This was written in January, 2004.
TITLE: Two Degrees of Separation
PAIRINGS: Spike/Gordo, Spike/Buffy
SUMMARY: Written for sadbhyl in sallyanne's Fanfic Junk Drawer Challenge. The request was: "Spike & Mr. Gordo, AtS S5 (yes, you have to figure out how Gordo got out of the big hole)." (Yeah. That part was HARD! But...Check it out. The Spordo love is here to stay! )
SPOILERS: AtS Season five, up to "Harm's Way."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thank you to my wonderful beta, who I asked for help in the eleventh (errr...twelfth) hour, katkashmir. And for the title. You're absolutely fabulous! Seriously, you helped me tremendously, and I really appreciate it. hugs
"I love you."
"No you don't. But thanks for saying it."
Spike woke with a start, the swirling images of that fateful day still lingering in his mind.
"Not again," he mumbled, standing up to fix the tangle of sheets that had gathered around his feet.
He sullenly flopped back on the bed and took in his new room. It really wasn't bad, considering. After all, now that he was corporeal and not on a boat to Europe, he really didn't have an alternative. It was freeload off of Angel or wander the streets of LA, and Spike figured that even Angel owed him more than that.
Even if he had put that tiny dent in the Viper. Just a nick, really.
Coming as close as he could to brooding without having to label it as such, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. As odd as it was, his talk with Harmony the night before had helped. In some weird way, she had managed to reassure him that going to seek out Buffy really wasn't the best course of action, and that after dying a hero's death for her, showing up on a bloody cruise ship would just be tacky.
"Still doesn't explain how I'm going to get on without her." He sighed wistfully. Maybe that was why Angel had taken pity on him and given him a place to stay. A Spike staying at Wolfram and Hart equaled a Spike who was still an ocean away from Buffy. He had to hand it to the wanker--sometimes, Angel did have his brief, shining moments of intelligence.
But only sometimes.
"Goodnight, love. Wherever you are." Spike buried his head under his pillow in an attempt to drive away the dreams of her, at least for one night. Seeing her and not being able to have her hurt too much. It was better if he didn't see her at all.
It was the sound of voices in the lobby that lead Spike to the rest of the formerly-known-as-Angel Investigations crew. Experience had taught him that wherever there was Angel and an argument usually lead to some choice barbs on his part, and he really needed something to lift his mood.
"What's up?" Spike asked, casually inserting himself into their conversation. "Anything I can help with?"
Five pairs of eyes turned towards him.
Damn. He should have known they'd never buy that one.
"Just wondering what all the commotion was about. Did Angel run out of hair gel again? Has a state of emergency been declared?"
Fred giggled, but was immediately silenced when Angel fixed her with a stony stare.
"Spike. Just the person I could do without seeing for...oh, forever. I thought you promised that if I let you stay here, you'd keep out of my way."
"Peaches! I'm hurt. Can't a friend help another friend without getting the third degree?"
Angel rolled his eyes.
"Really, Angel, I can't see how telling Spike would hurt anything. Actually, he may be able to help us." Wesley turned towards Spike. "It seems the retrieval crew we sent out last week has returned with some...artifacts, if you will. We were just going over them..."
"Artifacts?" Spike frowned. "Retrieved from where? You'll have to give me a bit more than that, Percy."
Wes continued at an even pace. "I thought you already knew. Angel was supposed to have told you." Wes looked to Angel who shrugged, the very picture of innocence. "Of course. I should have known better. We sent a team to the Hellmouth, to take some readings on the area so we can be sure the sealing is permanent."
Spike blanched. "You mean...they went back to Sunnydale?"
Wesley nodded. "Most of what was brought back has already been taken to the lab, but there are a few items that are of a personal nature and, consequently, of no use to us."
"Take a look for yourself." Gunn gestured to a table behind the assembled group. Most of the contents were charred beyond recognition, but there was still a familiar presence.
"Well, I'll be..." Spike ran his hand over the scrap of metal that still bore the immortal 'welcome to Sunnydale.' "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking, that's for damn sure." He scanned the table some more. "This is all that was left?"
"She's gone, Spike. You know that. She made it out of Sunnydale the same day you put on your fireworks show. What--did you think she'd be there, waiting for you? That you'd find all of your answers?"
Spike clenched his hands into fists. "As I recall, I wasn't asking you. Remember, Angel. Now that I'm corporeal, I can take you out. Or did you forget last week?" He smirked as Angel's hand automatically moved to the lingering scratches on his face. "Never said I was looking for her, did I? I just wanted to know...what's this?" His building rage immediately simmered as a flash of red caught the corner of his eye. Moving past the others, Spike approached the end of the table and lifted the item.
"It's still here. Funny, how this survived, when nothing else did."
"Ummm...Spike? No offense, but...it's just a backpack." Fred placed a gentle hand on his back. "You can get a thousand others just like it."
"No...you see, pet, that's where you're wrong." Spike gave her a small smile. "It just so happens that I know this backpack, and the previous owner. Makes this one special."
Without another word, he retreated for the safety of his room. Angel shook his head as he watched Spike's departing figure.
"He's pathetic. And stupid. For the record, I used mousse today."
One turn of a lock later, and Spike was seated on his bed, prize clutched in his arms. The bag was nothing out of the ordinary--just red and made of canvas--merely something a student would carry their books to school in.
"It still smells like her," he murmured, turning the bag over in his hands for a perusal. "My Nibblet. Let's see what she brought to the apocalypse."
He turned over the bag and spilled its contents on the bed. It was basically what he had expected. A change of clothes, some candy bars, a pile of photographs...
"Oh, God." Spike slowly leafed through the pictures. Buffy and Dawn, laughing. Joyce and the girls at the beach. A photo of Buffy that final day, before they left to battle The First.
His thumb traced the contours of his face, wishing more than anything that, at that moment, they were real. To just touch her one more time...
Setting the pictures aside, Spike noticed a slight bulge remained in the bag. What could be left?
The fluffy pink pig he held in his hands seconds later answered his question.
"Spike?" Fred rapped tentatively on the door. "Can I come in?"
She received no answer.
"Is everything okay? You haven't come out since last night, and I thought you might be hungry. I brought you some dinner. Or...breakfast. I'm not sure what you'd call it."
Despite Angel's warnings, Fred couldn't help but like Spike. Sure, he was a vampire, and had committed unspeakable evils, but after working for Angel for three years, it wasn't anything new to her. Besides, Spike had seemed genuinely grateful for her help on recorporealizing him, even though the success wasn't ultimately hers.
No one else seemed to give him a second thought, and he needed someone to look out for him. Everyone did. She could tell that being away from Buffy was killing him, but she was determined to bring him any measure of comfort she could.
"Okay...I'm coming in."
Fred twisted the knob hard and felt the lock give away easily. When one took into account the angle at which the springs were loaded, it was a simple move to execute. She entered the room cautiously, unprepared for what she was about to see.
Spike. Sleeping peacefully.
With a stuffed pig tucked securely under his arm.
"I knew you were a big softie underneath it all. Sleep tight, Spike." She patted his head gently and deposited the mug of blood on the desk before closing the door softly behind her.
"This has to stop. Now, before things get worse. Wes?"
"It is a most...disturbing...development."
"Come on, you two. It's not like the world is ending. Yet."
"Fred, stay out of this. We're dealing with something very serious here."
"I don't know, Angel. It keeps him out of our hair...Well, yours anyway."
"Gunn. You can't be thinking what I think you're thinking."
"What? If it makes the guy happy, who are we to deny him."
"He's right. Having a friend never hurt anybody."
"We're not talking about a friend, Fred! We're talking about...Mr. Gordo."
"Mr. Who?" Spike entered the lobby, whistling brightly. "Morning, Harm. Morning, all. How's it going?"
All eyes looked to the ground.
"Is something wrong?"
"Look, Angelcakes, you won't say it, but I have to clear the air," Lorne breezed through the embarrassed crowd and clapped a friendly arm on Spike's back.
"Spike, we're staging an intervention."
Spike cocked an eyebrow. "Sorry, mate. Could you repeat that?"
"An intervention. All of us..." Angel snorted, but Lorne continued. "...Angel included, are worried about you."
"I hardly think our fearless leader cares that Buffy and I are separated."
Lorne tried to smile. "Right, but we're talking about the pig."
"The one you have stuffed in your pocket there. According to Angel, answers to the name Mr. Gordo. It's been a week since you found it, and...well, I hate to say it, but we miss the old Spike. Pre-pig."
Spike looked at the gang incredulously. "What? You think I--and that toy?" He laughed nervously. "I'm not the one who knew his name, am I? Or insisted on keeping him in my room? Huh?" He backed away from the others.
"It, Spike. It's an...it. And actually, man, you are the one who asked to keep him. Remember when Angel found it on your bed and you two argued for half an hour over who Buffy would want to have it until you knocked him out cold?" Fred looked at Gunn accusingly, and he shrugged as he continued. "It's true."
"We don't have to take this. We're leaving." Spike ventured a quick glance to his duster pocket to make sure his companion was still with him.
"Okay, I give. Maybe we should do something," Fred conceded.
"So...Any ideas? Because he should not have that pig. It's Buffy's."
Angel grimaced. Buffy had had Mr. Gordo forever, and he was hard pressed to believe that she would ever want Spike drooling all over it. It was disgusting! Really, if she had wanted someone to have it, Spike wouldn't have been her pick.
Not when he was the natural choice.
Fred broke through his reverie. "Angel? There's really only one thing we can do for Spike..."
"Mr. Gordo, is it? You never told me that. Did Buffy name you?" Spike was laying down, facing the pig, nose-to-snout. "You know, you remind me of her. I remember standing outside and watching her..." Spike scoffed. "No, I was not spying on her! I was just...protecting her is all. But whenever she had a bad day, or Captain Cardboard did something stupid...which, come to think of it, was always...she'd snuggle up in her bed with you, and soon enough, this little smile would creep up her face." He sighed wistfully. "I know. I miss her too. You still smell like her." Spike sat up and crossed his arms. "I didn't mean it that way. No need to get angry. It's hard, though. Every time I try not to think of her, there you are, the most glaring reminder that I'm here and she's not." He pet Mr. Gordo gently. "I'm not saying you're a poor substitute. Don't ever think that. She loved you, and that's what counts. It's more than I had."
Spike closed his eyes and covered his face with his hands.
"They're right. I'm a bleedin' basket case. Look at me! I'm talking to a pig!"
He grabbed Mr. Gordo and threw him across the room.
"You're just a stupid toy. You'll never replace her."
Less than five minutes later, sheepish grin in place, Spike guiltily picked up the pig and carried him back to the bed.
"Oh, Spike, yes. That's it. Harder! Please!"
"Is that better, pet? Tell Spike how to make it better."
"YES! Spike! More! More! MORE!" Buffy's shrieks grew louder as Spike started pounding into her.
"So good, never better, almost there..." His eyes closed as he felt his release approach. "I love you, Buffy. So much. Always."
"I love you too, Spike! I! Love! YOU!" She came with a gasp, shuddering beautifully just as Spike followed her into oblivion. "There's no where I'd rather be than right here with you, Spike. Forever."
Spike woke up with a start.
It figured. As if it wasn't bad enough he dreamt of her, he always woke up at the best part. Before Spike could curse his subconscious out anymore, though, there was an urgent matter to attend to...
...at least, there should have been.
He frowned. In all the years he had known Buffy, he had never managed to wake up from a dream about her with anything less than a raging erection. The dream had been hot, to say the least, so...why wasn't he more aroused?
"Bloody hell." The realization set in quickly. All it took was one look at his sticky sheets to figure out what had happened. What Spike couldn't explain, however, was why Mr. Gordo was clutched in the hand which, in turn, was resting on his spent cock.
"Mr. Gordo, you've got some explaining to do."
Angel knocked on the door impatiently. Spike still wasn't answering. Great. If he didn't know any better, he had spent all night making with the crazy naked sexcapades with a stuffed pig.
On second thought, Angel didn't care to speculate any more on what Spike did in his free time.
"He's not answering--hasn't changed a bit. The slightest thing sends him over the edge, and then there's no reasoning with him. Maybe you'll have better luck if you just go in." Angel looked back to his guest. "Buffy?"
"Angel, this is ridiculous. First you call me in Europe and tell me that I have to come to LA right away. I hop the first plane I can, which wasn't cheap, by the way, fly all night, suffer major jet lag, and instead of explaining things to me and letting me take a nap, you have me waiting outside a door? What exactly is going on here? If it's anything short of an apocalypse, you can be the one to explain Giles' next credit card statement to him."
Angel frowned. "Look, I'll reimburse Giles for the ticket. And it wasn't my idea to call you. Fred said that it was the only way, and I just couldn't take it anymore. You'll understand in a minute. Everything will make sense then."
"It'd better." Irritated, Buffy pushed past Angel and opened the door.
"Oh, my God. Angel. I didn't know...I mean, I never thought..." Tears welled in her eyes as she rushed into the room. "I thought he was gone! Where did you find him?"
From his place in the hallway, back turned so he didn't have to see the happy reunion, Angel sulked. "I didn't find him. Please. He came to me. And it's not like--"
"I don't want to sound ungrateful, Angel, really, because I am happy to see him, but...why make me fly all the way out here? Haven't you ever heard of a nifty little invention called the postal system?"
"It's just a long way to travel for this one little thing, is all."
"Buffy..." Hope welled up in Angel's heart. She was so passe, so cold, almost--maybe she really did love him and not Spike.
He stepped into the room, ready to embrace Buffy, when real horror set in.
There, on Spike's bed, sat a freshly showered Mr. Gordo. And that was it. Spike was nowhere to be found.
"Angel, what's wrong?" Buffy looked at him curiously as she cradled Mr. Gordo in her arms. "He does mean a lot to me, especially since Mom gave him to me. I--"
Spike chose that moment to step out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but a carefully placed towel around his waist.
"Angel? What the Hell are you doing here? I thought I told you never to--"
Angel moved out of Spike's line of sight, allowing Buffy and Spike to see each other.
"Spike?" It was as if all of the air had left Buffy's lungs. "Is that really you?"
"Buffy? It can't be." Spike looked frantically back and forth from Buffy to Angel, and back again. "Peaches, what did you do?" He glared accusingly at Angel.
"First off, you owe me. Second, I did what you couldn't. I brought her here so you could drop your obsession with the pig." Angel shook his head, leaving out what he felt most. He had brought her here because if what Spike had said was true, Buffy would want to be here to see Spike as well. Sometimes having a soul was a disadvantage.
Buffy shook her head in disbelief, still in shock. "I can't believe what I'm seeing." She blinked several times. "This is real, right? Cause I am in desperate need to be pinched right now."
"And I can't believe what I'm hearing. Angel. You mean--it was you who--" Spike couldn't hide the tears that formed in the corners of his eyes. "Thank you."
Angel snorted. "You don't even mean--"
Spike shook his head. "I mean it, Angel. Thank you. You've given me...you've given me my life back. I just..." His eyes met Buffy's. "I've missed you, kitten."
Angel averted his eyes to the door, not wanting to see the reunion. Having a soul meant putting the person you loved first. And the look on Buffy's face...He knew he no longer resided in her heart. Rather he'd been replaced by a bad Billy Idol clone. That bruised the most.
As the initial shock wore off, Buffy hurtled herself into Spike's waiting arms. She was full of questions, but at that moment, he was all that mattered to her. "Spike. I thought you were...but you're not. I can't believe..." It was her turn to turn grateful eyes to Angel. "Thank you," she whispered. "I didn't know how I was going to live without him."
Angel took the passionate kisses from the happy couple as a sign to leave. As hard as it was to give Buffy up, he could finally accept the fact that she had moved on. They both had, in their own ways.
Even more begrudgingly, he could admit that maybe Spike would be good for her.
And damned if he'd ever breathe a word of that to anyone.
Buffy and Spike lay together, still entwined and experiencing their post-coital reunion bliss. After the bare minimum had been made in the way of explanations, the two had wasted no time in getting reacquainted.
"Promise you'll never leave me again, Spike. I don't want to ever have to feel that way again."
Spike gently brushed an errant strand of hair behind of ear. "As long as you make the same promise, sweetness."
She nodded. "It's a deal then. No more dying. From either one of us."
A few moments of silence passed.
"Was it true what Angel said about you and Mr. Gordo?"
"Well...Obsessed is such a strong word, and..."
"Have I mentioned that I love you?"
Buffy smiled and snuggled against him. "Multiple times. But lucky for you, I never get tired of hearing it."
As they drifted off to sleep, Mr. Gordo kept watch from his new vantage point on top of the headboard. Spike looked up at him and smiled.
"That'll do, pig. That'll do."