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In Pursuit of Kittens

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“One, two, three, four - Oh for fuck’s sake, stop moving!”

Xander giggled and Spike paused in his desperate kitten hunt to stare at him reproachfully.

"You could try helping, y’know,” he said sourly and Xander slouched even further into the couch, his cheeks bulging. When he’d come in to find Spike attempting to round up the recalcitrant kittens, he’d literally made popcorn to watch, which was irritating enough in itself but now he had salt all over his face and was giving him a big, shit eating grin while the kittens scattered and hid and performed Houdini-esque escapes from their box. Someone was gonna die in about two seconds.

Shaking his head wearily, Spike turned back to the search. Cute and all as the furry little bastards were, it’d been three days and the apartment was beginning to take on a distinct odour of cat piss. Xander hardly noticed, but the acrid stink was hell on his own, much sharper nose. He closed the box again, trapping three kittens inside and dumped a few books on top to keep them from reopening it. A quick peep under the couch revealed the adventurous, black one, which protested shrilly when he dragged it out.

”Into the brig with you, mate,” he muttered, opening the box swiftly to shove it inside. This time he succeeded in shutting it again before any of the others could wriggle out. That left two. The adorable, ginger one was discovered in the cupboard under the sink, although God only knew how it’d got in there. Spike felt a slight pang as he put that one in the box. It was the one that’d convinced him to beat up half the Suppurating Sores club in the first place and he had a soft spot for it. He tried not to think about giving it away as he hunted through the rest of the apartment for the remaining kitten, opening every drawer and closet and looking under every item of furniture, no matter how tiny the gap was: he’d learned to his cost that the little buggers could fit into almost any space. Almost an hour later, and still empty handed, he was beginning to get ratty.

”Try the girls’ place,” suggested Xander. “Maybe it wandered over.”

Spike didn’t bother asking how the fuck a kitten was expected to get through two doors. At this stage, he was beginning to think they could teleport. He crossed the hall, knocked perfunctorily and stuck his head around the door.

”Hey, have you seen the…? Oh.”

Willow and Dawn were sitting on the couch with the last kitten, a blond one with green eyes, ensconced on a cushion between them as they fed it scraps of ham.

”Hi Spike,” chirped Dawn, tickling the cat under the chin. He noticed that it had a ribbon tied around its neck. Well, crap.

”Hi,” he said awkwardly, stepping fully into the apartment. “Uh, listen, I’m just rounding up the kittens, y’know, gotta find ‘em long term homes type of thing. So, you wanna hand over the furball?”

Willow clutched the cat to her in alarm. “Hand over Kitty Peroxide? No way!”

Before he had a chance to finish processing the name and wondering if he’d been insulted, the door opened behind him and Buffy nearly walked into him as she burst in, brandishing two cans and announcing, “I got chicken chunks and beef with gravy, which do you think she’d - oh, hello.”

That last was directed at him, along with a smile that made his dead heart flip flop in his chest.

“What are you doing over here?” she asked and he slipped his arm around her.

“Looking for that actually,” he said, jerking his head in the direction of the cat. “You girls planning on keeping it then?”

“It’s not an ‘it’, it’s a ‘she’. And yes,” she said, grinning impishly. “What about you guys?”

“What?”

“Which one are you keeping?”

None, ‘cause I am a master vampire and as such, am far too tough to keep small, fluffy, adorable animals as pets.

“Uh, the foxy one.”

“Aw, cute!” She narrowed her eyes at him. “But should I be worried about this predilection for redheads?”

“Should I be worried that you seem to equate my taste in cats with my taste in women?” he countered and she gave him the pout. Damn. He had zero resistance to the pout and she knew it.

“Redheads don’t do it for me,” he said, lowering his voice and leaning towards her a little. Behind him, Willow let out an aggrieved snort, which he ignored, choosing instead to focus on Buffy’s sparkling eyes, toying gently with a strand of her hair. “But lately, I’ve had kind of a thing for blondes.”

The pout intensified and she reached around to pinch his ass. “Ow! One blonde,” he corrected himself hastily. “Singular.”

“Good,” she said and closed the distance between them to kiss him, a light pressure at first, then firmer, her tongue slipping out to taste his lips.

“Gross!” yelled Dawn. “Get a room, you freaks.”

Spike twisted to smirk at her. “Best idea I’ve heard all day!” he said and scooped Buffy into his arms, carrying her in the direction of her bedroom. The cats could wait.