Easy Silence by MrsTattooedButterfly

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Chapter Notes: Is so very bad at this…This started out as a short Song-Fic Story; but what can I say, I got inspired. Mainly, after listening to the song’s a few times, the story idea popped into my head and just wouldn’t go away, so I finally gave in; and here’s the outcome, a story based on two songs by the Dixie Chicks. (How this happened is so not clear, given that I’m like the ultimate anti-country music fan. Ah, the depths that we fan’s will go to! ;) ) Anyway, the songs and lyrics that I use belong to them and whoever wrote them. This is my version of what could have happened after Buffy rescued Spike from the Cave of the First, and on it goes from there. Enjoy!
This story is based around the Season 7 Episodes “Bring on the Night” and “Show Time”. There will be some use of the dialogue from these two episodes, everything after that will be coming straight from my not-so-normal way of thinking; sorry about it, but my mind tends to work like it’s being run by two Hamsters running on their wheel all jacked up on crack!
“They wanted Spike all along. They were only after Spike. They wanted Spike. Why Spike? They didn’t even come after me, not really, why would they want Spike and leave me alive? They didn’t even try to hurt me let alone kill me, well why the hell not?? I thought that that’s what all things evil wanted…dead Slayer.” All the rest of it, the whole attack was just used to distract us. It was like waving around shiny objects so we’d all just stop and go “Ooh look at that, it’s all shiny!!! How could we have been so stupid? I mean, we really aren’t that mentally challenged are we? I need something to kill, NOW! Those creepy symbol-for-eyes guys really have me damage bound!” Buffy continuing to mutter and yell as she kept ranting and raving, moving back and forth across the living room, stopping every few minutes to throw a punch at a wall.

She hadn’t stopped since they realized that Spike had been taken, which had happened four hours earlier. She was either flailing her arms around, making herself look crazy, or acting determined to tear the parts of the house still standing down by the gaps she’d put in the walls. She’d stopped her muttering just long enough to demand that Willow get started working on a locater spell. None of them, not even Dawn, her own sister, had ever seen her like this. This was going beyond scary. She had never reacted like this before, not over Angel, not when Joyce had died, not even when Glory had taken Dawn. Buffy’s behavior had become frantic and erratic.

Her friends all looked at each other, each knowing that one of them needed to say something to her, maybe try to get her to sit down for a few minutes. They all wanted to help her, do whatever they could to ease the anger she was feeling; but she WAS the Slayer, and it looked like she’d pretty much left sanity a few time zone’s back! All eyes turned to Xander, each of them thinking, but not saying it aloud, that if he could talk down “Hell-Bent-Kill-The-Whole-World-Black-Eyed-Vieny-Willow” then he should be the one to step forward here. After all, he was the one with the experience of talking to extremely pissed off women with super powers.

Giving the rest of the group a look that told them he knew they’d voted for him to be the voice of reason and he wasn’t happy about it, not one single bit! “Uh, Buff you need to calm down. I know that you’re angry, and you have every right to be, b-b-bu-bu-but how about coming over here and sitting down? How were we supposed to know that they could even tell which one was Spike, ya know, with the whole no-eyes-no-see look they’ve got going on.” Xander stated calmly as he watched Buffy, seeing that she was just getting herself even more worked up with every passing minute. He loved his friend, really he did, but he had no idea why she was so upset. “Buffy, come on over here and we’ll talk about everything, OK? The floors going to show through the rug if you don’t stop; and, I really don’t have enough wood here to replace half the flooring. Besides, it’s only Spike, really not seeing the big here!” Xander snidely commented.

Buffy stopped mid-step, turned on her heel, and started stomping towards Xander; the look in her eyes clearly telling everyone that they were now dealing with a seriously pissed off Slayer. Her hands were now clenched into fists at her side, and she was fighting to get her breathing under control. Everyone else in the room stopped their own attempts at clean up, unable to turn away from the fight that was about to occur.

“Just what the hell do you mean by that Xander? It’s only Spike? How can you say that? Angry? You think I’m angry? That the only reason that I’m angry is because those, those men, those Bringers or whatever the hell they are, broke into my house but didn’t try harder to kill me because they were only keeping us busy so they could get to Spike in the basement and take him away??!!” Buffy screamed at Xander, furious that he thought that she was just angry, furious that he couldn’t understand for one second that she was hurting. Hurting because she was terrified of what might happen to Spike while he was in the hands of The First, and feeling guilty because her family and friends were once again in danger because of her. Once again, she’d formed an attachment to yet another dangerous vampire. And because she knew only too well what that attachment might end up costing her.

Turning her back on the now stuttering Xander, Buffy continued to replay her last moments with Spike over and over again in her mind, as she resumed her erratic pacing. “I believe in you, Spike.” That’s what she had told him, as he was shackled to the wall in the basement, afraid of what he was being made to do. Afraid enough that he’d even asked her to stake him, to kill him, not wanting to risk the chance of being made to harm her or anyone else, already too traumatized by what he’d done while under the control of The First. She had seen the horrified look on his face the second he realized what he had done and what he was about to do. If only the other’s had seen him, saw his penance as she had then they would understand why finding and getting him back was so important. She also wished that they could see the caring misunderstood man that he was; he was so much more than “just Spike” or “just a Vampire”. Spike had become the only constant in her life; he truly was the one that never went away, not even when she’d wanted him to. Now she was being forced to admit that she did not want for him to not be there, that she needed and wanted him in her life, even if she was only admitting that to herself. Catching a look at a now purple-faced Xander, Buffy now knew that she was going to have to spell her choices out very carefully, and while she felt that they deserved that much, she still bristled at the way her friends’ opinions were always being forced upon her.

Taking a deep breath, she turned facing Dawn and her friends. “Listen guys, I know that my decision to find and rescue Spike is not what you want me to do, but I have to, I just cannot leave him in the hands of those monsters! I’m going to find him and bring him home!”

“Home?? Those monsters?? Buff, have, when you lost your mind? Spike IS a monster!! He was right back to killing just days ago, did you forget what he did to you last year! After all that, how can you even say the words rescue, Spike and home in the same sentence? He’s a killer, Buffy, and if you bring him back into this house he will finally get his third Slayer!! You should be thinking of ways to get rid of him, once and for all, not spending your time trying to think up a rescue plan!!!” Xander all but yelled at Buffy as he kept moving closer and closer towards her, until he was almost nose to nose with the furious Slayer, not even noticing just how dangerous a move it could be; he was, as usual, thinking that it was up to him to remind her of her duties and how she should think and act.

Buffy was livid over the way she was being talked to! How could she ever forget that she’s the Slayer, or that it was her duty, her job, her birthright to slay vampires? Did they not realize that she thought of that every single time that she looked into Spike’s face? Of course she knew what she was supposed to do, but the fact that she could never bring herself to actually do it, not even when chance after chance presented itself. But she couldn’t actually say that Spike was a normal ordinary vampire, he had always been different, right from the start, the very first time she’d seen him she had known that there was something different about him; and she had been drawn to him because of it, yes she’d used his telling her that he loved her to have an excuse to finally be with him like she’d always fantasized about; only to end up hating herself for using him, never being willing to admit to him that, like him, she had feelings for him as well. Feeling the pain that always accompanied those thoughts and memories, she pushed those thoughts away, focusing on the very annoying and angry friend who was in her face.

“Listen to me very carefully Xander, ‘cause I’m only going to explain this once so heaven help you if you don’t get it! My past with Spike is just that, in the past and mine!!!! This is my house, Dawn’s house, YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE!!!!! You do not get to have a choice on who is invited to be here!! You don’t like who’s here, there’s the door, use it! And for the last time, I do not need you to tell me what my job or duties are! Believe me; I know who and what I am, so for the last time, stop trying to tell me how to live my life! If I chose to rescue Spike, then it’s a choice that I’ve made knowing what that choice could mean for me, good or bad! I love you Xander, I love all of my friends, and I know that I’m going to need each and every one of you in the days ahead; but I will not allow you to second guess my decisions or to make them for me. A battle is coming and I have to prepare for it. That includes who I feel is needed and who is not, I know that I won’t be able to do this on my own, and I know that it’s a lot to ask of you despite what we’ve been through together in the past, so if you want to stay and help you’ll be greatly needed, if not there’s the door.” Stepping back, Buffy made it clear just how much she’d meant what she had said by the way she was standing. She loved her friends dearly, but would no longer bow to their wishes, giving up what she wanted, desired, and needed for her own happiness just to keep them pleased with her.

Looking around at everyone in the room, Buffy knew that her words had not only been heard but fully understood as well. Dawn was the only one who looked pleased with what she had heard, and for that Buffy was grateful. Having talked with Dawn about what had happened with Spike, telling her everything about the relationship that they had had, telling her the entire story had helped with her being understanding about what had happened and why Spike had left.

Buffy knew that her friends would try to corner her and attempt to get her to go along with their way of thinking, which made Giles’ sudden and unexpected arrival with the Potential Slayers the perfect diversion; her friends wouldn’t dare interfere with the situation that had accompanied her watcher and the news that he had for them. The only act that could be a real threat to her plan was the very likely possibility that they would go behind her back to talk to Giles about what they felt she was doing wrong. Let them, she finally decided, if that happened then she’d finally know for sure what mattered most to them; saving a man that had fought beside them, saving their lives, protecting them when she couldn’t, or making sure that they stopped her from doing something that they felt was “wrong” .

As she half-heartedly listened to what Giles was saying she was silently praying that Spike was alright. She tried to remember everything that had happened when The First had made Angel its plaything; all she was sure of was that it had no real form, no body, and that it couldn’t make any physical contact. Buffy was sure that Spike would be O.K., he couldn’t be harmed not physically at least, the strain that he would undergo emotionally could very well be devastating. More than that, it could very well prove to finally be his undoing, tearing the fragile hold he had on his remaining sanity to shreds.

Buffy’s chest clenched, like someone had a hold of her heart, trying to crush the life from her. The possibility that she might lose Spike, in more ways than one, was forcing what she felt for him rushing through her heart and soul. Once again Spike was being punished because of her, because of his love for her. After what he had gone through at the hands of Glory, the torment he had suffered keeping her secret safe, protecting her Dawnie. Buffy had vowed that his actions would never be treated as if they were less than they were; in trying to get the information she wanted, Glory had almost killed Spike, and Spike was ready to let himself die if that meant that Dawn would be saved. Then he had stayed, keeping the promise he made to a dead girl, watching over Dawn and her friends. And this is how they wanted to repay him for those actions?

No, No, NO!!! No way in hell she was going to let that happen! Spike deserved better than that. Buffy was close to breaking down again. Buffy was determined to not allow Spike to be betrayed like that, no matter what she had to do, she’d do it, even if it meant that she had to hurt her friends. The way Buffy looked at it, if anyone tried to stop her from rescuing Spike, then they would be betraying her as well. She knew that Spike deserved to love someone much better than her, and better she would be; once she got him back home she would work on being the person who really deserved the love, devotion and loyalty that Spike felt for her.

She had sworn to herself that never again would Spike be harmed or tortured because of her; she had done enough damage to him herself, and she would not let him suffer, not again. Not while she lived and breathed. She would save him, Spike would not be damned again because of her, or who she was, or because he loved her.


Listening to the entity that had assumed Buffy’s form, Spike had to tell himself over and over again that that was not her! She was going to come for him, she believed in him. She said so; he knew that saying something that she didn’t mean was the one thing that the Slayer would never do to him. She would come for him, he knew that she would, and if repeating it over and over kept that fact foremost in his mind then that’s what he’d do. His doing so seemed to brass off the Buffy look-a-like, so that was just an added bonus. Spike knew that it couldn’t touch him, stand there and natter away at him; yeah it could really do that. He found it easier and easier to drown it out, focusing instead on the knowledge that Buffy was coming for him; pushing aside the crippling pain that the prehistoric Vamp kept inflicting on him wasn’t helping him maintain the act of indifference.

The ability to keep track of the days had long since left him; just about everything had left him at this point. There were times when he truly forgot who and where he was, sometimes he thought Hell had finally caught up with him; he knew that he deserved to be there, evil thing that he was surely belonged in Hell. Other times he thought that Buffy really was there, watching as he was tortured, making him pay for what he’d done to her. He would remember that if Buffy wanted him to feel pain then she’d be doing the damage herself, never would his Slayer be content to just sit back and watch. No, if she wanted him beat to a bloody pulp, she’d bloody well be doing the pummeling herself, never would his Slayer let something do her work for her; too bloody stubborn for that, she was.

Eventually Spike would remember being taken away from his beloved Slayer. Remember that he hadn’t lost all his bloody marbles after all; that having Buffy take care of him, talking to him, touching him was not something that he had just dreamt. He would know that she did believe in him, and she would come for him. He just needed to keep reminding himself of that and the next time he awoke to find her standing in front of him, she really would be there. She would be there for him.


Limping into the house proved to be harder than Buffy had originally thought. Realizing that the Potential’s were in the kitchen after she had asked Giles what he thought the creature she had fought truly was wasn’t how she wanted for them to find out, but they were Potential Slayer’s and they would need to know what they were up against. Part of her heart went out to them, they had already had to deal with their Watcher’s being killed, escaping from the Bringer’s, rushed to Sunnydale, and being told that something called The First wanted them all dead. She was glad that they weren’t there for the locator spell that Willow attempted, letting The First flow through her, which was so of the bad with a battle looming and the only person with any power begging not to be made to use it. Andrew, the only one who knew anything at all about the Seal in the school’s basement was turning out to be no help at all; babbling about how The First’s name really didn’t sound all that evil. He’d rambled on and on about things that were of no help at all during the trip to check out the seal, to see if they could find anything specific about it to help with researching its origins.

Dawn had even asked if they could knock him back out once they got home, with much agreement from the others, he was so annoying that Buffy was tempted to let Spike take care of him being “about to be dead” once she got him back home. Honestly, what normal people talked like that? Buffy just had to stop and shake her head at the badness that was the timing of her thought as he and Xander started to sound alike. She kept her sudden case of the giggles under her breath, she thought about the weirdness that was her life.

Buffy didn’t even allow herself to think about the possible badness of the “chance meeting” with Principal Wood back at the basement, where Jonathan’s body had gone, and why Principal Wood had been carrying a shovel were all things left to deal with later. Right now there were just too many things that she needed to focus on; finding Spike and knowing that come sundown that UberVamp was going to be out and about were the most important.

Making it through work that day wasn’t even on her list of priorities, but it still had to be done. Take out the odd conversation that she’d had with Principal Wood and the crazy weird dream she’d had about her Mom and the day wasn’t any worse than normal. What was normal anyway? Not anything she’d ever had or would ever have in her life, no sense spending time she didn’t have on it. Looking around at all those gathered she really started to question her ability to protect them all; but it wasn’t like she had any choice, with Faith in prison she was the only Slayer, and totally on her own.

Buffy turned her attention to Kennedy, listening to the very irritating girl state her case on why they should have weapons, finding herself agreeing with her; that UberVamp, the Turok-Han, was going to be making a bee-line straight for them when the sunset in just a few moments time. Ignoring Andrew’s plea’s to be untied and given a weapon, she hears him going on about how technically he never was good, hears the ropes squeak as he struggles with them, then that they itch. Telling Dawn and Willow to give the girls whichever weapon they wanted, she turns to Giles, asking about the time they had left, talking about how everyone knows that she’s the one calling the shots, despite her fear that she may not be making the right ones; then she’s blindsided hearing that one of the Potential’s has left the house, running who knows where except toward the dangers of the night.

The Turok-Han had already killed Annabelle by the time Buffy found her. Sadness fills her as she looks at the girls broken body, but before she can even think about picking her up to take her back home, she’s sent flying towards the ground from the unseen blow delivered by the Turok-Han. Having experienced the creature’s strength, Buffy knew that being alive the next day wasn’t a guarantee. Even though Giles’ reassurance that the creature was a Vampire, it was stronger and more dangerous than any she’d ever faced before. Angelus at his worst was a mere Fledge compared to this primordial monster. Knowing that her blows wouldn’t have much of an effect on it, and having staked it once already with it still non-dusty Buffy knew that the only hope she had of survival was to run; hopefully either outrunning it or successfully hiding from it.

Trying to fight the creature, her attempts once again faze it no more than water sliding off a duck’s back. Punches, kicks, everything she throws at it is either blocked or shrugged off. Trying to stay conscious after being picked up and slammed onto the pavement, the creature picks her back up, placing its clawed hands around her neck. Buffy, struggling for air does the only thing she can think of, she spits in its face and limping/running heads into the warehouse, looking for a spot where she might be able to hide from it just long enough to regain some of her strength. Managing to get behind it long enough to swing a pipe at its head, hitting it but not stopping it, Buffy does her best to protect herself as she’s punched, kicked, and thrown across the room. Trying to bury it underneath a pile of metal beams fails to stop it longer than a few seconds, covering her face as it springs up, sending lengths of metal flying all around. As she tries again to get away from it, it quickly catches up with her, picking her up and throwing her through a wall of solid concrete, which falls all around her, along with the roof the wall was holding up. As the blackness creeps in Buffy looses consciousness.

Spike could feel himself begin to heal finally, the monster had left some time before and with only being forced to listen to the ramblings of whomever the entity transformed into, Spike’s preternatural healing had began. His sense’s were telling him that it was night again, and for one of the few times in his existence Spike was glad to be a Vampire, because if not then he would have no way of knowing anything while trapped in the darkened cave.

He was torn from his thoughts as the shrill voice of Drusilla demanded that he pay attention to her. He knew that it wasn’t really Dru, but damned if it didn’t sound like her. Feeling in no mood to answer questions, regardless of who was asking them, he decided that if he provoked it enough then it just might leave him be for a while. Hell, he’d rather the creature be back to beating him senseless, but no, “Dru” wanted to talk. Looking at her, knowing it wasn’t her, he began to wonder how he’d ever thought her to be the most beautiful being that he had ever or would ever see. He looked like he was paying attention to her, letting his thoughts wander, going back to his thoughts of Buffy, when the mention of her name caused him to snap to attention.

“Do you know where my lovely friend has gone to my William?” The face and voice of Drusilla asked him.

“Don’ really give a damn, Dru. Jus’ bloody bugger off! Go an' prattle away at some other bloke, would ya? Bloody tired of listening to you.”

“Now now, my prince, none of that. Being naughty will not get you what you want, not always any way. Good little boys do have that bothersome knack of rushing in to save the day, the fair maiden, the kittens and puppies. My poor, poor Prince, he’s gone all weak; listened to the nasty Sunshine he did, now he thinks he can be a good little boy when everything in him screams for him to crash and bash and paint the walls red with the blood he spills. Nasty Sunshine doesn’t want for him to have his party with all of the lovely evil friends that wait patiently in the dirt for their invitations to arrive. I can see them, lying in the dirt, squirming, waiting to force themselves up with a wriggle and a squiggle and lovely giggles. Remember how much you used to love good wriggles and squiggles, my William? Your lovely giggles used to ring out for all to hear and fear, do you remember my sweet? Do you remember how your giggles used to wrap around me, coiling and boiling like a pretty snake? Oh, how they used to ring out around me; they’d ring and ring and ring.”

“Oh yeah, I ‘member; ‘member you fucking Angelus right b‘fore my eyes while I was stuck in that bloody wheelchair. ‘Member the two of you giggling like the blasted nutters that you really are. Off your bleeding rocker you are, always was, always nattering away ‘bout nothin’ all the damned bloody time. Bloody Hell! If you’re gonna kill me, bloody get on with it already and shut the hell up!”

“Tsk tsk. Bad prince, need to be taught a lesson, you do my William. Don’t you remember how we used to have all of those lovely lessons? You were always so good to Princess, chaining me up and leaving all those pretty bloody stripes all over my body, Princess was always good at not learning her lessons.”

“You are not her, not Drusilla. You’re not Dru.”

“No, I’m not, not at all.”

“I know; she’s crazier than you.”

“Bad Daddy needs to learn to respect his betters’. Bad, bad Daddy, he’ll learn to be nice to Princess or he’ll be taught a bright painful lesson and oh what fun that would be. We’ll teach him lessons for years and years; for hundreds and thousands of years. Or, if he’s not very careful about what spills from his lips, his darling Sunshine will be punished; how yummy she will taste, so very yummy she will be as I’ll lap at the blood that pours from the slices I’ll leave on her body. ”

“Drusilla? My dark Princess? My sweet wicked pet?”

“Yes my sweet Prince, my lovely Daddy?”

“You can’t hurt her, your cave-vampire can’t hurt her; she’s better than you, stronger, faster, the best Slayer there’s ever been. Lot of big words commin’ from you, what were you gonna do, talk her to death? Maybe you were plannin’ on annoying her till she up and kills herself, cause that’s the only way to beat her. Done listening to you. Is just gonna lay here and nap till the Slayer shows up to fetch me. So whatever the bloody hell you are, jus’ bugger off and get bent!”

“Better? When will you start to listen? My ferocious pet is gone after her as we speak, and when he’s killed her and everyone with her I will be able to enter the body of anyone that I chose to, man, woman, child, human or demon. My power will be beyond limits, there will be no obstacles remaining, I will rule over this dimension and its feeble people as easily as I can appear before you now. Or, if I so chose, I can keep her alive trapped between life and death; alive for eons, everyday spent as my whipping girl, not allowed to die nowhere to escape to. While you are forced sit by and watch, unable to do anything watching as she suffers as a human, not having the protection of being a demon, in hell come to earth. Keep that in mind as you sit, flinging your insignificant insults at the most powerful entity of this realm, know that as you further damn the Slayer, her family, friends, those foolish peons flocking to her for protection, damn them all to suffer.”

For the first time since being taken from the Summers’ house, Spike felt fear. He may not know exactly what the thing wearing Buffy’s body was but as a general rule when anything that has the power to look like anyone it chose to, knowing everything about the person whom it looked liked, seriously pissing it off is on top of the “DON’T EVER FUCKING DO THAT” list regardless of whose side you're on. You never took chances that huge when it came to a loved one’s life, and in his stupidity, he’d gone and done exactly that, risking the lives of the only two people left on the earth that he truly cared about.

Bloody Hell, why can’t I ever control the words that go flying out of my mouth? Spike wondered. Deciding to keep good and quiet for a while, he carefully looked over the Dru look “ a “ like, and buggering fuck was she livid. He’d experienced an irate Drusilla more times than he could count during their many years together, but he had never seen her as livid as her look “ a “ like was at that exact moment.

The knowledge of just how great a risk his stupidity had placed not only Buffy but Dawn along with whomever just might happen to be with them tonight had Spike cursing his un-healed body, feeling completely useless was not only an uninvited and unasked for feeling, as no matter how dire his circumstances’ might be he was always able to fight his way out of trouble, helplessness was never felt by this Vampire nor was it wanted. Plotting, thinking, planning were not actions that he, given his hatred of idleness and inability to be patient, with his bolt from the blue attitude and spur of the moment spontaneous impulsive nature, had never really mastered. “Not a big thinker”, that’s how he’d described himself many times throughout his 120 odd plus year existence. Not that he couldn’t take the time to form a plan, think it out, plot it out, then follow it, because while he could, normally he chose not to. But not this time, oh no, this time he was going to have to use his brain for a change; the well educated mind he had acquired before his transformation along with the wealth of knowledge that he had accumulated since was going to be put to use.

Buffy and Dawn were the only two people left that he thought of as family, or even wanted as family, and he was going to find a way to get out of where he was and help them. That’s what he did; he helped Dawn and didn’t leave Buffy. His love for them knew no bounds, Buffy he loved as the bride he had been unable to find and marry while he was human and Dawn he loved as a daughter or younger sister, the desires to comfort and protect were almost uncontrollable. Dawn’s being angry with him and that their friendship was on strained and rocky ground of late did not matter, and Buffy’s not being in love with him and only being kind to him simply because she felt sorry for him and trying to help him did not alter how he felt. If there was something he could do, or as the case may be, not do that would either help or save them then he would do whatever was necessary, damn the personal consequences. No way in hell was he going to allow them to be harmed in any way, not while he was still walking, or limping as the case now was, may be. If he had to dust to save them or to keep them out of harm’s way then so be it, he would gladly give up his existence if it meant that they would remain in theirs, he would gladly push and pull, crawl or drag himself into the path of the rays of the next sunrise.

Once again “Dru” was talking about Buffy and remembering that he did not have a single clue about whatever it was she had be saying about Buffy earlier he knew that this time he needed to stay his opinions, keeping them along with his thoughts to himself and focus on what Dru was saying about the Slayer. But when had he ever had the ability to follow even the most clear, clever and well thought out plan when it had even a smidgen of a dust particle to do with the Slayer? He reasoned that as long as “It” was being forced to focus on him was going to be time well spent if it meant that in no way could it have anything to do with the current wellbeing of his Bit and Buffy. No matter what it’s ghostly-self was, as long all of its energy and attention was aimed at him then there was no way possible that it could give orders to the vampire that time forgot.

“Are you sure that you’re really no’ Dru?’Cause you sure as hell could be prattlin’ on the way you are. Are you actually sayin’ anythin’ important or are you yammerin’ away jus’ so you can hear yourself speak? Deeply in love with the sound of your own voice, aren’ ya?” Spike slung at her, hoping to get her sidetracked, keeping both her anger and focus on him rather than his Bit and the Slayer.

“I think that my pet has hit you in the head one too many times if your now thinking that I am Drusilla, but either way be it brain damage or hallucinations, the end result is the same; your worried and afraid, both of which being very good things in my book, not that I actually have a book as taking the time to either A) squander away the time to find one or write one would just simply be a waste of my very valuable and precious time and B) allow anything to take away from the immeasurable amount of pleasure that I receive from watching and having you punished. But either way it’s of no importance, and Oh! now you look all confused, how wonderful!”

Dropping Drusilla’s very dainty and all over the place voice while maintaining her form, the First started flinging comments and questions at a now very befuddled and panicky Vampire. As amusing as stepping into the many idiosyncrasies inherent to the peculiar, unhinged and traumatized mind of Drusilla was, speaking only in riddles’, whose only objectives were to constantly keep the other party of the conversation irritated and annoyed over never being able to understand what exactly was being said, which placed most individuals into a stake first ask questions later state of mind. Angelus had so meticulously fractured her mind that even Drusilla herself was very seldom aware of anything that she actually said, lucidity slithering through her grasp more times than not, the meaning of the words as unfamiliar to her now as the feeling of her heart beating within her chest.

“Seriously Spike, you need to listen and keep up, because honestly having to stop every few minutes in order to drag your attention back to me and therefore having trouble telling you about how my pet is in all probability removing the Slayer’s limbs as if she were a fly with wings.” “Dru” calmly explained to a now anxious and fearful Spike.

“You fear for her, as well you should. I want her dead, and my pet will kill her. Her broken body will be under my feet when the time comes for the transition to my next plane of existence; She will be under my feet as I truly stand for the first time, so I can feel her bones crunch as I walk over her. Be very fearful Spike, because that do-gooder bitch has escaped death for the last time. She will not escape the sharp claws of my pet, no she shall not! The Slayer will die, because you see, I desire it.” “Dru” ground out angrily.

The form of Drusilla changed in the blink of an eye into a carbon copy of Spike himself. To see himself standing there with his patented sardonic smirk was extremely unsettling for Spike. Spike had not seen his own face in the mirror for over a century, and could have only guessed at what he must look like now; but Spike was coming to realize that guessing and knowing were two vastly different things. Never before had he fully understood just how sinister he looked with his marble skin, ice-cold blue eyes, hair bleached almost as white as his skin, entire body encased in tight black leather. His outward appearance matched the horrifying and brutally depraved demon which inhabited his body. Looking upon the terrifying sight of his own self, Spike had to wonder how the kind-hearted and loving Buffy had ever looked beyond the shell and found the true man within. And Spike wanted her to love him. How could she possibly love a monster such as him? A monster he was, she was right about that, an evil monster is what she had called him countless times during their time together and that’s exactly what he was. Hearing footsteps he looked up, terror running through his body at the sight of the cave-vampire, covered in blood…Slayer’s blood, walking towards him.

“Ah, my pet has returned to me, and from the smell of him it seems that he found himself a pretty little blonde girl to tear apart. Did you enjoy making her bleed her, pet? ‘Course you did! What else would the pet of the “Slayer of Slayers” do? Didn’ go an’ kill her, did ya? ‘Course not! That’s the Big Bad’s job it is! I plan to find her, make her neck my chalice, and drink deep. Do you mind if I quote you? Oh, don’ bother answerin’, don’ really want one, jus’ like to hear myself speak you see.”

Spike watched as his clone swaggered over to him, crouching down and looking him straight in the eyes, cocking his scared eyebrow up as he paused to light a cigarette, then once again looking him in the face. Forcing himself to glare back, he secretly hoped that his doppelganger did not also know how very worried he was for his Slayer, how the smell of her blood sent caused his non-beating heart to clench. Spike’s last conscience thought was praying that Buffy was still alive and he watched “himself” rise and move away from him as the cave-vampire came forward, swinging his fist as he moved. Thankfully, he was knocked out by the first punch, and didn’t have to worry about anything for several long hours.

Buffy lay on her bed, aching from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Why the hell had she run out after Annabelle like that? And by herself? When she knew damned good and well that there was a UberVamp out there just waiting for her. She knew that she was the Slayer, and therefore more able and better equipped to take care of herself, but Hell’s Bell’s, why did she continue to put herself into harm’s way unnecessarily like she did, not like she’s invincible or anything. Buffy knew that she really didn’t have much of an excuse for complaints though; she had gotten herself into this mess all by her little bitty self, after all.

Deep down, she was just thankful to be alive and amazed that she was, after what had to be the worst beating she’d ever taken as the Slayer. In the past she had admitted to herself that Spike had been right, like he always was, she did have a death wish. Not that she courted death; no she just wanted to escape everything that went along with her being the Slayer. She had lost track of the countless times she had cursed fate, the Powers That Be, God, anyone or anything she could think up at that exact moment. She had been so angry for so very long. How many times had she shouted at the heavens demanding to know why they’d had to pick her and ruin her life! The life of The Chosen One was not a life she would wish onto anyone, she grieved deep in her soul for the Potentials that were somewhere in her home, that anyone of them have to live like this was unconscionable.

But, at the same time, she knew from past experiences that there was nothing that could force her to give up being the Slayer. Having and then losing the strength to fight all that goes bump in the night was one of her worst memories. Is her strength a blessing or a curse? She’d never really decided, but time after time Spike had thrown those “stop lying about it, you enjoy being the Slayer” barbs at her until she’d been forced to admit that, yet again, Spike was right. Why he had the ability to crawl inside her head, knowing not just everything about her, but how she really felt about it all, she’d never understand. Out of everyone in her life why was he the one that could see the truth about her, forcing her to finally admit all of those things to herself?

Why did getting beaten to within an inch of your life always make you re-evaluate the choices you’d made? Buffy did not want to think about all that had gone wrong with her life, the things that if given the opportunity she would go back and change in a second, if only to stop others from going through the pain that they had. She was the Slayer; pain had always and would always be a part of living. Buffy did not want to think about anything anymore, not about the people in her house, not about the evil that they were facing, she especially did not want to think about what Spike might be going through.

The only good that came from almost being killed by a historic monster was that when your friends and family put you into bed, they and everyone else left you alone, to either sleep through it or to not have to deal with it themselves. Sleep sounded so wonderful right now, she longed for the sweet oblivion of sleep, but thanks to whoever had been in her room before her rushing out and not turning the CD player off, she had to listen to the same songs over and over. Threatening people with bodily harm was great, only when you could back up those threats though, which Buffy could not.

Hoping to compel herself to sleep, Buffy relaxed and actually started listening to the songs that were repeatedly playing. As she lie there, one song resonated with her, taking her thoughts back to when her mother had been sick and Spike had been there for her.

Dawn realized that it had been several hours since anyone in the house had even heard a peep of a sound from Buffy; she went upstairs to check on her. that no one else had even thought of doing so greatly annoyed her, they were living in their house after all, least they could do would be to make sure that Buffy remained able to protect them. Deciding that some people were just hopeless, Dawn walked quietly into her sister’s room. Seeing Buffy curled up sobbing her eyes out shocked the younger Summers’ girl. Not really knowing what to think, let alone say, Dawn jumped on the first thing that caught her attention.

“Oh Buffy. The music is too loud, isn’t it? Why didn’t you say something? We didn’t even notice that Vi had left it playing when we tucked you in. Do you know which one Vi is? Doesn’t really matter though, so don’t feel bad, you’ll know who everyone is soon enough. All I can say is you’d better enjoy having a room all to yourself while you can, and please don’t fuss at me cause your all damaged and stuff. I do know things, even if you and everyone else thinks I’m just a kid.” Dawn muttered softly under her breathe as she watched her battered and bruised sister roll over to face her.

“Dawnie, sit with me, will you? Why are you looking at me like that? Even the Slayer needs a good cry every now and then, you know? Ok, so I suck at being cheerful right now, sit with me anyway?” Buffy tried to smile but couldn’t.

“What’s wrong Buffy? Why are you crying?” Dawn rarely saw her sister cry, not even when she thought she should.

“I’m just thinking, Dawnie. About everything. Spike. Mom. How comforting Spike was when Mom got sick and how much I needed and wanted that comfort. Do you remember the night Mom went into the hospital? Duh, Buffy, of course you do. Anyway, Spike and I had this huge fight that day, he and Harmony kidnapped Riley’s doctor, tried to get him to remove the chip, then he tried to kill me… again. What I never told anyone, was that later that night Spike came here to the house, with a shotgun. He found me sitting out on the back porch, crying, instead of taking advantage of it, he asked me what was wrong. All I said was that “my Mom was sick” and just kept on crying. He didn’t say anything else; he just sat down next to me and let me cry. We sat there together for hours, enjoying this comfortable silence with each other. It was so strange, even went he wanted me dead Spike was always a soothing presence in my life. I know he loved me even then, I could feel it, he just didn’t know it.” Buffy had not felt such a sense of peace since, not really wanting to think about her time in heaven again, she just quickly thought that it had been a very long time. Now that she had started, the urge to unburden herself was just too great. Dawnie would listen and be understanding that Buffy was sure of, and maybe she could even help to repair the relationship between her and Spike.

“I was so horrible to him, Dawnie. I know that you think that I told you everything over the summer, but I didn’t, I just could not tell you how cruel I was to him, I still wanted you to look up to your big sister. Now I know that if I ever want you to be proud of me ever again, I have to tell you the entire truth, nothing left out. I’m going to tell you everything that you should know, so you can know exactly how your sister treated the vampire that you look to as a brother. I need for you to understand that he would never have even thought of doing what almost happened that night if I hadn’t been so damned stubborn.” Buffy was grasping Dawn’s hands in her own, clutching them to her chest. Besieged by her tears as she tried to speak clearly, every sentence wracked with sobs.

Dawn was horrified to see her sister like this. Never had she seen Buffy so upset, not over Spike. Hands clasped tightly in Buffy’s, Dawn felt that she needed to try to calm her down.

“Buffy, please don’t do this. I know that things with Spike last year went as bad as they could have. You are my sister; I will always be proud of you, look up to you and love you. I don’t need for you to do this to yourself just to tell me…” Buffy cut Dawn off suddenly, words tumbling from her lips in their haste to be spoken.

“No, Dawnie. You do not know, and how you’ll ever be proud of me again after I tell you I don’t know. But I’m going to tell you, not for me but for you. You and Spike. The two of you had such a wonderful friendship, you always knew that he would never hurt you, that he’d take care of you and be there for you when you needed him. I let that be taken from you and I’ll never be able to apologize enough for it, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it go on any more. Just listen, Dawnie.” Looking her baby sister in the eyes, Buffy got ready to tell her what she had sworn to never tell anyone. Well she was tired of trying to be perfect for everyone else. Taking a deep breath, she drifted back through her memories.

“Spike was exactly what I did not want to want. The perfect bad boy, the one all mothers warn their daughters against. I was drawn to him, from the very first time I saw him, though because of what I thought I had with Angel, I told myself that he was just a monster. No more no less. To think of Spike as just anything isn’t possible, you tell him he can’t do something and he’s just going to try all the harder. He drives me crazy, he’s stubborn and offensive and without a doubt the most caring man I’ll ever meet. Giles told me that demons couldn’t love, and after Angelus made his appearance I let myself be convinced that that was the truth. I knew that was a lie, one of the first times I went up against Spike, I held a stake to Dru’s heart telling him to let all the other people trapped in that place go or she was going to be dust. And what did he do? He let them all go, to save her from me. Ironic, I know. Not the first time he would make a bargain with me just to save her. Time and time again, I thought to myself, if that’s not love then what is? Spike has done more to prove that he is capable of love than anyone else I know.”

“See, Dawnie, here’s the real problem with me and Spike… he makes me feel… everything. He makes me feel everything that I don’t want to feel. He always has. I always thought it was just part of the whole Vampire Slayer gig, the wanting to, you know; beat him up all the time. Then I thought that I just wanted to beat him up all the time because he annoyed me so damn bad! And then it happened. We kissed. We kissed while we were beating each other bloody and flinging insults at each other, and it was the best kiss I’d ever had. It was full of anger, heat, desire and passion. That one kiss made me realize why I’d been fighting with Spike the way I had for so many years.”

“I wasn’t just fighting with Spike, I was fighting Spike. I’d wondered once how a “normal relationship” got its fire, but I never stopped to wonder why I even wanted normal. I’m the Slayer, normal is never going to be in my life, and I don’t want it to be. Normal boyfriends cheat and walk out on you when you need them the most. Your Vampire lover won’t leave even if you try to make him, no matter how many times you scream it at him. And I slowly realized that I really didn’t want normal. I wanted the fire, the heat and passion. Spike was all of these things.” Buffy kept right on rambling, never seeing how strangely Dawn was looking at her.

“Spike loves me like no other man has or will. For a long while I was afraid that all I enjoyed was his pain, the pain that I caused him, because our fights thrilled me. We trashed his crypt so many times fighting, reaching out, more often than not, to hit rather than to love. He would tell me how much he loved me, I would hit him while I screamed how much I hated him, how I would never be his girl, how I couldn’t trust him enough to really want him, only to end up in his bed with him. All I told him was no, no I didn’t love him I only wanted him, no… no…no; that’s all I said to him and I wonder why he didn’t believe me that night in the bathroom. I was always telling him no, only because I was afraid to say yes.”

“ I thought all that I was in love with was the way he listened to me, the attention he lavished on me, the great sex and the escape from of all Slayer duties that being with him granted me.”

“Wait Buffy, you’re in love with Spike? You love Spike? Like in love with him love him?” Dawn jumped on the one little detail that Buffy hadn’t really explained. Dawn loved her sister and she still loved Spike too. She had thought for years that the two belonged together and had been ecstatic when they’d started acting like a couple, despite having to hear the rest of the gang moan and groan about it.

“Wha? Huh? D-D-D-Da-Dawnie I never said that!” Buffy stuttered out in shock.

“Yes, Buffy, you did. You said that “you thought all you was in love with” then you talked about some stuff I really don’t want to think about, cause EWW!” Dawn fired back at her sister, grinning as she saw the “I’m so busted” look appear on Buffy’s face.

“I did?” Buffy asked in a very small voice.

“Yup, you did. It’s ok Buffy, Spike totally loves you and you should love him back. He’s good for you.” Dawn advised sagely.

Taken aback by what she had inadvertently admitted, shocked even further by Dawn’s readily acceptance of it, if it were true, Buffy sat dumb-struck. She loved Spike. She did. She was in love with Spike. She, Buffy Summers the Vampire Slayer was in love with Spike, William the Bloody, the Vampire. She’d loved him for a very long time. What if it was too late, what if they couldn’t make it work after everything that had happened? Could she love him whole-heartedly? Could she forgive herself if she didn’t give it a try? Knowing only that she had to try.

Hearing the song that had taken her back to the night she and Spike had sat out on the back steps while she cried worried over her Mom start to play again, Buffy just wanted to be still and listen to it once more as she thought about everything.

“Listen to this song with me Dawnie. It reminds me so much of Spike.”

When the calls and conversations
Accidents and accusations
Messages and misperceptions
Paralyze my mind

Busses, cars and airplanes leaving
Burning fumes of gasoline
And everyone is running
And I come to find a refuge in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It’s okay when there’s nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Monkeys on the barricades
Are warning us to back away
They form commissions trying to find
The next one they can crucify

And anger plays on every station
Answers only make more questions
I need something to believe in
Breathe in the sanctuary in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It’s okay when there’s nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Children lose their youth too soon
Watching war made us immune
And I’ve got all the world to lose
But I just want to hold on to the

Easy silence that you make for me
It’s okay when there’s nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

The easy silence that you make for me
It’s okay when there’s nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

The two sisters sat curled around each other, thoughts of the blonde Vampire in both of their minds, letting the words of the song wash over them.

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