Rating: PG13 (ATM)
For kazzy_cee’s Spike and Dawn banner – requirements can be found listed on the banner or at the end of the story. It takes place in what will quickly be seen to be a non-canon Season V – the parts and the people are all there, but I do different things with them.
Thanks to my poor, long-suffering beta, who took time from her writing own fic to beta this one for me. Any mistakes you see probably occurred after she finished with it and did my compulsive tinkering. Feel free to point them out. ;)
“You really like her, don’t you?” Dawn’s quiet question pulled Spike out of the book he’d been searching through for some mention of a Hellgod called Glorificus. He shot a quick look around the shop, hoping that no one had overheard the teenager.
“Don’t know who or what you’re talkin’ about, Bit,” he growled.
“Watch your language, missy!”
Dawn’s eyes rolled. “You’re shocked, I’m sure. And you didn’t answer my question.”
“Not goin’ to,” he said quietly. “Got more important things to worry about right now, don’ we?”
“You can tell me, you know,” she whispered conspiratorially. “I won’t tell her.”
“Don’t know what the bleedin’ hell you’re on about, Niblet, but it can’t be more important than figuring out this bitch’s weaknesses. Now get to work. It’s not like you don’t have good reason to want her gone.”
The reminder that she was the reason that Glory was in Sunnydale was enough to cause Dawn to drop the subject for a while. She studied the vampire’s face as he flipped through reference books, his eyes scanning the pages rapidly for any trace of information about hellgods and Glory.
I don’t know how Buffy can miss the hotness that is Spike. She was all over him last year when she thought they were getting married. Now she acts like she’s doing him a big favor, letting him take care of Mom and me when she’s not there.
Shaking her head at the stupidity of her older sister, Dawn put her own head down and began searching for more information about Glory and what she might want with a fourteen-year-old former Key.
“We’re going to hide where?” Xander’s voice went into a range that should have been impossible for a grown man.
Buffy sighed in exasperation. “Glory is going to be looking for anybody and everybody that she thinks might have information about the Key. You guys are around me all the time. Ergo, the need to hide until I can think of something to throw her off the track. My mom, Dawn, you, Willow and Tara and Giles. You’re going to hide in Spike’s crypt.”
“Because,” she said tiredly, “he’s the only one strong enough to fight Glory off long enough for you to get away if she does find you. And, besides, how likely is she to go looking for her “Key” in a cemetery? “
Ignoring the rest of Xander’s grumbling, Buffy told him that he and Anya had a half an hour to pack up whatever they thought they would need or want to take with them and then they were to meet her in Restfield.
Willow and Tara were much more willing, only asking softly for some time to gather any herbs and supplies that they might need for a cloaking spell. Spike had become of favorite of Tara’s ever since he proved to her that she wasn’t a demon. Of course, it helped that she hadn’t been around back when he was determined to kill Buffy and her friends; a fact that Willow had to point out to her frequently when she waxed too appreciative of Spike and his help.
“I swear, Tara, if I didn’t know that you don’t like guys, I’d be jealous of the way you talk about Spike,” Willow grumbled, only half-kidding.
“You’ve got nothing to be jealous of, sweetie,” Tara said with a blush. “You know I...I love you. And I don’t think I’m Spike’s type, either,” she added with an enigmatic smile.
“You would be anybody’s type, baby,” Willow said loyally. “Even Spike would love you if he didn’t have to worry that I’d turn him into a toad.”
“Maybe,” was all Tara said, her mind going to the way the vampire’s aura warmed up whenever Buffy was near him.
“Are you sure this is all right with Spike?” Joyce continued to pack, even as she frowned at her oldest daughter.
“I told you, Mom. He’s fine with it. It was practically his idea!”
Not really a lie. I mean, he did say that his crypt had a lot of room and a downstairs part to hide in. He just didn’t say he was volunteering it for my family and friends.
“It seems like such an imposition,” Joyce worried. “All of us? When he’s so used to being alone...”
“Spike doesn’t like to be alone, Mom.” Dawn stuck her head in the door and held up her overnight bag to show that she was ready. “He’ll be glad to see us again.”
Joyce smiled uncertainly, but snapped her bag closed and went to pick it up. Buffy grabbed it before she could move, lifting and carrying it for her. She took the bag downstairs and put it in the back of the big SUV in the driveway. Getting tired of waiting, she went back to the door and yelled inside, “Mom! I’m going to go ahead of you guys and let Spike kno—and be sure that Spike doesn’t need my help with anything. Meet you there!”
As she jogged towards Restfield Cemetery, she mulled over her decision to send everyone to the chipped vampire for safety.
“Okay, on the plus side – he likes violence, so he won’t mind if he has to fight off Glory’s minions; he likes my mom and Dawn, so he won’t mind that he has them to watch Passions with. I think he likes Willow and Tara, so he shouldn’t mind having them around – and they just sit together and talk about spells anyway. So that’s all good.
She bit her lip as she turned in the gate and continued her jog.
Let’s see, on the minus side...he and Xander act like they hate each other...But Anya will probably keep Xander busy somewhere – no, wait! She can’t do that in front of Dawn and my mom! Maybe Giles can...Gah!”
Her arrival at the vampire’s door coincided with her realization that not everyone who was coming to stay with Spike was necessarily going to be happy about it. Nor were they all among the very few people that he actually liked.
In an attempt to start off on the right foot, she knocked loudly on the door before pushing it open; and found herself very glad that she had. Although she couldn’t be absolutely sure, she strongly suspected that the vampire now sitting up on a sarcophagus and glaring at her, had been lying down with one hand in his pants. As the door had swung open, Buffy was sure that she had seen him sit up quickly and snatch his hand from his open fly, which he was doing his best to hide under his tee shirt. She rolled her eyes and made a big production of turning her back to him, saying tightly, “Put that away and try to act civilized. My mother and Dawn are on their way here.”
“Why don’t you put it away for me, if it bothers you so much?” He managed to growl and leer at the same time, making no attempt to hide what he’d been doing, now that he realized she’d seen him. He slid off the stone slab and pulled up his zipper, pulling his jeans closed with an audible ‘snap’.
“Ewww, Spike! Could you be more of a pig?” She whirled on him, face flushed and eyes blazing. “If you behave like that around Dawn, I’ll...”
She stopped in the middle of her threat, reminding herself that she was there to ask him to take care of people for her so that she could concentrate on finding Glory. She reined in her temper, which wasn’t easy, considering the wide grin on the vampire’s face. Then he added insult to injury by laughing.
“Don’t get your kickers in a twist, Slayer. You know bloody well I’d never say anything like that around the Bit, or Joyce. It’s just that you’re so easy to wind up, I couldn’t resist.”
Buffy tried to maintain her fury in the face of his obviously good-humored teasing, but found the boyish grin he was still wearing to be strangely irresistible.
“Well, you do have a knack for making me mad. Got to hand that to you,” she agreed, fighting to keep the edges of her lips from curling up in an answering smile. “But now’s not really a good time,” she added, sobering as she remembered the purpose of her visit.
Immediately, Spike dropped his grin and walked over to her, barely refraining from laying a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“What’s wrong, luv? Did you say Joyce and the Bit are on their way here?”
Buffy nodded. “Yes. I...you said...and you did it before, so I thought...” She stammered to a halt, remembering her mother’s words about imposing on the vampire and realizing that she was doing just that. Spike cocked his head and waited patiently for her to finish. When she didn’t, but just stood mutely, staring at the floor, he lost the battle with himself and moved close enough to touch her chin and tip it up so that she could meet his eyes.
“You thought what, pet? That you could bring them here for old, harmless Spike to protect for you? That I’ve got nothin’ better to do than babysit the Slayer’s mum and sis?”
Her lip crept out in a small pout. “Well, you don’t, do you? I mean, other than what you were—and that was—I mean, you aren’t going to die if you can’t—“ Once again her face was bright red, and he dropped his hand and smiled.
“No, luv,” he said softly. “I won’t die if I don’t get a good wank in every day. It jus’ helps me pass the time. There’s nothing like an afternoon fantasy to put a bloke in a good mood for the rest of the day.”
“Well, you’re easily pleased,” she muttered, once again studying the floor intently.
“I take what I can get,” he responded, moving away from her and sitting back on the sarcophagus. “So, how long are your mum and the Bit goin’ to be needin’ my hospitality?”
Before Buffy could say any more, there was another knock. Raising one eyebrow at her, he stood up and walked to the door, stepping back as he opened it, so as to avoid the rays of the sun. Instead of Joyce and Dawn, he was surprised to find Buffy’s watcher standing outside, a heavy bag in each hand.
“May I come in?” he asked, as Spike continued to stare at him. With an abrupt nod, he waved the man in and shut the door behind him. He watched Giles walk to his kitchen and put one of the bags down on the table, before moving to the beat-up couch and sitting down gingerly.
“Um...I can explain,” Buffy said weakly, as Spike turned blue lasers on her.
She looked around. “Is there someplace private we can talk? Downstairs somewhere?”
The vampire looked startled, then said quickly, “Yeah, alright. Jus’ give me a minute to clean up.” He pulled the cover back from the entrance to the bottom floor of the crypt and dropped into the darkness below. Buffy watched curiously as the opening began to glow with the light from the candles that Spike was clearly lighting. When his, “Alright, Slayer. Be careful on the ladder,” floated up, she waved at her puzzled watcher and peered into the hole. Seeing nothing but bare dirt below the ladder, she dropped in just as Spike had, landing in a crouch and staring around.
“Nicely done, pet,” he appreciated. “Now, what else haven’t you told me that you think you need to say somewhere away from prying eyes and ears?” His shrewd gaze pinned her in place, and she straightened up slowly.
“I’ve asked everybody to come over here to stay with you,” she said bravely. “You’re the only one, besides me, who can fight off Glory’s minions. And anyway, I don’t think they’ll look in a crypt. Do you?”
Spike ignored her question in favor of asking, “And by everybody, you mean....?”
“MomandDawnandGilesandWillowandTaraandAnyaandXander,” she blurted out in one breath.
“Takin’ a lot for granted here, aren’t you, Slayer? Your mum and the Bit, yeah, you know I wouldn’t refuse them, but Harris and his bird?”
Buffy didn’t answer him right away, just chewed on her lower lip and frowned.
“Cat got your tongue, Slayer?”
She shook her head, then raised suspiciously bright eyes to his. “I’m just trying to decide what would work best – threatening to stake you if you don’t do it, or asking you as a...as a friend to help me keep the people I care about safe.”
He studied her face for a second, then turned away, giving her time to compose herself as he asked, “An’ what will you be doing while I’m down here trying not to go crazy with a bunch of white hats living in my crypt?”
“I’m going to try to find that skank that wants my sister and send her back to whatever hell she came from.“
“You don’t think I might be more help to you with the killin’ part than I would be as a watchdog?”
She couldn’t tell from his tight voice if he was angry, hurt or just curious, but she sighed with exasperation anyway.
“I’ve already had enough macho crap from Riley, thank you very much,” she snapped. “Don’t you go all ‘You need me to help you’ on me. I’m the damn Slayer! Not you, not Riley, not anybody else. That’s why the monks gave the Key to me.”
“Alright, pet,” he agreed immediately. “You’re the boss. Got it.” He looked around the large area they were in and said, “I suppose the whelp might be of some use in making this a bit more comfortable for everybody. They’ll be safer down here than they will up there where everybody in the world thinks they can just bust in whenever they want.”
Buffy winced a little at his calm acceptance of the way they all treated his home as public property, but before she could think of anything to say about it, there was a burst of noise from upstairs that indicated the arrival of the Scoobies. With a nod and an ‘after you’ gesture at the ladder, Spike began to follow Buffy to the upper level only to have her stop so abruptly that he almost ran into her. She turned to face him, surprised to find him so close, but meeting his questioning look with determination.
“Thank you,” she said simply, trying not to respond to his proximity as inappropriately as her body seemed to want to. The way his eyes widened told her that he’d noticed the increased heart rate and the warm flush creeping up her throat, but he didn’t say anything about it; only nodded his head and responded with an old-fashioned sounding, “’s my pleasure, Buffy.”
Unable to respond in any way that didn’t scream “wildly inappropriate”, she continued up the ladder, now more than aware that the vampire was right behind her, his face almost close enough to touch her butt. She stepped to one side when she reached the top and waited for Spike to join her before raising her hand to get everyone’s attention.
“Okay, listen up, everybody. We know that Glory knows that I have her Key, but that she doesn’t know what or where it is. She also knows who all of you are and that you’re all close to me – which means you’re all in danger. I want you to stay here, with Spike, until I can get rid of Glory. Between his strength and Willow’s magic, I don’t think the minions stand a chance – even if they figure out where you are. You’ll be safe here, and I’ll be able to concentrate on Glory without worrying about you guys.”
“Leaving us here to worry about you,” Joyce said softly as she and Dawn walked in, their arms full of bags of food.
“I’ll be fine,” Buffy said firmly. “She’s strong, but I’m the Slayer. That bitch hasn’t even begun to find out what I can do yet.”
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