Surprise II

by John Cope

Joyce put another tray of sandwiches down on the table and looked at the food she had prepared. "I've definitely overdone this," she said aloud. Oh well. Xander and Oz and Giles would go through significant sections of the feast she'd made and even the girls and the vampires might consume a calorie or two.

"Its all very iniquitous you know," her one helper complained from the kitchen. "The only reason Spike is able to celebrate a 221's birthday is because of the number of innocents he's slaughtered over the years."

"Giles please," Joyce shouted back. "Can't you accept that he's reformed."

"Reformed," Giles muttered under his breath. "Don't blame me when he takes advantage of your thoughtful invitation into your house to break in and murder you in your..." He looked up to see Joyce standing in the doorway glaring. "Your certain you've, er, m-made enough food then."

"Sure I'm certain," Joyce gave Giles another sharp look. "Rupert you may have your old job back but your my daughters Watcher not mine, I'll make my own decisions were vampires are concerned." She picked a piece of lint off his jacket lapel. "I know you like to worry about me but please don't."

Giles looked a little hang dog, he'd learned that when Joyce called him Rupert he'd overstepped the mark. "I'm sorry Joyce but I can't help it, I know you like him and in many ways I agree he's proving a decent useful chap, but he co-operates on sufferance only and he could turn on you at any time."

Knowing something that her lover didn't, Joyce just kissed him on the cheek and answered, "That won't happen. Now, how are you getting on with the blood."

Pointing to the in his opinion highly unpleasant concoction he was forced to work on, Giles replied, "Well oil and water may not mix, but blood and red wine do." He swirled it a little in the bottle he'd carefully poured it into. "I just hope it doesn't start to congeal before the birthday demon arrives."

"Don't worry, Buffy will have him back here on time." Joyce took the bottle from Giles and set it in the refrigerator. "Now be a dear and help me with these drinks for the kids."


A vampire clawed hand aiming to rake out your eyes can be a distressing sight for a young girl, but it was nothing that Buffy Summers hadn't experienced before. The vampire's wrist was grabbed firmly, a sharp twist locked his arm leaving him helpless to resist a series of hard kicks to the ribs, and when Buffy let go he staggered back and began a snarl but then switched to a whine instead.

A once helpless looking victim with a stake and a very dangerous smile on her face, he looked into her hazel eyes and saw his death written there. "So tell me, didn't your Sire tell you 'never go to a town with a Slayer in it?" the girl asked him. "Oh well its too late now."

Buffy's stance relaxed just a little her right hand gripped Mr Pointy firmly but her left came out fingers beckoning. "Come on boy, I don't have all night, if you wanna play lets get it on."

Blocked in by a solid mausoleum wall and with nowhere to go but forward the vampire charged and died. Having carefully avoided getting dust on a black trouser suit and white shirt, Buffy grinned as she carefully returned the stake to her sleeve, but the happy was ruined by an irritating slow hand clap from behind her. She turned and scowled at the blond vampire who leaned on a tombstone twenty yards away, looking now at his watch.

"Bravo Slayer an excellent bit of work, though I think Giles might have called it a little slow." Spike's accent went up a class as he mimicked, "Stab and move on, stab and move on."

Buffy heartily wishing she hadn't shared that particular conversation detail, it was used after almost every slaying and getting irritating, and she walked over to the vampire gave him 'the look'. "Thank you so very much for your input, remind me are we not supposed to be a partnership. Might you consider not leaning back on your ass quite so much next time."

*Oops,* Spike thought. *No bloody sense of humor.* "Oh come on pet," he said, gently brushing a strand of her hair that had come loose back into place. "He was almost a fledgling, two onto one would have taken all the fun out of it for you."

"All right," Buffy replied pouting just for effect. "Your right I'd have been pissed if you'd stuck your nose in."

Really, the Slayer knew that Spike secretly still hated himself a little for cooperating with her, and even more so he hated having to kill other vamps, (when challenged over the 'Anointed' he'd replied simply,"Politics can be a bitch"), but already this month he'd saved her life twice, but she was ahead having three counts of Spike saving on record.

Looking at her watch for the twentieth time that evening, Buffy said, "Ok a quick turn through Weatherly Park and we're done for the night."

"Have you got an appointment somewhere pet?" Spike was puzzled. Normally they'd be out for at least three more hours. "Its not like you to bunk off early."

"Oh, I just have a little something else to do," Buffy was suddenly all coy. *Jeepers girl, try not to give it away much,* she thought, then jumped in shock as Spike squeezed her ass. "Hey! Do you mind? I've told you before not whilst we're on duty."

"Sorry luv." Spike brought his hands into plain sight. " But if the something else involves coming back to the mansion with me, well there's not gonna be nothing little about it."

Buffy gently slid her hands under the leather coat and around Spike's back. She pressed her face to the vampire's chest and he gently hugged her in turn. "Its getting to be a good job. Slayers only need about two hours sleep a night. But ok, I'll come back to your place after we do this thing we've got to do," she sighed contentedly.

Spike gently bent his lips forward and kissed the top of her head. "All right then luv, lets get on sooner we're done, sooner we're naked."

With a laugh, Buffy broke free a little and pulled the vampire's mouth down to hers. Their tongues clashed, but as usual, Spike won. "Its unfair vampires don't need to breath," Buffy put on another playful pout as they began to walk side by side to the cemetery gate. "But I can think of times when its fun too maybe we could try them afterwards."

Spikes laughter echoed round the cemetery as he pictured those times and the taste that went with them.


Whilst Amy and Willow helped (or perhaps hindered) Giles in the kitchen, Joyce supervised an unwilling Xander and a as usual laid back Oz as they put the finishing touches to the decorations in the living room. She had considered Buffy's large 'Happy 221st Birthday Spike' banner to be excessive for a quiet celebration but her daughter had been so enthusiastic, she had eventually given in.

Whilst the boys struggled to get the banner straight without breaking anything essential, Joyce couldn't help but reflect on the changes that had occurred in the past few months. She still hated the life her daughter was forced to lead and the risks it entailed, but a little contentment had entered her own existence mainly due to two men who, for differing reasons, had earned her admiration.

It had been two months ago, just before Buffy had started at community college, that Joyce had walked into her kitchen unexpectedly to find Buffy 'smooching' a vampire. It was a reverse deja vu, and her reaction at first had almost been as bad as Buffy's had been to the sight of Ted kissing her (the way they'd been going at it in the seconds before they both looked at her in shock, she was kinda glad she hadn't come in five minutes later).

They'd both apologized profusely for the surprise, *looked at me like the poor old girl could keel over any second*, and fessed up that they were both very much in love, and Joyce knew that from the looks they threw each other as they said the words they meant it.

It was no surprise to her the events of the summer and early fall had been bloody and she was, quite frankly, surprised they were all still alive. A lot of people had been bonded by the experiences they'd suffered- fighting a turned Slayer and her numerous minions. Faith had gone over to the night willingly, Joyce reflected, saddened that they had let the girl sink to the level at which she, in a moment of utter despair, had felt she had no other choice.

Faith was gone now though, in the end Buffy had been stronger and, with Spike at her side, had proved herself truly the greatest Slayer ever to have lived. That was why she now guarded the Hellmouth alone the Watchers Council deciding that vampires in other parts of the world had a free lunch for long enough. The second Slayer was currently occupied in Europe and with a good deal of success.

Then there was Wesley, to whom Joyce felt indebted in a strange way. Had he not been a man so derelict in his duties, she would not now be in love with a kind, sensitive man who she knew her daughter regarded with perhaps as much affection as she did her real father, Hank.

Buffy's constant bitter comments (sometimes with added tears) about his treatment of her, her friends and particulary of Giles, had disturbed Joyce profoundly. He left Giles to do most of the work whilst still pursuing Cordelia (who'd eventually wised up and moved to LA). The plans he did come up with were near suicidal and his arrogance made Joyce hate to be in the same room as him.

So eventually she had found herself in Giles's apartment, two people desperately worried about somebody they loved, discussing Buffy's latest narrow escape from Faith due to her following a 'Wesleyite' plan.

"Isn't there something you can do?" she'd asked Giles, feeling close to tears.

The Englishman had taken off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Well the, er, Watchers Council gets all its reports from Sunnydale now from Wesley and to say that they're padded would be a severe understatement." "And if they found out what's really happening?" She looked up at him hopefully.

"Then most probably they'd remove him and appoint a replacement." Giles put his glasses back on. "But Wesley will make damn sure they never know what a fist he's making of things."

Joyce considered giving him a good shake, but stayed in her seat, asking calmly, "Haven't you for even a second considered filling them in about what's really going on?"

Taking on a slightly school boyish look, Giles had answered, "Well, they'd probably just dismiss it as sour grapes I'm afraid, and, anyway, it isn't really the done thi..."

"Its just not cricket!" Joyce interrupted him sounding rather like she was impersonating the Queen. "Is my daughter's life less precious to you than some half remembered schoolboy rule about not snitching?"

Giles got up and went over to a dresser and pulled from one of its drawers a large and overstuffed folder. "Of course I care about Buffy's safety, I care about it above all else. Here's what I've drawn up so far."

Taking the folder rather as she would a portion of humble pie, Joyce apologized. "Sorry Rupert. I'm tense as hell and your right, this can't just come from you. The Watchers Council has, I expect, never given a damn what any Slayer's parents thought throughout its history. Well now they're going to listen to me. Can I help you with this? There are things Buffy's told me even you may not of heard."

Giles had smiled back at her. "Joyce, I'm certain that between us, we can get the wretched fellow out of Buffy's life for good. What do you have in mind?"

"Well, the first thing we need to do," Joyce said as she scanned the pile of handwritten sheets. "Is to get this onto a more modern means of data storage. Rupert, where's your computer?"

They'd sent in the report nearly three months ago. There had been silence for a couple of weeks whilst Faith's attacks worsened, Amy had been wounded, Oz only narrowly escaped death in the same battle and only Spike and Angel working together had stopped Buffy and the Slayerettes from walking into a trap they could not have hoped to escape.

Then Wesley was gone, back to England to a job in the archives, safely behind a desk. Giles was temporarily restored to his old post till a new Watcher could be found.

Faith didn't know what hit her. Giles was a man inspired and the forces of darkness reeled as plan after plan went as near to perfect as a Gilesian scheme ever did. So it was not too great a shock to the Watcher when following Faith's final demise, he received a letter informing him that he was restored to his position fully and permanently. The council didn't make any apology for the dozens of Sunnydale residents who had died due to their folly, but then they weren't the kind of organization that ever did. Giles had taken off his glasses sighed and thrown the letter in the bin before getting back on with his work.

Joyce smiled a little, completely not taking in Xander's frantic catch of a precious ornament he'd almost dislodged as he tried to get the banner straight enough for Buffy's future inspection. Buffy's mother was reflecting on a point she had never told Giles. Her daughter had run up a tremendous transatlantic phone bill offering various council members advice on where they could stick their job if she didn't get her old watcher back. It had been fortunate for Giles's career that they didn't know she was calling from the mansion with a blond vampire standing beside her, stuffing a handkerchief in his mouth to stop from howling with laughter at the things she was saying. "Try 'listen you pompous ass' pet its guaranteed to get them going." He'd told Joyce it was the best $1,800 he'd ever spent.

The vampire, yes Spike, was the other man she had acquired in her life and she was grateful for his presence, for how happy he had made her daughter. Ok, she sometimes stayed out a whole lot later than Joyce would have liked, but at nearly nineteen, she was at an age where she could make her own choices and seemed to be making good ones.

She liked having Spike come round to visit. As he had fallen in love with Buffy, his angst over Dru had disappeared. He was a cheerful soul (or demon) and quite prepared to spend a good deal longer talking to his girl's mom than most boys would, (indeed she had seen her daughter tapping her foot in the hall a few times whilst they talked about things they remembered from before Buffy was born). Ok, sometimes he called her 'mum' which, coming from someone old enough to be her many times great grandfather, seemed a bit much, but she knew he meant it well and was proud of the way he was controlling his instincts. There hadn't been a killing traced to him so far, (despite what she suspected were Giles best efforts).

Indeed, the vampire had come in very useful on another front. She'd made Buffy sweat over the kitchen incident for a few days before finally sitting her down and sharing with her. "You know how Giles and I secretly worked on that report about Wesley, well of course we had to spend a lot of time together, and it got as we'd have dinner afterwards, and oh by the way all those extra gallery trips recently well a lot of the times I've actually been stopping over at Giles's apartment."

She kinda wished she'd had a pin to drop as her daughter looked at her open mouthed, but once the horror of 'two people her and Giles age having sex' had worn off, her daughter had been surprisingly cool about it, providing Joyce with proof that whilst Hank was still Buffy's beloved dad, she looked on Giles as her father figure because he shared with her the dangers of being chosen.

"There you go, Mr.s Summers. I think we finally got it straight," Oz said, stepping back and wiping the sweat from his brow.

"Hope Dead Boy, Jr. likes it," Xander added before catching the look from Joyce. "Sorry, Mrs. S, couldn't help myself."

The girls came back in, each carrying two glasses of lemonade and handed one to their boyfriends. Joyce nearly laughed at the guys expressions. She'd heard a rumor of a discussion on the chances of 'a beer' and had decided that at 19 and 20 respectively they were old enough, but why not make them sweat a little first.

"Wow, Mrs. Summers, you sure have decorated the place nicely," Amy said scarcely taking her eyes of Xander for a moment. "And you've made such a beautiful job of decorating the cake."

Willow looked across at her oldest friend and his new significant other and thought,*new love, isn't just so sweet in those first weeks*, then met Oz's smile. She hoped the party didn't last too long, as post virtual loss of her now one true love, she'd found new ways to pass the nights when they weren't fighting evil. Very nice ways indeed.

Dragging her mind out of Oz's arms she added, "It really is nice. Y'know, it was a good idea only putting on 21 candles. Spike might have had trouble blowing out the whole number, what with him not breathing and all."

"Well actually vampires can inflate their lungs and exhale just the same as mortals," Giles said entering the room with two glasses of white wine, he handed one to Joyce and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "Of course, if the birthday boy combusts due to standing too close to 221 candles, it can detract from the guests enjoyment."

"Oh, I don't know about tha..ouch." A well timed elbow in the ribs silenced Xander.

Willow nodded to her fellow witch approvingly, thinking of the recent times in which Spike had saved their lives. "Shouldn't Cordelia and Angel be here by now?"

Joyce looked at the clock on the mantel piece. "Your right Willow, I hope nothings happened to them."

"Don't worry Mrs. S, poor old Dead Bo...ouch," Xander smiled at Amy. "Please stop with that. Angel has to operate now in the different time zone that is Cordie getting ready."

He looked at his watch, "They'll get here about two minutes before or after Buffy and the Spikester. Take my word for it as one who has suffered."


Having run out of places to patrol with time to spare, Buffy was almost to Revello Drive. She was very slowly walking down past the shops, pretending to study the contents of the unshuttered windows, a very curious and mildly suspicious vampire trailing behind her. *Damn he suspects, ok girl time to improvise." She looked around her and thought, *Where's a lingerie shop when you need one? Well no other way to distract him so here goes.*

Passing the door of what had been Ethans, she turned, grabbed her vampire and locked her arms round his neck drawing him into a kiss. Buffy's tongue penetrated Spike's mouth, preventing a "Slayer what the hell's going on" from emerging. Pressing her body against his, Buffy felt his rapidly forming erection pressing into her stomach.

*So the difficult part is gonna be not getting shagged into unconsciousness before the party. Wow, aren't I the lucky girl?*


As predicted by Xander, Angel and a thoroughly well groomed Queen C arrived with a little more that two minutes to go. She was heard before she was seen, of course. "See stress guy we're here and with time to spare, worry worry worry its all you ever seem to do these days."

After Joyce had welcomed in the severely henpecked vampire and his mate, she'd allowed Cordie a few seconds for some very token cheek kissing of the girls, Giles and Oz, plus a hand shake for Xander before she turned the lights out. She had made sure that Angel was still standing beside her.

"I feel like a poor excuse for a hostess not being able to get you a drink," she apologized. "But Buffy and Spike will be here any second."

Angel sighed. "Don't worry about it, with Cordie you get used to being the last to arrive." He looked to where the girl stood whispering to Amy. "I swear since she got to LA she's worse, probably the amount of time she spends shopping has given her way too many choices of outfit."

Having a teenage daughter, Joyce could only nod sympathetically. "I hear ya, but its all thanks to you that this party is happening though..."

It had all stemmed from walking unexpectedly into the library and interrupting a conversation between three people very dear to her who were discussing the ethics of re-souling vampires without their prior consent. The vote was running two to one in favor, when everybody looked up at once to see Joyce and shut up abruptly.

With the kids gone, Joyce asked her boyfriend one question. "Rupert, have you even considered for one second the fact you might lose Spike's help if he gets his soul back?"

"Well I suppose that he might suffer the kind of collapse that Angel did," Giles was fiddling with his glasses, aware he was being called Rupert, not always a good sign. "But with friends around him, I'm certain that we could rally him back onto a level plain quite quickly."

"You don't get what Im trying to say," Joyce walked up to the cage and entered, pointing to the secret volumes that held the known lives of 'Vampyr'. "Is there anything in these books that tells you what kind of being Spike was before he was turned?"

"I don't quite follow." Giles was suspecting that his library was being criticized, again.

"Spike is in control of his demon, he hasn't taken a human life in months, therefore he doesn't need his soul." She held up a hand to stop the 'sound advice' she was about to get. "How do you know that his soul would actually improve him, that it wouldn't actually make him more likely to turn on us? You need to know what he was like before he was turned."

"Oh I see what you mean. If he was evil a murderer...say that could serve to make his demon stronger. It'll be difficult to find out about him. In fact, with the destruction of public records in London during the Blitz, it should be quite a challenge." A smile combined with a familiar absent minded look was crossing Giles face. "But if I get Willow to er 'Surf the net' whilst I consult my books..."

"Well yes that's one way," Joyce said gently. "You go do that whilst I go phone Angel and just ask him."

"Ahh," was all the crestfallen Watcher could find to say, but then Joyce kissed him and he perked up considerably.

Angel had been an unwilling participant in her research. He'd quoted old memories best forgotten as his excuse at first, but eventually confided, "I don't just have my own dead to account for, but the people my children killed as well. Spike's the oldest surviving vampire I created. He's been around for 200 years, feeding on perhaps 2 people a day, and he's created a lot of minions of his own. It adds up to a lot of grief. I'm trying to put behind me."

Joyce wasn't going to take that for an answer. So, telling her daughter she was off on gallery business, she had set off for LA, (she had found herself experiencing 'the look' and wondered if post her Giles revelation her daughter was checking up on her), she'd arrived at Angel's sun proofed dwelling in the early afternoon to find him waiting for her, grim faced at the impending interrogation.

This had been delayed slightly, however, glancing round the warehouse turned flat, Joyce couldn't help but notice obvious signs of female occupancy. "Angel is Cordelia living with you?" she'd asked, the reported situation at home being that the Chase fortune had seen their daughter in a nice apartment 'somewhere'.

"Yeah, she kinda insisted", a shamefaced vampire replied.

"Oh, say before we get started on our chat about Spike, let me just have a little look round." Joyce shot up from her seat and was off before Angel could stop her, heading for what she correctly assumed was the spare bedroom. Angel reluctantly caught up with her to find Joyce virtually standing in the closet. "Ok so we have one, a quarter filled closet, plus two, a completely tidy 18 year old girls room." Sshe turned to look at him. "So your sharing a bedroom, too."

If he could have blushed Angel would have done it now. "She kinda insisted on that as well."

"And I assume your doing the..." Joyce thought hard, "the whatever it is kids call it these days with her."

All the vampire could do was nod.

"How can you be so stupid!?" Joyce almost shouted. "After what happened last time, after what you did to Buffy. Haven't you learned anything in the last 250 years!"

"We took precautions," Angel said, not looking at Joyce. "We didn't put the world in any danger."

"Precautions?" Sitting on the unused bed, Joyce looked at the vampire quizzically. "What kind of precautions?"

"Cordie had Willow standing by in Sunnydale with a cellular phone, if I'd lost my soul she'd have had it back in minutes."

Joyce had a suspicion the conversation was drifting to places she didn't want it to go, but.."And if you'd killed her before she could make the call?"

"Handcuffs," Angel said, finally looking Joyce in the eye.

"Oh," Joyce wasn't a vampire and hadn't blushed like she was starting to for years.

"Cordie just got more and more insistent and kept working on me." The vampire shrugged, "She's beautiful and there are only so many dropped towels that a guy can stand. Anyway the theory she put to me was that I'm condemned to lose my soul again if I experience a moment of true contentment but that wasn't necessarily orgasm."

*Oh jeez, could this get any ickier?* Joyce however had to ask, "Well it happened last time didn't it?"

"That's the difference don't you see? Cordelia knew...she knew that from now on any woman I, er, have sex with will always awaken a little guilt in my mind over how I treated Buffy." Now the vampire broke eye contact again. "And a little guilt as well that I'm not with the woman I'll love for the rest of my life."

*Yes and whatever happens to her, my daughter's memory will live on with you and with Spike,* Joyce thought. Then she asked, "And Cordelia accepts that does she?"

"Well, she did date Xander knowing how he felt about Buffy and Willow, didn't she?" Was all the reply Angel could make.

Getting up and walking past the vampire, she gently placed her hand on his arm. "Be careful of your soul Angel that girl obviously loves you."

Settling back in her chair, Joyce got to the central point of her visit. "How long ago did you turn Spike?"

"It was in early December of 1804 in London," Angels expression was pained. "He fought for his life, most victims just screamed when they saw my game face or tried to run, but he pulled a knife and went for my throat." He shrugged. "I'm a vampire, I was faster."

"He was dressed ragged, and from where he was heading, I could tell he was a Rookery, that's what they called the worse of the slums. When I looked at the knife, I saw dried blood on it and patting his pockets, I found a purse with money in it, more than went with his clothes."

Joyce's heart sank a little. "So he was a murderer and a thief then."

"That's what I thought when I turned him, guys like that can make useful minions. And as Darla and I were away from the Master at the time, I needed to create a few. Plus as I'd just firmly established my dominance over her..." Angel noticed how Joyce was looking at him. "Ahem, well I certainly wasn't gonna be doing the heavy carrying whenever we moved house."

"Anyway, after he'd risen and recovered, it didn't take him long by the way, I asked him who he'd killed and he wouldn't tell me."

"I take it that's unusual in a fledgling?" Joyce looked up from her notes.

"Hell yes, as a Sire I expected respect from my Childe, but though I treated him really badly, all I could get from him was that it was a fucking bastard of a pimp who'd deserved what he got." Angel sighed, "I'd have staked him for the disobedience but he was proving useful, and he was handsome as the devil."

"Yes, he is," Joyce added.

Angel realized what he had said. "I take it that Giles must have told you quite a bit about vampires ahem, sexual habits, since you started dating him." Then though *Oh shit* as he realized he'd done it again.

"No actually he hasn't," Joyce said, trying to keep from laughing at the vampires discomfort. "And when did Buffy tell you about my dating him?"

Hastily (too hastily) Angel sprang to Buffys defense, "It wasn't Buffy at all, it was Willow last time she called Cordi..." *Damn*

*Ok,* Joyce thought. *Now I have two reasons to give Ms. Rosenberg a lecture, but at least Giles and I can cut down on the secrecy, Buffy no longer has her public embarrassment excuse. Good.*

"Did he have any family?"

"To be honest, I didn't give a damn and never really asked, but I don't think so. Life expectancies were short in the Rookeries if hunger, tuberculosis, jail, fever or syphilis didn't take you the army or the hangman would. I think it would have been a trip to Tyburn hill in Spike's case. He had a bellyfull of hate back then, I know."

"How old was he when you killed him?"

Angel looked pained at the word. "When I turned him, I think he'd just turned 26. I think he was born in about mid-November."

Joyce restrained a ‘wow.' "So he's gonna be 221 in just over a month. Do you remember a date?"

"No, I doubt he would by now either, but you could just call it the nearest weekend to the 15th if you want to throw him a party," Angel smiled. "And the answer's yes. Cordelia and I would be delighted to attend."

"Ok, by the way where is Cordie?" Joyce had expected the girl to have shown up by now.

"I sent her out shopping, with a credit card I set up for her aside from the ones her family finance."

"Ouch," Joyce had a teenaged daughter whose shopping instincts were minuscule compared to Queen C's. "That has to be expensive."

Angel just smiled before answering. "Some guy once said the two things nobody cheats are death and taxes. Vampires avoid both, so I've stashed away a lot of cash over the years, I guess Cordie's proof that sooner or later taxes always catch you up."

It was only the fact that she didn't want to hurt the vampire that kept Joyce from sharing the concern she felt over Spike's over zealous present buying for both her and her daughter, but millionaires can be like that, and Buffy had a level head (and the best crossbow's money could buy).

"There's a plot afoot to give Spike back his soul," Joyce said, her pen poised over the paper. "Give me your views."

Angel sat bolt upright. "Giles and Xander huh, don't let them do it. I don't know how he's achieved it, but Spike's tamed his demon. Last time I saw him, I hardly recognized him. Ok, he looked the same and all the cocky arrogance was there, but he wasn't the creature I created anymore. Who knows? Maybe if a vampire starts doing good of his own accord, a little of his soul grows back."

Silence descended for a moment, then Angel continued, "But he's always been different and nothing demonstrates that better than Dru. He loved her, and that isn't unusual in vampires, but he loved her monogamously and for nearly 90 years. I can't think of a similar case in all the history of our kind that I know."

Joyce could barely say the words, "So, you think its love that changed him?"

Angel just nodded, then in a voice that ached added, "And though you've tried to avoid mentioning it, we both know who for. Don't let them do it to him, Joyce, at least not while Buffy lives."

Their hands met and clasped gently.

Going back to her sheet of paper Joyce asked the last question on it.

"Anne Rice, did she do the interview, or was it all made up?"

Xander who was look out shouted. "Get ready everyone, here they come."


Buffy was running with a very horny Spike in close pursuit. The vampire distraction plan had worked way too well. She had come very close to doing it standing in a shop doorway. Unable to think of a better plan, she had broken free and run the vampire (using a weird accent) had shouted something *Tally Ho?* and come after her.

Three doors from her house, Buffy stopped abruptly and neatly side stepped a lunging vampire.

"Ow," Spike said as he hit the pavement. "That wasn't fair, Kitten." He looked up as she stepped past him. "Have I told you how cute your arse looks in tight pants?"

"Many times, in very appreciated terms." Buffy offered the vampire her hand. "Can you get up from there alone or do you need help?"

The blond vampire's grin in response was as dirty as they come. "Getting up's never been a problem for me pet."

"Peachy," Buffy said as she retrieved her keys from her jacket pocket. She walked to the end of her path and then looked back to see the vampire still lying on the ground watching her with the grin still in place. She whistled low and slapped her thigh, "Heel boy."

"Woof," Spike responded and bounded up and after her.

Bolting to the door Buffy began to pray, *Please god let them shout Surprise BEFORE he starts tearing my clothes off.*

Spike was seconds behind her when she crashed through the door and dashed into the living room.

There was a very surprised vampire indeed who was in receipt of the magic word and a relieved one, too. It was only the fact that he'd been running so fast that had stopped him from starting to unbutton his pants as he came up the path.

"Happy birthday, Spike," Buffy cried as she hugged him.

"Happy birthday," chorused from around the room.

"Happy birthday?" Spike asked confused. "Whaddya mean?"

"Don't you remember Spike?" Angel asked. "I'm positive you told me you were born in mid November."

The penny dropped. "Silly old me," Spike said, trying not to sound to much like he wanted to laugh. "Fancy forgetting a thing like that, but gosh its been a long time."

He looked up at Buffy's lovingly painted banner. "221 eh? Pet, did you do that all by yourself?"

Buffy nodded ignoring a subtle cough from Xander. "Yeah. I slaved on it for two days. Do you like it?"

"I do luv, I do." He looked around the room. "Just as much as I like seeing all my friends gathered here together, I'm real moved by this."

Giles brought out two glasses of his vampiric refreshment for Spike and Angel. Spike had partied at the Summers' house before, so he knew what it was. "It's a little early for toasts, I suppose, but I thank you all for accepting me and what I am. Cheers everyone and your good health."


Later at the mansion with a naked Buffy asleep in his arms, Spike lay looking at the ceiling, a big grin fixed across his face. What a wonderful night- good friends, good music, (hadn't Giles and Joyce looked good together, and he suspected even his Sire was getting a bit) and of course, eventually very good sex.

He tentatively reached up to the night stand for his cigarettes, hoping against hope to get away with it. He didn't.

"Buster, if you think you're lighting up in here think again."

He looked down. *It's just not fair, she hasn't even opened her eyes.* "Oh Pet, it's traditional amongst smokers."

"Yeah right," was her unsympathetic reply. "And I've avoided personally polluting my lungs in order to subliminally smoke your cigarettes, I don't think so." Now she did look up. "And what possible benefit is it to you. You're dead, baby, don't you know?"

Spike felt both offended and puzzled, *Why do I smoke, oh yeah.* "It's just to give me something to do with my mouth and hands."

Buffy gave him the other look, the one that didn't scare him one bit. "Oh well, if that's all you require."

Pressing him down with her hands, Buffy swiftly straddled his chest and he found himself with a close up view of Buffy's mound and the fine blond hair that covered it, her position opened her invitingly. "Well kind sir, would you like to try my patent nicotine replacement therapy?"

Nodding enthusiastically, Spike answere,"Sure pet, I'll try anything once. It looks a damn sight better than the patches."

Buffy lowered herself onto his mouth, his tongue went straight to work, penetrating her folds and lapping at the juices already flowing there. She gasped at the sensations she was feeling and took a fierce grip on the headboard even as she began to grind her hips a little. Spike freed his arms from under her knees just enough to grip his lovers buttocks and draw her even closer, his tongue penetrating her fully as she rode it like a cock.

"Oh Spike that's it, right there," she gasped as he brought a hand round and rubbed a thumb on her nubbin. Encouraged he rubbed faster, bringing a finger into play and she came drenching his chin as she cried out in ecstacy.

Recovering a little she looked down at him. "Wow huh?" He just smiled. "Still need a cigarette?"

"The urge has left me, kitten," he replied. "It's been replaced by something else."

Buffy looked over her shoulder at a large tent like structure that had formed in the sheet. "So I see, I think we should do something about it, don't you?"

Spike nodded and was about to grab her when she added, "You being such an old guy just lie there and 'think of England.'" She began to crawl back down the bed until she was straddling his hips. "Leave the work to me."

Buffy raised herself up and inserted the tip of his cock in her opening. It penetrated her easily and she gently slid down it till it was filling her to the brim. Gripping it with her vaginal walls, she looked Spike in the eye, licked her lips and gasped out, "So how does that feel then birthday boy?"

Feeling her lovely warm wet core surrounding him Spike replied, "Bloody marvelous pet, and I expect it'll get better."

Buffy laughed, then her hips came up, then down again as she began a slow sustainable rhythm that would drive them both crazy.

Spike had something he wanted to share he knew he could have timed it better, but hey. "Do you, oh yes pet, know the Queen luv?"

"No I, ooohh, haven't, ahh, been introduced."

"Ha ha haaaarr, she has two, two, oh christ, two birthdays."

"Oh yes, I mean ahh thats it trust a little now, I mean why two?"

"One's her real oooonnee, one's official, oh Buffy."

"Yes, yes, sooo what?"

"Well, I always, faster luv, knew Angelus had, oh, his brain with all that drinoohhk before he was turned."

"Huh, oh god come on baby, come on Spiiikke!"

"Oh Buuuffy, you see Pet, oh god, I wasn't born in November at aaaall, I was born on the, the, the 14th of, ooohh, July in 177ooooohyesss6."

The End