They met for the first time six years ago, when Buffy was a freshman. She had heard some rumours about there being a coffee shop owned by a vampire, but she had written it off as bullshit. Vampires were too busy with being a pain in her ass to start coffee shops.
So it was hard to not gape and stare when she stumbled (short night, long study) into Bloody Coffee and saw a bleached hair vampire mop the floors. “You're a vampire.” He might fool other people, but she recognized all the signs. “What the fuck are you doing on my university? In a coffee shop?”
The vampire (Spike, she'd learn later) wasn't amused either. “You're the Slayer. No, no. I don't want you in here. I'm -how do you say it- cancelling your invitation. I'm an innocent vampire trying to make an undead living. Get out!”
“Rescinding an invitation? That only works on your kind.” Buffy had walked over to him and slammed him into the wall. “I hate to repeat myself. Answer my questions.”
Really, it was clear that they would hit it off amazingly in the next years.
Nobody understood how a barista with literally no taste could do it, but Bloody Coffee had the best coffee on and off campus.
It took both Buffy and Spike three months to get to some sort agreement that allowed her to get the best coffee ever tasted and him to be free of stress headaches (he knew Slayers. They were stress headache-worthy).
“You killed a vampire.” Buffy brushed another vampire of her coat, put her hair back in a pony tail and tried to wrap her mind around what just had happened. She hadn’t planned on bringing the vamps into Bloody, especially because she felt like she was so close to some kind of normal relationship with Spike (Buffy had been visiting for seven months, couldn’t he understand she was just here for the coffee? And maybe his grumbling. Maybe).
“He went for my Brazilian.” Spike sounded almost in shock. “That’s 89 pounds the bloody bag!”
“We’re in the United States. We use dollars.” Buffy rolled her eyes. “And you staked him because he was getting to your coffee? Are you even a real vampire?”
He had bared his teeth and insulted the Founding Fathers. She had decided it was time to go bed.
Buffy was so far behind on European History that she’d probably embarrass Giles. Who was used to a lot. And she knew she was too old to care about his opinion, but she still did do exactly that. Something needed to be done about her history knowledge.
“Need more coffee, love?” Spike has been in a good mood the entire night. Maybe because it was winter and night started sooner, maybe because the place had been stuffed to the brim until twelve. Either way, his entire being seemed softer and sweeter, his voice a pleasant hum on her sk- Buffy shook herself out of it. No need for Fifty Shades of Disturbing material.
“I think I need your help.” Buffy tried an innocent smile. “Ple- ”
“THE SLAYER NEEDS MY HELP!” He twirled around before sitting down opposite her, chin in his hands. “Tell me all, blondie.”
“Never mind.” Could he act any brattier? “And maybe you should yell outside next time, just to make sure everyone in the Northern Hemisphere can hear.” She opened the book and looked up her last chapter. Maybe there was a chance she could do this and not fall asleep.
“What do you need help with?”
“Go clean the kitchen or something.”
Spike slammed his hands into the table’s surface. “Don’t tell me what to do in my own place.”
“I’ll guess I’ll go work at home.” Buffy gave the table a push and enjoyed watching him stumble. “You probably couldn’t help anyway.”
“You’re acting like a teenager. Was it because I called you blondie? I won’t call you blondie anymore.” He put his hands up. “Come on. Sharing time. I’ll reward you with a brownie. If you want one. And if I’ll survive whatever you want from me.”
“I just asked for help and you acted like a ki-” She rolled with her eyes and sighed. “European History. I need to remember a lot and I tried a lot and nothing sticks and now I’m so far behind that a first grader could run rounds around me.” It sucked to admit that she wasn’t good at something. “I will stake you if you make another rem-”
“European History.” Spike smiled, pulled a chair up and put it down next to her. “You think I can help with that.” He gestured at the book. “Can I?”
The smile reached his eyes. “I will certainly try, Buffy.”
Angel showing up
Before Angel had even arrived, Buffy had started to doubt if it really had been a good idea to meet him at Bloody. Usually, vampires with a soul weren't really vampires without a soul's favourite guests. Although she still wasn't sure if Spike had lost his soul or that something else had happened to him. He never answered her questions about that. Bloody simply had been the first place she had thought of, especially because she had a roommate that was so far in the vampires-don't-exist closet that she would stumble into Narnia any day now.
"Angel!" Before making a conscious decision, Buffy was already up and in his arms. "Finally I see you aga-" She put her feet on the floor again. "Hi. It's really good to see you. You look good."
"I don't want vampires in my shop."
She turned around. "But Angel is good. Like you. He won't steal your coffee either." Wow, Spike looked spectacularly grumpy. "But I will, giving you an early morning profit in one go."
"I don't want vampi-"
Behind her, Angel sighed. "We'll take the coffee to go."
"It's freezing outside." Buffy put her hand on Angel's arm. "Just come over and properly introduce yourself."
"You think I don't know how that guy is?" Spike turned and stomped away. "What can I get you?"
"No! I want to sit here and drink coffee. Why are you two acting like complete asses?"
Angel gave her a look. "You want to sit here and drink coffee? Do you know how that guy is? They have been calling him William the Bloody for the past centuries and you think I'd like his company?"
Oh, so that's why this place was called like that.
"I changed." Spike protested. "A lot."
"William the Bloody?" Buffy cocked an eyebrow. "Let me guess, it wasn't because you just yelled 'Bloody hell' a lot."
"Oi." The blonde vampire turned and walked over. "This is my shop. I can throw you out for no reason at all, remember? So take your boyfriend and go sit somewhere else and suffer bad coffee."
"Oh." Angel laughed. "Oh, ha, of course."
Of course what? Buffy looked from one to the other. "He's not my boyfriend."
"What do I care! Go!"
“He just wants whatever I have. Again.” Her ex shrugged. “That’s been going on for ye-”
“Fucking wanker!” Spike flew past and hit Angel so hard that the breaking of his nose was audible through the café. So was the following cursing.
“He’s not my boyfriend.” She knew she should intervene. “Why would you be angry ab-” She wasn’t going to go that route.
Spike fought considerably more dirty. If he wouldn’t have his barista apron on it would look impressive. Buffy pulled them apart. “Okay. Enough. We’ll go to the 24/7.”
“He broke my nose.”
“Baby”, Spike leered. “The only reason I’m not breaking your skull is because blood makes horrible stains.”
“Angel, wait outside.” She gave him a push. “Please. I’ll be with you in a sec. Spike ..” She really didn’t know what to say. Something bubbled inside her chest. It wasn’t an unpleasant feeling.
“What do you want, Slayer? Are you going to tell me what to do inside my own café?” He put his hands up. “Oh no, time for a lesson!”
The bubbling evaporated. “You’re acting like a brat. I thought I was welcome here, always. Good night.”
The smirk slipped off his face, but Buffy didn’t see it. She was already on her way out.
“Do you tell your boyfriends that you’re a Slayer?” It was almost sunrise. Almost the start of Buffy’s last week at university.
The last week nearby Bloody Coffee and Spike, but Buffy was sure after two years of bad flirting and telling herself that offering herself to the Initiative would be a better idea than crushing on Spike, she’d be fine with leaving. Okay, even. “Do you tell your boyfriends you’re a vampire?”
Both of them were sitting/lying on the huge Chesterfield, tired and lazy after an incredibly busy night. The atmosphere had turned into serious and sharing after Spike had reminded Buffy that Joyce’s day of passing was coming up. She didn’t understand why he had remembered something like that.
Spike threw her a look. One Buffy had titled ‘Lord help me, I am too old for these shenanigans’. In her head, of course. He didn’t like to be called old.
She smiled. “It’s not a very strange question, right? Surely you’ve tried it all. Men, women, demons.”
“We were talking about you. And your love life.” He looked down. “Boyfriends.”
“We weren’t really talking about that.” Buffy bit her lip. “And you know the answer. Right now only you and the gang now I’m a Slayer.”
She prodded him with her foot. “You know there’s more of them.”
“But you’re the only o- you’re dodging my question.” He still didn’t look at her.
“I don’t tell any boyfriend, sorely lacking in my life right now by the way, that I’m The Slayer.” She prodded him again. “Satisfied?”
“Not by a long run.” His smile was dirty, but not genuine. Plastered on. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
“Do you tell your partners that you need to suck blood for a living?”
“Oi, I’m a barista.” Spike grabbed her ankle. “And stop doing that.”
She looked at his hand around her ankle. He never touched her.
“I’m sorry.” He let go. “You promised to never tou- hurt me in Bloody.”
“It’s fine.” She pulled back her feet. Did this just turn awkward? Was she seeing things again? “As this interview is just going one way anyway ..maybe I should go home. Get to bed. Not all of us can sleep through the day.”
“I’ll miss you.” Spike still didn’t seem to know what he wanted to do with his hands. “Especially because nights will be longer and I’ll make less money.”
Wow. Buffy gathered her shoes and sat upright. “I’ll try to find another blonde with insomnia and a coffee addiction for you. Anything else you need for her? Is she allowed to talk back to you?”
“What? Is this really how we’re going to spend our last night together? Can’t you ever cut me some slack and act like you don’t mind I’m around you? Do you want to finish this with a fight? Because we’ll have to take it outside. Or do you just not care enough? Am I really just another blo- ”
“I’m in love with you.”
It felt like someone was choking her while simultaneously putting her on fire. She gasped for air. This was just plain cruel, he was kid- she looked at him.
It didn’t look like he was kidding. She rose stiffly from the couch and stepped away. “No, you’re not.”
“What? Are you seriously telling me what I’m feeling for you?” He got up as well. “Do you think I feel good about this?”
“Oh, that makes it sound much better.” Buffy crossed her arms and tried not to feel like she was doing it to prevent herself from falling apart. “This is amazing. I’m going to go now.” Please stop me. How gross could she be, in love with a vampire?
“Buffy!” He got up, in her face, much too close.
“Get away from me, Spike.” She gave him a shove, but he grabbed her hands and pulled her close. “Don’t you d- ”
Of course she knew that vampires didn’t necessary have cold bodies. She kissed one before. She had never been kissed like this before. Buffy had one reflex to deal with things she’d never done before.
In less than a minute Spike was on the floor, moaning and holding his crotch. “What the fuck is your problem! Get back here!”
“This isn’t right.” Some part of Buffy was very sure of it. The other parts allowed for her to be pulled back into bed. “I should-”
“No, you really shouldn’t.”
She straddled him. “What? Are you deciding for me now?”
Spike smiled. “I’m the ancient being. I know what’s good for you.” His face softened. “And I’d do anything for you to get it.”
“You’re a know-it-all vampire who can’t stand it that the day will have me for at least ten hours.” Because all this was still know and Buffy wasn’t used to men saying such things. Not to her.
“One day I’ll get that apology.” He kissed her.
“I’m one big apology.”
“But until then”, he pulled her close, “screw the sun. You’re going to stay with me.”
And Buffy did.