|Chapter Title:||Liam, Angelus, Angel , Chapter 15|
Early February, 1999. Buffy’s about 8 ¾ months pregnant, senior in high school (home schooling).
Spike and Buffy make plans for their wedding; Angel has other plans.
If you really like Angel, then take this chapter with a grain of salt - someone has to be the bad guy, okay?
|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.
It had been a week since the surprise baby shower, Buffy woke to a familiar scene: Spike had his head laying on her chest, his face buried against her swollen abdomen and their baby, one arm encircling it as he hummed a familiar lullaby. Buffy often wondered if it was the only one he knew or if it had more meaning to him than “just an old song” which was the only thing he’d admit to when she brought it up. It was the same one he had sung to her that first night to soothe her and she pretty well knew most of it by heart now, herself.
Spike’s hair was getting long, Buffy ran her fingers through it as he continued to hum to the baby. She liked his hair long and curly, but Spike hated the curls, said they made him look like a poof, which she disagreed with, but couldn’t convince him of. After all, he couldn’t even see them unless someone took a picture, he should just take her word for it! But, no! It was a constant battle, he’d let it grow out because she liked it curly, but then he’d get feeling all “poofy” and cut the curls off. There seemed to be no amount of hair gel in the world that would hold the curls down like he preferred when they were long. Buffy sighed, if that was the worst of the battles they’d have to face for the rest of their life, that would be a blessing.
Her mind flitted briefly to the Beast that was going to be after their child and suddenly the length of Spike’s hair seemed really insignificant. They still didn’t know who this Beast was, what form it would take, how to defeat it or even when it would come. They had finally found the prophecy in one of the books the Council had sent with Wesley when he came, but it didn’t tell them any more than she already knew from her dream. Bridge, she thought, not here yet, and she turned her focus back to Spike.
“So, you really don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy?” she asked softly. They’d had this conversation a hundred times before. Spike insisted they not be told the sex of the baby during the sonograms ("Is not natural" he’d said to her, "you find out when the baby comes out.") and, although Buffy would have liked to have known so she could pick colors for the nursery that weren’t so unisex, she’d honored his wish.
“No, don’t care long as it’s healthy and looks like you, luv.” Spike sat up to look at her. Whenever they talked like this Buffy thought she could drown in the blue of his eyes, they were like pools of crystal blue ocean from one of those exotic islands on the Travel Channel.
“What if it looks like you, or both of us? A little boy that looks like you, he’d be breaking all the little girls hearts in the hospital nursery.” She smiled at him, running a hand down from his hair to his scarred brow before tracing the line of his cheek bone to the hollow of his cheek and then to his lips.
Spike smiled back at her, taking her hand in his and pressing it softly to his lips in a gentle kiss. He hoped she was right, that it looked like both of them, but he had no illusions that it would. Despite what her dream had told her and what he felt that night, he was still not convinced that the baby was his and not something that the PTB or the Monks or who-the-bloody-hell-ever created all on their own. It didn’t matter, because he loved her and he would love and protect the bit as it if were his own. It would have been nice to have a child, he’d never had any children when he was alive, and had dismissed the possibility completely once he was turned, but now that there was the slightest chance that it may be real was presented to him, it made him sad to think that it probably wasn’t his, after all.
“Buffy, I need to talk to you about something, luv.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“I’m not really sure how to ask this, so, I’m just gonna do it and, whatever you want to do is fine with me, ok?” Spike started cautiously.
“Oookaay,” Buffy drew the word out across her tongue almost making it a question.
“So, here’s the thing, luv. When vampires choose a mate that’s not their sire or childe, there’s a ritual where the two parties claim each other,” Spike was talking fast now, he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to say it otherwise. “It involves sharing each other’s blood and it forms a bond, a strong bond, between the pair, so strong one can feel what the other is physically feeling, even if they aren’t together, sometimes it can be so strong to allow you to communicate with each other, mentally, even if you’re far away from each other.”
Buffy unconsciously touched the scar on her neck where Spike had bitten her when she had encouraged him to during sex, the memory of it starting a familiar tingling in her groins.
“But, sharing blood? I won't turn into a vampire?” she looked at him wide eyed.
“NO! No, no no. I'd never do that!” Spike waved his hands emphatically before explaining, “It’s just a little blood, I take a bit from you, you take a bit from me, Peaches says a few things in Latin and that’s it. It won’t turn you into a vampire, I’d never do that, Buffy.” Spike picked her hand back up from where he'd dropped it as he finished talking.
“Angel? Angel has to perform the ritual?”
“Yeah, he’s still the Aurelius clan leader, luv. He has to bless the bringing of an outsider into the clan.”
Naturally, she thought, never thought I’d wish Darla was still undead. “What if he doesn’t say the right words . . . what if he, I don’t know, says something that pushes us apart instead of pulling us closer?”
Spike had thought of this, himself. “No, it’s a really short ritual, only a few words and he says them before we do anything. I know Latin, if he says the wrong words, we can just stop,” and dust him, Spike added silently.
Buffy looked at Spike thoughtfully, it was obvious this was important to him. “When would we do it?”
“I was thinking after the wedding ceremony. We can do it with just the three of us, you don’t have to do it in front of your friends.”
Buffy considered his words, don’t have to do it in front of your friends. She expected him to perform her “bonding ritual” of marriage in front of her friends, didn’t she? And yeah, sharing blood, pretty gross, but duh! Vampire!, isn’t it always about the blood?
Buffy didn’t say anything for a long time. Spike was sure she was working on a way to say no without hurting his feelings. “You don’t have to, luv. It’s ok. It won’t change how much I love you.”
“I know. I was just thinking that I should probably warn everyone before hand so they don’t, you know, stake you when the sharing starts?”
Spike just nodded, at a total loss for words for once in his unlife. She was going to do it! In front of her friends!
“So,” Buffy was saying to the assembled group, “when the regular part of the ceremony is over, Wesley will escort the justice of the peace out and Angel will perform the bonding ceremony. It won’t take very long, just a few words in Latin and then Spike and I will exchange blood.”
Just like when Buffy announced she was pregnant, she strategically placed herself between Spike and her friends for this little announcement, as well. As soon as the word ‘blood’ was out of her mouth, the cacophony of “What!?”, “Blood!?” and “Huh?!” rang out. About the only one who didn’t say anything was Faith. Buffy hadn’t really hit it off with Faith at first, but they’d grown closer, and Faith seemed to be the only one who actually understood Buffy at times. It must be the whole warrior thing, she theorized.
Buffy held up her hand to quiet everyone. “It’s just a little, he’s not turning me and it’s something that I want to do. I just want you all to be prepared beforehand, so you know what to expect.”
“Buffy, are you quite sure about this?” Giles asked for the group.
“Yes, beyond sure, please trust me,” she answered Giles before turning to address the group at large. “If you don’t think you can't watch or don’t want to attend that part of the ceremony, then, of course, you don’t have to. I’m marrying a vampire, guys, time to get over it.”
When no one made any further comments she said, “Great then, we’ll see you all tomorrow night.”
Buffy sat on the steps on the back porch of her mom’s house. It was late, but she couldn’t sleep. She was spending the night and day before her wedding there, adhering to the “I’m screwing my fiancé and I’m ready to pop a baby out on the floor, but I’ll stay away for twenty-four hours and pretend I’m a virgin for my wedding day” tradition.
After dinner she’d had the ‘blood sharing’ talk with her mom, who wasn’t at the meeting earlier that day, then Buffy had turned in early to try and get some rest, but it hadn’t worked. So she sat on the steps and looked up at the stars, wondering if Spike might be doing the same thing, wondering if, after the bonding ritual, she would be able to TELL if Spike was doing the same thing.
Buffy felt a familiar tingle on the back of her neck and turned to look at the gate leading from the street. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
Angel stepped out of the shadows and into the light cast from inside the house. “I know, I just wanted to talk to you, alone.”
Buffy slid over to give him room to sit down next to her and waited for the “Spike’s not good enough for you” speech.
“Buffy, Spike’s not good enough for you,” Angel started and Buffy had to choke back a laugh.
Buffy turned and looked up at him. “Angel, I’m sorry, but I love Spike. I’m marrying Spike. I wish you’d be happy for us.”
“But not too happy . . ." he sighed.
“Actually, you can be perfectly happy.” When he looked at her, brows knit together, she continued. “The spell that restored your soul, it doesn’t have the happiness curse, or clause, hex . . . whatever . . . attached to it. You can be happy. You should be happy.”
“Buffy, I . . . why didn’t you tell me sooner? We could've been together! We could be together, now!”
Angel put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her towards him. Before she could react, he had captured her mouth in a hungry kiss, his arms encircling her, barring her from pulling back. She pushed against his chest, tried to turn her head away from him, but he had her in too strong a grip.
Using her fingernails, she dug deep into his arm, he howled and pulled back from the pain.
“NO! ANGEL, STOP!” she screamed at him as she tried to get up and move away from him, but he grabbed her foot and she fell backwards on the porch. She kicked her feet at his hands but he was already moving up her body, pressing a knee into her thigh.
“THE BABY! ANGEL STOP!” Buffy kept kicking her feet, pushing herself along the porch towards the back door. If she could just get inside, he couldn’t follow. Willow had dis-invited him long ago and he’d never been invited back in.
Suddenly, she heard a deep growl coming from somewhere in the yard and just as suddenly Angel was no longer on top of her. She turned and scrambled on hands and knees until she’d cleared the threshold of the house before turning around to see Spike and Angel, both in game face, wrestling on the ground for control of the other.
Buffy stumbled to her feet and ran to the small weapons chest she still kept at her mom’s and grabbed a stake. When she got back to the yard, Spike had Angel pinned down by the throat, she thought that he might actually be able to rip Angel’s head clean off with his bare hands.
“You bloody cocksucker! You just can’t stand it, can you? She wants ME, she LOVES ME and you can’t ‘ave her!” Spike was screaming at him and pressing ever harder on Angel’s throat. “The great Angelus, back to raping pregnant women. Were you going to eat the baby first, or after the deed, Angelus? A Slayer’s baby, that would’ve been a sweet treat for you, wouldn’ it?!”
At the sound of the gasp from Buffy, who had moved up behind them, Spike closed his eyes a second and tried to calm down before he continued.
“What do you want me to do with him, Slayer?” Spike didn’t look at her, he kept a firm grip on Angel as he spoke. Buffy’s head was spinning; Angel had actually tried to rape her. If not for Spike, he might have succeeded – Angel, not Angelus, Angel.
Tears were streaming down Buffy’s face, she shook her head trying to clear her thoughts, trying to get a grip on what had just happened and what Spike was asking her.
“Buffy, please . . .” Angel croaked past Spike’s grip.
“SHUT UP! NO ONE’S BLOODY TALKN’ TO YOU!” Spike screamed at him, tightening his grip further.
Then something occurred to her. “What about the bonding? If Angel’s dust, can it still be done?”
Spike honestly didn’t know the answer to that. If Angel were dust, he’d be the clan leader – and the whole clan, for that matter, well, except for Harmony. Could he perform the ceremony and be part of it, as well?
Spike stood up and picked Angel up by the throat in one fluid motion, never loosening his grip on him.
Spike’s voice was low, dangerous, as he addressed his grand sire. “You are going to show up tomorrow night and perform the claim ceremony. If you so much as say one syllable of that ritual wrong, I WILL DUST YOU. If you don’t show up, I will HUNT YOU DOWN and make you WISH you were dust.”
Spike’s golden eyes seemed to glow with the anger and frustration of the whole situation. “When the ritual is done, you will leave. Go back to L.A. and STAY THE HELL OUT OF OUR LIVES! CLEAR?”
Angel tried to speak, but couldn’t draw in a breath to form any words. Spike had such a grip on his throat that he couldn’t even nod, so Angel just dropped his game face and lowered his eyes away from Spike’s to convey his agreement.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SIGHT!” Spike threw him towards the gate leading out of the yard and Angel scrambled wearily to his feet to make a hasty retreat.
Still in game face, Spike turned back to Buffy who had started trembling as the reality of the situation completely hit her, and took her in his arms. “You ok? The bit ok?”
Buffy’s lower lip trembled as she tried to fight back the tears and the anger that was building in her, she nodded against his shoulder, unable to speak.
“Com’on luv, let’s get you inside.” Spike leaned down and scooped her up. Her arms encircled his neck and she buried her head against his chest as he carried her back into the house. Her mom was just making her way to the back door after being awoken with the shouts from the back yard when Spike got Buffy inside.
“What happened? What’s going on? Buffy? William, why are you . . . your face . . .?”
Spike shook his game face off. “Everything’s ok. Maybe some tea to help her settle down? I’ll take her upstairs and be back down to get it.”
Spike laid Buffy down on her childhood bed and knelt beside it, stroking her hair, trying to calm her down.
“Spike, I . . . we were just talking . . . then he . . . he . . . I didn’t expect it.”
“I know, luv. It’s ok now.”
“I don’t know if I could have made it to the house . . . I . . . I didn’t have any weapons . . .”
“Told you I’d protect you and the bit, luv. I meant it, I’ll always be here to protect you.” In fact, Spike had been getting ready to climb up to her bedroom window when heard her screaming in the back yard.
He knew this was some kind of strange tradition, to stay apart the night before the wedding, but he didn’t like it one bit and couldn’t sleep, so he decided to take a walk and, well, the walk had taken him to her, of course.
“It was Angel,” Buffy murmured softly.
“Yeah, luv, it was.” Spike thought she finally got it now, Angel, Angelus, Liam . . . they really were all the same person.
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