Oh Holy Disaster
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 6. Buffy, Dawn, Spike. 850 words. PG-13.
Buffy and Dawn try to keep the Christmas spirit alive, only the Christmas spirit is a little too Hellmouthy for their own good.
“I’m getting really”—punch—“really”—thwack—“really”—head butt—“TIRED”—furious jab to what-looked-like-a-nose—“OF YOU DEMONS INTERRUPTING SUMMERS FAMILY FUN TIME!”
Buffy roundhouse kicked the Souvlaki demon straight out of her kitchen, sending it flying across the dining room and crashing into the living room coffee table.
Searching for an impromptu weapon around the room, Buffy scanned and dismissed the pot of red poinsettias and the decorative wreath hanging above the fireplace. Glancing above her, she inwardly crowed YAHTZEE! and yanked the cord of Christmas lights running along the archway between the dining room and living room. Another kick to the Souvlaki’s chin, knocking back down the goopy-faced demon with pus-oozing ears, and she wrapped the cord around its neck and twisted till she heard that ever-satisfying death crack. Done and done.
“Buffy!” Dawn shrieked from the kitchen. “Buffy, help!”
“Dawn!” Buffy called back, dropping the demon’s dead weight, rushing to the kitchen with all her Slayer speed, only to stop short and stare at Dawn, nonplussed.
Dawn looked like a trainwreck survivor who’d been sitting in the restaurant car when the bags of flour exploded. Bits of what Buffy hoped was gravy dripped from Dawn’s left ear; Buffy inwardly grimaced at the thought of how much Dawn resembled the dead Souvlaki demon now lying under their Christmas tree.
Of course, the worst part was Dawn’s expression of hopeless despair as she craned her neck back and forth, her wide eyes gazing mournfully at the stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and corn pudding scattered to the four corners of the kitchen.
In her arms, she clutched the burnt, blackened, and steaming carcass of their Christmas dinner. Tears flooding those ever-widening blue eyes, Dawn’s lower lip wobbled. “The turkey’s ruined.”
Buffy fought back the panic rising in her throat. “Okay, okay, it’s, uh, it’s gonna be okay.”
Dawn half-croaked, half-sobbed, and her chest started shaking, her croak-sobbing shaking the hellspawn turkey weighing down her arms.
Buffy approached her slowly, hands raised, palms up. “Hey, it’s okay, I promise. I’m gonna fix this. I promise. I don’t know how, but I will. I’ll do whatever it takes to fix this because we are going to have a Christmas dinner if I have to murder every demon on the face of the planet. Okay? Dawnie? You okay?”
Buffy reached for Dawn’s cheek, rubbing away the tears mixing with bits of flour. She was careful to avoid the probably-gravy-possibly-pus dripping from Dawn’s ear.
Dawn took a deep breath, gave Buffy a wobbly smile to go with her wobbly lower lip, and nodded like a brave little toaster. “Yeah, I’m okay. Ish. I’m okay-ish. Verging on okay. Any second now.”
Buffy put on her own brave smile. “If I could kill it again, I would. I’d make that demon extra dead this time. I swear.” Pausing, Buffy glanced down at Dawn’s white knuckles, her hands still maintaining their mournful death grip on the roasting pan. “Hey, how about we step away from the turkey?”
“Oh, I…” Dawn stared, confused for a moment, before she spun on her heels with the still fuming turkey in her grip. Looking for a clean stretch of counter to drop the pan on and finding none, she kept on spinning until she’d turned 360 degrees back to face Buffy.
Halting, Dawn gave Buffy an apologetic look, shrugged, and dropped the pan, letting it crash to the floor.
And that’s when the giggling started. First, bursting out in phlegmatic snorts, the sort that burned the inner bridge of the nose. The laughter shook up and down each esophagus, reverberating through the gut, running along the ribs, echoing back up again, rising up and out to the ceiling in a harmony of sonorous shrieking.
Neither could say who grabbed who first, but they fell into each other’s arms. Buffy clutching at Dawn’s shoulders, Dawn digging into Buffy’s shoulder blades. Each girl laughed into her sister’s neck, laughing until they started crying again, puffing out great gusts of hysteria and breathing in relief.
They didn’t hear the knock on the door, nor the sound of heavy-heeled boots making their way through the house. Spike cleared his throat twice, before rolling his eyes and letting loose an attention-getting, “Oi!”
Wiping the tears from their eyes, Buffy and Dawn looked up from their sprawled position amidst the Christmas feast adorning their kitchen floor.
Spike quirked his lip and hefted up a bottle of Jack decorated with a red bow. “Guess you’re both gonna need this.”
“Yes!” “No!” Dawn and Buffy yelled over each other.
“Right. More for me then.” Leaning against the kitchen doorway, Spike opened the bottle, tipped it back and took a swig. Chewing his lip, Spike lifted one boot and hesitantly toed at the yellow mush and globs of sweet potato lining the tile floor. He blinked once, then again more forcefully, shaking his head and freeing himself from the mesmerizing disaster of complex carbohydrates all around him. Scowling, he leveled an affronted look at Buffy. “What the hell kind of Christmas dinner do you call this, Slayer? Where’s the pudding?”