I haven’t updated in awhile, but I haven’t stopped writing. In fact, I’ve been writing more than ever (and yes, it’s Spuffy, what else is there really?). I’ve been writing smaller stories for my friends on livejournal -- look it up, http://www.livejournal.com/users/facingthesun/ -- as Christmas presents. There aren’t all done, but I’m going to share them with you now as they are completed.

Thank you for reading. I hope to start working on my WIPs soon. (I don’t know about you, but I miss them).

Happy New Year!

--Jennifer (facingthesun)

(note: not all stories are R/NC17, to see all of them, go to my livejournal or the Spuffy Realm -- http://www.spikeluver.com/SpuffyRealm/index.php -- )

Title: A Case of Carpe Diem
Pairing: Human Spike and Buffy
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Thank you to Joss for letting me play without being sued. And I really don’t have a clue about therapists and psychology, this is just me playing.
Gift for: wicked_bitter, who wanted chocolate, lots of dialogue
Beta’d: yes
Finished: yes

“I saw him today.”

“And how did it go?”

“I hid. I ran in the other direction and spent ten minutes shopping in a flooring store. It was the nearest building and I lied to a sweet little old man and told him that I was remodeling my kitchen and looking to replace my linoleum with hardwood floors. Isn’t that a horrible thing to do? See what Angel makes me do?” Frowning, Buffy grabbed the pillow next to her and hugged it to her chest. “Yesterday marked six months, Joyce. Six months since he left me. Six months since I’ve been on a date…since I’ve been kissed…since I’ve—it shouldn’t be such a big deal. I know that six months isn’t that long but…God, I’m so lonely.”

“Why haven’t you visited that singles bar? I’ve heard that most of the men there are very rich and very attractive. It’s a nice, upscale piano bar…”

“What kind of therapist are you? I want a meaningful relationship; you can’t find that in a bar—even if it has a piano. In bars you find one-night stands and-and…”

“And you want something more?”

“Is that so much to ask for?”

“What if you lowered your standards a bit?”

“No, I like my standards. My standards are good.”

“But they aren’t getting you anywhere, are they?”

“There’s no need to be smug,” Buffy pouted. “Okay, explain.”

“Why go out looking for only meaningful relationships?” Joyce asked. “Why not try to have fun? Fun doesn’t always have to include a one-night stand. Let go a little. Take a risk.”

“Take a risk?”

“Carpe diem, Buffy.”

“Seize the day… What if it’s easier said than done?”

“Then we’ll discuss it further at our next session.”

“That’s my cue, huh?” Buffy smiled, gathering her purse. “I’ll see you next week?”

“Same time, same place.”

“Thank you, Joyce.”

“You’re welcome, Buffy.”

One week later.

Buffy walked out of the coffee shop and shivered uncontrollably once the icy cold wind rushed through her heavy layers of clothing.

“Oh, God,” she whimpered, her gloved hand shaking as she sipped from her cup of steaming hot chocolate.

“Oh, God! Hot! Hot!” Forcing herself to swallow the boiling drink, Buffy looked around causally, wondering if anyone had noticed her outburst while her taste buds sizzled.

Fueled by embarrassment and the terrible weather, Buffy ran down the busy street as fast as her high-heeled leather boots would allow. Moving from left to right, she easily dodged and avoided all the oncoming traffic until she collided with an innocent pedestrian.

“Ow! Bloody hell! That fucking burns!”

In shock, Buffy looked down at her spilled drink and then at the back of the man that she’d splashed.

“Don’t just stand there, you stupid bint! Help me get this off!”

“I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” Buffy cried, tugging on the man’s coat. “I feel horrible! Can I pay to get your jacket cleaned? Maybe…maybe I can get you a new one? Oh, my God, you’re going to freeze now! Does your back hurt? I live close, about a block away, I can drive you to a hospital if you think that you’re badly burned or I can take you to my place just to get out of the cold for awhile.”

“Oh, stop crying crocodile tears for me.” Hugging his arms to his body, the man turned, revealing to Buffy his piercing blue eyes and made up face. His hair was an unnatural shade of blonde, nearly white, and it stood on its end in a number of messy spikes. His black pants and t-shirt were full of holes and Buffy frowned at the sight of his overly thin body.

“I really do feel horrible,” she said, trying to convince him that she was sincere. “I was in a hurry, I was late to an appointment, and--.”

“You weren’t watching where you were going.”

“No, and I’m so sorry. Is there anything that I can do for you?”

“Did you say something about taking me to your place?” Wrinkling his nose, he looked her up and down. “You wanna rethink that offer, love? Surely, don’t want a nasty man like me coming into your house.”

“I-I live in an apartment.”

“Well, good for you, princess.”

“I—that wasn’t what I meant—just tell me if you’re hurt. Did I really burn you?”

“Yeah…yes, you did. Ruined my best coat too, you bitch. I should sue you.”


“Yeah, for destroying my property and for reckless handling of your la-ti-da Starbucks--.”

“But that’s silly! It was an accident! I was cold--.”

“Don’t piss and moan to me about being cold. Not now as I stand here, about to suffer from frostbite.”

“I’m sorry,” Buffy whispered, not certain what else to say. “Please, just come to my apartment for a few minutes. You’ll freeze to death out here. I don’t want you to get frostbite because of me. You’re already turning blue.” Biting her lip, she timidly touched his arm. “Let me help you.”

“And by ‘help,’ what do you mean exactly?”

“Um, you can get out of the cold and I can check your back--.”

“You a doctor?”


“Then get your mitts off,” he snapped, backing away as his teeth chattered. “Go be a little Good Samaritan to someone else. I will not be your fucking Christmas charity case.”

“But I hurt you… I don’t care if you’re a-a…”

“Come on, spit it out. I can’t wait to tell you just how wrong you are. I’m not a bum. I’m not homeless either. I’ve gotta home, a job and I’ve got money.”

“I never thought—I just want to see if you’re okay.”

“I feel fine. Downright peachy, I am.”

“You’re lying. The least that I can do is…” Inhaling, she took off her hat, gloves, scarf and jacket. “Take them. The jacket’s real leather and the accessories…well, they’re hot pink, but they’re warm.”

“You…you’re a very strange girl.”


“That wasn’t a compliment.” Mumbling quietly, the man slid on the jacket. “There’s nothing like a bit of cross dressing to make my day complete.”

“What about the rest?”

“You wear the hat, it’s cute on you, and you should hide that hat hair.”

“I have hat hair?”

“Gimme the scarf and the gloves,” he smirked, when she gasped and replaced hat on her head. “You do realize if I go with you, you can’t write it off on tax day?”

“Uh, yeah,” Buffy laughed softly, hoping that the man was making a joke. “You realize if I let you into my home you can’t…you can’t do anything shady or crooked, right? I’ve taken so many self-defensive classes…I know pilates a-and...”

“You think your toned tummy muscles are gonna scare me?”

“No…but can you just promise me that you won’t, you know…”

“Rob you blind? Rape you? Stab you a few times with your own kitchen knife?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“I won’t. How’s that for a promise? It didn’t give you the assurance you were looking for, yeah? It must be the eyeliner and black polish,” he said, showing her his chipped fingernails. “These seem to scare you yuppie-types to pieces.”

“Can we just get out of the cold? Please?”

“You live how far away?”

“A block, two at the most.”

“Alright, but I need to be back here before sundown, you got me?”

“I totally got you. Follow me?”

“Just lead the way.”

“I think my jacket looks better on you than it ever did on me.”

“You sure know how to flatter a girl.”

“I’m not positive that it’s a woman’s coat. I just bought it because it was on sale and it matched my shoes really well,” Buffy grinned, catching the eye of the attendant of the apartment complex. Once the attendant buzzed the door, Buffy opened it and let the man walk in first.

“This place has a lotta security. It’s fancy too.”

“It makes me feel safe. Let’s take the elevator. I’m on the third floor.”

“Do you live alone?”

“I do. Do you?”

“Most of the time.”

“Where do you live?”

“Here and there.”


“I’m not a bum.”

“I never said that you were. What’s your name?”

“Why do you wanna know?”

“Because when I get my subpoena I want to know if it’s you who’s summoning me.”


“Thank you or was that not a compliment too?”

“Doesn’t a mouth like that get you in trouble?”

“Sometimes.” Once the elevator stopped, she led the man to her door. “Well, if you care, my name’s Buffy.”



“You have some mean parents, yeah?”

“What’s your name?” she asked again, pushing open the door and silently gesturing for him to enter.


“Spike. I hate to think what your parents though about you. But then, it explains your hair.”

With a crooked grin, Spike leisurely stepped through her tiny apartment, taking time to scan each nook and cranny. “This is tinier than I expected. It’s packed full of some gaudy shit.”

“My Christmas decorations are not gaudy.”

“Whatever you say. Where’s the bathroom?”

“Oh, it’s this way. Do you want to take a shower? It’d probably do you some good since you kinda smell like a walking candy bar. Just don’t let the water get too hot, or it’ll bother your burn. I can get you a towel.”

“Do you always allow complete strangers into your apartment?”

Her head in the hall closet, Buffy paused, the tone of his voice making her uneasy. “No, but my friends do all the time. They constantly bring guys home from bars and--.”

“You figure that this is nothing different?”

“In some ways, yes, but then, I doubt that my friends scald the boys with hot chocolate before they take them home.”

“And to bed.”

“Here’s a towel and washcloth. There’s shampoo and soap in the shower already. Since you’re so skinny, I’ll get a pair of my pajamas for you to slip on until I can find you something more suitable to wear in public.”

“You’re trembling.”

“That’s because you’re scaring me,” Buffy admitted, avoiding his eyes. “We were doing fine until your voice got deep and you started to—yes, you’re scaring me and I don’t appreciate it, Spike.”

“Didn’t you want to check my back?” Not waiting for an answer, he took off the jacket and his raggedy shirt. “Tell me, what does it look like?”

“It’s red.” Taking off her glove, Buffy touched the spot on his pale skin and jumped once Spike hissed. “I’m sorry. I can’t believe that I did that to you.”

“With a cup of chocolate, no less.”

“I’m really sorry.”

“You’re starting to sound like a broken record, love.”

“But I am sorry--.”

“Just bite your tongue and give me a minute to wash up.”

“O-okay. Let me go find you those pajamas.”

“Spike?” When he didn’t respond, Buffy knocked on the bathroom door. “Spike? I have some clothes for you!”

“Bring ‘em in!” he yelled over the sound of running water.

“You sure? If you haven’t noticed the shower curtain’s kinda see-through!”

“No? Really? How could I have missed that?”

“There’s no reason to be sarcastic!”

“Can I trust you not to oogle at my dangly bits?”

“Carpe diem… Take a risk…” Buffy whispered, closing her eyes. “Okay, I’m coming in!”

“Hey, but you didn’t promise!”

“I won’t look,” she said, shielding her eyes with the palm of her hand as she made her way into the bathroom.

“Pet, don’t be ridiculous, don’t—watch it!”

“Oh my—ow!”

“What is wrong with you?”

“Uh…” On her back, Buffy fluttered her eyes open and closed them after getting a glimpse of Spike’s nude body as he stepped over her to get out of the shower. “Oh…God.”

“I said, ‘watch it,’ and you still managed to trip and flop onto the bloody floor.”

“Now can I sue you? For, uh, endangering my life by dropping your clothes just anywhere in a pile?”

“You could try, but you did have your eyes covered like a ninny. And will you just look at the heel on your boots? It’s no wonder that you tripped. Can you get up?”

“I think so,” she groaned, lifting her upper body with her forearms.

“Haven’t you learned anything here? Do you plan on falling down again? Open your eyes, Buffy.”

Peeking open one eye, Buffy exhaled at the sight of the towel that was wrapped around his hips. However, once her eyes traveled up from his navel to his surprisingly toned abs and arms, she found herself holding her breath again.

“Can you get up on your own?”

“I’m o-okay,” she whispered, struggling not to stare at his clean face, which seemed to bring more attention to his sharp cheekbones. “Just… sore. My ankle…”

“What about your ankle? Did you twist it? Do you need me to--.”

“No! I can do this.” Folding up into a sitting position, she tried to lift her body weight, but failed, unable to stand on her left ankle. Instead of falling back like she expected, Buffy gasped as strong damp arms circled her waist.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you, baby.”

“T-thank you. You’ve got some nice, um, reflexes.”

“You should’ve let me help you up in the first place. You want to get to a chair or something?”

“The couch in the living room would be super.”

“Okay, hold on.”

“Hold on? Spike!” Buffy gasped, throwing her arms around his neck once she was lifted into the air and cradled against his chest.

“What? This’ll be a lot quicker than helping you hobble.”

Not saying a word, Buffy kept her nose buried in his shoulder as her heart pounded. The scent of familiar soap and shampoo filled her nostrils, but she noticed a hint of something else behind it that she could only determine as the alluring smell of his skin.

“Do you have ice and a bag to put it in?”

“Ice is in the freezer and bags, they’re in the pantry.”

“I don’t think my burn is that bad, just so you know. My jacket and shirt got the most of it. It really feels no different than a slight sunburn.”

“Oh,” she said, talking as he gently lowered her onto the couch and slipped off her boots, “but are you sure? Don’t you want to get it checked out?”

“Let’s concentrate on your ankle for now, alright? Give me a minute to put on those clothes. Since you risked your life to bring ‘em to me, I might as well wear them. Then, I’ll be poking around the kitchen.”

“Stay away from any sharp objects, please.”

“I’ll try,” he grinned. “It’ll be tempting though.”

“Thank you, Spike. I really owe you one.”

“No, kitten, I’d say that you owe me a few,” he chuckled, heading out of the living room.


“Joyce, Joyce, it’s me.”

“Buffy? Where are you?”

“I’m at home.”

“Are you okay? You missed our appointment. Why are you whispering?”

“There’s a man in my apartment!”

“A man? Shouldn’t you be calling the police instead of me?”

“I-I invited him here. I guess you can say that I took a risk.”

“Good for you! Where’d you find him? At that singles bar?”

“No! I just ran into him on my way to your office…it’s a long story.”

“Is he attractive?”

“He’s gorgeous! Maybe not in a conventional way, but he’s so—God, I haven’t been this attracted to someone in a long, long time,” Buffy giggled. “It’s a scary, yet wonderful feeling.”

“Where’d you--.”

“Pet, do you have another clean towel?”

“Joyce, I gotta go. Can we reschedule for tomorrow? Please? Okay! Thanks! Bye!”

“I didn’t know that you were on the phone,” Spike said, watching as Buffy hung up the telephone and hid it in her lap. “I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You were fine. I just had to reschedule the appointment that I missed with my therapist.”

“Oh,” Spike said, sliding a pillow under her ankle before carefully covering it with ice. “I found a towel; I wrapped the ice with it to take the chill off.”

“Aren’t you going to make a remark about me seeing a shrink?”

“Who am I to judge when it comes to that? Sometimes people need a neutral ear. It’s up to you if you wanna spend a small fortune on a doc who thinks that she knows everything about everything, who thinks that she can be your judge and jury all at once.”

“Ok, that was bitter. Is there some therapist out there that did you wrong?”

“Yeah, my wicked stepmother.”

“Your stepmother’s a therapist?” Wow, a therapist as a parent, that must be rough. But at least you get your sessions free of charge,” Buffy grinned, happy that Spike was sharing information about himself without her having to pry.

“I don’t need any sodding sessions,” he mumbled, sitting across from her. Buffy’s grin grew wider at the sight of him in her pink plaid pajama bottoms. “Stop your smiling, goldilocks. I know they’re a bit on the snug side. Do you have anything in your wardrobe that isn’t pink?”

“Would you prefer a nice shade of purple?”

“Be nice or I’ll get back into my towel, but then you’d probably like that. I saw you gawking earlier.”


“You were blushing then just like you’re blushing now.”

“Oh God,” she gasped, touching her face. “I usually don’t do this.”

“It’s a pity. Those rosy cheeks look awfully striking on you.”

“You are not helping my situation here.”

“I’d say sorry, but I’d be lying.”

“I had no idea that you were such a charmer, but that’s probably because you were kinda mean when we first met...with your standoffish demeanor and your tendency to scream dirty words.”

“You get hot chocolate tossed at you and then we’ll see how you react."

“Okay, you have a point. So, would you say that we’re on friendlier terms now?”

“I’d like to think so.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“That depends. If you’re asking me out: go ahead. If you’re gonna try to weasel you’re way into a discount on my stepmother’s shrink fees: bite me.”

“Could you really get me a discount? What’s your stepmother’s name? Maybe I should look her up.” When Spike’s eyes narrowed, she laughed. “I just want to know your real name. It can’t really be Spike.”

“So, you don’t wanna go out for dinner? Ah shucks, there’s another pity.”

“I...what are you doing on Friday?”

“Flying out of town. I’ll be gone until next Tuesday.”

“I guess I deserved that, but really, you didn’t have to--.”

“I wanted you to ask, Buffy. I want to have dinner with you.”

“When you get back?”

“Yes, and before I leave.”

“Today’s Thursday.”

“I have a flight tomorrow morning at nine, but it doesn’t mean we can’t order in, yeah?”

“No, it doesn’t,” Buffy said, a grin tugging on her lips. “But what about the stuff you had to do tonight?”

“You aren’t the only one who can do some rescheduling, baby.”

“Don’t think that I’m cheap, but under the coffee table, I have coupons if you want pizza or Chinese.”

“There’s nothing wrong with pinching a few pennies,” Spike said, getting to his knees to look. “I’m having a hankering for Chinese, how ‘bout you?”

“That sounds wonderful.”

“Anything in particular that you want? Here’s a dinner for two, it comes with a variety of things.”

“That’s great. I’ll call it in.”

While dialing the phone, Buffy watched as Spike got to his feet and walked around the coffee table to look at her ankle. “That’s enough of this for now. Maybe you can ice it again later.”

Nodding, Buffy gave their order. “Is it swollen?” she asked, after putting the phone down. “I can move it this way,” she demonstrated, rotating her foot to the right, “but the other way hurts.”

“It’ll work itself out, I bet. In a while, you should try to hobble around and give it some exercise.”

“Spike, are you some kind of doctor?”

“Nope, I just watch ‘em on TV.”

“What do you do? What’s your job?”

“Well, I sing.”

“Like with a band?”

“No, like with Sunday school choir. Of course with a band.”

“So, are you leaving for a show?”

“Not show, show sounds too Broadway, they’re gigs.”


“I’m going out west for a few days. I have some friends to see and I want to get away from this bloody blizzard.”

“I hope you have a good time.”

“What are you gonna do for Christmas? See the family?”

“I passed. I could’ve gone to California, but I…I just passed on the offer.”

“I hate dysfunctional family gatherings.”

“I skipped out on Thanksgiving too,” Buffy admitted. “Last time they saw me, I was engaged and I haven’t told them that Angel left me…six months ago.”

“Somebody’s in trouble,” Spike sang, sitting on the edge of the coffee table. “What kinda name is Angel?”

“A stupid, stupid name. The name of a cheating asshole.”

“Let me guess, you went to the shrink to mend your relationship, but when it didn’t work out, you stayed on?”


“What part of California do your folks live in?”

“Sunnydale, known as Sunnyhell to the locals.”

“How far is it from LA?”

“An hour or two north.”

“Too bad you aren’t going. Imagine what would happen if you showed up with me on your arm, I bet that’d give ‘em a thrill.”

“It definitely would,” Buffy laughed. “Do you always wear the ripped clothes, makeup and spiky hair?”

“It depends on the impression that I’m trying to make.”

“Just so you know, I can’t decide which way I like your hair more, spiky or slicked back like it is now. Either way, it’s really nice.”

“Is it your turn to charm me?”

“No,” she said, looking away. “I’ll start to blush again and I hate that.”

“Will you see friends for Christmas?”

“Nope, they’re all out of town or busy and I don’t want to intrude. It’ll be just me, Christmas specials on TV, and my gaudy decorations. But don’t worry; I won’t get too left out. See all those presents under the tree? All for me. I bought them, so there won’t be any surprises, but hey, I won’t be returning anything on the 26th.”

“You should be with somebody, love. I have half a mind to force you to join me tomorrow. But I won’t because we’re strangers and who wants to spend the holidays with a strange bloke who wears eyeliner?”

“Uh…it’s not like I’d be able to find airline tickets this late anyway.”

“Well, that wouldn’t be a have problem. I’ve got connections. But your ankle…”

“And it’d be pretty awkward…”

“And…you would refuse, wouldn’t you?” Spike asked, lifting a brow. “I mean, it’s a downright batty thought. I’m ashamed to have even brought it up…you would—you will say no, right?”

“Are you going to ask? Like, for real?”

“It depends, what would you say?”

“First, I’d say, this is the oddest conversation that I’ve ever had. Then, I’d blush some more, contemplate calling my therapist for guidance and…eventually…I’d probably say…yes,” Buffy said, squeaking out the last word. “You seem really…nice and I-I think we get along unusually well for two people who just met and especially when you take how we met into account. Also, my therapist, she said that I needed to take more risks, even though this is a doozy—I’m an adult and I can make my own decisions.”

“And it’s not like we’ll be attached at the hip. We can stay at separate hotels, have separate rental cars, but I’ll be there to escort you to your family’s Christmas get-together.”

“Then we’d still be able to have dinner tomorrow night.”

“Yeah,” Spike replied with a warm grin. They continued to stare at each other, the mood light but the air heavy with silence until the doorbell rang minutes later. “Let me get that.”

“Oh, my purse--.”

“Forget it, I’ll pick up the tab.”


“The only way that I’ll let you pay is if you beat me to the door. Can you make it, Little Miss Limps-A-Lot? No, I didn’t think so.”

“Your cousin works for the airlines?”

Nodding, Spike chewed his food and spoke after he swallowed. “All it’ll take is one call. You sure you don’t wanna use your set of chopsticks?”

“Positive. If I did, there would be food everywhere. I’m messy enough with a fork and spoon.”

“I’ve noticed. Have you looked down lately?”

“Oh, please don’t tell me…oh, gosh, how long have I been covered in Moo Goo?”

“Not long,” Spike laughed, giving Buffy a handful of napkins. “Keep some for later, sweet.”

As Buffy wiped her shirt, she watched Spike out of the corner of her eye. They were sitting on the floor side-by-side, using the coffee table as a dining surface, and each time that Spike lowered his head to take a bite of food, reflections from the lights on her Christmas tree danced on his hair.

“You know, this is the nicest evening that I’ve had in a long time,” she admitted softly. “Injuries aside, of course.”

“Just think, if our vacation’s half as good as this…hell, maybe we’ll both have a merry Christmas after all.”

“I’ll have to call my mom and tell her that we’re coming, she’ll be happy—a little stunned—but happy.”

“Will she have room for two more?”

“Our family isn’t that big, it’s mainly my mom, sister and me. We always have extra food.”

“Are you close with your mum and sister?”

“I was…if you’re wondering why I haven’t told them about my broken engagement…it’s just hard. I don’t want to tell them on the phone and then…I just don’t want them to feel sorry for me. My sister’s been married for awhile now and I get so tired with the role of old maid.”

“Old maid? How old are you really? Because I was convinced you were in your twenties.”

“I’m twenty-eight—almost twenty-nine.”

“Don’t you have one foot in the ground? Sounds to me like you’re one step away from one of those ‘over the hill’ parties.”

“Stop teasing me,” Buffy sang, giving him a playful nudge with her side. “How old are you?”

“Mmmm,” holding up a finger, Spike ate a heaping spoonful of fried rice, “I’m younger than you.”

“By how much?”

“Um, two, three…about five years.”

“You’re twenty-three?”

“My birthday was last month.”

“You are younger. Almost six years younger.”

“Does that bother you? What if I were nineteen?”

“Oh, God, you’re nineteen?” Buffy gasped, theatrically grabbing her chest. “Aren’t nineteen year olds still in high school?”

“I’m twenty-three, love.” With a grin, he patted her hand before giving it a light squeeze. “Is six years going to bug you? I can bump the number up a bit. Want me to be older than you when we’re with your folks’? Think I could pass for thirty? How about thirty-two?”

“You’re the same age as my baby sister…”

“She cute? Maybe you could hook us up...”

Not listening to the rest of his sentence, Buffy’s face fell in a pout. “I told you that she was married and even if she wasn’t, I thought—well, maybe I’m being dumb—but I thought that we had something here...or maybe that we could…never mind,” she mumbled, trying to hide her humiliation. “I’m being stupid. I don’t know what I’m taking about. Does this food have MSG in it? Does MSG cause, uh, sudden acts of insanity? Is there any fine print on the box? How about a warning label?”


“No, no, don’t. There’s no need.” Shifting awkwardly, she tried to get out from underneath the coffee table. “Okay, if I could move and then if I could stand, I’d be running for cover, just know that.”

“It was just a joke, love. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Yeah, well, you don’t have to spare my feelings.”

“Hey, I didn’t mean it, Buffy. I’ve never met your sister and when I do, I don’t plan on paying her too much attention. Sure, I’ll be play nice and act civil, but that’s just because I want to impress you.”

“You want to impress me?”

“Do you find that hard to believe? Why wouldn’t I? Look at you, pet. Do you really think a guy like me stumbles across a woman like you on a daily basis? You’re kind, drop dead gorgeous, trusting—almost too trusting if you ask me.”

“Ah…can you repeat the second to the last one?”

“I mean, you just let me waltz into your home. I could’ve been a bloody psychopath--.”

“I asked—I told you that I could beat you up.”

“Yes, baby, and you are oh-so-threatening.”

“Well, I can be,” Buffy insisted, causing Spike to laugh. “I’m serious! I found Angel with one of my future bridesmaids and I punched her in the face and kneed him in the crotch!”

“You’re fucking adorable.”

“I gave Cordy a broken nose and I had to be pulled off Angel!”

Still chuckling, Spike cupped her elbow and leaned in close to her face. “You must be tougher than you look, kitten.”

“What?” she gasped, reclining her head back. “W-what are you doing?”

“My name—or real name as you put it—is William. Only the people that I’m close to can call me that without getting a thrashing.”


“Yeah, William. Poncy, eh?”

“Um, no.”

“Thanks,” he said, his gaze floating back and forth from her eyes to her mouth. “Now, this could be a result of that pesky MSG, but…if I were to kiss you, would I be asking for a pilates-type beating?”

“You want to…”


Once Spike held a flat palm to the back of her head, Buffy’s eyes fluttered shut and she let out a sigh when his soft lips brushed against hers.

“So far, so good?”

Nodding, Buffy tilted her chin up to set off a series of deeper kisses. “Uh, wow,” she whispered, pulling back, but keeping their bodies close.

“Wow, indeed.”

“Next time you come to visit, don’t be surprised if my apartment’s decked out in mistletoe.”


“You can laugh, but I’m being serious,” Buffy mumbled, biting her lower lip. “Maybe I could get something like a necklace made out of mistletoe.”

“Like you really need to go to that much trouble.”

“I don’t?”

“I think it’s safe to say that you don’t have to tie sodding weeds around your neck if you want me to kiss you again.”

“Should I just ask nicely?”

“If you want it, take it.”

“But...Spike, that’s a hard thing for me to do. I have all these eternal conflicts... Is it the right thing to do? Would it be wrong?”

“Are we talking about something other than kissing? Because I thought we just jumped that hurdle.”

“I don’t want you to leave tonight. I won’t let you. I’m going to put your clothes in the washing machine and then in the morning, after I make you breakfast, we can stop at your place for your suitcases before we go to the airport.”

“Sounds like you have your mind made up--.”

“Well sort of but now I’m wigging out over where you’re going to sleep tonight because a very big part of me wants it to be in my bedroom. But the other part of me is so, so scared,” Buffy paused to search for his hand and put it to her chest. “Feel my heart? It’s like I’ve been doing three hours of jumping jacks.”

“If you’re that scared, baby--.”

“I’m not scared of you; it’s the way you make me feel and it’s the way that you make me act or want to act... I don’t bring home strangers, Spike, I swear that I don’t. I don’t go on vacations with guys that I’ve shared only an hour with and I really don’t sleep with a guy on a first date.”

“So you’re saying because of a pleasant meal and few kisses, you’ve turned to mush? All your good sense just flew out the window?”

Buffy nodded and she smiled a little smile. “It’s sad, isn’t it? Damn, I’ve never been to be so weak-willed before.”

“Who knew I had so much power?” Smirking, Spike sat up straight and puffed out his chest. “It’s the hair, right? I just took care of the roots yesterday…”

“I do love your hair.” Playing coy, Buffy reached up and ran her fingers through the blond hair above his left ear. “Do you want to stay? Overnight...with me?” When he didn’t answer right away, she sweetly kissed the corner of his mouth. “Please? Please, William?”

“You think I’d really disagree? Do I look mad to you?”

“No, no, you don’t. So,” Buffy said, turning her attention back to their food, even though his hand stayed resting in her palm, “tell me more about yourself. What’s the name of your band…”

The next morning.

“He’s amazing. Everything about him…he’s funny, handsome…”

“I’m guessing he’s good in bed too?”

“Oh, God, yes,” Buffy whispered, covering the phone as she spoke.

“And what did you say his name was? Thorn?”

“Funny, Joyce. His name is Spike.”

“You really have got to learn his real name, Buffy.”

“I know it.”

“Well, why didn’t you say something?”

“Because it’s…it’s just between us.” From where she was hiding in the bathroom, Buffy opened the door a crack to watch Spike as he slept under her sheets. “I really, really like this guy, Joyce. In one evening I feel close to him. It’s so much more than what I felt after three years of seeing Angel.”

“Just don’t come back married. I know that I told you to take a few risks, but—he’s only twenty-three.”

“I won’t marry him, I’m not that crazy. First, I have to see if he can survive my family, then I kinda want to meet his. I guess he has this mean, horrible step-mom who rags on his job, clothing—you name it. She sounds like an uber bitch, but she’s also a therapist so she must have some good in her.”

“Oh? What’s his stepmother’s name?”

“Buffy? Where’d you go, love?”

“I have to go! I’ll talk to you soon! Bye!”

“Sneaking in another call to the shrink, were you?” Once Buffy stepped out of the bathroom, Spike pulled back the covers and invited her back to bed.

“Sorry, it’s a habit.”

“Maybe you should consider giving her up. I mean, I can listen. I can spout out some pretty good advice too.”

“Oh, really?” Buffy hummed, finding immediate solace in his arms. “And what advice would you give me?”

“Well, give me a problem to solve.”

“Okay.” Wrapping her arms around his neck, Buffy whispered into Spike’s ear. “I had the best night of my life with this man. He’s great, nearly perfect in everyway…”

“Nearly perfect, you say? Does this man have a flaw that you find particularly bothersome?”

“He…he wears makeup.”

“Oh, no,” Spike gasped, rolling on top of her and pinning her underneath him. “So, you’re afraid if you buy the upcoming spring colors from the Clinique counter at Macy’s, that the dirty bastard will rip them off?”

“Um, no,” Buffy answered, struggling to keep a straight face.

“You want to know the best way to ask him not to wear glitter eye shadow around your mum?”

“Glitter eye shadow? Oh, say it isn’t so, William.”

“If it isn’t that or the other, what’s your complaint, pet?”

“I don’t have a complaint. I just want to know…how’s the best way to approach him… How do I ask him for…you know…”

“No, I don’t, baby. I haven’t got a bloody clue.”

“Makeup tips. I need makeup tips. The way that he puts on his eyeliner is so impressive,” Buffy snickered, kissing the side of his face. “I’m jealous. How should I ask him?”

“I don’t think there’s a bad way to ask him.”

“You sure?”

“Positive,” he smirked. “See, I’m good at this stuff. Want to ask me another?”

“Maybe later. How much time until we have to be at the airport?”

“An hour.”

“We should get up. You haven’t packed, I haven’t packed, we haven’t had breakfast…”

“I’d have no problem with getting a later flight. How about you?”

“I have no problems,” Buffy hummed, happily kissing his lips. “Not a one, Spike.”

The End.

A/N: Whatever you were thinking about Joyce…yes, you’re right. ;)

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