Summary/Author's Notes: inkillusion as part of the Drunken Giles ficathon hosted by lostgirlslair. I sort of expected this to be slashy, but it ended up totally gen. My muse is a prude. Prompt: Wants: 1. giles in pajamas; 2. Cuddles; 3. snow; Does not want: 4. Giles/Buffy or Willow; 5. Christmas-day focus; 6. too much angst
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss.
'Twas the night of Gurnenthar's Ascension and all through the Magic Box, the Winter Solstice decorations were being replaced in a rush.
"Remind me why we have to celebrate every last one of these holidays successively?"
"It's a moral imperative. I can't simply advertise merchandise for these celebrations, I need to acknowledge their meaning. Otherwise I truly would be a mere crass purveyor of holiday trash, and... well, I don't want to be one. I may not be Jewish, but I can nonetheless appreciate the importance of Hanukah, as well as the symbolic significance of Kwanzaa, the historical core of the Solstice..."
"And now the sheer obscurity of Gurnenthar? Who was Gurnenthar? Why did he ascend?"
"Ah, Xander, Xander. You must learn to recognise when a man quietly builds a little me-time into his celebrations. Don't ask, don't tell."
"Uh, you do know where that phrase comes from, yes?"
"What? Oh yes, though that wasn't the point I was making. Well, not entirely. Gurnenthar is a fine Norse name. I've no doubt some Nordic demon did once ascend. And even less doubt it involved alcohol in some way. So I intend to celebrate 23rd December quietly, with a drink, before Christmas Eve shopping hell breaks loose."
"Ah, cunning. I gotcha."
"What's cunning? Did someone mention booze?"
"Hey Anya, hey Buff. We were just talking about-"
Xander missed Giles's warning grimace-
"Gurnenthar's ascension. Apparently, there's drink involved."
"Excellent. I was worried we didn't have a celebration planned for tomorrow night. Must make the most of the festive season, right? And Buffy needs her mind taken off... you know."
"Standing right here, Anya. Right here."
"Good. So you're in on the plan. Let's meet at Giles's after patrol. I'll bring nog."
Giles had tried very hard to forget his midnight party. What in hell could he do to prepare for a non-existent celebration? He could picture the eye-rolls from Buffy, the pointed comments from Anya, and Xander's covert sympathetic glances. Ugh. All pretty poor prospects.
He fortified himself for the unpleasantness with a good white burgundy with supper. A Martini beforehand. And a decent slug of cognac for afters. "Gurnenthar, you old son of a gun. Take that. And that." Several further slugs went down nicely.
In the event, he succeeded rather too well in obliterating the Scooby plans, and was contentedly in bed when the knock came. It was extraordinarily difficult to look dignified opening the door to a bunch of teenagers, barefoot, pyjama clad and without his dressing gown. (He'd tried, but the slippery fabric and the tie just... well, the robe didn't happen. Let's leave it there.)
Alcohol, he thought. More alcohol is definitely the way to go here. Perhaps they wouldn't notice anything amiss.
Anya's eggnog was supplemented with some rather decent whisky, some beer, a sweetish fizzy wine which Xander took a shine to. As any seasoned drinker will tell you, that's a bad combination.
Gurnenthar would be proud. If he had existed, obviously.
The room was shimmying round the edges as Giles raised yet another glass, "Ah, Gurnenthar. Happy ascension, you wholly fictitious demon." And he poured a wobbly libation onto the carpet (where it would set stickily, causing complaints from his housekeeper after the New Year).
He stared blearily at the spilt liquid, but even that peaceful reverie didn't last.
"What do you mean, fiction? I remember young Gurny very well. Sometime around 1232, give or take a half-century. Such a nice, muscular boy. I forget what the ascension was about. Some girl, a high branch, favourite of the gods, too perfect to live, you know the drill. Tragic, obviously. And some say he lies there still, in the woods, under the snow. Or something sappy like that."
"Dear gods, woman. Can't you let a man have one quiet moment?"
"Come on. It's sweet. And you've done him proud tonight. I'm sure it will be snowing in Falstar and points north."
"That's his thing. Gurnenthar brings the snow."
"Marvellous. I'm so glad to hear I can't even invent a demon successfully. And that I've caused it to snow in the Arctic Circle. Quite the day of achievements. More nog, anyone?"
Buffy had slipped away from the kitchen area. She wanted someplace more private to mope. Would she ever see Rile-
Uh. Had she joined Giles in the boozy corner?
"Guys? Guys! Have you seen the decorations?"
Buffy stood in the centre of the living room, gaping. Giles, Xander and Anya clustered around to look.
"Er, Buff. That's a snow globe. It's supposed to-"
*Thwap* "I know that. But I didn't touch it. Or the cards. Which are also snowing, where they're snow scenes. Actually snowing. As in flakes. As in melting onto the mantelpiece. Snow. Snow!"
And the four misfit humans, with their variously weird and demonic backgrounds, huddled close in the cosy room, marvelling at the snowing cardboard.
"Well, well. Snow in California. That is an achievement." Giles opened his arms, and tipsily gathered his family close.
"He does remember it snowed here two years ago, right?"
"Shh, Buff. Let the man have his moment."
Giles was beaming. "I've missed the snow. Now this feels like the true meaning of Gurnenthar's Ascension. Thank you, all of you."
"Another drink, anyone?"
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