Chp 1 ...about your Easter bonnet
I could write a sonnet....by Lilachigh
Chapter One - about your Easter bonnet....
Buffy stood at the edge of the sidewalk, waving as the camper van drove away. Hands fluttered at her from the windows, then it turned the corner and vanished into the night. She stood staring after it for a while, then sighed and turned to go back indoors.
“Scoobies off on their holidays, then?”
She turned, scowling, to face the vampire who was lounging on the porch steps behind her, his long legs stretched out just where she could fall over them. “Spike. What are you doing here?”
“Just passing through, Slayer. You know, from point A to point B on a route you want to travel; it’s called walking.”
“Spike, this road is not on any route you would need to be walking. Anyway, you usually go by tunnel. Honestly, your excuses are so lame.”
There was the flick of his lighter as he lit a cigarette. Buffy pulled a face and wondered if it was worth giving him her non smoking policy lecture, then decided it would probably be a waste of breath - hers!
“Niblet gone with them?”
Buffy sat down on the porch step next to him. She didn’t have the energy to go indoors just yet. It was Good Friday and she’d promised Dawn a very special lunch for Easter Sunday. But that meant shopping and cooking and being domestic. And it all reminded her too much of her mother. She just so didn’t want to do it.
“No, she’s round at Janice’s. Anya has been wigging out in a major way all week every time she sees an Easter bunny. So Xander’s hired a holiday cabin down the coast somewhere very remote. Willow and Tara decided it sounded like fun, so they’ve gone as well.”
“You and Dawnie could have joined them. There was room in that van for two more.”
Buffy shrugged wearily. Yes, she could have gone, but that would have meant washing and packing and being bright and cheerful and social. She couldn’t face that. Not this Easter. “Got to patrol,” she said shortly.
Spike threw his cigarette away, the little red cinder sparkling as it flew through the air to land in the shrubbery to join its companions who’d been gathering there over the weeks and months.
“Come on, Slayer. You know as well as I do that Easter is one of the few times, like bloody Hallowe’en, when vampires stay indoors. All those crosses around. We’re not as green as we’re cabbage looking - well, some of us are, I know some very nice demons who have sort of cabbage looking heads, but - ”
Buffy stood up abruptly. “Honestly, Spike, I don’t have time to listen to you burbling on. I’ve got to get things ready for Dawn’s Easter school sale tomorrow.”
She pushed past him, the leather of his coat smooth against her bare arm and felt the hairs on the back of her neck lift - vampire! - but, and this was always so confusing, the signals she received from Spike were, well, warmer, fuzzier, than the ones she got from other vampires.
She didn’t have the energy to stop him following her indoors. Sometimes, wickedly, she blamed her mother for Spike’s seemingly intimate knowledge of her kitchen. Even now he was sorting out mugs and chocolate powder, whistling to himself as he hunted through the cupboards for marshmallows.
“Honestly, Spike. Why do you have to come and make a mess here? Can’t you drink blood down in your crypt like a proper vampire?”
He shrugged off his duster and threw it across the back of a chair. “I shall ignore that remark, Slayer. Your mum liked me to help around the house. She liked me to be well fed, too.”
He slanted her a provocative look from those cobalt blue eyes and Buffy turned away, determined not to drawn into a discussion she knew she wouldn’t win.
“So, what’s all this junk then, pet?” Spike had wandered into the family room and gestured towards the table. “Having a clear out, are we?”
Buffy sighed. “Dawn’s class are running the Easter market at school this year to raise funds for - well, for something stinky in the science lab, I think it is. She’s got to make Easter bonnets for all the girls to wear but, typically Dawn, she’s left it to the last minute, so I’m doing them.”
Spike reached out a long finger and hooked up a flat piece of cardboard, painted a violent orange and covered with screwed up pieces of silver foil. “Slayer, no one alive in Sunnydale would wear this. Come to think of it, no one dead in Sunnydale would wear this!”
Buffy gazed in despair at the littered tabletop. As much as she hated to admit it, he was right. She sat down abruptly.
“Well, OK, they are a bit - a bit rough and ready, I suppose. But I’ve been busy and I’ve still got a cake to make for Sunday and Mom used to do all this sort of thing. I’m no good with my hands.”
Spike raised an eyebrow at her. “Slayer, I’m sure you’re marvellous with your hands,” he drawled provocatively. “Any time you want to try - ”
“Spike - another word and I swear I’ll - ”
He grinned, glad to see the fight come back into her face. Of all the Buffys he’d seen recently, the quiet, defeated one upset him the most.
“Where’s Joyce’s sewing box?”
Spike sighed. “One syllable words, luv, not difficult to understand: the - box - where - your - mum - kept - her - sewing - things. You know - needles, cotton, silks. Every mum has one. Mine did. It stood in our drawing-room and was made of rosewood and had a green silk lining.”
Buffy bit her lip, tried to picture having such a thing as a room you actually called a drawing-room – did they keep it just for painting pictures? - and vanished upstairs, returning with a large wooden box, decorated with a picture of kittens in x stitch.
She ran her fingers over it. She’d made that picture years and years ago when she was very small. Her mother had loved it, said it was marvellous, although the stitches were lumpy and uneven and there were even a few tiny bloodstains where the needle had pricked her finger.
“What do you need this for?”
Spike was sipping his hot chocolate. “Go bake a cake, Slayer. I’ll sort out the millinery.”
Buffy suddenly found a whole bubble of giggles bursting up inside her mouth. “Spike, there is no way you can make an Easter bonnet. You’re a vampire.”
Spike was busy sorting out the contents of the box. “Go cook!” he said shortly.
She found she was still smiling a bit later as she poured the cake mixture into the baking tin. What was usually a dreaded chore, had seemed quite simple tonight, mainly because she kept laughing at the thought of Spike trying to make Easter bonnets. She dreaded to think of the mess she would have to clear up, but if he’d managed one, then at least she’d have one less to do when Dawn had gone to bed.
She glanced at the clock. Her sister was due back in an hour. Just time to bake the cake and get it frosted. She put the cake tin in the oven, set the timer and was making the frosting when she looked up to find Spike standing, watching her. There was a look on his face she didn’t recognise. She hunted for a word to describe it - and all she could foolishly come up with was - longing.
“Is that icing?” he said hopefully, breaking the silence.
Buffy silently held out the bowl and he dug a finger in and scooped out a dollop of sweetness. She watched as he slid it into his mouth and sucked off the chocolate sugar. She was bewildered to find her legs were shaking.
He was standing closer now - she could see the muscles outlined beneath the thin black T-shirt. Buffy tried to breath normally, but for some ridiculous reason she couldn’t. She was almost panting - she must have the central heating on high, she thought in the back of her brain as she watched mesmerised as the finger scooped up another piece of icing and offered it to her.
It brushed her lips and her tongue slid out and licked it, hesitantly, then greedily. Her gaze never left Spike’s. She felt she was falling, falling, as she sucked his finger into her hot mouth and, oh god, heat, terrific heat between her legs and -
She pushed the bowl hard against his chest and spun away from him, trying to catch her breath. This was ridiculous. She must be running a temperature. She couldn’t be having these sorts of feelings about Spike.
“How’s the hat making?” she said, desperate to break the silence that hung heavily, suggestively, between them. “Finished one yet?”
“Come and look.”
Buffy walked into the living-room and stared. There was a row of little flat hats on the table; she could see that he’d taken some paper plates as a base, but then he’d worked some sort of spell on them. They were trimmed with a riot of ribbons, paper flowers, scraps of lace and velvet in a glorious cascade of colour. They were quite amazing.
Spike watched for the Slayer’s reaction. He hoped she liked them. Years of living with Dru had taught him a lot about poncing things up with lace and ribbons. He’d once spent hours dressing Miss Edith in new clothes for her - but he didn’t think that was something he could tell Buffy.
She picked up one of the bonnets, a smile beginning to creep over her face. The fluffy lace spirals covering it were cut from an old pair of curtains that used to be in her mother’s bedroom and the wide green velvet ribbons had once been wrapped round a box of chocolates.
Spike took it from her, placed it on her head and gravely tied the wide ribbons under her chin. He turned her to face the mirror and she looked at the blonde girl staring back at her, the green ribbon picking up the emerald in her sparkling eyes. She smiled widely, but there was no one there behind her in the mirror.
“Buffy!” Dawn squealed from the door. “Oh my god. They’re beautiful. Hi Spike. Oh, thank you so much, Buffy. You are so clever. Oh, I love you. ”
Buffy opened her mouth to speak, to tell her who had made the bonnets, and nothing came out.
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