AN: Yay! Another chapter done! Thanks everyone for being patient (although some more than others!)

I do think that, sadly, this story is nearing its end. I can't say for certain how many more chapters are coming up, but we are definitely getting close. The good news: the possibility of a sequel is quite high. I'm toying with the idea for main characters; Jeff is a possibility. I really never expected him to become such a popular character, but as so many people became interested, I wrote him into the story more and more. I don't know; nothing's set in stone yet, but that's a thought.

Splotchy – Sesshomaru is definitely one of my favourite characters….I love the badass attitude around him….any InuYasha-related websites would be greatly appreciated!

Victim of reality88 – I agree, but I've held back on the drama or angst for a few reasons. First and foremost, I've been building up to their first date AND the Hallowe'en Dance, and I didn't really want them blowing up and yelling at one another at either event. Now that I've gotten both out of the way and regular life is resuming for Kay, I hope to start adding it back in. You might be glad to know that in this chapter, they act a little more like their old selves than two lovestruck teenagers. I'm also very much a 'happy endings' person, and as the story is getting close to the end….well, I don't know. We shall see what happens!

269 reviews! I love you guys! More, please!

Chapter 23
Shall We Dance?

The rest of October just seemed to fly on by. Before we knew it, it was October 31, and everyone was getting all psyched about the dance that night.

The gynasium looked pretty awesome too, if I do say so myself. I had put together an awesome design team to decorate the place. I asked my friends first; Zira had predictably jumped on board immediately, and Sharon politely declined. She wasn't much for physical labour, but I understood. Sharon had enough on her plate, being the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. She did promise she'd write up an article on the event though, maybe even interview a couple of us.

I got help from a few of my other classmates – Alan Mockery, known for his artistic talents, and Marna Sprittle who also helps out with the newspaper – and being the supportive boyfriend he is (insert BIG grin here) Zack said he'd help out. Then Jeff came up, saying the promotions team had too many people to divide work up, so Laura had sent him over to us. That made six people on our team, which was enough to get the job done. And really, the gynasium looked awesome – we had fake tombstones lined along the walls and thin streams of cotton that looked like spiderwebs everywhere. Our proudest achievement though – a gigantic paper mache spider, which we decided to mount on the ceiling. Because the ceiling of the gynasium is rather high, Laura got permission for us to use the school's skyjack machine to mount it. You know, that big thing with wheels, that can be raised up to whatever height you want to adjust things up high. I honestly don't know how Laura convinced the school board to allow us use of the skyjack, but she got it. Not that we actually did it, mind you. The school janitor Fred, who is the sweetest man you'd ever met, operated it for us and myself and Zack rode up with him to put up the spider.

I rather not remember that experience, but since I'm sure you're wondering…

"Shouldn't we have safety harnesses or something?"

"Just don't look down, Kay."

A whimper escaped me. "Too late."

Fred gave a small chuckle from beside me. "No need to get nervous Kaylene, you're safe up here with me."

Yes, I do a have a fear of heights. I've discovered there is a proportional relationship between my altitude and the degree to which I'm scared.

However, we somehow managed to put up the spider without dying, and then we came back down to terra firma. And the effect was impressive. Even I was a little disgusted by our grotesque friend up on the ceiling, even though it was just a fake. All in all, I was impressed by our efforts. We had all chipped in and worked hard, and our work payed off. Now we just sat back and waited for the dance to began.


"So….who are you taking to the dance?"

Laura, Zira, Sharon, and I had decided to all go out to McDonald's for lunch, as a reward for our hard work. Sharon and Marna had been taking pictures of the place, and Sharon already had most of her article on the dance written up. Now we were officially off-duty, and were back talking to more important manners: boys.

I smiled, finding the change in myself quite ironic. I used to dread such a topic, but ever since I began dating Zack I had become a lot like Zira: jumping up and down, giggling over ever juicy tidbit of gossip over whom was dating whom. I guess I never realized how exciting it was to date until I actually was the one on the date. Yup, love sure did weird things to people.

Laura smiled. "Chad of course. Why would I go with anyone else when I have a boyfriend?"

My jaw dropped. "You and Chad are dating? When did this happen?"

She chuckled. "It is pretty recent. He asked me out for the dance, and I said yes. So I guess we're not really steady, but….we just get each other, you know? He's like my twin…we have the same likes, dislikes, and share the same sense of humour. They say opposites attract, but that's not so true with me."

I grinned. "That's awesome….Sharon, who are you taking?"

She grinned. "I'm still seeing Thomas. I'm impressed; he's not your typical jock. There's actually a brain inside all those rippling muscles."

"Ah….that's nice." I said, slightly taken aback. If I remembered correctly, she started dating Thomas back in September. That would make two months since they'd been dating. And that surprised me, since I couldn't remember the last time Sharon had stuck with the same guy for two months.

I blinked as I looked towards my third friend. "Zira, what's wrong?"

She absent-mindedly played with the straw in her cup. "Well I um….I still don't have a date. I mean, I had sort of hoped Nick would ask me out, but then we found out about that whole cheating thing….and by then mostly everyone else had found a date, so I um…"

I felt bad for Zira; she had worked so hard to make the dance a success, and now she wasn't even going to be there to enjoy it. Plus, it just wasn't like her to be all down and depressed.

"Well….you should still come, Zira! I mean, we'll be there, so we can all have a great time and…"

"You'll have a great time….but your boyfriends will all be asking you to dance, and I'll be left there standing all by myself." She sighed, staring into her cup.

I wasn't giving up. "Zira, it's still not too late! I guarantee you, if you go to the dance tonight you'll find somebody who doesn't have a date! A lot of guys just go to have fun; just ask one of them to dance with you! Listen, don't see being single as a problem, see it as an opportunity!"

I was satisfied to see a small smile form on Zira's face. She was still pretty down, but I could tell she was trying not to get depressed.

"Thanks." She gave me a hug. "I guess I'll come after all."


"No, Kay."

"Zack Merridson…"

"I said no!"

I sighed in frustration. "We can't go to the Hallowe'en dance without costumes!"

Zack glared back at me. "I don't have a problem with costumes….but I am not wearing a tuxedo!"

Okay, so maybe I was being a little nieve. Zack and I were up in my room, trying to decide what to dress up as. Since I still had my Sailor Moon costume from last year, I thought maybe I could dress up as her again and Zack could come as Tuxedo Mask but….apparantly my charming boyfriend was less than thrilled with the idea.

"For me? Please?" I curled up against him.

Zack backed away from me. "Oh no, you're not going to charm your way out of this one. Not a chance."

I sighed. "Fine. You have any bright ideas, then?"

He smirked. "I do make a convincing Frankenstein…"

I smirked back. "And does that make me? The Bride of Frankenstein?"

He shrugged. "Why do our costumes have to match? You can still be Sailor Moon if you want, but I'm not dressing up in a tux."

I shook my head. "Sailor Moon, dancing with Frankenstein? Now there's a scary picture."

He shrugged, leaning against the wall. "Well, you have any better ideas?"

"I'll come up with something." I responded, starting to rummage through my closet.

Zack sat on my bed waiting, but then I heard him come up behind me, and then saw an arm reach past me to pull something out.

"What is this, I might ask?"

On the hangar Zack was holding hung a blood-red halter top – which was really more like a thin strip of fabric that covered my chest – and a black mini-skirt. More like micro-mini.

I snatched it back from him. "You might ask, but you're not getting an answer."

"Didn't know you were into the stripper scene, Kay." He said with a smirk.

"You ass." I hissed, sticking it back in. "When we were fifteen, Sharon convinced Zira and I to dress up as female vampires. All three of us…." I trailed off.

I could see the twinkle in Zack's eye. "What happened?"

I groaned. "Worst mistake ever. I think every guy sixteen or older tried to hit on us. One guy had to be over thirty! Hitting on fifteen year-olds! Gross! Never dressing up as a vampress again. Never."

"Aw. You just dashed one of my most desirable fantasies." Zack drawled.

"I'll bet." I retorted with a sidelong glance. Then my eyes widened. "Vampires….oh my gosh, that's it!"

"What's it?"

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer…we'll go as Buffy and Spike!"

"Buffy and who?"

I sighed in exasperation; how could my boyfriend, knowing me, not have rudimentary knowledge of such simple pop culture? "Spike is a vampire, who is Buffy's psuedo-boyfriend at one point."

He blinked. "But isn't Buffy a vampire slayer? And she dates a vampire?"

"It's a complicated relationship…." I mumbled as I tried to explain.

After a moment, Zack nodded. "You don't have to explain further….I think I get it."

I raised an eyebrow. "You do?"

"Uh huh. Two people who are complete opposities, yet have more in common than they first thought." He took a few steps forward, slowly. "Due to initial first impressions, they hate each other and fight all the time, but…" And he came to stop right in front of me. "Over time, as they get to know each other better, they start to realize that beneath all the stubbornness and rivalry, they're some level of attraction to the other." His arms came around me, pulling me close to him.

Ooh. He's so warm and…well, warm.

I tilted my head, looking up at him. "We…we're not talking about Buffy anymore, are we?"

"Kay…." He said in a voice that made me tingle all over. "Do you know what I want to do right now?"

"Tell me." I breathed out. My pulse was racing, I felt feverish, and my eyes were feeling strangely heavy-lidded.

He leaned down, to whisper in my ear.

"I'd like to get back to discussing our costumes."

I stood still for a second, before belting him in the stomach.

Or tried to belt him. Since….well, you know, he easily caught my punch. But even if it had connected, it doubt it would have hurt him. Because his stomach is all abdominal muscle. A six-pack of perfectly-toned, strong, rippling….

Ahem.

"You are such a comtempible, conniving…"

"Keep going with the flattery, Kay. You really know how to turn me on."

"Argh!" I threw up my arms in frustration.

He had me back in his arms again in a flash. "Don't worry darling. I'll make up for it later."

I grinned at him slyly. "Like hell you will." And proceeded to pull him in for a kiss, thus encouraging it back.


Hours later, he was less than friendly as we stood outside the entrance of the gymnasium, where the Hallowe'en party was being held, standing in line to get in.

"You look great!"

"No, I look stupid! And what the hell did you put in my hair?"

"Hair colour, genius."

"I look like an old man!"

I laughed. "Zack darling, you make a very convincing Spike."

He had a button-down red dress shirt and black dress pants, with a black trench coat on, but most important was his hair, which we had slicked back and put some hair bleach in to give his normally sandy-coloured hair a lighter hue. Actually it looked more silver than white now, but it was good enough.

For Buffy, I had a simple pair of jeans on, but wore a white strapless top with my own black leather jacket over it. A simple restyling of my hair was all it took for me to resemble Sarah Michelle Gellar.

He glowered, looking around. "I actually feel underdressed. Some people are here as ghosts or witches, while we look like two average teenagers."

I shrugged. "So? Spike and Buffy were pretty much average….you know, apart from the whole 'vampire/vampire slayer' thing."

We got to the head of the line, Zack passed them our pair of tickets, and we went inside the gymnasium.

"No one is going to know who we're 'dressed up as.' It's…"

"Kay! Hi!" Zira bounced up to us, dressed up as Sailor Mars. With her black hair, she fit the part perfectly. She gave me a huge hug. "Oh, I love the Buffy look! You two look great!"

I shot Zack a 'I-told-you-so' look. He just rolled his eyes. "Maybe she knows. But I bet you the majority of people here have no idea who we look like."

Zira frowned, studying us. "Hmmmm. But you know, you do bear a strong resemblance to James Marsters – the actor that played Spike. And I think Kay looks a lot like Sarah as well. Facial features and everything."

"So when did you get here?" I asked her, glad to see she'd decided to come.

"Oh, just about twenty minutes ago….." Her gaze darkened. "And you'll never guess who I bumped into."

Zack stopped his whining, becoming interested. "Who?"

"Nick Soren. The creep actually is showing his face here. And after all that happened, he asked me to dance with him! I mean, sure I may not have a date, but I'm not that desparate."

Zack narrowed his eyes. He did, really, look like an angry Spike at the moment. "Maybe I should relieve him of some blood in my own unique way."

"Oh, just forget about that idiot!" I looped an arm around one of his. "We're at a party, so let's just enjoy ourselves, okay?"

He grinned back at me. "You're right."

Zira smiled, though I could tell she was feeling left out. "Well, you two have a fun time."

I smiled brightly at her. It was sort of weird; usually she was the one cheering me up. "Now, no getting depressed. Not every guy here has to have a date….go find one!"

"Yeah okay." She nodded, but didn't sound too optimistic as she began to roam in search of a target. Zack asked me something, but I barely heard what he said, my mind still thinking about Zira. I could tell not having a date for such a major event really brought her down.

"S-sorry…what did you say?"

"You're worried about her?" Zack changed his question, noticing how absent my mind was.

"Oh, sorry." I jerked myself out of it, bringing my eyes back to focus on him.

He chuckled. "Much as I love being the center of your attention Kay, I can tell you want to help Zira. You're the loyal type."

"She'll do fine. After all, any guy would have to be blind to pass her by – present company excluded, of course."

He grinned. "Of course."

We bumped into and chatted with a few of our mutual acquaintances – all of which commented on our Buffy outfits, I'll have you know. Then some of Zack's friends noticed him and called him over. I grinned. "Go ahead. I'll think go get a drink."

He nodded back. "Don't let any other handsome vampires steal you away for a dance."

Laughing, I shook my head as I walked over to the refreshments table and poured a drink for myself. As I sipped it, my eyes did happen to spy another handsome vampire, standing a short distance away. He was dressed in the more traditional sense; black hair slicked back, a full dress suit, dark cape, and fake plastic fangs. I stared for a moment; something about this mystery man seeemd familiar.

"Aren't you going to say hi, Kay?"

I blinked for a moment, still confused. Then…

"Jeff!?"

He turned then to look at me and grinned, the fangs showing. "You finally noticed."

"Ohmigosh! I didn't recognize you! I mean….well, LOOK at you!"

He chuckled softly. "Well I ordinarily never wear suits, but I couldn't come up with anything else for tonight, and I figured I should at least show up for a bit, to see how everything turned out, since I helped decorate the place."

I nodded; I remembered giving Zira the same reason for coming. Just then a light bulb went on in my head.

"So….that means you didn't bring a date with you?"

He shrugged, indifferent as usual. "No. Just got curious to see the turnout and different costumes, I guess. Why? Didn't Zack bring you?"

"Zack is the hot-looking Spike, over there." I pointed to where Zack was standing, now chatting with his friends and laughing. "But I was thinking….Zira's here, but she doesn't have a date either. Why don't you ask her to dance with you?"

Jeff is pretty good at concealing emotions, but I could read him by now. I saw his eyes betray emotion before a brief glance at the floor, then back up at me, the emotion now hidden.

Was I right? Does Jeff actually have a thing for…

"No, I uh…I can't do that."

I blinked. "What? Why not?"

"Uh well, she's probably isn't…"

"Listen, you." I said in the scariest voice I could muster. "I've known Zira a heck of a lot longer than you have, and let me tell you that I know when she's interested. And you have definitely caught her eye on more than one occasion. If you were to go up to her right now and ask her to dance, she would undoubtedly say yes!"

"And that's exactly why I can't."

I blinked. And blinked again. "Okay, you lost me."

He inhaled deeply, and glanced at the floor again before looking up. "Zira's….really nice. And sweet. And pretty. She's like….perfect. And look at me. I'm the exact opposite. I used to drink, smoke, get high, and sleep around with any pair of legs under a skirt. Why would she want anything to do with me? She's too good for me. I made too many mistakes in the past to deserve someone like…"

I glared at him. "Oh that is crap Jeff, and I think deep down you know it too. Zira isn't the kind of girl to hold a person's past against him, and you've really cleaned up your act. Listen, Zira's my best friend, but she's made some poor judgements when it comes to guys. But I trust you, and I think you'd make her happy. And I think she'd make you happy, too. You like her, she likes you, and you are going to ask her to dance, she is going to say yes, and…" I trailed off, looking at Jeff. "What are you giving me that face for?"

Jeff groaned. "Uh….behind you."

I turned to see – speak of the devil – Zira standing there, watching the two of us curiously. Her gaze slowly went from me to Jeff.

"Jeff….is what she said….is….is that true?" She asked shyly. I thought I could see her dusky-brown coloured cheeks flush darker.

I gave a nervous chuckle. "Oh hi Zira! Uh, well you two obviously have things to talk about, so I'll just um….find Zack again!"

I moved away, though before I got out of earshot I heard Jeff ask Zira to dance, and heard her quiet 'yes.' I inwardly started doing cartwheels.

Yes! Love triumphs once more!

And now you can get back to making out with your boyfriend.

Hey! I wasn't making out with Zack!

not yet, anyway.

Shush, you.

Zack was heading my way, having finished his chatting with his friends, and raised an eyebrow when he saw how hyper I was. "Don't tell me….that punch is spiked?"

I laughed. "Much better. I got the two singles to dance with each other." I pointed out to Zack where Jeff and Zira were slowly stepping back and forth to the music. Jeff had one arm around her waist and the other on her cheek, while Zira looped her arms around his neck, staring up at him with a dreamy look.

He chuckled. "They're not the only ones who hooked up here tonight." He jerked his head over in another direction, where I saw Robby dancing with Emily. I could see their mouths moving, talking as they swayed to the music, but I obviously couldn't hear them from this distance.

I smiled up at him. "That's so awesome! Robby had this, like HUGE crush on Emily but never said anything 'cuz she was dating Nick – that cold-hearted bastard – so he had to hide his true feelings for so long, even when…"

"Kay?" Zack pulled me in for a mind-shattering kiss. The world spun, my kness gave way, and I sank into his arms, kissing him back like a woman dying of thirst. He slowly pulled away, grinning. "Shut up."

"Uh huh."

"Well, now that all our friends are enjoying the evening…." He led me to the dance floor.

"Shall we dance?"