Title: For Love and Joy are Here
Characters: Spike/Buffy Summers
Content Warning: N/A
Summary: It’s very easy to have Christmas when it felt like you were winning.
Author’s Note: Merry Christmas, museofspeed! This is set shortly after 711: Showtime, because it seemed like a good spot in S7 to have Christmas. I also didn't mean for it to be this long, but once drunk!Buffy gets going, she doesn't slow down.
Disclaimer: I don’t own. They belong to Joss Whedon. I’m just borrowing and will put everything back where I found it.
It’s very easy to have Christmas when it felt like you were winning.
She had beat the Turok-Han. They got Spike back. Morale was up. Things were looking good. She knew that they hadn’t reached the end of the road yet—there was still a long way to go—but it was a tiny victory, and when there were tiny victories, you let yourself to take a break for Christmas. And when you had a house full of teenage girls, you did more than just take a break—you partied hard.
Buffy never thought she would be the girl to think that she had partied too hard, but apparently she had underestimated the tenacity of a house full of potential Slayers. There was egg nog—really strong egg nog—close quarters and way, way too many people. Buffy needed out. Buffy needed some room to breathe.
Buffy needed to steal the egg nog.
(Okay, she might have been a little smashed, but it wasn’t like she hadn’t been drunk before. Though it did mean that she had drunk a lot.)
Regardless, none of that stopped her. She stole the punch bowl from the kitchen table, snuck around the rest of the group and made her way down to the basement. She wasn’t sure why she went to the basement when she thought she needed air, but again, she was slightly tipsy. No one should expect her to be reasonable when she’s actually drank enough to be tipsy.
See: her actually forgetting the glasses.
She stopped at the landing, bowl of egg nog in her hands, and looked over at Spike. He was still pretty beaten up—better than he was, but not perfect yet. It wasn’t that she hadn’t seen him like this before. She flashed back to Glory, where he protected Dawn with his life, and she had come as the Buffy Bot to try and find out if he had cracked, and he hadn’t. This wasn’t the same, though. This time, Buffy had rescued him because he was Spike and on some level, she needed him—whether she wanted to admit to it or not, and she was coming to him as Buffy. She still wasn’t sure what she wanted, but she was coming as herself, and nothing else.
He looked up at her when he heard her footsteps come to a stop, and he raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Think you took that to the wrong place, Slayer. Party’s upstairs.”
She was quiet for a moment before holding out the bowl. “I brought you nog. Really strong nog.”
“Clearly, considering you forgot to bring my something to drink it out of.” He was teasing. She could tell, but that didn’t stop her from looking rather apprehensive about heading back up the stairs. That clearly only gave him room to tease her more. “Scared of your own kind, pet?”
“There’s just … a lot of them. More than I thought there were. And they’re very excited. Not that I’m entirely sure why because I’m pretty sure that when Christmas is over they’re going to either die or this house is going to explode from trying to keep them all in.”
“Do I have to take that nog away from you?” She glanced down at the bowl in her hands, staring at the swirling cinnamon on top, before looking up at him and nodding. Spike smirked, before shifting on the cot and moving to give her more room. “Come on. They’re going to figure out where you are eventually—might as well get a head start.”
Buffy moved over to the cot, sliding up onto the seat next to him, before handing him the bowl. “We just don’t have an answer yet. Yeah, we beat the Turkey Ham, but he still kicked me around pretty well. I don’t know if I can keep them all safe, and they’re not me yet. They don’t deserve to die for almost being me.”
And that, in the end, was what everything boiled down to. They were possibilities, but they hadn’t been chosen yet. And she didn’t want them to die because they could be. Spike took the bowl from her, taking a long sip from the edge, before leaning back against the wall.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re a rather depressing drunk?”
“To be fair—I only really get drunk when I’m depressed. And hey—the last time I rescued kittens.”
“You broke up a poker game.”
“I still don’t get why you play poker for kittens.”
“That’s not the point, pet.”
“Pet is such a weird term of endearment.”
“Fine. I’ll focus.” She shifted to face him a little more, her eyes wide and attentive. “Tell me, Spike. What is the point?”
He gave her a bit of a look before taking another long sip of the egg nog. “Way I see it is this. People are going to die. That’s what evil does, it kills people. And when it comes to evil, it doesn’t care if you’re chosen, or just a regular average person—it’s the end of life that it wants.”
She opened her mouth to speak, and he held up a finger.
“Not finished yet.”
Her mouth closed with the edge of a pout, and he continued to give her a look before continuing.
“But so long as you keep standing in it’s way, those girls are going to be safe. This is what you do, Buffy. Don’t forget that.”
He’s right. She knew he was right. This was what she did, and at the end of the day, she wasn’t going to stop, and she wasn’t going to slow down. But Christmas seemed to be the time for doubts, and at least she was taking the time to get them out now, before the First came back and these things started up all over again.
She didn’t acknowledge that though. She just let herself be distracted by the movement of feet above her, and then glanced back over at him. “Mind if I stay down here for a bit?”
Spike watched her for a moment, before giving her a small smile and nodding. “Course. Want some nog?”
She really shouldn’t. She’s clearly had enough. But if she hadn’t listened to her sense of reason so far, there was no reason she should start now.
“Sure!” She reached over to take the bowl from him, taking a long sip before handing it back to him, before there was a burst of laughter near the doorway. “They’re really having fun up there. We haven’t had fun around here in a long time.”
“And they’re right to. Not going to get too many moments like this for a while.”
She nodded quietly for a moment, before inching closer, and letting her head rest against his shoulder. “Merry Christmas, Spike.”
He glanced over at her for a moment with a small smile before nodding. “Merry Christmas, Slayer.”