Author: Spike's Heart
Rating: PG mostly, but straining to reach an R
Setting: Sequel to Innocence Found
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I'd treat them nicer than Joss ever did.
Feedback: Yes, please!
Archive: Ask me, nicely.
Warning: There be children here!
A/N: Takes place less than 24 hours from where we left off.
Beta'd by: Willa
Summary: Buffy wishes her friends could understand the changes she and Spike have been through.
Reclamation – Chapter 1 – If Wishes Were Horses
The ride home from Los Angeles was considerably more carefree than the ride out from Sunnydale. In point of fact, Spike more than encouraged Buffy to indulge in her Dora the Explorer urges this time around. After all, the only nose that mattered was his. Between her hands and the bike acting as an eight hundred pound vibrator… everything was going to smell deliciously ripe.
They pulled up in front of Buffy's house, sore, sated and sticky… and very grateful that nobody was home.
Buffy started stripping the moment the front door closed. "Last one in the shower is a stinky-pants!" She giggled, running up the stairs, leaving Spike with his mouth hanging open in shock.
Yeah, she'd teased and toyed and brought him off a few times over the course of an hour on the ride home. Had herself a right good pop or four if his nose was any judge. However, he wasn't exactly sure if she was inviting him into her shower, or one of his own as they'd done when their little adventure began.
"Stinky-pants," she sing-songed, sticking her head out of the bathroom before turning on the water.
She can only stake me once, he figured, kicking off his boots and dropping his clothes as he took the stairs three at a time.
Steam billowed from the shower stall as he entered the bathroom to whispered chants of "stinky-pants, stinky-pants."
"Not nice, Slayer," Spike growled softly. "Had some help in that department. 'Sides, left the pants at the bottom of the stairs."
He pushed the curtain back and stepped into the shower, praying Buffy hadn't hidden a stake in some delightfully amusing place. The steam was so thick he could hardly make her out, but what he did see of her was glistening and pinkened from the hot water.
Buffy turned around to faced him, water streaming over her head. "Don't worry, Spike. I won't bite," she said mischievously. "Unless you beg really, really hard." She ducked to avoid a swat to her rear and lost her footing, ending up with a splat on the shower floor.
And just then, as things were about to get interesting, the door slammed downstairs. Spike could hear the witch mouthing off about the clothing strewn all over the floor and the stairs, not to mention the boy's angry voice when he realized some of the clothing was his.
Buffy reached up, praying he'd see her hand and help her up. With a quick 'sorry' she wrapped one towel around her body and another around her hair and skedaddled to her bedroom, leaving Spike to turn off the water and grab his own towels.
The arguing from downstairs grew louder. Xander was trying to push his way past Willow, who was blocking the stairs.
"This is all kinds of wrong, Will," he spluttered. "Maybe Buffy came back wrong. You know… a little brain damaged, or she's still not all caught up age-wise."
The redhead stammered, "I-it's j-just clothing, Xander. They're p-probably in separate showers. Maybe we shouldn't jump to conclusions."
"Uh huh. And their clothes just jumped off their bodies as they walked naked up the stairs to take separate showers." Gods, he was so tired of dealing with vampires, Slayers, and women who didn't want him even when he offered himself up on a silver platter. Someone should blow up the whole demony town and be done with it once and for all.
Xander bent to pick up Spike's pants, the urge to throw them along with his shirt and boots out the door overwhelming. He noticed a smell he was all too familiar with. "This is just too much," he barked, throwing the pants back on the floor in disgust. "Over a hundred years old and he's messing his pants."
"What are you talking about, Xander? Vampires don't…" It took Willow just a moment to realize just what vampires did do. "Eeeew! But… but… in his pants has to be better than in… she wouldn't… not again, with another vampire! What's wrong with her? How could she?"
"How could I what, Willow?"
Both heads turned in the direction of the stairs, where an irate Buffy appeared; hair still dripping from the shower.
"I repeat – how could I what? How could I not be the little puppet Slayer you want me to be? Not be the whimpering, simpering little depresso girl you dragged out of Heaven?" she bit, finally having reached her limits with her once best friend. "And worst of all, how could I turn to Spike instead of you?"
Xander spoke up in Willow's defense. "That's enough, Buffy. Will never did anything to hurt you on purpose. She might have been a little misguided, but…"
"Misguided?" Buffy shrieked. "Bringing someone back from the dead is misguided? Casting spells on little boys is misguided? Attempting to murder a vampire I'd expressly chosen to trust is misguided?"
Turning her fury on Xander, she continued with her tirade. "And you, Xander… you'll just never get over this black and white way you see the world, will you? You blind yourself to things you don't want to face... like the fact that your fiancée has more blood on her hands than Spike ever spilled over the years."
"Leave Anya out of this."
"Sure, like you leave Spike out of every argument. And Angel, for that matter. Everything that's ever gone wrong in your life you blame on others. Both of you," she fumed, throwing her hands up in exasperation.
"Just once I'd like you guys to realize it's not All. About. You. Because you want things doesn't make it the right things. I wish you'd spend a week living my life, and see how you like it!"
A flash of lightning followed by a booming crack of thunder had Spike jumping over the handrail, coming to a stop next to Buffy. He'd managed to scrounge up a pair of sweatpants that were either leftovers from Riley or her father.
When the dust cleared, D'Hoffryn stood with his arms akimbo; a twisted, toothy smile on his face. "Oh, this is rich," he chortled. "Ms. Rosenberg, you should have taken me up on my offer years ago. I'm sorely tempted to make the Slayer an offer, but instead… this should be a lot more fun. Wish granted."
Never one to stick around and watch the fallout, D'Hoffryn was gone with another thunderclap, leaving a scorched ring on the carpet.
When will I learn to keep my mouth shut? Buffy couldn't believe her eyes. Of course, it didn't improve her temper any when she heard Spike snickering softly in back of her.
Sitting on the floor were a red haired little girl and a brown haired little boy, both swimming in their older selves' clothing.
Spike gently nudged Buffy's shoulder. "I've always said payback's a bitch, pet. Looks like it's come around to bite us on the collective arse," he whispered.
"With any luck, they won't have a clue as to who we are," Buffy murmured back. "We'll see just how literal the old guy was in making them live my life."
"If he's followed form, we've got a little boy with absolutely no powers to worry about, and a little witch that has no clue about her powers."
Buffy paused for a moment, deep in thought. "I guess we'll have it a lot easier than they did. At least they're both human."
A timid tug at the leg of her pants brought Buffy's attention to little Xander. The poor boy looked ready to bolt if she made a quick move, so she gently knelt in front of him to be less intimidating.
"S'cuse me, Miss," he began shyly. "Me an' Willow wanna know where we are." He shot a quick glance up at Spike. "And who you guys are."
"We're friends, Xander. My name is Buffy and he's William, but you can call him Spike."
"Why are we wearing these funny clothes, Buffy?" The little boy looked frightened, as if he'd done something wrong.
"Don't worry, mate," said Spike, ruffling his curls. Hard to believe this innocent little thing would turn into such a bigoted man in less than twenty years. "You and the girl were just playin' dress up." Picking the child up and slinging him onto his hip, he motioned to Buffy to do the same with Willow, who still hadn't moved nor said a word since the change.
Scooping Willow up into her arms, Buffy asked: "Do you think we should call Giles before showing up on his doorstep all deja-vuey?"
"Luv, you call and tell him we're comin' with another set of munchkins, and he's gonna be packed and headin' for the hills before we walk out this door."
"Heh! I think we've scared the poor man out of ever wanting children for life." She giggled, making the child in her arms smile. "C'mon, Willow. What do you say to going out on a little adventure?"
The little redhead sparked to life, peeking out from behind her curtain of red hair. "Yay! 'venture time. But Xander, too?" she asked worriedly, not wanting her best friend left behind.
"Xander, too." Looking at Spike and his charge, Buffy crooked her elbow. "To Oz?"
"To bleedin' Oz, pet."
They stood in front of Giles' home, trying to gather the patience for the questions that were bound to be launched at them rapidfire once they stepped inside.
Tara answered the door with a blond boy dressed in one of little Spike's old outfits balanced on her hip. Laughing as she ushered them all inside, she said, "I see you got hit with the munchkin stick, too. I had a funny feeling I wasn't going to be alone in this."