Title: Nights Off Are Overrated.
Prompt: Schmoop Bingo prompt: Holiday
Summary: A missing, and probably unlikely (but schmoopy) season six scene that begins just after they return to the house after rescuing Dawn and Janice.
Nights Off Are Overrated
"Good fight." Buffy said. Spike blinked and nodded at the unexpected compliment.
"Always is when I'm with you," he said, so softly only she heard it. He winked at her and started to follow the others out the door, halting when she said his name. He turned, raising his eyebrows at her. "Something else you need, pet?"
"I was just...." She frowned at the floor. "I was wondering if...." She glanced up at his curious face. "Do you think those were the only vamps out tonight? Should I patrol?"
Spike cocked his head and seemed to give her question due thought. "Dunno, Buffy. It's not like takin' the night off is some kind of hard and fast vampire rule, like 'don't go out in the sun, or play with sharp pointed wooden objects'. Some countries don't even have Halloween; I'm sure the vamps don't take off there."
"So, you're saying, yes. I probably should patrol. Just in case those guys aren't the only ones?"
"Up to you, luv. I'm willin' if you are. I can sleep tomorrow – you'll need to get up."
"I should probably patrol. Just for a while." The fight earlier, rather than tiring her out, had energized her in a way she hadn't felt since her return. The idea of going quietly to bed so early in the evening was suddenly not appealing at all.
"After you, Slayer." He held the door and waited for her to duck under his arm before pulling it shut behind them. As they walked down the sidewalk, heading briskly for the nearest cemetery, he asked, "Did you grab your key?"
"If you mean Dawn -– hell, no! She's grounded forever. If you mean my housekey...." She felt in her pocket. "Dammit!"
She kicked a stone down the street and followed it, muttering to herself. When Spike caught up with her, she had just kicked the stone again, bouncing it off the stone pillars at the cemetery entrance.
"Relax, Slayer. Your window's probably unlocked anyway. You'll just have to get in the old-fashioned way." He smirked at her and made climbing motions.
Buffy snorted a laugh. "I haven't had to do that for so long, I'd almost forgotten about it." She slid her eyes to the side and gave him a suspicious glare. "How do you know about my window?"
His eyes darted around, looking for help before he admitted. "When you were first... gone, the Bit had nightmares. She'd go into your room and lie on your bed, crying.Ó He shrugged. "I knew you used to go in and out that way, so I tried the window one night when I couldn't stand to hear her cry any more. It was open."
"And, once she stopped falling asleep in there, I...." He shrugged again, put his hands in his pockets and looked away from her. "It smelled like you, Buffy. It just made things a little easier, knowing I was keeping watch like I promised, and doing it from your room. Didn't mean to violate your privacy, pet. Had no idea you'd be back to complain about it, did I?"
"I'm not complaining," she said. "It's just kind of strange – knowing you were in my room all that time, maybe in my bed— Were you in my bed?"
"Not answerin' that one," he said, dancing away from where she stood, hands planted on hips and indignant glare on her face. When he felt he was sufficiently far enough away to escape if he needed to, he continued, "But I swear to you, the sheets have been changed... several times."
Buffy threw her stake so that the blunt end hit him on the forehead. "You are such a pig!"
"Too true," he said, rubbing his head. "And ow!" He bent down to retrieve the stake. As he straightened up, his eyes widened and in one fluid motion he stood up and threw the stake past Buffy's astonished eyes and into the chest of the fledgling that had crept up on her while they talked. She whirled, noted the dust floating away and ducked the punch thrown by another still-dirt covered vamp.
"What the hell?" She kicked the attacking vampire back and pulled an extra stake from her waistband. Spike, meanwhile, had stepped forward to intercept another newly-risen vampire that hadn't yet realized he wasn't facing two humans. Working as if their moves had been choreographed, they used the same kicks and punches to drive the vampires to the ground, then drove stakes through their chests simultaneously.
Still bent over the dust of her opponent, Buffy glanced over at Spike to see him just beginning to stand up again. He offered her a hand and she allowed him to pull her upright.
"We make a pretty good team," she said, grinning at him. "I think we could take that act on the road."
"We've always danced well together, pet," he said. "Jus' now we're doing it as a team instead of as enemies."
"I always kind of liked fighting you," she said, ducking her head and looking at him from under her eyelashes. "Even when you were trying to kill me. It was fun."
"Some of the best times of my life," he agreed, still holding the hand he'd used to pull her up. "But think I like fighting beside you better."
"You do?" Buffy wondered how long he was going to hold on to her hand, and why she wasn't pulling it away.
"I do," he confirmed. "I like to watch you when you don't need any help and I'm just watching you back. You're poetry in motion when you fight. All style and grace... and lethal as it gets." He smiled at her. "My kind of woman."
Buffy blushed, embarrassed by his praise and the emotion so obvious in his eyes.
"I thought your kind of woman was, you know, taller, paler and less sun-loving?"
"I thought so too. Was wrong," he said, finally dropping her hand. "Not like you didn't already know that, Buffy." His voice contained just the slightest trace of rebuke, and she nodded.
"I did," she whispered. "I'm sorry. I was just trying to be funny."
"'S alright, pet. It's nice to see you tryin' to make jokes again – weak as they may be...."
Buffy tossed her hair and began walking again. Without discussing it, they went farther into Restfield, Buffy's eyes darting around for signs of other newbies that hadn't yet been clued in to taking the night off, but the surroundings remained quiet and empty, only the owls and the insects disturbing the late night silence. They gradually slowed their steps, stopping near his crypt and settling onto a nearby bench.
"Was this bench always here?" Buffy frowned, trying to remember if she'd ever seen it before.
"Nope," he said, leaning back against the tree behind it. "Thought the crypt needed an outdoor sitting area – case I want to invite folks to a cookout or something."
Buffy glanced around. "A cookout. In a cemetery. You are one strange vampire, William the Bloody."
"Not exactly the average slayer yourself, are you, luv?" She sniffed and tried to hide her smile, but he had no trouble seeing it in the moonlight. "Ah, making jokes and smiling. If you aren't careful, you might catch yourself enjoyin' life again."
She heaved a sigh and leaned back herself, her shoulder touching his as she tried to rest against the tree without falling over backwards. Spike shifted over just enough, and put his arm around her, letting her lean against his body instead of the tree.
"I guess everybody'd like that, wouldn't they?" she said. "If I'd stop being all depresso-Buffy and start acting like I'm glad to be here."
Spike tightened his arm slightly and stared straight ahead, his jaw clenched.
"You know, Slayer, you're going to have to tell them someday. There's no reason for you to carry this around by yourself without sharing it with the people responsible. If they knew, they'd get off your back and stop pressuring you to—."
She shrugged. "I can't do that to them... to Willow. It would destroy her."
"Better her than you," he said, holding her a little more tightly as she started to slip.
"I can handle it. I'll be all right." She paused and tilted her head to look at his shadowed face. "I've got you to share it with."
"Keeping it between us formerly dead people, are you?"
"Isn't that okay?" She struggled briefly to sit up straighter, but Spike's arm held her tightly. "Do you not want me to talk about it with you?"
"Didn't say that, love. If talking to me is what you need to do, you know I'll listen all night. Hell, if you need to beat on me to work off some righteous anger at your mates, have at it. I'm yours, Buffy. To do with as you like. Always will be."
"Mine," she repeated. "My vampire." She turned and relaxed against him, her head resting on his chest and her arm going across his body.
"Always," he whispered, putting his other arm around her and holding her in a comforting embrace. "Always and forever."
"I like that," she mumbled against his shirt. "I think I could get used to it."
"That's the plan," he murmured, dropping a kiss on the top of her head.
If the owls thought it strange to see two people cuddling quietly on a cemetery bench in the middle of the night, they kept their opinions to themselves.
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