I couldn't sleep last night, so thought of this drabble... I am aware that I probably messed up Dawn's DOB. Let's just blame it on some kind of Key-thing! Review, please.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Mutant Enemy owns all.... I still only have 31p to my name, so sue-age would be pointless (by that I mean litigation, not waste)
For what felt like the hundredth time since she had got off work Buffy cursed herself for not noticing the blood across the waistband off her jeans. Self-consciously she pulled down the hem of her purple sweater and buttoned up her cropped leather jacket. As she passed a full-length mirror she paused and raked her fingers through her hair, grimacing at the feeling of grease on her fingers. She had been wondering aimlessly around the ultra-hip boutique for half an hour and she noticed a sales assistant giving her a disapproving look from behind the counter. She ducked her head and walked out of the shop, not wanting to be searched again. Somehow her dishevelled appearance and tendency not to buy anything had made her a target of security guards. She wondered how Dawn got away with it.
She surveyed the shops around her and began to walk towards a bookshop, knowing that she could safely browse there for over forty-five minutes without any trouble. Before she stepped into the shop someone caught her eye.
"Spike?" She said, incredulous. The peroxided vampire turned around and looked at her, channelling Willow with his deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression. Quickly, he hid the shopping bag he had been carrying behind his back.
"Slayer." He said, looking her up and down. "Didn't expect to see you here."
"Likewise," she said, uneasily.
"This is where you've been hiding?" He asked.
"I just come here after work, to shop and do stuff." She shifted her weight from foot to foot, uncomfortable.
"Recon-y stuff. I staked a vampire here a couple of years ago." She said, floundering.
"Right." He said, sceptically.
"What are you doing here anyway? You live off blood, booze and cigarettes, rarely bathe and have been wearing the same clothes since you arrived here." She tried to change the subject. It was now spike's turn to feel uncomfortable.
"I'll have you know that I have other stuff. I listen to music, I dye my hair, I read." He floundered. Buffy snorted, looking at the bag behind his back.
"And apparently you cross-dress."
"What? No, that's just… something." He said, embarrassed.
"What kind of a something?" Buffy asked, partially due to general interest and partially because she enjoyed seeing him squirm.
"It's just a… present-thing." He mumbled.
"A present? Whose birthday is it? Clem's?" She said sarcastically.
"It's just something for Saturday, for the Little Bit." Buffy's eyes widened.
"Dawn's birthday? But that isn't for weeks… I mean, it's only January." She said.
"It's February 11th, Buffy." Spike said gently.
"But that mean's Dawn's birthday is…" She trailed off.
"In two days." He finished.
"I am the worst sister of all sisters… God, I'm a worse sister than Cleopatra."
"I'm sure that, although Dawn sometimes bemoans the fact that you're her sister, sororicide isn't one of her qualms."
"I can't believe I forgot her birthday… And you remembered. Oh crap, I have like 10 bucks to my name." She walked over to and sat down on a bench. Spike sat next to her. She put her head in her hands. "What did you get her?" She asked, looking up at him.
"A top… And I was going to get her some books." He said, awkwardly.
"And you got the top from Cerulean so it was bound to be expensive… What books?" She asked, sitting up, her face creased in concern.
"Um ;The Colossus, a book of poems by Sylvia Plath; Dubliners by James Joyce; No Exit by Sartre; some Augusten Burroughs for a little light relief." He replied. Her eyes widened.
"How did you know what to get her?" She asked. "I mean, I'm her sister and, side-note here, not the evil dead, and I have no idea what to get her."
"The girl likes to read… I'm just getting her stuff that I enjoyed." He said simply.
"Come on, we've still got a couple of hours 'till closing." He took her hand and led her back into the boutique.
"How am I supposed to pay for this?" She said, shaking her head as they walked.
"I have money, Slayer." He said slowly.
"I can't take money from you, Spike." She said, pulling away from him.
"Like you said, all I buy is blood, fags and alcohol. You're doing a good thing taking money away from me. Well, not for me, maybe. But for all of those stupid hippie anti second-hand smoke people. You'll save their clean pink lungs." He said, walking into the shop. Ignoring the nagging voice in the back of her mind wondering where Spike had got his money, she followed him.
Thirty minutes later they were arguing over a skirt.
"It's a belt." Buffy said, flatly, trying to put it back on the rack. Spike grabbed it out of her hands.
"She showed me it in a magazine months ago, Slayer. This is the skirt she wants."
"Yeah, the fourteen year old wants a skirt that barely covers her butt… Sometimes you have to save them from themselves."
"Them? You're only twenty-one, Slayer." Spike looked at her, surprised.
"Yes, twenty-one as in an adult, perfectly capable of making her own gift- buying decisions."
"We've been in this shop for half an hour now and you've found nothing. Obviously, you're not." Spike said, taking the skirt to the till and having the cashier run it up. "'sides, Angelus used to be able to write rhapsodies about your hemlines. You know, before the whole homicidal instinct took hold."
"Okay. Where to next?" She sighed, watching him count bills from a rather large wad of cash.
"Sweetshop." He said, smiling.
The Candy Emporium was an eyesore, literally. Buffy's eyes ached when the walked through the door. The sickly smell of cotton candy permeated the store, sending Buffy's empty stomach spinning. Spike, on the other hand looked like… well he looked like a kid in a candy shop.
"God, I miss sweets." He said, taking a candy-pink shopping basket from beside the entrance.
He filled the basket in under ten minutes, piling in boxes of what, if Buffy remembered correctly, were Dawn's favourite sweets. When the basket was full he looked at her, expectantly.
"What?" She asked, bewildered. "Are you looking for help in your one-man mission to have Dawn in dentures before she's thirty?"
"Don't you want anything?" He asked, smiling. (Something that seemed to be happening more and more today.)
"Oh, um, no. You've already done enough." She said. He stared at her. "Okay, um just get me some sour cherries. And some of those lollies that turn your tongue blue and have gum in the middle. And some Nerds. And cherry cola bottles. And cherry balls… And anything with cherry." She said, remembering her childhood candy preferences. She smiled as she watched him walk around the store looking for her requested sweets.
"I'm going to remember the cherry thing, Slayer… It could make things interesting." He said, leering at her.
"Yeah, cause the mortal enemies think is so passé." She said, sarcastically.
The cashier rung up their purchases with a bemused look on her face, as if she was wondering why the black- clad, bleached- out, black eye sporting Brit was buying copious amounts of candy. Buffy smiled, he did look kinda funny, in the brightly lit shop.
When they left the store, Buffy took the bags from Spike.
"I'd better get back to Dawn… See if she's had dinner." She said, as they walked towards the exit. He pulled out a couple of bills from his pocket.
"Get her Chinese or something, my treat." He said, pressing them into her hand.
"Do you want to join us? There's nothing like watching the slayer and the teenager shovelling down food to make you glad you don't eat." She grinned.
"I'm going to go to the bookshop… Get Dawn's stuff." He said. "And then I thought I'd go to the bath stuff shop. Since you're so repulsed by my rarely- bathed body." He joked. She smiled.
"Thanks Spike, for everything." She said, putting her hand on his.
"'s nothing." He said, looking as though, if he could, he would be blushing.
Buffy walked away from him, her hand tingling where it had touched his. She looked back at him and chuckled at the sight of the black-clad vampire holding a cereulian blue shopping bag and chewing some NerdsRope. For the first time in a long time, she was happy. And she had a load of candy…. Always a plus.