Never Kill a Boy on the First Date
Author's Note: Dialogue from Season 1, 'Never Kill a Boy on the First Date'
Buffy watched as Owen headed off to the bar. Ignored those little twinges of doubt that had been creeping through her ever since he’d made that comment about thinking most girls were so ‘frivolous’ without realizing he’d sort of been talking about her when he said it. Still, he seemed to be having a good time, and even gave Cordelia the brush-off when she attempted to invade their air space.
Oh yeah. That was another thing. She was definitely aware that Queen C was slumped against a wall nearby, watching both of them with that dagger-shooting glare she probably perfected in the fourth grade. Buffy couldn’t lie; it was part of the reason she was having so much fun tonight.
Of course, the mere fact that she was having fun- any fun at all –meant that something would need to step in and crush it. Right about…
A sharp jolt of- something –went through her at the sound of his voice. Instinct wanted to identify it as loathing, but… it was a little too warm for loathing. And that right there was where she’d be ending her analysis. “Spike.”
“Figured… well, was hoping I’d find you here.”
Again, a jolt that felt… familiar, but entirely out-of-place in this context. Since there was no way she was excited to hear that he’d been looking for her. Nuh-uh. Nosiree. “You were?”
His forehead crinkled up. “What, you don’t know?” A disappointed shake of his head. “Christ… there’s some ugly stuff happening tonight. Harvest ugly. And I’m not talking about the Vessel’s face.” A sigh, and he raised his eyebrows. “You need to be out there,” he insisted, reaching for her arm.
“No, not you too,” she whined- no, protested. Then backed up until she’d placed half of the supporting beam she’d been leaning against between them.
“So, you do know?”
She rolled her eyes. “Of course I do. I don’t completely suck at this, you know. Prophecy, Anointed One, yada, yada, yada…”
Obviously annoyed by the fact that she wasn’t fazed by what he perceived to be news in the epic realm of badness, he clenched his jaw. “Fine. Just thought I’d warn you.”
“Warn me?” She didn’t know why this seemed so ridiculous, seeing as how it was pretty much the only reason he’d ever made an appearance in her life. At that point, she felt it was important for him to understand that… that sometimes slayage wasn’t the only thing on her agenda. That she had a life she would like to enjoy on occasion. “You see that guy over there at the bar?” She stepped around him to put herself between Spike and Owen. Blocking out one so she could focus on the other. “He came here to be with me.”
“You’re here on a date?”
She swung back around on him. “Yes! Why is that such a shock to everyone?”
Spike rolled his eyes. “It not that you’re on a date. It’s that you’re on a date when-”
“Here you go,” Owen’s voice was beside her again, and she turned to see him holding a muffin for her.
“Oh. Thank you,” she said, offering him a grateful smile as she accepted the doughy goodness. Seeing that he was only halfway focused on her now, what with Spike and his giant light bulb head still just standing there, she realized that she was going to have to make some introductions. Hopefully brief. “Um, Owen, this is Spike. Spike, this is Owen.” And then, to make sure there was no misunderstanding here, she wrapped her arm around his back. “Who is my date.”
My get-the-hint-and-just-leave date, she finished in her head, glaring at Spike. Because I definitely don’t plan on going anywhere. Especially if it’s with you.
Spike looked equal parts furious, frustrated, and amused, the three emotions warring on his face for a half-minute. When he finally chose one, Buffy wasn’t sure if she should be relieved or terrified that he’d gone with amusement. “Right then, Slayer. Let’s have a look at the boy.”
Ugh, did he have to hook his thumbs in his beltline like that?
“Nice to meet you,” Owen said- such a gentleman –and stuck out his hand.
Which the peroxided pest just stared at like he was offering him a handful of Ebola virus. A look he hid well, what with that lingering amusement, but Buffy was- reluctantly, unfortunately –starting to figure out the subtleties in his facial expressions. “I like him, Slayer. He’s got…” Head tilt, right on cue. “What’s the word? Vulnerability.”
Owen dropped his hand at that, and Buffy glanced up to see that he didn’t seem affected by Spike’s taunting. Instead he turned a puzzled look on her. “Did he… just call you ‘Slayer’?”
“Uh…” Buffy’s eyes went wide. Did he? She glared at Spike, who just shrugged.
Not his problem.
“And you’re Spike? Man, those are some pretty weird nicknames.”
“Yes!” she agreed with him, perhaps too quickly. “That they are! Nicknames. Weird ones. A-and… and the reason we have these nicknames for each other is because…” think, Buffy brain, think!
She remembered then what she’d said to Spike when he told her that was the title he preferred to go by. Or, more accurately, what she’d said after laughing at him about it… “Because I’m in a band! We’re… in a band. A rock band. Together. Spike and me.” She shot him a look.
He seemed too content to follow through with her fib, no doubt because he expected there’d be some pyrotechnics to go along with it. “Right. Yeah. She plays the… the triangle-”
“Drums. Yeah.” A sideways grin. “She’s hell on the old skins, you know.” Somehow, he managed to look like he actually meant it. Like he was proud of her for some talent she’d manufactured for herself less than two seconds ago.
“Really?” Owen’s face brightened as he looked between the two blondes. “Wow! So… what do you do?” he asked Spike.
“Well, I sing.” As if it should’ve been obvious.
“Cool,” he said, looking down at Buffy to offer her a smile. “Do you guys play any shows around here? I mean, at the Bronze? I know a couple other bands from school sometimes-”
“Oh, no. It’s mostly just… garage band stuff,” she cut in.
“Oh. Well… it’d be cool to hear you sometime. Or, hey! Maybe we could-”
“Look at this!” Owen commented when Xander and Willow came rushing at them. “First Buffy’s house, and now here. You two show up everywhere, don’t you?” They both just nodded in response, still catching their breath. “Seems like you’re having a busy night.”
Xander pointed at Owen. “You don’t know the half of it,” he muttered, picking up on the other male’s hint of sarcasm. Then he turned to Spike, although when he spoke it was clear that his question was aimed at Buffy. “What’s he doing here?”
Spike raised an eyebrow at them. “Guessing the same thing you’re doing here.”
All right. Spike, she could handle. Sort of. But having pretty much everyone she knew in Sunnydale busting in on her date? Not okay. “Um, excuse me… what are any of you doing here?” she asked, at this point holding on to Owen like he was the only thing keeping her from drowning in her own destiny.
“Look, we gotta get to, uh,” Xander flinched, covering up the look of pain that flashed across his face. Buffy guessed it was because Willow’s foot had just connected with his shin. “Uh. We thought it’d be fun if, uh, we made this a double date!”
Without any communication between them, the two best friends threw their arms around each other. Buffy knew exactly what they were doing, but the rather significant part of her that did not appreciate having her first legitimate date since coming to this town crashed by them, wanted to make them really commit. “I didn’t know you two were dating.”
Unfortunately, they seemed happy to oblige. Willow smiled, offering a shrug. “Oh, yeah, well… we knew it would happen eventually, so we figured hey! Why fight it?” Of course, there was no question why she was so enthusiastic about this charade.
“And you guys are thinking double? With us?” Owen inquired, so incredibly clueless about the vortex that was swirling around them.
“’Cause of…” A nervous laugh from Xander. Because he had to try and look sincere when he said, “the fun!”
Owen turned to Spike then. “And you’re here because of… band practise?” he ventured.
“You know what’d be cool?” Xander interjected, determined to keep them on task. “The Sunnydale Funeral Home!”
“I’ve always wanted to go there!” Willow agreed, the perfect supporting actress.
Spike snorted. “Subtle,” he muttered. Luckily, no one was listening to him.
“The funeral home?”
“Actually, that sounds kinda cool!” Owen jumped in. “Do you think we could all sneak in?”
Okay, the fact that this was now the most excited she’d seen her date all night? Not a good sign.
“Well, we saw some guys go in there before. They seemed to be having fun,” Xander said, directing those last two words at her.
Crap. She knew what that look meant. Vampires. Actual, legitimate vampires whose existence Giles had apparently not miscalculated. “Bite me!” she muttered under her breath. Looked up to Spike with some irrational hope that he might be able to rescue her from this. Even though he’d come to drag her into it in the first place. He just stared at her with a look that said I told you so… and now I’m quickly losing interest.
Knowing that she was now little more than a tuna fish tangled up in a fisherman’s net, she turned to her date. “Um, Owen, I gotta go.”
“I thought we were going to the funeral home.”
“No, you can’t come with us.” And I can’t tell you why. “This is… We’re…” she looked down, sighing, getting a glimpse into what the rest of her life would be like. Lying to the guy she was with, coming up with excuse after excuse as to why she had to disappear into the night for a few hours.
Not to mention explaining afterwards why her clothes were torn to shreds and she had blood dripping down her forehead.
Closing her eyes against that onslaught of images, doing her best to block them out, she looked back up at him. “I’ll be back in a little while, okay?”
“Buffy,” he said with a frown, gently leading her a safe distance away from her unwanted entourage. “What’s the deal? Is this you trying to bail on me?”
“No! No…” she said with a little shake of her head. “It’s really, really not.” She struggled to think of a way to explain this to him. “Do you remember when you said I was like two different people? Well, one of them has to go. But the other one is having a really, really good time, and will come back. I promise.” She knew she sounded a little desperate, a little too eager to convince him, but he was her date, dammit! She’d slay the vampires if she had to, but she wanted to make sure she had something to look forward to once the world was safe again.
After a long moment in which he seemed to be weighing her words, and measuring them against the sincerity she hoped was painted across every square inch of her face, Owen nodded his understanding. “Okay,” he murmured.
“Okay,” she agreed with a smile.
Feeling as though she were removing a particularly sticky bandage, she tore herself away from his presence. From his delicate gaze and his warm-and-cozy embrace. From the first normal night she’d had in way too long…
Reaching the back door with her friends, she tossed one last glance at him, and it was then that she noticed Spike following them.
“What are you doing?” she growled as she spun on him, planting her feet into the concrete floor, arms crossed.
Having to pull up quickly to avoid smashing into her, he looked from her, to her friends, to the back door. “Uh, I’m coming with you.”
“Aha, no you’re not.”
“Because I do not want to have to worry about watching your ass while we’re…” she glanced around at the small crowd that surrounded them, editing her words in that last instant so as to not to draw any attention to herself. “Doing what we’re going to do.”
“You’re letting Thing One and Thing Two tag along,” he argued, jabbing his finger at them.
“Willow and Xander know what they’re doing. You?” she scoffed. “With all the warnings you seem so excited to give me about the creepy crawlies in this town, I have yet to see you jab even a pinky finger at any of them. So I’m thinking you’re more of a bench-warmer than a starter.”
Truth was, Buffy wouldn’t normally be so quick to turn down a little more backup, whether he was experienced or not. However, she was peeved by the fact that he’d tracked her down mid-date to deliver yet another dire message. Willow and Xander she could forgive, but Spike still had a long way to go before he managed to take out a mortgage on her good side. Telling him he couldn’t come along seemed just about the only way to punish him.
It seemed to be working, too. This was perhaps the first time she’d ever actually seen him angry. Jaw clenched, eyes still narrowed, a few harsh breaths blasted through his flared nostrils. “Fine. Let me know how all this works out for you then, love. Won’t be surprised if I’m reading your obituary come Thursday morning.”
Keeping her gaze impassive, she stared him down for a few more seconds, until Willow murmured her name, telling her they should really be going.
“Yeah. I’m coming.”
Additional dialogue from Season 2, 'Becoming, Part II', and Season 4, 'The Harsh Light of Day'
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