“Come on, Slayer.”
“No, Spike! What are you doing? Let go of me,” Buffy tried to sound like she was completely against the idea of going where ever it was he wanted to take her; she really was.
She managed to break free of his grasp, but in an instant he was in front of her again, blocking her path. “Trust me,” he told her.
“Are you insane?” She huffed, “You’re an evil vampire what reason do I have to trust you? Please, Spike, just let me go home.”
“Alright, don’t trust me; just come on,” Not waiting for an answer and knowing her, Spike started off in the opposite direction.
He wasn’t twenty feet down the road before she caught up to him, matching her stride to his, “Wait! Where are you going?”
“You’ll see,” was all he said, trying to hold back a smirk.
“How do I know you’re not doing something….something evil?” She seemed pleased with herself for coming up with that.
“Can’t forget about those slayerly duties now can you? Guess you’ll just have to come with me to know for sure.”
“Will be just fine with Glinda and Red, now are you coming or not? I’d like to get going.”
“I’m just going to make sure you don’t do anything evil,” She felt the need to point out.
“’Course, love. Now let’s get going; it’s late.”
“The fair?” Buffy asked incredulously as the lights came into view. “Please tell me you’re not going to the fair.”
“Not evil enough for you?”
“What….but you’re….and…,” She sputtered out before finally getting one word out, “Huh?”
“You need to have some fun,” Spike explained, looking sheepish. “Been working too hard since…just been working too hard,” He still had a hard time mentioning the time when she was dead. “Thought you needed to take a break.”
“So you brought me to the fair?”
He almost didn’t catch the hint of a smile she let out before she caught herself. “Spike, this is crazy. I have to get Dawn up for school in the morning and it’s already late and—“
“Told you, Niblet’ll be fine with Red and Glinda.”
“But you brought me to the fair!” Buffy couldn’t seem to get over that fact.
“Think we’ve covered that fact, kitten. Now, let’s go have some fun, yeah?”
“It’s the fair,” She muttered.
“That it is. Got lots of sugary goodies, plenty of things to rot those pearly whites of yours right out.”
“Well when you put it like that,” Buffy joked, finally giving in. But then a thought struck her, “Fair’s are kind of expensive Spike, I don’t really have the money to spare.”
“Good thing I’m paying then.”
“It’s not a date,” She added even as she walked with him towards the entrance gate.
“Just you having some fun and letting me tag along.”
”Exactly.” Except that it was like a date. And that didn’t seem to bother her near as much as it should have.
“Cotton candy: check; caramel apple: check; funnel cake: check; taffy: check….can I have some popcorn now?” Buffy was bouncing on the balls of her feet—both from the sugar high and from just being happy for the first time in longer than she cared to remember.
“Regular or caramel?” Was his only answer.
“Kind of like my teeth, so how about regular?”
It wasn’t as if he were going to deny her anything at the moment, not with the mood she was in. Even as he made his way to the concession stand Spike couldn’t believe how well the night was going. He hadn’t expected this at all.
Nor had he expected Buffy to lead them to one of the picnic tables once she had her popcorn, sitting next to him on the bench, both of them looking out into the crowd.
“You know I’m probably going to be sick tomorrow,” she pointed out as he stole a few pieces of her popcorn.
“All part of the plan, luv,” he ate the popcorn and stole some more, “You get sick—or pretend to—and those slayer powers heal you up right and proper while the Scoobies think you need some good old fashioned rest to get better. Gives you a break.”
“You really have thought this out haven’t you?” No way was she going to admit that she was impressed.
“No one’s been thinking of you pet; of what you need,” He wouldn’t meet her eye, his words getting quieter as he went along. “They’ve all been so focused on you being back and trying make themselves feel all proud. And you’ve been working on keeping them all happy and in the dark. You need some time.”
When she didn’t say anything for what had to be at least three full minutes he decided to change the topic before she could get angry with him; before she could reject him.
“Come on, luv.”
“What? Where are we going now?” Though her tone would have implied otherwise, Buffy didn’t try to stop him as he took her hand and started to pull her out of the food section of the fair. “I don’t really feel up to any rides,” she muttered holding a hand to her stomach as the bright lights and loud noises of the attractions assaulted her senses.
“Good thing we’re not going on any then.”
“Then what are we--?” She stopped her question when she saw what she expected might be his intended destination. “You know I can’t use my slayer skills for anything like that. It’s like Willow’s magic, can’t use it for plain personal gain. And I’m pretty sure that winning a carnival game would fall under that category.”
“And again I say, it’s good we’re not doing that then.”
“Then what are we going to do?” She was starting to sound like a little kid, a sure sign that she was relaxing.
“We,” he told her, “Are finally going to prove that that,” he pointed over to a man, “Over there really doesn’t know what he’s going on about.”
“Spike,” Buffy argued, “No one thinks he does anyway. It’s not like we have to—how exactly were you planning on ‘proving’ it anyway?” She couldn’t help but be curious.
“Simple. Bloke thinks he can tell you how old anyone is, he’s usually got a safe bet—people always look around their age and if he’s off by a year or two, no one much minds. But if he guesses my age, we know he’s going to be off by at least a hundred years, ergo proving him wrong.”
“And this matters to you why?”
“Those guys are bloody obnoxious; don’t like their know-it-all attitude.”
He wasn’t so sure he liked her laughing at him, but then again it was more than nice to see her laughing, “You mean to tell me that some carnie got under the Big Bad’s skin?”
“He’s got no right acting like he’s some bloody psychic or something!” Spike protested.
“Come on then, let’s go prove him wrong,” Buffy acquiesced, a plan already forming in her head.
Now Spike was the hyper one, seemingly unable to contain his excitement as he bounced on the balls of his feet while waiting for the man to finish guessing a woman’s age. He of course, guessed an age three years under her actual age, resulting in her winning a small prize and her ego boosted just that little bit.
“Your turn, sweetheart,” the carnie told Buffy, smiling—Spike thought—fairly suggestively at her.
“No, no,” she protested, “I’m not going; he’s the one you get to guess for,” She pushed Spike onto the gaudily lit platform.
Spike had no reservations about it, he stepped onto the platform a knowing smirk on his face. “Yeah, let’s have it, mate; how old am I?”
While his attention was solely focused on the man studying him intently Buffy quietly stepped up as close behind her as she could and still not set off her Slayer—and his Vampire—senses. Pointing at Spike, Buffy made sure she had his attention before holding up one finger, then four.
“I’d have to say about twe—“ But Buffy quickly shook her head to stop him, It was clear she’d misunderstood her signs and thought she was saying twenty four—as Spike obviously wasn’t fourteen.
Before he could question her more, she tried again. First one finger, then four, followed by eight. The man looked extremely perplexed, but Buffy tried to give him her best reassuring look and nodded her head before stepping back to where she’d been when she pushed Spike forward.
“Strangely, I think I’ll have to go with something a little higher. I think a one and maybe an eight--“ When he paused Spike looked pleased (and slightly disappointed). “No wait, add a four in the middle of that,” He didn’t’ look so pleased now. “I’m going to say you’re about one hundred and forty eight.”
“One hundred…!” He sputtered out and Buffy could tell that the man was about to change his answer to something more sensible. “This is…this is bollocks is what this is. Let’s go Buffy,”
Completely pleased with herself Buffy gave the man a grateful smile before skipping after Spike, not catching up with him for a full five minutes. “Hey, slow down buddy. You don’t have to get all huffy…or, or…all ‘shirty’,” She giggled.
Still attempting to storm angrily out of the fair, Spike stopped at the entrance to the food area, “Do you even know that word?”
“What? ‘Shirty’? Uh huh, Giles said it before. Now don’t be mad,” she pouted tugging on his arm.
”Sorry, luv. Just don’t like that ponce—“
“Getting one up on you?” She offered.
“He did not ‘get one up on me’. It was just a luck guess is all.”
“Yeah sure; come on, let’s get some more sugary goodness and then we can go home. I won’t even point out how wrong you were,” Buffy laughed and pulled Spike along with her as she want to get more food.
Spike was trying to act manly and affronted at being proved so wrong, but secretly he was just happy to see Buffy happy; she’d been too down since….since she came back.
“If you eat one more little granule of sugar I think you’re going to turn into a sugar cane, luv.” She noticed he hadn’t called her ‘Slayer’ once that night, it was nice—like she was just Buffy, not the Slayer; if only for this night. “Not that I would mind getting a lick or two—“
“You know, that actually took longer than I expected,” Buffy remarked, eating the rest of her cotton candy, heedless to what he’d said.
“What did, pet?”
“You saying something sexual.”
“Did my best but it’s bloody hard around you,” the look in his eyes let her know that statement had more than one meaning.
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