Father of Yours

Summary: Buffy and Spike have a big fight and he leaves for the 4 week tour. He won't be home again until December 23rd, just before Christmas. He does Christmas shopping while he's gone on tour. He and Buffy even talk later that night and say sorry, but she's still mad and hurt and misses him. It's hard for her when he's not around after having gotten used to having him around, but she's tough and independent.

Chapter 2 - Black Friday

Friday morning

Buffy woke up in the arms of the man she loved. She wouldn't have had it any other way either. If she could have her way she would wake up in his arms every day for the rest of her life, but she didn't get her way. And the more she woke up this morning the more she realized that she'd be spending the next 4 weeks without him again. She hated that fact.

It was the way things were for now, but that didn't mean she had to like it. In fact she really, really disliked it. All she wanted was for William to stay with her. He'd barely just gotten home and he had to leave again. It was hard on her and it was hard on the kids.

Her back was pressed to his chest and his arms were wrapped possessively around her waist. She brought one of his hands up to kiss it and she smiled against his warm flesh. "I love you," she whispered. "And I don't want you to go," she admitted softly, believing that he was still asleep.

To her surprise he held her tighter and kissed her shoulder and neck. "I love you too, Buffy." He was quiet for a few seconds before responding to the latter part of her comment just a moment ago. "You know I have to go though." She was quiet and he sighed softly. "I just want to provide for you and Dawn and Will. I just want you to be happy."

"I'm happy when you're here," she said softly.

"I know baby, but I'll be back soon. It'll hardly feel like I'm gone at all."

"You know that's not true. I miss you every second that you're gone. It drives me crazy William and I can hardly stand it." Her tone was changing to something a little bit more angry and desperate toward the end.

He caressed her back lovingly. "It's only 4 weeks Buffy." He was trying to get her to see that it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't working. She didn't want to see things his way.

"Only?" she scoffed. "You can't mean that!" She abruptly turned in his arms so that she could look at him. "Is it only 4 weeks to you? Do you not go crazy every time you walk out that door? Because I do. Every time you leave me I'm afraid you're not coming back. I'm afraid that something between us will change, that we won't love each other the same way that we do now… that…"

"Buffy, baby, I'll be back soon. I'll call you and write to you. You know that I always do that. You won't be alone." He moved his hand to caress her cheek, but was surprised when she withdrew from his touch.

"Don't," she whispered pitifully. "I love you too much to continue with the goodbyes. Last night was perfect but now… now I have to say goodbye to you all over again. You're barely home and then you're gone again. Maybe Will and Dawn don't notice… or at least Will, but I do notice. I notice it all. That you're gone, that the phone calls aren't enough, and that the road separates us for months on end."

"I love you. You know that, Buffy." He was really trying here. He knew it was hard to be apart from each other. Christ! It was hard for him too. He wanted to stay with her.

When she looked up at him now there were tears in her eyes and it broke his heart. She knew that he loved her. She could see it plain as day in the way he looked at her. It wasn't something he really had to try to convince her. That didn't change her fears though. She was still afraid that he would leave her. Love didn't stop someone from leaving.

"Oh, baby," he murmured soothingly, pulling her close to him. "I'm coming back. You have to know that." He brought her face up so he could look into her eyes. "I'm coming back to you, Buffy. I promise," he said seriously.

He held her for a while, rubbing her back soothingly. He didn't know what else to do. There wasn't much he could say. In his mind all he could do was prove her wrong. He had to sort through a few things in his mind too. They didn't have much time left today though. He'd have to leave soon, and as he glanced over her shoulder at the clock on the bedside table he realized just how little time he had left with her.

"Buffy, I need to get ready to go," he whispered softly. "I don't want to go, pet, but you know I have to…" He kissed the top of her head before leaning down to kiss her on the lips. For a brief moment he deepened the kiss, but Buffy quickly broke it and climbed out of bed to run into the bathroom.

William sighed and ran his hands over his face. There was a tightening in his chest. The last thing he ever wanted to do was hurt Buffy, but that seemed to be what he was doing. Instead of moping in bed he quietly climbed out of bed and started to get dressed. He'd already packed a few bags for the tour yesterday. After tossing a few more things into his bags he was ready to leave. He didn't want to leave without saying goodbye to Buffy though, so he stood at the bathroom door and knocked softly.

"Love, come out, please," he nearly begged.

"I can't say goodbye to you," she sniffled. It was true. She couldn't say it to him. It was breaking her heart just to know that he was leaving because it felt like he might not come back.

"Ok," he replied. "I… I guess I'll see you in a few weeks then and I'll call you later." He really didn't want to leave things this way with her, but he didn't have much of a choice at the moment. "I love you," he said again, running his hand over the door one last time before turning and leaving.

He grabbed his bags and walked to the front door. He had just one more thing to do before he left. There was another goodbye that wasn't going to be much easier than the first. William ascended the stairs and knocked on Will's door before entering.

"Hey buddy," he spoke softly. He couldn't imagine how hard it was for his little boy not having him around, especially when he'd been absent so much of his life already. How could he keep leaving them?

Will turned and looked at his dad with a smile. He was still young enough that he didn't understand everything that went on around him. He was smart for a 5 year old and he knew that it had been just him and his mom for a long time. For a child he was precocious and he knew that his dad came and went a lot, but to him it mattered more to him that his dad was around.

"Hi Dad," Will said cheerfully. "Did you come to say goodbye?" he asked. He might not understand everything at 5, but he was aware that his dad was going away again.

"Yeah, Will, I have to go again." He ran his hand through Will's hair briefly before saying, "I'm going to miss you pal."

"I'm going to miss you too Dad," Will said, turning around and wrapping his little arms around his dad's neck.

William hugged his son tightly for a long moment. He kissed him on the cheek and then said, "It's time for me to go Will."

Will was tough. He wasn't going to cry. "Ok Dad."

"I'll see you soon though, ok?" William asked, pulling away from Will and looking him in the face.

Will nodded and waved as his dad left his room.

Next William knocked on Dawn's door and came in when he heard the quiet "Come in."

He smiled softly at the girl he'd always thought of as a little sister. "Can you do a favor for me Dawnie?"

"Depends what it is," Dawn said with a smirk. She knew what he would ask. He'd want her to take care of Buffy while he was away.

He smiled again, knowing that she was teasing him. "I want you to look out for Buffy while I'm gone. I know it's hard on her that I'm gone for so long, but I know you can help her a little." There really wasn't anything else he could say, so he walked over and kissed Dawn on the forehead before saying, "See you later nibblet."

It didn't take long for Buffy to come out of the bathroom. Once she heard the front door open and close she came out from hiding. She wiped her tears away and stared at the bedroom that she'd shared with William for the past couple of days. It was their room, but she had it all to herself for too much of the time these days.

Instead of moping around the house though, she decidedly got dressed and went downstairs to fix something for the kids to eat before taking them Christmas shopping. There would be tons of deals today and it would take her mind off of William, at least for a little while.