Author's Note: I've written parodies on 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' for different fandoms (mostly anime) for years now, though this is the first time I've ever published one, and made a story to go with it. I'm mostly doing this as an experiment to myself, to challenge and see what I could write. I didn't have anyone Beta this for me for that very reason, so any mistakes (spelling, grammar, or otherwise) are all mine. This first chapter is probably the worst, to be honest, I was struggling most with this one, and I've gone back and rewritten it several times, but I really struggle with this pairing...which was one of the reasons I wanted to write it (can't improve if I don't try!). I hope you enjoy it anyway, and if you don't, you can just skip this chapter altogether and read the next one! (You won't miss anything)
Summary: This whole fic is basically a series of Christmas-themed semi-related one-shots, one to go with every line of the song. Each chapter could be a stand alone story, and each one will focus on certain characters (see chapter titles) and their relationships (and not necessarily romantic!), which was the challenge for me. These all take place during the same Holiday season.
Me: Shane, you have the honor of singing the first line! Isn't that wonderful?
Shane: No. Why do I have to do it?
Me: 'Cause I said so. And this first one has to do with you. So you're doing it.
Shane: (scowls) Fine! Here goes...
On the first day of Christmas, the Founder gave to me...
"You're home late again today." Shane remarked as Claire came through the living room. She jumped guiltily at his voice.
"Oh, you know. Busy at the lab." she said, her tone one of forced casualness. "I have school early tomorrow, so I'm going on to bed." she added, dashing to the stairs.
Shane frowned. This was the fourth time this week, though Claire's odd behavior had been going on for about two weeks now. She'd been working late at the lab, and leaving the house early, to the point where he, Michael, and Eve had barely seen her over the past week. When any of them had brought it up, Claire had simply dismissed it as being busy, and then proceeded to avoid them.
It was making Shane uneasy.
And it wasn't only her not being there that bothered him. One day when she came home, he had noticed she was wearing different make-up than what she had left the house in. Another time she had been sitting at the table, writing, and when Michael had walked up behind her she had panicked and flipped the paper over, then left for her room when they'd all started asking questions. Not long after that he'd heard her arguing with someone in her room, but when he went to go check up on her no one had been there, and she had said she was just talking on the phone.
He was getting worried. Usually, when she was focused on something she and Myrnin where working on at the lab, she would talk about it (not that any of them really listened), or her focus would be plain as day on her. But this? She was acting like she had something to hide.
Which led to all kinds of unpleasant thoughts in Shane's head. But no, they'd been over this. Everything was fine. Claire wouldn't do that to him, not with Myrnin.
But still, once the thought was in his head...
It wasn't Claire he didn't trust, it was Myrnin. Or at least, that's what he told himself the next day when, after calling Claire a few times and not getting an answer, he decided to venture on over to Myrnin's lab himself.
He carefully creeped down the steps from the rickety little shack that hid the lab, feeling awful all the while. Once he got to the bottom he looked around a little, only to hear "And just what are you doing here, if I may ask? And isn't it polite to knock before you enter one's home?"
Shane turned to see Myrnin, who had his arms crossed at his chest, looking annoyed. "Well? I'm waiting?" he said, clearly aggravated.
Shane glared back. "I was looking for Claire. She's not answering her phone." he snapped.
"Well, she's not here, obviously. She hasn't been here since the day before last. I was under the impression she wasn't speaking to me at the moment." Myrnin said, his eyebrows raised.
Shane blinked a minute, thrown off. She'd specifically said she'd been at the lab...unless Myrnin was lying, though he didn't look like it.
"She's not? I mean, she hasn't been?" he asked.
"No, I think she's still angry with me."
"For what?" Shane asked blankly. He was under the impression Claire got over whatever Myrnin usually did to piss her off pretty quickly.
Myrnin's brow crinkled as he stared at Shane for a minute, then sighed. "Oh, bother. I suppose that's why you're here looking for her, too. Just ask her, when you see her. Or better yet, ask Oliver." he said, shaking his head and turning around. "I have work to do, since my assistant is refusing to help me. You can see yourself out."
Shane frowned, nodded, and left, since it was obvious Myrnin wasn't going to elaborate.
He thought about it on the walk home, putting his hands in his pockets to fight the slight December chill in the air. Ask Oliver? What was that supposed to mean?
He decided to find out by going to Common Grounds.
Eve wasn't behind the counter when he got there, some other girl he sort-of recognized. He stepped up to the counter and ordered a black coffee. "Uh, hey, is Oliver here?" he asked while the girl made change.
She looked up at him blankly. "Uh, no, he left about an hour ago, I think." she said, handing him his drink.
"Do you know where I could find him?" Shane asked. The girl looked at him a little oddly, but nodded.
"Yeah, where he's been going every afternoon for the past week." she said, and told him.
Shane grinned as he stepped into the auditorium, looking up to the stage where Oliver was talking with a someone in what looked like a grim reaper cloak. He scanned the chairs until he found Claire sitting in the front row, scanning some papers in her lap. He walked over and plopped down in the empty seat beside her.
"Working hard at the lab?" he asked with a grin, making Claire jump at his voice.
"Sh-Shane? What are you doing here? How-?" she stuttered, looking shocked. Shane laughed.
"I actually came to see Oliver, I was told I could find him here. So. What are you doing here?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. "Is that a script?"
She looked down at the papers she was holding, then sighed. "Yes, it is. And why are you looking for Oliver?"
"No reason. Why are you holding a script, exactly...?"
She scowled at him this time, which was just too cute, really. "I'm in the play, okay?"
"Really, now? That's funny, you'd think we would have heard something about that..." he replied sceptically.
Claire shook her head and whacked him with her script. "I didn't want you guys to find out! It's embarrassing!" she whisper-exclaimed, shooting a look at a guy who was making exaggerated hand movements at a scowling Oliver and his cloaked friend. Shane assumed he was the director. "I didn't even sign up for this, Myrnin put my name up and Amelie just ordered me to do it!" she continued, thumping back into her seat. Ah, so that explained Myrnin's behavior.
Shane snickered. Claire glared at him. He put his hands up in surrender, then cleared his throat. "So, what play is this?" he asked, trying to keep the laughter from his voice. "And what part are you playing?"
She sighed again. "A Christmas Carol...and I'm playing The Ghost of Christmas Past." She gave him a look that just dared him to laugh. He refrained.
"Well, that doesn't sound so bad." he pointed out. "What's Ollie doing?"
She looked up at the stage, pursed her lips, then said "Ebenezer Scrooge."
It was too much. Shane started laughing, despite Claire's hisses for him to shut up before she got in trouble with the director. They ended up having to walk outside into the hallway.
"So...where do I buy tickets?" he asked between snickers. Claire stared at him in what looked like panic. "Oh, come on, you don't think I'd miss this, would you? Besides, I need to show support for my girlfriend, don't I?"
Claire groaned. Shane winked at her, then pulled her close. "You know, you really should have just told us what you were doing." He said, giving her a kiss on the forehead, then grinning down at her. She just shook her head. He laughed again, then said "Eve's gonna love this. Oliver playing one of the biggest jerks in fiction? He won't even have to act." Claire shook her head and rolled her eyes, then punched his arm lightly, but grinned anyway.
A play I hope no one will see!
Shane: There, you happy?
Me: Thank you. Though I don't see what you're complaining about, you only have one line.
AN: Okay, so there it is, line one! I'm planning on publishing lines 2, 3, and 4 today as well, so if this one didn't float your boat, go ahead and give the others a try. I personally had to write this one off as a lost cause, but as I said before, I struggle with this pairing anyway. :P Sorry for any mistakes! Also, in case you were wondering, the events in each chapter aren't necessarily happening on whatever day the song says. Though they do all take place in the two weeks leading up to Christmas.
And my song suggestion for this chapter: The Twelve Days of Christmas ^_^ (Any version, though I'm fond of the Muppets version with John Denver...it always makes me laugh.)
Please read and review, I need feedback on my writing! Thank you!
Edit (December 2014): Soooo, decided to do some editing/cleanup of this fic since I was getting ready to post it on Ao3 anyway and had to do a read-through. Don't worry, I didn't change anything with the story, just fixed a few errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.) and hopefully made it easier to read. Thank you to everyone who read the original despite those many little mistakes; I really appreciate it, and hope you continue to enjoy the story! ^_^