Happy holidays, everyone!
Rating: Anything upto and including R/teen.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: Seasonal schmoop ahoy!
jans_intentions asked for: Might I have Spike giving Xander an inappropriate gift and Xander finding a way to show that he does appreciate it, despite how embarrassing it is? :)
It's All In The Detail, 658 words
The envelope weighed heavily in his pocket as though it were made of lead, and Spike began to wish it were something - anything but what it was. He just knew the evening was going to end in disaster because of this. Dammit! When would he ever learn?
Spike had subtly broached the subject after Thanksgiving, when Xander was half-asleep and not listening worth a damn. He'd been too full of turkey, yams and pie to ask what the hell Spike was thinking to suggest a thing like that. Still, he'd grunted. He'd grunted in a positive kind of way, Spike had decided. Which was why he had a gift certificate lying in his pocket while he tried to wish it into a Star Wars plate or a crate of Girl Scout Cookies.
Giving the wish thing up as a total loss, Spike reached out and rapped a neat tattoo on Xander's door. It flew open.
"Spike! Hi! I didn't expect you quite this early. Come on in, before you catch your death… Heh. Sorry. I've been mixing up a fresh batch of nog and it needed testing. I think I might have put too much brandy in. Want a taste?"
Spike trailed behind Xander all the way to the kitchen, scarlet and gold envelope clutched in his hand. Maybe there was time to beat a hasty retreat and…
"Ooh, is that my present?"
Xander tilted his head until he could clearly see his name, written in calligraphy on the front.
"Cool! I'll just run and get yours from the bedroom, okay? Help yourself to nog if you want it!"
Dropping into a chair, Spike admitted defeat. There was no way this was going to turn out right. He might just as well leave now and save himself the humiliation.
"Here it is! Do you want to exchange now or over dinner? The Dragon should be delivering in an hour, I ordered early." Xander looked hopefully at the envelope.
"Here." Spike thrust it out, accepting, in return, a box that rattled loudly when he shook it.
Curious though he was, he didn't move to open it, instead staring steadily at Xander as he lifted the flap and slid the gold embossed gift certificate from its envelope.
"Hey! A deluxe, full-body wax job! I guess you must have noticed the car hasn't been polished for a while, huh? This'll make her beautiful again!"
Spike placed his mystery box carefully onto the table and scrubbed icy palms across his face.
"No, luv. It's not for the car… it's for you. Remember, just before Thanksgiving when I talked you into shaving your…"
"And after dinner you said it kind of itched and I suggested…"
An awkward silence built.
"Right then. I'll be off, shall I? I'll leave you to eat your dinner in peace. I can see myself out."
Xander grabbed hold of Spike's wrist as he moved to stand.
"Give a guy a minute to process this, okay? It's not every day my… boyfriend gives me something this bizarre. A full body wax, yeah? Does that mean…?"
"Everything, luv, except your eyebrows and your scalp. Imagine it, all slick and soft, all over, like a baby's bum."
"I… Ah… That's… Um…"
Okay, so it hadn't been that bad, he hadn't been asked to leave, Spike consoled himself over dinner. And so what if the conversation wasn't exactly flowing and Xander kept blushing every time he looked across at Spike. It was actually of cute, the way his ears turned pink, and got Spike wondering what else he could do to cause the colour.
Dinner over, they moved together over to the sofa, and then Xander popped back up and crossed the room.
Spike was sadly contemplating an evening without sex when he realised what CD his boy had picked. Damn, the boy had balls.
"Michael Rennie was ill, The Day the Earth Stood Still…"
The CD is, of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
tempestsreach asked for: Snow falling on Stonehenge on the eve of the winter solstice.
A Blessing, 302 words
"So, what, no dancing dervish demons this time, burning up the place?"
Spike chuckled softly and hugged Xander close.
"Nah. This year it's just you, me, and a few thousand metric tons of standing stones. Oh, and couple of dozen over-eager hippies. The eve of a Solstice brings 'em out like flies to honey. Ignore 'em and they'll wander off and find a hole somewhere so they can snuggle down and wait for sunrise."
Xander closed his eyes tight and concentrated on feeling the stones' vibrations rising thorough his feet into his belly. Minute tremors rolled along his spine and he gasped.
"You felt it, didn’t you?" - a whisper in his ear.
"Told you you'd figure it out one of these days. Gonna tell Willow?"
The sudden hint of tension in his arms answered Spike's question.
"Right, maybe not. We'll get you grounded first, yeah? Figure out what's what and where you're at and then we'll share the news. It'll probably be better to hand it neatly to 'em on a platter, all laid out so there's no awkward questions left to answer. We'll go and hunt the Gherish down and see what they can teach you. It's the least they can do after sticking you with that 'blessing'."
"It's going to snow." Xander uttered the words with the utmost confidence. The Gherish 'blessing' mostly gave him weird, unfocussed feelings, but for some odd reason the weather reports came through clear as crystal.
They both looked up in time to see the first snow fall, and Spike stuck his tongue out and tried to catch the flakes.
"What are you, twelve?"
In response, Spike wiggled his tongue, grinning wickedly as Xander swooped in for a noisy wet kiss.
It looked like it was going to be another joyous solstice.
werewindle asked for: Xander gets Spike silver snowflake body jewelry.
Nought To Naked, 231 words
"It's not a ring, is it?" Spike asked suspiciously, holding up the black, hinged jewelry box at eye level. "Only I'm not sure I'm happy with you treating me like a bint."
"Spike, I promise, it's not a ring. Well, not that sort of ring, anyway. And hey, you never usually complain when I treat you like the girl. I always pay for meals and drinks and movies when we're on a date."
Spike looked aghast.
"They're not dates, they're just about a couple of blokes out on the pull, and if they happen to pull each other then what's the harm, eh? So, this is some kind of ring, eh?" He held it up to his ear and shook the box, listening closely.
"Come on, Spike, just open it already."
The top of the box almost came right off.
"Ooh! Somebody's been thinking kinky thoughts. Where am I supposed to stick these?"
They both looked down at the solid silver hoops with dangling snowflakes - a matching pair and one slightly smaller in the same design.
"The smaller one's meant to pierce your eyebrow, right beside the scar. The snowflake's really small; you shouldn't notice it that much."
"What about the other two? One for each nostril?"
"Sure, or you could let me pierce your nipples."
Spike went from nought to naked in under five seconds.
woman_of_ asked for: Mid-night Service?
This was a difficult one - not only am I trying to get a non-religious young man into a major church ceremony, but also a vampire! But I persisted. This is about a Midnight Service but probably not the one you meant. ;)
The Last S'lihot, 574 words
Xander answered the phone and recognised Willow immediately, despite the fact she was sobbing down the phone before they'd shared 'hello's'. His knowledge of the sound of upset Willow was engraved upon his heart and sent dread tremors through his bones. This was serious.
"Willow? Will, sweetie, please, try to take a breath. Is it Buffy? Dawn? Is Giles okay?"
Muffled snuffles echoed down the transatlantic line as Willow wiped her eyes and her nose and swallowed several times.
"X-Xand, it's nana Rosenberg. She's dying. They don't think she'll last until Yom Kippur. Can you… s-stay with me? You know she'd love to see you. She always loved your smile. S-Spike can come too, I guess… if he wants to. Nana always asks if you've found your soulmate yet."
Spike reached out and grabbed the hand that was tangled in the bed sheet, straightening out the tightly curled fingers to kiss the palm.
"Tell her we'll be on the next flight out. She should warn her gran that there'll be two handsome devils by her bedside come tomorrow night. That should make her hold on for another day or two."
Xander packed while Spike 'ran an errand' that he wouldn't share, returning to their room looking too pleased with himself. Xander was too mired in grief to care - Grandma R was dying.
The flight was interminable, the food not worth noticing, and Spike refused to let him have a drink so Xander slept.
LA had never felt so welcoming before, but Xander didn't care - he even let Spike drive. They made it to the hospital by nine.
"Hi, Nana." Xander swallowed back his tears, determined not to cry like a baby quite this soon.
"Alexander? Let me take a look at you. Come closer, boy. My eyes are almost worse than my heart, if you can believe that. And bring your friend, the one my little Willow won't talk about. I bet he's just as pretty as your Jesse."
Xander blushed. How had he forgotten this? Sure, he hadn't seen the old lady in the last ten years, but still, he wished he'd thought to warn Spike she spoke her mind. Not that Spike would see that as anything but encouragement.
With a weak grin, he thrust Spike forward.
"Here, Nana. This is Spike. He's actually even prettier."
Spike slid forward and kissed the frail hand she held out.
"Ignore him, love, he babbles when he's nervous, but you know that, right? William's the name - William Aurelius. And the answer's yes, he's finally found his soulmate."
"Oh, yes, you'll keep Alexander on his toes. You'll do nicely. Now, sit and tell me all about yourself. You too, Alexander, don't stand there hovering. Sit down and tell me all about the travelling you've been doing. I hear my little Willow called you all the way in London?"
Xander grinned and sat; too cowed to consider leaving the room so she could sleep. Spike reached down and pulled a hastily wrapped parcel from his bag.
"Before we forget, we brought you a gift, all the way from London. Something we thought you'd probably appreciate."
Ethel Rosenberg gently pulled the floral paper free and stared at the double CD in her hands. The First S'lihot - The Entire Midnight Service According to Orthodox and Traditional Ritual, recorded in London's historic orthodox New West End Synagogue.
A tear fell.
"Thank you, boys."
strchsr asked for: http://www.scandinavica.com/culture/tradition/lucia.htm - saint lucia day in sweden
It Was The Fish, 239 words
"So... Why Sweden?"
"I came here once with Dru. She reckoned she'd had dreams of pretty young things just lining up for dinner all in white, burning baby fishes swimming in circles all around their heads. I have to admit, it was the bit about the fish that finally convinced me. She hadn't used that line in fifty years, not since she'd turned me. 'Course, it turned out not to be burning fishes, just candles on the bloody stupid crowns they all wore. Still, they were practically lining up for us, even carried coffee, saffron bread and ginger cakes. Dinner and dessert, if you will, in one fell swoop."
"Okaaaaaaaaaaaay… So, we're here in Sweden, why exactly? You're hardly going to be reliving the good old days, not now you've got a soul… right?"
"Don't be daft."
Xander ducked as Spike aimed a swat at his head.
"We had the choice of a layover in Paris or one in Stockholm. I recognised the date - the thirteenth of December," - he shrugged - "and I chose accordingly."
"Spike, I like Paris!"
"Yeah, and we've already been there three, no four times. I told you, love, you're going to see the world with me. And if that includes pretty little chits with candles on their heads, celebrating a festival of lights to keep the dark at bay, then so be it. Now, shut up and listen, you might learn something."
Also posted here.