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Lovers and Lies by Lilachigh
6 No More Lies
Lovers and Lies

by  Lilachigh

Chapter Six:   No more lies.

Dawn headed towards the cemetery and Spike’s crypt.  She had to start looking for Buffy somewhere and that seemed the most likely place to find her.  And even if she wasn’t there, she was certain that Spike would know where to look.  He seemed to have a sort of sixth sense as to the Slayer’s whereabouts, all the time.

But no matter how hard she hammered on the crypt door, it remained shut.  Dawn glanced round nervously: time had been passing and long shadows were beginning to creep across the graveyard. Jeez, she was breaking so many rules by being out here after dark. And, OK, she was big enough and old enough to take care of herself these days. She’d been practicing in secret: killing her pillows with her hair-brush and she had a stake in her pocket, just in case. But even so, the dark was creeping up and things with wings and scaley feet were beginning to rustle and scutter and....


She spun round and felt relief wash over her.  “Clem!”

“What are you doing here?  It’s getting dark.  You shouldn’t be out here alone.”

“I was looking for Buffy and Spike.”

“Oh!  Ah, well, yes....” Clem’s folded face shook in different directions.  “I was coming by the house to tell you all...a message from Buffy....she and Spike have had to go away for a couple of days....vampirey, slayery business of some sort.”

Dawn frowned.  It wasn’t that Buffy having Slayer business was anything new, but she couldn’t remember any time in the past when her sister hadn’t told her personally that she would be away overnight.  She would spend ages telling Dawn exactly what she could and couldn’t do, where she could and couldn’t go, could and couldn’t speak to until Dawn could have screamed.  A message via Clem seemed majorly weird.

“OK, what’s the real reason, Clem?”

“I don’t know what you mean, Dawnie.”  The demon backed away, obviously unhappy at being questioned.  “They are OK.  Together and, you know, OK.  Not in any danger or anything.”

Dawn took a flying leap onto a large square tomb and glared down at Clem.  “You’re not telling the truth!  Now, I want to know, right now, what’s going on?  This is important, Clem. We need Buffy and Spike back at The Magic Box.  Willow has done a spell and there’s all sorts of problems.  Now tell me!”

Clem gulped.  Really, Buffy’s sister was a very, very scary young lady.  Almost as scary as the Slayer herself!   But he’d promised Spike and Buffy not to tell anyone about them getting married, so - he took a step backwards, ready to run, and Dawn clenched her fists and jumped!

*            *              *              *                  *              *             *                 *           *
The temperature in The Magic Box had dropped by several degrees of frost since Dawn left.  Giles, pretending to read and study reversal spells, was torn between guilt because he had let Dawn go on her own to find Buffy and pure pain at the thought of losing Xander as his lover.  He wanted to touch him so badly that every nerve in his body ached. But he didn’t. Although his feelings seemed completely right, he knew that this was just magic; that Xander didn’t really care for him at all. And so the text blurred under his gaze but he refused to raise his head to look at the man next to him.

Willow and Tara were sitting on opposite sides of the room, so deliberately not talking that the air between them shimmered and hummed with unspoken passion and anger.  Xander had hardly moved: he stared down at the floor, unable to look at Giles,  desperate to touch him and all the time trying to find some faint glimpse in his memory of a girl called Anna he was supposed to love.

“Jeez, guys.  What the heck sort of mess have you got into now!”

Buffy flung open the door and strode in: Spike and Dawn only a step or two behind her.

“Buffy! Thank God.”  Giles stood up, reaching out a hand that she ignored.  “Listen, we’ve got a small magical problem, but now that you’re here...”

Willow stepped forward, smiling. “I need to do a reversal spell.  Fast.  And yes, you can blame me, everyone else does, but I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and I really, really wanted to make it clear to you, to everyone...”

“Dawn’s already been all explainy girl.”  Buffy pushed her hands deep into her jeans pockets and stared at Willow as if she had never really seen her before.

“You wanted to make sure Buffy and I didn’t get too close.”  Spike swung himself up onto the counter and tapped the toes of his boots together.  “Although not sure what bleeding business it is of yours.”

“It’s everyone’s business to keep vampires as far away as possible from decent people,” Xander snapped.

“Define decent?  As far as I can gather from Dawnie, you’ve managed to lose Anya.”

Xander looked up.  “You remember Anya?”

“Well, not completely gaga yet, Harris, even if I am well over a hundred years old. Of course I remember Anya.  Ex demon girl.  Really, really old, even by my standards. But gave up the game to get engaged to you. Going to be a wedding. Very popular these days - weddings!”

Buffy turned and glared at him, trying not to smile.  In her pocket, her thumb rubbed the huge ring on her finger. Married!  Yes, she was married to Spike.  Whatever else had happened, that was a fact.

“Well, I don’t remember Anya, but Spike does and Dawn says she keeps hearing a voice calling out to her, which I reckon is probably that girl as well.”

“Now you’re here, Buffy, Willow and Tara can get to work. We needed everyone who was present when Willow first cast her spell.”

“And we’re all happy with that?”

“Of course we are.”  Giles tried to sound pleased and enthusiastic and only succeeded in sounding as if he was telling the biggest lie in the whole of California.

“Oh yes, Giles can’t wait for everything to get back to how it was,” Xander said bitterly.  “And, yes, of course we have to rescue this Anya girl, and I’m sure I’ll remember her once I see her, and Tara needs to go back to being, well, Tara and you and Spike need to be - “

He hesitated as Spike’s glance cut through the waffle, through skin and bone, nerves and sinews - “Slayer and vampire.  Just Slayer and vamp.”

“Not husband and wife?” Spike muttered under his breath and grinned as Buffy turned and shot him another killer look.

Tara, who’d been sitting silently at the back of the room, now sauntered forward and smiled as Spike let out a wolf whistle, his gaze running in appreciation over her skin tight leather trousers.  “New outfit, eh?  Looking hot.”

“She does not look hot!” Willow broke in.  “Well, OK, yes, she might look hot to vamps and demons who don’t have any sense but not to ordinary people. Not to us, to me.”

Tara draped her arm round the red-heads’s shoulders.  “Relax, Will.  I’ve agreed to help you with the spell, although I’m still not sure about it.  I quite like being me at the moment.”

“I liked the old Tara,” Dawn said.

“The old Tara was pretty nice,” Spike added gently.

“You still here,” Xander snapped.  “Look, you weren’t here for the first spell, so you should lurch back off to your rotten crypt while we get things back to normal. You’re not wanted, not needed.”

“Not going to happen,” Spike drawled.  “Unless the Slayer wants me to leave, of course.”

Buffy didn’t even bother answering.  It was odd, she realised.  Only a few days ago, she would have lied.  She would have told Spike to go, even though she wouldn’t have meant it.  Had it really been so important to keep the peace with her friends?  Mega weird.  Now - she felt the warmth of the ring she now wore pulse through her hand, up her arm, through her body.  It told her she was Spike’s wife.  For better, for worse.  Well, that was a given.

“Buffy...” Dawn wasn’t sure if her sister totally understood what the spell would do.  “Willow’s magic - it will take us all back to how we were before...reverse everything we’ve done or think or feel.”

“And bring this demon girl, Anya, back to our world.”

“Well, yes. And that’s important, of course, but what if you and Spike, what if you...”

“Dawnie, stop worrying. There is no Buffy and Spike,” Xander snapped.

In the hollow silence that followed, lies fell, one by one.  Xander, lying because in his heart of hearts he knew that what Buffy felt for Spike was something she would never feel for him.

Dawn, lying by default, knowing too much, saying too little, realising somewhere deep inside her that what she saw between her sister and the vampire at her side, was at the moment way outside her emotional understanding.  Hoping that one day she would feel the same for someone.

Giles, ready to lie, to say he would be far happier when everything was back to normal. Knowing he wouldn’t.

Tara, lying that she was happy to go back to her old way of life; subservient to Willow’s whims and fancies and desperate desire to control every part of everyone’s life.

And Willow, ready to lie for as long and as hard as it took.  To reverse the spell, return life to normal, have her lovely, sweet-natured Tara back, admiring, encouraging.  And to get Buffy away from Spike.  Because as she stood now, looking at the pair of them; his hand on her shoulder, her head tilted just enough to touch him, she was horribly aware of a great cloud of power surrounding them.  She could almost see it, touch it, taste it.  This was a magic she had never encountered before.  She had no idea where it had come from, only that it was there.  But if she reversed her spell, it must vanish - nothing remained the same once life had been reversed.

Buffy rubbed her thumb across the great ring again.  “Sorry Xander, but I’m afraid there is a Buffy and Spike.”  She pulled her hand out of her pocket and pointed it towards him - “We’re very much together. In fact we’re married!”

to be continued.