Hotel Suite – Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Hotel Suite
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Another chapter of my Spike-and-Buffy marry in Scotland fic, which sorta kinda ran away with me. The rest will arrive tomorrow.

Definitely G, or PG if Spike’s language bothers you. 1,522 words. Another illustration done by me to go with it. And, yes, James really did wear this!


Chapter Three

When Buffy was woken by stubbing her toe on the chilly lump of earthenware in her bed, she just knew this was going to be a memorable day in all the wrong ways. She would have to glow with happiness, shine in the dress she hadn’t yet seen, be gracious to all her family and friends. She would have to go through a huge formal party, with all the potential that had for disaster. All so she could carry on doing what she had been doing with Spike for years.

She sat up and swung her legs out of bed. Yes, she had chipped the paint on a toenail. Good start there. Still, no way was she wearing open toes in this place and this weather, so who cared?

For a moment she caught herself and winced. What would cheerleader!Buffy have thought of her, behaving as if chipped nail varnish was unimportant? Junior in high school Buffy would have been horrified by her attitude to the whole wedding thing.

The Buffy who stared critically at her own reflection in the slightly tarnished-looking glass was neither of these. She had killed one vampire lover and watched a second die in flames. She had sat by her mother’s cooling body and seen her home town collapse into a crater. She had died twice, returned twice, seen her friends injured, bereaved, maimed. She knew what happened to her and her loved ones on special Buffy days, and it was very rarely good.

The door flew open, making a loud slam as it ricocheted off the side wall. Dawn erupted into the room, closely followed by Willow. Buffy pasted on her best smile. It would spoil the day for them if she was anything other than excited, and she’d grown out of the phase when her own feelings were allowed to interfere with the happiness of those around her.

“Close your eyes, Buffy!” She obeyed her sister’s command. There was a slight creak – a door opening? Then a great deal of rustling and an odd swishing sound. She felt the light touch of a hand against her neck and something soft and silky on her face. “Open!”

She obeyed and, despite her cultivated calm and innate cynicism, gasped. Willow was holding a glorious white gown up, between Buffy and the mirror. The bodice shimmered with tiny sequins – well, it wasn’t as if her vampire was ever going to sparkle. She grinned at the thought – and heard simultaneous sighs of relief from both of her companions.

“Do you like it, Buffy? Do you really like it?”

“I can change it if you hate it. OK, magic, but in these circumstances even Giles couldn’t mind could he?” Willow sounded proud, nervous, brave and ebullient all at once – a messy combination.

Buffy smiled. “Will, it’s adorable. Bit cold around the shoulders, but what the heck…”

Dawn interrupted, “We’ve thought of that. Isn’t this the fluffiest, squishiest thing you’ve ever seen?” She waved around a swansdown jacket, the fine filaments floating in the cool air. It was so white it glowed.

“We have booties too. Fur-lined. Warm but kicky. You’re so the bride who can kick ass!” Willow’s enthusiasm grew as she watched the smile on Buffy’s face travel to her eyes.

“You don’t have to do anything this morning. We are your handmaidens, ‘K?” Dawn took charge. Unbelievably scary, but not exactly unfamiliar. Over the next two hours Buffy suffered herself to be prinked and primed, from her fingertips to her toes. (“Of course we have to redo these nails. Spike will see them if nobody else will!”) Her hair was washed, groomed, twisted and pinned to within an inch of its life. “That bun ain’t going nowhere. No sir!” A silky veil was pinned to the knot of hair and flowed down her back.

By the time she was dressed she was ready for a rest as her attendants rushed off to costume themselves. “Not green, I promise!” were Willow’s parting words.

Almost afraid to move, Buffy regarded herself carefully. The effect, even she had to admit, was magnificent. The bodice was sculpted to fit her upper body, embracing it in a warm, firm grasp. The dress spread out into layers of the lightest possible tulle skirts – with a good, warm underskirt closest to the skin. The fluff of the down waved gently in the currents of air but she felt no desire to sneeze, thanks to a minor charm, Willow had assured her. She felt warm, but better than that, she felt loved.

A quiet tap on the door was followed by the voice of Giles. “Buffy, may I come in?” He did so, carrying two glasses and a bottle, but he stopped short as he took in the vision in white before him.

“Oh my word. Buffy, you are … exquisite.” Trust Giles to find the fancy language. He gestured to the bottle. “I thought a little Dutch courage might be in order. Well, Scotch courage at least.”

Buffy winced. “Is it like that disgusting stuff Spike drinks? I don’t know how he manages to down so much of it.”

Giles looked not so much offended as disappointed. Deeply so. Buffy gulped. Disappointed!Giles was always the worst type. She could cope with his annoyance far better than the sense that he felt she’d let him down. She didn’t need to ask; it was entirely clear that she had overstepped the mark and implied something barely forgiveable.

He poured two glasses. The liquid was a deep, mellifluous amber colour. She took the noticeably smaller quantity offered to her and sniffed, suspiciously, then sipped. A warm, peaty sensation flowed down her throat and into her sinews. She felt somehow stronger, more confident. Could this much make her tipsy? Surely not.

Giles watched her, a critical expression giving way to a smile as he realised that, yes, she did like his choice. “Warm, right? It can have that effect. Why do you think the Scots created it?”

She grinned back at him. Perhaps, just once, a Buffy special day could go rights?

* * * * *
Spike made it back to the house as the sun set. An entire day in a dank cell, with snow melt running down the walls and his neck had not been a lot of fun. When he finally made it to the room allocated to him (No, he would not like to join Miss Summers, thank you very much.) he was abe to look at the damage to his dignity and his clothes. The news was bad. His jeans were coated in slime – not just the knees, which he’d kind of expected, but, when he removed them to look more closely, his bum too. If he wore those to get hitched, his Missus would never let him hear the end of it.

Mmm.. the Missus. He spent a few minutes in a reverie. He, William the Bloody Useless, was actually going to marry the most beautiful girl in this world or any other. Time to bite on the bullet.

He lifted the phone and called Reception. “No problem, sir.” Within ten minutes a selection of garments was there for him to choose from. No doubt some stupid bugger considered them appropriate at that.

* * * * *
Buffy glanced at the clock just as Giles put down his glass. “I think it’s time for us to go down, don’t you?” he said. Odd memories of the time, nearly a decade ago now, when she’d first asked him to give her away to Spike flitted through his memory. Strange how things changed, that he was now actually walking down the stairs, this beautiful, almost ethereal creature on his arm, to do precisely that.

At the foot of the stairs Willow and Dawn waited, in deepest blue gowns accented with sequins on their bodices to echo Buffy’s. They lined up and waited for the music to change and the double doors to open.

* * * * *
In the hall great swags of greenery woven with gold and silver ropes adorned the walls, the door frames and the windows. Spike paced irritably not far from the heavily-curtained windows – no stray sun rays to bugger up his wedding, thank you very much. He glanced at his watch. One twenty-two and fifteen seconds now. She was two and a quarter minutes late. Had she decided not to marry a creature of the night after all?

A slight sound at the back, and suddenly the music changed. Xander grabbed him by the arm and towed him back into position. From the corner of his mouth he muttered, “This is it. Too late to back out now.”

Both turned and looked in awe at the vision coming down the aisle towards them. Who could possibly want to back out of this?

The Registrar moved into position, smiling encouragingly at Spike, who stepped away from his seat, turning to face her. As he did so, he felt the kilt swish around his knees.

Bloody Hell. This really was real now.

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/491969.html

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