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Miracle on Sunnydale Street

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Thanksgiving Day, 2013

Macy's Day Parade

An elderly man is walking down the sidewalk, admiring the scenery. Along the way he is whistling "Silent Night". The kind man stops at a crosswalk.

He notices a boy and a grown woman. The boy is getting his mother's attention.

The man notices this.

So does the mother. "I'm very sorry. But my son thinks you're Santa Claus." She explained sheepishly.

He waved it off. "Think nothing of it young lady." He replied. The nice man leaned down and whispered something that only the small laddie could hear. "I am." He breathed.

The boy gasped.

Somewhere else.

Buffy Summers is located inside the command center. Inside is located many video consoles. And the former Slayer is in charge. When she graduated from SunnydaleU, The Watcher's Council relenqueshed her duties as The Chosen One.

Now she works for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade commitee. She is the parade administrator. And also single mother to her daughter, Marie Joycelyn Summers.

Named for her and Xander's respective mothers. Xander Harris. He had transferred to NYC, to a larger firm. And part time babysitter for Marie.

Her attention turned to moniter number 11. Their "Santa Claus" was not their. But an elderly man dressed in tweed. ˜What is going on?˜ She mentally wondered.
"Listen everyone, I have to check on something. If I'm not back in time, just start without me." Buffy Summers ordered.

Outside.

The same man from before, was instructing the fatigued "Santa" on the whip. The man has it down on a patent.

He then noticed a grown, blonde woman walking towards him. And she was not happy.

"Who do you think you are? You are not employed by Macy's so get down from there." She ordered.

He was caught somewhat off guard. "I am sorry miss. But it seems that your Santa is very tired. He needs rest." He explained and motioned to where the other man laid.

She gave him an apologetic smile. "Please forgive me. I had no idea. Thank you for your consideration." She decided to make introductions. "I'm Buffy Summers, project coordinator." Buffy extended her hand.

He returned the gesture. "You're very welcome, Miss Summers. Since your Santa is unable to proceed with his duties, perhaps I might be able to fill in?" He suggested.

Buffy looked at all the children. Then thought of her own daughter. "Yes. I accept. On one condition. That you be signed onto Macy's as our permanant Santa Claus." She bargained.

˜This will give me a chance to give Buffy her faith back.˜ He thought. "I, too, accept. With my own condition. That I wear my own Santa suit." He bargianed back.

She smiled and nodded.

15 minutes later.

"Santa" was now on the sliegh repeating the famous words. "On Dasher, on Dancer. On Prancer, on Vixen. On Comet and Cupid. On Donner, on Blizten." He said as if he knew those words by heart.

The crowd cheered him on.

"Santa" went about waving to everyone. Including a young girl sitting on a window seat. One Marie Summers.

"Uncle Xander! Come here! Quick!" She shouted erratically.

Xander Harris rushed out of the kitchen in a hurry. He still had a bowl of Mashed Potatoes in his hands. "Marie, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" He asked out of worry.

She rushed to him. "The new Santa, he looked directly at me. Then he waved." Maria said in one breath.

Xander chuckled at this. "I'm sure he just want to be polite. Howabout we return the favor. Let's visit him tomorrow." He reasoned.

Marie was unsure. "I don't know. Mom doesn't like it when I get near things that don't exist." She explained.
This left Xander with deep thoughts. ˜I am still in love with her. But how can she be such a hypocrite?˜ He just smiled at her. "I'm sure she won't mind."

Just now the door bell rang.

Xander went to open it. He knew only one person who would be here.

The door opened to reveal Buffy Anne Summers.

"Hi, Xander. Thank you so much for looking after Marie. And thank you for inviting us over for Thanksgiving dinner, again." Buffy said.

Xander merely smiled at her. "We've been doing this ever since we moved to the Big Apple. And the pleasure is all mine. I've just finished this up and we're all set."

Buffy smiled at him.

Later on.

Xander, Buffy and Marie are all siting down. Xander led grace. "Dear Lord. Here we are gathered on this most special day. Surrounded by those we hold dear. And we thank you Lord, for getting us through for over 10 years of darkness. And, also, having our destinies intertwined. Amen." Xander prayed.

"Amen." Buffy and Marie chourused.

The next day.

"Santa Claus" was suiting up. Alfred, the local janitor, mistook him for the real deal. He asked for his name. He relplied, "Kris Kringle".

Now Kris was siting in down, awaiting for the children to arrive. He looked at the overhead clock. 9:00 am, it read.

Just now hundreds of children ran to greet him. Asking him for something special, and him asking them if they've been nice. And they all honestly replied with, "Yes."

That always brought a smile to his face.

Then he spotted a tall man with a small girl. He greeted them with a wide smile. "All right, young lady. Would you like to sit on Santa's lap?" He asked sincerely.

The man motioned her to him. She walked over and shook Santa's hand. "Hello, my name is Marie Summers. What's your's?" She asked politely.

He lifted her ontop of his lap. "My name is Kris Kringle. But most people know me as Santa Claus. But of course, I have many other names. Saint Nicholas, Sinter Klause, Father Christmas,...." He then went off to name the same one in different languages from around the world. When he finished, Santa asked her a question. "Aside from material items, what would you like the most?"

Maria was caught off guard. "Well, I guess I would love to see all my Aunts and Uncles here for Christmas. That includes my Grandma Summers and Grandpa Giles." She leaned near his ear. "Plus, I wish my mommy and Xander," Marie pointed where the man is, "to be married and we all live in a large colonial house." She confessed.

Santa was suprised by her last request. "You mean, that he isn't your father?" He asked.

Marie shook her head.

Santa smiled at her again. "That is such a shame. However, I have yet not to deliver a request to well-behaved child. I will see what I can do, Marie." He promissed.

Marie smiled at him, then hugged him. She pulled back to see her mother. With a very disapointed look on her face.

Xander just smiled sheepishly.

"Sweetie, could you stay here for a minute? So I can talk with your Uncle Xander?" Buffy said sweetly to Marie. She turned to Xander. "You and will have a talk. Come on." She said in a dark voice.

The former Slayer grabbed Xander and led him away from everyone else. When out of earshot, Buffy started to yell at him.

"Just where do you get off! Marie is my daughter! Not yours!" She shouted outloud. "And taking her to see that man!" Buffy mentioned towards Kris.

Xander hated getting mad at Buffy. He loved her so much. "'That man', as you put it, is one of the most kindest, gentlist men Marie has ever met. He's kind, generous, loving and wonderful to the kids. Including Marie. If he wants to be Santa, then so be it." He sighed. Xander looked at Buffy like he always does. Lovingly. "I'm sorry, Buffy. From Sophemore in High School to Senior in College, we've been up agianst every evil there is. So why wouldn't there be some good around here?" He reasoned.

Buffy looked at Xander with apoligetic eyes. "I sorry, too, Xander. It's just been so hard on Marie and me. We're all so alone. I've never been able to find a babysitter. I love Marie so much, but, I've haven't been on a date in so long." She said with regret in her voice.

˜No dates, huh?˜ He mentally asked himself. "Well, sorry to disapoint you Buffy, but you're wrong on all counts. You and Marie have me. I will always be there for you. AND if I can find a babysitter for tonite, howabout you and me on the town. Wine, dine and dancing." He said with the normal "make-Buffy-weak-at-the-knees" smile.

Buffy blushed. "All right, Xander. IF you can get a suitable, competant babysitter, then I will go out with you." She bargained.

Xander led her back to Marie and Kris. He saw that Marie was enjoying her time with Kris. ˜'suitable and competant babysitter'. Hmm. Bingo! ˜ Xander thought.
Buffy walked over to Marie. "Honey? You go back with your Uncle Xander, okay?" She asked.

Marie nodded, knowing that she is in trouble. She walked over to Xander and took ahold of his right hand. "I'll see you around, Mommy. I'll be at Uncle Xander's apartment." Maria noted.

Xander led her back to his place. He stopped mid-step, turned around, and made a note to call up Kris.
Later that evening.

Buffy walked in and saw Xander, Marie and .... Mr. Kringle. Buffy gave Xander a dissapointing look.
Xander smiled and shrugged. "Look. Who else to be babysitter than Santa Claus, right? He has cridentials longer than anyone else's." He stated.

"We have a date tonite, Xander. Let's get going." Buffy said stiffly.

After many hours, Buffy and Xander are walking back to her place. Xander stopped them both. "Buffy, I would like to ask you a question." He took a breath. "How would you like it if you got your Christmas present early?" Xander asked.

Buffy smiled. "Yes, I would like it." She closed her eyes.
Xander reached into his coat and produced a small, black box. He opened it.

"Open your eyes, Buffy." He ordered.

She opened them. And then they widened. "Oh my." Buffy backed back up.

Her lips are quivering. "I don't know why you would want to do this. Xander, we are friends. That's all I ever want. And if you think that I ever wanted more, than you are a fool." Buffy turned and ran. Tears streaming down her cheeks.

Xander stood out there like a fool. And kept standing there. 15 minutes later, he was still standing there. When Kris came out, he noticed Xander sullen mood.
"Anything I can help you with, young man?" He asked, half-hoping that Xander would reply.

Xander chuckled. "I really don't want to face the jeweler's tomorrow." He turned to Kris. "Howabout I give this to you. Some poor guy must be willing to have this." He said in self-pity.

Kris just smiled at Xander. "I think I'll hold onto this. And hope for the best. You should too. Would you mind telling me about Buffy's past?" He asked to change the subject.

Xander shrugged. "Sure, why not?" He continued. "I've known her since our Sophemore year in High School. And I fell in love head over heels, literatly. I was riding my skate board and was distracted by her. I hit the rail. Knocking me on my back. And she was completly oblivious to my feelings for her. Then when we went to college, she fell for some guy. She got pregnant. He left. And I've been there for her eversince." Xander finished and headed for his loft.

"Never give up on hope, Xander." Kris suggested.
Xander just walked onto his apartment.

Kris Kringle was walking to work, when he noticed Alfred. Looking quite sullen. This worried Kris very much. "Alfred? Are you alright?" He asked in concern.

Alfred sighed. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kringle. I respect you very much. You know that, right?" He asked.

Kris nodded.

Alfred sighed. "That's great. I just wanted you to know something." He took a breath. "You see, before you came along, I was in line to be Santa Clause." He confessed.

Kris had a look of awe on him. "And now you feel yourself cheated?" He guessed.

Alfred thought on it for a second. "Yes." He said ernestly. "NO!" He recended. "No. You're perfect for the role. And I'm glad I lost it to you." The young teen clarified. "I'm an orphan, you see. And do you know what happens to orphans when they turn 18?" He asked.

Kris shook his head. "No, Alfred. I do not." He answered.

Alfred looked at him in fear. "They set 'em loose in the streets. To be left to the wolves. That's why I'm working here at Macy's. To make sure I don't turn out like the others." Alfred explained.

Kris just smiled at him. "Have no fear, Alfred. You have a good soul. You needn't be afraid." The kind man said with wisdom. "And you are worthy of being Macy's Santa Claus." He complemented.

Alfred smiled. "Thank you, Kris. You're one of a kind." The young boy returned.

An idea came to Kris Kringle. "I'll tell you what Alfred. I will not be here for much longer. I'll go have a talk with Mr. Macy and see if I can make you Macy's Santa Claus." He bargained.

Alfred felt so much joy, he hugged the man before him. "Thank you, again, Kris."

Inside

Kris was sitting awaiting for the next child. A young boy walked up to him and sat down. Santa smiled at the young boy. "Hello, my name is Santa Claus..." He was soon cut off by the mother. Who was in tears.
"You don't have to say a word. You see Micheal, here, suffers from Austism. We've tried every doctor in the Tri-County area. Nothing's helped. But when he saw your face on television, Micheal just had to come here." The mother explained.

Kris smiled. "This is the season for miracles. Allow me to attempt to break his shell." Santa begged. He turned his attention to Micheal. "Do you know who I am?" He asked sincerely.

Micheal nodded. "You're Santa Claus." He replied.
This brought more tears to his mother. But these were tears of joy. She gasped. ˜He talked. Micheal actually talked. For the first time ever.˜ She thought in terms of a miracle.

Santa continued. "Is there anything special you would like for Christmas?" He asked.

Micheal nodded. "I would like an auth...auth..ori...or.., um. A real Optimus Prime action figure. Him as the...um,urm..oh, yeah. Semi- trailer." He whispered the rest. "It's not for me. It's for my dad. When he was my age, he had it. But it broke. And I was wondering if you could get for him." Micheal begged.

Santa was actually shocked. "That is a splendid idea." He said.

The mother walked up to him. "Um, sweetie? How about I talk to Santa for a moment? Okay?" She asked sweetly to Santa. "Um, listen. Santa, I've been all around Macy's. And they don't carry any of the original lines of Transformers. I checked." She said honestly.

Santa just smiled. "Unfortunatly, you are correct. However, I know of this little toy store. It sells toys dating as far back as 50 years. All at discount prices, too. Among the toys that are sold, are the original Transformers toy line. You need to take the Brooklyn Bridge and go to 1587 Montgomery Lane. The toy store's name is "Honest Toys"." He whispered the rest. "Your son wanted your husband to have the Optimus Prime figure. And he asked nothing for himself. Perhaps you might consider getting him a Rodimus Prime figure?" He suggested.

The mother smiled. "Thank you so much, Santa. On both accounts." She picked up Micheal in her arms. They walked off with mirror smiles.

She walked by a man in a leisure suit. "Excuse me. Sir?" She asked.

He turned to see a woman with tears streaming down her face. "Yes, madam?" He returned.

"Are you in charge? As far as the toy department goes?" She wondered.

He nodded. "I am the department manger. Is there something you wanted to address?" He asked.

She smiled. "Oh, yes. Two things." She started off. "First. I want you to know how proud I am of Macy's for putting the children ahead of the commerce. If you can't find it here, you send them to where we can. I find that admirable. I can only hope you aply this to the other 364 days a year."

She continued. "And the second. I don't know where you got your Santa Claus, but he truly is a godsend. My little Micheal," She motioned the boy in her arms. "was unable to speak. He is Austistic. But when he met Santa, he started to talk. I can't tell you how much that means to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart." She summed it up in her last sentence. "You can tell your bosses that you made Amy Levinson a Macy's shopper out of her." She then left to the store to pick up Micheal's and her husband Jonothan's presents.

What she said had stuck in his head.

Later on, in Buffy Summers' office.

She looked at Mr. Shellhammer with disbelief. "Let me get this straight. You want me to go to the board of directors and Mr. Macy, himself. And pitch an idea that YOU got from the man we hired to OUR Santa Claus. Do you have any idea how wierd that's going to sound?" Buffy asked.

Mr. Shellhammer nodded. "Yes. But think on this. All of the other conglomerates are doing these two things. One. Thinking of themselves and not the customers. And two. Instead of stocking in old items, they just buy the newest and hope for the best." He leaned over. "But if we go with this idea, we come out as the good guy. It's a win-win situation."

Buffy sighed. "All right."

In the boardmembers room.

"...and that's our idea." Buffy Summers finished.
The others looked at eachother and disscussed it. Then they turned to Mr. Macy. He was thinking on the subject. Then he smiled. "I love it. It's perfect. Go for it."

It was three weeks untill Christmas Day. And Buffy and Xander were still avoiding each other. This was much worse than the Spring Dance. There was no vampire to destroy. No CPR to preform.

Just harsh words thrown at the successful lawyer. Which was more than enough.

However, in the process, one person was forgotten.
Marie Joycelyn Summers.

This young girl was miserable. She didn't know what happened, but she knew one thing. Her mommy and "daddy" were not speaking to one another. And that hurt the most.

Meanwhile, Kris was having his problems. Despite Mr. Macy's pleasantness, the department psychologist has been giving Kris the thrird degree.

And no one seemed to notice.

No one, except Alfred that is.

But since he was only barely an adult, no one listened. He swept past the "psycho's office" as he labled it. Then he noticed something very wrong.

Kris was being escorted by two orderlies. Against his own will.

Kris noticed Alfred. "Alfred. Do me a favor. Tell Buffy what has happened. She will know what to do." He pleaded.

Alfred nodded. "You got it, Kris." He promised. The young man ran around to Miss Summers' office. When he was in the orphenage, Alfred was the fastest sprinter on the whole track team.

So he made to his destination, in nothing flat.
He burst into her office, intruding on the discussion she and Mr. Shellhammer were having. "Miss Summers! Mr. Shellhammer! Kris was just taken to Bellevue!" He announced.

"What?!" Buffy asked out of disbelief.

"Are you sure?" Mr. Shellhammer asked in the same tone.

Alfred nodded. Gasping, panting. "Yes, I'm sure. The two orderlies 'escorting' him, both sported "Bellevue" on their shirts." He said, giving credit to his story. "He told to tell you what had happened. And he said you know what to do." Alfred sat down and was handed a glass of water from Mr. Shellhammer.

Buffy then had a look not on her face since her Slayer days. "You sit tight Alfred. Kris was right. I do know what to do." She said cryptically.

She walked over and picked up her phone. And then dialled the one phone number she knows better than anyone else.

Xander Harris was sitting and going over figures. Then the phone rang. He picked it up. "Alexander Harris. World Trade Center lawfirm. How may I help you?" He answered.

"Xander? It's me. Buffy. I...Kris needs your help." She pleaded.

Xander let that slip go by. "What's wrong?" He asked out of concern.

"I'm not sure. Kris was just taken by two orderlies from Belvue. But I'm pretty sure I know who's behind it." Buffy said evenly. Her thoughts turned to that pshycho phsychologist.

"What about Mr. Macy? Can't he do something? What about the company lawyers?" Xander asked.

She sighed. "This isn't about right or wrong. It's about a kind, decent and wonderful man. Who was put in a place that no one deserves to be. Please help him. He need's the best lawyer in New York. And that lawyer is you, Xander" Buffy pleaded.

Xander nodded. "I will do everything in my power to do so." Xander sucked in some air. "I love you, Buffy." He finally admitted to her.

That brought Buffy to tears. Then something hit her. "I love you, too, Xander." She returned. "I love you, too."
Buffy hung up. And Xander went to get his coat and hat. Then headed towards Bellevue.

Xander Harris walked into Bellevue. He stopped infront of the front desk. He looked daggers at the receptionist. "Where is Kris Kringle? If you don't tell me, I will be back with a warrent. And that's a promise." He threatened.

The young woman was scared. "He's on the 2nd floor. Room number 24A." She said truthfully.

Xander went to the elevator and went one floor up. The lawyer then walked two dozen doors down and found the room he was searching for. Xander also found an orderly standing interference.

The man before him is nearly 6 feet tall and around 250 lbs. All muscle.

The two men sized the other up. And both unwilling to move away from the other.

Xander took a breath. "I am here to talk to my client. He is innocent and I intend to prove it." He bravely stood up to him.

This moment reminded Xander when he stood up to Angelus outside of Buffy's hospital room. He never told anyone about that incedent. During that moment, Xander was both brave and scared.

The orderly moved aside. "You don't have to convince me. That man in there," The young man motioned where Kris was sitting. " is the most kindest and gentlist man I've ever met. He may be a little off his rocker, but insane?" He asked incredulously. "No way. I've seen first hand what he is capable of. And if he wants to call himself Santa Claus, then so be it. God bless him." He then did the cross motion on his chest.

Xander walked in and talked to Kris. "Kris." He said.
This caught Kris' attention. "Xander. What are you doing here?" He asked dumbfounded.

"I could ask you the same thing, Kris. If you passed the mental exams, you would have been out of here. So that leaves the question to be asked. 'Why did you fail your test on purpose?'" The good- hearted lawyer nudged.

Kris shook his head in disgust. "I disgraced myself. I lowered myself to the level of the same demons that you and Buffy fought all those years ago." He revealed.

˜He knows. Wow. That means he really is Santa Claus.˜ He thought as he was truely convinced. "Kris. Listen to me. That so- called 'psychologist' had no business doing that. Mr. Macy himself fired him the minute he found out. I read the transcripts, Kris. I've talked to the secretary. Everyone believes in you, Kris." Xander stared at him in respect.

"And after your trial, the rest of the world will believe too. You are him. You are Santa Claus. And I will prove. Now, let's get you past the exam and out of here." Xander said bravely.

He smiled at the former White Knight. "Let's do it." Kris agreed.

NY County Courthouse, Judge Harper's office

Lilah Morgan walked through with commitment papers. She handed the papers to the well-respected judge. "Here's the commiment papers, sir. You know, you don't even have to read it. Just sign them." After Wolfram & Hart was disabled, the boot lick ran to the east coast. And now is District Attourney of New York City.

Judge Harper closed the file. "Justice will have to prevail, Morgan." He reminded the former W&H lawyer.
She sighed. "Of course, your honor. But, unfortunately, the old man does not have representation. So that leaves you to sign the papers." Lilah silver-tounged the judge.

Just as he was about to sign them, his secretary walked in. "Excuse me your honor, but, there is an Alexander Harris to see you. He says he represents Mr. Kringle." The lady clarified.

Xander burst in, with intent to see that justice is delivered. "Your honor, I am led to believe that there is alot of undue haste here. You can sign those papers if you want, but I will have a habeas corpus here this afternoon. And I will." He threatened.

The judge merely nodded. ˜This young man reminds me of myself when I was his age.˜ He thought nostalgicly. "Very well. The hearing will be araigned tomorrow morning at nine." He agreed.

The woman next to Xander introduced herself. "I'm Lilah Morgan. The DA. I will be prosecuting this case."
˜So this is the Wolfram & Hart flunkee that Angel told me about.˜ He thought back 2 years ago. "I've heard of you, Miss Morgan. Angel says hello." He said off-handedly.

This freaked Lilah out some. The last time she was face-to-face with Angel was when he threatened her. She had hired some mental hacker to get to Angel through Cordelia. And she took that one to heart.
"Well, I have a case to prep for. Your honor. Miss Morgan." Xander left with a smile on his face. He hadn't felt like this for years.

December 22

New York County Court House

Xander Harris is sitting next to Kris Kringle. They are reviewing their defense. "Now, remember. Our best defense is to let that old witch to hang herself. And please keep this in mind." He continued. "One. She's going to try and get a rise out of you. Ignore her. And two. She doesn't believe in Santa Claus."

Just then, Judge Harper entered the courtroom. He walked over and sat down. "I just want you to know that this is just an informal hearing. Not a trial. I will be the only one passing judgement. There will be no jury." He brought the gavel down.

Lilah Morgan stood up. "Your honor, if I may? I would like to call the first witness." She saw the judge nod. "I call Kris Kringle to the stand." Lilah announced.

Kris stood up and headed for the witness stand. He sat down and awaited for the questions to start.

The evil lawyer gave him an uncomfortable look. "What's your name?" She asked evenly.

In the corner of his eye, Kris saw Xander nod. "Kris Kringle." He said shortly.

"Where do you work?" She asked.

"Currently, I am employed at Macy's Department Store." He replied.

"As what?" She implied with mallice lacing her words.
Xander mouthed, Don't be baited.

Kris nodded. "As their Santa Claus." He replied.

"And you believe yourself to be the actual Santa Claus?" She knew that question would send him back to Bellevue.

"Would I be here if I weren't?" He answered back.

This brought out some chuckles from courtroom spectators.

Morgan sighed. "Just answer the question. Yes or no." She enforced.

"Very well." He looked at her directly. "I don't believe I am him. I know I AM Santa Claus." Kris said firmly.
"No further questions your honor." Lilah went to her seat.

"Mr. Harris, would you like to cross-examine your client?" The judge asked.

"No your honor." Xander replied.

This caught Judge Harper off guard. "Counsiler, do you wish to build a defense for your client?" He asked out of concern.

Lilah took advantage of this opporitunity. "Perhaps he feels not up to the challenge of proving that Mr. Kringle is Santa Claus?" She taunted.

Xander didn't fall for it. In fact, it backfired. "I challenge Miss Morgan to prove that there is no Santa Claus." He retorted.

Morgan pleaded. "Your honor, I ask for a recess. That way, I will be wiling to properly take up Mr. Harris' challenge."

The judge thought on this for a second. "Very well. We will recess for tommorow morning at nine." He brought the gavel again.

Xander whispered to Kris. "I knew that if I tried hard enough, Morgan would fall for my plan. Through this, she'll hang herself. Remember Kris, don't lose your temper and talk when I say you can."

Outside the courtroom.

Xander walked and stopped in mid-step. His golden-haired goddess stood before him. "Buffy, you came. I can't thank you enough." He said from his heart.
Buffy smiled at him. "You're welcome, Xander. Marie and I miss you very much. Me, especially." She looked down for a moment. Then she looked at him again. "And I've also been rethinking. Those things I said a while back. I didn't mean them. That was just the coward in me talking." Impulsively, Buffy kissed Xander on the lips.

She pulled back. "That is just some food for thought." Buffy walked over to her daughter.

Marie had a look of shock on her face. As her mother walked by, one thought was on her mind. ˜YES!˜

December 23

New York County Court House

Court was in full session. And Lilah Morgan intended to win this case and send Kris back to Bellevue. And her first witness is on the stand.

She slinkered on up to the expierenced colonel. "Colonel Millar. Have you ever been to the North Pole?" Morgan asked.

He nodded. "Yes, I have. I went there 5 years ago." He replied honestly.

"And did you find any workshops, stables or houses there?" She asked.

Graham sighed. He didn't want to be truthful. But he was under a court of law. "No ma'am, I did not." He said reluctantly.

She smiled. "No further questions your honor." She turned to Xander. "Your witness."

Xander got up and walked over to his old friend. "While you were there, did anything usual happen?" He asked curiously.

Graham nodded. "Yes. Yes, something happened indeed." He said truthfully.

Xander stood casually. "Please elaborate."

Graham leaned back and told his story. "I had gotten seperated from my command. It was a terrible blizard. I had just about given up hope when I saw lights."
He continued. "At first I thought it was the Northern Lights. Then I realized it was on the ground, not the sky. I started moving towards the light. And just before I passed out, I swore I could have seen riendeer."
Graham smiled at Kris. "And when I woke up, I was inside a natural formation. In front of a fire." He proclaimed with honesty.

Xander knew that he could trust him. "One more question. Do you believe in Santa Claus?"

Graham nodded. "I have believed in Santa Claus my whole life. And I believe that man, Kris Kringle, is Santa Claus." He summed up.

Xander turned to Judge Harper. "No further questions your honor." He turned around and sat down.

The judge turned and said, "Colonel, you may stand down."

Just as Graham Millar was about to leave, a young voice caught his attention.

"Hi Uncle Graham!" She shouted.

Both Graham and Xander winced. "Hello Marie." He returned. As he past Xander, he stopped. "Good to see you again Xander."

"You, too, Graham. You too." Xander returned.

This enraged Lilah Morgan. "Sir! Mr. Harris is making a mockery of this courtroom! The first witness called is an old drinking buddy of his!" She shouted.

Judge Harper gave her a stern glare. "You are out of line. If you can not compose yourself, I will have you removed from my courtroom. Do I make myself clear?"
He took her silence as a 'yes'. "Well, then. You may call your next witness." He ordered.

˜Two can play this game.˜ She thought evilly. "Your honor, the state calls Willow Rosenburg to the stand." Morgan said.

This had shocked Xander. ˜Will? What could possibly bring her to have Willow on the stand?˜ He mentally processed. Xander just remained calm and collected while his childhood friend took the stand.

Lilah walked up to the former witch. "Miss Rosenburg. You are jewish, are you not?" She asked.

She closed her eyes. "Yes, I am jewish." Wishing she weren't.

Lilah continued. "So, being a jew, you would not celebrate Christmas." She surmised.

Willow's eyes clenched even tighter. "That is correct." She relented.

"And it would be fair assumption that you do not believe in Santa Claus." Morgan assumed.

˜I wish I could say 'yes'. But I can't. I am so sorry Xander.˜ She spoke truthfully. "You are correct. My upbringing, prohibited my from ever believing in Santa Claus." Willow confessed.

Morgan turned to Xander and gave him an evil smile. "No further questions you honor."
"Mr. Harris, would you like to cross-examine the witness?" He asked.

Xander stood up. "I have no questions for the witness."
Willow got down and walked by Xander. Their longstanding friendship was finally put to the test. And she failed.

Judge Harper took a breath. "Court will revean at noon tomorrow." He brought the gavel down softly.
Later that night.

Xander Harris was sitting down on his desk. Waiting for Judge Harper to arrive. He saw the honest man leave his office.

"Your honor, I would like to speak with you." He begged.
Judge Harper nodded. "Go ahead young man." He returned.

"I know how it's supposed to be your honor. Your supposed to be impartial.

But I know that you want to declare Kris sane. And I know that you believe in him."

He nodded. "I want to, I really do. He is very likable. But I can not see how I can go up there tomorrow and declare, there is a Santa Claus." Harper started to leave, when Xander voice caught his attention.

"You know what really killed Santa Claus? Power, greed, money and disbelief. It's because so many people stopped believing, Kris showed up. That's why he's here. To make people believe again. And if you send him to Bellevue, Christmas is forever doomed." Xander said solemly.

"Guilt and recriminations may soothe your soul, but, it won't help Mr. Kringle." He walked by with coat in hand. He turned. "What you both need is a miracle."

December 24, Christmas Eve

New York County Court House

Xander and Kris were having a discusion before the final ruling was to be made. "I am so sorry Kris. I tried so hard." He apologized.

Judge Harper entered. He sat down in his chair. "With great burden, I must declare that Mr. Kris Krin-" He was cut off when one of the baliffs entered and and a discussion with Mr. Harris. And then handed three letters to Kris.

Xander shot up from his chair. "Your honor, these letters and more are all adressed to Santa Claus. Yet they were delivered here, to the Court House and given to Kris Kringle. There are more of course, but- "Xander was cut off by the judge.

"Then send them to Mr. Kringle right now." He ordered gently.

Xander nodded. He then motioned for the bailiffs to bring them in.

And they did. Bags and bags of letters to Santa Claus came in and dumped infront of Kris Kringle.

Xander continued. "There are these and more your honor. Three truck loads to be precise. Now the United States Postal Serivce, a direct branch of the United States government, acknowledges Kris Kringle as Santa Claus...I see no reason to argue."

The judge nodded. "If the United States government says that Santa Claus exists, then so be it. And he DOES exist in the form of Kris Kringle. CASE DISMISSED!" He cried out in joy. The greatest judge in New York City brought his gavel down with pleasure.

Everyone cheered out in joy. Xander turned to Kris. "Buffy, Marie and I are having dinner tonite. Would you like to join us?" Xander invited.

Kris smiled at the former White Knight. And merely shook his head. "Tonite? No, I will be much too busy." Kris left without a sound.

All of Xander's friends rushed him. He looked at all of the faces. Xander reached over to Willow. "Willow, all you did yesterday was tell the truth. And I wouldn't have expected less." He continued. "Now, I think we all have some things to do. Let's go."

When they went outside, a limo awaited them. And they were all perplexed. The door opened and Mr. Macy came out. With adoption papers. "Alfred, all you need to do is sign these. Then it will be official." Mr. Macy said kindly and lovingly.

Alfred ran to him and hugged him. Alfred grabbed the papers and signed them.

Mr. Macy walked over to Buffy and handed her keys. To the catalog house. And paternity papers. "This is documented proof that Xander Harris is Marie Summers' birth father. Congratulations."

For the first time in his entire life, AleXander Lavelle Harris cried tears of joy.

Buffy flagged down a taxi. And the four of them entered and left.

Buffy and Xander were cuddled against eachother. Not that they complaining.

Willow was talking to Marie. "So, sweetie, did you get what you wanted?" She asked.

Marie nodded. "Yes, I did. I got a home and a dad. And I also got one of my aunts here, too." She smiled brightly.
They finally stopped infront of the catalog house. It was even more majestic than the picture.

Buffy, Xander, Maria and Willow walked in and was greetted with familiar faces.

Marie cried. She looked all around and saw her family.

Grandmother Joyce Summers.

Grandfathers Rupert Giles and Hank Summers.

Her aunts. Dawn Summers. Tara McClay. Faith Ozbourne. Cordelia Chase. Winifred Burkle. Kate Lockley.

Her uncles. Liam O'Leary. Daniel Ozbourne. Wesley Wyndham-Pryce. Charles Gunn. Lorne Green.

Cousin Connor Angels.

She got her Christmas gifts. All of them. All thanks to someone whom she just started to believe in.
And Marie thought just that when she and her entire family were present at the wedding of Ale'Xander' LaVelle Harris and Buffy Anne Summers.

And just only one person was vacant. Xander turned to his bride. "Normally, the person officiating is present before everyone else." He observed.

Buffy agreed. "Yeah. It is strange. Even for New York."
Their dialogue continued until a voice interupted them.

A voice they knew all too familiar by now. "Please forgive my tardiness. Last night was quite busy for me. I almost didn't finish it on time." Kris said almost jovial.
The collective heads snapped forward. To see Kris Kringle in robes not seen for many, many centuries. "If you have forgotten, I am still a recognized saint. Beginning in 4th Century, Meralesia. And I am more than capable of ministrating a wedding between the Chosen One and her White Knight." He continued. "Dearly beloved..."