Disclaimer: I do not own Angel the Series.(Post S5.)

A/N: This was written for the Guild of the Fantastic Quill's Gift challenge. I apologize for the bad writing, but it was written extremely quickly so that I could meet the challenge deadline, hee. Tell me what you think. Oh, and Merry post-Christmas!


Angel wasn't quite sure what it was about this holiday. He'd seen so many of them, felt the cold touch of so many icy cycles as both a hero and a villain. There was something about Christmas that made every sentient species downright . . . jolly. Well, aside from the Jewish ones. As he understood, there were similar feelings about Hanukkah floating around a few demon races. So maybe it wasn't a specific holiday. He supposed it was possibly just the time of year.

He stared out at LA. The weather was nice, bearable. Or, at least, it would have been if the nearest building hadn't been in flames. It was down right toasty now. The neighborhood wasn't the least bit chilly to anyone with a heart beat.

And even with Hell still spilled out into the blockaded city, even with demons and crazed humans running the streets, there was still some sort of magic in the air. Not the kind that sometimes went wrong. But the magic of warmth. The magic of non-zombie carolers and food drives and laughing children.

That's what it was, after all. The magic of the time of year: it was existence. Living, not in a literal sense for him, of course. Existing when so much of the world was dead or in hibernation, that seemed to awaken something primitive and appreciative in the more commercialized creatures of the world.

It led to adorning evergreen trees and people wanting gifts and wanting to give gifts.

Instinct told Angel that Illyria was in the room, and he looked to one side, away from smashed nativity scene he'd been staring at through the boarded window.

"I have brought you a present."

Angel blinked, turning fully around. Illyria sat a large box onto the makeshift table he'd taken as his desk.

"For Christmas?" he asked.

Illyria cocked her head, staring at him with the faintest hint of aggravation on her face. "Spike said this was customary," she explained.

"Spike?" Angel growled. He released an unnecessary huff before strolling towards the box, a look of dread tainting his now almost permanent scowl. "So this was Spike's idea?"

Illyria was quiet. She would not repeat herself, no matter how thick headed his half-breed race. "Open it," she commanded.

A small pool of red was spreading out onto the map of the city, its source the corner of the cardboard box.

"I didn't get you a present," Angel countered, his hand hesitating over the flap.

Ilyria bristled. "No matter. You would not be able to acquire one sufficient enough."

"What do you get the god king how has everything?" Angel breathed.

He glanced up at her face. She wasn't budging. With one quick motion, he opened the brown flap and stared down. He continued to stare, his understated brow wrinkling in confusion.


Black leather and well made, their laces neatly tied. There could be no mistaking them.

Illyria gifted him a curt nod. "Spike said you were getting too large for yours. He also suggested that I give you 'bigger breeches'. However, I found that the lower half of the creature was ruined in the skirmish."

"Spike!" Angel snapped.

A second later, a blond head peaked around the door into the room. "Don't look at me," the other vampire returned, looking offended, "I got you a blender."

Angel's jaw tightened in restraint. Christmas.

"Do they suit you?" Illyria asked.

With a moment's hesitation, Angel relaxed, nodding. Christmas, he reminded himself. Christmas was a time for being nice. Even to her. And Spike.

"Yes. Thank you," he bit. His eyes flickered down at the shoes again. His nose curled, the scent closer when he bent down towards the box. "Illyria. These shoes. They still have feet in them."

Illyria blinked. "And?"