Mistletoe and Wine
Rating: Teen (just to be safe)
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss The God Wheadon
Summary: Stuck at Giles withing nothing but memories while the scoobies enjoy some festive cheer Spike has a merry Christmas after all.
Another little entry I did for Noel of Spike
Mistletoe and Wine
Christmas; it was that time of year again, one of his favourite times of year if truth be told and didn’t that just make Spike’s mood darken even more than it generally was since that damn blasted chip had been stuck in his head.
He sat on the sofa in the watcher’s living room with the TV on, he wasn’t particularly watching it but he knew it annoyed the crusty old man sitting at the table pouring over a book if it was on, so Spike simply turned on the set out of habit.
A glance around Giles apartment wouldn’t hold any clues as to the festive time of year; there wasn’t a single card, decoration or even a coloured candle on display. Spike found it rather depressing that a human couldn’t be bothered with all the festive cheer. He would have liked a drop of mulled wine or a sugary mince pie. He was obviously going to have to go without while bunking with the watcher.
Christmas; Spike gave a little wistful sigh of longing, a time when all the little happy meals on legs were rushing around getting that hot, rich blood flowing in their veins spiced with excitement for the upcoming holidays. They were always out and about the little humans, shopping, visiting friends and families, posting cards, singing carols, picking out Christmas trees, going to parties; always something going on at this time of year.
Spike smiled at the thought of a party, it disappeared immediately when his eyes alighted on Giles. Giles was sitting at the table with a large book open in front of him and a cooling cup of tea at his elbow, there was no get up and go in him, there would be no party here. Spike sighed again, he’d been to wonderful parties over the years, that Mayor’s Christmas Ball in London back in 18…. 18…? 18 something or other anyway, he had attended with Angelus and what a night of festive fun that had turned out to be.
Spike grinned as he recalled the lavishly decorated house, the band playing in the corner, the sumptuous food all laid out, ladies gathered together in the corners whispering behind their fans, courting young gentleman trying desperately to secure a waltz with the lady of their choice; and the two handsome strangers among them all who held centre court with no trouble at all.
It had been too easy to charm the mayor’s daughter into stepping outside with him. She had been enthralled with the handsome stranger with the hypnotising blue eyes and attentive manner. Spike chuckled at the memory, silly bint had been more than willing to flirt with the danger of ruining her pristine reputation by stealing a kiss in the shadows of the garden with the handsome man; she hadn’t realised the danger had not been her reputation but her very life. She’d lost her life that night, bleeding out into his mouth her sweet virgin’s blood zinging with fear at the monster into whose arms she willingly went.
Memories; they were all he had these days and they didn’t half depress him.
Spike heard them all before he saw them, his slayer senses going off telling him that bitch-face was coming with her little loser entourage. How he hated them all. They were outside the door now, happy voiced and laughing. Just great, he was going to be stuck with all of them in cheery moods.
The door swung open, Xander Harris the greatest moron on the planet the first to enter. Spike blinked in surprise, under his arm Xander had tucked the trunk of a tree. Anya came behind him helping him support the tree, her face barely visible behind the top branches, the slayer came next balancing some boxes in her arms and Red brought up the rear using her foot to close the door, her hands filled with bulging bags.
“Merry Christmas, G-Man!” Xander greeted striding into the room.
“Good Lord!” Giles blinked owlishly at them behind his glasses.
“Look what we got,” Anya beamed at Giles as she passed him, following Xander to the corner of the room.
“In the corner?” Xander suggested. “Where’s the pot, Buff?”
“Hold on,” Buffy said, digging around in the boxes. “I’m not sure which box I put it in.”
“Good Lord,” Giles said again, helplessly watching them all swarm about the place.
“We’re bringing you some festive treats, Giles,” Buffy said producing a garish red plastic pot from one of the boxes. “If we’re all going to be stuck here researching then we’re going to have something nice to look at.”
“Hence the tree,” Willow supplied helpfully, hanging up her coat and placing the bags on the sofa beside Spike.
Spike was interested in spite of himself. He was never asked to join in any of the fun things they did, not that he expected an invite or particularly wanted to spend any more time with them all than was necessary; but sometimes he got rather lonely and stuck around longer than he needed to when there wasn’t a big nasty about just to listen to something other than the TV or his own thoughts.
There was a tussle in the corner between Xander, Buffy, Anya and the tree, but eventually the tree lost and was righted neatly in its little red pot. “Don’t put it too close to the wall,” Anya complained. “We won’t be able to get at it properly.”
Xander huffed and tugged at the pot again, wiggling the tree away from the wall so that there was enough of a gap for them all to walk around it. “Before we do anything, break out the mulled wine, Wills.”
Now Spike was really interested, if there was wine, he wanted some. He didn’t expect to be offered any however, they had all ignored him so far and were probably hoping he would slink off into the night and leave them to it. Well too bad, he thought crossly, if it was going to take the shine off the evening for them he was bloody well staying put.
“Alright, but no mince pies until after you’ve sorted the lights, Xander.”
Xander looked crushed. “But, Wills, they take forever! One little bulb goes and they all go. And they’re always in a giant knot! How do they do that? All year round they’re in a box, they don’t move and yet every year you take them out and they’re all tangled up.”
“Stop moaning and get on with it,” Anya told him firmly. “Come on, lets unpack the boxes.”
Buffy grinned and hopped on the spot with a clap of her hands. “I love getting all the decorations out, it’s the best part!”
There was a flurry of movement around him and Spike remained where he was on the sofa and watched as the slayer brought the boxes closer to the tree and knelt on the carpet to carefully unpack the ornaments. Xander was handed a box of lights and flopped into the arm chair with a moan about he knew they would be all tangled up and proceeded to do his best to untangle them all. Giles was forced to move his books and coffee table out of the way, Anya sat on the arm of the sofa and began to sort through the bags and Willow reappeared from the kitchen with small glasses of mulled wine.
“Here you go, Giles, you might need one of these,” she offered him the tray with a sympathetic look on her face.
“Yes,” Giles agreed taking a glass. “I have a feeling you’re right, Willow.”
She moved around the room with the tray until there was just one single glass left winking in the light. She stopped beside him and offered the tray with a tentative smile. “Wine, Spike?”
“Might as well,” Spike replied, hiding his surprise at being included. But then, Red had always been sensitive to his feelings. He took the glass half expecting the slayer or the village idiot to pass a comment or tell him to put it back; but as usual, they ignored him completely.
“Oooh!” Buffy squealed and Spike winced at the sound. “Christmas music!” she sang out waving a tape around.
“Now we’re getting the party started,” Xander said with a grin. “Put it on, Buff.”
“Oh,” Giles perked up a little bit. “Carols?”
“Um, no,” Buffy shook her head, scrunching her face at him. “Music, Giles. Proper Christmas music.”
Giles sighed heavily when the tape started, Wham, just wonderful, he could only imagine what else would be on the tape. He silently lamented over the softly sung Christmas carols he so enjoyed listening to, he hadn’t put them on due to Spike’s presence, Spike could always be relied upon to say or do something and spoil things. He only hoped the vampire would keep his mouth shut and not upset any of them tonight when they were obviously enjoying themselves all together as youngsters should be.
Buffy sang along quietly as she set out the tree ornaments, glancing up every now and then to see how Xander was progressing. He was busy huffing and puffing and pulling cross faces at the tangle of wire and light bulbs in his lap.
“We nearly forgot our accessories,” Anya exclaimed her eyes widening dramatically.
Spike watched with barely concealed interest as the ex-demon placed a crown of gold tinsel on her head. It had a piece of wire poking out the back of it also wrapped in gold tinsel and ended in a tinselled hoop above her head. A halo, Spike realised after a moment or two.
The slayer was handed a green elf hat which she placed at a jaunty angle on her head, it had holly stuck to it and a rim of white fur with a little golden bell at the end that tinkled whenever she bobbed her head, and Buffy bobbed her head a lot for the effect. She also hung gold bells over her ears, they were clearly ornaments for the tree, but for now she chose to wear them herself. Spike rolled his eyes at all the nonsense.
“Here you go, Xander,” Anya tossed him a hat in the shape of turkey legs and he jammed it on his head as Spike stared at him open-mouthed. “We got this for you, Giles,” Anya crossed to the table where Giles had retired out of the way and handed him a top hat they had decorated with tinsel and holly.
“Oh, you shouldn’t have,” Giles smiled wearily and Spike sniggered. “It’s very nice, thank you, Anya.” He turned it over in his hands and gave another smile
She stood there looking at him expectantly. “Aren’t you going to put it on?”
“You have to wear it, Giles, we’re all wearing them,” Buffy insisted from her kneeling position at Xander’s feet.
“Yeah G-Man, you gotta,” Xander insisted.
It was not lost on Spike that the slayer had mentioned everyone was wearing the ridiculous things and yet he had not been given a tawdry piece of headwear. It was both her subtle and obvious way of letting him know he was not one of them, they didn’t like him and didn’t want him around and wished he would go and be a burden to someone else.
It angered him, it reminded him of all that he had lost and that he simply didn’t have anyone else. These little do gooder’s were all he had and they didn’t even want him around. Wasn’t that just enough to make him want to go and stake himself.
“Well yes, very well,” Giles agreed and put the hat on, he didn’t want them thinking he couldn’t enjoy himself.
“Don’t forget to wear yours, Wills,” Buffy reminded her, the bells at her ears tinkling as she moved about.
Willow sighed and nodded. “I’m putting it on, I’m putting it on.”
Spike watched as she took the offered headband from Anya. It was green with holly, ivy and mistletoe glued to the top of it. It was the most subtle one of the lot, but still bloody awful. He wondered why she was partaking in this event, wasn’t she meant to be Jewish?
“You’re going to have to move everything off the top of that book case, Giles,” Buffy said waving her arm in the general direction of the piece of furniture. “We need to make room for the menorah.”
“And we’ve got jelly donuts,” Xander added looking up with a grin. “Traditional Hanukah food.”
Spike understood now, they were combining both holiday traditions. He didn’t move from his spot on the sofa and found himself with a lap full of tinsel as Willow separated the brightly coloured garlands.
“Watch it with those things, Red,” he complained with a glare in her direction.
“Sorry, Spike,” she smiled at him, ignoring his grousing.
He watched her as she glanced sneakily at Xander who now had his back to them both stringing the lights on the tree with directions from Anya and the slayer, then she ducked into a bag pulling out a red and green tin. Carefully she prized the lid open a crack and her hand disappeared inside to produce a small mince pie which she slid over to him.
Spike grinned and took the offered treat, his grin deepening when gave him a conspiring wink. He bit into it and stifled a sigh; soft underneath, warm gooey middle and sugary crust. Just lovely. It went well with the mulled wine.
“I don’t suppose you’ve celebrated Christmas since you became a vampire?” Willow asked placing the tin back in the bag away from Xander’s prying eyes and greedy fingers.
Spike considered the question as he chewed on a mouthful of mince pie. “Wouldn’t exactly say that, Red. We didn’t have a tree or any of this nonsense, and our gifts to each other were nothing that you’d find under your tree,” he paused, gratified by the widening of her eyes and the slightly sick look on her face, she knew enough about him and Angelus to know their idea of a Christmas gift and hers would differ enormously. “But we’d go out to parties and such.”
“Vampire’s throw Christmas parties?”
He shook his head. “No love, I meant human Christmas parties, the Mayor’s annual Christmas Ball, high society events, that type of thing. Things were different back in the day, remember. Classier.”
“You went to Ball’s?” Willow slid into the seat next to him pushing the tinsel out of the way and fixing him with excited green eyes. “Tell me about them, Spike. Were the women all in fancy dresses like in old movies? Was it like something out of a Dickens novel? Did they all sing carols around a tree and waltz and stuff?”
Spike was surprised by her interest but he figured he probably shouldn’t have been. Red always wanted to know all about everything, she had an inquisitive mind that he felt was wasted here in Sunnydale. “Yeah, I guess it was pretty much like that,” he agreed.
She glanced across at the others who were now hanging baubles on the tree and singing along to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. Lowering her voice for the sake of his pride if he did decide to answer her she asked, “Spike, did you waltz? Can you dance like that?”
“Of course I can.” It wasn’t a subject he usually discussed but Spike saw no reason to be ashamed of his dance moves. He came from an era where dancing proficiently was expected and admired. The problem was; a ballroom dancing vampire didn’t really fit in with the image he was used to projecting. “That’s why Darla used to like me to escort her to the fancy shindigs rather than Angelus. I was a gentleman, well brought up and he was a drunken farm boy; I could fit in much better at those kind of affairs than he could. She could be quite the snob for a prostitute.”
Willow never really gave Darla much thought, whenever she had thought about her Willow couldn’t help wondering if she had been the one to turn Jessie. Would Jessie have turned into someone like Spike under Darla’s teachings? Would he have been a friend to Spike, travelled with him, hunted with him, killed with him?
“She was a…really?”
“When she was human,” Spike said. “Mentioned that to her once,” he mused with pursed lips, “’bout how she had little room to mock Angleus when she had been nothin’ more than a whore herself. She didn’t react to that and I thought it ‘adn’t really bothered her until I woke up to the slashing of a cat-o-nine tails across my bare back the next night.”
“A…Oh my God!” Willow’s hand flew to her mouth, her eyes wide and horrified.
Spike shrugged. “Can’t say it didn’t hurt, but I can take it, took a whole lot more in my time an’ just for the pleasure of it.” His lips curled into a smirk as her cheeks flushed pink with embarrassment.
“Spike!” she exclaimed crossly.
He laughed lightly. “Had a temper on her when the mood took her did Darla. Angelus got much the same treatment after he came home in a drunken stupor one morning and sat on her hat.”
“He got that just from sitting on her hat?”
Spike rolled his shoulders dismissively. “Darla liked hats.”
“Still, it seems extreme.”
He grinned tucking his tongue against his cheek. “That’s because you’ve got preconceived ideas ’bout pain, pet.”
Willow flushed again and averted her eyes from his face. It was just like Spike to try and make her feel uncomfortable. Luckily Buffy chose that moment to speak.
“Can you pass me the purple tinsel, Willow?”
“Yeah, sure, Buffy.” Willow sighed when Spike made no move to pick up the purple and silver garland sitting in the empty spot beside him where he had shoved it off his lap. She reached over him a cross look on her face, it was just like Spike to be as unhelpful as possible.
“Christmas tradition!” Anya yelled suddenly making Willow jump.
“Huh?” Still half across Spike Willow looked over at Anya.
“You have to kiss under the mistletoe,” Anya reminded her.
“Yeah I know,” Willow sat back the garland of tinsel in her hands. “So?”
Anya rolled her eyes and made a frantic gesture with her hands. “You were under the mistletoe with Spike.”
Willow automatically looked up at the ceiling a frown creasing her forehead. “Anya,” she said patiently. “There’s nothing up there.”
“Right here, love,” Spike said, his fingers dancing lightly over her headband. “Right above us.”
“Oh.” Willow bit her lip, her hand automatically reaching to the headband Anya had insisted she wear. “I’d forgotten about that.”
“Well I haven’t,” Anya said. “It’s tradition.”
“It’s all kinds of wrong,” Xander said with a violent shudder.
“And,” Buffy poked her head around the side of the tree, “May I just add, eew!”
“Thanks a bunch, slayer,” Spike replied irritably, his temper rising when she giggled and ducked back behind the tree. “If you bothered to practice what you preach then Angelus would never have had the chance to make a come back, would he?”
“Shut it, Spike!” Xander snapped.
“Spike,” Giles warned glancing up from his book.
Willow frowned at him. “Did you have to say that?” she asked in a hushed voice so as not to upset Buffy any further.
“I did.” He was totally unapologetic, if the silly bint insulted him then he was going to retaliate and Angel, Spike had noted, was a great way to retaliate with the slayer.
“We’re getting off the point,” Anya said her hands coming to rest on her hips. “Tradition states that if you end up under the mistletoe with someone then you have to kiss them.”
“Let it go, Anya,” Xander said with a groan and another shudder.
“But,” Anya looked confused. “You said that humans always keep to traditions, that’s why they’re traditions. Why is Willow exempt? If she’s not going to join in then she might as well not even be here.”
“Anya!” Xander closed his eyes with a sigh.
Anya’s face reddened with annoyance. “But you said…”
“It’s ok,” Willow spoke quickly in the hope of defusing an argument. “I’ll… I’ll, um, it’s fine,” she stammered uncomfortably her face turning such a deep red that she could feel the heat in her cheeks herself.
Spike stayed very still a feeling he could only describe as excited anticipation washing over him. It was very unsettling and rather annoying; was his life so dulled by the chip that an innocent peck on the cheek from a mere human was the highlight of his week?
It was not the peck on the cheek Spike had thought it would be, nor was it a jokey kiss on the forehead or his nose that could easily be laughed off and made light of. Whether Willow meant to or not, her lips caught the corner of his mouth and something hot and fierce blazed through his system.
He could feel the heat of embarrassment in her face against his cheek, the soft warmth of her mouth and the soft whispered sigh of completion that ghosted over his lips. Spike was suddenly hyper aware of Willow Rosenburg in every sense.
“Not exactly what I had in mind, but it’ll do,” Anya said with a nod of her head and turned back to the tree.
“Lets never speak of this ever again,” Xander suggested. “It’s the most traumatising thing to ever happen to me and I live on the Hellmouth!”
Willow swallowed nervously keeping her eyes away from Spike’s. Her hand trembled as she reached for the tinsel Buffy had requested and her insides felt as though they were shaking just as badly. “H…here’s the tinsel, Buffy,” she got up feeling slightly disorientated. “What do I need to do?”
“You can help me with the tinsel if you bring it all here,” Buffy said, she stayed behind the tree where she wouldn’t have to see Spike and fight the urge to ram her fist down his throat. How dare he sit there all evil and vile and say those things about her and Angel. Buffy would have liked to have said that Spike knew nothing of love and therefore would never understand what was between her and Angel. She knew however that was incorrect and couldn’t bring herself to saying anything to him. Besides, they were having a good time, even Giles was wearing his hat and if they ignored Spike long enough he would probably go out and do whatever it was that evil chipped vampire’s did at night.
They spent a considerable amount of time decorating the tree and Willow, Spike noted, kept her back to him as often as possible but he could feel her awkwardness from across the room and her eyes strayed to him whenever he happened to be in her line of vision; although she didn’t appear to realise that he was watching her too and therefore noticed everything she did.
He touched his index finger to the corner of his mouth; Spike could almost feel the light yet firm impression of her lips still there. It had been an unexpected and exhilarating experience, one he would like to explore a little further, a little deeper, a little longer.
“Ok, nearly done with the tree,” Xander said clapping his hands together. “Shall we save the star until the very end?”
“Good idea,” Buffy agreed. “Get me a chair will you, Xan, I can loop this tinsel around the curtain rail then.”
“Alright,” Xander headed across the room for a chair. “I’ll do the ceiling decorations, Anya, you do the stairs.”
Giles head shot up. “What are you doing to my stairs?”
Anya shook a green garland with red velvet bows woven into it. “I’m going to weave this into the banister.”
Giles sighed softly. “Yes, alright.”
“There’s a wreath too,” Buffy said taking it out of the bag and offering it to him. “Why don’t you hang it on the door, Giles.”
“That is a nice one,” Giles said, extremely pleased to see the green wreath with bright red poinsettia attached to it was rather subtle and sophisticated rather than over the top and tacky as he secretly thought the tree looked. Still, they had fun doing it and he supposed that was the important thing.
“I’ll do the menorah when I get back,” Willow said heading for the bathroom.
Spike waited a beat until everyone was busy with their assigned tasks before he left his seat on the sofa and slunk into the shadows of the little passage that ran between the kitchen and the bathroom.
Willow emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later. She jumped when she caught sight of Spike apparently waiting for her, she couldn’t imagine that he would actually want anything else in the bathroom. “Spike?” she titled her head curiously. “Is something wrong?”
Spike considered the question for a moment his dark gaze fixed on her face. “Well,” he said at last. “Is there something wrong with finishing what you start?”
His voice seemed to rub against her like warm velvet and Willow shivered. “I don’t follow.”
Spike watched the play of light and shadows on her face. Before today he’d never taken the time to notice the creamy perfection of her skin, or the dozen or so freckles across her nose. He liked the tiny line that formed between her eyebrows when she was confused as she was now and the softness of her lips. How had he never seen any of this before?
“Spike, are you alright?” He was staring at her and Willow was beginning to feel uncomfortable being the attention of such intense focus; it made all kinds of things go on inside her that probably shouldn’t be happening at all.
He didn’t answer, instead he lowered his head and kissed her.
Willow couldn’t believe it. Spike was kissing her. His cool, tender lips teased hers with a sensual gentleness that made her want to melt against him. He tilted his head slightly then brushed her lower lip with his tongue. Instantly her lips parted in response.
He didn’t just kiss her, he claimed her; passionately. There was no mistaking the desire in his kiss, it left her breathless and made her head spin. She didn’t just feel the kiss at her mouth but all through her body; Willow knew instantly she was being kissed by a master.
Her mouth was warm and sweet, her lips full and soft, and Spike knew he would never in all his long life forget this kiss. Still, he left his arms at his side afraid to touch her in case he couldn’t stop; he was drowning in her.
Finally he pulled back to allow her to breathe. Willow swayed slightly towards him, putting her hand to his chest to steady herself. She gasped quietly her eyes wide and dazed. She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, she wasn’t sure what to say.
She was known for her babbling so if Willow of all people could think of nothing to say Spike knew he had made an impression on her. “I’m flattered love.”
“I…” Willow’s mind was blank, how was she meant to think with him staring at her like that.
She wore a pair of jeans and a fluffy red jumper keeping in with the holiday season and everything but somehow Spike made her feel like she was naked. More than that, it was as if he saw right through her. The intensity of his gaze made her feel so damn aware. He emanated sensuality, the embodiment of a wicked promise. Willow’s throat dried, her brain fried and her body was on meltdown.
Suddenly Giles whole apartment felt stifling.
“Willow, are you going to do the menorah or what?” Xander called out.
“What?” Willow blinked and shook her head to clear it.
“The menorah, are you going to put it out?” Xander asked again. “And is fangless with you or did he have the decency to leave where he’s not wanted?”
“I’m still here moron,” Spike snapped from the passage way.
“Pity,” Buffy said with a sniff.
“The menorah, Wills,” Xander sounded exasperated. “Then we’ve only got to put the star on and we can light the lights.”
“Yes,” Willow was appalled, she sounded like she’d just run a marathon.
She scurried away from Spike and busied herself with setting out the white cloth with gold edges across the book case where Giles had made room for her and placed the menorah on top with a gentle hand. Anya helped her placed the candles in their little holders and Giles brought her the matches so that she could light them.
“Come on, Giles,” Buffy said once the candles were lit. “Put the star on the tree.”
“Of course you,” Buffy gave him a tug forward and Xander went to switch out the lights.
Smiling Giles took the star from her and placed it carefully on the topmost branch. “It looks good,” he congratulated them.
“Not done yet, G-man,” Xander knelt at the foot of the tree by the light socket. “Ready?” He flicked the switch and the tree lit up with soft white lights.
“Lovely,” Buffy said approvingly.
Willow’s eyes drifted to Spike, he was lounging against the wall watching her. “Yes,” she murmured.
The kick of satisfaction in his gut was stronger than Spike felt it should be. His head inclined slightly towards her in acknowledgement and response as he licked his lips slowly; he could taste mulled wine, mince pie and Willow Rosenberg.
The latter was something he could definitely get used to.