"Mr. Harmon, your four o'clock is here."
Ed looked up upon hearing his secretary's voice. His four o'clock? Ah, yes, Ms. Buffy Summers and her husband William Montgomery. The divorce case.
Actually, theirs was the most interesting case he'd seen in a long time (but still didn't equal the man who insisted his wife was a succubus). Ms. Summers insisted she and her husband had been drunk and foolishly went along with a friend's suggestion. However, the justice of peace who married them, Danielle Addams, was an old friend of his. According to her, neither one had shown any signs of inebriation or any other kind of substance abuse.
"The Montgomery couple? I'd never seen two people so in love before. Are you sure you understood Buffy correctly? If those two were on anything, they did the best job hiding it I'd ever seen. Closest thing would be high on love," were her exact words.
Very different from Buffy's "we were drunk and hate each other" version.
"Mr. Harmon?" his secretary spoke again, interrupting his train of thought.
"Send them in, Gracie," Ed ordered.
Buffy was the first to enter. Though enter was far too mild a word. Stomped or thundered was far more appropriate. Her eyes were narrowed, her face flushed, and she was muttering dire things under her breath.
Wonderful. His client was ticked off.
Behind her was the young man Ed assumed was her husband. This one didn't storm in. Instead, he slid in, prowled about a bit like a panther before sitting down next to Buffy. More restrained, certainly, but Ed noted the tell-tale tense expression of a man at the end of his rope.
This was shaping up to be a swell session.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Summers. Is this your husband? Mr. William Montgomery?"
"Yeah, that's me," the man answered. Ed tried not to show his distaste for him. William Montgomery was the very picture of a punk. Peroxided hair, leather coat, and sneering expression. Ed didn't blame Buffy for wanting a divorce. William screamed trouble with a capital T.
"Now that you're here, Mr. Montgomery, we can start to discuss - "
"Spike. Is my name. William Montgomery's for poofters."
Ed sincerely hoped 'Spike' wouldn't be like this the entire meeting.
"Spike, then. We need to discuss Ms. Summers' plans for divorce. Now, I am given to understand that you were both drunk - "
"So that's what she's saying. What, luv," Spike directed his attention to his wife, "you couldn't fess up to the truth?"
"That WAS the truth, Spike. Wasn't it?" Buffy gave him the Evil Eye.
"If you say so. Had to admit, was interested in how you got out of it."
"Well, Spike, I was obviously not in my right mind. Otherwise, I wouldn't be married to you, now would I?" she snapped back.
"Weren't saying so that night," he pointed out, mockingly.
"That night doesn't count and you know it."
"Shame, Slayer. Ruining my memories, you are."
Slayer? Come again?
"I told you not to call me that. And if I had my way, you wouldn't even remember this."
"So you'd be married to me and then go commit adultery? No, wait, you're already doing that."
"Don't bring Riley into this."
Spike opened his mouth to retort. Ed took advantage of that brief lull in the battle; forging ahead with the real purpose for this meeting.
"It's obvious that you both have issues with this marriage. What I want, Spike, is to start drawing up the paperwork necessary for a divorce. Do you have a lawyer?"
"Okay, then. I will advise you to get one, young man. While it might make it easier for me otherwise, I don't want the conflict of interest. Now, Ms. Summers, can you tell me what your terms for divorce are."
Buffy shrugged. "I get one. It's not like Spike has anything I could want, or that there's kids or anything."
"For preliminary purposes only, Spike, what are your terms?"
Spike smirked. "I don't want one. Quite happy with the way things are, actually."
"Hypothetically speaking, what would they be?"
Spike actually seemed to consider the question. "Don't know. She stop seeing the git, for one thing."
"Riley is NOT a git!"
"Really, luv? He's an idiot and you know it. Wonder what Peaches would think of you choosing a loser like that."
"Wonder what he would think about you being here. Maybe I should give him a call, let him come and down and help me with my problems. I'm sure we could come up with a nice, dusty, solution," Buffy responded, with a too-sweet smile.
Was dusty some kind of new slang word? Ed knew he was behind the times, but dusty?
"Thought you had issues with that one."
"Way you're acting, I'm kind of not seeing the bad."
"You actually think I'm going to buckle under and play nice?"
"So, Ms. Summers has issues with that criteria. If I may suggest a compromise, maybe she stops dating until the divorce is final?" Ed tried to get this meeting back on track.
"But what am I going to tell Riley? Hey, can't date until I get divorced?"
"Ms. Summers, this man doesn't know you're married?"
"What was I going to say, hi, friend cast a spell and I married this bleach head?"
Buffy quickly backpedaled. "Uh, a spell. With words. Words that were suggesting type words. Said while we were drunk. No magic spell casting. Just words. And drunk. Don't forget the drunk part."
”Shut up, Spike."
Ed started fantasizing about the bottle of bourbon in the file cabinet. Deciding it would be unprofessional to start imbibing, he attempted to speak again.
"Spike, could you tell me your reasons for objecting to a divorce? This will help me understand the situation."
"It pisses her off. And there are certain...side benefits."
"In your dreams, bleach for brains."
"And what lovely dreams they are. You been having any?"
"Bet they're very exciting nightmares."
"Only in the adrenaline flowing, got to escape kind of way."
"Escape from what? The Big Bad?"
And the conversation steers in an alarmingly R-rated direction.
"C'mon, Spike, you've never been the Big Bad."
"When was the last time you checked?"
"Haven't seen you up and about doing - "
"If you wanted to see me up, all you had to do was ask."
In the course of their argument, the two had moved closer until they were right into each other's faces. Buffy glared at Spike and vice versa, with only inches in between.
Ed felt like he had entered the set of a romantic comedy. The kind his wife dragged him to, where the leads hated each other but were always flirting at the same time. It was interesting that their bickering had transformed into an exchange of innuendoes. Mostly on Spike's part, but Buffy definitely fed the flames.
"Who are you calling a pervert? I'm not the one macking on the brick wall. When you're a married woman."
"Riley is a perfectly nice guy, as opposed to some people. And I have not 'macked' on him!"
"Then what did you call that kiss? You were all touchy feely with him."
"He pecked me on the cheek. And how many times do I have to say, why the hell do you care?!"
"With an attitude like that, no wonder you lost Drusilla."
"Leave her out of this. Or maybe I can ask why my grandsire went and dumped you?"
Ed shook himself from his day dreaming. "Grandsire?"
"Like grandfather. Because he's, uh, so stodgy and no fun," Spike answered awkwardly.
Buffy smirked. Look who had to do the quick cover up now. She stuck out her tongue.
Spike stuck his out and curled it, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Buffy stuck hers back in.
Ed wondered why he even bothered trying to run this meeting. He decided to give it one last go, then pray Spike's lawyer was a reasonable sort of man.
"Both of you have some serious issues to work through. I understand that Spike is most sensitive about your relationship with this Riley fellow. Ms. Summers, I suggest you reconsider your position on that. Spike, despite your objections to a divorce, I will be able to help Ms. Summers obtain one. I suggest that you become more accommodating and make this easier. The more difficult this is, the more unpleasant it will be for all parties concerned. With that said, I feel we've accomplished a great deal this meeting and look forward to speaking with your lawyer, Spike. Good day."
The two left. Finally. The succubus case was walk in the park in comparison. Ed reached into his filing cabinet, pulled out the bourbon, and chugged down a good portion. He needed it.
Buffy and Spike marched down an alley, heading to a sewer opening.
"Why are you following me? You don't have to take the sun-free express."
"I'm mad at you."
"Then you should be heading in the other direction."
"I can't yell at you if I do that."
"You're loud enough, you could."
"Why do you have to make this so difficult?"
"I came, didn't I?"
"You sat down and made that meeting as hard as possible. Would it kill you to be just a little polite?"
"I'm already dead, luv."
"You know what I meant."
"Speaking of that, would it kill YOU to stop seeing Soldier Boy?"
"Once again, not your problem."
"Once again, we're married, of course my problem."
"Here you go again with the 'mine' thing."
Spike stopped walking and faced her. "Until you manage to get your sodding paperwork through, You. Are. Mine. You may be in denial, it may have just been Red's spell, but I am NOT going to let you forget that. We got married. Deal."
"I am dealing. You're the one with issues. We're mortal enemies, Spike. Nothing else."
"Still makes you mine. Actually, the mortal enemies thing makes you mine before the wedding."
"What is it with you and being all possessive?!"
"Vampire here. It's what we do."
"Don't remind me. It would be soo easy just to shove a stake right through your heart."
"Then why don't you, Slayer? Why don't you finish me off? You know you want to."
"Wanting is different from doing, Spike. And I can't kill you. You're helpless, defenseless, unable to fight back."
"That's why?" Spike started laughing. "So that's your excuse."
"What? It's true."
"It's lame. C'mon, Slayer, I've seen you work. You'll off a vampire when he's down. Only you haven't done that to me. Wonder why that is?"
"I already told you."
"You know, I don't think that's why. I think - "
"You think what? That the reason I haven't staked you is because I have some deep hidden burning attraction to you? Get over yourself."
"Denial's not just a river in Egypt."
"Repeat after me. Get. Over. Yourself."
"Repeat after me. You. Want. Me."
Buffy looked at him incredulously. "The only delusional one here is you, Spike."
Spike cocked his head to the side. "Care to test that?"
"Care to test that?" Spike repeated. "Are you ready to prove that you are not in any way, shape, or form attracted to me?"
A challenge. No way could she back down. Buffy looked him in the eye. "Of course."
Spike moved quickly before she could change her mind. He swooped in and kissed her. Hard. On the lips.
Logically, Buffy shouldn't have been too surprised. How else was he going to prove she was attracted to him? But she still gasped in shock (or invitation) and the kiss deepened as he slid his tongue in.
After a few moments, Buffy started to return it with full force. She pushed back against him eagerly, hands sliding up to caress his back and pull his head closer. He responded by grabbing her by the waist and dragging her against his body.
Mmm. Dimly, Buffy realized that this wasn't supposed to happen this way. That she was supposed to put up at least a token resistance. She tried to pull away and break off the kiss. Spike merely tightened his grip and started stroking the small of her back. Buffy stopped even pretending to resist.
Her only thought was to maximize contact and keep kissing Spike. She stood up on her toes, her body sliding along his. Huh. Guess all she did have to do was ask to see him up. Spike's hands slid down to clasp her buttocks and bring her closer. Their movements were growing increasingly heated and needy, reminiscent of that long ago spell. Only this time there was no excuse.
No excuse. Kissing Spike. Kissing a VAMPIRE!
Buffy's conscience kicked in. She pulled herself away, almost tripping as she escaped Spike's embrace. He just stood there, arms open to take her back in them, a hungry look on his face as he gasped for unnecessary air.
Buffy knew she looked no different. Her skin felt hot and tight and sensitive and her lips felt swollen and every inch of her body just wanted to give in and go back into his arms.
"Buffy - "
He never called her Buffy. And he never used that voice, either. It was tender and desperate and -
"Don't," Buffy pleaded, "just don't."
She turned tail and ran. Spike watched her go. What was going on between them? He was a vampire. Teasing and taunting the Slayer was acceptable, but why did he feel this way? Why?
Buffy ran through the streets back to her dorm, confused. Riley was supposed to be the new guy in her life. Spike was supposed to be an inconvenience. Then why had she just kissed Spike with more intensity than she'd ever contemplated kissing Riley? Why?