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 3: Apology Accepted

Spike glanced up as the door to the examination room opened up and Xander Harris walked in.

“Jesus, Spike. What did you do to yourself?” Xander asked, noticing the bandaged hand lying limply on Spike’s lap.

Shrugging, he replied, “Don’t rightly know, mate. Seems I was pretty outta it for the last couple o’ days.”

“Days? Spike, I haven’t heard from you in two weeks.” Xander moved to sit on the edge of the examination table.

Was it possible that he’d been drunk for a whole two weeks? He’d been in the state to get himself completely smashed since Dru had dropped the big bomb on him. But he hadn’t thought he’d let himself go as far as to drink so much that he would lose all concept of time.

“You really scared the shit out of us, you know! I’ve been trying to reach you for weeks now. You haven’t answered your phone or your door since Dru-”

He raised his injured hand to stop the direction of the conversation. “Don’ really wanna talk ‘bout Dru, if it’s all the same t’ you.”

“Look, all I know is, you’ve been MIA since-” Xander made quotation marks in the air to take place of Dru’s name. “-came by and all of the sudden I get this phone call from Buffy who-”

“Wait. Buffy called you?”

This girl was turning into a bloody enigma.

“Uh, yeah? Does that matter?” Xander asked, his brows scrunched together.

“Well, don’ you find it a bit odd that Dru’s personal assistant is calling to tell you that I’m in the hospital?”

Raising his eyebrows, Xander replied, “I would except that she doesn’t work for Dru anymore. She got fired like two weeks ago.”

Fuck. Now he felt like the biggest asshole on the planet. She had been telling him the truth the entire time and all he could do was think the worst of her.

Closing his eyes, Spike wished to hell he could make it all go away. Things were going to shit, had been for weeks now, and now he had the distinct pleasure of knowing that he’d hurt the girl who had only tried to save his worthless excuse for a life.

“I am such a git!” Spike shouted, his fist slamming into the table.

Xander laughed at that. “Yeah, but what else is new?”

“Shut up.”



******



One Week Later…


Circling an ad for data entry clerk, Buffy sighed over the hourly wage posted. Just above minimum wage, it was nowhere close to what she needed to pay her bills and keep Dawn at UC Berkley for the next three years.

She had seen on some entertainment show that Dru had hired another personal assistant, a young man named Andrew. It begged the question of whether or not Dru trusted her precious Liam with a female assistant. Buffy was sure that it had been one of the reasons Dru had let her go in the first place.

Just a few days before she’d been let go, Buffy was sitting at the desk in her new office in Liam’s house, when the slimeball had walked in and started getting all grabby with her. She had picked up a stapler and smacked him in the head with it and told him to ‘get bent’.

What he’d told Dru about the incident she wasn’t sure. Either way, Dru had seemed hell-bent on getting Buffy out of the house.

All’s well that ends well, she supposed.

As much news as Dru made, Spike, it seemed, had disappeared off of the media’s radar. There had been no mention of his trip to the hospital or recovery, which told her Miranda and the other staff, had used their discretion when treating him. She should send them flowers or something.

Wait a minute, Summers. What the hell did she care if Spike Giles got his name splashed all over the tabloids for his drunken stupidity? It would serve him right for being such an asshole to her.

The phone rang and Buffy moved to pick it up.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Buffy!” Dawn’s voice on the other end gave her momentary pause to her negative thoughts.

“Dawnie, what’s up?”

At nineteen, Dawn was seven years younger than Buffy. It was a large age gap that her mother had attributed to ‘one wild vacation in Aruba’ towards the end of her marriage to Buffy and Dawn’s father, Hank. They had gotten divorced not long after Dawn was born and didn’t see much of their father after that.

“Well, I know you wanted to do this whole Christmas-Holiday-Cheer thing with me, but I got invited to go skiing with some people from my dormitory and I was hoping…”

“You want to go?” Buffy felt her depression gain momentum. She would be all alone for Christmas if Dawn bailed on her and she wasn’t sure she was ready for that.

“Yeah, I really do! Besides, I’m sure Drusilla will keep you totally occupied with one her patented Christmas bashes, right?”

Oh, that’s right. She hadn’t told Dawn about the whole firing thing yet. It had been on the tip of her tongue to, but there had never been a good time to break the news. Dawn was going to make it worse to by worrying too. Maybe she’d wait until after the holidays.

“Oh, yeah, you’re right. In fact, she’s got me starting the guest list already,” Buffy lied, making herself feel worse.

“So, do you mind, then?”

Did she mind that her little sister was going off with kids she didn’t even know? Hell, yes. Did she mind that it seemed Dawn wanted to spend more time with them than her own sister? Hell, yes!

“No. No, I don’t mind. Go if you want.” She wanted to cry, but had to keep up the fašade, so she choked the tears back.

Dawn shrieked into Buffy’s ear. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are the best, Buffy. Oh, hey, I gotta go. Love ya!”

“I love y-” The phone clicked dead on the other end before Buffy could finish her goodbye. Feel the love, people, feel the love.

Placing the phone back in its cradle and she went back to the newspaper that was sitting on the dining room table.

There weren’t too many prospects in a tiny, one-Starbucks town like Sunnydale. “Hey, Starbucks. I wonder if they’re hiring,” she mumbled to herself, looking down the columns of ads none of which sounded very appealing.

Driver. Driver. Driver. Escort? No, thank you. Forklift Driver. Heavy Equipment Operator. Jet Ski Sales Manager…

She had gotten halfway through the ‘M’s’ when she heard the doorbell ring. Probably some door to door salesman or something.

Walking to the door, she unlocked the deadbolt and opened it.

“You’re not a salesman.”

“Dissapointed, luv?”

Spike Giles was the last person she had expected to be standing there when she’d opened the door, but there he was just the same. He looked better than the last time she’d seen him. His face was full of color and he was grinning at her.

“Actually, yes,” she told him, leaning against the doorframe.

His face fell a little. “Oh, well, I won’ keep you then.”

“Just come in, Mr. Giles.” She moved aside to let him enter.

He walked in, a box in his hands, and waited for her to close the door.

“I brought you your box. You had, uh, left it that day,” he told her, holding the box out to her.

Taking the box, she moved to set it down on the coffee table in the living room. “Ah, yes. ’That day’.”

“Look, Buffy-”

“Its okay, you don’t have to say anything. I’m over it, really,” Buffy interrupted, then walked past him and into the kitchen.

She could hear him follow her and she spun around, smacking right into his broad chest. “Ompf!”

He grabbed her shoulders to steady her. “So sorry, luv. I didn’ realize you’d be turnin’ right then.”

The heat from his palms spread out through her shoulders and down her arms. God, how long had it been since she had a man touch her minus Mr. Grabbyhands a few weeks earlier. Even as innocent as it was, she could feel tingles running up and down her nerves.

Whoa, down girl!

She wiggled her way out of his strong grasp and made a few steps backwards. “It’s okay. No harm done, right?”

If he noticed her shaky voice or her deep breaths, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he moved to lean up against the island.

“Buffy, I think I really owe you an apology for last week. I was wrong t’ accuse you of plottin’ against me an’ I wanted to thank you for what you did for me.” His blue eyes held a sincerity in them that she hadn’t seen in a long time.

“Well, thanks for that, but I really didn’t need to hear it. I was over-”

He shook his head. “No, I was a bloody idiot and I hurt you. You didn’ deserve to get treated that way and I am sorry.”

She had been hurt, he was right about that. It was easy for her to hide it behind her snarky remarks, but she truly was upset by the way he had acted towards her. And now here he was apologizing to her.

Smiling, she said, “Thank you.”

With a nod, he started for the door.

“So, how are you doing?” She called out after him, not wanting their interaction to end just yet.

“I’m not dead, so that’s gotta be a step in the right direction, right?”

“Definitely,” she laughed.

Moving to the living room, she offered him a seat on the couch. At first he seemed a bit surprised that she was inviting him to stay, but after a moment he obliged her and sat down.

“So, did Xander find you?” She asked as she plopped down in the armchair across from him.

He smiled. “Oh, yeah. I guess I owe you another thanks, then. They wouldn’t have let me leave if he hadn’ been there.”

“Well, I felt bad even though you were such an ass to me. Couldn’t leave you there without making sure someone knew where you were,” Buffy told him.


******


She was doing it again. Making him feel like a complete wanker, not that he didn’t deserve it.

“It took a while and Xander knockin’ me upside the head a couple o’ times, but I managed t’ get some o’ my facts straightened out. Why didn’ you tell me you weren’t workin’ for her anymore?”

Raising an eyebrow, she grinned then asked, “Would you have believed me if I had? I mean, you were pretty much deep into the conspiracy theory at that point. You probably would have told me it was all a part of our master plan, or something equally lame.”

That was most likely what would have happened, he couldn’t deny it. He had been so convinced that Buffy was plotting against him that there wasn’t much she could’ve done to persuade him to believe otherwise.

“I’m sure you’re right about that. I admit I’d gone a bit sack o’ hammers there for a bit. I’m jus’ sorry you were the one who had t’ put up with me,” he said, watching her amused expression.

“I’m sorry I had to put up with you too.”

“Ha-ha. You’re a bloody riot.”

“I know. I’m the greatest.”

After a few moments of silence, Spike said, “So, how’s the job hunting? I suspect you’ve already been snatched up by some lucky employer.”

At that her smile disappeared. “No, not really. I sent out like twenty resumes, but I haven’t heard back from anyone yet.”

“No?”

She shook her head, and then looked down to the floor. “Hey, Mr. Giles-

“Spike, luv. I believe we’re beyond the formal titles with you having seen my bits and all.”

Blushing, she continued. “Spike, I really hate to ask you, but I don’t suppose you would know anyone who needs someone of my particular experience, would you? I’m getting a little desperate here.”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

Her head shot up and she gave him a hopeful expression. “Really? Who?”

“Me.”

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