Kitten gets a kitten - Chapter 1

Disclaimer: These characters belong to Joss Whedon, WB and Mutant Enemy, and were made flesh by the actors that gave them life. I borrow them here out of reverence, with respect and for fun, not profit. And if I owned Spike I'd never let him out to play with Buffy!

Brushing vampire dust from her burgundy halter top and black leather jeans, Buffy straightened up and sighed. That staking had been all too easy and had done nothing to fill the hollow pit she felt deep within herself. Frankly, she was heartily sick of dusting fledglings and longed for a fulfilling fight with a master vampire worthy of her skill, strength and endurance.

She grimaced at the thought; she ought to be wishing for an easier life, not wanting to put her life at risk. But then that was the problem wasn't it? Life! She hadn't wanted to leave the safe, warm place she had found herself in after she had died, but her friends had torn her away because they hurt.

The hurt they had sought to assuage was theirs, not hers. Bringing her back had been an act of pure selfishness and Buffy knew that at some level she could never forgive her friends for ripping her out of heaven. They didn't know what they had done, of course; they could never know. But she knew, and the thought of it killed her a little each day.

She stood surrounded by graves, wishing she was able to join the corpses beneath her feet. Is that why she wanted to meet a vampire worthy of her in battle, she asked herself? To send her back to the coffin she had clawed her way out of just a few weeks before? 'Oh god, Buffy', she wailed at herself silently, 'how have things got so fucked up'?

Shaking her head to try to throw off the thoughts that had crept once again into her brain, Buffy did what she had done practically every night since she had returned from the dead, she went to visit the undead; Spike.

Spike had seen her when she first returned from her 147 day sojourn in heaven. He had seen her pain; he had shared her horror of breaking out of her coffin; he had understood. And now he offered her what she so desperately needed; physical release.

What she had with Spike, if she cared to think about it, which she so did not want to do, was not the slayer versus master vampire fight to the death that she craved. But it was its equal because each night that she tangled with Spike, half warring, half dancing, she died a little. This was not what slayers did. This was not what good girls did. This was not what Buffy did. Except it was what Buffy did now; she had sex with her mortal enemy.

Making her way to Spike's crypt she felt that her body was betraying her. How could it possibly be making her return to Spike night after night for this macabre dance? Why couldn't she just stay away? But even as these thoughts filled her mind they were pushed away by the memory of Spike's taut stomach, his pale, chilled, muscular chest and his knowing blue laser eyes, cutting into her core.

Rounding a tomb she approached Spike's crypt and stopped dead in her tracks as Spike's voice, soft, enticing, teasing, hit her like the flat of a hand.

"You're a feisty little kitten, aren't you? Com'on then, give Uncle Spike a big kiss."

'Eww, gross, much!' Buffy couldn't breathe, her hands became clammy and she felt sick. Spike had another lover! It couldn't be Dru. Was Harmony back? No, it was someone new; someone to replace her, the slayer, in his arms, in his bed.

She reeled, steadying herself on the tomb alongside her. She felt faint and she knew she was stupid and weak. This was Spike, he meant nothing to her; now she could stake him without a shred of conscience.

As she grappled to get control of her mind and body, Spike's voice, louder now, rang out, "Slayer, don't just stand there, com'on in and meet kitten here."

'Ohmygod, he wants me to meet his latest 'ho-bag', Buffy thought, alarm rising in her blood. She wanted to get away; she wanted to run; she wanted to be somewhere else. But part of her wanted to KNOW.

"Com'on slayer, no point in standing outside catching flies."

Buffy snapped her mouth shut. How did he know her mouth had dropped open? Damn his vampire senses. Damn his intimate knowledge of her, her feelings, her reactions. Damn him!

She moved tentatively towards the crypt door, which was slightly ajar, a feeling of dread growing in the emptiness inside her.

"Slayer, we haven't got all day. Get yer sorry ass in here!"

'That's it, I've had it with this evil, self-righteous pig of a man, er pig of a vampire,' thought Buffy as she strode up to the crypt door and thumped it, sending it flying inwards, hitting the wall of the crypt with a sharp clang.

"Oi, slayer, 'nuf of the rough stuff. You're frightening her."

Buffy stepped over the threshold and blinked incredulously as hers eyes adjusted to the dimness and her brain adjusted to the image that emerged from the gloom.

Spike was crouched on the floor holding a piece of frayed string in one hand and clutching a small, black and white kitten against his chest with his other hand.

No mocking retorts, no sarcastic asides, no Buffy witticism. Buffy was stunned into silence as her brain felt as if it was bouncing off the inside of her skull like a boxer's after a paralysing blow to the head.

The tableau became real as Spike grinned from ear to ear and murmured quietly, "I told you, luv, no need to catch flies. I've got kitty here for that."

For the second time that evening Buffy snapped her mouth shut. Her brain now started to process the facts provided by her eyes, making sense of the information her ears had supplied before she had entered the crypt.

"Didn't think I had a doxy in here, did you slayer?" asked Spike as if he had read her thoughts, the satisfied glint in his eyes telling Buffy he knew she had, and he had planned it that way. Spike never left his door ajar, particularly when he might be expecting her to visit after her patrol as she had been in the habit of doing recently.

"You wish!" Buffy rasped angrily, but her reddening neck and face confirmed what Spike already knew.

"Hey, Slayer, it wasn't me who drew the wrong conclusions!" Spike's smirk and tilted head sorely pissing off the slayer, as she continued to blush at the reminder of her assumptions, and at the thought that Spike knew her well enough to taunt her like this.

Spike placed the kitten on the crypt floor in front of him, sat himself back until he was sitting cross-legged and motioned Buffy to sit down too.

"Come and meet kitty."

The short-haired kitten was mostly black, but had a white bib, neck and belly, and four white paws. The bottom half of her face was white too, with a cute little smudge of black on the tip of her nose. Her eyes were rimmed with black fur which intensified their vivid green colour. She was an adorable bundle of fur, stunningly beautiful and graceful, and, like all cats, she knew it.

Buffy moved forward and sat facing Spike and the kitten, mirroring Spike's posture. She held her hand out tentatively; the kitten sauntered up and sniffed the tip of Buffy's middle finger, and then rubbed her cheek against the outstretched hand.

"She likes you," said Spike, pride obvious in his voice.

"Where did you get her? Is she yours?" Buffy asked as she started to tickle the kitten under its chin, being rewarded with a small throaty purr and much head-butting, as the cat closed her clear green eyes in obvious enjoyment of the attention she was getting.

"I guess she's no-one's," answered Spike. "I'd seen her hanging around the cemetery for about a week now, noticed she was getting thinner and kinda reckoned she was lost. I asked around, you know, those houses that back on to the cemetery down at Lowther Street, but nobody knew anything about a missing cat. So I figured she might have been winnings from a demon poker game and had got away."

Buffy grimaced at the thought of kitten poker. Looking down at this little scrap of silky black and white fur, she couldn't imagine anything more barbaric than playing poker for kittens, and she had seen a lot of evil in her short life.

"Anyway, she was starving so I bought her back here and, guess what, she loves blood with Weetabix crumbled up in it!"

Another grimace from Buffy, this time accompanied by a shudder.

"So, are you gonna keep her, you evil, kitten-poker playing vampire?" Buffy asked managing, just, to keep a straight face. She took the string from Spike's hand and wiggled it in front of the kitten, who pounced, and started chewing and clawing the frayed end for all she was worth.

"I can't can I, luv?" Spike sighed and looked down at the playful kitten regretfully.

'Ohmygod, he wants to keep the kitten', thought Buffy in amazement.

"I mean, I live in a crypt, the door's too thick to fit a cat door, I'm asleep all day, and I'm so not doing the kitty litter thing."

"So, what are you gonna do with her, let Clem bet her on the next poker game?"

"Hey, slayer, I might be an evil vampire an' all, but I do have principles," Spike complained in a hurt tone. "I thought perhaps you could take her?" he raised his scarred eyebrow in his trademark way that he knew she found irresistible.

"What?" Buffy dropped the string like she just learnt it was radioactive, producing a tiny, plaintiff mew from the kitten, who stepped up to Buffy's hand and head-butted it.

"Spike, I can't! I can't look after a kitten. I'm the slayer, I have responsibilities, duties, people rely on me, I have to save the world, I ……." Buffy's hand was now rubbing the kitten's nose, then her forehead, then the top of her head, and then moving on to massage her neck before starting back with the nose rub to repeat the process, much to the obvious enjoyment of the kitten, who was now dribbling with delirium.

"Lil'bit will love to help. And cats take care of themselves for the most part. She won't be any trouble, and you've got Red and her pal who will help out too. So you having her is the only solution. I'd hate to turn her out and have her starve or get eaten by a fledgling or some'at." He looked at Buffy with doleful eyes, but couldn't hold the facade and broke into a wide, loveable grin.

"My god, Spike, you are such a user. You planned this. I can't believe you're doing this to me."

"So that's settled then, slayer. When you go tonight you can take her back with you and I'll pop in tomorrow to see how she's settling in." Spike leant forward over the kitten and pressed a light kiss to Buffy's furrowed brow.

"Com'on pet, you can play with kitty later. Now it's Spike's playtime."