- 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.
Buffy glanced at Riley out of the corner of her eye. Something had been off about him all evening. It seemed like he was either glaring at her or ignoring her. Finally, Buffy got fed up with the waffling act. “So, Riley, what’s going on with you tonight?”
“You know,” Riley growled.
Buffy shook her head. “No, I really don’t. Either you’re glaring at me or ignoring me.”
“I saw you with him. Laughing and giggling.”
Buffy was confused. “You saw me with who?”
“Hostile Seventeen. At the Bronze. You touched him on the sleeve.” Riley glowered at Buffy.
“Uh, yeah, Spike spent the night telling me funny stories about Angel,” Buffy replied. “Like how one time he got arrested for mopery.”
Riley shook his head. “You’ve been treating me differently lately. Like I’m fragile or something.”
“I’ve been treating you like someone who just had heart surgery and needs time to heal.” Buffy sighed. She knew that if Riley found out anything about Spike’s true identity, he’d freak out.
The former soldier also had so many self-esteem issues that Buffy knew she wasn’t the right person to help him. However, she didn’t want to hurt his feelings with any suggestions of going to someone for help.
“No, you’re treating me like a little kid who can’t take care of himself,” Riley pouted. “You need to start respecting me as the man in this relationship. My job is to protect you, and your job is to let me. Honestly, Buffy, how hard is that to understand?” He whirled around, and he marched away from Buffy, his every movement filled with indignant anger.
“Riley,” Buffy called out. “Would you please stop?” When Riley refused to even look back at her, she stood there with her head bowed. She was so intent on controlling her thoughts and emotions, she didn’t notice the vampire sneaking up on her.
“Slayer! Watch out!”
Buffy turned around just in time to see the vampire coming at her with a broken headstone. She ducked, but she was still hit quite hard in the shoulder. She fell to the ground with the wind knocked out of her. Pain radiated from her shoulder.
Spike sprinted up. He yelled to Riley. “Captain Cardboard, get your arse back here.”
Riley just waved over his shoulder. “Buffy doesn’t need my help.”
“Bloody hell.” Spike stepped in to engage the fledgling in combat.
Buffy groaned while she rolled away from the battling vampires. Her shoulder felt like it was on fire. She was pretty sure something was broken.
“I need a stake, luv,” Spike grunted between punches.
Buffy gritted her teeth before she pulled out one of her hidden stakes. “Heads,” she yelled while she tossed the stake in Spike’s general direction.
Spike reached out to grab the weapon out of the air. He plunged it into the fledgling’s heart. After the vamp turned to dust, he turned his attention to Buffy. “That wanker got you a good one.”
“I think I need help up, Spike,” Buffy said.
Spike noticed that Buffy’s face was growing paler by the second. “Alright, upsy daisy.” He held out a hand to Buffy.
“Hey, don’t you touch her.” Riley appeared behind Buffy. He held a stake in one hand. “I’m not letting you hurt her again.”
“Wasn’t me, Captain Cardboard. If you hadn’t been distracting her with your boo-hooing, the Slayer would have heard that fledge sneaking up on her.”
Buffy took Spike’s hand. She let him pull her to her feet. Buffy turned to Riley, grimacing in pain. “Spike saved me. He didn’t hurt me at all.”
“Because he wants in your pants,” Riley accused. He grabbed at Buffy’s good arm.
“Let go. You’re hurting me.” Buffy tried to jerk her arm away from Riley, but the vibrations made her hurt shoulder hurt.
“You’re the Slayer,” Riley sneered. “I’m sure you’ll heal in just a matter of minutes, unlike some of us.”
“What’s going on here?” Xander along with Willow and Anya walked up. Anya was carrying some popcorn that she continued to munch on.
“Vamp whacked me a good one, but Spike got rid of it for me,” Buffy said as casually as she could. “I think my shoulder’s broken though. It really hurts.”
Willow looked confused. “I thought you were patrolling with Riley.”
Buffy cleared her throat. “We were having a fight. Riley thinks we’re treating him like a kid, and he stomped off in a pout.”
“I am not pouting,” Riley shouted. “Why are you telling everyone our business?”
“They’re my friends,” Buffy replied.
“Not him.” Riley pointed at Spike. “He follows you around like a puppy, and you let him.”
Spike sneered at Riley, but he kept his mouth shut. Buffy wasn’t being mean to him, and he wanted to keep it that way.
Buffy licked her lips, and she sighed. “Spike is an ally. He’s very important to me. To us.”
“You need to get your head on straight, Buffy,” Riley growled. “When you’re ready to be my girlfriend instead of the Slayer, let me know.” He stomped away.
“And now you know what were fighting about,” Buffy muttered. “I got hurt because we weren’t paying attention.”
“I’m giving Riley a good talking to,” Willow stated. “You see if I don’t.”
“Tragic taste in men, luv. Already told you that.”
Buffy shook her head. “Yeah, I know, Spike. I remember.”
Xander scooted closer to Buffy. “Let’s get you back to the Magic Box. Giles will know if you need to go to the ER.”
“Okay.” Buffy started to shuffle towards the cemetery entrance. She stopped, and she looked back at Spike. “Thanks for the help, Spike. I appreciate it.”
Spike hid his astonishment. “Sure, no problem, Slayer.”
After Spike watched Buffy and her friends leave, he turned towards the direction he knew that Riley went. He wondered if he could give the git a good talkin’ to. He wandered off in the same direction.
Spike stepped into the Alibi Room. Yep, there he was. Captain Cardboard, who had even a worse rep than Spike himself, sat at the bar with a beer in front of him. “Stupid git,” Spike grumbled. He ambled towards the bar. “Hey, Willy. Give me a shot of whiskey.”
“There’s no poker game tonight,” Willy said while he poured Spike a drink.
Riley turned to Spike with a glare. “Why do you even drink? Vampires can’t get drunk.”
“I don’t know who the hell told you that, but they’re liars,” Spike commented. “It just takes more.”
Both Spike and Riley sipped their drinks for a few moments before Riley spoke again. “What is it with Buffy and you vampires? Why doesn’t a normal guy like me have a chance?”
“Slayers are a bit different than normal,” Spike answered. “And Buffy’s even a bit different than other Slayers.”
“What do you know about Slayer?” Riley scoffed.
“Killed two of them in combat. I didn’t use no lousy magic like that Lothos ponce.” Spike tapped his glass on the bar, and Willy hurried to fill it again.
“Lothos? Who’s that?”
Spike eyed Riley to see if the other male was playing with him. Apparently not. Spike guessed Buffy and the ex-soldier hadn’t gotten around to talking about old foes. Everyone in the supernatural world knew about how Buffy, as a newly called Slayer, had rid the world of a poser like Lothos. “Buffy’s first kill as the Slayer down in Los Angeles.”
“Yeah, everyone knows about it,” Willy said. “It was big news when it happened. There was this mass exodus when she moved to town. I lost a bunch of customers that day.”
Riley was confused. He thought Buffy had lived in Sunnydale all of her life. How the hell did Hostile Seventeen know more about Buffy than her own boyfriend did? Did she tell Spike things that she hadn’t told Riley?
Spike looked around the packed bar. “Didn’t take them too long to return,” he commented.
“That’s just the draw of the Hellmouth,” Willy replied. He set the bottle of whiskey in front of Spike. “You boys, let me know if you need anything else.”
Spike threw a couple of bills on the counter for Willy.
“I just don’t understand what is going on with Buffy,” Riley muttered.
“Well, it’s not your fault Buffy likes ’em dangerous, rough, and occasionally bumpy in the forehead. That’s all Angelus’ fault.” Spike eyed Riley for a moment. “Although, you know, in a dark alley a bloke might mistake you for dear old Angelus.”
Riley spluttered. “What?”
“Not that you sound like him. Or even smell like him. So tell me, Cardboard, does Buffy not like it when you talk during the shaggin’?”
“That’s none of your business,” Riley snapped, but in the back of his mind, he couldn’t deny the words. The last time Buffy and he had sex, every time he tried to tell her how much he loved her, she kept shushing him.
“I thinketh the boy protests too much,” Spike drawled. He leaned his head back to empty his glass down his throat.
Riley stared at Spike in horror. “You’re in love with her, aren’t you? You really think you have a chance with Buffy?”
“No, I don’t.” Spike refilled his glass from the bottle. “Fella’s gotta try though. Gotta do what he can.” He drank it down in one swallow. “Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me. Then, sometimes I think I have the better deal. To be that close to her and not have her. To be all alone even when you’re holding her.”
“What the hell do you know about anything?” Riley wanted to deny Spike’s words about being alone even when he was with Buffy, but he just couldn’t lie to himself.
“I’ve been around a bit longer than you have. Spent a hundred years tryin’ to please a woman in love with another man.” Spike gave a wry chuckle. “A woman in love with the same man as yours. Our very own, dear Angelus.” He got to his feet. He looked Riley over one last time. “The Slayer finds out that you’re visitin’ the vamp flophouses to get bitten? She won’t be pleased. You might want to stop before you go disappointin’ her.”
Riley watched Spike stroll out of the Alibi Room like he didn’t have a care in the world. He turned back to his drink, and he fell into thought while staring at the bottom of his glass.
I have to do something to convince Buffy how serious I am about her, and how bad this town is for her, Riley thought to himself. The more he thought about it, the more an idea gelled in his mind. He knew exactly what he needed to do to win Buffy over.
Riley lurched to his feet, and he stumbled out of the bar. He needed to get back to his apartment to call his parents.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/532120.html