Dawn sipped at her drink, and unabashedly stared around the hall. After last year’s events, the Council had obviously decided to just hold a small bash for everyone instead. However, like most Scooby activities, the plan had not quite worked.
From her vantage point near the end of the hall, pressed up against the thick brown curtains shielding them from the winter chill, Dawn could observe everyone. All around what had once been the school assembly, people were crowded into every nook and cranny available, sitting on every available surface. Stacks of chairs at one side were filled to overflowing, while most of the tables had people leaning against them or sitting on top. Someone had severely miscalculated the number of people invited. Most likely culprit for that error? Had to be Andrew.
Across the room, Dawn could see glimpses of Xander raiding the food buffet again, while trying to fend off the adoring horde of African Slayers delighted to see him once more. Giles’ harassed face could be seen popping up around the drinks, trying to make sure no one spiked the punch in any fashion. Personally, she thought he had no chance – the Slayer who could resist a challenge like that hadn’t been born yet, and that was without taking their reflexes into account.
Dawn felt her lips purse up as a familiar red-haired presence could be seen for a moment as the crowd parted. She forced herself to relax somewhat, as Willow just as quickly disappeared from view. Not like she could really say anything. She hadn’t even been here when Willow had cheated on Kennedy with one of the other Slayers around the Cleveland training centre.
Still, everything worked out in the end she supposed. If Willow hadn’t been unable to keep her hands off Sara, then Dawn would never have ended up partnered with Kennedy as a field team. And speaking of her team-mate, Dawn felt a familiar presence behind her and warm breath blowing softly down her neck. “Heya, partner,” Kennedy said, expertly snatching Dawn’s drink from her as she shivered in delight, “I miss anything?”
Dawn regarded her Slayer with that increasingly familiar blend of exasperation, amusement and downright lust that if anything, was only getting stronger the longer they worked (and lived) together. “Nothing of consequence if you ignore someone trying to offer Chao-Ahn milk in her decaf,” she replied mildly.
Kennedy whistled softly, before breaking out into a great wide smirk. “God, that must have been a sight to see,” she chortled, and took a swig of Dawn’s drink. “Pah!” she said, almost spitting half of it out and pulling a face, “What the hell are you drinking, Watcher-mine?”
It was Dawn’s turn to smirk broadly. “You’re getting way too predictable, Slay-girl,” she said, leaning up close to Kennedy. “That was one of Andrew’s little concoctions he’s been pressing on all everyone walking through the door.” She stooped down and pulled out a glass and a bottle of beer from underneath the curtains behind them. “This is my drink – and your damn beer.”
Taking the beer from her, Kennedy was suddenly very aware of Dawn’s body. The touch of her hand against her, the way Dawn pressed against her, and the smell of her perfume sent tingles down Kennedy’s spine. She gulped involuntarily, and wondered once again just when she’d lost control of the situation between them.
Dawn smiled, and stared directly into Kennedy’s eyes. “So,” she whispered, dropping her tone to one hard even for a Slayer to hear, “This making you as horny as I am?”
Kennedy gulped again. So not fair – she was the Slayer, she was supposed to be the boss, she’d always been the aggressor in all her relationships before. One look in Dawn’s laughing gaze, and the promise implicit in her body language, and Kennedy was lost. She quickly looked around and saw no-one too close to their little corner to overhear.
Dawn followed her gaze, and gently smiled. Leaning in close, she whispered into Kennedy’s ear, “Happy one year anniversary, hun.” With a twinkle in her eye, Dawn started running one hand up and down Kennedy’s spine, hidden from everyone else’s sight. Smirking somewhat as Kennedy tried to show no response, Dawn murmured “Your main present’s back in our room, but I might just have something for you to unwrap right now. Namely, me. And oh my… is that mistletoe in my belt?”
Kennedy glanced down, and noticed a sprig of mistletoe tucked behind the belt buckle of an extremely tight pair of jeans that featured nearly every contour on Dawn’s legs. Very difficult to spot, unless one knew exactly where to look. Glancing quickly around the crowded room, Kennedy could see no-one was paying them any attention.
“Well now,” she purred right back, “Someone wants to get kissed underneath the mistletoe, someone better find us a nice quiet office.”
“Gee,” giggled Dawn, “Now if only I knew someone who used to work here for a few years…”
“Oh, wait! That would be me, right? You know, I think I can think of a nearby storage closet that might do.”
Dawn’s lips twitched. “A most traditional Scooby location indeed, though I was hoping to photocopy my butt at some point.”
Kennedy grinned back, equally as mischievous. “Oh, there’ll be plenty of time for that later,” she murmured.
As everyone’s attention was drawn to a swordfight with cocktail sticks between Willow and Xander by the buffet, Kennedy took Dawn by the hand. Sharing a look that promised much, together they slipped out of the meeting hall without anyone noticing.
Ten minutes later….
Willow squealed in delight, spitting out several pieces of pastry unfortunately, and hugged Buffy hard. “Oh my Goddess, I’m so, so sorry Buffy,” she mumbled through the rest of her sausage roll, desperately trying to brush all the crumbs off.
“Great to see you again Will, but I’ve already eaten thanks,” said Buffy dryly, before hugging the redhead fiercely, “God, I’ve missed you too. How’s things here at Cleveland Central?”
“Oh, it’s going along beautifully, swimming along merrily, it’s all darn tooting. Sara and I are doing well, thanks,” babbled Willow. “And the young witches I teach are just so damn cute at times, I love ‘em to pieces.”
Buffy raised one eyebrow. “I thought you weren’t planning to drink tonight,” she said smiling and shaking her head ruefully.
Willow attempted to look innocent, which in her case just made her go cross-eyed for a moment. “I have not been drinking!” she declaimed majestically, “I have merely been drinking the non-alcoholic punch.” Her pose of injured righteousness was only ruined by the hiccup at the end.
Buffy’s eyes were drawn to the helpless Giles and the innocent seeming younger Slayers around it. Unlike Willow, she also spotted the secretive smiles and triumphant looks on their faces. Not to mention the growing pile of empty bottles under that particular table. “Oooookayyyy….,” she said and tried to change the subject. “So I saw Robin on the way in and Xander’s over there flourishing a cocktail stick for some reason. Any sign of Dawn yet?”
Willow waved an arm vaguely in the direction of the other side of the hall. “She and Ken came in a while ago. Little late, but they said something bout reanimated roadkill on the highway.”
Buffy blinked. “Ewww. Guess I’m still not used to my little sister being a field watcher after all - and with Kennedy of all people! Giles says they make a good team together, so there’s nothing I can say, right?”
Willow swallowed the last of her punch and promptly filled up the glass again. “Nah, but I’m just waiting for Ken to start dating again so I can start being snarky to her about her choice of girlfriend. She’s always got something to say about Sara after all.” Willow hiccupped. “Mind you she and Dawn snark at each other so much, I’m always surprised one of them hasn’t killed the other. Kennedy’s the Slayer, but Dawnie’s sneaky…”
Buffy smirked, as a semi-evil idea hit her. “As her older sister, I have the right... nay, the duty to ask Dawn loads of questions regarding her boyfriends. Want to come along and embarrass her and Kennedy together?”
Willow’s face lit up with an answering smirk. Buffy scanned the crowd and frowned. “I can’t see them. Any idea where they could be?”
“I know! We’ll just follow the magic mistletoe!” exclaimed Willow excitedly, waving her drink around in a wide arc.
Buffy eyed the drink in her hand. Somehow, she was getting the impression that she might have a better chance of understanding Willow if she was drinking the punch as well. “Magic… mistletoe..?” she repeated carefully.
Willow closed her eyes, and swayed slightly before reciting a string of words that Buffy vaguely recognized from hours of research over the years. At that point, two things happened; a glowing piece of mistletoe broke itself off from where it was pinned to the wall and flew over to where they were standing, and a passing Andrew fell into the punch.
“Oops,” said Willow and pouted. “I liked that punch.”
Buffy looked up at the mistletoe floating in the air above. It bobbed slightly and then revolved 360 degrees. “Oh,” she said weakly, “That magic mistletoe.”
“All we have to do is follow, follow, follow it to Dawnie,” sang Willow bouncily, and emptied the last of her glass. Pulling Buffy along by her arm, Willow pushed her way through the crowd towards the exit, humming happily.
“We’re off to see the Dawnie, the wonderful Dawnie of…of…” sang Willow as they made their way along the halls of the Council’s training headquarters. She trailed off as the mistletoe bobbed once more and headed up the stairs towards the offices. “Oooo!” she squealed, “Kennedy must be showing Dawn a few things.”
Bouncing up the stairs two at a time, Willow burst out into another song.
“Everyone's a critic,
When you turn out to be syphilitic,
But that's the Watcher's council for you.
So you messed round with a goat,
Forty seamen from a boat,
And they all nod and smile and say ‘Ewww...’
When I'm not clutching at my pillow
They call me…”
Horrified, Buffy interrupted, “Willow! Um… where’d you hear that song?”
Willow giggled. “Oh, some of the younger Slayers in Training were singing it the other morning. It’s fun!” Just as Buffy was considering ordering lots and lots of extra physical training for the SiT’s the next morning, they reached the next floor.
Once both Willow and Buffy were there, the mistletoe headed straight towards a door off to the side marked Files and Records and stopped, still glowing. Buffy’s Slayer hearing could make out some indistinguishable voices and the sound of movement. “Dawn? You in there?” she yelled, and the motions abruptly stopped. Concerned, she stepped forward and pulled the door open.
A naked Dawn and an also naked Kennedy burst out of the small closet, and fell onto the carpet in front of the other two. Willow’s jaw dropped, Buffy’s eyes narrowed and the glowing mistletoe started floating around Dawn’s head.
It was at that point that Kennedy’s admiration for Dawn’s ability to think fast and on her feet gelled into an unbreakable trust. Without even a pause for breath, Dawn bounced to her feet and threw herself around Buffy. “Thank you, thank you for saving us!” she babbled to Buffy, “I was terrified no-one was going to find us!”
Buffy, with a very confused look in her eyes, pried Dawn off her and offered her jacket to Dawn to wear. “What… what on earth is going on?” she eventually spluttered.
“It was horrible!” Dawn exclaimed. “I couldn’t believe it!”
Kennedy, noticing Willow’s eyes lingering on her nude body a little too long even for an ex, stepped up and hid behind Dawn. “Thank goodness you came along! I don’t know what we would have done without you,” she said, loyally backing up her Watcher. She had no idea what Dawn was going to pull, but no way in hell was she admitting anything to these two.
“It was Elves,” said Dawn, fiercely nodding her head towards Willow and Buffy.
“Elves,” repeated Buffy slowly. “…….Elves?!”
“Santa’s elves from a couple of years ago,” said Dawn, lying though her teeth. “They obviously wanted revenge on us all for what we did to Santa, so they captured Kennedy and me, stripped us naked and locked us in the cupboard.”
Willow’s eyes widened. “Oh my Goddess, that’s terrible! Are you okay?” she asked, making fluttery motions with her hands.
Dawn nodded. “We’re okay now, but you have to go and warn the others!” she said, pulling the jacket closed around her. “Before anything like that happens to them. Little elves, dressed in green and about 3 feet high. Armed with short swords.”
“Oh, yes! Yes, of course!” mumbled Willow, and took off for the stairs down, muttering magic cantrips under her breath. There was a slight thump in the distance as one step was obviously missed along the way. And then a distinct bump-bump, followed by a slight spot of swearing interspersed throughout the cantrips.
Buffy shook her head and tried to think things through. “Wait…. Wait a moment… The door wasn’t locked for me. Why couldn’t you get out?”
“Magic,” beamed Dawn brightly. “Obviously it was only intended to stop us from coming out of the closet.” Kennedy decided now was a good time to step on Dawn’s foot.
“Whoa! Looks like someone grew up a bit while I’ve been away,” came a new voice from down the corridor.
Buffy closed her eyes in mild exasperation, then opened them again. “Lovely to see you again Faith, but if you could stop passing comments about my little sister’s body in front of me, I’d appreciate it.”
“Yeah,” said Faith, striding up the corridor towards them, “Ain’t gonna happen, B. Accept it and move on. Anyhows, was just passing and thought you might want to come hunt with me.”
“Now’s really not the best of times,” Buffy started to say, before Faith just looked at her.
“Small guy, ’bout three feet high, dressed in green just ran past me,” Faith smiled, gesturing with her hand about so high. “Oh yeah, pointed ears as well. Sound like a description of anything you might want to kill?”
Buffy’s face hardened, and she shot Dawn a faintly apologetic look. “Definitely. Which way did it go?”
Faith smiled at her fellow Slayer. It was a dark, dangerous smile, and it was one Dawn had seen it a few times on Kennedy over the last year. “Up, and to the attics,” was all Faith needed to say before Buffy was already heading towards the stairs leading upwards.
“Right behind you, B,” Faith said, and paused behind a moment. Dropping her voice, she fixed Dawn and Kennedy with a stare. “You two owe me again. For fuck’s sake, just tell them and get it over with, will ya?”
Dawn stared off to one side. Kennedy set her jaw in a determined pose. Faith rolled her eyes. “Fine, fine. You two are as stubborn as the other. You deserve each other.” She snorted slightly and shook her head towards them. “’Course, you also make quite the cute couple. Happy anniversary!”
Kennedy awkwardly shuffled her feet, and glanced at Faith. “Thanks for not, y’know, telling anyone about us this year. We just… we just want to be Kennedy and Dawn, not you know, the evil bitch Kennedy seducing the oh so innocent Dawn, paragon of virtue.”
Faith rolled her eyes. “Yeah, that’s one thing those two are good at: mountains out of molehills. You two are just lucky I was passing by, but really? Elves? Try to do a little better with the excuses next time.” And as Faith ran off up the stairs towards the direction Buffy had taken, she winked back at them. “And get some fucking clothes on!” trailed back down to them.
Left alone at last, Dawn regarded Kennedy with amusement dancing in her eyes. “Hey, pretty lady,” she said, “You really think we should just tell them once and for all? Get it over with?”
The still naked Kennedy smiled back and took Dawn in her arms, bringing them closer together. “I dunno,” she said poking Dawn’s nose lightly with one finger, “I’m kinda happy just being with you right now. It’s your choice, hun. You’re the smart Watcher-girl after all.”
Dawn smiled back at her, and leant forward. Kissing Kennedy deeply, she held her tightly. Around their heads, the mistletoe continued to orbit, glowing stronger as the kiss went on. “Meh,” said Dawn eventually as they came up for air, “I kinda like having you all to myself as well.”
She shrugged, “There’s always next year, after all.” Looking at Kennedy with a wicked glint in her eye, Dawn raised one eyebrow questioningly. “Now, didn’t someone say something about a storage closet?”
Kennedy grinned back at her. “Oh, this storage closet?”
There was a sudden thud from overhead, and a muffled “What the fuck?!?!” came through. Dawn looked up, puzzled. “Was that Faith?”
A scantily clad younger Slayer ran past them screaming, trailing scraps of clothing behind her, followed by a short, green-clad, sword wielding elf intent on getting the rest of her clothing off.
Still somewhat stunned, Kennedy pointed after the departing pair, and said “Did I… was that… we did make it up, right?”
Dawn’s brow furrowed in thought for a moment. “I think so. Hell, I’m sure I did. Can’t be a coincidence, which would leave only magic…”
The Slayer and the Watcher looked at each other, and suddenly burst out laughing. “Willow!” gasped Kennedy between guffaws.
Dawn wiped tears of laughter away, as she doubled up. “With all that alcohol on board, and our description… oh dear.”
Kennedy collapsed to the floor, laughing so hard. “And we heard her fall down halfway through her spell…”
Dawn shook her head and took several deep breaths. Straightening up, she went over to the closet and started sorting through the pile of clothes in one corner. Throwing Kennedy’s outfit towards her, she leant over and kissed Kennedy on the cheek. “Better do something about this before it gets too bad downstairs.”
“How?” asked Kennedy, pulling up her panties.
“Just get dressed, and we’ll go and punch out your ex. That should stop it,” Dawn said, smirking broadly. “Don’t say I don’t give you fun stuff to do. Happy Christmas!”
Kennedy’s smile broadened. “Best. Christmas. Ever.”