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 20: Just Google 'Hot Stuff'

US Airways Center, Phoenix



There was a multitude of emotions coursing through Spike as he waited impatiently for the sound technicians to finish setting up the stage. Anger mostly with a tiny sprinkle of anticipation and the barest smidgen of heartache.

During the several hours it took for them to get to Phoenix, Spike had tried hard to get a handle on what exactly he was feeling in the wake of Dru’s little announcement. He didn’t want to hurt because of her any longer, but he couldn’t deny that a small part of him was still affected by her attempts to ruin him.

He had come to the realization that everything she had said the night she left was true. She hadn’t ever loved him. He was just a toy, a willing slave. He was someone who would obey her every command and cater to her every whim, no matter how insane the request may have been.

So, it was after hours of contemplation that he came to the conclusion that she had used and abused him and now was trying to royally fuck him over. Oh, yeah, he was enraged, seething with an anger he hadn’t felt ever, not even when Dru had all but paraded her lovers in front of him.

Any ridiculous notions of getting back together with her were blown completely out of the water after the stunt she had pulled this afternoon. Not that he’d had any real desire to go back into the snake pit anyway, but it wasn’t as if the thought had never occurred to him. But that was finished now. No more ‘what ifs’ or ’I wonder what woulds’. Dru and Spike were no more.

He was on edge and he could feel his inner monster trying to lash out. It was only a matter of time before some unsuspecting sod set him off. He just hoped it wasn’t Buffy.

Sighing, he leaned up against one of the large equipment cases. She had tried to get him to talk about Dru on the bus, but Spike had brushed her off. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to let her in; he did, just not now. Not when his emotions were still raw and he couldn’t shake the confusion that was still poking at him like a mean kid with a stick.

Buffy had a way of pouring salt in his wounds whether she knew she was doing it or not. And really, at this particular point, he really didn’t need any help in the pain department. Besides, he doubted she would understand.

They were so different from each other or at least that’s what she wanted him to believe anyway. He had a funny feeling he hadn’t met the real Buffy yet. The Buffy from this morning sure as hell wasn’t the girl he thought he knew. Not that he was complaining in the least, but it would be nice to know what to expect from her. He had lived with the queen of multiple personalities already and he wasn’t sure he could do it again with Buffy.

He loved her, yeah, but there was only so much a bloke could take before he went completely sack of hammers.

A shrill voice cut into his nerves and he looked up to see Anya stomping towards him. Bloody great, just what I need.

“Spike, we’ve got a problem.”

He gave her a droll stare and contemplated bumming a smoke off of Oliver. He had been trying to quit, but his willpower could only go so far.

“Yeah?”

“Lindsey just called me.”

Problem was right! When ever that little weasel called there was always trouble. That’s what happened when they let self-important wankers in the door and gave them a flashy name plate for their desk.

“They want us to let one of their up and comers do the opening act,” she said, glancing down at her clipboard. “Dead The Girl.”

“What kind of bloody name is that for a band?”

Anya rolled her eyes. “You do remember what the name of your band is, right?”

“You gotta problem with it, Anyanka?”

For a second, Spike was sure Anya was going to hit him over the head with her clipboard, but she just shook her head and muttered something about bloodying the merchandise.

“You’ll need to cut some songs from your set to give them time,” Anya said.

Spike frowned. She was actually serious about this. “Fans aren’t gonna like it.”

With a defeated sigh, Anya shrugged. “We don’t really have a choice. You know that.”

There wasn’t anything worse than being shackled and that’s exactly what it felt like to have his record company dictate how his music was going to be played or when or with who. It wasn’t the first time they had pulled something like this and the worst part about it was that he and the rest of the band wouldn’t have really minded had someone bothered to fill them in. This last minute bullshit was…well, bullshit.

“I’ll get with Olie. Figure somethin’ out.”

Anya nodded and turned to walk away, but suddenly spun around. “I almost forgot! They want to do that interview with you after the show.”

“Interview?”

“Yeah, you know, the one where you tell everyone you’re not gay.”

Oh, how could he forget? The sodding interview. It had sounded like a good idea at first, going on national television and defending his good name, but now he was dreading it. What the hell would he say? As much as he hated Dru right now, he wouldn’t be able to stoop to her level and spill all of the personal knowledge he had about her.

Normally, he was onboard with the whole eye for an eye type of retribution, but it was different with Dru. He had loved her, cared about her, and even respected her at some point. Which was why he wouldn’t be able to play her game, they had shared too much even if, in hindsight, it was slightly one-sided.

He was so buggared.






******






She supposed it was silly for her to be upset about Spike’s unwillingness to talk about Dru, but no one had ever accused Buffy of being rational when her emotions came into play.

Face it, Buffy, you’re jealous.

As much as she wanted to deny what the voice inside her head was saying, she knew it was true. She was jealous. Jealous that Dru still had power over Spike, even if it was only enough to make him think about her in passing. It was much more than that though.

Sure, Spike was always saying that Dru wasn’t a part of his life any more, that she didn’t matter or have any affect on his actions, but Buffy knew better. This afternoon was proof positive that Spike was still very much affected by the woman who had once been his everything.

And it just killed her.

The incessant ringing of her cell phone shook her out of her miserable thoughts. After glancing at the caller id, Buffy flipped the phone open and brought it to her ear.

“Buffy! I’ve been trying to call you all afternoon!” Dawn’s high-pitched voice screamed.

“Why? Are you okay? Did something happen?” Her heart stopped before it started into a heavy, fast beat that had adrenaline pumping through her veins.

“Yeah, something happened! Spike’s ex-ho bag wife was just on MTV! Did you see it?”

Buffy dropped the phone to her side, looking up at the ceiling and trying to find the divine aid that would keep her from killing her little sister. A moment and a couple of calming breaths later, Buffy returned the phone to her ear.

“Don’t ever scare me like that again, Dawn! Jesus, I thought you were hurt or something,” Buffy said into the phone.

“I’m totally fine!”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t know that.” Sometimes Dawn could be so clueless.

“Sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Buffy replied as she felt her anger melt away. She could never stay mad at Dawn for long.

“So…” Dawn began slowly. “Did you see it?”

Buffy took a deep breath, and then sighed. “Yeah. We saw it.”

“We? As in you and Spike?”

“No, we as in me, Spike, and everyone on the bus except for the driver.”

“Crap, that sucks! Was he pretty upset about it?”

“I think so,” Buffy told her, moving to lean against the wall. She felt drained from the wild ride that had started long before the tour and suddenly, she didn’t have the strength to keep herself upright. Her back slid down the wall and she made a little ‘umph’ noise as her butt hit the hard cement floor.

“You think so?”

“Do you have to repeat everything I say?” Buffy asked, irritated to say the least. “Yeah, I think so.”

“Couldn’t you tell?”

“It’s not that easy. He’s kinda hard to read sometimes.”

“Well, duh! He is a guy, remember?”

Buffy laughed. “I suppose you’re right.”

Actually, Buffy didn’t really believe that. Spike wasn’t like any other man she had ever met and to chalk up his actions, or non-actions as the case may be, to being characteristic of the male species didn’t do him justice. He wasn’t the sort of man who shied away from his emotions and he normally had no problems with speaking his mind. Only with Dru was he aberrantly tight-lipped.

“Uh, Buffy…”

“What?”

“I thought you said you had no interest in hooking up with Spike.”

Before she could even think about what she was saying the words just tumbled out. “I don’t.”

“Then how come you’re all kissy face with him?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Buffy, there are pictures all over the internet of you and Spike making out.”





******





Spike placed a finger to his ear, dulling the outside sounds as he began to sing. This was what he needed, a good wail to let some of the excess emotion spill away and allow him to clear his mind.

They had finally come to an agreement about which songs to cut from the second set, but Spike hadn’t been lying when he’d said the fans wouldn’t be happy. The fans didn’t spend their hard-earned money to see some pop-punk wannabes that hadn’t gotten much radio play especially since no one had bothered to tell them there would even be an opening act.

Most of the time, the Dingoes’ concert-goers bypassed the opening act unless they were touring with a well-known band like Shy or Fall Out Boy.

Spike just hoped this band didn’t suck as much as the last rising-star group they’d been saddled with. Sodding wankers hadn’t even written their own material, they were like the rock equivalents of New Kids On The Block. Bloody freak show actually. He still couldn’t get the glitter off the bottom of his favorite Doc Martens from that torturous fourteen-week stretch.

Feeling a sharp poke in his side, he snapped his head to the offending person with every intention of ripping the idiot a new one. It was Oliver.

“What?!”

Oliver’s eyebrows went up. “Oh, excuse me, your majesty. I didn’t mean to offend. Thought you might want a head’s up seeing as your girl is looking mighty pissed and heading straight for you. So sorry, I interrupted.”

Glancing in the direction that Oliver was pointing to, Spike saw Buffy marching towards the stage. Bloody hell, she does look pissed. What did I soddin’ do now?

Spike hopped down off the stage and tried to meet her halfway. He really didn’t fancy having the rest of the staff getting an earful of something that most likely was none of their business.

“Buffy, what’s wrong, luv?” He asked as they finally came together.

“There’s pictures!” She shouted, her hands flying up.

Uh…? His brow furrowed. “Pictures?”

“Yeah! Pictures! Of us!”

Oh, this couldn’t be good.

“What kind of pictures?”

Her expression turned completely miserable as her hands dropped to her sides and she let out a huge breath. “From that day on the Strip. God, Spike, they’re all over the internet.”

Fuck! So much for anonymity.

He wasn’t surprised she was so upset. First time they had ever taken pictures of him and splashed them all over every media outlet, he’d felt violated and angry that someone would invade his private life like that. Difference was, he was famous and on some level, his life was on display to the public. Pictures and media coverage were part of the territory for him. But Buffy wasn’t a celebrity and as much as she may have gotten used to the media when she had worked for Dru, she’d never been the target.

Stepping towards her, he pulled her into the comfort of his arms. His hands ran over her back and he placed a kiss on the top of her head.

“I’m sorry, kitten.”

She pulled away just enough that she could look up at him. “You’re not angry?”

His thumb traced the soft flesh of her lower lip, wanting nothing more than to kiss away her worries. “I’m right pissed that you have to go through this, luv.”

“But what about Dru? Can’t she use this against you?”

Spike chuckled. “How? I think her claims that I’m involved with men just got shot down now that there seems t’ be evidence t’ the contrary.”

Buffy didn’t seem very amused. “I’m serious, Spike.”

“So am I,” he replied. When she didn’t loosen up, he grabbed a hold of her shoulders and held her away from him so that he could look into her eyes. “Buffy, I don’t care who knows we’re together. I’d shout it t’ the world if I could. There is nothin’ about us that Dru could use against me. Not legally and not in the media. Even if she could, I wouldn’t give a soddin’ damn because nothin’ is gonna change the way I feel about you.”

Her hazel eyes lit up brightly. “Really?”

He tilted his head and shook it slightly. After all the shit they’d been through in the past weeks and she still questioned how he felt about her? The drive to find out what exactly had made this amazing woman so unsure of herself was almost consuming, but he knew that she still needed time.

“Really,” he replied emphatically.

The smile that curved her lips quickly spread across the rest of her face, lighting it up so that she was almost glowing. Now that definitely made his day better.

“I’m sorry about the pictures, luv. I can’t tell you that it won’t ever happen again ‘cause I know it probably will, but we can be more careful next time. And as soon as this whole bloody mess with Dru is over, the media frenzy will most likely die down,” he told her.

She looked down for a second. “It’s gonna get worse, isn’t it?”

It would get worse. Knowing Dru, she’d milk the attention for all it was worth and she wouldn’t give a damn who she hurt in the process. And Spike wouldn’t put it past the crazy bint to take Buffy’s new relationship with him personally. Of course, he really didn’t think Dru knew what she was getting herself into if she decided to pick a fight with his golden girl.

Actually, he was almost looking forward to that battle. Maybe Buffy would knock Dru off her high horse and into the mud where she belonged.

“It’ll be okay. We’ll figure it out, yeah?”

“Okay.” She leaned forward and in a move that had him wanting to tackle her, she softly brushed her lips across his.

“Gonna kill me. I know it.”

She laughed. “Can I watch you rehearse?”

“Best audience a bloke could have,” Spike said, grinning at her. “Maybe later, I can give you a private performance.”

“Oh, I’d definitely be up for that.”

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