Season 5. Begins with
‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost
When Dawn makes the ultimate
sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind
snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become
afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help.
Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her
friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could?
Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away
from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can
one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the
fight and gives up hope?
Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me!
Her suggestions and commentary that always makes me smile! All mistakes
are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:
Spike/Other. Threesome B/G/G action involving Spike, Buffy, and BuffyBot.
Main Character Death. Plenty of angst.
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.
Spike had just
barely regained his balance when Angel lunged,
stake aimed directly at Spike’s heart. Spike swung his dagger at the oncoming
weapon as he leaned backwards, away from the deadly wood. Spike’s blade banged
against Angel’s stake, pushing it off-target, but didn’t knock it from the
larger vamp’s hand. Spike’s balance wavered as he arched his upper body away
from the deadly weapon Matrix-style, but, not having the special effects of the
movies to aid him, he overbalanced and fell onto his back. The threadbare carpet of the
room did little to cushion his fall, and the back of his head hit first, banging hard against
the unforgiving concrete beneath the thin excuse for a rug.
a quick and easy
victory, followed him
down, readjusting his aim, a murderous gleam in his yellow eyes.
momentarily danced in Spike's vision, but he'd gotten used to dealing with worse
pain since the Initiative chipped him,
and he shook it off in just a second or two. As Angel dove for him, Spike drew his knees to his chest and, with the strength and determination of a
mule, kicked up with both bare feet. He hit Angel in the stomach, drawing an ‘oomph’
of pain from the dark vamp. Spike's powerful kick sent Angel flying backwards
through the air and crashing into the already-dented
steel door of the room, which had automatically closed behind him.
Angel’s back hit the door with a thunderous clang and he
slid down to the floor with a thud. Spike flipped himself back up onto his feet
and closed on the larger vamp with inhuman speed fueled by decades of rage.
Angel sat on the floor, arms and legs akimbo, shaking his head to clear the
cobwebs as Spike closed on him.
When Spike got within arm’s reach of Angel, the larger vamp
suddenly swung the stake roundhouse-style at Spike’s thigh with all his strength. Spike screamed in pain as he jumped
back, the stake finding purchase deep in the meat of his quadriceps muscle. The stake tore
out painfully when he jumped back, leaving a ragged hole in his flesh and
drawing a litany of growled curses from the blond.
Spike clutched at the injury trying to stem the bleeding as
he backed away from Angel, who had jumped back to his feet.
“Forgot what a manky bugger you are, Angelus, can’t even
fight straight up. Always with the bleedin’ tricks,” Spike complained as he
backed away, holding his dagger at the ready with one hand while he pressed
against the gaping wound on his thigh with the other.
Angel smiled mirthlessly as he closed in on Spike. “I’m
taking Buffy out of here one way or the other, Willie. The only question
is how much pain I get to inflict on you before I dust you.”
Buffy looked up in surprise when the Bot entered the
bathroom. She grabbed the towel she’d just dropped and held it in front of her.
“Occupied,” she informed her twin rancorously, Buffy’s look of surprise morphing
The Bot held a finger up to her lips, shushing Buffy as she
closed the door behind her. Then, in her normal, totally unstealthy voice she
said, “Spike sent me in here while he investigates who is knocking on our door.
I am to make sure you do not exit this room until he says it is safe.”
Buffy’s agitation slid back to confusion. She looked at the
closed door as if she would be able to see through it into the other room. Then
they both heard a loud thud coming from the other room and both of their eyes
“Spike!” they both exclaimed as one,
Buffy forgot her modesty, dropped the towel, and quickly
pulled on Spike’s t-shirt. After stepping into a pair of stretchy shorts that
Spike had bought her on their way back to the motel earlier, Buffy headed for
the closed door.
Remembering her orders, the Bot blocked her path. “Spike
said I am to keep you here…” she began, holding the Other Slayer back.
“Spike no die!” Buffy exclaimed, frantically trying to get
past the Bot.
The two Slayers grappled for
several moments, neither gaining an upper hand, then Spike’s
of pain cut the air. They both stopped and looked at each other, eyes wide with
fear. In the next heartbeat, they both hit the bathroom door, nearly knocking it
from its hinges, and almost bowling each other down as they charged into the
Although not out of options,
will, or determination, Spike’s back
was against the wall, literally, when the two blondes emerged from the door just
to his right. Angel turned instinctively to the new threat, still brandishing
the stake. As one, Buffy and the Bot descended on him like hyenas, knocking him
back away from Spike and to the floor. Buffy instinctively grabbed the hand that
held the weapon and slammed it down on the floor several times until he released
it. At the same time the Bot pummeled his face with crushing blows from her
“Spike no die!” Buffy screamed at Angel as she retrieved
the dropped stake and pressed it against the large vamp’s chest.
Spike limped forward and pulled the Bot off his
nearly-unconscious grand-sire, certain that it was no trick this time. With a
word from him, her assault desisted and she stood back.
Angel," the Bot reported, pointing at the downed attacker. "He is at the top of
our 'Do Not Trust' list. Aliases include: Angelus, Peaches, Gormless Tit,
Magnificent Poof, Captain Forehead, Mr.
Broody-Pants, Tall-Dark-and-Dreary. He is a vampire. He wears lifts, has poncey
hair, uses Nancy-boy hair gel, and is a right wanker."
the report, luv," Spike offered with a grimace of pain as he put weight on his
bleeding leg. The Bot smiled proudly, nodded sharply, and stood back to await
Spike turned to Buffy, who was clearly not herself as she pressed the stake further
into Angel’s ribs, drawing blood. Her eyes were wild, nothing but primal fury
shone in them as she scrambled atop Angel’s stomach for better leverage now that
the Bot was out of her way.
“Buffy, luv …” Spike began. He tried to kneel next to her
and Angel, but ended up more-or-less falling when pain shot up through his
That drew her attention from Angel for a moment and she
reached a hand out to help him. “Spike no die,” she said to him softly as she
steadied him on the floor next to her.
“I’m all for that, luv,” he agreed, gritting his teeth
against the pain. “But, ‘fore we dust the wanker, we might want t’ find out who
else knows we're here,” he suggested.
Buffy turned angry eyes back to Angel who was trying to
slap away the little cartoon birdies circling his head and
fight through the blinding confusion and pain the Bot had inflicted on him.
“Hurt Spike. Hurt Wanker,” Buffy snarled out after a moment. Then she pulled the
stake away from Angel’s chest, lifted it out to the side, and swung it down in
an oblique arc behind her, right into the side of the large vamp's thigh,
burying it to the bone.
Angel screamed in agony, writhing on the floor beneath her,
and trying to clutch at his leg. Angel screamed again when Buffy twisted the
stake and pulled it out, his body bucking, trying ineffectively to dislodge her.
Spike smirked. “Love your logic, Slayer. Bloody brilliant.”
Angel’s eyes flashed open when cold water splashed over his
head and face, shocking him out of his pain-induced trance. He blinked and
sputtered the water from his mouth as he tried to remember where he was and what
was happening. Two Buffys stood in front of him, both looking equally pissed
off. He blinked again, trying to get his double-vision to solidify into one
reality. It didn’t work.
“Really are two of ‘em,” a snarky voice said from beside
He looked toward the source of the words. “Spike,” Angel
muttered when his eyes found Spike’s smug face.
“Well, now that we have that settled, how ‘bout you tell us
what the bloody hell you’re doing here,” Spike suggested.
Angel tried to move, but couldn’t. He looked down and found
that he’d been tied to a chair. Arms, legs, and torso were all wrapped with
enough rope to outfit a professional rodeo.
“May I throw more ice water on
the wanker? I find it extremely
satisfying,” the Bot asked brightly.
Spike grinned. “Anything for you, pet.”
The Bot’s grin widened and she went to retrieve more water
from the bathroom, stopping at the ice bucket on the dresser to drop a few cubes
of ice in the pitcher first.
“What the fuck is going on here, Spike?” Angel asked,
looking between the two Slayers.
“What’s going on is me asking the questions and you
answering ‘em,” Spike retorted. “Now, let’s start simple: How did ya find us?”
fairly certain it hadn't been through magical means. He'd been careful to guard
against that before they reached Las Vegas. Thinking Willow would do a locator
spell to find Buffy when the Scoobies realized she was missing from her room, Spike had
procured three talismans from a reputable, if eccentric, witchdoctor who lived
in the Mojave desert near Zzyzx, California. The talismans cost him a pretty
penny, and were guaranteed by the crazy old coot to deflect and confuse locator
spells. He'd dealt with the old hermit before and was fairly certain the old man
knew better than to cross William the Bloody. He, Buffy, and the Bot had all
been wearing them practically the whole time they'd been gone, certainly before
they'd landed at Paradise Lost.
Angel leveled a caustic gaze on Spike, who was seated on
the bed near Angel’s chair. “I’m an investigator. I investigated,” he
snarled back at his grand-childe.
Spike hit him with a closed fist in his already bruised,
and possibly broken, jaw. Spike made a blaring sound, imitating a losing buzzer
on a game show, then said, “Wrong answer.”
Angel let his head fall forward, clamping his eyes closed
against the pain. A moment later more ice water fell over the back of his head
and neck, shocking him back to alertness.
“Who called you?” Spike asked.
Angel blinked and sputtered a moment, before looking back
at the blond vamp. “Giles.”
Spike lifted his hands up in front of his chest and began
popping his knuckles menacingly before asking again, “How did ya find us?”
Angel looked from Spike’s fists back to his eyes, then over
at the two Buffys who now leaned against the dresser facing him with identical
looks of impatience on their faces. “Hospital records. They have to report
attempted suicides to the police,” he revealed, looking from one of the blonde
women to the other. “I have friends in the police department ... they
helped me track you down.”
Angel finally found what he was looking for – the
the black t-shirt had the scars on her arms. “Buffy,” he said softly, looking
that one in the eyes. “Please come back with me. We can take care of you. Get
you the help you need.”
“She’s not going back t’ be locked up by those Council
wankers,” Spike snarled. “Been through enough, she has. Doesn’t need them poking
and prodding ‘er, keeping her drugged and caged like a soddin’ animal.”
“Oh, right ...
looks like you’re doing a bang-up job of taking care of
her, Willie,” Angel growled, narrowing his eyes at Spike.
Spike punched him again. The Bot tittered; bouncing on her
toes, she practically danced back to the bathroom for more ice water.
When Angel was wet and coherent again, Spike continued his
questioning. “Who else knows where we are?”
Angel didn’t answer him, he kept his eyes locked on the
Buffy with the scars. “Buffy – you know I love you and I’d never hurt you. We
all just want what’s best for you. Come back with me … I’ll make sure you’re
taken care of.”
Buffy looked from Angel to Spike and back again.
“Angel love Buffy?” she asked tentatively, her green eyes
intent on Angel’s now swollen brown ones.
“You know I do,” he replied gently.
"I've always loved you – even before I met you – and I always will."
Spike drew his fist back to strike Angel again, but stopped
as he watched Buffy. She seemed conflicted, unsure. Could she really still love
Angel after all he’d done – or not done? Could she actually be buying this
Where had Angel been during the fight with Glory? Where had
he been when she’d most needed help? Where had he been when they buried Dawn?
Spike’s chest ached and he suddenly wished Angel had plunged that stake into it
earlier – that would’ve been easier than watching his Slayer melt under his gaze.
“Angel help?” she asked him, her voice growing more
vulnerable and trusting the longer she spoke to the magnificent poof.
The dagger protruding from Spike’s heart twisted. The
physical pain threatened to bring tears to his eyes and he had to blink to keep
them back. Seeing her like this – talking to sodding Angel as if he was the one
who had saved her – was going to tear Spike’s heart from his chest. How could
she look at Angel as if he were the one who had stood by her all this time? As
if he was her hero?
“Yes – you know I will. Anything. I’ll do anything to help
you, Buffy,” Angel promised, his voice reassuring and full of sincerity.
“Angel do for Buffy?” she asked in that same shy tone – a
child speaking to a parent.
“Yes … trust me, Buffy. I’ll do what’s best for you,” Angel
agreed eagerly. "Just untie me and we'll go – we can be together. I'll take care
“Angel … not leave
Buffy?” she continued, pushing herself off
the dresser and taking a tentative step toward the large vamp.
“Never – I’d never leave you,” he agreed, his voice
cajoling and eager.
Buffy’s eyes suddenly went cold and hard. She drew her hand
back and slapped him across the face, an opened-handed, but vicious, blow.
“Angel lies,” she stated flatly, glowering at him as he
blinked in surprise and pain. “Angel leave. Angel not help.”
Buffy raised her eyes to Spike. “Spike help. Need Spike,”
she announced firmly.
The dagger in Spike’s heart evaporated, leaving behind a
gleeful chorus of joy. His eyes danced with delight as she reached the hand out
that had slapped Angel and gently touched Spike’s cheek.
Spike smirked at Angel
who gawped unbelievingly at the pair. “Reckon that says it all. She don’t
want you, you gormless tit. Had your chance – blew it, you did. First sign o'
trouble and you bolted, left the girl t' face a hell-god on 'er own. Some bloody
hero you are!" Spike scoffed at him.
"You tell the
Watcher and the rest of her bloody friends t’ back the fuck off. She’s fine.
I’ll take care of ‘er,” he ordered Angel, poking a finger in the larger vamp's
chest for extra emphasis.
“We!” the Bot interjected,
raising her hand like an eager schoolgirl. “I’m helping! We’ll take
care of her.”
Spike looked up at the Bot and nodded. “We’ll take
care of the Slayer.”
“Spiiike,” Angel drawled the name out as if talking to a
petulant child. “You have no idea how to…”
“Balls!” Spike growled back, interrupting him. “Who took
care o’ Dru? Not bloody you! Me! All you wanted to do is shag ‘er – I had
t’ live on the lunatic fringe, clean up the aftermath when you scampered off.
“I know what I’m doing and I’ll … we’ll take care o’
the Slayer no matter what. And if they think I won’t or can’t kill ‘em, you tell
those so-called friends o’ hers different. If they try t’ take Buffy, we’ll stop
‘em – rip their bloody heads off.”
Angel shook his head, clearly not happy with the message,
but finally said, “Fine – I’ll tell them if you tell me one thing.”
“Who in the hell is that?” he asked incredulously, looking
at the Bot.
Spike smirked. “Slayer’s little helper.”
“The wanker is secure in the bathroom,” the BuffyBot
announced as she slid the heavy dresser in front of the bathroom door as Buffy
had done the previous night.
Spike nodded from where he sat in the bed, leaning against
the headboard, smoking a cigarette. His leg still hurt like a mother, but it had
stopped bleeding and the Bot had bandaged it up well enough. “Ta ever so. We’ll
head outta here after dark. They should find ‘im tomorrow sometime. Give us
plenty o’ time to put some miles between us. ‘Til then, reckon we should get
some rest … recharge.”
The Bot nodded and took her place next to Spike near her
charging equipment. She hooked herself up and lay back to recharge.
“You too, luv,” Spike said to Buffy, who was sitting on the
edge of the other bed.
“Angel … not good … here,” Buffy replied, casting a glance
over her shoulder at the door to the bathroom.
“Be alright, luv. He can’t get outta there without waking
us up. Need him to carry the message back to the gits in Sunnydale,” Spike
explained. “When they know we’re serious, reckon they’ll leave us be.”
Buffy nodded reluctantly and crawled under her covers.
Spike crushed his cigarette out, turned off the light, and rolled over onto his
side to sleep. The heavy curtains over the windows let in a faint glow of the
dawning daylight outside, but otherwise the room was dark. The only sounds that
could be heard were people moving about in other rooms above or beside theirs,
as well as muffled voices and the sound of the city coming from outside.
After only a few minutes of darkened silence, Spike felt
the bed behind him dip and Buffy slid under the blanket behind him. Her warm
body spooned against his back and her breath tickled the nape of his neck as she
snuggled against him. Spike fought the urge to turn over and kiss her, to hold
her in his arms and never let her go. Instead he laced his fingers through hers
where they rested on his stomach and gave them a gentle squeeze. He heard her
sigh as her warm, supple body settled into relaxation against his hard coolness.
She’d chosen him over Angel – or at least part of her did – but that part was
enough for him, for now anyway. One day he’d have all of her – it didn’t matter
how long it took – he could wait.
“Good night, Slayer,” he whispered. I love you, he
“G’night, Spike,” she murmured sleepily.
Buffy woke in
early evening with Spike curled around her, his body spooned against her back,
his arm around her middle holding her in place. She tried to remember what had
happened, how they had ended up like this, but could only get flashes of memory.
The last thing she remembered clearly was being at the casino in the bar with
him and the Bot. She pulled the cover up and looked down at her body – she was
dressed in one of Spike’s t-shirts and a pair of shorts. That would seem to
indicate that nothing but sleep had happened during the time she couldn’t
remember. She was glad of that small favor, at any rate. Based on the little she
remembered from the shower, having sex with Spike
and not remembering would just be wrong ... very, very wrong.
The mission her mother had given her weighed heavily on her
mind. She needed to get Dawn’s soul out of Limbo. To do that she either needed
to dust Spike and allow Dawn to move on, or make a baby with him and draw it
back. There was a time when dusting Spike would’ve been the obvious choice, but
not any longer. He had fought at her side, did everything he could to help her
keep Dawn safe, and he’d gotten her away from the impending threat of a
Watchers Council intervention. She’d been captured by their Slayer retrieval
team before when she was in Faith’s body. She’d escaped, but just barely. The
mere memory of that Wet Works team gave her a wiggins – they were scruple-less
... un-scruple-ful? ... They were creepy lowlifes.
didn’t want to do that again. Ever.
She owed Spike. A lot.
in Spike's arms, she again wondered if she should just tell him about
Dawn’s soul. Despite the loyalty he’d shown her, being told that someone had
been mucking around with your soul might be a bit more than even he would stand
for. Even if he wasn’t actually using it at the moment, it was still his. It
hadn’t been fair for the monks to do what they’d done with it – but then lots of
things the monks did wasn’t exactly fair. She’d been upset to hear that they’d
taken part of her soul to give to Dawn; how would it feel to know they’d taken
more than just a little nibble and given it to someone else?
No, she couldn’t chance it, Buffy decided
again. She couldn’t
tell him about the mission, about Dawn’s soul, about making a baby. What if he
got angry? For being undead, Spike had a hot-blooded temper and he could be one
stubborn SOB when he wanted to be. What if he refused to help her? There was no way to know what his
reaction would be. It didn’t make her feel good – she’d be using him just like
the monks had – but she’d promised Dawn that she would take care of her and she
meant to do that. She’d failed Dawn’s physical self; she wasn’t about to take
any chances with her sister’s soul, borrowed though it may be.
Buffy silently slid out from under Spike’s arm and headed
for the bathroom. The room was completely dark now – no light shone in from
behind the curtains, but the layout was simple and she moved to the door of the
bathroom without hesitation. When she got there, however, she bumped into the
dresser that was pressed against the door.
She muffled a curse when her toe banged into the unexpected
obstacle, trying not to wake her roommates. Perplexed, she slid the dresser back
where it was supposed to be on the wall and opened the door to the bathroom.
Still concerned about waking her roommates, she
closed the door behind her before switching on the light. She’d just started
sliding her shorts down when she saw someone sitting on a chair in the shower
“Holy shit!” she exclaimed, jumping back a step as she took
in the stranger in their bathroom. “Angel?” she asked, mystified. He was bruised
and bloodied and tied to a chair. His head lolled to one side – asleep or
unconscious – leaning against the cool tile of the shower wall.
When she spoke he lifted his head and opened his eyes as
much as they could through the swelling.
“Buffy…” he groaned. “If I can’t leave, could I at least
have some blood so I can heal?”
“Angel … what … What the hell are you doing here? In our
shower? Beaten and tied up?” Buffy stammered. It was becoming clear that
something had definitely happened while she was out of it. “Oh, my God! You’ve
gone evil again, haven’t you? Lost your soul…”
“Nooo, I haven’t gone evil again,” Angel protested
with a moan of indignation.
“Then … what are you doing here?” Buffy repeated.
Angel snorted. “As if you don’t know…”
Buffy frowned. “Pretend I don’t,” she suggested, eyeing him
Angel sighed. “Could you loosen the ropes … they’re cutting
off my circulation.”
Buffy snorted. “I may have been born at night, but it
wasn’t last night. Spike tried that one on me a long time ago. Didn’t
fall for it then, not falling for it now. Just tell me why you’re here. And make
it fast, I really need to pee.”
Angel rolled his eyes. “Don’t let me stop you.”
“As if,” Buffy retorted, folding her arms over her chest.
“I’ve seen it before,” he pointed out.
“Yeah, and we know how well that ended. Spill.”
“I’ve come to … take you home. To rescue you from Spike –
get you the help you need. You can’t trust him – he’s an evil, soulless monster.
He’ll take advantage of you, Buffy. He'll kill you if he gets the chance. Believe me, I’ve known him a lot longer than
you have. I know what I’m talking about.”
Buffy nodded. “Uh-huh. Sooo, you’ve come to be the hero, is
that it? Save the damsel from the evil vampire?”
“Buffy, I know you’re not helpless, I just think you’re not
thinking clearly right now. Giles said that you’ve been … depressed and in some
kind of fugue state since …”
“Since my sister killed herself to save the world,” Buffy
filled in when Angel paused. “You know, I could’ve used some help then,
Angel. I called you – I got freaking voice mail,” she snapped at him.
“I was a little busy myself,” Angel retorted angrily.
“We were fighting a hell-god, Angel! She was going to kill
my sister and end the world – end all the worlds! What could’ve possibly
been more important than that?” Buffy wondered.
“I … we … weren’t here. We went to … Pylea – it’s another
dimension – on a mission,” he explained.
“Oh? And this mission, did it involve saving the universe?”
“Well, no, not exactly. We went to save … Cordelia. She got
… sucked into a portal,” Angel admitted.
“Cordelia,” Buffy repeated dryly. She snorted sarcastically
and rubbed at her eyes. If Angel and his crew had been there to help her fight
Glory would it have made any difference? Would Dawn still be alive today? There
was no way to know the answer to that, but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt to
have had more muscle.
“Buffy, I’m sorry. I’m sorry about Dawn. I’m sorry I wasn’t
here to help with Glory. But I’m here now,” Angel continued. “I still love you,
Buffy. Let me help you,” he pleaded. “Come back with me – you don’t have to go
to Sunnydale – you can come to L.A. with me. We can … get you some counseling,
help you work through this.”
In the other room, Spike held his metaphorical breath as
the silence between the two people in the bathroom stretched out. Was Buffy
actually considering going back with Angel? It was clear that she was ‘back’
this evening. Just because Barmy-Buffy had rejected Angel didn’t mean that
Sane-Buffy would. Sane-Buffy always had a soft spot for the poofter, no matter
what he did, she forgave him his sins. Murder, mayhem, lies, rejection,
humiliation … it didn’t matter, she would always give him another bloody chance.
Spike waited for the axe to fall on him; waited for Angel
to win again. Angel, it seemed, had a knack for taking anything and
everything that Spike desired and loved. He’d reveled in shagging Dru in front
of Spike from the very beginning, in rubbing Spike’s nose in Dru’s desire for
her ‘Daddy’. And now he was doing it with Buffy. Angel was going to take her
away from him before Spike even had a chance to show her how much he truly loved
In the bathroom Buffy closed her eyes and rubbed at her
temples. A headache was forming behind her eyes and, on top of that, her teeth
were starting to float; she really, really had to pee now.
Finally she looked up at Angel, dropping her
hands down from
her aching head. “You really want to help me now?” she asked him hopefully.
“I do, Buffy. Let me help you,” he repeated,
his voice more sincere and caring than she'd ever heard it before.
“Okay …” she agreed solemnly, nodding and moving forward
Spike’s heart fell. He rolled over onto his back on the bed
and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes as anger, frustration, and
heartache warred for dominance inside him. How could she do this after all he’d
done for her? He’d been the one to stand up to Glory when he could’ve turned the
Niblett over to her and saved himself a godly beat-down. He’d been the one standing with Buffy against the hell-god.
He’d been the one protecting her every night when she sobbed at her sister’s
grave. He’d been the one that believed in her when everyone else gave up.
Buffy walked over to Angel, grabbing the bath towel from
the rack as she went. “Here’s what I need you to do to help me,” Buffy began.
She reached in and turned the shower on.
Angel flinched when the cold water hit him. “What are you
…” he began as Buffy lifted the towel up and dropped it over his head.
“I need to pee,” she told him for the third time as she
pulled the translucent shower curtain closed. “I need you to shut up before my
“Buffy! I can’t breathe … or see!” he protested as the
heavy towel covering his face was soaked with water.
“Yeah, kinda the point,” she agreed as she finally,
thankfully, emptied her bladder with a relieved sigh.
When she was done, Buffy washed her face and hands, and
brushed her hair and teeth while the shower rained down on Angel. When she’d
finished, she turned the water off and pulled the wet towel off his head,
dropping it on the floor of the shower enclosure.
“Leave us alone, Angel. Go back and tell everyone I’m fine
– I’m just … done. I told Giles if Dawn died, I was done slaying, and I meant
it. I’m out. I’ve given all I have to give.” Tears stung Buffy’s eyes and she
blinked them back, squaring her shoulders and willing steel into her spine.
“Tell them I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything left.”
“You can’t trust Spike. He’s not me, Buffy. He doesn’t even
have a soul!” Angel argued.
Buffy snorted and began gathering up her toiletries from
the countertop. “Thank God for small favors.”
“Buffy! You don’t know him like I do,” Angel continued.
Buffy stopped and looked back at Angel, her expression
icy. “I know he stood by me when it was pretty clear we weren’t gonna win.
I get that he’s an adrenaline junkie and facing insurmountable odds is his drug of choice.
Surprisingly, that doesn't bother me – in fact it sounds sort of familiar in a
'been-there-done-that' sorta way.
He doesn’t give up when things are hard – he just keeps fighting – and he
wins. Unlike you.
“You could’ve stayed in Sunnydale – stayed with me. We
could’ve found a way to lift that happiness curse and been together, but you wouldn’t even
try. Wouldn’t even consider it. Wouldn't talk about it. I begged you to
stay. I would've walked through fire for you. I loved you sooo much. But
you left. You don’t have the right
to tell me what to do anymore – you lost that right when you walked away from
me. You aren't the king of me anymore, Angel.”
“Buffy…” Angel pleaded.
whispered, her voice choked with emotion. Buffy sniffed back her tears, swiping
her fingers across her cheeks in a vain attempt to hide them from him. She said
nothing more to the vamp that had been her first love and her first lesson in
heartbreak before turning and walking out of the bathroom, turning the
light out, and closing the door behind her. She dropped her things into her
suitcase and then shoved the dresser back across the door, still fighting to get
her tumultuous emotions under control.
Spike turned on the light next to the bed and Buffy looked
up in surprise. “Sorry … I didn’t mean to wake you up,” she apologized, still
sniffing and wiping her cheeks in earnest.
“‘S alright,” he rumbled, his voice deep with barely
contained emotions of his own. “I didn’t win, luv … I failed you … failed Dawn.”
Buffy took a
deep, calming breath, blinked back her tears, and walked over to sit on the
other bed, directly across from him. “Spike, I … when I … did this,” she began
slowly, turning one arm over and fingering the still-pink scar there. “I … talked to Mom. I
thought I was dead, but she said I wasn’t … I don’t know, maybe I was for a
little while. Anyway, she said that we shouldn’t blame ourselves for what
happened to Dawn – neither of us. That Dawn did exactly what I would’ve done if
I’d been in her place, and by blaming ourselves we were … cheapening the
sacrifice she made.
“Despite part of me understanding that on an intellectual
level, on an emotional level that really hasn’t sunk in. I wouldn’t have made it
this far without you. I know I’m … not right … there’s something inside
me that’s broken, but … maybe you can help me fix it. I know you won’t give up
on me.” A sob lodged in Buffy's throat, stopping her. She closed her eyes in a
vain attempt to stop the tears she’d been fighting from
spilling down her cheeks.
Spike reached out a hand and touched her damp face gently.
Buffy leaned into his touch and blinked her eyes open. “I need to get better,
Spike – for Dawn. I need you to help me. Please,” Buffy begged him. She closed
her eyes again, unable to meet his lest he see her hidden agenda. She couldn’t
raise a baby in the state she was in. She’d told the truth: She had to get
better for Dawn. But she hadn’t told him the whole truth – to save Dawn’s soul
from an eternity in Limbo.
“I’m here, Slayer. I’ll stand by you ‘til the end o’ time,
pet. I lo…” Spike choked on the words, afraid of sending her back into her fugue
state, as Angel had called it.
Buffy nodded. “Insurmountable odds,” she murmured, opening
her eyes and giving him a wan smile.
Spike returned her sad smile. “You’re wrong ‘bout that,
Buffy. You’re my drug o’ choice, luv.”
Buffy snorted a soft laugh,
shaking her head. “Not a junkie, then – a glutton
Spike wagged his brows and pressed his tongue against his
teeth, opening his mouth into a wolfish grin. “Hurt me good, Slayer.”
“Be careful what you wish for,” Buffy warned, her smile
widening slightly with his teasing tone.
“You’re all I’ve ever wished for, Buffy,” Spike replied,
his voice suddenly somber.
Buffy bit her lip and shook her head. “Spike, I don’t know
if I can ever be … what you need – what you think I am.”