The box looked innocent enough.
It sat, brown-wrapped and solid, squarely on the centre of the worktop in Giles' kitchen, ignored by Buffy and Xander, who were busy with a large pile of dusty tomes at Giles' coffee table. Giles was laboriously writing in a large notebook at his desk, back turned resolutely away from the annoyingly hyperactive vampire who was currently opening and closing his kitchen cupboard doors with unnecessary violence.
So, because everyone was ignoring his determined attempts to rile them, Spike was bored – mind-numbingly, stuck-in-doors-in-broad-daylight-with-a-bunch-of-boring-wankers bored.
"What's in here, then?" Spike picked the box up and shook it, frowning as he listened to the rattling from inside.
"Put that down!" Giles blustered. "I don't recall it was addressed to you."
"Well, no… Hey! British postmark!" Spike peered at the familiar regal profile on the stamps. "Who's sending you stuff from Blighty?" Spike sneered. "Bet it's bloody books."
"Actually, it's… ah… a gift. From my Aunt." Giles sighed at Spike's raised eyebrow. "She… ah… worries that I might be missing out on certain British delicacies. Every so often she sends me a food parcel."
Buffy looked up from the table. "What, like fish and chips and toads for your hole… whatever… they are…?"
"Not exactly…" Giles frowned over at Spike. "Did I give you permission to unwrap my parcel?"
"Nope." Spike carried on ripping off the brown paper. "Evil, remember? Don't need permission." He pulled the last piece of wrapping aside and opened the cardboard box. A shower of polystyrene packaging pieces flew everywhere as Spike flung them aside enthusiastically. He picked out the first of the contents and sneered at it in disgust. "Tea! What, you can't get tea in the good old US of A?"
"Not that sort of tea. It's… Spike, do you have to?"
"Marmite! Bloody hell! Do you actually eat that stuff? Couldn't she send you something useful? Few bottles of good British beer…" Spike grumbled, hands deep in the box.
"She's teetotal. Card carrying Methodist. Will you stop? Now?"
"No. There has to be something…" he paused. "Well, look at this…" Spike picked out a small box brightly coloured and about the size of an egg box – which, as it turned out, was appropriate because… "Cadbury's Creme Eggs," Spike said reverently, "Blimey! Do they still make these?"
"Easter eggs?" Xander gave a bemused frown. "We've only just had Christmas!"
"Sadly, commercialism is no respecter of tradition. Easter starts just after Christmas, just as Christmas starts around mid-August." Giles shook his head. "Sad reflection of our times."
"Oo! I like those! Creamy and chocolatey goodness all in one!" Buffy perked up slightly. "Nothing like a candy moment to sweeten the research."
"Well, you're not gettin' them." Spike clutched his treasure to his chest. "Finders keepers and all that."
"Giles!" Buffy pouted. "Tell Spike to give!"
"Spike, give." Giles sighed, without any real conviction.
Spike threw himself into an armchair, sprawled and grinned. "No."
"I don't know why I bother," Giles muttered turning back to his notes. "Honestly sometimes I think I might as well just put a… a tailor's dummy in a cardigan at my desk and no-one would notice the difference."
"Well, it might be a whole lot less dull." Spike reasoned.
Buffy glared at him. "You know, you come between a slayer and her chocolate fix, you're asking to be dusted."
It was Xander's turn to perk up. "Hey, let me find you astake!"
Spike held up one of the creme eggs teasingly. "You want one, slayer, you just come and get it." He tilted his head and pressed his tongue against his teeth. "Come on. Wrestle me for it. Been a while since we had a bit of body contact. And you know you wanna."
Buffy flushed violently. Despite loud protestations about how much he'd hated the experience, Spike wasted no opportunity to remind Buffy of the consequences of Willow's spell. "The only body contact I want with you involves a nice, hard, twelve inch bit of wood," she sneered.
Xander blinked at her. "And I'm not sure that came out quite as you meant it..."
"Pointed! Pointed piece of…" Buffy's flush deepened. She glared at Spike. "Shut up!"
"Didn't say a thing." Spike grinned, unwrapping the coloured foil happily. "Mmm… British chocolate!" he rolled his eyes appreciatively. "You know, I don't know how you colonials get away with callin' the brown stuff you flog 'chocolate'. Typical American rubbish." He brought the pointed end of the egg to his mouth and delicately and slowly ran strong, white teeth over the surface, peeling a thin layer of chocolate on to his tongue. He watched Buffy through narrowed eyes. "Mmmm… that is so good…" he purred.
Buffy glared. "Where do you get away with eating so much? Why can't you just stick to blood like an ordinary vampire?"
"Because I ain't no ordinary vampire." He raised an eyebrow at her.
"But I'll bet you dust just like an ordinary vampire." Buffy growled.
Spike smirked. His teeth closed over the top of the egg with a snap, neatly slicing it open. He held Buffy's eyes as he slowly savoured the chocolate. The day was improving nicely. Nothing like a bit of slayer-riling to cheer a bloke up, and actually – he paused in surprise as the taste in his mouth finally registered – he'd forgotten quite how good these things were. He looked down at the cream egg with renewed interest. Now for the inside…
His tongue flicked across the surface of the exposed whiteness inside, the tip delicately creaming off a small scoop, curling it up between his lips. Buffy watched in fascination as he rolled it around his mouth, his eyes half-closed – he seemed to be getting an inordinate amount of pleasure from the experience. His tongue appeared again and delved deeply into the centre of the egg, sinuously scooping out a sticky mound of glistening white and yellow. He savoured the taste, all thoughts of annoying Buffy apparently forgotten.
Despite herself, Buffy couldn't seem to look away as he worked at the inside of egg, alternating small, delicate, cat-like flicks of his tongue, with deeper, longer thrusts, slowly teasing the last of the soft centre from the chocolate shell. Spike's tongue! Tongue of Spike! It vaguely occurred to her that she seemed to be losing the capacity for rational thought, because the thoughts she was having were, given the circumstances, hardly rational… surely.
A small dribble of white trailed over his lower lip. He scooped it up to his mouth, closed his lips around his finger and sucked lasciviously.
Buffy swallowed. Hard.
The shell empty, Spike began to nibble it away, teeth, tongue and lips in perfect harmony. When the last morsel of chocolate had finally gone he laid his head back with a contented sigh.
Buffy was vaguely aware she was probably staring, but a small crumb of chocolate clung to the full curve of his lower lip and she suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to lick it away…
Spike opened his eyes suddenly and caught Buffy watching him dazedly. "What?" He frowned.
"You… ah… have… chocolate… just…" Buffy gestured vaguely to her mouth. She shook herself. Jeez! Willow and that spell had one hell of a lot to answer for. "That was just gross! You may have put me off chocolate for life!" She began to turn the pages of the tome in front of her in a flurry of embarrassment. "Now – shut up. We have research to do." She looked over at Xander. "Xander?" Xander was staring at Spike, eyes unfocussed. "Xander? You OK?"
Xander blinked. "I… umm… just need to go to the bathroom." He stood up carefully and made his way out of the room awkwardly. "Just… carry on without me…"
Spike gave him a puzzled frown, then shrugged. "Think I'll have another one of those…"
"Giles!" Buffy whined. "Tell him to stop!"
Giles sighed heavily. It was going to be a long day.