Season Four and Five Schmoop  - some on their own pages

 

anniversary - one partner sick

Really pushing it on this one, but I wanted schmoop that would be different from the usual anniversary kind of stuff; so I picked an unusual anniversary. And the schmoop comes more from Spike and Joyce than it does from Spike and Buffy, but they're here, and they yell at each other, so that counts as Spuffy, right? TBC in my wild card fic.

 

Title: Not Tonight, Honey

Prompt: Anniversary, one partner sick

Medium: fic

Summary: Spike wants to celebrate the anniversary of his first fight with  Buffy, but she doesn't feel like participating.

 

Not Tonight, Honey

 

 

"Come on out and fight, Shlayer!  You know you want to!"

 

Buffy opened one bleary eye and stared at her open window. The familiar voice floated up from the front yard, the words slurred, but understandable.

 

"Please tell me I'm hallucinating," she said, turning to look at her mother.

 

"I'm sorry, honey. He's really there. And really drunk.  I guess Drusilla sent him away again."

 

"Well, tell him to get lost. I'm too sick to fight him tonight.  Tell him to come back tomorrow and I'll happily turn him to dust if that's what he wants." Buffy rolled over and put the pillow over her head.

 

Joyce brushed her hand over Buffy's shoulder and said, "I'll try."

 

She walked downstairs and opened the front door.

 

"Spike, could you keep it down, please? Buffy's trying to sleep."

 

"Shleep?  She can't shleep.  It's our annivershery."  His indignation would have been funnier if he hadn't been in game face the whole time.

 

"Your <i>what?"</i>

 

"Annivershery.  You know, when I meshed up all her doilies and what not?  When you hit me with the axe?"  He looked disappointed as he faded back into his human mien and pouted at Joyce.

 

"You mean Back to School Night? When she was in high school?"

 

"Eggshatly! Big school thing, little bitty pretty schlayer, big fight.  Firsht time she ever hit me.  Firsht time I hit her.  It's our annivershery."  He nodded solemly, then sat down with his back against the tree.  "I want to shelebrate."

 

Joyce shook her head and sat down on the porch step.

 

"I really don't think the first time you tried to kill her is something Buffy really wants to celebrate, Spike.  Especially not tonight."

 

"But I didn't kill her!" he said, raising confused eyes.  "You shtopped me. That never happened before.  Shlayer's mum getting into the fight.  Why'd you do that?"

 

"She's my daughter, Spike. And you were trying to kill her. What did you expect me to do?"

 

He blinked owlishly.  "Dunno. Scream? Cry?"

 

Joyce fixed him with a hard stare that was enough like Buffy's pre-slay glare to cause him to shrink back against the tree trunk.  "That's never going to happen, Spike. Not when you're trying to hurt my child."

 

He nodded, his head dropping onto his chest briefly.  When he lifted it, he seemed more sober. "And that's why she's so good at her job," he said, a small smile twitching his lips.  "She's got a bloody brave mum."  He stood up and staggered, putting one hand on the tree to steady himself. He pointed to Buffy's window. 

 

"Why won't she come out to play?  An' why is she here and not where she's s'posed to be?"

 

Buffy's head came out the window and she glared down at him. "Because I'm sick, you dumb ass. And I hate my roommate, so I came home for some peace and quiet. So I could sleep. And get better. And be ready to slay vampires tomorrow. Come back then!"  She slammed the window down and disappeared from sight.

 

"I think she's mad at me." Spike sounded almost offended and Joyce had to hide a smile.

 

"Kinda sounds like it," she said, suggesting gently, "Maybe you should go somewhere to sleep it off and 'celebrate' your anniversary when you're both feeling better?"

 

"Maybe." He sounded dubious.  "But it might not be our anniversary then."

 

"Well, I'd be surprised if Buffy remembers exactly what the date was of that particular Back to School Night, so I think you could put it off for a day or so.  Anyway, it's the thought that counts, isn't it?"

 

He shrugged and pulled a bottle from his pocket, upending it into his mouth, then staring at it in disappointment.  With a muffled curse, he raised his arm and threw it on the grassy lawn where it bounced and landed closer to where Joyce was sitting.  He glanced at her face, then walked over to retrieve his bottle with a muttered, "Sorry, Slayer's mum."

 

Joyce held out her hand. "Let me have it. I'll put it in the recycling bin for you."

 

Rolling his eyes, whether at himself or her, he wasn't sure, he dropped the empty bottle in her hand and stood in front of her, head cocked to one side.

 

"Why aren't you afraid of me?" he asked, genuine curiosity in his voice rather than the usual querulous tone he used when he was feeling disrespected.

 

She raised the water pistol she'd been holding in her lap and smiled at him. "Because you're a gentleman... and I'm armed."

 

He stared at her incredulously, then broke into a hearty laugh.  "I like you, Joyce Summers," he said.  "You are one hell of a woman.  Just like your daughter.  Tell her I'll see her in a couple of days, yeah?"  With a small wave, he turned and walked away, only the occasional list to one side indicating that he was still drunk.

 

The End

 

Title: Taming the devil

Prompt: Wild Card ( free space)

Summary: Spike didn't leave Sunnydale after Buffy refused to participate in their "anniversary", so he finds her once she's out and about again. The celebratory fight doesn't go the way either one of them quite expected....

 

Taming the Devil

 

It had been a busy night. The vampire population had gone up while Buffy had been out of action. After sweeping through the major cemeteries and dusting a larger than usual number of fledglings, she was ready to call it quits and return to the dorm.  Although she felt recovered from her fever, she still didn't have enough energy to go looking for more work.

 

I hear my bed calling me. Hot shower, comfy bed, roommate gone for the night makes a happy Buffy—Crap!

 

She was almost back on campus when she felt tingles on the back of her neck. With a muffled curse, she pulled out her stake, hoping the vamp now stalking her would realize what she was and go looking for easier prey.

 

"I might have known," she sighed when a familiar blond head appeared.  She settled into a fighting stance, balanced on the balls of her feet and stake ready.

 

Instead of attacking, Spike stopped just out of staking range and cocked his head to stare at her.

 

"Feeling' better, luv?" he asked with what sounded like genuine concern.

 

Buffy blinked away that thought. "Better enough," she said.  "Let's get this over with."

 

He frowned.  "No banter first? No threats?  Where's your spark, Slayer?"

 

"I left my spark back in Restfield," she said, glaring at him.  "Along with the dust of a whole bunch of too-stupid-to-live newbies. Now, I just want to add your dust so I can go to bed."

 

"It isn't going to be any fun, if you're going to take that attitude."  

 

He pouted his disappointment; Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes.

 

"It isn't supposed to be 'fun', Spike.  We're enemies, remember? We hate each other and the idea is that one of us has to die.  Ringing any bells here?"

 

"I don't want to kill you," he said with a shrug. "I just want to fight. But if you're gonna to try to stake me...."

 

"What is wrong with you?  And what are doing back here any how?  I thought you'd figured out how to make your ho-bag girlfriend take you back?"

 

He snarled, causing her to tense and raise her stake again. He glared at her, still snarling, then visibly slumped and put his hands in his pockets.

 

"She threw me out again. Cheated on me with a Chaos demon!"

 

"As sad as that is – and as much as it explains your disgusting condition the other night – what does it have to do with coming back here and keeping me awake when I'm sick?"

 

He shook his head.  "Don't know," he admitted. "All I know is she said you were the problem. Thought maybe if I came back and killed you, she'd see how wrong she is and take me back."

 

"You're pathetic." Buffy rolled her eyes, letting her stake hand drop to her side.

 

"Always have been," he muttered. "Where women are concerned, anyway." He took his hands out of his pockets.  "So, are we going to fight, or are you too tired?"

 

"I'm never too tired to stake you, Spike," she growled, raising the stake and leaping at him.

 

Moving faster than she'd expected, he caught her hand in midair and spun her around so that she was trapped against his chest, her stake pinned harmlessly at her side. His lips brushed the side of her neck and his tongue traced the marks left there by Angel and the Master.  Buffy squirmed, furious at herself and wondering why she wasn't more worried about having Spike's teeth scraping her skin.

 

"You are too tired, luv. You need to go to bed. Get some sleep. Get over that cold. You may be well enough for dusting fledglings, but you're not ready to take me on."

 

"Full of yourself much?" she growled, struggling against the powerful arms holding her still.  She tried to kick him in the knee, succeeding only in causing him to lose his balance as he jerked his leg away.  He fell to the ground, wrapping that leg around both of hers so that she was now pinned not only against his chest, but against his hips and legs.   "Let me go," she growled, wriggling as much as she could and trying to poke him somewhere with the stake she was still clutching.

 

"Don't think so, luv. Not till I'm sure you aren't going to take advantage of my good nature."

 

Buffy struggled again, then relaxed and slumped against him.  "Fine," she grumbled, "I won't take advantage of your non-existent 'good nature'." Now that she wasn't trying to get away, she found herself appreciating the well-muscled body beneath her. Until she realized what one of those "muscles" actually was. 

 

"Spike! Stop that!" She began to struggle again, each twitch rubbing her butt against the hard object poking it.

 

He laughed, his voice rumbling in her ear. "You want that to go away, you need to quit rubbing your luscious arse against it."  He nuzzled her neck for a moment, then stiffened and growled.  "Oh, bloody hell! Is this what Dru meant?"

 

"Is what, what she meant? That instead of killing me, she wanted you to molest me in public?"  She'd stopped struggling again, telling herself she was just following his advice to not make matters worse and wasn't really enjoying the way it felt to be held against what she had to admit was a very fine body.

 

"Be happy to take this somewhere private," he purred. "But I'm guessing that's not what you meant."

 

"Of course it's not what I meant," she said quickly; so quickly he almost missed the uncertainty in her voice.  "I meant, you need to let me go."

 

"Don't want to," he whispered.  "I think I'm beginning to understand why she went on about you all the time."  He pulled her in even more tightly, putting his lips on her neck again and placing light kisses on it.

 

"D... don't," Buffy gasped, feeling her body responding in a completely unexpected way.  She bit back a moan.  "Spike... please... you don't want to do this."

 

He froze. "I thought you were liking it. I would never force—" He lifted his leg off hers and loosened his arms.  "I'm sorry, Buffy. Didn't mean to—I'm sorry." He let go and waited for her to leap to her feet, sputtering threats.

 

Instead, she slipped off to the side and sat on the grass beside him. Spike was still lying where he'd fallen, one arm now draped across his face, hiding his eyes from her stare.  She continued to look at him, startled to realize that he was completely vulnerable. The stake she still held could be in his heart before he blinked.

 

Tucking the stake away, she nudged him in the side. "Get up, Spike. It's too tempting when you're just laying there like that."

 

He took the arm off his eyes and looked at her. "Don't suppose you mean my body is tempting you to climb aboard and go for a ride?" he asked hopefully.

 

"Ewww!" She slapped his chest. "I meant my hand might slip and make you dust."

 

He sat up and gave her a rueful smile. "Figured that was it, but it was worth askin'."

 

They sat in uncomfortable silence for another minute, before Buffy got to her feet. She hesitated, then held a hand out to Spike. He raised his eyebrows, but took her hand and allowed her pull him to his feet.  They stood facing each other, their hands still linked.

 

"So, are we done here?" she asked, gesturing toward her dorm. "Cause now that I think about it, I am pretty tired."

 

"Yeah, I think we're done for the night."  He dropped her hand and reached for his cigarettes, taking his time fishing one out and lighting it before he spoke again.  "Com'on then, I'll see you safely home."

 

Buffy started walking, watching with suspicious eyes as he fell into step beside her.  "What are you doing?"

 

"What I said. Walking you home. You're tired, still sick, and I'll be dammed if some other vamp is going to have himself a good day on my watch."

 

She nodded.  "Just so we're clear... you mean you don't want anybody else to kill me because you're still planning to." When he didn't respond, she prompted, "Right?"

 

"Sure, Slayer. Whatever you need to believe."

 

When they were within sight of the dorm entrance, they stopped and Buffy turned to face him.

 

"You are a very strange vampire, Spike. You know that, right?"

 

His hand came up to brush her cheek.  "Not like any others you've ever met, I'll wager."

 

She shivered when the hand dropped from her cheek to run down her arm.

 

"No," she said, biting her lip when he withdrew his hand. "You're not like any other vamp—not that I actually know know any. I'm more of a 'see vamp, stake vamp' kind of girl. The only vampire I know is Angel, and you're nothing like him."

 

"You got that right," he growled. "If you start comparin' me to that wanker, I will bite you."

 

"I just said you weren't, didn't I?  You're not like Angel – you're definitely not like Angelus. I don't know what you are."

 

"Think I'd like to stay here a while this time, pet. Give you some time to—maybe we'll run into each other often enough that you can get to know me."

 

"Why would I want to do that?" Buffy tossed her head and sniffed.  With another growl, Spike grabbed her and fastened his mouth on hers, once again holding her arms against her sides. Her momentary flash of anger was quickly erased by the softness of his lips and the skillful, yet uncertain, way he was moving them over hers.  "Wha... what are you doing?" she gasped into his mouth, returning the kiss in spite of herself.

 

"Givin' you a reason why," he murmured, catching her lower lip in his teeth and biting it gently.  "Is it working?"

 

"I think it might be...."

 

Buffy rose onto her toes, the better to explore this new information about Spike. OMG, what a kisser!  Once she'd responded, Spike's arms had gone around her body in more of an embrace than a restraint. Buffy now put her arms around his neck and melted into him, finding that his body felt even better when it was pressed against her front that it had against her back.  Only the snide "Get a room" from a passing student broke the lust-induced fog that had made them oblivious to their surroundings.  Buffy wrenched her lips away, pushing against his chest as she gasped, "We're in public."

 

"There you go again, suggesting we take things private...." He relaxed his arms, holding her in a loose embrace as she blushed and stammered. He chuckled deep in his chest and smiled at her.  "Relax, luv. I know that's not what you meant. Was just yanking your chain."

 

"I knew that." She struggled to regain her poise as he continued to grin at her.

 

"No, you didn't. But it's alright.  Can't have you thinkin' you've got me completely tamed, can I?"

 

She snorted and stepped away from him. "I'm pretty sure I don't have you tamed at all," she said.  "But maybe I'll give it a try.  It might be fun, having my own pet vampire."

 

"Does that mean I can stick around?  Won't get in your way, but there might be times you could use a little extra muscle.  Somebody to watch your back."

 

"You're going to help me slay things?"

 

"Well, not so much help as jus' hang around and make sure you're the slayer and not the... the..."

 

"Slayee?"

 

"Right. That." He put his hands in his pockets and ducked his head, peering up at her from under his eyelashes. "So, I can stay, then?"

 

"Spike, since when do you need my permission to be here?  You've never asked for it before."

 

"Not asking for permission to live in Sunnyhell. I'm asking if I can stay and be part of your life.  Want to figure out what it is that Dru thinks she saw between us."

 

"The last vampire I let into my life ended up trying to kill everybody."

 

"Already been there," he retaliated. "I've moved on. Don't want to kill you, and don't want to kill anyone you care about."

 

"You do understand that my job description means that's pretty much the whole world, don't you?" Her dry tone and raised eyebrows belied her sudden stomach-clenching realization that he was still a demon.

 

"Was hopin' that wouldn't come up," he admitted, squeezing his eyes shut when he saw Buffy flinch and heard her heart rate increase.  "I'll bag it while I'm here, alright? Just till we sort things out."  He cupped her cheek with his hand, which she noticed was trembling.

 

"And..." Buffy coughed and cleared the lump out of her throat. "And then what?"

 

"Dunno," he admitted. "I guess, if it turns out you want me here, I'll have to learn to change my ways. Maybe not kill, maybe just bite evil-doers...." HIs voice trailed off as her face hardened.  "Or maybe just pretend I'm the big poof and bag it all the time.  I can't tell you what I'm willing to give up until I know there's something worth giving it up for."  His eyes pleaded with her to accept his honest answer.

 

"And what if there isn't anything worth giving it up for? Then what? You go back to killing and I have to slay another vampire I— another vampire I know?"

"Wouldn't do that to you, love." His hand traced her cheek again, lingering to stroke her jaw line.  "If that's what we decide – that there's nothing here for me – then I'll leave. For good this time. I'll be just another random vamp somewhere else in the world."

"You'll never be just a random vampire, Spike. Not to me, and not to anyone else." She leaned into the hand now cupping her cheek again while a thumb stroked away a tear she hadn't even known was there. 

"Let me stay, Buffy.  Let me show you what we can be."

"You know this is going to make Romeo and Juliet look like the Prom King and Queen, don't you?  I can hear Giles now...."

"Let me handle the watcher, pet. If I can't convince him I'm a good thing to have on your side, I'll scare the tweedy old bugger into leaving us alone."

"You've thought about this already, haven't you?"  Her eyes reflected sudden suspicion, but he shook his head in denial.

"No. Just wingin' it. Knew I didn't want to kill you anymore, but I didn't know...." He pulled her back in and began planting light kisses all over her face.  "I didn't know I was going to want to—" He stopped talking, moving his kisses to the mouth she was raising to his.  Again, they fell into their own world, where nothing existed but the things they were learning about each other's mouths and bodies.

Buffy's legs, which had already been trembling with fatigue, gave out and she collapsed with a small whimper, allowing Spike to completely support her weight.

Okay, brain officially not working, and legs have decided to fail me. They're going to take away my Slayer badge, for sure now.

It barely registered when Spike turned her to the side and scooped her up. Only the loss of full contact with his body broke through her haze, causing her to pull her mouth away to complain.

"What are you doing?"

"Taking you to your room so you can get some rest.  Where is it?" He was striding toward the entrance to the dorm, ignoring the curious looks from those few students still awake and in the lobby.  Buffy pointed to the stairs, hiding her face against his coat and praying she wouldn't run into anyone she knew.

Way to start your college career, Buffy. So much for blending in and being normal.

Spike paused at the top of the stairs and Buffy pointed to the door of her room, pulling her key out of her pocket.  He stopped in front of the door, holding her while she awkwardly tried to insert the key from her position in his arms. With a sigh, he set her back on her feet, holding on until he was sure she was able to stand.

"I'm not crippled, you know," she grumbled as she opened the door. "I was just tired." She walked in and dropped her key on her desk. As she pulled the stake from its hiding place and dropped it beside the key, she looked over her shoulder. "Aren't you coming in?"

Spike tapped on the seemingly open space in front of him, raising an eyebrow at her. Their eyes met as she realized that her casual question hadn't been a specific enough invitation.  Mistaking her hesitation for reluctance, he nodded and stepped away from the door.

"Wise decision, luv.  I'll just say 'good-night' now and let you get to bed...."

"I didn't make any decisions," she said quickly. "I just forgot you couldn't get in here." She walked back to the open doorway and stared up at him. "Come in, Spike," she whispered.

He smiled and stepped inside, leaning down to brush his lips over hers. "Thank you, luv," he murmured, then straightened up. "But you do need to get some sleep. I'll just go.  I'll find you tomorrow night, yeah?"

Buffy reached up and touched his cheek.  "Yeah. Tomorrow."

"Night, love."

"Goodnight, Spike."

The End.

 

 

Title: Return to the Tunnel of Love

Prompt: Boat Ride

Rating: Strong PG 13

Summary: Sunnydale's amusement park is having trouble again. This time, patrons are disappearing in the Tunnel of Love. (Not exactly a sequel to Roller Coaster of Love, but there may be references to it)

 

 

Return to the Tunnel of Love

 

Giles pinched his nose and rubbed his forehead as Buffy bounced in the door, followed closely by the vampire who now seemed to accompany her everywhere.

 

"We're here, Giles," she announced unnecessarily, ignoring the way he frowned at her companion. "What's the what?"

 

"It seems that the Sunnydale Funland amusement park is having trouble again," he replied, tapping the paper on his desk.  "Several disappearances from the Tunnel of Love."

 

"I'll bet it's that slutty fairy," Buffy muttered, earning a puzzled look from her watcher and an eye roll from Spike.

 

"She wasn't real, love. Remember? Just another one of Rupert's mate's delaying tactics."

 

"Well, who knows? Maybe Ethan came back and—"

 

"He didn't," Giles said shortly. "This may be something magical, but I'm inclined to think it's a demonic thing. Some sort of predator in the tunnel somewhere."

 

Spike nodded, a thoughtful look on his face.  "Could be, at that. It's a good place for a vamp nest -– nice dark place to live, food delivery to your door every day, plenty of walking around meals if you feel like going out at night... Can see that." He was nodding in approval when he noticed the two sets of narrowed eyes glaring at him.  "Not that it's the right thing to do," he added quickly.  "It would be wrong, and evil and—"

 

"Forget it," Buffy said with a sigh. "You're already in trouble."  She looked up at Giles. "It does make sense, though. It's a perfect place for a vamp nest.  And nobody would notice what was happening. The boats are far apart and it's really dark, and...."

 

"And most couples aren't going to be payin' that much attention to their surroundings," Spike added, wiggling his eyebrows. "Are they, pet?"  Buffy's blush didn't go unnoticed, nor did Giles' accompanying groan. Spike just grinned at him and held the door open for Buffy.  "Let's go, Slayer. There's evil afoot and we need to take a slow ride into a dark place."

 

"You keep rubbing this in Giles' face and he's going to be putting you in the Hoover," she muttered as they walked away.

 

"Nah," he said, bumping her arm with his. "If he didn't do it right off, when he asked about the turtleneck you were wearin', he's not gonna do it now.  I've already proved my worth, haven't I?"

 

"I had that under control," she growled, knowing he was referring to the events of a few nights ago. 

 

Buffy did believe that she would have been able to get out of the situation herself, but she couldn't deny that knowing Spike was protecting Giles and Xander had made it much easier for her to concentrate on the demons she'd been facing.  And, if he hadn't saved her life by tackling one just as it leapt onto her back, he had at least saved her from serious injury. She shuddered, remembering how close the demon's teeth had come to her neck. The furious snarls and barely understandable curses coming from Spike as he tore the demon apart with his fangs and claws had the Scoobies staying on the opposite side of the room from him the rest of the night.

 

He just nodded and said, " 'course you did, pet. Never doubted it." His eyes slid in her direction and she gave him a small smile.

 

"You might have helped... a little," she admitted.  "You know you scared Giles and Xander into the middle of next week."

 

Spike's expression wavered between pride and shame, pride finally winning out. "Bloody bastard tried to touch you," he said, drawing himself up to his full height. "I couldn't have kept my demon under control if I'd wanted to."  He nudged her again, " 'sides, it won't hurt them to remember I can be scary. Makes me feel all manly when they cower in the corner."

 

"Yeah, yeah, Big Bad. Save that for people who haven't seen you hopping around in a chair yelling about the bear in the room."  Buffy giggled as he growled and grabbed her from behind.

 

"It was a bloody big bear!" he insisted. "And I was tied to a chair!"

 

"I wouldn't have let the bear have you," Buffy said, turning in his arms and touching his cheek with her fingers.  "Nobody can beat up on my vampire, but me."

 

"If I wasn't a vamp, that probably wouldn't sound as arousing as it does, would it?"  He nuzzled her neck, still holding her in a tight embrace, smiling as her heart rate went up.  She whimpered when his lips brushed across the fading marks he'd left on her the previous week. "Anyway, wasn't yours yet then. For all I knew, you were going to feed me to the bear."  He nibbled gently on the side of her neck, sliding his hands under her shirt to stroke her back.

 

"Okay," she said, pushing against his chest. "You need to stop that stuff.  We've got slaying to do."

 

"Spoil sport," he said, letting her go, but taking her hand in his.

 

"Since when do you call killing things 'spoiling'?"

 

"Good point, love." He picked up his pace. "Let's go get 'em!"

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The cleaning out of the now-deserted Tunnel of Love was almost too easy. With customers becoming reluctant to go in – now that word had gotten out that not everyone actually came out the other side – it was easy for Buffy and Spike to walk up and convince the nervous ride attendant that he should let them take one of the boats through. Buffy carefully picked one without any painted fairies on the prow, smacking Spike when he laughed at her.

 

They settled on the cushioned seat and let the water pull them into the darkened tunnel. Although the soft lighting that would normally have provided some small amount of visibility was not working, Spike's vampire eyes had no trouble seeing.

 

"Heads up, love," he said. "Think I was right about it being a nest."

 

"Yeah," she whispered. "I can feel them."

 

As their boat went around a bend, leaving the last vestiges of outside lighting behind, Spike shifted into game face and began to growl.  The first vampire landed in the boat before Buffy even registered how close he was – only to meet her stake when Spike grabbed him and pushed him onto it.

 

"This sucks!" Buffy growled. "I can't see a damn thing."

 

"Close your eyes, love. Feel them."

 

"Use the force?" she said. "Thanks, Obi-wan, that's very useful." Her sarcasm wasn't lost on Spike and he growled at her.

 

"Guess we need to work on that, then," he said. "It's something you should be able to do.  Meanwhile..." As he was speaking, he was pulling down the fake walls beside them and making a pile of wood and canvas in the prow of the boat.  He took out his lighter and flicked it on, handing it to Buffy and stepping back as far away as he could get.  "Here, make yourself some light, Slayer. We've got incoming."

 

The dry, painted canvas flared up, illuminating three more vampires standing along a narrow ledge.  They shrank back from the fire, pinning themselves against the wall where Buffy staked two of them without a fight. The third vamp turned to run, jumping into the shallow water, only to find Spike waiting for him. The fight was short and soon Buffy and Spike were standing on the ledge watching their now-flaming boat drift away.

 

"Do you feel any more?" he asked. "Or did we get them all?"

 

"Can't you tell? I thought you could hear everything?"

 

"Can," he said shortly. "Not the point. I'm not the one who can't see in the dark and who has to fight things that can.  I need to know that your senses are doing their job.  Now tell me if you can feel any more vamps!"

 

"Sheesh! You sound like Giles," she grumbled.  "He's all, 'close your eyes, Buffy. What do you feel?'" 

 

In spite of her words, she did shut her eyes, blocking out the faint light from the burning boat now sinking as it floated away. She concentrated on separating the familiar tingle that said "Spike" from anything else.  She frowned, then her eyes flew open just as the last vampire leapt at her, landing on the stake she had raised.  As he dust floated away, she glared at Spike.

 

"You couldn't have just told me he was stalking me?"

 

"Could have. But that wouldn't have helped you learn to sense danger, would it?"

 

Buffy cocked her head at him, knowing he could see her, even though she couldn't see him very well. She stared in his general direction, a small smile hovering on her face.

 

"What?"

 

"Nothing." Buffy looked away and shrugged. "It's just kind of weird, you know? The Slayer of Slayers worrying about keeping me alive."

 

He stepped into her space, sliding his arms around her. "That's William worrying about the woman he loves," he said softly.  "An' maybe a bit of the demon wanting to be sure he isn't going to lose his mate."

 

"Oh."

 

"Yeah, 'oh', Slayer.  Not goin' to lose you. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever."

 

"Spike." Buffy sighed and leaned into his chest, nuzzling against him. "You know I'm going to die someday, right?  Probably sooner rather than later."

 

His arms tightened.  "Later, love. It's goin' to be much, much later. I promise you. You're going to be the longest lived slayer in history – even if I have to make your watcher look like a slacker when it comes to trainin' you."

 

"Oh, joy. So I'll have two of you trying to tell me what to do.  I can't wait." She gave a half-hearted push to his chest.  "What's in it for me?"

 

"There could be rewards..." he whispered in her ear, pulling her against his body. "Startin' as soon as we grab the next boat."  As he spoke, he reached one arm out and snagged the next little boat, pulling it up on the shelf with them.  It just barely fit on the concrete lip, but a small shove against the fake stone backdrop gave them more room.  He guided Buffy, who was once again without any light, into the boat, kicking the small wooden seats away so that the cushions fell onto the floor, making a soft area in which to lie down.

 

"I can't see anymore," she murmured as she squirmed under him.

 

"There's a vampire here, love. Can't you feel him?"

 

"Oooo, why yes. I think I can, now that you mention it.  I don't think he's trying to kill me, though..."

 

"He might settle for making you scream."

 

The End