A Day Like Any Other
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Christmas was just a day like any other.

Fynn felt that way about everything this time of year. He just wanted to do his job and drink his coffee. The distant Christmas music coming from some of the offices was a bad sign for the rest of the day.

Fynn stepped into the research office he shared with his colleagues, his third cup of coffee in hand. The office was garishly decorated with the worst Christmas decorations he had seen in his life and some handmade decorations that must have taken hours to set up.

“Sarah, what is all this? How long did this take you?”He looked to Sarah as she looked up from her monitor, which was wrapped in tinsel nearly to the point where Fynn couldn’t see the back anymore. The screen on the center wall displayed a crackling fireplace. There was a christmas tree made from sticky notes under it. She had gone all out for this.

"How did you know it was me?" Sarah questioned as Fynn set his coffee down.

"You've been playing Chrismas music since November 1st. I made an educated guess." Fynn said as he logged into his computer, tactically moving around all the decorations Sarah had put on his desk.

“You got me there, I came in a little early and decorated the office. I had Marian set out the decorations for me overnight so I could do this. I wanted to cheer the place up a bit from its normal sterile white. If we have to work on Christmas, at least we get to have some fun, right?” Sarah seemed to think this was the proper response, but Fynn shook his head at her agressive Christmas cheer.

“You and I have slightly different definitions of the word ‘fun’ I see.” Fynn said, staring at his terminal as it booted up.

“Yes, but you can’t stay grumpy all day. I know you don’t celebrate Christmas or even like the holiday much, but a change of scenery should be nice.” Sarah smiled when she noticed Fynn nodding absentmindedly. He did agree somewhat, even if she went overboard, it was better than the normal sterile white and oppressive fluorescent lighting.

“So, what do we even do on Christmas?” Fynn asked as he logged in when the terminal finally booted up, he was still baffled at how slow the computers were in this place sometimes.

“Mainly the base observations for the project we’re on…. then, since we have time, logging older data, so if we’re fast we just get to hang out. We’re mostly here for if something goes wrong and needs immediate attention.” Sarah smiled as she grabbed the bowl of chocolates she had on her desk. She offered one to Fynn, who took one because he couldn't resist.

“Thanks, so how about we just get started then? Better to knock the work out so we can have the most downtime possible, right?” Fynn suggested before he took a bite from the chocolate she had given him.

“My plan exactly! I’ll see you there. I have to finish something up here.” Fynn nodded as Sarah spoke, only half listening to what she was exactly saying. He would see her in the observation rooms, which he hoped would be less holiday-themed.

Fynn was annoyed that someone had taken it upon themselves to decorate the observation chambers. He mentally blamed the nightshift as the room looked like all the with all the Christmas decorations they could locate in the facility. It was exhausting having to be more cheery than normal, all for something he didn’t even care about to begin with.

Opening the door to the office, he was greeted by the sight of a small package left on his desk, wrapped with little cartoons of Santa, reindeer, and snowmen. The package had a red bow on top and before he could say anything about it, Sarah spoke up.

“Looks like Santa’s elves left you a little gift to cheer your grumpy self up.” She smiled, putting the files she was carrying down on her desk.

“You didn’t have to get me a gift, you know?” Fynn said as he picked up the small package, examining it for a moment.

“I know I didn’t have to. I wanted to. Now open it up, I want to know if you like it.” Sarah was beeming that her plan to covertly have Fynn get his gift. Fynn let out a short sigh, sliding the bow off of the package and opening it to reveal a mug.

“‘You’re my cup of tea’… You know I don’t really drink tea, right?” Fynn said, not being able to hold back a smile.

“You took this shift quite late and I couldn’t find one with coffee on it, but I knew you’d think it was funny. The chocolates inside are a thank you from Carlos that you were willing to take their Christmas shift.”

“I already told them I didn’t celebrate anyways, so it wasn’t that much of a bother. Most things are closed anyways, so it’s not like I could have done much more if I wasn-”

“Shush, just accept that you did something nice for someone and they want to thank you. Also, I just wanted to cheer you up.”

“I didn’t get you anything though!” Fynn looked back at Sarah, who thought for a moment before grabbing the ribbon that had been on the present.

“You did.” She grabbed Fynn ’s hand, slipping the ribbon around his wrist. “Spending time with you on a shift where we’re the only ones here from our team is enough. You’re one of the best options to have alongside me on a day like this. You are enough of a gift for me.”

Fynn was left without a response to that, looking at Sarah, who said the nicest thing he’d heard on Christmas in years. He put the mug down and hugged her for a moment, smiling.

“Thank you. That… That means a lot to me.” Fynn smiled as he let go of her. Now he had some nicer memories to associate with Christmas at least.

“On another note, I don’t want you to be alone tonight. My boyfriend is cooking Christmas dinner and he always ends up cooking for a whole orphanage. You’re welcome to join us if you want and have nothing better to do.” Sarah smiled, phone at the ready, like she’d already gotten Fynn to agree to the offer. She wasn’t wrong. Fynn had no plans for himself, and he couldn’t say no to an offer like this.

“If it’s not too much extra work… “

“It really isn’t. I’ll text him to set up an extra plate!”

“Thank you so much.”

Fynn was wrong, this Christmas wasn’t just like any other day.

It was better.

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