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Brave New World by JamesMFan
Clean Slate
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Spike looked up as Buffy trudged in through the door. So much for his hi-tech security. She looked exhausted, hair messy and clothes creased and dirty. Must have been a hard slay. For a moment Spike’s mind wandered to other possible explanations for the dishevelled Slayer’s appearance. Then he told his mind to shut up.

She padded into the living room and looked at him. He remained seated on the couch, bare feet up on the coffee table, arms thrown over the back of the chairs.

Then he spoke, “My car?”

“I’m fine, thanks,” she grumbled, slinging herself down into the armchair.

Spike smiled and turned back to the TV he was vaguely watching. “You get on alright? Looks like you had it rough.”

“Only with you,” Buffy said slyly.

He cleared his throat and shifted on the couch. “What was it? A vampire?”

“Yeah,” she nodded, trying to work the cricks out of her neck. “But there’s other stuff in there. A lot of other stuff. Big stuff. Insanely huge…stuff.”

“I’d make a remark about size mattering but I don’t want to be cliché,”

The Slayer snorted and they both turned their attention back to the TV. The TV was safe. Well, it was usually. There was that one time it got possessed with the ghost of a vengeful electrician…but Spike was getting off-track.
He still had to think up something to get Buffy off the charges. He was racking his brains and coming up with nothing. He thought maybe he ought to pay Angel a visit. He might be of some help.

Buffy scooted forward on the chair and leaned towards him. “I guess Norman didn’t find anything wrong with the contract?”

Spike sighed. “No. It’s foolproof.”

“Well, if there’s one thing The Council is good at its trapping people,” Buffy shrugged dejectedly. “Maybe I should ask Willow to open a portal in the time space continuum or something.”

Spike glared at her.

“I’m kidding!” She put her hands up, innocent. “When did you lose that little thing we like to call ‘a sense of humour’?”

“’Bout thirty years ago.”

She went quiet, then. Didn’t know what to say. And neither did he.

“Wow, cheery in here,” Mya suddenly appeared, gathering keys and a phone up and throwing them into a bag she had slung over her shoulder. “You guys should get a camera. It’s really a Kodak moment.”

Spike sat up. “Where you going?”

“Melissa’s. Staying over. Don’t miss me too much, party people.”

And with that she was gone.

Leaving the vampire and the vampire slayer suddenly very alone in the house. Their eyes met simultaneously and then both flicked away. Spike felt immensely stupid. She was Buffy, for Christ’s sake, not some girl he had a crush on. There were more serious matters at work here anyway.

“We haven’t found anything of help, yet,” Spike admitted, his voice sounded echoed to his ears.

Buffy seemed to accept that a little too easily. “You will.”

“And if we don’t?”

“If you don’t…” she paused then shrugged. “Then you don’t.”

Spike tilted his head. “You don’t seem too bothered.”

Buffy slumped back into the chair. “Spike, I’ve missed thirty years of my life. Two of the people I loved most in the whole world…they’re gone. Everything and everyone has changed. Being charged for murdering a vampire? Really doesn’t compare.”

“They’d lock you up, Buffy. They might even execute you.”

She smiled sadly. “Have to find me first.”

Spike growled lowly to himself. Angry and feeling useless. He stood up and walked to the patio doors, sliding them open he stood and watched the dark garden. The sun had set quite a while ago. Spike absently wondered where the time had gone. Faith’s sun block would have run out a long time ago, so they must have been in The Labyrinth a long time. No wonder Buffy looked so tired. And the first thing he’d asked about was his car. Spike shook his head in self disgust.

Suddenly she’d stepped up beside him, watching the darkness just like him. She leaned slumped against the door and took in a deep lungful of cold fresh air. That was the thing about night time. The air always seemed crisper, cleaner and newer. Like a clean slate.

“So. You. Me.” Buffy bumped him with her hip. “A house to ourselves. Mayhem, mayhem, mayhem. What will we get up to?”

Spike turned and looked at her. “I was thinkin’ of doing some hoovering.”

She laughed loudly. “Jesus, Spike, what happened to you?”

“What? If I don’t then the place gets dusty as hell,” he folded his arms defensively. “And then Mya gets ill. Or, well, she did. When she was little. Look, it’s a force of habit for me, alright?”

Buffy eyed him. “When the kids are away the vampire and Slayer will play.”

“Play what?” He asked cautiously.

“I don’t know, Parcheesi?” Buffy scoffed, backing into the house and pulling her hair free from the band. It tumbled around her shoulders and she smoothed it down self-consciously.

Spike scowled mockingly. “Don’t take that tone of voice with me, young lady.”

“That’s kind of kinky, even for you.” She noted, amused.

“What can I say? I’m a deviant,” Spike deadpanned, moving back into the house and around her into the kitchen. “Drink?”

“Many.” Buffy nodded.

Spike snorted, remembering times past. Slayer couldn’t handle her drink but she kept on trying. He shook a bottle of red wine at her and she pulled a face. Spike shelved the wine and went for the spirits. Brandishing a bottle of vodka the Slayer gave him the affirmative nod. He chuckled and grabbed a couple of glasses, walking back over to the living room area. Sitting down with a sigh he poured a measure into each of the glasses.

Buffy walked over, bypassed the glass and scooped up the bottle taking it with her as she sat opposite him. He laughed and held his modest tumbler up to her in a gesture of a toast.

“To my impending imprisonment!” Buffy announced cheerily.

Spike shook his head, looking at her. “To the lost and the found.”

Buffy looked back at him, perplexed, but raised her bottle admirably. She downed a large quantity of the bottle in one go and Spike had a feeling she’d regret it in the morning. Still, she was an adult. If she wanted to get utterly bug-shagging drunk then that was her decision. Besides, it was interesting to watch.

“I wish she was here,” Buffy said.



Spike paused for a few long moments. “Same here.”

“She…had a good life though?” Her voice sounded very small.

He nodded. “Had a degree. Good job. Boy who doted on her.”

Buffy laughed sadly. “Wow. She had it way better than me.”

“Oh, I don’t know ‘bout that. You had the boy who doted on you, at least,” Spike said softly, smiling slightly.

She looked right at him then. “Yeah. I guess I did.”

The silence that hung between them was heavy and Spike didn’t know if it would be okay to tell her that she still had a boy who doted on her. He was a bit of a pathetic, good-for-nothing boy but he’d still do anything for her. He didn’t say it though. Surely she knew.

Buffy looked down at the bottle in her hands, head bowed. He couldn’t bear to see the look of sadness on her face. So he stood abruptly and slapped his hands together, making her jump.

“Know what? Forget the sodding hoover,” Spike pointed at her. “Me and you, we’re going out.”

Buffy’s brow creased. “Spike, I don’t think…”

“It’s play time, remember? Get your glad rags on, Slayer.”

She arched an eyebrow. “I don’t have any –”

“Oh, will you just come on!”

“Alright Mr. Bossy Pants…” Buffy stood up and walked out of the room to get changed. He could still hear her call, “But just remember, you ain’t my daddy.”

Spike said nothing to that but several interesting visuals came to mind.
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