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Stille Nacht (Silent Night)
Author: LizM

Rating: G
Archive:, Ashton Press Winter Holiday Archive; Anywhere else, but let me know where
Series: No
Warnings: Holiday mush, (german) Christmas clichés
Pairing: None
This story was formerly called "Snow" on the ATSB2 List

I have no idea whatsoever if such a place exists in the US, I figured with the many descendants from European ancestors there might be. If not, writer's liberty ;-)
The Tree was inspired by one I saw in Strasbourg, France this year.
For Oliver who went to see the (above mentioned) Christmas tree with me.
For Wilma, because we want Snow on Christmas, too! It rained through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day *arrghh*
Thanks to Missy for spotting the missing apostrophes, I'm glad you liked it!

Stille Nacht (Silent Night)

B.A. missed the snow.

He missed the cold, the harsh winds that blew through Chicago in winter, the lights in the windows and the huddling in three layers of clothing until one couldn't move anymore.

He missed building snowmen, ice skating, snowball fights and coming home to mom dripping melted snow all over the hall floor.

B.A. gripped the steering wheel tighter and shook his head. He was a grown man and those were childhood fantasies. Going home was not possible since his mom's apartment was surely being watched.

But at least he had people, friends, to spend the holidays with, even if it was in L.A., where the sun shone all year long and Santa Claus seemed totally out of place.
B.A. sighed. He just couldn't get in the holiday spirit properly without snow.

But the others probably wouldn't understand. B.A. sighed. Faceman was the poster boy for a Californian, Hannibal didn't seem to care sometimes, and did the fool even know what time of year it was?
The big man shook his head. No, that wasn't fair to his friends. Just because he was feeling down and missing his mother, he had no right to think that way about them.
Well, he'd find out soon enough, if he his negative assessment was right or not.

It was Christmas Eve and he was on his way to Face's current apartment to pick them up.
What they would be doing then was anybody's guess. B.A. had stopped asking when Hannibal called him three days ago and practically ordered him to pick them up at 3 pm on Christmas Eve.

B.A. called himself to order. He had to stop mulling over things he couldn't change and concentrate on his driving. He stopped at the curb, the others were already waiting.

The fool was singing 'Rudolph the red nosed reindeer' at the top of his lungs.
B.A. sighed. Wherever they were going, it would be a long drive.

Everybody piled in the van and B.A. wondered about the clothes his friends were wearing. They were dressed as if they were about to go skiing. Especially Face, who was in so many layers of clothing he had to be sweating.

B.A. frowned at his Colonel.

'You didn't say anything about winter clothes, Hannibal', he complained.

The white haired man just smiled.

'Murdock?' he asked without turning his head.

The fool handed the man behind the steering wheel a package, lumpy and a pitiful excuse for a bow wrapped around it.

'Merry Christmas, B.A.', Murdock said.

B.A. opened the gift carefully. Despite outer appearances, he treasured everything Murdock made.
This time he actually pulled something useful out of the gift wrap. A scarf, two mittens and a pointed cap. In red, with white snowflakes all over. And on the scarf were the names from all members of the team.
Apparently self-knitted by the fool.

B.A loved it. But since their special relationship meant that he couldn't say so. He simply growled.

'When am I supposed to wear this, fool? It's not cold enough, let alone enough snow anywhere in sight!'

'Let me worry about that, B.A.', Hannibal answered instead. 'Just drive to where I tell you.'

A few hours later, B.A wasn't so sure, if all the snow in the world was worth this.

Dusk had come and gone; now the darkness had settled over the snow like a blanket.

'When are we going to get there, man?' an annoyed B.A. asked the man sitting next to him.

He had been driving for three hours now, without knowing where they were going, Hannibal giving directions. Murdock had stopped singing Christmas carols an hour ago, supposedly to preserve his breath for when they got "there". Wherever "there" was.

'Not far now, B.A., take a right here and keep going', Hannibal answered soothingly.

The Van's tires had trouble finding purchase in the deep snow that drifted over the road.
B.A. growled. Sometimes it wasn't just the fool who really, really got on his nerves.

And then the Van rounded a corner and they were "there".

"There" was a tiny village, tucked into a valley in the shadow of the mountains. It looked as if it came right out of an advertisement for Christmas in Europe.
After B.A. had parked the Van and pulled on the mittens, scarf and cap the fool had given him, they walked towards the center of the village and began to look around

There were lots of small houses, all lit with light, so the snow in front of them fairly glowed.
Small booths lined the village square, offering mulled wine, sweets, candles and handcrafted toys you would never get in a Toys 'r' Us.
Despite the treacherous journey quite a few people strolled along the booths and the children played catch with it each other and begged their parents for yet another freshly baked waffle or ginger bread heart.
A group of carolers stood next to the small church singing a Christmas song with a familiar tune, though B.A. didn't understand the words.

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar,
Holder Knab im lockigen Haar
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh'
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh

The tree in the middle of the village square was decorated with the biggest baubles B.A. had ever seen. A child of about 5 or 6 would not be able to circle it with his or her arms.
The baubles were red and between them the unknown decorators put electric candles and huge gift packages.
In front of the tree a miniature village had been built with houses made of wood and lit from within with more lights.
A small, walk able path wound its way through the village towards the nativity scene.

B.A. breathed in the scenery, the tree with the monstrous red baubles, the small church, the shops, the lights, the smell of mulled wine and most of all the snow that blanketed everything.
Tears prickled at his eyes and the man closed them quickly to avoid the others seeing them.
Two arms slipped around his shoulders and B.A. heard Hannibal's soft voice in his ear.

'Merry Christmas, B.A.!'

He had to look then and opened his eyes to find the crazy fool and Hannibal next to him, Face next to Hannibal, with the other mans' arm around his shoulder, too.

All of them looked at him for a moment, smiled and then looked up at the tree.

'What's the plan, Colonel?'

B.A. almost growled. The fool just had to ask that.
But the colonel grinned and waved a hand from around Face's shoulder.
'Go and have fun kids', he ordered. 'I'll try some of that mulled wine and go see if they have a toy horse like I used to have as a kid.'

B.A. had every intention of having fun and enjoying his 'Christmas Gift', so he started towards the miniature village in front of the tree.
A few hours later, after mulled wine, ginger bread and so many Christmas carols that even Murdock was hoarse, they stood again in front of the huge tree.
They had even managed to find a toy horse like Hannibal wanted and B.A. wasn't sure if he could be any happier than this. This was definitely one of the best gifts he had ever gotten.
Snow, Christmas and the perfect company.

Tears threatened again, but before B.A. could think further about that –thwack. A snowball had hit him right in the back.
Growling B.A. turned to find the fool hiding behind Hannibal.
Oh, he was going to get it. Quickly he scooped up some snow, formed the missile, aimed and took fire.
Despite his childhood in a town where it snowed hard every winter, he had to have lost some aiming skills, because the snowball had hit Hannibal right in the chest.
The man glared down at it then at B.A. and then at Face who was standing next to B.A. and trying unsuccessfully to suppress his laughter.
B.A. saw the Colonel whisper something to Murdock then both took cover behind some trash cans to the side.
Looking at the man next to him in wonder, B.A. had only a second to think before they were under fire.
Diving behind a booth, he couldn't help but laugh out loud. This was going to be fun!

The villagers shook their heads over the four grown men getting into a snowball fight like kids.
But when they saw the smiles and the happiness radiating from the men they couldn't help but smile too.
It was Christmas Eve after all.
The big bells of the church tower began to ring. Midnight.

Merry Christmas!


Stille Nacht by LizM



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