Tap. Tap. Tap.
Buffy drummed her pencil against her desk, taking her boredom out on the small writing utensil. An exasperated huffed breath sent her blonde bangs flying. Friday afternoons were always the worst. No students had come in to see her because they were too busy counting down the minutes until the bell rang for their weekends to begin. Buffy couldn’t really blame them, though. She wanted to get the hell out of there as much as they did. Buffy sighed. She still had half an hour to kill, so tapping away at her desk was her only option to remain somewhat sane.
The quiet nature of that afternoon mirrored the theme of Buffy’s past week. In a short amount of time, she had already developed a routine for herself. She’d wake up every morning in Spike’s arms, fight the girls for bathroom privileges, race to work, advise teenagers on issues that she sometimes thought she had no right giving advice on, come home to help Spike train the SITs, go out for a patrol, go back home to crawl into bed and back into Spike’s arms. Yup, the past week had been uneventful, even a little mundane. Well except for the one day when the students had gone all wonky, the activated Evil Seal in the school basement had turned the high school into Hellmouth ground zero. But like all the dilemmas that seemed to occur every Tuesdays, she had dealt with it. A few remorseful tears from Andrew had closed the seal and cured the school of all residual evil that had been emanating from that hot spot. But other than that, Buffy would’ve considered the past week to be pretty much excitement free.
Andrew’s incessant videotaping had even diminished a bit, too. Buffy had agreed to let him record Spike’s sessions with the Potentials, since some of the girls had voiced that it actually helped with their training. She had also allowed him to videotape what he wanted so long as he didn’t get in the way. Buffy would catch him now and again, but he’d either run away or begrudgingly turn off the camera. At first she thought the whole videotaping thing was annoying and a total waste of energy, but now that she had time to think about it, it wasn’t such a terrible idea. If they did defeat the First, it would be nice to have something to look back on.
Buffy abruptly stopped tapping her pencil. Andrew’s videos were probably the only proof she had of Spike. There were no pictures or mementos that she’d collected over the years she’d known him. Actually that wasn’t true. She had kept a few things. That skull ring from when they had been ‘engaged’, a blue silk shirt of his that she had snatched and put on after one of their numerous rendezvous last year, and the silver lighter that had somehow ended back up in her possession were the only few things she had to prove that she had ever known Spike. Buffy made a mental note to pull out her camera when she got home, take a few pictures when Spike wasn’t looking. She needed at least one picture of him. Maybe she’d put it in a pretty frame and place it on her desk, so she could look at him everyday. He was her boyfriend after all.
Buffy couldn’t help but smile at the thought. If someone had told her last year that she’d truly fall for Spike, she would have directed them to the nearest insane asylum. But here she was, thinking of him as her boyfriend, which was a major milestone all of its own. Things hadn’t ended so well with her last vampire boyfriend. Yet, she knew Spike wasn’t Angel in more ways than one. Buffy chuckled at the memory from earlier that week when she had to pry the telephone from Spike’s hands just to stop him from calling Angel. He had wanted to tell her ex about them, to rub it in his face. Buffy didn’t know what it was about those two but one day she was going to stick them in a room and let them wrestle it out. Her eyes widened in excitement as she giggled. There could be some kind of oil involved…
Buffy’s eyes absentmindedly scanned the room until they landed on Principal Wood’s office door. After the whole Seal of Danzalthar debacle, she noticed some seriously weird vibes coming from the demon hunting principal. The past week, Robin had been distant and a bit of a recluse. Buffy had interpreted it as him dealing with the reality of what lay beneath the foundation of his school. Getting possessed by the seal when he had stood upon it and witnessing how easily the high school had fallen apart at the hands of the First was probably like an awakening sledge hammer to the head. She hoped that he wasn’t too completely overwhelmed, but she understood how it could take a while for the gravity of what was happening to settle in. ‘He better get out of this little funk soon,’ she reflected, nibbling on the end of her pencil, her hazel eyes still glued to the closed office door ‘before it’s too late.’
Yet, she couldn’t help but think that it wasn’t just the affects of the Seal that were playing with his mood. After she had dragged Andrew out of the basement, Buffy had noticed some sort of nonverbal macho exchange going on between Spike and Wood. It was after that night that even she couldn’t deny that there were serious tensions between those two. She hadn’t brought up the issue to either of them, but she suspected something bad must have happened to set them against each other. Buffy wanted to believe it was some sort of jealousy thing, but as much as her vanity wished it were so, she knew it wasn’t the case. Spike knew she was his and she’d only gone on one date with Wood that had amounted to little more than a fun night out. There was something else that she didn’t know about. Maybe it had to do with the fact that Robin’s mother was a Slayer, one who had died at the hands of a vampire. Perhaps because of that he had some kind of innate distrust of Spike. Wood’s feelings made sense to Buffy, and so did Spike’s. You don’t get in Spike’s face unless you want him to rip you a new one. With the exception of her, and possibly even Dawn, Spike didn’t take shit from anyone. ‘Especially,’ Buffy inwardly noted, ‘from a guy who had been zeroing in on his girl.’
Buffy looked up at the clock; a little over five minutes had dragged by. She dejectedly glanced over the door again. She had considered telling Wood about her and Spike, but she wasn’t sure how to bring it up in casual conversation. Buffy didn’t want to keep any secrets from him, especially when she needed as many people fighting on her side as possible, but his recent bout of emotional isolation and his blatant dislike of her vampire boyfriend were making it all the much harder for her to get with the truth telling. Every time Spike unintentionally came up in any of their conversations, an intense flash of anger would pass over Robin’s eyes, which was then nearly instantly replaced with a mask of somber disposition. All Buffy could do was give Wood a little time, but the clock was literally ticking and she was going to have to tell him sometime soon.
There was also one last person she had to inform. Giles. The thought made hyperactive butterflies spontaneously form in her stomach. When she had had Spike’s chip removed, Giles had nearly burst a blood vessel. He had warned her about getting close to the vampire and had said that he didn’t like the idea of how they depended too much on one another. Basically, in not so many words, Giles had told her he would disapprove of any relationship she had with Spike, romantic and nonromantic alike. At the time she hadn’t given his warnings much thought but now his words replayed in her mind, making her worry all the more. Giles was gonna flip and she so didn’t have the energy to fight him on it. She didn’t want to waste the precious time they might possibly have left debating on the issue of who she chose to date.
As much as she had enjoyed the unconventional and rare period of calmness in her life, the week had been a little too quiet. Though they were still in full research mode, there had been no new developments in the demon mist possession/prophecy department. It also made Buffy anxious that the First hadn’t reared its ugly head in a while. Being the all knowing pain in the ass that it was, it should be aware of the change in her relationship with Spike. The First could have easily triggered Spike when Buffy had been asleep with him in her bed. There were so many instances when it could have used him to get to her. But it hadn’t. The First also had to know about the prophecy. It had said it wasn’t Spike’s time yet. Maybe the First hadn’t messed with Spike because it wanted him to kill the Tainted One. Buffy suddenly panicked. What if the Tainted One was really someone fighting on their side? What if Spike killing him was a bad thing? Logic and confusion immediately sunk in. If that were true, why would he be called the Tainted One? Buffy clutched the side of her head, feeling a headache about to come on from all the neurotic thinking she was doing.
She gazed up at the clock again, still another twenty minutes to go. Buffy blankly stared at her computer, watching the minutes crawl by at the bottom right corner of the screen. After two minutes had passed, she yawned loudly and looked around for something else to do. Grabbing hold of her trusty pencil, she started to doodle a little on the multicolored notepad on her desk, making little hearts with stakes through them. Buffy was busily killing time when Principal Wood’s office door opened.
“Buffy?” he called out in an attempt to get her attention.
Buffy’s head shot up; she though he’d caught her slacking off. The casual smile on his face told her otherwise. Buffy intently looked over Wood, and smiled back when she realized that not only had he no clue how much of an unproductive afternoon she’d had but that he seemed to have gotten out of his moody slump. “What’s up?” she asked cheerfully.
“I was actually going to ask you that,” Wood good-humouredly stated, walking over to her desk. Peering down at what she was doing, he chuckled. “I guess it’s been kinda slow today, huh?”
Buffy groaned, dramatically slouching in her seat. “The slowest.”
“Go, on. Get out of here,” he gestured with the flick of his head.
Buffy however shook her hers. “I still got fifteen minutes, I can stick around for a while longer,” she unenthusiastically rationalized, feeling like it was the polite thing to do.
Wood shrugged indifferently. “If that’s what you want…”
Buffy suddenly jumped up out of her seat. “Well, if you insist,” she said quickly as she grabbed her purse before he could take back the offer. “See you Monday, boss.” Buffy waved a goodbye as she bolted out of the school, leaving a slightly bewildered Robin to only chuckle at her antics. Buffy might be polite but she wasn’t stupid. Throwing the school’s main doors open, she took a deep breath of fresh air. ‘Ah, freedom.’
Buffy strolled down Revello Drive, enjoying the afternoon California sun. As she neared her house, she saw a small group of Potentials heading her way. Fearing the worst, Buffy frantically sprinted to them. They looked ragged; sweating and very much out of breath. Then she noticed how uniform their running was, which made her stop and stand to watch them make their way down the street. The moment the group passed by her, some saying a few wheezing hellos, Buffy knew that they were jogging. She turned to watch them round the street corner as they went around the block. Determinedly getting back on track on her way home, she waved at another group that ran by her. ‘Why were the SITs running around town? Better yet, why weren’t they training?’
Opening the front door, she walked into an empty and quiet house. Now Buffy definitely knew something was wrong. “Dawn? Spike?” she yelled as she marched through the front hall, looking for anyone to explain to her what the hell was going on.
“In here pet,” she heard Spike’s calm voice coming from the living room. Following it, she stepped into the unusually dark room, noticing that the thick curtains had been drawn over the large window. What she saw puzzled her, yet strangely enough it also made her want to laugh out loud.
There was Spike, sitting in the middle of the big comfy couch, his feet carelessly propped up on the coffee table, with a mug of warmed blood in one hand and a newspaper in the other. All that was missing were a pair of reading glasses on the tip of his nose to make the scene complete. Buffy giggled as she sat down beside him. “Don’t you look comfy?”
Spike lowered the newspaper he’d been holding up to his lap, shifting his body to look at Buffy. “Just takin’ a lil’ break, is all,” he replied, a wide grin on his face. His sapphire eyes sparkled at the sound of Buffy’s laughter; it was so rare, he could never get enough of it.
“So what’s with the Slayer Marathon outside?” she inquired, comfortably settling against his side.
“Sent them out for a bit of a run. Little endurance training never hurt nobody,” he indifferently answered as he finished his cup of O neg.
“That’s easy for you to say. Some of them looked like they were about to plotz,” Buffy remarked, taking his empty mug and placing it on the new coffee table.
“No point in teachin ‘em fightin’ skills if they can’t last longer than ten minutes in an actual fight,” he stood firm, knowing he was right.
Buffy’s hand trailed up his muscled arm to the back of his neck, lovingly running her fingers through the short hairs she found there. “I know Spike, but you have to remember that those girls aren’t us. They don’t have my slayer strength or your vampire stamina,” she softly argued.
Spike tried not to purr like a kitten as she continued to play with his hair. “Gonna rag on the stamina now, pet?” he asked, doing that curling tongue thing against the back of his teeth that always made Buffy secretly weak in the knees.
Shaking off his attempt to distract her with his talented tongue, Buffy smacked the back of his head. “No. Just don’t push them too hard, okay? I don’t need a house load of exhausted Potentials on my hands,” she cautioned sternly, crossing her arms to emphasize her point.
“Alright, pet,” Spike caved, rubbing the back of his sore skull. “Another two laps and I’ll call them in.”
“Good,” she huffily stated. Buffy then suddenly realized that no one was watching the girls. Sure, they were in broad daylight but you could never be too safe. “Spike, you sent them out there without any supervision? What if something happens?” she fretfully wondered as she moved to get off the couch.
Before she could make a run for the front door, Spike grabbed her arm and pulled her into his lap. She halfheartedly struggled against his hold, eventually melding herself against his chest as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I sent the whelp out with ‘em. Figured he could use a few laps,” he whispered into her ear.
Buffy let out a sigh of relief. At least having Xander out there meant someone was keeping an eye on the SITs. She peered up at the smug look Spike was giving her. “Well, don’t you have everything taken cared of?” she indignantly remarked, jutting out her bottom lip in a pathetic sneer.
Spike chuckled at the adorable display. “Look at that lip,” he said as he lowered his mouth to hers. “Gonna get it.”
Buffy pushed against his chest, dodging his every move. “Ewww. Spike, you got blood breath,” she whined girlishly as he relentlessly tried to kiss her.
“C’mon, luv. You didn’t even give me a kiss hello,” Spike complained as he flipped them so that he was on top of her.
Buffy shook her head vigorously, keeping her mouth tightly shut.
“Okay, but you asked for it,” Spike warned before he started to tickle her.
“Spike, stop it,” she panted between fits of laughter. “Please,” she squealed out a giggle.
“Not until I get a kiss,” he refused, continuing in his mission to make Buffy pee her pants.
“Fine! I surrender,” she grudgingly conceded, wrapping her arms around Spike’s neck.
Spike smirked. “Knew you’d see things my way,” he commented as he plundered her mouth with his.
Buffy moaned vociferously when she felt Spike’s tongue caress hers and smiled against his lips when he growled possessively. Soon she found herself needing oxygen, reluctantly pulling away from the kiss to gasp for air. Her eyes fluttered open again, gazing up into Spike’s lust filled baby blues. “Was that so bad?” he huskily mumbled.
Buffy groaned stubbornly. “You still have blood breath,” she obstinately retorted.
Before Spike could comment on how unconvincing her bellyaching was, Buffy’s lips were on his again, making him forget what he was about to say. Shrugging, he let the world fade away as he snogged with his Slayer. He never took advantage of these few genuine moments they had together. Who knew how long it would be before it was going to be taken away from them? Who really knew how much longer they truly had?
On a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles, an anxious Englishman cradled his scotch, twirling the amber liquid around in the glass, still very much awake in a plane full of sleeping passengers. Giles’s hands trembled slightly as he took another drink, ignoring the book he had pulled out to read in the sparse light coming from above his seat, staring instead mindlessly out the small double sided window. There were no sites to be seen; only a vast black ocean below, partially hidden by the dark ominous clouds that hung loosely in the night’s sky. Giles couldn’t help but miserably smirk at the foreboding appearance of the outside world. It was actually quite fitting.
He was heading back to Sunnydale, with a few more Potentials in tow and hopefully with the perfect remedy to Spike’s trigger issue. Yet his main purpose for traveling across the pond had been to visit the coven, to see if they perhaps could tell him anything that might help them against the First. What he had discovered was more than what he had bargained for.
Two days ago Althenea had told him of one of her visions. Other than the expected insight that the First was gathering its forces and that a war was surely inevitable, she said Buffy would be consumed by a powerful force but there was one who would be her saving grace. The old yet powerful witch had informed him that a vampire with a soul would have a definitive role in their battle against the First. When the Watcher had asked her which one, she ambiguously responded by saying that she only knew it would be the one that Buffy truly loved. Althenea had also told him to beware of a man in black and to look beyond the exterior, for appearances were always deceiving. Giles had left with more questions than answers but he wouldn’t get anymore out of the coven. So he was stuck with what little information he had.
Fear gnawed at Giles’s insides, making him take another big gulp of his drink. The welcomed burning in his throat and the resulting slack in his regularly tense muscles made it a little easier to unwind, though it didn’t completely wipe away all of his dread. He needed to sleep. Tomorrow he’d be in Sunnydale and he would have to tell Buffy what he’d learned, or more like what he hadn’t learned.
Giles forlornly stared down at his empty glass. Pressing the button for the flight attendant to ask for another scotch, he went back to vacantly staring out the airplane window. The low buzzing noise of the engines and the lulling noises of soft snoring assisted his mind to wander to thoughts of sinister men dressed in black and to the vampires who supposedly loved his Slayer.
A/N:Thnx Darkezza for the super beta job!
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