*** A horribly Spuffy epilogue for ‘Four Way Stop.’ Mush (author shaking her head), pure mush. I am so ashamed. ***
“Anybody home?” The Slayer’s call echoed through the Giles Mansion. Spike chuckled as he dropped their luggage in the foyer.
“We were only gone for four days, pet.”
Buffy pouted. “We were still gone and we still returned the conquering heroes. That’s news to announce.”
Spike shook his head. “One Grend’Mat demon and a couple dozen vamps doesn’t count as conquering heroes. The mini’s take that much out on a nightly patrol.”
Flirting, Buffy eyed Spike over her shoulder. “But they don’t do it with our style.”
Any off-colour comment Spike might have made was drowned out by Dawn’s yell. “Buffy! You’re home.” Dawn thundered down the stairs. Buffy turned to shoot Spike a superior look before holding her arms out to accept Dawn’s welcoming hug.
Dawn started chatting immediately. “Did you have fun? Did you kill the Grend’Mat? Is the new Slayer going to be okay? What's the Watcher like? What was Las Vegas like? Did you bring me anything?” Dawn took a moment to breathe.
Buffy hurried to answer all the questions. “Yes. Yes. Yes. Very stuffy, worse than Giles. Hot and dry as opposed to cold and damp like here. And maybe.”
Dawn gave Spike a quick hug and then bounced to the suitcases. "Where is it? Which suitcase did you put it in?"
Spike laughed. "What makes you think that it's in one of Buffy's bags?"
Slyly, Dawn grinned up at the vampire. "Spike, did you bring me something, too?"
Spike looked slightly sheepish for a moment. Then the moment passed. "I was there on business, Platelet. 'Sides, your sister went shopping during the day while I was stuck in the hotel."
Dawn squealed. "You did! What did you bring me?"
Willow walked into the room chuckling. "I hope they brought you some Las Vegas sand or maybe a couple gaming chips, Dawn."
Dawn stuck her tongue out at the witch. Willow retaliated as she hugged Buffy.
Buffy smiled at the by-play. "Anything interesting happen?"
Willow shrugged. "The Mini's have taken out some bigger and bad-er demons with increasing ease. You missed Giles. You probably passed each other over the Atlantic. He left yesterday to go to Las Vegas to get the two Slayers and the Watcher. That Watcher was not happy with you two."
Buffy grinned. "We noticed. She's vampire-a-phobic."
Willow laughed. "Which in a normal case is a good thing to be."
Spike grunted. "She refused to fly on the same plane as me and wouldn't let the Slayers come either."
Buffy shrugged sadly. "At least she was nice about it. She insisted she need more time to pack and straighten out any legalities regarding the Mini's. She also insisted that it was too early to move Mary."
Willow patted Spike on the arm, consolingly. "Don't think about it. Give her a couple of months of forced contact and she'll love you like the rest of us do."
Spike wagged his eyebrows. "I always knew you had the hots for me, Red."
Willow rolled her eyes. They landed on a foyer table. Her face lit up. "Oh, that reminds me." She hurried over to the table and picked up the letters on it. She turned around with a sly smile. "These came for you, Buffy."
Buffy accepted them, confused. Spike had suddenly turned as still a death next to her. She flipped through them. One was post marked New York, the other two originated from Las Vegas. "What's this?" They all had very neat and precise handwriting addressing them to the 'Miss B Summers.'
Willow grinned, "Why don't you open them and see?" Dawn abandoned the suitcases to observe the blossoming situation.
Spike growled. "Sometimes Red, You're just too damn efficient."
"Thank you," she chirped.
Buffy looked from Spike to Willow and back again. She looked shocked as she addressed her boyfriend. "You wrote me letters while we were gone?"
Spike shrugged. "Love letters," he corrected. He was trying to look blasé. "Every girl should have love letters to hide from their little sisters."
Dawn let out an offended, "hey," even as she was trying to peek at the letters over Buffy's shoulder.
With a soft smile on her face, Buffy flipped through the letters a second time. She held the letters to her chest and graced Spike with the most beautiful expression. She looked truly happy. "Thank you." She pecked Spike on the cheek and hurried out of the room.
Willow clapped Spike on his shoulder. "You did good, Spike. You did real good." Willow turned and left the room. She had to tell someone that her suspicions were right. Maybe if she pestered long enough, Buffy would let her read some of the good parts.
Spike was shell-shocked. Buffy was so happy. He slowly wandered out of the foyer with no true destination in mind.
Dawn rolled her eyes. "But what about my presents?"