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 5: Prophetic Visions.
“Buffy?” Willow called out as she slowly opened the front door all the way. The creak of hinges in need of a little attention was the only response. “Giles?” she threw over her shoulder in question. “Something’s wrong.”
Giles stepped inside the door and held his breath as he strained his hearing, trying to identify if there was even anyone in the house. The watcher might not have the sensitive hearing of a slayer, or vampire for that matter, but his training at the Watcher’s Academy had included how to stretch the senses. Excluding ones own breath was the first step. So breath was held. Except the only result he received was a sudden burn in his lungs for air when holding it became unbearable.
Xander became increasingly impatient the longer they stood on the front porch. When Giles made no move to walk further than the entryway, the teen stepped inside and immediately began moving toward the kitchen, convinced it should be the first and most logical place they check.
“Xander, what do –” Giles began.
“They could be in trouble,” he interrupted, as if his reason should be plainly obvious. Without waiting for a response, he continued, the rest of the gang following more cautiously.
The moment he reached the doorway and saw the flash of peroxide blond hair, Xander had no doubt in his mind what the reason for Buffy’s panic had been. “Spike!” he identified as he turned his furious glare from the vampire in question, to the watcher. “I thought he was locked up in your bathroom?”
“Er, well, he was,” Giles fumbled momentarily.
“Well, now he’s out and Mrs Summers has suffered for it,” Xander fumed. “I knew Buffy should have just staked him.”
“Xander, I’d appreciate it if –”
“Would both of you just shut up for one second and look at them?” Willow snapped, as she positioned herself between the two arguing males. “In case you hadn’t noticed, they aren’t moving.”
And right she was.
Giles walked around the three on the kitchen floor so he could gain a 360 view. Looking at the scene before him, Giles clinically deconstructed their positions in the hope it could explain why they weren’t moving.
Buffy was sitting on the floor, knees beneath her and resting on her heels. As was often the case with his Slayer, she wore her feelings out in the open. Worry lines crinkled her forehead and caused a downward slope in her lips. Her gaze was directed at Spike. One of her hands was curled around that of her mother’s, while the other was —
Giles blinked in surprise. Buffy’s other hand was linked with Spike’s. The watcher cleared his throat in surprise, almost feeling as if he’d walked in on a private moment. He returned to his visual analysis.
Buffy’s fingers laced with Spike’s, and judging by the whiteness around her knuckles, her grasp was not a gentle one. The vampire was balancing on the balls of his feet in a crouched position, looking almost as if he were about to stand. His attention was focussed on Joyce, his eyes filled with concern, his jaw set and mouth in a firm line. Spike very much appeared to be the one in charge of the situation.
Joyce lay sprawled on the kitchen floor, her head resting on what appeared to Spike’s duster. Her eyes were closed. To Giles, it almost looked as if she were sleeping.
None of them wore marks or abrasions and the pallor of their skin seemed normal, which ruled out a freezing agent. The only thing he could determine was that magic played a part.
“Willow, would you be able to determine if magic were involved? Perhaps perform a… er, unveiling spell?” Giles suggested. “If the stasis they are in is the result of a mystical influence, there should be some sort of residue, or signature.”
Willow nodded. “I’ll need to get some books and supplies, but it shouldn’t be too har—”
“This isn’t the work of magic.”
Three confused sets of eyes turned to face Anya, who had up until now remained silent.
“Ahn, please, let Giles and Will do their thing, ‘kay?” Xander suggested with an almost condescending pat on her shoulder—not that he really meant it that way.
The look Anya shot Xander was venomous. “Thousand year old ex-demon here, I think I know a little about what I’m talking about.”
Willow blinked in surprise, a new appreciation for the currently brunette female forcing itself into the kitchen light. Any girl who could put Xander in his place was all right in her book.
“Pray tell, Anya,” Giles replied, his lips pursed in disbelief. “What exactly do you propose is the reason for the frozen state they’re in?” he continued, with a flourished wave in the air.
Anya lifted her chin in the air confidently as she met Giles’ gaze. “Ever heard of divine intervention?”
“What’s going on?” Buffy demanded as she struggled to move muscles and limbs that almost didn’t feel like they were there. Almost as if everything below her neck was non-existent. It was like being in a dream, where you can see and hear what’s going on, but all other senses were irrelevant. Except for the fact that Buffy couldn’t actually see anything.
Spike’s voice sounded just as confused and worried as hers.
“Spike, where are you?”
“I dunno. Can’t see or move a bleedin’ muscle,” he muttered irritably in response.
By the sounds of it, he was somewhere to her left. And close by. It brought her a little comfort, knowing he was nearby, but not nearly enough to settle her completely. They still had no idea where they were. “Have you tried?”
“’f course I’ve bloody well tried,” Spike snorted in response.
“No need to snap at me,” Buffy snapped, completely ignoring the obvious contradiction.
“Where are we? Is Mom here with us? What are we going to do?” The questions flew from her mouth as panic began to set in and grip tightly. Buffy didn’t like not knowing where she was or what was going on. Mix that with concern for her mother’s welfare and the result was one terrified slayer.
“Buffy, pet, we just need to –” Spike was cut off mid sentence by the sound of Buffy’s voice. This time however, it sounded as if it were coming from inside his head, not beside him.
“We’re not all going to make it, you know that?”
“I didn’t say that!” Buffy gasped with alarm, the words playing in her mind as well. “That wasn’t me!”
“Yeah. Hey, I always knew I’d go down fighting.”
“Spike!” Buffy cried. “What’s going on?”
“Shhh…” Spike said slowly. “I think we’re s’posed to listen.”
Buffy opened her mouth to object when she heard her voice again.
“I’m counting on you… to protect her.”
“Till the end of the world.”
The Spike inside her head chuckled, the sound bittersweet. Buffy opened her mouth to speak but stopped when the voice continued.
“Even if that happens to be tonight.”
“Spike, what’s going on?” The voices, they definitely belonged to them. But the conversation, it wasn’t something they’d shared, not something they’d talked about. “Am I…” If Buffy could have shaken her head, she would have. “Is the voice talking about Mom?”
Buffy’s tone was fearful. It felt as if they’d walked in half way through a conversation, which made it difficult to discern exactly what the people, these versions of them, were talking about. Hearing the promised words from Spike’s lips confused her and only caused more questions to form. Why he would promise to protect… someone, and by the sounds of it at the risk of his own life, Buffy didn’t know.
“I don’t know, but it’ll be all right, Buffy,” Spike soothed calmly. “I think… I think someone’s tryin’ to show us somethin’.”
A lift of one eyebrow was the only response Anya gave. That in itself seemed to satisfy the witch. Giles, however, didn’t seem completely convinced.
“I’m not convinced that what you are suggesting is –”
“Why not?” Anya interrupted with a huff, her hands coming to rest on her hips. “Take in their position for starters. The way they’re all linked. Buffy to Spike, Spike to Joyce, Joyce to Buffy. A complete circle.”
“A hundred plus years and there’s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of. You.”
Spike drew in a hasty un-needed breath, hearing a matching gasp come from Buffy.
“Here, look at me. I’m not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it’s not because I want you.”
“Buffy, I don’t know what he… what I…”
“Shhh,” Buffy shushed urgently, interrupting the fumbled excuse. “Maybe you’re right, maybe they’re… we’re, trying to tell us something.”
Her shutting up Spike had less to do with the fact she believed his earlier explanation, and more to do with wanting to hear the pretty words this other Spike was saying.
“… nothing to do with me. I love what you are. What you do. How you try.”
The urge to cry overwhelmed Buffy, and she had a feeling the other her was probably feeling the same thing. And as the words continued, the stronger the urge became.
Spike was positively, absolutely, terrified. The earnestness in his—in the other’s voice was so blindingly obvious. That Spike loved Buffy. And if he looked deep enough inside himself, he knew he would find the beginning of those feelings within him.
“…with perfect clarity what you are. You’re a hell of a woman.”
“Agreed,” Spike mumbled beneath his breath.
“And Buffy and Spike came to tend to her,” Willow added, picking up of the sequencing of events when her own ideas about what happened sprung forth. She pointed to the open back door. “I’m guessing Spike was outside and came in when… something happened.”
“If Buffy discovered Joyce first, why didn’t Spike call?” Xander asked. “He was probably sitting outside smoking like a chimney. He could have done something.”
“He did,” Willow answered. “Buffy called you, Giles, right?” When Giles nodded his confirmation, Willow continued. “Well there’s no way Buffy would leave her mom alone if she though she were hurt or in danger. And it’s not like Spike would know Giles’ phone number. I’m guessing Spike watched over Joyce while she did that.”
“Explains the pillow,” Anya added.
“He could have been the one to make the phone call,” Xander insisted. “Buffy could have given him the phone number.”
“Because Giles would really have listened to what Spike had to say?” Willow snorted, hastily adding, “No offence.”
Giles pursed his lips for a moment. He removed his glasses from the bridge of his nose and began wiping them clean with a handkerchief, using the time to sort out the questions in his mind.
“Someone with a soul but more than human. Angel meant to wear it so that means I’m the qualified party.”
Buffy gasped. This Spike… has a soul? “Spike? What –” Her question was interrupted by her other self.
“It’s volatile. We don’t know that…”
“So you’ll need someone strong to bear it. You planning on giving it to Andrew?”
“Who’s Andrew?” Spike demanded, his jealousy evident. First Angel, now some new bloke?
“I don’t know.”
“Angel said the amulet was meant to be worn by a champion.”
“Why am I not surprised you’re talkin’ ‘bout that ponce!” Spike all but snarled.
“I’ve been called a lot of things in my time…”
Spike was stunned speechless. He had been about to continue with a tirade of insults about his poofy haired sire, but they died on his lips at the sudden realisation. Buffy was talking about me?
Anya answered as if the reason should be the most obvious thing on earth. “To show them something, of course.”
The room fell silent.
After several long moments passed, with each person trying to imagine what it was they were seeing, Willow finally spoke.
“How do we,” Willow frowned and then gestured at the group on the floor as she continued, “wake them up?”
The former vengeance demon shrugged. “Whatever they’re seeing, it’s obviously just for them.”
“And that means…?” Xander questioned with a circular wave of his hands.
Anya rolled her eyes as Willow realised what she’d been saying. “If someone not meant to see what they’re seeing were to touch them, it should stop and they would wake up.” The redhead looked to Giles for confirmation. “Right?”
“I would imagine so,” he answered with a nod.
“Alright, who’s going to do the touching?” Xander asked, the double entendre recognised after the words had been spoken aloud. “If it doesn’t work, well I for one have no desire to see whatever sick perverted desire Spike is –”
“I’ll do it,” Willow offered with annoyance at Xander’s constant persistence to think badly of Spike. She would like to think he’d be more open minded about the vampire. If Buffy trusted him enough to be near her mother, then why shouldn’t they? It wasn’t as if he could bite them anymore.
With a deep breath, Willow moved closer and reached her hand toward Buffy’s shoulder. One more little stretch and —
“Well you’re not staying here. You can’t buy me off with shiny beads and sweet talk. You’ve got Angel breath. I’m not going to just let you whack me back and forth like a rubber ball. I got my pride you know.”
“Oh god!” Buffy’s earlier assessment that herself and Spike from this time or place were close was obviously on the money.
The other her sounded so disappointed.
“Buffy, luv, all you have to do is ask,” Spike voiced smugly. “Needy is not something I’d pegged you for, pet.”
“Clearly you don’t because the whole having my pride was a smokescreen.”
“Who’s the needy one now?” Buffy retorted.
“Oh, thank god.”
The response was immediate, the three unfreezing and gasping mirrored breaths.
“Oh, thank god!” Buffy muttered.
A/N: One more part to go…
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/106998.html