All About Spike - Plain Version
This plain version is for users with very old browers, WebTV, tiny screen resolutions, or very slow internet connections.
All other viewers should use the regular version of the site.
By Anne Hedonia
Sequel to Done to Death
get knocked down / and they get up again / and you’re never gonna
keep them down..."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (if you haven't read Done to Death)
Let's see...after a long, strange personal trip together, Tara
and Spike have become inseparable friends, and lovers. Also, in this universe, Tara
survived her gunshot wound - though Willow
didn’t realize and rampaged anyway – and Spike never went to get his soul, though
he did make a significant apology to Buffy.
Spike and Tara have been isolated from the Scoobies for most of this time, so no one really knows
they’re a couple...yet.
twisted genius loves to torture his fans, and owns the characters of Buffy the
Vampire Slayer." Don't forget, your
answer must be in the form of a question.
(I didn’t write "Tubthumping"
Just let me know where I can visit.
SPOILERS: Season 7 in general, "Same Time, Same Place"
FEEDBACK: *crooked grin* Ho yeah. email@example.com
It was the honeymoon period of things, and for both of them,
it was a blessing.
Battle-weary and soul-scarred, there was an almost delirious
quality to their relief. The relief of
something to believe in, for now, the relief of nothing wrong as far as they
could see, the relief of whole-heartedness...
...the relief of another.
If one were to weave through the tables and the haze of this
obscure Sunnydale demon bar, following the call of
faint, sporadic music and quiet, private laughter, they would find the couple sitting
at the battered, forgotten piano in the back, Tara across Spike's lap, his arms
around her to reach the keys.
Spike was demonstrating a surprising, serviceable talent for
playing piano, plunking out songs and making Tara laugh
at his choices. From time to time she would
make requests, along the lines of "Play that one we heard that time at
that place..." blanking on the name of everything and then laughing at
Spike’s pretend outrage over her impossible demands.
Adherence to impossible demands was not cheap – it cost kisses
or copped feels, some discreet and some not so.
Occasionally his too-overt groping of a breast or roam of hands inside
her clothing would cause a small squeal of outrage, which pleased Spike, or the
retaliation of a vixen’s glare and her hand darting to squeeze at something
private of his, which pleased him more.
And then, properly reimbursed, he would declare "Right,"
and play the vaguely-requested song unerringly, usually singing the lyrics as
well, and she would laugh in amazed recognition and nuzzle closer. Spike was used to the sharp highs and lows of
his own emotions, and tonight was definitely a high, but behind that, the soft
thrill of the quiet, steady, sure-footed love filling him was so new and overwhelming as to cause him dizzy spells.
He distracted himself with the intricacies of playing "Tubthumping", plunking along in a silly way that
accented his ridiculously dogged, low-voiced vocal delivery:
"I get knocked down / and I get up again / and you’re
never gonna keep me down / I get knocked down..."
Tara watched the muscles in his face
move as he sang, watched his eyes flit along with his fingers over the keys. It didn’t seem possible that those sharp,
blue predator’s eyes could also look so soft, and behave like this. She felt a wash of serious affection as the
thought also hit her that this should be Spike’s theme song.
Elsewhere in the tiny club, another young man and woman were
also in close sync, but for a much different purpose.
A small, dirty door opened and they exited an even more
hidden back room, in a place already full of them.
They headed silently for the exit, but the man seemed
reluctant to leave. He stopped. "I
don’t know, do you think he was lying?"
The young woman shook her head. "I can’t say for sure, but I doubt
it. I was laying on the intimidation
pretty thick." She sighed. "I
think he genuinely doesn't know."
The man's eyes were anguished. "What if we can’t find her, Buff?"
The woman laid her hand on the man’s arm with practiced
calm. "Not an option. We will. And I’m sure she’s fine."
The man took from this as much comfort as he could, nodded
and started walking...but stopped again after a few steps. Because of something he saw.
Buffy followed Xander’s caught
gaze, and her face blanched equally, but in a slightly different way. At the end of both their stares were Spike
and Tara sitting across the piano bench, kissing as
though the rest of the world did not exist.
Xander would not have thought it
possible for his stomach to sink any further than it already had that night, but
he marveled grimly at the unwelcome new record it was setting. He watched for what seemed like a small,
stretched eternity, until the liplock reached its
natural end and Tara’s eyes found him first,
widening. Spike noted the change
immediately and whipped his head to find the source of her concern, his own
eyes narrowing when he located it.
It was only natural for both Spike and Tara
to think about getting up or separating, to ease the discomfort of their
obviously-disapproving new audience. A
look passed between them, and after a while Tara
tightened her arms around Spike’s shoulders.
Spike let one corner of his mouth curl up in thanks, and did a
corresponding squeeze around her waist.
Tara looked up at Buffy and Xander, seeming strengthened and resigned. "What are you two doing here?" she
Despite Tara’s non-accusing tone, Xander’s righteous indignation flared a touch. Buffy instead realized the news that needed to
be broken. Her face fell with her
responsibility for yet another set of feelings.
She readied herself, and spoke. "We’re looking for Willow,"
she said, practiced compassion already in place. "She was supposed to have flown in
yesterday night. Giles says he put her
on the plane, but we were there at the gate and...and
we didn’t see her." Xander, though sobered, still held the slight air of being satisfied
at having this news to sling.
Tara stood up almost
immediately. Spike let her disentangle
and tried to stay stoic, to trust in what Tara had told
him and done for him – done *with* him – but nonetheless felt the worry
beginning to climb.
"She...she came home?
Giles thought she was ready? What
did he say about her?" Tara
realized how far behind she was on Willow Info, and tried to stuff the shame
and anger it caused her.
"He said...she wasn’t completely done studying with the
coven, but..." Buffy chose her words so carefully it was hard to talk at a
normal speed. "...he felt it was
important that she come home now."
This was not enough guarantee for Tara,
not at all. "But...he wouldn’t send
her back if she wasn’t ready...wasn’t...*okay*..."
"No. No, he
wouldn’t." Buffy shook her head adamantly.
Tara’s brain moved slowly to the next
emergency. "You really can’t find
her?" she asked plaintively.
Spike’s teeth ground together, unbidden. /Steady, mate./
Buffy’s face felt the weight of sympathy for Tara,
heavy and barely tolerable. "I’m
sure she’s okay," she repeated. "Just another one of our usual wacky mix-ups. We’ll get to the bottom of it. We always do."
Tara nodded, reassured by Buffy’s
last factoid. The moment stretched.
"I’m sorry we didn’t tell you about it sooner,"
Buffy added, as the reality of their negligence hit her full force. "We – I guess we were trying to protect
you, but we just ended up leaving you out of the loop." Their usual modus operandi, she thought
sourly, always slapping each other with news when it was too late. "I’m sorry."
Buffy’s look met Spike’s for a moment, then drifted away,
leaving Spike’s soul just the tiniest bit lighter for the trip.
Tara's brain was a Kansas
twister. She wondered would happen
between her and Willow now, whether or not she should contact her, what she
should say, do, be. She wondered what
responsibility she had to her ex, especially in light of whatever work she'd been
doing in England,
whatever progress she’d made. She didn’t
like the idea of it being a responsibility, but...Oh, God, it was too soon to
unravel what she might or should be feeling.
All she knew for certain was that there was no shortage of fear.
She turned and looked to Spike, and found his face
controlled, and long-suffering. The
comfort of him washed through her like rain.
He was a haven. He'd do anything
for her. He loved her. And she loved him, regardless of who else
might share that honor – or want to.
For now, she knew this.
She tried to send this knowledge to him with her eyes. He got at least some of it, for his face
relaxed into a weary smile.
Xander found himself back at
Square One. "Yeah, we’re on the
case. So for now, just sit back, relax, get a room."
Discomfort tweaked the moment once more. Spike’s eyes sought out Buffy's,
looking to see what they held at this juncture. He looked for a break, maybe a little credit,
perhaps something to get the Whelp off his case and leave him and Tara in
peace. But Buffy merely stood,
impassive, neither giving nor taking. He
felt a flash of disappointment, but not surprise.
Tara realized that, unlike the last
time he’d seen them together, this time Xander's contempt
was not just for Spike. This time she
stood implicated, too – though of what, she thought grimly, she wasn't sure.
Xander ‘s jaw clenched, along with one hand. "Really, what do you think you’re doing?"
"Tubthumping," shot back
"I’m serious, I really want to know." Xander dimly
realized that his next words were crying out not just for what he saw in front
of him, but for everything he’d recently lost, the man without a country he’d
so quickly and unexpectedly become. "I
want to know what kind of relationship you two could *possibly* be having, what
you could *possibly* see in him..." His finger shot accusingly toward Tara,
and then toward her hated lover. "I
want to know, WHY HIM?!" The moment
was too tense for it, but Spike wanted to smile smugly at the obvious jealousy.
Tara’s face was tight and grim. The need to rebuke Xander
was strong in her, but the futility of a shouting match and indignity of
stooping to explain stood firmly in the way.
She thought for a minute, and was rewarded with a glorious something
that washed visibly over her face. She
turned to the vampire behind her. "Spike?"
A flicker of relief to be addressing her.
Tara's eyes were mischievous. "Play 'Funnybutt'."
Spike blinked at her, empty-eyed, and she nodded at him – go
Spike's look of incomprehension – and slight panic – showed clearly
that this was not something they both already knew. It was a look that searched for the
reassurance she knew what she was doing.
Even through his cloud of anger, Xander noted this,
and wondered at its reason.
Tara’s look told Spike: /I know
you can find what I'm telling you./
It said: /I trust
/I trust us./
Spike turned slowly back to the piano, brain working. /Okay, then./ He stared at the keys a moment,
fingers tappity-tapping lightly against their
surfaces. Buffy looked on in a kind of
numb interest. Xander
shifted his weight to his other foot, folded his arms.
Chords rang from the piano, as Spike began to croon
theatrically: "I'm in the mood for luuuuve..."
Tara was beaming. Xander looked
confused. Buffy just watched.
Spike continued: "Simply becuuuz,
you're near me..." He turned to Tara
and addressed her directly, sweetly, extravagantly. "'Funnybutt,
when you're near me..."
Tara started to laugh. Xander made an
exasperated face. Buffy cracked a faint,
Spike finished with a flourish. "...I'm in the mooooood...for
Tara clapped and laughed louder, her
happiness showing no sign of stopping. Xander scowled disgustedly, but knew there was no making his
point just then. Spike just soaked up Tara's
And if he'd been paying attention, he would have seen Buffy
looking small, and forlorn.
Buffy and Xander left quietly, without the notice of either Tara
or Spike. Spike was too busy welcoming Tara
back into his arms, claiming her proudly with his lips and hands. He smoothed her brow when the recent Willow
news surfaced there and creased it, tacitly pledging his support, no matter what
it would do to his heart.
Tara knew what this meant for him, that
it was no small feat. She was
grateful. She showed it.
She led Spike home and took him at his musical word.
Read Reviews / Post a Review
Read The Lead and How To Swing It, the sequel to Funnybutt.
Send feedback to Anne Hedonia | Visit Anne Hedonia's site | All stories by Anne Hedonia
Print Version | Formatted Version
Main Site | Plain Text Title Listing | Site Map | Contact