If You're Sure
A sequel to Sex and Candy, See You on the Flip Side, Should Have Known Better Trilogy. Please read the trilogy first, or this isn't going to make sense.
Set during between season five and six in an AU where Buffy and Joyce are alive and well, Riley's gone, and Spike's pretty well accepted into Buffy's life.,
Notes: This is going to be fluffy with some smut. People told me the tilogy need a sequel, and I tried not to listen, but you know how that goes...Hope you all enjoy, read, and review!
Direct quotes from songs and shows are obviously not mine but belong to the enormously talented people who created them.
Dedicated to Hannah the Bloody, Lithium Reaper, Idiosyncratic Delusions, Msnycegirl0820, McPastey, and jmoran 319
Nothing of Buffy belongs to me, except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.
"Is my tie straight?"
"Sod the fuckin' ties, how in God's name do you put on this thing?" Spike waved a boutonniere in Giles' and Xander's faces. When he last wore suits, you just put a single carnation in the hole. Now there was green tape and pins and little bits of wire...
"Don't ask me to help you with it, my hands are shaking." Xander gasped out, rubbing his sweating palms along his jacket.
"I need a quick drink, back in a mo." Giles darted.
"This is bloody ridiculous." Spike savagely stabbed the floral taped lapel decoration into his buttonhole and jabbed the stick pin in to hold it.
"You must really hate this." Xander smiled maliciously. "Not being able to see how you look, and you having a center stage role."
"You know- the white shirt kinda makes you look washed out. Dead-ish."
"Shut your mouth. Unless you want to ruin this wedding." Spike snarled.
"God forbid, you know I love her. I'd do anything for her. Including wear this suit from hell."
"I've been to hell- briefly, a little weekend trip- even they don't torture people like this." Spike nervously tugged on his tuxedo, hating that he couldn't check himself in the mirror, and having to rely on the Watcher and the Bricklayer for assistance. He knew, realistically, that they could be trusted to assist him in this. Things were pleasant between them. With occasional bouts of violent dislike and avoidance. But for the most part- pleasant.
"Stop twitching, you're making me jumpy." Xander paced.
"You're already jumpy, an' I'm not twitchin', I'm tuggin'." If only he could see Buffy, she'd tell him if he was done up proper. Or Joyce, or the Little Bit, they'd be quick to help put him to rights. But of course, all of those options were out of reach just now. The bride needing the full support of every available female in sight apparently.
"Just about time. Quarter 'til. The sun's almost completely down, you should have no trouble with the lighting." Giles puffed nervously on a cigarette as he reentered the small room the men were confined to.
"Did you see her? How did she look?" Xander asked eagerly.
"No, I didn't see her." Giles said firmly. Then a soft smile played across his lips. "But I know she'll look radiant."
"She will." Spike also got a wistful smile on his face. "This is gonna make 'em all so happy."
"I'm going to go check the arbor, make sure it's anchored firmly." Xander was too nervous to be contemplative. He'd never been in this situation before, and probably never would be again, and it scared him. If he screwed up in front of all those people...
"Damn glad he's gone." Spike jerked his head towards the door and sighed in relief. "Could make a rabbit on speed seem cool and collected."
"I suspect Anya's overemphasized the situation. She is obsessed with weddings lately." Giles stubbed his cigarette out in a potted plant.
"Well, theirs is comin' up fairly quick. Of course some people want a big fancy shindig. Dozens of guests flockin' in."
"Yes, well, it helps keep the chaos to a minimum when the groom has no family to speak of." Giles and Spike exchanged a rueful smile.
"Or could be because it's a shotgun weddin'." Spike gave a cold, vicious smile and Giles gave him a sudden angry glare.
"If that were even a remote possibility..."
"It had better not be." Spike said menacingly.
The two men were saved from a bout of threatening and arguing by the sudden appearance of Tara, draped in a long, pale blue dress and peacock feather necklace. "It's dark enough." She smiled softly.
Giles gulped and nodded. "Be right out." He said hoarsely.
"You make one wrong move durin' this..." Spike warned.
"Same to you. You ever even think of trying something clever..." Giles took off his glasses and Ripper, all hard eyed and smugly smirking, emerged.
Spike fought down his own smirk. "Right, then. Places?"
Xander dashed back in. "Best man speech, best man speech..." He mumbled frantically, looking for a piece of paper in the couch cushions.
"Bloody hell." Spike sighed. "Can we move? Some of us have brides not to be kept waitin'."
"Keep your knickers on." Giles muttered in a soft, unperturbed tone. This was really going to happen. He supposed it was inevitable. And so very, very odd, the only case on record... He felt peace swelling in him. It's all about to happen.
They went to their stations. Everything was strangely beautiful. Simple, but beautiful. It wasn't going to be a big ceremony. It was held in the backyard of the Summers' home at 7 pm (or whenever the sun was low enough) on a late August evening. Moonlight and sunset battled for dominance in lighting and everyone could now see Joyce's wisdom on insisting that all flowers and decorations be white- any light complimented them, the atmosphere's natural light or the light from the eight garden torches. It all looked gorgeous. Must be that gallery owner-artistic eye, Xander thought as he took his place beside the groom.
Spike sucked in air he didn't need. Buffy was a vision. All delicate and tears shining in her lashes, some sort of flowers in her hair. A glorious vision. How'd that little beauty end up with me? How'd we end up together, makin' a home together, in love?
Giles surveyed her as she smoothed a hair into place, his smile so wide he didn't think his face would survive it. Look at her. My girl is all grown up. Oh, she's young, but capable. She can save the world, she can handle anything...even Spike.
A hand reached out and hit the "next" button on the large stereo system set up on the patio. "Oh, my. This is it. This is it. It's- we're really... I'm going to faint."
Spike smiled and took the bride's arm. "You won't faint, Joyce. An' I don't know if I can faint or not, so I'd say we're good."
"Is Rupert nervous?"
"Not a bit. Beamin' from ear to ear an' dreamin' of you." Spike tugged his tie once more. "Am I alright, Mum? I mean, Joyce?" Dammit. Had to stop fuckin' doin' that! Made him sound so poofy.
"Spike- you're like my son-in-law. You can call me 'Mum' if you want." She gently pushed his hand from his throat and straightened it for him.
Not a son-in-law an' never will be. But never mind that now. "Whatever I call you, you're on." He pushed open the back door and led her through it, offering her his elbow once more.
"Thank you for everything." Joyce hissed through her smile as they began their short walk to Giles and the minister.
"Jus' a little walk, Joyce, I don't mind it." Spike lied easily. He didn't mind it, per se, but when Joyce asked him to do it, he almost died-again.
A few weeks ago:
I'm a soddin' vampire, I don't give the bride away. "That's the father of the bride's job." He'd protested- although in a much gentler voice, because, after all, it was Joyce.
And she explained that she had no father left, no surviving uncles, no older brother, no younger brother, not even a nephew. She had a brother-in-law, but they had never been close. Ask Xander, he'd suggested nervously. But no- Xander was to be Giles' best man, Giles not having any close male friends who weren't from his wild youth or his tweedy Council. And the less the Council knew about his nuptials with the mother of his Slayer, the better. It wasn't forbidden- but it "just wasn't done."
"Seriously, Spike- the only other men I have a close relationship with are you, and my ex-husband." She laughed bitterly at the end. "And that doesn't mean a close relationship is a good relationship. With Hank... it's more a series of weekly phone calls about child support for Dawn." Spike snarled at that. Joyce might call Hank Summers her ex-husband, but Spike called him "Buffy's ex-father" inside his own mind. Rupes was the father-figure and about time he stopped fartin' about and did somethin' about it.
And it's bad when a lovely woman like Joyce chooses a vampire over a deadbeat like her ex-husband. He'd almost given in right then, but he had to let his whining demon make a final protest.
"But Joyce- I'm- I'm not cut out for this. It's an honor." I don't deserve honors. I don't want 'em. I'm s'posed to be the local Big Bad. Isn't my fault I'm relatively defanged right now. Or that I happen to have a soft spot for a small handful of humans. I'm still evil an' should in no way be part of a white hat weddin'.
"You saved my life. You saved my baby girl's life. You saved my Buffy's life. You are the person I'm asking, and either you can walk me up, or I walk up alone."
Dammit. Could you ever really win against a Summers woman when they were determined? No. Especially not this one. She didn't have superpowers, just a boatload of stubborn. "Then I will be glad to do the hand off." He'd finally given in.
No one told me about the ruddy suit...
"I'm not talking about the walk. I'm talking about everything." Joyce smiled significantly.
Spike nodded and swallowed. If I flub this line... When had this damn lawn gotten so big? Why are we movin' so slow? Or is my mind just movin' so fast than my body can't keep up? Don't worry, it's only one line. Then you can sit back and look at your Buffy, so bloody edible in that little dress...
"Who giveth this woman?"
Spike's feet ground to halt and his eyes focused. They were at the bridal bower already. Bugger it, show time! "I do, on behalf of her two beautiful daughters and her many friends, give Joyce Summers to be joined in matrimony to this man." And he used his William voice- 'cause Joyce deserved that. 'Cause she'd like that. Oh yeah- there it was, she glowed at him for one brief second before her eyes were locked with Giles'.
Thank God, that was done. He retreated to the first row of chairs, taking a seat next to Willow and Tara. "Good job." Willow whispered with a nod.
"Ta' Red." Spike let out a breath he'd been holding, probably for about ten minutes. "Joyce looks lovely, doesn't she?"
"Beautiful." Tara enthused.
The bride was in a cream colored dress, slim and flatteringly tailored, obviously intended for the more mature bride, or a second marriage. Giles looked dapper in his gray suit, and both of them held hands in front of the black suited minister.
"I'm going to cry." Willow suddenly sniffled.
"Oh, Sweetie, here." Tara held out her arms to her lover. Spike snorted softly and rolled his eyes. Soft and mushy feelings could wait for later, when he was alone with Buffy.
Speaking of which- Spike settled back in the folding chair and focused his eyes on the real beauty. Not that Joyce wasn't a picture, but Buffy, in her little white dress was the real treat. Everything was soft and dove colored. Joyce had been going for "neutral, goes with anything" colors, and white was more wedding and celebratory than black. Spike didn't give a damn about that. The dress was tight, backless, came to just above her knees, and left nothing to obstruct his view of her beautiful neck and shoulders. He turned his gaze briefly to Dawn. Now, on her, the exact same dress looked sweet and innocent. On Buffy it looked like an invitation.
Spike's completely impure fantasies kept him occupied until the minister told the groom he could kiss the bride. Then he sat up and smirked. Rupert better not do a half assed job of this... Oh God, he's takin' the glasses off...
Dawn's squeal burst the silence and Buffy's thick, teary laugh joined in as Giles grabbed Joyce in a swooping, back bending kiss, pulling back with an extremely Ripperish smile.
"That's the way to do it!" Spike clapped and joined the rest of the small company on its feet as they clapped the bride and groom down the short grassy aisle between the few rows of folding chairs.
"Stop moving! Stop moving!" Anya, unofficial wedding photographer, jumped from spot to spot, trying to capture the newly married pair from every angle, seemingly simultaneously.
Spike sauntered up to his girlfriend- yeah, after about five months of living together- even if some of that time hadn't been as a couple in the traditional sense, he supposed he could call her that. "We've been so busy gettin' set up for tonight. Didn't get to tell you how beautiful you looked."
Buffy grinned and tucked a stray hair behind her ear. "You look nice yourself." She leaned forward and brushed her lips across his so fast that no one without Slayer or vampire visual processing speed would even be aware of it.
He ran a hand lightly over her back. He and Buffy weren't big on the public displays of affection- public didn't include at home, in front of Joyce and Dawn. They weren't a secret anymore, but it was still sometimes a little strained between her friends and himself. "Let's go make nice, okay? The quicker we feed 'em, the quicker they leave, right?"
"Right." She rolled her eyes. "I don't want anyone to leave. Except Mom and Giles. They should get on the road before too long."
"Nothin worse than a bride an' groom too worn out for the big night." Spike smirked. Buffy walloped him with her bouquet of white camellias and peonies.
"Don't talk about Mom and Giles like that, it grosses me out."
"Oh, don't even tell me. I'm still gettin' the shakes when I remember last Tuesday."
"Oh- was that the 'coffee incident'?"
"Yes, it bloody was." Spike pressed the thought far away.
Giles knew that he and Buffy shared a room. They were aware that it was common knowledge and tolerated, if not heartily accepted. So he and Buffy were very discreet when others were in the house, often using the floor for their more aggressive trysts, despite the new bed with its unusually sturdy mattress. They in turn knew that Joyce sometimes spent the night at Giles' flat.
Spike, however, wasn't prepared to walk down to the kitchen a bit earlier than usual on Tuesday to make the morning coffee to find Giles and Joyce snogging on the counter top. In bathrobes, all sleep rumpled. Some damned protective instinct took over and Spike dragged Giles off with an angry shout. "Oi! Hands off the lady, Gramps!"
"Oh honestly, Spike. I can kiss my fiancée in her own home." Giles was too besotted to work up a temper.
"You spent the night? But- I spend the night. I can't-" Spike paused. What the hell do I say? I can spend the night with my girl, but you can't? You're about to be man an' wife, an' your shaggin' disgusts me, but Buffy an' I can go all night an' Joyce gives me full support? "I- can't- make coffee with you two right there."
"Coffee's already made." Joyce gave a girlish smile and he felt himself smile back.
"You're reliving the coffee incident. You should stop."
"It's very disturbin'. I'm happy for Joyce, an' God knows Watcher-man is way less uptight. But don't know how it's gonna work with the five of us under one roof. Guess you can come over to my place a lot more. Guess we both will." Spike rarely went there now . Home was with the people you love- although only God could ever explain what happened to make me feel that way about those three.
"That place is gritty and chilly." Buffy pouted.
"You're the Slayer. You can handle it." Spike and Buffy stopped their muttered conversation when they drew abreast of the laughing, crying, hugging throng. "Shall we do the formal congrats?"
"Congratulations." Buffy hugged her mother, and then her Watcher. "Hello, Step-Daddy."
"Ooh, does this mean I can drive the Beemer now?" She skipped excitedly, tugging on his lapels.
"Under no circumstances." Giles folded her to his chest. "This won't change anything, Dearest. I'm still your Watcher. And I've always had a father's love for you- now I've got some right to that."
"Oh, things are so going to change between us, though." Dawn inserted herself between Buffy and Giles, and hugged him with all the affection she'd stored up for her absentee father. "You have to take me to the mall, and to the park, ooh, and the zoo. And we should talk allowance." She beamed up at him.
"Lookin' forward to your cruise yet?" Spike rescued Giles with a handshake.
"Bloody hell, yes." Giles returned the gesture with a Ripperish smile.
"Not in too much of a hurry, though, right Rupert?" Joyce took his arm, passing her sister Arlene along to her daughters for a hug. "You're only getting one wedding, mister, you'd better enjoy it."
"How could I not enjoy it when I've got the most beautiful bride in the world?" Giles spun her slowly, waltzing without music.
"Well- you haven't seen me in my dress yet." Anya spoke up brightly, now joining them. "Joyce is in her forties and I'll have the youthful glow on my side, plus a far more princess-like gown."
"Ahn, Baby." Xander kissed her cheek and explained. "Joyce is the most beautiful bride to Giles."
"It's all about the love thing." Dawn linked her arm with Anya's free one, the one not possessively gripping Xander's elbow. "See, you'll be the most beautiful bride for Xander, and to Spike, Buffy would be the most-"
"Steady on!" Spike yelped.
"Whoa! End the comparison or eat bouquet." Buffy shoved her bunch of flowers in Dawn's face.
"Girls, please, don't fight." Joyce admonished.
"It's bad form to fight at a wedding." Giles said with a patient sigh.
Anya disagreed, idly adjusting her hair. "In some cultures it's a sign of your approval to fight, to engage the bridal couple in a battle to first blood. It means you think that the couple is appropriately matched and likely to produce strong spawn."
"Normal people here." Willow said with a fixed smile, jerking her head towards the group of Joyce's milling co-workers and an acquaintance or two of Giles'.
"Oh! Right." Anya winked conspiratorially. "Umm. Everyone have a shrimp puff. I'll get the fruit things on sticks!"
"It was a nice do, wasn't it, Luv?"
"Very nice." Buffy and Spike leaned back against the table against the side of the house, watching the brilliant silver moon and the couples dancing on the lawn. "Do you think my mom is drunk?"
"No. Happy." Spike smiled.
"I don't know..." Buffy grinned, watching her mother dipped and twirled by Giles. "She seems pretty loosened up to me."
Spike stiffened and sniffed. "Better not have had more than one glass of bubbly. She's not s'posed to drink with the blood thinners."
"She knows, she knows." Buffy lightly touched his arm. "I forgot for a second . She's just high on a big happy."
The pair settled back against the table again. Spike reached into the large silver ice tub holding drinks and fished out a soda for his partner, took a beer for himself. "Here." He casually passed her the soda once he opened it for her.
"You don't have to open my drinks for me." She reminded him with a half-smile.
"White dress. Brown soda. Don't spill, Slayer, you're not as graceful as all that."
"Bite me." She glared.
"Will do. Soon as all these guests leave and we get Mumsie and Dadums on their way." He smirked, and brushed a single finger against her arm. A different kind of glare passed between them. They resumed their leaning. They didn't look at one another or touch, standing a few inches apart, the epitome of relaxed companionship. After a moment spent watching the couples on the lawn, he asked casually "Had a nice time?"
"Yeah, everyone looks so happy. And the food was yummy. The lawn..." Buffy surveyed the torches, the chairs, the tables littered with remains of cake and hors d'oeuvres. "This is gonna be a bitch to clean up..." They both laughed softly. "And I just noticed you didn't offer to help."
"I love you." Spike said, lighting up. "I'd kill for you, and I'd fuckin' die for you. Doesn't mean I want to wash an' iron all the white tablecloths Joyce has scattered on every surface."
Buffy was about to make an angry retort but she held it. "Uh-oh. Jean- coming straight this way."
"Jean?" Spike cast his eye around the guests.
"You know, Mom's secretary- you've seen her more than I have, you little gallery whore."
"I bring your mum a cuppa sometimes, so sue me."
The secretary reached the couple, beaming. "Spike!" Jean gushed, taking his hands. "You know, all this time, I've never seen you and Buffy together."
Spike blinked and Buffy laughed nervously. "Well- I don't get- downtown as much as I should." Buffy prattled.
"I know, Honey, your mom always tells me how busy you are with your night job and your classes. It must be nice to have a boyfriend who stops in to check on your mom."
"Oh. Yeah. Right." Buffy nodded, eyes widening.
"Speaking of boyfriends, you two haven't danced at all. Go dance, it's a beautiful night, everyone's taken care of!" Jean urged, moving her hands from Spike's to Buffy's.
"We don't dance." Buffy said, as Spike answered,
"Maybe another time."
Jean surveyed them. Joyce gushed over this boyfriend all the time. She jokingly referred to him as "Mr. Charm", because "Third time's the charm" and this was apparently Buffy's third serious boyfriend. There was also something about him doing CPR or something to save her life or stop muggers from hurting Dawn. A really great guy. So why weren't the youngsters making a night of it? "Well." She nodded. "I'll leave you two to get cozy. Even if you don't dance- it is a night for romance." She winked.
"Not too much for our private life bein' public jus' now." Spike shrugged.
"Oh." Jean's brow creased, and she walked away.
"Nicely handled." Buffy nodded, without looking at him.
"Thanks." Spike tilted his head and muttered. "Love you more than anything." Very simple. Very matter-of-fact. We don't need all this mushy crap. Not in front of the others. I can pour out everything, take everything she pours out, once we're alone.
"I love you, too, Spike. As soon as we get a minute, I'll show you." Just as simply. When they were finally alone- it would be so good. All her worries, all her stresses from the day, all her joy, all her excitement, she could dump it out on him. Really be herself like she couldn't be with anyone else. He would take it, use it, turn into something so passionate that it would all feel better- even if it was only for a few hours. He always did that.
"Steady on, here comes another. Don't recognize her."
"It's Leah. She's our old neighbor from when we lived in LA. I guess she and Mom stayed in touch."
"Look at you! Oh, my goodness, you're so grown up! I haven't seen you in so long!" Leah gushed and squeezed Buffy.
"Good to see you, too!" Buffy made the obligatory return gush.
"This is your boyfriend?" Leah moved onto Spike, and hugged him before he could fend her off.
"Uh, yeah. Spike. He's English. Really not too much for hugging." Buffy laughed nervously as Spike scowled and tugged himself free.
"Well, I'm so pleased to meet you." Leah sighed happily, looking around at the moon washed dancers and the flickering torches. "How'd you two meet?"
Buffy and Spike exchanged a quick glance. "Work related." They both answered as one.
"Oh, that must've been risky. So many places frown on workplace romances."
"You've no idea, Ducks." Spike laughed hollowly.
"Really, really risky." Buffy nodded emphatically. "That's why Spike no longer-has the same employer." Spike rolled his eyes. Well, it was true! He used to work to take me down. Not anymore. He's Mr. Big Bad for the good guys now.
"Yeah, I do all manner of crazy shit for love." Spike said bluntly. Prolly shouldn't curse like that. The silly cow looks all flustered. Plus, Buffy's glarin' at me. Or is she tryin' not to laugh? Better fix it. "Do anything for this girl." Oh good. Two smiling faces, comin' up.
"How sweet. Will this be you two next year?" Leah gestured to Joyce and Giles who were whispering and cooing in folding chairs.
Buffy blanched and stammered and Spike hissed in annoyance. "Lady- just be glad we got this far."
Leah looked taken aback again and Buffy hastily sweetened the explanation. "It's been an interesting couple of months."
To be continued...