There was something wrong with the turkey.

The more Wolfwood looked at the turkey, the more he was convinced of it. Sure, it was covered with gravy, but there was something wrong about the look, like it was all made out of one piece or something. It was also quite small, more like a medium-sized hen. Not that he'd seen many hens; meat was ridiculously hard to get on this godforsaken sandball of a world, and he was a poor man. They both were, he and Vash.

Which was why he'd been surprised when Vash had demanded that they stop in a town and get a turkey. For Thanksgiving. Wolfwood had nearly forgotten about it. Sure, it was something he celebrated at the orphanage, but they'd never had a turkey. This year he was spending Thanksgiving away from what passed for home, and he hadn't planned on having Thanksgiving dinner at all. But Vash had insisted, and Vash had even volunteered to go and get the turkey, though Wolfwood had to wonder where the money came from.

Now he was sitting at the small, two-chair table in the inn room, and Vash beamed at him from across, and between them--along with two paper plates and a set of plastic cutlery--was the supposed turkey.

"What is this?" he asked incredulously.

"It's tofurkey!" Vash said cheerfully.

"Tofurkey." Wolfwood repeated.

"Turkey made from tofu," Vash explained, still in that annoyingly chipper voice. "I got the really expensive kind! See how it's molded into the shape of a turkey? And it's got stuffing inside and everything!"

". . . and I bet the stuffing's vegetarian, too."

"Yep!" Vash beamed.

Wolfwood thought he felt a headache pinching at his temples. "Dammit Vash, I thought you were going to get us real food." And he made a stabbing gesture with his cigarette towards the "turkey" that resulted in quite a bit of ash falling off the end.

"AAAIIIEEEEYAAAAGGGHHH!" The first part of the scream was a yelp of alarm as Vash shoved both hands over the tofurkey in an attempt to save it from burnt tobacco. The second part was him screeching in pain and doing a frantic little dance right there in their inn room, wringing and shaking his hands.


Vash turned large, watery eyes on Wolfwood. He hated it when Vash did that. Did he have any idea how many continents he could conquer with just that look alone?

"You didn't spend all our money on that thing, did you?" Wolfwood said, looking away.

"No," Vash said in a very small voice that meant, "No, but I spent most of it, and you probably won't be able to buy tobacco for a while, but that's okay because you should really stop smoking anyway." Wolfwood could feel the impending nicotine craving already. "I just thought it'd be nice to, y'know, have a real Thanksgiving. I haven't had Thanksgiving with anyone since--for a long time."

Well, dammit. Now he felt like he'd kicked a puppy. A small, helpless puppy. Through a second-floor window. Vash sat cross-legged on the floor, looking at his feet and drawing on the floor with one finger. Wolfwood grumbled to himself. "Get up here, dumbass, otherwise it'll get cold."

It really was amazing how fast Vash's mood could change. He went from despondent on the floor to grinning radiantly in his chair in under a second.

"All right, then," Wolfwood said, picking up his fork. "Let's dig in."

"Wait," and a fork clattered against Wolfwood's own, barring his way. "You have to say grace," Vash said reproachfully.

"What?" Vash had never insisted on grace before. But--oh hell, if there were any time you were supposed to say grace, it was now, and Vash looked very determined. He gave Vash the best glare he could muster under the circumstances, muttered something that sounded vaguely like a very humorless "Grace," and then tried to lunge in with the knife. Vash blocked and parried again.

"Nicholas D. Wolfwood," Vash said warningly. "You have to mean it."

He was serious, wasn't he? Wolfwood heaved a sigh of exasperation and said, very quickly, all in one breath, "Dear God, bless the food before it gets cold. Thanks." He looked to Vash, scowling. "Happy now?"

"Very," Vash said blithely, and he had both utensils plunged into the tofurkey and a piece sawed off and in his mouth before Wolfwood could register.

The tofurkey was actually okay. He couldn't say if it actually tasted like turkey, since he'd never had turkey, but he couldn't complain. The stuffing wasn't bad, either. Vash ate with every evidence of enjoyment. There were no leftovers, and if neither of them went to bed full like in those Thanksgiving stories of yore, they weren't hungry either, which was a drastic improvement over many other evenings.

Wolfwood lay on his back, head pillowed on his arms. He was smoking again--damn if he was going to go to sleep without his nightly cigarette--and Vash lay on his side facing him, one arm flung over Wolfwood's stomach. For once, Wolfwood found his thoughts pleasantly warm and fuzzy. He was pleasantly not-hungry, Vash was quiet for once, and he had a cigarette. Life was good.

Vash, of course, had to break that wonderful silence. "Wolfwood?" He paused, maybe waiting for some sign of affirmation that never came, but went on anyway. "I'm thankful for you."

You jerk, Wolfwood thought at him, quite fiercely. You bastard. You asshole. You shitfaced son of a bitch.

But he didn't say any of that. He grunted instead and muttered, "Yeah, same to you."