A Change of Heart
Spike was angry and restless. He had paced every inch of his crypt and managed to stake a couple of newly risen vamps on his way to The Bronze. But here he was, torturing himself, watching the writhing, dancing happy meals on legs that he couldn’t indulge in. Maybe he should just find a quiet corner, down a few beers, hustle some gits at pool…
“Oof!” A twirling Buffy slammed into him.
“Oh you,” now his miserable night was complete.
“A-and you,” Buffy said with a wary confused look.
“What are you keepin’ tabs on me? You gonna give me a hard time now?” Glaring at her with challenging eyes. He sensed something off about her.
“Umm… Do I usually give you a hard time?” Buffy stammered.
“Very funny. Well you don’ have to worry ‘bout me drinkin’, ‘less you’re here to protect innocent beers…” why was she acting like she didn’t know their normal deal? He was intrigued, especially noting the faint aura of magic surrounding her. A spell maybe?
“You’re a vampire?” Buffy peered at his retreating back. Now he knew there was something wrong. Time to bait her again.
“Was. And as soon as I get this chip out of my head, I’ll be a vampire again. But until then I’m just as helpless as a kitten up a tree. So why don’t you just sod off?” He knew Buffy would never back down from a challenge from him.
“’Kay,” she replied turning to walk away.
“Oh fine! Throw it in my face! Spike’s not a threat anymore. I’ll turn my back. He can’t hurt me.” He knew something was different deep in his gut, but couldn’t figure out what the hell it was or what he could do about it.
“Spike… Spike,” she said thoughtfully, advancing toward him with a seductive sway of her hips. “William the Bloody with a chip in his head. I kinda love this town.”
“You know why I really hate you Summers?” He couldn’t resist baiting her, seeing what this spell-ridden version would reply.
“’Cuz I’m a stuck up tight-ass with no sense of fun?” Spell-Buffy replied with a cheeky grin, tilting her head.
“Well, yeah that covers a lot of it,” he didn’t quite know what to make of her.
“’Cuz I could do anything I want. Instead I choose to pout and whine and feel the burden of slayerness? I mean I could be rich. I could be famous. I could have anything. Anyone.” She approached Spike and pushed him softly backwards, running her hot little hands from his chest down to his taught stomach, settling on his trim hips. “Even you Spike,” she continued, looking up at him through hooded eyes. “I could ride you at a gallop until your knees buckled and your eyes rolled up. I’ve got muscles you’ve never even dreamed of. I could squeeze you until you popped like warm champagne and you’d beg me to hurt you just a little bit more. And you know why I don’t? Because it’s wrong.” Spike couldn’t help staring at her lusciously plump lips, feeling his pants tighten at her seductive play.
“I get this chip out, you an’ me are gonna have a confrontation,” and he knew he’d enjoy every minute of it.
“Count on it,” Buffy sauntered off towards the bar. Spike knew something was definitely not as it should be with the slayer. He felt his frustration rising as he realized he wanted to go tell her watcher. Alert him to the danger. He was the supposed to be the big bad for fucks sake.
In a fit of rage he threw his bottle against the wall, shards flying in every direction. He stalked off toward the door, pushing some worthless sod out of the way and earning a kick in the brain for it.
He hesitated before banging loudly on the watcher’s door, still not sure he should be doing it. Or why he was doing it to begin with.
“Oh, Spike,” Giles sneered at him, “to what do I owe this… displeasure”
“Right, I don’t need this. I jus’ thought you should know the Slayer’s under some sorta spell,” he ground out, regretting his hasty decision, and turned to leave.
“Buffy’s under a spell? I just saw her earlier this evening and she appeared to be fine,” Giles confused voice made him make an abrupt turn back toward him. Was this the leader of the star pack of demon slayers that foiled his best schemes, surely not.
“Was just at the Bronze and though I’m sure the slayer loves me like a bad rash, she wouldn’t be offerin’ to ride me at a gallop unless there was something off. And she reeked of magic,” Spike sneered at the shocked expression on the watcher’s face.
“No well indeed,” Giles stammered and reached to pluck his glasses off his nose, “Care to come in and tell me anything else you know.”
Spike raised an eyebrow and stared disbelievingly at the watcher before shrugging his shoulders, “Might as well have the last of my blood that I left here. I don’t have a microwave yet.”
Giles shook his head and shut the door before making his way back into the living room. He knew he had to question Spike carefully in case he decided his good deed had expired.
“So what else about Buffy’s behaviour indicated a spell to you?” Giles called toward the kitchen.
“As I said Rupes, aside from her offer to shag me,” Spike sauntered into the living room, flopping down on the sofa, putting his booted feet up on the coffee table. “She was just off I suppose. Acted like she didn’t know who I was. Surprised when I told her I was a vamp.”
“Well that is indeed quite odd,” Giles leaned back in his chair, one arm of his glasses between his lips. “Though she did say a couple of things that were a little off-colour earlier. I just figured it was due to Faith’s attack on her mother.”
“This Faith-bird went after Joyce?” Spike’s low growl surprised Giles, but he decided not to dwell on it.
“Yes, she threatened her I believe. Buffy fought her and the police came and took her. Though the council stepped in of course.”
“So Faith’s what? A wanna be bad chick with an attitude problem and a grudge against Buffy?” Spike was intrigued by this new slayer.
“Well considering Buffy stabbed her, placing her in a coma, I’d suggest she still holds some form of grudge.” Giles felt like he was missing something right in front of him.
“Buffy stabbed someone! A slayer! Well I’m impressed,” Spike grinned, then something hit him, “You don’t think there’s some kinda switch? I hear there’s some draconian spell along those lines. Met a poor fella once who wanted to feel what it was to be a chit. That was a funny one.”
“Of course that’s entirely possible. I mean I’ve heard of it before, but where would Faith get access to such potent magicks?” Giles pinched the bridge of his nose, “The mayor! He would have had access to such means and he did take Faith under his wing.”
“Well seems like you’ve got it in the bag then watcher. Well I’ve done my bit for you lot. I’ll be off then, do something evil.” Spike felt around his duster pockets for his smokes before making his way toward the door.
“Are you certain Spike?” Giles was surprised at the vampires help so far and wanted to know what caused him to come in the first place.
“Done enough Rupes. Go find your slayer.” Spike’s voice drifted in through the open door.
Giles immediately set about trying to get in touch with Willow with little success. Trying to reach Xander left him with similar results, so he decided to set about reaching the council and delving into his research to try and find a solution.
The next morning found a frantic and exhausted Giles jumping at the sound of the shrill ring of the phone.
“H-hello?” He rubbed a weary face with his free hand.
“Giles? It’s Willow,” said the anxious voice on the other end of the line.
“Oh Willow, excellent. I’ve been trying to reach you all night. Something is wrong with Buffy,” Giles desperately hoped that Faith was still nearby in Buffy’s body.
“I know. It’s a body switching spell,” Willow replied with a proud tone in her voice.
“How on earth did you figure that out?” Giles was frustrated that he seemed to be out of the loop for this important situation as well. Did Spike know everything before he did?
“Oh. Well, my friend Tara can read auras a-and we ran into her at the Bronze. And she was not acting like herself at all, so we did this really neat spell to find out where she was and I found that she had switched bodies with Faith.” She let out in a rush.
“Very well, I suppose you should come over right away and we’ll set about rectifying the situation.”
“Got it covered Giles, I’ll be over as soon as I can. We just have to find Buffy, and Faith.”
“Well that should prove to be a bit more difficult I imagine,” Giles was interrupted by the sound of his door opening.
Faith’s body walked into the door.
Giles did a quick double take, trying to keep a level head about the situation, knowing that it was Buffy standing before him, not Faith.
“Buffy?” he questioned carefully.
“Wow, I thought this would take a lot longer to explain,” Buffy sighed, “I was preparing to go through memory lane to prove it was me.” She cocked her head to the side questioningly.
“Yes, well, I was informed of the situation last night, you wouldn’t believe who told me, and well I spoke with Willow this morning who confirmed that you and Faith had switched.” Giles made his way into the kitchen, “Tea?”
“No. Who told you? Riley?” Buffy leaned against the counter, before starting to pace the room.
“Um, well, no. Spike told me,” he closed his eyes preparing for the coming outburst.
“Spike? Spike told you? How the hell did he know? Did Faith use my body to-to, ugh! I don’t even want to say it,” Buffy had stopped pacing, pleading brown eyes turned on Giles.
“He assured me that he didn’t take any advantage of your... um… predicament,” Giles removed his glasses and started polishing them. “I think we should focus our efforts on finding Faith at the moment Buffy. It is imperative to find her before she leaves the country and you become stuck in her body.”
Shoulders slumping, Buffy let out a deep sigh, “I know you’re right Giles. I’m just so angry at her! We have to find her before she does something totally wigsome with MY body.”
Before either Giles or Buffy could explore the matter further, Willow and Tara came in through the front door.
“Hi Buffy! We come bearing gifts, ah well, a gift,” Willow didn’t even balk at Buffy’s current Faith skin, “Oh! And I would like you to meet Tara. Tara this is Buffy, only really this time.”
“Hi,” the shy blonde waved before looking abruptly over to Willow.
“Tara’s a really powerful witch.”
“Not really,” Tara mumbled, wringing her hands.
“No really. She knew right away that you weren’t you. S-So we connected to the nether-realm to find out what happened and we conjured this.” Willow held out an open box containing a glowing green cube.
“Wh-what is?” Buffy looked at the strange object.
“It’s a Katra, or a home conjured version. It should switch you back. If you can get a hold of Faith,” Willow’s eyes reflected her worry. The new girl Tara looked on with equal worry, but there was an air of calm about her.
“Oh thank God,” Buffy couldn’t say how relieved she was. It was time to hunt down the uber-bitch slut-bomb that was Faith. She couldn’t wait to get her hands, and fists, on her.
The ringing of the phone jolted Buffy into the present.
“Do you know where Faith is?” Buffy asked Willow hopefully.
Willow shook her head, not wanting to acknowledge that she may have sent her Riley’s way.
The news report on TV gave them a reason to mobilize into action and take care of more pressing problems; hopefully they’d find Faith in the process.
End of Part 1
Author's Chapter Notes:
I've had this story hanging around on my computer for a while now and figured that I may as well post it. For those of you waiting for the next update of Finding Hope it shouldn't be too far away. Hope you enjoy and please review!