Afterwards, neither of them said anything for a long while, instead both lying on the bed, on their backs, space between them. Finally, Spike got up and walked towards his clothes, making Buffy panic for a moment at the thought of him leaving. But then she realized he was simply getting his cigarettes from his duster and relaxed as he lit one and came back to the bed.
Spike didn’t miss her reaction, and he turned to her from the other side bed, his head tilted slightly. “I would’ve thought you’d want to get me gone as soon as possible—or at least be the one heading off yourself.”
“If I didn’t have to go back, I never would.”
Spike had chosen the moment before she said that to take a drag on his cigarette, and immediately regretted that decision as he began to cough. Buffy leaned over and began to pat him on the back until he waved her off.
“Those things will kill you, you know,” Buffy said dryly.
He leaned over and flicked the ashes at the end of his cigarette into the ashtray beside the bed. “More power to them then.”
Buffy frowned, her brow furrowing. “Will…you don’t really want to die, do you?”
“I’m not about to go out and off myself, but…” He shrugged. “It’s not like it would be much of a tragedy if I went, though.”
Buffy sat up at that and turned towards him, placing her hands on his arm. Her touch took Spike by surprise, and he looked at her, confused. “You’ve got so much future in front of you. You’re young, and you’re smart, and you could have a great life. You just…”
Spike cut her off with a sharp, cynical bark of laughter. “Please. For one thing, pot and kettle here, ducks.”
She pulled her hands away from him as if his skin suddenly burned. “I signed my life away to your father. I don’t have a choice anymore.”
“And I was born without one.” He snubbed his cigarette out angrily in the ashtray before getting up from the bed and heading back towards his clothes, this time with the actual intention of leaving. He snatched up his jeans and started putting them on. “Even now I’m dependant on my father for money, and the only reason he gives me anything at all is because he’s legally obligated to support me while I’m in college. And as soon as he finds out I’m not, then I’m on my own.”
“Maybe that would be better,” Buffy said. “You need to get away from him, Spike, sever all the times, monetarily or otherwise.”
Spike jerked his shirt up off the floor as he turned angry eyes on Buffy. “This coming from his whore.”
Buffy reared back, his words stinging more than any physical blow ever could. “How dare you…”
Spike pulled his shirt on over his head. “How dare I what? Call it like it is? You got in my father’s bed for his money, Buffy. A pair of fancy rings and a marriage license doesn’t change what that is.”
“I married Liam because I loved him,” Buffy snapped. “I thought…I thought he was someone else.”
“And what, the big piles of money were just a perk?”
Buffy pulled the sheet up and covered herself, realizing for the first time that she was still exposed to him. “I’m not going to lie and tell you I didn’t like the idea of knowing I’d be keeping a roof over my head or where my next meal was coming from. That I didn’t relish the thought of not having to go back to that club ever again. But I would’ve loved the man I thought Liam was even if he’d been poor.” She shook her head, a mournful laugh bubbling up with a sob. “I thought I’d found my knight in shining armor.”
“Yeah, well, those don’t exist.”
“I know.” She sighed, regrouping before she turned her anger back on him. “You could get away, Spike. You don’t owe him anything. You had your chance, but instead you threw away it away and now you lounge around spending Daddy’s money like some spoiled little rich brat.”
Spike’s jaw clinched tightly as he pointed his finger towards her. “You don’t know a damn thing about me.”
Buffy’s eyes narrowed. “And you don’t know a damn thing about me.”
He smirked coldly. “I know that little noise you make when I’m puttin’ it to you real good.”
Buffy gasped before her face hardened. “Go to hell.”
“Working on it.”
Spike finished dressing and left without another word, slamming the motel door behind him. His whole body shook and he swore loudly, slamming his hand into a concrete column, ripping the skin from his knuckles. He knew she was right, but he couldn’t stand to hear it from her.
This has been a mistake. From day one, it had all been a mistake. Spike walked back towards his car, determined not to look back.
Inside the motel room, Buffy lay wrapped in sex-scented sheets and cried.
*** *** ***
Spike didn’t know how long he’d been home. Drusilla was gone when he’d gotten back, and he’d simply gone into the bedroom and lay down on the bed, feeling sick from the whole encounter with Buffy.
He hadn’t bothered to turn on the light, and eventually, the sun had set, darkening the entire room. He felt tears at the corners of his eyes, but didn’t acknowledge them, knowing that acceptance would only hurt more.
He heard when Drusilla and her friends came back but he still didn’t move, waiting instead until Dru came to him, dancing into the bedroom to a tune only she could hear.
“You missed out on a wonderful afternoon, my Spike,” she announced as she moved towards the bed, seemingly oblivious to his distress. “I tried on so many lovely hats.”
She climbed onto the bed and over Spike, looking down at him, moonlit gleaming against his face. He glanced at her for only a moment before he pushed her off and sat up. Drusilla looked at him in confusion. “Spike?”
Spike’s encounter that day with Buffy had left him shaken, and now thinking about it brought a fact he’d been trying to ignore sharply into focus—he hadn’t touched Dru since Christmas.
While he knew his guilt and confusion over his affair with Buffy played a large part in that, there was something else there, too: an unasked and unanswered question hanging between them. It couldn’t be ignored much longer. Spike knew it, and so did Drusilla.
“You keep pushing me away,” Drusilla said, her voice shrill with anger, though Spike thought he could detect a trace of sadness, too. Or perhaps that was simply wishful thinking on his part. “Why won’t you touch me?”
Spike was too tired to dance around the subject. He looked at her, his eyes meeting hers. “Did you sleep with my father?”
Drusilla didn’t break his gaze. “Yes.”
He’d known what the truth was, even if he’d tried to convince himself otherwise. But now, hearing her so bluntly admit it, hit him harder than he’d even expected. Spike jumped up then turned to her, all the anger inside of him now directed at the brunette sitting on the bed. “How could you do that to me?” he yelled. “What the hell were you thinking?”
Drusilla jumped up, too, and met his angry glare with one of her own. “I was thinking you were shagging your trollop of a step-mum!” she screeched, her hands clenched in tight balls at her sides. “And don’t even try to deny it, William!”
Spike didn’t. He couldn’t. Instead, he replied with, “I wasn’t the first in this relationship to be unfaithful, Dru.”
“But I never looked at them like you looked at her!” Drusilla yelled back. “And the way she looked at you…” She sneered. “Made me want to rip her filthy little eyes out.”
“So you slept with my father? You know what he is, what he did to me, and you…” Spike took a step back and shook his head. “You did that to hurt me.”
“You were with her!” Drusilla screamed. “I know what she is to you, William! I know how she makes you feel.” She went to the table on Spike’s side of the bed and ripped open the drawer, picking up handfuls of paper and throwing them down onto the mattress. “Do you think I don’t read these? Do you think I don’t read the pretty words you write for her? You said I was going to be your muse! Me! I was going to be your dark goddess, Spike.” She threw another wad of handwritten poetry onto the mattress. “But they’re all for her!”
Spike swallowed, feeling suddenly too vulnerable, exposed. “Dru…don’t…”
“She’s always here!” Drusilla screeched. “Always between us…in your touch…in your kiss. And then you…” She yelled, the sound almost primal before she grabbed the papers from the bed and began to tear at them, shredding them to small tatters.
Spike moved quickly, grabbing her hands and wrenching the remaining poems from her. Drusilla yelled again, struggling to get them. “Stop it!” he snapped at her. He scooped up the remnants of the destroyed poems, hoping to find something to salvage. The action enraged Drusilla more, and she pushed him away from the bed.
“I’ll burn them!” she yelled, hysterical. “I’ll burn it all!”
He stumbled backwards, catching himself on the post of the bed. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen Drusilla like this, but something about this time felt different. None of the usual desire to try to console her or beg for her forgiveness was there. He was just…tired. Spike dropped his hand and shook his head. “Then do it. I don’t bloody care anymore. I’m out.”
Dru froze, his tone giving her pause. “Spike?”
He held up his hands. “I’m out, Dru. I’ve had enough of this. Do whatever you want with whomever you want.” He went to the closet and pulled out his duffle bag, then began stuffing it with what few belongings were actually his.
Drusilla watched him, her expression confused as if she didn’t fully understand what was happening. “What are you doing?” she asked, her voice going up in pitch.
Spike didn’t respond. Instead, he went back over to the bed and started stuffing what was left of the poems into his bag.
“No…no…” Drusilla shook her head frantically. “You can’t. You can’t.” When Spike continued to ignore her and simply zipped up the bag and threw it over his shoulder, Dru lunged at him, screaming hysterically as she attacking him with her fists and nails. Spike pushed her away hard, making her fall down to the ground.
His eyes were dark as he looked down at her, his expression cold. “I’ve had enough, Drusilla. I’m tired of being your bloody puppet.”
“She’ll never love you!” Drusilla yelled as Spike headed for the door. “She’ll hate you! She’ll hate you just like everyone else has always hated you!”
With that, Spike walked out.
*** *** ***
Buffy woke in a fog, not sure why she’d awakened at all. She rolled over, her arm hitting the empty side of the bed meant to be occupied by her husband before she realized she’d been woken up by the sound of her cell phone ringing.
She picked it up from her bedside table, frowning at the number showing up on the caller ID. Her sleep addled brain didn’t recognize it, but she flipped the phone open anyway. “Hello?”
Her heart missed a beat and she gasped. “Spike?” she asked softly, almost not trusting her own ears. In the state between sleep and complete wakefulness, hearing his voice seemed like a dream.
“I need you, baby. God, what I said today… I didn’t mean it. I only… Fuck, Buffy I need you so bloody much. Gotta touch you…taste you…fucking drown in you. Can I do that, kitten? Please, sweetheart…”
Buffy swallowed hard, her heart now thudding in her chest. Liam had called earlier and told her he’d decided to stay gone for the weekend, and a little voice in the back of her mind was quick to remind her of that, drowning out the one that knew seeing William again was a bad, bad idea. “I…”
“I came back to the motel. Got the same room. Meet me there. Please, baby. Please…”
She should hang up. Turn the phone off right now. Block his number and forget it all. It would be for his own good as well as her own. “I’ll be there soon.”
The call ended and Buffy hurried out of the bed.
*** *** ***
Buffy knocked on the motel door, rapping louder when Spike didn’t answer. She frowned, wondering for a moment if he’d only been messing with her head before she tried the doorknob and realized the door was unlocked.
She stepped into the room, gasping when she saw Spike unconscious on the bed. She panicked for a moment, thinking he could’ve been attacked, until she noticed the mostly-empty bottle on the bedside table and realized he’d just drunk himself into a stupor. Saying a silent prayer of thanks that he hadn’t met an untimely end by leaving himself this vulnerable in a less-than-savory area of Los Angeles, Buffy locked the door and made her way over to the bed.
She sat down beside Spike and watched him, a small smile creeping unbidden to her features. Even with his dark clothes and his shock of white hair, he looked more like her William now than he had since he’d come back as Spike. His face was restful, his eyes closed so she couldn’t see the pain in them.
A quick glance at the clock told her it was almost four in the morning. She knew she shouldn’t be here, especially after what had happened the last time they were in this room.
But she was so tired, and the bed looked so inviting with him in it. Refusing to over think it now, Buffy nestled against him and quickly fell into the most peaceful sleep she’d known in a long time.
*** *** ***