Title: What's In The Box?
Fandom: Pairing: Buffy: Spike/Xander
Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com. If you spot a typo, please feel free to tell me in comments.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Xander receives an unexpected parcel.
Notes: Written for lazuli_kat's Christmas Cracker mini-fest on the Excessant mailing list.
The delivery guy was a little too tall and a little too green to be 100% human, but Xander had finally learned to turn a blind eye to any demon that wasn't actively trying to either kill, fuck or feed on him.
Not that he had a blind eye, or a missing one, any longer. One hand absently brushed his temple, checking that the now unneeded eye patch hadn't somehow reattached itself to his head while he wasn't looking. A tiny shimmer of relief swept through him as he re-affirmed that he was still blissfully binocular and non-piratesque.
The huge, greenish guy waggled his clipboard dangerously close to Xander's nose in a manner that suggested he'd been standing there for a while and that if the waggling didn't work he was going to start practicing his backswing.
Xander smiled his most falsely apologetic smile - the one that ended with his not-quite-human eye flashing from vampire yellow to demon hyena green and back to slightly milky, crack-glazed turquoise - and signed the clipboard with a flourish.
The parcel wheeled in on the trolley was… big. Not quite as big as the delivery guy or Xander, but still plenty big enough to qualify as man-sized. It cost Xander ten bucks just to get it wheeled through the hall and into the front room next to the tree.
Okay, so technically it wasn't a Christmas gift - no shiny paper or ribbon or red or green tape, and a return address that belonged to a Slayer house in Washington State - but it was only three days to Christmas and the floor beneath the tree looked pretty bare and, hell, even though he didn't personally know any of the girls in that house, he tended to think of the Slayers en masse as really scary younger sisters. Family.
It was close enough for Xander.
He didn't get around to examining the box for almost two hours.
First, he finished putting away the laundry he'd been folding when the doorbell had interrupted him with the opening bars of Johnny Cash's 'The Ring of Fire' - a gag gift from Buffy on his birthday, not long after the whole embarrassing 'Actually, I'm bi,' explanation.
Then he took a shower, shampooed his hair twice and trimmed his toenails, all the while very consciously not sparing a thought for the parcel looming over his four foot tall, silver tinsel tree. (Only $29.99! One strand of flashing icicle Christmas lights and 24 glitter-coated plastic baubles included!)
Finally, he wiped down the shower, the bathroom tiles, the sink, the mirror and even gave a fleeting thought to scrubbing out the toilet. A fleeting thought.
Once he'd finally convinced himself that he wasn't some kid who couldn't wait to shake his presents to see if they rattled, wasn't about to peel the corner of the paper up to try and see what it was hiding, he allowed himself to saunter casually into the room and kick the lower corner, just to see if it was as solid as it looked.
Xander back-pedalled so fast he was out in the hall before his brain caught up with his ears. He was scrabbling behind him for the phone, not daring to take his eyes off the suddenly not-so-innocuous package, when the thing started shaking and bouncing in place to the sound of more muffled grunts and…
…and suspiciously familiar curses.
The parcel rocked improbably up onto one corner, then teetered for a moment before toppling slowly over onto its side in what seemed to Xander to be hilariously slow motion.
"Xander, you useless git, get your arse over here and give me a hand. If I have to chew my way out, I'll pick the scraps from between my teeth with your finger bones!"
Xander lent both hands to the cause, tearing away depressingly small fragments of reinforced cardboard until he'd freed Spike's head and one leather-clad shoulder.
"So, Spike. Did the girls get sick of your surprise training attacks and club together to ship you here as a gag gift? Or did you lose your airfare playing poker again?"
Spike snarled. "Have you seen how much those bastards are charging for flights this close to Christmas?"
With one arm free, he was able to get a good grip on the box and give an impressive shove that sent it hurtling across the room to take out the side table next to the sofa. With a pleased snort he popped to his feet.
"I know a guy who knows a guy in the demonic freight trade and… let's just say he owed me a favor. It got me here before Christmas, anyway, and that's more than the airlines were willing to do without me selling off some poor schmuck's internal organs on DeBay."
"You…" Xander grinned inanely for a moment and then tried again. "You shipped yourself interstate, in a box, so you’d be home in time for Christmas… for me?"
Spike rolled his eyes and shrugged his coat off, dropping it to the floor as he stepped closer, right into Xander's personal space.
"'Course for you, idiot. D'you really think I'd put myself through all that for anybody else on this planet? When I called last week to tell you Hannah had taken a tumble down the stairs so I wouldn't be able to catch my flight, I swear I could see your soddin' pout through the phone line. It took me sixteen hours of nagging by phone and email to get Rupert to call one of the girls in from the field to come and babysit the Philly house."
Xander's grin grew wider with every word. Words that said 'I care for you. You matter enough for me to do all this to be with you during a holiday you profess to hate.'
"You really love me."
The hands busy unfastening Xander's belt buckle froze for a moment before redoubling their efforts.
"Don't talk daft; you're just a bloody good shag. I'd do anything rather than spend the festive season with a bunch of hyper-hormonal teenage girls with killer instincts and over-active vampdar. Now stop your whining and get me naked."