|Chapter Title:||Bitty Bad, Chapter 34|
September 2002. Annie will be 4 years old in February, 2003.
Buffy died in early May 2001, brought back in September 2001.
|Summary:||Continuation of Chapter 33. Someone wants all of Buffy's friends and family dead. Will they succeed?|
This Chapter is dedicated to PaganBaby - she'll know why!
|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.
“TARA! NO! TARA!” Willow screamed.
Annie had backed up away from the fallen witch, her eyes wide in terror as she watched Tara’s blood begin to form a puddle on the floor. Buffy ran up to Annie, scooped her up and carried her quickly out of the training room.
Just outside the door, she put Annie down and knelt down in front of her. “Annie. Annie, listen to me.” Buffy took her daughter’s face in her hand and made her look into her eyes. “Annie, go up to your room and close the door and don’t come out until I come get you. Do you understand?”
Annie nodded. “Aunt Tara?”
“Aunt Tara will be FINE!” Buffy lied before she gave Annie quick hug. “OK, now run!” Annie turned and ran as fast as she could up the stairs.
Buffy limped over to the couch and grabbed the portable phone, dialing 911 as she headed back towards the training room. She spoke quickly to the 911 operator, requesting paramedics and giving the address before she hung up. She pressed her hand against the wound on her thigh, the bleeding had nearly stopped, but it still hurt like a son of a bitch. Guns! Never useful!
When she got back inside, there was a bright swirl of light surrounding Willow and Tara. Willow’s eyes were black with Magicks, her arms stretched skyward as she chanted something Buffy didn’t recognize in Latin.
Buffy looked at Tara, the bleeding seemed to have stopped, which could mean one of two things. She had died or Willow had stopped it. Buffy watched as the light swirling around the witches turned from an amber glow to green, then blue and finally red. Wind whipped Willow’s hair around her face as she continued chanting until it looked like the witches were caught in the center of a bright red tornado. Then, suddenly, everything stopped and Willow collapsed hard to the floor.
Buffy ran to Tara, feeling for a pulse. It was there! Tara was still alive! She checked Willow, her breathing was ragged, but she appeared to be ok, just drained of energy and unconscious. Stepping across Tara, Buffy picked up the ropes from the floor and crossed to Riley. She started wrapping the rope around his ankles when he suddenly sat up and hit her with a right hook. Catching her off guard, the blow knocked her to the floor, but she scrambled up quickly. Riley had already made it to his feet, the rope she’d been wrapping around his ankles dropped uselessly on the floor.
Riley started backing up towards his gun which was still lying next to the wall, but Buffy was too fast for him and got to it first. Holding it in her hand, she hit Riley with her fist closed around it and he stumbled backwards and fell. She jumped on him, straddling his stomach with her hips and began pummeling him with her fists and the butt of the gun.
“You mother-fucking son-of-a-bitch! YOU’RE gonna’ kill MY FAMILY!? MY FRIENDS!?” Buffy hit him again with the butt of the gun; her anger had returned tenfold.
“You FUCKING SHOT ME!!” She hit him again.
“You shot TARA!” And again the butt of the gun came down on Riley’s head.
“You won’t shoot anyone again, you mother fucker!” Buffy held the gun in both hands like a hammer and raised it over her head, ready to come down hard and split Riley’s skull to bits when a strong hand gripped around her wrist and stopped her.
Buffy looked up to see who had her wrist. It was Spike. “LET GO!” she screamed at him.
“NO! Buffy, STOP! You’re gonna kill ‘im!” Spike held her wrist firm.
“YEAH, THAT’S THE FUCKING IDEA! LET GO!”
Spike grabbed her other wrist and pulled her up off Riley to stand in front of him. “YOU don’t kill humans!” he reminded her.
“I kill anything that threatens my family!” Buffy tried to pull free of his grip.
Spike just pulled her harder until he could wrap his arms around her, his mouth next to her ear. “Buffy, trust me, you don’t want to do this. I’m here now. I’ll take care of it. Do you understand? I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT.”
Buffy closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I can do it,” she assured Spike.
“I know. I know you can, luv. But you have to trust me, you DO NOT want to do this. You’ll regret it later. I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT. OK?”
“And you WON’T regret it later?” Buffy pulled back to look at him.
Spike clenched his jaw. “Got plenty more to keep that regret comp’ny, luv. You don’t. Now, trust me. I'll handle it.”
Buffy sighed and nodded her head.
“Where’s Annie?” Spike asked her.
“Upstairs in her room. She’s ok,” Buffy told him.
Spike sighed in relief.
Buffy looked at Tara and Willow, both still unconscious on the floor. “Are they alive?”
“Yeah, they’re both alive,” Spike answered after listening a moment for their heartbeats.
“The paramedics are on the way . . .” Buffy informed him.
“You go to the curb and meet them. I’ll be gone when you come back in, but I won’t be long and I’ll meet you at the hospital, got it?”
Buffy nodded and turned to leave. “He was going to kill us all, Spike. He nearly did.”
“I know, luv. I will take care of it,” he assured her.
Buffy nodded again and walked out of the training room.
When Buffy returned with the Paramedics, Spike and Riley, along with the gun and the taser, were gone.
Buffy left the paramedics working on the witches and went upstairs to get Annie. Buffy knocked on her door before pushing it open. “Annie, baby, it’s Mama. You can come out now.”
Annie was huddled in the corner between her bed and the wall, as far from the door as she could get. Buffy walked up to her, knelt down and took her into her arms. “Annie, it’s ok. Everyone’s ok. The game’s over.”
Annie wrapped her arms and legs around Buffy and cried into her neck. “Oh, baby. It’s really ok now. You won the game for us! You were so brave! I’m so proud of you!” Buffy pulled Annie back so she could look into her eyes. “You got the tape off Aunt Willow’s mouth, just like I asked you to, didn’t you?”
Buffy thought back on what she’d told her daughter when she was clinging to her neck after Riley had let her go. “Aunt Willow needs the tape off her mouth, Annie. Do you understand? You go sit with your back to Aunt Willow’s mouth and work the tape off with your fingers. I’ll be between you and the bad man, ok? I won’t let him see you. Can you do that?” Annie had nodded into Buffy’s shoulder. “Ok, go now!” Annie had done exactly as Buffy told her, working the tape off Willow’s mouth so she could cast the spell to free them from the ropes.
“I was scared, though . . .” Annie admitted.
“I know, baby, it’s ok to be scared. Mama and Papa get scared, too, sometimes. But you did it! You were brave when it counted, weren’t you?” Buffy smiled at her daughter. “Wait ‘till I tell Papa, we’ve got a new Big Bad in the family!”
Annie laughed. “YOU’RE Big Bad, Mama! I’ll be . . . " Annie thought a moment before deciding, "Bitty Bad!”
Buffy laughed and pulled Annie into a tight hug, standing up and heading out of the room with Annie in her arms. “Deal.”
Willow had regained consciousness and insisted that she was alright, so the Paramedics loaded Tara on a stretcher and took her and Buffy to the hospital in the ambulance, allowing Willow and Annie to ride with them.
Tara’s vital signs were strong and the bleeding had stopped. The bullet was still lodged in her chest, but it had missed her heart. The doctors had quickly prepped her and taken her into surgery nearly as soon as they had arrived at the hospital.
Buffy was more lucky, the bullet had gone straight through her thigh, missing the bone and any major arteries. They wanted Buffy to stay overnight, but she refused. So, she waited, along with Willow and Annie, in the waiting room for Tara to come out of surgery.
“Papa!” Annie screamed as she saw Spike walking down the hallway towards them. Buffy released her and Annie raced down the hall towards him. Spike scooped her up in his arms and held her in a tight hug, which Annie returned with her arms around his neck and legs around his middle.
“How’s m’ Niblett?” he asked her as he kept walking towards Buffy and Willow.
“Not Niblett, anymore, Papa! ‘Bitty Bad’!” Annie announced proudly.
“Bitty Bad?” Spike asked as he furrowed his brows in question to Buffy.
“That’s right,” Buffy confirmed with a small smile. “Annie saved . . . Annie won the game for us! I’m Big Bad and she’s Bitty Bad!”
“OI!” Spike objected. “If Mama’s Big Bad and you’re Bitty Bad, what does that make me?” he questioned Annie.
“You’re Papa!” Annie explained.
Spike laughed and rolled his eyes. “Can I at least be Half Bad?” he asked his daughter.
Buffy came up and gave him a hug, squeezing Annie between them. “Well, if you ask me, you’re not half bad. Not half bad, at all.”
“Guys. Doctor.” Willow jumped up and walked towards the doctor coming out of the surgery suites.
“How is she?” Willow asked when they met half way. Buffy, Spike and Annie were right behind her.
“She’s going to be fine,” the doctor started. “I really don’t know how, but the bullet must have cauterized the wounds and stopped the bleeding. I’ve never seen anything like it before. She did lose a lot of blood, but something stopped it just in time. If she’d lost more, it would have been fatal.”
At the worried look on Willow’s face, the doctor reiterated, “But she’s fine now. We replaced the blood she lost and got the bullet out. She’ll be in recovery shortly and you can see her in about an hour or so when she’s awake.”
“Thank Goddess!” Willow hugged the doctor before turning and hugging Buffy and then Spike, who still had Annie in his arms, in turn.
She pulled back from Spike and took one of Annie’s hands in hers. Smiling at her she said, “Annie, you were so brave today. I don’t know what we would’ve done without you. You’re a warrior, just like your Mom and Dad, you know it?”
Annie smiled back. “I’m Bitty Bad!”
“Yes. Yes you are, sweetheart!” Willow assured her.
Willow insisted that Buffy and Spike take Annie home. She would stay at the hospital and be there when Tara woke up. Although Buffy objected, she had to admit that she was exhausted, her neck and leg hurt like hell and she knew that Annie had to be exhausted, too. Finally, Willow won out and the two blonds left Willow at the hospital and took Annie home.
“So,” Spike said as he tucked Annie into her bed, “your Mum tells me you were quite the brave girl today, Niblett.”
Annie smiled proudly. “I got the tape off Aunt Willow’s mouth.”
“You musta’ been scared,” Spike suggested.
“A little . . .” Annie admitted.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, Niblett. If anyone tells you they don’t get scared sometimes, they’re talkin’ bollocks.”
“Do you get scared, Papa?” Annie looked up at him with wide eyes.
“Yeah, sometimes. When I think somethin’s wrong with you or your Mum, I get scared, because I love you and I don’t ever want anything bad to happen to you.”
“What happened to the bad man?”
Spike sighed and pursed his lips together in thought before he answered. “He’s gone, Niblett. You never have to worry about him again, OK?”
“You promise?” Annie asked.
“I do, I promise. No worries, right?”
“I love you, Papa.” Annie sat up and wrapped her arms around his neck. Spike held her to him and buried his nose in her hair, she smelled of Johnson’s baby shampoo and Fruit Punch scented bubble bath. Closing his eyes, he thought of how close he came today of losing them both.
“Ok, Bitty Bad, it’s time to go to sleep now, yeah?” Spike put her back down and re-tucked her blanket around her. “Nothin’ to be scared of here.” Spike dropped a kiss on her forehead before rising from the edge of her bed and turning the light off as he slipped out of her room.
Entering the room he shared with Buffy, Spike closed the door and leaned against it heavily, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly.
“She alright?” Buffy asked from the bed.
Spike gave her a small smile. “Yeah, think so.”
“How ‘bout you?” Buffy held her hand out for him to come over to join her on the bed.
Spike moved to the bed and sat down hard before lying back on the pillows, still in his Pajama bottoms.
Buffy curled against his side, laying her head on his shoulder, draping one arm over his chest and one leg over his. He curled his arm around her and ran a finger absentmindedly up and down her arm.
“You wanna’ talk about it?” she asked quietly.
Spike took another deep breath and let it out. “I could’ve lost you today, both of you. Right here in our own bleedin' house, no less.” Tears stung the back of his eyes.
“’If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans . . . .” Buffy started the saying that Spike had taught her long ago, the first time they’d dealt with the Initiative. “We made it; we’re fine.”
“Yeah,” Spike sighed the word without conviction.
“Do you wanna’ talk about,” Buffy paused a moment, trying to figure out how to word her question, “the rest?” she finally settled on.
“No.” Spike’s voice was flat. “I took care of it. You don’t need to worry about him ever again. That’s all you need to know, luv.”
“I love you, Spike.”
Spiked pulled her tight against his body and dropped a kiss on top of her head. She smelled just like Annie, Johnson’s baby shampoo and Fruit Punch Bubble Bath.
“I love you, too, Buffy.”
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