A Kick From Champagne
Pattyanne 's Fic
Kings of Mercia
LoobyLoos' Fic
Jen's Fic

Part One....

"Three hundred and sixty four days of
drought," Buffy grumbled as she struggled
to get the door unlocked while balancing a
grocery bag, her purse, the dry cleaning,
the mail, and her favorite leather jacket.
"Now, I gotta build an ark."

When she'd left to run her errands, the sky
had been a little cloudy, but she hadn't expected
it to rain.

**I have got to pick up a newspaper once in
a while**

She dropped her load on the kitchen table
and examined her jacket for water damage,
swearing under her breath, using words her
mother would have been horrified to hear come
out of her mouth.

After satisfying herself that the burgundy
leather was unharmed, she scanned the
mail and put away the groceries.

When she picked up the bag to throw it
away, she saw a piece of paper on the
table beneath it.

A note to her, written in Dawn's messy scrawl.

I knew you'd forget, so I'm leaving
this to remind you that I'm spend-
ing the night with Wil and Tara.
Please feed my cat.

Buffy smiled. Her sister really had her pegged.

She HAD forgotten about the overnight
visit. It had something to do with Dawn's
final exams, and needing Willow's math
and science brain to help her cram.

**Just as well...MY math brain couldn't get
her ready to make change at McDonalds**

Crumbling up the note, she tossed it into
the trash and then located a can of cat food
in the cupboard.

"Midnight!" she called out. "Chow's on...come
and get it while it's.." She grimaced at the
gloppy mess as it plopped into the cats food
dish, "...completely disgusting!"

As she placed the dish on the floor, the cat
strolled into the kitchen.

"Hi, kitty." Buffy watched the feline walk by
with her ' cat attitude ' going full blast, not
even acknowledging another presence in the
room. "Stupid cat," she murmured.

Her eyes widened with surprise when Midnight
turned to stare at her malevolently, as though
she knew that she was being insulted.

Buffy had never cared for cats, being
much more of a doggy lover. But, Spike had
shown up at the door one night, carrying a tiny
scrap of black kitten that he'd found on it's
own in the park.

Dawn had fallen instantly in love with the
scrawny little beast, and had begged Buffy
to let her keep it.

She'd given in without a fight. Dawn had been
so completely vulnerable at the time. Losing
the woman she thought of as her mother, find-
ing out about her own bizarre origins, and then
that mess with Glory. A mess they'd all
barely escaped from with their lives.

Squealing with delight, Dawn had thanked
Spike sweetly, then ran upstairs to fashion
a bed for the kitten out of a shoe box and an
old towel.

Buffy had turned to Spike with a pleased smile.
"That was nice of you," she'd said.

Spike, not wanting to appear to be ' nice ' in
any way, had tried to soft pedal it.

"Well," he'd shrugged. "I couldn't just let
it die, and I wasn't hungry, so..."

"Eww...yuck!" Buffy had yelped, punching
his arm and trying not to laugh.

That had been a good moment between
them, something they'd been having
more and more of. The bond that had
started to form during their 'Glory' days
had grown stronger, and she had begun
to depend on Spike...not just for help or
protection for Dawn, but for company
and friendship as well.

The others had moved into more
committed stages of their own rela-
tionships, often making Buffy feel left
out and alone.

But Spike always made sure she didn't
feel that way for long.

The more time they spent together,
the stronger the pull between got,
until it had finally reached it's nadir
one night in her living room.

He had come to the house early in
the evening, and had gone with her
on her rounds. They'd prowled around
four different cemeteries that night,
but the hunt had been unsuccessful
and they'd been back at her house
before eleven o'clock.

Dawn had been spending the night
with a friend, and Buffy hadn't felt
like being alone. It hadn't taken a
lot of effort on her part to coax Spike
into sticking around for a while.

They had watched a movie on cable,
and played with the cat, after which
Spike had produced a deck of cards
from his coat pocket and tried to teach
Buffy how to play poker.

Gingersnaps had served as chips, but
Buffy couldn't remember what beat what.
She kept showing him her cards so he
could explain what kind of hand she was

After an hour, he had gotten fed up and
refused to play anymore, telling her that
she'd never understand and suggesting
that, in the future, she stick to playing
the sort of baby games that her immature
brain could process.

Buffy had thrown her cards at him, then
started pelting him with gingersnaps. Laugh-
ing, Spike had jumped to his feet, daring her
to come and get him.

She'd accepted that dare, tackling him in
the entryway and sending them both to the
floor in a tangle of arms and legs.

The first to recover, Buffy had pounced on
him. Straddling his waist, she'd pinned his
hands to the floor and yelled for a stake. Spike
had flipped her over his head, then chased her
around the house, finally ending up in the kitchen.

Unaware that Buffy had stakes hidden in
every room, he had allowed her to corner

She'd brandished the weapon in her hand, and
he had immediately fallen to his knees, hands
raised in supplication, pleading for the slayer to
spare his worthless life.

He'd offered her money, furs, jewels...anything
her heart desired. By the time he'd gotten
around to washing the dishes and bathing the
cat...two chores she detested...he'd reduced
her to a fit of child like giggles, and she'd declared
that she would be merciful.

After asking her politely to drop the stake, he
had picked her up and slung her over his
shoulder, then carried her into the living room
and dumped her on the sofa.

When Buffy had stopped laughing and
caught her breath, she had smiled at him
kneeling on the floor beside her. It had been
such a long time since she'd acted silly and
playful, and she'd enjoyed it so much that
she'd thanked him by giving in to a sudden
impulse and kissing him.

Spike had been as surprised by her
behavior as she was, but he'd recovered
quickly. Slipping one hand behind her
neck, he'd pulled her closer, deepening
the kiss.

Making soft little whimpers in her throat,
Buffy's head had begun spinning in a
mightily pleasant way. Kissing had always
been one of her favorite activities when it
came to the art of foreplay.

Whether it was slow and tender, or pas-
sionate and fierce, she enjoyed it all, and
she considered herself to be quite proficient
at it.

But, if SHE was proficient, then HE was
expert. In the hundred and twenty odd
years of his existence, Spike had learned
everything there was to know about kissing
and how to apply the knowledge in a given

Spike kissed like there was no tomorrow,
and it was obvious that he enjoyed doing
it, that it wasn't just a means to an end, but
an end in itself.

Buffy had learned THAT for the first time
during Willow's case of witchcrafty hiccups
after Oz had left town.

Whatever else you might say about Spike,
you had to give credit where it was so fan-
tastically due...he knew how to please a woman.

Buffy had been on the giving and the receiving
end of many kisses, and Spike was, hands
down, the BEST kisser she'd ever had her lips
on...bar none.

That night on her sofa, Buffy had again been
treated to a demonstration of his consid-
erable skills. She had burrowed closer, want-
ing more and more. More of his kiss...more
of his touch...more of everything.

But when she had begun tugging at him,
trying to pull him up onto the sofa, he'd bailed
out on her.

Catching her searching hands in his, he'd
held them in a firm grip while he slowly
brought her out of the kiss.

They had stared into each other's eyes
for a long moment, until Spike broke the
spell. Leaping to his feet, he'd stammered
out a strained "g'night slayer" and almost
ran from the house, leaving Buffy in a state
of arousal that she'd not felt in a very long

Sleep had not come easily that night. Every
time she'd closed her eyes, all Buffy had
been able to see...was Spike. As the hours
crawled by, she'd finally come to terms with
the realization that she was damn well sick
and tired of denying her feelings, and owned
up to the mutual attraction born on that long
ago night when they'd seen each other for the
first time.

The whole of the memory was bisected into
two halves in Buffy's mind. The first half was
a little sketchy. She remembered being at
the Bronze with Willow and Xander, but
couldn't recall what she'd been wearing. She
knew that she'd done some homework, but
not what class it had been for. The three of
them had danced a little, but Buffy could not
have said what music had been playing. She'd
had something to drink, but didn't know what.

The second half of the evening, however, was
was as sharp and as clear as a freshly cut

She'd heard the request for a phone with which
to summon the authorities to deal with an
assault going on outside...some big guy trying
to bite someone.

Reacting on instinct, Buffy had run outside to
take care of the situation herself. Forgetting
her stake, she'd yelled at Xander to move his
ass and get her one.

The vamp had been one of those cocky shits
who actually believed that THEY would be the
one to bring the slayer to her knees.

Without even breaking a sweat, she had cor-
rected that misguided notion.

But the memory that stood out clearer than
any other, had been hearing the vampire
call for help just a moment before she'd
dusted him.

Wondering just who in the hell ' Spike ' was,
she had turned at the sound of mocking ap-
plause as he'd stepped out of the shadows.

When her eyes got a message to her brain,
the first thought it had produced was 'That is
the hottest guy I have ever seen and where has
he been all my life?'

Thoughts of Angel had been briefly wiped
from her memory bank, until she knew
who...what...she was facing.

Hearing his subsequent death threat, and
knowing him to be another vampire still
hadn't doused the sizzling electrical charge
zinging back and forth between them, stun-
ning her into brief immobility.

His body was lean but strong looking, and
he moved with an inbred grace that Buffy
hadn't encountered in any other vampire.

The clothes he'd had on suited him, es-
pecially that ankle length leather coat he'd
been wearing. Unrelieved black, the only
touch of color a red shirt he'd worn loosely
tucked into his jeans.

With fair skin and white blonde hair, and
eyes so dark blue that they appeared black
as well, he was a study in contrast.

But it was his face that really commanded
her attention. Perfectly sculpted from white
marble it was, with high cheekbones, and
a well formed nose. A smart ass smile and
a scar over one eye were all that kept him
from possessing an angelic beauty.

Certainly more so than Angel's. Dearly
as she'd loved him, she'd never really gotten
that ' one with the angelic face ' descrip-
tion. He was definitely attractive, but
his features were far too blunt to be called

All in all, Spike was an arresting sight, and
Buffy would have been willing to bet that
his game face was just as enticing.

She'd had a brief moment of "Oh, boy do I
want that!" followed by "What am I, nuts?"
and then finished with "No fair...how come
the only guys who get my motor running turn
out to be demons in sheeps clothing? What
is this...some sort of slayer test that the
stupid council thought up to make sure I'm
fighting on the right side?"

Even though it was highly unlikely that
her newest adversary would turn out to
be a good boy, she still found him sinfully
attractive and wickedly sexy.

Knowing that such feelings for a member
of the undead brigade went against every-
thing Giles has spent so much time and effort
to pound into her head, Buffy had locked
them away, burying them so deeply in
her subconscious mind that even SHE hadn't
been aware of them.

But that pull between them just would not
go away and leave her alone. In time, they
had gone from a slow simmer straight to a
full boil when Willow's dyslexic witchcraft
had betrothed them.

When the magic that had driven them to
nausea inducing displays of affection had
finally ended, they had been in the middle of
one of those ' earth shaking ' kisses she'd
been enjoying all night.

Their eyes had met in stunned silence for
an instant before they began to play out
the behavior that they thought they should,
the gagging, the wiping, and the swearing.

But that instant, that microsecond of aware-
ness had been the most shocking revelation
of her life.

Granted, she was hardly the most experienced
woman in the world, but she'd felt that brief
desire in him that wanted her to ignore everyone
else and keep doing what she'd been doing.

She had seen it in his eyes, and he must have
seen it in hers as well.

Feeling deeply guilty for inadvertently causing
the whole mess, Willow had done everything
short of tying herself to the railroad tracks and
waiting for a train.

Although her friends frequent and fervent
apologies had begun to grate on her nerves,
Buffy had never so much as hinted that the
experience hadn't been quite as harrowing as
she'd made it out to be.

A few kisses? There, there...don't beat your-
self up over it. She'd survived worse. Not to

Except...except that it hadn't been "just a
few kisses."

Stopping just short of actual intercourse,
they'd done just about everything else that
could be done.

Before the evenings festivities had kicked into
high gear, Giles had dozed off on the sofa with
a damp cloth over his sightless eyes.

Buffy had gone upstairs for a blanket to cover
her sleeping watcher, not realizing that Spike
had been right on her heels until he'd closed the
bedroom door...and pounced!

She'd gone along willingly, literally throwing
herself at him in her desire to be intimate
with her brand new fiance'.

Spike had pushed her up against the wall,
pinning her to it with his body and kissing
her until her knees began to buckle.

Before she'd realized his intent, he'd
pulled her blouse up beneath her arms,
then slipped his hands around her back
and unhooked her bra.

Touching her in all the right places, he
had covered her face and throat with
hard, wet kisses, all the while whispering
the required ' sweet nothings ' to her,
telling her how beautiful and sexy she was,
and how much he'd always wanted her.

He'd unzipped her slacks and snuck one
hand into the front of her panties, cupping
her sex and rubbing her as he'd thrust
his tongue deeply into her mouth where it
touched and played with hers.

He used his free hand to take hold of
hers and guided it down to the impressive
bulge between his legs. Her fingers had
automatically formed themselves around
the erection that was straining the front
of his very tight jeans, and he'd begged her
to take it out and touch him properly.

Staring up into his eyes, she had unbuckled
his belt and popped the top snap open. The
zipper had begun to descend on its own, forced
down by the pressure of his hard shaft.

Just as her fingers had reached to slide
inside, Giles had called out from downstairs.

The slightly panicky note in her watchers
normally measured tone, was the only thing
that had kept them from anticipating their
wedding night, right then and there.

That had been the last time they'd made
contact with any sort of sexual connotations,
until that night in her living room.

For some reason she'd never been able to
accurately pin down, neither of them had
brought up the subject of their mini make-
out session on the sofa again, and Buffy
had begun to think that she'd dreamt the
whole thing up.

Part Two....

"No dream I've ever had was that good."

Buffy turned off the kitchen light and
went upstairs. She intended to take full
advantage of her solitude by hogging every
drop of hot water in the tank.

The big question, of course, was why
Spike hadn't tried to follow up on the
kisses they'd shared. This went com-
pletely against everything she thought
she knew about him.

Maybe it was because the first time he
had tried to declare himself, she'd punched
him dead in the face.

**And as we all know, there's nothing quite
like breaking a guy's nose to encourage
amorous feelings**

Not that he hadn't deserved it. Being nailed
in the ass with a cattle prod **and just where
the hell did he lay his hands on a cattle
prod anyway?** chained to a wall, and
threatened with the loss of her vitals didn't
exactly make her want to hand over the
key to her heart.

From that day to this, Spike had never again
told her that he loved her.

He'd stood beside her during the most
horrible experience of her life..and she'd
had some pretty horrible experiences,
so that was really saying something..but he
hadn't uttered the words out loud.

And the one and only time he HAD con-
fessed his love, he hadn't even asked her
to love him in return. All he'd wanted was
for her to acknowledge the possibility that
someday...maybe...she wouldn't completely
loathe him.

It couldn't have been easy for him. A vampire
pouring his heart out to a slayer? Admitting that
he thought only of her, dreamed only of her,
and wanted no one but her.

She, true to form, had totally shot him down.
Forgetting, or pushing to the back of her
mind, the kisses and touches they'd shared
mere weeks ago, she had rejected him with
violence and hateful words, capping it off by
barring him from her house.

Even then, he hadn't given up. He'd followed
her home that night, begging her to talk to
him, to give him just one chance to prove that
he'd changed.

She hadn't wanted to listen, hadn't wanted to
accept that he had any real desire to change,
or even that he COULD.

Because that would mean she had been
wrong...and she hated being wrong.

If she had admitted the possibility that
Spike had changed because of his feelings
for her, it would mean that he'd done it without
benefit of soul restoration. Left to his own
devices, all by himself, he'd made a choice.

This brought on the painful knowledge that
if Spike could choose, then Angel/Angelus
could have done the same.

But he hadn't. And he never would have.


Buffy stared at herself in the mirror as her
past was painfully rehashed in her mind,
understanding...maybe for the first time...that
she hadn't really rejected Spike because she'd
hated him, no matter what she'd said to the

She'd done a fairly good job of convincing
herself of it at the time, but now she finally
had to step up to the plate and admit that
she'd actually rejected him because she was
afraid not to.

She had already loved one vampire, and it
had blown up in her face so violently that you
could hear it on the moon, causing a great
amount of pain and a double dose of danger
to her and everyone she loved.

Could she honestly risk having it all happen

She shook off that disquieting train of

**Yeah, but...things are different now...SPIKE is
different now**

Angel had left her for what he considered
to be her own good.

Then, Riley had left because she'd been
unable to give him what he needed...the
whole of her heart.

Poor Riley. He'd figured out long before
she did that her feelings for him were not
all they should be, despite her heated denials.

His need for the kind of satisfaction he'd
gotten in that vampire whorehouse he'd
been frequenting, had been so strong...so
uncontrollable...that she would never have
been able to understand or fulfill it, or to
put it behind her and begin to rebuild
their relationship.

She may have forgiven, but she would never

The image of him, of what she'd caught him
doing, was so indelibly burned on her brain
that she'd feared she'd never be able to look
at him the same way again.

Angel and Riley had both left her, each for
his own reasons.

Spike would never leave her. She knew this
just as surely as she knew the earth revolved
around the sun.

He had stayed during the days when her
favorite after school activity had been playing
dodge ball with her stakes, screaming at
him to hop the noon stage out of Sunnydale
cause the town wasn't big enough for the both
of them.

If he'd remained during that sort of treatment,
why in the world would he go now that things
were looking so delightfully up between them?


**What's his damn problem anyway? What, am
I suddenly icky or something?**

Stripped down to her bra and panties, she
studied her reflection with a critical eye.

**Nope...nobody here but us non-icky
type people**

Her hair was a pleasing shade of light
brown and honey, thick and shiny with
health. Her complexion was clear and
smooth, and her light green eyes were
large and long lashed.

Buffy's gaze wandered down her body.

There was nothing wrong with her figure
either. A fast metabolism allowed her
to eat pretty much anything she wanted
without having it show up on her hips,
or across the seat of her pants.

She turned to one side.

She had once despaired of ever
developing a more womanly shape
and size, even in spite of her mother's
assurances that the females in her
family were late bloomers.

Buffy had almost fallen for the old "late
bloomers will still be beautiful when they're
very old, while the early ones sparkle for a
while and then fizzle out" trick.

But just as she had been about to look
into the cost of breast augmention surgery,
Mother Nature had finally gotten off her ass
and done her job.

In no time at all, Buffy's breasts became
full and firm, and nicely rounded.

In the months before she'd thwarted her
most recent apocalypse, she had been in
such a stressed out state of mind that
her appetite had all but disappeared, and
she'd become dangerously thin all over.

It was nice to look in the mirror and see
that things were back where they belonged.

She examined her legs with a particularly
strong satisfaction. They were great legs,
even if she did say so herself.

Straight and strong, her legs had gotten
plenty of male admiration whenever she'd
displayed them in the ridiculously short
skirts she'd worn through most of high school.

Factor in a flat and firm abdomen, slender
hips, a small waist and...

"A pretty cute little ass, too."

...what more could any man reasonably

So, why didn't Spike seem interested any-

**That's a real good question**

Shedding her underwear, she padded
down the hall naked and started the

**Maybe he IS interested, but thinks I
might beat the stuffing out of him if he
acts like it**

She opened the shower door and stepped
under the hot spray. After thoroughly soak-
ing herself in it, she scrubbed her face clean
of make-up, washed and conditioned her
hair, then shaved her legs and armpits.

With the necessities completed, she applied
a glob of vanilla scented body wash on a
soft sponge.

She always smiled when she did this, ever
since she'd noticed what the creamy soap
looked like as it squirted out of the bottle.

**Oh, stop it**

Buffy worked up a fragrant lather as she
guided the sponge over her skin. Moving it
down between her breasts and over her
abdomen, she leaned against the tile as
her body relaxed and became receptive,
sensitive to the lightest touch.

She jerked when she heard the shower
door open, then gasped out loud at the
feel of a strong arm sliding around her
waist from behind.


A mere whisper in her ear. A familiar voice,
soft and low with desire.

Without thinking twice, she pressed herself
back against cool, hard muscle.

"Let me," the voice demanded, as the sponge
was taken from her hand.

"Yes," she responded breathlessly. Drop-
ping her head back, she tilted it to one
side and exposed the vulnerable flesh of
her throat with no worries.

The sponge passed over and around the
curves of her breasts, stimulating her high-
ly sensitive skin. She released a faint
whimper as the lather trickled down over
her hard nipples, falling to the shower
floor with soft plops.

There was an evil chuckle as the sponge
ceased its sensual torture.

She responded with, "Hey! Don't stop."

"Never," he promised.

The sponge continued on its merry way,
over her stomach and down her thighs.

"Open up for me, luv."

She complied with the request, but stopped
the sponge from reaching its obvious target.

"No soap down there," she said. "Down there
is a bad place for soap to go. Trust me on this."

"Sorry, sweetheart." The sponge fell to the
floor with a splat, replaced by a quickly rinsed
hand. "Better?"

"Mmm...yes. Very much better."

Her knees were getting ready to abandon ship
as she was skillfully massaged between her

"Do you like that?" he purred. "Does it feel

"Yeah-huh," Buffy nodded. "Very good. SO
damn good."

She was nearly beyond the power of speech,
reduced to monosyllabic words.

"And...if I do this?" He found the sweet spot
with the tip of one finger, rubbing it firmly. "Or

There was sliding pressure inside of her, making
her body jerk with instant response.

The pressure left, only to return immediately.

Over and over. Faster...harder...deeper...until
she knew that she was about to....

Release hit her hard, and her head snapped
back, impacting painfully on the hard tile

"OUCH!" she yelped as her eyes flew
open. "That..." Her jaw dropped when she
saw that she was alone in the shower. "..hurt?"

She looked down, and her cheeks flamed
scarlet when she saw that the arm around
her waist was hers. Not to mention the fingers
between her legs.

"Great," she panted, rolling her eyes. "Just

Part Three....

Twisting the taps off, Buffy stepped out of
the shower and wrapped herself in a towel.

Back in her room, she dried her hair and
smoothed lotion with the same vanilla
scent as her bodywash into her skin.

After rummaging around in her dresser
for a nightgown, she pulled on an over
sized jersey that her father had once
brought home from a football game.

The garment was so big that it hung below
her knees, but it was soft from frequent
laundering, and it carried memories of
a time in her life when things were still
good between her parents and the
only thing she'd had to worry about
were her grades.

As she dropped her dirty clothes into
a hamper, her stomach growled, remind-
ing her that she hadn't eaten dinner yet.

Down in the kitchen, she stared into the
fridge, searching for something easy to
eat. She didn't feel like cooking only for
herself, so she grabbed the grape jelly,
then found a half empty jar of peanut butter
in the pantry and made herself a sandwich.

She took a bite of it and returned the jelly
to its sticky spot at the bottom of the

About to reach for a can of orange soda,
her eye was caught by a dark green

It was champagne that Giles had presented
her with on her twenty-first birthday. He'd
made a little speech about wanting Buffy's
first alcoholic beverage to be memorable.

A loud clearing of his throat by Xander
had caused her watcher to amend his
statement to her first 'legal' alcoholic

Giles had advised her not to open it then,
but to chill it so she could enjoy it pro-

Buffy had stuck it in the back of the
refrigerator and promptly forgotten
that it was there.

Examining the label now, she could
tell that this stuff was expensive. She'd
seen enough wine lists in restaurants
to know that this particular brand of
champagne cost well over a hundred
dollars a bottle.

"Let's see how memorable you are."

She easily withdrew the cork, expecting
the loud 'POP', followed by the gush of
foamy liquid that she'd seen in so many

But, when all she got was a soft 'pop' and
no gush at all, she frowned.

"What..have you gone flat or something?"

Sniffing the contents of the bottle, she
felt a tingle in her nose that made her

She took one of her mother's good
crystal wine glasses from the cupboard
and filled it with a golden flow of liquid
that sparkled and fizzed.

Remembering her previous adventures
in drinking, she was prepared to wrinkle
her nose in distaste when she took an
experimental sip. Instead, she found
herself pleasantly surprised at the taste
of the wine.

"Good." She took a bigger sip. "VERY

She drained the glass, refilled it, then
took both it and the bottle into the living
room. Pausing in front of the window, she
peered out and saw that it was raining
even harder.

Making herself comfortable on the sofa,
she took another sip of champagne.

As she began to feel giddily lightheaded,
she closed her eyes to enjoy the sen-

The sound of laughter startled her and
she sat up straight. "Dawn?"

After several seconds of silence, she
decided that she'd imagined the laugh,
and settled back into the fat cushions
of the sofa.

She finished the wine in her glass, then
grabbed the bottle and refilled it.

Holding it up in the mellow lamplight,
she watched the bubbles fizzle and

"Pretty." She admired the color as it
caught the light. "Almost too pretty to

Turning the stem of the glass between
her thumb and forefinger, she shrugged.

"Almost." She tossed back the wine
and stifled an unladylike burp.

She had a little difficulty lining up the
neck of the bottle with the rim of her glass,
and they connected with a sharp 'clink'.


Another burst of giggling distracted
her. "All right...who the hell is doing

Common sense told her to stand up and
prepare to defend herself, but when she
swung her feet down to the floor, her
wobbly legs warned her not to try.

Somewhere in her half soused brain, Buffy
knew that she shouldn't drink anymore
of the champagne.

Disembodied laughter was a warning
that something bad was about to happen,
most likely to her.

How would it look if something evil showed
up to pick a fight and the slayer was
tipsy...hammered...plastered...bombed out
of her skull...three sheets to the wind and
the fourth one....

"Aw, screw it," she muttered as she
poured. "I'm not driving."

She polished off the glass in three long
swallows, vaguely trying to rationalize
her behavior.

**I opened the bottle and it's gonna go
flat and it was really expensive so I gotta
finish it else it'll be wasted and like mother
always said...waste not- waste not**

"No, that's wrong...it's waste not-what
not...yeah, thass it...no, thass not it...maybe
it's where not..it could be..is it why not..I
think that..."

She ran out of steam. "Never mind. Mother
said lots of stuff...I can't be esspected to
remember every little thing she said, now
can I?"

The invisible laugh track sounded off again.

"Okay, THASS IT!" Struggling to her feet,
dizziness suddenly swamped her, forcing her
to grab the am of the sofa to keep from falling
down. "I want to know WHO you are and
what the hell is sooo damn bunny...FUNNY!"

Her eyes darted around the room, peering
owlishly into the dim corners. "I got four
words for you...!"

She counted them on her fingers.


Wait a second.

She recounted each finger silently, her
lips moving.

"Okay! Okay, thass...thass actually five

Putting on her meanest slayer face, she
pointed accusingly at...nothing.

"I mean every one of those four words...those
FIVE words!"

She shook her head a little, trying to clear
the haze.

"Are you looking for trouble? ARE you? Cause
ifff...you are...then you came to the right place,
bucko! I'll GIVE you trouble. Give you all
the trouble you want...cause I'm...I'm the..."

She frowned, trying to remember who she was.

"Oh! Yeah! I...am the slayer...the goddamn
chosen one. You screw with ME.. and I...will
kick..your..ASS! Thass what I do! I'm an
ass kicker!"

When no one came forward to challenge her,
Buffy flopped back down on the sofa and
smiled "Scared it off."

She picked up the champagne, carefully
lining up the bottle with the rim of her glass.

Unaware that she wasn't tipping the bottle
high enough, she was surprised to see
that her glass was only half full.

"Hmm...guess it all depends on your point
of view," she waxed philosophical, trying
to look down the neck of the bottle and
find what she wanted.

**This thing's empty...it can't be empty.
Is it? All gone...nothing there...finished
up...over and out..oh, this is stupid...it
CAN'T be empty cause I've only had**

"Uh-oh." Her eyes widened as she realized
she had absolutely no idea how many
glasses of champagne she'd swilled.

**Well, let's be logical here. I've had
enough to empty the bottle or it wouldn't
be...empty. But I don't know how many
glasses it takes to fill the bottle up in
the first place**

Trying to work through it in her mind was
making her dizzier than she already was,
so she decided not to worry about it.

"Who cares, anyway? Iss not like I'm
falling down drunk or..or something."

**That's very true...you're lying down

"So what if I am?" she asked pugnaciously. "Iss
MY champagne." She pointed to her chest
with her thumb. "I can do whatever I want to
do...with it. I can wash the car...or..or water
plants...I can take a BATH in it if I want to."

Turning sideways on the sofa, Buffy pulled her
feet up and leaned back against the armrest.

"I'm an adult, you know!" she declared. "Over
twenny-one...and I got rights. The Consitution
of the United...America...says I do."

She pulled her nightshirt down over her knees.

"They says that I got certain inalienand...an alien
an bull..rights...I got 'em...we all got 'em.
Like...like I gotta right to an attorney...I gotta
right to make speeches free...and I gotta right to
arm bears...and I gotta right to get shitfaced
with MY birthday present."

**Not that I am...but I can if I want to**

"Oh, well," she sighed deeply. "This is
a dead soldier, soldier." She placed the
bottle on the table and saluted it.

Sliding farther down on her back, she felt
something digging into her kidneys. Send-
one hand down on a search, it came back
with the t.v. remote.

"Nice to see ya," she said. Aiming it in
the direction of where she remembered
the television being, she thumbed the
on button.

More please...