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Face pulled back the curtain and looked out the window for the fifth time in the last ten minutes, but the scene hadn't changed at all. Except for the snow piling even higher outside the small cabin. There was no sign of Hannibal and BA in the van, and from the way the snow was falling there probably wouldn't be any sign of them until the storm stopped.

When he heard the humming coming from the kitchen, however, his lips quirked up in a smile. At least he and Murdock were safe, secure and warm. And it wasn't like he needed to be worried about Hannibal and BA, either. They weren't on a case at the moment so there was no need for the other two men to hurry, and Hannibal was sensible enough not to let BA drive when the snow was nearly two feet deep and rising.

Still, it was too bad that the whole team wouldn't be together for Christmas.

The humming suddenly stopped as Murdock poked his head around the corner, the chef's hat that he'd found somewhere perched jauntily on his head. "Hey, Face, what kind of soup did you want to go with the grilled cheese sandwiches?"

Face grinned as he turned to lean against the window frame and crossed his arms. "Surprise me. You know if you cook it, I'll eat it."

Murdock's smile brightened, and he flashed Face a broad wink before speaking in a posh French accent. "Never fear, Monsieur, you are in excellent hands with Chef Murdock." Then with a flourish he strode back into the kitchen.

Face just shook his head, still smiling. If he had to be stranded in the snow with only one person at Christmas, he was glad it was Murdock.

It was nearly half an hour later before Murdock announced that dinner was ready and let Face back in the kitchen. For some reason that Face had never discovered Murdock didn't like people watching him cook, and Face had always done his best to give the other man the space he wanted when he could.

Face closed his eyes as he walked into the kitchen, breathing deeply as the wonderful smells wafted past his nose. "Murdock, you have outdone yourself this time. This smells amazing."

Murdock grinned, chef's hat tilted so that it was almost falling off his head. "Just wait 'til you taste it, Face."

Sitting at the small kitchen table, Face glanced down at the large bowl of steaming tomato soup in front of him with two perfectly grilled cheese sandwiches on a plate next to it. He only looked up when Murdock placed a mug of hot chocolate on the other side of the bowl, with marshmallows floating in the hot liquid.

"Wow, you've really gone all out, Murdock."

The other man just smiled. "It is Christmas, you know, Face. Now eat before it gets cold and I have to feed it to Billy instead."

Face chuckled, but reached for his spoon. The first taste of the soup had him closing his eyes in bliss. The soup was rich, thick and just barely cool enough not to burn his tongue. In a word, it was perfect. He ate it and the sandwiches far faster than he'd intended, wanting to savor it but completely unable to eat as slowly as he'd like.

The hot chocolate was even better.

When he finished he just sat at the table for a moment, smiling at a proudly grinning Murdock. "That was probably the best meal I've ever eaten, Murdock. I am incredibly impressed."

Murdock ducked his head a bit as he slurped his last spoonful of soup. "Thanks, Face." He drained his mug, then jumped up from the table and headed for the closet where they'd left their coats. "Come on, Face. Billy need to go outside for a minute."

Face shook his head, but pushed himself to his feet and followed him. Hopefully the snow had stopped falling.

It hadn't, but by the time they had bundled into their coats and stepped outside onto the small porch the snow had at least slowed to a light flurry. While Murdock dashed down into the snow holding his invisible leash attached to his invisible dog Face stayed on the porch, leaning against the railing and watching the snow.

Until a snowball came flying out of nowhere and smacked into his chest.

Face jerked up, just barely getting a glimpse of a madly laughing Murdock before the other man disappeared around the side of the cabin. He grinned, rubbing his gloved hands together as he slipped off the porch and around the other side of the cabin.

This meant war.

It was a fairly even snowball fight, and by the time they agreed to call it a draw they were both freezing and soaking wet. They stomped into the cabin, Murdock holding the door open for Billy to run inside, too. Face shook his head with a smile before pulling off his coat and gloves. "Come on, Murdock, let's go get a fire going and warm up."

Ten minutes later they were both sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace, each with a blanket around their shoulders. The flames were flickering cheerfully, and Murdock had found a bag of marshmallows for them to roast.

After sitting in comfortable silence for a moment, Murdock leaned over against Face. "I wish Hannibal and BA were here, but this is a nice Christmas, Face. You, me and Billy, roasting marshmallows and sitting in front of the fire."

Face bumped Murdock's shoulder with his own and reached down between them to pet Billy, fingers nudging against Murdock's. "Yeah, it is, buddy." He smiled, pulling his marshmallow out of the fire and blowing on it. "Some more of that amazing soup tomorrow would make it even better, though."

Murdock snorted, then twisted around and ate Face's marshmallow right off the stick.

"Hey! You definitely owe me more soup now." Face bumped Murdock's shoulder again, a little harder this time, then pounced on him when the other man fell over.

Yeah, this was probably one of the best Christmases either of them had ever had.