in shock and wonder as he saw several candle lit in the living room, and a small but creatively decorated little Christmas tree sat on his coffee table. Tears filled his eyes as he noted how just this seemed to brighten up the entire room as he searched for the culprit.

"Angel Girl," He uttered softly, seeing her come from around the corner wearing a cream colored turtle neck sweater and jeans, her auburn hair fanning out around her shoulders, a hesitant smile on her face as she watched for his reaction.

"I hope you don't mind, Andrew, but I sorta snuck in here this evening to surprise you," The little Irish angel whispered as she stepped closer to her best friend, a smile on her pretty face,
"And I've missed you so much...we all have..."

The tears spilling down his cheeks as he met her halfway, Andrew stopped and shook his head in amazement as he replied,
"Sweetheart, you did this for me?"

Nodding her head, Monica reached for his hands and held them tightly in her own as she met her brown eyes with his green ones,
"It's Christmas, Andrew; and the Father doesn't want you to spend Christmas alone, and neither do I. It's never the same without my best friend to share it with."

Releasing her hands, Andrew's smile broadened as he reached towards her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders as tightly as he could,
"Oh Angel Girl...thank you, Mon'; thank you..."

Wrapping her arms around his neck tightly, Monica hugged him as a few tears spilled down her own face,
"I want this Christmas to be one to remember, my friend. One you'll never forget..."

"Just seeing you here makes me smile, Angel Girl," Andrew whispered into her hair as he refused to release her just yet,
"I didn't think I'd be able to spend Christmas with any of you, much less my best friend."

"Well, now you know your answer," The younger angel giggled as she released him slightly, but kept her hands on his shoulders,
"Merry Christmas, Andrew."

(End Andrew's Flashback)

Several hours later, Monica blinked her eyes as she awoke, her neck cramping from where it had laid on the windowsill in the living room waiting for her best friend to return. Glancing at her watch, the Irish angel felt tears filling her brown eyes as she realized that it was now 5:00pm,
"Oh Andrew, where are you?" She whispered worriedly, feeling more concerned then ever now.

To keep from worrying, she allowed her mind to wander once more to a Christmas Eve that had been more than special. A Christmas Eve when she had been a 6-year-old human child and living with the Hendricksons', who at that time had been a very troubled family. But as always, the bright ray of sunshine in a very frightening existence had been Andrew.

(Monica's Flashback)

"Andrew," Monica whispered, as he sat on the edge of her bed Christmas Eve,
"Do you suppose Santa is going to come, even though my daddy said today that I haven't been a good girl?"

Andrew's eyes clouded with tears at her words as he gently brushed some stray hair from her brown eyes,
"Sweetheart, you have been a good girl and don't let anyone tell you any differently, okay?"

Sighing softly, the little 6-year old very human angel rested her chin on her knees as her arms wrapped around them,
"But what about what daddy says, Andrew?"

The tears streaming down his cheeks now, Andrew grasped her small hands in his and held them gently in his larger ones,
"Angel Girl, sometimes...sometimes humans don't always tell the truth; and right now, your daddy isn't thinking clearly. But you ARE a good girl. You've always been a good girl, and I'm not just saying that because you're my friend, Monica."

Sniffing back a few tears, the little girl looked up at her dear friend and attempted a small smile,
"You know what I asked Santa for Christmas, Andrew?"

"A new bike?" The angel quipped, trying to lighten her mood and was successful as he heard a small chuckle escape her.

"Nope. Guess again."

Putting his finger to his chin, Andrew pretended to contemplate before guessing again,
"A stuffed elephant!"

"Andrew, you're silly!" Monica giggled as she jumped onto his lap and tousled his blonde hair, while her best friend started to tickle her gently under the arms. As she squealed with laughter, Andrew finally relented and placed her back on his lap with his arms wrapped gently around her.

"So, what did you ask Santa for Christmas?"

"I asked him that you would always be here with me, and that he would never, ever take you away. I asked him that you would always and forever be my best, best friend." The little girl gave him a small smile as she saw a deep blush rise to Andrew's cheeks.

"Well, you know what?" He replied gently, kissing the top of her head,
"You don't even have to ask Santa for that, little one, because I can promise you that it will always be so. I'm never going to leave you and I'll be your best friend for as long as you want me to be."

"Even if it's forever, Andrew?" Monica whispered hopefully,
"I know that's a really long time, but that's how long I want you to be my best friend."

"Even if it's forever, sweet girl," He replied softly, squeezing her tightly,
"Now I know of one little girl who should be asleep before Santa comes down the chimney," He pulled down the covers and waited for her to climb in, before handing her the angel bear, which she immediately cuddled close to her small body.

"Am I still coming to your house tomorrow night to celebrate baby Jesus' birthday?" She asked with a yawn as her sleepy brown eyes found his.

"You sure are and I'm willing to bet that Santa will be leaving some presents for you at our house since he knows you are coming. Now, it's bedtime, little one," He told her, watching as she obediently closed her eyes.

"I love you," Monica whispered just as she drifted off to sleep.

"And I, you, Angel Girl," Andrew replied, moving to kiss her forehead,
"Merry Christmas, baby."

(End Flashback)

Her troubled eyes wandered over to the nativity scene that was set up underneath the tree and she immediately closed her brown eyes as she whispered,
"Father, just as you led three wise men to Your Son so many years ago, simply by a beautiful star in the sky, I know that you will lead Your angel to the safety of this cabin. Thank you for such a wonderful gift to the world, Father, and thank You for giving me such a wonderful gift in my friend and Your angel, Andrew. Love, Monica."

Jumping up, she lit the candles that she had on the mantle piece, before going into the kitchen to stir the hot chocolate she had put on earlier and it was at that moment that she heard the sound of tires crunching in the snow. With a cry of both relief and joy, the little Irish angel bolted to the door and down the snowy steps of the cabin just as Andrew was climbing out of the car. He looked tired, but a smile graced his handsome face at the sight of his best friend and a moment later, she had flung her arms around him and they were holding onto each other tightly as the snow continued to fall around them.

"You're a sight for tired eyes, Angel Girl," He told her softly with a smile.

"I was so worried about you, Andy," Monica whispered in return, turning her head for a moment to kiss his cheek.

"Were you afraid I wouldn't make it?" Andrew asked her, pulling away a little, a mischievous grin on his face.

Smiling in return, she replied honestly,
"Maybe just for a minute, but then I knew you'd be here, my friend, as I was praying for you the whole time."

"I felt every prayer, sweetie," He told her with another smile,
"Now get back inside as you aren't wearing a coat. I just need to grab something and I'm right behind you. Now, scoot."

"Yes sir," Monica giggled as she happily headed back inside, shaking the snow from her auburn hair, before she went back into the kitchen to pour them each a steaming mug of hot chocolate. She was just setting them down on the coffee table when Andrew came in the door with a box that had a blanket draped over it. Though curious, she didn't say anything as she moved to take his coat from him.

"You've been busy, Angel Girl," Andrew remarked, looking around him,
"It looks great in here," Looking at her once more, he noticed that her inquisitive brown eyes were focused on the box in his hand and he chuckled,
"It's driving you nuts, isn't it?"

Realizing he had caught her, she jerked her head back up to meet his eyes as a blush rose to her cheeks,
"It isn't nice to tease, Andy," She replied with a wink.

Grinning, he sat down on the sofa and motioned to her,
"All right then, come here," He waited until she had sat down next to him before he moved the box in front of her,
"I wasn't sure of what to get you this year, Angel Girl, but then I remembered something you had always wanted but were never allowed to have…"

"Like 8 pots of coffee in one day?" She asked innocently as he laughed.

"No, hopefully better than that," His own excitement taking over, he nudged her gently,
"Open it up, sweetie."

Moving the blanket, Monica slowly opened the box and her hand flew to her mouth at what she saw inside. Lifting tear-filled eyes back to her best friend, she softly uttered,
"Andrew…"

"She's all yours, baby girl," He replied, moving to touch her cheek gently as his friend tenderly lifted the small kitten out of the box and nuzzled her face against her soft fur.

"You're so tiny and so beautiful," Monica whispered to the kitten, her tears falling into the gray fur as the little animal began to purr happily. Holding the kitten in one hand, she wrapped her other arm around Andrew as she planted loving kisses on his cheeks,
"Thank you…thank you so much. Oh Andrew, I love her and I love you, so much!"

Chuckling at her enthusiasm, he squeezed her tightly,
"I love you too, little one."

As the two friends and angels finally released one another, Monica continued to hold the small kitten close to her as she planted tiny kisses on her soft fur,
"So have you thought of a name for her yet?"

"I had a suggestion, but she is yours, sweetie," Andrew replied with a gentle smile.

"Well, I will share her, after all we do work together," She replied with a wink,
"I can tell you've grown attached to this little face as well, my friend." Still holding the baby kitten, the Irish angel lifted her up and put her in Andrew's face, all the while laughing as the kitten meowed softly.

After he shook his head in amusement, Andrew replied softly,
"I was thinking of the name 'Molly', Angel Girl. But of course, if you wanta change it, that's fine with me-"

"I love 'Molly'!" The Irish angel interrupted as she cuddled the kitten close to her again and rocked her gently in her arms,
"Molly is the perfect name for the perfect kitten." Turning loving eyes to her best friend, even as tears still shown in them, Monica whispered,
"Thank you so much...I just love her!"

"You are very welcome," Andrew replied, kissing her forehead gently.

Picking up a small package off the end table, she handed it to him with a smile,
"I really hope this is okay."

"I'm sure it will be more than 'okay', sweetie," He replied with a wink as he carefully tore the paper and opened the small box, tears instantly filling his eyes as he pulled out a shiny, gold pocket watch,
"Oh, Angel Girl," He uttered softly.

"I know yours was destroyed all those years ago, Andrew, and it was never replaced, so though it isn't the same one, I tried to get one as close to it as I could find," Monica explained, watching his face intently. Taking it from him for a moment, she turned it over and read to him the inscription on the back,
"To my dearest friend and soul mate. I love you. Monica."

"And I love you right back, sweetheart..." Andrew uttered through his tears as he took the pocket watch back from her and looked lovingly into her brown eyes,
"I will treasure this for the rest of my existence. Thank you, Angel Girl...thank you." Reaching his arm out, he wrapped it gently around her shoulders, even as she continued to hold Molly, and pulled them both close to him.

"Your more then welcome," The Irish angel replied as she smiled through her tears,
"And I meant every word."

After several minutes of just holding onto each other, they finally let go and just as Andrew was about to say something else, the front door of the cabin flew open and four snow-covered angels entered, chattering happily,
"Snow and Tess do not mix!" Tess grumbled as she shook the snow from her brown-gray hair.

"Oh c'mon, Tess, don't be a Scrooge!" Kevin teased as he ribbed her gently and shook the snow out of his own brown hair. The youngest angel laughed as she saw the supervisor shoot him a Look, but then her face softened and she laughed as well.

"Merry Christmas," Carla chirped happily as she took off her coat and hung it up, just as she caught sight of the bundle of fluff in Monica's arms,
"A kitten!" She exclaimed, hurrying to her friend's side in order to pet Molly.

"A cat?" Tess huffed, though her eyes twinkled with mischief,
"I thought we had an agreement, Angel Girl. No pets."

"Ah, but you aren't her supervisor any longer," Andrew replied with a wink,
"And her new supervisor says she can have a pet."

Tess surveyed the kitten as if the little thing were under scrutiny,
"Well, she is kind of cute, I suppose."

Andrew chuckled softly as he shook his head at his former supervisor before heading over to Rose as she took off her winter jacket, and gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek,
"Merry Christmas, Rose."

"Merry Christmas to you too, Angel Boy," The elderly angel smiled as she hugged her younger friend tightly for a few moments,
"So what have you two been up to this evening while you waited for us?"

Exchanging glances with one another, Andrew caught Monica's eye before looking back at his friend and grinning,
"Nothin' much for me, just back from our assignment in time to give little Molly to my favorite Angel Girl."

"Molly, huh?" Kevin chirped as he headed over to the small kitten that his Irish co-worker was holding in her arms,
"She is awfully cute!"

Raising an eyebrow at his youngest charge, Andrew grinned at him as spoke up,
"You know, I think Kev must be sick or something...usually when he first arrives here, he heads immediately into the kitchen. But not this time...now, he's too focussed on Monica's Christmas gift."

His brown eyes lighting up at his friend and supervisor's words, Kevin grinned mischievously as he started to trot towards the kitchen,
"Now that you mention it, Simba, I think some food is calling my name!"

Rolling her green eyes to the ceiling, Carla started to follow her friend after setting a large shopping bag underneath the tree,
"I guess I better go supervise him, or he could get dangerous in there..."

As Tess followed the two into the kitchen, Rose was about to follow behind before turning back to the two remaining angels, laughter heard in her voice as she asked,
"Are you two coming?"

"We'll be in in a minute," The Irish angel replied with a smile as she smiled up at her best friend.

Sitting down in the chair by the fire, Andrew reached out and took Monica's hand and pulled her into his lap,
"What's up, Angel Girl?" He asked her softly, his eyes, though tired, were sparkling with contentment.

She smiled as she leaned back against him,
"I love them all, but I just wanted one more quiet moment with you, I guess."

Wordlessly, Andrew wrapped his arms around her, his chin resting on top of her head as the Christmas music played in the background. He smiled when he realized just how comfortable even silences were with his best friend, as together they watched the snow fall outside. They had both learned over the course of many Christmases that the language of hearts was often spoken in the quietest way where words were not always necessary.

On behalf of the "cast and crew" of the Cliffhanger Duo, we would like to wish all of our fanfic playmates a very wonderful Christmas. May you find joy in the peaceful, quiet moments, such as that when the greatest gift of all was given-on a silent night in a tiny manger.