Always Wait For You – 14

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Always Wait For You
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Chapter Fourteen – the last one. I hope everyone has enjoyed my little glimpse into a possible future for our favorite twosome. Can’t believe it’s finally done and posted. :) *goes off to relax and take deep breaths*

 

Chapter Fourteen

Spike shook off his demon, but remained crouched at her feet, his head down as he stared at the floor. Buffy rested her hand on his head, running her fingers through his hair gently.

“It’s okay,” she whispered. “Just go to her.”

He rose to his feet slowly, pausing for a supportive hug, before walking tentatively towards his daughter. He knelt down beside the wide-eyed girl, saying softly, “Joy? Princess?”

“D…daddy?” Her eyes searched the now-familiar blue ones looking at her so anxiously, then ran over his ripped clothing and the bloody wounds on his hands and face. “Are you okay?”

With a laughing sob, he pulled her into an embrace, murmuring, “Am I okay? How could I not be with such a brave, wonderful girl? How could I not?”

“Can we go home now, then?” Her voice trembled and he immediately stood up, lifting her in his arms as he did.

“We sure can, sweetheart. We’ll just go collect your brother and be on our way.”

As the little family made its way through the dark tunnels, hampered by Spike’s reluctance to go into game face while he held Joy, they could see the glow of flashlights ahead of them.

“Hey! Did you leave any for us?” Faith’s cheerful voice preceded her down the duct.

“Left you some dust,” Spike responded as they neared her and the four slayers she’d brought along.

“You’re no fun,” she grumbled, giving Joy a quick thumbs-up when she saw the girl’s tentative smile.

“You won’t know that till you’ve tried it, pet,” he leered at her, laughing and ducking his head when Joy gasped, “Dad!” “Sorry, love, forgot for a minute what a sheltered little flower you are,” he teased.

‘I’m almost fifteen,” she said with as much dignity as she could muster while being carried around like she was a baby. “I know…stuff!”

While Buffy smothered a laugh, Spike did his best not to frighten his daughter by letting her see the amber flashes in his eyes. He couldn’t suppress the low growl as he said, “What stuff?”

Buffy let out the laugh she’d been holding in, saying quickly, “Joy, you’re going to need to talk to your Aunt Dawn about what you can and can say around your father, now that you’re growing up. Unless you want him scaring away all your dates.”

“Dates? There are dates?” He unconsciously tightened his grip on her until Joy squeaked. “Sorry, love,” he apologized quickly. “Your mother’s just trying to get me going, isn’t she?”

“It’s just so easy,” Buffy smirked. “You are so predictable.”

Joy stared back and forth between her parents, wondering what had happened to change the two tense, edgy people they’d been since her father’s return, into the laughing, bantering couple they were now. She suspected there was more to it than that they no longer had to worry about their children being kidnapped by monsters. At that thought, she suddenly realized that she had no idea what had happened to Will after she fell unconscious and she looked around anxiously.

“Where’s Will? Is he—“

“He’s fine,” Spike soothed. “He’s waiting for us upstairs.” He cocked a questioning eyebrow at Faith and she nodded as she swung down from the duct onto the concrete floor of the basement.

“Sure is. He’s busy impressing all the girls with his story of how he kicked Lucy’s ass and then single-handedly dusted Drusilla.” She reached up to take Joy from Spike and winked at him. “Regular chip off the old block, isn’t he?”

“That’s my boy,” he agreed proudly, raising his hand to help Buffy jump down beside him.

“Oh, he’s your boy, all right,” she agreed. “Bragging and making it up as he goes along.”

“Actually, he’s not all that far off the mark,” Spike said, with a sharp glance at both slayers. “I think the boy’s gonna need a little training before he bites off more than he can chew one night, but he did alright for himself.”

A glance at the floor showed still unmopped bloodstains, but no sign of the bodies that had greeted Joy and Will when they first entered the area. Joy breathed a sigh of relief and asked Faith to let her stand by herself. Limping just slightly on her injured leg, she walked between her parents to the stairwell and stubbornly insisted on walking up by herself.

The small group, relieved parents, limping teenage, and five disappointed slayers, stepped out into an anxious crowd of administrators and slayers. Will ran up to his sister, forgetting that he was being watched by a half-dozen teenage girls, and hugging her tightly. There was a sudden silence as Spike and Buffy wrapped their arms around their children and the little family indulged in some much-needed physical comfort.

Faith herded the slayers away, saying, “Okay, ladies. It’s almost dark. Lets go find ourselves some real vampires.” She waved at Buffy and left the building, already dialing her cell phone to let Xander know that Joy had been rescued and that Angelus and Drusilla were gone.

After listening to heartfelt apologies from the school staff for having put the two Pratt children at risk, and apologizing in turn for allowing their outside dangers to cause the loss of school employees, Buffy and Spike walked to the car with their very tired children.

~~~~~~~~

Joy insisted that she did not want to go to the emergency room to have her neck cleaned and bandaged, so her parents gave in and went to the Slayer School for a quick first aid stop. Word had already arrived about both the kidnappings and the rescue, and the Pratt family was greeted with applause and cheers. Karin ran up to Joy, hugging her tightly even as she whispered that she was going to teach Joy how to make fire come out of her fingers “just in case”.

Willow’s throat clearing “ahem!” brought a guilty start from both girls, but they relaxed when they saw the twinkle in her eye.

“Karin’s right,” she whispered to Joy. “As soon as we talk your mother and father into it, we’ll get you started on some tools you can use to protect yourself from vampires.”

Karin’s attention, meanwhile, had shifted to Will who was basking in the attention of the younger slayers when the pretty, young witch walked up to him.

“Did you really dust Lucy?” she asked, wide eyed and awestruck. “And the crazy vampire, too?”

He struggled with his natural inclination to preen in front of her, but one look from his sister had him dropping his head and shuffling his feet.

“Nah,” he admitted. “Not exactly. I did hit Lucy with a broom and kick her hard enough to get away – but I think Mom dusted her. And Dad dusted the crazy lady. I just kicked her in the knee.”

“Still,” she said admiringly, “You were very brave.” She smiled down at him from her three-inch height advantage and wondered how long it would be before he was tall enough to look her in the eye.

He blushed and stammered, saved only by Joy’s insistence that Karin go with her to the first aid station. He watched as his sister and the girl he was sure was going to be the love of his life, walked slowly out of the room; unaware of the hidden smiles on the faces of all the adults who had viewed the little scene.

“Just like his father,” Xander’s voice broke the silence that followed the girls’ departure. “Mooning over something he’ll never have.”

“She could do worse than to have someone just like his father fall in love with her,” Buffy surprised everyone by glaring fiercely at him.

The change in their relationship was suddenly more than obvious as Spike wrapped an arm around Buffy and said, “That’s my girl. You tell him, pet.”

Xander and Willow looked back and forth between the two, noticing for the first time their relaxed postures and linked hands.

“So, does this mean I’m getting my pool-shooting buddy back?” As usual, Xander blurted out what they both wanted to know. Unseen by his parents, Will had frozen in place, forgetting all about the admiring slayers as he waited breathlessly to hear the answer.

There was no answer for a very long minute – during which Xander began to wish he’d not asked the question, and Will’s face began to fall – then Spike looked at Buffy and nodded.

“We’ve got some work to do,” he said quietly, pulling her into an embrace, but that’s the plan.”

Gazing up at his warm expression, Buffy nodded mutely, then rose on her toes to kiss him lightly. “That’s the plan,” she echoed.

Will smothered a happy whoop and ran out of the room to tell his sister that their parents were getting back together, while Buffy and Spike accepted congratulations and good wishes from the adults in the room.

As soon as Joy and Will came back, happy grins across both their faces, they led them out of the building and to the car. Spike automatically slid into the driver’s seat and, as soon as everyone was seated and buckled, he pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the house.

~~~~~~~

While Joy and Will compared notes about their adventures, Buffy went to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate. While she was getting the cups out, she felt a familiar tingle on her neck, followed immediately by cool lips that dipped under her hair to nibble on the soft skin above her collar.

“Mmmmm,” she murmured, leaning back into his waiting arms. “I’d forgotten how good that feels.”

“Oh? What else might you have forgotten, Slayer?” He pulled her against his body and continued to run his lips up and down her throat. She could feel his growing desire pressing into her back and she turned around to smile up at him.

“Very little” she said, licking her lips. “Trust me. But the kids are a little older than you remember,” she added, reluctantly pulling back so that they weren’t touching. “You can’t go around like that anymore – they’ll know.”

“Don’t care,” he growled. “It’s been almost seven years, and I’m probably gonna be walking around like that for the next six months.”

Buffy giggled and cast a sly eye up at him. “You don’t think I’ve gotten old and ugly?”

“Don’t go fishin’ for compliments, Slayer,” he scolded. “You know you’re not old – probably got somethin’ to do with that Slayer healin’ or being all resurrected or something. And,” he said, tipping her chin up so that he could stare into her eyes, “you will never, ever be ugly to me. Couldn’t be, if you tried.”

“I don’t think I deserve you,” she whispered, suddenly serious.

“Don’t be daft,” he said, unable to hide his pleased smile. “I don’t deserve you. Never did — much as I used to think so.”

“I guess we can fight about it later…”

“No fightin’. Not tonight,” he growled, pulling her in for a knee-weakening kiss; a kiss that was interrupted by their children coming into the kitchen to find out what was taking them so long. When they saw their parents wrapped up in a kiss that Joy deemed very inappropriate for them to be watching, she grabbed Will’s arm and yanked him out of the room with a loud “shush. Their giggles echoed back to their parents as the two happy children retreated to the living room.

Buffy and Spike ignored them for a few more seconds, then reluctantly broke apart and laughed.

“I’d forgotten what a pain having children in the house can be,” he rumbled in her ear, trying to pull her back against his body.

“They can,” she agreed. “But they can also be sent to their rooms…”

“Right, then. Hot chocolate and off to bed with them – here we go.”

He grabbed the tray and carried it into the living room where Joy and Will were pretending to be engrossed in a television program about a vampire private eye.

“Here,” he said gruffly. “Drink up and then go to bed. Your mother and I…”

Will held up a quick hand. “We do NOT need to know what you and mom…”

“Cheeky little blighter,” Spike grumbled, trying to hide a grin. “When you’re older, you’ll appreciate what we—ow!” He stopped talking when Buffy poked him in the back with the blunt end of a stake.

“What your father means,” she said, giving him a glare, “is that we have lots of stuff to talk about.”

“What kind of stuff?” Joy and Will exchanged smirks.

“Grown-up stuff,” Buffy responded quickly. “You know, where your dad’s been, what he wants to do now, what rooms need new curtains, where he’s going to sleep…”

“Ah.” Joy nodded wisely. “Stuff.”

“Exactly.” Buffy nodded, ignoring the snickers from her children. “Just grown-up, boring…stuff.”

“Right.” Will drained his cup of cocoa and put it back on the tray. He raised his arms and stretched elaborately. “Well, I know I’m tired. I guess I’ll just go to bed now. Upstairs. In my room. With the door shut…”

Spikes rumbling growl gave the boy his first sense of how different things could be when your father was a vampire. Blanching, he quickly stopped talking and headed for the stairs with Joy right behind him.

“Good-night, Mom,” she threw over her shoulder. “Good-night, Daddy. We love you.” She was pushing her brother ahead of her when Buffy’s voice came from the living room.

“We love you, too. Both of you. Very much.”

“We know.” She smiled back at them and then continued pushing her protesting brother up the stairs.

~~~~~~~

Buffy and Spike stood in the middle of the floor, the hunger plain on both their faces.

“Basement?” Spike asked.

“Basement,” she agreed firmly.

As one, they whirled and sped through the kitchen and down the stairs to the room the children had set up for Spike. Buffy paused only long enough to lock the door, before jumping down the steps and into his waiting arms. He whirled her around, her giggles mingling with his rumbling growls until his knees hit the edge of the bed and he fell onto it, still clinging to her.

Laughter stilled as their eyes met in mutual happiness that was tinged with regret.

“I love you, Mrs. Pratt,” he whispered. “Never stopped. Not for one second. I’m glad you waited for me.”

“I love you, Mr. Pratt. I never stopped waiting…and wanting.”

“I’m here, now.”

“You are,” she agreed, reaching for his eager mouth. “It ‘s time to show me how much you missed me. Are you ready for that?”

“ I’m pretty sure you can tell how ready I am, Slayer. Are you sure you’re ready for me?”

“Bring it on, vampire.”

~~~~~~

Buffy opened her eyes slowly, wondering why it was so dark, then remembering that she had been sleeping in the basement. She blinked and wondered how she’d ended up on the floor — rolling over to nibble on Spike’s bare chest to ask him.

“I think we broke the bed,” she murmured, her tongue snaking out to lick the smooth skin there.

“Had to happen eventually,” he said, a lazy smile on his face. “Did we break anything else?”

“I’m afraid to look,” she confessed. “Explaining the bed is going to be hard enough…”

“I’m thinkin’ there will be no explaining the bed. The more you try to explain, the worse it’s going to get. A couple of smart cookies, our kids are.”

“They are.” She sighed. “How long will it be before they go off to college?”

“Not soon enough. I think we might have to arrange some all night patrols for ourselves every now and then, yeah?”

“Sounds like a plan,” she agreed, sitting up and searching for her clothes. “I hope you didn’t rip my clothes…”

“I’ll buy you new ones.”

“I wasn’t so much worried about replacing them, as I was walking past Will and Joy wearing nothing but your shirt!”

“Shirt’s ripped,” he laughed. “You’ll just have to go naked and hope they aren’t up yet.”

“Very funny.” Her expression indicated exactly how not funny she found that idea. Her clothes turned out to be in better shape than she’d expected, and she quickly pulled them on – throwing her torn panties at his head before heading up to the kitchen. “Come upstairs when you’re decent. I think they’re already awake.”

“They are,” he agreed, his own ears having heard one of them try the door before going off giggling. “I’ll be right up.”

Buffy emerged from the stairway to find Will and Joy doing their best to pretend they were unaware of what she and Spike had been doing in the basement. With eyes firmly fixed on the kitchen counter, Joy was getting out the ingredients for pancakes while Will filled the coffee maker and turned it on.

“Good morning,” Buffy said cheerfully, knowing she was blushing like a new bride, but unable to contain her happiness.

“Good morning,” they caroled in unison as Spike emerged, shirtless and rumpled.

“Vampire here,” he grumbled. “It’s the middle of the bloody night for me.”

“It’s 10:30,” Will pointed out.

“10:30! You’re late for school….”

“Relax, Mom. We called and they said we didn’t have to come in today. They said we should rest up and recover from our ‘ordeal’.”

“Oh. Well, that was nice of them…”

She trailed off as Spike came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, smiling over her shoulder at his children. Joy cocked her head in a familiar way and asked, “Does this mean that we’re a family again? Is Daddy going to stay?”

Buffy tipped her head back and looked up into her husband’s face. He nodded, dropping a kiss on her forehead.

“That’s what it means, love. I’m home to stay. I’m sorry I stayed away so long – I should have…”

“Mom sent you away.” There was just a trace of accusation in Will’s tone and Spike reacted immediately.

“She did. But she had every reason to be worried. You two, of all people, should understand that now. She only did it to keep you safe. I forgave her for it the minute I heard Angelus’ voice…and you should too.” He glared at them until they dropped their eyes and nodded.

“I’m sorry we got so mad at you, Mom,” Joy said softly. “I get it, now. Uncle Angel was pretty scary. And so was Daddy when he was fighting him,” she cast an apologetic glance at Spike, who shrugged uncomfortably.

“Dad was awesome!” Will protested. “All fangs and ‘grrrrr’…what?” he asked, noticing the looks his parents were giving him. “He was,” he repeated stubbornly. “I wasn’t afraid of him.”

“Neither one of you will ever have a reason to be afraid of your father,” Buffy said firmly, “but that doesn’t mean you should take vampires casually. Or that you don’t have to mind him,” she added.

“So, the Pratt family is back together.” Joy beamed at her parents who were still standing close together and smiling.

“It is,” Spike agreed. “Now where are those pancakes I heard about?”

“Vampires eat pancakes?” Will frowned in confusion. “Don’t you drink blood?”

Buffy and Spike laughed and sat down at the counter. “You dad isn’t your average vampire,” Buffy said, smiling at their son.

the end

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/224021.html

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