Title: Three Times A Christmas Tree
Author: kelpyfinners (kwritten )
Summary: A snippet of three Christmas trees
Disclaimer: The PTB own everything
Author’s Note: I am SO SORRY I am posting so late! I got my wires crossed on when my day was o_O … Hope you enjoy!
Three Times A Christmas Tree
“It’s still crooked!” Dawn’s voice came ringing out from underneath the coffee table, muffled and annoyed.
“Well bloody hell. How’s this damn thing supposed to work?”
A pillow went hurtling toward Spike’s stomach, “Stop swearing! It’s Christmas, you heathen!”
More swearing and shouting commenced from the two prone bodies on the floor, Dawn’s long limbs attempting to capture all the scattered and delicate bright red bulbous ornaments that were rolling to and fro. Spike’s duster was thrown carelessly over the couch to allow more movement as he lay prone under a very precarious Christmas tree, attempting (while swearing and muttering) to make it stand straight.
The entire living room looked like Santa’s workshop had exploded – and then the elves had run off with all the good stuff. Broken, dilapidated Christmas decorations hung or leaned on every surface, the ground was littered with tinsel, a strand of half-burned out lights occupied one corner. The canned sound of Christmas carols lingered in the air and there was the distinct smell of cinnamon emanating from the kitchen.
Dawn scrambled out from under the coffee table and flung her long hair out of her face with a huff, “Hurry!” she hissed. “Buffy will be home in only a couple of hours and we are so not ready!”
Spike’s face popped out from underneath the tree, “Maybe you could hold the tree straight so that I can get these damn screws in place?”
Dawn shrugged and moved to hold the tree, Spike’s eyes narrowed at the doorway and then widened. Buffy, standing in the hallway still in her Doublemeat Palace uniform, shook her head at him and backed slowly toward the door, placing a finger over her lips.
“Alright, little bit,” Spike’s voice was a little too loud, a little too forced, his eyes still trained on the shadow by the door, “Let’s see if we can get this done before big sis comes home, yeah?”
Dawn rolled her eyes, “That’s what I’ve been saying for the last—”
But Buffy didn’t hear the rest, she slipped out just as the bickering continued behind her, leaned up against the hard, solid comfort of the front door and cried silently.
When she walked through the door a few hours later (giving them some extra time to clean up, ready with a story of extra hours, extra money that wouldn’t come) she pretended to be surprised. And when Dawn hugged her tight and Spike looked at her knowingly, nodding over the younger girl’s head, Buffy’s eyes filled with tears for the second time that night. It would have been enough – she knew – to have come home just to the surprise. But there was something so normal and annoyingly peaceful of sharing this secret with him, of knowing how much this wasn’t about what she needed that day.
* * *
“Do you think it matters, really?”
Buffy’s voice was soft and a little petulant, her eyes growing drowsy as she nuzzled into his neck and bit him playfully. Spike just brushed her hair back from her face lazily and kissed her softly on the nose, murmuring softly and indistinctly.
“If you don’t care, I don’t care.”
She yawned as she spoke the words. It had been too long of a day, an impossibly long year, and she really didn’t care about much of anything at that moment, lying sprawled across him, sinking slowly into sleep.
“Hey,” he shrugged his shoulder and rolled her off of him. “None of that, we can stop this nonsense if you want, but I’m not sleeping on the floor. Again.”
She watched him stand up and walk across the living room floor stark naked, the only light in the room emanating from the fireplace and the glowing Christmas tree. She rolled onto her back, propping herself up on her elbows and looked at it: just a plain, ordinary tree. All they had managed to hang on it was the lights before they ended up on the floor. It still leaned a little to the left. She sighed and stood up, padding naked over to him and grabbing him by the waist, turning him back to the tree and leaning against his back.
“Do you really think it doesn’t matter?”
He turned and kissed the top of her head, “I think I like it this way.”
She tilted her face up for another kiss. “A new tradition,” she whispered.
“A bloody monster… in Russia… in December…” the rest of Spike’s complaint was lost in the wind and Buffy chuckled to herself, shaking her head.
Another day, another monster. That was the life of a Slayer. At least Willow had managed to pop them in just a quarter mile from the lair. And anyway – it was in hibernation, so it wasn’t hard to kill or anything.
Suddenly Spike was behind her, his arms encircling her body and pulling her in close, his blue lips at her ear, “Look, love.”
He steered her into a clearing, at the center of which was a tree covered in snow, a shaft of moonlight shining on it like a spotlight. Buffy gasped. It was like a picture from a storybook. One of those magical stories where the tree is just right and the moon is just so and the light is just lovely and something romantic happens.
She leaned back into him and just watched the snow fall with him for a moment. They had time (not much, never enough) before they had to be at the rendezvous point before Xander started panicking. They had a moment, a brief one, to enjoy the scene.
And then the comfort of Spike’s chest left her and there he was in front of her, holding out his hand as if in supplication.
“Dance with me.”
His eyes, bright blue and staring right into her, gave her pause.
Sometimes she would catch him looking at her and it was just too much, too intense, too bright, too open, too raw… and she would turn away. Sometimes she ran. Sometimes he ran. It wasn’t the chase that they were looking for; it was the silences that they avoided.
She smiled at him and took his hand, twirling in the falling snow with her vampire.
It was all they’d ever done.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/814032.html