Written for noel_of_spike and grown from bunnies bred by my fabulously helpful flist… jasonsnene suggested Spike get cranky because Xander was sleeping outside at Christmas and so he tries to make it a good Xmas for Xander. Maybe not what you meant…again.
Betaed by laazikaat
He’d been watching the boy for a while now. The slayer thought he’d moved on, but no. Once he’d seen those dark eyes and that thick glossy brown hair, he was smitten. Okay so it wasn’t love, definitely not love, but Spike was unaccountably drawn to the air of ‘victim’ the boy gave off like cheap cologne. The fact that he was also easy on the eyes didn’t hurt any either. At this point in time, Spike was happy to just watch and want. Take and have would come later.
Spike had followed him, day and night. Alright, maybe not day, unless the boy happened to be in a mall. Spike tended to avoid those places, the fluoro lighting did nothing for his complexion but did make him stand out and got him more attention than he liked. He’d made an exception, though, to keep tabs on the boy. Then, under cover of night, Spike was always only a few steps behind.
It had been interesting, and enlightening, hanging around the boy’s house. Amazing, he thought, how the kid had managed to bring himself up on the Hellmouth without getting eaten, or claimed, or enslaved or any number of unpleasant possibilities. No thanks to those lush parents of his. Spike had added them to his ‘to do’ list many weeks previously. The only reason the useless people were still breathing was that he’d wanted to make sure the boy would be okay without them.
To that end, he’d stolen a case of booze and ‘delivered’ it to a surprised but drooling Mr T Harris, who didn’t even remember entering the competition at the liquor store. At the same time, he’d garnered an invite under the pretence of Harris signing for the prize. The next day, he’d broken in, found a recent copy of the Harris’s will and mortgage papers and soon discovered that everything had been left to the boy. If they died, the house would be his, free and clear, no mortgage. He was named as the beneficiary on their life insurance as well. And there were no catches that would prevent him benefitting, should they die any time now.
Right, all that in place, Spike decided to act. Keeping to the shadows, he listened to the regular routine of the Harris household. Spike noted the fact that even though it was Christmas night, nothing changed. Take-out dinner, too many drinks and the shouting began. This night it was worse. Louder, harsher, more aggressive. There were thumps and crashes, then a figure appeared on the back porch, lugging a bundle.
Spike watched, head cocked, as the boy set up a small tent. Inside, he crawled into a sleeping bag, turned on a portable radio and jammed a set of headphones on. The flaps were quickly zipped. If Spike hadn’t crept closer, he would have missed the soft, sad words that floated from the tent.
“Merry Christmas to me. One present and one quiet Christmas wouldn’t have killed them would it?” The boy gave a heavy sigh. “Santa, if you’re listening, I’d really like a new set of parents, thanks. Or maybe I could just return these ones and get a refund? Yeah, that might be better. Thanking you in anticipation…again. Over and out. Amen.”
If Spike hadn’t been an evil bastard, he might have felt his heart break a little. Instead, he felt his demon roar. How dare they treat his boy like that? Make him feel like that? Let him sleep outside on the ground, on the bloody Hellmouth! Tonight was definitely the night to right some wrongs.
In the morning, Xander woke stiff and chilled from the cool night air. A hot shower was in order. He rolled over, worming his way out of the sleeping bag, but sat up with a jerk as his foot kicked something large and hard. There was a box in his tent. No, several boxes. Each one wrapped in colourful paper and carrying a card with his name on it. Weird writing, it looked all old fashioned and fancy. Xander didn’t know anyone who wrote like that. Apart from Willow, Xander didn’t know anyone who gave him presents.
Pulling the lids off, Xander found the boxes full of gifts: CDs and a player, movies, video games and a console, new clothes, candy, collector’s plates, limited edition action figures, lubricant- lubricant? So, boxes full of just about everything he would have bought for himself. Except the clothes, they were all dark colors and looked like they would fit snugly; still, he’d give them a go. Oh, and the lube. But Xander was a young man, he would find a use for that.
Xander checked the boxes all over, but there was no name other than his own. Not one to turn down a gift, Xander bundled up his loot and headed back inside. Hopefully, his parents would be passed out and wouldn’t surface until the early afternoon.
Thirty minutes later, Xander stood in the kitchen, Giles by his side, as the paramedics kneeled on the floor beside the bodies of Jessica and Tony Harris. They both had small holes in their necks and were so white, Xander knew they had been completely drained.
One of the uniformed men looked up at Xander sadly. “Sorry, son, they’re gone. Neck ruptures. It happens a lot in this town. There’s nothing you could have done.”
Giles tightened his grip on Xander’s shoulder. “Is there anyone I can call, Xander? Any other family?”
Xander shook his head. “Not any that would really care. No, I’ll send letters out, maybe tomorrow.”
Xander thought he should feel something other than relief. He supposed grief would come eventually, but if it didn’t, he was okay with that.
Spike stood in the tool shed in the Harris’s back garden and watched the events play out. He looked forward to testing his theory about the invite still standing, because technically Xander was the new owner and he was still alive, wasn’t he? He was becoming bored with watching and wanting, now it was time for the taking and the having.
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