Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: Spike, Buffy and company aren’t mine. I just like to play with other people’s toys. I promise to return them happier than they were when I borrowed them. A few of my favorite lines from “Intervention” follow. They were just too good to leave out. (All these years later, I still snicker over the Buffybot.) No copyright infringement is intended. I’d appreciate any comments/suggestions you may have. Thanks for reading. ‘Single quotes are thoughts’. I've reworked all chaps.

Chapter 1 – Deadly Pet

Buffy fumed as she marched across town towards the cemetery that held Spike’s crypt. Her stride was militant, her arms pumping powerfully. She was angry with herself for not dusting him long ago. “Why didn’t I ever stake that annoying menace?” she punched her fist through the air, simulating the neglected duty. She’d been kidding herself, believing he was harmless. “What was I thinking?! I knew better than that! Why didn’t I consider what would happen if our enemies ever caught him?...Why didn’t I just do my job?” She struggled to turn her thoughts inward, reluctantly admitting that she wasn’t big on self-examination, and searched for the reason he was still among the walking dead.

Spike’s soulful blue eyes and charming smile flashed before her, and Buffy’s clenched fists loosened. Her footsteps eventually slowed as the unthinkable forced its way into her head and refused to be brushed off. Finally she shook her head and admitted to herself, ‘O.K. So he’s hot, but...No! I don’t have feelings for him...No, that’s impossible. I don’t, do I? I?!?...ewww!...I do?...gah!’

Mind and body stalling in shock, she stared blankly ahead for several seconds. Finally Buffy shook her head and for the first time, allowed herself to consciously consider Spike’s physical attributes. His deep blue eyes...Mmm, she loved them. They were so expressive, liquid and warm as he smiled at her, or icy and frozen when he was angry. Somehow he had always been able to see inside her with those blue eyes, understanding her better than anyone else, better than she understood herself. Those eyes infuriated her as often as not, they were too knowing, it wasn’t fair that he should be so knowing. Vamps should be clueless.

His hair...who would ever have thought that bleached blonde hair could be sexy on a man? What was with him plastering it down like he did, anyway? Her fingers itched to run through those sternly controlled locks and rumple them into unruly curls. ‘He prob’ly keeps his hair pasted down like that just to tempt me to mess it up!’ She grumped.

Thoughts of running her fingers through his hair brought fantasies of tracing her fingers over the sharp angles of his cheekbones. She sighed just thinking of them, so beautiful. From his cheekbones Buffy mentally ran her hands down the ripple and flow of his hard muscles. Her first glimpse of his sculptured pecs and abs through a torn shirt had fascinated her. Repeatedly she’d caught herself ogling him on the sly as they cleaned their wounds after patrolling. She had to concentrate not to be distracted by his body’s magnificence as they fought...and his arms...she’d always been a sucker for a good pair of muscular masculine arms. ‘Heh, tongue twister there - muscular masculine man – no,’ she groaned. ‘Not man! Monster!...O.K., fine. Muscular masculine monster,’ Buffy squabbled with herself.

She closed her eyes and sighed over her foolishness, which brought Spike’s lips to her mind. His upper lip, so beautifully shaped, the lower one full and tempting. They begged her to lick and taste them, to test their softness with her own. Floundering in the memory of those lips pressed passionately to hers during Willow’s ‘My will be done’ spell last year; she longed to feel them again, to thrill in the thrust of his tongue in her mouth.

Oh, and she couldn’t forget his hands! Those cool, talented hands, stroking and molding her, had sent tremors through her entire body, and yet again caused warmth to pool in her core as she remembered their touch. Those lethal hands had been so tender during Willow’s spell; would be so tender now, if only she let him...oh, why hadn’t the spell lasted long enough for him to get her into bed then, when she’d have had a good excuse...’

“Oh my God!” Buffy cried, appalled with herself. ‘I’ve done it again! I’ve put my loved ones in danger while I lust after an evil monster!’ Shuddering, she saw visions in her head of Angelus rampaging through Sunnydale while she dithered and bleated over her heartache. Less than an hour ago she’d been protesting adamantly against Xander’s sympathy for Spike losing the Buffybot. She was so out of touch with her feelings that this time around she hadn’t even admitted to herself that she had wanted the bleached fiend; she’d just selfishly kept him like a pet, a deadly pet. She snorted at her self-delusions. “Oh, no, he can’t hurt anyone, he’s impotent now, he can’t even stick to a plan, blah, blah, blah,” the diminutive blonde mocked herself in a high pitched voice, and entered the cemetery, resuming her determined march towards the vampire.

Feeling sick, Buffy faced for the first time the reality that even with his fists tied and his fangs pulled by the chip, he had other weapons at hand. ‘He’s smart and sneaky. Spike knows us; knows both our secrets and our weaknesses. There’s nothing wrong with his brain or his mouth,’ she rebuked herself, ‘He always finds a way to get himself out of sticky situations. He undoubtedly flapped his gums to Glory about everything he knows...all he knows about Dawnie.’ The closer she moved towards his crypt, the more downcast she became. Pulling at her hair she moaned, ‘How can I protect her now? We’ll have to run, but where can we hide that a Hellgod can’t find us?’

Arriving outside Spike’s tomb, Buffy took several deep breaths and forced herself to calm down. She needed to find out exactly what he had told Glory so she could plan their escape. Buffy paced back and forth until her trembling stopped and her breathing evened out. Nervously smoothing the outfit she’d taken off the Buffybot, she rehearsed her strategy; trick him into telling ‘skirt girl’ what he had revealed to Glory; then she’d put him down. Never again would she allow her weakness for dangerous men to interfere with her mission and jeopardize all she held dear. Pasting a perky look on her face to mimic the robot, she pushed the door open and entered the gloomy chamber with a bounce in her step.

Spike lay motionless on top of his sarcophagus. Buffy froze, horrified. Un-breathing, he looked dead, like a corpse that had been run over by a truck. Bruises covered his entire body; his face was so slashed, swollen and discolored that he was barely recognizable. He was unclothed, his torn and bloody shirt draped haphazardly over his loins, as if he had passed out while undressing. His left upper arm was oddly angled, obviously broken. The shoulder on that side lay lower than the other. It was dislocated as well. Cuts and bruising on his wrists showed he had been chained and hung by his hands. Red and purple discolorations, swelling, and deformities covering his rib cage revealed fractures there. A bloody hole was gouged into his chest. Over his left breast a strip of skin had been torn away. None of his wounds were healing.

Staring at the vampire in shock, Buffy’s new resolve to stake him crumbled. Xander had told her that Spike looked thrashed, but she hadn’t imagined anything like this. A deep rage sprang into her heart over Spike being hurt because of her. This was her fault. Glory had beaten and tortured Spike to force him to tell her about the key. Apparently he had resisted long and hard before succumbing. Glory would pay. But she still had to find out what he had told the hag. Ruthlessly Buffy shoved her anger down into a corner of her heart to be indulged later and lightly touched his shoulder with a finger. He groaned, opened his eyes, and cradling one arm against his chest, struggled to sit up.

Channeling the Buffybot, she exclaimed, “Spike, you’re covered in sexy wounds,”

“Yeah, I feel real sexy,” he groaned. Looking at her blearily with the eye that wasn’t swollen completely closed, he asked curiously, “Where you been?”

“I fell down and got confused. Willow fixed me. She’s Gay.” Buffy smiled brightly, hiding her trepidation over his reaction. ‘I should have thought of a better reason for the bot’s tardiness before dealing with him,’ worried Buffy.

His full attention captured, he asked guardedly, “Will fixed you? I thought they’d melt you into scrap.” ‘Odd,’ thought Spike. ‘Can’t see them fixing her and letting her come back to me. What’s the sly little bint up to now?’

“They were confused too.” Then, inspiration striking, she blinded him with a smile. “Do you want to ravage me now?”

His heart tripped, but with pain flaring in every part of his body, the most Spike could work up was a faint grin. He answered softly, “Give us a minute, got some bones need mending.”

‘Whew,’ thought Buffy, ‘close call. Willow fixing the bot was the weak spot in the plan. Luckily he thinks with his dick and the thought of ravaging me sidetracked him. ‘Eww, idiot girl. When have I ever felt lucky to have Spike hot for me? Focus, Buffy.’ “Why did you let that Glory hurt you?”

Sitting motionless in an attempt to decrease the agony of movement, he answered quietly. “She wanted to know who the Key was.”

Buffy immediately turned away and walked towards the door of the crypt, calling over her shoulder, “I can tell her and then you won’t need to...”

His gaze had been following the glide of her skirt over her heart shaped bottom, but at those words Spike burst out anxiously, “No!” then succumbed to a coughing spasm before he could finish, “You can’t, ever. Glory never finds out.”

Buffy turned back and looked at him with a bewildered expression, “Why?”

“Because Buffy, the other, not so pleasant Buffy...anything happened to Dawn, it’d destroy her. ‘Couldn’t live with her being in that much pain. I’d let Glory kill me first, bloody nearly did.”

And with that, Buffy knew they had all misjudged Spike badly. They hadn’t been able see past his being a vampire, couldn’t look beyond the days when he’d tried to kill them. But he had changed, just like he’d told her. He hadn’t betrayed Dawn. She guessed she should have known that he wouldn’t, for he was nothing if not loyal. Spike had stayed with crazy ho bag Drusilla for over a century.

Buffy walked up to him, leaned forward and gently pressed her lips to his swollen and bruised ones, thinking, ‘He says that he loves me. Who am I to judge? He believes it; that’s what matters.’

As their lips touched, shock went through Spike and he knew immediately that it wasn’t the bot kissing him, it was the Slayer. He’d never forget the feel of her lips on his. He pulled away, looking at her incredulously, and after hesitating for a moment asked, “And my robot?”

She backed up several steps and stared at him coldly, disgusted anew at the thought of him making and using an imitation of her. “The robot is gone. It was gross and obscene.”

He attempted to interrupt, but she overrode him with, “That, that thing...It wasn’t even real.” He hung his head in defeat and she stared at him silently for a minute before relenting. Walking back to Spike, she placed her hand under his chin and lifted it to look in his eyes. “What you did for me and Dawn, that was real. I won’t forget it.”

He’d been drowning in a pit of despair, convinced that he had forever buggered any chance with her by having the bot made. It had been one of his all time worst ideas. Her words gave him hope that against all odds, she might forgive him for his stupidity. He stared at her, probing for her thoughts.

Buffy glanced down, uncomfortable with his piercing look, and decided that it was time for a change of topic. Inspecting his injuries more closely, she realized, ‘Your cuts are still oozing. Why aren’t they closing yet?”

He glanced away and responded, “Low on blood; lost too much to heal.” Then he looked at her straight on, raised an eyebrow and asked boldly, “Be a pet and bring me some from the ice box, will you?” He’d always been one to stare defeat in the eye and face it down. ‘Might as well act as you mean to go on, you wanker,’ he chided himself. ‘Contrary little chit is less likely forgive and forget if you grovel.’

Buffy considered him for a moment, debating whether or not to bop him on the nose for his cheek, then deciding that he’d suffered enough for one day, shrugged and walked over to the old fridge. She reflected on the ingenuity Spike had shown in rigging up electricity for the tomb. One thing she’d gotten right. He was smart, really smart. Vampires had a tendency to live the lifestyle of their own time period. Not Spike. He learned new technology as it developed and adapted with the times. She pulled out a bag of ‘AB Negative’. Staring at it, she murmured without thinking, “My blood will do a better job of healing you than this.”


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