One Shot

Standing in the dark, surrounded by light buzzing noises and the sound of clinking glass, Spike asked himself again if he had totally lost it. At this point, the answer was evading him, and there was only one real way to find out, anyway.

"Trial and bloody error, init," he muttered to himself, hoping against hope that he didn't screw things up and end up with a stake in his chest. Dating had seriously got more cutthroat since he was human, and that was saying something.

A hand appeared on his shoulder. "Are you ready to go?"

Spike blinked, coming out of his reverie. "Uh, sure mate," he said nodding to the guy with the earpiece. He couldn't remember his name.

"Two minutes," he advised, rushing off again.

Two minutes. Spike took a deep breath, then started counting the seconds. Music started up behind him and he briefly considered the merits of Plan A again. I mean, sure, I could tie her up and profess my love. Reckon she's got a bit of hidden kink to her, but she probably wouldn't go for it. Not yet.

No, he reassured himself, Stick with Plan B an' everything will be fine. He gulped. I hope.

"Thirty seconds!" someone stage-whispered in the direction the manager had run off in.

Well, this is it then. One final breath and he stepped forward, the first few chords of guitar joining in with the backing track as his left foot touched an area of the stage beyond the curtain.

Light dazzled his eyes briefly, but he kept them on his boots as he approached the microphone, finally closing them when he reached his marker. Everything seemed to go silent out on the floor, but he wasn't sure if that was just his imagination.

"I need an easy friend…" the words slipped from his throat in a low baritone. "I do, with an ear to lend. I don't think you fit this shoe. I do, won't you have a clue."

The end of the verse had his eyes slipping open again of their own accord. Instantly, they found Buffy in the crowd – at a table with her friends, their mouths hanging open, her eyes locked on his.

He couldn't break the gaze as he carried on, "I'll take advantage while you hang me out to dry, but I can't see you every night…"

Heath ledger singing 'I Can't Take My Eyes Off You' it was not, but the fact that the Slayer hadn't pulled him off stage by his ear and started having a go at him made a little hope glimmer in Spike's chest. Hopefully she'd hear – she'd see, and she'd know. If not, it was gonna have to be Plan C and terrible poetry.

"I'm standing in your line. I do hope you have the time. I do pick a number too. I do keep a date with you…" he kept on rumbling, his blasted chest adding an unintentional purr to the words.

Buffy had set her drink aside and Willow was saying something to her, but she was sat in stasis, almost drinking in his words.

Convinced that the spell would break any moment and, being unable to bear the thought, Spike closed his eyes and carried on. The old 'if you can't see it, it's not really happening' theory coming into play.

"I'll take advantage while you hang me out to dry, but I can't see you every night… I need an easy friend. I do whip her in to land. I do think you fit this shoe. I do won't you have a clue…"

Voice dipping lower still, the final verse came out in an almost whisper, "I'll take advantage while you hang me out to dry, but I can't see you every night. No, I can't see you every night… I do," he paused, "I do," he looked up, saw Buffy approaching the stage, stepped off the stage and took her hand, rocking in a sidestep motion with her, breathing, "I do," against her hair.

"I do," Buffy whispered back, swaying into the dance with him.

Author End Notes: The song referenced in this fic is 'About a Girl' by Nirvana. The Heath Ledger reference is to the movie '10 Things I Hate About You.'