ANYTHING BUT EGGNOG
by Midnight Girl
"AARRGGH, I can't believe you talked us into this, pet," Spike grumbled. "We're unholy creatures of the night, two of the most feared vampires in history and what are we doing as the witching hour approaches? Cruising the cookie aisle."
"Spike, you can't expect me to live on what you keep in that fridge!" Willow laughed, tossing some Chips Ahoy in the shopping cart. "Angel's blood supplies and an orange I suspect is older than you. A girl has got to eat. I think I've lost ten pounds since I moved in with you, what with the reduced diet and increased'physical' activity."
"We best get her to the cake aisle, too, Angel. We don't her getting all skinny," Spike pulled her to his hip, kissing her cheek. Angel growled playfully and grabbed Willow around the waist, pulling her into a blinding kiss. A passing elderly lady gave the trio a funny look.
"We're a very close family," Spike told her. Willow gasped and slugged his shoulder.
"Are you crazy?" she laughed. "That was Mrs. Rothstein, the high school's secretary!"
"OOooops," Angel fought to supress a laugh. "Well, it's not like you're going to be at the high school that much longer."
"Nope," Willow shook her head. "My application for early graduation was accepted thanks to Giles' pushing, and as soon as I complete my exams, UC Sunnydale will accept my application. Their psychology department head seemed really excited to meet me."
"Well, who wouldn't be?" Spike grinned.
As they passed the dairy section, Angel grabbed a tube of chocolate chip cookie dough and shook it.
"Red, can you tell me what the hell this is?" he asked. "There are cookies, which I clearly remember from my mortal days, on the label but how the blazes do you get them out?"
"Well, it's premade dough," Willow said, taking the tube. "You cut it up, put it on the baking sheet and stick it in the oven. Voila, cookies."
"But that's cheating!" Spike said, totally disgusted. He saw a dough tube with green Christmas trees dyed in the center shook his head. "And what about this?"
"Those are Christmas cookies, Buffy and her mom make them every year, only from scratch with icing."
"What about you and your mum?" Spike asked.
"Well, being Jewish, I'm not exactly aquainted Christmas. I've never really been able to celebrate it."
"Never?" Angel asked. Spike gaped at her. Even he got charity presents before he was turned.
Willow shook her head. "I have a hard time believing that, Will, you've never gotten ONE Christmas present?"
"Well, let's just say that I've gotten a lot of Chanukah presents wrapped in red and green paper," Willow laughed. "I've always kind of wanted to do the Christmas thing, but Saul Rosenberg's daughter wasn't allowed anywhere near anything Yule-ish."
Spike could see the wheels turning in Angel's head.
"Come on, love, you said you would show me how cream cheese comes out
of a can," he said, leading her down the aisle.
"Hello?" Willow called as she entered the mansion. "Angel? Spike? Where are you?"
She sighed and set her book bag on the coffee table. She grinned as
she picked up her first Christmas/wedding gift and carried it to the kitchen.
She had really dreaded going back to school that morning. She felt so different
from the timid, introverted girl she left behind the day she bonded to
Angel and Spike. But despite a much sexier wardrobe, no one treated her
No one even seemed to notice her, which was a relief.
Fifth period she walked into the library, as she usually did, to see if Giles needed any help researching Hellmouthy stuff. Giles wasn't there, but Buffy was.
"Oh, hi, Willow,"Buffy said.
"Buffy," Willow nodded.
They stared at each other awkwardly.
"Look, Willow, I'm not looking for an apology here-"
"Good, because I'm not going to be handing them out," Willow said flatly.
"Will, what I'm tyring to say is I'm the only one who should be apologizing here. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when Oz broke up with you. I'm sorry for the way I acted that day at your house. It was inexcusable. It was just such a shock to see you like that with Spike....and you know, Angel. I just freaked out and I'm sorry."
"Oh, Buffy..." Willow wrapped her arms around her friend. "Apology accepted. I understand that you were shocked... let's just forget that it ever happened. I missed my friend. I've needed you so much in the last few days. My whole world's been turned upside down.... but in a good way. And I've needed to talk to you about so much of it.... I just missed you, Buffy."
"Me, too, Wills," Buffy sniffed. "It will be a little wierd at first talking to you about being with Angel, but I'll get used to it. ... And since we're still speaking, I guess I can give you your Christmas slash 'wedding' present."
"Buffy!" Willow laughed. "What did you do?"
Buffy plunked a large box wrapped in silver and white wedding bell printed paper. Willow looked at her curiously and ripped away the paper. She burst into raucous laughter.
"A Crockpot?!" Willow cried.
"No newlywed should be without one," Buffy grinned.
"For the countless pot roasts my husbands will no doubt be demanding," Willow snorted.
Willow grinned as she unpacked the Crockpot and stuck in one of the kitchen cabinets. She and Buffy and Cordelia had plans to go Christmas shopping the next day. Maybe her life was getting back to normal. Well, as normal as being lifemated to the undead could be.
"Spike? Angel?" she called. No response.
She walked through the living room towards the stairs.
"I'm naked." she called. "Completely. I'm going to go paint myself blue and roll around on Angel's best percale sheets. Then I'm using Spike's duster to start a quilt..... hello!"
Suddenly, Angel and Spike appeared at the top of the stairs looking a little rushed.
"Leave my duster alone, love," Spike grinned. "But feel free to ruin Peaches' sheets."
"Where were you two?" she demanded poutily. "What were you doing up there?"
"We weren't doing anything, there's no reason to think we were up to anything," Angel shrugged.
"Except for your saying that," she said, her eyes narrowing. "Didn't you here me call?"
"Awww, we're sorry, pet," Spike laughed, making his way down the stairs.
"Really, what were you guys doing?" she asked again.
"Looks like somebody's a little grumpy..." Angel sang.
"I guess we're going to have to cheer her up," Spike said kissing her neck. She gasped happily as he nibbled on her earlobes.
"Absolutely." Angel said, pulling on her wrists. Spike scooped her up in his arms while Angel ran ahead to the bedroom. She could bath water running as she and Spike entered. Angel came out of the bathroom wearing a towel around his waist. Willow purred as Spike began unbuttoning her blouse.
Angel began working on Spike's clothes. Once Willow was freed, Angel picked her up and wrapped her legs around his waist. She grinned, biting her lip as ground against him. He claimed her mouth, plundering its warm depths with his cool talented tongue. Spike followed. He began sprinkling lavender bath salts in the water. Angel set her in the tub, she laid back contently letting the steaming water wash over her.
"Don't go to sleep just yet, Willow," Angel grinned, sliding into the tub behind her.
Spike handed him a bottle of bath oil and leaned against the opposite
wall of the tub. He began massaging
the insteps of Willow's feet.
"Was it that terrible, love?" he asked.
She shook her head. Angel poured a few drops of oil in each of her hands. She moaned as he applied gentle pressure against the heels of her palms.
"I just forgot how difficult it was to be awake all day," she said. "And without you two."
"We missed you, too, Red," Angel whispered against her ear. "Spike was so upset, he snored all day long."
"Aww, poor baby," Willow grinned. Angel pressed against the accupressure points of her wrists. She smiled and snuggled against his wet, slippery body. He bent his head to her neck and began tracing little patterns on her skin with his tongue. She wrapped her arms around his head and pressed him against her.
"Just let us take care of you, love," Spike kissed one of her ankles. She beckoned him with a crooked finger. Her crawled the length of the tub and settled between her legs. He claimed her mouth as she wrapped her legs around his waist. Angel pulled them both against him.
Suddenly, she broke the kiss.
"Honestly, I want to know, what were you doing up there!"
"Really, Cordy, if I see you buy Xander one more Snowbabies figurine, I may be forced to hurt you," Buffy laughed. "You can't tell me he likes them."
"Well, actually, he's been collecting them since he was eight," Cordelia shrugged.
"Oh, you realize you've just opened up the doorway to torrents of teasing!" Buffy exclaimed as they entered a little antique shop called The Dutch Iris.
"Oh, like they're so much less sophisticated than the Precious Moments figurine Willow bought for you!" Cordelia cried Realizing her mistake, she slapped her hand over her mouth.
"CORDY!" Willow cried.
"Really, Wills? Which one?" Buffy asked.
"It's a good thing I didn't give you specific sex details," Willow snorted. "Well, at least, I don't have to wrap your present now."
She kicked at Cordelia's ankle.
"Sorry!" Cordy exclaimed.
"Guys, what you think of this for Angel?" Willow asked. She was holding a beautiful antique silver frame.
"And whose picture were you planning to put in it?" Cordelia asked.
"Spike's and mine.... and Spike doesn't show up on film so that would pretty much be pointless wouldn't it?"
"But you could put a picture of you in it and give it to Angel, I'm sure he would love that," Buffy suggested.
"Life as a vampire wife is rough," Willow groaned. "There are so many adjustments to be made. There are no mirrors in the house. There are no baby pictures to embarass them, mostly because they were born before the advent of the camera. And to top it all off, I don't even have to learn to cook anything, except for maybe blood pudding."
"But surely there are some perks," Cordelia said.
Willow grinned wickedly. "You have NO idea."
"Ohhhh, spill it, woman," Cordelia demanded.
Willow looked nervously at Buffy. She was sure Buffy didn't want to hear about Willow's sex life with her former lover.
"Really, Will, it's okay," Buffy grinned. "I'd kind of like to hear about it."
"Well, ladies, I have three words for you- stamina, stamina, stamina."
"Willow!" Cordelia cried.
"Shocking," Buffy hooted.
"I swear," Willow grinned. "The sex is constant and creative and aaugh! It's like I'm living in some trashy story written by some lonely, hormonal fanfic writer...."
"But that would be impossible," Buffy said, hesitantly.
"Yeah, preposterous," Cordelia said.
"Right, never mind," Willow said. There was an awkward pause. "So, yes on the picture frame?"
"MMMMmmm, yes," Cordelia said.
"How about this?" Buffy asked. "For Spike?"
"Perfect," Willow breathed.
Christmas Eve night fell sweet and clear. Willow giggled as she donned the goofy elf hat Xander had given her at the Slayerette Christmas gathering that day. Angel and Spike were still sleeping. They were supposed to open presents tonight. She swallowed a tiny bit of disappointment. She hadn't mentioned it to either vamp, but she had really wanted to decorate the mansion for Christmas. But this was their home and she didn't want to force Angel and Spike to do anything they didn't want to.
Shedding her momentary depression, she put on resolved face and decided she would have an excellent first Christmas with her family.
"Angel, Spike," she crooned. Her lovers were curled up in the bed, their arms wound around each other. She noticed that happening in the last couple of weeks every time she left the bed. They would roll towards the warm spot her body heat left on the sheets and gradually intertwine their bodies. She smiled. Neither would admit it, but they were both growing more and more comfortable with having each other around. She was beginning to suspect they enjoyed it.
"Arrrrrrrrgggggggghhh," Spike yawned and sat up to kiss Willow. "Mmm, Merry Christmas, pet. Cute hat."
"Merry Christmas," she grinned. "Angel, aren't you going to wake up?"
"Mmmmffgghs," Angel mumbled. He rolled over toward them. "Someone wouldn't let me get any sleep today."
"Really?" Willow laughed. "What WERE you up to?"
Spike suddenly looked stricken. "We're sorry, pet-"
"Why would you be sorry?" Willow asked. "My mates are getting along. More than getting along, they're making love. The only disappointing thing about it is I wasn't around to watch."
"Well, since you feel that way about it..." Angel sat up and kissed her. "I guess we can let you open your presents now."
"YAY!" she clapped her hands and launched herself off the bed. She grabbed the baket that held their presents from the closet and brought them to the bed.
"Well, we're not opening the presents here, love" Spike said. "Put on your robe."
Willow's brow furrowed. Angel threw her robe over her and then slung her over his shoulders.
"Elf hog," Spike grumbled, picking up their gifts from Will.
"Where are we going?" Willow giggled as Angel carried her up the third floor. They hardly ever went up there.
"To see your present," Angel grinned.
"Huh?" Willow asked.
Angel set her on her feet in front of a large mahogony door.... with a big red bow on it.
"What the?" Willow gaped. "What is this?"
"Well, open it and find out," Spike laughed.
Willow turned the knob and stepped through. She stopped in her
tracks. They had taken a room and devoted it totally to her. The walls
and ceiling were painted a deep cobalt blue. The ceiling was covered with
the constellations painted in gold. There was a beautiful blue and gold
rug thrown over the recently polished hardwood floor. There was a sofa
and chair upholstered in
a deep blue material with gold stars and moons. A desk sat in the corner with a brand new IMAC computer system on it. She squealed with delight and ran to turn it on, but she was distracted by a large mahogony wardrobe. A carved sun and moon motif decorated the door. She opened it, it was filled with racks of herbs and extracts. There magick supplies, books, crytals, everything a budding witch would need.
She turned and threw her arms around them. "What is this?"
"Every woman needs a space of her own, right?" Spike asked, kissing her cheek. "Well, this is yours."
"It can be a study. Your magic workshop. Anything you want it to be." Angel said. "This is your place to be alone, we won't come in again unless we're invited."
"It's so beautiful," Willow cried. "Thank you."
She wrapped her arms around her mates and kissed them each in turn.
"And you didn't even notice that," Angel said, pointing in the far corner. There was a beautiful fire place with another set of chairs and a foot stool. On the mantle were three stockings and in the corner was a gorgeous Christmas tree with all the trimmings. Willow shrieked.
"How did you do all this?" she asked, kissing them again.
"Well, let's just say it's not difficult to get workmen to work crazy hours when you're waving a wad of cash in their faces," Spike grinned.
Angel laughed. "He's not kidding, he would actually walk around with a wad of cash on a string dangling it in front of the contractor. I thought it was sort of cruel. But it amused him. After that, Cordelia helped us choose furnishings. Giles helped us choose magick supplies. And we spent most of the day decorating the whole mansion for Christmas while you were asleep."
"Oh, this is so perfect, thank you,"Willow sighed.
"I guess I'll have to give you your gifts now," she grinned.
"Prezzies?" Spike asked, his eyes shining and child-like. "For us?"
"Of course," she led them over to the tree and perused the brightly-wrapped
packages as they opened their first gifts. Angel opened his picture frame
first. She had been working on a sketch of the three of them for weeks,
with the help of a talent spell she had finally captured their little family.
Angel was in the background sitting up with Spike leaned back against
him. Willow was laying back against Spike with Angel's arms wrapped around
"It's perfect," Angel exhaled a needless, touched breath. "It's the most beautiful gift any one's given me. Thank you."
"You like it?" Willow asked, her brow creased nervously.
"I love it," he said, kissing her. "I love you."
"Oh, pet," Spike sighed lifting his present from its box. It was a very rare edition of collected works of Lord Byron Willow found at the Dutch Iris. "This is just, oh my..."
"I kind of saw the parallels," Willow said. "He was a lot like you, mad, bad and dangerous to know."
"I love it," he kissed her. "There's something else in here."
He pulled out another antique book. "PET!"
"Wait a minute, I get a family portrait, he gets limited edition Kama Sutra?" Angel grinned. "I don't think I like this arrangement, too many bad ideas floating around in his head already."
"He has to share," Willow laughed.
Willow refused to open her gifts until they were finished. Spike's haul included beautiful accoustic guitar from Angel, a collection of Sex Pistols albums Willow had found in a old vinyl record shop and twelve button-up shirts in a rainbow of colors.
"To break up the red and black," Willow said. "I don't want people thinking I'm completely incapable of laundry. Will you wear the emerald green for me tonight?"
"At least there aren't any pastels in here," Spike laughed.
Angel's gifts included a carved puzzle box from Willow. When you managed to move the carved pieces on the lid, the box would open.
"I thought it was fitting for my big dark enigma man," Willow grinned.
Spike gave him a beautifully crafted chess set. "I thought we could start playing again, but I have to warn you, I've gotten a lot better in the last eighty years."
"I'll bet," Angel laughed. "Thank you."
"Do you want your first present, love?" Spike asked.
"Of course," Willow said.
Spike and Angel began unbuttoning their shirts. "Guys, as much as I TRULY appreciate it, I know you're sort of knew to this Christmas thing, but that's not considered a present."
"Shh," Angel said. "Just watch."
They both stood and turned their backs to her. She laughed and realized why they had worn shirts to bed for the first time since they had mated. They had gotten tattoos. Willow trees on the back of their left shoulders. Angel's had a spike intertwined in the roots. Spike's had an angel standing underneath the tree's weeping branches. She laughed and stood to inspect them closer.
"That's beautiful," she said, kissing Spike's inked shoulder.
"We had them done before dawn this morning. We've marked you, but you don't have way to mark us," Spike said. "We wanted the whole world to know who we belong to."
"Does this mean you'll be running around with your shirts off?" she grinned. "I love them. I guess this means I need to go out and get one, maybe an angel holding a railroad spike. "
"That would be nice," Angel purred as she ran her lips across the tattoo. "But you should open your other presents first."
Other presents turned out to be a beautiful emerald choker, a collection of old magic tomes, a framed picture of the Scooby Gang, and a box with holes in it.
"Should I be afraid?" she asked, fingering her new necklace. It went so well with her bright green pajamas.
"Just open it," Spike said, nuzzling her neck.
The box was meowing. She lifted the lid. It was a tiny black kitten. "Oh! She's so sweet!"
"We thought every witch could use a familiar," Angel said.
"I'll call her.... Midnight," Willow said, scratching under the cat's chin. Midnight purred in response.
"One last present," Spike put a small velvet jewelry box in her hand. Her brows drew together as she flipped open the lid. It contained three rings, one platinum wedding band and two smaller bands encrsuted in small rubies, Willow's birthstone.
"What's this?" she asked.
"The small bands represent the separate love between you and Spike and you and me. The large band represents the bond between the three of us," Angel said. "The two of us got matching sets. Confused the hell out of the jeweler."
"We want to make an honest woman of you, pet," Spike said.
"But we're mated..."
"But we wanted to make it official," Angel said. "We wanted you to have a real wedding, even if it's just between us."
Tears flooded Willow's eyes. She blinked them back. Spike and Angel exchanged looks, they got down on one knee in front of her.
"Willow, one month ago tonight, we stumbled into the best thing that's ever happened to us- you." Angel said.
"What we mean to say, pet, is will you marry us? Tonight?" Spike asked.
Willow walked barefoot down the stairs. Spike and Angel were waiting
for her in front of the fireplace. They were shirtless, wearing only black
pajama pants. She giggled, looking down at the white knee-length silk nightgown
she was wearing. It was only fitting, creatures of the night should have
pajama weddings. She carried Midnight in the crook of her elbow and wore
necklace they gave her.
Angel sighed happily. He had never seen such a simply beautiful creature. And she was theirs. She put Midnight on the floor.
Spike took her hand and kissed it. He slid the first small band on her ring finger. "Willow, I give you this ring as a sign of my love everlasting, I am your lifemate as you are mine."
Angel claimed her hand gently and repeated the ritual. Willow opened the box with their rings in it.
"Spike, Angel I give you these ring as a sign of my love everlasting, I am your lifemate as you are mine." She slid ruby bands on their fingers. Each of them put the large platinum bands on their own fingers.
Willow held her breath as she watched the vampires look to each other. Who would pledge their love first? This was probably the most crucial moment their relationship had faced. Angel smiled gently and took Spike's hand.
"Spike, I give you this ring as a sign of my love everlasting, I am your lifemate as you are mine." he placed a chaste kiss on Spike's lips.
Willow sighed. Spike slid Angel's final ring on his finger and kissed him.
"I now pronounce us men and wife?" Willow grinned. They kissed her breathless.
"I've always wanted a wedding night," Angel wriggled his eyebrows. Spike pulled Willow towards the strairs and swept her into his arms.
"Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight."