Buffy had fallen asleep under Spike's deft fingers. He marveled at the fact that, for the second time, the Slayer trusted him that much to be able to sleep in his presence. He was laying behind her on the bed, head propped up by his right hand, as he looked down at the side of her peaceful face.
"What are you doing to me, Slayer?" he whispered, using his left hand to brush a stray lock from her cheek. "It was suppose to be just that day."
He ran his hand lightly over her shoulder, down her side, then to her bare waist. "I've been thinking about you, you know," he continued his one sided conversation. "Ever since you sneaked out of my bedroom door at that bloody mansion. I worked my arse off to get my strength back, worrying more about you than about Drusilla with Angelus. Of course, that really brassed me off. Me, the killer of two Slayers, worried about a third one."
Gently, he let his hand run down over her swollen abdomen as far as he could reach without moving. "Did you know, those two that I killed, I don't really even remember what they looked like? I do recall how I killed them -- I won't tell you the wonderful, blood-and-guts details - but I can picture their deaths quite easily. You, on the other hand, are all I can see when I close my eyes. It's bloody annoying," he said softly, with an inflection of tenderness.
"When Dru and I got to Brazil, it just wasn't the same," he confessed, rubbing his thumb back and forth across her taut skin. "I gave her everything: beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy. And she would flirt. The last straw was when I caught her making out on a bench with a friggin' Chaos Demon. You wouldn't want to see one of those, Slayer, they're all slime and antlers, it's disgusting."
Spike sighed, his gaze moving to the butterflies on the wall. "Trouble is, it didn't bother me as much as it should have. Oh, I was right pissed that she was cheatin' on me -- again - but it was more of an ego thing than because of my feelings for her. I probably should have known things were bound to end, especially once I started seein' you when I tossed off," he chuckled quietly. "I bet ol' soulful has a grip like steel."
Returning his eyes to her, his grin faded into a frown. "What is he to you, Slayer? Is that wanker still the love of your life, or have you come to your senses and left the stupid git? Remind me to ask you tomorrow about that," he told her. "I hope you told him to shove off. I hate that prick. Although I like the soul-having one better than the bloody demon."
Buffy let out a sleep-filled sigh and snuggled deeper into the pillow. "You are very beautiful, Slayer, more so than I remembered," Spike said softly, his eyes tracing her profile. "But I think it was your strength when Angelus had no soul that caught me. No matter what he threw at you, you didn't break. I don't think there's a single human around that would have survived all you've been through."
He leaned his head down and placed a soft kiss on the side of her neck. "That day I made love with you is one of my best memories," he whispered near her ear. His hand moved from her abdomen to pull on a cord that was around his neck, freeing a small, handwoven satchel.
"Sometimes I don't remember that I'm wearing this," he said, sitting up slightly on his forearm to free both hands. "I got it from that magick shop a few days after we shagged. Left that shop keeper alive and everything, though I rectified that the other day."
He studied the strands of dark brown, rust and olive green woven together to form the tiny bag. "I can't tell you what possessed me to get it or why its been around my neck ever since. Dru never said anything about it," he murmured. He opened the satchel and let its contents drop onto the bed between him and Buffy. "I think she was right when she said I'd gone soft."
On the off-white comforter laid the small, gold, cross necklace Buffy had left behind that fateful day.
Buffy woke up before her alarm went off to find Spike spooned against her back, his arm curved protectively around her pregnant body. She would be lying if she said she disliked the feeling of him pressed against her, but she tried to convince herself that she would feel that way even if it wasn't him.
It didn't work.
With a soft sigh, she let her mind wander to the dream she'd had. She'd walked into the magick shop to see Spike sitting in his wheelchair, talking to the shop keeper that had been found dead a few days ago. He had accepted something from the woman, then turned to face her and whispered, "That day I made love with you is one of my best memories."
Spike had then wheeled past her towards the door and she saw Angel standing in front of it. Spike rose out of the chair and punched the dark-haired vampire, then strode out of the shop. Angel looked at her and said, "Spike killed two Slayers and worried about a third." Then he slowly morphed into Drusilla, who sprouted antlers. "Beautiful dresses and beautiful girls, he sees you when he closes his eyes," the vampiress said. And that was all she could remember.
Buffy didn't know what to make of the dream, other than Spike's whispered statement. When she thought of that, she got pleasant chills down her spine. Mentally calling herself an idiot for dreaming about the peroxide-blond, she carefully maneuvered out of bed in order to get ready for school.
"You know, I think you might want to start charging Spike room and board," Buffy said a short while later to her mother. "He stayed here again. Maybe there's a sign outside that reads ‘Annoying Vampire Inn.'"
"As long as it doesn't say ‘Free breakfast,'" Joyce joked, as her daughter went about making breakfast for herself.
"Don't you even care that he stayed?" Buffy asked.
"Did he do something that I should care about?" Joyce countered with an arched brow. Buffy shook her head vehemently. "Then no."
"Sure, you cared about when I stayed with Angel, but not when there's a sexy demon sleeping in my bed," Buffy muttered.
"Sexy demon?" Joyce said, trying not to smile.
"I think I'll go to school now," the Slayer said, blushing. She grabbed her bag and went out the kitchen door. Thirty seconds later, she came back. "Um, can I get a ride?"
"You didn't call me!" Willow exclaimed as she caught up to Buffy outside of the high school.
"Sorry," the blond Slayer apologized. "I fell asleep early."
"Oh, well, ok then," Willow said. "But next time, call me first!"
"Excited much?" Buffy said with a grin. She led the hacker over to a bench and sat down. "Alright, spill. Why the big smile?"
"Oz and I..., we..., yesterday...," Willow stammered, blushing.
Buffy's mouth dropped open. "Oh my god! You carpe'd Oz!"
"Shhh!" the redhead replied, her face turning more crimson. "Keep your voice down!"
"Willow!" Buffy squealed.
"There are two beautiful ladies sitting at my table," Xander said as he sat down at lunch in the cafeteria with Buffy, Willow, Oz and Cordelia. He glanced at Cordelia and winked. "And one drop-dead gorgeous one."
"Why thank you, Xand," Buffy said, primping her hair exaggeratedly. She and Willow broke into giggles.
"So, what's on the agenda tonight?" Xander asked, digging into his lunch.
"Trick," Buffy said. "Like Faith said, he's been too quiet. I want to know why."
"Do you think he's planning something?" Willow said.
"He's a vampire, Willow," Cordelia replied. "Of course he's planning something."
"Are you going down to Willy's?" Oz asked Buffy.
"Yeah. After school," Buffy said.
"I take it you won the fight with the Bleached Wonder," Xander said. "Should I stop by the coffee shop with a dustbuster?"
Buffy frowned. "Why would you do that?"
"Didn't Spike meet Mr. Pointy?" Xander asked.
"No," she answered.
"I think Buffy has the hots for dear old Dad," Cordelia said.
"Do not," Buffy replied, studiously looking down at her food.
"Come on, Buffy," Cordelia continued. "You had sex with the guy. There had to be some attraction to him. Unless you're a slut."
"Cordelia," Willow gasped. The brunette shrugged.
"I am not a slut," Buffy said, tears welling in her eyes.
"Then why did you sleep with him?" Cordelia asked.
"Cordy-" Xander warned, putting his hand on his girlfriend's knee.
"Because he is less of a demon than you are," the Slayer hissed, then stood and left as quickly as she could.
"Great going, Cordy," Willow said, rising to follow Buffy. Oz shook his head and left, as well.
"What?" Cordelia said.
"You know what," Xander told her. "And you owe Buffy an apology."
Cordelia stared into his furious eyes and then dropped her head. "You're right. That was stupid of me."
"Very," Xander agreed. She scowled at him, but stood to go find Buffy.
Buffy entered Willy's Alibi Bar and grinned when the unconventional owner announced her presence to the few vampires scattered around the room. They quickly left through the ‘back' entrance as she went up to the bar. "Hi, Willy."
"Hello, Slayer. What brings you by?" Willy asked, throwing a towel over his shoulder. "Come to take the offer to pose for my cousin?"
"I wanted to know if you've heard anything about Trick," Buffy said, ignoring his second question. Her hurt over what Cordelia had implied had vanished in a typical pregnant mood swing once the brunette cheerleader apologized.
"Now you know better than to ask me that," Willy replied. "I don't divulge what my clientele say about Trick planning a surprise for a certain vampire that has returned to town."
"I wouldn't want you to get in trouble," she said, smiling. "I won't even ask what sort of surprises Trick has."
"Thanks, doll," he said. "Those privy to the dozen or so vampires who frequent the place want to ensure that they can talk in safety."
"Got it," Buffy nodded. "Well, thanks for nothing."
"You're welcome, Slayer," Willy replied, as Buffy turned to go. "And don't forget to think some more on the offer." Buffy rolled her eyes at him, then left the bar.
"So we're looking for a posse," Faith summarized later that evening at the library.
"Pretty much," Buffy said as she loaded up on stakes.
"And we want to stop them why?" Xander asked, passing out more slaying equipment to the others in the room. Buffy glared at him.
"Xander, just because Spike is an ass-er, idiot, he's still the baby's father," Angel answered the teen's question.
"Nice save," Oz commented.
"I gather we are going in our standard teams?" Giles inquired.
"Yup," Willow said. "You and Faith. Me, Oz and Angel. Cordelia, Xander and Buffy."
"Everyone have their radios?" Buffy asked. With their nods, she said, "Then let's go hunting."
"Hello, Spike," Joyce said as the vampire entered the kitchen. "Did you sleep well?"
"Peachy," Spike answered, giving Buffy's mother a curious look.
"That's good," she replied. "Would you like some coffee? It's made." She moved towards the cupboard after he nodded, retrieving a mug and pouring the hot liquid into it.
"Joyce, can I ask you something?" Spike asked as he took the coffee from her.
"Of course," Joyce replied.
"Angel," he said after a moment, studying the colorful mug in his hands. "All the Slayer's friends seem to be comfortable around that tosser."
"And you wanted to know why, right?" Joyce surmised.
He nodded. "I know I'm never going to forgive the pillock," he grumbled.
"If you had been here when Angel returned from Hell, you might be singing a different tune," Joyce told him. "Even Rupert has forgiven him, although no one will ever forget."
"Why would my being here then make a difference?"
"Buffy had all of us take turns watching over Angel," she replied. "Those first few weeks, he mostly slept, but that sleep was filled with nightmares." Joyce paused to compose herself from the memories of Angel's painful features and his jerky movements when it was her turn. "His cries were so very haunting."
Spike still didn't understand, but perhaps Joyce was correct -- he had to have been there.
"Anyway," she continued. "We all spent time with him, helping him get his strength back and listening when he needed to talk. Now, he helps Faith and Buffy on patrols and is part of the ‘team' again."
"What about him and the Slayer?" he tried to ask casually.
Joyce saw right through him. Hiding her smile behind her raised mug, she replied, "They're friends, nothing more."
"Good," Spike muttered and took a long sip of the coffee. He set the mug down on the counter. "I'd best be off. Thanks for the coffee."
As he left, Joyce let out a small laugh. "As Buffy would say, jealous much?"
"Raven, Red Robin, we found them!" Cordelia yelled into the radio as the fight started. "By the mag-eek!" The brunette dropped the radio as her hair was grabbed from behind. Swinging around, she felt her scalp tear as she hit the vampire in the face with a large cross. He screamed, his face burning, and dropped her hair. She scrambled backwards away from him.
Buffy was fighting several vampires at once. Willy had said around a dozen. It turned out to be closer to twenty. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Xander and Cordelia team together and start beating off vampires.
"Come on, backup," Buffy muttered as she staked one of her attackers. Depending on where the others were, the aforementioned backup could get there in thirty seconds, or thirty minutes. And with this many vampires, the sooner they arrived, the better.
Spike heard the fighting before he saw it. And when he was close enough, all he could see was red as rage and fear encompassed him. With a loud roar, he launched himself at the three vampires around Buffy, breaking one's neck before he threw a second one as far as he could.
The fight Spike came upon was intense, despite there being eight -- now nine - against the posse of vampires. Trick had chosen some of his best minions because of Spike's reputation, and they were hard to defeat.
But with Spike joining into the fracas, the tide turned in the Scooby Gang's favor. Soon, the few vampires still walking tore down the street, running for their unlives.
"Phew, that was a hard one," Buffy panted, leaning back against a storefront window. She looked over all of her friends, making sure no one was hurt. Her perusal was abruptly halted, however, when Spike stepped directly in front of her and grabbed her chin. "Ow, Spike-"
"Do you know how bloody stupid that was?!" Spike yelled at her.
"Stupid?" Buffy said incredulously. "We save your unlife and you call me stu-"
She was cut off as he smashed his lips to hers, plunging his tongue into her open mouth, in a hard, punishing kiss.
Buffy glared at Spike as he followed her into the room. Since the kiss on the street, she hadn't seen him until that night. After leaving her breathless, he ordered Angel to take her home and vanished. Giles had quickly stepped aside when Spike had arrived at the Summers' residence, much to Buffy's dismay. All her Watcher had said was that Spike had more of a right to see the baby than he did. "Stupid Watcher," Buffy mumbled.
"What's that, pet?" Spike said as he looked at the various equipment in the small room.
"I said that I can't wait until we leave so I can shove a stake in you," Buffy told him.
He chuckled. "Really, luv, such violent thoughts. I like that."
The obstetrician entered, preventing her from retorting. "Hello, Buffy," Dr. Reynolds greeted. "How are you?"
"Fat, sore, hungry, and I have to pee," Buffy responded as usual. The doctor laughed as the slayer tried to climb onto the exam table. Spike was at her side immediately and helped her up. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," Spike said quietly, gently squeezing her hips before stepping away.
"Um, Dr. Reynolds," Buffy said, confused by the vampire's actions. "This is Spike, the baby's father."
"Well, hello Spike," Dr. Reynolds said, extending her hand. "Buffy has told me so much about you, I feel I know you already."
"Oh really?" Spike said, arching his brow as he looked at the Slayer. Buffy was an appealing shade of red.
"Yes," Dr. Reynolds continued, getting the medical equipment ready. She missed Buffy's pleading look. "When Buffy first started coming to me, she was already five months along. I've had a trail of people coming with her. First her mother, then several of her friends and her Uncle, but never the baby's father. The day she came alone, we had a nice, long talk about you."
"All good things, I hope," Spike said, grinning at Buffy's discomfort.
Dr. Reynolds lifted up the bottom of Buffy's sweatshirt and squirted her swollen stomach with a thick substance. "Well, she said that I would have to meet you personally to see how handsome you were," the elderly, white-haired doctor looked over her half-glasses at Spike. "I can see she was right. You do have sexy cheekbones, young man."
His smile grew, emphasizing those very cheekbones. "Why thank you, ma'am," he said, tipping an invisible hat to her. Buffy let out a small groan and his eyes flicked to hers. "Anything the trouble, luv?"
Dr. Reynolds clucked her tongue. "Oh, I'm just embarrassing her, like I'm suppose to do," she said, checking the machine one last time before setting the paddle-wand on Buffy's stomach. "I take it you're home for awhile now?"
"Yes," Spike answered, watching in curiosity as the doctor ran the wand back and forth over the Slayer's swollen belly, spreading out the lubricant.
"Good," Dr. Reynolds said. "A husband should be with his wife when she's expecting. Ah, there we are."
Spike's head had shot up with the doctor's words of his supposed position in Buffy's life and froze when he saw the monitor. The image on the small, black and white screen hit him like a freight train. He was seeing the baby. His baby.
"Ten fingers, ten toes," Dr. Reynolds said, examining the monitor. "Plus that little finger between his legs. Looking good, Buffy."
"Thanks," Buffy replied absently as she studied Spike studying the monitor. There was an expression of complete awe on his face. She felt him find her hand, and she shifted her gaze in time to see him interlace his fingers with hers. He squeezed it somewhat tightly, unconsciously expressing his emotions through that little action.
Dr. Reynolds turned and glanced at the two, a grin on her weathered and wise face. She watched as Spike removed his eyes from the monitor to look at Buffy and was quite pleased to note the obvious love between them. "Let's take a listen, shall we?" she said, turning a dial.
The baby's rapid heartbeat filled the small room, making Spike's head shoot up once again. "What's that?" he asked.
"It's the baby, Spike," Buffy told him quietly. "You're hearing his heart beat."
Spike swallowed heavily as the emotions overwhelmed him. He closed his eyes for a moment, and when he reopened them, he met Buffy's gaze squarely with tears in his eyes. "Cor, Buffy, that's our baby."
All Buffy's anger and bad feelings towards him disappeared that instant. It was replaced by a wave of happiness and something she couldn't name, and she whispered, "That's our baby."
The ride home from the doctor's office was made in comfortable silence. Buffy watched Spike from under her lashes as he drove, marveling over what had happened at the obstetricians. If she didn't have feelings stirring for the blond vampire before, she did now.
"Here we are, luv," Spike said, as he pulled into the driveway to the Summers' residence. He shut of the engine as Buffy undid her seatbelt in the car that had taken him almost all day to clean. Quickly, before she could do it, he was out of the car and around to her side, opening her door to help her out.
"Thanks," Buffy said, giving him a small smile.
"You're welcome," he replied, tucking the hand he still held into the crook of his arm and leading her towards her front door. "Slayer, I was, er, wondering if I could..., um...," he paused and took a quick, unneeded breath. Then, almost shyly, he finished his sentence. "Call on you."
"Call on me?" Buffy asked, confused. "Like on the phone?"
"No, that's not...it doesn't mean...," Spike said, stopping outside her front door. "I want to bring you out for dinner or something. Bloody hell, what's the word..." He scowled at the closed door, trying to come up with the proper, current terminology.
"You're asking me on a date?" Buffy said, her eyes widening.
"That's it!" Spike smacked his head with the palm of his free hand. "A date. I knew it had something to do with fruit."
The Slayer's astounded look turned to one of confusion.
"So, er, Sl-Buffy, a date? With me and, uh, you, that is...," he trailed off again, as frustration built from stumbling over the words. "You know, I haven't done this since I was a friggin' human."
Suddenly, Buffy broke into a beaming smile, his awkward attempt at asking her out going right to her heart. "I'd love to go out with you, Spike," she told him.
"Really?" Spike said, his face reflecting shock. Then he swiftly recovered. "I mean, good. Saturday. Around eight."
"Ok," she agreed.
"Right. Well, ‘night, luv," he said, bending and placing a quick kiss on her cheek. He turned and practically sprinted back to his car.
"‘Night," she replied softly, a happy flush staining her cheeks.
Spike was in game face, growling at his foe. His foe sat there, unnerved, at his threatening sounds. Shoving his chair away from the table, Spike stalked violently across the room, only to spin on his heel and glare menacingly back towards the table. "Get a bloody grip," he told himself, clenching his hands into fists.
He closed his eyes and forced himself to calm down, the human mask descending over his features. Then slowly, he retook his seat and faced his opponent squarely. "Now, you're going to tell me where to take the Slayer, or I'm going to rip you to pieces, got it?" he stated.
With that threatening remark, Spike pulled the mocking Sunnydale Yellow Pages in front of him and opened it.
"But I look fat in this dress," Buffy said, making a face at herself in the dressing room mirror.
"Buffy, you look fat in everything," Cordelia replied, pulling another outfit off the hanger. Buffy glared at her.
"What Cordy means is that you're pregnant, Buffy," Willow said, diffusing the Slayer's anger. "So you're going to look pregnant in everything."
"That's what I said," Cordelia commented, handing Buffy the next dress. "Try this one."
"Why can't I not be pregnant?" Buffy pouted, letting the dress she'd been trying on fall to the floor, then stepped out of it.
Willow picked it up and replaced it on its hanger. "If you weren't pregnant, you wouldn't have a date with Spike," she said. "Unless you don't want to go out with Spike?"
"No!" Buffy exclaimed, then blushed furiously. "I mean, he asked me and I said yes already. I can't change my mind."
Cordelia and Willow exchanged glances, smiles on both their faces. "Are you sure that it doesn't have anything to do with your liking him?" Willow asked.
"I don't like him," the Slayer stated, scowling in the mirror at the new dress she'd put on. "He's annoying and smug and egotistical and weird and annoying..."
"You said that one already," Cordelia interrupted. "And denial isn't just a river in Egypt."
"Cordy, eat me," Buffy growled, shoving the dress off her body and onto the floor.
"Eew, no thanks. Do you know how much fat and salt there is in the human body?" Cordelia replied with a small grin.
Buffy and Willow burst out laughing at the brunette's horrible joke.
"Blondie's takin' B out on a date," Faith repeated, stabbing a piece of teriyaki chicken with her knife. She pulled it off with her teeth, and continued around the food. "I'm covering patrol myself tomorrow night, ‘less you feel like comin' with me."
Angel frowned at the open Chinese takeout container in one hand, chopsticks held perfectly in the other. Every Friday night, he and the brunette Slayer got together for dinner, usually carry-out, to dispel the loneliness that came from being outsiders to the tight-knit, high school group. "A date," he said, not liking the sound of the word.
Faith rolled her eyes, then pointed to another white box on the low table in front of him. "You gonna eat that?" When he didn't answer, she reached out and snatched it. "Hey, Soul-boy, the jealous look is not you. Go back to brooding."
Unbidden, the corner of his mouth turned up, as he raised his eyes to her. "Sorry, Faith. I'll try harder to keep my tortured expression in place," he said. Then he reached out and grabbed the container out of her hands. "And yes, I'm going to eat this."
"I can't believe that Buffy's going out with him," Xander said, shelving another book. "Angel was bad enough, but at least he had his soul."
"‘Everyone needs a warm personal enemy to keep him free from rust in the movable parts of his mind,'" Oz quoted, handing the top book of the pile he was carrying to the other teen. "Gene Fowler."
Xander looked at him strangely. "Ok, I'm going to pretend that made sense," he said, taking the book. He paused with the book halfway into its correct spot. "Wait a minute. Buffy better not be getting warm and personal with Spike. And her movable parts are what got her pregnant in the first place."
Friday, 10 December, 1999
I've been thinking recently that my diaries should be made into a television soap. The show could be called ‘Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,' and it could be part horror, part humour, and part drama. (I wouldn't mind if they got Anthony Stewart Head to play me. I saw him on stage once, in a reproduction of the musical ‘Chess.' Smashing job, he did.)
That wonderfully frustrating girl I call my Slayer has a vampire courting her. And this is the second one! Perhaps I should have given her the handbook when I'd first met her. Not dallying with the undead is Rule Number Three, right after ‘Always be prepared' and ‘Obey your Watcher.' But, alas, I did not, and she has proven time and time again that, because she doesn't follow the strict code of conduct for the Slayers, she really is one of the greatest.
If only she wouldn't insist on giving the old slap and tickle...
I shall leave that thought uncompleted, because it will do me no good to dwell on it. Buffy has a date tomorrow night with Spike, aka William the Bloody, father of her child. From my past entries about the peroxide-blonde vampire, I have noted how ‘human' he acts as compared to his undead brethren. I honestly believe he is capable of great love and devotion, in light of his relations with the vampiress, Drusilla. I have learned from Joyce that Drusilla had "broken up" with Spike, and that he was quite hurt because of it. She also noted that he was jealous of Angel when he questioned her about his sire's current relationship with Buffy.
Ah, there is the telephone. Perhaps it is the writer from that ‘Toy Story' picture the children insisted on my viewing the other day, interested in my telly idea.
Rupert Giles, Watcher
"Yes, Hank, he's a nice young-looking man," Joyce said into the phone, tongue in cheek. "I'd met him twice before, briefly. He only got back into town last week."
She stirred the sugar in her teacup. "No, he didn't know she was pregnant until he came back. You know our daughter. She didn't even tell us until she was five months along."
Joyce shook her head, wanting to throttle her ex-husband. "Hank, leave Spike alone. He's done nothing wrong...he did not have sex with her, then run out on her. He moved to Brazil, it's as simple as that," she lied to him.
"Fine, I'll set it up. Just call me with the date and time," she replied. "And Hank, no funny- business. I want my grandson to have a mother and a father."
Spike was nervous. He wiped his palms on his black dress pants, then straightened the patterned tie around his neck. He had flirted with his elderly neighbor at the motel he was staying in to tie it for him. Now all he wanted to do was rip it off, get back into his car, and drive as far away from Sunnydale as he could.
It had been close to a hundred years since he'd last dressed up for anything. He was glad he'd been smart enough to give himself and extra night to prepare for his first date with Buffy. Since he had an incredible urge to impress her, he'd picked a fancy restaurant to take her for dinner, and he'd gone to the mall to get appropriate clothing.
After briefly scowling at the empty bathroom mirror because of his nervousness, he grabbed his duster and headed out the door.
Spike was about to ring the bell when the door suddenly opened and a blond Slayer almost mowed him down.
"Bye Mom! Don't wait up!" Buffy yelled before closing the door behind her. She grabbed Spike's arm and practically dragged him towards his car. "Quick, she has a camera."
"A what?" Spike asked, confused by her actions. This wasn't how he pictured the date starting.
"A camera. You know, look through the little window and press the button, so you get a picture to use to embarrass me?" she replied.
"Oh." The vampire gave her a strange look, as he opened the car door for her.
"So, where are we going?" Buffy asked once they were underway.
"Dinner," Spike answered.
"Where at? The All-You-Can-Eat Human Bar?"
"Ha, ha, Slayer," he said. "Just for that, I'm not going to tell you."
"I'm a little overdressed for Bucky's Fondue hut," Buffy pointed out.
Spike glanced at her. "How could I tell under all that coat?"
She scowled at him and noticed his fingers drumming on the steering wheel. "Nervous?"
"No," he replied quickly. Too quickly.
"Uh-huh," Buffy said. "Then what's with the tapping? Got a song stuck in your head?"
Spike gripped the wheel and lied. "Yeah, it's bloody annoying. Some teeny-bopper group. Their friggin' voices haven't even changed yet.
She gave him a skeptical look, but didn't comment, and the rest of the ride to the restaurant was in silence.
"Flies," Spike whispered in her ear as he escorted her towards the entrance.
"Wha-" Buffy started to ask, then clacked her jaw shut and glared at him. He chuckled and patted her hand, which was resting on the crook of his arm in an old-fashioned manner.
The restaurant was four-star, located near the Sunnydale Country Club, and was patronized by the more affluent of the town. They had walked to the door only because Spike didn't want the valets to drive his car. The Slayer agreed with him on that fact, considering the windows were spray-painted over.
"Don't kill the anyone, remember that," Spike muttered to himself, as they went through the decorative glass doors, held open by a smartly dressed doorman, and into the foyer.
Buffy was looking around with wide eyes, drinking in the ornate room, with its gleaming gold chandeliers, soft pink furniture, and expensive artwork on the walls. "What did you say?" she asked, tearing her eyes away from her perusal to look at him.
But Spike didn't answer. Instead, he put on his ‘I'm a good bloke, not a bloodsucking fiend' smile as they came to the maitre de. "Reservation for Bradley," he said, setting two fingers lightly on the podium on top of a large, folded bill.
"Welcome Mr. Bradley," the maitre de said, taking the proffered money with fluent ease. "If you would like to check your coats..."
Spike nodded and turned to Buffy, who was unbuttoning hers. The room suddenly became stifling as she shrugged the coat off her shoulders. He tugged at his collar, trying to loosen it enough so he could swallow. As her arms were thrust back, causing her ample breasts to elevate and thrust up against the material of her dress, he had to get out of there. Now. "I...uh...be back."
Buffy was stunned when Spike abruptly turned and practically bolted from the restaurant. Coat hanging from her fingers, she glanced at the maitre de, then down at her dress. Tears welled in her eyes, but she forced them back and held her head up high. "Where's the bathroom?"
"Down the hall behind you, ma'am," the maitre de answered. She nodded and walked away.
"You're two hundred fucking years old," Spike growled, banging his head on the hard wall around the side of the restaurant. "Get," < bang > "A," < bang > "Grip." He spun and started thumping the back of his head on the wall instead. "Where's all that bloody control you pride yourself on? Just because the Slayer looks delicious, don't mean you can grab her and shag her in a bleedin' four-star restaurant!"
"Spike, why are you banging your head against the wall at my favorite restaurant?"
Spike stopped and turned to see Cordelia standing there, arms crossed, dressed to the nines. "Well?" she said. Then a look of realization stole over her face, and she smirked. "I guess you like the dress. I told Buffy she'd turn you into a blubbering idiot. Do I know the male gender, or what?"
"That bastard!" Buffy growled, the tears she cried moments before replaced with anger. "I'm going to shove a stake so far up his ass it'll pierce his goddamn brain!"
"Temper, temper," Cordelia said, having come into the ladies room during Buffy's outburst. "I didn't go through all that trouble of getting you a decent dress for you to mess it up."
"It doesn't matter," Buffy scowled, then sat down heavily on one of the couches. "Spike took one look at me and ran away." She started to cry again.
"Buffy, don't cry, you already look like a raccoon," Cordelia told her, reaching into her purse for a Kleenex. "Dab, don't wipe."
"Thanks," she replied, taking the tissue from the brunette, then wadding it up in her hand. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
"Some stuffy dinner with my daddy's associates," Cordelia answered. "At first, I was kinda pissed that I had to come, but now I'm glad I did, seeing as how you two bottle-blonds have already screwed up your first date. Oh, by the way, your roots are really showing."
"Gee, thanks, Cordy. Something I so wanted to know," Buffy sulked.
"You're welcome,"Cordelia replied. "Now, let's get your face fixed up again. Spike's waiting out there like a fifteen-year-old with his first boner."
"What?!" Buffy said, wide-eyed.
"I told you that dress would turn him into an idiot," Cordelia told her.
"Got so excited, he wanted to take you on the floor in the lobby," the cheerleader explained. "Fun for you, but not really the best place to get naked. Especially when you're...well, you."
"Thanks," Buffy replied wryly, then stood and went back over to the mirror. "God, look at me. I look like Shamu."
"Girl, Shamu never looked this good in violet," Cordelia said, then helped put the Slayer back in order.
Spike alternated between glaring at the maitre de, glaring down the hall and glaring at his tie. Cordelia had dragged him back into the restaurant over ten minutes ago, promising that she'd fix the mess he'd undoubtably created by acting like a complete male.
He saw the ladies room door open, and thought that it was about time. Then all coherent thoughts left his mind again as Buffy was practically pushed out the door.
"Cordelia," Buffy hissed to the girl shoving her from behind.
"Go," Cordelia told her. "I'll check your coat with Spike's."
Buffy walked forward under her own power before Cordelia shoved her across the room. She walked up to Spike, who was standing in front of the maitre de's podium. "Um, yeah."
"Cor, you are so bloody beautiful," Spike barely whispered loud enough for her to hear.
But hear it she did, and a shy smile crossed her face. "You look pretty good, too," she replied. She reached out and tugged on his tie. "I like the tie."
"I hate the fucking thing," Spike told her, then grinned, the awkwardness of the start of their date broken. "Shall we dine, Slayer?" He offered his arm.
"Only under one condition," Buffy said, taking his arm.
"What's that, luv?" he asked.
"You have to call me ‘Buffy,'" she replied. "Tonight, I'm not the Slayer. I'm just a girl on a date."
"Whatever you say...Buffy."