I hope you like this. The first chapter is a bit depressing. Thanks to Xaphania for her beta job. Also a thank to my friend Megan for giving it a once over before I posted. Oh and also a much appreciated thanks to Maryperk for the title of the story.
Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.
Buffy slowly walked into her Watcher’s apartment, dropping her keys on the floor without a second glance. She was numb from the memories of the past twenty-four hours, the twenty-four hours that had not actually happened; only they really, really had. She didn’t know why the Powers had let her keep her memories, but she was truly grateful. Without them she would have never known. She would have gone through the rest of her life thinking Angel really loved her.
She walked on autopilot into the bathroom, the bathroom that housed her mortal enemy, who was currently chained to the bathtub. Spike glared at her as she stepped through the door.
“Well it’s about bloody…” when he caught sight of her red-rimmed eyes and trembling hands he stopped short. “Buffy?” She didn’t acknowledge him and he really hadn’t expected her to. The distant look in her eyes was telling enough. She looked completely and thoroughly broken.
Spike watched as her trembling grew and spread through her limbs. She gripped the sink as if holding on to something solid would stop the tremors that were vibrating through her body and when she met her own eyes in the mirror, one of the most gut-wrenching screams Spike had ever heard tore from her lips. Buffy slammed her fist hard into the medicine cabinet, large shards of glass and plastic falling into the sink. She stared at her bleeding fist for a moment, then at the large pieces of mirror and Spike knew immediately what she was planning.
Something inside of him snapped, his demon face tore to the surface and he roared in fury. He struggled hard against his bonds, breaking the chains that held him. She was mumbling something as he watched her grip a piece of jagged mirror, and when he made out the words his ire only grew. He wasn’t going to watch her hurt herself over his poncy git of a grandsire. Hell, if he was being honest with himself, he refused to watch her hurt herself period. Sod the chip, if he had to hurt her to stop her, he would.
He had her wrist gripped in his fist the next second and he slammed it hard against the sink, making her drop the jagged piece of glass. Electric shockwaves shot through his skull, but Spike barely took notice. “No!” he growled.
Buffy blinked a few times and for the briefest of moments Spike thought he saw a flash of recognition, it was gone in a snap and a new wave of tremors wracked her body as her pulse skyrocketed. Her teeth began to chatter as her lips turned blue, and her skin felt so cold. “Oh, bloody hell, your goin’ into shock, aren’t you?”
Spike lifted Buffy in his arms and set her on the toilet, whipping her black sweater over her head. “Sorry luv, need to get you warm, not tryin’ to peek at your goodies.” Buffy just continued to stare straight through him. He sighed and shook his head, unzipping and pulling her boots off. Spike reached over and twisted the hot water on and pulled the lever for the shower before he pulled his black tee over his head. He kicked his own boots off and then wrapped his arm around Buffy’s waist so he could unzip her skirt. It pooled at her feet and Spike lifted Buffy into the shower holding her against his chest as he let the hot water rain down on top of them.
He didn’t understand why he felt this sudden need to help her and keep her safe. He should be rejoicing at her pain and laughing in her face, but instead his demon had been furious at the thought of Buffy hurting herself. He didn’t want to analyze it too much; there were just some things he wasn’t willing to admit yet.
Spike knew the moment she finally returned to herself because she suddenly stiffened in his arms.
“Spike?” Buffy said in a baby soft voice.
“Yes, luv?” he sighed. He hoped she didn’t immediately jump to conclusions.
“Why am I in Giles’ shower, in my underwear…” she paused, “with you?” Her voice was not angry just very confused and Spike relaxed because of it.
“You were goin’ into shock, had to warm you up somehow, figured the shower was the best bet.” He brushed a wet strand of hair of her face. “I didn’t want you to think I was tryin’ to take advantage of you, or some rot. So I left your knickers on.”
“Oh,” Buffy said, as she lay her head back on his chest and placed a feather soft kiss there. “Thanks, I don’t remember, but thank you for being here.”
Spike swallowed hard. “Sure thing kitten, anytime.” His arms tightened around her before he asked, “Mind tellin’ me, what this is all about then?”
She sniffled and a heart breaking sob tore from her lips, she started trembling again, only this time Spike could tell it was from trying to stop herself from crying. “Come on baby girl, I’ve got you.”
She sniffled hard against his chest and raised her tear filled eyes to his. “Why are you being so nice to me? I thought you hated me.”
“Don’ rightly know, but seeing you like that, seeing you about to hurt yourself, just about scared me to death.” He paused, studying her face for any sign of disgust, when he got none, he continued. “As for hating you…” he sighed, “never really have, just tried to force myself to is all.”
“Why?” She was looking at him intently, as if trying to gage what his answer would be.
“’Cause, I thought if I could kill you Drusilla would take me back. She blamed me for breaking up our family, said I was surrounded by you. Don’ bloody know what that means, jus’ knew if I could kill you, she wouldn’t be able to use that excuse anymore.” Spike said all this as he subconsciously began to run his fingers through Buffy’s wet hair.
She knew he didn’t realize what he was doing, and for once she wasn’t going to bring it to his attention. For the first time in so long Buffy felt cared for, it was strange how she suddenly felt so safe in the arms of her mortal enemy. “Did I ever tell you what Angel said, why he left?”
Spike shook his head as he watched Buffy’s eyes fill with new tears. “He said I deserve someone who can bring me into the light, that I deserve a normal life with a human and a house with 3.5 kids. I tried to tell him that my life will never be normal, but then he called what we had a freak show.” She sucked in a breath trying to reign in her emotions, as Spike bit back the growl that was climbing in his throat. “It doesn’t matter now, all of that was a lie.”
“How’s that, luv?” he asked, afraid of what she was going to say next.
She looked him dead in the eye. “I’ve been gone longer than it seems. Angel was human for twenty-four hours.”
His jaw dropped and he stared at her in complete disbelief, he shook his head and then swallowed. “Maybe you should start at the beginning.”