Title: Rest in Peace - Answer to Lisa's fic challenge
Rating: PG - 13
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox,
UPN and a host of lawyers do. Just borrowing and thanks guys for the loan.
Summary: In response to Lisa's BAPS fic challenge. What happens between
the end of episode 11 and the beginning of episode 12? What are the SIT
reactions to Spike? And Buffy's?
Rest in Peace
The door creaked open. Another thing to fix, Xander thought as he pushed
himself upright on the couch. The girls were quiet tonight. They hadn't
said much after the initial gushing about how Buffy killed the Vampire and
how ugly it was and how ingenious the plan was. Once Dawn had mentioned
that the Uber-Vamp was only the beginning, they had all become amazingly
silent. Good for sleeping. Bad for morale.
"Buffy?" Xander called quietly, rubbing his eyes. The girls were still in
sleeping bags on the floor, awake but silent, staring at the soft light
from the porch.
"Yeah," Buffy answered, almost hearing the long sigh of relief from every
member of the living room. "You going to make it?" She said more softly,
her tone gentle.
"Going to make what?" Xander asked, standing and walking over to the door.
His eyes flew open at the sight.
"Be fine, Pet," Spike answered his voice cracked and arid.
"Holy mother of." Xander winced, pushing himself under Spike's other arm,
the one not currently around Buffy, and helping him through the door. "You
"No need to gloat, Mate. Not often that you're the better looking of the
two of us," Spike snarked, trying to smile. The damage to his face made it
look more like a twisted grimace.
Buffy held onto him, afraid to let him go. Not sure why she couldn't let
her arm slide down. He might be able to stand alone now. He'd walked all
the way home. But she couldn't bring herself to drop her arm. To let
Xander get Spike into the kitchen to get cleaned up. Instead, she stepped
closer, taking more of his weight on her bruised shoulders.
It didn't occur to either Buffy or Xander, as they made their way towards
the kitchen, that there was a gaggle of slayer trainees on the floor below
them until one of them gasped. Spike turned his head slowly, trying to
identify the sound. Buffy jumped a little. Xander groaned. "Think the
skittish masses are awake, Buffy," Xander said as the light flipped on.
Several teenage slayers stared at three of them, eyes wide and confused.
Buffy and Xander stopped, letting Spike half sit, half fall into the chair
behind them. He was beaten. Couldn't have put on a show if he wanted to.
His head lulled back into the headrest and he sighed, staring at the
"These the birds?" Spike asked, shifting uncomfortably in the chair. His
hand still rested on the small of Buffy's back. He was afraid of the
moment that he couldn't touch her anymore. As long as he could touch her,
she was real.
Buffy nodded, flashing a small fragile smile.
"The baby Slayers," Xander said quietly. "Chirping constantly."
The girls just sat on their bags, knees drawn to their chests, gaping wide-
eyed at the battered blondes in front of them. "Is. is that. Is that
Spike?" One of the girls asked, nodding at Buffy.
"Xander, could you go up in my room and get some medical supplies? Maybe
rustle up some clothes?" Buffy asked, looking down at Spike, wincing at
the patterns carved in his chest. Xander nodded, taking off up the stairs.
She turned to the girls. "Yeah, this is Spike."
Spike smiled weakly. "Touched, Pet. Told them about me?"
Buffy shot a warning glance at the Vampire. "You're still alive, which
means I can still hurt you." The tone wasn't there though. Spike chuckled
at the idle threat. She had no intention of hurting him. Ever again.
"She said. she said we had to save you," the English girl said. "Well,
that she did. Talked about all the time,"
Spike didn't say anything. Just felt the warmth of her skin against his
hand. She didn't move away. She just sat on the arm of the chair, feeling
his battered hand pressed gently to her skin. It occurred to her that she
didn't want to move. As long as he was touching her, she knew he was
"She needs help defeating the First," Spike said, saving Buffy from
answering. She turned, looking at him for a moment, studying his bruised
and swollen face. Spike fell silent, not sure if he had overstepped his
"But you're a Vampire," the little dark haired girl said quietly.
"Aren't.. I mean."
"Aren't we Vampire Slayers?" Rona completed, a little blunt, but accurate.
"That I am," Spike answered. "And that you are," he continued.
"I don't.." the English girl continued.
"Spike's. different," Buffy said, not looking at Spike, but not quite
looking at her charges either. "He's. "
"He's got a soul," Dawn answered from the stairs, looking down on the
scene. She eyed Spike warily, but with softness that hadn't been there
before. Spike tried to smile at her, but could only muster a small nod.
"No," Buffy interrupted. Spike flinched a little, waiting for the
response. His body hummed with pain and fatigue.
"No?" Dawn asked. "I mean, he lost it?"
"No," Buffy said again, turning towards Dawn. "'He was different before
that. Different before the soul. You know that. You knew it then."
Dawn looked at her feet, and then descended the staircase slowly. "Yeah."
Spike was absolutely silent, not wanting to interrupt.
"He can help us," Buffy said, returning her attention to her troops. "He
will help us."
"Why?" Rona asked. "I mean, how can you trust. he's a Vampire."
"Established that, Pet," Spike answered, as snarky as he could muster.
Buffy smiled involuntarily. Snarky was good. She missed snarky.
"I mean, other than. "One of the little ones began.
"Other than what?" Buffy asked, an eyebrow quirked. She leaned back
against the arm of the chair, her shoulder now even with his face. His
hand still pressed into the small f her back.
"You saw the other Vampire," the English girl began. "The one you fought
tonight, well, he."
"He was butt ugly," Rona continued.
"And that was the only Vampire I'd seen," the redheaded girl answered.
"Other than in a picture. I thought... Well, I thought maybe that all
Vampires . looked... Like that."
Spike chuckled. "They met Ubie, I take it," he groaned in the arid, choked
"Yeah," Buffy answered, returning the smile.
"Good sodding thing we don't all look like that," Spike continued.
Buffy turned back to the troops. "Most look human," she answered. "I mean
most of the time. Until the fangs and bumpies come out. :"
"But. he's." the English one stuttered.
"Hot?" Rona contributed, looking at the other girls. "I mean, once he's
cleaned up." She shrugged. "Just calling 'em as I see 'em."
Buffy blushed a little. Spike tried to look cocky but only managed to
grimace and settle back against the chair. "Thanks, Pet."
"And he has a nice voice," the small, dark haired girl said dreamily.
"We need his help," Buffy corrected, getting back on track. "He's got
Vampire strength and a lot of. experience." Her mind flitted to more.
intimate. times as it came out of her mouth. She shook her head slightly,
banishing the thought. "So, I needed to get him back to help us in the
"That all?" The redhead asked, a sly smile on her face.
Buffy furrowed her brow, staring at the girl. "That all what?"
"That the only reason you went to save him? You need his help?" The dark
haired girl asked.
Buffy sighed, not sure of what to say. She knew the answer was a
resounding 'Duh, no!', but she wasn't quite sure that that was an answer
she needed to give the Slayerettes. "That's the main reason."
Spike nodded, accepting the answer. He wasn't sure what to think. He was
just . glad. that she had come. And that she hadn't made him move his hand
from her back. That was about the extent to which his addled mind could
process the situation. "And I will help you, Slayer," Spike said, as nobly
as he could as his body shook with a wave of pain.
A concerned look passed over Buffy's features and everything inside of her
wanted to reach out and touch his face and ask him if he was okay and what
she could do to help. But she held it in. He shook his head. She nodded.
"So why is your hand in his, then?" Rona asked simply.
Buffy looked down. Spike's eyes followed. Sometime while they were
sitting there, her hand had slid inside his. The one not touching her
back. She was clutching him, hanging on as if he were a life preserver.
Spike noticed he'd been doing the same. Holding on to her for dear life.
Her eyes shot open and she dropped his hand, turning back towards the
Slayers and then back towards Spike. "Xander should be down any minute.
Let's get you in the kitchen and clean you up."
Spike nodded not sure what to say. He hadn't noticed he had taken her
hand. She hadn't noticed she had let him. But both of them were holding
on. "A bit of help up, Love," Spike asked softly. "Think I've gotten a
An involuntary grin broke out on Buffy's face as she gave him her hands,
pulling him slowly to his feet. He stopped, facing her, standing, feeling
her breath blowing nervously against his chest. She was looking at him.
Staring. Her green eyes sparkling with fear and wonder and relief. And
something else. Something softer and wilder and more ancient than time.
She shook her head, turning sideways and helping him into the kitchen, the
little Slayerlettes watching but not daring to follow. "Dawn, can you make
sure Xander found everything okay?" Dawn nodded a reply. "And you," she
continued, facing the girls, go to sleep. More meet the Vampire when he's
up to it."
They nodded, still wide eyed. This put a new twist in their prophesied
duty. They watched until she disappeared around the corner, her Vampire
leaning against her shoulder. Their arms around each other's backs.
They sat in the basement.
Xander had brought down some blankets and a sleeping bag and promised to
get a mattress tomorrow. Buffy had half a mind to let him sleep in her
bed. Or at least on her carpeted floor where she could watch him. But the
little Slayers were confused enough as it was. And so, in fact, was she.
They were alone now. Buffy had done all she could with the wounds on his
chest and face. She gotten him changed into some dark blue sweatpants that
Xander had rustled up and white T-shirt. He was lying quietly at her feet
on the makeshift bed, too exhausted to move. Almost too exhausted to
speak. She meant to leave. She really did. But he was looking at her
still through the one eye that was too swollen to see.
Slowly, she dropped to her knees on the pile of blankets, and then slid
down onto her backside. He looked at her, eyes full of wonder. He wanted
to ask her what she was doing. Why? But the truth was he was gladder that
she was there and that she wasn't going away yet than he was curious as to
Buffy looked at him closely for a minute, taking in the ragged, beautiful
landscape of his face. She scooted closer; pulling his head into her lap
and letting her fingers gently graze the torn and bruised skin.
He wasn't sure why she was there. Why she was staying there. Stroking his
face. Letting him hold onto her calf that was stretched out next to his
shoulder. He wanted to ask. Wanted to know. But he couldn't. The tears
She wasn't sure why she was there. Why she was staying. Why she was
stroking his face. Letting him hold onto her. Wanting him to hold onto
her. Wanting him to hold her. She had no one to ask. The tears were
Buffy's eyes slid closed, a tear escaping and sliding from her cheek to
his. Just one. Spike groaned, taking all of his effort to pull his arm
up and touch her face, letting his thumb wipe away the trail of the tear.
Her eyes opened, looking down into his beautiful, battered face.
He shook his head. "Buffy, don't."
"I couldn't . I was scared you were."
"I won't leave you, Pet," he answered softly.
She nodded another tear escaping. "I know."
Slowly, she lowered her face, pressing her lips softly to his. Spike
tensed at first, not sure how he should react. His body wanting to pull
her down next to him and hold her until the world devoured them whole. His
heart wanting to wrap around her and protect her so the world couldn't take
her away again. And his mind afraid of what might happen when she moved
away. But he softened against her, losing himself in her.
Buffy pulled away with a sigh, her fingers resuming their gentle trails
along his cheeks. She didn't run. She didn't leave. She just held him
there in her lap, stroking his face. Making sure he knew she was there.
Making sure he could rest in peace.