Title: My Charlie Brown Tree
Author: The Lady Merlin
Warnings: Extreme Schmoop
Prompt: Communityt: Taming the Muse #387 Portmanteau
Beta (s): none, proofread
Disclaimer: not mine, all belongs to Joss
Graphic: Banner by The Lady Merlin
Summary: Xander is unhappy and Spike decides to make it better
A/N: Just a silly little Christmas type fic which simply wouldn't go away until it was written. Muses...*shrugs*
The heated argument, which had started as soon as they'd gotten in the car, continued as they entered the hotel room. “Oi! Show some respect!” Spike complained, placing his portmanteau on the end of the nearest bed. “I'll have you know that I've had this bag longer than I've had me duster,” he continued, running a hand over the leather exterior before rounding on Xander once more. “And besides, who the hell are you to be commenting on my luggage and throwing around insults? Oh, poor me,” he mimicked, complete with hand gestures and funny faces. “I don't wanna go. Spike is mean and it's Christmas.” Finished for the moment, Spike took off his coat and placed it gently on top of his luggage. “Haven't heard so much whinging on since the last time Angelus got a soul shoved up his bloody great arse.”
Xander laughed at that in spite of himself. “Yeah, he is an asshole.” Spike stared at him as if he'd grown another head. “What?” Xander asked, still chuckling. “Can't really argue with that. He is.”
“Yeah...,” Spike agreed, nodding slightly. “But you always disagree with me. It's like a rule.”
Xander looked up from sorting his own bag. “No, I don't.”
“Yes, yes, you do.”
“Spike, listen to me carefully-”
“You're doing it now,” Spike pointed out.
“I am...” Xander trailed off with a puzzled frown. He blushed when he realised it was true. “Shut up,” he said, resuming his unpacking.
“Do you... do you really think I'm mean?” Spike asked.
“I think you'd steal ice cream from a kid, Spike.”
“Never!” Spike exclaimed, aghast. “That is so totally out of character. 'M not mean. Evil, definitely, but not mean.”
“Riiight,” Xander responded, amused. “Didn't know there was a difference.”
“There is a big difference. Being mean is pansy arsed and lame. I am evil, the big bad. Stealing from a child is something, well something...”
“Angel would do?” Xander supplied.
“Well, yeah.” Spike paused a moment. “We really need to find someone else to character assassinate.”
Xander shrugged. “Why? Angel is so fun. And he totally deserves it.”
Spike flopped on the bed with the television guide. “Too easy though. No challenge.”
“Suppose,” Xander said, half-heartedly. He made himself comfortable on the other bed.
“What's wrong?” Spike asked, looking up from his perusal of the listings for the evening.
Xander threw his hands up in the air in disgust. “What's wrong? What's wrong?! I'm stuck in a crappy hotel on Christmas Eve with someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas.” he shook his head with a sigh. “I don't know why I thought my life would get any better when I left Sunnydale and my crappy parents behind,” he finished, dejectedly.
“What do you mean?”
Xander shot Spike a look of disbelief. “Do you think I'd actually tell you?”
“Why the hell not?” Spike asked, annoyed and a little bit wounded.
“Oh, so you can have even more ways to humiliate and otherwise make my life a misery?”
“Why Xander! I'm hurt, I truly am,” Spike mocked, trying to hide the real hurt Xander's words had caused. Spike had thought they'd gotten beyond the mutual resentment and anger. He'd actually thought maybe they could be friends. Or maybe even...no.
“Knock it off Spike”
“Fine. Ruin all my fun. But seriously, pet, I won't laugh…” Xander raised an eyebrow. “Or make fun of you...” Xander raised the other eyebrow. “Or use it against you in the future...” Xander folded his arms. “I promise. God, I'm surprised you didn't want a contract signed in blood.” Xander opened his mouth. “Forget it!”
“Yeah, okay,” Xander agreed with a smile. He settled back on his bed. “Every year I wanted a special Christmas. The kind you read about or see in the films or on the TV. The ones where the family is happy and the children wake up in the morning to presents under a tree all decorated with lights and tinsel. I wanted that, ya know? Just once in my lousy life I wanted something nice.” He gave Spike a shrug and a sardonic little smile. “Guess it was too much to ask.”
“Yeah,” Spike offered lamely, not knowing what else to say. He remembered Christmases he spent as a boy with the family all around the tree, the laughter and presents. The love. His eye caught something in the guide and an idea started to form. “Hey, think there's something on the telly you might enjoy,” Spike said, getting up and turning on the small television.
Xander looked up, a suspicious smirk on his face, which quickly dissolved into a smile when he saw what Spike had found. “I don't believe it! It's Charlie Brown! I love this.” Spike smiled at Xander happiness. “Come watch with me Spike,” Xander pleaded, patting the space next to him on the bed.
“You should see my Snoopy dance,” Xander bragged.
Spike laughed and watched the joy dancing in Xander's eye. The boy deserved something nice. He never asked for much and was forever looking out for everyone else, including Spike. Xander watched Christmas special after Christmas special, enthralled and childlike, until he eventually succumbed to sleep. While Xander watched, Spike had studied him and made his plans.
Xander woke with a stretch, a yawn and a scratch. He padded off to the bathroom where he used the toilet, washed his hands and face and had a drink from the tap. He hated that icky taste he always woke up with in the morning. Maybe there was some coke in the mini bar. He'd made it halfway across the room before he noticed the small tree and the presents which rested beneath it. Xander walked closer with his mouth agape. It was a sad little tree. Kinda droopy and there was a small cluster of needles beneath it. Xander reached out a tentative finger to give it a poke, afraid it wasn't real.
“It was the best I could do.”
Xander jumped and whirled, coming face to face with a sheepish Spike. “You did this?”
Spike rubbed at his neck and looked at the floor. “Yeah.”
Spike looked up at that. “Yeah, o'course I did.”
Xander only stared at the vampire for a long moment before his feet finally got him moving and across the room. “Thank you,” he said, placing a gentle kiss on Spike's lips. They were soft and yielding and felt so good. “My very own Charlie Brown tree,” he whispered, taking those lips once more. Xander pulled back to see Spike grinning like an idiot. “What?” he asked.
“Well, if the tree gets me a kiss? I was imagining what I was gonna get for the presents.”
~ Mòran taing ~