Kick or Lick?
A/N: Sorry this has been so long coming. I lost the writing flow for a while. I hope it's back.
“You want me to what?” Buffy glared at Spike, arms folded.
He stood slowly. “It’s just until you’re cleared.”
She shook her head. “No. Not Faith. Anyone but Faith.”
“There is no one else,” he held his arms out. “Not unless you fancy shacking up in a nice cosy prison cell. Maybe we can get you one next to Angel.”
Buffy stared at him stony-faced. “I’ll probably end up there anyway.”
She watched as his face fell and she felt bad about it. Felt bad about being the cause of that expression again. Buffy would bet before she came back Spike hadn’t had that look on his face in a long time. The look that said, ‘you’re breaking my heart, you bitch’. He never said it, though. Well, maybe once.
Norman cleared his throat and they both turned to him. “Uh, it’s best not to have a defeatist attitude, Buffy.”
“Easy for you to say,” she sighed, slumping down on the couch. “You’re not the one up for first degree murder. And also, not having to room with Faith.”
Spike slumped into the armchair across from her. “I dare say he wouldn’t mind that particular roommate.”
“My taste in living arrangements side,” Norman said awkwardly, “We do have a chance of winning this case. I intend to give it my all.”
Buffy smile slightly. “I know you do, Norm. I appreciate it. A girl couldn’t ask for a better lawyer.”
Norman nodded and gathered up his briefcase announcing that he was going to go home to study practically every book known to man to try and find her a way out of this. He advised she get a good night’s sleep and that’d he’d see her at Faith’s apartment the next day. Buffy fell into a mood again at the very mention of the other woman’s name. When Norman had left and she remained sitting there - the very picture of despondent - for quite some time, Spike finally spoke.
“Why’d you hate her so much?”
Buffy arched an eyebrow. “You are joking, right?”
“No, I mean, I get she did things to you,” he said carefully. “But then so did I. So did Angel. And you like us. Well, me. Mostly me, I think.”
She couldn’t help but crack a smile. “That was different.”
“You guys are trying to redeem yourselves.”
Spike tilted his head. “What’s to say she isn’t? She still fights evil. She was in prison because she chose to go there. They wouldn’t have had a chance in hell of catching her or keeping her in there if she didn’t want to be.”
Buffy locked eyes with him. “I know that.”
“It’s just not the same.”
He regarded her. “It’s because she had a soul, isn’t it? When she did all those things. And you can’t understand how. You think having a soul is the be all and end all.”
Buffy shrugged. “So what if I do.”
“We all do bad things and good things, regardless of souls,” he explained.
“If you’re soulless you have no conscience,” she retorted. “She had a soul. She had a conscience. She had no excuse. You and Angel didn’t have consciences.”
He shook his head. “You know I don’t believe that.”
“And you know I do.”
They said nothing for a while. Buffy looked him over, wanted to commit him to memory. This new him. This essentially same him. The hair was darker, the clothes smarter, the attitude calmer. But boiling beneath the surface was still the guy she had always known. She was pretty sure he wanted to get into a full blown philosophical debate with her right then, full of British swear words and erratic gestures – as had always been his way – but he didn’t. He simply raised one eyebrow for a moment then nodded slowly.
“Fair enough,” Spike said.
The Slayer smiled. “We’ll never see things the same way.”
He shrugged. “That’s the beauty of it.”
“Gets the blood pumping.”
“Your blood doesn’t pump,” she pointed out. “It’s not even yours.”
Spike folded his arms. “Possession is nine tenths of the law, Slayer.”
Buffy grinned. “Slayer, huh? You don’t call me that much anymore.”
“Just when you’re acting like one.”
She motioned towards herself. “Acting like one? If I was, you’d be dust by now, pal.”
He shook his head, smiled. “You don’t, though. I’ve picked up some new things these past years. I reckon you wouldn’t stand a chance.”
“Oh you do? Care to wager on that, Mr. Vampire?”
“I’m unemployed, I shouldn’t wager.”
Buffy’s face became still. “I’m still mad about that, by the way.”
“Deal with it.”
She stood, folded her arms. “I kind of want to kick your ass now.”
“In my old age my hearing is going, was that ‘kick’ or ‘lick’…?” He smirked, slouched in the chair.
Buffy shook her head and didn’t rise to the bait. Instead she turned and walked up to the patio doors, pulling them open and stepping outside. The wooden deck outside felt hard beneath her bare feet. She stood and admired the view of the garden. The sun was shining brightly and she heard Spike come up to the doorway behind her, staying in the shadows of the house.
He spoke quietly. “Be nice to Faith.”
“Maybe,” Buffy replied.
She looked over her shoulder at him. “I guess you won’t miss me messing up your house.”
“Like how I used to mess up yours?” Spike smiled.
“Things come full circle.”
He shrugged. “I get the feelin’ this won’t be the end for you.”
“And if it is?” Buffy asked, suddenly afraid.
Spike tilted his head. “If it is…”
Buffy watched as he stood up straight and lifted his arm up, holding his hand out to her. In doing this his arm exited the safety of the house and entered the sunbathed garden. Buffy stared in morbid fascination as Spike’s arm began to smoulder.
“If it is,” he continued easily. “I’m comin’ with you.”
It took her a second longer to react, her eyes fixed on his outstretched hand. Then something in her snapped into action and she rushed at him, shoving him back into the house with hard force.
“What the hell are you doing?” Buffy growled as Spike caught his balance.
He answered distractedly, studying his scorched arm. “Making a gesture. It’s my thing.”
“You’re an idiot.” She fumed madly, walking up to him and grabbing the arm to inspect it herself.
“Ow, hey!” He yelped trying to pull away. “Leave it!”
She kept a firm hold of his wrist and looked up to meet his gaze. “Don’t. I don’t want you hurt.”
“Likewise,” Spike raised his eyebrows. “So we’re agreed then.”
“Agreed on what?” she frowned.
“No more mopey attitudes, we’ll make it through this and then we’ll fight and yell some more and it’ll be like old times.” He decided.
Buffy shook her head and dropped his wrist. “I hate your gestures.”
Spike grinned and turned on his heel, walking out of the room he called back to her. “No you don’t.”
The Slayer scowled and then nearly smiled. Bastard.
She went to pack her few belongings, ready to move in with Faith.
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