Things That Go Bump in the Night by Slaymesoftly

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Set several years post NFA, Buffy has moved on, is no longer in mourning for her two dead vampires. Then Dawn calls her for some help and she finds something she never expected to.

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Chapter 21

Spike came to slowly, coaxed out of oblivion by the sound of Buffy’s voice and the scent of her tears. He blinked his eyes open to find her looking down at him with an expression he hadn’t seen since Glory had taken Dawn.

“Hi, Cutie,” he rasped, raising an arm just in time to catch her when she threw herself on top of him, laughing, crying, and threatening to kill him for scaring her so badly.

When she’d worn herself out, she raised her head from his chest and stared into his familiar eyes.

“Are you really you?”

“Think so. Seem to have all my memories back…as much as I can tell right now, anyway. Bloody well know who you are and why having you here has made me such a ponce these past few months. I know that. Anything else is going to be icing on the cake.”

“You haven’t been a ‘ponce’ –whatever that is – you’ve been a gentleman, and sweet and romantic and---“

He raised an eyebrow at her and she laughed, falling off his chest to lie beside him.

“Okay, maybe you’ve been a little…poncy. But it’s nice. And I think it’s probably the real you.”

“This is the ‘real’ me, love. If you want that other one back—“

“No!” She sat up, looking horrified. “That’s not what I meant.” Her voice softened and she cupped his cheek with one hand. “This is the one I want. The one I’ve been missing since he saved the world and died on me. I wanted my Spike. The vampire who loved me.”

“Loves you, Buffy. That hasn’t changed.”

She held his cheek so that he couldn’t look away and said clearly, “I love you, too.”

“I know you do. Jus’ cause I got my memories of the rest of my life back doesn’t mean that I’ve lost the last six years. Remember everything – especially the time since you showed up to protect the Bit from the big bad ghost. Remember it all, love.”

“Oh. Well. Good, then. I guess I’ll go back to my flowers--”

She giggled as her mock attempt at getting up resulted in a growling vampire pulling her down and pinning her to the floor.

“Think you’re funny, don’t you?”

“I knew you’d stop me,” she said, sobering quickly and putting her arms around him. “I knew you wouldn’t let me go.”

“Never let you go,” he agreed, dipping his head to whisper his promise onto her ready lips. “Never.”

“I’m going to hold you to that.”

He didn’t respond verbally, just continued kissing her with the desperate enthusiasm a man who hadn’t seen her since he’d forced her away from his burning body. His lips were everywhere – her mouth, her face, her ears, her neck – licking, nipping, kissing, while he murmured to her of his devotion and happiness. Neither slayer nor vampire could have said how long they remained almost motionless, kissing and caressing in a way that they never had when they’d last shared a bed.

In spite of the hard length poking into Buffy’s thigh, Spike made no attempt to take their reunion any further than the murmured endearments and deep kisses that made it perfectly clear that he was very much the Spike she remembered. When they finally stopped, resting quietly side by side, Buffy asked with some trepidation, “How…how do you feel?”

“Like I just won the lottery,” he responded immediately, then recognized the concern in her voice for what it was. “I feel fine, Buffy. No different than I did before, just as ghostly and just as much here. I think its okay.”

“Well, just in case, if you think of anything you want to apologize to me for, just forget it, ‘k? I don’t want to hear it, and I don’t forgive you for it, whatever it was.”

He chuckled and pulled her closer. “Don’t apologize, and I’m not forgiven. Got it. Sounds pretty familiar, actually. Me refusing to admit I did anything wrong, you blaming it on my evil nature and refusing to believe I’m sorry.”

“Very funny.”

He laughed again.

“I think it’s gonna be alright, love. Look what we’ve got here – a house, a garden, friends and family nearby, a bit of violence when we need it – I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of any way it could be better.”

“That sounds way too much like perfect happiness to suit me,” she said sternly, laughing as he snarled, “I’m no bloody Angelus!”

“I know, I know,” she reassured him. “I was just teasing you. It’s just that, when you rattled everything off like that, it sounded almost too perfect, you know? I mean, how often has anything ever been perfect for us?”

“Point taken, pet; but I’ve got faith in our ability to turn a silk purse back into a sow’s ear. Give us a day or two, and there’ll either be an apocalypse or we’ll be at each other’s throats about something or other.”

“True,” she agreed quickly. “You’ll do something incredibly stupid – like try to steal a bottle of Scotch that you can’t even drink from Giles’ desk ---“ She waited for his surprised and indignant, “How did you--?” before giving him a glare that didn’t quite carry the weight it could have.

“He owes me!” Indignation as false as her glare colored his voice.

“You didn’t know that until a few minutes ago. And it was a stupid thing to do when he’s trying to be nice.”

She stood up and tugged on his hand until he followed her to the more comfortable surface of their bed. Buffy leaned back against the pillows while he continued his protest.

“He’s trying to make nice with a Spike who doesn’t remember that he tried to get me killed; or that he wouldn’t contact Willow so that she could help save Fred. I’m back, Slayer, and your watcher isn’t on my list of people I’m glad to see.”

She sighed and sat up.

“You’re right. You’ve been back for only a few minutes and we’re already arguing.”

“Are we? Arguing? I’m just telling you that I know bloody well Rupert was only helping us get set up here because of you, and because he thought I would never remember why I didn’t want him in my house.”

“Spike,” Buffy’s voice held just the trace of an edge. “He really is sorry for helping Robin try to kill you. And it was Angel he didn’t trust when he called about Fred, not you. We. Didn’t. Know. You. Were. There. If Fred was so damned important to you, maybe you should have made the call. Even if Giles wouldn’t believe you, I would have. You didn’t trust me enough to tell me you needed help. And look where it got you!”

As she spoke, Buffy’s voice had gotten louder and deeper, ending with a final growl that would have done credit to Spike himself.

There was a tense silence, the Slayer sitting rigidly, hands clenched in her lap, the vampire fighting to keep his game face under control while a steady rumble emanated from him. He took a deep breath and replied, “It got me you, didn’t it? Or is that over already, now that I’m back to being me again?”

“Is that what you want?” Outrage and fear trembled in her voice, but her face was a stony mask.

“I’m askin’ you, Slayer. I haven’t been your lap dog for a long time. I might have forgotten how.”

Only inches apart, they glared at each other for long minutes, equally anguished expressions on their faces as each waited for the other to do something before they dug themselves too big a hole.

“Oh, God,” Buffy exhaled sharply. “What are we doing?” She fell backwards onto the bed and stared at the ceiling. “Zero to sixty in nothing flat.”

Spike shook his head and let out a rueful laugh. “Bit of a record, even for us, isn’t it?”

He dropped down beside her, his arm just barely touching hers. He turned his head and kissed her shoulder, nuzzling her and inhaling the scent that was so familiar to him.

“I’m sor—“

“Don’t! No apologies!”

“Alright, then. I’m not sorry,” he agreed quickly. “Truth be told, there’s more than a bit of truth in that. There’s nothing like a good fight with you to get my juices flowing.” He trailed one hand down her arm, smiling when she shifted a little closer to him.

“Your juices are always flowing,” she muttered, even as she rolled towards him and threw one leg over his. “It’s a disease.”

“There’s a cure for it,” he purred, pulling her over to lie completely on top of him. “An’ you’ve got it.”

“That’s going to cure you?” Buffy’s voice dripped disbelief.

“Well, should give me some temporary…relief…from my symptoms…” His words were punctuated by kisses and the conversation soon tapered off to murmurs and whimpers.

Rather than jump right to what he’d indicated would help him with his condition, Spike insisted on taking his time undressing Buffy, commenting upon each bit of flesh revealed.

“I remember this, and this place here, and these pretty nipples…and this is one of my favorite things to suck on…and…oh, how I remember this right here. And it’s just as delicious as I recall it…”

“Guh!” Buffy’s inarticulate sounds were music to his ears and he pulled out every trick he had to bring her off over and over until he finally gave in and sank into another memory, one that felt like coming home.

“Love you, Buffy. Love you forever, never could forget you. Never forget how you feel, the sounds you make for me.”

Buffy wrapped her arms and legs around him, welcoming him back into her life and her body. She held him and squeezed until he was gasping and shuddering into her, bringing them both to tears of joy.

“I love you, Spike,” she whispered as he pulled the quilt up over them. “Love you so very much.”

“I believe you, sweetheart. Never really doubted you, I promise. Just thought my time with you was done and I should let you go.”

“Dumbass vampire.”

“Guilty.”

They drifted off, dozing in each other’s arms until Spike’s vampire senses, and Buffy’s growling stomach told them it was late in the evening and time to get up.

“Are we going to go tell everybody?”

“Define ‘everybody’, pet. I suspect there are some we’d just as well keep ignorant of this little development, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I guess so. We have to tell Dawn – she’s been a little miffed that you don’t - didn’t - remember her. And we should tell Giles…” She waited for his response, but he said nothing. “And Willow. I don’t think anybody else should know.”

“Makes sense to me. Don’t know what the evil empire could do about it, but I’d rather not find out. Might be able to mojo the memory right back out when they find out I didn’t immediately go ‘poof’.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dawn and Spike had a moment of awkwardness before she threw herself at him, crying and berating him for dying without making up with her.

“I didn’t really hate you, you know,” she said, earnestly searching his face for any sign that he didn’t believe her.

“You were angry at me, luv. And you had every right to be. Never thought less of you for it. Never stopped thinking you were my Bit.”

“So we’re cool, then?”

“We’re cool, Niblet. ‘n I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you. Least I knew enough to know I wasn’t going to let some wanker shag you on my couch!”

“Spike, you do know that I’m grown up now, right? You can’t go around scaring my boyfriends.”

“Can if I want to,” he said stubbornly. “Especially if they’re on my furniture when they go putting their hands on you.”

Dawn accompanied them to Giles’ office, her smirk almost a match for the vampire’s as they walked in unannounced. Giles heaved a resigned sigh and put down the document he’d been examining.

“Aren’t you going to say anything about the way I keep barging in?” Buffy sounded almost disappointed.

“Clearly it is pointless to continue wasting my breath,” he muttered, taking off his glasses. “What can I do for you this time?”

“You can prove you’re as sorry as the Slayer says you are, by sayin’ it to my face,” Spike said, waiting for understanding to dawn on the watcher’s face.

“I assume from the change in attitude that you have recovered your memories,” Giles replied stiffly.

“Got it in one.”

“Well. This is…unexpected.” He turned to Buffy. “How did this happen? What triggered it?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I was so excited, I didn’t even think to ask him. I just walked down the stairs and…there he was.”

Giles turned his attention back to Spike. “Do you know what it was?”

“I do.”

There was an uncomfortable silence for a minute, while Spike kept the indifferent expression on his face and Giles fought down his anger at the ghost’s lack of cooperation. Eventually he slumped back in his chair and admitted defeat. He looked at the vampire he’d known for so many years and sighed. He stood up and walked around the desk to look down into eyes that gave away nothing of what Spike might be feeling.

“Spike.” Giles cleared his throat and began again. “I truly meant what I said to you some time ago. I would like very much for us to begin anew. I have made many mistakes over the years, some of which you have every right to resent me for. Please understand that I had only Buffy’s welfare at heart; hers and the other young women now under my care.”

“Know that,” Spike responded. “It’s the only reason you lived to become the Head Watcher.” His expression darkened for a second as he remembered that night and Buffy’s relieved expression when she found him alive in front of Wood’s garage. “Though, how you thought taking away one of the only two fighters who were even close to her strength was going to help her, I don’t know.”

Giles nodded. “Quite right. I misjudged both your willingness to do whatever was necessary to end the battle, and your complete devotion to Buffy’s survival.

“And?”

Heaving another sigh, Giles continued, “And it appears that I may have erred in not allowing Willow to offer her assistance when the Old One began to take over Miss Burkle’s body. I had no idea you were there, and no reason to believe in Angel’s ability to hang on to his soul. But I should have told Buffy about it, and I should have investigated. I was wrong and it may have cost Miss Burkle her life. For that, I apologize.”

There was a tense silence while the two men who had more in common than they cared to admit stared into each other’s eyes. Just as Buffy was thinking about poking Spike, he nodded and held out his hand.

“And I apologize for taking your bottle of Glenfiddich,” he said with a small smile. “As the Slayer pointed out, can’t drink the bloody stuff anymore anyway.”

Giles took Spike’s hand and they exchanged a heartfelt, if short, shake before stepping away.

The dramatic moment over, Dawn seized on more practical matters.

“So, is Spike going to work here now?”

They all sat down to work out the practical details of having a ghost working for the Council. A ghost whose ability to leave his appointed haunt and whose recovery of his memories were both best kept as secret as was possible in a small, crowded community.

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