Chp 1 The Song Begins
Something to Sing About by Lilachigh
Author’s note: Okay, for those of you who asked so nicely, and for those of you who might care to join the fun, this is the sequel to my story With This Ring. Buffy and Spike returned to Sunnydale from the alternate universe where they are husband and wife at the beginning of Season Five. We are now in Season Six and this takes place a few days after Once More, With Feeling.
Chapter One - The Song Begins
The oldest graveyard in Sunnydale was full of drifting mist, the light breeze doing no more than rustle the leaves in the grass and send them scuttering a few inches to build up in piles against the various tombstones.
Buffy Summers was sitting on a bronze plinth dedicated to Cyril Buckmaster III, staring at the great stone door of Spike’s crypt, arguing with herself, even though she knew in advance which of the selfs was going to win.
‘What you need to do is go home and get some sleep.”
“Or you could call in and check up on Spike.”
“Why would I need to check up on him? He’s OK.”
“But how do you know? He might be ill, or - or, doing something evil. ”
“What, with the chip working?”
“Well, he could still be out robbing someone or breaking in to a shop to get money or whisky or blood.”
“Then he won’t be in his crypt, will he!”
Buffy kicked her heels against the headstone, then stopped guiltily as it rocked under her strength. “Sorry, Cyril Buckmaster the Third,” she said. ‘Didn’t mean to give you a headache!’
She wondered vaguely who Cyril had been. His name rang a memory somewhere in her head, but she couldn’t place him. There had been so many bodies. She didn’t think he’d come back as a vamp, but to be honest, she couldn’t be sure. They rose, she staked them, they dusted. Night after night, month after month, year after year.
Once she’d enjoyed herself. Being the Slayer had been difficult, dangerous, even deadly, but she’d had a purpose in life. Since Willow and the others had brought her back from the dead, that purpose had vanished, to be replaced with a longing for something - someone. She wasn’t sure. She just felt she was waiting for one chapter to end and another to begin.
If only she could stop feeling angry all the time. She woke angry, bottling it up all day she would often catch sight of herself in a mirror and see it all there, bubbling away behind her cheerful smile, her happy voice.
From far away in town, a clock bell was tolling. Midnight! Where was Spike? She pouted. She hadn’t seen him for four or five days now - since Sweet the dancing demon had pirouetted into their lives and although she didn’t - of course - miss him in any way, there was a silly sort of aching inside her that she knew only he could get rid of.
It was odd, but lately Buffy had realised that she’d carried this strange pain deep inside her for over a year now. It was like a great bruise, but not one you could touch.
Sometimes it was very faint and she could ignore it; other times, like tonight, it hurt so much that if she hadn’t known she was the Slayer with increased healing powers in built, she would have been worried that some battle had hurt her internally around her heart.
Looking back she knew the ache had been there through all the trouble with Glory, had been there on the day she died, and even when Willow had brought her back, it had been one of the first things she’d noticed.
Oh, she’d had the torn knuckles and the mind that was going loopy, what with the being dragged out of heaven bit, but as well as all that, inside her the ache went on.
The oddest thing of all was that when she was with Spike, even if they were fighting or arguing, the pain went away. Buffy wondered if it was the result of some sort of demon poison that he’d given her at some point in their rocky relationship, although she couldn’t remember him ever getting that close to her.
Of course recently they’d kissed. They’d been close then and no mistake. She could still remember the taste of his mouth, the smell of him - whisky, cigarette smoke, the faint iron tang of blood. She could feel leather under her hands, the belt buckle digging in her waist.
Buffy hadn’t meant to kiss him and, of course, had explained later that she’d been feeling miserable due to the singing demon and letting her friends know they’d dragged her out of heaven, back to this hell called Sunnydale.
What was it she’d sung that strange evening? Give me something to sing about? Well, no one had answered her plea yet. Perhaps they never would.
The others were moving on. Willow and Tara, living rent free in her house - and yes, fine, that was because they’d been looking after Dawnie while she was dead, but hey, now some money would come in useful.
They were happy, planning a life together surrounded by magic. OK, they seemed to have argued about something recently, but Buffy knew their love for each other would overcome any petty worries.
Xander and Anya - Giles, even Dawn, growing up, moving on with her life. It was only her life that was set in stone, in a pattern that would never change: slaying, looking after Dawn, worrying about money, slaying, looking after Dawn, worrying about money, for ever and ever and.....
She kicked Cyril Buckmaster III again, but it didn’t make the anger go away.
She wasn’t even sure why she’d let Spike kiss her the other night after Sweet had vanished, and was even less sure about why she’d kissed him back so long and so thoroughly.
Even now she could feel the tingling sensation on her tongue that his kiss had caused. She could remember the dreadful desire she’d had to pull off his T shirt and rub herself against him, to pull down his zip and let herself -
She kicked the tombstone hard again and swayed as it rocked to and fro. Yes, tonight there was the added problem that she was feeling sexy and doing it to yourself in the shower was OK, but -
Well, sometimes in the dead of night -and, to be brutally honest, even during the day if she let it - when her brain was not fully under control - she wondered what it would be like if it was Spike running his fingers down her breasts, playing with her nipples, then plunging his fingers inside her, whispering in her ear, “Come for me, Buffy, oh God, that’s right, come harder and harder and - ’
She almost fell off the tomb when the voice she’d been imagining in her mind said in her ear, “At a loose end, Slayer? Or just slumming?”
“God Spike, why do you always have to creep up on me?”
The vampire stood, platinum head on one side, gazing at her, his daytime sapphire eyes as dark as a midnight sky in the overcast night. “Sorry,” he said briefly.
Buffy waited for the rest of the sarcastic remark, then realised a long silence was taking place.
“Sorry? Is that all you can say?”
Spike sighed. “Very sorry, then, how about that? Now, Slayer, is there something you want? Li’l Bit okay? Not gone missing again?”
“No, she’s fine. She has a crush on a boy at school - ”
Spike’s eyes narrowed. “What sort of a crush?”
“Oh don’t worry. They don’t actually speak! As far as I can tell, she and her best friend Janice just stand and giggle whenever he walks past and there isn’t a square inch of her notebook covers that doesn’t have his name written on it in various colored inks.”
“And that name is?” Spike inquired silkily.
“Collin. But, honestly, Spike, he’s okay. Dawn doesn’t have a hoop sticking out of her head so he isn’t interested.” She sighed at the look of bewilderment that crossed the vampire’s face. “Basketball. You know, guys running around throwing big balls through little metal rings?”
“I’ve tried getting her interested in football - proper football, what you lot call soccer,“ Spike said gloomily. “But all she did was buy a poster of bloody Thierry Henri to stick up in me crypt and he plays for Arsenal! As if I’d sit looking at a sodding Gunner. And a sodding French Gunner at that!”
Buffy let all this sail over her head. She’d always found that a sensible way of dealing with guys and sport be they dead or alive. You smiled sweetly, said yes and no in shocked tones at various intervals and made sure you didn’t wear the wrong colour sweater on match days.
“So, can I come in?” she said at last, breaking into his thoughts and comments about England's chances in the next World Cup.
Spike came closer and she shivered and rocked the tombstone back and forwards.
“Bleeding hell, Slayer, it’s a fairly straight forward question. What do you want to come into my home for?”
Spike raised his eyebrows and sighed. “Like talking to a parrot tonight. Concentrate, pet. That large stone building behind us is a crypt, right? It’s also my home. Where I live - where I drink my blood and watch telly. Where I sleep - oh!” He took another step closer to her. “Is that what this is all about? You’ve come over for a bit more kissing, eh? Or do you want to take the next step? I know lots of things we could do to pass the time till morning.”
“What? No. Jeez, Spike, get your mind out of your trousers. I’ve told you, that kiss was just a - momentary lapse. I just thought I’d...call round....see how you’re doing...check up on.... Oh, you’re impossible. I’m going home!”
She leapt off the tombstone and turned to go, but he reached out and grabbed her arm. “Not so fast, Slayer. What the hell’s going on with you and me? What do you want?”
She shivered at the feel of his cool fingers on her skin. She tugged her arm away, growing angry now. She hated being at a disadvantage to anyone, especially Spike.
“Nothing’s going on between us, Spike and nothing ever will,” she snapped. “I was trying to be friendly, that’s all, but obviously you’d rather I wasn’t.”
“Is that what you want from me, Buffy? Friendship? Don’t you have enough people in Sunnydale to give you that already? Oh no, come to think of it, you don’t. Red has her witchy friend. Xander has his demon girl. Two very odd couples, but couples all the same. Lots of lust and love and sex going on all round you, eh. Makes you feel left out, does it? Got all the urges and itches and no one to scratch them for you? Perhaps none of them has time for you these days. Is that it? Mind you, there’s always dear old Rupert, although sometimes I wonder exactly what sort of feelings he really has for you! Just friendship?”
Buffy gasped. Effortlessly he’d brought out every concern she had about her place in the Scooby group. Things that she’d only vaguely worried about were now in plain view. “Pig! Double pig! Everything you say or do is evil, Spike. Nasty, dirty and evil!”
She swung her hand and slapped him hard on the cheek. With a growl he slapped her back and she flung herself full length at him, fists flying. Punching and yelling, they rolled over and over, tangled up in Spike’s leather coat, each trying to land a blow that would hurt.
Suddenly, Spike pulled back, his face a picture of astonishment. Suffering hell, he could hit her without the chip going off in his head! What in heaven’s name - “Buffy - the chip - ” he started to say, but she was on top of him again, raining down blows onto his face, not listening, trying to get all the anger and despair and loneliness out of her by punching him, hurting him....
Spike found himself jammed up against the bronze tombstone. He couldn’t move, could feel blood running down his chin from a split lip. He tried to jerk his head to one side and his shoulder caught the headstone and it rocked. The letters above his head swung dizzily around Buffy’s flying fists.
Spike tried to grab her hands, she was crying now, out of control, the dam that had been holding back all the pain and betrayal and anguish had finally broken, just as he’d hoped it would. Only problem was, he was right in its path.
The name ‘Cyril Buckmaster III ’rocked down towards him and away again. Again her fist thudded into his face and all he could think of now was why was that name so familiar, why did he have this picture in his head of him and Buffy standing in this graveyard together, watching as the tombstone was put into place? Laughing about the made up name.
He’d contributed Cyril and she’d come up with Buckmaster because....because it was nearly rude but not quite! She’d said every time she read it she’d remember how he’d - remember what?
Why could he feel their clasped hands linking together and then slipping apart?
‘Buffy! Stop it! For god’s sake, listen to me for once in your life.” But she wouldn’t and he didn’t understand why his wife was doing this...... Sodding hell! His wife!
He tried to swing his arm up and Buffy fell sideways. Her weight was the last straw for Cyril Buckmaster III. The bronze tombstone toppled backwards, pulling its plinth from the earth and revealing a bright orange and purple portal in the ground beneath .
Buffy was still rolling over and as she clutched at Spike, they both fell through the flashing, pulsating circle of light. And in that split second, before they disappeared from view, she realised that the empty bruised space she’d been carrying inside her for so long was now completely filled.
to be continued
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