The Summer Series

Willow & Spike: A Collection of Short Silly Stories

by: Saber ShadowKitten





XXXV - White Mice



Steam started to float up from the whirlpool, mixing with the dim lighting coming from beneath the water. They both stared at each other, frozen in place like statues. Finally, Willow was able to avert her gaze, blushing as she cleared her throat. "Water looks hot," she said, looking at the bubbles that formed on the surface. However, she didn't see them, she saw him.

"Yeah," Spike managed to get out, his hands clenching into fists at his side. He took a quick step forward and practically jumped into the whirlpool. He needed to get his lower half below the surface of the water before he became really embarrassed. He sat down in the far, non-lit corner and rested his hands in his lap. He avoided looking at her as he tried to will himself to calm down.

It was not as though either of their suits were risque. Spike's was just a pair of black trunks that came mid thigh, with a red stripe down each side. Willow's was a one-piece racing suit in metallic green. However, the amount of skin showing was affecting both of them much more than it should have for just being friends.

Willow wasn't sure what to make of his sudden actions as she slowly walked down the steps into the whirlpool. The hot water washed over her as she sat, and she let out a pleased sigh.

Spike looked over to her at her sound and a slow grin spread across his face at the expression on hers. "Feels good, pet?"

"Wonderful," she breathed, resting her shoulders back against the cool tile above the water level. Now that they were under the cover of the water, she was able to easily look at him. "This is nice."

"That it is," he replied, feeling the tension drain out of him. He still had a bit of a problem beneath his trunks, but it wasn't going to stop him from enjoying Willow's company. "What was your favorite thing so far at the nerdology convention?"

"You calling it the nerdology convention," she replied with a grin. He chuckled. "Let's see, I liked the new digicams and the keyless keyboard was cool. I wouldn't mind having that PowerFlex ALR, either. What about you?"

Spike frowned, trying to remember what it was called. That exhibit was the one thing he really paid attention to when she read the leaflet. "That thing over in that one corner. Bloody hell, what was it called..."

"Oh, that one," Willow said, nodding. "That was cool, too. Could you imagine Buffy using it?"

"That would be interesting to see," he commented, grinning at her.

"Tomorrow, we'll do the rest of the show, then we'll have to head back to Sunnydale," she said, kicking her legs out in front of her. "I promised that I'd go to the Bronze with everyone at nine."

"If you're not, will you turn into a pumpkin?" Spike asked.

"Watch it, fang face," Willow said. "Or I'll turn you into one of the mice." A picture formed in her mind and she started to laugh.

"What's so funny about turning me into a bloody mouse?"

"I just pictured a little white mouse with fangs wearing a black duster," she got out between laughs.

Spike joined her, the image appearing in his mind. "Cor, luv, that's funny."

"Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly," she began to sing in a mousy voice. "Make the fire, fix the breakfast, do the dishes, do the mopping."

"And the sweeping and the dusting, they always keep her hopping," Spike continued in an extremely high pitched feminine voice. Then he switched to his normal voice to finish the part of the song. "She goes around in circles, ‘til she's very, very dizzy. Still they holler..."

"Keep her busy, Cinderelly," Willow finished with a flourish.

They both took one look at each other, then burst out laughing again.




XXXVI - Should I Kiss Her?



Getting out was much easier than getting into the whirlpool. Spike hopped out first, making sure he stayed facing away from her as he dried off and threw his clothes back on. Willow quickly did the same after admiring his backside in the trunks, blushing the whole while. The trip back to the room was made in pleasant silence, each relaxed after the hot soak.

Willow dug around in the overnight bag until she found the shorts she'd packed for him, then allowed him to change first as she laid out the next days clothes. When she had planned the trip to the convention, she knew there would be a whirlpool and figured her friend did not own a swimsuit. While she had been out, she decided she'd better get him an extra set of clothes because the overnight part was to be a surprise. The expression on his face when she told him about staying at the hotel was well worth it.

Spike came out of the bathroom wearing the shorts and his black T-shirt, gesturing to the open door. "Milady," he said. Willow rolled her eyes, grabbed her own sleep wear and went into the bathroom. He chuckled, then went over to the bed which was to be his and propped himself up on it, flicking the television remote. He surfed for several minutes until the hacker emerged from the bathroom, dressed similarly as he in a navy blue T-shirt and plaid shorts. *She's cute,* he thought, giving her a grin.

"What'cha watching?" Willow asked, plopping down on his bed on her stomach and purposely wagging her feet in his face.

He grabbed a foot and ran his black nails over it, making her squeal, then began to massage it. "Don't know," he replied.

"Well, gimme the remote," she instructed, twisting her body to look behind her at him. He chuckled at her position, then snatched the remote off the mounted night stand between the two double beds, handing it to her. She began to flip stations until she landed on PBS, smiling when she saw one of her favorite British comedies.

"What's this, ducks?" Spike asked, rubbing small circles along the bottom of her foot.

"Are You Being Served?" Willow replied, bouncing her head to the opening credits. "I like this show, especially Mr. Humphries. He's a hoot."

"I've seen this," he stated, recognizing the characters once they came on screen. "I liked the one where they dressed up as the nursery rhyme characters."

"Where Mr. Lukas was not-so-little boy blue, honking his horn under Mrs. Slocum's dress?" she said with a grin over her shoulder.

"Pet, you're not suppose to be noticing that sort of thing," he scolded, moving onto the other foot. "Virgin eyes and all that rot."

"I bet you'd fancy a little romp with Ms. Brown," Willow said in a very good imitation of Mrs. Slocum's British accent. "Or are you more into Mr. Humphries?"

Spike closed his eyes and groaned, stilling his hands on her foot. "That was bloody awful, pet."

"Hey, get back to work, Sexy Knickers," Willow commanded, wiggling her foot in his hand. He arched his brow at her name calling. "What? You can call me ‘pet', ‘luv', ‘ducks,' and ‘kitten' but I can't call you ‘Sexy Knickers'?"

"Not if you want to live to see tomorrow," he replied.

"Sexy Knickers, Sexy Knickers, Sexy Knickers," she teased in a sing song voice.

Spike growled playfully and bit lightly on the side of her foot. Willow squealed as it tickled, twisting her body to grab the top of his knee in retaliation. He let go of her foot, scrambling to get away from her strong fingers tickling him, sitting on the other bed.

Willow gave him a naughty grin, then pounced across the open space between the two beds, tackling him. She started tickling his ribs, taunting him the whole while. "Sexy Knickers is ticklish, Sexy Knickers is ticklish."

Spike was laughing so hard, it hurt as he fought to grab her wrists. Finally, he was able to latch onto them and he yanked her down on top of him, rolling so she was beneath him, while raising her hands above her head in a parody of the food fight scene in the kitchen weeks ago. The were face to face, scant inches apart, both still laughing until they realized at the same time how close they were.

"You are a wonder," Spike whispered, staring into her green eyes.

Willow was breathing heavily, her heart hammering in her chest from the play and now from how close he was. *Is he going to kiss me?* she asked herself, not sure if it she was hopeful or not.

*Should I kiss her?* Spike asked himself, unsure if it would be a good idea. He really wanted to. *But if I do, I may ruin the best friendship I've had in a bloody long time.*

"Spike?" Willow breathed questioningly, searching his eyes for what he was going to do. Her own eyes widened as he brought his face closer to hers. *Eep!*

Spike grinned as he rested his forehead against hers so they were looking at each other cross eyed. "So, where's this tattoo I heard you got?"




XXXVII - Sexy Knickers



Spike's question diffused the slight tension between the two and he rolled to lay next to her on the bed. He turned his head to the television. "We're missing the show."

Willow rolled onto her side to look over him at the TV, glad for the distraction away from what just did not occur. "This is the Big Brother episode," she noted.

"I read that book," Spike said, folding his hands across his stomach as he watched. "Took me a bloody long time, too."

"How long is ‘bloody long'?" Willow asked teasingly.

He looked over at her and rolled his eyes. "On that note," he said, pushing himself up. "I think we should get some sleep. I don't fancy a grumpy Witch to accompany me tomorrow."

"Afraid I'll turn you into a mouse?"

"You bet your sweet bippy," he replied, crossing to his own bed. Willow laughed as she crawled under the covers, switching off the light. He used the remote to turn of the television, then repeated her actions. "Goodnight, kitten."

"Goodnight, Sexy Knickers," Willow said, glancing over at the window to make sure the heavy curtains were closed completely.

"You're not going to drop that idiotic nickname any time soon, are you?"

"Nope."

Spike sighed. "Didn't think so."




XXXVIII - No Reversing



"How am I suppose to drive the car if I can't see out the windows?" Willow asked in a panicked voice the next morning as they stood in the hotel lobby near the doors. There was a cement overhang in front of the hotel, but no valet service, so Willow was the one who had to retrieve the car.

"You'll do fine, kitten," Spike said, handing her the keys. "I didn't park near anyone, and all you have to do is drive forward. No reversing required."

"But what if I nick someone's car? Or run over those planters? Or crash into something? Or someone?"

"Willow," he said, putting both hands on her green sweater clad shoulders. He waited until she looked up at him. "You'll do fine."

"Right. Fine," she repeated, nodding but not losing her worried look. "Here I go."

"My poor car," Spike muttered under his breath as she walked out the doors. He lit up a cigarette, glad he could smoke in the lobby. If he didn't do something with his hands, he might rip someone's head off in nervousness and he promised Willow not to kill anyone at the hotel.

Hearing the familiar hum of the engine, he smiled in relief as his 1959 DeSoto pulled up to the doors. Quickly exiting the building, he skirted around to the driver's side, avoiding the sun, and climbed in. He looked over at Willow who had slid to the passenger seat. "What did I tell you, pet? Piece of cake."

Willow grinned, noting as he quickly inhaled on the cigarette after his statement. "You weren't nervous, were you?"

"Me?" Spike asked as he put the car in drive. "No, I trust you." He took another puff.

"I can tell," she said with a giggle. She reached forward and flipped on the radio.

They arrived at the convention center a short while later, disappearing into the underground parking garage. Emerging into the already crowded hall, the two friends wandered to where they left off the previous day.

Several hours later, Willow plopped down next to Spike on a bench, opening her vendor made sandwich. "Are we having fun yet?" she asked with a grin before biting into her lunch.

"Dead cert," Spike replied, leaning back and resting one foot on the opposite knee. "Too bad we have to leave in a few hours so you don't do that pumpkin thing."

"You just think you're so funny," she said, tossing her wadded up sandwich wrapper at him

"Oh, I know I am," he retorted, throwing it right back. She rolled her eyes and took another bite of her sandwich. "Do you know what's coming up on Wednesday?"

"What?"

"Fireworks," Spike said excitedly. He may not be an American, but he loved Independence Day. It was the perfect excuse to blow things up. "Want to go light some up with me?"

"I'd love to," Willow replied. "But I can't. I'm going to the Sunnydale Fourth of July Fest at the park with everyone. Well, not Oz, ‘cuz he already left." Spike pouted, making her giggle. "We'll do something on Thursday instead."

"Not as much fun," he said, crossing his arms over his chest, sulking.

She rolled her eyes yet again and stood, puling him up with her. "Come on, you big baby. Let's go finish this place."




XXXIX - Phone Call



Ring.

"Hello?"

"Hello, ducks."

"Hey, Sexy Knickers."

Growl.

Giggle. "What's up?"

"The ceiling."

"You're pathetic."

"I know."

"Are you bored again."

"Yes."

"I just saw you yesterday."

"So?"

"Spike-"

"Want to come over and play?"

"I can't. Going to the mall with Buffy."

"Bugger."

"No, Buffy." Giggle.

Groan. "Now it's you who's pathetic."

"Learned from the best."

"You're so bloody funny, pet."

"I try."

Honk.

"Spike, I have to go."

"Fine." Sigh. "Leave me all by my lonesome."

"Goodbye, Spike."

"Bye, luv."

Click.




XL - Fourth of July



Wednesday brought clear skies and perfect weather for the residents of Sunnydale. Kids ran under sprinklers, fathers fired up the barbeques, teens let off bottle rockets all in celebration of their country's Independence Day.

Willow tucked her plain white tank top into her green cut-off shorts that ended mid-thigh, quite frayed from frequent wear. Her hair pulled back into a french braid, she laced up her green sneakers, then grabbed her sunglasses and backpack.

With a happy skip, she emerged from her house into the hot California sun. Pausing to look up into the cloudless sky, she turned and headed for Xander's house.

"Willster," Xander greeted, meeting her on the street in front of his house. His baggy red shorts and blue tank top a perfect combination for the festive day. "You're looking quite cool."

Swinging his bag over his shoulder, the two continued on to Buffy's house where they were meeting everyone else except Angel, who was to join them after sunset. "Did you remember the frisbee?" Willow asked.

"And the football and the water balloons," Xander replied with a grin.

"No, no, no," she said quickly. "No water balloons in this white shirt!"

"But that's half the fun," he replied.

Willow hit him on the arm. "No water balloons."

Xander sighed dramatically. "Fine, no water balloons."

They arrived at Buffy's to see Joyce and Giles, both dressed in cool, summer clothes, loading blankets and lawn chairs into the back of the Summers' vehicle. "Hi Giles, hi Mrs. Summers."

"Hello you two," Joyce greeted. "Buffy and Faith are inside getting the cooler packed."

"I think that would require my assistance," Xander said, quickly heading for the front door.

Willow smiled. "I hope we have enough food."

"I brought extra," Joyce said conspiratorially, pointing to a cooler already in the trunk.

"Faith, just shut up and carry your end," Buffy said as she emerged with the brunette Slayer from the house, carrying a huge cooler.

"Chill, B," Faith said. "I'm just saying in those black shorts, the hotties will be all over you like you were a bitch in heat."

Buffy groaned and looked at Willow for help. Willow took in her best friend's super-short black shorts and matching spaghetti tank top. She felt frumpy next to the blond. "Don't look at me, Buffy. I'm not a guy."

"You look fine, honey," Joyce said, watching as they added the cooler to the trunk. She looked at Faith, who was dressed in black cut offs and white sports bra. "You both do."

"Thanks, mom," Buffy said. She looped her arm around Willow's shoulder to lead her into the house. "Are we all set for some serious fun?"

"I am," Willow replied. "I have my new computer book and my spell book and..." She took in Buffy's exasperated sigh and giggled. "Yes, I'm all for fun. No books. Just friends, food and football."

"Don't forget frisbee and fireworks," Xander added, coming out of the kitchen eating a bag of chips.

"We're being alliterate," Willow said with a bounce and grin.

"Hey, I can read," Xander protested.

"Not i-lliterate, a-lliterate. It means..."

"School's out, Will," Buffy interrupted. "Please don't make me learn something." Willow made a face at her friend, who burst into giggles.

"We're leaving!" Joyce called from outside. Buffy grabbed her bag and pushed her sunglasses on her nose before following Willow and Xander out, locking the door behind her.

The group of six arrived at the already crowded park a short while later. Splitting up the trunk load of stuff, they picked a fairly nice spot and set up. Joyce and Giles disappeared to wander the arts and crafts tables, while Xander immediately dug into the food.

"Hey, red, that's a great tat," Faith commented from behind Willow. "When did ya get it?"

"Saturday," Willow answered over her shoulder.

Xander and Buffy both looked in surprise at Willow. "But I thought you went to that computer convention on Saturday," Buffy said.

"I did," Willow replied. "I also decided to get a tattoo while I was there."

"Let's see this permanent disfiguration," Xander said, crawling closer to her. Willow turned her back to him and tilted her head forward slightly. On the back of her neck below the hairline was a small cartoon bookworm wearing glasses with a book under his arm. Upon closer examination, Xander could see a pentagram on the cover of the book and..."He has fangs!"

"What?!" Buffy exclaimed, shoving Xander out of the way to take a closer look. After seeing it, she sank back on her heels. "Geez, Will. I never figured you to get a tattoo. Especially a vampire bookworm."

"Well, I wanted something that sort of represented my life and when I saw the bookworm, I knew what I wanted. I had James - he was the artist - add the pentagram and the fangs, ‘cuz I like knowledge, I'm a Wicca and vampires are...well, a big part, too."

"I think it's great," Faith piped in.

"So says the woman with five of them," Xander said.

"Why there, Willow?" Buffy asked.

"Two reasons. I can hide it with my hair and that area is the least painful place to get one," Willow answered.

"Oh," Buffy said, then shrugged. "It'll take some getting used to, but it's cute."

Willow looked over at Xander expectantly. "Fine, it's a great tattoo," he sighed dramatically, flopping back on the blanket. Willow levitated the open bag of chips and dumped some over him. "Hey!"




XLI - Football



The electric hurricane lamps were set out intermittently through the park, each brought and lit by the many families scattered around as the sun set, waiting for the fireworks to begin at ten - two hours later.

Willow caught the football and began running, trying to evade Xander in their game. She wove between blankets and around kids playing together towards the made up goal line.

With a squeal out of the red head, Xander grabbed her around the waist, spinning her in circles. "Got ya!"

"Put me down," she laughed, kicking her feet.

"Not until you say the magic word," he said.

"And what's the magic word, Xander?" Angel asked, coming up to them out of the crowd.

"Deadboy," Xander said, grabbing Willow's arm and making her wave at the vampire.

"Hi Angel," Willow giggled as Xander set her back on her feet.

"Looks like you guys are having fun," Angel commented. The trio turned and began walking back towards the others.

"Angel!" Buffy exclaimed, bouncing over to them with Faith in tow. "You're here."

"Of course," Angel said to her. "You asked me to come."

Faith snorted, Xander pretended to gag and Willow held back her laughter. Buffy glared at them, then turned her attention back to Angel. "Come say hi to mom and Giles, then you can do a sweep with Faith and me."

"Weatherly Park on the Fourth of July," Xander said as the group continued on to where they chose to set the blanket. "Can we say all you can eat buffet?"

"That's why we're going to patrol, nimrod," Faith said.

"H-Hello, Angel," Giles greeted, cutting off any comebacks from Xander.

"Hello, Rupert, Joyce," Angel said to the two in the lawn chairs. "Enjoying yourselves?"

"Very much so," Joyce replied.

"We're gonna sweep the park, Giles," Buffy said, picking up her small shoulder bag and swinging it over her shoulder.

"Be careful," Joyce told her as the three walked away.

"We will," Buffy called over her shoulder.

Willow and Xander looked at each other and grinned. "Go long, Wills," Xander instructed, taking the football from her.

Willow took off once again, dodging blankets and people before turning to catch the ball as it sailed to her. With an exhilarated laugh for accomplishing something so fun and summery, she pulled back her arm and threw the ball back to her oldest friend, using a bit of magick to assist her.

She didn't get to see if Xander caught it because a group of people crossed her view. One of them stopped directly in front of her, presenting her with a perfect view of the back of his blue jeans, dark grey T-shirt and an old, well-worn, backwards Dodger's cap.

"Um, excuse me," Willow said to his back.

"You have a great arm, kitten."

"Spike," she said with genuine happiness in her voice. "I didn't know you were going to be here."

Spike turned to face her, a smile on his lips. "And miss all this?" he asked, gesturing to the screaming children that ran by them.

Willow looked past his arm and saw Xander searching for her "Hold that thought," she said to Spike, stepping around him to wave her arms at Xander.

Xander nodded and brought his arm back, throwing her the ball. She was about to catch it when Spike snaked his hands out and grabbed it out of the air just in front of her chest. "Hey!"

Spike snickered near her ear, then took off running, ball in his arms. Willow spun on her heel and went after him. "You give me that ball back, Spike!"

He looked over his shoulder at her. "Make me," he called back.

She stopped running with a wicked grin on her face. She watched as Spike tripped over a cooler that suddenly appeared in his path, having been moved quickly by her magick from a nearby blanket.

She jogged up to the fallen vampire, who peered at her with a combination of laughter and mock anger. "You cheated," he complained.

"Yup," Willow agreed, bending to snatch the ball out of his hands.

Spike pushed himself to his feet. "Want to go for a walk, pet?"

"Sure," Willow said. "Just let me give this back to Xander."

He walked with her until the brunette teen came into sight, then told her he'd wait there. Willow continued on, tossing the ball at Xander as she came up to him. "Who's that?" Xander asked, looking past her to where Spike stood waiting, but not recognizing him.

"That's, uh...Billy," Willow replied, remembering what she told Buffy. "We're gonna go for a walk."

"Do you think that's a good idea? It's buffet hour and he doesn't have the Xander seal of approval," he said.

"I'll be back before the fireworks," she said in reply, turning and walking away with a smile.

"Where's Willow going?" Buffy asked, coming up behind Xander with Angel and Faith. They watched as the red head joined the person in jeans and a T-shirt.

"Billy," Xander answered, watching his best friend laugh at something, then walk off with him.

"Think we should follow?" Angel asked, wondering why the person with Willow seemed familiar.

"Nah," Buffy said. "Willow said he passed the bad guy test. We'll grill her when she comes back."




XLII- A Sheep In Wolf's Clothing



"What did you do today?" Willow asked as the two friends walked slowly through the park.

"Tried to sleep, but that lasted only about two hours," Spike replied, smacking his hands against an overhanging branch as they passed under it. "Tried to ring you, but you weren't home."

"I was here," she said, ignoring his fake glare. "Can't you tell by my sunburnt nose?"

"So that's why it's pink," he said. "And I thought you were trying out for the job as Rudolph."

Willow smacked his arm. "Just for that, I won't show you the tattoo."

"You mean I actually get to see it?" Spike asked incredulously, stopping.

She rolled her eyes and turned her back to him. "See?" she said, pointing to the back of her neck.

Spike bent closer to her, moving some stray, red hairs off her neck. A slow smile spread across his face when he saw it. "Fangs, pet?"

"Well, I wanted to have something that represented my life," Willow began, preparing to repeat the same story she told earlier.

"Fangs for the vampires, pentagram for your witchy-ness, bookworm for your nerdy-ness," Spike said, nodding his head. Willow's mouth dropped open in surprise. "Too bad you couldn't put a computer mouse or something like that, too."

"You-you-you got what I did," Willow stammered. "You got it right. That's exactly right."

He gave her a half-smirk, then continued walking. "You know what I would get if tattoos would work on vampires, kitten?"

Willow snapped out of her amazement at his question. "Let me think," she told him, studying his profile as they walked. If he knew her that well already, perhaps she knew him better than she thought, too. Then her mind clicked on what she had seen close to a month ago. "A violet. Just below your elbow on your inner arm, I'd bet."

It was Spike's turn to be surprised. "You got it bloody perfect in one guess. I would have sworn you would say a railroad spike or something to do with blood and guts, my favorite combinations."

"Spike, you're not much more than a sheep in wolf's clothing," Willow told him. She giggled at his expression. "I mean that in a good way. You're sweet, and nice, and-and considerate, and caring, and some other things that I can't think of right now. But you're all of them."

He stopped walking suddenly. Willow halted and turned to look at him a step later. She was going to ask him what was wrong when she found herself being engulfed into a hug. "No one has ever said that to me before," he whispered.

"Well, that's probably because you kill them before they get the chance," she pointed out, enjoying the hug. He chuckled and it rumbled under her cheek on his chest.

"Come on, let's finish our walk," Spike said, releasing her, then taking her hand in his. "Got to get you back to your chums in time for the fireworks."

"Maybe I can sneak away and watch them with you," Willow said thoughtfully as they continued on their way. "But then Buffy will really want details, and I'm not that good under pressure. I tend to spaz."

"But I'd wager you'd look cute doing it," he complimented.

"See, there you go, being sweet again," she said. "Big bad vampire, my foot."

Spike laughed. "Whatever you say, ducks."

"Then I say last one to that tree has to sing a song from Sound of Music. Go!" Willow was already off running before the words even finished coming from her mouth. She kicked up the speed, as if it were a real vampire chasing her, not just Spike.

Spike was surprised, but he took chase within moments. He had almost managed to pass her when a little kid darted in front of him and he had to do some serious maneuvering in order not to fall over him. But he had lost his edge and the hacker beat him by inches.

"I win! I win!" Willow exclaimed, bouncing on her feet. "Now you got to sing. Now you got to sing."

"Since when did you become such a tot? Spike asked, watching her.

"Since I won, now pay up," she demanded.

Spike sighed and leaned back against the tree, folding his arms over his chest. "What do I have to sing again?"

"Something from the Sound of Music," Willow replied.

"Why'd you have to pick that bloody picture," he grumbled, scrambling for one of the songs lodged deep in his brain somewhere.

"Because I know you've probably seen it and it was the first thing that came to my mind," she said. "You see everything."

"That I do, ducks," he said. "Alright, I have two. Pick one so I can serenade you and then go kill something to rid myself of the fluffy bunnies."

Willow giggled. "‘Fluffy bunnies?'"

"A or B, Willow."

"Um...A," she replied.

"Laugh and I'll tie you up and tickle your feet with a feather for an hour," Spike threatened her. She rolled her eyes, then sat on the ground by his feet, smiling up at him. Deciding to join her, he sat and leaned back against the tree again.

Closing his eyes, he brought forth a tune in his mind from the movie he'd actually watched each time it was on PBS. Granted, it was usually Julie Andrews who sang the song, but the words could be sung by anyone. "Perhaps I had a wicked childhood. Perhaps I had a miserable youth. But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, there must have been a moment of truth."

Willow grinned. She expected perhaps ‘The Lonely Goathearder' or ‘Edleweis.' Not what he was quietly singing. "For here you are standing there loving me, whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good."

*He's really got a good voice,* she thought as he continued. *I barely got a glimpse of it last weekend.* "Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good."

Willow looked over to her left to see a handful of children standing there, no older than six, listening. She patted the ground next to her and they came over. "For here you are standing there loving me, whether or not you should. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something. Something good."

One of the little girls sitting closest whispered to her, "‘Nother one."

"Spike, do you have any other songs you can sing?" Willow asked, keeping the hushed area that seemed to surround them. "Something similar to that one?"

"Sure, luv," Spike replied, not bothering to open his eyes. He thought for a moment, then started singing again. "Early each day to the steps of St. Paul's the little old bird woman comes. In her own special way to the people she calls ‘come buy my bags full of crumbs. Come feed the little birds, show them you care and you'll be glad if you do. The young ones are hungry, their nests are so bare. All it takes is tuppence from you.'"

More children came over, curious as to what the others were doing. "Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag. Feed the birds, that's what she cries while overhead her birds fill the skies. All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares. Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling each time someone shows that he cares."

Willow smiled at the group surrounding her and Spike. *He's like the pied piper, only in a good way,* she thought as the song wound down. "Though her words are simple and few. Listen, listen, she's calling to you. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag."

Spike opened his eyes to smile at Willow when he saw all sorts of children sitting in front of him. His gaze widened in surprise and the red head shrugged her shoulders. "Do another," one of the little boys said.

The hacker covered her grin. "Yeah, Spike, do another," she prompted. Suddenly, the other kids picked up her words. "Yeah, Spike, ‘nother," various voices repeated.

He groaned and thumped his head against the tree. *Why me?* he thought, digging in his brain for a song. He sat up straighter and leaned forward slightly, arms resting on his knees. He lowered his voice and looked at each of the small faces mysteriously. "Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home. When the wind's from the east and the suns' from the west and the sand in the glass is right. Come on down, stop on by, hop a carpet and fly to another Arabian night."

Willow made a face at him for choice of song, but he ignored her, keeping the song in a lower key than normal. "Arabian nights, like Arabian days. More often than not are hotter than hot in a lot of good ways. Arabian nights, ‘neath Arabian moons. A fool off his guard could fall and fall hard out there on the dunes."

The kids asked for another then another song as Spike got into it. Willow was laughing as she prompted them to join in the various Disney tunes he sang. He switched from quiet songs to upbeat ones to those in between, gesturing or conducting. Soon, there were at least thirty children surrounding the friends and even a few parents on the outskirts with the younger ones.

Suddenly, there was a loud sonic boom, making everyone jump. Then, the first fireworks filled the sky. The parents collected there children and, with a smile for Spike, headed back to their families. Willow stood as he did, brushing off the back of her shorts. Her own smile was huge as she looked up at him.

With an echoing grin, Spike put his arm around her shoulder and started walking her back to her friends, their heads looking up to the sky when it exploded in light. All the electronic hurricane lamps had been shut off, bathing the park in a pleasant darkness. Willow saw Buffy and Angel first, the vampire leaning back against a nearby tree with the Slayer leaning back against his chest, his chin resting on top of her hair. "They're so much in love, and it's so sad," she said quietly to Spike.

"That it is, kitten," Spike replied, bringing her to a halt. "I better let you go the rest of the way yourself. Don't want the Slayer to have to move."

"I'm glad you came," Willow told him as he removed his arm from around her shoulder.

"I'm glad I came, too," he said, tapping her nose with his finger. "Give us a bell tomorrow?"

"I will," she replied. "Have a good night, Spike."

Spike winked at her, then turned and disappeared into the darkness.



Continues

Back to main