Prompt – Wedding-first dance:  This is a sequel to "Maybe We Can" which is a season six twist set during Hells Bells and was a sequel to "As I Should Be", a twist on the break up scene that ended Buffy and Spike's affair. Confused? Yeah, me too. All you really need to know is that the first two fics, while not Spuffy-lives-happily-ever-after, were a little softer and offered more room for hope than we got in canon.  This fic begins just after Spike has talked Xander into rethinking his decision to leave Anya at the altar; Buffy and Willow have followed up by taking him back in to apologize and go on with the wedding. Spike's date has gone home, having realized that she was only there to make Buffy jealous (mission accomplished) and Buffy has asked him to stay. We pick up....


All We've Ever Done is Dance


While the guests looked on with more than normal interest, Willow marched Xander back to the side room where Anya was still crying.  She stood, blocking the doorway, arms crossed and face firmly fixed in resolve mode until he had fallen to his knees in front of Anya, begging for forgiveness and blaming the demon.  He had enough sense not to mention exactly how the demon had convinced him to hurt her so badly, allowing her to assume that it had been some sort of spell.


Willow gave them several minutes to kiss and make up, clearing her throat theatrically when she judged them sufficiently made up.


"Guys? The natives are getting restless out there.  Do you think we can get this thing back on track?"


"Of course we can! Where's my Maid of Honor?  Buffy? Hallie?" Anya was immediately back to her normal efficient self and began giving orders.   "Willow, you and Xander need to get out there and stand where you're supposed to be. Make sure the groomsmen get the guests to sit down and be quiet before they line up with you."


She pushed Xander out the door and grabbed Buffy's arm as she squeezed by him.  "Oh good, you're here.  Where is Tara? Is she ready?  She has to go in first, then Hallie, then Dawn, then you, then me.  Where's D'Hoffryn? He has to— oh, good, there you are!"


D' Hoffryn and the Slayer exchanged stiff nods as Anya took his hand and waved Buffy out of the room.  Buffy gave a final Slayer glare at Anya's chosen father figure before whisking past him to find Tara and the other bridesmaids.


As soon as the milling crowd of humans and demons had settled into seats on their respective sides of the aisle, Willow and Jos¸, Xander's friend from work, rolled out the white runner and then took their places beside him and in front of the other groomsmen.  Xander's face was a mix of embarrassment and determination – which softened into adoration as Anya and D'Hoffryn made their way majestically down the aisle toward him.


Buffy sighed in relief when she watched Xander's face change as Anya approached them. 


He does love her. This is going to work. I can see it.  


She met Willow's eyes and they smiled at each other as D'Hoffryn, with visible reluctance, put Anya's hand in Xander's.  Drawing himself up to his full, very impressive height, the ruler of Arashmahaar glared down at the human man who had dared to fall in love with and marry one of his former vengeance demons. 


"I will be watching you," he said loudly and clearly.


Anya shot him a glare, then softened her expression and smiled. 


"I love you too," she said, taking his hand and kissing his ring.  "And thank you."


Xander's face darkened briefly at the reminder of Anya's many years as one of the tall demon's most valued employees, but he shrugged it off and turned her around to face him.


"I love you," he said clearly. "And I promise I will never hurt you again."




When the actual ceremony was over and the two wildly different groups of guests had reluctantly begun to mingle again, Xander and Anya stepped onto the floor for their first dance as a married couple.  They moved around the floor slowly, dancing not exactly being Xander's forte. Finally they just stopped trying to cover any area and just stood together, swaying gently to the music, Anya's head resting on Xander's chest.


"Apocalypse averted?"


Buffy turned her head so fast she almost lost her balance, Spike's hand on her elbow gave her a moment of stability before she recovered and he let go.


"Thanks," she mumbled, averting her eyes from the wicked glint in his. It was annoying how easily he could sneak up on her now that his signature no longer screamed "vampire!"   "And, no. That wasn't an apocalypse, it was just a... a crisis.  You've been in Sunnydale long enough to know that real apocalypses only happen in the spring."


"S'pose that's true," he agreed, his expression softening.  "Standing your girl up at the altar probably doesn't qualify – even if she could turn back into a vengeance demon and destroy half the town...."


"Do you think she would have done that? Gone back? After being human?"


He shrugged.  "Was human before she got recruited, wasn't she? I'm sure her old boss would have made her an offer.  Can't see why she wouldn't have taken it.  A human had just broken her heart -– why would she want to stick around to be hurt again?"


"Because she's good now? I mean, except for the whole money-grubbing thing...  Why would she give that up to go back to being evil?"  Buffy's face was genuinely confused and Spike shook his head in disgust.


"Makes life simpler, doesn't it?  No worries about whether you're doing the right thing, or if you're going to disappoint.  You can just go about your business and enjoy being evil. Would be a relief, seems to me."


Buffy stared up at him.  "We are still talking about Xander and Anya, aren't we?"


"Could be," he said, his expression blank.


She stared at him intently, but before she could say more Jos¸ came up to them. With an apologetic smile at Spike, he said to Buffy, "The best man wants to dance with his-her girlfriend, so I think I'm supposed to dance with you."  He gave Spike another nervous smile and held out his arm to Buffy.  She shrugged at Spike's expressionless face and took Jos¸'s arm.


"Don't leave," she warned as she allowed Jos¸ to lead her to the dance floor.  They moved stiffly around the cleared area, making awkward small talk about how beautiful the wedding was and how "unusual" some of the guests were. As the first song died out and a new one began, Jose jumped at a tap on his shoulder.  Buffy glanced up to see Spike standing by, waiting politely for Jos¸ to realize that he was cutting in.


Jos¸ gave the strangely menacing-looking man a quick grimace, then backed away, thanking Buffy for the dance. She mumbled the appropriate responses, even as she stared at Spike in shock.  Spike took her hand and pulled her against his body, one hand on the small of her back and the other holding hers at a very formal angle.


"May I have this dance, Buffy?" he said, beginning to move before she had pulled her wits together enough to answer him.  For the first minute she was so busy wondering what they were doing that she didn't realize how skillfully Spike was guiding her around the dance floor. Once she did, she stumbled a little at the realization.


"You're very good at dancing - it's almost like we... We've never danced together before, have we?" she asked.


"Ah, Slayer, we've never done anything but dance."  He smirked at her, giving her time to think about all the meanings he'd attached to that word through the years.  When her face had gone through several different expressions, finally settling on cautious agreement, he softened his smirk to a genuine smile and pulled her closer so that he could whisper in her ear.  "And, yes, I am good at it. Credit my youthful years as a good little Victorian boy, and another hundred plus with a barmy girlfriend who loved to dance."


"Way to remind me that you're older than dirt and have a crazy, evil ex," she muttered, but a small smile twitched at the corner of her mouth.  "So, a good little Victorian boy, huh? That's not the story you usually tell."


"Want you to know the real me, Buffy. Warts and all."


"I don't think being a good boy is much of a wart."


He laughed softly. "Trust me, love, you'd not have given me the time of day back then."


"Not in the cool crowd, huh?"


"Bigger git than Harris," he said with a grin. "Probably why I was able to get through to him.  One useless, undeserving male to another."


"In the interest of enjoying the rest of the dance, I'm not going to respond to that right now..." Buffy moved marginally closer to him and slipped her left arm around his neck, smiling when he curled her right hand into his chest.  They finished the song moving less quickly, but still smoothly inside the small area Spike had staked out as 'Vampire and Slayer dancing here' territory.  The other humans took one look at the hard-edged punk and moved away, and the demons gave Buffy a wide berth anytime they had to move past her.


When the music had ended and something faster and less amenable to Victorian era dancing came on, they stopped and dropped their arms, still standing close enough for her breasts to brush his chest with every breath. 


"I guess we should get off the floor," she breathed, her gaze focused on his throat.


"Guess so," he agreed, not moving.


Dawn broke the stalemate by coming up to them, grinning from ear to ear.  "You guys just won me some money.  I bet Hallie you'd dance together before the night was over and you already have.  She owes me."


"You're gambling? You're making bets? About us? With a vengeance demon?" 


Buffy's voice was getting higher and shriller with every question and Spike backed away quickly mumbling about getting something to drink.




He shook his head.  "No way, Bit. You're on your own this time."  He made a beeline for the bar, asking for a large tumbler full of Johnny Walker and downing it without pausing to savor the taste.  He handed it back for a refill and watch from a safe distance as Buffy dragged Dawn to the hallway, clearing remonstrating with her every step of the way.  He met Hallie's amused glance and gave her a short nod of recognition. A nod which she took as an invitation to sashay her way across the floor to his side.


"Hello, William," she purred.  "You've come up in the world a bit, haven't you? Or down, maybe. Dating the Slayer could be seen either way." She smiled coyly.  "How long has this been going on?"


"None of your business," he replied, sipping his drink and never taking his eyes off the hallway where Buffy and Dawn were waving their arms and trying not to argue loudly enough to be heard by the guests.  "And I'd suggest you make yourself scare before the Slayer comes back."


"Is she that jealous?"


Spike gave her sidelong look that clearly said he couldn't imagine what he'd ever seen in her.  "No," he said shortly. "But she is overly protective of her sister and you'd already messed that up enough before you decided to add teaching her to bet with demons to the mix."


Hallie tossed her head and swished her neon green skirt. "I'm not afraid of the Slayer."


"Then you are a very foolish woman," he said, putting down his empty glass and moving away without a backwards glance.  He made his way through the crowd to the hallway where Dawn had gone into a full-fledged pout and Buffy was glaring at her in a way that would have terrified any demon at the party. SpikeÕs arrival broke the stalemate.


"That bint isn't someone you need to be chumming around with, Dawn," he said, his use of her name lending emphasis to his words.  "Don't care if she is Anya's friend. She shouldn't be one of yours. You hear me?"


"You're not the boss of me! You can't tell me what to do. I have Buffy for that," she finished with a glare at her sister.


Spike went into game face long enough to get a gasp from her as he moved closer. He grinned mentally when she unconsciously shrank against the wall before she remembered who he was. She stood up straighter, but kept a wary eye on his face as he did his best to loom over her.


"You have everybody who cares about you to tell you what to do," he growled. "All of us.  And you'd better bloody well listen when somebody who's known that 'justice demon' since she was a human bitch tells you to stay away."


Clearly outnumbered and more intimidated than she would let on, Dawn sidled away, clutching her teen-aged dignity around her.  "You two deserve each other," she sniffed as a parting shot.  She did, however, avoid Hallie's side of the room very carefully, staying close to Willow and Tara.


Spike let his face slide back into his human features as he leaned against the wall to watch Dawn leave.  He felt Buffy slump against the wall beside him, her shoulder just barely touched his arm.


"Aren't weddings supposed to be happy, carefree occasions?"


"Well, I think—"


"Rhetorical question, Spike."




The music drifted in from the main room and Spike coughed uncontrollably as he doubled over with laughter.




"Just listen," he managed to gasp out. 


Buffy frowned and moved closer to the room entrance.  Her face went white, then red as she recognized the sounds coming from the speakers.  She shook her head, than started laughing herself.  She went back to his side and leaned against him.


"Did you put them up to this?"


"No way, Buffy. Got better sense than that. Has to be somebody who was there – or who knew about it...."


They looked at each other and said simultaneously, "Dawn!"


"I'll kill her."


"Ah, let it go, Slayer. She got us back good. Let her have it."  He cocked his head at her and held out his hand.  "Dance with me again, love?"


She slipped into his arms and they moved gracefully around the hallway, Spike skillfully avoiding the drinking fountain and a few scattered chairs.  Buffy relaxed and allowed him to completely control their movements, enjoying letting him guide her much as she had during their time together.  As the end of the song neared, she felt his arms tighten around her and she squeezed him back, saying, "That was going to be our first dance at our wedding."


"I remember."  He held her, no longer moving now that the music had stopped.  "Feels just as good when it's the second dance at someone else's wedding."


"It does feel good, doesn't it?"  She hadn't moved away from his embrace, resting her head on his chest and inhaling the scents that she was willing to admit she'd been missing since she'd told him they were finished.


"Feels like bloody heaven to me," he whispered, not really caring if she heard him or not – but she did.  Buffy raised her head to meet his eyes.  "Spike... I can't promise... but I... "  She blinked rapidly, swallowing hard as she watched the hope fill his eyes.  "I miss you.  I don't mean the sex... I mean, yeah, that too, but I miss seeing you every night. I miss talking to you and yelling at you and...."


"And punching me?" He raised a teasing eyebrow.


"And punching you," she muttered, giving him a little shake. "But I don't want to be that girl anymore. The one who hates her life and takes it out on you."


"She had her reasons, love. Always knew that.  If beating up on me made you feel better...."


"Do you think we can... I want to...." She met his eyes again. "I can't promise I'll love you the way you... but I'd... I'd like to see where this could go.  Can we do that?"


He picked her up and twirled her around, dancing without letting her feet touch the ground.  "We can do that, love.  We will do that.  I promise you we will."


From across the large room, Willow and Tara gasped as they saw the impromptu hug and Buffy's laughing face as Spike twirled her around.  "Are they... is he... are they dancing?"


"Yep," Dawn said with a loud pop at the end and with a satisfied smirk.  "They are."


The end.


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