|Not My Fault?
Author: SquirlyForSpike PM
Sequel to 'It's All My Fault'. It's time for the memorial service. Will Spike deal or will he go back to the dark?Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst/Humor - Words: 3,564 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Published: 08-10-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2006394
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Not My Fault?
Disclaimer: I don't own pocket lint or any thing else.
Summary: Sequel to It's All My Fault. It's time for the memorial service. Will Spike deal or will he go back to the dark?
A/N: I know I said 'It's All My Fault' was a one shot, but the voices just wouldn't stop. They kept telling me I had to find out how poor Spike handled the memorial service. Before anyone asks me, I don't KNOW where that entire bit about the smiling came from. I put my fingers on the keyboard and this is what came out. I know I saw James smile on The Sharon Osborne Show and was floored by how sweet he looked. Could be it, ya think?
Thank you to the readers who added me to their favorite authors/alert lists. (You know who you are) I am so totally flattered. You guys rock! Thanks also to those who reviewed my other stories, (you rock too) you're keeping my muse busy bopping my head. She's giving me a headache though but I guess that's what Motrin is for. Wow, story sized A/N, sorry, ramble stops now.
Feedback: You know, that stuff is kind of addicting, so do it if you feel the need. Motivates my muse. If you don't like it feel free to say so. Please no flames, trying to avoid the whole dusting thing.
It was mid-afternoon when Spike woke up on his cot feeling as if he'd been run over by a bus. His head hurt, ribs hurt. Bloody Hell, his whole body hurt. Worst of all he had a familiar taste lingering in his mouth. He groaned as he tried to remember what had happened. He looked around expecting to see his crypt. Not his crypt? He was in the Summers basement. Frantic for a moment, he looked around wildly. Buffy will stake him right and proper when she caught him here. Buffy.... Wait a minute.... No... Buffy was dead. Agony washed through him. Not physical this time, emotional agony. Spike flung an arm across his eyes as tears leaked down the sides of his face. Memory was returning with a vengeance. That fateful night at the tower, his resulting breakdown, Angel's visit. Angel, that was the taste in his mouth. The old poof had fed him from his own wrist. Spike tried to remember what his Sire had said. Something about being strong. Also, that he hadn't broken his promise yet. He dried his tears and attempted to sit up. Holding his ribs, he inched his way upright. Finally sitting up, he leaned back against the cool cement wall and rested. He tensed as he sensed a presence at the top of the stairs.
"Come on down, I'm awake." He called.
Feet slowly descended the stairs. Female feet. In seconds, Dawn came into view.
"Niblet. Are you okay?" Spike asked anxiously.
"I'll be okay as long as you will be." She answered as she rushed across the basement floor to the injured vampire. Gently, she put her arms around her hero and leaned on his chest. Touched, he wrapped his arms around the slayer's little sister.
"Hey Bit, don't tell me you need me. You have all those other blokes upstairs to take care of you. You don't need some useless vampire hanging about." Spike smoothed a hand down her hair as he spoke.
Dawn poked a finger into his side, which was all the punishment she dared to mete out without seriously hurting her surrogate big brother.
"Ow, Bit. Damaged vampire here. I've missed you." He complained softly.
"I missed you too, don't EVER do that again. I was so scared I was going to loose you too. Angel told me you were too stubborn to ever dust on me but I saw you at the tower. I never saw anyone that devastated before. I think everyone is convinced you truly love Buffy now. I knew it all along. I NEED YOU." Dawn tried to get as close as possible without hurting him more.
Spike felt tears in his eyes again. Leaning his head against the wall he took a deep unneeded breath.
"Niblet, I promised Buffy I would take care of you. I told her I would protect you until the end of the world. I failed once. But, I promise you, I won't fail again. You will have to stake me to keep me from being here for you. I swear on my unlife I will protect you." He tipped her chin up and looked into her blue eyes as he made his promise.
She kissed his cheek. "Thank you. I love you too." She got up. "You need to eat. I'll go tell Giles you're awake and get you some blood. We need to get you some clean clothes from your crypt. The, um, service is at sunset tonight. I need you with me. I can't do it without you." She went back upstairs.
Spike put a hand to his face, stunned speechless. Someone loved him, imagine that. He felt something else as well, tickling the edges of his mind, a connection. One he had thought long severed was once more actively linking him to his Sire. Mentally following the link, he felt Angel there. He felt the questioning of his Sire and assured him that all was as well as could be. Comforted by the strength and support he felt coming his way, he got up and made his way to the stairs.
At Giles' apartment, Angel felt the link between himself and his Childe activate. It surprised him that Spike would feel the need to contact him that way. He felt the lingering agony in Spike's mind and mentally questioned his Childe. Angel assured his Childe he would see him soon. Satisfied that Spike hadn't withdrawn again Angel shut down the link. He returned to the conversation concerning Cordelia's vision the night before. They had not come to any more conclusions about what it could mean and was in fact giving each of them a headache trying to figure it out.
Spike slowly climbed up the basement stairs. It occurred to him that he was barefoot and shirtless. Grasping the railing he decided not to worry about it. He needed to get out of the basement for his own piece of mind. It was hard going but he made it to the top and thru the door into the kitchen. Fortunately the sun was on the other side of the house so he didn't have to worry about bursting into flames. With difficulty he pulled a chair away from the table and sat down. If he had needed to breathe, he would have been panting heavily. As it was, he hissed at the pain in his ribs. He needed to eat more so he would heal faster. The Sire's blood fed to him the night before had gone a long way but he was feeling the effects of not feeding for several days. The scrape of the chair on the kitchen floor attracted the attention of more that one occupant in the house. Soon he was joined by Giles and Dawn.
"Spike! What are you doing up here?" Dawn exclaimed as she rushed to his side.
"Needed a change of scenery, Bit. Didn't think anyone would mind if I came up here for a while." Spike looked up at both of them.
Giles cleaned his glasses and returned them to his face. "Of course not. How are you, Spike?" He asked.
"I've been better." Spike answered. "But, I've been worse. Better is preferable."
Dawn busied herself preparing a mug of blood for her injured vampire. As Giles sat down at the table opposite the blond, he looked at the vampire as if assessing the truth of the better and worse statement. The scrapes and bruises on the handsome face were beginning to fade, as were the bruises marring the muscular torso. He still held himself stiffly leading Giles to speculate that the ribs were not as far along in their healing. Dawn placed the heated mug in front of Spike and he nodded his thanks as she sat down.
"When do you want me to vacate the premises, Rupert?" Spike asked after a couple of sips.
Dawn looked startled. "NO. You are not moving out. We're going to get your stuff and you're staying here." She looked at Giles. "Right?"
Giles looked down at the table. This was going to be difficult. "Dawn..." He began.
"Don't even tell me no. This is my house now. I know you're my guardian but please, please let him stay. I need him." Dawn pleaded with the Watcher.
Spike looked down at the table as tears filled his eyes. He couldn't recall ever being needed before. By anyone sane that is. He'd needed Dru more than she'd needed him. He cleared his throat to dislodge the lump that had grown there. "Niblet, Social Services won't like me being here. I mean, I'm not a relative or anything and they'll take exception to you having a vampire in your basement."
"They don't know you're not a relative. No one has to know you're a vampire. We'll tell them you're allergic to the sun. We could tell them you're Giles' nephew or son or something. Please, Spike, don't go." Dawn hated begging but she knew she couldn't let Spike leave. Both of them depended on being together. She could feel it.
Giles glared at both of them. Really, sometimes it was hard to get a word in edgewise. "As I was about to say, Dawn, Spike can stay while he recovers. We will assess the situation when he is back to normal. If anyone questions us, we'll tell them that Spike is my nephew recovering from an auto accident and is in fact allergic to the sun." He couldn't believe what he had just agreed to but the teenager who had just launched herself into his arms was the primary concern at the moment.
Spike smiled, a genuine smile. "Thanks. The minute I become a problem, I'm back in my crypt. Got that Bit?" Both the Watcher and the teenager blinked at the brilliance of the first real smile they'd ever seen on the vampire.
Recovering first, Giles cleared his throat. "Quite right. If at any time Spike's presence here creates a problem, he must move out. Tell me you understand and will not give us any hysterics."
Dawn nodded her head vigorously. She still couldn't believe the beauty of Spike's smile but he was staying! "Got it." She said, returning to her seat.
They heard talking and were soon joined by Tara and Willow. Both witches were delighted to see Spike up and about, even if he was just sitting in a chair. He was up and talking. Willow could see the improvement in his injuries and thanked God that Angel had come.
Tara put a kettle of water on the stove for tea and began searching the refrigerator and freezer for something to make for dinner. Turning she asked, "Will the others be here for dinner? I'm trying to decide what to make and need to be sure I have enough. Spike, do you want anything special? I know you like human food."
"Glenda, whatever you make will be wonderful." Spike smiled at the shy blonde. She blinked, having the same reaction as the others to his smile. 'Wow!' she thought. 'He looks so sweet.'
Willow was having similar thoughts. 'Wow. Such a sweet smile. What a stupid girl she must have been, the one who rejected him so long ago.' She sat down next to Dawn.
Spike's smile faded as he realized the others were staring at him. Too late he realized he was sitting in Buffy's kitchen shirtless and shoeless. What must they think of him? He quickly drank the remaining blood in his mug.
"Guess I need to get back to my basement." He murmured looking at the floor. He started to get up startling Dawn out of her bemusement.
"Don't move mister." She ordered.
Spike's mouth dropped open but was saved from replying by the arrival of Angel, Wesley and Cordelia. No one had noticed the lateness of the day. Angel looked around the room noting the expressions on the faces of the women and the half-hidden smile of the Watcher. He grinned.
"William." He stated in his Sire's voice. "Have you been smiling at poor innocent people again? What have I told you about that?"
Spike sat back and his mouth snapped shut so hard his jaw hurt. He hadn't realized it but he guessed he had been smiling. He hadn't done anything other than smirk at people for so long he had forgotten how good it felt to just smile. Angelus had beaten it into him not to, said it made him look too beguiling. He smirked up at his Sire.
"Peaches, I still say you're just jealous." He baited the older vampire.
Angel glared at Spike, but there was no real heat in the glare this time. "Watch your manners Boy." He growled.
Wesley handed a bag to Spike. "We stopped by your crypt and brought you some clothes."
"Thanks.. um.. I don't think I know you." Spike gazed up at the fellow Brit.
"Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, I work with Angel." The young man held out his hand to Spike. The injured vampire looked at it, startled, then shook it.
"I'm Spike." The blond introduced himself quietly.
"Also known as William the Bloody. I've heard a lot about you." The former Watcher stated.
"Peaches give you nightmares telling stories about me." Spike sniped at his Sire. He took the sting out of his words with another smile.
Wesley blinked. "No. I used to be a watcher. You are required reading. I've also heard about how you've changed since your encounter with the initiative. Your story is quite remarkable."
Angel watched the exchange with amusement. He swept a look at the others in the room and saw Giles watching Spike intently.
"Cheerleader. What misfortune befell you that you still have to put up with Peaches?" Spike acknowledged Cordelia's presence with yet another smile. Cordy blinked, speechless just like the others.
Anya and Xander chose that moment to enter the room. Anya blinked as well and Xander frowned.
"Spike, why have you never smiled like that before? It's quite becoming. You look almost innocent when you do that." Anya stated bluntly, unknowingly voicing the thoughts of almost everyone in the room. Indeed he did look almost innocent with his sparkling blue eyes and unruly blond curls. The brilliance of his smile added to the angelic illusion.
Spike looked down, his shyness at odds with his normal self-confident demeanor. "I really should take a shower and change. We'll need to leave soon." He stood and left the room as swiftly as his injuries would allow. An awkward silence fell over the room in the wake of Spike's departure.
Wesley cleared his throat and Giles cleaned his glasses. Angel just watched, amused, as the females in the room recovered from the wattage of his Childe's smile.
Xander broke the silence. "What the hell was that? Spike smiling? Evil beings aren't allowed to smile like that." He knew he wasn't making much sense.
Angel laughed outright. "I always told him to keep that smile under wraps. It's his most deadly weapon. Angelus was jealous and made him stop doing it. I thought he'd forgotten how." He could hear the shower running and knew he was safe in telling this secret. "Someone must have really made him happy." Giles and Dawn exchanged a glance.
Angel was the only one who noticed the look exchanged by Dawn and her guardian. He also noticed the questions in Giles' eyes and the look of speculation on his face.
It was a somber group that gathered around the grave under the large willow tree. It was not quite dark yet, still light enough to see. No one wanted to say anything, not knowing what to say. Anya and Xander had stopped at the florist and picked up several bouquets. Anya handed flowers to each person as they walked up to the grave. One by one they left flowers next to the headstone. Each of them saying goodbye to their fallen heroine.
Spike hung back, not wanting to get too close. Dawn stood next to him with both arms wrapped around his right one. She could feel him start to tremble and squeezed the arm she held. She looked up at him and nearly cried at the pain in his eyes.
Cordy held Angel's arm in a similar fashion. She glanced up at him and was relieved that he was handling the difficult task well. He looked back at his Childe and then down at his seer."I need to go to Spike." He whispered.
She nodded and he left her side. Moving to stand next to the younger vampire, he was seconds too late. Spike crumpled and fell to his knees, his head bowed. Dawn knelt down with him. Angel crouched in front of the younger vampire.
"Spike, remember you need to be strong." Angel whispered. Desperately he opened the Sire-Childe link hoping to prevent another breakdown. 'Stay with me Will.' He commanded silently.
'I'm trying, Sire. God, it hurts so much. How am I going to survive this? I just want to go back to the dark. Please let me go.' Spike looked up at Angel with pleading in his eyes.
'No, William, you can't. I won't let you. If you go back to the dark you'll break your promise. You can survive this. Will, you have to stay strong. For Dawn and for Buffy. I know it hurts. Remember what Cordy said, you have to be patient. I'm only going to tell you this one time. It was NOT your fault.' Angel calmly looked into Spike's eyes.
'Are you sure, Sire?' The plea was heartbreaking.
'I'm sure Will. It wasn't.' Angel comforted his Childe silently.
Spike nodded and looked at Dawn. He needed her and she needed him, he had to keep his promise.
Dawn watched the silent exchange. Suddenly she knew what to say. She remembered Buffy's last words as if her sister was standing there whispering in her ear.
"The last thing Buffy said to me was: 'The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.'" The teenager had tears streaming down her face as she quoted her sister. Hers was not the only face wet with tears, the others heard the quote and could not hold back. Each of them bent their heads and silently wept.
It was quickly getting dark although no one was particularly scared to be in the cemetery after dark. By mutual decision everyone started moving away from the grave. Angel helped Spike and Dawn to their feet. Anya walked over to Spike and handed him half the remaining flowers and the rest to Dawn. The girl and the vampire moved over to the grave. Laying the flowers by the headstone they stood hand in hand for a moment.
"I love you, Buffy." Spike whispered almost soundlessly.
"I love you, Buffy." Dawn echoed almost as quietly.
Several feet away, Willow stood separate from the group. Her attention, as well as everyone else's was centered on the grieving couple in front of them. It was fortunate no one was looking at the redheaded witch. Her face was set in resolve. She knew what she was going to do. It was just a matter of time.
A/N: (again) They just seemed to stop right here but Giles is dying to find out why Spike is acting so odd. He also wants to know what the deal is with the posh London accent. Will he find out from Spike or Angel? The voices just won't go away. So I'm thinking there might be another part to this story. What do you think?