"Hey...wait a minute!" Spike said as Buffy stepped down the steps, laughing. "You do remember!"
Buffy's laughter could be heard all over the cemetery as she walked away.
"Slayer, get back here!" Spike yelled grinning as he watched Buffy leave. He smiled big as he realized she remembered everything that had happened.......maybe things wouldn't be so bad after all.
Spike stood on the stoop of the crypt, watching Buffy until she was completely out of sight. He waited until he could no longer hear her laughter before he turned, a wide smile still present on his face. Stepping into the crypt and shutting the door, he walked back to his chair and sat down hard, his mind trying to wrap around the thoughts of Buffy remembering all the events of the past week.
He had hoped she would remember. Most importantly, he hoped she remembered that she hadn’t seen him as a monster but as a man, as her friend.
He knew the smile on his face would take days to wipe off. The small kiss Buffy had left on his cheek still stung from the heat of her lips. Glancing to the corner where his refrigerator sat, his smile widened as he saw the purple crayon drawing ‘Little Buffy’ had made for him. It was the only picture he had of him and her together, all though they were both stick figures and both done in purple, the memory of her face lighting up when she had presented it to him and the wide smile that had curved her lips when he took it home with him caused his face to almost ache from the huge smile he couldn’t seem to erase.
Laying his head back and resting it on the back of his chair, Spike stared at the drawing. He wasn’t sure what to make of the fact that she had kept her ‘secret’ from her friends, but was glad she had decided to share it with him.
“So, everything went okay with Spike last night? No creepy feelings or anything?” Willow asked as her and Buffy sat around the large research table at the Magic Box.
“No, no creepy feelings.” Buffy said quietly. “It was kinda nice actually.”
“Really?” Willow asked, her eyes slightly wide. “Nice as in, he wasn’t snarky or nice as in he was…well, being nice?”
Buffy smiled as she crossed her arms infront of her and laid them on the table. “Nice as in, we talked. No awkward feelings or anything.”
“Well that’s good.”
“Yeah.” Buffy replied her mind wandering as the bell above the door sent Willows head in the direction of the front of the store.
“Hello ladies.” Xander said, smiling as he sauntered down the steps and plopped down in the chair beside of Willow. “What’s the gossip for today?”
“Oh nothing much. Just discussing Buffy’s meeting with Spike.”
“You went to see Spike?” Xander asked surprised. “What in the world for?”
“To thank him for all he had done for her.” Willow answered for Buffy as she seemed to be lost in her thoughts.
“Thank him?” Xander asked, the words coming out strained. “What’s there to thank him for?” For hanging around like some leach for a week or for corrupting the mind of a four year old?”
“Xan, when are you going to see that it was more than him taking advantage?” Willow asked, rolling her eyes slightly. “He was there for her all week, and personally, I think you’re just jealous she wanted to spend her time with him and not you.” She added, giggling at the twisted face of disgust Xander seemed to be having trouble containing.
Buffy could hear their chattering, but their words were completely lost to her as her thoughts were once again on Spike. She hadn’t been able to think of much else since she had been ‘restored’ to her usual self.
The minute the spell had broken and the disorienting feelings had left her, the smiles of all her friends had greeted her and she bit back tears that she wasn’t sure why were stinging her eyes when she realized Spike wasn’t there.
She remembered every minute she had spent with him. Off all the loved ones that surrounded her constantly when she was ‘little’, the image of Spike sitting and playing with her, of him sitting with her all night as she slept and of the hours of coloring was the only memory she could seem to focus on.
Had she been truly wrong about him? Was he more than just a monster like she had repeatedly told him? She knew the answer to that question before she even thought it. He wasn’t a monster. He was a man who was in love with her and despite her rude, almost constant ridicule of his feelings; he had shown her a side of himself that she wouldn’t have even bothered to look at.
“Hey, Buff…you gonna come out of the clouds and answer me?” Xander asked, his head tilting to the side as he stared at her.
Buffy finally focused her eyes as Xander’s hand waving in front of her face finally caught her attention and she smiled, blushing slightly when she realized she had been so wrapped up in her thoughts of Spike that she had completely zoned out.
Glancing around the room quickly, hoping her face wasn’t a red as it felt she smiled slightly before looking over at her friends.
“Where were you just now?” Xander asked, “I’ve been trying to talk to you for the last five minutes. You aren’t in some tortured state of mind now that you know you actually played nice with the evil undead are you?”
“No.” Buffy said quietly. “I just have a lot on my mind is all.”
“Yeah, I probably would to. I mean, having Spike around at all is torture on ones mind, not to mention how you practically worshiped the ground he lurked on.”
“It wasn’t that bad.” Buffy said softly, glancing down at her hands before looking back up.
“Wasn’t that bad?” Xander asked, his face scrunching up in disgust at the prospects. “Spike hanging around for more than two seconds is bad, let alone having him around for hours at a time. Not to mention the icky sight of you fawning over him like he was the next best thing to happen since Burger King added king size fries.”
Buffy chuckled softly before standing and shaking her head. “I’ve got to go guys, I’ll catch you later.” She said before turning and heading towards the door.
“Okay, did I just miss something or did she just completely ignore me?”
Willow hid her smile behind her hand as she watched Buffy walk out the door before turning to face Xander. She wasn’t completely sure what Buffy was thinking, but she had a sneaking suspicion she remembered more about her ‘toddler time’ and Spike than she was letting on.
Buffy walked slowly through the last cemetery on her patrol, absently twirling a stake in her hand. She hadn’t encountered one vamp all night and she was getting anxious to release some of the stress she had been feeling on some dumb unexpecting night crawler.
Xander’s quick assessment that she should be feeling angry about spending time with Spike had her confused as to what to do. She knew her friends saw Spike in a different light, she did herself until a few days ago, but she couldn’t help but think that there was more to him than they were allowing themselves to see.
Sure he was a vampire who had tried to kill them repeatedly, but since the chip, he’d changed. She didn’t know why she never allowed herself to see it before and all the hateful words she had said to him since bothered her.
Sitting down on a grave marker, Buffy sighed loudly. Her head turned in the direction of Spike’s crypt and the urge to go see him was strong. She had never just paid him a ‘social’ visit and wondered how he would feel about getting one now. The fact that she ‘wanted’ to pay him a visit was more disturbing than anything. To be honest, she had gotten use to seeing him on a daily basis and now that she was her old self again, the need to see him was still there.
“Well if it isn’t my favorite slayer.” Spike said as he slowly walked towards Buffy, cigarette dangling from his lip. “Out for the nightly patrol I see.”
Buffy’s head snapped to the side at his voice, a little smile curving her lips as Spike approached her. “Hey Spike.” She said, her smile widening as he stopped in front of her.
Spike was taken aback at the smile she gave him. It looked almost friendly and that was a gesture he didn’t expect from this version of Buffy. “Hey yourself.” He said, a small smile lighting up his face.
An uncomfortable silence fell around them both suddenly and they both looked away from the other. Buffy almost had the notion to laugh at the awkward feelings she now seemed to be having. She had never felt the need to feel anything where Spike was concerned, but now that he was standing in front of her; she had to wonder why she suddenly felt a small fluttering of butterflies in her stomach.
“So.” Spike started, the silence almost deafening, “You just getting started on the patrol or finishing up?”
“Oh, um…just starting.” Buffy lied. She bit back another smile and wondered ‘why’ she had just said that.
“Really? Up for a little company?” Spike asked with a smile as he tossed his spent smoke to the ground and crushed it under his foot.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Buffy said as she jumped down of the grave marker she had been sitting on. “Let’s go.”
Spike couldn’t hide his smile as he fell into step beside of her as they headed through the cemetery. He didn’t think she would ever allow him the chance to actually get close to her, not that patrol was anything to get excited about, but she never wanted his help unless some big bad was on the loose. The fact that she was taking him on patrol, just for the company made his heart swell and he knew he’d fall in love with her even more than he already was if she continued to be nice to him.
Buffy was speechless. She didn’t have a clue as to what to say to him. Why she suddenly felt nervous was beyond her, but to be honest, she liked the feeling, not that she would tell anyone though.
“So, how’s the nibblet doing?” Spike asked, the silence starting to get to him.
“Oh, she’s good.” Buffy answered. “Well, I think she’s still upset they turned me back, but she’s dealing.”
“Well not that I minded the little you, but I’m much rather have the adult version walking around.”
Buffy turned her head, glancing at him briefly and turning away with a smile as she saw the look on his face. She knew he probably heard her heartbeat speed up, but at the moment, she really couldn’t find a reason to care. The almost ‘puppy dog eyes’ he had always given her that usually grossed her out had just made her heart flutter, and the feeling made her giddy with possibilities that just a week ago would have had her staking him for sure, now, it was a pleasant change she was looking forward to.
Dawn looked up from the couch when the front door opened and her face fell when she saw Willow instead of Buffy. She had purposely stayed up past her bed time to have a talk with her sister about her sudden change in behavior and about her feelings towards Spike now that she was back to her normal self.
“Hey Dawnie, where’s Buffy at?” Willow asked as she walked into the Living Room, finally convinced she needed to have a talk with her best friend.
“She’s not back from patrol yet.” Dawn told her, her head turning back to the TV.
“Really?” Willow asked surprised. “She’s been gone for hours.”
“I know.” Dawn said as she turned to look at Willow. “You don’t think something happened do you?” she asked, suddenly getting worried.
“No.” Willow reassured her with a smile. “Buffy can take care of herself.”
“Well I know, but she’s been a little out of it lately, maybe if she wasn’t thinking clearly then something…”
“Shhh.” Willow said, holding her hand up and quieting Dawn. “Did you hear that?”
Dawn sat up and hit the mute button on the TV remote and listened quietly to see what Willow had heard. Her lips curved into a smile when they heard the muffled sound of Buffy’s laughter. “Sounds like it’s coming from out back.” Dawn whispered, her eyes bright as she stood up from the couch.
Willow grinned at her as she followed Dawn to the Kitchen, Buffy’s laughter getting louder as they entered. It had been a while since they had heard her actually laughing and the sound of it had them both wondering what was going on.
Walking quietly to the back door, Willow and Dawn both peeked out through the blinds and was surprised to see Buffy and Spike sitting on the steps. They both had huge smiles on their faces and Buffy was still laughing. The fact that she was with Spike was strange enough, let alone the fact that she was apparently enjoying herself.
“Well, looks like someone has some explaining to do.” Willow said grinning as she watched the two on the back porch laugh. Her face broke out into a smile at Buffy’s apparent happiness but it soon fell away when she remembered the source of said happiness.
“What do you think they’re talking about?” Dawn asked, her overjoyed face a light with the new found friendship Buffy had apparently found with Spike.
“Not sure, but I’m going to find out.” Willow said as she stepped back from the door and grabbed the door knob.
Buffy wiped the tears away from her eyes as she tried to get her laughter to calm down. Spike’s retelling of Xander’s reaction when she had called him a ‘poophead’ and her kicking him was much funnier than when Xander had told her. In fact, to hear Spike tell it, the whole adventure would have made for very entertaining television. She had spent most of her time with him, so he had more stories than all of her friends did combined.
“Well, it’s about time you made it back.” Willow said as she leaned up against the doorframe, her arms crossed over her chest. “We’ve been worried sick about you.” She lied.
Buffy and Spike both turned their heads towards the door, neither one of them hearing Willow when she had opened it.
“Oh, Hey Wills.” Buffy said quickly as she stood up, “It’s not that late is it?” she asked, seeing Dawn standing behind her friend.
”It’s after twelve and since when does patrol take six hours?” she asked, the smile biting at her lips becoming painful as she held it back.
“It’s midnight?” Buffy asked shocked. “Dawn why are you still up, tomorrows a school day?”
“I was waiting for you, where have you been?” Dawn said, looking from Buffy to Spike. “Was there some nasty running around tonight?”
“Um, no, no nasty.” Buffy said glancing over at Spike. “It’s past your bedtime, go to bed.”
Dawn rolled her eyes before her shoulders slumped. “Fine whatever.” She mumbled. “Night Spike.” She said before turning and walking out of the Kitchen.
Spike smiled after telling Dawn goodnight. He was still on a high from spending the last couple of hours with Buffy and now that Willow had informed them that Buffy had been gone for six hours, he knew she had extended her patrol. The thoughts of her doing it to spend time with him gave him a sliver of hope that things had changed, but the history between them didn’t let him get his hopes up to much.
“So, where have you been?” Willow asked again as she looked at Buffy. “You left here hours ago.”
If there hade been a rock big enough, Buffy would have surely crawled under it. She had told Spike she had just started patrol, now he would know she had lied. “Um, just got side tracked, took longer than expected.” She told her hoping her explanation worked.
“Uh huh.” Willow said, a smile finally breaking out on her face. “Well I’m going to bed. Goodnight you two.”
Buffy and Spike both said goodnight and watched as Willow walked back into the house and closed the door. The awkward silence that had taken them a while to overcome had finally resurfaced as Buffy slowly turned and faced Spike.
“Well, I guess I better go in.” she said quietly, unable to keep eye contact with him long.
“Yeah, seems you’re going to have some explaining to do.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. He knew she lied about the patrol and just said it to be able to spend time with him.
“Getting caught with the likes of me isn’t going to have an easy out.” Spike said smiling, knowing the deer in headlights look came from the ‘six hour patrol’ she had taken and not that she was caught with him. “Catch ya later Buffy.” He added before smiling and walking down the steps.
“Goodnight Spike.” Buffy said as she watched him walk towards the fence and into the shadows. Buffy stood there, trying to see him and trying to figure out how to explain her absence to Willow before she finally turned back to the house. Opening the door, she walked in, turning the latch to lock the door before flipping off the lights and headed for the stairs. The little smile that had been etched on her face all night had crept back up as she rounded the corner of the Dining Room and made her way towards the stairs.
“Okay missy, spill.” Willow said when Buffy stepped on the bottom step and looked up.
Buffy jumped; startled to see Willow perched on the top step smiling like the Cheshire cat as she looked at her. “Spill what?” she asked as she slowly took a few more steps up.
“Spill why it took you six hours to do a patrol that normally takes just a few and the fact that I found you making friendly with Spike on the back porch, in the dark I might add.”
Buffy looked away, her bottom lip finding it’s way between her teeth and she walked up the steps. “Um, no reason for the long patrol and I just ran into Spike.” She said as she hurriedly made her way up the steps as Willow stood up.
“Yeah, and what was with the happy laughter you two were doing?”
“What, is it a crime to laugh now?” Buffy asked as her quickened her step with Willow right on her heels.
“No, not a crime, unless it’s with someone who just last week you persisted you hated.”
Buffy stopped at her door, her hand on the knob as she turned her head to look at Willow. She sighed lightly, the smile on Willows face letting her know she knew more of what Buffy was feeling than she would have liked. “I may have been wrong.” She said softly, looking down at the floor. “He’s not really that bad once you get to know him.”
“Really?” Willow asked. “And how ‘well’ do you know him now?”
Buffy looked up, a little smile on her face. “Can we talk about this tomorrow, I’m really tired.”
Willow giggled and shook her head. “You remember it all don’t you?”
Buffy’s smile was the only answer she needed but the small ‘yes’ Buffy let slip out had Willow laughing. “I want full details tomorrow, got it?”
“Loud and clear.” Buffy said as she opened her door and walked inside. She leaned against the door once she closed it behind her, the night replaying in her mind. She smiled as the memories replayed for her. It was the best time she had had in a while. She couldn’t remember the last time she had actually laughed and felt good to be doing so.
Stripping her clothes off, Buffy grabbed the over sized night shirt from her dresser and slipped it on before walking to the window. Grabbing the string on the blinds she pulled it to close off the offending light from the streetlight but stopped as the red flicker of light under the tree caught her attention. She smiled when she saw it get brighter before it fell to the ground and was gone. “Goodnight Spike.” She said quietly, knowing he was there, still watching over her as she slept.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This is the sequel to 'Little Buffy' If you haven't read that story yet, please do so as this one picks up where the other one stopped.