Disclaimer: Joss is the boss.
Timeline: Season 9.
Summary: We know that Buffy and her friends were brainwashed in season 5: monks changed their memories. Maybe it wasn’t the first time?
A/N: Many thanks to Reddygirl, my wonderful beta who helped me with grammar and style. All mistakes are mine. And many thanks to the mods for organizing this round and running this awesome community.
Buffy Summers, angry
Spike’s going to leave. Stupid bloodsucker.
Hasn’t she told him that she was thinking about running away with him? Could her feelings not be plainer?
Of course, she didn’t actually ask him to run away with her – but does it matter? She clearly signaled him that she wanted to spend her life – well, at least a large part of her life – with him, on his stupid ship, together with his stupid bugs.
Maybe he wants her to beg him? Hardly. He figured out she’s not the begging kind at their first mano-a-mano. Sometimes that moron can be pretty smart.
Maybe he stopped loving… no, don’t even think of it… but maybe he really stopped loving her?
It’s impossible, because… because it’s impossible. He got his soul for her. Loving her is the goal of his unlife. He can’t stop loving her.
The Slayer doesn’t know what she wants.
Oh, come on, who is he kidding. She wants The Great Poof – but she can’t have him because of all the obstacles in their path. Like, world-destroying sex and post-coital oceans of guilt.
She can’t have what she wants so she keeps Spike as a convenient replacement. Except he can’t go on pretending he’s her sexless friend-cum-shoulder to cry on. He’s not gonna just let her whack him back and forth like a rubber ball. He’s got his pride.
Of course, he’ll behave like a gentleman. He won’t remind her that she said she wanted to run away with him (because it’s perfectly clear that she was just pitying him). He’ll just leave.
He’ll even make her a nice goodbye gift. A couple of days ago he accidentally found out that his ship has a Tardis-like ability to travel through space and time – so the slayer can re-live the most precious moments with the Great Poof.
Buffy Summers, frustrated
Spike’s not just an idiot. He’s the biggest idiot on the planet Earth.
She was so nice with him. So sweet. So – you know – suggestive.
Still the idiot will leave today after his stupid “Dr. Who” number.
“Where to, slayer? The past, the future?”
She knows the past. She even knows the future. They both suck.
“Maybe you want to get a glimpse of your first date with Captain Forehead?”
Suddenly it strikes her.
“You know what? Let’s see our first encounter, when you just arrived to Sunnydale.”
“Why?” (Stupid bloodsucker.)
It’s ridiculous. Should she spell it for him?
Slayer’s on her sadistic streak. Clearly she wants to see how Joyce had whacked Spike with an axe. No way, sweetie.
“Actually, I saw you before you saw me. I went to Bronze for a recon and saw you dancing…”
Her eyes brighten. “Really? Show me.”
He obediently sets the time-space coordinates, sets the invisibility mode and a moment later they’re in the Bronze, engulfed in music and laughter.
“Where’s Dawn?” she murmurs. “I remember her sneaking here that night… Oh. Of course.”
“This is how it really happened. Dawn-less reality. Before we all were brainwashed by those monks… Where do you look, slayer?”
She points at a guy in the corner. He looks like a cheap pimp.
“Do you know him, Spike?”
“It’s Whistler. The messenger of The Powers That Be who was shepherding Angel.”
But of course. It’s All.About.Angel.
“I didn’t know that he was at The Bronze that night,” she says. “We must investigate him. He’s a dangerous type. Maybe he was manipulating you, too?”
Uh-huh. Fat chance.
Buffy Summers, on a trail
Spike’s totally obnoxious. She investigates an enemy who could be manipulating him, and he sulks like a twelve-years-old.
Still, Spike agrees to follow Whistler – who follows past!Buffy and past!Spike to the alley behind The Bronze. They witness their first encounter. She notices Spike cringing as his past self promises past!Buffy to kill her. (Good! Let the bastard cringe!)
Then aboard the ship they spy on Whistler as he drives in the direction of Los-Angeles, and finally arrives at the gates of a pompous mansion at the Hollywood Hills.
“Bloody hell,” Spike says. “I know who lives there.”
As Spike’s bug-crew initializes the dashboard, tunes tracking systems and neutralizes magic barriers, Spike explains to Buffy that this is the residence of Cyvus Vail – a demon warlock who specializes in memory alterations. “I wonder if the wanker is affiliated with the monks who inserted Dawn memories in our brains…”
He shuts up because the monitor lights up, displaying Whistler handing Vail a white envelope.
“Here’s the second part of your fee,” Whistler says. “Good job. He doesn’t remember anything. The Powers That Be are satisfied.”
Vail cackles maliciously. “Your bosses owe me one more thing. My immortality.”
“You overstep, Vail. You can’t…”
“Oh, I can. Do you have many specialists who can turn people, who are made for each other, into mortal enemies?”
Back when Spike was working at Wolfram&Hart, Wesley described to him (after a bottle of fine single malt) how it feels when you get your real memories back. You want to forget about the skeletons in your closet but you can’t. You’re full of helpless rage against the bastards who used you. You feel terrified, disoriented and just plain stupid.
For some reason he only feels stupid. Epically stupid.
“They can’t talk about us,” he murmurs and, off Buffy’s scorching glance, adds, “Or maybe they can.”
“Hush!” she hisses, nodding at the monitor.
“As long as they stay enemies, your immortality is guaranteed, Vail,” Whistler goes on. “But if their feelings change…”
“Have you seen them? There is something about these two… They flirt even as they fight. Besides, Drusilla worries me. She could feel the change in their auras.”
“Drusilla is crazy.”
“Exactly. Crazy people can see the true nature of things.”
Poor Dru. She told him she couldn’t see the slayer, the day they arrived to Sunnydale. Of course, she couldn’t. Because everything about them was a fake.
And it’s time to discover the real deal.
The Sla – Buffy – should kill him dead for his phenomenal stupidity. The only way to redeem himself a bit is to find out everything about Whistler’s evil scheme.
Buffy Summers, incredulous
She pinches herself. No, she doesn’t wake up. She is really standing on the deck of Spike’s ship, watching a big monitor, witnessing the moment when Spike saw her for the first time. Spike’s bug-crew ran a space-time blah-blah-blah-di-blah and found a point where their ways had initially crossed.
Hemery High, 1995. They watch Spike-junior in Whistler’s company, who, in turn, is watching Buffy-junior on the school steps.
“I don’t like your idea,” Spike-junior says.
Whistler frowns. “Why?”
“She’s so young, so pretty. And – reckless. Do you really need to put the weight of the world on her shoulders? Leave her be, guys.”
“We don’t discuss the decisions of The Powers That Be.”
“You don’t – I do. It’s criminally stupid to destroy this girl’s life to satisfy the ambitions of the wankers up there.”
“You play with fire, Spike,” Whistler hisses. “The Powers That Be gave you your soul…”
“The hell they did. I got it myself, for Nikki Wood…”
“They forged your destiny. You’re special, Spike. If you follow the path they outlined for you…”
“I don’t give a fig about destiny. You know what? I’ll tell that girl about your Powers That Bitch and we’ll figure out how to stop them. And – thank you for bringing me to her. She’s the most delicious little thing I ever saw.”
With an exasperated growl Whistler sends a lightning at Spike-junior’s retreating figure. Turning away from the vampire’s prone body, he takes an enormous cell phone out of his pocket. “Houston, we have a problem… Of course, I have a back-up plan… His name is Angel.”
Buffy and Spike, happy
“We won’t tell Angel. No need to disappoint him.”
Buffy giggles. “You don’t want to tell him because it will make your rivalry look even more stupid than before.”
“Sure. Whatever you say, love.”
“And if I say to kiss me?”
“Happy to oblige.” And they kiss until she gasps for air.
“Repeat after me,” she says. “Buffy loves Spike, the most stupid vampire in the world. Spike doesn’t try to dispute that immutable fact. In the foreseeable future Buffy and Spike will be fighting a good fight and making a good love. They will trust each other and they will never ever say “No you don’t but thanks for saying it”.
He laughs and hugs her.
“I’m a moron, love. I still can’t believe that it’s real. That you love me. That I’m the original champion of The Powers.”
She sighs and rolls eyes.
“Accept it, Spike. You’re the number one. Angel’s hair is stupid and yours is made of awe. And, you know, you’re much, much higher than him.”
“Summers, you’re evil”, he says.
And his words are music to her ears.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/810109.html