An Interesting New Year

by Saber ShadowKitten
Holidays: Part 2
PG-13 Version

Part One

Buffy's head flew back upon impact, but she did not falter as she brought her arms up to block the

next blow. She lashed out with her leg, catching the vamp in a brutal side kick, followed closely

by a spinning back kick to the head. She grabbed his arm on the next swing, sending him flying

over her onto the ground. "You know, I was all pretty," she told the vamp conversationally as

she kicked him in the ribs. He grabbed her leg and pulled, knocking her to the ground. She rolled

quickly to her feet, ducking under his kick and rising with an uppercut to his jaw. He staggered,

giving the Slayer enough time to drop a stake into her hand and plunge it into his chest, sending

dust flying everywhere.

Coming out of her battle stance, she slid the stake back up her sleeve and brushed herself off.

Glancing at her watch, she groaned, picked up her purse and began to jog towards the Bronze. "I

swear they know when I get dressed up," she muttered as she slowed to a walk in front of the

teen club. Her formerly pristine pale blue skirt and camisole, topped with a white, button down

sweater was now full of dried mud, her leather jacket equally dirty because of the rain earlier that

day. She took a deep breath and sighed, brushing vainly at the mud smear on her knee, the stones

on her anklet twinkling in the light coming from the club. Shaking her head, she paid the cover

charge and entered.

The Bronze was packed with teens, curfews being lifted since school was closed for the holidays.

A live band was playing an upbeat song, and bodies writhed on the dance floor. Buffy headed

towards a corner where they'd planned to meet, only to find the area vacant. Sliding into a chair,

she took off her muddy coat and laid it next to her, then patted absently at her hair as she looked

around the club.

"Trying out for the Mud Queen Pageant?" Cordelia asked, stopping next to the Slayer. "If so,

you're a shoe in for first place."

After the brunette had continued on her way, Buffy stood quickly and rushed to the restroom,

only to find what she had feared. Her face was streaked with dried mud, her hair sticking out,

hanging limp and dirty. She turned on the faucet, grabbing a few paper towels to wash off her

face. As she looked back in the mirror, she sighed, tossing the wet towels away. "No use

cleaning up," she told herself in the reflection. "I'm just going to get all dirty again in a few

minutes." She gave herself a baneful look, then walked slowly out of the ladies room back to her

jacket. Sliding the familiar leather over her arms, she turned to leave the club, only to run head on

into someone. "Sorry."

"That's ok, pet," Spike said. "I don't mind."

Buffy's head shot up and she looked at him, her face tuning red with embarrassment. She covered

her face with her hands, wishing she had washed the mud off after all. "Uh...hi."

Spike took her wrists and pulled her hands away, then tilted her face up to look at her, a smile

playing on his lips. "Looks like you've been busy."

"Yeah, well, these vamps have no concept of what a date means," she said, tucking the loose

strands of hair behind her ears.

"That's because they don't care about dating," he told her. "They're more interested in their next


"What about you? You're a vampire, too," she said.

"Really?" Spike said, pretending to be shocked. "And here I was all set for a date. Oh well, guess

I'll just have to kill you."

Buffy laughed at him. "I have a better idea. How 'bout you kiss me instead?"

"I think I could handle that," he replied, bending his head to capture her lips. The kiss intensified,

his hand weaving into her hair, pulling it fully out of its constraints.

"Rude much people?" Cordelia's voice interrupted them. Buffy broke the kiss reluctantly and

looked past Spike's shoulder to see the cheerleader impatiently tapping her foot.

"Disappear," she whispered, giving him a quick wink. Spike nodded, his teeth slashing his lips in

a wry smile, and stepped to his left, leaving Buffy in Cordelia's line of sight. He silently blended

into the shadows, keeping a pleased eye on his mate.

"What's wrong, Cordelia?" Buffy asked sweetly, looking even more disheveled than when she first

arrived. "Jealous that even when I look like this, I still have a man?"

"Probably another freak like Angel," Cordelia sneered. "You couldn't get a real man, a human

man you were the last person on earth. I'll be sure to laugh at your funeral." She pushed past the

Slayer, her words hitting their intended mark. Buffy blanched as she realized the other girl was

correct. She had a short relationship with Scott, but he dumped her, and all her other attempts at

normal dating were defeated by her sacred duties, or the boys were scared of her.

Spike appeared at her side, and she wanted nothing more than to bury her thoughts in him. "Let's

get out of here."

"Anything you say, luv," he replied, taking her arm in a gentlemanly fashion They left the club,

the Slayer leading him rapidly back to his home. The second they stepped inside, she was all over

him. In the back of his mind, he knew something was not right, but her talented fingers and

tongue pushed all thoughts aside.


Spike pushed himself onto his forearms, looking down into the Slayer's face. She stared up with

him, wide eyes filled with tears. He bent his head and kissed her lips gently then adjusted them so

she was cradled in the crook of his shoulder. He could feel hot tears falling from her face, landing

on his chest. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," she sniffed, wiping the tears from her cheek.

"Don't lie to me, pet," Spike said. "Tell me what it is."

"It's nothing," she replied.

Spike arms tightened around her shoulders in anger, then relaxed as he forced himself to calm

down. "I don't buy that, Slayer. Tell me what's wrong," he said, his voice demanding, not asking.

"Fine. You want to know what's wrong? Cordelia was right. The only men who want me are

non-human, viscous killers, and they either want to end my life or screw me or both," she replied

angrily. Buffy wrenched out of his grasp, sliding quickly out of the bed and pushing down her

skirt. She grabbed her sweater and coat, putting them on, ignoring her other ripped garments.

Without a backward glance, she snatched her purse and stormed out of the building where the

vampire made his home.

Spike still lay in bed, stunned by her harsh words. He couldn't understand why the brunette's

words had such an effect on her, why she believed them. He wanted to go out and kill the bitch,

but that would make the Slayer even angrier. Sighing, he ran his hands over his chiseled features,

then climbed out of bed. He dressed quickly, gathering up the ripped clothing and headed off into

the night.

Part Two

Spike arrived at the Slayer's house fifteen minutes later. He expertly climbed the tree, jumping

lightly to the roof, then pushed the window to the lit room open. Buffy was lying on her bed, still

in what was left of her muddy clothes, staring blankly at the ceiling. "What do you want?" she

said, her tone petulant.

He climbed through the window, dropping the clothes on the floor before sitting next to her on

the edge of the bed. When he went to touch her cheek, she flinched away from him, igniting his

quick temper. "I can't believe you listened to that bloody bitch," he snapped. "You could have

any bloke you wanted with the snap of your fingers."

"Yeah, well, my fingers must be broken, 'cuz you're the first date I've had in over three months.

And we haven't even been on a real date yet," she replied sullenly. "All we've done is screwed."

Spike's anger immediately fizzled with her words. "Slayer, what are you more upset about - the

fact that I'm a demon or that we haven't been on a date? Or is it something else?"

"I don't know," she replied, then changed her mind. "Yes, I do. I'm not good enough for anyone

to want to date me, and if they do, they leave."

"Like Angelus and that other schmuck," he finished for her. He grasped her chin with his fingers,

turning her face to look at him. "Buffy, I'm not going anywhere," he said softly, looking into her

eyes. "You are my mate, and I plan to stick around to protect my claim." He leaned forward and

kissed her tenderly. "Make love with me, Buffy."

His words brought tears to her eyes once again, but this time they were not tears of hurt or anger,

but of wonder and joy. She nodded once and was swept away as his lips captured hers, his hands

fumbling with the remaining two buttons holding her sweater together.


Buffy raised her face to look down at him, kissing him gently on the mouth. His eyes roamed

over her soft features and his lips turned up in an unexpected smile. "What are you smiling at?"

she asked.

"You have mud on your face," he answered, his smile becoming larger.

Buffy closed her eyes and groaned, letting her head fall back onto his shoulder. "Talk about

seduction no-nos."

"I think you look fine, pet," he replied, smacking her lightly on the ass. "Besides, I heard it's good

for your skin." Buffy snorted, then began to laugh. "Am I wrong?"

"Nope," she said, rolling off of him onto the bed by his side. "But I think Sunnydale mud is too

Hellmouthy. My skin will probably pull a Freddy Krueger because of it." Spike closed his eyes

and tried to picture the Slayer dressed as the slasher, and burst out laughing.

There was suddenly loud knocking on the door. "Buffy? Are you home? Who's in there with

you?" Joyce called through the door, trying to turn the locked knob.

Buffy gave Spike a mortified look, the scrambled off the bed for some clothes. "Yeah, mom, I'm

home." She threw on the first thing she pulled out of her dresser, gesturing wildly for the vampire

to hurry up and get dressed. He quickly slid his jeans on, kicking his boxers and her clothes under

the bed, then pulled his T-shirt over his head. Buffy went to the open the door as he ran around

the bed, stubbing his bare toe in the process, grabbed a book, then jumped back onto the bed.

"Sorry, mom," Buffy said, letting her mom into the room. "I must have hit the button on


Joyce looked at her daughter's mud streaked face and knees, her disheveled hair and mismatched

T-shirt and shorts, then over at the vampire lounging casually across the bed, his feet bare,

studiously looking at an open book on the bed. "Hello, Spike," she greeted. "When did you get


"Not long ago," he answered, giving her his best 'I didn't just fuck your daughter silly' look. "I ran

into the Slayer on her way back from the Bronze," he said, which was somewhat true. "And we

got to chatting."

"Uh-huh," Joyce said, not believing a word. Ever since Christmas, Buffy had been floating on

cloud nine, and she suspected the reason was the peroxide blond lying on her bed. "Not too much

longer, you two. Just because school is closed, doesn't mean you can stay up all night."

"Ok, mom," Buffy said.

Joyce turned to leave. "By the way, Buffy, your shirt is on backwards," she said as she went out

the bedroom door.

Buffy's mouth dropped open, her face turning several shades of red and Spike had to bite his

tongue to keep from laughing. She quickly pulled her arms in the sleeves and turned the shirt

around, then joined him over by the bed. "I am going to die," she said, burying her face in the


"It could have been worse," Spike said. She gave him a look that would melt glass and he

laughed before pointing over to the floor near her dresser. "She could have seen your knickers."

Her eyes grew wide as saucers when she looked where he pointed, then groaned and thumped her

head over and over on the bed. He laughed again, closing the book and tossing it to the ground,

then pulled her into his arms.

"I just know I'm going to get the 'talk' tomorrow," she said, snuggling into his embrace. "Joy."

"I feel for you, ducks," he replied, chuckling. "Before I forget," he said suddenly, leaning over the

bed to retrieve his coat. He pulled a flyer out of the pocket and handed it to her. "Would you

like to go with me?"

Buffy skimmed the flyer for the Bronze's New Year's Eve Masquerade Party, which was the

following evening. "As in a real date?"

"As in a real date," Spike answered, his mouth half cocked in a smirk. "I'll even pick you up."

"In your car?" she asked, incredulously. "With the blacked out windows? I can just see you

running over half the senior class on their way to the party."

"Then we'll walk," he said.

"Good," she replied.

"Ruin all my fun," he muttered, then smiled brightly at her murderous look. "I'd better get going,

luv, before your mum comes back and tans me." He slid on his socks and shoes, then his coat.

He turned and gave her a lingering kiss before climbing out the window. "See you tomorrow

night, pet."

"Bye," Buffy said, watching him climb down the tree and head off into the darkness, a bounce in

his step. When he was out of sight, she turned, looking on the floor for her dirty clothes. She

found them in a pile under the bed, along with a pair of boxers. With a smile, she went

downstairs and put the entire bundle in the wash, then wandered into the kitchen for something to


"Spike gone?" Joyce asked her daughter as she came into the room. Buffy nodded and swiped a

bagel off of her mother's plate. "I didn't hear the door."

"Oh, uh," Buffy said. "We were real quiet."

Her mom smiled knowingly at her. "So, how long have the two of you been dating?"

"Since Christmas," she answered shyly.

"That's what I figured," Joyce replied. "Is he the one who gave you that beautiful charm you

never take off?"

"Yeah," she said with a happy sigh. She lifted her foot up on the stool so her mom could get a

better look. "Willow says its handmade and means something. I think she said the diamond and

silver are for protection and the green stones are for love."

"Love?" Joyce asked as she looked up into her daughter's blushing face. "Do you love him?"

Buffy nodded. "What about his feelings for you?"

"He said he loved me first, mom," she said. "He even claimed me and everything, which is a big

deal in the vampire community."

"Claimed you? What does that mean?" Joyce said. She knew that Spike was a vampire from her

last chat with him when he had talk to her about Drusilla. *I wonder what happened there?* she

thought before her daughter answered.

"It's kinda like having a big jock for a boyfriend. All the younger vamps are afraid to come near

me," Buffy replied. "I think there's more to it than that, but you'd have to ask him. Although he

does keep referring to me as his mate."

"Well then, I will just have to ask him next time I see him," Joyce said. "Which will be...?"

"Tomorrow," she said, grudgingly. "We're going to the New Year's Eve party at the Bronze.

Which reminds me, I have to get a mask...and maybe a new outfit?"

Joyce shook her head at her daughter's plea. "Ok, you can have some money for a new outfit."

"Thanks, mom," she said, bouncing up to give her a kiss then upstairs to bed.

Part Three

Spike whistled cheerfully as he approached the Summers' front door. He was wearing his long

duster over a pair of pressed, dark gray khakis and oxford. A woven black belt and his boots

competed the outfit. He held two fistfuls of daisies in his hand, the black mask for the party in the

other. He rang the bell and was greeted by Joyce, who ushered him inside.

"These are for you," he said, handing her some of the daisies.

"Why thank you, Spike," Joyce replied, accepting them. "You didn't have to do that."

"Well, mum raised me to be a gentleman," he told her. "And a gentleman always brought flowers

to his lady's mum."

Joyce smiled. "Your mother was right," she said. "Buffy should be down in a minute."

"I'm in no rush," he said.

"Good, because I wanted to ask you a few things," Joyce told him. He cocked his head, ready to

listen. "What happened with Drusilla?"

A slightly painful look flitted across his face, then disappeared. "We decided it wasn't working

out any more. I guess after a hundred years anything can fade. It didn't help that I lost her trust

by helping Buffy, either."

"But now you've moved my daughter," she said, protectively.

Spike smiled, his eyes losing focus as he thought of the Slayer. "I have."

"She said you 'claimed' her, calling her your mate," she said. "What does that mean?"

"Exactly what you think it does," he answered honestly. "I love her and will stay with her as long

she lives. Which is guaranteed to be a lot longer than normal Slayers, since I will fight for her

until I died...again." His lips quirked at his own pun.

"Mom, are you badgering Spike?" Buffy said as she came down the stairs.

Spike turned to her, his mouth dropping open at the sight of her petite, muscular form dressed in

a skin tight full black body suit, a wide, silver chain belt hung around her waist. On her feet were

black heels, the silver anklet resting above strap that held them on. Her hair was down, loose

around her face and she held a black mask in her hands. He snapped his jaw shut and held out the

flowers as she approached him.

"For me?" she asked. He nodded, incapable of speech as his mind had turned to mush at her

beauty. "Mom, can you put these in water?"

"Sure." Joyce took them, smiling at them. "You two have fun."

"Will do, mom," Buffy said, putting on her long, powder blue jacket. "See you tomorrow." She

took Spike's arm and led him outside. Once the door closed behind her, she grabbed the lapels of

his jacked and kissed him soundly, breaking him out of his stupor. "I take it you like," she said a

minute later.

"I definitely like," Spike replied, hooking his arm around her waist as they left for the Bronze.

When they were a block away, they donned their masks and joined the crowd of students heading

into the club. Music poured out into the streets surrounding the teen hangout from the DJ hired

for the evening. Spike paid the cover charge and they entered.

The couple shed their coats in a corner, and the Slayer looked him up and down. "You're looking

pretty snazzy yourself. I thought you only owned one pair of clothes."

"Funny, Slayer," he said, leading her to the dance floor as a slow song started. They leaned into

each other, pressing their bodies as close as two people could get with clothes on. Spike glared at

the males who blatantly ogled the Slayer.

He felt a tap on his shoulder. "Can I cut in?" a young teen asked, eyeing his woman like she was

a piece of chocolate. He growled at him, low and dangerously, and smiled satisfactorily as the

boy practically ran off.

"You could have just said no," Buffy chided, smiling up at the vampire. "You probably made him

wet his pants."

"You're my woman," Spike told her, pulling her tightly against him. "My mate. No one bloody

slow dances with you but me."

"Possessive much?" she replied, her shoulders shaking in laughter. He growled at her, too, then

bent his head and kissed her passionately on the lips. When he allowed her to breath, she had no

question in her mind as to whom she belonged. The song ended, and he led her back to a table.

Buffy looked around, trying to see if she recognized anyone behind the masks. Her hand shot out

suddenly and latched onto a familiar red head. "Will! Hey, it's Buffy."

"Buffy?" Willow said, looking closely at her friend behind the black mask. She smiled in

recognition. "Hi! I didn't know you were coming tonight. We could have all come together?"

"Who's 'we'?" Buffy asked.

"Xander, me and Faith," Willow told her friend. She turned her head to look around the crowded

club. "They're around her somewhere, probably dancing. You can spot Xander by his Lone

Ranger T-shirt." She leaned closer and whispered in Buffy's ear. "Is this your 'define living'


Buffy smiled. "Yes it is, Will," she whispered back.

Willow bounced on her heels, excited for her friend and to meet the mysterious man. "Hi, Buffy's

man. I'm Willow," she put out her hand.

Spike's lips quirked in a small grin as he shook the red head's hand. *She wouldn't be so

forthcoming if she knew who I was,* he thought. "Hello. I'm uh...Liam," he said, giving her his

name from ages past. His baby sister called him that because she couldn't say his whole name.

"There's my Willster," Xander said, joining the threesome at the table, Faith in tow. "And who

have we here?" His eyes traveled over Buffy's form, practically drooling by the time he was done.

"Xander, keep your eyes to yourself," Buffy scolded.

Xander whipped his head up to her face, then started to babble. "Sorry, Buff, I didn't know it was

you. Please don't kill me. You look great by the way. The skin tight look shows off all

your...assets. I'm gonna die now. Will, I love you, you can have my GI Joe collection..."

Buffy laughed and put her hand on his arm. "I'm not going to kill you Xander."

"But I might," Spike muttered, earning a glare from the Slayer.

"Faith, Xander, this is Liam," Willow said, gesturing to the vampire.

"We've met," Faith said, taking a seat.

Buffy jumped up before the other Slayer could say any more. "Hey, they're playing our song," she

said, grabbing Spike's hand and dragging him away from the table.

"What was that about, kitten?" Spike asked as he didn't dance to the music. Buffy was moving

around him, thrusting her body to the beat.

"Faith heard us talking about our past exploits. If she tells the others, they'll figure out who you

are and I'd prefer not to cross that puddle yet," she told him.

"Bridge, pet."


"The saying is 'not to cross that bridge,'" he corrected, watching her hips undulate. He was

getting painfully hard observing her.

She stopped dancing and glared at him, then shook her head. "I can't believe I'm getting an

English lesson from a vampire."

"How about I give you a French lesson instead?" He asked, pulling her sharply to him. She could

feel his arousal through his pants as his mouth descended upon hers, drinking, nipping, plunging

into her depths with his expert tongue. She brought her hands up and clutched the back of his

head, leaning into the kiss.

Someone jostled them, and they broke apart, the Slayer breathing heavily. "Wow," she murmured,

taking in gulps of air. "Your French is perfect."

He grinned sexily at her. "What me to teach you more?"

"No," she said, ignoring his pout. "We're here on a date, remember? That means we stay more

than half and hour."

He sighed dramatically, then took her hands, maneuvering her into the classic dance position. He

began a simple step to the modern music, and surprisingly it fit.

Part Four

Two hours later Spike was ready to throttle Xander, kiss Willow and screw Buffy until she

could no longer walk. He wasn't sure what he would do to the other Slayer, Faith, since she

was only listening to the conversation, but he was a vampire, he'd think of something


The current topic had turned to the Hellmouth and all its various demons and monsters,

after Buffy convinced the others 'Liam' knew all about Slayers. Some of the stories had

amused him. He would loved to see the whelp possessed by the hyena spirit, or Buffy as a

vampire. They barely touched on things having to deal with Angel, before or after he had

lost his soul.

But right now they were discussing him and Drusilla. And Buffy was doing nothing to stop

them. In fact, she added her own two cents whenever possible. He couldn't wait to get her

out of there and shag her into unconsciousness.

"And Drusilla said my face was like a poem," Xander was saying. "And Deadboy was

pacing behind her, acting all psycho as she hit on me. It would have been my moment of

glory over him if there wasn't a good thirty or forty girls coming up the street after me."

"She was under that same spell we all were, Xander," Willow said. "She loved Spike, not

you, just like the rest of us."

"You all loved Spike?" Faith asked, confused.

"No, the spell made us all love Xander," Buffy said. She shot a look over at the vampire.

"Only a select few are able to love Spike."

"A select, certifiable few," Xander corrected. "In fact, didn't the loony leave him for


"And that chaos demon," Willow chimed in. "That's why he wanted me to do the love spell

on her. If he didn't threaten to shove a bottle in my face, I would have felt sorry for him.

He really did love her."

"And love bites," Xander said. "In his case, literally. In ours, well "

"Buffy, didn't you say he went back to Brazil to get Drusilla back?" Willow asked.

"Yup," Buffy answered, grinning like an idiot.

"Well, maybe they got back together. It would be nice to know that one of us from that

horrible night "

"Got the girl?" Faith said, finishing Willow's thought. The red head nodded.

"I still think you should have staked him when you had the chance, Buff," Xander said to

the Slayer.

"If I did that, I'd never have the delight in wondering what he was going to do next," Buffy

replied. She smiled over at Spike. "One things for sure, he always keeps me on my toes."

"On your back is where your bloody well going to be," Spike hissed at her, low enough so

only she would hear. Her eyes widened and a flush slowly rose up her neck, heating her


The DJ chose that time to announce it was nearing midnight and the unmasking, breaking

the group out of the conversation. He put on "1999" by the Artist Formerly Known As

Prince and Xander stood up, grabbing both Buffy's and Willow's arms and dragging them

to the dance floor.

Faith looked at Spike and shrugged. "Not my thing," she told him. "So, Liam, I thought

you and B went way back. How come you didn't toot your horn with the stories?"

"I don't like to brag," he said, smirking at the memory of when he said the same thing to

the Annoying One. He looked over to where Buffy was dancing, his eyes mentally stripping

her of the body suit.

"How long have you and B been shackin' up?" Faith asked, breaking into his dirty


"None of your bloody business," Spike said, turning to face her.

"Oh, come on," Faith said. "I know you're slippin' her the hot tamale, I just wondered for

how long now. She's got that 'I got laid but good' look about her."

"She does, doesn't she," Spike commented, looking thoughtfully at the Slayer in question.

"Pity it's only been a couple of weeks."

"But you knew her before," Faith stated. He nodded. "So, when did'ja know you wanted

to play hide the sausage with her?"

He was starting to like this girl. She was extremely crude and didn't worry about speaking

her mind. "Halloween. Last year," he answered.

"That's pretty damn specific," she commented. "What happened?"

"I had one of my idiot minions tape her fighting," Spike said.

"And every time you watched her you got a woody," she finished for him. "Why didn't

you go after her before?"

"She had that wanker Angelus all over her," he replied. "I also really wanted to kill her.

Now, I'd give my life, as it were, not to get her killed. Funny how things work out."

"You think Drusilla's gonna come up here, playing the jealous ex?"

Spike blinked at her in surprise. "What? How did you "

"I'm not as dumb as I look," Faith told him. "The stories, paired with the way you shot B

murderous glares every time she said something about you. Don't worry your sexy ass, I

won't spill."


"At least, not yet," she finished, grinning evilly at him. The song ended and the trio came

back to the table.

"What were you two talking so intently about?" Buffy asked, sliding into the chair next to


"Mostly you, B," Faith answered.

"What about me?" she said, warily.

"Nothing bad, ducks," Spike said. Willow and Xander's heads shot up at his words, staring

intently at him. He noticed this, then leaned and whispered in the Slayer's ear. "I think

your friends suspect something, luv."

Buffy looked over to her two best friends and sighed. She knew her secret love affair would

never last, but she wanted to hold onto it for a few more minutes, at least until the new year

started. "Dance with me?" she said, glad a slow song had started to play.

She held him close, reveling in the last few moments of anonymity. "They're going to

freak," she told him. "I hope Faith doesn't try to stake you."

"Don't worry about the other Slayer, pet," Spike said. "She already figured it out. As for

your two chums, the red head will be fine and I don't care about the other wanker." The

first song slid into a second slow one as they continued to sway to the music. He looked

down at the worry evident in her eyes, bent his head and kissed her. "I love you, Buffy."

She smiled up at him. "I love you, too."

The song ended and the couple headed back to the table as the DJ started the countdown to

midnight. Squeezing her hand, Spike pulled Buffy onto his lap, his low voice sending

shivers down her spine as he counted in her ear. When they got to midnight, the Bronze

was filled with "Happy New Year's" and masks started to be removed as teens kissed each

other in the spirit of the new year.

Spike lifted his own mask off, setting it on the table without removing his eyes from Buffy's

as she took hers off. He lifted on hand, pressing it to the back of her head, and bringing her

lips to his. He kissed her lovingly, tenderly, not wanting it to end.

Buffy broke the kiss first, sighing happily. She lay her forehead against his, looking into his

blue eyes. "Happy New Year, Spike."

"Happy New Year to you, too, Slayer," he said, smiling at her. "Are you ready?" She

nodded. He winked at her, his eyes dancing with merriment and he turned his head to face

her friends. "Uh boo?"

Willow blanched, Faith laughed and Xander screamed like a woman. It was going to be an

interesting new year.