Buffy woke up slowly, yawning and stretching a little, only to find that something was hindering the movement of her legs. She blinked a little, and looked at her surroundings. Giles’ house. Living room. Couch. Spike. Spike? Sure enough, it was Spike that her legs were tangled in. Or, rather, his legs. She sat up slightly, smiling at him. The vampire’s hair was tousled and curly, probably from nuzzling the couch pillow all night. It was kind of cute, really… WHAT was she thinking?! Cute and Spike do not go together. Right?
Spike moved around a little, snuggling down against the couch pillows again. She couldn’t help the mental ‘awwww’ that went through her. He looked like a little boy, not wanting to get up for school. Still, if she wanted the use of her legs, she’d have to wake him up. Even if she didn’t want to. She tapped one of his legs gently. “Spike? Hey, wake up. I have to pee. Spike?”
The vampire made a totally nonsensical noise and tried to stick his head between the couch cushions. “Mgnt.”
She couldn’t help but giggle a little. He was harder to wake up than Dawn. “Spike.” Poked at his leg again. “Wake up. I’m serious. I don’t want to knock you off the couch, but I have to pee, and if you don’t move, you’re coming with me.”
“..sleepin’. Go ‘way.”
She sighed, and considered her predicament. Her coke was calling her to the bathroom, but she was tangled in a vampire. Who was.. She smiled when she realized that he was still purring. It was a lot quieter than before, but there. That did it. She couldn’t very well throw him off the couch, not after he’d purred to her all night. She laid her head back down and tried to figure out a way to wake him up without knocking him off the couch, or really bugging him at all. If he wanted to go back to sleep, she wanted to let him. Then, an idea. Remembering the previous night, she sat up slightly, and squeezed experimentally at one of his jean clad knees. The response was instantaneous. Spike made a snorting sound and jerked his legs, both of them, up to his chest for an instant. That was all she needed. With her Slayer speed, she was off the couch and down the hall to the bathroom before he’d even straightened his legs back out. Whew. Coke is evil like that. Interrupt a perfectly good moment, just to go pee. Evil Coca-cola.
After a few minutes, Buffy returned to the living room carrying a blanket from the hall closet, and laid the blanket over Spike, who was now totally back asleep. She stood there for a moment, watching him sleep. She looked at his hair, considered. It almost didn’t look like it was mussed. Could it be that it was naturally curly? Was that why he kept it slicked back all the time? Looks soft… She reached a hand out and gently ran it over his curls. It is soft, she thought to herself. After all he does to it, I wonder how he gets it to stay soft? It was a mystery, just like the rest of him. She continued petting his hair for a couple more moments, allowing it to curl around her fingers. Sighed. He wasn’t that bad, really. Not when he wasn’t trying to be. She wondered why she hadn’t seen it before.
Oh well. She stopped petting the vampire and walked over to relax in Giles’ recliner. She took the blanket that was over the back and laid it over herself, getting comfortable. Yawned. Absently wondered when her Watcher had gotten home the night before, then slowly dozed off.
In another couple of hours, Giles came downstairs. He was still mostly asleep, so he didn’t even look into the living room as he went into the kitchen to start the coffee pot. Finally, after allowing only one cup to drip, the Watcher grew impatient and poured the cup quickly, actually managing to get the pot back onto the burner before any coffee dripped onto it. He sighed. There was a time, not too long ago, when he’d thought of coffee as a ‘strange American custom’. Now, he could barely start a day without it. Damn teenagers. It was all their fault, he knew it. It had to be their fault… Took a sip, swallowed. Oh, who was he kidding? As if there wasn’t caffeine in tea.
He walked out of the kitchen, intending to get his morning paper and sit down in his recliner, and just- Ok. Buffy was in the recliner. Well. No problem. He’d just go over to the cou- And Spike is on the couch. Giles sighed and went to the dining table instead. But there were two chairs missing from that as well. Well. Still two chairs left. He sat down and opened his paper. Not as comfortable as the recliner, or the couch, but it would do.
Hearing the paper rustling woke up the Slayer in the recliner. She shifted slightly, and then stretched and got up. She glanced at the couch, and gave a half smile to see that Spike was still asleep. Then she turned to the dining room, and nearly squeaked when she saw Giles looking at her over his paper. Recovered quickly, though. “Hey, Mr. Watcher Man. When’d you get home?” She picked up one of the chairs from the living room and put it back in the dining room, then sat on it.
Giles folded the paper and regarded his Slayer with interest. “Oh.. Around midnight. When did you untie Spike?”
She gave him a blank look. Then the events of the previous night flashed into her mind. Uh-oh. “Uh.. He.. Uh.. said that his wrists were bothering him, so I untied him to check, and then we.. watched.. Terminator 2..” Her voice had gotten progressively quieter as she continued, and by the time she got to the word ‘two’, it was barely a whisper. She looked up at him with big eyes. “Are you mad at me?”
Giles sighed. No. Of course he wasn’t mad. How could he be when she was giving him the ‘Little Lost Girl’ face? “No, Buffy. I’m not mad at you.” Picked up his paper again. “So. I take it he was agreeable to remaining in the house, then?”
Buffy nodded. She couldn’t tell Giles too much. She couldn’t figure out exactly what had come over her the last night. Playing with a vampire. She must have had something weird to eat or something. But that wouldn’t explain why she’d still been feeling the same way that morning. And still did. Absolutely none of her previous apathy for the vampire was in her system. She felt like he was… was.. was what? A friend? “Maybe friend is too strong a word..”
Buffy nearly had a heart attack. She’d said that last part out loud! Ah! Think fast. “There was a cat… outside.. and Dawn was feeding it.. and she said that it was her friend, and I said that it’s a va- cat. It’s a cat. Maybe friend is too strong a word, ya know?”
Giles held up his newspaper to hide a half grin. She obviously didn’t know that he’d seen them on the couch. So he told her. Her eyes got real big, and she covered her face with her hands. Then looked at him imploringly. “Don’t tell anyone, please, Giles?”
Giles nodded. “Don’t worry. To tell you the truth, I was kind of getting used to him. I was wondering how I’d tell you that I was thinking of letting him roam around. On a trial basis, you understand.”
Buffy gave a relieved grin. “Thank you, Giles.” She laughed a little. “Want to know what really happened last night? The whole thing?” Sheepish grin. “I left some stuff out before.”
Giles chuckled. “I figured as much. Sure.”
So she told the whole story. Still leaving out a couple of things that she was certain that her Watcher wouldn’t want to hear. Like the fact that Spike had incredible abs, and that his eyes were so pretty. Both when vamped, and normally. Especially when they glistened after he’d been laughing for awhile. Then they were the most beautiful shade of blue. Like a sapphire, with dew on it, shining in the sunlight…
“Buffy?”, Giles said, waving his hand in front of her face a bit. “Buffy? Hello?”
She snapped back. “Huh? Oh.. Sorry, Giles. I was thinking.” Yeah. Thinking. More like watching as her train of thought derailed. Damn Spike. Damn Spike and his beautiful eyes… “Huh?”
“I said, what were you thinking about?”
She shook her head. “Nothing important. Just wondering when sleeping vampy in there’s gonna wake up.”
“About ten minutes ago,” came a British voice from the living room.
Buffy jumped in her chair. She turned around a little, seeing Spike slowly making his way into the kitchen. He was moving warily, like he expected her or Giles to jump up and tie him to something. She gave him what she hoped was a reassuring smile. “Hey.”
The vampire paused in his tracks and just leaned against the wall. “Morning.” His posture was tense, and his eyes kept shifting between the Slayer and her Watcher.
Giles stood, and Spike instinctively took a step back, but the Watcher was only going into the kitchen for a coffee refill. Spike’s eyes followed Giles, until he sat back down at the table, then they resumed jumping between him and Buffy. “Well?”
Giles took a sip of coffee. “Well, what, Spike?”
He gestured to himself. “Aren’t one of you going to tie me back up again?”
Buffy cocked her head at him. “You *want* us to tie you up?”
His eyes widened. “Well.. no. But isn’t that what you’re going to do?”
Giles shook his head. “Buffy and I have been discussing it, and we believe that it is probably a good idea to allow you more mobility.” He gestured toward the vampire’s bandaged wrists. “The ropes don’t seem to agree with you.”
Spike looked shocked. He looked at Buffy for confirmation. She nodded. “You can walk around. Just don’t leave the house. Without me or Giles with you, that is.”
He just stood there, looking like he needed to sit down. “Ok. What’s the joke? What happened? Why are you two being nice to me?” He looked honestly confused, and maybe even slightly scared.
Buffy stood up slowly, watching as his eyes locked on her as they had with Giles. She walked slowly to him. “Spike. We’re not going to hurt you.” She gently laid one hand on his arm, surprised to feel him tense up. “I thought you were alright with me touching you.”
He nodded, then leaned against the wall again. “Yeah… Sorry.” But he didn’t relax.. much.
She sighed, then turned to her Watcher. “Giles, can you gimme a minute here?”
Giles nodded, got up, and took his newspaper and coffee upstairs.
Spike stood there, regarding the Slayer with a confused look. She sighed annoyedly, grabbed him by the arm and yanked him into the living room semi-roughly. Plopped him on the couch and crouched down in front of him. “*What* is wrong with you?”
He just stared at her. “*Me*? You’re the one who’s being so nice to me all of a sudden.”
She threw her hands up. “I thought you’d LIKE that!”
She sat on the coffee table. “Then why are you so nervous today? I thought we had fun last night.” She gently reached over and ran a finger down his stomach.
He gave a half grin. “Yeah. We did.” He cocked his head. “So.. You actually meant it? I can stay untied?”
She laughed and shifted to sit on the couch next to him. “Yeah. We meant it.” She looked at him. “Why were you so worried, anyway?”
She grinned. “Come on. I know your deepest, darkest secret, Mr. Ticklish Vampire.” She poked his ribs playfully.
He snorted. “You really want to know?”
He chuckled. “I was worried that it might have been a dream. Or that you might be setting me up for some reason.” He very slowly, tentatively placed a hand on her arm. “I enjoyed you… playing with me. And watching the movie, eating popcorn, drinking coke.” Withdrew his arm. “I didn’t want it to end.”
She had been chewing on her lip absently, but she released it and reached out to pull his arm back. She held his forearm in her hand, gently. “Now grab me.”
He cocked his head, glancing down at her hand on his arm. “What?”
She sighed. “Just do it.”
He complied, gripping her forearm as she was his. “Now what?”
She bit her lip again. “Giles taught me this. It’s the strongest kind of handshake. Used to seal important deals.” She took a deep breath. “I want to make a pact with you. For as long as we know each other, from now on, I want us to be equals. Friends.”
Spike cocked his head at her. “You mean it?”
She swallowed, but nodded. “I’m not saying we won’t fight. God knows I can’t promise that. I’ll still annoy you, and you’ll still bug me. The only thing that will change is the form.” She took another deep breath. “Think of this as another test. Only this time, we’re both the test subjects.”
He watched her, his blue eyes focusing on her green ones, searching for any signs of duplicity, or humor that would warn him that she wasn’t serious. There were none. He slowly nodded, and moved their joined arms up and down. “Yeah. Okay. Another test.” They released each other’s arms at the same moment. Spike cocked his head at her. “And what if we fail the test?”
She shrugged. “We’ll cross that dam when we come to it.”
She raised an eyebrow. “What bridge?”
He chuckled. “You said ‘dam’, it’s bridge. We’ll cross that *bridge* when we come to it.”
She shook her head and laughed. “Yeah. I knew that. I wonder why I said dam.”
He laughed. “Don’t look at me, Slayer. It’s your world, I just unlive in it.”
She chuckled at his pun. “You’d better believe it, Evil Dead.”
It was about then that Giles came in. “Have you two worked this out?”
“Ah, good.” He handed Buffy a very old book. “I thought you might be interested in this.” He glanced at Spike. “Both of you. Buffy told me about your experiments last night.”
It was Spike’s turn to bite his lip, although he released quickly when he realized that he was unconsciously imitating the Slayer. Cleared his throat. “What’s the book?”
Buffy turned it over, examined the cover. “It’s not in English, Giles. I don’t read non-English.”
Spike leaned over and looked at the cover. Grinned. “A History Of Vampires And Their Quirks, eh?”
Buffy gaped at him. “*You* can read THIS?!”
He chuckled. “Yeah. It’s in a combination of Latin and vampiric. No problem for me.” Chuckled. “Well, I know a little Latin. But enough of it’s in vampiric that I can probably figure out the rest.”
Buffy looked down at the book, then at the vampire. “Can you show me?”
He grinned. “Sure. What’re friends for?”
Giles chuckled. “Well, I’m going out for awhile again. So, enjoy the book. Have fun.”
As he headed out the door, Buffy called playfully, “Have fun, yourself, Giles!” There was no answer from the Watcher besides a key locking the door. Once he was gone, Buffy settled back and opened the book. “What’s this say?”
Spike looked at it, then laughed. “First Edition, published 1163.”
She pouted. “You are not serious.”
He chuckled. “I am serious. And the next page is the table of contents.”
She grinned. “Ok, so what’re the chapters about?”
He grinned. “Let’s just start at the beginning.” He turned the page. “Chapter One, Vampire’s Classic Likes and Dislikes.”
She smiled and laid the book across both their laps, then leaned to rest her head on his shoulder. “I’ll just look at the pictures. You read.”
He tensed up a bit when she leaned on him, but relaxed after a moment. “Ok. Part One: How To Relax A Male Vampire…”
“Hmmmm. Velly, velly, interlestin’…”, Buffy said with a very faked German accent.
Spike chuckled. “Who’s reading here?”
Small laugh. “Sorry. Continue.”