Willow is headed to the spice aisle when Spike stops and says he's just remembered something and he'll catch up with her.
She's not surprised. They just passed the Easter candy aisle.
She smiles and tells him to hurry up and goes on with her shopping.
She'd forgotten that tomorrow was Easter; it had said so on the calendar. They've only been together for a few months; do vampires celebrate Easter?
She giggles to herself; who is she kidding? This is Spike she's with, not just any vampire. And he celebrates anything he darn well pleases. She remembers back to how he helped her celebrate Oestara a few weeks back and smiles. She likes Spike's version of celebrating Spring.
Heck, that's how he celebrates everything. She was so smart to hook up with him, she thinks with a big, silly grin.
She's so busy reminiscing that she doesn't even realise that Spike's been gone over twenty minutes. When he returns, empty handed, she wants to ask if he got what he wanted, but refrains.
Spike, she has found, is very honest, almost too honest; he tells her everything. But in his own time, there's no rushing him. Buffy always thought he was impatient because of Saint Vigeous, but Willow's theory is that he did it that way on purpose, to catch them unprepared. It almost worked. She'll have to ask him someday, but right now, she sees the Hungarian paprika she wanted and asks Spike to reach up and get it for her.
They watch television that night and she thinks about Spike's little foray in the grocery store. But he doesn't say anything so she doesn't ask. Days go by and then weeks until she completely forgets about it.
But Spike doesn't.
Willow's gone to Buffy's house for a Fourth of July picnic and he sleeps late, glad the daylight gives him an excuse to avoid spending time with Buffy the Twit.
He's promised to meet them at the Municipal Park at sundown for fireworks, and he does, lying on the blanket next to Willow and feeling like a kid as the brightly coloured lights explode in the sky.
He'd only seen fireworks once when he was human – at the 1862 World's Fair. It was held in London that year and the entire city had been in awe of the wondrous things they saw from around the world. He'd saved his Art Journal Catalogue to the International Exposition, it had been one of his prized possessions, hidden below a loose board in his wardrobe, in a rosewood cigar box that Uncle Stephen had given him when he was a boy.
He'd never missed a fireworks display if one was near once he'd become immortal. The reason they visited China in 1898 was so that he could see how they were made. Then they'd stayed on for a bit… finding the slayer had been an added bonus.
He looks at Willow's face now and the childlike wonder was still there in her eyes.
There wasn't anything about her he didn't love. Except maybe her friends.
The heat is getting to her, he can see it. They're headed home and she has the window open on the Desoto and is sticking her head out like a puppy. She's adorable. He'll have to steal enough money to have his car rigged with air-conditioning.
"I promise I'll cool ya off when we got home, Love."
She smiles at him. "Sorry to be the one to tell you this, Spike, but you're the same temperature as the air – you're actually the hot one in this relationship in the summer."
He scowls and she laughs. "Okay, okay, you're hot all year round, but temperature wise, you're…" she pauses for effect, "…usually frigid."
She laughs at the look on his face, thinking it was so adorable. Even a year ago, she'd been too afraid of him to ever think him adorable. Hot, definitely – but adorable, never.
So much could change if you were only willing to take a chance.
A cool shower and a massage with hands that had been in the freezer for a few minutes has Willow cool and relaxed and drifting very near sleep.
Until she feels something cold as an ice cube, but too small to be one, traveling up her leg.
"Shhh," he coaxes in the darkness as his fingers push the tiny icy thing inside. It feels go-o-o-o-od. She closes her eyes again and feels his finger push another cold… whatever into place.
One after another, filling her up with their refreshing and erotic presence.
After he's put a dozen into place, he kisses his way down her body and settles himself between her legs to eat his favourite candy.
The jelly beans are just an added bonus.
She manages to hold her curiosity at bay through his using his tongue to fish out three – one at a time – before she asks what it is.
He sticks out his tongue and shows her a roundish orange blob on his tongue and she laughs as he digs out number four.
It takes him almost an hour to get out eleven of them and by then both of them are too eager for him to worry too much that he is having a hard time finding number twelve.
"Please?" she begs and he rises up onto his knees and throws her ankles over his shoulders and slides into home.
She doesn't make it to three before she's panting to her goddess and begging Spike to slow down so she can enjoy her orgasm.
He does slow down; he takes his time, savouring the feel of her around him as he guides her through that position and then another and then another until he has her on her feet and bent over the back of the desk chair as his arms hold fast around her waist and they come one last time in a meeting of body and mind so profound, it might have made him afraid if he wasn't the Big Bad and not afraid of anything.
But he knows in that moment – and he thinks she does too – that everything just changed. This is no longer an experiment or a diversion. They aren't playing around any more.
"I-"she starts to say but he stops her with, "Me too, Red. Me too."
He pulls out of her and they both hear it – a tiny 'plop' as number twelve is pulled out with him. They smile, relieved for the momentary lightening of the atmosphere.
She picks it up and starts to throw it away but he stops her. "That's mine."
She smiles and runs to the bed, letting him see her return it to its hiding place.
"Then come get it," she challenges.