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The house was finally quiet. It had been a bizarre day. Well, a bizarre day for a normal person, but for the petite blond curling up in her bed it had been pretty much the usual disaster-filled day.
Spike had been right on one thing. She really should consider not celebrating her birthday in the future!
She’d had worse birthdays if the truth were told. The demon had been a bit of an annoyance—she’d faced a lot worse in her time. Being locked up in the house hadn’t even been that bad. There were worse places to be locked up in. Although, being stuck in the house with Spike had been far from pleasant.
Buffy had spent the majority of the evening after her friends had departed sitting in the kitchen with Dawn having a long overdue talk over cups of steaming cups of hot chocolate. It was only the instant variety, the kind with the minuscule marshmallows that melted away to nothing before you finished adding the hot water. It wasn’t nearly as good as her mother’s, but it was comforting all the same.
She had been furious with her sister when she had found out about the wish and the stealing, but by the time they had been released from the house her anger had dwindled down to guilty understanding. Dawn had every right to feel like she was being ignored. Ever since she had come back, she had been so worried about everything. She had worried about Dawn—worried about the caseworker, keeping a roof over their heads. She had worried about things that concerned her little sister, but ultimately she had been ignoring her.
It had gotten worse after that night with Spike in the abandoned house. Buffy had felt guilty leaving Dawn alone at the house that fist night, but it had gotten worse after that. She knew it was wrong, but she found herself back at his crypt in his arms night after night. Tara had insisted that she hadn’t come back wrong. She even seemed amused at the way Spike had pursued Buffy during the party, but the witch was wrong. She definitely had not come back right. The old Buffy had a purpose in life. She cared about her sister, and she most definitely did not sleep with annoying blond soulless vampires!
Buffy rolled about restlessly on her bed, the sheets tangling about her bare legs as images of the things she had done during her evenings away from the house flooded her mind. She couldn’t possibly be the same Slayer to be spending the evening doing…that over taking care of Dawn. Why did Spike have to show up for her birthday? Well, she knew why. He’d never miss out on an opportunity to torment her.
It wasn’t the vampire that had her on edge, as it was the vengeance demon. She had know Anya’s friend, Halfreck, was in town for the wedding, but she had been surprised that she had been the one to grant Dawn’s wish. Apparently, being her friend’s maid of honor really didn’t mean very much in the demon world. Somehow, though, she had known Spike. It was possible they had met before—maybe when he had been traveling around with Drusilla after they had left Sunnydale. The fact that she had called him William was unnerving. Buffy remembered his story. Before becoming a vampire, he’d been a timid, lovesick poet. A timid poet that knew about vengeance demons—that really didn’t fit together.
Buffy flipped over on her stomach and gave her pillow a frustrated punch. The fact that Spike happened to know a vengeance demon really didn’t matter. It was time she started concentrating on what was important and that was Dawn not Spike!
“Nice place you have her, William,” Halfreck said as she took in the lower level of the vampire’s tomb, “for a crypt.”
“Well, a vamp’s got to have a place to call home. Not like I can really get a sunny, beachside condo,” Spike took a slow drag off his cigarette. “And it’s Spike now, Hallie.”
“Yes, yes, much more fear provoking, I suppose,” she replied with a wave of her perfectly manicured fingers—a definite contrast to her complexion. “So does she like it?”
“What?” Spike asked his blue eyes studying the demon suspiciously. “Does who like it?”
“Oh, come on, Wil—Spike,” Hallie laughed. “Anya told me all about it!”
“All about what?” he asked. What had Buffy told her friends about them? He really didn’t see her saying anything. Not to mention, confiding in Anya? She wasn’t known for being discreet.
“All about you in love with the Slayer, of course,” she told him. “Surely, she appreciates all the trouble you’ve gone to here.”
“Yeah, well,” he replied studying the cigarette in his hand with a look of boredom on his face, “she’s a little less than appreciative.”
“Oh, my poor William,” she sighed. “How could she not succumb to your charms? You know all you have to do is wish.”
“I thought you handled kids’ wishes,” he reminded her.
“Oh, that’s just a specialty of mine,” she explained. “I do like to delve into other areas. You should know that.”
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