The usual disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss Whedon. Thank you for the reviews so far! Warning: Still pretty dark, so don’t say I didn’t tell you so! Also, I initially posted only half of this chapter by accident, so if you read it early, it probably made less sense than it does now. Sorry about that!
Destroying Entropy - Chapter 2
Spike wondered why he was bothering.
He was in his usual position, smoking by the tree in front of Buffy’s house. He wasn’t entirely sure what he intended to say to her. ‘Sorry I screwed your friend?’ ‘About damn time you admitted we were lovers?’ ‘How does it feel, bitch?’ All of these were possibilities. If he had any brains whatsoever, he would get on his bike and get the hell out of Sunnydale before things went even further south. But he never had consulted his brain about the whole Buffy situation before, so why start now? He sighed, and lit another cigarette.
Just as he was getting ready to give up and go home, he saw her coming down the block. She was half walking, half running, and seemed to be stumbling over her own feet. Just as she reached her house she went to her knees and puked her guts out in some nearby bushes. So, been drowning our sorrows, have we Slayer? He was secretly pleased that he had gotten under her skin that far.
He swaggered over to her with some quip on his lips about not being able to hold her liquor. The quip died unspoken when she raised her face to his. Her face was pale, and streaked with tears. He instinctively went to help her up and then stopped and sniffed. Xander. She fucked Xander. Hypocritical bitch.
“So, I see that didn’t take long,” he snarled. “I can smell him all over you. You figure you’re even now? You and the whelp? Rather childish. Anya and I get drunk and have a go, so now all’s fair? Fucking hypocrites, both of you.”
Buffy’s face crumpled further as she staggered to her feet. “Shut up!” she cried. “You don’t… it wasn’t…” She clutched her stomach and threw up again, shaking and gasping.
It was then that Spike noticed the lump on the back of her head, and realized that he smelled blood along with the scent of Xander. His eyes grew large and his mouth dropped open. “He raped you?” Spike asked in disbelief. Without meeting Spike’s eyes, she nodded and covered her face with her hands.
Hesitating, Spike reached out to touch her shoulder, all his anger at her instantly replaced with concern. Buffy turned and buried her face in his chest, sobbing and unable to speak. Spike held her quivering form silently, stroking her hair. “You should go to the emergency room, love,” he said quietly after a few minutes. “You’re hurt.”
“No,” she protested, speaking into his chest. “No doctors. Just… want to sleep.” She pulled away from Spike and turned blindly toward the house. She tripped over a bump in the sidewalk and nearly fell, but Spike sprung forward and grabbed her. Wrapping his arm around her shoulder he led her up to her front door. She turned to Spike and put her hand on his chest, stopping him. “I… I’ll be ok. N…no need to come in.”
Spike’s heart twisted at seeing her like this. “Buffy, you need some help. You’ve probably got a concussion, and you’ve had quite a shock. You should let Willow take you to the crisis center or something.”
“No! Just go, ok? Just…” She shook her head, unable to finish her sentence. Tears started falling anew as she turned and bolted into the house.
Buffy locked the door behind her and ran up the stairs. She locked herself in the bathroom and just barely made it to the toilet in time to vomit again. After she had practically turned inside out, she started the shower, making the water as hot as she could stand it. Stripping off her clothes with shaking hands she climbed in, closing her eyes and letting the water wash over her. Grabbing the soap and a loofah and scrubbed and scrubbed at her skin until it was red and raw. When the water started turning cold she got out and dried off, wincing at the small streaks of blood on the towel. She brushed her teeth again and again until her gums bled, trying to get rid of the taste of vomit and the memory of Xander’s alcohol laden breath. Finally she put on her bathrobe and made her way to her bedroom. She put on the first pair of pajamas she could find and climbed under her quilt, shivering. She curled into a fetal position under the blankets and squeezed her eyes shut, desperately trying to block the entire evening from her mind. Drink, shock, and exhaustion ganged up on her and she passed out within minutes.
The next morning brought the mother of all headaches. Buffy felt dehydrated, sore, and utterly shattered. How had things gone so wrong? She had been finally coming out the other side of the depression, the despair of having fallen from Heaven. She had broken off the mutually destructive relationship with Spike and had started to rebuild her life with Dawn and the others. There had been such a sense of hope in her slow but upward trajectory. Now it seemed as if it had all been an illusion, just a momentary blip in the constant assault on her sanity that seemed to come from all sides. Of all the blows, this seemed the worst. Xander had turned on her, violated her. Xander. She found herself crying again as the rape played over and over in her mind, despite her efforts to block it out. Burrowing even deeper into the blankets she surrendered to the misery and darkness inside her.
Spike had stood on Buffy’s porch for a long minute, staring at the door and hearing the click of the lock. The rage that had been simmering below the surface from the moment he realized what had happened started boiling up. That fucking bastard. I’ll kill him. Chip or no chip, he dies. Spike stalked off toward Xander’s apartment, looking like the angel of death with his black coat flying behind him and his jaw set in fury. About halfway there, his vampire senses kicked in and he realized it was nearly sunrise. Damn it. He considered his options. If he sprinted he could get to Xander’s, but then what? He didn’t have an invitation, so he couldn’t go in and give the bastard the thrashing he utterly deserved. There was nowhere in particular to hide and wait for him. And if Xander had any sort of weapon, he was screwed. Motherfucking chip. Growling in frustration, he realized that his revenge would have to wait. He turned and picking up his pace made it back to his crypt just in time.
He slammed the door behind him and ripped his duster off, throwing it violently onto a sarcophagus. He grabbed a bottle of whiskey off the window sill and threw himself into his chair. Viciously pulling the cap off he drank a third of the bottle in one go, then leaned back and closed his eyes. Jesus Christ, it’s all gone to hell. He had known that the Whelp was an ass, and a bigot where vampires were concerned. Harris was inept and immature, and Demon Girl totally deserved better. But a rapist? Never saw that coming. He took another drink, and leaned back once more. Wincing, he remembered Buffy’s face, her haunted eyes and her desperate shaking. The girl had wronged him, true, but he had never wanted anything like this to happen to her. The thing with Anya had been a drunken, impulsive act by two lonely people, both of whom would gladly have given anything to be in the arms of someone else. Spike still didn’t entirely understand how Xander and Buffy had known. That camera, he realized. Whoever was spying on Buffy’s house must’ve hid one in the shop too. Bloody hell. That moment of solace with Anya was turning out to be the spark that started a wildfire. Christ, Slayer, how did it come to this? He downed more whiskey, barely aware of the tears gathering in his eyes.
Xander rolled over in his sleep. Bed’s awfully hard this morning, he thought fuzzily. He opened his eyes and came face to face with his living room rug. Sitting up in a daze, he looked around. A chair was knocked over, and the table was littered with beer cans and a glass with lip gloss on the rim. His eyes widened as he started to remember the previous night. Buffy was here. We got drunk and then… He got to his feet and looked down at his half open pants. What did I do? He tucked himself up and zipped his pants, then ran a hand through his unkempt hair. He had a memory of kissing Buffy, of her ending up on the carpet somehow, of the feeling of her half naked body under him. Oh my God, what have I done? He sat down heavily at the dining table and dropped his head into his hands. Did I just rape my best friend? The scenes played back in his mind, but they were hazy and disjointed. Her voice begging him to stop echoed distantly in his head. Then denial started to creep in. I didn’t mean to hurt her. We were both drunk. I thought it would do us both good. She’s got to know I didn’t mean it. I never would have gone that far, but I was drunk and upset. Why didn’t she stop me? She’s the Slayer! If she really wanted to she could have thrown me across the room. The longer he sat there trying to figure out what had happened, the more he managed to convince himself that this was all just a misunderstanding. I’ve got to go talk to her. Apologize to her. She has to forgive me. It was all an accident. He continued talking himself down that river in Egypt as he stumbled off to take a shower.
“Have you seen Buffy yet this morning?” Dawn asked Willow when she came down to breakfast.
Willow shook her head. “No. I don’t know when she got in last night.”
“Have you heard anything from the others?” Dawn was worried about Spike. Xander had taken off in a fury, and although she had faith in her sister’s abilities to stop him, she was still concerned.
“No. I was hoping Buffy would let me know what happened between Xander and Anya last night.” Willow frowned and looked up the stairs. “Maybe we should go see if she’s awake.”
Dawn munched her cereal then said, “I don’t know. She was pretty upset over the whole hidden camera thing last night. Not sure if I want to prod the sleeping Slayer if she’s pissed off.”
“Good point,” Willow said. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Tara entered the kitchen at that point. Dawn sat up in astonishment. “Tara? You’re back!” Dawn squealed and hugged both witches in turn. “This is so awesome!”
“Glad you approve,” Tara laughed. She got herself something to eat and the three of them chatted pleasantly for a few minutes. Gradually, the conversation got back to the events of the night before.
“Do you think…” Dawn hesitated. “Do you think Xander got to Spike before Buffy did?”
Tara was quick to reassure Dawn. “You know Spike. He can take care of himself.”
“I’m a little more worried about Xander,” Willow remarked. “He was completely devastated. I think I’ll call him up later and make sure he’s alright.”
Tara quietly wondered about Buffy. Although she and Willow had discussed Tara’s knowledge of the relationship between Spike and the Slayer, Tara didn’t think Willow fully appreciated the ramifications. Buffy claimed she didn’t love Spike, but clearly there was some connection, or else she wouldn’t have reacted so strongly to the scene with Spike and Anya. Tara glanced toward the stairs. Buffy was usually up by this hour. She chewed her cereal thoughtfully and murmured assent at Willow’s plan to call Xander.
Dawn finished up her breakfast and cleared her place. “I’m going to the library. I’ll be back before lunch.”
“Ok, see you then,” Willow said offhandedly as Dawn headed out. She glanced over at the stairs, then at Tara. “Do you think we should check on her?”
Tara considered. “Let’s give her a little while longer. She must have gotten in near morning. Maybe she’s just tired.” Willow agreed, and poured them both some more coffee.
Dawn went straight to Spike’s crypt after leaving the house. By now they really should have figured out that I almost never actually ‘go to the library’, she thought. Slowly pushing open the crypt door, she called out, “Spike? Are you here?”
“Yeah, I’m here Nibblet,” Spike responded. He was sitting in his armchair, staring thoughtfully at an empty bottle of whiskey. He sat up as she came in and set the bottle down. “Is Buffy alright?”
“I don’t know. She was still in bed when I left,” Dawn said with a shrug. “Why wouldn’t she be alright? You were the one who had Xander going after you with an axe.”
Spike jumped to his feet looking a little alarmed. “Dawn, Buffy needs looking after. She… she had a very rough night last night,” Spike finished evasively.
“Why, because she got to watch you and Anya doing the deed?” Dawn snapped. “You really hurt her, you know. I know she can be a pain in the ass, but she does care about you.”
Spike turned away to hide his hurt and anger. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt her,” he said. “The thing with Anya meant nothing. But she needs help, Bit. She got… hurt.” Spike fought an internal battle over whether or not to tell her what had happened. Buffy might not want to deal with being fussed over, but at the same time, someone needed to see to the girl.
Dawn’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Spike, what are you talking about? She’s a big girl, she’ll get over it.”
Spike took a deep breath. He spoke in a flat voice without looking at Dawn. “Buffy must have gone to check up on Xander last night. I don’t know exactly what happened. I think alcohol was involved. But when I saw her it was pretty obvious that she’d been… assaulted.”
Dawn looked at him uncomprehendingly. “Assaulted?”
“Raped,” Spike ground out, turning so Dawn could see the pain in his eyes. “Xander raped her, Dawn.”
“That’s… that’s not possible,” Dawn said, backing away. “Why would you say that? Xander would never hurt Buffy! Never!”
“Like I said, I don’t know how it happened. But she was crying, and puking her guts out, and…”
“No!” screamed Dawn. “I know you hate Xander, but it can’t be true! He could never do something like that. You’re wrong!” A small ember of doubt burned in Dawn’s mind. Spike had never, ever lied to her. But to believe that Xander was capable of that? Impossible. She backed away until she ran into the door, then yanked it open and fled back toward home.
Buffy was still in bed at eleven o’clock. She was so thirsty, and her head hurt so badly, but she couldn’t face the others. They’ll know something’s wrong, and I just can’t… The thought of having to tell the story, to relive it for them was just unbearable. Eventually they’ll have to know, the sensible part of her brain said. Don’t care, she thought. She opened her eyes and stared at the clock, watching each new number tick over in turn.
The door opened downstairs. She heard Willow’s voice say, “Hey, Xander! We were about to call you!”
Buffy sat bolt upright, breathing fast. She scrambled out of bed and out of her pajamas and grabbed some clothes. In a panic she pulled on some sweats and a t-shirt, throwing her hair into a careless ponytail. She heard Xander ask, “Is Buffy around? I need to talk to her.” Buffy didn’t wait to hear any more. She slid into her sneakers, hurried to the window, and climbed out. Looking around and seeing no one, she clambered down the tree and took off down the street at a dead run.
In the kitchen, Tara was saying, “She’s still in bed. What… what happened last night?”
Xander didn’t meet Tara’s eyes. “I… it wasn’t pretty,” he said. Tara frowned a bit. His aura had taken on a darker hue, which usually happened when someone was being untruthful.
“I can imagine the whole scene with Anya was pretty uncomfortable,” said Willow, trying to be sympathetic.
“Did you get into an argument with Buffy?” Tara asked, trying to figure out what Xander was hiding.
“What did she tell you?” Xander asked, trying to sound casual.
Willow shrugged. “We haven’t seen her since she got in.”
Just then the back door banged open and Dawn came in, looking upset. Tara noticed her distress and asked, “Dawnie? What happened?”
Dawn looked at Xander, who was once again having trouble exactly meeting people’s eyes. “I went to see if Spike was ok,” she started. “He told me that Buffy went to check up on you last night. What happened?”
Xander tried to pass it off. “Oh, we had a few drinks. We were both pretty upset. We were talking things out.”
“Spike said…” Dawn bit her lip. “Spike said that he saw Buffy later throwing up.”
Giving a nervous laugh, Xander said, “Well, she never does react well to alcohol.” Tara frowned more deeply. What are you hiding?
Dawn noticed Xander’s evasiveness and grew more anxious. Finally she blurted out, “Spike said you raped her.”
“What?” gasped Willow. “Dawn, how could you believe that? Xander would never do something like that!” She turned to Xander and said, “Xander? What really happened?”
“It was all a misunderstanding,” he began in a pleading tone. “We were drunk and one thing led to another and…”
“Oh my God,” breathed Tara. “Xander, what did you do?”
“Nothing!” he yelled. “God, you’re going to listen to that fucking bleached bloodsucker?” He pushed past them and up the stairs. “Buffy! Buffy tell them, it wasn’t like that!”
The girls looked at one another and raced up the stairs after him. Dawn hollered after him, “Xander, leave her alone! She’s been through enough already and…”
Xander had stopped dead after opening the door to Buffy’s room. They all stared at the open window, the fluttering curtain, and the otherwise empty room.
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