by Saber ShadowKitten
Holidays: Part 1
"So, are you going to follow me around all night like a lost puppy?" Buffy asked two
hours later. She hadn't seen a single vamp, other than Spike, and she was extremely
"That was the plan," he answered, a cheerful note in his voice and a small smile on his lips.
"Why? Am I bothering you?"
"Not really, but it's hard to do my sacred duty if there are no vamps around to dust. And
for some reason, I have a feeling you have something to do with that," she replied. "And
don't give me that 'I'm innocent' look. It ain't working."
"I don't know what you mean, ducks,' he said.
She scowled at him and was about to give a scathing retort when she saw Faith in the
distance. "There's Faith. Fade into the shadows or something," she said.
"What, you're not going to introduce us?" Spike asked with fake dismay.
"You're not ashamed of your mate, are you?"
Buffy rolled her eyes, completely missing his reference to her status with him. "Just hide."
"Very well," he sighed dramatically. "But only because you asked nicely." He grinned
cheekily at her, then disappeared.
"Save me from vampire drama queens," Buffy said to herself as Faith walked up. "Hey,
Faith. How's the action?"
"Jumpin', B," Faith replied. "I must've dusted at least a dozen."
"Really? I haven't seen a single baddie," Buffy responded.
"Well, I'll be sure to send a few your way," Faith joked. "Who's the guy?"
"The tall blondie who was here a second ago," she said.
"Him? Just some guy," Buffy replied. She could have sworn she heard Spike chuckle, so
she decided to have some fun. "You should have seen his clothes. Can I say stuck in the
'Me' decade? And his hair? Root city."
"I heard that, pet," Spike's voice floated to them from the darkness. "Why don't you tell
her about your clothing or lack thereof."
Faith jumped and Buffy cringed when they heard his British accent. "Was that him?" Faith
asked. "What a sexy voice."
"Please, don't feed his ego," Buffy begged the girl. She raised her voice to Spike. "And I
thought I told you to vamoose."
"Sorry, luv, but you know how well I follow directions," he replied, stepping from the
Faith's mouth dropped open as he joined them. "Damn girl, I didn't know he was so
fine." Buffy snorted as Spike shot Faith a sexy grin. "Are you taken? Cuz if you're not,
I'm free and easy."
Spike arched an eyebrow at her offer, but shook his head. "Sadly, I must decline. I've
already claimed someone as mine." This time, Buffy groaned and hit her head with her
hand. "What's wrong, poodle?"
"First, I'm not your dog. Second, you have to be the most egotistical man I've known
since Angelus was free. Mine, indeed."
"Angelus as in Angel?" Faith interjected. "But I thought he was still around."
"Angel is," Buffy replied. "But his evil alter-ego went by way of the do-do."
"And he's a wuss once more," Spike added. Buffy punched him on the arm. "It's true,
not that I would want that wanker back again. The way he pawed all over Dru "
"You know, I'd really rather not hear about that," Buffy interrupted him.
He flashed her a slightly apologetic grin. "Sorry about that, sweets. It's not necessarily
something I want to relive either."
"I don't know which one of us had it worse. He may have killed Miss Calendar and
terrorized me, but you had to live with him for months, stuck in that wheelchair."
"And who's fault was that?" Spike asked with a mocking smile.
"You should have seen that throw I made to knock that organ on you," Buffy said with a
bragging grin. "Perfect form, just the right amount of strength with that censer and bam!
"Ever the resourceful Slayer," he said. "That's why you're so bloody hard to kill."
"Sleeping with the enemy is a plus, too," she said, giving him a lewd wink.
"Hold up, hold up. You two took the interchange without signaling, now I'm lost," Faith
said. Buffy turned sharply to the other Slayer, having forgotten she was even there. "You
two tried to kill each other. What's up with that?"
"Oh, um well," Buffy stammered. She looked to Spike for help, but the vampire put his
hands up in refusal. "It's like this "
She didn't get to finish because Faith saw several vampires behind the duo, preparing to
attack. "Sorry, B. Looks like company of the pointy kind," she said, dashing around
them and throwing herself at the vamps.
"Saved by the dead," Buffy said, sighing with relief. She gave Spike a flirtatious smile. "I
have work to do, bunny. Ta-ta!" With that, she ran over to fight at Faith's side. Spike
turned to watch, arms crossed, and a pensive look on his face as he waited to see what
would happen when the vampires saw Buffy.
Faith had dusted one vamp already and was efficiently pounding on two at the same time,
alternating with kicks and punches. Two others were trying to get close enough to grab
her arms, but when they saw Buffy run up, they froze, their hideous features reflecting
"Now, hasn't anyone ever told you it's not nice to play with your food?" Buffy said,
coming at the two. She spun and kicked the closer one, sending him back a few feet.
The second one widened his eyes in fear and held up his hands defensively. "Sorry,
Slayer, we didn't know you was here." He turned and ran off, the second one close on his
Confused, Buffy turned to help Faith. She tapped one of the vamps on the other girl, and
he spun, backhanding her across the face with enough force to knock her to the ground.
He leapt onto her back, grabbing a fistful of hair and pulling so her neck was exposed. He
lowered his head to sink his fangs in her neck when he got a clear view as to who he
captured. "Oh, shit. The Slayer," he said, dropping her head and scrambling away from
her as fast as possible. He ran out into the street, watching behind him, and crashed right
into Spike, falling back onto the ground.
The older vampire stood arms still crossed, staring at the younger one with a feral gleam
in his blue eyes. "Master Spike! I'm sorry, I-I-I didn't know it was her!" Spike didn't
respond to his fearful stammering, didn't change his posture or break eye contact. The
younger vampire began to sweat, praying to a god he didn't believe in to save his undead
Faith had staked the remaining vampire and helped Buffy to her feet. They both turned to
see what was happening between Spike and the younger vampire. With a shrug to Faith's
questioning glance, Buffy silently moved closer behind the fallen vamp, stake in hand. "I-
I-I won't hurt her! You made your claim," she heard him say. "None of the younger ones
will, even if Trick orders it!"
"Is this a private tete-a-tete, or can anyone join in?" Buffy said, standing directly behind
the vamp. His head whipped around, took one look at her, and panicked. Pushing himself
to his feet, he ran as fast as he could, disappearing into the night. She watched after him,
then turned her attention on her lover. "What was that about?"
"Hmm?" Spike asked, staring in the direction of the younger vamp. He shrugged,
unfolding his arms. "Beats me, pet."
"Now, tell me - why don't I believe you?" she said, looking pointedly at him. He gave her
a brilliant smile, then took out a cigarette and lit it. Buffy growled in frustration.
Spike chuckled and quickly changed the subject. "Weren't you going to visit your friends
at the Bronze?"
Buffy glanced at her watch. "Yikes! I'm suppose to be there five minutes ago!" She
turned to Faith. "Would you like to come, too?"
"I'm down with that," Faith replied. She gestured to Spike. "What about him?"
"Oh, he has better things to do, don't you?"
"Actually, I do, ducks," Spike said. He took a step forward and grabbed her bodily to
him, planting a hard kiss on her unsuspecting lips. "Until later, my sweet." He shot a grin
over Buffy's shoulder to Faith, then left, disappearing into the darkness like only vampires
"Woah, girl. That man is all that and a bag of chips," Faith said. They started to walk to
the Bronze. "So, you gettin' any?"
"I'll take that as a positive," Faith smiled. "I'm betting that he has one sexy ass under
those clothes. He any good?"
Buffy covered her flaming cheeks with her hands. "Can we not discuss this?"
"What fun is that?"
Buffy felt a hand clamp on her shoulder and she spun, ready to attack. "Angel! Don't do
"I need to talk to you," Angel said. He didn't wait for her to follow as he turned and left
"Ok guys, I'll be back," Buffy told her friends.
"Sure thing, Ah-nuld," Xander cracked. "If you see Linda Hamilton, send her my way."
Buffy shook her head at his lame joke, grabbed her jacket and exited to club. She found
Angel in an alley, pacing back and forth. "So, what's up?"
"Tell me something I don't know."
Angel stopped and narrowed his eyes at her. "And he's still alive?"
"The term is 'undead' and yes he is," Buffy said, becoming irritated with Angel's tone of
"Did you know he staked his claim on you?"
"He did what?"
"Claimed you. Announced to the community that you were his," he spat the word and
began to pace once more.
"Ok, not seeing the big picture here," Buffy said, slightly confused.
Angel didn't respond. He was too busy carrying on a one sided conversation with himself.
"I shouldn't have left. I knew I shouldn't have given up my claim. Damn you, Spike!"
Buffy stuck her hands in the pockets of her jacket and glared at her old love. She had no
idea what he was talking about, only that it had to deal with Spike. She also really didn't
want to have a conversation that included the peroxide blond vampire with Angel. Seeing
him also reopened old wounds that she wanted to heal. He finally stopped ranting and she
pounced on the silence. "Angel, I'm going to give you three minutes to explain, then I'm
going back inside."
"Spike claimed you," Angel explained in an angry tone. "That means he told the vampire
community that you were his property and off-limits upon pain of death."
"So that's why those vamps went running," Buffy said, mostly to herself. Then the rest of
his words penetrated. "Wait a minute. I'm property?"
Angel could see anger flare up in her eyes and went to explain, considering he had claimed
her once. "It means something different to vampires, Buffy. When a vampire claims a
human, it means he or she has chosen that human as a mate. Usually this leads to the
human being turned."
Buffy stood stunned at the revelation. She found her voice to ask a painful question as his
early tirade came to mind. "But, I heard you say you had claimed me, too. Did you want
to make me a vampire?"
"No, Buffy," he answered with a quick shake of his head. "At least, not until I lost my
soul. That's why there wasn't as many attacks on you afterwards. The younger ones
were afraid and Spike was incapacitated."
"What does Spike being stuck in a wheelchair have to do with me?"
"As an older vampire, he could try to take you from me, to break the claim. Rolling
around in a wheelchair made it impossible for him to physically do it."
"How would he have been able to break it?" Buffy asked, mortified yet wanting to know
"By turning you himself. Or killing you," Angel answered. "Or by having sex with you."
Buffy's eyes welled with tears and she furiously wiped at them. She did not want to think
that Spike had only used her to one up Angel. And she also did not want to think about
the pain in her heart, either. "I have to go," she told him. She turned and ran off into the
Buffy avoided Spike over the next few days. She asked Faith to take patrolling, spend
extra time with her mom or at Willow's house, convinced Giles she needed more training.
She also made sure to lock her window and shut the drapes to prevent herself from letting
him inside. Angel had gone back to LA without so much as a by your leave and the Slayer
sunk into depression.
As the sun faded on Christmas Eve, Buffy left her house for the Bronze's Holiday Party.
Wearing a form fitting, off the shoulder red dress with a flared skirt and dark heels, she
mingled in the crowded teen hangout, looking for her friends.
She found Spike instead.
Her breath caught as she studied him, her eyes roving over his dark green mock turtleneck
and black chinos before returning to his chiseled features. She swallowed as he
"You've been avoiding me, luv," he said in a low tone, tucking a loose strand of hair
behind her ear. "Why?" He already knew the answer. Word had gone around that Angel
was seen with the Slayer and he put two and two together.
"Are you going to make me a vampire?"
Or so he thought. "What? Where did you get that bloody idea?"
"Angel told me about your 'claim'," she said, venom in her voice. "Is that why you
wanted me? To pull one over on him? It must be a big thing in the vampire community to
break your sire's claim."
Spike looked at her with surprise and hurt. "The claim was broken when he left you,
Slayer," he said softly. A slow song started and he took her arm and pulled her none to
gently to the dance floor. Buffy had no choice but to put her arms around his neck and
dance as he wrapped his arms tightly around her waist, holding her close. "Relax, luv. I
don't want to change you," he whispered in her ear. "It's your passion and fire that I feel
in love with, and that would be gone if you were made a vampire."
Buffy moved her head back to look into his eyes. "You love me?"
"Yes, pet, I do. That's why I claimed you as my mate," he said, kissing her softly.
"That's the only reason."
Buffy could read the love and truth in his blue eyes. Her lips started to tremble, so she
pressed herself close to him as they continued to sway to the music. When the song
ended, she took Spike's hand and led him to a quiet corner of the Bronze. They sat facing
each other, knees touching, as she put her thoughts together. "How can you love me?
I'm your worst enemy," she finally said.
"I love you for the same reason everyone else does," he answered. "Your strength, heat,
wit, skill, venerability, courage, beauty, the list goes on forever." He leaned back and
took something out of his pocket. "This is for you."
He pressed the object into her hand. "It's an anklet. I figured a bracelet might break with
all the fighting you do." The silver braided chain was interwoven with small diamonds and
clear, deep green stones.
"It's beautiful," Buffy whispered.
"And I didn't even kill anyone to get it."
She smiled and laughed softly at his remark. "Put it on me?"
Spike lifted her trim ankle and attacked the clasp. He ran his fingers lightly on her calf,
desire and love reflecting from his eyes. "Merry Christmas, Slayer."
"Hey guys, what's shakin'?" Faith's voice brought them back to reality. Spike blinked
and dropped Buffy's leg.
"Faith, hey," Buffy said unenthusiastically/ "What brings you here?"
"Uh, party, eggnog, mistletoe?" she said, pointing to the decoration above their heads.
"Ring any bells?"
The couple looked up at the same time, then at each other. With a quirk of his mouth,
Spike leaned forward and tenderly brushed his lips to hers. "I love you, Buffy, " he said in
a voice so low only she could hear. Faith cleared her throat loudly. "I'll uh, get us
Spike rose and left the two girls alone. Faith took his seat, watching his retreating behind.
"Damn girl, he's even hotter than I remembered."
"Yeah," Buffy sighed, then blushed. "So, um, how was the slaying?"
"Hi Buffy!" Willow greeted as she and Xander joined the two Slayers. "When did you get
"Not long ago," she replied. Her best friends sat on the couch opposite her with Faith.
She hoped Spike would stay away.
"Wow, Buff. Nice bit of jewelry you got there," Xander said, pointing to her crossed
Willow looked where he pointed and gasped, leaning forward to examine the anklet more
closely. "Buffy, where did you get this?" Willow asked.
"It was a gift," she replied. "Why? You like?"
"This is a handmade charm," Willow said excitedly. "Witches make them for special
reasons. See, the types of stones that were used? Diamonds protect the wearer from bad
dreams, demons and nightmares and symbolize bravery and strength. This green one is
diopside, and represents the bearer's love, commitment and trust for you. The interwoven
silver is a protectant, binding the stones together."
"Boy, Will, you sure know your witchy stuffy," Buffy said, looking down at the gift. Her
heart was pounding in her chest.
"So, where did you get it? From your man?" Willow asked. "The same guy who you
"Man? What man?" Xander said, looking around. "When did you get a man? And why
isn't it me?"
"Sorry, Xand," Buffy said. "And yes, Willow, it was from him. After all that's happened
to me, I didn't think " She looked up at her friends and saw Spike standing behind
them, watching her expectantly. She took a deep breath when she met his eyes, her body
felt as if it were on fire. "I'm falling in love with him. From his dark roots to his
"So, when can we meet this knight in shining armor who managed to rescue your heart?"
"His armor is a bit tarnished," she replied. Spike smirked. "But maybe you'll meet him,
only if you promise not to wig."
"Wig" Willow said, eyes widening. "He's wigable? Oh boy, this can't be a good thing.
It's not Angel, is it?"
"No, it's not Angel," Buffy reassured them. "He's much blonder." She could see Spike
chuckle behind them.
"But he is living, right?" Xander added.
"Define living?" Buffy replied. As her two friends mouths dropped open, a slow song
started. Spike looked at her questioningly, tilting his head to the dance floor. She nodded
and stood. "Sorry guys, but duty calls."
Taking Spike's hand, the two lovers lost themselves in the sea of dancers. "That was
cruel of you, kitten," he said, holding her close. "I liked it."
"You would," she said with a smile. "What say we get out of here?"
"I thought you'd never ask."
Later that night, as the two lovers laid entwined together, Buffy heard the church bells
ring twelve. "Merry Christmas, Spike," she said softly.
"Merry Christmas to you, too, Buffy." He kissed the top of her head and smiled. "Merry
Christmas to you."