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All 005 really wanted right then was a hot shower.

They’d just spent the last few days running across – and on one occasion under – the Greenland ice sheet. At some point, he’d be able to appreciate the memory of the vast expanse of blue-green ice in the moonlight. As it was, the last edges of cold dragged at his skin like cobwebs.

“So much for a quiet Christmas at home,” 007 sighed, drumming his fingers on the instrument panel in front of him.

“Relax,” 008 said. “There will still be a few hours left by the time we get back to Japan.”

“Not if we follow that course you put in,” 002 interjected.

The lingering battle tension lifted at the familiar bickering, and a murmur of conversation started among the rest of the team. 006 was already up and heading out the door, muttering to himself and visibly ticking something off on his fingers. 005 signed off his station – 002 gave him a wave of acknowledgement without taking his attention from 008 – and followed 006 out.

“Cocoa would be good, I think,” 006 said when they were both in the hall. “We all need something hot after that.” He looked over to 005, eyes sharpening as he pulled his mind from planning. “Is there anything you’d like?”

“Whatever you make will be good. As long as it’s hot.” 006 snorted at 005’s dry statement, and they parted ways.

* * *

*Snacks are ready and waiting in the lounge!*

005 sent an absent acknowledgement as he dragged a towel over his hair. The steaming shower had washed away the feel of ice from his skin, leaving not-quite exhaustion in its wake. The thought of a hot drink and something to eat before a bed sounded perfect.

A thought that was delayed when he reached the lounge and found most of the team already there. Punch-drunk giggles mixed with the clatter of crockery as 006 passed around bowls and mugs, carefully avoiding the cake sitting in the center of the table.

“Hey, don’t block the door.” 002 shoved at his back, which was enough to draw everyone else’s attention to them. 005 quickly found himself ensconced on a couch, squeezed between 009 and 003.

004 gave him a wry smile from across the table. “Did you think we forgot?”

“I think I forgot myself,” 005 admitted, accepting his own bowl of noodles. Sau mein, he realized. Longevity noodles. 006 must have been planning for this, to have the makings ready.

“We can’t light any candles right now,” 003 said, motioning to the cake, “but you could still make a wish.”

“Maybe later.” Right then, with warmth in his hands and elbows jabbing his sides and the light of the aurora shining through the window, wishes didn’t quite live up to reality.

(Tumblr post)
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