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Spike stood near the edge of the dance floor, tapping his fingers against his leg in time to the music as he watched the humans dance. It was a retro club, playing the kind of music from when he’d first met Buffy. Not the best music ever, mind, but not the worst either, and the memories…. He smiled. The memories made it all good.

A dark-haired little chippy bopped over towards him. Her tight outfit was a little too orange for her complexion, but her makeup was spot-on. Girls these days, they paid more attention to cut and cloth than to color. Didn’t do them any favors.

“Hey there, hot stuff,” she said with a saucy grin as a slow song started up. “Wanna dance?”

“Sorry, love, here with someone else.”

He glanced back towards the washrooms. What the bloody hell did women do in the loo that took so sodding long? It couldn’t just be the makeup. He’d been able to do Dru’s – not to mention his own, and without the benefit of a reflection – in under five minutes once he’d gotten the knack for it. Maybe was the reflection itself that made it take so long? Pretty girl like his Slayer had to be spending some time just admiring herself.

The girl snorted and sidled closer to him, pouting as he took a step away from her. “I’m sure she won’t mind. Pretty thing like you, I’m sure she expects you to get a few invitations.”

“Not. Interested.”

A slow song started, and the girl tried to cozy up to him again. She didn’t realize how lucky she was. If not for Buffy…. If not for the soul…. She was the kind of girl he would have seduced so he could eat her, and not in the way she was no doubt hoping for.

“Come on, dance with me,” she demanded.

“What, are you deaf, are just stupid?” Spike snapped, losing all patience. “Told you I was here with someone else. Now, shove off.”

“You mean that wrinkled old granny? Jeez, I thought that was like your mom or grandma or something.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust, and he couldn’t help the flinch at her words. All this time, and any reminder of what had happened with his mum still hurt. “Come on, you can do a lot better than some dried up cougar.”

That bloody bitch! Buffy may have aged over the years, but she was more beautiful than this shallow little brat had any hope of ever being. “That ‘wrinkled old granny’ has more personality, grace, and beauty in the tip of her little finger than you’ve in your entire body.” He growled as he took a predatory step towards the girl, backing her away. “Now. Sod. Off. You skanky little cunt.”

“You heard the man,” Buffy said from behind him. Her hand rested on his shoulder and all was suddenly right with his world. “Sod off.”

He turned towards her, the pushy bint completely forgotten. “Hello, cutie,” he murmured huskily, gazing into Buffy’s eyes.

He wrapped his arms around her and drew her into a slow dance. Still his shining, golden girl, despite the silver hair and the lines left on her face by a lifetime of laughter and pain. Her spirit shone through, and even if she’d been a dried-up old biddy with a hunched back and warty face, she’d have still been beautiful to him.

“Happy birthday, love.”

Eighty-three-years-old today, she was, and most of those years spent with his unworthy self. He tilted his head down to kiss her, knowing without a doubt that he was the luckiest man in the world.


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