The Summer Series

Willow & Spike: A Collection of Short Silly Stories

by: Saber ShadowKitten





XXIV - Recommended Reading List



"Eep!" Willow squeaked as she bumped into Giles. "Giles! You startled me."

"My apologies, Willow," Giles said. "I did not know you were here."

"Oh, well, here I am," Willow replied. "In the library. Doing...library stuff."

"You are not delving further into the-the-the black arts than you should?" Giles asked, looking at the books in her arms.

"What? Oh, no, no delving for me. I am working on a project. Tutoring. Just helping out my fellow man...er, yeah, man," she said. *Well, he is male, so technically he's a man. And what a man.* She began to blush at her thoughts.

"Anything I may assist you in locating?" Giles inquired.

"No, I found what I needed," Willow replied. "It's amazing to actually be looking for books not on the Recommended Reading for Demon Hunters Everywhere list."

Giles smiled. "Yes, well, this is a school library. I suppose it-it should carry additional reading materials." Willow moved to behind the check out counter to scan her books. "So, Willow, how does it feel to be a-a graduate?"

"Not real," she answered. "I mean, it's like, this is just another summer break. Come fall, I'll be right back. But I won't be. Back that is. I'll be in college, living in a dorm, not having classes every day." She closed the books and headed for the table. "I don't want to go."

"Why not?"

"Because I won't be here, I'll be there. Away from Sunnydale. Away from Buffy and Xander and you. I won't be here to be the net girl! How are you going to research big evil things? Maybe it's not too late to change my mind," Willow rambled.

"Willow, you will only be a few hours away by car," Giles told her. "Plus, I am sure that A-Angel could use your assistance with that...dread machine. And Cordelia will be there."

"Thanks for reminding me," she said under her breath. Giles caught it and hid his grin. "Well, I guess I should go home now. You probably want to go, too, seeing as it's 10:30 already. Unless you're waiting for Buffy to get back from patrol."

"No, I was only catching up on actual school librarian duties," he replied. "Would you like a ride home?"

"I am so glad you guys are here," Buffy said before Willow could answer as she burst through the library doors, Xander in tow. "We have a major ick factor running loose in Sunnydale." She held up her arms, both of which were covered with a thick, orangish slime. "See?"

"Good lord, what happened?" Giles asked.

"Xander and I were patrolling through the park, met up with Angel, big slimy creature came running out of the woods, fought said creature, got slimed, creature ran away," Buffy summarized.

"You should have seen Deadboy," Xander added. "He looked like a melted Orangcicle."

"How come your not covered in goo, Xander?" Willow asked.

"I did the manly thing when it attacked," Xander replied. "I hid."

Willow dropped her backpack back on the table. "I guess it's research time."




XXV - At the Sound of the Beep



3:03

Spike was both worried and angry as the clock changed on the wall. He'd only been able to sleep for a few hours earlier that morning and ever since he'd been trying to keep busy so he wouldn't go out of his mind. Usually he terrorized his minions to pass the time, but since returning to Sunnydale, he hadn't created any new ones. It was too much of a hassle to teach them to hunt and survive against the Slayer, and after the fiasco known as Drusilla he hadn't brought any back with him from Brazil. Besides, he preferred to stay on the Slayer's good side, even though she still didn't know he was back.

3:04

"Bloody hell," he cursed, grabbing the magazine he'd been unsuccessfully trying to read in between channel surfing, cleaning and making brownies from a recipe he'd found on the back of a box of chocolate. For a vampire, he had a surprisingly well stocked kitchen.

3:07

"Bugger it," Spike growled, throwing the magazine on the coffee table after only a paragraph. He stood and went into the bedroom. He picked up a yo-yo he had commandeered from last nights dinner and began to play with it.

3:14

The yo-yo hit the wall with a loud smack before falling harmlessly to the floor.

3:16

"At the tone the time will be 3:16. Beep."

3:17

Spike stomped naked to the bathroom and turned on the shower, letting it warm up before stepping in. He put both hands flat on the wall and leaned forward, the water hitting the back of his neck, then around his jaw to run onto the floor of the tub. *Get a grip,* he thought. *You're acting like a nancyboy. Or worse, like the Slayer's lap dog.*

3:32

The peroxide blond vampire stood in front of his closet dripping water onto the floor despite the towel around his waist. He eyed the multitude of new clothing hanging neatly in a row, pants on one side, shirts on the other. Angelus once called him anal for all his meticulousness when it came to his possessions. Everything had a place and everything in its place.

3:34

Dressed in a hunter green T-shirt tucked into a pair of blue jeans, Spike ran his fingers through his hair as he made his way back to the living room barefoot. He grabbed the remote and turned on the TV, flipping channels until he found Jeopardy. He enjoyed this game show. The contestants actually had to think, and he could play along. He grabbed the pad of paper and pen he kept on the coffee table to keep a tally. His highest score was 24 out of 30 squares correct.

4:03

Spike turned the channel to NBC, somewhat dejected at his low score and the fact that he was beginning to doubt Willow would show up. Luckily, Rosie was on. Hers was his favorite talk show now that the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was no more.

5:02

"And in local news, a mysterious orange slime has been found covering the playground equipment at Weatherly Park. More on that in a little while..."




XXVI - Oh, Sh*t!



"Mmm," Willow said as someone shook her. "Stop or I'll turn you into a newt."

"Willow, wake up," Buffy said, still shaking her friend.

"Wha..." Willow opened her eyes and sat up straight, the imprint of the computer keyboard on her cheek. "Oh, I fell asleep."

"We all did," Buffy said. She pointed at the snoring Xander on the library steps, books surrounding him. "Well, not Giles, but I don't think he ever sleeps."

"Oh shit!" Willow exclaimed as she saw the clock.

"Willow!" Buffy's eyes widened and her mouth dropped open in amazement. "When did you start saying bad words?"

"Phone number, phone number, where is it?" the hacker mumbled, ignoring her friend as she dug through the outer pocket of her backpack. "I know I wrote it down and shoved it in here, just in case."

"Um, Wills?" Buffy said.

"Ah-ha! Got it!" Willow said, pulling out a scrap of paper in triumph.

"Willow, are you feeling ok?" Buffy asked, putting a hand on her forehead. "You're acting kinda wiggy."

"Oh, sorry, Buffy," she replied, giving the Slayer a sheepish grin. "I, uh, told someone I'd come over today. Well, earlier today. I can't believe it's after 5:00. I hope he doesn't think I blew him off."

"Him?" Buffy said, raising an eyebrow. "As in Billy?"

"What? Oh, yeah. Billy," Willow said. "My friend."

"I got that picture," Buffy said. "Well, go call so you can come back here and tell me just how good a friend he is."

Willow blushed. "He's only a friend."

"Uh-huh."

Willow scurried away to use the phone, turning her back to the blond. She tucked her hair behind her ears, then picked up the receiver and dialed.




XXVII - I'm So Sorry



"Hello?"

"I am so sorry," Willow began without greeting. "I was here at the library getting some books when Buffy and Xander came in after they had fought some creature that slimes people with orange goo and Xander said that Angel looked like a melted Orangcicle, then we had to do research and we were here all night and I fell asleep in the keyboard and now have a nice imprint of the keys on my cheek and I bet I look really bad and I think that was my stomach that just growled at me, which kinda sounds like you..."

"Willow," Spike interrupted on the other end of the line.

"Um, yeah?"

"It's ok," he said.

"Really?"

"Yes, really," he replied. "I know about the orange slime creature."

"You do?" Willow said. "Um...you didn't make it appear, did you?"

"Now why would I do something like that?" Spike asked.

"Well, it's kinda like something you would do, going by your past exploits here in Sunnydale," she replied.

"True," he chuckled. "But no worries, pet. I saw it on the news, that's how I know."

"Oh," Willow said. "Good."

"I take it you'll be busy for awhile," Spike said.

"Until we get rid of it," she replied. "Looks like I won't be coming over today. Or tomorrow. Or, I don't know when."

"That's alright, ducks," he said. "You just do your smart thing. I've been entertaining myself for awhile now. I think I can survive."

Willow giggled, then blushed when Buffy arched her eyebrow at her. "I better go."

"Bye, luv," Spike said.

"Bye," Willow replied and hung up the phone. She untucked her hair, then tucked it back behind her ears again before walking back to the computer.

"Will, you babbled," Buffy said. "You only babble when you're nervous or excited. And that means Mr. Devil Tattoo-er must be a hottie."

Willow blushed a deeper shade of red and started typing on the keyboard. "He's...cute."

"Uh-huh."




XXVIII - Delivery



"Um...is there a Willow here?"

The four in various modes of research looked up at the pizza delivery boy standing near the library doors. "That's me," Willow said, her brow coming together in confusion.

"Then these are for you," he said, taking two large pizzas out of the carry bag as he walked over to the table. Buffy and Xander quickly cleared a spot for him to set them down.

"Uh...I didn't order any pizzas," Willow said.

"Will, never pass up pizza," Xander scolded her. He looked at the delivery boy. "How much?"

"Nothing. It's already been paid for, tip included," he replied, closing the bag and heading out of the library. "Enjoy."

"Thanks," Buffy called after him. She looked at Willow who shrugged.

"I have no clue," she said.

"Maybe this message will help," Xander said as he pointed to the black marker on the lid of the second pizza. "It says ‘Slimed and in that plaid, what a great picture. Give us a bell.'"

Willow made a noise that was cross between a snort, giggle and squeal, then covered her face with her hands and began laughing. Buffy, Xander and Giles all looked at her in confusion. "I take it this means something," Buffy commented.

"Well, ‘give us a bell' is one way to say ‘call me' in Britain," Giles said.

"Willow, care to clue us in on the inside joke?" Xander asked.

Willow shook her head no, calming down enough to look at her friends. She reached out to open the box when the message caught her eye again and she started to giggle. "You had to have seen the plaid to understand."

"Right, well, thank the mystery sender for me," Xander said, grabbing a slice and devouring it in four large bites.

"Um, eew," Buffy said, watching Xander.

Willow smiled and took a bite of her own slice as conversation picked up between the friends while they began to eat. *If your not careful, Willow, you're going to start really liking Spike,* she thought as she watched Giles try not to get sauce on himself. *But would that be such a bad thing?*




XXIX - Sunnyhell Petting Zoo



"Bloody hell," Spike cursed as he stalked down the street. He was bored out of his mind. Willow had called several over times the last few weeks when she could, but she hadn't been able to visit due to the increase in ‘Hellmouth baddies' as she called the various creatures that decided to descend on the suburb this summer. "Summer is suppose to be dead. Deader than me. Sunnyhell is turning out to be worse than a petting zoo."

"That made absolutely no sense."

Willow's voice coming from behind him made him whirl on his heel. She was standing outside the french doors to her bedroom, leaning on the railing with her chin in her palm. He hadn't even realized he was on her street, although perhaps subconsciously his feet propelled him here.

"Do what, pet?" Spike asked, a grin forming on his face as he walked to her.

"What's so bad about a petting zoo?" Willow said, an echoing smile on her own features. Her eyes quickly took in his dark green khaki's and grey T-shirt.

"It stinks, it's crowded and the animals are always attacking you for some bloody tidbits of food," he replied, leaning against the rail on the opposite side.

"But at least the animals are cute," she said. "Not like the icky things we've been dealing with the past month. They're...icky."

Spike smiled at her. "So, ducks, what are you doing outside so late? Don't you know there are bad, icky things afoot?"

"Saw you practically pounding holes in the pavement as you came up the street," Willow replied. "Anything wrong?"

"No, I'm only bored out of my ever loving mind," he told her. "With no minions to pick on and my only friend busy helping the Slayer all the time, it's surprising I don't cause a ruckus just to keep myself amused."

"Please don't," she said. "I don't think I can take any more ruckuses."

"‘Ruckuses'?"

"Bite me."

He grinned. "If you wish..."

"Try it, blond boy," she warned. "And you'll find yourself on the receiving end of a right ‘cross'."

"That was bad, pet," Spike said with a laugh.

"What'cha doing tomorrow?" Willow asked standing upright and holding onto the rail, leaning back on her heels.

"Not causing ruckuses, that's for sure," he replied. She rolled her eyes. "Why for?"

"There's a computer convention in LA that I want to go to. I was there last year and it's in a big, windowless convention center with underground parking and I thought maybe you'd like to join me," she said. "Giles says that we've seen the end of the rucki, knock on wood." With the last three words, she reached out and rapped her knuckles on his head.

Spike gave her a look when she did this, which made her giggle. "Sure, I'd love to go," he answered. "What time do you want me to pick you up?"

"Around 7:00,"she said. "There's no smoking there, and it's not like you'll be able to step outside, so be sure to get your fix before we leave."

"Yes, dear," he whined in a pinched voice.

"Goodnight, Spike," Willow told him as she turned to go back inside.

"‘Night, Willow," Spike replied.

She paused at the door. "Do you like donuts?"

"Chocolate with chocolate sprinkles," he answered immediately.

"Then you bring the coffee, and I bring the donuts," she smiled. "‘Night."

"Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the vampires bite...unless it's me," Spike said with a cocky grin. Willow rolled her eyes without comment and went inside. With a slight skip, the blond vampire whistled as he headed for home, not bored any longer.




XXX - I Want My MTV



Willow grabbed her backpack and the box of donuts. "Coming, coming. Jeez, impatient much?" she muttered as the horn beeped again. She double checked her appearance, smoothing down the white with multi-colored piping hippie blouse and jeans, made a beeline to the kitchen to make sure the back door was locked, then hurried out the front with another beep. She glared in the direction of where Spike would be sitting if she could see through the blacked out windows, then hustled to the passenger side and climbed in. "Honk a few more times, why don't you? I don't think you've woken anyone up in Japan."

"Sarcasm does not become you, pet," Spike replied with a grin. He saw the box of donuts in her hand and his smile grew. "Where to, lass?"

"Transpacific," she said. "Then get off on the biway. I'll give you more directions when we get closer." Spike nodded and pulled the car away from the curb. She looked over at him, noting that he was wearing her favorite outfit from their shopping spree - blue jeans and a tucked in plain, black T-shirt. She loved the way the tight fitting shirt emphasized his lean muscles. *Yummy,* she thought, then tossed her backpack in the back seat. "By the way, interesting car."

"It's clean, too," he said. "You should have seen what was crawling around in here last night, ducks. I think they were some of those icky things you and the Slayer have been dealing with."

"You can call her Buffy, you know," Willow told him. "You did twice before."

"But then I'd have to admit that she's a...a...bloody hell."

"She's a bloody hell?"

Spike rolled his eyes as she giggled. "No, you silly woman. If I call her by name, I'd be admitting she's not my mortal enemy."

"She's not," Willow stated.

"Why praytell is that?"

"Because she likes you...in a he's-a-bad-guy-but-not-really-that-bad-of-a-guy sort of way."

"Right."

"I'm serious," she said. "If you didn't have that whole killing thing, you two would probably be friends."

"Now that's something I didn't want to picture," he shuddered. "Besides, I have enough friends already."

"Spike, I'm your only friend," Willow said.

"See?" Spike replied with a large smile. "Give me one of those donuts that you've been hording there."

Willow shook her head and opened the box. "Let's see, we have jelly, twists, custard, plain, powdered, glazed..." She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and saw him pouting, and she had a feeling he didn't even know he was doing it. "And of course, chocolate with chocolate sprinkles." She laughed when his whole face lit up like a little boys as she handed him one.

"What are you laughing at?" Spike asked, then took a bite.

"Nothing, pet," Willow replied, choosing her own. He made a face at her and she giggled again. "Music?"

"Be my guest," he said, gesturing with his donut holding hand.

Willow leaned forward and turned on the radio, wincing at the hard rock music that came out of the speakers. She started pushing buttons to see what he had ‘programmed' on the old radio, then gave up and turned the dial to a good station.

"What do you call this bloody noise?" Spike asked when she stopped playing.

"Music," she replied, leaning back and munching on her donut.

On your mark, ready, set, let's go
Dance floor pro
I know, you know
I go psycho

"This is not music," he said over the song.

"Yes, it is Spike," she said.

"It's bloody annoying."

"Just shush."

You've gotta prada
Bag with a lotta
Stuff, give it to your friend
Let's spin
Hey by looking at me
Glance at the kid

"Who sings, and I use the word loosely, this crap?" Spike asked.

"Will Smith, and it's not crap," Willow replied.

"Who's Will Smith?"

"He's the guy in Independence Day, Men In Black, Six Degrees of Separation," she said.

He looked over at her with an incredulous expression. "You're bloody pulling my chain."

"Nope," Willow said. "It's him. He did this great song in the eighties called ‘Parents Just Don't Understand.'"

Big willie style
Getting jiggy wit it
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah
Getting jiggy wit it

"I remember that song," Spike said. "I saw it with the video on MTV."

"You watch MTV?"

"Dead cert," he answered with a grin. "I saw the very first video. It was...bloody awful."

"‘Video Killed the Radio Star,'" Willow said. At his look, she shrugged. "It's a Trivial Pursuit question."

"So tell me, kitten, how does one ‘get jiggy wit it'?"




XXXI - Nerdology Convention



Willow giggled at the expression on Spike's face as they entered the convention hall. She was slightly hyper from the coffee she'd drank on the ride down. Of course the blond vampire, as she was learning, was always hyper.

"This is bloody huge!" Spike exclaimed, his blue eyes wide as he let go of his tough-guy persona. His gaze flitted from booth to booth, roaming over the new technology with excitement. "How are we suppose to see all this in one day?"

"We don't," Willow replied. "We're staying overnight at the Holiday Inn."

He did a double take at her offhanded comment, not believing his ears. Plus, the idea of him spending the night with the red head was creating interesting images in his head. He decided to say something before his hormones got out of control. "But I didn't bring any extra clothes along."

She winked at him. "Don't worry, I got you covered. Now, come on. We have a lot of new stuff to check out," she said, grabbing his arm and dragging him to the first booth.

When they got to the booth, Spike snatched up a copy of the technology description. He frowned at it, then glared at Willow when she grabbed it from his hands.

"Don't frown, you'll get wrinkles," she said, then giggled as he rolled his eyes at her. She quickly scanned the information on the sheet, then cleared her throat. "This is the XJP-2976, a remarkable new technological innovation," she began pretending to be an emcee or radio announcer. "With it's fast upload and quick refresh rate, the XJP is a must have for all large business networks..."

They spent the entire day moving from booth to booth in a similar fashion, with Willow summarizing any handouts while Spike listened and studied the new technology for as long as he could before he dragged her to the next one. In the middle of the day while she was questioning one of the attendants, he had snuck away for a quick bite, making sure not to drain his meal, then rejoined her as if nothing had happened.

She was definitely not fooled, because when he returned to her side, Willow looked up at him with an arched brow and a pointed glare. With that look, he was reduced to a little boy who had done something bad. "Sorry," Spike mumbled, staring down at his feet.

"You better be," Willow said to him before moving onto the next booth. "I don't want my weekend ruined because the convention had to close due to dead bodies."

"I didn't kill her," Spike protested. "I only took a little. She won't even miss it."

"Shove it, Spike," she hissed. "I want your promise that you won't snack on the attendees here, or the hotel staff later."

"I have to eat, too, you know," he hissed right back.

Willow stopped walking and stood on her toes, nose to nose with him. "I know you do, and I don't like it, but I'm not going to stop you later. However until then, promise."

Spike debated whether or not to argue with her, to keep her standing this close to him, but decided it would be wiser not to end up with a stake in his heart. "I promise. No bloody eating of the attendees."

"Or the hotel staff."

"Or the hotel staff," he repeated with a sigh.

Willow nodded, taking a step back from him. "Good. Now, lets get back to the show."

It took close to an hour to cajole the red head back into a good mood. Spike didn't know why it was so important to him to get her back to that state, only that he didn't like being in the doghouse with her. It made him feel like a heel, and he didn't like it one bit.

"Earth to Spike," Willow said, waving her hand in front of his face. "Where do you keep going that's so fascinating, ‘cuz maybe I'd like it there."

Spike chuckled. "Sorry, ducks. Just spacing out a bit." He glanced at the large clock on the wall. "What say we get out of here? I've had about enough nerdology for one day."

"‘Nerdology'?" Willow asked.

"This stuff is for nerds," Spike explained, biting his cheek at her look.

"Doesn't that make me a nerd, considering I love this stuff?" she said.

"Hell yeah," he replied, giving her a cocky smile.

"I don't know if I should take offense or not," Willow told him, eyeing his smile.

Spike slung his arm around her shoulder, leaning his head down to whisper conspiratorially in her ear. "All the others will be jealous that you're a nerd, yet you got me."

Willow started to blush at the thought. "I...uh...don't understand you sometimes, you know that?"

He laughed as they started to head for the exit. "That's ok, pet. I don't understand you, either. But it sure is fun trying to."

She rolled her eyes, enjoying the feel of his arm around her shoulder. "You are one strange vampire."

"And you love me despite of that fact," he replied, giving her a sexy grin. "So, where to now, luv?"

"Um...hotel. Then food," she answered. "I figured we can go out and look around after that."

"Since you have big, bad me to protect you?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of me protecting you," Willow teased, poking him in the ribs. She had learned that Spike was quite ticklish in certain spots and used that information often.

Spike grabbed her hand and held it captive as they exited the elevator to the underground parking. "Whatever you say, kitten. I know better than to argue with you when you have your claws out," he said, squeezing her hand. He let his arm fall to the side, but did not relinquish her hand. He was enjoying the sensation of her smaller, softer one in his a little too much to let her go.

Willow smiled at him and they continued the way to the car hand in hand in a comfortable, friendly silence.




XXXII - Facets



Willow sighed happily, quite stuffed. After checking into the hotel, and bouncing on the matching double beds like children, the two went out to get something to eat. They ended up at a street diner, watching and commenting on the people who passed by the window as they ate. Well, she ate. Spike just had something to drink and stole her fries.

"Mother, five kids, works at the grocers, no husband, lives in a two bedroom flat within walking distance to work," Spike said, continuing their game as a woman passed by the window.

"Business man, married, wants to get laid," Willow said, nodding to the suit-clad mad who walked by in the other direction. "Sorry, sweety, hookers are two blocks over and you better have a lot of money, ‘cuz once they take a look at you, they'll be running the other way."

"Willow!" Spike exclaimed, shocked. "You're not suppose to be the crude one."

She shrugged, sipping on her drink. "That's what they keep telling me," she commented. "I keep my devious, cruel self buried deep down."

"But you're showing it to me," he said to her cautiously.

"Well, you're devious and cruel all the time, so you can't talk," Willow pointed out, wading up the straw wrapper into a little ball. She gave him an innocent smile. "Besides, no one would believe you if you did."

"I like you," Spike said with a chuckle. "You have so many bloody facets to your personality, I'm always on my toes, wondering what you're going to do or say next." Willow winked at him, then shot the paper ball at him with a flick of her finger. He looked down where it had hit. "See?"




XXXIII - But It's Permanent



"Let's go in here," Willow said, pulling on his arm towards the shop.

"Ducks, that's a tattoo place," Spike pointed out as he was dragged inside.

"Really?" Willow asked, staring up at him with wide eyes. "I thought it was a petting zoo."

He scowled at her. "Very funny, pet."

"I know," she replied, dropping his arm to look around. "So, what kind of tattoo should I get?"

"You're not bloody serious," Spike said, staring at her.

Willow gave him an off kilter smile. "Yup."

"But it's permanent," he said.

"Mine washed off," she replied.

"That's no reason to get a tattoo," Spike said. Willow sighed, rolling her eyes at him before picking up a book and taking a seat. "I'll buy you another one."

"Nope, sorry, mind's made up," she told him. "See my resolve face?" Spike muttered something about red headed witches under his breath and went to look at the pictures on the wall making her giggle quietly. Her eye caught another book laying on the table near him and her face lit up in a devilish smile.

Spike let out a yelp, and spun, looking for what just hit him in the rear. He saw Willow sitting in the chair on the other side of the room, giving him a curious glance. He frowned, then turned back to the wall.

Willow snickered and levitated the book, smacking him in the ass again, then gently floating it back to the table as he spun again with a growl. She arched her eyebrow in his direction, acting like she didn't know what was going on. Coming to LA alone with Spike was bringing out her naughty side which was rarely seen.

"Willow, do I have to come over there and cover your eyes?" Spike asked after she did it a third time.

"Who me? What did I do?"

"You know very well what you did," he growled as he came over to her. He put his hands on both arms of the chair and leaned down into her face. "Witch."

"Vampire," she said saucily. The look on his face made her burst into giggles.

Spike sighed dramatically, then plopped down next to her. "Why me?"

"I think it's fate," Willow told him. "Or the Goddess is playing one big joke on you."

"Thanks bunches, pet," he replied sarcastically. At that moment, a very tattooed man walked up to them and he stiffened, his body sliding into protective mode for the red head at his side. "What do you want?"

"Spike," Willow said, putting her hand on his arm. She smiled up at the man. "Hi!"

"Hello, little lady," the man said. "Looks like you're interested in body art."

She nodded, then held up the book in her hand. "Found the one that I want."

"Well then, follow me," he instructed.

"Stay here," Willow told Spike, standing to follow the man.

"Not bloody likely," Spike muttered, following her. She stopped him at the door to the back room.

"Stay," she said again, glaring at him. "If I need you, you'll know."

"Fine," he growled, throwing himself into a chair near the door. "But if he hurts you, I'll rip his bloody head off and use it as a centerpiece."

Willow shook her head, then went into the back to where the man was standing. "Sorry about that. Now, what do I need to do?"

"Just read and sign this form, then we'll get to work," he said, handing her a clipboard and pen. Willow quickly read the paper and signed her name with a flourish. "Have you picked out which one you want and where you want it?"

"Yup," Willow replied, opening the book to the page. "This one and I want it right here."

He smiled at her. "Well, then, let's get started."




XXXIV - Whirlpool



Spike tapped his fingers on the arm of the chair, his gaze pensive as he waited for Willow to come back. He couldn't believe that she wanted a tattoo, couldn't believe that he'd let her go back there with that tattooed freak alone, couldn't believe that he was sitting there waiting for her like a ninny.

He growled low in his chest at his thoughts, stood and began pacing in the shop front. *Bloody hell, it's been over an hour. She could be back there getting raped or beaten by that sod! Or she could have been kidnaped, gagged so she couldn't call out for me,* he thought. *Why am I out here instead of going back there and cracking some heads?*

"Spike?"

Spike's head shot up, his demon face flashing before he realized it was Willow. Putting the human mask on, he hurried to her side, grasping her arm and looking her from head to toe. "Are you ok?"

"Of course," Willow said, frowning at him. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"You were gone for too long," he told her. He let go of her arm and ran his hand through his hair. "Sorry, ducks. Just worried."

"I'm glad. Not that you were worried. I mean, I'm glad you care enough to worry about me. Not that I meant to worry you." She gave him a small smile. "Ready to go?"

He nodded and followed her out the door. "What did you get?"

"Just a little tattoo," she said mysteriously as they headed back to the hotel. "I'm suppose to keep it covered up and clean for a few days to let it heal."

"Where's it at?"

"Wouldn't you like to know," Willow replied with a devilish smile. She linked her arm through his. "Want to watch a movie when we get back to the room? Or would you rather check out the whirlpool?"

"Whatever, luv. Your choice," Spike answered. *Whirlpool, whirlpool, whirlpool,* he chanted mentally.

"Whirlpool, then," she said. *So I can see him without a shirt on again,* she thought.

*Thank you!* He shouted in his head. "Sounds fine with me."

*Yes!* She shouted in her head. "Luckily, I remembered to grab suits for us. I almost forgot, then we wouldn't have been able to go."

*Or we'd go naked,* he thought, conjuring up an image of Willow. He felt himself grow hard and grit his teeth. "That would have been a shame, pet."

*Unless we went naked,* she thought, conjuring up an image of Spike. She felt herself flush and she looked down at the floor as they walked through the hotel lobby to the elevators. "Yeah."

They rode up the elevator in silence, looking anywhere but at each other. Once in the room, Willow grabbed her suit out of the overnight bag and then threw Spike the trunks she'd gotten him. "I'll change first," she said, going into the bathroom and locking the door behind her.

She leaned back against it and sighed. "Calm down, calm down, calm down," she repeated, centering herself. "It's just Spike. Your friend. Nothing to freak about." She opened her eyes and looked at herself in the mirror. "Eep!"

Quickly changing into her suit, then sliding her jeans and shirt back over them, she took a deep breath and left the safe haven of the bathroom. "Next."

Spike moved away from the window he was contemplating throwing himself out of and towards the bathroom. Once inside, he locked the door behind him and leaned against it, closing his eyes. "Alright, mate, get a grip. You're acting like a randy goat. It's Willow. You're friend. Nothing else."

He looked over at the mirror, noting the lack of reflection and sighed. "Bloody vampire," he said derisively, quickly getting into the swim trunks then sliding his jeans back over them. He grabbed two towels, then opened the door. "All set, kitten."

The two unlikely friends made there way to the deserted pool area. Willow was surprised because the hotel had been tightly booked with the nerdology convention. She giggled at her thought, earning a puzzled look from her companion. "Nerdology convention," she told him.

Spike grinned. "Better than a geekers convention," he said.

"‘Geekers convention'?" Willow asked with another giggle as she dropped her towel on the chair by the whirlpool. Kicking off her shoes, she pulled off her shirt, then looked over at him for explanation.

"Trekkies, X-Philes," he said, pulling his own black shirt off before bending to remove his Doc Martens. "That sort of thing."

"Do Star Wars conventions fit into that category?" she said, sliding out of her pants, then walking over towards the whirlpool controls.

"No, that's an exalted category of its own," Spike replied, turning to throw his jeans over the chair.

The whirlpool started up, and they both turned, ending up facing each other at the same time.

Continued