-Hearing: "Are you listening to me, Buffster?" he asked even as he could see that she had nodded off on him. "Merrick's working you too hard," he murmured. Sighing, he covered her with a blanket before pulling her into his arms and tucking her against his side - something he would deny doing if anyone ever asked.

-Alleged: "The alleged vamps," Buffy immediately corrected Pike when he asked if she was off to slay "vamps" again tonight. No one was supposed to know that the thirsty blood-suckers really existed or that she killed them as part of her nightly routine. Just like no one was supposed to know that he worried a lot about her; actually worried that she would someday be lost to him.

-Advantageous: "You're lucky I'm such a good boyfriend or I'd -" He broke off as he realized what he had just said, what he had just called himself. "I mean ..." His voice trailed off as she kissed him breathless. He pouted then because he was going soft, all thanks to her.

-Essential: "If we're gunna be boyfriend and girlfriend... gah... I can't believe I'm saying this but if we are that, I mean, don't you think we should actually spend some time together?" He called after her as she ran out the door.

-Surprising: "Pike, you almost got a stake through your dumb heart," she snapped as he popped up in the graveyard, right behind her one night, taking her completely by surprise, something that wasn't supposed to happen. She stopped being angry though when she saw the little paper rose in his hand.

-Lower: He dropped beside her on the damp earth. "Slow night?" he asked. She nodded but rubbed her tummy, a sure sign that she was either hungry or feeling the presence of approaching evil. But if she was indeed hungry... well, it was fortunate that he had brought a pack of her favorite chewing gum with him.

-Latest: "What was this latest one's damage?" Pike asked, borrowing a word from her vocabulary. "He nearly snapped your neck in two and what a waste of a pretty neck that would be." He then nuzzled her beneath her ear and she smiled, trying not to giggle girlishly when he hit that certain spot.

-Bending: "Okay, Pike, you've got me all to yourself for the next ..." She looked at her Cartier watch. It had been a graduation gift from her parents, tossed at her as they were off to another cruise in the Bahamas. ..."Exactly twenty-five minutes and fourteen seconds," she finished. He grinned at her with that sexy smile and pushed her against his ratty sofa, bending his head to nibble her bottom lip.

-Imaginary: "I didn't use to believe that things that went bump in the night existed," Buffy said as she snuggled with him a short time later. Their coupling had been fevered and fast due to the time constraints. "But now that I know the truth... I can appreciate moments like this where we're almost normal." He smiled at her in such a way that she knew he agreed.

-Ticket: "You got me tickets to a Grateful Dead concert?" Pike asked in amazement. "Total irony given your job description." He smirked at her. "But I love them and I think ... I kind of love you too, Buf." She smiled happily in response to his "sort of" declaration. She was making him so soft and some part of him, some part that he hadn't previously known existed, liked that feeling.