A/N: First, a HUGE, HUGE thanks to everyone who's reviewed! Well, it's long past time I updated this story. I think I may wrap it up soon because of the delay I've put it on, but with recent new ideas as an option rather than ending it, I may get back into working on it again. I never really had any intention of the story going much further than a basic Scooby acceptance of the Spuffiness to begin with, so I'll just get that and everyone settled and be done. This story was sitting on the sidelines frustrating me for too long though, so I'm working on it and going to getting it back into a progressing stage so I can be done with it soon hopefully! Much as I do love it, being my first Buffy fic I started to work on, my style of thinking has changed since then so, eh. Lol. Well, here's the greatly prolonged 13th chapter, whatever I do after this.
Chapter 13: Party Time
Buffy and Spike sat in the Jacuzzi, Buffy between his legs as she leaned back against his chest. It was late Thursday night, technically early Friday morning. Willow had long since gone, about three or four hours ago, after much catching up and girl time with Buffy, a dinner Spike cooked that blew Willow's mind, and watching a movie with the couple. Buffy had decided to go to the library the next day, but hadn't told Willow. Buffy was slightly dreading it because she knew Angel, Xander, and Giles would all most likely be there.
"Maybe I shouldn't go…" Buffy said, slipping a little further into the water.
"Tiger, you really should. Make sure all your mates feel welcome Saturday, not just Red and the other slayer," Spike told her.
Buffy sighed. "I know, just… I don't want to deal with more of their disapproval."
"But you have to sometime," Spike said as he pulled her closer to him, dropping a kiss on the side of her neck before resting his chin on her shoulder.
Buffy stared off into space, just taking the comfort Spike offered and preparing for the next day.
With a shake of her head, she decided for a change of topic.
"Spike, I know lately you haven't been, but… Back in LA, what I said about the blood, I really meant it," she turned her head to look at him, her eyes pleading.
Spike stared into her eyes. He couldn't refuse his love what she was asking. With a sigh, he gave in.
"Alright, tiger. An eternity without that anymore is going to be hard, but long as you're here…" Spike nuzzled his face to her neck. His blunt teeth nipped at her skin, And Buffy smiled in pleasure.
Well, least it'll be worth it," she said. Spike grinned.
It most definitely will be, he thought as he stared appreciatively down her body at all the curves he'd come to know so well lately.
His face shifted, and he gently sunk his fangs into her neck, Buffy sighing as he did so. He withdrew his teeth, and she turned to face him with eyes full of lust and blood trickling down her skin. With no more words, she bit into his neck as well, and they found other ways to spend the remains of the night.
The next evening, Xander and Cordelia were sitting at the table in the library, bickering as usual. Rock music could be heard from the stacks, signaling Faith training with Wesley. Willow and Giles were at the table with Xander and Cordelia, looking through a few books while Oz, Angel, and Karen were making stakes.
Buffy waltzed through the doors, seeing her friends doing their every day things.
"Hey, guys," she said, signaling her arrival which even Angel hadn't noticed. The group looked up collectively, with varying looks on each of their faces.
Willow grinned. "Gotten even sneakier as a vamp, huh? Didn't even hear the door."
"Well, y'know," Buffy shrugged. "Walk through walls now too." Giles eyes nearly bugged out of his head. "Kidding, Giles," she assured her ex-watcher with a smile.
"Hey, Buffster. Boyfriend not kill you yet?" Xander spat the word "boyfriend."
Buffy glared. "No, Xand."
"Ow!" Xander yelped. Everyone looked at him confused, except for Willow, who glared across the table at him, hoping her kick would shut him up for at least a little while.
"Sorry. Hit my, uh, knee. On the table," Xander said as he stared at Willow. Buffy grinned, easily seeing her friend's defense for her.
Suddenly, the music turned off, and Faith came out of the stacks, Wesley following her.
"Hey, B! What are you doing here?" Faith asked.
Buffy shrugged. "Just figured I'd stop by to chat. See if you guys were all gunna be coming tomorrow."
"Of course, Buffy!" Willow said. Oz gave a slight smile, signaling his agreement with his girlfriend.
"Yeah, I want to see this house Willow keeps saying is so fantastic for myself," Cordelia put in.
Xander looked disgusted, but nodded. "I'll be there, Buff. We all will,"
"Quite," Giles agreed. "But I don't believe you've been properly introduced to Wesley or Karen."
"Who?" Buffy asked, then she laughed. "Ok, obviously I haven't."
"That's Wesley," Giles gestured in Wesley and Faith's direction. "He had taken over watcher duties for Faith and Karen since I was fired," Giles said casually, everyone having gotten used to it by now and still referring to Giles as though he were the only watcher around, even Wesley on occasion would do this. But to Buffy, Giles being fired was news.
"What!" she exclaimed. "They fired you? Those bastards! I'll rip their heads off!" The group looked slightly alarmed at Buffy's threat.
"Ah… yes, well…" Giles stuttered. "Ah, and, and this is Karen," he gestured to Karen now, hoping to distract Buffy's attention. "She's the other new slayer. According to the timeline each of the girls have given us we believe Faith was called after Kendra's death, and Karen was called after, ah…" Giles trailed off, realizing what he'd been saying and about to say.
"After my death?" Buffy asked. "So Faith replaced Kendra, and you replaced me?" she directed the question at Karen.
"Only slayer-wise of course, Buffster," Xander hurried to say.
Buffy looked at him oddly. "What? You guys don't like her?" She turned to Karen. "You're not like, the total stick-up-the-ass type are you?" Just as Karen was about to reply, Buffy noticed the time.
"Oh crap! I have to get home; mom's coming over for dinner. You're still coming too, right Faith?" Buffy turned to the brunette.
"Course! Free food's always great by me. Especially Spike's free food," Faith grinned. "Got yourself a damn good cook outta your cushy package, B." Buffy grinned back.
"Spike can cook? You're letting him? He's going to poison you all!" Xander said in alarm.
Buffy just laughed. "It's not like this is the first time mom's come over, and Spike cooked. And he did when Wills came over last night, too."
"What! Will, you ate something that, that thing cooked?" Xander demanded.
"Hey!" Buffy protested. "That thing happens to be my boyfriend!" Angel cringed when Buffy said that, but remained silent.
"Xander," Willow began to try calming down her friend before he said anything to really piss Buffy off.
"Oh, don't bother," Cordelia cut Willow off. "He still bitches about Angel, and we all know he's good! He won't ever shut up on Spike."
The group sat in silence, most glad to have avoided the entire thing, or at least best they could. Buffy stood, too angry to say anything, and Xander's brain tried to catch up.
"I have to go," Buffy said. "You're all still coming tomorrow, right?" Buffy looked around the room. At seeing no protests, she nodded her head.
"Good. I'll see you guys tomorrow then." She turned and began to walk out.
"Hey, B! I'm still coming with," Faith said, catching up to the furious slayer-vampire.
The rest of the group just sat or stood around in silence, still trying to grasp what exactly had just happened.
The next day, Buffy was just finishing getting the house ready for the party. Spike had done most of the food and was currently out back barbequing. Just then, the doorbell rang. Buffy took one last glance around before going to answer the door.
She opened the door to see the faces of a smiling Willow and a laid-back Oz.
"Hey, guys. Come on in," she stepped aside so her friends could enter. Just then, Giles, Wesley, and Faith appeared. The group moved to sit in the living room, and Buffy went to get them drinks. Almost as soon as she was done with that, the doorbell rang once again.
She answered the door to a chipper Cordelia and a very sullen-faced Xander. She smiled.
"Hey, we're not the first ones here, are we? Or the last?" Cordelia checked. Buffy shook her head.
"Still waiting for Angel and Karen, but everyone else is here." Buffy let them by into the house.
Cordelia looked around appreciatively as she and Xander found seats amongst the others. Buffy left and soon reappeared with drinks for them as well.
"It's nice," Cordelia commented. "I like the décor, too. Especially that painting," she referred to a large painting of a scene in Greece.
"Thanks," Buffy said. "Actually, that's one of the ones Spike picked from mom's gallery. Really he's the one who did all the decorating and stuff. It wouldn't look near as nice if I had done it."
She then noticed Xander eyeing the tray of snacks on the coffee table and rolled her eyes at him as she took her own seat.
"They're not poisoned, Xand," she said.
"Yeah, Spike's an amazing cook," Willow said before popping a pig in a blanket into her mouth.
Once Xander recovered from the shock and realized Willow was still among the living, he cautiously took one for himself and ate it. The group was all trying not to laugh; even Giles had to suppress a chuckle. A shocked expression appeared on Xander's face as he ate.
"Good?" Faith asked with a grin.
Xander scowled. "It's… ok," he conceded grudgingly.
That was the exact moment that Spike chose to walk through the door.
"Hey, love," he said as he dropped a kiss atop Buffy's head. "'Lo all," he greeted the rest of the group.
"How's dinner coming?" Faith asked. "Can't just starve a hungry slayer," she grinned.
"It should be ready soon," Spike said, then noticed the lack of his grandsire.
""Where's the poof?" he asked. Buffy shook her head at Spike's choice of a name for Angel, but didn't comment.
"Not here yet. Neither is Karen, the other slayer," she told him. Right as the words finished coming out of her mouth, the doorbell rang for the third time that night.
"I'll get it, tiger. Gotta be at least one of them," Spike went to go answer the door. He returned with both Karen and Angel following behind him.
"Hey, take a sit down," Buffy said. "You guys want anything to drink?" she asked as she stood up. Angel shook his head no, but Karen took up the offer, thanking Buffy.
"I'm gunna go check on the food," Spike said before disappearing out the back door once again as Buffy came back with Karen's drink.
"Thanks," Karen thanked Buffy once again as she accepted the drink.
"No problem," Buffy said.
The group sat chatting animatedly in even smaller groups, someone perhaps switching conversations every now and then, until Spike came back in and announced that dinner was ready. They all got up and followed him outside to see a large table set under a canopy. The entire setup looked very elegant and pretty.
"Wow, even out here looks really nice. I'm truly impressed," Cordelia said. "Did you do this, too, Spike?" she looked at the vamp as she found a place to sit. Everyone else began to sit as well, and Buffy came out with a couple other dishes from the kitchen, setting them on the table and returning to get the rest.
"Actually, this was mostly Buffy. I let her take over everything but the food for tonight. Bloody good thing 'bout the food though, or you'd all be having take-out after watching the good stuff burn," he chuckled.
"Hey!" Buffy protested as she came back out, laying even more food on the table and for once glad of her short time as a waitress in LA. "I'm not that bad of a cook." At Spike's look, she giggled. "Ok, so maybe I am." The pair found their own seats and everyone began passing out food and eating, continuing their small talk.
Angel had been surprised when Buffy brought out a separate glass for him filled with blood. He supposed he shouldn't have been too surprised since they were obviously vampires and had their own, but he still forgot Buffy was and would like to forget Spike all together.
As everyone ate, there were various forms of approval to Spike for his cooking.
"Spike, you seriously cooked this?' Cordelia asked.
"Well, I'd have never imagined a vampire would know how to cook human food so well," Wesley appraised Spike. Spike smirked in his direction.
"Never would have imagined a watcher to compliment a vampire on their cooking," he said in return.
"Yes, quite," Wesley said with a grin. Over time he really was becoming one of the group.
The rest of dinner went relatively smoothly and everyone moved into the living room once again.
"Hey, Spike," Willow spoke up from her perch on Oz's lap.
"Yeah, Red?" Spike looked at her over Buffy who was sitting on him with her legs over one side of the chair they were on.
"Well, Buffy told me something the other day, and I was kinda wondering about it," Willow smiled. Spike quirked a brow at her, waiting for her to go on.
"Just why do you keep those onions around?" she giggled. Spike growled. Everyone else had quieted and was anticipating Spike's answer.
"Bloody women," Spike muttered under his breath. "'S those damn onion things at the Bronze. They're bloody brilliant, but I've got no idea how they do it," Spike ranted. The girls all broke into laughter, while Giles, Wesley, and Oz chuckled. Even Xander had to smile at the vampire. They all had to admit: he could be pretty normal seeming at times. Angel however, just glared at his grandchilde. He didn't like seeing Buffy and Spike together, but after tonight he had been forced to realize that she truly did like Spike, and she was happy with him. Angel sighed. Maybe it was time for him to let go.
Karen watched Angel from where she was sitting next to him.
"You ok?" she asked him as everyone returned to various conversations.
Angel took his gaze from Buffy and Spike to give Karen a smile. "I guess. It hurts to seem them together is all. I've had time to mourn her death, and then I had time to wish for things when I found out she wasn't exactly gone, but I suppose this is best. I can't give her what she wants, what she needs. I'll never be able to," Angel gave another longing look at Buffy.
Karen was confused. "Why not?"
"The curse," he said, looking at her once again.
"What?" she asked him, oblivious to the details of his curse.
"When I experience one moment of true happiness, I lose my soul. That's what happened last time. I lost my soul because Buffy and I…" he let the statement hang, his implication obvious.
"Oh. Oh!" Karen repeated, her eyes widening. She was looking at him in a whole new light now. It was almost like he was forbidden to ever be with anyone, and while that made him sexier in a way, it also made a lot of badness. She knew if he lost his soul that would be far from ok. She didn't know anymore what to think about her crush on him.
Soon, the watchers were leaving together.
"Tonight was wonderful, Buffy," Giles smiled at her as he stood. He was still wary of Spike, but it seemed he was to be trusted now, and as Oz had said, different rules applied for Buffy now since she was a vampire and no longer the slayer.
"Yes, everything was extremely pleasant," Wesley nodded in agreement as he rose as well. Buffy smiled, at the pair, getting up to show them out.
"I'm really glad you came, Giles. And it was nice getting to know you, Wesley," she said to them. Giles smiled at her again.
"It's just nice to have you back," he told her. She grinned.
"Truthfully, it's pretty nice to be back. I missed you guys," she gave him a hug. Giles hugged her tightly in return.
"Maybe I'll drop by the library sometime next week," Buffy said as she drew back. Giles nodded.
"That would be nice," he said. The watchers and former slayer said their final good-byes before the men left.
"Well, I'm itching for a good fight to finish my night," Faith said, getting out of her seat. "What about you?" she directed the question at Karen. Karen was a bit shocked, since Faith never really liked to patrol with anyone lately, but she smiled.
"Sure," she nodded and she and Faith started walking to the door where Buffy was waiting. Angel stood to follow the pair.
"I'll join you," he said.
"See ya, Spike. Later, B," Faith said as she swept out of the house.
"Nice actually talking to you," Karen said to Buffy as she followed Faith out. Angel and Buffy stood awkwardly.
"So it's real? He makes you happy?" Angel asked in one last attempt before he gave up on his dream of being with Buffy.
She nodded. "He really does," she smiled at Spike, who she could see sitting in the living room still. She faced Angel again.
"I'm sorry it hurts you," she said. He shook his head.
"I'll be ok," he said, giving her one more smile before slipping out into the night with the slayers. Maybe he would make that his new path: helping the current slayers rather than loving the old one.
Buffy returned to the living room where Spike, Willow, Oz, Cordelia, and Xander sat talking.
"Buffy, you and Spike should come to the Bronze next Friday. Oz's band is playing," Willow grinned happily. Buffy smiled back.
"Sounds fun," she nodded her head as she settled back onto Spike's lap.
"You play or sing?" Spike look over at Oz.
"Guitar," Oz responded.
Spike nodded in appreciation. "Play some myself." Buffy raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"We should jam sometime," Oz said. Spike nodded and that seemed to conclude the male guitar bonding as Spike moved on to telling Cordelia about another painting she had noticed. Willow and Buffy looked at each other but just shrugged with a smile. Buffy was just glad that Spike was getting along with her friends. Well, most of them. She looked over at Xander, who sat guardedly watching Spike as he talked with Cordelia. She shook her head, unsure if Xander would ever come to terms with Spike.
"We should go," Willow said as she and Oz stood up. Everyone else stood as well.
"Us, too," Xander agreed as he took Cordelia's hand in his.
Spike and Buffy saw the four to the door.
"Be careful walking home," Buffy said to her friends. They all nodded, bidding farewells as they walked outside. Shutting the door for the final time that night, Buffy heaved a sigh.
"Man, that was… something," she wrinkled her nose as she tried to find the right word.
"Long?" Spike suggested. Buffy looked at him and then shrugged.
"It works," she said flippantly as she headed outside to begin cleaning everything up. Spike, however, had other ideas as he grabbed he around the waist.
"Everything will still be there in the morning, tiger," he growled into her skin. "For now, let's enjoy finally being alone," he said as he swept her up into his arms. Buffy giggled as he carried her up the stairs to their room.
A/N: So… Now that I'm actually working on this story again… lol. I don't think it's going to end quite yet, but I'm not sure if the next chapter or so will be the end. I'm thinking I'll just take as many as it needs to get the characters all settled where I want them, which I know what I want to do with everyone but Karen! Lol. She's still a pest, but now at least I've set it up so there's a way she can leave Angel alone! Lol. The next chappy is in progress and hopefully will be completed soon, but in the meantime, leave me many happy reviews! It encourages me muches.