“You’re alive,” Buffy breathed, her eyes drinking
Spike in from the top of his gelled head to the tips of his demon be-gunked boots. “Well, animated and corporeal, in
She reached for his hand, watching the sun gleam brightly against
his platinum waves and create dazzling points of light in the true blueness of his eyes. Her breath catching suddenly, Buffy
glanced between Spike and Angel as they stood uncaring of the happy sunbeams that reflected from their whiter shade of paleness.
“Oh, my, God,” she said softly. “Angel. Spike.
You’re standing in sunshine.”
Both vampires looked back at her in surprise, then at each other,
up to the sun, squinted madly and then contemplated their own non-flamey limbs.
“Huh,” Angel said, nodding thoughtfully.
“Wow,” Willow said softly.
“That’s…wow. You guys must be ecstatic.”
“Eh,” Spike said shrugging and looked to Angel who
shrugged back. Spike turned to the others. “What with the Gem of Amarra, alternate realities and what all, the sun is
just…eh. I freckle, he tans. It was kind of a big build-up and then….eh.” He looked back to Angel, “What
do you think this time? Something Hellmouth-y?”
“Yeah, I’m good with that.”
Spike stepped toward Buffy again, this time making sure the sun
highlighted his hair just right and set his cheekbones into harsh relief as his fingers clenched on hers.
Willow and Xander backed off quietly to allow the two lovers, torn
apart by fate, to have the moment. Angel evaluated the spikiness of his hair and surreptitiously checked his breath, waiting
for Spike to fuck this up.
Spike raised a shaking hand to caress her cheek. “God, Buffy,”
his lips trembled. “I never thought I’d have this chance…you don’t have to say anything,” he
said as he heard her draw in a shaky breath. “Can I just hold you? Make it real?”
Buffy’s arms wrapped slowly around him and Spike buried
his face in her hair, breathing deeply of her mystical, earth goddess scent.
Suddenly his head reared back, his features twisted in pain. “Ungh!”
He stumbled away from her, hacking as he fought to draw unnecessary yet cleansing air into his long dead, though apparently
still functioning, lungs. “What,” he asked and gasped hugely. “What the devil kind of perfume have you been
Buffy frowned at him, feeling a definite snit coming on as he
once again sabotaged a tender moment. “Uh, none, Mr. Can Track Me By Scent Alone. You know I don’t wear perfume.
It’s just my Vanilla Vixen body wash, facial scrub, body splash, body spray and feminine deodorant.”
“Well, you smell like a bloody Keebler.” Spike continued
to cough and choke, waving off her attempts to comfort him.
Buffy glared at him, seriously pissed off. “It never seemed
to bother you before,” she groused.
Spike shook his head, his eyes watering. “I dunno. Maybe
you lost some of that Slayer flavor when Red did her ‘share the power’ spell and the vanilla’s taking over.
Or maybe my sense of smell has improved – I haven’t smoked much since I came back.”
“Or maybe you came back wrong!” Buffy threw at him.
"Buffy," Angel said quietly, stepping
forward to take her by the hand.
Buffy smiled back at him gratefully and
reached up to kiss his cheek as he gently enfolded her in his arms. They held each other tightly for a moment and then stepped
back, their eyes meeting in a moment of silent understanding.
"Okay," Spike growled, moving to step
between them. "What the bloody hell was that?"
"What?" Angel asked, his features relaxed
"That," Spike said, his gaze whipping
between them. "You two just had a moment." He frowned and shook his head, disgusted. "Wait, this is that whole 'cookie dough'
thing, innit?" He threw his hands up. "Oh, fine. Well, food for thought, Slayer. You're approaching the point of bake or get
out of the kitchen. And don't expect me to be waiting around until you turn into a bloody Fig Newton."
Angel snickered and then he and Spike
shared a moment of silent understanding.
“Okay, you know what?” Buffy
asked, swiping up Angel’s broadsword from where he had dropped it. “I’m sick of taking this crap from both
She raised the sword above her head and
began whipping it wildly, vanilla waves of anger emanating from her.
“Hey, hey, Buffy,” Willow said, jumping in to grab the Slayer’s
cartwheeling arms, narrowly ducking the blade. “Let’s take it down a little.” She nodded cautiously at Buffy
as the sword was slowly lowered and mutinous green-like eyes turned her way. “Yes, boys mean. Boys suck.”
She gently guided Buffy away from the
others, turning to smile ruefully at Spike and Angel. “We’ll just be over here for a minute. You guys take a moment…catch
up and stuff.”
Xander turned to look at Spike and Angel,
who were muttering, “You suck,” “No, you suck harder,” and “Well, you sucked first,” beneath
“So,” Xander asked, rubbing
his hands together, “what’s new with the soulier than thou?”
Spike’s eyes flitted over Xander’s tailored leather jacket
and cream colored, v-neck silk t-shirt which were paired with chocolate-brown, form-fitting leather pants and other hyphenated
attire. Spike ended his perusal of “A Study of Xander in Leather” to turn a knowing smirk on Angel. Angel grinned
and ducked his head, chuckling.
Spike snickered back and Angel leaned into him until their leather-clad
shoulders brushed. “Well, you know what they say about imitation…” Angel smirked.
“Hey!” Xander exclaimed, glaring at the giggling vampires.
“I am so not copying you. You wish I was copying you! For one thing, mine’s brown! And…and,”
he scrambled for more differences, and then his hands brushed against the hem of the jacket that hit just below his butt,
“and much less swooshy!”
“Oh, we’re just taking the piss,” Spike grinned,
having gotten the Xander snit he’d been angling for. He let his eyes slide slowly over Xander’s leather clad torso
again before licking his lips and adding, “You look good, whelp.”
Xander blushed, still tugging the edges of his jacket like an eight-year-old
at a recital. “Thanks, I’ve been working…did you just call me whelp?”
“Yes,” Spike nodded slowly, keeping his eyes on Xander.
“You know? Whelp? Cub, jackanape, puppy, youngster, boy?”
Xander gritted his teeth. “Spike, I’m 23 years old, and
thanks to a lifetime of living on the Hellmouth, I look closer to 33.” He crossed his arms, furrowing his brow and squinting
his eyes to add emphasis to his Gen X character lines. “Whelp, my ass.”
Spike shrugged, sucking in his cheekbones to better display his perennial
boy band bone structure. “Whatever, Xanderrrr.” He made a face. “Oh, come on, give me something. Scooby-boy?
Slayerette? Nummy?” His eyes lit up. “Xanpet?”
“Whelp it is then,” Xander said, stalking back over to
Buffy and Willow, his leathers creaking enticingly with the barest amount of chafing.
Angel and Spike shared one last leering smirk and then joined the
“Okay,” Angel said, hands on leather hips and forehead
in serious ‘kicking ass and taking names’ overdrive, “Reunion over – do we know what’s going
“You mean besides the fact that we seem to be participating
in some sort of immunity challenge we didn’t sign up for?” Willow asked as Buffy tossed her head and joined the
group, ignoring the vampires. “Well, for one thing, I can say ‘fuck’ with impunity.”
“And I can say vermin infested cum bubble,” Xander added.
Buffy and Angel stared back at him, slack-jawed. “Well I can,”
he said defensively. “Here, you try it.”
Angel opened his mouth but Spike broke in with, “Unleash thy
codpiece, thou artless, beef-witted coxcomb!” Spike’s lips twisted and he shook his head, grumbling. “Oh,
nice, I can only swear in Bard.”
“Bollocks, balls, dozy bint,” Angel quoted back to him.
“I think you’ve had your turn.”
“And I think you’re both a couple of fucktards,”
Buffy said and then giggled at herself.
“Okay, ha-ha,” Willow said, frowning at all of them.
“Yeah, naughty words, really funny, but I think we should concentrate on…” she broke off as she noticed
Spike staring at her intently. “What?”
“’S nothing. It’s just that you’re really
hot when you go all school marmish.” He ducked his head, peering up at her from beneath his lashes, his lips arranged
in a shy pout.
“Well, I think you’re cute, too, when you do that out
of character shy boy thing,” Willow admitted softly. They shared a smile and Willow rubbed her cheek against her shoulder,
blushing. She looked back up to see Buffy, Angel and Xander frozen, their eyes wide and horrified.
“What?” she asked, casting one last peek at Spike and
hiding a grin when she caught the wink he tossed at her.
“Are you both fricking…that is to say, fucking insane?”
“Oh, come on, whelp, you gotta admit the witch is dead sexy,”
Spike said, wiggling his tongue quickly at Willow.
Buffy looked at all of them. “Is anyone else finding someone
inappropriately hot?” she asked irritably.
“Spike,” Willow and Xander answered together suddenly.
Angel started to say Spike, reconsidered and blurted out, “Spander,” trying to cover all of the bases.
Spike shrugged. “I pretty much want to nail you all.”
Buffy frowned. “Well…this is just disturbing. And kind
of hot in its sheer freakiness.”
“But is it really that freaky?” Willow asked. “I
mean, we’ve always had kind of the Melrose Place vibe going on with the switching of the partners.” She
turned to Buffy. “After all, you’re standing here in an emotional daisy chain of men who’ve been hot for
you or each other over the years.”
Spike and Angel’s gazes met and then skittered away.
“Wait, you and Spike?!” Buffy gasped, staring at Angel
in fascinated horror.
Angel frowned, confused. “Buffy, I really thought you’d
have figured that out,” he said. “I told you the stuff about Darla and Drusilla, and I know you looked some things
up in the Watcher’s Diaries.”
She nodded back slowly.
“And you know that for 20 years, I lived with Spike in a
communal, violently alternative, dysfunctional family setting.”
She nodded again, looking at him blankly.
Angel gritted his teeth. “And you know about my thing with
nuns? That it wasn’t just…draining them, right? That I had a whole madonna complex sex thing going on?”
Buffy nodded harder, trying to convey that she was following.
“So, okay, I pillaged half of Europe, I ate my own family,
I was a merry nun rapist, and your biggest problem is that I occasionally jumped on top of that incredibly attractive
and not vaguely androgynous vampire?”
“Yeah, I knew about the nun thing, Angel. I get the whole
preying on the blood of the innocent. But that doesn’t make you,” she looked around cautiously. “G-a-y.”
“But you didn’t have a problem with the magickal redhead
and her girly pals, did you, pet?” Spike huffed. “A bit of a double standard, there.”
“Pfft,” Buffy said. “That was all floating roses
and tongueless kissage.”
Angel looked to Willow, who nodded glumly.
Buffy continued to stare at Angel with dawning horror. “But
you’re saying that you and Spike were…”
“Riding the velvet meat curtains of love,” Xander
“And you really just said that,” Buffy said, finding
him crass and profane and inexplicably shaggable all at once.