Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Can't Buy Me Love

Chapter Title:



Just the Two of Us


Chapter Summary:


Giles finds out more about the Council finances and tries to find a way to move the offices to California.  Spike has some surprises for Buffy.


Time line:

May 2010



Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010

Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.

Annie was born on February 14th, 1999

Spike and Buffy  were married in  February 1999

Buffy was born January 19th, 1981

William/Spike was turned by Dru in 1880 1890; first came to Sunnydale in September of 1997


All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.

The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.



A Morton's Fork is a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives (in other words, a dilemma), or two lines of reasoning that lead to the same unpleasant conclusion. It is analogous to the expressions "between the devil and the deep blue sea," "between a rock and a hard place," or, as those in the Spanish-speaking world say, "between a sword and a wall.” 

Music Referenced:

Just the Two of Us, Bill Withers


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:



Thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter.

Rating / Warnings:

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.

Back in London ...

(The next day) Monday, May 2nd, 2010, 2:30pm:


Buffy walked into the office that Giles had been using at the Council headquarters to find out if he’d gotten flights home booked for her, Spike, Bess, Faith, and the rest of the Slayers Faith had brought with her.  There really wasn’t much else the ‘muscle’ of the operation could do here, and they were all anxious to get back home.  Giles and Wes were both bent over some ledger books and official looking papers on the desk, studying them closely, each with a grim set to their jaw and furrowed brows.


“Can anyone join this club, or is it limited to mopey Watchers only?” Buffy quipped as she walked up to the desk.


Giles looked up from the papers they’d been scrutinizing, which appeared to be court documents, and sat back, dropping his glasses down on the desk as he rubbed tiredly at his eyes. “You are more than welcome to join our club, Buffy – you don’t happen to have an extra quid … or hundred thousand, lying about, do you?”


Buffy furrowed her brows and patted down her pockets. “Sorry, left my wallet in my other pants,” she replied, borrowing one of Spike’s classic excuses. “I’ll have to owe it to you…”


When neither of the Watchers even cracked a smile, she asked, “Wow … tough crowd, I thought that deserved at least an eye roll. What’s the up, Giles?”


“I’m afraid that our good friend Quentin has driven the Council to the brink of bankruptcy with his ludicrous ‘Super Slayer’ program. All those guards, technicians, and doctors … not to mention the witches, shamans, and sorcerers … plus paying salaries, albeit slight, to an army of Slayers and Watchers, along with travel expenses and training programs …” Giles let his voice trail off as he let out a deep breath. “He was barely keeping things operational by infusing money from his own family’s trust funds … and now that inflow has, of course, ceased with his … uhhh, timely demise.”


“You can’t be serious!” Buffy exclaimed in disbelief. “What about this building? And … and isn’t there a castle outside London? That alone must be worth a fortune! And don’t they have like a whole fleet of private planes?”


“The airplanes are leased … another extraordinarily expensive luxury,” Wes provided. “The castle has value, certainly, but also a mortgage … as does this building.  The upkeep and taxes on them is … astronomical.”


Buffy plopped down in a chair opposite them and shook her head. “So, I guess this means you haven’t booked our flights … and Spike, Bess, and I are out of a paycheck…”


“No … we can keep all the salaries going … for now, anyway,” Giles assured her. “If you could … uhhhh … pay the re-scheduling fees for your flights with your card, I’ll reimburse you as soon as we can get some additional cash freed up, and Wesley and I will take care of the others. It seems Quentin’s been remiss in payment of some outstanding debts and … well, I’m afraid most of the accounts have been frozen by a court order. The only account not frozen is the one dedicated to the payroll; there are sufficient funds in there to pay the remaining employees at the current salaries for … uhhh … two months.”


Buffy rolled her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. Two months!?  She had really been hoping this would be the answer to her and Spike’s money problems … Spike wouldn’t have to go back and beg Willy for his job back … which wouldn’t be a pretty picture, or go try to find some other job for which he’d be qualified.  That just left the mandrake patch as their only hope for some salvation from the looming credit card debt that they’d piled up on this trip.  They still had most of the money that Willow and Tara had given them, or repaid to them … but that wouldn’t hold out very long with three growing children, one teen-going-on-one-hundred addition to the household, and a baby on the way.


“It’s quite extraordinary, actually … we can’t afford to move and we can’t afford to stay here.  I believe we have just been impaled by a ‘Morton’s Fork,’” Giles lamented.


“We’ve been ‘forked?’” Buffy questioned, looking between Wes and Giles.


“Indeed … I would say that sums it up precisely,” Giles agreed with a heavy sigh.




(Same day), 9:30pm, London:


Giles unlocked the front door of the Council headquarters building and opened it for Olivia to enter. Everyone else had gone for the day, or night, as it were …


“Thank you so much for meeting me here,” Giles welcomed her with a soft kiss on the lips.


“I just hope I can help…” Olivia replied after the kiss as they began walking down the empty corridor.


“You say your friend at the auction house is well versed in objects of the occult?” Giles asked as Olivia stopped in front of a large oil painting that hung behind the receptionist’s desk.


“Yes …” she replied distractedly as she turned and took in the furnishings in the waiting area. Looking back at Giles she questioned, “Is the whole of the building furnished like this?”


Giles shrugged. “Yes, for the most part …”


“Hmmm…” Olivia offered neutrally as she started past the reception area, stopping at the first office door and looking back at Giles. “May I?” she questioned, indicating the closed door.


“Please, make yourself at home…”


Olivia stepped into the now un-occupied office. One wall was lined with floor to ceiling bookcases filled to overflowing with old tomes along with various magical supplies, orbs, crystals, and jars of herbs. On the other wall was an antique divan with a vibrant, intricately woven, Persian tapestry hanging on the wall above it.  In the center of the room was a large, mahogany desk with rosewood inlays and ornate carvings covering the front and sides, behind the desk was a matching credenza and hutch, equally ornate, and all in perfect condition. In front of the desk sat two Louis XIII side chairs with what appeared to be the original needlepoint seats and backs, and under the chairs was yet another hand-woven, antique Persian rug. 


Olivia turned back and looked at Giles. “All of this can go?” she questioned, waving her arm around the room.


Giles nodded. “Everything except the books … and perhaps some of the magic supplies. I need to go through all those items carefully to be sure there are no particularly rare, ‘one of a kind’ articles … and no ‘weapons of mass destruction’ among them.”


Olivia’s eyes widened as she looked around the room. “You believe there are chemical or biological weapons here?”  she asked, backing up towards the door slowly.


Giles smiled and caught her by the shoulders when she reached the doorway where he was standing. “No … but there are other weapons which are just as destructive … weapons that, if in the wrong hands, can send our world hurtling into a hell dimension we may never be able to escape from.”


Olivia turned to face him, her face a study in worry and confusion.


“Welcome to my world. I understand if you … can’t stay,” Giles offered sincerely.


“You’ve faced such weapons before?” she wondered, looking into the Watcher’s gentle eyes.


“Many times…”


“And we are, presumably, not in a hell dimension…” she pointed out.


“Presumably,” Giles agreed.


“Then it appears that next to you would be the safest place to be, and the place where I can be of the most help,” Olivia assured him, laying a hand softly on his cheek.


Giles nodded in relief and closed his eyes, taking comfort in her touch. She had said that she was ready to face the reality of his life, but he still wasn’t sure she realized the full extent of what she was agreeing to. He hoped that it didn’t become too much for her later … because the longer she stayed, the harder it would be for him to watch her walk away.


“I do think we will need more than just an expert in the occult, however,” Olivia continued, stepping back and looking at the room again.  “I think we could do a whole season of  ‘Antiques Roadshow’ here … I do hope those cuties Leigh and Leslie pop over.  They are simply adorable! I wonder if they’re single… Now that would be quite a ménage à trios, wouldn’t you agree?”


“I, uhhhh … never really gave it much thought,” Giles stammered, removing his glasses and polishing them furiously.


Olivia laughed and turned back around to face him. “You really do need lighten up a bit, Rupert …” Olivia teased.


Giles let out a sigh of relief and put his glasses back on as Olivia slid past him and started down the hall to inspect more of the offices. “You must know I wouldn’t leave you out … hmmm, would that be a ménage à quatre or still a trios since Leigh and Leslie are identical twins?” she wondered idly as she walked away.


Giles smiled and shook his head as he followed her.  Yes … watching her walk away was already becoming difficult, even if it was just down the hall…




8:00pm, at the hotel, London:


“Bloody-fucking-hell!” Spike yelled as he struggled to hold still, pressing his palms against his eyes as he lay on the bed in their hotel room.


“I’m sorry …” Buffy muttered for what seemed the hundredth time as she used a pair of wire cutters and pliers to cut Spike’s ‘stitches’ and pull them out.  Bess sat on his feet to keep him from flailing around too much as Buffy worked on his injured abdomen.   The ‘Man of Steel’ may not rust, but his muscle and skin did, apparently, heal around steel stitches and every time Buffy pulled one out, it pulled a plug of pink tissue with it and left a bleeding hole in Spike’s stomach all along each side of the wound.


“Fuck!” Spike screamed again, fighting to keep his demon down … it really wanted to kill whatever it was that was taking ‘bites’ out of his flesh.


“That’s it … last one,” Buffy announced finally, blowing out a deep breath and dropping the last piece of bloody wire, along with the pliers, in the garbage can.  She really wished Spike would’ve let Giles do this part, but Spike wanted it done tonight and Giles had an appointment, or so he said. Spike thought the Watcher had a ‘date’ … but, either way, he wasn’t available for the festivities this evening.


“I really don’t know why this couldn’t have waited until morning…” Buffy moaned as she tried to get her own heart to stop racing. She wasn’t squeamish, but she hated doing anything that caused Spike physical pain, especially after all he'd been through. “Our flight doesn’t leave until nine tomorrow night…”


Spike sat up as Bess got up off his legs and retrieved a washcloth for him to wipe the blood off his stomach with.  “Told ya’ … got a date with ‘m girl tonight and she ain’t going out with no stitched together Frankenstein with wires sticking out this way and that,” Spike explained again, looking at the clock.  “Speaking of which, you need to get ready … need to leave by 8:30, pet.”


Buffy rolled her eyes and let out a sigh. “Just let me get the blood and guts washed off…” she moaned as she headed for the bathroom.  In the bathroom, Buffy pulled off her clothes and looked in the mirror as she wet washcloth. She’d taken a shower and done her hair and makeup earlier … not realizing that Spike was gonna want major surgery before their date. She snorted a soft laugh as she washed the blood off her hands and where it had spattered on her arms and neck, trying to remember a time when ‘getting ready for a date’ didn’t involve washing gross things off your skin, shoes, or clothes…


Back in the bedroom area, Spike finished cleaning the blood from his stomach and he had Bess put a Band-Aid over each of the spots where the stitches had been. Spike wasn’t happy with having to do that, it was just barely better than a stitched-together Frankenstein, but he didn’t want blood on his dress shirt … maybe he could sneak off to the loo later and take them off after he’d stopped bleeding.


“At least it’s black …” Bess pointed out, as if reading Spike’s mind. “If some blood gets on it, it won’t show.”


“Yeah, I reckon…” Spike agreed as he finished buttoning it before turning his back on the girl, unfastening his belt and the snap and zipper on his pants and tucking his shirt in.


“No need to be shy, I’ve seen that before, ya know…” Bess pointed out as she watched him.


“Yeah, well, you ain’t seein’ it again …” Spike assured her as he finished refastening his belt and turned back around.


“Seen lots of men,” Bess continued with a shrug. “It doesn’t bother me…”


Spike looked at her with a furrowed brow, considering her and what the time in the dungeon, especially the last two years with her soul intact, had done. “You understand why I wouldn’t have sex with you in the white room … yeah?” he questioned.


Bess shrugged. “You’re married to Buffy… married people are supposed to just have sex with the person they’re married to,” Bess offered.  “It doesn’t always work that way, you know. Had sex with lots of men who were married to someone else.”


“Yeah, I reckon that’s true enough for some men … and women too, but not for me – not for Buffy … but that’s not the only reason. You do believe that I’m your father, don’t you?” Spike wondered, studying her face.


Bess shrugged. “Yeah … I get it.”


“You’re a lovely bird, Bess … but you’re my daughter. Fathers don’t look at their daughters that way …” Spike began before an alarming thought crossed his mind. “The Weatherfords … the vicar didn’t …”


“No!” Bess exclaimed. “Daddy was a good man, he loved us! He worked so hard to give us everything we wanted … to give mom pretty things. He was the best dad anyone could ever have – don’t ever say that again!”


Spike nodded, sure that she was telling the truth by the defensive passion in her voice and the anger that flashed in her eyes at the accusation.


“You see that feeling right there?” he asked, pointing at her heart. “That’s just how I feel about you, pet. I may not have been there for you when you needed me, but I’m your father and I’m here now. You may never be able to call me ‘dad’, but that won’t stop me from being your dad or you from bein’ our daughter.”


Bess folded her arms over her chest and looked down at the floor. “I said I get it,” she repeated.


“You gonna be ok on your own t’night?” Spike asked her, letting the previous subject drop as he buttoned his cuffs and straightened his collar.


“Yeah, sure. There’s a ‘Monty Python’ marathon on the telly,” Bess offered, using Spike’s word for the wondrous marvel of technology that brought the world into your hotel room – she’d spent every free minute hypnotized by it.


“That’s m’ girl…” Spike smiled wrapping an arm around her shoulders and giving her a tight squeeze. “You’ve got Buffy’s cell number … if anything happens …”


“Just call the number and wait for her to answer; if there’s no answer, leave a message and she’ll call back … yes, I know how it works. I have talked on the phone a few times now,” Bess assured him as he released her and she headed for the door.  “Have a good time.”


“Thanks, I plan to…” Spike replied with a smirk as Bess headed back to her own room.




Buffy emerged from the bathroom dressed in a knee length, sleeveless, black dress that she’d bought at the market when she and Bess had gone shopping earlier in the week. It was marked down seventy-five percent … she couldn’t let it just hang there, it was too cute and looked so lonely there on the clearance rack, and the flared skirt didn’t squeeze the small bulge in her belly like a lot of her clothes were starting to do.  The decorative straps across the chest above the bodice added just the right amount of fanciness to the simple A-line dress; it was comfortable and sexy and, with the full skirt, Buffy could even fight in it if she had to … it was perfect. 


The sparkly, gold shawl that Buffy borrowed from Olivia made her ensemble complete … she only wished she had a pair of her Jimmy Choos to wear with it, but she hadn’t packed them, so she had to go with her ‘everyday’ black heels.  The only other thing missing was her jewelry … just how long did it take to break into a safe, anyway?  They should get that blonde chick from that show she’d seen on TNT … that girl’d have it open in three seconds flat…


Spike was sitting on the bed fiddling with a loose string on the pillowcase, waiting impatiently (as usual) for Buffy to get ready. When she came out of the bathroom, he looked up and drew in a deep breath … she was, literally, breathtaking. Her hair fell in golden waves over her glittering shoulders, framing her luminous green eyes and angelic face with a soft glow … or was the glow coming from within?  Spike could just see her tummy pushing the ‘A’ line of the dress into more of a ‘D’ in the front and he smiled, thinking she’d never looked more lovely … but then, he always thought that, and for him it was always true.  Every time he looked away and looked back, she always seemed to look lovelier … there was always something new about her that he hadn’t seen before or a glint in her eye or a smile on her pretty lips that needed sussing out and he relished every confounding glance and glimmer.


“How do I look?” Buffy asked, turning in a circle.


Spike gave her his best ‘thinky-face’ and motioned with a finger for her to turn back around the other way, and Buffy obliged.


“Well?” she prodded.


“Not sure … go back ‘round …” Spike requested, twirling his finger back the other way.


Buffy twirled back around, holding her arms out so the shawl would wave and sparkle in the breeze she was creating. She stopped and looked at him again and Spike twirled his finger the other way. Buffy was starting to get concerned, this time looking down as she turned around to try and see what was wrong with her outfit.


 “What’s wrong?” she asked as she stopped again, looking at her husband with confusion. “Is it the dress or the shawl … ‘cos I can take the shawl off … but I don’t have another dressy-dress. Oh God, don’t tell me it’s the shoes! I don’t have any other heels with me…” she babbled, as she looked back down at her outfit.


“I think something’s missing,” Spike told her as he stood up and started towards her.


“Missing?” Buffy questioned. “Shoes, dress, shawl, underwear … I really don’t have room for anything else,” she argued.


“Not even this?” he asked, holding a jewelry box with the name ‘Pandora’ on it out to her.


Buffy raised her brows, looking from the box to his eyes and back again. “I hope that’s not the Pandora’s box … gotta say, not really dressed for that.”


Spike snorted a soft laugh and pulled the top off the box, revealing a silver charm bracelet inside. “I wanted to get gold, but…” Spike shrugged, the meaning clear – he couldn’t afford the gold; he actually couldn’t afford the silver, but MasterCard could. “Hope you fancy it…”


A wide smile lit Buffy’s face as she picked up the charm bracelet. “What’s the occasion?” Buffy questioned, as she began looking more closely at the baubles.  Then worry creased her features and she looked back up at Spike, suddenly afraid that this day had some special meaning that she had missed during her years in the ‘Wish World’.


“It’s Monday and you look radiant,” Spike explained with a loving smile.


Buffy blushed slightly but her wide smile came back as she turned her attention back to the bracelet. It had seven charms on it and room for more … Buffy went from one to the next, looking at them closely as her heart danced with excitement.


The first charm was a small skeleton key. “The Key … Annie,” Buffy whispered as she fingered the small trinket.


The second charm was of the Eiffel Tower. “Anne,” Buffy guessed, remembering how excited Anne had been in 1890 at the thought of going to see the landmark ‘before they tore it down’.  Buffy had been glad to hear from Wanda that Anne had been able to see Paris after all ... even if it was many years later.


The third charm was a soccer ball. Buffy laughed. “Dani,” she had no doubt about that.


The fourth charm was a dagger. Buffy furrowed her brow and studied the intricate detail of the tiny weapon.  When she didn’t say anything, Spike supplied, “They didn’t have any wooden stakes … best I could do for our Slayer.”


Buffy smiled and looked up into his eyes and nodded. “It’s perfect for Bess.”


The fifth charm was a tiny book. “Billy,” Buffy knew immediately.


The next charm was a stork delivering a baby wrapped in blue. “William, Junior,” Buffy surmised, since he hadn’t yet been born when she visited their family of the past.


The last charm was a miniature bandstand, like the one in Clapham Common … where their littlest bit was conceived. Buffy smiled and laid a hand on her tummy, then looked up at Spike as tears glistened her eyes. “I love it … you don’t know how much I love it,” she gushed, holding it up for him to fasten around her wrist. 


When he had it secured for her, Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and dropped a soft kiss on his lips. “I love you,” she whispered against his mouth. “Thank you so much …”


Spike smiled at her, even though he would’ve preferred something more expensive, he was glad that she liked it and it filled his own heart with joy to see her happy and smiling. That was something he wanted to see every day of their lives … her beautiful smile and her eyes sparkling with joy.


“We don’t wanna be late … better get going, then…” Spike suggested as he wrapped an arm over her shoulders and started for the door as Buffy held her arm up and admired the bracelet again.


“This has already been a wonderful date … we could just … stay here, order in … unplug the phone,” Buffy hinted with a sly smile.


Spike smirked … that thought had crossed his mind too. If he hadn’t already spent so much time and money planning this night, he would’ve definitely jumped at that suggestion … but there were lots more surprises to come and he couldn’t wait to see her face light up with each one.


“Not breaking a date with your husband to watch the Monty Python marathon, are ya?” Spike questioned with cocked brow and a smirk.


Buffy laughed as he guided her out the door and into the hallway. “You caught me … I’m in love with John Cleese,” she sighed and pouted melodramatically as they made their way towards the stairs. “I can’t ever put one over on you.”


“You’d be best to remember that,” Spike teased as they walked.


“Ummm … I do have one question, though,” Buffy began, holding up the charm bracelet, which could easily hold many more charms.  “Just how many more children do you think are in our future?”


Spike laughed deeply as they walked out the front doors into the cool night air … he’d be happy with as many as she wanted and as many as the angels blessed them with.  “Just keepin’ all possibilities open, pet.”




“Oh, it’s so beautiful!” Buffy exclaimed as they crossed the Thames, walking over Westminster Bridge, then down the promenade along the river towards the London Eye.  The trees lining each side of the footpath were decked out in blue, as if Christmas had come early, and the giant Ferris wheel at the end of the walk was just as brightly lit, shining brilliantly against the dark, night sky.


“Are we going on the Ferris wheel?” Buffy asked, her eyes wide with excitement, as they held hands and walked towards the London Eye, which was the fourth tallest structure in London – on a clear day you could see almost forever.


“We are…” Spike confirmed as he watched her smile shine brighter than all the lights in all of London.



As they approached the popular attraction, Buffy spied the long queue of people waiting to get on and her shoulders sagged. “Oh … look at that line,” she moaned. “That’s worse than Space Mountain.”


“No worries, pet,” Spike assured her, pulling some papers from his pocket. “No waiting on line for us…”


Spike guided her to the ‘prepaid ticket holder’ gate and showed the hostess the papers and it suddenly felt like a red carpet had been rolled out for them – like in the cartoons. They were shown to the front of the line and a flurry of activity began as people readied their private gondola while the ride continued to move along slowly.  By the time it got to where Buffy and Spike were waiting, ‘Cupid’s Capsule’ was fully stocked with chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and a large tray of Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffles.


“Enjoy your flight,” the hostess wished them before closing and securing the door behind the lovers as the wheel continued to move slowly, starting back up its arc towards the top, nearly four hundred and fifty feet above.


Buffy walked slowly around the perimeter of the glass-walled gondola, watching the lights and people below becoming smaller and smaller as they got further and further away. Spike opened the champagne and poured them each a glass, then walked up behind her as she stood gazing out at the lights of London. He stood behind her, wrapping one arm around her and handing her one of the glasses as he settled against her back and looked out at the city over her shoulder.


They stood in silence for a long while as they rose high above the London streets, each lost in their own thoughts. To Spike it didn’t even seem like the same city he’d grown up in, the same city he thought he’d live his entire life in … the same city that he first met his fallen angel in.  He thought about Bess and what a culture shock she must be experiencing … she really was handling it extremely well, he wasn’t sure he would’ve done as well given the circumstances.


Buffy’s eyes wandered over the lights of the city, which sparkled like diamonds before them and seemed to go on forever.  The last time she had been here, the city had been over a hundred years younger … there were no cars or electric lights and there certainly was no gi-mongous Ferris wheel.  Buffy touched the bandstand charm on her wrist and wondered how much of their life was pre-ordained and how much really was ‘free will’ like the PTB espoused.  Was everything that happened part of some grand plan to fulfill a prophecy or was the prophecy manipulated to fit around what happened, or were the two even related at all – was life really just a haphazard, helter-skelter game of chance?  Buffy sighed, sort of wishing for the last, but resigned to the real possibility that the truth was one of the first two choices.


“Penny for your thoughts,” Spike whispered in her ear.


Buffy smile and turned around to face him as she raised her glass up for a toast. “To fate and free-will,” Buffy toasted. “May we never be foolish enough to give in to the first or give up on the second.”


Spike nodded thoughtfully and clinked his glass against hers and they both took a sip of the sweet, bubbly liquid.


“Oh! I forgot!” Buffy exclaimed putting a hand over her mouth. “I’m not supposed to drink!”


Spike shook his head. “A little isn’t gonna hurt the bit. It’s a special night, our last night in London … our last night before the world starts crashin’ our party again.”


“Are you sure?” Buffy questioned, looking at the bubbly in her glass.


“Trust me. Here … try these – they make the champagne even better – plus, chocolate, so that would completely counteract any possible side-effects of the alcohol,” he assured her, turning and picking up one of the strawberry-chocolate truffles between two fingers and holding it up for her.


“Really? Who knew?” Buffy teased as she took a bite of the pink truffle and savored it, chewing slowly and letting the flavor fill her whole mouth with its rich flavors.


Spike popped the rest of the truffle into his mouth and did the same before toasting, “To the woman who makes the stars fade, the moon jealous, and the sun sink from the sky… your beauty outshines them all, Buffy.”


Buffy felt a her face flush as she smiled and clinked her glass against his and took another sip of the champagne, letting the flavor mingle with the remnants of the truffle and burst happily on her tongue.  Spike was probably right, one glass wasn’t going to hurt.


“You’re a total corn-dog, you know that, right?” she teased, leaning against him and dropping a soft kiss on his lips.


“But a lovable one, yeah?” Spike questioned, giving her his most adorable ‘little boy’ look.


“Totally lovable … don’t ever stop,” Buffy encouraged him with a smile as she kept her body pressed against his, but pulled back to look into the depths of his smoldering blue eyes.  “Lucky for you, I like corn-dogs … I just want to gobble them all up.”


“Do ya, now?” Spike smirked. “With mustard or …”


“Naaa … plain … or maybe a dash of champagne and truffles…”


Spike raked his tongue across his teeth, then bit his bottom lip to keep his giddy grin from making him look like too much of a ponce. He watched, mesmerized, as mischief danced in Buffy’s sparkling, green eyes and spread across her face, bringing a small smile to her delicate, pink lips.  Spike leaned in and touched those sweet champagne and truffle flavored lips to his as the lovers rose higher and higher above the city lights. 


She had made mistakes over the years, they both had … hurt each other without meaning to, not trusting fully when they should have – but it was never done with malicious intent; they’d just made mistakes and they’d both learned from them.  He had never been more elated by her love of his inner romantic ponce than he was at this moment. Despite the mistakes they made, he knew she’d never take advantage of his tender heart like the other women to whom he’d given it in the past. She’d never make fun of it or use his feelings against him or try to control him with them … not like Cecily and Dru had. It made his heart soar to know that it was free to show her all the love it held … free to be as corny and starry-eyed and quixotic as it longed to be. With her, it was safe; with her it had found the one person who would treasure it and embrace it and love it just as much as he loved her.


Buffy turned in his arms and leaned back against his chest as the capsule rose higher and higher above the city.  She sighed dreamily as they watched the world become smaller and smaller until all the lights just looked like stars spread out below them, as if they were at the top of the universe looking down, and that was exactly how she felt.  Spike never ceased to amaze her … he always had the best surprises and he always knew just how to lift her up and make her feel like she was on top of the world, and tonight he'd done it literally.  Even in the dungeon when they were both in pain and not sure that they’d ever make it out, he made her feel like it was just the two of them… like it was just them in their own little world, for a while, at least. Je t’aime beaucoup.


“I love you, Spike,” Buffy whispered as she hugged his arms around her tightly, still looking out at the lights that sparkled like a million diamonds below them.


“I love you, Buffy,” Spike replied, nuzzling through her soft hair and pressing his lips against the warm skin of her neck. Just the two of them, soaring through the stars, high above the world – that’s what he wanted to give her this night, all night long … and the night was still young…




Just the Two of Us, Bill Withers



I see the crystal raindrops fall
And see the beauty of it all
Is when the sun comes shining through
To make those rainbows in my mind
When I think of you some time
And I want to spend some time with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

We look for love, no time for tears
Wasted water's all that is
And it don't make no flowers grow
Good things might come to those who wait
Not to those who wait too late
We got to go for all we know

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us
You and I

I hear the crystal raindrops fall
On the window down the hall
And it becomes the morning dew
Darling, when the morning comes
And I see the morning sun
I want to be the one with you

Just the two of us
We can make it if we try
Just the two of us
Just the two of us
Building big castles way on high
Just the two of us
You and I

Just the two of us
Let's get together, baby
Just the two of us
We can make it
Just the two of us
We can make it
Just the two of us


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