Chapter Thirty: Misconceptions
A/N: New update incorporates "The Initiative". Hope you like it! Thanks to all those sticking to this story!
Buffy strolled into the Bronze and swept her eyes around. She had called Dean earlier when he dropped into town and asked if he was interested in joining her on patrol. The place was filled with teenagers dancing to popular hip hop and rock songs while the older crowd lounged by the coffee bar and pool tables. Buffy weaved through pockets of people toward the back of the club. She noticed Dean playing pool with a college aged guy. As she approached, she heard the tail end of a discussion as Dean sunk a striped ball in a corner pocket.
“Holy cow,” he said. “I guess I’m having a lucky night.”
The college boy frowned as Dean knocked the eight ball into a side pocket.
“Woah, look at that,” Dean replied. “I just won. Wow.”
The college boy shook his head. He turned to his two friends who had equally glum expressions. All three boys dug into their pockets and retrieved cash. They dropped the bills on the pool table and walked away.
“Maybe I’ll see you here tomorrow? I swear my luck will have run out!”
The boys ignored him and exited the club. Dean chuckled under his breath.
“Did you just hustle those kids?”
Dean swung around as he recognized the voice. A smile slowly painted his face.
“Yabba dabba do. What’s up Pebbles?”
She rolled her eyes and groaned until she saw the jubilant expression on his face.
“You’re in a good mood.”
“Yeah, that is courtesy of Mr. Jackson and company.”
Dean finished counting his money before stuffing it in one of his pockets. He picked up his beer bottle resting on the pool table ledge and finished it off in one long sip.
“So this is how you make your money? By conning unsuspecting college kids?”
Dean heard Buffy’s slightly disapproving tone.
“Hey, consider it a charitable donation for saving their asses from all the evils in the world.”
She rolled her eyes again.
“Speaking of – are you still going to patrol with me or did you want to con some Girl Scouts out of their cookies?”
Dean shook his head and gave a mildly amused smile. “Yeah, let’s hunt.”
Buffy followed him out of the club and fell into step beside him as they walked toward his car. He opened the trunk and surveyed his array of weapons.
“I’ve got extra stakes if you want one,” she replied.
She took out a stake from her bag.
“You sure you don’t want something else? Like…”
Dean unfolded a black cloth and revealed a large wooden club. He swiped it up and waved it around wildly.
He broke into laughter as Buffy groaned loudly.
“Ha ha, it’s not funny anymore.”
“Oh, I disagree. It’s still friggin hilarious.”
He continued to chuckle until Buffy ripped the club from his hand. She snapped the club over her knee, breaking it in half. She chucked the remains on the ground. Dean looked down mournfully at the mess of wood.
“Hey,” Dean moaned. “I spent hours in a muddy forest looking for that. Did you really have to ruin my fun?”
“Why do you always have to make fun at my expense?”
“I told you a long time ago why – you make it easy.”And you’re so cute when you’re mad.
He released the last of his amusement. He shut the trunk as Buffy drew a beleaguered breath. She glared at him as they walked toward downtown.
“What happened to nice, sensitive Dean?”
“He left the planet, sorry.”
Dean stole a look at her. Her eyes were filled with aggravation. He let out a few breaths and shifted his eyes back to the street.
“Do you hate this side of me?”
After a long minute, she sighed. “Hate is a strong word.”
“You sure used it when you were younger, especially your preteen years.”
“Okay, so maybe I was a kind of a drama queen back then.”
“Kind of? You pretty much ruled the kingdom of Dramaland.”
“What do you want? I was twelve and you- you were constantly in my face. You ruined my chances of being popular.”
“No twelve year old should ever gain popularity in that way.”
Buffy stopped abruptly and glared at him. “In what way are you referring?”
Now Dean stopped in his tracks. “Come on, I pulled you out of a friggin’ closet hump at that stupid pool party.”
Buffy opened her mouth in disgust. “You seriously thought that was what I was doing?”
Dean stared at her for a long moment.
“Oh my god,” she gasped. “You did think that.”
“You’re honestly telling me that I did not see you practically choking on that kid’s tongue? Not to mention where his hands were going.”
“Are you crazy? I was twelve. I barely knew how to kiss a boy. You really think I was on my way to earning a degree in ho bag? Come on.”
“I’m not crazy, I know what I saw,” he affirmed brusquely.
“Well, I’m telling you that you are crazy. I know what happened – I was there. Yeah I was in the closet with Craig but it was all innocent. He told me he really liked me and just wanted to kiss me. That was all.”
“So I just imagined some sick scenario?”
“It’s your mind, not mine.”
She pushed off as the discussion ceased for a few minutes. She drew out a breath and paused at the foot of the cemetery.
“My god Dean, you really thought I was a little whorelette,” she replied indignantly. “Talk about having low opinions.”
“What the hell was I supposed to think? You always seemed to get into trouble when it came to boys.”
She scoffed, “I wasn’t getting into trouble. I liked boys but I didn’t like them in an explicit way.”
After a long moment of tense silence, Buffy gripped her stake.
“You plan on using that on me?”
“I will if you don’t duck.”
In a lightning flash, Buffy pushed Dean aside as a vampire rose from the ground behind him. Before the male vampire could finish snarling, Buffy kicked him back to the ground and quickly plunged her stake in his heart. The vamp howled and exploded into dust.
“Jesus, did you have to push me?”
He rubbed his arm.
“I told you to duck.”
Willow hit replay on the song “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac as a knock on the door temporarily pulled her out of her blue mood. Riley entered the room. Willow regarded him but remained under the comfort of her blanket.
“Hey Riley,” Willow said.
Willow turned the music off.
“Can I help you?”
“I am here about Buffy.”
Willow eyed the room.
“She’s out with Dean right now. If it’s short, I can give her a message but anything longer and my brain may not process it all, feeling kind of gray and fuzzy right now.”
Riley slowly approached her. “Uh, that’s sort of – that is the reason why I came by. You see, I’m thinking about taking Buffy out but I don’t know if by doing that I’d be – shaking things up.”
“What do you mean? Brain – gray – fuzzy.”
“Well, every time I get the guts to talk to Buffy, she seems to be with…Dean. What’s the story between those two? Have they been dating long?”
“There are a lot of verbs I would use to describe their relationship but ‘dating’ is never one of them. They’re just friends.”
Riley regarded her with surprise. “Really? Whenever I see them together, they seem pretty tight. I just assumed there was something going on.”
Willow rolled her eyes, “Yeah, that’s the general misconception.”
Willow noticed Riley’s confused expression and decided to elaborate.
“They’ve known each other for a long time and they are good friends but nothing more.”
“Does Buffy want more?”
Willow shrugged, “Buffy and Dean’s relationship is too complicated to the common outsider. You just have had to be around them to know what is going on.”
“So I have a chance with her?”
Willow gulped when she noticed Buffy’s bag of weapons at her bedside. She jumped out of her bed and sat on Buffy’s. She shoved the bag under the bed.
“What did you want again? Sorry, brain, fuzzy.”
“Well, I’d like a few pointers on how to gain Buffy’s interests because I want to take her out. What does she like to do when she’s not in class? I’m looking for a way to break the ice. I’ve sort of had difficulties starting an extensive dialogue with her.”
Willow drew an apprehensive look as she sat on the end of her bed.
“Okay, say I help you start a dialogue with Buffy and eventually you two start talking a lot and after awhile she realizes she likes you and you realize you like her. Then you start spending all of your free time together and eventually your feelings for each other grow stronger and then you wake up one day and realize that you’re madly in love – the kind of love that makes you feel like you can’t live without each other until one day, one of you decides to stop loving the other and walk away but not before ripping out their heart and smashing it into a million pieces leaving them a miserable, hollowed out shell of humanity,” Willow stated bitterly.
“That’s the goal, yeah.”
“I knew it was,” she replied somberly.
“Maybe this isn’t the best time to be talking about something like this. I’m sorry, it’s just…I would really like to get to know Buffy…I think there might be something there between us.”
“I’ve heard that before and the ‘something’ usually ends up being ‘nothing’ after you’ve lured an unsuspecting, kind girl into bed.”
Riley blew out a breath and surrendered. “Okay, I understand. It’s very honorable how protective you are of Buffy. I hope that whatever has caused you to hit the repeat button will lift away after a time.”
He started toward the door.
“She’s a fan of snack foods," Willow replied suddenly.
“It’s not going to make her swoon over you but – she’s a fan of snack foods.”
Riley smiled, now hopeful.
“Snack foods, I can work with that.’
“She’s into the Ice Capades but not the Snoopy on Ice kind and she’s forcing me to go this party at Lowell house tomorrow night.”
“Oh! Yes! Lowell house, that’s where I live.”
“Well, that will give you the chance to try and break the ice. But don’t come on too strong.”
“I didn’t really plan on it…I’m not sure if she even likes me….has she ever mentioned…”
Willow shook her head. Riley sunk with disappointment.
“Well, I won’t lose hope since I’ve got you to be my conspirator.”
Willow frowned, “I’m not your conspirator. I merely gave you some advice as Buffy’s best friend. That does not make me a conspirator. Understood?”
Riley nodded, “Understood.”
After completing one pass through the cemetery in silence, Buffy scowled and glared over at Dean.
“Jerk,” she muttered.
Four vampires rose from the ground and surveyed the cemetery. They saw two fresh meals waiting to be dined on near a row of mausoleums. The four vampires eyed each other before racing off.
“What are you pissed at me for?” Dean asked.
One of the vampires with a curly brown mullet grinned wickedly as he reached the two meals first. He raced toward the taller of the two.
“Are you that dense?”
Buffy set a piercing glare on Dean.
“Left,” she said. “I just found out that for most of my life, you considered me a big fat ho….well, not the big and fat part….I hope.”
Dean swiftly swung around to his left as Mr. Mullet closed in on him.
“I never said anything like that.”
Dean slammed his knife into Mr. Mullet’s throat and angled the blade across his neck, severing his head off. Dean paid no attention as Mr. Mullet’s headless body crumbled to the ground and exploded into dust. He kept his eyes on Buffy as he brushed some vampire dust off his jacket.
“Right,” he said.
Her frown hardened.
“You thought it.”
Buffy whipped around to her right side just as a vampire in a green suit snuck up behind her. She gracefully slammed her stake into the vampire’s heart but kept her glaring eyes on Dean.
“So what if I did?”
She gasped, “I can’t believe you!’
Suddenly, the two remaining vampires barreled out from one of the mausoleums and attacked Buffy and Dean from the same side. Buffy jumped into the air and drove a hard side kick into a meaty headed vampire all without taking her eyes off Dean.
“It doesn’t matter what I thought back then,” Dean replied.
He whipped a thick necked vampire across the face with his brass knuckled knife. The vampire countered with a spin kick.
“It matters to me,” Buffy growled.
Meaty headed vampire sprung to his feet and lunged at Buffy. She swept her eyes back to the vamp and kicked him to the ground.
“Can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?”
Buffy jammed her stake into Meaty Head’s heart. Dean was on the ground, in the chokehold of the thick necked vampire.
“Hey!” Buffy hollered.
She ripped Mr. Thick Neck off of Dean and quickly punched him.
“I’m the only one allowed to kill him!”
Dean got to his feet and caught his breath as Buffy hurled the vampire back to him.
“I don’t think the same way about you now,” he said.
Dean punched him a couple of times before throwing him back at Buffy. She blinked in surprise as she delivered a hard spin kick to Mr. Thick Neck’s head.
She tossed the vampire over to Dean.
“You don’t hate me?”
“You think I hang out with people I hate?”
Dean caught a fist to the face and staggered back. Buffy relaxed her fighting stance as Mr. Thick Neck attacked Dean with a combination of kicks and punches. Buffy snapped out of her brief awe and lunged toward the vampire. She kicked him in the back. Mr. Thick Neck swung around to grab her but she dodged out of his reach.
“What the hell is the score anyway?” Dean asked.
“Uh, I wasn’t keeping track.”
Mr. Thick Neck hurled her to the ground.
“Damn,” Dean replied. “You never keep track.”
“That’s because I always win.”
Buffy swept Mr. Thick Neck across the ankles, taking him hard to the ground. She quickly delivered another hard punch to Mr. Thick Neck’s head before ending the game with a stake to his heart.
“Game over,” she said.
She sprung to her feet and dusted herself off. She watched Dean as he twirled his knife around, looking for another demon tennis ball.
“You seem to use that knife a lot.”
Dean stopped twirling and eyed her. “It’s a nice knife for multi-tasking.”
A smile slowly crept over her face. “Oh, well I’m glad it was worth the money.”
They walked out into the clearing and headed back toward the car.
“How much money are we talking?”
Buffy shrugged as she swept her eyes around the street.
“Don’t worry about it,” she said dismissively.
“I worry about why you’re buying nice knives for jerks like me. What do you buy people you actually like?”
“I never said I didn’t like you….you just drive me crazy sometimes.”
“Yeah well…same here.”
They strolled through downtown without much conversation. Buffy stole a glance at Dean as he looked off down the street. She eventually swept her eyes to his line of sight. He briefly watched her as her eyes probed the dark alleys they passed by. She shifted her eyes to meet his.
“How did you ever manage to hang on to a girl?”
He groaned loudly, “Are you back on that again?”
She sighed, “You’ve peaked my curiosity pot and your reluctance to share anything just keeps stirring it up.”
He shook his head. “Take the pot off the stove and…wash it out.”
She whined, “Come on Dean. What is the big deal? I tell you stuff about my relationships.”
“Yeah, I wish you didn’t. Anxiety pills are expensive,” he joked.
“Well, if you shared more, I wouldn’t have to so much. So come on, dish me a little tidbit…a teeny bite size bit.”
“No,” he said softly.
She sighed and eyed their location. “How far is the car?”
“About half a mile, why?”
“Want to race?”
“Are you serious?”
She cocked her head arrogantly. “I’m not done beating you in our nightly games.”
He rolled his eyes.
“Come on, last one there is a rotten egg.”
He chuckled, “What are you five?”
She grinned, “I’m just letting you know if you don’t want to be an egg.”
He stared at her in disbelief.
“And, if you don’t want to lose the bet.”
She nodded. “When I win, you have to tell me something about this girl.”
He drew out a breath. “And if…when I – win?”
“I won’t ask you about her again. So what do you say?”
After a minute, his eyes drifted to the ground.
“I say….your shoe is untied.”
She glanced down at her booted feet with shoelaces still in tact. She looked up when she heard him laugh.
“Made you look!”
He darted off down the block.
“Oh now who is five!”
Buffy bolted after him.
Buffy leaned against the Impala and examined her nails as Dean met up with her, out of breath.
“Hey egg,” she sang.
Dean groaned, “Cheater.”
She scoffed, “I didn’t cheat. I’m just faster than you.”
“You cheated by distracting me.”
Her brows furrowed with disbelief. “Come on, like there would actually be some hot naked chick in a dark alley? Boy are you gullible.”
“You live on a Hellmouth. Anything is possible.”
“I don’t think there are demonic naked girls running around here plotting to end the world.”
He chuckled, “Well, please call me if they do….I’ll be the first in line to take them on.”
She shook her head as Dean stripped his weapons and tossed them in the trunk. He circled to the driver seat and unlocked the door.
“You want me to drop you off?”
He paused as he thought pensively.
“You get one question,” he said.
He started to climb into his car and saw a spark ignite in her eyes.
“And that is it.”
He reached over and unlocked the passenger side door. She flew over and climbed in. He turned the engine on and veered the car onto the street. He saw her eyes flash with excitement.
“Well?” he asked.
Buffy whined, “Why do I get just one?”
“Because that’s all I’m giving you.”
She fell silent for a long moment.
“This offer expires when I reach your dorm.”
She whined softly as a flurry of questions flew through her mind. Dean swung around a street corner as Buffy eyed the campus buildings in the distance.
“Tick tock,” he taunted.
“No fair, you drive like you’re in the Indy 500!”
Buffy saw the lights of the dorm buildings as the car swung around the corner.
“Three….” Dean started.
The car sailed toward the curb.
Dean grinned smugly.
He made the sound of a buzzer when the car hugged the curb.
“Aw, we’re out of time. Thanks for playing “Probe Dean’s Life”. You can pick up your consolation prize at customer service. Until next time….”
He winked as Buffy slumped in her seat.
“Cheater,” she muttered.
She opened the passenger door but didn’t get out right away.
“Tell nice Dean I said hi,” she said peevishly.
He let out a long exhale. “Come on Pebbles, I’m just having some fun.”
“Stop calling me that,” she grumbled.
“I’d rather not,” he said.
After a brief silence, her annoyed expression faded when she dwelled on her history with the Winchester family.
“Thanks,” she said.
“For still coming around. I always thought you just visited because you had to not because you wanted to. I guess you weren’t just tolerating me because of my friendship with Sam. You actually do like me.”
She grinned with satisfaction.
“Don’t let it get to your head,” he said.
She swung her legs out of the car and planted her feet on the ground. She twisted back around.
“I’m taking tomorrow night off and I’m going with Willow to this party on campus, get her out of the dorm and around people again.”
“How is she doing?”
She sighed, “Holding it together as best as anyone can in her situation. Anyway, you want to go?”
“Aren’t you sick of playing my tour guide?”
“You make it sound like I’m obligated to hang out with you.”
“Well, you’ve got your own band of friends to hang out with.”
“That band of friends includes you too.”
She slipped out of the car, shut the door and leaned through the open window. Dean cracked a smile.
“Goodnight Pebbles, don’t club too many moronic boys on your way home.”
Buffy shook her head and replied with heavy sarcasm, “Goodnight Bam Bam.”
Outside Lowell House, the pulsating beat of a techno song could be heard through the front door. Buffy paused in the doorway and looked around.
“Wow, looks like our whole dorm is here.”
She smiled as she eyed the crowd.
“Do you want a drink?”
Willow waved a dismissive hand. “No. I’m fine. You go have fun.”
“Are you sure?”
Willow pried a smile on her face. “Yes, go.”
“Okay,” Buffy said.
Buffy went off to explore the set up. Her slutty outfit had succeeded in attracting a majority of the cute boys at the party. She had on a dark brown backless top that was fastened by a thin piece of string at the small of her spine and a pair of super snug low rise black pants. She masked her self-satisfied smile when within five minutes, she found herself surrounded by cute boys eager to gain her attention. As she started to dance to a pop song, the boys joined in around her.
Dean ambled into the house and looked around. Buffy was dancing and smiling at a bunch of boys. Dean drew out a breath when she playfully spun around, displaying her revealing outfit.Holy cow, what the hell was she was wearing? I bet I could rip that string off with my teeth.
His eyes moved over her as she swayed her hips I wonder what other skimpy thing she’s got on under…
He choked on his sensual thought when she made eye contact. She broke away from the group of boys and wandered over to him.
“Hey, I was beginning to wonder if you were going to show up.”
“I got a little lost.”
“Oh, didn’t bring your campus map with you?” she cracked.
“Ha ha. I see you made friends. Those aren’t beer buddies, are they?”
Dean eyed the group of boys.
“No,” she said.
“Damn, I was hoping for another cave girl appearance tonight.”
Buffy frowned as he looked around the main living area, eyeing the crowd and the snack table. He spotted a table set up a corner with a keg and various liquor bottles.
“The bar looks decent. I’m going to check it out. You want anything?”
A smile slowly knitted over his face as his eyes sparked with playfulness.
“You – want – beer?” he asked very slowly.
Buffy groaned, “Come on! Haven’t you gotten your fill yet?”
He chuckled, “No way. I’ve got about a year’s worth left.”
She rolled her eyes as he headed over to the bar table.
In another part of the room, Willow noticed Riley frown.
“You didn’t mention that Buffy was going to bring a date tonight.”
Willow looked past him to see what had made him unhappy.
“I didn’t know she invited Dean. Sorry. He’s sort of been attached at her hip lately. But trust me, he’s just a friend. You don’t need to worry.’
Riley observed the chemistry between the two and hardened his frown.
“I don’t know, they seem – pretty tight - again.”
“Well, Dean has got ten years on you in terms of dialogue. Don’t be intimidated though, like I said before, they’re just friends so if you want to chat – go for it.”
Riley straightened with confidence. “Okay, here I go.”
Riley sauntered over to Buffy who had fallen into light conversation with another random boy.
“Hi Buffy,” he said.
Buffy twisted around and smiled. “Hi Riley.”
Riley gulped as his mind drew a blank.
“Um….how about them Broncos?”
Buffy frowned, perplexed by his question.
Riley’s face began to shroud with horror. He glanced at the snack table behind her and snatched a bowl of chips.
Riley joined Willow and winced.
“I really want to smack myself,” he lamented. “I totally blew it.”
“Well, it wasn’t a total loss, I mean, you started out well and then…”
“I totally blew it. What was I thinking asking her about sports? She probably thinks I’m a total nut.”
“You’re being too hard on yourself. You just need to relax.”
Riley eyed Dean chatting with a girl at the drink table. He shook his head.
“I don’t get it. That Dean guy seems like a player….I mean here he is with the most beautiful girl at the party and he’s making eyes at other girls.”
Willow’s glum expression faded upon hearing such a fine compliment.
“What does Buffy see in him?”
“They’re not dating,” Willow reiterated.
“Well, how can she tolerate that kind of behavior considering what happened with Parker?”
Willow shrugged, “I told you, it’s complicated.”
Buffy dropped out of her conversation with yet another random cute boy when she felt someone tap on her shoulder. She twisted around to see Riley.
“Willow wanted me to let you know that she decided to just go home.”
Buffy drew a look of concern.
“She’s fine. Really, she just wanted to go home.”
Buffy nodded, “Oh, okay. Thanks for the message.”
Riley exhaled a long breath. “I was hoping I could get a few minutes of your time to talk to you about something?”
Buffy eyed the bar table and noticed that Dean had attracted his own female audience.
“Sure,” she said. “I’m all yours.”
Riley smiled as she met his eyes. He opened his mouth to continue his dialogue when Xander stumbled into Buffy.
“Buffy! I found you! I’ve been looking for you! I need to….”
Xander spotted Riley watching him with curious, probing eyes.
“Um, I need to talk to you….in private….about….that thing…you know, the business thing we need to do.”
Buffy eyed him and nodded, completely understanding him.
“The business thing, yeah.”
Dean ambled back over to Buffy and took a moment to eye Riley and then Xander. Buffy quickly turned to him.
“We need to go…with Xander to - take care of some business.”
Dean looked at Xander and Buffy and picked up on their apprehensive expressions.
Buffy glanced at Riley. “Sorry, can we talk later?”
Riley nodded, “Sure.”
Riley watched the three leave the house. Forrest and Graham approached him. Forrest made the sound of a plane crashing.
“Crash and burn soldier.”
Riley blew out a breath. “She didn’t burn me. She just….took off with two guys.”
“Two guys she’s probably going to have wild monkey sex with,” Forrest replied.
“Did you have to say that?”
“Hey, I’m just trying to protect you from falling hard for Little Miss Flirt. Did you see the dental floss of a top she had on?”
“We need to go,” Graham stated.
Riley left the room with Forrest and Graham, mulling over Buffy’s mysterious exit.
Buffy, Dean and Xander ambled quickly through campus.
“I can’t believe he has the audacity to come back here,” Buffy griped. “And of all nights! This was supposed to be a night full of dancing and getting a little attention from cute boys.”
“I think you were overachieving in that department,” Dean muttered.
She shot him a look. “What is that supposed to mean?”
“Never mind,” he said. “It sounds like he’s come back to settle the score.”
Buffy slipped on her game face. “Fine, I’ll settle a whole lot of pain on his ass.”
“Do you have a plan?” Xander asked.
“He came here to kill me? Fine. I’ll draw him out to a secluded area and do what I should have done a long time ago.”
“Yeah, he’s definitely overdue for that delivery of ass kicking," Dean added.
He rummaged through his pockets and retrieved his knife, ready for a fight.
“What can I do to help?” Xander asked eagerly.
Buffy eyed him. Xander sighed.
“Right, I’ll go home and – run away if I see him.”
Buffy nodded. Xander reached into his pocket.
“Here, take this just in case.”
Dean blinked at the flare gun Xander had given to Buffy. She looked equally perplexed.
“In case we need to call for an airstrike?” she asked.
“If you need more backup.”
Buffy looked at Dean for a long moment.
“We should be fine,” she said. “But thanks.”
Buffy put the flare gun in her bag and watched Xander walk away. Dean caught himself eyeing her outfit and tried to think of a conversation topic to distract him.
“It’s kind of cold out tonight,” he said. Dammit, way to go on the distraction.
She shrugged, “I’m actually kind of warm.”
“I bet you are.”Crap, did I just say that out loud? Did she hear me?
“What?”She didn’t hear me. Thank god.
“Nothing,” he said.
Buffy paused at the foot of an open area surrounded by foliage. She pulled out a stake and a magazine from her bag and sat down on a park bench.
“Go hide,” she said.
“What? Are you serious?”
“Spike is looking to catch me alone and he will.”
“Then what the hell am I here for?”
“To catch him by surprise.”
She got comfortable on the bench, setting her bag on the ground by her feet. Where the hell is she going to hide her stake?
Buffy looked up to see him in a trance.
“Dean? Are you okay?”
He snapped out of his steamy thoughts and struggled to focus.
“Yeah, I’m uh…off to hide.”
He drew out a long breath as he pivoted toward an area of the grounds heavily covered by flowery bushes. He crouched behind the bushes and surveyed the immediate area. Buffy flipped through a magazine, pretending to be completely unaware of any danger lurking in the shadows.
After a few minutes, Dean noticed Riley had stumbled into the area. Buffy swung around, gripping her stake. She shoved the stake in the spine of the magazine as Riley approached her. Dean observed as Buffy and Riley talked. She was looking around while talking to him. Riley suddenly clapped a hand on her shoulder and tried to lead her out of the area. She frowned and batted his hand away. There was more discussion that Dean couldn’t hear since the two were keeping their voices low. Buffy tried to steer Riley away. They seemed to go back and forth.
Dean scratched his head as he watched the two verbally spar. What the hell was going on? Where did Riley come from? Why did he always seem to be hanging around her?
The silence was sharply broken by an ear piercing shriek some distance behind him. He stiffened as Buffy tore out of the area and away from Riley. Dean stepped out of the bushes as Buffy raced by.
“I take it, you heard that,” he said.
She nodded and started to head west. After several passes around the exterior of the woods and open areas, they paused a few feet from the block of dormitories and eyed the number of buildings. They decided to split off in opposite directions.
A short time later, Dean headed over to Stevenson Hall after having no luck finding Spike. As he neared the dorm, he heard a loud crash and a lot of yelling. He dashed toward the building and stepped into hallway filled with a thick smoky fog. Lights flashed on as students spilled out of their dorm rooms.
“What the hell?”
Dean noticed the hallway was completely trashed as the fog gradually dissipated. At the far end of the hall, Willow stumbled out of her room, cradling her neck. Dean felt his stomach sting with an uneasy feeling. Buffy met his eyes as she escorted Willow back into the dorm. Buffy was examining Willow’s neck when he swept into the room.
“What in the world was all that about?”
Buffy related the details of the debacle in the hallway while placing a band-aid on Willow’s neck. Dean shook his head in complete wonder.
“Looks like that flare gun came in handy,” he replied. “Jeez, there really is no such thing as a quiet little night around here.”
He glanced over the girls. Buffy hovered over Willow like a mother hen.
“Well, I guess I’ll leave you two to have an ice cream moment.”
Buffy got to her feet as he headed toward the door.
“Thanks,” she said. “For everything.”
His heart swelled with warmth when she gave him a friendly smile. He blinked, a little unnerved by how much of an impact a small little gesture like that had affected him.
He didn’t really want to go but he couldn’t exactly invite himself to stay. She stepped a little closer to him in the doorway as if she wanted to hug him goodbye. He tensed up.Is she gonna hug me? I really hope not….
“Don’t be a stranger,” she said with another sweet smile.Okay, maybe I wouldn’t mind it…
When she stepped back into the room, he washed away that thought.So much for that….it was probably best anyway, I don’t think it would be good for me to put my hands on her in an outfit like that.
All he could do was smile before she gently closed the door. He drew out a long breath. What in the world is she doing to me?
FEEDBACK APPRECIATED. Here is a little teaser of the next update involving "Pangs" with a Winchester/SN twist! Also, Dean and Angel come to blows - again. Stay tuned!“I was wondering if you and your dad were going to be in town for Thanksgiving.”
“We don’t really plan for the holidays. Your mom got something going on?”
The gray smoke turned black and pooled into the sky. Dean retreated back toward his car.
“No, mom is spending the holiday in Illinois with my aunt but I decided to have a gathering at Giles’ house. I’m cooking the turkey with all the fixings.”
Dean paused abruptly. “Wait, are you actually going to cook or are we all going to sit around and pick out a Swanson’s dinner?”
He chuckled as he rubbed out a knot in his back.
“Ha Ha so funny. I can cook,” she replied firmly.
“Since when? I’ve only seen you reheat.”
Buffy sighed into the line. “Can you guys make it or not? I just thought since you’re always traveling you’d appreciate a home cooked meal.”
“Is there going to be an unlimited supply of antacids available?”