Chapter 9 - Finding Out
Saturday, May 4th, 2002
Spike parked the bike in front of the house, scanning to see if perhaps Anya had left any of her windows unlocked. It was possible that living in a second floor flat, which these benighted colonials would insist on saying was on the third floor, she might have. Spike couldn't help but think about how Anya had felt in his arms the night before. Vulnerable, warm, welcoming and accepting of affection. He remembered how their bodies had felt against each other; her back against his front, legs tangled together, his cheek resting against her shoulder. He also remembered that it had been incredibly easy to tell when she finally drifted to sleep because she snored fit to wake the dead, except he hadn't gone to sleep in the first place. He just lay and held her.
Sometime, last night, his relationship with Anya had crossed a line. He would put his life on the line to save any of the Slayer's friends. In the case of Harris, it was mostly for Buffy's sake.
Tara was a special case in herself. He had never met anyone so pure. He loved her. He doubted that there was a male outside her immediate family who knew her to any degree who wasn't at least a little bit in love with her. It was a love that held more than a hint of awe in it. He had no idea how "an evil soulless thing" was drawn to her the way he was, because sometimes he felt her very presence should burn like holy water or a cross, she was so good. To save her he'd do anything within his power, but if he couldn't do that, he didn't know what he'd do. Tara would be appalled at the idea of violence in her name, but he didn't know if he could let someone who harmed her go free.
Other than Buffy she was the one he feared to lose the most. It seemed to him that even God or her goddess would be too jealous of her time to let her live long amongst mortals. She was just too good for this world.
The Summers women, right down to the deepest, most primordial level of his being, were his. He'd give his life to save either one. Or if he failed he'd give his life to see vengeance done. His feelings for the others occupied a grey area between the two extremes and if anything were to happen to them, he'd just do what seemed right at the time, but somehow last night Anya had moved onto the same list as Buffy and Dawn. On its simplest level he'd stayed because she couldn't get to sleep when she was alone but on another she had opened up to him at her weakest and accepted his protection. She had become his.
He swore if someone had hurt her, human or demon, chip or no chip, they were going to suffer. He wondered about the tranquilliser gun that the Construction King had used on the Glarghk Guhl Kashma'nik the other week. The chip had gone off with that replica gun Xander had given him, but that had been when he still thought it was real. Tranquilliser darts don't really do any damage in themselves. Interesting theory. Might have to try that one out. Tying people up doesn't hurt either.
Buffy, for her part, was glad that she was beginning to pick up the subtext, sense memories and emotional memories that went with his thoughts. She was glad his memories included the feel of heavy denim on his legs and Anya's over-size flannel shirt against his chest. She was happy that his concern for her friend and his feelings for her had over-ridden his physical reaction to Anya's presence. She knew his resolve had wavered when he remembered her last words to him, that he'd wanted so much to let his and Anya's pain wash away in a tide of passion even if it brought them both only a brief respite.
She knew that, in his mind, there had been no infidelity, but still she felt betrayed because there had been more tenderness, more mutual solace and a deeper feeling of connection in their platonic sharing of a bed, than there had been in all her and Spike's shagging sessions. She felt jealous and she felt angry at him but most of all she felt angry and frustrated at herself because Spike would willingly have given her everything she wanted, if she hadn't been so busy hurting both of them by pushing him away. Finally, she admitted to herself that she wanted Spike just as much as he wanted her.
The outer door of the apartment building had a number keypad instead of a conventional lock although any of the residents could "buzz" visitors through without leaving their own apartments. Spike could remember the numbers Anya had used the night before, but it took him three attempts to put them in the correct order. Soon after that he let himself into her apartment using skills picked up over a century of delinquency. He made straight for the bathroom. Her toothbrush and various toiletries were no longer where they had been when he had had a wash this morning.
A glance in the bedroom showed the bed had been made and various outfits now lay on top of the quilt still on their hangers, the wardrobe door standing open. There were no signs of a struggle anywhere. Back in the lounge the note he had written before departing at first light still lay on the coffee table but not quite where he'd left it, as if she'd read it and then put it back.
Spike was willing to bet that wherever Anya was, she might have left in a hurry, but she'd left of her own free will and she was intending to come back.
He rang Dawn and brought her up to date. "Any chance you can get a phone number for any of the rest of Sunnydale's answer to Village People? I bet you Droopy Boy either put in some holiday or phoned in sick this morning. Looks to me like he's finally grew a pair and done the decent thing."
Spike sighed. "Niblet, for one thing Tito was one of the Jacksons not Village People and for another I wasn't really talking about bands I was talking about the guys that Mr Staypuft works with."
"Tito is one of the guys he works with- and he did our plumbing when the basement flooded. I just need to find the bill in Buffy's file. Couldn't you check on Xander's place as well to be on the safe side?"
"No. Couldn't. Never been invited. and even if I had, getting the stuff from The Magic Box so Glinda can find out what's wrong with Buffy's more important. I only checked Demon Girl's first 'cos if she'd come home she could have let me in properly and it was on the way. Otherwise I'd have picked up the stuff you want and then gone for a nose around while Tinkerbell did her job. So just run over that list again."
Buffy picked up that the "No Spike" zone around Xander's apartment bothered him more than he would ever admit that it was an indication of the lack of acceptance for him within the group.
"Are you going to tell me why I'm climbing in a fifteen-year old girl's bedroom window like a sad impersonation of the paedophile Poofter instead of coming in through the front door, Niblet?" Spike skipped the usual formalities.
"Because I don't want to disturb Will and Tara until we have to. It looked like they might be settling their differences before, so I cleared out."
"Fancy takin' me to see your sis then?"
Dawn led the way through into Buffy's room, where Buffy's body lay motionless on the bed.
As soon as he saw her there, Buffy felt the anxious lump Spike had been carrying round in his stomach since Clem's phone call turn into a physical pain. He moved to the bedside and held her nearest hand in both of his.
"I shut her eyes before," she said, "but I don't know which is worse. This way she looks dead. With them open."
Spike's attention seemed to be fully taken up by the figure on the bed but Buffy could tell that what was going on inside was roughly three parts love and concern to one part thirst for vengeance.
'He already is incredibly sorry, you pillock,' she thought. 'No! Using Spikisms! Must get out of Spike's head now'
Finally Spike regained enough composure to return his attention to Dawn.
"How are you coping, pet?"
"Holding together. just."
"So what do the witches think is going on?"
"Tara says her essence is missing. She's going to try to do a location spell to see where it is and then we might find out who did it. Willow thinks you and Anya formed some sort of pact to liquefy Xander's entrails and do whatever this is to Buffy. I think she's been channelling Xander's paranoia. oh, and Xander put in a week's holiday, so I think you're right."
"Have you told Willow that? .And why does she think it's me and Anya?"
"'Cos she knows there was something going on with you and Buffy, 'cos of Buffy's face when she saw you and Anya at the Bronze .and she saw you too. Well, we all did but I don't think Willow knows that you and Buffy were bonking. I didn't get it until I saw the way she was looking at the screen and then it all made sense."
"Glad it did for you, pet. How about we go down, get that bag of eyeballs and everything off the porch and let Glinda do her spell. Then you can explain in English from the beginning."
He waited till Dawn had turned away to go downstairs before he placed a chaste kiss on Buffy's forehead.
"Whatever it takes, love. We'll do whatever it takes to get you back," he whispered to her.
'.And when you do, you're going to get another smack on the nose for perving on my body when I'm not in it. and it's not my fault that I smell of hamburger. If it wasn't for you I'd have had a shower hours ago. Pig.'
"No, Red. I did not know Demon Girl was a demon again. I always call her that. No, I couldn't tell you if I made any wishes in front of her because, A, I had a bit to drink before I went to the shop and, B, I wouldn't really pay any attention to whether I did or not seeing as Anya, formerly known as Anyanka, patron saint of scorned women, wouldn't pay any attention to me if I did what with me being in possession of a Y chromosome and therefore ineligible for her professional attention. I can tell you that I sure as hell didn't say anything remotely resembling a wish in front of Cecily or whatever she's calling herself these days.
And, C, I don't happen to believe it's any of your business what I have or haven't been doing with either Buffy or the demon bint. If either of them want to say anything that's up to them, but you're not going to hear it from me, Miss Stay Away From Her She's Our Friend And We Can Take Care Of Her. You were keen enough to assume I was as popular as the Hellmouth equivalent of Typhoid Mary last week so why don't you just stick to that.
And, D, if you'd stayed quiet long enough for Dawn to tell you what we've found out so far then you might have realised how ridiculous your bloody trumped up accusations are. There's her scarf so Glinda can do your location spell on her too and if she isn't somewhere where there's no waiting for a marriage licence and Harris isn't there with her I'll be very surprised."
Spike stormed off in the direction of the back door, pulling cigarettes and lighter from his pockets as he went.
Buffy knew that if she'd been sitting in the room during his little outburst instead of sitting in his head then she would have been furious with him, but from in here she could tell just how scared, helpless and isolated he felt. She knew he was reliving what it had been like for him and Dawn when she died. She knew that only his responsibility to her sister would stop him from watching the sunrise if she didn't come back. '.And knowing our luck, when you turned to dust I'd end up back in my body, either in a loony bin or a coffin.'
Fifteen minutes later Dawn came and joined him on the back step. There were already four butts at his feet and he was close to finishing his fifth.
"I would have come out sooner but I wanted to see what happened with the spells and I thought you might want a bit of time to calm down."
"Was never mad at you, Bit. So do we know what's happening yet?"
"Surprise, surprise, Anya and Xander are in Vegas."
"Wonder if he knows she got her powers back? And Sis."
"Well, either the spell didn't work or she's here. Tara was wondering if she could check out your aura."
Comprehension finally began to dawn on the unfortunate vampire.
"Dawn, this thing with Buffy. It wasn't say, about an hour, hour and a half after sundown, was it?"
"Yeah, she was on her way home after work. It was still light but the sun had set."
Spike hadn't quite worked out exactly how, but this had to be his fault.
"So, can Mrs Harris ever forgive me for being such an idiot that I almost let her get away?"
"She can and she will once we have the blessing and reception back home, but this time we just have close family and that's it."
"How close are we talking Ahn?"
"Willow, Giles, Buffy, Dawn, Tara and Spike."
"You don't want to invite my parents but you want to ask Spike."
"Xander Harris, I think if you're prepared to marry a demon, you should be prepared to make friends with one. Spike isn't the monster you like to think he is."
"Spike is a demon. You're an ex-demon. There's a big difference."
"Actually, sweetie-pie, I'm a former ex-demon and you couldn't tell the difference." Anya did a rapid change into demon face and back.
Xander took a large gulp from the champagne glass he was holding. "Ahn, honey, I love you to bits but don't you think you should have mentioned this before now. When were you planning to tell me?"
"Now-ish, when we were ready to exchange gifts."
"Ahn, I don't think I can live with it if you're going to be giving guys boils, or turning them into perpetual patio torches for their ex-girlfriends."
"That's why this is my wedding gift to you. as long as you promise not to smash it." She removed the antique locket that acted as her power centre and passed it to Xander.
"As long as you're not wearing it, you're human, right?"
"Either that or I'm a demon in human form with no powers. Either way I'll be the girl you fell in love with."
Xander looked about to protest and then shut his mouth. He didn't really want to try to work out whether that meant his wife did or didn't have a soul. She was right. Either way she was the girl he fell in love with.
"So why does it make a difference whether I smash it or not?"
"If you do Spike's wish will be reversed and I wouldn't like that."
"Back with the Spike again. And what exactly did Deadboy Jnr wish that's so important?"
"Nothing much, just that you and someone else would be brave enough to follow their hearts."
"So you're saying that we're married because of Captain Peroxide?"
"No, we're married because we love each other. Spike just inadvertently gave you a hand making up your mind."
Anya pulled the now empty champagne glass from Xander's hand and placed it alongside hers on the bedside table.
"And since we're married now it's time you gave me lots and lots of orgasms. We haven't had sex in over a month now so it should be really good."
Xander couldn't help but give a gentle laugh. "I love you, Anya."
"I love you too, sweetie."
If you are under the age of 17, please use your head and do not read fics that are labeled "NC-17". Parents, I cannot control what your children are reading, so please be advised that the majority of the fics archived here are NOT suitable for those under the age of 17.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I am in no way making any profit from this site. This is for pure entertainment purposes only.
Concept: (c)bringonthebloodshed.com (2004), Code & Design: (c)Diabola (2006), Graphics: Selene & Always