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Author's Corner

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Authors Chapter Notes:
This ficlet is actually based on events in another one I wrote, Passion, but you definitely don't have to read that one first--I just allude to events in it. Enjoy!


“Shut up.”

“Well, ‘s the truth,” he protested. “It’s scrawny. Scrawny and underdeveloped…an’ if you ask me, you’re just worried you won’t be able to handle a bigger one.”

“Or maybe,” she shot back, “I just have a thing for scrawny and underdeveloped stuff.”


She imitated his smirk. “What can I say? It’s easy to get a rise out of you.”

Her mistake was pointed out to her as soon as she made it—his face suddenly sported a smirk as he grabbed her and pulled her into his embrace, nudging her with his burgeoning erection. “Damn right it is,” he muttered. “I wanna push you up against that tree an’—“

“Spike!” Buffy cried, shocked. “We’re shopping for a Christmas tree! There are people and—and little kids!” Not to mention wet panties and…no! Bad Buffy! Yep, he was definitely a bad influence on her.

“What can I say? ‘m evil,” he said unrepentantly.

“Obviously,” Buffy grumbled. “And sorry, but I still don’t see what’s wrong with this one.”

Spike cocked his head and studied the tree in question. “Dunno, it’s just…I don’ think it’s the one for us.”

“If I’d known shopping for a tree would be this hard—stop it!—then I would’ve just bought a plastic one,” Buffy grumbled. “Can I point out that the last one I asked about, you said it was too fat?”

“Because it was.”


“You love it.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Well, a’right, maybe not,” Spike conceded. “But you love me.

Unable to resist goading him just a little, Buffy raised a quizzical eyebrow. “Oh, really? Did I ever say that?”

“I think you said it last night.” His mouth came closer to her ear until he was whispering to her in a low, sensual tone. “When I was poundin’ into you…I seem to remember you tellin’ me you loved me…all of me.”

Damn. He was right.

“Yeah, well, you still drive me nuts,” Buffy grumbled. “Now come on, let’s find a tree.”

Two hours and three stores later, they’d found one that they could both agree upon. Unfortunately, it was ten feet tall.

“Ouch!” Buffy exclaimed, almost dropping her end. “Dammit, you bleached idiot, that hurt!

“’s not my fault you can’t keep your grip on the sodding tree,” Spike snapped back. “Why the hell did we decide to buy one, anyway? Neither ‘f us is Christian.”

“Yeah, but—“ Buffy set the base down and helped Spike pull the end through their door—“Having a tree is a time-honored tradition. Didn’t you have one when you were human?”

Spike arched an eyebrow at her. “You honestly think that Victorian sods would voluntarily put large, prickly plants in their homes?”

“I don’t know, genius. You’re the one who was alive then,” Buffy shot back with a grin.

“We didn’t,” he said. “Christmas wasn’t half as big a deal back then as it is now…mostly we just went to church.”

“Church? Ew.” Buffy wrinkled her nose as she wrestled the tree’s trunk into the stand they’d bought. “Okay. On the count of three--Spike!

Instead of slowly pushing the tree up, Spike had given it a solid shove. It sprang upright, the top almost brushing the ceiling. Buffy stomped her foot in frustration. “You dope!”

“What?” He looked honestly astonished, which just made her madder. “Din’ you want it standin’ up?”

No, I didn’t! We didn’t put the star on! I was gonna tell you to drop it!” Buffy pouted. “Now we have to get the ladder.”

“Balls.” He went out to the closet and pulled out a letter. “Where’s the star? I’ll put it on.”

“Um…here ya go.” She handed it to him and he attached it to the uppermost branch before clambering down and hauling the ladder back out to the closet.

“See now, pet, that wasn’t so hard, was—“

Spike stopped dead. Buffy had plugged in the lights on the tree and turned off all other lights in the room. She and her vampire were bathed in the rainbow glow of the multicolored lights, and her face, so rapt and attentive, Spike felt his heart swell with love.

There was something in her face—tenderness and joy, as though like him, she realized that this was their tree. After so long, after enduring a truly ridiculous number of trials and a heartbreaking amount of pain, they were together and sharing a life. Life. All its traditions and triumphs and failures—they both got to take part in them now, side by side.

“I never really saw a tree before,” he admitted quietly, staring at his girl.

She turned her rapt gaze to him. “Huh? How’d you manage to avoid that?”

He shrugged and fought the discomfort that always came over him when he discussed his past. His life before her.

Hard to believe that back then, he’d thought he was happy.

“Dunno. Vamps don’t really go in for Christmas, you know? Peace an’ happiness an’ all that rot aren’t exactly high on our list of fun things to do…I only saw the fake ones in department stores.” He looked down, shuffling his feet.

A hand on his face made him look up again. Buffy’s eyes met his, shining with understanding and compassion.

She smiled mischievously. “Don’t be such a poof,” she teased, using his word to get a smile out of him. “We haven’t even put on ornaments yet.”

And she’d done it again. One gesture, one comment, and somehow she’d managed to make him forget about the hidden bitterness that had haunted him for almost a hundred years.

He all but tackled her right there in front of the tree, smashing his lips to hers, holding her against him. She reciprocated eagerly; it took all of two seconds for her to push him onto the couch and straddle him, grinding her hips into his rapidly hardening erection.

“Have I mentioned lately that I love you? Because bloody hell, I do,” he gasped, clutching her hips like they were a lifeline. In a way, they were. She was.

She was the one who kept him sane, who stopped him from being engulfed by the darkness that had made its home in his body for more than a century.

“I know,” she whispered, kissing his neck. “You tell me every day.”

He grinned at her. “Don’t tell me you’re getting tired of it, Slayer.”


She kissed him then, kissed him in a way that sometimes he still had trouble believing. Before, it had been rough, all hard lips and sharp teeth; but now she let her softness through, let him feel her and worship her the way she deserved.

It took his breath away.

When they finally came together, there on the couch—when he began moving inside her, with her arching and shuddering about him—they both knew. This was what they wanted, what called to them.

This was why they fought.

“Spike…please,” she whispered, moaning. “I need…”

He managed to summon enough strength to raise an eyebrow at her. His teeth were clenched with the effort not to come. He wanted her to go first, but God…with her muscles clenching him, with her scent surrounding him…it was one of the hardest battles he’d ever fought.

Her eyes were heavy in the dim light, and the sweat on her skin shone red and blue. “I need you in me.”

He bucked his hips, launching her upwards and nudging her clit.

“Pretty sure I am in you,” he all but growled.

Her eyes flashed at him; it was one of the most beautiful sights he’d ever seen. Passion, fury, love—they melded together in her eyes and seared him like he’d touched the sun that was forbidden to him.

Bite me NOW, she ordered, before giving him the greatest gift she could:

She opened her mind to him.

His eyes widened and his demonic face appeared as her love washed over him. All semblance of control left him; as he sank his teeth shallowly into her skin and drank her essence in, he felt himself awash in her. Just as he marked her, she marked him. Her love was in every part of him; it suffused him and made him whole. One.

As he drew his teeth out of her, he felt her satisfaction, and she collapsed bonelessly upon him.

“That was…um…”

He smirked, unable to keep the conceit from entering his voice. “Merry Christmas, luv.”

An almost-forgotten phrase swam to the surface of Buffy’s mind—prodded, she knew, by the vampire who now lay next to her on the abused couch. Like you think you’re God’s gift…

“Very funny,” Buffy said as dryly as she could—which, admittedly, was still pretty pant-ey.

“I thought so.”

She felt him smile as she lay down, half on top and half beside him.

“Remember last year, when I came down to LA?”

Spike chuckled. “How could I forget? You damn near gave me a heart attack when I was ‘bout to fight the demon hordes of Hell.”

“Yeah, well, I helped you out in the end,” Buffy defended herself.

“You and your Slayer army,” Spike said, kissing her head. “Luv, ‘m not gonna lie to you. Seeing you there was one of the best moments of my life.”

Now it was her turn to smile beatifically. “I still can’t believe you thought I’d just forget you like that,” she said scoldingly, nuzzling his chest.

He snorted. “You shouldn’t ‘ve sent the boy to be your spokesperson, then.”

“Well, it’s not like I could just go and track you down,” Buffy said crossly. “Because hello, leaving the Immortal to the Slayerettes? How dumb would that be?”

Spike allowed himself to smile. “You’ve got a point…”

“Damn right, I do.” Buffy nodded, apparently satisfied.

“But that doesn’t mean you should’ve let Andrew speak for you. With common sense like that, ‘m surprised you’ve stayed alive as long as you have.”

“Ha ha,” she said sarcastically, whacking him lightly.

They lay in silence for awhile, Spike stroking Buffy’s hair as she ran a hand lightly over his chest.

“I like this,” Buffy said finally. Her quiet voice seemed to ring out; the air was heavy with all their unvoiced emotions.

“This?” Spike asked carefully.

“Lying here with you,” she clarified. “I never…no one else ever really did this with me,” she admitted shyly.

“Oh, kitten.” He drew her closer. “’f I could only get my hands on the wankers who did this to you, I’d—“

Now she was confused. “Who did what? Last time I checked I was in one piece.”

His growl made his chest vibrate beneath her head. “Riley. Parker. Angelus.” He spat the last name with particular venom. “They hurt you, more’n you realize. By the time I got to you…”

“Hey! First of all, I hurt all of them too. I hit Parker with a club, remember? And second of all, when you got to me you were trying to kill me.” She mock-scowled at him. “You evil innocence-ruiner, you.”

“I more than made up for that,” he said, looking wounded. “Helped you an’ your mates, got pushed off a tower—“

“—that I then jumped off of—“

“Put up with your whacky borderline schizophrenic behavior, burned up at the soddin’ Hellmouth—not to mention the whole soul-having bit.”

She forced herself not to start cooing. Or kissing him. Or possibly just jumping him and riding him into unconsciousness. “I’m still not convinced,” she sing-songed, grinning mischievously.

He arched an eyebrow at her.

“I worked with Peaches,” he said in a deadly serious voice. “I let Peaches boss me around for eight months.

Angel bossiness…Buffy’s face pulled into a grimace almost before she realized what she was doing.

“Okay. You win.”

“Damn straight I do.” His face widened into a smile. An evil, deceiving, Big Bad kind of smile.

“So now,” he said, running his hand down her body in a way that would have been unbearably possessive if she didn’t know where that hand was headed, “I get to have my reward.” His fingers brushed against the hair at the apex of her thighs.

“Which is?” Dang it. There was that breathy, damsel-in-distress thing again!

“Making you come in my arms,” he whispered, dipping his fingers into her. “Feeling you writhe and scream my name in pleasure…feeling you giving me everything, and knowing that you’re mine.” He began to move his hand over her—Buffy’s head flew back of its own accord and she let out a moan.

Funny how his method of reward always seemed to include her, too…

“Always,” he whispered, and she realized she’d spoken aloud. “You give me everything…you’ve given me the sun back, pet. I look at you an’ I see spring…flocks of birds in the trees…rotten little squirrels…”

She smiled, then gasped as he flicked her clit. It wasn’t the most poetic speech in the world, but when he talked to her like this…God. He could kill her right now, and she’d die with an ecstatic smile on her face, not because of the way he manipulated her body, but because of how he controlled her heart. He held it in his hands, always—she was constantly at his mercy. A single look, a single word, could kill her.

But he didn’t. That was what amazed her, that after all her experiences with men and monsters, this demon could show her what it was like to love and be loved. None of the others had ever let her protect them…they expected everything from her, but gave nothing in return. Spike didn’t need her protection, just as she didn’t need his, yet they both gave themselves willingly to the other.

It was the giving, the sharing—the oneness they’d become—that took her breath away and made her come.

He kissed her as she shuddered and moaned in his arms. Buffy smiled and turned around, twining her arms around her neck and kissing him gently. “Love you,” she reminded him. “So, so much. I feel—you’re amazing, and I’m—“

“Incredible,” he finished for her, eyes dancing.

She wrinkled her nose at him. “I was gonna say ‘not worth it’, but—“

He didn’t let her finish, covering her mouth with his. “Don’t say that,” he urged her. “Never say that. Did enough ‘f that back at the Hellmouth, don’t you think?”

She nodded. “I know. It’s just, some part of me still wonders if this is all a dream…if someday I’ll wake up, and you’ll be gone.”

“Never.” The vehemence in that vow made her smile. “You’re stuck with me, pet. Sorry ‘bout that.”

The sheer lack of repentance in his voice made her laugh. “Well, that works out well, since you’re stuck with me,” she said, grinning.

“That I am, pet.” He waggled his tongue at her. “Now what say we get stuck in the—bloody fucking hell, is it impossible to ‘ave a decent holiday in this hellhole?

Buffy jumped up, fists at the ready, as the demon Spike had heard outside their door kicked said door off its hinges and launched itself into their apartment.

Even as a snarling Spike joined her side, Buffy felt herself growing pale. There were three of them—huge, hulking things that seemed to be dripping goo.

“Okay, that’s gross,” Buffy remarked.

“But deadly,” Spike added. “These things’ll kill you in a second ‘f you’re not careful. Run an’ grab a couple ‘f axes, yeah?”

The demons spotted them and began running towards them. Their living room was pretty big, but—Buffy dove for the weapons chest just as the first one set upon Spike. Roars and curses filled the air as Spike tore into it; Buffy grinned when she heard him yell something about ‘teaching them not to respect a Slayer’s Christmas!’

She snatched the axes up and closed the chest. “Spike!” she yelled, and tossed the axe, its huge, deadly blade spinning, towards him.

He caught it neatly and decapitated the one in front of him. Buffy had just enough time to see it explode in yellowish goo before she turned her attention to the demon who’d decided it wanted a Slayer snack.

“Sorry, bub,” she said to it, “But you’re gonna have to make with the merry somewhere else.”

It growled and took another slow step forwards.

Buffy shrugged. “Your funeral,” she said cheerfully, and leapt at it.

Spike finished off the second one as Buffy dismembered hers. They finished in tandem, as they always did, and ended the battle gasping, eyes locked.

Finally Buffy said, “I’d kiss you, except—um.” She held up a goo-covered arm.

“Yeah.” Spike grimaced at his own slimy clothing. “Sodding J’Kailius,” he muttered.


“J’Kailius,” Spike repeated. “Big, nasty rotters who attack people randomly. Not that bright, as you may have noticed.”

“So I did. I think they’re the only demons in San Diego who didn’t catch the whole ‘Senior Slayer living with a master vampire’ memo.” Buffy looked at the floors and grimaced. They were all but covered in the lurid slime, and the furniture had yellow specks all over it.

“Thank God Glinda’s Crimbo pressie came early.” Spike voiced Buffy’s own thoughts, and he headed over to the shelf where they stored said present.

It was a small, innocuous bag, which Spike upended on the slimy floor and ordered, “A’right, do your work.”

Shining blue powder fell out of the bag and coalesced into a thick, roiling mist. As it whirled around the house, the slime—along with dust, blood, and the demons’ severed parts—simply disappeared.

“Right useful, that,” Spike remarked. “Now ‘m kinda glad you lot insisted on early gift exchange.”

Buffy stared at him as the absurdity of their situation took over her. They were both covered in slime, demons that most people didn’t think existed lay on the floor, and she was pretty sure that at least one of her presents had been mushed in the fight. Any other year she would have been devastated and insisted that Christmas had been ruined by this attack—but now?

Now she simply burst out laughing.

The utter and complete astonishment on Spike’s face just made her laugh harder until she was leaning against the doorframe, her belly aching and tears running down her face.

“Uh, pet? Not that ‘m not glad you’re a’right, but…have you gone completely carrot-top?”

“I’m sorry,” Buffy said in between giggles. “It’s just—this is so us, you know? With the demon, and the sex…” She burst into fresh peals of laughter upon realizing that they were both stark naked. “It’s just—Hellmouthey goodness all over again.”

“Wouldn’t be us without it, would we?” Spike grinned at her. “Monsters an’ demons an’ whatnot—they’re a part ‘f us.”

“I know a demon who’s a part of me,” Buffy said slyly, batting her eyelashes and squashing down the voice in her that was saying something along the lines of, God, corny much?

“Is that right?” He looked around in mock innocence. “Now, where would he be, I wonder?”

She smacked him. “Shut up.”

“Never.” He wrapped his arms around her wait, pulling her to him.

“Spike! Ew! We’re sticky!”

“Would you look at that,” Spike mused, running a hand through the goo on Buffy’s shoulder. Buffy viewed it as proof of his evil corruption that the touch made her shiver. “Guess we’d better get all cleaned up.”

Which meant…Buffy grinned evilly. “Race you to the shower,” she said, and sprinted for the stairs.

“’ey!” Spike yelled indignantly, running to catch up with her, “You cheated! Thought Slayers were supposed to be all righteous-like!”

“What can I say? You corrupted me.”

“Bloody right I did.” He caught up with her at the top of the stairs, and they fell to the floor in a messy, gooey heap.

Spike touched her face, the one part of them both that was reasonably goo-free.

“Love you.”

She smiled brilliantly. Sunrise, moonlight, darkness and light—it was all there. “Love you, too…pig.”

When he growled and tossed her over his shoulder, headed for the bathroom, she was squealing in laughter and delight.


Downstairs, Willow, Xander, Dawn, and Giles entered the house.

“Looks like they used the spell,” Willow said cheerfully. The house was almost clean, though broken furniture still littered the area and the tree was almost falling over.

“I still think hiring some demons was an absolutely ridiculous thing to do,” Giles protested angrily. “They could have been killed.”

“That’s the beauty of it, G-man,” Xander said. “Think of it—a world without the Bleached Wonder.”

Dawn rolled her eyes. “Puh-leeze. You wanted to give them a nice Christmas, just like the rest of us.”

Sounds drifted down the stairs—screams and moans. The foursome exchanged panicked looks.

“That’s disgusting!” Dawn squealed. “I am so with Xander now. Let’s get out of here.”

The two of them left, Giles hastily on their heels. Willow stalled for a moment to glance up at the ceiling, smiling, before she flicked her fingers and restored the house to its original state of messiness. Despite the Scooby gang’s missish disgust, she knew why they’d all agreed to go along with her idea.

Buffy and Spike both had an incredibly weird way of celebrating stuff. Normal wasn’t good enough for them, and Willow had wanted to give them something that they’d enjoy—something to remind them of how they’d been thrown together in the first place, and of how happy they were now compared to then.

She wore a bright smile as finished cleaning up. Judging by what was going on upstairs, she’d succeeded in her goal.

If anyone deserved a happy ending, it was them.

“Merry Christmas, guys,” she whispered, before leaving them to the peace they’d finally achieved.


A/N: Yeah, yeah. Sappy, unrealistic, vague. What’d you expect? ;) Hope everyone has a wonderful Whatever-You-Celebrate and a happy New Year!

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