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 7

She sat back down and patted the space beside her, but he shook his head and remained standing.

“Think I’ll just be workin’ off some pent up energy while you talk. You just go ahead; I’ll be listening.”

“Okay…” Buffy said dubiously. “But sometimes I’m gonna want to see how you’re taking stuff, and I can’t see your face if you’re wandering around out there in the dark.”

“Give a try, pet. Please?” He didn’t elaborate, but as she watched him subtly adjust himself, she realized that he’d had a physical reaction to something she’d done or said. A physical reaction that he didn’t want her to know about. Smiling quietly to herself, she agreed.

“All right, Spike. You do what you need to do and if I want to know how you’re reacting to something, I’ll ask. ‘k?”

Without waiting for a response, she began: “Somehow, Darla ended up in Sunnydale with her sire. He was an old, old vamp called ‘the Master’ and he’d been trapped underground on the Hellmouth for a long time, but he was trying to find a way out. Angel was in LA, supposedly living off rats and stuff, but I’m not sure I believe that….”

Her attention wandered as she tried to picture neat, tidy, every-book-in-its-place Angel living in alleys and eating rats. A cough from Spike brought her back and she continued in a sudden burst of words.

“Some old guy from the Powers That Be supposedly showed him me – before I was called – and told him that he was supposed to help me. So, they sent him to Sunnydale to wait for me there.”

“Not to rush you, Slayer, but what does any of that have to do with me? Where was I?”

“You were in Europe again by this time. I’m getting to that. I’m just trying to keep you up with your vampire family. And, anyway, it all ties in.” After giving him a dirty look, she went on.

“So, okay, Darla’s with old batface--” She giggled at his snort. “Your name for him, by the way,” she said primly. “I called him the Master.”

She didn’t need to see his face to know he was quirking one eyebrow at her. “Well, sometimes I did. Sometimes I called him… other stuff.”

He chuckled. “That’s more like it.”

“Where was I? Of yeah, so I come to Sunnydale, meet Giles and Willow and Xander and Angel – kill the Master – well, he kills me first, but not for long and Xander does CPR and I come back – What? Don’t look at me like that. You don’t need to be thinking you’re hot stuff just cause you’ve died a few times…”

He waved his hand. “Somethin’ else for you to explain later,” he said. “Jus’ go on with life in Sunnydale.”

Buffy talked a little more about her first year in Sunnydale and the following summer in LA with her father. When she got to her return to Sunnydale and his arrival early in the year, she paused to organize her thoughts.

“Buffy? Slayer? Come on, how bad can it be?” he asked, sitting down beside her.

She shook herself, and sent him an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I got lost in some old memories there for a minute.” She took a deep breath and started again.

“Okay, so you and Dru pissed off some mob in Europe somewhere and she was really weak, so you brought her to the Hellmouth. I don’t know why. Maybe you knew the master was there? I know you didn’t know Angel was there – maybe you came looking for a slayer to feed to her…”

“Whoa. Back that one up a bit, pet. That’s all you know about where I was? I was traveling in South America, then back in Europe, then California? That’s it?”

“You, um…spent some time in New York in the seventies…” She looked uncomfortable and he waited before prodding, “ And?”

“And you killed your second slayer there,” she said quickly, prepared this time for his explosive reaction. She watched him pace back and forth for a while, then said softly, “Spike? William? It was before you got your soul. It was your thing. Fighting slayers.”

He sat back down and stared at her apprehensive face. “There’s more, isn’t there?” She nodded. “But we don’t need to talk about it right now. We could—“

“What else?” he asked flatly.

“You…your coat…or the original one anyway…I don’t know if that’s…” She fingered the soft leather, noting the lack of scars and repairs where she’d remembered them. “I don’t think it is. So it doesn’t matter.”

“What. About. My. Coat?”

“You took it off her. Nikki Wood. The slayer you killed in New York. It was a…a trophy.”

“This coat was made in Italy,” he said through clenched teeth. “It can’t be more than a few years old.”

“That’s what I said. This isn’t that coat. So it doesn’t matter. You fought her, you won. End of story. Mostly,” she added in a whisper.

“Mostly.”

“That really can wait till later,” she said firmly. “I’m trying to do this in chronological order.”

With bare feet, wearing just jeans and her new sleeveless red shirt, Buffy was beginning to feel the damp night air. She shivered and stood up.

“Can we take this inside? I know this is probably one of those old English houses with no heating, but it’s got to be warmer than this breeze.”

“Sure thing, pet,” he said without even looking at her, obviously still mulling over the fact that he’d killed two slayers and taken a trophy from one of them. He stood up also, picking up the bag of clothes and her shoes before holding the door open for her. “Go on in.”

Heading for the now familiar library, Buffy was surprised to see Spike pull the shades and then take a small lamp from a cupboard. He smiled at her wide eyes when the room was suddenly illuminated with a soft glow.

“No sense straining my eyes to read jus’ cause the locals think ghosts like it dark,” he said with a wink.

“I don’t suppose you have secret central heating?” she asked hopefully.

He shook his head, shrugging out of his coat and starting to hand it to her; then he paused. “If you’d rather not…”

“No, it’s fine,” she smiled, holding out her hand for the buttery leather warmth. “It’s not Nikki’s coat – and even if it was, I think I’ve worn it before…in an emergency.”

“Emergency?”

While Spike was picturing a sudden Southern California blizzard, Buffy was remembering a time when her clothes were so destroyed that she had to wear his coat home from the cemetery.

“Ahem, yes. A…a clothing emergency. You were very gallant.”

He gave her another one of his “I see right through you” looks, but dropped the subject.

“Alright, luv. So, I’m in Sunnydale with my sick sire. Now what?”

Snuggled into the silky lining of the coat and thinking that she should never have left Rome and its wonderful shops full of Italian clothes, Buffy began to run through the events that occurred after he arrived in Sunnydale. She kept her voice as calm and detached as she could, although she was unable to smother a “crazy ho-bag” when describing Dru after she recovered her strength. She talked in a detached, even voice about her teenaged infatuation with Angel, about thinking he was the love of her life. She was unsparing with herself about whose fault it was that Angelus returned, giving Spike an apologetic look that puzzled him and caused him to break in on her recitation.

“Why are you apologizin’ to me, pet? Seems to me that getting’ my grandsire back into the evil fold would have been a good thing?”

“Well,” Buffy said, her mouth twisting, “Dru certainly thought so…”

“What? Wait. Drusilla – my sire? She and Angelus… alright, I can see that, I guess. But why would I care?”

Buffy’s mouth gapped open as she realized that she’d never once mentioned to Spike that he’d been in love with Drusilla for well over a hundred years. She’d allowed him to think that they were just traveling companions, held together by the bonds of sire and childe.

“Uh…I may have left out an important…something that I forgot you wouldn’t know.”

“Which is?”

“That you were in love with Dru. You guys were together for a long, long time. Until you came to Sunnydale and—“

“And you brought the real love of her unlife back?” he asked dryly.

“Yeah, kinda. That and she…um…she saw something in your future that made her leave you again a couple of times. The last time stuck,” she added unnecessarily.

“Something in my future made her toss me out after all those years? What the bloody hell was it?”

It’s now or never.

“And don’t give me any of that “we’ll talk about this later, bollocks, either!” he growled, his eyes flashing yellow for the first time since she’d found him.

Okay, so never’s not an option.

“Buffy…”

“We could fight again!” she said brightly. “Why don’t we do that? It’ll warm me up and then I’ll feel like telling you more.”

Putting actions to words, she jumped up and dropped the coat on the couch. In her bare feet, she ran to the door and had it partially open when a hand shot past hers, slamming it shut again.

“What the hell is going on?”

The voice was cold and for the first time carried the deep, sepulcher tones of the grave. Buffy elbowed him in the stomach and yanked the door open before he could recover, sprinting out and leaping onto the lawn. She spun around in the air and landed in a fighting stance, predicting, quite rightly, that Spike would be right behind her. They circled each other, Buffy hoping that Spike’s visible anger at her refusal to answer him would wane before either of them had to really hurt the other.

With a snarl, he charged, surprising her with both the speed and ferocity of his attack.

Oops, not sparring then. Got to remember, this Spike doesn’t know me and probably doesn’t care if he hurts me. On your toes, Buffy. William the Bloody looks just mad enough to nail his third slayer.

Aloud, she said only, “That’s just like you, charging in before you know what your opponent’s got.” She reacted reflexively, spinning away from his attack and kicking him in the back as he flew past her. While he was off balance, she managed to sweep his legs from under him, but she hadn’t counted on his speed. He fell, but managed to grab her foot and pull her down too, quickly throwing himself upon her and using his superior weight to hold her in place.

Still snarling, he allowed his fangs to drop as he leaned towards her neck. Not willing to find out if ghost vampires could bite and drink, Buffy flexed her entire body, dislodging him just enough that she could roll them over and be the one on top. Her hands were still clutched in his fists, but now over his head rather than hers. Her legs were still caught inside his powerful thighs, but she was able to keep her throat away from his teeth as she tried to talk him down.

“Spike! Listen to me! You don’t want to do this. If you want to fight me, I’ll fight you; but I’m not going to kill you.”

“You can’t kill me, you stupid bint,” he snarled. “I’m already dead, several times over, if you’re to be believed.”

Although he was still in game face, and still snarling, she chose to believe that his talking to her was a good sign and she relaxed for a second. A second too long, as he flipped them over again, then leaned down and ran his tongue up her throat. She could feel his erection pressing against her and gave thanks for the distraction. Instead of trying to get away this time, she relaxed and just gazed up into his eyes, watching carefully as they faded back to blue and his fangs receded.

“Just stop jerking me around, Slayer,” he pleaded with her. “I don’t want to hurt you; but you’re not telling me something. Something important. What is it? What did my sire see in my future that made her leave me after so many years?”

As he spoke, he was releasing her hands and rolling off her body. Freed from his weight, Buffy sat up and bit her lip. When Spike repeated, “What did she see?” Buffy timidly raised her hand and waved it back and forth.

He blinked, staring at her blankly for a full minute before it sank in and he recoiled, scooting several feet away. Buffy dropped her hand and gazed at him unhappily.

“You? She saw you?”

“Is that so hard to believe?”

She turned away and straightened her rumpled shirt, trying not to see the dismay on his face. When she kept her face turned away so that he couldn’t see her unexpected response to that dismay, he shook off his shock and moved closer. He reached out with one hand, cupping her shoulder and urging her to turn back.

“No, luv,” he said softly, when she was reluctantly facing him again. “It’s not hard to believe – hell, I just met you, and I can already tell you’re something special. It just caught me by surprise, is all. With the having killed two slayers already, I figured whatever history we had would have to do with almost killin’ you, not…”

“Oh you tried that,” she assured him. “Even got yourself a ring that made you invulnerable so you could kill me without worrying about being staked.”

“Doesn’t seem to have worked all that well,” he commented. “Seein’ as I’m dead and you’re still very much alive.”

Buffy giggled. “Well, you have this thing about running your mouth and bragging before you do any killing. Wasn’t in your best interest that time.”

“So it seems.” He relaxed and moved back beside her. “What did I say that could cock up an important piece of jewelry like that?”

“You said something about me and Angel. Pissed me off and I wrestled the ring off your finger.”

He gave her an admiring look. “Remind me not to get you brassed off.”

“Consider yourself reminded,” she grumbled, pulling her shirt around to look for grass stains. “Can you see back there?” she asked, turning her back to him. “Are there grass stains on my new shirt?”

“Let’s get back in the house, Slayer, and I’ll take a better look, but no, I don’t see anything right now.”

He kipped to his feet and held out his hand to help her up. She stared at it briefly, but rose gracefully to her feet by herself. He stared at his unused hand and then put it in his pocket.

“Are you mad at me?”

Buffy sighed as she followed him up the steps to the front door. “No, I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at myself. I’ve totally screwed this up. I wanted…I wanted you to know everything before you found out about -- I just wanted it to not come as such a surprise, you know?”

“Not your fault, pet. I was the one pushing you to say more than you were ready to. I’m an impatient wanker.”

“Ya think?” She giggled as he pretended to be offended, earning a smile that was so familiar it made her blink back unexpected tears.

If Spike noticed, he gave no sign, sitting down on one end of the couch and making sure she was once again wrapped up in his coat before he spoke again.

“So, let’s start over, doin’ it your way. What happened after you shagged the soul out of my grandsire and he came back to make my life miserable?”

“He did make your life pretty miserable, I think,” Buffy said sympathetically. “Living with that soul for so long kind of made his demon cranky…” She smiled briefly at the idea of referring to Angelus’ reign of terror as “cranky”, then continued to fill Spike in on the events that followed.

She could see him jump and squirm occasionally, and knew that he was biting back more questions, but he held them in until she got to their truce and his part in defeating Angelus.

“So, I knocked out my sire, scooped her up and ran? Leaving you to fight Angelus by yourself?”

His disapproval of his own behavior was clear, and she had to smile at him despite the painful memories being conjured up.

“Don’t forget, you were still evil then. And in love with Dru. Our deal was that you could take her and leave as long as you distracted Angelus and kept her from helping him.”

“Looks like you didn’t need my help, anyway,” he muttered. “Still, seems like a cowardly thing to do…”

“It’s no biggie,” she said. “I sent him to Hell, saved the world, and all was hunky-dory.”

Something in her eyes must have reflected exactly how not ‘hunky-dory’ things really were as he held her gaze for a minute, then said, “Think this might be one of those things we need to come back to, pet. I’m pretty sure there’s more to this than ‘it’s all hunky-dory’.”

“Maybe. But it hasn’t got anything to do with you, or with your history, so…”

“Alright. Keep goin’ then.”

Buffy quickly ran through the next two years, smiling as she recalled finding him sitting in her kitchen crying on her mother’s shoulder about Dru. She talked about the Initiative’s arrival and their chip-assisted removal of his ability to kill and feed, surprised when he wasn’t more outraged about it. When she asked him why he wasn’t more upset, he quietly pointed out that he didn’t kill or feed from people now, so why should he get his ‘knickers in a twist’ at finding out something had stopped him from doing it long ago?

She’d got as far as Adam’s defeat and Spike’s subsequent quasi acceptance as a Scooby hanger on, when her mouth opened in a gigantic yawn.

“Ooh! I’m sorry,” she apologized, yawning again and fighting the urge to shut her eyes. “I didn’t get much sleep last night or today—“

“And now it’s almost morning again,” he said, leaping to his feet and walking to her end of the couch. “I’m sorry, pet. I’m a thoughtless git – while I’m here sleepin’ all day, you’ve been out doing whatever it is people who aren’t haunting houses have to do in the daytime.”

“Yeah. I think I need to just crash for ten hours or so before I’m up for any more storytelling.”

She stood up and stretched, noticing how his eyes followed her every move.

“See something you like, Ghost?” she said in a poor imitation of his accent.

“Touché, pet.” He laughed with rueful good humor. “I may not remember you, but I can definitely see how you could turn a poor vamp’s head…”

“I think all I’m going to turn right now, is into a pumpkin,” Buffy laughed with him, picking up her shoes and walking towards the door. “All I have to do is limp my way back to the Council compound.”

“You could stay here, pet.” When she whipped her head around to stare at him, he amended quickly, “Not with me. But you’re welcome to use my bed. I can sleep in here or use one of the upstairs rooms. Not really ready to sleep yet, anyway. Got some more hauntin’ to do before I turn in.”

“I…” Buffy looked longingly at the couch and yawned again. “I don’t want to impose…but it is a long way back. In the morning, I could call Dawn and ask her to bring me different shoes…” She glanced up at him. “I don’t want to kick you out of your bed, though. I can just catch a nap here on the couch for a few hours and then—“

“You’re not imposing. And you’re not sleeping on a couch when there’s a perfectly good bed downstairs. Unless you don’t want to sleep in a cellar…I didn’t think about that. You’re probably used to—“

“Spike!” Buffy cut him off. “Your bedroom is fine. I…it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve slept underground. Underground rooms can be really…cozy.”

“Cozy?” He studied her blushing face. “We still have a lot of history to cover, don’t we, Slayer?”

She nodded dumbly, grateful that he wasn’t planning to pursue it tonight. So far, all she’d really told him was that he’d started helping her and that Dru had seen it coming. She knew he wasn’t stupid enough not to realize there had been more to their relationship, but she really couldn’t wrap her brain around any way to explain the following three years. Considering how long it had taken her to tell him that he and Dru had been a couple, letting him think they just had a very tight sire/childe bond, she wasn’t sure how to even approach the idea of his being in love with a slayer.

She followed him to the basement stairs, making note of the switches he used to turn lights on in the kitchen and on the stairs, and then followed him down the steps. She watched as he turned on the lamp by the bed and then walked back to where she waited at the foot of the staircase.

“The house isn’t very modern, but there’s a functioning water closet – bathroom – just off the kitchen. It’s usable. It’s where I shower when I feel like it. The water isn’t going to be warm, but it runs and the toilet flushes.”

“I’ll be fine,” she said softly. “I’m just going to run upstairs and use it now so I don’t have to get up and stumble around later, ‘k?”

She went back up to the kitchen, saying over her shoulder, “Are you watching my ass again?”

“You know it, Slayer. Very watchable, your arse is.”

“And don’t you forget it,” she snapped back at him, giving her hips an extra twitch as she reached the top.

When she emerged from the bathroom, there was no sign of Spike and the kitchen light had been turned off. As with the other rooms that he used in the daytime, the kitchen had heavy curtains that both kept out the sun and hid the soft electric lights from prying eyes. She called “Good night, Spike” into the empty appearing house and went down to the waiting bed. As she closed the door behind her, she heard his “Good night, Slayer,” floating down the hall from the library.

It took her only a few minutes to shed her shirt, bra and jeans and replace them with one of the new tee shirts from the bag she found sitting on a chair. And it took only a few more minutes for the past two nights to catch up with her and send her into a deep dreamless sleep.

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