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Previous Chapter: Chapter 10
Next Chapter: Epilogue

They held hands as they walked towards the demon side of town.

“You want to go get a drink after we’re done meeting Clem? Promised I’d show you my part of the night life.” “Sure, let’s do it.”

Clem’s whole family had insisted on coming out to thank Spike AND Buffy. Some were visibly scared, but she seemed to have won them all over by the end. When they finally managed to tear themselves away from offers of dinner and homemade tea cozies, Spike directed her to Willy’s.

“This is Willy’s. I’ve been here before,” she whined.

“Never just to relax, I’m guessin’ though.” She didn’t answer, but her pout was one of surrender. He took advantage of her white flag to lean down and kiss her, grabbing her lip. She couldn’t hold back a giggle—who knew kissing could be so fun?

“Okaaay, let’s do this,” she said with a smile as she pulled away.

Spike slung his arm heavily across her shoulder, holding her far hand. She smiled at the gesture. A little cave man, she thought, with the possessiveness, but it seemed fitting in a place like this.

“She’s with me,” he barked at Willy.

As he led her to a table in the back, he tossed over his shoulder, “Bring me a bottle of Jack and something fruity.” “Something fruity?” She questioned as he pulled out her chair for her.

“Didn’t think it was smart to start you on straight Jack, pet,” he replied, an amused twinkle in his eyes.

“And why not? Anything you’re drinking I can drink!” she objected with Slayer determination.

To prove her point, she snatched the bottle out of Willy’s hand as he approached the table and took a large swig.

He couldn’t hold back a laugh at her adorable “bleurgh” noise and full-body shake.

“Want to try that fruity drink now?” She snatched it off the table and sipped it through the straw, glaring at him the whole while.

“You’re a right picture when you’re brassed off, you know that, pet?” “What does that even mean?” She grumbled.

“It means,” he said, moving to stand beside her with his hand on her cheek, “That you look beautiful when you’re angry. You’re like an Amazon. Like nothin’ I’ve ever seen.” She blushed and ducked her head, retreating into sipping her drink.

“So are we just here to drink?” she asked, not looking up.

He sighed, but allowed the change of subject. Someday he’d make her understand just how incredible she was.

“You know how to play poker, love?” “Nope,” she said, popping the ‘p’.

“Well, you’ll be my good luck charm and I’ll show you how to play, howssat sound?” “Wait, now?” She asked, eyes widening with sudden anxiety.

“Well, yeh. C’mon, bring your drink and follow me.” He reached down and grabbed her hand before leading her through the back to where a group of demons sat around a table. He introduced them all in turn, but the only one she was able to pronounce was Clem.

While Spike was grabbing the only other chair in the room, the group started placing their antes. She grabbed his arm as he went to pass and hissed at him.

“You play for KITTENS?!” “Relax, pet, I trade ‘em in for cash with Willy. Not hurtin’ the lil’ fluffies.” Her eyes stayed wide, but she didn’t question him further. She’d asked for this, after all.

She stood there awkwardly for a minute, not sure what he planned for seating arrangments. Her question was answered when he sat and pulled her into his lap where she could see his cards. His whispered explanations in her ear as he played had her fighting back shivers. Sitting so close to him, feeling him holding her, was so nice. She didn’t think she’d ever get used to it.

Clem fronted him a kitten to get started, and he won the first hand.

“Congratulations, baby!” she said sweetly, playing the roll of overly-attached girlfriend well. Spike laughed at her antics, but pulled her closer as she kissed his cheek. They both ignored the grumbling of the other demons at their display.

The kitten Clem had given him quickly attached itself to Buffy once they collected the group from the ante basket. What time of the game she didn’t spend trying to help Spike, she was cooing over the little tan-and-brown ball of fluff in her lap.

When, several games later, he noticed her hiding her yawns with the kitten’s fur, he decided it was time to get her home.

“Sleepy, pet?”

She pouted up at him. “Yes, but I shouldn’t be.” “It’s the drink, pet. You’re not used to it. Those fruity drinks might be girly, but they’re usually strong too. Why don’t we head on home?” “Yeeeeah,” she said sadly, staring down at the kitten.

“Do you want to keep the mongrel?” “He’s not a mongrel!” She objected, but her expression changed again in a heartbeat.

She peered up at him from under her eyelashes. “Can I?” He stood to leave. “We’re done for the night, mates. Clem, would you cash out what’s on the table for me? Gotta get my girl and her kitten home.” Clem nodded, but Buffy pulled on Spike’s coat to stop him midway out the door.

“I can’t just take a kitten, Spike. They aren’t allowed in the dorms and I’m not at mom’s enough to have a pet there.” She sounded so resigned it broke his heart.

“We’ll keep him at my place, then. You got a name for him?” Instead of answering, she jumped him with a hug, careful not to squish the baby between them.

“Thank you, Spike. You’re the best!” She kissed him, then dragged him out of the bar by the hand. “We have to get him home! Oh, you’re gonna love it there, aren’t you?” As she talked to the kitten, she didn’t notice a break in the sidewalk. Spike caught her when she stumbled and chuckled.

“Someone’s a little tipsy, pet.” “I’m fiiiiine,” she said exaggeratedly, but any credibility was ruined when she swayed on her feet.

“Come on, hand over the moggy,” he said, holding his hand out for the kitten.

“The what?” she asked, tilting her head in confusion.

“The as-of-yet-unnamed pet of ours. Give him to me and I’ll give you a piggyback ride. Last thing we need is to explain how you fell and broke your neck.” “Okay!” She said brightly, practically shoving the kitten into his hands. He tucked it safe and sound in his pocket and held his hands out for her to jump on.

“Piggyback ride!” she squealed.

“Not tipsy my arse. Wait ‘til you remember this in the morning,” he laughed.

She spent most of the walk to his place petting his hair and burying her face in the curls. He let her down as they approached the stairs, and proceeded to pull her inside to the bedroom.

He set the kitten down on the bed, and it promptly curled up by Buffy’s feet. He quickly pulled off his shirt and jeans and slid into bed with her, pulling her close.

“Hey Spike,” She said drowsily, her eyes half closed.

“What, princess?”

“Are you happy? I mean, for real?” His forehead wrinkled in confusion. “Of course I am, love. What brought this on?” She sighed heavily.

“Just have the sads, I guess. I don’t want to be second best to you, ever. But how can I not be?” “Buffy, love, I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again—what I had with Dru was nothing compared to what I have with you. There is nothing and no one in any universe that could make me give this up.” “Okay…” She said, nodding through tears that had suddenly flooded her eyes.

“Come here, Buffy,” he said, pulling her into his chest. “I’ll prove it to you.” Her response was muffled by his chest. “How?” “Never wrote anything for Dru before. Any verses she inspired were shite, so I never bothered. Do you know how much I’ve written for you since you came into my life? Buffy you turned everything in my world upside down in the best way. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.” “You’ve written for me?” she asked.

In lieu of answering, he instead began to recite.

“Through bright days a demon suffered, Pining away, in violence where he lived But lo!

An angel did he spy,

Golden goddess so bright She outshone the sun.

Unworthy demon she did persue, And gave him life he’d never known.

Together, goddess and demon made whole, Brought together by powers who Took pity on their dreary lives And granted a boon on these unburied hearts” When he looked down, she’d fallen asleep on his chest. He kept her held close to him, relishing in her warmth. When he stayed in Sunnydale looking for the slayer, he never once imagined that he’d find himself in a relationship again and falling in love with her. As he finally crossed over into sleep, he thanked the Powers for her, and for the fact that, somehow, she was his.

No, it wasn’t what he expected. But it was everything he never knew he needed, and he couldn’t be more grateful.

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Table of Contents
Previous Chapter: Chapter 10
Next Chapter: Epilogue

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