The chapters are getting longer now, so only two in this set.
When she’d been through most of the newer parts of the cemetery and checked out all the new graves, Buffy decided to call it a night. She hurried back to the crypt, relieved when she pushed open the doors and found Dawn face down on her books, snoring peacefully.
“Hey, this is the kind of studying I do. You’re supposed to be the scholar in the family.” She poked Dawn, who sat up with a small “eek!”.
“If I was a vampire, you’d be a midnight snack by now. Go ahead, blow up the air mattress and get some sleep. You still have to go to school tomorrow.”
Grumbling about damp graves, peeing in the bushes, and lack of running water, Dawn quickly got ready for bed and curled up on the mattress.
“What about you?”
“I’m not sleepy yet. I’ll just sit on the couch and read one of Spike’s books or something.”
In spite of trying to read through one of the books she found on a stone shelf, Buffy’s lack of sleep caught up with her and she slumped over to fall asleep on the couch, using Spike’s coat as a blanket. After spending so much time in her closet, any trace of Spike’s tobacco and booze scent had faded, leaving it smelling like leather and the sachet Buffy kept in her closet.
A shriek from Dawn brought her scrambling to her feet, eyes darting around the now dark room for the source of the danger. The snick of a lighter illuminated Dawn’s indignant face as Spike lit a candle and grinned at her.
“You scared me!” she yelled at him. “I thought you were a vampire!”
“I am a vampire, Niblet. Thought you knew that.” He turned his gaze on Buffy who was relaxing out of her fighting stance and taking deep breaths to try to clear her head. “Haven’t you told her about me, pet?”
“She knows what you are,” Buffy grumbled, rubbing her eyes. “What did you do – growl at her or something?”
He shook his head and walked over to her. “I almost stepped on the silly bint,” he said. “Wasn’t expecting to find anybody here and I was on her before I noticed the lump on the floor.” He reached down and picked his coat up. “You kept it?” The disbelief and joy on his face made her look down at the floor while she responded.
“Well, yeah. You said to keep it for you. I brought it with me tonight because….”
“Because you thought you’d need to stay warm? Or did you just want to make sure I went crazy wearing a coat that smells like you?” He lifted the coat to his face and inhaled deeply.
“I brought it because I thought you’d want it when you got back—stop that!” She tugged it away from his face, blushing as he laughed at her. They faced each other, both very conscious of Dawn’s presence and her sharp ears. Spike raised his hand as if to caress her face, then dropped it to his side and turned away.
“Go back to sleep, Bit. You can get a couple more hours in before you have to get up for school. Need to talk to your sis for a bit, but we’ll go somewhere quiet.”
“You’ll go ‘somewhere quiet’? To ‘talk to her’? How lame is that?” Dawn flopped back down on the bed and put the pillow over her head. “Go ahead, ‘talk’ all you want. I’m not listening.”
“Brat,” Buffy muttered, sitting back down on the couch.
“Wasn’t kidding, Slayer,” Spike said. “Don’t think you know about this – should’ve told you, I guess.” He had walked some distance away and picked up a ratty rug, revealing a trap door. Opening the door, he said, “Let me go first and put some lights on, then you can come down.”
Buffy walked over and watched as he went down a ladder-like set of stairs and lit some candles which cast a golden glow into the air above the hole. She peered down to see Spike gazing up at her.
“Come on, luv. It’s stronger than it looks, I promise.”
Rolling her eyes at him dubiously, she began to back down the stairs, using her hands to steady herself. She reached the last step and turned around to find Spike standing right in front of her.
“Did you think I was going to fall?”
“If I said yes, would you believe me?” He grinned at her, and wriggled his eyebrows. “Or would you know I was just watching your pretty little arse?” He still hadn’t moved, and Buffy couldn’t step onto the floor without putting herself within bodies-touching distance.
She stared at him, wordlessly, wondering if he was going to move or just stand there until she pushed him away. He gazed back at her, running his eyes over her face and letting his lascivious expression fade into one of admiration and wonder. When he raised his hand this time, he followed through, running his fingers down her cheek and stopping with them under her chin.
“Buffy…” His silent request was obvious.
Buffy closed her eyes and stepped down, allowed him to tip her chin up for the kiss she tried not to admit she’d been waiting for since the phone call to bring him back. His lips were cool and tentative at first, but when she responded with an open-mouthed sigh, he deepened the kiss, sending his tongue out to caress hers. The kiss went on until Buffy’s weakened knees and the way she had melted into his body made it impossible for her to ignore Spike’s own inevitable physical reaction. With a small whimper, she pulled away, smothering disloyal thoughts of how much better she fit into his arms that she did Riley’s. It’s like his body was made for mine….
“Sorry, love,” he said, adjusting himself without any hint of embarrassment. “It’s what you do to me.”
“I didn’t mean to,” she mumbled, blushing as she remembered her own enthusiastic participation in the kiss. She raised her eyes to his and opened her mouth to make an apology. “I’m—”
“I’ll live,” he interrupted her. “Don’t you dare say you’re sorry. I’m not.”
“But…” She shook her head and took a deep breath. “Okay, but we do need to talk. I need to tell you about Glory—”
“Glorificus. Hellgod. Wants to go home, needs a Key to open the portal, thinks you have it. Does that about cover it?”
Buffy gaped at him. “How….”
“Clem filled me in. Seems she’s been tearing up the demon world too, thinking somebody, somewhere must know something. So, the first question is, do you have her Key, or is she just misinformed? It doesn’t matter to me – if she’s trying to harm you and yours, I’m going to enjoy biting her – but I’d just like to know if you’re really protecting a Key or if she just thinks you are. Do you have it?”
“In a way….” Before she could think about it any more, she began to share with Spike information she hadn’t even given Riley. She met his eyes firmly. “Are you sure you want to know?” A raised eyebrow was her only response. “It’s Dawn,” she said, watching his face for any sign that he might have been playing her to get information he could then sell to Glory. “She’s the Key.” The snarl that ripped from his throat told her all she needed to know.
“Over my dusty body,” he growled. “Even if I didn’t care what losing her or your mum would do to you, I wouldn’t let anything have the Niblet.” He paced the room furiously for several seconds, then stopped and faced her. “How is that even possible? She’s just a bratty girl, not a portal-opener!”
“Okay, see, here’s where it gets complicated. You might want to sit down….”
When Buffy had finished explaining about the monks, the glowing orb, and Dawn’s sudden appearance, he was left shaking his head.
“But I remember her! When she was just a child, peeking at the monster in her living room! Spying on us last year when we were engaged and trying to get some more snogs in.”
“We all remember her – but the memories aren’t real. There was a… I did a spell… and all of a sudden she disappeared from all the pictures in the house, her room went back to being some place mom stored stuff for the store…. It was weird, but I knew right away it was true. I never had a sister. Not until a few months ago. Dawn is the Key, and the monks made her somehow and sent her here so I could protect her from Glory. They knew I’d never let her have my little sister.”
“’Course you wouldn’t,” he said, barely paying any attention to her as he absorbed what she was saying. “Goes without sayin’.”
“I don’t know exactly how Glory would use her, but it can’t be good.”
“Blood,” he said, still not looking at her. “It’s always about the blood.”
“Ewwww – that’s just disgusting and…. and probably right,” she finished with a sigh. “I’ve seen enough spells to know how often blood is involved. Willow tries to pretend she doesn’t use spells like that, but I’ve seen little cuts on her hand. More than once.”
He nodded. “Makes sense, doesn’t it? Cut Dawn, and let the blood flow into where she wants the portal to open. Then the only way to close it would be more blood. Niblet’s blood.”
“Or mine,” Buffy reminded him. “She was made from me.”
He gave her a fierce glare. “You’d best not be thinkin’ what I think you’re thinkin’!”
“If I thought it would work… But, I’m not the Key. Dawn is. She’s the only one who can open the portal.”
“So, we need to find this Glory bint and destroy her before she finds the Niblet. When do we start?”
“Yesterday,” Buffy said, giving him a wry smile. “Last week would have been good.” She yawned and covered her mouth quickly. “Oh God, I’m sorry. I just didn’t get any sleep before Mom’s surgery, and I tried to patrol tonight—”
“No apology needed, love. You didn’t wake up or notice there was a vamp in the room until Dawn screamed. That tells me all I need to know about how tired you are.” He gestured toward the bed Buffy had been trying to avoid looking at. “Why don’t you crash down here for a bit? I’ll take the couch and keep an eye on the bit. Once it’s daylight and you two have gone back about your business, I’ll catch up on my own sleep and be ready to help you out tonight.”
Buffy eyed the soft-looking duvet on the bed and almost whimpered with the desire to just bury her face in it for a few more hours. Her indecision plain, she said, “But….”
“But nothing, Slayer. Not asking you to share my bed. Not while I’m in it, anyway. Not saying I won’t make that request sooner or later mind you.” He leered at her, then sobered. “But not now. That’s not what you brought me back for. Go ahead. Might be a bit musty from not being used in so long, but shouldn’t be too bad. Clem brings his sister here every once in while to dust and do other housekeeping-like things, so it should be clean enough.”
“Can’t be any worse than that horrible couch,” she muttered, sitting on the edge of the bed and removing her shoes.
“Hey! That sofa was a find, I’ll have you know! Just sitting there by the curb, all unwanted and needing a home.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was unwanted….” Buffy yawned again and wrapped herself in the duvet. She was asleep before her eyes fell completely shut.
Footsteps and murmured voices from upstairs brought her awake long before she really wanted to be. With a groan, she threw off the cover and stretched until she felt she was ready to move. She sat up to put on her shoes, and saw Spike put his head into the entrance.
“Sorry, luv, did we wake you? Just trying to get the Bit off to school on time.”
“It’s okay. I need to get up and get going anyway. I want to check on Mom and talk to one of the doctors at the hospital.”
She started up the stairs, blushing when he remained where he was, crouching on the floor. His face was level with hers when she neared the top of the ladder, and she halted, not sure what he was doing. A cough from Dawn put an end to the staring contest, and Spike stood up with a sigh. He backed away far enough that Buffy could finish climbing out of the lower level.
“Did you get a good rest, pet?”
Buffy nodded. “Yes, thank you. It was much nicer than curling up on that couch with just your coat for a blanket. I appreciate it.”
“You’re welcome there anytime, Slayer,” he said, giving her a salacious curl of his tongue while his back was to Dawn. He laughed when she glared and shoved him away. “No sense of humor. Maybe you do need more sleep….”
“I’m fine,” she huffed. “You just go rest up so you’re ready for the Scooby meeting tonight. Giles is going to tell us the rest of what he learned from the Council. And we’re going to try to come up with a plan.”
“Scooby meeting, huh? Just like old times…”
Buffy took a deep breath and started to speak, then decided she’d tell Spike about Riley before they got to the Magic Box. When she was planning to tell Riley about Spike, she pushed to the back of her mind to worry about later.
“Slayer?” Spike had noticed her hesitation, but she shook her head at him and turned to leave.
“I’ll tell you later,” she promised. “Do you want to meet me there or do you want me to come by here and get you when it’s time?”
“Just tell me when to be there, pet. I’m going to have a few errands to run after the sun goes down. Been gone a while and need to stock the fridge and—”
“Oh! I almost forgot! I… I got some blood for you yesterday. It’s already in there. It’s only pig,” she said, daring him to complain. Rather than the disgusted face she’d expected to see, he was staring at her with same look of surprise and delight as when he’d seen his coat.
“You bought me blood? I may have to change my entire opinion of you, Slayer. From the bane of my existence to—”
“Just not the bane of your existence works for me,” she interrupted before he could say something she didn’t want Dawn to hear.
He laughed and nodded, following them to the door and standing back far enough not to be caught by a stray ray of sunlight. “All right, luv. I’ll see you tonight. Got my phone with me in case you have a change of plans, but if not, I’ll just meet you there around… 8?”
Buffy nodded and followed Dawn out the door. “See you then,” she said, giving a little wave as the door closed behind her.
After dropping Dawn off at school and running home to change her clothes, Buffy drove to the hospital and went directly to Joyce’s room. On the way there, she watched with curiosity as several strangely dressed and clearly confused men were led off toward the psychiatric ward. The woman on duty at the nurses’ station shook her head and sighed.
“That makes three more today,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on in this town. All these people losing their minds all of a sudden.”
“Huh,” was Buffy’s reply, putting in the back of her mind that there might be a brain-stealing demon out there, but more concerned about Joyce at the moment. She walked into her mother’s room to find the young doctor she’d had on her list of people to see standing by the bed. He looked up, startled, when Buffy entered.
“Oh. Miss Summers – Buffy. I wasn’t expecting to see you so early in the day. I was just… uh… just checking your mother’s vitals. Morning rounds and all that.” He gave Buffy a very unconvincing smile and she narrowed her eyes at him.
“Don’t the nurse generally do that sort of thing?” she asked, blocking the door in rather obvious fashion.
“Well, yes. Usually, but I… we… “ He trailed off, correctly reading the expression on her face. “Can we talk?”
“No problem. A talk with you is right there on my list for this morning. I just wanted to see my mother first. Don’t leave,” she added as he sidled toward the door.
He stopped, frowning uncertainly. “I probably shouldn’t be here,” he said finally. “I really shouldn’t.”
Buffy nodded. “I’m starting to agree with you, but we do need to talk.”
“I’ll just wait in the hall?”
“Fine.” Buffy moved away from the door and over to a puzzled Joyce. “But don’t go away.” She glared at him until he was out of sight and then turned to her mother. “How do you feel?”
“I feel good. Still sleepy a lot of the time, but that’s to be expected they tell me. The older doctor said I can probably go home tomorrow morning if everything continues to be good.”
Buffy nodded, still glaring at the doorway. “If you get a chance, ask him if you can leave tonight, okay?”
“Buffy? Is something wrong? Is Dawn okay?”
“She’s fine. We spent the night at Spike’s and—”
“Why?” Joyce’s look sharpened suddenly as concern for her daughters overcame her desire to doze.
“I’ll tell you later. Just… do me a favor, huh? If that guy, Ben, comes back in? Press your button for help. Okay?”
“Ben? But why? He’s been nothing but helpful and kind and—”
“And he knows about Glory somehow. Until I find out how and why he knows where she is and that I wouldn’t want her to find me, I don’t want him anywhere near you. It’s only a question of time before it occurs to her that kidnapping you or Dawn would be the fastest way to get her Key from me. Or… it would be if the Key wasn’t… what it is.”
“All right, Buffy. You go do whatever you need to do. I’ll see if the surgeon will release me tonight.”
“’K. I’ll check back with you late this afternoon.” Buffy started to leave, then paused. “Are you okay with it if I send Spike to pick you up?”
Joyce raised her eyebrows, but just nodded her head and smiled. “So, how does he feel about having guests?”
“He’s fine with it,” Buffy mumbled. “I told you he would be.”
She found Ben waiting at the end of the hallway, and breathed a sigh of relief that he hadn’t been close enough to hear her conversation. She walked up to him and said, “I want you to stay away from my mother. Do you hear me? Don’t go near her.”
He nodded, hanging his head. “It’s probably for the best… but I… I’m not always… I can’t promise that I—she—”
“How are you involved with Glory? What do you know about her?”
“I can’t tell you that.” At Buffy’s narrowed eyes and clenched fists, he hastened on. “I mean I really can’t as in – am not able to. It’s just not… not something I have any control over. I’ll do my best to keep you and your family safe, but I’m not always… in charge.”
Buffy glared at him with her fiercest “I could break you half” glare, but he continued to appear frightened and helpless to do anything to appease her. “Fine,” she finally said. “Just stay away from my mother – and tell Glory to stay away from her too!”
Buffy went directly to the Magic Box to tell Giles what she’d found out from Spike and Ben, only to find him holding a shaft of papers from the Council.
“Ah, Buffy. There you are. We have some new information. It would appear that it will be Dawn’s blood that is required to open the portal. And once opened, more of her blood, perhaps all of it, would be required to close it. In addition, we’ve found that Glory is only able to remain viable in this dimension by sucking the energy from humans. Leaving them barely functional, but herself energized. When she isn’t strong enough to maintain her hellgod persona, she most likely inhabits the body of a normal human. One who may or may not know that she is harboring a hellgod. Of course, this is largely guesswork on the part of the council’s experts on such creatures. But they think she—”
“He,” Buffy said, sinking into a chair. “She’s a he when she’s human. We’ve met him, and he works in the hospital where my mom is now.”
“You already know this?” Giles seemed disappointed.
“Not all of it, no. But Spike guessed about the blood thing. And Ben… he’s kinda given it away as much as he can without actually saying who he really is. And I’ve seen some of her brain-sucked people. The psych ward is filling up with them.”
“What? Oh, yeah, Spike. He’s come back to help me. He got in really early this morning.”
“And you know this because…?”
“Dawn and I spent the night in his crypt. I’ve been using it to stash Mom and Dawn when I couldn’t be with them. After Ben went into a closet and Glory’s voice started coming out of it yesterday, I figured I needed a safe place to hide Dawn. I didn’t think Glory would go looking for her Key in a crypt. And so far, she doesn’t know that Dawn is the Key. All she knows is that I know where it is.”
Giles rubbed his forehead. “You can’t keep her hidden forever, Buffy. Glory is going to escalate her search now that the deadline is coming closer. The Council was able to narrow it down to a night two weeks from now.”
“I’ve got a plan…. Look, she doesn’t know anything about you guys, other than I hang out here sometimes, right? I mean, I guess Ben knows you’re my friends…. Damn, I thought I had it there for a second. I was just going to take Mom and Dawn and go somewhere until the portal-opening thingie was past. But you guys might be in danger too. I can’t leave you here.”
Giles frowned, deep in thought. “It’s not a bad plan, Buffy. It just needs some tweaking. I’ll work on it and we’ll discuss it tonight.” He peered at her. “Where is Spike now?”
“Sleeping, I guess. He said he’d be here tonight, but I think I’d better go bring him up to speed. I hope he’s not a cranky waker-upper…”
“Would you please share with him that I should like to speak with him before tonight, if that’s possible?”
“You want to talk to Spike? Why?”
“Well, for one thing, I’d like to hear why he has decided to come back to Sunnydale, just when we could use the extra help…” He looked at Buffy expectantly. She took a deep breath, exhaling her words so rapidly, he wasn’t sure he’d caught them.
“Iaskedhimto.” She stared at Giles defiantly, daring him to question her decision. He sighed and nodded.
“I see. Which brings up several other questions, all of which can probably wait until a less stressful time.”
“Is that your stuffy British way of saying you aren’t going to be nosey?”
Heaving another deep sigh, Giles nodded. “Indeed. As curious… and concerned… as I may be about Spike’s motives, what’s important is that you have someone to back you up who is capable of actually…”
“… actually backing me up?”
Buffy cocked her head at him, waiting until he acknowledged her grin before waving her hand and leaving the store. She went to the house on Revello drive first, doing her best to pack bags for Joyce, Dawn and herself. Throwing them in the back of the SUV, she headed for Restfield and the vampire she still wasn’t sure how she felt about.
Some of her confusion vanished when she peered down the stairs to see Spike sprawled across the bed on his stomach – naked. His pale skin gleamed in the faint light from the flickering candle, and she couldn’t take her eyes off his muscular back and legs. Her gasp brought him awake and he whirled, providing her with a glimpse of an equally mouth-watering torso before she covered her eyes with a small “Eek! Spike! Cover up!”
“Why?” He remained where he was, relaxed now that he’d seen there was no danger, and laughing at Buffy’s red face. He could see her peeking through her fingers and deliberately ran one hand down his chest and stomach, drawing her eyes to his growing cock.
“You’re… you’re naked! With no clothes on! At least pull up a sheet.”
“I sleep naked, love,” he said, while obediently pulling the duvet up to his middle and sitting up on the bed. “Best to remember that in the future if you don’t want to damage your innocent little eyes.”
“I’ll remember it,” she muttered. “Trust me.” She worked her way down the stairs, just as the fading candle guttered out, leaving them in complete darkness. She stood on the bottom step, straining to see. She heard Spike get up off the bed and move around the room. As her eyes adjusted to the dimness, only slightly alleviated by the small amount of light coming down the stairs, she added, “I hope you’re putting some clothes on.”
The room came into view again as Spike lit a new candle. He was just putting his lighter back into the pocket of his unfastened jeans as he turned toward her. Buffy’s involuntary “guh” as she stared at him, his lean, muscular chest and abdomen accentuated by the way his jeans were just barely hanging on to his hips, made Spike smile. As did the way the muscles of his flat abdomen seemed to be drawing her eyes to the trail of light brown hair that disappeared into the partially-open zipper.
“See anything you like, Slayer?” he purred, running his hand down his body again. She flashed back to the night they’d fought for the first time and the way he’d used that hand to draw her innocent young eyes to his body then. She gave herself a mental shake and made a face at him.
“Nothing I haven’t seen before,” she said, with what she hoped was a casual shrug. “I’m not that innocent little virgin you met the first time you came here, you know.”
“Oh, I know,” he growled, the grin disappearing. “Had too bloody much time in that wheelchair, regretting how happy you made old Angelus, not to remember when you lost your cherry. Not to mention spending a good bit of last year smelling the soldier boy all over you.” He sniffed the air. “Still can smell him, now that I think of it, but it’s not very strong this time around. Trouble in Paradise, pet?”
“I… you… it’s complicated,” she mumbled, “and you’re disgusting. That is so not what we need to talk about!”
“Alright then, Slayer.” He fastened his pants and pulled a tee shirt over his head. “What’s so important that you needed to interrupt the only sleep I’ve had in two days?” He picked up his boots and sat on the bed. “Do I need to put my boots on, or is it enough that I covered up my goodies?”
“Asshole,” she said, looking around for a chair. He raised his eyebrows and patted the bed beside him, but Buffy just rolled her eyes and settled for leaning against the ladder. “Okay, here’s the thing – and I’m sorry for waking you up, by the way,” she said with sincerity, as she remembered where he’d been. “I forgot that you’ve been on the road since I called you.”
“’S alright, pet. I was just pulling your chain. Got to admit, though, it feels pretty good to get an ‘I’m sorry’ out of a slayer. Not something I’m used to from you bints.”
“Way to remind me of who-what you are, Spike,” she said, her face suddenly much sadder than before.
“Didn’t know you’d forgotten it,” he said, his own expression as non-committal as he could make it. “Thought we’d established it was pretty important to you – you being all that’s good and me bein’ all that’s… not good.”
“I haven’t forgotten it,” she said. “I never forget it. Hence the me being over here and you over there.”
“So, if I wasn’t all evil and whatnot, there’d be a chance?”
The look he gave her made her heart beat faster and her breathing increase. She could see that he’d noticed, and watched as his eyes darkened. She held up her hand to forestall any movement on his part.
“I know you can tell how I… but that’s all just physical stuff. I don’t know why I… we… seem to… but it’s all hormones and… and something else I can’t think of right now. It doesn’t mean anything except that we probably shouldn’t spend too much time alone… together… where….” Her voice trailed off as he ignored her still-upright hand and flowed off the bed to face her.
“Alone, together? You mean like now? In my bedroom? Where nobody can see us?”
“You… you’re pushing me…” she almost whimpered, leaning toward him in spite of herself. “You said you’d wait…”
“Want you too bad,” he whispered back, his lips just brushing hers. “Want to kiss you all over, want to hold you, feel you around me, bury myself in you forever….” He ran his lips down her neck and sucked on the soft skin there. When he felt her flinch, he recovered himself and stepped back, leaving her relieved and disappointed at the same time.
He turned away from her and took a deep breath before speaking. “Let me explain something Buffy. About me. On the one hand, there’s the part of me that’s still William, a gently raised Victorian man who would be content…. Well, almost content,” he muttered, giving an embarrassed shrug. “William actually spent most of his adult life trying to hide the effect women were having on him.”
He blew out an exasperated sigh. “Never mind that. The point is, there’s a part of me that could and would worship you from afar, writing bad poetry and being grateful for the touch of your hand or a kind word. And that part of me is what keeps me from tryin’ to nudge you into something you aren’t ready to give me. That part wants to love you. But he wants to be loved in return, and I know that pushing you to do something you may regret isn’t the best way to make that happen.”
He turned and faced her, letting his true face out. “But the other part of me, the part that’s been all me for most of the past 126 years, is pure demon. And the demon wants you, Slayer. Wants you every way he can possibly have you, and a few ways I haven’t even tried yet. And when he—I—can sense your body responding to mine….” He shook his head, going back to his normal human face.
“You see the problem,” he said. “William wants to believe he has to earn your… affection. The demon can tell when your body wants me.” He met her eyes with as much honesty as he could put into his gaze. “It’s hard, love. I’ll do my best, but sometimes I’m going to slip.”
Buffy stared at him, her mind whirling not only with what she’d just learned about Spike and his background, but with the implications of what he was saying. His ability to control his demon, as well as his belief that he was still the man he’d been when alive, flew in the face of everything she thought she knew about vampires.
“So… so what are you saying? That I… that you shouldn’t be here?”
He shook his head and stepped back in front of her, resting his hands on shoulders. “Not saying that at all. Told you I’d help if you needed me – and I meant it. William and the demon are agreed on that much. Won’t let anything hurt you or yours if I have to dust to keep it from happening.” His gaze never left hers as he willed her to believe him.
“But I am a demon, love. Got no soul to keep me from overstepping my boundaries.” He dropped his hands and turned away. “I guess what I’m saying is… Bloody hell!” He threw his hands in the air. “I don’t know what I’m sayin’. Maybe I’m just trying to apologize in advance for anything I do that brasses you off. In case I do it while we’re in the middle of some kind of crisis and I don’t have time to explain or grovel.”
“I’m having a hard time imagining you groveling to me,” Buffy said with a small smile. “Although now that I think about it, it could be….” She slapped a hand over her mouth. “Oh God, I shouldn’t talk to you like that, should I? I take it back!”
He shook his head with a laugh. “You probably shouldn’t. Letting me know you’re having naughty thoughts isn’t going to be the best way of getting me to back off. But I don’t want you to feel like you have to walk on eggshells around me. I’m a big boy. I can handle a little harmless flirtin’ without letting it go to my head… not this head, anyway,” he said, tapping his forehead and grinning at her.
“And there he is, piggy Spike!”
“Sauce for the goose, love.” He sat back down and rested against the back of the bed. “Now, back to what you’re doing here when I wasn’t going to see you till later.”
Buffy shook her head, blushing all the way down her to her chest. “I’m not sure I remember…” She threw a clod of dirt at him when he laughed and curled his tongue up in his mouth. “Oh yeah. So, it looks like Glory is brainsucking people to keep her energy up – so we have to watch out for that. And she’s… she’s a human sometimes. A for real human. And he’s one of the doctors at the hospital. He kinda tried to warn me, but some things he can talk about and some he can’t, so I don’t really know….”
Spike had sat up at the mention of a human. “She spends part of her time as a normal human?”
“Yeah, Giles can tell you about it, I don’t understand it, but I believe it because I almost saw Ben change—“
“You know what this means, Slayer?”
“That Ben can’t be near my mother or Dawn? Yeah, figured that out already. That’s why Dawn was here last night, and why I’m going to bring Mom and Dawn here tonight—Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Then all we have to do is take out this Ben character, and problem solved! Right?”
“Wrong!!!! Wrong, Spike! We don’t kill innocent humans just because some hellgod has decided to live inside them when she’s not out hellgodding.”
He gave her a hard stare, his eyes flaring yellow. “Right. Silly me.”
Unsure of what he meant, and anxious to get back to see if she could take Joyce out of the hospital, Buffy turned to go up the ladder. She paused half-way up and turned to see him leaning back, eyes shut and a defeated expression on his face.
“By the way, Giles wants to talk with you before the meeting tonight. He wouldn’t tell me why.”
Spike just nodded silently without opening his eyes, and after waiting a few seconds, Buffy continued up the ladder and out of the crypt.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/813505.html