by CJ


He watched from the corner, letting it all soak in; the guest’s laughter, the gifts still being admired from Christmas. All the friends gathered together on one of the few occasions this group ever has, just to have fun. But most of all, he watched the pure joy that lingered on his lover's face.


Checking the clock on the wall above the fireplace, Spike pushed away from his spot in the corner and casually walked over to where Xander stood with Willow.


"It's time," Spike whispered into Xander's ear. He could see the varied emotions pass over the human's face. Confusion gave way to realization which, in turn, melted in a soft smile that showed the entire world all the love he felt for Spike.


Turning slightly, Xander didn't even look at Willow as he said, "We'll be back later, Wills." And, taking Spike's hand in his own, Xander led his lover over to a secluded corner of the dance floor they'd put up in the living room.


The hosts tuned out all the couples counting down as they wrapped their arms around each other. Xander laid his head on Spike's shoulder and let out a sigh.


"Tired, luv?" Spike asked, running his hands in circles over Xander's back.


Xander just sighed again and shook his head. "Not really. I'm just happy."


Spike smiled and pulled back a bit to look into Xander's eyes. "I'm glad, luv. I like seeing you happy.” Spying the clock again over Xander’s shoulder, Spike continued softly. “Its midnight, Xan, how ‘bout a kiss?”


Xander kissed Spike softly on the cheek and laid his head back onto the vampire's shoulder. "You know, there's a tradition that says that whatever you're doing at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve is how you'll spend the whole of the next year."


Spike pulled back from him again, this time with a confused look in his eyes. "Yeah, luv. What's that all about then?"


"Nothing, I just can't think of any other way I'd rather spend the rest of my life than by being held in your arms."


Spike's confusion lifted immediately, he pulled Xander closer, and wrapping his arms around the mortal even tighter, whispered, "Yeah, Xan. I know just what you mean."





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