Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Joss and UPN.
Spoilers: Set in early season 6 prior to "Once More with Feeling."
Summary: While on a drunken patrol, Spike talks Buffy into getting her belly button pierced. Just a fluff piece for fun! B/S as usual! Hope you enjoy!!! And I'm going on the assumption that the Buffy character does not have tattoos as I've heard the writers comment about before.
A/N: This story is dedicated especially to dear Rhonda a.k.a. Zarrah who got her belly button pierced recently! You go, girl! Hehehe! :o)
This story is also for my friend, Sarah, my child-at-heart friend! *hugs* :o)
* * *
"You know what I've always wanted to do?" Buffy asked as she took a sip of her umpteenth shot of vodka. She was perched on the top of a very large headstone. . . actually, teetering on the top of a very large headstone.
Spike was leaning against a nearby statue with the half-empty bottle swinging freely at his side in his left hand. "What, pet?"
"I've always wanted to. . ." Buffy trailed off as she attempted to balance the still partially full glass on the marble next to her. She was having a hard time not setting it on the edge where it would inevitably fall off.
Spike noticed her dilemma and stepped forward to take both her hands in his and steady the tiny object for her. "What have you always wanted to do?"
Buffy stared at the now perfectly balanced glass with satisfaction. "To get this bloody glass to stand up right. That's what."
"No. I think you were going to say something else before that," Spike persisted, amused by his Slayer's lack of experience with alcohol.
Befuddled, Buffy frowned, her brow wrinkled in concentration. "Hmm. What was it?"
With sudden forcefulness, a vampire began pulling himself out of a nearby grave. Buffy blinked, and her eyes widened as what was happening dawned on her more slowly than normal. She searched for her stake for a frustrating few seconds and finally found it neatly tucked in her jacket pocket as the vampire freed himself from a cloak of dirt and grass. She hopped lightly off the tombstone and observed the demon.
"Pfff. I've done that before," she commented, half to herself, half to Spike who watched with good humor as she approached the newly born vampire in a slightly drunk, slightly swaying attempt at stalking him.
"You got it, pet?" he asked, setting aside the bottle and brandishing his own stake in case she needed help.
She waved back at her companion. "Yeah, yeah. Got it, sh-mot it. Piece of cake."
Buffy planted her feet on the ground in front of the enemy and tried to cross her arms. She failed miserably at this task and instead chose to ball her fists at her sides.
The vampire leered at the swaying, drunken female before him. With a growl, he rushed the Slayer who casually, if un-gracefully stepped aside as he flew past.
Buffy swung around, rolling her eyes. "That was too easy. Come on, didn't you have your Wheaties for breakf. . ."
She let out a huge "oof" as the vampire slammed into her mid-section, knocking her to the ground and sending the stake flying through the air away from her. Buffy watched her weapon, muttering, "Damn it."
Keeping her eye on the wood that had separated itself from the fray, she kneed the vampire on top of her and scrambled after the instrument, smiling happily at her small piece of pointy timber as she re-palmed it. Studying the film grain carefully, she ran a hand over the smoothness of it.
She spied Spike as if she hadn't noticed him before and smiled broadly, offering a little wave. Spike winced at her Buffy-bot like expression. Buffy marched toward him.
The novice vampire was staggering to his feet and bending slightly at the waist in obvious pain. As she passed him, Buffy reached back and poked the stick at him, piercing his heart neatly and causing him to explode into a cloud of finely-grained dust.
"Now what were we talking about?" she asked Spike as if her fight with the fresh vampire hadn't occurred. Reaching up, she pulled down the still mostly full shot glass of vodka and downed the fluid in one gulp, wrinkling her nose as she did so.
The corner of Spike's mouth rose as she held her glass out toward him.
"More," she demanded.
As Spike complied by pouring her another half-glass, he reminded her, "We were talking about what you've always wanted to do."
"Oh, yeah!" she exclaimed brightly. She swung her arms wide, sloshing a bit of the liquid in her glass to the grass. "I want to stop patrolling! I'm bored with it."
Spike was pretty certain that's not what she had been planning to say before. "Tired already, pet?"
"Yeah. I'm always tired." Sadness seemed to overtake her for a few seconds. Then, "And that. . . that vampire. . . he almost broke my best stake." She held up the wood for Spike to inspect.
"Well, I think it's time I took you home," Spike announced. "Tuck you in bed."
Buffy stuck her bottom lip out at him. "Don't wanna go to bed."
"You just said you were tired." Spike wasn't frustrated with her, but he was worried that she seemed so exhausted all of the time.
Starting to walk toward the edge of the cemetery and toward her home, Buffy moved steadily but diagonally for several yards before she whirled to face Spike again. "I remember what I've always wanted to do! I *just* remembered!"
Spike chuckled at his Slayer's drunkenness. "What's that?"
Buffy motioned him closer, and he complied without complaint. He'd always relish the chance to be near her.
As soon as he was within arms reach, Buffy leaned her face toward his and whispered conspiratorially, "I've always wanted to get my belly button pierced."
Spike let out an unfettered laugh. "Really, pet? Want to get your belly button spiked, eh?"
"Yep," she concurred triumphantly. Then, she handed him her shot glass. "Here. Now I'm ready for bed. Walk me home."
Spike accepted the tiny container from her but didn't comply with her desire to take her home. "I'm not sure if I can let that one go, love."
Buffy planted her hands on her hips and frowned. "Let what one go where. . . who?"
"You said you wanted your belly button pierced." Spike decided to keep his words simple, so he paused after one sentence.
"Yeah, so?" Buffy was focusing hard to follow his train of thought.
"So why don't you get it done? What's holding you back?"
"Holding me back?" Buffy rubbed her arms suspiciously. "Nothing's holding me back."
"Well, you haven't gotten it done before now."
She shook her head. "No."
"So why not get your belly button done tonight?" Spike suggested.
"Why should I?"
"Why not?" Spike studied the blond girl before him and added thoughtfully, "A change of appearance might make you feel better. Don't you women always say getting a haircut makes you feel better?"
Buffy seemed a bit overwhelmed by Spike's mini-speech, but she answered the final question, "Yeah. Haircuts make you feel good."
Noting her puzzlement, Spike took his suggestion slower, "Why is that?"
"'Cause you look prettier afterwards. You change how you look."
"Then, getting your belly button pierced would. . ." Spike left the blank and gestured with his hands to get her to finish his sentence.
Buffy's eyes lit with excitement as understanding swept over her significantly lethargic brain. "Make me feel better! Can we go?"
Spike grinned at her enthusiasm. "Sure! I know just the place to take you. . . ." He started heading in the direction opposite of the way they had been going.
"Where? Where?" Buffy asked as she half-skipped, half-staggered to keep up with him.
* * *
"A tattoo parlor?" Buffy looked uncertain as Spike held the door to "Don't Think Ink" open for her.
"Generally, that's where piercings are done, pet," Spike explained, gently nudging her across the threshold from the darkness into the world of fluorescent lights.
She examined the clientele of the shop doubtfully, eyeing the handful of demons who were inspecting the walls of tattoo samples.
A man, whose arms and legs and neck were covered in tattoos and whose skin was pierced in too many places to count, appeared in Buffy's field of vision and asked curtly, "May we help you?"
Buffy raised her eyebrows and glanced at Spike who spoke for her, "She's here to get her belly button pierced."
"Oh, really?" The man grinned. "Let's see how we can fix you up. Follow me."
Buffy trailed the man who stopped at a large glass case in one corner filled with several tiny rings, bars, and decorations of various shapes, colors, and sizes in tiny bags. Her eyes widened at all the choices.
Moving behind the case, the man slid the back to one side and pulled out one of the trays. "You're small, so these are the size you'll need. Make sure you pick one that you really like because you'll be wearing it a while before you can change to different styles."
"Oooo! Okay." Buffy was pleased with the variety and began perusing the options. She opted for five and set out the baggies for Spike to inspect. Grabbing his hand, she tugged him forward. "What do you think? Which do you think would look best on me?"
Spike scanned over what Buffy had selected. She had chosen a tiny pink butterfly, a silver ring, a turquoise barbell, a rainbow-colored ring, and a silver barbell with a delicate dangling dragonfly. He imagined how each would look against the hollow of his Slayer's stomach. After several wordless seconds, he selected two and guided Buffy in front of him to view them.
He held each baggy up as he clarified his reasoning behind each, "This silver ring would look good with anything, and it's small enough that it won't snag on anything. And this dragonfly dangle would look very sexy once you heal up enough to change it out. How's that?"
Buffy's eyes shone. "I love them!" Then, she wrinkled her brow. "But how much do they cost? I can't afford much."
"No worries, pet. I know the owner here. I've done a few things for him; he owes me this much. He'll do you up for free."
The owner was obviously the man who'd been helping them. He winked at Buffy, and she recognized the connection. She cast a wary, narrow-eyed glance at Spike. "Do I want to know what you did for him?"
Spike opened his mouth, but the man took over, "He helps me when I need to get rid of clientele who get a little bit too rowdy. A tattoo parlor is no place for violence. . . not with all the needles being used around here. And I like to keep a clean establishment. In return, I give him money for blood and cigs."
Buffy's drunken incredulity gave way to pride as she absently patted Spike's arm. "That's my good little vampire."
"So, you own me now, is that how it is?" Spike asked with a small smile.
"Maybe." She dodged further comments on this issue and turned to the parlor owner. "Pierce me already!"
"Sure thing," the owner replied as he started toward the back rooms of the shop. "Now remember. Everything we do here is completely sterile and safe. I'm going to get you to sign a little contract about that. Our needles. . ."
"Needles?" Buffy was alert. "How big are these needles?"
The man laughed. "Not too big. I promise."
Buffy was greatly relieved. This eye-opening place was starting to override the effects of the alcohol, and the little thought that she was getting into something she wasn't quite expecting tickled the back of her mind. Also, for some reason she couldn't fathom, she was glad that Spike was with her.
The owner turned around so that he was moving backwards down a narrow hallway. "Now, as I was saying, the needles and the body jewelry are sealed in the factory in sterile bags. That means that they haven't come into contact with the air since being at the factory."
Spike's hand flitted lightly at the small of her back, and he whispered, "See, pet. It's a reputable place."
Buffy entered the tiny area that was their destination and pulled herself onto what looked like a medical table. "I'm ready. . . I think."
The tattoo parlor owner wheeled a tiny cart over to the side of the table, and Buffy eyed the packaged needle, the tiny ring, a marker, and a clamp that were lined up neatly.
While Spike lounged to one side against the wall with his thumbs hooked in his jean pockets, the owner moved to the sink and began scrubbing his hands with anti-bacterial soap. After drying them, he put on a pair of latex gloves and held up the clamp.
"Stand up," he ordered.
Buffy clamored to her feet obediently, keeping her balance by holding onto the edge of the table.
"Now, un-tuck your shirt and pull down your pants a bit."
Buffy shot Spike a meaningful look. "Wouldn't you like to be doing this?"
Spike's eyebrows lifted. He'd almost forgotten that she was half-drunk until she said that. Sober Buffy would never have made that comment.
"Sounds like she's sweet on you, Spike," the owner teased.
Buffy made a face as the man rubbed her skin with an alcohol-saturated puff. "I *so* am *not* sweet on Spike." She glared down at what the owner was doing next. "And say what are you doing?"
After the man threw away the cotton, he pulled out and clamped her flesh in a fold. He was patient as he squatted before her and meticulously marked either side of the fold with the marker. "I'm doing this to make the piercing as neat and clean as possible."
Recapping the pen, his eyes didn't move from her stomach. After surveying her for several seconds, he finally told her to return to the table. Then, he started unwrapping the needle and the ring.
Buffy's face visibly paled. "Big needle." Her hand went out toward Spike and shook up and down.
Spike was bemused. "What, pet?"
Spike laughed again before unscrewing the top off the bottle he thought she'd forgotten about and slapping it in her waiting palm. Buffy threw back her head as she swigged the alcohol once, wrinkling her nose yet again. She returned the bottle and laid back.
She nodded at the tattoo parlor owner. "Ready."
Before the needle even touched her skin, she squished up her face. As soon as the metal eased past the first layer of the epidermis, her body tensed and then relaxed as the owner swept the needle rapidly through the flesh and attached the ring.
"All done," he informed her as he stripped off the gloves.
Buffy opened her eyes. "Wow! That was like a hundred bee stings all at once!" She sat up cautiously, allowed her legs to swing over the table edge, and ogled at the tiny ring that was going through the flesh covering her abdomen. A slow grin spread over her face. "Spike! Look at this! I got a belly button ring!"
Stepping up from the wall, Spike smiled at her happiness. . . something that was rare lately. "Yeah, you did. How's it feel?"
Smirking and then donning a more somber expression, she stated, "It *hurts.*"
"It will probably be sore for several weeks and will take several months to heal," the owner interjected, handing Buffy a couple of papers. "Here's the contract I told you about and a guide that tells you how to care for your piercing."
As she was crookedly signing the contract, Spike crouched as the owner had done and appraised the end product.
"Like what you see?" Buffy asked suggestively.
"You know I do," he commented seriously.
Reaching out, Buffy touched the curls on the edge of his bleached hair. "Know what?"
Losing track of their surroundings, Spike's eyes were liquid with tenderness at her purposeful contact. "What, love?"
"I'm sleepy. Take me home." With that said, she let out a huge yawn and rubbed her eye a little childishly.
Spike sighed. He'd do whatever she wanted. "Sure thing. Let's get you home."
* * *
The sky was still dark and lit faintly with stars when Spike dropped Buffy off at her front door. "Well, I hope you had fun tonight, pet."
Buffy was fishing for her key in her jacket with a little frown of concentration. She produced the key with joyful relish. Then, her face changed. "My stomach hurts," she maintained.
"The alcohol?" Spike asked anxiously, wondering if she needed to throw up. She'd drunk even more alcohol on the way back to her house.
Buffy laughed and shook her head, "No, silly, the ring." She leaned forward slightly. "It is *sooorrreeee* with a capital 'S'."
"It's going to be."
"I know that," she said indignantly. "I was just telling you."
"Well, thank you," he noted with sarcasm. "I wouldn't have known that if you hadn't told me."
Buffy slapped his chest with her hand. "You're. . . you're. . ."
Spike braced himself for possible pain but was completely shocked when she flung her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly.
"Thanks," she mumbled in his ear.
His arms went charily around her shoulders, so he wouldn't hurt her mid-section. "You're welcome, pet."
She surprised him further by planting a fleeting kiss on his cheek before breaking free and bounding through the front door, which she gratefully found was unlocked.
"Good night," she called back before shutting the door with a click.
"G'night, love," he returned after she was gone.
Rubbing the back of his neck, Spike turned and headed down the sidewalk toward the cemetery. As he enjoyed the early morning stroll, he mused that perhaps something more than Buffy's belly button got pierced tonight. Perhaps, just perhaps, he'd played a part in piercing the shroud of unhappiness she held so tightly around her since returning from the grave.
Well, Rhonda, sweetie! I hope you liked! :o) 5-19-03