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Chapter Thirty-One- Save Your Scissors for Someone Else's Skin
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Chapter Thirty-One: Save Your Scissors for Someone Else’s Skin

“Mmmmmmmm,” Buffy contentedly mewled as she rested her head on Spike’s chest, relishing how blissfully sore she felt.

The vampire chuckled at her kittenish, post coital behavior. “Feelin’ satisfied are we luv?”

“Hmmmmmmhhmm,” she moaned in response, utterly sated.

Spike gazed down at Buffy with a smug smirk on his face. “Mission accomplished in shaggin’ you stupid then, eh pet?”

“Me no stupid,” she countered in her best Cave Buffy voice, remaining completely motionless, unable to muster the energy to look up at Spike’s face. “Sex with vampire make Buffy tired.”

Spike glanced over at the alarm clock on the bedside table and released an unhappy groan when he read the time. “Well let’s hope you recover quick, luv. The Watcher wants us all downstairs in twenty minutes.”

Buffy still refused to move. “Then you’re just going to have to carry me,” she sulked. “After all, it’s your fault my legs feel like they’re made of jelly.”

“Sounds serious,” he said, feigning concern. “How’s about you stick it out here for the night and I’ll just tell Rupert you couldn’t make it?” he halfheartedly recommended, knowing full well that Buffy would never go along with the suggestion.

As expected, she sat up, glaring at the vampire with a very unimpressed expression on her face. “There’s no way I’m going to sit this out, Spike,” Buffy stubbornly stated. “But nice try,” she added with a smile.

Spike shrugged. He would’ve felt more at ease if Buffy remained in the room for the entirety of the battle, but he knew she would never agree to it and it wasn’t as though he could force her. He wasn’t her Master anymore.

Ironically, the final order he’d given her had been to stay in their room back at the lair the last time he’d had to face off against Damon. And come to think of it, having Buffy locked away had not been at all successful in keeping her safe the first time around. So maybe it would be better to have her out there with him, where he could see her and know for certain she was alright.

With this whole confusing inverse claiming thing they had going for them, Spike knew Buffy could take care of herself with her newfound powers. She always had the fighting skills but now with the extra muscle to back them up, she could most likely take on as many vamps as he could. So keeping an eye on Buffy had really nothing to do with ensuring her safety but was more for his own sanity. He’d probably be so distracted without constant visual proof of her wellbeing that he’d wind up with a stake in the back before the battle even got underway.

“C’mon, luv. We better get some clothes on before the Watcher sends up a search party,” he cajoled as he got out of bed in search of his pants.

Buffy remained unmoving, fidgeting nervously as she watched Spike dress. “Spike?”

“Yeah, pet?” he answered as he slipped on his black tee. He turned to look at her and saw that she was trembling. “Buffy what’s wrong?” he asked, clearly concerned as he sat back down beside her on the bed.

“Do you think we’ll get through this alive?” she asked, unable to hide her sudden pre-game jitters.

Spike gave her a reassuring smile. “What happened to that stubborn confidence I saw a few minutes ago, huh luv?”

“It crumbled when reality finally hit,” she replied meekly.

He sighed despondently. “Don’t know how this is all gonna turn out, pet. I can’t make any promises.”

Buffy lifted her gaze to look into his pensive cobalt eyes. “Lie to me,” she softly insisted.

Wrapping his arms around her, he drew her close, letting her head rest on his shoulder. “By tomorrow morning Damon will be dust, all the vamps will be chased outta town, and Sunnydale will never have any problems with demons ever again,” he told her, his voice somber with the knowledge that what he was telling her was likely to never come true.

“And us? What’s gonna happen to us?” she asked, her hushed voice quivering.

Spike cupped her face with his hand, brushing his thumb lazily over her cheek. “We’ll be made heroes and live out the rest ‘f our merry days in a happily-ever-after fairytale,” he said lovingly, kissing her softly on the forehead.

Buffy stared up at him, her eyes teary, wishing her future could be that of Spike’s melancholy description. “Liar,” she rasped.

“And a bloody awful one at that,” he added, smiling sadly.

“This could be the last time I get to be in your arms,” she sorrowfully stated, burrowing herself deeper into his embrace.

Spike tightened his hold on her small form. “Best we not waste what precious time we have left then with those kinds of thoughts.”

“I’m scared, Spike,” she whispered into his neck, inhaling his scent as she tried to calm her nerves.

“I know, luv,” he muttered against her soft cheek. His hand moved up her right arm, his fingertips skimming along her silken skin until they reached the healed wounds on her neck. With the lightest stroke, he brushed his thumb lazily across the marks, hoping that the touch would have some sort of soothing affect.

Her breath hitched as Spike made contact. He might have thought that reestablishing their connection would comfort her but instead all it did was heighten her need for physical reassurance.

“Kiss me,” she abruptly demanded, her voice strained in urgency as the scent of her arousal filled the air around them.

Spike obliged, pressing his lips softly against hers. He could sense her desperation, her fiery need to savor these last few moments together. Buffy snaked her arms around his neck, rolling herself on top of him. The kiss quickly intensified as lips parted and tongues dueled. Spike gasped, feeling her pebbled nipples rub against his cotton clad chest. An unbidden growl reverberated in his throat as Buffy began to squirm, rubbing her nude body against his restrained erection. As much as he wanted to forget, to lose himself completely in Buffy, Spike knew there wasn’t any time for that sort of luxury.

“Buffy,” he said huskily. “Luv, we need to stop.”

She whimpered slightly. “Tell me you love me,” she begged of him.

“I love you,” he whispered against her lips. “I will always love you.”

“Make me yours, Spike,” Buffy restlessly requested, suddenly baring her neck to him.

Spike froze as his stomach sank. Buffy wanted him to claim her, to reciprocate the claim she had on him.

“What?!” he asked in total shock, looking up at her with a wide, disbelieving stare.

“Claim me, Spike,” she reiterated her request, her voice laced with fear and need.

Spike vigorously shook his head, rolling Buffy off of him as he jumped off the bed. “You don’t know what you’re asking,” he agitatedly told her as he paced the small area of floor in the room.

Buffy wrapped the white sheets around her naked frame, feeling the sting of rejection as Spike purposefully distanced himself from her. “I know it’ll bring us closer,” she argued timidly, her eyes unable to meet his. “If we don’t live through this, it might be our last chance.”

“And what if we do live through it?” he asked solemnly. “If I claim you Buffy, I’d be mating you and there would be no going back.”

“I know,” she replied softly.

“Do you?” he asked, an edge of frustration evident in his voice. “We’d be connected forever Buffy, and it wouldn’t be a symbolic union neither.”

“I remember what you said,” she responded boldly, raising her hazel eyes to his. “I know what’s involved, what’s at stake.”

“Yeah? What if I die tonight, luv? What then?” he asked harshly. “Would you survive the grief? Could you go on living the rest of your life like there is a whole piece of you missing?”

Buffy’s momentary confidence cracked at the thought of losing Spike. She bit her lower lip as she fought back the tears. Shaking her head, her gaze returned to her lap.

“I couldn’t do that to you, Buffy. I won’t take the chance,” he firmly stated.

Buffy nodded, knowing he was right. Where had this sudden need to mate with him come from anyway? Was it just the fear of losing Spike that made her long to be with him in every way possible? Maybe she thought that if these were their last moments together, she wanted them to be meaningful. She wanted Spike to leave the room knowing she was his and that no one, not Damon, not Giles, not even Cordy, could take that away from them.

What she hadn’t been expecting was the deer-caught-in-headlights expression on his face. It unnerved her. She wasn’t trying to trap him. Sure, his reasoning had made sense but his reaction was totally uncalled for. He was being such a jerk.

“And after the battle? If we do survive, will you ever make me your mate?” she asked tentatively.

Spike tensed at her question. Though he’d claimed that he was saving her from possible devastation by not mating her, the real reason for his refusal was founded in his own insecurities. Even if they did survive and Spike went on to make Buffy his mate, how would he cope when she left him? It wasn’t a point to be argued. There was going to come a day when Buffy wouldn’t be at his side, when she would desert him for greener pastures. Earlier Giles had planted the seeds of doubt in his mind as a last stitched effort at payback. Unfortunately for the vampire, the old sod had succeeded.

Spike tried to mask his apprehension with a weak smile. “Let’s cross that bridge when we get there, alright luv?”

Buffy nodded, still trying to fight back the tears. Now he was dodging the issue. When had Spike turned into the typical guy? Quick to profess his undying love but scared shitless of any form of commitment? She thought he would be different being a vampire and all, but like every other man in her life, he’d hurt her. She was beginning to question whether giving her heart to him had been such a good idea.

She grabbed her nightgown from the pile of clothes on the floor beside her, slipping it on as she slid off the bed. “I’m gonna freshen up,” she said quietly as she made her way to the door.

Spike could tell Buffy was upset and if he had any sense of mind he should just drop the altruistic act and tell Buffy the truth. He should tell her about his fears and insecurities. He wouldn’t though. She would think he was questioning her devotion, that he had doubts about their love. He didn’t. He just knew that she would eventually grow tired of the novelty of dating a vampire and leave him in search for the white picket fence and the 2.5 kids she was bound to want later in life. If he told her that, she wouldn’t understand. He wouldn’t mate her because he wasn’t about to hold her back from the life she might one day desire. Even if it didn’t include him.

Following after her, he reached for her hand. “Pet…” he pleadingly called to her, wishing she could understand what position she had put him in.

Buffy pulled away, shaking her head. “Let’s just…let’s just drop it,” she implored as she turned the doorknob, her eyes averted from his apologetic gaze. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Spike did nothing as Buffy left the room. He simply stood there, staring regretfully at the door. So much for no distractions. He’d be lucky if he didn’t end up fitting in an ashtray by the time the night was through.


The main hallway was crowded with people, all waiting for Giles, who was standing patiently at the top of the stairs ready to address them. The house, the lawn and the adjacent street were filled with townspeople, all abuzz with nervous chatter. In an hour the sun was to set and many of them were to be sent out to face Damon’s vampire army. To say everyone was on edge would’ve been a grave understatement. Yet no one could deny that there was also a feeling of adventure, of optimism, of revitalized hope circulating amongst those gathered at the headquarters. A mindset that Giles was hoping these brave few would sustain as they willingly sacrificed themselves for the greater good. In the end, it would most likely be the only thing to keep them going.

Spike had come down the stairs a few moments before, not too soon followed by a dejected Buffy. Giles was somewhat surprised to see the couple arrive separately. He was even more taken aback by their cold dispositions, the warmth and adoration he had seen in their every action now nonexistent as they joined the rest of the group. Had he caused this? Had his few words to Spike triggered a quarrel between the lovers? Giles exhaled tiredly. This was without a doubt bound to come back and bite him in the ass. Why couldn’t he have just kept his trap shut? Why did he have to feel like he had to stick it to the vampire one last time? Now his best fighters were anywhere but in mindset for the fight ahead of them.

‘Happy now Rupert?’ he mentally reprimanded. ‘Seem to have a knack for buggering things up royally, don’t you?’

The crowd started to calm down, voices hushing in anticipation for Giles to commence his pre-fight speech. Pushing aside his self-deprecating musings, the Watcher promptly took his cue.

“I’m not one for speeches, but I feel that what we are about to embark upon warrants a few words of encouragement,” he started steadily, his gaze scanning the room. “I know I don’t have to tell you all how important this night is. It is what we have spent these five years preparing for. It won’t be easy and there will be casualties. Yet we cannot lose sight of the fact that if we succeed in defeating Damon, we might at last be rid of the vampires that had turned Sunnydale into a place so befittingly called a Hellmouth. It’s up to us to reclaim what’s ours,” he stated, feeling the zeal for their cause stir within him.

His eyes caught glimpse of Spike retreating back into one of the corners of the hallway, his leather duster wrapped tightly around his body, his gaze vacant as his attention focused on the tiny bit of empty space in front of him. Buffy, who was standing by an anxiously chatty Willow and comfortably stoic Oz, appeared to be just as crestfallen as the vampire.

The Watcher couldn’t also help but notice how Cordelia, who was in Xander’s company only a few feet away, was also shooting fleeting glances in the blonde girl’s direction. Giles could only assume the two young women had not buried the hatchet and were still at odds with one another.

The Englishman exhaled in exasperation. He was tempted to yell down at the whole lot of them to get over it and focus on the war they were about to fight. He wouldn’t though. No matter what he’d say, the damage was already done. Giles could only hope it didn’t deter them too greatly from what they had to do.

“You all know the plan and your stations. Good luck and Godspeed,” he finished, watching as the crowd quietly dispersed to their appointed places.

The Watcher’s gaze followed Buffy as she quickly maneuvered through the scattering crowd. She eventually flew past him as she made her way up the stairs, ensuring that Spike couldn’t chase after her since he had to join the rest of the garrison stationed out on the street. A brief flash of hurt crossed the vampire’s face before he masked it with a cavalier attitude, as though nothing could affect him. Pushing off the wall, he straightened his shoulders and added the patented swagger to his step as he headed out the door.

The scene that had jus played out before Giles made him yank off his glasses to give them a good cleaning. “We’re all doomed,” he muttered as he trudged up the stairs.

After saying their goodbyes to their respective women, Oz and Xander followed after Spike, also heading to their designated spots amongst the group of fighters located in the middle of the street. They were to lead small cohorts of troops as would a few of the other more seasoned fighters. The whole contingent would be led by Spike, who had placed himself dead center on the front line, where he could be the first to great Damon when he arrived with his vampire army.

Spike confidently walked past the humans who were arranged in battle positions. He nodded his head to the few people who’d greeted him. Everyone was still under the belief that he was some demon hunter that had breezed into town just in the knick of time. ‘No wonder it was so easy to take this town from these people,’ Spike thought contemptuously. ‘So bloody gullible.’

Ignoring the fact that these not so bright citizens were presently equipped with some serious anti-vampire artillery, Spike kept moving toward the front of the crowd. He was going to have to be careful. He couldn’t let his anger get the better of him. He couldn’t risk vamping out in front of these stake happy humans. He needed to concentrate and remember that he couldn’t eviscerate Damon if he was a pile of dust. All Spike had to do was keep his wits about him.

He paused when he overheard two men in Oz’s cohort exchanging a bit of gossip to pass the time.

“Do you ever wonder whatever happened to Spike?” the one who Spike vaguely remembered being called Scott asked as he slipped a few more stakes into the holders on his belt.

“The rumor is that Damon killed him and took the clan for himself,” the other, taller one replied, who Spike knew as Oz’s mate Devon. He was adjusting the shoulder strap to the dagger holder that crossed his chest, trying to get it the right position for best accessibility. Apparently, the boy could slice a strand of hair in two just with the throw of his knife.

Spike knew that these humans were in no way as strong or as fast as any vamp but at least they weren’t completely incompetent when it came to the art of war. At least he wasn’t going to have to carry the whole battle on his shoulders. It meant he could concentrate on destroying Damon a little more and babysitting a whole army of humans a little less.

“Well Jonathan said he overheard Xander and Willow talking about how Giles had got a hold of Spike. From the way they were arguing, he thinks Giles dusted the vamp in a fit of rage for what he did to Sarah,” Scott countered with another tale he’d heard from off the grapevine.

It was then that Spike approached the two, his intimidating confidence still in check as not to arouse any suspicion. The two came to full attention as he drew closer. He scoffed under his breath. Just like the rest of this town they thought he was someone deserving of their respect. Little did they know that they were admiring a vampire; the same vampire that not a few months back was their number one enemy. He would’ve snapped their necks without so much as a second thought.

“Hi Will,” Jonathan spoke up.

“‘ello gents,” he said, inspecting the weaponry they were wielding, playing the part of General that they wanted him to be. “‘bout ready for Judgment Day?”

They nodded earnestly.

“Ready as we’ll ever be,” Scott nervously replied. There was just something about the stranger that made him uncomfortable. His piercing sapphire gaze made it difficult to keep eye contact and the paleness of his skin made it hard not to stare. All those years fighting vampires was probably what made him look like he was one of them.

“So Will, what’s your theory on what happened to Spike?” Jonathan asked, hoping that since this stranger had been welcomed into Giles’s inner circle, he might know more than the rest of them.

Spike smirked smugly. “Don’t really need a theory,” he responded.

Jonathan and Scott stared at the vampire, completely stunned. “Are you saying you actually know what happened to him?” Jonathan pushed, eager to hear of the fate of the demon that had been Sunnydale’s Most Wanted for nearly five years.

“The Spike you knew is dead,” he told them bluntly. “I killed him.”

Leaving them to chew on that tidbit of information, Spike turned on his heels, marching toward the front line. He wasn’t sure what had compelled him to talk to those men or why he had felt the need to tell them of the supposed ‘demise’ of Spike, Clan Leader and Master Vampire. And it wasn’t like he had told them a complete lie; he wasn’t the same vamp who had once fought the humans he was now to lead. The Spike they had known was indeed dead and it was William who had killed him.

“So I guess this must be all bridging on the Twilight Zone for you, huh?” Xander asked as he took his place at Spike’s left side, his cohort just a few feet behind him.

Spike scoffed. “That would be puttin’ it mildly, yeah.”

Xander nodded. “I always figured you’d have something to do with the final showdown,” he told the evidently distracted vampire. “Just never pictured you fighting on our side.”

“Got Damon and his mutinous personality to thank for that,” Spike flippantly retorted, not tearing his gaze from the expanse of road ahead of him to look over at Xander.

At that moment Oz took Spike’s right. “Huh. I was under the impression we had Buffy to thank for your little change of heart,” the shorter man commented as he and Xander both pulled out their trusty swords.

Spike turned his head abruptly to stare incredulously at Oz, caught off guard by the mention of the woman who he had so carelessly, though unintentionally, snubbed. The vampire and the werewolf exchanged looks for the briefest second before Spike turned his attention back to the road ahead of them. “You best be thankful for her,” he muttered, watching as the sun dipped below the horizon. “If it weren’t for Buffy, I would’ve ripped out all your throats the moment I found that you’d taken her from me.”

Xander glanced over at Oz, who could only shrug his shoulders at Spike’s scathing remark. “Oh yeah,” he cheered sarcastically. “I can see this ending well.”

The streetlights lit up as the night’s darkness blanketed them. At the end of the street, on a patch of road that had been vacant only moments before, now contained a horde of marching vampires. An army of hell was heading their way and the anticipation was starting to take its toll on the humans as the involuntary scent of fear filtered through the air.

Leaning on his sword, Xander sighed despondently. “I really thought I was gonna live through this.”

Staring silently as Damon and his vampires flew down the street toward them, Spike glimpsed one final time at the house, spotting Buffy at the open second story window, sun bomb ready in hand. Their eyes locked for what felt like an eternity before she did something that nearly knocked the vampire on his ass.

Buffy smiled at him.

Spike knew it wasn’t forgiveness. He had handled the whole mating issue so badly that up until now, he’d feared he had completely fucked things up in the there-was-no-going back kind of sense. But this tiny sign told him it wasn’t like that at all. She was still mad as hell but she was letting him know that it hadn’t changed the way she felt. She still loved him. It was a crumb but it was more than he deserved.

With a renewed sense of hope, Spike smirked as Damon’s smug face came into plain sight. “Suck it up, Whelp,” Spike called out to Xander, who was now alert, with sword raised and waiting. “The show’s ‘bout to begin.”

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