My Boyfriend Has Fangs
“Would you like another Coke, Slayer?”
Buffy glanced over at Spike, seeing that he was signaling the waitress for another drink for himself. At her soft, “Sure,” he made the appropriate gesture and they soon had new drinks sitting in front of them.
“This is nice,” Buffy said as she looked around the small bar they’d stopped in after patrol. She just hadn’t been in the mood for the Bronze and the accompanying likelihood of having to pretend to her friends that she and Spike just “happened” to walk in at the same time and were “just happening” to walk out together. Spike had suggested they try a place he’d been to once on the other side of town. So here they were in Jake’s Bar, where they’d found themselves quite happily anonymous.
“Nobody knows us and—” She paused at his unconscious flinch, poking his arm. “I didn’t mean it that way, Spike. I didn’t. I just meant that nobody here knows who or what I am, so they aren’t expecting anything from me. And I guess they don’t know what you are, or they’d all be running out screaming.”
He raised a skeptical eyebrow at her, but nodded in reluctant submission when she glared at him. “That is what I meant! Stop being so sensitive.”
“I’m a vampire. I don’t do sensitive.” He glared back, clearly affronted.
“Fine, don’t be so easily offended, then….” She lowered her head to stare at her drink. “Or so quick to think you know what I mean.” She brought her gaze back up to his. “Am I really that bad? Am I so awful to you that you just automatically put the worst possible slant on anything I say?”
He swallowed hard, clearly having difficulty with her question. When she gave a sad nod and dropped her gaze again, he swore to himself and reached across the table to touch her hand. When she didn’t snatch it away, he gave it a gentle squeeze.
“I’m sorry, Buffy. I didn’t mean that I was agreeing with you. I was just trying to figure out how to answer it without making you feel worse. Of course you aren’t awful to me… not always. In fact, thinking back to last night….” Her glare stopped that line of thought. “Alright, forget that example of how you’re sometimes very, very good to me.” He sighed before continuing. “I know I see more of your… feelings… than you let the others see. And I’m fine with it. If being with me means you don’t have to pretend to be happy about your situation, that makes me happy. You know that, love. Whatever you need from me, you’ve got it. And if what you need is to be allowed to be unhappy and cranky—”
“You think I’m cranky?”
He sighed again and shook his head. “There’s no way I’m getting out of this with all my body parts, is there?”
“Nope,” she said, suddenly sounding more cheerful. “You’ve accused me of saying I don’t want to be seen with you, of being so awful all the time that you assume I am even when I don’t mean to be, and you called me cranky. I think you should be groveling at my feet about now….” In spite of her words, her lips twitched.
He snorted and drained his glass. “I’ll need more Jack for that.” He signaled the waitress again and leaned back in his chair to do his own survey of the room. “It is nice here, isn’t it? You don’t have to be the slayer, I don’t have to be the big bad….”
“It is,” she agreed. “It’s relaxing. I think we should come here more often.”
“Any time you want, love. Just say the word.”
He blinked in surprise. “If you want to. Every bloody night, if that’s what you want.”
“I think I want.” She frowned. “Unless we patrol first and I’m all yucky from slaying something that didn’t turn to dust. I don’t want to come here covered in demon-stuff.”
“Sounds like a plan, love. I’ll drink to that.” He tipped his new glass at her before raising it to his mouth.
“You’d drink to a… a… sneeze.”
“Not one of your best efforts there, Slayer. I think you need more work on your quips.”
Buffy just narrowed her eyes at him and twirled her straw in her drink as she enjoyed the unusually quiet and companionable atmosphere between them.
Weeks later they walked into the small bar to be greeted by name, smiling at the bartender and their usual waitress Sally. Spike exchanged nods with several other regular patrons and Buffy smiled at the few girls she’d mingled with in the ladies’ room. With a comfort born of familiarity, they slid into their usual booth and waited for their drinks.
“Thank you, luv,” Spike said, smiling at Sally as she put their glasses down.
“No problem. Are you guys having a good night?”
Buffy almost choked on her mouthful of Diet Coke as she remembered the nest of vampires they’d cleaned out earlier, and the demon ritual they’d interrupted after that. She’d almost been too tired to enjoy their new post-patrol ritual of unwinding at their secret favorite place.
“You might say that,” Spike said with a grin. “But I’m looking for it to get better soon.” He leered in Buffy’s direction and she gave him a mock glare at the same time she ran her foot up his leg. Sally rolled her eyes at them and went back to other tables.
“I love this place.” Buffy sighed as she looked around and slouched into the corner of the booth, keeping her foot gently stroking Spike’s calf. “Tell me again how you found it.”
“Just wandered in one night while you were… gone. Was feeling a bit sorry for myself, and probably looking for a fight, to be honest. But when I noticed how nice everyone was being, I realized they didn’t know what I was. I was just another lonely man in a bar. No worries they might try to stake me or set me on fire, or that they’d figure out the woman I was missing was dead.” He smiled at her. “It was a good feeling, so I thought I’d take a chance on it that night you said you didn’t want to be around anybody who knew you.”
“I’m glad you did,” she said. “It’s nice being just Buffy and her….” She colored a little as she muttered, “boy—date. Not the Slayer and her vampire. Just two people out on a date.”
She peered at him to see if he was going to say anything about how they could do that anywhere if she wasn’t so sure her friends wouldn’t understand, but he just gave her a “how stupid do you think I am?” look and took a big gulp of his drink.
The peaceful rest didn’t last long as two new arrivals had Buffy staring hard at the doorway. She started to get up, her slayer senses telling her that the couple just entering weren’t human. Spike’s hand on her arm, holding her in place made her glare at him. “Spike!” she hissed. “Let me go! Those are demons.”
He shook his head. “I know them, Buffy. They’re harmless. Only half demon, and not interested in hurting anyone. I’d guess they’re here for the same reason we are. They can relax and just be themselves without expectations from anyone.”
The woman had glanced around the room, giving Spike a small smile of recognition, then blanching as she saw who he was with. She clutched her date’s arm to get his attention, but Spike shrugged and shook his head at her as Buffy slowly sank back to her seat.
“Are you sure?” she whispered.
“As sure as I am of you, love. They’re good people, just with some extra DNA that makes it hard for them to relax some places.” He smiled at her. “’Sides, if you blow your cover beating up their customers, I’m guessing we wouldn’t be welcome here any more.”
“I wouldn’t like that,” she sighed. “But if I thought they were dangerous….”
“If I thought they were dangerous, I’d have met them at the door. Not going to have our favorite get-away-from-it-all place ruined or anybody in it killed. Nothing evil is gettin’ in while I’m here.”
Buffy cocked her head. “You really are a different vampire,” she said, studying him as she might an exotic animal. “That chip just means you can’t hurt people – except me, which… just not going to go there – but you act like you wouldn’t hurt the people you know even if you could.”
“Wouldn’t,” he said shortly. “Thought you might have figured that out by now, Slayer. Never touched your mum, and I had other human friends and people who were off limits for feeding long before the US Army tried to make a weapon out of me.” He met Buffy’s dubious expression. “Not all of us are mindless killing machines like the fledglings you see every night. Or as purely evil as your nutcase of an ex.”
“You just had to bring Angel into it, didn’t you,” Buffy growled, her good humor vanishing.
“He’s never out of it, Buffy. Know that, don’t I?”
She rolled her eyes, but refused to look at his face.
“Fine,” he said. “It’s only me who knows that everything I do is measured against my grandsire and what he would have done.” He drained his glass and thumped it down on the table. “Which in most cases would have been to rip the throats out of everybody who matters to you.”
Wearing a small frown, their waitress came back to the table. “Is everything okay here? You guys aren’t fighting, are you? I mean, it’s none of my business, but you usually seem so happy together… I’d just hate to think….”
“We’re fine, Sally,” Buffy said, forcing a smile. “Just being a little more ourselves than we usually are in here.”
Spike nodded his agreement as he handed her his empty glass. “What she said, luv. Didn’t mean to worry anybody.”
She gave a doubtful nod, but took his glass back to the bar for a refill.
“Great, we’re about to ruin our favorite place.”
“It’ll be alright. As long as you don’t go breakin’ my nose or making me vamp out… All couples have their moments of disagreement.”
Buffy sighed. “Did you hear what she said? About how we always look so happy here? We usually are, aren’t we?”
“Don’t know about you, but I can tell you these have been some of the best evenings of my life.”
Buffy raised a dubious eyebrow.
“Well, some of that happiness might have to do with where we usually go from here, but….”
She laughed. “You should have quit while you were ahead, Spike.”
“You sure you’re up for this? No offense, pet, but you look done for.”
“It was a long day. I worked double shifts and then had to dust a bunch of stupid fledglings on my way home. I almost wish I’d called that my patrol for the night so I could have stayed home and slept.” She sighed. “But I didn’t, and we had to fight a bunch of oversized demons, so now I need a sugary drink.”
He held the door as they entered the bar and headed for “their” booth. “I could have handled it for you. You only had to ask.”
“You didn’t want to go out tonight?”
“Not if you’re only here because you think you have to be. This is supposed to be for fun and relaxing – not something that makes you loose more sleep than you already do.”
“Oh… Then... how about we just have a quick drink and leave?”
“Whatever you want, Slayer.”
He smiled his thanks at Sally as she set their drinks down. “We’re not stayin’ long, luv. I’ll just pay you now.”
A short time later, they were on their way back to a more familiar part of town. Once again Buffy wondered how there could be a place in Sunnydale where no one recognized either one of them. When she mentioned it, Spike just shrugged.
“It’s not like we’re famous,” he said with a smile. “I s’pose we are in certain circles, but I’m sure Sunnydale is full of people who’ve never heard or seen either one of us. Even if they know there is such a person as the Slayer, or that there are vampires and demons, if they’ve never had reason to see us being a vampire or a slayer, why wouldn’t they treat us like everyone else?”
“I’m not sure if I should be grateful… or offended,” she said, her smile belied her words, then turned into a yawn. “But it really is nice to have a place to go where I can just be Buffy.” She looked at him from the corners of her eyes. “And you can just be… William.”
Buffy frowned and glanced around. “Aren’t we going the wrong way? Restfield is that way.”
“I’m walking my lady home. And that’s this way.”
She stopped. “We’re going to my house? Don’t you want to—”
“Always. But you’re almost asleep on your feet. Think I can’t see that? That I don’t care? I’m not an animal you know. You need to go to bed… to sleep… alone.”
She cocked her head at him. “No, you aren’t an animal. In fact, I think you’re a perfect gentleman. Just way in the closet about it.”
“You take that back or I’ll bite you!”
Ignoring the fact that they were now in a part of town where they might easily run into someone they knew, she smiled and stepped closer to him, going up on her toes to brush her lips over his.
“No you won’t. You’re too much of a gentleman… and a very considerate boyfriend besides.”
He slipped his arms around her in a loose embrace. “If you promise not to tell anyone I’m a gentleman, I promise not to tell anybody you called me your boyfriend.”
“Best start now, pet.” He stepped slightly away from her, his face settling back into the mask he wore around the Scoobies. Buffy glanced over her shoulder to see Xander and Anya staring at them.
“Oops?” Buffy seemed surprisingly unperturbed at having been caught kissing him. She waited, but Xander and Anya didn’t approach, just waved from where they were standing. Anya was talking vigorously at Xander, then grabbed his hand and began to pull him away.
“Oops? Harris and his bird see you snogging me and all you have to say is ‘oops’?”
Buffy sighed and began walking toward her home again. “If they saw, they saw. I’ve gotten used to not having to watch myself around you every night.” She peered at him. “I think I kinda like it.”
“Who are you and what have you done with the Slayer?”
“She’s not here just now. I’m Buffy. And she’s tired of pretending her… boyfriend… is just extra muscle for slaying.”
“Are you sayin’ what I think you’re saying?”
“I’m saying, if I want to sit close to you, I should be able to do it. And if I want to give you a kiss, I should be able to do that too.”
“Heads will explode,” he warned.
“Well, it’s not like I’m planning to stand up and make some big announcement. I’m just not going to hide that I’m spending time with you. And if I feel like touching you… I’m going to touch you.”
She stopped and faced him.
“Isn’t that what you want? To be able to see me without sneaking around and lying to everybody?”
“You know it is, sweetheart.” He stepped closer and ran his finger down her cheek. “Just might take some getting used to. Been pretending for so long…”
“We don’t pretend when we’re at Jake’s.”
“No, we don’t. It’s one of the nicest things about the place. That we can touch each other whenever we want to without worrying about what anybody will think.”
“Well, we’re just not going to pretend anymore. I’m not saying I’m going to crawl up in your lap in front of everybody like when we were under that spell, but I’m not going to act like we’re not together either.”
They walked a little farther before she spoke again. “I don't see how they can be so stupid, anyway. It’s not like we’re don’t go out slaying together every night. Or like I don’t usually get home way after everybody’s asleep. What the hell do they think I’ve been doing?” She snorted. “Except for Tara, I guess. She knows where I am.”
“Glinda? She knows?”
Buffy waved her hand dismissively. “Yeah, I had to tell her when I asked…. well, never mind. The point is, she’s okay with it. She likes you. Of course, you’ve never tried to kill her….”
“Wouldn’t if I could. She’s too good.”
“And there’s that weird gentlemanly vampire again.”
“Who’s the Slayer’s boyfriend.”
By time they’d reached Buffy’s house, their steps were slowing.
“I’m home,” Buffy said unnecessarily.
“You are. But I haven’t seen you all the way home until I’ve walked you in the door and got myself a goodnight snog.”
She giggled and unlocked the front door, stepping inside and turning to face him. “Okay, now I’m home.”
“Indeed you are,” he murmured, pulling her against him. “Now where’s my snog?”
“You know that’s a disgusting word, right?” Buffy said as she tipped her face up.
“Whoa!” They jerked and reflexively pulled apart as they turned to where Dawn was sitting on the stairs grinning.
“Why aren’t you in bed?” Buffy demanded.
“Brilliant move, pet,” Spike whispered. “Best defense is a good offense and all that.”
Dawn just beamed at them. “Because something told me if I just waited long enough, I’d catch you two at… well, something non-scarring but good blackmail fuel.”
Spike’s growl was only half serious and Dawn dismissed it with a wave of her hand. “Save it, fangface. You’re caught. Admit it.”
“We’re not ‘caught’,” Buffy said with a haughty sniff. “That would imply we were doing something wrong, and all I was doing was giving my date a goodnight kiss.”
“You admit you were on a date? Oh, Willow is so going to owe me!”
“Will—wait, what? Willow?”
“We have a bet that you two will eventually stop thinking we’re all stupid and admit that you’re… whatever you are now. And I heard it first, so I win.” She stood up and yawned. “I’m going to bed now. Do I need to put the pillow over my head so I don’t hear anything I shouldn’t?”
“Oh.” Dawn looked disappointed. “So you aren’t having sex yet? Well, that’s… disappointing….”
“Go. To. Bed. Now.” Buffy was suddenly wide awake and in Slayer mode, something that didn’t escape Dawn’s notice. She “eeped” and ran up the stairs, slamming her bedroom door when she was out of sight.
“Guess that’s my cue to leave,” Spike said with a soft laugh. “Sleep well, love.”
Buffy frowned. “I’m awake now. Mad, but awake. Dammit.”
“You’ll remember how tired you are as soon as you calm down. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow night.”
“I hate it when you’re right,” she grumbled, even as she yawned.
“Won’t happen often.” He bent down to brush his lips across hers. “Goodnight, Buffy.”
“Goodnight,” she said as he walked out and she began to shut the door behind him. “Goodnight, boyfriend.”
“I heardthat.” His voice drifted back to her as she closed and locked the door.
“I know you did,” she whispered as she turned off the lights and started up to her room.
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