Chapter 3 - Surprises
Buffy gave her appearance a quick once over in the mirror and then turned to pick up her jacket from her bed. Dressed in a knee length black skirt and a silver halter, matched with new heels, she was ready to go out. Hair tied messily off her face, a few tendrils framed her features. Minimal make-up completed the look. Quickly slipping the denim jacket over her shoulders, she grabbed her purse and closed her bedroom door.
Her mother was sitting on the sofa, watching TV and going over some paperwork at the same time. She looked up when she heard Buffy’s footsteps on the stairs.
“What time will you be home?” she asked, for the fourth time.
“I’ll be home before 1am. I promise,” Buffy replied.
“You sure you don’t want a lift?” her mother worried.
“I’ll be fine Mom, it’s just a few blocks. And I can get a lift home. Goodnight!” she said quickly, leaving the house before more questions could follow.
The coolness of the air caught her by surprise, and she rubbed her arms a couple of times before moving off the porch and walking down the street.
Somehow, she had managed to make it through the day.
Willow had called last night, as promised, and Joyce had taken a message. Buffy returned the call, giving her new friend a brief run-down of the previous nights events, and detailing their sudden move from LA. Willow had listened quietly, sympathizing with Buffy and offering her a shoulder if she needed it.
Buffy had decided she had two choices; she could let her father leaving them eat her up inside, or she could move on with her new life. She decided on the later. So now here she was, on her way to the Bronze to meet with Willow and Xander for some fun and dancing.
She smiled at the thought of spending some time with them. She felt really lucky to have found such great friends so suddenly. Well, technically they had found her, but still. Buffy had told Willow to fill Xander in on the situation with her father, she really didn’t feel like explaining it more than once, and Willow had obliged.
Music resonated down the street as Buffy made her way closer to the coolest club in town. The only club in town… Xander’s voice echoed in her head. Smiling, she wrapped her jacket a little tighter around herself as she approached the door. A burly bald headed bouncer nodded at her as she entered. The bass from the music bounced about the room and Buffy walked slowly through the crowd, trying to find Willow and Xander.
She got a whole three feet inside when someone bumped into her. She turned to glare at them when she realized who it was, Harmony and Cordelia. Both wore knowing smirks on their faces and didn’t bother to hide it as gave her outfit a once over. Buffy turned away from them quickly before they could fire off any insults and pushed through the crowd. She saw an arm waving her over and smiled when she saw that the arm connected to Xander.
Finally pushing through the crowd to where they were sitting at a small table, she joined them, perching herself on a small stool. “Hey guys!”
“Hey, Buffy,” they both greeted in unison, bursting into laughter after the fact. Buffy smiled.
“So. How are you feeling today?” Willow asked lightly.
Buffy twisted her hand from side to side in the air. “So-so. But hanging with you guys is making me feel better all ready.”
“Good! Cos its time to get your dancing shoes on and bust a rug!” Xander announced with a little too much enthusiasm.
Now it was Buffy’s turn to laugh. She was about to decline, but then decided what the hell. This was a club, and she had no reason not to dance. Standing up she slipped off her jacket and draped it over her seat. Smiling at her friends she started to move to the dance floor, calling over her shoulder. “Lets go!”
Willow followed close behind, Xander taking a minute to admire Buffy’s outfit before taking a deep breath and following the girls.
Cordelia and Harmony watched the trio dancing together in the middle of the dance floor with undisguised distaste. “Can you believe the nerve of her, wearing a black skirt when everyone knows black skirts are MY thing?” Harmony whined.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. It wasn’t the skirt that bothered her, but the looks the blonde girl was attracting from the other males on the dance floor. Now THAT was just not right. Angel sidled up to Cordelia, giving her a warm smile as he joined the two girls at their table.
“Hey,” he greeted. “What’s so interesting out there?” he asked them both when he noted their narrowed glares.
“Nothing interesting, that’s for sure. Little Miss Wears-my-trademark,” Harmony grumbled.
At Angel’s confused look Cordelia explained. “New girl, Harmony doesn’t like her. Actually, none of us like her except the losers.” She pointed to the dancing trio.
Angel followed Cordelia’s arm, finding the small group. He recognised the boy as Xander, and Willow if he remembered rightly was the red haired girl. He had been in her computer class last year. Then his gaze fell on the pretty little blonde who was dancing with the two of them, a radiant smile on her face as she laughed.
A smile spread across his own face as he watched her intently. “What’s her name?” he asked the girls.
He didn’t see the horrified looks on either of their faces, as he never removed his gaze from the dancing blonde, completely captivated by her.
“What’s whose name?” a voice drawled behind him.
Angel finally broke his stare and turned to face the newcomer. “Spike,” he greeted with a grin, before he turned to point at the dance floor. “The new girl, pretty little blonde thing. What’s her name?”
Spike arched an eyebrow at his friends’ description. “Pretty? I guess she is kinda --”
An arm swung from nowhere and slapped him on the shoulder.
“HEY!” he turned towards the culprit, noting the seething look on Harmony’s face. “Harm, I was just --”
“…checking her out is what you were just doing,” she interrupted huffily, turning her back on him.
Spike rolled his eyes and turned to Angel to resume their conversation. “Devon tells me her name is Betty.”
“Betty,” Angel repeated, rolling the name over his tongue. “I might just go ask Betty to dance.”
Spike had to force himself not to laugh as the looks of horror on their female companions face grew to greater proportions. He watched as Angel excused himself from the table and began weaving through the crowd to the dance floor.
“I cannot believe --” Cordelia started.
“Can’t believe what Cordy? That Angel noticed her before you?” he asked pointing at her.
The slap came from out of nowhere and Spike raised a hand to rub his now aching cheek. Cordelia and Harmony spun on their heels and headed for the exit. “Goodnight Spike,” the blonde threw over her shoulder angrily.
“What did I say?” he muttered.
Willow was having so much fun that she almost didn’t notice the boy who was approaching them on the dance floor until the last second. Buffy saw Willow’s eyes widen to enormous proportions as she looked over her shoulder, and reached for her friend.
“Will is everything o--”
“Angel’s-coming-this-way,” Willow blurted out quickly.
Both Buffy and Xander looked over their shoulders at the approaching teen. Buffy’s face reddened and Xander clenched his jaw as he stood protectively in front of the two girls. Buffy noticed the gesture but was too terrified of what was going to happen to respond.
Angel stopped as he neared the group, noting the angry look on Xander’s face, deciding to ignore it.
“Betty is it?” he asked the blonde lightly. “I’m Angel.”
Buffy nodded her head quickly. Then his words sunk in and she shook her head. “Buffy, my name’s Buffy.” She looked at him curiously. “Did I do something wrong?” she blurted out.
Angel laughed. “No. Now why would you think that, Buffy?” he asked, repeating her name.
They didn’t tell him… she thought frantically, slightly relieved.
“I was wondering if you wanted to dance?” he asked offering a hand.
Buffy’s jaw dropped slightly and she froze to her place, too shocked to respond. Willow gave her a little nudge in the shoulder, and she blinked, realizing he was waiting for her to respond.
“Ah, sure,” she accepted softly, taking his hand.
Angel led her across the floor a little, where there was some more room. Buffy followed Angel, looking over her shoulder to mouth at Willow: OH MY GOD!
Willow just laughed and grabbed a hold of Xander to hold him back. “Down boy. Let her dance with him. You can save the manly act until she needs it,” she teased.
Xander glared but nodded his head, turning Willow around so he could dance with her AND watch Buffy at the same time.
Spike watched with interest as the scene before him unfolded. The expression on Goldilocks face was a mixed one, part fear, and part pure excitement. The music changed from the fast beat of one song to a much slower one, and Spike watched on as his friend leaned in closer and wrapped his arms around the small girl.
The way she was looking at him… Spike clenched his jaw for a second. Why did he even care how she looked at him?
Buffy tried to contain the nervousness she felt, but was convinced that her whole body was trembling. She looked up at Angels face in wonder, feeling his hands slide over her back as they danced slowly to the music.
He looked down at her with a smile, his hands on the small of her back, her head resting on his chest. He leaned his head on hers, taking in the scent of her shampoo as he breathed. This time Buffy did shiver noticeably. “Are you cold?” he asked.
Buffy nodded quickly, thankful that he didn’t realize why she was shivering. A surge of happiness shot through her as he held her a little tighter.
“Better?” he asked.
“Keep the hands where we can see them buddy,” Xander growled.
Willow couldn’t help but smile at the jealous reactions from Xander. A part of wished those reactions were about her, but she didn’t let it get her down. She and Xander were best friends and as much as she was attracted to him; the last thing she wanted was to ruin that friendship.
Plus, Buffy had pointed out that the base guitarist had been checking her out, and he was kinda cute.
Fed up with waiting for Angel to return, Spike had ordered a beer from the bar. The bartenders were pretty good at the Bronze, so long as you had an ID—never mind if the picture was a match—they’d serve you. Spike sipped his beverage. Frustrated he drank it quickly and left the empty bottle on the counter. They’d been dancing for ages now, and he was starting to get bored standing around by himself. He turned to see what was taking them so long and he was more than surprised by what he saw.
Buffy felt Angel pull away from her suddenly and she looked up at him in confusion. He smiled at her as his face came nearer to hers…
OH MY GOD… his lips are getting closer…
She closed her eyes and a shiver ran up her spine as his lips connected softly with hers, brushing lightly at first. Her arms moved with a mind of their own, snaking around his neck and drawing him closer to her as his tongue ran lightly over her bottom lip, requesting entrance.
Angel smiled into her mouth as he felt her draw him closer, her little body crushing against his own. He deepened the kiss.
Buffy had to fight the urge to moan as she felt his tongue part her lips and slip into her mouth, duelling with her own.
Spike surely would have spat out his drink if he had not yet finished it at the show that was happening before him. She’s kissing him…
He looked at his watch and was happy to notice the time. Angel had a game tomorrow and the coach would kill him if he didn’t get a full night sleep. Spike pushed through the crowd, making his way to the pair on the dance floor.
Xander eyes widened suddenly, Willow turning to look in the direction he was staring, her own eyes mimicking the action of his. She felt him pull away from her and watched for a second as he stormed over towards the pair. As if suddenly realizing what he was going to do, she chased after him.
“Xander, Xander!” Willow called as she weaved through the crowd behind him.
Xander tapped Angel on the shoulder, a determined look on his face.
Spike tapped Angel on the shoulder, a determined look on his face.
Angel pulled away from the kiss and turned to find them flanked by Buffy’s two friends, and Spike.
“Spike,” Angel said quickly, assuming it was he who had tapped him. “Something wrong?”
Spike noted the presence of the blonde’s friends, and chuckled at the angry look plastered across the boys face. Someone’s a little bent out of shape… he thought idly.
“It’s getting’ late man, coach will kill you if you don’t get some rest before to game tomorrow. The girls have already left.”
“Yeah, Buffy, we should probably take you home,” Xander suggested to his friend, glaring at Angel who still had his arms on her waist.
Buffy looked up at Angel who was nodding and stepped away from him quickly, a little embarrassed at being interrupted by her friends. She turned to see Spike standing beside her, a cocky smirk on his face. She glared at him as she moved to stand beside Xander.
Angel looked at his watch and realized that Spike was right. He grasped for Buffy’s hand in his own. “It was nice dancing with you Buffy. I’ll see you at school on Monday.”
Buffy nodded mutely, and watched as Angel walked off the dance floor, closely followed by Spike. A little excited yelp came from beside her, breaking her train of thought.
“Oh my god! Buffy, he kissed you!” Willow bounced excitedly.
A slow smile spread across Buffy’s lips as her gaze found Willow’s. “Yeah…”
“Fantastic, now lets get out of here,” Xander grumbled, walking towards their table.
Buffy arched an eyebrow in confusion in Willow’s direction, who just shrugged her shoulders innocently as they followed him out of the Bronze.
“Thanks guys!” Buffy fare welled, waving as the car pulled away from her house. She looked at her watch and gasped. It was almost 1am. Wrapping her jacket rightly around herself she ran up the steps of the porch to the front door and fumbled with her keys for a moment before unlocking the door.
Stepping inside, she closed it quietly and started to tip-toe up the stairs.
“Did you have a good time, honey?” her mothers voice called out from the living room.
Buffy jumped in surprise, pausing on the stairs to answer. “Yes, Mom. It was great. I’m going to head up to bed now,” and she continued climbing the stairs.
She dreamt of that kiss all night long…