Chapter Seven- Mercy in the Middle
“She must have been exhausted.” Joyce whispered as she entered her living room to find both of her little girls asleep, each one of their blonde heads resting on Spikes shoulders. She couldn’t help but wonder why things turned out they way they did. It wasn’t right!
This… this was right.
Spike smiled at her, “That would be my fault.”
She laughed quietly, “You devil!” She was glad; glad he was here for Buffy. No, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair to him, he deserved better. He deserved more than the love of a married woman who couldn’t tell you what she wanted if her life depended on it.
“She should have stayed, should have married you. That little girl-”
“Don’t Joyce, please, just don’t. I know that this isn’t how things should have happened. I know that she was meant to be mine. I know that this little girl…” He trailed off, tears in his eyes while gazing into the face of his precious Buffy’s little girl.
He swallowed, “But that’s not the way things happened. They aren’t mine, much as I want, or feel like they should be. You know I never thought I would hate another man as much as I hated your husband but life likes to throw little surprises your way every now and again.
“I hate him so much I can taste it and I know if we were ever to come face to face…” He squeezed his eyes shut. “I would kill him.”
Joyce sank down into the chair across from the three on the couch and prayed. She was a Christian woman, she knew with every fiber of her being that there was God and she believed that He could change hearts and guide spirits and that’s what she was asking for.
She knew that William didn’t believe and knew that Buffy thought a higher power was the only explainable answer for some of the things she had witnessed, but Joyce was convinced. There was a God, who was all powerful and she knew to the very depths of her being that prayer did work.
She put her head in her hands and prayed hard. She had to make up for the two who refused.
“You shouldn’t bother Joyce. God isn’t taking request today or any other day for that matter.” Spike whispered not wanting to wake the angels on his shoulders. The women in the room with him were the closest to heaven he’d ever get.
“He listens every day, William. He listens to every prayer, every thought. He see’s every action, every mistake, and every good deed.” Joyce kept her hands tightly clasped together but opened her eyes and studied the man in front of her. He looked tired, looked like he had way more on his shoulders then a young man of his age should ever have to carry around. She didn’t like what she saw.
He laughed and shook his head sadly. “Joyce, how can you believe when you have seen more violence and hate then most people ever see in a lifetime? How can you believe when you have seen with your own eyes your child being abused? Where is this God you speak of? Where was he when Buffy was being beaten by her husband? Huh? Can you answer that? Where was he when you were bed ridden because your husband beat you so bad you couldn’t walk?” He saw her surprised expression. “You thought I didn’t know about that?” He laughed a humorless laugh and looked at her with beseeching eyes. Eyes that begged to be given hope in a world where there was none to be seen.
Joyce took a moment to collect her thoughts and then answered. “He is in the middle. He is the mercy that brings life after the devastating effects of the storm. If there wasn’t a God William, I would have quit a long time ago but because of his mercy and grace I was able to forgive a man for sins committed against me and my daughter, sins I would have never been able to forgive if there wasn’t someone else giving me the strength to do it. If there wasn’t a God, anger and hate would have consumed my life until there was nothing left but a bitter empty shell of a woman. His mercy is bringing me life again and one day he will bring it to Buffy too.”
Spike looked at Joyce Summers, really looked at her and noticed that for the first time she looked happy. Something was different about her, before she had always had sadness about her but now that was gone. He couldn’t explain it but there was a joy unspeakable about her and for the first time he let himself believe that there might just be something out there that was bigger than anything he had ever imagined.
For the first time in his 26 years of life William Giles bowed his head and prayed
“Fuck you, Spike! Who the hell said you could get the fuck into my business?!?! I told you to stay the fuck away but could you?! Could you?! No! Mother Fucker!”
He winced and rubbed the back of his neck as Buffy preceded to destroy his apartment. There were C.D.’s everywhere, broken glass and sheet music were scattered across the floor and there she stood in the middle of it all, spitting mad and ready to cuss out the world… or at the moment… him.
“You just can’t leave it alone can you? What am I supposed to do now huh? What am I supposed to do? He’s gonna kill me! Do you understand that? Are you even fucking listening to me you stupid fucking bastard?!?!”
He ducked as something went flying past his head and ran through the disaster area that was now his living room, and grabbed Buffy around the waist, much to her dismay, fists and cursing. He carried her kicking and screaming to the bedroom and threw her on the bed. He had had enough!
“How can I not fucking hear you?!?! I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole town heard you!” He yelled as he grabbed her by the arms and shook her. “I’m sorry okay! I shouldn’t have shown up, I shouldn’t have said anything to him! I’m sorry! I’ve told you a million times! What is it going to take to get it through your fucking skull?! I’M SORRY!” He pushed her back on the bed and crumpled to the ground. He was done, with this, with her. He wished he had never met her, she was just one fucked up mess, turning his whole life, and his whole world into one big fucked up mess. He hated her.
“I hate you.” He heard her say from the bed, she wasn’t moving and then the worry started. He hurt her, grabbed her to hard, shook her to hard. He was a jerk.
He climbed up on the bed behind her and spooned his body against hers. He kissed her ear, “Didn’t hurt you did I?”
She sniffled and nodded.
“Talk to me baby. Talk to me, I’m so sorry. Tell me where it hurts; tell me how to make it better.” He didn’t want to cry, he wanted to be angry, he wanted to hurt her but the tears were falling unbidden.
Her body started shaking uncontrollably as she tried to hold in the sobs that were trying so hard to find their way out. “You hurt my arm,” she whispered.
Sure enough there was a bruise already forming. He was no better than her screwed up fuck of a father. He wanted to vomit. He had promised he would never hurt her like that. He sat up and moved away from her. He got off the bed and walked out of the room, closing the door on her silent sobbing. He was crazy to think that he could ever fix her. He should have known he would have only hurt her further.
He would never forgive himself.
“Spike? Spike wake up I need the baby back, she’s hungry.” Buffy woke with a start when she heard the baby start to fuss and was embarrassed when the first thing that she saw was Spike. She didn’t remember falling asleep but damn did it feel good to wake up next to him.
Spike jumped and shook his head before he opened his eyes, smiling shyly before handing the baby back. “Sorry luv must have nodded off there.”
“It’s okay, Emma’s just started getting fussy, I should feed her.” Buffy smiled as she eyed Spike while making a move to pull her shirt up.
He stood up and mumbled something about ‘going to find her mum to ask her about dinner plans.’
Buffy laughed at how breast feeding could terrify a man who had probably sucked on more tits... She frowned, that was not a happy thought.
She started humming as she began to feed her daughter. She loved breast feeding, no it wasn’t the most pleasant feeling in the world and her nipples hurt all the time but it brought her so much joy to know that no one else in the world could take care of this precious little angel like she could. She was the care giver, the belly satisfier, comforter, there was really nothing like being a mom.
“You are so pretty Emma. The most beautiful little girl I have ever laid eyes on. Everything about you is divine magnificence. I can’t believe I made you. Score one for mom! I finally did something right.” She smiled as she ran a finger down her daughters’ smooth alabaster cheek. “No one will ever love you as much I love you.”
Buffy closed her eyes and started to sing softly, “Hush now, close your eyes. Listen close, don’t you cry. I am here, you are safe. You are loved, be unafraid. Quite down little one, you are loved.”
She opened her eyes to see Spike leaning against the door jam. Her heart skipped a beat and she must have moved a bit because Emma jolted out of her blissful state and started crying. Buffy quickly directed her daughter’s mouth back to her breast smiled at Spike and began to sing once more. “Hush now, little love. I’ve got you now, no need to fuss. Look at those tears, they break my heart. Look at that face, how sad thou art. You’re in my arms, little love, no need to fuss.”
Swaying gently she smiled when she felt her daughters breathing start to slow. This was what life was all about. She stopped singing for a moment just wanting to enjoy this time when she heard the melody she had just been singing being picked out on the piano as Spike began to softly sing, “Look at you now, finally asleep. You could not know how much you mean.”
Buffy smiled sadly at him, looked down at her daughter and continued, “A miracle, I have been blessed. I am not perfect, but I’ll try my best.”
“Quite down little one.” He continued.
“You’re in my arms, my little love.” She sang softly.
“I’ll always love my darling one, hush now.” They sang together in unison, eyes locked on the other, baby asleep against her mother’s breast. Spike continued to play, years of practice allowed him to play without watching his hands. She smiled at him, a soft serene look about her.
He was the first to look away as he continued singing. “Hush little baby don’t you cry. Your momma’s gonna sing you a lullaby.”