Part 1. Things Go Wonky
(Part 1 - Things Go Wonky)
AN: LoL, I had such a time trying to think of something nice and holiday-ish. It kept getting all fluffy instead of smutty. Apparently I had a baby plotbunny… LoL. Thanks to Jessica and Tami for their lovely and greatly appreciated betaing.
Buffy was doing her usual patrol thing, keeping up with the motions of being the slayer as she tried to get over the absence of Riley. Really, when she thought about it, it was best that he left after everything she found out about him. The biting. So gross. She had been bitten a few times and never found it that great. Yeah. He was the weird one, she told herself.
She paused and looked across the row of tombstones towards the familiar crypt. She wouldn’t have found out about what basically amounted to her boyfriend cheating on her and lying to her if it hadn’t been for a very unlikely friend.
Well, she probably would have found out eventually, but maybe not before something bad happened such as finding Riley dead or worse... She thought she might have eventually seen the marks, but really... how had he kept them from her so far even when they had sex? It was probably helped by his whole thing with keeping the lights out and being such a prude about nudity.
She still wondered why Spike had even told her; especially after what she said to him that night behind the Bronze... even if he immediately did come to sit by her while she cried over her mother. That had confused her, too.
She shoved the confusing thoughts aside and looked towards the crypt again. Should she go thank him? Something? Go try to make some sort of nice with him? Really, so far it seemed to be better to have him on their side rather than working against them or getting in the way.
Didn’t mean she had to be best buddies with him, she told herself with a slight pout as she trudged towards his crypt. She shoved the door open without knocking, not thinking anything of it like usual.
The sight before her made her rethink that policy, though.
Spike was in the middle of his crypt, clearly drunk again, but that wasn’t what was horrifying her. He was currently wearing women’s clothes -hey, wasn’t that her missing blue sweater and wraparound skirt?- and a blonde wig that looked eerily a lot like her own hair. He was in mid-tirade, waving around a bottle as he spoke to the empty air in front of him, clearly too drunk and caught up in his drunken rant to have noticed that she was there.
“I’m the Slayer. I’m just so bloody perfect with my perfect hair an’ my perfect breasts an’ my perfect ass,” he said in a falsetto voice. “I’m better than everyone else an’ I don’ do anythin’ wrong.” He wiggled his butt. “I only screw vampires with soddin’ souuuuls. I tried t’ pretend t’ be normal with a soldier boy, but even he liked the feel of cold flesh more than my uptight ass.”
Her eyes got a bit wider as she listened to him, lump forming in her throat. She couldn’t believe she had come to make nice to him. She narrowed her eyes, hoping that indignation would keep the tears at bay. At least until she got to the privacy of her room. She couldn’t help a small sniffle as she turned to try to beat a retreat, stumbling over a rock in her haste.
Spike heard the sniffle and the scuffling of her tripping as she went, finally realizing he wasn’t alone anymore. He swung around and looked towards the door guiltily, spotting the retreating back of the slayer he had been mocking. He quickly dashed after her.
She didn’t look at him and he hurried to catch up, unaware that someone might spot him still in her clothes and the wig. He jogged ahead of her and turned to face her, walking backwards.
“Buffy, I’m sorry... didn’ think you would...” He shook his head. “I’m a right git... a right drunken git... didn’ mean any of that.” He held out his hands. “Just stop, slayer!”
She frowned up at him for a moment and looked like she was going to speak.
Spike sat up some time later, stirring when he sensed the coming dawn. He put a hand to his aching head, knocking the wig off. Damn. What hit him? He stood up, bracing himself on a tombstone and trying to remember what had happened.
The slayer had caught him mocking her while he was drunk and when he apologized she had socked him in the nose. In his state he had fallen over and passed out on the cold ground.
“Could’ve at least dragged me back t’ my crypt or stole back her clothes so no one saw me layin’ on the ground in ladies’ knickers,” he grumbled as he headed back to his crypt dejectedly. “Reputation’s bad enough as it is.”
He closed the door behind him and started peeling off the clothes, wondering what had possessed him to do such an outrageous thing. The alcohol had, obviously. He tossed the clothes aside and slumped into the armchair, pounding head in his hands. The look on the slayer’s face, though... He needed to make it up to her. Even if she was a right bitch, she shouldn’t have seen that and it had obviously hurt her.
Well, he couldn’t do much now. Sun was up and he still needed to rest a bit more sleep before he was back to his usual chipper self. So he slunk off to the lower levels, racking his foggy brain for something to do for the slayer.
Buffy went on patrol again, even after trying to beg off to Giles with the excuse that she wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t want to chance running into Spike again, but hopefully he would be too embarrassed to put in an appearance.
One could hope... but for some reason that bleached menace seemed to rarely get embarrassed easily. Probably the no soul thing, she told herself with a shrug as if that explained everything.
She felt the beginnings of the tingle seconds before she heard him shout, “Slayer!”
Her shoulders slumped in defeat for a second then she tried to quicken her pace, not paying him any attention. You would have thought knocking him out cold had sent the message that she didn’t want to talk to him.
“Oi! Stop!” He ran to catch up, stepping in front of her. “I didn’ mean for you t’ see that. Please, Buffy. I was piss drunk an’... just please don’ hit me again an’ don’ cry. Please.”
“I didn’t cry...” she looked away, fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. She looked back towards him and started, “Look, can we just forget-“
There was a whining coming from Spike and her brows went up.
“Did you just whine at me?”
He rolled his eyes and gave her a condescending look. “No, you daft bint. It was your present.” He opened his duster and scooped out a black bundle of fur. “I felt so bad about last night that I figured I had t’ do somethin’ so you don’ cry anymore.”
He shuffled uneasily and held the puppy out, looking every bit the shy little boy.
Buffy tilted her head, wanting to continue to deny that she had been crying over what he had said or over Riley leaving her. She took one look into the big black eyes of the puppy and melted, though. How could she not? She sighed and looked up at Spike in defeat.
“You didn’t steal him, did you?” She asked tiredly, not sure what else to say to what she found to be a very odd situation.
“Her,” he corrected softly and set the puppy into the slayer’s arms. “An’ no... I saw an ad an’ took all the money I had saved up. An’ before you say it, I didn’ steal the money either, I won it in poker.”
“Oh... well then...” The tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lips nervously then she looked down at the puppy. “I’m sure Dawn’ll love you even more and hopefully mom won’t object. I’m sure she won’t when she hears it’s from you. What’s her name?”
“Anythin’ you want, pet. But she’s for you, not Nibblet.” He stuck his hands in his pockets and lifted his brows expectantly. “So you like her?”
She nodded. “Thank you...”
She chewed her lip uncomfortably, glancing around for a moment before looking down at the puppy snuggling into her arms. All fluffy, black curls and big, floppy ears. She nosed at Buffy’s arm then gave a few licks, drawing a smile to the slayer’s lips. How could someone not smile at such a sweet little thing? Her eyes went back up to Spike.
“You didn’t have to do this, you know,” she brushed her knuckles across the puppy’s back. “I punched you and left you unconscious out in the open in a skirt. Someone could have done something or you could have dusted if you didn’t get up before morning... I figured that made us sort of even in the meanie category.”
“Yeah, well... the ponce in me didn’ think it was right t’ make a girl cry... or somethin’ like that,” he looked down at his feet, feeling like the biggest poof ever. “That wanker didn’ deserve you, goin’ off an’ doin’ somethin’ like that.”
She looked even more confused than before.
“Uh, thank you, Spike...” She looked down at the puppy to avert her eyes. “I should... you know, get home... it’s cold and don’t want the puppy freezing...”
He nodded and didn’t move so she started to walk backwards before turning to go. She tried to make sense of all that as she walked home, and at the same time not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth. He was being nice to her and while that should worry her, for the moment she would just be grateful he wasn’t making her life any harder. She had enough stuff going on to keep her stressed and if what people said about pets were true, he had just given her a present that could relieve some of that stress.
She smiled down as the puppy gave a wide yawn. Already she did feel a little at peace watching the sweet little bundle of fur. And, the little darling needed a name. She would have named the puppy Angel if it wasn’t for the other meaning that word had for her.
She got a funny look on her face as a name did come to mind and she kissed the little wet nose before jogging up the steps to the front door.
It was obvious her mom had been busy while she was out, some decorations already up and the smell of cookies in the air. She glanced towards the living room on her way to the kitchen where she assumed her mom was, stopping when she saw her mom stretching to string lights on the tree.
“Mom, you should be resting,” Buffy hurried over and took the lights from her mom with her free hand. “Dawn and I will take care of that tomorrow. Just sit and rest; you’re still healing.”
Joyce opened her mouth to object as she was ushered to the couch, but saw what was in her daughter’s arms instead. “Buffy, is that what I think it is?”
Buffy looked down and gave a guilty look. “If you’re thinking puppy, it is.” She held up her hand. “Spike gave her to me as a present. So, you know, it would be rude to refuse a gift from a friend.” She smiled, capitalizing on her mother’s fondness of the vampire.
“That was very nice of him,” Joyce smiled softly and leaned forward to see the puppy. “You said her? You’re prepared to take care of a dog, right?”
Buffy knelt so her mom could pet the puppy. “Yeah, and I’m sure it won’t take much to get Dawn to help even before she finds out who it’s from.” She smiled and set the puppy in her mom’s lap. She heard pets helped with sick people, too. “Just sit here and I’ll go get you some tea, alright?”
She snagged a couple cookies in the kitchen while she waited for the water to heat up in the microwave. Once the microwave dinged, she dropped a tea bag into the mug and carried it back to her mom. She paused in the doorway, smiling as her mother was fending off a ferocious lick-fest.
“See, Billy likes you. You can’t turn her away now, she’s like another daughter,” Buffy grinned cheekily and held out the tea. “Tomorrow morning, Dawn and I can hurry over to stock up on dog stuff. Tonight, I think it’s okay for her to sleep on my bed. She’s tiny.”
“I’ll leave some money on the counter for you then,” Joyce patted her hand after handing back the puppy. “And don’t worry; I’ll just watch an old movie on television while I enjoy my tea then head upstairs.”
“Okay, but don’t stay up too late,” Buffy waved a half-serious finger at her mother then kissed her cheek before heading upstairs with Billy.
Billy curled up immediately upon being set on one of the pillows of Buffy’s bed. She gave another wide, tongue-curling yawn before closing her eyes. Awww, how cute! The slayer shook her head with a smile and peeled off her clothes before climbing into bed. She patted the dark little head once more before she drifted off to sleep as well, putting thoughts of confusing vampires out of her head.
Billy was settled between Dawn and Joyce sporting her new red collar with a full stomach when Buffy left for patrol that night. It would have to be after the New Year before they could get her into the vet for her shots and, unfortunately Joyce insisted on it, spaying the poor little girl. But, at least her mom was letting them keep Billy, and it was probably better to have it done while she was young.
Patrol was pretty quiet. Even the demons probably went to spend the holidays with family. And, the holy time made the vampires wary. It worked out good for the slayer, though. Soon she was done, having made quick work of a few fledges and one anachri demon. She figured she should make another circuit of the cemetery just to make sure.
She paused at the crypt again, biting her lip. Should she? Her feet brought her to the door before she realized it and her hand was already going for the knob. She stopped, remembering last time she had just barged in. She had learned her lesson about knocking then so her fist lifted to knock, but stopped again. Hesitating. Her teeth drew blood where they worried her lip still.
She shook her head, stepped back away from the door and turning to go. She shouldn’t. This was wrong. She had done this all before and it wouldn’t end well. Granted, he didn’t have a soul to lose, but still it wouldn’t end well. She knew it wouldn’t.
“Buffy,” Spike called softly from the door of his crypt, having sensed her and smelled the blood. When he had sensed her walk off it had hurt, but maybe she just needed him to make the first move. He hoped.
She paused and looked back at him over her shoulder. “I... patrol... is kind of quiet...” She scuffed her foot. “Mom adores B-... the puppy. So does Dawn. It was really nice of you to get her for us.”
“You. I got her for you,” he closed the crypt door behind him and walked towards her. “So you got a name for the lil’ bit of fluff then?”
She started walking again, knowing the minute she said the name he would get it. So she just shook her head and kept walking. He fell into step beside her and she avoided looking at him, knowing for sure he would be able to see straight through her like always. Why was that? She didn’t know and her mind shied away from going down that particular mental path.
“How’s Mum doin’?” He finally asked, wanting to get her to talk again. “Pet, you’re not makin’ her take care of the fluff ball are you?”
“No, I’m actually trying to get her to rest more. Last night I caught her baking cookies and trying to decorate the tree when I came back with the puppy. I mean, really.” She sighed. “She’s so stubborn, though. Won’t listen to anything you tell her.”
“How like a Summers woman.” He smirked at her, dodging to the side when she swatted at him. “It’s a good thing I got a soft spot for them.”
She stopped when he said that and her cheeks tinged pink. Then she shook her head and started walking briskly again. He meant her Mom and Dawn. That was it. They just adored him. There was absolutely nothing between her and the bleached menace. Nothing. And... well, it was going to stay like that. Forever. And ever. Yes.
She was so lost in thought it was a good thing Spike was there, putting out an arm to stop her when he sensed the demon first. He looked at her knowingly, but gratefully didn’t call her on her thoughts.
“Looks like you got lucky, pet. Looks t’ be a good spot of violence on its way,” he nodded towards the direction he sensed the demon coming from.
“Uh, yeah... what a Christmas gift... doing my job,” she said dryly as she headed in the direction he indicated.
The demon was pretty good sized and cleaning a bone of the last bits of flesh that hung to it as he walked, then tossing it aside. Buffy didn’t even want to guess what the bone might have belonged to. Instead she planted herself right in the demon’s path with her hands on her hips.
“I take it you didn’t buy that at a nice barbecue place.”
“No. I ripped it off-“
She held up a hand. “Stop. Don’t need to know. Apparently sarcasm is not something you get. It’s part of this whole banter thing I do before I slay things. You’re supposed to make some quip back.”
“Talk is borin’, luv,” Spike cut in. “Better just t’ get down t’ the action.”
“That from the man who talks more than anyone else on the planet?” She rolled her eyes and turned towards him. “I’m sure you talk to the walls of your crypt and in your sleep even.”
“Wouldn’ you like t’ know.”
“Ugh, you’re such a pig.”
“If you two are going to flirt, can I go on my way?” The demon finally cut in.
“No! You have to stay so I can slay you!” Buffy whirled back around then frowned. “And I’m not flirting!”
“Good, cause I could use a good midnight snack. You look tasty,” the demon hissed before lunging at her.
She leapt forward and met him halfway, getting in a few punches before he tossed her aside. She kicked at his shins while she was down and started pulling herself back up. He was bending over her when Spike jumped onto his back, striking at the demon’s head as he clung tightly. The demon straightened and started struggling with Spike so Buffy turned to look for something to use as a weapon. They weren’t far from Spike’s crypt still. Maybe she could make it back there and find something.
She got up and started running back towards the crypt, yanking the door open and glancing around. Nothing was just lying out so she went over to the sarcophagus and quickly shoved the lid off so she could grab a sword from inside.
There was a loud slam that sounded through the crypt as something hit the outer wall hard. Dust fell from the ceiling and she guessed her time was up.
“I’m baaack,” she called as she left the crypt, looking for the demon.
It didn’t disappoint, coming around the corner of the crypt to lunge at her again. This time she was prepared, dodging and twirling to avoid the swipes of its meaty hands. She slashed with the sword as she could, kicking him away when he dodged a swing of the blade. It lunged one last time and she positioned herself right to run the blade straight through the chest.
“See, that’s why you have to be careful what you snack on before you go to bed,” Buffy quipped as the demon fell over.
She brushed off her hands and stepped over the carcass, starting to walk away from the crypt. Patrol was over as far as she was concerned and she needed to get back to make sure her mom went to bed and got her rest. She got halfway across the row, though, before she wondered why Spike wasn’t tagging along behind her annoying her with his usual incessant chattering.
“Spike?” she paused and turned back around as she called out softly. “Where’d you go?”
She frowned, remembering the crash that had shook the crypt just before she had come out with the sword. Hugging herself, she glanced towards the gates of the cemetery, wondering if she should just head home. He really wasn’t her problem. If something happened to him it would be one less vampire, right? She was the slayer. She should have got rid of him a long time ago and she still wasn’t sure why she hadn’t.
But, she knew she couldn’t be that cold hearted, no matter what most people thought about her. Especially not after the weirdness with the puppy and him giving her such a sweet gift because he actually felt bad about making her cry.
Oh good grief. It wasn’t a good thing when the slayer got soft over a vampire, but here she was going back to make sure Spike wasn’t a pile of dust on the ground or lying unconscious where he could get caught in the sunlight when dawn came.
“Spike,” she called again, poking her head around the side of the crypt where the demon had come from as well as the crash.
She would forever deny the feeling of relief that came over her to actually see something more than dust on the ground. Instead was the crumpled, black clad form with the bleached hair barely recognizable through a mess of blood and hopefully only blood.
“Oh Spike...” She sighed with genuine sadness as she knelt beside him and rolled him over to check out the extent of his injuries. Her bottom lip poked out as she looked over the bruises and cuts on his face. At least he healed quickly. And yes, it was only blood, thank god. She ran her fingers lightly over the unmarred cheekbone. “Wakey wakey, Sleeping Beauty.”
He didn’t wake and she was pretty sure the faerie tale kiss wasn’t going to work. Even if she was willing to touch Spike lips. Cause... she wasn’t. The last time had been because of the spell and that had been nightmare inducing. Yes... many nights of dreams with his lips. Nightmares, yes... She shook her head of those thoughts and started trying to pick him up awkwardly to take him back into his crypt.
Her arms were finally under him when he gave a small groan, shifting as he woke up and she started to pull back. Dark lashes fluttered then blue eyes were fixed on her before she could get away and she readied herself for one of his usual pervy comments.
“Do you perhaps know what exactly happened to me and where I am?” He asked in a strange, Giles-ish voice. He started to sit up and put his hand to his throbbing temple, then looking at her as she pulled away. “In fact, since you seem to be acquainted with me in a way that allows you to be forward enough to have your arms about me, could you tell me who I am?”
Buffy stared at him in shock then borrowed from Giles and Spike both, “Oh bloody hell...”
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