A Christmas Carol: Spike version

Spoilers:None intended
Rating: Christmas cookies and tinsel
Disclaimer: Spike doesn't belong to me. The only thing that is mine is loads of free time and an over-active imagination!
Dedicated to: Charles Dickens. Sorry dude!
Kudos: To the hwoodvamps team for airing this sillyness, Emily for the proof read
Feedback: If you like, hate, don't give a bloody humbug then e-mail me mandy_thomson@excite.com or sign the guestmap, please, please, please! ~Mandy
** is me, because they speak to me as well as keep me up all night writing fic!

Angel was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

"Good. Bugger was getting on my nerves"
** Shush, Spike. I'm getting to you. Leave me to nicking Mr Dickens's words here for a bit.

The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Spike signed it. Old Angel was as dead as a door-nail."

"Do you mean dead as in vampire dead? Or dead as in dust dead?"
** Vampire dead Spike. Now will you let me get on with the story?
"Knew it was too good to be true."
** Spike!
"Ok. Ok. Don't get your knickers in a knot."

** Right where was I?

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Angel was as dead as a door-nail.

** Ok. Now we know Angel is dead, lets get on to meeting Scroo… Erm.. Spike.
" I'll be over there. Getting into bleeding character. You couldn't steal a good idea? Had to be all this sickly sweet Christmas Carol rubbish"
** Quit your moaning Spike. You have no idea what I have in store. Now Shush!

Spike sat in the graveyard, waiting for his assistant to arrive.

"All right. I get an assistant"

He paced impatiently. Where was that girl? He would have to cut her wages again.

"A Merry Christmas," cried a cheerful voice. Spike turned to see Xander "nephew" Harris.
"Bloody" said Spike, "Humbug!"
"Christmas a humbug, Spike!" said Xander "You don't mean that, I am sure."
"I do," said Spike, "I live, well ok exist, in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will," said Spike indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

"That's gotta be the longest speech I've ever heard you make Spike!" Xander smirked.
"Weren't bad were it. Didn't say it tho. Some fic writer nicked the words and put em in my gob. Did like the bit about holly through the heart. My kinda dialogue."

** Spike, can we get on? Xander! Get back into character!
"Sorry" Xander and Spike said together.
"You think if we get through this quick she'll move on and torment someone else in her AU fics?" Xander asked hopefully.
"Not sodding likely"

"Spike!" pleaded Xander.
"Xander!" returned Spike, sternly, "keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine."
"Keep it!" repeated Xander "But you don't keep it."
"Let me leave it alone, then," said Spike. "Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!"
" I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, Spike, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it HAS done me good, and WILL do me good; and I say, God bless it!"
Xander took a deep breath and held his head. "Too many long words. Why couldn't I just say "Yay Christmas"?"

** Because that's not what Dickens wrote! But I agree, lets keep the direct copying, borrowing of text in a totally non-profit and for entertainment only way, to a minimum for now. Ok with you guys?
"Rather not be doing any of this stuff." Spike grumbled
** Shush!

"Yay Christmas!" Xander said happily.
Buffy "Cratchett" Summers applauded from behind them.
Spike turned furiously. He long coat flowing in the wind. It is a cool coat. But any way…

"Let me hear another sound from YOU," said Spike, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation"
"Hello! Slayer! Chosen one. You don't pay my wages!"
"What?" he asked
"Nothing" Buffy looked out into the graveyard.
Xander wished Buffy a Merry Christmas and walked on about his business.
"Bloody humbug!"

Spike and Buffy went on patrol. They fought and killed two vamps and three demons. Spike's pockets were full of money and valuables. On their way home he stopped.
"You'll want all day to-morrow, I suppose?" said Spike.
"If quite convenient, sir." Buffy looked at him with puppy dog eyes.
"It's not convenient," said Spike, "and it's not fair."

"And yet," said Spike, "you don't think me ill-used, when I pay a day's wages for no work."
"It's only once a year Spike" Buffy pouted "Pleeeeese"
"Stop your sodding whining. Bloody humbug! That's a bleeding annoying noise. Be here all the earlier next night."
"Thank you Spike" Buffy skipped off home.

Spike got back to his crypt and grumbled at the cold.

"Wouldn't think I would feel the cold. Having no circulation and all that luv"
** Don't luv me. It's a cold heart kind of cold. Metaphorical and all that.
"Still bloody cold"
** I could make it snow you know…. Would you like it to snow Spike?
"No. Bugger that. Is this where I see the poof's dead face on the doorknocker? I haven't got one of those pet!" Spike grinned.
** Darn. Ok. Look through the window.

Angel's face was at the window for a split second. Spike vamped out and slammed the door open. Looking round the crypt, he couldn't see him.
"Bloody Humbug. Come out and fight!" he growled.
Angel tickled Spike under the arms from behind and yelled, "BOO"

** Boo? Boo? Is that the best you could come up with? I'm loosing my touch here.
"You said be scary and elusive." Angel pouted.
"That wasn't fair. Can't go sneaking up on a bloke like that." Spike complained.
** Just get on with it!

"Ok. Arg!" Spike screamed. "Angel? Is that you?" he changed out of his grr face.

"In unlife I was your grand-sire, Angel."
"Can you -- can you sit down?" asked Spike, looking doubtfully at him. The dark haired vampire was wearing very tight leather trousers.
"I can."
"Do it then."
Angel sat down and Spike took a seat in the chair opposite. They glared at each other.

"What do you want?" Spike grumped.
"Cordy had a vision. How come all my bad days start with that event?" Angel asked himself, "Any way. You are to be visited by three sprits"
"Why can't the ghosts go haunt the living? Can you give me no words of comfort?"
"No." Angel got up. He went to the fridge and took out a pint of Spike's blood. "Expect the first at one, the second at two and the third at three"
"Is that it?" Spike asked.
"Yes" Angel answered.
"Bugger off then. And leave my blood alone!"
Angel licked the packet. Held it out to Spike.
"Ew. Just take it and sod off!"
"Fine. Had enough of this fic!" Angel stormed off muttering under his breath about fleas in a previous fic!

Spike went to bed and straight to sleep.

The curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Spike, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them

"In other words, some sod woke me up"
** Right.

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Past."
"Long Past?" inquired Spike
"No. Your past."
** The ghost of Christmas past. Spike, meet William.

"Hello" Spike said meekly.
"Take my hand Spike, we have a journey to take" William held his hand to the vampire that he was to become.
"Sod off. No way am I holding your hand!" Spike grumped. "Besides I was having myself a good dream. Gonna go back to it"
"I do not speak like that. Where did you get that accent?" William inquired.
"All right, all right! We'll do the road trip thing. Don't go picking on my accent. Bloody fond of it."
** Me too. Stop picking on the accent and get on with it.
"It's just so common. I mean why would anyone choose….." William got a look from Spike and shut up. "Let us be off Spike"

Spike, clasping his hands together, as he looked about him. "I was bred in this place. I was a boy here."
"Yes. We were." William looked at the scene in front of him
"Your lip is trembling," said Spike. "And what is that upon your cheek?"
"It's nothing. Lets go see a Christmas we had."
They moved slowly towards the school building. It was an old building surrounded by trees and bushes. Covered in a light dusting of snow.

"Bloody cold here. Thought you weren't doing snow, pet?"
** Didn't. Was here when I got here. Boarding school? You went to boarding school?
"Yeah! Worst days of my life"

The children were laughing and giggling as they packed up and left for the holidays.

"Can they see us" Spike waved his hand in the face of the child who ran past him. His stomach growled. It had been a long time since he had eaten.

** Spike! Can you not think with your stomach? We have two more ghosts to go and I'll leave you something in the fridge when I leave.
"You knew that boy" William said shocked. "Would you really drink from him?"
"Can't blame a bloke for thinking. Usually don't have some jiminy cricket fic writer reading my mind" Spike complained and thought something that made the author blush!

"These are but shadows of the things that have been," said William. "They have no consciousness of us."

** Thank you William. Lets get on with the past-o-vision okay?

Inside the classroom, a small boy was left alone. He held in his hand his only Christmas companion, a book.

Spike choked back a tear "Poor boy." He shook his head. Wiped at his eyes.
"No offence mate. But this is more your past then mine. I haven't been him," he pointed to the boy, who sat looking out the window "in a couple of lifetimes. Can we see another Christmas"?
"Very well." William clapped his hands and the scene changed.

They were suddenly in the middle of a party. It was the annual Christmas slaughter that Darla "Fezziwig" would throw each year. They would find a party and crash it. Then have some vampire festive fun. They would dance all evening and feast all night.

Spike watched as his past self danced with Drusilla"Belle." Angelus whisked Darla round the room, without a care that they knocked into the other dancers. It was as if they danced to another song.

"My time grows short" William pointed to his pocket watch.
"Can we not stay? Dru is about to eat. Used to love to watch her eat" Spike was lost in the memory.
William touched Spike's arm and the scene melted away.

Dru "Belle" stormed up to Spike. She said quietly "We are watched but you don't know it. But now you do" she looked to side. Almost to the spot where Spike and the spirit stood.
"You are taking in riddles. You are mad Dru. I love you, but you are batty"
"You have a new path my William. You were so innocent and had such an imagination" she hummed to the song in her head.
"Are you dumping me?"
"You are not here, but you are" she held her head. It was just too confusing.
"Can she see us?" Spike asked the spirit.
"No. But you know Drusilla" William gave Spike a knowing look.
As they watched, Dru said her goodbyes. Spike growled and ran from the hurtful scene. William smiled. He had reached a part of the demon that had been forgotten.
"Enough" Spike screamed, "Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!"

Spike found himself in the crypt again. Tired, he crawled back to his bed and fell asleep.

Waking with a start, Spike listened. A strange voice called him by his name, and bade him enter the cellar. He obeyed.

It was his own room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation. The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there sat a small red headed witch.

"Come in!" exclaimed the Ghost. "Come in, and know me better, man."

"I don't think I'm the right choice for this"
** You'll do fine.
"Jewish. Hello. Don't really go in for the Christmas thing." Willow looked worried and unsure.
** You are pagan now. Christmas was mostly taken over from pagan things. Tree in the house, offerings to the winter gods for a good spring.
"OK. But I'm a small woman. Not the traditional big jolly man with a beard"
"I hadn't noticed" Spike grinned. Willow gave him a dirty look.
** Spike. Don't tease the witch. She'll turn you into a horned toad or something.
"You did a good job on the decorations down here" Spike winked at Willow.
"Thanks. They were easy and extra biodegradable. In an hour, poof. Gone!" She waved her hand.
"Can't I keep them? Makes the place kinda homely."
** No Spike. And stop sulking.

"I am the Ghost of Christmas Present," said the Spirit. "Look upon me."

"I am I am. Nice outfit Red" he looked her up and down.
** Spike!
"Alright. I'm a bloke. Can't help it!"

"We are going to see a Christmas of this year. Hold on tight. Haven't quite worked out all the kinks in this transportation spell" Willow said a few words and they vanished.

Reappearing in the Summers's kitchen, they found they had switched clothing.
"Bloody Humbug!" Spike said looking down at the outfit he was now wearing. "Fix it. Fix it right now!"
"Why?" Willow said doing a twirl. "This coat is so cool"

"Get me out of these clothes right now or I wont say another single word."
** What ever you say!
Willow snapped her fingers and Spike found himself standing in his underwear.
The spirit laughed but gave him the same look he gave her earlier.

"Ho Ho sodding Ho pet. Let me have my clothes back now. And the drooling, hardly attractive" he cocked his head to the side.
** Head tilt and lack of clothing. WOOO HOO WOOF! Erm… er… come on brain… what was I doing….
Willow clicked her fingers again. They were both clothed correctly.

Giles, Xander, Anya and Dawn were laying the table when Buffy came in. She held arms full of fast food containers, from her day job at the Double Meat Palace. She smiled at her sister and toasted everyone with a diet coke and said "Merry Christmas." "Tiny" Dawn…

"I'm taller then you are!"
** Shush!
"But I am, why are you calling me "Tiny"?
** Dawn! Someone had to be the token sickly sweet annoying child. You drew the SHORT straw!
"I'm the only child in the show!"
** You are also sickly sweet and annoying. Perfect isn't it! Just say the line!

"God bless us every one!"

**Thank you.

Dawn sat very close to her sister's side upon her little stool. Buffy held her little hand in hers, as if she loved the child, and wished to keep her by her side, and dreaded that she might be taken from her.
"Spirit," said Spike, with an interest he had never felt before," tell me if Tiny Dawn will live."
"I see a vacant seat," replied the Ghost, " If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die."
"No, no," said Spike. "Oh, no, kind Spirit. Say she will be spared."
"If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race," returned the Ghost, "will find her here."

"Spike!" said Buffy; "I'll give you Spike, the Founder of the Feast!"
"The Founder of the Feast indeed!" cried Anya, reddening. "I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it."
"My dear," said Xander, "the children. Christmas Day."
"It should be Christmas Day, I am sure," said she, "on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Spike. You know he is, Buffy. Nobody knows it better than you do, poor fellow."
"Anya," was Buffy mild answer, "Christmas Day."
"I'll drink his health for your sake and the Day's," said Anya, "not for his. Long life to him. A merry Christmas and a happy new year! -- he'll be very merry and very happy, I have no doubt!"

They finished their food and went into the living room to watch traditional Christmas television. Mary Poppins and The Great Escape.

"Please tell me we don't have to stay to see them again?" Spike asked Willow.
"Quiet. Watch them"

They chatted and had a merry time. Spike watched them with a smile on his face. Giles had fallen asleep and Anya was listening, with an over full Xander, about Christmases past. Buffy glowed as she talked with her sister about the times gone by.

Willow tapped Spike on the shoulder.
"Time to be gone" She smiled weakly. Her hair had turned from red to grey. There were crows' feet at her eyes.

"Are spirits' lives so short?" asked Spike.
"My life upon this globe, is very brief," replied the Ghost. "It ends to-night."
"To-night!" cried Spike.
"To-night at midnight. Hark! The time is drawing near." She vanished in a puff of smoke. Leaving Spike in his now empty cellar. He climbed the stairs as the clock struck three.

Spike looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not. He remembered the prediction of old Angel, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him.

"You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened, but will happen in the time before us," Spike pursued. "Is that so, Spirit?"
The upper portion of the garment was contracted for an instant in its folds, as if the Spirit had inclined its head. That was the only answer he received.

"Ghost of the Future!" he exclaimed, "I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?"

"I'm not meant to speak. Point and look sinister. That's the deal" the voice came from beneath the hood.
"Oz?" Spike looked at cloak. The hood was lowered and the cheeky face of the boy was revealed.
** I give up. Just don't stray to far from the plot.
"Hey. I don't like this ghost thing. Far too creepy." Oz complained.
"You should try being this end. Met three now!"
** Spike!
"All right luv!" He put his arm round Oz. "Lead on son!"

They went arm and arm out of the crypt and into the town.

Harmony was speaking to Clem in The Bronze. Spike didn't think they knew each other. He drew closer to hear what they were speaking about.

** You never hear anything good eves dropping!
"I lurk, therefore I am pet"

"When did he die?" inquired Clem.
"Last night, I think."
"Why, what was the matter with him?" he asked, taking a swig from his beer glass "I thought he'd never die."
"God knows," said Harmony, with a yawn.
"What has he done with his money?" asked the demon
"I haven't heard," said the blonde girl, yawning again. "Left it to his company, perhaps. He hasn't left it to me. That's all I know."
They laughed.
"It's likely to be a very cheap funeral," said the same speaker "for upon my life I don't know of anybody to go to it."
"I don't mind going if a lunch is provided," observed the vampire "But I must be fed, if I make one."
Another laugh.

"Spirit," said Spike, shuddering from head to foot. "I see, I see. The case of this unhappy man might be my own. My life tends that way, now."

"It does. Come on. We have another scene to see"
** Oz!
"Sorry. Forgot" he stretched his hand out and pointed, sinisterly.

Buffy sat at the head of the table. Xander and Anya were there. Giles as well. But there was an empty chair and the joy was gone from the room. They felt less annoyed but sad. Spike sniffed.

"Spectre," said Spike, "something informs me that our parting moment is at hand. I know it, but I know not how. Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying dead."
"That way" Oz pointed towards Sunnydale's extensive graveyard.

The reached the edge of the tombstones. Spike stopped. Suddenly afraid of what he was going to see.

Oz used his pointing finger to poke Spike.
"Hey! I'm going. Building up tension here"
Oz poked him again.

The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to one. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.
"Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point," said Spike, "answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?"
Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.
Spike crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, Spike.

"Spirit!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe, "hear me. I am not the man I was. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?"
"Sorry man. Just the messenger" Oz looked down at the vampire.
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" Spike squeezed his eyes shut. Still holding the robe of the spirit.
When he opened them, he was back in his crypt. Holding his blanket tightly.

Spike turned on his TV to find Mary Poppins arriving on her umbrella.
"It's Christmas Day!" said Spike to himself. "I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can."

Spike grabbed his blanket, some money and dashed out to the local 24/7 shop. He bought bags full of food and Christmas goodies.

Smoking under the blanket, he arrived at the Summers's house and rang the bell.

"I never go in through the front door!"
** Spike! This is supposed to be the happy ending. Stop whinging about stuff I get wrong!
"I'd be here all day if I even started on that pet!"
** You are out in the middle of the day, what ever would you do if that blanket was to… say disappear?
"Escape a really cheesy, half nicked fan fic?" he said sarcastically. He felt a tug at the blanket. "Hey! Okay. I'll ring the bell again"

Spike rang the bell again. Xander answered the door.
"Xander!" said Spike.
"Why bless my soul!" cried Xander," who's that?"
"It's I. Spike. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Xander?"
Let him in! It is a mercy he didn't shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. He gave the bags to Anya who was unpacking in no time.
"A merry Christmas, Buffy," said Spike, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he hugged her. "A merrier Christmas, Buffy, than I have given you for many a year. I'll raise your salary, and endeavour to assist your struggling family."

Spike was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to "Tiny" Dawn, who did not die, he was a brother. He became as good a friend, as good a vampire, and as good a man, as the good town of Sunnydale knew.

"Can I go now? Happy ending? Rolling of credits?" Spike asked.
** Yeah. Sniff! Dawn, say the line!
"God Bless us. Every one."
"Bloody Humbug!"