Title: Not My Reality
Rating: NC-17 for later chapters
Summary: Buffy is a single, twenty-six year old assistant manager at Bloomingdale's department store. Buffy and her best friend, Willow, love to watch reality TV shows. When Angel is the runner up on the Bachelorette show and then becomes the next Bachelor, Willow sends in Buffy's photo and details to the casting team. What's a girl to do when she goes on a reality TV show to get to know a man she'd been attracted to only to fall for one of the camera guys instead?
Betas: mabel_marsters & xtanitx.
Previous Chapters Here
Not My Reality
Buffy felt more relaxed than she had in a long time. Spike seemed to be in a similar mood and had his arm around her shoulders as they walked towards the entrance of the Bronze. They paused at the door and he gave her a long, lingering kiss before opening it for her.
Once inside the dark club, they put some distance between themselves. They agreed on the way there that it would be best not to make their relationship obvious to her friends, since they were going to have to meet Angel and not give away that their friend was dating someone else. As soon as the home date was over and Angel was on his way back to L.A., Buffy was going to tell them the truth about Spike.
Xander was the first to spot her and he stood, waving her over to their usual table near the stage. Seeing the people that she considered family after weeks of no contact, Buffy raced towards them, giddy with excitement. She hugged each of them tightly, grateful to be with them again.
“Things haven’t been the same without you!” Willow said. Her eyes widened as her hand went to her chest, she leaned closer to Buffy and whispered, “Isn’t that the camera guy you were talking about?”
Buffy whirled around quickly and waved Spike over. In the rush of seeing her friends, she’d forgotten about him and now she was completely embarrassed. It was then that she remembered her phone conversation with Willow earlier. Her mind raced with ideas of how to let Willow know not to say anything about her and Spike without alerting the others to the fact that she had a secret.
As Spike walked up, she turned back to her friends. “I hope you guys don’t mind that I brought a friend along.” Willow’s eyebrow went up, but Buffy plugged along. “This is Spike. One of the crew on The Bachelor.”
“Hey, man, nice to meet you,” Jessie said, holding his hand out.
They shook hands and Xander, not as enthusiastically, shook his hand too. Oz was his usual quiet self and just said hey and gave him a short wave.
“Nice to see you again,” Willow said, looking from Buffy to Spike and back to Buffy as everyone took a seat at the table.
Xander tilted his head slightly and asked, “You guys have met before?”
Willow explained how she had met Spike to hand over the dress, setting off a flurry of questions from Buffy’s friends, with the exception of Oz who just sat back and listened.
“Whoa!” Buffy said with a laugh. “You know I can’t say much. I can tell you that I’m one of the last four.”
Jessie took a swig of his beer and said, “So, Spike, what’s this Angel guy like?”
“Not much to tell,” Spike said with a shrug. “He’s a bloody ponce. Can’t see why all those women are climbing over each other like he was a prize.”
Xander leaned forward. “He can’t be all that bad. I mean, he was smart enough to keep Buffy around this long.”
Willow’s eyes widened when she heard Buffy’s quick intake of breath and saw Spike’s jaw clench. Rushing to change the subject, Willow asked, “So, how did you end up inviting Spike here tonight?”
Buffy breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that Willow understood that she didn’t want the others to know about how she felt about Spike.
“Um… He came by the apartment to find out where the cameras should be set up for Thursday.” Buffy glanced at Spike who nodded his agreement. “He was still working when it was time for me to go, so I invited him along. It’s the least I could do since he helped me get that dress.”
When Oz and Jessie got up to join the other band members on stage, Willow stood too and asked Buffy to go with her to the bathroom. Buffy heard Spike offering to buy Xander another drink as they walked away.
They barely cleared the door to the bathroom when Willow turned on her and crossed her arms. “Okay. Tell me what’s going on.”
Buffy let out a short laugh and shrugged. “I went to Hollywood to meet the Bachelor and fell for the cameraman instead.”
“Wow, Buffy. But he is really hot!” Willow grinned from ear to ear.
“He is, isn’t he?” Buffy leaned against the wall. “And, he’s a musician. Spike plays the guitar and he sings…he’s amazing. So now, I’m dating a musician just like you and Xander.”
Willow’s smile faded. “But what about Angel? Is he still coming over on Thursday?”
“Yes. I’ve only stayed in the competition this long because I was helping one of the other girls out. I can’t say more than that, but on Thursday, after the date, if it seems like he might still be interested in me, I’m going to tell Angel that I don’t want the rose at the next ceremony.”
~ * ~ * ~
Buffy sighed contently and nestled deeper into Spike’s arms as they rested on the couch together. They’d spent the last couple of days locked up in her apartment. She knew they were taking things very fast, but it just felt right. He’d arrived Sunday afternoon and because he didn’t have to go into work until Thursday, he hadn’t left. Not even to go home and get a change of clothes. That hadn’t been a problem because other than hanging out for a few hours at the Bronze with her friends on Sunday night, they hadn’t left the apartment. She gave him one of the new toothbrushes that she always kept on hand and it was kind of weird to see two side by side in the medicine cabinet.
“Are you awake, love?”
“Yep. Though this TV show is very boring.” When Spike told her he liked Dawson’s Creek and got excited about watching the reruns, she couldn’t believe it.
“This from the girl who is entertained by bad reality TV,” he told her dryly. Changing his tone, Spike rubbed her shoulders and said, “Too bad we can’t go out. I’d love to take you on a real date and spoil you.”
Buffy turned to face him and propped herself up. “After the next rose ceremony, I’ll take you up on that.”
“There’s this three-hour yacht dinner cruise we could go on. Oh, and the planetarium has this laser light show to the music of the Doors and there’s horseback riding—“
Her kiss cut him off, but he didn’t seem to mind. He actually groaned in complaint when she ended it. She smiled fondly at him and rubbed his bottom lip with her thumb. “I’m easy to please. You don’t have to go crazy with the dates. The movies, dinner, miniature golf; those are fine with me.”
“We could do those things too.” He gently bit her thumb before saying, “It’s going to be hard for me to compete with the dates you’ve had on the show.”
“Nah, not at all. All those amazing places were okay, but I wasn’t on a date with you, so they don’t mean anything to me.”
This time it was Spike who leaned forward to kiss her. She pushed him back into the couch as he pulled her shirt up and rubbed her back. Thinking about how she was going to have to work to get his jeans off again as she untucked his shirt from them, Buffy wished that they hadn’t even bothered to get dressed. Spike cupped one of her breasts and tugged her shirt a little higher.
“Oh, my, God!”
They jumped apart at Dawn’s exclamation and Buffy scrambled to get her shirt right and get out off Spike’s lap.
“Dawn! I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow night.”
“I can see that.” Dawn crossed her arms and grinned, never taking her eyes off Spike, who stood next to Buffy. She shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, not meeting her little sister’s eyes. Squinting, Dawn took a few steps closer to him and frowned. “I thought Angel had darker hair and wide shoulders.”
“You must be Buffy’s sister.” Spike said, offering his hand to Dawn. “I’m Spike.”
Dawn stared at Buffy, barely able to contain a chuckle and mouthed the word Spike in question.
“Yes, this is Spike. My friend from… uh…the set of the show.” Buffy self-consciously patted her hair. “You can’t tell anyone that you saw him here. Okay?”
Dawn’s eyes got big. “What—“
“No questions. Just keep your mouth shut,” Buffy snapped. She took a deep breath when Spike put a hand on her back. “Sorry. Just promise me you won’t say anything.”
“I won’t,” Dawn said, shaking her head, but still smiling.
“I was just leaving,” Spike said. “My keys are in my coat.”
Still a little shocked from Dawn’s entrance, Buffy glanced around the room. It took a moment for her to remember that it was hanging up in her room. “I’ll be right back.”
Spike watched Buffy walk away before he turned to face her younger sister. He gave her a lopsided grin, silently willing Buffy to hurry up, as he was feeling very uncomfortable under the girl’s gaze.
“Well, at least you’re better looking than that Angel guy,” Dawn said, putting Spike at ease.
With a chuckle, he told her, “I like you.” Buffy rushed back into the room and handed him his coat. He took his time putting it on and watched Buffy’s flustered movements with amusement. “It was nice to meet you, Dawn.”
“Yes. Nice to meet you, too.”
Spike wanted to swoop Buffy up in his arms and kiss her silly to say goodbye. Instead, he gave her a small wave. “I’ll see you on Thursday.”
“I’ll walk you out,” she told him.
Dawn rushed ahead of Spike, pulled her luggage off the front step and said, “I’ll just go and put my things in my room.”
Buffy closed the door behind her and stood on the landing with Spike. She hugged her arms around her and looked down. “I’m sorry about the interruption. Dawn wasn’t supposed to be here until tomorrow night.”
“’S okay. I mean, I wish I didn’t have to leave you, but she seems like a sweet kid.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “She’s been a pain in my ass since she could talk, but she’s all the family I have now.”
Spike looked down the stairs and out over the courtyard, then glanced back at Buffy and pulled her into his arms. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He planted a chaste kiss on her forehead. “And if that ponce gets too fresh with you, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”
Buffy pushed him away. “Don’t you start anything. Angel hasn’t got a clue about us.”
He went down the stairs backwards. “I’ll try to be on my best behavior, but I can’t promise anything.
~ * ~ * ~
Buffy paced the small living room and waited for her sister to come out of her room. When Dawn finally came out, she started right in.
“Who was that, Buffy?”
“He’s my boyfriend,” she said cryptically, loving the fact that she knew things that her sister didn’t.
Dawn pointed to the couch. “Sit.” As soon as she saw Buffy was comfortable, she demanded, “Tell me everything.”
“I met him on the set. He’s a cameraman.”
“He’s coming here on Thursday as planned, he has no idea about me and Spike, and you are going to help me keep it that way.”
“Oh, my, God. My sister is cheating on the Bachelor,” Dawn said with a laugh. “How cool is that?”
“It’s not cool and I don’t want anyone to know.”
“He’s cute. All that curly blond hair and those blue eyes and that sexy accent.”
“Enough! I get that you liked him,” Buffy said with a frown, not sure she liked the fact that her sister was drooling over her new boyfriend.
“Oh, yeah. I like him much better than Angel.”
“How can you say that? You haven’t even met Angel yet.”
Dawn flipped her hair back over her shoulder and shrugged. “I know, but I watched the show last season, too, and I thought he was a bit of a jerk.”
Rubbing her temple, Buffy stalled, thinking about what she should and shouldn’t say about Angel. Dawn stared at her with inquisitive eyes, leaning forward in her seat and Buffy decided the best thing to do was to change the subject. “Why are you here so early?”
“Oh, that. I missed you,” Dawn said with a grin. “I only had one class today, so I switched my ticket so I could see you sooner.”
“I missed you too.” Buffy smiled at her little sister. She was growing up, but yet she was still so very young. “Well, let’s gets some dinner and then you can help me plan things for Thursday.”