Title: The Christmas Wish
Fandom: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I bend to Joss Whedon's will and try my best not to murder his characters.
Summary: It begins to snow in Sunnydale and Xander finds himself caught in the middle of it. He goes for a walk to discover someone bleached blonde and in need of his help.
Notes:This was written for noel_of_spike. Thanks to mysticsoblivion for betaing.
Xander sighed as the snow fell around him. This was insane. It never snowed in Sunnydale. It was Southern California, snow had no place here, but, trying telling it that. He shivered slightly and wished he could go inside soon. His parents were probably on their last drink, but it would still be awhile before they passed out.
“I wish I had a winter jacket,” Xander said pulling the sleeping bag tighter around him. “No, you know what I wish above anything else. I wish I could find someone out there who would love me the most. That I was the only one they could ever love and they wouldn’t be ashamed of me.”
He grabbed his lantern. There was no point sitting in the snow and freezing to death. Xander got up. He picked up his unfinished dinner plate and comic, then slowly went down to the basement. He could hear yelling and smashing from upstairs as he quickly deposited his things and left.
Xander pulled the sleeping bag around him like a jacket and held the lantern as he walked. He got as far as the park when he noticed a tow truck dragging away a black DeSoto.
“I guess not everyone gets the day off,” Xander said to himself.
Xander entered the park on the edge of town and sat on the swing. He slowly rocked himself back and forth as the bar above squealed in defiance, threatening to break and knock Xander off. Xander swung forward when he noticed bright blonde hair buried almost completely under the snow.
“Holy shit!” Xander swore. “There’s someone buried in the snow!”
Xander hopped off the swing and laid down his open sleeping bag where the body was, ready to wrap them to keep them warm. He dropped down to his knees and dug through the snow. Xander uncovered a chest, then a neck, then a head. Xander’s breath hitched when he recognized the unconscious person.
The person was in fact Spike. Spike the vampire who kidnapped both him and Willow. Spike who had tried to kill Buffy, but he didn’t look like that Spike. Trails of tears were frozen on his face and he looked gaunt like he hadn’t eaten in days. His lips were blue and pealing.
“What should I do,” Xander whispered to himself. “But what’s one less psycho in the world? If he was awake, Spike would try to kill me.”
At the sound of his name, Spike’s head lifted slightly. His eyes opened to reveal glazed over blue eyes. He smiled up at Xander and reached out his hand to stroke his cheek. Xander shivered and turned his head away.
“Poodle,” Spike said distressed. “I came back. Told you I could change. Don’t send me away again, Dru. I love you, pet.”
Xander couldn’t pull away as Spike gently grabbed his hair and combed his fingers through it. Spike guided Xander’s head toward him and kissed him. His cold lips pressed roughly against Xander’s and Xander couldn’t bring himself to stop. A spark ran through him from his lips to his toes and Xander found himself kissing back.
“Thanks, love,” Spike said weakly. “Knew you still loved me.”
Spike’s eyes closed and his head fell back into the snow. Xander shook him violently, but Spike didn’t move again.
“Spike? Spike!? SPIKE!” Spike still didn’t stir. “Damn it, consider yourself lucky. If- Damn it, just hang on please, Spike. Just hang on.”
Xander wrapped Spike in his sleeping bag and picked him up. He hurried down the street back towards his house. He opened the door to the basement, but found he was stopped by an invisible wall.
“I invite you in, Spike,” Xander said then rushed in.
He put Spike aside on the floor and cleared off the junk from the pullout bed. Xander then proceeded to pull the bed out and checked the sheets to make sure they were clean. When he made sure they were, he moved Spike onto the bed and tucked him in.
“I’ll be back, Spike. I’m going to get you blood, just don’t die… um, again. Just don’t be dust when I get back, do you hear me?”
“You aren’t, Dru,” Spike groaned. “Who are you?”
“I’m Xander, Xander Harris. I’m going to take care of you.”
“Because-” Xander cut himself off when Spike seemed to fade out again. “Because when you kissed me, in all the kisses that I’ve had, I actually felt something with this one.”
Xander left and trekked down to the nearest butcher shop, but when he got to the door, he noticed the open sign was switched off and the sign on the door said “closed”. Xander saw the lights were still on, so he pounded on the door. A man came to the door.
“We’re closed,” he said through the glass. “Go home to your family, kid.”
“But that’s why I’m here. My mom, she made gravy and she was about to put some with the turkey to cook it, when I knocked it over.” Xander faked a sniffle. “They’re all accusing me of ruining Christmas, so I said I would run out and get some more cow’s blood and make it by myself, but everywhere else is closed. Please, I really need this.”
“I’m locking up because I’m going on vacation. I’m not actually open.”
“PLEASE! If I don’t come home with anything at least to show that I tried, they’ll all be mad at me. It’s still early, so if I get back now, no one will be mad. Just this once, I promise.”
The shop owner let out a sigh and unlocked the door, “Okay, how much do you need?”
“A lot! We have like twenty people over!”
Spike was vaguely aware of cool blood running down his throat when he came to. The blood tasted disgusting, but he didn’t spit it out. He was hungry and it felt like he hadn’t eaten for days. When he slowly opened his eyes and his vision cleared, he could make out a brown-haired boy force feeding him blood from a clear container.
“Hey,” the boy said setting the container aside. “You scared me. I thought you were going to be dust.”
“You know what I am?” Spike asked, for some reason the name ‘Xander’ kept floating into his head.
“You probably don’t remember me. I kind of helped undermine some of your evil schemes then a few months ago you kidnapped me.”
“Oh, yeah. You’re the bloke that chases the Slayer around. Xander, right?”
“I don’t chase her around. I’m actually very useful.” Spike snorted. “I am!”
“Not very smart then.”
Spike sat up and shifted to his vampire face, “Because you invited a soulless vampire into your home.”
“Can you at least make it quick then?”
“What do you think I am? This ain’t a request service.”
“Yeah, just I would really like this to be quick. Part of me thinks you’re right about the slaying thing. Then my best friend in the whole world toyed with me then when me and my girlfriend broke up, Willow went back to Oz. Then to top it off, the girl I think I really like is going around with a brooding Neanderthal. That’s only my relationship problems. I’m barely passing all my classes, plus my family sucks. I just want one thing to go right, but nothing is so, you know, just do it!”
“You know,” Spike said his face shifting back to human. “Christmas has one of the highest suicide rates.”
“Brilliant. You know, no one even got me a Christmas gift.”
“Alright, I won’t kill you. Happy Christmas, Xander.”
“What?” Xander asked shocked.
“Happy Christmas. You Americans always say ‘Merry Christmas’, but in England we say ‘Happy Christmas.’”
“Not that. Your gift to me is you’re letting me live?”
Spike dug around in his pocket until he dug out a switch blade, “Sorry I didn’t have time to wrap.” He handed it to Xander. “Happy Christmas.”
“Wait,” Xander said looking at the blade. “I don’t have anything for you.”
“Saved my life, you don’t need to get me anything.”
“Yeah, I do.”
Xander looked around the small basement until he spotted a box that read “Xander’s Old Things.” Xander grabbed the box and sat on the bed as Spike watched him dig around through it. He finally found his old friendship bracelet that he had made with Jesse and Willow. He remembered they made it big so they could wear them even when they were older though once they entered junior high, they all agreed it was stupid and stopped wearing them.
“Hold out your wrist,” Xander said. Spike did as he was told and Xander tied the bracelet to his wrist. “It’s really old, so be careful with it.”
“What’s this then?” Spike said looking over the blue yarn tied to his wrist.
“It’s a friendship bracelet. Uh, happy Christmas.”
“Pet, you might be a bit confused. We ain’t friends.”
“Yeah, but I saved your life, so it’s kind of, you have to wear it. You know?”
Spike picked at the bracelet, “Makes me wonder, why did you save me? I ain’t done any favors for you. In fact, if the shoe were on the other foot, I’d have killed you. Almost did too.”
“I was. I seriously was going to leave you there, but then you kissed me. I know you thought I was Dru at the time, but it- it felt good.”
“’Course it did. I was the one doing the kissing. That it though? Because I was a good kisser?”
“No, it was the way you looked too. The way you were buried under the snow and the way your tears froze. You looked so- forsaken. I wanted to make it better.”
“I might have been bit hasty when I said you chase around the Slayer. Might actually be an honest to goodness white hat.”
“Oh, I might be?”
“Without a doubt, pet. Taking a poor vampire in from the cold because you wanted to make him feel better. Really warms the cockles of my heart.”
“I could have left you there. “
“Well, thanks for the kindness,” Spike said getting up. “Got to get to my DeSoto before the snow lets up and the sun comes out.”
“Was your DeSoto black?” Xander asked.
“Well, I think I saw it being towed.”
“Bloody hell,” Spike exclaimed sinking back down onto the bed. “All I had left of Dru was in the back of that trunk. If you couldn’t guess, she wouldn’t take me back.”
“You really love her, huh?”
“With all my heart,” Spike said stiffly like he was holding back tears. “I was supposed to spend eternity with her.”
Xander grabbed Spike’s hand and ran his thumb along Spike’s palm trying to comfort him.
“If it was meant to be, she’ll come back to you.”
“She always ran off with other demons, but she always came back. This time though, no matter what I do. She won’t come back.”
Spike rested his head on Xander’s shoulder. Xander ran his hands through Spike’s hair. He didn’t know what to say, so he just sat there with him giving Spike the comfort that he needed.
Xander woke up to find himself being held tightly and a hand running through his hair. He opened his eyes only to be met with endless blue irises. Xander blushed deeply and smiled.
“Hey, pet,” Spike smiled back. “Ain’t very smart spending the day with a vampire, even if said vampire was having an emotional breakdown.”
“I like to live dangerously. Besides, you might be soulless, but you aren’t heartless. You were hurting, so I had to take you in. It’s like the white hat law.”
“Wish I was heartless. Would make me feel less, I dunno, guilty. I haven’t held anyone like this besides Dru. I didn’t know it could feel like this.”
“Feel like what?”
“That I could hold someone and be the one comforted at the same time.”
“Do you believe in Christmas wishes?”
“Think so, why?”
“Well, I made a wish and-” Xander was cut off by the beeping of his alarm. “Damn it, looks like it’s time for the Scooby meeting. We’re probably going to discuss how poor Angel is feeling.”
“If Angel is going to be there, you can’t go, pet.”
“He’ll smell me all over you.”
Xander furrowed his eyebrows and sniffed himself. Spike laughed.
“You can’t smell it, but us vampires will know you’ve been cuddling with me all night.”
“Nosey vampires. But I don’t see why he’d mind. I’m not a vampire.”
“I never left. Broke my promise again, didn’t I?”
“But you’re Spike. You’re expected to break your promises.”
“Sure you’re a Scooby, love?”
“It’s just there was this wish-” Xander was cut off by the beeping of the alarm again; he reached over and turned off the alarm. “I’ll tell you when I get back, okay? If you want, you’re welcome to tag along.”
“Had enough star-crossed lovers to fill me a couple centuries.”
“Alright,” Xander kissed Spike’s cheek. “I’ll be back and I promise I’ll keep your Christmas present close.”
Spike watched as Xander got out of bed and picked up the switch blade off the work bench, where he had put it sometime between their cuddling. Then without another word, only a smile, Xander walked up the stairs and disappeared into the upper part of the house.
“Bugger, should be eating him not cuddling him. Bloody hell, I can’t be rebounding that bad I’m panting for a human.” Spike looked at the blue friendship bracelet tied around his wrist. “Should tear it off.”
Spike stared at it for a bit then began playing with the bracelet. He wondered if he should go after Xander. If he knew anything about Angel, he wouldn’t be happy that Xander had Spike’s scent all over him. Spike got up and went out the door. He might as well help him, Xander had saved his life. So, he owed him.
When Spike entered the library, everyone was already panicking, and barely noticed him come in. Xander smiled at him as he tossed the cross in his hand back and forth while Buffy, Angel, Giles, and a brunette Spike didn’t recognize argued about what to do with Xander.
“Put that down, love,” Spike whispered to him, ignoring the others.
Xander spared a glance at Spike’s wrist, when he saw he was still wearing the friendship bracelet, he complied then moved closer to Spike. Spike leaned into Xander and pressed his nose into Xander’s neck so he could smell the sweet blood running through his pet’s veins. He licked and nuzzled, until Xander wrapped his arms around his waist. Spike stilled, enjoying the closeness, he reached up a hand and gripped Xander’s shoulder.
“I want to tell you about my wish-” Xander began, but he was cut off by a high pitched scream.
“WHAT IS SPIKE DOING TO XANDER!?” Willow screamed when she entered the library and saw Spike nuzzling against Xander.
All heads turned towards Xander. The brunette looked amused, while Buffy, Angel, and Giles looked seriously perturbed. Spike felt Xander shift and press Spike against the wall.
“You didn’t see what I saw,” Xander demanded. “Spike needed help, I helped him. And you know, so what if we have that whole ‘Florence Nightingale’ syndrome going on. I don’t care.”
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” the brunette said. “You make-out with blood breath over there all the time, B. I don’t see how this is any different.”
“Because it’s wrong, Faith,” Buffy exclaimed. “He’s obviously got Xander thralled or something.”
“Can I say something, pet?” Spike asked Xander.
“Whatever you want to say, you can say it from here. There are two slayers and a vampire, then you barely had enough blood. You’re not getting staked on my watch,” Xander replied tightening his grip.
“Bloody white hat,” Spike muttered amused. “Boy ain’t under my thrall,” he called out to the others. “If he were, wouldn’t have let him come see you, that’s for sure. He found me in the snow and took me home. Saved my life, he did.”
“Xander wouldn’t save you. You hurt me and Xander doesn’t like people who hurt his friends,” Willow protested.
“Yeah, great friend you are. Lead him on, get him dumped, then go back to your werewolf boyfriend because he still wants you after what an incredible bitch you were.”
“Xander, don’t tell me you’re still protecting him after he said that!”
“No, Willow, you really hurt me after that. I thought you cared for me or something, I don’t know. It was stupid of me to think you or Cordelia could have both wanted me…” he trailed off resting his head on top of Spike’s.
“Wasn’t stupid,” Spike comforted, wrapping his arm around waist. “Well, not stupid thinking they couldn’t both want you. Was stupid trying to have both at the same time. I get it though, no one ever paid any attention to you, then once you got a little attention you craved more.” Spike tapped his turn scar knowingly and smiled at Xander. “All do stupid things in the name of love.”
“That’s why I made the wish, Spike; I’ve been trying to tell you-”
“Is that a friendship bracelet on Spike’s hand?” Faith asked curiously.
They all looked and Willow gasped. She went for the bracelet but Spike moved his hand out of the way before she could grab it. He pulled himself out of Xander’s gripped and glared at her, his eyes turning yellow then blue again.
“Is there a reason you want this blue piece of yarn so badly?” Spike asked, trying to pretend he didn’t care she just made a grab at his Christmas present from Xander.
“Xander would never give that to you! We all made those to show that we were friends. Xander made his blue, I made mine yellow, and Jesse made his red.”
Spike looked over her wrists, “Where is it?”
He pointed at the bracelet, “You’re all such good friends, where’s yours?”
“It got- I had to throw it out, it fell in the mud.”
Spike shrugged, “Don’t matter to me. Xander gave this to me as a Christmas gift and I plan to keep it.”
“Say something!” Buffy demanded of Angel and Giles.
Giles polished his glasses, “Uh, right, Angel, what should we do?”
“Well,” Angel said not sure how to put it. “Remember when I said when Spike wants something, he rarely gives up and keeps going until he gets it?”
“Yeah,” Buffy said testily.
“Also, remember, I’ve known Spike the longest and I’ve seen how he’s cared for Dru. So, I know when he cares for someone…”
“If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, Angel.”
“He obviously wants Xander. Maybe it’ll keep them both busy and you wouldn’t have to worry about him killing people, because he’d-”
“Be right here killing people.”
“I can be just as good as the poof over there. Even better I wager,” Spike said.
“You aren’t actually going to believe him, are you Buffy?” Willow asked wide-eyed.
“If you bite one person-” Buffy began.
“Non-consensually,” Xander added.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“Well, if it’s the person’s free will, I don’t see it as our place to, um, get in the way,” Xander added blushing.
Buffy sighed and amended herself, “If you bite one person non-consensually then I reserve every right to stake you.”
“Fine,” Spike said grabbing Xander’s hand. “Let’s go home, pet, and do some consensual biting.”
Xander let Spike tug him out of the school before he stopped. Spike cocked his head to the side and looked at him as if wondering what was on his mind.
“Spike, the wish- It-”
“It’s one of those that won’t let the wisher tell about the wish. Think I’ll be able to guess?”
“You can try.”
“Well, my guess is that you wished for someone who could love you the way you want to be loved. Someone who will only see you, yes?”
Xander nodded, “How’d you know?”
“Made the wish a few times myself. I figured it out on my way over from your home to the library. Kind of honoured, pet. No one’s ever really considered me like that before.”
“Considered you like what before?”
“Their one and only, someone they could love and know they’d be loved back. That I was actually an answer to a wish.”
“I mean, Dru had those soddin’ visions, but it’s not like she wished for me. Always had Daddy to keep her occupied.”
Xander laughed, “Spike, sometimes you babble worse than me.”
It was still dark so the sun hadn’t had a chance to melt the snow, it glistened around them and made everything look new even though Xander had lived in the town all his life. They wrapped around each other and kissed silently, neither saying another word. In that moment, everything was stilled and for that moment, everything in the world was perfect.