Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy.
Seventh grade was nothing like sixth grade, Xander thought, sitting on his lawn. He could hear the shouting inside and feel the dark and the not-quite-cold chill around him. So far, Christmas was the most recognizable thing about the whole year. He had thought it would be the same as it always was; the three musketeers. Sure, they got picked on some, but together nothing could keep them down!
Only, that girl had transferred in and she and Willow paired up for science lab and did girly things together and she didn't have much time left for him. And that hurt because she was his best-bud, his Willowgirl, but it wasn't the end of the world. He still had Jesse. Jesse, his brother-from-another-mother, who paired with him in Science class. Except.
Except that Cordelia Chase had, in Jesse's words, "Gotten hot" over the summer (and she had, though she'd always been pretty in Xander's opinion) and now every single thing Jesse did was centered around her
. And although Xander didn't hate Cordelia as much as his high position in the We Hate Cordelia Club might suggest, he still didn't have any interest in stalking
So Xander was left with a lot of time on his hands; time which he had no desire to spend at home. So he hung out at school, and slowly, more specifically, at the skate park near the school. Which is where he met Oz.
Oz was a year older than Xander, and it had taken him months to learn that his name was really Daniel and his parents weren't some emerald-obsessed hippies. (Or maybe they were, he'd thought once he met them, because they ate tofu and smelled like earth and decorated in lots of green.) But when he'd first met Oz, he'd just been Oz - the cool guy with the skateboard who'd stopped and come over to talk to him. Who'd said he could teach Xander how to ride, if he wanted.
Xander had wanted.
So all this free time was spent with Oz, or spent saving money for a skateboard. He'd collected and returned all the beer cans his parents left around the house, and done some lawn work for his neighbors, and not too long after he'd saved enough for a plain, second-hand skateboard, and really spent all his time with Oz.
Oz was about Xander's height, a little taller. He wasn't quite as skinny, but he didn't have any extra weight either. He had red hair, but he didn't babble like Willow did. In fact, he didn't babble at all. Oz never really seemed nervous or anxious, he always just was. Xander envied that.
They hung out after school, skating together once Xander had learned a bit. (Oz's hands on hips hips, pushing him back and forth) and after a few embarrassing dreams and some denial, Xander had to face the fact that he had a major crush on his new guy friend. He wanted to tell someone, to talk to someone about this new gay thing, but Willow wasn't around, and Jesse was too wrapped up in Cordy to focus on Xander, and Oz was the new gay thing, so Xander mostly just ignored it. And then one day he and Oz were sitting in a park, on a merry go round and he had to say something so he told Oz that he thought he might, maybe, could, sort of like guys. And Oz just turned his head and kissed him. On the lips. And it was simple and mellow and sweet, just like Oz, and when it was over everything else had fallen away and he likes guys. He likes Oz.
And now it was Christmas, and he, Xander Harris, has a boyfriend.
As Xander started to do a seated Snoopy dance, a blond man came down the street. He saw the wriggling boy (like an over excited puppy) and wandered closer to the meal, wondering if he was waiting for Santa. From inside the house, he heard a bottle smash and voices yell abuse.
Spike changed his mind about the boy and sat down near him. "So pet, thinking about something good or do you just love Christmas?" he asks, wondering about the sanity of anyone that could sit outside on a hellmouth smelling so happy while their family rips each other apart.
The boy, whose eyes had been closed the whole time and is perhaps a bit drowsy, murmurs "Hate Christmas, like boyfriend," before his brain catches up to him.
Then he opens his eyes comically wide and stares at Spike, who's just lighting a cigarette.
Spike chuckled as the boy produced a sound, clutched his covers to his chin, and turned deeply, deliciously red with blood. "I don't think that blanket will save you from much, pet."
The blush got deeper, Christ, is that possible?, but the boy's clenched fingers relaxed.
Spike enjoyed this boy, and he planned to tease him for a bit, maybe take him home to Dru. Or maybe he wouldn't eat him at all. Then his gaze sharpened with consideration. "Say pet, do you live here?"
The boy nodded silently. Spike's lips curved. "Got any plans for tonight?"
Xander knew he should probably say yes, should lie, should run, but the truth was he's not much safer in his back yard than he would be in Sunnydale proper, so he shook his head no.
The man grinned even wider, like a smug cat, and stood. "How would you like to be Santa's little helper?" The tone was sarcastic but not mocking, and Xander had already made his decision.
"What do you need?" he asked. The man pulled him up and they were a block away before Xander asked his name.