Darn! Didn’t quite finish this third ficlet, but I’m posting the first half of it here, barely squeaking in under the wire. I’ll be back in a bit (or possibly tomorrow) to add a link to the final part, which will be in my LJ. Hope you enjoy! And thank you for letting me share!
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish they were.
Summary: A little AU Spuffy ficlet set post-Damages. It’s a strange little Buffy and Spike reunion.
A/N: Another silly little WIP that I dusted off for Seasonal Spuffy.
A Matter of Perspective
Buffy climbed out of the cab, head tilting back to follow the lines of the building up and up…and still further up. Pretty impressive, she had to admit. But structure-gawking was not why she had hopped the first red-eye flight from Rome to Los Angeles.
Accepting her bag from the cab driver, she reached into her handbag and dug out the fare plus a generous tip. Then, squaring her shoulders and lifting her chin, she marched up to the building and sailed through the massive glass doors.
Her advance faltered briefly when she spotted a familiar face behind the reception desk, but in a flash she recovered and was storming her way across the spacious lobby, bag rolling along behind her with a soft clickety-clack sound. It didn’t take long for her approach to be noticed.
“Buffy! Ohmigosh, I can’t believe it! Long time, no see. You look great! How are things in Italy? Don’t you just totally love it? They have the best shoes there!”
“Where is he?”
“You heard me, Harmony. Where. Is. He.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. He’s in a really important meeting right now. With…um…people…and stuff. If I interrupt him he’ll be sooo cranky. But I’m sure as soon as they’re done Angel will be really happy to see you.”
“I’m not talking about Angel.”
“Oh? Well, okay. Wesley’s in the meeting, too.”
“Really? Wow. I didn’t even know you knew Gunn. Unless you mean Fred. In which case, you do know that Fred’s a she, not a he, right? Not that it really matters since they’re all in the meeting anyway. So you still have to wait. Sorry!” She flashed a bright smile.
“I’m giving you three seconds.”
It took less than one for Harmony’s finger to hit the buzzer.
“Boss? Um, really hate to interrupt but we’ve got a situation here.”
Buffy narrowed her gaze and Harmony cringed.
“I mean, a really, really good situation. If like, you know, you were wanting to see an old friend from Sunnydale. Like, that old friend, in particular. Cuz, she’s here. Right now. Threatening me.”
In a flash, the huge double doors adjacent to Harmony’s desk flew open. Buffy turned in time to see Angel stride out, his face uncharacteristically beaming with what was clearly a fake smile of welcome. His tense posture and shifting eyes gave him away. Behind him, other people poured out of the doorway. No one she knew, aside from what her brain dimly registered as a slightly scruffy, surprisingly dangerous-looking Wesley. And when, exactly, had that happened? But she shoved the thought aside to focus on a more important question.
“Where is he, Angel?”
The smile vanished, but to his credit, Angel didn’t try to play games. “He doesn’t want to see you,” he said quietly. Then a flicker of uncertainty crossed his face. “We are talking about the same ‘him,’ right? Andrew told you? You’re not here looking for some bad guy or rogue demon you think I know about but I don’t really and I just accidentally gave something away that I shouldn’t have. Right?”
“Good. I mean, okay. But like I said, he doesn’t want to see you.”
She tried to pretend that didn’t hurt.
“Too bad. He doesn’t get a say in the matter. Just like I didn’t get a choice when everybody forgot to tell me he was back. Now where is he, Angel? Or do I have to go on a little search-and-destroy mission through all gazillion stories of this nice, evil building of yours?”
A delicate-looking woman with long brown hair had been standing quietly off to one side. At Buffy’s words, her chin shot up and she pushed her way through the throng of people to plant herself in front of Buffy. “You just try it, missy, and we’ll kick your skinny slayer butt!”
“Fred…” Angel’s voice held a warning note.
“You may be a big whoop-dee-doo back where you come from, Buffy Summers, but you’re not the boss of us. And you don’t get to just crook your little finger at him and expect him to come running with his tongue hanging out like some fluffy little puppy! He’s got feelings, you know. And he’s got a purpose. He’s not just your sidekick anymore. He’s better than that. He can make up his own mind what he does or doesn’t want, and if he doesn’t want to see you, then… well… you can’t make him because we won’t let you! Right?” She looked to the others for support.
“Better believe it.” A tall black man stepped forward, stationing himself next to Fred. “If my man wants to lay low, he gets to lay low. You got a problem with that, you can take it up with us.” Folding his arms, he regarded Buffy with a challenging glare.
Buffy glared back. “Angel.” Her low, harsh tone carried its own warning.
Wesley cleared his throat and all eyes swung his way. “Perhaps it would be wise to rethink your course of action, Buffy. I’m afraid he was quite adamant, and we really must respect his wishes.”
“You know, Wesley, for some reason, I’m not too keen on taking your advice. I think there’s something else going on here. Something you’re not telling me. Why are you all trying so hard to keep me away from him?”
“Oh for goodness sakes!” Fred waved her arms. “You’re bad for him, okay? I mean, seriously, what kind of life can you give him? He gets to be the Slayer’s Consort? Except, you’re not even ‘The’ slayer anymore, are you? You’re ‘a’ slayer. And he’s a vampire. And if he goes with you, that’s what he’ll always be. Just another vampire with a soul mooning after a slayer.” Fred huffed and rolled her eyes. “And, hello? Angel! Been there, done that… probably didn’t get a t-shirt.”
Fred threw Angel an apologetic shrug. Then she was back facing off with Buffy. “It boils down to this…do you care about him enough to do the right thing? Because if you love him, if you really want what’s best for him, you’ll leave. You’ll give him a chance to have the kind of life he deserves, the kind of life he’ll never have if he goes with you.”
Buffy stood there, trying to figure out if she’d died again and this time awakened in Bizarro World. Her resolve hardened. “Really not discussing this with you.”
Fred waved her hands “Because you know I’m right, but you don’t want to admit it! He has friends here, people who care about him. People who actually like him. Did he have that before, when he was with you? Is that what he’d have if he went with you now? And not only that, he has a mission here…a…a destiny! There’s a whole prophecy about it.” She stopped to shoot a guilty glance at a glowering Angel. “Okay, so that one’s still up in the air a little bit. But if he goes with you, he might never find out.”
TBC on my LJ
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/273684.html