Author's Notes:

Wow, it looks like fluff is a win. Thanks for all the reviews! I hope you guys meant to encourage me to keep writing, because that's what you've done! :)

Seasonal Spuffy's fall 2012 prompt dovetails nicely with a plot bunny I've been trying to ignore for a few months, so I suppose I'll disappear into that for the next few weeks.


He couldn't have been content at home with his daughter, safe and sound and non-dusty, no, he'd had to go out and mingle.

Standing in the doorway of the anti-vampiricly sunny room, Spike considered telling Lissa it was time to go, never mind that they'd just arrived, but her happy squeals stayed him. She'd been just as house bound and cranky as he. Instead he edged his way along the wall towards the one shady chair in the corner, coming to a halt with a rictus of grin plastered on his face as five pairs of maternal eyes found him.

Spike wondered if the poncy khakis and blue button down he'd found buried in the back of the closet were working in his favor or not. As the women in the room continued to gape at him, he considered pulling back on the duster he'd draped over his arm, wrapping it tightly around himself and hiding the ridiculous costume he was wearing.

"William!" Jenny said, hurrying to his side. "Don't be shy, come join us over here!" She grabbed him by the arm and tugged. Spike dug his heels in and leaned back. "We won't bite," she teased, tugging harder, forcing his stockinged feet to slide across the wooden floor.

Not your bite I'm worried about, he huffed to himself, holding his fangs in by sheer willpower.

As one toe crossed the line into a sunbeam and began to tingle in a very bad way, Spike gave up on subtlety. "The sun!" he groaned.

Jenny released him with a horrified gasp and he staggered backwards, hitting the wall behind him with a thump, hands splayed out along the solid surface for support. Aware that all eyes were glued to him, Spike refrained from screaming (Bloody Buggering Sodding Hell!) as his left hand burned and smoldered. He straightened, whipping around to see a small wooden cross made of decorated popsicle sticks affixed to the wall where his hand had been.

Memories of Wood's garage overwhelmed him. Glaring at the cross, Spike considered ripping it off the wall and stomping it into splinters.

Deep breaths.

We want Lissa to have friends.

Should have stayed home.

Jenny was staring at him in horrified silence while the other mothers were frozen in various poses, halfway out of their chairs, uncertainty written all over their faces. With a quick tongue swipe to determine the status of his fangs, Spike smiled ruefully. "Didn't mean to scare you, ladies. Just – that sun allergy can be a real bit-" Many pairs of tiny wide eyes gazed up at him. "A real pain," he hurried to say.

"The sun makes my daddy sick," Lissa piped up. "Once he even caughted on fire."

"Sure felt like it," he said with a chuckle, rolling his eyes at the hyperbole of small children.

Jenny unfroze and hurried to the curtains, yanking them until Spike's half of the room was plunged into gloom.

"That's why you work nights, right? That's what Buffy told us," one of the young mothers asked.

Spike nodded. "Yeah, usually I avoid the sun like… a vampire." He waggled his eyebrows at his little joke and the women laughed. "But with Buffy gone so long…"

With that, the tension in the room broke. All the mothers cooed at him, fussing around him and making sure he had the comfiest chair, drinks and snacks, whatever he needed. Spike wriggled deeper into the armchair, pleased with all the attention he was receiving. Now this is more like it. The children turned back to their games, uninterested, as their mothers listened raptly to Lissa's daddy describing his work as a 'security' guard.

Somehow, he managed to pull it off for the next hour, dazzling the ladies with his daring, remembering to mutate his tales of battle from demonic to merely criminal. Don't see what Buffy's so worried 'bout. Did just fine, he thought.

Spike was tugging on his coat at the end of the playgroup, offering to host the next gathering, when his phone rang. "It's Buffy!" he announced with a huge grin, bouncing away from the others to answer, leaving them smiling wistfully after him.

"Buffy, my love, you're…" His eyes darted to the others at the far end of the room and he toned down his glee. "Uh, how's Grandma…? Me? I'm at Jenny's house with Lissa, for playgroup… No, no worries, pet, we're all getting along grandly… Cleveland? What the bloody hell?" Spike growled into the phone. "Let the sodding Slayers there handle the sodding vamp uprising!"

The vampire began to pace tightly in the small, shaded corner of the room. "No, luv, you know that's no fair, course I don't want Lissa to be gobbled up by a demon because I was too shirty to let you help stop the apocalypse. No, s'not just 'cause Man U might have chance this year… Yeah, yeah… How's Willow back in Seattle already and not you…? Why can't she teleport you back too…? I don't care how beat she is… Miss you so much too, luv."

His nostrils flared. "Just my duster? Fine, but if you're not on that plane tomorrow night 'm coming to Cleveland and 'm gonna drag you back kicking and screaming by your hair, woman. I can't wait a day longer."

With a snarl he slammed his phone shut then froze, realizing he had a mute audience. "Uh…"

"Daddy, you've got angry face," Lissa said. Spike's hands shot up to cover his bumpies and he spun away, panicked.

Listening to the increasing mutters behind him, he realized he was in for it now. He texted Willow.

Need U STAT 4 4getting spell, 5 women, 10 min rollback.

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks… Diversionary tactics before you get tossed out of here into Mr. Sunshine's territory. Buffy'll never know. Andrew's voice rang in his head. Evasive maneuvers, captain! He shook Andrew away.

Turning back, Spike adopted a wide-legged stance, pelvis thrust forward, and ran a hand down his chest with a suggestive leer.

Big Bad was in the house.

"Ladies," he purred, his hand coming to rest with his thumb tucked into his belt and his fingers splayed out, drawing attention to the cockstand Buffy's naughty suggestion had left him with. "You're gorgeous young things. Tell me. D'you think my wife was funning me about picking her up from the airport in…" He let his voice drop to a raspy rumble, stalking slowly towards them. "… nothing… but…" He did the thing with his tongue. "…my…" They squeaked and huddled together, panting. "…duster…"

He leaned in, breathing into the paralyzed Jenny's ear. "Would you want me to greet you starkers and wrapped in leather?"

Jenny fainted. The others fled from him, dragging her limp body to the couch. Spike chuckled, wondering if lighting up a fag would be too much.

"Wh-what are you?"

He cocked his head and considered his answer, but was distracted by a small hand tugging on his. "Daddy, I have to pee!"

He immediately crouched down – Big Bad vanishing. "Do you know where the loo is, sweetness?" Lissa nodded. "Well then, go on." Standing back up he said with an innocent, confused frown, "Me? I'm Lissa's daddy."

His phone buzzed. 'Finished' was all it said.

Jenny sat up, her brow wrinkled, and looked around in mystification. "W-William, I'm sorry, were you asking me something?"

"Think we were organizing playgroup for my house next week," he said, watching the others closely. They all nodded quickly, relieved.

Jenny nodded too. "Yeah… that was it… and… something about your coat?"

"Ah." Spike smirked. "Was wondering, since you're ladies. D'you think Buffy was serious about me picking her up from the airport in nothing but the jacket?" he winked, running his hand slowly down the side of his duster. "Or d'you think she was just funning me?"

Jenny fainted once more.

Spike was really looking forward to hosting playgroup next week.

If Buffy let him.

.

THE END