Title: Replacement for You (1/1)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I wished I owned the two Xanders' from "The Replacement" though. Buffy and friends are owned by Joss, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox, The WB, and whoever else has rights to the show.
Summary: It's Xander's Big Day, but his friend can't take it.
Pairings: B/S, slight B/X, X/A, and W/T
Spoilers: I'm not good with eppy titles, but it's pretty much just some stuff I borrowed from season 5.
Distribution: My fic is your fic. Just let me know.
Feedback: Definitely!! Tell me if it sucked or if you liked it. Whatever. Just write back!
Authors Note: Buffy and the Gang defeated Glory, but Buffy has already come back from the dead.
Authors Note 2: Buffy is struggling with her feeling towards Xander, so that's why she's acting all weird.
"I never had a brother. Or any sibling for that matter, but Xander… he's as close as I've ever gotten to one. So it's like I did have a brother, just not a biological one. One that I met when I was four… And this sucks doesn't it?" Willow asked eyeing Tara's bored expression.
"You looked like I was reading out of biology textbook."
"No, I didn't. This is my Biology textbook look," Tara dropped her head to the table and shut her eyes, "What I was giving you was my…"
"It's just that…it was sort of repetitive with all that brother talk."
Willow flopped dejectedly to the floor, "Well, I don't know what to say. I don't like public speaking and I never asked to be the Best Man. I mean, isn't that job supposed to be actually for a man?"
"I think he just picked his best friend. And he couldn't ask Buffy."
"Why, because she's not a lesbian? Do you think that's why he picked me instead of her?"
"You know why he didn't ask her."
"Yeah." Willow admitted, "I know, but, I've never been a Best Man."
"You've never been any kind of man." Tara pointed out and Willow frowned. "Look," the blond witch sighed, "Maybe you could talk to someone else about this. Someone whose known Xander for a while longer. Oh, oh, like Giles! Talk to Giles!"
Willow huffed, "I did. He told me to 'say how I feel and relay some memories of significant value."
"Well, there you go."
"And my feelings and memories put you to sleep."
Tara thought for a moment, "Ask Buffy. She'll have to help." She said uncertainly.
"You know I can't ask Buffy for help with this," Willow said sadly, "If I could she'd be here instead of you. No offence."
"Ease up, Luv. You're going to tire yourself out."
"If you're tired, go home."
"Tired? Me? Pffft. I can go all night." Spike leered.
"Good. Me too." Buffy offered a half smiled over her shoulder, before vaulting a tombstone, which Spike stepped around.
"Why the rush, Pet?"
"I'm not rushing. Its called being efficient. Quick and accurate." Buffy reached into some bushes to her side and pulled a vampire out by his collar. Spike winced as she rammed the vamps face into a near by tombstone and let him drop to his knees before launching an axe kick to the back of his neck, at which point Spike heard a crack.
It wasn't until the vamp was laying motionless on the ground when Buffy took the stake out of her pocket and jammed it into the it's back.
"And not at all brutal." Spike commented, "Good show."
"Do you want to test me tonight?" Buffy asked, standing up.
"Well then, lets go." Buffy said as she executed a confident front snap kick to Spike's gut. He doubled over briefly, but stood to catch the right hook that was coming for the side of his head. Buffy felt him grab her wrist and she was spun around. Spike trapped the Slayer with her own arms, her back to his chest.
"Violence never solved anything, Pet." Spike whispered in Buffy's ear, while audibly inhaling the scent of her hair.
Buffy set her feet and bent at her waist quickly, hurling Spike over her back and to the ground, "Depends on who you ask." She smiled a superior smirk while she walked over to his prone form and extended her hand, adding extra force as she pulled him to his feet.
"You ready to call it a night?" Buffy asked as she turned to walk to the exit.
"Right, and you're not in a hurry. The night's young." Spike stated.
"Fine. I'm rushing a little." Buffy admitted, "And you know the reason why. I have a very busy day tomorrow."
"Ah, yes." Spike remembered, "The Wank's…"
Spike cut off his sentence when Buffy shot him a cold glare.
"Tomorrow's the day your life changes forever." He said instead.
"I've had a lot of those days." Buffy sighed as they continued their walk.
"Yes, you have. But this is real. No super natural mumbo-jumbo involved. And it's non-reversible."
"Everything is reversible."
"Almost everything. Something's are forever."
"Things like what?" Buffy questioned.
"Well…love, for example. You never stop loving someone once you start. The degrees of it may vary, but it's always there." Spike said as he watched her out of the corner of her eye.
"So, even if it's been years, love doesn't go away. What if…"
"The Wank will always love the demon." Spike stated, "That's what this is about right? Their perfect love."
"Yeah." Buffy agreed quietly, "So…Why this vested interest in why I don't want to troll the cemeteries tonight…with you?
"Oh, you're biting tonight." Spike smirked at her.
"Are you asking?" Buffy raised her eyebrows at him.
"Are you offering?"
Buffy started to walk faster and Spike jogged to catch up, "Just my keen sense of perception here, Luv. But you have yet to use the name of tomorrows events."
"Yet your 'keen sense of perception' doesn't tell you when to shut up. Huh, why is that?"
"Say it Buffy."
"Tomorrow's Wednesday." Buffy answered innocently.
"The season premiere of Dawson's Creek." Buffy said to side track the vampire.
"We're still going to watch that, right?" Spike followed the change.
"Yeah. I love the post graduation- jumping the shark- attempts."
"Desperation is fun." Spike smiled.
"And it suits you well."
"I'm not desperate." Buffy shot, "I'm giddy. Giddy with happiness."
Spike just raised his eyebrows, "Are you nervous?"
They were at her house, "Unlike I've ever been before."
"Really?" Spike sounded surprised, "You're nervous about this? You've died before."
"A few times actually." Buffy pointed out.
"And you came back every time."
"Almost wish I'd learn my lesson, huh?"
"It'll be the same this time. You won't die."
"It'll feel like that, though."
"And you'll bounce back." Spike tried to reassure her.
"No. No, this is it." Buffy whispered as he entered her house and shut the door.
"Hi Buffy!" Dawn greeted in an impossibly cheery way as soon as Buffy shut the door. The Slayer trudged warily to the living room door and peered in. She couldn't help the slight grin that formed when she saw her little sister and her Watcher sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching Dawn's favorite movie, Bring It On.
Dawn had a smile plastered to her face, as she bounced along to the cheers, while Giles was wearing a fixed grimace. "Hey guys." Buffy greeted, and laughed as Giles shot up off the floor.
"Thank God you're back, Buffy." He breathed, as he walked to face her.
Buffy smirked at him, "What? Giles' all 'Spirit Fingered' out?"
"Yes, quite," he said, glancing over his shoulder to Dawn, "How was your patrol?"
"Same ole, same ole. Pointy stick through an unbeaty heart."
"Ah yes. I believe that is a direct quote from the Slayer handbook." Giles half smiled.
Buffy nodded and moved towards the stairs, "Tell Dawn to go to bed soon."
Giles nodded, he was about to leave himself, since Buffy had returned. The whole group did have to get an early start tomorrow. "Oh, Buffy," he remembered, "Anya came by to drop off your dress. She left it on your bed."
Buffy nodded briefly again and slowly ascended the stairs. She just wanted to go to sleep. Once she could do that, she would be back in control, the way it should be. When she was awake, everything just spun out.
Buffy opened her bedroom door and flicked on the light. The first thing she saw was the last thing that she wanted to see: her designated outfit for the day her world exploded. Again. It was a light pink dress, slightly poofy at the bottom and it had beaded straps that criss-crossed across the back. Over all, it wasn't as hideous as she thought dresses of its type were fabled to be, especially since Anya had picked it out.
In fact, Buffy thought that she looked great in the dress when she had tried it on, but tomorrow wasn't a fitting. Tomorrow was THE day. Buffy removed the dress from her bed and draped it over the wicker chair in the corner.
As she made her way back to the bed she pulled off her pants and flung her tee shirt to the floor before she let herself collapse into the perfect world that only existed in her bed. The world where she still had her friends, and feelings weren't dwelled on.
She lay still for several minutes, her face buried in the soft pillows until she heard a soft knock at her door. "Buffy?" Dawn's voice questioned, as she opened the door. The Slayer didn't even glance up, she just offered a muffled grunted in response.
"Did you try on your dress?" Dawn asked quietly while maneuvering into the room. She watched Buffy's back move as she muffled her response into the pillow. "Huh?" she asked confused, while staring at her older sister's underwear clad form.
Buffy turned her head to the side, but made no move to get up, "Why does it matter? If it doesn't fit now, it's not going to fit later. There's nothing I can do about it."
Dawn just looked ahead, studying the various pictures of her sister and her friends, through high school on, as they sat on the dresser, and nodded. "Anya said to try it on and if it doesn't fit, to bring it to her tonight. She'd try to get a quick alteration in the morning."
"So she expects me to traipse all over a Hellmouth at midnight because she may or may not have hired an incompetent tailor? That dress cost me $500, not to mention the alterations that already had to be done AFTER I got fitted SEVEN times, and now she expects me to shell out forty more dollars. Doesn't she know that I don't have money to be throwing out like this? I have bills to pay now." Buffy rambled off her argument bitterly.
"You're not really throwing it out." Dawn pointed out, "It's Xander's…"
"I know what it is." Buffy interrupted coldly, reburying her face in the pillows.
"Well, its probably only going to happen once."
"Oh, please. The divorce rate is, like, 50%, and that's not even factoring in the demon aspect. You can't marry demons."
"You can screw them though." Dawn asked with raised eyebrows, but to her surprise Buffy didn't respond, "And technically Anya's not a demon anymore."
Buffy mumbled into the pillow again.
Buffy lifted her head, this time, to face her sister and annunciated, "Close enough."
"What's your deal Buffy? I mean, if you didn't want to be in…"
Buffy shot her a glare as the younger Summers' threatened to say 'THE WORD', but her efforts were ignored.
"If you didn't wan to be in the WEDDING then why did you agree to do it?"
"How could I not?" Buffy answered coldly.
"It's called saying 'No thank you', you should try it sometime."
"Xander asked me. I couldn't say no."
"If he knew how you were acting he would've wanted you to turn him down." Dawn pointed out.
"Well I didn't. And if the dress doesn't fit then it doesn't fit and I don't really give a crap." Buffy said quickly.
Dawn got off the bed and walked tot he door as she heard Buffy mumble, "It's not like it's my goddamn wedding."
"I hope Xander is a better friend to you than you are to him." she said as she walked out of the room.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ The Next Morning ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"How do I look?" Xander asked as he adjusted his black bow tie in the mirror. Buffy just stood behind him and watched his reflection, Willow was down the hall helping Anya.
"Great." She nodded, "You look great."
"Not mature?" he asked disappointedly as he turned to face her.
"Also mature." Buffy added, "I knew one of us would grow up one day."
"Bet you never thought it'd be me." He smiled and turned back to the mirror.
"Nope. I had all my money riding on Giles." Buffy tries to laugh, but it wouldn't come out, but Xander didn't seem to notice. Buffy stepped closer to him, until they were standing side-by-side. "Here," she offered, turning him around to face her. Buffy reached for his waist and adjusted his cummerbund, her eyes transfixed with her hands on him.
"I used to think that thing was the shirt part of the tux." Xander's laugh refocused her.
"I see Giles is still in the running." Buffy offered humorlessly, while reaching up to run her hands through his hair, pushing the fallen strands from his face. "Crunchy today, huh?" she noted, moving to wipe her hand on her side.
"NO!" Xander yelled suddenly, grabbing her wrist, "The dress." He said more calmly, as he grabbed a towel off of the side of the mirror and studiously cleaned her hands.
Buffy looked up into his eyes and smiled her thanks, causing Xander to grin back. Buffy turned her head to face the mirror and surveyed the reflection that it held. She and her best friend, wearing wedding attire and holding hands. The image brought a smile to her lips.
"Anya would have flipped if the dress would've gotten dirty." Xander commented and Buffy's smile died.
"I should…go. Check on Willow, she if she's done…whatever." Buffy couldn't make her mind form the words. She knew now for sure that being here would kill her. Slayer strength or not, she could not watch Xander marry Anya. That would make it all too real that she would never have him after this.
Buffy couldn't tell if she felt this way because of the thought that this meant that she couldn't have him, if she wanted, or because…because she was in love with Xander. Her mind settled on the later because when she admitted it in her mind her world fell into place. She loved Xander. And now se had to get out of here.
"You alright Buff?" Xander asked concerned when she didn't move or speak for several moments.
"Yeah." She nodded dumbly, "On top of the world. There's the world and here's me, on top of it."
Xander smiled and nodded before turning back tot he mirror. Buffy cast him one last look before barreling out of the room and into the hall, nearly knocking the approaching Willow in the process, but she didn't stop.
"Buffy?! Where…" Willow's voice called out after her, but that only made Buffy want to run faster.
Buffy ignored the strange looks she was receiving as she ran down the street in her pink bridesmaid's dress. She quickly crossed an intersection and ran into a residential area. When Buffy reached the park she picked up her pace and crossed into Resting Hills Cemetery.
He mind was racing a mile a minute while she slowed to a walk and slowly made her way back to the mausoleums. She had come to the only place that she was sure that nobody would look for. The only place in Sunnydale where she could hide.
Buffy shakily pushed open the rickety steel door of the familiar crypt. "What the bloody 'ell are you doing 'ere?" Spikes voice boomed as he sat up on the stone platform on the center of the room, "Did they let you out of the Power Puff convention early?" he asked with a smile while eyeing Buffy's dress.
She wanted to laugh, but what came out was a loud choked sob as she dropped her head into her hand and felt her knees give out under her, causing her to crumple to the ground.
Spike stood up concerned, "Calm down, Pet. It was just a joke." Buffy continued to shake silently with tears that he couldn't see and Spike moved towards her. He had almost reached her when he was stopped by a wide expanse of sunlight from the still open door. The vampire huffed out an unnecessary breath while he edged along the lighted area until he was able to close the door safely.
When he turned back to face Buffy he found that she was no longer sitting on his floor, but had instead moved to sit on the stone platform. "I didn't have anywhere else to go." She whispered weakly, unable to look at him, "I just had to not be there."
"Xander's wedding." Buffy interrupted, finally meeting his eyes, "I ran out on Xander's wedding."
"Good thing you weren't the bride, eh?" Spike offered with a smile, but it died when he saw Buffy's head drop. "Sorry?" Spike offered again, he didn't know what to say.
He walked over to where she sat and hoisted himself up next to her, his hands fidgeting in his lap while he silently debated putting his arms around Buffy's bare shoulders. The vampire couldn't sit still and listen to her sniffling so he cautiously reached around, draping his arms over her slight form. He looked unsure for a few moments, but the relaxed when Buffy didn't fling it off.
"What's it like?" she asked, sounding like a lost little girl.
"Being in love with someone who doesn't love you back?"
Her words shook him and he couldn't find the words to answer her right away. "It hurts like hell." Spike answered after a few moments.
"For how long?"
"As close as I can tell, forever. The measures a person has to take to get someone to fall out of love with them are immeasurable. But I think that you know that." He was confused at this line of questioning, but was overly distracted be the close proximity that he and the Slayer were sitting in.
"Why can't it be physical pain? I know how to handle that." Buffy stated looking straight ahead.
"Nobody likes what they can't control. You can stop someone from hitting you, you have no control when someone takes your heart." Spike knew that he was speaking about her, but cringed as he figured that she was not speaking about him. He knew that since she had 'gotten back' she had had some different feelings for her friend Xander. Spike didn't know why she had waited as long as she did, if she would've said something before the whelp and the demon got serious, it'd probably be her wedding day today. Spike shut his eyes and put that thought out of his head, he was content to play dumb about the Slayer's feelings about any other man. "Why aren't you at Xander's shin-dig?" Spike asked, quietly changing the subject.
Buffy didn't follow the change of topic, "Is that what I do to you?"
"Wot?" he asked surprised, and removed his arm from over her shoulders, but Buffy only slid closer to him.
"You're in love with me." She stated.
Spike swallowed and nodded slowly, unable to look at her.
"Do you know why?" she asked. "Do you know why you still love me, when I do everything to make you not."
"I…I don't…" Spike stuttered.
"Do you think that it's because you're not supposed to have me?"
"Not supposed to?" Spike asked.
"Is it because you can't have me?" Buffy amended.
Spike looked at the ground this time.
"Is it because I've never given you a chance, and it's just the thrill of the hunt? The hope that maybe one day you'll finally get me?" Buffy pressed.
"Tell me." Buffy demanded, grabbing the vampires chin and forcing him to look at her, "Tell me."
"I just love you. There's no hunt. It's just me loving you, Buffy. That'll never change. I can't make that change…"
"I'd forgotten what that sounded like." She whispered, shutting her eyes. "I love you." She practiced saying as Spike watched her confused, "I love you. Why can't I say it…"
"You just did." Spike pointed out.
"I never say it when it counts."
"You're young. You've…you've got plenty of time to…fall in love." Spike looked away at his suggestion that she would love yet another man that wasn't him.
"Or I could let it slip by and die alone tonight."
"So don't let it slip by." Spike offered watching the Slayer contently, wishing deep down that she would say the words to him.
"It's too late." Buffy turned to face him, "Say it again."
"I love you Buffy." Spike obeyed immediately.
She didn't smile as she leaned in to close the short space between their lips, tilting her head before pressing her mouth to his. Spike's eyes widened in shock and Buffy pulled back.
"Is this real?" she asked, her eyes still closed.
"Yes." Spike whispered back breathlessly.
Buffy kissed him again, harder this time, feeling his cool lips working against hers as he clutched her closer. "I love you." Spike said again around Buffy's mouth, and as soon as his mouth opened she pushed her tongue in. Spike growled at the new warmness, before letting his tongue play with hers, his hands smoothing over her back and fumbling with the zipper in the back of the dress.
Buffy felt the pressure on her back and pulled away. Spike watched her with wide eyes; his arms still wrapped around her. "Will you show me?" she asked, and Spike nodded. "I can give you what you want." She told him next, reaching behind her and pulling the zipper down herself, the straps loosely over her shoulders.
"You'll love me?" Spike asked quietly.
"I want to try to love somebody." Buffy responded, lifting his black tee shirt over his head. "I'll never have what I want," Buffy leaned in and licked at his neck, "I'll feel like you do now for the rest of my life."
Spike was almost beyond paying attention and he moaned as she kissed her way down his pale chest, and he reached to push the top of the dress down. He sighed happily when Buffy lifted her arms out of the straps. "You can stop feeling that way now," she murmured.
Spike stood her up and tugged the dress the rest of he way down her body, taking in her real naked from for the first time. "Why?" he breathed, "Why now?" he tried to hold off until he got an answer.
"My best friend's getting married." Buffy whispered as she reached for him and Spike obeyed, "Xander's wedding is happening right now."
Spike stopped, "You want him now, not me…"
"I'll never have him."
"I'll never have you."
Buffy's only response was to kiss him.
"Where's Buffy?" Anya asked worriedly as she paced in the lobby of the church.
"I don't know!" Xander yelled, "I didn't know the last fifty times you asked and I don't know now."
"She's the Maid of Honor. I can't get married without her. She had to hold the flowers!"
"Yes. Yes you can. You're going to." Xander couldn't believe that Buffy wasn't there, and that nobody had seen any trace of her for over an hour. "I'm getting married without my best friend, you can get married without a Maid of Honor." He reassured, "Now don't worry…"
"How can I not," Anya stopped pacing to face her groom, "She's not here, she had a huge part in the wedding. And now you've seen me, and that's bad luck…"
"We're getting married An." Xander said as he heard the Wedding March start to play, "This is the best luck I've ever had."