He stood at the back door with the two gifts in his
hands. He started to knock but hesitated when he saw
Dawn enter the kitchen. She was smiling and dancing
around to the Christmas music playing on the radio. He
grinned she looked happy as she started to decorate a
batch of cookies sitting on the island countertop.

He decided it best to leave the gifts at the door -
when she looked up and noticed him at the door. She
smiled at him as she went to the door. "Spike!
I wondered if I was ever going to see you again!
Thanks for helping me get to the hospital, when you
know....."

"Your welcome, Little bit." He walked in to the
kitchen cautiously looking around. "So how is everyone
now?"

Dawn noticed his caution, "Buffy's in the living
room," she sighed then she noticed the gifts, "You
brought gifts!!! Is one for me?"

He had to grin at her excitement, "Yeah, one is for
you. Since it's Christmas Eve I thought I should
deliver it."

"Can I open it now?" Her eyes were bright, "Please?"

"Well, yeah. Go ahead." He was suddenly nervous.

Dawn took the offered gift and savagely ripped the bow
and paper off of it leaving a small white box, she
opened it and found two things the latest
BackStreet boys cd and a sparkly blue pager. "Spike
thanks!!! I've been wanting this cd but you know with
the money sitch I hated to ask Buffy for it. I have
to ask why the pager though?"

"Well, your big sis worries about you and you do seem
to be able to find trouble, so this way she can track
you down." He explained as he stole a cookie from the
plate.

"Yeah, but how are you paying for it? Buffy's gonna
ask." Dawn sighed as she took a cookie.

"It's okay, bit. It's all legit." Spike assured her as
he thought about his recent employment as a collector
for Teeth. His reputation made his job easy, very few
would argue with him when he came collecting. "Guess,
I
better go." He lay the other gift on the counter,
"Could you give this to Buffy for me?"

Dawn smiled at him, "You can't go yet. I've got
something for you and you really should give that to
Buffy yourself."

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Dawn. " He lowered
his eyes and started towards the back door.

"Okay, but you have to wait for me to get your gift."
Dawn put her hand on the sleeve of his duster.

"You really got me a gift?" He asked her disbelief
shown clearly in his eyes.

"Yes, I did. You wait right here." Dawn handed him
another cookie, "I'll be right back."

****
Spike listened to the singer on the radio sing about a
white Christmas as he stared out the kitchen window
munching on another cookie. Dawn was taking
her time getting his gift he turned when he heard her
enter the room. Only it wasn't Dawn, it was Buffy who
entered the kitchen.


"Spike, what are you doing here? Besides stealing
cookies?" She asked trying to sound angry but it
didn't reach the soft smile on her lips.

"Oh........I brought Dawn a gift and she gave me the
cookie." He smiled back at her shyly.

"Oh you brought Dawn something. That was nice of you."
Buffy picked up a cookie.

"Got something for you too." He said softly as he
nodded towards the box on the countertop.

"For me?" She picked up the box, "You really didnt'
have to do that."

"It's not that much, Slayer....Buffy."

"So can I open it?" She asked with a mischevious grin.

"You Summer's women just can't wait to open gifts, can
you?" He laughed softly, "Go ahead, open it."

He watched as she began to carefully pull off the
ribbon and then slowly unwrapped the gift trying not
to wrinkle the pretty paper. While Dawn ripped
into the package, Buffy savored the unwrapping as a
part of the gift. When she finally got to the box she
opened it a bit hesitantly, glancing at Spike.

"Won't bite, I promise." He assured her with a smirk.

She lifted the lid and gasped, "Oh, Spike, it's
lovely." She lifted the lacey blouse from the box and
held it up to her, "I think it's a perfect fit."

"Well its almost like the one you had on that
night.......the one that got..umm destroyed."

She suddenly got very quiet, "Yes, it does look like
it. Uhh.....thank you." She suddenly became very
interested in the cookies on the counter.

"What's taking Dawn so long?" He wondered out loud.

"Dawn!" Buffy called out.

"I'm coming, I'm comng." Dawn entered the kitchen with
a brightly wrapped box, "This is for you!" She handed
it proudly to Spike.

Spike stared at the gift in his hands, trying to
remember the last time he had been given a Christmas
present - he couldn't remember.

"You going to open that or stare at it?" Dawn joked
with him.

"Oh, yeah. Gonna open it." He began to unwrap the
present slowly until Dawn could no longer stand it.

"Just rip it open! Geez, your as bad as Buffy." Dawn
exclaimed as Spike removed the last bit of paper.

He opened the box and lifted out a beautiful sweater
done in different shades of blue, " Thank you,
Niblet." He cleared his throat, "Its lovely."

"Well I know the crypt gets chilly and hey Buffy even
said it would bring out the color of your eyes when we
saw it at the store." Dawn smiled brightly at Buffy
who was blushing a pretty shade of pink.


"I think I said it would bring out blue eyes, if a
person was blue eyed." Buffy tried to cover.

"Yeah you said that then mumbled something about how
it would bring out the blue in some annoying vampires
eyes, and that could only mean Spike." Dawn
clarified for her big sister.

Spike had to grin at Buffy's embarrassment. "Well, I
do appreciate it, Niblet. Now I had better go, you
don't want Santa to not stop cause your lights are
still on." He teased Dawn as he gave her a hug.

"Thanks, Spike. Merry Christmas!" Dawn waved at him
as she started out of the room, "I am tired think I
will go on up."

Buffy looked uncomfortable as she was left alone with
Spike. He picked up on her discomfort and headed for
the door. "Merry Christmas, Buffy."

He was halfway out the door when she called to him,
"Spike, thanks for the gift."

He turned, "No problem, pet."

"Please stay - I have something for you too." She
avoided his eyes as she opened the cabinet door and
pulled out a red bag with bright green tissue
paper sticking out of the top. She handed it too him
wordlessly as he shut the door behind him.

He opened the bag to find a bottle of expensive
bourbon. "Thank you, Buffy." his voice full of
surprise.

"Well, I didnt' know what you had in your flask and
the guy said this was good. I owed it to you for that
night with the kittens you know." She sighed.

"This is much better stuff then what was in the flask,
luv. Thanks. I guess I really better go now. You've
got a busy day tomorrow." He put his hand on the
doorknob and was shocked to suddenly find her small
body pressed up to his her lips on his, "Buffy?" He
asked pulling away from her.

She smiled and looked up over his head at the small
kissing ball of mistletoe that Anya had placed there
earlier, "Mistletoe." She explained with nod of
her head.

He looked up the sprig of leaves and berries and
grinned back at her, "Just mistletoe, luv?" He teased
her as his lips found hers again.

She pulled back this time, "Yes, you can blame it all
on the mistletoe." She kissed him again this time full
of passion, soon they were so lost in each other that
they didnt' even notice Dawn standing in the doorway
with a large grin on her face.

*Finally* Dawn thought as the radio played "I saw
Mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe
last night........."


The End