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That Seasonal Spirit

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Between Seacrest and Revello". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Even college-attending slayers and P.I.s take a break for the holidays. Third story in the "Between Seacrest and Revello" series, my Buffy/Veronica tale. *NOW REVISED*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Veronica Mars > Buffy-CenteredPatKFR13514,0136298,1083 Feb 0725 Mar 07Yes

Five, the epilogue

{...About One Month Later...}

It was the morning of the eleventh day of Christmas, otherwise known as December 24th. Making the twelfth day of Christmas, the 25th. It was all very nonsensical, but tradition was tradition--too late to change now. Keith Mars awoke, tiredly shuffled out of his bedroom, and found his daughter and her girlfriend in the same vedging positions on the couch that they were in when he went to sleep more than twelve hours ago. And the movie was on its sixth repeat.

"Have you at least power-napped?" He inquired hopefully, taking in their bleary-eyed, adrenaline-fueled countenances.

"Why? Red Bull." Veronica limply gestured to the empty cans of the drink littering the table.

"We'd miss it." Buffy said, not looking away from the TV. "Can't miss. Against rules."

His eyebrows went up. "Then how--?"

"Turned the TV."

"Ssh. Almost time." Veronica (and Buffy) suddenly became extremely livened and attentive, sitting up and straightening.

The slayer turned up the volume for the most crucial scene of John Hughes' "Christmas Vacation." They listened to the beginning of Chevy Chase's soliloquy with near reverence. "I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a--"

Then they spoke along with his rapid-fire delivery, each taking a word. Buffy started off; it was her turn. "Cheap,"

"Lying," And in came Veronica.

Then Buffy again. "No-good,"

"Rotten,"

"Four-flushing,"

"Low-life,"

"Snake-licking,"

"Dirt-eating,"

"Inbred,"

"Overstuffed,"

"Ignorant,"

"Blood-sucking,"

"Dog-kissing,"

"Brainless,"

"Dickless," Buffy watched Keith's reaction out of the corner of her eye, and didn't say it as loud as she might have.

She couldn't not say it. Beeping wasn't allowed at this scene.

"Hopeless," Veronica continued.

"Heartless,"

"Fat-ass,"

"Bug-eyed,"

"Stiff-legged,"

"Spotty-lipped,"

Being in the home stretch, they spoke as one. "Worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit." And breaths. "Where's the Tylenol?"

"That's what I'm wondering." Keith deadpanned, shaking his head at both of them. "You're very odd children."

They ignored him, high-five-ing their accomplishment.

"Why don't you take Backup out? Get some air. See the outside world." He suggested.

"The flaw in that plan?" Veronica said back to him.

"It's outside." Buffy answered.

"And if Homer Simpson's taught us anything," Veronica went forward, nodding in agreement, "it's the value of a perfectly molded ass groove. We can't give them up now."

"It's like a science." Buffy added, then looked over at the dog, who seemed as lazy as they were, on his back up against the chair. "Besides, he's--"

"Wanna go for a walk, boy?" Keith inquired of the canine. Backup was standing immediately, practically bouncing. His male owner walked wordlessly to the door, got the leash that was hanging off to the side on the key rack, and tossed it on his child's lap. "Have fun you two. Try not to get arrested."

"You're a mean one, Grinchy." Veronica mock-glared. "That was below the belt."

"It's all a matter of perception, sweetheart." Came her father's response as he went and opened the fridge. "Is it my fault that mine is always right?"

"Watch the cockiness, Old Man." She warned, standing shakily on her own, two feet. "I won't forg...gah." She collapsed back onto the sofa. "I didn't nap, but my ass is."

Now Buffy nodded, understanding all too well. "That's the price you pay for a groove worth having."

***

"Allrighty then. I bring the 'Nog, smuggled in harmless cans of delicious Frutopia, you bring the heartwarming TV specials." Veronica said as they walked down the beach, her holding Backup's leash. "Beginning with 70's Claymation and ending with well-mannered, Christmas Poo."

"Will's joining for the Charlie Brown half-hour." Buffy mentioned, hugging herself because of the chill off the sea. "It's like us with the Griswolds. And she still thinks she's rebelling every time she watches."

"Which means Mac's coming too, and they'll huddle around their laptops like monkeys around a monolith." Veronica tried once to snoop, but she was no match for the safeguards of two, computer geniuses who'd expected her to.

"Should we invite Parker over?"

"Parker would make five. Five is a group. I don't do groups." Veronica was somewhat baffled. "When did I get friends? Note the emphasis on the 's.'"

"Beats me." Buffy shrugged, clueless. "Doesn't make any sense. You're kind of uber-bitchy."

"With a capitial '*You*.'" Veronica threw her free arm around Buffy's neck and drew out a sigh. "Girls night it is. But I can't be held responsible for whatever happens during the obligatory game of 'Truth or Dare.'"

The slayer's gave her a small smile. "'Truth or Don't,' you mean."

Veronica rubbed her chin. "Can't say I'm familiar with that variation. Are there rules?"

"I'll make a list."

Backup halted and whimpered.

"Okay, I'll cut you loose," Veronica told her dog, "but if you get on a hermit crab's wrong side again, and come a'runnin', don't expect any sympathy." His head just cocked to the side. She undid the leash, and off he went. "Uh oh. We're all alone...whatever could we possibly do now?" Her finger went in the air. "I know!"

Buffy didn't like that look. "Wanna share?"

Veronica walked casually behind her, and then jumped on her back. "I've always wanted a pony." Buffy did the only thing she could do, and made the proper adjustments so she could hold Veronica steady. "Is it weird that she sorta turns me on?"

"The Internet doesn't think so."

Veronica's looked like she'd just eaten an extra-sour, "Sour Patch Kid." "Now I feel unclean...and not at all validated."

"I'm not the one with the fetish; I knew late night HBO was a bad idea." Buffy grinned and began running down the beach.

Days like this, she much preferred Neptune. Especially because Sunnydale's latest hijinks involved voice-stealing, fairytale monsters and a mini-apocalypse. Both incidents Faith handled "superbly"--Giles' word of choice. And that was great. Wonderful. Terrific. Yet...

She felt like she was abandoning it sometimes. Her duty. Despite Faith's and Giles' objections to the contrary, she couldn't help it. But then again, she was technically a bonus. Ever since her death then Kendra's, Faith was *the* Chosen. It was strange, because she wasn't jealous. Nor was she angry. She didn't know what she was.

Buffy remembered telling Veronica that first date: "When I save everyone and don't feel crushed by responsibility, I love being 'chosen.'"

As much as its negative effects frightened her, she did love the positives. Knowing her actions made a difference, even a small one, it felt good. She rarely got to be that person anymore. By choice, obviously; she wasn't blaming anyone. She was lucky to be able to go to college, to be with her girlfriend...

To be normal. She was grateful to Faith for that. She was. But being occasionally abnormal wasn't so bad. She kind of missed it.

"Whoa nelly." Both blondes heard Backup barking up ahead. "Either he ran afoul of Mr. Krabs, or there's trouble down at the Old Mill." Veronica surmised.

Buffy picked up the pace, and they found him sniffing a body at the water's edge. The waves were come in and splash it, and then recede, not caring that they were splashing Santa Claus. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Veronica got down off Buffy's back, and called her dog quickly over. He joined her immediately, and seeing the mismatched socks with holes, the ratty appearance of the trademark, red suit, and the intense, "five o'clock" shadow as they got closer, she thought, "Ho, Ho, Hobo," mirthlessly appropriate.

"What's that smell?" Buffy got a whiff even through the sea air.

"Whew. St. Nick liked his Peppermint Schnapps...at least it's seasonal." The detective deduced, re-leashing her dog and pulling out her phone. "I better call the 5-0."

"Good thing there's no kids out yet." Buffy said, crouching down over the body. "Remember the Christmas Eve I freaked until my dad put out the fire in the fireplace because I thought Santa wasn't gonna know, and--"

"--'Flame On?' Like your cookies that year?" Buffy's eyes narrowed as Veronica said this for the reference as well as the memory, but there was a person on the end of the girl's line. "Wow, 911, and it only took *four* rings this time. That's a record, isn't it, Sacks?" Frigging Lamb. "If the Sheriff isn't too busy asking S.C. for more Tonka Trucks and a Hot Wheels play-set, you may wanna tell'm the Big Guy's belly shook like a bowlful of booze, and, it's starting to bloat.

"So unless he wants 'Stand By Me' the holiday remake..." She listened to the deputy speak. "Omaha Beach. Off Sunset." She got off the phone, and went to stand behind her girlfriend. "They're on the way. Soon as they get their badges out of the cereal box." She looked down at the body, sadly. "This blows. He couldn'ta gone with the 'drink yourself to death' cliché? Dumpsters don't get no love."

Buffy looked up at her. "I don't think he did." Veronica looked more closely. His neck was exposed. There were bite marks. "Merry Christmas."

Maybe she didn't deserve to be a hero. She let a vampire kill Santa Claus. In *Neptune*. On Christmas Eve. How come this felt like the first, ominous dot in what would become a long line of bad?

The End

You have reached the end of "That Seasonal Spirit". This story is complete.

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