Quiet Little Holiday

A Box of Crayons story - Shocking Pink

D M Evans

Disclaimer – not mine. All rights belong to Mr. Whedon et al

Rating – FRT

Pairing – Buffy/Angel implied Connor/Faith, Spike/Cordelia

Time Line – Post series

Summary – Just a nice quiet holiday

Author's Note – Thanks to SJ Smith for the beta. This is part of the Box of Crayons series co-authored by me and my fellow geekgirl, Chris G-D. You don't need to read any of those to enjoy this stand-alone. All you need to know is in this AR Thanks to Ethan Rayne's interference Dawn died giving birth to Connor's daughter, Sorcha, who has her father's strength as she grows up. Dawn's death put Connor into a Watcher run psych ward and Buffy has been raising her niece. At this point in the series, the whole Scoobie/Fang Gang survivors are together as a team. This was written for the Blood Roses Buffy/Angel advent calendar and as a holiday gift for a2Zmom, Bashipforever, BA4ever and CarlyinRome

"This is…" Buffy paused, her breath curling upwards over her head. "Amazing." Her gloved hand slipped into his enormous hand and she gently pulled Angel out onto the ice of Rockefeller's rink.

"When I knew we'd be in New York for awhile so you and Faith could work with the Slayer school after that breech by demons, I knew I had to bring you skating." Angel let go of her hand, swooping around her.

Buffy laughed then caught hold of him again. He looked so utterly normal under the Christmas lights twinkling against the New York skyscape. "Do you know how weird it seems to see a vampire skating? How did you learn? Did they skate back when you were young?"

"Not like this," Angel grinned. "You get bored, Buffy, when you live as long as we do. I think it started with Drusilla who liked how skaters looked before she ate them then later I got into hockey. So I taught myself how to skate."

"Okay, some of that is cool and some is eww." She wrinkled her nose at him, gliding over the ice, multi-colored under the holiday lights. "Now I have weird images of you and Spike and Dru trying to figure skate."

"Trust me, Spike wants nothing to do with skating. If we had video back then…I'd never get tired of replaying it." Angel smirked.

Buffy laughed and dodged around another couple. "Remind me to ask him about it tonight."

"You think he'll be around or awake after Cordelia had him out shopping all night?"

"She had me out all day, Buffy countered.

"Christmas shopping in New York City, you can't make that sound like a chore, Buffy. I know you loved it." Angel wagged a finger at her.

"Every second of it." Buffy spun a lazy circle. "Speaking of shopping, are you done with getting Sorcha's gift and the answer had better be yes since tomorrow is Christmas eve and I'm not braving the mall for you, mister, and you know Connor will just kill you."

"I'll send Cordy." Angel shrugged. "She's in her element."

Buffy stuck her tongue out at him and Angel pulled her into a kiss, ignoring teenaged shouts of 'get a room' from a passing pack of kids.

"Shopping for kids is so hard. In my day, if you got a dollie, you were lucky," Angel huffed.

"I gave you a list." Buffy narrowed her eyes at him.

"And I used it." Angel beamed, done having his fun with her. "But it's hard to beat getting my granddaughter two kittens like last year."

"If you bought her those video game learning sets, she'll be thrilled," Buffy assured him.

"I even went to Build a Bear and got her that horrendous pink poodle. Why does she love pink so much?"

"Pink and purple together," Buffy reminded him.

Angel shuddered, nearly stumbling on the ice. "Sorcha must have her father's sense of style, which is unique. Darla and I know style."

"You don't have to tell me. Living with you is like living with one of those guys from the design shows." Buffy squeezed his hand. "You should have your own HGTV show."

"Thanks…I think." Angel made a face at her. "I also even ventured intoSEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 FAO Schwartz, which was both terrifying and fun. I had no idea so many toys existed."

"I know. Connor and I took Sorcha there. She loved the first floor with all those stuffed animals, especially the ones from the American Museum of Natural History," Buffy said then scrunched up her nose. "You didn't buy that giant giraffe, did you?" She knew all too well how Angel liked to spoil his grandchild.

"I had no idea how to get it home. At least the big, pink 'Barbie' section was easy to find, and if I liked Xander." Angel held up his hands as if to ward off the very idea. "I could have gotten him that life-sized Darth Vader."

"Saw it. Saw it cost five grand, too," Buffy said in awe. "I'm sure whatever you got Sorcha from there, she'll love."

"I managed to step across the street to Bergdorf and Goodman's as well for Connor. I'm sure he'll be less thrilled with dress shirts but at least he'll finally look good," Angel said. "Maybe if I hide them under that Wii console I got him. I'd say he's too old for games but damn, that really does look like fun."

"Oh no, you, Spike, Xander and Connor on the couch playing video games? This is the end of the world, isn't it?" Buffy kissed his cheek then raced away. Angel chased after her. After a while, they turned in their skates and walked for a bit enjoying the lights until the fourth time Buffy nearly took a header on the icy concrete.

They headed to Grand Central to catch the Metro North train. The Slayer school was in a defunct nunnery outside of the city and maintained smaller residents in all five boroughs. Buffy, Angel and the rest of their group were staying in a large guesthouse. With them all there, it felt like coming home.

XXX

"You're sure everyone's out for the evening?" Angel sat on the couch with Buffy in front of the fireplace in the vast living room. He vaguely wondered what purpose this room had served in the nunnery.

"Spike and Cordy went out for dinner and a show. I think she's making him see the live How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Giles and Willow had plans for Sorcha. Connor and Faith are along for the ride, guess Xander is, too."

"Yes, I noticed Connor had that bewildered look on his face, the one he usually gets when people make plans around him." Angel laughed as Buffy snuggled in with him. "I probably should have made plans for us to go out tonight, too."

"Uh-uh." Buffy rested her head against his shoulder. "Staying in is good. We already went to Radio City Music Hall, the top of the rock…well, me and Willow did that and my god, the view! Not to mention the ice skating and the carriage ride in Central Park and the museums. You've all kept me very busy and now I'd like a nice night off. No demons, present company excepted, and no more playing tourist. I'm beat!"

"We just know that it has to be hard on you at this time of year," Angel said gently, thinking of all his lover had lost.

Buffy laced her fingers with his. "Well, it is. I always miss Mom and Dawn at the holidays but it's not painful, not any more. Pretty soon Sorcha will be old enough to start asking questions about where her mom is. I'm okay with that." Buffy sighed. "And for tonight, I'm content just to be here with you."

Angel put his arms around her, looking at the Christmas tree. "I'm glad to hear it. Want to put the TV on or the radio? I could make you some hot chocolate."

"Radio's good," Buffy said, relinquishing her hold on him so he could put on some Christmas music.

Angel snuggled back down on the couch with her, looking at the white tree with its black and white ornaments. "That is one odd tree."

"It's new…and Vanessa is an 'older Goth' as one of the new Slayers put it," Buffy said, referring to the Watcher who ran the complex. "We're lucky we're not stringing lights around a coffin…though I think I saw Spike do that once, such holiday spirit," she added wryly.

"He wanted to leave beer and nuts for Santa. He got Sorcha to ask me to set out some Newcastle. I thought Connor was going to strangle him with Christmas lights. I told Connor to wait until later. He could sell tickets to that show," Angel smirked.

"I have no doubt." Buffy laughed. She patted his thigh. "It's sure to be a three ringed circus tomorrow morning so some quiet time now is very nice."

Angel caressed her belly. "How quiet?" A lazy smile slipped over his face.

Buffy grinned back. "Oh, I think we can make a little noise."

Angel pressed her back against the sofa. "Oh, good."

X X X

"You know for predators you two sleep awfully hard," Connor said, putting the last of 'Santa's' deliveries under the tree. He steadfastly didn't turn around. "You might want to wake up and put on clothes before Sorcha comes down and is scarred for life. It's already too late for me."

Buffy pulled the afghan from the couch tight up around her chin. "Angel, tell me I'm dreaming this."

"I think we fell asleep," Angel replied sheepishly.

"You think? I put out all the gifts, while you're over there committing sins against nature," Connor shuddered.

"I don't have to take that from someone who sleeps with Faith," Buffy muttered. "The sun isn't even up yet, Connor."

"Will be soon and besides, when has Sorcha ever waited for the sun, especially if Santa's involved?" he shot back then headed out of the room so not to witness any more than he had already seen.

"He has a point," Angel said and Buffy ruefully roused herself.

She snuck back upstairs quietly to shower and changed into a reindeer sweater that someone had gotten her for the holidays. It wasn't really her style but it looked good for the photo op today would turn into. By the time she got back downstairs, Angel was making eggs while Willow was trying to get Faith to help make pumpkin waffles. Cordelia was handling the coffee. Spike, Giles and Xander were intelligently staying out of the way while Connor was trying to distract Sorcha from thoughts of Santa. In hindsight, gifts probably should have come first.

Connor had his hands full trying to keep Sorcha opening gifts at a slow enough pace so her 'aunts' could take pictures. At one point she got lost under all the wrapping paper and Buffy couldn't help but think she had never seen Angel looking happier than he did now, looking at his granddaughter. She got up and brought something out from under the tree. "I think Santa left a little something for you, Angel," Buffy said. "The rest of the gift you'll get in private."

Angel grinned and delicately opened the wrapping paper, following along every piece of tape with a dull fingernail, not ripping any of it. He set the bright paper aside and opened the box, pulling out aSEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 gray wool scarf with thick black pinstripes and multicolored neon ones. "This is perfect."

"Of course it is, it completes your poof attire," Spike said and Buffy winged colored paper at him.

"Hush. It's a Paul Smith," she said, annoyed until she remembered Spike had no real sense of style.

"I love it." Angel kissed her cheek. "And I think if you look, you'll find what Santa left you under the tree."

Buffy rooted around her niece's extreme amount of gifts and found a small jewelry box with her name on it. She tore into the paper with the same abandon as Sorcha. Inside the box lay anSEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1 ivory cross carved with roses and other delicate flowers on a silver chain. "Angel, it's beautiful."

"And weird. I bet if I ask my psychiatrist, he'll tell me there's something really wrong with a vampire giving a Slayer a cross." Connor smirked.

"If you didn't use the Watcher's psychiatrist, he'd lock you up for statements like that." Buffy turned and kissed Angel. "I love it."

"I'm glad. It's Victorian. I wasn't sure about it being ivory but it was so pretty," Angel said.

"I think it's perfect," Buffy assured him.

"Hot damn!" Faith whooped.

"Faith, how many times have we told you, no talk like that in front of Sorcha," Buffy said by rote.

Faith rolled onto her back, kicking her feet now shod with black leather, bridle strappedSEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1

Boots embroidered with 'tattoo' roses wrapped around a bloody gold knife emblazoned with the words 'Faith, Love, Hope.' "They kick ass!"

"What did you do? Shop at Harley- Davidson?" Angel hissed to Connor.

"Neiman Marcus, just like you told me to," Connor huffed.

Angel put a hand over his face, leaning on Buffy's shoulder. "If I leave him unsupervised for more than a day, he'll be living in a trailer park with Faith and three other kids of their own before you know it."

Connor's retort was cut off by Sorcha thrusting the pink poodle in his face. "See, Daddy! Daideo got me poodle!" she said, using the Gaelic term for granddad.

"And he dressed it in a poodle skirt." Connor looked back at his father. "Beginning to think Spike is right about you."

"Does your daughter like it?" Angel countered, patting his knee. Sorcha all but flew into his lap, flinging her arms around his neck.

She gave him a sloppy kiss. "T'ank you, Daideo."

"You're welcome, sweetie." Angel hugged her as long as she'd stand for it then she was off like a shot.

The gift opening and picture taking continued until finally Xander mentioned it had snowed heavily the night before and everyone was bundled into suits to go play in the courtyard, except for Giles and the vampires. Angel watched Buffy play with her niece and surreptitiously drill Faith with a few snow balls while she was at it. While the two Slayers battled it out, Willow and Connor took Xander down and let Sorcha pile snow on him. When they finally came in, Giles had cups of steaming hot chocolate waiting, doctored liberally with honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and for the adults, dark rum.

"Ummm, where did you learn to whip up chocolate like this G-man?" Xander sighed, collapsing red-faced into a chair. He brushed back his wet dark hair.

"Nigella Lawson," Giles replied.

"You watch the food network?" Willow asked in surprised.

"For her. She's lovely," Giles said with a happy sigh.

Buffy snuggled back up with Angel, sipping her chocolate. She looked at her friends and family. "Feels like home, doesn't it?"

"Where ever you are, that's home," he replied, kissing her cheek. Yes, he decided, Buffy was most definitely home.