The 2005 Spander Christmas Album
Xander’s smile grew wider as the plane
touched down at O’Hare International.
Looking out through the window beside him, all he could see was a blur
of white and black rushing by, brief flashes of green and yellow as they sped
past the runway lights. The storm was
growing rapidly; another half an hour and they wouldn’t have been able to
land. United Airlines flight 1223 to
“Bloody buggering hell!” Spike croaked from the seat beside Xander as the cabin lurched, jolted, and began to slow. Spike’s hand clenched Xander’s hard enough to make him wince.
“Uh, Spike? Can we try not to break my hand, please?” He asked, feeling slightly worried but mostly amused for the vampire afraid of nothing – except flying.
“Only if the pilot can try not to bloody kill us,” Spike replied, looking slightly paler than usual. His grip did loosen ever so much, though. “Or make me toss up the blood I had for breakfast.”
“It’s almost over, Big Bad,” Xander reassured him. “Then we can get our bags and go the hotel and go to bed.”
“Still a bit early for bed, isn’t it?” Spike puzzled, sighing loudly as the plane came to a stop at the gate and the seatbelt light overhead turned off.
“I didn’t say go to sleep,” Xander smirked, winking.
“Ah ah ah, luv. What about the Christmas prezzies you haven’t got yet?”
“I still have a whole day,” Xander
shrugged. “Besides, I don’t have that
much left. Just Dawn, Buffy,
“Pet, we’ll be here all night. Just admit it: you have nothing, yet.”
“Not true. I have Andrew’s.”
“Yes, because it was the collector’s edition of Star Wars was such a difficult decision,” Spike snorted, rolling his eyes.
“It was either that or the stand-up life size cut-out of Wonder Woman.”
Even at this late hour, and in this bad
“Your nose will stick flat like that if you keep it there long enough, pet,” Spike laughed, curling his fingers around Xander’s.
“What? Oh, sorry. I’ve just never been in a city for Christmas. It’s kind of exciting,” he grinned. “Look at all of these people running around in the snow.”
“Wait until tomorrow. The stores will be packed tight with ’em.”
From their suite on the thirtieth floor of
the Four Seasons overlooking
Far below, he saw the traffic crawling slowly down the avenue for miles. Mostly taxis, their white cab numbers calling travelers to them. The entire city seemed like it was out tonight, shopping, rushing, scurrying through the falling snow and trying to get home to their families. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve – the last chance to buy gifts.
“Coming to bed, luv?” Spike called from the doorway to the bedroom. Xander turned to find him wearing nothing but a smile and eyes that sparkled like jewels.
“In a sec; just want to watch for a bit longer.” He turned back to stare out the window and smiled as he felt strong arms circle him and a familiar chin settle onto his shoulder. Xander was torn between the beauty outside, and the love inside.
Eventually he followed Spike to bed.
“Spike, give me some change,” Xander held out his free hand as they swung through the door at Saks and back into the overcast day.
“For what?” Spike asked, switching all of his bags into one hand and digging into his pocket, pulling out a dollar in spare change.
“That poor guy for the Salvation Army’s been ringing that bell all morning, and no one’s put anything in it.” Xander took the change and searched his own pocket, pulling out a few dollar bills.
The bell was cling-clanging as they passed by elderly gentleman dressed in the red apron and Santa’s hat.
“Merry Christmas, sir,” Xander said as he dropped the money into the bucket.
“Merry Christmas to you too!” he cried, smiling wide and laughing.
They crossed the street and passed by Neiman Marcus, separated momentarily as a group of children ran between them, laughing and singing Jingle Bells.
“Where to now, pet?” Spike asked, linking his arm through Xander’s.
“Well, let’s see. What haven’t we bought today?” he laughed, gesturing with his hands full of bags from almost every store on the Avenue.
“A bite to eat?” Spike asked, nodding
“Sounds good to me, I’m starved.” He answered, the sound of bells still echoing behind them.
The fresh snow crunched under their feet as
they made their way back to the hotel, their arms loaded with gifts and
packages for their friends and family. A
new iBook for Dawn, some perfume and jewelry for Buffy, chocolate and books for
The crowds seemed to swell over into the street. So many people out trying to find that last perfect gift as the grey light faded into black. The streetlights powered up, and on every one hung a wreath or some holly or festive decoration. As they turned towards the hotel, new snow began to fall gently.
Here and there, people were departing, hopping into cabs or onto busses, escaping into the subway. Friends parted, calling out “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays,” as they rushed home to their families and their friends. On every corner, bells were ringing, singing out for more donations, hopeful that they will bring in just one penny more.
Later that evening, as Spike threw another log into the fireplace and Xander arranged the meal they’d had delivered around the table near the south-facing window, it seemed as if this was what Christmas was meant to be. Though there was no Christmas tree or egg nog or drunk relatives, it felt to both of them that this was it.
They sat down quietly across from each other, both of them looking out over the white night city, hands held over the table.
“Merry Christmas, luv,” Spike said, turning to look into Xander’s eyes. “I love you.”
“Merry Christmas, Spike,” he replied, a smile stretching from ear to ear. “I love you too.”