Chapter 12: It's All About the Blood

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This chapter is rated PG-13, for Anya's use of the "O-word" and some sexual innuendo.

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Several days after Buffy first alluded to her thoughts about not getting her memories back, she and Spike had a rather bad patrol.

First off, they weren't communicating as well as they usually did. Buffy was still pushing at him to tell her what he thought about the memory thing, and he was grouchy at her for doing so.

Then, they ran into a few vampires; nothing unusual, but Buffy had been a bit sloppy, and would likely have been bitten had it not been for Spike. He berated her for her carelessness as they continued on their patrol. Their argument distracted them, and a group of demons got the jump on them.

Four went for Spike, and two for Buffy, indicating they weren't from around Sunnydale, since they didn't know to attack the Slayer in full force. They were big, burly demons, ones Buffy wasn't familiar with. Hoping her slaying partner would recognize them, she called out, "Spike! How do we kill these things?"

" I - grunt - don't -smash - bloody know!"

"Great," Buffy grumbled, "just great." She was doing fairly well against the two demons. Ducking under a blow from one, she came up behind the other, and landed a good, solid kick on his back, sending him lurching forward, off balance. The first turned to get her, and, dodging another fist, she punched him smack in the face. The other was back, now, and managed to grab Buffy from behind. She leaned over, flipping the demon over her back, and quickly staked him through where his heart should be located; she'd found that often worked with other species, as well as vampires.

"One down, one to - oof!" Buffy gasped in surprise as the other demon she was dealing with gave her a blow that sent her spinning into a nearby gravestone. "Ouch!"

She didn't have time to bemoan the rip in her new shirt, as the demon was upon her again. Buffy fought furiously, anxious to have this fight over and done with. She was starting to worry about Spike, dealing with twice as many monsters as she was.

Buffy managed to kill her last one with by snapping its thick neck, but not without receiving another nasty cut, this one to her leg. Listening for a moment, she heard sounds of Spike's scuffle. In the process of their battle, she and the demons had managed to travel a little ways away from where the others where.

Buffy limped in Spike's direction as fast as she could, pausing briefly to retrieve her icky stake from the first demon's chest.

Spike had taken out one of the demons permanently, and badly wounded another. Buffy paused to finish off the wounded one before continuing on.

The other two were wailing on Spike, who now had numerous injuries. Buffy snuck up behind one, reaching up to snap it's neck. Unfortunately, it sensed her, and spun around, delivering a blow that sent her crashing to the ground, several yards away.

But at least she'd distracted it. The demon was coming after her, leaving Spike only one to deal with. After a few minutes of intense fighting, Buffy managed to stake this one, as well.

Exhausted, she dragged herself towards Spike, just in time to see him finish off the final demon with the last of his strength. Falling away from the bodies, Spike lay where he landed.

"Oh, no," Buffy breathed. Rationally, she was aware that Spike wasn't dead, since he wasn't dust. But logic rarely had anything to do with emotions.

"Spike? Come on, baby, talk to me!" she pleaded as she sank down beside him. Buffy looked at his wounds to see what she could do to help him. Only one, on his stomach, was still bleeding. She tore a piece off her already demolished shirt and applied pressure.

The bleeding stopped within a few minutes, but Spike still would not wake up. He'd obviously lost a lot of blood. Buffy tried to figure out what to do. Staying here and recovering wasn't an option; sunrise was only a few hours off. She could get herself to safety, but there was no way she could handle a comatose Spike, as well. She could go fetch help and blood for him, but there was a serious problem with that scenario: he was a sitting duck out here, all by himself. If anything stumbled across him, they'd probably kill him. Not for the first time, she wished she had a cell phone.

Ok, Buffy, think - what can I do? Can't carry him to safety, can't go and bring help - damn!

Desperately, she glanced around, as if hoping something in the graveyard would inspire her. She caught a glimpse of red out of the corner of her eye - blood from one of her cuts.

She nearly laughed aloud, relieved to have stumbled upon a solution. She'd read somewhere that Slayer blood was more potent than most people's; this would surely heal him.

Buffy propped Spike's head up on her lap. Luckily, she'd torn a nail during the fight, and was able to make a small cut on her wrist. She figured that once she got a little of her powerful blood in him, instinct would kick in, and he should be able to take over from there.

She carefully let a few drops blood fall into his open mouth. As she'd hoped, he morphed into game face. When she brought her wrist right up to his mouth, his fangs sank into her and he sucked greedily.

Buffy gasped at the sensation, a new one to her. It hurt, yes, but there were other feelings besides just that. She felt.... love, lust, and... well, she didn't have words to properly describe the experience.

After a few minutes, Buffy began to grow lightheaded as Spike continued to drain her. With a supreme effort of will, she tried to drag her arm away from him. A hand reached up and grabbed onto her arm, not letting her move. Another moment later, and Spike's eyes began to open. When they did, he immediately released her wrist and rolled away from her.

"Bloody hell!"

"Ok, not exactly the reaction I was expecting," Buffy smiled weakly at him.

Seeing that her wrist was still bleeding, Spike came back over to her, and licked the wound till it closed. Then he sat back with a sigh.

"You all right, luv?" he asked softly.

Buffy nodded. "Yeah... you?"

"Yeah, thanks to you... I can't believe you did that."

"Why not? It was the only thing to do. I couldn't carry you, and I couldn't go get help and leave you here unconscious."

"So you decided to feed me?!"

"Well, yeah! What's the big deal here, Spike?"

"What's the - ! Bloody hell luv.... look, let's head home, sunrise is comin', and then we'll talk, all right?"

Buffy nodded mutely, and the two exhausted warriors helped themselves up and supported each other as they headed back.

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By the time they reached their house, Buffy was feeling the affects of the blood loss. Spike kept threatening to take her to a hospital, but she insisted that she was perfectly fine, nothing some food and sleep wouldn't cure.

Spike sat her down at the kitchen table as he warmed up blood for him, and food for her. It was still before dawn, and Dawn and Giles would be asleep for another few hours.

Buffy ate her reheated pizza as Spike drank his blood with burba weed. Spike didn't actually require much blood, seeing as how he'd had some of hers, and so didn't drink very much. As Buffy finished her meal, he fetched the first aid kit. They talked as they began patching each other up.

"So?" Buffy demanded as she unrolled some bandages. "Wanna explain what that was all about?"

"Listen, Slayer..... Bloody hell, how am I supposed to explain this to you? A person givin' up some of their blood freely, well, it means somethin' - uh, except in the case of vamp whores. And with you bein' the Slayer, your blood is even more important.... and besides that, you let me have human blood! The blood of a Slayer! Your blood!"

"You really can't get over that, can you?" she asked, giggling slightly.

He shook his head. "No, not really... pet, this is something... let's just say, when you get your memories back and are more like the old you, you'll probably wanna stake me for feedin' from you."

Buffy frowned at the lack of logic in that. "But you were unconscious! It was totally my decision."

Spike shook his head again. "Doesn't matter."

Buffy had been mulling over whether or not to get her memories back for the past week or so. This just decided her. "Listen, Spike? I'm not going to get my memories back. And no," she continued as he tried to interrupt, "it's not just 'cause of this. Though this is a part of it. I don't want to be someone who would do that, who would stake you for drinking my freely given blood. I like who I am now. I'm pretty happy with me, and you, Dawn, and Giles all seem to like who I am now. And it doesn't matter what you try to say, I'm NOT getting my memories back, and that's final!"

Spike blinked at her. "Ummm..." he tried to come up with something, something to dissuade her, but, then again - what reason was there, really, to do so? She was happy. Not to mention so stubborn that there probably really wasn't anything he could say that would change her mind. So he shrugged, and said, "All right, luv, you win. No memories for you."

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Buffy came to Giles later that day, and told him in no uncertain terms that she didn't want her memories back. Giles disagreed with her, but she was her usual obstinate self, and eventually he gave in.

He'd been worried the Coven might protest that Buffy should get her memories back. To his surprise, the leader of the Coven agreed immediately to drop researching a spell to get Buffy's memory back. Giles didn't fully understand her explanation, but she said something about how it was actually more natural for Buffy not to have her memories - how it was more like a 'rebirth from the earth,' or some such thing.

The head of the Coven informed Giles that Tara and Willow were doing fairly well. There'd been a bit of trouble, at first, with Willow not being willing to do magic 'the slow way,' but the Coven had threatened to send Tara back if Willow didn't behave, and Willow had quickly straightened up. The girls would probably have to stay there for another few months, meaning they'd miss a semester of school. As Giles saw it, that was a small price to pay for what they'd done.

As for Anya and Xander - well, after enough time had gone by (something to do with moon cycles), the Coven did a cleansing spell for all those involved in the spell. Luckily, they didn't need to be physically present for the spell to work. Xander was now off somewhere, doing the road trip he'd attempted once before. He needed to 'find himself,' he said. Anya said that was a load of horse crap, that he was just running away from her. She remained in Sunnydale, running the Magic Box, and counting her money. She kept making vague threats to go back to the vengeance business because of Xander's desertion, but her friends didn't believe she would truly do that.

Giles wondered at what effect Buffy's lack of memories would make on the Summers clan. He figured she and Spike were much more likely to get together, without her memories of Angel getting in the way. To his own surprise, he was rather all right with that. Not overly pleased, but he did want his surrogate daughter to be safe and happy, and Spike seemed to help her with both.

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Four months later....

The whole Scooby gang was back together again, and decided a party was definitely called for. They were all gathered at the Summers' house. Many had announcements about their lives which they wanted to share with the others. So after some small talk and some food, Giles stood up to begin. "It is lovely to have us all here, together again. I have a bit of an announcement to make. Now, I don't suppose many of you remember my friend, Olivia -"

"Your orgasm buddy," Anya said brightly.

As everyone laughed, Giles cleaned his glasses. "As appallingly put as ever, Anya, thank you."

"You're welcome. Please continue." Anya said graciously - as always, unaware of her social gaffe.

"Well, due to some health problems, she needs to move to a warmer climate, and so, she will be moving in with me, in my new apartment, within the next month or so."

"But just 'for her health,' right, mate?" Spike teased.

Giles glared at him. "Yes!" He sighed. "Anyone else have anything they wish to share?"

Willow spoke up. "Um, I just thought you all should know - Tara and I are probably going to be spending our summers, and maybe some other breaks, too, over with the Coven. There's so much we can learn there, and, well, it'd be good to be away from the Hellmouth occasionally, and it's not that we want to be away so much, it's just that-"

"It's ok, Will, we get it," Xander assured his longtime friend. "My turn now, I guess." At Anya's sharp elbow to his ribs, he corrected himself. "Sorry, our turn. I did a lot of thinking during my trip, and I think I'm not quite ready to be married just yet. There's some issues 'bout my parents I need to deal with. So, Anya and I are gonna stay engaged, but we're not gonna set a date for the wedding. It might be a while, but luckily, I've found a wonderful woman who's willing to wait for me to be ready."

Anya beamed at him as he squeezed her hand. "I'm pretty happy just being with you, and getting lots of orgasms. Besides, more time means more time to plan! When we finally do get married, I'll have everything already decided, and it will be perfect."

Dawn cleared her throat. "Well, not surprisingly, I don't have much to announce-"

"Except for straight A's at school," a proud Spike interjected.

After a round of applause which made her blush, Dawn said, "Yeah, yeah, ok, I got A's. But last, but not least..." she turned expectantly to Buffy.

Buffy rolled her eyes at her impatient little sister. She rose to her feet, tugging Spike up with her. "As some of you may know.... um, Spike and I, we're together.... And if you don't like it, you'll just hafta deal with it 'cause we love each other!" She turned her head and kissed Spike soundly to prove her point. Turning back to the group, she waited expectantly, next to a smirking Spike.

Giles and Dawn had already known about their relationship. Dawn, of course, was overjoyed, and Giles had accepted it. The real challenge would be the rest of the Scoobies. Spike had faith in Buffy, and in the strength of their relationship. Even if her friends disapproved, she'd still stay with him. But for her sake, he hoped her friends would come around.

Tara, for once, was the first to speak up. She'd noticed the romantic tension between the two long before anyone else, and wasn't as fazed as the others. "I-I think, if he m-makes you happy, then good for you."

Buffy stared at the normally quiet girl, surprised. "Thank you, Tara. He does make me very, very happy." She squeezed his hand lightly.

"Well, I guess..." Willow began. "I guess if he makes you happy, and Giles and Dawnie and Tara are all ok with it... I am too. Might take me a little while to get used to it, though, ok?"

Buffy nodded, understanding where her friend was coming from - it had taken her some time to get used to the idea that Willow was a lesbian.

In her usual manner, Anya told Buffy, "I'm sure you will be very happy. He looks like he could give you many orgasms."

Spike's smirk grew, and Buffy held back a laugh.

"Anya!" Xander exclaimed, finally finding his tongue.

"What? It's true!"

Deciding not to try and correct his girlfriend's social etiquette yet again, Xander turned to the problem at hand. He really had matured since Buffy's death and subsequent resurrection. But, still... "I don't like it," he finally said.

Buffy's face hardened, and she opened her mouth to speak, but Xander continued before she could. "But I realize that I don't have the right to make choices for you. I think it's a mistake, and one that definitely could come back to bite you, and the rest of us, literally, if his chip fails... but it's your mistake to make. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'll deal with it, but don't expect me to be happy about it."

Everyone was staring at Xander, shocked. That was the longest, most serious speech anyone had ever heard him make.

Noticing everyone's attention was focused on him, he shifted uncomfortably. "What? I can be serious!"

"Yes, dear, you can be," Anya assured him. "You just usually aren't."

The group laughed. They continued on with the party, which included the usual: food, drink, movies, and chit-chat. One by one, the Scoobies left. Xander and Anya were dropping Dawn off at a friend's house for the night.

Finally, everyone else had left, leaving only Spike and Buffy.

"Guess that went as well as could be expected," Buffy said as she wrapped her arms around her boyfriend. "You were kinda quiet for a while."

Spike nuzzled her neck affectionately as he replied, "Yeah, well... the only things I could think to say woulda just pissed 'em off. I get kinda touchy when it comes to you and me, y'know."

Buffy giggled. "Yeah, I'd noticed. It's ok, it's kinda... cute."

"Cute! Cute!! The Big Bad is cute?!" Spike exclaimed in mock outrage.

"The Big Bad, huh?" Buffy grinned. "Why don't you give me a quick demo of just how Big and Bad you are."

"Why, Slayer!" Spike joked. "Forsaking your sacred duty of patrolling? I'm a baaaddd influence on you."

"Oh, we'll patrol... just after the demo," Buffy purred, as she dragged Spike up the stairs, both laughing.

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As Buffy finally lay down to sleep that night - after love-making, patrolling, and more love-making - she pondered the recent changes in her life. She'd never regretted her decision to not get her memories back, though having to re-meet the other Scoobies had been seriously weird.

But she was happy now, probably much happier than she ever could have been with her memories. She and Spike had their minor spats, but those usually just led to great make-up sex, rather than any real problems. Life, Buffy concluded, was good.

She smiled, and snuggled up to her sleeping vampire.

Mmmm... my fangy teddy bear....


THE END

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A/N: Woo! Ok, finally got this fic done... I know it may not have as much detail as many would like, what with me skipping four months, but I was really having trouble continuing writing this fic at all.

Thanks yet again to all who reviewed! Special thanks to Lucky-112, who pointed out a mistake I made forgetting about Spike's chip in the last chapter, and to northernlights, who suggested Spike get hurt, causing Buffy to become protective.

I'll probably be writing more in this next month before school starts. I've got some longer fics in mind, but I don't want to end up with any permanent WIP's, so I may just do a ficlet or two, we'll see.

As for distribution of this story - just lemme know where it's going, and credit it to me, of course. Sites that already archive my fic don't need to ask again.

Hope everyone you all enjoyed my story!