Title: Secret Santa
Era/season/setting: Season 6
Summary: Sequel to my November SS entry Miracle Bug. Spike tries to bring some Christmas cheer to the Summers household.
This is an entry for the Hidden Gems Holiday Event, for the prompt by Ellie Rose McKee:
A/N Thank you to my beta, Badwolfjedi.
Christmas morning dawned later than most, but Spike was still surprised to have the kitchen door thrown open for him by a grinning Dawn. She was rarely up this early when she didn't have school, and never smiling.
He didn't hold her attention long, though, as an excited yip had her out the door and chasing the energetic puppy around the yard.
Spike turned to watch them play and didn't notice Buffy coming up behind him until he felt the squeeze on his arm and the kiss on his cheek. “Thank you,” she whispered.
Spike turned to her, confused and astonished. “What for?” he asked, schooling his expression to one of utmost innocence.
Buffy simply smirked and gave him a knowing look. Apparently Spike's 'I didn't do it' face only worked when he was caught doing something evil. Still, there was no way that he was ever going to admit to doing anything nice.
“I didn't do nothing, Slayer. Honest.”
She rolled her eyes and dropped the subject, instead indicating the counter covered with food that needed preparing. “You want to make yourself useful?”
It took Spike a moment to realise what she meant. When he did, the vampire backed up and raised his hands. “Oh no. Big Bads don't cook.”
The Slayer pouted. Tara looked over at him from by the stove with large, pleading eyes. Spike growled. Buffy fluttered her eyelashes.
“Fine!” shouted the grumpy vampire. He picked up a knife and started peeling potatoes, letting out a steady grumbling stream of displeasure. “Not a word, you hear me! This gets out... Got a reputation to uphold...You chits are bloody evil.”
After a busy morning of cooking and cleaning and puppy-entertaining, Christmas dinner was finally ready. Tara was carving the meat when Dawn slipped out into the kitchen. She returned a few minutes later with her own festive offering for Spike – a steaming mug of turkey blood with a handful of cranberries floating on top.
Spike had accepted the drink with a carefully concealed grimace. Sure, the thought was sweet, but the Little Bit had no idea how disgusting her concoction smelled. Still, despite the fact he often referred to himself as a bad rude man, he drank without complaint, though he did decline seconds.
The rest of the dinner was far more tasty and Spike indulged in the human food with as much gusto as any of the girls. The atmosphere was warm and happy and even Buffy seemed to shed her cloak of depression for the morning.
They all ate so much that the decision was made to postpone dessert for a couple of hours. As soon as the meal was declared over, Dawn rushed them into the living room and insisted that they 'do presents'.
The others had barely settled into their seats when Dawn bounced over to the tree. Her excitement pulled Bug from his sleepy pose by the sofa and he happily joined her in bouncing back over to present the first gift, which he promptly tried to take from his master's hands.
“No Bug! That's not for eating!” laughed Dawn before explaining to Spike, “I'm not old enough to buy any of the things I thought of getting you, so this is sort of a joint present for you and Bug.”
Spike just looked at her in awe. He hadn't expected anything at all. The company was more than he deserved.
He managed not to choke on the words and carefully removed the wrapping paper. It was perfect. He lifted it up so the others could see the blood red leather collar. It had obviously come from the Halloween clearance rack - where there might traditionally be spikes around the outside were instead shiny black bats.
Buffy actually let out a giggle when she saw it, helping hold the wriggling puppy still so that his new collar could be properly fitted.
“It's perfect, Nibblet. Thank you.”
“Yeah,” smirked Buffy, “Just what every vampire's puppy needs.”
Dawn stuck out her tongue at her sister before bounding back over to the tree in search of another present.
She found an envelope with her name on and hurried back over to the others to open it.
“I know it isn't much,” started Buffy as she peeled open the back of the envelope and teased out a card. As soon as she read it, she started bouncing again.
“Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” She babbled, passing the card to Tara so the witch could read it before throwing herself at her sister.
Inside was written: I promise you one self defence class every week for the next year.
Buffy was going to train her! Dawn's excited squealing and jumping set off the puppy and soon Bug was bounding around the room and yipping in delight. Within seconds he had somehow tangled himself up in a string of tinsel and sat in front of the kitchen doorway, whining pitifully.
Buffy and Spike both made their way across the room to untangle the poor puppy while the other girls laughed at the sight.
When she was removing the last loop of tinsel from around his back paw, Dawn called over. “Buffy, look up!”
Confused by her sister's excessively cheerful tone, Buffy nonetheless did as she was told. Above her, pinned to the top of the kitchen door frame she saw something that she was adamant hadn't been there that morning. Mistletoe.
Rolling her eyes, she gathered the puppy close and gave him a warm kiss on his wet little nose. A delighted Bug returned the sentiment, tail wagging like crazy and frantic, can't-lick-fast-enough puppy kisses decorating her cheek and hairline.
Spike struggled not to laugh at the sight of Bug slobbering all over the Slayer's face. In a bold move that he would not have dared but for the excessively cheerful atmosphere of the household, when Bug was finally pushed away Spike pouted and asked, “Where's mine?”
And to his utmost astonishment, before he could backtrack and pretend that he was talking to the puppy, Buffy leaned forward to place a gentle, chaste kiss on his lips.