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Full Circle by Lilachigh
Chp 1
Full Circle

“But Buffy, it’s traditional! In Medieval Times – ”

“Dawn, newsflash, we’re not living in the 1400s the last time I looked.” Buffy flinched slightly – there was always a risk when you said things like that in Sunnydale. You could peer out of the window and find the world had changed.

“Mom would have helped!”

Buffy sighed. Dawn had a way of saying those words that got right under her skin. And she was probably right. Mom would have helped. “OK, run it past me again.”

Dawn bounced onto the sofa next to her sister. “We’re having a Valentine’s Day dance at school. The boys won’t ask the girls to dance, they never do, and it‘s like, boring! So we found this old tradition in a book. The girls’ names go in one bowl and the boys’ names in another. Then you each pull one out and that’s your partner for the evening. You fix the label to you so there’s no cheating. In the olden days they used to pin the names to their sleeves, and that’s where the saying, “Wearing your heart on your sleeve” comes from. Cool!”

“And I’ve just got to come to the party and what – lurk around watching you drooling over some spotty boy? Oh that’s a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

“Well, it’s not as if you’ll be doing anything yourself that night,” Dawn replied with innocent cruelty. “Oh do say you’ll do it. I might get drawn with Jamie! Oh god, I’d die! And Janice would be so, so – green!”

Buffy tried not to let her expression change. Dawn had been trying harder recently to act as a normal teenager and this was the first school project that had caught her interest.

“OK, I’ll be a helper, or chaperone or whatever. What about Willow and Xander? Are you going to ask them to help? I’m sure they would.”

Dawn shook her head. “No way. Willow will look bored and Xander will want to dance and I’d die, just die if he did!”

Buffy bit her lip. She had to admit, Xander dancing was not a pretty sight.

Dawn looked at her sideways and pretended to pick fluff off the cushions. “I did think about asking Spike if he – ”

“NO WAY! You are not letting Spike wander through the school with all those kids around.”

“But he’s harmless – you know he is. And I don’t expect he’s going to a Valentine’s Day dance!”

Buffy tried to push aside the thought of Spike arriving on the doorstep with an armful of red roses. Knowing him it was more likely he’d bring her a real heart to wear on her sleeve not a paper name!

She’d been feeling proud of her self control recently. She hadn’t been anywhere near his crypt – well, that wasn’t strictly true, she told herself, unable to keep her honesty from surfacing. She had walked past several times, but the door had been shut and she hadn’t gone in!

There - self-control, restraint, it was easy when you tried. She didn’t need to see Spike, touch Spike, feel Spike - La, La, La, OK, self-control was not easy. But important. After all, she was Dawn’s role model, wasn’t she? So she had to act responsibly. OK, she was the Slayer, so not quite such a biggie on the whole “personal-danger-responsibility” thingy, but she could score high on the “not sleeping with hot vampires” side of life.

But as the days before the 14th passed, she became miserable and depressed as she watched Dawn trying to decide which outfit was either a) the most romantic (Buffy’s choice because it had long sleeves, a long skirt and didn’t show any teenage flesh) or b) the sexiest (Dawn’s final choice because the skirt ended mid thigh and the top skimmed a figure that was already fuller than her sister’s).

Did being a good role model mean she must never have sex again until Dawn was past twenty-five? Would she even live that long? Ten months was a long time in a Slayer’s world. Ten years – impossible to imagine.

And the irritating thing was, Spike would look no older. And he certainly wouldn’t fancy someone who was past thirty, although his mad girl-friend, so not young! Not that she could care less who or what he fancied, of course because SHE HAD GIVEN HIM UP.

But as she watched Dawn open her Valentine cards, squeeing in excitement at the unnamed messages of love and desire, Buffy knew that she was kidding herself. She hadn’t given Spike up. She was just denying herself the physical side of a relationship that had nowhere to go. But at no time, in all her torrent of self-justification, had she ever pretended that she no longer had feelings for the vampire.

But no one knew that – and never would. She pushed aside the little voice inside her head that insisted that Spike knew. Feelings were just emotions; you learnt to control those when you were the Slayer.

Anyway, logically she knew she was wrong. You couldn’t have feelings for a ‘thing’, someone who had no soul. Silly Buffy. Couldn’t even get her emotions right.

She was coming down stairs when she heard Dawn on the phone.

“But she didn’t get one card, Xander! Surely you could have sent her one.”

Whatever the reply was, it obviously didn’t please Dawn. “Oh perleeese! They don’t cost that much. You sent me one – yes you did, don’t lie, even when you disguise your writing, it’s just your writing in disguise. What?….what…well, I don’t think being the Slayer means she can’t have hearts and flowers and silly love messages from her best friends!”

Buffy turned and fled back up stairs. How pathetic! Her little sister upset that she hadn’t had even a pretend Valentine card. She sat on the bed, clenching her fists and pressing them hard into her tightly shut eyes.

Her hair fell across her face, and even through the scent from the shampoo and conditioner, she could smell the waft of Doublemeat Palace perfume. Was it any wonder no one was attracted to her. They might as well kiss a burger! No, she just had to accept that romantic gestures, flowers, even cards, were all in the past as far as she was concerned.

Buffy’s mood didn‘t improve as the day wore on. Everyone who came in for a meal was in pairs – even the very old ladies and gentlemen, some of them in their sixties, were holding hands or linking arms, and ordering the Valentine Day Special which had a revolting pink sauce as the main garnish.

The thought of having to go out in the evening was almost unbearable. All she wanted to do was lie on the sofa and cry her way through a tub of ice-cream while watching something very silly on TV.

But she’d promised Dawn. Another shower, another hair wash – it would fall out at this rate – she pulled on the most parent-like outfit she could find – a long brown skirt and a very sensible pink top. After all, she wasn’t going to the dance to dance. She was going to make sure no one had any fun! No! She was going – oh god, she didn’t know, except Dawn had asked her.

At eleven o’clock, as the Valentine dance was ending, Buffy decided she could no longer pretend. She was getting old! The noise level was so high – the music, the girls’ voices – had she and Willow ever screamed like that every other word? – and why did the pimply boys look about ten when she knew most of them were fifteen or sixteen?

But there’d been lemonade punch, with sugar, and lots of snacks Dawn had drawn someone called ‘Rory’ out of the hat, which apparently was mega-blissful which Buffy found all good because Rory had a pulse and so far had not managed a single sentence of more three words. He also stared at Dawn as if she would break if he touched her. Which was a big plus.

But at least Rory was walking Dawn home and her sister’s pleading eyes had made Buffy say, “Oh good, because I have some clearing up to do here.” She didn’t; the janitor was on stand by to come in early the next morning, but she couldn’t deny Dawn a romantic walk and a goodnight kiss.

It was odd being alone in the school. The last couple of girls had giggled their way out of the main entrance and Buffy slowly walked around, turning out the lights, checking that the forbidden cigarettes were all stubbed out.

She paused in the corridor that ran between classrooms. It had been rebuilt to exactly the same pattern as it had been before. She gazed up at the ceiling panels, remembering crawling through the heating duct, Spike’s voice cooing at her from beneath.

Smiling, she turned off the lights and stood in pitch darkness, living her memories – Mom, Principle Snyder, Cordelia, Angel…. All gone. So what was new there? Everyone left her. She was easy-to-leave-girl.

“She could have killed me, you know.” His voice came out of the darkness and she didn’t even jump. Somehow it was right that he was there.


“Your Mom. She was a very brave lady. Nasty things, axes. I had a sodding lump on the side of my head for days.”

“I’m sure Dru kissed it better for you!”

The voice came closer but in the complete dark, she still couldn’t see him. “Now, now, Slayer. If I was a vain sort of a bloke, I’d think you were feeling jealous.”

Buffy sighed. “I think I’m too old now to feel anything. We were very young then, all of us. Oh, no, you weren’t, of course!”

“Feeling sorry for ourselves, are we, Slayer?” The voice was a chill whisper against her ear, and she could hear the rustle of leather, the smell of whisky, the iron tang of blood – the sweet creamy scent of – chocolate?

“Certainly not. I’m just being very adult and grown-up tonight. I’ve been a chaperone! You don’t get to be one unless you are very, very old and responsible and - !”

She stopped as something warm and smooth hit her lips and she was opening her mouth, greedily taking in a chocolate coffee cream. Bliss!

“What the - ?”

“Ssssh. Can’t I give my girl chocolates?”

Buffy swallowed and tried to penetrate the dark. She knew he was in front of her. She could make out the darker shape of his frame. “Spike – William, I’m not your girl. I told you – we’re – ”

“Finished. Yes, pet. I heard.” He was rubbing another chocolate against her lips and she was licking them clean. It tasted marvellous. Then somehow his finger slipped into her mouth and she was sucking at it before she remembered -

“Then we can’t, I can’t – ”

“We’ve come full circle, Slayer. It all began here, in this corridor. OK, one very much like it. So let’s end it here.”

“We met at The Bronze first,” Buffy protested, wondering why she wasn’t pushing him away and heading for the exit.

Spike took her hand and pressed her palm against his lips. She could feel him smiling, then his cold tongue began to draw little patterns on her hot skin. He stopped long enough to say, “That’s true. I saw you dance, I saw you fight. Wanted to kill you so bad, pet. Wanted to do other things to you, too.”

Buffy shuddered. Her legs were trembling. She had to stop him. This wasn’t being grown up and adult. Slipping her hands under his T-shirt wasn’t being a good role model to Dawn. But, oh god, she was so weary of being good.

“But it was here, when we first fought each other. That was the beginning, Slayer. No weapons, we agreed, remember? Even then we wanted hands on flesh – like this!“

She gasped – his fingers were under her top, pushing aside her bra, circling her breasts. She moaned as his mouth captured hers, then, with a last gasp, pushed him away a fraction to say, “No, Spike, stop.”

“Make me!”

And she couldn’t, wouldn’t, refused to be Buffy the adult, Buffy the parent, Buffy the vampire Slayer. One day, perhaps, she would say no and mean it, but for now, as they tumbled to the floor in an urgent muddle of limbs and desire, she was just a girl with her man on Valentine’s Day.

The next morning, the janitor sighed as he began clearing out the corridor. Torn pink panties, a squashed box of chocolates and a man’s black T-shirt that had been ripped in half. He felt sad for the youngsters of today. A few years ago, blood and dead bodies and gangs high on PCP had made his job far more interesting.