Chapter 2, Repaired
Spike found himself slammed into a fireplace as the Slayer advanced on him, fury in her eyes.
“Your job is to kill the Slayer. But all you can do is follow me around making moon eyes.”
Even as disoriented as he felt from the abrupt change in settings, he knew where he was and when. This was one moment in his long life that would forever be imprinted on his memory. The house was still fairly intact and he had just told Buffy that she had come back wrong.
“I’m in love with you,” he responded, just as he had the first time this scene played out.
“You’re in love with pain. Admit it. You like me because you enjoy getting beat down. So really, who’s screwed up?” Buffy was staring at Spike, who had managed to get up from where she had thrown him.
“Hel-lo…vampire!” This time he didn’t take a swing at her but pulled her to him. “I’m supposed to be treading on the dark side.” He did not, however, ask her what her excuse was.
Buffy shoved him away forcefully, causing him to crash into the far wall. Spike shook the plaster dust from his frame and tried to reason with her. “I wasn’t planning on hurting you. Don’t want to ever hurt you, Buffy.”
Buffy snorted, “You haven’t even come close to hurting me.”
Spike couldn’t help himself as he asked, “Afraid to give me the chance?” Buffy’s face showed she understood they were talking about an entire different sort of hurt now and she responded physically by shoving Spike’s back against the wall. “You afraid I’m gonna….”
Spike never got to finish his question as Buffy crushed her mouth to his in a passionate kiss. Her hand slammed into the wall next to his head as she sought to get her arm around his neck.
They continued the kiss as Spike strove to move away from the wall. He had to get this situation under control before history repeated itself and all the pain began again.
Just as she had the first time, Buffy tossed Spike against the far wall and leapt upon him, wrapping her legs tight around his waist as she began to kiss him again with more fire than before.
Spike felt as if he would combust from the combination of the kiss and the memory of what soon was to follow. He could feel the internal argument already. Much as he was determined to do things right with this apparent second chance, he was tempted by the feel of her sweet body pressed against his, the clear memory of how it felt that first time. The voice within him kept reminding him that no good could come from following his own desires. This wasn’t what Buffy needed, not yet at least.
As Buffy’s hand began its descent towards his zipper Spike grabbed the hand before it arrived at its intended destination. He didn’t break the kiss just yet; he was only so strong, after all.
Buffy pulled away and scowled at him for interfering. “Maybe I’m not the one afraid, huh, Spikey? What’s the matter? I thought you wanted this.”
“I do,” he started, “I want you, Buffy, more than you’ll ever know…but not like this. I want you when you want me, all of me.” Spike eased the Slayer off of his body reluctantly.
“Then you’ll never have me, Spike,” Buffy taunted. “Now’s your ‘one time only’ deal. Take it or leave it.”
“Guess I’ll have to leave it then, pet, because I think having a go with me will do you more harm than good and you’ve got enough to deal with without all that baggage.” Spike spoke softly with a pain-filled voice.
Buffy was shocked out of her blind fury and raging hormones by his rejection of her offer of sex. “I don’t get it. You say I came back wrong but you’re the one not acting normal.”
Spike closed his eyes and sighed. “Yeah, about what I said before…about you comin' back wrong…I didn’t mean it the way you took it, love. I just meant that the chip isn’t working where you’re concerned, that’s all. Maybe Red can figure out why since she’s the one who did the whole resurrection in the first place.”
“Okay,” Buffy narrowed her eyes suspiciously, “what’s the deal, Spike? Suddenly you’re all with the not pushing things and with the splainy for the jabs you made earlier. What are you REALLY up to?”
Buffy was angry and frustrated. Had she bothered to analyze her emotions, she would have been shocked. She wanted Spike, really wanted him as she had never before desired anyone in her life.
They had been flirting across this particular dance floor for so long that now that the music had overtaken her she wanted nothing more than to grab on and do that tango. To have Spike, of all people, turn her down made her want to scream. ‘Isn’t this what you’ve been pushing for all along?’ “You’re not Mr. Patience, Spike, so what’s with all the ‘hurry up and wait’?”
Spike sighed deeply, his voice ragged with the companion to her frustration. “You will never know how much I do want you, Buffy. God, I’m burning up inside with need!”
She narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “So, what’s stopping you?”
“You are.” Spike gently pried her off of his aching, throbbing body and set her apart from him. “Last thing I ever want to do is hurt you. Want to love you, want everything to be good for you. If we do this, I want it to be out of joy, not out of you wanting to punish yourself in some way. Don’t want to take something that should be so good and make it bad.”
Buffy looked at him as if he had grown a second head. This was different. Where was the guy who followed her everywhere demanding she explain all the kissage, wanting some sort of advance in their weird relationship?
Spike put as much distance between himself and Buffy as possible. “You’ve been comin’ to me since you got back. We’ve started to be friends, or at least it feels that way to me. I want to be there for you, Buffy, help you want to live again, but this isn’t the way. It’s a try for a quick fix that’ll only confuse everything.”
Buffy snorted. “Nothing could make my life any more confused.” Suddenly the fire was out of her and she deflated like a hot air balloon with the burner off. “I don’t want to be here, but no one gave me that choice.”
“I get that, I do. I’m not gonna say I wish you weren’t here, love.” Spike held up a hand to forestall her interruption, “But I do get it. You’ve had a nasty run of things the last few years and precious little joy. You were done, happy. Now you’ve got more weight on you than ever before and all your little slay buddies have left you to it. Gotta make you feel crushed and alone, and more than a little angry. Still, pet, I’m not gonna let you take that anger out on me. Gonna help you, yeah, but not enable you.”
“So I’m what, ‘Anger Anonymous’? You my sponsor?” She was irritated that once again Spike seemed to understand her better than she did herself.
There was a core of rage in her that desperately needed to flame out. She was furious with Willow and Xander, and now Giles as well.
How had Willow ever thought she was in hell? How dare someone once again make a life-altering decision about HER life without even considering her wants and needs? It was becoming a really bad pattern for her.
Giles hadn’t been part of the resurrection party, true, but he seemed to think that saving the world nightly, controlling the hellmouth, running a household, raising a teenaged sister, dealing with crumbling finances with no job and only a high school education weren’t responsibility enough. Oh no, she was ignoring her needy friends and their issues! Heaven forbid Buffy have anyone to lean on while she found her own feet again!
“What the hell is wrong with them?” she blurted out against her previous determination to end the odd close relationship that had been developing with Spike.
“Wrong one to ask here, pet. Likely to say all kinds of politically incorrect stuff in answer.” He grinned wryly.
“Nothing I haven’t thought,” Buffy whispered. This was feeling too comfortable by half; time to change the subject and get the hell out of Dodge.
“So what’s up with the chip?” Her tone was all Slayer.
“Not sure. When I hit you back earlier I didn’t get my brain fried. Tried it out on some stupid bird in an alley and got more than a few volts,” he risked total honesty.
“So you tried to dine on the population?” Buffy sounded heavily disappointed.
“Only half-heartedly. ‘Fraid I’m not the vamp I used to be. Had to really try to talk myself into it. Kept reminding myself what you’d said about bein’ evil and disgustin’ and all. Silly cow must think I’m a ravin’ loon with all the rantin’ to myself tryin’ to work up the desire to bite her,” Spike shook his head in amazement at his moral conflict. He still remembered it clearly. No soul then, yet he hadn’t really wanted to kill the girl.
Buffy had a mental image of Spike in full rant and had to suppress a laugh at the picture. She sobered remembering the bottom line: “Still, you did try to kill again.”
“Don’t think I would’ve, not really. Not sure what I am, Buffy, but I’m not what I was.”
“It really is just me that you can hurt?”
“Seems like.” Spike sat down hard and tried to decide just what he should share with her. Should he tell her he had come from the future and had his soul now? Should he tell her he was there to fix the mess he’d made the first time? No, she had enough to deal with already, he decided. Best keep to the issues at hand and suss out the whole soul issue later.
“Went to that nerd boy who made the soddin’ bot and had him run some tests. Chip works fine.”
“You let someone know you’re chipped?” Buffy was shocked. If people knew Spike was harmless, he was putting himself at risk.
“Didn’t exactly tell the bugger what the chip did. Gave him plenty of ‘grrrrr’ to make him think I could still rip his throat out.”
“Thank you for that image.” Buffy rolled her eyes. “Planning on killing me?” Buffy’s question was far more hopeful sounding than Spike wanted to hear.
“Planning on helping you if you’ll let me.” His reply was so soft she barely heard it.
“What, you’re suddenly ‘Sigmund Spike, analyst to slayers’?” Buffy snorted. “Then again, the damage some shrinks can do would be one way you could keep on wreaking havoc without actually killing me.”
“’S what I’m trying NOT to do, pet. Don’t want to drag you into the dark where I scuttle. You don’t belong there. Won’t mind meeting in the shadows once you’re whole--if you still want me then--but not like you are now. You’re wounded. I never played those kinds of games, even back in the day. Like my fights with uncertain outcomes, not easy pickin’s like you’d be right now.”
Buffy blinked back the sudden tears that seemed to appear from nowhere. “Thought you wanted that ‘one good day’.”
“Not with you, Buffy, never with you.” His face was solemn and filled with emotion. “Kinda good day I want with you's different from any I’ve ever had before, more than any I’ve even dreamed of. Killin’ those other Slayers was a battle win. Don’t know how to explain it right, but it was something to be proud of for me, pittin’ my skills against the best and comin’ out on top. Took on a few other Slayers in my time and let ‘em go; they would have been too easy to off. Know this makes you go all queasy, but that’s the truth of it. It was winnin’ in battle against the Chosen One made it a good day. Don’t want to battle you, Buffy. Want to love you, see you grow old. Guess I’m just not in the war anymore, least not on the same side as I was.”
She wasn’t sure what to make of that and didn’t really want to dwell too much on Spike’s notorious history with her sister slayers either…after all, she had just nearly…nope, best not go there either!
Spike broke into her musings with a question she would never have expected from him. “Mind givin’ me the Watcher’s number? Think he’d be the best bet to suss out why my chip isn’t registerin you. Red might figure it out, but that might mean admittin’ she cocked things up in some way and I can’t see her doin’ that right now. Bird’s gone into some scary territory of late.”
“You want to tell Giles that you can kill me if you want to?” Buffy could just imagine THAT conversation.
Spike let out a burst of laughter, “Not really, but it seems the best idea if we want to figure out what’s happenin’ to cause it. Got a continent and ocean between me and any sharp pointy objects he might start to fondle, so it’s not that risky.” He smiled tenderly at the wide-eyed girl.
Why the thought of Giles trying to stake Spike would cause a wave of panic in her, Buffy could not understand, but it did. “Guess I should be glad he decided to abandon me for the old country then.”
“Happy me, not fittin’ in a dust buster after the start of this lovely evenin’ looked to be going,” Spike grinned. “Buffy, I think you’re fine, nothing wrong with you. You gotta wonder, though, about how you were brought back. Willow’s magic’s mighty powerful but about as dependable as nitroglycerine on a roller-coaster ride. Magic, even in careful hands, has consequences. I just think it needs lookin’ into to be sure. Don’t go thinkin’ there’s something wrong with you. Probably nothing any worse than a batch of the witch’s cookies needed to make it up to you.”
“There IS something wrong with me!” Buffy felt like shouting and it came out with a sharp edge in her voice. “I don’t want to be here, but I’m not sure I want to die again. I don’t know what I feel…or IF I feel. I’m angry most of the time and I’ve been avoiding Dawnie ‘cause I’m afraid I’ll take it out on her and she hasn’t done anything to deserve that. I…I’m…I’m overwhelmed by everything. Even little things just…I can’t cope anymore and I’m tired, so tired, all the time.”
“You can rest with me, Buffy. I’ll watch over you while you do.” Spike vowed.
Somehow she knew she could count on him to fulfill that promise and felt the first glimmer of light in her world.
“So how ‘bout I walk you home, see you get all tucked in right and proper, then I make the rounds to see what I can find out about that frost demon that’s got you all a-twitter? You get some rest and let Spike carry the load a while.” He put out his arm in a purely Victorian manner and nodded for her to link her arm through his.
Buffy was silent but thoughtful on the walk back to Revello Drive. Spike was thoughtful as well, trying to remember the events as they had played out the first time so the nerdlets three could be dealt with in the best way possible. He’d developed a small soft spot for Andrew that last terrible year in Sunnydale and wanted to find a way to keep the boy from the road that nearly destroyed him once before. The annoying twink had, after all, been the only being truly happy to see him when he returned from the beyond to the wonderful world of W & H. Still, if it came to helping the future watcher trainee or his Buffy, it would be no contest.
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