"All dolled up and no place to go," Spike surmised as he stepped out of the shadows, cigarette in hand. It was a strange sight, a live girl other than the Slayer or the odd goth braving these parts. "No place but a dark, deserted cemetery. Are you looking for trouble?"
"Actually..." The girl cleared her throat. "I'm looking for you."
"One and the same -- Hey." He got suspicious. "You're that bird from the Watcher's Council. Miss, uh..."
"Chalmers." Demure, she ducked her head. "You can call me Lydia."
"You look different. Hair down, glasses off..." Her new look recalled a stripper's naughty secretary routine, right about when she turns naughty. What was she after? Were they testing him, too?
"Yes, well..." She fidgeted with her hair. "Contacts, I... sometimes..."
"What you want with me, then? Lydia."
"Well, I, I, I was hoping I could ask you a few more questions."
"Is that so? Where's your pad and pen? And for that matter, your crucifix and the barmy blokes with crossbows?"
"They've gone home. I, uh... extended my stay." She raised her eyes to him. "This would be strictly off the record, you see. An informal interview."
"I've told you everything I know about the Slayer. Find some other stone to squeeze."
"Oh, I'm not interested in her. I, I'm--"
He closed the space between them and she got to the point.
"You fascinate me."
Giving her a languid scan from peep-toe heels to rouged lips to flirty eyes, he said, "I do, do I?"
Lydia blushed and stammered.
Well, well. The little lady was looking for trouble -- in the form of him. Lydia Chalmers wasn't council bait -- she was a groupie! "Wanna learn all about the Big Bad, do you?"
Gathering her courage, she answered with a firm nod.
He smirked. "Right then. Follow me."
Casting a glance at the dark corners of the cemetery, he escorted the young lady to his crypt.
* * *
"First," he handed her a shot glass and she took it, hands trembling, "I made short work of the salesgirl and everyone else in the room."
"And you just ...left the bodies there for the models to see?"
"And have them run screaming before I got a taste? Where's the fun in that?"
"Of course." She tittered nervously. "How silly of me."
"The girls came out," he continued, "one by one, modeling each corset, and I watched the whole thing. Then I picked my favorite, asked her for a second show."
"What um," she tried again, "What makes a girl your favorite?"
Eyes smiling, he slid the back of his hand down her cheek. "Could be anything, really. A certain twinkle in her eye." He trailed the hand down her neck. "The suppleness of her skin. The color of her hair..." He let go of the blonde lock he was holding. "The swell of her breasts."
Her eyes fell shut as his thumb grazed her collar bone, and she whispered, "What did you do to her?"
"Bit hard to explain," he said, and shoved her shoulders against the wall. "Why don't I show you?"
"Oh!" She gasped and giggled in delight as he ripped her blouse open, changed his face and bit at her bra clasp. "Oh!"
Cupping her naked breasts, he nipped at her neck.
"Oh! Uh -- OH!"
"Don't worry, love, I can't really hurt you."
"I don't bloody care!" Lydia howled. "Take me! Ravish me! Do your worst, you beautiful vicious remarkable beast!"
* * *
The door flew open. "Spike, I need hOH my god."
Spike was naked, first of all, and so was the blonde he was violently thrusting into, her legs spread in a mid-air V, his hands gripping her ankles. Did she mention the thrusting? And the grunting? And the thrusting?
His face went human. "Buffy?"
Spike/Harmony bonkage: so much more information than she ever wanted to have. "Emphasis on 'ho'."
"Buffy, wait!" Spike said as she spun to leave. She needed him! He'd been waiting for this, had a whole set of lines rehearsed for it -- why did it have to be tonight of all bloody nights?
"Oh dear lord." Lydia came to her senses as he abandoned her for his jeans. "What have I done?"
Buffy paused. That wasn't Harmony's voice. That wasn't Harmony.
That wasn't even a vampire.
Not-Harmony/not-even-a-vampire was hurriedly getting dressed. "Please don't tell anyone, Miss Summers, I, I could be sacked, it was just one of those things, a lark, you understand--"
Buffy's eyes widened as it hit her. "The Watcher's Council chick?!"
"Uh," said Spike.
"I um--" Whirling in a shame tizzy, Lydia ran past her. "Oh, blast it! Blast it blast it blast it!"
"Yeah," Spike said as she bolted out the door, "uh, cheers, thanks for the interview."
"Quite the intimate portrait," Buffy snarked. "Gives a whole new meaning to 'in-depth'."
He snickered smugly at that. "Yeah."
Luckily he'd put some pants on. Now if he'd only put on a shirt... "What the hell were you thinking?"
He gave her a single look that said it all.
"Okay, dumb question. But hello? Member of the Watcher's Council? They are not your friends. They're not even my friends!"
"She's a woman first, isn't she?" He lit a cigarette. "Just wanted a little taste of danger. Anyway, I don't tell you who to shag, though god knows you could use a nudge in the right direction and pfft," he said, getting more defensive as he went on, "what do you care anyway? Are you jealous or something?"
"Jealous of what? Her desperation or your narrowing pool of desperate women to choose from?"
"Hey, she's nothing to sneeze at, you know. Pretty, smart; first-rate pair of--"
"I get it!" she said, hoping he'd drop the 'big gazongas' pantomime.
"And she wanted me, all right? Not anyone else. William the Bloody, the Big Bad himself. Knew all about my past and didn't care a wit, in fact it got her all hot and bothered. I gave her six screaming toe-curlers tonight--"
"Stop! Please. I don't want to hear it." ...Six?
"Don't want to hear what? That a girl like you might look past my faults and give me a tumble?"
"Okay, first of all, she is not like me. She is nothing like me. Second, you don't have faults, you have a serial killer's rap sheet. And finally, you plus naked equals... gross... and... You just shouldn't have sex. Ever."
"Yeah, if I'm so 'gross' why were you downright riveted when you walked in? Even now you're peeping my bare chest like it's a bloody Prada on markdown at Nordstrom Rack."
"I am not 'peeping', you conceited...!" How did he know about her Nordstrom Rack addiction? Or that she'd just scored that smokin' Prada skirt for fifty bucks? "Okay, either you've been spying on me or you're secretly gay. And judging from what I walked in on tonight, I'm gonna go with spying. What gives?"
"What? Nothing. Not spying on you. Pfft. Like I give a damn what you do with your days." He extinguished his cigarette and searched for an excuse, finding it in a tiny porcelain unicorn horn on the floor. "Been around Harmony too long, all this useless female information in my head."
"Harmony ...buys things? On sale?"
"I don't get it either. Mall rats die hard I s'pose."
"And we've taken to awkward small talk," she said. "Must have missed my exit cue."
"Look, one of these days you're gonna have to face the truth, Buffy. The world isn't black and white."
She stopped, eyes on the door. "I'm the Slayer, Spike. I don't do gray. I can't do gray."
"Watcher's Council does gray." He stepped forward. "Lydia Chalmers does gray. Doesn't that make you think?"
"The only thing it makes me think, Spike, is EW."
"Right then." He plunked into his chair. "Well, if you see her out there, be a love and send her back in. Got a few closing statements I need to make."
"Ew, no!" she said, appalled. "I want you to stay away from her! I order you to stay away from her."
"Do you now?" He held in a laugh. "Give me one good reason to follow your orders."
"I'll slay you."
He gazed at his fingernails. "Every time you say that, pet, it gets a smidge more believable. Keep trying; one day you'll ace it."
"Fine. I'm asking you as a favor. To me. Don't get mixed up with her. Please?"
He looked at her.
"It's not jealousy. It's that I don't trust the Council."
Did that mean she trusted him?
With a casual shrug, he said, "Since you asked nicely."
"Wait a sec, what'd you come here for--" The door slammed shut and he sighed, folding his hands behind his head. "Looking for trouble. Just like all the rest."