Title: Breakups For Dummies

Author: mistymidnight

Rating: G

Disclaimer: I own the plot, but I don't own the characters or the canon.

Spoilers/Timeline: Somewhere in season five, between "Into The Woods" and "Blood Ties".

Summary: Buffy and Spike have an actual conversation, much to their surprise. Buffy and Spike friendship--no Spuffy.

Author's Notes: Well, here I am, smack-dab in the middle of a fic-writing marathon, writing a fic I swore I'd never write. Kind of.

Anybody who's read my other stories (or even my profile) knows that I cannot stand Spuffy fics. And here I am, writing a Spike-Buffy. But I can't stress this enough: IT IS NOT SPUFFY. No Spike/Buffy smoochies and no Spike/Buffy "romance" (if you could call it that...)

And yeah, the title's kinda dumb. It's all I could come up with, though. My brain is fried.

Breakups For Dummies

Buffy Summers was beat. All she wanted to do was go home and either sleep or curl up with a pint of Ben and Jerry's...or possibly go to sleep. But no, she had to be the Slayer. She Who Hangs Out In Cemeteries...and Does Not Ever Get A Day Off Or A Paid Vacation. Sometimes it stinks to be me, Buffy thought self-pityingly. She looked down at her new boots that were covered with scuff marks from fighting the latest creature feature. That's seventy bucks down the drain. She was so concentrated on the scuff marks that she bumped right into something standing in front of her. She gasped and raised her stake, only to have her wrist grabbed inches away from the whatever-it-was's heart.

"Easy, luv," Spike said, letting go of her wrist. "You could've killed me."

You're already dead," Buffy snapped, angry at letting herself get distracted. "And explain where killing you would be bad."

Spike tried his hardest to think of a witty remark, but couldn't think of nay he hadn't already used.

"Mmm-hmm," Buffy said curtly. "That's what I thought." She stepped around Spike and began walking down another row of graves.

"Bit touchy tonight, aren't we, Slayer?"

She turned around and regarded him with a scowl. "The name's Buffy, Hostile Seventeen."

Spike frowned. "Not funny."

"It's not supposed to be," Buffy snapped, then thought for a second. "Hostile Seventeen. Sounds like the title to a James Bond movie."

"It bloody well does not!" Spike snapped back.

Buffy, tired and bored and depressed, began to laugh. It wasn't even that funny, but she couldn't stop. She laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks. Spike, in the meantime, just stood and watched. She was almost reminding him of Dru, what with the crazy laughter. Oh, perfect. The Slayer's a nutcase.

At long last, Buffy wiped the tears from her face. "Sorry," she gasped. "It's just...that's the first time I've laughed so hard since..." She trailed off, as if realizing who she was talking to.

"Since...?" Spike prodded.

"Nothing," she said, rather coldly, pivoting around to resume her patrol.

"Since Captain Cardboard up and left you?"

That got her attention. "His name is Riley," she reminded him crossly, "and I seem to remember you having something to do with his leaving in the first place."

Spike shrugged. "Just 'cause I tell it like it is doesn't mean I'm the root of all evil."

"Who says?"

"No one says, pet. I mean, take Cordelia, for example. Now that was a girl who called it like she saw it. If I didn't have this bloody chip in my head, I'd consider turning her."

"What, and risk angering the memory of your dear Drusilla?" Buffy inquired sarcastically. "Gasp. And nix the idea of turning my friends...and the friends of my friends."

"Oh, bugger Drusilla," Spike snapped. "I'm just trying to make a point. It's not my fault Captain...Riley couldn't stand to stick around."

"Why is it you always have a hand in my breakups?"

Spike looked confused. "Come again?"

"The Angel saga, and now the Riley breakup--"

"Whoa, now, don't go blaming your problems with Tall, Dark, and Broody on me. You turned him evil all by yourself."

"I did not."

"Okay, you and the gypsies. Still don't see how it's my fault."

"You..." Buffy struggled for a reply. "You...were a bad influence on him after he turned."

"It was actually quite the opposite, pet."

"Oh, just shut up!"

"No, because I just thought of something: how come you always have a hand in my breakups?"

"I don't."

"Yes, you do. Dru left me--"

"Because she got bored, as crazies so frequently do. So what?"

"She left me because I allied myself with you."

"Okay, Mr. "Let's-Play-The-Blame-Game", you came to me. It was your idea."

"But you went along with it."

"Why did you even offer to help me if you wanted me to turn you down?"

Spike was at a loss for an answer and decided it was best to keep his mouth shut.

"I can't believe we're actually having a conversation," Buffy said disgustedly. "Here," she said, whipping the stake at him. "Patrol. I'm going home."

"What if I don't want to patrol?" he asked for the simple purpose of contradicting her.

"I'm not the one who has a chip in my head," she said by way of reply, her voice growing fainter as she walked away. "If you've decided to go stir crazy for lack of violence, it's not my problem."

Spike looked down at the stake in his hand, then looked at the spot where the Slayer had been standing just a moment before.

Oh, bloody hell. Why not?

Love it, hate it, let me know.