A Perfect Holiday


FEEDBACK: Yes, please.
DISTRIBUTION: Want, take, have. (And then tell me, just cause I like to know.)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anyone you recognize.
CHARACTERS: B/A; C/D; X/Anya; G/Joyce; W/O
SUMMARY: Futuristic fluffy Thanksgiving. I'm still traumatized from IWRY. So I had to write some more. That, and I was thinking last night how much I adore thanksgiving ... Happy Turkey Day!


Angel opened his eyes slowly, finding his wife leaning over him, a smile on her face.

"Happy Thanksgiving," she murmured, giving him a gentle kiss.

He smiled, pulling her down onto him. "Happy Thanksgiving."

"Are you all ready for the big holiday?"

Angel frowned. "Big holiday?"

Buffy giggled. "I told you, I invited Cordelia and Doyle, Xander and Anya, and Willow and Oz over. And all their kids. Oh, and my mom and Giles."

Angel winced. "That's a lot."

"Angel," Buffy scolded with a smile. "It's not that many."

"There's four of us; plus Cordelia, Doyle, and their daughter; Xander and Anya and their son-"

"Who's only three months old and won't eat anything," Buffy reminded him.

"And Willow and Oz's *four* children. And then your mother and Giles."

Buffy kissed him again. "It'll be fine. If you and the girls help me cook, we'll get everything done in no time. Besides, Angel, it's Thanksgiving. A time to give thanks."

"For what?" Angel grumbled.

"Two beautiful daughters in fourteen years, the fact that we're together, that all our friends are still alive ... and that we have each other." She bit her lip, looking down at him.

Angel smiled, pulling her closer to him. "You're right," he whispered in her ear. "We're lucky."

The had just started to kiss when the door swung open and a young girl gave a little shriek. "Eek! Casey! I told you!"

Buffy and Angel broke apart quickly, with Buffy rolling off Angel and onto her side of the bed. "Hi, Luci. Happy Thanksgiving!"

"I told you to call me Lucia," the ten-year-old reminded her mother. At the same time, Buffy and Angel's other daughter burst into the room.

"I was hoping you two could control yourself. You know how embarrassing it is to have parents that act like you do when you're in *high school*?"

"Aunt Anya just had a child," Buffy reminded her daughter. "I think we're still good to go."

"Yeah, she's Mom's age ... right?" Lucia looked at her older sister.

"I guess so. Even though thirty-four is too old to be doing that ... stuff," Casey muttered. "Have you seen my lipstick?"

"Which lipstick?" Buffy asked, slipping out of the bed.

Casey sighed. "The black one."

Buffy shook her head. "Casey, I'm having a hard enough time dealing with your whole gothic image as it is. I will not allow you to dress like you're going to a funeral for a happy dinner."

"Fine, I'll wear hooker red. Have you seen my Manson CD?"

Buffy smacked her head against the wall dejectedly.


"Morning," Doyle greeted Cordelia, kissing her.

"I haven't even brushed my yet!"

"But you taste-"

Cordelia shrieked. "Don't say anything. Just ... get up. We have a two-hour drive to Sunnydale, and it's going to take me plenty of time to get ready."

"I don't doubt that," Doyle muttered. "You just go shower."

"Are you saying I'm not clean?" Cordelia asked indignantly.

"No! I was just -"

"Just go get Tara, would you?"

"No problem." Doyle made a speedy exit as Cordelia headed towards the shower.

When he reached his daughter's room, he found her sitting on the floor, playing with her dolls.

"And you're the pilgrim, and you're the other pilgrim, and you're the Ind- Native American," she instructed her dolls. "And you make the corn, but don't burn it," she warned yet another doll.

Tara glanced up to see her father. "Daddy!" she shrieked, throwing herself into his arms.

"That's my girl," Doyle murmured, hugging her.

"Play dolls?" she asked him.

Doyle grinned at his three-year-old. "All righty. What are the dolls doing?" He allowed her to lead him over to sit on the floor beside her.

"Thanksgiving," she murmured. She handed him a beat up doll. "This Emily. Pilgrim Emily."

Doyle took the doll from her with a smile. "Okay, Pilgrim Emily. And what is Pilgrim Emily doing?"

"Corn," Tara told her father. "Pilgrim Emily cook corn. Pilgrim Mary," she held up another doll, "And Native American Joe cook turkey. Okay?" She looked at her father with wide brown eyes.

He grinned. "Okay."


"Waaah! Waaah!"

Xander groaned. "Not again." He looked at Anya, who was fast asleep. "Guess it's my turn ..."

He picked up his son from the bassinet next to their bed, rocking him back and forth. "Hey there, Daniel. Trying to keep us all awake?"

The baby gurgled in his arms, kicking.

Xander blinked quickly, trying not to fall asleep. "You're going to fall asleep through Thanksgiving dinner at Auntie Buffy's, right?"

Daniel gurgled again.

"I hope that's a yes ..."

"It is."

Xander turned to his wife of a year now awake in their bed. "Morning, Baby."

"The baby has a name," Anya informed him with a smile.

"I was talking to you."

"Oh." Anya blushed. "Well, I have a name, too."

"I know," Xander whispered, setting the baby down and coming over to properly "greet" her.


"Mom, do we *have* to go to Sunnydale for Thanksgiving?"

Willow looked reprimendingly at her fifteen-year-old son. "Yes, Christopher."


"No buts. I'd think you would be pleased. I've seen the way you make eyes at Casey when ever you're there."

"She's one of those scary Goth people," Christopher muttered.

"I think that attracts you," Willow said with a smile. "Now get ready. Santa Monica is a good two hours from Sunnydale."

"Why can't they come here, then?"

"It's Thanksgiving tradition to eat there. Just trust me on this one. Look, I won't even ask you to help Kelley and me make cranberry pie."

Christopher shuddered. "Cranberry?"

Willow glared at him, although she was smiling. "Yes, cranberry. Aunt Buffy didn't think many people would eat spinach pie."

Christopher's eyes bulged. "*Spinach*?!"

"I learned how to make it in cooking class!" Willow said defensively.

"That's gross," Christopher scoffed. "I'm going back to bed. Wake me when we're leaving."

"You need to get dressed first, and shower, Honey."

"Dad wouldn't make me."

"He would," a voice cut in, and Willow and Christopher turned to see Oz.

Christopher frowned. "You're blond again."

Oz shrugged, kissing his wife.

"Mama! Are we making pie?" Eight-year-old Kelley bounced into the room.

Willow smiled. "Yes. Go get the cranberries while I wake up your brothers." She turned to find her eleven and one-year-old sons. "Quinn! Gregory!"


"I'm not helping," Casey informed her mother flatly, reaching for the dial on the CD player. "And I can not *stand* this music!"

"It's Sarah McLachlan. She's a classic," Buffy informed her daughter.

"Marilyn Manson is a classic. Sarah McLachlan is ... something bad."

Buffy sighed and shook her head. Sprinkling cinnamon over the apples, she turned to look at her older daughter. "Why do you do this?"

"Do what?"

"Act like this. Dress like this."

"It's me. Not everyone wants to wear micro-mini's in high school."

Buffy sighed, setting down the spice bottle. "That's not fair, Casey."

"You're not being fair, either! You got to dress like you wanted, let me dress like I want! I'm not hurting anyone."

Buffy ran her hand through her daughter's black hair. "I just worry that you're falling in with the wrong crowd. I can't help it. It's my job."

Casey sighed. "I already said I'd wear a dress for dinner."

"Is it black?"

"Look, if it'll really make you happy, I'll wear something perky and flowery."

Buffy grinned and hugged her daughter. "You're a miracle, Casey."

Casey blushed.

"What about me, Mommy?" Lucia asked, looking up at her mother with big blue eyes.

Buffy laughed. "All right, Honey. Now, are you ready to help make pumpkin pie?"

"Uh huh!" Lucia jumped up and down happily. Stopping suddenly, she frowned. "What about Daddy?"

"He'll make the turkey."

"That's right." Angel came up behind Buffy, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her neck.

"Aw man," Lucia murmured, turning away from her parents.


"Doyle? Tara? Are you two ready to go?" Cordelia opened the door to her daughter's room and found the two sitting on the floor, no more ready than they had been when she had stepped into the shower an hour ago.

Cordelia smiled at her daughter, then looked at Doyle. "How come you aren't ready?"

"I'm sorry, Honey ... we got distracted, I was playing-"

"Dolls. You were playing dolls with her, and ..." Cordelia trailed off, calming down and smiling. "It doesn't matter, we still have time. You go get ready and I'll get Tara ready."

"Thank you." Doyle smiled, getting up to leave.

"Hey, wait." Cordelia caught his arm, and he turned back to look at her. "I didn't get a kiss ..."

"We'll just have to fix that, then, won't we?"



"You like?" Anya blushed, looking down at her above-the-knee, sleeveless, light green dress.

"Wow," he murmured again. "You look wonderful."

She smiled, slipping on a matching pair of glittery sandals. "Thank you. You look pretty great yourself."

"I'm wearing a tee-shirt and khakis."

"Yeah but it brings out your muscle ..." Anya grinned, hugging him. "Happy Thanksgiving," she whispered against his neck.

"Happy Thanksgiving," he murmured back.


"Are we set to go?" Willow asked.

Quinn held up the bag with the pies, and Christopher nodded.

"Where's Daddy?" Kelley asked.

"He's getting Gregory ... Oz, got everything?"

Oz held up the diaper bag with his free hand, and motioned with his head to the young child he was holding with his other arm.

"Good!" Willow smiled, grabbing the mini-van keys. "Let's go, then."

While Quinn and Kelley cheered, Christopher sighed. "Great. Just great."


The doorbell rang.

"Luci? Can you get that? I've got my hands full." Buffy displayed batter-covered hands as proof.

Lucia sighed, not even bothering to correct her mother. "Okay, Mom." She hurried to the door, and jerked it open. "Cold!"

"No kidding," Xander told her, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Hey, Lucia."

Lucia grinned triumphantly. "At least *you* know my name!"

"Of course I know your name. Where's your mother? Buffy!" he bellowed.

"In here, Xander!"

As Xander hurried to talk to Buffy, Anya gave Lucia a one-armed hug. "How are you?"

"Good! I got the best grade in my class."

Anya chuckled. "That's wonderful, Lucia."

"Can I hold Daniel?"

"Please do." Anya handed over the baby and followed Lucia into the kitchen.

"Do you need any help?" Anya asked Buffy.

"I think I got it. Can you just get Angel and ask him to check the turkey?"

"Sure." Anya looked at the sleeping baby in Lucia's arms. "Do you still have a crib?"

"Sure, guest room, if you want to put him down."

"You're a life-saver, I swear."

A few minutes later, Angel came downstairs with Anya following. "I couldn't find him. He still has that lurking thing down."

"Sorry," Angel apologized.

"That's-" Buffy was interupted by the doorbell. "You know what? I'll get that. Angel, see if you can find Casey. I think she's trying to hide out now that she agreed to wear something non-black."

Angel nodded. "Sure."

When Buffy opened the door, she found Giles and Joyce, with Cordelia and Doyle's car pulling up.

"Hey, Mom." She gave her mother a kiss on the cheek. "Hey, Giles." She hugged him before motioning for them to go inside.

"Happy Thanksgiving." Joyce handed her a vase of flowers.

"Oh, they're beautiful! Thank you."

"Now, where are my grandchildren?"

"Uh ... Luci's in the kitchen, and Angel went to get Casey."

"She wasn't up for the family thing?"

"She promised to wear something ... feminine, and I think she's regretting it."

"Ah." Joyce nodded. "All right." She took Giles's hand. "C'mon, Rupert, let's go hunt them out."

Buffy chuckled and shook her head.

"What's so funny?"

Buffy glanced up to see Cordelia. "Hey, Cordy!" She hugged her tightly.

"Ah, Buffy ... I can't breathe," Cordelia choked out.

"Sorry." Buffy smiled sheepishly, pulling away. She hugged Doyle quickly and then knelt down to embrace Tara. "Hey there."

Tara frowned, wrapping herself around her father's leg.

"Uh, Tara, Sweetheart, I can't walk this way."

"Go say hi to your Aunt Buffy," Cordelia instructed.

Tara immediately smiled and launched herself into Buffy's arms, knocking the older one to the floor, and both collapsed into giggles.

"She won't come down," Angel said flatly, and Buffy stood up right away. "What? Why not?"

"She says it doesn't look right."

"Well how does it look?"

"I don't know, she locked herself in the bathroom."

Buffy sighed. "I'll go see if I can get her to come out. Just keep an eye on the turkey and the pie, and Willow and Oz should be here in a minute."


"Casey?" Buffy knocked lightly on the door. "Are you in there?"

"Yeah," Casey responded bitterly.

"What's wrong?"

"I look like a total fool. This is not me."

"What dress are you wearing?"

"The white one with flowers that Aunt Anya gave me."

Buffy smiled. "She'll be happy to hear that. But I think she'd be happier to see it."

"Shh ... no one's going to think that." Buffy pulled a bobby pin out of her hair and worked it in the lock, popping it open and opening the bathroom door. "Come on, now."

Casey sighed, standing up from her spot on the floor. "Look at me."

Buffy grinned broadly. "You look *amazing*." She reached for a comb and a hair clip. "Can I put your hair up?"

Casey shrugged. "Might as well."

Buffy grinned, brushing her daughter's long black hair up into a simple half-ponytail. "There you go! All ready. Now come on, go downstairs and knock everybody off their feet."

"Aren't you coming?" Casey asked, sounding for the world like a worried child.

"I have to change. You're a big girl. Go wow 'em."

Casey took a deep breath before descending the stairs.

"Casey!" Kelley shrieked when she came downstairs, giving her almost-cousin a big hug. "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Casey smiled. "Happy Thanksgiving, Kelley."

"Oh, you're wearing the dress!" Anya smiled. "It looks wonderful."

"Thanks." Casey smiled.

"I need a picture." Joyce pulled out a camera.

Casey winced. "Please, no! Later. I promise."

Joyce sighed and smiled. "Okay, okay. No pictures yet."

"Hey," a low voice whispered, and Casey turned around to see Christopher. "You look great. Not that you don't usually, but ..." He trailed off, blushing.

She smiled. "Thank you. You look nice, too."

Buffy chose that moment to come downstairs, and upon seeing her daughter and Willow's son, shot Willow a big smile and an 'I-told-you-so' look.

"So!" she chirped. "Is everyone ready for dinner?"


"That was great, Buff." Xander grinned. "You too, Dead Boy."

Angel just shook his head, but he was smiling.

"So, isn't it time to say what we're thankful for?" Joyce asked. "And then ... pictures!"

"Okay ... I'm thankful for everyone being here ... that we're all alive ... and that my life is more perfect that I ever could have imagined." Buffy looked at Angel lovingly.

"I'm thankful for that stuff, too ... and that Doyle turned out to be pretty cool, after all," Cordelia murmured, holding Doyle's hand under the table.

Each guest went around and said what they were thankful for, finishing with Casey.

"I'm thankful ... for Thanksgiving, in general ... and for you all not totally going crazy over the way I dress ... for all my family, and ..." she looked at Christopher and gulped, "Friends ... and ... just being here. It's a perfect thanksgiving."

"Hear hear!" Xander grinned, giving hug. "A toast ... to a perfect, non-Hellmouthy Thanksgiving!"

As everyone toasted their drinks and the sun set, there were smiles all around.

They had survived the holiday. And it had been perfect.

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