Title: Before I Take That Walk, Pt.1
Summary: Spike sobers up after Lovers Walk and wonders why he wants to go back to a cheating Dru anyway. Buffy, meanwhile, tries to get a handle on a future that won’t include Angel. Can two broken hearts find an island of comfort in each other’s arms and then just walk away?
Setting: S3 after Lovers Walk, a short PWP
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, ME, WB, Fox are the sole owners of all involved with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Thanks to Joss he allows us to play in his sandbox. I derive no compensation for these flights of fancy. The story concept is my “creation” as is all dialogue not in any original story script.
Spike woke to a sizzling hand as sunlight found the small unblackened area of windshield in the DeSoto. “Sodding hell!” He rapidly moved out of the sun’s lethal embrace, hitting his already throbbing head on the dash in his haste.
“Where the bloody hell am I?” He tried to remember his last clear moment and drew a blank soon after that humiliating scene with Dru and Mr. Slimy Antlers. The next memories were all about bottle after bottle of whatever self-medication was handy. He vaguely remembered vowing to someone that he would “kill the bitch and prove he didn’t love her”. He was pretty sure he didn’t mean he would kill Dru because there was no reason for him to deny his love for his dark princess. Even if she was screwing her way through the mystical forests of demondom.
He had no idea how many days he’d spent in an alcohol-drenched stupor. “Think, mate. Gotta figure out where you are before you know where you’re going.” With that bit of logic, Spike tried to clear his head and take measure of where he was and what he’d been up to. The fact that he wasn’t currently a pile of dust seemed a point on the positive side of the ledger.
Considering his hangover, there was a miracle at work for him to still be among the undead. “Didn’t know there were any guardian angels for Big Bads like me,” he muttered. Spike was sorely tempted to just plunge back into the sea of alcohol he’d been swimming in and avoid the “healing process” that just took too long, even for a vampire.
“Suck it up, man. Need to get m’ bearings, suss out what I’ve been up to and deal with the fallout.” Spike was not known for cowardice and wasn’t about to let Dru’s infidelity force him into that sort of role. “’M not that wanker William. Not gonna run off cryin’, lookin’ to die ‘cause the bloody bitch doesn’t know a good thing when she’s got it!”
He had started to become functional and assess his surroundings a bit. The desert terrain pretty well ruled out Brazil. It was still daylight and a recon was out of the question for a while, but he could still drive to some sort of shade to wait out the day. “Might even find a sign or some such…get a clue ‘bout where the bloody hell I am.”
Something about the area struck a familiar chord even if Spike couldn’t quite place it with any ease. “Shoulda smashed that talky Miss Edith years ago! Spreadin’ nonsense ‘bout me and the Slayer that Dru’s daft enough to believe.”
Slayer! Oh, yes, there it was. The memory was right on the edge of his brain. If he could just grab a corner of it, he’d be on his way to answering all of his questions. Something about the Slayer and Dru’s loony accusations.
“Crazy bint! Reason I didn’t already kill Buf…the Slayer’s ‘cause I was too busy getting Dru back to full strength. Couldn’t put my full attention on notchin’ another Slayer on the belt. Then the bloody Poof had to turn up while I was stuck in that chair… How the hell was I supposed to take out the Slayer with all that happening? Had to save Dru, didn’t I? How’s that add up to me havin’ feelings for the chit?”
Spike felt his inner William start to interrupt and it made him want to put his fingers in his ears and sing a chorus of “lalalalalala” to drown the wanker out.
“Almost 120 years I’ve stayed faithful to that crazy bint. Put up with ‘daddy this’ and ‘daddy that’. Always ‘daddy, daddy, daddy’! Tolerated her fits and starts, now didn’t I? Took good care of my princess. Never let HER starve when she couldn’t feed proper.”
Spike was building up a steam of indignation at the ill treatment by his ladylove. “Did I say a word when she’d cheat on me? NO! Bad enough when it was other vampires, now it’s like she’s pickin the most disgustin’ demons walkin’. Wait, not all of ‘em walked as I remember. A few slithered.” He shuddered at the memory of Dru’s latest sex partners.
“Suppose she’d have been happier if I’d let her daddy drag her and everyone else into that hell Angelus opened up. Least she’d be with the love of HER unlife.” Spike was glad he was alone because he could feel the hot tears ready to spill from his eyes.
He and the Slayer had both made sacrifices that day. He’d thrown away any chance of ever winning Dru’s devotion by going against Angelus and the Slayer had to send the big oaf to hell. Spike knew the Slayer had done the deed because the end of the world hadn’t happened. Angelus was in hell where he belonged.
“Wait a minute!”
Spike was beginning to remember something, something important. “Angelus! No that’s not right…Angel, all soul-having Angel. The bugger’s back!” He remembered the Slayer and his grandsire fighting alongside him, something about throwing holy water at a bunch of vamps.
Spike spotted a grove of trees that promised some relief from the unrelenting sun and a chance for him to try to grab onto the fleeting images that held clues to his recent history. The DeSoto sounded a tired groan as Spike turned off the engine and prepared to wait out the day’s end.
As he sobered up, the neurons managed to communicate again and the pieces began to fall into place. He remembered storming away from the home where he and Dru had been living since their arrival in Brazil. He had caught her with another of the increasingly unlikely partners in her continual sexathon. The chaos demon had been bad, the fungus demon worse. This…this…whatever it was that looked more like a Sea Urchin on steroids than anything else was the last straw.
Dru had sworn she was the injured party. She swore that Spike had a deep connection with and budding love for the Slayer, of all people. Dru claimed that was the real reason why Spike had been unable to bag his third slayer and why she had a right to seek pleasure elsewhere.
Spike had done the only thing any self-respecting cuckold would do: he left to prove himself. He would go back to Sunnyhell, kill the Slayer and prove Dru wrong at last. Make the bitch grovel as she ate her words!
Somewhere between Arizona and California, after Spike had drained one too many bottles of Cuervo gold, complete with worm, the plan changed. Instead of killing Buff…the Slayer, the plan was to get one of the spellcasters on the Hellmouth to put a spell on Dru and make her love him again. He’d see about killing the Slayer while he was at it…if he had time.
He remembered murdering the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign for the second time in his history. He remembered the cute, redheaded witch friend of the Slayer and while the details were fuzzy, Spike was remembering all the high points of the evening that followed.
Now he knew where he was! In the desert headed south outside Sunnydale, although not very far outside from the look of it. He was on the way to grovel at Dru’s dainty feet yet again, begging for what should be his by right. “Hell, no! She wants to moan under every monstrosity in the dimension, she’ll have to do it without me around to watch! Dru wants me, she can damned well come get me. Sooner or later she’ll miss all those things I used to do to make her happy, to take care of her. Bitch would be dust without me!”
No reason to drive thousands of miles to prove Dru was crazy. Everyone knew Dru was crazy, even Dru herself. Spike could turn right around and make a nice home for himself right back in Sunnydale! Why not? Plenty of humans to eat, lots of demons to fleece at the poker tables and a Slayer to completely ignore. Hellmouth’s the natural place for a Master Vampire to set up housekeeping.
“Yeah! Ignore the little fireball. Dru thinkin’ I’m all hot for the Slayer, huh! I can be ‘round the bint all the time and not even be tempted to so much as talk to her. Said all I need to her anyway. Stupid girl and Peaches with their ‘we’re just friends’, while at the same time making cows’ eyes at each other. Bollocks! And I told ‘em so too! Yeah, go back there and watch the fallout from the end of the greatest love story never told. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the show.”
“Think I’ll just drop by that weasel Willie’s and replenish the ol’ liqueur supply first. Have to eat someone with more than lint in his wallet before I can get any of the good stuff again.” Spike began to hum softly as he pointed the classic car currently disguised as a rolling trash bin toward his once and future home.
Buffy knew Angel was going to leave. She knew it from the night Spike had called them on the whole ‘let’s be friends’ game. They weren’t friends, never had been really. She loved Angel madly with all the furor of youth and first love. She had never really learned to trust him though. He was a mystery. No, he was an enigma. No, he was a mystery wrapped in an enigma with a bow of question marks all over him!
She knew so little about this love of her life. Buffy had always thought that was part of the romance of it all. She and Angel would get married and she would spend the rest of her life getting to know him! Romantic? Perhaps. Impractical? Definitely.
As soon as it was clear that they could never have even a shell of a normal life together without risking Angel’s oh-so-necessary soul, all those dreams had gone ‘poof’. And they had tried, really tried to become friends.
Angel had given her lovely books, books that made no sense to her when she tried to read them. She knew he was only trying to help her learn, help her be better. He still helped against the bad guys too, just like before. He’d pop in and give the gang warnings…well, give them to her, since the gang was still all wigged about his turn as Angelus.
Angel would help and then leave. Buffy used to think that was part of his charm, sort of popping in and out like a sexy superhero. He was like Superman with fangs, only without the totally lame tights and cape. Now she felt more sympathy for Lois Lane than she would have ever before felt. Just like Lois, she was clueless about who and what her hero was really like, who he really was. Not the sort of foundation for a budding friendship and the lusty urges for salty goodness hadn’t gone away either.
Spike had been right, she and Angel would never be just friends and they could never be lovers again. Now she was just waiting for the other shoe to fall, for Angel to walk away and leave her alone in her misery.
Buffy hadn’t even finished high school and her love life was over! It was so not fair. “Well, at least I won’t die a virgin. How’d that joke go? Oh yeah, the tombstone that says ‘returned unopened’…not happening to me at least.” Of course, now she’d never know if she could have become a decent lover. Angel, or rather Angelus, had said she was terrible. It wasn’t fair that she would never have another chance.
She wasn’t even eighteen yet and no one was born knowing how to make a guy feel great. Angel could have taught her how to please him if the curse hadn’t made it impossible for them to ever have sex again. She was willing to learn. It wasn’t her fault, after all, if she didn’t know what she was doing that first and only time! Damn gypsies and their curses!
Everybody’s love life had been shot to hell after Hurricane Spike blew into town. Xan and Cordy weren’t even speaking after Cordy caught Xander and Willow in a lip lock. Willow and Oz were on rocky ground but would probably pull through in time. Still, Spike and his drunken escapades had left a wake of misery behind that would probably lead to even more trouble before it was all over.
Spike was like that. Trouble. He had been trouble from the time he first swaggered into town and became a major feature in all their lives. The pest wasn’t even supposed to be there in Sunnydale! He’d promised to leave and never come back. She really hadn’t expected to ever see him again when he took the unconscious Dru and careened out of town. Funny, she hadn’t really thought he’d break his word to her. Spike was many things, but he had never seemed to be a liar. Somehow the thought that he wasn’t as honorable as she had thought made her as sad as the knowledge that Angel would soon be just a part of her past.
Two Master Vampires, one Slayer: it was a recipe for disaster. Angel and Spike were as different as possible. It wasn’t just the whole soul and no soul deal either. Spike had always been pretty ‘in your face’ and transparent. Buffy had to smile remembering his cocky “I kill you” answer to her asking what he was going to do to her at the threatened next meeting. He had tried, several times and in many ways, but it never happened. Still, there was no secret about his intentions. Angel had started off all mystery and that never completely changed. It had been a while before Buffy even found out Angel was a vampire at all!
Buffy got the beginning of a thought that had haunted her the better part of the last year and she tried to stop it in its tracks. Angel without a soul was not able to love. Spike without a soul clearly loved Dru. Maybe that kernel of a thought in the back of her mind is why it burned so badly that Spike was so sure she and Angel could never be friends.
Buffy twirled her stake and headed for another pass through Sunnydale’s newest cemetery. She really hoped there would be a nest of demons to demolish or at least a few fledglings to dust. She needed to kill something! One more pass through the cemetery, then a stop at Willie’s to see who she could rough up for information on the new vamp in town, then home for another good cry.
Angel was brooding. They always accused him of it, but this time he really was. That idiot Spike had ruined everything. Angel knew he’d never have Buffy again the way he would always want her. He knew that the future would be an agony of want and it would take every bit of his self-control. Still, he knew that Buffy was worth it. He’d planned to stay and help her, guide her, protect her.
Surely all the angst of unrequited desire would make up in some way for all of the evil Angelus had done! He deserved to suffer, to want and not have. Angel was willing to suck it up and pay the price.
All those times before he was turned, Liam had womanized without giving the woman a single thought! Angelus had been the scourge of Europe but had been caged by the soul for a century until Angel had forgotten that it was his lot to suffer. Being so close to Buffy and not being able to be with her was the worst punishment Angel could think of and he had expected to suffer through it until his lovely girl finally fell in battle.
Then Spike showed up and messed up everything! Buffy had looked so determined and mature when she told him that he would have to be able to say he didn’t love her for them to be together in any way. He couldn’t lie to her, so he had said not a word. As he watched his golden girl walk away all prim and proper, he knew it was over. He wouldn’t be allowed to stay close to her now. He’d have to find another way to work through his own personal purgatory on the road to his redemption, another way to suffer for his sins.
Buffy would go on and meet another…a nice, stable, human guy. She’d move on and Angel would be left with the ashes of all they had dreamed of having. “Leave it to that idiot to say the first smart thing in his entire unlife and mess everything up!”
Angel headed in the direction of Willie’s. Maybe he could ferret out some information on that Trick guy to give to Buffy. They may have decided they couldn’t be friends any more than they could be lovers, but he could still help her with her mission. One of the lowlifes at Willie’s would know something about the vamp that came to town with Kakistos and was now connected with someone in power. There was trouble brewing and Buffy needed him.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/40070.html