Not Just Puppy Love
"How are we only at forty?"
"Well, luv, there was that two weeks you were out of town," Spike supplied.
"Yeah, but we more than made up for that when I got back! It's been two months almost...what if we lost count or something?"
"Pet, you do realise that there are twelve months in a year, right?"
"Of course I do. I'm not stupid--I'm a college graduate."
"Right, so isn't forty times six well over one hundred thirteen? Seems to me that it's more like two hundred and forty...Think it's safe to say that we're doing just fine."
"fine. We'll stick with 'just fine' Mr. 'I'm okay with doing 'just fine'!"
"Oh, Buffy," He sighed, "Come on, kitten, it's time for you to be getting off to work. Have that meeting, remember?"
"How could I forget that my dick of a boss scheduled a meeting for six o'clock on Valentine's Day? I know it's a Tuesday and that's when we have our meetings--the second Tuesday of every month, but couldn't he make an exception just this once?"
"Apparently not. Now best get a move on. Don't want you losing your job."
"Yeah, yeah...me neither," Buffy grumbled even as she pulled on her suit jacket and made it towards the door. "Still don't get how I can get off at four today and have to go back at six," Spike could hear her mumbling as she left the house.
He'd never tell her, but Spike was actually kind of glad that Buffy had a meeting. When he had found out that she was getting home at four o'clock that day, he'd worried that he was not going to have any time to prepare the house for their Valentine's date. Now, though, he'd have the time.
He and Buffy had really only been together since Christmas which was not all that long of a time, but it sure seemed like it. And not in the, 'God it seemed like this hour was taking days' kind of way. But more the way that it felt like they'd been together forever, like it had always been like this, like he couldn't remember any other way...that this was so right that he forgot everything that wasn't.
So, of course, their first Valentine's Day together had to be perfect...even if its failure was already a forgone conclusion if you were Buffy. But he wasn't, so he knew it was going to be perfect; at least as perfect as he could possibly make it.
"I can't believe that that fucking meeting took almost three hours. And why in the hell was there traffic? Shouldn't everyone already be on their hot dates?"
"Language, luv," Spike pretended to admonish her as he heard Buffy's tirade as she came in the front door at just after quarter past nine.
"Oh, shut up," She snapped. "You got to stay here and...I don't know, eat chocolate or something. I had to go to that damn meeting. And you want to know what really pisses me off?"
He really hoped Buffy's bad mood wasn't so bad as to mess up their night together. "What's that, pet?"
"My boss--the prick that decided we just had to keep the meeting on tonight? He wasn't even there!" Buffy threw her arms up in exasperation and sunk onto the living room sofa. "Apparently his daughter had her engagement dinner tonight and he couldn't miss that! It's so unfair, William. I wanted to be home with you," she pouted.
"Aww, I'm sorry," Spike murmured sympathetically as he sat down with the intent to give her a nice back rub, but Buffy just cuddled up against him instead, "I wish you could have stayed her tonight." When he saw that she was relaxing some, his evil steak came out a bit and he added, "Well, almost."
"What do you mean 'well almost'?" She sat up straight and pulled away from him, wanting to just go to her own home now.
"Do you really have such little faith in me?" Spike questioned. "Should know that I want you here with me always--"
"But you said--"
"--Unless there's something I need to get done while you're not here. Then you being gone for a bit is acceptable. Painful, but acceptable."
"And just what did you need to do? And quit joking around--you're in too much of a good mood for me to deal with right now. Just tell me what you did already."
"What a bossy chit you are."
"Yeah, yeah, I'm bossy. Now tell me what you had to do."
"Rather show you actually." Spike didn't wait for Buffy to come up with an answer that time, he simply picked her up--an arm behind her knees and one around her back--and carried her towards the stairs.
Buffy stopped her yelling at him--"Put me down, you jerk!-- when she started to smell something. "You had better not be trying to burn down the house, Spike!"
"Because a fire wouldn't have spread by now and fire always smells like vanilla and honey or whatever rot those bloody things are supposed to smell like. And," He pointed out, "Do you really think I'd take you towards the fire?"
"Well, okay," Buffy admitted, "So maybe, just maybe you have a point there. But you do know right that it's very unsafe to leaving burning candles unattended. Right?"
"Yes, Buffy," He assured her, "I know it's not safe. But if I'd stayed up here with them it would have ruined the surprise."
"So you'd rather surprise me than have the house not burn down?"
Spike saw that he wasn't going to get anywhere with her--at least not in the near future so he gave the only answer that he thought would shut her up, "Yes, Buffy."
"Oh," She wasn't sure what to say to that; and besides, it was getting hard to carry on a conversation and stay all haughty when he was carrying her like this.
Apparently he had made the center of their night the bedroom--something he was always a threat to do. The normally plain, almost bare bedroom was now gorgeous. Spike had put a plush velvet, deep red comforter on the bed and placed candles--of all different shapes--some on pillars, some not, all around the bed. He'd also apparently bought some pillows since the entire head of the bed seemed to be covered in pillows of deep reds, purples and even black.
"Trying for a harem?" She joked.
"Not at all. Just wanted us to have somewhere nice to celebrate Valentine's Day."
"There are ways--other than sex--to celebrate, you know."
"I know...and I plan on us trying a few of them out. Just thought it would be nice to sit up here--romantic and all that."
"So your plan isn't for us to just have wild monkey sex all night?"
"Not unless you say so," He wanted her to know that while that hadn't been his plan, he certainly wasn't going to object if it was hers.
"Let's try whatever you have planned first and we'll see where things go after that; how's that sound?"
"Sounds great, pet. Do you want to get changed first, or....?"
"I don't know...am I going to be getting anything to change into?" Buffy hoped she'd read the look in his eyes right. Otherwise she was going to be making him feel awfully bad about having not bought her anything--even if it didn't bother her.
"I did get you something," Spike admitted. "Just depends on if it's something you want to wear right now or not."
"Why is it just a thong or something?" Buffy asked, suspicion coating her every word.
"No," He assured her. "Though that doesn't sound too bad--maybe I'll have to figure that out--"
He loved how much fun they always had together--even in their supposed 'arguments'; everything he and Buffy did together seemed to have a sense of joy about it.
"It's doesn't even have a thong as part of it--no underwear as a matter of a fact--but not in the way you're thinking," He hastened to add when he saw her objecting again. "Here, just go look at it and see if you want to put it on, yeah?" Spike pulled a bag out from behind the bedroom door and handed it to her.
"I can see you got all snazzy with the wrapping," She joked, looking at the simple paper bag from some lingerie store.
"Well I'm not counting it as one of your presents so I didn't have to wrap it. now get in there and try it on--silly girl," Spike swatted her on the behind and gave her a light push in the direction of the bathroom, delighting in how she giggled as she nearly skipped into the bathroom.
Even despite what Spike had told her, Buffy still expected to find something extremely skimpy and provocative inside the bag; she didn't though. Spike had bought her something really nice--and something she'd be able to wear around the house without scandalizing ever herself. The shorts were....short and made of a bright--but not too bright--pink satin, the camisole was white and thin, and there was a long sleeve button up shirt that matched the shorts. She was glad she'd shaved her legs that morning.
It was something that allowed her to be comfortable and sexy at the same time even if--
"Spike, you do realise that white shirts this thin are see-through don't you?"
"Had to give myself something to look at now didn't I?" Spike called back to her. "And besides, it's not like you can't pull that other shirt clothes if you feel so...scandalized."
She knew that when they were thinking in the same words that things were going well.
"But who says I don't want you looking?" Buffy asked him as she came out of the bathroom, the pink shirt hanging open.
"Saucy minx," Spike said, not even turning to look at her as he pulled a few wrapped presents out of a dresser drawer.
"You're not looking," Buffy informed him.
"Know that, luv. Trying to get these out before you distract me and I forget one," He told her calmly, still not looking.
"Please," She scoffed, "It's not like you don't know what I'll look like; you've seen me and you've seen what you bought....just put the two together."
"Doesn't work that way, kitten. My imagination pales in comparison to the reality of your beauty."
"You sweet talker you," Buffy still blushed at his compliment, though, knowing however dramatic and possibly cheesy he was about saying it, he still meant it. "Now come on, you can't tell a girl she's got presents and expect her to be all patient. Come on!" She insisted again.
Buffy didn't wait for him as she bounced over to the bed, jumping onto it after she was sure that she wouldn't catch anything on fire by doing so.
"Can we keep this blanket?" She asked William. "I mean like all year? It's really soft...." Spike tried in vain to ignore the picture she made as she sat on the bed, her legs and hands sliding along the blanket. Buffy noticed him staring after a moment. "You know," She remarked, having an idea as to what he was thinking, "I can walk and chew gum at the same time, too."
"Well aren't you talented? Now do you want these presents or not?"
"Geez, call a guy on his staring and he gets all snippy."
"Just nervous is all. It's our first Valentine's Day.; I don't want to be messing it up," He admitted reluctantly.
"You won't and it' snot like we haven't spent Valentine's together before, just not like this--and hey, what song is this?" Buffy finally noticed the song that had been playing in the background since she'd come out of the bathroom.
"It's one of yours, luv," He informed her, waiting to see if she would recognize it. She didn't. "Left over from your NYSNC obsessed days--"
"I was not obsessed--and this is not NSYNC."
"Never said it was; it's one of those blokes though, just singing something different like. Have to say, not too bad."
"Yeah," Buffy admitted, listening to the slow, jazz song, "It's pretty good actually."
"Now would you like to get on with the present opening?"
Buffy realised for the first time that she only had the one present for him and he'd apparently gone all out.
"Uh, Spike?" He could see the apprehension written plainly on her face.
"Unless your objection has to do with something other than how much you got me, zip it."
"Zip it. I got you these because I wanted to. And possibly because I have a problem with giving you too many gifts. All you have to do for it to be enough for me is stay the night with me. Just be with me and that's enough."
Buffy didn't believe in the woman asking the man to marry her but she was seriously starting to reconsider her position. Asking him to marry her--and the resulting being married--might just make up for the lack of a proposal.
"Thank you. Now may I please open my presents so I can know just how guilty I need to be feeling?"
Spike sat down on the bed with her after first placing the presents at the foot of the bed and then switching off all of the lights so that the room was lit only by the plethora of candles.
Buffy made quick work of opening the three presents--a teddy bear holding a red satin heart, vanilla scented lotion, and chocolate body paint. When she gave him a dubious look as she unwrapped the third one, Spike just returned her look with a knowing one of his own; they both knew they'd be using it and probably soon.
She looked at all of the things he got her and smiled. She didn't mind that he hadn't gotten her any jewellery--that had happened back in January; he knew how picky she was about it and knew that that would be the only time to surprise her with it. So, he'd taken her with him and gotten her a beautiful necklace that she loved--which, she knew, was the same one he would have picked if he'd gone by himself. He really did know her.
"Thank you, Spike," Buffy got up on her knees so that she could kiss him even with him sitting across from her. "The bear's so soft and cute--" She started to tell him, but he interrupted her carefully.
"Didn't open this one," He said as he pulled a thing package from between the foot board and the end of the mattress.
"But," Buffy continued to snuggle up to her bear, "You got me enough already--really."
"Maybe, maybe not; but this one's here now so you might as well open it."
Buffy knew he wouldn't give up until she opened it and he was right, it was already there so she wasn't really gaining anything by not opening it, nor was he. Settling the bear between her folded legs so that she wouldn't have to part with him just yet, Buffy took the present from him. It was thin, rectangular, and hard leaving Buffy to believe it was a picture from of some sort...
"You bought me a white board?"
"Well yeah, but what's on it is why I gave you it."
"What's on...there are just a bunch of lines, Spike."
"Knew you never paid attention in school," He muttered. "Remember when we had to count stuff in elementary school and they had us to it with the lines? Four lines then you cross them with the fifth?"
"Oh! That...yeah, I remember that, it's just....Why are there forty marks on here?" Buffy asked even though she knew the answer--at least she thought she did.
"You're always going on about how we're probably not counting right---thought it'd be a way to keep track."
"You bought a white board so we could keep track of how many times we've had sex?" It was his serious expression that did her in, before she could help herself Buffy was laughing.
And William was getting offended.
"Aww, sweetie, come on; I didn't mean anything bad."
"Right, that's why you're laughing at me," Spike grumbled.
"I'm laughing because you're adorable, that's all. It's a great present, William. I love it--and I love you."
"Love you too, pet," He was, at least for now, appeased.
"May I go get your present now? Seeing as how I opened all of my lovely ones already?" Buffy didn't know why but it looked like he thought about it a while before agreeing. "Good. I'll be right back," She said as she raced off down the stairs to where she'd hidden her present earlier in the day.
She came running back up the stairs just minutes later, a small, neatly wrapped package in her hands.
"Here you go," She said nervously as she sat back on the bed, closer to him this time.
"Don't be so anxious, Buffy; I'm sure I"m going to love it."
"Yeah, well...Just open it I guess."
Deciding to have a little fun with her he opened the present as slowly as possible. He couldn't keep up his plan--to make her wonder if he liked it--though when he saw what she'd gotten him.
"Luv..." He really was speechless as he looked down again at the gift, trying to convince himself he wasn't imagining it.
Buffy wasn't sure if this was a good reaction or not. She was nervous enough about it as it was, she didn't really need him sitting there not saying anything and just staring at her with an unreadable expression on his face.
"Does this mean what I think it means?" He asked. "Or actually, what does it mean? Because right now I'm coming up with two things and one....one's great but the other?...not as much."
"Well, I don't know which you're thinking is which--good or bad I mean, but...well, I'm not moving out of town if that was one of your options."
"The good one or...?"
"It was the less favorable of the two I came up with."
"That doesn't make it sound like the other one was good either."
"No, it is. Very good--as long as what I'm thinking is right; why don't you tell me what it means."
"Well," Buffy took the box from him and pulled out the piece of paper that represented her present. "See, it's an ad--well the phone book page one--for a moving company. And see that there?" She pointed to where a date and time were written on it in black ink. "That's the time that they're coming to my place to move my stuff."
"Where are they moving it to?" Spike asked when Buffy didn't seem like she was going to continue.
"I was kind of hoping...well, hoping....here?"
"Luv, are you saying you want to move in with me?"
"Well you've been asking since New Year's and I know that was only like six weeks ago and that's really not that long and we sort of already decided it was too soon and all but you've asked since then and..And even before we were dating you thought it would be fun for us to live together and everything and we never did then and well you said all the reasons and stuff that it'd be fun and then I started to agree with you; and I got thinking about what to get you today and that was the thing that I thought would be the best...But God, now it sounds really selfish because I mean you gave me all of this and then I go and--"
"Kitten," he interrupted her, "I do want you to live with me--want us to live together; I just want it to be when it's something you want not just because you think it'll make me happy."
"No!" She rushed to assure him, "That's not why I'm doing this. Really. I just know that it would be great--and I really want to...this just gave me the courage to do it I guess."
"In that case: you need any help packing?"
Buffy laughed as he knocked her on her back and started kissing along her neck and face.
"This is going to be great, luv. I'll make sure you don't regret it." If Buffy had doubted her present before--which she had--he had just put her fears to rest. There didn't seem to be anything better she could have done for him.
"Buffy?" He asked a few minutes of kissing later, "Can I just give you the one last present? I promise it's the last one," He admitted sheepishly.
"Spike!" Buffy was shocked--just how much had he gotten her? "No," She insisted, "Take this one back. You can't keep giving me all of these presents."
"This one's going to be real hard to take back, kitten. And I think you'll really like it--please?" He pleaded.
"Fine," She reluctantly gave in, "But now I'm going to find something else to give you."
"You don't have--"
"I'm going to anyway. now what's this present I so have to have?" Buffy asked it with a smile on her face so Spike knew she really was okay with it.
"Just one second," He answered as he opened one of the bedside table drawers. "Here you go, luv."
Buffy looked down at the black velvet box in apprehension. Sure she loved Spike, but she wasn't ready to get engaged just yet. And anyway, why wasn't he making a bigger deal out of this. She might not have been ready for it but it would have been nice for him to do it right.
With a deep breath, Buffy opened the box--and started to laugh.
Carefully pulling out the tiny piece of very folded up paper, Buffy opened it.
I bought you--well us I guess, a dog it read.
"You got me a dog?" She questioned.
"What is says isn't it?"
"Well, yeah...but where is the dog?"
"The Andersons. Didn't think I could keep the thing a secret all night; would have been barking its head off with my luck."
"Can you go get him--is it him or her?"
"It's a her, luv."
"Can you go get her?" She begged, "Please?" She asked over and over again, grinning and bouncing.
"You do roemember the point of the white board, don't you?"
"Not exactly going to do too well with that if we have the dog in here tonight."
"But she's my doggy," Buffy pouted. "Pretty please? We'll work on that forty thing after she goes to sleep. If you don't go get her, I'm going to be all annoyed anyway and nothing's going to happen."
"Guess I don't have much of a choice then, do I?" Spike joked.
"Nope," Buffy grinned up at him as he got off of the bed and started to leave the room.
"Be back in a few."
"Yay!" Buffy sat back and waited for him--realising after a few moments that she should blow out the candles so that the puppy didn't knock them over.
Just as she sat down on the bed again after blowing out the last of the candles and moving them around so that if they did get knocked over the wouldn't spill wax all over, a dog came barreling--that really was the only word for it--into the room and stopped with a skid at her feet.
Buffy looked at the animal in shock as it stared up at her with the sweetest eyes she'd ever seen and waited for some attention.
"Spike," Buffy said as she petted the happy dog, "This isn't a puppy?" It was true, this dog was most definitely not a puppy--which is what she'd expected to see him bring her.
"I know all you birds love puppies because they're adorable and all, but...I went to get you a puppy, really I did, but she was there and...someone had brought her in with all her puppies and all the puppies had been adopted out and she was all alone. She just looked to sad for me to leave her there. You're not mad are you?"
"Of course I'm not mad--she's a beautiful dog. I'm just surprised is all. Two questions though, what kind of dog is she and what's her name?"
"Irish setter and her name's Norah."
"I like that name--suits her somehow. Hi, Norah; I'm Buffy and it looks like you're mine now, I hope you're okay with that," Buffy said, talking to the dog.
"Uh, pet? Can I talk to you about something?"
"There was this other dog there--Golden Retriever and well...they were going to put her to sleep since she's been there so long and..."
"Yes, Spike?" Buffy was still looking at and petting the dog, not noticing how anxious Spike was.
"Well i had wanted to get that dog, too, but see...well two dogs is a lot and it's presumptious of me and even if I'd gotten her for me, at some point she'd be your dog to and..."
"What's the problem, Spike?" Buffy finally looked up at him and he was startled when the dog turned to look at him as well.
"The dog's deaf, luv. She's a great dog and everything but I thought since that would entail more than just the general stuff, tha I should ask you first."
"Is she healthy and everything? I mean I don't know if we have enough time to properly be taking care of a sick dog"
"She's perfectly healthy--was just born deaf. She's only about a year old so she's really still a puppy."
"Then I don't see what the problem is--she's not goign to...before you can get her is she?"
"No, I told them that I just had to talk to you first and they said that as long as I'm in within the week she's okay."
"Then we'll go tomorrow; let's just hope she and Norah here get along."
"Oh," Spike quietly admitted. "They do--I, uh, tried that out."
"You're just perfect," Buffy joked though she also did mean it.
"Yep, that's me. So, you're okay with me getting you--or us--a dog, or rather two, without much talking to you about it first?"
"Most certainly am. But before you add any more, talk to me. Two's a lot--for dogs."
"I can do that." They both played with the dog for several more minutes until she started to seem tired and Spike led her to where he'd set up a dog bed in another room.
"As of tonight we're awfully domestic," Buffy said hours later when they'd gotten that number well past the forty Buffy was so worried about. "Living together--owning dogs....It's big stuff."
"Yeah, big....But it's right, isn't it? I mean it all feels right--to me at least."
"To me too," Buffy promised. "Made for a perfect Valentine's Day. Thank you Spike."
"Was my pleasure, luv. Happy Valentine's to you too my love."
"Got a marker for that whiteboard?" Buffy asked after they'd lain in silence for several minutes.
Spike's laughter was her only answer.