ETA - flaming_muse wrote a prequel to this story. Read it first, here.
There were five strings of lights on the Christmas tree. At least. Considering they'd bought one of the smaller trees on the lot, the number of lights seemed more than a bit like overkill.
"You do realize that you're not meant to plug more than three of them together in a chain?" Wesley asked, setting down the paper bag that contained a carton of eggnog and a bottle of rum and stripping off his jacket.
Spike glanced up at him. "Yeah, I know. Read the box, didn't I?"
"I had no way of knowing that," Wesley pointed out, mildly enough. He sat down to untie his shoes.
"I read the box," Spike said, stepping back from the tree and eyeing it speculatively, hands on his hips. "There. What do you think?"
"It's wonderful," Wesley said, He noted that there were wrapped packages beneath the tree that hadn't been there when he left, but didn't comment on them. "I got a bottle of rum in addition to the eggnog."
Spike smiled. "Good thinking."
"It's a shame we didn't get around to this sooner," Wesley said, standing up again.
"We were busy," Spike said, "Anyway, better Christmas Eve than not at all."
"True." Taking the two containers out of the bag, Wesley put them on the coffee table and went to the kitchen to retrieve some glasses. "Now," he said, coming back with one in each hand, "we can have a bit of holiday cheer and hang up the ornaments. Maybe call it an early night?"
Spike was helpfully twisting the cap off the liquor bottle. "Long as you're not counting on early sleep," he said, grinning.
"That was the furthest thing from my mind," Wesley said, pouring eggnog into both glasses and holding them up so that Spike could top them off.
There weren't all that many ornaments -- as usual, they'd been busy, and going to the store to purchase some had been low on the list of priorities -- so it didn't take long to hang them from the fresh, crisp pine-smelling branches of the pine tree. The scent reminded Wesley of holidays that had never quite lived up to his expectations, but he refused to allow himself to tread down that path.
"Looks nice, doesn't it, pet?" Spike asked contentedly, slipping an arm around Wesley's waist and nuzzling at his hair. His breath was tinged with nutmeg and other spices.
"It does," Wesley said.
"Come sit down." Spike urged him toward the couch, and Wesley went along willingly enough. "Now... I got you something, and I want to give it to you. Tonight."
Spike's gifts, wrapped for several weeks, were hidden in the bottom drawer of Wesley's bureau beneath a pair of sweatpants Wesley rarely wore. "It can't wait until the morning?"
Spike shook his head. "No."
"All right, then." Wesley looked at Spike. "Am I meant to close my eyes?"
"Couldn't hurt," Spike said, backing up in the direction of the bedroom, so Wesley obeyed and shut his eyes, listening to the sounds of Spike in the other room and as Spike came back and sat down next to him. "Don't open them," Spike warned, sounding as if he were wrestling with something. "Just... give me a... okay, now."
Wesley opened his eyes to the startling sight of Spike holding a half-grown ginger cat. Too big to properly be called a kitten, it squirmed in Spike's grip, but when Spike released it stepped cautiously onto Wesley's lap, as if it had determined him to be a friendly sort and was testing the waters. The moment Wesley's hand reached out to pet it, it started a loud purring, the expression in its eyes making it clear that it found the noise as pleasant a surprise as he did.
"It's a cat," Wesley said.
"Yeah," Spike said.
"A cat. You got me a cat?" Wesley stroked the cat's head and it curled into his touch, not unlike the way that Spike sometimes did. Its eyes were large and amber colored.
"Yeah," Spike said. "I thought you'd like it."
Wesley realized that he was being rude. "Oh, I do. Very much. I'm just surprised." The cat seemed perfectly at home now, rubbing its face against Wesley's fingers and continuing to purr loudly.
"It's a girl," Spike supplied helpfully.
"Good to know," Wesley said. "Does she have a name?"
"Not that I know of." Spike was looking at Wesley anxiously. "You'll have to give her one."
"We can think of one together," Wesley said. "Thank you, love. She's a wonderful gift." He leaned in to kiss Spike and the cat jumped to the floor.
Spike drew the next kiss out. "Good. All I want's for you to be happy, pet."
"I know." Wesley stroked his hand along the side of Spike's face. "I am. Very happy."
The cat walked underneath the coffee table and toward the kitchen, but Wesley stopped paying attention to what she was doing some time around then. He was too busy thanking Spike for his Christmas present.