“The threat of Christmas hung in the air, visible already in the fretful look of passersby as they readied themselves for the meaningless but necessary rites of false jovialities and ill-considered gifts.” (Peter Dickinson)
Xander wandered around the store almost aimlessly, not even sure why he was there. It wasn’t as if he’d ever put this much effort in a Christmas present before, possessed pickled chicken feet for Magic Box customers notwithstanding. After spending holidays with his family, watching the snow drift down while he tried to stay warm inside his sleeping bag. The only carolers he would hear is his relatives arguing with each other. Christmas just never had brought the same joy to him that it did the others.
At the pouting call of his bleached blond shopping buddy, he was reminded of why he was shopping for presents in the first place. He was grudgingly impressed that Spike could even manage to add in a pout to his voice, but there you have it. He was after all the one with the talented voice… and mouth. He would rather be at home finding creative new uses for that mouth.
“Luv, come on…”
Dawn had told them all new couples gave people presents. He wasn’t sure where that rule was written, but she assured him it was. He didn’t even know how he and Spike had been deemed the new couple. They had lived together for a good long while now (since the year after he graduated high school). You would never find one without the other (damned vampire leech). Yes, they even shared a bed (humans make the best bed warmers, or so he’s told). They might act like a couple, but they really weren’t. The fact that they had now had sex in just about every horizontal (and vertical) surface in town didn’t make them a couple. Just a bit over-sexed.
“Xannnderrr, now you’re just being a berk.”
Honestly, Dawn was just a present whore. Everyone knew it. She’d do anything for a present. Two years ago she’d sent out her wish list to every demon hang out in town cleverly disguised as a list of suggested offerings to give in honor of Gurnenthar's Ascendance. The address to the Magic Shop had been at the bottom, with a reference to send everything “In Care of Dawn.” She had gotten every last item on the list, and then some. Everyone had forgotten about it the aftermath of Buffy actually stopping Gurnenthar from ascending, and the little pint-sized she-demon had gotten away with it.
“Look! They have a stuffed Fyarl toy!”
That got his attention. Looking into the store on his left, there in all its stuffed glory was a little 3-foot plush likeness of a Fyarl demon. He tilted his head to the side to examine it from another angle and found it rather resembled Giles. It would make a perfect gift. This would be his way of saying “Thank you” to the man who had aided and abetted Dawn in her efforts. If the man thought it was getting him out of watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, he was sorely mistaken.
Grabbing a handful of black leather coat as he passed, he picked up the little toy out of the window display and made his way over to the counter at the back of the store. He didn’t make it much further than the second aisle down before he was tugged unceremoniously into a dark alcove on the far side wall.
“Now that I’ve finally got you alone…” To any normal person, the little sharp nicks to his shoulder, lick to his earlobe, and mouth closing over his pulse point would mean naughty playtime. Xander knew better.
“I told you you should have eaten before we left.” Xander’s miserable protests went unheard as long, nimble fingers worked on undoing the buttons of his work shirt. He was pushed back onto a pile of soft, cotton-stuffed bodies. Once he landed on the toys, Xander gave in to Spike. The vampire was stubbornly persistent when he wanted something.
“…and I told you that I can’t stand this much time among the hot-blooded masses without a little treat.” The voice purred into his ear and his shirt was untucked and pushed down his arms. Cool, soft fingers fluttered around his waist, “I’ve been here for bloody hours and all we’ve got to show for it is a stuffed demon.”
“Ngh, no! We’ve got more people to shop for…” Despite his protests, his hands seemed to be helping with the removal of his pants. Funny, that.
“We’ve got one person to shop for, and all she needs is a bit of plastic with no limit.” The bleached menace had a point. Shuddering in pleasure, he decided it was a very good point. A gallon of egg nog, and a fruit cake and they were good.
Very, very good.
Amid the stuffed animals, demons, and humans, they had themselves a very well-spent afternoon. Only in Sunnydale would passers-by ignore the moans and groans. Oddly it was their disheveled appearance as they stumbled out of the store an hour later dragging a large stuffed Fyarl that got a few raised eyebrows.
Xander wrapped an arm around his vampire as they headed for truck. “Maybe I could get a Sunnydale Mall gift card. Giles can pay for it.” Sharing amused grins, Xander and his vampire made their way home. There were treats to be had, after all.
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