- Love Brings You, Chapter 1/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 2/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 3/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 4/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 5/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 6/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 7/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 8/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 9/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 10/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 11/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 12/14
- Love Brings You, Chapter 13/14
Title: Love Brings You
Summary: Buffy’s talk with Glory’s dying monk has surprising revelations.
Tara watched the people around her with curiosity. There was something going on. Tara just wasn’t sure what it could possibly be.
Buffy and Giles kept having private meetings in the back of the Magic Box, talking about who knows what. They were both tight-lipped about it. Tara caught Buffy on more than one occasion eyeing Spike like she was trying to see something hidden. Each time, Tara found herself studying the vampire too.
He looked the same to her.
It was true that Spike’s aura was different from any other vampire that she had ever encountered. That didn’t seem to mean much. Spike appeared to be a very unique individual.
“Hey sweetie. Whatcha thinking about?” Willow slid into the chair next to Tara.
Tara shrugged. “Have you ever noticed how different Spike is than other vampires?”
“Sure,” Willow said with a nod. “If Angelus had the chip, he would have found a way to kill all of us already. Personally, I think Spike likes Buffy way more than he lets on.”
“I think so too,” Tara agreed. “Buffy’s looking at him differently too.”
“I noticed that too.” Willow glanced over at Riley, and she lowered her voice. “I think Riley has noticed Buffy’s interest in Spike. He’s not too happy about it. I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.”
Tara looked over at Riley. “I think he’s already doing something stupid. His aura is very murky. Not anything like it used to be.”
“I noticed that too.”
Tara looked down at her hands. “So, um, I have something I need to tell you.”
“You know you can tell me anything.” Willow gave Tara a reassuring smile.
“My family is in town, and they want me to go back home with them.”
“What? No! Why?”
“I don’t know how they found me,” Tara whispered. “I thought I’d covered my tracks. I should have changed my name.”
“Well, that settles it. You’re not leaving,” Willow announced in a soft voice.
“You …” Tara’s voice stumbled to a halt. “You don’t know what I am.”
“The nicest person I’ve ever met in my life, bar none,” Willow replied.
Tara shook her head. “What if I’m not a person,” she said in a soft, embarrassed voice. “What if I’m just a no-good, disgusting thing?”
Willow sighed. “When I see your family I’m going to slap them. Hard.”
“Whatcha talking about?” Dawn dropped into the chair beside Willow.
Willow almost told Dawn that Tara and she weren’t talking about anything important, but for some reason Willow changed her mind. “Tara’s family is in town, and apparently, they think that Tara is a disgusting thing?”
“Say what?” Dawn gave Willow a disbelieving look. “Tara is the nicest person I’ve ever met in my entire life. Yes, you are,” she said to Tara when Tara shook her head in denial. “There is no way you’re a disgusting thing.”
“You rang?” Spike now joined the table.
Dawn slapped Spike’s arm. “You’re not a disgusting thing either, stupid. Neither of you are. Tara’s the nicest person and Spike’s …well, not the evilest I’ve ever met, but he’s definitely the weirdest.”
“Oi, watch it, Nibblet.” Spike put one hand over his unbeating heart. “You might hurt a bloke’s feelin’s with words like that.”
The door of the Magic Box opened. An older man, a younger man that was clearly his son, and a well dressed young blonde woman entered the store. Tara gave a soft moan while slumping in her chair. “It’s my dad, Donny, and Beth.”
Willow, Spike, and Dawn all turned their heads towards the people who had entered the store. “Your relatives,” Willow whispered at Tara, who gave a small nod.
“Tara, there you are.” The older man jerked a thumb over a shoulder. “The camper is outside.”
“She’s not going with you,” Willow said. She glared at the man. “Tara’s over eighteen. She is a legal adult. She doesn’t have to go anywhere with the likes of you, family or not.”
“What’s going on here?” Buffy asked while she joined the group along with Giles.
“We’re here to take Tara home,” her brother said. “She can’t be around normal people.”
Giles gave Tara a concerned look before he turned his attention to the Maclays. “Why ever not?” he asked in a false polite tone. “Tara seems perfectly normal to me.”
“She’s a demon,” Mr. Maclay sneered. “The women in our family have demon in them. That’s where the magic comes from.”
Tara slouched further down in her chair, and she hid her face behind her hair. She hadn’t wanted her friends to know that she wasn’t quite human. In fact, she’d almost done a spell to hide that part of her away from them.
Spike leaned in, and he sniffed at Tara. “Doesn’t smell very demonic to me. Now, those Lei-ach demons I killed on the way in … ” he wrinkled his nose. “Those are some nasty smelling buggers. They’re big on the marrow-sucking.”
“You cluttered up the alley again, didn’t you?” Buffy asked in an exasperated voice.
Spike snorted. “Wasn’t my idea this time around, Slayer. They were casing the joint.”
“Yes, well, we came to take her home before things started to happen,” Mr. Maclay announced.
“Nothing’s happened. Besides, I think we’re pretty capable of dealing with her.” Buffy shrugged. “Can’t be any harder than keeping a werewolf caged every full moon.”
“That’s not the point, and it’s not your concern.” Mr. Maclay stepped towards Tara. “She belongs with us. We know how to control her problem.”
Willow stood up, and she put her hands on her hips. “She doesn’t want to go with you. I will keep saying it until you actually hear me.”
“You’re going to do what’s right, Tara.” Mr. Maclay stepped even closer. He looked as if he was going to grab Tara’s arm, but Buffy stepped in between them. “Now, I’m taking you out of here before someone gets killed. The girl belongs with her family. I hope that’s clear to all of you. She’s a demon.”
Spike shrugged. “There’s worse things to be.”
Anya, who was still standing behind the counter counting money, raised her hand. “I have a question.”
Everyone, except Tara, turned to look at Anya.
“Uh, yeah, what kind of demon is she?” Anya gave Mr. Maclay an expectant look.
“E-excuse me?” Mr. Maclay stammered.
Anya rolled her eyes, and she repeated the question. “What kind of demon is she? There’s lots of different kinds. Some are very, very evil, like vampires. Sorry, Spike, no offense.”
“None taken, pet.”
“Some have been considered to be useful members of society,” Anya continued. She beamed at Xander who smiled back at her while he nodded.
“What does that matter?” The blonde woman, Beth, in the back spoke up for the first time.
“Evil is evil,” Mr. Maclay responded.
Anya shook her head. “Let’s narrow this down.”
Tara’s brother Donny stomped forward. He tried to push past Buffy, and he got the surprise of his life when he couldn’t make her budge. Over her shoulder, he pointed a menacing finger at Tara. “If you don’t get in that car, I swear by god, I will beat you down.”
“And I swear by your full and manly beard, you’re going to break something trying,” Xander threatened in a cheerful voice.
Donny stared at Xander with a little bit of fear in his eyes. He didn’t have people threaten him very often. Back home, he was a big fish in a little pond.
“Only one getting a beat down will be you,” Buffy growled while she pushed the young man off of her. “You wanna take Tara out of here against her will. You gotta come through me.”
“And me!” Dawn leapt to her feet, knocking her chair backwards. It fell with a noisy crash.
“Is this a joke?”
“You don’t want to mess with us.” Dawn mirrored Willow and Buffy’s position with her hands on her hips.
“She’s a hair puller,” Buffy announced.
“You’re two little girls,” Mr. Maclay sneered. “What do I have to be afraid of from two little girls?”
Giles moved to stand behind Buffy and Dawn. “You’re not just dealing with two little girls.”
“You’re dealing with all of us.” Xander stepped forward too.
“You people have no right to interfere in Tara’s affairs,” Mr. Maclay snarled.
“Of course we do,” Willow replied. “We’re her real family. The family that loves her no matter who or what she is.”
“Well, I hope you’ll all be happy hanging out with a disgusting demon,” Beth sneered while she straightened her dress and patted her hair.
“They already do, pet,” Spike commented. “Don’t see how one more is gonna make any soddin’ difference.” He let a little demon through, just enough to change his brilliant blue eyes to their ferocious vampire yellow.
Beth let out a small shriek, and she stepped back. “What the heck are you?”
“Thought we covered this already.” Spike shook off the demon. “You sure are a dozy bint. I’m a vampire. One of those disgusting demons you’re bitchin’ about.”
Willow raised her hand. “I met vamp me. She was kinda gay. Boy, Angel is a lying liar who lies.”
“I was a Fyarl demon last year,” Giles commented. “Ethan always was a pain in the arse.”
“Xander was a vampire too. Remember, Willow?” Anya glanced at the redhead. “From the same dimension vamp you came from.”
“Well, Buffy was a vamp when that kid had those dreams,” Xander pointed out.
“Well, darn it.” Dawn stomped her foot. “I’m the only one who hasn’t been a demon. That’s so not fair. Oh, yeah. If I hadn’t been grounded that Halloween, I would have been Frankenstein’s Monster’s bride.”
“But, just to check and make sure … ” Spike reached out and yanked a strand of Tara’s hair. “Ow.” He clutched at his forehead.
“Ow, that hurt, Spike,” Tara muttered. “Warn a girl.”
“Huh, well, that only works on humans,” Buffy replied.
Spike dropped his hand to his lap. “There’s no demon in there. That’s just a family legend to keep the ladies in line, am I right? Oh, you’re a piece of work. I almost like you.”
“I’m not a demon,” Tara whispered.
Willow dropped back into her seat beside Tara. “You’re not a demon.”
“Mr. Maclay, I would say your business here is finished.” Giles dropped a hand to Tara’s shoulder to give comfort and support.
Tara looked up. Her face was filled with wonder and confidence. “Dad, just go.”
The Maclays looked like they wanted to say more, but Giles and Xander herded them out of the Magic Box.
Buffy turned to Spike. “I think we better get rid of those demons cluttering up the alley. Marge from the bookstore freaked out last time she found a dead demon back there. She thought it was a bear and almost called the forest rangers.”
“Sure thing, Slayer.” Spike stood up.
Willow put her hand on Spike’s arm. “We’re meeting at the Bronze later for Tara’s birthday party. You’re welcome to come along.”
“Uh, yeah, sure thing, luv.”
Riley adjusted the turtleneck to cover the bite mark on his neck. He knew he was late to the party, but he was sure that Buffy was eagerly awaiting his arrival. He stepped into the Bronze.
Riley was halfway to the table where the others were sitting when he realized that Hostile Seventeen was with them. He scowled when he realized that Buffy was smiling and laughing at something that the vampire had said. She touched the sleeve of Spike’s jacket.
If that’s what I wanted, I’d be dating Spike echoed through Riley’s mind until anger overwhelmed him.
Riley turned around and stormed out of the nightclub.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/531852.html