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Wishlist 2009

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Ficlet(s)

This story is No. 1 in the series "Wishlists". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Twenty-four gifts for twenty-four people giving me twenty-four prompts. Ficlet collection.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR152421,352715736,5233 Dec 0923 Dec 09Yes

Fifty Christmases

A/N: That was the last of the easy ones. From now on, I might actually have to work for them.

Status: Twenty-four prompts received, three written, three posted.

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Copper requested Chronicles of Narnia/Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy/Peter in the To the Ground verse, To someone who’s only recently rediscovered hope, Christmas in Narnia is a little overwhelming. - I don’t know when it turned so shmoopy.

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Fifty Christmases

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Buffy is sitting on the bench in front of the window next to her bed, watching the snow drift slowly to the ground and wrapping her blanket a bit tighter around her shoulders. It’s warm inside the room, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s made for beaches and sunshine, not snow drifts deep enough to hide Lucy in.

Below her, unnoticeable to a human, the ground hums with the movement of hundreds of feet in the ball room and the booming of the centaurs’ drums. It’s Christmas. Or, to be exact, it’s Christmas Eve and all of Narnia is on its feet, celebrating harder than teenagers at a free-beer party.

When she snuck away from the festivities half an hour ago, even Lucy was worn out from dancing with every single faun in the castle. Susan left after only an hour of dancing, claiming that her feet were killing her. When Caspian snuck out after her with a transparent excuse fifteen minutes later, they all pretended not to notice.

Edmund, who has been quiet and tense since the first snow, unfroze and let loose after dinner, dancing, talking, being his old summertime self, but eventually he, too, ran out of energy.

Christmas in Narnia is hard work for everyone because in a country where joy and love thrive all year long, the Christmas season is serious business.

She fled. She’s not proud of it but not very ashamed either because anything that wears down Lucy is definitely more than any mortal can bear. Besides, everyone else either left or flung themselves into their thrones to recover long before she threw in the towel.

And now she’s here, away from the noise but still feeling it in the marrow of her bones, vibrating, always there. Like Narnia. She and Aslan get along fairly well these days and she can hear his song in everything, from the smallest flower to the mightiest warrior.

Still, Aslan is made of faith and hope and she if blood and blades and sometimes, the sound of his song grates on her, fills her head to burst and makes it hard to think.

Tonight it’s worse than it’s ever been because the song is spilling over, flooding the hearts and minds of every creature and the crescendo is too loud, too mighty to bear.

To someone who’s only recently rediscovered hope, Christmas in Narnia is a little overwhelming.

She leans her forehead against the cool glass, breathes in the air that smells of a hint of snow under the warmth of the wood fire burning in the fireplace. Calm, she tells herself, calm. It’s past midnight and soon even the most exuberant dancers will have to stop and the song will quiet down enough for her to think again. To be a bit more like herself and a bit less like the cloying, sickening tinge of love and happiness that hangs in the air.

She’s being all recovery-girl these days, but she likes to keep her emotions to herself. She needs the fear and the bitterness, the last vestiges of anger and hate, needs them to ground her and assure her that this is real. Otherwise, she’d be swept away.

Lucy calls her a gloomy goose, but she likes her sanity, thanks a lot. What little is left of it anyway.

Behind her, the door opens with only the slightest creak and she feels a smile tug at her lips. So someone did miss her. She wondered. Peter – who is the only one who enters her private rooms without knocking – kicks off his shoes and walks over to her across the multitude of rugs Caspian organized for her once he learned of her absolute hatred of the cold season.

The castle may be well built but it’s still a castle and as such, drafty. The young king had her room stuffed to the brim with blankets, rugs and tapestries to keep her warm. It works so well that Lucy and Susan have started to hang out in her room at all times of the day, because it is warmer than their own quarters.

The former High King comes to a silent halt behind her, his stomach and chest only inches from her head. All she has to do is lean back and she can lose herself in Peter’s very own song. It’s almost like Aslan’s, but softer, slower and tinged with a biting loss and rage that will always be there. It’s comforting to know she’s not the only one with edges in this country.

“So you escaped, too,” she says, not bothering to turn and look at him.

He snorts quietly and takes that last step that brings them into contact, laying both hands on her shoulders. “I might have. Are you alright?”

She nods, feeling her hair frizz against the fabric of his tunic. “Fine. Just a bit overwhelmed.”

She can almost see his grimace. “The first time we came here, Christmas was overwhelming. We came from a place where there wasn’t enough food, let alone presents, and landed here. We met Father Christmas, for Aslan’s sake!”

A shrug. She lifts one hand to knit her fingers into his but doesn’t tug to make him sit. “I don’t think I’ve had Christmas since back when I was human. My head’s spinning and I swear I’m going to have red and green nightmares for the foreseeable future.”

She might, too. Really. Peter chuckles before turning mock serious. “So, fifty years of missed Christmases, huh?”

She nods.

“Does that mean you’re fifty years behind on presents, too?”

“Might be.”

Silence fills the room, comfortable and warm with only the crackling fire to remind them they aren’t alone in the world. She blames it on the snow. Snow always makes you feel like no-one and nothing but you exists.

“How do you feel about kisses as presents?” he finally asks. It’s a bold suggestion for an eighteen-year-old, but then Peter is as much eighteen as she’s twenty-one, so she guesses they’re pretty well matched. Boy who regressed and girl who stopped progressing, living together in a fairy tale country, where songs of love and courage are loud enough to give her headaches.

He has filled out some since the summer, muscles rebuilt through endless skirmishes at the borders and mock fights on the training fields and so he has no trouble at all lifting her up until they are on the same eye-level. Proving that she is indeed flexible for an old woman, she twists in his arms until she can wrap her legs around him.

Face to face. Then she confesses, “I’m not sure how I feel about that. I might need a demonstration.”

Peter laughs and starts counting into her mouth while below them the drums echo Narnia’s heartbeats for all to hear.

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