Author’s Notes: Written for the spuffy_wonder 80 prompts challenge: What if Spike were the one Buffy used to make Angel jealous in When She Was Bad? I was about to give up on writing for this prompt, thinking anything I might come up would end up too similar to Into the Night. I actually asked Deanna if I could change my prompt and we began chatting and one thing led to the other and before I knew it, I had the start of this story written. Long story short, I wrote over 4,000 words of it last weekend and during the week, I toyed and fiddled with it and at the moment have over 6,000, and instead of a one-shot, I’m looking at a multi-chapter WIP. *sighs* Just what I need, right?
Beta Reader: OkDeanna, thank you for spurring my muse into action with this prompt and for all your help with this story. I don’t think it would exist without you. *huggles* Thank you as well to Carrie for reading what I have so far and for your suggestions, especially the paragraph before the first flashback, which she wrote it and let me use. I just modified it a bit, but it was too brilliant and fit too well into the story not to add. *wuggles* And last, but not least, mil gracias to Tina, my sweet sister, for the read-through and just being her sweet self. *snuggles*
Chapter Notes: Warnings: Violence, language. Also, FYI: Spike in this story is NOT Season 2 Spike; he’s more of a blend of William and Spike than even I envisioned at first, so don’t expect him to be totally evil because you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Disclaimer: Spike, Buffy and any other BTVS/AtS characters depicted in this story are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. They’re not mine, I just enjoying playing with them for a bit. Promise to give them back afterwards. 😉 Also, I used some dialogue from Prophecy Girl and When She Was Bad, some that are direct quotes and some that I twisted to fit my story, just so you know.
Buffy inhaled deeply as she leaned on a wall a few buildings down from The Bronze, steeling herself to actually go inside and put on a show of everything being just hunky dory, for her friends. She chuckled humorlessly and toed the ground.
Yeah, right, everything was just peachy with a side of keen in Buffy’s world.
She’d been feeling… detached, disconnected, as if something wasn’t quite right inside her ever since that fatidic night in which she died, was brought back to life, and killed the Master in the space of just a few hours.
She almost wished she could’ve stayed with her father a little longer. At least with him she didn’t need to pretend; mostly because he wasn’t around long enough for her to actually have to pretend. Oh, he’d tried… at first, but after a few days it’d been easier for him to just drive her to the mall in the morning before going in to work or to a meeting, give her his credit card and tell her he’d come back to pick her up later. And really, there was nothing better to escape from the nightmare her life had become than retail therapy. Of course, that didn’t keep the dreams at bay, but she could deal with those. Somewhat.
Here in Sunnydale, however, she couldn’t run away. Her mother, her friends, her watcher, even Angel, reminded her of everything she wanted to forget. She hated having to put up a happy front for them—even though she had to admit her happy front had a lot of bitchiness blended in—to say everything was alright when it was anything but. Oh, they’d asked, but she didn’t think they really wanted to hear the truth. Or could handle it, for that matter. None of them could. Not even Angel.
Once upon a time, she thought she was well on her way of falling in love with him. But that was before. Before he betrayed her and the trust she’d place in him, in the worst of ways. If it hadn’t been for Xander… she shuddered to think what might have happened.
She recalled thanking her friend for insisting they went to find her, for saving her, when Angel supposedly couldn’t. Couldn’t be bothered, was more like it. ‘Can’t breathe’ her very firm behind! Simple mechanics demanded that in order to produce a voice, air must be forced through the vocal cords, which was something she learned from Willow. So, what was he ‘breathing’ if not air? Helium? That would account for him thinking he was above them with all his… his… poofiness! She giggled to herself at the thought of the brunet vampire tied to a string, being tugged along as she went from place to place. Shaking her head of the image, she sobered immediately as she remembered what Xander told her Angel had said when he asked the vampire to take him to the cave to look for her.
“Buffy, she’s gone to fight the Master.”
“He’ll kill her.”
“Rumor has it. Only we’re not gonna let it happen.”
“Well, what do you propose we do about it?”
“Look, I know you can find this Master guy. He’s underground, right? Take me to him.
“You’re way outta your league, kid. The Master’ll kill you before you can even breathe. If you’re lucky.”
“How can I say this clearly? I don’t like you. At the end of the day, I pretty much think you’re a vampire. But Buffy’s got this big old yen for you. She thinks you’re a real person. And right now I need you to prove her right.”
She’d never questioned Xander’s loyalty after that. He didn’t give up on her, did everything in his power to revive her, which was so much more than Angel even tried to do.
Had she really found the vampire attractive before? He was tall, dark and mysterious, all she should want, right? Only… she couldn’t stand even seeing him now, and that was especially true after his visit last night.
She’d faced the window as soon as she felt Angel leaning against the sill; looking at her while she slept. How did she never notice just how creepy that was before?
“Hello,” she said curtly.
“Mind if I come in?”
She shrugged and sighed. “Be my guest.” It wasn’t as if he would leave before he said whatever he’d come to say, so the sooner they got this over with, the better.
“How are you?” Angel asked her, taking a step closer toward the bed.
“Peachy. So, is this a social call?” She glanced towards the clock on her nightstand. “It’s kinda late. Or, well, it is for me, anyway. What is it for you, lunch hour?”
“It’s not a social call,” he replied somberly and she barely managed not to roll her eyes at him.
“Aah.” What a surprise… as in not! “So, let me guess. That means grave danger.” She rolled her eyes then, before adding sarcastically, “Gosh, it’s good to be home.”
“I’m sorry. I wish I had better news.”
“So, some of your cousins are in town for a family barbecue and we’re all on the menu!” she quipped.
“The Anointed One. He’s been gathering forces somewhere in town. I’m not sure why.”
She shrugged again. “Guess I’ll find out soon enough, huh?”
“You don’t sound too concerned.”
“I can handle myself. Besides, I could use a little action anyway.”
“Don’t underestimate the Anointed One just because he looks like a child. He has power over the rest of them. They’ll do anything for him.”
Had Angel always been this much of a condescending prick? God! She’d barely refrained from throwing his undead ass out through the window. She shook her head and sighed miserably. She really knew how to pick them. What did he think? That he could come into her room to warn her of the impending doom hanging over her head, tell her he’d missed her and she’d fall right into his arms? She scoffed. Yeah, right! Like that was going to happen.
Perhaps she wasn’t being fair, expecting that any of them understood what she was going through, but they weren’t fair by expecting her to be the happy, carefree girl she’d been before, either. She wished she could be that girl again. But she couldn’t, not after being forced to accept her mortality, that her days were numbered, that someday—be it today, tomorrow or one year from now—another vampire or demon would have its one good day and she would die again… this time for good.
The worst part was that she was at a point where she didn’t even care if she lived or died. In fact, she’d probably welcome death now, if only because then she wouldn’t have to paste a fake smile on her face and act as if all was right in her world.
“Penny for your thoughts,” a deep, rumbling voice said out of the blue and she jumped in surprise, before turning to look at its owner.
Whatever she’d expected to find, it wasn’t what she saw when her eyes focused on the platinum blond stranger to her right. He wasn’t too tall, not as tall as Angel at least, but that didn’t make him any less imposing. He exuded sex-appeal as he leaned one shoulder on the wall—dressed in all black t-shirt, jeans, leather duster and combat boots that had obviously seen better days—watching her intently as he lit a cigarette. He took a deep, long drag of it, his cheeks hollowing as he did, accentuating his handsome features.
“Cat ate your tongue, love?” he asked, tilting his head as he smirked at her lazily, the cigarette from his mouth now dangling between his fingers.
She raised her eyes to his and found it hard to breathe as his intense blue depths held her captive in their spell. Never mind that accent of his, which would very probably end up being her undoing, sending shivers down her spine with every word he said.
She shook her head, partly in response to his question, partly to clear it from the thoughts coming unbidden to her mind. “N-no,” she stuttered, swallowing hard past the lump in her throat.
“Ah, she talks,” he said teasingly, throwing the cigarette to the floor and stomping on it, before nearing her. His movements were slow and deliberate, as if he were approaching a wild animal that would just run off spooked if he made any sudden moves. Once he was close enough, he extended his hand to her as he introduced himself. “Name’s Spike, yours?”
She blinked, looking from the proffered limb to his face and back, almost as if she expected it to bite her. “I-I…”
“Do I have to guess?” He appeared deep in thought for a few seconds. “Hmmm, how about… Concetta,” he threw her a sideways glance and she shook her head, a small smile tugging at her lips. “No, ‘f course not, you don’ look Italian. Perhaps… Hildegard?” He started sprouting name after name, each a little more outrageous than the previous until she was doubled in half, laughing for the first time in a long time.
“No, please, stop. I’ll tell you,” she said between giggles, holding her stomach as she tried to breathe.
“You sure? `Cause I still have a few more we can try.”
“Oh God, no, please,” she begged, hurrying to add, “It’s Buffy.”
“Buffy?” He tilted his head as he studied her, a slight frown marring his forehead even as his blue eyes twinkled with mischief. “Sure ‘bout that, pet? You don’ seem like a Buffy.”
“Quite sure.” She smiled at him, her own eyes shining with mirth. “And really, you don’t have much room to talk, Spike.”
“Touché, guess you got a point there, love,” he conceded with an impish grin. “So, what’re you doin’ out here? Waitin’ for someone?”
She scrunched her nose, her smile vanishing from her face. “No, not really.”
“Don’ have to tell me if you don’ want. `S jus’ that some things are easier to tell to a stranger.”
He could be right about that. She already felt more at ease with him than she’d felt with anyone else lately. “I just… there’s some people inside I don’t really want to deal with at the moment.”
“Aah, hidin’ from an old boyfriend, perhaps?”
Buffy frowned, looking down at her shoes as she thought about that. He got the old part right, but could Angel even qualify as a boyfriend? They had kissed a couple of times… but aside from that, what had they really shared? It wasn’t as if he’d ever asked her out or knocked on her window just to see her. Oh no, of course not. That would be too easy. And truly, after what happened with the Master and the whole prophecy fiasco, she barely could stomach being in the same room with him.
“Hardly,” she scoffed. “And hey, who said I was hiding?”
“No one, `m just perceptive like that, I suppose,” he smirked.
“Yeah, right.” She rolled her eyes playfully at him. “Well, just so you know, your perception is so far off base it’s on another continent.”
“So, what is it, then?”
“Complicated?” he raised a scarred eyebrow, compelling her to elaborate.
“Yeah, more than you could believe.”
“Perhaps I could… believe it, I mean, if you told me.”
“You wouldn’t want to know.” Not to mention, she really, really didn’t want to tell him.
“Wouldn’ I now?” he asked. “An’ jus’ how are you so sure `f that?”
“I just am.”
“Could surprise you.”
He already had, in more ways than the obvious. Not that she was going to tell him that, either. “I can’t tell you. I don’t even know you.”
“I don’ see how that matters,” he shrugged.
“What about you?” she asked, in an effort to change the subject away from her. Not that she’d really told him anything, but there was only so much running in circles that she could do at a time.
He appeared confused by her question, so she rushed to clarify, “Yeah, are you waiting for someone?”
“Not really, no; jus’ got into town actually.” A smirk formed on his lips, one that could only be described as predatory and that shouldn’t have affected her as much as it did. “Perhaps I could convince you to show me ‘round? Give me the grand tour an’ all?”
She really shouldn’t be considering this. However, the idea of going inside the club on her own was even less appealing now than it was before. Having to deal with her friends and possibly Angel was definitely not on her list of top things she wanted to do. She gave the blond man the onceover. He was very handsome, seemed nice enough and had made her forget her problems for a little bit.
Plus, making Angel jealous, regardless of her not really wanting to be with him any longer? It was too good of an opportunity to waste.
“Say I accepted to do that… would you do something for me, too?” she inquired.
“`f course, pet. Anythin’ you want.”
“I just thought…” she sighed dejectedly. “You know what? Forget it. It’s a dumb idea anyway.”
“`m sure it isn’ dumb. Now tell me,” he gave her a winsome grin. “Go on, promise I don’ bite, least not `til you ask me nicely.”
“When we’re inside… would you pretend you’re… kindofmyboyfriend?” she rushed the last words out in a breathy whisper; her heart hammering inside her chest as she waited for his answer.
He blinked. “Your… boyfriend?”
“Yeah, but… you can say no if you want. I mean, I don’t want you to feel forced to do thi—” He pressed a long, cold finger to her lips prevented her from continuing with her ramblings.
“One thing you’ll soon learn `bout me, love, `s that I never do anythin’ I don’ want to do. Alright?” She could only nod in response, her lips still tingling from his touch, before he continued, “So, jus’ so we’re clear… this li’l arrangement is to make that non-boyfriend of yours you’re not hidin’ from jealous, `s that it?”
Damn him! He really wasn’t joking when he said he was perceptive. “Well… what would you say if it was?” She worried her bottom lip with her teeth as she waited for his answer.
The blond man offered her a lopsided grin, his azure eyes shimmering in such a way that they made her forget she needed to breathe. “I’d say… what are we waitin’ for then, love? Let’s go make ‘em all jealous.”
He offered his hand to her and Buffy briefly wondered if perhaps she was jumping from the frying pan directly into the fire before deciding she didn’t care if she was and taking it, allowing him to lead her towards the Bronze.
A smile formed on her lips as they walked side by side. She already felt different, lighter and a whole lot less gloomier than she’d been in the last few months, and it was because of this man. He made her laugh, made her forget about her problems and he was going to help her make Angel see that she’d truly moved on. There was no bad in that. None at all.
A/N: So, *shuffles feet* like, dislike? Want more or not? I’d love to know if you’re inclined to tell me. *bats eyelashes* Also, Part 2 is done and beta’d already and I’ll hopefully post it before going on a mini-vacation out of town next weekend.
I’m aware I shouldn’t be starting another WIP, and it really wasn’t my intention, it just happened. However, I have a vacation coming soon and muse is behaving so I really hope I’ll be able to juggle them all.
Ooh, and if anyone would like to make me a banner for this story, I’d love you forever.