Here Comes Santa Claus
by Eva Robinson

"Come on , Knight. Ask her!"
"No way! There's no way she'd ever agree to doing that..."
"Knight, you owe me big time. So... ask her!"
"I owe you? Schanke, how do you figure I owe you?"
Don smiled.
"Who covered on the Rails case? Who ran interception with the Captain when a
certain partner decided to chase down buses? Who did all, and I mean all,
the paper work on the pervert at the petting zoo? Who...."
"Ok, ok, I get it. I'll ask her."

Natalie glanced around the morgue. For once, at 4:00 a.m. Friday morning she
was clientless and up to date. All the files filed, all the bodies bagged
and tagged, all the forms filled out in triplicate. With a smile, Natalie
leaned back in her chair and stretched until her bones cracked. Grace walked
in with a steaming mug of something that smelt real good.
"Humm, looks like my timing is as impeccable as ever!" Grace said with a
smile. "Care to enjoy a cup of Graces' Special Friday Morning Work All Done
Hot Chocolate?" Natalie reached for the steaming mug and sipped the hot
"Ohhh, Grace! This is almost better than sex. Where did you get the recipe?
I want it, and I want it now!" Nat closed her eyes and swooned with the mug
firmly in hand.
"Sorry, girl friend! No can do! It's an old family recipe, and I promised my
sainted great-great-granny I would never reveal the secret ingredients. But
I'll give you a hint: 60 proof." Both women started to laugh. "And what's
this about being better than sex? How much research have YOU done on the
"Lets' just say I've heard it from many sources!" Nat replied licking the
chocolate off her lips.
"Humm, would a certain fair haired member of Metro's finest be part of the
source?" Grace asked with a wicked grin.
Natalie was saved from answering by the morgue door swinging open.
Nick and Schanke breezed in.
"Evening ladies!" Schanke said with a grin in his eyes. Grace took one look
and announced she had some last minute filing to do, and winked at Natalie
on her way out.
"Well, what do I owe the honour of your combined presence at this hour?
Business or pleasure?" She asked still sipping away. The sweet smell of
chocolate stirred a memory and a regret in Nick. He smiled at her, then
Schanke elbowed him.
"It's ..... a bit of both but it doesn't involve bodies, blood or mayhem."
He said.
"Well I don't mind saying that's a welcome change. So, what's up?"
Nick glanced at Schanke.
"Nat, you remember Roger Greenline? Homicides bright star until he won the
649 and left for greener, and less bloody pastures?" Nick asked. Natalie put
the mug down.
"Remember him? My God Nick, I danced for a week when that jerk left the
force. If you only knew how many times he tried to hit on me ...... I was
afraid to be here alone with creep! If it wasn't his foul mouth, it was his
disgusting suggestions." Natalie picked the mug back up to take a great big
swig. "Why do you ask? Something happen to him? Been sued for harassment
perhaps? Or assault? I'm more than willing to be a 'character witness' for
the prosecution!"
Nick looked at Schanke. Schanke just grinned.
"Remember Knight, you owe me." he said. Nick sighed.
"No, nothing quite like that." Nick paused. "It seems that Greenline
invested his substantial winnings in Bre-X and sold just before it crashed.
He's a millionaire about 10 times over. And, to show he's never forgotten
the boys in blue, Greenline is offering to donate 2 million dollars to the
Widows/Orphans Benevolent Fund." Nat put the mug down.
"2 million? You're kidding! There's got to be a catch. Roger Greenline
wouldn't give his dying mother a ride to the hospital without charging for
gas and parking. I can't believe he's going to simply donate 2 million to
the Widows/Orphans Fund. What's the catch?"
"Funny you should ask," Nick said. "because there is one little tinsy, winsy
catch: he want's to present it at the Station Christmas Party next week ....
and he want's you to be there." Nat looked closely at Nick, then closely at
"That's all?"
"Well, no." Nick admitted.
"What else does Mister Philanthropist want?"
"He want's you to be dressed as an Elf."

Grace looked up just in time to see two grown mean flee from the morgue with
looks of terror on their faces. She pushed the door open and peered inside.
Natalie was at her desk, laughing and drinking the chocolate.
"Natalie! What on earth happened? I just saw Schanke and Nick flying out of
here like victims in a Roger Corman movie! What gives?"
By the time Natalie stopped laughing, her chocolate was finished.
"Hit me again, bar keep!" she said, and when Grace had refilled both their
cups, Natalie told her what happened.
"GREENLINE?? Roger "I'm Too Sexy For This Earth" Greenline? Oh, Nat! What
are you going to do?"
"Well, I guess I'm gonna have to do it! I mean, the Fund needs that money
badly, and it's not like I really have much chance." Grace shook her head.
"Who put Nick up to this? Schanke?"
"Yeah, apparently Nick owes him big time for work, cases and sundry other
manly things. So .... I guess I get to dress up as the Frumpiest Elf From
The North Pole and put on a show. Do you think you could fortify me with
more of these?"
"Go home, Natalie. I'll close shop." Grace said and handed Natalie her coat.
When she had left, Grace picked up the phone.

Nick sent flowers. Nick sent chocolates. Nick sent apologies and begged Nat
to change her mind.
"I'll take care of Greenline." he told her. "He's not a resistor, I'll
whammy his memory."
"Why, detective-vampire Knight! How kind of you to offer. You couldn't
whammy it out of Schanke BEFORE he made you ask me?" Natalie demanded as
closed the door in his face.
Nick stood there for a moment before turning away. Schanke would pay for this!

Nat waited until she could no longer hear Nick's footsteps.
"He's gone!" she called out to Grace and Myra. "Let's get back to work"

The week passed quickly.
Around the Station, word spread and bets were taken as to whether or not
Natalie Lambert: Coroner and heart throb of so many young cadets, would Elf
it at the party.
Finally, the night came; the basement running track was turned into a dance
floor complete with lights, tinsel, garland and a Christmas tree. One end of
the room was covered with a red velvet drape, a large office chair decked
out like a throne was in the centre. A huge empty box was beside the chair.
In exchange for candycanes and chocolate Santas', the partying members would
place an unwrapped new toy in the box. This year, a downtown family shelter
had been chosen as the recipient of the toys and 10 names had been pulled
from all the men and women who worked at the Station to deliver the goods.
In appropriate costume, of course.

Natalie asked Nick to pick her up at 5:30. It was the first time in almost a
week that she had called him. Nick slipped a box into his pocket and hoped
Natalie would forgive him.
At 5:30 exactly, Nick knocked on her door.
Natalie opened the door swathed from neck to toes in a long green cloak.
"Ready?" She asked.
"One moment, please Nat." Nick said coming in and closing the door behind
him. "I have something to give you.. it's not a Christmas gift, it's a token
of my regret at what's happened." Nick handed her the box. "Open it." He said.
Natalie looked at him. "Nick...." she began, but he placed his finger across
her lips.
"Please Nat! Don't say anything, just open it." He pleaded.
Natalie unwrapped the box and opened the dark blue box. Inside, lying on a
bed of white cotton, was a pin. About 3 inches long and made of
semi-precious and precious jewels, it was an Elf. Natalie looked at him in
"Nick? It's beautiful! Where did you ...." But before she could finish her
questions, Nick hugged her tight.
"It was an old gift. One given to me when I was studying in Stockholm about
100 years ago. It was a gift from another who knew about me and didn't turn
me away. Am I forgiven?" He asked.
"Oh, Nick! I forgave you the minute you walked out of the office." Natalie
said with a smile.
"What! Then why the cold shoulder? Why the turn off?" He asked in disbelief.
"Patience, Det. Knight! All will be revealed." Natalie said with a saucy
wink. "Shall we go?"

Don Schanke hung up the phone. "I guess Myra's gone shopping again." he said
to no one in particular. "Well, time to hit the party!" As Schanke was about
to leave his desk, the phone rang.
"Det. Schanke?" it was Grace. "I know you 're on your way to the party, but
could you drop the forensic report on the Holdings/Law shooting off here
before you go?" Schanke smiled.
"Sure thing, Grace! See ya in a minute."
Whistling an almost unintelligible Christmas tune, Schanke swept through the
door of the morgue. Grace wasn't at her desk.
"In the cold room, Det.!" Grace called out and Schanke walked in.
"Hi Grace! Here's the report. See ya later." As Schanke turned to go, the
door suddenly closed.

Roger Greenline stood by the toy box, looking over the crowd. He didn't
think for a moment that they were all here to see him and his donation. They
were here to see Natalie as an Elf. He smiled and fingered the clerics
collar he now wore. Wouldn't Knight be surprised! A sudden hush fell and was
quickly covered by small talk and a loud sound system. Doctor Natalie
Lambert had just walked in with Detective Nick Knight. Her green cloak fell
around her like a cloud. A path magically appeared between them. With an
almost regal repose, Natalie walked the length of the room to where he was
standing. When she stood directly in front of him, she opened the cloak so
that only he could see.
"Good enough?" she asked.
"Perfect" he replied and handed her the envelope with the donation. Then,
still with regal bearing, Natalie Lambert turned and swept out of the room.
Silence descended.
"What the....! Aren't we going to see the Elf?" voices demanded.
"Oh yes!" Roger Greenline hollered back. "Santa needs his Elf!" Just then
Santa, looking suspiciously like Captain Stonetree, entered with a huge sack.
"HO HO HO!" he said. "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" He went to the chair and sat
down. "WHERE'S MY HELPER ELF?" he demanded.
Then the red velvet curtain pulled back ..... to reveal, dressed from neck
to well above his unshaven legs in a deep cut, red and green velvet dress,
Don Schanke. The only thing redder than the dress and whiter than the fur
lined wrist cuffs, was the colour changes in Don Schankes' face.
The crowd cheered.

Nick looked around for Natalie. She was no where to be found. But he did
spot Grace and Myra.
He looked at Don and Stonetree. And started to laugh.
"All right!" he said to the two women, "what happened here?" Myra was
laughing so hard, she was crying and couldn't speak. Grace took Nicks' arm
and led him into the hall.
"We found out that Roger Greenline had a major change in his life. He found
God and became a dedicated Minister. He called Natalie before you arrived,
apologized to her, told her what had happened to him and what he wanted to
do. He then called Schanke (who owed HIM big time for many practical jokes
in the past) and got him to ask you to get Natalie to dress up as an Elf.
Myra and I took care of the rest, the Fund has 2 million dollars and Don
Schanke has learned a lesson in humility."
Nick stood there, shaking his head.
"Where's Natalie?" he asked.
"At home, waiting for you." Grace said with a smile.

Nick left the caddy at the station and flew to Natalies', stopping only long
enough to buy some fresh roses.
Natalie was waiting for him at the door.
Dressed as an Elf.

The End