Chapter 7

Buffy woke up and came down the stairs the next morning to the smell of pancakes coming from the kitchen. She wondered who was in the kitchen cooking breakfast and, if it was Dawn, how long would it take for the smoke alarm to go off. Instead of finding Dawn at the stove, she found a flour clad bleached vampire and a teenager sitting at the island with a stack of pancakes in front of her.

"Wha…what are you doing?" Buffy asked him as she took in the sight of the darkened kitchen and the vampire cooking at her stove.

Spike raised an eyebrow as he flipped the cake he was finishing. "I thought the 'Bit would like a decent breakfast before school." He said removing the last pancake from the heat and sitting a stack on a plate next to Dawn. "Sit down an' eat, Slayer."

Buffy stared down at the plate he placed down and shot him another curious look. Dawn rolled her eyes at her. "Relax, they're fine." She stated as she put another fork full into her mouth.

She picked up her own fork and slowly cut a small bite off of the top cake as she kept one eye on the vampire, who was now warming up his own breakfast in the microwave. She slowly brought the fork to her mouth and her eyes widened as she took the first bite.

"Wow! When did you learn how to cook?" Buffy asked as she happily dug into the rest of her breakfast.

He shrugged. "Got stuck indoors a lot. When Dru was in some of her worst moods, I'd have a lot o' time on my hands." If it was possible, both of the girls would have guaranteed he would have been blushing as he spoke. "Your mum also thought it'd be good for me to know a few things. Now we know why." He said quietly as he shot Buffy a look as he got his breakfast out of the microwave.

A corner of her lip lifted up slightly. "Thank you." She said quietly as they heard a knock on the door.

Dawn stood up from her stool and grabbed her backpack. "That'll be Xander." She opened the bag to make sure she had everything as the door opened and the man came in, announcing his arrival.

"Hey Buf….what is he doing here?" Xander glared over at the bleach blond.

Spike raised an eyebrow at the Slayer as he sipped at his breakfast. "You got everything, 'bit?" he asked, ignoring the carpenter.

"Yep." She nodded as she hugged Buffy.

"History homework?" he asked as she came around the island to him.

"In the folder, done, and checked by you last night." She replied as she hugged and kissed him on the cheek.

"Buffy!" They heard Xander exclaim as he watched the display in front of him. Last he knew, Buffy had disinvited him from the house. He wasn't even allowed in the Magic Box. "What is he doing here?"

Buffy looked over at the pair across from her then to her friend and back at her plate. She had thought about what she would say last night while on patrol. She figured it would be best to go with what they told Dawn. "With Glory on the loose, I figured it would be good to have back up around. Spike's the strongest after me; he'll be able to protect her."

Spike smirked as Xander glared at him. "Let's go, Dawnie." He said and they heard the door slam behind him. The teenager waved at the pair left behind and followed after the upset brunette.

The Slayer sighed as the door closed again. "Great." She said sarcastically as she pushed away the empty plate.

"Relax. Wha's he gonna do? Tattle to the watcher? It's your choice who you let in your house. Not his." Spike said as he filled his used mug with water and sat it by the sink.

She went over to the refrigerator and looked inside. "He's going to end up telling Giles and Willow and make it a bigger deal than what it is." She said looking to see if there was any juice left.

"Again so wha' if he does?" he asked watching as she took the shopping list off of the refrigerator door. "She's ours, it's our job to protect her." He said as he took his wallet out of his back pocket.

Buffy sighed and rubbed the spot between her eyes. Why did she have the feeling they were going to keep having these types of conversations? She opened her eyes to see his hand out towards her holding a wad of cash.

"What's that for?"

Spike motioned to the piece of paper in her hand. "You need groceries, this is money to pay for them." He said slowly.

Buffy shook her head. "I've got it. Besides I don't even know where you got that." Last time she had looked, there was enough money in her mother's checking account to get them through the next two months as long as she was careful.

Spike rolled his eyes. "It's mine. Take it, get what you need."

"I don't need your money, Spike." She glared at him. She didn't need him to pay for food that he probably wouldn't even touch.

He had an idea of where this was coming from and he stared her hard in the eyes. "Listen, unlike some, I take care of what's mine. You and the 'bit are mine and I take care of my family, alright?"

Buffy slightly back off at the sight of the ice cold look he was giving her. "Alright." She said reluctantly as she took the cash from him. "I'll…I'll go get dressed and go."

He nodded as she went upstairs to her room. He heard her bedroom door close and started looking for the cordless phone. He had calls to make.