By mr. monkeybottoms
DISCLAIMER: I’m all minding my own business one day and Joss comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, guess what? I’ve got this company called Mutant Enemy.’ ‘What kind of name is that?’ I ask him, puzzled and a little frightened by his hair. He frowns and says, ‘Oh, it’s a better name that Mr. Monkeybottoms, I’ll have you know! And, just for that, you don’t get any of the profits, no matter how many stories you write about BTVS.’ I scoff, ‘Yeah, like I’m gonna write a story about that. What, am I some kind of loser?’
THANKS: I believe this is the last chapter of this little ditty. I appreciate the reviews and comments and advice. Thank you to Bub, she helped me so much in the final chapters! And thank you to everyone who read this. You know, I never really got around to getting Tara into this story, which is funny, cause I adore Tara. So, we’ll just pretend that Tara hasn’t come around yet. No Tara everyone. Next time I’ll Tara it up. Wow, I just said ‘Tara’ a lot. Not as much said it as typed it.
DEEDLE-BONG!: Whoa! Buffy and Spike and Joyce had dinner. Spike, although quite recovered from his ordeals with Riley and Co., pretended to be hurt so Buffy would go crazy from being annoyed with him. Joyce made Buffy cut Spike’s meat...then left, and Spike returned the favor...with his meat...heh heh...I made a little funny there, get it? Meat? ok, not so funny. Man, what a mess Spike and Buffy made in the dining room. Spike stepped in the mashed potatoes when he finally got clued in about Riley. Bye-bye Riley! The Scooby gang is relaxing at the Bronze, having a little wind-down party. And so we pick up from there...
Willow grinned at him. “And that would mean it’s- ‘I would have been on time if it weren’t for you meddling kids’-o’clock.”
“Heh, good one Will.” Xander grinned back. Anya frowned.
“Is this a reference to that children’s show with the creepy talking dog and the man with the spinal deficiency?” She shuddered. “And don’t even get me started on the red-head’s bad fashion sense.”
“What about Velma?” Xander asked. “She wore a giant sweater.”
Willow made a face. “Hey, I liked Velma. She was smart and cute, even if her glasses were all Buddy Holly.” She smoothed her giant sweater placidly.
“Was it just me, or did Fred-” Xander started, but was cut off by a loud groan from the vampire sitting next to him.
“Oh, for god’s sake,” Spike said, annoyed as all hell. “Would you shut up about that show already?” He took a slug of his beer and sighed. “It all went downhill after Scrappy-Doo anyway.”
Xander shrugged, saddened. “Yeah.”
They were quiet for a moment.
“But Fred really had this gay thing going, with the scarf and the pants...” Xander trailed off at Spike’s look. “Anyone want a drink?”
“Now you’re speaking my language Harris.” Spike shook his empty in his face.
“Um, not you. I’m not buying a drink for you.” Xander pointed at him. “Forget it.”
Spike sat back in the couch. ”Why not? Out of money are you? Hmmph, typical. I should have expected it.” He pursed his lips. “Why don’t you get a job, whelp?”
Xander jumped up and gasped. “I have a job! As you well know, seeing as how I supported your sorry undead self while you squatted at my house.”
“Squatted is the right word all right,” Spike mocked. “I’ve seen trolls with better furniture.”
“I don’t see you with a job,” Xander said, arms crossed. Spike sat up straight, offended.
“A job? Oh, I have a job. EVIL“ His eyes narrowed menacingly. “Being evil is a full-time job I’ll have you know. You don’t see me in some absurdly-patterned getup flouncing door to door delivering deep-fried products to families too lazy to get up and get them themselves.” He relaxed again and crossed one leg on the other, looking up at Xander insolently, pleased with himself.
“But you’re not evil anymore,” Anya pointed out, sipping at her frilly drink. Her straw slurped, and one of the five umbrellas decorating it fell out. “Xander, I'm empty. Get me another drink.” Xander tilted his head, waiting expectantly, and she studied him, thinking. “OH! Right.” She gave him a charming smile. “Please Xander.”
Spike snorted. “Please Xander. Oh, it makes me want to go sick all over your shoes, making an ex-demon learn her manners.” He turned to Anya, who looked surprised. “And, for the record, I-am-bleeding-so still evil!” He went into game face and snarled aggressively. No one even flinched. “Oh, bugger this.” He got up and stalked off, face smoothing itself out as he went.
“I thought you were scary!” Willow called after him.
Anya scowled at Xander. “I think I'm just fine the way I am,” she said, huffily. “If you don’t like me then...well...you can play ‘Horny Gynecologist’ by yourself!” She stormed away, disappearing into the crowd. Xander watched, mouth open.
“I don’t even want to go there.” Willow stood up, mortified. “I mean, a person can only hear so much, and then the ears, well, they start to un-hear, and that’s never a good sign.” She left the table.
Xander groaned and made his way to the bar. The bartender nodded to him. “What’ll it be?”
“One Bellini.” Xander glanced over beside him and saw Spike watching, looking broody. “And a draft for the pale has-been over there.” Spike’s eyebrows raised slowly and he titled his head.
“Chalk one up for the delivery boy,” he said, taking a drink as soon as the glass was placed before him. “Ugh, this is like water.” He eyed the fruity drink in Xander’s hand. “And what, may I ask, is that supposed to be?”
“It’s champagne, peach schnapps, and rum blended with ice like a margarita, with a touch of sangria on top.” He took a healthy sip and clutched his head in pain. “Owww....” Seeing Spike’s expression he sighed. “Brain freeze. Drank too fast.”
Spike made a face. “If it weren’t for the twenty-four hour shag-a-thon going on with demon-girl I’d swear you were light in the loafers Harris.”
“And if it weren’t for Buffy I’d have staked you long ago,” Xander replied, but it lacked the certain venom he’d always said it with before. Spike’s breath hissed through his teeth.
“She’s here,” he said. Xander craned his head around, looking through the people.
“I don’t see her. Where is she?”
“She’s near the entrance.” Spike stood up, nervously smoothing his duster, looking for all the world like he was grooming himself before a big date. “How do I look?”
“What?” Xander said, completely confused. “Look?”
Spike paused. “Er, yeah, do I look evil? Still striking terror into the hearts of the innocent?” He stuck a pose, looking hopeful.
“Oh. Yeah, you look totally evil. I’m petrified,” Xander said, trying to sound convincing. Spike glared at him.
“You don’t have to pretend.” He straightened his shoulders, seeing Buffy approaching. “I don’t have to be mollycoddled like some sort of infant.”
“Buffy!” Xander waved. “Thank god you’re here, I’ve been reduced to hanging around with Spike.”
Buffy looked at them, Xander and his blended girly drink, and Spike, nursing a half-glass of beer, his eyes already betraying them. If he kept looking at her like that the secret two of them wasn’t going to be secret much longer.
“Where’s Willow and Anya?”
Xander shuffled his feet and looked down. Spike smiled.
Buffy sighed. “I’ll go find them.”
“I’ll go with you.” Spike was at her side in an instant.
Xander watched them walk away. “I’ll stay here,” he said to no one in particular.
Buffy started to walk towards the tables, but was sidetracked by Spike grabbing her elbow and pulling her into a dark corner. She put her hands up to his chest, ready to push him off, but instead found herself not so much as shoving as she was caressing. Spike leaned in closer and put his lips to her ear.
“I missed you luv,” he whispered. His tongue darted at her earlobe and she shivered.
“Spike, cut it out. We could be seen.” Buffy took a deep breath and slid out under his arms. “Xander would dust you faster than you could say 'sarcophagus’.” She paused. “Well, I guess you can’t really say ‘sarcophagus’ all that fast...”
“Bugger him. I’m not afraid of the whelp. Besides, he’s too busy nursing his over-grown Slurpee and mooning over the demon-girl to notice us.” Spike grinned and took her hand, pulling her close again. “Care to visit our little ‘special’ cubicle again?”
Buffy smiled at him, despite herself. “No! Willow and Anya are both here...I mean...NO! You pig!”
She went to smack him, but instead found herself kissing him lazily. He drew her flush against his body and her arms went around his back of their own accord, stroking slowly. “Spike?”
“What is it, pet?” he murmured against her mouth, eyes closed.
“I want you-”
Spike groaned. “God, I want you too.” He started to drag her off to the washrooms again, but she dug in her heels, making him stop. He looked over his shoulder at her, puzzled. “You’d prefer the balcony?”
“Oh yeah, I’d-” Buffy shook her head. “Wait. That’s not what I was talking about. I didn’t finish what I was saying there. What I meant to say was, I want you to join the Scoobies. Fight the good fight. No more bad stuff, you know?” She shrugged, “It’s not like you can actually hurt people anyways, so-”
“Bloody hell!” Spike let go of her hand, stepping back from her in shock. “How many times do I have to say it? I’m EVIL! BAD! I kill and I destroy, and I take the utmost pleasure in it. I’m the Big Bad, and I always will be!!” He marched back and forth in front of her madly. “I’m a killer!”
“How many people have you killed in the last forever?” Buffy pointed out calmly. Spike spun around and looked at her.
“What? The chip? You think I can’t be bad because of this bloody chip? Oh, I can do bad! I can do lots of...bad!” He stood in front of her, arms cross defiantly. “I could start fires.” Buffy didn’t look impressed. “I could! If I wanted to...” He finished off lamely.
“Look, do you want in or not?” Buffy asked, annoyed. Spike sighed, shoulders slumping.
“Do I have to be nice to Harris?” he muttered.
“Nothing. Listen, I can’t just make a decision like this at the bleedin’ drop of a hat. I can’t change what I am.” He did his best to look dangerous and bent forward, whispering, “I’m baaaaad.”
Buffy didn’t even blink.
“Arrgh!” He vamped out, lunging at her. She rolled her eyes.
“Oh, bloody...fine.” He turned away from her, completely pissed off. “I’m in your stupid club...but I refuse to be nice to any of the others.”
Continued in Chapter ten