Giles removed his glasses and glanced from Buffy to Spike. At any moment he was convinced he would have to intervene and stop them from killing one another. Buffy was on her feet, screaming at the top of her lungs at the vampire and Spike had his hands rammed into his pockets. A gesture that convinced Giles he was fighting the urge to tear her limbs off. The look on his face said that he was about to lose that fight.
“I don’t care if you have a sore arm. You still can’t fight worth shit.” Buffy continued her rant. Mad at him for just being there, for being so damned desirable and most of all for making her think of how his hands had felt when he groped her. “And you’re too incompetent to help me any way because you’re dumber than the stake I’d like to shove up your...”
Spike’s hand came out of his pockets and he grabbed Buffy by the shoulders, shaking her back and forth. Because of her he had boobs tattooed on his arm and had almost been killed a few hours beforehand. “And you…”
“That’s quite enough.” Giles shoved his glasses back on and cleared his throat.
They were oblivious.
“Don’t you touch me.” Buffy shoved his hands away and pushed him against the wall, her body reacting to his lean muscled form as she purposely pressed against him. “I don’t have any problem killing you.”
“Bull shit!” Spike replied, puffing his chest and walking into her, forcing her back to the opposite wall where he pinned her arms over her head and stared down at her.. “You’ve had a million chances and you didn’t do it.”
“Only because you were always too crippled and pathetic!” She fired back, yanking free and knocking his legs out from under him.
He shot back to his feet and glared at her. That was a low blow, even for her. “I wasn’t crippled the whole time, damn you.”
“I didn’t say physically crippled. You were always mentally crippled and I felt bad for picking on …”
“Who almost got us killed?!” Spike yelled. “How ‘mentally crippled’ was that?”
“That’s enough!” Giles said again. How had he ever allowed himself to believe that pairing the two of them was a good idea? They had almost gotten each other killed a million times and couldn’t agree on anything. If one said up, the other said down. If one said black the other would swear it was white. When they still ignored him, he slammed the palm of his hand on the desk and screamed. “I SAID THAT IS ENOUGH!”
Slayer and vampire froze and stared at the man. Finally Spike shrugged and said, “Sorry, mate. Go on then.”
“Sit down, both of you.” Giles’ tone was harsh and he set his jaw at a decidedly firm angle until they did as he said. “I have had enough of this ridiculous behavior. Your displays especially, Buffy, the dance at the Fish Tank, all the name-calling and the constant banter must stop. It’s like the two of you get together and you lose all reason and sanity.”
“Giles, Spike never had either of those things!” Buffy raised her voice and stood back up. “You should be having this conversation with Spike and only Spike. He is the one who won’t cooperate and therefore…”
“I won’t cooperate?” The blond was back on his feet and back in her face. “*I* won’t cooperate? Who almost got us killed because she couldn’t use the stake I had?”
“I didn’t like YOUR stake.”
“It was yours.”
“Whatever.” Buffy threw her hands in the air. “I didn’t like it.”
“So you trot off into the woods for thirty minutes to look for a tree limb? And take the stake I had and leave me to fight unarmed? And I’m fucking maimed anyway because of this damn tattoo. It bloody well hurts!” Spike glared at Giles. “What do you think of that, Giles?”
Giles had laid his head on the desk and didn’t reply.
“If you can’t stand the heat then quit.” Buffy said smugly. “Being a Slayer is a woman’s job anyway and let’s be honest, you fight like a boxing kangaroo.”
“A woman’s job!?” Spike’s eyes widened. “Kangaroo? I’m about to hop over there and…”
“Get knocked back in your place.” Buffy snapped. “You don’t like working with me, I don’t like you working with me and I don’t like you.”
“Fuck you!” Spike growled.
“I’d rather stay celibate for the rest of my life.” She shot back.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure you will.”
“What is THAT supposed to mean?”
“Dwell on it. It’ll come to you.” Spike straightened his duster and started to walk out the door. It had been a very, very bad night. She was behaving like a child and he knew he definitely was as well but enough was enough.
They needed to shag and get it over with.
“Spike!” Giles called. “Perhaps you should stay long enough to try to reach a peaceable agreement?”
“The only peace I can get when it comes to that…damn Slayer…is being as far away from her as I can get.” He paused though, his respect for Giles making him linger.
“Perhaps you two shouldn’t work together anymore then.” Giles hated saying it but at the rate that things were going there was no other way. “I’m afraid that you take things far too capriciously. I’m not just speaking of the …ahem…dance. I’m talking about the fact that you get so self involved that you forget what’s going on around you.”
“She needs someone to watch her back, Giles.” Spike couldn’t believe that he was so close to losing his ‘job’. It wasn’t a job he had wanted in the beginning but now it was his. Sure, he bitched and pissed and moaned but if he didn’t have this…he didn’t have her…then what did he have? “I suppose I can put my personal feelings aside and focus.”
“I can too.” Buffy stared at Spike. She would never tell anyone, she could hardly bring herself to think it, but she looked forward to her nights with Spike. He was annoying, hateful and unpredictable but so was she. No one else would take her shit and dish it back just as powerful.
“Really?” Giles looked from one to the other. “Because I’m not having this conversation again. I can’t take it. I’ve got a headache now and my nerves are quite frazzled. I can’t listen to this chatter anymore.”
“Right.” Buffy nodded. “If he isn’t talking he isn’t nearly as obnoxious.”
“ME!” Spike shouted. “I’m obnoxious when I talk? At least I don’t sound like a broken victrola half the time.”
“What is a victrola?” Buffy yelled. “How dare you use French to insult me when you know for a fact that I can’t speak it.”
“Once again, Slayer, you have proven who the dumb one is here.” Spike laughed as he said it.
“STOP IT!” Giles yelled. “I’ve had it. I don’t want either of you to speak to each other under any circumstances in my presence. Spike, if you want to continue to work with us, that’s fine, but I won’t bear witness to this childishness. Good-night, both of you.”
Buffy watched with her mouth agape as Giles stomped out the door. Then she turned her gaze back to Spike. “Now look what you’ve done.”
“I didn’t do it.”
“Don’t talk to me. Giles was definitely onto something there.” She moved around the table and started past him but he grabbed her arm.
“Don’t talk to me either. Don’t say anything else to me from now on and I’ll do the same.”
“Liar. You couldn’t go for two days without running off at the mouth.” Buffy smacked his hand off of her arm.
“Oh, trust me, I have houseplants with more intellect than you. I won’t miss it.” He towered over her. “I bet I can outlast you. You’ll talk to me first, wait and see.”
“I bet I won’t.” She shot back, furious at his insult.
“Before we shake on it, what are the stakes?” Buffy was almost afraid to ask. If he wanted to touch her breasts again she would deck him. Or let him...and beg him to touch the rest of her. Probably that.
“Well, I want it to make a lasting impression when you lose and prove that you are weak willed.” He rolled up his sleeve and pointed at his tattooed arm.
“No. I’m not getting a tattoo. Mom would kill me.”
“Don’t worry. I saw something else there at the parlor. Something that would be a constant reminder that you talk too much.”
Buffy’s hands were on her hips and she smirked. “What?”
“A tongue piercing.”
“Hmm.” She scratched the side of her head and thought for several seconds about that. It would be really fun to see Spike mumbling through a tongue ring once he lost and she wouldn't lose under any circumstances. “You’re on.”
The handshake was done in silence.
They met the next night in their usual spot, underneath a tall elm tree in the corner of the cemetery. With a nod, Spike acknowledged her presence and together they began looking for new graves or anything else that needed attending. Thirty minutes into the patrol, they found something.
Three vampires kneeled on the grass at the foot of a freshly dug grave, whispering some sort of language that Buffy didn’t know. She cocked an eyebrow and cleared her throat. The vampires stopped speaking and rose to their feet. “Hi!” Buffy smiled. “Mumbling is really annoying. I think I’m gonna have to kill you for that.”
Spike grinned at the surprised looks on the vampire’s faces. Buffy’s dry wit always caught demons off guard. He’d never seen anything quite like this Slayer. She was absolutely amazing and he wanted her so bad he couldn’t stand it.
As one, the vampires charged and Spike and Buffy met them head on. Fists flew, connecting with a jaw here and a stomach there. Buffy was knocked backwards against a tombstone and regained her footing in just enough time to stake her attacker and see that Spike was fighting two on his own.
He noticed her watching and dusted one of the vampires, deciding to use the other to make him win the bet. Spike blocked a punch with his tattooed arm, which hadn’t really been bothersome at all, and pretended to be in excruciating pain. He dropped to his knees, wailing, and the remaining vampire moved in for the kill.
Buffy’s stomach flipped over and she tackled the vampire before he could get to Spike. Within seconds, he was obliterated and she turned. “Are you okay, Spike?”
Unable to contain his laughter he pointed at her with his ‘sore’ arm. “I’ve never been better. Ready for your new piece of jewelry?”
Furious, she jumped to her feet. “You cheated!”
“It’s not my fault that you’re so smitten with me that you had to ask if I was okay.” He stood up and grabbed her hand. “Come on, the parlor closes in an hour.”
“NO!” She tried, unsuccessfully, to dig her heels into the ground. “I can’t do this.”
“Sure you can. We've already had this talk and you still danced that night. All you have to do is sit there tonight.” He yanked her along behind him. “And by the way, you’re concern for my well being is cute, even on you.”
“I can’t do this, Spike.” Buffy bit down on her tongue, testing the sensitivity, and not liking how much she felt it. “I’m afraid of needles.”
“Nah. They don’t use needles, pet. It looked more like a nail.” Spike grinned as she paled. “It’ll be over with before you know it. And I’m buying!”
“A deal’s a deal.”
“How long do I have to leave it in?” She moaned, near tears.
“For as long as I have tits and a stake on my bloody arm.”
Buffy felt faint. “But that’s a permanent tattoo.”
Buffy sucked the piece of ice into her mouth and held it on her throbbing tongue. It hadn’t been as bad as she had thought it would be, even though she was convinced her tongue was three times it’s normal size now. Spike had held her hand the entire time though, rubbing over the back of it and squeezing it gently. Her tongue wasn't the only thing that had gotten pierced that night. Her heart had gotten pierced. It was real fear she felt when she thought he was about to be killed and real joy she felt when she realized he was okay. No matter how corny their game was, it was theirs and she wouldn't trade anything for it. She whimpered at how pathetic she was and Spike looked over at her.
“Big Baby!” He grinned even though he was afraid she was in pain. He had started to call the whole thing off because she was terrified and so worried. But seeing her that way, and being able to be the one there to offer moral support was kind of nice. It was also kind of nice hearing the tattoo artist tell Buffy that her man would go wild when she was able to fully use her piercing. He had every intention of being that man. “You damn near broke my hand back there, you know?”
“Leaf me alon.” She was massacring every word she uttered.
“You’re muttering. I guess I have to kill you.”
“Kith my ath.” She hated the sound of her voice. She sounded like Cindy Brady with a head cold.
With a fiendish chuckle, Spike moved behind her, gripped her hips and pressed a hard kiss on her backside. He wasn't surprised to find that he had just as much pleasure doing that as he had groping her breasts. She was one stacked little lady.
Xander dropped his soda into his lap when he looked out the window of the diner and saw Spike with his face buried against Buffy’s ass. He watched her swat him and run away laughing, the vampire giving chase.
“XANDER! You've soaked us both!” Anya cried. “What are you doing?”
“Trying my best to discreetly cover up the piss in my pants!”