It was almost Christmas, six months since everything went to hell â€“ almost literally â€“ and he was hiding out in a tiny little flat, in Chinatown, trying not to think about the fact that another year had passed - another year of people and places left behind.
It was never quiet around here. There were too many people, in too small a space, with walls that were a touch too thin. It was kind of comforting to Spike on most days â€“ a reminder that there was life out there, life worth fighting for. Today, was one of the days it just reminded him that he was alone.
Hell, it wasn't even his flat. Though, that was a good thing, he guessed. Since he didn't have to worry about coming up with the rent, or eating the landlord. Around here, they were almost as touchy about that as gypsies. It actually belonged to the whelp â€“ Xander â€“ though the watcher was paying the bills, and the boy was never here â€“ off on some mission or other.
After the slayer mini-army had dropped in and saved their asses â€“ what was left of them â€“ he had ended up throwing his lot in with them once again. Strange thing for a vampire, souled or not, to be wired in with a bunch of slayers and mortals, but they were handy to have around in a fight and could be right entertaining at times. That bit about the easiest place to be alone sometimes being a crowd, seemed to be quite fitting in this bunch.
Oh, some of them were all right â€“ the little bit, who wasn't so little anymore, the dark slayer who reminded him of Drusilla, but was earthier, and the one-eyed jack who was his perpetually absent roommate. Still, they all had things to do, and places to be, and his bit if rough and tumble wasn't much in demand when there was a veritable unending supply of agile, pretty, little freaks to be cannon fodder for the masses. He felt like an old uncle in his dotage, locked away in a home, trotted out for the occasional duty visit.
Well, fuck, he was feeling sorry for himself, brooding like that nancy boy sire of his. That just wouldn't do. Besides, Giles had rung and told him that Xander was due back in town for the holidays. Time to make the flat and himself presentable. Maybe, he'd get a nice tree, with blinky lights and a bit of mistletoe to torment the boy with... oh, and some wine to mull like his mum used to do. The boy's depth perception was for shit, anyway, and after a few glasses, it was downright amusing.
Places to go, people to torment; it was shaping up to be a bit better of a holiday than he had thought. It was like they said, "There's no place like home, for the holidays."