Alternate Universe: Gift-less
Story Title: Turn Me On

Chapter Title:


I've Been Feeling Real Low

Chapter Summary:


The gang reads about a guy named Warren Mears and puts him together with the strange girl that had been asking for him the previous night. In the aftermath of Buffy’s non-date and Joyce’s date, the Summers’ household is feeling happier than it has in a long time – but the rug is about to be pulled out from under all their feet. Can Spike help Buffy deal with the loss of her mother?


Episodes Covered:

I Was Made to Love You – The Body – Forever

Thanks: To YOU for reading and to Anona for her grammatical and punctuation corrections and final review. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:

SPOILER ALERT: This story is a cross-over with the 'Miles to Go' story in the Unexpected Universe Series. If you have not read that story, but intend to, then you should read it first! You do not have to read it for this spin-off to make sense. There is a *lot* more detail of what lead up to this story there, much more than is contained in the prologue, however. If you have read that story, then this prologue will be review for you.

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.

The next day:


Buffy woke feeling happier than she had in a long time. She actually had had a good time with Spike the previous night. She wasn’t sure what she had expected out of him, but what she got was a charming guy with a sharp wit and an easy laugh who was … a gentleman. He wasn’t even going to kiss her goodnight! She smiled to herself, remembering the night: they’d danced, they’d talked, they’d drunk beer and ate snacks, and they’d forgotten about hell-gods and dead exes for a while.


After dressing, she brushed her hair and headed downstairs to have breakfast with her mom and Dawn. Then she was going to the Magic Box for a Glory research 'party' with Willow and Tara, and maybe a training session with Giles after that. She thought about stopping by Spike’s crypt and asking him if he wanted to spar with her. She wondered if he could do that without the chip firing. As long as he didn’t intend to hurt her, it seemed like he should be able to.


When Buffy got downstairs, her mom was humming happily as she cooked pancakes for Dawn. Joyce’s date with Brian the previous night had gone well too. Not that Buffy’s night with Spike was a date … no, it was definitely not a date. It was a non-date, but it had been the best non-date she’d had in a long time. Even Dawn seemed to be in a decent mood this morning – mark that down on the calendar!


After breakfast, the three Summers women headed out of the house together; Joyce took Dawn to school and then headed for work, while Buffy headed, on foot, towards downtown. Buffy decided it was too early to go by Spike’s crypt and ask him if he wanted to spar later – he was probably still asleep – so she just went straight to the Magic Box. She found Willow and Tara already there. There was a pile of books on the table in front of them, but they seemed to be more engrossed in the morning paper than Glory research.


“What’s up guys?” Buffy asked, plopping down in an empty chair at the table.


“Did you talk to that girl last night who was looking for Warren?” Willow asked, looking up from the paper.


“Yeah – she was … strange. We just told her we didn’t know any Warren,” Buffy replied, reaching for a cinnamon-sugar donut.


“I know – we told her the same thing – but check this out!” Willow continued as she turned her eyes back to the paper and began reading aloud. “‘Sunnydale native and Dutton Tech College student, Warren Mears, twenty-three, was arrested last night after a neighbor of the Sunnydale Crematorium reported suspicious behavior and called the police. Mr. Mears was reportedly seen attempting to dispose of two bodies. By the time the police arrived, witnesses reported that one body had already been incinerated – although that could not be verified. One body, Mr. Mears’ girlfriend of six months, Katrina Silber, also twenty-three and also a student at Dutton Tech College, was reportedly found at the scene.


“‘The Sunnydale chief of police released a statement indicating that Mr. Mears seems mentally unstable. ‘Mr. Mears has made a statement indicating that a robot killed his girlfriend and that he, Mr. Mears, was simply disposing of both the robot and the body.’ According to another department spokesman, there is nothing to substantiate such a claim. Mr. Mears claimed that the first thing placed in the incinerator was the robot, however witnesses claim it appeared to be the body of a dark-haired woman.’”


Willow stopped reading and looked up at Buffy. “That girl looking for him definitely seemed like a robot, didn’t you think? And she had dark hair. He could be telling the truth.”


Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know, she seemed kinda ex-demony to me – you know all stiff and literal.”


“I heard that!” Anya called from behind the cash register. “And I’ll have you know, I am not stiff – I’m quite flexible, actually. Xander really likes Cosmo’s Lusty Leg Lift, where you’re both standing and the woman puts one leg up on the man’s shoulder and ….”


“Thank you for that visual, Anya,” Buffy interrupted her, rolling her eyes.


“W-w-w-ait,” Tara interjected, looking at Anya. “You have o-o-one leg on the ground and one leg … on his s-s-shoulder? Straight up on his shoulder? L-l-like you’re doing a split, only vertically?”


Anya nodded eagerly. “One bit of advice: be careful not to do it in the bathroom on a wet floor, ‘cos … well, when your bottom leg slips and you both fall in the bathroom, there’s not a lot of soft things to bang your head on.”


Tara grimaced. “That sounds like a lot of w-w-work to me,” she groaned, looking at Willow. Willow rolled her eyes and nodded.


“What’s the most exotic place you’ve had sex and the most difficult position you’ve ever tried, Buffy?” Anya asked, walking over to the table where the three women were sitting. “I bet with your strength and flexibility, you could really…”


“May I interject a request, Buffy?” Giles called loudly from his office. “Please do not answer that question.”


Buffy shrugged and gave Anya a ‘sorry I can’t answer your very personal and inappropriate question’ look.


“Spoiled sport,” Anya muttered towards Giles as she headed for a customer that had just come in.


Buffy was actually quite happy that Giles had put a stop to that conversation. She would’ve had to make something up since the most exotic place she’d had sex was a dorm room, which edged out her own bedroom only because there were more people in the surrounding rooms in the frat-house than at home, and the most exotic position had been cowgirl, which barely edged out the only other position she’d ever experienced: missionary. My God, I’m such an utter dweeb!


“So, Buffy – do you think we should, you know … do something?” Willow asked, interrupting her thoughts.


Buffy stared at her a moment blankly. “Willow … I don’t think … I mean – you’re with Tara,” she stammered out.


Willow rolled her eyes. “I meant about this Warren guy and that robot from last night?” Willow reminded her, jiggling the paper slightly.


“Oh, right.” Buffy shrugged one shoulder, trying to keep the embarrassment out of her voice. “I think we have enough problems of our own. What are we gonna do, anyway? Tell the police we saw a girl that talked like a robot looking for someone named Warren? They’ll lock us all up in the loony-bin … which, granted, could make a nice change of pace, but ...” She shrugged again.


Willow shrugged too and closed the paper. “Ok – on to more fun things – hell-gods and Keys.”


“Yippee-ki-yay,” Buffy muttered with mock enthusiasm.




Buffy headed home after having lunch with Willow and Tara at the Espresso Pump. They really hadn’t found anything new on Glory or how to defeat her. Joyce was still only working half-days, so Buffy figured she’d go home and offer to pick Dawn up from school. At least she could keep an eye on Dawn and get her home that way, rather than have her sister wandering around cemeteries and hanging out with vampires when she should be doing her homework. Although the episode with Dru had put more of a scare into Dawn that Buffy could’ve in a thousand years, she still didn’t trust that Dawn wouldn’t go to Spike’s to hang out if given half a chance.


When Buffy opened the front door, she was greeted by two large bouquets of flowers on the foyer table. She pulled the card from the first one. It read, ‘Thank you for a lovely evening. See you soon? –Brian.’ Buffy smiled – it was about time her mom found a really nice guy; she so deserved it after all she’d been through.


Buffy pulled the card from the second bouquet of flowers. They were a mixture of red roses and black calla lilies and she knew immediately who they were from. “Spike,” she murmured, opening the card. ‘Buffy, Since last night was not a date, these are not flowers, but I hope you fancy them anyway. Hope we can have another not-date soon. –William.’


Buffy smiled, pulled one of the roses out of the vase, and brought it to her nose. It smelled wonderfully sweet, and her heart started a giddy, fluttering cadence in her chest. She couldn’t remember being quite this happy in a really, really long time.


“Mom!?” she called up the stairs, still holding the rose. “Hey, fellow-flower-gettin' lady. Want me to pick Dawn up from school?”


Buffy turned and finally saw her mom lying on the couch. “Mom? Whatcha doin’?” she asked brightly.


“Mom?” she called again, her voice growing concerned.








Buffy’s world crumbled.


The next hours were a blur. As she lay in bed that night, she could only vaguely remember small snatches of the day. Her mom’s skirt had ridden up – need to pull it down. Call 911. Give CPR. She’s cold. Call Giles. Don’t move the body. Tell Dawn. Talk to the doctor at the hospital. The vampire in the morgue. Save Dawn. Go home.


Home. Home. She was home but … it didn’t feel like home anymore. Mom is gone. Mom is gone. Mom is gone. No matter how many times Buffy repeated it, she couldn’t get it to make sense. It was like a dream – a horrible, horrible nightmare. That had to be what this was: a nightmare. If she could just wake up, everything would be alright.




Buffy jumped at the sound and sat up in her bed. “Spike,” she rasped, sniffing back her tears. Buffy threw back her covers and jumped out of bed, her black and white, cow-print pajamas rustling with the sudden movement. Before Spike could say anything further, she was in his arms, sobbing against his chest. “She’s gone, Spike … Mom’s gone.”


“I know, pet. Glinda jus’ told me. Saw your gang out on patrol … would’a been ‘ere sooner if I’d a’ known,” he told her, wrapping his arms around her and rubbing a hand soothingly up and down her back.


Buffy shook her head against his chest. “I’m sorry … I should’ve … told … I just … can’t think,” she stuttered out between wheezing gasps of breath.


“No worries, pet. I’m ‘ere now, yeah? How’s the Niblett?”


Buffy took a deep breath, trying to calm down. “Asleep. The doctors … gave us … some pills,” she replied between deep gasps of air.


“You should have one too, luv,” he suggested gently.


“I did … two. They don’t do anything,” she admitted. “Spike, what am I gonna do? Dawn – how am I supposed to raise Dawn? I’m not a mother! I’m not even a grownup! I screw up everything I touch! I can’t even take care of me, let alone Dawn! Mom did everything! I don’t know … anything,” Buffy blurted out, her voice seemingly near the breaking point.


“Don’t need t’ know anything t’night, pet. Best t’ get some rest now. Everything’ll work out,” Spike assured her, guiding her back towards the bed.


“My heart hurts so much. It just … God, Spike … oh, God, it hurts,” Buffy sobbed as she let him lay her back down in her bed.


Spike pulled her covers back over her, then bent down and dropped a soft kiss on her tear-stained cheek. “I know, pet. I wish I could take it away from ya, Buffy. I’d take it if I could,” he told her, tears glistening in his own eyes. “Get some rest now, yeah?”


Spike started to back up, but she reached a hand out and stopped him. “Please don’t leave me. Could you … I just …I feel so alone … could you just … stay?” she asked timidly, sliding over in the bed to make a place for him. "I ... it's silly ... but ... could you just hold me?"


Spike nodded solemnly, unable to actually form words past the lump in his throat, took his duster off and draped it over a chair, then climbed into the bed next to her. Buffy curled up against him and Spike smoothed her hair gently. It seemed the only sounds in the whole house were her strangled sobs and gasps for breath and his reassuring words that it would be alright. Spike stroked her hair and back gently until her sobs eased and her breathing finally calmed to a steady rhythm, then he just watched her sleep – all night long.


Spike would’ve given anything in the world to take her pain away. As he held her, her warm, salty tears soaking into his shirt, he wished for some way to ease her broken heart. He knew too well what she was feeling; he knew how painful it was, but he had no answers for her. In over a century he’d spent walking the earth he had seen the world change from horses and wood and coal to steam and oil and electricity. He’d seen paper and ink replaced with computers and cell phones. He’d seen men go to the moon. He’d seen the length of women’s skirts go from the top of their shoes to the bottom of their asses. Everything got faster, better, stronger, smaller. But, of all the things the human race had done, all the advancements they’d made, they had never found a new cure for a broken heart. Time was the only healer.




The next morning, Buffy woke alone in her bed. For the briefest of moments she thought it had all been a dream, but then she realized with a sudden stabbing pain in her heart that it was all too real. On the bed next to her was a note. She rubbed her swollen and bleary eyes and picked it up. It was from Spike, written in an elegant, Victorian hand …



It pains me more than I can say to leave your side, but I reckon your mates will be by soon. I didn’t figure you needed a row today, which would undoubtedly break out if they found me here.

I’ll come back tonight.

With deepest regrets,



Buffy sighed and rubbed at her tired eyes. She didn’t think she’d be able to sleep at all last night and now she wished for nothing more than to curl back up in Spike’s arms and sleep forever. She sighed again as she looked at his note and once more asked herself what the hell she was doing? Spike was right, if her friends had come in and found him in her bed, they would’ve freaked out – Xander would’ve staked him on the spot. She had tried to explain to them that Spike had changed. She used the staking of Dru as proof, but would they ever accept that? And what if they wouldn’t? Would she have to choose between her friends and Spike? She couldn’t explain how he made her feel even to herself, let alone to her friends. But she couldn’t imagine what she would’ve done last night if he hadn’t been there. Would she have taken more and more of those pills until … Buffy shuddered.


Yesterday Buffy had been on top of the world; she’d felt more happy and hopeful than she had in a long while. Then the bottom fell out of her life … again. Her mother was gone. Gone. Forever gone. Was this her punishment for allowing Spike to worm his way into her heart even a little? Was this the PTB’s way of slapping her hand when they caught it reaching for the dark side’s evil cookie jar?


Buffy sank back down onto her bed and pulled the covers over her head as the tears began anew. Her heart hurt, her head ached, her world was fractured, she felt utterly alone and lost. She just wanted to pretend none of it was real. Could she just stay under the covers and pretend?




That Night:


Buffy wasn’t sure how she’d done it, but she’d finally gathered up her tears and hurt and shoved them back into that lock-box within her. She’d made it through another day. There seemed to be a hundred things to be done, a million decisions to be made, and she made them. She tackled each one right after the other, as if the rug hadn’t just been yanked out from under her world; as if her heart weren’t lying in broken, jagged pieces at the bottom of her soul. Just like she’d done when she sent Angel to hell, she brought the Slayer forward and let Buffy languish in the shadows. Buffy’s heart was weak and fragile; the Slayer’s was strong and hard.


She’d gotten everything done she could do for now. The funeral was tomorrow. Her friends had just left and Dawn had retreated to her room. Buffy dropped down onto the couch in the living room as exhaustion began to set in. The more exhausted she was, the harder it was to keep the Slayer façade in place. She was glad to be alone; finally, thankfully alone so she didn’t have to keep the ‘I’m fine’ glamour going another second.


As she sat there in the silence, the reality of the situation began to descend on her again like a heavy shroud. She suddenly felt overwhelmed and so very alone. She wrapped her arms around herself and bent forward, laying her torso on her thighs, trying to get the hurt to stop. Her mind began to whirl, a thousand thoughts bombarded her at once: How was she going to raise Dawn on her own? How was she going to make a living and pay the bills? How was she going to tell Giles that, as soon as they got rid of Glory and knew Dawn was safe, that she was done with Slaying? She couldn’t do it anymore; Dawn was depending on her, and she couldn’t take those risks anymore.


As all the worries ran around and around in her mind like the horses on a carousel, she heard Xander’s angry voice from outside, “You have got to be kidding!”


Then Spike’s equally-angry voice, “Got nothin’ to do with Buffy! I liked Joyce, understand, monkey boy?”


“Guys! Not here!” Willow’s voice interjected worriedly.


Buffy jumped up, flung the front door open, and was down the front walk before another word could be spoken.


“What’s going on?” Buffy asked, stepping between Spike and Xander.


“He thinks he’s gonna take advantage of your vulnerable state, win more points by bringing you second-rate flowers,” Xander snarled, pointing at Spike.


Spike pursed his lips and glared at Xander, then extended the flowers to Buffy. “They’re for the funeral – they’re for Joyce,” he explained. “I … it’s in the afternoon, so I can’t...” he shrugged and let his voice trail off.


Buffy swallowed and took the bouquet of wildflowers from his hand. “Mom loved wildflowers,” she told him, giving him a sad smile. “Thank you.”


“Buffy! You aren’t seriously buying this, are you? He probably stole those off some poor woman’s grave! He just wants…” Xander began.


Buffy whirled on him with a murderous glare and Xander blanched. “Go ahead, tell me what he wants, Xander!” she demanded when he stopped.


Xander took a deep breath and said more calmly, “He just wants to get into your bed.”


“Really?’ Buffy queried incredulously, her brows shooting up and nearly touching her hairline. “Well, if you’re so interested, then you should know he didn’t have to bring these to do that – he was in my bed all night last night.”


Xander inhaled sharply and began to cough violently. “What!?” he finally managed to choke out.


“Get over it, Xander,” Buffy spat at him, grabbing Spike’s hand and leading him past her two gape-mouthed friends and into the house.


Spike looked back over his shoulder and smirked at Xander as he followed Buffy up the stairs and into the house. He had the desperate urge to shoot the little sod a raspberry and sing ‘Na-na-na-na-na-naaa,’, but restrained himself in deference to Joyce.




Next Day:


Buffy couldn’t actually remember the funeral at all. Her veneer was wearing thin and it was taking all she could do to keep her emotions hidden beneath it. She couldn’t bring herself to leave her mother’s grave, so she just stood there alone long after everyone else had gone. It felt like if she actually walked away and left her mother there, that would make it all real – it would make it true, seal it. If she walked away, there would be no turning back.


She didn’t know how long she’d been there, hours perhaps. It had grown dark and the air chilled, but still she stood, unwilling to admit that this was real. Her mother was under the ground and she was not coming back – and it was Buffy’s fault. If she had only started CPR sooner, or called 911 faster, or skipped lunch and come home earlier. If she had only been a better Slayer, a better daughter, a better person, the PTB wouldn’t have struck her mother down as punishment. One way or another, it was her fault, she felt in her soul. She hadn’t even told her mother she loved her that morning before they all left the house. Why hadn’t she told her that? Was she incapable of saying those words to anyone? Even her own mother?


And, even knowing all that, she had invited Spike into her house again last night. She’d collapsed against him in sobs the moment the door had closed, unable to hold the false front she’d displayed to her friends one second longer. What did that say about her? She could only show her true-self to a monster? What did that mean? But, somehow, being near him helped still her confused thoughts, calm her jangled nerves, and settle her worries, for a little while at least. He’d helped her to the couch and settled down on it with her, and they’d stayed there all night. He just let her be. He didn’t judge and he didn’t mock her; he just let her cry and rant and wallow in self-pity, and finally, when she was utterly spent, he let her sleep in his arms.


Just like the night before, he'd been gone again in the morning – like a ghost ... or a vampire. He'd left another heartfelt note about not wanting to cause any trouble with her friends. Buffy at once appreciated the thought and missed the gentle support and reassurance he'd given her. It seemed more than a little ironic that the one person she could drop her 'Slayer-face' around and just be the frightened, heartbroken girl that she was, was her mortal enemy.


As Buffy stood at her mother’s graveside, a strong, cool hand slipped into hers. She closed her fingers around it and took a deep, calming breath, as if drawing strength from him.


“I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner.”


“I know,” Buffy replied. “I’m sorry I couldn’t have had the funeral at night – they wouldn’t do it.”


“No worries, pet. I’m ‘ere now, yeah?” Spike assured her, squeezing her hand gently.


Buffy nodded jerkily. “I’m so scared. I’m afraid to leave … I … if I leave, it’ll be real and then … what? What do I do tomorrow? Mom was the strong one – I’m just …” Buffy shook her head dejectedly.


“You’re strong too, Buffy,” Spike assured her.


Buffy finally looked at him and tears welled in her eyes again. “No, the Slayer’s strong – Buffy’s … Buffy’s … just a girl. A frightened little girl who wants her mommy to come back, kiss my boo-boo, and make it all better.”


Spike nodded and looked back at the grave. “Reckon ya never get over that, luv. I’ve seen a bloody century and I still wish my mum would come back and just hold me sometimes. Give me that smile she had and tell me it’ll all be alright. But, that’s life, innit? It’s all in it. You’ve got your friends and your Watcher, reckon they’ll help ya.”


Buffy bit her bottom lip and nodded again. “And you?” she asked softly.


“You know you have me, luv. I’ll stand ‘ere for-bloody-ever if that’s what ya want t’ do. I’d walk to the ends of the world for you, Buffy.”


“Spike, do you … I mean … ummm … what Dawn said …” Buffy stopped and took a deep breath. “Are you in love with me?” she asked hesitantly.


Spike bit his bottom lip a moment before meeting her eyes again. “Do ya want me to be?”


“Spike … I …” Buffy’s voice cracked and she wiped at her tear-streaked face again, trying to gather her thoughts before continuing. “I don’t know … I’ve seen a whole different side of you and … I … I don’t know what I feel. I … like you,” she offered lamely. “I feel like I … need you, but I don’t …” Buffy stopped and took a deep breath.


Spike didn’t move, didn’t breathe or even blink. Fear of what she was about to say gripped his heart. Was she going to tell him she’d never love him and he should move on? That’s what it felt like she was about to say.


“I don’t know if I even know how to love anymore, Spike. It’s not fair to you,” she finally said through her tears. “I feel like all I’m doing is taking from you and … not giving anything. I feel like I’m using you.”


Spike shook his head. “You treat me like a man, Buffy and that’s … that’s all I could ‘ope for. I know you’ll never love me – I’m a monster and … you shouldn’t. I’d be lyin’ if I said I didn’t … dream of having more with you, but …” Spike swallowed and let his voice trail off. He looked out across the cemetery, his heart sinking low in his chest.


“Spike, I trust you. I trust you with my life – with Dawn’s life and I … need you. Last night you made me feel … this is so stupid – please don’t be insulted, but you made me feel safe,” Buffy told him. “I just don’t think I know how to love anyone. It’s not you – it’s me.”


Spike snorted a harsh laugh. “Ya get that outta Cosmo, then?” he asked, giving her a sideways glance.


Buffy laughed slightly, suddenly realizing how trite that had sounded. Finally, she shook her head and gave him a small smile. “If I can figure out how to love, then I promise that you’ll be the first to know.”


“Buffy, all ya gotta do is …” Spike stopped and shook his head, apparently deciding to not finish.


“What? Tell me, Spike. What do I do?”


He looked at her resolutely. “Trust yourself. Stop pushing the demon back, Buffy. It’s not a matter of the Slayer or the girl – you are the Slayer and you are the girl; you are darkness and you are light. Ya just gotta let the both of ‘em out. You’ll never find your true heart if you keep part of it hidden from the world – hidden from yourself,” he advised.


“I don’t know how,” Buffy admitted in a small voice.


“Let me show you,” Spike offered earnestly.


Buffy shook her head. “I think I need to find it for myself.”


Spike nodded and squeezed her hand again reassuringly. “You’re a stubborn bint, aren’t ya?”


Buffy gave a halfhearted smile. “So I’ve been told.”


“You’ll let me know when ya find your true heart, though, yeah?”


“You’ll be the first.”


The pair turned and looked at the grave again, standing in silence a long time, before Spike said, “Ya do know Angel’s lurking about, don’t ya?”


Buffy rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yeah … it must be an Aurelius thing, you’re all great at lurking. I think he’s behind that tree over there,” she said, motioning slightly with her head.


Spike snorted, clearly offended. "I don't lurk. I ... prowl. It's entirely different. Prowlin' is sexy and dangerous ... lurking is just dull and broody."


Buffy rolled her eyes again. "If you say so."


“Want me t’ run him off for ya?” Spike offered with a smirk. “Got a stake in m’ pocket.”


Buffy snorted. “And I thought you were just happy to see me,” she joked.


“You cannot possibly mistake m’ excitement over seeing you with a short, thin bit o’ soft wood,” he teased back.


Buffy’s face flushed slightly in the dark. He was right, a stake couldn’t hold a candle to his ‘excitement’. “Oh, silly me. I should’ve realized it was a stake when it was in your right pocket,” she ribbed back.


Spike cocked a brow at her. “What does that mean, Slayer?”


Buffy looked down at the front of his jeans, then back up to his eyes. “You dress left,” she stated unequivocally.


“I do what?”


Buffy raised her brows and tilted her head to the bulge in his jeans. “Dress. Left.”


Spike looked aghast. “You dirty girl. I feel so … used. No one appreciates me for m’ mind. Bloody sexist, is what it is. I’ve a mind t’ report this to the EEOC – sexual harassment in the workplace.”


Buffy gave him a serious look. “Oh, you’re gonna report me for sexual harassment, huh? What will be the complaint, not enough?”


“Spot on. See, you aren’t as dim as you look at first glance.”


Buffy looked past Spike, tracking a figure moving through the woods with her eyes. “Angel’s leaving.”


“Yeah, shame that,” Spike sighed. “I was just gettin’ warmed up.”


“I should’ve talked to him,” Buffy said guiltily, still following Angel’s retreating form with her eyes.


“Right – like he talked to you before spiriting off to L.A. and leaving you alone? Like he talked to you before helpin’ that other Slayer-bird? Like he talked to you about that buggering Chumash vengeance spirit? Sod him,” Spike argued bitterly.


Buffy screwed her face up a moment, her bottom lip sticking out in a dangerous pout as she considered Spike. “Those are actually valid points,” she said at last.


“Told ya – no one appreciates m’ brilliant mind.”




Spike and Buffy eventually wandered away from the graveside and sat down against a tree a few yards away. Spike sat with his back against the tree and Buffy sat next to him, leaning against his shoulder and chest. Spike wrapped an arm over her shoulders and they sat in a comfortable silence for a long while, just taking solace in each other’s company. The cemetery was quiet but for the sounds of night birds calling to each other, crickets chirping their familiar chorus, and an occasional frog croaking from the stream that ran through the nearby woods. It felt both strange and comforting to Buffy to be sitting here with Spike. She tried to find something witty or funny or even interesting to say to keep her mind off the reality of her life, but couldn’t think of a single thing. Finally, she said, “Tell me about your family … your mom and dad. Did you have any … brothers or sisters?”


Spike pursed his lips and looked off into the distance a good while. He’d been such a git that night when he’d dusted Dru – he should’ve never told Buffy about his mum. Spike took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Only child, I was,” he began. “Didn’t know my father t’ speak of. Was only about five when he died. Went off to war and never come back, he did. So – it was just me and my mum then. A fine lady, she was. Very proper. Very kind. Reckon I was a bit of a disappointment to ‘er, but she’d never say that, o’ course.”


“Why would you think that?” Buffy asked, sitting back to look at him.


Spike shrugged. “Reckon she thought I’d be like my pop. A man’s man, he was. Died in battle and whatnot – all very heroic, yeah?”


“But … you’re heroic,” Buffy argued. “You saved Dawn and … maybe even me from Dru, and … you’ve helped us fight all sorts of things,” she pointed out.


Spike snorted. “Yeah well, a bit late that is, innit? Like a bloody century.”


Buffy screwed up her mouth in a bit of a pout and shrugged. “Still …” she offered lamely, settling back against him. “It could be worse – you could’ve been a Slayer. Talk about disappointing your mom.” Buffy shook her head sadly against his chest. “My mom would’ve traded me in for a nice, sane daughter any day of the week. God, the hell I put her through! I was a horrible daughter and … now I’m gonna be a horrible ‘legal guardian’ for Dawn. I have no idea how to be the … adult. I only figured out that they changed garbage pick-up to Tuesdays and Fridays after I realized we missed it yesterday!”


Spike shrugged. “But ya figured it out, yeah? That’s what’s important, innit?”


“Giles told me they changed it two years ago!” Buffy explained, rolling her eyes.


Spike sighed. “Buffy, first off – your mum loved you. She was proud o’ you – of what you do, of you being the Slayer. Not saying she didn’t worry, but she was bloody proud of you and she loved you with all 'er heart. She wouldn’t have traded you for all the sanity in the bloody world. Second: raising Dawn ain’t about getting the soddin’ garbage to the curb on the right bloody morning,” Spike admonished her. “It’s about your heart and just giving her love – it’s about being her sister, not a ruddy ‘legal guardian’.”


Tears welled in Buffy’s eyes and she squeezed them tightly closed. Her chin quivered and her hands trembled. Her whole body seemed to shiver with fear. She’d never felt more afraid of anything before. “I told you before … I don’t think I know how to love … anyone,” Buffy whispered so low that the distant call of an exuberant mockingbird nearly drowned it out.


“That’s bollocks,” Spike asserted, pushing her back so he could look at her. Buffy kept her eyes closed, unable to meet his gaze. “Your love is … blinding. It radiates off you when you’re with your friends, your Watcher … your sister. It shines like the bloody sun, Slayer! I gotta stand back just t’ keep from gettin’ dusted.”


Buffy rolled her eyes behind her lids and the tears she’d been keeping captive leaked from the corners of her eyes. “There’s a demon inside me … I’m made from darkness,” Buffy pointed out solemnly, finally opening her eyes and looking at Spike.


Spike nodded. “Doesn’t mean you can’t love, Slayer. Just makes your love all the more …” Spike paused a moment to try and find the perfect word. “…effulgent.”


Buffy looked at him blankly.


“Uhhh … incandescent?” he tried.


She scrunched up her nose. “I’m a … light bulb?”


Spike rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Resplendent? Luminous?” he tried.


She made a face that told him she thought he was speaking Chinese.


“Right then,” he sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “Your love is like a big disco-ball … all glitter and sparkles. You do know what a disco-ball is, yeah?”


Buffy rolled her eyes again but finally nodded. “It doesn’t feel like a disco-ball,” she said after a few moments. “It feels more like a black hole.”


Spike pulled her back against him and she settled against his chest again. “That’s ‘cos you’re looking at it from the inside. Ever see the inside of a disco-ball, pet?”


Buffy laughed lightly. “No, and neither have you.”


“When you’ve lived as long as I have, you’ve seen the inside of nearabouts everything,” Spike claimed. “Take it from me, Slayer, you are a disco-ball: dark on the inside, but on the outside your love’s like a beacon in a storm.” Especially to me, Spike added to himself.


Buffy nodded against his chest, thankful for his encouragement, but deep down she remained unconvinced.


End Notes:


Next:  Buffy goes into the desert on the Quest with Giles. What will the guide tell her about her inner demon? Glory goes on the offensive while Buffy's gone, searching in earnest for her Key. Who will she find?



Turn Me On, David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj




Doctor, doctor, need you bad, hold me babe
Doctor, doctor, where ya at? Give me something
I need your love, I need your love, I need your loving
You got that kind of medicine that keeps me coming
My body needs a hero, come and save me
Something tells me you know how to save me
I've been feeling feral, oh I need you
Come and rescue me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on (2X

Oh you make it make it right
my temperature is super high If I scream if I cry,
It's only cause I feel alive
My body needs a hero, come and save me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on (2X)
Something tells me you know how to save me

You’ve got my life in the palm of your hand (palm of your hand)
Come and save me now I know you can (I know you can)
D-d-d-d-Don't let me die young
I just want you to father my young
I just want you to be my doctor
We we can get it crackin', chiropractor
I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I I-I-I-I-I know you can save me and make me feel alive

I've been feeling real low oh I need you to come and rescue me

Make me come alive, come on and turn me on
Touch me, save my life, come on and turn me on
I'm too young to die, come on and turn me on
Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on, turn me on


If you'd like to get notified of updates, email me here: Updates

Feedback: Email me feedback, I'd love to hear from you! passionate@passion4

Go back to: The Main Home Page     The 'Teach Your Children Well' Home Page