Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Kooks
Chapter Title: Seeing Red . . . . and Green
Time line:

Spans: April 25th, 2004 - May 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 feeling better about her Slayage, but suspects she's lost Spike to Hallie.  Lorne and Willow help her find the truth.

Notes: Heartfelt thanks to my "ET", PaganBaby, for her wonderful suggestions and encouragement!! 


Rock and Roll Lullaby, BJ Thomas:


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 25th, 2004:


The next morning, Hallie opened Spike and Buffy’s bedroom door and stepped in – closing the door silently behind her.  She leaned back against the door and waited for her eyes to adjust to the dim light of the room.  Buffy had just left, taking Annie to pre-school, and the twins had been fed and should be quiet for at least half an hour, she figured.  Spike was still sleeping and didn’t awaken when Hallie came in the room.  She was disappointed to find him half covered with a sheet, but fairly impressed with the ‘tent’ in the sheet over his hips . . . he was obviously having a good dream!


She wondered silently if she pulled the sheet back, would he wake up . . . then an image of her atop Spike, riding him like a prized bull, came to her mind.  She shook her head to clear that thought – she knew she had to be smart about this, getting William away from Buffy would take more than just great sex – it would take driving a wedge between the pair, then making sure she was “there” for William – a shoulder to cry on, a harbor in the storm, solace for his wounded heart, comfort for his deflated pride . . . THEN she could get to the great sex and riding him like her very own prized bull. 


But Hallie just had to get a closer look . . . since that first day when she literally ran into him, she hadn’t seem William without a shirt on . . . in fact, she had seen very little of him at all.  He always seemed to disappear when she showed up.  Hallie crept silently forward, walking slowly to the side of the bed where Spike was sleeping.  Spike stirred slightly, turning onto his side to face her and Hallie froze, but Spike hadn’t woken up.  Hallie let out a slow breath and tiptoed slowly closer.  When she was next to him, she let her eyes rake up and down his body . . . even on his side, his erection was still obvious under the cover and Hallie longed to move the sheet down just a little bit . . . damn!


Afraid that he’d wake up if she did that, Hallie bent down and picked up Spike’s jeans and t-shirt off the floor and lifted them towards her face – at least she could inhale his scent if nothing else. Hallie let out a startled cry and jumped back when Spike’s hand shot out and grabbed her around her wrist in a death grip.


“What the fuck are you doin’ in ‘ere?” Spike questioned.


“I . . . ummm . . . well . . . I . . . uh, just getting the laundry, of course,” Hallie stammered, holding up his jeans and t-shirt as proof.


“Bollocks! Laundry’s in the bloody hamper in the loo!  What the fuck are you doin’ in ‘ere?” Spike asked again as he sat up, keeping a tight grip on her wrist.


“I thought there might be more laundry in here – needed some more to make a full load and saw these on the floor, I assumed they were dirty,” Hallie told him, trying to pull free from his grasp. “You’re hurting me.”


“Am I, now?” Spike smirked and squeezed harder around her wrist.


“Ow! Stop it! You’re going to break my arm!” Hallie informed him as she pulled against him.


“Wouldn’t that be a cryin’ shame?” Spike retorted and held firm as she struggled to get free. “Why don’ you tell me what you’re doin’ in ‘ere?”


“I already told you!” Hallie retorted, pulling hard against Spike. “Let go!”


“I’ll let go when you quit lyin’,” Spike informed her. 


“I’ll tell Buffy you’re the one always leaving the wet towels on the floor in the bathroom! I know it’s you!” Hallie retorted as she leaned back away from him and pulled with all her strength to get free.


Spike released his grip on her wrist and Hallie fell back against the wall and down to the floor. “You’d be wise to keep your nose outta stuff that don’ concern you – including this bedroom and my wet towels,” Spike threatened.


“Or what? You’re gonna break my arm?” Hallie shot back, getting to her feet and retreating back towards the door.


“For starters,” Spike smirked. “Could do fer you what you did fer me . . .” he told her, as he gathered the sheet around his waist, stood up and began stalking slowly towards her.


“I never hurt you!” Hallie told him, as she reached behind her for the door knob.


“Didn’t you? I seem to have a different memory of that . . .”


Hallie didn’t wait to hear anymore, she snatched the door open and hurried through, pulling it closed with a bang behind her before hurrying down the hall towards the nursery, sure that Spike wouldn’t follow her in there to continue their ‘conversation’.





Buffy kept a more careful eye out after the dream . . . she really didn’t know what to do. If she fired Hallie, that would force Spike to choose – and she really wasn’t sure at that moment who he would choose – his first true love that had been stolen from him so long ago or the out of shape, half-assed Slayer that had bore his children.


One minute he said he didn’t want Hallie around, but, when Buffy tried to put the decision in his hands, he deferred back to her. Obviously, he didn’t want to come right out and say to keep her there, but he knew that Buffy thought she was doing a good job, so by leaving the decision to Buffy, he knew she would stay.


Yes, he always told Buffy he loved her and he always seemed ready to make love to her, but he was a guy, weren’t guys always ready for sex – regardless of feelings?  Buffy was determined to get back into shape, lose the baby weight and get back to top fighting form – to show Spike that she was just as good as ever, before forcing him to choose.  After all, he didn’t fall in love with a ‘mom’, he fell in love with The Slayer . . . someone who was, at worst, his equal – not dead weight for him to carry.


As the weeks went on, Buffy began to notice that Spike’s shirts, which he never could quite get into the hamper in the bathroom, but only close to it on the floor, smelled of Obsession . . . Hallie’s perfume.  Other times, Buffy thought she saw lipstick on the collar of his shirts, even though it was hard to see on the black, when she ran her fingers across the collars, they came back stained with Hallie’s shade of lipstick.  She also began to notice that every time Spike went to Willy’s for poker night or went on patrols alone, Hallie needed the night off, too.


All of this pointed to badness . . . Spike didn’t act any differently around Buffy – he always seemed attentive and ready for love, but he was a vampire – he could be having sex with Hallie and still be ready to have sex with Buffy a little while later with no problem.  But, Buffy had no proof of anything – it was nothing but circumstantial evidence at best – things that could easily be explained away perfectly innocently.


Buffy had been working hard to get back in shape over the last few weeks, and had lost about half of the baby weight, but there was still a bulge in her tummy that wouldn’t budge, no matter what she did, how hard she worked out or how long she went without chocolate.


She felt strong, though, and no longer rusty – she could carry her own weight in a fight again and was on at least equal footing when sparring with Spike, sometimes she bested him, sometimes he bested her – but overall she felt good about her Slayage again. Now, if she could just feel sure about everything else . . .


May 21st, 2004:


It was around seven in the evening when Buffy came in the mansion with Annie - she’d picked Annie up from her dance class and then a few of the mothers and kids had gone to Baskin Robbins for ice cream. Buffy had been being sooo good on her diet, she thought she deserved a little treat, so she and Annie had gone with them and she’d been gone longer than she intended.


Buffy sent Annie upstairs to clean up before dinner when she heard singing coming from the training room – but it wasn’t Spike.  When she walked up to the door and opened it, she found it was Lorne that was singing.  He was holding Billy, swaying back and forth with him to the beat while slowly rocking the bassinette that Dani was in with the other hand as he sang . . . 


She was just sixteen
And all alone when I came to be
So we grew up together
Our mama-child and me
Now things were bad and she was scared
But whenever I would cry
She'd calm my fear and dry my tears
With a rock and roll lullaby

And she'd sing
Sha-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na
It'll be all right
Sha-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na
Just hold on tight
Sing it to me, mama
My, my, my, my, mama
Sing it sweet and clear
Oh mama, let me hear
That old rock and roll lullaby

We made it through the lonely days
But, Lord, the nights were long
And we'd dream of better mornin's
When mama sang a song
Now I can't recall the words at all
It don't make sense to try
'Cause I just knew lotsa love came through
In that rock and roll lullaby

And she'd sing
Sha-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na
It'll be all right
Sha-na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na
Just hold on tight
I can hear ya, mama
My, my, my, my mama
Nothin' moves my soul
Like the sound of the good old
Rock and roll lullaby

Rock and Roll Lullaby,  BJ Thomas


When Lorne finished, he laid a sleeping Billy down gently in the other bassinette, which he’d put right next to Dani’s so they were actually touching, and tucked a small blanket around him.  Lorne looked up and saw Buffy in the doorway and made a “shhhh” sign with his finger to his lips before he moved slowly away from the babies and finally out the door of the training room.


“I thought they only liked, you know – classic rock,” Buffy said when Lorne had shut the door behind him.


“That is classic, Sunshine!” Lorne told her.  “Turns out you don’t have to be a head banger to get them to sleep . . . actually, if you just put their cribs closer together, I think you’ll find that the screaming banshees will disappear.”


Buffy furrowed her brow in thought. “Put their cribs closer together?  They’re in the same room,” she pointed out.


Lorne shook his head. “I’m telling you – put them closer together – they need to be touching – they need to be close – like peas in a pod . . . like two babies in a womb.”


“Are you serious?!  All that screaming and not sleeping because they . . . they weren’t close enough to each other?!” Buffy asked with wide eyes.


Lorne nodded. “Trust me, Sunshine, all your troubles will be solved if you just let the babies be what they are – two parts to one whole.  Those babies are special – I can see it in them, they aren’t just twins, they share a soul . . .” Lorne informed her.


“Share a soul?  That’s not . . . that’s not good, is it? I mean – that’s worse than sharing a toothbrush!”


“Don’t you share your soul with someone?” Lorne asked.


“Yeah, I guess . . . but she’s in another dimension – not here . . .” Buffy responded.


“No, that’s not who I mean, Sunshine,” Lorne told her, laying a hand on her shoulder. “It’s true your soul is divided between other ‘Buffys’ in other dimensions, but the person I was talking about is Spike.”


Buffy shook her head. “We don’t share a soul . . .”


“Do you know what a ‘soulmate’ is?” Lorne asked her, moving away from the door and over to the table in the research area.


Buffy followed him and they sat down at the table. “I guess – it’s someone that you click with, that you love . . .”


Lorne shook his head. “No, it’s more than that. Your soulmate completes you . . . it is the yin to your yang, it’s the other half of your soul.  The legend is that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs and a single head with two faces and a single soul.  Zeus feared their power, and split them in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half that completes them.


“Buffy, your soulmate is Spike – don’t you know that?  Can’t you feel that?  Don’t you feel complete when he’s near you and a little empty when he’s gone?” Lorne asked her.


Buffy rubbed her eyes tiredly before looking back at Lorne. “Yeah . . . I feel that,” she admitted. “But you’re saying Dani and Billy are soulmates?  That’s bad . . . isn’t that bad – they’re brother and sister!”


Lorne shrugged. “I don’t know if I believe there’s only ONE soulmate in all the world for us . . . for their sake, I hope not . . . otherwise . . . well, Flowers in the Attic comes to mind . . .”


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Great!” Buffy stood up and started pacing back and forth. “Just fucking great! The PTB do nothing but fuck with us! Why the fuck would they do that to them!? Mother-fucking sons of Goddamn bitches . . .”


“Buffy!” Lorne said, putting a hand out to stop her pacing. “Sit down . . . c’mon, sit down and calm down.


“Why don’t you worry about that bridge when you get to it?  I’m just telling you so you’ll know – those babies, they need to be close, if they aren’t physically close, you’ll have screaming banshees . . . if they are, you’ll have angels.


“Most people never find their ultimate soulmate, Sunshine – you have, Spike has – you’re both lucky. The twins, well – they can find love and happiness outside themselves – it doesn’t have to turn out badly,” Lorne assured her.


“Do you think there’s more than one . . . like, I don’t know, maybe humans had eight legs and eight arms and eight faces . . .” Buffy asked Lorne.


Lorne smiled. “I do – I do think there can be more than one – or maybe there’s one ‘ultimate’ soulmate, but a few others that are ‘premium’ . . . and then maybe one or two that are just ‘regular’,” Lorne told her.


“Are we still talking soulmates or have you switched to gasoline?” Buffy asked with a smile.


Lorne laid a hand on one of Buffy’s and his smile faded. “Buffy, I see a lot more than I let on sometimes. I can see a lot about futures and destinies when people sing, but I can see a lot just from listening to them talk – you need to take care of your marriage, you can’t lose Spike to that . . . woman.”


“How did you . . . how did you know that?” Buffy asked Lorne.  “You can see that?”


Lorne nodded. “Spike is yours – you are his; she’s the intruder and you need to take care of it or she’ll drive you apart. Neither of you will ever recover if that happens – you’ll always be missing a part of yourself.  Don’t let her steal your love, don’t let her take your destiny from you.”


Tears stung Buffy’s eyes and she pressed her fingers against them hard to try and stop the flood. “I think it’s too late . . .” she told Lorne quietly, her hand still covering her face. “He’s . . . they’re . . . I think he’s chosen her.”


“Buffy, look at me,” Lorne said quietly, shaking his head slowly. “He hasn’t chosen her . . . but she’ll take him from you if you don’t take charge.  You’re The Slayer . . . BE The Slayer, Buffy. ‘Want, take, have’ . . . Faith used to say that all the time – you need to take back what’s yours.”


Buffy closed her eyes and rested her head heavily in her hands as she sat with her elbows on the table in front of her.


BE The Slayer . . . Want, take, have . . . Lorne’s words rang in her head. He hasn’t chosen her . . . want, take, have. 


He’s MY fucking husband! She doesn’t even know him – she only knew William – not Spike, she only loved William . . . I love them both – all of him.


What can she offer him?  She’s not even a demon anymore . . . she can’t fight, he’ll fucking break her unless he constantly holds back with her . . . She’s not his destiny – if she was his destiny, then the PTB wouldn’t have put him in Dru’s path that night . . . wouldn’t have sent him to Sunnydale at just the right time . . . wouldn’t have sent us Annie and Dani and Billy . . .


Oh God – why didn’t I kick her ass out when I realized it?  The PTB were finally trying to help you with that fucking dream and you just didn’t see it! Stupid . . . you have got to be the stupidest Slayer in the history of Slayers Buffy Summers-Weckerly . . . Weckerly . . . MRS. Weckerly . . .


Buffy raised her head up and looked at Lorne. “Where are they?”


Lorne shrugged. “Spike got a call from Clem and he left shortly afterwards, said he was gonna go on a short patrol of the sewers between here and the Bronze before sunset and would be back for dinner . . . A little while later, Hallie asked me to watch the babies, said she had to go out while.”


Buffy looked at the clock . . . 7:30 – if Spike was coming back for dinner, he should’ve been back by now. Buffy’s stomach tightened into a knot, what if she’d waited too long . . . what if she had let Hallie take him back?


“Will you watch Annie . . . she should be back down any minute . . .” Buffy asked Lorne as she stood up from the table and started towards the basement door and the sewer access down there – stopping only briefly at one of the weapon’s chests to retrieve a stake.


“Of course, Sunshine.  Don’t worry about us!” Lorne called after her.


“Make sure she got all the ice cream off her face and out of her hair . . .” Buffy called back over her shoulder as she headed down into the basement.


Buffy stepped into the sewer access tunnel and tried sending out her spidey senses to figure out which way Spike had gone . . . if she could find Spike, she was pretty sure she would find Hallie, too, but she couldn’t feel him.  It was dark outside now; he might have already gone up to the street . . . crap!


Buffy pulled her cell phone out, if old fashioned spidey senses didn’t work, then maybe new-fangled technology would . . . but she had no signal in the tunnel.  Think! He got a call from Clem . . . he was going to patrol between here and the Bronze . . . Clem musta overheard someone at Willy’s talking and called Spike to tell him what was going down . . . Ok, just head towards the Bronze . . . if he isn’t in the tunnels, then maybe he’s there.


Buffy started running through the tunnels, splashing through the dirty muck at her feet and covering her jeans with the gross, smelly water.  When she got to a split in the tunnel she stopped . . . both ways could take her to the Bronze – one went to the back of the Bronze, one went to the alley at the side . . . which way would Spike have gone?  Buffy closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind and just let kismet guide her – either the super heroine or the hand of fate, she didn’t care which at that point. 


Buffy opened her eyes and started running again, heading down the tunnel to the left – she was sure this was the way Spike had gone, she didn’t know how she was sure, but she was.  Buffy passed several piles of vampire dust floating in the dirty water on her way, but she kept going – those weren’t Spike – they were Spike’s doing, no doubt, but not Spike.


When she reached the ladder that lead to the street behind the Bronze, she climbed up quickly and slid the manhole cover off.  It made a loud clanging and scraping noise as she did it and she cringed internally, she wanted to be a little more stealthy than that.  Oh well, Buffy thought – time for stealth is over, time to be heard now.


Buffy pulled herself up through the manhole and looked around – the street was empty except for two more piles of vampire dust. She slid the cover back before closing her eyes and turning in a slow circle . . . but she still couldn’t feel him. Crap!


Buffy went to the side door of the club and stepped inside. He was in here . . . somewhere – she could sense him now.  The music as blaring and the place was packed with people – dancing, drinking, eating, making out . . . tons of people – the whole town of Sunnydale seemed to be there.   Of course! It was the semi-annual post-fumigation party – no wonder there were so many people – and so few cockroaches . . .


Buffy started walking through the crowds, looking for Spike.  She checked the bar and the tables in the back and ran into Willow and Tara, who had taken the night off from study to attend the semi-annual tradition, but they hadn’t seen Spike, either.  God, I wish we could get the bond back – that made it so much easier to find him! Buffy thought as she kept searching the crowded club.


Sure that he wasn’t on the first level, Buffy headed up the stairs to the upper level.  When she reached the landing, she saw him and sighed in relief . . . until she saw who he was sitting with – Hallie, and her heart sank.  Spike’s back was to Buffy and he was leaning forward towards Hallie in order to talk over the music.  Hallie was smiling and sipping at a drink – every once in a while, she’d say something that Buffy couldn’t hear.  Apparently Spike was doing most of the talking, but she couldn’t see his face.


Buffy circled around, trying to get closer to where they were sitting to try and hear the conversation without being detected.  She maneuvered behind a support post that was near their table and strained to hear what was being said.  As the band came to the end of the song, there was a lull in the music and Buffy heard Spike say, “wherever ya want,” then the singer in the band started talking and he drowned out most of Spike’s words; Buffy heard, “love . . . you . . . need . . . go . . .” before the music started again.


Oh God! I am too late!  He’s getting ready to go off with her – wherever she wants – he’s gonna go, he still loves her. He’s chosen her . . .


Tears stung Buffy’s eyes, she closed them and leaned heavily against the hard metal post at her back and tried to breathe . . . she felt like she’d just been kicked in the stomach, all the air had suddenly left her lungs. Buffy willed herself away from the post and walked back to the stairs, but broke down as she got to them and just sat down on the top step and buried her face against her knees, putting her arms over her head as she attempted to block out the words that she heard Spike say . . . but it was too late –they rang in her head like a funeral march, Wherever ya want . . . love you, need . . . go . . .


“Buffy?  Buffy, what’s wrong?” Willow asked, walking up to her and laying a hand on her shoulder. “Did you find Spike?”


Buffy nodded her head against her knees with her eyes still closed tight, trying to hold in the tears.


“Then what’s wrong?” Willow asked again, sitting down next to her on the step, putting an arm around Buffy’s shoulders and leaning her head down next to Buffy’s.


“He doesn’t love me . . . he loves Hallie . . . he chose Hallie,” Buffy told her.


“WHAT?! Did he tell you that?” Willow questioned.


“No . . . I heard . . . I overheard him,” Buffy told her.


“You OVERHEARD him . . . in here?” Willow asked, brows furrowed in confusion – how could she have overheard him with all this noise?


“Silentium!” Willow announced, waving her arm out to encompass the whole club and suddenly all the noise stopped – no one seemed to notice, they were still talking and dancing but for Buffy and Willow, there was only silence.


“Now,” Willow said without having to shout over the music and gaiety, “tell me exactly what you heard.”


Buffy drew in a deep breath and sat up. “Spike told Hallie that he loved her . . . that he would go with her wherever she wanted to go . . . that he needed her . . .”


“You overheard ALL that?” Willow asked, skeptically.


Buffy nodded and covered her face with her hands.


“Where are they?”


Buffy pointed back behind them where Spike and Hallie were sitting at small table in the back of the upper level.


“Audite!” Willow commanded, waving her arm at Spike and Hallie.  Suddenly Spike and Hallie’s voices could be heard clearly by Willow and Buffy – like those were the only sounds in the club.


“ . . . and I told you before you dizzy bint, I. Love. Buffy. You jus’ need to go on your merry way! I’ll bloody well pay you to leave – buy you a ticket – you can go wherever you want, but you need to go, now! I’m bloody well tired of you following me ‘round this town every time I step foot outside the soddin’ house!


“Whatever your game is, I ain’t playin – and I reckon the Slayer ain’t interested in playin’ it either – no matter how good you clean the bloody loo.”


Buffy sat in stunned silence . . . it was the words, but not . . . not the meaning that she’d inferred. ‘I love Buffy’ . . . he told Hallie ‘I love Buffy’! He was offering to pay her to leave! To go away! Oh God . . . oh, thank God!


“William, William, William,” Hallie said sweetly as she reached out and touched Spike’s hand. “I’m not going anywhere . . . I told you before, I’m perfectly happy where I am – a roof over my head, three square meals . . . you to keep me company . . .”


“I ain’t your bloody lap dog anymore, Cecily – and I sure as hell have no intention of keeping you comp’ny! You didn’ want William then and I can assure you, you don’t want Spike now,” Spike told her as he lifted her hand off his, squeezing it perhaps a little harder than was required, before dropping it back in her own lap.


“I made a mistake . . . it was an honest mistake, I mean really, William . . . ‘effulgent’?  But I’m big enough to admit my mistakes and I’m woman enough to make them right . . .  I can assure you that I’m woman enough to make it all up to you, William,” Hallie told him as she reached her hand out and caressed his thigh.



“Are you, now?” Spike asked with a smirk. “And what do you think you could give me that I don’ already have?”


Hallie smiled seductively and ran her hand further up his thigh until it was pressing against Spike’s groin as she leaned in closer to him. “Over a thousand years of experience from every corner of the world and beyond . . . I can do things to you your little girl couldn’t even imagine, William . . .”


 “That little girl’s got a pretty good imagination . . .” Spike told her with a smirk. “You think you can do better . . . show me . . .” he said as he started unfastening his belt.


Buffy’s heart pounded in her chest as she watched and listened . . . What is he doing? Has he lost his fucking mind? One minute he wants her to leave, the next he’s going to fuck her right here?


“Here?!” Hallie asked, alarmed, pulling her hand back and off Spike’s leg.


Spike shrugged. “Me and the Slayer, we’ve done it right there – in front a God ‘n everybody . . .” Spike told her, motioning with his head towards the railing of the upper level. “Thought you had imagination, pet. It’s no good without guts . . .”


Hallie straightened and lifted her chin.  If Buffy could do it, so could she . . . she would show him who had guts!  “Fine . . .” Hallie said a little too curtly. “Fine,” she said again, in a more seductive tone as she placed her hand back on Spike’s thigh, ran it back up to his crotch and gave his cock a hard squeeze. Hallie stood up, walked over to the railing and looked out at the revelers that were dancing and drinking below as she waited for Spike to join her.


Buffy started to stand up – to go put a stop to this whole thing, but Willow pulled her back down onto the step. “Just wait . . .” Willow told her. 


Buffy looked at Willow with concern. “What if he . . . what if they . . .” Buffy started but Willow just shook her head.


“Just wait . . .” Willow told her again. “If you stop this now, you’ll always wonder – what if you hadn’t, would he have? Trust me . . . trust Spike.”


Buffy turned back to the pair. Hallie was at the railing and Spike was stalking slowly up behind her as the silent party raged through the club.  Buffy closed her eyes and sent a prayer to anyone who was listening before opening them again to watch and wait, as Willow had advised.


Buffy’s hands were balled into fists; her nails dug into her palms as she held her breath and watched the pair on the balcony. She hoped Willow knew what she was doing . . . because Buffy still wasn’t completely sure. 


Buffy was sure that if Spike went through with what he was suggesting right in front of her, she would lose her mind – and no person, demon or fumigation-proof cockroach in the place would be able to escape her madness.  She’d seen an insane Slayer before; she’d fought an insane Slayer before . . . she felt like she was on the verge of becoming an insane Slayer at that moment.


Spike put his hands on the railing on both sides of Hallie, blocking her in, as he pressed his body against her and lowered his head so his mouth was near her ear. 


“Do you want me?” Spike asked her in a deep, rumbling voice.


Hallie swallowed hard and nodded her head.


“Say it . . .”


“I want you,” Hallie told him.


“I want you, William,” Spike corrected her.


“I want you, William,” Hallie repeated.


"Do you love me?" Spike asked, nuzzling his mouth against her neck.


"I . . . I do . . . I love you, William," Cecily moaned as his lips touched her skin.


“I’ll do anything to be with you,” Spike prompted.


“I’ll do anything to be with you . . . William,” Hallie mimicked as she closed her eyes and leaned back against Spike, molding her body to his as her heart raced in her chest in anticipation.


“Cecily?” Spike whispered against the skin of her neck.


“Mmmm?” Hallie answered with a moan as she pressed her body even harder against his.


Spike kept his tone low and seductive and said, “I wouldn’t shag you if you were the last woman on Earth.


“You’re beneath me,” Spike smirked as he pushed off the railing and away from her.


Buffy broke out laughing with relief and amusement at the stunned looked on Hallie’s face as Spike pushed off the railing and backed away from her.  Buffy jumped up and ran to Spike, throwing herself at him and nearly knocking her startled husband down as she wrapped her arms and legs around him and caught his lips in a passionate kiss.


Spike recovered quickly, wrapped his arms around Buffy and returned her kiss, devouring her lips with his and twirling his tongue around hers.  She tasted like chocolate and tears and maybe a little bit of sewer muck, but that didn’t matter – she was perfect and she was his – all he ever wanted or longed for.


Hallie watched the warriors with disdain . . . folding her arms across her chest and raising her chin so she could look down her nose at their vulgar display.  “If I still had my powers, I’d turn you both into rabbits!” Hallie told them.


Buffy released her hold on Spike and slid back down to the ground, giving him a small nibble on his bottom lip before letting go completely and turning to Hallie.  “Excuse me?  YOU were going to screw him right there!” Buffy pointed out, waving her hand at the railing.


“That’s the pot calling the kettle black!  YOU did!” Hallie retorted.


Buffy smiled . . . she knew what Spike was talking about – but it wasn’t her and it wasn’t him, even though they had the memories of it deep within the darkest recesses of their minds.  “Not me, sister . . . and not him, either,” Buffy informed Hallie.  “Just you – you’re nothing but a two-bit, husband-stealing . . . trollop!”


“You two deserve each other!  Dumb and dumber!  William never did have any sense, and I see a century as a vampire hasn’t changed him.  A vampire married to a Slayer! How much more ridiculous can you be, William, really?  I’m sure you and your chubby little whore will have a wonderful time raising those brats you call children – she can pop ‘em out, but doesn’t have a clue what to do with them then!”


Buffy and Spike both started moving towards Hallie with clenched fists and razor sharp retorts, when Willow stepped forward and beat them to it. “You’re the dumb one here – thinking you could steal Spike away from Buffy! And, you want to talk about chubby – what was that about the pot and the kettle? And you don’t even have any kids – what got you chubby, a millennium of bon-bons?! What a sacrifice! For Hecate's sake! You’re nothing but a . . . a . . . FAT RAT!” Willow exclaimed, waving her arm empathetically at Hallie.


Suddenly, Hallie disappeared, the clothes she was wearing dropped lifelessly to the floor where she had been standing.


“Ooops,” Willow said with wide eyes, holding both hands over her mouth.


“What did you do, Will?!” Buffy asked with raised brows, moving forward towards her friend and the pile of clothes on the floor.


“Ummmm . . .  I think I might have turned her into a . . .” Willow started to explain when a fat, brown rat crawled out of the pile of clothes and sat up on its hind legs looking at the trio that now surrounded it, “. . . rat.”


Buffy burst out laughing as Hallie-rat sat there and looked from one to the other of them with beady black eyes, rubbing her whiskers with her paws and flicking the end of her tail back and forth.


Spike’s eyes went wide when he saw her. “That’s bloody brilliant, Red! Fittin’ if ya ask me.  Just glad you didn’t call her a big ole BEAR . . .”


People around them were starting to take notice of the big brown rat that was on the floor of the club – and just after the fumigation, no less! 


“Oh Goddess!” Willow exclaimed.  “Ummmm . . . . Undo! . . . Reverse! . . . Human! . . . Explico! . . . Aperio!”  Willow looked at Buffy and Spike with wide eyes. “It’s not working! I can’t change her back!”


Buffy started laughing again and put her hand over her mouth to try and stop – it really wasn’t funny . . . not the least little bit . . . nope . . . not laughing . . . this is NOT funny!  Buffy turned around and buried her face against Spike’s chest as she laughed harder – the harder she tried NOT to laugh, the more she laughed.


“It’s not funny, Buffy!” Willow admonished her friend. “I can’t change her back!” 


Willow looked around and saw some of the club employee’s coming with sticks and brooms to take care of the rat. “Oh no!” Willow exclaimed as she moved forward and wrapped Hallie-rat up in Hallie’s clothes and picked her up.  “C’mon!  Let’s go!” Willow told Spike and Buffy as she started back down the stairs. 


“Audite!” Willow commanded, sweeping her arm across the club and all the noise that had been there before suddenly returned – the music was blaring again, the people were talking and laughing and yelling as she made her way quickly downstairs to find Tara and get out of there before someone actually killed Hallie-rat.


Spike dropped some bills on the table where he and Hallie had been sitting and he and Buffy followed Willow downstairs and then outside into the cool night air.


“What are we gonna do?!” Willow asked wide-eyed when they were all outside.


Buffy shrugged. “I guess Annie has a new pet . . . Fat Rat.”


“That’s a terrible name!” Willow told Buffy. “Annie can’t be calling things ‘fat’!”


“Well, call it what you want . . . well, anything but Ben . . . don’t call it Ben or Willard – no rat movie names – I hate rat movies, they give me the willies!” Buffy told her friend as they all started walking back towards the mansion.


“You’re covered in muck from the sewers and rat movies give you the willies?” Willow questioned Buffy.


“Totally!  Have you seen those movies?  The rats eat people . . . it’s – it’s disgusting . . .” Buffy defended, putting her hands up in front of her mouth and making chewing motions with her fingers as she scrunched her nose up.


“I have to agree with Buffy . . . those movies are the worst,” Tara interjected.


“I like rat movies, m’self . . .” Spike said, taking hold of Buffy’s hand as they continued walking towards home. “They make me feel all warm and fuzzy . . . they’re really kinda romantic.”


“SPII-IKE!” a chorus of female voices rang out into the night as the group continued walking, debating the finer points of rat movies and whether it was appropriate to have cheese flavored popcorn while watching a rat movie  . . . and what about Stuart Little – that was an okay rat movie . . . no, that didn’t count as a rat movie – that was a cartoon!  Not a cartoon – an animation, where have you been, anyway . . .  


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