Based on a challenge from Kass Shakespeare, in which Riley comes back for a one night stand with Buffy. Spuffy fic.
Category: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters: Anya, Buffy Summers, Dawn Summers, Riley Finn, Spike, Tara Maclay, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris
Genre: Alt Universe Fic, Angst, Fluff, Humour, Romance ? Het
Buffy died, Spike moved into the Summers’ residence to take care of Dawn. Buffy came back, and it’s kind of like a flat-share thing happening. For two years, that makes Buffy 22, Dawn 16 and Spike 128 years old by my maths. I don’t like Buffy being in love with Riley, but hey, it fits in here. I have nothing against Riley personally, but I hated the Initiative.
Also, all the Dawson’s Creek comments are from my own imagination.
Notes at June 2006: This fic was written years ago, back in… 2000, I think, so the comments about Dawson’s Creek were funny at the time, now they just make me look stupid.
Notes at Jan 2020: This was literally the first fanfic I ever wrote. Sadly, I have no idea when, other than it was 2000 sometime. I know the dates on other fics contradict that, but I remember this being my foray into fandom.
Kass Shakespear’s Original Challenge:
Lack of time and writer’s block prevents me from writing this fic, so I would be glad if anyone of you did.
Set in season 6, Buffy is back but you don’t have to mention how. It can also be further in the future. Situation between Buffy and Spike: they get along very well as friends. Suddenly Riley comes back and Buffy (forgive her for this stupidity) sleeps with him. Please don’t make it that simple and just let them spend the night together. I would like to see why she does it and how she feels after it. But then Riley tells her that he has to leave again, going back to that army thingy where he had been the whole year. Buffy is totally miserable and runs to Spike who comforts her (No, not what you think!).
A month later or so Spike sees that Buffy has to barf all the time and draws conclusions: she is pregnant with Riley’s child.
Now it’s up to you what you make of this story because I will maybe want to write it one day when I have enough time. You can either write about how Spike helps her during this time only as friend or that they finally get together. Maybe Riley comes back when he finds out he will be father… up to you!
Date Published: 18 Aug 2001 • Chapters: 9 • Words: 17,713
“Bloody hell!” Spike swore, and dragged his pillow over his head. The sounds emanating from the Slayer’s room were driving him nuts. He was half inclined to go in there and drag the slobbering soldier boy off Buffy. The only thing stopping him was the thought of Mr. Pointy. And the fact that it might be the slayer welding it.
The sounds eventually tapered off. It was a consolation that it hadn’t lasted long. Then followed the attempted quietness as both parties used the bathroom to clean up. Christ. I hope this isn’t going to be a regular thing, he thought. It may end up with my killing someone. Namely Riley Finn.
“Can I come in?” A soft voice asked, for a moment he thought it was her.
“Sure, lil-bit.” He replied, as Dawn entered the room. “Come on in.”
“I don’t get it.” She told him. “I mean you’ve lived here for what, two years, and she’s barely mentioned Riley. Now he’s back and they’re having loud, obnoxious sex like the past two years haven’t happened. Well, one thing has changed… she didn’t bother herding me out of the house before the sex.”
“Can you stop saying ‘sex’, pet? It’s bad enough thinking about the Slayer being stupid enough to bed that ponce, but do you have to say it? You’re still too young to know what it means!”
“I’m sixteen!” Dawn hissed. “Hardly a baby. And I’ve known the facts of life since I was eight!”
“That may be true, luv, but I’m still eight times your age, that makes you too young to know about sex.”
“Hah! You just said ‘sex’!” Dawn gloated. “See, I am old enough to hear that word!”
“Was there a point to this midnight chat, pet?” Spike said
“Actually, it’s almost five am. And yes there was. I came in here to comfort you and boost your fragile ego… I guess we wandered off track.”
“You did. And I needed comforting and boosting because…?”
“Because I knew you’d be cut up with my stupid sister boinking Riley.” She said with a smile. “Duh.”
“You’re way off, luv. I’m just worried that the Slayer is making a bad decision. Doesn’t bother me either way who she shags.”
“Yeah, right. It’s not like you’re in love with her or anything.”
“I’m not.” He protested, wondering how this had all happened.
One minute they were all sitting around watching “You’ve Got Mail”, Dawn and Buffy all entranced and smushy-like, Spike taking the piss out of a) the saps that came up with this damned plot, b) the saps who thought it was good enough to make it into a movie, and, c) the saps who watched tripe like this.
The next minute, there’s a phone call, Buffy’s bouncing around happily, singing Celine Dion songs and putting on her most becoming outfit. Enter soldier boy, and cue the interrogation that was now taking place in his bedroom.
“Dawn.” He always called her by her name when he wanted her attention. The same when for her sister. “I. DO. NOT. LOVE. THE. BLOODY. SLAYER! Got it?”
“Sure, Spike. That’s why you told her so yourself.”
“Sugar-bit, that was over two years ago. I’ve moved on. Now go away.”
Deflated somewhat Dawn wandered over to the door. “Sure you’ve moved on, that’s why you’ve had all those girlfriends… how many has it been? Oh that’s right… NONE.”
She left before Spike could formulate a reply.
“Riley?” The voice of the eldest Summers’ girl woke Spike from his slumbers. “RILEY?”
“Oh god, not more shagging please.” He muttered, snuggling deeper into the bed.
“Riley?” Buffy’s voice had taken a more pleading tone.
“Just sodding well answer her, you ponce.” He mumbled into his pillow.
“Spike? Can I come in?” Buffy’s voice from outside the door.
“Come on in, pet.”
“Have you seen Riley?” She asked, entering the vampire-friendly room with tin-foil on the windows to block out the sun.
“Uh-huh.” He mumbled sleepily, reaching for his cigarettes. “Haven’t heard hide nor hair from him since about five am, is he not still in bed all tired out?”
The slayer blushed at his comment, she hadn’t thought they had been that loud. “No, he’s just gone.”
“Maybe he’s gone out for breakfast, something nice and nutritious.”
“For an entire hour?” Buffy asked incredulously. “Or longer, I’ve been up for an hour, he was gone before I was up.”
“Sunnyhell’s a big place for a man of limited IQ.” Spike lit a cigarette and smiled at her. “Possibly he’s lost, and had to call his supervisor for directions.”
“You’re not funny, you know that, right?” She frowned at him.
“Maybe he headed down to the neared vamp-brothel and found himself a nice pretty chit with a big pair of—”
The slayer moved with incredible speed, dragging him out of bed by his hair and pining him against the wall. He dropped his cigarette and it landed on the floor, the cherry burning his toe. He stubbed it out with his bare foot.
“I was gonna say fangs!” He protested.
“That’s enough out of you! There’s nothing stopping me throwing you out of this window, Spike. It’s a lovely day out there, birds singing, sun shining… you wouldn’t want to miss it.”
“Tetchy this morning, aren’t you?”
Buffy, never one to miss an opportunity to inflict violence on Spike when justified—which was becoming less and less often over the past two years—lashed out and caught him on the jaw.
“Okay! I haven’t seen him!”
“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” Buffy asked.
Spike was about to respond, that for once, he had answered her questions immediately and truthfully, but looking into her face properly for the first time that morning he decided against it. The Slayer was positively furious, and it wouldn’t do to get on the bad side of her, not with it being so sunny outside. But there was another emotion on her face too. She looked stricken.
“I haven’t seen him, pet.” His voice softened considerably. “Ask sugar-bits if she’s seen him. I expect he’s gone out to get you breakfast or some other sappy gesture.”
“Yeah.” Buffy gave him a watery half-smile before leaving the room.
“Ow! My foot!” He exclaimed and bent down to examine the small circular burn on his left big toe.
Riley did not return with breakfast. Or at all for that matter. Which made two-thirds of the Summers’ household very happy. The other resident had gone into her room and had not returned.
“You should go up and see her.” Spike told Dawn.
“Nu-huh!” She replied emphatically. “First of all, she’s as moody as hell, I’ve seen this all before, Angel, Riley… Riley then, you know. And now she’s upset again over him. She won’t be happy if I go up there and say ‘hey sis, how’re you doing?’… And second of all, “Dawson’s Creek” is on in ten minutes. I wanna know if Jen and Drew actually get married. It said in the review that there will be a shock return. I reckon Dawson’s gonna charge in to put a stop to it and declare undying love.”
“Glad you’ve got your priorities right, pet… Hang on, didn’t Dawson die at the end of last season?” Spike was suddenly interested.
“He apparently drowned in the Creek.”
“So it really is ‘Dawson’s Creek’!”
She gave him an indulgent smile, “Yeah, but they never found a body. Besides, if my sister can come back from the dead, so can Dawson. Why don’t you go see her?”
“Your sister is the Slayer. She does great things for the world, Dawson is just a really annoying, whinging, moaning twit with a huge forehead who over-analyses everything. And anyway, Buffy threatened to throw me out of the window this morning.”
“What did you say?” Dawn asked, her eyes wide.
“Nothing. It’s not my fault the ponce left her again. Why does it have to be my fault?”
“She’s not threatened you for ages. And there’s been no violence for about two months. You must have upset her pretty badly.”
“Ok… You know I hate you Summers’ girls. You always interrogate me.”
“It’s in the DNA. Don’t change the subject.”
“Ok, I made a couple of comments about the ponce. So what?”
“What kind of comments?”
“Aboutthevampbitingbrothel.” He muttered.
“The vamp-biting brothel thing.” He spoke marginally louder.
“You… you…” Dawn groped for the right word. “You ponce, Spike! I want to throw you out of the window!”
“It’s dark, pet. Besides, you could punch your way through a sponge-cake, let alone throw me out a window, no offence.”
“Go upstairs and talk to her. Apologise.”
“No way, precious. The mood she’s in… I’d rather take up sunbathing.”
“You first. You can calm her down.”
“Take the brunt of her anger you mean.” Dawn replied.
“I’ll give you ten bucks if you go first.”
“Hello, I have a weekend job, ten measly bucks is nothing.”
“Twenty then.” Spike reached for his wallet.
“I’ll give you twenty if you go first.”
“Fifty says you go.”
“Not for fifty-thousand, Spikey.”
“You go and fifty buck and that leather biker jacket of mine is yours for keeps.”
Dawn bit her lip as she thought it over. Her friends loved that jacket, and were so envious when she wore it. And she liked the image, the don’t-mess-with-me look that she thought it gave off. “What else?”
Spike reached into his pockets, and pulled out the contents. “Ok, we have fifty bucks, a leather jacket—that I wore to a Sex Pistols gig, bit of history there—um,” he trailed through the pocket lint, “a shiny nickel, a credit card—not mine, but who cares?”
“Keep going.” Dawn said, thoroughly enjoying herself.
“Um.” He reached into his pocket and brought forth the final item on his person. “A… uh… pack of cigarettes…?”
“Oh my god!” Dawn cried in mock horror! “You want me to smoke! Buffy would kill you for pushing me towards such a horrible habit. Especially the mood she’s in! Oh, god Spikey, what would she think? What would she do?”
“I… uh…” Spike had the feeling that he was being pushed into a corner.
“No, I think the best thing to do would be for you to go comfort my sister. I’ll keep the fifty bucks and the jacket, and we can forget all about this.”
“You… you tricked me!” Spike was almost speechless with fury, and to be honest, a little awe.
“Yeah, so what? Us Summers’ girls have been getting one over on vamps since we were born! Now go.”
“You can’t make me.”
“BUFFY!” She called. “Spike wants me to—”
Spike clamped a hand over her mouth. “Ok, I’ll go.”
“Good for you. You made the right choice.”
Spike paused at the door. “Can you do something for me, Sugar-bits? When I’m dust on your sisters’ bedroom floor, will you come in and let my dust know if Dawson did come back from the dead?”
“Cause if he can come back from the dead, there’s hope for me.”
“Can I come in?”
“No. I’ve had enough of you today.”
“That’s a bit unfair, luv. You only saw me for five minutes.” Spike said through the door.
“Five minutes was six minutes too many.” She sounded teary.
“Come on, pet. Can’t we continue this verbal bashing face to face?”
“I’d prefer my fist to your face.”
“Ok. That’s good enough for me.” He said, walking through the door.
The slayer looked awful. Her face was blotchy from crying so much, her eyes were red and filled with so much pain. She wordlessly handed him a scrap of paper.
Last night was great. It was lovely to see you again.
“Not, ‘love Riley’, or even ‘regards Riley’. Just Riley. No ‘Dear Buffy’. No friggin’ explanation, either.”
“I don’t know what to say, luv.” Spike said gently, sitting down on the bed next to her.
“I found it on the fridge. The fridge for god’s sake! Pinned up with one of those stupid magnets that Dawn had a big thing for making when she was eight… you know, you colour them in and put them in the oven and they shrink! A fucking tacky piece of paper stuck to the fridge with the tackiest magnet available. It’s like a metaphor for my life!”
Spike was unclear about the metaphor part, but stroked her back lightly, murmuring, “It’s not your fault, luv.”
“It must be!” She raged. “First Pike, he left when he found out I was expelled from Hemmery, I was too bad even for a rebel like him. Then Angel. Now Riley. Twice. Not to mention all the losers I’ve attempted dating in between Riley’s time-out.”
“I loved him, you know.” She continued. “I really did. I thought this was my second chance. After he left I felt so empty, but I dealt and moved on, but I kept thinking ‘what if I’d given him a real chance?’ and then he calls, and I thought I’d get it right this time. But no, I screw it up royally again.”
“It wasn’t you who screwed it up, pet. It was him. He’s a sodding ponce to give up a chance of love with you.” Spike told her reassuringly.
“Great.” She said bitterly. “At least a vampire thinks I’m alright. Here was me thinking that everything on the planet finds me repellent.”
“Should I call the witch? I’m sure she’d be better at this than me. Or Sugar-bits?”
“No. I’m too pathetic. You can stay though.”
Oh great, I’m only good enough to be around her when she’s pathetic. Spike thought. I’m still “beneath” her.
“Spike, it wasn’t Dawson back from the dead. Joey appeared at the wedding. She and Drew had been having an affair. She married him instead, but then just at the end, she and Jen were talking—they were ok about the wedding split because Jen really loved Dawson, and wasn’t ready for a commitment to someone who wasn’t him—and Joey said she’d talked to Dawson on the phone, and he’d encouraged her to come and marry Drew. So Dawson can’t be dead. Joey married Drew. Jen loves Dawson—oh and Pacey is now gay.”
“Great. Why can’t my life be that simple?”
It was a miserable couple of days in the Summers’ house. Buffy locked herself in her room, only coming out to eat, pee and slay. She was still listening to Celine Dion, but it was the really depressing stuff. Spike gave her a Radiohead CD.
“Listen to this, it’ll get you back to yourself. Listen to these whining bastards moan about the oppressions of middle-class life, and you’ll want to be up and out of your room in a shot.”
Thirty minutes later aforementioned CD flies out of the window. Thanks to slayer strength and a gust of wind it lands over three miles away.
“How’s she doing?” Willow whispered to Spike as he let her in.
“Well, she’s over her Celine Dion phase, but she’s moved on to Dido. All I can say is thank god she lost her Alanis Morrissette a couple of months ago.” He responded with a grin. “I don’t suppose you know of any angry-girl/heartbroken-girl music that’s any good?”
“Hey! I like Dido.” The witch glared at him. “Really though, how is she?”
“Better. She’s still moping, but she comes out of her room for more than just food and demons now. She watched telly with us for a few minutes yesterday, but burst into tears when a couple broke up. Me and Dawn don’t know what to do. She’s angry at me for being male, and not Riley, and she gets angry with Dawn for being ‘too young’ to understand.”
“I’m guessing Dawn gets angry right back at that idea.” Willow said.
“Uh-huh. I’m sure you heard the ruckus last night. The whole of SunnyHell must have heard.”
They arrived at Buffy’s bedroom door. “Wish me luck.”
“Good luck, Red.”
“How’re you feeling?” Willow asked softly, wishing she could find something a little less idiotic as her opening line.
“About three steps away from hell. Which is good… better anyway. Last couple of weeks I’ve felt like hell, so I’m mending.” Buffy said, trying to make a valid effort at humanity. “How are you and Tara?”
“Great. Wonderful even.” The witch suddenly realised that Buffy probably didn’t want to hear about a perfect relationship right then. “Well, you know… it’s ok. Nothing special. Well, Tara is special, obviously, but nothing new or exciting to report… not that I’m bored of Tara. I love her! But, you know—”
“Will,” the slayer interrupted softly. “It’s ok for you to be happy. It’s more than ok, it’s great, and I’m pleased for you. It’s not your fault that Riley’s a… a…” Buffy couldn’t seem to find the right word.
“A poophead?” Willow suggested.
“Riley’s not a poophead.” Buffy retorted.
“Uh-huh. Remember Parker? Poophead. Riley… much the same. Only a bigger poophead.”
“Oh, Will, he’s not.” Buffy said with a sigh. “Remember how sweet he was to me. How he always backed me up, he gave me so much, and I never let him in. I’m the poophead.”
“It doesn’t make you a poophead.”
“No, I’m worse. Do you think I’ll ever get the hang of relationships?”
“Sure you will!” Willow responded cheerfully. “Riley’s an idiot, not all men are.”
“Well, if I’m not the problem, it must be all of mankind. Let’s count shall we, first there was Pike, my boyfriend from Hemmery. He didn’t even wait around for the Gym to stop burning before running away from me at top speed. Owen Thurman, he wanted me to be a super-hero but wasn’t over-keen on daytime-Buffy. Then there was Angel, I don’t think details are needed. Next came Scott, dumped me because I was not a perky bunny 24-7. Then Parker, and you’re right, Poophead with a capital ‘P’. Now Riley. Men suck.”
“Then do what I did.”
“Become a raging lesbian.” Willow suggested.
“Will!” Buffy was marginally shocked. Willow didn’t often talk about her sexuality. Not because she was ashamed, but because the love between Tara and herself was so obvious and right it needed no explanation.
“Contrary to popular belief,” Willow continued. “Not wearing a bra and shaving your head are no longer initiation rites. You can continue being a ‘normal’ human being, should you wish to be openly gay now. Isn’t that nice?”
“I’ll bear it in mind, but I really don’t think it will happen. Faith tried to convince me once.”
“And…?” Willow asked eagerly.
“Oh.” The redhead was hoping the story would get more interesting than that. Anything to cheer Buffy up. At least she was smiling though. “Well, there you go, Faith wanted you… you’re not completely done for yet.”
“She’s not my type.” Buffy smiled. “A good kisser though…” she added as an afterthought. Willow’s eyes widened so far that she looked like a cartoon character. Buffy laughed for the first time in days.
Two weeks later Buffy felt decidedly more cheerful. Willow, Spike and Dawn’s support was finally beginning to kick in. Ok, she wasn’t up to singing-and-dancing-along-with—”Wannabe”-perkiness yet, but she was now officially sick to death of Dido. She took the CD out of the player and flung it out of the window, wondering idly if it would land anywhere near that crappy CD Spike had given her. A shout of:
“Ow! Bloody hell, Slayer! What’re you trying to do? Decapitate me?” led her to believe the answer was no.
She stuck her head out of the window. “What are you doing out there?” She called down to where he leant against a tree, spinning the disc on his index finger, occasionally burning it with his cigarette.
“Clog dancing, Slayer, what the bloody hell does it look like?” He retorted, obviously somewhat miffed about the flying disc. “Shouldn’t you be moping right about now?”
“Are you watching me, from down there?” She asked.
“Yes, slayer.” He responded sarcastically. “I’m stalking you. It’s not enough that I live with you, I have to stalk you too. It has nothing to do with the fact you won’t let me smoke in the living room. From this angle I can see the telly quite well.”
“Well, it’s nice to know you’re dedicated.”
She brought her head back in and flopped down on her bed. She was definitely feeling better. Not amazing yet, but the pain had subsided to a dull ache. She smiled when she saw the snow globe on her bedside table. Spike had taken to bringing her a silly gift everyday to cheer her up, always with a note attached. The snow globe was the most recent. It was a Disney globe with Goofy smiling idiotically at her. She shook it, and silver sparkles rained down on him. The post-it note stuck to the underneath read in Spike’s scrawling handwriting:
Count your blessings, pet. You could look like Goofy.
Spike had been amazingly sweet to her, except for that comment about Riley and the vamp brothel a couple of weeks ago. He’d taken over patrolling for her when she’d felt to pathetic to go, he’d stocked the freezer with three different flavours of Ben and Jerry’s and he’d been at hand every time she cried. True, she’d have preferred to be in Riley’s arms, but Spike was by far the next best thing. And her room was almost over-flowing with silly gifts. Socks with slogans on (Sorry, luv, couldn’t find any that read “I’m a pissed-off Slayer, don’t mess with me.) A balaclava with eyeholes cut out—as a disguise if she wanted to go and kill Riley.
She was aware that Spike was also buying Dawn gifts so she didn’t feel left out. Why can’t more men be as considerate as Spike? She wondered. That thought was cut off by a CD flying through her window.
She stuck her head out of the window, brandishing the cigarette-burned disc. “Bloody hell, luv,” she said, in her best Spike-like accent. “What’re you trying to do? Decapitate me?”
“Slayer, you sound as British as Keanu Reeves did in Dracula.” He smiled up at her. “Of course, now you’ve changed out of that bathrobe, you’re marginally more attractive.”
“Thank you, Spike. As always, your compliments insult me to the very depths of my being. Anyway, now that you have my attention, what do you want?”
“Dawn’s gone out and there’s no-one to talk to.” He started climbing up to Buffy’s window, so their conversation wasn’t so long-distance.
“Dawn went out alone?” Buffy asked, suddenly remembering her Slayer duties.
“No. Xander picked her up. She’s gone over to talk babies with Anya. Something about the christening. Anya isn’t too sure about whether to go ahead with it, you know, ex-demon issues. Dawn’s gone over there to talk her into it, she’s jonesing to be Michael’s godmother.” He took a seat on the roof of the porch under Buffy’s window and lit another cigarette. “Can’t say I blame her.”
“Michael is adorable.” Buffy agreed. “… Hang on, did you just say that Anya’s baby was cute?”
“I did not say that.”
“You insinuated it.”
“I-I… meant the power trip must be nice… You know, honorary mummy.”
“Maybe I meant that Michael must taste nice.”
“Gross, Spike. And unbelievable. Face it, you’ve gone soft.” Buffy teased.
“You have so. You live with the Slayer for god’s sake!”
“Well, it’s nicer than that crypt. The reception on the telly is better here too.”
“Softie.” She smiled again.
Spike smiled back at her. “I’ve only pretended to be a softie so you could tease me about it, and it would make you smile.”
“Wow, Spike, that’s jolly nice of you. This plan must have been at least three years in the making, before Riley even left the first time. Did Drusilla have a vision?”
“What? You don’t believe me?” He said with mock astonishment. “Yeah, Dru had a vision, right around the time you and I first met.”
“After you messed up my doilies?” She smiled again, thinking of past fights with her now-flatmate.
“Actually, it was after your mum hit me with an axe. Dru saw all this, and here we are, living our grand plan.” Spike was greatly enjoying this banter. It was the most animated the Slayer had been in weeks.
“Remind me to send Dru a thank-you note.” She squeezed his hand, then flushed at the thought of being affectionate to Spike. “So,” she quickly changed the subject. “You wanna go pummel some vamps?”
“Sure, a spot of violence before bedtime would be lovely.”
“Ugh! Vamp dust in my hair.” Buffy grimaced, shaking her head vigorously.
“Must say, it’s not your best hair. Twigs an’ all. You look like Worzal Gummage.”
“Brit reference. Come here, I’ll get them out.”
He stood behind her, gently easing out the twigs and dirt, taking his time and savouring the sensation of being so close to her. He stroked her hair, and teased out the last leaf, wishing there were more. I thought I was over this. Obviously not. He noted with embarrassment that his hands were shaking.
Buffy’s heart pounded at the nearness of him. His hands felt good, get over it, she told herself. This is Spike, for god’s sake. I love Riley… right? But no-one had ever touched her hair so tenderly, or with such hesitation. Is he still in love with me? I thought he was over that.
When Spike was finished they broke apart, both with feeling of relief and regret. Buffy tried to compose her feelings. Ok, her knees were a bit wobbly, but that could have been from the fight, it had been quite nasty tonight. And all Spike had done was take a couple of twigs and leaves out of her hair, not exactly the stuff of fantasies. She was not having lust issues with her housemate. She was just tired from the fight, and confused over Riley’s actions. Right now any affection would be nice.
Spike was giving himself a mental dressing down that went along the same lines. He was not in love with the slayer. He got over that. Admittedly, when she died he had spent months in mourning, and it was through that that he and Dawn had forged the bond they had. But when she was back he had pushed his feelings away. The world needed a Slayer, Dawn needed a sister, and the Scoobies had needed their friend, Buffy. There had been no room for his feelings, and he was so glad that she was back, he didn’t care what was between them, as long as she was in his life.
Over the past two years of living in the Summers’ house his feelings had been, not forgotten, but ignored—he accepted that she didn’t love him, and never would. No matter how many good deeds he did now, he was still a vampire, and she was still a slayer. He made his feelings go away by telling himself that being a part of the Summers’ family was enough.
Only it seemed his feelings had had enough of that. They were now jumping up and down, screaming that ‘part of the family’ wasn’t enough, and never would be. He loved her. Even if she loved the soldier boy.
Right! It’s now or never! Tell her. Tell her that you love her. He opened his mouth, but all that came out was, “Fancy getting a film out, luv? You can choose.”
“I thought you said I could choose.” She pouted at him.
“And I meant every syllable of that statement until I saw what you were planning on renting.” He replied.
“What’s wrong with my choices?” She pouted more, trying not to smile. She was glad that the banter was back in place. The walk from the cemetery had been awkward.
“Nothing, pet. Except it will be you watching them. They’re all action movies, you rip to pieces all their moves, it destroys the watching experience for anyone around you.”
“Oh. She rummaged through the pile of videos in her hand and held one aloft. “This one isn’t action.”
“Christ no! No more sodding Meg Ryan films. They’re slushy and not realistic. These films are the reason that so many chicks get all angsty when relationships don’t go right. These films give you too high expectations.”
“This from a guy who watches ‘Dawson’s Creek’ religiously.” She said loudly.
Everyone in the store craned their necks to take a good look at an adult who enjoyed ‘Dawson’s Creek’.
“That was not nice, Slayer.” He hissed at her, then raised his voice. “At least I don’t sleep with Mr. Gordo on a regular basis… since I was barely a teenager!”
“Sod the videos,” she laughed, dumping them on a promotional stand. “Let’s get out of here.” She grabbed his hand and they ran out into the street.
“That was evil of you, Spike!” She admonished through her giggles.
“What can I say, I’m the Big Bad. And you thought I’d gone soft.” He was delighted to see that the Slayer was bright red. He was even more delighted that she was still holding his hand as they walked. He saw a couple across the street. I bet they think that she’s my girlfriend, he thought with pride. He ran the ball of his thumb over her smaller one, enjoying the sensation of her smooth skin.
“Um, Spike?” She said in a small voice. She gestured to their linked hands.
“Huh? Oh, right. Yeah.” He quickly disentangled their digits and shoved his hands in his pockets. “Sorry. So, what shall we do now?”
“I was thinking bed.” She replied.
Spike stared at her. Had he heard correctly?
Buffy, realising what she had just said blushed again, “I don’t mean together… I meant I’ll go to bed, and you’ll go to bed, we’ll both go to bed. Separately. In different rooms.” She blushed a deeper red, which Spike found quite charming.
“What else could you have possibly meant?” He replied half-teasing, half-bitter.
The walk home was silent and awkward.
Spike dreamed that he was on his knees in front of Buffy, holding her hand.
“It’s just so sudden. I don’t know what to say.” She said, looking happier than he’d ever seen her.
“Just say yes, and make me the happiest man on earth.”
“Oh, Spike! Of course it’s yes!”
He took her in his arms and kissed her passionately, so happy he though he might have felt his undead heart beat.
Spike woke suddenly. His first thought was: I should’ve bribed the witch not to reverse the spell.
Buffy dreamt of sitting on Spike’s lap, she was stroking his face and hands while she said, “There’s so much to decide. Ceremony, guests, reception…”
Spike replied, “Well, first thing I’d say, we’re not having a church wedding.”
She thought this over and came up with an alternative. “How ‘bout a daytime ceremony. In the park.”
“Fabulous. Enjoy your honeymoon with the big pile of dust.”
More quick thinking on Buffy’s part, “Under the trees. Indirect sunlight only.”
“Warm breeze tosses the leaves aside, and again—you’re registering as Mr and Mrs Big-Pile-of-Dust.”
Buffy began to feel that Spike wasn’t taking it seriously. “Stop it! This is our wedding and you’re treating it like a big joke!”
Her first waking thought was: How could I be so selfish? A moonlight wedding would be far more appropriate… and romantic.
Dawn dreamt of wearing a pale pink silk dress, walking slowly down to the gazebo in the park. In front of her was her sister in a beautiful white wedding gown, escorted by Giles who had abandoned his tweed in favour of a tux. At the gazebo waited Spike, so eager to see his new bride he had his back to the woman preparing to take the service. Spike’s eyes were filled with joy, only leaving Buffy’s face for a moment to wink and smile at Dawn.
The moonlight made everything sparkle in its silvery light as she heard her sister and the vampire she always thought of as a big brother pledge eternal love to one another.
She woke up smiling. I hope those prophetic dreams run in the family.
“Dawn, are you humming the wedding march?” Buffy asked, making herself a cup of coffee. Dawn’s humming had made her remember her dream, the one she was trying hard to repress. It wasn’t the dream that had bothered her so much, she told herself that it had been simple flashback from that spell that Willow cast shortly after Oz left. It had been her reaction. She had been thrilled, that’s what had bothered her. At the time of Willow’s spellcasting she had been happy… ish. She’d had an underlying sense of wrongness when she’d had that conversation first time round. This time though… there weren’t enough words to explain the happiness and rightness that she had felt.
When she woke up she had been sorely tempted to bounce into Spike’s room and tell him she’d been wrong. There was a gazebo in the park that would look beautiful in the moonlight. She’d even got halfway to the door before she realised what she was doing.
She had climbed back into bed and given her imagination a stern telling-off. She was not having lust issues about Spike, let along going to marry him… All the same, she hadn’t been able to shake the image out of her mind. It would be so perfect. She would wear a beautiful wedding gown, Giles would give her away, Dawn, Tara and Anya would be her bridesmaids, Willow would be her maid of honour. The only thing missing would be the presence of her mother. She gulped. The thought of her mom not being there would be… hang on a minute. She was not getting married.
And why was Dawn humming the wedding march?
“Dawn, I ask again, are you humming the wedding march?”
Dawn looked startled. “Was I?”
“Oh, sorry Buffy, it’s just I had this dream last night…”
“You had a dream?” Buffy demanded wondering if prophetic dreams ran in the family. She forced herself to calm down. “And it made you hum the wedding march? Is my baby sister having lust issues?”
“Oh, no!” Dawn replied quickly. “I was at a wedding.”
“Whose?” Buffy’s eyes narrowed.
“Well… yours actually.” Dawn gulped nervously. She didn’t recognise the expression on her sisters’ face, but it didn’t look encouraging. She quickly changed the subject somewhat. “Mom was there.”
“She was?” Buffy’s face brightened.
“Uh-huh. But not really. Every so often I’d catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. Of course, with it being dark it made things a bit more confused. You know, magical moonlight.”
“But I saw her a couple of times. She stood by you, and one time she held my hand. I felt it, but when I looked around there was no-one there. Then I saw her next to you again, then she put her hand on your shoulder, and the other on Spike’s.”
“That was at the reception right?” Buffy questioned in a tight voice.
“No… the, uh, ceremony.”
“I was marrying Spike?”
“Thank god you don’t go in for prophecy dreams.” Buffy said in a tone that explained that this subject was closed.
Spike had overheard the last few minutes of conversation. He had much the same image in his mind. He had even considered the options for best man. Ok, they were limited to Xander, and dragging his sire back from LA for the big day. He would have liked to lord it over Angel, but maybe it wasn’t right for the bride’s ex to be best man, but he had woke up that morning determined to try to get on better with the whelp, for Buffy’s sake. Except of course, he knew it had just been a dream, but hope had returned when he had heard that Dawn had dreamed of he and Buffy marrying.
That hope had just been shot down in flames when he heard Buffy’s last comment in such a cold hard tone.
He slunk down to the basement, which had been converted to a work-out room for Buffy to train in. He spent four hours imagining that the punching bag was alternately the faces of Angel and Riley and anyone else Buffy had dated. He could never bring himself to hate the Slayer for not loving him, but he could find great amount of hatred for those who actually received her love.
“SPIKE! This time I am really gonna KILL YOU!”
“Calm down, pet.” Spike looked nervously around, checking for exits. The only way out of the basement was the way the Slayer had just come in, or out of a window into broad daylight. By the look on her face the sunlight exit was beginning to sound like a good idea.
“And for the last time, my name is Buffy. Not Slayer. Not Pet. Buffy. Bu-ffy. B-U-F-F-Y. Got it?”
“You don’t really look like a Buffy. At times I think you look like a Sarah, or maybe a Michelle… maybe you could change your name.” He responded helpfully.
“Don’t change the subject!” Buffy yelled, her face pink with anger.
“Ok.” He agreed quickly. Anything to appease her right now. Man did she look pissed. And beautiful. Even angry she was magnificent. “How can I stop you killing me?”
“By going back in time and not helping with the laundry, and not leaving your red shirt in the washer.”
“I’ll take it out.” He said hurriedly.
“It’s too late now. Every white item of clothing I own is now pink.”
“Pink’s a good colour on you.” The moment it was out of his mouth he knew that that wasn’t a very soothing comment to someone as brassed off as the Slayer was now, but he couldn’t help adding, “At least it will all match now.” She glared at him, but he couldn’t seem to stop his idiot mouth from running. “Tetchy aren’t you? You’re not supposed to be grumpy this week. See?” he pointed to the calendar. “Last week was PMS week.”
“You think this is funny do you?” She said, launching herself at him.
Spike, anticipating her move, quickly started running, hoping to lure her away from the door, and then double back up the stairs to the kitchen where there would be weapons to defend himself. Or maybe just run to his room. Whichever was quicker.
His plan nearly worked, he got halfway up the stairs before Buffy grabbed his foot. He tripped, landed on his hands and jumped up again wriggling out of her grasp. He managed to take one more step before Buffy barrelled into him again. He lost his balance, and turned to cushion her fall.
His back and head took a good bruising as he and Buffy fell onto the stairs. She lay on top of him, breathing more heavily than usual.
“Ow.” He managed to utter.
“Are you ok?” Her hair had fallen into her eyes, he reached up with one hand to gently tuck it behind her ear, his other hand slid over her back of its own accord.
One of her hands tentatively moved to touch his face, but never made it before she realised what she was doing. Her hand paused mid air, she could see in his eyes that he wanted her, her fingertips grazed his cheekbone.
Spike was unable to speak. She was in his arms, and not fighting it. His hand was still in her hair, his thumb traced the contours of her cheek. Now would be the time to tell her that he loved her. But he said nothing, unwilling to break the spell.
A door slammed upstairs signalling that Dawn was home… or that the Summers’ house was being invaded by sunshine-friendly demons. Either way the spell was broken. Buffy flinched backwards then jumped to her feet so vigorously that had Spike’s hand not shot out and grabbed her wrist she would have fallen backwards down the steps.
“Thanks. Um. Sorry.” She clambered over him and shot up the stairs as if the devil was following her.
Spike slowly got to his feet and limped up to his room to ponder what just went on.
Buffy was also in her room. That comment about PMS week had struck her as important. She took her small diary out of the drawer in her bedside table, flipping quickly through the pages to the week that was marked by a small red dot.
She thought Spike might be right about her period being due last week. No dots. Spike was wrong.
She flipped back one more week. Spike was wrong, she wasn’t late by one week. She was late by two.
I’m crap at writing fight scenes. I apologise in advance. If anyone wants to rewrite that part, go ahead.
“Ok, I’ll do a sweep tonight.” Buffy told Giles over the phone.
“You may need back up, Buffy. This amulet is quite powerful, and all demons in this town are aware of your strength, they may well be out in force tonight.” Giles told her, a note of parental concern in his voice.
“I’ll be fine by myself.” She told him. She did not want to patrol with Spike tonight, not after what happened—almost happened—in the basement this afternoon.
“All the same, being prepared couldn’t hurt. Why don’t you take Spike, the two of you seem to make a very capable team.”
Giles was now aiming for a Buffy/Spike relationship? “Why is everyone going on about this all of a sudden?” She snapped. “First Dawn, now you. WE. ARE. HOUSE. MATES. Nothing else. And for your information, we wouldn’t make a good couple. He… he…” she tried to think of several reasons why she and Spike wouldn’t work. “He has horrible taste in music… and… and… smelly feet… weird huh? Who’d have thunk vamps could have smelly feet, but then again, they have bad breath, so—”
“Buffy.” Giles interjected. “I merely said that taking Spike on patrol with you tonight would be safer. I did not say—or even insinuate—that the two of you should embark on a romantic debacle culminating in marriage.”
“Marriage? Who said anything about marriage?” Buffy’s voice had taken a high-pitched panicked tone.
Buffy tried to gather her wits. She had just embarrassed herself to her watcher. It wasn’t the first time, and probably not the last, but that wasn’t much of consolation. “Sorry, Giles.” She said meekly. “I didn’t sleep well last night, and with coffee I’ve kind of gone hyper.”
“Any dreams to report?” He asked reasonably.
“You don’t have to come you know.” Buffy told him as they walked to the cemetery.
“Slayer, I have nothing better to do, and you’re watcher said that the nasties were out in force tonight. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to vamps and their sacred bloody amulets.” And despite the awkwardness right now, I will still do anything to be in your company. He silently added.
“I suppose you’d know.” She responded. “After all, didn’t you steal something sacred to restore Drusilla back to vampy evilness? Nearly killed Angel in the process.” Buffy couldn’t work out why she was so angry with Spike. He hadn’t really done anything. She hadn’t minded him stroking her hair and back when they fell onto the basement stairs. In fact, she had enjoyed it, and she had come so close to responding before she heard the door slam.
But she wasn’t over Riley yet, she knew that. His visit, followed by a disappearing act had knocked her for six. And she was just probably responding to Spike’s affections because she was vulnerable and needy right now.
They reached the crypt. Buffy pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket. “Giles says we’re looking for this.” She showed him the print-out that Willow had done for her. “I don’t know what it does, Giles told me but I was thinking about—” she caught herself just in time. She was about to blurt out that she was thinking about being pregnant. She didn’t know for sure yet, it could just be the upset of Riley leaving that had made her late.
Spike assumed she was about to say she had been thinking about this afternoon. He was somewhat uncomfortable about what happened. He knew she didn’t love him, and really didn’t need to be told that. He quickly started to talk to save them both the embarrassment.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve read about that one. The Amulet of Akyetna. Akyetna died tragically, her husband couldn’t deal with her death so he brought her back from the dead. Only she came back half crazed and incredibly powerful. She killed everyone in the village, saving only her family. She then tortured them to death, painfully and slowly. She used to wear the amulet as a brooch, after her death her husband fashioned it into a necklace and was wearing it when he brought her back. Anyone who has it can try and resurrect Akyetna.”
“Nice.” Buffy said as they searched the mausoleum, glad of the subject change. “Glad all these instruments of chaos are just left lying around in Sunnydale Cemetery, where we have no shortage of the insane undead jonesing for homicidal hi-jinks.”
“Got it, we’re one up already.” He held the amulet aloft to show her, then pocketed it as the walked out into the cemetery. “And even if we weren’t, none of the vamps around here have the magickal know-how to bring her back.”
“Now you’ve jinxed us. There’s bound to be a Big Bad new it town, just dying to—duck!”
Spike ducked instantly and Buffy lashed out at the vamp behind him. Spike took a quick look round. Only three, not armed, dressed like ponces though, big floaty Dracula type capes.
He lunged for the nearest one and sent him flying headfirst into the stone wall of a nearby mausoleum. Spike reached for his stake, and was amazed to see the vamp was already getting up.
Buffy had already dusted her vamp, which just left two. One each shouldn’t be too difficult. He noticed between punches that Buffy wasn’t engaging in her usual banter with the vamps… and that she seemed to be losing.
Buffy’s vamp lifted her up by her throat and pinned her against the wall of the crypt. “Sod it.” Spike muttered. He flung his vamp away, unable to dust it and ran up to Buffy’s vamp, staking it in the back.
The vamp turned to dust and Buffy collapsed to the ground, wheezing.
“You ok?” he asked.
She nodded getting to her feet. “One left. Let’s get him.”
The last vamp, a mere fledgling by the looks of things, was obviously debating whether to run or not. He looked from Buffy to Spike and decided quickly. He would have got off to a great head start had it not been for his big poncey cape. Spike grabbed the tail end of it and jerked the vamp backwards so hard he lost balance and tumbled down at Buffy’s feet.
What happened next was greatly unexpected for all parties. Buffy let out an enormous belch and vomited over the minion. She backed away in embarrassment.
“Good thing I’m gonna dust you, mate.” Spike told the vamp. “I wouldn’t fancy the dry-cleaning for this cape. What are you, a Dracula fan? He’s dead, she killed him.” He pointed to slayer, who’s face was changing colours, going from green, to red. He staked the vamp and went over to where the slayer now stood.
“That was great, luv.” He said enthusiastically. “Haven’t seen puking like that since The Exorcist.”
“It’s not funny, Spike.”
“I’m sorry, but did you see the vamp’s face? Priceless!”
“Shut up. I don’t feel great.”
He looked at her, seeing for the first time how that her face had turned an alarming white colour. “Are you ok, pet?” He asked. She nodded, her hand over her mouth. “Let’s get you home.” He moved to put an arm around her to assist, but she held up one finger, stopping him.
What now? More rejection, I was only going to help. It’s not like I’d be copping a feel. His self-pity stopped when Buffy leant behind a tombstone and threw up again.
“Must have been something I ate.” She said weakly, getting up. He noticed she was shivering in the cool night air, so he slipped off his duster and helped her into it. She smiled and gratefully took his arm as they made their way home.
“It could have just been a bad reaction to those capes they were all wearing. If I could puke, I probably would have.” He told her reassuringly.
“They were all fledglings though, isn’t that weird—not the capes, but that they went after something old and useful?”
“Or not. I hear Harmony’s back in town.”
“I can see it now.” The slayer smiled slightly. “Harmony dressing them up like Dracula and sending them out to do deep dark deeds.”
“All the same,” said Spike. “I’d better check it was her before we dismiss it as Harmony’s delusions of higher power.”
“I feel too icky to go to her lair and be surrounded by all that pink and those unicorn things she likes so much. I may puke again.”
Spike chuckled and tightened his arm around her. “I’ll drop the amulet at Giles’ and then I’ll go see Harmony. You can go straight to bed.”
“I should imagine you’re right, Spike.” Giles polished his glasses to take a closer look at the amulet. “It does seem a rather tacky operation in comparison to the usual demon activity.”
“Giles! You’ve become a demon-snob!” Spike said with a grin.
“Well, that’s understandable. When one lives on a Hellmouth, one expects a certain style or flair in their dealings with the local fiends.”
“If it helps at all, we were just as tacky. Buffy threw up on one of them… actually, nothing compares to the tackiness of those cloaks.”
“Buffy was ill?” Giles questioned with a note of parental concern.
“A couple of times, once on the vamp and—”
“I don’t need the specifics, Spike.”
“The slayer was a bit weak and trembly. She might be coming down with one of those twenty-four hour things… although she was fine this afternoon.” He added.
“These things can come on suddenly. I trust you’ll be willing to take over patrolling until she is well again?”
“No problem. Do you need my help with the amulet?”
“No, no. Willow and Tara will be here tomorrow to magickally seal it, so no harm can come of it any longer.”
“Then I’ll be off to Harmony’s.”
“Thank you, Spike.”
“Spike?” Buffy heard someone creeping past her door. She was still tucked up in bed, but was feeling better and fancied some company.
“It’s just me.” Dawn’s voice came through the door. “Are you ok?”
“You can come in if you like.”
“You’re not all germy are you? I don’t want to catch anything.”
“No, it was something I ate.”
Dawn entered the room and sat on Buffy’s bed. “You’re sure I won’t catch it?”
“Uh-huh. I feel much better now.”
“How did the slaying go?”
“Oh great. I think Harmony’s got herself some new minions. I threw up on one.”
“You vomed on a vamp? That’s great!” Dawn laughed.
“I’m glad you and Spike find it so funny. I find it kind of embarrassing.”
“Oh, I can see that. Heaving on the evil undead must be very humiliating.”
Buffy glared at her, then her face softened into a smile. “It was kind of funny, you should’ve seen the vamp’s face. He never saw it coming… hell, I didn’t.”
Spike paced anxiously outside Buffy’s door. Working up the courage to knock.
“Just come in already, you’re wearing a hole in the carpet.” Buffy called to him through the door.
Spike fingered the gift for Buffy as he walked through the door. He knew it would get an extreme reaction, one that might even cost him her friendship, but he had to do this. He held it out to her wordlessly.
“What’s this?” she asked. “I’ve already had a present for being ill, and, of course, my daily present, so what’s this?”
She took the long thin box from him and shook it. “Doesn’t feel heavy. Can’t be jewellery. I’m impressed with your attempts at wrapping it too, only half the amount of sticky-tape the average male uses.”
“Just open it.” He hadn’t meant for the words to come out so sharply.
“Ok.” She gave him and odd look and slid her fingernail under the tape and pulled out the gift. “What is this?” Her face hardened as he’d expected. “What the hell is this?” She repeated in a dangerous tone.
“It’s a pregnancy test.” He replied cautiously. Thank the Gods—it doesn’t matter which ones!—I decided to do this at night, at least I won’t be bursting in to flames when she kicks me out.
“And you’re giving me this why?”
“Because you haven’t bought one yet. And you need to.”
“Don’t tell me what I need to do, Spike!” She snapped. “How dare you do this?”
“Slay—Buffy, you’ve been throwing up almost every evening for the past two weeks. It can’t be a virus. You need to do this.”
“Why? Slayers can’t get pregnant.”
“No. Slayers generally don’t get pregnant. It doesn’t mean that you can’t. And besides, there have been two or three before you.”
“Spike! Shut up! I’m not pregnant!” She shouted.
“Am I completely off-base with this?” He responded angrily. “Did you and Riley use contraception?”
“That’s none of your business!”
“You’re right, it isn’t any of my business, but if you did use contraception, what’s the big deal in saying so?”
“GET OUT!” She screamed. “Get out of my house! I don’t want you here!”
Spike went, hoping and praying that somehow they’d look back on this day and laugh.
“Here you go, Spike, Sunnydale’s finest O-neg.” Xander handed Spike a blue plastic toddler mug, complete with a lid to drink through. Spike raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. He hadn’t known where to go after Buffy threw him out. He’d bumped into Xander in the street, on an errand for Anya. Xander had invited him to spend a few days on their couch until he sorted himself out—or Buffy forgave him—whichever happened first.
“Anya doesn’t want Michael seeing blood around the house.” Xander indicated the mug. “I know he’s only tiny, but it was easier to do this that fight with her about it. You know Anya.”
“Thanks mate. I, uh… appreciate this.” Spike found the words came easier than anticipated. They all knew how Anya was about her three-month-old son, she had read every book she could find about child rearing and was obsessive about doing everything right… and everyone had to admit, she was doing a wonderful job.
“Well, it’s the least I could do after you…” Xander tailed off. Xander and Anya had been jumped by vamps a month or so before she was due to have Michael. Spike had seen and dispatched the vamps, he also managed to catch Anya when a vamp tried to slam her into a wall, something that would have almost certainly cost her the baby.
“That was nothing. I told you. I was in the right place at the right time.” Spike said quickly, he wasn’t in the mood to bond with Xander over a piece of luck. Although he could honestly say he no longer disliked him.
“So what did Buffy throw you out for?” He asked, seeing Spike looked uncomfortable.
“I, uh… Let’s just say I overstepped the mark.” Spike replied shortly, not wanting to get into it. Xander looked as if he wanted more details, but luckily Anya made an entrance.
“Xander, you must sing to Michael.” She stated. “I’ve sung to him for three nights in a row. I don’t want him to feel rejected by you. Michael must form equal bonds with both of us, he can’t like me more. It will cause friction in our marriage and eventually end in divorce.”
Spike raised his eyebrows, but managed to keep a straight face.
“I’ll be right there, An.” Xander said, getting to his feet.
“Hello, Spike.” Anya turned her attention to him. “You too may sing to Michael if you wish, but only after Xander. I will not have our child confused.”
“Maybe tomorrow night.” He told her. “I think tonight it should just be you and Xander singing. It will just confuse him if I sing too.” Humour her, it will make life easier.
To his amusement Anya beamed at him. “At last! Someone who understands the importance of bonding.” She glared at Xander, making sure he knew that the comment was directed at him.
“Anya, I never said that bonding wasn’t important.” He reminded her. “I said that my singing wasn’t the best way to do it. I’m going to tell him a story.”
Anya smiled slightly. “Make sure there are no rabbits and no slaying in the story.” She called after him.
Later, when Spike was curled up on the sofa bed he thought about the earlier scene he had enjoyed it immensely. He could imagine he and Buffy would be like that, should they ever get together, which seemed unlikely since she wasn’t even talking to him.
An hour later he still wasn’t asleep, which made sense, he was nocturnal after all… it had nothing to do with the fact that the confrontation with Buffy was playing in his head on a loop. He decided to go for a walk to clear his head.
A few blocks away the slayer was also awake. She had considered going out on patrol, but she was too distracted, and distraction could end up with injury, so she stayed put.
She wriggled again trying to get comfortable, when she realised that sleep was not going to come easy tonight she switched on her bedside lamp. Her gaze fell on the pregnancy test that Spike had bought her. The anger she felt earlier came flowing back, this time, however, it was directed at herself.
Spike had been right. She had needed to buy a test. She was three weeks late now. And puking almost every evening. Typical Slayer perversity, she thought. I get morning sickness in the evening.
She reached out for the test hesitantly. Buffy noticed her hands were shaking. “Get over it.” She said out loud. “Nothing scary, just a cardboard box covered in cellophane. Pick it up. You’ve faced scarier than this.”
She doubted the last sentence. She couldn’t imagine anything scarier than being a single mother, living with her younger sister and a vampire, without even her own mother to lend advice and support.
So what she could dust vamps and pummel demons with ease? What good was all that slayer strength when she was pregnant? If she was pregnant.
“Only one way to find out.” She whispered, wishing that Dawn had not stayed at her friends’ house tonight.
Right now she needed someone.
Right now she wanted Spike.
Buffy wished she smoked. That way she’d have something to do right now, instead of staring intently at the little window on the test. Waiting to see if a little blue line appeared. If she smoked she would have to go outside and smoke, and by the time she came back the time would have elapsed and a blue line would either be there or it wouldn’t.
She checked her watch again. Only thirty seconds? How is that even possible, is the bathroom in a different time zone to the rest of Sunnydale?
“I’m going for a cigarette.” She told the pregnancy test. “You be ready by the time I get back.” She paused at the door. “Not that I want to influence your decision or anything, but you know, if you came up negative, I’d be kinda grateful.”
She walked out of the bathroom, ok, so she didn’t smoke, but she felt better being away from the test. She checked her watch again, one minute had passed. Only two more to go. Except the previous minute had lasted for hours in her opinion.
Right, I will smoke. She thought decisively. I’m stressed, I’m entitled. Spike must have some cigarettes around somewhere. She felt guilty going into his room, but told herself it was her house, it did little to make her feel better. She was relieved that he had left a pack on his bedside table, she took one out and left the room as she found it.
She paused in the kitchen to pick up a box of matches. The box read:
She sat down on the top step to the porch outside her front door and sucked hard on the unlit cigarette. “Why do people do this?” She wondered aloud. “It’s not exactly calming.”
“You might get a better effect if you lit it.” A British voice suggested. Buffy, already somewhat frazzled, nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the voice come out of nowhere.
“Sorry, pet.” Spike said appearing from behind a tree. “Didn’t mean to startle you. I was going to leave you alone, but you looked so…” He tailed off. “I’ll go, I’m sorry.”
“No, stay.” She asked in small voice, then in a slightly stronger voice, “what are you doing here anyway?”
“Interestingly enough, I ran out of smokes. Though I left a pack here.” He plucked the cigarette out of her fingers and lit it. “Thought I’d come by when no-one was around and pick them up. What are you doing out here?” He asked, taking a seat next to her.
“Waiting to find out if I’m pregnant.”
Spike almost made a wisecrack, but though better of it. “Want company?”
She took his hand and smiled at him. “I’m sorry, Spike. You were right.”
“It’s ok, luv.”
“No it’s not.” She gave him another tense smile. “You were right, and I didn’t want to admit it.”
“That’s understandable, pet. It doesn’t often happen I’m right.” He stubbed out his cigarette and squeezed her hand. “Now, shall we go and find out if that fight was worth it?”
“You look.” She said, “I can’t.”
“What am I looking for?” He asked.
“A blue line, you idiot.” Buffy snapped at him.
“Easy, pet. It’s not like us vamps have much call for these things.”
“Sorry.” Buffy cursed herself for snapping at him. All she seemed to do recently was apologise for her behaviour to Spike. “So what does it say?”
“There’s, uh, two blue lines,” he answered slowly. “Are you having twins?”
Buffy let out a short squeak of hysterical laughter. “No, Spike. There’s one line to show it’s working and the other one means…” The laughter stopped dead. “I’m pregnant? I don’t want to be pregnant, Spike. I’m only just getting used to life without a mom, I don’t want to be a Mom. I’m not ready.”
Her face crumpled visibly, and the tears began to flow as she repeated, “I’m not ready.”
Spike took her in his arms and tried to comfort her as best he could, after a few minutes he picked her up and carried her to her bedroom. He tucked her into bed and sat down, stroking her hair.
“I can’t do this, Spike. I’m too young to be a mother… I can’t, I just can’t.”
“Shh, pet. We don’t have to talk about this right now. You get some rest, let it sink in, and I’ll be here the minute you need to talk.” He got up to go to his own room.
“Stay with me?” She asked in a meek voice. “I don’t want to be on my own.”
“Ok, pet.” She turned out the light, he removed most of his clothing and climbed in next to her, making sure he stayed on his own side of the bed. What the slayer doesn’t need right now is a somewhat infatuated vampire invading her personal sleeping space, he told himself, so he was surprised when she snuggled up to him.
Who’d have bloody thought, this is what it takes to get the slayer to spend the night with me!
Buffy woke up slightly confused. She was snuggled in someone’s arms, for a moment she thought it was Riley, then realising how cold the skin on those arms were she thought it was Angel, she twisted around slightly and saw the bleached blonde head sharing a pillow with her. Spike? I spent the night with Spike? She was alarmed at how oddly comforting that thought was.
The ‘f’ word is used a couple of times, so close your tender ears if it offends!
“I can’t keep it.” She directed the comment into her coffee mug rather than at Spike.
“Why not?” He asked, rummaging in the cupboards for the box of Wheatabix he’d hidden away from Dawn, while his blood heated in the microwave. “You’re not the first Slayer to get up the duff, you know.”
“So what? They probably had boyfriends.”
“Oh no.” He replied earnestly. “Not all of them, some died.”
“Oh, wonderful.” The slayer snapped at him. “That’s just great! I should be thankful I don’t have a boyfriend to support me, some bastard vamp might kill him!”
“Yeah, and then you’d be all alone… except for your sister, the lover-wiccas, Anya and Xander… and me…” His voice had quivered alarmingly on the last sentiment, he covered it by quickly adding, “And don’t forget about your watcher… the council might help too.”
“The Watchers Council!” she spat out in disgust.
He waited to see if it was a stand-alone statement or if there were more insults to follow. When none came he continued, “You’ve got a lot of people that care about you. There’s no reason you can’t have the baby.”
“Except for I don’t WANT the god-damned thing!” She snapped at him and slammed out of the kitchen.
“Could’ve gone worse,” he muttered to himself and went back to his search for the Wheatabix.
After breakfast he went to his room, the only place in the house he was allowed to smoke. He had considered dropping into the basement to continue his conversation, but deduced that it probably wasn’t a good idea when he heard the thumps and crashes as Buffy beat the hell out of her training equipment.
It hadn’t occurred to him that she wouldn’t want it. Ever since he could remember, even when they were mortal enemies, she had always talked about wanting a normal life. Now she had been given the chance of having something normal and she wasn’t interested.
He didn’t get it. She’d been getting all ooshy over Michael whenever she saw him, she mothered Dawn to the point of suffocation, and now she could have a child of her own she didn’t want it?
Except Spike got the feeling that she did want it. The trick was now to let Buffy work that out. Without getting too close. He didn’t want his feelings to confuse hers. He’d made a solid effort to keep a distance so she could work out her feelings towards this child. She deserved this baby, and she did want it, she just didn’t know it yet.
… His good intentions had nothing to do with his little fantasy of playing Daddy to Buffy’s child.
Buffy pummelled the punching-bag, imagining it was Riley’s head. Sometimes it was Spike’s. Again, she was furious with him and couldn’t work out why. She knew why she hated Riley at this moment. He had simply humped and dumped her, to coin a phrase. Of course, impregnating her was a nice touch. It was a kind of payback for her not opening up to him and loving him the way he wanted. When he came back she though she’d have a second chance… turned out it was just revenge.
And Spike! What was his problem? He’d spent the night with her, he’d held her all night and made her feel safe and… nothing. He didn’t seem any different to her. He was just Spike. She thought that they’d shared something. An understanding without sex, she’d never felt like that before.
She didn’t love him, he was Spike after all. He had smelly feet, and a habit of drinking blood and smoking in bed. Sometimes at the same time, which was gross. But despite all of his Spike-y trademarks, he had been there for her. And now she felt something the hadn’t felt for awhile. Needy. She needed Spike, and he didn’t seem to need her.
Minutes later the punching bag flew off its supports.
“What’s up with you?” Dawn asked, grabbing a cloth to mop up the juice Buffy had just spilled without even realising.
“Huh? Me. Sure.” Her sister replied automatically. “What?”
“What. Is. Up. With. You?” Dawn questioned slowly, wondering if her sister had inhaled too much vamp dust. “On a strangeness scale of one to ten you just hit a ninety-three.”
“What?” The slayer repeated.
“You! You’ve been acting weird for weeks. You’re throwing up, you spend hours just staring into space, you keep humming dippy love songs and you’re getting really clumsy… and that’s my job! What’s up?”
“Nothing.” Her sister still had that faraway look in her eyes.
“Fine, don’t tell me! I already know.” Dawn raised one eyebrow with a knowing look on her face.
Buffy snapped back to reality. “How do you know?” She asked weakly.
“Give me some credit,” Dawn smiled. “It’s obvious when you think about it.”
“Uh-huh.” It wasn’t exactly difficult to work out. Riley appears, a couple of weeks later she throws up, still, Buffy wasn’t over-keen on sharing the details, not when she was so confused herself. Dawn would side with Spike, she loved babies and couldn’t wait to have one of her own. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”
“You think I’ll tell everyone.” The younger Summers looked hurt.
“It’s not that!” Buffy protested. “I’m just confused. I don’t know what to do.”
“I think you should tell him.” Dawn asserted. “It’s best if it’s out in the open.”
“Tell Riley?” Strangely the though had not occurred to her.
“Duh! No way!” Dawn looked positively horrified.
“Isn’t that what you meant?” Buffy felt like she was missing out on something. Something huge.
“Tell Riley you love Spike? No way! Tell Spike you love him.”
“Spike!? Wait—I—hang on!” What the hell is going on? Buffy wondered, cursing her sisters’ overactive imagination.
“I know.” Dawn patted her hand affectionately. “You’re still confused. I won’t say a word to anyone. I just knew you were in love with Spike, that’s why you’re acting weird.” Dawn bounded out of the kitchen, humming a Spice Girl tune joyfully.
“Ungf.” Was all Buffy could say. She rubbed her temples. Dawn thought she was in love with Spike? That was awful… well, not awful, just not right. It wouldn’t be bad if she was in love with Spike, but she wasn’t. She told herself this several times sternly.
She should go after Dawn and correct her… then what? Tell her that she was pregnant. Maybe it would just make life easier if she let Dawn think that, rather than explain her condition. And get bullied into keeping the baby.
Yes, life would be far simpler if she didn’t correct Dawn.
“What’re you grinning about, Sugar-bits?” Spike asked, as Dawn entered his room uninvited. He was used to these intrusions, and on occasion, looked forward to them.
“You.” She replied, grinning wider.
“Me? And why would that be?” He lit a cigarette and indicated that she could sit down on his bed.
“‘Cos my sister is in love with you.” She sat down next to him.
“Go away.” He gave her a gentle shove back off the bed.
“I don’t think you heard me. Go away.” He didn’t want to listen to Dawn’s excited ramblings, it would crumble his resolve to keep away from the slayer emotionally. And get his hopes up only to have them crushed horrible when she knocked him back.
“I thought you’d be pleased.”
“What’s happening in Dawson’s Creek?” He asked in an attempt to change the subject when it became apparent that Dawn wasn’t leaving.
“Oh, it’s dead boring. Dawson is analysing his feelings for Jen way too much. Joey and Drew are happy, which is weird, ‘cos, like, when is Joey ever happy? Pacey is—hey! Don’t change the subject!”
Spike sighed loudly and rolled his eyes at her. “If we’re not going to talk Dawson’s Creek you might as well go away.”
“Fine!” She huffed, getting up and walking to the door, she paused. “It’s just she told me so herself… but if you don’t ca—”
“Have a seat.” He fluffed up a pillow invitingly for her.
“What’s this I hear about you having naughty feelings about a certain tall, blonde, undead hottie?” Willow asked with a gleam in her eye.
“What?” Buffy was stunned by Dawn’s ability to take a couple of words and twist them into an entirely new subject.
“You know, lovely cheekbones, smokes like a chimney, British accent…”
“I know who you mean. What’s Dawn said?” It looked as if it was going to be a long afternoon. She and Willow had met up to have coffee and catch up as they hadn’t spent quality best-friend time recently.
“Only that you were nuts about him. Humming dumb songs, staring away into the distance…” Willow noticed the Slayer’s angry glare. “Hey, it’s ok.” She added hurriedly. “I did all of that too when Tara and I were just getting together. It’s nice. That warm ooshy feeling… It is nice, isn’t it?”
Buffy gaped at her wordlessly. What could she say to that? If she admitted she wasn’t in love with Spike she’d have to explain the weird behaviour. Willow would put on her ‘resolve face’ and Buffy would be forced to tell the whole sorry story. She bit her lip thoughtfully. And came up with nothing. She couldn’t think of a single thing to say. No lies sprung to mind, besides she couldn’t lie to her best friend.
“You have a guilty look.” The witch observed.
“Uh-huh. But you shouldn’t.”
“I shouldn’t?” Buffy wished she could formulate sentences of her own, instead of just mimicking Willow’s.
“No way. You shouldn’t feel guilty. You moved on with your life, you’re supposed to. You can’t walk around worrying about the problems you had with Riley, or even Angel, Spike’s different.”
“What would Angel think?” She wondered aloud.
“Pff!” Willow waved that thought away. “You can’t be together, you can’t be friends ‘cos of all that love stuff. He understands. You’ve got to move on… seize the day! You told me that once.”
“But Spike’s a vampire.” Buffy came up with her last excuse against dating Spike.
“So was Angel.”
“Yeah, but Angel had a soul. He was different.”
“Yeah, he was forced to atone for his bad deeds because of a soul, Spike doesn’t have to. He wants to. For you.” Willow spelled it out slowly for her friend, knowing that she was fighting this every step of the way. “Besides,” she continued. “When Angel went all ‘grrr’” She pulled a face emphasising her teeth. “Mass bloodshed. Angel is only good with a soul. Spike doesn’t need one of those, not while he has you.”
Buffy was taken aback. She had never thought of it that way. She had only ever seen him as a vampire, a bit better than the rest of the motley crew. Willow was right. Spike was far better than Angel. She felt guilty for thinking he was less of a man than Angel, that he wasn’t really good enough to be around her friends and family.
Again she had misjudged Spike.
Willow smiled at her friends’ look. Dawn hadn’t really said anything that didn’t confirm her suspicions. She had noticed a bond between the slayer and the blonde vampire that had grown since Riley left. Buffy just needed a nudge in the right direction.
“Tuesday, ten-thirty? I’ll be there. Yes, Summers, as in the season, only with an ‘s’. Thank you.”
Buffy hung up the phone. She felt faintly sick, although it wasn’t the usual morning sickness. She had been to the doctor, who had confirmed that she was two months pregnant. He had given her the necessary information about the clinic. She had made the appointment, her child would be aborted in four days at ten-thirty. It was the earliest time she could get.
The sooner the better. She told herself. I can’t be a pregnant slayer. I just can’t. If I had a normal life then maybe…
Uh-huh. No maybes. She didn’t want to think about this blob of cells in her as a baby, because then her resolve would crumble.
She was still trying to deal with the fact that she had thanked the girl on the other end of the phone who had made the appointment to kill her ba—mass of cells. Abort, not kill. It wasn’t really alive yet.
She slowly made her way upstairs and to her room. She only got halfway there before the tears began to fall. She ran the rest of the way, slammed her door and flung herself on her bed as if she was a kid again.
She almost expected her Mom to come rushing in and either bawl her out for slamming the door and cracking the woodwork with her slayer strength, or take her in her arms and make everything right again.
“Why’d you have to die?” She whispered through her sobs. “I need you.” She desperately needed her Mom to come in and give her advice, say all those comforting things that Spike was trying to say, but not succeeding.
She fixed her gaze on the photo of herself and her Mom, taken not long after they’d moved to Sunnydale. “If you were here, maybe I could keep it.”
“Or maybe not, what kind of a mother would I make, if I still need my own so much?”
The photo made no answer, but began to blur as a fresh load of tears began to fall.
Spike heard the sobbing coming from Buffy’s room when he got back from a quick trip to Harmony’s via the sewers. He had bribed the irritating vampire one hundred bucks, a pack of cigarettes—she still didn’t like them, but she thought they when well with her image—a zippo lighter—also good for the image—, a five pound note that someone had given Giles in a busy period at the Magic Shop, who in turn had passed it on to Spike—‘ooh pretty, not like our money’—and a promise to get her the next unicorn statue that came into the Magic Shop that she would leave Buffy alone for awhile.
He also gave her a stern telling off about trying to steal the amulet of Akyetna, she was getting above her station, she made a terrible vampire, why didn’t she find a hobby to occupy her time, like sunbathing perhaps?
They parted after a spat of name-calling (he was slayer-whipped and she was still just a Chordette, she would never be head of the gang), and he headed back to Buffy’s.
He was debating whether he should go in and comfort the Slayer. It would go against his vow to keep his distance… but then after Dawn’s revelation the other day maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
He knocked on the door and went in without waiting for a response. He had never seen the Slayer so upset. The tears after Riley’s departure were nothing compared to the torrent that flowed down her face now.
“Pet, uh… Buffy?”
She didn’t answer, she merely held her arms up, like a child asking to be picked up. He took her in his arms and rocked her soothingly.
An unknown amount of time passed before Spike said, “Shh, pet. You’re going to make yourself sick.”
“Yeah? It’s about time, I haven’t vomed for a good three hours.” She joked back weakly, her breath still hitching.
“What’s all this about? Has something happened?” He asked.
“I miss Mom.”
“Oh.” Spike was speechless, as most people are when faced with the topic of death of a loved one. He was relieved when Buffy continued.
“She’d help, or yell, or something. She’d say Mom-things.”
“I’m sorry she’s not here.” He said quietly, and it was true. Of all the Summers’ women, Joyce had been the first to be kind to him.
“Me too.” She snuggled closer to him, enjoying the feeling of the coolness of his skin against her hot head. “What’s this?” She asked, feeling a bump in his top pocket of his duster.
“Gift of the day.” He said with mild embarrassment. “It’s silly, felt a real fool buying it.”
“Can I see?”
“It’s daft.” He replied, “Maybe another time.”
“C’mon. I need cheering up.”
He handed her the gift in the brown paper bag, somewhat reluctantly. She slid her hand in and pulled out a pair of yellow booties.
She stood up, and stared at them. Her first thought was, So tiny. Her second was pure rage that she was in no fit state to keep her baby.
“What the hell is this?” She demanded angrily. “Why did you buy them?”
Spike looked quickly at the door, hoping to escape, their previous argument had been resolved all to quickly, he doubted it could happen again. He’d hated the angry feelings between them, even if they’d only lasted a couple of hours.
“I told you it was a stupid gift.” He responded lightly, trying not to use any tone that would anger her more. “I’ll get rid of them. I’m sorry.”
“Stop bringing me things! You can’t buy my love!” She spat out nastily.
“I’m sorry, pet. It was meant to cheer you up.”
“Cheer me up?” She repeated incredulously. “How the hell will it cheer me up if I’m getting rid of the fucking thing?”
“You’re… what?” He spluttered, unable to think of her deliberately ending the life of her baby.
“You heard.” She said coldly. “Tuesday, ten-thirty, and it’s all over. Which means I won’t be needing these!” She threw the booties at him.
“Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body, Spike!”
“How can you?”
“Easy. I don’t want to be pregnant. I don’t want a baby. I’m having an abortion! I’m happy with my life as it is, I don’t want anything new in it. You or a baby!”
Spike came very close to striding over to Buffy and literally beating some sense into her. Instead he went in the other direction, out of the door, only pausing to shout, “I thought Slayers were supposed to protect lives, not end them prematurely.”
He slammed the door so hard that a picture fell off the wall. He regretted his last comment the moment it left his mouth, but her remarks about him trying to buy her love had wounded him deeply and he hadn’t been able to stop himself from responding.
Dedicated to Kass Shakespeare, for a) coming up with a great challenge and b) emailing me on a regular basis, reminding to finish this. And for also being lovely enough not to hate me for not replying (I hope). I’m sorry, I’m not allowed much net time, my beloved and I can’t afford it.
Buffy checked her watch. It was official, she had been awake for twenty-two hours. Sleep was not going to happen. She stared at the book she had been ‘reading’ for the last nine hours. She had turned five pages and absorbed none of it in that time.
She dropped it to the floor, where the spine broke. This brought more tears. And here was me thinking I’d run out. Five and a half hours until I kill my baby.
She had been unable to think of her child as a mass of cells for the last twenty-four hours. Truth be told, she hadn’t been able to keep it up even that long. The guilt was gnawing at her with sharp teeth. As Spike had put so eloquently, she was a Slayer, chosen to protect life, not end it.
That’s what I’m doing, Spike! She had nearly called after him before he walked out of her room a few days ago. I’m ending it now before some vamp decks me and I lose my baby. But she hadn’t, because her gaze had fallen on the booties that Spike had bought to cheer her up, a lump had developed in her throat and she had lost all power of speech.
She wanted the baby, very, very badly.
Spike also lay awake. He had considered going out and beating the undead crap out of some demons, but the sun would be up soon. And he wasn’t too sure if there were any left. He’d been out hunting for evil to kill all night every night since Buffy had told him of her decision to abort her baby. Giles had been impressed with his dedication, thinking that Spike was taking over Buffy’s patrol while she was unwell. Giles was also worried about Buffy’s prolonged ‘illness’, but Spike had stopped making excuses for her. Let her explain, he thought bitterly. She doesn’t need me to lie for her. She doesn’t need me at all.
He was baffled at Dawn’s behaviour recently. Despite the tension, she was walking around with a little smile on her face. She seemed completely unfazed by the coldness shown between himself and the Slayer. He knew Dawn was very perceptive, so she couldn’t be oblivious to the bad feelings.
It could only mean one thing. Dawn was planning something, and that was bad.
Dawn lay awake, wondering what was going on in the house. Well, no, not actually wondering, speculating was more like it. She suspected that her sister and Spike had finally got it together and had sex. It was the only possible explanation for the weird atmosphere in the house. Dawson’s Creek had shown her time and time again that sex caused bad atmosphere.
She knew that the rest of her friends could have sex without this amount of drama, but this was Buffy, drama-queen/prima-donna extraordinaire. She had read her sister’s journals, and absorbed all the angst that went along with the Slayer’s love life. First Angel, then Parker, then Riley, and then Buffy learnt to hide her journals better.
So Buffy must have boinked Spike, and now they were stuck in the it-was-nothing-to-me-except-it-was-everthing-to-me-but-it-was-nothing-to-me-if-it-wasn’t-anything-to-you mentality that happened all the time in Dawson’s Creek.
Dawn made a mental note never to be like her sister when it came to love. As soon as she found someone who treated her as well as Spike did, looked a little like Xander, showed as much compassion as Willow and Tara, had the quirks of Anya and had the inner strength of her sister, she was going to let him know in no uncertain terms that she loved him.
… As long as she was certain that he loved her too.
I might as well get up. Buffy decided, she went to her closet and dragged out the first couple of items her hand touched.
After dressing, she went to the bathroom, catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror she winced. Her face was red and blotchey, her eyes were bloodshot and the dark circles under her eyes made her look like a racoon.
She reached for her make-up, then paused. What the hell am I doing? Tarting myself up to have an abortion?
She grabbed the cosmetics case, glared at it, and threw it across the room. Powder and lipstick burst forth leaving a coffee shimmery smear on the wall.
She stalked down the hall, only to encounter Spike as he left his room.
“Buffy…” He began.
“I don’t want to hear it.” She responded testily. “One word from you…” and I’ll probably change my mind, so please don’t talk to me. She finished silently.
She didn’t have to worry about Spike finishing his sentence, he took one look at the glare on her face and returned to his room, resisting the urge to slam the door.
Buffy sat in the clinic, unable to sit still. She was tapping her feet and drumming her fingers. She noticed the glare of another woman, Buffy glared back, but forced herself to stop tapping and drumming.
She reached over and grabbed a magazine to occupy her mind, and try and banish the recurring though of ‘Run, run like hell!”
I just love children,” Judith Meyers proclaims joyfully, while decorators are painting and enormous Doc Marten boot on her house. “They’re all so precious to me. A real gift from the gods.”
Judith Meyers is expecting again, in seven months there will be a pitter-patter of tiny Doc Marten’s!
Buffy snapped the magazine shut in disgust. Don’t these assholes think about what kind of magazines they have in the waiting room?!
Mine is due in seven months’ time. She thought sadly.
She noticed the other woman glaring at her again. She glared back again. What’s her problem? Why shouldn’t I be tense? Then she looked down and realised the was gripping the armrest so tightly it was beginning to bend and flex under her hand.
She crossed her arms and made a note to go on the pill for the rest of her natural life.
“Summers? Buffy Summers?” A female voice called.
Buffy met the gaze of a kindly looking woman, who reminded her a bit of her own mother. “Uh-huh.” She managed to utter.
“The doctor will see you now.”
Buffy took a deep breath and stood up.
“Can I come in?” Dawn asked hesitantly.
“Sure thing, Sugar-bits.” The last thing Spike wanted was company, but he didn’t want to alienate Dawn. “What’s happening at the Creek?” He asked as she entered the room.
“Same old teen angst. It’s boring.”
“Are they all still teenagers? I thought they were the same age as your sister.” Spike asked politely.
“Um, I’m not sure. But don’t forget, Dawson’s been twenty-five since the beginning of the show, so I don’t think it matters.”
“Angst appears to be ageless.” He muttered.
“You mean my sister?”
He gave her a thin smile.
“Whatever happened, I’m sure she’ll get over it.” She smiled to emphasise the point.
“I don’t think she will.” He replied.
Buffy arrived home around late afternoon, and was greeted by the sound of crashing and thumping in the basement.
She hurried down the stairs, expecting to find hoards of demons invading. What she found was Spike beating the hell out her newly repaired training equipment.
She biggest shock was that he was crying.
“Spike?” She said softly.
He turned to her, an expression of frustration and rage on his face. “What? I don’t want another bloody fight! I’m sick of fighting, I think you’ve made the biggest mistake in your entire life, even bigger than bedding Angelus!” He paused for an un-needed breath, then continued. “And I’m sick of you making mistakes and then blaming me! Sometimes it’s your fault!
“If you hadn’t shagged the soldier boy you wouldn’t be in this state. That’s your fault, not mine.”
“Spike!” She yelled, trying to get his full attention.
“You blamed me, when all I did was buy you a pregnancy test. I bought you gifts to cheer you up, and you threw that back in my face! I—”
“SPIKE!” She yelled once more. “I’m still PREGNANT!”
Spike took another deep, un-needed breath, and sat down rather quickly on the floor. “Oh.” He reached for his smokes and lit one with shaking hands. “What changed your mind?”
He raised an eyebrow at her.
“I never wanted an abortion. I just got to the clinic and ran out of reasons to have one. The doctor was called Dr Williams, and that kind of did it for me. I didn’t want an abortion. You didn’t want me to have one, and then the doctor had your name. I just grabbed my bag and ran like hell. They probably thought I was nuts.”
“Rest assured, Slayer. You’re a regular fruit bat. Most of us find it endearing though.” He gave her his most brilliant Spike-smile.
“Wanna come share the good news?” She asked offering her hand to him.
“Love to, pet, but can’t. I have a slight allergy to the sun, in case you’d forgotten.”
“Well, let’s go tell—”
“Did I hear you say you were pregnant?” Dawn’s head popped around the door.
“—Dawn.” Buffy grinned at her sister. “Yep. Two months pregnant. That’s why I’ve been so nutty. Just had it confirmed.” She winked at Spike, he winked back.
“Oh, wow! That’s so exciting.” Dawn bounded over to her sister to squeal and hug.
“You’re pregnant?” Giles naturally was the first to recover from Buffy’s bombshell.
“Ha ha!” Anya said triumphantly. She turned to Xander. “I told you so! Pay up!”
“That’s why she threw up on that vampire.” Dawn added helpfully.
“Thanks for sharing that, Dawn.” Buffy sent a hairy eyeball towards her sister. “It’s Riley’s baby.” She continued, grateful when Spike took her hand and squeezed it supportively. She smiled at him and added. “But Riley won’t ever be the father.”
“I’ll take over the Slayer’s duties.” Spike offered.
“Hey! I’m only two months gone. I’ve got plenty of patrolling time left until Junior puts in an appearance.”
Spike noticed that the Slayer had that don’t-mess-with-me look on her face, but wasn’t quite ready to back down. “I’ll go with you at all times, and take over when you can’t patrol.”
Buffy opened her mouth to argue, but found herself thinking back to all the arguments they had had in the last two months. She was the cause of all of them. “That sounds fair.” She replied, startling everyone in the room.
Buffy is now 5 months pregnant.
“Anya, what a surprise.” Buffy was somewhat startled to see Anya appear at the crack of dawn, baby in tow.
“No it’s not.” Anya replied handing Michael to her.
“Huh?” Buffy carefully arranged her arms around the baby.
“Spike arranged this.”
“Once again, huh?”
“Spike asked me to bring Michael over so you could get practice in before yours arrives.”
“Anya, I’m not due for another four months.”
“You can’t prepare early enough for childbirth.” She intoned. “When Xander and I first talked about having a baby I ran out and bought every book I could get my hands on.”
“Really, Anya, the doctor gave me a book and—”
“Ooh! Speaking of!” Anya dipped her hands into one of the many bags she was carrying and brought forth a thick book covered in dark blue velvet. “This is for you. They told me it was a nice idea to record your thoughts while pregnant, you can even give it to your child as a birthday or Christmas present if you ever get poor.”
Buffy took the book with her free hand. She noticed that Anya had had someone emboss her initials on in silver. She was so touched by the gesture she forgot that Spike had lumbered her for a days’ babysitting when she was going to spend the day cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom (the dust and grime was really tormenting her), and she found herself hugging the ex-demon. As much as one could with a baby on one arm and a book in the other hand.
The hug ended quickly. “My cell phone number is written in the book in the front of the blue bag. Along with all other emergency numbers. Michael’s formula is in the green bag, and his diapers are stored under the pram. Any questions, call me. I must go shopping.” Anya dropped a kiss on Michael’s head. “Be good for Auntie Buffy.”
After a good many more instructions, and more kisses for Michael Anya finally left.
“Remind me to kill Spike.” Buffy told Michael. “It’s nothing personal, but I really wanted to clean the kitchen today. It’s disgusting. And you should see the oven! Anyway, it can’t be helped.” She continued. “What shall we do now?”
Before she could continue the phone rang.
“Buffy,” said Anya, before Buffy could make form any greeting. “Don’t tell him any stories about slaying, vampires, demons or bunnies. Ok?”
“Ok.” Buffy replied, somewhat bushwhacked.
“Alright then, bye!” Anya disconnected before she could reply.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, kiddo. But your Mom is half crazy, but in a good way.” Buffy told Michael.
“How did it go?”
Buffy bit back the retort of, ‘You should know, you were on the phone to me for most of the day’. But smiled big and said, “Lovely. Michael’s a lovely kid. I can’t wait until mine arrives.” As she said it, she realised she wasn’t lying in the slightest.
The day spent with Michael, while lovely had been torturous, not because she still hadn’t cleaned the kitchen (although she was going to do it tomorrow, even if Giles brought forth prophesies of apocalypse), but because she had to give Michael back at the end of the day, and wait another four months before she had a child of her own.
“Hello, cutie. Miss me?” Spike had been mysteriously AWOL all day, and now put in an appearance as Buffy waved off Anya.
“Like I miss Acathla.” Buffy responded. “Where were you all day? And why didn’t you tell me I was babysitting today?”
“So you didn’t miss me? Or do you have feelings for Acathla that we shouldn’t discuss here?”
“Where were you?” She repeated tiredly. Spike’s absence had annoyed her the whole day. “In case you haven’t noticed, you’re a vampire. It has been a lovely sunny day and I haven’t seen you all day.”
“Come to the car.” He said with a smile.
“Where have you been?” Buffy demanded angrily. “The least you could do is tell me. I’ve been worried sick!”
They both stared at each other. Buffy fought the blush creeping up her face.
“You were worried about me, Slayer?” He seemed thoroughly delighted by the concept.
“Well what do you expect?” She snapped. “You’re my best friend! If you go out into the daylight without telling me, what am I supposed to think? It was probable that you’d explode into a pile of ashes!”
“Sorry I worried you, Slayer.” He held out his hand. “Come out to the car, I want you to see where I’ve been all day.” Best friend. Looks like I’m no longer ‘beneath’ her. He thought happily. I’ve moved up from Scum of the earth Mortal Enemy to Best friend. There’s hope for me yet.
He led her out to his battered DeSoto and opened the trunk. Inside was every baby product imaginable.
“Oh, Spike.” She whispered.
“I didn’t get any clothes. I know that’s a girly thing. You have to look at the clothes, squeal, and make a comment along the lines of ‘Aw, cute’ or ‘Isn’t it tiny’, and I don’t know how to squeal. I went with Anya, that girl knows how to spot a bargain.”
“How did you afford it all?” She asked in wonderment.
“Dot com.” He replied.
“You’re a dot com millionaire?” She replied sceptically.
“Not millionaire, no. Turns out that a lot of junk I’ve acquired over the years is worth a lot of money to the right people. It’s amazing what people will pay for stuff.”
“So, you like? Not mad at me anymore for vanishing?”
“No. Thank you. I don’t know what to say. I love—it.” It had been on the tip of her tongue to blurt out that she loved him. She’d caught it just in time, she didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed. She couldn’t, however, stop herself from leaping into his arms for a hug.
Diary of Buffy’s Pregnancy
|7:00||Get up. Throw up. Decide to sleep a bit longer.|
|7:02||Can’t sleep. Get up again.|
|7:28||Go downstairs to get some breakfast. Very hungry recently.|
|7:35||Yay! Dawn actually left me cereal… and milk!|
|7:36||Milk has been there awhile. Might be off.|
|7:38||Regret sniffing milk.|
|7:39||Lean out of window to throw up.|
|7:04||Miss window. Get sink instead. Yuck!|
|7:41||Go outside and get some fresh air.|
|8:03||Am full of fresh air. Must clean sink.|
|8:31||Can’t clean sink.|
|8:34||Tried. Failed. Puked.|
|8:35||Spike can do it. His senses are not as sensitive as mine.|
|8:36||Going back to bed.|
|11:04||Am woken by furious British voice yelling “Bloody hell, Slayer! That’s disgusting!”|
|12:03||Steaming row with Spike over puke. Well, not over it. Near it. Him nearer than me! Spike cleaned. I apologised.|
|13:00||Wonder if this is what Anya had in mind when she gave me this diary.|
|11:00||Started the day without the same performance as yesterday, minus the milk sniffing. Have learnt a valuable lesson from that. Have only thrown up once today. Must stop drinking strawberry squash for breakfast, no matter how yummy it is, it’s very disconcerting to vomit pink first thing in the morning.|
|15:00||Spike has spent two hours talking to my stomach. He does it all the time. It’s got to the point where he apologises to my belly when he swears. I’m sure my kid is picking up his mannerisms though. Honestly, I think the first thing that this child will do as soon as it’s born is take a contemptuous look around the room and say “Bloody hell, where are my soddin’ smokes?”|
“Did I tell you what happened when Spike lent Anya Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey?” Buffy asked, grinning at the memory.
“No, what happened?” Willow and Buffy were having coffee, a weekly ritual.
“She freaked out. Went absolutely nuts. Started cursing him in Latin, it was so funny.”
“Why’d she freak out?” Willow asked.
“Because, when they go to hell, Ted gets chased by the Easter Bunny. And then Spike apologised and leant her this Monty Python film, which she thought was brilliant, until…”
“Well, there’s this killer bunny that protects the mouth of a cave.” Buffy tried to look serious, then cracked up. “Spike has gone out of his way to find Bunnies in unexpected films. He tried to talk her into ‘Watership Down’, but it was too obvious.”
Willow smiled at her friend. “You’ve got mentionitus.”
“What’s that?” Buffy looked panic stricken. “Could it hurt the baby?”
“No, it’s not a bad thing. You’ve got mentionitus about Spike. Whatever we talk about, somehow his name creeps in. You’ve got it bad!” The witch grinned again.
“I have not got—I have, haven’t I?”
“You’ve got it really bad.” Willow confirmed. “For the last two months or so. Ever since he bought you all that baby stuff… Although you had it before too. You’re having naughty thoughts about Spike!” She added gleefully.
“I am not having naughty thoughts.” Buffy responded.
“You are. Lots of them, you’ve gone redder than my hair.”
“Ok,” Buffy conceded. “I’ve had a few naughty thoughts and dreams.”
“So when are you going to do something about it?”
“Will, it’s not that simple…”
“Yes it is! You want him, he wants you.”
“He wants me?”
“Duh! Duh cubed!” Willow nodded emphatically. “Everyone knows it. Even Giles knows it.”
“Giles noticed?” Why does this always happen? I talk about my love life with Willow, and lose the ability to form a sentence of my own.
“Oh yeah. He said to Tara yesterday that it was touching how Spike ‘doted’ on you.”
“Will, I’m going to tell him.” Buffy said decisively.
“That’s the spirit. I’ll order another coffee and we can discuss what you’re going to say.”
“No, right now. I’m gonna go home and tell Spike I love him.” She coloured at the thought, and bounced off her chair.
“Good luck!” Willow called after Buffy’s retreating form. She’d never seen her friend this decisive about her love life. “Gotta love those wacky hormones!”
Buffy’s wonderful plan had only one flaw. Cravings.
On her way home, she passed a convenience store and couldn’t resist the thought of a slushy. And some Doritos to go with it. And maybe some peanut M&M’s. Ooh, snickers.
“Hello, Buffy.” Said a voice in surprise.
She looked across the top shelf to the next aisle and met a very familiar pair of eyes. “Riley?”
He looked positively thrilled to see her. “I’m so glad I ran into you.” He said, making his way down his aisle to meet her. “I need to explain.”
“Go away.” She said emotionlessly.
“Buffy, it’s been awhile, five or six months. At least give me the chance to explain.”
She walked towards him, hand on belly. “It’s been seven months, Riley.” She said pointedly.
“Seven then.” He agreed, “But—” He suddenly got the point she was making. He stared at her swollen stomach. “You’re…”
“Pregnant. Yes.” Buffy suddenly lost her appetite and slung her munchies on the shelf.
“Nobody, Riley.” She finished for him, and turned on her heel and walked out.
“Wait! Please! I’ll follow you all the way home. I’m not going anywhere until we talk.”
“That sounds like a threat, Riley.” Buffy finally stopped and responded to him.
“I just have to ask if it’s mine.”
“You created it, yes, but it’s not yours.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do I mean?” She repeated incredulously. “I mean that yes, this baby is the result of one of your best swimmers, but no, we don’t want you around.”
“We?” He questioned.
“Me and my baby. We don’t need you.”
“A baby needs a father. I could take care of you. We could give it a second chance.” He reached to take her hand.
She snatched her hand away before he could make contact. “See, that’s where the problem starts. The night we created this baby I thought that was our second chance. But you just left, you didn’t say goodbye. You never called. You did manage to leave a note. ‘Last night was great. It was lovely to see you again’. Did you even consider how that would make me feel?”
“Don’t! Don’t say you’re sorry. It’s ancient history for me.”
“I just wanted you to know how it felt.” He muttered.
“Oh, very mature. And I suppose now that we’re even we could start anew?”
He nodded emphatically. “I could take care of you. We could be a real family, could even get married.”
Buffy Finn? Ugh! She managed to keep the grimace from her face. “It’s not going to happen. I’ve moved on.”
“Buffy,” his tone took a softer, less frantic edge. “You need someone to take care of you and the baby.”
“I’m not helpless!” She snapped, noticing it was the third time he had said that. “You know I’m not, your inability to deal with that was one of the killers of our relationship!”
“It’s my child too. And besides, what man would be able to deal with all your Slayer issues on top of looking after another man’s kid? Maybe I wasn’t great at dealing with it in the past, but I could do better this time. Who knows you so well that you could trust them with all that?” He said earnestly.
Suddenly she knew that she had made the right choice.
Who could love her and her child?
Who could understand her slayer strength and not be jealous?
Who could take care of her when she wasn’t well?
Who could take over her patrol when she was unable to do it?
“Spike.” She said aloud. He had been doing all of the above for at least the last two years.
“Spike?” Riley questioned, confused.
“Spike.” She repeated. “He loves me. I love him. He’s my child’s father. Go back to army, Riley. They need you more than I do.”
She walked the remaining distance to her house in an unbelievably quick time.
“Spike?” She called.
“What?” He asked emerging from the living room “Did you know the TV ariel is broken? Picture’s all fuzzy. I’m missing Dawson’s Creek, they’re re-running Season One.”
“I love you, Spike.” She told him.
And he said… nothing. Buffy flushed an embarrassed red. A lump forming in her throat. She couldn’t bear to look at him, she made for the door. “Just thought you should know.”
“Buff—wait! I—just. Butterfly, I love you too!” He called to her. This time the embarrassment was all his. This perfect moment was ruined. She’d got flustered because he’d taken so long to answer. It wasn’t that he hadn’t known what to say, he just couldn’t believe that she’d just told him she loved him. Then he’d got edgy as she walked out and tried to say “Buffy, I love you too” but it had come out wrong.
Buffy stopped at the door. “Butterfly?”
“I like it.”
“I love you, Butterfly.”
“I love you too, Spike.”
Dawn walked in five minutes later, and caught them kissing in the hall.
“I knew it!” She said with a grin.
I know all about,
About your reputation
And now it’s bound to be a heartbreak situation
But I can’t help it if I’m helpless
Every time that I’m with you
You walk in and my strength walks out the door
Say my name and I can fight it any more
Oh I know, I should go
But I need your touch just too damn much
Isn’t really something I should do
Shouldn’t wanna spend my time with you
Well I should try to be strong
But baby you’re the right kind of wrong
Yeah baby you’re the right kind of wrong
It might be a mistake
A mistake I’m making
But what your giving I am happy to be taking
‘Cos no-one’s ever made me feel the way I feel when I’m in your arms
They say you’re something I should do without
They don’t know what goes on when the lights go out
There’s no way to explain
All the pleasure is worth all the pain
Isn’t really something I should do
Shouldn’t wanna spend my time with you
Well I should try to be strong
But baby you’re the right kind of wrong
Yeah baby you’re the right kind of wrong
I should try to run but I just can’t seem to
“Cos every time I run you’re the one I run to
Can’t do without what you do to me
I don’t care if I’m in too deep
Yeah baby you’re the right kind of wrong
The Right Kind Of Wrong—Performed by LeAnn Rimes