Author’s Notes: This story takes place sorta between “Hush” and “Doomed,” even though the beginning of “Doomed” is like five seconds after “Hush.” So, it’s in some imaginary block of time after the discussion Buffy and Riley have in her dorm room. And after that, it’s all off-canon from there. And for this fic, Spike has yet to find out he can hit a demon, and he never moved out of Giles’s apartment. He went back after Olivia left. Everyone clear on that? Good.
Also, this fic is total fluff. I felt like writing a warm and fuzzy holiday fic just cause. Hope you like it. 🙂
This the season for generosity
A time to give and to receive
My Christmas list consists of just one sweet dream….
I know what I want for Christmas this year
I hope my note got to Santa on time
I’m a little bit nervous,
It’s kind of a big thing I’m asking for
I don’t know if I deserve it but, boy, if I get it
I’ll never ask for anything more
It shines, it’s new
And it’s the one wish that I wish would come true
This year for Christmas I just wanna be with you
We can build a little fire
We can sit and talk for hours
We’ll just have fun
You can tell me what you did
Christmas morning as a kid
And we’ll talk about all our Christmases to come
And if I hang a little mistletoe in every single doorway
I’m sure to get a kiss
And is it too much to ask for a snowman kind of snow
To complete this singular wish?
It shines, it’s new
I know what I want and nothin’ else will do
This year for Christmas I just want to be with you
*** *** ***
“He is not coming with us. It’s ridiculous!”
Joyce Summers planted her hands firmly on her hips. “Buffy, it’s Christmas. You can’t just leave him all by himself on Christmas.”
“Mom, he’s a vampire . You know—all evil and unholy. I don’t think they even celebrate Christmas. It’s like Halloween to the uber -Fundamentalists, only in reverse.”
“Spike is coming with us, and that’s final.”
“But, Mom…” Buffy whined.
“No ‘but, Mom’s,'” Joyce snapped, giving her daughter the one look in the world that could instill fear into the heart of the Chosen One. “You may be the Slayer, young lady, but I am still your mother, and we will do things in this household my way.”
“Fine. You want to spend Christmas with Spike, you go right ahead—but count me out.”
“Oh no. You are not going to get away with that,” Joyce said, recognizing Buffy’s ploy for what it was. Joyce knew Buffy wouldn’t willingly leave her mother alone with a vampire, albeit a chipped one.
“I’m not spending Christmas with him .”
“Then where will he go? Willow and Xander are both spending the holidays with their families, and Giles is going back to England.”
“I know. We worked the Spike situation out already, so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“And how exactly did you ‘work it out?'”
Buffy looked down, knowing her mother was not going to like what she was about to say. “We were gonna keep him chained in Giles’s bathtub.”
“What! Buffy, that’s cruel!”
Buffy looked back up. “So what? Mom, it’s Spike—the evil vampire who’s tried to kill me how many times now? Do you really care that much about someone who has tried to kill your only child?” Buffy gave Joyce her best “pity me” eyes.
“I also remember him helping you save the world.”
Buffy gaped for a moment before replying with, “Well, that was just to save his crazy girlfriend.”
“Buffy, you wouldn’t leave a dog chained to a bathtub for a week like you’re planning to do with Spike. If anything, it’s inhumane.”
“Yeah, so is slaughtering half of Europe. Besides, I like dogs way better than I like Spike anyway. Even the yippie ones.”
“Buffy! I can’t believe you could be so cold! Where’s your Christmas spirit?”
“Not extending itself to evil vampires with bad bleach jobs?”
“Honey, you know how fidgety Spike gets. He’ll be bored out of his mind chained up for that long.”
“We’ll leave a television in there. As long as he can watch Passions he’ll be fine.” Buffy rolled her eyes.
“And how will he eat?”
“You know, making sure an evil vampire can get blood—really not on the top of my priorities list.”
Joyce could see she wasn’t going to win Buffy over this way and decided to switch tactics. “What if he breaks free?”
“What if he breaks free when all of you are gone? Then what?”
“They’re really strong chains.”
“Don’t vampires have super strength? If he pulls at them for a whole week…”
“Yeah, but…” Buffy looked up at her mother defiantly. “So what if he does break free? He has that chip in his head, so it’s not like he can hurt anyone.”
“Do you have any guarantee that the chip won’t stop working? What if he gets out, the chip breaks, and then he goes on a killing spree because you weren’t there to keep an eye on him? Isn’t that your duty as the Slayer—to make sure things like that don’t happen?”
Buffy’s jaw dropped. How could her old stand-by of “it’s my sacred Slayer duty” be working against her? “That’s not fair!”
“Isn’t that what you’re always saying—you’re the Slayer, so nothing in your life is ever fair?”
Buffy knew her mother had her now—and that she had a point. What if Spike did find a way to pull off a killing spree while she was gone? Those deaths would be on her hands. She crossed her arms in front of her. “Fine, Spike can come. But don’t blame me when it’s the worst Christmas ever.”
Joyce ignored the last part of her daughter’s statement. “Great! Now let’s go to the mall and buy him presents.”
Buffy stared, eyes bugged, as Joyce walked out of the room. “Mom!”
*** *** ***
“I don’t see why we had to wait until tonight to come up here. It was a waste of a day,” Buffy said as she lugged her bags into the dark cabin. “I can’t see anything, and it’s cold.”
“We couldn’t exactly drive up here during the day with Spike in the car,” Joyce said, turning on the lights.
“Why not? If he was a big pile of dust we wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with him this week.”
“Buffy! Spike is our guest, and we do not talk about wanting our guests to catch on fire.”
“Yeah, Buffy,” Spike piped up from beside her. “Don’t want to embarrass your mother by making it look like she didn’t teach you how to treat a guest.”
“Mom! He’s taunting me!”
“Well, he has a point, dear,” Joyce replied.
“Ugh. I can’t believe you two are ganging up on me.”
“Well, we wouldn’t be if you weren’t being such a Scrooge.” Joyce brought her things into one of the bedrooms and then came back out. She put her hand on Spike’s arm. “Come on. Let’s go to the kitchen, and I’ll make hot chocolate.”
Spike gave her a sweet, hopeful expression. “With little marshmallows?”
“Of course, honey.”
Buffy threw her arms up in disgust as her mother walked off with the vampire. Why she didn’t’ seem to realize Spike was no more than a bloodthirsty animal was beyond Buffy’s realm of comprehension.
The Slayer sat on the couch, arm crossed in front of her, and pouted.
*** *** ***
“I’m sorry my daughter is being such a grinch,” Joyce said as she sprinkled tiny marshmallows into Spike’s hot chocolate.
“It’s all right, Joyce. I did try to kill her a few times, after all.”
“Well, so did that Angel , and she certainly didn’t treat him like this.” Spike smirked at the loathing Joyce put into saying the name of his grandsire. He’d always known that woman had good taste. “Besides, you’re harmless now,” Joyce continued. “There’s no reason for her to treat you like you’re the enemy anymore.”
“I’m not harmless,” Spike muttered, staring into his hot chocolate. “Soon as I get this chip out, I’m killing everyone in Sunnydale.” He looked up sharply. “Oh, except you, Joyce. You’re a real nice lady. I wouldn’t bite you.”
“I know, Spike.” She paused for a second. “I don’t feel afraid with you at all. I never did really, not even before.”
Normally, Spike would hate to hear anyone tell him something like that, but not Joyce. It made him happy to know she trusted him. He liked the woman—she reminded him a little of his own mother. “I wouldn’t hurt you.” The next words were out of his mouth before he had any chance to stop them. “Wouldn’t let anyone else hurt you either.”
Joyce smiled warmly and gave Spike a motherly pat on the head. “I think you put too much into the whole ‘being evil’ thing.”
“It’s what I am.”
“Maybe it’s just what you were . You know , if you were a little nicer to Buffy’s friends—didn’t talk about wanting to kill them so much—maybe they’d be nicer to you, too.”
“I don’t wanna be nice to them. Stupid Scoobies. Ruined everything, they did. Things were fine until bloody Sunnyhell.”
“Well, you know, Spike, you’re the one who decided to come to Sunnydale. What did you expect them to do—just let you kill them?”
“Well, yeah. Would’ve been nice.” He paused for a second, then added, “‘ Cept maybe for Buffy. She was always fun to have a good tussle with. Not like the other Slayers I fought. She’s got a real fire to her, y’know. Puts it in every move she makes—every punch, every kick. Don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite like Buffy.”
Joyce watched the vampire as he talked about her daughter, noticing the gleam in his eye. She’d been around enough to know what that meant and wondered if Spike was aware of it himself. “Are you sure you really hate her, Spike?” Joyce asked. “Maybe now that you can’t kill people anymore, you could help her out. You might find you like not being evil.”
“No, I like being evil. Besides, with this chip, I’m useless in a fight. All I can do is depend on the ‘hospitality’ of your daughter and her soddin’ friends.” Spike hung his head. “I’m pathetic.”
Joyce patted Spike on the arm. “You’re not pathetic. And even if you can’t fight, I’m sure there are other things you can do. Buffy’s always talking about needing to do research. I bet being a vampire for so long gave you all sorts of insights into the demon world that could help them.”
“They don’t need me for that. Xander’s got himself a one-thousand year old ex-vengeance demon for a girlfriend.”
Joyce frowned. “What is it with him and demon girls? Buffy’s told me about some of his little dating fiascos.”
“Anya’s an all right bird,” Spike said. “Speaks her mind. I like that in a person. Don’t know what she sees in the whelp, though. Could do better.”
“Xander’s a good boy…for the most part.” Joyce lowered her voice. “His home life’s really bad, you know. Most of his behavior is defensive on his part, I believe.”
“Yeah, I got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Whelp when Giles sent me away to spend ‘quality time’ with his lady friend. Anyway, they were worse than their little wanker spawn.”
Joyce bristled for a second. “Giles has a girlfriend?”
“Did. I think they broke up when she saw a demon. Giles kept trying to call her, but she wouldn’t talk to him.” Spike grinned. “Watchin’ them is almost better than the stories on the telly—especially Buffy and whatever her angst-ridden love affair of the moment is. You should’ve seen her when she realized she’d told the latest one about our engagement. Bloody priceless, it was.”
“Buffy has a boyfriend? And wait—did you just say you’re engaged? Did I miss something?”
“Slayer didn’t fill you in on those little bits of info, huh? Don’t know much about her latest other than he’s got some nancy-boy name—Riley, I think. And as for the ‘engagement,’ it was just one of Willow’s spells gone wonky . But yeah, for a day I was almost your son-in-law.”
Even if it was only because of a spell, Joyce was surprised to think of Spike and Buffy ever being together. “Did you hate each other then?”
“No. Spell made us all lovey-dovey, with the kissing, and the whispering, and whatnot. The Slayer spent most of the day curled up in my lap.” Spike stared back down into his mostly-empty cup of hot chocolate. “Bloody awful it was.”
Joyce gave a knowing smirk. Spike’s subtle body language was giving more away than he wanted it to. “I’m sure it was.”
“She might have forgotten that one. Was saying something to the witch about a forgetting spell.”
“But you didn’t forget it seems.”
“How could I? I was stuck with Buffy taste in my mouth for days.”
Spike turned away from her, and Joyce could’ve sworn she saw a blush. Did vampire’s blush? She stood up, patting Spike on the head. “You finish your hot chocolate, and I’m going to go get the groceries from the car. Don’t want anything going bad—even though it’s probably cold enough out there to keep everything frozen all night.” Joyce shivered. “I love the mountains, but they remind me of just how much of a Southern California girl I am.”
“I can get them, Joyce,” Spike offered. “Cold doesn’t bother me.”
“That’s so nice at you Spike,” Joyce handed him the car keys. “The grocery bags are in the back.”
Spike gave her a nod and started out the cabin. Buffy jumped up running after him. “Where are you going? And with my mom’s keys?”
“I knocked her out in the kitchen, and now I’m stealing the car and making my escape.” Buffy looked at him in horror, and Spike rolled his eyes. “I’m getting the groceries from the back of the car.”
“Because it’s cold and there’s no reason for your mum to be out there.”
“I don’t believe you. You’re planning something.”
“Oh come on, Slayer. What am I going to do? Besides, kinda got a sweet setup here. Least it’s not the Watcher’s tub.”
“I’m not letting you go out there alone.”
“Fine. Come out with me. Freeze your skinny little arse off. See if I care.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Almost as soon as they were out the door, Buffy’s teeth started chattering. “You know, Slayer, you could go back in, I can handle the groceries by myself.”
“I’m not letting you out of my sight, Spike.”
“Suit yourself.” Spike opened the back of the car, reaching in for the grocery bags. Buffy grabbed as many as she could, not letting Spike carry more than her. “Trying to prove something, Slayer?” Spike asked.
“Just get back in the house.”
“Are you cold?”
“No.” Buffy shivered.
“Right.” Spike slammed the hatch shut. “Lead the way, Goldilocks.”
“Call me that again, and I stake you,” Buffy snapped. “And you’re walking in front of me. I don’t trust you behind me.”
Spike sighed and walked back into the house, Buffy in tow.
*** *** ***
Buffy was silent throughout dinner, glaring at Spike as he shared a pleasant dinner conversation with her mother. Buffy couldn’t believe that her mother thought Spike was sincere. Didn’t she know that he’d rip her throat out in a second if he could? But no, she was treating him like some sort of honored guest. She’d even bought him Wheat-a- Bix for his blood, explaining that she’d asked Giles if Spike ever ate anything other than blood that she should keep around the cabin.
Catering to Spike? Buffy couldn’t comprehend it. Finally, Buffy couldn’t take it anymore. She stood up from the table, pushing her chair under with a resounding thud. “I’m going to bed,” she announced.
“Oh, honey, I meant to talk to you about that,” Joyce said. “You’re sleeping on the couch.”
“Well, the sun comes in rather strongly through that window in the morning, and I think it would be safer for Spike if we put him in the small bedroom. There’s only the one window, and it’s easy to cover.”
“I am not sleeping on the couch! I don’t care if he bursts into flames in the morning and burns the whole cabin down, I’m sleeping in a bed, and that’s final!”
*** *** ***
Buffy tossed and turned on the couch, unable to get comfortable. “Stupid vampire and his flammability,” she muttered, yanking the covers with her as she rolled over again.
This was just all so wrong. This was her Christmas, dammit. She shouldn’t have to spend it with Spike of all people. And what was the deal with Spike and her mother?
“Can’t sleep, Slayer?”
Buffy sat up. “Spike! What the hell are you doing up?”
“Vampire, remember. Sorta nocturnal. Heard you tossing and turning out here, thought you might still be awake.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not exactly stuck with the most comfortable of sleeping arrangements.”
“Try sleeping chained to a bathtub,” Spike replied. “Way I see it, I deserve a week in a bed.”
“You don’t deserve anything but a stake through the chest. And what’s with you and my mother?”
“You. My mom. What’s up?”
“Nothing’s ‘up,’ Slayer.”
“Why did you get the groceries tonight?”
“I told you, it was cold, and it made more sense for me to get them. Least I could do with Joyce letting me stay up here.”
“That’s a nice thing to do.”
“You’re not nice. And tonight at dinner. You two were like…buddies.”
“You’re mother’s an interesting lady to talk to. And after being stuck with you lot I’m grateful for adult companionship. Well, at least the kind that doesn’t mutter ‘oh dear lord’ every other second and then go to consult a book.” He gave Buffy his most irritating smirk. “Besides, I love watching how annoyed it makes you.”
“I knew it! I knew you had some sinister motive behind your actions.”
Spike shrugged. “Have to get my evil in somewhere, even if it’s just making sure the Slayer has her knickers in a twist.”
“I really, really hate you.”
“Mutual.” Spike winked. “Sleep tight, pet.”
Spike walked into the bedroom, leaving a fuming Slayer alone on the couch.