|Chapter Title:||Fish in a Barrel, Chapter 50|
February 14th, 2003. Annie turns 4 years old today.
Buffy died in early May 2001, brought back in September 2001.
Buffy turned 22 years old on January 19th, 2003.
|Summary:||Spike and Buffy meet the Potentials. It's Annie's birthday - time for a party!|
Song Referenced: I Need You, by LeAnn Rimes
Photo of James Marsters with tongue curled around his teeth
by Ulla Inkeri Huhta :
|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.
February 14th, 2003:
Buffy woke slowly and, once she remembered where they were, rolled off Spike gently so she didn’t wake him. She headed into the bathroom to get an actual shower, one that included shampoo and cream rinse. When she emerged from the bathroom, she used her damp towels to mop up the puddle of water that they’d made earlier that ran from the shower all the way to the bed, before getting dressed and heading downstairs.
The only person she found in the cabin was a man in the kitchen preparing some salads at the center island. “Hi,” she said as she walked up to him. “I’m Buffy.”
The man, who was perhaps thirty years old, was a little under six feet tall, had shoulder length brown hair, an earring in both ears, and crystal blue eyes that reminded her of Spike’s. He wore a long sleeved t-shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows and a western button-down shirt over it. His look was completed with a well worn pair of Levis and cowboy boots. He looked like he should be out rounding up wild horses rather than chopping veggies in the kitchen.
“Lindsey,” the man said, extending his right hand. “Lindsey McDonald. I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s nice to meet you at last.”
“Really? Oh, from Xander and Anya,” Buffy realized, pulling her hand back from the hand shake.
“And Annie and Angel,” Lindsey filled in.
“Angel?” Buffy’s brows knitted together in question. “You know Angel?”
“Yeah, you might say he’s the reason I’m here,” Lindsey waved his arm around, indicating the safe house.
At Buffy’s confused look, Lindsey said, “Long story – suffice it to say, as long as I’m here, I’m safe.”
“From Angel?” Buffy wasn’t following this at all.
“No, not Angel – someone much worse than Angel,” Lindsey smiled and went back to preparing the salads.
Buffy dropped it since it was obvious Lindsey didn’t want to go into more detail about who he was hiding from or what his relationship with Angel was. “So, you’re the cook then?” she asked, instead.
“Head cook and bottle washer,” Lindsey answered with a smile. “I also help train the girls – basic martial arts, weapons, stuff like that.”
Buffy raised her eyebrows, “So, all around Jack of all Trades, then?”
“Yeah, kinda,” he said.
“Do you mind if I get some breakfast?” Buffy asked, moving towards the refrigerator.
“No problem. I’ll get it. What would you like? Bacon, eggs and toast do you?” he asked, moving ahead of her and opening the refrigerator to pull out the ingredients.
“Sounds great!” she said, backing off to let him do his job. “I need a mug to warm up some . . . umm . . .” Buffy thought about how to ask for warm blood for her husband, but, if Lindsey knew Angel, then, she figured, it wouldn’t be that big a shock for him to warm up some blood. “I need to warm up some blood for my husband. We put it in the chest freezer when we came in. Do you know my husband, Spike?”
“No, I don’t think we’ve met. He’s a vampire?” Lindsey asked without looking at her.
“Yeah, but don’t spread it around with the girls yet – I don’t want them to freak out,” Buffy said as she sat down on a stool at the center island and waited for him to get her breakfast.
“No problem. Cook – client confidentiality. I take my duties very seriously,” he said, flashing her another smile.
“So, when do you work out with the girls? I’d like to meet them – see what they’ve got,” Buffy asked as she waited.
“Training starts at 2:00, after lunch, in the training room. They were all excited when Xander told them you were coming up.”
“So, where’s everybody, now?” Buffy asked, looking around at the empty kitchen.
“Well, the witches tutor the girls on school work in the mornings until lunch. Since you weren't up, Xander and Anya took Annie horseback riding – they probably won’t be back until four or so.”
“Horseback riding!?” Buffy exclaimed. “Is there anything you don’t have here?
“Demons, Harbingers, vampires . . . well, until now.” Lindsey shrugged.
Buffy looked around for a clock, but didn’t find one. She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket, NOON! God, how long had they slept!? “Ok, well, we’ll stop in during your training session, then, to meet everyone,” she said, feeling guilty for making Lindsey cook her breakfast when obviously he was working on lunches for the Potentials.
Lindsey put her breakfast and Spike’s blood on a tray and handed it to her. She thanked him and headed back upstairs with it.
Buffy and Spike stood in one corner of the training room as Lindsey put the girls though their paces in basic martial arts. It was obvious that they were all talented fighters and had been working hard at learning the skills they’d need to defend themselves and, if they were Chosen, to fight evil.
When they were done, each one was introduced to Buffy and her husband, William. Buffy took time with each one, memorizing their names and trying to link the name to the face. Amanda, Caridad, Chao-Ahn, Chloe, Molly, Rona, Shannon, Xin Rong, Kennedy, Vi . . . and the list went on – fifteen in all. They were from all over the globe, some didn’t even speak English when they had arrived, but Buffy felt a connection with them all. She was one of these girls at one time. Her whole world changed one day, just like theirs had – she could definitely relate.
When the introductions were done, Buffy had all the girls sit in a large circle on the floor of the training room and addressed them. “Lindsey’s done a great job teaching you guys the basics of fighting and weapons,” she started. “But there are some things that he can’t teach you – some things only a Slayer can teach you.”
Buffy walked slowly around the within the circle of girls, catching the eye of one, then the next, as she spoke. “One of the deadliest vampires in history once shared with me how he killed two Slayers in his un-life, and I’m gonna share that with you,” she continued.
Buffy walked to the center of the circle and turned her back on Spike, who was still standing in the corner of the room. “First lesson: A Slayer must always reach for her weapon,” she said, standing still in the center of the circle. Spike stalked silently up behind her and grabbed her around the shoulders. He tilted her head so her neck was exposed to him. Still in his human face, he bit down on her neck.
Buffy watched the girls as they watched her and Spike – she definitely had their attention – or, at least Spike did, as all the girl’s eyes seemed to be glued on him. Buffy smiled to herself; her lesson plan was going to work perfectly.
“If he were a vampire,” Buffy continued. “I’d be dead now – because he’d have his weapon and I wouldn’t. I have to reach for mine.” Buffy flipped Spike over her head onto his back on the mat, pulled a stake from the waistband of her jeans, and came down towards his heart with it in one fluid motion; stopping just short of touching him. Spike tensed his whole body theatrically and then went limp, as if he’d been killed. The girls giggled at his show as Buffy stood up and turned in a slow circle. “Never be without your weapon,” she told the girls, waving the stake in her hand at them. “NEVER! You may have to reach for it, but that’s better than not having it at all.”
“Second lesson: All the vamps need is one good day,” Buffy continued as she reached a hand down towards Spike to pull him up off the mat. “You can kill a hundred, a thousand, a thousand thousand, and the enemies of Hell besides, and all they need is for one - just one - to have the thing they’re all hoping for.” Buffy paused and looked around the room slowly before continuing. “One . . . good . . . day.”
“Sounds like we’re doomed,” came a voice from behind Buffy. She turned around to see who had spoken.
“You’re not wrong, Kennedy,” Buffy said as she looked the girl in the eye. “Slayers are doomed – a knat has a longer life expectancy. The Slayer of Slayers told me that we all have a death wish – and he was partly right. A day will come when you’ll know, more surely than you know your own name, that your death is what it will take to save the world, and you’ll be at peace with that.”
“So, what makes you so special? Why’re you still here?” Kennedy asked, raising her chin in defiance and crossing her arms across her chest.
makes me special – I’ve died twice. The only reason I’m here now is because I
have friends and family who love me and help me fight. I’m not alone.” Buffy
walked back to Spike and took his hand before continuing. “But even that isn’t
always enough. Being the Slayer sucks. It’s also the most powerful, amazing and
life altering thing that can happen to you. The weight of the world is on your
shoulders, but you’re given the strength to carry it. I wasn’t prepared to be
the Slayer when I was Chosen. You’ll have an advantage. You’ll be ready.”
Buffy looked at Lindsey and gave him a nod to indicate she was done with today’s lesson. Buffy and Spike stepped out of the circle and Lindsey took over, pairing the girls up to spar as Buffy and Spike went back to the corner of the room and watched.
“They’re all fighters, luv, but they aren’t ready. They’re just girls,” Spike told her as they watched. “If The First still has Harbingers or other nasties like Caleb out there, taking these girls out will be like shootin’ fish in a sodding barrel.”
"You know, I never understood that saying . . . if you already have the fish in a barrel, why would you shoot them? Wouldn't that put a hole in the barrel? Why would you shoot fish in the first place? Who shoots fish?" Buffy stuck her bottom lip out in a pout as she looked at him for answers.
Spike took a deep breath, closed his eyes a moment and tilted his head from side to side, as if to get a kink out of his neck. When he opened them, he said simply, "You know what I mean."
Buffy sighed. Spike was right.
Buffy watched closely when Lindsey wrapped up the workout and the girls left the training room. She noted that only one of the girls, Kennedy, went to the box that held the stakes and took one with her when she left. The rest of them didn’t get it. Tomorrow’s lesson would need to be harsher.
When the girls were gone, Lindsey walked up to the blonds and extended his hand to Spike. “I’m Lindsey McDonald,” he said. Spike shook his hand, “William Weckerly. You can call me Spike.”
“Lindsey’s a friend of Angel’s,” Buffy said as the men shook hands and Spike suddenly looked at him with suspicion.
“Well, I think ‘friend’ would a strong overstatement,” Lindsey clarified. “I knew him in L.A. We worked together on a couple of things.”
Spike relaxed a bit and said, “You’re doing a good job with ‘em.” He tilted his head towards the last of the girls filing out of the room.
Lindsey just shrugged. “I have to go get dinner started. It’s nice to meet you.” And with that he turned and left the blonds alone.
“Did you know him in L.A.?” Buffy asked Spike.
“No. Don’ recall Peaches talking about ‘im. ‘Course, Angel – not big on sharin’.” Spike decided that keeping an eye on the cook would be the prudent thing to do.
“Mama! Papa!” Annie screamed as she ran towards them. Buffy and Spike were sitting on a swing on the back deck that overlooked the lake waiting for Xander, Anya and Annie to return from horseback riding. Annie flung herself at Spike and he grabbed her into hug as he stood up and spun her around before depositing her onto Buffy’s lap.
“How’s my sweet girl?” Buffy said, pulling her in a tight hug. “Did you miss us?”
“Mama! You should see the horsies! And we can go swimming in the lake – it’s warm! And there’s an ice rink! Uncle Xander said you can teach me to skate!”
Buffy laughed and met Spike’s eyes. “I think we’ve been replaced by horsies,” she said to him and he nodded. Spike blinked back tears that threatened, not from being replaced by horsies, but from the joy of seeing his daughter in Buffy’s arms again.
“You ready for your party tonight, Niblett?” Spike asked. “What’re you now, twenty one?”
“Nooo!” Annie cried, looking up at him from her mother’s lap. “I’m four!”
“Four!? Are you sure?” he asked looking at her as if he was confused.
“Paappaa, you’re silly!” Annie said, rolling her eyes. Spike laughed out loud thinking how very “Buffy” she was.
Everyone was at Annie’s birthday party later that evening: the Potentials, the five witches who ran the safe house, along with Xander, Anya, Spike, and Buffy. Lindsey was there, too, but was busy with the refreshments, which included Wells Bombardier beer from England; Spike was starting to take a liking to the cook. Annie had opened her presents and was flitting about the room as the girls and the witches all vied for her attention. There was music playing; all different styles of music to meet the tastes of all the different girls, and everyone was dancing and having a good time.
When some salsa music came on, Spike grabbed Buffy’s hand and she followed him to the dance floor. With their bodies pressed together and eyes locked on each other, they started moving their hips in a slow circle, in rhythm to the music and each other as they started dancing the Bachata; possibly the sexist latin dance ever.
Their feet and hips were moving in perfect rhythm. With every step Spike took forward, Buffy stepped back; when he stepped back, she stepped forward; when he turned, she followed; when he pressed his hips to her, she matched him. The temperature of the whole room seemed to increase by leaps and bounds as the warriors made love to each other within the dance.
Everyone else stopped dancing to watch them. The blonds exuded grace and power and sexuality – and everyone, except Annie, could feel it as it poured off the lovers in waves.
Check this video out to see what
a classic social Bachata looks like:
(The song they're dancing to is Locutor by 4Ever)
They moved as if of one mind and one body across the floor, not noticing anyone or anything around them – only aware of each other and the music. When the music ended, Spike captured her lips in a kiss that was just as hot and sexy as the dance they’d done. It wasn’t until everyone started clapping and letting out cat-calls that the lovers remembered where they were.
Buffy blushed slightly, but Spike was eating it up. He curled his tongue and ran it over his teeth before pursing his lips, making the hollow of his cheeks that much deeper, took Buffy’s hand and lead her back to their seats with a sexy swagger.
Buffy watched the Potentials as she sat next to Spike, noticing with satisfaction that they were all watching him. Then, one of the Potentials got brave and asked if Spike would like to dance. Spike started to decline, but Buffy leaned over and whispered something in his ear. He looked at her with a furrowed brow but she nodded and pushed him up out of his seat. “Go dance,” she said out loud and smiled at him. He shot her a contemptuous look, but she gave him one back that said “Don’t argue,” so he went to the floor and ended up dancing most of the night with one after another of the Potentials.
Buffy was talking with Xander and Anya when Spike walked up behind her. “Last dance, luv,” he leaned down and whispered in her ear as he captured her hand and lead her to the floor. Taking her in his arms, their bodies pressed together, they swayed slowly to the song and Spike whispered the words near her ear as they moved.
need a lot of things
I can get by with nothing
Of all the blessings life can bring
I’ve always needed something
But I’ve got all I want
When it comes to loving you
You’re my only reason
You’re my only truth
I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven’s gate
There’s a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you
You’re the hope that moves me
To courage again
You’re the love that rescues me
When the cold winds, rage
And it’s so amazing
‘cause that’s just how you are
And I can’t turn back now
‘cause you’ve brought me too far
I need you like water
Like breath, like rain
I need you like mercy
From heaven’s gate
There’s a freedom in your arms
That carries me through
I need you
Oh yes I do
|You can see a music video and hear the song
I Need You, by LeAnn Rimes
“I need you, Buffy,” Spike murmured against her skin as trailed his tongue up from her shoulder to her earlobe. “Like mercy from heaven’s gate.”
“I need you, too, Spike,” Buffy told him, as she captured his lips in a soft kiss. “I love you.”
“So, how many of you have actually seen a vampire?” Buffy asked the Potentials the next day in the training room.
“In real life? Cause we’ve seen pictures . . .” Amanda offered.
“Yes, in real life, not pictures,” Buffy clarified and raised her own hand as she turned in a slow circle around the room. None of them raised their hands.
“Who thinks they would recognize one if you saw one?” Buffy kept her hand raised and continued turning around in a slow circle. Now all the girls raised their hands.
“So, if a vampire were, for example, right here in this room – you’d all know it?” Buffy asked and they all nodded confidently.
Buffy shot a look at Spike who stepped up behind the Potential closest to him. He grabbed her, vamped out and growled dangerously against her neck. All the girls screamed and backed away from Spike and Vi, who he had in an iron grip, his fangs just millimeters from piercing her skin.
“And you would all be wrong,” Buffy said. “You can’t look at someone, or even dance with someone, and know they’re a vampire,” she continued in a calm voice as she walked over to Spike and Vi. “You have to feel them – sense them.”
“I know you all felt it last night,” Buffy continued as she laid her hand on Spike’s shoulder and he released Vi but stayed in game face. “You just didn’t know what it was. That tingling down your spine? That’s a vampire – not teenage hormones. Girls, let me re-introduce my husband. You may know him better as Spike or William the Bloody; The Slayer of Slayers.”
When Spike released her, Vi ran over to where the rest of the Potentials were gathered at the other end of the room.
“You’re married to a vampire!?” Kennedy stepped forward from the group and asked, incredulous. “What kind of Slayer are you?”
“The kind that knows how to keep you alive,” Buffy said. “Now, get back in the circle and everyone put on one of these blindfolds,” Buffy instructed them as she picked up a stack of blindfolds off one of the tables and started passing them out. “You’re gonna learn how to sense a vampire.”
Spike and Buffy worked with the girls for two hours. Spike would move silently around in the room and when Buffy said, “Stop,” he would stop and the girls would have to point to where he was in the room. At first, they had no clue, but the more they worked on it, the better they got at it, until they were all getting it every time. Then Buffy had Spike leave the room completely – and that threw them for a minute, but they all caught on fast and soon they could easily tell if he was in the room or not and where he was in the room.
“OK, good – that’s good. Everyone can take your blindfolds off,” Buffy said as she stood in the center of the circle with Spike. “Now, the next time you’ll know the difference. The next time you’ll all be able to survive, because last night? You all died.”
Buffy watched as the girls filed out of the room, noting with satisfaction that they ALL took a stake with them this time.
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