Title: Acquired Tastes
Author: Helga Von Nutwimple
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Spike/Ilona Costa Bianchi, for speakr2customrs
Disclaimer: Property of Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc.
Feedback: Crave it like Clem craves kittens.
Setting: AtS Season Five, during "The Girl In Question".
Summary: Ilona and Spike have a little chat about condiments.

-

"This girl," Ilona croons, the gravity-defying cantaloupes of her breasts pressing into his arm, "This Buffy. She is special, yes?"

She makes 'Buffy' sound like 'Boofy', pursing her lips in an elaborate kissing motion, and Spike is suddenly laughing until tears prick the corners of his eyes; really, it's not like Boofy is any more bloody idiotic a name than Buffy, and he guesses a good bit of his merriment can be attributed to several bottles of 1949 Mouton Rothschild, but seriously - what in bleedin' hell had Joyce been thinking? Sensible, lovely lady like that, slapping a moniker like "Buffy" on a baby. Not that he'd ever name a kid "Dawn" either, but that was the monk's problem...

"Spike?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah. Buffy's special. Every sense of the word, really. Chosen One n' all."

"I confess, I do not understand," Ilona swirls her wine languidly. "You and Angelus, you are bello, powerful immortal allies. Yet you bicker like scolari, and over this little girl. You tell me she is dating the Immortal, yes?"

Spike goes for a manly scowl that looks quite a bit more like a sullen pout. "Yeah."

"The Immortal... he is a fine way to spend an evening. Like the opera, the teatro. You go, you have a good time, you go home, yes? You know it is not real. It is intrattenimento. You and Angelus, your former donne, they knew this. To date the Immortal... it is like going to the teatro every night, yes? This girl, your Buffy, she must have a profound need to escape her life."

"Always has, really," Spike shrugs, pouring more wine into his glass. "Never did like the Slayer gig. Came damned close to deliberately stayin' crazy just to get away."

"And you, Spike. You are like aceto, you say vinegar, the acquired taste. You are a man of the harsh truths, yes? Squisito, delicious... and yet too strong for many people. You will never be an escape for this girl."

"Not for bloody lack of trying," Spike growls.

"She will never be happy with you, tesoro, until she is happy with the truth. You are willing to wait, yes?"

Spike smiles sadly. "Until the end of the world."

"Perhaps indeed it will take that long," Ilona smiles. "And what of the meantime?"

"Well, I..." Spike sighs. "I just bloody well wait, I guess. For her to finish baking or get a taste for vinegar or some other damned cooking metaphor."

"There is a saying in your country, no? The pot you watch, it never boils?"

"Somethin' like that, yeah."

"Spike?"

"Yeah?"

"I am also a fine way to spend an evening. And I am very fond of vinegar."