Part 11: The End
"Who does that Party Nazi think she is?" Buffy asked angrily, pacing back and forth on the sidewalk.
Spike's eyes widened as his head snapped back imperceptibly. Whatever he might have imagined was coming, this was not it. "You mean Anne." It was not a question.
"She met me at the door like I was some party crasher!"
"Anne," he said very precisely and firmly, "is doing the job I pay her to do. Which, at the moment, consists of keeping what's left of the guest list intact."
"Oh? So I'm a party crasher?"
"Well, you're not on the guest list." Spike was using a reasoning tone, but inwardly he was getting a little angry. "Anne may have been a little over zealous, but..."
"She was rude."
Spike laughed, "I doubt it."
Ice in her voice, Buffy clipped off her next words. "So you're taking her side?"
Spike blinked, surprised. "Her side? She doesn't have a side. Until this party is over, she works for me." Spike's eyes narrowed. "What the hell is wrong with you? You haven't given a tinker's damn about this party since you foisted it off on me. At least she cares, even if I have to pay her handsomely for it!"
"Well, I don't like her. She's condescending. Did I say she was rude? She's too tall and I think her hair is a weave." Buffy stated angrily, chin up and eyes flashing.
Spike's head was threatening to explode. What the hell? He was getting more and more frustrated by the second. "Did I ask you to sleep with her, Slayer?" he asked crudely. "Send her Christmas cards? Did I even ask you to ..." Spike stopped as he saw Buffy's fingers flexing, her body drawn up tight. This was crazy. They were having a fight about Anne? His mouth dropped open as realization dawned.
"Bloody hell, Buffy. Have you been drinkin' again? You're being ridiculous!"
"Me? Ridiculous? Oh, no. You're the one who's being ridiculous, Mr. Party God. You with your smarmy party planner!" she spat out.
Spike let out a ragged breath. He stared at Buffy as if she'd raised a stake and was about to plunge it in his chest. "You think I'm shaggin' her," he said slowly. "That's what this is all about. You're jealous."
"I am not."
He laughed unpleasantly. "Oh, yes, you are."
Buffy's mouth was set in a firm line, fists balled up at her side. "You're deranged. I don't care what you..."
"You know," he paced back and forth in front of her, punctuating his words with the opening and closing of fists that were down tight by his side, "if it was Dru had blown into town, and you were bitched off about that, I might be prepared to do a little grovelin'. Maybe. But this!"
"As for my being deranged, you're too right. To get the money to pay for this thing for your friend, I've spent many nights gambling for money with men who would've put a stake in me if they'd known I couldn't do a soddin' thing to stop them.
"I also got a royal ass-kickin' tonight takin' punches that were meant for the stupid whelp who's sittin' in there right now gettin' tanked on the booze I paid for. Then I managed to acquire the headache from hell tryin' to do something about it.
"And now you're throwin' another one of your temper tantrums. And this time it's over some woman I barely know! You saying all the time we don't have anything between us. And never mind that Harris doesn't have a scratch on him. That I saved his ass from his own cronies. Not a thought of that. No, you're just spoilin' for a fight. As usual."
She opened her mouth to protest. It was too much. He...
He closed the distance between them quickly, his eyes stabbing her with anger, hurt and disillusionment. "After last night? After last year? After everything, how could you think that I could ever want to be with anyone but you?"
She relaxed slightly and looked at him. His lip was swollen and there was a cut high on his cheekbone, but it seemed to be closing. And he did have that grimace she'd seen before when he'd pushed that chip in his head too far.
She was still angry for reasons she chose not to explore at the moment, but she was willing to listen to Spike's explanation. Then, she'd tell him how immature this whole party had been.
Too bad Spike wasn't going to oblige.
Buffy opened her mouth to speak. Spike made a slashing motion with his hand at his side, effectively cutting off whatever she was going to say.
"Tonight was important to me, Buffy. You knew that. And you've done your level best to ruin it from the get-go. 'Course bein' an undead evil thing, I'm not meant for anything 'cept waitin' on you, it seems."
"Well, I have what's left of a party in there and I'm by God going back in there now and get snot-slingin' drunk! And you are not stickin' around here to bollix it up. I don't care where you go, but it better not be within a hundred yards of this place until this party is canned. Even if it's three days from now!"
Spike headed toward the door, Buffy staring after him with tears of embarrassment welling up in her eyes. He turned back.
"This is beyond believin', Buffy." He shook his head angrily and continued inside, closing the door loudly and firmly behind him.
Angel was waiting by the door when Spike slammed back into the bar. There had been a very slim, but real, possibility that he might have been sweeping Spike up into a dustpan by now. He was not at all surprised by the tight look around the pale vampire's mouth. His heart sank a little at the evidence that his intuition had been right, but was instantly buoyed up by the thought of the two people, big and small, that were waiting for him at Buffy's house.
Spike's mouth was moving silently. Angel suspected that he was rehashing whatever he'd said to Buffy outside.
"Dunno why I try," he muttered. "Why I stay. Dunno anythin'."
Angel grinned inwardly, if a bit sadly. Maybe the others hadn't figured it out, but he had known exactly how the little scene outside was going to play out from the moment Buffy had squared off with the party planner by the door. He was perversely pleased to see that he still knew his Buffy.
Looking around the bar, Spike noticed everyone was making a point not to look at him. Even Harris, who was staring off into space and drinking steadily. What was his problem?
"You all right?"
Spike looked at Angel with frustration. "No."
"Ream you out over the fight?" Angel prodded him.
"No. She didn't. Not a bloody word about that. That," he said angrily, "would have made some sense. "That," he said loudly, "is what I expected." He shook his head. "Can't suss her out. Can't please her. Can't...anything. Nothing."
Angel allowed himself a slight grin. "So she let you have it over your private nurse?"
Spike stared at the older vampire in surprise. "Well. Yeah."
With a chuckle, Angel squired Spike back over to the bar. Sitting Spike on a stool, he reached over the bar to grab one of the surviving bottles of bourbon and poured Spike a drink.
"All right. Pretend I'm your friendly neighbor vampire bartender. Tell me your troubles."
Spike rubbed his hand over his face as he stretched his neck, trying to relieve the headache that had reasserted itself with a vengeance during his fight with Buffy.
"I can hardly think about it without wantin' to grab her and shake her til she sees sense."
"Oh, yeah, that would work," Angel commented sarcastically.
Spike considered a moment and decided he'd come clean, promise or not. After all, she hadn't exactly been playin' by the rules, had she? Hadn't been for weeks. He needed to talk to someone. And he thought Angel might understand better than anyone. "Listen, Peaches, you don't know everything 'bout me and Buffy, all right?"
"No? Try me."
"Look, if you're gonna stake me, you may as well go on and do it. 'Cause me and Buffy..." Spike stopped, unsure just how to proceed. Right now, Angel felt like a friend, not the competitor he'd always been. And he didn't really want to hurt him, oddly enough. Or selfishly enough, maybe.
"Buffy and me, we have.... Well, I wouldn't precisely call it a relationship." Spike reconsidered that statement. "Well, she wouldn't anyway."
Spike shot Angel a look. "Well, I've loved Buffy for a long time. I was miserable while she was...gone." Angel nodded. He remembered the agonizing emptiness he'd felt at the thought of a world without Buffy Summers in it.
"And then she was back," Spike said quickly, glossing over the hellish nights he'd spent reproaching himself. "All's right with the world again. Except it wasn't. Not really. She was different.
"Thing is, she started talkin' to me about it, y'see. Seekin' me out. Really talkin' about the things that she felt. Things that she couldn't deal with. Things she couldn't tell anyone else. Almost became like...friends, you know? And I thought, 'yeah, this is all right.' Not ideal, but all right. You understand?"
"Well, the rules changed. Never mind how. They just did. Then, she finished changin' em. And then we were...well, not friends anymore. And that's when the trouble started."
"No, not friends. We were..." Spike looked down at the empty glass and swallowed, not sure quite how to say it delicately. Delicately? Oh, hell...
"Were." He had a flash of last night and Buffy moving under him. "Are. Shaggin' like bunnies."
Spike waited for the inevitable backhand to the head. It didn't come.
"Well," Angel said mildly. "That was a visual I could have done without."
Spike's eyes narrowed. What was this? A ploy to put him off guard?
Chuckling a little sadly, Angel picked up the bottle and poured himself a drink. Eyed it. "Well, Spike, it's not like I hadn't figured it out." He took a slug and looked Spike in the eye. "So?"
"Uh," Spike was so thrown it took him a second to recall what they'd been talking about. "Oh. Buffy. She thinks I'm shaggin' Anne." Suddenly, the revelation became anti-climactic.
"Yeah, well, Buffy's a jealous little thing." Angel didn't sound the least surprised. "When she saw Anne patching you up, I figured she'd put you though a wall. She showed some restraint at least," he chuckled, a bit hurt, but dealing with it.
"Buffy saw that? And that's what this is all about?" Spike shook his head.
"She'd been standing there long enough. She'd had plenty of time to take it all in." Angel grimaced. "Hope she doesn't say anything to Cordelia about my slow dancing with the stripper."
"Oh, she's far too busy bein' bitched off about Anne, believe me." Spike reassured him. "It's AllAboutBuffy at the moment."
Angel laughed a rueful laugh. "Thank the Powers for that! Cordy can be mean."
"What really brasses me off was that she'd even think somethin' like that," Spike complained. "Reminded me of Dru, it did. One step forward, two back."
"Well, William, she doesn't know you very well, does she?"
"That's what I told her. Sometimes I wonder why I'm still here. Didn't think things could get worse. But they always do."
Angel and Spike sat silently, absently gazing at the wall behind the bar. Angel made a decision and grinned, characteristically ducking his head as he did it.
Noticing, Spike said, "What, you poncy poof, is so bleedin' funny?"
"You should be flattered, I guess."
"Flattered? I don't think so, mate."
Angel couldn't believe he was encouraging this, but his earlier conversation with Spike had made him do some soul-searching. And soul-searching was one thing he couldn't very well escape. Buffy obviously had a taste for monsters who dwelt in the gray areas, just as Spike had pointed out. And Angel was very aware that Spike had always possessed more perceptiveness than he himself had.
Besides, Angel knew he couldn't go back and undo what had happened between him and Buffy. He was lucky she even tolerated him after what Angelus had put her through. He still had some heavy guilt issues and he suspected by her avoidance of him that she harbored some resentment. Probably a lot.
On the upside, Spike would never hurt her intentionally, even without the chip the government had put in his head. There was something a little comforting about being able to give your blessing to your ex-lover's new relationship. He would always love Buffy, but...
Angel made a decision. "She's jealous," Angel said quickly, before Spike had time to launch into another tirade. He watched Spike gear down and think about what Angel had just said. "So maybe there's more of a relationship than you think."
"Or maybe she doesn't love me, doesn't want me, will never love me, will never want me, but doesn't want anyone else to ever love me, want me, or have me, either," he countered. "Wants her pet vampire on a leash close by, leather collar and all. Bell, too."
"Maybe. But I think you ought to be celebrating instead of contemplating a sunrise funeral service."
Spike made a rude noise. "Not much chance of that, Peaches. No woman alive, dead or undead is going to make me go for a daytime stroll."
"Yeah, right," Angel said dryly, remembering Spike's near emotional collapse over Dru's leaving him. This looked like it could be even worse.
Staring at the wall behind the bar, Spike's mind began to churn. "Hmm. Jealous, is she?" He sat a little straighter on the stool. "Well, bloody hell, yes! She is jealous, isn't she?" He turned to Angel with a delighted smile. "A jealous Slayer. I like that," he said in satisfaction.
Angel rolled his eyes. You would, he thought. The three most dangerous words Angel had ever heard, 'A jealous Slayer,' and Spike was pleased. Maybe Spike should stop drinking so much and check into Prozac to deal with those mood swings.
Anya walked in slowly, dressed in flannel pj's and a rumpled robe, looking around her at the disaster that was Xander's bachelor party.
The girls were long since gone, except for Anne and a tall blonde woman, who was wearing a man's leather coat (not Spike's, Anya saw). Angel and the woman were slow dancing to the quiet. The clink of bottles and murmurs were the only sound.
The only thing left on the bandstand was the drum kit. Anya stood on tip-toe, but she didn't see Oz anywhere.
The one named Wesley, who used to be Faith's Watcher (and a poor job he'd done of it, too) had managed to stay semi-erect by leaning his head against the support column beside their table and hooking a foot in the chair rail. He snored disagreeably, but fairly quietly. Xander could take a few lessons in that, Anya thought.
Xander was singing the words of a song Anya had never heard before, while Gunn followed along behind. Then, Xander would forget the words and Gunn would recapture the thread and lead off, each of them running out of words periodically only to be reminded by the other. Her eyes softened as she looked at Xander's tousled hair and the bright spots of color on his cheeks.
She walked toward the table.
Xander looked up as she approached. "Hey, honey." Gunn stopped singing and looked at Anya questioningly. As Spike walked over to the table, Xander looked down at his hands.
Anya looked at Spike with a touch of embarrassment. "Is the party over? Because it's late and I can't go to sleep." She looked down. "I've gotten used to him being there when I go to bed at night and when I wake up in the morning. I'm tired. Can he leave now?"
Spike smiled. Anya's honesty was always disarming when she looked a bit lost. He nodded. "Party's over, love. And I'm returnin' him the way I got him."
Anya nodded gravely. "Thank you."
Her voice was louder now, pitched to take in everyone in the room, including Angel. "I came to get Xander. But I think I should be getting all of you, too, because the sun will be up in 47 minutes. I think we all want that cute little baby to still have a daddy tomorrow."
Spike smothered a grin. No one like her, demon or human. He shook his head.
"Hey!" Spike called out to Angel, trying to get his attention. Didn't work. Angel could very well be asleep on his feet. The way Angel danced, it was hard to tell.
"Hey." Spike stumbled toward Angel. He was ignored. "Hey." Angel slowly turned at looked at him. Spike held up three fingers, folding one down after the others for each word he spoke. "Daylight. Baby. Cheerleader."
Angel took Laura's hand and kissed it reverently. Then he reached over, put a hand lightly on Spike's shoulder and silently walked to the door and into the night. Spike noticed that Angel's very mysterious exit lost some of its cool when Laura chased him out the door, trying to return his coat. He chuckled.
"Hey, Watcher-Boy! Bus is leavin'."
"Ex-Watcher-Boy," Wesley mumbled. His eyes opened with a snap. "What bus?"
The lady came back inside, sans coat. She was still wearing the sheer robe she'd had on when she'd been 'rescued' from the office. Looking a little intoxicated, she wove her way back to pack her things for the trip back to the hotel.
"L.A.?" Gunn looked up at the sound of his new nickname, bestowed by Spike sometime during the night. "See if you can help the girl find her street clothes. Don't fancy getting arrested this close to sun-up."
Xander was slowly getting up. Spike noticed that he was leaning heavily on Anya, and that she was staggering a bit.
"Hey, demon girl, need some help with the groom?"
Anya's eyes sparkled, but her voice was petulant. "You realize it will be hours before he's of any use to me, don't you?"
Spike threw his head back and laughed in delight. "Well, all the parts should still be workin', just a bit slower than usual."
Xander looked at Spike, eyes dead. "Thanks for the party," he said, no warmth in his voice.
Spike shrugged, ignoring the strangeness of it.
Anya looked at Xander and back up at Spike, embarrassed. "It looks like it was a great party," she said brightly.
Surveying the ruins of the bar, Spike smiled wistfully. "Yeah, it was." You could really see where the bodies were buried once all of the live things were gone. He was damn glad Anne had talked him into taking out 'event' insurance. He didn't think there were enough good poker hands in the world to make this right.
Wesley noticed Spike's eyes sweeping the bar and did the same. He grimaced and reached down to start clearing the nearest table.
"Watcher-Boy, you've got patrol tonight. Got people comin' to attend to this pig-sty. Load up. I'm drivin'.
Anya and Xander walked to the door. Xander stopped and looked back at Spike, who was busy gathering the L.A. group.
"Spike and Buffy are seeing each other," he said quietly.
"Really? I was afraid they'd broken up," said Anya in relief.
"Well, Buffy's always at home or at the Magic Box now and I thought they had probably broken up."
Xander stared at her. "You knew? And you didn't say anything?"
"Well, no. No reason to get you upset right here before the wedding. But you're not upset. Are you?"
Angel tried the door to Buffy's house. It swung open, soft light spilling onto the porch to rival the growing paleness of the night sky.
Cordelia was asleep with her mouth open. She was wrapped around a bundle of quiet, but bright-eyed baby. Seeing his daddy, Connor began to move impatiently. Angel put a finger up to his mouth, trying to give the baby the hint.
"Shhhh." Angel said as he picked Connor up in his arms, barely disturbing the sleeping brunette. "Daddy's home. Oh, yes, he is. I didn't know how much I missed you 'til I saw you." Angel gave the baby a soft kiss.
"Angel?" Cordy stretched and squinted. "Hey," she said in a voice deepened by sleep. She yawned. "Have fun?"
Angel grinned at Connor, who was making a funny face. "Oh, yeah," he said offhandedly. "Spike always did know how to throw a party. Fun." He looked at her. "You look all kinked up. Go on to bed. I'll take over now. Almost time for his bottle."
Cordelia stood up shakily. "Okay...." She walked on rubbery legs up the stairs, leaning heavily against the banister.
Cordelia swung around to look down at Angel standing below her with his son.
"I like seeing you with Connor." He held her eyes for a moment. Then, a little embarrassed he looked back down at the baby.
She continued up the stairs and out of sight. Angel and Connor went into the kitchen to get something to eat as the day began to dawn.
Spike moved quietly into his crypt and stopped by the television, silencing its low murmur. The room darkened perceptibly, not that that was a problem of course. He walked to the fridge, pulled out a jar and quaffed half the contents, not bothering to heat it.
Stretching his arms up above his head and twisting a little, he felt some of the tension go out of him. Of course, he grimaced as he did it, humming a snatch of John Mellencamp's 'Hurts So Good,' and laughing loudly at the irony of it. Ah, the joys of living alone!
His head hurt. He hurt. And he was low, very low. He was relieved the party was over, but he also felt let down. The thing that had occupied his time and his mind for weeks was over. What would he do tomorrow? Oh, yeah. Patrol and the Bronze. And the next day? The wedding. And the day after?
He shook his head angrily. Nothing after that. Just back to the same old dance with the Slayer. And the dance was getting old. Spike had had a moment of exhilaration when he'd thought about the slayer caring enough to be jealous. Now he wasn't so sure. Spike considered making a run to L.A. Maybe a little distance between him and Sunnyhell wasn't a bad idea. Hang out with Angel and the boys a bit.
He took off his duster and laid it across the chair, hoping that anyone who came barging in tomorrow would see it, realize he was in bed and leave him the hell alone.
He went downstairs, accompanied by the soft glowing light of a single burning candle below. Puzzled by the light, he looked about, eyes landing on a wad of denim, hair and flesh curled up in the middle of his bed.
Abandoning all plans to go to L.A., Timbuktu, or anywhere that wasn't Sunnydale, he sat down softly on the edge. A smile played around his mouth and eyes. Beautiful little girl all curled up like that. Sweet. Looking at her like this, it was hard to believe that angelic form housed such a devil of a woman. And even harder to believe that he loved her more than anything he'd ever loved in his life or unlife.
Buffy's eyes opened blearily. "You're home," she stated stupidly. Ah, sleepy Slayer. Soft, sleepy slayer.
"Yeah," he said, pushing her hair off her face. "Home sweet home," he chuckled as he leaned down and pulled off his boots. As he busied himself taking off his belt, he waited for an explanation for her being there. It didn't come. He snuck a glance at her. She was asleep again.
He looked at her wistfully and blew out the candle. He didn't know why she was here and he really didn't care right now. At least he wasn't alone. "Scootch over, pet," he said softly, prompting her with a little push toward the left side of the bed.
She moved over, turning on her side as he crawled into bed in his clothes. He groaned as he lay down flat. Then he rolled over, frustrated at not being able to find a comfortable position.
"Sore?" she whispered.
He grunted a 'yes' as he managed to get one arm under her and cupped her shoulder with the other. He sighed as he felt her settle against him, knowing that things would be fine between them if everything else didn't get in the way.
"Head still hurt?" she asked solicitously.
"Oh, yeah," he breathed out wearily.
They lay there a moment in complete silence, but the air was alive with unspoken words. The Slayer broke the quiet.
"I'm sorry I ruined your special day," she said in a soft voice.
For a moment, he couldn't speak.
"Well, you had plenty of help," he whispered gruffly. "Big burlies in plaid and drunken bridegrooms. I'll tell you about it sometime." He reached up, absently playing with her hair. "Now shut up and let a man rest in peace, why don't you?" he grumbled, swallowing hard.
An apology. Who would have ever thought it? His hopes rose a little. Then he fell asleep.
It was much later. The sun had been up for hours. He felt the Slayer stir.
"How many vampires have you made?"
Wonderful. The Slayer wanted pillow talk and they hadn't even had sex. How long had she been awake to come up with this one? His head was still hurting a bit, he still felt like a walking bruise and she wanted to talk about his past history.
Interestin' question comin' from her though. Had to give her that. More like something The Bit would ask.
"Two," he said softly. "Didn't turn out too well though. Either time. Why? Lookin' for a go at number three?" he said archly.
Whoops. Smart-ass mouth always gets you in trouble, Spike. The whelp couldn't 'a done any better.
He realized she was laughing silently. "Nooo...." She breathed the word out softly. Once again proving that drowsy slayer equaled good. Now that was something to remember.
Spike decided to push his luck a little. After all, they'd been here for the last few hours, fully clothed, spooned up, sleeping. That was cuddling, wasn't it? What all those silly books, magazines and Oprah prattled on about all the time? He'd been good. And if he wanted to play a little and she didn't, well, she'd damn sure let him know. What was another bruise or two at this point?
"Chip doesn't work on you, pet. So I could do it, you know," he said in a low teasing growl. His mouth moved close to her neck and he felt her shiver and tense up. "Slide my mouth..." Now he was talking in her ear and the sensation of his breath was making her breath faster. "...down..." He moved back to her neck, "...right here and just...." He pounced, blunt teeth biting down firmly right on her jugular. She bucked up against him, with a deep moan. Then she giggled hesitantly, a little embarrassed at her reaction.
"Stop it. We're talking," she reproved him.
"Oh." He smiled to himself.
"Why?" she asked.
"Why what?" And why was he talking to the back of her head? He moved a stray strand of her hair that was threatening his nose and eased up on his elbow to whisper in her ear.
"Why what?" he repeated. She shivered and pushed against him a little. Ah. Well, that was as good a reason as any for talking to the back of her head, wasn't it?
"Why only two?"
She wasn't going to let this go, was she? Well, fine. All right.
"Well, several reasons," he said easily. If she was going to call him an evil undead thing anyway, he wasn't going to manufacture any high sounding motives. "First, Angelus frowned on the wholesale assembly-line production of other vampires." He stopped, cursing himself for prefacing his statement with 'first.'
"And second?" she prompted.
Oh, hell. Well, why not just be the evil disgusting thing and see how fast she pops up out of bed?
"Well, Druscilla didn't like me makin' much of anythin', lessin' it was her."
"You're a pig, Spike," she said mildly.
At least they hadn't gotten to the third reason. He'd keep that one to himself a while longer.
"Yeah, yeah," he kept his voice unconcerned, but he was really trying to figure out why she hadn't left yet. "Well, she was a bit jealous, y'see." Not a very subtle dig, considering. But something that was very much on his mind.
"Don't see why." Her back was still to him, but she hadn't pulled away. "Stupid vampire gets himself chipped so that he can't feed, falls in love with a vampire slayer and gets himself beat to shit by a bunch of construction workers at a party," she said, then muttered, "She'd be an idiot to get jealous over someone like that."
Spike chuckled low in his throat. She was right. Sounded pretty damn ridiculous. They could never sell this story idea to a small indy TV network, much less one of the big ones. So that path to the big wealth was out.
"When you put it that way, love, it just proves Dru was insane, doesn't it? Now, me, I never had a problem with it. The insanity, I mean. But the jealousy made me a bit bonkers," he said truthfully. "Hurt my feelings. Me always being right there for her and all."
"Yeah? Well, I still say, who'd be jealous over you anyway?"
"She'd have to be pretty bent," Spike teased.
"Yep," Buffy agreed.
"A half-wit." He paused for dramatic effect. "Or totally bonkers herself."
"Maybe," Buffy sounded a little less inclined to agree. Or maybe it was that remark Xander had slung at them that morning in her kitchen. That one had definitely stung. Her. Not him. The topic had spun itself out. He'd made his point.
"My turn." Spike said, nonchalantly.
"Your turn for what?" she sounded suspiciously sleepy again. Right!
He got up on his elbow to look over her shoulder and see her face. "To ask a question. Don't I get a turn?" It sounded exactly like 'don't I get a cookie.' A small grin played around her mouth.
"I'm ... awfully tired." She yawned unattractively. "You get a turn just as long as you don't ask me about playing doctor with my cousin in the laundry room when I was eight," she negotiated, eyes closed.
"Tempting, but all right." He took a breath and the words rushed out. "Do you love me, Buffy? I mean, I know you love me, but do you...?"
Dead silence. Spike waited for an answer. Any answer.
"Buffy?" She didn't move. He shook her a little. She was like a wet rag. Suddenly her mouth opened and she let out the most obnoxious snore he'd ever heard.
He turned her over on her back. Her arm flopped over onto her stomach, too limply, and her mouth dropped opened even farther. A second snore wheezed out. And if anything, it was a snore even more fake and more obnoxious than the first.
He stared at her, lying there defenseless in his bed. "Well, bloody hell," he said finally. He let out a frustrated breath. Then, his voice brightened. "I'm just going to have to take that as a 'yes.'"
It sounded just like the voice he'd used when he'd talked about tying Dru up and torturing her 'til she loved him again.
She couldn't stand it anymore. The corners of Buffy's mouth twitched up into a smile.
He saw his chance and he took it. He covered her mouth with his and felt a soft little Buffy-moan.
Well, he'd been good. Very, very good. Now it was time to be bad.