Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of BTVS, Joss Whedon does. And the song is Please Come Home For Christmas. There are lots of versions, but I'm gonna show my age and say that the one by the Eagles is my favorite. Hope everyone has a happy holiday! Spoilers only if you havent' seen the ad for the new ep.

Bells will be ringing this sad sad New Years
Oh what a Christmas to have the blues

It was Christmas Even and to anyone meeting the small blond woman on the street, it would seem that she was just in the normal holiday rush of things. She was carrying several shopping bags and seemed to be intent on finding the exact gift for each person on her list. But if you looked closer.....you would see the worry in her eyes, how she scanned the crowd at every stop she made, as if she was looking for someone.

Buffy Summers was looking for someone. He had been taken be force from her home, from her protection and she was worried about him. Not sure where he was or if he was even still alive or undead in his special case. With the arrival of Giles and the Slayers in Training, she had barely had a minute to herself and found herself relishing this alone time. Dropping her purchases off at the house she made sure her guests were all fed and then spent a bit of time with Dawn, tomorrow everyone would be here for Christmas dinner. She had just enough time to sneak out and do a short search for Spike.

Spike could not believe his luck he had been left completely alone. It had taken an hour to get untied but he was now walking down the streets of Sunnydale, his internal compass set for Revello Drive. His bruised and bloodied body seemed to shock the people he met on the streets. After having a woman take her children across the street when they met on the sidewalk he decided he might need some clothes. Slipping into the alley he found the door to Weldon's Department Store open. The store room didn't have much in the way of men's clothing until his gaze stopped at the suit hanging on the back of the door. Red was not exactly his color but any port in a storm.

He pulled on the heavy coat and the matching pants over his tattered jeans. Realizing that he was probably missed by now he decided that perhaps a disguise was in order. Not sure if it would fool the harbingers or not he put on the rest of the outfit from the garment bag and began his journey back to her.

Buffy walked along the streets of Sunnydale watching the populace enjoy the holiday cheer. She had tried to do the decorations and gifts for Dawn's sake. But her heart just wasn't in it, someone who should be there for the holiday wasn't and as much as she hated to admit it, she missed him.

My baby's gone I have no friends
To wish me greetings once again
Choirs will be singing Silent Night
Christmas carols by candlelight
Please come home for Christmas
Please come home for Christmas
If not for Christmas by New Years night

Buffy found herself in the alley that ran behind Sunnydale's downtown shopping strip. She recognized the name on the back door of the bridal store she had looked at when she was "engaged" to Spike under Willow's spell. She smiled as she remembered their brief engagement as aggravating as Spike could be she really wanted him back, safe and sound as for the reasons for why she wanted that, she wasn't sure she could even explain it. She continued to walk down the alley peering behind dumpsters and stacks of boxes, not sure what she was looking for.

Spike stumbled slightly as he left the storeroom, the boots were too big for him but they were better then barefeet. He closed the door and walked towards the bridal shop. His swollen eyes strained at the sight of her, he was sure it was her! He began to limp as quickly as he could towards her. "Buffy!" He called out his voice hoarse from screaming at his recent tortures.

Buffy turned around at the sound of someone callling out her name. The scrawniest Santa Claus she had ever seen was hobbling towards her, as he got closer she could tell he had been beaten, his face covered in a motley array of varied colored bruises. It looked like......no it couldn't be. She ran towards Santa meeting him halfway. Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of Spike, "Is it really you?" She asked reaching her hand out to gently touch his face, "I didn't think I would ever see you again."

"Whats the matter, Buffy? Don't you believe in Santa Claus?" Spike grinned at her through bruised lips.

She fell against him then, wrapping her arms around him tenderly as not to hurt him anymore then he already was, "I haven't believed for a long time." She looked up in to his eyes, "But tonight, tonight I believe."

He kissed her forehead then, "Your believing in me....that's what kept me going."

She took his hand in hers, "Come on let's go home."

Later that night, when Spike had been cleaned and bandaged and the Scoobies had all dispersed. He and Buffy sat in the livingroom the lights of Christmas tree flickering softly in the darkened room. "We still have a big battle ahead of us." Buffy told him as he leaned against her.

"I know, but we can fight it." He smiled at her before kissing her gently.

"I think we can." She nodded, "But for now we're tired and need to rest. You going to be okay here?" She patted the couch as she stood and made sure the curtains were closed tightly.

"I'm good." He told her as he stretched out on the couch. She pulled a blanket up over him and kissed his cheek.

"Merry Christmas, Spike." She told him as she left the room.

"Merry Christmas, Buffy." He replied softly and for the first time in a long time, it really was.

Friends and relations send salutations
Sure as the stars shine above
But this is Christmas yes Christmas my dear
The time of year to be with the ones you love
So won't you tell me you'll never more roam
Christmas and new Years will find you home
There'll be no more sorrow no grief and pain
And I'll be happy, happy once again
Oh there'll be no more sorrow, no grief and pain
And it'll be happy, Christmas once again

The End