In which Buffy finally drops the Idiot Ball and starts getting a case of sour grapes.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.


IX

Buffy refused to believe it until she saw it. When she walked into the Bronze, accompanied by her friends as well as Spike, her eyes went straight to the bar, where she saw a gaggle of girls flirting with Angel as he served them drinks. He never asked for ID and made a show out of his bartending. As he blew a kiss to a girl who was leaving the bar, Buffy felt her guts churning with anger and disgust. This...this completely shattered everything she thought she knew about Angel.

"This can't be the Angel I knew," she said.

"Unfortunately," Spike said, "it's the Angelus that I knew."

"What kind of guy did you think he was?" Willow asked.

"Not like this."

"I hate to tell you this, Buffy," Cordelia said, "but that's the problem with the tall, dark, and mysterious types. I mean, I was totally crushing on him a few months ago, but well, just cuz the packaging is good doesn't mean that what's inside is even better." She looked to Xander with a flirty smile. Xander responded with a blush.

Buffy didn't know what to do. She wanted to take her anger out on the nearest vampire, but she was too weak to fight a group of fledges. She wanted to believe that Angel was just acting, but she knew that Cordelia was always honest. She wanted to cry, but she didn't want Angel to see it.

She turned around to leave, but Spike blocked her path.

"Get out of my way, Spike," Buffy said.

"Uh, uh, Slayer," Spike said. "If you're gonna go out there for a spot of violence, I can guarantee you it won't end well for you."

"I just need some air."

"Trust me when I say, luv, nothing good comes from wallowing in self-pity either. Just speaking from experience here."

"Then what do you think I should do, huh?"

As if on cue, a song started to play. Spike led her out to the dance floor. "Let's dance."

"What about Drusilla?" Buffy asked.

Spike's smile faltered a bit, but he stayed determined on his task. "Nothing wrong about a dance between friends."

"Is that what we are?" Buffy asked as they started dancing.

Spike didn't answer. Instead, the two of them danced along, keeping in rhythm to the upbeat song. Buffy couldn't help but admire how well Spike danced and the way that he smiled at her. Drusilla is seriously lucky to have a guy like him...Buffy thought. Her thoughts soon became lost in the music, and then at the sound of Spike's voice singing along.

All of a sudden, she felt the temptation to rest her head on the shoulders of the...person who mere days ago wanted to kill her. She felt her heart racing as the song came to an end.

"Thanks for the dance, Spike," Buffy said, putting a bit of distance between them with an uncertain smile on her face.

"Likewise," he said.

Buffy went back to her friends, who were all coming off the dance floor, and glanced at the bar. Angel saw her. And he scowled.

X

It took a bit of research, but Giles identified Buffy's necklace as belonging to a vengeance demon named Anyanka. There was a spell that could summon her, but a quick attempt at a spell indicated to Giles that he was incapable of doing the spell as a side effect of whatever magic Anyanka had unleashed. Not wanting to talk to Jenny Calendar and uncertain as to whether or not the computer teacher still had her powers, Giles and Buffy decided to go to the Magic Box in search of someone who could help.

As they passed by a cemetery, they saw a dark-haired girl in a red leather jacket and black jeans thrashing at a group of vampires and staking them with ease. Buffy watched this mysterious girl. It couldn't be Kendra. Her movements were too wild and fueled with a bit too much bloodlust.

The dust settled down and the dark-haired girl turned to look at her unexpected audience. "Oh hey!" she said, flashing a scarlet-colored smile at them. "You must be Giles and Buffy." She ran closer to them and held out her hand. "I'm Faith."

"What happened to Kendra?" Buffy asked.

"Kendra met with her untimely end in Cleveland," a very stiff British man said. Buffy turned to look at a young dark-haired man dressed in tweed. "Wesley Wyndham-Pryce at your service."

"We were just heading to the magic shop in search of someone who can help us with a spell," Giles said, pretending to be proper in spite of his attire.

"You're unable to do magic?" Wesley asked.

"Apparently so," Giles said with disappointment.

"It has something to do with this necklace," Buffy said, bringing attention to the green pendant around her neck. "We need to summon the demon Anyanka."

"I'll inform the Council tomorrow and see if they can send one of the witches from the Devon coven," Wesley said.

"What brings you to Sunnydale, anyway?" Buffy asked.

"Council got word that you lost your powers," Faith said. "And since this Hellmouth is still active, I'm here to take over. Hope you don't mind."

Buffy tried to smile, but she couldn't. Instead, she folded her arms and scowled. "Great," she said unenthusiastically. "Just...great."


Okay kids, this where it gets complicated. If you want to know what song I thought Spike and Buffy danced to, click on this link.

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How do you think Anyanka will come back into the picture? Feel free to speculate!