"Do you really believe it was a good idea to have Goose buy this year's Christmas tree, Niko?" Doc asked doubtfully, leaning back in his chair, his feet lying on top of his console. "Not that he plans to create messes, but ..." Hartford stopped, noticing his teammates' dark looks.
"I have my doubts, too," Zachary said after a while. "Even if he didn't feel uneasy about holidays – especially Christmas – in general, there's still the chance for one of his weird solutions." He took another sip of his coffee, sweet with just a hint of cinnamon in it. Pure luxury, but it was Christmas, after all, and he had his own load of stresses and worries these days.
"Oh, people, give him some credit, okay?" Niko took another one of her vanilla cookies. "It's his third Christmas party. And I told him he should remember the trees we've had in the last two years when he chooses one."
"I'm horribly curious about his choice." Doc grinned. "That's for sure!"
Zachary escaped the need to comment by taking another deep sip of coffee.
At the sound of the door sliding open, all of them turned in expectation. Goose strolled in, carrying a huge paper bag. A really huge paper bag. Niko frowned. But Christmas trees aren't wrapped in paper bags, they are put in a net to be carried easily. Nothing else. "Where's the tree, Shane?" she asked.
"Just wait." The ST put the bag down on the main table next to some presents, plates of cookies, and boxes of Christmas decorations.
All of them got up and gathered around him.
Gooseman cut open the paper bag and rolled it down, then shoved the boxes and presents aside so that the others could see the contents of the bag.
Niko froze. "Shane. That's no Christmas tree. That's a pine bonsai!"
"Yep." The ST flicked two fingers against the tiny dwarf tree and toppled it over. "So no one will get hurt when it falls down later."
"That's great!" Doc began to snicker. "No, wait, it's the reverse."
"Hey!" Goose snorted. "You're the one who told me that size doesn't matter!"