Thousand Kisses Deep 6/6

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Thousand Kisses Deep
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Last chapter! Thank you Mary (scarlett2u) for the fast and fabulous Beta! You are amazing!!!

~*~
Chapter 6
~*~

Giles was beginning to feel real desperation. Everything had gone so terribly wrong. Tara was dead and Willow had nearly ended the entire world in her grief. Xander, of all people, had managed to talk her down and save said world and Buffy continued in the coma that had claimed her with the villain’s bullet.

“I appreciate your kind offer, Althenea. Yes, I understand that you cannot spare anyone else from the coven for such an open-ended assignment and I trust you will be well able to take Willow in hand. I do think keeping her here with family will aid in her healing. I’ll be there to meet your plane in LA.”

Giles listened intently to the instructions on caring for Willow in the interim then smiled as the kindly witch offered to find her own way to Sunnydale. “Really, it’s no trouble at all. I have someone I need to see in LA anyway and it won’t be out of the way to pick you up while there. … Yes, see you soon and thank you again.”

Giles had tried to contact the demon known as Clem to no avail. Anya had asked about in the demon community and heard that Clem had moved to LA to help a pregnant sister through her last trimester. No one seemed to have an address and Giles hoped that Angel’s team would have better luck in locating him. Spike deserved to know what had happened to Buffy and perhaps his return might somehow create the miracle of bringing her back to them all. It was worth the attempt at any rate.

There had never been a question of using Council resources to locate the missing vampire. Even if the rumors of Spike’s souled status proved true, the staid members of the Council would never consent to any relationship between a vampire and their active Slayer. There would be no assistance there save Lydia’s limited information.

According to the latest leads, Spike was still on the move, leaving a trail of dead demons in his wake. Further rumors had it that the vampire was struggling with more than a bit of remorse for his past, the weight of the soul driving him relentlessly to try to even the score in some macabre fashion. Lydia related that Spike had lost considerable weight although it didn’t seem to affect his ability to fight. His face appeared haunted, according to some who had seen him. As to knowing his current location or how to contact him, she was without a clue. Giles was grateful for both her help and her discretion.

It had been Lydia who had suggested the Devon Coven as a resource for helping Willow. Having a talented Wiccan from the coven sent over to take on the care and rehabilitation of Willow would allow Giles to concentrate fully on Buffy and her situation as well as the search for Spike.

In the meantime, the help of Xander and Anya was invaluable to the deeply grieving girl. While caring for Willow, the two had begun to heal the wounds between them. It was far too soon to predict just where that relationship was going, but at least they were no longer a source of hurt for one another. ‘Buffy would be so happy to see that,’ Giles thought with the familiar pain that accompanied any thoughts of his girl lying so still at the hospital.

The doctors were uncertain of the reason for the coma and therefore had no real prognoses to give on her case. All the Slayer healing had done wonders for the actual bullet wounds, but still Buffy remained as lost to them now as on the day Warren Mears had tried to take her life.

“So, Watcherman, are you planning on letting Angel know about Buffy while you’re there trying to find this Clem guy?” Xander finished off the last of the Dim Sum from the cartons on the coffee table. “Personally, I’m surprised Deadboy hasn’t heard about it somehow already. He’d be hovering around the hospital getting underfoot if he did though.”

“Actually, he does know,” Giles said to a surprised Xander. “I had a vague hope that he would offer to come and assist with patrol at the very least, but he seems to be fairly occupied there in his own city or so he says.”

“No real surprise, I guess. He didn’t offer when Buffy died either,” Xander reminded them all.

“Angel is not nearly as useful as Spike was,” Anya added.

“Yes, be that as it may,” Giles agreed, “It is my hope that Spike will be here to continue that usefulness soon. I have no doubt that hearing what has happened to Buffy will bring him home with all due speed.”

~~~

“So you want this Clem guy so you can find SPIKE?” Cordy was aghast.

“Spike’s been kind of helpful since we’ve been gone,” Angel explained to the skeptical girl.

“As what? Comic relief?” Cordy was beyond convincing.

Giles felt an unnatural urge to defend the missing vampire. “Actually, he has done a fine job of helping us in the years since you lived in Sunnydale. He’s a superb fighter and quite loyal to Buffy.”

“That a little dig at me, Rupert?” Angel postured.

“Not in the least. You and Spike have very little in common, to my way of looking at things.” Giles joined in the staredown until Angel lowered his gaze, seemingly conceding the point.

“There are differences,” Angel admitted.

“Yeah, like you being the Powers’ Champion and Spike not even close,” Cordy insisted.

“Evidently the Powers have a singular interest in the battleground of Los Angeles, judging by their Champion’s decision to keep to the fight here,” Giles remarked. “Spike has been moving about all over Europe fighting demons, destroying vampire nests and the like. I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to come and guard the Hellmouth once he’s apprised of the situation.”

“He’s only doing that because he can’t kill humans! He’s still as evil as he ever was,” Angel said defensively.

“Evil or not, he’s fighting on our side now and I’ll be glad to have him.” Giles smirked at the stricken look on Angel’s face. “Besides, he has done no overt evil in years, even though that chip would not have stopped him fully.”

Angel sighed in defeat. “He never was too interested in evil for evil’s sake. Loved the hunt and kill, the fighting. GOD, did he love the fighting! The idiot nearly got us all killed more times than I can count by stirring up trouble. He never went into the artistry of it, the destruction of a human. He acted like it was a big party and he was there to crash and bash his way through it.” He ignored the appalled look on Giles’ face at murder being likened to art. “I can see him taking up the fight for the other side and enjoying it just as much.”

An awkward moment passed before Angel held out a piece of paper with directions to Clem’s sister’s home.
“Got the address for this Clem. Not the best of neighborhoods but demons aren’t known for their great taste. Let me know if something major comes up. I’ll do my best to come lend a hand.”

“I doubt that will be necessary, but I’ll be sure to let Buffy know you did offer.”

Angel had the grace to look deeply shamed.

~~~

“Slow down, Clem. You’re not making sense.” Spike felt like banging the receiver in frustration. It sounded like Clem had said that Buffy had been shot. “What about the Slayer?”

He was on the next plane out of Orly.

~~~

Wedged between a dog crate and a truly ugly set of luggage in the cargo hold of the trans-Atlantic Aerobus, Spike offered a hopeful prayer to any god willing to listen to a souled vampire. “Just let her be all right, yeah? Already fightin’ on her side, but just name your price and it’s yours. Just let Buffy be okay. The girl can be a right bitch and that’s fine with me. Let her beat me senseless, just let her be alright.”

Spike also promised himself the treat of choking that Warren git with his own intestines before killing him slowly and painfully. Clem had said the robot boy had been the one to put Buffy in her coma and kill sweet Tara. Bastard was going to die, and slowly. Soul was okay with that promise too.

Inaction was taking its toll on the frantic vampire and he had to restrain himself from punching holes in the bulkhead. His never silent soul reminded him the dog in the cage next to him needed what little oxygen the hold contained so he contented himself with shredding a piece of the hideous baggage next to him.

Fortunately for his slim grasp on patience there was another plane readied for a flight from La Guardia to LAX and Spike didn’t have to hijack his transportation. Spike slid into another tight spot in the second cargo hold of his life and counted the hours until he would once more be in sunny California. He’d deal with that sunshine issue after he landed.

~~~

“I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’m really glad to see you,” Xander helped bundle a smoldering Spike into the back of his borrowed van. They had all been surprised at the rapid response from Spike to their call for his return.

“Likewise,” Spike muttered. “How’s Bu-…the Slayer?”

“Buffy’s the same, still in a coma. We’re hoping that hearing your voice might make her fight to come back,” Xander admitted.

“Not bloody likely. More like cause her to go in deeper unless there’s a chance she can have the pleasure of kicking my arse out of her town once and for all. Might just encourage that urge if it’ll wake up Sleeping Beauty,” Spike declared.

“I think you might be surprised,” Xander hinted.

Spike raised a brow, “Not much surprises someone my age, Harris. So how’s the missus?”

“Missus?” Xander puzzled out the meaning and realized that Spike had not yet heard about his missed nuptials. “I, um, won the prize of Supreme Asshole of Sunnydale while you were off kicking foreign demon butt. I left Anya at the altar. Now she’s a vengeance demon again, so don’t go making any wishes around her.”

Spike raised both brows in amazement, not only at the information but also the boy’s attitude.

“We’re working on making up, or I’m working on groveling my way back into her good graces at least. Ahn is putting up with me while we keep Willow from doing damage to herself and I think I might turn out to be the luckiest son of a bitch in the world because she just might forgive me.”

Spike was utterly lost. “Slow down. Why would Willow hurt herself? I heard about Tara, of course, but Red never struck me as the type to grieve herself into a grave.”

“So you didn’t hear about Willow trying to outdo your kill count?” Xander sighed. “After Buffy was shot and Tara was killed, Willow went into deep black and I don’t mean mourning. She went over to the dark side, tried to end the whole world. Came close too, but I managed to talk her down before she pulled off her grand finale. Now she’s grieving over Tara, worried about Buffy, filled with guilt over her small killing spree and devastated that she nearly wiped out over six billion people.”

Spike let out a whistle. “I always knew Willow would be one scary force if she ever slipped over and let the darkness take her. How is she?”

“Fragile. She killed two people if you can call them that.”

“Surprised it was only two. Anyone I know?”

“Mears and some warlock named Rack, but the jury’s out on whether he was really a human or not.” Xander shifted gears and entered the highway headed towards Sunnydale.

“Rack was human, barely. Mears don’t count. Good on her for doing him. Saves me the trouble.”

“Can’t disagree with you there,” Xander nodded in complete agreement.

Spike was silent for a while, taking it all in and trying to make sense of all he was hearing and all Clem and Giles had told him. “So, why are you not threatening me if I go near Buffy?”

It was Xander’s turn to be silent for a space of time. “Lots changed, Spike. You might not believe this—I’m not sure if I do–but I actually finally grew up. When I gutted Anya that way, it forced me to think about a lot of things and one of the minor details I mulled over was just what I should think about you. Finally decided you weren’t my business and if Buffy is happy with you, it isn’t anything to do with me. As long as you’re not killing humans or getting in my face about something, there’s no reason for me to be hostile.”

Spike felt like he’d stepped into a parallel universe or a dream at the very least. “You sure you’re not the one needin’ the hospital?”

Xander laughed. “Maybe I do, but I’m going along with the flow here and giving you the benefit of the doubt. Giles seems to think we might have made some mistakes where you’re concerned.” Xander toyed with the idea of not letting Spike know his suspicions about Buffy’s feelings and finally decided he’d want to know if the shoe were on the other foot. “I think Buffy has been wanting you to come back home. She was miserable with you gone. I don’t want to put words into her mouth, but your being here might give her a good reason to come out of that coma.”

“I’ll believe that when I hear it. Long as she’s able to give me the boot herself, that’ll be enough for me. Pretty used to the old unrequited love game by now anyway,” Spike said the last so quietly Xander nearly didn’t hear it.

Xander didn’t know how to respond to that, so he was grateful when Spike abruptly changed the subject.
“So, we got many nasties to clean up while Buffy’s out of commission?”

Xander spent the remainder of the drive catching Spike up on all demon activity at the Hellmouth. The conversation was surprisingly companionable.

~~~

Spike stowed his duffle bag in the basement and returned to the kitchen for his chance to grill Giles about news of Buffy’s condition.

He nearly didn’t recognize Willow sitting quietly in the corner, her cup of tea grown tepid from lack of attention. Her eyes, when they finally met his, were bleak and empty of all life. “’Lo, pet. Hear you’ve been having a right terrible time. Really sorry about Tara. She was a rare one.”

Willow blinked back the ever present tears. “Thank you, Spike. I’m glad you’re here. Buffy is sure to get better now.”

Spike let out a rueful laugh then crouched down in front of the witch, forcing eye contact. “You listen to me, Willow. Grieve over Tara; she deserves it. Learn your lesson about the revenge you planned on the whole world and let it go. As for Mears–good on you. You saved me the trouble of killing him; did the world a favor with Rack too. Don’t let either of those two destroy you, the goodness in you. You go on and learn to use your talent, control the dark that’ll always be part of you. Honor Tara by learning to be the kind of witch she was; she’d want that. Don’t let this change the person you are. That person is good and useful and strong. Be Willow.”

He rose and took a chair opposite an impressed Giles. “How’s Buffy?”

“No real change. I hoped you’d join me in a visit tonight actually. I think hearing your voice will make a difference.”

“I keep hearing that from you lot, but it still isn’t making a bit of sense.” Spike shook his head. “Must have me confused with the Poof…and why isn’t that wanker here?”

“Angel had important Champion business in LA. And Buffy is past her infatuation with him, by the way. Seems she realized it when she decided to return the check to him.” Giles smiled in genuine relief that the age of Angel had passed.

“Tell me she didn’t turn down the dosh!”

“Once she knew the true source she was willing to take it. We were discussing how to best invest it when Mears shot her.” Giles took in Spike’s clenched fists and thought for a moment that it might have been merciful that Willow had gotten to Mr. Mears first. “We spoke of more than the money. We spoke of you and her regrets concerning you.”

“She made those pretty clear to me before I left.”

“I think you misunderstand. Buffy told me she had been terrified of everyone’s reaction should she admit to having feelings for you. She truly regretted things she said to you, things she did but didn’t elaborate on.” Giles looked Spike right in the eye. “She cares very much for you, Spike. One of the last things she said was how much she wanted a chance to see you again, explain herself, have another chance to get things right.”

Spike was terrified. Hope had sprung up at Giles’ words, but hope had crucified him in the past. Buffy might not come out of the coma, and if she did she might have a very different reaction to the reality of his return. He closed his eyes and tried to tamp down his emotions before revealing far too much.

“Spike!” Dawn’s timely entrance was a blessing. “I knew you’d come home when we needed you most.” She threw her arms around him in a tight hug that was returned in full. Spike fought hard to not tear up at the open expression of affection.

“Good to see you too, Bit.” Spike ruffled her hair. “You’ve grown at least a foot. Before long I’ll be lookin’ up to see your face.”

Dawn hugged him again. “Now I know everything will be okay. Thank you for coming.”

~~~

The first few visits showed no real improvement. The monitors still beeped their steady beeps and the IV dripped silently into her arm. Not a flutter of an eyelash denoted any awareness of Spike’s presence, his loving words and vows of adoration. Giles usually accompanied the vampire on those visits, not because he distrusted Spike but to ensure no difficulties arising from Spike’s undead status.

The more Giles watched and heard, the more convinced he had become that Spike’s love was real and that the soul, if the rumors were true, only served to deepen love already present. It went against the Council’s dogma, but truth was truth and what Giles saw was love and devotion.

Giles noted the weight loss Lydia had mentioned and the haunted look about Spike’s eyes only increased with worry over Buffy. He hadn’t broached the subject of souls, but before the second week had passed Giles was completely convinced of the truth of those rumors: that Spike had somehow against all Giles believed true about demons sought out his soul and regained it in some way. There was still violence in the vampire, but no sign of evil.

Patrols had become Spike’s venting method and the demons and vampires of Sunnydale had never seen wrath like that dished out by the emotional vampire. He had taken particular pleasure in wiping out a nest of demons known to have been summoned by Warren’s annoying friend Andrew during the trio’s reign of terror in Buffy’s life. It was as close as Spike could come to getting his own revenge on Mears. Each night he returned with bloodied fists from letting his anger and frustration have full expression before finally slaying the monsters he hunted. He slept little and spoke less, except to Buffy’s still form.

On the third week, Spike swore he had seen a slight twitch of Buffy’s left index finger, but the doctors discounted the report.

On the fourth week, no one could deny the increase of Buffy’s pulse and the day nurse noted that her head position had changed without anyone having moved it.

On the fifth week, Buffy opened her eyes and stared deeply into the blue pools of Spike’s gaze. Spike wept unabashedly.

~~~

Within twenty-four hours of returning to consciousness, Buffy was demanding to be let out of the hospital. After two days “under observation,” the hospital staff were the ones demanding that the doctors release her.

Spike was nervous about being elected the one to collect the cranky Slayer and return her to the bosom of her family. He and Buffy had talked about everything but what was most important. The things that needed to be said were like the proverbial elephant in the room, but neither wanted to venture into those deep waters in the hospital setting. Besides, Spike hadn’t wanted to tire his girl any more than her forced inactivity already had.

“I am NOT sitting in that thing like a cripple just to get out of this place!” Buffy was already throwing her weight around and Spike hadn’t even poked his head in her door.

“Not so bad once you get used to it, pet. ‘Sides, you’ll be out of it soon as we get you into the DeSoto,” Spike reminded her. “These dictators won’t let you walk yourself out of here, somethin’ about insurance.”

The nurse nodded in agreement. “Yes indeed, Miss Summers, you have to be wheeled out. And not a minute too soon if you don’t mind my saying so.”

Buffy and Spike shared a laugh at the beleaguered nurse. Buffy knew she should feel guilty for being such a bad patient, but if they had just let her go home like she wanted, they wouldn’t have had to deal with a frustrated Slayer–or so she told herself.

“Fine. Let’s go, Spike.”

“As my lady requests.” He helped her into the hated chair and wheeled her out while Giles finished with the discharge paperwork.

“I can do patrol tonight, Spike. I’m all kinds of fine now and really wanting to kill something,” Buffy offered.

“I think not!” Giles huffed. “Spike has handled things quite nicely up ‘til now and you need to make certain you don’t rush things. The doctors never did decide what had you in that coma.”

“He’s right, pet. Use the hired muscle while you can,” Spike suggested.

Buffy put her foot down literally and brought the wheelchair to a halt. “You aren’t hired muscle, Spike.”

“We’ll talk about what I am and what I’m not later, yeah?”

Buffy sank into silence, suddenly unsure of Spike’s intentions. Surely he wouldn’t just leave now that she was out of the hospital! He couldn’t leave her again, not and have her survive.

Giles saw the interplay and knew the pair needed a nudge, “Why don’t you leave the patrolling to Xander and I tonight while the two of you discuss things.” He nodded encouragingly to Buffy. “Dawn is staying the night with Anya and Willow is on an intense retreat with her teacher. The two of you can hash out all the issues you’ve been dancing around ‘til now.”

Neither heard his muttered, “Put us all out of our misery.”

~~~

“So…” Buffy cleared her throat, “I hear you’ve been all over Europe being a scourge of a different kind lately.”

“Moved about a bit, yeah.”

“I want to thank you for the check. Giles explained where it came from and where you got that amount of money before everything went dark.” Buffy felt tears well in her eyes. “After all the nasty things I said and didn’t mean, I can’t believe you still cared what happened to me.”

“I love you, Buffy; told you that. In too deep to just stop carin’. Not built that way.”

“No, you’re not, are you?” Buffy gently traced his right cheek with a trembling finger. “You love with everything you are, don’t you? I just didn’t want to see it for all sorts of stupid reasons.”

Spike tucked the afghan around her and smiled shyly. “Tried to tell you, but you’re one stubborn bint.”

“Almost too stubborn for my own good, I think.” She bit her bottom lip and closed her eyes as she remembered those horrible weeks when the love he had offered had been turned into something else, something dirty and wrong. “I didn’t mean those words, Spike. Not just the ones I spoke when Xan and Will caught us, but before, all the befores. No one has ever scared me like you did with your big messy love.”

“Funny, that!” he scoffed. “Never scared you when I was threatening to bleed you dry, only when I told you I loved you. Never took away my invite before that, even before the chip.”

“Well, that’s me,” Buffy laughed ruefully, “Give me a rabid Flumox demon or a nest of vamps and I jump right in, but offer to love me and I yell retreat and bury my head in the sand.”

“You’ve been done wrong more than once,” Spike acknowledged. “I’d not hurt you on purpose, Buffy. Made certain of that.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“When I left I was hurt and angry. The demon wanted your blood, the man…well, I guess the man wanted blood too, just not sure whose. I knew then that you’d never love me. That I’d never be good enough for you. Knew that I’d never stop loving you either. I had to do something and the first thing I had to do was get away from here, from you. I had to decide for myself just who and what I wanted to be. Always just went with the flow before, couldn’t anymore. Had to do it for me, not for you, ‘cause you didn’t want me.

I couldn’t be the monster anymore and not just because of the chip. You’ve changed me, Buffy. Can’t think about killin’ innocents in the same way, not after learnin’ to see humans as more than just food again. Each little girl would be the Bit, old geezers would be Giles, pudgy boys would be Harris and so on. The one time Dru made a kill and offered it to me, the night I chained you up like a right berk and told you how I felt, I had to talk myself into feeding and that feeling of wrongness only got stronger.”

Buffy gasped. She had never asked about all that had happened the night Dru had dropped back into their lives for a brief visit.

“So I didn’t want to be the raging demon anymore, but you made it clear I wasn’t a man. Somethin’ had to be done. Wouldn’t always have this bug zapper in me noggin after all. So I followed a legend and made my choice.”

“What did you do?” Buffy could barely breathe for fear of his answer.

“Fought for it. Won it fair and square. It’s mine again and not goin’ anywhere. Don’t matter, still not a man. Know that now. Took getting the damned thing to finally see myself the way you did and understand.” He drew in a shuddering breath. “There’s a reason vampires can’t see themselves in a mirror. Too hurtful to see what’s reflected back, what you’ve become, how low you’ve gone. It’s a mercy really, like the lack of conscience.”

“What did you do?” Buffy asked with a bit more force and far more trepidation.

“You always said it made the difference ‘tween good and bad. Funny thing is I don’t feel all that different. Still like to kill, love that spot of violence. Still a vampire, not a man.” He smiled at her with a twinge of sadness. “It does make a difference, a major one, just doesn’t have anything to do with choosin’ to be good or bad, unless you count the guilt when you choose poorly.” His laugh was bitter.

Buffy could hardly believe what she was hearing. “My God, you got your soul! Why? Oh Spike….” Tears spilled as her heart broke for him, for his being made to feel of no worth without the soul that clearly had not been needed to start him on his path to redemption. The soul she kept harping on as she threw his love back in his face time and again.

“Not to worry, pet, not so deluded I think it makes a whit of difference. Same ol’ Spike here, except for the charming night visitors that remind me of the thousands of reasons I was never worthy of your notice.”

Buffy blinked the tears away and grasped his hands before he could move away from her. “Stop. Really…stop, Spike. Don’t you start with the stupid words now. You’re right–the soul doesn’t matter.”

His eyes closed as he let out a tremulous sigh.

“I knew five minutes after I realized you had gone that I would never be happy until I had you back again, begged you for another chance. God, we’re so messed up!” She let out a bark of laughter. “You had no soul but you have the most loving heart I’ve ever known. I love that heart. I love you. Not because you’ve got a soul now, I knew I loved you before I was even sure I’d ever see you again. I don’t even know what to think about the whole soul having, to tell you the truth. I just know that I love you however you are, with a soul or without, as long as you’re mine. Is it too late?”

Spike looked at her in disbelief. “You love me?”

“Madly, passionately, and I’m pretty sure permanently. So is it? Too late?”

Spike pulled her to his chest with a fierceness that would have hurt a normal girl. “Never, my love, never.”

Their lips met at first with surprising tenderness, tentative and testing, but the fires that had always matched one another soon engulfed them in a kiss of such passion they both imagined bursting into flame. Their touches were nearly reverent as both shook with the emotions consuming them.

Spike was panting as hard as Buffy when they finally broke apart to gaze at each other’s much loved face. He leaned his forehead on Buffy’s and whispered, “At least the soul will help make us acceptable to your Watcher and friends.” He paused and, with the last gasp of insecurity, added, “We are letting them know about us, right?”

“Of course we are, Spike. I plan to tell the whole world, shout it from rooftops even. Can’t wait to see all the envy when every other woman sees the guy I’ve got that they can’t have,” she teased. “As for the soul, why don’t we just keep that to ourselves. It really doesn’t matter and Giles would want to make you some kind of research subject.”

“You don’t care what they think?”

“I stopped caring about that right about the time I knew I couldn’t stand the thought of being here, living, without you there as my friend, my lover. You already were all that from the time I was brought back. You were my friend even before I died, I forgot that somewhere along the way. I got lost and nearly lost you!”

“Never lose me, Buffy, I’d always be yours even if you didn’t want me.”

“Well, I do want you. I’m yours too.”

She could see from his face that Spike was moved beyond words. Finally he raised his head and looked at her with such pure love and adoration it took her breath away. “Never been loved before. Not sure I deserve it, but I vow I’ll spend every day of my life trying.”

“Just be Spike.” Buffy kissed him tenderly. He was so tender and emotionally fragile. She was going to have to watch herself and make certain she never said anything to crush that loving heart of his again. “Welcome home, my love.”

“Home,” he echoed in wonder.

~*~
Coda
~*~

“Well, what do you have to say for yourself?” D’Hoffryn leveled his most disapproving look at his second best vengeance demon. “You are supposed to dispense vengeance. Where is the vengeance in this?”

“I prefer to think of myself as delivering justice, as you know, and this was justice all around. Dawn got her wish because her sister did ultimately figure out what she wanted and got it–and that was my primary duty wasn’t it?” Halfrek was a bit nervous, but considering the chance she had taken in meddling in the Slayer’s life she figured she was getting off easy with just some disapproving stares and the ugly looks from her fellows.

“Yes but where is the evil in it?”

“I assumed you wouldn’t wish to anger the Slayer by drawing her ire in our direction,” Hallie smiled smugly. “They all suffered a bit, but not so much that it would clue them in, after all. And there is the added aspect of our helping to bring together a notorious vampire and the longest lived Slayer in a love match that is more likely than not to drive the Council of Watchers round the bend. That’s rather evil, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so.” D’Hoffryn chuckled at their secret coup. “I do suppose so.”

~fin

(here are the lyrics to my inspiration, as I said not necessary to read from the story’s point of view but it always made me think of Spike and his passion for Buffy)

A Thousand Kisses Deep by Leonard Cohen

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat.
You win a while, and then it’s done –
Your little winning streak.
And summoned now to deal
With your invincible defeat,
You live your life as if it’s real,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
You lose your grip, and then you slip
Into the Masterpiece.
And maybe I had miles to drive,
And promises to keep:
You ditch it all to stay alive,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

Confined to sex, we pressed against
The limits of the sea:
I saw there were no oceans left
For scavengers like me.
I made it to the forward deck.
I blessed our remnant fleet –
And then consented to be wrecked,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

I’m turning tricks, I’m getting fixed,
I’m back on Boogie Street.
I guess they won’t exchange the gifts
That you were meant to keep.
And quiet is the thought of you,
The file on you complete,
Except what we forgot to do,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

The ponies run, the girls are young,
The odds are there to beat…

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/371078.html

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