Personal Attention by Jaesha

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: After Spike Giles' wife leaves him for another man he falls into despair. Will Buffy be able to save him before he destroys himself?

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Chapter 10: The Push and Pull of Little Sisters and Best Friends

“Have I told you lately how much I hate you?”

Buffy chuckled lightly. “No, Dawnie, you haven’t.”

“It’s totally not fair that you get to go on tour with the Dingoes. I’m their biggest fan. I should be going, not you,” Dawn pouted over the phone.

“Well, when you get out of college and decide that you just weren’t cut out to be a bio-chemist, you can be the personal assistant to a band member too.”

Throwing another pair of jeans into her suitcase, Buffy tried to calculate how much space she had left in the already overflowing bag.

“How about I just do that now?”

“Uh, how about no. You have to stay in school,” Buffy replied, switching the cordless phone from one ear to the other.

“I guess it’s a good thing that I made other plans for Christmas. You’re going to be on tour until the end of January, right?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

As the hours ticked by, Buffy felt the dread settle into the pit of her stomach. Stuck on a bus for almost two months with Spike? That was not sounding like such a good idea now that the day had come to set off on the tour.

“What are you so grumpy about? I would be like jumping for joy if I got to spend that much time with the band. Hello? How can you be around Spike and Oliver and not get the happy tinglies?” Dawn asked.

“Trust me. It’s not personal. I’m working for Spike not trying to be his number one groupie,” Buffy said, zipping up her suitcase.

“You are so weird. I can’t believe we’re related.”

“Why? Just because I’m not throwing myself at him? You have no idea how big of a pain in the ass he is. And like I’ve said before, I work for him which makes anything in the way of a personal relationship null and void.”

“Buffy, when was the last time you got some?”

“Wha-!”

“No seriously. Because if you can be in the same room with a guy as hot as Spike and not want to jump his bones, there has got to be something wrong with you.”

“I’m not having this conversation with my baby sister,” Buffy said almost more to herself than to Dawn.

“Well, maybe your equipment doesn’t work right. I mean, maybe it’s like when you don’t use your arm for a really long time and then it doesn’t work for lack of use.”

“My equipment works just fine!” Buffy shouted into the phone.

“Does it now?”

Spinning around, Buffy found Spike standing in the doorway with a smirk on his face. Just what she needed…

“Dawn, I have to go,” she told her sister.

“Hey, is that your lil’ sis?” Spike asked, walking into the room.

“Yeah?”

“Lemme talk t’ her.” He held out his hand to receive the phone.

Buffy handed him the phone and watched as he struck up a conversation with her sister. She could hear Dawn squealing on the other end. To his credit, Spike didn’t hold the phone away from his ear. He must have been used to young girls screaming at him.

The last few days had been pleasant between them, falling back into the old routine. It was as if the incident in the kitchen had never even happened and Buffy wasn’t sure if she was relieved or bothered by it. She was glad that he wasn’t pushing for more, but she was a little angry that he could forget about it so easily.

Isn’t that what you wanted him to do, though?

“Yeah, well, she can be a bit tryin’, but I like her just the same. Keepin’ me in line, she is,” Spike said, giving her a sideways glance.

Of course they would be talking about her. What else did they have in common?

“Okay, sweets, I hope I see you at the San Francisco show too. I’m givin’ the phone back t’ your sis now. Alright, you too.” Spike handed her back the phone.

“Dawn?”

“Omigod! He was so cool!”

Buffy pulled the phone away to save herself from going deaf. She’d have to ask Spike what his secret was. “Okay, I really gotta go. We have to meet the bus in an hour.”

“Oh yeah, sure. Have a fun time and call me!” And with that, Dawn’s end of the line clicked off.

“Nice girl,” Spike said, picking up her stuffed pig from the bed.

“Yeah, she’s great. A little spacey, but I love her so much,” Buffy replied, sliding her suitcase off the bed and almost falling over from its weight.

Setting the toy back on the bed, Spike moved around to grab her bag from her hands. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”

“Don’t you have to pack too?”

“Already did.” At Buffy’s questioning glance, he added, “Not much to it. Some jeans, some shirts, some socks. I threw it together last night after dinner.”

He wasn’t at all like the other rock stars she had met and she’d met quite a few. Most of them were quite conceited and very high maintenance. Spike wasn’t like that. If anything, she found he was self-conscious of his place in the spotlight and was often a perfectionist not out of arrogance but so that he could be worthy of his fans’ praise.

And Armani suits…? Three hundred thousand dollar cars…? Only red M&M’s in his dressing room…? Totally not him at all. He preferred worn-out jeans to expensive designer duds and talked often about restoring his old Desoto instead of spending his money on a Jaguar. He wasn’t a very picky eater either. She had accidentally put pickles on his sandwich once, forgetting that he had told her how much he didn’t like them, and he ate it anyway.

Dru would have been screaming at her for the little sandwich faux pas.

All in all, Spike was probably the easiest going star in all of LA and Buffy had to thank her lucky stars that he had offered her a job even though it had gotten awkward between them. It could have been a lot worse.

She’d heard the horror stories from the other PAs she had run across on the set or at premieres. She met one on the set a year ago who said her boss had made her drive all the way to Portland to get take-out from the star’s favorite restaurant only to see it thrown out because it had gotten cold. And Liam Angelus’ personal assistant, who was now no longer working for him, was expected to find escorts for him and then had to make sure his bad behavior didn’t get into the mainstream.

So, yeah, she was glad that she was working for Spike instead of some asshole that couldn’t care less about how demeaning they made her job. And, though she couldn’t actually admit it, she considered Spike much more than just a job.



******



They pulled up beside the bus that was currently parked in one of the back lots to the Dingoes’ record company.

“Are you nervous?” Spike asked, shutting the car off.

“A little. Why? Is it that obvious?” The little crease between her eyebrows appeared and Spike felt the urge to smooth it away.

He picked up one of her hands. “You’re shakin’, luv. I’m takin’ that as a big sign that you aren’t sure about this whole thing.”

He knew she was a bit apprehensive about accompanying him on the tour, but he had done everything he could think of to reassure her that nothing bad would happen. Truth be told, he wasn’t even sure why she was so nervous to begin with. It’s not like he was going to have the opportunity to try anything funny with his bandmates, manager, and driver looking over their shoulders at him.

Not that he had any plans of pushing her for more than she was willing to offer anyway. Tensions ran high on these tours, so it was the last thing on his mind to cause more drama between them.

“I’ll be okay. I guess I just don’t know what to expect and that freaks me out a little,” she replied, squeezing his hand before slipping from his grasp.

Oh, he knew that. She was somewhat of a control freak. Not in the way Dru had been though. With Buffy it was more like she stuck to what she knew and shied away from the unknown. So, instead of trying to control everyone else like Dru had, she mostly just tried to control herself.

“Don’t worry. It’ll be fine, I promise,” he told her.

She seemed to calm at his words and nodded in response. “Okay.”

Getting out of the car, he moved back to the trunk and started grabbing their stuff, setting it on the pavement. Oliver and Xander were walking out from behind the bus and Xander waved when he saw Buffy standing by her door.

“Hey, Buffster! Glad you could make it,” Xander said enthusiastically, jogging over to her.

“Oh, hey, Xander,” she replied, not quite as animated as Xander had been.

Oliver came over to lean against the bumper, smiling. “So, mate, how’s it going?”

“Fine,” Spike mumbled out.

Ever since he’d almost caught Spike and Buffy practically going at it in the kitchen, Oliver had been on him to fill in the details. He hadn’t told, of course, which was probably why Oliver was making it his life’s mission to dig up the dirt.

“Oh, poor, poor boy. I told you to talk to the girl and you obviously didn‘t listen to me. And now look at you. Positively miserable.”

“Whatever, you berk. I think you might be losin’ your touch there, Olie,” Spike replied picking up the bags and walking off towards the bus.

“What the bleeding hell is that supposed to mean?” Oliver asked once he had caught up to Spike.

Rolling his eyes, he threw the bags onto the bus. “It means that I did talk t’ her and for your information, we are gettin’ along just fine.” Okay, so that was a little white lie.

“Oh, you are, eh? Then why do you look like someone just kicked your Christmas puppy?”

“Because I saw you walk up and I knew you’d be on me t’ tell you all about me an’ Buffy. And I don’t want t’ talk about it since it’s really none of your business,” Spike told him.

Oliver’s bright green eyes lit up and he pointed a finger at him. “You’re not telling me something. You know this is just going to make me want to know even more.”

“Well, you are shit out o’ luck ‘cause I’m not tellin’.”

“Maybe I’ll just ask the girl myself,” Oliver announced.

Suddenly, Spike found his temper soaring and the next thing he knew he had Oliver thrown against the bus. “You had better leave her alone or I might do somethin’ stupid,” he growled.

Oliver’s eyes narrowed, but he didn’t make any attempt to push Spike away. “Tread lightly, my friend.”

“What the hell is going on?!”

They both turned to see Anya Jenkins, the Dingoes’ manager, standing there with a not so happy expression on her face.

“God, this thing hasn’t even started and you two are already fighting!” She shouted, throwing her clipboard on the ground.

“Calm down, Anya. We’re cool. Just a little misunderstanding,” Oliver said, giving Spike a look that said it wasn’t over yet.

“Calm down? Calm down! We’re not going to make any money if you have to go onstage with black eyes and blood gushing. Girls do not find that in any way appealing,” Anya told them sternly.

“What’s going on?” Xander asked as he came to stand next to Anya, Buffy following close behind.

Anya threw her arms up in frustration. “They’re fighting! Again!”

His and Oliver’s friendship was far from perfect. They fought often. Most of the time about stupid stuff, but sometimes it did turn physical and when it did, it was usually pretty bloody. It took a lot to really get Oliver angry so Spike figured he had a natural talent for setting his best friend off in such a short amount of time. He was just born lucky in that respect.

Spike backed away from Oliver and tried to drain the adrenaline by humming the theme to Sesame Street. It was an odd way to cool off, but he had tried it all in his thirty-four years. Counting, meditation, running, deep breathing, and none of it worked. It wasn’t until he had gotten the kids show song stuck in his head one day after Xander had watched a marathon of it on television that he had found his cure.

Buffy was looking at him like he was crazy. “Are you okay, Spike?”

Spinning around at the sound of Buffy’s voice, Anya jumped towards her. “You must be Buffy! Thank god, I am not the only woman on this tour anymore. You have to help me keep them from damaging each other.”

“Uh, okay. I’ll try,” Buffy replied.

“You see, we don’t sell as much merchandise if they show up with cuts and bruises. And what are we doing this for if it’s not for the money, right? Oh, I’m Anya, by the way.” Anya held out her hand for Buffy to take.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Buffy offered her a smile as well as her hand, which Anya took and shook violently.

“Gosh, we really need to get on the road,” Anya said, glancing at her watch. “We’re just waiting for Oz. Where is he? Oz! Oz!”

After Anya had stomped off to go find the wayward bassist, Xander gave her a sheepish grin and a shrug. “Sorry about that. We’ve tried to get her to take some downers, but she won’t.”

“It’s fine. Actually, I like her,” Buffy replied.

Oliver let out a bark of laughter. “Well, it’s nice to know somebody around here does.”

Spike saw Buffy’s happy expression turn sour at Oliver’s remark. It looked like he wouldn’t be the only one fighting with Oliver on the tour. Of course, he had to put his money on Buffy if there was an altercation. After all, she was the woman who had forced him kicking and screaming to get off his sorry ass and make more out of himself than just a brooding drunk.

Shaking his head, Spike knew one thing: Oliver had no hope at all.




A/N: I just want to let everyone know that I’m not going to make Oliver out to be the bastard-guy. No, we have Liam for that. But he is a work in progress and I think Buffy will find that Spike’s not the only one who might need a helping hand. Thanks for sticking with me on this one~ Jae

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