Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Can't Buy Me Love

Chapter Title:



Tough Little Boys


Chapter Summary:


Buffy and Spike do a locator spell to find Bess … she’s still running.  Buffy decides to have ‘the talk’ with Annie … she’s in for a little surprise.


Time line:

July 2010



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 1880 1890; first came to Sunnydale in September of 1997


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.



Music Referenced:

Tough Little Boys, Gary Allan:


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:



Thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter and to PaganBaby for ideas for with 'the talk'.

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.

(The next day), Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, 6pm:


Despite Buffy driving like a bat out of hell, the Blue Bomber was no match for the Harley and Bess was long gone before Buffy could even get out of their neighborhood.  While Anya watched all the kids, Buffy and Spike, along with Xander, Giles, Wes, and Faith looked for Bess in and around Sunnydale all night the night she ran away and into the next day, but the Slayer-vamp was nowhere to be found.


Buffy and Spike thought about reporting the Harley as stolen, like Buffy had done when Spike was missing, but decided against it.  They didn’t know what Bess might do if confronted with being arrested … it wasn’t worth risking the life of a police officer or Bess’ freedom over … they felt sure she’d come back after she cooled down, but now, nearly two full days later, she still hadn’t shown and, after Buffy did a locator spell to find her, it seemed clear that she wouldn’t be back for a while.


Buffy recited the locator spell, changing it slightly from the one she’d learned in the Wish-World that tracked Vengeance Demons, to find their daughter, then scattered the magical dust over the map of California … and she got nothing. 


“Maybe you forgot how t’ do it, luv,” Spike suggested as he watched the spell mock her with darkness.


Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Trust me … I didn’t forget how to do it,” she assured him, pulling out a map of the whole United States and trying again.  This time a glowing green dot with a red center appeared near Flagstaff, Arizona … As they watched, the bright dot moved slowly east along I-40 towards Albuquerque, New Mexico.



Buffy sighed and closed her eyes, shaking her head slightly and Spike came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.


“It’s not your fault, luv…” Spike assured her as he watched the dot move ever so slowly further away from California.


“I … I handled it all wrong,” Buffy admitted. “I should’ve … I should’ve waited for you …we could’ve talked to her together – calmly, like adults … I got into a screaming match with her; I drove her away.”


“No, pet … she drove herself away.  I don’t know that we could’ve changed it, luv.”


Buffy sighed heavily and leaned back against him. “She doesn’t think we love her … Spike – I do love her … I miss her. I’m so worried about her …”


“I know, pet … but sometimes people gotta work stuff out on their own. We just do the best we can, but you can’t live their lives for ‘em.  She’s not a child … she looks like a child … she’s got the temperament of a bloody hormone charged, pubescent bit, but she hasn’t been a little bit for a long while. Maybe that was our mistake, tryin’ to give her a childhood that she’d long ago outgrown…” Spike suggested sadly. “She needs to come back to us … we can’t hold ‘er against her will … she has to want to come back.”


Buffy nodded against his chest as she opened her eyes and watched the dot on the map that was their daughter move further and further away. She wanted desperately to go after her … to fly to Amarillo, which would be her next stop after Albuquerque if she stayed her course, and catch up with her, talk to her, apologize to her, but Spike was right, if Bess didn’t want to be held, if she didn’t want to come back, it would do no good.


“Where’s she going?” Buffy muttered more to herself than Spike, shaking her head sadly.


“I reckon she thinks she’s goin’ home,” Spike suggested. “But she can’t go home any more than I could… it’s not gonna be what she thought … she’s not gonna find any answers there.”


Buffy blew out a breath and the pair stood in silence and watched the dot move slowly across the map as Bess sped across the desolate desert of  Arizona towards New Mexico.  They both sent up another in a long line of silent prayers to their Guardian Angel to watch over their girl … and to help guide her home.




(later that evening), Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, 7pm:


After what happened with Bess, Buffy took some time to reflect on things and thought that perhaps they were treating Annie too much like a child, as well.  Now she paced back and forth in the upstairs hallway, wringing her hands nervously and practicing her speech in her head. Babies are made when a man and a woman have … uhhh … Ok … ummm, It takes a man and a woman to make a baby and it starts with love and smoochies, but there’s more to it … Ok, yeah, that’s good… uhhhh … You know that boys have wee-wees but girls don’t and that’s what makes it … Oh, she’s not three! It’s not a wee-wee, it’s a penis! Buffy admonished herself silently, rolling her eyes. 


Buffy stopped and shook her head, no wonder her mom never had this actual talk with her … but she was determined to not make that same mistake with her kids. They needed information and they would find a place to get it, if not from her or Spike, then from their friends at school or … who knew where.  It would be better coming from someone they trusted and it would be facts, not conjecture or old wife’s tales … Buffy had thought about this talk for a long time – years, in fact … she’d even written it out at one point, but it sounded lame on paper, so she’d tossed it … she sort of wished she’d kept it now.


“Just do it…” she encouraged herself. “Just be honest, just be straight with her. If you don’t act embarrassed, then she won’t be embarrassed.” It was time to give the cat another bath.  Buffy prayed that this one would work out better.


Buffy took a deep breath and knocked on Annie’s door and waited for their daughter to turn her music off and open it. 


“Hey, sweetie … can I talk to you a few minutes?” Buffy asked, giving Annie a small smile to cover her own nervousness as she stepped into her daughter’s room and closed the door behind her.


“Sure … what do you want to talk about?” Annie asked, sitting down cross-legged on her bed and pulling Miss Kitty, who still slept in her room most nights, into her lap.


“Well, I know you’re growing up and that you’re eleven now and you’ll be starting middle school in the fall, so I thought it was time we talked about stuff you’re going to need to know … about where babies come from and boys and how they’re different than girls…” Buffy endeavored to hide her nervousness as best she could by keeping a friendly smile on her face as she sat down on the end of the bed opposite Annie.


“Oh. I already know all that…” Annie assured her with a shrug as she ran a hand softly over the cat's back.


Buffy’s brows went up but then she realized that, of course, kids thought they knew stuff, but usually it was just rumors and not really facts… “Ok, well, why don’t you tell me what you know, and if anything isn’t clear, I can fill in the blanks,” Buffy suggested.


Annie shrugged and looked down at her pet, idly outlining the different colors that blotched the cat's coat with her fingers, as Buffy waited for her to begin. “Well …” Annie started after a few moments of silence. “Babies don’t really come from angels, they come from sexual intercourse. A man and a woman make a baby when a man’s penis ejaculates sperm into the woman's vagina and the tadpoles swim up through the cervix and uterus and find the egg in the fallopian tubes and they fertilize it.


“It only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, but one ejaculation has thousands of them, but only the strongest ones make it all the way into the fallopian tubes. Missionary position is a good position if you’re trying to get pregnant; woman on top or standing aren’t as good, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant if you do it that way, it just might be harder,” Annie explained, still looking down at Miss Kitty.


When Buffy didn’t say anything for a few moments, Annie looked up. “Is that right?”


Buffy’s mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out. Finally, Buffy cleared her throat … she suddenly wished she’d brought a glass of water … or whiskey, with her. “Yes … uhhhh … yeah, that’s all right,” Buffy affirmed. “Where did you read that?”


“Oh, I didn’t read it, I asked … someone,” Annie started to say that she’d asked her Aunt Anya, but decided to keep her source a secret, just in case her mom was mad.


Anya,” Buffy moaned, rolling her eyes. Would Anya ever learn to keep her big mouth shut? Damn that woman … Buffy didn’t go around telling JJ about sperm and eggs and fallopian tubes! She didn't go blabbing about things that weren't any of her business, even when she thought maybe he should know ... like the fact that, although bunnies may be evil, vile creatures that eat your garden, they were not actually demons ... or dangerous to humans.


Annie’s eyes went wide and her mouth opened in surprise. Could her mom read her mind now?! Annie sighed and nodded. “Please don’t be mad at her. I made her tell me ….”


“You made her tell you … just how did you do that?” Buffy wondered.


“Well … I asked her,” Annie admitted, looking back down at the cat.


Buffy rolled her eyes. Yep, that would be all it would take to make Anya tell you anything.  Thank God she didn’t work for the CIA! There would be no such thing as ‘national security’. Heaven forbid she got a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken ... the Colonel's 'secret recipe' would be written out in neon lights in the front window.


“Can I ask you something though?” Annie questioned tentatively as Buffy tried to refocus.


“Of course …” Buffy agreed, letting her aggravation with Anya go – for now. There was more to what she wanted to talk to Annie about than sperm and eggs … Buffy needed to concentrate on that now.  She'd deal with Anya later.


“What’s the Red Riding Hood game? I looked in this book, but it’s not in there …” Annie admitted as she set Miss Kitty down on the floor, pulled a book out from under her mattress and handed it to Buffy.


“Where did you get this!? Don’t tell me Anya gave it to you!” Buffy exclaimed as she flipped through it, her anger building again. 'Position of the Day’ it announced on the cover in big black letters, ‘Sex everyday in every way’.


“No … I … sort of borrowed it from her … without asking,” Annie confessed.


Buffy blew out a breath as she scanned through it. “You stole it? Annie … you know better than that …” Buffy began to chastise her daughter.


“Wow … seriously? Who does this stuff?” Buffy exclaimed, forgetting her sermon about stealing as she looked through the book. “‘The Sundial?” Buffy questioned with a disbelieving look, tilting her head as she studied the drawing. “I mean … that looks like a lotta work! Who would do that? Although … that would probably hit the g-spot really well …” she mused before turning the page. “Look at this pretzel thing … geez … it’d take an hour to just figure out where to put your legs and arms… let alone any other parts of your body…”


When Buffy looked up, Annie was looking at her with a mixture of disbelief and amusement. “Sorry …” Buffy apologized, closing the book and setting it down on the bed. “Red Riding Hood … ok, well, there’s not really a game or a position called that, at least not that I know of, but apparently I don’t know all of them,” Buffy admitted, eyeing the book again. “I really don’t know where you kids got that.”


“’Cos sometimes, in the middle of the night, you and dad sound like the wolf is eating Red Riding Hood, he growls and you scream. You’re having sex, aren’t you?” Annie asked reproachfully.


“Well … yeah … we’re having … sex,” Buffy admitted, forcing herself to stop lying about the loud ‘game’ and use the actual word ‘sex’, despite it sticking slightly in her throat.


“How come sex is so … loud?” Annie wondered. Annie was somewhat surprised that it wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be to ask her mom about this stuff … it was still a bit squicky thinking about her mom and dad doing those things, but Anya’s contention that everyone did it, and she wouldn’t be here if they didn’t, somehow made it a little easier to accept.


Buffy laughed as her face flushed with heat. “Well, there’re more reasons to have sex than just to make babies,” Buffy began to tell her daughter.


“Oh ... orgasms,” Annie filled in with a knowing nod.


“Orgasms, right …” Buffy agreed. Had Anya left anything out? “See, what your dad said about where babies come from and there being different kinds of love and loving someone in a special way, that wasn’t a lie.  When you love someone in that way, there’s this … spark, this connection between the two of you and it makes you want to be intimate with that other person.


“Anya likes to talk about the mechanics of sex … but that’s not really what it’s about, Annie. I mean, that’s important that you know and understand that, but really, it’s about love. It’s about opening yourself up to someone else, it’s about being vulnerable and putting your feelings on the line; it’s about giving someone else pleasure and them giving you pleasure … it’s very … intense.  It’s that intensity that makes it loud … I know you’ve heard us before … like that time at Disneyland in the castle and obviously at the B&B. We try to be quiet … but it’s hard to do.


Everyone is different, but for me and your dad there comes a moment that you feel like you’re going to explode with absolute joy and, if you don’t let some of it out, release it, you really might,” Buffy tried to explain. “Did you ever get so happy, so excited that you just had to scream?”


A smile turned up the corners of Annie’s mouth and she nodded. “The first time I did six pirouettes in row on pointe perfectly and didn’t fall, I screamed and jumped up and down.”


Buffy smiled at her. “Now … multiply that joy by … a thousand – and that’s what having an orgasm with someone you truly love feels like. And that’s why it’s so hard for us to be quiet … ‘cos it’s just … well … pretty overwhelming.”


“If it’s that great, why don’t people just have sex all the time?” Annie wondered.


Buffy smiled at her. “Well, that’s a good question … Sex is great, but there’s so much more to life. If it was just sex, I think even that would get old after a while … Like you can hear a song on the radio and totally love it and you can’t wait to hear it again … but after hearing it ten times a day for a month, it sort of loses its allure. 


“Doing different things with people you love, with your friends and family, sharing things that you like with those people … like your dancing and languages, that’s like the … ummmm …” Buffy paused and thought of some analogy that might help … after a few moments she started again. “Ok – think of it this way: all the things you do every day, like going to school and dance class and playing video games and riding your bike … that’s the ice cream; spending time with people you love – sharing experiences with them, with your family or a boyfriend one day, that’s the chocolate syrup; having sex with someone you truly love is the cherry on top of life.


“Annie, sex isn’t something to take lightly … what I mean is, there should be feelings attached with it, for both people.  Some people have sex just for the orgasms and … yeah, I guess I can see where they’re coming from with that, but I think it’s better if you have real feelings for the person you’re with. It makes it so much better when you go into it with the intent of giving, not taking.


“One day, you’ll meet someone and you feel that spark and you’ll get to know them and the spark will grow into a flame. And, as time goes on, your heart will just swell with love and you’ll want to give yourself to that person, and that person will want to give themselves to you … The first time you have sex should be special … you’ll never forget it, even if you … even if the relationship doesn’t work out, it’ll be a defining moment in your life, you don’t want to take it lightly,” Buffy advised her.


“Did you love the first boy you had sex with?” Annie asked her. “Was it dad?”


“No … it wasn’t your dad, but yeah … yeah, we were … at least I thought we were in love. Looking back, I’m not sure that he really was … and honestly, it hurt for a long while because it ended up with him taking and me giving instead of us both giving…” Buffy admitted.


“Who was it? Do I know him?” Annie wondered.


“Oh … ummm … that’s really not important. What’s important is that you wait until you’re ready, even if the boy’s ready sooner.  If he tries to put pressure on you … then he’s not giving – he’s taking. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ at any time, and I mean ANY time … and there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind, even at the very last minute. And there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘no’ to anything you don’t feel comfortable doing … everyone’s different, you should only do what you feel comfortable with.”


“Johnny Martin asked if he could kiss me, but I told him ‘no’,” Annie offered.


Buffy’s brows went up. “I thought you liked Johnny …” she mused with a knowing smile.


“Oh, I do … but it was right after lunch and he had sticky, grape jelly all over his mouth,” Annie explained, making a face.


Buffy laughed. “Good decision,” she told her daughter with a serious nod.


“Do people really kiss with their tongues … not just their lips?” Annie wondered.


“Well … so I’ve heard,” Buffy joked lightly. “It’s called French kissing and yeah, tongues are definitely involved. A boy might use his tongue to … uhhh … well, like tease your lips or he might press through your lips and into your mouth …”


“Ewwww! If a boy tries to put his tongue in my mouth, I’ll puke!” Annie asserted, making another ‘how gross is that?’ face.


Buffy bit her bottom lip to keep from smiling and made a mental note to remind her daughter of that one day.


Buffy gathered her thoughts back, she’d rehearsed the things we wanted to get across to her daughter and now that she’d opened the gates, she wanted to make sure she covered it all. “Don’t let them tell you that once they have an erection that the only way to make it go away is to cum … or ‘ejaculate semen’ … that’s just not true.  If any boy tells you that, tell them to take it in the bathroom and take care of it themselves...and then never talk to them again, because he’s liar and a user. And, regardless of what Bill Clinton or anyone else says, giving a boy a blow job or even a hand job, is still sex.”


Annie’s eyes went wide and she laughed with nervous embarrassment about her mom talking about blow jobs and hand jobs.


“I’ve heard some kids talking about that stuff … do you really put your mouth on …” Annie scrunched up her nose and looked at her mom for help.


Buffy looked at her little girl with understanding … she was growing up, but thank goodness she wasn’t there yet. “Yeah … you put your mouth … or your hand, on the boy’s penis and … well … stimulate him that way instead of with intercourse.”


Annie had a pained and grossed-out expression on her face; she was quite sure that she would never give anyone a blow job … that was right up there in the ‘ick’ department with someone else’s tongue in her mouth. I mean, seriously? How gross is that?


“Sorry … I didn’t mean to embarrass you … but I think we need to talk about it, ‘cos kids these days seem to think that it’s alright to do that stuff like it doesn’t mean anything. But don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with blow jobs or hand jobs … using your mouth and hands to make your partner feel good is a wonderful part of sex, but it’s still sex,” Buffy admonished her. “It’s not like playing UNO! … it’s not something you do with your seat-mate on the bus to pass the time. It should be personal, it should be … intimate and it should be done out of love, not boredom or peer pressure or whatever reason kids nowadays.”


Annie nodded thoughtfully, but still couldn’t see herself doing any of that. That was totally gross.


“How will I know when I’m ready for sex?” Annie asked, pushing the amazement and ick factor of her mom suddenly talking so openly about this stuff aside.


Buffy shrugged slightly and took a deep breath. “Well, your body will probably be ready before your heart; that’s how it was for me. My body practically screamed at me day and night to just do it, but my heart wasn’t ready. My situation was a little … odd – which, hey … what’s new, right? I don’t know how it will be for you, but for me it was just like a switch got thrown, and my heart and my mind and my body were suddenly all in agreement … all in sync, they all wanted the same thing for once. Then I knew it was time, I was ready.”


“How old were you?”


Buffy took a breath and tried to decide if she should be honest about that or not … but it wouldn’t be long before Annie would figure out how old Buffy was when she was conceived and she’d know that since Spike wasn’t her first, that her first time must’ve been before that. “I was seventeen.”


Annie nodded thoughtfully and went silent for a few moments. She had a while to figure all this out then … seventeen.


“Does sex hurt?” Annie asked after a few moments. “Aunt Anya said that it hurt … or it could hurt … something like that,” Annie pointed out, trying to remember exactly how Anya put it.


“The first time does a little, because every girl has a hymen … the boys call it a ‘cherry’, and when that gets broken it hurts some and it bleeds … but after that, no, it doesn’t hurt, or it shouldn’t – if you do it right, it feels good – really, really good. If it hurts, then something’s wrong and you need to talk to me or a doctor about it…” Of course, Buffy knew what Anya was referring to, but she wasn't going there with Annie ... not at the ripe old age of eleven, anyway.


Annie nodded thoughtfully. “That makes more sense…” she decided.


“Sooooo … have you ever seen a condom?” Buffy asked, pulling a small foil pack out of her pocket.


Annie’s eyes went wide (again) and she shook her head ‘no’.  Finally, something factual that Anya didn’t cover! Buffy pulled the condom out and let Annie examine it and Buffy used her fingers to demonstrate how it would fit over a boy’s penis and talked with her about safe sex and STDs and pregnancy and her period, which hadn’t started yet, but could anytime, and pads and tampons and the changes her body would go through.  Buffy tried her best to tell her daughter everything that she wished her mom had told her and open the lines of communication, so Annie would feel comfortable confiding in her at any time. She sooo didn’t want Annie to turn into a teenage replica of her and pull away from them, or worse.


After nearly two hours of talking and Annie asking questions, Buffy finally felt like she’d covered everything she had planned to and felt confident that their daughter would come to her with questions from now on … not Anya, or her friends at school.


“I think we better give this back to your aunt,” Buffy said at last, picking up the ‘Position of the Day’ book.


Annie nodded guiltily. “I didn’t mean to keep it, I just wanted to look at it a while …”


“I know … I understand that you’re curious and you just wanted information and no one was giving it to you. Your dad and me, we love you and it’s hard to think about you growing up – especially for him.  I don’t have to tell you that when you start dating, you better prepare the boy ahead of time; make sure he expects the Spanish Inquisition when he picks you up …” Buffy warned.


Annie smiled. “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition,” she replied, quoting one of her father’s favorite shows, Monty Python. She got kind of a warm feeling thinking about all the times she sat with him and watched his silly old shows … that must be the ice cream that her mom was talking about … sharing things with your family.


Buffy laughed and leaned forward to drop a kiss on her daughter’s forehead. Buffy brushed some of her daughter’s long hair back over her shoulder with her hand as she met her eyes. “You’re a beautiful, smart girl.  You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, don’t rush it … don’t try to grow up too soon. One day, you’ll find a wonderful boy who you’ll love, who loves and deserves you, and your dad will walk you down the aisle and he’ll cry, but he’ll give his little girl away. It’ll be the happiest and saddest day of our lives …” Buffy blinked back tears and wiped at her eyes. “Oh, look at me … remind me to wear smudge-proof, waterproof mascara on your wedding day.”


Annie smiled and sat forward to hug her mom’s neck. “I love you, Mama,” she whispered.


Buffy hugged her back. “I love you, sweet girl.”


When Annie pulled back, Buffy stood up, taking the book of sex positions with her.  Just before she opened the door, Annie ventured, “Can I ask you one more thing?”


“Sure … anything,” Buffy agreed, turning back around.


Annie jumped up and took the book from Buffy’s hand and turned to the page showing ‘The Table Dance’ position. “Aunt Anya said that Uncle Xander couldn’t do this … but she said she thought you and Dad could ‘cos Dad’s so strong…”


Buffy looked at the drawing and made a face … that was another one that looked like a lot of work, probably more work than it was worth, but at least it wasn’t work on her part, just Spike’s. “I don’t know …” Buffy hedged. “But we can try it and find out…” she offered, giving Annie a conspiratorial wink.


Annie giggled and nodded, handing the book back to Buffy. Now she had something new to be proud of her parents about … not only were they superheroes that fought evil and saved the world, they could have sex in positions that other people couldn’t … who knew?




Later that night, when Spike came to bed after his shower, Buffy smiled at him slyly and stopped him before he could get to the bed.  “Your daughter has a request …” she informed him, opening the book of positions. “She wants to know if you can do this …”


Spike looked at the book and looked back at Buffy with horror and utter bewilderment. “She … the Niblett … Christ, woman!” Spike sputtered. “Have you gone 'round the soddin' bend? What the bloody hell did you two talk about?! That don’t look like birds and bees t’ me!”


Buffy laughed and shrugged. “Spike, she’s eleven and she's curious … didn’t you ever look at stuff like that when you were young? National Geographic with the bare breasted natives or ... those nudist colony magazines where everyone's playing volleyball on the beach 'au naturale'?”


“No, I bloody well did not!”


“Oh … couldn’t find any, huh?” Buffy surmised.


“Looked everywhere …” Spike admitted with a sigh, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. "But, Christ, Buffy ... the Niblett ... she's ..."


"Not a baby, Spike. She's growing up ... you need to deal," Buffy advised him.


Spike sighed heavily and rubbed his eyes.  Where the hell had the years gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that she was dressing Miss Kitty up in her doll's outfits and having pretend tea parties with her stuffed animals?  Apparently not. "Don't recall seein' that book before ... where the bloody hell did that come from? Been holding out on me, Slayer?"


Buffy laughed and shook her head. "No ... it's not mine. The thing is, our daughter had a little talk with Anya while we were gone … Annie found this book at their house and kinda borrowed it … anyway, to make a long story short, Anya said this was one of Xander’s favorite positions, but that it was probably too hard for you to do…”


Spike took the book and looked at it more closely, somehow missing the part about Anya talking to Annie, hearing only the challenge that had been thrown down, which had been Buffy's plan. She could deal with Anya, she didn't want to lie to Spike or keep it from him, but he didn't need to get up in arms over it, either. “Pffffft! Child’s play! Could do that with one hand tied behind m’ back!”


“I’ve got a rope in the nightstand …” Buffy offered with a devious smile.


Spike grabbed her before she could turn around to retrieve the rope and pulled her against him. “Let’s try it without the rope one time …” he murmured against her lips.


Buffy laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck and captured his mouth with hers.  She had no doubt he could do it (because there would be no way he’d let Xander best him) … the only question would be if he could do it with one hand tied behind his back.




(later that night), July 4th, 2010, 2am:


Spike pulled on his PJ bottoms and slipped back downstairs after Buffy fell asleep and sat down at the research table. He sadly watched the small, shiny dot that was Bess hover on the map just west of Flagstaff, Arizona. She was apparently stopped in the middle of nowhere, about a hundred miles west of Flagstaff. He didn’t blame Buffy for what happened; if he had found Bess in that alley behind the Bronze, he seriously doubted the outcome would’ve been any better … in fact, it might’ve been worse. He’d been afraid from the beginning that she was too damaged to trust them, too broken to let herself love anyone or perhaps too damaged to allow herself to be loved.  Yes, she’d had disappointments since coming to Sunnydale, but certainly they weren’t so dire, so tragic that they’d drive her away … especially considering where she’d come from … were they?


It occurred to Spike that perhaps what she was running from, what she was rebelling against, wasn’t them and their rules as much as it was the fear of becoming part of a family … part of something larger than yourself.  She’d been snatched out of every family she’d ever loved, lost everyone she had ever cared for … maybe this time she was running before she could be abandoned yet again … before her heart got broken again. Just like Buffy, Spike’s heart longed to go after her … but what he told his wife earlier was true – they couldn’t hold her if she didn’t want to be held.  She had to find her own way back to them…


Spike jumped when a small, warm hand touched his bare shoulder. “Junior!” Spike exclaimed, barely stopping himself from hitting his son in the face with his elbow.  Billy climbed up onto Spike’s lap unfazed, not even considering the possibility that Spike could severely wound or even kill him with a perfectly placed blow.


“Is that Bess?” Billy asked, pointing to the map. He’d seen his share of locator spells before.


“Yeah,” Spike answered as he blew out a breath to calm the adrenaline rush from being startled and settled his son on his knee so they could both watch the small glowing orb hover over the map.


“Did I do something wrong?” Billy wondered, looking from the map up to Spike.


“No … no, you didn’t do anything wrong. Why do you think that?” Spike assured him.


Billy shrugged and looked back at the map. “Bess kicked me out … said to never come back…”


“Out of her dream?” Spike questioned.


“Yeah… I … I was just trying to help her and … she pushed me out the door into the rain.  Why did she do that? Why did she leave? I thought she would like it here,” his son pondered sadly. “Did I do something wrong?” he asked again.


“No, Junior … no, it’s not you.  Bess is just … she got scared and she ran off,” Spike tried to assure him again.


“If I was scared, I’d run home … What’s she scared of?” Billy wondered, looking up at his father with innocent eyes.


Spike shook his head slowly. “Not sure … I think maybe she’s scared of us … scared of love.”


Billy furrowed his brow and tried to comprehend that. “I don’t understand,” he admitted finally.


Spike shrugged and sighed. How do you explain what Bess had been through to a six year old?  “You remember them mangy kittens you bits found behind the Magic Box?” Spike asked him.




“And we told you all not to get too attached to them ‘cos we couldn’t keep ‘em?” Spike continued.


“Yeah …”


“But you all did, anyway … gave ‘em all names, bought ‘em kitty treats and little collars, played with ‘em everyday after school, and let yourselves fall in love with them … and then what happened?” Spike asked his son.


“We had to give them away …” his son answered sadly.




“And we all cried …” Billy recalled quietly.


“Bess is kinda like someone who’s had to give ‘er kittens away too often … she’s afraid to love, 'cause she’s afraid the kittens will be taken away and she’ll be hurt and she'll cry,” Spike related. “She’s afraid to get too close to us … afraid we’ll be taken away or she’ll be taken away …”


Billy pursed his lips and moved them back in forth as he considered this, keeping his eyes on the map.  As he watched, the dot began moving again … heading for Flagstaff. Tears stung Spike’s eyes as he pulled Billy’s back tight against his chest and tucked his son’s head under his chin as they watched the magical Lojack move slowly away from them. He sighed heavily and laid one hand down on the map near Albuquerque … it was as close to holding her, assuring her, guiding her, as he could get. He hoped it would be enough.



Tough Little Boys, Gary Allan



Well I never once
Backed down from a punch
Well I'd take it square on the chin
But I found out fast
That bullies just laugh
And we've got to stand up to them

So I didn't cry when I got a black eye
As bad as it hurt, I just grinned
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again.

Scared me to death
When you took your first steps
And I'd fall every time you fell down
Your first day of school, I cried like a fool
And I followed your school bus to town

Well I didn't cry, when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

Well I'm a grown man
But as strong as I am
Sometimes it’s hard to believe
How one little girl, with little blonde curls
Can totally terrify me

If you were to ask, my wife would just laugh
She'd say "I know all about men,
How tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again"

Well I know one day, I'll give you away
I'm gonna stand there and smile
But when I get home, and I'm all alone
Well, I'll sit in your room for a while

Well I didn't cry when Old Yeller died
At least not in front of my friends
But when tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again

When tough little boys grow up to be dads
They turn into big babies again



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