A Spander Christmas Stocking

In A What?



It was Christmas Eve. The flat was bare of any and all decorations. The only vaguely Christmas-like objects were a small pile of gifts wrapped in cheerily festive paper sitting in a pile on the coffee table.


But Spike was fine. Really. It wasn’t like he cared about decking the halls, or any of that. He had a bottle of Jack, some turkey and potato Red had magicked over, and a nice litre of O-Pos. He could be a lot worse off.


He could be in Cleveland, surrounded by warm, affectionate people, while secretly pining like the sad bastard he was. It was much better to pine away in solitude, where there was no-one to see him behaving like a wet rag.


And maybe he’d go out later. His flat was in the middle of London, and there was always plenty of nightlife around at Christmas. He could go and beat something up if he wanted.


Right now, though, he chose not to. He chose to stay in and watch telly, like the depressed, broody poof he really was.


They’d tried to get him over to Cleveland; cajoled and tempted like the manipulative bints he knew they really were. But he’d refused both Red and Dawn, and bore the accompanying guilt trips without caving. He was damn well staying put, brood and all.


Besides, he didn’t feel like it. It wasn’t that he was sick of them. They were family. He just didn’t want to deal with trimming the tree, handing round gifts, and rehashing the year’s monster fighting. Didn’t want to watch Buffy and her new man, and Dawn and her new man, and Red and her new bird…even bloody Rupert was getting some, these days. And watching Angel sit around looking tortured was only entertaining for so long.


Not when Xander’d got himself ‘unavoidably detained’ in Alaska, of all places, and couldn’t help him tease the big broody bastard.


One tiny job. One simple, little job – ‘it’ll only take a couple of days’. One freak snowstorm later, and nothing’s getting in or out of the bloody state. Some crazy magic zoning deal the Alaskan governor’s got worked out with the International Board, and even Red can’t get him out. So Xander’s stuck there.


Which means Spike’s on his own this year. Christmas without the significant other is no kind of Christmas at all, so he’s staying the hell out of it. By choice. And better off, too.


Except for the whole no-Xander thing. But if he wants to sit in the dark and miss his boyfriend, he’s damn well going to; Christmas can go hang itself.


Spike eyed the packages on the coffee table. Dawn insisted he wasn’t to open any until Christmas morning (like he wasn’t more than a hundred years older than her and didn’t know how Christmas was supposed to work), but she wouldn’t know if he opened just one.


He couldn’t get in trouble if she never knew.


Bloody hell. Afraid to open his pressies cause he’d get in trouble. These bloody women had him too well-trained. He pulled one off the top of the pile and ripped it open.


It was just a large-size envelope, or had been, and he’d assumed from the shape and feel it’d be a t-shirt or something.


But it was a Christmas stocking.


It was red, with a fuzzy white trim. His name was lettered across the fuzz in dark green, and the lower curve of the S was tastefully ornamented with a stitched sprig of holly.


Spike was surprised to feel a warm glow in his chest. Not literally. But he’d mentioned once how he hadn’t had a stocking since he was human, and now someone had bought him a really beautiful one. Another second, and he’d bloody well start bawling or something.


But before anything that embarrassing could happen, the stocking started to glow. Literally.


Thick, white mist that smelled suspiciously like peppermint poured out the opening.


There were a few thuds and a very familiar groan from the middle of all the mist, and once it cleared, Spike had Xander Harris sprawled in a heap in the middle of his floor.


“Well, I’ll be buggered,” he muttered. He looked suspiciously at the stocking, and belatedly held it at arms length.




“Spike? Is that you?” Xander groaned.


“Xander? What the sodding fuck are you doing here?”


Spike got within two feet of Xander, then stopped. Their normal greeting included one or both of them losing articles of clothing at a rapid rate, but Spike felt it was best to be cautious for the moment. At least, until he worked out whether this was actually the real Xander.


Xander stared at him for a few moments, completely bewildered. “Am I in London?”


“Apparently, pet. What the bloody hell were you doing inside a Christmas stocking?”


“I was in a what?”


“This. A Christmas stocking.” Spike shook the stocking for emphasis. A few shreds of mist wafted out.


“But that’s impossible.” Xander frowned.


“You’re the one falling out of seasonal hosiery, mate.” Spike picked up the shredded envelope, to see if he could tell which weird blighter went to the trouble of posting his boyfriend to him in a Christmas stocking. Or possibly an evil copy of his boyfriend.


But there was no name on the envelope. Of course.


“How the hell do I fit in a stocking?” Xander seemed to be asking the air, but Spike answered him anyway.


“I’d take a stab at magic, you silly sod. Who put you in there, anyway?” Spike asked, looking over the stocking again, in case he’d missed something.


Long pause from Xander. “I don’t remember.”


Spike raised an eyebrow at him.


But the look on Xander’s face was rapidly approaching panic. “I don’t. Spike, the last thing I remember was sitting in a bar bouncing coins. I wasn’t even talking to anyone. Who the hell did this to me?”


Spike didn’t think it would matter if he helped Xander onto the couch, even if he was an evil double sent to kill them all. No-one could blame him for not wanting to leave a mirror-image of his lover panicking on the floor, even if said lover ended up bathing in their blood.


“Relax, pet. You’re safe here with me; don’t fret about how you got here. All we have to do is call Red and the Watcher, and have them check it out.”


He ran a hand through his hair as he headed for the phone. Xander was here. But he might be evil. That meant no festive shagging until the mess got sorted out.


The line was busy. It diverted to Red’s voicemail.


“Bugger.” Spike grimaced. He hated leaving messages. He babbled some rot about Xander and evil, and hoped it sounded non-threatening enough that she wouldn’t teleport straight into his living room with electricity crackling around her fingers.


“Spike?” Xander called from the couch. “What if…what if I’m not me?”


Xander’s mind had obviously gone to the same place Spike’s had. He was probably thinking about evil Willow, or the Buffy-bot. Or that time Ethan managed to conjure up a Giles. Or when the Teles’thu clan sent in an evil Andrew (that lot had done their homework; it had been surprisingly hard to tell the difference).


“Well, pet, we’ll just get them to check that out as well.” He sat down on the other sofa, facing Xander.


 “Holy crap, I could be a clone. Or an evil twin.”


“I’m sure you’re not, pet” Spike reassured.


“But you don’t want to have sex with me until you know for sure,” Xander said pointedly. Spike opened his mouth, then closed it helplessly. Xander triumphantly continued.


“Oo, or a robot. I could be a robot – an exact replica of Xander Harris, made for nefarious purposes and evil deeds.”


Spike just raised an eyebrow.


“Well, I could,” Xander insisted, raising his nose in the air. Then he looked at Spike intently.




No answer; more staring.


“What the sodding hell are you staring at?” he demanded.


“I’m just trying to work out if I’ve been programmed to either kill you or sleep with you,” Xander replied calmly.


“What?” Spike was scandalised.


“Hey, buddy, you don’t exactly have a great track record with robot-making.”


“But I don’t need a robot. I’ve got you,” Spike protested.


Xander’s expression softened, and the warm, fuzzy feeling Spike got whenever he thought about Xander told him he’d just scored major points in the warm and fuzzy department. But before either of them could say anything about it, the phone rang.


Willow’s nervous voice chattered at him from the other end.


“No, I don’t think he’s that evil, Red. I just wanted you to check him out for me.”


“Sorry, love, I forgot to mention that bit. Yes, he’s here in London with me. I’m sorry you already checked Alaska. But at least we know he’s not in two places at once. That means he’s not a copy, right?”


“Okay, I can hold.”


Spike covered the phone with one hand. “Don’t be surprised if something happens to you,” he called to Xander.


“Like what?” he asked nervously. There was a slight yelp, and then a giggle as whatever Willow did tickled.


She came back on the line a moment later.


“Uh huh. I see. Okay, that’s good to know. Yes, I’ll take care of it.”


Spike went back into the living room. Xander was still sitting on the couch.


“Well?” he asked. “What’s the verdict?”


In a single move, Spike straddled him and ripped his shirt open.


Their mouths met, and Spike bucked hard when Xander, who was the real, one-hundred-percent genuine article, slid his hands down to grip Spike’s ass.


They broke the kiss so Xander could breathe.


“I’m me, then. That’s good to know,” Xander commented hoarsely as Spike kissed his way down his neck. He grunted when Xander pushed him back to look him in the eyes.


“You didn’t want to sleep with me until you knew it was me?” he asked. The tiny traces of surprise and insecurity Spike could see there made anger flare inside him.


But he buried it. “I told you, pet. I’ve got you. Why would I want anyone else? Or anything else, for that matter.”


His boyfriend smiled a tiny smile, and Spike’s warm and fuzzy radar flared. He was in imminent danger of turning into a big, warm and fuzzy pile of goo. To stave it off, he busied himself with removing Xander’s shirt.


He was about to attack Xander’s collarbone with his tongue, when Xander stopped him.




Monosyllabic already? That was nice. Spike trailed behind his determined Neanderthal, but managed to push him up against the wall in the hallway for a little ravishing.


Spike’s mouth was attached to one of Xander’s nipples when he heard him groan, “I am the best present ever.”


He had to laugh. “You certainly are, pet.”


Spike slammed the bedroom door behind them. They wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.




Xander sat bolt upright in bed. His heart raced, and he looked around wildly.


Spike was sleeping next to him, and stirred at the movement. Icy winter sunlight filtered in through the necroglass window, and Xander could smell turkey from someone else’s apartment.


He relaxed, and snuggled back in with Spike.


Then he sat bolt upright again. This time, Spike woke up.


“What the sodding hell is it, pet?” he grouched. It was extremely early, and they’d been up late.


“I’ve remembered what happened.”


“Yes, we shagged, it was brilliant. Now, go back to sleep,” Spike ordered.


“No, I mean…brilliant? Really?”


“It’s always brilliant,” Spike muttered, still half-asleep. Maybe he could go back to dreaming about it.


Xander thought about that for a moment, then shook himself. “No, Spike, I’ve remembered how I got in the stocking.”


Spike sat up. “What happened?”


“Well, you know how I was in Alaska?”




“Well, Alaska’s really close to the North Pole, and there was this guy in the bar with a really white beard, and really happy eyes, and he wasn’t exactly skinny…”


Xander trailed off under the weight of Spike’s raised eyebrows.


“Pet, are you saying Santa sent you to me for Christmas?” he asked calmly.


“No? I mean, that’d be crazy, right? Cause Santa’s not real, is he?”


They looked at each other silently for a minute.


“How about we just say we don’t know,” Spike suggested.


“Yeah. And it’s not like anyone’s gonna ask if it was him. I mean, who would think of it?” Xander added.


“It would be cruel to send everyone after him. He’s obviously a force for good in the world,” Spike decided magnanimously. It wasn’t everyday he let someone mess with his boyfriend, but this time he’d let it slide. He’d got a shag with Xander, after all.


“Totally good. There was nothing evil about him. It wasn’t like he was the Futurama Santa or anything.”


For a few moments, they both sat and pondered how that could have gone.


Then Xander leaned over and whispered, “Hey, Spike?”


“Yes, pet?” Spike looked over just as Xander’s warm hand slid up his leg to rest in a very interesting place.


“It’s Christmas day. You know what that means.”


Spike ginned. He knew. And suddenly he felt like getting into the spirit of things after all.








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