August 31, 2011 – Xander Claus

Summary: **Part of the 2011 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts August Fic-A-Day** series. It was all Anya's fault.

Challenge: for the livejournal 2011 August Fic a Day Challenge. And #6471 on TtH.

Timeline: seasons 5-6 BtVS; pre-movie for TSC.

Warning: Total and complete cheesiness.

A/N: Totally sappy end to the month, especially with how dark yesterday's fic was.

Disclaimer: BtVS and AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. The Santa Clause characters belong to Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Walt Disney Pictures and Hollywood Pictures. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.

Sunnydale/North Pole

It was all Anya's fault.

That much Xander knew for sure. She was the one who told them that Santa was an evil demon who disemboweled children. If she hadn't sounded so certain it was the truth, Xander never would have staked out the Summers home the Christmas before Joyce died.

But she did, so he did, then he was going to deliberately kill the hellbeast posing as a lovable giver of gifts, but he fell asleep. When he woke up, Santa was about to get back into his sleigh for his escape. Xander didn't want to wait to be sure Dawn was okay before he caught the guy so he yelled at the 'demon' to stop.

Unfortunately, that made Santa slip and fall off the roof.

When Xander got to the body, it was gone; all that was left was the suit and a note saying to put the suit on. Since he thought time was kind of important, Xander quickly jotted a note to Buffy that he was following a lead on Santa and left it on her front door. Then he got dressed and sat in the sleigh.

That's when he learned Anya was wrong.

He spent the rest of the night delivering presents, just like the nice stories about Santa said.

But the next day he woke up in bed like nothing happened, and so…with the threat of Glory hanging over their heads, he allowed himself to forget about the Santa thing until later that year.

At first, he thought the weight gain was because he was depressed Buffy died, but then his hair started changing too. The whiteness and beard, despite coloring and shaving. And whenever he wasn't in Sunnydale, children would flock to him to share their wishes for Christmas presents. That's when he realized he was the new Santa Claus.

When he re-met Bernard at the North Pole, the head elf explained that D'Hoffryn had tried to besmirch Santa's reputation by making up that story about him hurting children. The Vengeance Demon Lord used the background of a different demon who entered homes through the chimney and said it was Santa. But despite his best efforts, only other demons believed him. Human children refused to accept D'Hoffyn's lies – even if they didn't believe in Santa anymore.

Perhaps the most poignant moment in becoming Santa was when Dawn wished for a way that Buffy could heal after being torn out of heaven. A somber Bernard gave Xander a snowglobe to give to Buffy. It would allow her to feel the peace she had in heaven, but rather than becoming addictive, it gave her the strength to return to her former personality faster. In addition, a life insurance policy was found which gave the sisters enough money to live on while Buffy went back to college to get a degree so she didn't have to sling burgers for a living. Her wish about Willow had to go unanswered because that was a matter of free will on the redhead's part; Buffy never asked to leave heaven.

Yes, Xander would blame Anya for his becoming Santa Claus. And the best way of making her pay for it was to ask her to be Mrs. Claus.

A/N: Okay, I know asking an ex-vengeance demon to become Mrs. Claus has all kinds of 'hell no!' to it – especially one who is sex and money driven. I mean, how is she gonna deal with giving stuff away and not getting money in return? But it's Disney and if anyone can turn her into the unselfish wife of Santa, they can.