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Previous Chapter: Chapter 5
Next Chapter: Chapter 7

Buffy was relieved when the black car pulled in front of Revello. He was here, she was here, and nothing had gotten in the way of their rescheduled date. She quickly made her way out to him, not even giving him time to cut the engine before she was in the car with the door closed.

“Thank you so much for not hating me for bailing Wednesday.” Buffy said sincerely.

“Nah, pet, my night turned out to be pretty hectic as well.  All’s matters is we’re here now, yeh?” “Yeah, we are,” she replied softly, touching his arm. “So, you mentioned the beach?” “That I did.  The place we’re going isn’t far, but it’s a private beach that the owners rent out.” “Oh wow, that sounds incredible.” She tightened her grip on his arm as they drove.  Was this real life? Dinner (she assumed) at sunset on the beach—it sounded more like a fairytale than her actual life.

“Just wait,” he said with a grin, leaning his shoulder into hers a little.  “How’s your friend doing, by the way?” “Huh?”

“Willow, you said she’d gotten into it with her boy.”

“Oh, yeah. Oz went through some pretty traumatic… family stuff, I guess you would say, and decided he’s going to go away for a while.  Some sort of Buddhist retreat in Nepal or Tibet or something.” “How’s Red doin’? She and the boy seemed pretty inseparable.”

“She’s alright, staying at Xander’s tonight.  She’s really hurt right now, but I’m hoping her funk won’t last too long. Oz was great, but there’s a whole campus full of people for her to meet.” Spike pulled onto a gravel pathway winding up and over a hill.

“Don’ think the odds of finding someone worth keeping at UC Sunnydale are spectacular.” His smirk was hot as hell, distracting her from realizing the implications of his words right away. “Well, I met you ther- wait, should I be offended?” Spike chuckled, putting the car in park and turning to look at her.  “Not at all, Buffy. I think you might be the one bloody exception in that whole school.  No one else like you, pet.” Buffy blushed again while Spike came around the car to open the door and helped her out of it.  He’d not noticed her coming out of the house, so this was the first he’d gotten to see the full effect of her outfit.

The dress was fairly short, plain red with spaghetti straps.  Her hair was down but clipped to one side, and she wore red pumps to complete the look.

When she looked, saw a look of complete awe on his face.

“Buffy, love, you look ravishing.”

She blushed, giving the black trousers and black silk shirt he wore under his usual duster an appreciative once-over. “Thanks, you always look amazing.” “Might wish you hadn’t worn the heels though, they can be pretty dangerous in the sand.” She smiled up at him and replied confidently, “You were the one who kept the plans a secret!” She stuck her tongue out at him playfully. “Besides, that’s all part of the fairy tale- post-dinner walk on the beach, me carrying my shoes with one hand and the other holding your arm.” “Well, far be it for me to ruin it then.  C’mon.”  He took her hand and walked along the grass at the edge of the beach until they came upon a concrete platform decorated with a small table and lots of rose petals and candles.  A boom box in the corner was playing soft piano music, and a cart sat beside the table, laden with covered dishes.

Buffy turned to Spike in awe. “Oh my god, Spike, this is incredible. You didn’t have to go through all this work.” “You’re my girl, an’ my girl deserves the best.”

She gave him a pleased smile, her heart swelling in her chest, but didn’t respond.

“What’s that look for, love?”

His head was tilted in questioning, and it set off another wave of butterflies in her stomach.  Shyly, she replied, “I like the sound of that. I’ve never been anyone’s girl before.” Spike pulled her chair out for her, leaning down to kiss her hair before he walked over to his seat.  He then reached over to the dining cart that sat beside the table and brought one of the covered dishes onto the table, opening it with a flourish.

“Blooming onion?” Buffy questioned, but her lips were quirked up into a small smile.

“Starting off with one of my personal favorites.” He pulled a petal off, reaching across to feed it to her. Her expression turned to one of rapture and her eyes rolled back as she moaned. It was all he could do to keep his mind from wondering if she looked like that when she came.

“God, that’s incredible! Where is this from?”

“The Bronze, actually.” He fidgeted a little as he tried to adjust himself.

“Huh. I can’t believe I’ve lived here for years and never tried it before.”

Spike did the sexy smirk thing again. “Lucky for you you’ve got me to show you what you’re missing.” “So damn lucky.” Her smile widened at the warmth that bloomed in his eyes at that. She grabbed a petal and returned the favor, feeding it to him.

They went on that way for a few more minutes, feeding each other wordlessly, enjoying the time together. That came to an end when Buffy went as if to feed him a piece, but quickly snatched it away and put it half in her mouth.

Spike’s eyes lit up. Two could play at that game.  He leaned forward, grabbing the half hanging outside her mouth with his teeth.  His lips brushed hers and fire shot through his veins. He could hear her heartbeat speed up and it made him feel incredible.

In all his life he’d never imagined he could fall for someone so beautiful on the inside. His love life had been a tragedy before he gave up on it, and suddenly it had done a complete 180.

He pulled away before they could get too worked up, though- after all, they still had all night.

“Wanna move on to the main course?”

Buffy just stared at him for a minute, head still spinning from the kiss. When she finally spoke, her eloquent mind decided to go with, “More is good.” More food. More kisses. More Spike.

He chuckled as he placed her dish in front of her first, then grabbed his own.  She lifted the lid to see the yummiest steak she’d ever seen.  There was a pile of… something… next to it.

At her questioning gaze he supplied, “Filet mignon with truffles and polenta. Try them together, pet, it’s incredible.” He looked at his own plate, cutting a piece of his very rare steak and grabbing a dollop of polenta to go with it. When he looked up Buffy’s eyes were wide, her fork stopped in the air halfway down from her mouth.

“Oh my GOD,” she groaned. “How have I ever lived without eating this? It’s incredible!” Spike’s smile was just a little smug. “Did well, then, did I?”

“So, so, well. God can you just order my food for me forever? This is too good.” Spike just chuckled. It was probably a little soon to bring up how forever sounded like exactly what he wanted.  So, instead, he dug into his food.

When they were both about halfway done with their food, Buffy broke the silence.

“Tell me more about yourself?”  she asked with a hopeful smile.

“What d’you want to know, love?” he asked.  Buffy noticed that his smile had tightened somewhat with her request.

“I want to know more about your childhood.  I want to know everything about you, honestly.” Spike took a moment, seemingly debating if he wanted to tell her.  “When I was younger, I was a right ponce.  Grew up in a wealthy family, pampered by the staff and my parents- even more so when it was just me and Mum. Spent all my time writing bad poetry and avoiding conflict.  I let everyone walk all over me.” Buffy reached out and took his hand, squeezing gently. “Sometimes it just takes people longer to grow into themselves.  You’re certainly not the nonconfrontational type now.”  She laughed.

“What do you mean?” The curious head tilt was back, and Buffy’s heart jumped again.

“Aside from you mentioning that you fight too, it’s just something in your demeanor.  You’re confident.  You walk in a room and demand attention because you deserve it. You make it hard for people to underestimate you.”  She paused for a moment.  “Underneath all my confidence I’m still just a scared little girl.  It’s hard for me to admit sometimes.  Harder still to show it.” “Seem to be doing jus’ fine to me, pet.” He reached across and took her hand.

Buffy laughed humorlessly. “Just with you.  With my friends, my family- I can’t be scared or have no idea what the hell I’m doing.  I’m the s-, I’m the leader, I have to be strong or everyone worries about me.” “Being strong doesn’t mean not being afraid.  The fact that you’re scared and still manage to hold it together for the people who need you- that’s strength.” “Thanks,” Buffy smiled softly at him. She waited a moment before speaking again, as if weighing her words. “I feel like I can be myself with you.  Like the mask I wear for everyone else can come off and you’re not going to judge me or not believe in me or whatever.” Spike nodded and squeezed her hand. “It’s good to be able to let go around someone.” “I suppose you have had that before, haven’t you?”  Buffy’s face was sad. It took him a minute to realize she was comparing herself to the ex that broke his heart before.

“I really haven’t.”

“But your ex-”

Spike sighed heavily and cut her off. “Dru had expectations for me.  Everyone during that part of my life did. If I was weak, they’d take advantage of it.  She didn’t mean to, I don’t think, but she wanted what she wanted. So I tried to be that for her.” Buffy decided to shelve her questions about what vindictive parents named their daughter ‘Drew” for another time, instead deciding to ask the question that was really weighing on her mind.

“Do you… do you feel like you can be yourself around me?”

Her heart was beating fast, and Spike could see the question for what it was.  She was giving him the power to make or break this. She’d already said how special this was to her, now she needed to know what it meant to him.

That was the question, though, wasn’t it?  Because his head- the part of him that had survived as a vampire for 120-odd years- was screaming at him not to drop his guard.  That there was no good reason for him to be reacting like this to a human girl.  Buffy, for all rights, shouldn’t be enough to sway him.  He’d seen the world, seen crazy things that she’d likely never even dream of.  But something about her made him feel fuller than he’d ever been.  She cared for him in a way he’d never experienced.  And somehow, she understood the feeling of never being able to relax.

His acceptance of her these last few days had meant something incredibly important to her.  And if he was being honest- truly honest, speaking from his heart- her acceptance of him was the same.  She’d chipped away at his walls a little at a time with her kindness, revealing things he’d kept hidden since he was human.  He’d been honest with her about his life as a human even though he still told the rest of the demon world he’d grown up a thieving ruffian on the streets of London. He’d let her in on his love of poetry, also something he’d kept buried down since his days as a human.

He’d thought that his love of writing was part of what made him weak, part of what Drusilla had saved him from.  But with Buffy he was able to draw strength from it. She wasn’t Cecily, looking down on him and berating him for his lousy writing.  No, Buffy was impressed with his academic pursuits. He’d always been love’s bitch- had tried to be the romantic he was at heart with Drusilla, but all she wanted was torture and bloodshed.  She wanted him to be her daddy, not himself. He’d tried, but it was never enough.

He realized he’d been quiet for far too long when Buffy’s chair began to move and he felt her hand pulling away.  He looked up and saw tears welling in her eyes- she was going to run.  “What do you think all this is, love?” He gestured to the table. “This is me letting out a part of myself I haven’t felt comfortable showing since before Dru came into my life. I’d convinced myself that the people who made fun of me were right and there was something wrong with being a hopeless romantic. I don’t tell people about my poetry, or my real family, or go through any kind of effort that might give away that I care.  I don’t trust people not to use it against me.  But, god help me, I trust you, Buffy.” A couple of tears had leaked out of Buffy’s eyes and onto her cheeks at that sentiment.  She smiled at him with watery eyes. “I trust you too, Spike.” She chewed on her tongue for a moment, debating on taking the risk of saying what she wanted to.  She took a deep breath and continued, eyes holding fast on his, “I trust you, William.” He heard her heartrate ratchet up again with her second statement and knew she was worried about using the name he’d professed not to like. He let his lips quirk up a little.  “Guess that name’s not so bad if it’s coming from the right lips.”  In fact, it had made him feel like his heart might actually beat again.

Her answering smile was breathtaking. “Can we take that walk along the beach now?” Spike stood, walking quickly to pull her chair out for you.  “It would be my pleasure to take a turn with you.” His accent had shifted to something slightly more upper-class and Buffy giggled girlishly.

“Hang on,” she requested as they got to the edge of the platform.  She stepped out of her shoes and picked them up to carry in her left hand, wrapping her right around the arm of her companion.

“Ready, pet?” He smiled down at her genuinely.

“Let’s go.”

They walked in silence for a while, both sneaking glances at each other as they gazed out at the ocean beside them.  By the time they stopped they were out of sight of the table and the sun was about to sink below the horizon.

Spike stopped and tugged on her hand to pull her closer, leaning in. Their kisses were soft and languid, taking their time exploring each other’s mouths.  Her hands wrapped around him, memorizing the feeling of his back, sinking into his hair. Her shoes lay discarded in the sand at their feet. He pulled her closer, hands also mapping her body.  The heat of the kiss wasn’t burning out of control; it was a red-hot ember, glowing soft and steadily just beneath the surface.

When they finally broke away Buffy wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and held herself to him, face tucked into his neck.  “I feel so safe, wrapped up in your arms,” she whispered.

He pressed a kiss into her hair. “I feel safe here too.  Could stay here forever.” Buffy pulled back slightly, fiddling with his hair and looking into his eyes.  “I’ve never felt like this before.” “Never,” Spike agreed softly.

After a few more minutes just looking at each other, completely content, Buffy pulled back further. “Let’s go walk along the tide.  Take your shoes off.” He almost said no.  Almost.  But the excitement on her face as she looked out over the waves was too bloody much, and he couldn’t bear the disappointment he would face if he refused.  So instead he sank fluidly to the ground and began untying his Docs.

He looked up as he finished and saw that Buffy had walked a little ways away and was almost to the water already.  She was radiant, dress and hair fluttering in the slight sea breeze.

“You look incredible in the moonlight.” He took his time walking to her since she’d stopped at the waterline, waves kissing her feet every few moments.

She turned and kissed him before responding. “So do you.”

She reached down and grabbed his hand, walking a little further into the water.  She swung their hands between them, a brilliant smile gracing her face.  Spike knew he was probably grinning like a fool as well.

“This is the best night of my life,” she said softly.

Suddenly he stopped behind her, a decision snapping into place in his head. He tugged on her hand and she turned to look at him.  “Come home with me tonight?” “What?”

His voice was earnest, and his eyes anxious. “This has been the best night of my life too.  I don’t want it to end.  We don’t have to do anything if you don’t want, but I would give anything to be able to spend the night with you tonight.” Buffy smiled again, walking up and wrapping her arms around his neck again.  Her lips found his ear and she whispered softly, “I do want.” Her teeth tugged on his earlobe, and Spike held back a groan.  “D’you mind if we start heading for the car, then? Jus’ having to make the walk back is already going to kill me.” Buffy blushed, smiling shyly and staring at the sand. “Let’s go then.”

They walked back the opposite direction, much more quickly than they had come. They snagged their shoes as they passed them, and the interruption roused Spike from his thoughts (fantasies, really) enough to notice the goosebumps on her arm.

“Buffy, love, you cold?”

“I’m alright.” She was lying through her teeth, he’d be able to tell even if he couldn’t hear her heartbeat.  He shrugged off his duster and held it out for her to put her arms through.

“Thanks.” She leaned up and kissed him on the cheek.  As they walked, she breathed in his scent and felt a flash of anticipation.

Finally, they reached the car and Buffy giggled when they made a quick U-turn and sped off down the dirt road.  “Someone’s impatient,” she teased.

“Have you never looked in a mirror, you silly chit? Of course, I’m impatient.” “Just dying to get me back to your place and have your wicked way with me?” Her voice was teasing, but seductive all the same.

This time he couldn’t hold back another groan. “You’re killing me Summers.  Luckily we’re not too far.” Sure enough, a couple of minutes later he turned into the lot of a small apartment building.  Buffy, for all her teasing, was out of the car before him, coming around and dragging him out by the hand.

“This way,” he directed her.  They walked down a small set of steps to his apartment door, which he unlocked and pushed open for her.

She looked around as he walked over to the table lamp and turned on the light.

Suddenly it was all real, and her heart sped up yet again in anticipation. “Before we get too involved, can I use your bathroom?” “Sure thing, pet. It’s right there, and the other door inside it opens into the bedroom.  I’ll wait there for you?” She kissed him deeply for a moment. “I’ll hurry.”

He sat back on the bed, trying to calm his nerves. It wasn’t like he’d never done this before, there was no reason to be acting like such a ponce. Except that there was, because he’d never done THIS before, with Buffy, the girl who was stealing his heart faster than he ever imagined possible.  Sex had never meant this much before.

Inside the bathroom Buffy was failing at calming her anxiety as well. She’d never done this before.  She knew she’d have to tell him, even though she was scared. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she had a flash of inspiration and decided to act on it before she could talk herself out of it.

When she stepped out into the room her hair was free and she was still wearing his duster, holding it closed with one hand.  He stood up off the bed as she approached. After a soft kiss she spoke up. “I have to be honest with you- I’ve never done this before.” It took Spike a second to realize what she meant. “Never?”

She looked away awkwardly. “Never had a boyfriend before and I wasn’t about to act like a ho and give it away.” He tucked a finger under her chin and pulled her to look at him. “It’s just hard to believe, love, when you’re this beautiful.  I’m honored that I’m the one you chose to share this with.” “It could’ve never been anyone else, Spike. I was honest when I said I’ve never felt anything like this before.” “So was I,” he responded softly.  Then he kissed her and one of her arms went around his neck while the other slipped under his tee shirt to feel the planes of his muscles without barrier. When he went to slip his hands under the duster to touch her, though, he wasn’t met with the fabric of her dress. “Buffy,” he was both startled and more aroused than he’d ever been before.

“Surprise?” She gave him a crooked smile.

“You’ll be the death of me, Buffy Summers.” And with that he crushed her to him, holding her tightly as his mouth plundered hers.  This kiss was like the one over dinner only more.

The heat between them was now blazing, burning out of control as she slipped her hands under his shirt and pulled it off. Just as quickly her hands found his buckle and fly and undid them both before shoving them down his hips. As he stepped out of them, she moved away slightly, taking him in while dropping the duster to the ground.

They were silent for a moment as they appreciated each other’s bodies.  Then the moment passed and they were pressed together again, no barriers between them. “God, Buffy, you’re so hot,” he groaned.

She kissed his neck hungrily, running her hands over his stomach and around to grab his ass. “And you’re so sexy. Can’t believe I get to do this with you.” Spike spun them around, pressing her onto the bed.  She scooted backwards quickly with a giggle, and he crawled over her on his hands and knees. He used his nose to nudge the necklace she still wore out of the way as he kissed his way down her chest.  He took a moment to give each nipple attention as her moans filled the air.

She pulled him back up impatiently, wrapping her legs around him and kissing him again, tongues battling- a battle to taste, to feel as much of each other as they could. When she could stand it no longer Buffy pulled away, keeping her forehead pressed against his as she looked into his eyes. “Now. Please.” He positioned himself at her entrance and began to push in, spurred along by her soft mew. She was tight and oh so hot, but he kept control and entered her slowly.

“Are you okay, love?” he asked when he was finally buried within her completely.

Buffy replied with a whimper and buck of her hips. “Move!”

He jumped at the permission, slowly withdrawing before pressing back in, picking up speed as her moans increased in volume.

She adjusted her position, lifting her hips and allowing him to drive deeper.  “Yes, oh GOD yes, right there, keep-” She trailed off as he moved harder within her, making sure to keep the angle up to hit the best places for her. Every stroke was rewarded with an involuntary squeeze of her internal muscles.

“So good… you feel like heaven, Buffy,” he panted out.

He felt himself rapidly reaching his breaking point, so he reached between them to press gently on her clit.  He allowed his thrusts to move his finger and within a few strokes she’d fallen over the edge.  Her orgasm squeezed him tightly and he spilt himself within her, unable to hold on any longer.

He pulled out of her, falling to lay beside her. After a moment of incoherent “mmm” noises she turned her head and opened her eyes to look at him.  “That was incredible, William Pratt.” He was afraid any response he made might have turned into tears, so instead he kissed her again.  She rolled on her side and wrapped her leg around him as he turned to lay on his back.

As they lay there together, skin against skin, both of them were lost in thoughts of how perfect this moment was.

It didn’t take long for them both to fall asleep, but Buffy woke first. She stretched, leaning onto him more. His eyes fluttered open and his stare was full of unguarded awe as he looked at her.

“Hey,” she whispered softly.

“Hey,” he responded.

They kissed gently for a moment, until Buffy’s stomach decided to interrupt them.  Spike chuckled and Buffy looked away, embarrassed.

“’Ve got some Uncrustables in the fridge if you want a snack? Then I’ll make you some real breakfast.” He was grateful he’d decided to be presumptuous and stock up on human food before their date.

Buffy kissed him, bouncing a little as she got off the bed.  “Thank you!” She grabbed his silk shirt from the floor and scurried into the kitchen.

She was only gone for a moment when she walked back into the room slightly more subdued.  She looked at him curiously, biting into the sandwich she’d unwrapped on the way.  “You have blood in your fridge.” Spike chuckled, playing it off with ease. “I like to make blood pancakes every once in a while.  Don’ worry, I plan on making you eggs and bacon and such.” “Oh, that sounds amazing! Do you mind if I grab a shower while you’re cooking? I’m pretty much the last person you want to set foot around food being made.” Spike laughed and got up off the bed, walking over and kissing her. “Absolutely. There are towels in there, and a couple shirts if you don’t want to wear your dress again right away.” He tucked his tongue behind his teeth and leered at her. “Plus, you look damn sexy in my clothes.” She flushed a little, but held his eyes as she spoke, “I personally think they look better on the floor.” He kissed her head as he stood. “Later, kitten. You need to eat.”

She paused in the doorway to the bathroom, leaning against the frame and watching appreciatively as he slid into a pair of jeans he’d pulled from a drawer.  He didn’t bother to fasten the button, she noticed with a grin.

“Hurry up and shower, pet, food won’t take very long,” he called as he walked towards the kitchen.

Buffy walked into the bathroom, kicking aside the clothes she’d left on the floor the night before and leaning into the tub to turn on the tap. As she waited for the water to heat, she studied herself in the mirror.

She didn’t look objectively different, that would be silly. But her smile and the happiness behind her eyes was new to her.  She’d had the weight of the world on her shoulders for so long she’d nearly forgotten what it felt like to just be happy.  She’d just had the most amazing night of her life with the most amazing man she’d ever met, and now he was making her breakfast while she showered. Buffy, the one who could never find a guy, somehow landed the perfect one. She giggled and hummed as she reached behind her and unhooked her necklace, setting it on the sink without thought.  She almost never took it off, really just when she showered at her mom’s house, but after last night it didn’t bother her that she felt safe enough to take it off here.

~

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Spike’s slayer-sense suddenly went haywire. He rushed to the door that opened into the complex, peeking his head out and looking around.

Colder.

When he didn’t see anything he came back in, moving towards the bedroom slowly.

Hotter.

He opened the door to the bathroom and his eyes immediately fell to the amulet sitting on the edge of the sink.

Fuck.

Buffy’s voice rang out from behind the shower curtain. “Spike?”

“Just making sure you’re alright in here, pet.” He was proud of himself for not letting the panic sink into his voice.

“I’m great, I should only be a couple more minutes.”

“I’ll go finish up your breakfast, then.” He closed the door gently and walked into the kitchen, plopping himself down heavily onto one of the chairs around the table.

Bloody hell. Buffy was the slayer. He just slept with the slayer.

It made sense—a hell of a lot of it, actually.  He should’ve seen it sooner.  The confidence she could turn on and off with a switch, the interest in fighting, the unnamed ‘responsibilities’ that kept her from focusing on anything else- it all fit.  Thinking back now, he realized that the amount of strength he’d used to hold her to him the night before would likely have killed a normal human.

And now he was going to have to tell the slayer what he was and hope not to get staked.

It was bad enough having to tell her when he’d thought she was just a normal human.  He might not have been able to imagine the sweet Buffy he’d come to know stomping on his heart like Cecily and Dru, but he could very easily see the slayer doing so. Duty first and all that rot.

He was trying not to panic, but it seemed to be a futile effort. He was going to have to tell her right away.  Not only to make his anxiety over it go away, but because he owed her honesty.

He stood and finished up frying the bacon before serving the food onto two plates, placing them at the table.  He heard the water turn off and after a few minutes Buffy appeared through the door.  She wore only one of his tee shirts and was drying her hair with a towel still.  She walked over and sat down at the table.

“Mm, this smells amazing,” she said with a warm smile.

“Thanks, love.”  He paused awkwardly for a moment, working up his courage.  She noticed his distress quickly.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” She reached across the table and caught his hand.

“I need to talk to you about something, sweetheart. You said you trusted me, right?” “Yeeaah…” she said slowly.  “You’re not going to tell me you’re married or something are you?” He let out a bark of laughter, but it was almost rueful. “No, not married. I… you saw the blood in my fridge earlier.” Buffy’s stomach dropped and her expression turned stricken. “Yeah. For blood pancakes.” “Not so much, actually.”

Buffy pulled away, standing up. “Why are you telling me this now? Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” He held up both his hands. “’M saying I‘m not snacking on the population, haven’t been for years.  I’d appreciate it if you’d hear me out.” She gulped, looking confused. “I’ve seen you out in the sun, though.” Her voice was soft, sounding much more like the lost little girl she’d earlier admitted to being.

He turned his hand to show the ring she’d mistaken for a wedding ring the day they met. “This little bauble is the gem of Amara.  It’s why I don’t set off your vamp sense, and why I can go out in the sun.  It essentially makes me invulnerable, but I’m tellin’ you now, I’ll take it off for you if you decide to take me out.” “I… and we… and you…” Her eyes widened again.  It would have been comical if this wasn’t a desperate situation. “Do you know I’m…?” “You’re Buffy Summers, and I’m falling for you- no deception in that, I swear.  But you’re also the slayer.” He looked into her eyes, willing her to see his honesty.

“Why now? Why tell me now?”

“Your little charm does its job well, kudos to Red.  I didn’t realize what you are before you took it off this morning. If you were just a human, no knowledge of the supernatural an’ all, I knew I’d need to break it to you gently. As soon as I realized I figured I had no excuse.” He took a deep breath and gestured at the chair. “Will you sit back down and we can talk?” She nodded slowly and sank back down. She eyed him wearily, so he took another breath and began to explain.

“I don’t hunt people. I haven’t in 17 or so years. The ex I’ve mentioned was my sire, and when she left, I fell apart. When I finally put myself back together, I decided I cared more about enjoying myself fighting than being ‘evil’.  So, I switched to bagged blood—the expired stuff from blood banks or sold by bars and such from people who get paid for it. Easier to lay low, especially because I like to stay in one place for a while.  Lets word get around the demon community and gives me more of a challenge.” “Word of what?”

“That I’m around, looking for a good fight.”

“You’re telling me you drink bagged blood and fight demons? And that you know I’m the slayer and you aren’t going to kill me?” Her eyebrows were raised in disbelief.

He ran his hand through his hair uncomfortably. “Um, yeh, that’d be about the gist.” Buffy was silent for a long moment, staring down at her eggs.  Spike’s stomach felt like it was going to twist into a billion knots. He braced himself for the rejection he knew was coming.  For her to ask him to take off his ring and stake him. When she finally spoke, it was the last thing he expected to hear.

“Patrol with me?”  She looked up at him hopefully.

“I’m sorry, what?”  Spike did a double take, looking stunned.

She giggled at the expression on his face. “You like fighting, I like fighting, lots of demons on the hellmouth.  Come patrol with me, we can make a date out of it.” “I thought for sure you’d stake me, or at least run away.”

Buffy’s mind had been racing since she first realized what he was trying to tell her. She knew very well that the amulet worked, so she couldn’t be mad at him for not speaking up sooner- after all, she could only imagine how she would’ve reacted if she had no idea about the things that go bump in the night.  He’d told her right away, he hadn’t hurt her- he was nothing like any vampire she’d ever met before. She didn’t want to be the type of person to push him away just because of what he was, especially when he was going against the very nature of his demon.

As soon as she’d decided not to run, reality started to sink in.  She pictured their life together, and it was everything she’d never dared to wish for.  She reached back across to take his hand again.

“Why would I? The perfect guy just got even perfect-er. I don’t have to hide from you.  God, I was so worried about whether or not to keep it from you anymore, I’m so relieved the decision was taken out of my hands.” Spike could hardly believe his ears.  He didn’t trust it, so he pushed. “I don’t think your watcher will approve, love, and those friends of yours know too, don’t they?” Buffy huffed out a sigh, but answered him. “I don’t want to be Anne Elliot.  Our first date we talked about not being happy without making our own choices.  I want to be happy.  This thing we have is incredible, and it means the world to me. So, I’m choosing you.  If they don’t like it, they can just get over it.  Besides, if you’re willing to work with me they don’t have a leg to stand on.  I’ll be safer with super powered backup.” “Sounds about right.  They won’t trust me, though.”

“Well I do.  You’ve been invulnerable and a vampire this whole time, right? And you’ve been nothing but charming to all of my friends and my mom.  You’ve got an invite to my house.

“We slept together last night, and your face was by my neck, like. A lot.  If you were going to kill me you could’ve done it a million times over.  You never even had to tell me what you are and that you know I’m the slayer.” “Got a point there, I suppose.” He smiled at her tentatively, “Got any idea when you want to do this patrol date?” “We could go tonight, if you want?”

“Sounds perfect. Do you have plans for the day already? You could stay here.” “I can definitely think of some fun things we could do….” She said suggestively, climbing up into his lap and kissing him to distraction, breakfast all but forgotten.


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