"So, d'you fancy it?" he asked, before he could stop himself.
She'd asked him (almost) the same question earlier, about patrol. It had sounded fun, but it turned out that Sunnydale was unutterably dead at the moment, so here they were, in the alley behind the cinema, with nothing to do but sneak in or go back home.
He wouldn't have risked asking if they'd been on the street in the Sun's bright lights, but in the company of a smelly dumpster and a half-open fire exit he was feeling optimistic. Possibly suicidal.
Buffy looked around the empty alley, at him and at the fire exit, frowning as if she were weighing something up. He didn't move, relaxing only when she tucked her stake back into her belt and said, a little tiredly, "Sure, why not? I did promise entertainment."
He nodded, fairly certain he was just about maintaining his cool, then strolled over the concrete stairs as she followed. Sneaking around had long been in both their repertoires, so it was all too easy to get inside and find their way to the second screen's showing of Darkness Falls. They didn't get any bother as they slipped in and sat down – though they got a few looks when Buffy declared, "Hey, wow, that actress looks like Anya!" in a barely hushed voice.
All the same he agreed, "She does at that." He'd always done what he liked in cinemas, so, even with the soul, he wasn't about to start cowering in complete fraidy-cat silence.
And that was why, whenever something funny happened – which was often; turned out this flick was a farce – he couldn't help but laugh, inciting a growing chorus of titters in the audience and a rapidly diminishing number of grumbles. The response only made it funnier, to the point where he even managed to make Buffy giggle.
He said nothing, but then his shock was compounded as she rested her head on his shoulder. It was too much for a mouthy vamp to cope with. "You all right, slayer?" he asked, in a private whisper.
"Uh huh," she replied, getting comfortable. There was a whimsy in her voice that certainly hadn't been there on patrol. It almost made him think this had been a good idea. "As a date you're OK."
Now he really did freeze. Looked like he'd have something to keep him up tonight… "But?" he asked.
"Well," she said seriously, the silly film glinting in her eyes. "My better dates buy me nachos."
What could he do but obey (after taking a moment to gawp like a fish)?
Of course, he came back from the snacks queue to find Buffy sound asleep, but sitting down again he couldn't say he wasn't content. He had some spicy grease to eat, an amusing story set to the soundtrack of his own chaos – and the woman he loved was snuggling into his arm, getting some well-earned shuteye.
Buffy always did give him the best nights out.