Xander slowly ambled along the deserted streets of Sunnydale, shoulders slumped dejectedly. He paused to kick a can that materialized in his path, watching in bored fascination as it skipped over the pavement and skittered into the gutter. He resumed his walk, almost wishing a vamp would show up to give him something else to think about. Almost. He was depressed, not suicidal.

He just couldn’t understand *why* he was feeling so blue. So...dispirited. Heck, he should be jumping for joy. Planning the going away party. Designing and preparing the ‘Bon-Voyage-don’t-let-the-Hellmouth-hit-you-on- the-ass-on-your-way-out-of-town-Spike’ banner. Instead, he was wandering the streets of Sunnydale alone after dark. If Spike had known the thought of him leaving would send Xander into a funk that caused him to throw self-preservation to the wind, the vampire might have done it sooner.

Xander sighed. Not only was he stupid enough to think he’d miss the blond, bloodsucking, pain in the ass, he’d actually been crazy enough to ask Spike why he was leaving. He briefly wondered if he was drunk, but could remember everything too clearly to be able to blame his actions on alcohol. Unfortunately.

He could distinctly remember the look Spike had given him, the one that said ‘What in bloody Hell do you care?’, which was underscored when Spike actually did say, "What in bloody Hell do you care?" Only he added the usual, ‘moron,’ at the end.

Xander had been speechless, not something that often happened to him. It had been on the tip of his tongue to say, ‘I don’t’, and then offer to help the annoying vampire to pack, and possibly drive him to the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign to assist him on his way. But he suddenly realized that he *did* care. That he didn’t want Spike to leave. And that really freaked him out, hence the rare bout of speechlessness.

He tried to tell himself that he was only going to miss Spike because if Spike wasn’t there, Xander was going to be the only guy in a veritable sea of girliness. There was Giles of course, but he was old and didn’t count. Who would he talk guy-talk with? Hang with?

Xander issued another deep sigh. Who was he trying to kid? He didn’t ‘hang’ with Spike now, much less talk any-kind-of-talk with him. He wanted Spike to stay because, as hard as it was to admit even to himself, he had dreams that involved the chipped vampire. Dreams that would have no chance of coming true if Spike weren’t even there.

Then Xander had done something even dumber than ask Spike why he was leaving. He’d asked Spike what it would take to make him stay. Spike had just given him another one of his looks, the one that said, ‘Now I really know you’re a moron.’

His speechlessness disappeared and Xander suddenly found he couldn’t shut up. He told Spike about the time Angel had attempted to kill himself because of the First Evil and how it had snowed on Christmas Day, hiding the sun, and saving Angel’s life.

"Would something like that, some, I don’t know, *sign* that you’re needed here convince you to stay?" Xander had asked.

"Sure thing," Spike replied, picking up his glass and finishing his drink, a lit cigarette hanging between his fingers. "If it snows on Christmas Day, I’ll stay." And then he got up and walked away, leaving Xander sitting alone at the table and calling himself all kinds of a fool.

Now all Xander had to do was make sure it snowed on Christmas Day so Spike wouldn’t leave Sunnydale. Leave him. No problem, he thought. It snowed in Sunnydale once on Christmas Day, it could happen again. Right?


Spike was at a loss. He couldn’t figure out what the boy had been blathering on about. Angel, and snow, and Christmas Day. Nor was he completely certain why he’d even told Xander he was thinking of leaving Sunnydale.

True, he hated this town. Hated the fact that he was a chipped vampire unable to kill and maim, much less feed himself. Hated that he was dependent upon the mercy of his mortal enemy for blood and the cash he used to buy cigarettes and enough booze to try and forget he was neutered; the Slayer’s pet vampire. But what he hated most was the fact that he was actually starting to *like* Xander Harris. He enjoyed the boy’s goofy sense of humor, though he’d stake himself before he admitted it to anyone.

Besides, if he left Sunnydale, where would he go? LA? he snorted to himself. Not bloody likely. And he’d be a sitting duck if he entered another Master Vampire’s territory uninvited. All they’d have to do was send a soddin’ human after him and he’d be dust. He could find a place that hadn’t already been claimed by a Master Vampire, but he’d need minions. Since he couldn’t bloody well make them, he’d have to gather them, and the same difficulty arose. If it seemed like he’d thought about this too much, well, he had.

But, back to Harris. The boy’s reaction had been interesting. He’d gotten all flushed and blotchy, had stuttered, and then he started babbling. However, that wasn’t the most intriguing thing. What really caught Spike’s attention was the change in Xander’s breathing and heart rate, and the scents pouring off him.

Spike might have disbelieved his ears, might have discounted what he’d seen, perhaps even minimized the significance of the boy’s scent, but he couldn’t write off all of them together. The evidence led him to believe that Xander had been genuinely upset when he’d mentioned leaving. A response he hadn’t foreseen, had he actually taken the time to think about it. He figured the boy would have stood up and cheered, or told him what a good idea it was, and even offered to help him on his way, which would then require a suitable rebuttal on his part, and thereby serve to liven up his boring evening.

Instead, Xander had surprised him by asking why he was leaving, and had nearly bloody floored him when he asked what it would take to get him to stay. Like the boy actually cared! Spike scoffed. How ridiculous a concept was that? So Spike had played along with his little game, agreeing to stay if it snowed on Christmas Day. And how likely was that?

His only problem now was explaining why he stayed even when it didn’t snow. Great! he snorted. Harris would probably think he stayed because he actually *liked* the boy, and as he’d already determined, there was no way in bleedin’ Hell he was going to admit to that. Not even to himself.


For the next couple weeks Xander tried to play it cool, but inside he was a nervous wreck. He attempted to act nonchalant whenever he saw Spike, but was always wondering about what would happen when it didn’t snow on Christmas Day. Would Spike really leave? Where would he go? Why did he have to use the snow example? Rain! He should have gone with rain.

It didn’t take his boss long to notice that Xander was distracted. He hated that the stupid vampire could even affect his work. Because he and his boss had developed a friendly relationship, Xander actually admitted the truth. He left out the real why-part of why he didn’t want Spike to leave, though. His boss had commiserated with him, but stressed that being distracted while on the job could lead to accidents. Xander agreed, and promised to do better.

About a week later, Xander’s boss approached him with a possible solution to his dilemma. Xander had been ecstatic, and very thankful. He had sweated over things like availability and delivery, and the logistics of when and where, and then, once the means was within his grasp, had worked nights and weekends on ‘Operation Snow on Christmas Day’ until he was certain of nothing more than the fact that he was going to make a fool of himself. Though if you asked Spike, that would probably be, a bigger fool.

The night was finally at hand. Xander had invited everyone to his place for Christmas Eve and told them to dress according to the weather, because they were having their party outside. The girls had looked at him strangely, but agreed. Spike had been present when Xander issued the invite, and he made sure the vampire knew he was included. He again received looks from the girls, but they said nothing.

Later that night, Spike had asked Xander why he wanted him there. Xander had enigmatically replied, "Snow watch."

After getting permission from the apartment manager, Xander decorated the courtyard with green and red streamers, a plastic light-up Santa, a blow-up Frosty, and stockings hung over tree branches. He placed Christmas-themed tablecloths over two picnic tables, and set out matching plates and cups. Candles on both tables flickered, casting a homey glow.

He couldn’t cook worth a damn, so had put himself in charge of drinks and appetizers. A small cooler of soda sat on the grass at one end of the ‘food table’, and a bowl of the requisite eggnog atop it. A platter of cheese, crackers, and pepperoni and a round loaf of marble bread filled with dip were beside the eggnog. Xander nervously grabbed a cracker and munched on it.

He checked his watch and saw that it was almost ten o’clock, the time they’d set for their party so that Buffy could have Christmas Eve with Joyce and Dawn before joining them. Besides, he wanted everyone there at midnight, when Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Day. He couldn’t resist the urge to check his timer once more, and then scurried over to the parking lot to greet Giles, who had picked up Buffy and Willow.

Xander helped them carry the food they’d brought over to the picnic tables while the girls lugged their presents, and then ooh’d and aah’d over his meager decorations. Sometime during the setting out of the food, Spike silently arrived, slipping into his place without fuss. Xander’s heart sped when he saw him.

"Hey," he said softly, his voice catching.

Spike looked Xander over. The boy was dressed to impress in a pair of blue slacks and a plum Henley, the long sleeves pushed up to reveal strong forearms. He was chatting with the birds, laughing at something Buffy said, and then their eyes caught and the brunette’s heart rate accelerated. He heard the catch in Xander’s voice when he finally spoke.

He broke their gaze. "Harris," he responded, looking away in an attempt at nonchalance. "Nice spread. Slayer, Witch, Watcher," he greeted the others with a show of indifference, then threw himself onto one of the chaise lounges.

"Well, dig in!" Xander said, and Spike watched as the other three filled their plates with the appetizers, then sat around the second picnic table to eat and ‘dish’, as Willow put it. When he looked back at Xander, the boy was still staring at him. He raised his eyebrows, and Xander blushed.

"Th-there’s, um, blood," he said. "In the thermos." He pointed towards the thermos beside the cooler. "And crackers," he added. "Or bread. You know...for dunking." As if he’d said too much, he turned and fixed his own plate before joining the others at the table.

Spike shook his head. The boy had surprised him again. He’d not only procured blood for him, he’d suggested the crackers and bread without a shred of the disgust normally evident in his tone or facial expression. Getting up from the lounge chair, he walked over to the thermos and poured some of the blood into a cup. Grabbing a handful of crackers he turned to the table where the others were sitting.

Xander looked up at him through his lashes, and then moved down to make room for him. Spike narrowed his eyes, but took the proffered seat. He made a production of dunking one of the crackers into the blood before eating it, and Buffy grimaced in distaste right on cue.

"Euww, Spike! That’s disgusting!" she wailed. Spike just grinned and licked a drop of blood off his lip, then glanced around the table, ending his scan with Xander, who looked to be struggling to keep from smiling.

"Got any spoons?" he asked, giving Xander a nudge as he crushed the remaining crackers into the blood.

"Erm, yeah, right by the plates," Xander replied, leaning towards Spike and pointing them out.

Spike got up and grabbed the spoon, noisily stirred the crackers into the blood, and then loudly slurped the mixture out. Buffy ‘euww’d’ again, Giles gave him a dirty look, Willow shook her head, and Xander graced him with a knowing expression. After a few seconds of noisy drinking, Xander bopped him gently on the head.

"Knock it off...Spike," he said.

No one else seemed to notice, but the pause was obvious to Spike. Where the boy would once have called him ‘fangless’ or some other derogatory term, he had made the conscious decision to use his name. This situation with Xander was getting weirder and weirder. And, yes, he admitted it, he’d spent a lot of time over the last several weeks thinking about why Xander would want him to stay in Sunnydale. He wasn’t sure he’d solved the riddle yet, but thought he had a good idea. He hoped he’d find out tonight.

After whetting their appetite with the bread and crackers, Willow uncovered the pan of lasagna she and Buffy had prepared - with homemade, garlic-free sauce in honor of Spike - while Buffy unwrapped the loaf of Italian bread and set it in the middle of the picnic table. The two girls cut and served the lasagna, and everyone dug in. Spike hesitated only long enough to make sure no one keeled over after the first bite, then poured blood over his and began to eat.

When the meal was over, the food re-wrapped, and the dirty plates thrown out, Xander threw off the sheet covering the television and they settled down with eggnog - Spike spiked his with blood and a dash from his flask - to watch ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, with Willow and Xander mouthing all the words and doing the Snoopy dance.

As soon as the show ended and Xander hit the rewind button, Willow pleaded that they be allowed to open presents next. A loud cheer went up from Buffy, who then looked around in embarrassment and then said with more decorum, "Good idea, Will!"

Willow and Buffy handed out the presents amongst the four of them and then counted to three. Everyone ripped at the wrapping paper, uncovering their gifts from each other. The three of them had gone in together to buy Giles a nice sweater and shirt ‘so you don’t have to wear tweed all the time,’ Buffy told him. Xander made Buffy a new stake with her name and the date carved into the side of it.

After all the presents were opened, Xander pulled out the last present which had been hidden under the picnic table and handed it to Spike.

"What’s this?" the vampire asked suspiciously.

"It’s a Christmas present," Xander explained slowly.

"Can see that, git," Spike returned. "Why?"

"Because it’s Christmas," Xander replied, and then laid the long package on the table. "It’s from all of us," he added.

"I didn’t get you lot anything," Spike said, staring at the package, his fingers itching to touch it.

"That’s all right," Willow chirped. "Christmas isn’t about getting, it’s about *giving*," she said. "Not that I would know, being Jewish and all," she added. "But so I hear."


Spike gave her a look, and briefly wondered if she’d been nipping at his flask.

"Open it already!" Buffy urged, excited despite herself to see if Spike liked it.

With one last glance at Xander, Spike tore into the paper to reveal a large axe with a crescent-shaped head and a long handle. He lifted it out of the wrapping and examined it closely. The head shone in the moonlight. He ran his thumb along the edge to check the sharpness. Spike looked more closely at the handle which was smooth and perfectly shaped for gripping, and had been carved into a stake at the end. He felt marks on the handle and held it up to the moonlight. His names, Spike and William the Bloody, had been carved into either side.

"What’re these?" he asked, pointing to two symbols he didn’t recognize.

"Those are the Celtic symbols for strength and honor," Giles informed him.

"We all made it for you," Buffy said, unable to hold back any longer.

Xander watched Spike’s reaction carefully. He’d thought of this gift idea, but hadn’t wanted it to seem like he was putting more effort into it than Spike’s friendship, or lack thereof, warranted, so he’d suggested that they all work on it. The blade was from a weapon they confiscated when they cleared out a nest of demons over the summer. The handle had broken, so it had just been lying around.

Xander had removed the broken handle and carved a new one, along with the names and Celtic symbols suggested by Willow and Giles, sanding it until it was smooth. Slayer strength had cleaned and polished the blade. Giles had honed it to a sharp edge. Willow had placed a spell over it so that neither the blade nor the stake could be used against its owner.

"Well?" Willow asked excitedly. "Do you like it?"

"Yeah, I...I do," Spike replied, sounding surprised, and a little off-balance. It had been ages since anyone had thought enough of him to give him a gift. He wanted to be angry that it was a bunch of humans he should hate who had done so now, but found he couldn’t. He ran his fingers over the blade, and then down the handle. He knew Xander had made it.

Xander smiled to himself. It wasn’t often he was able to surprise Spike and knock him off-kilter, so he wanted to savor the moment. Suddenly Willow gasped.

"Oh, no! I think it’s raining!" she said, rubbing a bit of moisture off her face. She stood up quickly. "We need to get everything picked up before..."

"Wait, look," Buffy said, grabbing Willow’s arm. Both girls looked up at the sky. Xander swallowed hard and followed their gaze. Small white flakes were falling over them. As they sat there and watched, the number of flakes increased, but it was so warm, they melted as soon as they hit the ground.

Buffy stuck her tongue out and caught a flake. "How can we have snow?" she asked. "It’s too warm for snow. Isn’t it?"

"It has happened before," Giles said slowly.

"But that was a miracle," Buffy responded.

"Perhaps *this* is a miracle," Giles said.

"Or maybe something Hellmouthy," Buffy suggested.

"It’s just snow," Xander said softly, and then turned to look at Spike, who was looking back at him.

"How’d you do it?" he asked quietly so the others wouldn’t hear.

"Do what?" Xander asked.

"Make it snow," Spike growled low.

"What makes you think I had anything to do with it?" Xander asked. Spike gave him a look. "Maybe it’s just fate," Xander said, looking away from Spike’s eyes before he spilled his guts.

"I wanna build a snowman!" Willow squealed.

Everyone looked at her, and Xander sighed in relief.

"Do you think it’ll snow harder?" she asked.

"I don’t think we’re going to get much accumulation from this, Willow," Giles broke the bad news.

"Oh," she said sadly. "No snow angels, then, either, huh?"

"I’m afraid not," Giles said.

Willow sighed in disappointment.

"I wonder if Mom and Dawnie are seeing it?" Buffy asked.

"Doubt it," Spike said.

"Yeah, they’re probably in bed and missing it," Buffy bemoaned.

"No, I mean it probably ain’t snowing at your house," Spike clarified.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked.

Spike pointed. "It’s not even snowing across the street, so I doubt it’s snowing across town," he said.

Xander blushed, surprised that Spike had noticed that.

"That’s odd," Giles said.

"Do you think it’s an isolated front?" Willow asked.

Spike snorted. "Very isolated," he muttered just loud enough for Xander to hear.

"Hmm," Giles said. "I think we have Xander to thank for the snow this Christmas."

"Really?" Willow asked excitedly.

Xander blushed even more.

"You did this for us, Xander?" Buffy asked.

"Well, uh, sorta," he admitted.

"Wow, you must really love us," she said.

"Ooh, Xander, we love you, too," Willow cooed.

Xander wondered if you could die from embarrassment.

For half an hour everyone sat and watched it snow. Then it got boring, so they helped Xander clean up, throwing the garbage in the dumpster and carrying the decorations, television, and leftovers up to his apartment. Xander helped Buffy and Willow carry their presents to Giles’ car and waved as they drove off. Now that they were gone and it was quiet, he realized that Spike had disappeared.

His shoulders slumped in disappointment, and he slowly turned and watched the snow falling over the courtyard. It wasn’t as fun without his friends there, and he was depressed that Spike had left without saying anything, so he decided to turn in himself. Walking along the path that led into the trees, Xander stopped beside the small snow-making machine that he had rigged up with a blower attachment to throw the snow over the trees, and reached out to flick the ‘off’ switch.

"What do you think you’re doing, Harris?" Spike asked. While the others helped Xander pick up, he had taken his axe and drifted away so he could think about the fact that Xander had made it snow. He’d told Xander that he’d stay if it snowed on Christmas Day, and Xander had actually made it snow. He checked the sky. It was after midnight, so it was in fact Christmas Day.

He kept asking himself ‘why?’, but was pretty sure he knew the reason, even though it made his mind - and other body parts - boggle. He got the odd feeling that Xander actually liked him, but he couldn’t understand how that had happened. It was bad enough that he had started to enjoy the company of one Xander Harris, but to have the human boy like him enough to figure out how to make it snow on Christmas was difficult to believe.

"Spike!" Xander yelped. "Wh-what...I thought you were gone!" He grabbed his throat and tried to catch his breath.

"Nope," Spike replied laconically. "Just enjoying the weather."

Xander blushed.

"Wondered how you did it," Spike said, checking out the machine. "Looks like you put a lot of thought into it," he said casually. "Not to mention time and effort."

Xander shrugged. "It wasn’t much, really," he said, flustered.

Spike could tell he was lying by the flush suffusing his skin, the racing of his heart, and the scent of the cold sweat the boy had broken out in.

"Well, no sense letting it go to waste," Spike said, and then turned and walked back down the path.

"Where are you going?" Xander blurted out, and then mentally slapped himself.

Spike looked back over his shoulder and spoke without stopping. "Gonna go get comfy and enjoy my snow," he said, and then turned away. "Coming?" he added just as he disappeared around the bend.

Xander nearly tripped over his own feet as he followed Spike back to the courtyard. The vampire threw himself onto the same chaise lounge he’d sat in before and looked up at the sky, watching the snow fall. Xander moved slowly across the courtyard, partly from nerves and partly because he was watching Spike. The vampire looked so...cute, he thought, staring up at the snow like a little boy.

He did a double-take. Cute? Had he just thought of Spike as *cute*? Spike wasn’t cute, he was...adorable, he thought sappily as Spike stuck his tongue out and caught a flake on it, and then tried to catch another. He blushed when the blond caught him staring.

"You gonna stand there...all night, or sit down and get comfy?" Spike asked, just stopping himself from saying ‘stand there staring at me’. "Here," he said in a commanding tone, moving his legs off the end of the lounge.

Xander’s eyes moved between Spike’s face and the spot he’d cleared at the end of the lounge chair.

"Sit," Spike said.

Xander sat stiffly on the edge of the chair. He tipped his head back and watched the snow fall.

Spike sighed behind him. "That can’t be comfortable," he said.

"It’s fine," Xander said, not wanting to move to another chair despite the pain in his neck. Not Spike this time, an actual pain.

"Slide back, you daft git," Spike ordered.

"No, really, I’m..."

"You’re ruining my snow," Spike pouted.

Xander turned to look at him in disbelief. "How in the world am I...?" he huffed, trailing off when he saw Spike grinning at him.

While Xander was distracted, Spike leaned forward and grasped him around the waist, then tugged, pulling him back onto the chair between Spike’s legs. Xander gasped in surprise and nearly choked himself.

"What’re you...?"

"Relax," Spike said, placing his hand on Xander’s forehead and pressing his head back against Spike’s shoulder. "Watch the pretty snow."

Xander wanted nothing more than to do as Spike said, but he wasn’t sure that was at all the smart thing to do. Bad enough he’d already gone so far as to give Spike more ammunition to use against him. "I’m not sure this is a good idea," Xander said softly.

"Mmm, why not?" Spike asked, sounding distracted. Xander tilted his head and watched as Spike stared at the falling snow, his eyes crossing and then uncrossing as he followed the path of the flakes down.

Xander’s chest constricted. "Do you like the snow?" he asked, trying to keep his voice steady.

Spike’s eyes moved slowly until Xander was pinned beneath his steady gaze. "What do you think?" he asked, and Xander shivered at his tone, and the look in his eyes.

"Cold?" Spike asked solicitously.

"No, not...well, actually, maybe a little," Xander fibbed as Spike pulled the duster out from between them and wrapped Xander in it, his arms tight around Xander’s torso. Xander suddenly didn’t care about his concerns that Spike would use this against him. He leaned into the vampire and watched the snow fall.

Spike had stopped watching the snow. He found that watching Xander was much more interesting. Soon, looking wasn’t enough, he had to touch. He lowered his head, nuzzling into Xander’s neck and sniffed, then stuck out his tongue and tasted the boy. Xander groaned, automatically tilting his head to give Spike better access. Spike nipped and sucked on his neck, soft and teasing, then hard enough to mark him.

Spike’s fingers joined his mouth in tormenting Xander’s body, slipping beneath the duster to rub his nipples into hard nubs. His other hand slid down his body and caressed his groin. Xander moaned and twisted into his hand.

"Tell me why you made the snow for me," Spike commanded softly, punctuating it with another suck on soft, succulent skin.

Xander was finding it difficult to think with Spike’s skillful tongue and fingers stoking the fires of desire deep within him. "S-so you wouldn’t leave," he managed to get out.

"Why?" Spike asked as his hand finally rubbed over Xander’s erection.

"Oh, God, Spike!" he cried, his hips bucking into Spike’s touch.

"Is this why, Xander?" Spike asked into his ear. "Is this what you wanted?" He closed his fingers around Xander’s hard flesh and stroked.

Xander was whimpering and writhing beneath his touch. "Yes," he gasped. "But...more..."

"More...of this?" Spike asked, biting down on Xander’s neck as he gently pinched the head of his penis.

"Ahh, God, yes," Xander groaned. "But more... More sex, but more than sex," he rasped, trying to explain what he’d been hiding even from himself.

Spike had to force himself not to morph and lower his fangs at Xander’s words. He compelled himself to remain in control, and strained to gentle his touch, licking and kissing Xander’s neck while his hands were busy rubbing the boy’s nipples and tenderly stroking his cock.

Xander was panting and moaning, and then began to twitch as he cried out, "Too much! Oh, God, Spike, it’s too much!"

"Need me to slow down?" Spike asked breathlessly.

"J-jus-just a little," Xander agreed, the tension flowing out of his body when Spike withdrew his hands. His chest was heaving. "C-can we...would you..."

"What, Xander?" Spike asked softly.

Xander could feel the heat in his face as he blushed. "Kiss," he whispered.

Spike smiled. "You wanna snog?" he asked.

Xander raised an eyebrow at the irreverent term.

"Play tonsil hockey?"



"Yes," he said softly.

"Then come here," Spike said, lowering his head.

Xander raised his face to meet him, and when their lips touched it was electrifying. He twisted on the chair so that he could bring their bodies into closer contact while they kissed, and his tongue eagerly probed Spike’s mouth. Spike busied his hands unbuttoning and unzipping Xander’s pants, and then slipped them inside to cup his ass.

"Mmm," he moaned into the kiss. "Silk," he said when Xander pulled back to gasp a breath, and rubbed his hands over Xander’s silk-clad ass. "Love the way your bum feels in my hands," he said, and then brought their lips together again.

While they kissed, Spike worked Xander’s pants down. He had a hankering to see the boy in his silk boxers. Suddenly Xander stiffened in his arms.

"No, Spike, don’t!" he cried, reaching behind him to pull his pants back up. They struggled for a moment, but Spike eventually won, and Xander’s pants slid over his hips. Xander covered Spike’s eyes with his hand. "Don’t look," he entreated.

"Xander, what are you doing?" Spike asked.

"Please don’t look," Xander pleaded.

Spike gently pulled Xander’s hand away from his face. He pulled the boy’s body close to his and lifted his hips, pressing his straining erection into Xander’s stomach. "Feel that?" he asked.

Xander nodded wordlessly.

"Know what that means?"

Xander shook his head.

"Means the thought of seeing you in silk boxers is making me ache," he purred.

"Oh, God," Xander groaned, wrapping his fingers around Spike’s hand.

Spike slowly, deliberately lowered his eyes from Xander’s, over his torso, and down to and white silk boxers covered with reindeer. His lips twitched.

"If you laugh, I will kill you," Xander growled, and the sound went straight to Spike’s cock. But it wasn’t enough to stop the grin that spread across his face.

"I like ‘em," he said, waggling his eyebrows. "I think they’d look even better if they were the only thing you had on, though," he suggested.

"I think," Xander retorted, "we need to stop this right now."

Spike froze. He slowly let go of Xander’s hand. "Right," he said, tightening his lips and looking away from Xander.

"Hey, Spike? What’re you... Oh, no," Xander said. "I didn’t mean stop-stop, I meant, you know, stop because we’re, well, *outside*," he hissed the last word. "Besides, the snow stopped, and I have a bed just inside that building over there."

Spike was afraid to look back at Xander; he didn’t want the boy to see the hurt that his misunderstood words had caused. Xander reached up and turned his face back.

"Or, you know, we can stay here and look at the stars." He paused. "Can I pull my pants up, though? I really don’t want anyone else seeing these boxers."

Since Spike didn’t want that either, he shrugged his silent agreement.

Xander pulled his pants up and squirmed until he had one arm around Spike’s waist. "You’re not going to pout all night, are you?" he asked after an extended silence.

"‘M not pouting," Spike insisted, then pulled a badly wrapped present out of his duster pocket and handed it to Xander. He looked up at the vampire and waited expectantly.

"Can I open it?" he finally asked.

Spike wanted to refuse to speak, but realized he’d be cutting off his nose to spite his face if he did that, so he said, "‘Course, it’s your present." And then continued to pout.

Xander ripped the paper off and stared at the odd gift he’d unwrapped. It was a snow globe, and inside was a little village with two people ice skating on a pond. Xander shook it and watched the snow drift down on the little skaters.

"I got it...," Spike started, and then hesitated. " case it didn’t snow," he finally finished, nearly whispering the admission.

"Oh," Xander said dreamily, and shook it again. He smiled up at Spike. "Can we snog some more?" he asked.

Spike rolled his eyes and tightened his lips in an attempt to not smile in return. He failed, and his lips slowly curved. "I s’pose," he said, trying to act as if he didn’t care one way or the other.

"Well, if you don’t want to...," Xander said, and started to shift his weight as if he was getting up.

Spike pulled him back with enough force to knock the breath from his lungs - or that might have just been the anticipation of kissing the vampire again - and brought their lips together. Xander set the snow globe down to free his hand, and the two men explored each other with hands and tongues while the two lovers skated beneath the lightly falling snow.







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