A New Year
Pattyanne 's Fic
Kings of Mercia
LoobyLoos' Fic
Jen's Fic

"Well, hello, shortcake," Lorne called out from
the far side of a room chock full of people rushing
about like crazed weasels. Making his way across
the room, he took Buffy's hand and pulled her all the
way in. "Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but you're
a little early. The party doesn't start until 8:00."

Buffy smiled and shrugged. "I know. I just...I needed
to talk to you about...something."

Retaining a hold on her hand, Lorne tugged her through
the crowd of workers scrambling to get the 'Phoenix'
put together for it's inaugural New Year's Eve blow out.

The sound of people talking and yelling instructions;
of the music system being tested and re-tested; of
glassware tinkling, punctuated by an occasional smash
of one shattering; of cooks shouting in the kitchen and
waitresses laughing as they flirted with the busboys; of
bottles clinking together where the bar was being stocked;
and of deliverymen coming and going, was creating a
din that made Buffy want to clap her hands over her ears.

Lorne ushered her towards a booth in the very back of
the club, the quietest spot available at the moment. "I'm
all ears, pretty princess," he said, sitting down next to
her. "Tell me your troubles."

The kindness in his voice settled around Buffy like a
warm blanket, bringing tears to her eyes that she'd been
struggling to hold back for days.

"Oh, hey there," Lorne said, patting her hand. "Don't
cry, sweetie. Uncle Lorne can't stand to see a pretty
girl cry. Come on...tell me what's wrong and we'll see
what we can do about it."

Buffy swallowed hard, blinking back the waterfall of
emotion that was threatening to spill down her cheeks.

This had been happening to her a lot lately. Almost
from the moment she'd answered the telephone and
was told that Spike had somehow rematerialized in
the offices of Wolfram and Hart.


Upon finding out this news, she had lost no time
getting to Los Angeles. Looking forward to a happy
reunion with her champion and former lover, she'd
instead been treated to a rather subdued reception
on his part.

He'd been pleased to see her, but that was about
all he'd been. Friendly, and concerned for her health
and welfare, he'd remained distant, not really responding
to any of her overtures of affection and happiness to
see him.

To say she'd been surprised by his demeanor would be
a gross understatement. Totally floored by it was far
more on target.

When she had first walked through the door and spotted
him, she had flung herself into his embrace, fully expect-
ing him to wrap his arms around her tightly and hold on.

Boy, had she been backing the wrong horse.

His arms had closed around her, all right...for about a
count of five. Then, he had put her gently...but
firmly...away from him.

Alone with him in the room he was occupying, she
had made continued attempts to initiate some kind
of physical contact. But he had thwarted her at every
turn, frustrating and confusing her to the point of in-
sanity, making her wonder if she'd only imagined the
declarations of love he'd once lavished on her.

Figuring that it was probably a defense mechanism
against his being hurt by her lack of feelings for him,
Buffy had instantly reminded him of the last words
she had spoken to him. She had assured him that,
his response to the contrary, she had meant what she'd

At that point, Spike had shaken his head and left
the room.

The next few days had been a constant repetition of
the "Yes, I do...No, you don't" game. She had followed
him around incessantly, demanding at first, then
pleading for him to stay in one place long enough to
hear her out.

But, no matter how many times or in how many different
ways she had expressed her feelings, he hadn't be-
lieved her.

When he'd started getting irritated with her refusal to
leave it be, Buffy had finally backed off, fearing that
he might up and take off for parts unknown if she
kept at it.

She had absolutely no intention of allowing that to
happen. If she had to knock him unconscious and
implant one of Wolfram and Hart's tracking monitors
in his ass, she would consider it a necessary measure.

Hiding in the room allocated to her, she had spent
the better part of a day and night racking her brain
for a solution to the dilemma she'd...admittedly...brought
upon herself.

It wasn't until this morning, when she'd been taking
a bath and listening to the radio, that she'd begun
to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Hoping that it wouldn't turn out to be a runaway train
about to mow her down, she'd emerged from her bath
with a fully formed plan of action.

It was doable, but she'd need help. This had brought
her to where she was now, to Lorne. He was the only
one who could make it happen for her.


Buffy wiped her eyes on the handkerchief Lorne
had produced for her. His strange, red eyes were
sympathetic, encouraging her to unburden herself
to him.

Taking a deep breath, she took the plunge.

"I've been told that...that you can sense things about
people when they sing. You can...you can 'read' them?"

"I can," he agreed. "You need someone read for you,

"Yeah," she replied. "Me."

Lorne's brow arched. "I'm intrigued," he said, sitting
back and folding his arms across his chest. "Tell
me what you've got cooking, babe."

The empathy she felt from him heartened her as
she recited the 'Saga of Buffy and Spike'. She
told him everything he already knew, as well as
everything he didn't, leaving nothing out.

When she was finished spilling her guts to him,
he had his elbow on the table and his chin cupped
in the palm of his hand, staring at her, seemingly
fascinated by her story.

"That's an amazing tale, darlin'," he said, sighing
deeply. "It would make a helluva miniseries. I mean,
it's got danger...violence...the passion of unrequited
love...star crossed lovers coming together from
different worlds, against all the odds...two crazy kids
trying to fulfill their dreams as they struggle to...say! I
don't suppose you'd consider selling your rights to

Buffy's brows drew together in a scowl.

"Oh, um...sorry about that. I'm in the...it's kind of
what I...second nature and....so!" he switched tracks
abruptly, "what song did you have in mind?"


By 10:00, the party was in full swing. The Phoenix
Club was packed with revelers, eating, drinking, and
dancing their way into 2004.

Buffy mingled as well as she could with jangled
nerves and sweaty palms. The Wolfram and Hart
contingent had taken up a large portion of the main
room, close to the stage.

She sat at one of the large tables, making inane small
talk with Fred and avoiding Angel's sappy gaze, which
was starting to get on her nerves.

Keeping Spike in her line of sight, she watched him
move around the room, speaking to a few people
here and there, and completely ignoring her.

The only thing giving her any hope was the way he had
looked at her when she'd first walked in.

His eyes had nearly popped when he'd seen the
dress she had poured herself into. Flaming scarlet
in color, the glittery fabric clung to every curve and
dip of her body. High heeled, strappy red shoes
had given her a little added height. Her make up
was dramatic, emphasizing her eyes with dark
shadow and long lashes, and making her lips crimson
and glossy.

Her hair, long once again...the way he preferred
it...tumbled down around her shoulders in shiny
waves, framing her face.

Buffy had dressed to be noticed, and Spike had
definitely done just that. She had seen the flash
of male appreciation in his eyes before he'd been
able to mask it.

Greeting her politely, he'd told her she "looked very
nice" and extended his wishes for a happy new year.

She couldn't help noticing that he looked damn
good, too. Wearing black trousers, a black silk dress
shirt, and a black neck tie...also silk...he was a study
in contrasts with his fair skin and blond hair.

Asked to dance fourteen different times, by fourteen
different men, Buffy had declined all but Wesley and
Gunn. Angel couldn't dance to save his...well, his
soul...and Spike didn't ask.

Not even once.


At 11:40, Lorne called Buffy up to the microphone.

Conscious of the curious stares she was receiving,
she screwed up her courage and mounted the stage.

Waiting until Lorne had seated himself at the same
table Spike was sitting at, she smiled brightly, not
allowing herself to blush.

When the music started, she gave Spike all of her

"I don't know what it is that makes me love you so.
I only know I never want to let you go.
Cause, you've started something, now can't you see,
That ever since we met you've had a hold on me."

She pointed at him.

"It happens to be true
I only want to be with you."

Moving to the edge of the stage, she held his

"It doesn't matter where you go or what you do
I want to spend each moment of the day with you
This whole thing started with just one kiss
I never knew that I could be in love like this
It's crazy, but it's true
I only want to be with you."

Both Lorne and Angel were watching her in-
tently, for very different reasons.

"You stopped and smiled at me
Asked me if I'd care to dance"

She remembered that night so clearly. In the alley
behind the Bronze. "You know you want to dance,

Yes. She did.

"I fell into your open arms
And I didn't stand a chance

I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as we're together, honey
I don't care

Cause you started something
Oh, can't you see
That ever since we met, you've had a hold on me
It's crazy, but it's true
I only want to be with you."

Her heart galloped in her chest when Lorne leaned
over and said something to Spike, but she kept singing.

"You stopped and smiled at me
Asked me if I'd care to dance
I fell into your open arms
And I didn't stand a chance."

His eyes still locked with hers, Spike stood up
and slowly approached the stage.

"I just want to be beside you everywhere
As long as we're together, honey, I don't care
Cause you've started something
Oh, can't you see
That ever since we met you've had a hold on me
No matter what you do
I only want to be with you."

Buffy sat down on the edge of the stage and
held out her hand to him. Pleading with her eyes
for him to believe.....

"No matter, no matter what you do
I only want to be with you."

She set the microphone down beside her.

Spike took her hand in his. Pulling her off the stage,
he dragged her through the crowded room and out
the closest exit.

Before she could gather her scattered wits into
one pile, he yanked her into his arms and gave her
what she had been wanting and waiting for.

They kissed deeply, passionately, with a desire born
of being too far apart for too damn long.

"I love you," she whispered, as his lips traveled
over her cheek and down her throat. "Please,
Spike...please believe me. Please."

"I do," he said fiercely, sinking his fingers into her
hair and tilting her face up. "I believe you...and I love
you, too. You know I do. You know I always will."

Her smile made the moon glow seem dim. He
believed. Finally.

He believed.....


"Let's get out of here," Buffy suggested, her eyes
making promises that she couldn't wait to keep.

With one more lingering kiss, they went back

"I'll get my coat," she said, releasing his hand. "Don't
you go anywhere."

Spike chuckled. "Take your time. Our jolly green host
was trying to tell me something a few minutes ago,
and I didn't hear a damn word he said."

That stopped her in her tracks. Her eyes became
round and her lips were slightly parted in surprise.

"You...you didn't hear him? He didn't tell you what
I was...that I...really?"

Spike shook his head. "Not a word," he confirmed,
glancing around the room. "I'll just go and...."

"You know what?" she interrupted, taking his hand
again. "I'll bet it can wait. But...I can't."

A slow smile spread over his face as he followed
behind her.

"Never let it be said that I kept a lady waiting."


On her way out the door, Buffy caught Lorne's
eye, smiling as she waggled her fingers in farewell.

He smiled back, shrugging and giving her a


The room exploded with noisemakers and whistles,
and shouts of "Happy New Year!!!!"

People embraced. Kisses were exchanged. The
world readied itself for a brand new year. Hope was
renewed. After all.....

Anything could happen in a year.
The End