full 3/4 1/2   skin light dark       
Master by Aurora
Chapter Twenty-You Won't Get to See the Tears I Cry
<<     >>
Chapter Twenty: You Won't Get to See the Tears I Cry

Giles groaned as he held the frozen ice pack to his bruised face, sighing as it instantly soothed his battered cheek. He was sitting at the dining room table again, a headache pounding away in his head, becoming increasingly aggravated by Xander’s agitatedly incessant pacing. Willow was at the Watcher’s side, patting him sympathetically on the shoulder while Oz and Cordelia sat across from him with troubled expressions on their faces. It had been the unexpected sound of shattering glass that had propelled them all downstairs, where they had found him out cold on the basement floor. After being splashed with countless buckets of water and subjected to the harsh odors of smelling salts, Giles had finally been stirred back to consciousness. He was brought back upstairs where he was now downing a full bottle of aspirin in attempt to thwart the Riverdance that was maliciously tapping away in his head.

Xander was becoming impatient, constantly fidgeting with his hands as he walked the perimeter of the room. Hating the unspoken silence, he asked what was already on everyone else’s mind. “So what do we do now?”

“It all depends,” Oz calmly replied, his manner a polar opposite to that of his restless friend.

“On what?” Xander asked, his voice straining.

“On what exactly Giles knows about Buffy,” Cordelia answered. An underlying threat was made clear in her tone, warning them that something better be done to save her best friend…or else. “So tell us Giles, what did the Billy Idol wannabe tell you before his lackeys clobbered you over the head?”

“Damon lied,” the Watcher calmly answered, not allowing Cordelia’s lack of subtlety to get to him. “Buffy is not being hidden away in some undisclosed location. She is and always was imprisoned at Spike’s central lair,” Giles minimally elaborated.

He could only hope that Buffy was indeed still at the main house, alive if not well. Spike’s haunting pleas to be set free, to save the defenseless girl from probable death were still ringing in his ears. Giles couldn’t bring himself to think of the possibility that Spike might not have reached Buffy in time. His guilt for keeping the vampire locked up, to fulfill his own vengeful agenda, was threatening to resurface. Giles was going to have to cling to the belief that Buffy was still alive, until he was proven otherwise.

The Watcher knew that his own life should have ended last night. If Spike had been the vampire Giles had truly thought him to be, he would have been buried six feet under by now. Yet here he was, living, breathing, possibly suffering from a mild concussion, but still alive nonetheless. You didn’t simply torture a vampire and expect to live to tell the tale if he somehow manages to escape. The fact that Spike had decided not to kill him, along with all the other unconventional details Giles had learned about the Master vampire during his short stay, had made one thing clear. Spike was no longer the monster he had once been.

“We’re gonna get her out of there, right?” Cordelia indignantly asked, the bitchy persona she had mastered in L.A. re-emerging in her behaviour.

“Of course we are!” Willow retorted, suddenly feeling very defensive, before she meekly glanced up at Giles. “We are, aren’t we?”

The Watcher never got the chance to respond.

“Are you all nuts?!” Xander exclaimed, his nervous pacing coming to a complete halt.

Cordelia threw him an irritated, contemptuous look. “I don’t speak spaz. You wanna translate for all of us who live in a sane, English speaking world?”

Xander gritted his teeth. Queen C was starting to get on his nerves. “Oh, I’m crazy, am I? Well I’m not the one suggesting we break Buffy out of the main house when we just spent the last few days torturing the vampire who’s in charge of the place!”

“You’re assuming he’s even there,” Cordy retorted. “You told me he was in pretty bad shape. How can you expect us to believe that Spike made it straight across town in the condition he was in? He probably passed out before he got his ass halfway there and had to hide out somewhere from the sun.”

Xander smiled. He wasn’t going to point out how wrong she was just yet. “So in your infinite wisdom Cordy, how exactly do you propose we get Buffy out of there?”

“Well, if Spike isn’t at the house yet, he’s stuck hiding until sundown. He’s not gonna get anywhere near Buffy until probably late into the night, which gives us plenty of time to go in and get her,” she explained, feeling quite pleased with herself.

“That’s a super plan. A real winner,” Xander remarked with fake enthusiasm as he gave her a really moving double thumbs up. “Just one itsy bitsy minor detail you’re overlooking.”

Cordelia crossed her arms. “Oh yeah? And what’s that?”

“The sewers. Vamps around here can get anywhere in town, at anytime of the day, just by venturing through Sunnydale’s good old reliable sewer system. Even say…a few minions carrying their injured leader back to their lair,” Xander condescendingly stated, grinning smugly at Cordelia as he took a seat beside Willow.

Cordelia huffed, pouting when she realized that the annoying doofus was right. Turning to look at Giles, she didn’t notice that the said doofus was suddenly losing his self-righteous attitude, only to stare longingly at her sulky lip. “So Buffy’s just doomed? You guys aren’t going to do anything?” she fearfully inquired.

“Of course not,” Giles reassured. “However, Xander’s argument is still a very much legitimate one.”

“Okay, so Spike’s probably at the house by now but we can still work around that,” Willow said, wanting to get the ball rolling.

“Damon did betray him,” Oz pointed out, trying to help out his girlfriend. “That’s gotta be distracting.”

“Ooo! That’s right. Spike’s probably real busy with the payback, meaning lots of Buffy rescue opportunities,” Willow added in her chipper, Willowish way.

“Damon did intend to usurp Spike’s claim over the clan. It’s probably a literal war zone over there,” the Watcher postulated.

“So how’s this supposed to convince me that we shouldn’t get Buffy out of there, like as of now?” Cordy asked angrily, feeling like fate had played a cruel joke by sticking her with these indecisive, and sometimes idiotic, would be heroes.

“It’s not,” Giles dejectedly replied. “As much as Spike has surprised us in these past few days…”

“Like with the not killing you?” Cordy interrupted, unimpressed that that would be considered some kind of notable accomplishment.

“Among other things,” Giles muttered before continuing.

“Yeah, like the whole hero shtick and being in lov—oomph,” Xander absentmindedly started to utter before Willow elbowed him in the stomach.

“Hero?” Oz wondered, quirking an eyebrow.

“In love?” Cordelia also questioned.

Xander’s eyes went wide, realizing that he had majorly screwed up. Giles had told him and Willow that no one else was to know about Spike’s feelings for Buffy. It would only confuse them and make the mission much more difficult to accomplish. As for the incident of Spike’s rescue from Oz’s werewolf self, Willow had asked him and Giles to keep it a secret. She had said that his werewolfness affected him more than he let on. She didn’t want him to find out and hate himself for something he had had no control over. Xander had agreed to keep his lips sealed on both issues, thinking that he was at least capable of keeping a secret. So much for believing in himself. He should’ve just asked Willow to do some kind of memory wipe spell to clear his mind of all incriminating tidbits of information. Xander was starting to get real tired of the taste of his foot in his mouth.

Glancing from Willow to Giles, he gulped when their worried and scolding faces offered him little help. “Uhhhh…yeah…you know…Goofy old Xander. Just making with the sarcasm.”

“Definitely see the ‘goofy’ but you’re gonna have to keep on explaining if you want us to get the sarcasm,” Cordelia skeptically stated.

“Okay, well, remember how Spike kept on saying he had to save Buffy from Damon. We all know that it’s just because he doesn’t like to share. And the whole love thing? I was about to say that the vamp’s totally in love with himself,” Xander desperately tried to cover up, sweating bullets and laughing his nervous laugh. “I was just trying to say, in my usual, sarcastic kind of way, that Spike’s not so surprising. Did I mention I was being sarcastic?”

“Yeah, like a bunch of times already,” Cordelia answered, turning away from Xander, no longer interested in his anxious ramblings. “You were saying Giles?”

“Yes, well, even though I don’t believe Spike would harm her, it’s just not safe for Buffy any more, especially now with the likely power struggle that must be going on within the clan. It is imperative that we get her out of there.”

“Finally, somebody is making some sense!” Cordelia announced while giving Xander a poignant look. Xander responded by venomously glaring back at the arrogant brunette.

“Okay, so the plan is to get Buffy out and hope we don’t get ourselves killed in the crossfire. Makes tons of sense to me,” Xander quipped. He was usually up for whatever vampire-ass kicking that came his way, but running blind into the lion’s den wasn’t his idea of, well, a good idea.

“I’m afraid we don’t have much of a choice,” Giles stated as he pulled off his glasses to habitually wipe them clean.

Xander’s shoulders slumped in acceptance. “I know.”

A few moments of quiet passed throughout the group as they came to grips with what had to be done.

It was Oz who broke the silence with his usual dose of logic. “This might go without saying but wouldn’t this be about the time to start coming up with some kind of plan?”


Buffy mewled as she stretched out, loving how she felt sore in all the right places. Spike chuckled as he threw the empty box of cookies off the bed, slipping beneath the satin sheet beside her.

“All better now?” he asked as he rubbed her stomach.

“Hmmm. Much better,” Buffy sighed contently.

“Good. Now I can ravish you all over again,” he stated, growling as he playfully pounced on top of her.

Buffy burst into to fit of giggles as she tried to squirm away from the onslaught of kisses. “C’mon Spike. Stop,” she whiningly laughed, pushing him off of her.

Spike grudgingly did as he was told, sitting back and looking adoringly grumpy. Buffy could only smile at the boyish pout he was giving her. “Don’t get me wrong. I would love to waste the rest of the day with you, in this bed, but shouldn’t you be getting downstairs? You know, to lay down some of that serious retribution on Damon’s ass?”

Damon. Just the sound of his name made Spike’s blood instantaneously boil. Yet as much as he wanted to seek out revenge, Spike had to admit that the wretched, traitorous vampire had been the last thing on his mind. Glancing back to look into Buffy’s warm smiling face, he reluctantly realized that some of Damon’s rants hadn’t been completely untrue. Buffy did distract him from his clan. He should be downstairs right now on damage control, fixing whatever mess Damon had left behind, and not burdening Vincent and Natasha with his dirty work. Instead he was here, in Buffy’s room, wanting nothing more than to lose himself in her hazel eyes and find solace in her warm embrace.

Spike kissed her on the cheek. “What can I say luv? You could make a bloke forget his own name.”

Buffy blushed at the compliment. “So what happens now?”

He jumped out of bed, picking up his black jeans from off the floor. They weren’t in the best condition but he could live with a few bloodstains. Slipping the previously discarded denim back on, Spike gave Buffy his patented smirk. “Simple, pet. I bust a few skulls, reclaim my rightful place at the top and then finish off the night with a relaxing Damon bonfire. Once that’s all set, everything can go back to normal.”

Buffy’s cheerful face dropped at his last remark. “Back to normal? You mean back to the way things were before?”

Spike appeared puzzled by her suddenly somber expression. “Yeah?”

How else would he want things to be?

“Does that include me?” she whispered, bowing her head as she pulled the black satin sheet up to her chin.

Spike grew worried. “What are you gettin’ at?”

Buffy peered back up into his bewildered cerulean gaze. “Me? Us? Will we go back to the way we were before?”

“How can you even ask me that?” Spike apprehensively inquired as he went in search of a clean shirt. “Of course we won’t.”

“So I’m free?”

Her words echoed throughout the room, causing Spike to stop dead in his tracks. “What?” His voice croaked as he turned back to stare at her.

“If things aren’t gonna be the way they once were, you have to let me go,” Buffy quietly replied.

“You wanna leave me? Is that what all this is about?” Spike was freaked. Where the hell was this coming from?

Buffy shook her head. “I never said that, Spike.”

“Then what are you sayin’?!” he exasperated, grabbing a black cotton tee from out of the wooden dresser drawer.

“I want to know I have the choice. That you trust me enough to make my own decision to stay,” she assertively replied, her eyes locking with his.

“So, you don’t want to leave. You just want the choice. Is that it?” he wondered, staring at Buffy as though she had gone completely bonkers.

“It’s about trust,” she gritted out, not liking his badgering tone. “If you care about me like you say you do, if you really do lov—”

“Don’t you bloody dare say it!” Spike furiously shouted, marching over to her, menacingly hovering above her.

Spike was livid, beside himself with revived anger. How could she possibly question his love for her yet again?! Spike had thought they had gotten past this. What did he have to do to prove it to her?

Buffy’s apparent doubt was like salt in the already festering wound that was his insecurity. One that still stung from when she had been unable to stutter out a simple ‘I love you, too’. The timid, unsure William within him couldn’t help but wonder what it was about him that no one could seem to love. Cecily, Druscilla and even his own vampire mother had all rejected him in some way, shape or form. Every single woman he had opened his heart to had never truly loved him back. The uncertain fear that he would eventually have to add Buffy’s name to the list was beginning to appear to be less and less of an uncertainty.

Spike felt the sudden urge to violently throttle whoever had come up with the asinine philosophy that it was better to love than to be loved. They had obviously never experienced the despair of rejection. They had obviously never been him.

Glaring down at her, Spike released a shaky breath, trying to calm himself down. “You want me to trust you, is that right?” he grumbled.

Buffy could only nod in response. She hadn’t been expecting the sudden outburst; she had to admit, Spike was scaring her. And she knew that that was never a good sign.

Spike sneered before pulling the cotton black t-shirt over his head, yanking it down over his torso. Once dressed, he refused to move from his spot, his temper flaring beneath the façade of a cool exterior. “Thing is pet, it goes both ways. What’s it exactly that ‘m ‘sposed to place my trust in?”

“Me,” she quietly replied.

Spike laughed, a bitter chuckle escaping his lips. “You? What specifically about you, luv? You expect me to just put all my faith in your heartfelt sentiments of ‘not hating me’?”

Buffy flinched from the truthfulness of his spiteful remark. She couldn’t really blame Spike for his anger. She was asking him to completely let go, to give her all his trust when he hadn’t been given any real reassurance that she wouldn’t break his heart. To Spike, giving her back her freedom was a gamble, one he was just too afraid to loose. If Buffy had simply told him that she loved him, they wouldn’t be at a standoff right now. Though she knew she had let him in and he was deeply rooted in her heart no matter what was to happen, how could Buffy progress their relationship when she was still technically being held against her will? Maybe that had been the real reason why her mouth had lost all sense of function when she had been put on the spot. How could she tell someone who was keeping her prisoner that she loved them?

The guilt she had been feeling for the whole ‘I love you’ debacle slowly began to disappear as something within her gradually hardened. Didn’t she have the right to ask him to prove his love? If Spike did love her like he said he did, wouldn’t he want her free? Wouldn’t he have already unlocked the large wooden doors that kept her trapped in her room? What right did Spike have to be upset with her? She was just asking for what was rightfully hers in the first place. If he could just trust her, without any reservations or fears that she would betray him, if he could do that even without knowing whether or not she loved him, then Buffy would know. She would know that he did genuinely love her and she would probably be able to finally tell him. Buffy knew it was a lot to ask but now she was certain the test was necessary. If only Spike could see her love through her actions and not dwell upon what had been left unsaid.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t so, leaving them at an impasse. Spike wouldn’t let her go until she told him she loved him and Buffy would never profess her love until she was freed. Neither one wanted to take the first step, to be the first one to cave in. It was nothing but unnecessary fear and stupid pride holding them back, trapping them in an endless stalemate.

Buffy stared down at her lap, away from Spike’s infuriated glare. It would be futile to fight the issue.

“You’re not gonna let me go, are you?” her voice was hoarse, thick with disappointment.

The anger that had been contorting his features into an unpleasant grimace began to slowly slip away. Finding such desolation in Buffy’s dull, hazel eyes immediately calmed the ragging storm of emotions that had been fanning the flames of Spike’s temper. Even though his anger had not been completely extinguished, he suddenly felt very ashamed of himself. Spike shook his head as he looked away from Buffy’s sorrowful gaze.

“No, pet. ‘M not,” Spike replied, picking up his blood encrusted duster from off the floor. “It’s too dangerous out there right now, with Damon and all. You’re safer here.”

His excuse didn’t convince her in the slightest, and his utter disregard for the real issue, namely his inability to trust her with her own freedom, upset Buffy immensely. Wrapping herself up even tighter in the bed’s few blankets, she turned her back to Spike, hating how her nudity made her feel all the more vulnerable. “Fine, whatever,” she bitterly muttered.

“Luv…” Spike implored, wishing she would just accept his decision. He was still pretty upset that Buffy had wanted to leave him and that she had questioned the sincerity of his feelings, but the intensely blinding rage that had initially arisen from her not so simple request was finally abating. It was replaced instead with a sadness that Spike had not felt since Druscilla had left him. Anger had finally given way to grief.

Releasing a dejected sigh, Spike rubbed his eyes. His head hurt and he just wanted things to go back to the way they were just hours before. How could everything go from so right to so wrong so quickly?

“C’mon pet, don’t be this way,” he continued to plead.

Refusing to budge, Buffy kept her back to him. “Just leave me alone,” she said softly.

Spike could tell she was crying, her body was shaking with quieted sobs. The tension in the room was high and his guilt was increasing with every passing second that he spent standing by the bed, watching her as she silently cried. Unable to stand it any longer, Spike threw on his black leather duster as he headed to the room’s only exit.

Slamming the door behind him, the emotionally distressed vampire flew down the hall, needing to get his mind off of everything that had to do with Buffy. Getting back to business, regaining control over his broken clan would have to suffice as his much needed distraction. The thought of killing Damon resurfaced, and though it was quite necessary and undoubtedly promising to be a fun filled romp, it would not solve all of his problems. But it sure as hell would make him feel better, even if only for a little while.
<<     >>