The night of April 24th, 2004
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle and William) were born on February 12th, 2004
(They came home on March 16th)
Annie turned five on February 14th.
Spike and Buffy have been married five years in February. (seems longer, doesn't it?)
Buffy turned 23 on January 19th.
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.
Buffy's trying to get her mojo back; it doesn't seem to be working, though, and she's feeling even less confident. A Slayer dream shatters her confidence even more . . .
Heartfelt thanks to my "ET",
her wonderful suggestions and encouragement!!
|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. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
April 24th, 2004:
Spike didn’t bother lighting the candles that night – Buffy would just blow them all out anyway when she came in, so he waited for her in the dark. He wished he could figure out what was bothering her – he was sure if she got out of the house, got in a good fight or two and dusted some vamps, that would make her feel better, get her out of her funk, but it seemed to only put her in a deeper one.
She hadn’t said two words the whole walk back to the house that night after patrolling. He hated seeing her like that – he loved it when she laughed and smiled and wanted her happy. Of course, no one was happy all the time, but Buffy’s bad mood was starting to be more and more prevalent, even with Hallie here taking the pressure off. He was usually good at sussing out her moods and figuring out just the right thing to do or say to make her feel better, but this one had him stumped.
Buffy opened their door and stepped in, letting in a shaft of light in from the hall, before she closed the door behind her. God, she’s beautiful, Spike thought as the light washed over her in that brief moment, illuminating her with a golden glow, like an angel. Buffy climbed into bed, leaving her shorts and t-shirt on, and laid on her side, facing away from Spike. Spike rolled against her and kissed her shoulder as he ran a hand lightly down her arm, then to her hip and down the outside of her bare thigh before starting back up.
“Spike, can we . . . umm . . . I’m just feeling kinda crampy tonight . . . can we just . . . not,” Buffy said, laying her hand on her abdomen to illustrate.
“A little release is the perfect cure for that, pet . . .” Spike told her quietly as he nuzzled against her neck and started drawing circles with his tongue up and down her sensitive skin. "Plus, ya got them one fingered gloves we can try . . ."
“Spike, please . . . I’m just tired and I don’t feel good – ok?”
Spike stopped what he was doing and frowned. When had she ever been fighting vamps and not wanted this?
“Why don’t you tell me what’s buggin’ you?” Spike asked with a sigh, rolling onto his back and away from her.
“Nothing’s bugging me, I just – I don’t know, it’s probably the hormones still all wacky or something. I’m sorry . . .” Buffy told him, as she rolled over and cuddled against his side and put her head on his shoulder. “I’m sorry . . .” she said again quietly. I’m sorry for being such a crappy Slayer and a crappy mother . . . and now a crappy lover, she added silently.
Spike smoothed her hair and wrapped an arm around her. “No worries, luv. Get some rest, you’ll feel better tomorrow, yeah?”
Buffy nodded her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes as she felt the sting of tears threatening. You don't even deserve him, she thought before falling into a fitful, dream-filled sleep.
Buffy found herself standing in the sitting room of a Victorian home – she moved back against one wall and out of the middle of the room to get her bearings. She looked down at herself – she had on a beautiful floor length, ivory silk brocade dress with a plunging neckline and long sleeves. It had a deep “V” waist with silk covered buttons that lead down to a full skirt. Buffy saw a mirror and walked over to it, turning first one way then the other as she examined her fancy attire.
The dress accentuated her assets while hiding the bulge around her middle – she decided that she liked it. Her hair was chestnut brown, the color of Annie’s, and was pulled away from her face and hung down her back in large curls – she had a small beaded clutch in one hand that matched her dress and a folding silk oriental hand fan in the other, which also matched the color and brocade of her dress.
Her attention was drawn away from her image in the mirror by voices behind her.
“Ah, William! Favor us with your opinion. What do you make of this rash of disappearances sweeping through our town? Animals or thieves?”
Buffy turned around to see who was speaking. There were several men standing together talking . . . and Spike – what was he doing here?
“I prefer not to think of such dark, ugly business at all. That's what the police are for. I prefer placing my energies into creating things of beauty,” Spike told the men . . . but it didn’t sound like Spike at all, he sounded more like Giles, and it almost didn’t look like Spike – his hair was different – but then, so was Buffy’s, and he had on glasses. Buffy started to step forward towards him when she noticed Spike gaze longingly at another woman . . . Hallie!
God damn it! I knew he was hiding something! Buffy thought as she started moving towards them. Before she could get there, one of the men snatched a paper from Spike’s hand.
“I see. Well, don't withhold, William,” the man said. “Rescue us from a dreary topic.”
“Careful. The inks are still wet. Please, it's not finished,” Spike told them, reaching for the paper.
“Don't be shy,” the man told Spike as he began to read from the paper. “ ‘My heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in it, inspired by your beauty, effulgent.’ . . . Effulgent?” the man asked as he began laughing and soon all the men had begun to laugh. Hallie walked away from the group, looking somewhat embarrassed, and Spike grabbed his poem back from the other man’s hand before following her.
“And that's actually one of his better compositions,” one of the men commented.
“Have you heard? They call him ‘William the Bloody’ because of his bloody awful poetry!” said a ‘lady’ that had been standing nearby.
“It suits him. I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff!”
“What the fuck is your problem?!” Buffy asked the men after Spike and Hallie had walked away, her hands going to her hips.
“I beg your pardon?” one of the men asked her.
“What are you deaf? I asked you what your fucking problem is. That was rude!” Buffy informed them, waving her arm in the direction Spike had gone.
“Well, I never!” one of the men said while another commented that while it was lovely for the host to supply a trollop for their enjoyment – he wasn’t sure why she had been allowed into the gathering so early in the evening.
“You arrogant ass!” Buffy said as she balled up her fist, pulled it back and hit the one that had snatched the poem from Spike . . . or William, she now realized – because Spike would’ve never let him get away with that – right in the nose as hard as she could while at the same time bringing her knee up into the groin of the man that had called her a trollop.
Both men screamed out in pain. The man who she'd hit with her fist bent over, holding his now broken and bleeding nose and muttering obscenities, while the other reached down, grabbed his smashed gonads, and tried to find a chair, but fell backwards onto the floor, instead.
“Just as I thought – you’re big pussy-wimps – a little trollop can beat you up! Both of you together don't make half the man that William is!” Buffy told them before turning on her heel and heading in the direction that Spike, or William, and Hallie had gone.
Buffy stopped outside the door to the room William and Hallie had gone into and listened . . .
“I'm going to ask you a very personal question and I demand an honest answer. Do you understand?” Hallie asked William.
Buffy peeked around the corner to see William nod his agreement. They didn’t seem to see her, so she watched silently from the doorway.
“Your poetry, it's... they're... not written about me, are they?” Hallie asked William.
“They're about how I feel,” William told her.
“Yes, but are they about me?”
“Oh, God!” Hallie exclaimed, turning away from him.
“Oh, I know... it's sudden and... please, if they're no good, they're only words but... the feeling behind them... I love you, Cecily.”
Oh God! Oh God – he loves her . . . Oh God! That’s what he’s been hiding! No, no, no! Buffy turned and ran from the doorway, back past the snooty men who had made fun of William, out the door of the house and into the street. She turned and ran down the cobblestones – tears stung her eyes as she made her way quickly along the dark, deserted streets – she had to get away, away from them – away from the words, “I love you, Cecily.”
Blinded by her tears, Buffy ran head long into someone, knocking both of them down. As she picked herself up from the dirty street she began to apologize but was struck dumb when she looked up at who she’d run into . . . it was Drusilla . . . and Angelus and Darla were helping her back to her feet.
“NO! No, no, no! This can’t be happening! Stay away from him! Leave him alone!” Buffy screamed at them.
Angelus walked slowly towards Buffy. “Now, who would you be talkin’ about, little girl?” he asked her with a thick Irish brogue. “Don’t see anybody here but you.”
“Leave him alone! Leave me alone! Why can’t you just leave everyone alone?!” Buffy screamed at him.
“Not in my nature,” Angelus told her as he vamped out, grabbed her and spun her around in one deft move before sinking his fangs into her neck.
Buffy screamed as she kicked and punched at Angelus trying to get free – struggling against him with all her strength and screaming for Spike.
“Buffy! Buffy! SLAYER! Stop! Wake up!” Spike yelled at her as he tried to capture her fists and avoid her kicking legs.
Buffy finally woke enough to stop screaming and striking out at Spike. He released his grip on her hands and turned the bedside light on before turning back to her. “Buffy . . . it was a dream – just a dream, luv,” he told her soothingly as he smoothed her hair out of her face with one hand before wiping the tears from her cheeks with the pad of his thumb. “Everything’s ok.”
Buffy was trembling and crying and her heart was racing. She looked at Spike – he had a split lip and his nose was bleeding, one eye was starting to swell and turn purple. “Oh God, Spike – I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” Buffy told him as she touched his injuries lightly with her fingers.
“No worries, luv – been beat up worse, mostly by you . . .” he smiled at her. “What were ya’ dreaming about gotcha so riled up, luv?”
Tears stung her eyes again and Buffy blinked them back. “Angelus . . . it was Angelus,” she told him.
“Ahh, well – no worries ‘bout the wanker – he’s all tucked away safe and sound at the bottom of the deep, blue sea, yeah?”
“Yeah . . . nothing to worry about . . .” Buffy agreed with a sad smile. Spike laid back down and pulled her to him. Buffy laid her head on his shoulder, draping one leg over his and one arm across his stomach with a heavy sigh.
No worries other than having the woman your husband loved and desired – the woman he wrote poetry for and endured ridicule for, living in the same house with us . . . yeah, that’s totally worry-free. Obviously, he didn’t want her here so he wouldn’t have that constant reminder that he could’ve had her all this time, if he’d only known. Apparently, he ran into Dru that night and she took him away from ‘Cecily’ and whatever life he could’ve had with her . . . away from a life that he must now wonder about – a life with what must have been his first true love.
That explains the change in aura’s that Tara had seen . . . Cecily, or Hallie now, Buffy corrected herself mentally, is still attracted to Spike and hiding her feelings; Spike's angry about having lost his chance at a happy, normal life with her.
I couldn’t listen to him just this one time, could I? No! Bring your husband’s first true love to live with you – fucking brilliant, Buffy! You are nothing if not brilliant! God, why don’t we just resurrect Dru and she can move in, too!
Sure – it’ll be a harem – Spike’s harem: a crazy vampire, a vengeance demon (or ex-demon - whatever!), and a washed up Slayer . . . It’ll be like Three’s Company – only with gratuitous sex and violence and no laugh track . . . and four, Four’s Company – an HBO Original Series . . . God, I’m losing my fucking mind!
You’re gonna have to talk to him about this, Buffy! She silently admonished herself. God, what if he says he wants her instead of me . . . the normal life he was robbed of . . . his first true love . . .”
“Spike?” Buffy asked softly.
“Do you still think we should fire Hallie?”
YES! YES! YES! Get the bitch the fuck outta here! Send ‘er back to Bangla-fucking-desh! Spike’s mind screamed, but Hallie had taken a big burden off Buffy and was good with the children . . . If Buffy was going to get out of this funk that she was in, firing Hallie now wouldn’t help – it would just drop all that stuff right back down onto Buffy, onto them.
“Whatever you want to do, luv. It’s up to you,” he told her in a neutral tone.
Buffy nodded against his chest. Totally worry-free . . .
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