Buffy smiled as she danced with her friends, for once her life was as it should be. She was out enjoying herself and not worrying about demons, vampires or anything else. She felt like a normal teenage girl.
"Hey, babe. How about a dance?"
Buffy turned and found herself facing Justin from the football team, a guy who despite his good looks had possibly the worst reputation in the school. However, in true Jock style, the number of women he'd bedded was counted as an achievement more than anything else.
"No, thank you." She replied politely and turned back to her friends. Justin grabbed her arm and she tensed, her body telling her to use her strength against him while her mind protested.
"I won't take no for an answer." Justin growled dangerously. Buffy's face remained expressionless as she took hold of his hand and squeezed with enough pressure to make him wince and let go. Once more she turned back to her friends.
"You OK?" Asked Xander. "I could do the manly protector thing if you want."
Buffy smiled. "Thanks, I'm OK"
She felt a hand on her arm again and this time her temper flared. She spun around.
"Listen, Justin. Will you just-" She trailed off when she saw that it wasn't Justin at all. She'd never seen him before, she was sure she'd have remembered that almost white-blonde hair. And the way that he looked at her, it was like he was looking into her soul. The stranger took her arm and pulled her away from her friends and into the centre of the dance floor where he held her close and began to dance.
Willow and Xander stared as Buffy not only didn't pull away, but actually began to dance with the guy. Willow looked around nervously, now would not be a good time for Angel to decide to show up.
"What is she doing?" Asked Xander in annoyance. It was bad enough that she was with Angel, now she was practically making out with some stranger in the middle of the Bronze.
"I don't know." Replied Willow, who was just as baffled at her friends behaviour as Xander.
OK, Buffy what are you doing? She asked herself as she continued to sway in the arms of a complete stranger. They were nice arms though, strong. Stop it! She scolded herself, but she didn't pull away.
Bloody hell, Spike, what are you doing? He asked himself as he held the Slayer in his arms, only he wasn't killing her as he should be. He didn't know why he'd decided to dance with her. At first he thought it had been part of his plan, lull her into a false sense of security and then kill her, but now he felt it went beyond that. There was something about this girl that was different.
The song had stopped but neither of them seemed to have noticed. Finally Buffy lifted her head and looked into his eyes.
"Who are you?" She whispered softly.
He opened his mouth to answer but stopped. This was insane. He was a vampire and she was the Slayer, he should be killing her not dancing with her. Besides, he had Dru to think of, the woman he loved and had been with for over a century. He pulled away from Buffy and stepped back. He turned.
"Wait." Buffy called and that was it, he ran. Out of the club and into the darkness, back to where he belonged.
"Buffy, who was that?" Asked Willow as she and Xander walked over to join her. Buffy continued to stare at the space where the man had been, still almost feeling his arms around her and the image of his handsome face fresh in her mind.
"I don't know." She replied faintly.
* * *
Spike slammed the bedroom door closed behind him and leant against it, breathing heavily. Get a grip! He told himself. It was just a dance, and it sure as hell wasn't going to happen again. He'd been told to kill the Slayer on Saturday, the night of St Vigeous. But that was too far away, he had to get rid of her. Damn her for making him have feelings for someone other than Dru.
He glanced at the bed and saw his beloved lying there peacefully. He walked over and sat beside her. She opened her eyes and looked up at him.
"I was dreaming." She said softly.
Spike gave a small smile. "What about, luv?"
She reached up her hand and placed it on his cheek. He leaned into her touch, this was how it should be.
Suddenly Dru slashed her hand down, her nails slicing into his skin. Spike jumped up in surprise as he felt his own blood run down his face.
"Dru?" He asked with shock. She had never lashed out at him like this before.
"You're not my Spike anymore." She snapped. "You've been with another, with the Slayer."
He stepped towards her. "Dru, baby, it was nothing. I'm going to kill her, just like you asked me to."
She recoiled from him as though he were some kind of deadly creature. "I can't bear to look at you. She's inside you, I can see her. The moon and the stars have told me that you burn for her."
Spike shook his head. "No, it's always been you pet. You know that."
Despite her weakness Dru managed to climb to her feet. "Lies, it's all lies. I can see them floating all around you."
She walked past Spike and opened the door. "Leave me. I abhor you. The very sight of you causes me pain. Go, be with her, leave me."
Numbly Spike walked towards the door, he'd never heard Dru speak like this to anyone, him especially. He wanted to stay and try and reason with her, but his legs seemed to have other plans. Once he was out of the door he heard it slam behind him and lock. He wanted to stop but his legs kept going. He didn't know where he was headed, he just had to get away.
There was still a few hours before dawn, but the way he was feeling he didn't care if the sun rose right that second and burnt him to a crisp. His whole unlife had fallen apart over a girl who was supposed to be his enemy. He passed Sunnydale High School and all of a sudden he was filled with a burning rage. The Slayer was a student there, she'd be in her classes tomorrow, laughing with her friends, not caring that she had destroyed him.
He walked passed a sign for Parent/Teacher night and stopped, an evil grin spreading across his face.
Refreshments provided by Buffy Summers.
He had an idea.
* * *
Buffy swallowed hard as her Mom left Principle Snyder's office. She's almost managed to keep her away from him, but he'd caught her just as the evening was drawing to a close. Her mother did not look happy.
"In the car, now." She had her, 'you're grounded for eternity' voice in place. Definitely not good.
Suddenly the lights went out and the whole school was plunged into darkness. Things had just gone from bad to worse. Worse still when a group of vampire's burst through the window.
"Oh my God." Gasped Snyder. "It's a gang on PCP."
Still amazed at the town's reluctance to see what was right under their noses Buffy ushered the group into a nearby classroom.
"Keep everyone in here." She told her Mom firmly.
Joyce looked terrified but she managed to keep her voice calm. "Where are you going?"
"To stop them."
Before she could utter a single protest two of the other parents closed the door and used a bookcase to block it.
"Be careful." Joyce whispered. And she began to pray.
* * *
Everything was going according to plan. The Slayer was nearby, he could sense her. Tonight she would die, and he would be able to move on. Maybe Dru would take him back when he told her the good news. Then he saw her, she rounded the corner and it was just the two of them in the corridor, exactly the way he wanted it.
Her eyes widened when she saw him. What was the guy from the Bronze doing in her school. Ordinarily she'd have been delighted to see him. She'd been thinking about him constantly since he took off the night before, but this was not a good time. She ran over to him.
"You have to get out of here." She whispered. "There's some sort of gang attacking the school."
Suddenly she gasped. The moonlight had fallen on his face and she saw three deep gashes running across his cheek.
"You're hurt." She whispered with concern and reached up to brush her fingers lightly across the cuts. After a moment she lowered her hand. "Just stay close to me, I'm going to get you out of here."
Spike was transfixed. Not only was she tender enough to be concerned about a minor wound, but she was now willing to put her own life on the line to keep him safe. It hit him hard, Dru was right. From the moment he'd seen Buffy he'd known there was something different about her. She was different from the other Slayers, she was caring, gentle and it was more than a job to her. She cared for the people she was protecting, even though they were strangers. She cared for him, and now he knew he cared for her too.
He stepped closer to her and took her hand in his. She smiled.
"What's your name? You took off so fast last night."
Spike took a deep breath. He hadn't done this for a long time. "William. Call me Will."
There, he'd done it. He'd told her his real name and not some stupid nickname he'd made up for himself to accompany his tough vampire image. For the first time since he'd been turned he almost wished he was William.
"Nice to meet you Will, I'm Buffy."
They both smiled and began to walk down the corridor together. Spike wondered if there was some way he could call off his minions without letting Buffy know it was his fault the school was under attack in the first place.
At that point they were attacked by a group of five vampires. Obviously not.
Buffy pushed him back and pulled a stake out of her pocket. She tossed another one to him. "If any of them gets near you use this."
As Buffy hurled herself at the group of vampires, Spike decided to lend a hand. There was no way they were going to leave when they had the chance to kill a Slayer. And there was no way he was going to let anything happen to her.
He grabbed the nearest vamp and plunged his stake into it's chest. Buffy was too involved in her fight to see.
* * *
"We can't just stay here." Said one man to the group. "I say we make a break for it."
"Agreed." Said Snyder. "Come on, let's move this bookcase."
"Are you crazy?" Asked Joyce in amazement. "They could be still out there."
"Anything beats sitting in here waiting for them to get to us." The two men pushed the bookcase to one side and Snyder stuck his head out of the door.
"The coast seems to be clear, let's go."
Realising there was no stopping them now, Joyce stayed back waiting til everyone else was out before following.
Fortune was obviously smiling on them, they reached the door without incident. Joyce rested her hand on the door, about to follow the others when she stopped. Buffy. What if she was still in there, in some kind of trouble. Joyce turned around and walked back into the building.
* * *
Buffy was now doing her best to fend off three vampires while Spike fought one. She was amazed to see that Will was handling himself quite well.
Everyone stopped for a moment to see the source of the voice. Buffy froze in horror. It was her mother. Before she could even utter a warning the three vampires all pounced on her at once and it was all she could do to stay on her feet. The vampire who was fighting Spike grinned.
"Think I'll get me a bite to eat before I finish you off." He dealt Spike a powerful punch which knocked him to the ground and he ran at Joyce. She screamed at the sight of his demonic features but the vampire was tackled to the ground before he could reach her.
As Spike and his foe wrestled for the stake he clutched Buffy managed to finish off the vamps she was fighting. She ran over just in time to see Will stake the vampire and she gasped as she saw his own demonic visage slide back into his human one. Spike climbed to his feet and looked at the ground when he realised that she had seen him. She knew the truth.
Buffy ran to her mother and threw her arms around her.
"Mom, are you ok?"
Joyce smiled as she held her daughter. "I'm fine. This young man saved me."
Buffy turned back to Will, who was still looking at the ground. "Mom, can you check that everyone is OK I'll be out in a minute."
Joyce nodded and headed for the main doors.
Buffy stayed silent for a moment. Not really sure what she was supposed to say.
"You know what, one thing I learned when I was training to be the Slayer was that all vampires were evil demons with no souls. That's why I was there, to kill them. But it's not that simple. There isn't a simple line between good and evil. You saved my mother without even knowing who she was, that is not the sort of thing an evil monster would do."
"You wouldn't say that if I told you some of the things I've done. My name may have been William once, but it became Spike soon after I was turned. Let's just say it wasn't for a pleasant reason."
Buffy stepped towards him and placed her hand on his chest. "Tonight you showed me that there is more to you than just a demon. We've all done bad things in the past, it's what we do in the future that matters."
"Buffy, you know I'm not a regular bloke."
"And I'm not a regular girl."
She leant up and kissed him. "So let's be irregular together."