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

Chapter Title:


Too Much Month at the End of the Money

Chapter Summary:


Spike and Buffy have faced demons, monsters, and beasties of every description and made it through … but money problems are kicking their ass.


Time line:

September 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:

Too Much Month at the End of the Money, Billy Hill,


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:



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.

(Next day), Tuesday, September 28th, 2010, 8pm:


Xander had hired a few men that he knew from his old job, carpenters and drywall men, to get started on the repairs to the house, starting first with the roof joists and sheeting.  As soon as they were done replacing all the damaged wood, he had a roofing company ready to come redo the whole roof of the mansion with a commercial roofing system made specifically for flat roofs.  Buffy's house was now officially a construction site and appeared to be in an even bigger mess than it had been when the roof was falling in, if that was possible.


When Spike had gotten home from work in the early morning hours, he left Buffy and the kids sleeping downstairs and he slept in Bess’ room. When he got up that afternoon, it was clear that he hadn’t calmed down one bit since the previous night. The tension between them made Buffy’s stomach churn and she tried a couple more times to talk to him calmly about the logic of getting the food stamps, but he acted like he couldn’t even hear her, so she gave up. Spike got dinner ready to the point that all Buffy had to do was heat it up, and he headed to work early. He left shortly after the kids got home from school, barely saying three words even to them. Buffy was completely frustrated and hurt that he wouldn’t even pretend to listen to reason when all she was trying to do was help their family, help him.


Despite orders to not climb the stairs, Buffy waited until Anya picked JJ up, then distracted the kids with ice cream and ventured up to her office and her computer. They could yell at her later … she was getting used to being yelled at. As long as Spike was mad already, what was one more thing to add to the list?


Now she sat in her small office and tried to think of a user id for an eBay account.  She tried … Buffy ... ‘not available’ the computer informed her.


Spikesgirl … not available.


Sunnyslayer … not available.


Avengelyne … not available.


Buffy sighed … How many ‘Buffys’ and ‘Avengelynes’ were there in the world, anyway?


Passion4Spike … Success!


“Ha!” Buffy exclaimed in delight as she filled in her personal information that it wanted and hit ‘submit’ then waited on the confirmation email to show up in her inbox. It no sooner arrived that she heard the kids looking for her downstairs … apparently, they’d finished their ice cream.


“MOM!” Annie exclaimed when she found her in her office, out of breath from running all over the house. “What are you doing? How did you get up here!? You’re supposed to be downstairs!”


“I’m fine, honey … I had to get online,” Buffy explained.


“Dad’s soooo gonna kill me,” Annie groaned, walking up behind Buffy and looking at the computer.


“What are you doing?” she wondered when she saw eBay up on the screen.


Buffy sighed. “I’m just …” Buffy shook her head. “Just getting rid of some things I don’t need anymore,” Buffy offered.


Annie looked on the other side of her mother on the desk. “Your Jimmy Choos!?” she exclaimed. “But Dad bought you those for Christmas! You love them!”


Buffy shrugged. “Yeah, well, I love hot showers more.”


Annie moved over to the side of the desk where Buffy had piled up the things she was going to sell.  Along with her treasured shoes (Buffy could find only one pair of Jimmy Choos in the closet … apparently, without William’s money in the coffer, Spike had given her just one pair for Christmas, not three like she remembered from the pre-wish world), there were several pieces of jewelry, including some rings and crucifixes, the little black Neiman Marcus dress that Spike bought her the same day he’d bought the shoes, a couple of other barely worn designer dresses, and her iPod.


Annie frowned as she picked up one of the necklaces from the pile.


“What’s the matter, honey?” Buffy asked, catching her expression.


Annie looked up at her mom and shook her head, setting the necklace back down. “It’s nothing…”


“That’s not a ‘nothing’ face … tell me,” Buffy prodded, picking the necklace up. It was a silver rose with her birthstone, garnet, as the body of the flower and small diamonds adorning the leaves – Buffy didn’t remember it at all.


Annie shrugged. “Really, it’s nothing …” she repeated and started to walk out of the office.


Buffy grabbed her arm and pulled her back. “Tell me,” Buffy insisted, holding the necklace up.


Annie rolled her eyes and sighed. “It’s just…we gave you that for your birthday, Dani, Billy, and I … a couple of years ago. You wear it when the roses aren’t blooming, in the winter … you said it makes you feel like it’s summer all year.”


“Oh, honey … I … I’m sorry, I didn’t know – I didn’t remember,” Buffy apologized sincerely, feeling absolutely horrible. “I need to keep it, then … so I can have summer all year.”


“It’s ok, Mom …” Annie assured her with a half shrug. “We probably need hot water more…”


Buffy smiled sadly at her daughter and pulled her into a hug. “No, we don’t.”


The two were interrupted when Dani and Billy came storming into the room, telling Buffy that she wasn’t supposed to be up here and yelling at Annie for not telling them she’d found her.


“What are ya doin’?” Billy asked when the ruckus died down.


“I just need to try and sell some things … I had to get on the computer,” Buffy explained as she opened the clasp on the rose necklace and slid the chain around her neck, closing the clasp behind her and letting the garnet rose rest near her heart and remind her that there were some things more important than hot showers.


“You’re selling your shoes!” Billy exclaimed when Buffy set her hand down on the box, indicating the things she was selling. “You love those!”


Buffy rolled her eyes. “I know, baby … but it’s time to let someone else love them for a while,” Buffy explained. “Why don’t you guys get your homework done and get your baths and, since I’m already up here, I can tuck you in your very own beds tonight,” she suggested.


“Papa’s gonna be sooooo maaaaaad!” Dani warned her.


“I know … it’s ok. I can handle your Papa,” Buffy assured her.


“He’ll blow a bloody fuse …” Billy warned, mimicking his father’s accent and Buffy tousled his curls and laughed.


“Trust me – I can ‘defuse’ him. Go on now! Shoooo! I’m fine and I’ve got work to do…” Buffy told them, waving her hands at them and ushering them out of the room.


When they’d gone, she turned back to the computer screen and sighed. “‘Welcome to eBay,’” Buffy read the message in front of her before clicking on ‘Get started selling’ and focusing her attention on what needed to be done.


Buffy could hear the kids talking down the hall, Annie helping the other two with their homework, and then footsteps back and forth to the bathroom and up and down the stairs … as long as no one was screaming her name, she didn’t come out to check on them.  By the time the kid’s bedtime rolled around, she’d managed to get a few things listed on eBay, after mastering the digital camera, which she hadn’t thought about when she started this project – was nothing ever simple?


Buffy was just about to get up and go tuck the kids in when she heard them come into the office behind her.  “You know, it’s not a good idea to sneak up behind a pregnant woman …” Buffy warned as she turned around to face them, thinking they were trying to scare her.


Buffy furrowed her brow when she saw them, all in their PJ’s but all with things in their hands … “What’s going on?” she  questioned, looking from one to the other of her children.


Annie cleared her throat and stepped forward first. “Well … we, ummm … thought that maybe someone else would like to love some of our things for a while, too…” she explained as she placed a Millennium Holiday Barbie down on the desk next to Buffy, still in the box and in pristine condition.


Dani came up behind her sister and placed an autographed David Beckham, ManU trading card down next to the Barbie ...


And Billy put a box down on the floor next to his mother that had his Stormtrooper costume from last Halloween in it, along with his lightsaber that Spike had just given him.



“Oh … you guys … no,” Buffy began, looking at their treasures. “These are yours … Billy, your dad bought that lightsaber for you because of how brave you were and I know you love Stormtroopers! Annie, we bought that for you on your very first Christmas, you’ve had it nearly your whole life; I know how much you love it. Dani … wow – David Beckham? Did you meet David Beckham?”


Dani nodded deliberately. “Papa took me to a Galaxy game and we waited in the rain for him to come out afterwards…” Dani shrugged. “He was nice to me…even though Papa said he was a ‘bloody sell out.’”


“Sorry I missed that…” Buffy muttered.


“We want to help too…” Annie explained with a shrug. “We like hot baths…”


Buffy sighed and shook her head, looking at the earnest faces of her children and then at their donations. “Ok … I’ll tell you what … let’s find some things that aren’t quite so … special, ok? I’m sure we can find things that other people will love that maybe you guys don’t love quite so much.  Some things just aren’t worth trading a hot bath for…”




Buffy jumped when she heard Spike bellowing for her from downstairs.  She’d gotten so engrossed in listing things for sale on eBay that she’d lost track of the time. She’d intended on being back downstairs before he got home … shit. This was going to make the ‘defusing’ a tad trickier.


Buffy stood up and started for the office door when Spike appeared in it, looking worried and frightened. “What the bloody hell, Slayer!?” he exclaimed.


“I’m sorry … I just had to … uhhh …get on the computer a minute,” Buffy apologized; at least he was talking to her now – that was an improvement.  Buffy stepped forward, hoping to get a hug and subtly usher him out of the office … it was a 'two birds, one stone' move.


“You losing your memory now? You aren’t supposed to be climbin’ bloody stairs!” he reminded her. “And since I don’t see any wings sprouting outta your back … I’m guessin’ you didn’t just fly up here! What the hell are you doing that’s so bloody important?” Spike wondered, his worry turning into anger at her for even being up here.


“Just …” Buffy began as Spike stepped past her, ducking the 'stone' and bypassing any chance at a hug. He looked at the computer screen, then at the pile of things stacked next to it and the dresses hanging from the curtain rods. “… trying to…” she continued as she turned when he walked by.


“You’re selling our stuff on eBay now?” he questioned, putting two and two together quickly as he began rummaging through the things on and near the desk that she had listed for sale.  “Junior’s Stormtropper uniform!?” he exclaimed, picking the helmet up from the box on the floor.


“It’s too small for him to wear now … he volunteered it,” Buffy defended.


“Your jewelry!?” Spike moved on, looking at the jewelry on the desk. After the conversation with Annie about the necklace, Buffy had sorted through the jewelry and only picked things that she could remember and that didn’t have any special significance, things she'd bought for herself.


“I don’t need all that jewelry … I mostly just wear the things you or the kids gave me,” Buffy defended. “Spike, I’m just trying…” Buffy began to explain again when Spike found her Jimmy Choos.


“Your SHOES!?” he asked incredulously, picking them up and turning to face her. “I gave you these for Christmas! Or don’t you remember that, either?”


“Spike, I know … believe me, I remember, but …” Buffy began again.


“I didn’t give you those for you to turn around and fucking sell, Slayer! Or did that day mean so little to you?” Spike accused.


“Spike! If you’d shut the fuck up for a minute, I’d explain!” Buffy yelled back at him, taking the shoe box from his hand and setting it back down.


“Fine … this I gotta hear …” Spike agreed, folding his arms across his chest angrily.


“That day meant …” Buffy began tersely as tears welled in her eyes. She took a deep breath to calm down and blinked the tears back before starting again in a calmer voice. “That day meant more to me than I could ever tell you, Spike; I’ll always cherish the memory of spending that day with you and I love those shoes … but things are different now.  We need the money and those shoes are sitting in my closet, getting worn once or twice a year … and they could be putting food on our table … a roof over our heads,” Buffy asserted.


“Right. Here we go again … ‘cos ole Spike ain’t good enough to put food on the table or a roof over your pretty head …” Spike summarized. “I’m working my fucking ass off to keep this piece of shit house from falling down around our ears, pay the bills, keep the soddin’ lights on … but that ain’t enough, is it? Ole Spike just ain’t cutting it!”


“Spike! That’s totally not…”


“Fine! Bloody fine, Slayer … why don’t ya sell the whole bloody lot?!” Spike sneered at her, waving a hand out dramatically. “‘Ere … sell my fucking shoes too … and my duster,” he began, toeing his boots off and dropping his beloved coat off his shoulders and tossing it at her angrily. “Why don’t ya sell that shit hanging around your neck?! And them baubles on your fingers! How ‘bout all them frilly dresses the little bit got at the shower!? All that could pay plenty a’ bills, I’d wager! Don’t none of it mean nothin’ anyway…”


“God damn it, Spike!” Buffy retaliated, tossing his duster to the side and moving closer to him. “I’m just trying to help! We’ve got $26.71 in the checking account … there’s just too much month at the end of the money! All I’m doing is trying to pull my weight … or … some of my weight, ‘cos I don’t think Bill Gates could pull my actual weight right now...


“Why did I know you’d take this the wrong way, just like the food stamps!? You’ll take help from me in a fight, but not with this?! You stood there and accused the Council of being chauvinistic and treating Slayers like idiots, but here you are, doing the same fucking thing!” Buffy accused. “You’re a real piece of work!” she informed him, poking a finger against his chest.


I’m a piece of work!?” Spike repeated sarcastically, slapping her hand away and settling his hands on his hips. “You’re the piece a’ work, Slayer! Ya know, it’d be a mite easier to just sell the bits, since nothing seems to mean a bloody thing to ya anyway! That way you wouldn’t ‘ave to worry about all that pesky food and a soddin’ roof!”


“What the fuck is wrong with you, Spike!?” Buffy screamed at him, her frustration overflowing. “I don’t know what I did wrong! Oh … what? Did I threaten your manhood!? Wound your pride? Is that it?  Well, fuck that! You keep saying you won’t let me walk alone … it’s time you started letting me walk, Spike!”


“I ain’t stopping you! Walk wherever the fuck you want to, Slayer! Free bloody country … walk to soddin’ Timbuktu if ya want! Go on … off with ya, then!” Spike countered, waving his hand at the door.


“Oh … very mature. If you just stop and think a fucking minute, you’ll see that you’ve been stopping me from the moment Angel took his money back.  Pushing me back behind you … not letting me help … not letting me walk with you!” Buffy accused. “I love you, you God damn stubborn son-of-a-bitch, and all I want to do is help and all I get is yelled at for it! This house, this family … it’s not just yours, it’s mine too and it’s time you stopped walking alone, Spike!”


Spike refolded his arms over his chest and pursed his lips together angrily.  She’d shoved a stake into a huge festering wound … his pride, his self-worth and, yeah, his manhood.  Even nancy boy William had been able to support his family … of course, it helped that he had inherited quite a bit from his mother when she passed … but still, he had a respectable job with a decent wage and he most assuredly didn’t take any handouts.  Spike should be able to take care of his family, too. He was just as smart as William, plus stronger, older, more experienced with the world – if just one of the things he was working on would break open, he was sure he would be able to make enough to get them out of this pit of despair and debt. But so far, none of the feelers he’d put out had come back to him. He didn’t want to tell Buffy about them, not just because he didn’t want to get her hopes up, but also they weren’t all … well, let’s just say, Buffy may not approve of all of his ideas, but Spike wasn’t ruling much out.  If it didn’t hurt other people, wasn’t technically illegal, and it had the potential to make a lot of money fast, then it was fair game.


“Spike?” Buffy questioned when he didn’t say anything for a few moments, moving up to him and laying her hands on his upper arms. “Spike … I love you. Please … please, please, please just let me help. Don’t shut me out. Please let’s not fight anymore…”


Spike sighed heavily and closed his eyes before nodding slightly, even as he felt his pride wither a bit more. “I love you, Buffy… I didn’t mean t’ keep you down, just … just wanted to …” Spike sighed again and finally opened his eyes.


“Spike … I know what you’re trying to do … it’s … it’s noble, it’s chivalrous … but it just won’t work in this world. The world isn’t the same as it was in 1890 … it’s not a reflection on you. I don’t know how to get that through your thick skull…” Buffy assured him again.


“We’ll make it, Spike … but we’re gonna have to do it together,” Buffy offered, leaning against him.


Spike unfolded his arms and wrapped them around her, pulling her into his embrace. “I love you, Buffy. I just wanted to … be the man you deserve. I wasn’t mad at you … just at m’self. I want to give you and the bits the whole world … at the rate I’m goin’ the only thing I’ll be able to give ya is lessons in dumpster divin’ … you deserve better than me.”


Buffy shook her head against his chest as she wrapped her arms around his waist. “I couldn’t find anyone better than you, Spike.  Everything will be ok … we’ll figure it out, together, okay?”


Spike sighed and nodded tiredly and the pride he’d lost for himself started to manifest and grow for his family. “Junior really volunteered his Stormtrooper outfit to sell?” he asked, looking over at the stuff next to the computer.


Buffy smiled and nodded. “Yeah … they all contributed something – I didn’t ask them, they did all on their own.  They’re good kids, Spike … you’re not alone, we’re all with you. Just let us help …”


Spike smiled sadly and nodded.  “C’mon, Slayer … let’s get some kip.  You haven’t sold our bed, yet … I hope.”


Buffy smiled softly and shook her head. “No … the bed’s safe, I couldn’t figure out how to get it in a flat rate box…”






Too Much Month at the End of the Money, Billy Hill


I paid the bank note, the car note, an' yes, I paid the 'phone bill too.
An' then I turned around an' I found that the house note's due.
Well, I'd love to take you out like I said I would, honey,
But there's too much month at the end of the money.

Well, I got a little favor I wanna ask of you, my love,
Why don't you find that hole in my pocket an' sew it up?
Yeah, I thought I'd saved some but, you know, it's funny:
There's too much month at the end of the money.

All gone, oh, heaven only knows.
All gone, oh, where on earth it goes,
But it sure goes.
Well, sometimes I think it blows away.

I went down to the bank this mornin', 'bout half past nine.
Well, I was lookin' for a little somethin' in the credit line.
But the man said: "Look, what ya got here, sonny:
"There's too much month at the end of the money."

I'd love to take you out like I said I would, honey,
But there's too much month at the end of the money.
Too much month at the end of the money.


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