Author: Rayne Jelly

Fandom: BtVS

Pairing: Gen. or Spike/Dru

Disclaimer: Clearly not.

Summary: Spike's thoughts in the week before Christmas circa 2000. Fits neatly into canon.

Rating: PG

Feedback: Yes please!


Sparkle

The things Spike remembers are real and solid, as tangible to him now as they were twenty years ago, and maybe just as sweet. And it's the history, existing with one foot in memory and one foot in the present that leaves him no thought for the future – just now, just the rosy warmth of the room and the giggling children and the smell of brandy and cinnamon and nutmeg lingering in the air that draws him back. But more than that, it's the sparkle, the twinkling flashes he catches from the corners of his eye, because he doesn't have to look to be reminded. Doesn't have to see, just to know.

And what he knew was Dru. Dru and the crunch of snow underfoot, blue white and shimmering in the streetlamps and the moon. So cold and so bright it wasn't snow, wasn't curves and hillocks of whipped cream fluff the way it came on greeting cards, but ice. Billions and billions of tiny crystals glittering at his feet, cut away sharply by the tracks of tires and endless footsteps. Ice that grew up out of the ground and crawled across the skin of his car in ferns and stars and fingers that left it shimmering darkly, even as it belched clouds of gray exhaust into the sharp black sky like a poem; a Blakean monument to his childhood.

And the cold didn't touch them then, couldn't reach through the sleeves of his coat to cling to his skin – not then. It was Dru, still warm from inside the hotel room, and laughing when even her cool breath froze on the air. Eyes wide and dark and catching the reflection of each gently drifting snowflake that lingered on the air. Laughing and spinning and their dark parking lot was transformed, a fresh Narnia full of magic and wonder and his very own snow queen in her dark velvet winter dress that belonged – like Dru so often did – in a Dickens novel, lifting her long arms to the sky. She told him "Spike! They carry our words to heaven!"

She was always laughing then. Head thrown back to watch each tiny chip born, and Spike could only ever watch her. Narrow feet and wide hems swirling, kicking up clouds of ice chips that settled like sequins against the dark green border of her skirt indistinguishable from the ones that were falling – diamonds drifting to settle on her shoulders and in her hair, glistening on her eyelashes and dusting her fine milky skin with flecks of silver. She was always laughing, and utterly his, reaching to dance with him in the stillness and the silence while all around them the world glittered blue and white and red and gold for an endless moment that was clean and pure and crystalline in his memory. Nothing to do in the moment but dance, nothing to be but hers.

He didn't know how he ever got in his car and drove them away from that spot. From that moment. But he had, and he was here, thirty years later bathing in the warm amber glow of a pre-lit PVC Christmas tree, pointedly not watching teenagers – children really – fall over each other to decorate it, giggling and teasing and so young. So young.

Spike wanted to be bored, watching them – not watching them – because they were silly and candy-sweet, and he would much rather be eating them than ignoring them ignoring him. But he couldn't. Because they were grinning and energetic and so full of life so close to his skin, little red ornamenting their plastic spruce with baubles and strings of popcorn and – of all things – tinsel that sparkled in his eye and his memory while father stood by watching – tutting – indulgent. And the blonde, the slayer, stood tippy-toe, balanced precariously on the upraised knee of her knight errant to delicately place the star.

He wanted to be bored, but wasn't. And felt a pang of unexpected pity. Because they'd likely never know a midnight snowstorm – tanned and lean children of sunny beaches and fruity power-shakes. Because they'd be gone in the blink of an eye. And he'd get back to Dru eventually, when they were nothing but a memory, when the silicone lightning in his head was only dust, he'd get back to Dru and her dances and her dreams… and maybe he'd recall them – or maybe not – the next time it snowed.

The end