Solstice Blues

by havocthecat
Copyright 1997

Nikki Calendar would *not* shut up til I wrote this. I couldn't sleep! She's extremely insistant. Ok, here goes--no plot, sappy, and short. No plot whatsoever. Really not wonderful, just to warn you. Spit out at one a.m. on a Thursday.

It was Yule, and Nikki Calendar was sitting alone in her house. She had a glass of eggnog, but sipping eggnog and staring at the liquid when it was swirled in the glass was just *not* her idea of a fun time.

"Well, isn't this just a treat," she said, looking around the room. The lights she'd put up in the window sparkled fitfully, and the holly and mistletoe spread around the room was beginning to look a bit worn. Her candle was burning nicely, though, she mused. It was a pillar candle she'd found at a thrift shop, all embossed with vines and trees--perfect for the solstice, really. It started out on one quarter with all its leaves, and ended up on the other side as bare as could be.

The phone rang, startling Nikki out of her reverie, and she looked around for it.

"Calendar residence," she said once she had located it and pressed the "talk" button.

"Hello, dear," said a familiar--and somewhat dreaded--voice.

"Hi, Mom," said Nikki, a sigh echoing from her.

"I was just calling to find out when you were coming home for Christmas, honey. Your father and I were looking forward to seeing you again."

"I'm not coming home for Christmas, Mom. You *know* that."

"Now, Nikki" Her mom was about to start on one of her "this means a lot to your father and I" lectures again. Nikki rolled her eyes and stepped in as her mom took a breath.

"Mom, I've got programming I could get done that day. Remember? I'll be able to get it done if I work the whole day on it. Besides, it's not my holiday." It'd be best to head off this tangent before it even got started. "Not only that, but I'll be home in three weeks for Dad's birthday."

"Well," said her mother just as the doorbell rang. Nikki sent a silent message of thanks to whichever Goddess was looking out for her tonight.

"Mom, can we argue about this another time? I have company."

"Well, all right, dear," said her mother, censure evident in her voice. "I"ll call you tomorrow."

"Love you, Mom."

"I love you too, Nikki." She hung up the phone, and Nikki followed suit, also setting her eggnog on the table.

"Just a minute," she called to the door. Nikki scrambled off the sofa and over to the door, checking the peephole. A puzzled look crossed her face, and she opened the door.

A slightly embarrassed looking Giles stood on her doorstep. He had a box in one hand, and a bottle of wine in the other.

"Giles," said Nikki, slightly puzzled.

"Um, hello," he said, half-waving at her with the hand that held the bottle.

"Nice to see you too, Giles." She smiled slightly and stepped back to give him room. "Come on in."

"Thank you," he said, handing Nikki the wine and proceeding to slip out of his coat.

"Over here," said Nikki when Giles looked puzzled as to the location of the coat rack. Honestly, the man could pinpoint a monster at 500 yards but he couldn't find the simplest mundane efficiency if his life depended on it. "The world doesn't need saving again, does it?" Nikki asked warily.

"No, uh" She saw Giles smile at the look of relief on her face.

"Well, good--if at least one day can go by without the Apocalypse needing to be averted, I'm happy. So, what brings you to this area of town?"

"Well, you see," Giles stammered as he followed Nikki into the living room. "It's, ah, the solstice, as I'm sure you know, and, well, it's rather difficult to find someone to celebrate with in Sunnydale."

"Tell me about it," muttered Ms. Calendar as she put the wine down on her coffee table. "Want some eggnog?" She glanced up at Giles as she asked, amused at the uneasiness on his face as he watched her reach for the carton and a new glass.

"Um--yes, thank you," said Giles, glancing around the room. "And, since I knew you celebrated the solstice as well, I thought that perhaps I would visit and see if you, ah, wanted company. So," said Giles nervously, handing the small box to her. "Happy Solstice."

"Rupert, you didn't have to," said Nikki, inspecting the box and its celestial wrapping paper. "Appropriate paper, even. Nice."

"Well, I--I wanted to," he said. "I saw it and it made me think of you," he said, sipping his eggnog. Nikki began tearing the paper open, and eventually pulled it off the box. Opening it, she saw a small silver pendant--a sun with silver firebursts coming from it, and a tiny moonstone carved into a face at the center.

"Giles, it's beautiful," she said, lifting it and clasping the delicate box chain around her neck. "Thank you." She smiled at him, softly at first, but it grew to an almost predatory grin.

"Giles," she said, amusement dancing in her eyes.

"Hm?" he asked, discomfited by the mischeviousness in her eyes.

"You're standing under the mistletoe," Nikki said, taking a step towards him. Giles glanced up, taking in the white berries dangling a foot above him. A small smile crept across his face.

"Yes, I suppose I am," he said as Nikki took another step towards him.

"Whatever will we do about that?" She pulled Giles to her,wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a long, slow kiss. END (Let's just draw the curtain on that before Ms. Calendar gets it in her head that I should write porn.)

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