Buffy looked around Giles' heavily decorated living room. Lots of bows and, what did they call them? Festoons? Ornaments, anyway. Including one blue Star of David on which Willow had insisted. This would be their family Christmas. Willow, Xander, Buffy, Dawn and Giles, all together. One last hurrah before Willow and Xander went back to the States, and Dawn off to school at Giles' expense.
One last time together before she had to decide what to do with her life.
She warmed herself by the fireplace. The others were tucked in bed, waiting for Santa, or Father Christmas, or the Christmas Bunny. She hadn't got all the English traditions down pat, but prezzies were good in any culture. She tried to remember what time it was in California. Five hours behind, six hours ahead - no matter. Angel was always glad to hear from her, and she couldn't sleep anyway. If he wasn't in his office she could leave a message. It would be nice to hear his voice. She dialed the numbers, and waited. Wondered if that ditz Harmony would answer the phone again. What was Angel thinking hiring her? If she had her ...
"Hello? Wolfram and bloody Hart. Angel's office."
That certainly wasn't Harmony. Wasn't Angel. "Wes?" She didn't sound convinced. "Hi, it's Buffy."
The person on the other end broke out in a coughing fit.
"Hey? You okay?" she asked.
"Yeah." The voice was much deeper. "Yes. This is Wesley. I have a cold." A pause, what sounded like a deep sigh. "Hello Buffy."
"I'm sorry. Your voice sounds really weird. Too bad, it being Christmas and all. Angel around?"
"Left early. Christmas Eve." He coughed again. "Bad cold. Can't talk."
"Oh, okay. Tell him I called to wish him merry Christmas. I hope you're feeling better."
"Right." There was a pause, and a sniffing sound. Must be the cold. "Merry Christmas, Buffy." The phone clicked to a dialtone.
Buffy sat, looking at the receiver. She could have sworn ... Hung up the phone and lay down on the sofa, pulling a knitted comforter up and cuddling under it.