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By: Kate

MARGO'S RESIDENCE
2100 HOURS

He knocked on the door. No answer. He knew she was home. Nick had called earlier to let her know that they were going to stop by. What better way to spend Christmas Eve, with their best bud? Matt looked at Benny Ray and Nick silently asking if they were ready to barge in. They nodded faintly. Matt began to dig in his pockets and finally pulled out a key. He inserted the key and turned it.

"Margo?" Nick called in a loud obnoxious tone. They were all expecting her to yell at him and didn't like the silence that followed. They separated and went on a search for her in the apartment.

"Major! Nick!" Benny Ray called, "I found her." He looked down at her. She was slumped on the floor, eyes wide and unfocused. Matt and Nick rushed over and they knew the reason for her position when they saw the little dart in her neck.

"Nick go get some water," Matt said, plucking out the dart.

Nick came running back with a large glass of water and splashed it on her.

Looking up, Benny Ray noticed that her lap top was running. That wasn't good. "Come on, wake up," he muttered. Silently adding 'I want to ask you a question or two.'

She moaned and slowly rose from the floor. "Oh, man. This is bad," she said, noticing that her lap top had been messed with. She looked up and tried to look cheerful. "Hey guys."

"Have a nice nap?" Matt asked.

"Um, no. Not really. The timing was wrong," she said, trying to get her knees to support her again. 'There!' she thought triumphantly as her knees held.

"You guys want a drink?" she offered.

"Yeah," the three men replied at once.

"OK. Just a minute," she told them, heading to the kitchen.

"Boss, I'll be right there," Benny Ray said and headed to the lap top. He moved the mouse and a document appeared. He read the title and chuckled.

"Twelve Days of Christmas," he muttered, "That's classic," before he read the document.

It looked something like this:

On the first day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
A tango in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Two Berettas and a tango in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Five favorite guns, four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

Benny Ray stopped reading there. He couldn't help the laugh that had him bent over. Matt heard noises and came to see what was up. He expected to see Benny Bay doing some kind of fighting, not doubled over in laughter.

"What?" Matt asked, curiosity mounting.

Benny Ray just shook his head. "Nothing," he managed to mutter. "I guess those beers are waiting," Benny Ray said, looking for any excuse, and quickly walked to the kitchen. "Thanks Margo," he said quickly.

"Hey, you're welcome," she responded smiling. "So getting hit with a tranquilizer dart wasn't fun. But I had my best buds to save me." she blanched as she realized what she just said. Oh my God," she said, registering that she would still be curled in a ball, unconscious if they hadn't shown up.

"Don't think about it," a deep voice from the doorway told her.

She looked up startled to see Deke half in and half out of her apartment. "Hi, come on in," she invited.

"I'd love to baby, but I got places to be," he told her.

Benny Ray had taken advantage of Deke's appearance to disappear. He continued reading the document.

On the sixth day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Six angry bogies, five favorite guns, four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my teammates gave to me,
Seven bullet proof vests, six angry bogies, five favorite guns, four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my teammates gave to me,
Eight radio checks, seven bullet proof vests, six angry bogies, five favorite guns, four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my teammates gave to me,
Nine bullets a flying, eight radio checks, seven bullet proof vests, six angry bogies, five favorite guns, four mags a piece, three Glock 21s, two Berettas, and a tango in a pear tree.

Benny Ray stopped reading when he realized two things. One was that he was humming the tune while he read. The other was that he had an audience. He turned and saw Margo standing there.

"A little curious?" she asked mildly.

"Yeah. I noticed that your computer was on and I was concerned," he replied.

"That's sweet, but what do you know about computers?" she responded. "Oh, before I forget, Deke says 'Merry Christmas'."

He nodded. "So, what's that document you have on your computer?" he asked.

"I didn't know that there was a document on my lap top," she responded, lying through her teeth. She wasn't about to admit that she wrote the story.

He looked at her skeptically, pinning her with his stare.

She surrendered. "OK, I admit it, I wrote it. It's just not done yet. So if we can go back to the festivities," she hinted.

"Let's go," he said.

She nodded, just glad that he didn't start mocking her.

He stopped her suddenly. "So how does it end?"

"Ten thousand dollars. Eleven bags of guns. And twelve thank yous," she said, pulling it out of a hat.

"Sounds like it could be a nick Christmas after all," he said.

"I thought you'd like it," she told him, leading him over with Matt and Nick.

030 HOURS

"Good night," she told them.

"I noticed that there was no mistletoe. What's with that?" Nick complained.

"Think that was accidental?" Margo asked.

The others dissolved into laughter.

Yeah, ha ha," Nick said.

"Night Margo," Matt said, "and thanks for having us."

"Hey, thanks for coming. How else should a girl spend Christmas than with her best buds?" she asked, getting the feeling of déjà vu.

Benny Ray smiled his thanks "Merry Christmas Margo," he said, southern accent becoming more distinct.

"You too, Benny Ray," she told him, waving the others off. 'Definitely the way to spend Christmas,' she thought. 'No mission, just relaxing with friends.'

The End...........

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