A/N: I really had no idea how to end this... But here we are. Finis! And, like... 9 pages. Longest fan-fic I've ever written. Nobody told me that The Wild Party would be so stupidly addicting when I first discovered it...
Jackie pulled the turkey out of the oven with bright red oven mitts while Burrs opened the can of cranberry sauce and poured it into a cereal bowl. "This smells like it might not be as burnt as our pie."
"I told you I can cook."
"Strike me down if I ever doubted. How's the coffee coming along?"
"At least it's coming, hm?"
Burrs grinned wryly, "You're not the one with the hangover."
"I'm also not the one who drank excessively last night," Jackie said with a smile, setting the turkey in the pan on the counter.
"Yeah, yeah… don't remind me. We never did hear the end of La Bohme…"
"You really wanted to? The death opera aficionado wasn't just an act?"
"Well, I've heard it before, but I rather like the end. And I'm not a death opera aficionado, that's a term you use for bull-fighting. Don't compare operas with bull-fights. Really, Jackie…"
Jackie grinned, "Don't you think they could be the same thing? The rush of a bullfight comes primarily from wanting to see who will die. Does an opera not hold you the same?"
"No," Burrs said flatly, "Because I've heard them before. And I've never seen a bullfight, so I wouldn't know. Those are things for people like you. People with money watch bullfights."
"Fair enough. The coffee?"
"Patience, dear!" Jackie laughed.
Burrs flinched slightly, "Not so loud, alright?"
"What time is it, anyway?"
"Near to noon. You slept late."
"And the better for it. Does turkey really require that stuff?" Burrs eyed the cranberry sauce suspiciously. "It looks like hell."
Jackie shook his head, sighing. "It's good. You have to trust me. It makes the turkey flavorful. You can't say you want a proper Thanksgiving and then turn around and say that one of the most time honored traditions looks like hell. I'm surprised at you."
"I'll try it, it just doesn't look all that appealing."
"Have some faith, would you?"
"Faith…" Burrs laughed slightly as he poured himself a cup of coffee and stared out the window at the half an inch of fresh snow on the ground. The day was perfect for staying inside and giving thanks for whatever one had. It was cold enough to frost the windows, and the light-bulb of the sun hid behind the lamp-shade of the clouds, from which dim grey light streamed out like radio waves with no reception.
Jackie set the table, watching Burrs out of the corner of his eyes. What could he have been thinking? Such deep contemplation apparent and such a pensive expression… In truth, Burrs was only thinking about how he would have preferred the pie warm, but did not feel like risking re-burning it in the oven in some kind of attempt to re-heat it.
As the two sat down at the table, Burrs lifted his coffee mug and smiled. "I propose a toast?"
"Oh?" Jackie looked up curiously, "Then let me get a cup."
Burrs looked at the turkey sitting on the table amidst no decorations or festivities. This was a meal, and maybe that was all it was. Perhaps it had been wrong to add such emotional attachment to a day centered around… well… a damn turkey. Queenie could have her meal at anyone's house for all it really mattered… Jackie sat down and tapped slightly on the table to shake Burrs out of his reverie.
"Hm? Oh. I propose a toast to a meal with family…" he hesitated slightly, avoiding eye contact, "And friends."
Jackie smiled broadly. "Thank you. Now, let me show you how this 'sauce of hell' works. You see…. Give me the knife, I'll cut a piece off of this monster."
"You were the one who suggested getting it…"
"Well," Jackie laughed, "You know what you'll be eating for the rest of the month, that's for sure!"
Queenie and Kate showed up late that evening. The sun had begun to set behind the city-skyline, turning the sky orange, red and streaked with the grey smoke of fire-places and factory emissions. Jackie and Burrs were washing dishes and wrapping turkey in tin-foil.
"Are you two really doing housework?" Queenie exclaimed before she even closed the door behind her.
Burrs turned quickly, setting the foil down. "Welcome home."
Queenie grinned broadly, "I found a wonderful thing that I think you'll appreciate, Burrsie. Kate, should I show him?"
Kate nodded, but her expression was one of distaste as she focused on Burrs. "Go on, Queenie. Let's see if he gets it."
Queenie tossed her bags on the floor and rummaged through them before pulling out a long, olive-green gown with a high, frilled collar and the general shape of a paper bag. "Do you like it?"
Burrs stared for a moment before grinning wryly. "I'll have to send you out more often so you can have an excuse to wear that sin against all that is beautiful."
Kate nodded shortly in approval and then called out to Jackie. "Are you going home?"
Jackie set the plate in the soapy water and shrugged. "I suppose so. Burrs, thank you for letting me stay. I'll ride home with Kate."
"Alright. You didn't bring any luggage did you?"
"No. Have a good week, alright?"
Burrs nodded, "As good as I can make it."
"That's the spirit."
Jackie and Kate left together, the chill from the open door appearing and vanishing just as quickly as they left. Queenie stood with the nightgown draped over her arm and surveyed the kitchen. "What's this?" she asked, pointing at the pie, which was nothing but a mess of red and black.
"Cherry pie," Burrs replied nonchalantly, "Would you like a piece?"
"Maybe later. How was your functioning level this weekend?"
"Fine. I dealt. What was Kate's cousin like."
Queenie smiled, "Ugliest girl I think I've ever seen. I swear, she must have been one of the side-show attractions in a circus. Bearded lady."
Burrs grinned, "That must have been odd."
"Yeah. But she made good food."
"I'm glad you had fun."
"Really?" Queenie turned in surprise, "You never say stuff like that. What, did a day with Jackie make you stop caring?"
"No. Not in the slightest. I still love you, darling."
"Love," Queenie whispered as Burrs wrapped her in his arms and leaned his on her shoulder. "Do I really get to go somewhere to wear my ugly nightgown?"
"Only if you promise that you won't change when you know I won't be able to find out."
"Then yes." Burrs kissed her softly and stared into her soft grey eyes. A shade lighter and they would have been the color of the cloudy winter sky. "Go anywhere you want. Just be sure to come back, alright?"
The sun set behind the sky-scrapers, factories, houses and apartments and cast shadows into the kitchen of their flat, darkening an unfamiliar scene of mutual kindness and passion that would become increasingly rare as the months dragged on. But for now, both Queenie and Burrs were happy, and that was enough.