AN: Requested by jennalei for the_fund. Sorry it took me so long to wrap this one up.
Spike was sitting next to Faith watching as Ginny Weasley's red head appeared in the doorway shortly after Luna and Blaise had walked through it. The couple looked a bit... blissful. The redhead looked a bit nervous. She didn't know it, but the little redhead had a reason to be nervous. One of her best friends was plotting against her, and the plot was about to unfold. Granted, if Luna's hunch was right and her slightly crazy but also slightly brilliant little plan worked, her friend would end up just as happy and blissful as Luna herself was. That is if Draco the twat didn't mess something up.
Spike then glanced over to where his little niblet and said twat were sitting. It was funny. The two of them had actually gotten quite chummy in all of this plotting business. Not that Dawn was attracted to Draco. At all. Sure, he was cute, she had said, but they were better as friends. She couldn't date his drama. Spike thought that was very cute of her. Dawn could be so stalwart and true about the strangest things.
Buffy rushed over to greet Luna. Several of them had gotten to know the witch a bit while she had been coming by to seek out Spike. Buffy included. Buffy glared a Blaise a bit... probably threatened him to treat Luna good, but then she shook his hand. From the boy's wince, Spike was sure they slayer was backing up her threat with her grip. She spoke briefly to Ginny, welcoming her. That was Buffy. Always gracious unless she had a reason not to be so with you. Then again, this was her birthday celebration, and considering how some of Buffy's birthdays past had gone, well, she likely wanted to go out being thought of as nice.
Spike got up then and sauntered over.
"Luna." He smiled and kissed the back of his friend that was a girl's hand.
Spike nodded at him. Still jealous. It was sort of endearing on the boy. "Git."
Luna shook her head and rolled her eyes as she herded her gentleman off. That left Spike with Ginny because Buffy had already headed off to speak with other guests.
She nodded, looking wary. "Spike then?"
"I didn't... you've helped make Luna very happy."
"And why don't you look quite so happy about that?"
"I don't trust Blaise Zabini as far as I could muggle toss him."
Spike laughed loudly, then sobered and leaned in to her. "I should tell you then that if he hurts my little Goldielocks, I'll tear him to shreds, so no worries, Red-too."
"I'll eviscerate him. He'll beg for mercy."
"No, I got that. What did you call me?"
"Well, you can't be Red, cos I got one of them." He pointed at Willow. "She's my redheaded witch, but you could be my other redheaded witch, and incidentally it ain't red number two. It's red also. As in R-E-D-T-O-O. Red-too."
Ginny grinned at that. Spike was fascinated by the sprinkle of freckles on her nose. It made her seem all friendly and warm. Like someone had sprinkled some cinnamon on her face. With her grinning just so, he could suddenly see exactly what had drawn Malfoy in.
"I haven't seen Angel around since he carried me that night. How is he doing?"
Spike smirked. "Oh he's still all broody and overhanging forehead, but other than that he's right as undead rain."
Out of the corner of his eye, Spike noticed that the plan had just gone into action. Blaise and Luna had sided up to the other side of the column Spike and Ginny were standing near.
"What is he getting at with that?" Blaise asked loudly.
"Shush, Blaise. Someone could hear."
Ginny's brow furrowed. On cue, Dawn rushed up and began to babble. She made a great show of turning Spike a certain way while she talked to him. Then across the room, Faith got all shout-y. Vi was attempting to hold her back. Spike was pleased. When they'd gone over this part, those two had been the worst actresses in the bunch. Now they were making him believe it.
"It's not right! I'll kill him. After all that Spi-"
"Shhhh!" Vi clamped a hand over her mouth.
"What in the bloody hell is going on?" Spike asked, even though he knew exactly what was 'on'.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Dawn squeaked loudly and awkwardly. Very convincing.
While Spike was 'distracted' with dawn, Luna grabbed Ginny and began furious whispering that Spike was listening to rather than Dawn's innocuous babble.
"Oh Ginny, help."
"What is it, Luna? Did Zabini do something?"
Blaise leaned his head around the column to glare. "Hey."
"Oh sorry, Zabini. I didn't see you."
Luna shook Ginny by the arm. "Help."
"Get Malfoy out of here."
"Ginny he knows you. Hurry."
"He's kissing the girl-demon-thing that Spike has a serious crush on. I couldn't bear for Spike to see it and be hurt after how nice he's been to Draco."
"Well, that's Malfoy for you."
"Fine. I'll drag him out of here. Maybe literally. But only because you have this twisted Spike friendship, and I know if he was hurting, you'd be hurting. Only for you."
Ginny looked across the room and saw Malfoy locked in a bit of an embrace with a blue-haired and slightly blue-skinned girl. Ginny stalked over in irritation. She grabbed Draco by the collar and yanked him to his feet.
Draco blinked. He was always surprised by the show of strength in a woman of Ginny Weasley's size.
"What are you doing?" Illyria asked in her usual unaffected tone.
Ginny considered. Her mind raced for something. "He's mine. Back off."
Good grief! Where had that come from?
Draco was blinking at her with his mouth half hanging open.
"I did not realize this male was your mate, red-haired human, but he did not resist my claim."
Ginny blinked. Claim? She grabbed both sides of Draco's face and kissed him fiercely. At first Draco stood still as a statue in his shock. Then he closed his arms about her waist as tight as he could without breaking any bones and kissed back. He even lifted her feet off of the floor. It was uncertain as to when it had happened, but Ginny had one arm slung about his shoulders to hold her up. Her other hand was cupping Draco's cheek.
Spike had walked up by now. He put an arm around Illyria.
"Here now." Buffy said. "If you two are gonna try to eat one another's faces, at least have the decency to sneak off."
Draco pulled back from Ginny. She blinked, stunned. "I..."
"Oh Weasley, take care of this one." Blaise said. "He adores you utterly, you know. Against his very will he adores you."
Spike smirked. Draco, for once, was not smirking. That damned twat's heart was shining in his gray eyes. He was laying it all on the line here, and Spike respected that. Maybe not so much of a twat after all.
"You know, the south garden would be lovely at this time of night." Spike offered.
Draco loosened his arms, and Ginny slid down him back to her own feet. She kept blinking and looking at Draco like she'd never seen him before. Spike could commiserate with suddenly finding one's enemy irresistible.
"I... didn't mean for this to happen." Ginny said awkwardly.
"Neither did I."
Spike glared everyone away. This was getting more and more private. He steered Draco and Ginny to the door. "Through the house and the kitchen especially. Back door. Garden. Go. Talk. Or not talk. Just go. The rest of us don't need to be grossed out by your lover's stare here. It makes us singletons jealous and stuff."
The bewildered by their own heat couple walked off slowly, arm in arm, staring, cinnamon eyes locked on silver ones. They probably had not heard a word he'd just said to them. Didn't matter really. Seemed like it was all mission accomplished here. Spike shook his head and went back to flop on a couch in the room. After a bit of watching everyone talk and mingle about, Luna sat next to him.
"Where's your beau?"
She smiled. "He's making friends."
"I know. You'd best watch Dawn though. I think she has a Slytherin thing."
Spike smiled. "How did you know?"
"Ginny and the twat. How'd you know she'd react like that to kissing Drake?"
"It's what messed me up for all other men except my Blaise... his kiss. I knew if she wasn't able to back away from it as I hadn't been able to, then it was for sure. Plus, I know Ginny. I know how she thinks and reacts to stuff."
"What if you'd been wrong?"
"But I didn't think I was. There are just certain things that just are, Spike. Don't you know that?"
"I know. Believe me, I know."
"Have you ever thought about kissing Faith?"
"Don't try to match-make me, luv. I've no match living."
"So she's a dead chick then?"
Spike looked at her with a smirk. "You're a bit off, you know?"
"So they tell me."
"I like that about you."
"Illyria then what?"
"What's this all about then?" Spike asked her suspiciously.
"I really like conspiring with you to make love happen."
Spike chuckled. "All right, Goldielocks, pick someone else to match though. I'm not quite ready to be in the market. But I'll conspire with you against in a heartbeat... yours, as I don't have one. Can't believe I'm doing this. Bloke's got to have a hobby, I suppose. So... who'll it be now?"
"Either Harry or Faith."
Spike smirked at her. "How's about Harry AND Faith."
"Would he survive?"
Spike chuckled. "Would he care?"
"Faith seems a very sexual creature, Spike. I don't know if Harry even has sex. He doesn't seem the sort."
Spike chuckled some more. "Well, then it's high time he did, I'd wager, and she's just the thing for it."
"Have we found a new hobby?" Luna asked, eyes sparkling.
Spike smirked at her. "I think we must have."