Reunion by facingthesun

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“Mother, are you awake?”


Mrs. Pratt was sitting in bed with pillows propped behind her.  She looked pale, but alert.  Her hands were clutched together, as if she’d been wringing them for a long time.


“William, I’ve been waiting for you.  I am so very confused.  I’m frightened.  I daresay I’ve seen…”  She struggled to find the right words until she noticed Buffy standing behind Spike.  “Oh, Miss Summers!  Have you recovered from your swoon, my dear?”


“I feel great, Mrs. Pratt.” 


“I’m relieved.  You must rest, my love.  Rest is the best cure for a touch of the vapors.  Come, sit beside me.”


Buffy exchanged a glance with Spike then she walked past him to sit on the edge of the bed.


“And how are you holding up, Mother?”  Kneeling between Mrs. Pratt and Buffy, Spike reached for one of his mother’s hands.  “How is the air treating you here?  You look breathtaking.  Is the sickness more tolerable now?”


“I confess my health hasn’t been on my mind as of late.  I believe we are in grave danger.  I saw a man…a demon,” she said, leaning forward.  She spoke just above a whisper.  “His skin, his eyes—oh, William, he had terrifying eyes!  I watched him speak to that other man, the one that calls himself an angel?  I don’t trust him.  He is no angel.”


“See, pet?  My mum always was a good judge of character.”


Ignoring Spike’s amused chuckle, Buffy said, “No one will hurt you, Mrs. Pratt.  You have nothing to be afraid of.”


“But what is this place?” she asked, looking from Buffy to Spike.  There was a note of desperation in her voice.  “Please, you must tell me.  The worry is eating away at me.  Miss Dawn said I’ve traveled through time?  How can that be?”


“Well, Mother, you were brought here by extraordinary means,” Spike began carefully.  “And you are here, many years in the future, for a very special reason.”


“Traveling to—to the future?  That man…?  These things that you speak of…  William, I must know, why didn’t you come home from that party at the Underwoods?  I waited all night and throughout the day, sick with worry.  I must’ve fallen asleep because I woke up with Miss Summers in her home.  She’s been a blessing among this confusion.  I truly believe she’s answer to our prayers.”


Spike’s eyes met Buffy’s.  “I couldn’t agree with you more,” he said softly.


“Hey, let’s not change the subject,” Buffy mumbled.  “Something happened to William on that night, Mrs. Pratt.  He was badly hurt.”


Anne gasped and Spike squeezed her hand.  “It’s alright.  Hear her out,” he urged.


“He’s immortal now.  Do you know what that means?  He doesn’t age.  He can be hurt, but it’s much harder to kill him.  He’s still your son, but like I said before, he’s changed.  He’s stronger, faster, and…well, he’s able to be with me because of what happened to him.  I was born in 1981.  If it weren’t for…that night, he would’ve died a lonely man in the year eighteen-hundred-whatever.  We never would’ve met, and that, well, that would’ve been…”


“A bloody terrible loss.  It took me a few lifetimes to sort things out, but this girl right here?  Mother, remember when I used to go on and on like a fool about Cecily being my soul mate?  I truly believe I was put on this Earth to find and love Buffy Summers.  I’ve asked for her hand, Mother, and she has accepted my proposal.”


“Oh my, this is wonderful news,” Mrs. Pratt whispered.  Tears were shining in her eyes.  “I’m overjoyed for you both.”


“We’d like for you to be at the wedding ceremony this Sunday, but we don’t want you feeling uncomfortable or scared,” Spike continued.  “If this is too much for you, we can send you home this instant.  The choice is yours.”


“I couldn’t possibly miss my only child’s wedding day.  It will mark the start of our new family.”


“Mum…when you return to London, I am very sorry, but we won’t be with you.  It can’t be done.  Time travel…it’s a complicated business.  There’s too much risk involved.”


“I see.”  A tear slipped down her cheek, but Mrs. Pratt remained calm.  “Then we must cherish this time when we can be together, mustn’t we?”


“Are there questions we can answer to give you peace of mind?”


“There is much that I will never fully understand, but I do understand love.  As long as you’re happy and loved, I am happy as well.”


“I’m glad to hear it,” he said, kissing her hand.  “But what about Lorne, the green bloke with the horns and terrible fashion sense?”  Spike laughed quietly and Buffy knew he was trying to lighten the mood.  “You know, appearances aside, he’s a dandy through and through.  You’d like him, Mother.  Can you stomach being around him?  Shall we introduce you both tomorrow?”


“Spike, don’t push your luck,” Buffy warned through a smile.


“Think about it.”  Spike rose to kiss his mother’s cheek and the top of her head.  “Rest up, you’ve been through a lot today.  Let us know if you need anything at all.  We’ll be only a shout away.”


Buffy got up and wiped her hands on the back of her jeans.  “Sleep tight, Mrs. Pratt.”


“Please wait.  Miss Summers, where will you be sleeping tonight?”


Buffy froze.  The question stopped her from leaving the room.  “On the other side of the penthouse…?  In Spike’s bed, but not, um, with your son in it, of course.  That would be so…not good?”


“William, and where will you be?  Not on the floor, I hope.  This bed is heavenly compared to our thin mattresses.  It’s like resting on a cloud.  You mustn’t sleep on the floor, I insist.  Miss Summers, perhaps you’d like to share this bed with me?  It is awfully large and I would appreciate the company.  I’d like to spend as much time as possible with my new daughter.  Perhaps we could talk or read together?  It’s shame I don’t have my embroidery…”


“When you put it that way…”  Buffy looked down, purposely avoiding Spike’s gaze.  “I guess we can have an impromptu slumber party.  I’ll try to find you some pjs; we’ll do each other’s hair and gossip about boys.  I don’t know anything about sewing, but we can pick up something when we’re shopping for bridal clothes tomorrow.”


“That would be delightful.  Can William join us for this party?”


“That isn’t exactly how a slumber party works, but we can make some adjustments.”


“How exciting!” Mrs. Pratt exclaimed with a smile.  “William, you should recite to us.  Have you any poems that you’ve composed for your beloved Buffy?  We’d love to hear them.”


“Oh, I’d much rather spare my beloved’s delicate ears.  I could read to you both, if you’d like.  Why don’t Buffy and I look for a novel and something for you to sleep in?  It’ll just take a moment.  We’ll be back shortly.” 


Cupping Buffy’s elbow, he steered her out of the bedroom.  Once away from his mother’s view, he pressed his cheek to hers and whispered, “You are bloody amazing.  She loves you already.”


“You think so?”  Taking a deep breath, she allowed herself to lean back against his chest.  “I don’t know if it’s because I miss my mom, and I never thought I’d be cuddling under the sheets with yours, but…  I guess I’ll do whatever it takes to make her happy.  I brought her here; it’s the least I can do.”


“Slayer, are you actually disappointed that we won’t be sleeping together tonight?”


“I did think we’d have some privacy…”


Pleased by her admission, Spike wrapped his arms around her waist from behind.  “Maybe, when she nods off, you and I can tiptoe back into my room?  You know, for privacy’s sake.”


“You mean sneaking around behind your mother’s back?  That doesn’t sound like something a gentleman would do.”


“It’s exactly what a newly engaged man would do, gentleman or not.  When we were engaged that first time, I couldn’t keep my hands off you.”


“I remember,” she snorted.  “You were grabby.  Impatient, horny and very annoying.”


“And you enjoyed every minute of it.”


“I was under a spell.  I had no say in what I said, did or what I enjoyed.”


“Oh, hang on, let’s not give Red’s spell more credit than it’s due.  You’ve had the hots for me since day-one.”


“As if,” Buffy laughed.


“Yeah, as if anyone really cares.  Why are you two rehashing stuff that happened a million years ago?”


At the sound of her sister’s voice, Buffy groaned.  “Butt out, Dawn.”


“Hey, it’s not like I want to witness your flirtatious banter.  I can see you here from the couch and I don’t have to strain to hear you either.”


“Oh, we’d hate for you to have to strain, bit.”


“I hate that she’s eavesdropping period,” Buffy replied, rolling her eyes.  She walked into the living room with Spike at her heels.  “It’s getting old, real fast.”


Dawn shrugged off Buffy’s glare.  “So are you and Spike together?  For real this time?  Or are you just resuming your secret raunchy love fest?”


“Secret raunchy love fest?” Spike repeated with a raised brow.  “Guess that’s one way to look at it.”


“How about we not?” Buffy suggested.  “Whatever happened in the past is done.  It’s over.  We’re moving on.  We’re going forward and--.”


“I’ll say, if Spike’s putting a ring on it.  Wait, are you even getting a ring?”


“Can you believe at one point today I thought bringing her with us was actually a good decision?”


“Girls.  Play nice.”  Ignoring Buffy’s dirty look, he sat next to Dawn on the couch, separating the sisters.  “Dawn, do you have something my mother might want to read?  A book, short story, or even a magazine article will do the trick.”


“But keep it G-rated and human-based,” Buffy added.  “No vampires, werewolves, aliens or whatever else you find in the young adult section of the bookstore, alright?”


“Let me check,” Dawn said, reaching for the cell phone on the coffee table.  “I have a bunch of stuff loaded on this thing.”


“Mum’ll get a kick out of that nonsense.  Who needs pages you can turn and bindings when you can stare at a bloody screen while you read?”


“God, you sound like Giles.”


“I do not,” Spike replied with a huff, instantly offended.  He looked to Buffy for support.  “Slayer, tell her I am nothing like your moldy old Watcher.”


“Sorry, but you are singing Giles’s favorite tune: Technology bad, musty old books good.”


“He rants about it at least twice a week,” Dawn agreed.  “Besides, I showed my phone to Mrs. Pratt during the ride here and I think she was impressed and cool with it.”


“And since she was down with your fancy phone, you decided it was best to tell her about time travel?”


“Was I not supposed to?” Dawn asked wide-eyed.  “I had to tell her something, Buffy, and I don’t think she believed me anyway.”


“You should’ve asked me--.”


“It’s too late to squabble over it now,” Spike interrupted.  “I suggest we change the subject.”


After a pause, Buffy continued, “Anne doesn’t know that Spike’s a vampire or that I’m the Slayer or that you’re whatever you claim to be this week.”


“What does that mean?”  Spike looked from Buffy to Dawn.  “Just what have you been up to?”


“On some days she’s training with me and the Slayerettes.  Then she has her nose in the middle of all Willow’s witchy-ness.  Before Giles went to London, she was following him around as his mini-me Watcher apprentice.”


“Is that right, bit?”


“Well, yeah,” Dawn replied.  “I want to help.  I’m just not sure where I fit in yet.  But don’t worry, I don’t want to be a blood-sucking vampire, that’s for sure.”


“I’m glad to hear it,” Spike replied with a little smirk.


“Speaking of vampires, you guys, how are we going to get Spike’s mom through Angel’s lobby if she’s afraid of demons and if she doesn’t know that other big bads exist?  Carl brought us through a different part of the building to avoid the charity event, but I don’t know what we’ll do during business hours.”


“Let’s save that dilemma for tomorrow,” Spike answered.  “We can’t tackle everything head-on tonight.  Besides, Mr. CEO should be able to wrangle his own people, right, Slayer?”


“I’ll see what he can do.  Tomorrow,” she added quickly when Spike’s eyes met hers.  “I’ll mention it when I fill Angel in on the big plans for this weekend.”


Avoiding his stare, Buffy looked away.  “We still need a book and a nightgown for Mrs. Pratt.  She wants to stay up longer so we’re having a slumber party.  Dawn--.”


“For real?” her sister asked brightly.


“Maybe you can help her choose a bedtime story while Spike and I look for something she can wear until we go shopping tomorrow?”


“Yeah, I can do that.”  Dawn gathered up her phone and suitcase.  “Carl put your bags in Spike’s room, Buffy.”




“Just so you know,” Dawn began, speaking to Spike.  “She brought six bags for a weekend trip.  She had a total meltdown while packing.”


“That’s enough, brat.”  Buffy watched her sister leave the room before reluctantly turning her attention to Spike.  “I know you’re dying to say something.  Out with it.”


“Six bags, pet?”


“I didn’t know what I wanted to wear,” she replied, crossing her arms over her chest.  “I wanted options.”


“So we should start there on our mission for night clothes?”




“About this meltdown…?”


“I was nervous to see you again.”


His head tilted to one side.  “Nervous?  Over me?”


“That’s right, I admit it.  So can we not dwell on it?”


“Alright,” he said, getting up from the couch.  “Would you rather talk about Angel then?  Are you really going to tell him about our wedding?”


“Well, it is probably going to take place in his law firm.  If I don’t tell him, I’m sure he’ll put two and two together.”


“Will you tell him it’s for show?”


“I don’t know,” she mumbled.  Spike was moving closer and closer to where she was standing.  “It’s really none of his business.”


“Good answer,” he chuckled.  “How about your friends back home?  What will they know?”


Her heart sped up at the touchy subject.  She readjusted her crossed arms.  “They will know we’re together.”


“So...” he began, tucking a loose strand of her hair behind her ear.  “Our raunchy love fest won’t be so secretive for this second turn?  What about the level of raunch, as your sister worded it so elegantly?  Are we cutting back on that too?”




“It’s alright, kitten.  I’m only teasing you.”


“I’m being serious.”


“I know, that pout is a dead give away.”  Biting back a smile, he traced a line along Buffy’s lower lip with the pad of this thumb.  “Never could resist this lip of yours.  May I?”


She nodded, holding her breath in anticipation.


“Thought it was a fluke before, but this confirms it.”


“What are you talking about?”


“You,” he answered, brushing his lips against hers.  “I’d say you’re downright smitten with yours truly.”


Before she could speak again, he was kissing her.  Buffy held on and responded eagerly.  And once he broke away, she let out a quite whimper without meaning to.


“There now,” he panted.  “Slayer, you can’t deny it.”


“I didn’t think I was.  Or at least I wasn’t going to.”  Spike’s eyes narrowed in disbelief and she laughed.  “I’ve agreed to marry you, and now you’re shocked over what?  That I like you?  That I like it when you kiss me?”


“Well…”  He took a slight step back and moved his hands so they were at her waist.  “An acceptance of a fake proposal might only take a bloke so far, you know?”


“And now you want to know if I’ll let you go all the way?”


“Eh…no, the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.”


“Oh, of course not.  Getting a soul turned you into some kinda monk, that’s good to know.”


“I suppose, if you are offering up an answer to the question…  But don’t feel pressed in any way.  Taking our past into account, Buffy, I’m not asking for you to--.”


“Spike, wait a minute--.”


“Pet, you’re dealing with a changed man.  Some of what we did before, what I put you through--.”


“Spike, okay, now it’s my turn to tell you to stop talking.”


“I won’t stand for it, Buffy.  Know that.”


“Good, because I won’t either.”  Seeing the concern in his eyes, Buffy needed to put him at ease.  “We’re okay.  You aren’t the only one who’s changed.  A girl can only handle so much death before something just clicks.  I lost you.  It was horrible and heartbreaking.  Now that you’re back…”


She pressed her body to his.  Resting her chin on his shoulder, she hugged him tight.  She kissed the soft skin under his earlobe and whispered, “I wanted you before.  I want you now.”


“Now?  As in, now?”


“Down, boy.  Cool it,” she snickered.  “When the time is right, yes, I won’t be opposed to…spending some private time together.”


“So when the kiddies are put down for bed, mummy and daddy will play?”


“Okay,” she laughed while dotting kisses into his neck.  “That sounds just wrong when we’re talking about your mom and my sister.”


“May I suggest we find mum that nightgown, sooner rather than later?”


“Yes, you may.”  Her soft kisses traveled from his neck, to his jaw, and finally to his mouth.  “Want to split up?” she asked sweetly.  “I’ll stay with my suitcases while you search Fred’s lab?  A lab coat or hospital gown might be our last resort if Anne doesn’t care for my wardrobe.”


“You’re bloody right, I do.  It’s a brilliant plan.  The faster we get this blasted slumber party over with, the better.”


Buffy squeezed Spike again before letting him go.  “We’ll meet up in fifteen minutes?”


“Bloody hell, let’s make it five.”


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