Fic: A Killing Thing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Title: A Killing Thing
Author: Appomattoxco
Rating: FRT
Summary: This is a sequel to my story pre All the Way fic Lover’s NOTS. In that story Anya ends things with Xander before attending a trade show with Giles While falling in love they buy stuff. A book of prophecy was one of the purchases. Xander went happily to LA to make custom cabinets for the stars but season six progressed more or less the same Spuffy wise. {do keep in mind it’s an AU} That’s all you need to know but you can go read Lover’s NOTS if you like.
A/N I don’t write Spuffy very much because I’m not very good at getting into Buffy’s head so I hope this is alright.

Anger is a killing thing: it kills the man who angers, for each rage leaves him less than he had been before – it takes something from him.
   Louis L’Amour

Buffy had never seen Giles’ mission-style front door as anything but welcoming before, but now it was just a tiny bit ominous around the edges. Why didn’t he want to meet at the Magic Box? Buffy couldn’t recall the last time he wanted to meet at his place. It had to have been before the grand opening. Whatever the problem was, it must be very personal or very bad. Buffy stopped short and crossed her arms when she saw Spike coming up the walkway. “What are you doing here? Giles said he wanted to talk to me about something important tonight. You didn’t tell him, did you?”

Spike put out his cigarette in the planter beside Giles’ door. “Tell him what, love? That my chip doesn’t work on you? Or all the nasty things we’ve been doing to each other when you come to my crypt? If the Watcher believed a word of it, it would only get me staked.”

A moth was circling the porch light and she watched it for a moment trying to avoid his wounded eyes. The left eye was still swollen shut, and the other filled with pain and worry. But her bruises, the ones on her knuckles, had healed days ago. There was a dry patch on the back of her hand, and she scratched at it. “No, about the other thing–your eye.”

“Stop.” Spike took both of her hands in his to keep her from scratching.

“I’m only scratching an itch. My hands are fine,” Buffy said, snatching her hand away.

“It’s not your hands I’m worried over.”

“What has you so worried then–my heart, my soul?” Buffy felt the cold start to take hold of her. It was as if that little tingle she used to get around vampires had gone haywire. “You don’t have a beating heart or a soul, so no real expert.” The back of her hand started to bleed. “Maybe, if I’m not healing right, Miss Fix-it will get Giles to research what’s wrong with me. You two should get together, compare notes. It’d make a great reality show: a demon and an ex-demon make over the Slayer’s life.” What made Buffy angriest was how helpful both Anya and Spike were trying to be.

In the last few weeks, Anya had called in some demon lawyers she knew. They had gotten her dad to pay off the house and increase his child support. That would’ve been easy to dismiss as Anya trying to impress Giles with her helpfulness, but no one wades through reams of state aid and scholarship applications to impress a new boyfriend. Anya made her life better and Buffy hated that. If nothing was wrong with her life, then what was wrong had to be her. Or maybe Spike was to blame; Buffy was fairly certain Spike would like that. It would mean he mattered to her. She never admitted it to him, but he did matter to her. There were times he was her best friend, and sometimes she thought that if she could love he would be the one. Then he would say something stupid and that cold burning would start. A few times her mood would shift from a look or a dream when she drifted to sleep. Those times made her sickest after.

Spike sighed and took a step away from her. “I haven’t told Rupert or Anya a thing. She invited me over, said she had something she wanted to talk about.”

“Oh God, you don’t think the two of them have decided to play matchmaker do you? That would be…” Awkward, weird, a whole new level of wrong, take your pick, she thought. “–probably very unlikely.” She put the brakes on her runaway brain.

“My pal Clem is more likely to develop a kitten allergy. Relax; they probably want to get a jump on the yearly apocalypse. As you pointed out, Anya’s the sort to keep her man’s business organized.”

Whatever was going on, she decided she was going to let Giles know what was happing to her around Spike. Or at least an edited-for-content version of it that wouldn’t send her Watcher to the hospital. It stung a little to come to him with yet another problem she was too immature to handle, but she was destroying herself.

Buffy had two inner voices lately. One sounded like the growl of the first Slayer. It told her to end Spike before he ended her. The other sounded like her mother. It was the latter that was telling her that she owed it to Spike to speak to him first. “Spike, I don’t know what’s happening with us, me, but…” Buffy was saved from having to voice her apology when Giles came to the door and invited them in.

Giles said, “I suppose you’re wondering why we asked you both here.”

Giles sat down in his old leather chair and Anya perched on the arm. That left Buffy and Spike on opposite ends of the sofa. It was like waiting for the exposition in the last act of a whodunit. “Well, I know I haven’t killed anyone in a couple weeks, so it’s not so you can explain how you solved the murder.”

Giles said, “It’s about that book of prophecy that Anya and I picked up at the trade show.”

“Whatever it is, we’ll stop it.” Spike crossed his arms. “I’m not letting Buffy be hurt again.”

Giles said, “It’s not a matter of stopping anything, it’s more deciding a direction.”

“Yes, remember when I told you about all the different dimensions?” Anya asked Buffy.

Buffy played nervously with the beaded necklace she wore. She didn’t know if she was more relieved or disappointed that Anya and Giles weren’t aware of what was going on. “You mean the shrimp thing?”

“Yes, only this is more of a tree thing. Do one thing and it’s got root rot and the fruit won’t ripen. Do something else and it blossoms. There could even be an olive branch grafted on.”

Spike said, “I think that last bit was the Bible, Anya.”

Anya asked, “Are you sure?”

“Romans Chapter 11, verse 19-21,” Spike assured her.

“There was no mention of olives in our book, Anya. I think Spike is correct about the Bible reference,” Giles said.

Buffy said, “This conversation is not only getting way off topic, it’s also starting to wig me a little.”

“Lots of days in hotels before the invention of TV,” Spike explained, as if his manhood or, in this case, demon-hood had been questioned.

There was no way that Spike memorized bible verses in hotel rooms waiting for the sun to go down. Bibles had crosses on them most of the time. Spike wouldn’t play with them just for something to read, but Buffy let it go as unimportant.

“While it lacks olives, Anya is correct about it being in a sense ‘a tree thing’. The destiny of the Slayer line is at a point where it will branch off,” Giles said.

Buffy asked, “Didn’t that already happen when Faith was called?”

“Yes, but this seer is writing about the twice resurrected warrior. It gives the exact date of your jump from the tower.”

“So when do I do my next swan dive?” Buffy was surprised at how unappealing she found the prospect of dying again, now that she the opportunity. Of course, if she had ever really wanted to die she had lots of chances. Not wanting to live and actually wishing to die, she discovered, were as different as a Fyarl and that tiny Fear demon she once squished.

“No, it’s not that this time. I’m sorry I if I led you to believe that,” Giles said getting up from his chair and walking to the table.

“Stop dancing around it, and tell us in plain English what the bloody thing says then,” Spike said, almost growling, his patience obviously wearing thin.

Giles slipped on his glasses, opened the book on table in front of him, and read:

The Mouth of Hell will gnaw at the roots of the warrior’s line rotted by the Blood of the Mother. The Slayer will war with her own spirit and at the branching of destinies; the twice-resurrected will choose her Champion from among her foes and the guardians of the line.

One limb: passion kept in shadow turns to hate, and the impossible fruit of that love will die unknown and un-mourned. Desperation will lend strength to recover what was stolen long ago. Then the Champion kept in darkness dies in light to win the battle and lose the war. For the many branches will be weak.

The other limb: love will be brought into light and life. Then joy is his strength, balance is kept, and blood is spared. The war will be won by their children’s children.

“There was more to the beginning, but that concerned identifying the two of you, and there’s more at the end about the future generations, but that was the relevant part for the present,” Giles concluded.

“It sounds as if it’s two opposite prophecies that are both going to happen. Is that where the shrimp thing comes in? Which dimension are we in, the first? ” Buffy asked.

“I think what they’ve been trying to explain is that we’re in neither one. You’ve got to pick which limb you going to go out on, love. I kind of like the sound of the second one but I’m yours either way.”

“That’s right, Spike,” Anya said, and Buffy imagined the vampire was being patted on the head like lap dog that had just learned to stand on its hind legs and dance.

Anya turned to Buffy and winked. It was the first time anyone had ever winked at her in that way and Buffy knew her nightmare had come true. In a weird Hellmouth sort of way Anya was playing matchmaker. “You know, Buffy, he’s very smart. Spike’s got brains, devotion, vampire stamina and great bone structure. Since I don’t plan on sharing Rupert with you in a romantic sense, you can’t do better.”

“This is just NOT happening! Just because the two of you are all with the love-y dove-y-ness, it doesn’t mean you get to open your moldy storybook and pull out my happily ever after. There’s got to be another limb I can go out on–or maybe a whole different tree. And when did we go from the Bible to Shirley MacLaine?” It was a lame joke but if she didn’t laugh, Buffy knew she’d be sobbing.

“Please take this seriously, Buffy,” Giles said, while rubbing his glasses clean. “We aren’t trying to arrange your life for you. Spike wouldn’t be my first choice if we were. The Powers are warring over the fate of every Slayer who will come after you.”

“She wouldn’t be upset if she wasn’t taking it seriously. And I don’t blame her a bit, Watcher. I’ll go down fighting for her if I must. I’ll happily teach baby Slayers how to use a crossbow, but I don’t like the thought of my love life being a cosmic bone the gods fight over. So if Buffy says sod off to them all, it’s fine with me. I don’t need to be the hero. I don’t deserve it.” Spike moved closer to Buffy, and took her hand to reassure her. “I think they’ve got the wrong vampire anyway. I’m no guardian of the line.”

“You don’t understand; it’s not you I’m worried about, Spike, it’s me. If the choices are you dying or me bringing up the next generation of warriors I can’t pick either one. The storybook’s right about one thing. I do care about you.” Buffy turned away from the naked wonder on Spike’s face and spoke to Anya and Giles. “He matters to me. If Dawn’s my light, then Spike’s my shadow, and he’s just as much a part of me. Look at his face. I did that almost two weeks ago. I’m not a woman anymore; I’m a Slayer. I don’t nurture or teach. I kill.” It was a relief for Buffy to admit it but she didn’t feel lighter–she felt less hollow. As if a tear inside her was beginning to mend.

“Oh, Buffy, this isn’t you,” Giles said sadly. “One of your greatest strengths has always been your insistence that you weren’t simply a Slayer. The Hellmouth is causing what’s happening to the two of you.”

”I thought I came back wrong. So I went to Tara, then I thought maybe I was sick like Mom so I went to the doctor’s.” Buffy was finally able to cry and when both of the men with her tried to offer her a hanky it turned to watery laugh. She took Giles’ handkerchief only because it was the cleaner of the two.

“It’s my fault this has gone on so long. I should have noticed the strain you were under and worked faster to translate this,” Giles said.

“It was the Hellmouth that did it; whenever you got the feeling something was up, you’d clean your glasses until it passed. I’ve warned you about that darling, and your refusal to believe that Spike and Champion could be synonyms.”

“Yes well, I…” Giles shifted uneasily.

“No one blames you Giles. When you were pushed by the dark, you pushed back. I caved. I need to take the responsibility for that,” Buffy stated.

“Not all the bad was your fault, love. I said and did things I knew were wrong just to get a reaction. I suppose I let myself be pushed around too. Now we know we can fight it, we can both be better.”

“There are meditations and such that will help, and as Spike said, now you that know what’s wrong you can fight it rather then each other.”

Anya said, “And besides, you’ve admitted you love Spike, right?”

Buffy almost said “no,” because technically she hadn’t said that she loved Spike, but just because she hadn’t said it yet didn’t make it any less true. So she nodded her head, “Yeah, yes, I love Spike.”

“Then you’ve brought it into the light and were avoiding the miscarriage and that whole nasty branch.” They gave Anya disbelieving looks. “What? Did you two miss the whole ‘impossible fruit of love’ part? I mean it’s corny, but pretty obvious–not to mention the section about grandchildren. That was even plain enough to convince Rupert,” Anya finished.

Buffy said, “Well, I didn’t think it was talking about a new flavor of Kool-aid. But I was kind of focused on the Spike dying part of that paragraph and I thought the children part was metaphorical. You know, the Slayers that come after Faith or something. I’m not pregnant– yet.”

“Well there’s no clear time-line for this. We don’t even know if something has to happen to Spike before he can impregnate you. It’s just something you need to be aware of–a possible future. That we need to make sure is a good one,” Anya said.

“Scared, pet?” Spike asked Buffy; his smile hadn’t been this wide when Willow did the engagement spell. Buffy nearly forgot anyone else was in the room.

“I’m still petrified, but a possible future doesn’t sound as bad as being told the future’s impossible. It might’ve been nice if we had been alone when I admitted I that I love you.”

“We’ll stage a candle-light reenactment later. Just don’t tell me this is a dream,” Spike said as they both stood. He was kissing the palm of her trembling hand to seal the promise when he gave a little yelp of surprise.

“Anya!” Giles said, shocked that she had just reached over and goosed Spike.

“Well, he wanted to know that he wasn’t dreaming! Besides, throwing a bucket of cold water on the two of them would’ve ruined the floor. Don’t worry, I won’t be doing it again. You have a much more pinchable butt.”

There will be another story in this ‘verse at a later date. I hope this wasn’t too much of a disappointment.


Originally posted at