So, here is my new, old, story. It is part of a series of connected stories based on the premsise that Buffy and Giles were married shortly after the conclusion of the series. And one of these days, when I round up all the disks the stories are on, I'll post them here.
Happy holidays everyone and I hope you enjoy the story. If you read it before, I hope you enjoy it again.
Title: Merry Christmas, Darling
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to these characters. I am making no profit from this story and no copyright infringement is intended. My story is strictly for entertainment purposes. I do no own the rights to the beautiful song whose lyrics are used to move the story forward. 'Merry Christmas, Darling' belongs to Richard Carpenter and will forever immortalize his sister Karen.
Synopsis: Buffy and Giles' first Christmas as husband and wife.
Merry Christmas, Darling
Greeting cards have all been sent. The Christmas rush is through. But I still have one wish to make. A special one for you.
Buffy sat listening to the cd’s playing on the stereo and staring bleakly at the fire burning brightly in the fireplace. It was the first Christmas since she and Giles were married, and she was alone.
Merry Christmas, Darling. We’re apart, that’s true. But I can dream and in my dreams I’m Christmas-ing with you.
Dawn was spending Christmas with their father.
Hank Summers had received a severe wake-up call when he returned from his latest ‘cannot be disturbed’ business trip and had learned about Sunnydale’s destruction. The girls had called and left the message that they were all right when they were in Las Vegas, but he hadn’t responded by the time they left, so he had no way of knowing their whereabouts until they had settled in London, a month after Buffy and Giles’ wedding.
At first Hank had been frantic, repeatedly asking them if they were all right. But after a few minutes his tone had turned indignant and he had demanded to know why they hadn’t come to his home and waited for him to get back before Buffy got married. He also demanded that Dawn come back to California and live with him. Buffy had hung up on him in mid rant.
It had taken a couple of weeks, but Hank had finally settled down enough to hold a rational conversation with the girls, and Dawn had proposed that she spend the holidays with him. When Buffy and Giles had expressed their hurt that Dawn hadn’t wanted to be with them, Dawn said that she felt their first Christmas as husband and wife shouldn’t include a sister.
So the weekend before Thanksgiving Buffy had taken Dawn to the airport. The girls had clung together, Dawn tearfully promising to call everyday. Giles had offered to buy Dawn a cell phone, but she had declined, saying that she was planning on guilt tripping Hank into getting one for her. The resulting laughter had broken the gloom, and a smiling Dawn had boarded the plane.
Holidays are joyful. There's always something new. But every day's a holiday when I'm near to you.
Willow had gone to Cincinnati to spend Hanukah and Christmas with Kennedy.
The first phone call from Kennedy had sent Willow into a minor depression. Willow had told Buffy that Kennedy had cried, saying that this was the first Christmas that she could remember without her Watcher. Kennedy had no memories of her real family, wasn't even sure that Kennedy had been her real name, but it was the only name she ever remembered being called. Even though they had been together for such a short time, and Kennedy was living in a dormitory full of Slayers, she felt alone. She missed Willow.
Three tear-filled phone calls later, Giles put his foot down and handed Willow a round trip ticket to Cincinnati. When Willow had started to protest, saying that they needed her to help get the training facilitates ready for the Slayers Giles had cut her off. He reminded her that they were still looking for properties to purchase, and went on to say that in her current state of mind she was useless to him.
The argument was beginning to escalate, when it suddenly occurred to Buffy why Willow was really reluctant to leave. Stepping between the combatants, Buffy promised Willow that they would help Xander through this first Christmas without Anya.
Giles had been chagrined that he hadn't considered Xander as the cause of Willow's indecision. It made him remember his own state of mind the first Christmas after Jenny Calendar's death. He apologized to Willow for his impatience, and seconded Buffy's assertion that they would look after Xander. The next morning, Willow departed for a month.
The lights on my tree, I wish you could see. I wish it every day. Logs on the fire fill me with desire to see you and to say that I wish you Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Darling. Happy New Year, too.
They had tried their best, but the closer it came to Christmas, the quieter Xander became. He wasn't interested in going to the movies, or the theater. He wasn't interested in shopping. Any mention of money made him flinch. If he came upon Buffy and Giles kissing, and being newlyweds they kissed a lot, he went to brood in his room.
It had seemed like a miracle when they received the phone call from the Slayer retrieval team in China. The girls had run into a brick wall; the officials of one province refused to deal with females. Giles had been upset, but could see no other option; he had to go to China to deal with the problem. They had been startled when Xander spoke up.
Xander insisted the he should be the one to go. He had no one special to spend the holidays with, he said, and Giles should be with Buffy for their first Christmas. For the first time in weeks, he was excited about something. Giles spent the next two days briefing Xander on the customs of the region of China in which he would be traveling. A witch from the Devon coven had driven to London to do a special spell that would allow Xander to temporarily be able to read and speak the local dialects
It was a smiling Xander, happy to have a mission to fulfill, who left London on the 20th of December.
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas Eve, I wish I were with you. I wish I were with you.
Opening the door to the silent flat, Buffy realized that, for the first time since they had moved to London, they were alone. It seemed to hit Giles at the same time. They had turned to one another, smiled wickedly, and began stripping each other. They had spent the next three days making love in every conceivable place in the flat. They had been lying on the couch in front of the fire when the phone rang.
It was the Slayer retrieval team. Xander was in trouble. In serious trouble. He was in jail for assaulting the father of one of the new Slayers. The local officials insisted that they would only release him to a member of the Council. There was no choice; Giles had to go to China.
Buffy had begged Giles to let her go with him, but he was adamant that she remain in London. The two of them were the Council, and it was possible that it was a trap. They couldn't both go into such an unknown situation. Giles had called the airport to have them prep the Council Lear, and he was gone within the hour.
She had spent the last thirty-six hours sitting next to the phone, praying Giles would call. She hadn't answered calls from Willow and Dawn, letting them think no one was home. There was no way she could pretend to be happy, and of course she had no good explanation as to why Giles and Xander couldn't come to the phone.
Buffy looked at the clock. Three minutes to midnight. On the stereo the song she had been dreading all evening began. Merry Christmas, Darling, by the Carpenters. She closed her eyes, tears streaming down her face as the poignant lyrics were sang in the husky voice of the late Karen Carpenter.
The song finished as the clock chimed twelve. In the silence after the last chime, a beloved voice whispered, "Merry Christmas, darling." Buffy opened her eyes and saw Giles kneeling in front of her, his own face wet with tears.
"Rupert," she sobbed, and flung herself into his arms. "I didn't hear the door open. How did you get here? When did you get here? Why didn't you call?"
"I was right, it was a trap. All of my things were taken and I was put in the cell with Xander when I arrived. "
Buffy shook her head. "I don't understand. How could it be a trap, it was our own team that called for help."
"They may be Slayers, but they are still vulnerable to magic. A powerful sorcerer in the area saw the new Slayers as his personal army. When the retrieval team showed up and he learned about the emergence of Slayers all over the world and about the Council, he saw us as his stepping stone to power."
"I had been mildly suspicious of the first call, but knew something was wrong when we received the second. Xander would never attack a human, no matter what the provocation. While you were packing my bag, I called the coven and two of their most powerful witches agreed to come with me."
"During the flight I told them of my suspicions and they put a tracer spell on me. They stayed at the plane and when I didn't check in on schedule, they teleported me back to the airport. We created a plan of attack, freed Xander and the girls, and sent the sorcerer to the coven."
Giles glanced at his watch. "We finally cleared up the last of the red tape that allowed the new Chinese Slayers to leave a little over two hours ago. Once the plane was out of Chinese airspace and safely on the way, they teleported me home so we could be together for our first Christmas."
Buffy had sat on his lap throughout his explanation, her hands moving restlessly over his chest and back. It was almost as though she didn't really believe he was there. Giles took one of her hands and held it still against his heart, letting her feel the beat. The clock chimed the quarter hour.
"It's Christmas Day, love. Do you want to open your presents now?"
"Sounds like an idea." Buffy started to unbutton his shirt.
Giles placed his hands over hers, stopping her. "Love? I thought you wanted to open your presents."
"I am opening my present. You're the only thing I wished for." She pulled him down for a passionate kiss.
Later, cuddled together in their bed, Buffy was just drifting off to sleep when Giles again whispered, "Merry Christmas, darling."
I have always loved the song, even though it makes me cry. The year it was first released, I lived in California while my family and my boyfriend were in Indiana. I couldn't afford to fly home and I spent a very lonely Christmas.
I heard the song on the radio yesterday, and while the tears were flowing, the idea of a lonely Buffy listening to it popped into my mind.