"She's what????" Angel's voice, as it came through the receiver Xander was holding away from his ear, was much too high-pitched to belong to someone his size, sex and age.

"Engaged. To Spike."

There was incoherent sputtering. "That's ridiculous. I was just there...." There was a pause. "I thought I felt family, but I... Was he there? At Giles's?"

"Well, yeah. He was. But that's not when this happened. He was tied to a chair then, and Buffy was threatening to stake him every few minutes."

"So how did this happen? It must be a spell." Xander could hear the desperation in Angel's voice and he couldn't suppress a smirk of satisfaction at being the bearer of the news. He allowed the silence to length, then said reluctantly, "Yeah, we think so. Giles is blind, I'm a demon magnet of some sort, and—"

"You are a demon magnet," Angel interrupted. "And Giles wears thick glasses, so wha—"

"I am not a demon magnet! If I was, then Spike would be wanting to marry me, not Buffy….. Okay, that didn't come out quite the way I—"

"Actually, Xander, you kind of are," Anya said. "I mean, if what you've told me is true."

"Not now, sweetie," he said through tight lips. He turned his attention back to the phone that he'd answered for Giles. "Anyway, the point is, Buffy can't come to the phone because she's busy playing kissy-face with Spike, and she told me to just tell you she's moved on and she hopes you'll wish them well." He waited, but there was nothing on the other end of the line but snarling. "Angel? Are you still there?"

"Do I need to come up there? If she won't stake Spike, then I—"

"We can't stake him right now. He can't hurt us, and he knows stuff about the weird ninja guys running around Sunnydale. Even before they got engaged, Buffy wouldn't stake him—she just yelled at him a lot."

"So, who's working on fixing the spell?"

"Uh... I don't... Be quiet, Anya. You don't know that."

"Did she say Spike is working on it?"

"Well, he's acting like he wants to help. Something about Giles being family now, and...."

"I'll be there in a couple of hours. Do NOT leave her alone with that... that...."

"Vampire?" Xander provided helpfully. "Blood-sucking demon. Evil incarnate.... Oh wait, that would be Angelus, wouldn't it?"

A growl was the only response before the connection ended.

"Well, I think that went well, don't you?" Xander sank back onto the couch and caught a glare from Spike. "What?"

"I am nothing like that bleedin' poofter," he growled, subsiding only when Buffy began to nibble on his ear lobe. "But, pet, he was comparing me to your ex!"

“I know, baby. But we both know you’re not like him, don’t we?” She continued her assault on his ear, giggling when he groaned and pushed up against her ass.

“Not that I’m not anxious to put an end to this disgusting display,” Giles said, staring blindly in the direction of the giggling and murmuring, “but has it occurred to anyone that having an outraged vampire of Angel’s age and stature bursting in here intent on killing Spike is not in anyone’s best interest? Least of all that of my apartment and furniture.”

“Do you really think he’s coming up here?” Buffy looked up, a small frown creasing her brow. “Did he say that, Xander?”

“He said he’d be here in a couple of hours, and we shouldn’t leave you alone with Spike.”

“Well, that’s just….” Buffy’s voice trailed off as she snuggled closer into Spike’s welcoming arms. “He’s not the boss of me!” She looked up at the eyes she’d only just realized were an amazing shade of blue. “Is he, baby? He’s not the boss of us.”

“Well, technically….”

Spike’s response trailed off as Giles coughed, “sire” into his hand.

“That’s grandsire, you git,” Spike snarled. “And I quit believing in that family bollocks a century ago when he left us to eat rats, and then the whore left us to suck up to her sire. Pretty sure in every way she could,” he muttered, not far enough under his breath, wincing when Buffy poked him. “He’s just another old vamp,” he continued in a more normal tone.

“I think we should go to my house,” Buffy said firmly, sitting up and pushing Spike’s hands away. “Angel can’t get in there; and anyway, we haven’t told my mom yet.”

“The great poof can’t get in your house?” Spike raised a disbelieving eyebrow. “I heard you invite him in last year.”

“I did,” she said shortly. “And I’m pretty sure you don’t want to remind me of why…”

“Never touched her,” Spike grumbled. “And you know I wouldn’t. I like your mum, I do.”

“I know,” she soothed. “That’s why I’ve never revoked your invitation.” There were gasps and choking sounds from Giles and Xander.

“But you did revoke the one you gave Angelus?” Spike grinned in delight. “I knew I was marrying a brilliant girl. As smart as she is beautiful….”

There was a pause as Buffy kissed him in appreciation, which led to more kisses and more groping until Anya said brightly, “Are you two going to have sex right there in that chair? Because I really want Xander to watch and take notes. I’m sure that Spike, with all the experience he’s had, will have some—" Her voice cut off as Xander grabbed her arm and squeezed it hard. “Ow! Xander! This is not the time or place to indulge in the pleasure/pain principle.”

The by-play having distracted them from their kissing, Spike and Buffy continued their conversation about Angel.

“I did revoke it. He was leaving me, and I didn’t know if he might not… he could lose his soul again. I didn’t want to take a chance that he’d come back when Mom was alone.”

“Wise decision,” Giles muttered, before going back to the original subject. “However, I suspect it doesn’t matter that much whether it’s Angel or Angelus who’ll shows up on my doorstep later this evening. Either one is likely to destroy my apartment in an attempt to kill Spike. Who may or may not be able to defend himself.”

He looked pointedly at Buffy, who immediately understood who would be fighting with Angel.

“Good point, Giles. We’ll get out of here right now. You can just tell Angel you don’t know where we went.”

Buffy stood up and grabbed Spike’s hand. “Come on, you. We need to get to some place Angel can’t find us or can’t get in.”

Over vociferous objections from Xander, and strangled “but, but, but” from Giles, they left the apartment and ran out into the night.

“This cannot end well,” Giles said with a groan, rubbing his useless eyes vigorously.


“Not that I’m not all for getting away from all the nattering, pet, but where are we going? Are we really going to your mum’s?”

“That’s the safest place for you,” she said, walking beside him, linking their fingers and swinging their hands. “And I need to keep you safe.”

“How do you think your mum’s going to take the news? About us, I mean.” He leaned down to nuzzle her cheek. “I think she likes me alright, but—"

“But you’re going to have to be on your best behavior,” she said, nodding. “And don’t do things like that!” She squealed and slapped his hand away from the zipper of her jeans.

“Can’t help it, love. Want you so bad I can hardly walk. See? Feel that...” He placed her hand on his crotch, groaning when she squeezed the object she found there. “Ah, tryin’ to kill me, are you, Slayer?”

Buffy giggled and moved her hand away, giggling again when he whimpered at the loss of warmth.

“Just try to behave yourself until my mom goes to bed. And can’t you do something about that?” She pointed at the obvious bulge.

“I could if I had some privacy,” he growled, adjusting himself.

“Well make it go away. It’s too big, my mom’s going to notice it.”

“’s not too big,” he said, pulling her against him and allowing her to feel it again. “It’s just right.”

“Mmmmmmm....” Buffy murmured, then squeaked when Spike lifted her up to press the bulge between her thighs. “Oh. Oh, don’t do... that...” Her voice trailed off to a sigh as she began to rub herself against him. “This is bad. Very bad. Somebody might see us and—" She ended with a yelp as Spike’s hand, which had somehow snaked into her pants from the back, managed to work its way to the front and apply just the right pressure to just the right spot. “Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Did I just...? Did you...? Ohmygod.”

She held her face against his chest, feeling the vibrations of his laughter.

“I hate you,” she mumbled. “That was sneaky and....”

“You do not hate me. And I wasn’t being sneaky, you were just distracted by what you were doing.”

Buffy realized that the object against which she’d been rubbing so vigorously was still pressed into her crotch, and still very hard.

“That didn’t do any good at all! I mean, it didn’t do you any good. You’re still all hard and bulgy.”

“Not to worry, love. I’m always like that around you, I just usually hide it better than this.”

“Oh, okay—What do you mean, you’re always like that?”

“Don’t know how you haven’t noticed, love, but that’s what you do to me. Always have, from the first moment I set eyes on you dancing your little teeny-bopper heart out in the Bronze.”

“I don’t know if I should be flattered or just grossed out...”

“Well, unlike your all-souled-up ex, I didn’t act on it. Knew you were too young for me.”

“I’m still too young for you,” she said, sticking her tongue out at him. “You’re like... a hundred years old.”

“One twenty-six as a vamp. Bit more than that if you count my years as a worthless human poe—human poofter,” he finished. “But you’re old enough for me now. All legal and everything.”

“Since when do you care about legal?” Buffy took his hand again as they resumed walking toward Revello Drive.

“Don’t. Not really. But you’ve had to do some growin’ up since I first laid eyes on you. There’s a woman in there now, not a little girl.”

“I’m not sure if I should be happy you think I’m mature, or upset that you think I’m getting old.”

“Was meant as a compliment, sweetheart. Not really interested in marrying some silly little teenager. You’re a grown woman, and a beautiful and smart one at that.”

There was a pause while they indulged in more kissing and groping brought on by Buffy’s need to show appreciation for his words.

“How much time do we have before we have to worry about Angel showing up?” he groaned as he pulled her against his body.

“Xander said a couple of hours,” she murmured into his neck. “If we just had someplace to go besides my mom’s house...”

“I’d suggest my car, but I don’t want our first time to be a rushed thing in the back seat like I was some—”

“Maybe Mom will already be asleep when we get home.”

“Maybe I should bring her a bottle of scotch—for a present like....”

“You want to get my mom drunk?”

“Just want to be sure she sleeps well, love. And soundly.”

Buffy pushed herself away from his body and took a deep breath. “Okay, let’s just go. We’ll worry about Mom when we get there. The important thing is to get you somewhere safe. We can do... that other thing... some other time.”

“Easy for you to say,” he muttered, adjusting himself in his jeans.


“Mom? Mom, we’re—I’m— home. Spike’s with me. He’s—oh, there you are!” Buffy smiled at her bewildered mother as Joyce came from the kitchen and stared back and forth between Buffy and the vampire she’d been told never to allow in the house again.

“Buffy? Is everything all right? Why is Spike with you?”

“Maybe you should sit down, Mom. We have something to tell you, and....” Buffy looked at Spike. “Maybe we should work our way up to the big news?” she whispered.

“Sounds like a plan, love,” he agreed, taking in the look on Joyce’s face. “Let’s just go with....” He raised his voice to a normal level. “It’s not all that, Joyce. Just that the Slayer—Buffy—and I... well, we’ve had a chance to get to know each other a bit better these last couple of days and... turns out we have more in common than you might think, and—”

“Buffy, are you dating another vampire?”

“Uh, kinda? I mean, yeah, we... we think we’re in love, Mom. I know this is sudden, but....”

“Oh my God.” Joyce sank down onto a chair that, with vampire speed, Spike had managed to push into place behind her. She continued to mutter, “Oh my God” for some time, leaving Buffy and Spike to move closer together and clasp hands again.

“I don’t think this is going well, pet,” he whispered in her ear. “Thought your mum liked me.”

“She likes you better than she likes Angel,” Buffy whispered back. “But you are still a vampire, you know.”

“Tell her I can’t bite. That might help.”

“Mom? Remember how I told you Spike can’t bite anymore? Turns out those guys who captured him put a computer chip in his head that goes off when he tries to bite anybody. You don’t have to be afraid of him.”

Joyce blinked and shook her head. “I’m not afraid of Spike, Buffy. He’s always been a perfect gentleman any time he was here. But you... and he... you barely know each other!”

“Well, technically, I guess that’s true, but… you know, when somebody’s tried to kill you, and you fight a lot….”

“You get to know each other bloody fast,” Spike said, nodding his agreement. “And like I told Buffy earlier, it’s not as if I didn’t notice how beautiful she was when we first met, but she was too young for me then and—”

“She’s too young for you now!” Joyce said. “She’s an eighteen-year-old girl and you… you’re—”

“Older than that. Know that, Joyce. Trust me, no one knows how… well, not wrong, but how… unusual… this is any better than I do. I mean, a few days ago, we thought we hated each other, in spite of having worked together to save the world from her crazy ex, and now we’re….”

“And now we’re realizing that there might be a reason we’ve never been able to kill each other,” Buffy said, smiling at Spike, who nodded his agreement and beamed back at her.

Joyce stared at them, then shook her head.

“Does Rupert know about this?”

“Giles? Of course he does. We just came from there.”

“And does he approve?”

“Um… well, it’s hard to say. What with him going blind suddenly, and then Xander being chased by demons…. They’re too busy trying to break the spell that somebody must have put on them to worry about us. But I’m sure he’ll be okay with it once he breaks the spell.” Buffy turned to Spike. “Weren’t you helping him with that, honey?”

“Found the right books for him, but he’ll need someone who can see to read them for him.”

Buffy frowned. “Oh, that’s right. I wonder where Willow is? I hope she didn’t get caught up in the same spell. She could probably fix it for them.”

“Spell? There was a spell?” Joyce frowned in bewilderment. “Is this more of the things you were going to explain to me someday?”

“You know about magic spells, Mom. C’mon, I told you about them when Spike was here last year wanting a book from my room so Willow could use a spell to help him get Drusilla back.”

Joyce gave Spike a narrow-eyed look. “And how is that working out for you? Getting back together with your girlfriend, the ‘love of your bloody life’ if I remember correctly?” She waited while Spike cleared his throat and visibly squirmed until Buffy stepped in.

“His ex is a ho, and she threw him out because he was falling in love with me.”

Spike gave Buffy an astonished, but warm, smile. “You really are brilliant, love.”

“And don’t you forget it,” she murmured, leaning up to kiss him.

“My point is… and stop that!” Joyce gasped when Spike and Buffy went into a clinch that didn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.

They reluctantly separated and turned to look at her with ill-disguised impatience.

“What is the point, Mom?” Buffy sighed. “We’ve told you we’re in love, explained why Spike is here and not with Dru, what else do you think you need to know?”

“I’d like to know why you aren’t even a little suspicious that your sudden… relationship… might not also be the result of a spell?”

Buffy rolled her eyes, while Spike scoffed. Joyce ignored them and picked up the phone to call Giles.

When Xander once again answered the phone, somewhat breathlessly from having just forced an amorous demon out a window, Joyce barely said hello before demanding to speak to Giles.

“Yes, Joyce. I’m here. What can I do for you?”

“You can explain what’s going on between Buffy and the vampire she says she hates. The one who calls her ‘the bane of his existence’, even when he’s sitting in my kitchen bemoaning the loss of his ‘true love’. What the hell is going on here?”

“It seems someone has cast a spell of some sort over all of us. I was hoping it might be confined to my apartment or at least my building, and that Buffy and Spike would get over it as soon as they were away from here.” He sighed. “I gather that has not been the case?”

“You might say that,” Joyce said grimly. “I’m very close to throwing cold water on them.”

Joyce was holding the phone out so that Buffy and Spike could both hear Giles’ side of the conversation.

He sighed again, loud enough for Spike to hear it and snarl at the phone.

“I understand the feeling, trust me. Please assure them that we think we have figured out the problem, and we will be searching for Willow to ask her to undo it.”

“Willow?” Buffy’s disbelief was immediate and loud. “That’s crazy. Why would she want to do anything like that to you. Or to Xander?” She calmly ignored his “all of us” comment. She glared at the phone in her mother’s hand.

“It seems, that while she was wishing blindness upon me, and accusing Xander of being a demon magnet, she also said if you wanted to find Spike so badly, you should just marry him.”

Buffy and Spike exchanged anguished looks. “You don’t think we—”

“Not me, sweetheart. Think I was already there. Wasn’t sure you’d say ‘yes’, but it seemed like asking you to be my wife was the logical next step after realizing how I feel about you. Turns out Dru’d figured it out before I did….”

“Okay, so that wasn’t a spell. And why would I have said yes if I didn’t love you? See, saying we were part of the spell just doesn’t make any sense.”

There was some British profanity coming from the phone before Giles began to speak again.

“We’re on our way shortly to find Willow and see what she can do about this. I suggest, if you can keep your hands off each other for a bit, you join us in our search. We’ll be taking a shortcut through Restfield once we’ve found a way to avoid the demons waiting outside my door. If you would be so kind as to join us there, we could use the extra super-powered help to get safely through.”

“Okay,” Buffy agreed, completing forgetting that the main reason for coming to her mother’s home was to protect Spike from Angel. “We can do that, can’t we honey?”

“If we’re quick about it,” he agreed. “We’ll need to get back here in an hour or so, though.”

“Ohmygod! I forgot the whole reason we were coming here!”

“I thought it was to tell me you had a new boyfriend?” Joyce frowned her confusion.

“Only partly…. Listen, Giles,” Buffy turned her attention back to the phone. “We can get you through Restfield in one piece, but you’ll have to go find Willow yourselves. I’ll need to get Spike back here before Angel has time to show up. We’ll meet you near the gate.”

She put the phone down and smiled at Joyce.

“Sorry, Mom. I was so excited about telling you our news that I forgot about Angel.”

“As happy as I would be to know you had forgotten all about that other vampire,” Joyce sighed, “I’m guessing that’s not what you mean?”

Buffy blushed and glanced at Spike. “Well, that’s kinda true too. I mean, yeah, he was my first love, but I’ve grown up a lot and… I think he’s more a thing of my past than he thinks he is.”

“The big poof thinks he’s got a right to tell her who she can marry, and he’s on his way here to make sure I can’t have her.”

Joyce’s faint “Marry?” reminded them that they’d only told her they were in love.

Buffy snorted. “Yeah. He can’t get in here, so he can’t try to stake Spike before I tell him it’s all fine and he needs to go back to L.A. Giles didn’t want them to have a fight and wreck his apartment, so we had to go somewhere Angel can’t get in.”

“Could just go ahead and fight him, love,” Spike said, stroking her hair. “Don’t think he could beat me when I’ve got so much to fight for. It’s been a long time since I was a raw fledgling that he could bend to his will.”

Buffy frowned. “You are a really good fighter,” she agreed. “But Angel’s not bad, and he’s older than you. And right now, you can’t hit anybody! You’d be helpless.”

“He is older than me. Maybe a bit stronger? I dunno, but I think I can take him. Or, I could have. I almost forgot! You’re right, it’ll be harder with this handicap.” He growled in frustration.

Buffy shrugged. “Well, he can’t beat both of us, and I’m not about to let him stake you, so I guess it’s safe to go out.” She gave her mother a hug. “Sorry for springing this on you, Mom. I’ll come back after we get the spell straightened out and we can have a long talk about the men in my life.”

Joyce just shook her head and sighed. “Be careful, please. Both of you,” she added, giving Spike a sad smile. “Just because I don’t want him marrying my daughter doesn’t mean I want Spike to get hurt or killed.”

She watched as they waved and left out the back door, holding hands as they strode off toward the cemetery.


There was no sign of Giles or Xander and Anya when they reached Restfield, and Spike leaned up against the side of a crypt, pulling Buffy between his legs.

“Whatever will we do while we wait here, all alone?” he murmured against the lips she was already reaching up to him.

Her hum of approval was the only response as they tuned out their surroundings and enjoyed the time without company. In no time, Buffy was climbing his body, wrapping her legs around his hips as he pulled her tightly against him. He almost lost his balance when the door against which he was leaning swung open.

“Oops!” Buffy dropped to the ground and peered around him. “Huh, it’s pretty clean in here.”

Spike pushed the door the rest of the way open and pulled out his lighter. He held it up and they gazed around the small stone room. It was fairly clean, as if someone had dusted recently. In the center was a sarcophagus, the stone lid securely in place.

“Do you think…?”

He shook his head. “Something was living here, but I don’t smell anything fresh. Whatever it was is gone now.” He raised an eyebrow at her. “Probably got itself staked last night.”

“Or captured,” Buffy countered. “Like you were.”

Spike growled. “Or that.” His expression softened just as his lighter began to flicker, and he reached for her with one arm as he put it away. “Point is, love, we have time to kill, and a place to ourselves to do it in.”

“We do, don’t we?” she breathed softly. “And it even has a door we can close.”

She heard and felt, rather than saw Spike push the door closed far enough to give them privacy, but not so far that they had to worry about it locking them in. Still holding her hand, he backed up to the stone sarcophagus and nuzzled her neck. Rather than begin an all out assault on her body, as she’d expected, he nibbled briefly as he inhaled her scent.

“What are you doing?” She melted into him, the idea of William the Bloody’s mouth on her throat causing her no concern at all. “And, ummmm, that feels so good….”

“I’m reminding myself of how wonderful you smell and taste, just on the outside chance that the watcher is right and we’re also part of the spell.”

She pulled back slightly, gazing up at his face and knowing he could see her even though she couldn’t really see him.

“Do you think we are? Part of the spell? Don’t you think you love me?”

He growled softly and pulled her close again. “Couldn’t be more sure. Already knew it was a real possibility before Dru confirmed it. She may be completely daft from time to time, but she’s still a bloody good seer. And she saw you floating all around me.

“But I’m not as sure about you, love. Much as I’d like it to be true, I think we have to at least consider the possibility that you don’t love me back, and might not be happy about this.”

“You don’t even want me?” she said, stiffening and trying to pull away. He growled and pulled her against his body so that she couldn’t pretend not to know the effect she was having on him.

“Don’t be daft,” he said. “I wanted you even when I thought I hated you. But if I take advantage of a spell to…. You’d stake me in a heartbeat. I know it, and you know it.”

“So, you don’t want to…” She let herself relax against him and the hard object she couldn’t ignore, remembering how good it felt to have that bulge pressed between her legs.

“I do. More than anything. Want to make love to you with all I am and have.” He growled again, sending chills that had nothing to do with fear throughout her body. “And I’m about out of any ability I may have had to talk myself out of it…”

“Good,” she whispered, “because I think I want it too. And I promise not to stake you if it turns out it’s because of a spell.”

The kisses that followed her comment soon had them both breathing hard, and Spike scooted back on the stone surface, pulling her with him to lie on his body. The new horizontal position turned out to be just what they needed to indulge in all the things they couldn’t do while with other people. Buffy opened her legs to let his erection press against the place she wanted it. His hips canted up, rubbing his cock against her needy clit and adding his own endearments to her panting moans.

Without warning, he rolled them to the side, smothering her complaint with his mouth while he opened her jeans and put his hand inside, smiling when she whimpered her surprised pleasure at the new sensations.

“Come for me, love,” he encouraged as his fingers worked magic.

Buffy’s muffled shriek as she spasmed against his hand made him give a smile that she could feel against her lips.

“That’s my girl,” he crooned. “Knew I could get a scream out of you.”

Buffy relaxed beside him, hiding her blushing face in his neck. “Your girl’s feeling kind of selfish,” she said. “I should probably do something about that.” She lifted one hand languidly and waved it around, but in spike of her words, she continued to lie beside him, only her unzipped jeans indicative of what she’d just experienced.

“Not a problem, love. Knowing I can give you that much pleasure is almost as good as getting off myself.”

“Almost, huh?” She turned toward him to unfasten his pants, smiling at his gasp when she grabbed his cock as it sprang free from the confining zipper. She stroked and squeezed it, enjoying his gasps and muffled curses, then stopped and sat up.

“I guess we don’t have time to get completely naked, do we?” she sighed as she pushed her jeans and underwear down and off one leg, dropping that shoe to the floor.

His only response was to sit up long enough to take off his coat and lay it on their make-shift bed. He pulled her over on top of it, and pushed his own pants down far enough to give him some freedom to move. As he covered her with his body, dropping his hips between her thighs, he sighed and growled at the same time.

“Don’t care if you do stake me. As long as I can be here,” he said, sliding into her, “I’ll die happy.”

Buffy brought her free leg up and around his back, arching her pelvis into his and beginning to rock. With something that sounded like it was between a sob and a laugh, he began to move with her, and they were soon testing the strength of the sarcophagus lid as they spent the next twenty minutes learning what their bodies liked best, and bringing themselves to at least two satisfyingly mutual and loud conclusions.

“Wow, wowie wow,” Buffy said, as she kept her arms and legs around him and enjoyed the way he was sucking on the skin of her throat as he hummed against her skin.

“Are you purring?”

“Might be. Should be. Don’t know when I’ve ever been this happy.”

“Me too,” she said softly. “I think I might like married life.”

He snorted his agreement as he rolled off to the side. They gave matching groans when he slid out of her, sharing a laugh, followed by a sigh.

“I guess we’d better get dressed,” Buffy said, in spite of her words, making no attempt to pull her jeans back on.

“Right you are, love. The Watcher and Scoobies could be showing up any minute.”

Spike pulled his own pants up and stepped off to one side to zip them closed. The reminder that Giles was supposed to be meeting them was all it took to get Buffy sitting up and getting her jeans back on to both legs and fastened. She hopped to the floor and waited for him to go to the door. He paused with his head cocked, then sighed.

“They’re here, sweetheart, I can hear them outside. Time to go.”

She felt him take her hand and tug her toward the door, which he opened only far enough for them to squeeze out. But, instead of stepping out to join Giles and company, they were shoved back as Xander burst in saying, “Demons! We need to hide from demons!” If he was surprised to find Spike and Buffy already inside, he didn’t say so, just retreated as far away from the door as he could.

When he and Anya and Giles were safely inside, Buffy and Spike put themselves back in the doorway, doing their best to discourage the demons trying to follow Xander into the crypt.

“Didn’t you think to bring a sword?” Spike growled as he tried to push one demon away from the entrance. He resorted to punching it, grunting as the anticipated pain didn’t occur. Before he could follow up, there was another one to fight off, and he didn’t have time to think, only to react. At his side, Buffy was having the same issues, shoving one away only to have to face another. Her stake was having little effect on the demons, so she was also reduced to punches and kicks.

Suddenly, a powerful demon paw sent Spike sprawling into the crypt as a new wave of demons hit the door. Leaving her post, Buffy threw herself on him, protecting him from the incoming demons, who ignored both of them in favor of trying to get to Xander.

From their spot on the floor, they could see Willow suddenly appear, waving her hand and dismissing the demons. She told Giles he could see, then noticed Buffy and Spike, now kissing vigorously in their spot on the floor.

“Buffy, get off Spike. You aren’t getting married. The spell is over.”

Buffy looked down at Spike, the moonlight coming in the door allowing her to see his face clearly for the first time since they’d entered. He was waiting patiently for her to tell him what to do.

“I guess we aren’t getting married,” she said, sitting up and moving off his body, trailing one hand down his torso as she did.

“Reckon not, pet,” he responded as he stood up and offered her his hand to help her stand.

They stood, side by side, her hand still in his and Xander staring at them.

“Buffster, Willow broke the spell. Why are you still holding hands with the evil undead?”

“Uh… I… I don’t…”

Spike gave her hand a little squeeze and then dropped it and stepped away.

“Untwist your knickers there, Harris. Was just helping her up.”

“So. Are we all back to normal now? I can see, there are no demons chasing Xander, and Buffy and Spike are back to… to whatever they were before the spell.”

The look Giles gave them told Buffy he was seeing something he hadn’t seen before, but he didn’t ask any questions about why they’d been inside a crypt.

“Well, that’s all good then. So, you can all go home, and Spike can go back to my mom’s house until I’ve told Angel to go away.”

“Perhaps we can catch him before he leaves LA and explain that the spell is over and all is as before?” Giles offered.

“Maybe. That would be good. But just in case, I’m going to stash him at Mom’s. I mean I know Angel can’t fight both of us, but if Spike can’t—”

“Why would he be fighting both of you? Let the two deadmen kill each other over you. Win-win.” Xander looked quite pleased with himself.

“Because I’m not a prize to be given to the winner of some contest,” Buffy snapped. “I’m a grown woman and I’ll make my own decisions about who the man in life is. It isn’t Angel anymore. That was his decision, and he can live with it.”

“But… but…” Xander looked back and forth between Buffy and Spike, whose face was void of any expression except mild curiosity.

“Come on, Spike. Let’s get to my mom’s. We’re probably running out of time.”

Buffy turned her back and marched out the door, followed by Spike, who was trying very hard not to smirk where Giles could see him.


“So, what’s the plan, Slayer? Hide at your mum’s, or face down the big poof and tell him what you do is none of his business?”

Buffy sighed. “I don’t know. Keeping you safe at my mom’s is just temporary. I really need to make sure he knows that nothing that happened is your fault, and that he needs to leave you alone.”

“If he shows up now, love, you can’t tell him nothing happened.”

“Why not? You’re not going to be stupid enough to brag about it, are you?” She stopped and glared at him, fingering her stake.

He shook his head. “Tempting as that might be….” He grinned and danced away from her threatening fist. “Wouldn’t do that to you, Buffy. But he’s going to know anyway.”


“He’ll be able to smell us on each other. And he’ll be able to smell what we were doin’.”

“That’s disgusting!”

“We’re vampires, love. Scent is important to us. We don’t have to breathe all the time. You know that. If I don’t want to smell something, I don’t have to, but if I want to talk, I’ve got to bring in air. And any available smells will come in with it.”

“Awesome. All right, let’s move faster. I need time take a shower before I have to face Angel and tell him… something. Something that won’t make him want to kill you.”

“He went off when Harris told him we were getting married and kissin’. You can’t deny that happened.”

“No, but I can pass it off as something from the spell. He doesn’t need to know how long it lasted, or what else we did. I’ll just take a shower and he won’t be able to smell anything… incriminating.”

“Incriminating? Is that what you think it would be? Thought you decided you didn’t need to answer to him?” Spike’s voice was casual, but his eyes were stormy.

“I’m willing to tell him to mind his own business, but there’s no reason to rub his face in it if I don’t need to.”

“Fair enough, Slayer. In you go,” Spike said as he held the door for her. He smiled at Joyce as they entered the kitchen. She was still dressed and obviously drinking coffee to keep herself awake.

“So, how did it go?”

“It was fine. Turns out it was Willow, but she didn’t mean to do it and didn’t know she did. As soon as she found out, she broke the spell, and it was all good.”

“So,” Joyce said carefully, “You and Spike aren’t getting married then?”

“No, Mom. No Buffy-Spike wedding in our future. Sorry we gave you such a scare. If I hadn’t needed to get Spike some place safe from Angel, you’d never have known about it.” Buffy smiled at her mother. “But we did have to fight a bunch of demons, so I’m going to go take a shower and change clothes now.”

Buffy gestured at her torn and dirty clothes, then at Spike. “And maybe after I get cleaned up, Spike could shower? I guess he doesn’t have any other clothes, but….”

“I’ll be fine, love. Soon’s I get back to the Watcher’s I’ll get cleaned up there.”

“’K. I’ll be right back.” Buffy left the kitchen and ran up the stairs, anxious to get away from her mom’s all-seeing eyes, and hoping they wouldn’t work on Spike.

“Can I get you something to drink, Spike? You look like you’ve had a hard night.”

He shrugged. “Thanks, luv. Wouldn’t mind something a little stronger than the usual hot chocolate.”

Joyce walked into the dining room and came back with a bottle of medium grade scotch. “Will this do?”

“That it will! Brilliant woman you are. It’s no wonder the Slayer’s as special as she is. She inherited it.”

In spite of herself, Joyce flushed at the blatant flattery, shaking her head.

“I’ve got no idea what made Buffy what she is, but I don’t think I had much to do with it.”

“Don’t put yourself down, Joyce. I’d wager you were a potential slayer and just aged out of the window before you could be called.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Know a bit about slayers,” he said, taking a big swallow of the drink she’d poured for him. He watched as she poured some for herself, then closed the bottle and returned it to the dining room.

When she returned, she sat on a vacant stool and began to sip her own drink.

“So, no wedding plans then?” she asked with a smile.

“Nope. Nary a one.” He tipped his glass up to her and she clinked hers against it. Joyce studied his face for a long time, then sighed.

“Why aren’t you happier about that? Aren’t you and Buffy back to being enemies?”

“Don’t know what we are now,” he said with more honesty than he’d intended. “But I don’t think it’s enemies. Hope not, anyway. Was a bit of all right, facing off with her against those demons.”

Joyce frowned. “I thought you couldn’t hurt anyone?”

“So did I. But didn’t stop to think when I had to stop a demon from braining me, and it turned out the chip didn’t fire. Gonna have to have Red look into that for me and see what it means. If the chip’s not working, or doesn’t work on demons or something.”

“If it isn’t working, doesn’t that make you and Buffy enemies again?” Joyce frowned. “I mean, I know you won’t hurt me, but she’s not going to turn you loose to eat other people, you know.”

“Know that,” he said, swallowing the rest of his drink. “We’ll work it out, the Slayer and me. We’ll work it out.”

“We’ll work what out?” Buffy’s voice preceded her and she paused at the entrance to the kitchen.

“What to do if my chip isn’t working anymore.” Spike put down his glass, stood up, and moved closer to the hallway where she was standing.

Buffy stared at him with wide eyes. “Oh my god! I didn’t even think about that. You hit one of those demons, didn’t you?”

“Did. More than one, actually. It would be nice if it was gone, but I’m guessing it’s just not meant to work on anything except humans.”

“What makes you think that?”

The suspicious look she gave him made it even clearer that the spell was over. He just shook his head with a sigh, and explained his theory.

“A lot of the tests they ran on me were seein’ how well I could fight against other vamps and demons. They didn’t put the chip in until I’d fought my way past everything they set me against. If the plan is to make me into a weapon, it wouldn’t make sense to keep me from hurting other demons. The chip only makes humans safe around me.” He shrugged. “I’m just guessing, Slayer. If you want to test it, I’d be happy to smack you around….” He grinned at her, the grin fading when he saw her expression.

“Was just joking, love. I don’t really want to hit you anymore. Why are you looking at me like that?” He frowned at the fear and sorrow on her face.

“If you can kill again, I can’t let you go, Spike. I’ll have to stake you.” She bit her lip that seemed to want to tremble. “I don’t want to do that anymore.”

“Not exactly on my wish list either,” Spike said with a wry twist to his mouth. “Can’t we just put it aside to worry about after you send the big poof packing?”

When she didn’t answer, he added, “I’m safe enough to stay here, Buffy. I’ve never hurt your mum. Never would. And you aren’t in any danger from me.”


Joyce’s voice interrupted their whispered conversation, and Spike turned to her as she stepped closer and hissed at them, “Buffy? Spike? I know this is important stuff for you two to work out, but I think you need to look out the door.”

Behind Joyce, a visibly agitated Angel began rattling the locked door, trying to get into the kitchen. He turned to pounding on the glass through which he could see Spike and Joyce, but not Buffy, who was not quite all the way into the kitchen. She made a quick decision to remain hidden for a few seconds.

Joyce asked quickly, “Are we sure he can’t get in?”

“Yes, Mom. He was disinvited last year when he left Sunnydale, so unless you’ve invited him in since then—”

Joyce snorted the likelihood of that, before going to the door and opening it. She stayed carefully inside the invisible barrier that was keeping Angel out.

“What do you want, Angel? And stop snarling and beating on my door.”

“I want him,” Angel growled, glaring at Spike, who had gone into game face. He frowned when he bounced off the barrier, then snarled. “Step away from him and let me in. I’ll save you.”

“I’m perfectly safe with Spike in my kitchen, thank you. Even if he could hurt me, he wouldn’t.”

Angel frowned and seemed to calm down for a second. “So, he really can’t bite anymore? It’s safe to be around him?” Behind Joyce, Spike dropped his vampire mien and nodded his head.

“As far as we know, it’s very safe for humans to be around him. Apparently, there’s some question about demons.” Joyce spoke casually, as if she discussed Spike every day.

“You probably don’t know this, Joyce, but there’s a spell in effect that makes Buffy think she’s engaged to him. God only knows how he’s taken advantage of that, or what he’s done to her. Dangerous or not, you need to let me in. I’ll take care of him.”

“I think not. You should go back to LA, Angel. You’re still not welcome here.” Joyce turned her back, so missed the silent snarl Angel sent after her, but Spike didn’t miss it.

He was across the kitchen and at the door before Joyce even saw him move.

“That might just be the stupidest thing you’ve ever done, Angelus. If the Slayer doesn’t stake you for that, I will.”

Before Angel could follow up on his obvious desire to yank him through the open door, Spike stepped back and smirked when Angel bounced off the barrier.

“Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?” Spike said, wincing when Buffy punched him on the arm.

“Don’t bait the angry vampire, Spike,” she said as she stepped up beside him. “Let me do it.”

She turned a glare on Angel. “Let’s talk,” she snapped at him. When he attempted to enter, mistaking her comment for an invitation, she shook her head. “I’m coming out, you’re not coming in.” She glanced over her shoulder at Spike. “Just stay put. I’ll handle this.”

Growling in frustration, and muttering about over-bearing grandsires, Spike sat down on one of the stools and stared out onto the porch. Joyce settled herself on another stool and watched with him.

“What are we watching for?” she asked.

“Not sure. Slayer wants a chance to tell him she’s her own woman, and he doesn’t get to decide who she can and can’t get engaged to. I don’t know how he’s going to take that.”

“Is Buffy going to be in any danger?” Joyce got to her feet and looked around as if seeking a weapon.

“Relax, Joyce. If I think she’s in danger, I’ll be out there before you can grab the nearest axe. But I doubt he can hurt her. Not physically. That’s not his style. And anyway, he already knows she can kick his arse. I’ll be watchin’, but the Slayer can take care of herself, and she won’t be happy if I try to play the big hero.”

“You’d be out there? I thought the spell was over. Don’t you hate her again?” Joyce raised a mother’s knowing eyebrow at him, smiling at the discomfort he couldn’t hide.

“The spell might have given me a bit of a wake-up call,” Spike mumbled, hoping she wouldn’t hear him. “And besides that,” he added a bit louder, “I hate Angel a lot more than I ever hated Buffy.”

They watched with interest as Buffy and Angel had an argument that got louder and louder. Although Spike was able to hear it entirely, by the time Buffy had shouted, “Because you left me and have no right to tell me what to do!” even Joyce could hear it.

“It’s Spike, goddammit, Buffy. Spike. William the Bloody. Slayer of two slayers that we know of for sure.”

“That we know of? For sure?” Buffy frowned, glancing over her shoulder at Spike, who shrugged and gave her a sheepish smile. Giving him a “We’re going to be discussing this” look, she turned her attention back to Angel.

“I know who he is, Angel. The spell made us want to get married, it didn’t make us stupid.”

“Not wanting me to stake him sounds pretty stupid to me,” Angel growled. “If half of what Xander said was going on, actually did, I’d expect you to be grateful to be rid of the vampire that was kissing you… and whatever else he tried to get away with.” He spared a glance to where Spike was wearing a smug smile.

“One more time, Angel. Whatever Spike and I did or didn’t do, it was the result of a spell. Neither one of us was responsible for it. If you want to beat somebody up, go find Willow. It was her fault. Not mine. Not Spike’s. And, anyway, it’s not any of your business. You don’t live here anymore. I’m not your girlfriend. You’re not my boyfriend. We can date whoever we want to. That’s what it means to be exes.”

“You’re dating Spike? Spike? This just isn’t acceptable, Buffy. And you’re exposing your mother to danger by allowing him in the house.”

“No, of course I’m not dating Spike. I’m just saying that, even if I was, it wouldn’t be any of your business. And Mom likes him for some reason, so she isn’t worried.”

“You’re trusting him with your mother? What if he kills her someday because he can get into her house and I can’t?” Angel seemed to be reaching for reasons to be allowed in.

“I never revoked his invite from way back when we had to join forces to stop you from… oh yeah, ending the world. You remember that, don’t you, Angel? Of course I trust Spike with my mother, because she trusts him. They’re friends. You are not her friend!”

“I thought I was your friend, Buffy,” Angel said, clearly changing his tack in mid-stream, softening his voice and giving her pleading puppy-dog eyes.

Somewhat to her surprise, neither the familiar soft voice, nor the normally heart-melting eyes had much of an effect on her. Certainly not the effect Angel was expecting them to have. When he moved to touch her hair, Buffy blocked his hand and stepped back.

“What the hell?” she said, not hiding her annoyance. “I’m telling you to leave, not to start petting me.”

“Surely after having to suffer through Spike’s attentions when he thought he was going to marry you….” Angel paused to snarl at Spike, who responded with a rude gesture…. “I thought you’d be happy to get some affection and attention from someone more… worthy.”

Buffy just gawked at him, then turned her back to return to the house.

“Go home, Angel. And stay away from my town and my mother’s house. And, just so you know, I’d be happy to ‘suffer’ from Spike’s attentions any time. I think you’re underestimating his talents.”

“What the hell do you mean ‘talents’?” Angel snarled as he grabbed her shoulder and yanked her away from the door and closer to him. “Explain that comment! What talents?”

So fast it seemed to be instantaneous, Spike was through the door and tackling Angel to the ground, breaking the older vampire’s hold on Buffy and punching him in the face. In spite of the terrifying sounds coming from the two vampires now struggling for dominance as they wrestled around in the grass, Joyce was right behind Spike, an iron frying pan in her hand.

Buffy stared in amazement as the vampire Angel always dismissed as “Drusilla’s toy” appeared to be well on his way to beating him in a contest of strength. Meanwhile, her mother was berating Angel for putting his hands on Buffy, and clearly looking for her own chance at him.

During a short pause in the fight, when Angel broke away from Spike and regained his feet, Joyce stepped up and hit the side of Angel’s head with her frying pan. It made a satisfying clunk as it made contact with his skull, and he dropped to the ground at her feet, snarling and blindly reaching for her.

Buffy snapped out of her shock and kicked Angel’s reaching hand as she pulled Joyce away. She pushed her mother toward the house, then stood between the two vampires, stake in hand.

“That’s enough! You,” she pointed at Spike, “take Mom back inside the house. And lose the wrinklies!” She didn’t wait to see if he obeyed, just whirled back to where Angel was just getting to his feet and holding the side of his head.

“And you. If you ever take that tone with me again, or put your hands on me when I’ve made it clear you shouldn’t touch me, I’ll stake you and apologize to the Powers That Be later. Am I making myself clear?”

“I don’t even know you anymore,” Angel said, shaking his head. “You’re not my sweet little Buffy.”

Buffy remembered Spike’s comment about how she’d grown up since he first met her and nodded her head.

“You’re right,” she said. “I’m not your sweet little Buffy. I’m not all that sweet, I’m not an innocent little girl any more, and I’m most definitely not yours. I’m not Spike’s either. That was a spell. But I’m not going to let you punish him for something he had no control over. The Slayer’s job is to protect. Everybody. Not just those you approve of. And I’m protecting Spike.”

She stood in front of the porch, clearly blocking the way to the door, arms crossed in front of her, stake still clasped in her right hand. Behind her, Joyce and Spike were watching from the doorway. At the sound of the phone, Joyce walked across the kitchen and picked it up.

“Hello? Yes, Rupert, they are here. Yes, he is here also, but I think he’s leaving soon….”

She held out the phone to Spike. “He wants to talk to you.”

“I’m here, Watcher,” Spike said, stretching the cord as far as it would go so he could see outside where Buffy and Angel seemed to be in a standoff. “Yeah, he did show up. Couldn’t get in, so she went out to talk some sense into him. Didn’t go well at first, but I think she’s getting him sorted.” He cocked his head, listening for a few seconds.

“You’ll have to ask her. I just did what she told me and came back inside with Joyce…. Oh yeah. He put his hands on Buffy and I thought Joyce was gonna beat me out the door. She did cold cock him with a frying pan. I’m telling you, she was a potential slayer that just didn’t get called. Hell of a fighter.”

When Spike looked up, he saw Buffy staring out into the yard, which appeared empty. He handed the phone back to Joyce and went out to join Buffy on the porch.

“Is he gone?” she asked without looking at him. “I can’t feel him anymore, but I don’t have the reach you do.”

“Don’t hear him anywhere, can’t see or smell him, and I don’t feel his signature either. If he hasn’t gone home, he at least isn’t close by anymore.”

Buffy sighed and turned to go in the door Spike was already holding for her. She gave him a startled look, but smiled her thanks as she ducked under his arm.

“Watcher’s on the phone,” Spike said as Joyce beckoned Buffy to come closer.

“Yes, Giles,” Buffy sighed, as she took the phone. “Actually, yes, I am tired. It’s been a long day. Can it wait until tomorrow?

“I don’t know. We’ve been kinda busy. Maybe I’ll just keep him here. No, she’s fine with it. Mom isn’t afraid of Spike. She likes him. Yeah, okay. We’ll see you tomorrow night.”

Buffy handed the phone to her mother to hang up, and sat on one of the stools, putting her head in her hands.



“I’m okay.” She raised her head and gave Joyce a reassuring smile. “It just feels liked we broke up all over again, you know? Except without the tearing my heart out part. I don’t love him any more. And I don’t think he loves me; he was just jealous of Spike.” She glanced up to where he was leaning against the counter, his face blank. “Someday you’ll have to tell me what that’s all about.”

“Someday,” he agreed. “But not today.”

“Not today,” she said with a nod. “I’m tired. Is it okay if I-we stay here tonight, Mom?”

“Of course it is. Your bed has fresh sheets on it….” Joyce looked at Spike and frowned. “Are you okay with the couch?”

“The basement might be safer. The sun comes in those front windows in the morning,” Buffy said. “Don’t we have a cot down there?”

“We do. But I hate to send a guest to the basement. It’s so dark and damp down there…”

“I’m a vampire, Joyce. Damp and dark is homey to me. I’ll be fine.” He grinned at her, and gestured to Buffy. “And you might have to check with the Slayer about whether I’m a guest or a prisoner.”

Joyce glanced at Buffy who was trying not to look as confused as she felt, then shook her head to indicate her lack of interest in interfering.

“Buffy, you know where the cot is, and where the extra sheets are. I’ll leave it to you to decide if your former fiancé is a guest in our home, or a prisoner in it. I’m going to bed.”

She gave Buffy a hug and a “Good-night, honey.” As she left the room, she added, “Good-night, Spike. And thanks for your help.”

“Night, Joyce,” he replied, smirking at Buffy, who glared at him.

“Good-night, Mom. I’ll be right up. As soon as I get Spike tucked in securely.”


Spike waited until Joyce was out of hearing range to say, “Gonna tuck me in, then, are you? That sounds interesting.”

“Forget it, piggy-wiggy. I just meant I’ll show you where you’re going to sleep and decide if I need to tie you up.”

“You don’t,” he said, without offering a explanation. He walked to the basement door and opened it to peer down the stairs.

“Light switch is on the right,” Buffy said as she joined him.

“Don’t need it.”

“Well, I do,” she muttered as she reached past him and turned the light on. She preceded him down the stairs, reminding herself that she shouldn’t allow him to hold doors for her now that they weren’t engaged or in love. She wondered if he would allow her to just pretend she never heard the things he’d said about his feelings while they were having what she had to admit was rather spectacular sex.

“Guess not,” she grumbled to herself when he stopped at the bottom of the stairs to sit down, patting the space beside him and saying, “I think we need to talk, love.”

Buffy shook her head at the invitation to share the narrow step, and pulled over a big box. “Do we have to? I’m tired, I want to go to bed—to sleep! I want to go to sleep.”

“Knew what you meant, Slayer,” he growled. “I’m not completely stupid, you know.”

“I know,” she sighed. “But we… can’t we just pretend it never happened? Or that nothing changed?”

“Can you do that? Just pretend that we’re right back to being what we were before the spell? How do you expect to do that after we…?”

“You have no idea how good I am at denial, Spike. No idea at all.” She spoke very firmly, trying not to see the pain in his eyes.

“I can’t take back what I said, Buffy. Took me just as much by surprise as it did you, but I realized the truth of it straight away.”

Buffy didn’t reply except to squirm uncomfortably on the box of old books. He waited for her to say something, then gave a sigh of his own.

“Right then. Let’s just get me sorted and you can go get your sleep.”

“Spike… I… I’m sorry.”

“No worries, pet. Not the first woman to think I wasn’t worthy of her, probably won’t be the last.” He walked past her to open up the folding cot that was against the wall.

“I’ll get you some sheets—”

“No need, unless you think your mum might come down here. Probably should warn her I sleep naked, so she knows to holler first.”

“I’ll warn her,” Buffy snorted. “Are you sure you don’t need anything? Pillow? Blanket?”

“After spending so much time chained in the Watcher’s bathtub, just being able to undress and sleep on a bed is a big improvement.” He watched her shifting from one foot to the other in indecision, then walked up to her and touched her chin.

“Just go on to bed, love. Don’t waste your time worrying about the old vampire.” He smiled as she turned away and took the first step up. “I’ll just be down here… alone… naked....”

She blushed, muttering, “Just when I start to feel sorry for you, you remind me what a pig you are.”

She could hear his chuckle behind her and turned to glare at him, hands on her hips. He hadn’t moved away from where he’d been standing when she turned to leave, so they were now facing each other on the same level, only a foot apart. Her glare faded as she looked into the admittedly pretty blue eyes with which she’d shared so many loving looks lately. His amusement faded with her glare, and she was left staring into the same affectionate gaze that had made her feel so warm, so recently.

“Not askin’ you to love me, Buffy. Don’t expect it, if I’m being honest. But I’d like to have a chance to be in your life for a while. Jus’ to see if you might want to try another sample of those ‘talents’ you told the poof about. I’ve got more….”

Buffy’s half-hearted slap to his face didn’t even stir the air before he captured her hand and brought it to his mouth. Kissing her palm in a way that made her snatch it back quickly, he gave a wry smile as he backed away.

“Just think about it, Slayer. That’s all I’m asking. Let me stay around for a while.”

Buffy didn’t respond, only ran up the stairs before he could sense what that kiss had done to her. She slammed the basement door behind her, pausing on the other side to assure herself that she was absolutely fine and was not having to fight an urge to stay downstairs with an about-to-be-naked vampire.

She checked the back door, seeing that Joyce had already locked it, turned out the kitchen light, and went upstairs to get ready for at least a few hours of sleep. Sleep, which was troubled by visions of warm blue eyes and the naked man (vampire! Spike is a vampire!) in her basement.

“What can it hurt to let him hang around?” she whispered to herself. “He’s a good fighter. He could be useful.” She fell asleep thinking of all the ways Spike could be useful to her….

The End (for now?)

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