AN: Just a short piece of Spuffy love. It's pretty fluffy, but I tried to stay true to the characters. There is no specific time that this is supposed to take place. I'm ignoring the comics, but if the comics are really important to you this can easily fit into some sort of post-comic future.

Contains vague references to the episodes Smashed and Chosen.

Disclaimer: Not mine. If it were, that fade to black in Chosen wouldn't exist.

It's supposed to be beautiful. Magical. Romantic. Everything they could have had but never did. This is what she tells him when she comes to him in the middle of July. She tells him straight. She wants him. But she wants a relationship, a real one. Starting with a first date, prior to which there will be no touching, no kissing, no anything. He agrees but there's really no rest for weary (or is it wicked? For him it's all the same anyway). Demons had gotten word that she was back in the states and some days it seemed the armies of hell were all beating down the doors. That first date gets put off over and over, and the tension grows to the point that they can't even brush against each other without catching on fire (of the metaphoric variety. They've had enough of real fire to last a lifetime).

She describes The Date to him sometimes when they're out on patrol and he doesn't really mind because it gives him something to focus on. As long she's speaking her voice will drown out the one in the back of his mind telling him to forget about the monsters they're hunting and just pound her into the pavement. He has a feeling that that wouldn't go over so well, so he listens to her planning instead.

They'll get all dressed up, go to a nice restaurant, and maybe even go dancing. Then he'll drive her home and kiss her goodnight. Maybe (definitely) she'll invite him in, ad then they can drop all pretenses, go upstairs and have sex on her bed. The bed is non-negotiable (no matter how many times he reminds her that the first time they slept together they destroyed an entire building, so how in the world is a mere bed going to support years of suppressed emotions as they rocket to the surface?) Butshe just keeps insisting that this time it has to be perfect. And in order for it to be perfect there must be a bed. She tells him that they have to start right, because if it doesn't start right, it won't end right, and didn't he learn anything last time? She swears this time they'll get it right. It will start perfect and stay perfect. And maybe they can just pretend that it's always been perfect, and they've never tried to destroy each other with words or fists or fangs. She keeps insisting and he goes along. The last thing he wants to do is piss her off by reminding her that last time, the reason it started and ended a mess was, she had to many issues and not enough trust or love, and he had more than enough trust and love but not nearly enough soul. They were damned from the start back then. They're both in a better place now but he doesn't point this out because he's still kind of in shock that she wants him at all.

An entire month has passed. He's sitting in front of the television, watching awful summer reality programming, when she wonders into the living room and plops down in the chair across from him. There's a buzzing in his ears and if he doesn't fuck or fight soon he thinks he'll explode. He's been waiting around for it to get dark and cursing the obnoxiously long summer days. One glance towards her tells him he's not the only one. They're out the door as soon as it's safe. He can't tell if it's the heat, the conspicuous lack of demons, or all the waiting they've been doing but they're both more on edge than they have been all summer. They don't speak. They barely even look at each other. All of his energies go towards resisting the urge to reach up, untie her halter-top, and put his hands on her like he's wanted to do for ages. Why the hell did she have to wear that thing anyway? They walk the streets for an hour. Nothing. No demons, no monsters, no hell beasts.

They're standing in a back alley by a row of abandoned houses when it happens. They hear a noise and he thinks (prays) it's a demon (anything to pummel really. He'd settle for a mugger). Her hand finds his wrist to keep him still as she peeks around the corner. It's a raccoon. When he sees it he laughs, a high-pitched, maniacal sort of laughter. She looks at him in alarm but he can't stop laughing. Because if he stops laughing he might just cry instead. Then she's moving her hand from his wrist to his chest trying to poke him back into silence even as she starts to giggle too. But then his hand catches hers, and their fingers lace together, and nothings very funny anymore.

And then they're kissing. Really kissing, like they haven't done in years. Hands and mouths are everywhere, he's pulling on her shirt, she's pushing his coat from his shoulders, and somehow they end up on the ground. Then it's all zippers and the scream of ripping fabric, and then there are screams of another kind altogether, and their fingers and teeth are scratching, biting, pushing, pulling at each other against the hot asphalt.

When it's over they can barely stand. They're sore, and bruised (and a little bit bloodied), but when it comes each other they've never known different. She's quiet as they reassemble themselves. He shrugs his coat on over his tattered shirt and eyes her warily. He expects her to be angry that it happened like this (again), almost expects her to feel remorse at what they've done. But she looks happy. She steps closer to him and she's smiling as she pulls him in for another kiss. This one is slow, searing, full of something that he's never gotten from her before. She pulls away slightly, still smiling, her eyes shining.

"Know what?"

"What?"

Her lips find his neck and they trail up to his ear, over the marks she'd already left. She whispers, "This was pretty perfect too."

He really has to agree.

AN2: this is the part where I beg for reviews. You know you want to give in.