Buffy woke up with sun streaming onto her face from the window. With a yawn, she stretched, every muscle totally relaxed. Her dreams last night had been just what she needed.
She stopped mid-stretch. Quick, guilt check. Should she feel guilty for having sexy dreams about her husband, who happens to be a vampire? Buffy studied her Guilt Meter. It told her to feel mildly disturbed, but not obsess about it. Issue resolved, Buffy stood up to get dressed.
Then sat back down when Willow entered the room.
"Good morning," Buffy said cheerily as Willow made her way to her closest and began to pick out clothes.
Willow turned around. "Aren't you a perky Buffy this morning? Have a good night's sleep, did you?"
"Uh-huh. Verry nice. How about you?"
Willow blushed a little and buried her face into the sweater she was holding. "I, uh, slept fine."
"I bet you got a lot of sleeping done," Buffy agreed with a straight face, amused by her friend's embarrassment.
"So, uh," Willow quickly searched for a new topic of conversation, "what did you do last night?"
"I, uh, I - " Buffy fumbled, unsure about how to say she had gone on a date with Spike and then made out with him in the graveyard.
Willow's eyes widened as she skipped over to Buffy's side. If she read her friend correctly, there were smoochies to tell! "Did you go on a date? Was he cute? What's his name?" Willow frowned a second. "And how are you going to tell him you're already married? Oh no, you'll break the poor guy's heart! Poor nameless Buffy's date guy."
"Relax Will, there will be no breaking of hearts, because there was no nameless date guy."
Willow raised an eyebrow. Tell me another, Buffy. "You got the I had a date blush going, and the cheery morning mood, and the clothes on the floor are your knock'em dead outfit. That means date. So spill."
Willow had on her resolve face. Buffy knew this meant that she had to spill, or else. No one had ever figured out what "or else" meant, but they never wanted to find out. "It's sort of complicated."
"And you'll probably disapprove of him."
"Buffy, I recently realized I was gay and have just come back from my girlfriend's room, where I spent the night. Glass house, no throwing stones allowed."
"Spike doesn't care that I went on a date because Spike was the date."
Willow blinked. Then blinked again. "I can't say that I'm surprised. Of course, I can't say that I expected it either. Why?"
Buffy frowned. "Long. Complicated. Basically, Spike convinced me to give our marriage a chance. So I did. Hence, the date."
Willow tried to get a reading on how Buffy felt about this. As the supportive best friend, what should she do? Say Spike equals bad, so forget about him? Ask for details in a concerned way, or a curious way, or a concerned and curious way? Tell Buffy to follow her heart, even if it led to Spike?
Willow opted to treat this like any other date. "So, how did it go?"
"That's where things get super confusing. It went well. We had a good time, he was for the most part only minorly jerk like, and he paid for the drinks." Buffy wrinkled her nose. "Of course, I was careful not to ask where he got the money. Willow, should I have asked? Was I being a bad Slayer by not asking?"
"This was a Buffy night," Willow reassured, "and if Buffy goes on a date, she doesn't insist the guy explain where he gets the money. Besides, I'm sure there are legitimate ways for Spike to earn money."
Buffy gave her a look.
"At least you know he didn't steal it from his dinner," Willow offered helpfully.
"For some reason, that's oddly comforting."
"I try. So," Willow tried to get a little more information, "why was it super confusing?"
"Because he was supposed to be a big jerk and then I could dump him without feeling guilty," Buffy explained patiently. "That was the plan."
Willow nodded supportively. This was obviously a Buffy logic moment. There was nothing to do but look like you understand and hope you can puzzle it out later.
"But of course Spike couldn't follow the plan," Buffy complained. "He had to be all perfect gentlemanly for the date part anyway and then we went patrolling and then there was the whole me falling on top of Spike fiasco, and then we - " Buffy stopped abruptly.
"And then you?" Willow prompted. She had a strong feeling this was the part that involved smoochies.
"And then we said goodnight and went home," Buffy finished quickly, cheeks turning bright red.
"Did you say goodnight the same way Tara and I say goodnight?" Willow asked, a teasing glint in her eyes.
"How else do you say - Will, what a dirty mind you have!"
"You figured it out," Willow pointed out.
"So," Willow continued, "what are you going to do from here?"
Buffy thought a moment. Then her lips quirked up. "I think I'd like to say goodnight to Spike again."
Good for you, Buffy, Willow thought. You deserve to have a special someone, even if it is a vampire.
Later that same day, Anya marched over to Spike's crypt. She knew he and Buffy had gone on a date last night, and she wanted details! She quite enjoyed helping with the non-vengeance part of the relationship and desired to see results.
She found Spike, as she more often than not did, sitting in front of the television watching bad daytime TV. Distractedly, Anya noticed it was one of the ones with the overly dramatic music, funny golden lighting, and a great deal of sex and vengeance going on; the last parts being the only interesting things.
"How did your date with Buffy go?" Anya said insistently from her position behind Spike.
At the sudden sound, Spike jumped up. "You know, there's this brilliant thing called a door. You knock on it."
"Your door is missing," Anya informed him, "so I was unable to knock."
"Oh, right. But you should still say hello or something. Let a fellow know you're there before asking questions."
"I consider my usage of human conventions to be a continually expanding process. I will try to remember that one." Anya then changed the topic back to her original question. "How did your date with Buffy go?"
Spike shrugged. "Went okay until I kissed her. Slayer sends the most confusing signals I've ever seen."
"Did you kiss her or did you aggressively proposition her?"
"Er, maybe a bit of the first leading into the second?" Spike answered.
"Spike!" Anya scolded. "I thought we had determined that the directly sexual approach wouldn't work. You were supposed to just stick to kissing her, not initiate intercourse!"
"All I did was kiss her," Spike whined, "I didn't get to do anything else."
"But you tried to do more," Anya accused. "What did I tell you about that?"
"Think with the brain above, not below, the belt," Spike dutifully recited.
"Actually, I said - "
"That's not the point, Anya. What I want to know is, what should I do next?"
Anya frowned. "I don't know. Since I had initiated the relationship, Xander didn't have to worry about that. Though I could ask him what he did for his previous girlfriends."
"That's okay," Spike quickly assured her, "no need to involve him." However, Spike couldn't help but think it would be interesting to see Xander's face when Anya asked for help with his courtship of Buffy.
"You're right." Anya thought a moment. "Maybe you should send flowers? Flowers are pretty, and can be expensive. Spending money is a good way to show you care. I always feel happy when Xander gives me presents. It leads to very good sex."
"But I don't want that. Well, I do, but I can wait. I just want to be with Buffy," Spike explained.
"Then I still suggest flowers. Expensive, pretty flowers. I know a very nice shop where Xander bought my corsage for the prom."
"Okay, flowers. Got it." Spike nodded firmly, mentally tallying his cash. Sounds like some petty theft would be the order of the day. No, wait, Buffy wouldn't like that. Maybe he should check out the poker game down by Willy's.
Bloody hell. He was already making decisions based on what Buffy would like. And Spike knew, just knew he would stick to them. He'd always been like that. Love's bitch, now and forever.
"Of course, if the flowers don't work out," Anya continued talked, "I'm told that poetry can be cute, even if it isn't very good."
"Poetry? No way, that's for poofters," Spike snorted. "I'd never do that." Actually, the truth is he would never show Buffy the lines already written hiding at the bottom of the sarcophagus. That would ruin what little shreds he had left of his Big Bad rep.
Anya didn't even notice his frantic cover-up. She was still talking.
"Xander told me that Buffy dated a poet once if that's any help. Though I don't see why she would date a poet. Personally, I've always found them to be all talk and no action. There was this one poet I met a couple centuries ago who - "
Spike enjoyed Anya's company. Really, he did. But when she started to ramble like this, it was best to end the conversation.
"That's fascinating, Anya. But now I think I'll try to take your advice and get some flowers. I'll be sure to check out that florist shop you mentioned." Spike hurried to the ladder to the sewers. "Thanks for the advice."
Anya watched him leave, made a harrumphing noise. "Men!" Then she noticed the TV was still on. "Ooh, that's one of the vengeance shows!" Anya quickly sat down to watch the trashy talk show. In her day, those people had been some of her best customers.
The shop bell rang, it's distinctive tinkle echoing about the silent florist shop. Ashley looked up from her spot behind the counter. It had been a relatively slow day so far. Only one sale, to a woman who wanted some potted plants for her window sill. Barring that, it had just been Ashley and the flowers today.
She watched the new potential customer avidly. He definitely didn't look like the average patron of Francesca's Flowers. In fact, he looked a bit like the kind who made fun of florists in general and enjoyed crushing fields of daisies. Combat boots, long black leather coat, and seriously bleached hair. Ashley was surprised that she didn't see any piercings. He looked like the sort who would have a few. Not that it would have detracted from his serious hotness.
The Hot Punk in a Florist Shop was randomly wandering the aisles, a somewhat bemused expression on his face. He was obviously out of his depth. Ashley wondered what had driven him to the shop - he didn't strike her as the sort who liked to be confused. After watching him roam around the shop, searching for something he didn't know how to find, she took pity on him and went over to help.
"May I help you?"
Hottie jerked backward from the display of figurines he was examining. One fell. He quickly caught it. As he set it back down, he said, "Uh, yeah. You could."
Ashley carefully rearranged the figurine so it matched the rest of the display. "What are you looking for?"
"Flowers," he said confidently.
"For whom?" Ashley prompted. "We have quite a selection."
His confidence seemed to falter. "Well, it's for my, uh, my," he said, distractedly fingering the ring on his left hand.
"Your wife?" Ashley guessed. Dang, he was taken. All the good ones were.
"Close enough. Do you have any suggestions? All my friend told me was something expensive." He looked around the store, "I'm not sure what fits the bill."
He was married? Ashley wondered how he had gotten that far without even basic flower knowledge. His wife was probably willing to overlook a few flaws for a guy that cute. "Do you have any idea what kind of flowers she likes?"
Ashley wasn't surprised. If he had, he would have come in, bought them, then left in all of five minutes. Guys come in to buy and leave; they rarely shop. "Well, then I'd suggest a mixed bouquet. Do you know what colors she likes?"
"No." He seemed to think a bit more, then added, "Just not anything... blood-like."
Ashley stepped away from the case of deep red roses. Now that was a bizarre turn of phrase. Instead, she wandered through the various cases, choosing bright, cheery blossoms that blended together well.
"This should do very nicely. It has a mixture of roses, orchids, daisies, and a few others. It's a bit costly, but I can assure you all of them are fresh."
"Whatever." The man took it, holding the bouquet awkwardly.
Reaching into his pocket, he asked, "How much?"
Ashley named the price. "I'm sure your wife will like it very much." As she took his money, she added with a wink, "Maybe enough to get you off the couch."
"Hope so," he muttered on the way out, "but, I'd be happy if I got as far as the couch."
Ashley watched him go, a peroxided punk carrying a bouquet of flowers. Not a sight you saw every day. She leaned back with a sigh. There went the only highlight in her day.
Outside the shop, Spike was debating on the next step. Now that he had the flowers, he wasn't sure exactly what to do with them. Deciding that the direct course was the best, he set off to deliver them to her dorm. At least that'd give him an excuse to see her.
After charming his way into the building, (he hoped that girl never met a vamp, she'd be dead before the vamp crossed the threshold), Spike stood awkwardly in front of Buffy's dorm room, bouquet clenched tightly in his fist. With his other hand, he waved between knocking and dropping the flowers and making a run for it.
How do humans do this, this dating? With Dru, all he had to do was kill a few people, get a doll or two, and she was all over him. None of this door-knocking and bell-ringing and date-going. That, that was for humans.
Which Buffy was. Spike knocked, three quick raps.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Inside, Buffy looked up from her incomprehensible psych book, eager for any excuse to forget the thing. She jumped up and answered the door.
"Spike? What are you doing here?"
Spike affected a shocked expression. "What, a husband can't visit?"
Hearing this, two girls walking down the hall gave Buffy strange looks and started to giggle. Buffy reached out and pulled Spike into her room, causing the girls to giggle even more.
"Buffy, I'm shocked. I didn't know you ready to start up our conjugal relations."
Buffy frowned a second. Huh? Then she figured it out. "Spike!"
"Sorry, luv, couldn't resist."
"Then resist better next time." Buffy crossed the room to sit down on her bed. "What are you really doing here?"
"That's as far as my plan went, actually."
"If this is how your evil plots worked, I'm not surprised I always kicked your butt."
"Hey," Spike pointed out, "I've seen your Scooby Gang at work, you know. The fact that they ever foiled a single evil scheme shows that angels do watch over fools."
"And to that I say my own, Hey!" Buffy leaped off her bed. "My friends are not," she finally noticed the bouquet in his hand, "flowers?"
"Huh? What's that got to do with - " Spike realized where Buffy was pointing. "Oh, yeah."
"Did you get me flowers?" Buffy asked, a more than slightly incredulous tone in her voice.
"Uh, should I have?" Spike awkwardly hid the bouquet behind him.
Buffy watched him, amused. None of her other boyfriends had gotten her flowers. Well, Angel in his psycho phase had dropped off a rose or two, but that didn't count. She found it...cute. Especially with the pretty bouquet.
"Yes," she answered solemnly, "you should have."
"Well then," Spike said, clearly relieved, "I think these are for you."
Buffy reached out and snatched them away.
"Greedy little thing, aren't you?" he remarked as she inhaled their scent.
Buffy ignored him and proceeded to enjoy the lovely bouquet. Spike was pleased to see that he had done this part right, at least. That flower girl had known what she was doing.
"Wow, this is really sweet of you." Buffy peered over the tops of the flowers and demanded, "Whose idea was this?"
"Mine?" Spike hazarded.
"Anya's," he finally admitted, "with some help from the shop girl."
"What were you doing talking to Anya about flowers?" Buffy wanted to know.
"She wants to help yours truly get the girl," he told her. "You aren't jealous about me chatting her up, are you?"
"Me? Pfft, of course not," she responded quickly, ignoring the brief surge of envy at the thought of another girl talking to HER - not husband/boyfriend/significant other. Um, exactly what was Spike to her?
"Spike, what are we?"
"Well, I'm a devastatingly handsome creature of the night who's taken a fancy to you, the more often that not obnoxious Slayer."
Buffy frowned. "A) That's not what I was asking. B) If anyone's the obnoxious one here, it's you, 'devastatingly handsome creature of the night'." Buffy marked the last phrase with air quotes.
"What's with the air quotes?"
"Because it shows how totally wrong that phrase is? Except for the creature of the night part."
"So you don't think I'm devastatingly handsome?" he mock pouted.
"Only in your dreams, Spike. The best you can hope for is fairly good looking," Buffy lied. There was no way she was going to tell him was beyond devastatingly handsome, especially when he did that thing with his eyes.....and his tongue.....Okay Buffy, drooling ruins the effect.
"I'm hurt, Slayer, I really am," Spike teased. He had caught that look in her eyes, yes he had. He hid a smirk.
"And I feel so sorry, Spikey. I do. But what I really want to know," Buffy tried to bring the conversation back to her original question, "what are we to each other? Beyond what the state of California says."
There went his first answer. "Former mortal enemies bordering on dating?" he guessed. "What do you think we are?"
"More of the same."
"You do?" She did?
"Spike, we went on a date last night. You brought me flowers today. I think we've officially moved beyond the mortal enemies stage of the relationship. Of course, that ends the moment you try to kill me and my friends again, which is when I stake you," she explained matter-of-factly.
Made sense. Spike couldn't argue with that logic - Slayer had to do what a Slayer had to do. "So where do we go from here, then?"
Buffy stared at the bouquet in her hands. She stroked the petals of one beautiful butter yellow rose. That had been so sweet of Spike, even if he had required prompting. Where did they go from here? She set the bouquet down on her bed. What was it she had told Willow to do that first day in Sunnydale? Seize the day? Buffy turned to face Spike. He was watching her, an expectant look on his face. Her insides melted a little, remembering times when his eyes had looked at her like that, only with a lot more of that ice-blue fire. Yup, it had been seize the day. Because tomorrow you may die. And for Slayers that was truer than for anybody else. Didn't she have the right to as much happiness as she could grab, regardless of who she was with?
Spike wondered what was going on in Buffy's head. In all the time he had known her, as both enemy and ally, he had seen her in moods that could rival Drusilla. He knew he wasn't always the most emotionally stable person in the world, too, but Buffy could go from hot to cold in two seconds flat. The question was, which way was she running right now?
He got his answer when Buffy kissed him, straight on. The first kiss she had initiated, no less. Spike returned it in full force.
"Mmm, what are you doing, love?" he broke away a moment
"Seizing the day," she responded before kissing him again.
"I like this plan," he murmured before joining her.
Arms entwined and pulled bodies closer
Willow hurried to Buffy's room. Faith was out of the coma and on the streets; Buffy had to be informed. She yanked the door open.
Then saw Buffy making out with Spike. They were groping and kissing and slowly making their way to the bed -
Willow quickly shut the door. Faith wasn't going anywhere. She could wait. Willow slowly turned around, slipping a rubber band about the knob before heading over to Tara's for the night.