Title: Slow it Down Honey and Stop Playing Them Games
Rating: pg-13 (probably could be lower, but I'm pretty sure Buffy and Spike should just come with an automatic 'at least pg-13' rating.)
Setting: S6, missing moment from OAFA
Words: 517
AN: Spuffy one-shot written for the prompt "truth or dare." Published as it's own story on LJ's fag_ends comm, but I figured I'd just add it to this collection of "Buffy's birthdays" one-shots.

Sometime around three in the morning, Dawn suggests a game of truth or dare. She's grinning so wide, it's threatening to break her face and her infectious enthusiasm spreads until nearly everyone in the room is hastening to form a circle and play.

But fear (of all the secrets she's been keeping, all the things lurking just under the surface that she's been scrambling to keep covered up) stops Buffy in her tracks. She begs off, to much protestation, and as she makes her way to the kitchen she can feel Spike's eyes on her (always, always on her; no matter where she is or what she's doing).

"Think I'll pass too. Not fair, playing with a vampire. Done too much you wouldn't want to know about, and far too daring."

Buffy can hear his boots thumping against the floor as she heads for the kitchen, but if anyone besides Tara has noticed that something is off, they keep it to themselves (which is unlikely. So probably no one noticed).

She sinks into a chair at the island, pours herself a soda, and waits.

She doesn't wait long, before he's there, leaning into her space, propped up on the counter by his elbows.

"Scared of a kid's game, Slayer?" He's taunting her, but it's gentle, almost teasing. The same way he's been all night. The same way she's been all night.

She's grown contemplative, though, in the late-night quiet of her kitchen. She could volley back, tease him about being just as wary, but instead she says,

"I always picked dare."

He cocks his head and she continues.

"When I was younger. Before I was called. I always picked dare. Always."

He grins at her then. A real grin, open and kind, his eyes shining with something she is forever too afraid to recognize. It makes her stomach drop and clench all at once.

"'Course you did. Can't imagine you ever backing down from a challenge."

It's these moments, the ones when she knows he genuinely cares about her (loves her even, if she's in the mood to admit it) that make Buffy more uncomfortable than any other aspect of their relationship. She's just no good at the emotions part (She used to be. But that was before she clawed herself out of her grave, and maybe even longer before that).

His hand falls to rest on her thigh and he leans closer, his voice a rough whisper in her ear. "Truth or dare, Buffy?"

She glances past his shoulder. No one can see them. So she winds her arms around his neck and pulls him close. Kisses him hard, right there in her kitchen, mere feet from everyone she loves.

When she pulls back to breathe, Spike rests his brow against hers and repeats, "Truth or-"

Her fingers tighten on his shoulders. "Spike, I don't want to play."

His lips travel down to her neck, and he murmurs into her skin. "What do you call this, then?"

She doesn't answer, just pulls him back up to her mouth (He'll always pick truth, she'll always pick dare).