I haven’t updated in awhile, but I haven’t stopped writing. In fact, I’ve been writing more than ever (and yes, it’s Spuffy, what else is there really?). I’ve been writing smaller stories for my friends on livejournal -- look it up, http://www.livejournal.com/users/facingthesun/ -- as Christmas presents. There aren’t all done, but I’m going to share them with you now as they are completed.
Thank you for reading. I hope to start working on my WIPs soon. (I don’t know about you, but I miss them).
Happy New Year!
(note: not all stories are R/NC17, to see all of them, go to my livejournal or the Spuffy Realm -- http://www.spikeluver.com/SpuffyRealm/index.php -- )
Title: Under Mistletoe
Pairing: Season 4 Spike and Buffy
Disclaimers: I own nothing. Thank you to Joss for letting me play without being sued.
Gift for: crashandburn, who wanted a canon story that wasn’t too porny.
“I thought it was bad enough to have him here for Thanksgiving, but he’s going to ruin my Christmas too?! This just isn’t fair, Giles! Can’t you take care of him?”
“I’m going out of town…”
“So, you’re saying that your English honey is more important to you than my happy holidays?”
“Oops…I guess I let that cat out of the bag,” Buffy admitted with a little grin. “The guys and I, we kinda eavesdropped when you were on the phone yesterday. It’s nice to see you move on, Giles. Olivia sounds like a real hottie.”
“Y-you eavesdropped on my conversation?”
“It was Xander’s idea! However, I’ve never heard so many cutesy nicknames since Spike was still gaga over his beloved ho-bag Drusilla. I mean, I’ve never thought of you as somebody’s huggie bear before. To be honest, just thinking about it makes me queasy.”
“I did not call myself a-a—Buffy, I am leaving and while I am gone, you’ll have to watch over Spike. There is no other alternative.”
“But I don’t want to,” she pouted, crossing her arms. “He’s just going to get in the way and Christmas is hectic enough without my worst enemy tied to the furniture. It’s like I can’t get any peace. I’m always feeding him or changing the television channels or… Did you even know that my grandma is coming to visit? I can just see it now, Buffy, what is that pale man doing here? And why does he throw a tantrum whenever he can’t have his ‘telly time’?”
“Maybe… When does your grandmother arrive?”
“You could talk to Spike. Maybe you could bribe him…maybe you could give him an incentive--.”
“Or I could give him to Willow!” Buffy exclaimed, excited by the sudden idea. “Her mom might freak, but hey, I think she owes me one or two for all the times I’ve saved her life.”
“Buffy, you shouldn’t--.”
“You can’t stop me.” Smiling confidently, Buffy left Giles as he rolled his eyes. “I think it’s a great idea and if worst comes to worst, I’ll give Spike to Xander as a white elephant gift!”
“No! No way! No how!”
“Xander, my grandma--.”
“It’ll be a scary merry Christmas with just the Harris clan here with their drunken caroling and joyous holiday brawls. The last thing I need is Spike. No, Buffy.”
“No,” Xander repeated, shaking his head.
“I’ve saved your life so many times! Hey, remember when you were possessed by hyenas and you--.”
“You cannot blackmail me!”
“Crap, Will said the same thing,” Buffy muttered. “What’s wrong with you guys? Where’s your holiday spirit? You’re one of my best friends, Xander, can’t you just--.”
“I refuse to take a ride on your guilt trip. Can’t you just bribe Spike into being a halfway decent boy? Dangle some free cigarettes and alcohol in front of his nose?”
“Why is everyone so sure that he can be bribed? Giles, Willow, and now you?”
“Um, because he’s evil?” Xander suggested with a shrug. “Because he’s poor? Because he’s both poor and evil?”
“Just ask him,” he said, pushing Buffy to the door.
“Do you have to do that to your hair?”
Ignoring Spike, Buffy walked across the living room and placed a tower of cardboard boxes in the middle of the carpet. Turning on her heel, she went back into the basement for another group of boxes.
“It looks better when it doesn’t have that frizzy-wave look.”
With a pair of open scissors, Buffy opened one of the boxes and then put it aside.
“You’re putting up decorations now? Christmas is only two days away. Well, I guess when your mum isn’t here and when you’re too busy looking for a new boy—a replacement for Angel, who is already making moon eyes at a new whiney adolescent as we speak, he’s always fancied them young—decorating gets put on the backburner.”
“It’s a pity we don’t have more religious things,” Buffy mumbled. “What I’d give for a big cross right now. Oh, looky here! My prayers have been answered!”
“Hey, hey, whatcha doing?” Spike asked, squirming in his restraints as Buffy walked towards him with a large bejeweled cross and a smile on her face. “If you hurt me, I won’t tell you a bloody thing about the lot that put this sodding chip in my head!”
“Like you’ve been so full of information up to now.”
Buffy laughed as he curled up and closed his eyes. “Okay, this is just too much fun! Why didn’t I think of doing this earlier?”
“What’s wrong with you?! I didn’t say a word that wasn’t the truth!”
“Spike, shut up. Open your eyes.”
“Why? So, you can scald my eyeballs? No thank you, bitch.”
“I need to talk to you. See?” she cooed once he peeked open one eye, “I put the big bad cross away.”
“You’re off your rocker, Slayer.”
“My grandmother is coming into town tomorrow night.”
“I know. Voices travel in this house.”
Taking a seat on the couch, Buffy put down the cross and glared at Spike. “You have two choices once she shows up. One, you can be in the basement. You will have no television, you will be tied up and gagged--.”
“For three fucking days straight?”
“Two,” she sighed, “you’ll be tied and gagged at night, but during the day…you’ll pretend to be a friend of the family or something like that. You’ll help mom and I cook and decorate and you will be so, so nice and polite to my grandmother--.”
“Are you serious?” he chuckled. “You’re inviting me to take part in your holiday? I thought you were shipping me off to another Scooby.”
“Nobody wants you around. My friends don’t and I certainly don’t, but I’m stuck with you.”
“Will I get fed with the first option?”
“Yes,” Buffy grumbled, hating the fact that she had to feed him with a straw twice a day.
“I’ll take it then. I’d rather collect dust in the basement than lift a finger to help you.”
“Great. I was hoping that you’d say that.” Standing up, Buffy tugged on the wooden chair with Spike still in it.
“What are you doing?!”
“Celebrating early,” Buffy said, pulling him into the basement.
“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays!” Buffy sang at the top of lungs, turning up the stereo to drown out Spike’s shouts. “Because no matter how far away you roam--.”
“In here, mom!”
“Why-why is the music so loud? Where is Spike?”
“Aren’t you going to say anything about the hard work that I’ve been doing? I got the tree up and I’ve--.”
“Is Spike in the basement? Why is he shouting?”
“Because I don’t want to go down there and gag him. I will later though, maybe when he’s sleeping.”
“But why? Buffy?” Joyce said, turning off the stereo. “Bring him back upstairs, you can’t lock him in the basement. It’s cold--.”
“It doesn’t faze him much, besides he has that nice leather coat.”
“It isn’t very humane…”
“He’s not human.”
“This is ridiculous. I’ll get him.”
“Mom! No! He’s just going to stay down there for awhile…until grandma goes home.”
“What? That’s not right, Buffy!”
“Since when do you care about him so much?” Buffy asked, looking up from the strands of lights that she was trying to untangle. “He’s not our houseguest, mom.”
“Well, he’s not our hostage either. It’s bad enough you insist that he be tied up when you’re home--.”
“When I’m home? Does that mean what I think it does?”
“Buffy…I…Spike’s not so bad. We watch daytime television when I come home for lunch and-and he told me that the ropes on his wrists were tied too tight.”
“You let Spike—cold-blooded killer Spike—free in our house?”
“Buffy, he really isn’t so bad. He explained how he can’t hurt any of us. I think…well, sometimes he can be a real gentleman.”
“Oh. My. God! You’re insane.” Holding onto her mother by the forearms, Buffy searched Joyce’s eyes. “He is not a gentleman, mom. He’s disgusting. He’s rude. He’s--.”
“Funny and full of interesting comments. If I like him, I’m positive that my mother will. You should let him wander around while your grandmother’s here. We can tell her that he’s your boyfriend.”
“Over my dead body!”
“How about over your grounded body?”
“You cannot pull the mom-card on me! Mom,” Buffy whined. “He’s a vampire, I’m the Slayer, you can’t seriously ground me over doing my job!”
“I can’t believe you could be so prejudiced, young lady. You dated Angel and he was a vampire. I think the holiday will go smoother if you pretend to like him for a few days.”
“It was his choice--.”
“You let him out of the basement while I put sheets on the couch. Think of this as being charitable for Christmas.”
“Well…bah humbug,” Buffy grumbled, crossing her arms and stomping to the basement.
“Stop smiling like that.”
“I really do enjoy your mother. What a fine lady she is.”
“She’s just acting a little irrationally at the moment,” Buffy said through clenched teeth as she cut the ropes on Spike’s wrists. “But if you hurt her feelings, if you prove to be an ass--.”
“If I prove you right, you mean?”
“I’ll kill you. Forget the potential information that we could get out of you. You’ll be a big pile of dust.”
“Whatever you say, baby.”
“Don’t call me that. Your nicknames make me nauseous. I am not your baby.”
“No? But you’re gonna be my girlfriend for a few days.” Standing, Spike rubbed his free wrists. “At first I was revolted by the idea, but then all the pain and suffering it’d cause you dawned on me, and I thought, ‘What the hell? This could be amusing.’”
“Just behave and stay away from me and everything will be fine,” Buffy snapped, stomping out of the basement.
“I’ll get that for you, love,” Spike purred, taking the star from Joyce and placing it on the top of the tall artificial tree. “How’s it look? Straight?”
“It looks okay to me. Buffy?”
“It looks fine,” she said, never taking her eyes off the lights that refused to untangle. “Mom, can’t we just buy new lights? I saw on the news that you should replace them every three seasons and--.”
“I bought them last year. It’d be wasteful to toss them out so soon. Spike, why don’t you help Buffy while I hang a few things in the dining room?”
“Don’t mind if I do.” Looking smug, he sat across from Buffy and took the lights from her. “How long have you been working at this?”
“Just a few hours, so don’t waste your time. They’re freaking impossible.”
“You’ve got to be patient with them.”
“I don’t see how I could be anymore…patient…” Buffy said, watching in disbelief as Spike easily worked the cords loose. “How did you do that?”
“Magic fingers, I guess.”
“That-that’s just not fair!”
“Oh, don’t pout over it. Some people have certain abilities and you must be one of those without the knack. You want to put them on the tree?”
“I have plenty of knacks!”
“Stop being a brat and help me. You hold this end, keep them from jumbling up again and I’ll wrap the tree.”
“Who died and made you Christmas-tree-decorating-guru?” Buffy whispered, reluctantly following Spike’s orders. “You’re a vampire, vampires aren’t supposed to celebrate Christmas.”
“Newflash: you’re a demon.”
“What does that have to do with anything? You said an hour ago that you wished you had more religious decorations. It’s not so much about religion these days. It’s about flying deer and fat balding men with big shaking tummies. Christmas has been replaced with the ‘winter holiday.’ Hell, they should just call it Santamas…however it doesn’t roll off the tongue that well, now does it?”
“Santamas? That’s stupid.”
“No, it’s almost as brilliant as when those people on the television combine Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa to make up one all encompassing pc holiday.”
“I think…I think you watch too much television.”
“Ah, we were this close to having a real conversation. Thought you were gonna say something to me that wasn’t a putdown.”
“Spike, shut up.”
“Could you be anymore of a scrooge?”
“Towards you? Yes.”
“Keep it up and you won’t have a thing in your stocking but a lump of coal.”
“And I here I really just wanted a big pile of dust. Do you know where I can pick some up, of the bleached blonde variety?”
Chuckling and rolling his eyes, Spike shook his head and pulled in the lights. “Now, onto the ornaments. Is it safe to put ‘em up?”
“Will your mum mind? I’ve known my share of women who are awfully anal when it comes hanging ornaments…do you girls use tinsel?”
“No, it’s too messy.”
“A tree without tinsel…” Spike muttered, shaking his head again.
“Just so you know, I’m finding this side of you very frightening. This is the scariest you’ve been since news broke out about your neutering--.”
“Are you so dim-witted that you can’t take a hint? I’m playing nice here, why are you trying to piss me off, Slayer?” Before she had a chance to answer, Spike shoved a box of ornaments in her direction. “Just decorate the sodding tree or go somewhere else.”
“I couldn’t have said that better myself,” Joyce said, leaning against the frame into the kitchen with her arms crossed. “Buffy--.”
“Are you guys tag-teaming against me? Now I have two mothers to scold me? Good Lord, am I having a nightmare or something?”
“Forget it. You can decorate without me,” Buffy said, heading to her room.
“Well, good morning, sunshine.”
Half asleep, Buffy squinted her eyes wondering why Spike was upstairs and why he was dressed in new clothing. “Spike?”
“Until your grandmother leaves, you’re supposed to call me William. Mummy’s orders.”
“William…oh, yeah, William the Bloody, I should’ve known.”
“You think you slept long enough? Your mum’s already at the airport.”
“I…I was tired,” Buffy said, suddenly feeling foolish standing before him with messy hair and candy-cane-print pajamas.
“You were avoiding me.”
“Well…maybe I was.”
“There’s no need to get shirty, pet. I’ll be on my way in a bit; I just need to share the plan with you. Like my new ensemble? The sweater’s a tad itchy, think I might be allergic to wool…”
“My mom bought you brand new clothes? I wanted a sweater last week and she totally turned me down--.”
“The story is this: we’ve been dating for about six months. We met at university. I’m an English Lit major--.”
“English Lit? You’re kidding?” Buffy snickered.
“I know my Shakespeare…anyway, you get to choose the particulars: where, when, how, how long we’ve been shagging.”
“I didn’t stutter.”
“Even if we were dating—which, oh, God, it’ll never happen—why would I go up to my grandma and tell her about-about shagging?”
“Just answer the other questions. Where did we meet? In a class or somewhere off campus?”
“Come on, Slayer. Be creative; make it farfetched, a warm and fuzzy romance--.
“We met at the Bronze!” Buffy replied, hoping to make him be quiet.
“We did, didn’t we? And here I assumed you’d forgotten…”
“You were watching me like a hawk, circling and drooling...you gave me that funny look where your eyebrow lifts up.”
“Well, yeah, couldn’t take my eyes off you. You were dancing then…carefree…sexy, full of life.”
“Now…now, you’re just—I don’t know, broken? Angel and that one-nighter a few weeks back really did a number on you. You’re too hard, too terrified to let someone in. Fuck, you won’t even give Christmas a chance.”
“I-I’m not hard.”
“Prove it then, because even I, the lowliest of demons, can muster up some holiday cheer.”
“I dare you, Slayer, because I really don’t think it’s possible.”
“I dare you,” Spike repeated, leaning in so their faces were only centimeters apart.
“Fine! Fine! I’ll do it!”
“Good.” Acting quickly, he swept her against his chest and walked her backward.
“Spike?! What are you doing?!”
“Just a little test. Wait, wait, there. Look up.”
“Spike, what the hell…” from their spot in the hallway, Buffy looked overhead to find a sprig of mistletoe. “Oh my God.”
“Don’t be a bah humbug. Kiss me. Pucker up, cutie.”
“Let me go.”
“Why do you want me to kiss you? Hello! We’re enemies!”
Spike broke out into a deep, rich laughter before spinning her and crashing his lips onto hers. Although the kiss started violently, he quickly relaxed his mouth and did his best to coax Buffy into doing the same. Once she reluctantly started to respond, he pulled back and flashed her a wicked smile. “Not so bad, yeah? You know what they say about keeping your enemies close…”
Still dazed and confused by their surprisingly sweet lip lock, Buffy stared at him blankly, not sure what to say.
“Want another, Slayer?”
“No,” she said meekly, tossing slightly from side-to-side in his arms.
“That’s not very convincing.” With a quieter chuckle, Spike closed his eyes and kissed her again.
“Grandma!” Buffy cried, sinking into her grandmother’s soft, warm embrace. “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas to you too,” her grandmother replied, giving her a ruby-red peck on the cheek. “How are you? How’s school?”
“Sp—William, can you put these suitcases in my room?”
“Of course, Joyce.”
“Buffy, is this new boyfriend that your mother has told me so much about?”
“Um…yeah. Grandma, meet William.” Swallowing, she backed up and looked to Spike. “We’ve been dating six months. H-he’s an English Lit major.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, ma’am.”
“Oh, call me Ellen. Let me give you a hug too.”
“Grandma, I don’t think--.”
“He should’ve known by coming to these family functions, he must put up with a lot of hugging,” Ellen laughed, giving Spike a squeeze and a red print of his cheek identical to Buffy’s. “Now, while William’s moving the heavy stuff, Buffy would you like to help your mother and I bring in all the presents?”
“Sure,” Buffy answered with a smile.
“Tell me about school. Here, let me get up so you both can share the loveseat.”
“Uh…thanks,” Buffy mumbled, sitting and trying not to cringe as Spike sat as close to her as possible.
“Have you decided on a major yet, Buffy?”
“No, I’m just taking classes that interest me. I really like my psychology class…”
“Oh, that must be interesting.”
“William, what do you plan on doing with a degree in English Literature?”
“You seem older than Buffy, how do you plan to provide for her down the line? Do you have a job?”
“Mother,” Joyce intervened at the same time as Buffy.
“I like writing, Ellen, and of course I’m employed--.”
“He tutors me! You know me, I don’t know my Shakespeare from my…eh, who’s the guy who wrote the Christmas Carol? See? I can’t even name more than one of those old white dead writer guys. A-and he’s in a band.” Giving Spike a little nudge, she hoped he’d remember the story they’d told Joyce a year ago.
“I-I sing in a rock band.”
“A writer and musician? Good for you, Buffy, looks like you’ve found yourself a sensitive young man.”
“Oh, yeah, Spike is so sensitive,” Buffy commented with a snort.
“That’s just a nickname, love,” Spike explained surprising Buffy by threading their fingers together. “Don’t worry, I plan on taking very good care of your granddaughter. I care about her very much.”
“Sure you do,” Buffy muttered under her breath, trying to wiggle her fingers free.
“Just putting on a good show,” he whispered, kissing her cheek. “It’s all an act.”
“There is so a chair in the basement with your name on it.”
“And get yourself grounded? You wouldn’t dare.”
“I could go a few days without TV and friends.”
“What would granny do if I vamped out this very instant? Think she’d take it like your mum? I heard she kicked you out.”
“Make me.” With an overconfident smirk, he kissed the corner of her mouth before tasting her lips.
“I really, really hate this.”
“Sure you do, Slayer.”
“I do. Just because we’re pretending doesn’t mean you can stick your tongue down my throat whenever you please.”
“That’s all the complaining you’re gonna do?”
“Well, we already look like big freaks, whispering like no one else is in the room.”
“Is this your way of hinting that we should go somewhere to be alone, upstairs maybe?”
“No, no,” Buffy said quickly. “I’m not moving.”
Clearing his throat, Spike wrapped an arm around Buffy’s shoulder. “Wasn’t ready to move myself.”
“You and Spike have either overcome your differences, or you’re both gunning for Oscars.”
“I’ll be sure to say your name many times in my acceptance speech, mom.”
“So, even with all the kisses, you still despise each other? Somehow, I’m finding that hard to believe.”
“It’s not what you think. We’ve hated each other for a long time. A few lousy kisses can’t change that.”
“They certainly didn’t look like lousy kisses…”
“They-they were lousy. Trust me.”
“Your grandmother is going to sleep on the sofa tonight,” Joyce said, taking a deep breath. “That means Spike will either be in the basement or on your floor. I’d offer up my floor, but it’s covered with presents and suitcases. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here, I will not force you to have him in your room. And if something is going on between you two, I want to be able to trust you—I want to be able to sleep peacefully on Christmas Eve without shouts from the basement and without having to worry about you being cooped up with an older, uh, vampire man--.”
“Mom, you have nothing to worry about.”
“Please, just promise me no shouting. Underneath her questions, your grandma really likes Spike.”
“There will be no shouting.”
“Okay.” Stepping forward, Joyce gave Buffy a hug. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night, mom and merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas to you too, honey.”
“Where am I headed to, the icy cold basement?”
“We’re in California,” Buffy replied, pulling on Spike’s arm. “We only have ice in freezers.”
“Wait. I’m sleeping with you?”
“Not with me, Spike. I’ll be in my bed and you’ll be on my icy cold floor.”
“Oh,” he said, following her upstairs. “But even the floor is a lot further than I expected to get this evening.”
“You’re telling me.” Opening the hall closet, Buffy piled sheets and an old comforter into his arms. “I use to have this obsessive thing for Beauty and the Beast.”
“Grandma got the new sheets, you’re stuck with Beauty.”
“Guess I should feel privileged…”
“Don’t grumble or I’ll put you in the basement.”
“Yeah, yeah. Buffy, when are you going to stop treating me like your bloody dog?”
“We’ve been going at it all night with the kisses and cuddles. Hell, you almost let me feel you up once.”
“I did not!”
“Love, I had your bra unhooked--.”
“Why are you doing this? You know that I couldn’t knock your head off with my grandma in the room! You know—you said it was all an act!”
“Hush, keep it down,” Spike said, walking into her bedroom.
“Don’t walk away from me!” Following, she closed the door and watched as he set up a makeshift bed on her floor. “We should talk about this.”
“It wouldn’t change anything. You’d still pretend to be grossed out when I know you’re swooning inside every time we’re close. You can deny it, but your body gives you away. You’ll still treat me like an animal that needs to be bound and caged when I can’t hurt you.”
“But that doesn’t mean you won’t find someone else who can and will--.”
“Believe it or not, my number one priority isn’t killing you anymore. Sure, I want to get my bite back and once that happens, of course I’ll be obsessed, of course I’ll want kill you.”
“Oh, now that makes me want to--.”
“And until I can hurt you and suck every bit of blood from your delectable body, I suggest we pass the time by snogging each other’s brains out.”
“Are you insane? I knew you had one too many egg nogs.”
“They were non-alcoholic, pet.”
Buffy’s mouth gapped open as he pulled his sweater off and slipped off his belt. “You cannot be serious.”
“Take it this way, I’ve been around a long time,” he said, sprawling out on her Beauty and the Beast comforter. “I take pleasure where I can get it and I never knew before today that snogging a Slayer is almost as good as fighting one. I can only imagine how it’d be to shag one--.”
“There will be no shagging!”
“You might change your mind, cutie and I’m hoping you will. In fact, I just might add it to my Christmas list, right under cigarettes, blood, and alcohol,” Spike chuckled, resting his head on a pillow and closing his eyes. “Night, Buffy.”
“Go to hell, Spike.”
“Buffy… Wake up, baby.”
“Santa’s brought you many presents.”
“Leave me alone.”
Not listening to her muffled pleas, Spike slipped under the covers of the bed and spooned against her body.
“You’ve really got some nerve, Spike.”
“Just wanted to give you a present.”
“If you’re using dirty puns--.”
“Open your eyes.”
“I swear, Spike. I could dust you right now and tell mom and grandma that you,” opening her eyes mid-sentence, she choked on her words at the sight of a black velvet box. “This cannot be happening. How did you get this?” Sitting up, she turned to glare at Spike. “Where did this come from?”
“Aren’t you gonna open it?”
“I don’t know if I want to.”
“It won’t bite, I swear.”
“You’ve been tied up since before Thanksgiving and you’re telling me along you had a jewelry box in your pants?”
“Why should I tell you? It’s not about where the gift came from--.”
“If this is one of my own pieces of jewelry, I will not find this cute.”
“Just open the bloody box. If you don’t, give it to me and I will.”
“Stop being so grabby.”
“Open it,” he insisted.
“Leave me alone!” Letting her Slayer powers take over, she shoved Spike hard, causing him to fall out of bed and hit his head on her nightstand.
“It serves you right,” she snorted, eyes still on the box. When he didn’t respond, she peered down and noticed that he wasn’t moving. “Stop it. I’m the Slayer, I know that didn’t hurt you.”
“Spike, get up.”
“Spike. God, could you be any more annoying?” Leaving the present, she crawled onto the floor and pulled him up into a sitting a position. “You are such a pain. I know that you’re faking, so open your eyes!”
“Spike…” Biting her lip, she held a hand to the side of his face. “I know what you’re up to.” Sighing, she leaned forward to kiss his lips.
“You’re an asshole.”
“You could’ve left me here,” he whispered, tangling his fingers in her hair and pulling her into his lap. “But you didn’t.”
Against her better judgment, Buffy melted against him and let out a moan as he explored her mouth with shallow kisses.
“Now, will you please open your sodding present?”
“What is it?”
“Damn it, Buffy.” Keeping her close, he reached for the discard box. “I didn’t pick it out, alright? Your mother let me buy it from her for our little game. She put new tags on some other gifts as well, but this…I paid for it, alright?”
“Uh…okay.” Slipping out of his lap, she sat next to him and opened the tiny box. “Oh…it’s beautiful.”
“Let me put it on you.”
Swallowing, Buffy lifted her hair as Spike fastened the necklace. “I,” she said, touching the pendant, “I…thank you.”
“Joyce picked it out, I just--.”
Not letting him finish, Buffy gave him a quick kiss on the lips. “Thank you.”
“So, uh, when you said Santa brought me many presents…”
“You wanna go downstairs?”
“Yeah,” Buffy said, getting to her feet and offering Spike her hand. “Sorry about the pushage…”
“No harm done. I got my kiss to make it all better.”
Feeling suddenly shy, she took his hand into hers. “I still think you’re an asshole.”
“I’m not surprised,” Spike chuckled. “Hey pet, before we hit the tree, think we could make a stop under that mistletoe?”