A Way to You. by Dorians Kitten

1. Chapter 1 by Dorians Kitten

2. Chapter 2 by Dorians Kitten

3. Chapter 3 by Dorians Kitten

4. Chapter 4 by Dorians Kitten

5. Chapter 5 by Dorians Kitten

6. Chapter 6 by Dorians Kitten

7. Chapter 7 by Dorians Kitten

8. Chapter 8 by Dorians Kitten

9. Chapter 9 by Dorians Kitten

10. Chapter 10 by Dorians Kitten

11. Chapter 11 by Dorians Kitten

12. Chapter 12 by Dorians Kitten

13. Chapter 13 by Dorians Kitten

14. Chapter 14 by Dorians Kitten

15. Chapter 15 by Dorians Kitten

16. Chapter 16 by Dorians Kitten

17. Chapter 17 by Dorians Kitten

18. Chapter 18 by Dorians Kitten

Chapter 1 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Okay, before we get in deep with this story I should be up front about a couple of things. Mainly: Buffy is currently dating Angel. He is her boyfriend and will make the occasional appearance in the fic. This does not mean I will subject you to long or graphic romantic scenes between the two of them. I mean, seriously, yuck. That said, I've mapped out many chapters for this fic and will admit that the Angel situation won't go away for a little while. I think you will like it anyway. I just ask that nobody panic. You know me, you know I'm not going to try and sneak a Bangel fic on you. ;) So don't worry about the Angel thing, this is a love story and it will focus on the two people who make up the couple in this love story. If you've read any of my author's notes lately, then you know that I am in love with this fic--mad love-Spuffy love. I am hoping to get someone with graphic skills to make me a banner and an icon. I have a couple of ideas if anyone is game. :) Thanks for reading. I'm super excited to see what you all think of this one. :)

Oh-and Yeah-This fic was somewhat inspired by Jason Mraz's song entitled If it Kills Me. ;) It's a great song.
Thursday, September 23, 2010

“No.” William Pratt, called Spike in surprisingly affectionate tones by his friends and family, was not amused. He shook his head. “Not a chance.” He quickly pretended to be very busy with a sheet of paper on his desk.

“Oh. Come on, Spike, it’s not a big deal. It’ll be fun. I promise.” Fred, an unfortunately named woman who was luckily gifted with a petite frame, wavy brown hair and pretty elfish features stood in front of him, ignoring his attempt to ignore her.

He scoffed. “Sorry, pet. You’re going to have to find someone else to let you play pimp.”

Fred rolled her eyes. “It’s not like that and you know it. It’s just a fundraiser. We auction off a date with you and raise lots of money.”

“I’m not a piece of meat and I’ve no wish to spend an evening playing cabana boy for some bored housewife.” He was being a tad melodramatic and he knew it. It was his only defense. Spike did not want to be bachelor number ten on Fred’s auction block. It truly wasn’t fair for her to ask him. He couldn’t say no, not really. Fred was Spike’s greatest weakness.

“It won’t be like that.” She implored him with big brown eyes and he knew he was about to lose the fight.

Spike had fallen for Fred the night his roommate brought her home for the first time. Twenty minutes after they’d shared a hello, Spike knew he was a lost cause. Winifred Burkle was cute and clever and sweet. When she smiled at him, Spike knew that he’d do just about anything to make her smile at him again. But she was Wesley’s girl. It was obvious from the start. And so, on that same night, the night when Spike Pratt realized for the first time that he wanted a nice girl, he knew that he’d be keeping his feelings secret forever. Wesley was more than just a roommate, he was family. Spike had a bit of a reputation for causing trouble, he liked that reputation and worked hard at maintaining it, but he was never the kind of man who’d make a play for his cousin’s girl. Besides, he’d thought, Wesley is a better man and she deserves a better man. He prided himself on keeping his feelings to himself, but over the years it had become obvious that they were a bit of an open secret. Wesley never really said anything to him; he was a stand-up bloke, not the type to rub his good fortune in someone’s face. In fact, the closest they’d ever come to talking about it had been on Wesley and Fred’s wedding day. Spike had served as best man and while helping his cousin prepare to take a wife, he’d shared the biggest truth he knew, that Wesley was a disgustingly lucky man and that he deserved to be. He’d ended the statement by promising to break Wesley’s nose if Fred ever regretted marrying him. Wesley had stared at him quietly for several seconds before nodding. “I know”, he’d said, “I know.” And then he’d given him a hug, the only one they’d ever shared outside of his parents’ funerals, and they walked down the aisle. William smiled as his cousin married the only girl that either of them had ever truly wanted. In time, he’d tamed his crush. He still loved her, but he was generally able to direct that love into a big brother-type role in her life. His inability to disappoint Fred had become obvious though, over the years, and was commonly taken advantage of.

He knew that this would be another case of that, but he argued anyway. “There’s got to be someone else you can ask.”

She shook her head. “I’ve tried. There’s no one as good as you. You’re handsome , you run your own business—you’re practically Sunnydale’s most eligible bachelor.” He scowled, but she wasn’t even a little intimidated. “Please, William, I need you.”

He dropped into his seat and sighed. “Can’t I just give you a donation?”

“I know the whole auction thing comes off a bit—but that’s the point. It seems racy and so we get lots of extra publicity. You know how important this fundraiser is. We could raise enough money tomorrow night to keep the shelter open for months. Think of all the kids you could help.”

She’d had him when she’d uttered the words “I need you”, the pitch that followed was just for show and they both knew it. Spike couldn’t even pretend that the shelter Fred and her friend, Anne, ran for homeless teens wasn’t a great cause. It was. He knew that the shelter held a special place in Fred’s heart and that she’d worked far too hard and long to give up on it now that it was finally showing signs of being a success.

“What…” He groaned. “What exactly do you need me to do?”

Fred smiled her blinding smile at him and darted behind his desk to give him a hug. “Thank you, Thank You, Thank you. It’ll be fun, you’ll see.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Buffy Summers was not in the mood to go out. She’d explained that several times and had then been outvoted by her friends. Sitting at a prettily arranged table at a gala-style fundraiser for a local charity, she was just beginning to wonder how that voting thing had worked. What twisted sense of democracy had led her to believe that the phrase “Willow and I outvoted you,” meant that she actually had to put on a dress and style her hair? She could have stayed home and wallowed in peace.

A waiter placed the drink her friend, Cordelia, had ordered for her down on the table. It was pink, served in a martini glass and had a tiny plastic sword full of fancily cut fruit hanging from its rim. She stared at it and tried to keep hold of her grumpy mood. It was too cute. The drink’s adorableness mocked her bad mood.

Buffy wasn’t normally a grumpy person. In fact, if asked to describe her in one word, most of her friends would have said happy or perky, even. Well, the girls would have said happy and the guys would have said perky and grinned. There were only a few things that could bring Buffy down. The most powerful of those things, her on and off again boyfriend, Liam “Angel” Collins, was the source of her particularly deep slump that evening. They were very much off again.

When she saw Buffy reach for the glass and take a sip, Cordelia Chase signaled to the waiter to bring them another round. Two rounds later, she was enjoying a much more entertaining version of Buffy. “See, I told you this would be fun. You can’t let Angel get you down like that. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, Buff, plenty of fish that are swimming around thinking that they’d love to have a chance with a hot, fun girl that also has great taste in friends.”

Buffy grinned at her pretty, dark-haired friend. She loved that Cordelia always managed to end the compliments she gave other people with a self-affirmation. She knew that Cordy, as she was called, wasn’t the most modest of people but figured that faking the quality was worse than simply not having it. “I’m not looking to go swimming with the fishes, Cordy. I love him. We’ll work it out.” She frowned. “I think.”

Cordy sighed. “Enough thinking. Tonight is about having fun and not thinking. And definitely not talking about your idiot of an ex.”

“He’s not—”

“I think we should do shots.” Cordy turned to the much quieter, red-haired, girl at their table. “Don’t you think we should do shots, Willow?”

Willow didn’t actually think that shots were a great idea. She preferred her alcohol mixed with enough fruit juice to cover even the slightest hint of actual liquor flavor. She nodded anyway. “Yeah. Sounds…fun.” The plan was to cheer Buffy up and if Cordy thought tiny drinks with obscene names were going to do it, she wasn’t going to go against the grain. They’d taken a taxi to the event and would take another one home; she’d already played her role as the responsible one. Now was the part where she smiled and nodded and made the occasional corny joke.

A half hour later, all three ladies were giggling about Cordelia’s dramatically told tale of the worst date she’d ever had, a set-up made by their mutual friend, Xander. “And then, he says, and I’m totally serious here, he says that his pet monkey must have snatched his wallet from his jacket pocket as he was leaving and….” Tears formed at the edges of her perfectly made-up eyes and she dabbed at them delicately as she attempted to regain enough control to finish the story.

Willow stopped laughing. “Oh! A monkey? Monkeys are so cute.”

Cordy raised an eyebrow at her. “Not the point, Willow.”

Willow looked to Buffy for support but she just nodded. “It’s really not.” Buffy turned back to Cordy with an amused grin. “So he tried to stick you with the bill, right? What did you do?”

“I told him that I understood completely and that I just needed a moment in the ladies room and then I left.”

“You just left?”

Cordy nodded. “It gets better. I found out from Xander—he really does have a wallet stealing monkey. He was probably telling the truth.”

Buffy covered her mouth in an attempt to keep back the giggles. “But that’s awful. You’re totally a bad person for laughing about this.” Her shoulders shook.

Cordelia nodded triumphantly. “I know, right?”

Willow frowned. “But that is awful. How can you…you just left the poor guy there waiting for you to come back from the bathroom. He probably sat there for a really long time.” She bit her lip and shook her head. “It’s awful.”

Buffy laughed until her stomach hurt. “Okay, you were right. This was fun, but I think it’s time to call it a night.”

“No way. You haven’t seen the best part yet. They are going to auction off men.”

“You’re kidding.”

Cordy gave her a satisfied feline grin. “Nope. It’s part of the charity thing. Whoever makes the highest bid gets a date with the hottie.”

“Isn’t that…well, tacky?” Buffy asked wrinkling her nose.

“Totally tacky. We have to stay and watch.”

Buffy looked skeptical, but Cordelia wiggled her finger at the waiter and once again there were fresh and fruity cocktails all around.

The room was quieted before the auction and treated to a brief and almost sobering slideshow about the charity they were there to support. Buffy grasped Cordy’s arm afterward and whispered with drunken determination that they should definitely try to help Pylea, Sunnydale’s teen shelter and support program, more.

They weren’t the only table of women that started giggling when the auction started. The waitstaff had all been rather busy serving drinks. Later, Willow would realize that the planners were very clever to hold off the auction portion of the evening until after most of the guests had been drinking. Just then, she was more focused on the list of increasingly silly things Cordy and Buffy were coming up with for the various auctioned off dates to do.

“Do you think he would consider washing my car a date? Maybe washing my car without his shirt on?”

Buffy shook her head. “No. Unless—unless maybe there was music and dancing. You could play the carwash song.” She giggled quietly, trying not to draw attention to their table.

The girls had complimentary things to say about a handsome carpenter and an obviously confident lawyer, but mostly they just laughed about the foolishness of it all. When the small brunette girl emceeing the auction announced that she was bringing out the last guy, Cordy held her finger up to her lips to get the other girls to quiet down. She wanted to know his info in order to make funnier puns and fake date suggestions.

Buffy gasped softly. The man on the stage was gorgeous; his hair was bleached outrageously white, he had sharp features but soft-looking lips and an obviously fit physique under his sports coat and dark jeans. She could see the startling blue shade of his eyes from her seat. He was easily one of the best looking men she’d ever seen. If she hadn’t drank quite so many pretty pink cocktails she would have kept that thought to herself. Instead, she whispered in a slightly awed voice “That has to be the most beautiful man in the whole world.”

Cordy laughed delightedly at her friend’s announcement and raised her hand. “In that case, we’ll just have to buy him.”

Buffy realized her mistake instantly and tried to grab at Cordelia’s arm. When that did work, she began pleading in an earnest whisper. “No. Please, Cordy. I was just kidding. Don’t. Oh god! Please.” As she pleaded, Cordy entered into a bidding war with a very determined older woman.

The next several minutes blurred in Buffy’s mind. All that mattered was that Cordelia had not only bid on the handsome blond man, she had made the highest bid. Buffy stared at the pretty green tablecloth under her empty cocktail glass in horror.

After making a few general announcements and thanking everyone for coming, the emcee walked over to their table with the handsome blond man in tow. She smiled. “Thanks y’all so much for coming! This is most successful event we’ve ever had. We’re going to be able to do so much good.” She turned to look at Cordelia. “You’re the lucky gal that get’s to spend an evening with Spike, right?”

“Spike?” Cordelia sputtered laughter and shook her head. “Oh no. He’s a special present for Buffy. She thinks he’s beautiful.”

Buffy looked at her laughing friend in shock and wished once again that she’d never left her bedroom.

Spike had watched the short bidding contest between the busty brunette and the woman who reminded him eerily of his middle school librarian with a mixture of bewilderment and dismay. He honestly hadn’t cared which of the ladies in question won. He’d been determined to do his duty either way. He’d charm them for an evening before focusing his attention on the serious business of forgetting the entire humiliating debacle. Now he stood silently beside Fred and studied the tiny woman with artfully arranged honey-colored curls and bright red cheeks standing beside the busty brunette. In Spike’s mind, the evening had suddenly taken a vastly amusing turn. Fred was still talking with the dark-haired woman. They were nodding and smiling and Spike was ignoring them. He wondered what exactly the little blonde with the silly name had said to inspire her friend’s rather sizable donation to the shelter. He wondered if she’d ever stop gawking at her friend and look directly at him with her wide green eyes. He wondered how any girl as adorable as the one in front of him wasn’t already taken. He smirked and held out his hand. “Hello, cutie.”
Chapter End Notes:
Anyone wishing that Cordy was their friend and that she'd buy them a Spike? :)
Chapter 2 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I'm so excited to see this fic finding some love. I think it is going to be a fun ride.
Saturday, September 25, 2010

Buffy woke up shortly after eleven in the morning. She had a headache and five voice-mails. She whimpered at the flashing signal on her phone and decided that a shower and a cup of coffee was in order before listening was. After the shower and the first cup of coffee, she decided that she also needed food. She made a grilled cheese sandwich, ate it while drinking a second cup of coffee and then gave her phone a resigned glance. It was time to face the music.

The first message was, not surprisingly, from Willow. The other girl sounded far too perky and was “just calling to see if she was okay-not that she shouldn’t be.”

The next call was from Xander, another old friend. He had obviously talked to Willow earlier that morning and had heard about their evening out. He had mostly called to share a series of cracks regarding the fact that Buffy had apparently needed Cordy to buy her a date before he forgot them. As mortified by the entire situation as she was, Buffy had to admit that he’d gotten in a few good ones.

The third message was from Angel. “Hi, Princess. I hope you had a fun night out with the girls. I’m really sorry we fought. Please let me take you out next Saturday and make it up to you. You know that I’d rather be with you than anywhere. I love you. Okay? Call me. I’m going to play golf with a couple of the guys this morning, but I’ll be free this afternoon. I love you.”

Buffy sighed. Somehow she always felt guiltier after Angel apologized, even though she knew she’d been right in the first place. It had something to do with how he said that he loved her. He always said it like he had no choice, like he needed her and didn’t know what he’d do without her. It was such a contrast to the competent alpha man that he was normally. It was the rare glimpse of that more vulnerable side that had made her fall in love with him in the first place.

The fourth message was from Cordy, a giggling and spiraling monologue about how they were totally good people for supporting that charity and that it would only be a little sleazy if Buffy slept with the hottie she’d bought for her.

Buffy groaned. She was going to have to call the woman who’d organized the event and cancel her ‘date’. She’d just tell her to keep the donation and forget the silly man-buying part. She really didn’t want to think about Angel’s reaction if he found out that Cordy had bought her a date because of their fight.

The fifth message was the worst. “Hello..there. This is Spike, err William…Pratt. We met last night at the auction. Right. So, you—you ran off before we could plan our umm…our date, so your friend gave me your information. How about you give me a call at 556-1347 and we’ll…plan it? Right. It was very nice meeting you and umm…I hope you’re having a lovely day.” He’d made a strange noise just before he’d hung up.

Buffy listened to the message twice and giggled. The poor guy sounded as embarrassed as she was. She decided to simply call him and end all the silliness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spike hung up and stared at his phone. He’d sounded like an idiot. He now wished he’d planned what to say in case she didn’t answer. Had he truly said that he hoped she was having a lovely day? What was he, eighty? He sighed, dropped the phone on his bed and got back to work.

He had big plans to finish painting his bathroom and he figured he could ponder his immensely dorky message just as easily whilst stirring paint and fiddling with the drop cloth.

What, he wondered, was it about tiny woman with big eyes that turned him into a clumsy school kid chasing a crush with a bit a paste and paper he fancied was a valentine heart? Spike Pratt wasn’t a kid anymore. He figured he still had some of the prank gifts from the over-the-hill thirtieth birthday party his friends had thrown him a few months earlier around to prove it. He was a man; he had just bought a house and was now spending nearly every free minute he had trying to make the damn thing livable.

He wasn’t looking for a girlfriend. Spike had plenty of female friends that were willing to satisfy his need for female companionship when that need popped up and he’d found it was simpler to keep things casual. Spike had accepted that he probably wasn’t the type of man who found a nice girl and settled down. He’d dealt with it. Spike liked his life and he liked himself.

Still, there had been something about the small blonde he’d met ever so briefly the night before that intrigued him. He supposed it could simply be the outrageousness of their meeting. And he wasn’t above enjoying a bit of an ego boost; hearing that a pretty girl thought he was worth looking at was always nice. But, he thought, there was more. He shook off the foolish idea and got to work.

When his phone rang two hours later, he’d finished painting the bathroom and was washing off the brush and roller. He swore, brushed his paint splattered hands on his jeans and went off in search of his phone. He winced as he picked it up, hoping that his hands were clean enough and then held it a few inches away from his ear. “Yeah?”

There was silence on the other end for a moment and then, “Mr. Pratt?”


“This is umm…my name is Buffy Summers and—”

“Oh! I’m sorry, love. I thought you were going to try selling me the newspaper or something.”

“Nope. No selling.”

He laughed. He liked the way she said her p’s. “Right. How are you today?”

She laughed. “Yeah. A little embarrassed.”

“No need. It’s all for charity. Everyone’s got their heart in the right place.”

“Thank you. You’ve been very nice about all of this, but let’s just forget about it. I mean, the shelter will keep the donation but you don’t have to take me out. I’m sure you have a million better things to do.”

Spike frowned. He hadn’t even wanted to participate in the damn auction and know she was the one trying to get out of their date. No way. “Not at all. I think it’s important to...umm… fulfill my promises.”


His stomach dropped at the disappointment in her tone. What had happened in the past twelve hours? Why had she changed her mind? “What do say we go out next Friday?”

“I really think it would be a better idea if we just cancel.”

“I see.”

“It’s just…I have a boyfriend and he is not going to see the funny in Cordelia’s date buying thing.”

“Ah. I get it.” She had a boyfriend? Where the hell had he been when she was out buying blokes at an auction? “It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s not a real date. We’ll just go as friends.” He didn’t know why he was still pushing it. He just knew he was irritated by the fact that she had a boyfriend. “You see, the thing of it is, Fred, the pretty girl running things last night, she’s family. So, if I don’t do this, I’ll never hear the end of it.”


“You don’t want to be responsible for her badgering me for an eternity, just because you wouldn’t let me treat you to dinner, do you?”

She laughed. “That does sound bad of me.”

“You’re not that kind of girl.”

“No, I guess not. I—I mean I guess it’s not a big deal. Of course it’s not a real date, so—”

“Where can I pick you up Friday?”

Friday, October 1, 2010

“Have you ever been to Delilah’s?” Spike turned to look at the woman who had just climbed into his car.

Buffy shook her head. “No. Is it good?”

“Brilliant. They’ve got a wood-fired pizza oven. It’s all organic and what-not, which I’ll admit I don’t normally pay much never mind to, but this place—magic. Best pizza on the west coast. And a friend of mine will be playing guitar there tonight.” He looked at her hopefully. It wasn’t the type of evening he had originally planned, but he thought pizza said friendly and that was what she wanted to hear.

Buffy grinned. “Well after that review it would be mean to take me anywhere else.”

“Oh. No one told you then?”


Spike smirked. “I’m a bad, rude man.” He winked and enjoyed her giggle. “Just kidding, love. Delilah’s it is.” He put the car in drive and pulled out onto her street. “You know we are almost neighbors.”

Her eyes widened. She felt sure she would have noticed Spike around the neighborhood. He was just as attractive as she remembered. “Really?”

“Yeah, I’m about seven minutes by car in that direction.” He pointed vaguely west.

“Wow. That is close. If there weren’t all those houses and streets and businesses in the way I’d probably be able to see you wash your car.”

He smiled, glad that she’d played along. “Nah, I always hire pretty girls in bikinis to wash my car.” He turned to give her a quick glance. “Do you have a bikini?”

“I do. But I gave up washing cars while barely dressed back in high school.”

“Well that seems like a shame. I’m fairly certain scantily clad girls washing cars is America’s favorite past-time.”

She laughed. “I thought that was baseball.”

“Couldn’t be. There’s no bikinis in baseball.”

She giggled again. “Speaking of American and what is clearly not. Where are you from?”

“London. Well, a sort of boring, medium sized town an hour outside of London, actually, but let’s say London. It makes me sound cooler.”

“And what brought you to the U.S.?”

Spike sighed. “Hate to tell you, but we are about to get on heavy topics while we are still in route to the restaurant. You sure you’re game?”

“I don’t mean to be nosy.” She shrugged.

“It’s okay, love. I moved here because I ran out of family there and I wasn’t quite old enough to be on my own. My mum died when I was fourteen and my father was gone before I was born so I was packed up and shipped over to live with my uncle.”

“I’m sorry.”

He shrugged. “It was a long time ago, but thank you.” He turned and gave her a quick smile. “My uncle’s a good man, he lives in L.A. and his son, my cousin, is like a brother to me. That was his wife you met the other night, Fred.”

“It’s nice that you still live near family. My mom got remarried a couple of years ago and moved to Vermont. My little sister went with them. She’s in college now, though, in Boston.”

“And you miss them.”

“Yeah, I do. But I like it here. It’s warm and we have that one decent coffee shop.” She grinned.

“I prefer tea.”

“Oh! How British of you.”

“Yes, quite.”

They filled the rest of the ride with quiet chatter about the area’s various hot spots and soon pulled into a parking spot at the much-acclaimed, Delilah’s.

When Spike walked around to open Buffy’s car door, she quickly hopped out. “I don’t think friends open car doors.”

“True. Very true. You will also be on your own with your chair. If you can’t pull it close enough to the table, you’ll simply have to starve.”

They were shown to a table after only a few moments wait.

“Tell me now, kitten. What do you like on your pizza?”

Buffy considered telling him that kitten didn’t seem friend appropriate and then felt silly. She decided that he was simply a flirty man and that he was trying to be nice. “Mushrooms?”

“Whew, I was certain that I’d be suffering through anchovies tonight.”

Her nose wrinkled. “Eww. Do I give off an anchovy vibe?”

“Not at all. It just doesn’t seem fair for me to get out of this auction-date business so easily. Pizza with a cute girl and no anchovies? Too much to hope for.”

“You’re kind of charming, aren’t you?”

Spike smiled. “Well, considering the donation your friend made to Pylea, it seemed only fair that I bring out my A game.”

“Oh. I see. Nice A game. I’ll bet you do very well with the ladies.”

“The ladies.” He laughed. “Who talks like that?”

“Apparently I do.”

He laughed again. “I’m sorry, kitten. That was mean of me.” He tried to look contrite. “Tell me, can friends drink wine together or do we have to stick with beer?”

Buffy pretended to think it over. “I think friends can drink wine, as long as the one who is driving doesn’t have more than two glasses.”

“No worries. I’m a grown-up, got past the phase where I think I’m immortal a few years back.”

She blushed slightly. “I had to say it.”

He nodded. “It’s the hair, right? Makes me look like a delinquent?”

Buffy laughed. “I’d have said it even if your hair didn’t glow in the dark. But, since you brought it up, what’s with the hair?”

“It’s not as interesting a story as you’d expect.”


He shook his head. “Sorry.”

She shrugged but was prevented from responding by the waitress’s sudden appearance.

“Hi. Welcome to Deliliah’s. My name is Michelle and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I start you off with drinks or do you know what you’d like to order?”

Spike smiled at her. “I think we can go ahead and order. We need a large pie with lots of mushrooms and cheese, a couple of salads—” He pointed at Buffy. “It’s not a proper meal unless I feed you some veg.” He turned back to the waitress. “We also need a bottle of wine. What do think is good?”

“Do you like whites? Bonterra has a nice Sauvignon Blanc. It’s local and organic.”

Spike looked at Buffy. “What do you think?”

“Sounds good.”

He looked back at the waitress. “And a bottle of the Bonterra. Thanks.” He waited until the waitress left. “I headed up a punk bank for about ten minutes seven years ago. Somehow the stage name and the hair stuck.”

“But that’s all that stuck?”

Spike smirked. “I can still play the shit out of a couple of Buzzcocks’ tunes.”

She giggled. “What do you play?”

“Guitar. Bass. I can handle drums if needed, but it would have to be an emergency.”

“So you’re way musical.”

Laughing again, he nodded. “There are a couple of critics who disagreed back in the day.”

“Back in the day? Who talks like that?”

“Touché, kitten. Anyway, I’m much more boring these days. I’ve got a shop over on West Street.”


“Guitars, basses, drum kits and an awful lot of clarinets every September. I also teach some lessons. That kind of thing.”

“Sounds nice.”

“I like it. How about you?”

“I’m a teacher.”

His eyes widened as Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher blared in his mind. “Wow. That’s…wow. Let me guess…art?”

“No.” She laughed. “But kind of close. I teach preschool over at Mossy Groves, so there is a lot of finger painting involved.”

“So you have a whole room full of little niblets.”

“Yeah. They’re something—cute but crazy.”

“Sounds like a good combination.”

“I think it keeps me young. You know, you can’t take yourself too seriously if you spend half your day kneeling on rug that’s shaped like a turtle.”

“I’m fairly certain I read that on bumper sticker just the other day.”

Their conversation continued easily through salads and pizza, which Buffy was sure was the best thing she’d ever put in her mouth.

An acoustic guitar player sang mellow alt-rock songs while they sipped their wine and visited Spike between sets. Buffy watched their interactions with an amused smile. After the other man went back to his guitar, she admitted. “I wish I could play an instrument.”

“Never too late to learn. Come by the shop.”

She laughed and shook her head, “No. I’m not musical. Even the kids in my class wince when I sing.”

Spike chuckled and shook his head. “You can’t be that bad.”

“When I was a kid I wanted a tambourine but my mom wasn’t having it, so then I decided on a triangle. I begged her for a triangle for months, but she held strong. I’m that bad.” She laughed at the horror on Spike’s face. “It’s true. I promise.”

“That’s horrible, kitten. I don’t know why I’m laughing.”

She laughed until she sighed. “So I don’t suppose you’d like to come play for a bunch of three and four year olds some time, maybe tell them about the parts of a guitar and show them what written music looks like or something.”

Spike’s eyes widened as he realized that she was giving him an opening, a chance to see her again. “Sure, I’ve got a guy that helps in the shop. I could take off for an hour or two. Maybe you’ll let the kids take home some business cards, help me drum up some new students.”

“I can definitely send home cards. When do you think you could come in?” Buffy was surprised and delighted by his apparent openness to the idea and had scheduled just enough classroom guests to know that the best thing to do was go ahead and get a date and time before they had a chance to change their mind.

“How about Thursday?”
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 3 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Hello! Thanks for reading and commenting! The book mentioned in this chapter is real. You can find it here and, if you have a little one in your life, you should check it out.

Oh and I'm still looking for a banner artist if anyone is interested. :)
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spike stood outside the imposingly heavy wooden doors and reread the sign that stated, in large, white, bold print, that all visitors must stop at the school office. He sighed. Thirteen years out of school and he had to go to the principal’s office. He tightened his grip on the handle of his guitar case and pulled open the door. More signs led him to the office and a heavy-set woman with an orange beehive hairstyle that sat behind a sign declaring that she was the school secretary. He gave her what he hoped was a respectable-looking smile and congratulated himself on his choice of an almost unwrinkled button-down with darker jeans. He’d started the day in a pair of jeans that had long since lost their knees and a t-shirt for a band that had broken up before they ever played publicly. “Hello. I don’t know if Ms. Summers had a chance to mention that I—”

The secretary held out her hand. “ID.”


She looked up at him and frowned. “I’ll need to check your ID.”

“Oh. Oh. That makes sense—gotta protect the little ones.” He pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and fished out his driver’s license.

The secretary looked at it for a moment before handing it back to him with a large sticker that had visitor printed in the corner and Pratt written in large, blue-marker letters.

“Oh. Thanks. Umm…could you possibly—”

“Take a right out of the office, walk down to the T and take a right. Room 37.”

“Of course, thanks.” Spike tipped his ID and visitor badge at her before turning and strolling out of the office.

He found the room easily and stood in the doorway for a few seconds surveying the busy scene inside the cheerful blue and green room. Buffy sat in a tiny chair at a tiny table with three of the little ones. They all had tiny books in front of them and Spike assumed it was some sort of reading lesson. Four other students were happily painting at another table, although Spike wondered if they realized the paint was meant to be put on the paper. One student was sitting alone on a comfy looking beanbag chair reading a book that Spike thought seemed too thick for such a small child. The final four students were sitting on a rug with a young Asian woman and were clearly participating in a shoe-tying lesson. Spike grinned. It was all rather adorable. Quiet music was being played and he strained to make out enough of the lyrics to decide it was some sort of children’s cover of a Beatles’ song. It could, he decided, be worse.

Buffy looked up just as he moved to take a step into the room. He wondered if she’d developed a sixth sense—a mama lioness thing to protect her little pack from invaders. He smiled at her broadly.

She smiled back. “You came.”

“Do I seem particularly unreliable?”

She laughed. “Everyone seems unreliable when asked to visit a classroom full of threes and fours.”

Spike shrugged. “Hey, a gig is a gig.”

Buffy smiled at him once more before turning back to her little group and giving them a few directions. Spike watched her hand her book to one of the students before they all stood up, pushed in their chairs, placed the books in a stack on the teacher’s desk and went to sit on a large rug in the corner of the room. Buffy stood up and clapped her hands. She was wearing a pair of khakis and a white shirt, which Spike thought seemed a brave choice considering the number of dirty little fingers she was surrounded with, but looked great on her anyway. He was beginning to think the woman would look great in anything. When she turned to survey the classroom, he noticed that she had a spot of red paint on her cheek and smiled.

Buffy waited for everyone to get quiet. “Thank you, friends. We have a very special visitor today, so I need everyone to clean up their centers right away and come over to the circle rug.”

Spike watched in mild wonder as the children went about following her directions. He noticed a few of them giving him curious glances and winked. The kids giggled in return and then went back to cleaning the paint from their table.

Buffy walked over. “Come meet my assistant teacher, she’s just about finished her degree and is wonderful. I may cry when I lose her next year.” She called over to the younger woman who was helping a little boy retie his shoes. “Satsu.”

Satsu finished her task, rose gracefully and walked over. “Hi. I hear you are going to teach the monsters about music today.” She smiled and held out her hand. “I’m Satsu. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too, pet. Most everyone calls me Spike.”

Satsu grinned widely and turned to Buffy. “Do we get to tell the kids to call him Mr. Spike? Please.”

Buffy laughed and pretended to consider it. A devilish glint appeared in her eyes. “I think so. I mean he is a guest and that’s his name.”

Satsu clasped her hands together. “Yay!” She turned back to Spike. “You have to appreciate the small pleasures in life.”

Spike turned to see if Buffy was still smiling. She wasn’t. She raised her hand and pointed across the room. “Tyler, get some paper towel for that.” She nodded. “Nope. No more water. Just the paper towel. Thank you.”

Spike watched Satsu walk over to a CD player and turn off the music before helping a child hang up the painting they’d been working on so that it would dry. He realized as he watched the remarkably orderly space that he’d expected the opposite. He’s assumed that a room for of small children would be loud and unruly. He’d underestimated Buffy Summers.

A few minutes later they all sat on the rug, except Spike who sat on a little stool Buffy had pulled out from under a child size easel. Buffy had introduced him and the children had chorused a greeting including his new name, Mr. Spike. He looked down at their cute little faces and wondered what the hell he’d been thinking. He’d realized the night before that he didn’t really know any children’s songs, so he’d looked up the chords to a few. He gave them his most winsome smile. “Well, hello everyone. This is a nice classroom you have and a nice teacher…two teachers that are very nice. So that’s good, right?”

Most of the kids nodded. One raised her hand. Spike looked at her. “Umm…yeah. Do you have a question?” He glanced over at Buffy for guidance.

She smiled. “What is your question for Mr. Spike, Ella?”

Ella looked at Spike quizzically. “Can you play the guitar?”

“Oh. Yeah, yeah, I can play.”

“Cool.” A few of the other kids echoed her response. One announced that “Goat plays guitar”, but Ella shook her head.

“No. Goat plays bass and pig plays guitar. Right, Miss Buffy?”

Buffy nodded. “That’s how I remember it.” She smiled at Spike’s confused expression. “We reread Punk Farm this morning to get ready for your visit. It’s a pretty popular book around here.”

The precocious Ella explained, “They’re five animals that like to rock.”

Things were easier for Spike after that. He played a couple of very simple children’s songs, led a sing-a-long to Row, Row, Row Your Boat and pointed out the parts of a guitar. When he was done, the children pouted and a small red-haired boy asked if he could play just one more song. He looked over at Buffy, hoping that she would say there wasn’t time. Instead, she nodded.

“Right, you see the thing is. I don’t know a lot of kids’ songs.” He shrugged.

“Oh. Please play one more.”

Satsu laughed. “Yes, please Mr. Spike, please play one more.”

Surprised by the woman’s flirting, he arched an eyebrow in her direction before turning back to see Buffy holding up a single finger and giving him a pleading look.

He sighed and nodded. After a moment, he nodded again. “Okay, but I’ll need some help with this one. When I tell you, you’re going to do some clapping. Got it?”

The children agreed excitedly.

Spike shrugged and started the introduction for I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett. He changed the hims to hers throughout the song and showed the kids the beat to clap on for the end.

Buffy and Satsu were both laughing when he finished with a little flourish. Buffy clapped her hands to quiet the kids and then suggested that they thank Mr. Spike for visiting. The children thanked him in unison. “Everyone stay on the rug, Miss Satsu is going to read a quick story before we get washed up for afternoon snack.” She looked back at Spike. “I’ll walk you out.” She waited until they were the hallway before talking to him. “Did you really just play my kids a song about picking up a seventeen year old in a bar?”

He paled slightly. “Yeah, I suppose I did do that.”

She giggled. “It was pretty great. You have a nice teaching style, very relaxed. Did you remember to bring your business cards? I’ll put them in the kids’ backpacks.”

“Even though I corrupted their little ears?”

“Especially because of the corruption. That’s the number one reason I became a teacher.”

He grinned and pulled a stack of cards held together by a rubber-band out of his jacket pocket. “Thanks, love.”

“Thank you. You were the best special guest we’ve had since the lady that brought the hedgehogs.”

“The hedgehog lady was better than me?”

“Well, yeah. She had hedgehogs.”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cordy held up a bright yellow sweater and considered the neckline. Deciding it was a maybe, she added it to the pile on her arm before turning to glance over her shoulder at Buffy. “So, you never told me about your hot date the other night.”

Buffy glared. “It wasn’t a date. I have a boyfriend.”

Sighing, Cordy shook her head. “What happened to that whole, ‘we’re really over’ thing you were saying?”

“Cordy.” Buffy ended her friends name in a whine. “Can we not get into this? You know I was just venting. He’s out of town a lot and I miss him, but that’s not really his fault. It’s his job.”


“This was supposed to be a fun shopping day. Why are you taking the fun out of our fun shopping day?”

Cordy passed Buffy a green scarf before responding. “Fine, but you still have to tell me about your date. Were there sparks?”

Buffy laughed. “It wasn’t a real date, so no there weren’t sparks. Girls with boyfriends don’t get sparks with other guys.”

“Even ones who are, and I quote, like totally the most beautiful man in the whole wide world?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You pretty much did.”

“Ughh. I am not old enough to drink. No more drinks for Buffy.”

“You’re seeing someone, fine, that doesn’t mean you’re dead. There were sparks, weren’t there?”

Buffy rolled her eyes and held up the scarf. “This is pretty. I’m thinking I could wear it with that cream colored dress I got from Macy’s and some tall brown boots.”


“I don’t know. We had a nice time. He was…nice. He actually came and played for my class on Thursday.”

“Wait. How have I not heard this already?”

“It’s not a big deal. Spike has a shop over by that café we went to with Willow for brunch. I think it was last May or June. Anyway, he sells music stuff, like instruments and plays guitar and does lessons. So, he came in a played and few songs for my kids. It was sweet.”

“So you think he’s sweet? You think he’s sweet and the most beautiful man in the whole world?”

“Do you want to look at shoes today? I could use some new tall boots to wear with this scarf.”

“Is he any good? On the guitar?”

“Yeah, he’s good.” She laughed. “He played them a Joan Jett song. They were all still humming it the next day, even Satsu.”

Cordy nodded. “I see.”


“Fine. So are you thinking equestrian boots or maybe something with a bit more of an edge.”

“Flats. I want something comfy to wear to school.”

“I know just the pair.” She shrugged. “I was here yesterday too.”
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 4 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I think I need a better summary for this story. This one doesn't seem to be grabbing people. I think that's because it is kind of boring. Also, I'm still hoping to find a banner artist to make a story banner and icon for this one. Spike plays guitar in this fic, so I think that would open up some fun image options. (See how I evilly attempt to tempt the artists with the thought of handsome Spike with a guitar?) So--thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting. You all rock. :) As you've probably noticed, this story will be told through a series of chronological scenes, some of which will be quite short. All of the scenes will involve at least one of our main two characters.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

“Finally.” Wesley yanked open his door and stepped out of the way so that his cousin could enter.

Spike frowned at his greeting before leaning down to give Fred, who had also come to answer the door, a kiss on the cheek. “Am I late?”

Fred shook her head. “No. Wes is just…feeling very emotional this afternoon.”

Wesley frowned. “Don’t say that. It makes me sound like a ponce.” He turned back to Spike. “I don’t suppose my father mentioned to you that he was bringing a date.”

Spike grinned broadly. “He didn’t mention that, no. That bird from the museum? What’s her name, Jenny? Rupes finally ballsed up. Good for him.”

Wesley shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Oh no. Not good for him. Not the infinitely more appropriate Ms Calender. No. No. Most definitely, no.”

Arching his eyebrow, Spike turned to give Fred a quizzical glance. “What am I missing here?”

“Rupert surprised us by bringing a woman to dinner tonight and Wesley needs to calm down and give her a chance.”

“A chance? Please, darling, that woman is clearly a sign that my father is undergoing some sort of enormous mental break.”

Spike laughed. “What’s wrong with her?”

“Come.” Wesley squared his shoulders and walked in the direction of the dining room. He stopped just outside and gestured for Spike to look inside.

“What? She’s…well, hell, Wesley. She’s…hot.”

Wesley’s expression clearly communicated that he was disgusted.

Spike took another quick glance at the pretty woman with blonde hair styled in forties-esque curls and wearing a red shirt-dress. “Seriously, Wes. I love your old man. You know I do. He’s a good man—went above and beyond as an uncle—but today, today I can truly say that he’s my hero. I didn’t know he had it in him.”

Wesley rolled his eyes. “She couldn’t be more than twenty-five years old, William. It’s…it’s—”


Fred smacked Spike’s arm lightly. “Behave.” She turned to Wesley. “You too. Now let’s go have a nice dinner.” She gave them both a stern look. “I mean it. I won’t let anything ruin our dinner tonight.” She gave Wesley a big smile. “Not tonight.”

Spike watched his cousin wrap his arm around Fred’s shoulders and noted the gentle look they exchanged. Someone, he thought with a smile, has news.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buffy walked into Spike’s shop and took a quick glance around. It was pretty much what she’d expected: clean but kind of busy. There was a wall of guitars and basses, a couple of drum sets and keyboards set up in the back, a few mismatched racks displaying sheet music, and wide array of smaller items in baskets and bowls near the register. There was also a corner set up for playing or teaching lessons, with a couch and a few stools. That was where she found Spike. He was sitting on one of the stools strumming back-up for a pretty teenage girl with purple streaked blond hair. The girl, who was also playing guitar, sang something Buffy couldn’t name but sounded vaguely familiar. Buffy smiled and watched them until Spike looked up. His eyes widened in surprise for a second before he grinned. Buffy was, once again struck by how handsome he was. She quickly gestured that he should finish what he was doing and then browsed until he finished the song.

“Hello, love. Did you change your mind about lessons?”

Buffy laughed and turned to find him standing behind her wearing a black t-shirt that said Anti-Hero in white letters and worn jeans. “A world of no. I’m just dropping something off. Actually, I’m ashamed at how long it has taken me to bring this to you.” She held out a book made from laminated, blue construction paper.

“What’s this?” Spike took the book and laughed when he saw the cover had a picture of him playing guitar for the kids. He hadn’t noticed her taking any pictures. He opened it to find a drawing from each of the kids and a thank you message with fourteen signatures on the back page. “This is…well, hell this is cool.” He stopped on one of the pictures. “Am I wearing a crown here?”

Buffy nodded. “Yeah, I think your accent confused Paul. At first, I thought he was just trying to draw your hair, but then he started adding those jewels. He might think all British people all kings or princesses.” She shrugged. “Kyla drew you playing with Goat and Chicken.”

He laughed again. “This is great. Thanks, kitten.”

She nearly blushed at his use of the nickname. “Well, thanks again for coming in and playing for the kids.” She smiled big. “I’ll get out of your way and let you get back to your lesson.” She nodded toward the girl who still sat strumming her guitar. Buffy had noticed the girl sending her suspicious looks a couple of times.

“Oh, Cassie.” Spike looked over at her. “She took lessons a while back, now she just stops by to hang. She’s far too good for a seventeen year old; she’ll be something in a few years—probably forget all about us little people.”

Buffy noticed the girl glancing at them again and laughed softly. “She likes you,” she said quietly.

He winced and nodded.

“You’ve noticed.”

“Yeah, well she has all the subtlety of a—she has all the subtlety of a seventeen year old girl.”

“Oh.” Buffy felt bad for the girl. She made her sad face. “Be gentle.”

“No worries, she’s a good kid. I’m sure she’ll realize that she can do better than me in a few days.”

Buffy laughed with him, but had her doubts.

“Look, this may be out of line, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, right? You remember Fred?”

Buffy nodded. “Sure.”

“She and Wesley just told me that they’re having a baby. I’m going to be an uncle.” He grinned broadly.

“Congratulations! That’s exciting.”

“I need to get presents-lots of presents. I was hoping that maybe you’d come help me pick out the right stuff. You know, since you’re an expert.”

It was an odd request, but Buffy couldn’t really see anything wrong in it. They got along well enough, he’d done her a favor and now he was asking for a favor in return. It wasn’t too weird. Lots of men didn’t like shopping. “I’m not really an expert on the tiny ones.”

“This kid’s going to be brilliant. Seriously, Fred and Wes are both geniuses, so this kid’s getting choice genes. I need good presents—educational presents.”

“It’s sweet that you’re so excited. I know a few good stores for educational toys.

“So, you’ll help?”

She laughed again and shrugged. “Sure, I like shopping. When did you want to go?”

“Is tomorrow afternoon too soon? I’ve a got a guy in the shop tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow works. I can probably get out of school by 3:45. Should I just come here?”

“If you don’t mind.”

“Nope. I’ll see you tomorrow. Congratulations, again.” She looked over at Cassie and gave her a little wave. “Hi. Sorry to interrupt your playing. I’m getting out of your hair now.”

Cassie frowned slightly before remembering to smile and yell out, “No problem. Spike always has to stop for business.”

Buffy grinned at her and then at Spike before leaving. She had to bite her lip to keep from laughing at Cassie’s catty decision to call her visit business. It was clear to Buffy that the poor girl had it bad.

Spike walked back to the jam circle.

“Friend of yours?” Cassie asked innocently.

“Yeah, yeah. Buffy teaches little tykes at Mossy Grove—cute kids—made me this.” He handed her the book.

She flipped through the pages and giggled. “This is legitimately cute.”

He nodded.

“Ooh! Look this one calls you Mrs. Pie.”

Spike frowned and looked at the picture in question. “Well they’re still learning to write. He must have messed up the spacing.” He pointed to a light squiggle between the ‘I’ and the ‘E.’ “That might be a k.”

“Mrs. Pie.” She giggled again. “It suits you.”

“Ha bloody ha. Don’t mock my fancy thank you book.”

She handed it back to him. “You want to play some more? I’ve been working on some Death Cab for Cutie.”

He nodded. “Sure thing, kiddo. I’m going to grab a bottle of water from my office. Want a soda?”

Cassie nodded. “Orange?”

“You got it.” Spike carried the book into his office and laid it on his desk. He grinned and wondered how long he’d have to wait for a picture that said for Uncle Spike.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Buffy watched Spike load the third large bag into his trunk. “That’s…a lot of presents.” She laughed. “I think it’s clear you’ve decided to go the spoiling route.”

“Wes and Fred were both only children, so I’ll be the only uncle the little mite has.”

“In that case, maybe I shouldn’t have talked you out of that Lego Death Star.” She giggled.

“You think?”

“No. I think you have three giant bags full of great toys. Seriously, you could stock a preschool from your trunk.”

Spike ran a hand over his head, messing his carefully slicked back hair, and grinned. “I may have gotten a tad carried away.”

“It’s sweet. The kid is going to love you.”

“Thanks for all your help, Buffy. I wouldn’t have known where to start without you.”

“No problem. It was fun.”

“Still, let me take you to dinner as a thank you. The least I can do after dragging you through all those stores is feed you.”

“That’s not—”

“How do you feel about fish tacos? There’s a place over on Wilson Drive that I go to with Fred sometimes. That woman loves tacos. I’ve seen her put away a half a dozen in a sitting. It should be disgusting but mostly it’s sort of fascinating. Anyway, the Mexican place on Wilson has great fish tacos.”

“Juan’s Place. I’ve been. They also have yummy salsa and dangerously good margaritas. Last spring my friend, Willow, got so tipsy she started flirting with a waitress. I mean seriously flirting. It was beyond strange.”

“That sounds like a yes.”

Buffy shrugged. “Why not?”

Spike walked over to the passenger side door and pulled it open for her. Buffy climbed in.

She waited for him to get in before talking. “I think that train set was a good choice. Melissa and Doug make really nice toys—very sturdy.”

“You’re sure it’s good for a girl too?”

“Absolutely. Trains are universally fun, like…other universally fun things that I can’t think of right now.”

Spike laughed and smirked at her. “You can’t think of anything that’s always fun? Nothing?”

She blushed. “You should take the next right and short-cut through downtown.”

Spike chuckled again and took her suggestion. He glanced over at her after taking the turn. A piece of hair had escaped her ponytail and was brushing against her cheek. Spike’s fingers clenched against the steering wheel as he fought off the urge to reach over and tuck that lock of hair behind her ear. He was genuinely enjoying her company. He wanted to be friends if that was the only option currently available, but that didn't mean he wasn't noticing the pretty shape of her lips or the sweet curve of her ass when she bent to pick up a toy from a lower shelf. “So, you umm—you like kids. Are you thinking about being a mum someday?”

She laughed softly. “You know most people just assume that I am. Almost no one actually asks.” She laughed again. “A couple of years ago I would have said no, but now…yeah, I do.”

“I get that. I never even considered the possibility. I mean kids—that would mean growing up first.” He faked a shudder.

“And now your cousin is starting a family and you’re thinking it might not be such a bad thing.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I suppose that’s all it is."
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 5 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
First off, I am so sorry about the long delay in posting. The last week and a half has been crazy. My five year old niece came for a visit, which means we had a couple of epic-length car trips in order to collect her and return her and then in the middle of that my uncle got married in Connecticut so we had to drive up there and back. Our major car trips alone for the past ten days added up to nearly forty hours. Add in a wedding, a day at the zoo, a training for work, a cardboard boat regatta, a couple of kids movies and the general watching of an active five year old and I was crazy swamped. :( I've barely touched my laptop in days.
Next off, I think I confused people with my last author's note. I meant that I think my summary for this story is boring. I was thinking about adding more pizazz to the write up that attracts readers. I am actually in love with the story itself. Still, I thank everyone who assured me they weren't being bored to tears. It's always good to know. *hugs* You rock. :)
Finally, I am still searching for a banner artist. :)
Thursday, October 21, 2010 (still)

“So, of course, Tyler had hidden his sandwich in his coat pocket two days earlier, which he had then left at school, and it was rotting or something.” She laughed. “It reeked. The whole room was gross even after we found it and threw it out. I had to take the kids outside for the whole day to avoid the stink.”

“But why did he put the sandwich in his pocket?”

“Because he’s four.” She shrugged and laughed again. “When I asked him about it, he couldn’t remember if he wanted to save it for later or if he was hiding it because he didn’t like it.”

“Brilliant. I’ve got a friend like that but he’s almost forty.”

Buffy raised her eyebrows dramatically.

“You remember those commercials that played when we were little-the ones with the egg and the pan-they were all ‘this is your brain on drugs’? Turns out that’s true.”

She laughed and took another sip of her strawberry margarita.

Spike was surprised that he’d talked her into ordering a second drink and was enjoying every moment of her silly classroom anecdotes.

“You were a big partier then?” Buffy asked, giving him a mock stern look.

He shook his head. “I wouldn’t say that. I drank a bit more than I should have and I smoked some weed.” He shrugged. “That scene and music…there’s some overlap, but I was never too far gone. Giles saw to that.”

“Is that a person? Giles?”

“Yeah.” He chuckled. “Rupert Giles is my uncle. He’s the one that took me in after—when I came here. He did his best to keep me on the nearly straight if not so narrow.”

Buffy laughed. “Did you make it hard for him?”

Spike nodded. “When I first got here I was…angry.”

“You were hurting.”

He shrugged. “I thought I was going to be a badass. Giles made it clear that wasn’t an option. He perfected the ‘your mother wouldn’t wish this’ guilt trip.”

Buffy gave him her sad face for a second before smiling. “You still ended up playing for a punk band. He couldn’t have been that strict.”

“I never said ol’ Rupes doesn’t have brilliant taste in music. He’s the one that taught me to play.”

“Awww…that’s—” The sound of her phone chiming cut her off. She pulled it out, gave the ID screen a glance and frowned. “I’m sorry. I should just check.”

Spike nodded.

“Hello? Dawnie? Where are you? You…what…I can’t believe you…mom is…where exactly are you now? You’re…oh my god, Dawn! Yes, I’m coming I might kill you when I get there, but I’m coming.” Buffy hit call end and stared at her phone in shock for a moment. “My sister has apparently been arrested in Yucca Valley.”

“I thought she was going to school in Boston.”

“Yeah, so did I.” She sighed. “I’m gonna need to cut this short…so I can go bail out my kid sister—words I never thought I’d say.”

“Of course, pet.” Spike lifted his hand and waved at their waitress. When she came over her handed her a credit card and told her that something had come up and they were in a hurry. “Any idea what she’s in for?”

Buffy whimpered. “In for…my sister is in jail.” She shook her head. “Something about a protest.” She shrugged.

Spike smiled a thank you to the waitress as he took and signed the credit card slip. “Well, Yucca Valley is about three hours away so we just get moving.”

“Oh…you don’t—I just need you to drop me off at my car.”

He scoffed. “Come on, I’m not gonna send you off to drive all night on your own. I’ll take you…unless you meant to grab your uh…your boyfriend for the trip.”

Buffy followed him out of the restaurant. “No, Angel is out of town on business, but I can do the drive by myself. You really don’t need to come. It’ll take all night.”

Spike stopped. “Can tell me you honestly that you wouldn’t prefer some company?”

She put her hand on the car door and looked at him over the hood. “You’re really willing to spend all night driving to Yucca Valley and back just to keep me company?”

“Why not? It’s what friends do, yeah?”

Buffy’s eyes widened. “Yeah, I guess it is. Thanks. You’re right. I would have hated driving all the way there and back by myself.”

An hour into the drive Buffy decided it was time to play road trip games. They were able to work their way through the alphabet on signs in about twenty minutes and then played several rounds of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Buffy was still trying to remember who else was in Flatliners when she turned to Spike to suggest a new game. “Have you ever played ‘I never’? Normally it’s a drinking game, but we could just pretend to drink.”

He laughed hard. “I’m fairly certain that the drinking is the only reason that games works, pet. Otherwise you are sharing information that you’d prefer not to share whilst sober. No motivation.”

“Oh. I guess that makes sense.”

“Besides if you want to know something about me all you have to do is ask.” He turned to give her a quick grin.

She blushed. “That’s not a game—unless, it’s kind of a game if we take turns.”

“I’m an open book, kitten. What do you want to know?”

“Hmmm…what’s your favorite color?”

He laughed again. “I see you’re jumping right in—getting personal.” He pretended to give her question consideration while he wondered what her goal was. “Red.”

“Interesting. I read a thing in Cosmo once about what your favorite color says about you and red means you have a zest for life and that you’re passionate.”

“Good to know.”

“Okay, it’s your turn. Ask me a question.”

Spike was tempted to ask several things, most of which would not have sent the friendly message he was aiming for. “What type of music do you listen to?”

“No fair.”

He turned to look at her incredulously. “How do you figure that?”

“You are going to be a music snob.”

He chuckled. “I like lots of types of music. I won’t tease.”

“Even if I don’t really know what type of music I like best?”

“Even then.”

“I mostly just listen to pop, I guess or whatever is on the radio.”

Spike sighed. “You’re right, I am disgusted.”


“Just playing, pet. Though, I will have to begin your musical education immediately.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Whatever. It’s my turn. Hmmm…”

“Take a quick peek at the GPS. I think I should take this next exit.”

Buffy picked up his phone and checked the screen. “You’re right. We’re making good time.” She frowned. “How fast are you driving?”

He smirked. “Did you have a question for me?”

“Yes. I do. How fast are we currently going?”

He laughed. “We are currently moving at a speed of 81 mph and will be busting your little sis from the big house in no time.”

She groaned. “Yeah, unless we get locked up with her. I thought you said you were past your immortal phase.”

“Fine. I’ll slow down. And it’s now my turn to ask a question.” He paused for a moment and considered asking about her boyfriend. What he really wanted to know was whether or not things were serious between them. “What’s your favorite movie?” He nearly groaned at his own lameness.

“Mamma Mia.”

He winced. “Seriously?”

“Yeah. Or maybe any movie with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. They just don’t make movies that sweet anymore.” She shrugged and then grinned. “Ooh, my turn. What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?”

“What happened to favorite food or favorite airline or favorite playboy bunny?”

“What happened to I’m an open book?”

“I suppose I didn’t see you being quite so blood thirsty.” He sighed. “Fine. This goes no further and is never mentioned again. Once, when I was about thirteen and particularly pathetic, I wrote a girl a poem.”

“Aww…that’s cute. That can’t be the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you.”

“Yeah, I’m getting to that. See, the girl I gave the poem to thought it would be great fun to share that poem with the brute she fancied that week. He and a few of his mates waited until one of those dreadful school dances and read it aloud for the entire school.”

Buffy made her sad face. “Oh no. That’s just mean.”

“Kids are like that.”

“Sometimes.” She laughed softly. “I’m sorry. It’s just…your story kind of reminded me of my friend, Xander. He was always trying some scheme to get a new girl to like him. Once he actually ordered this special cologne from the back of a magazine. It was supposed to have pheromones in it that would make him irresistible to women.”

“I’m gonna wager a guess that it didn’t work.”

“Not even a little bit. It actually kind of stank and then he put on like half the bottle. Even Willow and I wouldn’t hang out with him and we were his friends.”

“The things we do for love.”

Buffy nodded.

He gave her a quick look. “What about you? What crimes against rationality have you committed in the name of love?”

She shrugged. “None really.” She smiled suddenly. “There was a boy in the third grade I let eat all the cookies from my lunch for a week so that he would like me. Once I ran out of cookies he just moved on to a girl with Twinkies.”

“Why buy the bakery when you’re getting the goodies for free?”

“Ahh…you’re one of those, are you? Talk a girl out of her pants and then lose all respect for her?”

His eyes widened in surprise. “What? No. Not—that’s not—I absolutely respect women without pants.”

Buffy giggled. “That’s what Tony said before he ate all my cookies.”

“He told you to take off your pants? Damn ballsy for an eight year old. Did it work?”

“Yes, yes it did. He stole my cookies, my virtue and my heart.” She laughed.

Spike chuckled. “The police station should be just up here on the left.”

She stopped laughing. “I still can’t believe she did this.”

“You said it was a protest, right? So it’s probably something simple like gathering without a permit or trespassing on someone’s private sidewalk.”

“Yeah-maybe my sister who is supposed to be in class in Boston got arrested for a little thing in California. I’ll bet you’re right.”

Spike grinned. He kind of loved when she let her sarcasm out for a minute.

They pulled into the police station a few minutes later. Spike walked Buffy in and stood quietly behind her while she dealt with the police and paid her sister’s fine. Twenty minutes later the three of them were walking towards his car.

He gave the younger girl a quick perusal. She was pretty like her sister, but was taller and had long, straight, dark hair. She was wearing a pair of olive green cargo pants and a T-shirt that read ‘I give a hoot about owls’ and was too short to meet the waist of the pants and stretched over her modest chest. Spike suspected it was a child’s size co-opted by the thin girl for its cute but politically inspired message. Dawn had a row of small silver hoops running the length of her right ear and a single silver butterfly earring in her left lobe. She was wearing several bracelets crafted from rope or string and wooden beads and had a single lock of hair wrapped in colorful threads. The general affect was rather hippie-earth-warrior, but Spike noted that the toes peeking out of her hemp sandals were perfectly painted and that even after sitting in a holding cell for the past few hours, Dawn smelled great.

Buffy had come to help him straight away after work and was still dressed in her classroom attire, a pair of tan Capri-length pants, a red blouse and simple flats. Spike found himself wondering what she wore when she didn’t have to worry about anyone’s approval. Dawn’s hippie-like styling appealed to Spike in the way most moderately rebellious looks did, but he couldn’t quite see Buffy choosing the look.

“Right, so is anyone going to tell me who this guy is?” Dawn jerked her thumb in Spike’s direction.

“Oh!” Buffy’s cheeks pinked. “This is Spike; he drove me all the way here to bail you out of jail.”

Dawn rolled her eyes. “You make it sound like I did time in Sing-Sing. All I had to do was pay a fine. No big.” She turned her attention back to Spike. “When did you break up with Angel?”

“I didn’t. Spike and I are just friends.”

“Oh.” Dawn didn’t bother to hide the disappointment from her voice. “Anyway, I’ll pay you back as soon as I can. Just give me a ride to the campground.”

“I still don’t understand what you were thinking, Dawnie. Does mom know that you’ve dropped out of school?”

Dawn stopped and turned to her sister. “I didn’t drop out. I’m only missing one week of classes. A couple of my professors even came with us.” She shook her head. “You just don’t understand that some things are too important to give up on. Sometimes we have to do things that aren’t convenient because they’re right. This was the right thing to do.”

Spike could see things were about to escalate between the sisters. He stepped in. “What were you protesting, pet?”

“There’s a plan to put in another Wal-Mart with a giant parking lot that will completely disrupt the entire the watershed for an area right next to Joshua Tree. Animals don’t know which trees are in the park and which aren’t. And everyone is so excited about their lame big box store that no one is even talking about the big horn sheep that are about to lose their homes or all the bobcats that will be hit by cars when they build a new road right through their territory.”

Spike nodded. “So you and your mates were what holding up signs and singing, yeah? That’s sweet, right?” He turned back towards Buffy.

“Right, only no one gets any press for holding up signs and singing Kumbaya. So we did it topless.”

Buffy and Spike both turned back to her with open mouths. Buffy found her voice first. “You didn’t. Oh god, please tell me that my baby sister’s boobs won’t be on CNN.”

Spike laughed hard. He could feel Buffy glaring at him but he couldn’t stop. “I’ll bet the cameras came out for that, didn’t they?” He grinned at Dawn before unlocking the passenger side doors and walking around the car.

Dawn waited for Buffy to climb in. “Scoot over.” She pointed to the middle of the front bench seat.

Buffy shook her head. “Get in the back.”

“No way. I always get pukey in the back.”

Spike’s eyebrows darted together. He reached over and pulled Buffy closer. “There will be no puking in my baby.”

Dawn grinned at Spike’s decree and climbed in. “Cool, ugly car.”

Spike reached over and rubbed the dashboard. “Don’t listen to the mean girl, baby.” He turned back to Dawn. “This is a classic. They don’t make cars like this anymore.”

Dawn nodded. “Nope, they sure don’t. I’ve seen boats about this size. What kind of gas mileage does it get?”

Buffy forgot, momentarily, the odd physical awareness of Spike she’d felt when he’d pulled her closer and couldn’t help chuckling. “It was full when we left and we still had to stop on the way.”

Dawn nodded smugly.

Spike murmured comforting words to his car as he turned the key. “Where is this campsite of yours?”
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 6 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I have an extra long chapter for you all today. :) In the middle of this chapter, you will finally get to meet Angel. I'm interested to see what folks will think of him. No worries-the Angel scene is brief and surrounded by Spuffy fun. ;) Also, I suspect people are going to start growing impatient with Buffy soon, please give her a chance. Thank you.

Also-I haven't said it in a little while, but I still don't own any characters that were created By Joss Whedon and the Mutant Enemy crew. If I did I would be doing something other than writing fanfiction. :) This story is not intended to infringe on any coyrights and is not written for profit. Please don't sue me. That said, it is my little story and I like knowing where it goes, so please ask before reposting. (Linking is obviously fine and awesome.) Thanks.
Friday, October 22, 2010 (very early in the morning)

Spike grinned when the Welcome to Sunnydale sign came into view. “You know they had to replace that sign a few years back?”

Buffy frowned. “That’s right. It was knocked down.” She turned to give him a curious look.

“I was trying to teach my cousin, Wes, how to drive a stick.”

Her mouth made an adorable ‘o’. “You’re kidding.”

He shook his head. “He still only drives an automatic.” Buffy giggled and Spike smiled at her. They were nearly back to her car. “Are you going to be okay to drive? I could just drop you at your house and help you fetch your car tomorrow.”

She laughed. “I’ll be fine. I’m not the one who spent the last seven hours driving. I really can’t thank you enough. You’re going to be exhausted tomorrow…which is today actually.” She frowned.

He shrugged. “I’ll survive. It was fun. Who’d have guessed that Buffy Summers’ kid sister was such a little rebel with a hundred causes?”

“Not me. A few years ago she was Goth and before that she was trying out for the cheerleading squad.”

He laughed. “Cheerleaders…”

“You have something against cheerleaders?”

Spike gasped. “Don’t tell me you were pom-pom girl.” When she only glared in response, he gave her another glance. “Actually, I can see that. I’ll bet you were bloody cute bouncing around with a ponytail and a tiny skirt.” He wondered if she still owned the uniform. A very vivid fantasy began forming in his sleep deprived mind and he shifted his legs in hopes of hiding the evidence. Could he get her panties off without taking off her sneakers? The thought of rubber soles pressing into his back made his fingers clench the steering wheel and a sweat break out on his forehead.

“Cheerleaders are athletes, you know? People think it’s all tight sweaters and jumping up and down, but we had to master a lot of gymnastics and dance to compete.”

“I’m sure you did, kitten.”

“Don’t say it like that. I’ll bet you were too cool for afterschool activities.”

Spike chuckled and wondered what she’d have thought of him back in high school. He glanced in her direction. “I was rather quiet in school, actually. I was mostly interested in whatever band I was playing with at the time.”

“And teasing the cheerleaders?”

“Wesley and I went to Mitchell Academy. It was all blokes, so…no cheerleaders to tease even if had been the ruffian you seem to picture.”

“Ooh ruffian…Mitchell taught you boys how to use fancy words.”

Spike laughed. “Tell me, kitten, what do you think of zombies?”

“You know, Spike, I can’t say I’ve given the topic much thought but I’d have to say I’m probably anti-zombie. I mean it would take tremendous swing to get me past the whole brain sucking thing.”

“There’s a thing this weekend, for Halloween, there’s a zombie crawl. You dress like a zombie, meet up with a bunch of other people dressed zombies at a bar and then sort of walk over to the theatre for a midnight showing of Night of the Living Dead.”

Her eyes widened. “People do that, seriously?”

His cheeks felt warm and he was glad it was dark. “Yeah, I mean it’s a thing, better if you’re doing it with a friend, I suspect. I just thought maybe you’d think it was…never mind, I don’t know what I was thinking, it was—”

“I don’t have a zombie costume.”

“Well, we’d make them. That’s part of the fun. We hit up the thrift shop and find truly horrific clothes and them we tear them up and cover them with fake blood.”

She nearly said no. It was definitely not the kind of thing she normally did. But something about Spike’s sudden awkwardness appealed to her and she decided that doing different things was exactly what she wanted to be doing. It was nearly Halloween and he was talking about wearing silly costumes, drinking beer and watching a scary movie. “Why not?” She shrugged.

“You mean it?” He gave her a cautious smile.

“Yeah, I’m in.”

Spike was still grinning twenty minutes later when he finally pulled into his driveway and stumbled into his house. He considered, briefly, revisiting the Buffy in a cheerleading costume fantasy he’d worked up earlier but felt unusually guilty about it and went to sleep instead.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Buffy stepped back and studied her reflection in the full length mirror attached to the back of her closet door. She smoothed the skirt of her pale pink dress and turned to see her profile, before leaning closer to make sure that her eyeliner was perfect. She gave herself a nod of cautious approval before walking over to her dresser to dab on perfume.

Angel knocked on her door at exactly 7:00. She smiled at his promptness and went to let him in.

He grinned broadly as soon as she opened the door. “Hey, princess. You look especially beautiful this evening. Are you ready to go?”

She nodded before rising up on her toes to kiss his cheek. “Yup. Just let me grab my wrap and my bag.”

Angel waited in the doorway while she walked back to her room to grab the clutch and wrap she’d left on her bed. When she returned, he offered her his arm and escorted her down to his car. “Your dress reminds me a little of the one you wore to that Homecoming Dance. It’s about the same color, isn’t it?”

She smiled. “You remember my dress?”

“Of course I do. You were the prettiest girl there.” He’d fallen in love with her that night. She’d looked like a real princess: delicate and soft and pretty. Angel had made a command decision that night. He’d changed the course of his life, so that he could become the kind of man who could treat his girl like she deserved to be treated. He’d given up football and focused on school. He’d let his father pull strings to help him get into an excellent business program and now, only a decade later, he was on the cusp of becoming the youngest VP in company history. He was nearly there. He knew that Buffy had been disappointed by all the time he’d had to spend working for the past few years, but he was sure that she would understand when he was able to give her a big house as a wedding present. Soon he’d be able to take care of her and that, he thought, would make all the work worthwhile.

“That’s sweet.”

“I made reservations at Antonio’s.” He glanced over to her for approval.

“That sound’s perfect.”

He smiled. “You deserve perfect.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spike picked Buffy up shortly after noon so they could get to work on finding suitable zombie attire. When they were nearly at the thrift shop, he turned to her and grinned. “Do you mind if we make a quick stop first?”

Buffy shrugged. “Nope. What do you need to do?”

“You’ll see.” He grinned and took a quick right turn. “So what did you decide? Did you rat out little sis?”

“Na, she hasn’t actually dropped out of school and she is nineteen now.” She smiled broadly. “Besides her naked boobies were totally on CNN and one of mom’s neighbors saw it. She is so busted.”

He laughed. “I sense that you are enjoying that a little more than you should.”

“Maybe.” She giggled. “It’s a sister thing.”

He was still laughing when he parked the car a few moments later. He unbuckled, leaned across her lap to open the glove compartment and pulled out a small black bag.

Buffy leaned as far back in the seat as she could. “Uh…what’s that?”

He sat back up and shook the bag. It jingled. “Quarters. Come on.” He opened his door and hopped out of the car.

She followed with a confused expression as he entered a bar with a brightly lettered sign that said Caritas.

He stopped at the jukebox just inside the door and looked around quickly before he began depositing quarters. Buffy laughed as she watched him push several dollars worth of coins into the machine and then enter a code without checking the offerings. A catchy, upbeat tune began and a man shouted and ran out from a back office before the deep recorded voice had completed the first verse.

We're no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment's what I'm thinking of
You wouldn't get this from any other guy
I just wanna tell you how I'm feeling
Gotta make you understand

Spike grabbed Buffy’s wrist and yanked her back out to the sidewalk. He laughed as the other man ran out. Buffy looked from one to the other with wide eyes. “What’s—”

The music wafted out the open door.

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you

The man from the bar, stopped just outside the entrance, put his hands on his hips and shouted. “You think you’re cute, don’t you?”

Spike laughed even harder and continued tugging Buffy towards his car. “Not as cute as you think I am.”

The other man laughed and shook his head. “You’re not my type, cupcake.” He waited until just before Spike climbed into his car to yell, “You have a scrawny ass!”

Spike sat down and frowned. “My ass is fine.” He turned to Buffy. “It is.”

She stared at him. “What just happened?”

“I Rick-Rolled him.”

“And again I ask, what just happened?”

“Oh come on, kitten. You know that song.”

She frowned. “The one on the jukebox?”

“Yeah, it’s by Rick Astley, so it’s called Rick-Rolling.”

“I like that song.”

He laughed. “Of course you do. That’s…of course you do.” He shook his head. “Point is: I just dumped enough cash into that jukebox to keep it going for an hour.”

Buffy shook her head. “But why would you do that?”

“Why not? It’s bloody funny.”


He laughed again. “Don’t look at me like that. Lorne can unplug the machine if he wants. The place won’t get busy for hours yet. It’s just a little joke.”

“So you guys are like friends?”

“Yeah. He’s a good guy. Funny story actually: I was rooming with a girl a while back and she met him at a party or something. Anyway she fell for him, head over heels, right? She talks about him for weeks. Finally she invites him over to our place for a party.” Spike laughed and shook his head.


“And he wasn’t there ten minutes before he hit on me. I nearly busted a gut. You birds have shit radar for that sort of thing.”

Buffy was sure that laughing was wrong, but she couldn’t help it. “Oh, but what about your roommate?”

“She found another bloke a few nights later. They’re still together actually.”

“Oh, well that’s nice at least.” Suddenly her eyes widened. “Wait. Are you saying that you’re…”

He choked on air. “No. Bloody hell! Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know. You give off a vibe of sorts and you did seem upset that he didn’t like your ass.”

“A vibe? I don’t vibe and I don’t care what he thinks of my ass. I just happen to know that there is nothing wrong with it.”

“Okay.” She bit her lip to keep from laughing as she nodded.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 (approximately 1:30 am)

Spike gave Buffy another quick glance and barely held back a chuckle. He leaned close and whispered in her ear. “Are you certain you don’t want to leave, kitten? I don’t mind—seen this flick a dozen times anyway.”

Buffy, who had been watching the movie through the spaces between her fingers for the past hour, shook her head. “No. I’m having fun.”

“You’re certain?”

His breath on her neck made her shiver. She nodded and turned to give him a quick smile. A moment later he was watching the movie again and she was watching him. His face, like her own, was painted almost grey and there was fake blood dabbed from the corner of his mouth and down his neck. Every time she looked at him she had to fight off her teacher instinct to grab a napkin and clean him up.

They’d had a lot of fun at the thrift store and had ended up with prom couple from the 1980’s turned zombie costumes. Spike was wearing a thrashed powder blue tux and Buffy was wearing a neon green dress with big puffy sleeves and a bow in the back. She’d had to crimp her hair to do it justice. She’d been nervous at first, but there had been a couple of dozen other zombies at the bar when they got there and zombie walking through town was unexpectedly hilarious. Sure the movie was too scary for her, but she’d found the experience as a whole liberating. She loved the idea that she could do something that even she didn’t expect she’d do.

After the movie, they walked back to Spike’s car and climbed in. Buffy shivered and Spike immediately offered her the leather jacket resting on his back seat. She’d tried to argue that she’d get it messed up, but he’d insisted and she’d pulled it on.

He looked at her small form engulfed in his jacket and chuckled. “Bloody hell, you’re a tiny woman.”

“I may be small, but I’m stronger than I look and I’ve developed a taste for brains, so…” She raised her hands up and flopped them about in front of him while moaning comically.

He laughed. “How can you be this adorable while covered in fake blood and gore? No real zombies are this cute. It would completely unfair.”

“Yeah, I’m really stylin in this reject bridesmaid’s gown.”

“You’re cute—no point in denying it.”

Buffy felt her cheeks warming up and ducked her head. She wondered for a moment if he meant anything by his flirting and then rejected the idea. He knew she was seeing someone and it was ridiculous to think a man as attractive as he was needed to waste his time scamming on a girl with a boyfriend. By the time he dropped her off at home, she’d stopped worrying about it completely.

Sunday, October 31, 2010 (several hours later)

Willow looked at Buffy with big eyes from across their small table at the cafe. “You really dressed like a zombie last night?” She put down the menu and looked at her friend with surprise clear on her face.

“Yup. There were lots of us. We even tried to do the Thriller dance. Well, not Spike. I think he might be too cool to do the Thriller dance. It was…kind of awesome.”

“It sounds…yeah...wow.” Willow couldn’t help smiling at her friend. She tried to remember the last time she’d seen Buffy looking as carefree and happy as she looked just then. “So you’ve been hanging out with Spike a lot, huh?”

“Some, yeah. He’s funny and different than I would have expected. We’re friends.”

“That’s nice. I mean making new friends is always nice.”

“Exactly. It’s weird how we all stopped making new friends. It’s like as soon as school was done we all stopped talking to anyone who wasn’t already one of our friends. I think that’s dumb. New friends are fun.”

Willow laughed. “Then I’m glad you’ve made a new friend, sweetie.”

“Me too.”She smiled broadly. “Oh!” Her eyes twinkled. “I need you to help me mess with him later.”

Willow frowned. “Umm…why?”

“For fun. I can’t do it myself because he’d recognize my voice.”

“I don’t know if I’m really the right girl for this sort of thing. Maybe you should ask Cordelia.”

Buffy shook her head. “No. It’ll be easy. You’re just going to call and pretend you want guitar lessons.” She giggled.

Willow smiled. “I don’t get it.”

“You’re going to tell him that you want lessons so that you can play New Kids on Block songs. You’re going to insist that he only teach you to play New Kids on the Block songs and see if he agrees.” She grinned triumphantly.

“Why would I want that?”

“You don’t, but he doesn’t know that.” Buffy laughed. “Just trust me. It’s going to be funny.” She lifted up her menu. “What looks good? I’m starving. Turns out pretend brains aren’t very filling.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fred frowned and bit her lip. “But she has a boyfriend?”

Spike walked behind the register counter and straightened the baskets holding guitar picks, strings and harmonicas. “Yeah, she has a guy. It’s not a thing. We’re just friends.”

Fred nodded. “Right, okay.”

Sighing, Spike stopped adjusting his stock and looked over at her. “Look, pet. Do I like her? Yeah. Of course I do. She’s adorable. But it’s no big deal. We’re just friends.”

She nodded again and showed him her sad eyes.

“Oh, don’t look at me like that. I’m not being a dick here. I’m not making a move on another man’s girl. I’m just—I’m just being her friend.”


“And what? And if she’s sees that there are other options and dumps the boyfriend I’ll be thrilled. Yeah, okay?” He sighed heavily. “But I’m not…we’re just friends.”

Fred walked around the counter and gave him a hug. “I just don’t want to see you get hurt.”

He dropped a kiss onto the top of her head. “I know. No worries. I’m being careful.”

“Good.” She pulled away and gave him a big smile. “So you are coming for dinner on Sunday. No excuses. Rupert is bringing Anya again and Wesley is having a conniption. I need moral support. Pregnant ladies aren’t supposed to get stressed. It’s bad for the baby.”

He laughed. “Well played, pet. You know I can’t do anything that might bother my little niece or nephew in there.” He gazed curiously at her midsection. “How much longer do we have to wait?”

“Five months. Also stop staring at my stomach like you expect it to pop out like an alien in a Sigourney Weaver movie.” She rolled her eyes.

Spike’s eyes widened. “That’s a bloody dreadful image to put in a bloke’s head, pet.” He shook his head and frowned at her.

“Sorry.” She smiled sort of bashfully. “Ever since I started showing, it feels like everyone keeps giving me these creepy anticipatory looks.”

“Right. Don’t look at Fred. Check.” He made a show of looking away.

She giggled and swatted his arm. “Very funny. Anyway, I was mostly just checking about Sunday, so I should get back to my errands.”

Spike was just about to give Fred a pout and complain that she only visited when she wanted something when the little bell on the shop’s front door jangled to announce that they were no longer alone. He looked up, expecting to be irritated by a browser, and saw Buffy carrying in his jacket and a foil covered dish. He smiled. “Hi, love. I wasn’t expecting a visit today.”

“Sorry. Are you very busy? I just wanted to drop off some stuff.”

“Not at all. Just feeling very lucky to get visits from two pretty girls today.” He walked around the counter and gestured towards Fred before holding out his hands to take his coat. “You remember Fred.”

Buffy nodded. “Hi. It’s nice to meet you again.”

Fred smiled back. “Hi.”

“The drycleaner said he’d never had to remove fake blood from the inside of a leather coat before, so that was fun.”

“You didn’t have to get it cleaned. I’m certain the fake blood was the least of my problems.”

Buffy arched an eyebrow. “Good friends dry clean before they return. If you ever borrow my coat, I’ll expect it cleaned when you bring it back.”

He chuckled. “I’ll try to remember that.”

“Here.” She pressed the foil-covered dish into his hands.

“What’s this?”

“Apple Crisp. I’m practicing baking recipes before I do them with my class. I figured you bachelor types are always looking for food, right?”

“Yeah.” He grinned before nodding towards Fred. “Except on Sundays, of course. That’s when Fred feeds me. She’s a brilliant cook.”

Fred giggled. “Nice save.” She held out her hand to Buffy. “It was nice seeing you again, but I was just on my way out. Will I see you at the Bronze next Saturday?”

Buffy shook her hand before frowning slightly. “Umm…” She looked to Spike for help.

“It’s not a big thing.”

Fred sighed. “Spike’s going to be playing. He hardly does lately. You should come.” She gave her another smile and turned to give Spike a quick hug good-bye. “I’ll see you on Sunday. Come early.”

He laughed. “Yes, Mum.” He and Buffy both watched Fred leave the store.

“You’re playing at the Bronze next Saturday?”

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll just do a single set.”

“Oh.” She nodded.

“I mean, if you wanted to come that would be…of course that would be great.” He ran an anxious hand through his hair.

“Cool. Can I bring a friend?”

He nodded. “Yeah, yeah…you gonna bring your boy?”

“I was thinking my friend, Willow. She and I used to go to shows but haven’t in a while, so…”

“Is that the bird you got to call about lessons?”

She gasped. “How did you know that was me?”

“She called back later to apologize. Very polite, that one.”

Buffy giggled. “Of course she did.” She shook her head.

“I’ve gotta give you credit for the try though—had me going for a bit.”

“Yay!” She grinned.

“Yeah.” He grinned back.
Chapter End Notes:
Let me know what you're thinking. It only takes a minute and it makes my day.
Chapter 7 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I am so sorry about the long delay. I've started teaching science camps-which I'll be doing all summer and I'm still adjusting to the schedule. I'm going to continue writing and posting as often as I can, but the updates won't come as often as either of us will like. :(
I do a couple of things in this chapter that I don't normally do. First off, I include the lyrics for a few songs. I worry that this can seem like filler, but the songs in this fic have all been selected carefully and are usually meaningful to the plot. Song credits for this chapter include: Tom Petty, The Postal Service, Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace, and James Marsters. Any song that Spike claims as his own are songs written and sung by Marsters either solo or with his band, Ghost of the Robot. This will continue throughout the fic.
I'm compiling the songs in this fic here if anyone wants to give them a listen. :) http://dorians-kitten.livejournal.com/63752.html#cutid1
Monday, November 8, 2010

Despite what he’d told Fred, Spike was beginning to worry. The rational voice in his head was telling him clearly that he should stay away from the cute girl with the ever-absent boyfriend. But that was just the thing; the boyfriend never seemed to be around. He couldn’t see how she could have a good relationship with the boyfriend if she was always free to hang with him. Maybe they weren’t serious.

Still, he had honor. Spike wasn’t going to try to seduce her while she was still with another man. He wouldn’t do anything to taint her. She was like sunshine, bright and pure and hot enough to burn him alive. He couldn’t make her a cheater…even if she sometimes looked like she might let him. Spike had realized right away that Buffy had no idea how desirable she was and that she didn’t have a clue about the effect of her pretty green eyes on his self control. So he was going to do the right thing, even if it drove him insane. He would wait it out. Eventually she would break up with the boyfriend and he would have his chance. He just needed to be patient.

He was working his frustrations out by attacking the mass of weeds and brush that currently made up his back yard. It was hard, physical, labor, but it was mindless and he was beginning to realize that was a problem. Spike couldn’t stop thinking about her. He’d fully developed several fantasies in which she showed up on his doorstep and told him that her boyfriend was mean and hurtful and she just needed him to make her feel safe. Spike imagined himself sweeping her into his arms and carrying her off to bed where she would assure him that he was a far more talented lover than anyone she had ever been with. In one of the fantasies, she told him that she was still a virgin and she’d been saving herself just for him. Spike figured that was the most ridiculous of his imagination’s workings, but couldn’t help smiling at the thought.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Buffy met Willow and her friend, Tara, at Willow’s apartment and the three drove to the Bronze together. She spotted Spike talking with Fred and an attractive man with brown hair and glasses right away and led her group in their direction.

“Hi! When do you go on?”

Spike smiled broadly and Buffy wondered if he was actually surprised that she had come. She thought that he looked genuinely startled. “Buffy! You came.”

“Of course, I couldn’t miss a chance to see you perform grown-up songs.” She grinned. “This is my friend, Willow and her friend Tara.”

He gave the other woman a friendly nod. “Thanks for coming out.”

Willow smiled. “We’re excited to see you play.”

He laughed. “Maybe let’s keep the expectations low.”

Fred elbowed him. “He’s being modest.” She frowned. “Which is not normal for him.” She looked up at him. “Are you feeling all right?”

“Ha. Ha.” He shook his head. “Ladies, this is my cousin, Wesley, and his beautiful, but not particularly funny, wife: Fred.”

The group exchanged quick smiles and handshakes before scouting out an extra chair for their table.

“This is basically a mix of local musicians tonight, so there should be something for everyone,” Spike explained once everyone was seated.

“But when do you go on?”

“Not for another hour or so.”

“Cool. So you get to hang with us.”

He nodded. “That I do. Can I get anyone a drink? There is a waitress circulating, but going up to the bar is faster.”

Willow jumped up. “We can get them. Right?” She nodded at Tara, who blushed and stood up.

“Yes. Yes, we’ll get the drinks.”

Spike arched a brow as everyone watched them walk away. He turned back to Buffy and leaned close. “What’s the story there?”

Buffy’s brow wrinkled. “I guess they just really wanted to get the drinks.”

He laughed. “No, I meant your pretty friend has a very pretty friend.”

She stared at him in shock for a moment before whispering conspiratorially. “You’re getting it too. The vibe that maybe they are…” She trailed off, unsure of how to phrase her suspicion.

“Oh yeah. New thing?”

She nodded. “Last I knew, which was not that long ago, Willow liked boys. But she blushes every time she mentions Tara and I started having distinct third wheel feelings in the car on the way over, so…” She shrugged. “Oh!” She grasped his arm. “I’ve got it. You should ask Tara out.”

“What? No. Why would I do that?”

“So that we’ll know if she’s into girls or boys.”

He laughed. “A couple of problems with your plan, pet. First off, her turning me down wouldn’t automatically make her a lesbian. I might not be her type.”

Buffy couldn’t think of any responses to that argument that didn’t center on his being incredibly hot, so she didn’t respond.

“Second off, she might just say yes. Then what?”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Then you have a date with a very pretty girl. She seems sweet too.”

He shook his head and laughed. “Look at you—all ready to pimp me out just to answer your curiosity. I have a feeling that you and Fred are going to get on greatly.”

“You’re trying to tell me that going out with Tara would be a hardship?”

“Not at all. I’m just sayin’ that maybe you don’t know my type.”

“I see. Foolish of me to think you’d like spending time with a girl you said was very pretty.”

Spike wondered if there was any chance that Buffy was jealous. She’d repeated his observation about Tara twice now. Normally, he’d think that might mean something, but her insistence that he should go out with the other girl should she prove straight was definitely a signal in the other direction. Women were a mystery. It was one of the things he liked best about them. “Have I mentioned that you’re looking quite pretty tonight? I was hoping you’d come but I wouldn’t have dared dream I’d inspire dress wearing as well.”

Buffy giggled. “Thanks.” She ran her hands down her thighs, smoothing the skirt of her simple black dress. “I spend an awful lot of time wearing sensible shoes and dirty finger prints; I like to dress up a bit when the opportunity presents itself.” She’d been thrilled to have a reason to slip on the sexy silver heeled sandals and dangly earrings.

Willow and Tara returned a few moments later and the conversation became a group one with Wesley complaining about his father’s continued relationship with a Ms. Anya Jenkins.

“Even looking aside from the age difference, which is frankly near impossible to do, she is utterly inappropriate. The things that come out of that woman’s mouth.” He shook his head.

Fred reached up to rub his shoulder comfortingly. “She’s not that bad. She’s just…unique.”

“Unique? When you announced that we were expecting out first child she immediately stated the average cost of raising a child in the United States…to the penny.”

Everyone giggled.

Willow was wide-eyed. “Wow. How much does it cost?”

“About two hundred twenty thousand dollars.” The table absorbed the enormous number quietly for a moment before Spike continued. “I liked her. She’s spunky.”

Wesley rolled his eyes in disgust. “You only like her because she said that she could tell you were good in bed by how well handled a knife.”

Buffy frowned. “Is that a thing?”

Spike restrained himself from asking her if she’d like to find out. He smirked at her instead and was pleased when she blushed in response.

Forty-five minutes later, Spike took to the small stage, sat on a tall stool and adjusted the microphone. “Hello, everyone. My name’s Spike and I’m going to play you a few songs tonight.” He smiled at the enthusiastic applause and shouting from the table he’d just left. “Thanks.” He adjusted his guitar, took a quick calming breathe and leaned towards the microphone again. “This first one’s Tom Petty, but I’ll try to do right by him.”

He strummed a few chords for the opening and began singing in a deep, full voice.

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free

Buffy realized half way through the song that she’d been holding her breath. She’d gasped at the start and then froze. He was so much better then she’d realized after seeing him play for her class. He invoked so much emotion into the song that she felt a little bit like crying. She couldn’t pull her eyes away from him. He received warm applause when he finished the song, which Buffy thought he accepted with a surprising degree of humility. Something about him always screamed rock star to her, but it wasn’t his actions. He smiled and thanked everyone and then signaled to someone standing near the door. Buffy turned to see who it was but was blocked by the increasing crowd.

“Thanks. I’m going to bring up a friend to join me for the next one. Come on up, Cassie.”

Buffy watched in surprise as the girl she’d seen at his shop carried her guitar up and a man quickly brought up a stool for her to sit on.

Spike leaned towards the microphone again. “She’s brilliant, but I’ve gotta warn the bartenders that she’s underage no matter what the shiny bit of plastic in her pocket might tell you.”

Cassie turned to glare at him wide-mouthed as the audience tittered.

“Sorry, pet. I told you that I’m not cool. Still gonna sing with me.”

She laughed, nodded and they both started playing with no further introduction.

Spike started singing first.

I am thinking it's a sign that the freckles
in our eyes are mirror images and when
we kiss they're perfectly aligned

Cassie started the next section just before he finished the first so that their voices overlapped for an instant. The effect was lovely.

And I have to speculate that God himself
did make us into corresponding shapes like
puzzle pieces from the clay

The next section was Spike’s again and he started it while she was still holding the note from the word clay.

True, it may seem like a stretch, but
its thoughts like this that catch my troubled
head when you're away when I am missing you to death

Cassie sang the next section.

When, you are out there on the road for
several weeks of shows and when you scan
the radio, I hope this song will guide you home

They joined together to sing the chorus in harmony and a few members of the audience gave a few claps in appreciation.

they will see us waving from such great heights
"come down now," they'll say
but everything looks perfect from far away,
"come down now," but we'll stay...

They finished the song in the same way, taking turns with the lines and singing the chorus together. After sharing the applause, Spike thanked Cassie and she left the stage to rejoin her friends by the pool tables.

Buffy felt increasingly bad for the girl. She couldn’t imagine any girl not having a crush on Spike after he did that for her.

“The next couple of songs are my own, so…yeah, I’m sorry.” He grinned winningly.

He quickly began playing an upbeat rock melody.

I'm through with pastry,
No more sticky bun or cherry tarts
I want a good girl,
One who rocks but has a decent heart
Well I've been waiting
Now I'm sick of that
I think I saw you...

Katie, come out and play
I've got a present for you today
It's got your name on it
I hope I spelled it right
Oh-oh yeah
Oh-oh yeah- yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

She's got tattoos,
Runnin’ down underneath her shirt
She wears long sleeves
So you can't guess what's on her
But the coolest one
She can't hide
Yeah the coolest one, says Dad

Katie, come out and play
I've got a secret for you today
I think you're pretty
I wanted you to know
Oh-oh yeah
Oh-oh yeah-yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

This is pointless
Cause she's already got a guy
And I would never
Hit on her and make her life a lie
But I don't care
I'll find another one
No I don't care

Katie, come out and play
I've got a secret for you today
I think I love you
Though I don’t know you well
Oh-oh yeah
Oh-oh yeah-yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
oh-oh-oh oh-oh yeah- yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Fred leaned towards Buffy after he finished. “That was a new one. I haven’t heard it yet.”

Buffy smiled. “It’s fun. I didn’t know he wrote songs too.”

“He doesn’t always like to share them, but he’s got a few that are just perfect.”

Spike launched almost instantly into the next song.

I don't think you know my name,
And I think you'd leave me standing in the rain
You're a pretty little girl, got a thing for me
But you'd cut me open and let me bleed

But I've been lookin' at you
With your long brown hair
Pretty little feet
Sparklin' everywhere

You look so good
When you come my way
But I have to look down
When you talk to me

'Cause you're dangerous
You're dangerous
And you don't even know it

One baby, two, maybe three more years
Be a full grown baby, have all your curves
Here's my little taste of irony:
You'll be a ten hot lady, too good for me

But I'm lookin' at you
With your long brown hair
Pretty little feet
Sparklin' everywhere

You look so good
When you come my way
But I have to look down
When you talk to me

'Cause you're dangerous
You're dangerous
You're dangerous
And you don't even know it

So little baby, you better stay set
You play with fire when you get too wet
So set me down and leave me be
You find the devil when you unchain me

But I'll be looking at you
With your long brown hair
Pretty little feet
Sparkling everywhere

You look so good
When you come my way
But I have to look down
When you talk to me

'Cause you're dangerous
You're dangerous
You're dangerous
And you don't even know it

He lifted his hand to squeeze the back of his neck as he waited for the applause to die down. “Thanks, yeah. I’ve just one more for you. It’s…well, it’s come to my attention that I don’t know enough children’s songs. So, I learned one last night. I think you’ll recognize it. Thanks, again.”

Baby mine, don't you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part, baby of mine

Little one, when you play
Don't you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear, baby of mine

If they knew sweet little you
They'd end up loving you too
All those same people who scold you
What they'd give just for the
right to hold you

From your head down to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Sweet as can be, baby of mine

All of those people who scold you
What they'd give just for the
right to hold you

From your head down to your toes
You're not much, goodness knows
But you're so precious to me
Sweet as can be, baby of mine
Baby of mine

Buffy recognized the song instantly and tried to remember if she’d ever mentioned that it was one of her favorites. In fact, it was the exact song she always imagined singing to her own baby. Her eyes were tearing up before he finished the first verse. Fred was already crying daintily into a bar napkin. When he did finish, Buffy stood up and nearly walked on to the stage before realizing that would be an odd thing to do. She waited for him to return to their table and gave him a big hug. “That was amazing.”

Spike decided he’d learn the entire Disney songbook if she would keep throwing her arms around his neck and letting him pull her close. He barely resisted the temptation to close his eyes and bask in the feel of her. She smelled like the Jasmine massage oil a woman at the mall had once tried to sell him. He wondered if someone had rubbed it on her or if she’d simply sprayed herself with a perfume. He was already feeling far too territorial about the girl who was not his. The thought of another man running his hands over Buffy’s skin made him squeeze her even tighter. “Thanks, kitten. I’m glad you came.”

All too soon for Spike, Buffy stepped back to let the others congratulate him.
Chapter End Notes:
Thanks for reading!
Chapter 8 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Hi all. I've got an update for you. :) And I just update the Soundtrack post to include the new songs. Thanks for reading, let me know what you like. Thanks.

Check out the soundtrack here: http://dorians-kitten.livejournal.com/63752.html#cutid1
Saturday, November 13, 2010 (still)

A large band took the stage after Spike and the crowd cheered. Buffy laughed. “I take it these guys are popular?”

Spike nodded. “Yeah. They do a lot of ska covers. I think you’ll like them.” He turned to Fred. “You gonna take a turn with me?”

She stood up and grinned. “Definitely.”

He laughed. “Let me grab a drink first. Then we show the newbies how it’s done.”

Ten minutes later Buffy stood beside Wesley and watched Spike and Fred swing dance with startling skill and enthusiasm. Wesley laughed at the shock on her face. “Yes, they’re quite good, aren’t they?”

“So they do this regularly.”

“Somewhat. It’s my fault, actually. Fred signed the two of us up for dance lessons before the wedding and I was…rather done after the first lesson. I was dreadful. Spike stepped up and finished the classes with her. I believe they’ve taken a more advanced class since then, but they like to pretend that they are simply naturals.” He smiled.

Buffy laughed.

“May I ask how long you and William have been seeing each other?”

Buffy frowned. “Will-oh, you mean Spike. We’re not, you know dating or anything. We’re just friends.”

“I see.”

“I have a boyfriend.” She didn’t know why she felt the need to tell him that. It was almost like she needed to explain that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with dating his cousin, as though that might be a concern.

“Ah. I’m sorry to pry. I should have asked William before I embarrassed myself.” Wesley was not embarrassed, nor was he surprised by Buffy’s reply. Fred had explained the situation to him repeatedly and made him promise to try getting a read on Buffy.

“No worries, really.”

“I suppose I just thought he seemed happier lately and that there must be a girl involved.” Wesley laughed. “Is it possible that my wife’s over-active hormones are driving me towards romanticism?” He shuddered comically.

The band played a few songs and then the lead singer asked Spike to join them for a song. He looked reluctant, but when Buffy nodded enthusiastically, he walked back up to the stage.

She watched him confer with the band members for a moment before everybody nodded and he stepped up to the microphone. “Here’s a little song by Royal Crown Revue. It’s called Honey Child.”

Sometimes your love is just like honey
So sweet and wild-so sweet and wild
Sometimes your love is just like menthol
So cool and nice-so cool and nice
That’s why I don’t want no other lover
Nobody but you

Honey child, honey child

Willow and Tara had walked over to stand beside Buffy. Willow spoke first. “That’s hot.”

Tara spoke second. “It really is.”

All three women stared at the stage for a moment. As Spike sang he tapped one foot to the beat and held the microphone stand with both hands. His gaze traveled over the crowd, stopping periodically to make direct eye-contact.

You got a funny little way
A way of teasing
Feels so right, yeah so right
You’ve got a way-such a way
Through the night, all through the night
That’s why I don’t want no other lovin’
Nobody but you

Honey child

Tara finally turned to Willow. “Will you dance with me?”

Buffy turned quickly to see her friend blush before nodding. She watched Willow and Tara walk to the small space in front of the stage and begin dancing in a way that was more sweet than seductive. She smiled and wondered how much longer she’d have to wait before her friend came out to her. It seemed dishonest to pretend that she didn’t know.

You got a brand of lovin’
That sets my soul on fire
You got a brand of kissin’
That drives me wild
That’s why I don’t want no other lover

That’s why I don’t want no other lover
That’s why I don’t want no other lover
Say, that’s why I don’t want no other lover
Say, that’s why I don’t want no other lover, baby

Buffy smiled when Spike walked back over to her. “Okay, now you’re just showing off.”

He shrugged. “Gotta give the people what they want.”

She laughed. “Is that so?”

“Occasionally.” He turned away and grinned as the band started a new song. “Oh this one is bloody good. Dance with me?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know how-at least not that stuff you were doing.”

“No problem. I’ll show you. All those years of cheerleading ought to make it easy for you, yeah?”

She was going to argue but he wrapped his hand around her wrist and pulled her towards the dance floor, where Fred was already leading Wesley through a couple of basic steps. Buffy thought the man looked like he was in pain.

“Like this.” Spike guided her through the first few steps slowly before pulling her close and leading in tempo. He sang along with the song’s chorus.

Hello, Baby, I think about you every day.
Hello, Baby, I dream about you every way.

Buffy laughed. “What is this?”

“Hello, Baby.”

“Wow. I wonder why they called it that?”

Spike spun her quickly. “This is classic ska. Stop sassing and dance.” He continued singing through the next verse, while Buffy laughed and tried to keep up.

On Monday next, I saw you again,
We shared a seat on the end of the train.
I couldn't talk; I hadn't the knack,
I found a card, and I wrote on the back:

Hello, Baby, I think about you every day.
Hello, Baby, I dream about you every way.

Fred and Wesley bowed out almost as soon as the song was done. “Sorry, this pregnancy thing makes me really tired and I have a thing at the shelter tomorrow. “We’re going to head home.” She made a pouty face.

Spike sighed. “It’s barely ten o’clock.” He shook his head. “Besides, you can’t fool me. Wesley is the one who is ready for his bed.”

Fred laughed. “Maybe, but don’t let on that you know.”

Willow and Tara decided to follow their lead and told Buffy that they were ready to head too.

Her shoulders slumped. “Already?”

Willow glanced to Tara. “I mean we could probably stay for a little longer.”

Buffy shook her head. “No, that’s okay.”

Spike turned to her in surprise. “You’re leaving too?”

“They’re my ride. We were all eco-conscious and carpooled.”

“Well, stay and carpool with me.”

She laughed. “You live in the opposite direction. It would take you like fifteen minutes out of your way.”

“Don’t mind. Stay. I’m all keyed up from being up there. I need someone to play with.”

Buffy giggled at his pouty expression. “Okay. If you’re sure you don’t mind giving me a ride.”

Willow didn’t wait for Spike to reply. She gave Buffy a quick hug. “Call me tomorrow, okay? And have fun.” She turned to Spike. “It was nice finally meeting you, like in person meeting you.”

He chuckled. “You too, red. Thanks for coming out.” He shook her hand and then Tara’s.

Tara smiled at him shyly. “You play beautifully—a lot, a lot of emotion.”

“Thank you.”

Buffy and Spike stayed through another band and then he asked if she was up to swinging by his friend’s bar, as he’d promised to try.

Buffy was game and was shocked and delighted to find herself watching a drag karaoke competition at Lorne’s bar, Caritas, a half hour later.

They found a small table near the back and sat through a terrible rendition of I will Survive and an excellent cover of It’s Raining Men. When a pretty blonde took the stage, Buffy gasped. “That’s a man?” She looked at Spike in shock.

He laughed. “No, that would be Harmony. No one’s sure if she realizes what drag really means. She just wondered in one day and stayed. It was like she’d found her people. If she was any good at singing, one of the boys would have complained by now, but she’s…like a mascot. This is how just how she dresses.”

Buffy looked back at the girl with the big blond hair, short bubble gum pink dress and silver platforms. “You’re kidding.”

“Wish I could say that I was, kitten. This is Harm on a tame night. I’ve seen her wearing thigh high boots made of pink vinyl at two o’clock in the afternoon. It’s as though she fell out of a Bond movie.”

“You hang with her?”

“I have. She’s a nice enough bird, a bit—well she’s unique.”

Buffy was tempted to ask if he’d been involved with her but decided against it.

Lorne, the man Buffy had seen chase Spike out to the sidewalk two weeks earlier, joined Harmony on stage. He was wearing a dark purple suit and a black shirt and somehow made it look good. Buffy giggled as their music started.

Lorne spoke the first line with comical exaggeration.

Hi Barbie

Harmony responded perkily.
Hi Ken!

Lorne pretended to eye her up.
Do you wanna go for a ride?

Harmony appeared very flattered. She patted her hair and batted her fake eyelashes at him.

Sure Ken!

He gestured to an invisible car.

Jump In...

When Harmony started to sing the first verse, Buffy laughed so hard tears dripped from the corners of her eyes. Harmony wasn’t a terribly good singer, but she was very entertaining.

I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world
Life in plastic, it's fantastic!
You can brush my hair; undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

Lorne continued on in the role of Ken.
Come on Barbie, let's go party!

When their song finished, Lorne joined Buffy and Spike at their table. Buffy watched the men exchange a quick hug.

“You came.”

“Said I’d try.”

“How’d your show go?”

Buffy answered before he had a chance. “It was awesome. He was awesome.”

Lorne laughed. “Glad to hear it. I don’t believe we’ve met, sweet thing.”

She blushed. “I’m Buffy.” She held out her hand, but Lorne leaned in and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“Pleasure to meet you, Buffy. That’s a fantastic name and a fantastic dress. I’m already your biggest fan and I’m glad someone is keeping this boy company. He gets into too much trouble by himself.”

She gave Spike a quizzical glance. “Is that so?”

Spike shook his head. “Enough of that. Is there anyone tending bar tonight? I mean, here we are-very thirsty-and no one is bringing us drinks.”

Lorne laughed. “I have just the thing. My new man, Rico, makes the most delectable Sea Breeze. Passion fruit vodka. It’s perfection.”

Spike shook his head. “A beer for me.”

Lorne sighed and turned back to Buffy. “Please tell me you’re adventurous at least.”

“Are we talking about a pink drink with a little umbrella?”

“We sure are, cupcake.”

“Then I’m adventurous.”

Three hours Later, Lorne was shutting done the bar and Buffy realized that she hadn’t closed out a bar since college. She’d had a great time listening to Lorne and Spike argue and share silly stories. She’d been surprised to learn that Spike played at Lorne’s bar regularly, though she supposed that she shouldn’t have been. Sure, lots of straight men weren’t particularly comfortable around gay men, but she’d already seen that Spike was unusual.

Harmony had joined their group for a little while, and though Buffy had wanted not to like her, she had. As fake as might have looked, Harmony was shockingly genuine. She also called Spike, Blondie Bear, which Buffy thought was the funniest thing she’d ever heard. Of course, at that point she’d had a couple of Rico’s special Sea Breezes.

It was almost three in the morning when Spike dropped her off at home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buffy’s phone rang at seven in the morning. She patted around the nightstand for it before realizing it was still in her purse. She whimpered before pulling herself out of bed to find it.

She answered groggily without looking. “Hi.”

“Good morning, princess.”

“It’s really early, Angel.”

He laughed warmly. “The trip went so well that I came back a day early. I got in last night and my parents were hoping we would join them at church and brunch this morning.”

Buffy shook her head and then remembered that he couldn’t see her. “I had a really late night. I need to sleep more. Maybe we could do something later…like later.”

Angel laughed again. “But you love brunch. Just think French toast, baked brie, chocolate covered strawberries.”

She groaned. “Well now I’m hungry, but I’m still tired. Seriously, I’ve only been in bed for a couple of hours.”

“Wow, party girl. What were doing all night?”

“I went with Willow and her new roommate to see a friend play guitar at The Bronze and then I ended up at a karaoke thing. Fun makes tired Buffy.”

“All right, I’m glad you had a good time with the girls. I guess I will suffer through church with the folks alone and give you a call later.”

“Mmmm…good. Love you.”

“I love you too. Go back to sleep.”

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Buffy snuggled against Angel’s shoulder. “I love this movie. Who would have guessed she could sing this well?”

Angel murmured non-committedly.

On Buffy’s television June Carter and Johnny Cash, portrayed earnestly by Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Pheonix respectively, were trying very to avoid falling in love. They wouldn’t succeed.

“I was thinking about your birthday.”

Buffy grinned. “Oh yeah, what were you thinking?”

“What if we go away for the weekend? We could find a bed and breakfast in wine country-something romantic.”

“Aww…that does sound nice, but you know that Cordy is already planning my surprise party for that weekend. Maybe we could go another time.”

Angel sighed. “I don’t see how it is a surprise party if you know about it.”

“That’s because you aren’t a girl. Cordy knows better than to throw an actual surprise party. I want warning so that I can get a manicure and wear a new dress. I can’t look like a slump at my own party.”

He laughed. “Women.”


“All right, so the party is Friday, right? Can I have Saturday night for a special dinner, just the two of us?”

She nodded. “That sounds perfect.”

“Good.” He gave her a quick kiss before refocusing on the movie.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 9 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Hello all. A couple of people were thrown by the time jump in the last chapter. We did move from November to January. I really want to follow a realistic strangers to friends to more pattern with this fic. Buffy is with someone and isn't looking to change that, so it would take a little time for the two of them to be reasonably brought together. I hope people aren't getting bored with the pace. I think these two are fun even while they are trying to stay just friends. :) Thanks for reading and commenting. This chapter is odd in that it only covers one long scene/night instead of a few shorter ones. I hope you like it.
P.S. I am still looking for a banner artist if anyone is feeling creative. :)
Friday, January 14, 2011

Judging by the crowd surrounding the two tables pushed together in a corner of The Bronze, Spike figured he was one of the last to arrive for Buffy’s party. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He’d known that Buffy’s boyfriend would be there, but seeing the tall man standing behind her with his hand on her back still stung. Spike supposed it was good that he was finally going to meet him. It was almost strange that he hadn’t met the man yet. He and Buffy had been friends for months, they hung out almost every week, and yet he’d never even seen a picture of her infamous boyfriend. Never seeing the real man in her life had made it too easy to pretend that he was the one. Spike knew he’d gotten too used to thinking of Buffy as his girl. He plastered on a grin and walked over to the tables.

He greeted Willow and Tara with friendly smiles before walking over to Buffy. “Hi there, Birthday girl.” He held out the wrapped box in his hand. “Got you a prezzie.”

Buffy laughed. “For me? You didn’t have to do that.” Everyone laughed. “I’m just kidding. You totally had to.” Her grin was blinding. “Gimmie,” she demanded playfully. Spike was surprised no one had made her wear a silly hat or tiara. It was clearly that kind of crowd.

Spike ignored the questioning glance Angel was giving him and watched Buffy unwrap the box he’d handed her. He grinned at the instant squeal she gave upon opening the box to reveal a heavy steel triangle with a red ribbon holder and a striker.

She pulled it out of the box. “I can’t believe you remembered this.” She jumped off her stool and hugged him tightly, still holding the triangle in her right hand.

He laughed and used one arm to give her a quick squeeze, ignoring his body’s instant response to her nearness. “It’s nothing, pet. I’ll even throw in a few lessons if you want.”

“I want!” She giggled as she pulled back and gave the triangle an experimental tap with the striker. She turned to look at her teaching assistant. “Satsu! Look! This is totally replacing our bell.” She turned back to Spike. “We use a bell to get the kid’s attention, but this will be way more fun.” She smiled. “Thank you so much. I love it.”

He nodded, feeling oddly chocked up as he wondered if any other girl in the world would be so pleased by such a small gift. “I’m glad, Buffy,” he said quietly.

“Oh!” Buffy’s eyes widened. “You don’t know everyone. I should do introductions. She pointed towards Willow. “You remember Willow and Tara.” She turned towards Cordy. “And Cordy…you guys met-I think-for a minute, right?”

“Sure. Nice to see you again.” He reached over and shook hands with the pretty brunette in the stylish blouse, skirt and heels.

“And you met Satsu at school. Susan and Kara are also teachers.”She waited while they exchanged polite greetings. “Oh-and here comes Xander!” She smiled at a handsome dark-haired man wearing a goofy Hawaiian shirt. “Xan-over here!” She stepped away and gave Xander a hug.

“Hey Buff. Did Jessie get ahold of you? He found out last minute that he has to work.”

Buffy frowned. “Yeah, he told me.” She gave Xander another squeeze. “I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever.” She pointed to Spike. “Xander, this is Spike, Spike-Xander.” She watched them shake hands before stepping back to Angel. “And this is Angel, Liam really, but we call him Angel.”

Angel held out his hand and gave Spike a polite smile. “Hi. Glad you could make it.”

“Yeah, thanks. Anything for Buffy, right? She’s a good friend.”

Angel nodded. “She is. How is it you two met again?”

“Charity thing. My cousin’s wife co-run’s a shelter for teens. Buffy was at an event I was helping out at.”

“Right.” He nodded. “Good stuff.”

A waitress showed up a moment later and Spike ordered a strong drink before claiming a spot far away from Buffy’s man. He watched Buffy open a wooden jewelry box that Xander had made himself and learned that the man was a carpenter. The two chatted about Spike’s home renovation projects when most everyone else headed to the dance floor to groove to a typical mix of Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj. After a few songs, Cordelia cleared her throat loudly and looked at Spike. He laughed. “Would you like to dance, love?”

“Finally. You do realize that I am way too hot to be left waiting that long, don’t you?”

“Quite true. Sorry, pet.”

They danced for a moment to a particularly pretty song from Jack Johnson before she spoke again. “So I suppose this is the part where you drill me for information on Buffy and Angel.”

“Is it?”

“Isn’t it?”

“Why do say that?”

Cordy laughed. “Come on. You two are spending a lot of time together. She’s hot and sweet and short enough to make you feel tall. It seems obvious.”

He stared at her for a moment before shrugging. “We’re just friends.”

“Of course. She’s been dating Angel since high school.”

“Seriously?” He didn’t bother hiding his frown.

“Yup. They’ve broken up a couple of times, but they keep getting back together.”

“Right. Perfect couple and all. He probably played football.”

“Star quarterback.”

“Right.” He turned to look at the couple in question dancing. “Good for him.”

“Because you two are just friends?”

“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. I just thought you might want to know that Buffy’s stopped complaining about Angel being out of town a lot lately.” Cordy shrugged. “They used to fight about it all the time, but for the last few months…it just doesn’t seem to bother her anymore.”

Spike nodded. The last few months she’d been hanging out with him a lot. Great, he was helping keep Buffy and her boyfriend on good terms by making her less bored when he was away. “Right.”

Spike was able to bow out of dancing at the end of the song by offering to buy Cordy a drink. They sat back down at the table and he watched Buffy dance with Angel. “One question: why did you buy her a date? Girl has a man. Why would you send her out with another one?”

Cordy grinned, cat-like. “Maybe I just like to make charitable donations.”


Cordelia glanced out at her seemingly blissful friend and narrowed her eyes. “Maybe I just think a girl should know what her options are.”

Spike nodded. He was considering asking her another question when Satsu appeared in front of him. He wondered if he would have recognized her if he’d seen her out of context. She’d clearly been wearing her teacher clothes the last time they’d met. She wasn’t that night. Satsu was wearing a dark grey dress that was mini enough to be scandalous if she hadn’t paired it with opaque black tights and a pair of pink high-heeled ankle boots. The top half of her hair was pulled up in two messy buns, one on either side of her head. He noticed a Hello Kitty charm bracelet on her wrist and smiled. “Hey, there. How’s school been?”

Satsu groaned. “This is not a school night.” She grabbed his wrist. “Come with me. I feel like making a scene.”

He stood automatically and then tried to pull back. “Umm, pet. I—”

She pulled him to the dance floor. “Relax, handsome. You’re not my type.” She started dancing evocatively and then rose on her toes to whisper. “I like girls.”

“Oh. That’s…oh.”

Satsu giggled. “I just want to dance. So grab my ass already.”

He laughed and gripped her hips loosely. “Bossy little thing aren’t you?”

They danced for a couple of songs. Satsu entertaining him enough with her designed-to-shock dance moves that he temporarily stopped watching Buffy. He was almost surprised to find her at the table when he went back, leaving Satsu to dance with her fellow teachers and a delighted Xander.

Angel wasn’t with her.

“Having a good time, kitten?”

She smiled. “I am. Thank you for coming.”

“Wouldn’t miss it.”

“I noticed you and Satsu burning up the dance floor. She’s really something, isn’t she?”

“Yes. That she is.” He stared at her awkwardly. If Angel wasn’t there, he’d simply pull her out for a dance, but he wasn’t sure how to act now. Her lips were shiny and he knew she’d just reapplied her lip gloss. He wondered what it tasted like. Satsu had gotten close enough while they’d danced that he’d been able to smell the faint hint of cinnamon on her mouth. He liked it, but figured Buffy would choose something more traditional. Maybe hers was a fruit, like strawberry or mango. Or maybe she’d taste like vanilla. Vanilla would be boring on some girls, but Spike was certain it would taste rich and complex on Buffy’s lips. “Did you…umm…did you want to dance?”

She shook her head. “Not yet. Later.”

He nodded. What was she waiting for? “A drink, then? I could go fetch one of those girly drinks for you.”

“No, I’m—”

“Buff-you’re missing all my best moves!” Xander ran up to the table panting.

She laughed. “Oh, I’m seeing them.”

“Willow and Tara keep ditching me and Satsu is scary tonight. Come dance.”

She nodded and followed him back out to the dance floor.

Spike fell into his chair, hurt and surprised. He was considering leaving a few minutes later when the DJ chose an unusual song and Buffy appeared grinning before him.


He arched an eyebrow as he realized what song was playing. “Your pick?”

She nodded. “Yup.” She popped her p sound flirtatiously. “Come dance with me.”

He followed her out to the dance floor as Rick Astley began to sing about knowing the game and a full commitment. “This isn’t much of a dancing tune, love.”

She shrugged. “Yeah, but now it’ll be stuck in your head for days, right?”

He laughed. “Sure will, evil bint. It sure will.” He tugged her into his arms for a dance.

They were both still laughing when they joined the crew at the tables a few minutes later. Angel didn’t say anything, but Spike could tell he’d been watching them more closely than he’d watched when Buffy had danced with Xander. The man wasn’t an idiot. Spike felt a surge of guilt over his feelings for the other man’s girl and then a touch of irritation. He hadn’t done anything wrong. If Buffy wanted to dance with him at her birthday party, then he would dance with her. Cordy soon reappeared with a birthday cake.

“Yum. Where are the candles?”

Cordy laughed. “They said no. Apparently management is a little nervous lately. There was some kind of light show fire a few weeks back. Besides, I thought maybe now was a good time for us to start leaving our ages off the cake.”

“I’m twenty-six, Cordy, not forty.”

“Exactly why you should start now.”

Buffy laughed and hugged her friend. “I love you.”

“Ditto. Now sit down and slice the cake. I haven’t eaten since lunch.”

Willow wanted to sing Happy Birthday, but was outvoted.

They were eating cake a few minutes later when the DJ announced that he had a special dedication for Buffy and played Birthday by The Beatles. Buffy gasped and grabbed Angel’s arm. “You had them play a song for me? That’s so sweet.”

Angel frowned. “I…um…I didn’t talk to him. Maybe he just saw the cake.”

“No. He said it was a dedication and he knew my name. Someone talked to him.” She grinned at her friends. “Who did it?” She watched Willow , Tara, Cordy, Xander and the girls from her school shrug and shake their heads. “Spike?”

He shrugged but grinned.

“You’re not fooling anyone.”

“This is good cake.”

Buffy laughed. “It is. Thanks to Cordy. She always goes to a real bakery instead of the grocery store.”

The group ate cake and had another round of drinks before Satsu and the other teachers wished Buffy a happy birthday and left. The rest of the group squeezed in around one table and ordered a few appetizers from the bar menu to share.

Angel was staring at Spike. “So Buffy tells me you’re a musician or something. Have you played with anyone I’d know?”

Spike chuckled. “Doubtful.”

“How do you make a living doing that?”

“You don’t. I own a shop: sell instruments, teach lessons, that sort of thing.”

“If you can’t do, teach, right?”

Buffy gasped and turned to Angel is shock. “Liam! Totally ignoring the fact that I’m a teacher-that was uncalled for. Spike is a really good musician.”

Angel shrugged. “Spike knows I’m just messing with him.”


“It’s all good, pet. No worries.”

“But…” She looked back and forth at the two men.

Xander sensed the growing tension and stepped in. “Hey, I am bringing a girl next weekend.”

Everyone turned to look at him. Willow spoke first. “You’re bringing a girl to our weekend?”

He nodded. “Yup. I’m expanding our horizons just like old Mrs. Collins said we should.”

Buffy laughed and explained the joke to Spike. “When we were eight the school counselor thought Xander, Willow and I spent too much time together.”

Willow grinned. “She said we were oddly co-dependent. Whatever happened to her?”

“I’m pretty sure they realized she was too crazy to help anyone once they found out about the cats.”

“That was just a rumor.”

Xander shrugged. “Anyway. I’m bringing a girl.”

Cordy eyed him suspiciously. “An actual girl or like a blow-up doll.”

“A real live girl who likes me.”

“Well that’s something I have to see to believe. I’m cool with it,” Cordy announced with a shrug. She turned to Spike. “You should come too.”

“Ooh! You totally should.” Buffy smiled and nodded. “It’s this thing. You see Xander’s birthday is two weeks after mine so we’ve always had a thing on the weekend in between. It’s sort of evolved into this reliving our childhood deal. We watch movies we liked as kids and eat junk food and try to stay up all night.” She turned to Tara. “You need to come too. It’ll be great.”

Tara smiled shyly. “I’d love to come.”

“Great! Oh and we all wear our jammies all weekend-totally comfy.” Buffy turned back to Spike. “Do you want to come?”

He wanted to say yes. He always wanted to say yes to Buffy. He glanced towards Cordy. “Maybe. I should check my schedule.”

Cordy nodded. “How about you, Angel? Are you coming this year?”

Angel frowned. “No. I have business in Chicago next weekend.”

Buffy laughed. “You’d have just come up with an excuse to get out of it anyway.”

He grinned. “Probably. I have no idea how you all can watch the same movies again and again.”

She shrugged. “It’s fun.”

Xander nodded. “I’ve got a few new movies to add to the list of possible this weekend. I think everyone will be pleased.”

Cordy laughed. “God save us all from Xander’s movie collection. I’m going to veto Goonies, right now.”

Xander frowned. “You can’t use a veto now. Everyone knows you have to wait until official voting to use a veto.”

Buffy turned to Spike. “Willow wrote up a whole rule book when we were twelve. It’s pretty impressive.”

Willow, who had just finished her third drink, giggled. “It’s been revised twice since then. I could send you a copy.” She laughed into her hand before turning to Tara and grinning. She stared at the other girl for a minute before standing up. “Look. Tara and I are together.”

Everyone simply stared at her for a minute.

“Also, this—” She point upward. “This is our song.” She turned to Tara, who was watching her with a blush and an awed smile. “Will you come dance with me, baby?”

Tara nodded and the rest of the group watched them walk away and dance to Train’s Soul Sister.

Angel spoke first. “Am I missing something?”

“Only the same thing I’m missing.” Xander looked to Buffy. “When did Willow switch teams?”

Buffy shrugged. “I’m thinking it was pretty much when she met Tara.”

“Huh. I guess that only leaves one question.”

Buffy furrowed her brow in confusion.

Spike nodded. “Which one’s gangsta and which one’s thug?”

Everyone laughed except Angel. “What? That doesn’t even make sense.”

Buffy held her hand in front of her mouth as she tried to stop laughing. “It’s the song. It’s in the song.”

Angel nodded but didn’t look convinced.

Xander leaned towards Spike and spoke in a hushed voice. “Do you think they’ll make out in front of us next weekend? That would be…weird but also maybe…you know…hot.”

Spike shrugged. “I doubt it. They don’t seem like the type.”

“You know the type?” Xander’s eyes were wide.


“You might just be my new Yoda, man. You’ve gotta come next weekend.”

Spike nodded. If Angel wasn’t going to be there, he would. “Yeah, count me in.”
Chapter End Notes:
Leave me note so I'll know what you're thinking. :)
Thanks for reading.
Chapter 10 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Hi. I'm happy to have a quick update for you. :) People are going to have mixed feelings here, but I ask that you trust me. There's a plan in play. :) Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me.
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Spike dropped on to a bar-stool. “Whiskey.”

Lorne raised his eyebrows. “You realize it is four o’clock in the afternoon?”

“Wasn’t aware of your conservative streak, mate.”

Lorne laughed. “Heaven forbid.” He pulled out a glass, filled it with ice and poured a generous serving of whiskey. He placed the glass down in front of Spike before walking around the bar to sit beside him. “Where’s your girl?”

Spike scoffed. “Not my girl.”

“Ah. Am I right in guessing this is the reason for our little pity celebration this afternoon?”

“I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m just feeling honest.”

“And that’s bad?”


Lorne nodded. “The truth often does.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Stop playing wise barkeep already. I just want to get a little drunk. It’s not illegal.”

“What happened?”

He groaned, finished his drink and placed the glass back on the bar. “I met her boyfriend last night. The one I wanted to pretend didn’t exist.” Spike turned to look at his friend. “That’s not true. I didn’t pretend he was fake, I pretended he was an ass. I had this whole fantasy going that he’d be some kind of soul-less monster-but he’s just a guy.”

“Well that’s much worse isn’t it?”

“Now I’m the ass, right? I mean the girl has a man who, aside from having stupid hair that sticks up straight in the air and a seriously diluted sense of humor, seems like a decent sort and here I am waiting on the sidelines like a shark or a bloody vulture hoping to pick up scraps if they crash. I should just stay away from her.”

“We’re talking about the little blonde, right? Buffy?”

Spike nodded. “That’s the one.”

Lorne sighed. “I don’t know if this helps at all, but that girl looks at you like you’re a frozen treat and she’s been working out in the heat all day.”

“I don’t know.”

“I do, cupcake. She may not know it, but she wants herself a taste of Spike.”

Spike winced. “Yeah, thanks. Maybe another drink now?”

Lorne chuckled and patted Spike on the back. “Yeah, I’ll get you another, but don’t give up just yet. I have a feeling about this girl.”

Spike nodded, but was feeling less than confident that the girl in question would be dumping the man she’d been with for a decade just to go out with him.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Buffy wrapped her lips around her fork and pulled the last bit of cheesecake into her mouth. “Oh my god--that’s good.” She moaned softly.

Angel laughed. “You certainly do seem to be enjoying it.”

She blushed. “I did. Thanks for tonight. Best birthday dinner ever.”

He smiled. “Good. The thing is, I’m hoping tonight can be more than that.” He took a deep breath and pulled a ring box from his pocket. “You know I love you, Buffy. I want you to be my wife. Marry me.” He opened the box to reveal a sizable diamond solitaire.

Buffy gasped and stared at the ring.


She pulled her gaze away to look up at him smiling anxiously at her. “Angel.” She looked back down at the twinkling ring. He’d totally surprised her. A year or two earlier she’d been expecting a proposal but he hadn’t been ready and now she was so used to things they way they were she hadn’t even thought about it in months.

“I have to admit I didn’t think you would need this much time to think about it.” Angel laughed softly. “Buffy, will you marry me?”

She blinked. “Of course. I mean, yes. You just surprised me.”

“Whew. Had me worried there for a minute.” He pulled out the ring and held out his hand for hers.

She watched him slide it on, not surprised to find that it fit perfectly. Angel was detail oriented. “It’s beautiful. It’s the size of a small car, but it’s beautiful.”

He grinned. “Only the best for my princess.” He signaled to the waitress to bring out the champagne he’d secretly ordered earlier and leaned across the table to kiss his fiancé.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Satsu took another look at the ring on Buffy’s finger. “You really weren’t expecting it? I mean you two have been dating forever.”

Buffy shook her head. “I really wasn’t. It was like all of a sudden there was a ring. I almost forgot to say yes. Actually I totally forgot to answer. He had to ask again.”

Satsu laughed. “I wish I could have seen that. Angel is always so confident. It’d be fun to see him look a little nervous.”

“Don’t be mean. He’s really not like you think.”

“If you say so.”

“I do.”

Satsu pointed to another aisle. “Let’s check out the paint stamps.” They’d been given a little extra money for classroom supplies thanks to a highly successful parent fundraiser and were gleefully spending it at a craft supply store. “How did you two meet exactly? You were in school together, right?”

“Yeah, but he was two years ahead. I mean I always knew who he was. Angel was…well, handsome and popular and rich.” She shrugged. “I didn’t even think he knew my name. But I ran into him at this card shop. He was trying to pick out a birthday gift for his grandmother and he was—he was sort of lost. He was holding like ten cards and looking at this ugly little heart-shaped box and he was so…genuine. He seemed so happy to see me. I’d never thought of him as being a real person. You have to understand that he was a senior and seriously the most popular guy in school and there he was totally freaking out about his grandmother. It was so sweet. So l helped him pick out a card and some flowers and the next week he called me up and asked me to homecoming. I thought I was dreaming.” Buffy shrugged ans smiled dreamily.

“And now you’re getting married.”

Buffy nodded. “Yeah.”

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spike arrived at Buffy’s apartment at ten-twenty in the morning. He presented his offering of Pop Rocks and Jiffy-Pop to Willow as he walked through the door. “Mornin’, red.”

“Ooh! Fun choices. Tara and I brought the stuff to make s’mores and Cordy brought a case of Dr. Pepper. The boys aren’t here yet.” She frowned. “You aren’t wearing pajamas.”

Spike grinned at her cloud covered pajamas. “I’m not really the pajama wearing type.”

“But it’s in the rules. I sent you an email.”

He laughed. She had, in fact, sent him a special email invite explaining what to wear, what to bring and when to show up at Buffy’s place.

“I had a feeling this would happen. Come on.” She walked into the living room and picked up a brown paper bag. “Go change.”

Spike’s eyebrows rose. “You’re kidding.”

“She’s not.” Cordy, wearing a pair of capri-length yoga pants and an ‘I’m a Pepper’ t-shirt, watched them both with an amused grin.

He looked inside the bag and found a pair of plaid men’s pajamas. He looked back up to find Willow giving him a stern look. “Right. Where can I change?”

Willow showed him to the bathroom and Spike took off his jeans and pulled on the plaid pants. He refused to change into the shirt and left on his well-worn U2 Actung Baby t-shirt instead. He took one look at his pale feet and pulled his sneakers back on. When he came out of the bathroom a few moments later, he found Buffy standing in the hall wearing a pink tank top, pink and green sleep pants and fuzzy stuffed-pig slippers. He couldn’t help smiling. “Not every girl could pull off those slippers, kitten.”

She grinned. “I hear Willow pulled her PJ police routine on you.”

He nodded. “She’s almost scary sometimes. Wouldn’t have thought she had it in her.”

“You’d be surprised at what Willow is capable of.”

He titled his head to the side and gave her a flirty smirk. “I must say this pajama idea is growing on me though.”

Laughing, she reached up to brush back her hair.

Spike quickly grabbed her wrist. He stared at the ring on her finger in shock for a moment before speaking. “Wow, kitten. That’s-that’s quite a ring. I’m surprised you don’t need help lifting your hand carrying around that much real estate.”

Her cheeks pinked. “Angel asked me to marry him.”

Spike nodded but didn’t look at her face. “And you said yes.”

“Well, yeah. I mean we’ve been together for a long time. It was time for us to take the next step.”

“How romantic.”

She frowned. “It was. He asked at our favorite restaurant and we had champagne.” She shrugged.

“Right. Right. Congratulations, love. I hope you are very happy.” He glanced up at her. “Where is he? I should go give him my uh…regards.”

“Oh he’s not here. He has a business meeting in Chicago. Besides, he isn’t really into this sort of thing. We’ll have fun though. Xander just got here with his new girlfriend. He always brings the movies.”

“Yeah. I’ll be right out. I need to..umm…use the loo for a moment.” He turned and ducked back into the bathroom. He listened to her footsteps walking away before he sat on the edge of the tub. “Fuck!” He whispered loudly and clutched the sides of his head. He knew that he should leave. The girl didn’t just have a boyfriend, she was getting married. He could never make a move now. The best, most reasonable, thing to do was leave.

But when he walked out of the bathroom Buffy was smiling at him and holding a box of Count Chocula cereal in one hand and Fruity Pebbles in the other. “Xander brought breakfast. What do you like?”

He couldn’t walk away. “Damn, man. Where did you find Count Chocula?”

Xander smiled smugly. “I’ve been saving that box since Halloween. The grocery store only carries that seasonally these days.”


Buffy laughed. “One bowl of chocolaty goodness for Spike coming up.”

“Spike, this is Kendra-my girlfriend.” Xander gestured proudly to a pretty dark-skinned girl standing just behind him.

Spike gave her a smile and reached out to shake her hand. “Nice to meet you, love.”

“It is good to meet you as well.” Kendra responded rather formally in a heavily accented voice.

“Is that Jamaica I hear?”

“Yes, I am from Jamaica.”

“What’s brought you to the states?”

Xander answered for her. “Kendra is a graduate student over at U of Sunnydale. She’s studying the Chumash tribe. She’s like a genius. Smart girls are hot.”

Spike laughed. “I concur.” Buffy handed him a bowl of cereal. “Thanks, love.”

She held up her own bowl. “Let’s eat on the floor in the living room. We can watch cartoons until Jessie gets here.”

They joined Tara and Willow on the carpet. He ate a few spoonfuls and then pointed at the bowl with his spoon. “This is brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I ate this shit.”

Willow giggled. “I’m a Fruity Pebbles girl myself.”

“I always liked Lucky Charms.” Tara added quietly.

“Ooh!” Xander was sitting down beside them as he spoke. “Lucky Charms! I’ll have to remember that for next year.”

Tara smiled at him warmly. “That would be great.”

Willow wrapped her arm over Tara’s shoulders and gave her a quick squeeze. Spike watched and knew that they were both feeling a lot of relief at how easy and welcoming Willow’s friends were to Tara.

Jessie arrived a few minutes later with two large bags of Reese’s Pieces and the movie voting process began.

Spike watched the gang argue good naturedly over the merits of each film that Xander presented.

“I’ve got a few new additions this year.” Xander held up a dvd of Back to the Future and one of Beatlejuice.

“If Beatlejuice counts as a childhood favorite, then I say Dirty Dancing should qualify too.” Cordy announced.

Xander sighed heavily. “We’ve been over this. Dirty Dancing was not a relevant childhood experience.”

“It was if you were a girl.” Buffy pointed out.

The process to choose the first movie took nearly thirty minutes. They chose Labyrinth despite Jessie’s complaint that David Bowie hitting on a teenage girl was kind of creepy.

Buffy admitted that she’d always found the Goblin King kind of hot.

“But he’s wearing tights.” Xander countered with a bewildered expression.

“Yeah, but he’s also wearing eyeliner.”

Cordy nodded solemnly. “Some guys can pull off the guyliner.”

Spike wondered if he should admit that he’d piled on the black liner during his punk stage. He decided against it. Maybe they’d decide he wasn’t one of the guys that could pull it off.

By eight o’clock they’d watched Labyrinth, ET and the first two Indiana Jones movies and eaten two pizzas in addition to a mountain of candy. They were just about to make the popcorn when Cordy and Jessie announced that they were going to run to the store for some beer.

Willow sighed. “We didn’t drink beer as kids so it doesn’t count.”

“I’m not a kid anymore and I think beer will make the movie watching more enjoyable.” Cordy argued flatly.

“I agree.” Jessie didn’t even bother to look at Willow.

They left a few moments later and Buffy put her hand on Spike’s arm. “We might as well hold off on making the popcorn. They’ll be awhile.”

He frowned. “They’re just going to grab a case of beer.”

Xander shook his head. “Nope. That’s the cover story. They are going to have sex in Jessie’s back seat.”

“I didn’t realize they were—”

“They’re not.” Buffy shook her head. “Cordy and Jessie dated for a bit in high school. It didn’t work out. But for some reason our movie weekend gets them all sexy and they disappear for a bit.”

“It’s like nostalgia sex, “ Xander added.


“That’s the real reason we can’t just buy beer ahead of time.” Willow explained with a smile. “Jessie’s the one who put the no beer clause in the rule book. It’s their cover.”

“We can play Monopoly while they’re gone. Cordy is a sore loser anyway.”

At two-forty-five in the morning they had watched seven movies, played two rounds of monopoly, eaten four pizzas and drank twenty-six beers. Willow and Tara had fallen asleep on the couch, Kendra was sleeping in Buffy’s guest room, Cordy and Jessie were making out in the kitchen while everyone else pretended not to notice and Spike sat on the living room floor with Buffy and Xander.

He picked up the remote control. “What do think? Cartoon time?”

Buffy nodded sleepily. She was lying on her stomach with her chin propped on her arms on top of a throw pillow. “Sounds good.” Her head tilted to the side. “You need a blanket. Hold on.” She pushed herself up and walked into her bedroom to collect the blankets from her bed. She handed one to Spike and took the other back to her spot. She grinned at Xander. “I assume at some point you are going to go sneak into bed with Kendra.”

He grinned. “A gentleman never tells…and yes.”

Buffy smiled at Spike. “I have a feeling we are going to be the only ones to make it until morning.” She yawned.

Spike chuckled softly and moved just a little closer to her. “I don’t know. It didn’t look like Cordy and the boy in the kitchen were planning on sleeping anytime soon.”

She giggled. “It doesn’t count if you stop watching the movies.”

“Fair point.” He flipped through the channels until he found the cartoon network and then lied down about a foot away from Buffy. Her blanket smelled like the jasmine perfume she wore and Spike was glad he was lying on his stomach. The pajama pants that Willow had insisted he wear wouldn’t have helped cover things at all.

“Ooh. She-Ra. This is a good one.”

Spike nodded. “Yeah, you can tell she’s all empowered because she walks around in her underpants all the time.”

Buffy giggled. “Not when she’s She-Ra—then she gets that rocking miniskirt and headpiece.”

Xander stood up suddenly. “I like miniskirts.”

Buffy laughed even harder.

“Yeah, they are nice.” Spike nodded agreeably.

Without another word, Xander walked away.

Spike and Buffy cracked up. Both tried to muffle their laughter with pillows.

“You might be right, kitten. We might be the only ones who stay up all night.”

She grinned. “Yup. We are totally the winners.”

A half hour later they were both sleeping.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 11 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Wow. I am getting some seriously mixed reactions! I'm kind of enjoying the controversy. ;) I hope some of you are sticking around. Things will start looking....more complicated soon. :) Thanks for reading and reviewing. You all rock. This is an extra long update!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spike smiled at the sight of Fred’s ever-growing baby bump, but she was not fooled. She frowned at the shadows under his eyes and the invisible weight that made his shoulders slump. “What’s wrong?”

He frowned. “It’s nothing.”

She pushed herself up from her chair and held out her arms for a hug.

“No need for you to stand up, love. I’d have come to you for my hug anyway.” Spike wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head before helping her back into her chair and taking a seat across the table from her. He’d taken a long lunch so that he could meet her at a café she liked. “How’s that little champ in there treatin’ you? Should I give him a little pep talk about holding off on the Rugby practice until he gets out?”

Fred laughed. “No. The doctor said the kicking is good. It means the baby is active and healthy.”

“As long as he’s not being too rough with his mum.”

“You do realize that the baby might be a girl, right?”

Spike shrugged. “I’ve got a feeling about this one.”

She laughed and shook her head. “I have a feeling too. I have a feeling that you’re not telling me something. What’s going on? You look…awful.”

He arched an eyebrow. “Awfully handsome?”


He sighed. “She’s getting married. Buffy. I saw the ring myself. It’s a bloody ice skating rink. I thought…I don’t know what I thought, but I didn’t think she’d be getting married.”

“Oh! Oh no. I’m so sorry, sweetie.”

He shrugged.

“Did you ever tell her that you liked her?”

Spike laughed. “You mean: did I send her a note in homeroom?” He shook his head.

She sighed. “I know you like her, but maybe you should step back now—before you get hurt anymore. I mean if she has a fiancé…”

He nodded. “Yeah, probably should.”

“Spike, you—”

“I love her.” He said the words quietly and out loud for the first time.

Fred paled as pain for her friend drilled into her heart. “Oh, sweetie. I’m so sorry.”

“I can’t walk away, not yet.”

Fred nodded. “I know.” She had to blink hard and fast to hold back her tears.

Friday, January 28, 2011

“Dawnie! I’ve been trying to get you forever. Don’t you believe in returning phone calls these days?”

Dawn laughed. “Whatever, some of us have lives.”

“Yeah, I’m one of those people. In fact, I’ve only got a few minutes. I’m getting ready to go to dinner with Angel, his boss and his boss’ wife.”

“Ooh…sounds boring.”

Buffy chuckled. “Yeah, the thing about being a grown-up is sometimes you have to do things that aren’t about the fun.”

“If you say so. I think the thing about being a grown up is you finally get to decide for yourself.”

Sighing, Buffy changed the subject. “You’re done with your semester in May right?”


“Good. I have news. Big news. I’m getting married, Dawnie, and I want you to be my maid of honor.”

“Oh my god, Buffy! Why didn’t you tell me?”

She laughed. “Hmmm…could it be because you never return my calls?”

“You could have texted.”

“You don’t send a text to ask your little sister to be in your wedding. You’ll do it, right? I mean Cordy will probably take over and handle most of your responsibilities, but you’ll come and stand with me?”

“Of course. Of course I will. Oh my god. My sister is getting married! Wow. Are you sure?”

“I’m wearing the ring, so yeah…pretty sure I’m engaged.”

“I meant, are you sure you want to marry Angel?”


“Isn’t checking one of my duties as Maid of Honor?”

“Nope, I don’t think it is.”

“Oh. I thought it would be. But anyway—you’re sure?”

“Of course I am.” Too many of her friends and family had felt the need to ask if she was sure when she shared her news. The question hurt her stomach. She and Angel had been dating for her entire adult life, why was anyone surprised that they’d be getting married? Couldn’t her friends just be happy for her?


“All right, I have to go find shoes and finish my makeup. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you!”

“I love you too, Buffy. I want you to be really happy.”

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In honor of having completed his work on the kitchen, bathroom and living room, Spike was throwing a party. In an attempt to keep his guests from trashing the work he’d done in the kitchen, bathroom and living room, he was having the party in the back yard.

The festivities were well under way when Buffy arrived with Willow and Tara. She smiled at the happy, busy scene. There were at least two dozen people milling about talking animatedly and drinking beer out of red plastic cups. Most of the crowd was sitting on stumps, coolers and a variety of un-matched lawn chairs in a large circle around a home-made fire pit in the middle of the yard. Several people had guitars across their knees. She spotted Spike easily as he’d re-bleached his hair only a few days earlier and stood out even in the relative dark of late evening. She walked over to greet him.

“Hi. Nice party!”

“Thanks, love. You girls find the beer yet?”

“Just got here.”

He grinned. “Well then, allow me to give you the grand tour.”

“Cool. Do we get to see inside?” Willow asked eagerly.

“Yeah, but don’t tell the rest of this riff-raff that I let you go in.”

They giggled as he walked towards the back door. “So this is the garden-backyard-whatever. I hacked away some killer bushes, but I haven’t really had a chance to do anything else.” He shrugged.

“It’s big. Maybe you can put in a garden. That way you could have fresh herbs and veggies.” Tara suggested.

He groaned. “Fred is already on me about it. Don’t you all get started too.” He opened the back door and gestured them inside. “Here’s the kitchen. I had to tear up the old floor. Put this one down myself. The cabinets are old, but I repainted them. I think it looks okay.” He looked almost shyly at Buffy.

She grinned and walked over to touch one of the cabinets. “They look great-almost brand new but sort of classic too. It would have been a shame to tear out real wood cabinets.”

He exhaled quickly and nodded. “That’s what I thought.”

“You really did this floor yourself? That’s so handy. Is it bamboo?”

“Yeah, I got a good deal on it and it’s supposed to be more sustainable and all.”

Tara bent down to touch the floor. “It’s also really pretty.”

Buffy nodded in agreement. “I like the color too.” She pointed to the pale grey-blue wall. “It really makes the white cabinets stand out.”

“Alright, enough girly chatter about colors and what not. Come see the living room.” Spike proceeded to show them through his house, pointing out finished projects and planned ones. He came to a stop in a room he hadn’t yet started on, but had big plans for. “So this used to be a garage and then they renovated in the seventies and put up this hideous paneling. Once I get it all torn down, slap up some drywall, put down a decent floor-it’ll be a great room.”

“What will you use it for?”

He shrugged. “Parties, I guess. It’d be a good space for jamming. The acoustics are kind of surprising.”

“You’ve done so much work. I don’t know how you find the time.”

He shrugged. “A little every day-well most days.” He grinned. “Less on days I’m hanging with you all.”

Buffy smiled. “Well now I feel guilty that we were dragging you away from your work here.”

He frowned. “What’s the point of having a house if you don’t have anyone to stop by?”

Tara smiled. “That’s nice. I like that. Willow and I have been talking about getting a place of our own. Did you like your real estate agent?”

He nodded. “I did. Nice bloke. I’ll get you his card.”


They asked a few more questions, complimented his paint choices again and the whole group headed back outside.

An hour later the girls were all seated around the fire enjoying an impromptu sing-along. Spike and his more musically inclined guests were taking turns leading a wide variety of songs and were joined vocally by most anyone who knew the words.

Fred and Wesley had dropped by but not stayed for long since Fred was feeling big and tired.

A tall dark haired man that Buffy had never met had just finished singing the lead on a rambunctious cover of The Proclaimers’ "500 Miles" when Spike took over for a song. Buffy smiled as she recognized the first few lines of "Sweet Child of Mine" and then turned to look at Tara in surprise. The quiet blonde was singing along in a flawless voice. Buffy turned to see Spike looking over at Tara with a grin. She noted that he, along with everyone else, had all but stopped singing to better hear Tara’s vocals.

Spike didn’t say anything until the song was finished. Then he considered the blushing woman with a smile. “That’s a pretty instrument you have there. You ever consider performing?”

Tara shook her head. “I’d get too nervous. I don’t really like a lot of attention.” She barely looked up when she spoke.

He nodded. “I get that. Well, I hope you’ll come by and sing for me some more.”

Willow hugged her girlfriend as she grinned at Spike.

Buffy found herself wishing she was musical for the first time since she was a child. She sang along quietly as someone played "If I had a Million Dollars" and then a countrified cover of "Gin and Juice".

Spike had just played "Should I Stay or Should I Go" when Tara and Willow decided it was, in fact, time for them to go. They shared their decision with a disappointed Buffy and the three started towards the gate.

Spike chased them down instantly. “Hey, you birds aren’t leaving yet, are you?”

Tara nodded. “I have to work at the shop in the morning. It was a really nice party though.”

He turned to Buffy. “You don’t have to leave too, do you?”

“We came together, so I kinda do.”

“Stay. I’ll give you ride home later.”

Buffy arched an eyebrow and glanced meaningfully at the red cup in his hand.

He chuckled. “Fine. I’ll give you a ride home much later. I can stop now, be good to drive in a couple of hours or-and this is better-stay. I’ve got a brand new futon in a guest room no one’s ever used. Stay. Have fun. Crash. I’ll bring you home in the morning.”

Buffy’s eyes widened in surprise. She looked over at Willow for guidance. “Umm…I don’t know.”

Willow shrugged. “Stay and have fun. There’s no reason you can’t.”

“Right.” Buffy nodded but still felt unsure. The hopeful look on Spike’s face was the clincher. She nodded again. “Yeah. There’s no reason I can’t stay and have fun.”


The party had thinned out an hour later and everyone who remained was sitting around the fire. Buffy shivered and rubbed her hands down her arms as the night air grew cooler. Spike showed up with a sweatshirt a few moments later. “Here, love. You looked cold.”

She smiled and slipped the large black hoodie on over her pretty, flower-covered blouse; it nearly covered her rather short khaki shorts. “I must look ridiculous now.” She laughed.

Spike shook his head. “Nah. You always look good. Bloody unfair for the rest of us.”

Her cheeks warmed and she ducked her head. “Thanks. I’m much warmer now.” She followed him back to the fire-pit and sat down on a chair beside him, pulling her feet up and wrapping her arms around her knees.

He smiled at the picture she made enveloped in his favorite sweatshirt. “Any requests?”

She shook her head. “Whatever you like. I’m liking all of it.”

Spike fiddled with his guitar for a few minutes, not really settling on a song.

Buffy’s eyes widened when a sexy, dark haired girl wearing very tight jeans and a tank top that did not cover the tattoo on her lower back walked over and threaded her fingers through Spike’s hair.

She leaned down, revealing more than a glimpse of cleavage. “All right hot stuff, you know what I want to hear.”

Spiked smirked and nodded. Without another word, he launched into a song.

Well I've been up to Paris,
and I've slept in a park.
Went down to Barcelona,
someone broke in my car.
And I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Euro-trash Girl.

The girl started dancing, arms over her head, hips circling provocatively, around the fire. More than a couple of the party goers shouted out encouragement. Buffy glanced at Spike to see if he was enjoying the show, but couldn’t tell. As always he seemed to be emoting the lyrics he sang perfectly, as though the song expressed exactly what he wished to.

Took the train down to Athens,
and I slept in a fountain.
Some Swiss junkie in Turin
ripped me off for my cash.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl.

The CRS on the metro
shook me down for a bribe.
On my knees for the sergeant
when my passport arrived.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Euro-trash Girl

Euro-trash Girl, Euro-trash girl.
Euro-trash Girl, Euro-trash girl.

When he hit the chorus, the crowd joined in and the dark haired girl sauntered over to Buffy and curled her finger up in an inviting gesture. “Come dance with me, blondie.”

Buffy shook her head and smiled anxiously. “I’m good here.”

She was relieved when the dark-haired girl gave up and found another girl, a tall redhead, to grind with.

Called my mom from a payphone
I said "I'm down to my last."
She said "I sent you to college...
now go call your dad."
And the waitress that he married,
well she hung up the phone.
You know she never did like me,
but I can stand on my own.

Sold my plasma in Amsterdam.
Spent it all in a night,
buying drinks at the Melk Weg
for a soldier in drag.
And I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl

Euro-trash Girl, Euro-trash girl.
Euro-trash Girl, Euro-trash girl.

Buffy leaned over and asked the man sitting next to her who the dark haired girl was and was told that she was Dru’s cousin, as though that explained everything. She tried not to frown was she watched the girl dance. She wondered if this was the type of girl that Spike dated. She didn’t want to be judgmental, but she was sure he could do better. The more she thought about it, the odder it seemed to her that he never appeared to have a girlfriend. She couldn’t think of a single time he’d mentioned having a date since they’d met. She looked over and considered the man in question as he continued to sing in a deep, playful voice.

Yeah, I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl

Got a tattoo in Berlin
(and a case of the crabs).
A rose and a dagger
on the palm of my hand.
And I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl.

He was wearing a long-sleeved black t-shirt, worn jeans and scuffed boots. With his bleached hair, the look definitely said bad boy but Buffy had long since stopped being fooled. Spike was no badder than she was. He was a nice guy, considerate and funny. There was no denying that he was a catch. She wondered why no one had caught him yet.

Euro-trash Girl, Euro-trash girl.
Euro-trash Girl, (I'm a) Euro-trash girl.

Yeah, I'll search the world over
for my angel in black.
Yeah, I'll search the world over
for a Eurotrash Girl.

The small crowd broke into applause and catcalls when the song finished. Spike laughed and gestured for the girl to take a bow.

She did before walking back over to Spike and smacking a loud kiss on his cheek. “Thanks.”

He laughed. “Anytime.”

The dark-haired girl left to get another beer and reappeared in the recently vacated seat beside Buffy a few moments later.

“I’m Faith. I’ve never seen you before.”

Buffy nodded. “Buffy.”


She shrugged.

“Cool. How do you know Spike, B?”

“We’re friends. There was a charity thing.” She couldn’t possibly tell this woman that she’d once had a date with Spike purchased for her at an auction. She’d die of embarrassment.

Faith nodded. “Yeah, that sounds about right. He’s a good one, you know?”

Buffy nodded. “Yeah, he is. How do you know him?”

“I’m Dru’s cousin.”

“Right.” She shrugged. “I have no idea what that means.”

Faith laughed. “Wow. That doesn’t happen too often. Dru as in Drusilla. She’s crazy but hot so she was pretty popular for a while.”

“Oh. That’s nice.”

Faith shook her head. “Not really.” She sighed. “This is going to kill my buzz. The highlights: Dru’s not just quirky, she’s bat shit insane. But, like I said, hot so she made the rounds. She slept with half the assholes in town. When they got sick of her shit they dumped her and left the mess behind. Not their problem anymore. Not Spike though, he had her committed.”

Buffy’s eyes were saucers. “Really?”

Faith laughed. “Yeah. Pissed me the fuck off at first.”

Buffy frowned.

“Dru was my roommate and her daddy was the one paying, so…”


“But he was right. We found her journal and a shitload of knives under her bed-the girl thought I had an alien in my head. Docs said she might have tried hacking me open if he hadn’t stepped up and locked her sorry ass up.”

“Oh my god.”

Faith nodded. “Yeah. He’s a stand up sort.”


“I think he still visits her sometimes. He’s probably the only one that still does. Her daddy was fine when she was a quirky artist type but actual crazy gets hidden away, you know?”

Buffy nodded and tried to absorb the story. “Yeah.” She winced. “I’m sorry.”

The other girl shrugged. “It’s all good. Just thought you should know…in case you were thinking he’d be a bit of fun to get your rocks off with before you take that hike down the aisle.” She nodded towards Buffy’s engagement ring.

Buffy’s eyebrows flew up. “Whoa. No. We’re just friends. No rocks.”

Faith frowned. “Huh. I must have read things wrong then.” She shrugged.

“You did, like really did.”

“Cool. Then it’s been fun, B, but I gotta fly. I’m catchin’ a ride with The Freshmaker.”

Buffy nodded as the other girl got up and walked away with a couple of men with dreads and Phish t-shirts.

Later when everyone had left or been kicked out and Spike was pulling a couple of blankets out of a closet for her, she asked. “Who’s The Freshmaker?”

Spike laughed. “That’s Ronnie.”

“Uh huh.”

He laughed again. “I guess it was last year sometime, Ronnie saw this science thing on the internet. If you put Mentos in a bottle of Diet Coke the soda sprays about ten feet in the air. He did it a couple of times at a party and has been called the Freshmaker ever since. You know, because of the Mentos.”

Buffy nodded and laughed. “Of course. Now it all makes sense.”

Spike walked into the guest room. “So the blankets are all new too, thanks to Fred. I’d barely unlocked the door the first time and she was stocking the linen closet. I’ve got about a dozen towels.” He shrugged. “Comes in handy when I don’t get around to doing laundry for a couple of weeks.”

She giggled. “You’re such a boy.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I am. Were you expecting otherwise?”

“No. I just think it’s funny.”

“Glad I can provide some entertainment, princess.”

She frowned. “Don’t call me that, okay?”

He shrugged. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

They stared at each other quietly for a moment. Spike looked away. “There are a couple of bottles of water in the fridge. Are you hungry or anything?”

“No. I’m good.”

He nodded. “Hold on.” He walked out of the room and came back a moment later carrying a t-shirt. “I don’t generally keep ladies’ PJs around.” He handed her the shirt. “But you can sleep in this if you like.”

“Thanks.” Her cheeks were hot again and she felt foolish. It wasn’t a big deal. He was just lending her a t-shirt to sleep in. If Xander was giving her a t-shirt, she wouldn’t think it was weird.

He stood in front of her for a minute bouncing slightly on his toes. “Do you need anything else?”

“Nope. I think I’m all set.”

“Good. Sweet dreams then.” He nodded a couple more times before leaving.

Buffy pushed the door shut before taking off the sweatshirt, her blouse, shorts and bra and slipping into the t-shirt. It was big, covering half the length of her thighs, but she still felt oddly undressed. She rubbed her fingers over the worn cotton and looked down at the Sex Pistols’ logo with its peeling edges and smiled. It was totally a boy shirt. She was making the bed with the sheets and blankets Spike had given her when she heard a knock at the door. She stood up. “Hello?”

He opened the door slowly. “Hey, pet. I was just thinking that I forgot—” He froze momentarily at the sight of her wearing only his t-shirt. She was chilly. He could tell because her nipples made points under the black fabric. He swallowed hard and averted his gaze. “I…uh…was wondering if you had any time in particular that you needed to be up. I could set an alarm if you wanted me to.” His gaze settled on her thighs. The t-shirt covered just as much as her tiny shorts had, if not more, but somehow gave the impression of covering less. He knew he was a bad man for looking.

She shook her head. “No. No time in particular. I’m not really an early riser on Sundays.” She laughed. “It’s a problem actually. Angel’s mom always wants me to go to church with them, but I like to sleep in.”

“Right.” The mention of her fiancé’s family was like a dash of cold water against Spike’s balls. His hands fisted in frustration. “Good then. You can just wake me up when you get up. There are plenty of towels in the closet if you want to take a shower or wash up or anything.”

Buffy laughed softly. “You mentioned that.”

“Right. I did.” He tried to smile. “You’re my first house-guest. I guess I’m a little off.”

“Nope. You’re very hospitable. I’m all set. Really.”

“And I should leave you alone now.”

“That’s not how I meant it.”

He nodded. “Sleep tight. Okay…umm…” He walked over to her and hugged her shoulders lightly. “I’m glad you stayed.” He stepped away and studied her face with his head tilted to the side. “We are going have to talk about your little whisper singing habit. It’s more fun if you’re belting it. ” He gave her a small smile, walked out and closed the door firmly behind him.

Buffy sat down on the edge of the bed, stared at the door and wondered why she felt like she’d let him down.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 12 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I think this chapter will please a few people. I hope so. :) Thank you very much for reading and even more for leaving a quick comment.
Sunday February 6, 2011

Buffy waved goodbye to Spike and walked up the stairs to her apartment shortly after twelve. On the ride over she’d realized that she’d never checked her phone the night before and had missed three calls from Angel. She knew he was probably worried, but wanted to shower before she called him.

She walked straight to the bathroom and stripped. She was standing under a stream of hot water when she finally let herself consider the evening before. She shouldn’t have stayed. It wasn’t the kind of thing an engaged woman did. She was going to have to tell Angel that she’d done it and then argue that it was no big deal, but she didn’t feel that in her gut. There had been a moment the night before when things had gotten awkward. She’d stood there wearing nothing but her underwear and his t-shirt and chatted like it was nothing, but there had been something. It was all on her side. She knew that. She’d always found him attractive and then Faith had planted the idea of their having sex in her head and she’d been wearing a shirt with his scent and she’d thought for just a moment about what it might be like. It wasn’t anything more than that, just a fleeting thought that he had a fascinating mouth and a wondering if that mouth would be hard or soft against hers. But that was enough to make her feel like the worst kind of person. He’d never done anything inappropriate. He treated her like a kid sister. She was the one with bad thoughts. Buffy groaned and poured shampoo into her hand. She scrubbed her scalp with punishing force. It had to be nerves. Already the wedding planning was stressing her out and she’d simply been a little drunk and had the reaction any healthy heterosexual woman would have to an unusually attractive man. It wasn’t that she would ever act on her thoughts. It was just curiosity. She was sure that it was normal for a woman who’d only been with one man to wonder what another man would be like. Still, she thought, she was going to have to be more careful. Buffy was going to have to start acting like a married lady, not a free-spirited college student. She vowed to do so and finished her shower.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Angel smiled as he pushed the call button.


“Hello, princess.”

“What’s up?”

“I just wanted to remind you that you have lunch with my mother Friday.”

Buffy tried to muffle her groan. “She understands that I really can’t take a long lunch, right? I can probably swing an extra half an hour since the art teacher will cover, but no more than that.”

“I’m sure you two will work it out. She is really excited to introduce you to some of the other ladies on the committee.”

“Right. Why is that again?”

He laughed. “There’s a long tradition of Collins ladies as committee heads.”

“I don’t think I’m the country club type, Angel.”

“I know you think it’s all boring now, but they do a lot of good for the community.”

“They have all their meetings in the middle of the day. I’ll be at school.”

“You know you don’t have to keep working. I can take care of you and you can keep plenty busy with mom’s committee and other charity stuff.”

“Angel, I didn’t go to college to keep busy until I landed a husband. I like teaching. I’m not giving up my job just because we get married.”

He sighed. “I didn’t say you had to, or even that I wanted you to, I just said that you could.”

“Oh. Okay. I’m kind of busy. Talk to you later, okay?”

“Okay. I love you, Buffy.”

“I know. I love you too. I’ll talk to you soon.”

Angel was no longer smiling when she hung up. They hadn’t actually fought in months, but lately he felt like she wasn’t exactly talking to him either. He hoped it was just a case of pre-wedding nerves and decided to look into local spas as a surprise present.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spike answered the phone with a surprised hello. “Buffy?” He’d barely talked to her since the party and was starting to think that he’d given himself away and that she was avoiding him.

“Hi. Please tell me a joke.”

“What’s going on?” He laughed at her odd tone.

“I am having a singularly unfunny day. I was hoping you could tell me something that doesn’t make me want to punch a hole in my bedroom wall.”

“What happened, love? Are you okay?”

“Yes, mostly. I had lunch with my future mother-in-law today. The woman is a demon; seriously she probably feeds on babies in an attempt to live forever.”

Spike chuckled. “That bad.”

“Worse. She told me today that she didn’t think Dawnie should be in the wedding because she is too unpredictable. In other words, she was embarrassed when her country club friends found out that Dawnie was involved in that protest.”

“Wow. I’m sorry, kitten.”

“That’s just the start of it. The woman actually suggested that I may want to enroll in etiquette classes before the wedding. I might kill her or myself. I’m definitely thinking there is going to be violence.”

“All right. That’s enough. Put on something pretty. I’ll come get you.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

Spike laughed. “I’m a firm believer in preventing violence whenever possible. You need to go out and have some fun. I’ll be there in…” He checked the clock and quickly decided to close the shop fifteen minutes early. “Forty-five minutes.”

“Really?” She couldn’t keep the hopeful note from creeping into her voice.

He laughed. “Definitely.”

He knocked on her door forty-two minutes later.

She pulled it open and flashed him a big smile. “Spike! Where are we going?”

“The way I see it, only one thing will cure the mood you’re in.”

“And what’s that?”

“Dancing .”

“You’re taking me dancing?”

“I’m taking to Lorne’s, I figure you’ll find plenty of pretty boys willing to twirl you around the dance floor there.”

He figured correctly. They’d been at Caritas for three and a half hours and Buffy had barely sat down. Spike had danced with her himself a couple of times, but mostly he’d left that to a handful of helpful gay men. He and Lorne sat at a small table by the bar and watched her dance with a small sandy-haired man named Andrew to Scissor Sisters’ “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’”. Spike loved watching her dance. She looked absolutely happy, like nothing and no one could make her less than free. She also looked sexy, the way she moved her hips gave him far too many ideas to sit comfortably.

Lorne sighed and clapped him on the back. “You’re a glutton for punishment, aren’t you?”


It was almost one in the morning when he helped a rather tipsy Buffy into his car. He walked around and got in. “Buckle up, love.”

Buffy just stared at him for a moment. She smiled brilliantly before scooting across the seat and throwing her arms around his neck. “Thank you. I always have fun with you.” She laughed. “I have all of my fun with you.”

Before he had a chance to reply, she pressed her mouth to his and kissed him, hard. He reached his hand up to cup her head, but she’d already pulled away.

“Oh God!” Her hand was covering her mouth and she stared at him in shock and horror. “I’m so sorry. I have no idea what I was thinking. Oh my god!”

She looked like she was about to cry. Spike did the only thing he could think of. “Don’t worry, Buffy. Love, it was nothing. You just got caught up in the moment or something. Please don’t get upset.”

“But you must think I’m—”

“I think nothing bad. I promise. It was nothing…just a blip. Right?”

She nodded emphatically.

He ignored the searing pain her easy acceptance of his words caused. “Let’s get you home to bed.” He started the car and then took a quick glance in her direction. She was looking at her knees and wearing a miserable expression. He wanted to take it back, to tell her that of course her kissing him had meant something, but he couldn’t bring himself to hurt her. Maybe it really hadn’t meant anything to her. Maybe she was a little drunk and he was convenient.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buffy watched her phone ring without answering it. Her mother was calling. She almost definitely wanted to talk about the wedding. Thinking about it made her cry. She’d been so irritated by everyone asking if she was sure that she wanted to get married, but now it felt like they all knew something that she didn’t. Buffy was sure that this was supposed to be the happiest time in her life. She was supposed to be thinking about dresses and flowers and music. She was supposed to be daydreaming about her happy ever after with Angel. Instead, she just wanted to hide. Angel had told her a few days earlier that she was acting strange, that sometimes lately she seemed like an entirely different person. She’d shrugged it off at the time. She’d thought that she was tired or stressed from the wedding planning. Now she thought he might have been right. A few years earlier marrying Angel and raising a family with him was everything she wanted. Now she found herself picturing the soon to come reality with increasing trepidation.

Angel said that his promotion meant that he’d be out of town less, but that didn’t seem to be the case to Buffy. She knew that he was still gone a few days a week because whenever he came back he had an entirely unpleasant task for her, like dinner with his boss and his boss’ snooty wife, lunch with his mother or a meeting at his church with people that looked at her like she was pond slime. She hated trying to impress people that she didn’t even like. She’d actually felt relieved when he’d told her that he was going to be gone all weekend.

Now the memory of that relief only made her feel guiltier. She’d kissed Spike. She’d kissed another man. Once during college, while she and Angel were having a particularly bad fight Buffy had gone on a couple of dates with a boy named Riley. He’d been sweet and considerate and, after their second date, they’d kissed for a few minutes. She’d felt nothing. It was one of the reasons she’d called Angel and given him another chance. Spike hadn’t kissed her back. The entire thing had only lasted for a second, but she’d felt something.

She wanted to deny it. She couldn’t.

Leaving her phone at home, Buffy drove to the small shop where Tara worked. It was a spontaneous decision. She really hadn’t spent any time with Tara alone, but she liked her and, more importantly, felt like Tara wouldn’t judge her for what she had to say.

She went in, said hi and pretended to browse the candles and herbal face creams for a few minutes.

“Buffy, is everything okay?”

“What? I mean, why do you think it wouldn’t be?”

Tara smiled gently. “You just seem like maybe you need to talk. I could call Willow. I think she was just running errands.”

“No. I mean—” She sighed. “I was sorta hoping to talk to you.”

Tara’s smile grew in surprise. “Really? I mean, of course.”

“I think I need a fresh perspective and you’re studying to be a therapist, right?”

Tara nodded. “Do you think you need a therapist?”

Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m not really feeling like myself right now.”

“Come have a seat.” Tara walked them both over to a couple of chairs by the cash register. “I could make some tea if you’d like.”

“No. I’m good. I mean, I’m not—that’s the problem. I used to be good and now, I don’t think so.”

Tara frowned. “Why don’t you think you’re good?”

“Do you think it’s normal for a woman who is engaged to be married to find another man attractive?”

Tara laughed softly. “I don’t think that is very unusual. I’ve been confident about my orientation for years and even I can’t deny that the bad brother on The Vampire Diaries is a pretty man.”

Buffy laughed for a few seconds before shaking her head. “But it’s worse if it’s someone you know, right? I mean—not a celebrity or a fake vampire.”

Tara shrugged. “It seems more complicated. Is it just one person? I mean are you just worried that you still notice if a man is attractive or are you particularly attracted to one person?” Her eyes narrowed slightly as she waited for Buffy’s answer.

Buffy turned away. “I don’t know.”

“Well, if it’s just one person, then I guess the question would be whether or not you have feelings for that person.”

“But how could I have feelings for someone else? I mean I’m getting married in June.”

Tara sighed. “I don’t think the engagement ring is a lock on your heart, Buffy. I mean, I think you can have feelings for more than one person in your life. Most of us aren’t with the first person we ever loved, that doesn’t mean we don’t still have a softness in our heart for them. Love can change. I think it usually does.”

“So how do we ever know that we’re marrying the right person?”

“Buffy, do you want to spend the rest of your life with Angel?”

“Of course I do.”

“There’s no of course about it. You can’t get married because it’s expected…even if it’s just you that expects it.”

“I love him.”

Tara smiled. “Well that’s an important part.”

“Do you think that maybe my feelings, I mean could a person think that they are having feelings for someone else just because they are nervous about the wedding?”

“I think the more important question is: why is that person so nervous about the wedding?”

Buffy paled. “Oh.”

“Buffy, I don’t want you to think that some nerves aren’t normal. I think they are. It’s a big decision. But if you are thinking about someone else, if you’re thinking that maybe you’d rather spend your life with someone else, that seems important.”

Buffy nodded. “But if nothing would ever happen with the other person, if it was just this blip, then—”

“Is it Spike?”

Buffy’s eyes grew large. “Why do you think that?”

Tara smiled. “Just a hunch.”

“It’s just that we’ve been spending so much time together and we get to do fun stuff. I mean, of course I would have some sort of feelings, right?”

Tara’s eyes widened. “I think that is something you need to decide for yourself.”

Buffy hugged Tara and left soon after. When she got home she saw that Spike had called soon after her mother. She did not call him back.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Buffy glanced down the sidewalk anxiously. “Why don’t we go have lunch at that new Chinese place?”

Cordy frowned. “Why don’t you want to eat here? You loved that salad you had here last time.”

Buffy smiled and shrugged. “No reason. You’re right. This place is great. Let’s go in.” She quickly hurried through the door, leaving a confused Willow and Cordy to follow her in.

Willow stopped. “Hey. Is that Spike’s shop? I didn’t realize he was over here. We should go say hi.”

“He’s probably busy.” She shrugged and turned away. “Oh look! There’s a table over by the bakery counter.”

Cordy and Willow exchanged glances before following her. As they sat down, Cordy asked, “Are you and Spike fighting or have you simply gone insane?”

“What? Why would we be fighting?” She laughed. “That’s ridiculous. We just hung out last weekend. Yup. No fighting.”

“Uh huh.” Cordy nodded. “So you’ll be happy to know that he just walked in?”

Buffy turned immediately. “What?”

“Okay, seriously. What is going on with you?”

Buffy turned back when she realized that Cordy had been lying and frowned. “Nothing.”

“So where do you want to go look for bridesmaids’ dresses? There’s a cute boutique over on West Avenue.”

“Wherever you like is fine.”

“Have you decided on your colors yet?”

“I guess not. Maybe red or blue.”

Willow giggled. “You could move the wedding to July fourth and have both.”

“Move the wedding? You think I should…”

“It was a joke. You know because July…the fourth of July-red, white and blue.” Willow shrugged.

Buffy smiled and nodded. “Right. Sorry. I guess I’m a little distracted.”

“Oh, we are reading that loud and clear.” Cordy pointed out dryly.

Buffy was saved from having to respond by the appearance of a waitress. She ordered the same salad she’d had before to save herself the trouble of reading the menu and making an actual decision.

She was almost feeling relaxed when they left forty-five minutes later. Or at least she was until they walked out the door and saw Spike.

Willow called out his name immediately and Buffy followed her friends as they walked over to see him.

Spike was giving dog tied up outside his store a bowl of water. The girls gushed over the pup’s cuteness.

“Whose puppy?”

Spike laughed. “That’s the big question. He just wandered into the store about an hour ago. He’s a friendly little mite, but no tags.”

“Oh no!” Willow squatted low and ruffled the fur behind the small dog’s ears. “Are you lost, little guy? Who could lose such a cutie pie? Yes, you are a cutie pie, aren’t you?”

Buffy laughed as she also bent to pet the dog. “He is awfully cute.”

Spike nodded. “Yeah. I suppose he is. What are you ladies doing in my neighborhood?”


“We’re supposed to be looking at bridesmaids’ dresses.” Cordy added.

“Right.” Spike nodded. He glanced at Buffy but she was looking away. “Lots of wedding planning to do.” He was barely able to keep his frustration from his voice. He’d been almost certain that Buffy was starting to see that Angel wasn’t the one for her, but here she was dress-shopping with the girls. He stepped towards her and spoke quietly. “I called you a couple of times.”

Her eyes widened for a moment. “I’m sorry. I meant to call back. Things have been pretty busy.”

“Yeah.” He nodded. “That makes sense.” His head tilted to the side as he studied her for a moment. She wasn’t making eye contact. He felt like he’d lost her even though he’d never really had her.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 13 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
This was a challenging chapter to write. I hope you all like it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spike let himself in the front door at Wesley and Fred’s house and called out a hello.

Fred yelled back immediately. “We’re in the nursery. Come look!”

He smiled as he followed the sound of her voice back to the room they’d been preparing for several weeks already. He was not surprised to see that the paint color had been changed…again. The walls were now a pale green.

“I was worried that the green wouldn’t work if the baby is a girl, but I think it’ll be really sweet with some pink touches. Don’t you think?” Fred asked anxiously from her spot on the rocker in the corner of the room.

Spike nodded confidently. “Absolutely. It looks smashing.” He walked over and bent down to give her a quick peck on the cheek before turning to Wesley to shake hands and clap backs. “Nice job painting. You’re getting better.”

Wesley laughed. “Better at paying someone else to do it. I hired a couple of college students.” He shrugged.

“Ah. That explains why I didn’t get a call from you cursing in the middle of the night.” He held out a pretty gift bag with owls on it to Fred. “This is for you.”

She gasped before he could finish. “You wrapped?”

He chuckled. “Nah. Buffy dropped this by the shop for me to bring by a couple weeks ago but I haven’t had a chance.”

Fred teared up slightly just reaching for the bag. “Oh! That’s so sweet.” She took the bag and began removing the tissue paper wrapped contents. “Look how cute the little owls are.” She held up the bag to Wesley, who promptly agreed the little owls were indeed impossibly adorable. Several moments were spent flipping through the small stack of picture books Buffy had selected and reading the sweet baby card. “Oh. Now I want to give her a bug hug. Why didn’t you bring her by?”

Spike shrugged. “Haven’t seen much of her myself-what with all the wedding planning.”

Fred gave him a sad smile before pushing herself up out of the chair and bringing the baby’s new books over to the small bookshelf they’d hug in the corner above a toy box. She placed each book lovingly on the shelf.

Wesley smiled at the pretty picture his wife made readying the nursery before turning back to his obviously distressed cousin. He sighed and gestured that they should leave the room. Once in the hall, he asked quietly, “Have you ever told her how you feel?”

Spike scoffed. “Have you seen the rock on that girl’s finger?”

“Do you truly think that she’s shallow enough to choose a man based on the size of the diamond he can give her?”

Spike frowned. “Of course not. Buffy’s not like that. She’s…she’s good and sweet. God, she’s so sweet it should be irritating, but it’s not. I can’t even—you know I had the flu last month? She heard me coughing on the phone and showed up with a half a gallon of chicken soup and a bag lozenges—said it was what friends do. She’s not thinking about the money. She’s not like that. She hates the country club set because they’re all snooty and dull.”

Wesley smiled and spoke gently. “Then perhaps you ought not to worry about the size of the ring either.”

“I’m not.” He sighed. “Or I am, but only a little. I just can’t—she’s taken.”

“Is she the one, William?”

Spike turned and studied the collection of family photos lining Wesley’s and Fred’s hallway wall. Buffy was the only girl he’d ever imagined making a wall of family pictures with. He nodded, slowly. “Yeah, mate. That’s her.”

“Then you tell her that. You tell her before she adds a second ring to her finger.”


“You’re a good man, a better man than you give yourself credit for, and you deserve to be happy. If Buffy is your chance for happiness, then you have to tell her that.”

“I won’t even be able to keep her as friend, not if I tell her.”

Wesley nodded. “Yes, but that’s gone on too long already.”

Spike couldn’t deny the truth in that or even pretend that he wasn’t already losing her friendship. He swallowed hard. “What will she say? I mean if I did tell her, what do you think she’ll say?”

“I don’t know.”


Wesley clapped a hand on his cousin’s back a couple of times. “Come help me set up for dinner. I ordered Thai. Fred is mortified about serving take-out to guests for Sunday dinner, but she can barely reach the stove over her stomach these days and I want her resting as much as possible.”

“The doctor said it was normal though, right? First babies often come a few days late?”

Wesley nodded. “She said that the due date was just an estimate and could have been off by a few days itself, which has not stopped Fred from worrying and is the reason we will be eating spicy food at every meal until the baby comes.”

Spike chuckled. “And Fred’s the only worrier?”

“I remain a pillar of calm strength.”

They both laughed as they walked to the kitchen to pull out dishes and silverware.

Giles and Anya showed up a few moments after the food, looking like the proverbial cat after eating the family’s pet canary. They waited until the food had been dished to share their news.

Anya held out her hand, gleefully displaying a twinkling ring. “We went to Los Vegas and got married yesterday!”

Wesley nearly fainted.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 (still)

Buffy carried two plates with sandwiches and pickles over to the table and sat down across from Angel.

He smiled. “Thank you. This looks great.”

She shrugged. “It’s just a sandwich.”

“Yeah, but you got the tomato sliced into perfectly even slivers.”

She laughed. It was a long running joke. When they’d still been in high school, Angel had stopped by Buffy’s house after school one day and she had attempted to impress him by serving him a sandwich. Having never sliced a tomato before, she’d chosen a butter knife for the job and had mangled the tomato into sloppy bits which she’d piled onto the sandwich only to later watch in dismay as they all slid out the sides of the bread when he lifted it up to take a bite. Angel had eaten every bit anyway, including a sticker she’d forgotten to take off, and proclaimed her an excellent cook.

Now she sat and watched as he started eating a much tidier sandwich and tried to push away the painful knot in her stomach. “Angel?”

“Hmm?” He lifted a napkin to his mouth.

“Can I ask you a question?”

He chuckled. “Of course.”

“Have you ever…I mean do you ever have…doubts about marrying me?”

“When you can make a sandwich like this? No way.”

She frowned. “I’m being serious.”

He put the sandwich down and studied her quietly for a second. “No. Not for a second.”

“Oh. “ She nodded before looking down at the sandwich on her own plate.

“Princess, what’s going on?”



She looked up at him with wet eyes. “I think maybe it’s just happening too fast. I mean six months was not really enough time to plan the kind of wedding that your mom wants and now there’s only three months left and we still haven’t decided on…almost anything—and—and maybe we could just postpone it for a while.”

Angel could feel the blood draining from his face as he paled. His palms started to itch with sweat. “Postpone the wedding?” He asked quietly. “How long?”

“I don’t know. Maybe just a few months or if your mom really wants a June wedding, we could wait until next year.”

He watched her hand tremble against the tabletop. “I see.” He reached over and took her hand in his. “Princess, I’m so sorry. I had no idea my mother was being so difficult. I’ll talk to her tonight.”

“No, it’s not—”

He frowned. “I can talk to her. I can get her to back off and let you plan a simpler affair, if that’s what you wish. Is it?”

Sunday, March 6, 2011 (still)

Spike sat on an old ottoman in the middle of his still unfinished party room and strummed his guitar for an audience of one small dog.

No one had come to claim the pup. Spike, feeling particularly unwanted himself, decided that they could take refuge in each other and brought him home. He was happy to find that the pup was already potty-trained and less thrilled to discover that he considered boots a combination toy and snack. He was calling him Doc in honor of the boots he’d already destroyed.

As much as he loved his family, he’d been glad to leave the noise and chaos that afternoon. His talk with Wesley was weighing on him and he did his best thinking when he had a guitar under his fingers.

He was truly bothered by the idea of moving in on another man’s girl, but he had to admit that he’d probably have gotten past that by now if he wasn’t also terrified. He’d gotten so used to waiting. He’d been certain that there would be a sign if he was meant to step in. Surely she would break up with the boyfriend and come to him looking for a cheer up or she’d be in trouble and only he could help. But she’d never treated him as anything more than a friend, a good friend certainly, but she’d never given him a clear sign that an advance would be welcome. Until she’d kissed him, of course, then he’d been certain that she was coming around. But she hadn’t. The kiss had been the beginning of the end. She’d been mortified and had barely spoken to him since. Oh, he could still paint scenarios in his mind that gave them a happy ending; he was good at that. There was no guarantee though. He had no way of knowing if she had any idea how he felt about her; telling her meant risking it all. He had to go all in without ever hearing the odds. The thought that she might look at him with shock and pity bore a hole in his gut.

Wesley had asked if she was the one, like that was the most important part, and maybe it was but it seemed like the obvious part to Spike. Of course she was the one. She made him laugh out loud without a touch cynicism. He couldn’t see her smile and not smile himself. He’d been pulled in by her the second he’d laid eyes on her standing mortified in front of him with red cheeks and her hand covering her mouth in dismay. She’d looked like a cartoon Disney Princess: too expressive and adorable to be real. Yet she was real. If anything, Spike thought, she was one of the most real, honest people he’d ever met. At first he’d thought she was naïve, but now he realized that Buffy wasn’t oblivious to the cruel truths of the world, she simply refused to let the possibility of those truths change her. She gave everyone a smile, assumed anyone she met was good and kind until she saw otherwise and was always trying to help someone. Buffy Summers had changed him in sweet, subtle ways. Spike found himself being gentler with browsers that came into his shop, learning children’s songs and taking in fluffy mutts. He wasn’t as cool as he’d been a few months earlier but, despite the aching need he felt for her, he was happier. It was, he thought whimsically, as though she had erased the voice that told him to worry and he’d reverted to his natural self. William had been a happy child before he’d learned that he was too soft and too peculiar. He’d learned to be more careful, to build and guard a reputation as cool and care-free and to hide his more sensitive self. But Buffy liked him best when he wasn’t hiding that sentimental self and Spike thought he might like himself more too.

He had to tell her. He couldn’t deserve happiness if he wasn’t willing to fight for it and she was his happiness.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 (still)

Buffy was almost relieved to hear the knocking on her front door. She walked over, opened it and furrowed her brow in confusion. “Spike? What are you doing here?”

“Will you invite me in?”

She frowned. “It’s not really a great time.”

“I won’t take long. I just—invite me in for a moment.”

Buffy nodded. “Okay Spike, come on in.”

Spike stepped through the doorway and watched her shut the door behind him. He stared at her.

“What’s up?”

“Right.” He’d hoped that she would lead him into the living room and he’d have a chance to settle some before he had to say it, but clearly she was intent on their remaining in her tiny front hall. Spike looked down at her small bare feet and took a deep breath. “This is …I know that this is the worst possible time and I shouldn’t even—it’s wrong to come and—But I can’t simply say nothing. It’s not going away. Hell, love, I’m an arse for saying it now but I love you. I’m in love with you and I can’t pretend that—” He stepped forward suddenly, cupped the sides of her face and kissed her.

It only lasted an instant before she pulled away and stared at him in shock. “Oh god.” She looked over his shoulder. “Angel, it’s not—”

Spike turned to see the other man, pale and angry behind him.

“Is this why you want to postpone the wedding?”

He couldn’t help himself, Spike turned back to Buffy in surprise. “You’re postponing the wedding?”

Buffy pushed past him and grasped Angel’s arm. Spike noted the man hands were both fisted.

She spoke to Angel first. “Come in the living room. Please, baby.” When Angel nodded, she turned back to Spike. “You need to leave. Now.”

He couldn’t even argue.
Chapter End Notes:
Thoughts, Hopes, Dreams?
Chapter 14 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
I am dreadfully behind on responding to comments. I am so sorry. I will be answering as many as I can this evening. It has been a crazy week. I want to get this chapter up so that people aren't waiting any longer. Thank you all for the support. You rock.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Spike had not had a good evening. He’d resisted the urge to drink himself silly, barely and mainly due to the hope that Buffy would call and want to talk to him. She hadn’t. Instead, he’d spent the evening feeling like the world’s biggest fool and playing sad songs for Doc.

He considered calling her when he woke up in the morning, but didn’t. She had his number and knew where he stood. The ball had to be in her court.

Spike called in a favor and had a friend watch the shop for the day. He was sitting on the couch half-watching a show in which contestants were apparently competing by cooking things on the engine blocks of cars, when he heard the knock at his door. He was off the couch in an instant and pulling the door open. “Buffy.”

“Can I just be here for a little while?” Her voice was hoarse.

He nodded. “Of course. Come in, pet.” He followed her to the couch and quickly muted the television. She looked awful, as at least as awful as Buffy could look. Her eyes were ringed with red and weighed down by heavy circles showing her lack of sleep. “Love, are you—”

She took off her jacket, laid it on the back of the couch and sat down wearily before looking up at him. “If you run into Angel….” She shook her head. “Don’t run into Angel.”

Spike nodded. “That’s fair.”

She nodded too. “He thinks I’ve been sleeping with you.”

Spike’s eyes widened. “That’s…fuck, I’ll talk to him, tell him it was all me and that you’d never.”

“He said he’d forgive me. That we could just forget it and move on. All I had to do was agree not to see you anymore and we’d get married like we were supposed to.” She shook her head as though the motion would stop the tears threatening to spill over her eyelids. “He cried.” She said the words as though they were both unbelievable and devastating, which of course was how she’d felt when it happened.

Spike sat down beside her but was careful to leave a few inches between them. “Are you here to tell me to stay away? Is it good bye then?”

She frowned. “I told him I couldn’t do that.”

“You left him.”

“I think he left me. Or maybe I made him leave me. I don’t know anymore. He was hurt when I said I wanted to wait, to postpone, but then when you…when I wouldn’t…I just couldn’t be the person he wanted me to be.” She shrugged. “It sounds so fast when I say it now. I don’t know why it took all night.”

Spike chest constricted at the thought of Buffy fighting and crying all night. “I’m so sorry, kitten. You can’t know how sorry I am.”

She shrugged. “Could I maybe just hide here for a little while? I haven’t really dealt with any of it-told people. I know I have to but…maybe I could do it later?” There were tears falling down her cheeks.

“Of course. Fuck. Of course you can, kitten. Are you hungry or how about I make you some tea?”

She nodded. “Tea sounds good. My throat hurts.”

He felt like a heel, her throat hurt because she’d been crying for hours. This was what he’d been wanting for months. He’d never truly considered her pain if it happened. “Right. Just sit right here and rest and I’ll be right back with some tea—put you to rights.”

When Spike returned several minutes later with a steaming cup of honey-sweetened tea he found Buffy curled in a ball and fast asleep on the couch. He put the tea on his rough wooden coffee table and went to the hall closet to get a blanket. After covering her, he went back to the kitchen to fetch his own cuppa, sat down on the other side of the couch and resumed his television watching with the closed captions on and the sound off.

She’d come to him. Finally, she’d come to him with the news of her break up, but the path wasn’t entirely clear. Spike still had no idea how she felt, if she’d come to see him because he was what she needed or because she simply needed a port in the storm. He couldn’t pretend that she didn’t look devastated by the break up.

She slept for nearly three hours, three hours of waiting and worrying for Spike. He smiled when he saw her stretching and moaning softly as she awoke. “Morning, pet.”

She sat up abruptly and surveyed her surroundings with wide eyes. “Oh!”

He chuckled softly. “You fell asleep. I figured you needed the rest.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. You had a rough night.”

She nodded. “Yeah.” She saw the cup of tea on the table and reached for it.

“Oh. It’ll be cold now, love. I could fix you a new cup.”

She took a big gulp. “It’s fine, good, really.”

Spike looked skeptical but didn’t argue. He saw her eyes widened and a small smile form on her lips when Doc scampered into the room to investigate the new voice.

“You kept him.”

Spike shrugged. “I put up a couple of signs near the shop and checked with the vet but nobody claimed him. He’s a good dog.”

She nodded as she reached down to fluff the fur on Doc’s head and neck. “He’s adorable. Big feet though, he will be huge if he actually grows into them.”

“Yeah, the vet said the same thing. He’s eating like he plans to be big enough to take on Godzilla sometime soon.”

She laughed softly and Spike was glad. He studied her for a moment. “Was it my fault?” He didn’t mean to ask. It just happened.

She seemed surprised by the question. “I don’t know. Maybe—in a way, but not really.”

He swallowed, looked down at his knees and fiddled with a string hanging from the torn spot on his jeans. “Do you wish that I had stayed away from you?”

She was quiet for a few seconds. “How could I want that when I want you?”

He looked up at her, slowly smiling before ducking his head in an uncharacteristically shy gesture. “I didn’t know. I hoped but you never said…”

Buffy rose up onto her knees and scooted closer. She cupped his cheek in her hand and leaned in to place a very soft kiss on his mouth. She pulled back afterwards and gave him a little smile.

“Oh, kitten.” Spike surged forward and claimed her lips more fully. His tongue teased her bottom lip until she opened her mouth and he pressed inside, moaning the instant his tongue met hers. His hands grasped her head, pulling her closer as his fingers buried themselves in her hair. When he released her lips, he dropped his forehead against hers and whispered. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that.”

“How long?” She asked quietly as she brought her arms up to wrap around his neck.

“From the first, love. You threw me from the first moment I laid eyes on you.”

“That can’t be.”

“It’s the truth.”

“But you’re so pretty.”

He laughed. “Isn’t that my line? Shouldn’t I be telling you that you’re my gorgeous girl? You are now, right? You’re my kitten?” He didn’t wait for an answer and kissed her again instead. “You taste good, kitten.” She was blushing when he pulled away to see her face.

“It’s probably just the tea.”

He shook his head, never breaking eye contact. “No. It’s you.” He placed one finger on her bottom lip. “You’re sweet.”

Her eyes widened for a second before she pressed upwards for another deep kiss. She shivered as his fingertips, roughened from years of plucking guitar strings, slid down the back of her neck. “Oh!” She gasped slightly when he wrapped his hands firmly around her waist and tugged her onto his lap.

“You were too far away.”

She trembled, shocked by the surge of lust in her exhausted body. She was infinitely aware of his body beneath and against her own. Her fingers fluttered as she brought her hands to rest on his chest. “Not anymore.”

He nuzzled his nose below her ear. “I’d like to be even closer.”

The sudden desire made her almost dizzy; she swayed and felt his arms tighten around her. “Closer.” She repeated his word as she tried to swallow the implications.

Spike used two fingers to lift her chin so that he could see her eyes. “Buffy, I—”

He was interrupted by the shocking sound of her “Going to the Chapel” ringtone blaring loudly from the pocket of her jacket.

Her eyes widened at the reminder. “Oh. Oh god. I can’t be—” She stood up and stepped away quickly.

“Buffy, please. I know it’s been—”

“I can’t do this.”

“Pet.” He looked over at her jacket and groaned before thrusting his hand in the pocket and yanking the offensive song-playing device out. His finger slammed awkwardly against the ignore button. “Buffy.”

“I can’t do this.” She saw the pain filling his eyes and took a deep breath. “Yet. I can’t do this, yet. I…I haven’t even told anyone. I need to deal with it. I can’t be here kissing you while my mother is shopping for a gown to wear to my wedding. It’s…wrong. It feels…it makes this feel wrong. Please understand. I want to be able to kiss you without feeling like this.” She clapped a fisted hand against the knot in her stomach.

Spike sighed and leaned back on the couch. He studied her quietly.

“I need a little time.”

“How long?” He shook his head. “No, that’s…fuck…I want you so bad I can’t think straight.”

“Oh.” Her eyes widened.

“Of course you can have some time. You do what you have to do but don’t…”He stood up and walked over to her. “This isn’t wrong.” He reached over and brushed her hair behind her ear, rubbing his thumb over her cheek. “It’s bad timing. That’s it. Don’t say it’s wrong.”

She nodded. “I still have to leave.”

He leaned down and kissed her forehead. “Don’t take too long, okay? I’ll get impatient and come find you.”

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Buffy saw Spike’s name on her phone screen and smiled before accepting the call. “Hello.”

“You weren’t very clear on whether or not I was allowed to call.”

She laughed. “Of course you’re allowed to call.”

“I’ve been trying to give you space.”

“I’ve missed you. I wanted to call you but I wasn’t sure if it would make it worse.”

“Does it?”

“No. I mean it makes me think about how much I miss you, but I was doing that already.”

“You were?” She could hear his smile in his voice.

“Oh yeah.”

“Were you doing anything about it?”

She frowned. “I was thinking about calling you.”

“But that’s it? You weren’t going to do anything else? Nothing that might take the edge off of the missing?”

“What do you…Oh! Spike!” Her cheeks heated up as she realized what he was insinuating.

He laughed; the sound was hoarse and deep over the phone.

“You’re awful.”

“That’s right, kitten. I’m a bad, rude man. When can I see you?”

She giggled. “I don’t know. When do you want to see me?”

“I can be there in five minutes.”

She frowned. “Where are you?”


“You live fifteen minutes away.”

“I can make it in five.”

She laughed. “It’s late and I have to work in the morning. I took a couple days off last week and was not really myself the other days anyway. I need to get things back in order tomorrow.”

“But you’ve finished…cancelling—telling people—you’re done?”

“Nearly. Angel’s mother keeps calling to tell me what a wretch I am. She didn’t even want him to marry me. I mean she never liked me. But now she keeps calling to tell me how ungrateful I am and that they opened their family to me and I spit in the faces.”

“Don’t answer the phone. You don’t deserve that shit.”

“I do, a little bit I do.”

“No. You never did anything wrong, Buffy.”

“I kissed you.”

He sighed. “Once, for a second—less than a second, and that was my fault.”

She laughed. “It’s sweet of you to say so, but it wasn’t. I kissed you because I wanted to. I mean it wasn’t something I had really admitted to myself that I wanted, but I did. I wanted to.”

“It doesn’t mean you deserve this.”

“I hurt someone who didn’t deserve to get hurt.”

“Do you think you would have been happy if you’d gotten married? Do you think you would have both been happy? Or even just Angel, would he have been happy if you weren’t?”

“No, maybe for a little while, but no. We wanted different things.”

“Can I see you tomorrow? I’ll close the shop early come by as soon as you’re out of school.”

“I have a staff training tomorrow night. We need to update our first aid certifications—it could run late and then I have some catch up work to do.”

“Pet? Do you want to see me?”

“I think I need a couple more days. I want us to have a fresh start, no—none of this mess clouding it up.”

“Okay. How about Friday? We can have a real date. Our first. Put on something pretty and I’ll pick you up at seven. What do you think?”

She grinned. “That sounds perfect.”
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 15 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Two weeks is a long time to wait for an update. I'm sorry. Thank you to everyone who is sticking around despite the delays. I love this story and wish sincerely that my life would open up big chunks of writing and posting time everyday. Lately that has not been the case. I think this chapter will surprise a few people-hopefully in a good way. At least one person guessed the twist that comes near the end. Congrats to them. ;)
Also, this story was nominated in a few categories at the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards site. Thank you very much to whomever nominated it and me (I'm honored to be in the best author category with some excellent writers). Voting has started, so if you like this story or any of the many other great fics that have been nominated, please take the time to go vote. Thank you.
Wednesday March 16, 2011

Buffy waited impatiently for Willow to answer her phone. She paced about her bedroom before sitting down next to the large pile of clothes on her bed.

“Hi, Buffy!”

“Wills, oh good! Look, I need to tell you something.”


“I…the thing is…I have a date on Friday.”

“Wow, that’s…wow, Buffy. I don’t…um…” On her end, Willow stopped washing the dishes from Tara’s burst of baking and sat on a chair at their kitchen table. “Are you sure that you’re ready for that? I mean…it’s only been a few days since you and Angel called things off—oh! Is it with Angel?”

“No—no, not with Angel. I have a date with Spike.”

“Oh! Wow.”

“You think it’s too soon.”

“No, I didn’t mean. I thought you were talking about—maybe a guy you met at the grocery store. I didn’t realize…wow, Spike?”

Buffy sighed. “So you don’t think it’s too soon?”

Willow fiddled with the edge of a pretty woven placemat. “What I think doesn’t matter. Do you feel like it’s too soon?”

“I knew you were going to say something like that. Hanging out with Tara has made you sound all wise.” She fell back to lie across the selection of belts and scarves on her pillows. “I feel—I feel like I should feel like it’s too soon.”

Willow laughed softly. “But what you actually feel is…”

“Happy, excited, a little nervous and then guilty.”

“Guilty because…”

“Because I just broke up with the man I was supposed to marry, a good man who I was with for years and who loved me and I should be miserable, but I have butterflies in my stomach. I just spent the last hour going through my closet trying to figure out what to wear on Friday, like a sixteen year old. If I hadn’t called you, I’d have probably de-evolved to putting on lipstick and kissing my mirror by now.”

Willow laughed. “I see.”

“Do you? Am I a horrible person?”

“No, sweetie. You’re just a girl who has a date with a handsome guy on Friday. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about that. There’s no rule about how long you have to wait to be happy again.”

“But people are going to think—”

“It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. You and Spike are the only ones that get a say here. Do you want to go out with Spike on Friday?”

Buffy laughed. “A world of yes.”

“So, he asked you out, right?”

“Kind of. He—Willow, he said he was in love with me.” She said the words quietly, both not ready to share such intimate news and needing the advice of her best friend desperately.

“Wow. He said that?”


“Do you? Are you? How do you feel about him?” Willow wondered if she was going to have to change her advice to Buffy. She couldn’t really advise Buffy to go out on a casual date that she may or may not be ready for with a man who was already in love with her.

“I feel…like I can’t look away. I mean, he’s really hot, but that’s not it or not the part that matters. It’s—I’m…drawn to him but drawn doesn’t seem like a big enough word. I feel like if I were in a room with a hundred strangers and he was one of them I would go stand next to him, that I wouldn’t be able to help myself. He just pulls me in. And whenever I’m with him I feel lighter and younger and I laugh. Spike makes me laugh all the time. And when he kissed me, my toes did this thing that I didn’t know toes could do and all I wanted was to keep kissing him.”

By the end of Buffy’s speech, Willow was grinning broadly. “Pick out something great for your date, sweetie, have fun and don’t worry about anyone else.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buffy answered the door at Spike’s first knock. He was about to laugh at her quick response time when he saw her and lost the ability to speak for a moment. She was wearing a silky red wrap dress with cap sleeves and a swingy skirt that ended a few inches above her knees and a pair of black high-heeled sandals. Her hair was down and the ends had been curled into large, bouncy waves that danced around her shoulders. Her lips were red, her eyes carefully outlined with black and she smelled like the jasmine perfume that Spike had started to dream about. He was glad he’d decided not to wear jeans and had gone with a pair of black slacks and a dark grey striped button-down instead.

“Wow.” He stared at her for another moment before grinning, slowly. “You’re wearing this pretty frock for me?” He saw her blushing as he stepped close and leaned in to kiss one of her flushed cheeks. He took a second to enjoy her scent and her nearness. “Can I kiss you now, love, or will I get the rack for smudging your lipstick?”

She giggled almost breathlessly. “It’s lip stain, the sales girl swears it’s un-smudgable.”

His hand cupped the back of her head. “Sounds like a bloody challenge to me.” His mouth claimed hers for a thorough hello. He pulled back with a groan and looked at her again. “Have I mentioned that that is a very pretty dress?”

She laughed. “Too much?”

He shook his head. “I think red is my new favorite color.” He shrugged. “Actually, I think red was my favorite color before.”

“You said it was.”

His eyebrows arched up. “Is that so?”

She nodded. “When we went to bail Dawnie out, you said that your favorite color was red.”

His head tilted to the side as he watched her cheeks flush again. He reached over and brushed his thumb across the pink skin. She really had worn the dress for him. The thought that she had chosen a dress that she knew was his favorite color hit him nearly as hard as seeing her in the dress had. “Buffy.”

She nodded.

“I think I’m going to have to kiss you again. How are you feeling about that?”

“Close the door.”

His brow furrowed.

“The front door is still open behind you. Close it.”

He frowned slightly, but turned away to shut the door. When he was done, he smirked. “Now do I get another kiss?”

She shook her head. “I wore something else for you too.”

Spike watched in awe as she reached for the bow at her waist and quickly untied it. In seconds she had undone the bow and the hidden inner button that held her dress closed and was holding the sides open to reveal a delicate black French lace bra and matching panties.

Spike groaned. “For me?” His voice was hoarse.

Buffy nodded. “I bought them yesterday. Do you like them?”

He noticed suddenly that her hands were shaking and that she wasn’t quite meeting his eyes and realized she was nervous, despite the apparent boldness of the gesture. He covered her hands with his own and spoke with a slow deliberateness. “You are more gorgeous than any fantasy I could construct.” He leaned in to give her a soft kiss. “Now, you’d really best fix your dress before I lose the ability to walk you out to the car.”

She kissed him. “We could stay in. Order delivery.”

He swallowed hard. “This dress…” He lifted one hand to slide across the smooth fabric on her shoulder. “This dress calls for a real restaurant. Let me take you out on a proper date.”

She let go of her dress, stepped close enough to feel the cool metal of his belt buckle brushing against her bare stomach and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Are you very hungry, Spike?”

He chuckled gruffly. “Are you trying to kill me, kitten?”

Buffy spoke in a whisper near his ear. “I like it when you call me that. I shouldn’t have let you do it before. I should have made you stop because I liked it too much and it made me all fluttery. I tried to convince myself that it didn’t mean anything, that it was just a generic term for you, but you never call anyone else that, do you?”

“No.” He laughed softly before brushing her hair back from her face. “How did I not give myself away ages ago?”

“I couldn’t see it.”

He cupped her cheek and gave her a serious look. “Why not,” he asked quietly.

She shrugged. “I just couldn’t imagine that you could ever go for a girl like me.”

He laughed again, louder, and then shook his head. “Why wouldn’t I want a sweet, sexy girl with a good heart and a clever mouth? Were you under the impression that I was joining the priesthood? I mean seriously, even then, I’m pretty certain you’d have made me rethink things.”

She ducked her head. “You’re cool. I mean your music and your friends, your hair—you’re cool and kind of edgy, right? I’m not edgy. I’m like the opposite of edgy, Spike. I teach preschool and blush at the lyrics in pop music. I thought you’d want a girl that was...cooler, like Goth or something.”

“Silly bird.” He held her face between his palms. “You’re all I want, all I can think about.”

“Oh.” She trembled slightly.

“If we don’t leave soon we’ll miss our reservation.”

She grinned. “Darn?”

“You really don’t want me to take you out? You got all dressed up for nothing?”

“No. I got dressed up for you. I just want to be with you. I don’t want to share you with a whole restaurant full of people right now.”

Spike felt himself getting a little chocked up by her words. His eyes widened as he studied her face. He thought she looked worried, as though she thought he might say no. He couldn’t fathom why. “I’m yours.”

When Spike stopped talking about the restaurant and started kissing her again, Buffy felt an instant blast of pride over her success. She was seducing Spike. It was what she wanted and she was doing it. After her talk with Willow, she had lain on her bed for an hour and thought about it. It was simple, she’d decided, she wanted Spike. She wanted him more than she could remember wanting anything else ever. That he seemed to want her as well was some kind of miracle and she’d decided that she didn’t want to waste another moment. Of course nearly as soon as she realized her success, the enormity of the situation hit her and she found herself trembling more from nerves than from the lust that had made her decide to skip dinner.

His hand on her back held her close as he kissed her. “Pet? You’re shaking.”

She shook her head. “It’s nothing.” Buffy smiled as she placed her palms flat against his chest. “Come to my room.” She watched his eyes darken with desire before she turned away and reassured herself that she was doing the right thing. As she walked the few steps to her bedroom, she finished taking off her dress and then laid it over the chair at her dressing table. Even during a grand seduction Buffy couldn’t imagine letting a silk dress lie crumpled on the floor.

Spike followed her in and watched in surprise as she lifted a box of matches and started lighting the candles she’d set up.

Buffy wondered if he would notice that her bedding was all new. It was, she supposed, an odd thing to worry about, but she had. When she’d lain on her bed the other night thinking about Spike, it had suddenly felt wrong to consider sharing the same bed with him that she had previously shared with another man. She wanted to give them a fresh start, so she’d gone shopping. She had new sheets, a new duvet and three sets of new lingerie in more daring styles than she would have ever selected before. She’d also gone to Tara’s shop and picked up a bunch of candles. Her hand barely shook as she lit them.

“You been redecorating?”

She walked back to where he stood just inside her doorway. “I wanted everything to be perfect.”

Spike reached over and slid his hand around to the back of her neck and up so that his fingers tangled in her hair. “Buffy, love, you’ve got to know that I don’t need candles or fancy underwear for this to be perfect.” He smirked. “Not saying I don’t appreciate all the trappings here, just need you to know that you’re already all I need. Anything with you will be perfect for me.” His fingers slipped back around to tip her chin up so that she would meet his eyes.

Her eyes widened under his quizzical gaze. “Oh! I’m over doing things, aren’t I? I’m sorry I just—”

“Whoa. Hold on.” He cupped her face and gave her a soft kiss before continuing. “Kitten, if you like candles then let’s have candles.” He grinned. “I’ll go buy more candles if it will make you happy. We can fill the place with so many candles that people on planes passing by will think they’re seeing Vegas if you like. Just be here with me, yeah? It feels like I lost you a few minutes back.”

She smiled. “I guess I’m just a little nervous.”

He nodded. “Yeah, I’m getting that feeling. It makes me wonder why we’re rushing this. We don’t need to push this tonight. We could—”

She stepped closer and quickly kissed him, hard. “I want you. I want to be with you. I’m just not sure how to go about it.”

He frowned slightly and studied her for a moment. “Buffy, love, you’re not a—you have been…”

Her cheeks warmed. “Only with Liam and not—not often.” She dropped her gaze to the floor, hating both the admission and having said her ex-boyfriend’s name under the current circumstances.

He nodded. “Right. You’re sure you’re ready to—”

“Yes.” She looked back up at him and nodded.

Spike couldn’t help grinning. “Brilliant.” He took the box of matches from her hand and placed it on her dresser before scooping her into his arms.

She squeaked briefly, in surprise, and he laughed as he took the few steps to the bed and laid her down on it. He grinned at her before he moved to join her on the mattress.

Resting on his elbows, Spike smiled down at her. “Do you remember the night we met?”

Buffy laughed for a second before groaning. “Not exactly my proudest hour.” She nodded. “Of course I remember.”

“I begged Fred not to make me do that thing, the auction. I hated the idea.”

She grinned. “But you were too nice to say no to a charity thing.”

He shook his head. “I said no, several times, to the charity thing. I just couldn’t say no to Fred.” He shrugged slightly. “She’s family. And she was the best woman I’d ever met, before you.”

Buffy smiled and then laughed. “Secret weapon. They know your weakness. You take care of your own.”

He nodded. “Yeah.” His head tilted to the side and he looked at her with a serious expression for a moment while he considered her words and what she’d noticed about him. He’d been interested in her from the start and so he’d always been watching and absorbing every detail; that she’d watched him, that she knew him as well as he knew her, was a startling idea. He shook the thought off for the moment. “Point is, love, I was dragged there kicking, went through with the whole humiliating debacle plotting vengeance and then I saw you.”

“And you thought great now I have to go out with a crazy girl who clearly drinks too much and has a rich friend with a nutty sense of humor?”

“And I thought that just maybe a person could get rewarded for doing the right thing because I was going to go out with the most adorable creature I’d ever laid eyes on.”

Buffy smiled but she felt her cheeks heating up anyway.

Spike chuckled. “Yeah, you were blushing then too. I wondered what kind of girl was ballsy enough to buy a date at an auction but blushed when it came time to meet the guy.”

“The kind of girl that didn’t actually buy the date. You do understand that, right?”

“Yeah, Cordy was pulling the strings and holding the purse. I know that. Always wondered why though. Why’d your girl think that you needed a date with me?”

“I was having a bad day, that’s why we were having a girl’s night out. I was…Angel and I were fighting. We used to do that a lot. I was—I wanted a boyfriend who was around more. I got lonely. Anyway, that’s not…Cordy and Willow were trying to cheer me up so we went to the charity dinner. It was an excuse to dress up and drink things that came in martini glasses. I didn’t even know about the auction until it was starting and then, I swear we were just making fun of it.”

“So it was a joke, then?”

“In part probably, I…I sort of said something that made her...”

He arched an eyebrow. “And what was that?”

Her face was hot. “I said that you were the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.”

His eyes widened. “Martini goggles?”

Buffy shook her head.

“Didn’t think I was your type, kitten.”

She laughed. “Why not?”

He didn’t want to tell her about the times he weighed himself against her ex and come up on the losing side. He was shorter and smaller and far less successful financially. He figured if she wasn’t already thinking it, he wouldn’t remind her. He teased instead. “I seem to recall some disparaging remarks about my hair.”

She reached up and pushed her fingers into his hair. “Actually, I like your hair. It makes you stand out and when you get a little sweaty it curls a bit. I’ve always wanted to play with it.”

He closed his eyes and pressed his head against her fingers. “Feels good.”

Buffy pulled her hands down to the back of his neck and followed his collar around to the front. She traced his shirt down to the first button and pushed it back through its hole. The second and third buttons were given the same treatment before she pushed the pieces of fabric to the sides and placed her hand on his chest. She smiled. “I can feel your heartbeat.” Her smile became a grin. “It’s beating pretty fast.”

“Guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t trying to play this thing cool.”

“Is that how you usually play it?”

He snorted out a laugh. “It’s been so bloody long since I took a girl to bed; I think I’ve forgotten how I usually play it.”

She rolled her eyes before reaching for the next button. “I find that hard to believe, Spike.”

He frowned and pressed his forehead against hers. “You know how I feel about you. You can’t think I’d take some other bird to bed while feeling this way for you.”

“I just meant that you must get plenty of offers.” She’d seen how woman looked at him. Even the little girls in her class had gotten all giggly. Hell, she thought, Satsu doesn’t even do boys and she was all over him.

He leaned down and kissed her neck. “Waited for the right one.” He moved quickly to kiss her lips before she could argue or ask another question.

Buffy’s eyelids fluttered shut.

As he kissed her, he let his body lower so it pressed lightly down on hers. The sensation made her moan. Her body arched upward instinctively and she wrapped her arms around him. When she tried to pull him down more, he turned so that their positions were reversed and she suddenly found herself lying on top of him. She gasped before pushing herself up. Sitting astride his thighs, she looked at him in surprise.

“I had to free up my hands.”

“Is that so?” She grinned impishly. “Whatever for?”

He slid his hands up her arms without breaking eye contact. “I need to touch. Now.”

Her grin faded fast. She nodded twice before reaching for the last button on his shirt. She laughed suddenly and placed her hand over the bulge in his pocket. “You’re vibrating.”

“Ignore it.” He’d been ignoring it since before they’d gone to her bedroom.

She reached in his pocket and pulled out his phone. Her eyes widened when she saw the screen. “You have three missed calls and eight texts.”

“Don’t care.” He reached for his phone, pulled it from her fingers and placed it on her nightstand. It immediately vibrated again, bumping loudly against the polished wood surface.

“You have to look. It might be important.”

“This is important. This is—”

“Just look.”

He sighed heavily before picking up his phone and pushing the button on the screen that would show his texts. “Oh! Oh, bollocks. It’s Fred. She’s—”

“Having the baby.”

He nodded. “Yeah. Everyone is at the hospital.” He frowned. “I don’t know which one.”

“Call and find out. I’ll get dressed.”

“You’ll come with me?”

“Of course” She frowned. “Don’t you want me to come with you?”

“Yes.” He grinned broadly. “Of course I bloody well want you with me.” He sat up and gave her a quick kiss. “Fuck. This is shit timing. This kid had better be brilliant.”

Buffy laughed. “Please, you are already mad about this kid.”

He nodded. “You’re right. I am.” He grinned.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 16 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
Have you all seen the pretty banners this fic just received from the lovely folks over at Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards? I was feeling pretty damn honored by the nominations, so three runner-ups awards kinda blew my mind. Thank you tons!!! I am really behind on everything and have lots of stuff and stories to share, but I am going to simply post a chapter right now and tell you that this story is getting close to its end. :)

Also-I will have another chapter up VERY soon.
Friday, March 18, 2011

They arrived at the hospital less than twenty-five minutes later. Spike rushed urgently through the front doors, as though he himself were the one in labor, and Buffy followed with an amused expression and a warm heart. When he started to drill the nurse at the reception desk for information, Buffy laughed softly and took his arm. She looked at the already irritated woman. “Could you please direct us to Labor and Delivery?”

The nurse’s expression softened before she quickly and efficiently provided the directions she no doubt recited several times a day.

Buffy thanked her as they hurried away.

Spike stopped half-way through their recommended route. “I don’t have the presents!”

“I thought you gave them to her at the shower weeks ago.”

“Those presents, yeah, but not the new presents.”

“I’m sure it will be okay if you bring them by tomorrow.”

He frowned. “There’s got to be a gift store in this place, right? I need flowers for Fred.”

Buffy nodded and searched the sign by a nearby set of elevators. “Come on. It’s this way.” She guided him to the gift shop and watched him purchase a large cheerful bouquet of daffodils and a sweet stuffed hippopotamus. She remembered suddenly their brief discussion about wanting kids so many months before. It had been such a casual discussion at the time; they hadn’t been dating so it was just friendly chatter. Now she found herself picturing Spike as a father to be with surprising ease. She fought to press the thought aside. It was far too soon to even wonder about things like that, wasn’t it?

The cashier in the gift shop gave them new directions to follow and they quickly found the right hall. Giles was sitting in the lobby looking queasy. Spike raced over to him. “Where is she? Has the babe come yet? Is Fred…is she all right?”

“No one has come out for a while, but I don’t think so. It doesn’t seem to be moving along very quickly. Anya said I was coming to the hospital too soon, but—”

“You don’t know if—”


Everyone turned towards the sound of Wesley’s voice and watched him hurry towards them. Spike took two big steps in his directions and spread his arms to give the other man a quick squeeze and pound on the back.

“You’re here.”

“Of course I am.”

Wesley grinned and pushed a hand through his already disheveled hair. “Can you believe this is happening?”

Spike laughed. “You becoming a Daddy? Not hardly.”

“Yeah, well it doesn’t seem likely to ever happen again. Fred’s already made me swear never to, and I quote, make a play under her skirt again.”

Everyone chuckled.

Buffy grinned. “I’m sure she will change her mind when she sees that sweet baby for the first time.”

Wesley looked at her suddenly, as though he was only just then noticing her presence. He glanced back at Spike and then at Spike’s hand resting on Buffy’s back and grinned widely. “You told her.”

Spike nodded. “I did.”

“Brilliant!” Wesley stepped towards his cousin and gave him another hug. “That’s brilliant, mate.”

As soon as Wesley stepped back, Spike pulled Buffy closer. “Yeah.”

After another few moments of excited chatter, Wesley went back to Fred’s room and Buffy and Spike settled down in the lobby with Giles.

They were all still there two and a half hours later.

“I’m thinking it’s time for another round of sodas.” Spike started to stand up.

Buffy jumped up quickly. “My turn to get them.” She grinned at his raised eyebrow. “I’m not good at sitting still this long. Give me something to do.”

“I’m sorry, pet. Do you want me to take you home?”

“Of course not.” She shook her head. “Just tell me what kind of soda you want.”

Spike laughed. “Just a cola.”

Buffy turned to Giles. “Can I get anything for you? Soda, coffee?”

The older man laughed and shook his head. “No thank you, dear. I rather think the four cups I’ve already had will keep me for the next day or two.”

Returning his warm smile, it occurred to Buffy that he was really a very attractive older man. She wasn’t at all surprised that a younger woman was interested and wondered when she would finally get to meet the infamous Anya.

Spike watched Buffy walk through the lobby to the vending machines in the adjacent hall with a very male grin. He stood up and stalked across the room in pursuit.

Buffy gasped slightly when he snuck up and stood very close behind her. She’d just fed in the first dollar. Her heart picked up its pace when Spike lean in and rested his hands on the soda machine, effectively trapping her in between them. “It occurs to me, love, that I haven’t told you how very sorry I am that we were interrupted. I am…very sorry.” He stressed the last two words with a deep tone.

She blushed and kept her gaze on the soda options. “That’s okay.”

He moved in closer so his body brushed hers. “I can’t stop thinking about how nice it was to touch you, kitten.” He slid two fingers down her arm and felt her shiver.


He chuckled deeply, insanely happy to see how easily he could get her flustered. “Mmmhmm.” He leaned down, pressed the button for a Coca Cola and collected the soda when it appeared in the opening on the bottom on the machine. He walked back to his chair without another word.

Buffy took a deep breath and willed her knees to stop shaking before she gave the machine a second dollar and selected a Diet Coke for herself. She was well aware that he’d done it all just to tease her and was almost annoyed before she turned around to walk back and saw him sitting in the horrible light of the maternity waiting area and still looking like the sexiest man she’d ever laid eyes on. The thought that he’d spent months waiting for her, wanting her, was easily the craziest thing she’d ever heard.

Fear and insecurity threatened to rear their distinctly unattractive heads, after all how could she hope to keep the interest of a man like Spike, but they couldn’t break through the bubble of joy Buffy was floating in. He was watching her walk back and the look on his face was unmistakable. He loved her. Spike loved her. Somehow knowing that made the whole world a more wondrous place.

None of the words on the tip of her tongue were meant to be shared in the very public delivery waiting area, so she simply returned to her spot on the bench beside him and took his hand.

Spike’s eyes widened at the way Buffy simply reached for his hand when she sat down. The gesture had seemed so natural that he was certain anyone around them would assume they’d been holding hands for years. The chorus of a Beatles song he’d always considered rather sappy sang out in his mind and he realized its truth. He gave her small hand a quick squeeze. Dear God, he wanted to hold her hand bad enough to sing about it.

He exhaled shakily and nodded towards the television. “You’d think someone would have figured out that if the babes are in the other room being born they couldn’t be out here watching this kiddie rubbish.”

Buffy laughed. She supposed the nurses had put The Disney Channel on earlier for a soon to be big brother or sister and that no one had ever requested it be changed. It was funny how long they’d been there before even noticing the television was on. She glanced over to see if Giles was watching it and found him fast asleep. A naughty thought about his reportedly hot new young wife keeping him up late ran through her mind and made her lips twitch. She was too much of a lady to share the thought with Spike, although she was sure he’s enjoy it. “I’m sure you could sweet talk the reception nurse into giving you the remote if you want.”

“Might have to, this—”

“Oh!” She squeezed his arm. “No, this is good. You’ll like this.” She grinned.

Twelve minutes later, Spike was intrigued. “Do you suppose platypuses make that noise? Truly?”

“Stop over-analyzing Phineas and Ferb. You’re going to ruin it for me.”

“No way, love. This shit is brilliant. I’m—”

Buffy shushed him so she could hear one of her favorite songs. “Listen, this is hilarious. Remember how Candace is having that allergic reaction?”

Spike watched Buffy giggle as the cartoon teenager tried to bust her younger brothers by singing a solo with her mother’s rather hip musician friends. He couldn’t deny the song was catchy, but he was mostly entertained by seeing Buffy mouthing the words. He wondered what it would take to make her push through that wall and simply sing along.

Three episodes later, Spike was hooked. He’d already figured out the chords for the theme song. “You know the thing about Ferb, he’s a man of few words but that just makes it more special when he does talk.”

Buffy giggled and nodded. “Of course. I never thought of it that way.” Her lips twitched.

“Oi! Don’t give me that look, imp. I’m being serious. This is a quality program and you’re not fully appreciating it.”


“Take his accent. That’s a genuine British accent—lends a touch of authenticity—you’d be surprised how many actors squeak by with mediocre, fake accents.”

Buffy bit her lip. “You’re right. That does sound serious.”

“You’re mocking me. Am I right? This is you mocking me?”

She giggled. “Maybe a little.”

“Brat, I oughta take you over my knee.”

She laughed out right. “In your dreams.”

“Damn straight.”

She blushed and it was his turn to chuckle. Spike was leaning down to kiss the gasp off of her lips when a shockingly rumpled Wesley rushed into the hallway.

“It’s a girl. I have a girl!”

Spike grinned and pressed a hard and fast kiss on Buffy’s mouth before hurrying over to his cousin.

Buffy walked over and shook Giles’ arm. “Wake up. You’re a grandpa.”

He started. “Oh! Oh Dear. What is it?”

She smiled. “You have a granddaughter.”

He surprised them both by pulling her into a hard hug before he took off in the direction of Fred’s room.

Buffy stood in the middle of the waiting lounge and watched the three men share embraces and pats on the back. When she went to take her seat again, Spike came and took her arm. She protested. “It’s really a family time. I’ll wait here. Go. Meet your niece.”

He shook his head. “It’s not like that. Everyone here knows what you are to me.” He squeezed her hand and gave her another tug.

It still seemed awkward to her, but she couldn’t argue with his earnest expression. “Here.” She lifted the vase of flowers from the side table and handed them to Spike. “Don’t forget Fred’s flowers.”

He took them in his other hand and grinned. “See, what would I do without you? Grab the hippo.”

Buffy hugged the large stuffed toy and followed Spike down the hall and into Fred’s room.

The pretty brunette was holding her new daughter wrapped in a soft pink blanket and talking quietly with Giles. She looked up and smiled broadly when she saw Spike. “There you are. I couldn’t believe it when Wes told me you two spent all night sittin’ out there waitin’.”

Spike placed the flowers on the table beside her bed and gazed with watery eyes at the baby in her arms. “It was well worth the wait, love. She’s beautiful. Get’s that from her mum, I suppose.” He gave Fred a wink.

She laughed and shook her head. “Yeah, I’m sure I look real good after all that.”

“You’ve never been prettier.”

Fred shook her head slightly and looked up at Buffy who had stayed just inside the door. “You’re going to have to watch out. This one is charming enough to sell popsicles in snowstorm.”

Buffy laughed softly. “Congratulations. She really is the prettiest baby I’ve ever seen.”

“Do you want to hold her?”

“Oh! But I couldn’t. I mean I’m sure everyone here wants to—”

Fred laughed. “Come here.”

Buffy walked over and sat gingerly on the edge of the bed. She accepted the baby and Fred’s directions on holding her with a stunned gasp. “Oh! Look how little she is!”

Spike watched with a speculative smile. “Has my favorite niece got herself a name yet?”

“Oh!” Fred looked at Wesley with wide eyes. “We haven’t told them.”

Wesley nodded. “Meet Miss Charlotte Anne Giles.” He turned to Spike. “If that’s all right with you.” He smiled gently. “I always loved your mum and she did give me a brother.”

Fred turned quickly to Spike. “If you wanted to save the name, if you were thinking of using it yourself…”

Spike shook his head before leaning down to kiss Fred’s cheek. “She’d be honored and so am I.” He leaned even further down to place a very soft kiss on the baby’s fuzz covered head before explaining to Buffy. “My mother was Anne Giles before she married.”

Buffy nodded. “She couldn’t have a lovelier namesake.”

“William, do you want to hold her?”

“Yeah, my turn. Hand over the goods, kitten.” He held out his hands like he was trying to catch a football and everyone laughed.

Fred put her hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “Hand over the goods very gently.”

She did and then she watched Spike cradle the tiny girl against his chest.

“Well hello, love.” Spike grinned at the little bundle in his arms. She barely registered as weight. “I’ve got some stuff to tell you, Charlie.”

Fred gasped and looked up at her husband. “Oh! They’re going to call her Charlie!”

Wesley shook his head and then glared at Spike. “No one is going to call her Charlie if you don’t like it, dear.”

Spike continued as though no one had spoken. “First off, your parents are brilliant. I know they seem a tad bit stuffy sometimes, but they’re actually quite a lot of fun when they smoke a bit of—”

“Hey! None of that. Give me my baby.”

Spike laughed softly, kissed his niece again and gently placed the baby back in Fred’s arms.

All too soon, a nurse came in and shooed away the visitors so that the new mommy and her baby could get some rest.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 17 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
You can expect one (possibly two if I get wordy) more chapters for this fic and you can expect to see them soon. By the way, you all read chapter sixteen, right? It just went up two days ago, so if you're not sure go read that one first. Seriously. Don't try to skip ahead to the smut you dirty little girls. ;) Did I say smut? No way, not me.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter. As always, I try to do something new. I'd love to hear if you think I succeeded. Thanks to Puddinhead for some much needed early feedback on this chapter. :)
Saturday, March 19, 2011 (3:30 a.m.)

Buffy followed Spike into his house and giggled at the enthusiastic and rather wet greeting they received from Doc.

“Sorry, love. He hasn’t been outside in a long while now. Just let me get him situated.”

She sat on his couch, curled her legs up, and waited while he took care of his puppy. There’s just something, she thought while butterflies danced merrily in her stomach, about a man with a puppy. She listened to Spike explaining to the dog that he was a pain in the “arse” and that he’d better get his business done fast, no “lollygagging about hoping that pretty little collie bird down the street has gotten loose again”. The words were harsh, but the tone was far too gentle to intimidate.

When he came back she was smiling.

“Hi.” He grinned like a bashful little boy.


He sat on the edge of the couch beside her. “Can I get you anything? Are you hungry or—”

Buffy shook her head.

His head tipped to the side as he studied her.

“I must be a mess.” She reached up to pat her hair.

Spike shrugged. “You look beautiful to me—you always look beautiful to—”

She stopped him with a kiss, firm and urgent.

He moaned, pulled her closer and slid his hand under her sweater and up her back. He chuckled hoarsely near her ear. “I knew you’d taken that bra off, naughty minx.” He ran his finger along seam of the camisole she’d put on instead.

She laughed. “Lace push-up bras are not meant to be worn for more than a couple of hours.”

“No complaints, love. I’ll bet this is just as pretty.” His finger slid under the spaghetti thin strap over her shoulder. “Gonna let me see?”

She giggled and yawned.

Spike pulled his hand out from her shirt and brushed the hair away from her face. “Are you too sleepy, love? Should I be a good man and take you home to bed?”

Buffy toed off her shoes and wrapped her arms around his neck before kissing him sweetly. “You are a good man. Take me to your bed.”

He dropped his forehead to rest against hers and exhaled shakily. “Thank God, might have cried if you made me stop touching you.”

“Then don’t stop.” She grasped his hand and stood up, leading them in the direction of his bedroom.

He grabbed the bottom of her sweater and tugged it up over her head as they walked through his doorway. “Bloody glad I made the bed today.”

Giggling from a crazy mix of exhaustion, nerves and outright joy, she turned to face him. “And why is that? Are you hoping to impress me?”

“Oh, I plan to impress you, kitten, but not with my housekeeping skills—just think it’s more fun to mess up sheets after they’ve been tidied.”

She grinned as he pressed her down on the bed. “I’ll bet you were one of those kids that liked knocking down sandcastles more than building them.”

“Wrong again. My mum didn’t take me to the beach for fear of freckles.”

She gasped. “No beach!”

He laughed at her just-heard-a-tragedy expression. “It’s not that I’ve never been—still not a very common spot for me though. SPF a million wouldn’t stop me from burning.”

Buffy showed him her sad face before suddenly grinning. “We should go night swimming! Oh! I know just the place. It’s beautiful.”

“If you’d like.”

“I think you’ll like it.”

He crawled up the length of her body and pressed his lips against her throat for a kiss before whispering just below her ear. “If I’m with you, I’ll love it.”

They were there again, on the tip of her tongue, the words she knew were coming too fast to be said out loud. Still she had to say something. “You’re amazing, you know. I couldn’t—I still can’t look away.” She slid her fingers into the curls at the nape of his neck and pulled his mouth to hers.

He quickly took control of the kiss, claiming her mouth with a fierce possessiveness he couldn’t hide but thought he probably should. He rested on one elbow and pulled at the strap on her camisole. “I was right. This is pretty.” He wasn’t even looking at it. He almost never looked away from her eyes.

She felt her cheeks warm under his hungry gaze and reached down to unbutton her shorts. She quickly pushed them down her legs and off her ankles. “Your turn.” She reached for the buttons on his shirt but he quickly sat up and pulled it off over his head. Buffy inhaled fast. “Wow.”

He chuckled. “Yeah?”

“Oh yeah.” Her hand trembled slightly as reached up to stroke his stomach. She watched his muscles quiver with her touch and smiled at his bewildered expression. “Are you really going to try to convince me that you don’t know you’re gorgeous?”

He swallowed hard before grinning. “Nah. Just fishin’ for compliments. I’m dreadful that way.”

She giggled. “All right mister, pants—off.” She reached for his belt.

“Right. There’s a thing I should point out and that is—I don’t wear…” He trailed off when he saw that she had figured out where he was going with his warning.

“Of course not. You’re a bad boy.” She shook her head and smirked.

He leaned down. “I’ll be a good boy for you—just need a bit of house training. I find Doc responds best when he gets lots of treats.” He smirked at her with his tongue tucked up behind his teeth.

She giggled.

“Come on. Gimme a treat.”

She gave him a quick, loud smack of a kiss.

“Nice, but probably not enough to inspire discipline.”

“No?” She pretended to give it thought as she rose up on her knees beside him. “Hmm…” She grasped the bottom of her camisole, pulled it up over her head and tossed it towards Spike’s dresser. “Maybe I have a soft spot for bad boys.”

He placed his hands very gently at either side of her waist. “Is that so?” He drank her in with his gaze.

“Looks that way.”

He tightened his grip at her waist and leaned down to kiss a pretty pink nipple. He grinned at her gasp of pleasure. “All bad boys?” He used his teeth to give her nipple a light tug.

She whimpered. “What?”

His teeth found her other nipple. “How many bad boys are you having these soft feelings for, kitten?”

She started to laugh but moaned instead when he teased her with his tongue. “Oh God.”

“How many?”

She cupped the sides of his face and made him look at her. “Only you.” She kissed him thoroughly. “You know that, don’t you?”

He pressed his face against her neck. “Guess I’d like to hear it a few more times. Indulge me, love.”

Buffy pressed her lips against the top of his head. “How about I show you?”

“Showing sounds good.” He kissed her quickly and pulled her body against his own. “Wrap your legs around my waist.” He waited until she complied to lower her back down to the mattress. He held up his body with one hand and used the other to deal with his belt and the button on his pants.

Buffy used her feet to push his pants down his legs. “Finally, I thought you were going to play hard to get all night.”

He chuckled as reached for the sides of her lace panties. “You are familiar with the concept of foreplay, yes love?”

She groaned. “But I want—Oh!”

He pressed a kiss to the front of her underwear before tugging them off. “I can tell you right now; these things are not nearly sturdy enough. They’d tear in a second.”

“Don’t you dare.”

“Thought you liked bad boys now.” He grinned as he pulled them down her thighs.

“Be good.”

“Will I get a treat?”


He gave her a devilish smile, left the panties dangling on her ankle and ran his hand up the insides of her thighs. “Can I have this treat?” He pushed her legs apart gently and studied her with dark eyes.

“Spike!” She tried to pull herself up but he held her in place.

“You said I could have a treat.”

She considered for a moment telling him that Angel had never been interested in providing that experience and she wasn’t all that sure she would even like it. Only then he was kissing the inside of her thigh and rubbing his thumb over her in the most nerve shatteringly slow manner and all she could do was whimper, “please.”

“And here I thought I was going to have to do the begging.” He replaced his thumb with the tip of his tongue.

Buffy was certain that she should be saying something, encouraging him in some way, thanking the powers that be for giving her this man or for giving this man the ability to curl his tongue in inhuman ways, but she couldn’t remember how to tell her mouth to make words. Nonsensical sounds slid across her lips and she grasped his shoulders hard enough to leave marks.

For the first time in her life she didn’t even see the orgasm coming. Waves crashed into her and carried her off without warning. She called out his name.

When she blinked her eyes open, he was watching her with an awed expression. “I think you blacked out.”

She nodded. “I think you made me black out.”

He grinned. “Will you think I’m a ponce if I admit you had me scared there for a mo?”

Buffy giggled. “Nope. You pass out on me and I’m calling an ambulance.”

“I guess I’m just too much man for you.” He winked.

Once she started laughing, she couldn’t stop. She curled onto her side, bent over and held her stomach as she cracked up.

“Oi!” He squeezed her side. “It wasn’t that funny.”

“Maybe I just fell asleep.” She didn’t stop giggling.

His eyes widened in surprise at her teasing. “You did not fall asleep, imp.” When she simply continued laughing, he smirked and started tickling her soft stomach. “Take it back.”

She squealed and tried to push his hands away. “No way.”

His fingertips danced across the sensitive skin on her stomach and inner thighs and up to tease the sides of her breasts. “Take it back, naughty kitten.”

“Not…” She gasped for air and wriggled away. “Happening!”

His arm snaked down and he caught her ankle in a tight grip. “Bet these cute little toes are ticklish.” He gave the bottom of her foot a quick swipe with his index finger.

“No!” She swatted at his arm. “You’re a monster.”

He leered comically. “A sex monster that overwhelms little girls with his manly charisma?”

“I love you.”

He froze, still holding her ankle and stared at her with his mouth open and his eyes glazed over for a moment.

Buffy gasped. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth, although it was too late to trap the words inside. “It’s too soon to say that. I know that. I…It just slipped out. You were being funny and cute and I just…said it.”

Spike continued to stare. Finally, very quietly, he asked “Did you mean it?”


He shook his head. “It’s okay, if you didn’t—if it’s too soon. I get that.”

“Spike.” She waited for him to look at her again, waited to see his shockingly blue eyes focused on her face. “I meant it.”

He laughed. He squeezed her ankle tightly for a second before placing it back on the bed and then he laughed.

Buffy paled. “It’s funny?”

“What? No. Of course it’s not funny, it’s…brilliant.” He cupped her face with his palms and kissed her, hard.

She swatted at him. “You’re not supposed to laugh when a girl tells you that she’s in love with you. You…you...big…meanie.”

He chuckled again. “Sorry, kitten, I guess I’m out of practice.” As he said the words he tried to remember if he’d ever been in practice, if a girl had ever actually said it to him before.

“You’re supposed to say something back. I mean, only if it’s true, not if you…”

He tipped her chin up so she would meet his eyes. “You already know that I’m in love with you, silly girl. I believe I risked life and limb to announce it in front of your hulking former fiancée.”

She winced. “Yeah, but if you say it now, I could say it back and then there could be kissing.”

“Kissing, you say? Hmm….” He pretended to think it over while he watched her lick her lips. “I suppose the kissing would be worth it.” He tucked her hair behind her ear and swallowed hard. “I love you, Buffy.” His voice was soft and just a little shaky. “I love the way you laugh even when a joke isn’t very funny and the way you worry about everyone’s feelings. I love that you appreciate the little things—every single bloody little thing is some kind of wonder with you. I love the way you can make small children speak in unison by clapping you hands and I love that you blush like a school girl and then look at me like you might just pull my clothes off and force me to my knees.”

Her eyes widened. “I do not.”

“A little bit.” He grinned. “You do, a little bit. I love the way your hair bounces around your shoulders and the way you wrinkle your nose when you don’t like something. And fuck, Buffy, I bloody well love the way you look naked in my bed. I love you.” He smirked. “Can there be kissing now?”

“But I don’t have a speech. You said a whole speech.”

She looked, he thought, genuinely sad about her lack of a prepared speech. She was adorable. He leaned over and kissed the pout off of her lips. “I don’t want a speech. I want you.” He pressed her back down against the pillows before she had a chance to argue and kissed her fiercely. He caught her hands in his own and held them down on either side of her head. “I want to make you mine.”

“I am yours.”

He slid his knee between her thighs. “Yeah, in a pretty romantic way, maybe. I was thinking of something a bit more…tangible seems like a nice word.” He traced her earlobe with his tongue.

Buffy laughed as she freed her hand and then rubbed it down his chest and stomach. “Like this?” She circled his erection with her hand.

He exhaled hard. “Unh.” He rested his forehead on hers. “Don’t tease, love—waited too long—fuck—don’t tease.”

She smiled and kissed his neck, rubbing her lips against the straining muscles there. “If I shouldn’t tease, what should I do?” She slid her hand up and down his length slowly.

“Invite me in, love. Let me go home.”

So she did.
Chapter End Notes:
Chapter 18 by Dorians Kitten
Author's Notes:
This is it, the final chapter.I can't imagine that is was worth the wait, but I hope you like it nonetheless. Thank you for reading and for all the supportive words along the way. Happy New Year!
Saturday, March 19, 2011 (7:42 a.m.)

Buffy woke up and stretched. She couldn’t help grinning. She was sore, but It wasn’t the kind of soreness she felt after the charity marathon she’d jogged with Willow or the type she had after helping a friend move. Buffy had ‘I’ve got a fantastic new lover’ soreness. It was new. It was fantastic. Hell, it was worth celebrating, but she knew even before she opened her eyes that she was alone.

She listened for a few minutes to the quiet strumming coming from another room and then glanced at the clock. It was 7:00 am. Spike had barely slept at all. She stretched again and forced her feet to brave the chilly floor. The man needed a bedside rug. She filed the knowledge away with the intent to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Unwilling to bother with the work of getting dressed and planning to return to bed anyway, Buffy snagged a well-worn U2 t-shirt from a pile on Spike’s dresser.

She followed the faint sound of guitar playing and found him sitting on an ottoman in the still unfinished party room. He’d pulled on a pair of jeans, but hadn’t bothered with a shirt. Buffy walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She kissed the messy curls on the top of his head. “You snuck away.”

Spike reached one hand up and covered hers before placing his guitar back on its stand. Grinning, he tugged her down on to his lap. “Sorry, love. Had some thinking to do—needed my six string to do it.”

Buffy nuzzled his neck. “It’s too early for thinking.”

He laughed softly and hugged her closer. “Yeah. I know.”

“What’s wrong?” She didn’t lift her head from the cozy spot she’d found on his shoulder.

Spike sighed. “Nothing. Really.”

“Nothing wouldn’t have you in here brooding after almost no sleep.”

He pressed his lips on her forehead and paused for a few moments before answering in a quiet voice. “I know it’s early yet for us and that you need time and—I know that. I don’t want to push or cling. I don’t want to rush you. But…” He sighed. “But I do.” He chuckled hoarsely. “I look at you and I want everything—all of you—all the time. You’ve been mine for what, a day? And the thought of losing you terrifies me. I’m…terrified.”

“You don’t need to be.”

“Yeah, I hear you sayin’ it, but…I want a lifetime. I want you to move in and help me fill this place to the rafters with noisy babies. Hell, I want us to run out of room here so I can buy you bigger house to fill up.”

Buffy laughed softly. “Can we go back to bed for a little bit before I start packing?”

He laughed at the smirk on her lips and kissed her fiercely. “Is the bed really a requirement?” He reached down and slid his hand up her thigh.

Buffy giggled as she shook her head. “Hmmm…sex on an ottoman that very much needs to be reupholstered in a room without any drywall or sex in nice warm bed with pillows? I say—take me to bed, Spike.”

He groaned. “But you look so bloody cute in my shirt. It’s practically cruel to make me wait so long as that.”

She chuckled, but she still stood up. “Come back to bed.” Spike stood up and scooped her into his arms. She squealed. “Spike! Down!”

“Yeah, yeah…in the bed.” He stomped down the hall and into his room and then tossed her onto the bed. He grinned when she bounced and squeaked in surprise. “You really gonna move in with me?” He unsnapped his jeans and shoved them down his thighs.

She nodded and started to take off the shirt she’d borrowed.

His hand on her arm stopped her. “Leave it on, yeah?”

“Oh yeah?”

“Definitely.” He flopped on to his back and pulled her up so she was straddling his thighs.

Buffy steadied herself by flattening her hands on his chest. “You’re really fond of this shirt aren’t you? Maybe I should just leave you, Bono and the boys alone?”

“Can’t a man enjoy seeing his woman in his shirt without earning a lashing?”

She grinned. “Can’t a woman fantasize about her man making out with Bono without him getting all pouty?”

Spike squeezed her thighs. “Such a dirty girl.” He grabbed her hips and guided her over his erection. “Ride me, love.” He lifted the hem of the t-shirt and watched as she lowered herself onto his cock.

She batted at his hands. “What are you doing?”

“Just enjoying the show.” He smirked.

Buffy shook her head. “I’m on top, so I’m in charge.” She pushed his hands away. “And I want your hands over your head.”

Spike complied, slowly. “Are you certain this is what you want? Just think of all the fun things I could be doing with my hands.”

She started riding him slowly. “But I like you like this. You’re all laid out for me, like a buffet—a buffet of sexiness.”

He chuckled but indulged her for a few moments. “You’re a sight just now, love. My dream girl come to life.” He closed his eyes and exhaled.

She watched his jaw tighten as he fought to control himself and smiled. She did that to him. She made the sexiest man she’d ever seen fight to control himself. The knowledge emboldened her. “Then why are your eyes closed, Spike?”

He opened his eyes and grinned at her. “You gonna put on a show for me, kitten?”

Her cheeks warmed, but she went with it. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well, since I have to keep my hands all the way up here. I think you’re going to have to play with those pretty nipples all by yourself.”

She almost laughed at the exaggerated leer he gave her. She nodded. “Ooh. You’re right. They are feeling awfully left out.” She lifted her hands to softly cup her breasts and watched his eyes turn black with excitement.

“Fuck, kitten. Don’t stop there”

She pushed aside her nerves and pinched her nipples between her thumbs and index fingers.

“Does that feel nice, love. Tell me.”

She nodded. “So nice.”

He groaned. “Yeah it does.” His hips jerked. “You are so hot.”

Buffy reached down and pulled his nipples. “See how nice it feels?” She watched his hands grab violently at the pillow before leaning down to lick the hardened nubs. She kissed his chest. “I wish I was wearing lipstick so we could see my kisses on your skin.”

“Use your teeth, kitten—or your nails. Mark me up.”

She giggled. “Couldn’t I just get a Sharpie and write property of Buffy Summers right here?” She traced his hip bone. “On second thought, I wouldn’t want anyone getting close enough to read that.” She placed her hands over his and leaned all the way down to whisper in his ear. “I won’t share you, Spike.”

“You’ll never have to—feeling’s mutual. Seeing you with another man again would bloody well kill me, Buffy.”

Her heart ached at the thought of him hurting all that time. She kissed his neck. “I know. I still can’t believe you waited for me. I don’t know what I could ever do to be worth—”

“Hey, you look at me.” He reached up and cupped her face between his hands. “You’re my girl. That’s all I want and I’ve never wanted anything else the way I want you to be my girl.” He flipped them both over so her back was pressed against the mattress and plunged himself as deeply into her as he could.

She gasped and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I’m your girl, Spike. I love you.”

Saturday, June 18, 2011 (5:22 p.m.)

Buffy shooed Doc out of the kitchen. “Not for you,” she told him as sternly as she could and lifted the bowl of strawberries higher. She walked towards the back door and smiled at the sight of Spike trying to straighten a tablecloth on one of the picnic tables he’d built in the back yard. She giggled. The man could build a table, but he couldn’t place a piece of cloth over it evenly to save his soul. She walked out and wordlessly handed him the bowl before fixing the white fabric. She reclaimed the bowl as he kissed her cheek and then walked over to place it on the folding table they’d set up to hold their barbeque buffet.

Spike placed his hands on her shoulders. “Are you sure about this, love?”

“Positive. You did get another bag of charcoal, right?”

He laughed. “Charcoal, check.”

She turned and gave him a sheepish smile. “I guess I’ve asked that already.”

“Maybe a couple of times.”

“I just want everything to go smoothly. I mean you really haven’t actually met my mother yet. That’s weird, right? Do you think that is weird?”

He chuckled again and leaned down to kiss her nose. “Your mum is going to love me.”

“I know. I mean, of course she will. You’re awesome and you love me and…maybe you should introduce yourself as William.”

He arched an eyebrow. “I’ll think about it. Why don’t you go finish getting ready and I’ll bring out the plates and whatnot?”

Buffy pretended to pout. “You don’t like my outfit?” She gestured dramatically to her sauce stained tank-top and oldest jeans.

He grinned. “Does that mean I don’t have to change either?”

Buffy took a look at the holes in his jeans where his knees poked out and laughed. “No, you definitely have to change. Hurry up with the stuff. You might get a chance to take a quick shower even.” She headed in the house, but paused at the door. “Don’t forget to shave.”

Buffy quickly stripped off her work clothes, washed her face and slipped on the crisp white eyelet cotton sundress she’d laid out. Fifteen minutes later, her hair was carefully arranged half-up and half down for the cascade of golden waves effect, dangly silver earrings glinted when they caught light on the sides of her face which glowed with the barest touch of make-up. She had just slid her feet into a pair of turquoise studded leather sandals when she heard the knock on her door. She took a deep breath and hurried to answer it. “Willow!” She gave her friend and quick hug. “And Tara!”

Tara gave a soft laugh. “We made brownies.” She held out the foil covered platter.

Willow nodded. “I know you said you had plenty of food, but…I couldn’t help it.”

“She really couldn’t,” Tara added.

“Thank you. I’m sure they will be a hit. Did you know that this is my first barbeque party? I mean ever.”

Willow placed her hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “Everything will be great. Your mom is going to love Spike. Everyone loves Spike.”

Buffy nodded. “I know. I know. I just…I want everything to be right.”

“It will be. What can we do to help?”

Buffy shook her head. “Nope. You’re the guests. No helping.”


“Nope. Just head out back and have fun. I’ll go turn on the music.” She grinned. “Spike set up speakers outside and made a special Ipod playlist. I have no idea what is on it.” She shook her head. “Hopefully not a bunch of obscure b-tracks from bands I don’t know.”

“What’s this about bands?” Spike walked into the room wearing a pair of khaki pants and a white button down shirt. The shirt was still unbuttoned and his curls were still dripping from his quick shower. Buffy was sure he’d never looked hotter. If her friends hadn’t been standing there she would have told him. It was the kind of openness she now had. She shared her silliest and most whimsical thoughts with Spike all the time and knew that he only loved her more for it.

“Maybe you could button your shirt since our guests are arriving.”

He smirked. “I don’t know, kitten. I think they might enjoy the show.” He winked at Tara and Willow. “What do you say, ladies?”

Willow blushed slightly. “If Buffy says you should button, then you should button.”

Tara looked down and away but didn’t quite manage to hide her smile.

He sighed dramatically and quickly buttoned the shirt. He was tucking it into his pants when Buffy shook her head and walked over. She pulled it out and straightened it. “Leave it untucked. Be comfortable and…you.”

He smiled somewhat dazedly at her before giving her a quick kiss. “I have to check on a couple things for later. Are you good?”

“I’m great.” She held his gaze for a moment and smiled.

He laughed and shook his head. “We’re doing this.”

She nodded. “Yup.”

Willow laughed. “You two are seriously excited about this party.”

Buffy paled. “Yeah, I mean it is our first one together and my family is coming and—hey, come see what we’ve done to the backyard.” She curled her fingers and signaled for them to follow her through the house and out the back door.

“Oh!” Tara gasped. “Oh, Buffy it looks so pretty. The flowers have really thrived and the hanging lanterns and the tables.” She shook her head. “So pretty.”

“Yeah?” Buffy blushed slightly. She knew the yard looked great and that it would only look better after dark, when all the twinkle lights and lanterns they’d hung could really shine.

Willow nodded. “It looks great, very festive. When are Dawnie and your mom supposed to get in?”

“Any min—” The sound of voices coming from the street in front of the house made her pause. Her eyes widened. “Right now. “ For just a second she froze. Willow tapped her shoulder and giggled, knocking her back out of her head. “Come around back,” she yelled and hurried around to the side of the house. “Dawnie!”

Her sister, looking lovely and waifish in a long purple printed cotton dress laughed. “Hey Sis, nice digs.”

Buffy gave her a quick, hard hug. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

Dawn’s eyes widened slightly in surprise and Buffy supposed that she was startled by the intensity of her welcome. “Me too, Buffy.”

“There she is!” Joyce hurried up the driveway, her heels clicking against the pavement.

Buffy smiled at her. “Mom.”

Joyce pulled her into a quick hug before grasping her shoulders and holding her a few inches away. She studied her daughter’s face. “You look good. Beautiful.” Her eyes watered slightly before her face grew stern. “Now where is this young man that made you cancel your wedding?”

Buffy could feel the blood draining from her face. “Mom, please. It wasn’t like that. You know that—” She stopped when her mother and her husband, Ted started laughing.

Dawn shook her head. “Seriously, Buffy, you need to loosen up.” She shrugged and headed into the back yard.

Buffy blushed. “Hi Ted. I’m really glad you guys could come out for a visit.”

Ted reached over and squeezed her shoulder as he gave her a warm smile. “Me too. I know your mom misses you something awful. Besides we already had the tickets we’d bought to come for your wedding.” He shrugged.

She couldn’t help whimpering. “Right.”

Cordelia arrived just in time to provide a distraction and while she was chatting with Joyce, three more quests arrived. Two hours later the yard was filled with friends and family all laughing and visiting. It was perfect. Buffy sat with her sister and Lorne who were deep in a discussion about Tibet and watched Spike chat with Ted and Wesley while the three men stared at the barbeque grill. She stood up and started towards them, drawn by the adorably domestic display of testosterone.

Faith stopped her halfway across the yard. “Hey, nice party B.”

Buffy smiled. “Thanks.” She shot a glance at the tall, dark and handsome man Faith had brought with her. “Who’s the guy? He seems…nice.”

Faith laughed. “Yeah. Not my type, right?” She nodded and glanced over her shoulder. “Robin is a high school principal. Can you see that? Me with a high school principal?” She shook her head. “It’s just casual. I think he’s got some kind of bad girl kink he needs to work out.”

Buffy wasn’t so sure that was it, but she nodded. “Maybe. He seems nice anyway and…hot.”

“Yeah he is.” Faith smirked. “Anyway, I uh…just thought I’d say hi.”

“I’m really glad you came.” Buffy was surprised by how true the statement was. She’d seen Faith a couple of times since she and Spike had finally gotten together and she liked her. Oh Faith was a bit of a wild child, but something told Buffy that she could be counted on if things were ever bad. There was just something inherently good in her that couldn’t be covered by the dark make-up and scandalous attire. Mostly though, she thought that the other woman just needed a couple of good friends. Something about being blissfully happy made her want to make everyone else feel the same way.

“Me too.”

“I was just going to check on the grill situation. I think they might keep cooking all night if no one stops them and we already have enough food to feed an army.”

Faith laughed again. “Yeah, men dig fire.” She shrugged and nodded before heading back to her sexy date.

Buffy walked up behind Spike and wrapped her arms around his waist. “Hi, handsome.”

He turned in her arms and grinned. “Hi yourself.”

“I think we have enough meat and veggie burgers for the rest of the summer now.”

He looked sheepish. “I suppose you’re right.”

“You did a great job cooking them. Everyone was very impressed.”

He looked instantly pleased and then laughed. “Is that so?”

She nodded. “Oh yeah.”

“Good.” He leaned down and dropped a very quick kiss on her mouth. “Is it time?” He whispered, “Are you ready to do this?”

She nodded. “Totally ready.”

His eyes twinkled as he gave her another quick kiss. He turned and lifted his hands to his mouth to call out. “Hey, everyone! Can I have everyone’s attention for a minute?” He waited for conversations to die down and the crowd of people to turn towards him. When Charlotte, his baby niece, was the only one still blabbering, he started again. “I want to thank you for coming today. I…um…you all mean a lot to me and to Buffy and we very much wanted you all here for this.” He paused as people whispered questions to each other. “I love Buffy and I…ummm…I love her and she is the most incredible person I’ve ever met.” He felt Buffy’s hand pressing comfortingly against his back. “We’re getting married. Tonight. Now, actually.”

He looked down at Buffy and grinned as their friends and family exclaimed surprise. She mouthed the words ‘I love you’ to him and he nodded. “I know, kitten.”

Joyce hurried towards them and grabbed her daughter’s hand. “Buffy, this is…this seems very sudden.” She turned to Spike. “You seem like a nice man, William and I see that you’re making Buffy happy, but why the rush? Let’s just—”

“Mom.” Buffy squeezed her mother’s hand. “I’ve never been more…sure in my whole life. This is exactly what I want.”

Her mother stared at her for a few moments before nodding. “Okay, okay. My baby is getting married.” She hugged her and then reached for Spike. “You take good care of her and she’ll good care of you.”

“I know, she already does. She tries to take care of everyone. Thank you.” He hugged his soon to be mother-in-law.

Cordelia grabbed Buffy’s arm. “But we can’t have a wedding like this. I haven’t thrown you a shower or a—”

“I don’t want all that, Cordy. It just seems like too much stress and fuss. I just want Spike. Everyone I love is here right now.” She giggled. “Come on, Cordy. We’re throwing a surprise wedding!”

“But who does that?”

Buffy shrugged. “I do. Spike and I, we do.”

“It’s insane. You—” She stopped and shook her head. “Okay, we’re doing this.” She turned away from Buffy and took a quick survey of the yard. “You two can stand over there.” She pointed to a pretty corner of the yard. “We can move those flowerpots to frame the spot better.” She started walking away. “Jessie and Xander, come help move these. Who here knows how to play classical guitar?”

Buffy looked up at Spike and shrugged. “She really likes to be in charge of this stuff.”

He laughed. “Works for me if it works for you.” He leaned down and spoke quietly into her ear. “As long as I get to call you my wife by the end of the night.”

She felt her cheeks heat up from his sexy tone. “Who did you say was a Justice of the Peace? You talked to someone, right?”

Spike nodded. “Yeah, Ronnie’s here.”

“Wait. You mean The Freshmaker? The Freshmaker is officiated our wedding?”

His eyes widened. “Is that bad?”

Buffy dissolved into giggles and shook her head. “Nope. That’s perfect.” She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Absolutely perfect.”
Chapter End Notes:
So...any thoughts?

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