Not going to Bugger it All
Strange Bint

Summary: A Spike/Buffy and Faith & Spike Friendship during BTVS Season 7. I wrote this right After "Orpheus" and "First Date." So, Faith was on her way to Sunnydale, and it didn't look like things were going to work with Wood and Buffy. So, Faith comes to town to help deal with the First .

Rating: PG-14...Bad language. No worse Than "South Park."

Story Notes: There is a training scene between Faith and Spike but other than that it is a character study thing. Talk of Sex Pistols, Peter Pan, and Ever Quest

One of my first fics re-edited. I think I would have done some things different now, but, Please read and review!
For More Spike/Buffy, Spike/Faith, Spike/Dru, Connor, Angel, Gunn & more Go to my Page:

Not Going to Bugger it All

"You're making me really pissed off, English!" Faith insisted as she caught her breath, but she was laughing.

"You're not in prison anymore, Niblet. You're with the big boys now." Spike grinned.

"Spoken like a man whose never been to a women's prison during that bad week in the...month." She said as she went to knock the stick out of his hand, which she did. But, he knocked her down again with that palm to the face thing.

What the fuck? "Big boys?" She had taken out things three times his size. She had seen bigger boys in "Menudo". She knew size didn't matter (in this venue anyway). She knew he was special, fierce, insane, crafty- She could relate. So that was why she should be able to take him down in a stupid training! She kept smiling at him. That was what it was.

She made herself remember the shackles. She had been behaving and still the shackles were "procedure". With that she charged the vampire. She whacked him a couple of times before he swept her legs out from under her. This sucked. Sucked a lot. Buffy had taken this guy down in his peak like a hundred times, in the usual life and death, kill or be killed venue. Yet, Faith couldn't do it in B's basement with soft little training mats.

She still laughed when Spike would pull her off the ground. She laughed because he did it so easily and swiftly her stomach would do that flip thing, like when you were a kid and someone would throw you up in the air. Like she would know anything about how that felt. He had her back pressed up against his chest with the sparring rod. She supposed this was when he would snap the neck. Yes, that familiar crunchy sound. Or would he bite? Probably not. She noticed he made sure to keep his groin away from her.

"You know what your problem is?" He asked.

"Ooo! Ooo, I think I know this one!" She grunted as she flipped him over. "I'm not taking this seriously enough. This is the evil of evil's we'll be fighting, and I'm making jokes and having the cahonies to smile."

He got up gymnast style before she could help him up.

"I should be wearing a sac cloth and ashes and whipping myself, getting ready this for this pure pure evil. It's so pure I heard one really nice German kid snorted one drop of it and became Hitler." She quipped as she hit him across the room.

"No." He smiled as he had come back and tackled her and held the sparring stick gently against her throat.

Shit! One vampire kicking a slayers ass! One badass, punk, sexy, lean muscley vampire! Still it wasn't as hard as she thought. Not the sparring with him, that was turning out to be wicked hard! What wasn't as difficult as she thought was keeping her hands off of him. It was obvious Spike and B had a thing, or were having a thing, or wanted to have a thing. Knowing B she was mucking it all up. Trying to show restraint to make Giles think she was the best little slayer in the world. But, one of those Bringer guys with their eyes cut out could see the longing looks they were giving each other. No one had to tell Faith. Not that anyone would tell her. I mean, what right did she have to be in-the- know here? Faith knew she would never get invited to a sleepover party at Revello Drive unless the world was ending. So, if she didn't do any of her old hat tricks maybe everyone would stop clenching their asses every time she walked in the room. So, she vowed to stay away from B's new man all- together. But, this dude, Spike seemed to be the only one who didn't clench his ass when Faith walked into the room. Faith was sure he had gotten the Cliff notes on her story as she had gotten his. So, sure he would be a hypocrite to do the ass clench with everyone else, but Angel had done some ass clenching around her. Of course, Angel had only done that before she had broken down in front of him and before he had turned evil, again, but she had done no breaking down in front of this Brit.

"You're all offense and no defense." Spike chided her. So, here she found herself hanging with B's man and his relaxed ass.

"The best a good offense." She told him as she went to kick him in the knees, and he jumped out of the way. Granted he had himself a cute ass, but she didn't want to grab it as much as she thought she would.

"Funny... I always thought that saying went the other way... But, I haven't seen a football match in a while." He said as he held her and dropped her down fast. She laughed as her stomach did the flip thing again. She just couldn't get all grrrr with this guy. She wished she wanted to at least grab his ass more because that would explain why she was getting knocked on hers. She felt his knee touch her back as he held her all honeymoon style. He stopped dropping her as quickly as he started. He could have smacked her body across his knees, but didn't. It made sense. They were on the same side. Still she would have healed by morning.

"You holding back on me, English?" She demanded as she threw him against the wall, sparring stick against him. She could feel all the strength he had in him, like it was surging threw the stick and up her arms as she had him pinned against the wall. He looked away, but never lost that smirk. Okay, she felt a little grrrh and a little Unngh now. She actually felt like kissing him for a second, and didn't. See she did really care about B. One point for Faith.

"Don't think so! But you are too bloody easy, Niblet, for anyone with experience and a brain." He was on top of her now.

"You've been reading the gas station walls. That's where they all go to research me." She joked proudly as she pushed him off. He laughed.

He didn't seem to laugh at anything anyone else said around here, but who could blame him? She had seen him laughing with B though. B always seemed to go out to him when he smoked his cigs outside, like a good boy. As he was laughing and blocking Faith's punches she kicked him hard and sent him flying. Oops, his ass dented the dryer. Faith supposed that was her fault.

"Ha.ha, ha... and ha!" She snapped as he came back at her a little worse for wear. The sparring sticks knocked together quickly as she was trying to sweep out his legs. Then he'd give. "Maybe you took me down more!" She heaved, "But, when I take someone down, I take them down hard and that's all that----OooW!" She found herself across the room. Her head had snapped back to fast.

"That's you're problem. You don't protect yourself from anything. You're too busy thinking about you're next bite with no bark, Nib."

He said, gently pulling her up again. Faith laughed. Maybe if he didn't help her up she would get tired more quickly and start blocking better. He had never seen anything like this Faith. She was like the sodding British army in the revolutionary war. Firing and marching forward. More firing and marching forward as parts of them walked into the bullets. Spike restrained the urge to shake the girl and demand she take him seriously. He didn't want to be another drill sergeant; there was enough of that going around. This Nib was the only one with a bit of fun left in her when it came to all this. They shouldn't be too afraid or forget how to laugh either. What was the point of fighting the fight if all they had in them was fear? He realized as she knocked him to the ground and bared all weight and strength down on him, that this girl seemed to have no fear. That a girl, he wanted to say. But, he knew she did have some fear somewhere, and pretending not to would get her killed.

"If you want to stay pretty you have to learn to block that face." He grabbed her soft little round face with the crushed rose petal lipstick and tried to appeal to her vanity. She quit baring down on him and looked away. Was she embarrassed? That didn't seem like this bird's style. Anyone could tell Buffy she was pretty and she wouldn't even blink a bloody eye.

"That's me- pretty vacant." Faith mumbled. She was about to get up when he grabbed her hands and put his feet on her thighs and lifted her up. It was something he had done with Dawn she called "airplane" when Dawn had seemed much much younger.

"You a Pistols fan, Love?" Spike asked Faith as he lowered her feet to the ground.

"Sure!" She exclaimed as she pulled him off the ground the minute her feet hit the floor. Dawn had never done that.

"A group of boys hand picked for their raw sex appeal and their total lack of respect for authority. Anarchy and chaos all the way! I mean what's not to love?" She demanded.

Two parts passion, one part sarcasm. It wasn't that she reminded him of someone, or maybe it was. He realized she looked like Buffy in an odd way and even Dru in an odder way.

"Well, there was the little matter of Sid's naughty murder of the only one he ever loved." Spike reminded Faith. He found that thirty-year-old murder almost as upsetting as one of his for some reason.

"Ah!" She said with a wave of her hand. "He didn't mean to hurt her. I mean who knows what really went on with those two? I hear she could be a total bitch and she beat on him all the time. I mean she out weighed him by twenty pounds. Maybe-"

"It doesn't bloody matter what went on between them! It doesn't matter if the sodding little fuck meant to kill her or not! The point is that he killed her! The point is what he sodding did do! And don't you forget that!" He roared. She had flinched for a second, or a microsecond, but he noticed it and felt awful.

"Okay, English." She said and whistled with an eye roll. "Don't get your knickers twisted. He wasn't even their real bass player."

"I'm sorry, Bit. Sorry... That had nothing at all to do with you." He apologized.

"No sweat." She said over her shoulder as she began walking up the stairs.

"It's five by five. Even if it was about me." She mumbled.

"It wasn't about you at all. How the hell could that be about you?" He scoffed at the ridiculousness of the idea.

"Damn vampire hearing!... You mean your little Blondie didn't tell you to keep an eye on me? Or maybe Rupy told you to...I can see you Brits sticking together... 'I do say, old mate. Keep an eye on that Faith and make sure she has taken responsibility for her actions, or else we're all doomed- doomed! Don't make me bring out the flash cards I made for the girl whose language I pretend to know.'" She badly imitated an English accent as she sank on the stairs. He laughed, so loudly he had to cover his mouth. Some of the natives could be sleeping.

"I hate to tell you." She continued as he sat next to her on the stairs.

"But, the fate of the world doesn't rest on my sorry ass being...sorry. Or else the big bad Mama of evil wouldn't be getting up off the couch. She would just keep spitting babies out of her womb and watching 'Oprah'."

"Trust me, Bit. My hissy wasn't about you. It was about me... Things I did... Awful things... I'm a vampire remember? And I hate to shock you but I have- or had- a tendency to be a lot like Mr. Vicious." He raised his eyebrow and smiled slowly.

Now she would ask him what he had done, and he would tell her. Not of the countless murders, but of the attempted rape of the woman he loved. She would keep away from him like the rest of the Scoobys.

"I really want some beer. Do you want some beer?" She asked.

"Yes." He said emphatically. He couldn't believe how much he did want some beer. He felt like kissing her for making him realize it. Instead he rose to his feet.

"I don't really want to see any people though. Do you want to hang with any people?" Faith asked.

"Hell no." Spike sighed. Faith smiled.

Trust me. He had said. Faith trusted no one. Not even Buffy. No, Faith didn't trust the girl who let her stay at her house after Faith had hurt her so many times. She didn't trust the girl who Faith knew was the closest thing to a real hero, as they would ever come. Instead Faith trusted one of the most legendary of former killers. Faith trusted the vampire she had known for two weeks. How bad could he be if B was all ga-ga for him?

"...So you see... It's not really about destroying things- all smashy smashy... It's really about getting rid of all the bloody politicians and their bloody laws and having people just rely on each other." Spike explained as he made the beer pyramid one can higher.

"So the Pistols were like libertarians?" Faith asked. She didn't think she was going to like this Guinness, but she did.

"No! No, no, no!" Spike waived his hands emphatically. "Those guys are wankers! The pistols were anarchists!"

"What's the difference? Keep in mind I'm not that bright. I'm a convicted felon that dropped out of high school." Faith lay back on the surprisingly comfy mattress in the Summer's basement.

"Would you bloody stop that! You are bright! You're spitfire bright. You don't get that being ground out of the Yank school sausage factory."

"You said sausage factory!" She giggled. Faith heard big chunky shoes on the stairs.

"Buffy?" Spike asked. Spike kept saying that if Buffy got home in time she would drink with them. Faith said she had to see it to believe it.

"Kennedy!" Faith exclaimed and smiled.

"Kennedy, why aren't you with Buffy and the other slayerettes?" Spike asked.

"Sorry to interrupt. Willow, Xander, and Dawn are here to by the way. We are researching. Well, we were. Then Andrew got this idea that watching 'Dead Evil' or 'Evil Dead' or 'Resident Evil'- some movie with 'Evil' in the title would help. So, laundry time for me." The brunette girl said peering over a basket of clothes.

"You really think this is where you ought to be? Sitting with your honey watching bad horror movies when you could be training with the slayer? And the Scoobs are listening to the little boy now?" Spike asked the girl with a raised eyebrow.

"Interesting question. I'm not watching the bad horror movie... At least I don't think I am. They are just trying to get any information they can. People do stupid things when they're desperate." Kennedy huffed.

"Nag, nag, nag! Leave her alone Spike. She's like the only cool one. Maybe it's because she's past puberty. Well, if your girl friend is geeking out with the nerd boys you can always hang out down here with us... Spike can even kick you're ass with his sparring stick and we can call it training." Faith grinned.

Kennedy was a cool impressive fighter, for a lucky little rich girl.

"I'll bet. You guys are down here with sparring sticks and discussing sausage factories. Not really my thing, so I'm just going to dump the laundry and leave... Oh, the dryer IS dented... I was afraid of that. I told them to do all Ax training out doors!" Kennedy grumbled.

"Sausage factories?... Oh yeah!" Faith laughed putting another beer on the beer pyramid. "I bet you're a Pistol fan too, Kennedy... Spike is trying to tell me... I had no idea that they were all political and complex... I love 'em, but for me, I just turn 'em on and go Unnngh, you know?"

"Well, you could do that. Turn them on and go 'Unnngh'... But, what was it that Johnny Rotten said when he refused to do his US show?: 'Did you ever get the feeling you were cheating?'" Kennedy said with pursed lips.

See, Kennedy had a big brain too. Apparently, lots of smart people take the Sex Pistols really seriously.

"He said: 'Did you ever get the feeling that YOU'RE BEING cheated?' And he did a few songs. They didn't do the whole show because the manager had cut him off and was using him. So, he was saying HE was being cheated as well as the crowd." Spike corrected.

"I suppose he looked at it like that. But, if he really cared about the fans he would have handled it some other way." Kennedy said with folded arms and exited the basement.

"What's wrong with her? I thought she liked me! I guess she really can't because Red hates me." Faith sighed.

"Oh Niblet! It's like my Mum always said, If there is an apocalypse coming and someone is in a bad mood, it is probably not because of you."

"Your mom would say that?" She asked. He gave her a piercing look with the eyebrow thing until she blushed and laughed.

"Sorry, I told you I am not that bright."

"I think you're just not that sober." Spike insisted. Both were probably true.

"Do you remember your Mom?" She asked.

"Of course I bloody do! You think vampires have brain damage? They don't unless they were that way to begin with!"

"Well, it's just you're really old, right? So, old people forget stuff. My Grandmother couldn't even remember who I was when I had been living with her for four months." Faith told him. She barely liked to remember that herself.

"Nib, you don't understand the whole immortal thing. I don't just keep the pretty face. I get the mind in the package as well... I remember everything about my mum. She liked sunrises. She preferred poems with beautiful imagery rather than substance... and, I-I would tease her for that all of her Browning nothing anything darker than that. Nothing about a bloody broken heart." His voice was straining.

Fuck, he was like crying. Angel didn't cry. Faith was stupid. Stupid and lucky. Stupid -because she has no idea who or what these poems were about. Lucky, because she never had a broken heart. Not in the way that Spike had a broken heart from Buffy anyway. Faith really could kick B's ass.

"I remember how proud my Mum was of me... And what she knew I'd become... She WAS right. I WILL be remembered, but not like she thought. Not some hero in one of the Romantic's novels." He was still talking and now she wished he would stop.

Because two things were clear. 1) This guy was way smarter than she was, not that she should care because he was B's toy anyway. 2) Faith WAS familiar with this type of broken heart that he was so gut-wrenchingly describing. The broken heart of being a disappointing loser to the only one who ever loved you.

"My mother used to read 'Peter Pan' to me." Faith blurted out. Hey, it was about a book and a Mom and he had been talking about both.

"'Peter Bloody Pan'.... The boy who ran from his Mum to go to Never-Never Land. The boy who could never love the girl because he wouldn't grow up." Spike grumbled. He was breaking the rules smoking a cigarette inside now.

"See me and my mother didn't see it like that. We thought Wendy was an idiot for leaving Never-Never Land... I mean who wants to grow up? Especially in that time-Ugh! And Peter had to fight Hook right? I mean who would protect the Lost boys?" Faith demanded taking the cigarette from his hand to take a hit.

"That is a cool way to view it." He smiled. So sad. She wanted to grab his hand, but didn't. Two points for Faith. She had to tell B this guy needed her.

"Well, my mom was cool. She was like that, you know. We both played with the toys. She didn't want to grow up. Said it only led to being old and dying." Faith sighed. But, B couldn't be there for everyone, could she? Some people had to fall by the way side as she went off to fight the good fight.

"What happened to your Mum?" He asked, and it caught her off guard, which was stupid she had just mentioned Mom.

"She died." Faith laughed bitterly and started to cry all too suddenly. She would have been able to stop right away. But, he had started hugging her. And it wasn't some awkward I-know-you-for-two-weeks hug, it was a real gripping I-know-things-suck hug. So, crying. The world was ending. Her mom had died. It had been ages ago. But guess what? She was still dead. Joyce had died when she was away. Faith thought she would have gotten a chance to say: Thanks for trying to be like a mom to me. And, I'm sorry I threatened to kill you. She was never going to hurt Joyce, was she? She had just hated B so much then. Buffy never realized how easy she had it. But, she probably realized it now with all that had happened. Faith wanted B to realize how she had changed, and she was sorry. But, Faith hadn't changed at all. Not one bit. Because here she was clinging to B's new hottie. It didn't matter that B was too uptight to know what to do with him. It didn't matter that Spike and Faith wore the same nail polish. Faith swore she would stay away from him, because it was wrong.

"No! No!" She cried and pushed away from him.

She did so in a girly way because she didn't want to hurt him. She forgot for a moment that this wasn't B's college boy. She probably couldn't hurt him. She went to run and knocked over the beer pyramid.

"Hey! Hey Niblet...Faith, you can't fight with pain." He said softly.

"I'm not fighting! I'm fucking running!" She yelled. Apparently, he did remember she was the slayer, or a slayer, because he held on to her arm wicked hard.

"It's the same for you." He said as he pulled her into his arms. She didn't get it, but she was still crying. And, shit was she in his lap?

"I swore I wouldn't do this! I can't change! I always fuck everybody over even when I want to do the total opposite." She roared.

"What? So you're drunk as the apocalypse approaches? You're not fucking anyone over. You can be all sober when it's here."

"No, I swore I wouldn't do THIS... Go for you. B's got it bad for you, and I know you have it for her."

"Are you really going for me here? Playin' the 'ol let's cry over our dead Mum's trick? Because I can think of three reasons off the top of my head on why that doesn't work on me." He grinned, and wiped her tears. She laughed wicked hard at that. But, then shook her head.

"B wouldn't understand. She would think I was doing something, and why shouldn't she?" Faith demanded.

So, she didn't feel like screwing him at the moment, but she felt something else. B would have a right to be mad. "I really think she would understand. Needing comfort and all, and not wanting to hurt anyone. Trust me." Trust him again. Faith did, but maybe the boy didn't realize he was sex on a stick. If she were B and some girl was all touchy feely with Spike it would be hard for her to believe that sex wasn't somewhere lurking. Especially if that girl was Faith.

"This is horrible, but I thought since Red wigged out and since Joyce- I thought maybe she would understand me more or something... Lame idea." Faith blurted out a new subject to bawl on.

"It's not all that wonky... In fact, I think it makes a hell of a lot of sense." "I dunno. I've tried and I'm not really getting a warm reception from anyone in the gang."

"These things take time. You're an all or nothing kind of girl. You go for something and if it doesn't work out you just bugger it all, don't you?"

"U-huh, that pretty much covers it. Maybe things take time, but if you hadn't noticed, English, we're running short of time."

"Right. Still you're gonna cut yourself to bloody ribbons and squander what time we do have. You gotta hold back a bit in case it doesn't work the first time...It's like how you fight...Don't just go for the jugular right away. Wait and dodge until you can really get at it. Protect yourself. I won't have one 'a my slayers go down for being stupid." He insisted.

Faith opened her mouth only to find his hand was over it.

"And if you make some crack about being stupid I'll crack you, 'Bit!" He smiled sternly. He would crack her? Usually she liked to be the one to do the cracking. But, if things were different, she may have made an exception for him. But this boy was B's, even if she took forever.

"What's with the 'Bit' thing, anyway? Did Xander tell you I bite?" She asked. No, Faith wasn't flirting. Actually, she brought up Xander to turn Spike off. Not that he was anywhere near turned on, but bringing up Xander did seem to turn him off.

"Niblet, it's like, Small fry or something. I called my sister 'Niblet' and...and Dawn once."

"Small! I am not small...I'm almost as tall as you and compared to most people around here I'm over the hill! Like ten years past my boy band phase, not that I ever had one!"

"When you get to be my age... and you get a sodding soul that makes you realize every bloody awful thing you did for over a century... Everyone starts to look very small and young."

"So, what about B? What do you call her? Since she is already small." "Buffy...Buffy doesn't look small or young to me... She just looks bigger, stronger... My slayer" He sighed.

The boy had it bad. Everyone loved B.

"I know. B is special. That's why I wish we could be friends, like we were once." Faith sighed.

"She is very special. You're special too." He told her and stroked her hair. That was nice.

"Yeah, yeah the other slayer, I know." She sighed and laid back on the bed.

"You're not special because you are a slayer." She heard him say. "No, I'm special because I am the OTHER slayer. B is the real chosen one. I should never have been called. I was the Powers That Be's accident. The one with the crash helmet that has to ride the short bus."

"Would you bloody stop it! I swear I will crack you one!" He snipped, and smacked her arm. "Promises. Promises." She quipped.

She hoped B had fun with his kink one day. "You're not special because you are a slayer. You're strong. You have a force. We just have to direct the force, and you'll be unstoppable." He told her.

As he sat next to her in the bed smoking. If she did that she'd burn this place down.

"I used to want be unstoppable and shit." She must have not hid the crying very well because he was holding her again.

"What do you want now, Love?" He asked squeezing her. She really never thought about it.

"I just want..." Her voice was all raspy. How stupid could she be, not knowing? No one had asked before. Pop quizzes were a good reason to drop out of school.

"I just want a good life with, ya know, people who don't suck and turn evil...who stay... and care." That was it. And she wanted him to keep stroking her head like that. Spike was the nicest vampire who Faith didn't want to have sex with ever.

"Hmmm. I wish you said you wanted a pony, because I could swing a pony... I can't promise any of that other loot, Pet." He said softly. Why wasn't B married to him with the 2.5 half-vamp kids already? That seemed like B. Faith's eyelids were so heavy that they kept falling closed on her.

"How 'bout a Carma Gia and a new cross-bow, Sugar Daddy?" She joked. "I'm not fit to be anyone's Daddy. Sugar or otherwise...But, maybe I should get you a crash helmet, Love."

No one ever wanted to be Faith's Daddy. Sugar or otherwise. No one good anyway. What was that? He wanted to get her a crash helmet? Sure HE was allowed to say she was stupid. She opened her eyes in confusion and hurt.

"A Carma Gia is a death trap of an auto. You know how many times watcher boy almost bit it in his?" He demanded. Faith closed her eyes again. B could make the slayervamp rug-rats blood pudding. That was even English, right?

"How about a Hummer, then?" She asked and now he was the one staring at her confused.

"The car." She rolled her eyes, and they both laughed loudly.

"Shhh...the normal kids are probably asleep." He giggled.

Faith was still a freak kid, wasn't she? Even after all these years, they were nothing compared to his years.

"So, if the soul makes you feel your age... guess you'll be growing up now. Trading in your hair and clothes for business casual, like other soul boys I know." She sighed and closed her eyes again. "Not bloody likely... I said everyone else looked young and small, not that I wanted to drain every ounce of cool from myself." He said flatly. It made her laugh again.

"So, Fonzie doesn't wanna be like Richie. Good!... Still, I don't know what it is with you boys. I've cried three times in the past three years, and once was with Angel and now with you."

"You cried on HIS shoulder! Why? How?" He demanded. Faith had to laugh. She didn't know how well Spike knew Angel, but the past two weeks had proven Spike was clearly jealous that Angel had B first. Now he was jealous that he had been Faith's therapist first. Could Faith be more pathetic? "Ah some 'ol reasons. The circumstances were a bit different. I was trying to whack him. And it was nothing like this. It was all fight- fight- fight...Cry, cry, cry. We didn't really talk. I mean not like this... Angel isn't really a talker, more of a doer." She sighed.

"And I'm just a bloody talker!" He snapped. "No!...I dunno...I mean you won't do anything with B. Not what you wanna do with her anyway." She stammered.

"You have no bloody idea what is going on between me and B..uffy!"

"I know enough to know that what ever is happening between you isn't a whole lot of lovin' and that is what you both want. You wouldn't think it, but B is very reserved in a lot of ways. You have to be the one to push or else the world will end before anything happens." Faith smiled. At least she could help him too.

"Gee, yeah I wouldn't want to be chicken shit, and not talk to her about how I messed up before!" He sang sarcastically.

"My sitch with B is totally different!" Faith stiffened, but didn't pull away from his cuddle.

"Oh, is it?" He was doing that raised eyebrow thing. "Buffy can totally be into a dark guy. But, she can't understand someone who is like her, and chose to go dark. It wigs her. Maybe I'm protecting myself, not going for the jugular...of her friendship." She smiled sheepishly.

"You should talk to her. Take responsibility for all you did, so she can see that you've changed... You just can't expect open arms right away, or ever...But you can hope."

"Hope sucks! What does hope get you? I want action." She whined.

"Hope can get you action. Hope is the only thing that brings action. Hope is the only reason I've stayed to fight. Because I know she believes in me, like my Mum did. And...I hope to be remembered as someone who did something good." He was all shaky again and this time she hugged him.

She knew she couldn't pull off saying cool things like him.

"You'll be remembered as a cool guy by me, and I know B will remember you that way too. Every time we fight a vamp or some latest addition creep she flinches every time you get pounded, like it's pounding on her." She said. That was good go back to talking about what she knew- fighting.

"I wish you hadn't bloody told me that. I wish she'd focus on her own fight, and not be worried about my sodding ass... Maybe Rupert is right we need to concentrate on what's important around here. Maybe I really should leave town." He sighed miserably.

Good job, Faith! Imagine if she was the high school counselor instead of B? The suicide rate would be right up there with the mortality rate! What was it about her? She fucked everything up. Made people go away!

"Don't be a fuckin' moron! How well do you think B is gonna fight with out you around at all?" The girl demanded fiercely.

She had pulled away from Spike now and looked like she wanted to smack him for just thinking of leaving Buffy. He liked this girl. She was a mess, but it didn't matter. She was fierce, and she didn't pussy foot around. She could easily take the place of him.

"Buffy has you to help fight now, Bit." He told her.

"Yeah, and you are telling me I have no defense. How is B gonna survive with a side-fighter with no fucking defense? She'll lose for sure. All because of me. You have to stay and teach me how to- to defend myself and the lost girls here, English!" She grumbled.

The lost girls. They would lose some of them, wouldn't they? And Spike had his favorites he may protect more, if he didn't rip their throats out with that sodding trigger in his head.

"Bit, you've crashed in the middle of the epic here. You have no idea how complicated things are. I am not the best guy to be here. I have a bad guy side. I shouldn't be here watching over these girls. You should be protecting them from me...And my good guy side is a sodding sap that could also get people dead!" He insisted.

"Well, maybe things are way more complicated than a simpleton like me could ever get! Maybe I can't get the complex pH balance between your Sid side and triggers and chips and you! Maybe I'll never come close to getting to how much you love B and your broken fucking hearts!" She had thrown him down as he tried to get up.

"If you care about these kids you'll stop this shit now! All I know is if you really cared about B, and the lost girls, and the nerd boys you'd stay and fight! All I know is that we need as many fighters as we can get, who are on our side... And you are one. Unless you just want to be all defense...Just a bloody talker...Not a doer!"

"You are an extremely smart girl! You really can figure out how to go for a man's jugular faster than anyone---"

"And if you try to leave I'll get up my defense and find a way to get to yours!"

"You already did, Love."

"I mean it! I won't let you fuckin' cut out on us! You'll have to kill me to get out that door!" She was crying again.

Threatening and crying, and gripping his wrist. Someone should tell her that just crying worked on him. No need to go over bored, as he was a total push over. He could see bits of Buffy and of Dru very clearly now. No wonder they got along right away.

"Okay, Bit...I'll stay. And I'll train you bloody hard. Starting tomorrow."

"I fuckin' hope so. I hope you don't pussy out! I hope you put your talking with your actions, and stay until the very end... Because that is what I'm gonna do no matter what! Stay until they go down or I do."

"I always keep my promises. So, sleep." He commanded as he laid her down.

" Don't think of sneaking out because ..I don't really sleep." She insisted as she closed her eyes.

"Oh no?" He smiled as he stroked her hair, which seemed to make her go towards sleep.

"No, the big evil has been messing with me... Fucking with my dreams. Having my Mom and other people I had more of a love/hate thing with come and say things to me...the Mayor and B and Angelus...But my Mom ones are the worst they seem different, Ya know?" She said softly.

"Yeah, as a matter of fact I do know...Hey Nib, Who is the Mayor? Is he like a middle-aged guy that talks like Ned Flanders because I think...." And Faith was asleep.

He was awful. Bloody awful. He wouldn't let this girl die. He couldn't. He had seen slayer's just like her. He had killed one just like her all by himself. So, now he had two favorites in this house that he wanted to save above the rest of them. Dawn and Niblet, or Niblet and Faith, or Niblet and Niblet.... Should he find some new pet names now?

He didn't know he was going to have so many little girls to worry about. He didn't know he was going to play favorites. And then there was Buffy. Would he throw every one of them in a pit of fire before he saw Buffy die again? The watcher was right, you should have distance in battle. Being evil had never been like this. It was just he and Dru, and the sodding playground world. Dru came before him and everyone. But who cared about everyone, or anyone? Vamps couldn't have children for a reason. He had thought about going, but in sleep Faith had that slayer grip on him and he sank into it. It was very comforting, and it made him close his eyes. Buffy's slayer grip had been even tighter and felt better and different. She only used it when she was in the middle of shagging him. Still she believed in him now, as this one did. He would do the right thing in battle. Whatever that turned out to be. He heard the slamming of metal on metal. His eyes sprang open. Stake in hand ready to throw, sleeping girl in the other arm. When had he become Bruce Willis?

"Hey Buffy!" He smiled groggily and put the stake down.

"Hello. How are you?" She asked and began slamming a hammer against the dryer.

"Umm...Okay and you?"

"Great. I'm great. My dryer looks like shit and I can't afford another one, but soon it won't matter, so I'm great." She chirped and brought the hammer down on the dryer.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" He snapped.

"Oh God! What's wrong? Are all the girls all right?" Reality hitting him like a hammer and he was a dryer; he realized so very much could be wrong.

"ALL the girls are great! Everyone is fine... No one is dead, or even gravely injured- YET...ALL the GIRLS are snug as bugs in rugs apparently." She hit the dryer with the hammer.

"BUFFY!" He yelled as the sound rattled in his head. She stopped and glared at him.

"What exactly are you doing, Love? And can it be done at a better time? Ni- Faith is sleeping and she doesn't seem to do much of it and that could wake the...Well, it woke me."

"You are so stupid! I am banging the dents out of my dryer. Maybe the two of you like the whole white trash basement apartment look, but I don't! And this is MY house, and I'll fix my dryer when ever I want!"

"Pet, you are not fixing it. You're just making it worse... If you want I'll look at it."

"Faith, gotta move you. Sorry, Love." As he gently untangled himself from the girl.

"It's here? Let's go then. I have your back. Where's B?" She said groggily sitting up.

"No, Love. No, everything is okay. Just gonna try to fix the dryer."

"Oh the dryer. God, I'm sorry. I should watch where I throw you." She laughed and crashed down on the bed and began to snore.

"I knew it was her! I bloody- freaking knew it!" Buffy spat as her eyes burned at all the empty beer cans and cigarette butts.

Oh. Buffy thought they were having a great time being drinking buddies while they were supposed to be on house watch. He would tell her even soldiers need morale, and how he was helping Faith train. Something else had to be eating Buffy, as she dramatically ran up the steps now.

"What happened? Was tha B? I gotta talk to her." Faith moaned half-awake as she grabbed his hand before he could run after Buffy.

"Not now. Go back to sleep. Can you?" The last thing Faith needed was a lecture from Buffy. The two birds needed to work together again.

"Guess what, English? No dreams! I should drink every night!" Faith laughed. Spike patted her head, and she was sleeping again.

"Buffy...Oh, your arm is cut." Spike was going to go search the house for her and found her at the top of the stairs glowering. He went to touch her.

"Please don't! I thought you changed! I'm so stupid!" She yelled and then ran into the kitchen. He understood that she was under a lot of stress, but he refused to feel guilty about a few Guinness's and a dented dryer.

"I don't want a bloody lecture now... I have changed as much as a man possibly can. I can't be Mr. Ever-Vigilant, soldier boy. A lot of good came out of tonight if you want to give me a second to explain-"

"Oh no! I have to hear this. Tell me what good came out of you and Faith getting tanked and slamming into the dryer? How could you? I leave you to protect MY house and MY family and you suck back a case of beer with her and do your thing and pass out!"

"I wasn't drunk. I was completely sober. I knew what was going on at all times...Until I fell asleep."

"Oh my God!" She shrieked.

Okay, maybe falling asleep was bad. He would hate to think what would have happened if a Bringer came for Kennedy.

"I'd like to say that I felt completely safe knowing that Spike was here and that Faith girl... Even when they left to get the beer and then started drinking it and making all that noise with the laughing and yelling and crying... I was thinking: 'Wow, they're cool! They can do all that and protect us from the evil entity at the same time.' Because I can't even play Ever Quest and watch TV at the same time." The little boy's nervous voice called from the living room.

"Shut-up and go to sleep!" Buffy and Spike said in unison.

"Niblet was the one who sucked most of that case down, and she'll be better off for it. Maybe not tomorrow but-" Spike tried to explain.

"You let Dawn drink!" Buffy snapped.

"What? No!" Spike said through gritted teeth.

"Oh..Oh, no... Of course not Dawn. You have a new girl now, don't you, Spike! You know you two are perfect together! You put the co in codependency!" She bellowed and laughed at once.

"The what in codependency?" He was totally bewildered.

"The Co, like the company! Like their are two of you and both totally need to be screwing someone all the time!" She scoffed in annoyance.

"What? I don't get it." Spike heard the little boy whisper in the living room. Spike got it. Well, the important part.

"Oh God, Buffy! It's not like that at all! Bloody hell! How could you think- "

"You know what? I want the two of you to get out! We have kids here! They don't need to be subjected to this!" Her voice was shaking now.

Damn it! He had really wanted to be pissed at her.

"Buffy, no! They are the best fighters, with out them we're toast!" Vi gasped.

"Who cares? She should throw him out or at least punch his face in." Amanda insisted, and had a little smile at the thought of seeing that. That one would make a good slayer.

"Buffy, I love you. I would-" He began.

"Amanda, this is life and death and they're the only ones who can help us! Besides, he and Buffy broke up a while ago. It's not like he cheated." Rona insisted loudly.

"Go to sleep!" Spike growled in his best mean voice in vampire face. He saw four little heads dive down into their sleeping bags now. "See look! Look at what you're doing! You're both out of here! I hate to rouse sleeping 'past-out drunk' Beauty but you are both out now." Buffy growled angrily now.

"BUFFY!" He yelled after her as she ran down the basement stairs. Too bad the voice only worked on potential slayers.

"When the apocalypse comes, I'll give you a call. If you can manage to keep your libidos down long enough to show-The more the merrier." Buffy called to Spike as he ran down the steps, like she knew he would.

"Buffy!" He pleaded. Her arm was dripping blood on the gash Molly had given her. She shouldn't have given that girl the ax.

"Rise and shine, Faith." Buffy said with all the false cheeriness she could muster. Faith snored in her face as if to insult her further. "Let's go! ...C'mon!" She yelled at the other slayer now and lifted her upper half off the bed by her too-tight "Lip Service" shirt.

Buffy could hear some of the girls and Andrew murmuring at the top of the stairs. They wanted a show? Great. They could see what happens to evil slayers.

"Get your skanky ass off of my bed, Bitch!" Buffy roared, and raised her cut arm to punch the girl awake.

She felt someone grab her arm hard, and when she went to throw him off her dug his fingers in to her gash. The shock of the pain would have brought her down if he hadn't grabbed her.

"Stop it! You care about these kids? Then you bloody stop this shit now!" Spike grumbled and dragged her across the basement floor with his fingers in her arm. It hurt. It hurt badly. Buffy heard Vi say

"Oh my God" over and over; and it reminded her of that girl in "Little Orphan Annie" whose catch phrase was "Oh my Goodness."

Yes, a vamp could take you down, girls, if you let him know where you're weak.

"Wow, you fall in out of love so fast... You can't stand to see me ruffle one hair on that head. Makes sense, you like the fickle ones." Buffy growled with tears stinging her eyes.

"I most certainly do." He said. He had sat her on the dryer and stood in front of her. "Yeah, well she's more fickle than me and Drusilla put together. Just ask Xander, and Riley... and Angel... and every guy that went to Red Devil night at the Bronze... I can't believe I gave up a chance for a non-evil boyfriend for you!" She said shrilly as she grabbed the bandages away from him that he got from above the dryer.

He hadn't hurt her on purpose in ages. She really thought he never would do it again.

"You never told me you were giving anything up for me! You really want dark Mister Clean? Go right ahead... I bet he'll turn evil and we'll have to fight him together, or he'll put some chip in me or something, and that'll be fun for you." He spat.

"I told you I needed you to stay!" She yelled and then sobbed.

"You told me you weren't ready to have me leave not that you bloody needed me to stay, Buffy!" He said softly almost touching her head with his.

"It's the same." She whispered.

"No, no! It is not the bloody same!" He yelled pounding his fists on the dryer. She heard Vi whine in fright on top of the stairs. She was going to have a hard time convincing the girls that they really didn't have to be afraid of Spike. People hurt each other in relationships, but that doesn't mean they are bad.

"I know I don't deserve anything from you, Buffy. But, I love you. You always surprise me with how strong you can be, and how kind and bloody brilliant you are...And, you know you're insane and that's always fun.... But, I am tired of your half assed need for me, and your ambivalence." Of HER ambivalence? He was telling her he loved her after he just boned Faith!

"So, I can't jump in with both feet for a few months after you show up totally unannounced, insane, and ensouled? Maybe I needed time to stop reeling from the first shock of all the other things you did, which if I announced the girls would have even more nightmares."

"It's not that he slept with Anya on the table because weren't you broken up then to?" Andrew asked apologetically.

"If all of you don't shut that door and go to sleep there will be no TV or phone privileges... I don't care how much your parents will think you're dead!" Buffy yelled.

That really scared all of them and they ran away.

"I can't jump into a big part two of a relationship because part one sucked! You do all these really impressive things that make me think that a part two may be better. But then, the minute you get a chance with another slayer you jump on it!" She sniffed angrily wiping more tears.

" Am I supposed to forgive that too? Am I suppose to believe you ever gave a shit about me, ever? Because I'd rather not. I'd rather just see the two of you go off to a two month lasting relationship. You guys can go shopping together at Hot Topic. We probably don't even-"

"Shame on you! I never have come across someone who thought everything revolved around them so much and yet still managed to feel like shit about themselves." He snapped. Buffy felt her throat close. Maybe it wasn't about her. Maybe he and Faith just clicked. Rona was right Spike hadn't been cheating on Buffy. Faith and Spike. It made a lot if sense. Way more than Faith and Angel and more than Buffy and Spike. She wished she wouldn't cry, go out with dignity.

"So- so you think- You love her. You'd rather be with her. It really isn't surprising-

"Listen to me, girl. Because I'm only going to say these three things once. I did not shag Faith. I did not suck face with Faith, and I did no touching or rolling around on the floor with Faith that I would not have done while training the other girls."

"Note to self. Keep not leaving Spike alone with the girls. The trigger is the least of the problems...If that's true why didn't you just tell me!...You didn't say 'Hey, this wasn't what it looks like.' You were all 'Don't wake-up my sweet little Faith. She never sleeps.' You think she's the only one?" Buffy demanded.

"I didn't say anything because I'm a Git who believed that I wouldn't have to say anything! How can you say you believe in me and think I would do that to you?" He was demanding answers now? She would be damned if this was her bad.

"You were sleeping together in bed." She growled through gritted teeth.

"You're not answering my question."

"You were holding her. She just didn't pass out on you. She was fucking clinging to you and you were fucking holding her!" Her voice broke.

She realized seeing that felt worse then seeing him and Anya.

"Well..Oh bloody gee! Oh my God! I can completely see it all now. How you would assume that we shagged, because I know when you and I shagged you made sure we ended up in a big cuddle every time... No, hey, wait a minute. You never did that. In fact, I think I got kicked in the head more than I got kissed goodbye." He sang sarcastically when his voice wasn't breaking.

"You fucking bastard! I'll beat the shit out of you if you try to turn this around on me. I swear I will. What was I supposed to think?"

"Promises. Promises." He smiled that asshole smile through tears.

"I can't tell you what to think, Buffy. But, who else did I call Niblet before I bollixed that up... It wasn't you, was it? You think I never held Dawn like that when she thought she had no more family left? If you saw me with Dawn like that would you think I was shagging your little sis? She is what... sixteen now? C'mon Love, that's more Angel's style... You know what we were doin' down here Buffy? Crying over our dead Mums. Maybe you coulda joined us and we woulda had a little three-way. You'll be happy to know a lot of the talk was also abou--" She smacked him hard.

Feeling that cool firm face wet with tears.

"I'm sorry...I'm sorry." She gasped and reached out and touched his face. She realized what had probably gone on here tonight, and it wasn't sex or a relationshipy type thing.

Spike was just being kind. But, she still hated it. Buffy knew Faith would want to be with Spike. Back when Buffy was really with Spike she often thought how Faith would be proud.

"No, no...It's okay that dead Mum thing was really cruel...and that one about Angel..."

"Was kind of funny." She giggled. Why couldn't she think of snappy insults like that, instead of stuff like that codependency thing?

"I was all with the crazy...It's just Faith and I don't have the best history. I know how she is. I bet she was all over Anya that time at Xander's." She shook her head, and put her arms around his neck.

"Wrong. Wrong. You know how Faith was. She was never anywhere near all over me. She didn't even want me touching her when she was pouring salt over her Mum because she was afraid of what you would think." He had his arms around her, but he wasn't kissing her. He was still talking. Talking about Faith.

"Really? Well, I guess she was right, huh? I'm a huge bitch." Buffy's face fell when she realized what he was saying.

At first she thought it was impossible- Faith not wanting to be with Spike. Then she realized Faith didn't want to be with Spike because of her.

"I wouldn't go that far, Love...I mean, you have had more reason to not trust her. No one would expect you to have a best friend charm with her. But she is trying so bloody hard to be at least a friend, so just know that." He told her leaning his forehead into hers. But, he was still talking about Faith.

"Dually noted." Buffy chirped and looked into his eyes. Not that blue in this light.

"Can I just discuss two more things with you that are extremely important?"

"Of course."

"No matter how you feel about Faith in life she needs you desperately on the battlefield, Buffy. She can't fight like you. Don't get me wrong- she's fierce. I've never seen anything like her...But she doesn't think about all the attacks coming in at her, or she does, but she just thinks that she has to take them all and not try to dodge ANY of them... It's bloody dangerous. Even I was never that bad. I've seen one of the best slayers go down due to that... I mean I made one of the best slayers go down due to it... and I can't... I mean I won't..." He was all teary again, and yes this was very important.

But, it was still about Faith. She leaned in and kissed him. A small junior high kiss, but she still wanted more. He smiled, so happy. But, then he frowned.

"Do you think she heard us?" He whispered now.

"No. Besides, we could get it on in front of her and she would just cheer us on..Not...that...I.."

"No, I mean talking about her." He said looking over at Faith like a fretting Mother.

Hello, did she not just mention getting it on? Not that she would. Not tonight.

"I think she is dead to the world." Buffy smiled as Faith snored. Spike frowned. "I mean she is totally asleep, and we'll be able to knock the kamikaze right out of her. I'm sure...What was the other thing you wanted to talk to me about?" She asked pulling his face towards hers.

If this was about Faith she was going to lose it, as cute as the whole Daddy Spike thing was.

"How did you know about Anya being all randy at Xander's?" He asked

"Oh. You know Anya. She mentioned it...She told me how you turned her down and starting asking about her hair." Buffy laughed as she jumped off the dryer and took his hand.

"She bloody mentioned it." He rolled his eyes.

"Well, she was in your room looking for evidence to see if you were a serial killer. Because, you know, that was when you were a serial killer."


"And then you caught her so she had to pretend she wanted to jump you of course."

"Of course...Wow, all that talk was fake? Give that girl a bloody Oscar." He laughed. Buffy smiled.

He really had turned Anya down flat. And nothing with Faith, who he clearly had a bond with. In a parallel universe Spike and Faith had to be together. They were probably evil.

"Well, Anya said she would've had sex with you for the greater good." Buffy told Spike.

"The greater good? There's a greater good to having sex with a government controlled serial killer?" She laughed and kissed him again.

This time for real. The only sound was Faith breathing and then Buffy moaning at the end of it.

"I think there can be, yes... But, you have to take it slow. You can't just jump them when they have no soul almost every night in public places...The grossest of which being the wall of the meat palace the best of which was well..."

"Hey, how can it be repeated unless the serial killer knows." He said. Buffy allowed him to kiss her some more. She moaned at the end of it again, and pushed him away.

"But, I'm saying we can't do these things...Not yet. Not if things are ever going to be real between us anyway. I don't mean to lead you on... Well, I do mean to lead you on, but I promise there is going to be fabulous prizes at the end of where I'm leading you to...if we live... I hope. But, I really want to wait until I feel ready...For the right reasons...not the wrong reasons.."

She expected an argument or the asshole glare, but he just smiled. Like a kid who knew he was getting a bike for Christmas. She kissed him again for that.

"Okay, I'm stopping... I'm going...This is me going up the stairs...I'm sorry please don't be mad." She sighed searching his face. "You think this is making me angry...that you're kissing me on the stairs and leaving?" He asked before she kissed him again.

"It's not? You're not even a little mad that I'm not staying? Don't you want me to stay?" She pouted. "I'd rather have a little of you now and all of you later when you feel it. Then have all of you now when you don't." He smiled and she kissed him yet again.

"Go." He commanded lifting her up and putting her down a step away. She ran down and hugged him. Then wordlessly got her blanket from the dryer. It would have been more embarrassing if she had to come all the way back down and get it.

"Good night." She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. Then she was kissing him again.

"I can't stop with you... That is why I didn't start it again." She whispered. Well, that and the whole attempted rape.

"I'll stop it then. Good night." He said and backed away.

"Oh for fuck's sake! What is wrong with you guys? People are supposed to start wild sexcapades during an apocalypse not stop them!" Faith grumbled as she laid on her side her hand holding up her head.

"How long have you been awake?" Spike immediately demanded as Buffy's mouth hung open.

"Sometime around Anya wanting to have sex with you for the greater good... I once had sex with a guy named Snake for the greater good. He wasn't the nicest guy, but his goods were greater... Wow, B sex with a live soulless vampire! Who knew you had it in you? Guess Spike did...How did you get him to have a soul? Did you find the gypsy hex? Can I see it? You did a great job installing he's all sweet, but he still has that grrr, ya know? "

"This? You wake up to witness this? But not when I was screaming at you?" Buffy sighed. "I had my own soul installed." Spike told Faith.

"Willingly? Why? I thought the only think vampires liked more than being soulless was sucking people dry... I guess they go hand-in-hand."

"Because I wanted to change... I wanted to be the kind of man that Buffy deserves."

"Holy shit! The only thing a man ever got for me was an apartment and a play station, and then I had to do all this creepy stuff for him. Who knows? Maybe that's the kind of man I deserve." Faith joked.

Then Spike was giving her is 'sod off' look. Why was he doing that?

"Kidding...Kidding...You kept all your evil dirty looks, but lost some humor with that soul, English." Faith chuckled.

Buffy supposed Spike gave a lot of people that look, but not for insulting themselves. Still, Spike seemed happy because of Buffy, and Faith in her way, seemed happy for Spike and Buffy.

"Hey B, wait! Maybe we could like team up as slayers, ya know and get all the vampires all over to fall hard for us and go get their souls back...Talk about greater good! I mean yeah, we'd be playing them, but they'd have their souls back! No fuss no muss!... I could do the women if Red didn't want to...I have been in prison, ya know?" Faith smiled.

"But, then there would be no more good brawls." Spike pointed out.

"What do you think we have the demons for? To open a can a whip-ass on." Faith answered.

"And this is my real cue to exit." Buffy sighed. She threw the blanket to Faith who smiled like the world wasn't ending after all.

"I can't believe you are letting her go...It's not like if you change your mind you can jump her up there with all those impressionable Mini-slayers around." Buffy heard Faith say.

Buffy was watching Dawn and three potentials sleep. When she felt someone behind her and grabbed them.

"We really should have a system by now. Where we announce that it is just us bloody chickens before we come into a room." Spike smiled as she let go of his throat. "I'm surprised we haven't all killed each other that way." He said.

"At least that would end all this annoying tension and waiting." She quipped.

"Hey, don't get gloomy. We stay and fight... Think of all the things we beat." He whispered as he rubbed her shoulders. She closed her eyes and let out a breath.

"Did you come up here to sexually frustrate me, or give me a pep-talk?" She asked. He abruptly stopped.

"Neither...Sorry... I just wanted to tell you I'm going out. Wanted to see if you needed anything?" He asked.

"Where are you going?" Sorry? He was sorry he was making her horny? Apparently the soul did make him a little less "grrrh", as Faith would say.

"Gotta get a new cross-bow for Nib- for Faith... Told her I'd get her one."

"That's nice."

"Do you want one? The new models are quite impressive."

She shook her head.

"Do you want anything at all? I can get you whatever you want, Love...It's no trouble." He said lightly touching her shoulder.

She turned to him and leaned on his shoulder and cried.

"What's wrong, Love?" He pleaded. "Oh...The usual...the first...young girls dying...Me not being able to stop it and making everyone miserable in the meantime." Buffy told Spike.

She didn't tell him: You being so nice, and the fact that it is probably too late for me to reap the benefits of any of that. You and Faith both needing me too much, and me not being able to give you what you need. You giving Faith what she needs, and my hating it. And my hating that I'm hating it. The fact that I can't let you give me what I need because the world comes first.

"You're doing a great job, Love." He said.

"Ya think?"

"Yes,... with the possible exception of tonight."

"I thought we had a good training tonight...Oh...yeah...See perfect example of why I can't be with you or anyone right now."

"I know, Love... Are you sure I can't get you anything? Milk? Ice cream? Rocket launcher?"

"I have a rocket launcher...I want...I want chocolate...Valentine's Day came and went." She frowned to herself.

Wasn't it just Christmas?

"Do you want it in a heart shaped box?" He asked.

"Yes. Yes I do...Oh, and we need more tampons...Will you get them?" "Always."

"Yes, Always is good or Playtex."

"I meant I will always get them...or anything else you need." He laughed and kissed her on the lips and then he was gone.

Buffy woke-up early. She was happy she didn't remember any of her dreams, and didn't want to risk going back to sleep. She went to make coffee. She looked on the kitchen counter and saw a DVD bootleg of that new Aston Cusher movie the girls wanted to see. Was Andrew bootlegging these for money? Buffy would kick his ass. She read the little note on it: "To: Dawn, Amanda, Rona, Vi, Molly, Chloe, and the little boy, and all the rest of you who wanted to see this whose names I can't remember."

Spike probably knew just as many of their names as Buffy did. She found three boxes of Always tampons on the kitchen table, a box of chocolates, a crossbow that did look pretty cool, and roses. Roses, nothing like the traditional. She read the card

"Always something extra too". Buffy held her head in her hands.

"Holy shit!" Faith exclaimed as she bounded into the kitchen.

"We have the best sugar Daddy vampire in the world! You sure know how to pick 'em, B!"

"I wonder where he slept? Did you stay in the basement? You probably shouldn't do that. it's the only place we can guarantee no light coming in. Unless you want to share the basement. Did you share it last night?"

"Nah." Faith said as she loaded the crossbow. "He told me he was gonna crash elsewhere...Wanted to give you some space or whatever."

"He told you that?" Buffy asked quietly as Faith now sniffed a rose.

"He said he should be around less because he was a distraction to you... Don't want to be distracted from the end of days, now." Faith smiled, but the smile was sad.

"Wonderful. I might as well have kicked him out of the house myself...Were the only two real fighters protecting the house now. One of us should be here and awake and...sober at all times." Buffy said to Faith.

"It's five by five, B... He's comin' back. It was just a one-night thing... He said something about some drama happening and it was best he motored for the night...Guess I missed that... But, he's definitely comin' back. Tonight even. It's not like he's either gonna stay here every second or bugger it all and skip town, ya know?" Faith grinned as Buffy raised her eyebrows.

Bugger it all?

"He is a big talker. He kept going on about training me right...Makin' me the best go-for-the-jug there ever was...And goin' on about you and doing right by you time and space... Nothing says 'spacious' like roses, huh? You guys are so weird!" Faith chuckled.

"We should wake the girls. Start training them early today." Buffy said flatly.

Faith put a rose in her teeth.

"I'm ready to tango if you are, B." She said.


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