Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 2 - Just Like Old Times
Life sucks, Buffy thought as she stepped out of the house. She had just spent
hours doing all kinds of boring household chores, cleaning, dusting, ironing.
Everybody else had important things to do: friends to visit, classes to prepare
for, important books to read, spells to research.
She sat down on the porch of her
house, but she didn't actually realize she was waiting for something, or rather
someone, until Xander got out of his car to sit beside her. He was still
wearing his work clothes.
"So, where is he?" he
"And who would you be referring
to?" Buffy said sullenly.
"Wiley E. Coyote?" Xander shook
his head, "The bleached wonder, of
course. Tara told me you occasionally
sit here, just the two of you, talking..."
"And now you're wondering, what
could Buffy possibly want to discuss with the evil dead," she snapped.
"And now I'm wondering, would
Buffy and Spike like to join Anya and Xander at the Bronze later tonight,"
Xander said. "And now I'm wondering why I'm talking in the third person."
"Huh?" Buffy said, looking
at her friend incredulously. *Did Spikeophobe Xander just invite me and Spike
out to the Bronze?*
"I mean, I still feel kinda bad
about the way you got fired the other day," Xander started.
"You mean, the way you fired me the
other day," Buffy interrupted.
Xander glanced downward, clearly
embarrassed, and continued, "And I guess I still owe Spike a drink, too."
"Let's just say the Xander mouth
was, once again, faster than the Xander brain and I said something I shouldn't
He rose. "Anyway, Buff, say
yes. It'll be fun. Like old times, except with Spike not trying to kill us...I
hope. Let's meet at nine."
"What about Willow and
Tara?" Buffy asked.
"I don't think they'd mind
looking after the house and Dawn. But if you want to invite them along, just
ask them. The more the merrier," he added cheerfully. "But I'm not
paying for their drinks. When it comes to the witches, my conscience is clear.
Well, more or less. Besides, Anya is in one of her more stingy moods again because
she craves a new laptop."
Xander, `ere, grabbed the demon's tail and when it turned around to bite `im I
grabbed the sword," Spike stood suddenly, knocking his chair back, "and ran `im
through!" Spike imitated a sword thrust
with his invisible weapon.
Anya clapped, "He's so gallant," she said as she
patted Xander's arm.
"Thank you, Luv," Spike grinned.
just rolled her eyes and stood, "I'm getting another soda. Do any of you heroes want anything?"
could go for a burger," Xander mentioned.
too," Anya said.
chimed in, "Onion rings, please?"
nodded, "And mustard."
smiled, "My girl has some weird tastes."
"But good taste," Tara offered and kissed her lover's hand.
"Coming right up," Buffy said.
"Need help, Kitten?" Spike asked.
Buffy glared at him, "I can handle it."
do you really think she's okay?" Xander whispered after Buffy left for the bar.
do we always have to talk about Buffy," Anya demanded.
seems to be doing better," Willow said, ignoring Anya's outburst.
she seems," Tara thought for a moment, "almost happy."
looked at Spike, "What do you think, Spike?"
was a noticeable pause. "I think I need a smoke," he answered. He stood, grabbed his duster off the back of
the chair and headed for the back door.
hate that every discussion is always about Buffy," Anya ranted, "Why aren't
there ever any Anya-centric discussions?"
please." Xander's irritation with his fiancé was evident.
alley behind the Bronze was dark. A big
metal garbage bin sat huddled against the wall by the door. Spike leaned against it as he lit his
cigarette. He was halfway done with his
second by the time Buffy wandered outside.
"It's getting cold," she said.
put the cigarette to his lips and inhaled deeply as he gave Buffy a once
over. *Why does she insist on wearing
red leather pants? Does she want me to
spontaneously combust?* he
wondered. *Oh, yeah, she probably
does.* He laughed internally.
about your waitressing duties?" he asked.
has been delivered, Captain," she saluted.
what brings you out here?"
and Tara are dancing and Anya and Xander are arguing. Didn't want to interrupt."
a love spat," Spike grinned, "We know what those are like, ay?" He winked at
I ever," he mumbled and took another long drag.
is kind of nice*. Buffy thought.
is kind of nice.* Spike thought.
stood in comfortable silence until Spike finished his smoke. "Shall we, Luv?"
pushed the door open allowing the music to filter into the alley.
can say where the road goes
Where the day
"We shall," Buffy answered and walked through open
door. The music was loud on this side of
the door and if it weren't for Spike's vampire-enhanced hearing he might not
have heard Buffy mumble, "Ooh, I like this song," as they crossed the dance
floor. Spike recognized the new Enya
song. Surprisingly, he liked it too.
who can say why your heart cries
When your love
she want to dance?* Spike wondered, *With ME?* He shook his head, *No way.* But they were on the dance floor, and she did
say she liked this song. *Oh, what
the bloody hell!* He reached for her
it!" Anya screamed loud enough to be heard over the music and probably into the
next zip code. She was heading for the
"Anya!" Xander yelled almost as loudly, "Anya! Wait!"
"Don't bother telling anyone anything! Because there's nothing to tell!"
Anya!" Xander hurried toward his soon-to-be-ex-fiancé. He caught up with her at the door and an
emotional confrontation ensued.
Tara, Buffy and Spike were too far from the couple to hear what was said, but
they all stood frozen anyway, enthralled with the events that were unfolding
before them. Luckily, Spike was standing
close enough to Buffy to catch her when she fainted.
saw her fall and grabbed Willow.
Together they rushed to her side.
The music stopped, a semi-circle of patrons formed around the small unconscious
girl. Anya and Xander noticed the
commotion and momentarily put their argument on hold.
"Buffy?" Spike whispered to the limp girl in his arms.
Continued in Part 3 - Someone to Watch over me