Title: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: Things take a turn for the different after School Hard
It's such a perfect gift. The prettiest thing Angelus has ever given him, which totally pisses him off, because this isn't really Angelus after all, but that cursed soul walking around inside his hero's skin. And to add insult to injury there's just no bloody way to keep hold of his pressie and still manage to bag his third slayer.
Still, it's not like the boy's going to disappear off the face of the earth so it won't hurt to let him go, for now. Surely one of the silly, screaming happy meals will know his new brown-eyed beauty's address.
"Xaaaaaaaaaaander. Oh, Xaaaaaaaaaaander. Aren't you going to invite your Master in to share your bed? It's the polite thing to do, you know."
The bone white face, pressed against his bedroom window, sent shivers down Xander's spine as the crooning, hypnotic voice made every tiny hair on his pyjama-clad body stand up and tremble.
He'd known escaping from the school unscathed wouldn't be the end of it. Xander had seen the gleeful gleam in Spike's eye when Angel offered him up on a silver platter - a Trojan horse, a gift to make the pretence real.
Why was he tempted?
One Careful Owner
The jacket wasn't new. The tobacco brown leather looked soft and battered but obviously cared for, and it beckoned to Xander, enticing him with promises of warmth and comfort, urging him to lift it out of the box and try it on.
It had been sitting on the doorstep when he'd gone to leave for school, his parents upstairs asleep in matching alcoholic stupors. The card had been simple and unsigned, 'I look after what's mine' and Xander had taken ten minutes to gather the courage to look inside.
He cursed Angel and his 'plan'.
He put on the coat.
The Gift of Invisibility
The only one to notice his new 'look' was Queen Cordelia, who pointed out his 'Goodwill chic' to her bevy of maliciously inclined Cordettes. Buffy was oblivious to any clothes that weren't on her, and Willow looked for a moment as though she'd speak but was distracted by a question from the Slayer on her right.
Nobody even asked about what happened the night before, and Xander couldn't be bothered to explain.
'Angel offered me to Spike and Spike accepted and then followed me home and left this leather jacket on my doorstep.'
They'd probably think he was possessed. Again.
The Gifts That Say 'I Care'
Four nights had passed since Angel's marvellous plan had gone awry. Each one had been accompanied by a visit and a gift. Xander kept the first, the leather jacket, by his bed.
The second was a fancy digital watch; it's alarm pre-set to beep at sunset every evening for a month.
'For safety's sake.'
The third night brought a holdall stuffed with Twinkies and chocolate bars.
'To keep you sweet and to fill with all your treasures.'
The fourth was a blade of polished steel with a hand-stitched leather sheath.
'I can't protect you in there so keep this close.'
The Gift of Life
The fifth night since the Parent Teacher fiasco found Xander waiting, bouncing gently on the corner of his bed. Each gift was close at hand, the jacket and watch both worn, the knife strapped to his belt.
The holdall had been emptied of the munchies, not all eaten, and refilled with every precious thing he owned. It wasn't much.
And when the knocking finally commenced he threw the curtains wide and as quietly as possible slipped the latch.
"I won't invite you in, you know that, right? You understand. They might be crappy parents but they're mine."
"I'm coming out."
The Gift of Love
It had been a month since Spike had taken his present home to bed. His new pet was as curious as a puppy and as hungry for every scrap of affection he could get, once the shock wore off.
He'd barely even kissed a girl before he'd slept with Spike, and that admission had caused a most arousing full-body blush.
And now the boy lay naked on his bed, head tilted back, his neck exposed to offer up the only gift he had to give.
"I'm yours, Spike. Every fibre, every drop I have is yours. Keep me safe forever..."
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Each year they celebrated St Vigeous' Night twenty-four hours early, and toasted Angel's plan and his choice of gift with sex and blood. And every anniversary of note, the fifth, the tenth, and on and on into eternity, they sent a tacky 'Thank You' present directly to his door.
Then they'd hide in nearby shadows to see him turn away the singing clowns, the dancing bears and the occasional brace of hookers, boys and girls. The pained expression he wore made sure they knew he knew that they were out there, somewhere, keeping watch.
Spike and Xander, his second curse.
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