"Mind if I cut in? I don't care, I'm doing it anyway," a British voice that still sent shivers up her spine interrupted her semi-awkward dance with Scott Hope. They were at the dance for Sunnydale High's cultural exchange program, although not together. Still not together. For a guy who said "I love you" less than a week into their relationship, he was suddenly taking things slow. Which pissed her off. Tremendously. At least he stopped doing stuff with Harmony… But he hadn't asked her to this dance, so she'd gone with Scott. The poor boy hadn't known what he had walked into when he'd asked Buffy. Now, Spike seemed to be trying to scare him off by glowering at him across the table, interrupting every conversation he'd tried to have with his date, and now cutting in on his dance with Buffy.

"O-okay," Scott stammered, moving away from her. Very quickly.

Buffy scowled at Spike. "You scared him off!" she accused.

"Good." Spike licked his lips. "But I'm not here just for that."

"Oh?" Buffy moved a little closer to him, her lips curving upwards just a bit.

"Sven." He nodded toward Cordelia's foreign exchange student. Buffy hid a smirk. God, she was so relieved that she had been able to convince her mother that the Slayer didn't need a guest in her house for some program… But Cordelia had definitely gotten what she deserved. With a name like Sven, everyone had expected her guest to be tall, blonde, and drop-dead gorgeous. And Cordy had gotten that- in a female form whom her boyfriend Devon seemed more interested in than her.

"What about her?" Buffy pouted mock-seriously. "Do you want to dance with her instead of me?"

He smiled down at her, running his fingers through her hair. He loved her hair. And she loved when he… Stop. Now. "If I wanted to, then I wouldn't be here, would I?" But then he sobered up. "She's not human. Or not alive. I don't really know. But I caught her scent, and it's all wrong."

"Great." Buffy let him lead, moving them closer to Sven and Devon.

"Can we go somewhere else?" Sven asked Devon.

He grinned widely. "Baby, we can go anywhere." He let her pull him towards the exit. Buffy and Spike followed.

Sven and Devon were getting pretty close, leaning in for a kiss, and…

Suddenly, Sven's hand, cradling the back of Devon's head, wasn't soft and light, but desiccated and corpselike. Buffy shoved her away from Devon.

Devon jumped back. "Hey!"

Sven charged at Spike, trying to kiss him. He let her, smirking. "Sorry, love, this won't end well."

She sucked the undead unlife out of him, and collapsed in a mess of bones and dust.

"Run," Spike advised Devon, and he did as instructed.

Buffy put her hands on her hips. "You shouldn't have done that. You had no idea what-"

He held up what she'd dubbed the "Hand of Amarra." "Immortal, remember?"

"Still, you don't know…"

He smirked. "What's really bothering you here? That I took on the corpse? Or that I let her kiss me?"

"Argh! You are so impossible!" she complained, turning around in a huff. "That's it! I'm going to dance with Xander."

"The whelp," he repeated, laughing. "That's your big revenge, pet? Think I'd be jealous?"

"I could make you jealous with him," she countered, remembering Angel's reaction to her dance with Xander during her bitchy stage after the summer.

"You wouldn't use him like that," Spike said, laughing. "He may be an insufferable idiot who still can't handle the fact that I'm a vampire and that you like me, but you're his friend and you wouldn't do that to him."

Buffy looked away from the laughter in his eyes, suddenly ashamed at even considering doing it. To both of them. "Maybe not."

He took her hand, swinging her into his arms. "Come on. Let's go dance."

He didn't let her leave his touch for the rest of the night, even as he drove her home in his Desoto. But he still didn't kiss her.


"Stop waiting for him to make the first move!" Willow told her, fingering a ghost costume as they perused Ethan's for Halloween apparel. "Spike's new to this whole 'take your date home and don't eat her' society. He doesn't know how to do this without messing it up."

Buffy sighed. "It wasn't so hard for him before. Just because he wasn't going for a bloody ending back then doesn't mean that he can't do the same thing." She stopped, eyeing a dress on the shelf. "Doesn't this look familiar?" She held it in front of her. "Not really drool-worthy, huh?"

"Buffy…" Willow gestured toward the shelf, where the rest of the costume sat. A dark wig, a set of fangs… Vampire.

"Cool." Buffy gathered it up. "I like the irony. And since Spike doesn't know how to date humans, maybe this'll help him out." She talked Willow into buying something appropriately skimpy and left, satisfied.

Snyder had bullied her into taking some kids trick-or-treating but hadn't dared to try that on Spike, so he had agreed to hook up with her later, muttering something about bite-sized snacks ruining their fun. She had quirked an eyebrow at his terminology, and reminded herself that he wasn't feeding anymore.

So when everything changed, Spike wasn't there to see her wig become her hair, her fangs become her teeth, and her entire face transform ever so slightly.


Spike was heading back from the Bronze when all hell broke loose. Demons were suddenly everywhere where humans had been seconds before, and havoc was ensuing. Huh. Better get Buffy.

But as he approached the area where Buffy was supposed to be, all thoughts of the Slayer left his mind.


She stood in the center of the street, her long white dress wafting in the breeze. "Hello, my Spike."

"You're dead," he whispered. "I saw you dust…how…?"

She moved to him, an ethereal smile crossing her face. "Come, my Spike. Mummy's hungry."

He walked with her as if in a dream, escorting her to the Bronze. "I've already eaten tonight."

"Need to eat more," she said reprovingly, poking at his chest. "You're wasting away, and Miss Edith shan't let you play." She considered. "First, we must dance."

He led her in the dance, wonderingly stroking her hair. "How did you survive? I saw you dust, love."

"Mummy's got lots of tricks." She swayed lazily with him, her hand disappearing into his pants. "Want to see?"

"Yes," he breathed. No… Buffy…

"Sunshine's gone now," Dru breathed. "Just me."

"Gone?" Spike wrenched her hand out of his pants. "What do you mean? Did you see something?"

"I didn't see the Slayer." She stretched languorously. "Mummy's still hungry."

"But Buffy…"

"Just a snack…" She pointed to a kid, not older than twelve, looking bored as her older sister chatted up some guys. The little girl got up.

"Where are you going?" her sister demanded.

"Bathroom." She flounced toward them, annoyed.

"That one." Dru stopped the girl and took her by the hand.

She stared up at them in fear, but before she could scream, Spike had his hand clasped tightly over her mouth and was dragging her out of the Bronze.

"Mmm…" Dru licked her lips. "Let's share."

It had been a long night, and Spike had all but forgotten the strangeness that had been the human demons from earlier. He had no way of knowing about Ethan Rayne, or about a ghost that was watching, horrified, as he bent over the girl and sank his fangs into her throat. And, most importantly, he had no idea that an instant later, Drusilla was no longer Drusilla.

A fist hit his head and he was thrown from the girl. "Run," Buffy told her, her voice steely.

"B-Buffy?" She was standing above him, her eyes blazing with fury from beneath a brown wig. And she was wearing Dru's dress. "H-how-?"

"I can't-" She punched him.

"Believe-" Kick.

"I actually-" Punch.

"Trusted-" Punch.

"You!" The last kick slammed him against the wall. He sank to the ground, and she straddled him, stake in hand. When she paused to pull the ring off his finger, for the first time, he was truly afraid for his life.

"Why, Spike?" she demanded, her face red with anger. "Why'd you do it? Why couldn't you just-" Then she was sobbing. "I should've known. Evil soulless vampires don't just change overnight!" Behind her, Willow watched, looking nearly as hurt by Spike's betrayal as Buffy did. "You were my friend! My…" She punched him again, smack on the nose.

"Buffy…" He reached to brush the tears off her face.

She caught his hand before it could touch her. "Don't you dare try to excuse what you were doing!"

"I thought you were Dru!" he whispered. "I was confus-"

"So you thought you'd just kill someone for kicks?" she demanded, her tears washing the blood from his mouth as they fell. "Now I need to kill you, and I don't…I can't..."

He flipped her over so that he was on top, and drew her to him in an attempt to comfort her. It was stupid, probably. She was the Slayer and had just been reminded that he was a vampire. She had had a stake at his chest a moment before. But she was also his love, and although she might never forgive him for what had happened, he couldn't just let her cry alone. So he held her, and she let him hold her until the tears were gone.

When she finally rose, her voice was cold. "If you touch another human being, I will kill you."

And she left, the ring of Amarra still clenched in her hand.