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It Doesn't Snow in L.A.

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The streetlamps reveal snow drifting down in thick, wet flakes as Bridget steps outside her apartment with a cellphone pressed to her ear. She closes the door behind her, finishes her instructions, and then ends the call, promptly shoving her hands inside the pockets of her light jacket. Pursing her lips, she whispers something to herself about not being nervous, and glances repeatedly down the street. Christmas lights adorn nearly every building with decorated trees visible in plenty of windows, and the chilled and quiet air seems to carry a sense of good things to come.

It isn’t long before a black Jeep rounds the corner, and Bridget eyes it curiously. That wasn’t what she was expecting, but it was driving so painfully slow it wasn’t likely to be anyone else. She steps away from her door to the sidewalk, standing with arms crossed. She doesn’t wave, of course, since it could be a random stranger. But it rolls to a stop in front of her, and Bridget waits a few agonizing seconds before the window rolls down. Then Tabrett is staring at her from the driver’s seat, and a smile breaks across both their faces at once. “Hey,” Bridget calls out softly.

“Hey yourself,” Tabrett says. “Where do I park?”

“Behind me,” Bridget replies, pointing at an open spot on the side of the street.

After watching her rather expertly parallel park, and maybe appearing a little jealous of such ease, Bridget waits for her. But the door doesn’t open, and shortly she walks over to knock on the passenger door, opening it to slip inside when she hears a lock click free.

“Wow, Tab, it’s so hot in here,” Bridget says, slamming the door shut after her. The engine is still running, and the vents are still blasting warm air.

Tabrett just looks at her guiltily, shifting in her huge and thick parka. “It’s cold outside,” she says defensively, her hands still on the steering wheel.

“Well, it’s warm in my apartment too,” Bridget promises. “I cranked up the thermostat a couple degrees for you.”

“Did you really?”

“Yes. You know, I didn’t picture you in a Jeep.”

“Well, the rental place. You said it was snowing,” Tabrett mutters.

“This is outer L.A., not the mountains,” Bridget teases, reaching for the keys and turning off the engine. “They keep the roads clear. Come inside?”

Tabrett stares out the windshield for a moment, watching the snowflakes melt on the warm glass, while Bridget waits patiently. “This is still crazy,” she declares at length. “I can’t believe I did this.”

Bridget smiles. “What, grabbing a last-minute flight from Sydney to L.A. on Christmas Eve?”

“Yes,” Tabrett groans. “I slept on the flight, but the queues for everything. Truly awful. Did you know its already Christmas in Sydney?”

“Yes. That’s terribly fascinating. Come inside?”

“I…” Tabrett hesitates, bowing her head, clearing her throat. “Thank you for making me do this.”

“Well,” Bridget says softly, “We’re both living alone now, and I couldn’t see a reason for us both to spend Christmas alone.”

“What made you decide to call me? We haven’t spoken since…”

“Since the show ended and I moved here, I know,” Bridget sighs, slouching down into the seat a little. “I’m so sorry that I let that happen. I shouldn't have let it. But I called you because I missed you. I missed talking to you, and…” She smiles. “Maybe I missed your accent, too.”

Tabrett huffs, biting back an obvious smile of her own, and throws the door open to step out, almost yelping as the bitterly cold air meets her skin. “Oh my God, Bridge, I am going to freeze. Can we leave my luggage for now?”

Bridget laughs, and steals a quick sideways hug from her as they walk together in the snow to her wreathed apartment door. “You look really good, Tab,” she says, fumbling with the handle on her own door; her difficulty could either be from the cold or something else.

“Thanks,” Tabrett says, looking down. “You look as beautiful as ever.”

Bridget’s cheeks are flushed, but it could easily be from the cold.

Inside, Tabrett moans in relief as she sheds her parka. “Much better. That smells really good. Are you making something?”

“Maybe,” Bridget says quietly, standing rather awkwardly in the foyer after hanging their coats.

“This is a really nice place, Bridge,” she offers, casting her eyes about the apartment. “I like the open floor plan, it’s…oh.”

Bridget bites her lip, suddenly looking like she wants to run far away as Tabrett spies the mistletoe hanging from the light fixture above them. “Tab, don’t mind that,” she says in a rush. “I just thought it looked nice, you know? Christmas-y and seasonal, and I don’t have any lights up except on my fake tree that I bought last week, which you can see inside if you come in. I’ll have dinner ready in twenty minutes or so, and if you want you can—”

She’s cut off as Tabrett suddenly closes the short distance between them, raising her head to give her a quick peck of a kiss on her lips. Bridget looses a shaky sigh and doesn’t open her eyes for a moment. “I’m sorry,” she murmurs. “I didn’t know if you wanted what we had. When the show ended we decided…”

“Why do you think I flew thousands of miles to see you on two days’ notice? I missed you too, Bridge.”

“Do you…want? This?”

Tabrett smiles, ducks her head. “Did I just kiss you or not?” she teases.

This time it’s Bridget that closes the distance, kissing her fiercely, but it’s Tabrett that urges her against the wall, and Bridget seems to forget about dinner while Tabrett seems to forget about luggage and definitely about being cold.  “I didn't have time to get you anything,” she says breathlessly. “I just…you called, and here I am. Merry Christmas?”

“This is all I wanted,” Bridget assures her softly. “Merry Christmas, Tab.”