|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
I'm Falling Down
Can Buffy find the cure for Spike? Is there really a curse from the demon or something much closer to home that’s the problem?
MacKenzie Verity Weckerly born October 9th, 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
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.
I’m Falling Down (Moonshot), James Marsters http://youtu.be/s-6nrEk0Ux0
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise: http://www.screencap-paradise.com/?cat=3
Thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter. Any mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling ...
|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 night … Friday, January 7th, 2011:
Buffy walked in the garden doors of the mansion braced to see the mutilated bodies of her friends and family staring back at her in blind terror, but they were gone. In fact, the floor was spotless; every drop of blood that had covered the room seemed to be gone, replaced with the unmistakable odor of bleach and lemony-fresh Mr. Clean. Dream Spike had a maid?
“Spike?” Buffy called tentatively as she walked further into the room, looking through the door into the kitchen as she passed. “Spike? Are you here?”
Buffy checked the whole house, but there was no sign of Spike or the bodies. Upstairs in their room, she stepped up to the window and looked out as she tried to think where he would’ve gone and she found her answer almost immediately. In their backyard stood a cemetery … full of headstones and statuary and thirteen freshly dug graves … Spike was working on the fourteenth, smaller than the rest … baby sized. Each grave had a casket next to it; she knew what was in the caskets.
“Oh, Spike…” Buffy moaned before she turned and hurried down the hall, downstairs, and out to the backyard.
“Spike, baby … what are you doing?” Buffy asked as she approached him. He was covered in dirt and blood and was clearly exhausted from hand digging so many graves. His body was barely functioning as he stepped on the shovel and slowly lifted another clump of soil out of the last hole, then repeated the procedure robotically, as if afraid that if he stopped, he wouldn’t be able to start again.
“Needed a proper burial, they did … couldn’t just leave ‘em there, Slayer,” Spike explained, his voice resigned, regretful and exhausted.
Buffy walked up to him and easily pulled the shovel from his hands. “Spike, you don’t have to do this – this isn’t real. You haven’t killed anyone. I’m gonna get you outta here, I promise.”
Spike snorted softly and dropped down to his knees and began digging with his hands. “Yeah? Gone completely sack o’ hammers, you have. Can’t see the truth when it’s right in front o’ your bloody eyes. A Slayer that won’t bloody slay … soddin’ pathetic, you are, a disgrace to the Slayer name.”
“Spike, please stop,” Buffy admonished him, pulling him up by his upper arms and out of the small grave onto the grass next to it.
“Buffy, please just let me finish … then do your sacred duty … dust me, put me outta my bloody misery,” Spike begged her, his blue eyes sad and haggard as they looked up at her.
Buffy went down to her knees next to him and took his face in her hands. “Spike, listen to me. This is not real. I know it seems real, but it’s not. Do you remember the fight – with the Pele?”
Spike nodded, his eyes down in shame, unable to meet hers. “I remember.”
“Then what’s the next thing you remember?”
“Digging outta m’ grave … Dru was there waiting, just like before. I’d killed ya in that bloody fire, Dru said she saved you … turned you,” Spike related.
“Ok, just think about the absurdity of that for a minute. First of all, Dru’s been dusted for a long time, second of all, she’d never turn me – she hates me – she’d be happy to see me dead - she'd probably dance on my grave, and third of all, I’m not a vampire. Here – feel my heart,” she directed him, pulling one of his hands up and placing it over her heart.
“You’re not real … some kinda figment, you are,” Spike explained. “Dusted you and Dru earlier – just me now … me and my handiwork,” he continued waving a hand at the graves behind him.
“No, Spike, you’re wrong – I’m the one thing here that is real. If you’d just wake up, you’d see. The babies are all fine – our friends are all fine. You won the fight, you got the money – now you just need to come back to me, baby. Everything will be fine; just wake up,” Buffy admonished him.
Spike shook his head in disagreement. “If that’s true then you should dust me in m’ sleep, Buffy. Can’t you see what I’ve done … what I’ll do to our family?” he questioned again, waving a hand out towards the graves. “Can’t stop the monster now … let ‘im out and can’t put him back in his cage. What do I haveta do ta prove it? Kill you too? Rip your bloody heart out while you watch? Is that what you want?”
“You know what? Yeah, that is what I want!” Buffy insisted, her frustration and fear suddenly bleeding into anger. Buffy pushed him away and stood up. “C’mon – rip my heart out – I dare you! Show me the monster, Spike!”
“You don’t want to see it, Slayer,” Spike warned, standing up to face her. hands on his hips.
“Yes, actually, I do,” Buffy argued. “Show me! What are you waiting for? A written invitation? C’mon, Spike – let’s dance!” Buffy demanded, pushing him hard in the chest then moving forward as he stumbled backwards and pushing him again, and again – each time harder than the last. “Show me the fucking monster!”
“You’re bloody close t’ bringing him out, Slayer,” Spike threatened, his ire rising.
“I don’t think so … I don’t think there’s any monster left in you, Spike! I think you’re just an empty shell of a demon … all filled up with guilt and no guts. Oh boo-hoo … Spike can’t support his family, Spike’s not half the man William was – without Angel’s money, you're nothing – a failure! Angel’s a better man and a stronger demon than you! Maybe I should’ve married him!!” Buffy spat at her husband, shoving him in the chest again and making Spike lurch backwards.
Spike turned and caught his balance on a headstone in the backyard cemetery, when he turned back around to face Buffy the demon surfaced. Buffy almost rolled her eyes, even catatonic, acid-tripping Spike hated Angel – it was almost too easy to bring the vampire out in Spike with barbs like that.
“Maybe you should’ve …” Spike growled. “Ponce could a’ sent you to Evil, Inc. for the ole poke and prod instead a’ Vision Girl. Wonder if they woulda found a heart in there, Slayer – or just a shriveled up walnut? Wonder what I’ll find when I rip it outta your chest…”
“Try it, Spike … I’m right here,” Buffy offered, holding her arms out to her sides. “Go for it … let's see what's really inside me. A soft gooey center or a big ole heart of stone.”
Spike took a step towards her but didn’t charge, didn’t attack.
“What are you waiting for!?” she screamed at him. “I thought the monster was out of its cage!!
"♫Born free ... as free as the wind blows...♫" Buffy crooned sarcastically, her hands on her hips. "I’m standing right here … hot, juicy Slayer bait, just waiting for the demon to have one good day. Today’s your day, Spike! Put another notch on your belt … chalk up another Slayer for William the Bloody!”
When he still didn’t move, Buffy stepped forward and hit him with a right hook in the jaw, rocking his head to the side. “C’mon! Fight! Kill me!” she demanded, hitting him again. “Fight, goddamnit!”
Spike roared and suddenly lunged at her, knocking her to the ground and pummeling her face and neck with his fists. Buffy hit up at him through the barrage, several of her blows connecting with his jaw and nose while trying to defend herself from his attack. Then she pushed up with her feet and hips and flipped them over, reversing their positions and giving her the advantage of hitting down instead of up. Spike growled and tried to block her punches and was finally able to flip them again. The pair rolled around on the soft grass of their backyard cemetery for some time, trading blows, trading the advantage back and forth until finally they rolled into one of the large, open graves.
Buffy landed hard on her back, Spike falling on top of her, knocking the wind out out of her and sending sharp, shooting pains out from her lungs where they’d been momentarily deflated. Spike roared in victory and dropped his fangs down to her neck, stopping just as they barely pricked her hot, salty skin. This was the moment the demon savored … those few short minutes that would bring the death of another Slayer – the fight was only the build up to this; this was the reward; the fight was the foreplay, this was the orgasm.
“What are you waiting for?” Buffy asked, her voice barely a whisper as she tried to breathe and get air back into her painful lungs.
“Can’t rush this bit, pet … need to savor it, I’ll remember this moment forever. Reckon you will too … only thing is, your forever will be a mite shorter than mine,” Spike explained, his breath cool against her skin as he spoke, his voice deep and threatening and full of lust – bloodlust.
Buffy closed her eyes and waited, she didn’t fight, didn’t move – but still Spike didn’t bite down. She could feel him battling the demon, his fangs pressing slightly harder against her skin then pulling back, just barely breaking the surface and drawing small droplets of blood. She never doubted his ability to control the monster within, but Spike had lost his belief in William’s soul; he needed to prove it to himself, he needed to know that this crazy dream world wasn’t some portent of the future; it wasn’t him and it wasn’t real.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity, Spike cried out in anguish and pushed back from her neck, then scrambled off her to the other end of the grave and huddled in the cold dirt, covering his head with his arms as tears streamed down his face.
“Spike …” Buffy called softly as she sat up and moved towards him. “Spike, you’re stronger than the demon – this isn’t real; this massacre, it would never happen,” she assured him again.
“Nearly left you, Buffy … left you alone, you and the bits…” Spike stammered, looking up at her with frightened, misty eyes. “You were right … I was so bloody stupid. Just wanted … wanted to fix it, fix everything for ya – nearly bought it, thought I had. Then you … you were there, in the fire … God, Buffy, thought I’d killed us both, luv. How can you forgive me? Can’t bloody forgive m’self.”
Buffy shook her head and laid her palm softly on the side of his face. “We’re fine, Spike … everything’s fine. There’s nothing to forgive – you did what you had to and you won – you fixed it. You just need to …”
Suddenly a bright beam of sunlight broke through the darkness and shone down on them. It was so bright, it momentarily blinded Buffy, when she blinked and opened her eyes again, she was awake, back in their room, lying next to him in the bed. She reached a hand out and touched his face and Spike opened his eyes slowly, blinking against a shaft of light that shone in through a small opening in the heavy curtains of their room.
“Buffy…” Spike murmured, reaching a hand out to touch her face.
“Hey … welcome back, Sleeping Beauty,” she whispered as tears of relief welled in her eyes.
“Reckon that makes you m’ Prince Charming,” Spike offered, his voice hoarse with emotion, as he tentatively stroked her cheek with his fingertips.
Just then, the phone rang. Buffy turned her head and kissed Spike's fingers before shifting and reaching over Spike to pick it up from the bedside table on his side.
“Buff!” It was Xander. “Did it work? The … artifact’s been given back to the volcano – the priest guy just finished. It was way cool - you should've seen it! It was like this ...”
"... amazing sunrise and the sky was all ..."
"...orange and yellow and like pink or something ..."
"It felt like we were on top of the world! That would be the literal top of the world, not the proverbial one ... 'cos, you know, basically it was a funeral ..."
"But I'm not sure we were, 'cos isn't Everest the tallest mountain? So, I guess that would be the actual top of the world..."
"But, anyway, I digress. So, after the sky turned this pink-orangesicle color...what would you call a pink-orangesicle color, anyway?"
"Coral ... lustful coral!" Anya interjected from behind Xander, yelling into the phone.
"Xander!" Buffy screamed, finally able to get a word in edgewise.
"How much caffeine have you had?" Buffy wondered.
"Oh - well ... ten gallons? I'm just guessing. We haven't slept yet ... I mean since ... I don't remember, yesterday? Is it still yesterday there? Or is it tomorrow here? I don't know what day it actually is. I'm gonna say ten gallons, at least... yeah ... that's about right," Xander babbled.
Buffy laughed lightly. “You can sleep now, it worked, Xand … he’s awake.”
“Who’s the man?!” Xander whooped in celebration.
“You’re the man … the Xan-man,” Buffy agreed before thanking him and telling him to have a good time in Hawai’i – on them.
“What’s that about, then? Harris gone 'John Moschitta' on ya?” Spike asked when Buffy hung up.
Buffy shrugged. "He's just a little wired."
She gave him a sly smile and added, “Looks like maybe Xander’s your Prince Charming … not me.”
“Bloody hell … he better’ve shaved before he kissed me!” Spike exclaimed. “Not too keen on whisker burn marring my pretty face.”
Buffy laughed and touched his lips lightly with the tips of her fingers. “It’s ok, you’ve got the Gem back … it’ll protect you from the dreaded five o'clock shadow of your handsome Prince Charming.”
“The Gem? But…” Spike began to question and object and Buffy silenced him by pressing her fingers harder onto his lips.
Buffy sat up cross-legged on the bed next to him. “Once upon a time…” she began to tell him the story of what had transpired during his big sleep.
When she was done, she asked, “Do you remember the dream?”
“Yeah,” he admitted sadly. “I remember. I’m so bloody sorry you saw that, Buffy.”
“Spike, did you really think you couldn’t stop the demon? Is that why you wouldn’t wake up?” she asked in earnest.
Spike looked over at the shaft of sunlight that had broken into their room through the small gap between the curtains. Dust motes danced and shimmered in the golden, early morning rays of the sun and he reached out as if he could physically touch the beam of light … as if he was searching for the answer there. He turned his hand over and over in the sunlight, momentarily mesmerized by the warmth and the way it tingled on his skin.
Spike dropped his hand down and looked back at his wife, still sitting next to him in the bed. “Yeah …” he admitted. “It … Buffy, it hadn’t been that strong since … well since I’ve known you. Even when Angel did his mojo and desouled me … even in the dungeon, it wasn’t like that. I turned it loose … there was nothing between it and the rest of the world; between it and our family. Not one bloody thing to stop it.”
“Yes there was, Spike. There was you – there was William’s heart. Don’t you know yet how strong your heart is? How true your love is? I trust you with my life; I trust you with the lives of our children; you need to trust yourself. Never doubt what’s inside you, Spike,” Buffy assured him.
“Buffy, pet … you don’t know what’s inside me,” Spike argued softly.
“I do. I know. I’ve been inside you, Spike … inside your mind, your memories – I’ve seen the blackness of the demon, but I’ve seen the light of your soul and the goodness of your heart too. It outshines the darkness like the sun outshines the moon … well, if it was, you know, a really dark, moonless night ... with thick, black clouds and all the electricity in the world was on the fritz and no one had any candles ... or cell phones.”
Spike shook his head slightly but gave her a small smile. How could she believe in him so fully? Was she a fool or a sage to think that he could let the demon out like he had, use it for his own needs, and then just capture it and put it back in its place like it was a parakeet that had gotten free of its cage? The week he’d been asleep he had fought it, it seemed, the whole time in one manner or another, but never felt like he had it under any semblance of control until she had challenged him head on.
What would’ve happened if she had done that earlier, before he’d battled it for so long? Would he have been able to stop the bloodshed? Would just her belief in him have been enough to restrain the monster? He honestly didn’t know; but if anyone could’ve done it, it would’ve been Buffy. Her belief in him made him believe … made him want to try harder, be stronger, be better – for her, for their family. It was why he fought; it was why he won. She was the only one that could save him from himself; it’s how it had always been and how it would always be, he reckoned.
“And anyway, this is my fairy tale, so I get to say how it goes,” Buffy asserted after a few moments as she unfolded her legs and climbed on top of his hips.
“Do ya now? And just when does Prince Charmin’ come bursting in t’ save the day?” Spike asked with a smirk, eyeing the door as he settled his hands on her thighs.
“This is a modern fairy tale, silly! Girls get to be heroes now, too, ya know. Princess Charming wakes her Sleeping Beauty with a tender kiss,” Buffy continued, leaning down and demonstrating for Spike. “And they ride off into the sunset in a big blue minivan full of kids and cats and live happily ever after… The End.”
“Uhhhh … ya think we could add some details in there between the kiss and the sunset, pet?” Spike asked, curling his tongue over his teeth and pulling her chest down harder against his.
“Hmmmm…” Buffy rolled her eyes up as she pretended to think about it. “Maybe we could fit in a little something between there. What did you have in mind? Parcheesi?” she teased, looking back down at him.
“Not hardly…” he murmured as he captured her mouth with his and growled against her soft lips.
Buffy sighed in pleasure as she wrapped her arms around him. He was back. Everything would be fine now … well, at least until the next apocalyptic symphony began to tune up. But they’d dance that dance when they got to it … right now they had a completely different type of dance in mind.
Later that morning … Saturday, January 8th, 2011:
Later that morning, Buffy, carrying MacKenzie, and Spike came into the kitchen to find Annie and Bess presiding over breakfast for Dani, Billy, and JJ. They had decided to mix every kind of cereal in the house into a huge punchbowl and cover it with almond milk. Rather than dirty individual bowls (which would then require washing!), they each had a large serving spoon and were all eating out of the one community 'pot' as it sat in the center of the kitchen table.
Dani was complaining that she didn’t like Lucky Stars or Fruit Loops really … and was trying to avoid them while capturing as many Sugar Smacks as she could on her spoon; Annie, of course, was trying to get mostly Cocoa Puffs and Billy preferred the Life. Only JJ and Bess were actually happily consuming the mishmash of flavors without prejudice and making observations about which cereals went well, or not so well, with others.
The counter behind them was covered with open cereal boxes and empty containers of the almond milk and more than a little of the cereal and milk was splattered across the kitchen table. Each spoonful they took dripped oddly colored milk and cereal as they pulled their overflowing spoons away from the bowl on the way to their mouths. Angelpie was helping with that, though, as she walked around the tabletop lapping up the spilt milk and sampling the soggy cereal; she liked the Rice Krispies best. Miss Kitty Fantastico, of course, being the matriarch, sat in the corner and watched the spectacle with an air of annoyance … this simply wasn’t done; it wasn’t proper. Someone, she would’ve warned them if she could speak, was going to get into trouble.
Buffy stopped in the doorway as her mouth hung open in dismay; it looked like a cereal truck had exploded in the kitchen and firemen had hosed it all down with milk ... multi-colored milk.
While the Road Runner ‘beep-beeped’ from the TV that was blaring in the great room, and Wile E. Coyote accordioned under a huge boulder meant for the speed demon, the children carried on, not even noticing Buffy standing in the doorway or Spike, who had nearly walked into her back when she stopped abruptly.
Buffy turned her head to look at him as he stood behind her and slightly to the side. “So … I’m guessing Dru must be lurking around here somewhere because I suddenly have a really strong urge for bloodshed. Did you want to kill them, or shall I?”
Spike snorted a soft laugh and shook his head. “It’s that bloody cat, I’m tellin’ ya … nothing good ever comes of anything with a name a' ‘Angel’… A bad influence, it is.”
The sound of his voice – unheard in the house for very nearly a week, seemed to split the air like a wrecking ball smashing through the wall and all the children stopped, their spoons suspended in mid-air, their mouths hanging open ready to take a bite, and looked at the doorway. Screams of ‘Papa!’, ‘Dad!’, and ‘Uncle Spike!’ rang out as the utensils clattered to the tabletop, splashing more colorful milk and cereal onto the Formica and the surrounding floor.
Buffy hugged the baby closer to her chest and stepped aside just in time to avoid being trampled as they all rushed him, tackling him high and low and knocking him backwards onto the floor.
“Hey! Watch it,” she called in warning. “I just got him out of that damn coma! Be careful! I sooo don’t want to hang out with Dru anymore…”
Spike laughed as the kids hugged him tightly and fired off questions about how he was feeling and if he was okay and told him they missed him and loved him and please don’t do that again… Spike gathered them all up and dropped quick kisses on the tops of their heads as he hugged them to him and told them he was alright and he promised not to do that again.
It felt … surreal, to have them here, in his arms, laughing and wriggling and being so … alive. Their frozen, horrified expressions flashed in his mind; their broken and bloodied bodies had been morbidly posed right in this very spot in his nightmares. Now that terrible memory of their lifeless stares was replaced with sparkling eyes and giddy smiles; their silent accusations were replaced with happy laughter; and their cold, lifeless bodies were replaced with animated glee and thudding heartbeats.
Spike felt like he could just float all the way to the moon in the joy that surrounded him. It lifted his heart and strengthened his soul and the demon never surfaced … never even ventured a peek at the small, warm bodies that swamped him. Buffy had been right; William was stronger than the demon. His poet’s heart swelled with delight and love for the woman that reached her small, soft hand into the abyss and pulled him back from where he’d fallen … so far down he didn’t think anyone could reach him. But she could. She always could.
I'm Falling Down (Moonshot), James Marsters
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