You an' Me Against The World
Author's Note: Set in Early Season Four, immediately following Something Blue, then departs from canon.
Author's Second Note: Glycerine- Can be defined as something used to smooth the way. For our couple- love has smoothed so many things. In this chapter I used the wonderfully bruising and beautiful "Glycerine" by Bush. The song lyrics are somewhat obscure, but I saw a connection. The true power is in the melody and words combined, just like our dynamic duo. May I suggest listening to it during the pertinent part of the chapter?
Dedicated to DLillith21, ginar369, cavemenftw, The Three March Hares, Lil-Let, Rosalea12, omslagpapper, rororogers, Litalove, Sirius120, and alexiarrose. Thank you also to the kind anonymous reviewers, whether you are new readers, or old ones who forgot to log in!
Direct quotes from songs and shows are obviously not mine but belong to the enormously talented people who created them.
Nothing of Buffy belongs to me except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.
June, 2000 (About seven months after the previous chapter.)
"Oi! Break it up! Hands an' suckers off!" Spike growled and shook a vampire and Cephaloid demon roughly by their necks. "Do it again an' I'll rip off an arm each. Now play nice!"
" It's alright." Spike stalked off, back to the front of the bar and pulled his pint from under the bar counter. "You have to make 'em stop, Willy."
"You're the barkeep! You're the bloody owner! You can!"
"But it gives the place a little class."
"No, it doesn't." Spike said through gritted teeth. "Poker is a bar game. Pool is a bar game. Even checkers can be a bar game." He explained patiently. "Mah Jong is an' old ladies game and Cepahloids are notorious for cheating when the tiles get 'stuck' in their suckers! Clear up the game set tonight, and next time I see it out- I'm gonna make you eat every damn piece!" Spike hoisted Willy up by his apron, and then set him down and brushed him off apologetically.
"G-good idea. Right. No more Mah Jong." Willy stammered.
"Thanks. Good plan, Boss." Spike drained the rest of his blood, wiped his mouth with the back of his wrist, and checked the clock. Eleven. Just another hour or so, keep an eye on the place after that ludicrously stupid brawl. Spike made his own hours. He usually came in, threatened, swaggered, sorted out the ruffians, and in general had the place quiet and contented in an hour or two. Then he tipped Willy the nod, glared around the place once more, and left after "reminding" everyone to be good. Or be hunted down by him or the Slayer. Nice thing about having a "workplace romance".
"Off on your little weekend getaway?" Wesley smiled to Cordelia. "Ah, the perils of dating a colleague- who can lose his soul if he becomes too pleased..." His playful tone turned serious.
Cordelia laughed out a snort at his folly. "So not 'dating a colleague'. We just hang out because we're too weird to have any normal friends. I mean- except for you and Gunn, of course." Wesley pointedly returned to his writing up a case file on his temporary desk- her table. Cordelia sighed and ignored his snit. "And it's not a weekend, it'll be just overnight and we're only staying away tomorrow because we can't drive back in the sun thanks to the King of the Pale People. Lastly- Angel? Get perfectly happy around me, Princess Bitch? Not possible."
"Not unless you learn to be on time for once!" Angel hollered from the hallway of Cordelia's apartment. "Seriously, Cordy, I mean -we're already late now. We'll never make it by midnight. We're not going to be able to -" He stalled.
"We're fine, it's barely eleven! You just want to wimp out." She put her hair in a tight bun. "You have no idea how long it took me to find someone who would even do this in the dark!"
"What exactly are you two doing?" Wesley asked nervously, huffiness forgotten in worried curiosity.
"Jumping out of a plane." She grinned and pulled her purse onto her shoulder.
"What?" Wesley sprang from his chair in surprise. "Jumping? From a plane?"
"You heard her." Angel moaned and paced outside the front door.
"He's being a baby. Ignore him." Cordelia waved it off. The brunette lowered her voice. "Oh- and you will tell them we said hi?" She slipped him something across the table, nudging him to take it, looking furtively over her shoulder unless Angel came back.
"Yes, of course. You're sure you two don't want to come with me and-"
"Absolutely sure." Cordelia hissed with a warning in her eyes.
"Wes, if we die- Gunn can have my axes. Oh, and you get the books." Angel reappeared in the doorway, just in time to see Cordelia hastily slide a large white envelope tied with a silk bow to Wesley, and shove it under his case folder. His heart ached so badly for a moment he felt crippled, his whole gut spasmed, and he had to lean on the door for support. Then he was being supported. Cordelia was under his arm, pushing him up and out.
"Come on! Even charter planes only wait so long, Mr. Punctuality. Let's go, let's go, let's go!" She hustled him forward.
Angel swallowed. He squeezed her shoulders slightly with his arm as he found his feet again, wanting to say that he knew all about what she'd just done, just from one little glimpse. That the card was probably signed from both of them. That it was her little gesture of saying "See? We're okay. Get on with your lives, we're getting on with ours." He wanted to tell her he knew she was shielding him, being strong for both of them. That she was a good friend. His best friend. But they didn't do that heartfelt emotional stuff too much. So he straightened up and looked at Wesley with long suffering eyes as he was tugged away. "Oh, and if we both die, Wes? I want you to have something put on Cordy's gravestone." He gave her a mock glare.
"Of- of course." Wesley stared at the strange pair in a mixture of affection and consternation. "What?"
" 'Told you so'. Then have them sign my name."
Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Shut up, Angel. Bye Wes! Bye Dennis!"
Wes could hear them going down the stairs. "We're taking my car."
"No, we're not!" Angel disagreed.
"Yes, we are!"
"No, we're not! Cordelia! We are not!"
Wesley slammed the door behind them. "Dennis?" He plaintively asked the seemingly empty room. "Does Cordelia have anything alcoholic on hand?" The spirit roommate popped the door of the fridge open and soon an aluminum can floated towards him. Wesley seized it gratefully. "Thank God. I rather needed a drink. And by the time this little trip is done- so will Angel and that poor pilot."
"You've been drinking again, haven't you? Spike said he warned you. Keep to the bagged stuff, eat at the butchers or Willy's." Buffy kicked the vampire twice in quick succession, chest, and jaw, so that the snarling, orange eyed fiend flew about eight feet in the air and landed on his back atop the dumpster in back of the Bronze. "Dammit. Stupid claim strength." Buffy muttered. She crouched, gripped her stake harder, and launched herself up onto the steel lid.
"Slayer!" The vampire cried, trying to struggle back up.
"I don't remember your name, sorry." Buffy squatted above him. "But I know your face. You know the rules- you get one warning, then you get a visit from me. You keep your fangs in!" Buffy staked him in the heart and then leapt back to ground level amid the cascade of dust. "Willow?" She called, looking around the dark alley.
"Here! She's fine." Willow helped a young woman back into the Bronze, a thick wad of tissues pressed to the victim's neck.
" And she'll check for a pulse next time her dance partner asks her to step outside." Xander added.
"They should've taught that in the sex ed class around here." Buffy laughed. "But no. Just give us all those little bezoar eggs."
Xander offered an arm to each of the ladies he was with in the alley. Both of them took one. It was so nice to have his old Buff back. At least the Buff who remembered high school. Who remembered him. Maybe a little more honest and critical, and way more soppy and into PDAs with her oh so pale honey- but still. A cool best friend. That hadn't changed.
"What's the deal for tonight?" Willow asked. "It's getting late."
"I need my sleep."
"We all need our sleep."Anya yawned as she greeted them. "I got what's her name- Bite Girl, back to her girl friends."
Tara added, "They're taking her to the ER."
"Good. I'll have to tell Spike about Mr. Ashy out there. He has a little tally book he shows to the nasty ones at the bar when they get rowdy." Buffy sat back down and drained her soda. "What time is it?"
"Just midnight. Do you want to get home?"
Buffy smiled mysteriously into her glass. "No. He's almost here." She put her empty glass down and stretched her toned legs, slipped off her jacket, revealing a tight silk, sleeveless top. It showed off her buttercream skin, a shade or two lighter than the tan she'd sported last year, now that she spent more time outside at night than in the day, and trips to the beach had been traded for moonlight dinners and late night movies. She tossed her hair, still long and now smooth, waved to her friends, and walked to the dance floor. She danced alone, but she moved like she was swaying with someone.
Must be your skin that I'm sinkin' in
Must be for real, cause now I can feel
He was coming. She could feel him. Getting closer and closer. And soon she'd feel-
Cool hands on the back of her neck, running down her shoulders until his hands met hers and they locked together at her waist. "Hello, Luv."
I didn't mind
It's not my kind
Not my time to wonder why
She leaned back into his chest, tilted her head up and brushed her lips to his. Memories had come back. Patchy in places, some missing altogether, many missing in Spike's case. He had a hundred years of back log, but more came back every day. Didn't matter. No more questioning, no more doubting, no more second guessing.
Everything's gone white
And everything's gray
Now you're here, now you're away
Shades of gray. A slayer and a vampire together. Everyone knew. Not everyone liked. Screw everyone that got in the way.
I don't want this
I'll never forget where your at.
"Sorry I'm late. Mah Jong fight."
"I don't mind. I always knew you were coming." Buffy sighed comfortably.
Don't let the days go by
"Course I was. Never let a free moment go by without tryin' to find you."
"I'm glad. Friends are good, but you- mm. No substitute." Buffy turned to face him.
I'm never alone
"Well, yeah. We're the only couple like us in the world, I imagine. Only one's in each other's heads."
I'm alone all the time
"I know. I like never being lonely." Said the girl who was supposed to fight and die alone, the Chosen One. Now claimed. Part of a Chosen Pair.
Are you at one
Or do you lie
We live in a wheel
Where everyone steals
But when we rise it's like strawberry fields
He closed his eyes and pulsed beside her."Sorry we were so lonely an' alone all that time. But it's better now, isn't it?" Hope filled him, filled her. They had struggled along, like any young couple juggling jobs, school, and their first home together, but they were breaking the surface of the dark waters now. They were rising above it all, the best times of their lives about to begin. "Good times about to start."
"Good times already started."
He nodded into her hair and hugged her tightly to his chest.
If I treated you bad
You bruised my face
Memories washed over them, shared when they were so close, one mind in two beings. Fights. Fighting against each other. Fighting together against other things. Buffy made a little whimper of exhaustion. Such a long road.
Couldn't love you more
You got a beautiful taste.
"Don't, Luv. Let me kiss it better, Poppet." Spike tilted her head up and made love to her mouth, thumbs resting on her claim on one side and on her pulse on the other.
Don't let the days go by
Could have been easier on you
"It's fine. We're fixing it. No more against. Only together."
I couldn't change though I wanted to
Should have been easier by three
Our old friend fear and you and me.
Buffy pulled back to look at him. Big smiles on both their faces. "That's right, Pet. All fixed up. No fear here."
"Why would there be?"
"Oh you know. Some myth about cold feet."
"You do have cold feet."
"I also have an excellent way to get warm."
Don't let the days go by
Don't let the days go by...
"Not now." She smiled, biting her lower lip with half-longing, half-bashfulness.
"But- seize the moment." Spike protested and licked his lips. "We'd be out of sight. Lots of places around only us flexible types can get to."
"Mmm..." She hesitated, torn. "No. We shouldn't. It's bad luck!"
"I'm a bad man." He reminded her with a dark smile, teeth grazing her cheek, dragging lower until he brought his jaw up to close, a sweet, succulent love bite where her pulse beat erratically under his touch.
Bad mood, white again
Bad mood, white again
"Oh God. Never mind. We make our own luck." Buffy gave up her protests and in a second he was dragging her weak-kneed body from the dance floor.
And she falls around me.
I needed you more
When we wanted us less
I could not kiss, just regress
He slipped back into some kind of pre-evolved lust, where words were all but forgotten. So much fighting and railing against themselves, and then their circumstances, their pasts, her friends and family- but finally, he had his mate. Truly, properly, and irrevocably his. "Mine."
It might just be
Clear, simple and plain
Well that's just fine
That's just one of my names.
"Yours." She cried out and felt him slam inside of her, pinning her to the brick wall in the shadows.
Don't let the days go by
Could've been easier on you, you, you
The stone scratched her shoulders. She raked his waist. They bucked together hard, racing each other to the edge. He bit down and she bit back. "Slayer." He gasped out. She'd broken the skin this time. And he loved her for it.
"William." He came, hard and fast inside her, pulling her over the precipice in his wake.
Then he smoothed her skin with his heated, feverish kisses, hands all over her scuffed back, her neck, her face. "I love you."
"I can feel it." She tilted her head back and looked up at the obscured edges of sky she could see through their hiding place. She could see the world though, in his eyes, soft but piercing blue eyes. "I love you, too.
He helped her down, covered her up. She smoothed out his shirt and sleeked his hair.
"Goodnight." A kiss.
"See you tomorrow." Two kisses.
"No, today." She had to extricate herself before they went for round two.
"See you later." He whispered, and watched her disappear back inside. He swallowed hard, drinking the last of her blood in the well of his throat, the scent of her in his nostrils. He flexed his shoulders, tightened his belt, and walked into the night.
"You left once already, didn't you?" Willy asked, puzzled when Spike came back in.
"I'm back." Spike rolled his eyes and kicked his way past the rubbish on the floor to get behind the bar.
Willy edged away from him as he came around the bar. Spike made him ill at ease. Less and less over time, but still- it was hard to reconcile the Big Bad still being evil, but helping him out. And not punching him. "We're fine. No one got crazy. Although that Cephaloid left slime all over the back room. Think he's pissed. Might make trouble."
"Well, you'll just have to deal with that yourself. You, big strong man, you." Spike patted his cheek- more like a slap, really, but good natured. Mostly.
"Then why're you back if you ain't gonna help with the mess you made, huh?"
"Pickin' up my pay. And reminding you, I'm not in for a week. Don't let this place go under, alright? Don't need the stress. I've got my priorities." He sneered, reached into the cash register, let Willy swat at his hand, and then he handed him a sealed envelope.
"Here's your money, now go. Get outta here." Willy shooed him along.
Spike wandered aimlessly for a bit. Pretty night. High, white moon. Soft breeze. Too much energy to work off. He hoped the Watcher was still up.
Giles jumped a foot when Spike barged in. "Spike!" He yelped, dropping his book and pen as he stood up, blinking himself out of the dozy state he was in. He must've fallen asleep in his chair. "It's half-past one in the morning! Don't you knock?"
"Not as long as you keep hidin' the spare in the same place." Spike smirked, twirled the small silver key, then leaned back outside to replace it in its hiding place.
Giles groaned, muttered to the heavens, and then trooped off to the linen closet. "I'll make up the couch."
"Nice of you to let me stay tonight, Rupes."
"Don't call me that." He replied automatically, as if one who'd had long practice. Which he had. He sighed and tossed the vampire a pillow. "As long as it's only the one night."
"You know it will be." He replied with easy confidence.
Giles smiled slightly, when his face was towards the wall, of course. "Do you have everything you need from your flat?"
"Xander didn't bring my gear over?" Spike stopped tucking in the sheet and straightened up with a concerned expression.
"He brought over two bags and I picked up all of our suits." Giles pointed to the hall closet.
"Then everything should be here." Spike went to the closet, examined his bags, the suits, and talked. He had to,because the adrenaline was far from slowing down, speeding up instead. Every second ticking by, every glance around reminded him of what was happening. He felt like he could fly. "Been a good night. Everything's set at the bar. And in the town, I think."
"You saw Buffy, then?" Giles paced, straightening, puttering. Spike's energy was infectious.
"Yeah. She's done patrolling." Spike nodded, coming back to the couch and flopping down on it.
"Oh, yes, I heard. Joyce called awhile ago to tell me Buffy got in safely. She's in good hands. Willow, Tara, Anya- they're all there tonight."
"Yes, the hens all roosting together." He chuckled, kicked his now bare feet lazily up on the sofa and closed his eyes briefly. "Is Xander coming here in the morning?"
"Should be. Of course he is." He gave up and poured two large shots of Scotch, set one in Spike's hand, and held the other as he paced, sipping, and fidgeting.
Spike drained his and sighed. Contentment was washing over him. Buffy was nice and safe with all her girls about her. Her mum watching over the lot of them. His things were here, everything he needed for tomorrow was in order. His eyes closed and fluttered back open as Giles began taking down a shelfful of books and then replacing them, apparently reorganizing as he went.
"These were indexed according to language, not alphabet. Willow knows better. Must've been Buffy." He murmured.
"Rupert? Settle down. You need a good night's sleep."
"I'm finding it strangely difficult to settle." Giles stared at him pointedly under lowered brows, the cause of his sudden return to wakefulness and the grating of his nerves.
Spike rolled languidly to his back, sliding a black rectangular box from his hip pocket and then opening it. "Well, try anyway, would you?" He rested the box on his abs, running a single fingertip gently across the twin silver bands, gazing lovingly at the smooth, gleaming circles, then looked up at the other man, who was watching him with a curiously pleased smile on his lips. "Anyone would think you were the one gettin' married tonight."
Giles said nothing for a moment, just stared. "It's nice to see both of you so happy." He finally acknowledged, sipping his drink and feeling tiredness reassert itself as he watched the lingering, restful way Spike caressed his wedding bands. Like a man at peace. Like a man in love. "You are, aren't you? Truly happy now?" In spite of everything that happened, and continued to happen, to challenge them, they'd never faltered from each other.
Spike closed the box and patted it reassuringly. "Happiest people in the world, Slayer an' I. Happiest in the whole world."
The end of this story, but not of their happiness. Thank you for sharing it with us.