|Chapter Title:||Secrets, Chapter 14|
Late January, 1999. Buffy’s about 8 ½ months pregnant, senior in high school (home schooling).
Spike is keeping secrets from Buffy and she's not happy about it . . . at first.
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, violence, sex and adult themes which may include rape, attempted rape, blood play 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.
Spike was up to something, Buffy knew it, she just didn’t know what. He had been all secret-y lately. When she was paying the phone bill she noticed an hour long call to L.A. on there and, when she questioned him about it, Spike feigned ignorance. Spike was a horrible liar, but he wouldn’t budge. When she called the number herself, she discovered it was Angel’s cell phone. She didn’t even have Angel’s cell phone number! What the hell was he calling Angel about and talking to him about for an hour? This was not of the good.
Then there were the times she’d come downstairs and he’d be talking with the Scoobies but suddenly everyone clammed up when she appeared, acting like whatever book they had in their hands was the most interesting thing since Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson. She even caught Spike talking quietly with Faith off in one corner of the training room one day, “personal space” seemingly lost all meaning as they leaned in close to each other whispering conspiratorially.
Buffy trusted Spike, but he was keeping secrets and she’d had just about all she could take of it. Being eight and a half months pregnant, didn’t help either. Even though it was winter, it seemed she was always HOT, she was TIRED, she felt FAT (she couldn’t see her toes!), she had to PEE constantly, she was either on the verge of tears or on the verge of temper tantrums most of the time, AND her boyfriend was keeping secrets.
Coming back from shopping for baby things with her mom one evening, they were stopped short of the door by Willow, a very nervous Willow. “Hi guys, whatcha doing?”
“Going in the house,” Buffy replied, “to sit down and see if I can get some feeling back in my feet.”
“Did ya’ have a good shopping trip, you weren’t gone very long.” Willow didn’t budge from blocking their path into the house.
“We were gone three hours, Will – now I’d really like to . . .” Buffy stopped. “Angel’s here,” she announced. “What’s Angel doing here?” She eyed Willow suspiciously.
"Angel? Angel’s here? Where?” Willow looked around innocently at the empty garden area.
“I can feel him. He’s here.” Buffy pushed past Willow and into the house.
Willow was saying something to her mom, but Buffy didn’t stop to listen, she needed to find out what the HELL was going on around here, once and for all. When she got inside, she stopped short, there were twinkling lights strung up from the ceiling and banks of candles scattered around the room. There were voices coming from the training room, but the door was closed so she couldn’t make out who it was, but she could feel Angel and Spike in there. She dropped the packages she was carrying and headed that way, prepared to break up the fight that she knew was bound to occur anytime the two of them were in close proximity to each other.
When Buffy opened the door she was hit with a chorus of “SURPRISE!” from all her friends. There were baby shower decorations around the room, chairs were set up in a circle in the middle of the room and a long table with a cake and punch sat to one side. Another table was piled high with brightly wrapped gifts. It wasn’t a baby shower in the strictest sense because of all the guys there, including Angel and of course, Giles, Xander, Oz and Spike – even Wesley was there. Buffy started to cry – again – and forced her fists to unclench where she had been readying herself for the fight.
“You guys! Note for the future, you shouldn’t throw surprise parties for pregnant women!” she laughed through the tears as she walked in and headed towards Spike. Catching him in a hug she said, “Is THIS what you’ve been hiding from me?”
Pulling her to him and planting a kiss on her lips, he murmured, “’Course, luv. You like?”
“I love,” she replied in his ear.
As the party went on and the presents were opened, eliciting squeals of delight from the women at all the cute outfits for the baby, Angel and Spike slipped out of the room. Angel followed Spike to the research table and sat down where Spike indicated. Angel hated this, he hated that Buffy was with Spike, that she was presumably, at least, having Spike’s baby; Spike wasn’t good enough for Buffy and he made no bones about his feelings whenever he talked to Spike.
“Do you have everything?” Spike asked Angel.
Angel just glared at him without answering.
“Right then, I’ll just go get the Slayer and we’ll all have a little fireside chat about the old days, shall we?” Spike said bitterly, “I’m sure she’ll forgive you all your sins, Angelus.” He specifically used what Buffy considered Angel’s “evil” name for emphasis.
Angel closed his eyes and counted to ten, he didn’t need to get in a physical fight with Spike while Buffy was in next room. He had no illusions as to whose side she’d be on right now.
The phone conversation from a month ago with Spike came back to him, Spike demanding that he be given control over his and Dru’s portion of the funds, that the mansion be put permanently in Buffy’s name and that the jewelry and other items that William had brought with him when he was first turned be given back to him.
Angel was indignant with him at the time, “You’re out of your mind, William! I’m the clan elder, YOU are nothing.”
“I may be nothing, but I’m the one with Buffy. I’m the one she loves and I’m the one she’s having a baby with. If you ever loved her, you would do this. Give me what's rightfully mine, for her sake,” Spike retorted.
“Pleeaase, spare me!” Angel had said, dripping insolence. “Buffy won’t be with you for long, mark my words. I’ll have her back again one day. I’m not getting any older, I can wait.”
Spike was prepared for this reaction from Angel. “Right then, shall I start reminiscing about the old days? I think Buffy would be intrigued, sickened and revolted, but still intrigued, when I let her in on some of our more torrid past escapades, don’t you Angelus?”
“Buffy knows what happened in the past; she knows Angelus was evil. That won’t change anything!” Angel retorted, but he knew that Spike knew much more than Buffy could ever guess about their shared history.
“Ahh, but does she know HOW evil? And does she know how evil you were WITH YOUR SODDING SOUL, Angelus?”
“She’ll hate you, too.” It was Angel’s last line of defense against Spike’s argument.
“Maybe, maybe not – I didn’t have a soul then, remember?” Spike knew he had won.
“Fine. FINE. Give me some time, I’ll let you know when I’ve got the arrangements made.” With that, Angel hung up the phone.
Angel opened his eyes and glared at Spike across the table, he pulled some papers out of his coat pocket and handed them to Spike.
The deed for the mansion was there, made out to Buffy, there was an accounting of the money that came from William and Dru when they were originally turned, along with some papers where the bank had calculated how much that money was worth now, with the interest and less the expenses that had come out of the account over the years. The expenses were sparse, since, as vampires, they had mostly just stolen anything they’d ever needed or wanted. Also included was a statement of where a new account had been established in the joint names of William Weckerly and Buffy Anne Summers.
Spike looked over the papers and stuffed them into his own pocket. “And the rest?” He looked back at Angel.
Angel pulled out a velvet bag from another pocket and held it in the air before dropping into Spike’s outstretched hand. Spike opened it and looked at the various trinkets of jewelry in the bag before selecting one in particular he wanted, removing it from the bag and putting it in his pocket before stuffing the remaining items into the same pocket with the papers.
“Always a pleasure, Angel.” Spike got up and started back towards the party, before throwing over his shoulder, “You should stick around for a bit, I think you’ll fancy the party favor at the end.”
The party was wrapping up when Spike came back in the room. There was a mountain of baby presents re-stacked neatly on one table, another mountain of wrapping paper littered the floor and everyone was eating cake and chatting amiably.
Spike looked at Willow and gave her a short nod before approaching Buffy. “Look at all the goodies!” she exclaimed, sweeping her arm at the table of presents, as he came up.
“Nuthin’ too good for our little bit, now is there?” He smiled and caught her in a hug.
“Can I talk to you out here a minute, luv?” Spike caught her hand and started guiding her towards the door.
“Is something wrong? It’s Angel, isn’t it? Something’s wrong with Angel,” she started as she followed him out of the room.
“Sumthin’s always wrong with Brood Boy, luv, but that’s not what I want to talk to you about,” Spike assured her.
Spike lead her through the main room and outside to the walled garden. Sometime between the time she and her mom had come in and now, the garden had been decked out the same way as the main room, with banks of candles and twinkling lights lining the walls.
“Wow, this is . . . it’s lovely. . .” she murmured, taking it in.
Near the center of the garden, by the fountain, Spike stopped and turned to face her. Looking deep into her eyes, he felt like he could melt into their depths, his hands, holding hers started to tremble slightly, God, when did I turn into such a poof!? he thought to himself. Taking a physically unneeded, but mentally required, deep breath to steady himself, Spike sank to his knees in front of Buffy.
“Spike?” she looked at him quizzically.
“Buffy, I love you more than unlife itself. I told you before and I’ll repeat it now, I’ll love you forever, until your body returns to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I’ll lie atop your grave and join you on that day, because I don’t know how I could go on without you in my life.”
Buffy looked at him intently, damn tears! she thought, as they welled up in her unblinking eyes.
Spike continued, “Buffy Anne Summers, will you do me the honor of being my wife? Will you marry me?” Spike pulled the engagement ring out of his pocket and held it up to her. It had been his mother’s and he hoped Buffy would like it.
Buffy stared at him and then at the ring for a long moment. “Spike, I . . .”
For a moment Spike thought she was going to say no; if he’d had a heart beat at that moment, it would have broken his chest.
“. . . would be honored to be your wife!”
Buffy pulled his hands for him to rise. She momentarily considered going down on her knees next to him, but not so much with the getting up and down, considered the huge beach ball that was impersonating her stomach right now.
Spike slid the ring on her finger as she watched. It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, a large, clear, round diamond in the center with three smaller, square cut rubies on each side set in a triangle shape leading down onto the gold band, and it fit perfectly. Once the ring was on her finger, Spike pulled her into a deep kiss and their guests, who had been shepherded out into the open doorway behind them by Willow, burst into applause. Well, all except for one broody vampire who stood back in the shadows of the great room and glowered at the happy couple.
She heard champagne corks popping, but Buffy wasn’t sure if it was real or if it was the fireworks that were exploding in her brain that was making the noise, as she leaned into her fiancé and returned his kiss. Her fiancé, she repeated to herself, fiancé!
Pulling away from the kiss, she whispered to him, “When?”
Not understanding her question, Spike said, “Been working on it a while, luv.”
“No, I mean when can we get married?” Buffy was absolutely glowing as she searched his face for an answer.
“Anytime, I suppose. Whenever you’re ready.” He smiled back at her. He couldn’t believe his good fortune, the woman he loved loved him back and now was not only going to have his child, but also be his wife. When had unlife gotten so bloody wonderful?
“Now?” Buffy gushed at him.
Spike raised an eyebrow and said, “Well, pet, I think we need an official legal kinda justice of the peace type person.”
Buffy looked at him quizzically and said, “Legal type person? But, I thought you meant symbolically married, you know, Jump the Broom, like that . . . how can we get legally married, you’re, like a hundred and fifty and . . . and undead!”
“PLEEAASE, not nearly a hundred n' fifty!" he said, insulted. "Actually, according to the Queen and the great state of California, I’m twenty-eight!”
He smiled smugly and pulled out a California Driver’s license from his pocket along with a UK passport and waved them in front of her nose. “Completely legal – ish.”
Buffy didn’t think it was possible for her to love him any more than she already did, but at that moment she felt like every molecule in her body would explode with love for him. Before she could pull him back into an embrace they were surrounded by their friends. Everyone wanted to see the ring, there was champagne (sparkling grape juice for Buffy, of course) and toasts to their future.
By the time everyone had gone, Buffy was exhausted, happy beyond words, but still very pregnant and very exhausted. She intended to lie down on the bed for a minute and then go get a quick shower – just one minute on the bed was all she needed . . . .
Buffy was walking through the halls of Sunnydale high. It was empty and dark, the only sound was her shoes as they clicked on the floor and echoed down the hallway. She walked into the computer lab to see that Jenny Calendar was at the desk at the front of the room.
“Ah, Buffy, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Miss Calendar! I’m so sorry! Angelus . . .” Buffy said, rushing towards her old teacher.
“It’s ok, Buffy. It wasn’t your fault, really, I don’t blame you and you shouldn’t either. In the end, you did what had to be done, didn’t you?” Miss Calendar spoke softly, understanding that Buffy did one of the hardest things of her life in sending Angel to hell.
“Yes,” Buffy answered meekly. "But it wasn’t enough to save you.”
“Buffy, I don’t have much time. I’ve been waiting for a while. You need to know, the spell that I translated, the one Willow used to restore Angel’s soul, it doesn’t have the happiness clause attached to it.”
Buffy tried to comprehend what she was saying. “No happiness clause? So, Angel can be happy and not turn all Angelus on me . . . on us . . . on anyone? Not lose his soul?”
“That’s right. You can be with him, he can be happy and he’ll be fine, he’ll be Angel.”
Miss Calendar looked at her sadly. “I’m sorry that clause was in there to start with, I honestly don’t know what my clan was thinking . . .”
Buffy woke with a start from her dream. She knew immediately that that it was a Slayer dream, that it was real and it was true. Angel won’t lose his soul again, at least not from the happiness clause on the curse. Obviously, that same thing would be true for Spike.
God, that meant that she could be with Angel right now – she could’ve been with him all this time. If she had know this then, when he first came back, she might be with Angel this minute. Did she still love Angel like that? She thought about this for a while, struggling with the contradictions she felt about Angel. He was her first love, but, wasn’t he also her first stalker? Spike had shown her the pictures, hadn't he? And what about Spike? She loved him so much. She and Spike fit in so many ways. Buffy was exactly where she wanted to be, she decided. She loved Spike and he made her happier than anything in the world. Things worked out for the best, after all.
Rolling over on the bed to where he was sleeping she snuggled against his back. He rolled over sleepily onto his back and pulled her to him, settling her head on his shoulder, she draped one leg over his.
“More than you know.” She twirled the ring on her finger.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Think you just did.” Then, after a moment, “ ‘Course.”
“When Angel first got his soul, he was . . . haunted for a long time – a really long time,” Buffy started.
“Yeah, Brood Boy really knows how to drag out the pain. Always was one of his specialties,” Spike agreed, thinking silently that usually the pain was inflicted on someone else, but it was just another side to the same coin, or pyramid, as far as he was concerned.
“You seem to be handling the soul thing without much . . . broodiness,” Buffy observed, “Why do you suppose that is?”
Spike sighed, how would he ever make her understand?
“Angel is a monster, Buffy. Your boy Harris is right about that, Liam was a monster, Angelus was a monster and Angel is still a monster, just a different kind, maybe more subtle, but still. It isn’t so much what he did when he didn’t have a soul that's the problem, luv, it’s the fact that he’s done stuff with it that is . . .” Spike searched for a word that wouldn’t upset Buffy too much, “ . . . questionable, at best. That even with a soul, he can’t control parts of his personality that are, well, monstrous. That’s what weighs on the poofster's soul.”
“And you’re not a monster?” It came out harsher than Buffy intended, but Angel was still her first love and she hated what Spike was saying.
“Buffy, I’m not saying I haven’t done evil, monstrous things in my unlife – ‘cause God knows, I have. Things you can never imagine, things I prefer you didn't. I’m just sayin’, William was a ponce with a poet’s heart, I hate him for being a nancy boy, but he was never a monster. Dru may have sired me, but it was Angel who turned William into Spike and made the moniker ‘William the Bloody’ mean something more literal than it did before . . .”
He didn’t finish that thought, starting over, he said, “If I blame anyone for what I’ve done over the last century, it’s Angel, so him with the broody self flagellation and me not, seems only fair.”
He knew this isn’t what Buffy wanted to hear, he knew that she still had feelings for Angel, but he didn’t know how else to make her understand why the soul had affected the two vampires so differently.
Buffy listened and tried to read between the lines. All she knew about Angel, all Spike had told her, shown her, over the last months weighing on her mind as she processed what Spike said.
Finally, Buffy said, “I think I kind of love William, myself. I don’t think he’s a 'nancy boy' at all.”
Spike raised his head up to look at her, eyebrows raised. “You didn’t know William, luv.”
“Oh, I think I know him very well,” she said as she held her left hand up for him to see the engagement ring.
“Yeah, I think we’ve met.”
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