I have something a little goofy for you. Longer than a drabble, shorter than a fic, holiday adjacent (and definitely holiday inspired)… whatever that means.
Spander pre-slash, Basement of Doom + goofy/random fun
So today was Thanksgiving in the US of A. Harvest festival, feasting, turkey coma, absurd anticipation of 4am shopping, and, of course, FINALLY Permission to be legitimately excited about Christmas (which is the same thing, really, but with presents and sparklies). Which meant that this morning, I woke up to DEAFENING Christmas music (this is my mom being subtle). Bing Crosby as a weapon of aural destruction. Uncool, man. Uncool.
___________________________ When it started, it startled him awake. The noise – a cacophony that shook the floorboards – was like something out of his imagining of Pandemonium. It must have been deafening on the floor above him. At first he was vaguely amused, his head automatically tracking the familiar tunes and cataloguing the changes that had been made to them over the years. But then there was no getting back to sleep. Worse, there was no thinking a sentence straight through it was so loud and so… painfully cheerful. After half an hour, his head was throbbing and his desire to disable the radio and turn its diabolical operators into tartare was so fierce he’d set off the chip. He couldn’t even hear himself screaming.
And there was no out. The sun was high and bright, and even if he stole the pitiful blanket off Harris’ bed… he couldn’t feed himself, couldn’t defend himself, and he didn’t know if he’d ever be allowed back. It grated, how dependent he was on these… humans. Weak, ignorant, awful humans. He told himself over and over that at least it wasn’t Mozart.
By the time Harris got home, the noise had driven him to helplessness and he was in the fetal position on Harris’ bed, knees and shoulders and heavy fragrant leather all bunched up to protect his slowly dissolving ear drums. Spike didn’t even hear the door open and didn’t know Harris was there until passed through Spike’s line of vision, dressed in his blocky red and black pizza-boy getup with his fingers hanging comically out of his ears. He grimaced, and Spike unfolded himself in the face of, he hoped, his savior.
“HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON!?” Spike shook his head, having lost all track of time about halfway through the fourth rendition of Jingle Bells. “JEEZ I’M SORRY!” He bellowed again, “I FORGOT TO WARN YOU!”
“THIS HAPPENS A LOT?” Spike roared back, hands still clapped over his ears.
Xander nodded, stepped in close – too close with his lips just brushing the shell of Spike’s ear – but close enough that he could speak normally, and it had the benefit of drowning out some of the horrible music. “Every year. I should’ve warned you. I’ll stop it, but then we’ve gotta clear out of here for a bit.”
“PLEASE!” The word was rare and genuine as a summer snowfall, “I’ll even buy you a beer, just get me out of here!”
Xander nodded again, and Spike thought he saw the boy laughing, but it was just another layer in the blanket of noise. A literal blanket was tossed over his head, and he yanked it away from his face, irritated as he watched Xander fiddle with a drawer, then wander to the inexplicable gray box on the wall. The boy cracked it open and fiddled with a narrow object in his hands, took a breath that Spike could see from across the room and… SPAK! Everything went dark and quiet.
He felt the absence in his bones, the tension, the irritation, and… fear fell away from him in a tidal rush of peace and stillness that left him swaying on his feet, loose and almost purring with satisfaction. Above him, in a place that didn’t matter, came a short, confused wail of despair and a low animal grumble. There was another SPAK! noise, and a faint whir-tick-tick-tick of an ailing air conditioner, but no lights. Harris snapped the front of the box back in place, tugged the blanket back over his face and bullied him out the door, hissing “c’mon, c’mon, cmon!” until they were out in bright sunshine that plucked wisps of smoke from his exposed fingers. Then he was safely in the car, worn out fabric upholstery soft under his knees and pleasantly unaudible.
A few thumps and clicking noises later and Xander was in the car too, giggling, inane and nervous. Spike sat up in time to watch the boy’s head droop against the steering wheel, connecting with a thump. “I’m so sorry, Spike. Mom breaks out the holiday stuff the first week of December.”
“What did you do?” he asked, full of sublime wonder as he marveled in the quiet, the restful thump-thump beat of a heart. Xander giggled again, “Tripped the circuit. I can only get away with it like twice a year, but it’ll take dad at least an hour to figure it out, and by then he’ll be all grumpy and she won’t start it up again until Christmas Eve.
God, the fuse box. Simple, but brilliant in its way – he should have tried it hours ago! But likely he’d’ve destroyed the thing, or lit himself on fire, and then he’d’ve been trapped. Hiding like some frightened rabbit in his warren when Xander’s da came down the stairs… things may’ve gotten… messy.
Harris was still giggling, a little hysterical, and Spike could imagine why, having to rescue a vampire from his mother’s tacky holiday cheer. He could feel the rage and indignity welling up in his guts, spreading under his collar bones and ready to tear out of his throat. But Xander surprised him, “Hee hee…” he gasped out, laughing too hard to speak. “He thinks the house has bad wiring or something. But he just… has really bad taste in music.”
And the anger burst, popped into fizzy bubbles of laughter that welled out between his teeth and came burbling out of his nose. Hiding! Him! Cowering from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The chuckle turned into a guffaw, tension melting away, and suddenly he was laughing so hard he cried, which set Xander off again too, so for a long golden-blue moment it was just the two of them, grown men howling and shaking the car on its shoddy suspension until their stomachs hurt. Oh god he’d needed that – hadn’t laughed so hard since Paris.
Xander sighed, finally, breathing again with only the occasional guffaw, and managed to get the engine started.
“So, drink?” Spike asked, casual – like thirty seconds ago he hadn’t been daydreaming about picking his teeth with Harris’ finger bones.
“Willy’s. No bloody music…”
Xander snorted again, all good humor, and pulled away from the curb. “Did my mom sing along to Frosty the Snowman?”
“Three bloody times! And yer da chimed in on God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen…”
“Jesus. Yeah. Let’s get a drink in you. First one’s on me.”
Emotion = Danger:
Lo! What's that I hear? Why, 'tis: Parliament - Give Up the Funk