All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Sequel to Who Am I?; part of The Bittersweets Series
Summary: Will he? Will she?
Author Notes: This is the fifth in the BITTERSWEETS series, following "Who Am I?." The BITTERSWEETS are set in a AU season 6 verging off of "Wrecked."
Dedication: As always, for Kalima first and foremost. Also for the Bitches, and Deborah M.
Completed: January 2002.
Disclaimer: Joss creates, I borrow
Presently she's existing
Formerly she was a dead girl
Left alone and forgotten
Trying hard to find something she'd won
Leave her things scattered round her
Practising such restraint
But she'll find you and she'll get you
Even she's not one of God's damn saints
--Holly Beth Vincent, "Revenge"
came back from downtown in the early afternoon to find him, once more, sacked
out in front of the television.
Well, at least the Scoobies hadn’t come in and dragged him away
while she was out. Meeting her
responsibilities. Which in this
instance, had actually included picking up Willow’s dry cleaning.
yourself useful, I see,” she said.
waited ten seconds for the commercial to start before acknowledging her.
“When’s the next Big Bad gonna show up? That’s what I want to know. I want to mix it up a bit—get your back while you take
some screaming foe apart. Need to
tear some beastie’s throat out with my fangs. Mind you, the sex and the 250-channel cable here’s
going to have to cancel the cable.”
money’s not there, Spike. We have no income. I’ve got to get all the pipes replaced. And for that matter . . . if
you’re going to eat people food at
every meal when you’re hanging around here, then ends are not going to
meet. I don’t mind bringing
in the blood for you, it’s cheap, but another mouth—is another
and Niblet barely eat anything.
Skin an’ bones, you are.
Like a bit more flesh on you, for that matter. But all’s I do is finish up what you’d
just throw away.”
is that how you think of the five lambchops
you ate just now? That were
supposed to be tonight’s supper for all three of us, not your
examined his fingernails.
“Need to keep my strength up. Servicing the Slayer takes a lot out of a man.”
“Whatever. But I’m not rooting for the debut
of the next Big Bad. I’ve
got to find a job. And when I find
it, I’ve got to keep it.”
“Bollocks. What a helpful remark.”
“What you need is a salary
from the bleeding Council. Why
should they expect you to save the world for free every time? They pay bloody Rupert. Whom you are supposed to be on the
blower to right about now, petal, if you recall your promise.”
“I recall it.” She pouted.
The commercials were
over; he turned back to the TV.
“You get on to them and make them put you on the payroll. Pension, survivor benefits an’
all. Make ‘em pay for the
pipe-fitting too, while you’re at it. Don’t imagine they’re not sitting on an enormous
endowment, those spooks. Thousand
year old secret society—rolling in it. An’ you’re the best slayer they’ve had in
yonks, don’t think they don’t know it.”
“How do you know so much
about the Council?”
“Made it my business to
know. Hush! I think Gary’s about to jilt Lisa
here. Go make your phone call,
pet. Pubs’ll be open over
there in a half hour, and you’ll have missed him.”
God, he was bossy. And thoughtless.
Just like a man. They were all the
same, dead or alive. In bed Spike
might be all my mistress my heart my queen,
and making her come twenty times in a night, but the minute he was standing
upright in his clothes, he was just where’s the remote, where’s my
cigs, where’s something I can eviscerate.
Buffy wandered into the kitchen and stood looking at the five
lambchop bones in the trash.
He’d gnawed them right down, sucked out the marrow; they were
almost shiny. And the greasy
frying pan was still on the stove.
He hadn’t even put it in the sink to soak. She and Dawn would have to eat popcorn
for dinner. Or maybe cold
cereal. Far be it from Spike
to forgo two packs of cigarettes and buy them a pizza. Not that she liked to think about where
he got what little money he had.
She brought her address book and
the phone to the counter island and climbed up on a stool. Tried to think what she’d
say. The letter she’d
dispatched just yesterday wouldn’t be there yet, of course. So she’d have to tell it to him
after all, just the thing she’d dreaded doing. No one except Angel would be a less receptive audience. Buffy closed her eyes and tried to
picture Giles, in the flat she’d never seen, in a town—Bath, funny
name—that she had no mental image of, answering her call. How happy he’d sound to hear her
voice. Happy at first. And then what? Suddenly she heard Giles in her head,
saying You have no respect for me, or for what I do. Spike
didn’t even have the excuse of a soul to make him quasi worthy of
her. She was going to go down in
the annals as that shameful thing, the slayer who couldn’t keep her hands
off the stock in trade.
cool touch on the back of her neck.
She opened her eyes to find Spike bending over her.
“What? What do you want? You’ve already devoured all the
protein in the house!”
thought you’d like me to hold your hand while you talk to him,
“Giles! It’s me, it’s Buffy.”
“Buffy! How splendid. That is . . . is it splendid?”
. . . to hear your voice, yes! How
are you, Giles?” She glanced
at Spike, who was perched on the stool beside her, turning a cigarette over and
over between his fingers.
She’d declined the hand-hold, but was glad when he’d not
wandered back to the television.
along, you know. This and
that. What’s the
occasion?” Oh, for this
call. Shit, this was it.
“Giles, there’s something you don’t know about . . . about
me. Since I’ve been
At once, the quality of his silence
changed. Buffy thought she could
hear it through the line, Giles’ apprehension. In a moment, she knew, he’d be cradling the receiver
on his shoulder, taking his glasses off and polishing them. He always did that when he heard
something that astonished and disheartened him, and her news would do both.
tried to plunge on. “At first
I couldn’t really deal with it, because there’s sort of been a lot
going on here, with Willow and all, and I didn’t want to think about it,
you know me, Miss Plausible Deniability of 2001, but . . . um . . . I’ve been advised to tell you
about it, so . . . “
“Buffy. Slow down. Please just describe it as simply as you can.”
froze. How how how could she explain it, and then listen to whatever he would
say? Listen to his pained
silence? The strength just
She shoved the phone at Spike.
tried to push it back at her, but she shook her head fiercely. Then Spike shrugged. “Oi, Rupert. Your Slayer’s come back
wrong. Chip doesn’t fire
anymore when I bash her across a room.”
put her head up close to Spike’s so she could catch Giles’ end of
the conversation. At first there
was nothing to hear, just the silence that had turned from apprehensive to
. . . “Spike? Good
Lord—why—why am I suddenly talking to you? What have you done with
Buffy? Is she your prisoner? Is this some sort of ransom
demand? Or are you just calling to
taunt me before you—“
said she ought to tell you this herself,
but you know how she gets.
She’s right here, Rupes.
Talk to him, love.”
we’re in the kitchen at home.
I’m not . . . I’m not a prisoner, or anything.”
thank God. But—are you quite
sure? It’s not a trick? If he’s really holding you
‘Willow is well,’ and I’ll hang up and phone the Magic
Shop at once.”
I’m fine. Spike is too busy digesting five
goddamned lambchops thank you very much to
be doing anything more nefarious.
was where the glasses got cleaned.
Then, “So, ah . . .
why is . . . in short, why is he there, Buffy? And what was he talking about?”
wrote you a letter. I mailed it
yesterday. But you won’t get
it until next week, I guess.”
“Ah. A letter. And the letter said?”
it said a lot of stuff about how everything’s different and my priorities
have sort of changed, and things are weird and hard, but what it really came
down to was that, um, we’ve become involved. I’m involved.
With, with Spike.”
“Buffy. Good God.”
All at once her eyes burned; she
felt tears gather. “Just
please don’t be angry at me, Giles.
Spike is worried about me. Because of the chip thing. Showing that I’m not the same as I was. Not human, somehow. And we don’t
know what it means, or how to find out.”
silence. This really wasn’t
a conversation to be having on the telephone. It was a pace up and down the training room not looking at
each other but yet aware of every minute glance and expression conversation.
please. I can’t stand it when you—“ Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Spike listens to me, and . . . keeps
me from . . . from getting lost.
Because . . . something’s wrong, and I’m not—I’m
waited, her cheek pressed against Spike’s cool dry one, the phone
receiver clammy against the back of her ear.
the wire, a sigh. “Oh
Buffy. I see I shall have to come
back, won’t I?”
grabbed the phone and turned away from her with it. “Hey, before you do, Rupes—get on to those
council blokes and tell ‘em their slayer ought to have some bloody
remuneration! She’s drowning
in debt, threatening to cancel the cable, worried about groceries—we
can’t have that, mate.”
didn’t hear what Giles said, but Spike’s last remark before he put
the phone down gave her some clue.
“Yeah, well, maybe you should rethink that—what with us
looking after the same girl an’ all.”
couldn’t suppress her smile when he turned back to her. “Spike, sometimes
knock at the kitchen door cut her off.
Buffy shifted the curtain and saw Tara, eyes lowered, standing outside.
I come in?”
course, you—you live here.”
not really.” She blushed, and looked away. “Hello Spike.”
fidgeted with the points of her bodice.
“I came to get some things I left here. And to see . . . if . . . .”
stepped towards her.
“I’m all right, thanks.”
this she blushed harder, and tossed her head. “I’m glad.
I . . . I didn’t know ahead of time what they meant to do, or
turned to Buffy, and suddenly her voice was clear and strong. “I think you have the right to
love whom you please.” Then
the blush came up stronger than ever, and she pushed past them, saying
“Stuff’s upstairs, just be a sec’.”
there,” Spike said, pulling her into his chest, “we’ve got
one friend, yeah? And old
Rupert’s coming, you’ll like to see him again, pet.”
I won’t. You know he’s
so worried and angry and disappointed in me now. And he doesn’t want to keep getting sucked back
well . . .” Spike said, “you and he have that in common.”
bought pizza after all, without even being asked, and the three of them sat in
a row on the sofa, Dawn in the middle, and watched television. Just like regular people. Okay, maybe it wasn’t so regular
that Dawn was painting Spike’s nails black. Or that she herself couldn’t follow the simple action
of the program they were staring at, because her mind was full of dread at
Giles’ return, and wondering what Xander and Willow were doing, and
whether anybody would call her on the applications she’d filled out that
afternoon, and if she could really wait tables again anyway.
a twinge in her belly, and a familiar warmth, she rose and went to the
bathroom. It seemed a little
early, but then she’d been too preoccupied to remember to make a note on
the calendar, like she usually did.
She probably wouldn’t remember to do it this time either. Had Dawn used up all the Tampax again
without mentioning it? She rooted
around under the sink. Found
some. Swallowed a couple of pills
against the cramps that bloomed almost as soon as she stood up from her
crouch. Washed up.
she climbed over his legs to resume her seat, Spike caught her hand and pressed a kiss into the palm. She met his gaze for a moment. Cool, assuming, a boyfriend look. Dawn glanced at them, and smiled. A smile like the sun finally breaking
through at the end of a long overcast day.
dropped back into her place and hugged one of the sofa cushions to her
lap. She had no idea what the
program was about, and didn’t care enough to ask. Tipping her head back, she closed her eyes.
opened her eyes. Had she
dozed? The clock showed
ten-thirty. Dawn was getting up
without protest—something she never did for her. She
paused for a moment, then dipped down and kissed him on the point of one sharp
too,” Spike murmured.
lips felt very warm against her face; the lashes brushed her eyebrow in the
briefest of touches that nevertheless made Buffy shiver. “Sweet dreams, Dawnie.”
soon as she was gone, Spike slid across the empty space between them and
claimed her, a hand on her breast, another in her hair. She let him kiss her once, then got up.
want to sleep alone tonight.”
cocked her a look.
in the house. Just not with
am I being punished for now? The
“Nothing. Spike—nothing. I just—“
frowned, then a look of surprise flitted across his face. “It’s because you’re
on the rag.”
“Dunno why you’re so
coy. Can smell it on
you.” He sat forward, and
before she could shift away, took her hips in his hands and buried his nose in
“Spike!” She shoved him, and retreated to the
eyes had gone witchy with desire.
“Don’t turn me out, Slayer. Forget that damn plug you’ve got up there. I’ll drink you all night,
won’t spill a drop on your clean sheets. Make you come ‘til you swoon.”
twinge that began between her legs when he’d touched her was now a
flickering in her clit so intense it was almost as if he was there
already. “No. No! I’m not letting you drink my blood, Spike!
No way. That is just taking
things too far.”
rose and came to her. Movements
slow, languid. Put a seductive
hand on her belly, brought his lips down to her ear. “Won’t hurt you,” he whispered. “Never hurt you. Just want all of you, is all. Want your taste, want your
She pushed him back, hard enough to make him stagger, and for a moment
the coffee table was in doubt.
Then he straightened up, and smiled at her.
hurt to ask though, does it Slayer?
You smell so intense with
it. Marvelous. Maybe next month . . . if I’m a
good boy.” He picked up his
leather, shrugged into it.
are you going?”
I’d visit the witch, let her kill me.”
laughed at the small sound she made.
“No fear, petal. Just
going to Willie’s for a drink.
Round of pool. Don’t
fancy staying here with your bouquet at my nose and no sniffing
allowed.” He opened the
“Spike.” Her voice so tiny all of a sudden. “Be ca—watch yourself.”
Continued in Two
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