Of Hot Chocolate & Romance Movies

Rae Rosenberg
Fourth in the Dreams Series

I'm an idiot. A blind, stupid, moronic wanker. It's been nearly a week since Buffy came to my place and told me about the dream. We shared a bloody dream. That can't be good.

So now I'm standing outside her house, staring in the window, as the rain pours down on me. Joyce is in the kitchen and more then anything, I want to be inside there with them.

The Slayer's watching TV. I don't know what it is, but standing out here alone and soaking is driving me absolutely mad. I don't know how Angel does the lurking thing so often. I'd be as looney as Dru after a few weeks.

Dru. Wonder where she is now? I bloody do miss her.

I hear the front door open and I scurry behind a bush. Joyce steps out and calls to her daughter, "I'll be back in half an hour, Buffy."

"Okay mom, I promise no wild parties."

Joyce smiles at her daughter, and then leaves, walking to the car. She didn't lock the door, probably expecting Buffy too. The car pulls out and I walk towards the front door and step in. Slowly, and as quietly as possible, I make my way to the living room doorway. I peer in. The TV is at full volume, so she doesn't hear me.

The Slayer is clutching a pillow to her chest and biting down on her lip, hard. I glance at the television, still not recognizing what she's watching.

Her eyes drift over to me and the sad look is replaced by a shocked one. I almost expect her to jump up and put a stake to my chest but she just says softly, "Spike?"

I nod and walk over to the couch, plopping down beside her. "So," I ask, stretching my arm so it's behind her, "what are we watching?"

She's still staring at me in total shock. I rather like it, to be honest. "Uh- uh-" She stammers a moment and then finally says, "Sliding Doors. It's a movie. Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah...ever heard of it?"

I shake my head. "No. Is it good?"

She smiles. "Well, I like it."

"And what's it about?"

She points to the screen. "Watch the damn film and don't ask me questions." Fiery as ever. I see that the shock of seeing me was only temporary.

"Someone's touchy about their movie watching."

"Don't be an asshole." We both turn to watch the movie again and it's not bad from what I see. The characters are British, which is definitely a plus. The Slayer turns to me. "Why are you actually here, Spike?"

"Would you believe I always wanted to see uh," I glance at the video box lying on the couch near me, "Sliding Doors?"


"Well, aren't we cynical."

She shakes her head. "Nope, just realistic."

Realistic my arse. The girl is one of the least bloody realistic people I've ever met. "Really? Then why aren't you aware of why I'm here? I'd think it was pretty obvious, wouldn't you?"

"Obvious being that...?"

"That you were at my house yesterday, and - and...you kissed me. Good boy, Spike, I knew you could get the words out. And *she* kissed *you*. So why are you embarrassed?

"Oh," she sighs. Then she turns away from the movie and to me again. "You want to talk about it?"

"It would be nice."

"Can't we just watch the movie?" I reach for the remote but she grabs it and scurries backwards with it. "Okay, I'll be good, but don't take away my remote." She begins to pout, so I cave, mumbling to myself about how Slayers aren't supposed to be adorable, and how I'm a demon and it isn't supposed to affect me. I'm such a bloody disgrace.

"So," she says, waiting for me to begin.

What- I have to start talking? She's the one who kissed *me* and I'm supposed to start talking? "Hey, you're the one sticking your tongue down my throat and breaking into my apartment, Slayer. You begin the chat."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Fine, I'll talk. When I kissed you-"

"Cut the bullshit, Slayer. I don't wanna hear *why* you did it- we both know it was the dream. I want to hear what you plan on doing about it."

"Honestly? I was hoping to avoid you for the rest of my life."

I guess my expression must have become almost sad, because she hurried to correct that. "I'm kidding, Spike. Look, I really like you- as sick and twisted as that might sound. Maybe we could try to be together?"

"Because of a dream? Don't you think the Watcher's Council and all your friends might sorta be against that? I know that if Angelus ever found out, it would drive him absolutely mad..." I grin, thinking about that. That in itself is almost reason enough to date her. If the Slayer and I end up together, and Angel found out...just thinking about how angry it would make him is almost enough to give me a hard-on. Bastard. Serves him right for being such a whiny, mopey, soul-having wanker.

"I don't love Angel. I don't think I have for a long time."

"Why am I sensing you're in denial?" Could the Slayer be acting any dumber?

"Do you still love Drusilla?"

I smile sadly at that. "I'll always love Dru. I've been with her for over a hundred years and I loved her at first sight. My love for her is what kept me from becoming a completely soulless, mass murdering psycho."

"Oh." She smiles and gods, she looks beautiful. "I'll have to thank her, then."

I cringe at that thought- my ducks and the Slayer bonding. Ugh. "Actually," I stammer, "could you, uh, not?" The thought of them chatting it up is enough to make me sweat...well, blood. The things Dru could tell Buffy...and then Buffy would probably stake Dru, and I'd have this whole shitload of problems on my hands. More than I have now. "You and Dru conversing would be..." I shudder noticeably and the Slayer grins. "You find this amusing?"

"Completely," she tells me and then promptly bursts into laughter. The movie and thoughts of Dru immediately forgotten, I shove her backwards so she's lying on the couch, still laughing her bloody head off. I crawl on top of her, but she continues to laugh. In fact, I think she starts laughing even harder. I just stay above her, waiting for her laughing to cease, but she keeps going. Isn't she going to run out of breath or something soon?

Finally, her giggles subside and she notices how I'm leaning above her. She's still smiling, but her body has stopped shaking with laughter. "Hey," she says softly, staring up at me.

"Slayer, I-"

"I don't want to be another confusion in your life, truly I don't. But something's happened to me since I met you-" we both turn to the TV, what the bloke's saying catching our interest. "-something I wasn't expecting- and I don't really know...well, wasn't expecting. Repetition of expecting, must buy a thesaurus or something-" the girl stops him then, and I turn back to Slayer.

She looks back up at me. "You were saying?"

"Actually, I think that chap covered it pretty well." I'm immediately overcome by the strongest urge to kiss her. It's nearly staggering.

She shifts uncomfortably under me and I start to lean my head down towards hers. I feel as though this whole thing is in slow motion. As though it's some cheesy film you'd find on that Romance Channel Classics. I watched a lot of that channel when Dru was shacking up with Angelus. Damn corny romances. I kept wishing the entire cast would get massacred mid-film. This Sliding Doors is much better. Unpredictable, funny dialogue, no corny soul-baring love scenes. And right now- I glance at the film quickly- the two leads are shagging quite tastefully. Okay, now I'm just getting off-track.

So I'm leaning down to kiss her, and our lips are just about to meet when she says, "Stop!" I freeze, surprised, and stare at her. She's lying there, her eyes tightly closed, her fists clenched. "I can't."

I roll my eyes. If she would just bloody make up her mind... "I think you can," I tell her, and then kiss her anyhow. It's just a kiss, and if she struggles or tells me to stop again, I will. I mean, I'm not about to rape her, but I do think the Slayer needs a little prodding.

But she returns the kiss immediately and wraps her arms around me. This kiss is much more passionate then our last one. I can hear the film in the background, but all I can think about is the feeling of her lips on mine. I kiss my way down her neck. Only momentarily, it occurs to me how bizarre it is that finally, I get so close to her neck, and instead of draining her dry, I'm kissing her. She moans and my hand slips under her shirt, resting on her stomach.

And that's when I hear someone unlocking the door.

I jump up, possibly the fastest ever in my life, and swear loudly, "Bugger!"

"Spike?" I hear Joyce call out and Buffy sits up, straightening her shirt. I stand by the couch and I'm sure that if I wasn't undead I'd be blushing like mad right now. The Slayer actually *is* blushing as Joyce walks in. She looks at me, a half-smile on her face and I can just *sense* the confusion radiating off her. "Spike, aren't you- doesn't Buffy..."

"Despise me?" I finish for her. She nods. "Not anymore. Buffy and I have worked past the bitterness and bad memories." I glance at Buffy, whose color is returning to normal. She nods comfortingly at her mum.

"Spike and I have, uh," her voice sounds weak, and she's still a bit flushed. "We've found some feeli-"

"Form of agreement," I say, cutting her off. Buffy glares at me but I ignore it. Joyce is still oblivious. "I keep away from killing friends and family, and she allows me to watch movies with her."

Joyce glances at the TV. "Sliding Doors. Isn't that the fifth time you've watched it since we rented it last night?"

Embarrassed, the Slayer shrugs. "It's a good movie," she says defensively. I stifle a laugh and she glares at me again.

"Spike, would you like some hot chocolate?" I nod and she turns to her daughter. "You too?"

Buffy glances at me quickly, and then turns back to her mom and smiles brightly. "Sure." Joyce leaves and Buffy and I glance at each other. I'm standing as far from Buffy as possible while still being in the room and she leans back against the couch, resting her head against the cushions.

"What do we do now?" she asks me. What, is she expecting me to have all the answers? I may be nearly two centuries old, but bugger it all, I don't know every bloody thing. If I did, my life would be a shitload less difficult. Ah, the difficulties.

I glance at the kitchen, where I see her mum starting the kettle. "We go drink hot chocolate, Slayer," I tell her and walk towards her, extending my arm for her to take. She stares at it a moment, and then hooks her arm through mine. We walk towards the kitchen and I have to admit, I really like this. It feels really comfortable and right. "And everything after the warm beverages, we figure out slowly."

"And later, we'll finish watching Sliding Doors."

I lower my voice so her mum doesn't overhear. "Okay. But can we fool around more, too?"

She hits my arm. "Spike, behave." I laugh and pull out a chair for her and we wait for the hot chocolate.

*The End*