This story takes place in the same universe as "Raising In the Sun," "Necessary Evils," and "A Parliament of Monsters." It's set some time in 2007, and contains spoilers for POM. Unbeta'd, extremely silly, and all Kellyhk's fault for saying, "Next on Bangel Paradise (or Spuffy Heaven)...Buffy and Spike (or Angel) go out and buy cat food for their kitten Ralph and play rock paper scissors to see who washes the dishes."
1. Chapter 1 by Barb C
Forefinger indenting her lower lip, Buffy perused the row of brightly colored boxes, each emblazoned with an illustration of feline ecstacy more suitable to a low-life catnip joint than a suburban kitchen. "How old do you think Ralph is?" she asked.
"What bloody difference does that make?" Spike demanded. Billy took advantage of his distraction to lean over the edge of the shopping cart and snag a can of Yummy Meow-Meow Liver Snaps. Wresting the doubtless melamine-infested tin from their son's eager fingers, he added, "Ralph?"
Billy stretched out both hands for his can and burst into howls of thwarted, yellow-eyed fury. "Noooooooo, Daddy! Give back!"
"I was just wondering if we should get cat chow or kitten chow. And we have to call it something." Buffy examined the ingredients on the nearest box with a frown. "Billy, honey, you can't have any liver. You'll spoil your dinner."
"What we call it - " Spike vamped out, bared his fangs and growled. Billy, wide-eyed, cut off mid-wail. "- is 'valuable.' It's not a pet. It's a sodding hellcat. A familiar in the making. And it's already bought and paid for. By someone who's not us." He glanced down the aisle in hopes of spotting another customer he could chuck the tin at. No such luck. He contented himself with sticking it back on the wrong shelf instead.
Buffy set the box of cat food down with a pout remarkably similar to the one their son was working on. "I know, but there's no reason it has to go hungry till Whatsisnoggin the Magnificent deigns to pick it up. Besides, it's kind of cute, in a slavering, fangy way. You know I go for that kind of thing." She stood on tiptoe and planted a kiss between his brow ridges. "Ever since Tara took Miss Kitty back - "
"Kitty?" Billy brightened. Or looked hungry. Hard to tell at that age.
"Oh, no, you don't, you conniving minx," Spike said, with all due manly firmness in the face of domestic crisis. "Only beasties we're harboring from now on are light snacks for yours truly. I'm putting my foot down."
"OK, fine," Buffy said, in the dulcet tones that meant I have not yet begun to fight.. "No more pets." She wheeled the cart around and headed for the canned goods. "But you have to do the dishes tonight."
"I did 'em last night!"
Buffy dismissed this with a sniff. "You did the ones in the sink. The seventeen blood-crusted mugs scattered around the living room remain miraculously unwashed."
"Can't," Spike countered. There were things a bloke did, and things a bloke didn't, and dishes definitely fell into the latter category. Except when they didn't, which happened far too often for his liking. "Got an order to fill for Consolidated Curses by Thursday. Ornelik pelt. Dangerous business, hunting Orneliks. No time for crockery."
"Ditto on the can'tness," Buffy replied, cool as the proverbial organic cucumber. "Hot patrol night. Potential evil cultitude to foil down by the docks." She eyed him up and down with a wicked grin. "Wrestle you for it."
"Thought we were supposed to be setting a good example." Spike nodded at the cart, where Billy's attention had been momentarily diverted by the opportunity to dismantle a display pyramid of creamed corn. "None of that nasty violence."
Buffy raised an eyebrow. "What, you'd rather do rock, paper, scissors?"
Spike licked his fangs and grinned. "I'd win. None of your friends've got a rock this big."
The display collapsed in a canonade of bouncing, rolling aluminum. Spike whisked his son out of the way of the Del Monte avalanche. "New kitty, Mommy!" Billy caroled, brandishing a can of trophy corn. "Kitty, kitty, kitty!"
"See, Billy likes Ralph," Buffy wheedled.
Spike shook his head gravely. "Don't think so, pet. Boy's a little too young yet to properly appreciate pussy."