And the final part. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Part V: Reunions
Buffy wasn’t in the mood to waste time with pleasantries. As soon as she heard Angel’s voice, she demanded, “Where is he, Angel?”
“Buffy?” he asked, clearly surprised to hear from her. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong,” she replied, reining in her temper with some difficulty. “At least, there won’t be as soon as you tell me where Spike is.”
Buffy had no idea what kind of a reaction to expect; she knew that the two weren’t on the best of terms, and Angel was bound to be a little hurt by the idea that her cookies were done baking—and he wasn’t getting any. Still, she’d waited as long as she’d been able, and now she was ready to turn the world upside down to find Spike, starting with the offices at Wolfram & Hart.
She’d waited too long before his death; Buffy wasn’t about to make the same mistake again.
His sigh spoke volumes. “I don’t know where he is.”
“What did you do with him?”
“I didn’t do anything with him!” Angel’s voice was rising. “Buffy, look, we had a fight a few days ago, and he took off, saying that he was going to find you. I haven’t seen him since.”
She had to admit that sounded like something Spike would do. “He’s not here yet. Did you tell him where I was?”
“He knows you’re in Europe,” Angel admitted. “And I think I may have mentioned Italy.”
Buffy scowled, even though she knew that Angel couldn’t see her. If Spike had gotten lost because Angel refused to share information, she really was going to kick his ass. “Okay, you know what? If he shows up again, I want you to get him here, Angel.”
“I mean it. Do whatever you have to do, but I want him in Rome, at my doorstep within 24 hours of you seeing him.”
“What makes you think he’s going to come back?” Angel demanded. “We aren’t on friendly terms.”
“I don’t know that he will, but if he does, you can pass along my message.”
Angel didn’t sound terribly happy when he said, “I don’t understand. This is Spike we’re talking about.”
The last time they’d had this conversation, Buffy had dodged the obvious question, not wanting to hurt his feelings. This time, she knew she had to tell him the whole truth. “I love him,” she said simply.
There was a long pause, and Buffy knew that her words had stunned him. “You can’t.”
“Do not tell me what I can and can’t do.” Her anger rose, hot and quick. Some of it was worry for Spike, concern for what she would say when he finally showed up—how she was to convince him that she’d meant what she said in the Hellmouth. “I’m in love with him, Angel. It’s done.”
“You just said he was in your heart.”
“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings,” Buffy snapped. “So, are you going to do it, or not? Because I will come to Los Angeles, kick your ass, and find Spike.”
“Is this going to make you happy?”
“If Spike gets here in one piece, yes.”
“Then I’ll make sure of it,” he promised.
Buffy knew she had to trust that he would do as he said. The truth was that she couldn’t risk going out of town just now, since Spike might arrive while she was gone. She wasn’t going to miss him.
Unfortunately, finding a way to get to Europe was going to be more than a little difficult. Spike didn’t have any money, for one thing, so flying on a commercial airline was out of the question, but taking a freighter was going to take too long.
Plus, he’d realized that he had no idea where in Europe Buffy was, and he needed more information than that to find her. His choices were few; he could find Giles and ask him. It would be easier to find the Watcher, but the option was not attractive, not with how things had gone between them in Sunnydale. Spike was not entirely sure that Giles would be willing to give him the information.
That left the alternative—go back to the law firm and either convince Angel to give it to him willingly, or steal it.
Or possibly have someone else get it for him.
“Spike!” Fred exclaimed when he entered the lab. “I thought you were gone.”
“I was for a bit,” he replied cryptically. “I need to find Buffy.”
She blinked, then frowned slightly. “Have you asked Angel?” At his raised brow, she let out a small laugh. “Okay, stupid question. Do you want me to ask him?”
“I’d prefer not to announce that I’m off to find Buffy.”
Fred’s expression was rueful. “I think everyone knows that already, Spike.”
He shrugged uncomfortably. “Look, I just need an address an’ a way to get there.”
He stiffened when he heard Angel’s voice. “Look, Peaches, I just want Buffy’s address. Give me that, an’ I’ll be out of your hair.”
“I can’t do that,” Angel rumbled, grabbing him by the shoulder. “Let’s go.”
Spike tore himself away. “What the hell is your problem? If you still love her, why don’t you get your damn soul anchored and go to her?”
“Because she’s not in love with me, she’s in love with you,” Angel replied sourly. “And she made me swear I’d get you to Rome.”
Spike stopped dead in his tracks. “She what?”
“She told me that she loved you, and she made me swear that I’d get you there.” Angel grabbed his arm this time. “So, let’s go.”
“Where are we goin’?”
“I’m going to call for the jet to get you to Rome. The windows are necromanced, so you won’t have to worry about the sun.”
Spike jerked his arm out of Angel’s grasp, suddenly suspicious. “Why are you doing this?”
“Besides the fact that I promised?”
Angel sighed. “She said it would make her happy.” He glowered. “Which means that if you don’t make her happy—”
“I get it,” Spike said, cutting him off. “You’ll stake me.”
“No, I’ll make you wish you’d never been born,” Angel said in a low voice that made Spike believe he meant every word. “Then I’ll stake you.”
Spike met the eyes of the vampire who had been instrumental in making him into what he had been. “I love her,” he said simply.
Angel sighed. “I know you do.”
That was all Angel was ever going to say about it—and Spike was just fine with that.
He had at least done her the courtesy of calling to tell her that he’d sent Spike on his way. Buffy felt a little warmer towards Angel after that, even though he hadn’t let her know that Spike was back right away. Granted, Spike had been a ghost, but he’d been around, and she could have stopped grieving and started working on a way to get him solid again.
All Buffy could think about—all she’d been able to think about in the months since his death—was wasted time. There had been entirely too much of it.
Now, however, she was left to pace her living room, waiting for his arrival. Dawn had given up on asking her to sit down and had declared that she was going somewhere else to study. Buffy felt bad about it, but she couldn’t rest easy until he was there.
The knock on the door startled her, and Buffy hesitated, straightening her shirt before going over to look out the peephole. Spike stood there, and she could see the top of his head; his hands were shoved in his pockets, and his head was bowed.
Hesitating for just an instant, Buffy pulled the door open, looking directly into Spike’s eyes. “Hi.”
It was probably the lamest greeting in the history of the universe, but it was the only thing that came to mind.
A smile touched Spike’s lips. “H’lo.”
“Come in,” she said, hurriedly stepping out of the way. “Angel called to say you were coming.”
“Did he now? I heard you called him.” Spike followed her inside but remained standing.
Buffy nodded. “Fred told Willow that you were alive and solid again, and Willow told me.”
“And you called Angel?”
“When you didn’t come right away, I wasn’t sure if you’d gotten lost or something. I thought that if I called him, I could make sure you got here faster.”
“That’s the only reason you called him?”
Her eyes narrowed. “I told Angel that I was in love with you, and I threatened to kick his ass if he didn’t get you here. If there’s something else I should have told him, or that you think I should have done—”
“No.” He cut her off. “Sorry. It’s just—”
“Do you want to sit down?” Buffy took a seat on the couch, waiting for him to join her. When he did so, he kept a good distance between them. “I know you didn’t call right away because you were a ghost.”
“Wasn’t much fun,” Spike acknowledged.
“How did you get to be solid again?”
He shook his head. “I don’t rightly know. One minute I was a ghost, an’ the next moment, I’d opened a package and was solid again.”
“I guess we can be thankful that somebody sent you a present.”
Buffy suddenly rose. “I wanted you to know that I meant it. Even if you didn’t believe me then, you have to believe me now.”
“I believe you.”
He said it simply, and with such sincerity that Buffy couldn’t help but pause. “Then did you say what you did to get me to leave? Or did you not believe me then?”
Spike sighed. “Bit of both, I suppose. Wasn’t sure I could believe you, that close to the end. I knew I was gonna die, an’ I wasn’t about to take you with me.”
She sensed that there was more that he wasn’t telling her. “Why did you come?”
“You remember that guy you saw in Sunnydale? The one who answered your questions?”
Buffy frowned. “Of course.” Her third question hadn’t been far from her mind since Spike’s death—she would have done better to remember how good it could have been when they had been dating. She sat back down again.
“Ran into him in L.A.,” Spike began, then proceeded to tell her about the questions he’d asked, and the answers he’d received.
Buffy frowned. “You didn’t ask what would happen if you came here.”
“No, I didn’t.” Spike sighed. “I thought I’d get the answer I needed if I asked what would have happened if I hadn’t died.”
“Because you’d know whether or not I was being honest,” she said flatly.
He nodded. “Yeah, in short.” Spike hesitated. “There’s more, though.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
He looked wry. “Because there’s always more?”
“What was it?”
“There at the end, Casamir looked different. Said I was supposed to be rewarded, that my sacrifice was worth somethin’.”
“It was worth something,” Buffy insisted. “You saved all of us.”
“An’ if I hadn’t died, it would have been alright.”
“But you would have lost your soul, and you said yourself it felt like you were missing something.”
He blinked. “Yeah, well…”
“I love you,” Buffy said quietly. “I’ve loved you for a long time now, and I should have said something. I should have told you before.”
Spike swallowed, and she could see his Adam’s apple bob. “It’s alright, luv.”
“No, it’s not. I wasted so much time—”
His hands framed her face, stopping her from continuing. “There’s no wasted time. We’re here now, an’ that’s all that matters.” Spike paused. “At least, I’m assuming it’s a ‘we.’”
Buffy couldn’t think of the words to use, so she took action. She was much better at that anyway. Her lips found his, and it was as though the months separating them just melted away. Nothing mattered except him, and the feeling of his skin on hers, his lips on hers. The only thing that interrupted was the thought that she really didn’t want Dawn to walk in on them.
“Bedroom,” she whispered.
“Where’s the Bit?” he asked.
Buffy didn’t plan on them coming out for a long time.
Spike laid on the bed, Buffy’s hair spread over his bare chest. He hadn’t been able to stop touching her; even when she’d risen to use the bathroom, knowing she was going to return any moment, he’d nearly followed.
Although he’d heard Dawn come in, he wasn’t about to get up before he had to. “You’ve got to be hungry.”
“I could say the same for you,” Buffy replied. “I went out and got some blood as soon as I knew you were coming.”
He gave her a squeeze. “Guess we’d both better eat.”
Neither of them moved, and Spike sighed. “What next, Buffy?”
“Will you stay?”
“Yeah, long as you want me to.”
“How does forever sound?”
“Pretty good.” He twisted his head to catch a glimpse of her face. “Don’t have much.”
Buffy pushed herself into a sitting position, but her hand on his chest prevented from rising with her. “I need you. That’s all.”
Spike felt the last bit of tension leave his body. He could see the truth in her eyes, and he knew that while a relationship between a Slayer and a vampire was never going to be easy, that didn’t mean that it wouldn’t be good.
He smiled. “Guess that works out well for both of us then.”
Spike tugged her back down; he was more interested in satisfying a different sort of hunger at the moment, and for the first time in a long time, he thought that Casamir might have been right.
His sacrifice hadn’t been empty, and he had all the reward he needed.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/249491.html