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Brave New World by JamesMFan
Spike & Bette Midler
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Buffy was being watched carefully, watched by kind brown eyes that had always watched her with just the tiniest bit of caution. Those eyes were wearier now but no less cautious. Angel knew it was best to keep quiet when Buffy was in “one of her moods”, which was not a term he would ever tell Buffy he used. The Slayer in question was pacing the room intently. Not that there was much room to pace. The cell was small and she couldn’t help but think that she could have an identical one soon enough. The thought did nothing to sooth her nerves.

She didn’t know exactly why she was here; just that she felt the need to spend some time with her old love. When she had explained it to Spike – and why she felt the need to explain it to him she still did not know – he hadn’t griped about it and gotten insecure as he might once have. He seemed to understand better than she did why she would choose to spend possibly one of her last free nights on Earth with Angel.

Being on the stand at her trial was a whole different ballgame than just listening to others talk about her. Answering Norman’s questions hadn’t been especially difficult but she knew that Lucy Porter would pull no punches and Buffy couldn’t even retaliate with a few of her own. The real kind.

The Slayer had never been good at expressing herself without the help of violence and general ass kicking, and she had no real ease with words in general. This lack of social graces could turn out to be her undoing. Suddenly she felt like Leo on the Titanic, sinking because Kate Winslet wouldn’t share the damn door.

“Buffy, you’re going to your special place again,” Angel said with slight worry in his voice. “Come back to us, stay away from the light.”

She stopped pacing and turned to him. “Considering I’ve actually been to heaven that joke is in totally poor taste.”

He shrugged an apology. “What’re you thinking?”

“That Kate Winslet needs some manners,” Buffy replied glibly.


Buffy shook her head. “I’m just thinking about the trial.”

“Is that all?”

She arched an eyebrow. “Is a murder trial not enough?”

Angel shrugged again and stood up from his bed, folding his arms. “For most people, yes. For Buffy Summers? Not nearly. Tell me. I might be able to help.”

He was right, of course. He was Angel and he was always right. If there was one emotion he could always recognise on her it was angst. Mostly due to the fact that he had been the cause of it for such a long time. Buffy wandered over to the barred up window and glanced outside. It was raining.

The other ‘issue’ she was thinking about was Spike. How could you discuss your current love interest with your previous? Buffy thought it was better not to. She had no one to talk to about how she felt but then that was nothing new. She could go to Willow or, egad, even Xander but they had grown past all that. They were married, they were stable, they didn’t need to hear about her melodramatic relationship dramas.

“He loved Claire,” Angel said as he came to stand beside her.

Buffy turned to him sharply.

The man beside her stared straight ahead out of the small window. “Spike falls hard. I always thought that was a weakness in him. I see it’s a strength now. He loved Claire and a part of him always will. Just like a part of him will always love Drusilla. And you.”

She looked away. “Angel –”

“He still loves you, Buffy. If anyone can see that it’s me,” he continued. “And you may see Spike as this new man – a confident and assured man. He makes a big effort to appear to be. He’s not.”

Buffy placed a hand on his arm. “Angel…we don’t have to talk about Spike. That’s not why I came here.”

“You need someone to talk to these things about.”

“Maybe, but it’s not right for me to come to you with this.”

Angel smiled softly. “I think we’re past that now, Buffy.”

She didn’t know what to say to that. A mixture of emotions swirled around in her stomach, although that might have been the spaghetti from earlier, and settled on being okay with it. She was older. Angel was a lot older. Things had moved, the Earth had shifted, and they no longer felt the same. It was strange that it would all settle itself this easily.

Only Buffy could consider skipping through thirty years in another dimension whilst Angel turned human and was thrown in jail as things settling themselves ‘easily’.

“But Spike’s feelings have never been the issue, have they?” Angel turned to face her fully. “It’s what you feel that’s the enigma.”

She sighed, resigned to having this conversation. “Yeah, to me as much as everyone else.”

“That’s not true.”

“Actually, it is,” Buffy replied slightly miffed.

He chuckled lightly. “Buffy, can you honestly say that you don’t know how you feel about Spike?”


Angel’s forehead creased in disbelief. “You love him.”

“I love a lot of things. Puppies! Ice cream! Bette Midler!”

The creases deepened. “You’re comparing Spike to Bette Midler?”

Buffy turned away from the window and her shoulders dropped. “No. I do…I feel for him in that way but I can’t say it, Angel. I don’t know why I can’t say it to him but I just…can’t.”

“You used to say it to me all the time.”

She scowled at him. “Did you really just boast about that?”

Angel grinned. “I’m sorry. Sometimes it’s hard to be the sensitive and understanding ex. Look, the answer to this is simple. Tell him. Maybe not with words but tell him somehow, Buffy. He’s pretty conflicted at the moment.”

The Slayer looked at him. “Spike’s spoken to you?”

“It seems I’m the go-to-guy.”

“What did he say?”

Angel sighed and walked to the other side of the cell. “Let’s not go schoolyard. You two need to talk to each other, not me.”

Buffy sighed and turned back to the window.


Spike sighed and wondered when exactly it was his daughter became the adult and he the child in their home. Mya absently lifted up his legs and placed them on the coffee table as she finished off vacuuming the living room. They had a vacuum that did the work on autopilot but ever since it had gone berserk one time and chased Mya around the room she hadn’t trusted it.

His daughter had already done the dishes and taken the rubbish out and Spike had felt guilty about it; but not guilty enough to actually help. He was a terrible role model, he knew, but at present couldn’t muster enough energy to worry about it.

As she switched the vacuum off and stored it away Spike watched with disbelief as she got out polish and a duster and set to work on the coffee table, brushing his legs back off it.

“Okay, what’s the motivation behind this?” He asked.

Mya glanced up. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Do you want to go to some party or something? Because I’m going to say no.”

She laughed. “I’m already going out tomorrow night, dad.”

“You are not.”

“It’s cool you think you have a say,” she grinned, polishing with vigour.

Spike sat up straight and tried to look authoritarian. “I forbid it.”

“Oh, relax. I’m just going to stay around Melissa’s house. And it’s for you anyway.” His daughter finished off the table and moved to the TV.

He folded his arms tightly. “How’d you work that out then?”

“With me out of the house you can invite Buffy over.”

Spike sighed loudly and rolled his eyes. “Mya!”

“Don’t ‘Mya’ me!” She said with her back to him as she cleaned. “Having your wonderfully mature but nevertheless youthful daughter around can mess up your mojo to no end. And god knows you need all the help you can get.”

Spike snorted. “Firstly, I resent that. I have the stuff. Ask the legions of women I was entangled with before your mum. Secondly, ‘mojo’? Did you really go there?”

Mya turned to him, long hair flying over her shoulder. “In response; you think telling your daughter that you were some British lothario is a good idea? What kind of example does that set? And, yes, I went there. I thought mojo would be a term someone retro like you would understand.”

The vampire quirked an eyebrow. “Retro is just a fancy word for old.”

“Exactly.” She replied with an identical eyebrow manoeuvre.

Spike gasped in mock outrage before standing up and making his way to the kitchen. He needed caffeine. No, he needed alcohol but caffeine would have to do. Mya continued to drone on – mostly about how she was much more knowledgeable about women than he was but Spike tuned it out.

The vampire was trying not to think about Buffy, simply because there was so much riding on how well she defended herself against Lucy Porter tomorrow night. Spike knew, despite all his past barbs about the lawyer’s job skills, she was good. Very good. And that was very bad for them.

Things would have been so much easier for him in the past. He would have just bumped off Porter and taken to the road with the Slayer. Now, though, he had responsibilities and a conscience. Pesky things, those. So they were left with winning it the hard way.

He’d spoken briefly to Willow earlier in the day and it seemed like her progress with the portal wasn’t progressing much at all. It was sods law that of all the years for the witch’s power to go on the frits it had to go now.

It seemed like the outcome rested solely on Buffy’s shoulders once again. He just hoped it wouldn’t break her.

“You keep frowning like that and you’ll wrinkle,” Mya noted as she appeared beside him.

Spike turned away and poured the hot water from the kettle into his mug. He didn’t want her to see him this way. “Don’t think so. I’m immortal. I’m going to look this good forever.”

She was silent for a moment. “You can pretend like this doesn’t bother you but I’m not stupid, dad. And Buffy isn’t my mom and she never will be but you love her and she loves you. I see that and you should too.”

He said nothing, all expression draining from his face as he stared at the wall. His daughter lingered a moment longer behind him.

“Anyway, I’m done being the interfering Parent Trap daughter,” Mya spoke with false playfulness as she walked away. “The rest is totally up to you.”

And that was the problem.

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