"So, how's everybody...the Scooby's," Spike asked once they had settled into the booth.
Buffy shrugged. "Umh...Willow's a mom now."
"Yeah!" Spike was surprised yet happy for her, "...how'd she manage that, she still...she still with Kennedy?"
"Off and on, with Kennedy, so they say, and sperm donor, I guess...really don’t know. Tara Rose, she’s...almost five now. Kennedy spends most of her time away, South America, Asia and Australia."
"Wil’d make a good mum," he chuckled a little,"...and Xander?"
"He’s doing okay, has a small construction business on the side, but mostly he helps Giles run the place. I guess he and Faith are sorta together, off and on, when she’s here. She’s in charge of the east coast squad; they’re based out of Boston."
"And Anya," he asked wondering where she was in all this.
"You didn’t know? No, how could you know. Bringers got her; she didn’t make it out of the High School."
"Sorry, Love. I didn’t know. How’d the boy take it?"
She shrugged again. "He was tore up, wouldn’t admit it, but a few months later, the calls...it was pretty bad, but he...”
"Don’t say ’got over it’, Pet," Spike commented.
"I won’t, he didn’t."
"Giles," Spike asked changing the subject.
"Giles is...Giles. Overworked."
"You said you two weren’t that close anymore, what happened," he asked.
"You know what happened."
Spike hoped that was not the real reason, but her eyes said that it was.
"I’m sorry," he said with a heavy sigh.
"It’s not your fault," she said.
"Yeah, how’d you figure that," he asked knowing a lot of the distance between the two was because of him. "Buffy, you need him, he’s more your dad..."
"...than my Dad," she finished for him. "Yeah. I know. Wasn’t just that, I mean…he knew and he didn’t tell me. There’s been a lot of that and not all of it lately."
"I’m sorry," he whispered and nursed a sip of his drink. "What about the little boy, Andrew," he inquired after a slightly uncomfortable silence.
"Uh, he’s still with us...work in progress," she said. They both had a faint laugh. "Actually, he really does a lot to keep us all together."
"He has L.A., about thirty to forty girls. I’m surprised you two haven’t..."
"No, we haven’t. Most of the Slayerettes I’ve run across ...well, they’re pretty much...rogue."
"Yeah, seems to be an issue," she said quickly under her breath. She was getting tired of talking shop and was ready for a topic change.
Slowly she leaned close and kissed him. He felt her tongue slip between his lips and glide across the edges of his teeth.
After a prolonged moment of wondering if she tasted like sweet almond or cyanide, he pulled away, deciding on both with a hint of wormwood: intoxicating, addictive and deadly, and simply looked at her.
"Was that confusing," she asked. "I can clarify it," once again she leaned close and he did as well.
A little later, the sound of plates being set on the table broke the spell of the moment.
Spike took a sip of his drink and exhaled slowly, with the second sip he downed it.
"You okay," Buffy asked taking a sip of hers.
"Too fast," he said his voice hoarse from the straight whiskey or the kiss or both.
"That’s what you get when you slam it," she commented reaching for one of the empty appetizer plates and a fork. She started poking at the hot selection of goodies on the platter that had appeared on the table a few minutes ago while they were preoccupied.
"No, not the drink," he said still raspy, vocal cords still stinging, "...long time." He cleared his throat and reached for the other plate.
She looked at him with a little half smile and said, "yeah, right." There was more than a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
"No...really," he said cutting his eyes toward her as he speared a shrimp.
"Really," she asked with sincere surprise.
"Well, yeah," He said.
She laughed. “You mean, seven years and you haven’t…” Buffy began popping half a spring roll into her mouth.
“Not even once,” she questioned, “…with anybody? “
“Well…half,” he added quickly turning his attentions back to the plate of appetizers.
Buffy noticed his evasive shifts in position, the subtle sullenness of his tone and she couldn’t resist it, an opportunity to make him uncomfortable, like manna from heaven …must be the Slayer in me that makes me jump on every opportunity to torture him, neah…he’s just so cute when he squirms.
“Half,” she said carefully timing her next tidbit for maximum effect and almost losing the entire mouthful in the process. “What do you mean half…” she paused, “there is no half. You either did or didn’t.”
He wobbled his head slightly and scoffed as he thought how he would say it. “Harmony, and yeah… Half.”
Harmony she could handle, but the half was puzzling her.
“Half?” She asked again.
“We were under the influence of supernatural forces, started, didn’t finish. She tore into me. She wasn’t herself and I sent her arse end over…” he paused eyeing the prawns, “… appetite,” and settling for a stuffed mushroom instead after sniffing it for stray garlic.
“Just once or…” Buffy began, eyeing him sideways while picking at her plate. She had never considered Harmony a threat in any way, mortal or vampire, but Harm and Spike did have a thing going for a while.
“Pl-ease,“he said, “Harmony?” He scoffed lightly. “Half,” added ardently and speared another shrimp.
She gave the little half-shrug that meant she was satisfied with that response, but kept staring at him.
“Aren’t you going to ask?”
“Aren’t you curious?”
He sighed. She was not going to let it alone until he answered.
“Cause it makes me crazy to think about you with….anyone, so I try not to think about it at all,” his voice tapered to a whisper. “So, no, rather not know.” He was extremely happy to see their meals on their way to the table. Food, one of her best diversions, he thought, relieved at getting off the hook.
The trays no sooner hit the table when the pager went off.