|Thanksgiving Drabble Shipment #3: The Leftovers
||[Nov. 30th, 2008|12:16 pm]
(she lives between pages)
(The previous batches are here and here.)
Not What I Had in Mind
Sam held the bird up by its small, cold feet and studied it dubiously. Frodo wore a look of quiet amusement, reaching up to brush down a few soft, mussed feathers.
"It's a bit...small, if you don't mind my saying so, sir."
Pippin wagged a knowing finger at him. "Well, of course it is! That's partridge for you. We haven't got much else in Tuckborough, but they're ever so tasty. Merry?"
Frodo's cousin stumbled into the kitchen with a heavy-looking wicker basket.
"Got 'em right here. Break my back, why don't you, Pip!"
Sam peered into the basket and studied its contents even more dubiously.
"Not quite what I had in mind," he said, "but twenty's enough for everybody, yes."
"I'm sorry," insisted Crowley, forcing his way into the bookshop. "I didn't know."
Aziraphale stood back, arms folded, glowering at him. Crowley had hoped he'd never see that look again. It had been unbearable enough the first time, misplaced sword and displaced humans be damned. They hadn't spoken for decades.
"Of all your faults, I assure you that obliviousness is the worst."
Crowley pulled the door shut as gracefully as he could, staring at the floor. "What can I do, angel? Turn back time to the part where I switch the kids, hopefully fail to bollocks it up, and thereby spare us the whole unpleasant closeness thing that comes of godparenting and other miscellaneous association? Because, I have to tell you—"
"You also talk too much," said Aziraphale, suddenly looking very sorry and desperate.
And although what came later was far from easy—Aziraphale's neuroses, his own reservations—Crowley bent for another hungry kiss, fingers twisted in the pillowcase, and silently thanked the little brat for giving the whole world a second chance.
The girl just won't die. Or maybe she can't. The knife slips from his fingers, landing on the grass with a soft thump. She's all rags and tatters, has mismatched eyes, and gives him no more than an uncomprehending blink. No terror. Nothing.
"Hm." He sighs and waves one hand, disgusted. "You're no fun."
"I could show you something fun," she says. Abruptly. Even hopefully. Her small white hand twists in the grass, then raises the knife with unfocused purpose. "If you, um, want. I like fun things. Like - I'm not sure. Flowers. Maybe - "
Red ones, he thinks, pondering the blossoms of blood on his gloves and the way that his entire face seems to be on fire as she flees, tripping off into the dark. Fun.
Doing It Wrong
"Should it...look like that?" Crowley asked, poking at the bit of suspiciously pink flesh he'd just carved into. He glanced doubtfully at the picture in the cookery book.
Aziraphale leaned over his shoulder and frowned. "No. That means it's not done yet."
"But it's been in there for three hours," muttered Crowley, withdrawing his knife and skewer in disgust. He set them on the countertop and picked up the potholders, carefully pushing the bird back into the oven. "I'm starving."
"I don't know about that," said Aziraphale, soothingly, taking him by the shoulders and steering him out of the kitchen. "You've waited longer."
Crowley let Aziraphale seat him on the couch and tug the blanket down over his shoulders before he whisked the potholders off to the kitchen.
"At least what I was waiting on was worth it," Crowley said, just loudly enough.
For What We Are About to Receive
Joey folded his arms and let his forehead rest against the freezing glass. He'd hoped it wouldn't be one of those fierce early winters, as he could never seem to get warm in that kind of weather. In the next room, Rosemary was pottering around, clearing up dishes and wiping down the table. It had been the slowest meal of Joey's life.
And then a set of headlights flared, blinding him, receding tide-like across the snow. The car was unfamiliar, but it had been described to him enough times in urgent phonecall updates throughout the day that he'd drawn it a dozen times over. We're still stuck. The pile-up will take hours to clear. It's ten miles ahead of us.
Joey splayed his fingers against the glass and squinted: first the unfamiliar man who got out of the driver's side, then the more familiar shape that emerged from the passenger side. Fuck, I'm going to miss dinner. Joey, I'm sorry.
It didn't matter, though. Not really. Now he was at the door, and Billy was there.