Penny returned to work on Tuesday. Although she assured Gee that she was back to 100%, he insisted on her working at a desk for the rest of the week. She wasn't happy with his decision, but understood the position he was in. Working at a desk for a couple of days wouldn't kill her, so Pen came in regular time, ready to catch up on some overdue paperwork.
Her fellow detectives greeted her with enthusiasm, and things were finally going back to normal with her presence once again in the squad room. It was a boring day for Penny, but she did her work without complaint, made an appearance at The Waterfront, and went back home to her warm bed.
Wednesday was looking a lot like Tuesday until lunch time came around. Pen was about to take her break when Mik tapped her on the shoulder.
"You've got company, hon."
Penny looked over at the Aquarium where Mrs. Hunter was seated with her two children. She gestured them to come in, and Tommy and Mary ran in to give her a hug. Mrs. Hunter followed her children slowly, obviously not wanting to be there.
"We came to see the police precinct," Mary said.
"Aw, and here I thought you came her to see me," Penny joked as she mussed up the girl's hair.
"Yeah, that too."
"Here," Tommy said, grabbing a flat package from his mother and giving it to the lady detective. "This is the next one."
Penny accepted the gift, surprised at how little time it seemed to take him to paint a picture. "Why don't I show you around first, then I'll open it?"
The two looked at each other and nodded, eager to see where real life policemen work. First things first, she took them to her desk. While Tommy spun around her chair and Mary inspected the pictures on her desk, Penny stole away to her locker, where she placed her gun. It was her belief that children shouldn't be anywhere near guns, and even though neither of them would probably try to play with hers, she wasn't taking any chances. When she returned, she took them around the entire Homicide unit, from the coffee room to the locker room, the weight room to the Box. They asked her a million questions about everything they saw. Penny answered them to the best of her ability, and was surprised at their curiosity...it was a long time since she spent time with little kids. When she was done with her tour, she asked them if they wanted to meet her boss, her lieutenant. They said yes, and with that, she led them to Gee's office.
"Come in," the deep voice said after she knocked. Mary jumped at the sound, and hung back at the voice that could, in reality, belong to a big scary monster.
"Gee, there are some people out here who'd really like to meet you, is that ok?"
"Bring them in," he replied, taking off his glasses and sitting back in his chair.
Tommy entered his office confidently, his mother bored, and Mary hiding behind Penny. "This is Tommy Hunter, he's the one..."
"Ah yes, this is the young man who fell in the harbor," Gee interrupted, offering his hand to the ten year old, who shook it after a moment's hesitation.
"Yup. This is his sister Mary, and his mother."
"Mrs. Hunter," he said as he shook her hand. He looked down at Mary and said hello, but she continued to use Penny as a shield.
"This is Lieutenant Giordello, other wise known as Gee," Pen said, completing her introductions.
"Wow," Tommy said as he looked past Gee at his collection of recognitions and photos, "Are all of these yours?"
"Yes they are," he replied with pride. He once again tried to look around his detective at the girl hiding behind her. "You can come out, I'm not going to hurt you."
Mary peaked around Penny. "You have a scary voice."
"But I'm not so scary now that you've seen me, am I?"
She considered for a moment before answering, "You're big."
Gee laughed at that, he always loved children's honesty. "Yes I am."
She finally made her way around Penny and began to look around the office herself. After a few minutes of exploring, the two were satisfied that they had seen what they wanted. All this time, Mrs. Hunter stood in the corner, not saying a word. Gee played with the children for a bit, before admitting that he really should be doing his work. The four left him, and once again went to Penny's desk. "That's just about it guys."
"Open your present," Mary instructed her, picking up the package and handing it over.
Pen sat down and did as she was told. Once again, she held a masterpiece in her hands. It was smaller than the last, but nothing short of a miracle. It was a close up picture of her laying in water. Her hair fanned around her head in an even pattern, acting as a sort of a crown. Her eyes were closed and her face peaceful. He went a little lower to paint her bare shoulders, but didn't stray further than a few inches beyond her collar bone. A singular pure white water lily floated on a perfect lily pad to her right, adding the final touch.
"What's this one called?"
"Sleeping Beauty," the child replied, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
She thanked him, hugging both him and his sister at the same time. She said good-bye to Mrs. Hunter, and thanked her as well.
Mrs. Hunter leaned forward and hissed at Penny, "If Tommy's life wasn't going to be so short, I never would have brought them. But what right do I have to ignore a dying child's request?" The woman left in a huff while her children lingered behind.
"Here," Penny said in a low voice as she reached into her pocket to produce two small cards. "The top number is the phone number here," she stopped to write down another beneath it, "And this one is my phone number at home. If either of you ever need me...I want you to call, ok? If I'm not at one number, try the other." Mary and Tommy shoved the cards in their pockets, knowing full well that their mother wouldn't approve. They gave her one last hug before running after their mother.
Penny watched them go with a smile on her lips. She went back to her locker and returned her gun to its proper place by her side. Upon reaching her desk, she picked up the painting. This one was different than the first in that it showed weakness. It showed a certain vulnerability that existed within her, though she always fought to hide it. At the same time, it portrayed a peacefulness...almost an acceptance. That's how she felt when she found out the who, what, where, and yes, even the why, of a case. When the names under hers went from red to black. Somehow, for some strange reason, this child knew her, and as scary a prospect it was for Penny, she welcomed the idea with open arms.
"Almost done?" Mike asked over Penny's shoulder.
"Yeah...give me five more minutes?"
"No problem," Kellerman replied, grabbing a chair from the desk next to hers...Kay's desk.
"I don't know how you survived this," Penny continued as she typed.
"What, desk duty?"
"Yeah, how long were you off the streets when you were under indictment?"
Mike wished she hadn't said it like that, but understood that she was just trying to clarify what she meant. "About four months."
"God, I'm clawing at the walls after only two days," she said as she finished up the last line of the report. "I'll sure be glad when I'm out in the streets of Baltimore once again."
"Only a few more days," he encouraged.
"I know," she replied as she took the report out of the typewriter and stood. She filed it in the proper place, and returned to her desk. She took her painting, which she had re-wrapped in its wrapper, from her drawer. She handed it to Kellerman while she went to grab her coat, allowing him to take a peek.
"Who else would paint something that wonderful?"
"His paintings always are," she said, putting her coat on. "Let's go."
Kellerman carefully placed the protective cover back on the work and got up. "Come on, there's someone I want you to meet," he said as he headed for the stairs.
They walked to his car and drove without another word until they reached the Medical Examiner's Building. Penny's curiosity kept her silent until they made their way into the elevator, where Kellerman pressed the "B" button. "Gee, Kellerman, the morgue. How romantic..."
"I told you, there's someone I want you to meet. She was the chief M.E. for about a year, but then she went on a leave of absence. She went back to New York for a few months, her expertise was needed up there...she only came back to work a couple weeks ago."
"While I was in the hospital?"
"Two days after you checked in."
"And...?" The doors opened at the basement, and Penny followed him down the hall to the one place where all homicide victims resided at one time or another.
"And I thought you'd like to meet her. She's good at what she does, always rushes stuff when we ask her to, and I think you and her might actually get along."
"Lead the way," Penny said.
They opened the doors to the examining area where they found a woman leaning over a body. This, Penny presumed, was the chief Medical Examiner. The woman looked up at her visitors and pulled off her mask. "Hi, Mike," she began to greet him, but the smile on her face faded when her eyes reached the woman beside him.
Penny stopped in her tracks and kept her jaw from dropping to the floor only with great effort. "Julianna," she said in soft surprise. She would never forget the name Lance whispered seductively again and again in the dark, or the face that belonged to the woman who had been in bed with Lance on that faithful night Her hair was still black, still very short, still straight with long bangs. Her eyes sparkled a warm hazel, her eyebrows long and arched - they made her elegance complete. Penny remembered thinking that he was in bed with a nymph of some sort.
"Penny," she responded, her voice ringing with a touch of regret. She too would never forget the name of the face that had walked in on her and Lance. The shame of being caught in bed with another woman's man, the pain of hearing him call after her..."Penny, Penny, please come back, let me explain,"...and then the horrible sound of the door slamming behind her. But most of all, the pain, etched deep in her face, was what she'd remember. The pain of a promise broken, a heart screaming, a dream shattered.
Poor Mike was unsure of what he was witnessing. He looked from one woman to the other as they stared at each other. It was as if he was in the middle of a nightmare, he wanted to move, but he couldn't. He tried to think of something to say, to ease the obvious tension that had filled the room, but nothing came to him.
Finally, Penny was able to break the spell. "So," she began cautiously, "I guess you're the chief M.E. Kellerman's told me a lot about you."
"Yeah," Julianna responded timidly. She looked down at the body, "But I guess he didn't tell you who I was."
"He didn't tell me your name."
Julianna looked back up at Penny, at a face that no longer held the burdens of a cheating boyfriend. "I guess you're the new Homicide detective that everyone's been talking about."
"That would be me."
As the two women conversed, Kellerman took this opportunity to sneak out. It didn't take a genius to figure out they had a history...and not a particularly good one at that. He hoped that they might be able to work it out, and didn't want to be in the room at the off chance that they couldn't.
Another silence fell between them when they heard the door close behind Kellerman. This time, Julianna broke it. "Look, Penny, I..."
"Don't worry about it, Julianna."
"I didn't know," Julianna said.
"I know that. It wasn't your fault. I don't blame you."
Penny advanced a few steps, so that she was now standing directly in front of the M.E. with only the dead body between them. "It's ok."
"I found out. I found out after we had been seeing each other for a while. He told me...he told me about you."
"I'm not a priest, you don't have to confess to me. Besides, I'm sure you're conscience is having more of an effect on you than any words I could say."
"I love him, you know."
"So did I," replied Penny, admitting, for the first time, her true feelings for her ex. "Are you two still going out."
"From experience, I'm sure you realize that he isn't the most faithful of men, so watch yourself."
Penny turned around and walked towards the door, stopping only for a moment. "I don't blame you, but that doesn't mean you're innocent. The only innocent that night was me."
After watching the detective leave the room, Julianna Cox returned to her work. She dismissed Penny's words outwardly, but in the back of her mind, they echoed over and over. She decided that when she was done, she was going to need a drink.
Christmas Eve, and early Christmas morning were rather festive despite the fact that everybody was stuck in the office for the late shift. Standing over bodies surely wasn't the best thing to be doing on these of all days, but basically everyone kept their spirits up, waiting for their shift to end. Everyone, that is, but Munch.
"Why even bother?" he asked his niece as she fixed the bright shiny garland that hung from the top of the Board. "After today, it's just going to be put back in its box until next year."
"Today?" Tara looked at her watch to check the time. "Well I'll be, it's morning already. Merry Christmas, Uncle John."
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say, but if you ask me..."
"John you amaze me," Penny interrupted. She wasn't exactly dressed for the holiday, donning a navy blue pants suit, but her earrings were bright red glass balls, like the kind found hanging from the branches of Christmas trees.
"And why would that be? Just because I can see through all this materialism? That's all Christmas is any more, you know. A materialistic holiday, when greeting card companies and toy factories make a fortune. It's not about miracles or good will towards men. It's about money, pure and simple."
"Munch, you could play the Grinch hands down, you know that?" Penny asked, arms crossed, shaking her head slightly.
"He was always my favorite character in the Christmas specials, you know," Much replied playfully.
Tara rolled her eyes before Penny even opened her mouth. She knew what was coming...God knows that Pen recited the same lines every year at this time. As Penny uncrossed her hands, started to toe in with one foot, and got that sickeningly sweet innocent look on her face, Pembleton and Bayliss walked in.
"'Sandy Claus, why?'" she said in a high pitched childlike voice, "'Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?'"
"I know that," Bayliss stated as he hung up his coat. "Little Cindy Lou Who said that."
"I was just telling Munch that his heart is two sizes too small," Penny explained, returning to her normal voice and posture.
"We've known that for a long time...since we got him to admit to killing Santa," Pembleton said.
"You killed Santa? You bastard," Tara giggled, smacking her uncle on the top of his head.
"Hey, the jury found me not guilty by reason of mental defect," he protested.
"That's another thing we've known for a long time...about that mental defect of yours." Pembleton paused to get a good laugh out of his own joke before returning to his desk to review his notes.
Meanwhile, a number of things started to happen. Meldrick and Mike returned to the squad room after spending the majority of the night chasing a killer, whom they found, and who they shortly got a confession out of. Penny, who went on the first call of the night with Logan, was hoping that it was the only call she'd have to deal with until her next shift. It was a dunker, a wife who killed her husband after finding out that he spent his Christmas bonus on booze instead of presents for their kids. Personally, Penny thought that she could have at least waited until after the holidays to do something like that, but unfortunately, it seemed that the poor children were destined to suffer no matter what.
In any case, the confession that Kellerman and Lewis got was promptly followed by Tim's proposal, done in style with him wearing a white tuxedo with a top hat, no less, and Mik's acceptance. And in between, Mik's homemade cookies were munched on and Christmas Carols were sporadically sung. As dawn neared, the rising sun found Penny standing alone at one of the large windows, looking out over the water. Watching the sun come up was one of Penny's favorite pastimes when she was younger, and she often had gotten up early just to greet the new day. Kellerman, after a few minutes of searching, also found Penny in her private little spot.
"Mind if I join you?"
"Come on over," she replied, moving over so he could look out the window too.
"Merry Christmas, Pen."
"Merry Christmas, Kellerman."
He leaned over and kissed her lightly. She immediately pulled away, not wanting to compromise herself in the workplace. She and Mike had previously agreed that showing affection in the office was a big N-O. Not only was it unprofessional, but they'd never hear the end of it from the others. And she wasn't big on public displays of affection anyway...holding hands was as far as she usually ventured when out with her man.
"Mistletoe," Kellerman said as he pointed out the small plant hanging from the top of the window frame.
Penny smiled at that, and shoved him gently in the chest. "You..."
"What are you doing today?"
"Going home, taking a shower, and going to bed. Why?"
"I was wondering if you'd like to come to Christmas dinner with me. For the past couple of years my parents have been in St. Louis visiting my sister, but they're home now, and they'd like to meet you."
"You've already asked them if I could come?" Kellerman nodded at the question, and Penny sighed. "I don't know Mike..." Former boyfriends had, on occasion, brought her to their family functions. Being that all the family she had to speak of was no longer with the living, she usually went, having nowhere else to go on holidays. Things never seemed to go her way on such occasions, her boyfriends' parents never seemed to like her, and she always felt like an outcast by the end.
"My parents will love you, Pen."
"If you only knew how many times guys have used that line on me. Look, parents always hate me. No, that's not true, they like me, they just don't like me with their sons."
"I'm telling you, they'll love you."
Penny sighed again and looked up at Mike. His boyish face was set in the saddest expression he could muster, and his big blue eyes were shining in hope. But what really made an impression was the lock of hair that happened to fall in his face at that precise moment, completing the look perfectly. How could she possibly say no to a face like that? "Fine, I'll come, but only on one condition."
"That you never, ever, use that look on me again."
He smiled at that, knowing that no woman could resist his puppy dog face, and agreed not to unleash the full power of it on her again. He made arrangements to pick her up at 12, which gave her time for a quick shower and a short nap.
When the shift finally ended, the entire group made its way down the stairs together, only parting when they were outside, everyone wishing each other seasons greetings. Being that Penny was going to be away for the day, and that Mik was going to spend Christmas with her new financee, Tara made plans to spend time with Logan, leaving Pen without a ride home. Lewis offered to drive her because she was on his way home, and she readily accepted.
"Well now, Champ, you ain't gonna be spending this holiday all alone, now are ya?" he asked as they pulled out of the parking lot."
"No, Kellerman invited me to his parents' for dinner and..."
"Whoa now. You're going to Christmas dinner at the Kellerman's?"
"What, do they have bodies and the basement or something?" she asked, curious at his reaction.
"Naw, nothin' like that. I'm surprised, that's all. Kellerman always makes a big deal out of holiday dinners...how he didn't have anyone special he could take to them. No one to spend the big holidays with. Congrats, Champ, you are now officially special."
Penny's nerves took over full force, now that she knew she was the first woman Mike's brought to mommy and daddy in a long time. "Great."
"Hey now, don't you worry about it. Mikey's parents even like me."
Pen laughed and hoped that he was right, that she was special enough for Kellerman's parents.
"Don't, Kellerman. Whatever you're going to say, don't."
Mike had picked up Penny precisely at noon. He didn't even have to get out of the car to get her, he simply pulled up to the curb and there she was on her porch. She jogged to his car, got in, and hadn't said a word the entire ride. Her perfume was as evident as her fears - the girl was scared to death. Upon pulling in front of his parents' house, she stayed in the car for a full minute before joining him on the sidewalk.
The two walked up the stairs to the front door, and Mike slipped his gloved hand into hers. He gave her hand a squeeze as they stopped, and rang the doorbell. "Relax."
"Here goes nothing," she muttered back as the front door opened.
A woman in her early-60's stood in front of them. Her hair was the same color as her son's, and rather short. She was only a few inches shorter than Mike, dressed in a white blouse and knee length burgundy skirt. Around her neck hung a green Christmas tree charm on a gold chain. "Michael," the woman greeted Mike as she opened the door and gave him a hug. She simply glowed with pride, a mother's pride in raising an honest, hard working son.
"Hi, Mom," he replied, returning her hug immediately. After detaching himself from his mother, he motioned for Penny to come in. "This is Penny."
"Mrs. Kellerman," she said offering her hand after taking off her gloves.
"Penny, we've heard so much about you. I'm glad you were able to come. Here, let me take both of your coats. Go on to the living room, you're father's waiting for you," she instructed her son.
Pen smiled shyly at the woman, and handed her coat over. Mike finally saw what she was wearing - an evergreen blouse with matching pants made of some sort of crepe...was that what the fabric was called? In any event, the material flowed with each step she took, and though it was loose, it made her look extremely thin. Her earrings were gold, small gold loops, and around her neck was the heart he had given her. She had a touch of makeup on, and her cheeks were rosy from the cold. Her hair was as she usually wore it, loose, with a touch of curl at the ends. Her black heels were the same ones she had worn on their first date.
"Are ya going to stare at me all night, are am I going to meet your father?" she whispered sarcastically, so his parents wouldn't hear her.
"You look great."
She gave him a once over as well, but nothing stood out. After all, he was wearing the same suit he wore to the precinct a million times before, the black one, only with a burgundy shirt, and a gold striped tie. "And you're the studliest man I've ever met, come on," she urged.
Mike grinned at the return of Penny Graham, replacing the scared little girl he had come with, and lead her to the living room. "Hey, Dad."
His father was sitting in an easy chair watching a Christmas movie, and turned his attention to the couple when he heard his son speak. The top of his head held very little hair, though the sides and back were still generously covered with gray. He looked older than his wife by a couple years, but his eyes held the same pride as his wife's. He stood, wearing a navy blue suit, light white shirt, and navy tie with candy canes on it - his Sunday best, Penny thought to himself, and shook his son's hand.
"Hi, Mike," he said before turning to the woman next to him. "You must be Penny."
"Mr. Kellerman," she returned, shaking his hand as well.
He motioned for them to sit, and they settled in the couch next to the easy chair which his father went back to. "So you were working all night too?"
"And just look at how nice you look, no one would ever know."
"It's all in how you put the makeup on," she leaned over and said matter-of-factly. Mr. Kellerman laughed at her response, surprised at her comedic honesty. "What movie are you watching?"
"'A Christmas Story,' have you ever seen it?'"
"It's one of my favorites."
The three continued to watch the movie until Mrs. Kellerman called them for dinner, which Penny wanted to help with, but whose assistance was politely refused.
At the dinner table, Mike and his father sat at opposite ends, both the head of the table, and Mrs. Kellerman sat across from Penny. They said grace before starting the meal, which surprised Penny since she knew that Mike wasn't very religious. But she wrote it off as being a generation difference and left it at that. Dinner consisted of a Christmas ham, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables.
After a few minutes passing foods back and forth, and trying the meal herself, Penny decided to start the conversation. "Mrs. Kellerman, this is really very good."
"Thank you. I think ham always goes well with the holidays, don't you?"
Penny nodded, but before she could say anything, Mr. Kellerman decided to take things into his own hands. "So, Mike tells us that you're from New York City..."
"Yes, I was born and raised there. It's a lovely city, you know. I only came to Baltimore this summer."
"What brought you here?"
"Well..." Penny began, wondering how to phrase this. She couldn't just say, "Well, my boyfriend was sleeping around, so I had to get out of there." "A moving van," Mike answered for her, knowing exactly why she came to Baltimore, and sure that she didn't want to make a big deal out of it.
"Michael Scott, where are your manners?" his mother chided him. "Don't interrupt."
Pen covered a giggle with her hand at the revelation of his middle name. "I just needed a change of scenery. I knew a few people down here, so I figured that Baltimore was as good a place to go as any."
"Oh, who did you know?" Mr. Kellerman asked.
"Detective John Munch, who's my roommates uncle, and Detective Mike Logan, who had just moved here recently himself."
"That's right, Michael said that you worked in Homicide," Mrs. Kellerman said, taking over the polite interrogation. "Do you like being a detective?"
"Mom, dad, come on. You're giving her the third degree," Mike cut in. "It's Christmas."
"Keller..." Penny stopped midway through his name with the realization that all three people at the table were named Kellerman. "Mike," she corrected herself, "It's ok, I really don't mind."
"Besides, I'm sure that you'll go through the same thing when you meet her parents," Mrs. Kellerman said. "You know how we parents get when some hoodlum is dating our little girls."
"Hoodlum?" Mike asked.
Penny laughed out loud. "All you need is a leather jacket, an eyebrow ring, and a motorcycle."
Mike smiled, "That's all?"
"You're already halfway to being a rebel, you don't have to change that much," she shot back, her eyes shining with sarcasm.
"What about my badge?"
"What about it? You could be some cop-gone-bad, or you could've just been undercover too long."
"Or it could be fake," Kellerman added.
"True...do you have any other identification on you?"
"They can validate who I am," he replied pointing to his parents.
"Not me, I've never seen this man before in my life," Mr. Kellerman said.
"And I lost his birth certificate," Mrs. Kellerman admitted.
"What?!" Mike said. "Mom, how could you do something like that."
"Mike, calm down," Penny said, putting her hand on his arm. "She's kidding."
Kellerman looked from his mother to his girlfriend and relaxed. "Oh."
Mr. and Mrs. Kellerman exchanged a glance after watching the few seconds of jest between their son and Penny. They liked her. And she seemed to make Mike happy. "But back to what I was saying...where do your parents live, anyway? Are they still back in New York?"
"In a matter of speaking," was Penny's response. She was never any good at telling others that her parents were dead. They were always "so sorry," and she didn't want them to be.
"Her parents passed away a few years ago," Mike filled in for her, once again treading lightly on a subject that he knew wasn't pleasant for Penny.
"That's terrible," Mrs. Kellerman said, "I'm so sorry."
"Thank you, but I've dealt with it and accepted it."
An awkward silence followed the discovery of the former Mr. and Mrs. Graham's situation, but it was soon time for dessert. Penny helped Mrs. Kellerman this time, despite her protests, and they cleared the table together. Dessert was chocolate pudding, and Penny could never resist anything chocolate, she dug right in when everyone had been served. When everyone was done with their treat, Mrs. Kellerman and Pen set to wash the dishes together, leaving the Kellerman men alone.
"She's a very sweet girl, Mikey."
"I know, dad."
"She seems to like you."
"I hope so...after all, I have been going out with her for a while."
"And you seem to like her quite a bit yourself."
Kellerman waited a minute before responding. He glanced in the direction of the kitchen, where he could hear the muffled sounds of his mother and Penny talking, and looked back at his father. "I like her a lot, dad."
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Penny Graham and Mrs. Kellerman were having a similar conversation.
"You two seem to get along very well," Mrs. Kellerman commented as she passed a wet dish to the female detective.
"Yeah, we're usually pretty good together."
"I haven't seen him this happy in a while," she continued, hoping to get something else out of her. "It's good to see him with a smile on his face."
But Penny didn't feel that she could take all the credit for his good happiness, so she worded her reply carefully. "Yes, it's good to see a smile on his face, especially when he has a chance to spend the holidays with the people he cares about."
When the dishes were done, the two women joined their companions in the living room, where another hour or so was spent discussing this and that. Then Mike announced that it was time to leave, and Mrs. Kellerman got their coats.
"It was nice meeting you both," Penny said, offering her hand to the married couple.
"It was a pleasure to finally meet you," Mr. Kellerman returned.
"Now you be careful," Mrs. Kellerman said as she fussed over her boy, "Those streets aren't safe." She turned to Penny, "And you be careful too. You never know what kind of evil is creeping in those allies."
Both promised to watch their step, and wished the Kellerman parents a merry Christmas before leaving. They said nothing to each other until they were in Mike's car.
"I passed, didn't I?" Penny asked as he pulled away from the curb.
"With flying colors."
Penny rolled down her window, and yelled into the cold Christmas air, "I passed!!!"