tennyo_elf: (SadSpuffy)
[personal profile] tennyo_elf
Title: Steps Taken by the Heart
Rating: Teen
Setting: Season 8 (AU ish 'cause of the Spike mini) and AU season 9
Summary: Between the scenes of season 8 and snippets of season 9 Spuffy.
Warning: ANGST!
_______


As she was walking alone on the streets of San Francisco at night Buffy was trying very hard to think about getting a new job, one that maybe paid better or one that maybe she was more comfortable with, more her style. Every time she thought about what she should be doing now, with her life and her slaying, her thoughts turned to one thing: death. She wasn’t going to die anytime soon, not unless a demon got really lucky and if she did die it would probably be years from now, which meant she could maybe go back to college, think about her career options. But she was going to die, not today, not tomorrow but one day she would. That meant she had to do something with her life.

And her death also reminded Buffy of Spike. He was a vampire, he was technically dead. He had an endless future; he wouldn’t age, as he was an undead demon. That meant they really couldn’t ever be together again, not really. Which was a good thing, right, because she really didn’t want to get back with him anyway…right? Not like she would die young right? Not anymore? Not like dating him and making sure he had her back would prolong her life…right? Plus he doesn’t love her, and sure, she may love him, but she should move on.

Oh, god, why did her heart clench so much when she thought of that?

“I have been bound, clipped of my wings, fallen to earth.” The pathetic cry caused Buffy to stop walking. The female voice was eerily familiar.

“I know love, but that’s for the best yeah.” Spike’s voice shocked Buffy and caused her to walk slowly in the direction of his voice.

“No, no, I am not a doll! I do not belong on the shelf.”

“You’re not going on the shelf Dru, you just can’t kill anymore.”

“I was born to kill Spike. I was the reason the river flowed. I would be nothing if I am bound so.” Drusilla seemed to be pleading to Spike.

“I know the feeling love.” Spike’s voice was filled with sympathy, and Buffy wasn’t sure what to make of it.

But Buffy had heard enough and she didn’t want to stay hidden, not when Spike was just around the corner in a dimly lit alley, obviously talking to Drusilla, his old paramour and an un-repented killer.

“Spike, what is this?”

Spike had been kneeling in front of Drusilla, who looked to have collapsed on the floor. As soon as he had heard Buffy’s voice he had stood and looked at Buffy with both surprise and apprehension.

“Buffy.” It was the only thing Spike said as Buffy moved closer. When Buffy took out her stake and held it high Spike stepped protectively in front of Drusilla.

Buffy barely gave Spike a glance as she kept her eyes glued to Drusilla, “Spike, stand aside, she’s had her free pass already.”

Spike stood up straighter, “No.”

Buffy’s eyes flew to his face, surprised by his objection, “No? What do you mean ‘no’?”

“No, I’m not going to stand aside and let you stake her. Buffy, she’s been chipped. She can’t kill anymore.”

“And she can’t get her soul back either can she? It’s better to end her suffering than have her go through what you went through.”

“And you think that’ll make this all better?” Spike took a step closer to Buffy, his anger clear in his every move. “You didn’t stake me when I first came to you for help, why should we treat her any different?”

Buffy put her stake back in her pocket calmly and instead crossed her arms, she was getting impatient. She hoped Spike didn’t notice the jealousy that seeped through her body as well. “And she what? Came to you for help?”

“As I matter of fact she did, and I want to help her, I remember what it was like.”

“There’s nothing left for her Spike, she can’t be redeemed any longer, there’s no magic to return her soul.”

“A soul? You think a soul would help her when she’s already off her rocker? I’ve seen Dru with a soul and ain’t pretty Slayer. The soul would completely break her; she’d lose the last bit of sanity she has left.”

“Drusilla had a soul, when? And how did she loose it?” Buffy was now baffled and out of her game. How could she deal with a chipped and formerly souled Drusilla?

Spike seemed hesitant to answer and he looked away. He shuffled his feet a bit before answering, “I…I had to give her my soul for a bit…Willow was there, she could tell you the whole story.”

Buffy could only stare at Spike, her eyes wide, her arms slack and her lips slightly parted. Her brain couldn’t and didn’t want to comprehend what he just said. The soul, the wonderful soul, he had gotten for her, he had somehow, for whatever reason, given to Drusilla…when Willow was present. Jealousy and hurt erupted in her like a raging storm and a burning volcano. Buffy barely had the power to withhold the tears from her eyes to hide her voice breaking when she spoke again. “You gave her your soul? Just like that?”

“No, not just--” Buffy wouldn’t let him finish; anger seemed to have won her over.

“So you what, couldn’t care less about your soul now that you don’t love me? You have to go and give it to your ex because it meant so little to you? You…you care less now about what you tried to do to me, is that it? You don’t need your soul anymo--”

The anger in Spike’s eyes was nothing compared to the venom in his voice. “Would you bloody listen to yourself? I still have my soul! And it’s not all about you anymore Buffy! I care about my soul for my own bloody reasons and I don’t give a piss if you think I don’t value my soul when I know I do! The fact that I choose to have my soul, a second time, means nothing to you?”

“When you choose to give it away in the first place--"

“But I didn’t!” He threw his arms up in the air and rolled his eyes. Spike began pacing as he locked his eyes on Buffy, “That’s not the bloodly point! Dru can’t handle a soul, but she’s chipped and needs my help! She can’t hurt anyone anymore!”

To emphasize this point Drusilla began to weep at that moment and Buffy had to keep from rolling her eyes. “It’s better to dust her Spike; she’s an insane chipped vampire who’ll never be anything anymore. You know the chip will just kill her eventually.”

Spike’s voice grew softer, “Yeah I know, but she can live out the last few years of her life living a different life other than killing and maiming. She…Buffy, she wasn’t always a killer. She was an innocent girl, a victim.”

Buffy looked to the floor, she remembered what Angel had told her about Drusilla and she knew that was true. “She was, once. Now she’s a monster.”

“She didn’t choose to be one in the first place.”

“Spike,” Buffy took another step closer and Spike stepped closer as well, not wanting Buffy to get any nearer to Drusilla. Buffy looked up into his eyes and saw sheer determination in them. “She killed you Spike, she made you into a monster too. Doesn’t that…isn’t that something you resent her for?”

Something in Spike’s face softened, for reasons Buffy didn’t understand, “Sometimes I do, yeah, other times I take the good with the bad.” With that he stared at her intently, and Buffy wondered if he was thinking about how he had saved the world, twice now, and how he did so much good at present. Spike gave her half a laugh and turned away, like he knew exactly what she was thinking, and barely whispered, “Of course it’s not like I really had a choice in the matter either, didn’t really understand what Dru meant at the time when she killed me.”

Buffy ignored that and tried to go back to what was more important, “You can’t, I mean, every life is important Spike, you can’t just weigh the scales like that.” Buffy hoped this is what he meant.

Spike’s whole face darkened at that, and he stepped back, his foot barely missing Drusilla’s hand. “I understand that more than you think I do Slayer. But I can’t change something in the past now can I?”

“Spike…” Buffy was at a loss for words, what could she say?

“You picked Angel, right? I get it, all the bad he’s done, and it doesn’t matter, you still love him. Now I have to pick, and I’m going to pick Dru this time too, because I don’t just see her as another vamp Slayer. She’s my history and she’s also a lost little girl who had everything taken away from her…by your sweetie bear.”

Buffy stood frozen and cold, staring in shock at the Spike that was before her. How could he think she still loved Angel after last year and why would he…“You still love…her?”

Spike let out a hard and frustrated sigh, “It’s not about being in love! For bleeding sake Buffy, stop thinking everything’s about you or being in love. I still care for her; like I’m sure you care about your bleedin’ exes too, right?” Spike turned around in a flurry of angered motions and helped Drusilla to her feet. He grabbed her by the elbow and looked back to Buffy with narrowed and cold eyes. “And I don’t need to be giving you any more excuses either, I’m off.”

Spike left, leaving Buffy alone in the alley. She didn’t go after him, she didn’t care to. She was trying so hard to come to terms with what just happened. Drusilla couldn’t be redeemed, but she couldn’t hurt anyone and Spike knew what it was like…so he wanted to help her, so what? Spike picked Drusilla, not Buffy…so what, right? It’s not like he was going to get back with her, right? Spike wouldn’t want to be with a killer…

Oh god…

Buffy remembered then, at that moment, last year…her choices, her selfishness…

She was a killer too…

Buffy sank to her knees and held her face in her hands as she cried harder than she cried in a long, long time.

******

It had been weeks since Buffy last saw Spike. And she didn’t care. No, she didn’t care at all. She didn’t spend extra time patrolling hoping he would pop up, she didn't wander around aimlessly at night hoping to catch a glimpse of him and she didn’t spend any extra time thinking about him at all. Buffy was moving on, she would forget all about bloodsucking fiends and ho-exes that seemed to never go away.

Thinking about the present, Buffy had been lucky and had gotten another job, one with more pay of course, and one she was much happier with. She was a guard at some corporation lobby, and she had to take some silly test for a guard license, but it was much more up her alley than customer service. And of course she was going to be starting classes soon too, and she even decided on her major. She would try for Criminal Justice, and maybe be a police woman after graduation.

So, all in all, she was figuring things out…of course most of those things she figured out while chit-chatting with Spike and Dawn…but she wasn’t going to admit that. And now that she figured those things out, she could focus on her love life. Buffy was ready for love.

Buffy slowly, almost hesitantly, pushed the call button on her cell phone. She had been calling John Smart for some time now, asking him about his investigation and sometimes giving him tips on things she knew he could handle as a regular crime fighting human.

She listened to the phone ring, with each ring her ears tingled and she wanted to hang up. Finally after an eternity John picked up.

“Smart, what do you need?”

“Ah, John,” Maybe calling him by his first name was too casual, “Detective Smart, this is…this is Buffy Summers.” Her name, while infamous with some people, others shrugged off as yesterday’s scandal.

“Oh…” Buffy listened to what sounded like John sitting up, ready to pay attention to her every word, which made Buffy relax just a bit, “Miss Buffy. I didn’t expect you to, uh, call again since we stopped investigating the, uh…little fighting girl.”

Buffy swallowed dryly, she didn’t know they had stopped investigating her. “Well, you know, in a city like this, it’s, uh…ah, good to keep watch at all times.”

“Did you have anything for me to follow up on? Regarding anything?” John’s voice sounded soft but very reluctant.

“Um, no, not really, I was actually calling…for, uh, a favor.”

John was quiet for a long time before speaking again, “Would this have anything to do with your vampire boyfriend?”

Buffy was more than surprised at John mentioning Spike, even if they had only pretended that one time; it had been months since then. “What? No, it has nothing to do with him…well maybe, but not really.”

“So, what did you need?” John’s voice sounded patient.

Buffy began to fidget with the hem of her shirt and then the end of her hair, “I was thinking, if, if you don’t have any plans for Friday…if you might want to get a drink or…dinner.”

“Like a date?”

“Uh huh. A date.”

John was quiet again for a long time before Buffy heard him sigh, “I’m really flattered Buffy, you're a beautiful woman…”

Buffy’s heart sank, she could all but hear the ‘but’ that would be surely to come out of his mouth soon. So she beat him to it, “But?”

John sighed again and Buffy almost felt it through her phone, “I’m, well, I’m not really into women Buffy.”

Oh…Buffy wanted to laugh at herself; she sure knew how to pick them. “I see. I’m sorry for taking your time.”

“No, don’t be Buffy. Really, I’m flattered and if I did like women I would have loved a date with you. But if you want we can still go get drinks together, as friends.”

Buffy didn’t really know what to do with that, she was once again conflicted. Nothing was ever simple. Here she could make a nice new friend who had no romantic interest in her whatsoever or she could leave it be and move on, once again. Looking down at the ground, Buffy decided with Willow growing more distant and Xander either at his job or giving Dawn attention, she should make more friends.

“Yeah, I would like that.” Obviously something was wrong with her, people probably could see it now and she repelled anyone who could possibly love her…or she turned them gay.

******

The park at night was actually prettier than Buffy previously noted. Her patrol had been uneventful, bordering on boring, but Buffy tried to think of only the good time she had earlier with John at a nice bar downtown. Her mood had been uplifted by John’s nice and sweet candor, which was probably why the park she was passing through looked nicer tonight than it had the night before.

Buffy didn’t want to think about the fact that it had been twenty three days since she last spoke to Spike. But the thought was wiggling in the back of her brain non-stop. And in those twenty three days since she spoke to Spike she noticed how much she had relied on him emotionally. He was her wall she could lean on when things got bad or confusing. He supported her when almost no one else would. But Spike was gone.

Right after their fight, after drying her tears, Buffy had called Willow to ask about the incident regarding Spike’s soul. As Willow spoke about how heroic Spike had been during the event, Buffy felt more and guiltier about what she had said to him in the alley. Of course, she really hadn’t meant any of it. She had been hurt and jealous at the time.

A nicely groomed police officer walked past Buffy and had nodded to her before moving on. The officer reminded Buffy about her Criminal Justice courses. A heavy sigh was building within her. She really didn’t know if that direction for a career would work out, since she tended to question authority often or, really, how she felt she was the only authority. That meant she had to change her major and of course she had to figure out a new major before dropping the current one.

Buffy wished Spike was here with her, just so she could talk to him…about everything.

The nasty feeling of a vampire close in range tickled her senses and Buffy grabbed her stake from her jacket pocket. She turned around eloquently and saw Spike casually strolling up to her. Now, if only she wished for a million dollars or a really good manicure…

Once Spike stopped a few feet away from Buffy she put away her stake and an awkward silence hung in the air for a moment.

“’lo Buffy.” Buffy didn’t like the way his voice sounded: ragged and tired.

“Spike.”

Both stood facing each other and the silence was louder than any other time of silent awkwardness between them. Buffy wanted to look up and count stars or walk away and go back to patrolling but her feet were stuck. Too many emotions were flooding her body and the tension alone only enforced the feeling that a wall was between them.

Buffy decided to speak again, “How’s Drusilla?”

Spike frowned and looked away, but Buffy could see pain in his expression that he was trying hard to cover up. “Dust. Couldn’t handle it, after a while she keep trying to stake herself. I tied her up but she got clever, knocked me out and ran out into the sun.” Spike shuffled his feet and returned his gaze back to Buffy, “Before I went unconscious I saw it.”

Buffy found it easily within her to care simply because Spike cared. “I’m…I’m sorry.”

Spike shrugged and waved his hand at her dismissively, “Nah, don’t worry about it. You were right. Should’ve just ended it when she asked.”

Buffy tried to swallow but she felt a lump in her throat that wouldn’t go away, “It doesn’t make it any less painful.”

“No, it doesn’t.” Spike’s voice was soft and his eyes seemed to be telling Buffy so many encoded and hidden messages. Buffy couldn’t decode those messages, but she felt them.

After another moment’s pause Buffy awkwardly began her speech she had been secretly making for this moment, “Look Spike, about what I said--”

“Forget it, it’s in the past.”

“No, I really didn’t mean--”

Again Spike cut her off, “I know Buffy.”

Slightly annoyed, Buffy glared at Spike and was taken aback by the understanding being reflected back at her. She understood that he knew. Spike knew she hadn’t meant the words she spoken and wasn’t holding it against her. “Still, I’m sorry Spike.”

“It’s alright, we both said things we didn’t mean.” Buffy was a confused about what he meant and Spike seemed to have picked up her confusion because he continued, “About what I said regarding not caring what you think of me. I do.”

Buffy smiled softly, she knew this, and she didn’t seem to remember enough, “I know, and I…I know you value your soul. I…” Buffy didn’t know how to say it again, but her belief in Spike was the only thing she was ever clear about regarding her emotions for him.

“You don’t have to say anything Buffy.” And Spike smiled his own soft smile at her and Buffy let out a relieved sigh.

“Oh, good, because I don’t think I could say anything right now that would make much sense.”

Spike smiled again and tilted his head a bit instead of answering before he began to walk. Buffy easily fell in step with him. There was silence again, but it was comfortable and it felt right. Buffy had to keep her other emotions in check least they spill out into this moment, because for now all she wanted to do was enjoy Spike’s company.

“How was your date with the Dick?”

Spike’s question came out of nowhere and Buffy had to collect her thoughts before answering.

“How…John’s a nice…why would you…don’t…with that dick comment…”

Spike’s soundless chuckle almost raised the hair on Buffy’s head and before she could complete her jumbled thoughts on his question, Spike clarified, “Dick as in detective love.”

Understanding came over her and Buffy calmed down immediately, “Oh.” Buffy wanted to hide her embarrassment but instead she smiled shrewdly. “It wasn’t a date, and how did you know I was out tonight with John?”

“Went looking for you earlier, happened to see you two at the bar I stopped by for a few pints when I couldn’t find you.”

“I didn’t see you.”

“Yeah, saw you chatting with Sherlock and left, didn’t want to get in the way.”

“You wouldn’t’ve gotten in the way. And like I said it wasn’t a date.”

“Trying to convince yourself? Living in the land of denial? That was a date if I ever saw one.”

Buffy gave him a quick and annoyed glance, “John’s gay.” Buffy grinned smugly, “So I suppose that means you never saw a real date?”

“Your date with that principal count?”

Buffy just grinned again, this time with genuine joy, “Maybe.”

They continued to walk through the park, but their steps were slow, and the silence between them felt easy. There was understanding, humor, belief, and so much trust between them. Buffy wanted to cherish moments like these, where things were easy, where her feelings weren’t crushing her and her past mistakes weren’t shadowing her wherever she went. And Spike was here, finally. Things would go back to the way they had been for the last few months. They would be friends and allies who supported each other.

And it wasn’t enough. Buffy felt so selfish for wanting it to be more, for craving his touch so much. Here she was happy, walking calmly with Spike and it wasn’t enough. She wanted him to talk about himself, wanted to hold his hand or even hide behind one of the numerous trees so they could kiss until morning. But he didn’t love her, he didn’t want her anymore. She was supposed to be full of love yet love rejected her everywhere she turned now, even in the person she now trusted most.

Spike had stopped walking, and Buffy continued walking a few more steps before she realized he wasn’t beside her. She turned and saw him staring at her with furrowed brows and worry etched on his face.

“What Spike? What’s wrong?”

“You’re asking me?” Spike looked at her incredulously, “Buffy, you’re crying.”

Buffy reached up to touch her cheek and found that it was indeed wet with tears. “I…I hadn’t noticed.”

Spike walked closer to her and Buffy watched him reach up hesitantly to touch her shoulder, “Buffy?”

His question was full of questions, Are you OK? What’s the matter? Are you hurt? Is there anything I can do? And his voice, his worry brought on more tears. Frustrated Buffy wiped her tears away forcefully, “This is ridiculous.”

Buffy shrugged off Spike’s hand and turned on her heel, angry with herself for being such an emotional mess. She was going to be alone for the rest of her life wasn’t she? She was going to spend the rest of her nights alone in bed and no one would be able to love someone like her, wouldn’t they?

Hot anger tears began to fall more freely now and Buffy turned back to Spike again, who hadn’t moved, her anger clearly more visible on her face, in her blush, in the set of her shoulders. And she knew Spike could see how she was beginning to tremble.

“Of course this is ridiculous! Ridiculous Buffy! Being unhappy when I have only things I should be happy for! Being unhappy for not being happy enough!”

Spike didn’t look like he understood her, “So you’re unhappy for no reason?”

“Yes! Well, no…I have reasons, but they’re no good reasons.”

“And those reasons are?” Spike stretched out his question, like Buffy wouldn’t tell him when she was already on a roll.

“I’m unlovable Spike! I’m a killer now, I’ve betrayed all my friends,” She threw her arms up in the air and began to pace, “and you… And there is something wrong with me or around me, anyone who loves me gets hurt or dies. Giles, the closest thing I had to a father, was killed because of me! My love is like poison Spike! And I…” Buffy began to slow, trying hard to think of what to say, trying hard to not say what she really wanted to say, “and I…I just want…I just want to be loved without anyone getting hurt.”

Buffy stopped dead. She felt the cold chill of the night air and felt too ashamed to look at Spike, so instead she decided to inspect her new shoes as she continued to cry. She even watched as her tears fell to the cement. Buffy saw Spike’s boots come into view, though her tears made them blurry.

Buffy covered her eyes with her hand, trying to reign in her emotions, not wanting to break down in front of Spike, even if it was too late. She felt him put his palm on the side of her face and gently he stroked her face. His care was too much for her, even now.

“Even you Spike, you knew better as soon as you came back, to stay away from me, because I got you killed. Loving me wasn’t worth it; I know…it wasn’t worth the pain I put you through.”

Spike stopped his strokes and pulled away, the comfort gone and instead Buffy felt the heat of his gaze piercing her skull. “Do you think that was what that was?”

“You didn’t tell me; you wanted me to think you were dead Spike. How else am I supposed to take that?”

Silence fell between them and Buffy felt an eerie tension build around them, but Spike hadn’t moved away from her. Instead he gently grabbed her upper arms.

“Buffy, look at me.” His words were like a command but his voice sounded more like a plea. Buffy slowly glanced up and saw his face close to hers. His expression was soft, but there was regret and something else Buffy couldn’t recognize. “No matter what I say, it’ll all sound like excuses. You know I make stupid mistakes, told you myself back in Sunnydale and you’ve seen enough of ‘em to realize I don’t think on the straight and narrow all the time.”

Somehow the tears had stopped and so had her thoughts, her attention was on his words fully now. Spike used the moment to stroke her hair, his touch just a wisp on her skin. He continued, “But Buffy, you were worth it. I might regret some of the things that happened in Sunnydale, love, but I don’t ever regret falling in love with you. I never blamed you Buffy, never. You were worth every last moment.”

At those words, the tears came back harder and faster than before. Buffy didn’t notice that her head had fallen forward to rest on Spike’s chest as she began to cry again. She wanted to ask, but all that came out of her was a strangled, “Why…?”

Spike hesitantly put his arms around Buffy, holding her to him, though his hold felt awkward, like he had never done something like this before. When he spoke she could feel the vibrations of his words in his chest, “I care about you Buffy. And you have people that love you. Don’t think you need to worry about the ‘whys’ or the ‘hows’ or any of that rot. Just know that you got your friends and you got me yeah, I’ll be here for you. I know I can be a git, but at least you put up with me.”

Buffy smiled at that, but her tears still flowed. “I don’t have a choice about that though.”

“Unfortunately, yeah, you’re stuck with me.” Buffy could hear the returned humor in his voice and it felt like a bit of the weight had lifted.

He patted her back, and said as an afterthought, “And your love’s not poison, you’ve just got rotten luck. And horrible taste in men.”

“Do you count yourself in that?” Buffy just snuggled a bit closer to Spike as she asked that, content that he was giving her comfort so freely, without her having to ask. Her tears were slowing.

“I’m the exception.”

Buffy smiled against Spike’s chest, and continued to let him comfort her. She wanted to stay here, but this little bump in their current relationship couldn’t last much longer. And when her tears stopped and her eyes were dry, Spike stepped back and smiled at her reassuringly. Spike took her home and when she was alone in her bed; she thought about Spike’s words and let them comfort her instead.

******

Buffy ran fast and heavy. Spike was behind her, following close. She was ready to turn a corner into an alley. Someone was after her. Whoever was after her had been gunning for Buffy for weeks now. Spike had gotten a clue on who it may be and where to find to them. But it had been a bust and now they were both running for their lives.

Whoever was after Buffy had set a trap for both her and Spike. And somehow they knew Spike would be looking for the information and set up an ambush. A stake had missed Spike’s heart by inches and another had torn a hole into his shoulder. Buffy had to duck flying knives. And then a foul and big demon was set loose. Not sure if it was safe, Buffy had wanted them to retreat and Spike agreed.

Unfortunately, and predictable, the demon followed them. Once Buffy raced into the alley she heard car tires screech. She stopped, the alley was a dead end and the demon was probably road kill or hurt enough to go away to lick its wounds. Spike stopped beside her and rolled his eyes.

“That’s not gonna be comforting to my pride. Bleeding set up.”

“At least we’re still alive,” Buffy looked at his wound and winced, “And not too badly hurt.”

“I’ll be fine.”

Buffy moved closer to Spike to inspect his wound, “I’m sure you’ll be fine later, but now you look like you have a miniature grand canyon in your shoulder.”

“Not my worst battle scar though. And that’s saying something.”

“I wonder if bullet holes would make good scars on a vampire.” At the new voice both Buffy and Spike turned to see a girl walk into the alley totting a large and menacing machine gun. Her almost bald head and pink little frontal Mohawk gave away her identity almost immediately.

“Simone!” It looked as if Simone had led them both here into this alley.

“You know her?” Spike sounded upset that who he had been looking for was someone Buffy had known all along.

“Of course she does, she and the little boy helped train me a couple years ago.”

Spike narrowed his eyes on Simone, “You’re a slayer.”

“I don’t consider myself that, once I did though. It’s quite the power trip, though the power goes better with a gun instead of a stake.”

With that Simone pointed her machine gun into the alley and fired. Spike quickly tried to cover Buffy with his body, but he was too late and a few bullets had already ripped through Buffy.

“Buffy!” Spike’s frantic scream would be something Buffy would remember for a long time if she survived this.

But Buffy never felt pain like this before, even when Warren had shot her; she was horrified that couldn’t feel Spike catch her as she fell. It burned so much, like she was going to go up in flames. Buffy couldn’t move, she could only watch. She watched Spike's face as he eased her down, ignoring his own bullet wounds. She saw the look on his face when he realized the severity of what just happened. Buffy couldn’t say anything to him, couldn’t help smooth away the madness in his face or the hate that had set in his eyes.

Buffy was dimly aware of the sound of the machine gun jamming, of Simone’s curses, and of the sound of Spike’s roar. Somehow Buffy knew, Spike had seen red and no matter how hurt he was, or how hurt Buffy was, nothing would stop him now.

Spike stalked towards Simone, who smirked as she began to step backwards. Simone looked as if she thought she was quicker than Spike, but Buffy knew better. Even as her eyesight became blurry, Buffy watched Spike move faster, deadly in his approach, and attack Simone with full force.

Simone and Spike fought for so long that Buffy didn’t think she could hold on long enough to see how it would end. Spike though became more and more ferocious as time went on. His punches connected more often. His kicks sent Simone flying into the walls so much that Buffy couldn’t tell if the walls were made of bricks anymore.

And then Buffy realized as her whole body became numb, that she was probably going to die. And that Spike was probably going to kill Simone.

Another punch to Simone’s face sent her sprawling to the ground. Blood covered her face and it seemed like Simone couldn’t stand anymore.

Buffy tried to call Spike, tried to move, but she couldn’t. She had to stop him…

Instead of letting it end there, where Simone was broken and bruised on the ground, Spike knelt down and grabbed her head and twisted hard. Buffy heard the snap and if she hadn’t been completely numb her gut would have twisted.

Spike stood and just stared at the body at his feet, seemingly coming back to himself. Horror replaced madness; realization seeped into his expression and Spike turned towards Buffy so fast that Buffy couldn’t follow his movements.

“Buffy!”

She heard him call her name, but she couldn’t feel his touch and she couldn’t say his name. Buffy didn’t feel him wrap her in his jacket, trying to stop the flow of blood, nor did she hear him use his cell phone to call an ambulance. Instead she decided to let blackness overcome her.
________
To be continued...
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tennyo_elf

July 2012

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