Chapter Twenty-Two: The Best Christmas Ever
A/N: This next update involves the following episodes: “Enemies”, “Earshot” and “The Prom”
Downtown Sunnydale was awash in festive lights and decorations, invoking holiday spirit. Dean rolled down the window as a group of carolers stood on the corner and sang “Oh Christmas Tree” for the holiday shoppers. He started whistling along as he veered the car down the street and glanced at all the decorations adorned on the store front windows.
“This is going to be nice,” he said.
Sam studied his brother’s cheerful expression.
“We haven’t had a Christmas gathering at someone’s house in….well, a really long time.”
When they pulled in front of the Summers’ house, Sam reached into his bag and retrieved a handful of gifts wrapped in green paper. Dean eyed the gifts.
“What are those?”
“What do they look like? They’re Christmas gifts for Joyce and Buffy.”
Dean paused, “Dude, you said we weren’t going to do gifts.”
Sam smirked, “Yeah I said ‘we’ Dean. I on the other hand planned on buying presents.”
Dean frowned and smacked Sam on the shoulder. “You little bitch; you’re trying to make me look like a penny pinching ass.”
“Well, you are.”
Dean huffed, “Well, put my name on them too.”
“No. I bought them.”
“With our money. That constitutes a shared gift.”
“You’re not taking any credit for what I bought. Go buy your own.”
“Are you kidding me? It’s Christmas Eve. It’s the craziest shopping day of the year.”
Sam smirked again, “Well, I guess you better hurry up then.”
Sam climbed out of the car and skipped to the door. He knocked as Dean grumbled. Joyce answered and smiled.
“Merry Christmas! Please come in.”
Sam and Dean stepped into the foyer and glanced at the tree and various decorations around the house. Holiday music played softly in the living room.
“Buffy! Sam and Dean are here!”
Joyce turned back to the boys.
“Where is your father? He is coming?”
“Yeah, he wouldn’t miss this,” Dean replied. “There was a big accident on the interstate, miles and miles of traffic…we just barely got out of it….he’ll be here soon I hope.”
“Oh, good. I’ve got egg nog and apple cider and I have an assortment of snacks. Help yourself.”
Buffy hopped down the stairs. Sam gave her a hug and handed her a gift.
“Merry Christmas Buffy,” Sam chimed, “That’s from me.”
Dean glared at him.
“Thanks. Let me go grab your gifts.”
She ran back up stairs.
“Crap, she got us gifts?”
Joyce returned with a plateful of goodies. Sam handed her his gift.
“Merry Christmas Joyce.”
“Thank you. I’ll put these with your gifts under the tree.”
“Ah crap, you too?”
Joyce eyed Dean.
“Uh, I mean….man I’ve really got a craving for uh…fruit cake….I think I’m gonna run out and get some. I’ll be right back.”
Dean darted out the door as Buffy came down stairs. She frowned.
“Where is he going?”
“To save his ass,” Sam replied.
By the time Dean finished scrambling for presents, most of the stores were just closing for the night. When he returned to the house, he spotted his dad’s truck parked behind him. The door was unlocked so he swept inside and found everyone gathered in the living room. He crossed over to Buffy and Joyce who were drinking cider.
“I totally forgot I left these in the car. Here.”
He handed out two plain shopping bags.
“I’m uh, not much of a wrapper. Sorry. Merry Christmas.”
He wandered off to the appetizer table. Sam came over and spied the bag Buffy was holding.
“Ran out at the last minute, huh?”
Sam grinned, “Yeah.”
Joyce and John got into conversation as the door rang. Buffy went to answer it as Dean went over to Sam.
“Dude, once the holiday is over, I’m totally kicking your ass. You made me go shopping and tried to show me up.”
Buffy appeared in the living room with Faith. The two Slayers joined Sam and Dean. Faith eyed Dean.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hey,” he replied.
Buffy watched as the two quickly separated to different areas of the room. Everyone gathered around the dining table as Joyce brought out the roast. Holiday music played softly in the background as various discussions were exchanged.
Joyce collected the dishes from the table. Faith surprised everyone by offering to help clean up. She went into the kitchen with John and Joyce. Dean grazed on the food left on the table before he got up and crossed into the living room. He paused when he heard Sam. He turned around.
Dean shook his head and turned back to see Buffy passing him. She stopped next to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He froze.
“Uh….why did you do that?”
Buffy acted casually. “You’re under the mistletoe. It’s what you do.”
His eyes drifted up. “Where the hell did that come from? I could have sworn that wasn’t there when I got here.”
“It’s Christmas. We always put it up.”
“But it’s just you and your mom.”
Buffy shrugged, “It’s festive.”
“Aren’t you going to kiss her back?” Sam asked.
Dean whipped his eyes to Sam, then to Buffy. He chuckled awkwardly.
“Uh – I uh, just ate a whole bowl of garlic – I – really shouldn’t. It’s not polite.’
And with that, he darted into the living room and pretended to be interested in the decorations on the tree. John, Joyce and Faith entered the living room. Sam got up and crossed to Buffy.
“I told you it would work,” he said.
“You know that if he ever finds out, he’ll like, kill you?”
Sam chuckled, “It would be worth it. The look on his face when you kissed him was totally priceless.”
“Yeah, imagine if I’d gone for the lips, he probably would have died of a heart attack.”
The two shared a laugh as they watched Dean looking out for mistletoe as he passed from room to room.
Buffy watched Faith as she milled about the room. She was surprised that Faith didn’t seem interested in flirting with Dean and that he seemed to be more interested in the conversation between his dad and her mom.
Faith left after a short while. The Summers’ women and the Winchester men gathered around the tree and began to exchange gifts. “White Christmas” played on the radio as John and Joyce opened presents. Buffy handed out her gifts to the guys.
“Open them,” she said.
Sam tore into his ‘book’ shaped present and laughed.
Sam looked at the title, “Historical Cultures throughout the World”
“I hope you don’t have that one,” she said.
Dean rolled his eyes. Sam smiled.
“No, I haven’t. This is great. Thanks.”
Buffy glanced at Dean expectantly.
“Not book shaped so that’s good.”
After tearing away the paper, he found a small wooden case. He flipped the top open. Inside was a large knife with a brass knuckle handle. He picked it out and examined it. His eyes danced with glee.
“Nice,” he said.
“You like it?”
He slipped his hand through the handle and gripped the knife.
“Hell yeah I like it. It’s nice…”
His smile faded.
“Too nice….I hope you didn’t blow your allowance on this.”
Buffy shrugged casually. “It didn’t cost that much.”
He put the knife back in the box. “Well, thanks. Every time I stick a demon in the gut with it, I’ll think of you.”
A smile slowly drew across her face. “You will?”
He cleared his throat, realizing what he had just said. “Uh…what did Sam get you?”
He picked out Sam’s gift and tossed it to her. She relented and sat back to open her gifts. She opened Sam’s gift.
“Oh, cool. Thanks.”
“Lame,” Dean replied under his breath.
Buffy dug into the plain shopping bag and pulled out a bundle of tissue paper. She rifled through the tissue paper and removed a strange leather band attached to two straps. Her brows furrowed in confusion.
“Uh…a bracelet? Thanks.”
Dean scoffed, “It’s not a bracelet. You think I’d get you a bracelet? There’s more parts in there.”
She looked through the bag and pulled out two finger sized blades. She studied the two items together.
“Oh. Uh it’s...sorry….what is it?”
He rolled his eyes. “Get up and I’ll show you.”
They both got to their feet.
“Give me your arm.”
She extended an arm as he fashioned the blades and leather band together.
“Okay, now flick.”
He made a motion with his arm. She raised her arm and brought it down sharply. The two blades snapped out. Her eyes widened as she figured it out.
“Oh, that’s cool!”
“The holsters are adjustable so you can fit a stake or a dagger in there.”
“Yeah. I don’t know where you usually keep your stakes with the way you dress.”
She eyed him playfully. “Oh. Leaves a lot to the imagination huh? I guess you’ve thought about that a lot.”
“I never said that. Uh, what’s for dessert?”
He took off toward the kitchen. Buffy glanced at Sam who was snickering behind a coffee table book.
“This is the best Christmas ever,” he said.