Dawn Ficathon Back-up
Title: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Rating: PG (violence and strong language!) - gen fic
Challenge requirements: Switzerland, Christmas, no pairing
Challenge restrictions: no death fic, no underage sex
Beta - green
Author's Notes: Back-up entry, written for sandy_s. Hope you like it ! Last night it was all angsty and I completely scrapped everything and wrote this instead this morning. Many, many thanks to my lovely Green, who pressed me into service since I was too much of a delinquent to sign up for the ficathon itself, for the last minute beta. Much love and many hugs and Happy Holidays to all as the requirements pretty much make this a Christmas present!
The list of Dawn Ficathon entries can be found on green's livejournal
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
“Hey, Dawn! You're sure that you don't want to come with? There's going to be cake! And those big doughnuty things, Ringles. You like those.” Buffy leaned her head into Dawn's bedroom, smiling at her.
“ Ringli ” Dawn corrected absently. She didn't look up from the book she was studying.
Buffy tilted her head to one side, frowning. “Didn't I kill a pack of those last week? Over by Lake Lucerne?”
Dawn lifted her head and just stared at Buffy for a second. “Those were Rignar demons, Buffy. Ringli are the doughnuts.”
“Oh. Huh.” Buffy shrugged, walking over to the bed and plopping down. She leaned over and peered at the book, making a face. “This is Latin, isn't it? Aren't you supposed to be on Christmas break? What are you doing homework for?”
“It's not homework. It's for Giles. Well, not for Giles, cause he could translate it faster, but you know, for practice. Besides, I like it.”
Buffy blinked. “Are you sure you're my sister? Maybe the monks screwed up and made you out of Willow's blood.”
Dawn snickered. “Uh huh. That would explain my charm, good looks and intelligence.”
“Hah! Whatever. Seriously, Dawn, are you sure you don't want to come to this St. Nicholas Day party? It's apparently a pretty big deal here, cause ‘the man' visits children tonight in Switzerland, rather than waiting until Christmas Eve. Plus, you know, doughnuts.”
Dawn nodded. “Yeah, I know. I was the one who explained it to you, remember? I'm just not really in the party mood. Besides, if I get this translated tonight then I have all of tomorrow to do my Christmas shopping before everybody descends on us for the next couple of weeks.”
Buffy's face softened and she ran her hand over Dawn's hair. “I just – I just want you to have a good Christmas, Dawnie. I want you to relax and have fun. I know the last couple of years have been…” Her voice trailed off.
Dawn impulsively leaned over and hugged Buffy, squeezing until she got a small oomph . She smiled. “It is. It will be. It feels a little weird, having a Christmas without Mom. I mean, yeah, it's not the first, but…it's kind of the first one where there hasn't been some sort of impending apocalypse, or where you know, you were all depressed and we were broke and…”
“Yeah. I get that. It's kinda weird for me too. But, you know, we can do this. I mean, we've got the tree and the stockings ‘all hung up with care' and…”
“Hung up with care?!” Dawn poked Buffy in the side. “You tore a great big hole in mine when you snagged a tree branch on it!”
Buffy blushed, then poked Dawn back. “You were the one all ‘oh, look, you have slayer strength, you put up the tree, I'll just sit back here and have some hot cocoa'.”
Dawn giggled. “I was operating in a supervisory capacity!”
“Uh-huh. Obviously you didn't do a very good job, cause there's a giant hole in your Christmas stocking.”
”Yeah, I noticed. You're so getting your wages docked for that. I've already filled out the paperwork.”
Buffy giggled, climbing to her feet. “You're absolutely sure you don't want to come?”
“I'm sure! Jeeze! Go! Have fun! Leave me to my work.”
Buffy leaned over, planting a kiss on the top of Dawn's head. “OK, I'll stop bothering you.” Her voice quieted. “I love you, Dawnie.”
Dawn looked up at her. “Love you too, Buffy. Happy St. Nicholas Day.”
Buffy gave a little wave, flashing one last smile at Dawn. A minute later, Dawn heard the front door slam, followed by a smaller crash as the vibrations knocked an ornament off the tree. Again. Dawn groaned and swung her feet to the floor. She stood up, holding the book carefully so as not to lose her place.
“Every single time…” she muttered, heading out into the living room to survey the damage. Huh. A red. That was the third red one in two days. “Next year? We're only allowing Buffy plastic ornaments.” Dawn ducked into the tiny kitchen, hunting for the dustpan. “It'd serve her right if I just left it there for her to clean up.”
Dawn grabbed the dustpan and broom, juggling them with the book for a second as she walked back into the living room. A tiny sound from the chimney distracted her. She stopped, staring at it as a black, shiny boot appeared, quickly followed by another. Dawn backed up a step, still watching.
She was momentarily relieved when legs instead of a third boot appeared. Maybe it's just thieves? Really weird, Christmas thie..
Her thoughts broke off as the rest of the figure emerged.
“Eep!” She squeaked, stumbling backwards, dropping the broom and dustpan in panic. Big, ugly demon with a white beard that had little tiny bones braided in it… Dawn's mind suddenly flashed back to the Christmas of two years ago. Anya's voice saying Santa and his eight tiny reindeer were real, followed by the phrase disemboweling children .
“Demon! With sharp claws! Oh. Claws. Claus. Huh. That finally makes sense…” Her voice broke off as the Santa demon snarled, swiping at her with one of its clawed hands.
Dawn dodged the blow, glancing around for a weapon. Demon, impending death…now it was finally starting to feel like Christmas. And damn it, why did Buffy have to decide that weapons didn't work with the festive Holiday decorations and decide to put them all out of sight for the season? Offensive. She needed to go on the offensive. Dawn gave up looking for something sharp, blocking a swipe of claw with the Latin book still clutched in her hands.
“Why. Don't. I. Have. Slayer. Strength?” Dawn said between gasps for air, beating at the Santa with the book. She winced, hearing the spine crack. A single page slipped out, fluttering to the floor. “Shit, Giles is going to kill me.”
Dawn paused a second, trying to figure out if there was any way she could pin the blame on Buffy. The demon growled, reaching towards her again.
“Shit, shit, shit, um…damn it, it's already ruined… librum incendere .” The book in her hand burst into flames and she thwacked the demon with it again, smiling in satisfaction as the flames spread and caught its robes on fire. “Ouch!” Dawn dropped the book and began stamping on it frantically, sticking a scorched finger in her mouth.
The Santa demon bellowed with pain, slapping at its burning garments with clawed hands. With a final howl of agony, it turned and ran straight for the chimney, wriggling and twisting its way up. Dawn gasped in relief as she watched the demon scramble up the chimney frantically, its legs kicking against the side. Just as it started to disappear from view, the sack on his back shifted slightly, the top gaping open. Out from the bag rolled a tiny, shrunken head, bouncing twice before coming to a stop at Dawn's feet.
“Ewww.” Dawn wrinkled her nose. Then she paused for a minute, considering it thoughtfully. Running into the kitchen, she emerged a moment later clutching a paper towel. Carefully, she picked up the head, studying it intently. “Not human,” she breathed with a sigh of relief. A slow grin spread across her face. “Looks like I just found my Christmas present for Xander. Score!”