|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
My Little Girl
Spike and Buffy make plans to go to England to look for Bess – Annie objects.
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
My Little Girl, Tim McGraw
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:
Special thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter!!
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
(later that same day), Friday, April 23rd, 2010:
Spike, Buffy, Wes, and Faith spent a few hours on Friday trying to come up with an actual plan to find where the Council may be holding Bess, other than the one Buffy and Spike favored of going in and torturing Quentin Travers for information. Although Wes was still unconvinced that such a place even existed, the only way to prove it would be for Buffy and Spike to go to England and see with their own eyes that the Council wasn’t holding Bess, or any other vampires, captive. He admonished them over and over that they were wasting their time with this wild goose chase, that it was much more likely that they were being held by a paramilitary group or some third-world country and the ‘white room procedures’ Bess described were to find a way to build an army of vampires or add strength and advanced healing, sight, and auditory abilities to their own military personnel. Buffy and Spike, however, were unconvinced and maintained their conviction that it was the Council.
After discussing with Wes and Giles (Giles over the phone, because he was still at Willow and Tara’s) the layout of the Council headquarters in as much detail as they could recall and the various alarms and screening devices they had there, they decided the best course of action would be for Buffy and Giles to make an appointment to see Quentin and discuss (bogus) anomalies that had cropped up with Annie and request the Council’s help sorting them out. On their way out of the meeting, Buffy would hide in the restroom and Giles would turn in both visitor badges on his way out of the building. To help him get both badges checked back in, at the moment Giles got up to the reception desk, Spike would come in the front doors, setting off alarms and causing overall confusion as the staff dealt with the threat.
After everyone left for the night, Buffy would be free to wander the headquarters and find the dungeons – if they existed, or records that would lead her to them. As far as Giles, Wes, and Faith knew, there were no motion detectors on the alarm system, all the alarms were on the perimeter, on the doors and windows, so she should be able to look around without alerting anyone. There were perhaps one or two night watchmen, but they could be easily avoided … they mainly sat in the security office and dozed most of the night. Once she found the dungeons and the prisoners, they’d have to formulate a plan to get Bess out … without knowing exactly what kind of fortress they’d face, it was hard to come up with a plan for that in advance.
“What do you plan to do with the other prisoners … assuming there are any?” Wes questioned them.
Buffy shrugged and looked at Spike, who just shook his head. Buffy looked back at Wes, “I guess I’ll dust them … I’m the Slayer, they’re vampires … I mean, what they’ve been through isn’t fair but … I can’t just let them go.”
“And you intend to restore Bess’ soul?” Wes continued.
“Yeah … Willow said she could do it anytime, we just needed to call her – she still has that Medusa orby thing she needs to do the spell. She didn’t think the distance would matter,” Buffy confirmed.
“Thesulah,” Wes corrected her. “Orb of Thesulah … not Medusa. Medusa was a…”
Buffy narrowed her eyes and glared at him and Wes stopped midsentence.
“Why don’t you just restore it now? That way, when you find her, you won’t have a big drama,” Faith filled in the resulting silence.
“No bloody way!” Spike piped up, sitting forward in his seat. “What if it takes us a week or a month or a bloody year to find ‘er? You’re gonna leave someone with a soul to face … that? No … no way,” Spike insisted, shaking his head adamantly. “The worst bit for a vamp would be the boredom … those wankers would crush ‘er soul in no time at all with their bloody … games.”
Faith held up her hands in surrender. “Just a suggestion … from what you said she’s really strong and … hormonal with a serious case of PMS,” Faith pointed out.
“I can control ‘er,” Spike assured them. “No soul … not ‘til she’s out. It’ll be hard enough on ‘er then …”
After talking about different scenarios and trying to come up with solutions for things that might go wrong, they turned their attention to a plan for babysitting duties. After talking to Anya, they decided that Faith would pick the kids up at the bus stop each afternoon and watch them until Anya or Xander could pick them up in the evenings, then Faith could patrol and go to work … they’d stay overnight at the Harris’ and Anya would get them all to school in the mornings. It wasn’t ideal, and would be a disruption in the kid’s schedules for sure, but hopefully Buffy and Spike wouldn’t be gone more than a few days.
(same day, later that afternoon), Friday, April 23rd, 2010, 2:30pm:
Buffy walked into the great room after picking up the kids from the bus stop to find Spike on the telephone with Willy. She could tell by the expression on his face and the way he was pacing back and forth that it wasn’t going well. He’d already called in ‘sick’ two nights in a row … now he was asking for more time off. As the kids headed upstairs to change into play clothes, Buffy leaned against the wall near the kitchen and listened to half the conversation …
“Yeah, I know …”
“Yeah … I know …”
Spike sighed and rolled his eyes. “I know you need someone dependable … I been bloody dependable …”
“Yeah … I know, but I got no choice. I gotta have a week. Gimme this and I’ll be there…”
Spike held the phone away from his ear, even Buffy could hear Willy screaming on the other end, but she couldn’t tell what he was saying.
“Fire me!?” Spike exclaimed into the receiver. “You can’t bloody fire me!!”
“I’ll tell ya why! ‘Cos I bloody quit! Get stuffed you cheap son-of-a-bitch!” Spike screamed into the phone before slamming it down on the cradle and breaking it into several pieces. Spike growled in frustration, yanked the cord out of the wall, and slung the phone across the room, shattering it into even more pieces when it crashed against the wall next to the training room.
When Spike began to pick up the end table that it had been sitting on, Buffy rushed over and stopped him. They didn’t need all the furniture destroyed … especially since it appeared they were now both unemployed. “Stop! Spike … please stop!” she yelled, grabbing his hands and pulling him away from the table and towards the training room.
Spike let out a litany of curses, some of which Buffy had never even heard before, as she dragged him behind her across the floor and pulled him into the training room, shoving him towards the heavy body bag hanging in the center of the room. Spike tore into it with fists and feet, kicking and hitting and taking out all his frustrations on the poor, defenseless punching bag which had an uncanny resemblance to Willy the wanker … at least in Spike’s mind. When one of the seams ripped and sand began pouring out of it, Spike hit it harder, growling and pounding it until all that remained was a pile of sand on the floor and an empty shell of a bag hanging from the ceiling.
“I think you dusted it…” Buffy pointed out when Spike finally stopped, leaning over and resting his hands on his thighs, completely exhausted, mentally and physically, from the last few days and nights. “On the plus side, we don’t have to go to the beach to get sand between our toes now…”
“How can you make jokes?” he questioned tersely, looking up at her from his bent position. “Don’t you know what this means?”
Buffy pushed off the wall where she’d been waiting for him to get it all out and walked up to him. “You quit your job … you have no idea how many jobs I quit over the last five years … mostly I didn’t even tell them I was quitting, I just walked away – never came back. It’s not the end of the world, Spike. There are other jobs …”
“PFFFFT! How many career opportunities do you figure there are for a vampire, Buffy? There ain’t exactly a column for that in the bloody classifieds,” Spike pointed out, standing up straight and waving an arm out for emphasis.
Buffy sighed and took his hands in hers. “Spike … we’ll figure it out. We have the money from Willow and we’ll be ok for a while. We need to handle one thing at a time and not get distracted from the mission … you remember the mission, right?” Buffy asked, looking into his eyes.
Spike sighed … of course she was right. “Yeah … I remember the bloody mission,” he moaned, pulling her into a hug that he desperately needed. “I just … Buffy, we need …” he started and Buffy pulled back and silenced him with a finger pressed lightly on his lips.
“We need to get Bess. Period. Anything beyond that can wait. Anyway, Willy will probably be begging you to come back after a week without you … he’ll probably give you a raise,” Buffy assured him with a smile, dropping her finger from his lips.
Spike snorted a laugh and rolled his eyes. “That cheap bastard wouldn’t give his own mum a raise.”
“Well, I doubt his mom’s as good a bouncer as you are … I mean ... that’s just a guess, of course,” Buffy quipped, giving him a smile. “It’ll be alright, Spike. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself,” she assured him seriously as she leaned back against him and hugged her arms around his waist.
“You’re paraphrasin’ scripture now? What the bloody hell did them religious folks do to ya out there, Slayer?” Spike questioned with a smirk.
“What? I can’t know things? I know things – I know lots of things …” Buffy asserted, pulling back and giving him a self-satisfied smirk of her own.
Spike had to smile at her … she was the most confounding woman he’d ever known … and that included Dru; but she was also amazing, the most amazing woman he’d ever known. Spike closed his eyes and pulled her close, inhaling her scent and taking comfort in her embrace. She smelled like the promise of a cool, refreshing rain on a sweltering summer’s day and she felt like shimmering rays of sunshine showering over him on a cool winter’s morning … diametric … confounding. He let her wash away his foul mood with her cool warmth and hoped that she was right … about everything.
Be not therefore anxious for the morrow, for the morrow shall be anxious for its own things; sufficient for the day is the evil of it. Matthew 6:34
The first flight they could get from L.A. to London was the red-eye that night … or more precisely, early Saturday morning. Giles was coming back earlier than planned from Washington to join them. He didn’t know how much he could really do to help them on this mission, but Buffy wanted him to help her with Travers. If he could keep Quentin occupied talking about some imaginary issue with Annie and asking for help from the Council with it, Buffy might be able to wander around the Council Head’s office and nonchalantly scan his bookcases for possible clues while the ‘tweeds’ talked. Then it would be up to Giles and Spike to create enough confusion when he left that the receptionist wouldn’t notice that Buffy hadn’t exited with them.
Annie had been beside herself wanting to go with them. “Dad promised that he would take us to London one day!” she insisted, going from begging to crying to pouting and even pitching a temper tantrum to try and get Spike and Buffy to agree to take her with them.
“And we will … just not this time,” Buffy assured her, but Annie was inconsolable, finally locking herself in her room and refusing to talk to anyone or even come out for chocolate brownies … granted, they weren’t homemade, but still – chocolate.
After Annie had been locked in her room for two hours straight, Spike knocked on her door but was met with silence. “I know you’re in there … I can hear you breathin’ …” he informed her. “Open the door or I’ll take the bloody thing off its hinges …” he demanded. “… and leave it off for the rest of your life,” he added when he didn’t hear her move.
Annie shuffled despondently to the door and unlocked it, but didn’t open it. Spike sighed and rolled his eyes as he swung it open and stepped in. She had gone back and lain down on her stomach on the bed, her head turned so she was facing the wall. Spike sat down beside her and put a hand on her back, he could smell her tears and hear her heart fluttering in her chest like a frightened bird.
“Niblett … this ain’t a holiday,” he began, telling her the same thing they’d already tried to explain to her earlier. “It’s a mission … there’s a girl in trouble, she needs our help.”
“I’ll be good, I won’t get in the way…” Annie argued, her voice barely a whisper, still facing the wall.
“I know, pet – but we don’t know how long it’ll take – hell, we aren’t even sure where to look for ‘er …” Spike tried to explain.
“Maybe I could help …”
Spike sighed … She was more stubborn and determined than her mum – like a dog with a bloody bone.
“It might be dangerous, pet … your mum and me would never be able to forgive ourselves if somethin’ happened to you. It’d break our hearts … you wouldn’t want that, would you?” Spike tried.
Annie sniffed and wiped at her eyes. “But I want to go so much … I’ll never get to go,” she pouted.
“Well now, never’s a long time, pet. I promised that I’d take ya one day, and I will. I haven’t forgotten that … but this just isn’t the time.”
Annie sighed and turned over onto her back to look at him, fresh tears leaking from her eyes. “What if something happens to you? Please don’t go, Papa. Please, don’t leave us …” she begged.
Then Spike finally understood her unreasonable demands to go with them … it wasn’t about seeing London or his promise to take her one day, it was about her mother and father going off and possibly not coming back … how many times had that happened in her short life?
Spike brushed her curls back from her face and wiped the tears from her cheeks with the pad of his thumb. “You know we love you, yeah?” he asked her and she nodded solemnly.
“And we wouldn’t go off if it wasn’t important …”
She nodded slowly, not really wanting to admit that whatever the mission was, it was important.
“You remember when the bad men took you and Green … and your mum and me, we had to come find you and get you back?” Spike asked her.
“Yeah…” Annie answered, her voice small as she remembered that terrifying time in her life.
“Well, there’s another girl and someone’s taken her, just like they took you, and she needs our help. We have to get her back … away from the bad men,” Spike explained.
“But why can’t her own parents do it? Why do you have to do it?” Annie questioned with logic and wisdom beyond her years.
Spike rubbed his forehead and eyes … how was he supposed to answer that? He finally looked back up at her, meeting her eyes with his. “Niblett, one day you’ll understand …”
“NO! NO! NOT ONE DAY!” Annie screamed, sitting up. “Now! It’s not fair! I’m not dumb – I see things, I know things! I’m not a little kid! I deserve to understand now!”
Spike tilted his head and considered her … she was right about one thing – she wasn’t dumb and she knew when people were pulling the wool over her eyes, even if she didn’t know what it was they were trying to hide from her, she knew something was being hidden.
“Ok, that’s fair enough, then,” Spike agreed.
“Before I was a vampire, I was human – like you and …” he almost said, ‘your mum’ but that wasn’t exactly accurate … he wasn’t a Slayer by any stretch. “… like your Uncle Xander or Rupert,” he amended.
Annie was listening with rapt attention now, her brows furrowed in concentration as she listened intently. Finally! Finally someone was gonna tell her the truth!
“I was born in 1852 and I grew up and lived my human life in England … in London, but you know that,” he continued. “When I was grown, I got married and m’ wife and I had three children.”
Annie’s expression soured as a mixture of confusion and disappointment and hurt clouded her features. “You were married before Mama?” she questioned. “You had … kids … before me?”
“Yeah … I had three. Two girls and a boy,” Spike provided solemnly.
“Just like us …” Annie pointed out.
“Just exactly like you, in fact,” Spike confirmed, not sure how to possibly explain just how exact they were. “When I was turned into a vampire, I couldn’t stay with them anymore.”
Annie’s brows furrowed. “Why not?”
“‘Cos I was a bad vampire,” Spike explained.
Annie’s brows furrowed deeper, her eyes narrowing as she considered this. “You were? How come?”
Spike shrugged. “Most vampires are bad, pet … you know that. Wasn’t ‘til I met your mum that I … changed.”
“I took the bits to a trusted friend and they raised them for me … I went back to visit them but … they had moved away and I couldn’t find them again. What I didn’t know was one of the girls was a Slayer. She fought alone … I wasn’t there to help her like I do with your mum … like I would do for you if you were a Slayer one day,” Spike continued.
“Did the bad vampires … kill her?” Annie asked tentatively, knowing very well the dangers of being a Slayer.
Spike sighed. “The vampires made her a vampire … and now she’s in a dungeon somewhere bein’ held prisoner – we have to find her and get her out – bring her home, just like we did you.”
Annie considered this a few moments, her face a study in concentration. “Billy’s dream dungeon?” she asked, her eyes widening with surprise.
Spike smiled at her … he could almost see the wheels turning and the dots connecting in her mind. Definitely not dumb. “Yeah … that’s how we found out … Junior dreamt of ‘er.
“So … you see, that’s why we haveta go, pet. I’m her Dad … there’s no one else,” Spike concluded – finally getting back to her actual objection. He had no idea how to tell her that not only was he Bess’ dad, but Buffy was her mum … so he just left that bit out.
Annie sighed and looked down at her hands in her lap. “Does Mama know?”
Spike furrowed his brow and shook his head, trying to figure out what she meant. “She’s going with me …” he pointed out.
“No, I mean about you being married before and having kids and … and being a bad vampire,” Annie clarified.
Spike gave her a reassuring smile. “Yeah, pet – she knows. We don’t keep secrets…”
“Were you … very bad?”
Spike took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He’d opened this door, now he had to step through it. He knew this day would come, he’d just hoped it’d be in another ten or twenty or fifty years. “Yeah … I was. I did lots of horrible things … things I’m not proud of, things I never wanted you to know. But I won’t lie to you about it …” Spike’s voice trailed off, hoping his daughter could forgive him, as Buffy had, for the bad he’d done in the past.
Annie looked down at her hands again and frowned, considering his story, pursing her lips and moving them from side to side as she thought. “Do you miss them … your other kids?” she asked, changing the topic slightly.
“I did for a long time … then I met your mum and … you came along and filled that empty place in m’ heart with such joy. I know you’re growing up, pet … but you’ll always be my little girl – I’m sorry if we don’t give you credit for understanding more… we just try to keep you away from … bad stuff … scary stuff,” Spike admitted to her.
Annie shrugged. “I know … but I’m eleven now,” she informed him, as if eleven was some sort of a magical number. “I’ll be in middle school next year,” she reminded him, looking up and meeting his eyes.
Spike nodded knowingly. Why did kids always want to grow up so bloody fast? If they had any idea, they’d hang on to these years as long as they could, but that never worked either. “I’ll try to remember that.”
“Do you love Mama as much your other wife?” Annie continued her interrogation. While the gates were open she wanted to get as much information as she could.
“More …” Spike answered her simply and honestly. “There’s no one that could ever compare to your mum … not for me. She’s my soul mate … do you know what that is?”
Annie shook her head, her eyes now bright and eager as she drank in the flood of emotions and information that was flowing from her father.
“A soul mate is someone who is the other half of you. Before you find them, you feel like a puzzle with a piece missin’ … but when you finally find that piece, your whole world changes. It goes from grainy, black ‘n white to Technicolor in 3D, from a silent movie to surround sound, it’s bloody brilliant,” Spike tried to explain. “One day you’ll know … one day you’ll come and tell me you’ve found the one that completes you. It’ll be the happiest and saddest day of my life.”
“How come?” she questioned.
“‘Cos you won’t be my girl anymore, you’ll be ‘is.”
“I’ll always be your girl, Papa,” Annie assured him.
Spike hugged her to him and dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “I love you, Niblett.”
“I love you too, Papa. Please be careful … ‘cos if anything happened to you it would break our hearts … you wouldn’t want that, would you?” she tossed his own words back at him as she hugged his neck tightly.
“No, Niblett, I’d never want that.”
My Little Girl, Tim McGraw
Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
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