Someday at Christmas
It's hard for a black-ops team to celebrate holidays or birthdays with any kind of consistency. Thanksgiving turkeys are scarce on the ground in your everyday despot's jungle- or sand- filled playground, and “Happy Birthday” just doesn't sound right with a backdrop of gunfire (explosions are always appropriate on July Fourth, however). Anyone who ever met Jake Jensen assumed that he would be the one to drive any and all celebrations – Hallowe'en especially. Something about boundless energy and a penchant for pirate hats. They weren't... wrong, exactly, but they weren't quite right, either.
As weird as it sounds, Roque was the one who made sure they each got a small Christmas present. Nothing extravagant, just something small and useful or fun. A ratchet wrench for Pooch. Swedish Fish for Jensen. Sniper gloves for Cougar. A mega-pack of condoms for Clay. All things that could easily go in a pack and be carried for however the fuck long it took them to get to whereever they needed to be on that particular December 25th.
(Jolene worries, sometimes, and Pooch can't tell her. Pooch tries so hard, tries everything he can to make the holiday as fun and cheerful for the kids as possible. Pooch can't tell her that he still expects something small and perfect from the man who did his best to appear like the biggest, baddest mofo ever, from the man who sold all of them out. He really can't tell her that sometimes, just sometimes, he thinks Roque was right. That Roque might have been able to take the entire team with him, leaving Clay behind, if only he had fucking tried. Damn him, damn Clay, and damn Aisha all to hell.)
Pooch hates Christmas, hates how big and loud and garish it is, hates the food (except for the cookies – he had always looked forward to Jolene's care packages full of cookies), hates the press of shoppers and the false desperation of finding “the perfect gift”. He wants to scream at all of them, tear the lists out of their hands, and tell them to go home, to look at their loved ones, and just be fucking grateful. That the person who gives you the best gifts you could hope for is also the one who is completely capable of selling your ass out. (Even if he did try to get Pooch out. Pooch is weirdly, bitterly thankful for that. It proves – to him, at least – that Roque hadn't made an absolute mockery of everything. Just a total one.)
Pooch hates Christmas, and prays for the New Year. Maybe, just maybe, this new year will be the one that lets him move on.