Spander ~ The Joy of Giving

Yule Tidings
by Vampiresscammy


Spike looked at the table before him swamped with presents galore, most wrapped, only a few still needing to be wrapped and all of those for his secret crush. He'd been shopping for over a month now, and just this past week found exactly what he wanted to give his crush. Now, he had to figure how to wrap it, or more importantly what to put on the tag. He mulled it over as he looked for that special geekily wrapping paper he found, some with a Dr Who theme, and some with a Firefly theme. He almost didn't get it, but he knew how much Xander loved those shows.

He'd go on and on about the shows the last time they lived together. He really had a thing for some River character, and it seemed he fancied this Doctor fellow, err specifically the 10th Doctor. Kept blabbering about how if he showed up in his TARDIS, he'd definitely be going for a ride. And didn't that just surprise and encourage Spike that he might have a chance if he ever simply would let Xander know he was falling for him.

Stopping to grab a sugar cookie between wrapping, Spike hoped silently again for any deity listening that just this once these people he secretly called his friends would return his affection. Well, it seems not even burning up with a whole city can keep him dead for long, so stranger things could happen, like one of the Scoobies returning his affection. If even just a tiny gesture to let him know those he considered friends gave a ratís ass about him too.

Half an hour later, with clippings, tape and ribbon edges all over the floor under him, Spike surveyed his handy work, 6 festive holiday presents one for each of the witches, one for the wolfling, one for the slayer, and one for each of the watchers. And next to those sat 4 geekily wrapped presents for his crush Xander. Now, he just had to wait for them all to arrive.

He knew the slayer had gone with her watchers to England to get the new council up and running. The witches and the wolfling had been living over in New Mexico. And the last he had heard Xander was drifting, never staying in one spot too long it seemed. Luckily he had planned ahead and sent them all invitations to his mansion in New Mexico, not too far from the witches and wolfling.

He hadn't received any actual response but he knew the way he'd made all their invitations with lots of hints and things only a survivor of Sunnydale would know that they would all be too curious not to show up in order to find out whom sent the invitations. Finishing getting the presents under the tree, making sure all the rooms were ready for his guests, hoping any of them might actually want to stay and visit. On the table next to the tree was the punch bowl filled with egg nog spiced up with the best English scotch he could find this side of the pond, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies all done up like vampires, candy canes and latkes.

Just as he moved to check the presents one more time a soft growling purr let him know someone stood outside his door using the vamp head knocker he'd just installed. Chuckling to himself, he went to the door anxious to see who would be arriving first. As he opened the door, he suddenly found himself wishing he couldn't hear so well. There stood the slayer in all her blondeness, smiling bright enough to light up the whole city, flanked by her watchers, and with a very, very big belly, he was guessing it had to be twins she was carrying. He had no time to think further on it as Buffy flung herself into his arms cheerfully screeching "Merry Christmas Spike," at the top of her lungs.

He hugged Buffy to him, ushering her inside, shocked to see Giles and Wesley with their arms full of presents, both smiling and adding their own cheerful "Yes, Happy Christmas Spike," from Giles, and a very warm "Happy Holidays Spike," from Wesley. He clumsily closed the door behind them; watching them unpacking presents for under the tree and making themselves at home in his living room. He was about to ask how they all seemed to know it was him who had invited them, when another knock came at the door. "Make yourselves at home everyone, be right with you," he called behind him as he moved to answer the door again.

He couldn't believe his eyes, a surprised and delighted chuckle was all he could manage as the two beautiful babies cooed up at him from in their mother's arms. "Happy Hanukkah Spike, I'm so happy you invited us" Willow said as she handed him her bundle while stepping through the doorway. "Thatís Joy" answered Oz standing beside him and grinning. "Yes, thank you so much for inviting us out, we wanted you to meet the babies, and Happy Holidays Spike," whispered Tara as she also placed her bundle in his arms, leaning forward to kiss his cheek. "And thatís Wil, we should probably head in now before the babies get a chill," Oz again answered from beside him, edging closer to the doorway.

He made his way back inside to see the girls fawning over Buffy's round belly, hearing them mention her triplets were due in January, as hugs were given all around. They all seemed to know exactly where they were going this evening it seemed, and on top of that, the best surprise, they all seemed genuinely happy to see him. He couldn't take his eyes off the little bundles in his arms; Joy seemed to be very taken with all the twinkling lights around the room, Wil just kept staring at him, as if he knew who held him.

Willow snuck up next to him and answered his questioning mind, "Yes, heís named after you, the only name Tara would consent to if we had a boy. And we all chose Joy, named after Joyce, she was like a mother to us all, I still miss her. We wanted to tell you about the babies but we couldn't find you, even Giles with all his connections only found out you were in the U.S. But now you've invited us all in, and wasn't that a shock hearing you were just North of us, you sneaky evil guy you." Spike simply stared at her for a few seconds, realizing somehow they had all known he was back and had apparently been looking for him, he was about to respond but again, the growling purr of the knocker could be heard.

Willow and Oz took the babies over to show Giles and Wesley as Spike went to answer the door again. Trying to prepare himself mentally to see him again after all these years, Spike slowly opened the door to see Xander standing there smiling at him and Spike fainted right there on the doorstep. As he came to some hours later he could hear voices around him "What did you do Xander, why did you make him faint?" from Willow hovering somewhere near his head, "Yes, what exactly did occur Xander? Did you two share angry words?" from Wesley near his feet. "I didn't do anything guys, I was just standing there when the door opened and I seen Spike, so I smiled, I never got a chance to even say hi, I swear I didn't do anything," from Xander whom he guessed to be right next to him.

"Oh hey, wait a minute guys, I think I know what happened, Spike hasn't seen any of us since back in Sunnydale right, so Xander, he's probably shocked to see you have both eyes again," Buffy's voice floated to him from across the room, "Oh goddess, we didn't even remember that would be such a surprise to you Spike, and we know your awake, so you can stop faking now," Willow giggled. Just as Spike opened his eyes, he felt someone grabbing and holding his hand. Xander leaned over him, whispering, "Sorry Spike, it never even occurred to me you didn't know, since you've got info on us all, I figured you'd have had pictures too or something, didn't mean to shock you."

He stared for ages into those gorgeous eyes, barely hearing a word Xander was saying, only nodding and then paying attention as he felt the hand tighten around his and felt his arm being shaken. He couldn't help smiling as he looked around the room seeing his friends all here and happy and worried over him. HE soaked it up for a moment then quickly moved to stand up, "Oh yeah, you just gave me a start 's all, fine now, so letís all go sit and get reacquainted then, right?" They all smiled and moved into the family room, nestling into the couches beside the tree and the fireplace, the fire keeping the room nice and toasty and the lights on the tree making it all look magical.

They all told their latest news, Giles, Buffy and Wesley had all exchanged vows, they had not picked out names for the babies yet, they decided to be surprised and have decorated the nursery in a beautiful baby yellow and baby purple theme. Willow, Oz and Tara had their commitment ceremony last year and were tickled for their son to finally meet his namesake. Xander was very quiet and simply nodded to Willow and Tara, Tara blushed bright red shushing him, saying it was nothing and she was glad she could help. Xander said he'd been traveling trying to find some place heís needed and wanted and that feels as much like home as the old 'Dale.

Spike thought on that for a moment, hoping to make Xander feel wanted and at home, as Giles stood, passing out the presents. Not only did it seem they all knew where they would be tonight, but they came with presents for everyone else! So much for surprising everyone Spike thought, just as 8 presents made their way to his lap. He didnít know what to say, he never would have expected or guessed they might have anything for him. They all began opening their presents, one by one gifts revealed.

Willow and Tara got crystal balls, incense, spell ingredients, fairy ornaments, and a nice warm snuggly comforter. Oz got a strand of beads in red, green and deep sapphire blue, a new guitar, hair dyes in a rainbow of colors and a small box of candy cigars. Giles and Wesley got vintage scotch, fancy leather bound journals, and a pair of handcuffs and manacles which went unmentioned only snickered at by one cheeky vampire. Buffy got a new stuffed pig, several gift cards for the mall and some raspberry dark chocolate truffles. Xander got some comics, a couple action figures, and the whole of the new Doctor Who series DVD seasons 1-4, Firefly DVD, Serenity DVD and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog, and a sonic screwdriver.

Spike got some fine English treats in the form of biscuits, Weetabix, the good beer, a future sonic screwdriver, the journal of impossible things, a TARDIS USB hub, and finally a piece of paper that simply said "Home is where you are" written in a handwriting he knew like the back of his hand. He looked up from his gifts in time to see Xander moving to sit next to him, as he pulled him close and kissed him soundly. Clapping and hoorays filled the room "Well itís about time you two", "Yeah we were beginning to give up on you two", "It is good to see you both finally happy, we were starting to think we'd have to do something rash", "Thank goodness you've both come to your senses", "Congrats you two", "I'm so happy for you both".

Christmas was finally turning into a holiday he might enjoy thought Spike as he continued kissing the delicious man in his arms. His friends were indeed his friends after all.


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