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Bah Humbug!

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December 11th 2007

Buffy sighed in exasperation as the door slammed shut. Spike was in a foul mood again and he was heading out looking for something to fight. She doubted he’d be back before midnight. He never was after they fought. They’d been at it a lot lately and it seemed to be getting worse. Her stupid, idiotic, insufferable vampire boyfriend. It wasn’t hard to figure out that Christmas was the cause of his moods. The closer December 25th got the more frequent and severe his bad moods were, so tonight she’d finally called him out on it.


“Look Spike,” she’d said as he came home from the grocery store, “what is it with you and Christmas? The closer it gets the more bad moody you are.”


Spike scowled at her, placed the grocery bags down with restraint and said “that’s not true. I’m fine.”


Buffy gave him a skeptical look. In October he’d been all happy and gleeful, spouting that “Halloween is grand, you get a night off Buffy” and no matter how much she argued saying “but it never really works out like that,” he couldn't be dissuaded from planning a special romantic evening for two, and to her surprise it had gone off without a hitch. Then November came and Spike’s good mood had faded away and he became morose. Even still he didn’t say anything or object when she mentioned inviting the Scoobies and Dawn down for a Christmas gathering. Okay maybe he had objected a little; “you know they won’t want to be around me Buffy,” he’d intoned but even then it was a weak argument. Spike had always been a little apprehensive around her friends, even though they’d finally more or less accepted him. Then Thanksgiving rolled around and they had a great time celebrating by reenacting their first thanksgiving together by tying him to a chair but this time with much more sexy bondage and fewer arrows. Unfortunately it was all downhill from there.  Spike’s mood had begun a deep downward spiral the next day and it was only getting worse. The closer they got to Christmas the worse he got and any time she mentioned the Scoobies impending arrival or her plans for Christmas he’d leave or get cranky. She was just sick of it.


“No, Spike, you're not fine,” Buffy told him, placing her hands on her hips. “Ever since Thanksgiving you've been getting crankier and crankier, and now every time I even mention Christmas you shut down or blow up.”


“Do not,” he muttered stubbornly, looking away from her.


“See,” Buffy exclaimed throwing her hands up in the air. “You're doing it right now! We’re going to talk this out, whether you like it or not, right here, right now mister. Because this is the first time I’ve really been in the Christmas spirit since before Mom got sick, and you are not gonna get away with wrecking it for me. Now, talk . . .”


Spike’s scowl turned into a look of panicked guilt. “I just don’t feel like talking ‘bout it pet.” Spike’s eyes flung around the room nervously, looking for a way out. 


Buffy sighed again, her expression softening at the look in Spike’s eyes. She closed the space between them and deposited her head on his shoulder, wrapping her arms around him. “Look, I know you're not trying to wreck things for me. I’m betting you’ve been trying not to say anything because you don’t want to wreck my Christmas, but holding it in is making you all with the bad moods. And that’s gonna be way worse than whatever is actually bothering you, so just tell me okay? Let me help.”


Spike took a deep breath and a tiny bit of the tension left his body as her tight embrace helped ground him. “Look, Christmas is a time for family right?”


“Right,” Buffy agreed, she pulled back so she could look him in the eyes but left her hands resting on his sides. 


“And I don’t got one . . .” 


Buffy wrinkled her nose in confusion. “Of course you do Spike . . . you’ve got me and Dawn and the Sc . . .”


He cut her off. “I have you. I love you Buffy, more than anything . . . but the others aren't family. They don’t even like me. Not even Dawn . . . she’s never really forgiven me for . . . what I did.” The tension in his body ratched back up with this admission.


Buffy thought about this for a moment. She guessed she understood where Spike was coming from but things had changed since he died saving the world and came back as her live-in boyfriend after helping out Angel in LA.


“Spike, it’s different now. They know you’re part of my life for keeps. Even Giles and Xander are trying to accept it . . . things with Dawn might not be all rainbows, but she still loves you.”


Spike looked at Buffy sadly, “It’s not the same love. You can’t replace what’s lost. I’ve not had a family to celebrate Christmas with in a bloody long time. Not since . . . not since . . .”


Buffy wrapped him up in another hug. “What happened with your Mom wasn’t your fault. You were trying to save her. It’s not your fault she came back a monster. And if she’s anything like you told me, she wouldn’t begrudge you for finding a new family . . . she’d want you to have a family and a happy Christmas.”


“Thanks pet, but I don’t . . . I know you say the Scoobies are ready for me but they aren’t, not really. They’re just pretending to be for your sake. Maybe they have grudgingly accepted me but they won’t ever want me around.”


Buffy drew back a little frustrated now. So they were really getting into it this time she thought, better they exploded now than with an audience. She stepped out of his space to avoid any shrapnel . “Spike they’ve decided to try and you're never gonna know if they will like you unless you give them the chance.” She continued.


Spike huffed. “Give them the chance to what? Come over all chummy?  Ain’t never gonna happen. They hate my guts, always will. It’s who they are.”


“It used to be the way I was too,” Buffy argued. “If you asked eighteen year old me if I could see myself falling in love . . . or even tolerating you, I’d have thought you were nutso! Buffy and Spike, mortal enemies turned lovers was not the future I envisioned. If I can go from wanting to kill you to being in love with you, the scoobies can at least learn to like you.”


“Different Buffy, and you know it,” Spike told her. 


“Why?” she asked.


“Because they think I’ll hurt you again,” Spike whispered.


Buffy didn’t know what to say to that. He was right that the others had never really forgiven him. Strange that she, the actual victim, was the only one of the group who had. But she also knew that the others were working up to give him a real chance . . . one he wouldn’t get unless he tried.


“Like I said, I think they’re ready to try. But that has to work both ways, and that means you have to actually let them in Spike.” Buffy said gently.


“I’m gonna be here with them all week aren’t I? Isn’t that tryin?”


“Only if you actually spend time with them, actually open up. Look I get you have Scooby anxiety and I get you’re upset because this will be your first real Christmas without your mom, it’ll be mine too. But this is really important to me and I need you to actually try!” Buffy shouted that last part. Spike’s stubborn refusal to do his part, to bond with the scoobies was really beginning to fray the edges of the new calm they had cultivated.


“Fine, I’ll bloody try.” Spike muttered. “But when they come at me with a stake don’t say I didn’t warn you.”


Spike grabbed one of the swords off the wall, whirled around, and headed for the door.


“Where are you going?” Buffy demanded.


“To find something to kill.” Spike yelled back as he slammed the door.


Now Spike was gone and Buffy was alone in the apartment. Spike storming off aside that had actually gone a lot better than she had hoped. She’d gotten a lot of valuable intel about what was going on in Spikes head, now that she had an idea what was up maybe she could concoct a plan to help him and also save Christmas.


Spike wouldn’t be back for several hours so she had some time to plan. Buffy walked over to her radio, now that Spike was gone and unable to object, she turned on the station playing Christmas music. It chimed softly in the background, then she grabbed her cell phone and dialed Willow. 


Her best friend answered quickly, after only the second ring.


“Huho Buhee . . .” came her friends muddled greeting.


Buffy frowned, “Willow?”


Suddenly her friend's voice came through a lot clearer. “Sorry, I was brushing my teeth. That was ‘Hello Buffy.’ What’s up?”


“My boyfriend’s up,” Buffy explained. “He’s all bad moody about Christmas and he’s wrecking it for me.”


“Oh okay . . . I know this might not help, but maybe vampires and christmas just don’t mix?”


“No, it’s not that,” Buffy replied. “He’s missing his mom. This will be his first time celebrating Christmas without her.” Buffy sighed, then added, “I can kinda relate since it's mine too . . .  but it’s different because I have you guys and Dawnie.”


Buffy could hear the confusion in Willow’s voice when she replied “But Spike has us too.”


Buffy nodded, even though Willow couldn’t see, and said “he does, but he doesn’t believe it. He thinks . . . he thinks you just tolerate him for me and are just waiting till he hurts me again and I dump him.”


“Well . . . I can’t deny we worry, but we understand he's important to you and we’re trying to embrace . . .”


“I know Wil, I know,” said Buffy. “And thanks for that, by the way. It means a lot to me, but Spike doesn’t know and I wish he did. Between his Scooby anxiety and his feeling lonely about not having a family at Christmas he’s really self destructing.”


Buffy almost dropped the phone at Willow’s sharp squeal. “Ooh, I have an idea Buffy. I know just what to do!”


“You do?” Buffy asked.


“So I’m teleporting most of us up for Christmas Eve, right? Well Andrew says his stomach is too weak for teleportation, so he is insisting on flying into Minneapolis like normal and then he was gonna have you drive up to get him, right? Well when the day comes just tell Spike you have a migraine or something and have him get Andrew instead! Then I’ll pop over Xander and Giles and Dawn a few days early and we will help you set up a Christmas themed date with your honey!”


Buffy wrinkled her nose . . . “I’m not sure how Spike will react to that Willow . . . I mean if I go to the work of setting it up he’ll go along with it and stuff but he’ll get cranky and I’m not sure how it will resolve anything . . .”


“Because we will all have helped set up the date and each of us can chip in to get him a really nice present and everything,” babbled Willow warming to her idea. “That will show him we really are giving him a chance, and also give him a good private Christmas with you to ease him into the holiday.”


Buffy smiled, Willow’s plan beginning to really make sense in her head.


“Okay,” Buffy smiled. “Let’s get the others on board, I’m in.”

December 20th 2007

Buffy was sick. That was the main thought that had been in Spike’s head all day. His girl was sick and he needed to get back to her so he could take care of her. He had only agreed to pick up Andrew because Buffy had begged him. Otherwise he’d have said “let the kid catch a bus.” But when Buffy was sick and begging he couldn’t say no to her. He was just thanking his lucky stars for the special glass windows that made him immune to sunlight in their car. Fortunately the airport had a dark parking garage so he had been able to get out and take a stroll outside while he waited for Andrew’s flight, of course it had been delayed.


Now Spike had finally dropped the kid off at the Chequamegon Inn and was racing back home to make sure Buffy was okay. Parking the car outside their apartment building he raced up the stairs taking them two at a time, nearly bumping into someone in his haste to get to Buffy.  He’d been gone nearly twelve hours and she could have gotten so much sicker since he left. He needed to know she was okay. 


As soon as Spike reached the door he pulled the handle and opened it . . . to his surprise it was locked. He was cursing under his breath and fumbling for his key when the door opened a sliver. Buffy’s head peaked out to check that it was just Spike in sight, satisfied that she was safe she stepped back and pulled the door the rest of the way open. Spike was not ready for the sight before him. Buffy stood there grinning, no hint of sickness about her, and she was dressed only in a bright red bra and and panties set, high heeled shoes and a santa hat! Her hair was curled and her makeup impeccably done which gave her face a rosy glow that further brought out the gold in her skin and hair and the misty green of her eyes . . . her bright smile warmed his heart and her beauty nearly knocked him off his feet . . . she was his goddess. She had been ever since he saw her dancing in the Bronze a decade ago (god, had it really been that long?) even though he hadn’t known it yet. 


After a second of silence Buffy grabbed his arm and pulled him into their little one room apartment. It was then that he saw she’d taken his absence as an opportunity to decorate for Christmas . . . really decorate. Buffy had gone all out. She’d strung lights all around the room and their only window . . . on the window sill hung seven stockings with names embroidered on each of them . . . from left to write “Rupert, Alexander, Willow, Andrew, Dawn,William, and Buffy” William? He wondered, at seeing himself included with the others. On their bookshelves lay a variety of Christmas decorations ranging from nativity scenes to penguins and Christmas village dioramas. She’d even hung a few paintings of Santa Claus and the Nativity. On one table sat an electronic santa elf with a white beard that dipped a paint brush in and out of a red paint pot.  There even stood a Christmas tree in the corner with a dozen presents underneath. Christmas carols played softly in the background . . . currently “Oh Silent Night.”


“Buffy what is . . .”


She stopped him with a kiss. “I know you're not excited for Christmas Spike but you deserve a good one. Let’s have this special Christmas evening just you and me . . . even if you're not up to celebrating with the others we deserve this.” 


Buffy looked up at him with those beautiful pleading green eyes and he knew he couldn’t say no. She’d gone to so much trouble to set this up. She needed this moment and he loved her too much to refuse. Plus it really did feel festive in here . . . and with what she was (and wasn’t) wearing he had high hopes for where the evening might lead.


“Okay,” Spike agreed and he let her lead him to their small table. She had set it up beautifully as well. Their table was covered in a brilliant red table cloth with golden trim. She had laid out Christmas crackers on the table, they brought up nostalgia he thought long since gone. He hadn't opened one of them in over a hundred years. He hadn’t done any of this in over a hundred years. She had also set out a bottle of sweet red wine and another of whiskey.  At the center of the table sat a roast goose and Christmas pudding and Christmas cookies and an assortment of cheeses: Brie and Gouda and Jarlsburg, and were those shish kabobs?


“Cheese and shish kabobs?” Spike asked confused.


“Mom always made shish kabobs and set out ‘exotic’ cheeses on Christmas day. She said that it was too much work to spend all Christmas day cooking some big turkey or something so we had our own traditions. Trust me, it’s not a Summers Christmas with out ‘em.”


“And the rest?”


“I wanted to combine a Summers’ Christmas with the type you would have been used to growing up,” Buffy explained. “I had Giles give me some pointers about English Christmas. He said that a roast goose and Christmas pudding and christmas crackers were a must.”


“Giles helped set this up,” Spike asked surprised. 


“They all did,” Buffy told him. “Willow teleported them up today and they all helped set this up. They really do want to be family Spike, whether you believe it or not.”


Spike smiled shyly but said nothing. Was it really possible that they had been willing to accept him like Buffy said they were all this time, and he’d just been too scared and stubborn to see it?


“And I know they can never replace your mother Spike. They don’t replace mine either. But they are family and it’ll be good to spend Christmas with them . . .”


Buffy pulled Spike into a chair, and then she grabbed a lighter and leaned as she lit the candles she had set out on the table. It was pretty obvious that she didn’t need to lean down so far and was only doing it so he’d get a view of her magnificent cleavage, but he didn’t mind one bit. Her radiant skin and hair glowed golden and her misty green eyes gleamed in the dim candle light. She was a goddess. She was his goddess.


She then loaded goose and shish kabobs and cheese onto Spike’s plate and passed it to him. 


“Wine or Whiskey?” she asked.


“Whiskey,” he requested.


Buffy grinned. “I knew you would say that.” Buffy poured his drink and passed it over, then she prepared her own plate and poured herself a glass of wine. “Spike, I really want this to be a new beginning for us, Christmas wise. I know you’ve not celebrated since before your Mom died but neither have I, and we do have family. Scooby family, and that does include you. Please, let us start something new.”


Spike was feeling overwhelmed by this strange turn of events. He’d spent all month dreading Christmas, fearing the holiday, and then he had spent all today stuck in a car on a ridiculously long drive to pick up Andrew while fretting about Buffy being alone and sick. Now he came home to a very not sick Buffy, a christmas date, and her telling him that the scoobies had helped set this up . . .  For once in his very long life Spike was genuinely at a loss for words.


Then Buffy tried again, “please Spike . . .” she whispered.


Then Spike smiled genuinely and said “Something new, that’s for us, I like the sound of that.”


The way Buffy smiled at him after he said that was itself enough to make the crappy day picking up Andrew worth it. They ate in silence for a bit, but as they were finishing the last of their plates of food Buffy said “so, do you wanna do one of those crackers?”


She handed him one of them, not bothering to wait for an answer. Spike took one side, she the other, and they pulled splitting it open. Spike got the winning side and pulled out his prize, a small slip of paper with something written on it. 


“What does Santa Claus feel when he gets stuck in the Chimney,” he read.


“I dunno . . .” said Buffy. “Anxiety?”


“Close but not at all,” answered Spike. “Claustrophobia . . .” Spike grinned. “You sure you didn’t come up with that one yourself luv?”


“Hey, my punning skills are way better than that!” Buffy argued.


“Are not.”


“Are too.”


“Another cracker luv?”


When all six Christmas crackers were opened Buffy served the cookies and Christmas pudding for desert. 


“How did you make the pudding,” Spike asked. “I know this whole thing is last minute, and this stuff takes weeks to make.”


Buffy grinned. “Oh Willow used a ‘food maturing’ spell when she came by today.”


“Ah the witchy way,” Spike said through a mouthful of pudding.


“Manners William,” Buffy gasped in fake horror. “Don’t talk with your mouth full.”


Spike swallowed and said sheepishly. “This is really good. You made it yourself?”


“Me and Giles, plus the magic help from Will. It’s Giles grandma's recipe.”


“Tell Giles thank you when you see him,” Spike said through another mouthful of pudding.


Buffy just sighed at that. Her vampire was incorrigible. “Tell him yourself, when you see him on Christmas . . .” Buffy saw Spike tense up at the shoulders. This had been going so well . . . “Spike, you promised . . .”


“I know,” he sighed. “And I do want to . . . it’s just, do they really want me?”


“They wouldn’t of gone to all this trouble if they didn't,” Buffy said as she grabbed another sugar cookie. “Want one?” she offered Spike, but he just shook his head.


This really was all too much too process. The scoobies and Buffy had put so much care into this evening, to help him feel welcome . . . to help him feel like family. The food was delicious, the atmosphere joyful and warm . . . the bounce of Buffy’s breasts in that very Christmasy lingerie, her golden skin glowing in the firelight . . . her equally radiant hair bouncing every time she moved her head. The night was perfect . . . 


“Alright,” Spike said. “I believe you.”


After finishing their desert Buffy took Spike by the hand and led him over to the Christmas tree where she grabbed one of the presents from underneath. It was wrapped in paper with reindeer designs and a red background. The box was small, no bigger than a tennis ball but with the way Buffy picked it out and brought it to him he couldn’t help feeling that something extraordinary lay inside.


“The other presents are for Christmas day, and not all of them are for you” Buffy warned when she saw Spike’s eyes gleam in excitement at all the presents under the tree. “But this one's for you and it’s for now.”


“What have you got me luv,” Spike asked in anticipation.


“I didn’t get it,” Buffy told him. “The scoobies did. All of them pitched in to help. Giles and Willow and Xander.” 


“Really?” Spike asked, surprised.


“Yes really, now open it!” Buffy told him. Spike did. In a second he had the paper off and he was holding a ring box. He opened it up. In his hands he held a silver ring set with emeralds and a big sapphire at the center. “It’s a new Gem of Amara . . .” Buffy explained. “Giles used the resources of the watchers council to track down the most reliable legends of how the ring was created, Willow used her magic to make it using the information Giles gathered. All three  of them, Xander and Willow and Giles, helped pay for it to be set in the ring.” Spike started to open his mouth and Buffy said “yes, it was expensive and yes they can afford it.”


“Why would they . . .” Spike began.

“Because you're worth it and they trust you,” Buffy told him.


You're worth it and they trust you. This was it: proof. All evening he had wanted to believe it but this settled it. They cared about him. They trusted him. They’d had to do so much to make this ring and there was no way it didn’t hurt their wallets . . . even with three of them . . . but more than that they’d given him something that made him almost invincible as long as wore it. They wanted him to be safe. If that didn’t show they trusted him nothing could.


“I dunno what to say,” spike said softly as he started at the ring.


“You don’t have to say anything to me,” Buffy told him. “Your face says it all right now.” She leaned in and kissed him. “There is something else too . . .” She handed him an envelope. “Dawn couldn’t afford a present, being a broke college student and all, but she wrote you a letter.”


Spike opened the envelope and pulled out the sheet of paper inside. He read it, hardly believing the words on the paper, but it was clear the amount of sincerity behind them. She’d forgiven him. She wanted to be his niblet again. Tears filled his eyes and Spike choked back a sob. The ring was special . . . but this meant everything to him.


“I’ve been an idiot . . .” Spike muttered. “So sure they would never want me around I didn’t see that they did.”


“Yeah, you’ve kinda been shooting yourself in the foot,” Buffy agreed. They’ve been ready to let you in ever since you died closing the hellmouth. Saving the world kinda makes you one of us.” 


They just sat there silently for long  minutes while Buffy let Spike absorb everything he was feeling about his gifts. Then she grabbed his hand and pulled to lead him over to their bed where she kicked off her heels and sat down.


“Spike, it’s been a great night and all and I don’t want it to stop . . . but um . . . I’m kinda ready for the grand finale. Will you help me get this off?”


Spike grinned at that. His cock, which had been semi erect all evening, was suddenly rock hard as blood flowed south quicker than should have been possible. “You know the answer to that pet . . . “ he said as undid the clasp on her bra and tossed it off to the side. 


He pushed her back onto the bed causing her Santa hat to fall off to the side, forgotten as quickly as the bra. Her golden hair, messed from hours wearing the hat spread around her like a lion’s mane . . . Her complexion was rosy and golden in the candle’s dim light . . . 


Spike set himself over her thighs straddling her. He leaned down kissing her lips and squeezing a breast in each hand, while he gently brushed her hardening nipples with his thumbs. He broke the kiss to toss off his own shirt.


He pressed another kiss onto Buffy’s lips but quickly began working downwards, showering her neck and shoulders and breasts with light kisses before taking one of her nipples into his mouth and suckling at it as he continued to work her other breast with his free hand.


Buffy arched into his mouth and searched for anchoring points of connection. She threw one arm along Spike’s back and clawed at him , as she ran her other hand through his hair loosening his sweet curls and holding his head to her breasts. 


Spike shook off her strong grasp and continued down her body raining kisses on every inch of her exposed skin, backing up slowly until he was on the floor. He efficiently tore off her panties leaving her entirely rediently naked before him.


Buffy spread her legs in invitation  and he dove forward, pushing his face as far into her as possible, licking and kissing and sucking at her wet entrance. He slid a hand under each of her butt cheeks and grasped her firmly to him before moving one hand further up and around her hip to her soft curls and then down tease at her clit as he ate her. The smell and taste of her most intimate place and it’s juices was something beyond heavenly. While Spike was between her legs he felt divinely blessed, not a demon at all. 


He continued his ministrations to the sound of her breathing and heart rate speeding up until she was near the precipice, he continued to push her towards it and then at last she climaxed, her body shaking and quivering as he continued to work her with his mouth, being rewarded by the glorious taste of her fluids as she came onto his face and tongue. 


Her orgasm began to subside and she instructed him with her feet to get off her, and asked him to get out of his pants and boxers and sit down on the side of the bed. He followed her instructions without question, stripping off his boxers, sitting down, and spreading his legs for her.


Kneeling between his legs Buffy took his ball sack in one small hand and grabbed the base of his shaft with the other. She swirled her tongue around the head of his rock hard prick. And gave a slow, torturous lick down the length of his shaft before reversing and licking back up. He groaned in response and involuntarily closed his eyes and rolled his head back in tortuous bliss only to face her again, not wanting to miss the show. Buffy crawled closer while she continued to run her tongue over the length of his dick and massage his balls. Then she took him all the way into her mouth sucking and using her teeth to gently scrape the sensitive skin of his cock, eliciting a small gasp. 


Buffy continued a steady up and down pull until finally Spike begged her to stop . . . “Buffy, almost there . . .” he said brain-addled. “Need to be inside you. . .” Buffy nodded and pulled back. Spike moved further up the bed and lay back. Buffy climbed on straddling him, her pussy just centimeters over his dick. It was torment having her wet hear so close to his almost there prick, but if it was torment then it was the most glorious torment possible . . .


After what seemed like an eternity Spike begged “Buffy please, need to be inside you” and with that she moved down swiftly impaling herself on Spike’s cock. Spike ran his hands over every inch of skin she had that he could reach. Their breath came out in small grunts and gasps and pants as they both drew nearer to their climaxes. Buffy leaned down pressing a kiss to Spikes lips, her breasts brushing against his chest as she continued rocking her hips against his. 


Before long Buffy was climaxing and the spasms of her vaginal muscles finally brought Spike over the edge with her and he came in her spurting forth his semen into her pussy. Their breathing began too slow and Buffy finally pulled off Spike and collapsed at his side panting.


Spike turned his head where he lay to watch her. She was truly magnificent, her golden hair messed and out spread beneath her, her skin golden and radiant, her rosy cheeks flushed from their lovemaking. . . and she was his girl. If someone had told Spike a decade ago he would love the slayer one day he would have laughed in their face and then killed them. If someone had told him five years ago that she would someday love him back he would have called them crazy and told them to stop giving him false hope. But today he couldn’t imagine the world any other way, his slayer, his girl, the love of his life and he was the love of hers. He’d believed that he had that with Drusilla but he’d been wrong. She’d never loved him back, certainly not like Buffy did, and their love being mutual made it infinitely stronger than what he had felt for Dru.


What’s more Buffy’s friends had welcomed him into their family, something he never thought would happen and his Bit had even forgiven him and said she wanted him back. Buffy had given him the greatest gift imaginable . . . love. Her love but also that of a family. For the first time ever Spike was excited to see the Scoobies, to make up for all the time he had missed these last few years believing they were only willing to tolerate, not embrace him . . . Spike felt a twinge of guilt for being happy on Christmas without his mom, but ultimately he knew that she would be glad for him. She would be glad he had found a woman who loved him and a family to spend not just the holiday, but his life with. Spike had lived over a hundred years and this was one of the best nights of his very long life. Spike grinned at Buffy and suddenly realized his girl had fallen asleep. 


“Thank you Buffy,” he whispered. “For everything. This was the best Christmas I could have asked for. Can’t wait till the real one next week.” Then he lay back his head and joined her in a deep, restful sleep.