Chapter 54 – The Back of Your Hand

May 15, 2008 2:15 PM

When you give it up for gone**

But you're still digging in your mind

And you're staring out the window

Saying everything will be just fine

His fingers beat on the steering wheel in time to the questions in his head. Everything in Spike's heart told him to run before this consumed him. He had let go once and almost drowned. Now he didn't know if he could trust her to keep him afloat anymore. Buffy had been gone for over seven weeks to a place where he couldn't reach her.  

And you let her leave thinking you hated her for it.

Would she still love him? Did he still love her? He didn't know anymore. Last summer he would have said yes without hesitation. The trust between them had been broken leaving him questioning the validity of his own heart. He knew she had done what she thought she had to do; to protect him, to protect their family and their baby.  The baby she had deserted when Journey was only a day old.

You didn't even let her say good-bye to her baby.

Who was the guiltier of the two? Who was right and wrong? Did it even matter anymore? Was there even a 'them' anymore? Did either of them want to find out? Hell, he wasn't sure he even wanted to breech the chasm that separated them anymore. One thing he did know was that the place in his heart, soul and life that Buffy once filled was a yawning, aching void. And he stood teetering on the edge of the precipice unsure of whether to jump back in or run to safety.

The call had come yesterday saying she was ready to come home. So, he had come. Everyone was at home, giddy with expectation. The house was decorated in festive colors and signs welcoming her home. No one had asked if he even wanted her back. He hadn't been given a choice. So, here he was doing his duty. His wife would come home. She would resume her role in the family and household. She would take over being Journey's primary caretaker. And…

Where the hell does that leave me?

Spike slammed his hand on the steering wheel and jumped out of the truck. Before he could give into his basic instinct to flee he strode into the foyer of the Brandon Clinic. He gave a quick glance around before approaching the front desk and telling the receptionist what he was there for. The peppy woman told him that his wife was out in the courtyard along with directions on how to get there.

"Thanks," Spike said, over his shoulder as he headed toward the door.  The day was bright and he blinked behind his sunglasses as he searched for his wife. He didn't spot her at first among the people wandering through the garden. A woman approached him and he turned to ask her if she knew his wife when he realized it was Buffy. Ten years and he almost didn't recognize her.

Who are you? Why did you leave me alone?

Spike was grateful for the glasses as his eyes filled with tears. Neither spoke or moved as he took stock of the woman standing before him. The golden cloud of hair that he adored was gone replaced by a short pixie style in her natural color.  Her body changed by pregnancy and time was still petite but her hips had widened while her breasts were heavy with his child's nourishment. But it was her eyes that ripped his soul in two. They were the same chameleon hazel that would tell her moods but they showed the agony of the last year in their depths. He stared into them for a moment noting the wisdom and serenity also dwelling in their depths. It scared him.

Buffy smiled gently at him. "Hello, William."

It seemed that somehow even he was vanished from her life. Spike wasn't welcome. She only called him William anymore. His hand lifted and fell in a feeble attempt to find something to anchor himself to but there was nothing there…nothing at all.

"Hi," Spike said. "You ready to go. The kids have a party planned so…"

"Respond accordingly. You don't need to tell me," Buffy said, tilting her head. And if there had been any mischief in her eyes he would think she was a fairy or sprite. "I'll behave."

Spike sighed and followed her out to the lobby. While she said good-bye to the staff, he waited by her suitcases left by the door. Her laughter was genuine and the affection easy as she spoke to the people surrounding her.  

How long has it been since we were happy to be with each other?

Buffy walked toward him her smile fading with each step. It was as if she knew every emotion that was coursing through him. He pushed the door open and waited for her to step through before following. She led the way to the parking lot until she stopped at the edge glancing around perplexed.

"It's over here," Spike said, leading them to a dark blue Lincoln Navigator. "I bought it when I got Sean a car for his birthday. The Desoto has been retired."

"Any other changes I should know about?" Buffy asked her voice tempered with a touch of trepidation and anger.

"Any others I should know about?" Spike answered, his fingers flipping her hair.

She didn't answer just turned on her heel and climbed in. Forgetting all the rules he'd given himself, Spike decided he could play that game if that was what she wanted. The back gate was slammed shut after he tossed her bags in the back. The driver's door followed suit a few seconds later.

"Bloody fucking typical," Buffy muttered.

"That's redundant," Spike answered as he pulled out of the space. "And what do you consider typical?"

"You being a jerk," Buffy snapped, staring at him. "You did it the last time I came back. Pile the guilt on Buffy for daring to leave you and make sure she's properly punished for needing time."

"Do I get the fucking time?"

As soon as the words were out of his mouth he knew it was a mistake. His eyes closed while he stopped the truck.

I don't want to do this. I am so tired of fighting you.

"I gave you the time and welcomed you back with open arms…twice," Buffy whispered. "Everybody gets forgiven but me. Drusilla, Angel, Max and when it comes to me I have to bear the weight of all their cruelty and mistakes."

"Oh, yes, Buffy, I'm so sorry for being hurt," Spike said, throwing the truck into park. "Let's count the ways you have never hurt me or been cruel or didn't trust me."

Buffy grabbed his hand, slamming it into her face and horrified he stared at what she had done.

"Beat me, please. Let it out, all of it and get it over with. I can take it. Lay all your pain on me," Buffy cried. "Just show me something besides the anger, silence and guilt."

"I don't even know who the fuck you are anymore," Spike whispered.

"Same goes here." Buffy snapped, turning to stare out the window.

Baby, how did we get here? I can't even see you in this woman that's sitting beside me.


May 15, 2008 2:38 PM

Keeping with the whole affair

Every word seems out of line

The radio droned on but Spike wasn't paying attention as he stared at the road in front of him. They hadn't spoken a word to each other since they left the clinic. The silence was uncomfortable and he didn't know how to break it. He wanted to talk to her even if it was for a polite conversation about the weather. Or they could talk about the four children they had between them or even the dog. There were a thousand subjects they could catch up on or hash out but neither opened their mouths. So, he continued to drive without saying anything or even glancing at her.

A favorite memory tickled at his nose.

Surprised, Spike whipped his head around to stare at Buffy. She stared steadfast out the window and refused to acknowledge him. The only indication she wasn't a mannequin was the slight fidget of her hips causing another wave to assault him.

Bloody hell, she's horny…is it for me? Was it the fight? Or is it because she's been without for so long?

"Watch out," Buffy yelped, grabbing his arm.

"Oh, bollocks," Spike said, when he looked up and found the truck had slipped onto the shoulder of the road. He quickly turned the wheel so they were back on asphalt again. "Sorry."

"That's okay," Buffy said, laughter lilting along her words.

Her fingers slipped from his arm, hovering for a second before Buffy ghosted them along his flesh. Suddenly it didn't matter why she was because he was too. One touch of her hand and he was becoming hard.

"Everyone is at the house."


There was disappointment in her tone as she turned to stare out the window again. Spike tried to convince himself it was better this way. They needed to talk and make decisions about their lives before they even thought about sex. He rolled the window down a crack but it seemed to make her scent stronger as the wind blew it throughout the truck. The exit leading to Baker Woods was only a couple of minutes away and he warred with himself in those one-hundred-and-twenty seconds.

Come on, mate, she's still your wife, your mate and she's hot, really hot from the smell. Give in…no, need to be all proper about this. Go home, have the party, then you two can have the 'where the hell do we go from here' conversation and decide your lives…

The tires squealed as he took the exit at the last second. He glanced at Buffy but she didn't say anything. One last time was all he could think of. What if that night they did decide to break up? Would he never touch her again? And he was reluctant to admit that underneath his supposed noble intentions his body was making his choice. Get laid now.

The truck was stopped on a small dirt road deep in the woods. For a second they both sat there and knowing he needed to be the one to speak, Spike searched for the words he needed.

"I…I'm not making promises or agreeing to anything by this," Spike said, staring out the windshield. "Or am I reading you wrong or…no, I know I'm not but…Buffy why?"

"For the same reasons I've always wanted you."

Spike watched as she slipped her sandals off and crawled into the back.

What are we doing? We haven't seen each in weeks.  We were fighting less than an hour ago. Not that it's a first time for that…or even unusual for us…it's us.

A tiny something let go somewhere in Spike's heart as he joined Buffy in the back seat. They didn't even look at each other as she pulled her skirt up and he pulled his shirt off. It was awkward as he reached for her; not knowing how to touch her anymore. Buffy slid down onto the seat and his hands reached to pull her panties off but she stopped him by putting her hands on his.

"There's something else," Buffy whispered, staring at a spot over his shoulder. A hand waved over her pubic area. "I haven't…there didn't seem to be any need and…"

His fingers hooked into the elastic as her hips lifted to aid him in their removal. It was after he dropped them on the floor that he looked up and gazed upon an untrimmed Buffy. Something else that wasn't familiar and he ran his fingers through the brown curls that covered her. Deciding it didn't matter Spike laid on top of her. He wasn't going to stop now. Their kiss was clumsy, taking a few starts, nervous laughter and head tilting to find their way back. They began to touch each other, automatically reaching and caressing places that were known to elicit responses. Spike began to lose himself in the act they were committing and as long as he didn't look into the face of the stranger he was all right.

Keep your eyes closed and feel. Feel the way she's kissing you, it's your Buffy, feel her hands grabbing your ass, it's her, your girl…

"Oh, God, William," Buffy moaned wrapping a leg around his hip.

Why aren't I Spike to you anymore? Don't you love me anymore?

The lies and pep talks weren't working anymore. His heart didn't want this anymore but his body did. His body responded to her like it always did; a runaway train or a fire in dry grass. Buffy reached between them and he rose up to allow her to undo his jeans. His manhood eager for her touch bounded out of its confines and she welcomed it with her tiny hands. He wanted to cry for the familiarity and the strangeness of her touch.

Needing to be a part of this, to find something that would make this okay, his hands skimmed over her body. Her breasts were heavy and overflowed his hand.

"Don't squeeze too much," Buffy said. "It's almost time to…"

Pump them.

He left her breasts alone, bound in their serviceable nursing bra and moved to her hips. They were soft and pliant as he squeezed them. He wished they were some place where he could strip her and explore at his leisure to find all the places that he knew. To find his girl in this woman's body. His fingers skimmed over her secret place as a rush of her desire waved over his fingers.

You're still so hot. Please, let it be me that makes you this way.

Buffy pulled him on top of her again, kissed him as he reached between them. His manhood needed no encouragement as it found its way home inside of her. If it could speak, it would be screaming its joy for anyone to hear; I'm home…I'm where I belong…don't ever let me go.

She's not as tight as she used to be. Why do I have to look for the bad things? Because you're scared she's finally realized the past six years have been a mistake. That this time when you go to look for her she'll be gone…like she was two months ago.

Losing himself in the sensations rallying through his body, Spike settled into a punishing rhythm that had Buffy hands against the door to keep her head from banging into it. It was almost mechanical as his mind chronicled everything that was going on; the feel of her beneath him, the truck rocking back and forth, the sound of their bodies meeting, the squeaking of the leather as they slid on it, a bird screaming as it flew overhead.

Just get both of you off and it'll be over with.

He only concentrated on what he was feeling until Buffy cried out in pain. He stopped to look down at her.

"You okay?" Spike asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Buffy said. "I'm just a little more tender than I thought I'd be."

She'd given birth two months ago and he hadn't even asked if she was healed. He hadn't even given her any consideration.

"Don't," Buffy whispered, cupping his cheek. "Like I said I'm fine and if we could just go a little slower it would be great."

Spike nodded. Without breaking contact with her eyes, he started to rock and grind his hips against her, and the glaze of desire in green depths let him know this was what she needed. He stopped thinking about what he needed and started thinking about the woman beneath him. Buffy started to make those little noises she did and he watched the pleasure as it played out across her features. She came, shuddering, her mouth that little 'o', her eyes half closed and he grinned at her usual routine of orgasmic bliss. The joy at finding a link to what he knew sent him over the edge and he released himself deep inside of her.

"Oh my god, oh my god, get off me, oh my god," Buffy stammered and cried, pushing at his shoulders. "What the hell have we done?"

We fucked.

Confused and uncertain, Spike retreated to the other side of the truck. Buffy covered her mouth with her hand as she scrambled out of the truck.

What the bleedin' hell is wrong? She started this. I'm a mistake again.

The sound of her retching reached him and he rushed to find out what was wrong. Automatically he went to hold her hair back but there was nothing there. His hands fell futilely to his sides.

"Buffy, what's wrong?"

"We didn't use birth control."

Oh, balls. We could be trapped.

Spike hated himself for the thought and he patted her on the back as she finished emptying her stomach. He knew it was the wrong time, the wrong situation, they'd just had one baby but would it be the end of the world? And as she straightened up, he knew for her it would be. All the terror and pain of her pregnancy was visible on her face. She reminded him of humans he'd tortured in the old days. The ones he forced to their breaking points just so he could see the look that now adorned his wife's countenance. He pulled her against him and murmured nonsensical words that wouldn't alleviate her emotions. Buffy's tears soaked through his t-shirt and there surrounded by the sounds of her sobbing and the smell of sex and vomit Spike saw how far into hell she'd truly traversed.


May 15, 2008 3:45 PM

No matter what angle you get

It's polished till it shines

Spike slipped through the door Buffy had left ajar for him. She was carefully reapplying makeup as she stared into the mirror. Her eyes flickered to him and he held out the toothbrush, toothpaste and a bottle of water he'd gotten for her.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome," Spike said, leaning against the wall and opening his bottle of soda. The store's bathroom smelled of heavy antiseptic soap and had things written on the walls that made even him think twice.

"Did you get stuff for later?" Buffy asked spitting toothpaste into the sink. At his quizzical expression she pointed at the condom machine on the wall.

Oh. She wants to do it again. After all that she wants to fuck again…

"It was the lack of birth control that got me upset."

Maybe it was just sex after all. Maybe it wasn't me that she wanted.

His mind remembered something else that he'd buried and having found its moment returned screaming at him.

"Did you ever want Dagon?"

Buffy grabbed her purse and threw everything into it. She stalked past him, stopped and looked back.

"If I have to answer that question than I don't know if there's even anyway for us to start over," Buffy said. "But just so we're clear; no, being raped doesn't turn me on." The door slammed shut in her wake.

Oh my god, I asked that out loud. Stupid ponce. Did she say raped?

Spike barely made it to the toilet as the bile rose in his throat. Even if it wasn't her body she felt everything that Dagon did. He had been told by the therapists, by Dawn, by Kate and he hadn't let it sink in. He hadn't let it past his barriers and now it was a murderous rage that left him shaking.

What have I done to her?

"It wasn't your fault," Buffy said, handing him the toothbrush.

She'd slipped back in when he'd been sick. His hand was trembling as he took the proffered item.

All he'd been concerned about was what she'd done to him and their children. His fury at Elijah and the baby being in danger had consumed him to the point where he couldn't see what had happened to Buffy. He'd needed someone to blame besides himself and she'd been the easy target. Now, he wished they'd left Dagon alive so that he could fully vent everything he was feeling.

Spike wiped his mouth with a paper towel as he chucked the brush into the trash.

"It wasn't yours either."

Buffy, startled by his statement, turned wide eyes to him. She stared in wonder for a moment then the veil dropped again. She wasn't ready to trust him or declarations made in moments of intense emotions. There was still so much for them to talk about.

"I'll meet you in the truck," Buffy said, leaving him alone again.

Spike pulled around to the front of the store to wait for her. The door opened and he watched as she slipped a box of condoms into her purse. She threw the bag away and climbed in beside him. Somehow in spite of everything she still wanted him. She just didn't want another pregnancy and he could live with that for now.

Does that mean I want her to stay; that I want to try again?

It was still too complicated, too fragile, to think that far ahead and they made the rest of the trip home in silence. Buffy met him at the back of the truck to grab one of her bags.

"Go on," Spike said, waving her off. "They're waiting for you."

The front door of the house opened and their children came running out.

"Mummy, Mummy," Elijah screamed.

Buffy met him halfway across the yard, picked him up and swung him around. Raven and Sean threw their arms around her and his family was back together.


May 15, 2008 6:48 PM

And when you say who the hell am I living with?

What just went down?

It was tiring to be surrounded by so many happy people when all he wanted was to examine his feelings. Whatever connection or truce he and Buffy had made this afternoon was fading into a memory amongst the chaos that reigned in their house. No one was going away soon. Angel had commandeered his chair and was watching some old horror flick on television. Max, Xander and Anya were cleaning the kitchen from the impromptu dinner of Mexican fare. The young people were having a resounding game of cards in the dining room while the children played with Tara and Willow in the living room. There was more roaming the house but he'd lost track of them.

Spike looked up as someone moved in the hallway. It was Buffy starting up the stairs. She looked at him and crooked her finger so he'd follow her. He did. The hallway was empty on the second floor and he glanced at the stairs leading to the attic wondering if that was where she'd gone. Before he could take a step the bathroom door opened and her hand reached out to pull him in. The door was closed and he was pushed against it. His hand reached for the light switch.

"Leave it off," Buffy said, undoing his belt.

He closed his eyes as his jeans were undone and he moaned as her mouth closed over him. She teased at it while her hands ran along his thighs, fingers squeezing into his flesh. He was now ready for her to do with as she wished. Her tongue circled him before she engulfed him again.

Oh bloody hell…

His knees buckled and his hand clutched at the door trying to stay standing as Buffy sucked him with what seemed like every muscle in her mouth. His hand reached for her hair, encountered the stranger again when there were barely enough locks to wrap around his fingers.

Can't ride my pony no more…

Spike's hand held the back of her head as he thrust into that heat. She took it and never asked for mercy when he went deeper and stronger. He waited for her to ask him to stop and she wouldn't do it. She took his punishment and swallowed every drop that he poured into her.

What other punishment would you take if I asked you to? Whips? Paddles? Another two months of lonely nights and empty arms?

Buffy was so close to him as she put him away and fastened his jeans. She kissed him along his jaw as he stood there and did nothing. He didn't understand what was happening between them and before he could ask, she was gone.  

"Why?" Spike asked. "I asked you earlier and you just said the same reason as always but there's more."

There was only silence and he slipped into game face so he could see her in the dark. Buffy was sitting on the edge of the tub and he went to sit next to her.

"I know that sex is something you've always loved between us," Buffy said. "I'm hoping that if there is at least one reminder then you'll remember others."

"You're giving me sex hoping that it'll remind me that I love you."

"You said you hated me."

Spike sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Well, yeah, I did and at the time I did but it's not like it was the first time. What I mean, Buffy, is that I've loved you and on occasion I've hated you, I've wanted you, been jealous of you; there's not a lot of things I haven't felt for you at one time or another. It's like its all part of the package, sometimes it's got pretty wrappings and bows and others times its like it was wrapped from a newspaper out of the garbage. But it never stays just one or the other. You know what I mean?"

Buffy smiled and nodded. "Do you still love me?"

Yes. No. Neither answer is right and neither is wrong.

"I'm so confused," Spike said. "I'll always love you but I don't know if I trust you or even want to be in love with you anymore."

Buffy didn't cry or scream or even rant. She sat quietly beside him as she wrung her hands and breathed in and out as if she was counting the beats. He waited. She was working up to something and he was ready to hear.

"I'm sorry for what I did," Buffy said. "My head was so messed up, filled with all the things Drusilla was telling me and showing me. He wanted our baby and I never, never intended for him to have her. I thought I could handle it without anyone getting hurt this time; no Giles being skewered, no Tara going crazy, no one else dying because of me but as usual I only made it worse."

It was seven months, Buffy; couldn't you see what was happening? To you? To us? To everyone around you? Why do you always feel like you're in this alone?

Buffy kissed his cheek and stood. "You once asked me if I could love all that you were and now I guess I'm asking you the same. I'm not going to give up on us and I'll be around when you know for sure. You're worth the wait."

Am I?


March 15, 2008 9:53 PM

Where did this come from?

Why are all my colors faded brown?

When did it change?

What's with the rage?

There was no way to avoid the 'conversation' anymore. The buffer of their family was gone. The children were asleep. It was down to her and him. Slowly he climbed the stairs wishing they would go on forever so he didn't have to go through with this. Anything was better than dealing with the myriad emotions that danced below the raging pain.

Spike stepped into their attic room, and wonder danced in his heart at the sight before him.

Buffy was holding their baby to her breast.

I will never complain about that damn bra again. Not if this is what I can look at.

"Come on, honey, I know I'm not who you're used to holding you when you wake up," Buffy said, both love and panic lacing her words. "You didn't mind me doing this when Auntie Tara and Kate were here helping us."

Journey refused to latch onto the nipple that Buffy was brushing against her cheek. The little one kept fussing making matching tears fall from Buffy's eyes. She glanced up at him, frustration marring her face and he hurried to their side. Sitting on the couch, Spike took their baby in his arms.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Spike cooed, rocking his daughter in the way that soothed her. "No crying allowed. Are you hungry?"

"Maybe you should just give her a bottle."

Don't give up, Buffy, she needs you.

"Face me," Spike instructed, turning toward Buffy. "It's going to be okay." He scooted closer to his wife until Journey was against her breast again. His fingers guided his daughter to the nourishment she needed. "Take it. It's really good. I've kind of always liked it myself." This time Journey started to feed. "Hold her, Buffy."

Once Buffy was cuddling their baby, Spike pulled his shirt off, and wrapped it around Journey.

"Kate said smells are really important. Maybe if…"

"If she has your scent then she'll accept me."

"Yeah," Spike said, going to the window and leaned against it.

"Thank you," Buffy said. "I know it was for her but thank you."

Spike didn't reply. It wasn't just for Journey. It was for them both. They needed each other. And contrary to any promises made before if he and Buffy broke up the kids and the house would be his. She wouldn't be able to handle it alone. Not right now. She would be soon but not now.

His mind wandered back to a conversation between him and Giles.

Spike had gone to see Giles in an attempt to clear the chaos from his mind. Someone who knew Buffy almost as well as he did. He had to know. He had to figure something out before it was too late.

"Spike," Giles said, his arm around his shoulders. "I'm going to tell you the same thing I told her once very long ago. To forgive is an act of compassion. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it."

"I don't know if I can."

"You will if you want to keep your family together. You will if you want her back. There is no other way."

"How do I?"

"Just decide that having her is more important than the anger you're holding onto."

The best thing for everyone was if he and Buffy stayed together. Sean and Raven were already counting on it. Elijah hadn't cried all night with his Mummy home. He would be a right bastard to send her away. Their family needed for them to find a way to make it work. Buffy was willing, more than willing and everything hung on his decision.

Can I trust you? Can I love you even though you're no longer on the pedestal I kept you on for so long? Can I love the woman you've become?

The first step to finding out the answers was for him to forgive her. He sat across from her again, marveling at the tiny infant drinking from Buffy's breast. He watched the peace on his wife's face as she participated in a ritual as old as time.

"I forgive you."

The words came as quickly as he made the decision and he only hoped that she would understand. Her eyes searched his face and he wanted to say the other words she needed but he couldn't.

"Thank you," Buffy whispered. She seemed about ready to say something else but stopped, returning her gaze to their child. Her fingers drifted over Journey's soft cheek.

"Do you forgive me?"

For not listening, for screaming at you, for not understanding your pain, do you forgive me for letting you down?

"I did a long time ago," Buffy said, taking his hand.

They had taken the first step…together.


March 15, 2008 11:51 PM

Who's the dude with the extra roll?

What's the verse, the line, the chapter, the page?

"I can't believe I'm doing this," Buffy said, lying back on the table in their small kitchenette. "Is this some fetish you've never told me about?"

"No," Spike said, glancing up from where he was arranging things. "You said it needed to be done and I volunteered."

"You never have before."

I never needed to find my girl before.

"Open up," Spike said, his hands resting on her knees, "can't do it unless you spread your legs."

"It's embarrassing," Buffy said, keeping her legs firmly together. "I know its stupid considering all the things we've done but it's never been so clinical before…"

He tickled the back of her knees. "Be a good girl for Dr. Spike and he'll give you a lollipop when we're done."

What the hell was that? Playing? We're supposed to be talking, being serious, deciding our lives and you're playing doctor.

"No," Buffy said, shaking her head and giggling. "I already had a lollipop today."

Spike rested his chin on her knees, staring soulfully into her eyes, "Please, don't you trust me?"

Of all the stupid, lamebrain questions to ask, you had to ask that one.

Her legs fell open, spreading to reveal her to him, "Yes, I trust you."

I don't believe you.

It was a ghastly thought but it was true. If she had then she would have come to him. She would have told him everything. He wondered if he'd ever know everything or if he'd ever understand why.  His fingers spread the shaving cream over her labia as Buffy stared at him.

"It was me that I didn't trust," Buffy said.

That I believe.

"It doesn't make sense," Spike said, pulling the razor across her flesh. He sighed. "I don't understand why you couldn't tell me. I'd die for you and you couldn't yell help."

"I don't want you to die for me," Buffy whispered. "I want you to live for me."

"And all I wanted was you."

"I didn't go anywhere…"

"Yes, you did," Spike bit out, pulling away from her; afraid of accidentally hurting her. "You were gone and I don't understand why. I don't know if I can ever trust you again."

"I can tell you everything, every moment of the entire time but it won't erase it. I can tell you every reason why I thought it was necessary not to tell you but you'll only see it as I didn't trust you."

Because you didn't.

Spike returned to shaving her, concentrating on the cold metal as it took away the hair neither of them was used to.  Buffy lay perfectly still, her eyes closed, letting him close to her…trusting him not to cut her. Trusting him with her heart, trusting him with their children and all of their futures, trusting him to make her dreams come true, trusting him to come back to her; and he understood that there were a thousand ways that she did trust him.

Maybe it wasn't because she didn't trust you. Maybe it was because she was terrified, confused and doing the best she could.

And that made him even more of an ass than he thought. It was easier to blame her for everything that went wrong than accept the truth. Easier than accepting his fair share of the blame. If he'd taken care of Dagon before, if he'd taken care of Drusilla, if he'd listened to what Buffy was saying it would have turned out differently. The pregnancy might have been a joyous time that they could have shared instead of the nightmare that made Buffy terrified to ever carry another child.

Spike wiped the last of the cream away. "All done and I must say it's quite pretty."

"Pig," Buffy said, sitting up and glancing down. "Not bad." She waggled her brows at him. "Wanna take a shower with me? Give it a test drive?"

"Don't you think we need to talk? Finish this? Make some kind of decision."

Buffy sighed, slid off the table and pulling her robe around her. He watched as she cleaned up after their experiment and finally returned to stand in front of him.  "Okay, let's talk. Do you want details? Do you want promises that won't be accepted because you don't trust me? Do you want me to get on my knees and beg? Do you want to beat me up?"

"Fine be that way," Spike snapped. "Make jokes, shag me, play with me but don't be serious with me. I guess it doesn't matter to you."

"No, William, it does matter to me. It matters a lot to me but you're digging for something that isn't going to magically appear no matter how many times we say the same words. I want to start living again. I want us to build a new and stronger life together. And yes, I want to make love to you because that's all it's ever been for me. No matter what form it takes. It's always been done in love."

"Except when you let Drusilla in our bed," Spike said, closing his eyes. Humiliation and shame filled him at the thought of Drusilla being with him when he didn't even know it. It was a violation of the vows he made to Buffy the summer before and the promises that he made to her when they were first together. It was a violation of him.

Is this how she felt? Is this how I'd feel if I'd been unfaithful?

"Oh," Buffy said, cupping his face, stroking the angled planes of his cheeks with her thumbs. "We shared thoughts and feelings but it was only me that made love to you. Your love was too powerful to let her between us. You were always the link in the chain holding us together and when you made love to me it closed everything out. Remember when you explained the ritual to me and you said that you could choose what to open up or close. You heart was a shield protecting what was sacred between mates."

"Then how?" Spike asked, unsure of how to proceed. "How could Dagon?"

"There were times when Drusilla was completely in control and she'd switch bodies with me or she'd open the gates so that we were flowing into one. He'd see the distant look in her eyes and he'd strike." Buffy stopped, her hands dropping to her sides, her eyes closed as revulsion crossed her face. "He…he got off on hurting us. Either one, it didn't matter because we both belonged to you and it would hurt you to hurt us. I fought him, Will, I did…I never wanted that…" Buffy choked back a sob, leaning into him, silently begging for his comfort.

"I'm sorry," Spike said, wrapping his arms around her. "Oh, God, Buffy, I'm so sorry…I swore I'd always protect you and I didn't…I failed."

"No, we have to stop this," Buffy cried. "We have to get past this blaming, this guilt."

I can't stop. I just started dealing with this. You've had time and people to talk to...I'm always on the outside. I don't understand any of this. I always let you go. Why can't I hold on to you? Do I want to hold onto you?

"I'm right here," Buffy said, squeezing him close to her. "Right here with you for as long as I can."

No more promises of forever. They both realized that was a false dream that you could be woken from at any moment. All they had was today and she was promising him that.

And he trusted her enough to give it to him.


May 16, 2008 1:47 AM

You think you're alone without any place left to go

Like you need one of those kisses long and slow

Buffy was moaning and thrashing under the attention his tongue was giving to her. He wanted to swim inside of her, to disappear forever into her, it was his heaven. Her fingers wound through his hair and he took a deep breath before pressing his face against her.  

Why the hell did I do something so that I have to breathe? Just want to keep my nose in here forever.

"Please, don't stop, almost there," Buffy pleaded, her toes digging into his ribs. "Oh, God, Baby, it feels so good. Need you so much…only you."

Her babbling pushed him to the edge as his hips wiggled against the sheets, simulating sex as his fingers pressed into her body. He sucked at her like she had with him earlier and Buffy shot up as her hand covered her mouth to stifle the scream he provoked.

Oh, yeah, still got it. I'm still the big bad…still bad to the bone. Yep, still can satisfy my lady and make her lose control.

Spike crawled up her trembling body; planting kisses along her sweat streaked flesh and settled against her. He nuzzled her throat, nipping along while rubbing himself against her.

"Stop, Will," Buffy gasped. "I can get preg…"

"Sorry," Spike responded, rolling off of her and onto his back with an arm flung over his face.  How did he go from being the best lover to dunce in the space of a minute? Buffy's hand crept across his chest but he ignored it, ignored her sigh until he heard her sitting up. He looked out to see her getting out of the bed. He grabbed her shoulder. "Don't go. I…don't know what I'm doing anymore."

His hand cupped the back of her neck and pulled Buffy down. She sprawled across his torso with her arm lying across his thighs. His hand had never left her and moved up into her hair as she settled on him. The short locks were caressed and dangled through fingers before his hand drifted along the neck no longer hidden behind her long hair. He spread his hand out along her upper back as he explored her.

"Is it so bad?" Buffy asked as his hand returned to her hair.

"No, not really, it's just different but it could have its benefits." She shivered as his fingers tickled the back of her neck. "So, do you have those things?"


Sometime during the day she must have put the condoms into the nightstand. She pulled one out and handed it to him.

What am I supposed to do with this thing?

"Want me to?" Buffy asked.

Spike nodded and he watched as she sheathed him in the condom.

Why the hell do blokes wear these things? I look ridiculous and it's uncomfortable.

Buffy laughed and he looked up from where he'd been staring at it.

"Is it that bad?"

"Yeah, it is," Spike said, glancing up at her. Something shifted in her eyes and he went to cover. "I'll get used to it. Don't how the hell I'm supposed to feel anything with it all covered up?"

"If you'd like," Buffy said, shifting onto her stomach and raising her bottom just a bit. "We can do it this way."

It was impulse. He smacked her ass. She yelped and rolled onto her back. The look on her face was priceless as she stared at him.

That was good, go and piss her off. See if you get any now.

Buffy pounced, straddling him while her finger poked into his chest. "You are mean and evil and a…"

"And a what?"  Spike asked, flipping them. His fingers danced along her ribs while she giggled uncontrollably beneath him. Her hands beat along his arms but he ignored her protests, digging into her waist.

"Stop, please stop," Buffy pleaded, laughing as she twisted trying to get away. "Please, don't, god, stop, Spike stop it."

She called me Spike.

They both stopped, staring at each other, accepting that she had reverted to his nickname again. Spike stared into her eyes, waiting, something telling him that this slip was momentous in some way. It was. He saw a wall break inside of her, the dust flaring in the shifting shade of her eyes, her hands running over his body like she needed to remind herself that he was alive.

"Spike, Spike, my Spike," Buffy chanted, each utterance of his name punctuated by a kiss to his flesh, to his lips. Her hands clutched at him, pushing him onto his back, sinking onto his length. "Spike, Spike, I was so scared that you didn't want me. Spike, I love you, Spike, I tired to pretend you were someone else. Not my Spike, not my heart, not my lover."

Spike met each rise and fall of her hips, grinding against him, accepting him home. The last of her walls broke as he watched in wonder. The unfamiliar cloaked them while they tried to hide but this was them. This was her soul completely bared before him. She held nothing back. The bed rocked and squeaked giving accompaniment to the power of the music they made as he met her with his heart wide open. They were two forces of nature colliding as they found each other again. Beneath the surface changes they found that their hearts and souls were still the same as they came undone in each other's arms.


May 16, 2008 8:42 AM

First glance is not what it seems

But there's some things I just know

Like you take two sugars with a splash of cream

Buffy was singing. "The bough breaks and down will come baby cradle and all."

Smiling, Spike stumbled into the kitchen, looking first for his wife and baby. They were sitting at the table Journey nestled in his wife's arms.

"Look, there's Daddy," Buffy cooed. "He finally woke up."

Spike laughed, turning to look around the kitchen for the rest of his family. Del was making eggs at the stove while Raven and Sean were getting juice and toast. Elijah sat at the table next to Buffy. He picked his son up and put him on his lap.

"Good morning," Spike said, hugging Eli, making him laugh. He turned to Buffy, leaning over to kiss her cheek as his fingers tickled Journey's stomach. "Good morning to you bitsy. Mummy get you fed and stuff."

"Spike," Buffy said. "Do you think I'm not capable of taking care of our baby?"

God, you're beautiful.

"You should have seen her with the diaper," Raven said, sitting across from her parents. "It was hilarious."

"Do you have to tell on Mum?" Sean complained, smacking Raven in the back of her head before sitting at the head of the table.

It would seem like pettiness and bitching if everyone wasn't grinning. Spike sat back, rubbing his son's back as Eli ate his breakfast. There was no tension anywhere in the room except maybe from Candy whining to go out. Del laid a plate of scrambled eggs on the table and went to let her out.

Thank god, if I had to step in piddle one more time, that animal would have been a snack.

"Hey, so what are doing this summer?" Raven asked, loading her plate with food. "I was thinking maybe we could go to the beach on vacation. Connor said he'd take over patrolling so I could leave town."

"No, beach," Sean said, pulling the platter toward him. "I say we go to Colorado."

"Disney," Elijah said, leaning back against his father. "I wanna go to Disney."

"We already did that," Raven said. "If not the beach, how about we go to Mexico?"

"Do you have to be so frivolous?" Sean asked, casting a dirty look at his sister.

"Oh, like the mountains is some great intellectual retreat."

"Hey, shush, you two," Del said, taking a seat. "Your Mum has Journey now. You have to go somewhere that she can be comfortable."

Spike glanced at Buffy but her eyes remained downcast refusing to look at him. They had broken barriers down last night but he still hadn't said if he still wanted her in his life. She wasn't sure if she would be around to go on vacation with them.

Oh, Baby, don't you know how much I love you? How much I need you?

Spike reached over and tucked a small curl behind her ear. He smiled at her when she bravely looked up at him but there was still uncertainty in her eyes.

"Del's right," Spike said. "Give me proposals on where everyone wants to go and your Mum and I will go through them. After we decide we'll let you know."

His proclamation seemed to go unheard from the children as they continued to argue on where they wanted to go. Spike didn't hear them as Buffy gazed at him with happiness shining from her eyes for the first time in months.

"Come here, wench," Spike said, pulling her to him, kissed her and then whispered against her ear. "I love you. Stay with me forever."

"No where else I want to be," Buffy sighed. "Hey," she turned to face the children upon hearing Raven's latest idea. "I am not taking Journey on a camping trip into the Grand Canyon. Can we just go some place that we can relax and be comfortable?"

"Well, that leaves out everyplace that will be fun," Raven complained, resting her chin in her hand.

"Well, Cordelia did rent that huge house on the beach…" Buffy said.

Yep, we're together again.

Spike sat back and watched as his family playfully argued about where they were going to go on vacation. It was real and they were in it together.

For better or worse till the end of time.

~~The End~~

**Song lyrics are 'The Back of Your Hand' by Dwight Yoakum

Author's Note:  Do you still have unanswered questions about the Baby universe? Questions like: Do Raven and Connor ever get together or does their love fade as first love often does? Does Cordelia win back Angel's heart? Does Max ever find love and someplace to live besides the Blood's couch? Is there any freaking way that Buffy and Spike could have a little romance and adventure without the heart wrenching angst in just one of these stories? If so then keep an eye out for Down Comes Baby; the fourth installment in the Baby series.

Thank you to DarrylJ, my beta, for holding my hand and pushing me to do better. I couldn't have made it without you.

Thank you to Tobert, Caitee Marsters, Lisa, Rogue Fan, Faith76, Shaylith, Angel Dee 81, Jessica, Lis, darrel doomvomit, Nellie, AnastasiaMarsters, Josephine Martin, buffy, EVILxLINT, Gina, DayWalker, Sylvia, SAB6, Sarah, msu, Rachel9, Miss B, j, Slyslayer13, charmed1ofmany, syl, Fiona, Night, BuffySummers168, Rogue Angel, Hanna, Crazee8tz, viv, Brianna, Bear and Odita for your reviews. I appreciate them more than you know.

And a final Thank you to everyone else who has read and stood by this story.