Title: Picking up the Pieces
Summary: Spike finds something to live for when he thinks that there is
nothing left. S/D friendship
Disclaimer: In the immortal words of Willow Rosenburg, "A vague disclaimer
is nobody's friend." I don't own any part of Buffy. They belong to Joss to
torture however he sees fit.
Distribution: Anywhere, just let me know where.
Feedback: Loved and appreciated.
Author's Note: I'm really tired of Spike getting beat down and kicked
around so I'm giving him back his dignity as a gift. Maybe if I'm really
lucky, he'll thank me for it. Also, thanks to everyone who read my other
stories and gave feedback. It's what keeps me writing, which I hope is a
It took one night of getting shit-faced drunk, another night of beating up
every demon that had the misfortune of crossing his path, and one more
night of crying like a sodding school boy for Spike to get a grip on the
fact that the Slayer had dumped him. Dumped him. Anger welled up inside of
him at the very thought of it and the demon in him reveled in it. It
shrieked for joy inside of him as he gave in to his instincts for those
three horrific nights. On the fourth day, he woke up when he realized he
was on fire. He scrambled to his feet and rushed to a sewer opening. He had
fallen into an exhausted stupor after having drunk several bottles of
horrible tasting liquor and pounding on a few dozen demons. It was while
holding his burnt hand to his chest that he realized he had sunk as low as
he could go. She would not be his ruination. He drew himself up and decided
it was time to start a new chapter of his long life, the one that began
Spike's first item on the agenda was to find a new place to live. The crypt
was a lost cause. The entire lower level had been incinerated. He could
barely scavenge anything from that dark hole. The upper lever hadn't been
touched however so his beloved duster, television and refrigerator were
still in tact. Everything of Buffy had gone up in flames. How fitting.
After he had packed up everything from the upper level he had gone to see a
man who had only a month ago offered him a deal. He and Buffy had saved the
man's daughter from a group of newbie vampires and the man owned an
apartment complex. He had offered Spike a place to stay in exchange for
Spike being a night watchman of sorts. To keep the baddies away. Free rent
as long as no one who lived there died on the property. At the time, Spike
had declined because he loved his crypt. It was so...him. But now it was
time to start fresh. The pluses were numerous, running water, cable, and it
came furnished. It was a two bedroom and probably better than anything he'd
ever called home before. The man had been thrilled to see him.
The second item on his agenda was that Buffy not find out. He had avoided
her at all costs since that night. When she patrolled his cemetery he'd
made it a point to stay out of her way. Seeing her and not being able to
touch her was something he wasn't ready to deal with just now. Maybe in a
couple of years. But, he didn't want the Nibblet to think he'd deserted
So, item number three was to intercept her on her way to a friend's house
and give her his new phone number and address. He made her swear she
wouldn't tell Buffy and he told her to memorize the number and address and
then burn the paper. Dawn had been more than a little confused. She knew
Buffy had been acting more weird than usual the last few days but now Spike
too? What was up with them? She even asked Spike but he just shrugged it
off. He told her to let the Slayer know he hadn't left town, just moved. If
she needed to contact him, send Dawn.
Buffy had been beside herself for days. She had visited the crypt several
times and not found him there. She had refused to question her motivation
for wanting to see him again. She was even more upset when she realized his
things were missing. He had left her. She went ballistic when Dawn told her
that Spike had simply moved and didn't want her to know where. She found
her big sister sneaking her cell phone out of her book bag looking for
Spike's number. When confronted, Buffy had said she was just checking to
make sure the phone was charged. Dawn gave her the patented "Yeah right"
look and taken the cell out of her sister's hand.
"I memorized it. You won't find it." She had smiled smugly. She loved
annoying her sister and the fact that she wouldn't tell her where the
vampire was holed up annoyed her more than anything. Dawn didn't have a
clue what had gone on between her best friend and her sister, but she was
starting to paint the picture.
A week after the break up, Spike had finished setting up his new place when
someone knocked at the door. He looked through the peephole to find Dawn
standing on his doorstep. He opened the door and ushered her in, stepping
out on the landing to check behind her.
"I wasn't followed. Buffy's at work." She said with her hands folded in a
defensive stance over her chest.
"I'm not stupid you know." He flashed her a smile that melted her kneecaps
and closed the door.
"I know that. You learned from the best." He walked past her into the den.
Dawn was shocked. The apartment looked great. He had put up heavy navy blue
drapes to block out the sun over the large picture window that faced the
inner courtyard and had somehow acquired a new TV and entertainment system.
"Um, Spike, where did all the stuff come from?" Spike looked up from where
he was bending over the fridge to meet her accusing gaze.
"Calm down, bit. Bloke next door left without a word. He's probably dead
but I didn't bring it up. The super let me have some of his stuff."
"Oh." She felt kind of bad for accusing him then she remembered who he was.
Scratch the bad feelings.
"Did you eat yet?" He asked from the kitchen.
"No, I haven't been home. Came here straight from school." She called back
settling herself on the plush cream-colored couch in the den. Spike came
around the corner with a soda for her.
"I could order pizza or Chinese for you, if you want." He said, handing her
the ice cold drink. She looked up at him puzzled.
"Since when did you start stocking soda? You hate....the word you used was
swill I think."
"Since I got a fridge big enough." He smirked. She had to laugh. She was so
proud of him. He hadn't let whatever had happened between him and Buffy
destroy him or run him off. He had stayed, and she liked to think it had
something to do with her.
"So what'll it be?"
"I guess Chinese." He went back to the kitchen to call in his order and she
took the opportunity to snoop some more.
She made her way down the short hall and found herself in the bathroom.
Pretty basic. It was pretty big for an apartment and someone had decorated
in soft shades of beige and tan. She opened the door across the hall and
realized this must be the guestroom. It was pretty bland and figured Spike
knew he wouldn't have any guests so he hadn't bothered fixing it up. The
room at the end of the hall was his. It was done in dark colors of navy
blue and hunter green. There were no windows and it had a private bath done
in the same colors. She saw that the closet door was ajar and couldn't help
but be curious if the only thing that would be hanging in there was a black
duster and a million black t-shirts. She had just started to ease the door
open when Spike spoke.
"Find anything interesting, pet?" He was right behind her whispering in her
ear, so close she could feel the breath from his words worry the hair at
her throat. She screeched and whirled around. He laughed and took her hand
to pull her back into the den.
"So, what do you think? Do I get your stamp of approval?" For some reason
he had led her into the guestroom.
"Um, yeah. It looks great. You done good, Spike." He chuckled at her murder
of his native tongue. He stood her at the door of the barren room and
walked to the bed. He turned and motioned to the empty walls.
"I figure, since you're the only person that will probably ever come here,
this room is yours. You can decorate it however you like. I'm giving it to
you." He finished looking directly into her startled blue eyes.
"It's yours, pet. Just don't paint it fuchsia and I won't have to put your
eyeballs out with hot pokers." He always came up with horrible torture he
would inflict on her if she stepped out of line and it only made her love
him more for the fact that she knew he did it out of his twisted sense of
love for her. She couldn't help it. She started to cry. Spike was at a
loss. He thought she would have liked the idea of having her own space
somewhere that wasn't home. Thought she'd like fixing it up, all girly with
posters of soon to be gone boy bands and fly by night actors with pretty
faces. So why was she crying? He was in front of her so fast she actually
stepped back. She sometimes forgot that he was a vampire. He wrapped his
arms around her and hugged her tightly to him.
"I'm sorry, Nibblet. I thought you'd like it. You don't have to fix it up.
I can do something with it I suppose. A study or hot tub...." She was
shaking her head violently.
"No, Spike. No, it's just that it's the nicest thing anybody's ever done
for me. Well except that time Buffy mixed our blood and told me I was a
Summers for real, but other than that this is the nicest thing." She
returned his hug and let go of him grudgingly. The hugging made him
uncomfortable after a few minutes so she let him pull away. She got a
mischievous look on her face.
"I can do anything?" Spike was getting nervous.
"Well, within reason, luv. No wild colors or making it look like a brothel
but barring that then yes, anything you want." She looked around the room
and nodded, thoughts already forming in her mind. The doorbell rang
startling both of them.
"Food's here!" She squealed running down the hall and heading for the door.
It was getting late and Buffy was starting to worry. She had come home to
an empty house and no note from Dawn. It wasn't till she had gone to the
phone to call the police that she noticed the red light on the machine
blinking. She hit the play button and was beyond relieved when Dawn's voice
filled the kitchen.
"Hey Buffy. I'm at Spike's. We're eating Chinese and watching movies so
he'll walk me home after. No later than eleven I promise. Love ya! Bye!"
The tape beeped signaling that as the only message. Buffy stood there with
both hands on the hutch and let the tears track their way down her face. He
didn't even trust her to know where he was. He didn't want to chance the
fact that she'd destroy this home as well. Or worse, do more damage to his
heart. She knew he just needed time. That's what they both needed, but the
fact that he recognized that and was giving it to her was more than she'd
ever expected of him and truthfully more than she wanted.
She had expected him to show up at her door or in her room late at night,
begging her to take him back. She'd expected him to rant and scream that it
wasn't fair, that he needed her, that he couldn't live or unlive without
her. But he hadn't done any of those things. He had instead avoided her and
tried to pick up the pieces of himself that she had shredded and thrown at
his feet and make a new life for himself. And he obviously wanted Dawn,
without Buffy, to be a part of that new life. It hurt worse than she had
imagined. She was being pushed out. This time, she was the outsider.
Spike stole a glance at the glowing green numbers on the VCR and realized
it was getting close to eleven. They had finished eating hours ago and
settled on the couch to watch a movie and had wound up watching Comedy
Central instead. They had laughed till they were sick and then he'd flipped
it to the Discovery Channel where they were doing a documentary about Jack
the Ripper. Dawn had bored quickly and fallen asleep with her head in his
lap. He had thrown a blanket over her and begun absentmindedly stroking her
long, chocolate brown hair. There was a strange, unfamiliar feeling settled
right in the place where his heart had beat over a century ago and he
finally realized what it was. He was content. Sitting here on this comfy
couch watching the telly with his best friend in this world. He was happy.
He didn't think he ever would be again after what Buffy had said to him.
Come to think of it, there hadn't been too many happy moments even when
they were together. He knew every time they shagged each other senseless
she was doing it not out of any sort of feelings for him but out of her own
selfish need to feel something, anything. It had meant the world to him
each and every time and he'd even managed to convince himself that over
time he would make her fall in love with him. God, he was a daft prick.
Bloody stupid wanker.
But this girl resting so trusting in his lap. She was the bright spot in
his unlife. He'd felt so horrible for neglecting her when Buffy came back.
He'd been so caught up in the Slayer he hadn't heard Dawn's cries for help.
His eyes had been opened at Buffy's 21st birthday party. He'd made a
commitment with himself to spend more time with her like they had the
summer Buffy had been gone. Gone. They acted like she'd been on a bleedin'
holiday or something. The summer she had been dead. There.
Buffy had had to work the day after they'd all gotten out of the house so
he'd gone with Dawn to return all the stolen merchandise. None of the shop
owners had pressed charges and had even praised her for being honest enough
to return it. He'd bought her ice cream and he'd listened to her go on
about school and friends. He'd forgotten how much he enjoyed being with
her. This little girl, well not so little anymore, this young woman, not
the least bit scared of him ever. She loved him unconditionally. She saw
through the monster to the man. Why couldn't her sister be more like her?
Shaking the cobwebs of thought he hit the remote and turned the TV off. He
shook Dawn gently.
"It's not time for school yet." She groaned and he chuckled softly.
"Dawn, wake up. I've got to get you home or Buffy'll kick my ass." She sat
up slowly and stretched, finally prying her eyes open enough to look at
"Why can't I just stay here?"
"Cause you told your sister you'd be home by eleven and I'm not so sure
she's too keen on you staying over just yet.
We'll work up to it." He assured her.
Buffy had to let him have Dawn. She had taken everything else.