Weeks passed and Spike was more and more irritated at this whole situation. The whole team knew of Spike and Buffy's faux marriage, except Riley. Of course, Riley was not really a part of the team, he was just the man trying to get into his wife's pants. Bloody wanker. Both of them! Riley for wanting Buffy so badly and Spike for even caring. Why should he care who or what Buffy did? She should be able to go out and screw the whole Oakland Raiders football team if she wanted to and he should not give a damn.
Unfortunately, somewhere inside of him the pitiful poet that was William still lurked, a caged puppy dog that periodically got brave enough to bare its teeth at its master Spike. And William cared very much, which made Spike care. It did not help either that he had not been completely forthright with anyone in Sunnydale about his breakup with Dru. Dru had cheated because she was sick of Spike always talking about the Slayer, dreaming about the Slayer. And it was not always killing her he was doing in his dreams either.
He had at first chalked it up to the fact that she was far more attractive than the first two slayers he had met were. At least to him they were, others might differ with him he knew. So that was the reason he wanted to have sex with the Slayer. He already knew what tasting the blood of one would do to him. He wondered what surrounding himself with one, filling one up with not just him but his very essence would feel like.
Well, tonight, Riley was going to find out. They had made love, Spike understood that it was the power in the house that had sucked them in but Spike was not going to let it go without Riley knowing he had bedded a married woman. Who cared if it was in name only? If it would hurt the bloke and get him to leave Buffy alone, the world would be a better place as far as Spike was concerned.
He was sitting around Giles' dining room table talking about the night's events and why the house had chosen Buffy and Riley. Giles was talking about the house's power and why it had picked tonight to come alive.
"Maybe because it picked up on the fact they are adulterers," Spike said without looking at Buffy or Riley. He kept his eyes straight ahead, focused on the wall in front of him as he leisurely sipped the mug of warmed blood in front of him.
"Spike," Buffy interjected.
"No, actually, Buffy, Spike might be right," Giles interrupted the Slayer and Spike chortled soundlessly. Another vampire would have picked up on it, but no human would have.
Spike wished he had a camera to take a picture of the priceless look of confusion on Riley's face at this little exchange.
"There is no adultery."
Spike just shook his head. "The world really has become more lax in these things, Slayer. Thou shalt not covet another man's wife I believe is what the commandment states. I realize it's been years since I have had to worry about such things, but I do believe those commandments are still some sort of law to some people."
"I am nobody's wife."
"But Buffy," Giles interjected before Spike could. "I hate to tell you this, but legally, you are. Whether it's been consummated or not would make no difference to a force such as this. In your mind, you know you are married."
"He has finally found his tongue," Spike observed.
"Shut up, Spike."
"No, I will not. Let me explain it to the bloke since the lantern doesn't seem to be turned up all the way quite yet. She is married. To me."
"That's impossible. Buffy?" Spike loved the look of disbelief and hurt in the other man's eyes. It was almost worth it to have to sit here and smell them on one each other and the scent of sex mixed in. "Why don't you get a divorce? An annulment? Why did you continue to see me? He's a vampire for crying out loud, you can't be married."
"It's complicated," Buffy said simply. Spike returned her glare with an amused smile. He loved making people miserable, it was the one thing he could still do despite the chip. He lived for it, relished in it. Normally. The look on her face made the caged puppy dog break through and Spike felt a little remorse. A little. Not enough to apologize for.
"How complicated can it be? I mean, nothing was said about the fact you were married. You don't live with him, so what's the point? I mean do you even love him? I think back to that night you told me you were getting married and you sure sounded like you were crazy about him. I had no idea it was him," he said, gesturing to Spike.
"Then what? Nothing can be that complicated and while I admittedly don't advocate divorce in normal circumstances…"
Giles interjected and Spike could see the relief in Buffy's eyes. "Riley. You will have to trust us on this. It is not as easy as it sounds. I will admit, however," he said, turning his attentions to Spike. "I did not realize that the marriage was being taken seriously by either party or I would have surely intervened as Buffy's Watcher to prevent her from continuing to see you."
"It's not being taken seriously by either of us. Giles. Riley. Spike!"
"Hey, I didn't say I was taking it seriously. Merely commented that the force, whatever, caused you to shag Captain Boy Scout here must have picked up on the fact that you were committing adultery. You don't have to physically commit the act to violate the commandment. Coveting is merely the wanting, the thought, the desire to have something another man has."
Giles stared at him and Spike shrugged. "What? I paid attention in church as a boy. Had bloody nothing else to do during my youth. Some of it was retained."
"So is your name really Buffy Summers then? I mean, man, you told me you couldn't know if you knew who I really was."
"Well, yes, actually, it is still Buffy Summers. I never filled out that stupid paperwork the Social Security office sent me," she muttered. "And Riley, no offense, but we wouldn't even be standing here having this argument if it weren't for that force. Yes, I went to that party with you and yes we've been seeing each other but I would never have slept with you if something hadn't intervened and helped us into it."
"Oh thanks. You know how to just build a man's ego up real well, Buffy."
"No, Riley, that's not what I meant. It's just well. There's this marriage thing and, well, I still haven't figured out if you and I can work all of this stuff out."
"You got that right. I don't think we can." He stormed out of the room, being courteous enough not to slam Giles' door shut behind him but Spike found the soft click more effective.
"Thanks a lot Spike."
"Hey, I was just offering some insight. I didn't realize the bloke didn't know. I assumed you'd told him."
"Well, it is not exactly something I'm proud of. How do you tell someone that the lie that you told to cover up the effect of a spell was a lie? I mean we were just getting used to him being commando guy and my being the Slayer. Why in the hell am I justifying myself to you?"
"I don't know. Why are you? Repressed feelings maybe? I told you you'd be back for more after that first night."
"Enough you two." Giles said. "Wait a minute. Spike, did you just say?" He took off his glasses and began to clean them. "Oh dear, I didn't realize. Then the force most definitely would have picked up on the adultery issue, Buffy."
"You bastard," Buffy said under her breath. It was low enough that she knew Spike would hear the insult but no one else would. "Why should I be surprised? I knew better than to trust you. I'm surprised you haven't gone around the demon underworld telling them you have an inside track to me now."
"Did I mention I'm sorry," Willow interjected her face red. "I don't really want to bake any more cookies, but if I have to."
"No, Willow, no more cookies!" Buffy, Xander, Giles, Anya and Spike all said in unison.
"I think I'll go home now," Willow said and Spike could not help but enjoy her discomfort.
"Xander and Anya, why don't you two go with her. Buffy, Spike and I need to talk some."
"Yeah, sure, Giles," Xander said, looking at Buffy.
"She'll be safe, Xander," Spike said with a wry smile.
"Right, with you around. Even with the chip you still manage to be able to hurt her."
"Ain't life grand," Spike said simply.
"Enough," Giles bellowed again.
"Come on Xander," Anya said, pulling him toward the door. "Good night."
"Night," the remaining three called after them.
"Buffy, while I realize you're underage and I shouldn't offer you any, would you like some wine? I have a feeling you could perhaps use a glass."
"No, Giles, let's just get this talk done with so I can go home too. I've got a test tomorrow."
"Yeah, and without the Boy Scout on your side any longer I'll bet you need to do some heavy duty cramming for it."
"He never cheated for me, Spike. And I never asked him to. In fact, I've been doing pretty well in that class. In all my classes actually," she frowned.
"That surprises you," Spike queried while Giles was out of the room getting whatever it was he was getting. "Hey, Giles, I could use some Wheatabix if you were bringing stuff back in here."
"All right, Spike," he called from the kitchen.
"Well, yeah, it does surprise me. I was never a brainiac in high school. In fact, I barely got by."
"You were too busy being the Slayer. In fact, I don't know of other Slayers who have gone to school and done the other non-Slayer things you do. Date, have friends, and so forth. You passed, that's the important part. And just because your grades aren't superior doesn't mean you are dumb, Slayer."
She regarded him for a moment, Spike was regarding himself unsure where those comments had come from. The Slayer was not stupid that he knew, but it was not his place to boost her morale. Her Watcher in the next room was here for that. Spike's purpose was to bring her down, notch by notch if he had to.
"Thanks, I think."
He shrugged. "Don't worry about it. I hate to see people be so hard on themselves. Take a look at others around you, those who hold jobs or play sports and look at the things you were doing while they were sleeping. Saving the world from things they don't even believe really exist. I don't know why Giles allows you to continue on with your humanoid path like he does, but cut yourself a break."
"Giles allows me to because he knows it keeps me happy. I would be miserable if I were to have to be holed up here, my life a big secret like Riley's. I mean it is a secret, but at least I can see every day the results of what I'm doing. I know people at the high school whose lives I saved. That's important to me, makes it more personal."
"You're right. You're different than the other Slayers I've met, you're more," he shrugged. "Human," he said for lack of a better word. "Humanized might be a better choice in words. You feel, you're learning the lines aren't so cut and dried."
Giles returned with a drink and sat at the dining room table. "Okay, you two need to come to some sort of peace agreement. Spike I understand your reasons for not wanting to grant Buffy an annulment, and while I can't say I'm pleased about it I'm admittedly a little impressed. But you two have to stop bickering. Buffy," he said, taking a sip of his drink. He removed his glasses and set them on the tabletop, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger.
"You need to stop withholding information for me. This is not the first time you have left something pertinent out that has come back to haunt us. I understand you might not have wanted Xander and Anya or Willow to know what happened, but I need to know these things. Anything that happens to you can affect things Buffy. I don't know how many times I can impress that upon you."
"God, Giles, don't you think I know that. You have impressed it upon me, but I didn't realize my having sex with Spike once as a result of a spell Willow cast was going to come back and be a problem. I told you as soon as I found out about the marriage thing."
"Yes, you did, and I commend you for that and appreciate it. And while I'm sorry it seems to you like your private life is anything but private, there are things you just can't keep a secret from me. The results of tonight could have been disastrous. I mean if Spike truly had feelings for you," he put his glasses on. "I shudder to think at what that might have added to the force's power."
"Yeah, but see, he doesn't have feelings for me beyond hatred and vengeance."
Spike shifted slightly but said nothing as he crushed a Wheatabix into his cup of blood. The problem was he did care that she had slept with another man. It had nothing to do with love, it was something far more base and primal than that. He could not kill this Slayer, he had tried before the chip and had only ended up in a wheelchair among other things as a result of his efforts. But he could do other things with her. And he could, like she had said, boast about having wed the Slayer when she was no longer here. Because if Spike knew one thing for certain it was that this Slayer would die young.
He remembered quite vividly their night together, he imagined Buffy did as well. They had never spoken of it beyond insults. He would love another night with her that had nothing to do with the red headed witch's spell. He would love to just take her and carry her back to his crypt and ravish her, get her out of his system but he could not do that without force and the chip prevented him from doing that. One night with Soldier Boy should have left her wanting the darker side that Spike knew she craved and could give her.
The other two were quiet Spike realized and he looked up from his crushed Wheatabix and blood. "What?"
"Will you call a truce for now, Spike? If you are harboring some feelings here, whatever they are, we do not need some other force calling upon them to use them against Buffy. You two need to work this out. Somehow come to terms with what you are going to do and how to live with it. Buffy, as much as I hate to say it, I would suggest until this issue is resolved that you do not consider yourself single. In other words, no dating."
"I'm not saying to close yourself off socially of course. Though I can't say that it's an entirely bad idea," he muttered the last part under his breath though Spike caught it and laughed lightly. Giles met his gaze and Spike simply shrugged. "But no dating. Tell the boys you are just getting over a bad relationship or whatever you need to tell them to say no without telling them much and keep it at friends. There's another thing here I, as your father figure, need to ask."
"Did you and Riley take precautions against pregnancy?"
"I, well, uh, no. I mean I was not planning on having sex with him and the only person I had had sex with before him was Angel."
"Hey," Spike interjected.
"Okay, the only two people I had sex with before now were vampires. Not much need for birth control there. The undead can't make babies."
"Got that right, Slayer. See, there is a good side to being my ball and chain."
"Get over it already, Spike."
"Well, that is something you will need to be aware of and pay attention to. The last thing we need is a pregnant Slayer."
"And if I am pregnant," Buffy said and Spike could smell the fear and apprehension on her.
"Well, let us all hope that will not come to pass. If you were to be, Riley could make things very difficult for you both. Demanding blood tests and all that, and I somehow have a feeling he is feeling hurt and betrayed enough right now he might just do it. Not to mention the mere fact, the two of you would be on record as having a baby. I need not point out the annulment would be out of the question at that point. I am unsure what would happen, from a legal standpoint, if it were found out the two of you were successfully married. The judge I imagine would be punished for allowing the marriage to take place. So let's just hope you're not."
"She can take one of those tests," Spike volunteered. "Those little stick things. I've seen them."
"I couldn't take one until after I'm already late."
"Oh," Spike said. "I was just trying to help. There has to be a way for you to find out sooner than waiting for your monthly."
"Eww, Spike. I can't believe you just said that."
"What? I am a vampire, hello, blood, I do know about these things. I can even smell when a woman is having her monthly."
"Whatever," he mumbled, standing up in a fluid yet annoyed movement, taking his cup to the kitchen to rinse it out.
"He is right, though, Buffy, there is a way. You could get a blood test. I believe ten days after the act has occurred a blood test would be at least remotely accurate. I mean, if it were to come up negative, you would not necessarily be in the clear. But if it were to come up positive, there would be little question as to its accuracy."
"So, you want me to take a blood test? Is that wise? I mean, do Slayers give blood?"
"Ordinarily, no, we would not want you to give blood for testing, but they will test for pregnancy solely so it should be fine. Spike," he called.
"Yeah, I'm still here," he said, leaning against the doorframe leading from dining room to the kitchen area.
"You should take her to the clinic. You two should act like the excited, happy newlyweds anxious to know if your efforts at trying for a baby have worked."
"Dear lord. I didn't want a bloody whelp when I was living."
"And we should do this why?"
"Because you will want to give a fake name of course, Buffy. Take her somewhere she will not be known or recognized, Spike, and they should not question much if you go in together, the happily married young couple. Were you single and you wanted to know so early, they might be worried you were going to try and do something to abort it and want more information on you."
"Okay," Spike said, crossing his arms over his chest. "Sounds doable to me. I remember when Dru had a hard on for wanting to add a child to our family, a real child not childe with an e at the end of it. Man, it took me years to get her off that idea."
"Oh God, I could not even imagine Drusilla with a child."
"Neither could I. Believe it or not, I'm not off my rocker and would never have given into her on that one. Not to mention it would have me being the one to care for it."
"You know, Spike you impressed me for one second there. You should have just shut up while you were ahead."
"Children, please. Stop your infernal arguing."
"Now, onto the other matter of resolving your issues. I realize you are never going to like one another, but Buffy you have to think of what you're doing to yourself and to the cause. And Spike," Giles paused. "I know you're not on our side but you have been helping us some of late and I think you have come to appreciate the job that Buffy has to do and how she goes about doing it. I sense somehow that you don't want to put her in jeopardy either."
"Of course not. I don't want anyone to kill her before I can get my chip out and do it myself. Got to get my third kill, third time's a charm I've heard."
Buffy walked up to him and put her hand around his throat. "We had a deal, Spikey. Remember, chip out you leave Sunnydale and life for Buffy goes on as an unmarried woman. Are you telling me you plan on going back on your word? How surprising? Giles, hand me a stake."
"Buffy, you can't do that."
Buffy's eyes never left Spike's and his never left hers. Her grip was unrelenting, tight enough to cause him discomfort and to let him know she was unhappy. Good. If she heard Giles' protest, Spike was not sure. He had really pissed her off, he realized and instead of filling him with a belly full of warm happiness he felt like a bloody heel. What in the hell was happening to him? Was he getting soft? It was the bleeding chip is what it was, causing him to somehow think he was human without ever letting him be human again.
"No, I'm not going to kill you, Slayer. My promise of earlier has nothing to do with why either. Like Giles there said, I have developed a bit of an appreciation for your work and well, now that we've started you seeing that not all demons are bad I think you'll do well."
"I never said they weren't all bad."
"No, you haven't. But I also know your first thought isn't always slay anymore when you encounter some things."
"Yeah, well, the minute you get that chip out if you hang around, don't count on slaying not being my first thought."
"I know where I stand with you, Slayer."
"Good. And I know where I stand with you. So we're fine. Problem solved, Giles," she said, releasing Spike's throat and walking away.
"Buffy, I wish it were that simple. But until the two of you are willing to resolve the issue by annulling the marriage or working together to ease the tension between you both then I'm afraid problems like what happened tonight will occur. The supernatural will pray on whatever weakness you give them, Buffy."
"So what I'm supposed to do pretend I'm happy about being married to a vampire?"
"Well, no, but quit being so obviously distressed by it. I mean, you aren't living together, there is no chance from your one encounter that a child will result. So you can't date. You are not supposed to be doing those things anyway as the Slayer. So instead of thinking of it as a hindrance because of the legalities of a marriage you don't want, think about it as giving something up for the cause. If you focus too much of your mental energy on any one thing the powers will pick up on it, and inevitably they will get to you through whatever is taking your attention, good or bad."
"All right. I will try, but Spike has to stop purposely annoying me. I know he does it because he can, but if I have to go no datey girl, then he has to go no sarcasm boy."
Spike shook his head slightly but said, "all right."
"Thank you both. Now why don't you two go on home and leave me to my own devices for the rest of the evening. Buffy, it might be advisable for you to do some patrolling after what happened tonight."
"I'm guessing she's already expended enough energy there, Giles," Spike said a little more bitterly than he had meant to. Giles looked at him, Spike felt his eyes on him but he did not give the Watcher the satisfaction of seeing what was in Spike's eyes.
"See. Sarcasm. Bad thing. You make it sound like I wanted to sleep with Riley. Have either of you stopped to think that those forces raped me? I would never have slept with him otherwise."
"Well, they were using you Buffy as an outlet. I see your point, and I'm sorry. He was not hurtful to you, was he?"
"No. He was a perfect gentleman."
"How boring," Spike drawled under his breath.
"You didn't seem to mind it that night."
"What? Being a gentleman?"
"Well, I didn't confuse you with Dru or anything if that's what you mean." He looked at her sharply. "Oh so you do remember?"
"Well, sure. I never claimed I didn't remember."
"Perhaps you two could discuss these things on the way to the cemetery, since I assume you are both headed there."
"Yeah, I guess I could do some patrolling with you, Slayer."
"You make it sound like you're doing me a favor."
"Interpret it however you wish, Goldilocks. Let's get out of here and leave Giles to his Scotch and Brahms or whatever he's dying to get an earful of."
"Thank you," Giles offered. "Good night you two. Please think on what we've talked about here. I do know that you can get along. I've seen it."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com