A little holiday-themed snippet for [info]noel_of_spike.
Spike/Xander preparing to host a party, 700+ words, rated PG-13.

On the Level


Xander rolled out from under the tree, brushed needles off his eyebrows and surveyed his handiwork.

“It’s not straight,” Spike said, elbowing past him with a plate of bacon-wrapped scallops.

“I used a level,” Xander said. “It’s straight. The wall’s not.”

“Ah,” said Spike. “Remind me again why we live here?”

“It’s warm, clean and has a vampire-friendly back door,” Xander said, “and most importantly, it’s cheap.”

Spike shoved the veggie tray and sausage rolls closer together and managed to squeeze the scallop plate onto the overcrowded table. “Fair enough. We can’t all live in fancy hotels. Be nice to have a straight tree, though.” He headed back to the fridge.

“It’s straight!”

Spike stuck his head through the arch that led to the tiny kitchen. “Doesn’t matter if it is straight, Harris. What’s important is that it looks straight.”

Xander counted to ten slowly, stood up, looked at the tree, and pushed it five degrees off to the right.

“Perfect,” Spike said, coming back and emptying a tray of ice cubes into the punchbowl labeled “Without.”

“I can’t believe I’ve invited Angel into my house,” Xander grumped.

“Not your house,” said Spike. “Our house. ‘Sides, I invited him. You just agreed.”

“I was distracted.” Xander snaffled a mince pie. “No fair asking during blow-jobs. And I didn’t know he’d bring Cordelia! Can’t we have a rule about not inviting ex-partners to our parties?”

“That rules out nearly all your friends,” Spike pointed out.

“She’ll mock me,” Xander predicted.

“And I’ll explain how she turned you gay,” Spike said. “Season of goodwill and all that. It’ll be fun.” The oven timer dinged, and he turned back to the kitchen. “Have a drink and quit whining.”

Xander plugged in the minilights and glanced around. Removing the usual debris of dishes, discarded clothes, his tools and Spike’s books had done wonders, and with the decorations up, the place looked startlingly nice and very festive.

He headed over to the table, where an empty bottle of rum was tucked behind the punchbowl labeled “With.”

“You put the whole bottle in here?” Xander called, scooping up a generous measure.

“’S Christmas. No time to be stingy.”

Xander nodded approvingly and took a large gulp. Which he promptly spat out.

“Jesus, Spike! What the fuck?”

Spike came in with the hot artichoke dip, and raised an eyebrow at the sight of Xander spluttering into a napkin.

“You idiot. You drank the ‘With’?”

Xander wiped his mouth. “Well, yeah! If I have to cope with Angel for an evening, I’d like to do it with some alcohol in me! This tastes like shit, though. What the hell did you put in there?”

“They both have alcohol, Harris,” Spike said, in his talking-to-morons voice. “What’s the point of punch without alcohol? Figured I should label the With and Without Blood, though.”

“You what!?” Xander stared at him, then raced to the kitchen.

Spike followed and watched him repeatedly rinse and spit.

“Oh, calm down. Won’t kill you.”

“I can’t believe you did that.” Xander spat again. “Oh God. How do you drink this stuff? I can’t get the taste out of my mouth.”

Spike took the glass out of Xander’s hand, turned him around, backed him against the counter and kissed him.

Thoroughly, and at length.

He let him up for air eventually.

“Dunno what you’re complaining about. Your mouth tastes fine to me.”

“I can still taste it.” Xander ran his tongue over his teeth and frowned. “I think you missed a bit.”

Spike grinned and leaned in again.

The doorbell rang.

“Should we warn Cordelia?” Xander mumbled.

Spike considered this while licking Xander’s ear.


“You are so on the naughty list this year.”

“And you love it.” Spike gave Xander’s ass a final squeeze and pushed him towards the door. “Go. Invite them in.”

“She’ll mock me,” Xander said again.

“Course she will,” said Spike. “She always does. Doesn’t matter if she acts all friendly. What’s important is that you are friends.”

Xander blinked. “I thought…”

“You’re not a tree, Harris.”

Xander threw up his hands and headed for the door.

“Hey there, Cordy! Angel. Wes. Glad you could make it.”

“Your tree’s not straight,” Cordelia said. “Aren’t you supposed to be good at that sort of thing?”

Xander grinned. “Great to see you too. Come on in. Have some punch.”

The End

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