Xander stepped out of the limousine and was
nearly blinded by the flash photography. Helping Harmony out of the car, she acted like a true professional and gave a huge
smile and waved as she she walked along the red carpet in the white Valentino dress, hair up, make-up immaculate.
Her fans were screaming and holding out hands
and autograph books, some of them incredulous at her ‘new look’.
Xander felt uncomfortable in his hired suit.
The cummerbund was a little tight, and he hated the collar and bow tie. He felt like he was being strangled, and frequently
he slid a finger down his neck and pulled it away from his throat.
The flashes continued all down the carpeted
walk, and various presenters of different shows stopped Harmony to speak. Xander stood diplomatically to one side while she
Smiling at Jenny Calendar, who was working
for MTV that evening, Harmony was asked about her new look.
“Just thought I’d try a change!”
Harmony turned to the crowd and waved, and they roared, and then she and Xander went inside.
Spike pulled up in his sports car, and he
and Buffy got out, he gave the keys to one of the marshals to park it for him. Buffy was amazed that people recognized her,
photographers and the crowd all calling her name. She smiled and waved, and signed a few autographs. Spike was delighted when
she reached for his hand and they went to walk inside.
“Buffy, Jenny Calendar, MTV –
Your first outing with Aphrodite records – are you enjoying it?”
“It’s wonderful, thank you!”
Buffy grinned, and when she turned to wave
to the crowd again just before they went inside, there were plenty of flash-bulbs going off.
“You didn’t mind, did you?" Buffy
squeezed his hand. "I felt a little scared.”
Gently squeezing back Spike said, “Not
at all, pet. You ok now?”
“Yes thanks!” Spike was pleased
that she hadn’t let go as they were shown to their table with Xander and Harmony.
“Wow, you look very pretty in that
dress!” Harmony said, smiling at Buffy.
Buffy smiled and leaned over Spike so Harmony
could hear her and said, “I hardly recognised you, you look stunning. Is that a Valentino?”
“Yes…thought I’d treat
myself!” Harmony smiled.
“Great treat, it’s perfect on
“Xand…you’re sitting up
very straight…still keeping up with the bad back story?” Spike whispered.
“No, it’s this bloody monkey
suit…the silk band thingie is too tight, I’m scared to breathe out, else it’ll ping off and wrap itself
around Harmony’s head…and the collar’s choking me!” Spike smile/frowned and shook his head in commiseration.
The lights went down, and a voice said, “Ladies
and Gentlemen, Blackmore Entertainments, sponsored by Hudson’s Spring Water, presents the 2004 Independent
Radio Awards! Here is our host for this evening, Miss Darla Delaney!”
The audience clapped and Darla came on stage.
The only problem was, she was in an identical dress to Harmony’s. Buffy saw Harmony’s face crumple, and she leaned
over Spike and whispered, “Don’t worry, you look a hundred times better in it than she does.” Harmony smiled
and touched Buffy’s arm and said ‘thanks’.
Spike whispered, “What’s up?”
“Darla is wearing the same dress as…”
Buffy just nodded towards Harmony subtly. Spike frowned and rolled his eyes. “I told her she looks miles better in it
than Darla though”
He smiled and squeezed Buffy’s hand.
“That was nice of you.”
They settled back and enjoyed the show. After
an hour there was a break, and Harmony knew that she was ‘on’ for the second category.
Wes Price had been called to present the
‘Best Female Singer’ category. The three nominations were read out, and a clip of each song and singer was
“And the winner is…" (he unsealed
the envelope, and took out the card)..."Anyanka!” Everybody clapped, and then he said, “Anyanka is unable to collect
the award herself, due to recording commitments, but she recorded this for us earlier on today.” A video clip of Anyanka
with snow covered mountains as a backdrop as she said thank you was shown.
“And here to accept the award on her
behalf, we have Harmony!” The audience applauded and Harmony went up to collect the award. Luckily Darla stood
well to the side of the stage, so nobody noticed the similarity between the girls dresses.
Harmony was handed the award by Wes Price,
who first kissed her on both cheeks, then she stood by the microphone and said, “It is indeed an honor for me
to accept this richly deserved award for the wonderfully talented singer Anyanka, one of my fellow recording artiste’s
at Aphrodite Records. I know she is thrilled, thank you.” She picked up the award and the audience began to clap again.
Spike and Xander grinned at each other, Harmony
had been ‘perfect’. She sat down at the table, and she was pleased to see both Xander and Spike smiling broadly
at her, Buffy too. She knew she’d done things right!
By the time Spike managed to get his car,
they were running a little late. “Sorry about that love, I’d been blocked in by all the limo’s.”
“It’s okay, I’ve been star
They drove to Cobra, and Spike parked in
the private car park.
A huge black man checked their tickets and
allowed them inside. As soon as the inner doors were open, you feel the music, let alone hear it.
“Drink, pet? – Let me see…there’s
um cocktails…Champagne…wine, what would you like?”
“Ooh, champagne please!” Spike
ordered a glass of champagne and a soft drink for himself; one thing he NEVER did, was drink and drive.
The place was quite full, and just as Spike
was returning from the bar with the drinks, he was stopped by Lilah and Faith. They coiled around him rubbing themselves against
him, petting his face.
“Spike! Hope you’re going to
save us a dance…” Lilah practically had her tongue in his ear, and Spike, who was holding a drink in each hand,
tried his best to wriggle free from them without spilling them.
“Ah, now, ladies, please, I..." He
looked across to Buffy, who could see his predicament; she could also see the pained expression on his face and knew that
the duo were embarrassing him.
“Is that for me, darling?” Faith
said hoarsely, trying to take the glass of champagne out of his hand, but Spike held it up in the air.
“No, no it isn’t...now will you
two please behave!”
“He’s playing hard-to-get again
Li…” Faith ran her hand under his jacket.
“Get off, stop it, look, girls, I..."
“Okay, big-boy…but we’ll
pin you down one day, you see if we don’t!”
“There you are! We thought you
weren’t coming!” Harmony now obscured the scene of Spike and the two sex-hungry girls from Buffy’s view,
and Xander pulled out a chair and sat down. He’d removed the cummerbund and his bow tie, and felt a lot more comfy.
“Spike’s car was blocked in by
the limo’s” Buffy explained.
“That’s why I didn’t come
in my own car” Xander said.
“Phew, sorry love…I hope this
champagne isn’t warm now…those two...eh, just won’t take 'no' for an answer.” Spike looked a little
worried as he handed Buffy her drink, but she smiled at him, and said ‘thanks’.
“Oh, Pookie! Champers – will
you get me some?”
“Sure…I’ll bring a bottle.”
Xander got up and went over to the bar, and Spike sat in the vacated seat next to Buffy.
She’d been watching the Vixen duo,
and saw that both girls were ‘checking her out’. They’d both looked at her, and then Lilah would whisper
something to Faith, and vice-versa.
Suddenly the double doors were opened, and
with Lorne leading the way, Sweet entered the room, followed by a few close friends, including Glory Benson, and Darla Delaney.
There was no sign of Cecily or Dru yet.
“Sweetly, yup, that’s him,”
“He’s smaller than I imagined…”
“Yeah…but what he lacks in stature
he makes up for in ego. He’s big money wise though,” Spike said.
Xander bought over a nicely cold frosted
bottle of champagne and three glasses.
He poured for Harmony and himself, gave Buffy
a top-up, but Spike refused.
“Oh right, I forgot.”
“Did you see the boss arrive –
he’s gone to the very back, see where people are queuing by the door to see him?” Spike said.
The doors opened again and in came Gunn with
his girlfriend, Nikki Wood, and an entourage of about twenty others.
“I bet the stock exchange is jittery…seems
half the gold reserve has just walked in!” Spike said with a wry smile.
“I reckon that’s why they wear
sunglasses all the time, dazzled by the bling!” Xander said.
“Spike!” Everyone looked up at
the cat-like features of Glory Benson.
True gentleman that he was, Spike stood up.
She held out her hand and presented her cheek
for him to kiss, but Spike, much to her annoyance, didn’t kiss it.
“Daddy tells me that I’ve got
to see you about that little girl singer…Betty is it?” The name dripped from her lips acidly. Glory knew only
too well what the singers name was, and the fact that she was sitting right next to Spike.
“Buffy. And this is the lady herself...Buffy,
this is Glory Benson, Glory – this is Buffy.”
Buffy smiled pleasantly enough, and Glory
flashed her a false smile.
“Glory does two shows on cable,”
Glory immediately saw her chance to be bitchy,
and said with saccharin overtones, “Oh, don’t you have cable? – But then again, when my shows are on
you are probably doing your public service job, helping to clog up the arteries of the general population!”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand…clogging up the arteries?”
Buffy looked puzzled.
“Didn’t I read…well, don’t
you work in a burger bar?” Glory smiled wickedly.
“I used to, then I was a school counselor
– now if you’d excuse me, there is somebody famous over there I’d like to speak to.”
Spike smoothed his hand over his mouth to
cover the grin at Buffy’s put-down of Glory, whose eyes flashed venom at the receding back of the little blonde girl
walking away with Harmony to speak to Darla Delaney.
“You deserved that,” Spike said,
Glory sullenly sat down in Buffy’s
seat and reached for the champagne and the empty glass, and poured.
“Help yourself, why don’t you?”
Xander said sarcastically.
“It’s free, isn’t it –
fuckin’ hell!” she stood and waltzed off, taking her glass with her.
“I don’t fancy Buffy’s
chances much now if she goes on her show.” Xander said.
“Oh…I think after that little
put-down, Buffy can hold her own.” Spike sat back in his chair. “I’d forgotten just how boring these
things can be” He looked around the tatty décor.
Xander too leant back in his chair. “Venue’s
looking a bit worse for wear now.”
“I was just thinking that.”
Buffy and Harmony came and sat back down,
they were both smiling.
“Okay, pet? – Great Glory put
down, by the way!”
“I can’t stand her! I wanted
to say, yes – I have cable – yes I know when you’re on, and yes, quite frankly, I’d always preferred
to watch Spongebob Squarepants instead!”
“I love that show!” Harmony said,
and all four of them were giggling.
“Is she okay?”
“Yes, I’ve given her a little
pick-me-up shot…did you say you had the name of the medication she was on for the schizophrenia – there are several
I could prescribe, but it’s best to keep her on what she’s familiar with.” The doctor took the empty blister-pack
off Cecily. “Oh yes, right…there you go, she’ll be okay for tonight, I’ve given her a shot.”
“Will she be taking anything else –
or has she?”
“No, um...not yet…will it be
enough, this shot?”
“Should be…IF she’s going
to be taking…say anything ‘recreational’ tonight, keep her away from the alcohol – else she could
go a little…loco, let's say.” The doctor handed Cecily a prescription for Dru’s medication, which she put
in the drawer.
Dru called out from the bedroom, “Cecily…are
we going out?”
“Yes, coming love. You get dressed,
I’m just seeing the doctor out. Anyway, thanks doc.”
You’re welcome.” He left, and, opening
her bedside drawer, Cecily took out two ‘E’s, swallowed one herself and went into Dru’s room.
“Open!” She opened her mouth
to demonstrate, Dru did the same.
“What is it?”
“Doc gave it to me, vitamins”
Cecily lied. At least, if Dru was a little quiet tonight, she’d feel she ‘loved’ everybody…
“Oh, I LOVE this tune!” Harmony
said, jiggling about in her chair. “Come and dance with me, Pookie!” Without listening to his protestations
that he couldn’t dance, Xander was hauled out of his seat.
“Me? Need a couple more of these yet!”
Buffy re-filled her glass with the bubbling pale golden liquid.
“Enjoying yourself?” Spike asked
“I’m having a ball – drinking
champagne in the best night-club around, with the most handsome guy.”
Spike grinned at first, and then he frowned
and looked around. “Don’t know about the best…décor needs a make-over.”
“Hmm, s’pose, but it’s
got the best atmosphere – better than the Bronze.”
“Sorry, the where?” Spike frown/smiled.
Buffy, smiling, shook her head. “Awful
place – full of kids…more like a youth club really. It’s where I won the heat of Search for a Star.”
“Can you hear that?” –
No sooner had Spike said those words than the double doors flew open and a very stoned Rack staggered in with his band members,
who were in various states of drunkenness and drugged up highs.
“Get that shit noise off the player…’ere,
put this on real Noiz! – HEY! FAITHY, LILO, I mean, Lilah…lookin’ tasty – c’mere!”
Forgetting all about wanting a change of
music, Rack was content to fondle and touch up the two leather clad ladies, who after visiting ‘Daddy’s Hidey-hole’
at the back, had helped themselves to a little coke.
The disco tune finished, and Xander and Harmony
walked off the dance floor. One of Noiz’s band, Trick, goosed Harmony, who shrieked and whirled around, then gave him
a cracking smack across the face, much to everyone else in the band’s amusement.
“Fuckin’ bitch! – I was
only saying hello!” Trick stood indignantly holding his smarting cheek.
“You alright, Harm?” Xander asked,
giving Trick a hard stare.
“Yeah…he’s a pervert!”
She snatched up the champagne bottle and emptied the last drops into her glass.
“Want a cocktail this time. love?”
“Oh, yes please! Pretty coloured one…with
fruit in it.”
“Come on then…come with me.”
Xander held his hand out, and to avoid any
more possible ‘nastiness’ from Rack and his band, they went through between the tables to the bar.
The music slowed right down and Spike said,
“Thought you’d never ask!”
Spike had loosened his tie, and Buffy thought that he looked even more gorgeous. He held her hand and led her to the floor.
Holding her close to him around the waist,
Buffy slipped her hands around his neck and they swayed slowly to the music. She was well aware that there were several pairs
of eyes on them, all female, all wishing they could take her place.
Harmony sucked on the straw of her orangey-red
cocktail, with its paper umbrella and slices of orange, lemon and lime.
“Hmm, s’lovely…here, have
a sip.” Xander dutifully did, and agreed it was very nice.
“Make a nice couple, don’t they?”
Harmony nodded towards Spike and Buffy, who seemed totally oblivious of everyone else.
“Yeah…yes, they do!” Xander
said, grinning, thinking **the sly old dog – no wonder he’d ‘off-loaded’ Harmony onto him**
but still, Spike’s loss was his gain.
“Are you aware, young lady, of just
how much I want to kiss you now?” Spike breathed into Buffy's ear, making her shudder with delight.
Smiling a purely feminine smile, Buffy retorted,
“And are YOU aware of just how much I want you to?”
“But people will see, I thought that
you didn’t want..."Spike was cut off by Buffy gently nuzzling his cheek before homing onto his mouth and kissing him.
She broke the kiss when breathing became
an issue, and she whispered, “Want them to…I want those girls to see that they can’t have you.”
Spike held her a little tighter. “Is
“Oh, yes…that’s right.”
They kissed again and the song ended,
then walked off the dance floor hand in hand.
Glory had watched them with narrowed eyes,
thinking how she’d like to wring the neck of that pretty little blonde with the smart mouth. She’d have her revenge…she’d
get her on the show and pull her to pieces…
“You sly old dog!” Xander said
“Who, me? What, why? What have I done?”
Spike was smiling.
“Now I know why you off-loaded –
oh, look…I think you’re being summoned.”
Spike looked up and saw Lorne coming towards
“Spike, you and…” Lorne
pointed to Buffy, and then the back of the room.
Spike nodded. “Buffy…it’s
time to go meet the boss.”
“Oh...right, um, could I just go to
the rest-room first?”
“Sure, it’s at the back of the
They threaded their way through the crowded
dance floor to the back room where Sweet was holding court, Buffy first slipping into the ladies cloakroom.
She was aware of the stalls being rocked
like crazy, and she could hear gasps and grunts, both male and female. Rolling her eyes, she ignored it and went to the toilet,
and then to wash her hands. Through the mirror she could see the guy that had goosed Harmony, Trick, and Faith standing in
one of the cubicles, going at it like crazy. Faith tried to close the door, but she knew that Buffy had seen them. Without
blinking an eye, Buffy washed and dried her hands, and went to leave.
“So, Spike, how’s our new little
“She’s doing extraordinarily
well thanks, Lorne.”
“Good. So, what do you think about
“Oh, s’cuse me, is that me? Yes…yes,
sorry…” Spike answered his cell phone.
“Hello? – Cordy – bloody
hell girl, you’re running late, everything ok?...Yes…yes, yes…REALLY!....Oh, fantastic! That’s brilliant
news...thanks, love....I will...bye!”
Spike flipped his phone shut and beamed at
Buffy who’d just come out of the restroom.
The door opened and Sweet nodded to Lorne.
“’Kay Spike…your turn!”
It was a grinning Spike who led Buffy in to meet the boss.
“Hope you're enjoying yourself here?"
“Yes, thank you, Mr. Sweetly," Buffy
said, trying her best not to stare at his face.
“Call me Sweet. Who knows...you may
get to call me Daddy yet."
Spike felt his jaw tighten and he thought,
‘over my dead body’.
Buffy just smiled politely.
“This is for you." Sweet handed her
a bottle of champagne.
“Oh, um...thanks, thank you."
“Welcome…so, Spike...have you
“Actually Sweet, I’ve just had
some fantastic news” Spike interrupted.
“Oh – what’s that…Midnight
Music has burned down?”
“No, even Buffy doesn’t know
this yet. Cordelia’s just phoned me, she’s got the Indie Chart run down for Sunday, because of the advanced sales,
and as the single is released tomorrow, the Indie charts have Buffy straight in at number one!”
Sweet gave his lopsided leer, the nearest
he could get to a grin because of the Botox, but Lorne and Spike were genuinely happy for the little blonde girl.
“Oh my god! Straight in at..."
“Number one, clever girl!” Spike
gave her a hug.
“Well, I’ll let you go celebrate”
“Thank you, my dear!" Sweet could almost
hear the chink of the money in the cash registers.
Spike and Buffy left the room, both beaming
“Come on, let’s go celebrate!”
After an hour, they both flopped in their
chairs, exhausted from the day and the dancing.
“Shall we go now, love?”
“Would you mind? – I know we
were going to go on somewhere, but I’m shattered!”
Spike squeezed her arm. "Course not
pet, I’m all in myself truth be known." They said goodnight to Xander and a slightly squiffy Harmony.
“I just need to pop into the gents."
Spike went to the bathroom, leaving Buffy standing outside in the entrance way, holding the bottle of champagne from Sweet.
The door to outside opened, and two girls entered, both giggling.
“But Cecily, are you sure Daddy
won’t be mad and shout at me – whoops! Sorry!”
The girl with long dark hair had stumbled
slightly and bumped into Buffy.
Buffy smiled and said, “It’s
“Cecily! Coz if he shouts at me, I’m..."
“Oh,do be quiet! He’ll be fine,
come on, we’re late enough as it is!” The main door was opened and they both went through into the club.
The men’s restroom door opened, and
Spike came out.
“Okay, babe....you ready?"
Copying one of his sayings, she smiled and
said, "Willing and able!"