Title: Stitched Up
Era: BTVS s2
Summary: Something goes horribly, horribly awry with Willow’s ensoulment spell, and Angel’s soul finds an unexpected home – in his dirty laundry. Read now the tale of a Sock with a Soul; it’s on a mission to help the helpless, and it’s starting with Spike and Buffy.
Departs canon forever during Becoming Part Two. Has about the nuanced characterization one should expect from an Ensouled Sock AU. As seems to be my preferred genre now, this is a shameless smutty Spuffy farce, once I get that pesky canon drama out of the way.
Warnings: By the laws of California, Buffy is still under the age of consent (18) at the beginning of this fic, and will be for many more months. Spike doesn’t care (he’s evil) and Buffy doesn’t care (she’s a teenager who wants to be treated like an adult) and since Spike has the emotional development of a teen (or even tween) himself, we’ll call it good. She’ll be 18 before they get TOO far, anyhow. There will be sexual situations, bad language, character death (or characters-sucked-into-a-demon-dimension, which is close enough), and plain old explicit sex. Also an ensouled sock. If you keep reading, don’t blame me.
Temporary Spike/Drusilla & Buffy/Angel – nothing explicit, but given where this fic veers off, some mooning is inevitable.
Updated 11/29/15: Post has been updated with the final version of the chapter! Thanks to the_moonmoth for helping me tighten up the prose and fix logistical details!
Chapter 10: A Sock Moves On
The sock woke up at the sounds of the basement door opening and closing, and it happily scooted out so it could get a better view of the TV. Movie time!
Except instead of coming over to the VCR and popping in the tearjerker romance, Spike headed into the kitchen and out the back door. He had a duffel bag slung over his shoulder and his duster on, and the sock realized in horror that Spike was leaving. The door closed behind him, his platinum hair just visible through the square glass panes of the window.
The sock quivered in panic. Where was Buffy? She had to stop him from leaving!
It slithered as quickly as it could to the basement door, leaping up at the doorknob over and over again until it finally managed to gain purchase on the slippery brass and turn the knob, dangling from it as the door swung open. It dropped to the floor and wriggled quickly down the stairs.
There she was! How could she sleep at a time like this? Wasn’t she supposed to be a hyper-vigilant champion keeping the forces of evil from ruining the world? Spike was upstairs right now, ruining her love life and thus the sock’s world with his evil leaving-through-the-back-door, and she was asleep on the job!
The sock set about waking her up.
Unfortunately, it soon realized that Buffy was either completely exhausted or the deepest sleeper of all time, because waking her up was not working at all. It started by nudging her shoulder, over and over, escalating the pressure until it was slapping against her bicep, but she only wriggled into a more comfortable position, snoring faintly. The sock tried tugging the light blanket off her, thinking the cold might awaken her – the basement was definitely cooler in the winter – but she merely grumbled in her sleep and tugged the blanket right back up over her shoulders. It even took a huge chance, slithering over in front of her face and slapping lightly at her cheek, but she merely furrowed her brow and brushed at the sock like it was an annoying fly.
How long had it been? How far had Spike gone?
The sock frantically surveyed the basement. Noise! It could make noise! It launched itself at the dangling manacles – the long chains had been looped up out of the way – and it swung on the links as vigorously as it could, so that they clanked together.
Buffy just smiled, as if she were dreaming of something pleasant.
It frantically wriggled over to the abandoned boom box, poking its cuff frantically at the buttons over and over, but the radio wouldn’t turn on, and the sock finally realized that the batteries were dead. Stupid Spike and his stupid punk music CD! The boom box should have had a plug, but now that the sock thought about it, it remembered that it had left it upstairs in Buffy’s room because it was too much hassle to have it dragging behind – moving the boom box had been hard enough – and there just wasn’t time to go all the way back upstairs to get it now.
The sock knocked all the extinguished candle stubs off the shelves and the dryer, but the faint thuds of wax against concrete didn’t even seem to register with Buffy. It turned the dryer on, but then it realized that the sound was actually pretty soothing, which was surely counterproductive, so it twisted at the knob again until the dryer turned off.
The sock cursed its weakness, its lack of a voice, the snail-like speed that made each new attempt at waking Buffy up take so long that Spike had surely walked another mile, maybe two in the time it took for each failure. It had to have been trying for hours. The tiny, high windows were already glowing with the light of early morning. And now it was out of ideas. It desperately wriggled up onto the shelves, hoping that maybe there was something it could use in the boxes of Christmas decorations. Didn’t Christmas involve bells? It tugged mightily on the corner of the box to shift it into a better position to open the lid.
The much abused shelf, weakened from battles and sexual antics, groaned under the shifted weight and collapsed with a crash of shattered glass and ringing jingle bells. The sock found itself buried in a heap of tinsel and tangled lights.
Buffy’s voice was sleepy, and the sock could have wept. She was awake!
Then it frowned to itself. Now it was trapped in a pile of holiday wreckage.
It started digging itself out.
Startled awake, Buffy blinked drowsily at the dim basement, sleep-addled brain slowly taking in the collapsed shelf, the candles on the floor, the complete lack of Spike, the folded note on the pillow…
She snatched up the note, breathing fast. A small bound journal was underneath it. Oh god oh god oh god she wasn’t ready, she didn’t want him to go back to Drusilla, not yet, not when she had made up her own mind that… She unfolded the note, hands shaking.
The note was written on a sheet of Giles’s crisp formal stationery in bold block printing, with words scribbled and crossed out here and there. Buffy scanned the note quickly, then went back and read it again, slowly taking it in, feeling her lower lip trembling but not able to do anything about it.
I’ve decided to leave Dru where she is. Can’t imagine a better life for her than spending millennia worshipped as a hell goddess. She has a whole dimension of minions to care for her now, doesn’t need her Spike anymore.
The notebook has everything you need to get Angel back. Yeah, I’ve been lying to you all along. Evil. I lov I hope you’re very happy together. Well, I hope you’re happy. Don’t give a fuck about Angel. Punch him in the nose from me.
Tell Joyce thanks for the hot chocolate and… and everything, and tell Giles that he needs to get that book with the red binding under lock and key. He’ll know the one.
I love y I lo I
Bugger this. I love you.
Not telling you where I’m going, but I won’t forget my promise. Don’t have to worry about me.
Buffy sat limply on the edge of the cot, mind racing. He didn’t want Drusilla back? When had that happened? How could he…
Oh, god. He thought she still wanted Angel. He was stepping aside so that she could have her happy ending. Except… she didn’t want that ending anymore. She had loved Angel, of course she had, with all her heart, but her heart had been broken, and Spike had helped her glue it back together, and now it wasn’t the same anymore – nothing ever was after it had been shattered, no matter how careful you were at putting the pieces back – and now her love for Angel… didn’t fit. Her mended heart had already been filled up.
She was in love with Spike.
Buffy jumped to her feet. She had to find him. She had to find him, so she could punch him in the nose, because he was a total idiot, leaving without even asking her how she felt. And after she punched him she was going to kiss him until he realized what an idiot he was and agreed to come back where he belonged.
She had to find him.
Where would he go?
She could hear the faint sounds of her mom moving around in the kitchen upstairs, and her heart lifted. Her mom had come home late, and she always got up early on Sundays, even after late nights, so she could go to her book club. Maybe she had seen him, could give Buffy some sort of clue as to where to start looking, since Spike had been all stupidly self-sacrificing and mysterious about where he was headed. The jerk. She grabbed clean jammies out of the laundry basket and dressed at top speed, quickly gathering her scattered clothing (though she couldn’t find her panties) and the soiled linens and shoving it all into a corner, just in case her mom came down later, and took the stairs two at a time, bursting out into the kitchen.
“Mom! Mom, have you seen…”
And there he was, sitting on a stool at the kitchen island, hands wrapped around a mug of steaming hot chocolate, eyes going straight to hers. He had enough grace, or at least self-preservation instinct, to look abashed.
Joyce looked up from her juicer. “Buffy, did something fall in the basement? I heard a crash.”
“Uh, yeah. One of the shelves collapsed.” She couldn’t stop staring at Spike.
“What were you doing down there?” Joyce’s face clearly said she had an excellent idea why Buffy might be downstairs in Spike’s domain early in the morning, but was happy to accept any excuse so that she could continue to pretend she didn’t know.
“I went down to, um, talk to Spike. But he wasn’t there. Because he was here. Why are you here?” She directed that last bit at Spike, and he looked down at his chocolate, poking at a marshmallow.
Joyce rolled her eyes. “Of course he’s here, Buffy. He’s been living here since last May. Where else would he be?”
Buffy had no answer for that.
Joyce went on, handing Buffy a glass of juice. “So, Spike was telling me that the Watcher’s Council is thinking of sending you to Paris? On a mission?”
Spike took another sip of his hot chocolate, trying but utterly failing to look innocent. Buffy narrowed her eyes at him. “Maybe.”
“How wonderful! You know, I’m not all that happy about this slayer business, but at least you’re getting some cultural opportunities out of it. You’ll have to go to the Louvre. They have a wonderful collection of Egyptian artifacts.”
“I promised Buffy I’d show her around,” Spike said affably. “Eiffel Tower. Moulin Rouge.” His eyebrows lifted as he looked at Buffy over the rim of his mug. “Arc du Triomphe.”
“Mom, shouldn’t you be leaving for your book club?” Buffy said quickly, drinking her juice down. She was going to need the vitamins.
Joyce glanced at the clock on the microwave. “Oh, I have a good fifteen minutes before I have to go.” She busied herself wiping the counters.
Spike took another hearty drink of his hot chocolate, tongue darting out to lick off the mustache.
Buffy sighed and drank another glass of juice.
The sock wriggled up the stairs, leaving a trail of tinsel strands behind it. It wondered how long it would take Buffy to track Spike down – he must have gotten to the city limits by now, might even be in Los Angeles if he had stolen a car – and sighed, rounding the corner into the kitchen.
Oh. Well, that had been fast.
Guess that’s why she’s the Chosen One, it thought happily.
The sock wriggled up into the hanging basket that held potatoes, to get a better view.
While it was watching, Joyce stood up and rinsed her mug in the sink. “I’ll be back around three,” she said pointedly. “I have a lunch meeting with a new artist after book club, and I need to go by the grocery store after.”
Buffy just nodded, and her mom snagged her car keys off the rack and headed out the door, sighing.
The second the door closed behind her, Buffy stomped over to Spike and gave him a shove; he nearly fell off his stool, starting to laugh. The sock rubbed its ribbing together in anticipation. This was going to be good.
Buffy folded her arms, face settling into a pout. “You’re still here. I thought… I thought you’d be gone by now. In Mexico or somewhere.” She looked angry, but her lips had started to quirk up into a smile.
Spike stood up, turning to face her. “Funny thing, pet. Turns out I’m not all that altruistic.”
Buffy just cocked an eyebrow; Spike sighed and went on. “Look, the way I see it is, you cast that spell, bring Angel back, you’re not going to be able to time it so the soul just pops into him the second he arrives in Sunnydale, yeah? He’s going to be evil, and he’s going to be mightily pissed off, and you’re gonna have to restrain him while the witch tries to suit him up with his shiny white hat. Be a pretty terrible ally, to abandon you in a situation like that. Figure I’d better stick around, make sure things go right, there.”
He started to pace, gesturing sharply. “Then, what happens if the soul-thing doesn’t work out? Already tried it once, way I hear, and it slid right off. So then you’ve got Angel, big and bad and back in the world, and the only thing you can do at that point is kill him, right? I’m telling you now, if there’s any killing of Angel going down, I’ll want to be here for that. Don’t want you to have to do that again.
“But let’s say you do get him back, stick that soul right into him, he’s back to his old brooding self again.” Spike stopped pacing, turned to glare at Buffy. “See, pet, that’s where it gets interesting. Hard for me to fight him when he’s not here. Not talking hitting him over the head – though, yeah, physical presence also a requirement for that – but fighting him inside you. Can’t drive out a memory. Can’t conquer a dream. But you get him back? That’s when things get real.”
He stalked up to Buffy, standing right in front of her, fists clenched at his sides. “Go. Cast the spell. Get Angel back. Give him his soul. Make him everything you ever wanted him to be. Everything I’m not.”
He leaned in so his face was inches away from hers. “I’ll slip in and fucking win you. Right under his sodding nose.”
The sock wanted to cheer.
Spike folded his arms then to mirror Buffy, head tilted back, eyes resolute. “I’m not giving up, Buffy. I’m going to stay, and I’m going to court you, and seduce you, and reason with you and argue with you and look at you like a bleeding puppy dog if I have to. I’m gonna do good works and fight by your side and prove that I’m sodding well the better man, soul or not, and in the end you’re going to choose me.”
Buffy just looked at him, silent moments stretching out. The sock could swear it saw sparks snapping in the air. “Nice speech,” Buffy said finally.
Spike let out a huge sigh. “Thanks.”
“Are you done?” She raised her eyebrows.
Spike tilted his head pensively. “Yeah, think so.”
Buffy nodded slowly, looking down at the ground, then took a step closer. “Just checking.” The next second, she launched herself at Spike, snaking her arms around his neck, kissing him like she was starving. Spike wrapped his arms around her waist, heaving her up onto one of the stools and stepping between her thighs, devouring her right back.
The sock sighed. This was going to take a while.
It curled up for another nap.
Buffy could feel tears coming out of her eyes, she couldn’t stop them, and when she and Spike finally came up for air – for her, at least – he brought his thumbs up to her cheeks, brushing the drops away.
“So,” Spike said gently, kissing her nose. “What’s going on, then?”
Buffy sniffed. “You’re an asshole.”
Spike laughed against her. “Yeah. So?”
She put her hands on his chest, looking at them, then back up at his eyes. “I don’t want you to go.”
He shrugged. “Just said I’m not going.” His hands clasped together in the small of her back.
“But you did go,” Buffy said, suddenly fiercely angry, hands curling into fists against him. She gave him a good thump.
“Yeah.” Spike sighed gustily. “Came back.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes shrewdly. “So, how far did you make it?”
He looked away, laughing faintly, then back, shrugging one shoulder. “Back porch. Breathed in the night air, and realized it wasn’t the same any more, walking in the dark alone. Sat out there until sunrise to see if anything changed, but it didn’t. Joyce came down about then, and that was that.”
“So you stayed for Mom’s hot chocolate?” Buffy teased.
Spike laughed shortly, looking down. After a long pause, he shrugged one shoulder again. “Did you read it?” His voice was light, but it shook, just barely. He released his hands, sliding them around to rest on her hips.
“Your note?” Buffy smiled faintly.
“Yeah.” He had a sullen look on his face now, lower lip set stubbornly.
“Yeah. I read it.”
Spike toyed with the bottom button of her pajama top. “And?”
“And you’re an asshole,” Buffy pouted, thumping his chest again. “I can’t believe you would do that to me. You could at least have asked me what I wanted before you put me through that. You’re a big, fat, stupid jerk.” She slid her hands up to cup his cheeks, shaking him gently until he lifted startled eyes to hers. “And I love you, too.”
He groaned and kissed her hard, hands dipping under her pajama top to stroke the bare skin of her back.
At Buffy’s next oxygen break, he looked at her seriously. “So, are you still going to bring Angel back?”
Buffy lifted her eyebrows. “I wasn’t planning on it. I think without his soul, he’s probably pretty happy where he is, like Dru. And his soul… well, there’s no way of knowing where it is, and I think that’s probably okay.”
Spike looked mildly disappointed. “All right, then.”
Buffy looked at him askance. “Don’t tell me you were hoping I would bring him back after all, just so you could rub it in.”
Spike grinned fiercely. “Maybe.”
“But you love me,” he said, eyes wary.
“Yes,” Buffy said, looking him right in the eye. “I love you.”
He smiled then, boyishly. “I love you, too.” He started to lean in for another kiss.
“But,” Buffy said quickly, placing her hand over his mouth. “I also know you. So if you’re sticking around for good – you are sticking around for good, right?” He nodded sharply, pressing a kiss to her palm. “If you’re going to stay, we need to have some ground rules.” She lowered her hand.
“Thought we were done with sodding rules,” Spike grumbled. He looked like a twelve-year-old who had been told he couldn’t skateboard in the mall.
“Not those kinds of rules,” Buffy said softly. “Not… not bedroom rules.” She ran her hand along his chest, loving how he twitched under her hand. “We’ve gotten pretty good at negotiating those on the fly. I mean, rules for the rest of the time.”
“Made you a promise, love. Promise still stands.”
“You did. And I know you’ll keep it.” She narrowed her eyes. “I also know that your promise was very carefully worded, so that you could still keep on doing mostly what you wanted, as long as nobody died.”
Spike grinned in acknowledgment. “Got me there.”
“So. Let’s figure this out right now. Get it over with.”
“All right,” Spike shrugged, and they started in on the negotiation.
Half an hour later, they had come to agreement on most issues. Spike had made a large number of concessions related to felonies and misdemeanors, and Buffy had in turn agreed to allow Spike more freedom now that he wasn’t her prisoner, and also to try the manacles at least once. Buffy sighed contentedly, then fixed Spike with a gimlet gaze.
“Now. About biting people.”
“Already promised not to kill humans, love,” Spike pointed out. “Except Hitler. You said I could kill Hitler, and maybe Ted Bundy.”
“You also once told me about – how did you put it? – ‘catch and release.’”
“Oh, you caught that, did you?” Spike sounded disappointed.
“So. No biting, period.”
Spike pouted. “Not even if it’s a very bad man that we’re grilling for information on how to stop the next apocalypse but he won’t talk and the fate of the world is hanging in the balance?” He blinked at her in faux innocence.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “Thought about this a lot, have you?”
“Maybe a little.”
“All right, then,” Buffy conceded. “There is a slight chance that I may allow you to bite someone, in a situation of dire need and world-saveage. But no biting without my express, specific, freely given permission. Possibly in writing.”
“Sound’s good to me, pet.” He suddenly scooped his hands under her pajama top, cupping her bare breasts. “Just so you know, though, vampires’ bites don’t have to hurt.” He slid one hand down into her pants, teasing. “Been told it can be very… exciting.”
Buffy shook, and slid her own hands down to unbuckle Spike’s belt. He started to pant, groaning as she released his cock, taking it in her hand. “Spike?”
Buffy’s hand tightened around Spike’s cock. “So help me, if you ever bite me – if you so much as nick me with your fangs…” She pressed close to him, lips brushing against his as he quivered, obviously having no trouble imagining the dire consequences she was implying. Possibly more dire than she was even thinking. Later on, she might reconsider the biting thing, now that he’d gotten her curious, but right now, she needed to show him who was boss. “And believe me, I won’t even need to use my hands.” He could be the boss next time.
Spike’s eyes rolled back in his head in ecstasy. “Fuck.”
Buffy grinned wickedly. “Don’t mind if I do.”
The sock woke up when Buffy and Spike stumbled against the hanging baskets as they groped and wrestled their way out of the kitchen, stopping to kiss madly against the door to the basement. The sock watched indulgently as Spike kissed his way down Buffy’s throat, fumbling at the doorknob until Buffy’s hand stopped him.
“Not the basement,” she said in a low voice. “My room. Bigger bed.”
Spike groaned, kissing her hard. “Window, love. Sunlight.”
Buffy hiked herself up, wrapping her legs around his waist. “Don’t stop. I – oh! – I put in blackout drapes two weeks ago. That day you and Giles were doing the thing.”
“For me?” he whispered into her chest.
“Just for you,” Buffy confirmed. She rolled her body against his. “So take me upstairs and fuck me.” She kissed the top of his head. “I want to try Number Seventeen.”
Spike swore softly into her breasts. “God, I love you.”
“I know,” Buffy gasped into his hair, yanking at his shirt, and then somehow Spike managed to stagger up the stairs to the second floor, hiking Buffy up over his shoulder along the way. The sock felt its ribbing expand in indulgent pride as their mingled laughter and groans were cut off by the slamming of Buffy’s bedroom door.
The sock was not taking any chances, though; it slithered down the stairs and slowly dragged Spike’s notebook up to the first floor, one riser at a time, secure in the belief that Spike and Buffy would be occupied for hours. Though it did get a little bit concerned when it made it back up to the first floor, because the walls were shaking. It hoped the contractors hadn’t skimped on the materials when building the house.
Perhaps they should move Buffy’s bigger bed down to the basement, for their own safety.
The sock considered leaving a note to that effect, but finally just shrugged its ribbing. It had done all the hard work of getting them together. They could manage the rest of it on their own.
It dragged the notebook out to the trashcan by the curb, gleefully dropping it on top of the kitchen refuse and brushing its toe and heel together in satisfaction. Good riddance.
It headed back up to the porch, sighing a bit at the loud noises coming from upstairs. They had left Buffy’s window open, for some strange reason, and while the sock had considered going back in to make sure things were going all right up there, it could pretty much tell from here that Buffy was having the time of her life.
The whole neighborhood could probably tell, in fact.
No need to say goodbye, the sock decided. No need to seek thanks. From the shadows it had worked its magic, and to the shadows it would return, to find another worthy person in need of its unique professional assistance. It turned to go.
But as it inched its way down the sidewalk, the sock hesitated. Was its work here truly done? Could Buffy, the bearer of a sacred duty to vanquish the forces of darkness, and Spike, a soulless vampire, truly find happiness together? Could Spike resist the temptation to return to his evil ways? Would their relationship be able to weather the trials of time? Would their relationship be truly accepted by the Scoobies? Would they ever agree on who had to fold the laundry? Suddenly the sock wished for some sort of sign to let it know that it had done right by its beloved Buffy. Maybe a pat of confirmation. A letter of recommendation. Even a kindly glance and a gentle murmur of, “That’ll do, sock. That’ll do.”
All the sock asked for was a sign.
Buffy’s voice trailed down from the open window, harsh with ecstasy. “YES! Oh, god, YES!”
The sock shrugged its cuff. Well, okay then.
The Sock with a Soul, helper of the helpless, slithered off into the night. Well, day. Alone again, naturally.
Well, that ended up completely unlike what I expected this fic to be. Thanks to all of you for joining me on this surreal journey!
This story has less music involved than my other fics, so no playlist, but there is a closing theme song: “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Gilbert O’Sullivan, which is quite possibly the most depressing song of all time. It can be found, among other places, on the soundtrack for Megamind, and on the theme song collections for the anime Maison Ikkoku.
There will be further adventures of the Sock with a Soul, eventually, but I feel the need to give my other neglected WIPs a little love for a while.
Many, many thanks to my incredible and inspirational beta; to for the initial inspiration and restfield for further evil influence; to at Elysian Fields, who made me a kickass banner; and to Seasonal Spuffy for providing a reason to go down this twisty, demented path and a deadline to make me hustle along said path. This was my NaNoWriMo project – I could not start until November 2nd due to other commitments – and I am happy to say I made my word count well ahead of schedule.
Please do visit me on AO3 (all my fics) and/or Elysian Fields (my Spuffy fics, which is MOST of my fics) – if you enjoyed this there is a good chance you will also enjoy my current WIPs “Prisoners of Love, Blue Skies Above” and “Summer of (Hobo) Love.” (I considered calling this fic “Sock of Love” to keep my titles consistent, but that just… wasn’t a good image.) (And I once thought there was no joke too low for me…)
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/535760.html