|Chapter Title:||William's Heart, Chapter 36|
December 2002. Annie will be 4 years old in February, 2003.
Buffy died in early May 2001, brought back in September 2001.
It's Christmas and Buffy's trying to make it normal for everyone, but Spike's Demon is growing stronger. Has he crossed the line and killed Buffy?
|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.
Monday, December 23rd, 2002:
Spike fought for control of the demon, he knew he was taking too much blood from Buffy, but was powerless to stop it and, when she became afraid, the smell and taste of her fear made it that much sweeter. When he heard her murmur “William” and go limp under him, he was finally able to force himself away from her. Unable to retract his fangs before doing so, he ripped her flesh and her blood continued to flow freely from the wound.
He rolled off her and tumbled onto the floor, scrambling away from the scent of her blood. “RED!” he screamed. “WILLOW! TARA! ANYBODY!” he continued screaming as he crawled backwards across the floor towards the stairs.
Willow and Tara heard his screams and were at the bottom of the stairs at nearly the same time as he was. “What! Spike, what is it?!”
Still in game face, blood covering his mouth, he answered them, “Buffy! Help Buffy!” He pointed to the couch where she lay bleeding and unconscious.
The witches ran to Buffy. “OH GOD!” Tara exclaimed as Willow pressed her hand against the wound on Buffy’s neck. The blood was still flowing.
“Call 911!” Willow directed Tara before beginning the same incantation that she’d used to stop Tara’s bleeding when she’d been shot. Soon Willow and Buffy were engulfed in light.
Spike sat on the floor at the foot of the stairs trembling in fear of what he’d done, trying to figure out why he’d been unable to control the demon and praying that Willow would be able to save his wife.
After about a minute, Willow and Buffy were engulfed in a tornado of bright red light, then, suddenly, it stopped and everything went still. Willow collapsed on the floor. Tara checked Willow, she was breathing, but unconscious. Then she moved to Buffy. The couch was soaked in blood, Tara tried not to look at it, or the wound on Buffy’s neck, for fear she'd be sick. She took one wrist and checked for a pulse, she couldn’t feel one.
“OH GOD!” she exclaimed again. She took a deep breath to steel herself and looked at the wound on Buffy’s neck. The bleeding had stopped, but had she lost too much blood? “SPIKE HELP ME!” Tara screamed at him as she pulled Buffy down onto the floor and started CPR. Spike was frozen in fear and didn’t move from his place far away from Buffy, far away from the blood. “SPIKE!! GOD DAMN IT, HELP ME!”
Spike shook his head hard and finally fought the demon down. Still terrified, he jumped up and ran over to where Tara was working on Buffy. Spike took over the chest compressions as Tara breathed into Buffy’s mouth. Tara listened for breath sounds from Buffy, but still didn’t hear anything. “Can you hear her heart? Is it beating?” she asked Spike.
Spike stopped and listened, he couldn’t hear anything coming from Buffy. He laid his head down on her chest and the demon came back up as soon as he got close to the blood. He closed his eyes and stopped breathing as he fought for control. After a few seconds, his human face appeared and he listened intently. “YES! Yes! Faint but there!” He went back to the chest compressions and Tara continued breathing into Buffy’s mouth.
Finally, there was banging on the front door. “Paramedics,” Tara explained. “Go let them in,” she instructed Spike as she took over both the chest compressions and breathing.
The Paramedics were talking fast, concerned about her low heart rate and thready pulse. They put an oxygen mask on and started an IV. “What happened to her?” one of them asked. Tara had no idea how to answer that. She just said she didn’t know, but that obviously she’d lost a lot of blood. When the medics felt she’d been stabilized, they transported Buffy to the hospital.
Tara wanted to go with her, but she was afraid to leave Spike alone since Willow was still unconscious.
“Spike, what the hell happened here?!” Tara asked when the paramedics had left with Buffy.
“I have to go be with her,” he said and started towards the door.
Tara grabbed his arm. “Spike. No. You’re covered in blood. You need to tell me what happened and you need to clean up and then, when Willow wakes up, we’ll all go.”
Spike turned and looked at the witch, tears burned the back of his eyes. “I don’t know what happened. It’s never happened before . . . . not, not with Buffy, not in years.”
“So, it HAS happened before?” Tara pressed him.
Spike rubbed his forehead, as if trying to force a coherent thought into his brain. He looked up at Tara. “It’s the demon, it’s gotten stronger somehow. I couldn’t stop it in time. It’s like . . . like before, like before I met Buffy.”
Tara considered him. He was genuinely upset and obviously didn’t mean to hurt his wife. “Can you control it now?” she asked him.
“Yeah, as long as there’s no blood . . .” and I’m not peckish, he added silently.
“Ok, go get cleaned up, get Annie up and dressed and I’ll see if I can bring Willow around. Can you do that?”
Spike nodded and turned, taking the stairs two at a time he left Tara with Willow as he went to do as she asked.
At the hospital Spike found out where Buffy was from the Emergency room nurse, but only one person was allowed in at a time. She was in ICU; she’d lost a lot of blood. They didn’t know how she was still alive, but seemed to be responding to the transfusion and her heart rate and pulse were nearly back to normal, although she remained unconscious.
Spike entered her room, machines beeped, there were tubes running out of her arms and an oxygen tube under her nose. A huge bandage covered her neck. He dropped to his knees beside her bed and held her hand, laying his forehead against the side of the bed. “God, Buffy, what did I do? I nearly killed you. What the hell is wrong with me?” He felt her squeeze his fingers and looked up quickly, her eyes were just starting to open. He stood up and smoothed her hair away from her face.
“Buffy? Buffy, can you hear me?” Buffy gave his hand another squeeze and finally focused her eyes on him. “Buffy! God, I’m so sorry! I don’t know what’s wrong with me! Are you ok?”
Buffy tried to talk, but the wound on her neck made it difficult, so she just squeezed his hand again. Her eyes closed and she drifted back into unconsciousness for the remainder of the night. The nurses tried to get Spike to go home and come back in the morning, but he refused, staying by her bedside through the night.
Tuesday, December 24th, 2002:
In the morning, Buffy woke up. Her neck was sore, but her wound was already half healed and she insisted on being released.
She took it easy most of the day, doing some cooking for the upcoming Christmas dinner and some wrapping of the last of the Christmas presents to go under the tree, but very little else. Spike stayed with her the entire day, never leaving her side. He was actually starting to get on her nerves.
“Spike, I’m fine, really,” she told him. “I’m not mad at you. We’ll figure out what the problem is and we’ll fix it. After all, it’s not like you haven’t tried to kill me before,” she tried to joke, but he didn’t think it was the least bit funny.
Wednesday, December 25th, 2002:
Annie woke early on Christmas morning and banged on the doors of the adults in the house. They’d told her the night before that she couldn’t go down stairs without them. When the entire house was awake, she raced down the stairs and began digging into her presents. She has got to be the most spoiled child in the universe, Buffy thought as she watched Annie open gift after gift, squealing with delight at each one. She gave Willow and Tara hugs and thanked them for the gifts they'd given her and later, when the rest of the “spoilers” arrived, she did the same with them.
Willow and Tara helped Buffy with the Christmas dinner since she still wasn’t one hundred percent. Everything turned out wonderfully and, after dinner, the entire gang was gathered around the TV watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when Spike’s cell phone started playing the theme from “Charlie’s Angels.”
He rolled his eyes and fished it out of his pocket, but Buffy was standing in front of him with her hand out before he could answer it. He handed her the phone.
“Angel, do you have any idea what day it is?” Buffy cut right to the heart of the matter without preamble.
“Wesley!? What’s wrong!?”
“WHAT!?” At Buffy’s exclamation, everyone stopped talking, turned the TV down and listened.
“ANGELUS?! How the FUCK did that happen? The curse was fixed!” Buffy exclaimed.
Annie started to say something about BAD WORDS but Spike stopped her, pulling her onto his lap as everyone gathered closer to hear what Buffy was saying.
Buffy put the phone on "speaker" and laid it down on the coffee table so everyone could hear.
“ . . . . it was the only way to obtain the information we needed about the demon,” Wesley was saying.
“Wesley, start from the beginning. How did Angel lose his soul?” Buffy questioned him.
“Angelus had information that we needed; Angel couldn’t access it,” Wesley explained.
“Are you people on drugs up there or something!? If Angelus knows something, so does Angel. They’re the SAME FUCKING PERSON, Wes! He played you!” Buffy was livid.
“What would Angel have to gain by losing his soul? I assure you, Buffy, this was the only course of action to get the information we needed to defeat the demon,” Wesley retorted.
“How? How did you remove it?” Buffy gave up trying to convince Wesley that he’d been played and started concentrating on solid facts.
“We had a Shaman remove it and place it in a magical glass container for safe keeping so we could restore it when we had the information,” Wesley told the group.
“So PUT IT BACK!” Buffy told him.
“Well, that’s the thing . . . it’s missing,” Wesley sounded embarrassed.
“MISSING?! You mis-placed his soul?! What the fuck is wrong with you people?” Buffy wasn’t getting any happier. “Where’s Faith?”
“Buffy, Faith’s . . . she’s in the hospital in a coma. Angelus attacked her, nearly killed her.”
Buffy put her head in her hands; tears of frustration threatened her eyes. “So, let me get this straight. Angel said that only Angelus could give you information you needed, so you got someone to remove his soul and store it in a bottle but, now you can’t find the bottle and Angel is off killing people again and you want us to come down and clean up your mess. Does that about cover it?”
“Well . . . umm, yes, I believe so,” Wesley stammered.
“Let me talk to Cordelia.”
“Buffy?” Cordelia said as she took the phone from Wesley.
“Cordelia, have those visions of yours fried your brain cells?! Why on earth would you, of all people, allow this to happen? Do you not REMEMBER those months that Angel, Spike and Dru hunted . . .” Buffy’s eyes met Annie’s as her daughter sat on Spike’s lap, she was listening just as intently as everyone else to everything being said. Buffy took a breath and started again. “You are the only one there that actually KNOWS what Angelus is capable of. How could you let this happen?”
“Buffy, believe me, I tried to talk him out of it, but Angel insisted that Angelus would know. And he did! Angelus gave us information that Angel didn’t remember, but then, we let him out of his cage and . . .”
“WHAT!? You had him in a cage and you let him OUT?” This just kept getting better and better.
“Well, we thought we were letting Angel out. We tried a spell to restore his soul, even though we didn't know where it was, but it didn’t work, obviously. Angelus fooled us into thinking that it did,” Cordelia tried to explain.
Buffy shook her head. “Imagine that! Angelus FOOLED you! What a shocker!”
“I seem to recall a time that Angelus fooled YOU TOO, Buffy!" Cordelia defended.
"I was seventeen! I didn't even know Angelus . . ." Buffy stopped and sighed. Unemployed tinkers she thought and took a deep breath to calm down.
When Buffy didn't say anything for a moment, Cordelia asked, "Are you going to help us or not? I thought Willow could do some kind of spell to find his soul and then put it back, you know, like she did before with Angel and Spike.”
Angel and Spike. The words repeated in Buffy’s head, Angel and Spike, ANGEL AND SPIKE! “Oh. My. God.” Buffy said aloud and looked at Spike. “When did you remove Angel’s soul?”
“Ummm . . . this past Sunday night,” Cordelia informed her. “Why?”
Buffy spoke to Cordelia, but kept her eyes locked on Spike’s. “Are you ALL mentally deficient up there? You want to know what Angel has to gain by having his soul removed? I’ll fucking tell you! It got Spike’s removed, too! They’re tied together! The same spell ensouled them both. Jesus H. Christ, Cordelia – YOU KNOW THAT! YOU WERE HERE!”
It seemed that everyone sitting around the phone in the mansion gasped at once at the realization of what had been wrong with Spike the last few days. Five sets of wary eyes turned on him.
“Oh, God, Buffy. I didn’t know that would happen! Honest!” Cordelia sounded genuinely sorry. “Has Spike, you know, gone all GRRR-ARRGH on anyone?” Cordelia asked.
“No,” Buffy said. “Spike’s not Angel. How many has Angel killed?”
“We don’t know,” Cordelia admitted.
Buffy couldn’t do anything but just shake her head at the absurdity of it all. Could Angel hold a grudge this long? She remembered what Spike had told her about Angel, he can work a plan for years. Obviously, he thought that getting Spike’s soul removed would have turned him back into a killing machine. She looked at her husband who had closed his eyes and leaned his head against the back of the couch, so his face was looking up towards the ceiling, still holding their daughter in his lap. Angel always did underestimate Spike, she thought, and this time is no exception. Spike was struggling, but he certainly didn’t go all “grrr-arrgh” on them, as Cordelia put it. If Buffy hadn't insisted on him feeding from her, it's possible that he wouldn't have hurt anyone.
“Buffy, are you still there?” Cordelia pulled Buffy back from her thoughts.
“Yeah. Willow, Spike and I will be up tonight,” Buffy told her.
“Spike? You’re bringing Spike? Isn’t one soulless vampire enough?” Cordelia questioned.
“Spike and I are a team. If you want me and Willow, Spike comes, too.”
“Fine, but he’s your responsibility!” Cordelia informed her. “If he starts killing . . .”
Buffy cut her off. “Cordelia, have I told you lately how very much I dislike you? Repeat after me: Spike is not Angel. We’ll be up later tonight.” At that, Buffy hit the “end” button on the phone. Spike hadn’t moved from his position on the couch, eyes closed, head back.
Buffy looked around at her friends. “Could you guys give us a minute? I need to talk to Spike, alone.”
Giles started to protest, but Buffy stopped him with a look and all her friends got up and headed towards the kitchen. Buffy pulled Annie down off Spike’s lap. “Go with Aunt Willow a minute, honey.”
“You owe me a BUNCH of pennies, Mama,” Annie informed her innocently.
Buffy smiled. “I know. I won’t forget. Now go with Willow. I need to talk to Papa.”
Annie smiled back at her mom and followed the rest of the group out of the great room.
Spike still hadn’t moved. Buffy walked up to where he was on the couch and sat down on his lap, straddling his hips with hers. Spike suddenly switched to game face and grabbed her arms, pulling her to him as he buried his face against her neck. Buffy didn’t flinch, didn’t pull back or stiffen against his threat. Instead, she tilted her head to the side and bared her neck to him. She could feel his mouth against her skin, his tongue outlining the barely healed scar from two nights ago.
“Shouldn’ be this close to me without your weapon, Slayer,” Spike threatened, his mouth still against her neck. She could feel his fangs pressing lightly into her skin. "I’ve already got mine.”
“I've got my weapon, too,” she whispered against his ear. “William.” She continued in a whisper, “William’s not a monster. William’s stronger than the demon.” She felt Spike shudder against her as he battled himself, as William battled the demon.
“William’s a ponce,” Spike informed her, his mouth hadn't moved away from her neck.
“Maybe," Buffy continued to whisper into his ear. "But you’ve forgotten your own lesson, Spike. Liam, Angelus, Angel, all the same person. Spike and William, also the same person. He’s your heart, and I trust William's heart with my life, with our daughter’s life. His love is stronger than the demon.”
Spike dropped his head so his forehead was against Buffy’s shoulder before he leaned back and released his grip on her arms. Game face still on, his golden eyes looked terrified as they searched her face for strength to push the demon back down. Buffy laid her hand on his cheek as she leaned in and took his mouth in a tender, loving kiss. She felt his fangs retract and deepened the kiss as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her body against his; his arms encircled her with William’s loving embrace.
"Are you ready?" Buffy asked Spike and he nodded.
Willow, Spike and Buffy sat at the research table. The Orb of Thessula, surrounded by other magical ingredients, on the table between them. As soon what had made the demon in Spike stronger the last few days was known, he asked Willow to do the spell to put his soul back. Although he never really thought he needed it before, he had to admit now that it was important. It made it so the demon was just a part of the human rather than dominating his humanity. Buffy may have thought that William was stronger than the demon, but he wasn't so sure. The safest course of action was to get his soul back.
Willow chanted an incantation in Latin, her eyes black with Magicks as the power of the re-ensouling spell flowed through her, but the Spike’s soul was nowhere to be found, the orb remained dark and empty on the table.
“Whereever Angel’s soul is, Spike’s must be with it,” Willow informed them after the third try. “We’re going to have to go up there and release both of their souls back into the ether and then we can soul them back up.” Willow looked between the two blonds. “Sorry.”
Buffy and Spike nodded. It was worth a try.
“Ok, I guess we need to go to L.A. Do you have any way to find and release their souls?” Buffy asked Willow.
“Yeah, I think so,” Willow replied.
“Great. Let’s go dust a vampire,” Buffy said as she started to rise, only to be stopped by Willow.
“Ummm . . . Buffy?”
“Willow?” Buffy eyed her friend suspiciously. She didn’t like the sound of the hesitation in Willow’s voice.
“You can’t dust him.” Willow slid back away from the table as she said it, prepared for the reaction her news would elicit from the blonds.
“WHAT!?” came from Buffy and Spike in one voice.
“Buffy, the souls, they’re still tied together. I don’t know what will happen if you dust Angel before we release them and get them separated,” Willow tried to explain. “You could lose Spike’s soul for good if that happens.”
“Bloody hell!” came from Spike as Buffy sank back down in her chair, crossing her hands on the table and dropping her head down on them.
“Will we ever be free of Angel?” Buffy asked to no one in particular.
“I can fix it once we get the souls separated and back into Angel and Spike!” Willow assured her.
“How?” Buffy looked up at her friend.
“Well, we’ll just de-soul Spike and . . .” Willow started but Buffy cut her off.
“If you de-soul Spike, you de-soul Angel, too, Willow,” Buffy pointed out.
“But just for a minute! Then I put them back in with two separate spells. Buffy, don’t worry, we’ll fix it,” Willow assured her. “But, in the meantime, you need to capture Angel, alive . . . or undead – not dust, at any rate.”
Buffy closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Fine, let’s go CAPTURE a vampire . . .”
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