Author's Note: When I originally wrote the story 'Moving Forward', I had no plans to write a part 2, and now eight years later I've written a second half. LOL Written for my good friend Jenna. Happy Anniversary!
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual disciplinary F/M spanking.Moving Forward Part 2
Spike stood outside his crypt smoking the last cigarette in his pack, trying to convince himself to start walking towards the Summers' residence. Dawn needed him, so he couldn't stay away, even if he'd wanted to. He'd rather not talk to the rest of the Scoobies about what had happened the night before, but he doubted Willow would leave it be.
He took the last drag off his cigarette and flicked it into the damp grass. He shrugged into his duster, and started through the graveyard.
Kneeling down in front of Buffy's grave, he said, "Am I doing the right thing?" He shook his head and smirked, "You'd have kicked my arse for smacking Dawn." Losing the smile he said, "But then if you were here…" He shook his head and sighed. "No use dwelling. Wish me luck Slayer."
Fifteen minutes later, he was knocking on Buffy's front door. He heard Dawn's voice yell, "I'll get it!" as her feet noisily clomped down the stairs. He heard Willow's displeased voice say, "Dawn."
"I'm sure it's Spike!" Dawn yelled as she opened the door. She grinned at Spike, and he smiled back.
"Expecting me were you?"
She grabbed his arm, and pulled him into the house. "You need to talk to Willow for me."
Glaring towards the kitchen, Dawn said, "Willow says I'm still grounded for a week." She turned back to Spike expectantly.
"And?" he asked, not sure what she was getting at.
"And you need to tell her that I'm not," Dawn said, putting her hands on her hips.
"Why?" Spike asked carefully.
"Because you already punished me, and it's not fair to be punished for the same thing twice. That's like double jeopardy or something."
Spike tried not to chuckle. "Nice try, Bit."
"Nice try? What do you mean nice try?"
Spike noticed Willow and Tara were now standing at the kitchen entrance, watching the two of them, but he didn't acknowledge their presence yet. He focused on Dawn, crossed his arms, and said, "I mean that if Willow says you're grounded, then you're grounded."
He held up a hand to stop her before she could get started. "No. This isn't the way it works. You don't pit me and Willow against each other, because we're working together. She says you're grounded, and I back her up. Got it?"
Frowning, Dawn said, "That sucks."
"It doesn't suck to have people around you who love you, Little Bit," he said gently.
"But it's not faaaaair," she whined, pouting at the floor.
He put a knuckle under her chin, and forced her to look at him. "It is fair. I gave you a smacked bottom for sitting in the graveyard at night, and refusing to come home. Willow grounded you for getting suspended, lying to her, and getting in a fight at school. I'd say you got off easy. When I went to school fighting was a caning offence."
Dawn's face turned pink with embarrassment. He kissed her forehead and pulled her into a hug to soften his statement. "You don't listen to Willow, and I'll back her up with stronger measures, fair or not."
Conflicting emotions made Dawn want to push him away, and hug him back, all at the same time. She settled for doing neither.
Spike kept one arm around her shoulders, and turned her to face Willow and Tara. "Was Bit a horror today, or did she behave?"
Dawn groaned, put a hand over her face in embarrassment, and pushed Spike's arm off her shoulders.
Willow and Tara exchanged a significant look, which told Spike that Dawn probably had been a horror. The two witches seemed to be holding an entire conversation with that look, and Spike knew they were agreeing to lie about it. Willow turned to him and opened her mouth to speak, but Spike beat her to it.
"Right." He turned Dawn towards the stairs and said, "Up to your room. The adults need to talk."
Dawn turned back around, crossed her arms, and said, "I've been in my room all day long, and Willow already told me I could come down to visit with you while you were here. So if you want to back her up, like you just said you did, then you'll let me stay down here."
With a glare, Spike called out, "Buffy!"
Dawn quickly scrambled towards the stairs and said, "No! No, I'm going. See? This is me going up the stairs to my room." She disappeared down the hall before Buffybot came out of the kitchen.
"Yes Spike?" Buffy asked.
"Spike…" Willow said, not liking where this might go.
Keeping his eyes on the robot, Spike said, "Willow and I need to talk. Go keep Dawn company. Make sure she stays in her room until one of us comes up to get her." He turned to Willow with a raised eyebrow, silently asking for her approval of this plan.
She nodded in agreement, while Buffy walked towards the stairs.
Once the three of them were alone, Tara said, "Why don't we talk in the kitchen." Soon the three of them were seated at the kitchen table.
"Basically," Willow started, "we agree with the things you said yesterday, but we need to set up some guidelines."
"Okay," he said, pleasantly surprised.
"We agree that Dawn is emotionally in a bad place right now, and your presence seems to help her feel better. So we think you should come over and spend time with Dawn every night for the next few weeks, until she feels more secure."
"Agreed." Spike said easily.
"We also agree with you that Dawn has been acting out, because she wants someone to prove that they love her enough to make her stop."
Willow and Tara exchanged a look. Willow turned back to Spike and said, "We don't agree with you spanking her… or having Buffybot spank her as the case may be."
Spike leaned back in his chair and frowned at the table. He didn't know how to defend himself, when he didn't necessarily agree with spanking her himself.
"First off," Willow said, "she's much too old for that kind of punishment. Second, we don't want her to make the right choices because she's afraid of being spanked. We want her to make the right choices because she understands they are the right choices. And the last, most important reason, is that Buffy wouldn't want you to."
The more Willow said, the more Spike disagreed. He sat up, and looked her in the eye. "First off," he said, "sixteen is not too old to get smacked when you do something life threatening. Second, I want her to make the right choices too, but she hasn't been for a while now. So if some temporary fear helps her to start making the right choices again, then I say the ends justify the means. And last… you're right, the Slayer wouldn't want me to, but she doesn't get a vote, because she's not here."
Willow and Tara exchanged another look, and Tara gave her lover a slight nod. Willow turned back to Spike and said, "Spanking has to be the absolute last resort, after all other methods of punishment have been exhausted."
"What?" Spike said. "You just told me you didn't agree."
Tara said softly, "We wanted to make sure you were sure before we agreed."
"So you do agree with me?" He was more than surprised. He'd been sure they would tell him in no uncertain terms that he was never to smack her again.
Willow sighed. "Yes and no. We don't agree with spanking in general, but it did seem to help her…" She looked to Tara.
"My d…dad, and my b… brother hit me a… a lot growing up." Willow put a hand over Tara's and squeezed. Tara took a deep breath, and looked Spike in the eye. "If we thought it was like that, we'd never let you touch her again."
The fierce determination written all over Tara's face made Spike lean back an inch.
Her face softened, and she put her hand over his. "But we know it's not like that, because you love her. You're trying to help her."
Not knowing what to say at the level of trust he saw in Tara's eyes, Spike cleared his throat, and admitted something to her that he normally wouldn't tell anyone. He focused on the table and said, "Angelus used to hit me a lot too, simply because he enjoyed watching me suffer. I would never smack Dawn like that. It makes me feel slightly ill to see her in pain."
Willow put her hand over both Tara's and Spike's. "So we agree? You're allowed, but only as a last resort."
"Agreed," Spike said. Feeling a little uncomfortable with all the love and trust being sent his way, he extracted his hand from theirs, and said, "What about Xander? Will he have a problem with this?"
"He won't once I explain it," Willow said. She knew Xander had gotten hit sometimes while growing up too, but only when his father had been drunk. "But he won't be here tonight. It's just us."
"Okay," Spike said, "Any other guidelines?"
Willow looked to Tara, who said, "No."
"Okay then," he said, "here are mine."
The two witches gave him their undivided attention, not having expected Spike to have guidelines, too.
"First, we always present a united front. If you don't agree with a punishment I give her, you back me up anyway, and then tell me off for it later. If you strongly disagree with a punishment in the heat of the moment, you ask to speak with me in private, and we discuss it before I carry it out."
Willow and Tara glanced at each other, and Willow said, "Agreed."
"Second, we don't lie to each other about the things Dawn has done. If you're telling me you trust me, then you don't need to protect her from me. I could tell from your expression tonight that Dawn was a horror today, but you weren't going to tell me about it."
Tara and Willow exchanged a somewhat guilty look. Tara said, "We wanted to talk to you first."
Spike nodded. "Understandable, but if this is going to do Dawn any good, we all have to be honest. If she does something awful on my watch, I will tell you about it."
"Agreed. No lies." Willow said.
"Last one. Dawn is probably going to be pushing this at first, because she needs to see where I draw the line. So for the next few days, I'll probably be threatening her with a spanking quite often, with the expectation being that I won't have to follow through. But I can't threaten to smack and then not follow through if she keeps pushing. That would be sending the wrong message. So be prepared to see or hear a few swats to prove I'm serious."
Willow frowned. "What do you mean by a few swats. Give me an example."
"Dawn was awful today, right?"
Tara said softly, "She came out of her room five different times, and complained loudly about being sent back, and we caught her on the phone twice."
"So I'll tell her that I'd planed to play cards with her for half an hour tonight, but since she was awful after I told her to be good, I won't. She can stand in the corner for half an hour to reflect on her behavior instead. She's not going to want to do that, so she'll argue with me. I'll threaten to spank her if she doesn't do it. I would expect her to do it immediately after that threat, but if she doesn't, I'll have Buffy swat her once to show her I'm serious. If that still doesn't work, I'll take her to her room, put her over my lap, and have Buffy actually spank her, and then put her in the corner once she's calmed down."
Willow turned to her girlfriend, and said, "It sounds so mean."
Tara put her arm around Willow's shoulders and said, "Think if the roles had been reversed today. If you were grounded, would you have come out of your room, and talked on the phone behind your parent's back?"
"Of course not!" Willow said, obviously appalled at the thought.
"Exactly," Tara said. "But she did. I think it's fair to have to stand still in one spot for half an hour after refusing to stay in her room."
Not happy about it, Willow gave a slight nod anyway. Tara turned to Spike and said, "We agree."
"Right then." Spike stood up. "You two do whatever it is you usually do, while I go get Dawn."
When Spike got upstairs, he found Dawn's door open. She was sitting on her bed, biting her nails, and Buffy was sitting next to her with her hands in her lap. Spike leaned against the doorframe and said, "Dawn."
Her eyes shot up to his, worry written on her face.
"I hear tell you weren't very good today."
"Umm… Well, I tried to be."
Spike raised an eyebrow, and Dawn squirmed. He broke the awkward silence by saying, "Go sit at the kitchen table. I'll be right there."
"The kitchen?" She tentatively asked.
"Go on." He stepped back from the doorway to let her though. She scooted past him and dashed down the stairs. He sat next to Buffy on the bed, and said, "Buffy, over the next few days, we're going to be working on making Dawn feel better."
"Yes Spike," Buffy said with a smile, "I like that idea, especially if it means you will be here more often. Let's do that."
"I may need you to help me give her another spanking, but I doubt it will come to that."
Buffy frowned, "I don't like doing that, Spike."
Spike rolled his eyes. Why did I ever think having a robot with feelings was a good idea? Warren is an idiot. "I know you don't, neither do I, but it will help her feel better in the long run."
Buffybot turned to him and said, "You told me you would explain that later, and I've already asked everyone else, and no one could give me a satisfactory answer."
"This should be good," Spike muttered. "What did everyone say?"
"Anya said Dawn's feelings didn't matter, because the ends justify the means. Xander said he had no idea what made a teenage girls tick, and told Anya it was time to leave. Willow said Dawn is confused and not thinking correctly. Tara said negative attention is better than no attention. Dawn got quite upset when I asked her, and yelled that getting spanked didn't make her feel better at all."
"You asked Dawn?" Spike asked with a wince. He shook his head before she could reply and said, "Don't discuss this with Dawn anymore. You can talk about it with any of the adults in our group, but not with Dawn." As an afterthought he said, "And you can't mention it to anyone who's not in our group."
"Okay." Buffy agreed without question.
Sitting down next to Buffybot on the bed, Spike tried to decide how to best explain it. "Dawn misses Buffy so much, that it hurts. I do too. It's not a physical pain. It's an internal emotional pain. The guilt, anger, and sorrow are with us every second of every day. It influences our thoughts and actions, and we end up making decisions that we probably wouldn't make under normal circumstances. But on top of missing Buffy, Dawn misses her mother, and she has to deal with knowing she's the Key instead of being born a real person. It's too much emotional trauma for any one teen to handle."
"Last night when I stepped in to tell her she needed to behave the way I wanted her to behave, she was in too much emotional pain to listen to me. The quickest and easiest way to break through that emotional pain was with a small amount of physical pain. It shocked her body into concentrating on getting away from the physical pain above everything else. That gave me an opportunity to talk to her in an emotionally vulnerable state, which helped me alleviate some of the guilt she's been carrying around."
"That was a crucial turning point for her, but she'll fall right back into behaving in reaction to the anger, guilt, and sorrow that are still inside her if we don't give her a reason not to. For now that reason will have to be fear of consequences, but little by little we'll work on changing that. "
Spike finished the explanation by asking, "Does that make sense?"
Buffybot thought for a moment, and then said, "The spanking itself really doesn't make her feel better, and she doesn't actually want anyone to do it, but it helps her not to hurt on the inside. And she needs us to do it, because she hasn't been making good decisions, and we need to help her remember how to do that."
"Exactly," Spike said, quite pleased that the robot had caught on so quickly.
"But what about you, Spike?"
"What about me?"
"You said that you hurt too. Does that mean you need a spanking? Especially when you make bad decisions?" Buffybot asked.
Scowling, Spike said, "Of course not!"
Buffy cocked her head to the side and said, "Why?"
"Because… because… I just don't!"
"That's not a logical answer. I'm sure you don't want one, but maybe you need one."
His mind raced, and he smiled when he came up with a valid excuse. "A smacked bottom wouldn't make me feel better inside, because I don't have a soul."
"Oh," she smiled and said, "That's good Spike, because I wouldn't like doing it."
He redirected her to the current issue. "Good. Now we're going to go downstairs to the kitchen, and talk to Dawn about her behavior today. I'm going to make her stand in the corner for half an hour, and you need to help me back that up. If she refuses to do what I ask, I'm going to have you give her a smack or two. Use one third of your strength same as before. I'll look at you and hold up my hand like this to let you know how many smacks to give her." He held up two fingers for her to see. "This would mean two smacks. Got it?"
"Yes Spike, I understand."
"And if she's still difficult after that, we'll have to spank her again, but I doubt it will come to that."
Frowning, Buffybot nodded. "Okay Spike."
Spike stood and said, "Stay close and watch for my cues until I tell you we're done."
She stood as well, and the two went down to the kitchen. Dawn was sitting at the kitchen table sporting a glum expression, while Willow and Tara did the dishes together. As soon as Dawn saw Spike come in, she up straight. Spike sat in the chair across from the girl, and Buffy stood a step behind his chair. Dawn swallowed hard, and tried not to fidget under the vampire's serious expression.
"If you had been good today, you and I would be getting out a deck of cards to play some poker, but you weren't, so we're not going to do something fun."
Dawn shot a scowl towards Willow.
"Bit," Spike said sharply to get her attention back on him. Once she focused on him, he said, "You need to listen to me, and do as I say even when I'm not here, and you need to listen to Willow and Tara as well. And when you don't, there's going to be trouble for you."
The wide-eyed girl shook her head just slightly, not liking that last statement at all.
"Yes, Bit. I'm sorry, but yes. We're done ignoring your behavior, like it or not. You were not good today. You kept getting out of your room, and you used the phone even though you knew you weren't supposed to, didn't you?"
Feeling trapped, Dawn leaned back in her chair to put as much distance between her and Spike as possible. She had no idea how to answer him. Yes she had done those things, but she didn't want to admit it.
After quite a long pause, Spike said, "I asked you a question Dawn. I expect an answer."
She squirmed in her chair, looked down at her lap, and muttered, "Maybe."
"Maybe?" He shook his head and sighed. "Try again, Bit. Yes or no this time."
"Yes," she whispered.
"Right. So now you're going to stand in that corner…" he pointed to the only empty corner of the kitchen "…facing the wall for the next half an hour."
Her eyes snapped to his. "What?"
"Standing in the corner for half an hour is your punishment for not behaving today."
"No." She shook her head forcefully.
He continued as if she hadn't spoken. "You're to spend that half hour thinking about what you did, and what you're going to do differently tomorrow to avoid more punishment."
"No!" Outraged, Dawn stood up and sliced her hand through the air as if to negate the whole idea. "I'm not doing that!" She turned to Willow and Tara. "Tell him that he can't make me do that!"
Willow said, "Dawnie it's not that we…"
"No." Tara cut her off with softly spoken words. "You are going to do it, Dawn. We agree with Spike."
The room was silent for several seconds. Dawn had never heard Tara cut Willow off. Her eyes filled with tears. "You guys agree with Spike?"
Tara turned her gaze on Willow who reluctantly nodded.
"But… but…" Now that Dawn knew everyone was in agreement, she wasn't sure what to say.
Spike stood up and walked towards her speaking firmly. "Come on, Little Bit. Off to the corner with you." He put a hand in the middle of her back, and gently pushed her towards the corner, walking along side her as she went. Once she was in place, he said, "There's a good girl. Now stay put until I tell you the time is up. I'll stay in the kitchen with you whole time."
As soon as Spike sat back down at the table, Dawn burst into tears. She covered her face with her hands, and leaned the top of her head on the walls of the corner. Willow shot an alarmed glance at Spike, and Tara put a comforting arm around Willow's shoulders.
With a sigh, Spike stood back up and walked over to the crying girl. He leaned against the wall beside her "What's all this about?" he asked, and put a comforting hand on her back.
Her muffled teary response was difficult to fully understand. Spike caught the words, 'not fair' and 'awful day'.
He patted her back and said, "I'm sure it was an awful day. Probably for Willow and Tara, too. You need to think about how you're going to make sure tomorrow is better, yeah?"
She continued to cry, but nodded her head in agreement. Spike turned to Tara and said, "Do you have some tissues?"
Tara rushed into the bathroom, and came back with the box, which she handed to Spike. He pulled out a handful, and held them out to Dawn. "Here."
She lifted her head up, took the tissues, and said, "Can't I please go to my room instead?"
He shook his head. "No. Eyes forward please."
Hiding her face in the tissues this time, Dawn's shoulders shook with more tears. Spike squeezed her shoulder once, and then went to sit down at the kitchen table. Looking at the clock, he winced when he realized it had only been three minutes so far.
He looked over at Willow and Tara to gage their reactions. Willow seemed distinctly more uncomfortable about the situation. She was nervously biting at a fingernail, and her eyes kept darting from Dawn to Tara and back.
Tara pulled Willow into a hug and whispered into her ear, "Why don't you go upstairs and read a book. We don't both have to be here for this. You can stay next time."
Willow leaned back to make eye contact and said, "You sure?"
"Yes." Tara gave her a quick kiss on the lips before letting her go.
Once Willow was out of the room, some of the nervous energy seemed to leave with her.
Tara quietly went about filling and starting the dishwasher. Next she wiped down the kitchen counters. By the time she was done cleaning up, Dawn's tears were down to the occasional sniffle. Tara got herself a can of soda out of the fridge, and pulled out a beer as well. She handed the beer to Spike, and sat down in the chair next to him.
"Thanks," he said, holding the beer up to her in a toast before taking a swallow.
Tara smiled and said, "Did I ever thank you for punching me in the nose?"
Spike choked on his mouthful of beer. He coughed loudly a few times, set his bottle down, and had to grab a napkin off the table to clean up some of the spewed beer. He looked back at Tara, who was grinning at him.
When she saw the surprised look on his face, she started to laugh, and after a second, he did too. He shrugged and said, "Couldn't have you leaving the Scoobies, now could I?"
"Spike punched you?" Buffybot asked.
Tara told the story to Buffy, and Spike started out listening with a smile, but by the time the story was over, he wasn't listening. He was lost in thoughts of Buffy, and how good things had been when she was still alive.
Tara saw the pensive frown on his face, and put a hand on his arm. "Wanna talk about it?"
"Just wishing everything in life could be taken care of with a punch." He looked over at the clock and decided it was close enough. He took the last swig of beer, and set the empty bottle on the table. "Okay, Bit. Time's up. Come over here and talk to me."
When Tara started to talk, Dawn went from being sad and embarrassed to being angry and frustrated. But as the time went by, and as she listened to the story of Tara's family, the anger slowly drained away. By the time Spike called to her, she was calm, and ashamed of her behavior earlier in the day.
She tentatively walked towards the table while keeping her eyes downcast. She went to sit in the chair across from Spike, but his voice stopped her.
"Come 'round here." He waved her to his side of the table, and scooted his chair back a foot.
She froze in place and looked at him warily. "Um… why?"
"For a cuddle. You get a hug after every punishment, no matter what."
Her first thought was to tell him she didn't need it, but she couldn't make herself say it. Instead she rushed over to him, sat on his lap, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. He held her close and took as much comfort in her as she did in him.
After a few minutes, Spike said, "Are we going to have to do this again tomorrow night when I come to see you?"
Dawn shook her head against the side of his neck. "No."
"I hope not. Did you do some of your homework today to try and catch up."
She pressed her head against him harder. "A little."
"Hmm. I want you to do more than a little tomorrow, okay?"
"And I'll be checking it before we spend our half hour together."
With less enthusiasm this time, Dawn said, "Yeah, okay."
He nudged her so she was sitting up, and looking at him. "I want you to apologize to Tara for today."
Blushing, Dawn made eye contact with Tara for an instant and then stared at her lap to mumble, "Sorry Tara."
Tara leaned forward and gave the girl a hug. "Apology accepted."
When they broke apart, Spike said, "Good. Now I want you to go apologize to Willow, and get ready for bed."
"Bed?" Dawn asked with a frown. "It's eight thirty."
"And you're going to spend the rest of the night in your room doing homework, so it's best to brush your teeth now in case you fall asleep."
"Please can't I spend a little time with you first?"
"I'll come up and sit with you for a little while once you're in bed. You can tell me about the homework you have to do."
She sighed with disappointment, but said, "Alright."
He helped her stand up and said, "Apology first."
Once Dawn was out of hearing range, Tara said, "Buffy would be proud of you for stepping in and helping like this."
He scoffed. "No she wouldn't."
Buffybot said, "I'm proud of you, Spike."
"Hush," he told the robot. He couldn't bare those words coming from Buffy's face.
"Why don't you think she'd be proud of you?" Tara asked
"I'm a soulless demon." The words 'impotent failure' were on the tip of his tongue. "Buffy wouldn't want her sister putting so much faith in me. Buffy counted on me, and look where that got her."
Tara shook her head. "Buffy wouldn't blame you for her death. She'd be glad that you're here to help. Dawn is…"
He couldn't stand the conversation anymore. He stood and glared down at her. "Think what you want, witch! Just stop telling me about it!"
Tara gasped in surprise, and froze in her chair at the anger she heard in the vampire's tone. Spike turned and left the room as quickly as possible without running, and took the stairs two at a time to get to Dawn's room.
Buffybot waited until Spike was upstairs before she asked Tara, "Do you know how to help him?"
"Help him?" Tara asked. She was still shaken by Spike's outburst.
"He's broken inside, just like Dawn. He needs our help to feel better, but he said spanking won't work for him, so I don't know how to help."
Tara's eyes opened wide with surprise for a second, before they narrowed into slits. "Why did he say spanking wouldn't work?"
"Because he doesn't have a soul."
Pissed at the way he'd talked to her, Tara looked towards the stairs, and then back at Buffybot. "He lied," she said.
Buffybot frowned. "He lied?"
"Spike still has all his emotions with or without a soul. He still feels love, anger, sorrow, and remorse, so I don't see why a spanking wouldn't work on him. It might snap him out of his guilt and self pity."
"So I should do it?" Buffy asked.
Tara sighed, and thought it through for a few minutes. She leaned forward and said, "You know him better than me. You were built to be his… uh… companion, so it's up to you. But if you decide it would be right for him, You'd have to do it in private. Spike would be mortified if any one found out about it."
Buffybot thought that over. She did know Spike fairly well. They'd slept together, they'd sparred, and she'd listened to him talk for hours. She knew how his mind worked, she knew what his pain threshold was, and she knew he always wanted her to act more like the real Buffy. With those thoughts in mind, she decided on a plan.
# # #
As soon as Spike was upstairs, he wanted to kick himself for what he'd said to Tara, but it was too late to take it back now. He went straight to Dawn's bedroom, to wait for her, and turned some music on to distract himself.
Half an hour later, Spike and Dawn had gone over all of her homework, and they'd made a list of the things she was going to try to get done the next day. Spike gave her a kiss on the forehead, told her to be good, and left for the night. He was very pleased to make it to the front door without running into Tara or Buffybot. Lighting up a cigarette, he strolled through the streets of Sunnydale, thinking about Buffy.
After an hour of walking around aimlessly, Spike bought a bottle of whisky to drown his sorrows. He went to Buffy's grave, sat against her headstone, drank his whisky, and eventually started talking to her.
"I'm still beneath you, even when you're literally beneath me." He kicked a heel of his boot on the grass a couple of times to make his point. "Tried to kill you several times, and failed. Tried to save you from dying, and failed. Tried not to love you, and failed. Tried to make you love me, and failed. Now I'm messing about with Dawn, and I have no idea if I'm helping or making it worse, but I know you'd hate me for trying, because it's going to hurt her worse if I fail."
Whipping his head around, Spike saw Buffybot standing behind him on the other side of the headstone. Once he saw who it was, he turned back around. "Go home Buffy," he said. "I'm not in the mood to explain anything to you right now."
"That's okay Spike, I don't need you to explain anything. I just need you to listen." She walked to him, and pulled him up with a hand to his upper arm.
Spike quirked an eyebrow at her. "What's got into you?"
She started walking towards his crypt, and pulled him along with her. "I don't know what you mean. Nothing has gotten inside me."
Taking another swallow of whisky, he let her tow him across the graveyard. He hadn't been able to bring himself to screw the robot since Buffy had died. But now that he'd consumed half the bottle of alcohol, he thought maybe he could stomach it, especially if she was going to take the first step.
Once they were inside his crypt with the door firmly shut and locked behind them, she took the bottle out of his hands, just as he was about to take another swallow.
"Hey! I was drinking that!"
She set it on the floor, and led him over to the easy chair he usually sat in when he watched television. She pushed him down into the chair, and stood over him with her arms crossed. "You lied to me," she said.
Frowning, he thought back over the day, and couldn't remember lying to her. "You'll have to be more specific, Luv."
Tapping her foot on the floor she said, "You told me spanking wouldn't work for you, but that's a lie."
Groaning, he gestured to the whisky and said, "Do us a favor, and fetch me that bottle before you say anything else."
"No?" He asked, and gave her a more serious examination. She'd been built to follow his commands. She didn't tell him no.
"No Spike. You're broken and hurting inside, and that…" she pointed to the whisky, "…won't help you."
"Dulls the pain," he said while staring at the bottle.
She leaned down, took his chin in her hand, and forced him to look at her. "You lied to me. You don't need a soul for a spanking to work. You just need to be able to feel emotions."
Warning bells started to go off in Spike's head, and he wished his brain wasn't fuzzy with alcohol. He scooted back into the chair to get away from her, but she kept her hand on his face, and leaned in even closer than before.
"Says who?" He asked, eyes narrowing. If she'd talked to one of the Scoobies about this, he was going to have to kill said Scoobie.
"What?" He couldn't understand what had happened to make her act so out of character
"I love you, Spike, and I want to help you feel better inside, just like you're helping Dawn."
He started to shake his head no, but she held his face still.
"You lied to me, and you yelled at Tara. Those were bad decisions. And just now you were confessing to Buffy that you'd failed her. That is guilt talking, not logic. I think a spanking will help you make better choices, and it will help you feel less guilty. Just like it helped Dawn."
Getting angry, Spike grabbed her wrist, and tried to yank her fingers off his chin. Her arm didn't budge. "Damn it Buffy, let me go! You can't spank me."
"You're wrong. I am physically capable of spanking you."
Glaring up at her, Spike said, "You are programmed to obey me, and I'm ordering you to let me go!"
"No," the robot said. "Willow overrode that part of my programming a long time ago when I was first broken."
"She did?" He said with shock. "But… but you always do what I tell you to do. Always! Even when you don't want to." He realized this was much more serious than he'd first thought.
"I still love you. Willow tried to take that out of my programming, but I won't function without it. I obey you, because I love you, and I thought my obedience made you happy. But after our talk today, I changed my mind. You can't be happy until you're fixed. Let me help fix you, Spike. Tell me why you feel guilty for Buffy's death."
He looked into her eyes and the truth spilled out. "I just do." He pointed to his head. "Up here I know I'm not to blame. But knowing it and feeling it are two different things."
"Let's see if a spanking helps you feel better inside. Stand up and take off your jacket."
His eyes snapped back to hers. He stayed where he was, and said, "Let's not and say we did."
She reached down, pulled him up off the chair, and made short work of shoving the duster off his shoulders. He panicked, and tried to shove her away. His shove didn't move her even an inch.
"That was a bad decision too, Spike. You know I'm stronger than you." She wrapped her hand around his wrist, turned him, and pushed his arm up behind his back. While he struggled to get his arm free, she sat down on the edge of the easy chair, hauled him face down across one thigh, and quickly pinned both of his legs between hers.
"Let me go!" He yelled when he realized exactly how strong she was.
"I'm sorry Spike, but this is for your own good." She started swatting the flat of her hand down on his ass with more than double the force she'd used on Dawn.
"Ow!" he yelped in surprise, not expecting it to hurt so much. "Ow Buffy! Fuck! Ow! You didn't hit Dawn this hard!"
She kept spanking. "Dawn is human, and a child. You're not."
"Ah! If you keep hitting this hard… Ouch! …I'll be bruised for weeks!"
Suddenly she stopped. "You'll be bruised? But I calculated exactly how hard to hit without bruising." she reached under his stomach to undo his belt and pants with her free hand, "I'll check."
"No! Wait! I didn't mean you should check! I meant you should stop hitting so hard!"
Buffybot pushed his pants down off his hips, and examined the skin. "Don't worry Spike, there's no bruising at all."
"God Damn it Buffy! Let me UP!" he roared.
"Now Spike, you know that's not going to happen. You didn't let Dawn up in the middle of the spanking." She opened her legs long enough to scoot his pants down to his knees, and then trapped his legs between hers again. She started slapping his rear with more confidence than before.
"Oooww! Buffy stop! It hurts more now!"
"These swats are for lying to me." She gave him twenty hard smacks, covering his skin with pink handprints.
"Aarrg!" He struggled fiercely to get out of her grasp, trying to pull himself forward with his one free hand, but he wasn't able to move an inch.
She stopped for a moment and said, "Why are you struggling so much? You can't get away from me, Spike. You need to concentrate on your spanking, not on trying to escape."
Changing tactics, Spike said, "Please Buffy, please let me go. I know you're trying to help me, but this isn't the right way to do it."
She reached down and pulled at his free arm. "I think this is the right way to help you. Give me your other arm, so you can focus."
"I am focused!" He tried to keep his arm in front of his body, but she had no trouble overpowering him. She held both of his wrists together at the small of back in her left hand.
Now that he was completely immobile, he did stop struggling. Not only was it futile, but it was wearing him down. His ass already burned, and he doubted she was anywhere close to done.
"This part is for yelling at Tara." She started swatting his sit spots and upper thighs. While she smacked, she lectured, "You shouldn't alienate the person closest to Willow, especially now that you're helping Dawn."
"I know!" he yelled. He did feel bad for yelling at Tara. "Ow! I'll apologize, okay?"
Buffybot smiled and stopped spanking. "See Spike, spanking does work for you."
"No it bloody well does not!" he yelled while trying to squirm out of her grasp again. "I was already going to apologize!"
"Tisk, tisk Spike. That's another lie. You had plenty of time to apologize before you left, but you didn't." She gave him six more swats.
"Fuck! Okay, fine! I wasn't planning to apologize, but I will."
"Good." She patted the side of his hip. "Now the only thing we have left to deal with is your guilt."
He groaned and hung his head.
Buffy started spanking him again, using less force so they could talk. "I want you to think about the night Buffy died."
Spike shook his head, not wanting to think about it, but he couldn't stop the images from invading his brain.
"Do you blame Dawn for Buffy's death?"
"What?" He twisted his shoulders to look at Buffy. "No! Of course not!"
"Do you blame Willow?"
"Don't be ridiculous! I don't blame any of the Scoobies or Giles."
"So why do you blame yourself?" She asked, putting more force behind the smacks.
His body twitched with the increase in pain, and he turned back to face the floor.
She said, "You were all working together as a team. You all did your best to save her. If you don't blame the others, then you can't blame yourself either."
"Ow! I know! Okay? I follow your logic. Glory is the one to blame. Ah! But I still feel like I failed her." His voice cracked on the last word, and tears started rolling down his face.
"But you didn't." Buffybot started aiming all of the swats on his sit spots, hitting the same area again and again while he cried quietly.
For several minutes the sounds of loud spanking, and soft crying filled the crypt. Eventually the relentless spanking broke down Spike's willpower, and he started to beg through his tears. "Please, Buffy. Please stop. I can't take anymore. Please!"
Instead of stopping she said, "Who's to blame for Buffy's death?"
"Are you a failure?"
"Noooo!" He wasn't sure if he actually believed it, but he wasn't about to give her any other answer at this point.
She stopped spanking and let go of his wrists. He slipped one hand down to the floor, and used the other to wipe his face. She loosened her legs, so Spike could move if he wanted to. She rubbed her hands up and down his back and waited for him to calm down.
After a few moments of quiet, Buffy gently patted his sore skin, and said, "I didn't like doing this to you Spike, but I'll do it again if I hear you call yourself a failure."
He squirmed at the touch to his raw, oversensitive skin, and pushed himself up to standing. He groaned and put both hands back to assess the damage. Hissing with pain, he said, "That's going to hurt for days." He slowly kneeled down long enough to unlace his boots, and then toed them off along with his jeans. Once he was naked except for his tee-shirt, he tried to look back at his own butt to see what it looked like.
Buffy opened her arms to him and said, "Come get a cuddle."
He scowled at her. "I'm not sitting on your lap."
She smiled up at him, and grabbed his wrist. "It's your rule not mine." She made her voice deeper to imitate him and said, "You get a hug after every punishment, no matter what." She pulled him down to sit on her lap. He gasped when his ass came into contact with her jeans, and he shifted back until his sit spots weren't touching anything.
Buffy wrapped her arms around him and gave him a strong hug. Feeling ridiculous, Spike tolerated it for the moment, not wanting to do anything that might aggravate her. She ran a hand through his hair and said, "I wish you could see yourself the way I see you Spike. You're amazing."
He closed his eyes, and imagined he was cuddled up against the real Buffy.
When he didn't comment, she kept talking. "You're strong. You're brave. You're cunning. You're insightful. And you protect the people you love. All those qualities together make you a great man. You are helping Dawn, and she is lucky to have you."
He managed to get out a rough, "Thanks."
She loosened her arms, and leaned back so she could look him in the eye. "Do you think it worked? Do you feel better inside?"
Chagrined, he mumbled, "Yeah, I do. For the first time in a long time, I don't feel overwhelmed with guilt." He glared at her. "And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I'll find a way to turn you off."
She pulled his head down, and gave him a chaste kiss on the mouth. She let go and said, "It's just between us. I'll never tell anyone." She patted him on the back and said, "Okay, the mandatory cuddle is done. Do you want me to go home now?"
He thought about it for a couple of seconds, and then leaned back against her. "You could stay a while and watch the telly with me."
Buffybot put her arms back around him and said, "I'd like that, Spike. I'd like that very much."
He grabbed the remote from its usual spot in the crack between the easy chair's arm and seat cushion, and flicked the television on. He found an old movie to watch, shifted around to get as comfortable as possible, and smiled with contentment.