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 8

Buffy woke in the pitch dark, her heart pounding until she remembered where she was and fumbled for the lamp. The soft light illuminated the room and she stretched under the covers, wondering how long she’d been asleep. Reaching for her jeans, she pulled her phone from her pocket and found that it was 1:00 in afternoon.

“Holy shit! Giles and Dawn are going to be sure he killed me,” she muttered as she tugged on her clothes and threw the tee shirt on the bed. She straightened the covers, wondering what felt so different about sleeping in this bed compared to the one in Spike’s crypt in Sunnydale. Then she realized what it was. She picked up the pillow and inhaled deeply, but got nothing but the faint trace of her shampoo off it. There was no familiar scent to let her know whose bed she was in. The sheets were as clean and scentless as if they’d just come from the dryer.

“Ghosts don’t smell,” she said aloud. “Who knew?”

She ran lightly up the stairs and out into the kitchen to find Spike sitting at the table facing both Dawn and Giles. Angry glares seemed to be in vogue.

“Oops?” Buffy said, sliding to a halt. “I’m sorry, guys. It was just so late and I was so sleepy…”

“The ghost – Spike -- has explained it to us,” Giles said stiffly. “We were concerned, naturally--”

“It’s hardly the first time I’ve been out all night, Giles,” Buffy said. “In fact, it’s pretty much part of my job description.”

“I asked him to bring me,” Dawn said quietly. “I was worried when you weren’t back by breakfast…”

“Oh, well…thanks, I guess. I’m sorry that you had to make a trip for nothing.” She looked at Giles and asked, “I suppose it’s too much to hope that you drove?”

“I did, actually,” he replied. “I didn’t know if you would be—it just seemed like the reasonable thing to do.”

With a guilty start, Buffy realized that they really had been worried about her. To the point that Giles had been prepared to pick up an injured or dead slayer.

“I really am sorry,” she repeated, more sincerely this time. “I should have called. I had no idea I was going to sleep so late.”

“You were pretty knackered.” Spike spoke for the first time since she’d come in the room. “You needed the sleep.” His glare at the other man told her that there’d been some argument about whether or not to wake her up.

“I was,” she agreed. “Thank you very much for letting me borrow your bedroom, Spike. It was very thoughtful of you.”

She added her glare to Spike’s, and Giles sighed and nodded. “My apologies for what we were thinking,” he said with ill-concealed reluctance. “It appears that you were quite safe with Mr. Pratt.”

Buffy smiled her gratitude at him as she turned to Spike. “Have you been to sleep yet?” When he shook his head ‘no’, she lifted her shoes off the counter and said, “Then we’ll get out of your hair and let you get some rest. Thanks again for the bed.”

“My pleasure, Slayer. Anytime.”

Dawn’s snicker didn’t go unnoticed by anyone, but she blinked her eyes innocently and said, “What?”

Buffy held on to the counter with one hand and put her shoes back on, standing up to her full height and admiring her newly elongated legs. “I guess since I have a ride, I can wear these without worrying about being crippled when I get where I’m going.”

“They were worth every limp, Slayer,” Spike said, running his eyes up her legs and body until he reached her flushed face. The look in his eyes deepened her flush and she mumbled under her breath as she followed Giles and Dawn out of the room. She paused at the door.

“I’ll be back later.”

“I’ll be looking forward to it,” he said with a lascivious lick of his lips.

Buffy rolled her eyes, but her hips swayed a bit more than necessary as she walked down the hall.


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

The ride back to the Council Headquarters took very little time; Buffy had barely begun to tell them how far she’d gotten in Spike’s history before they were pulling into the car park in front of the gate.

“I’m starving,” she said, as she exited the car. “Turns out ghosts who don’t eat and can’t leave don’t have food in the house.”

“When you have eaten and put on shoes that are somewhat less ridiculous,” Giles stared at her feet with clear disapproval, “please come to my office. I have some information that may be useful.”

After a quick combined breakfast and lunch that would have filled up the average girl her size at least twice, Buffy went to her room to change clothes. Dawn followed along, demanding a blow-by-blow description of how the night had gone.

“I told him about his vampire family and about his life up to when he got the chip and started helping us. That’s about all we’ve talked about so far.”

“So he doesn’t have any idea that you guys were…”

Remembering her meltdown when Spike asked about their history, Buffy shook her head. “I think he’s getting the idea. He knows there was something – and that Dru left because of me – but he doesn’t have any details yet.”

“That should be a fun conversation,” Dawn smirked. “Can I tag along to listen?”

“No!”

“Spoil sport.”

“Nosy brat.”

They glared at each other; then burst out laughing.

“So, he has no idea who I am yet?”

“Nope. Haven’t got that far. Maybe tonight.”

Dawn nodded. “’k. You’d better get up to Giles’ office. I don’t know what he found out, but he’s been talking on the phone with Willow and the coven for the past twenty-four hours.”

“I’m on my way.”

~~~~~~~~~

“You said you knew some stuff?”

Buffy had followed her perfunctory knock right through the door and into Giles’ office.

“Ah, Buffy. Yes, I’ve been able to find out a few things. The house does, in fact, belong to William Pratt – Spike. He’s been able to maintain ownership all these years by using Wolfram and Hart’s London branch as his solicitor.” He gave her a challenging stare. “So, you can perhaps understand my reluctance to believe that he and Angel were working to undermine their employers.”

“Yes, but--” Buffy argued, “that was probably from a long time ago when they were evil. It makes sense that they would have used an evil law firm – hey, is that one of those redundant thingies? Like a true fact or an ATM machine?” When Giles tapped his fingers impatiently, she hurried on. “Anyway, who else but an evil law firm would work for vampires?”

“Be that as it may, it seems that he does own the house and has since before he was turned. Although he had not, to anyone’s knowledge, been back to it since then.” He shuffled some papers. “In speaking with Willow and the coven, it appears that the most likely thing holding him to the house, or to this plane, is that he has unfinished business of some sort. Apparently, if he…died…with something very important to him left undone, it would not require much in the way of a spell to trap him here. His own desire to complete his task would prevent him from moving on to the next realm – whatever that may be in the case of a souled vampire.”

“Huh.” Buffy dropped into a chair and stared into the distance as she absorbed what Giles had said. Eventually, she brought her gaze back to him to ask, “Where does the guy who put him in the house fit into this?”

“That I have not been able to ascertain. Although, it is certainly possible that in his past dealings with Wolfram and Hart he may have made provision for such a possibility…”

“Giles – nobody makes plans to become a ghost. Especially not Spike.”

“I’m merely speculating and offering some possible scenarios, Buffy,” he responded somewhat stiffly. “I will, of course, continue to look into it, but we may be at a dead end unless Spike recovers his memories and they include something useful.”

Buffy nodded. “Yeah, I didn’t mean to argue with you. And I appreciate this, I really do. You’ll let me know if you find out anything else, right?”

“Of course--” he hesitated, then said gently, “Buffy, you do understand that if these theories are correct, Spike could disappear at any time? If or when he takes care of whatever is keeping him on this plane, the spell would be broken and he…”

“And he will really be dead and gone. Yeah, I got that.” She brightened as she stood up. “Maybe it’s a good thing he has no memory, huh? If he can’t remember what it was he needed to do, he can’t fix it and be really dead.”

“I suppose that is one way of looking at it,” Giles said, shaking his head. “Although, I would think for someone of Spike’s…active… nature, an eternity of walking through the halls of his ancestral home might get a bit tedious.”

“Yeah.” She nodded as she walked towards the door. “I already told him that being trapped in a house didn’t seem like much of a reward for someone who’s saved the world three or four times. Guess I was right, huh?”

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


Buffy took a short nap before dinner and allowed Dawn to help her decide where to hang her posters. Their conversation was mostly about Spike and the chances of his gaining his memories and what that would mean for them.

“Is he saying that if we help Spike get his memories back, he might go poof?”


“Yeah. That’s pretty much what he said. It’s just a theory, though. The coven said that’s how ghosts are usually anchored to this plane. This is Spike. He’s probably invented a whole new way to be a ghost.”

“Sure he has,” Dawn agreed loyally. “It’s probably got nothing to do with fixing anything.” They left the room and began to walk down to the dining hall. “But what if it does, Buffy? Are you going to tell him?”

“I’m going to tell him what the coven said. He can decide for himself if he wants to try to remember what it is he needs to do. It depends on whether he wants to…move on, I guess.”

Dawn nodded. “So, just like that? You’re going to let him go again?”

“What? No!” Buffy responded vigorously, then sighed. “But I can’t make that decision for him. If he doesn’t want to be here any more, all I can do is try to give him a reason to stay…”

“Like he did for you when you came back from being dead?”

Buffy looked at her sister and narrowed her eyes. “When did you get so dammed smart?”

Dawn just laughed and pushed in front of her to get her tray.

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