My apologies for not including a link to the original fic. You can find it here: http://spuffystuff.org/valentine.htm
When Buffy had arranged for Dawn to go with Willow, explaining that she first needed to check out a vamp nest on the edge of town, and that Spike would be picking her up at six in case she needed back-up, she blithely went to her room to shower and get dressed.
She gazed longingly at a long-sleeved red dress that she’d bought on sale when replenishing her post-resurrection wardrobe, then sighed and pushed it aside as being wildly inappropriate for what was supposed to be a dangerous patrol. Instead, she pulled out a pair of dressy black pants and paired them with a red silk blouse, which she hid under a sweatshirt. She decided that her new boots, while not technically slaying gear, weren’t so different from her regular boots that she couldn’t get away with wearing them.
As soon as she was dressed, she sat at her dressing table and began to brush her hair and apply make-up. Sensing a presence, she turned to find Dawn leaning against the doorjamb and staring at her.
“Pretty nice clothes for taking out a vamp nest, aren’t they?” her sister asked, staring pointedly at the high-heeled boots. “And are you afraid you’ll scare them if you aren’t wearing enough makeup?”
Buffy stared at herself in the mirror for a second, trying very hard not to look like she’d been caught in the cookie jar, then she straightened and turned to face the smirking teenager.
“I’m coming to the Bronze after… after we dust all the vamps… so I need to be—”
Dawn had stopped listening to her, just shaking her head and turning away. “You must think I’m really stupid,” came drifting back from the hall as the girl went down the stairs to join Willow in the kitchen.
“I think you’re a pain in the ass,” Buffy grumbled quietly as she finished applying lip gloss and sat back to examine the results of her efforts. She was generally pleased with what she’d been able to do.
I look pretty and ready for a nice dinner, without looking too much like I’m going out on a date. And I’m wearing slay-worthy clothes—mostly — so no problem there. And bonus, if Spike shows up on his motorcycle, I’m wearing pants.
She gave herself a self-satisfied smirk and stood up. At the last second, she grabbed a couple of stakes and tucked them into her waistband as proof that she had slaying plans for the evening. When she heard Spike’s bike roar up outside, she grabbed a sword out of the weapons chest and waved it through the kitchen door.
“We’re off to slay!” she shouted. “See you guys later at the Bronze.”
“Bye, Buffy. Be careful.”
“Yeah, right!” The last comment came from Dawn’s fortunately very full mouth. Buffy hoped that Willow would ignore it and not ask Dawn what she meant.
Spike was just raising his hand to knock on the front door when Buffy yanked it open, sword still in hand.
“Whoa, Slayer! If you changed your mind, just say so. No need to get violent about it.”
“What? Oh, this?” She lowered the sword with an embarrassed laugh. She saw Spike look over her shoulder and smile, so she quickly said, “It’s in case we need more weapons. You know, when we take out that vamp nest you found…”
A snort of disbelief came from behind them and when Buffy whirled to glare at her sister, Spike took advantage of her turned back to shake his head “no”. Rolling her eyes, but taking a hint from the vampire, Dawn shrugged and said, “Well, just don’t come into the Bronze all covered in vamp dust. It will spoil the mood.”
“There’s going to be a mood?”
“Well, it is Valentine’s Day, you know. I think Willow has convinced Tara to come, and I have friends meeting me there, so it’s going to be, like, romantic and… and… non-dusty.”
“That was totally lame, Dawn.”
“Not as lame as dressing like that to slay vampires,” the girl muttered as she went upstairs to change. Her sister couldn’t quite make out what she said, but Spike’s vampire hearing had him grinning at her retreating back.
Willow chose that moment to emerge from the kitchen.
“Hi, Spike. Wow, you look nice tonight! I thought you were helping Buffy?”
“I, uh…I am helping the Slayer. But I have… plans… for later in the evening. Evil plans,” he hastened to add.
“Evil plans that you have to dress up for?” Willow ran her eyes over his unusual clothing and frowned.
For the first time since she’d opened the door, Buffy took a good look at the vampire and noticed that beneath his trademark duster he was wearing a pair of dark twill pants and a blue dress shirt that matched his eyes.
Willow studied both embarrassed faces for a long minute, during which Buffy did her best not to wear an expression that said “Busted!” Finally, she gave a shrug and with a small smile said, “Well, between the two of you, you’ll be the best-dressed fighters of evil around. Have fun and don’t mess up your good clothes.”
They remained frozen in the doorway until the snickering red-haired witch had disappeared up the stairs, then turned to look at each other.
“Do you think…?”
“Nah. ‘course not. She’s just…” He gave up. “Think maybe we aren’t quite the secret you think we are, pet.”
“Kinda looks like, huh?”
He studied her carefully for any sign of pending anger and was surprised to read only relief on her face.
“You alright with this?”
She shrugged and stepped out onto the porch with him, tossing the sword back into the house as she did so. She closed the door behind her and followed him to the bike.
“I’m not sure just yet what ‘this’ is, but nobody was freaking out, so, yeah…I guess I am.”
Deciding not to push his luck, he just nodded and handed her a helmet. He swung one leg gracefully over the bike and moved forward far enough for her to get one behind him. Buffy donned the helmet and quickly perched herself behind him, sliding her arms around his waist and waiting for the rumbling engine to carry her away for her first date with the vampire who loved her.
Neither of them noticed the two sets of eyes peering out from an upstairs window.
Spike expertly piloted the motorcycle through downtown Sunnydale, past the demon section and to the parking lot of a large building on the outskirts of town. He parked the bike and waited for Buffy to dismount before joining her on the pavement. When he had fastened her helmet securely to the handlebars and stashed her sweatshirt in a saddlebag, he offered his arm and they walked towards the door of the restaurant.
Buffy was acutely aware of the eyes following them, but she soon realized that they were almost all admiring glances, not the condemnation that she was expecting. Here and there, she recognized a harmless, almost human-looking demon and began to realize that there was more going on in her little city than she’d had any idea.
They were seated quickly by a solicitous maitre d’ who clearly knew Spike from previous visits. In no time, there was a glass of Jack Daniels Black Label sitting at Spike’s elbow, and a glass of chardonnay at Buffy’s.
“Why do I get the feeling you’ve been here before?” she asked, trying not to sound annoyed about it.
“Because I have, pet. Used to come here quite a bit. Not so much, lately, though,” he said with a meaningful glance.
“Meaning you used to bring other women here?”
“Meaning I lost any interest in spending time with other women once I had you to fill my nights.”
“Oh.” Her desire to stomp out in a fit of jealousy was diluted by the obvious sincerity on his face. “But you did bring other women here. Before.”
“Wasn’t born lovin’ you, Slayer,” he said mildly. “Even if it does seem that way sometimes.”
Her tense shoulders relaxed and she gave him a rueful smile.
“I’m being a bitch, aren’t I? You’ve brought me to a nice place for dinner, bought me a glass of wine and I’m giving you a hard time because you might have had another date or two in the past 150 years.”
“’S alright, love. Does my unbeating heart good to watch you get all jealous and possessive. Makes me feel appreciated, it does.”
With that out of the way, they relaxed and enjoyed their rest of the meal, including the house special Valentine’s Day dessert – a cake filled with chocolate sauce and strawberries, topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Buffy was laughing at how full she was, even taking the stakes from her waist and putting them in her purse. At Spike’s raised eyebrow, she said, “What? I needed the room for more cake.”
“Hold on a sec, love,” he said in a low growl, taking her chin in his hand and leaning toward her. His tongue snaked out and licked a dollop of whipped cream off her upper lip, swiping around her entire mouth before flicking back into his. “You had something on your lip,” he said huskily. “Wanted to fix it for you.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, still leaning in his direction. Her eyes darkened at the raw desire on his face.
“Can think of other places to put that whipping cream and chocolate,” he said, slowly sliding his hand up her arm. “Do you think they’ll let us take some out with us?”
Buffy’s pulse had shot up along with her body temperature, but she sat up straight and tried to look stern.
“I don’t do things like that on the first date!” she said as indignantly as was possible with a vampire’s heated looks making her squirm in her chair.
“My apologies,” he laughed. “Wouldn’t want to imply that you were a loose woman, love. “ He leered at her suggestively. “Although my nose tells me that some parts of you think it was a really good idea. Just think about it, a little whipped cream here, a little chocolate sauce there…My tongue cleaning you off until you were all pink and shiny…”
His eyes glazed over and Buffy laughed in her turn when he began to squirm in his chair.
“Problem?” she asked innocently. “Is there something I can do?” She ran her tongue around her lips, licking them thoroughly before sucking it back into her mouth.
“Let’s finish this up, pet. It’s gonna be hard enough walking out of here as it is. If you keep that up…”
“If I keep that up, what? It’ll get even harder?” She giggled at her own joke, then stopped and stared at him with dawning astonishment.
“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong. I just realized that I was having a good time. I completely forgot about… about everything… for a while. And without you having to touch me at all. You can make me happy even without… you know.”
“This doesn’t mean you want to give up on the ‘you know’, does it?”
His eyes were wide and frightened, sending her into more giggles that had the nearby patrons staring at them and smiling indulgently. She leaned forward and cupped his chin with her hand.
“No,” she said softly. “I don’t want to give it up. It’s just nice to know that I can feel something – something good – without it.”
His relief was palpable, making her giggle again. Spike signaled for check with his free hand, his other one was holding Buffy’s hand to his face so that he could plant light kisses on her palm.
“I haven’t seen you this relaxed since… since I don’t know when. It looks good on you, love.”
“It feels good,” she admitted. “I don’t know when I last felt this good, either. Maybe when you were chained in Giles’ bathtub…”
“Very funny, Slayer,” he growled, standing up and pulling out her chair. “Nice to know I could make you happy, even when I wasn’t tryin’.”
Spike signed the check presented to him and handed it back with a smile. “Tell the chef the Valentine’s Day special was a big hit,” he said to the waitress. “And don’t let them cheat you out of your tip, luv.”
As they walked out the door, Buffy asked curiously, “Why didn’t you pay anybody? Did you win that meal at poker?”
“No, Slayer, I didn’t win it at poker. I paid for it ahead of time. You can do that with the Valentine’s Day Special; so that if it has the desired effect, the couple can just slip out the door and on to the rest of the evening’s activities without any delays.”
They reached the bike and Spike leaned against the car next to it, pulling Buffy in between his widespread legs. She leaned into him, resting her head on his chest and sliding her hands around his back. She could feel him inhaling the scent of her hair, and the light kisses he was dropping on her head. His chest was vibrating under her cheek.
“You’re purring,” she said into his shirt. “Does that mean you’re happy?”
“I am,” he said simply.
“Me too,” she whispered, still hiding her face from him, but tightening her arms just enough to prove her sincerity.
Had the owner of the car upon which Spike was leaning not come out and wanted to drive it away, Spike was sure that he could have happily remained there for the rest of the night. As it was, he had to flash some fang at the other man, who quickly changed his mind about “teaching you a lesson, punk” as soon as he realized what sort of monster he had just challenged. The man jumped into his car, locked all the doors and peeled out of the parking lot with many anxious glances over his shoulder.
Buffy was laughing and hitting Spike at the same time.
“You jerk!” she said, stifling her giggles. “You couldn’t just say, ‘we’re sorry’ and move away? We were leaning on his car, you know.”
“I was enjoying a moment with my girl,” Spike growled, grabbing her arm and spinning her around to be pinned against his chest. He dropped his head and nuzzled the tiny spots where he’d drawn blood earlier. “Bloody wanker interrupted one of the best times of my life. He’s lucky I didn’t eat him and throw away the bones!”
“It was nice, wasn’t it?” she agreed, relaxing against him and tilting her head to give him better access to her neck. “It was all normal and couply feeling.”
“Thought you didn’t want to feel all ‘couply’ with me?”
“I’m re-thinking that idea,” she said, humming in pleasure as he began sucking on her neck. “I’m having such a good time tonight….”
“Could do it again sometime, if you like.”
“I like,” she said, closing her eyes and falling into the sensual tingles his sucking was creating. His arms tightened as he fought his demon’s urge to re-open the tiny wounds. With a final growl – aimed at himself rather than her – he removed his mouth and released her. Buffy turned to look at him, disappointment just visible in her curious eyes.
“Sorry, pet,” he said, trying for light and casual. “That’s a little hard on the demon and I didn’t want to hurt you.”
“The demon wanted to hurt me?” Her eyes narrowed; sorrow and a growing anger replacing the disappointment. She yanked the arm he was still touching away from him. A quick motion of her hand prevented his aborted attempt to touch her again.
He shook his head, stumbling over his words in his eagerness to explain. “No…he…it…I…That’s not the way it is, Slayer. I…we don’t want to hurt you, we want…” He whirled away from her and threw his arms up in the air. “I’m a bloody vampire, Buffy! We bite the people we…love. The demon wants to claim you. Make you mine. Know you don’t want that, don’t I? That’s what I meant by ‘hurt you’. ‘s got nothing to do with feeding or fighting. It’s all about wanting to mark you as mine.”
They glared at each other for a few seconds, then Buffy’s tense, defensive posture relaxed and she raised a tentative hand to his neck.
“Like I marked you, you mean?” She ran her fingers lightly over the now barely-visible hickey she’d given him.
“Somethin’ like that. But a bit more permanent.” He put his own hand over hers and pressed it against his throat. “That’s all I meant, love. I swear.”
“I believe you.” She moved closer to him and looked up into his anxious eyes. “You bit me before, didn’t you? When we were…making love?”
If Spike’s heart had been capable of it, it would have leapt in his chest to hear her refer to their afternoon’s activities as “making love.” He nodded, watching carefully for any sign of anger on her part. However, she just nodded also.
“I thought you did,” she said simply.
“Why?” She gazed at him with genuine puzzlement. “I know you love me. If the demon loves me too, it makes sense he would try to do something about it. I’m not upset about it.”
“You do know that the demon and I are the same person, don’t you, Slayer?”
His eyes challenged her to reject Angel’s lessons about how his demon was something separate and apart from his normal self. Refusing to get into an argument about it, she just shrugged and pulled her sweatshirt from the bag. She unhooked her helmet and put it on head, looking at him expectantly.
“Right, then. Off to celebrate the holiday by watchin’ demon girl groping Harris, and the witches groping each other, and…”
“If you’re about to add Dawn to that gropage, you can just stop right there!”
His eyes flashed. “I’d better not find any wanker trying to grope the Bit. It’ll be the last time he uses that hand!”
Buffy laughed at his abrupt change in mood. “Let’s go, Big Bad. Time to go see that the only groping is among consenting adults.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/237435.html