And the next part.
A Mother Knows Best
Rating: PG 13
Summary: Buffy hates Spike and Spike can’t stand Buffy. Right? Ever since Willow’s ‘my will be done’ spell, the vampire and slayer have been plagued with thoughts and dreams of their supposed mortal enemy. And neither of them know what to do about it. When Joyce Summers receives a mystery visit from someone in the know, and learns a little about the possible future, the slayer’s mother is set to work – playing matchmaker. Set in early season four, post ‘Something Blue’, and goes AU after that.
Disclaimer: Buffy & Angel and most of the other characters used in these fics belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, et.al. and are being used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made. This web site, its operators and any content relating to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” are not authorized by Fox.
Authors Notes: The idea for this fic is the complete brain child of the wonderful megan_peta. Megan, without your help I doubt I’d have something ready for my due date. Thanks so much sweets! *big hugs*
Betas: megan_peta and just_sue were the lovely ladies who helped whip this into shape for me!
Distribution: seasonal_spuffy, and soon to be added at When Hearts Collide and the The Bloodshedverse. Anywhere else, ask me first so I know where it’s going!
Feedback: is LOVED… I’d love to hear what you think.
Part 3: Plan Formulation.
Spike’s hands flew to his nose as he staggered a few feet away and a string of curse words flowed from his mouth. “What is your problem, Slayer?”
“My problem? MY problem?” Buffy’s voice rose in volume as she stalked toward Spike with deadly intent in each step. “YOU! You’re my problem. The fact you stick around when you should be elsewhere. Do you want a pointy introduction with my stake?”
The weapon in question suddenly appeared from her person, the speed with which she retrieved it causing Spike to continue to back away from the enraged Slayer.
“Giles might have a problem with me dusting a ‘helpless’ former –”
Spike’s growl of annoyance interrupted the tirade. “I’m not bleedin’ helpless.”
“No?” Buffy arched a brow. “You can’t fight back, you can’t protect yourself. Enlighten me, how would you describe your… condition.” The last part was spoken with blatant, biting scorn.
“’s temporary,” Spike muttered beneath his breath.
“Your entire existence is going to be temporary if you, and your lecherous lips don’t back the hell off!”
Spike responded in the worst way possible, he leered. Tongue curled behind the back of his teeth, scarred brow arched skyward, and a lascivious stare that began at Buffy’s feet and settled on all the right places before he met her gaze again. And held it. Playful cerulean blue clashed with fiery hazel, neither willing to be the first to look away. This battle of the wills could go on all night; the only thing that could interrupt was —
A scream ripped through the night.
Buffy broke the stare and took off at a run in the direction of the frightened sound, a silent prayer of thanks muttered beneath her breath as she tracked the noise.
For a moment Spike remained still, staring after Buffy as she dashed off into the night. Then he realised that she had broken the stare first, he’d won! A minor victory yes, but still a victory. And Spike was never one to waste a good gloating opportunity. Once the Slayer had finished saving the damsel in distress, he’d pick up their argument right where it left off.
Baiting her like this was a deadly and dangerous game to play, especially for someone currently lacking the ability to defend himself. But Spike liked to live on the edge. Pressing the Slayer’s buttons, getting her all fired up, it was the most fun he’d had in a long time. The spell of Red’s directed his thoughts toward pressing other buttons. And that sounded just as much, if not more, fun.
With a burst of vampiric speed, Spike broke into a run in much the same way as Buffy had just moments earlier.
Joyce realised her mistake as she passed through the wrought iron gates of Shady Hill, and immediately felt eyes upon her. Like a burning in the back of her head, she could feel it. Never in her life had Joyce felt so vulnerable, not even last year when she’d been held captive by an obviously disturbed Faith. That’s right, Joyce; think of all the scary things that have happened over the last few years and distract yourself even further. Buffy would be so proud to find out you’ve put yourself in the position to become dinner once more.
The mental chastising was enough incentive to make her move faster. All seemed well for a minute or two, then she heard it. A growl. Shivers of fear raced up Joyce’s spine, the slivery fingers of ice stretching out and wrapping around her heart which was beating with the speed of a racehorse. She stopped walking and spun a full circle; her eyes straining to stare into the shadows, she felt mocked her for daring step into the darkness of night.
From the edge of her peripheral, she caught the first sign of movement. Then it disappeared again. This cat and mouse game of toying with the prey was most certainly not an experience Joyce liked. Nor did she like the fact she’d just identified herself as a target for the predators of the night. Several uneasy steps backward were made before the demons finally showed their faces.
Three, all of them male, skulked out from the shadows and stiffly moved toward her. The first thing Joyce noticed was their eyes—yellow and angry—and filled with a strong desire for violence. Yet they lacked a certain spark… a something Joyce couldn’t quite put her finger on. The ridges of their bumpy foreheads wrapped from the temple right to the bridge of the nose, like someone had grabbed a chunk of play dough and mushed it onto their faces. They didn’t look right.
With relief, Joyce realised this mental dissection of the demons before her was slowly weakening her fear. Then her observation dropped to the needle sharp teeth that hung from gaping maws and the fear kicked right back up again.
Joyce stumbled a few steps further before the back of her knees hit a low headstone, daring not to remove her sight from the creatures before her. Carefully sidestepping the grave marker, she continued in her attempts to put some distance between her person and the demons salivating with thoughts Joyce did not even want to contemplate.
They pressed onward, continuing the slow hunt as they prowled toward her. It was as she watched their movement that Joyce came to a startling realisation. These vampires, while still filled with deadly murderous intent, were young in their unlives. Their movements were rigid and restrained, like a person holds themselves on the first day of a new job. She may not have spent a lot of time out in the dark studying creatures of the night like her daughter and her friends, but Joyce had seen a master vampire before. Two in fact. And neither moved in such a stilted manner.
When Spike moved, it was with a leisurely grace, like a panther that had risen from an afternoon nap. Even when moving at a slow pace, his entire being rippled with unbridle power and strength. Sex on legs. The languorous pace he employed was seductive, lulling those around him into a false sense of security. Spike’s ability to inflict harm upon humans might currently be restrained, but his power was still very much in effect.
Joyce was not ashamed to admit she’d noticed Spike’s obvious charms; she did have eyes. In fact, if the vampire wasn’t so taken with her daughter, and Joyce herself were a few years younger, she would probably make her appreciation for his aesthetic qualities public. Not only was he a beauty to the eye, but he was also an incredibly intelligent and emotional being. The cocky swagger and sometimes overuse of British slang, it was all part of a façade constructed to protect his gentler more refined side from mockery. Joyce knew this because the few opportunities she’d had to speak with him sans Buffy’s presence, Spike had shown his softer self. Even before the chip was embedded in his brain. He respected her and Joyce doubted he’d ever harm her, even without the small plastic muzzle.
How Buffy could be so blind to the catch before her was beyond Joyce. But then, she supposed maybe it was hereditary; she’d never thought Hank would be the type to cheat.
Joyce knew her acceptance of the possibility of Buffy being with Spike, another vampire, was a complete twist on her attitude just mere months earlier with Angel. Truthfully she felt little guilt over her role in his leaving town. Maybe it was because she suspected the souled vampire didn’t truly love Buffy as much as he professed. If that were the case, if he did love her as completely as he alleged, he shouldn’t—no make that couldn’t have been able to leave so easily. With Spike however, Joyce knew from her few personal interactions with the vampire that where his emotions were concerned, when he loved someone it was deep and real. Not just infatuation.
It was decided. If Joyce walked away from this confrontation with her life, which she seriously doubted considering her faltering concentration, she vowed she would force her daughter to open her eyes and realise Spike wasn’t the evil nasty thing she so loudly professed he was.
As one, the vampires attacked.
There were three of them and Buffy could practically see the saliva dripping from their gums as they stalked toward —
The original plan had been to sit back and watch as the pint-sized blonde worked out her frustrations on his unfortunate kinsmen, then slide in and take advantage of the post fight arousal. While he’d never let it be known—which was surprising considering it was the golden of all opportunities for mockery—Spike was and had always been, aware of just how turned on a good fight left the Slayer. Afterward, her scent always permeated the air so thickly he could almost taste it.
Any and all decisions to remain a spectator fled the moment he saw the intended prey. Joyce Summers.
Murderous rage infused Spike’s entire being. He literally saw red. How dare they even consider harming a single hair on her head? How dare they. Consequences not forgotten but shoved aside, Spike balled his fist and threw the mother of all sucker punches into the face of the vampire closest to him. Instinctively his hands flew to cradle his head from the pain. But it never came.
Eyes blinked wide and Spike decided to test it a second time before voicing his glee. The vampire he’d slugged whirled on him in fury, mouth open and ready to snarl what would probably be a commonly overused threat, when Spike slammed another fist into its face. The would-be attacker flew through the air from the force of Spike’s punch and landed in a mangled thump.
Spike’s grin became epic in proportion.
He could hit demons.
With a whoop of delight, he threw himself into the fray.
“Not…” Upper cut punch to the jaw. “This…” Lightening fast jab to the throat. “Woman!” Bone breaking kick to the groin, a move that made both Summers women wince in reaction.
With a theatrical flourish, Spike twirled the stick-cum-stake in his hand once before plunging the weapon into the un-beating heart of his demon opponent.
Buffy was completely and utterly stunned. She never knew Spike was so fiercely protective of her mother. The rage she’d seen dancing in his expressive eyes was boundless. Buffy had no idea Spike cared about her mother so much. But judging by the smug look on Joyce’s face, this protectiveness wasn’t a new development.
The second fact that had Buffy reeling was that Spike had been able to hit the vampire. Correction… make that beat the living shit of it. Not that Buffy wouldn’t have done exactly the same; the point was, Spike wasn’t supposed to be able to. The chip prohibited him from harming anything. It could only mean one thing. Wrapping her fingers tightly around the wooden stake still clutched in her hand, Buffy took one step forward.
And was stopped by her mother’s outstretched arm and a look that clearly said ‘don’t.’
“I have to,” Buffy mumbled. Spike was a viable threat again, and she couldn’t let him live. The thought of staking him, of him no longer being, made her stomach turn in a way that surprised her.
Spike’s delight at his new discovery was instantly dampened at the sight of the intent in Buffy’s eyes. Looking down at her hand, he could see just how tightly she clutched the stake, her knuckles white from the force of her grip. A flash of confusion, followed by betrayed pain washed over him. He’d just helped to protect Joyce and Buffy still wanted to kill him. Spike visibly deflated.
“Buffy, he helped save my life. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?” Joyce questioned in her best guilt-trip mom voice.
Buffy sighed. “Of course, but he’s still a demon. One who can kill. I have to do this. I’m the Slayer and he’s a vamp–”
“Angel’s a vampire,” Joyce interrupted bluntly, a frown crossing her face. “You let him live.”
“Angel is good!” Buffy protested. She couldn’t believe her mother pulled the ‘past love’ card on her, especially since she knew how much the loss still burned her.
“He wasn’t always.”
Spike watched with curiosity as Joyce argued with Buffy, batting down every explanation the Slayer brought forward.
“So could Spike.”
Buffy restrained herself from stamping her foot like the petulant child she currently felt like. Why didn’t her mother see that she had to do this?
“Things aren’t so black and white, Buffy.”
“Yes, they are.” Now that did sound a little like a whine, but Buffy didn’t care. She had to make her mother see. “Vampires are evil, and I’m a vampire slayer. My job description is pretty clear.”
“How does Angel fit into your ‘clear’ little job description? He’s a vampire and by your own definition –”
“Mom! Please, just butt out and let me do my job!”
Spike growled with irritation. He didn’t like how Buffy was speaking to her mother and —
“Would you just quit the fake protecto-gig you’ve got going already, no-one’s buying it.” Buffy rolled her eyes.
“I’m not bloody well fakin’!” Spike cried in frustration.
“Oh, give me a break, Spi–”
“I believe him,” Joyce interrupted.
Buffy blinked. “What? You’ve got to be kidding me?”
Joyce folded her arms over her chest.
“This is all just some sort of… ploy, an act.” Buffy turned her furious stare toward the vampire in question. “It wouldn’t be the first time he’s pretended to feel something he doesn’t.”
Joyce frowned in confusion but Spike knew exactly what Buffy was talking about. She thinks before… that was an act?
“You wanna keep your mum safe, Slayer, I get that. But I couldn’t harm Joyce even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.” The expression in his eyes was soft; his voice was clear and deadly serious. “You think ‘cos I beat up a few demons that ol’ Spike has broken his leash? Well you’d be wrong. The bitty piece of plastic is still doin’ its job. Can practically feel it buzzin’ in my brain as we speak.”
“Liar.” Buffy lifted her chin in defiance, almost daring Spike to argue with her.
Since Buffy didn’t appear to be open to listening to reason, Spike figured a demonstration was the best way to show he was telling the truth. This is gonna hurt like a bitch…
Spike rushed Buffy, his intent to push her to the ground and pin her in much the way he’d dreamed of when all he could think of was her blood in his throat. The second he laid one finger on her, the shocks of pain spider-webbed through his brain, eliciting a roar of pain which dropped him to the ground at her feet.
“You tried to attack me!” Buffy cried in anger.
“And it bleedin’ well hurt like a…” Spike censored himself when he remembered Joyce’s presence.
Buffy blinked in shock as realisation flicked a little light bulb on in her head. “You mean –”
“I can hit demons,” Spike interrupted as he lifted himself to his feet.
“And the chip…”
“Still brings brain meltin’ pain, just like it’s s’posed to.”
Joyce looked from Spike to her daughter and back again. “Good, now that’s sorted, how about we head home for some hot chocolate? I’m in the mood for something sweet after that little ordeal.”
Buffy knew her mom was including Spike in the ‘we’, and that just didn’t sit right with the slayer. Spike might not be able to harm humans, but he was still a pain in the ass. “Mom, you can’t possibly mean –”
“Of course I do.” Joyce’s pointed stare left no room for argument. “How about it, Spike? I haven’t forgotten your love of those little marshmallows.”
With a slow smile, Spike nodded his acquiescence. “I’d love to.”
Joyce linked her arm through Spikes and headed in the direction of the cemetery gates, leaving a dumbfounded Buffy staring after them before she begrudgingly followed.
“Irritating fake vampires,” she muttered beneath her breath.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/106373.html