Title: First Christmas
Summary: Angel's first human Christmas in two centuries.
A/N Written for the final round of Buffy Survivor. There were a whole passel of requirements.
Buffy wrinkled her nose and jabbed at the dish in front of her. She wasn't exactly sure it was supposed to look like that. She wiped her hands on her apron and glanced at the picture in the cook book. It was definitely not supposed to look like that. She cocked an eyebrow at the dish in question. Just because it looked bad didn't mean it would taste bad…right?
He pushed through the swinging door of the kitchen. "Yeah?"
"Will you taste this?" She asked.
Since becoming human, Buffy often referred to Angel as her "mikey", a pop culture reference he didn't get, but it was true none the less. Human Angel would eat almost anything with gusto. Buffy was pretty sure that would wear off eventually, might as well use it while it was available.
Angel looked hesitantly at the dish on the counter, not sure what it was and even more unsure about wanting to taste it. "I—can I wait until everyone gets here? I don't want to spoil my first human Christmas dinner in over two hundred and fifty years."
Buffy sighed dramatically and tossed her butcher knife onto the counter. "A dinner party? What the hell was I thinking? I slice and dice demons for a living, but it's not like I know how to fillet them and display them all pretty for a damn dinner party." She buried her face in her hands.
Angel stepped closer to her, taking her hands in his. "Buffy, everyth—wait, we're having demon for dinner?" He supposed Connor would be happy with the dish of choice.
Buffy sighed and jerked her hands away from Angel. "No! We are not having demon for dinner! We're having turkey, but that doesn't look anything like Martha Stewart's turkey on the cooking channel did! I thought I could do this, Angel! I thought I could cook Christmas dinner for our friends and family. I mean, Hey! I save the world on a regular basis, how hard can Christmas dinner be."
Angel crept closer, sure that it would be his own demise, but he did want to be able to touch her again at some point during this decade. "Buffy, everything will be okay. I'm sure the turkey is fine." He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her flush against his chest. He kissed the top of her head.
Buffy smiled and relaxed against him. "Did you get the marshmallows for the yams? I think they actually turned out alright. I'm anxious to get them finished."
Angel held high a plastic grocery bag he'd been commissioned to retrieve. It had a variety of last minute things Buffy had forgotten in it, including marshmallows.
Buffy happily pawed through the bag, mentally checking off the items Angel had bought. She pulled out the bag of marshmallows. "Colored marshmallows…you bought colored marshmallows?"
"Yes. I thought you'd like them. I mean there's green, yellow and pink…colors you like…" Angel trailed off, knowing by Buffy's glare that he was arguing a losing battle.
"I can't put colored marshmallows on the yams."
"Why not? I asked the man in the store. He assured me they taste exactly the same as white marshmallows. They'll be pretty." Angel had thought this out. He knew Buffy wanted everything to be perfect for Christmas dinner.
Buffy shook her head, tears rushed to her eyes. "Martha Stewart does not use colored marshmallows."
Angel paused for a beat. "Buffy, love, I don't think she uses any kind of marshmallows right now. She's in jail."
He might as well have slapped her. The look of shock and appall was the same. The tears that had threatened earlier now rushed down her cheeks. "It doesn't matter if Martha Stewart is in jail or not. She has written dozens of books and done hundreds of TV shows on how to give the perfect Christmas dinner party and guess what?"
Angel closed his eyes, preparing for the barrage he knew was coming.
"MARTHA STEWART DOES NOT USE COLORED MARSHMALLOWS!!!"
It echoed throughout the big hotel. Angel merely nodded. "I'll go get white marshmallows."
His quiet tone reduced Buffy to sobs. He sighed and gathered her in his arms. "Shhh, its okay, Buffy. Things are going to be perfect. We're spending Christmas with all of our friends and family. No one is going to care what color the marshmallows are or if your turkey looks like Martha Stewarts."
Buffy sniffled. "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive. Now finish up here. I put the champagne on ice. I couldn't find your music though."
Buffy wrinkled her nose. "I think Dawn took all of my CDs with her to college. Its okay, I'm sure we've got something else around the house. I'll go look."
She wandered into the lobby of the hotel. They'd set up a long dining room table and a sitting area. There was a 12 foot Christmas tree tucked in the corner. It glowed with golden lights, but only had one ornament with a picture of Buffy and Angel in it. It said Our First Christmas Together. Buffy smiled and started rifling through the entertainment cabinet looking for CD's. A frown creased her face when she found none.
Her next searching spot was the bedroom, then Angel's office. Her treasure hunt resulted in one CD, Bedtime Lullabies for Children.
"Angel, why do you have a children's CD in your office, yet absolutely nothing grown up to listen to?"
Angel poked his head in his office to answer her question. "Oh, Lorne got it for Connor when he was a baby. He was afraid my singing would scar him." The chuckle that emerged from him was a little bitter and a lot regret.
Buffy nodded. She counted backwards from ten. Her dinner party was falling down around her ears. "Okay, so when you go get white marshmallows, get some kind of Christmas music too. The store should have half a dozen choices."
Angel sighed. "Alright. I'll be back in a few minutes, provided the mob at Wal-Mart doesn't get me."
Buffy grinned. "You've fought mobs of Hell, Sweetie. I think you can handle some old ladies doing last minute Christmas shopping."
Angel grumbled, grabbed his jacket and walked out the door. Buffy heard the roar of his car and she hurried up the stairs to wrap his Christmas gift. She was giving it to him before all of their dinner guests arrived. She had hidden the gift and the paper in one of the rooms they were busy painting, knowing Angel with a still sensitive nose would never go snooping in a freshly painted room.
She had just enough time to wrap Angel's gift and change into her new crimson velvet dress before Angel came back. He was in a cross mood and grumbling about his eye. Buffy's brow furrowed in concern. Angel had lost the super strength and healing when he'd become human. He was still a force to be reckoned with in battle, having more then two centuries worth of experience under his belt, but he was more fallible than before.
"Are you okay?" She asked, envisioning hoards of demons about to ascend on them.
"A lady in Wal-Mart decked me!"
Buffy held in her giggle at the petulant tone of voice he used. "A lady in Wal-Mart hit you?"
"Right in the eye. She had a hellva good punch for a human woman. I think maybe she was half demon," Angel ranted.
"Baby, why did the lady hit you?"
Angel dug a Christmas Classics CD out of the bag and held it aloft. "I got the last one. I had to fight for it, but I got the last one."
Buffy couldn't hold in her giggles any longer. They bubbled up out of her like soda shaken up.
"I'm glad you find it funny that I was assaulted buying you a Christmas CD when we could have just had silence at the meal," Angel grumbled.
Buffy walked to him, stood on tiptoe and captured his face in her hands. She tugged him down so she could kiss his forehead, the eye that had been hit, both cheeks, the tip of his nose and finally his mouth. "Mah hero!" She said in an exaggerated, breathy, southern belle accent.
Angel smirked at her, but he couldn't hold his anger at her. He pulled away from her; put the CD in the CD player, one he had picked out that he could actually use. Elvis Presley belted out 'Blue Christmas'.
"Okay, so everyone should be here in about fifteen or twenty minutes," Buffy said.
Angel nodded. "Everything ready?" He was a little nervous about this whole family thing also. Everyone they knew would be here gathered for his first human Christmas in so long.
Buffy nodded. "Yup, except for one thing."
"What's that?" Angel groaned, afraid he was going to be sent back to Wal-Mart or some other Hell dimension.
Buffy giggled. "It's not bad. I'm giving you your Christmas gift a little bit early so you can share it with the others if you like."
Angel's eyes lit up at the word gift, which made Buffy laugh again. She held out the small, brightly wrapped package and watched as Angel stripped the paper off carefully.
"Come on, come on. You take too long," Buffy urged him.
He grinned. "I'm prolonging it. This is your first Christmas present to me."
Buffy tried to contain her ear to ear smile. "Alright, but prolong a little faster."
It seemed forever until he had the red wrapping paper off the box. He opened the flat little box and pulled the piece of slick black and white paper out. He furrowed his brow, trying to make heads or tails of the whirls and dips on the paper. It wasn't until he read the tiny print on the bottom of the paper that it hit him what the gift was. Baby, Summers.
"Buffy…" His eyes found hers, wildly searching for the answer to his unasked question.
She nodded slightly, her smile growing even wider. "I just found out a few days ago."
"You're…" He trailed off, afraid to give voice to his hope.
"I'm pregnant, Angel. We're going to have a baby."
He let out a whoop that echoed through the hotel. The sonogram fluttered to the lobby floor and he picked her up, twirling her around until she was giggling breathlessly. When he finally put her down, she swayed on her feet.
"Oh, God! Did I hurt you? Did I hurt the baby?" He fell to his knees before her, kissing her flat stomach.
"No, we're both fine. I'm sorry about the mood change-y-ness lately. The doctor says my hormones are going crazy and that's to be expected."
Angel got to his feet. He pulled Buffy close and kissed the top of her head. "I don't care. It'll be fine. We'll be fine. We're gonna have a baby."
Buffy giggled. "Yup, and you might not want to say that until you've lived with a few months of the mood swings."
Angel placed his fingers under her chin and tilted her face up to his. "I don't care if you burn down the entire hotel and then blame me for it; this is the best Christmas ever."