SUMMARY: Lioslaith’s Secret Santa. She wanted: Candy Cane, A Playboy Magazine, Snow, Fake Beard, Christmas List
POSTED: 18 Dec 2003
CATEGORY: HOLIDAY FIC (CHRISTMAS) / Challenge Fic
WARNINGS: None listed
FICPIC CREDIT: N/A
AUTHOR NOTES: None
Not once in his lengthy life could Angel recall ever being jealous of candy. Candy! However, as he watched the way his Seer alternately licked and sucked on the red and white striped cane, he couldn’t stop the strong feeling of envy that swept through his body. Even as he wondered why he was torturing himself watching the way Cordelia enjoyed the peppermint flavored treat, he was unable to tear his eyes away. She would slowly pull the treat from her mouth, run it across her closed lips, before suddenly snaking her tongue out to have a nice long lick, and then once more insert it back into her mouth. His fingers dug into the top of the lobby desk as he shifted on the stool in a futile attempt to make himself more comfortable.
“What I wouldn’t give to be that candy cane.” Angel muttered. He was so engrossed in watching his best friend enjoying her sweet that he didn’t realize some one had come up beside him till he heard,
“Did you say you wanted to be given a candy cane?”
Angel turned to the voice and saw Fred standing next to him. He quickly tried to think of something to say. “Uh no, I was wondering who invented the candy cane.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I could look it up if you want. It shouldn’t take long…”
“No!” Angel said a little forcefully in an attempt to cut her off. “I mean I’ll look it up later. Was there something you needed?”
Angel nearly sighed with relief as she accepted his change of subject. His relief was short lived as she voiced her reason for coming over. “Are you through with your Christmas list?”
He blinked uncomprehendingly for a moment before realizing what she was referring to. Looking down at the list, he quickly covered it up and turned back to the Texan. “Uh I need another minute.”
She nodded “I’ll just go get the others.”
This time Angel did let out a small sigh of relief. It was the first Christmas Fred had spent with the members of Angel Investigations. As it was also only recently that she had become more confident around the gang, they had reached an unspoken agreement to indulge her when she suggested the Secret Santa idea. Basically each person was to write down three things they wanted for Christmas. They would get tossed into a hat (or whatever was handy) and they would take turns drawing out a name. You were then responsible for getting that person one thing on their list. Angel had just sat down to write his when Cordelia distracted him. It wasn’t until Fred asked him for his list that he realized he had in fact written it. He glanced at the slip of paper and reread it. Not that there was much since his list was one thing repeated three times.
Angel sighed. That was one Christmas present he wouldn’t be getting this year. He crumpled up the paper and surreptitiously threw it away. He looked at the woman he had developed a major case of lust for and nearly got enthralled by her again when he caught sight of Fred heading his way. Quickly he scribbled down a couple of items, did a double check to make sure none involved Cordy, and held the paper out to her just as she approached the counter.
She took the paper from him with a smile. He watched as she headed into Wes’s office only to emerge a minute later with what appeared to be a short, fat vase. Upon further inspection, Angel realized it was an urn the group had retrieved after stopping a ritual sacrifice. He supposed he should have been at least a little concerned that Fred was comfortable picking up an object that was intended for evil, but the office, and the lobby contained several items that had been recovered after demon slayage. He glanced briefly at the rather powerful orb that was currently being used as a paperweight.
At Fred’s motion, everyone gathered round her to pull names from the urn. “Now does everyone remember how this works. Cuz I can explain again if you need me too.”
After everyone said they did remember, they began pulling slips of paper from the urn. Part of Fred’s idea included no one opening their drawn list until they were alone. That way there would be less chance of the person you were buying for figuring out you were the one buying for them. Once each of them had drawn their name, they immediately made excuses and went their separate ways.
Once alone in his room, Angel became hesitant about opening his list. He was half worried he would draw Cordy’s name. He had already gotten a gift for her and didn’t want to look at her list and realize what he got wasn’t what she wanted or wasn’t good enough. He pushed the feeling aside. If he did draw her then he would just get her something on the list to open Christmas Eve (again Fred’s idea), and give her what he originally got her on Christmas morning.
He opened his list and was a little relieved to see it was Lorne he had drawn. He read the list and right away began figuring out which of the three would be easiest for him to get a hold of this close to Christmas. After a few minutes deliberation, Angel picked up the phone and made a call.
The next night
Angel made his way up to his room having just returned from getting his present for Lorne. Seeing as he had little practice with wrapping, Angel had taken the easy way and thrown Lorne’s gift into a gift bag and called it wrapped. As he reached the door of his room, he sensed a presence on the other side. Opening his senses a little more, he attempted to ‘see’ if the being on the other side was friend or foe. Unable to tell one way or the other, Angel cautiously opened the door and stepped inside only to reveal a man sitting on his chair reading what appeared to be a holiday edition of Playboy. A feeling of familiarity swept over him. Before he had a chance to figure it out the man spoke.
“Not one of them can hold a candle to the Princess. Wouldn’t you agree?”
The grinning Irishman’s face was revealed as he closed the magazine and tucked it into his jacket. Angel could only stand there and stare unsure of what to say or do to the friend he hadn’t seen since the day he died. Doyle took the decision from his hands and came over to give him a manly hug.
“It’s good to see you Angel man.”
Having overcome his shock, Angel returned the hug. “What are you doing here? Not that I’m not happy to see you. I should call Cordy. She’ll want to see you.”
Angel turned to the phone only to be stopped by Doyle. “No.” At Angel’s puzzled look, Doyle continued. “This visit is strictly for you and you alone.”
“This isn’t one of those, you’re going to be visited by three ghosts visits is it?”
Doyle chuckled. “No my partner and I are helping out with those tomorrow. You aren’t on the list by the way.”
“Yeah, the Powers are big on assigning buddies. He’s actually supposed to be meeting me here before we head over to our next assignment. But that’s not important. I don’t have a whole lot of time so let me get to the reason I’m here.”
Before Doyle could continue another demon appeared. “Angel.”
Angel could only stare in shock at the large, horned demon standing before him dressed in a Santa outfit complete with a big fake beard. “Skip?”
“Did you tell him yet?” Skip addressed the half demon.
“Well get on with it. We’re on a schedule.”
“I was getting there till you interrupted.”
Angel struggled to contain the need to laugh at the ridiculous picture the larger demon made. “Tell me what.”
“The Powers have decided to give you a Christmas present and make your soul permanent.”
All of Angel’s laughter dried up, as he was once again struck speechless. A permanent soul? He thought. I have a permanent soul?
“Angel man you with me?”
“M-m-m…My soul is permanent?”
“Yes. You can make with the happy.”
Doyle opened his mouth to answer but Skip cleared his throat and said, “We are on a schedule here.”
Doyle nodded. “Listen Angel, man, don’t question it. Just enjoy it. I would love to stick around but we have places to go. People to see.”
Before Angel could even say goodbye the two demons were gone. He stood in place for several minutes before rousing himself. A grin spread over his face and he let out a whoop of joy. I have a permanent soul. I need to call Cordelia.
He turned to get the phone and felt his foot brush something. He looked down and saw his gift to Lorne lying on the floor. He must have dropped it in his shock at seeing Doyle. He picked it up and laid it on his nightstand and reached for the phone. He placed his hand on the receiver and hesitated. This wasn’t something he really wanted to tell her on the phone. He thought of going to her apartment till he caught sight of the time. He would tell her tomorrow. Besides he though it will be good to have a chance to get use to the idea before I tell anyone else.
With that he got ready for bed but it was a long while before he slept.
Christmas Eve (the next night)
The group sat around ready to exchange presents. Angel had made the announcement about his soul earlier and everyone had been happy for him. It was Cordelia’s reaction that he had most been interested in. While she had been happy for him, it was almost as if she had already known. He didn’t get the opportunity to question her about it though. And now with the group ready to exchange gifts, it didn’t look like he would have the opportunity any time soon.
“Since this was your idea Fred, I say you start.” Cordelia said.
Fred smiled hesitantly, “Ok, I drew Cordy.” She handed an envelope to Cordelia. Angel noticed the way Fred waited nervously to see Cordy’s reaction. At Cordy’s smile, the petite brunette relaxed.
“It’s perfect Fred.”
“What did you get, girl?”
Fred answered for her, “Well one of the things Cordy wanted was a day at the spa. Since I didn’t know a good time to take her, I got her a gift certificate good for any time at her favorite spa.”
Cordy reached over and hugged the other woman. “Your turn Cordy. Who did you get?”
“I got Angel.”
‘Oh yeah you got me’ he shook the thought away and accepted the package she held out to him. He opened it to see a new sketchbook. He flipped through and something on the first page caught his eye. The words expect more were written in the corner. He shot a questioning look to her but all he got in response was, “Angel it’s your turn.”
He handed his package to Lorne and watched as the green demon tore into it like a kid. “Angelcakes, where did you get this? Even my contacts couldn’t come up with this.” He held up the copy of one of Barbara Streisand’s European concerts.
“It turns out David Nabbit is a fan of Streisand as well. He had his own copy of the DVD and made a copy for me. He said he would see about getting you an original copy.” The Pylean’s grin nearly rivaled Cordy’s famous mega watt grin.
“I believe it’s your turn Lorne”
Lorne safely tucked the DVD away and handed a gift to Gunn. Like Lorne, Gunn tore into his gift with relish. “Yes!”
Gunn held up what appeared to be a video game. “Man these are impossible to get. Thanks.”
Lorne nodded. “Your turn.”
“Right. Here you go English.”
“Thank you Gunn.” Wes said accepting the gift. Unlike Lorne and Gunn, Wes didn’t tear into his gift. He flipped open the oblong box to expose an obviously expensive pen set. He turned to Gunn and smiled. The two shook hands.
“Your turn Wes.”
“Yes, well obviously I drew Fred. However, my gift is outside. If you all will follow me.”
The group exchanged looks. Wes helped Fred up and the rest followed them to the garden. Once everyone gathered, Wes pulled a charm out of his pocket, muttered a few words, and watched as the charm floated upwards. A little ways up the charm splintered and suddenly the group found their selves standing under a cloud that was snowing.
“Fred wanted snow for Christmas. The spell won’t last for too long. I hope you like it.”
“It’s wonderful Wes.” The rest of the team agreed.
They stayed outside playing in the snow for the duration of the spell which, lucky for their obviously Californian selves, was only about half an hour. They trickled back in and sat around talking for a bit longer before going about their separate ways. Angel opened his new sketchpad but the words expect more teased him once again. Tossing it aside he grabbed a book and read for a while, unable to get those two words out of his mind.
Soon enough his reading was interrupted by a knock on his door. Wondering who it could be at this hour he opened the door and was surprised to find Cordelia standing on the other side.
She sauntered past him and stood at the foot of the bed. “I told you to expect more Angel.”
He finally snapped to the fact he was wearing a long coat and heals. She was standing in a way that opened the coat just enough to expose a hint of creamy thigh. She can’t mean what I think…what I hope she means. Can she?
“You aren’t the only one who got a visit from Doyle yesterday.”
His eyes met hers. “What did he tell you?”
“Not so much what he said as what he helped me realize.”
“That I have been a terrible friend. See I was suppose to get you something off your Christmas list.”
Angel was confused. “You did.”
He watched her reach into her pocket and pull out a slip of paper. “Not according to this.”
She turned it so he could see and he immediately recognized his original list. “Now what kind of person would I be if I didn’t stick to Fred’s plan and get you what you wanted?” She slipped the paper back into her pocket and slowly undid the tie of the coat. She slid off the long jacket to show she was wearing a red negligee with a white bow in the front, making her look like a gift waiting to be unwrapped.
“So Angel, do you like your present?”
A slow, wicked smile spread across his lips. “Oh yeah.”
“Are you going to stand there and look or do you plan on seeing what’s under the wrapping.”
He made his way to her till he was standing scant centimeters from her. He brought one hand up and slowly ran his fingers across the top of the low cut bodice. “Oh I definitely want to see what’s under the wrapping.”
He leaned in and kissed her. It was tender but passionate. It was a promise of more to come. He pulled back when he knew she needed breath. He lifted her up and placed her on the bed where they both found pleasure unwrapping his gift.