Buffy woke up feeling dreadfully cold, hung over and sore. She hesitated to open her eyes. How had she gotten home last night? What had she done? She honestly couldn't remember a damned thing past Willow's deep depression and Buffy guiltily having to leave her best friend alone when she was so depressed. Patrolling must have been something.
She had dreamt the strangest things. She and Spike had gotten engaged, like that would ever happen. As if that wasn't weird enough, Giles had gone blind and Xander had been plagued with some sort of curse causing demons to chase after him no matter where he tried to hide.
She stretched languidly and sighed. It must be the slaying that gave her such strange dreams. She rolled over, reaching for her extra pillow to rest her head against it but instead found hair. Xander? Had Xander spent the night last night? Okay, that was fine, but why was he in her bed?
"Xander," she called out sleepily. The response she received was some sort of sleep induced snort. As her fingers touched the head of hair once again, she knew instantly it was not Xander, it was too short to be Xander's hair. Her eyes flew open and she screamed when she saw Spike lying on his stomach next to her. Worse yet, they were not at her house and he had no clothes on. Neither did she now that she was awake enough to realize it.
"Bloody hell," Spike said rudely. "Go somewhere else if you're going to wake the dead like that. I've got hours yet til sundown."
"Spike," Buffy called out, furious and petrified. What had she done? What had they done? "Spike, wake up damn it and tell me why in the hell I'm here. And there had better be a damned good reason." Not like we had sex last night on some whim. Buffy had a sinking feeling that was what had happened, though. Some parts of her dream were too vivid and real to be a dream.
"What," he called out, turning over so he lay on his back. "Buffy? Slayer," he said with disdain. "What in the hell are you doing in my bed?"
"I could ask you the same question. How did I get here?"
"Hell if I know," he said, raking his fingers through his hair. "I hope it was good though, whatever it was we did."
"We're naked, you and me, together, how can that possibly be good?" She scooted herself to the far edge of the bed as far away from Spike as she could get without releasing the sheet she held in front of her.
"Oh, Slayer, if you have to ask that then I need to have a talk with Angel."
"You are not Angel, I don't love you, you are icky and evil and, well, just bad."
"That's right, baby, I'm all those things, I don't know that I've been told I'm icky before, but the evil and bad parts hold true. You just wanted to take a walk on the wild side last night, no harm, no foul."
"No harm? No foul? Spike, we can't stand one another."
"Yeah, so? And your point?"
"I don't think he's going to help you in this one, Slayer."
She looked back at him over her shoulder, careful to keep the sheet positioned so he could not see too much of her. He was enjoying this far too much, and the look in those deep blue eyes of his was a little frightening. "Well, you are bearing my mark, so you must be just as sick as I am."
He chuckled lightly as he sat up apparently not worried about his nakedness as the sheet dropped from around him. He touched her neck and ran his finger along it.
"You bit me? You bastard."
"I did no such thing, Slayer. It's a love bite, a hickey is all, should be gone in a day or two, maybe sooner with your Slayer healing."
She placed a hand around her neck where he had touched and gasped softly. "I have to get out of here. This cannot be happening. I did not sleep with you. I did not have sex with you. What in the hell am I going to tell anyone? I can't tell anyone, I won't tell anyone, it's as simple as that. I'll just tell Willow I was out all night patrolling. Or with Riley."
"Calm down, Slayer, and take a breath. No need to announce anything to anyone. Cover up the mark until it's gone or faded and you'll be fine. If you think I am going to walk around Sunnydale and tell people I shagged the Slayer instead of slew the Slayer you've got another thing coming, sweetheart. I've got a reputation to uphold, you know. Who the hell is Riley?"
"Oh yes, and Drusilla was some piece of work."
"Leave that bitch out of this."
"Gladly. There is no this. Now if I could just find my clothes I can get out of here. Riley, I'll have you know is a guy I've been sort of seeing."
"And I'm sure he'll love knowing you were out all night."
"He won't find out, now will he? Willow will cover for me."
"Just be sure and cover your neck," he added flippantly. Buffy just glared at him.
"I won't forget. Do you think I'd walk around proudly displaying I let a vamp get all lovey on my neck?"
"They might not think you're such a cold fish if you did that."
"I am not a cold fish," she said as images of the night before came to her mind.
"You come across that way. You come across as stuck up and prissy and too good for most people."
"I don't mean to," she said defensively, his words pricked her in a way she did not want to dwell on. "Turn around. I mean, turn away. Don't look at me," she demanded as she stood from the bed to find her clothes and dress.
"Don't I even get a kiss good bye, Slayer? Love ‘em and leave ‘em is that right?"
"Love had nothing to do with it. And no I'm not going to kiss you good bye. I'm going to go wash my mouth out with soap and scrub my body off with Lime Away or something."
"Oh come now, I am not that repulsive."
"Close enough," she said, wondering where she would find something to cover her neck between here and her dorm room.
"You need to work on your pillow talk, Slayer."
"I guess this means you won't be seeking me out for more of it. Good riddance," she said. She waved to him, not understanding why exactly she bothered to give him the courtesy. "I'll see you around, Spike, and you'd better hope I don't have Mr. Pointy on me."
"Just itching to stake the Big Bad now. You might want to hold off on that, Sweetness. I've heard tell once you get a sample you keep coming back for more," he called to her as she retreated from his room, down the stairs until she could no longer hear his taunts.
Downstairs she realized she was at Giles' house. She had sex with Spike at Giles' house? "What in the world possessed me to sleep with him," she queried aloud to herself. There was no one else around to answer her or to hear her hold a conversation with herself. This was good, the last thing she needed was the bad guys or her friends to think she had gone batty. Of course, when they found out she had slept with Spike they might think that anyway.
Her mind jumbled with various thoughts, she decided to take a walk through the cemetery near where Spike said he had been captured and where he claimed to have escaped. So far they had found nothing.
"Buffy," she heard her name called and spun around to face the person who had called her. It was Riley and she softened slightly, tugging the lapels of her jacket slightly so the hickey was covered.
"Riley. What are you doing here?"
"I was just taking a walk actually."
"In the cemetery?"
"Yeah," he said. "I was actually looking for something I lost." Something he lost in a cemetery? Buffy grew a little suspicious at that comment.
"Oh," she said softly not knowing what else to say. "Can I help you find it?"
"Uh no, it's fine really." He frowned slightly. "Are you wearing the same thing you had on last night?"
"Yeah. Long night, stayed at a, um, friend's since it was so late. Just on my way home now for some shower action."
"I won't keep you then."
"Okay. I'll see you later," she said, the hint of a question in her voice.
She walked away, curious about the conversation and why Riley had seemed so distant. They had been making some progress she had thought. Oh well, she really did not need the headaches that came with a boyfriend anyway. She wanted one, sure, but after Angel they all sort of paled in comparison. Well, except for the turning evil part.
She got back to her dorm room and was disappointed Willow was not there. She had to talk to her and find out what happened last night. Willow would have the answers, she had to.
She showered, changed and took out her Psychology book, determined to get a little studying in while she waited for Willow. The need to sleep, however, was strong and overshadowed her desire to study.
Willow flipped on the overhead light, turning it off as soon as she saw a sleeping Buffy on her bed. "Buffy," she called out in the dimly lit room. "Are you all right?" She was glad to see her friend was alive and well. No one had seen her last night. Hopefully, she was not too mad at her for what she had done to her. It was only for a little while, though Giles talked as though he might be permanently scarred because of the ordeal despite being blind for a good portion of it.
"Yes, Buffy, it's me. Have you been sleeping all day?"
"Uh, I guess so," Buffy said, turning over and looking at the alarm clock. "Is it really five o'clock?"
"Yeah it is. Are you okay? You're not mad at me, are you? I'm sorry, really. I had no idea the spell was working."
"I'm not entirely happy right now, Willow, but I'm not mad. Bad things could have happened. I know you're depressed and I know you're hurting, but magic is not the solution."
"I know that - now. I just wanted to fix my heart, heal it so that I wouldn't hurt so much anymore. I had no idea it would filter over into everyone else." Buffy sat up, gripping the edge of the bed. "Oh my God, Buffy you've got a hickey!"
"What? No, it's nothing, really," she said, placing her hand around her neck.
"Did you and Riley get with the smoochies or something?"
"Uh no. It must have been Spike."
"Oh yeah, Giles said you two were going at it pretty heavy. He says he thought for a while there he was going to have to hose you off or try and separate you. I told him you would never have slept with Spike, spell or not."
Willow was curious what the frightened and confused look she saw on Buffy's face was about. She hoped she really wasn't too mad at her. "Well, I'm sorry. If it'll help I'll explain to Riley for you."
"No, no explanations will be necessary. I'll cover it up and with the way I heal, it should be gone in no time."
"I am sorry, Buffy. Really. I was so mad that you seemed to be helping Spike, turning your back on me."
"I know, Willow. But he's being hunted right now. Whoever abducted him is still around here. From the sounds of it, it's a pretty large operation. He's helping us, so I owe him my protection. He won't be able to help us find the entrance to the place if he's caught again."
"I know," she said resolutely. "I do. But last night I didn't."
Buffy stood and Willow watched as she tousled her hair, glad her friend forgave her. Of the wills she had wished, she was most sorry about Buffy's. She was her best friend, best friends were not supposed to hurt one another and she knew Buffy was just doing her job. How embarrassed she must feel knowing she had claimed the spell had not worked on her. Willow smiled slightly at that. From what Giles had said, a few minutes longer and they would have been going at it in his chair with him watching.
"It's all right, Will. Really, it is. I'm hungry. Do you want to get something to eat?"
"Sure. Maybe we'll run into Riley."
"I saw him this morning actually at the cemetery."
"That's a little bit of a strange place for him to be hanging around, don't you think? A little weird for you to be there in the morning, but you just had a long night right?"
"Right," Buffy said, averting her gaze and Willow suspected Buffy was lying. But about what? "I thought so too. He said he had lost something, but when I offered to help him he turned me down. Who loses things in a cemetery?"
"Uh, I don't know. Maybe he attended a funeral and dropped something."
"Maybe," Buffy said, though she did not sound any more convinced that was Riley's reason for being in the cemetery than Willow was.
"I'm sure there's a logical explanation, whatever it is."
"Yeah," Buffy said again. She was too complacent, too eager to agree with her, and that sort of worried Willow.
"Are you sure you're not holding any grudges? If you want to yell at me or something, go ahead, I know I deserve it. Just don't hit me too hard if you feel like hitting me."
Buffy laughed and shook her head. "I don't want to hit you, Will, and I'm not mad. I'm just trying to piece last night together and figure out what Riley was doing there. Just once I'd like to be interested in someone or have someone interested in me who was normal."
"Oh but that wouldn't be any fun, Buffy," Willow said wryly.
"Yeah, I guess we've both had our share of interesting relationships, huh?"
Willow looked down, avoiding looking at Buffy. Interesting was not how she thought of her relationship with Oz, but it was interesting that he was a werewolf and she had loved him anyway. "Yeah."
Willow felt Buffy's arms around her and stepped into the hug her best friend offered. "Don't go all sad on me now, Will. I don't know that I could take another night of kissing Spike. You might pair me up with someone even worse next time."
"Oh, so you didn't mind kissing Spike, is that it?"
"Well, from a strictly performance stand point, he was good. He made my insides feel like Jell-O and my heart feel all poundy. Too bad he doesn't have a heart that beats for me to know if I affected him as well."
"Aww, Buffy, I'm sure you did. Who wouldn't like getting kissed by the Buffster, the Slayer?"
"You know what I mean. Let's go get some dinner, though. Are you going to put on a different shirt? You don't want Riley thinking you're two timing him before you can officially be two timing."
"Yeah, hold on," she said, finding a turtleneck and putting it on, adjusting the collar so that it covered the hickey sufficiently. "I'm going to kill Spike for this when I see him next."
"Well, now, Buffy, don't get me wrong or anything," Willow said. "But doesn't that sort of defeat the purpose of protecting him? I mean if you kill him, well, he'll be dead and won't be able to help you find the lab."
"Yeah, I know. I guess I won't kill him, yet. But once we find this lab and I don't have to protect him from these commando guys I'll stake him."
Willow was not convinced Buffy was going to do any such thing, but said nothing. If Buffy wanted Spike staked she would have done it by now. Yet the vampire still lived. Willow had wondered about this more than once, but had left her questions unasked and her thoughts on just why Buffy felt the need to protect him unsaid. It seemed to Willow Buffy had gone and done some transference to Spike with Angel leaving.
"Okay, I'm ready, let's go eat. Hey, maybe we can go talk Giles into taking his two favorite girls out for dinner instead of eating dining hall food."
"I don't know that would be too smart. He's sort of suffering aftereffects of the Spike and Buffy show last night."
Buffy placed her hand over her face and groaned softly. "God, it's bad enough you all know I was kissing Spike, but the fact that someone, Giles, saw me is sick."
"Have I mentioned I'm sorry?"
"Yes, Will, you have and it'll be fine. I just need to get over it. And I will, just not right away."
Still reeling from having found out that Riley was a part of the commando guys Buffy had been searching high and low for, she had immersed herself in slaying and an attempt at studying, carefully avoiding Riley anywhere that wasn't in Psych class. They were sort of in a holding pattern, a Buffy induced one but it was what it was nonetheless. She was not sure if she could handle what he was and she was leaning toward being pretty certain he would not be able to handle what she was. There were days she could not handle it and she was the Slayer.
Part of her thought she should use the fact she could have a relationship with Riley to her advantage and infiltrate the commandos. She hated the thought of doing it, using someone, but she had to know what they were up to. It was not just Spike either, from what Spike described there were quite a few of them.
Buffy had to know what they were doing. The American government was not always right, Buffy knew that much. They experimented on soldiers and did things that were not always legal, but they could do that because they were the government and had few people to stop them. The Slayer would stop this government project if she found out it was for anything bad.
Chipping Spike, while humorous, was in a way cruel. He still got the cravings and still had the need. That could not be good. One day he would stop caring about the pain and just go crazy and do what he could until he passed out from the blinding headache.
She had seen Spike since that night, he had helped the gang some. Most of it was begrudging until he found out he could kill evil things. Buffy had to admit with Angel gone sometimes it was nice to have someone along with strength and speed beside her. Both had been more than careful not to bring up the night or let on to anyone else that more than kissing had occurred. It had never occurred to Buffy that anything more than sex had occurred - until today.
Six weeks worth of mail both some her mother had given her the other night at dinner and some she had received at her dorm room was her task for this evening. Two items struck her as odd. The first was from the Social Security Administration, the second was from the county. What did they need? She was not working, so she should not receive anything from Social Security, but the county one was a little more frightening. It was local.
Because of that, she opened the Social Security envelope first, which only served to confuse her more. It was paperwork for a name change. Why on earth would anyone think she was changing her name? She threw it away assuming it had been sent to her by mistake and opened the county envelope.
"Oh my God," she said unbelievingly as she read through the letter a third and fourth time. "This cannot be happening." It was a good thing Willow was not home or Buffy might have chosen that moment to take her best friend up on her offer made weeks earlier to let Buffy hit her.
It was early for her to go patrolling, but she needed to go now so she got her gear together and headed in the direction of Spike's crypt. She would go patrolling from there, hell maybe he'd be in the mood to kick some ass like she was. She burst through the door without bothering to knock.
"Spike," she shouted. No response. "Spike."
"Well, good evening, Slayer. So nice of you to drop by," Spike said, reclining in a chair in the dark like the creature of the night he was.
"Do you know about this," she asked him, holding up the piece of paper from the county court.
"I realize there's a perception that vampires have excellent vision, Slayer, but I am not that good. If you want an answer you will have to do better than waving a bloody piece of paper at me from a good fifty or more feet away from me."
"You and me. We're married. I'm Mrs. Buffy Harrison. Where the hell did Harrison come from?" She stormed toward him and shoved the letter informing her that her marriage certificate could be picked up at any time at the courthouse.
Spike read it, seemed to be enjoying Buffy's irritation and prolonging it. "Spike. I know you are not a mentally challenged person and have read it at least once by now. Did you know about this?"
"Hell no. Do you think I'd want to be married to you, Slayer? Yeah, vampire and slayer, talk about a match made in hell."
"How? I mean it was at night when we, I mean. How?"
"Well, I'm guessing we made a housecall on a circuit judge and convinced him somehow to marry us last minute. Together you and I could convince just about anyone to do anything, Buffy." He actually smiled as he said that, which made Buffy wonder if he knew.
"With no blood test, no license beforehand, no nothing? That can't be possible."
"Pet, I don't know. I honestly don't. I remember doing the arranging with you at Giles' house and I remember leaving Giles' house but I thought we left with Xander, Anya and Giles. Evidently we either ditched them or left at some other time."
"Evidently. Well, how are we going to undo it?"
"Well, back in my day you'd be shit out of luck. We consummated the deal, Buffy."
"Yeah, but we didn't know what we were doing. We could get it annulled."
"And say what? You inadvertently, under a spell, married a vampire? You'd have to have a good reason to get an annulment. Thank goodness there's no chance of a child, at least we don't have to worry about that."
"I'm going to call Angel. He'll be able to help me. Surely he somewhere, somehow has dealt with something like this."
Spike was on her quicker than she believed. His hand was on her arm. "You leave Angel out of this problem, Slayer," he said and Buffy knew before looking up from his hand at her arm that he had changed.
"Spike, you're scaring me. Are you saying you don't want to find a way out of this? You can't be serious. I can't be married to you."
"Scaring you but not hurting you. Bloody great," he muttered.
"Spike. You have to help me here. You can't want to be married at all let alone to me."
"Well, that all depends, do we get gifts and everything? I could use a bit of redecorating here at the crypt. It's been unlived in for a while."
She glared at him. "Buffy, look. Maybe if we found the judge who married us he would annul it, but I think he - or she - would ask a lot more questions this time around. It's bloody amazing we were able to pull it off. I have no birth certificate, no passport, no identity, no blood to give for a blood test, none that's mine anyway, and technically, hello, you married a dead man. I'm not sure how you're going to find a way to reverse it."
"You're not helping."
"Buck up, Slayer, you won't live to be older than twenty-five or so anyway, so you won't have to live until a ripe old age with old Spike as your dearly beloved."
"So you're telling me that you won't help me?"
"Not particularly no. It's no skin off my nose. And you can't stake me neither. I'd turn to a big pile of dust as you know and then you'd have to wait years to declare me legally dead since there would be no body. So, no, I don't think I'm going to help you, love. It seems your best friend bought me some life insurance."
"Well, I could just stake you now and begin my waiting."
"You could, but you won't, because it would be murder. Good or evil, demon, vampire or human, it does not matter, I'm defenseless and have not threatened you or done anything but bloody help you since I escaped from that place. Might not be murder in the eyes of the law and there would be no proof, but I know you, Slayer, and you couldn't live with yourself if you dusted me as I am now."
"So what the hell am I supposed to do, Spike? I mean, what if I want to marry someone. Like Riley?"
"That Boy Scout? I might grant you an annulment if I approved of the bloke, but not for him, no. And since no children will come as the result of our marriage we could get an annulment whenever we want. But for now, I'm going to keep my life insurance," he said with a wicked smile and a deliberately taunting wink. "Besides, Slayer," he said, drawing her to him. No reaction went over his face as he pulled her to him, so Buffy knew he meant her no harm. "He doesn't do it for you. I know he doesn't. He won't turn your crank, knock your socks off or whatever the term for it nowadays is. He won't ever get you, he won't ever understand you and he won't ever be able to accept who and what you are. You think he'll understand and accept you've shagged not one but two vampires? You think he'll understand that you knew all along I was one of his fugitives and helped hide me? Especially now that you know who he is and what he does. I don't think so, Goldilocks, so get over it."
"So what are you my father now?"
He brought his face menacingly lower, but again no reaction crossed over his face so Buffy was not scared. Being scared would give him satisfaction, he would smell it on her, she knew that. "No, Slayer. Back in my day, our relationship would have given me certain rights by law that I know today it does not. A man cannot take his wife unwillingly. But make no mistake about it, Slayer, I am no father figure."
"Then why are you doing this? I already have Giles. I don't need another one of you men hanging around me trying to interfere with my life."
"I already told you. Until I can find out how to get this bleeding chip removed from my head so I can be what I was once again I want the life insurance. Once the chip's gone, I'll grant the annulment and I'll leave Sunnydale behind. Maybe I'll go to LA and work for Angel."
Buffy slapped him hard across the face. "He would never. Not after I told him about this."
"Oh, Slayer, back in Angelus' day he would have done exactly what I'm doing. To actually be married to a human gives a vampire such power. It used to get done, but now with all the legalities, blood tests and what not they demand of you it's just so rare anymore. Maybe I'll find out who married us and send them a fruit basket as thanks."
"You're getting off on this, aren't you? In some perverse way you are enjoying this. Are you going to go pick up some whore at a bar and burrow into her so you can get your rocks off on the fact you can make me miserable?"
She saw the look of pain cross over his face and knew he was going to strike her. Good. She was getting to him. "Not on your life, Slayer, would I be thinking of you while I buried myself inside another woman."
"You're a pig, Spike."
"You're the one who brought it up, Slayer. Why am I the pig?"
"I'm so out of here, it's not even funny."
"I guess that means I shouldn't expect dinner at the usual time?"
"Not on your life," she called as she stormed out the door to his crypt, slamming it closed behind her.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com