Buffy made it her goal to avoid her guest for the rest of the day, if not for the rest of her life. She had the dry cleaners bring the clothes out back; had some take-out delivered to his door. Fortunately, Spike didn't seem all that eager to see her either. He could've easily barged in -- said something annoying, but he hadn't.
She paused as she locked the front door behind her.
What if he thought about me too?
It's possible... the way he was looking at me...
Then she remembered his adamant, "You're not my type."
Of course I'm not. I'm not some hip alterna-chick with dreds and a nose ring, or whatever Dru is. She probably smells.
With that comforting thought, she strolled out to the main garage, car keys in hand, and opened the door... only to find that both of her father's cars were gone. Both!
She stared at the empty space. You really don't trust me at all, do you, Dad?
With a heavy sigh, she opened another door to the second garage, where Spike's battered jalopy hid.
Then she got an idea.
* * *
Spike had circled the grounds on foot three times, and kept getting the same infuriating result. An empty driveway, two empty garages, and no sign of his car.
He sat down on the front steps, shook his head, and took out his last cigarette.
He was going to kill her.
Just then, his car turned in to the driveway.
Spike wedged the cigarette in his ear and stood up, waiting for her to come close enough. Then he stormed toward her with a vicious sneer. "Where the hell did you take my car, you little--"
She rolled down the window, beaming. "Check out the hooptie."
"What--" he slung back, noticing that the whole thing had been cleaned, waxed, buffed, and fitted with shiny new chrome hubcaps. "What did you do?" He gasped. "My -- my windows!"
"No more hideous black paint. They're tinted now."
"Tinted--?" That's it. He opened the door and yanked her out. "You desecrated my car!"
Even as he loomed above her threateningly, she couldn't stop grinning. There was no way he could stay mad about this: she'd just turned his car into a sex machine, and no boy, no matter how... English, could resist that.
He leaned forward, narrowing the space between them. She didn't flinch. "What are you smiling at?"
Head down, eyes rising coyly to meet his gaze, Buffy dangled the keys at his face. "Don't you wanna take it for a ride?"
Spike stopped a smile from curling his lips, and tried to look angry. "No!"
She lifted an expectant brow.
He inhaled, exhaled, looked up at the stars, and finally let that smile show. "Get in."
Laughing, Buffy dropped the keys into his palm and pecked his cheek with a "mwah!" before jumping into the car.
Taken aback, he blinked for a moment. Then he followed her inside.
She reached over to fluff his hair. "Just stay away from the mountains, 'kay?"
"Only if you stay away from the hair." He peeled out of the driveway circle at full speed.
* * *
"I can't believe you," Spike said, shaking his head, still running his hands over the clean, shiny newness of his interior. "I can't believe your nerve."
"You looove me for it," she teased.
He glanced sidelong at her and laughed, "Shyeah. As if."
Buffy gasped, scandalized. "You did not just say that!"
"I did." He looked ahead. "Kind of want to kill myself for it, but... yeah."
"Ah-ah-ah," she waved a finger. "There will be no suicide attempts on my watch."
He smiled. That incident couldn't have been further from his mind right now. "Gonna be my conscience now, pet?"
"I am," she said with a nod. "Just as soon as I fully develop my own."
He looked at her. "You've got one, love. Maybe you hide it sometimes, but it's there."
Buffy leaned her head on the window. "Sometimes I wonder..."
Spike slowed down for Saturday night LA traffic. Saturday... wasn't he supposed to do something on Saturday?
Buffy watched a motley crowd lining up outside a club. Red letters on black awning said St. Vigeous. "Hey. It's Oz."
"Oz and Willow, going into that club. Friends of mine. Or, sort of friends."
Spike glanced out, saw Xander lifting equipment out of a van. Gig night -- Right. He'd forgotten all about it. And they were still going through with it without him? Bloody traitors.
He slowed as he caught a glimpse of Dru in full makeup, laughing it up with her latest distraction.
He swerved and pulled over.
"We don't need to stop," she said, "really, I don't know them all that well--"
"There's something I need to see."
* * *
"Hey, Spike man, you're late. They're already setting up."
"Not playing tonight." He smacked a ten down on the table.
The door man frowned and slid the money toward Spike. "Don't worry about it guy, you're comp as long as I'm here."
"Thanks, mate." He stuffed the bill into his pocket.
Buffy didn't catch their conversation, just saw the money exchange. "I'm-- with--" She pointed awkwardly at Spike, and followed after getting a nod.
Spike lit a cigarette and surveyed the stage. Dru was adjusting her mic stand. She looked incredible. He turned to Buffy. "You want something to drink?"
"I don't drink, remember?"
Buffy shook her head. "Al-Anon. Honorary lifetime member."
"In't that the same thing?"
"No, it's 'children of'."
He nodded. "Which one?"
"My mom. She's been sober for three years." Why was she telling him this?
"A coke then?"
"Don't go anywhere. I'll be right back."
"Okay." Buffy slunk back against the wall and nodded to the beat of a Cure song. She noticed a DJ lit up in the balcony area, but it wasn't Oz.
"Buffy?" A high-octave voice beside her that could only be the voice of...
Willow scrunched her nose, puzzled and impressed. "Never thought I'd see you in a place like this."
A place like this, where the non-Cordelias hang out. "Yeah, me either."
"So... what are you doing here?"
"I'm -- with a friend. Or a, semi-friend, or... you know what I mean."
"No! No. Not at all," Buffy said quickly, and amended, "Well, yes, he is a guy, definitely guy-shaped, but not, you know, my guy, in the romantic-interest sense of the... I'm sorry, I'm babbling."
"It's okay," Willow smiled slyly, deciding not to push. "Where is he?"
"Getting drinks," Buffy said.
"Are you here to see Wicked Plum?" She gestured at the stage.
"Guess not. A friend we just hooked up with again, he's in the band. Remember Xander Harris?"
"Oh yeah -- your old crush!" That got an embarrassed chuckle out of Willow. "He was a senior when we were freshman, right?"
"Right. Well, anyway he's the um, well I'm not sure what he does in the band. Something to do with computers, or keyboards or something."
"Here," Spike said, handing a plastic cup to Buffy and chugging at a beer bottle. His eyes slid to the right, and he noticed Willow there.
"Hi," she waved. "Willow."
"Spike. Friend of Buffy's?"
"Yeah," Willow nodded. "Well, sort of..."
"Right, that's what she said."
Wanting to kick Spike, Buffy gave Willow an apologetic shrug.
Oz walked up. "Hey Buffy. Here to see Wicked Plum too?"
Spike grumbled something under his breath and turned to the stage.
Eyes on Spike, Buffy said, "I guess I am."