Chapter 28: An Old Tradition
Chapter 28: An Old Tradition
A/N: This is part 2 of the Christmas Eve scene.
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, Chrislover and AshDawnSoulmates.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. Jack Ryan and his friends belong to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.Posted In Honor of the all the great responses from both sites!
Summers/Osbourne/Harris Home (aka DC headquarters of Ursagga Council)
The minute they came back into the living room, Buffy pounced on them. “There you guys are! It’s time to start the grilling. Gibbs, Franks…you’re in charge of that. Jordy, your friends are in the back yard, working on some snow tunnels. Oz can check the rest of the food while I get you settled in the entertainment rooms.” When they hesitated, she barked out, “Let’s go, people!”
“Wow! I see what Oz meant. She’s like a young, female Gibbs,” Abby whispered to the others as they followed Buffy down another hallway.
Since she wasn’t supposed to hear, Buffy bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. Ducky didn’t bother to restrain himself however and began chuckling. If only Abby knew how true that statement was.
Opening the French doors, Buffy announced proudly, “This is the media room; if you want to watch a game or movie, there’s a couple TVs for that. Next room over is the game room; we have a pool table, board games, video games, dart boards – both sharp and rubber-tipped,” she said as she pointed to the various areas.
Then she turned to walk over to another part of the room that was accessible by both entertainment areas. “It shouldn’t take us long to double-check everything; it was set up early this morning. Drinks are behind the bar; alcoholic beverages are locked up so the kids can’t get to them. If you leave the room unattended, please make sure the locker is shut tight,” Buffy requested as she used the same biometric/retina scanner they had downstairs to unlock the locker in question.
This was a little more than was expected for locking up alcohol. Ziva was the only one to voice her confusion though, “You take your security very seriously. Do you really think Jordy will take alcohol?”
Remembering the crazy stunts teenagers pulled – even Scoobies sometimes – Buffy didn’t feel it was overkill. “If he doesn’t, then a friend will…or a friend of a friend – you get the idea. We trust Jordy until he gives us a reason not to. However, it’s a different case with kids we don’t know. Think of it as CYA taken a step further. This way, if there’s a party and something alcohol-related happens, we can honestly say we tried to keep it from happening.”
Ziva shook her head in more confusion. “CYA?”
“Cover your ass. Lawyer talk to keep us and the Council safe from lawsuits. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. Make yourselves comfortable, and we’ll be right back.” Then Buffy left them to find their own fun. Mama Mallard and Lucy decided to watch ‘White Christmas’
, while some of the others turned on the pregame show. Abby, Ziva and Ducky passed both those activities up to throw darts in the other room.~~~~~~~Several hours later…
They had retired to the living room to enjoy drinks and cookies. Jordy already had his desert and went to bed in anticipation of Santa’s nocturnal visit; the fairytale version and not Anya’s.
“I would like to thank you lovely, young ladies for an absolutely scrumptious dinner. And you, too, Mr. Osbourne…sorry, Oz,” Ducky corrected himself after the young man glanced at him.
Buffy beamed with pride. “We are happy that you enjoyed yourself. It makes all the preparations worth it.”
“Speak for yourself. You didn’t have yourself to deal with,” Anya muttered none-too-softly. To gain support, she explained, “She had us cooking and preparing for the last week!”
“I wasn’t that bad, was I?” Buffy asked sheepishly. Actually, she already kinda knew the answer, but this was her first holiday party with her dad, so she figured she had the right to go crazy.
Oz smirked at her. “Sorry, Buffy. Gotta agree with Anya. You are at your scariest when it comes time for a holiday gathering. But the good news is, nobody got shot at this year,” he said without thinking. The ones who didn’t know the truth about the Council were startled by the pronouncement. What kind of lives did these people have that they expected to get shot at all the time?
Not worried that an important clue about them slipped out, Buffy grinned happily. “That’s true! Maybe the holiday curse is over. Ah crap, now I just jinxed it for next time.”
Sensing the need to break the current line of conversation, Mama Mallard remarked, “I’ve been meaning to ask you about your decorations. They are very unusual.”
“Oh, they’re a tradition from my childhood. The apples serve as protection for the house and all who live within. Lemons are to purify the house from negative spirits and feelings, thus promoting friendship. And the cypress with lavender helps promote a feeling of calmness so we can get restful sleep,” Anya recited.
Ziva studied the decorations with skepticism. “You really believe that?”
Buffy knew she needed to step in before Anya said anything blatant about their world. “Not just us; even Madison Avenue believes it – in a roundabout way. There’s all sorts of cleaning products that incorporate lemons or lemon juice. Same thing with sleep products and cypress or lavender. People spend lots of money on aromatherapy items to get what we have here just from things we picked up at the local farmers’ market.”
Tim thought that actually made sense. “And the apples?”
“So far we only have our fellow Wiccans to keep us company on that belief…for now.” Buffy took a deep breath before she went on, “I told you that we mix our holidays around here. There’s the Menorah and the Christmas tree to represent Judaism and Christianity. The pouches are for Wicca. We don’t expect you to believe, but we do insist that you respect our right to believe what we want.”
“I’m sorry, I meant no offense,” Ziva apologized, realizing she had overstepped with her tone.
Anya shrugged off the Mossad agent’s minor social transgression. “That’s okay. It’s probably just been too long since you had an orgasm friend. You and Tony should give each other orgasms.”
“Anya!” Buffy whispered harshly while most of the people in the room choked – either in embarrassment or amusement.
The former vengeance demon rolled her eyes at the Slayer, knowing that she agreed with the assessment. Buffy often came home grumbling that the two should just get a room. “What? The sexual tension between them is so thick, you’d need a chainsaw to cut through it. Like that one year with Giles on Halloween. Wow, didn’t he look very Ripperish that night?” Her eyes glazed over slightly at the memory. She shook herself to come back to the present. “Anyway, those two should get to it already. Oh, and Tim and Abby should become orgasm friends, too.”
Before anyone could comment on that, JR suddenly chirped, “‘Gasm!”
“JR! It’s your first word!” Anya praised, looking very excited.
Somehow he knew that he did something good, so JR started repeating, “‘Gasm! ‘Gasm! ‘Gasm!”
Then Anya turned serious; almost everyone thought she was going to scold him or try to get him to stop saying it. They were shocked when all she said was, “No, sweetie, not ‘gasm…it’s pronounced OR
-gasm. Can you say OR
Franks just stared in fascination at the young mother and child. “Is she seriously trying to get her baby to say that word correctly?” he asked Oz, who was sitting next to him on the couch.
Oz just chuckled softly. “That’s Ahn for you. She has her own style
of music to march to.”
“I like it! She speaks her mind and doesn’t care what others think. Plus, she’s right about those four. Even I
can sense the tension between them,” Mama Mallard declared before adding, “What I don’t understand is why she hasn’t said anything about you and Buffy.”
Buffy whimpered softly; they didn’t need people interfering in their love lives – or lack thereof. “Mama Mallard, Oz dated my best friend. Even if there was interest on both sides, it would just make things too awkward.”
The elderly lady just scoffed, “Nonsense! Unless they just broke up within the last year, I see no problem with you two finding some happiness together.”
Not wanting to discussing his daughter’s romantic involvement with a guy – especially
one that she lived with – Gibbs stood up. “And on that note, I think it’s time we all head out. I’m sure everyone has to get sleep for their plans tomorrow.”~~~~~~~
Despite his earlier comment, Gibbs was the last one to leave. He wanted to talk to Buffy first. “Remember, I want to be on the road by six.”
“Why do we have to get up at such an inhuman hour on Christmas morning?” Buffy pouted at her dad.
But he was having nothing to do with it. “Are you planning on having a bird roost on that lip? You forget that I know you get up earlier than that almost every day. It’s a five hour drive, and we want to spend as much time there as possible before we come back,” he reminded her.
Since she knew complaining was a lost cause, Buffy gave up. “Alright, we’ll leave right after Jordy opens his presents from Santa. If he doesn’t wake up by five, we’ll wake him.”
“He still believes in Santa Claus?” Gibbs asked, somewhat surprised by that. He thought kids today were more cynical than that.
She shrugged. “Not sure, but we want to try to maintain the illusion of childhood innocence as long as we can. It will be years before I let Anya tell him the truth about Santa though.” When he look questioningly at her, she continued briefly, “Demon that disemboweled children; don’t ask.”
“Wouldn’t even want
to know,” Gibbs answered. Even though there was a small part of him that thought it was an interesting subject, the majority of him was horrified by the idea there were creatures that targeted children. Then he remembered that his daughter fought those things and felt immensely proud.
Buffy was confused by the sudden smile on her dad’s face, but moved on to the other question she had for him. “So, have you told him that we’re coming?”
He shook his head. “It’s better if we wait until we’re there. This isn’t something you just announce over the phone.”
“Okay, but I hope he has a strong heart.” She didn’t think it was a good idea to surprise him, but hoped that Gibbs knew him better. She knew that he wouldn’t put anyone he cared about at risk, so that was good.
Anya poked her head in the entryway to warn Buffy’s father, “Just remember, Agent Gibbs, you hurt her…” She held his gaze for several seconds before cuddling JR closer to her and walking back to their bedroom.
“So what was the threat she finally decided on?” Buffy asked.
Looking back at his daughter, Gibbs replied, “Well, the one she passed on for Xander went something like: ‘Hurt her and I’ll beat you to death with a shovel, then use it to bury the body. A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.’
It sounded like it came from a script of some kind.”
She nodded. “Yeah, it was one of Willow’s. Too bad she didn’t follow through on the threat though. The guy she said it to was Riley.”
Gibbs’ eyes narrowed in annoyance. “That was the guy that pissed you off when you first got here, right?”
“Yup. But back to the threats; what was Anya’s? I’m sure she came up with something a little more…descriptive.”
Recalling both the words and the look in her eyes as she said it, Gibbs winced. “Uhh, it basically came down to that if I ever let you down, she’d make sure I’d never be able to become a father again.”
“Sounds like Ahn. She likes threatening the manhood. Just be glad she’d have to do it the human way; at least then, we’d have a chance to stop her before it happened,” Buffy replied seriously.
“Not exactly the greatest reassurance, honey,” he complained.
She beamed up at him. “How ‘bout this? You’ve heard basically everything that could make you turn your back on me, and you haven’t. I doubt you could possibly fail me in any serious way.”
He leaned in to give her a tight hug and a kiss in her hair. “Much better. Love you, baby girl.”
“You too, Papa Bear,” Buffy murmured back, thrilled to relax into his grasp. “Now you’d better get going – unless you want to stay here tonight?” She was happy to see him hang his coat back up and follow her to the guest room next to Oz.
A/N: The Santa stuff came from season 5, episode 16 ‘The Body’
. A holiday flashback while Joyce was still alive.
A/N2: Next… Christmas Day visit.