Short schmoopy fics for site (Miscellaneous schmoop ficlets of less than 2000 words that are not linked with another ficlet to form a continuous story)
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.
"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."
"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."
Title: Nights Off Are Overrated.
Summary: A missing, and probably unlikely (but schmoopy) season six scene that begins just after they return to the house after rescuing Dawn and Janice.
Nights Off Are Overrated
"Good fight." Buffy said. Spike blinked and nodded at the unexpected compliment.
"Always is when I'm with you," he said, so softly only she heard it. He winked at her and started to follow the others out the door, halting when she said his name. He turned, raising his eyebrows at her. "Something else you need, pet?"
"I was just...." She frowned at the floor. "I was wondering if...." She glanced up at his curious face. "Do you think those were the only vamps out tonight? Should I patrol?"
Spike cocked his head and seemed to give her question due thought. "Dunno, Buffy. It's not like takin' the night off is some kind of hard and fast vampire rule, like 'don't go out in the sun, or play with sharp pointed wooden objects'. Some countries don't even have Halloween; I'm sure the vamps don't take off there."
"So, you're saying, yes. I probably should patrol. Just in case those guys aren't the only ones?"
"Up to you, luv. I'm willin' if you are. I can sleep tomorrow – you'll need to get up."
"I should probably patrol. Just for a while." The fight earlier, rather than tiring her out, had energized her in a way she hadn't felt since her return. The idea of going quietly to bed so early in the evening was suddenly not appealing at all.
"After you, Slayer." He held the door and waited for her to duck under his arm before pulling it shut behind them. As they walked down the sidewalk, heading briskly for the nearest cemetery, he asked, "Did you grab your key?"
"If you mean Dawn -– hell, no! She's grounded forever. If you mean my housekey...." She felt in her pocket. "Dammit!"
She kicked a stone down the street and followed it, muttering to herself. When Spike caught up with her, she had just kicked the stone again, bouncing it off the stone pillars at the cemetery entrance.
"Relax, Slayer. Your window's probably unlocked anyway. You'll just have to get in the old-fashioned way." He smirked at her and made climbing motions.
Buffy snorted a laugh. "I haven't had to do that for so long, I'd almost forgotten about it." She slid her eyes to the side and gave him a suspicious glare. "How do you know about my window?"
His eyes darted around, looking for help before he admitted. "When you were first... gone, the Bit had nightmares. She'd go into your room and lie on your bed, crying.” He shrugged. "I knew you used to go in and out that way, so I tried the window one night when I couldn't stand to hear her cry any more. It was open."
"And, once she stopped falling asleep in there, I...." He shrugged again, put his hands in his pockets and looked away from her. "It smelled like you, Buffy. It just made things a little easier, knowing I was keeping watch like I promised, and doing it from your room. Didn't mean to violate your privacy, pet. Had no idea you'd be back to complain about it, did I?"
"I'm not complaining," she said. "It's just kind of strange – knowing you were in my room all that time, maybe in my bed— Were you in my bed?"
"Not answerin' that one," he said, dancing away from where she stood, hands planted on hips and indignant glare on her face. When he felt he was sufficiently far enough away to escape if he needed to, he continued, "But I swear to you, the sheets have been changed... several times."
Buffy threw her stake so that the blunt end hit him on the forehead. "You are such a pig!"
"Too true," he said, rubbing his head. "And ow!" He bent down to retrieve the stake. As he straightened up, his eyes widened and in one fluid motion he stood up and threw the stake past Buffy's astonished eyes and into the chest of the fledgling that had crept up on her while they talked. She whirled, noted the dust floating away and ducked the punch thrown by another still-dirt covered vamp.
"What the hell?" She kicked the attacking vampire back and pulled an extra stake from her waistband. Spike, meanwhile, had stepped forward to intercept another newly-risen vampire that hadn't yet realized he wasn't facing two humans. Working as if their moves had been choreographed, they used the same kicks and punches to drive the vampires to the ground, then drove stakes through their chests simultaneously.
Still bent over the dust of her opponent, Buffy glanced over at Spike to see him just beginning to stand up again. He offered her a hand and she allowed him to pull her upright.
"We make a pretty good team," she said, grinning at him. "I think we could take that act on the road."
"We've always danced well together, pet," he said. "Jus' now we're doing it as a team instead of as enemies."
"I always kind of liked fighting you," she said, ducking her head and looking at him from under her eyelashes. "Even when you were trying to kill me. It was fun."
"Some of the best times of my life," he agreed, still holding the hand he'd used to pull her up. "But think I like fighting beside you better."
"You do?" Buffy wondered how long he was going to hold on to her hand, and why she wasn't pulling it away.
"I do," he confirmed. "I like to watch you when you don't need any help and I'm just watching you back. You're poetry in motion when you fight. All style and grace... and lethal as it gets." He smiled at her. "My kind of woman."
Buffy blushed, embarrassed by his praise and the emotion so obvious in his eyes.
"I thought your kind of woman was, you know, taller, paler and less sun-loving?"
"I thought so too. Was wrong," he said, finally dropping her hand. "Not like you didn't already know that, Buffy." His voice contained just the slightest trace of rebuke, and she nodded.
"I did," she whispered. "I'm sorry. I was just trying to be funny."
"'S alright, pet. It's nice to see you tryin' to make jokes again – weak as they may be...."
Buffy tossed her hair and began walking again. Without discussing it, they went farther into Restfield, Buffy's eyes darting around for signs of other newbies that hadn't yet been clued in to taking the night off, but the surroundings remained quiet and empty, only the owls and the insects disturbing the late night silence. They gradually slowed their steps, stopping near his crypt and settling onto a nearby bench.
"Was this bench always here?" Buffy frowned, trying to remember if she'd ever seen it before.
"Nope," he said, leaning back against the tree behind it. "Thought the crypt needed an outdoor sitting area – case I want to invite folks to a cookout or something."
Buffy glanced around. "A cookout. In a cemetery. You are one strange vampire, William the Bloody."
"Not exactly the average slayer yourself, are you, luv?" She sniffed and tried to hide her smile, but he had no trouble seeing it in the moonlight. "Ah, making jokes and smiling. If you aren't careful, you might catch yourself enjoyin' life again."
She heaved a sigh and leaned back herself, her shoulder touching his as she tried to rest against the tree without falling over backwards. Spike shifted over just enough, and put his arm around her, letting her lean against his body instead of the tree.
"I guess everybody'd like that, wouldn't they?" she said. "If I'd stop being all depresso-Buffy and start acting like I'm glad to be here."
Spike tightened his arm slightly and stared straight ahead, his jaw clenched.
"You know, Slayer, you're going to have to tell them someday. There's no reason for you to carry this around by yourself without sharing it with the people responsible. If they knew, they'd get off your back and stop pressuring you to—."
She shrugged. "I can't do that to them... to Willow. It would destroy her."
"Better her than you," he said, holding her a little more tightly as she started to slip.
"I can handle it. I'll be all right." She paused and tilted her head to look at his shadowed face. "I've got you to share it with."
"Keeping it between us formerly dead people, are you?"
"Isn't that okay?" She struggled briefly to sit up straighter, but Spike's arm held her tightly. "Do you not want me to talk about it with you?"
"Didn't say that, love. If talking to me is what you need to do, you know I'll listen all night. Hell, if you need to beat on me to work off some righteous anger at your mates, have at it. I'm yours, Buffy. To do with as you like. Always will be."
"Mine," she repeated. "My vampire." She turned and relaxed against him, her head resting on his chest and her arm going across his body.
"Always," he whispered, putting his other arm around her and holding her in a comforting embrace. "Always and forever."
"I like that," she mumbled against his shirt. "I think I could get used to it."
"That's the plan," he murmured, dropping a kiss on the top of her head.
If the owls thought it strange to see two people cuddling quietly on a cemetery bench in the middle of the night, they kept their opinions to themselves.
Prompt: Finding the perfect gift
Summary: It's Christmas time in a less dark season six. Buffy wants to put Spike on her gift list, but she's clueless what to get him.
And You Don't Even Need to Wrap It
"Why are you asking me?"
"Because you... he...." Buffy blew a stray piece of hair out of her face. "You and Spike are—were... friends." She looked at Dawn's blank face and frowned. "Aren't you?"
"We were. Until you came back—" At Buffy's expression, she corrected herself quickly. "I don't mean... I'm glad you're back. Totally. You know that, right? I love you and I missed you and...." Tears were filling Dawn's eyes and Buffy sighed and nodded.
"I know you didn't mean it that way. And you're right, it is my fault that Spike isn't around to see you as much as you're used to. But still, you must have some idea what he'd like for Christmas."
"You're joking, right?" Dawn just stared at Buffy until she blushed and looked away. "I'm not that dumb, Buffy!"
"Besides that... me. Something I can wrap and put under the tree in case he comes by..."
"Is he? Going to come by? Will he be here for Christmas dinner with everybody else?"
Dawn's eagerness made Buffy cringe with guilt as she responded. "Oh. Oh no! No, I'm sure he wouldn't want to—And even if he did, it would be just... wrong."
"Why?" Dawn wrinkled her brow in genuine confusion. "Why would it be wrong? When you were... gone, he was here all the time. He was my babysitter when Willow and Tara went to class, and he patrolled with them most nights and came back here or to Giles' after patrol. He ate here all the time. Why do you think there was blood in the fridge when you came back?"
"You mean... you don't think everybody would freak if Spike was here for Christmas?" Buffy's eyes were wide and confused. "But won't they think—"
Dawn studied her with suddenly shrewd eyes. "Won't they think what? That he's wearing you down? That maybe you're starting to like him a little bit?"
"I do like him," Buffy mumbled. "He helped me against Glory, and he took care of you, and—"
"And he loves you with everything he has," Dawn finished for her. "If you start treating him like you do everybody else you like..." She grinned when Buffy flinched at her air quotes. "... that would be the best Christmas present you could give him."
"I guess it would," Buffy said softly. "Well, maybe not the very best, but close enough." She stood up abruptly. "Thanks, Dawn." She gave her sister an unexpected hug and then grabbed her coat. "Don't wait up."
"You're welcome, and... Wait? What? Where are you going?" She stared at the closing front door. "Buffy?" A slow smile broke out on her face. "You're welcome, Spike," she whispered as she locked the door and turned to go upstairs.
Prompt: First holiday together
Summary: Dawn has given Buffy an idea for a Christmas present for Spike (see "And You Don't Even Have to Wrap It") and Buffy's run off to make it happen.
Merry Christmas, Spike
Her footsteps slowed as she approached the familiar door. She knew he wasn't expecting her tonight—they'd already said good-night after a quick, but satisfying and passionate, encounter that followed a hard-fought battle in another cemetery.
Maybe he isn't there. He's probably out at Willy's or some other demon bar, playing cards or— Her thoughts were interrupted when the door opened in front of her and his puzzled face appeared. Damn those vampire senses!
"Buffy? Is something wrong, love?"
"Uh... no.... I just... Dawn and—"
"Something happened to Dawn?" He frowned. "It's Thursday. Shouldn't she be safely tucked in bed?"
"Very funny," she muttered, brushing past him to enter the crypt. He closed the door and ran to light a few big candles for her. The old TV gave off an eerie silver glow—enough for her to see him moving around, but not enough for her to want to walk around away from its secondhand light. The candles soon replaced the TV's glow with a much warmer atmosphere. Spike hit the off switch on the TV as he went by.
"So, if the Bit's not in need of rescuing, and the world isn't ending, what brings you here this late? Not that I'm not happy to see you," he added quickly, when her face fell. "You know you're welcome here whenever you want to come over, Buffy, but—"
"But you figured I'd already got what I wanted from you and wouldn't be back," she finished for him.
"Well. Yeah. I guess that's what I was thinking. You've got a long shift tomorrow, wouldn't have expected you to come back for more." He couldn't miss her wince.
"I guess I deserved that," she said, shuffling her feet in embarrassment.
He was beside her at once. "No, love. Didn't mean it as a criticism. Know what my job is don't I?" He tipped her chin up and made her look at him. "And I'm happy to do it, sweetheart. You know I am."
She tilted her head a bit and studied his anxious face. "Tell me, Spike, what do you think your 'job' is?" She waited while he took a deep breath and sighed before answering.
"I'm your backup muscle, I'm an escape from a life you'd just as soon not have..." He dropped his gaze and moved away from her, turning his back as he continued. "And, I'd like to think I'm a friend. But I guess that's—"
"That's exactly what you are," she interrupted. "You're my friend, and all my friends are going to be at my house Christmas day. Will I see you there?"
He gaped at her. "You want me there? At your house with all the Scoobies?"
"I do. Will you come?"
He pretended to be thinking, visibly struggling to regain some swagger. "Well, I did have some evil plans, but if you ask me nicely..."
"I didn't ask nicely?" Her stricken face had him back in front of her before she registered that he'd moved.
"Oh, bloody hell, Buffy. Of course you did. I'm just being a wanker, trying to act like you didn't just give me the best Christmas present I've ever had." He put his arms around her in a loose embrace; she could feel his body trembling. "I'm sorry, love. Never meant to... just didn't want you to see me fall apart like the ponce we both know I am."
Buffy put her arms around him and squeezed until he stopped trembling and she could feel the kisses he was dropping on her head. She pulled back and smiled up at him.
"Okay, then. It's settled. We'll see you day after tomorrow for dinner and prezzies." She stepped away, sliding one hand down his arm to his hand and tugging him toward the door. "But I do have to get back. Tomorrow is going to be a long day."
"Let me get my boots on, pet. I'll walk you home." He squeezed her hand, releasing it to jump down into his bedroom. He was back within a few seconds, boots and coat on. "Alright. Let's get you home and to bed."
"If you say I need my beauty sleep, I'm going to punch you," she said, forestalling any more comment on his part.
"Never crossed my mind, Slayer," he said, throwing his arm across her shoulders. "You're always beautiful to me." He kissed her on the cheek and moved away quickly, laughing. "An' anyway, I'm not that stupid."
Buffy threw a half-hearted punch at him, but just shook her head when it missed.
"You're an ass," she said, an affectionate tone in her voice that gave them both pause for an uncomfortable moment.
"But I'm your arse," he said finally, moving back to her side and taking her hand.
She didn't pull away, but rolled her eyes and began walking faster. They were silent the rest of the way to Revello Drive, pausing on the porch for another moment of indecision. Spike broke the tension by leaning down and brushing his lips across hers.
"G' night, love."
"Good night, Spike. See you soon."
As Dawn had predicted, no one seemed shocked or surprised to find Spike joining them for a pot luck Christmas dinner. His contribution was a six-pack of Xander's favorite beer and a small flask of Scotch that he and Giles shared relatively amicably. He'd had the predictable exchange of insults with Xander, but in light of the holiday they'd kept them snarky rather than mean and everyone was feeling very mellow by the time pie was served.
Spike remained quietly sipping his Scotch while the gifts were exchanged and opened. He smiled gratefully when Dawn handed him a small box, her muffled insistence at not opening it just then causing him to frown with suspicion.
"You haven't done anything that's going to get me in trouble with your sister, have you, Bit?" he asked softly. She flushed, but refused to answer him, moving back to the group without comment.
Buffy frowned at the quiet exchange, then shrugged and went back to opening her own small pile of gifts. When all that was left was a small box wrapped in wrinkled paper, she raised an eyebrow at Spike, who tipped his flask at her and nodded. She smiled, but placed the package in her pocket to be opened later, missing the disappointment that flashed across his face.
Dawn, however, had not missed it and she poked Buffy, saying loud enough for everyone to hear, "Spike gave me a pretty locket, Buffy. What did he give you?"
With a glare at her sister, Buffy pulled the package out and began to open it. I hope there isn't anything in here I'm going to have to stake him for. Under the paper was a box from a local jewelry store, and a handwritten note: "Didn't steal it or the money to buy it." it said. Buffy flushed and shot him an apologetic glance. He gave her a wry smile and tipped his flask again. Damn! He knows me better than I know myself sometimes. That's really annoying... and kinda sweet at the same time.
Under the note was another locket. Gold, where Dawn's had been silver. Heart-shaped where Dawn's had been oval. The heart had a "B" engraved on the front. Buffy turned it over, fully expecting to find and "S" or a "W" on the back, but it was blank. "Wouldn't presume, love," Spike said quietly when she glanced at him. Her heart gave a small lurch and she walked over to his chair. Aloud, she said, "Thank you, Spike, it's beautiful." Whispering too softly for anyone to hear, "Let's presume, okay? I'll go with you to get the other side engraved."
His expression made her blush and hurry back to her place to start gathering up discarded paper and ribbon. She didn't look at him again until everyone was collecting their gifts and putting on their coats. She and Dawn stood at the door, thanking everyone—praising Tara and thanking her profusely for bringing the roasted turkey—as they said, "Merry Christmas" and "Good-night".
When Spike was the last one left, Dawn gave him a peck on his cheek and a cheery "Merry Christmas" before running up the stairs as quickly as she could while carrying an armload of gifts.
Spike put his arms around Buffy and she responded immediately, sliding hers around his neck and lifting her face for a kiss. The kiss lasted longer than either had intended, with predictable results, and Buffy reluctantly pulled away.
"I didn't get you anything," she said, avoiding his heated gaze. "I should have had something wrapped up for you."
"Know what you can get me, love," he rumbled in her ear. "It's not too late."
"What? What can I give you now? I can't go shopping, even if I could find an open store—"
"Still Christmas Day, isn't it?" he rumbled in her ear. "Just leave your window unlocked."
Buffy laughed and shrugged. "Come on, Spike. You know you can have that anytime. What's Christmassy or presenty about that?"
"Your bed," he said flatly. "Making love to you in your bed."
"Oh," she said softly. "Yeah, I guess that would be... different." She gazed into his intent eyes and tried not to blink. "Okay. Window unlocked. Check." She tried to lighten the mood with a grin. "Should I put a bow on the bed?"
"Just be in it," he smiled back. "Unwrapped is fine with me."
Title: See You in the Morning
Prompt: Sleepy time
Summary: um… sleepy?
See You in the Morning
"Ummmmmm" Buffy stretched and yawned. "Did I fall asleep?"
"You did," he replied, running a finger down her cheek, lifting it before she could object to the touch. "You were tired. You needed it."
"I don't know why I'm so tired," she sighed, staring at the stone ceiling. "You'd think I was out there battling hellgods every night instead of ordinary vamps... and not all that many of them." She gave him a glare that said she was well aware of why there were fewer vampires than usual.
"Easy year," he said, shrugging innocently. "It's early, Slayer. This year's big bad will be along any time now. May as well rest while you can."
Buffy glanced down at her clothed body, noticing that her boots and socks had been removed, but nothing else. A quick glance at Spike showed her he was wearing his usual jeans, but no shirt.
"Did I fall asleep before we even...? Why didn't you wake me?"
"Hmmmmm Let me see... the woman I love more than my unlife curls up against me and goes to sleep in my arms – instead of shagging me silly and then flying off home without so much as a goodnight kiss." He ran his finger down to her chin again. "You're right, pet. Don't know what I was thinkin'."
Buffy bit her lip, and looked away. "When you put it like that...."
They were silent for several minutes, Buffy busy trying to convince herself that Spike couldn't possibly feel what he claimed to feel, and Spike waiting for her uncharacteristic willingness to lie beside him and talk to deteriorate into a quick shag or just an abrupt departure. When she turned towards him and snuggled into his side with a sleepy sigh, he blinked in surprise.
"I don't wanna go home yet," she explained. "But I'm still sleepy." She raised her head and studied his face anxiously. "You don't mind, do you? I mean, I know we haven't... but I'm just really, really tired and—"
"Of course I don't mind, love. Just told you that, didn't I? But if you were so tired tonight, why didn't you just go home after work? I would have patrolled for you."
Buffy froze. She knew Spike felt the tension in her body, but he waited until she had relaxed back into his side before asking, "Buffy? Why didn't you just go home?" His body almost quivered with anticipation and the hope that he tried to hide.
She was silent for so long, he thought she wasn't going to answer him, but eventually she whispered, "I don't know. I just wanted...." She raised her head and frowned at him. "Promise you won't make a big deal out of this, 'k?"
His eyes put the lie to his promise even as he nodded silently.
"I just wanted to see you... to... to feel you... and— Stop it!"
"You're making a big deal. I can see it. You're going to make a big deal out of this, and—"
"I'll promise not to make a big deal, if you promise to admit I've got a right to."
"That's not fair! You already promised and now you're trying to back out of it." Her lip came out in an aggrieved pout.
Spike surrendered, flopping back on the bed with a sigh. "Fine. It's no big deal. You're here, you're tired, and you wanted a quiet place to sleep. Make yourself at home, Slayer."
"Are you mad at me? Do you want me to leave?"
"Bloody hell, no!" He pulled her against his side, waiting until she snuggled against him to whisper against her hair, "Never want you to leave, Buffy. Can sleep in my bed forever if that's what you want."
"That's what I want," she mumbled as her eyes drifted shut. "Want to sleep in your bed.,. with you."
"With me," he agreed. "Always with me."
Prompt: A friend in need
Summary: Spike and Dawn with just a hint of Spuffy. He's always there for his girls when they need him.
You Need What You Need
"Spike! Spike, where are you? This is important!" Dawn's voice was somewhere between a whine and a command. Her foot tapped impatiently as she waited for him to answer her. A mutually embarrassing encounter the previous week had taught her not to climb down into his bedroom without an invitation; even though the glimpse she'd had of his naked body sprawled on the bed had her thinking her sister was seriously crazy not to want what they all knew Spike wanted to give her.
"What's the big emergency, Nibblet?" came a grumpy voice from downstairs. "And don't come down here!"
Dawn frowned, not sure she wasn't hearing a whispered conversation from the lower level, but she responded sharply. "Wasn't planning to! I'm scarred enough as it is."
"'s what you get for peeping into a man's bedroom uninvited," he said, his tousled hair appearing at the top of the ladder. He was just tugging his tee-shirt into place as he climbed into the room, making Dawn very grateful she hadn't looked downstairs.
"You're not a man," she huffed, turning away so he wouldn't see her flaming face.
"Is that so? Could've fooled me. I was sure it was my manly bits that had you screaming and coverin' your eyes last week," he said, wincing when he heard something crash downstairs.
"What's that? Is there somebody here? Were you... Ewwww, Spike!"
"Keep your 'ewws' to yourself, pet." Spike's face was suddenly serious. "I'm a grown man and I'm entitled to have a life. One that doesn't include checking with little girls to see if my activities are acceptable. You got that, Bit?"
Dawn's eyes filled with tears she tried to blink back. Since Buffy's death the previous spring, Spike had never spoken to her in anything but soft tones and with affection. Granted, she wasn't seeing him as much now that Buffy was back, but he was always glad to see her when he did. This unwelcoming, and apparently busy Spike wasn't what she'd come to his crypt for.
"I... I'm... sorry. I'll just... Never mind." She whirled and sped toward the door, choking back a sob. A firm hand on her backpack halted her forward progress; she stopped, but refused to turn around.
"I'm sorry, Dawn." Spike sighed, his voice once again the patient, loving one she was used to. "Had no right to growl at you like that. It's just... you're my Nibblet, and I'd like to keep you sweet and innocent as long as possible. Gonna be hard to do that if you keep popping into my home when I'm not expecting you."
"I'm not all that innocent," she grumbled, relaxing her shoulders but still not turning around to face him.
"You bloody well better be! Or I'll be testing out the limits of this chip on the wanker responsible."
"Oh, so you can have a sex life, but I can't. Is that what you're saying?" She gave a haughty sniff and tried to look mature and worldly as she turned around to glare at him.
"Got it in one, pet. That's exactly what I'm saying. There's no reason for you to even think about copying my lifestyle – any of it – any more than you might want to take up drinking blood just 'cause I do it."
"It doesn't seem very fair. Why not?"
He stared at her, his eyes bulging comically. "Why not?" he roared, forgetting about being gentle with her. "Why not?"
"Yeah." Dawn raised her chin and gave him a stubborn stare. "Why not? I've got Buffy to treat me like a ten-year-old. You're supposed to be my friend, and friends help their friends... do stuff."
He gave a bloodcurdling snarl, clenched his fists, and visibly seized hold of his temper. Taking a deep breath, he led her to the chair and gestured for her to sit. He began pacing in front of her.
"Let's go back to why you should be doing as I say and not as I do. You are fifteen, human, vulnerable, and all the woman I love has left in the way of a family. I'm 150 years old and a vampire – an evil soulless creature who has been cultivating his bad habits for over a century. Stop me when I get to something we have even remotely in common."
"We both love Buffy," she said, so quietly only his vampire hearing allowed him to catch it. She repeated it more loudly when he didn't respond. "We both love Buffy."
"We do," he admitted. "And that's why it's so important to me that you stay safe. Your sis has enough to worry about right now without you doing anything more dangerous than living in this hell-hole of a town. There isn't a one of my bad habits wouldn't put you in some kind of danger. Not a one."
He dropped to his knees in front of her and took her hands in his, "Do you understand what I'm sayin' here, Nibblet? We love you, your sis and I. We're not trying to keep you from having fun or growing up, we're jus' trying to keep you safe while you do it."
"You can't speak for Buffy. You don't know what she's been like since she came... back. I don't think she loves anybody."
He flinched and glanced toward the ladder. "She does, Bit. She loves just as much as she ever did. She's jus' having a hard time showing it right now. Give her some time. Think about where she was and what it must feel like to have lost that." He cupped her cheek with one hand. "You can show me how much you're growing up by having some compassion for your sister. I know being a teenager is all about being the one the world revolves around. And I know that last year, with the whole Glory thing going on, it pretty much did revolve around you. But now? Now it's got to be about Buffy."
"Buffy wasn't much older than me when she boinked Angel." Dawn's lip came out in stubborn pout.
"An' we all know how well that turned out...."
"Okay, bad example, but—"
"There are no 'but's here, Bit. There's just doing what we can to ease her burden and help her learn to live in the world again. An' if that means passing up some good times.,.."
"You were more fun before you fell in love with Buffy," she grumbled, hiding a smile.
"Don't doubt that for a minute, Bit," he said, grinning and rising to his feet. "But it is what it is. You'll just have to deal with it."
"Hmmmph!" Dawn stood up too and moved toward the door.
"What did you want?" he said. "When you came bustin' in here all annoyed that I wasn't right here at your service?"
"Oh. I wanted you to help me with my French homework. But it's okay, I can—"
"I'll come by this evening," he interrupted. "We'll work on it while the Slayer's busy slinging hamburgers."
"You will? Really?" She broke into a smile. "You'll help me?"
" 's what friends are for, innit?"
Dawn waved and walked out into the sunlight, remembering at the last second to grab the door and pull it shut behind her. Spike watched the room darken before he spoke.
"I heard... Thank you. You didn't need to do that."
He stiffened in surprise when she rested her cheek against his back and put her arms around him.
"It's what friends are for, love." He turned around slowly and put his arms around her, resting his chin on her head. "It's what friends are for."
Prompt: Greeting card
Summary: Spike has a unique way of letting Buffy know he survived NFA...
The Bloody Awful Poet
Sword in hand, although concealed behind her back – No sense in spooking the neighbors – Buffy opened the door and stared at the empty space. Too wary to step outside into the darkness, she reached for the porch light and illuminated the small cement stoop in front of the narrow house. Something fluttered in the open door, landing at her feet. She used the point of the sword to pull it closer, then bent her knees and picked it up, never taking her eyes off the empty space outside.
Huh, a card? Buffy stepped back and turned the envelope over in her hand. The handwriting was eerily familiar, although old fashioned and not from anybody she could imagine knew where she was. She tore open the thick, lined envelope and gasped when the beautiful card fell out. Although the lovely drawing on the front of the heavy card, and the delicate lace decorations were clearly manufactured, the inside was blank except for a hand written message. She smiled when she realized it was a poem, and began to read, fully expecting something sweet and sugary to go with the beautiful handwriting and card.
"Roses are red, violets are blue,
You're lovely covered in demon goo.
You won't believe me, I've been a wanker
But for your touch, I'll always hanker.
My dead heart your beauty long since slew,
And now your favor, I needs must woo.
I'll be bearing gifts and bottled wine,
If you say you'll be my Valentine."
Buffy gaped at the card, her brain refusing to believe what she'd just seen.
"That has got to be the worst poem I have ever seen!"
"Not one of my best efforts, I'll admit. But I mean it all the same."
She whirled, the familiar voice floating in the open door making her gasp in disbelief.
He stepped into view, a bottle in one hand and flowers in the other. His eyes were sunken in his head, his blade-like cheekbones in sharper relief than she'd ever seen them. Although his voice was strong, he swayed on his feet as he waited for her to recognize him.
Love? Much as I'd like to sweep you off your feet right now, I think I'm goin'
to need to sit down first...."
He toppled forward, the flowers and wine dropping to the carpet in front him while the invisible barrier prevented him from following them to the floor. Shaking herself out of her shock, Buffy rushed to grab him under the arms, saying, "Come in, Spike."
His full weight fell onto her shoulder as the unconscious vampire tumbled through the door. Buffy dragged him to the couch and laid him down, putting a pillow under his head before going back to close the door and pick up the flowers and wine. She set them on a table, adding the card before going back to sit beside the man she'd thought had died again trying to save the world.
The reports from LA had been grim. Wesley dead. Fred long gone. Gunn dead, Angel and Spike missing and presumed dust. Only the Old One that had taken over Fred's body was unaccounted for, although stories from eye witnesses said she had opened a portal and pulled all the demons in, closing it behind her.
Buffy had searched the burned and battered alley for days, but finally had to admit that there was no way to tell if any of the dust coating the floor belonged to either of her vampires. She'd shed her tears, then gone back to her life and the small house she'd bought in Rome.
She sank down beside the still body and ghosted her hand over his thin and battered face. At her light touch to his cheek, his eyes fluttered open.
"Hello, yourself," she whispered back. "You're here."
"Where else would I go?"
She shook her head, unable to speak as he put his arms around her and she curled up beside him, her head on his chest.
"Where else would I go?" he repeated before lapsing into unconsciousness again. The last thing he heard was Buffy's muffled, "I love you, you stupid vampire."
Summary: Prompt says it all (some knowledge of comics useful)
He ignored Buffy's open mouth and bewildered eyes, talking to Willow, Dawn and Xander in short bursts as they got themselves organized. Finally, when everyone had agreed that getting out was the most important thing to do, he turned to where she was still standing, dumbfounded, whispering his name over and over.
Ohmigod! He's alive! Spike is alive. And he's here. He's here and that means he knows... Oh no. No. No. No. Please, God, let him not have seen or heard—
Spike raised a sardonic eyebrow, wearing his "I can see right through you, Slayer" look as he gestured toward the vehicle in which he'd arrived.
"Come on, then, Slayer, time to beat a strategic retreat. You too, Twangel," he threw over his shoulder as he took Buffy's arm and maneuvered her into the hatch. "'less you'd rather stay here and deal with the mess you made all by yourself."
Angel frowned at the way Spike assumed Buffy would do what he asked her to, and the way she willingly did it. He hurried after them, barely squeezing in before Spike slammed the hatch closed. Spike quickly made his way to the control room where Willow and Xander were trying to make sense of the blinking lights and levers.
"I've got it," Spike said shortly, sitting down and flipping several identical-seeming switches. The vessel shook, engines whined, and then they were hurtling away. As soon as they were safely gone, Spike set the autopilot, sternly instructed Xander not to touch anything or "let that other pillock touch anything".
Angel glared, but was too busy trying to get Buffy's attention to respond to Spike's obvious baiting. He touched her arm, blinking in shock when she threw him off and moved away.
"Buffy? What's wrong?"
She turned large, damp eyes to him. "Did you know Spike was alive?"
Angel shrugged and managed to look both offended and guilty at the same time. "What difference does it make now? After what we've shared—"
Buffy's face flamed red and her hands covered her mouth as she gave a moan. "Don't remind me! Suppose he heard... No wonder he doesn't want to look at me. You... me... we..." To Angel's astonishment, fat tears began to roll down her face. Before he could say or do anything, Spike was between them.
"Hey, now, Slayer. None of that. We've got a world to save." He took her face in his hands and rested his forehead against hers. "We'll work this out later, yeah?" He licked the tears off her cheeks, ignoring Angel's snarl and Xander's "Yuck!"
"You're not mad...? You didn't see...? It's all ri—?" Buffy couldn't finish a coherent sentence. It was taking all her emotional strength not to throw herself into his arms begging forgiveness for the actions she was hoping against hope that he hadn't heard or seen.
"Am," he said quietly. "Did. And it's not alright. You can't possibly think it would be... But we've got things to do, and I have to accept my own part – not being here, not letting you know I wasn't any deader than usual." He dropped his hands from her face to her wrists, taking one hand in his. "If you want to work it out now, let's do it without the audience." He tugged her with him through an open doorway and into a well-lit corridor.
"It's... bigger than it looks." Buffy stared around in astonishment at the long corridor with other hallways branching off and doors leading to who knew where.
"Lotta things are like that," he said with a shrug as he showed her into a small room and closed the door.
He turned and faced her, dropping the cocky facade he'd worn since he'd burst through the floor to rescue them. He just stared at her, his eyes containing a combination of sadness, rage, pain, disappointment and joy. He raised one hand tentatively toward her face, then dropped it before he touched her.
"Spike..." Buffy began. "I'm so sorry. If I'd known you were... I wouldn't have... I would never have hurt you like that."
He shrugged his shoulders, attempting to appear unconcerned and calm. "Yes you would. You had a chance to walk away from your miserable life and you took it. Don't blame you for it, love; jus' wish you hadn't done it quite so publicly. Made it kinda hard to pretend it wasn't happening, what with the fabric of the universe tearing and all."
"But I didn't know. I'm so sorry. I didn't know...." Suddenly her voice trailed off. "I didn't know! Why didn't I know, Spike?" Gone was the tearful, apologetic girl who'd followed him into the room and in her place was the Buffy he knew –eyes flashing and fists clenched at her sides. "Why the hell didn't I know?"
He shuffled his feet and edged toward the door, stopping when she moved to block his exit.
"There's a really, really good explanation, love," he ventured. "Several of them, actually. One for each time I could have—"
"Should have!" Buffy interrupted.
"Right. Should have. No question about it. I was a wanker and a coward and a... a..."
"Moron? Jackass? Inconsiderate jerk?"
"All of those things," he agreed quickly. "Was an idiot – and then we had that battle, which I think we kinda lost – and I—"
"You could have prevented this."
"Wha—? Whoa there, Slayer. Wasn't me shagging the great poof into another world."
"No, but... and ewww for that image... But if I'd known, if you'd been here, with me...."
"You saying you wouldn't have taken him up on his offer?" Spike's face reflected both hope and disbelief.
"Of course not! Why would I want to— with him, if I had you in my life? I thought you were dead! I thought I'd never have you again and when Angel offered..." She stopped and stared at Spike. "Do you have any idea how long it's been since anyone touched me? Not counting people who were trying to kill me... or people of the non-male persuasion," she finished in a mumble.
"Oh, Buffy. I had no idea." He moved closer to her and raised a tentative hand to her face. "Thought you'd be doing fine without me in your life, and then when Blue whisked us away... I came as soon as I knew you were in trouble." He stroked her cheek, smiling when she leaned into his hand and held it in place. She turned her head and kissed his palm.
"I missed you so much," she murmured. "I needed you and you weren't there."
"I'm sorry, love." He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her into his body. "Never meant to hurt you. Never would. Love you too much."
Buffy slid her arms around him, inhaling the scents she'd never thought to enjoy again. Spike continued murmuring in her ear, his hands stroking her back gently as basked in her presence. Suddenly he froze. "What did you mean 'of the non-male persuasion'? Who's the bint?" His eyes were flashing yellow and she gave him a little shake.
"Not going to tell you. It's over and done with. And none of your business, Mr-I-wasn't-around-to-object-to-it."
"Point," he admitted reluctantly. "So, where does that leave us? What are we doing now?"
"Probably causing a ship-wide search," she said with a wry grin. She reluctantly pulled away from him. "As for where we are... I think we're okay." She raised her eyes to his. "At least I hope we are. Really can't do anything about it while there's world save-age to do, but when we're done..."
"When we're done," he whispered, leaning down to brush his lips across hers, "I'm going to put you in the shower and wash you down until I can't smell him on you anymore." He slid his lips over to her ear and murmured, "And then I'm going to make love to you until you can't remember his name."
"Who's name?" she whispered back, grabbing his face with both hands and pulling his mouth back to hers. "And doesn't this ship have showers?"
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