A/N : This was partly inspired by The Pina Colada Song written by Rupert Holmes, hence the title. It's set somewhere in Season 7, possibly somewhere around First Date, but I'm not sure. Apologies to everybody waiting for updates on my WIPs. They will come, I swear, but the inspiration for this wouldn't let me alone til I wrote the story.
(Disclaimer : Just in case it wasn't totally obvious already, Joss owns the BtVS characters and all that important stuff)
"Er, Buffy" Willow said awkwardly as she approached her friend, "Um, hey, how you doin'?" she grinned, hoping to cover for the fact she was panicking on the inside.
"I'm fine, Will" the Slayer smiled, "What's the what?" she asked, noticing how tense her friend was suddenly, "Is it bad? Did something evil happen?" she checked.
"No, no, no" Willow was quick to shake her head, "Nothing evil, maybe not even bad I just... I kinda did something" she admitted, "You might actually find this funny" she laughed nervously, "Or maybe not"
"Okay, scaring me now" Buffy admitted, putting down the laundry she'd been folding, "Tell me what's going on"
"Well, there was a thing... kind of a situation" Willow began to explain, pacing the living room floor in front of her friend who sat on the couch watching and waiting for an explanation, "Me and Xander, we got a little drunk and something happened"
"Oh my God, did you guys kiss or something!" Buffy gasped and the red-head's eyes went wide.
"Oh no, no kissage, no way" she denied quickly, "Er, gay now remember?" she reminded the Slayer who urged Willow to go on and explain what actually did happen, if it wasn't a romance thing.
"We were researching, on the computer, and well, there's a lot of these sites on the web where you can get dates so Xander said since we were all dateless maybe we should sign up" she explained, "So I kind of added me, and then him, and then..."
"And then?" Buffy prompted, realisation suddenly dawning on her face, "Oh no, no, no. No, Willow, please tell me you did not put my name on that thing" she begged as she stood up to face her friend.
"We might've added you, just a little bit" the witch admitted guiltily, "And when I remembered what we did I totally went to the site to remove us all" she added quickly.
"Well then, no harm done I guess" she said, taking a step past her friend to walk away.
"Not harm exactly" Willow said quietly, shifting nervously under the Slayer's gaze as the blonde turned back to look at her, "Somebody already kinda replied..."
"If you're making this up, Bit, I swear I'll..."
Spike's threat was left hanging as Dawn cut in.
"I swear, this is for real" she assured him, thrusting a piece of paper into his hands, "See, I printed off the details and everything" she grinned as he took the page from her with a dubious look and cast an eye across the words. Vaguely given details of a girl who apparently wanted to date him was what he found himself looking at, and he was having a hard time dealing too.
"Dunno that I like this blind date business" he sighed, "Not so sure I like the idea of dating at all" he admitted.
"Spike, you have to do this" Dawn insisted, "I don't like seeing you all mopey down here, you deserve to have some happiness"
"Wasn't so long ago you were threatening to set me on fire, Bit" Spike pointed out, giving her a sideways glance, "Now you're like my personal dating advisor. What's up with that?" he asked curiously.
Dawn sighed as she sat down beside him on his cot.
"I never meant what I said" she told him, "The whole setting you on fire thing, I never would've done that. I was just so mad cos I know you hurt Buffy... She totally flipped at me after for being that way with you" she shook her head at the memory, "I had no idea she'd been hurting you too, and I know that doesn't excuse what you did but... well, I think you both need to move on from the badness of last year"
"Gotta say I'm agreeing with you there, pet" Spike nodded eyes shifting back to the paper in his hand, "Just not so certain a blind date with Little Miss Whoever here is the way to do it"
Dawn got up from the bed, taking the page from his hands as she went towards the stairs. She turned back at the bottom of the steps.
"It's a shame" she sighed and Spike frowned.
"Shame?" he echoed, "What's that then?"
"Oh, nothing" the teen told him, "I just didn't realise getting your soul and all meant you were a coward now"
In an instant Spike had the paper back in his hands, denying the accusation immediately and vocally. If it took a date with some random girl to prove his lack of cowardice then so be it. Too many people thought they could walk all over him these days, and though their relationship had changed from last year to this, it wasn't a if he and Buffy were planning marriage or whatever. Maybe he needed to move on as it seemed she had.
Three days later... Saturday Night..
"I don't know why I let you talk me into this" Buffy complained as she stood in front of the full length mirror and Willow zipped up her dress for her.
"Because you deserve some fun" Willow told her with a smile, "Besides, you and Mr X here are so well suited. He's been a Sunnydale a while and he's okay with the weirdness and all. He won't be freaked by you being all Slaygal"
"So says some freakish dating website that's never actually met me, or mystery guy" Buffy rolled her eyes, "This is so going to go wrong, I'm the Slayer!" she half-yelled, "I just don't think I'm supposed to date"
"But you want to, right?" Willow frowned, "You want to be happy with some nice guy that makes you happy?"
"I guess" Buffy shrugged, "Yeah" she decided, "I do, I just... what if it all goes wrong again, like with Angel, and Parker, and Riley..."
"Sweetie" Willow sighed, getting hold of her friend by the shoulders, "Positive thinking, okay?" she urged her, "Tonight's going to be fun, and maybe it'll lead to more fun nights after that, but it's okay if it doesn't too. I just wanna see you happy" she smiled.
Buffy nodded that she understood as she slipped her feet into her shoes and grabbed her purse, checking the contents.
"Okay" she sighed, mentally checking off a list; cash, lip gloss, stake, "Looks like I'm ready" she said, satisfied she was prepared for any eventuality.
"I dunno why I let you talk me into this" Spike complained as he pulled on his coat and wished that a mirror were a possibility for him.
"Because you know I'm right" Dawn told him with a smile, "You and Miss X are totally compatible"
"So says some daft dating website that's never bloody met me, or her" Spike rolled his eyes, "This is gonna be a bloody disaster! I'm a vampire in God's name!" he yelled.
"Okay, I'm pretty certain that's an oxymoron" Dawn frowned, "And it doesn't matter that you're, y'know, allergic to sunlight or on a liquid diet or whatever" she explained, "I told you the dating site is for all kinds of people, and non-people too actually"
"And this bird I got set up with" Spike asked curiously, "I don't see species listed on this soddin' thing" he said, waving the now crumpled piece of paper around, "If I get to the restaurant and find it's a Fungus Demon or some such waiting for me in her posh frock, I swear to God, Bit, you're gonna be in some trouble" he warned her.
"She's not a demon" Dawn assured him, "Just trust me okay, it's gonna be cool"
"Right then" Spike sighed, checking is pockets for cash, cigarettes, stake, "Here we go" he said, satisfied he was prepared for any eventuality.
Buffy was ridiculously nervous and not loving the feeling at all. Usually she had such confidence in herself to always win the fight, be the best, slay whatever evil came at her, but when it came to dating, it was a whole different ball game. After the death and mayhem of her relationship with Angel, one night stand with Parker, long term thing with Riley that always lacked a certain spark, and whatever the hell it was she and Spike had, Buffy had begun to wonder if she would ever find a guy she could be happy with.
The Slayer was fairly certain blind dating was not the way to go but it was kind of flattering to think somebody had read the little description of her and what she liked and everything and decided they wanted to meet her with the possibility of romance involved.
If the piece of paper in her purse told the truth he should really be something. Good looking, good sense of humour, gentlemanly and kind, but with a wild side. He seemed to like a lot of things she liked too, and that was always a bonus, all that really worried Buffy now was if he would be disappointed in her when he met her, rather than the other way around. She straightened out her red silky dress, the agreed clothing so that her mystery man could identify her, and checked her appearance one more time in the compact mirror from her purse. All she had to do now was wait til the man with the red rose showed up.
Spike felt like such a ponce as he stepped into the little restaurant, his eyes adjusting from the dark night to the new dimly lit surroundings of the romantic setting. Who was he kidding, thinking he could actually find a woman he could date, someone to ultimately be in love with may be. His heart belonged to the Slayer, had for years now and always would whether she wanted it or not. Of course that didn't mean he couldn't have a perfectly pleasant evening with the woman he was supposed to meet tonight, and even if a part of him was dreading an impending disaster, his newly re-claimed soul wouldn't allow him to be so callous as to abandon the poor chit. In fact given his soft spot for so many of the fairer sex, it was doubtful Spike would have stood her up before his re-ensouling.
"Can I 'elp you... sir?" A French accented waiter asked him with a look that said he was really not impressed by the vampire's appearance.
"Wouldn't've thought so mate" Spike smirked, "Got a lady waitin' for me..." he said, eyes wandering the room to try and spot his date in her red dress. The shock he got when he saw her, well, it certainly would've given him a heart attack, if he still had a pulse of course.
"Spike?" Buffy's eyes went comically wide as she looked at him, "What are youdoing here?" she said, her tone still full of surprise but edged with aggravation as she stood up from her seat and stared at him, "Did you follow me, because I swear I..." she stopped abruptly when she spotted the red rose now held limply in his left hand as he stared at her in shock.
"What is that?" she asked gesturing to the flower, eyeing it warily as if it were an unexploded bomb.
"Er, 's for a certain lady in red I'm s'posed to be meeting" he smirked as he glanced down at the rose in his hand and then up at Buffy once again, "You wouldn't happen to know anythin' about that would you, luv?"
The Slayer looked at him for a long moment trying to work out if he was being straight with her or not. He really didn't seem to know she was going to be here, she could tell from the shock on his face. Spike couldn't lie to her, and she doubted she could fool him either, they had this connection that would not allow untruths to pass between them anymore. She smiled at that thought, her grin turning into embarrassment when she realised most of the room were staring at her.
"We so need to sit down" she said, grabbing Spike's sleeve and encouraging him towards his seat.
Buffy managed to tell the waiter that stopped at their table she'd just like a glass of water for now and Spike threw in that he needed a bourbon as he continued to stare at his Slayer. It'd been too long since he saw her like this, dressed up in her finest with her hair pinned up and make-up carefully applied.
"Not looking so much the army general tonight, luv" he smirked, before she had a chance to speak. Buffy wasn't sure how to take the compliment and looked away for a second before asking;
"What the hell is going on?" she wanted to know and Spike shrugged his shoulders, starting to find the situation a little amusing now.
"Seems we decided we were perfect for each other without even knowing it" he told her as she shook her head and began to root through her purse. A moment later she was unfolding a piece of paper and handing it to him.
"You expect me to believe this is you?" she asked, her mind whirring as she recalled the paragraph she'd read over and over. Spike read it himself and she stared at him realising that it really could be true. He was so kind and sweet with her, but his wild side was not to be denied. Of course he'd like walking in the moonlight, he didn't have the option to travel by day, and as for liking poetry, music, good food, and all the other listed things she'd thought made her mystery man so compatible with her, well, maybe she just hadn't listened enough when he'd told her before.
"It is" Buffy said before Spike could answer her question, "It is you" she laughed slightly at the realisation.
"Looks like, pet" he nodded, "That bother you does it?" he checked.
She looked at him for a moment before she shook her head.
"I don't know" she admitted, "Did you know you were meeting me tonight?" she checked again, though she was fairly certain he couldn't have faked the shock when he'd first seen her.
"Honestly, luv, I didn't have a clue" he swore, "Can't say as I'm disappointed though" he said honestly, recalling the words he'd read about his blind date. There was still so much he didn't know about his lady love, so much he wanted to find out still, if she'd only let him. She was frowning as he looked at her and the smile fell from his own face too.
"Seems it's just me that's not disappointed then" he muttered, throwing the rose down on the table and getting up, "I'll just piss off, leave you to it..."
"No" Buffy's voice startled herself as well as him as she caught hold of his hand, "Sit down... please" she urged him and he did as she asked, wondering which way the conversation was about to go. He prepared himself for the worst, the whole 'I don't hate you, but I could never love you' speech he was becoming all too familiar with. Maybe it would have been better if he had met a new woman tonight, someone who might actually be able to love him fully.
"I'm not disappointed" the Slayer said almost too softly to hear, glancing down and then back up at Spike, her hand still holding onto his on the tablecloth, "I'm just surprised" she smiled, "You were kind of the last person I expected to see"
"Got a bit of a shock myself, luv" Spike agreed, "Guess we don't know each other quite as well as we thought"
"I guess not" Buffy sighed, "but... that doesn't mean we couldn't" she suggested, to the vampires further surprise.
"What're you sayin' to me here, pet?" Spike checked, always very wary of taking things she said the wrong way, especially after last years constant mistakes and heartache.
"I'm saying..." Buffy said thoughtfully, staring at their joined hands still, "Spike, the world we live in, we're not so blind to it as everybody else. We know it could all end too fast, tomorrow even. It should've taught us not to waste the chances we're given" she said, looking up into his eyes, "Fate keeps throwing us together, and no matter how much one of us tried to deny it" she smiled, "maybe that means something"
"Been tryin' to tell you that for years enough, pet" Spike smirked, "What's changed?" he asked her.
"Nothing, and everything" she admitted as she picked up the abandoned rose from the table and breathed in it's sweet scent.
Spike was about to ask what that little cryptic half-sentence meant when the waiter brought their drinks over and set them down on the table before disappearing again. Spike slipped his hand from Buffy's and picked up his drink, thinking he should just down it in one and dull the pain that would doubtless follow when Buffy said something to break his heart into just a few more pieces.
"How about we have a toast?" she suggested, making him look at her again.
"To what?" he asked suspiciously, as their eyes met.
"To us?" she smiled hopefully, holding her glass out towards his, "And the future we could maybe have, if we get it right this time?"
"Get what right exactly?" Spike asked and Buffy sighed in exasperation.
"Do I have to spell it out for you?" she complained, "You're always telling me you know me so well, and you can always tell what I'm thinking and stuff, why can't you do that now?"
"Maybe cos I want to get this right too" Spike told her honestly, "Rather have it spelt out than bugger it up all over again" he explained, too many painful memories from last year flashing through his mind, one in particular he only wished he could erase from time. Moments after speaking of his ability to read her as it were, Buffy was reminded she had the same skill when it came to Spike. She knew what happened before still haunted him, all the badness of last year, but that was over now and in some ways felt so long ago it didn't even matter.
"Spike" she sighed, putting down her glass and reaching for his hand once again, "Last year... we both have things we regret, sorry doesn't even cover half of what we did to each other" she shook her head, "but that's over now, it's done. There's no point fixating on the past it's only going to spoil the present, and the future"
"So we start over?" Spike said thoughtfully, his thumb absently stroking the back of Buffy's hand.
"Yes, we start over" she smiled, picking both their hands up and making it seem like they were shaking on something, "Hi, I'm Buffy Summers, and I'm your date for the evening" she smiled, causing Spike to do the same.
"Very pleased to know you, pet" he said, going along with her game, "You can just call me Spike"
"It's very nice to meet you, Spike" she smiled, "I'm looking forward to getting to know you"
"Same here, luv" he nodded as he clinked his glass with hers, "Cheers"