Merry Christmas!

Prompt: Spuffy, Christmas, post-NFA

AN: Companion to So This is Christmas (I hope you have fun)

Most of the time she doesn't dwell on things that happened in the past. She doesn't think about his hands splayed across her hips, or the taste of smoke from his tongue, or the way his teeth used to scrape across her skin. No really. She doesn't (except for all the times his eyes crinkle, or he answers the phone with his voice all sleepy and rough, or his fingers brush against her side, and she definitely, definitely does).

Really though it doesn't matter. What they have now is nice. Simple. They're friends. Best friends, if she's going to be honest. Willow and Xander and Giles, they're scattered across the world now, everyone doing their part to keep up the shaky new institution. So it was nice, having Spike around to be friends with, and she didn't want to do anything to put that in jeopardy.

Which did nothing to explain why she was currently staring at him across a Christmas party and trying to calculate how hard she would have to knock into him in order to propel them both under the mistletoe hanging in the doorway behind him.

It wouldn't take much, she's sure of it. The mistletoe Andrew had hung yesterday was at least as big as her head. She wouldn't even have to push Spike all the way under the doorframe. The mistletoe was sticking out on either side. She could probably make it accident if she timed it right. Engage in a conversation with one of the baby slayers, walk too close, bump into him and then, oh look at that, we're under the mistletoe.

Buffy shakes herself. This is crazy. She doesn't want Spike. It's just that it's Christmas Eve, and she's lonely, and she hasn't had sex in forever, and Spike's the guy she's around the most, and, and everyone feels a little weird at Christmas!

Because she has absolutely one hundred percent not been thinking about Spike in a romantic capacity, not at all (except when he sometimes meets her after her night class with a cup of coffee and a battleaxe. Or when he comes in after patrol and watches TV with her and Dawn. Or when he covered for her in her training group when she got sick last month).

Kissing him would be crazy. And a bad idea. It doesn't work, not with them. They missed their window and it worked out better in the long run.

But.

She wants it. She wants to tip him off balance, just enough, to throw her arms around him and kiss him until she's dizzy. She wants him tangled in her arms and her sheets, the way he's already tangled in her life.

What she really needs to do is take that desire and shut it down. Maybe sneak out later and kill something. Just avoid Spike until the holidays are over and she's feeling normal again.

Across the room, he catches her eye. He's talking to Andrew. Spike grins at her easily and rolls his eyes.

And Buffy's stomach drops, overwhelming clarity sweeping through her. It's possibly the least earth-shattering and least romantic moment ever, but all of a sudden, she understands.

This, him, them, she isn't going to get over it. She was probably never over it to begin with.

She doesn't want kisses under the mistletoe. She wants him. She wants him so much she can hardly breathe.

And it's not because of Christmas.

Before she can do anything but stand frozen on the spot, she registers that he's coming towards her.

"Hey."

She crosses her arms. "Hi."

He frowns at her. "You alright? You sound funny."

She swallows hard. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine."

She can tell he doesn't believe her, but he lets it go. "If you say so. Nice turn out. That couple in the corner live across the hall, right?"

She scans the room, looking at all the people standing in her apartment, chatting like nothing's different. Like the whole world didn't just change in an instant. She spots the couple in question, standing by the punch bowl.

"Yeah, those are the Petersons."

Somewhere far back in her mind, a little voice inanely reminds her that they were the primary reason she stopped Andrew from displaying his slayer Christmas decorations.

Her fingernails are starting to leave imprints, where she's digging them into her arms. But she's honestly afraid of what she might do if she stops holding on to herself. She might, for example, tackle Spike to the floor in front of her family, friends, neighbors, and students.

And that would be bad. Possibly.

Spike was still talking, completely oblivious. "…Bet it's a mess there this time of year."

Wait. What was he talking about? Oh well. He hadn't seemed to notice she wasn't listening.

"What do you say you and I slip out in a bit and go kill stuff? I could use a break from the madness." He smiles down at her, his eyes warm, and that, it turns out is the deciding factor.

"Screw it."

He frowned. "Excuse me?"

"I said, screw it."

"Screw what?"

She shrugged. "The party, all the people watching. Not being by the mistletoe."

And then she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him to her.

For four terrifying seconds, he did nothing. And then he made a noise between a sigh and a moan and his arms were around her waist, lifting her off the ground.

Somewhere in the distance she could hear someone, probably Dawn, whistle. And then Andrew's voice, declaring it a Christmas miracle.

Spike pulled away slightly. "You know we're never going to hear the end of this?"

She smiled against his mouth. "I think I'm okay with that."