Need by dbeaux
How Bad by dbeaux
Author's Notes:
Not sure if anyone is really reading, but for those that did review, thanks! It means a lot.
“Thanks for walking me home,” Buffy said when they arrived at her house.

“No problem, pet,” Spike replied.

“So, I guess I will see you at school tomorrow.”

“Yeah. I’ll see you there.” Spike turned to leave when her voice stopped him.

“Your jacket…” she started when he cut her off.

“Keep it. I’ll pick it up tomorrow after school.”

“You won’t tell anyone, will you?” she blurted.

“No, Goldilocks. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.”

“Thank you,” she whispered and went into her house.

The next morning, Buffy spent 30 minutes trying to effectively cover the bruises on her face. By the time she was finished, it wasn’t perfect; but it was good enough. As long as no one got really close, they shouldn’t be able to tell unless they knew to look.

She dressed in a baggy sweatshirt and jeans and pulled her hair up into a pony tail. When she was finally ready, she went downstairs for breakfast.

“Hey, Mom!” she said brightly.

“Hi, Buffy. Did you have fun last night? Willow seemed nice.”

“Yep. The Bronze is really cool,” she said thinking that at least that wasn’t a lie.

“I’m glad you are making friends. Maybe you should invite some of them over this weekend for one of your famous weekend bashes. We could go shopping tomorrow for food and stuff.”

“Sounds good, Mom. Thanks.”

When Buffy walked into school, she immediately zoned in on Willow. “Hey! Sorry I took off last night.”

“That’s OK. Spike said that you made it home. I would have walked you if you wanted.”

“No biggie. I had a good time with you guys though. Thanks for inviting me. Oh, and my mom said I could have a weekend bash this weekend. Do you want to come?”

“Weekend bash?”

“Yeah. I sort of started having them a couple of years ago. Friday after school, we go to my house and eat junk and watch movies and play games and all that jazz until Sunday evening. Almost like a really long slumber party, but guys and girls can both come. I usually don’t have them right away when I start at a new school, but my mom suggested it. She always chaperones if that helps.”

“Sounds fun! Count me in. Who else are you going to invite?”

“I don’t know. Everyone in the group, I guess,” Buffy shrugged.

The two girls joined the others in the hall while waiting for the bell to ring. After an excited Willow spilled the beans about the party, everyone agreed to come.

“Where are we going?” Spike asked as he walked up behind Buffy.

“My house. Friday after school for a weekend bash,” Buffy filled in.

“Count me in, too, then.”

When Buffy looked up, Spike caught sight of the barely visible bruises on her face. “You OK, luv?” he asked so quietly only she could hear.

“Getting there,” she whispered back. To everyone else she said, “I’m going to my locker. See you guys in class.”

Tuning out the voices around him, Spike watched as she went to the other end of the hall. He didn’t miss the flinch when she took her books out of her locker and put them into her bag. “I’ll see you guys later,” he said to everyone and made his way to Buffy.

Buffy picked up her bag and swung it to her shoulder, hoping that she could make it through the day. As the bag landed on her back, she yelped. Before she could drop the bag, she felt it lifted from her shoulder.

“How bad is it?” she heard him ask behind her.

“I’m OK,” she said quietly. “I’ll be OK.”

“How bad, Buffy?”

“It’s nothing. Really,” she stressed. Spike looked at the back of her head when she wouldn’t face him and said, “I don’t believe you.”

When she finally turned around, she looked up at him and met his eyes defiantly. He grabbed her hand and pulled her outside of the school. Pulling her behind him down the sidewalk, he stopped in what looked like a doorway but was really little more than just an indention in the building.

“Look,” she started. “You don’t even know me. We just met. Why do you care?”

“I just do. How bad, Buffy?” he asked again.

“I told you, I’m OK.”

“And, I told you that I don’t believe you.”

“Well, that’s just too bad.”

Before she had time to react, Spike took Buffy’s bag and put it on her shoulder. When she screamed at the contact, he asked again, “How bad?”

“Bad, OK! My back is ripped into shreds from being thrown against a brick wall and then shoved against it and held there while some guy tried to rape me! Are you happy now?” she yelled. When only silence greeted her, she repeated, “Are you happy now?” As she began to lose what little she had of her composure, tears started falling down her face. She asked again as she covered her face with her hands, “Are you happy now?”

Spike put their bags on the ground and pulled her to him, lightly encircling her body with his arms. “Shhh…luv…It will be OK.” He kept murmuring quietly to her until she had calmed down.

When her tears slowed, she pulled back and looked up at him. “Sorry for losing it there.” Her eyes fell to his mouth and she leaned slightly forward. Ever so slowly their mouths strained closer to the other. Buffy’s stomach fluttered in response.

Spike was losing what little control he had as she looked up at him with huge, trusting eyes. Just as their mouths were almost touching, he released her completely. “It’s no problem,” he said resuming the conversation.

The silence between them grew before he said, “Turn around.”

“What? Why?” she asked confused.

“Turn around.”

Buffy turned around, and Spike reached for the hem of her sweatshirt. He lifted it slightly, just enough to see the damage that had been done. “I’ll beat him senseless,” he hissed in anger as he took in the extent of the damage to her back.

When he lowered her shirt, she turned around to face him. “It will get better. Just let it go. Come on, we have to get to class.” As if on cue, the first bell rang.

Not responding, Spike picked up their bags and followed her back into the school wondering why she was so willing to ignore this. When they got to Buffy’s class, he handed her her bag. “Will you be OK until lunch with your bag, or do you want some help?”

“It would probably raise fewer eyes if I do it on my own, thanks.”

“OK. See you in theatre then.”

“’K.”

Buffy watched as he turned and walked down the hall thinking that it was nice to have people care. Other than her mom, it wasn’t something she experienced often, especially with new people. Wondering if it was too good to be true, she shook her thoughts away. When she could no longer see him, she turned and went into her homeroom taking her seat.


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