A Slayer's Highly Tuned Senses...


She wasn't expecting to find a cooler of human blood in his fridge. Slipping into the kitchen for a soda, Buffy was confused for just a moment until she realised Giles must have asked him to keep them here, probably as a favour. She shrugged it off and went back to the movie they were all watching. Xander was an all around good guy and would do anything for Giles, even going so far as to share a shelf in his fridge with human blood and some of that bizarrely named British foodstuffs alongside his own juice and snackage. And of course, it stopped Spike complaining all through the movie if Xander kept him topped up with weetabix and other dunking materials – obviously anything was worth it to shut Spike up so they could enjoy the movie.

The next real example of how kind a guy Xander was was when they next went patrolling. Instead of splitting off, they were in one big group. There was nothing big going on, so it was almost more of a social occasion than anything else. Buffy had got so used to the hot scorching glances from Spike that she took little notice of them, but tonight she accidentally turned just as Spike gave her a particularly hot look. Hot enough to make the sweat bead on her forehead and her breasts tingle in her bra. She tried not to lock eyes with him, a sigh of relief catching in her throat as she deliberately turned away and found Xander standing right behind her. It was a good thing he was only just in Spike's line of sight otherwise Xander would no doubt have got completely wigged by that look – it said the only thing on Spike's mind was dragging clothes off and getting to touch as much skin as possible in as short a time as possible. She patted herself on the back for not responding to Spike verbally – there was no point starting a fight about something the vampire couldn't seem to control. Hopefully, his obsession with her would fade.

At the Magic Box the following week, she came out of the bathroom and found Spike and Xander together and they were obviously arguing. The tension between them was high and she guessed that Spike had been about to follow her and Xander had stopped him. Always her White Knight, she really did appreciate everything Xander did for her. Next patrol, she felt even more grateful when Xander stepped up and said he would go with Spike. She was surprised that Spike didn't complain more but shrugged it off. Everyone knew that whoever patrolled with Xander got more demon action – it didn't matter how often he changed his cologne, there was something about Xander that called to demons everywhere.

The next time they were all together was for the trip to L.A. They needed some books that Angel and Wesley had and decided to troop up there together. Xander drove and Buffy panicked, thinking she was going to get stuck in the back seat with Fangless. Instead, Spike allowed himself to be pushed into the front seat while she and Willow hung out in the back. She was a little surprised when the car stereo came on and she vaguely recognised the Ramones – she hadn't realised Xander liked them too. And the huge tarp that had to be cleared off the back seat was a real irritant – who the heck needed to carry around something that heavy?! For God's sake, it would keep the sun off of anything even in the height of summer – she had never realised Xander took such good care of his tools. Mind you, he did need them for his construction job so maybe that was why he got so snarky about the tarp and practically snatched it out of her hands.

Spending the evening with Angel was always tough, and she wasn't looking forward to his reaction to Spike's obvious attraction to her. In fact, Angel took one good sniff when they walked into the Hyperion and yelled at Spike to get into his office. She hadn't expected that huge a reaction – she and Angel hadn't been together for so long, but she guessed he was still jealous enough to need to put Spike in his place. Who knows, maybe Angel would be able to get Spike to stop being such an ass and following her around? Although, lately he hadn't been around half as much as he used to be. The shouting could be heard from the foyer although not every word. She blushed bright red when she heard Angel say something like '…..out of all of them, did it have to be......' before Cordelia gathered them all up and took them downstairs for coffee and soda. Caught up in discussions about fashions and shoe sales, it took her some time to realise that Xander wasn't around but she guessed he had gone to the bathroom. By the time Xander came back, Angel and Spike had come downstairs too. Angel kept shooting Xander funny looks so maybe Xander hadn't gone to the bathroom and she just hoped Angel hadn't caught him snooping around or something like that. And surreal, Cordelia kept going on about Xander's taste in clothes getting better due to unsavoury influences which she personally thought was pretty mean-spirited. After all, who could go wrong wearing all black? It was a safe, solid fashion choice and if it meant an end to those eye-bleeding Hawaiian shirts he used to wear, she wasn't going to complain.

The rest of the evening flew by and they had to leave – Xander mentioned something about not wanting Spike to burn up on the drive home and maybe he was tired because he didn't sound anywhere near as sarcastic as he usually did. Confirmation of how tired he was – he let Buffy drive! And okay, he insisted on Willow riding shotgun because obviously he still didn't trust Buffy's driving, but how cool of him to let her drive his car AND put up with being in the back seat with Spike. She couldn't resist flicking glances into the rear view mirror and giggling to herself – he actually looked like he was in pain the way he was biting his lip and moaning quietly, and a couple of times his shifting around in the seat behind her kicked her chair, but all in all he handled her driving pretty well. And Spike managed to keep his mouth shut which was a miracle because normally he couldn't stop himself from mouthing off about anything and everything. Maybe he'd snuck some of Angel's blood packets because she quite clearly heard some slurping and sucking, but she couldn't afford to turn around and look because traffic in L.A. was much busier than Sunnydale and she needed to concentrate. Willow obviously felt the same because her gaze was fixed out of the front – she didn't turn around once on the whole drive back, but even she held off making any comments about Buffy's driving although she was red in the face from holding everything in.

When Xander announced that Spike was moving in with him, her respect for him knew no bounds. Taking Spike off of Giles' hands every now and then was one thing, but letting the Fanged one move in was above and beyond the call of duty. It was really pretty strange how Xander announced it though. He made it sound like a really big deal, which, okay, nice of him but did he want a round of applause or something? And Spike was on his best behaviour because apart from standing close to Xander's side, he didn't say anything. Willow and Giles went into a huge speech asking Xander if he was sure, and did he realise what he was letting himself in for, but Xander just said he knew and that was that. Willow even gave Spike a modified shovel talk which Buffy thought was kinda sweet. When they turned to her, she wasn't sure what they wanted her to say – it wasn't as though they needed her approval right? So she just nodded and said 'hey whatever' and left it at that.

The weirdest thing? Spike came out to the training room and went into this huge spiel about how he was sorry about stalking her, and that he'd been confused and fighting his real feelings, and that he hoped there were no hard feelings between them and how he'd do his best not to screw things up with Xander. Buffy just figured he had realised how much the Scoobies had done for him and that if Xander kicked him out, he'd be right back to Giles' bathtub and no mistake. Of course, as they were all packing up for the night, it was a little disconcerting the way him and Xander behaved. At one stage, Spike had Xander backed up into one set of shelves and she had started to worry that he was threatening him or something. She'd been on the verge of coming out of her corner and knocking him away from Xander, but Xander turned the tables, and suddenly it was Spike being shoved up against the books with Xander getting into his face. Whatever Xander whispered to Spike must have really put him in his place, because he became really helpful putting books away, hurrying everyone up and hustling out of the Magic Box like his ass was on fire.

“I never expected that.”

“What? Oh you mean Spike and Xander?? Well it doesn't surprise me – I always knew Xander had it in him.”

“Really?! Because I never thought that – not at all. Especially after the whole thing with me and Oz and Cordelia and....”

“Oh come on, Wills, that was years ago. So he decided to man up this time, fight back a bit. Can't expect him to always let people push him around and I'm pretty sure that he only did that because he knew you wanted to get back with Oz and letting Oz be all alpha on him made that easier.”

“Buffy – what do you think is going on?”

“What do you mean? I was talking about Xander putting Spike in his place. Don't get me wrong, Willow, I think he wanted to be with you but it was really obvious that you wanted to be with Oz and I think that's why he didn't put up a fight. Standing up to Spike is a bit different, especially with the chip and all.”

“I - ”

“Look, it's all of the good. And hey, Spike's even stopped stalking me which is excellent news as far as I'm concerned. Who knows, maybe he and Xander can go out looking for dates – I don't like to think of Xander being on his own all the time. Hey Wills – why are you laughing?? Am I missing something?? Wills -”

The End