It Must Be Love by Slaymesoftly

ReviewsRating: PG

Summary: Set between seasons 4 and 5 - Spike/Buffy friendship, hints of more. A ficlet written for the Fourth of July.

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“The things I do for you, Slayer.”

“What do you mean, the things you do for me?”

He shook his head and pointed at the loud bursts of color overhead.

“That!”

“That’s beautiful. Don’t tell me don’t think those are pretty, Spike. Even you have to admit that fireworks are pretty.”

“A - Slayer, yes, they’re pretty – but the sounds that go with them? A mite hard on a poor old vamp’s ears.”

“Oh.” She was quiet for a second or two, making no sound except an “Ah!” when a particularly brightly colored flower bloomed above them. Then, when the accompanying loud booms echoed through the night and she noticed Spike’s flinch, she gave a sympathetic wince and said, “Oops? I’m sorry, Spike.”

“’scuse me? I think I’ve lost my hearing completely. Did you just say you’re sorry? To me?”

“Asshole! There’s just no sense in…Yes, I apologized for asking you to sit up here with me to watch the fireworks. I just thought…nevermind. You can go back inside. They probably won’t sound so loud if you go down to your lair.”


“You want me to leave? And that is my NOT a ‘lair’! It’s my bedroom, my inner sanctum, my--”

“I said you could go. If you want to. I…I didn’t say I wanted you to go.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Okay, then.”

“Fine.”

After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, Buffy muttered with uncharacteristic concern, “Did we just have a fight?” She raised her head and waited for his reply.

“Uh…let’s see. You’re still here, my nose isn’t bloody, and I haven’t had to remind myself that I can’t hit you. Nope! I’d say we’re alright, Slayer.” He waited for her to respond, then added, “Did you want to have a fight?” He couldn’t keep the disappointment from his voice, and she answered with a quick shake of her head.

“No, I didn’t want to – I just thought… So, we’re still good then?”

“We’re fine, pet. Just enjoy your noisy celebration.”

Without responding, she relaxed onto her back again and stared up at the brightly lit sky.



“Oh! Spike, look at that one! This must be the grand finale – they’re everywhere! Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”

“Don’t believe I have, luv.”

“You’re not even looking! Up there, dummy. That’s where the fireworks are. You’re not…you’re not...looking in the right direction...”

“Yes, I am.” He visibly shook himself. “You’re right, pet. It’s very pretty. Worth almost losing my hearing for.”

They lay, side by side in silence for several minutes. Finally Buffy rolled her head to the side to meet his gaze.

“I guess that’s it. It’s over.”

“Seems to be.”

“I should go home, now.”

“Prob’ly should.”

They remained still for several more minutes, then Buffy asked abruptly, “So, what was ‘B’?”

“Huh?”

“Before… you said ‘A - the noise hurts your ears’. What was ‘B’?

“What exactly is all this noise celebratin’, Slayer?”

“You know what it is. It’s the Fourth of July. Independence Day!”

“Independence from….?”

“From….from….Oh.”

“That’s ‘B’, luv. My side lost the bloody war you lot are so busy celebrating.”

"Sucks to be you, then, doesn't it?" She tried to control her laughter, but his impotent snarl was all it took to send her rolling around on the moss-covered stone, giggling uncontrollably.

His snarl tapered off to a reluctant chuckle and he finally sat up and smiled down at her laughing face.

"Happy Independence Day, Slayer."

The end

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