Disclaimer: I don't own BTVS. I just get to play house in it.
Beta provided by Ginar369
The following day was a sombre one and despite the fact that it was daylight, Spike couldn't stop his mind going to Drusilla and any possible harm that could come to his family.
"Maybe I should call in sick?" Spike suggested.
Buffy shook her head. "No. You should go. It's not as if she will be able to do much when the sun's out anyway."
Spike furrowed his brow. "It's not like the sun stopped me when I was determined."
"You always were an unusual vampire," she pointed out. "Just go. There's no point in us both mooning about the house."
Spike shrugged his shoulders. "I don't think I'll be much use at work, too busy thinking about what that crazy bint is up to."
"You'll be fine," she insisted. She practically shoved him to the door.
"Okay," he conceded, grabbing his coat. "I'll call you at lunchtime."
Sure enough, Spike found it very hard to concentrate. He was in Dowling's office going over some files for a new case. The words were swimming in front of his eyes and he kept checking his cell phone to see if Buffy had called or messaged him. By lunchtime the detective had just about enough.
"Earth to Spike," Dowling said.
Spike jumped. "Huh?"
"I've been trying to get your attention for the last five minutes." Dowling sighed and started to gather up all the files. "You should go home."
"Sorry, my mind's elsewhere."
The detective looked concerned. "What's wrong?"
Spike pinched the bridge of his nose. "I don't really want to talk about it, mate."
Dowling nodded. "You look like shit."
Spike knew it was true. When he looked in the mirror that morning his eyes had dark circles underneath them and his skin was pale.
"I didn't get a wink of sleep," Spike confessed.
"Go on," Dowling insisted. "Get out of here."
"Thanks," Spike muttered, getting up and heading for the door.
"If there's anything I can do to help let me know."
It was then the realisation hit Spike. If Dru had been hanging around San Francisco then surely there would be some reports of deaths or missing persons.
"I've just thought of something you can do," Spike said and sat back down.
Spike had been disappointed after the conversation with Dowling. There was nothing to suggest that Dru had been hanging around San Francisco or was still there. There had so far been no reports of suspicious vampire activity. Then again, Spike reasoned that perhaps Dru only turned up the previous night and that was why. He had left Dowling's office with the reassurance that Dowling would keep watch for anything that could point to an insane vampire on the prowl. Spike opened the door and walked into the living room, where Buffy was sitting on the sofa. She jumped as the door slammed behind him and Spike supressed a chuckle.
"You gave me a scare," she chided.
"Like I said earlier, I couldn't concentrate, love."
"You didn't get in any trouble, did you?"
Spike scoffed, "I'm not afraid of Bob."
Buffy rolled her eyes. "You're such a child. He's your boss."
Spike snorted. "Bob's my boss and he's my mate. Anyway, he told me to go home as I was no use to him."
Buffy got up from the sofa. "Do you want a coffee?"
"Please," Spike said and followed her into the kitchen. "I told Bob about Dru."
Buffy raised a brow as she turned on the kettle.
"Only that she's some crazy bint from my past and that she was threatening my family." Spike took a seat at the table. Buffy had her back to him. "No need to go through the ins and outs of it. He had heard of nothing suspicious, so I reckon she had only just arrived when I saw her last night. He says he is going to keep an eye out and let us know if he hears anything."
He watched her as she poured the tea and he could see she looked exhausted. She put the mug down in front of him. She was about to sit down at the other side of the table.
"'C'mere," he said.
"I'm not really in the mood, Spike. Your crazy ex is on the loose."
He was stung by her reaction. It may be down to the fact that he had a relationship with Dru in the past that she was here now, but she was acting like the whole thing was his fault.
"Sorry," she said with a sigh. "I don't blame you. I'm just worried and it doesn't help that the kids are off in school."
"Maybe we should keep them home for a couple of days," he suggested.
"No, the kids should keep to their routine. I don't want them to know anything about this. I mean how would we explain it?"
Spike shrugged and he lifted his mug to his lips, drinking deeply. "I'm sorry I didn't dust her last night." He gritted his teeth. "This is just what Dru wants. Us fightin' over her and scared shitless."
Buffy had a dangerous glint in her eye. "I'm going looking for her again tonight."
Of course she was. Spike wasn't even going to try and change her mind. They had this conversation the previous night.
"I'll pick the kiddies up from school," he offered. "You should try and catch some kip. You look as if you need it."
"You're a real charmer." She gave him a mock look of disgust. "I don't think I could sleep, but it would be great if you could do the school run."
"You should try and sleep anyhow," he insisted.
She put her hands on her hips. "I hate to break it to you, Blondie Bear, but you look as bad as I do."
He chuckled. "I do at that. However, all the coffee and sugar I scoffed todat at work mean I probably couldn't sleep even if I wanted to. Besides, if you're heading out on patrol later then it would make sense that you got as much rest as you can."
"Point taken," she said. "I'll try."
"Good," he replied. It wasn't too often she let him boss her around. He slugged down the remains of his coffee.
She looked at her watch pointedly. "You really should get going."
"Anything you'd like from the shop?"
"Chocolate," she said. "Mmmm, I would love some chocolate."
"Your wish is granted, Princess," he said heading for the door.
"Oh Spike!" she called.
He turned to see her with a devilish grin on her face. "You might bring some whipped cream as well."
He laughed as headed out the door.
Later that evening Buffy and Spike were sitting in their living room when there was a loud shriek from the playroom. The two jumped up quickly and ran out of the room in the direction of their children. Tommy was standing at the door screaming, "Mom! Dad!"
Emily was standing at the open window, clutching a familiar looking doll.
"Dru!" Spike ran to the window and saw a shadowy figure escaping into the trees. "She's gone," he growled.
Buffy sighed turning to the boy. "What happened?"
His face was white with terror. "There was a strange lady outside and she was calling us. I told sis not to go over but she was holding out the doll and you know how much sis loves dolls."
"Give me the doll, sweetheart," Buffy said.
"No!" The girl shook her head clutching the doll to her tightly.
In a red haze, Spike grabbed the doll from her and stormed out of the room.
Emily was on the verge of tears. "No Daddy! Give it back."
He ignored her and continued to walk to the kitchen with Emily running behind him. "Sorry pet, but this is going in the bin."
She burst into tears as he dropped the doll in with the rest of the trash. His little girl was used to having a tremendous amount of power over him. This time he was having none of it. She grabbed the bag from the bin and put it outside. He didn't want something like that in his house.
His daughter was still sobbing when he walked back in. She was in Buffy's arms and turned away from him when he looked at her.
"Don't ever go near that lady," he warned. "That goes for you too, Tommy."
"You see her, you shout," Buffy added. "Are both of you listening to me?"
"Yes," came the answer in unison.
"Now off to bed," Buffy ordered them.
"Mommy, can I sleep in your and Daddy's bed tonight?" Emily asked.
Her little blue eyes were wide and pleading. Spike broke his silence taking his little girl from Buffy. He looked into her eyes and said, "Sorry for scaring you, pet."
"Can I please sleep with you, Daddy?"
He looked at Buffy and she nodded. "Of course, you can, pet."
She was still sniffling a little. "Can you read me a story?"
"You're a demanding little bit, aren't you?"
"It's cos I'm your little princess, and princesses always get what they want."
He laughed. His son was being very quiet and turned to look at him.
"You okay?" Spike asked.
"Fine," Tommy replied, scuffing his shoes off the floor and his eyes averted.
Spike was far from convinced as his son didn't look it. He still looked too pale and a quick glance at Buffy told him she was of the same opinion.
"You want a story too?" Spike asked the boy.
Tommy looked up at him. "Yeah, Dad."
"I want a story too, Daddy," Buffy said with a mischievous smile. The two of them went off to get the children ready and into bed. Spike knew he for one would feel more secure having his whole family together after the scare they had. They would have to see if there was some added protection they could add to the house. He shuddered to think what could have happened if Dru had been invited in by the children or managed to entice them to go out to her. If there was ever a time he missed his vampire super strength it was now. Although, he knew if he wasn't human, then he wouldn't have the kids in the first place. The truth was he had them, and he was scared to death of something or rather someone harming them. He was determined to keep them safe and looking at the resolute expression on his wife's face, he knew she was aching to kill Drusilla.
It was nearly midnight and Tommy and Emily were tucked up in bed. Spike was pacing the floor waiting for his wife to return. Buffy was out there looking for Dru and although he knew his wife could look after herself he was afraid. Dru was no average vamp and she was crazy which meant she was unpredictable. Spike was tormented once again by the fact that if he was a vampire then he would have no problem tracking her scent. He was useless once more in protecting his family. He would have to broach the subject of contacting Angel and asking him to come and help. It would be a huge blow to his pride, but he would do it to ensure the safety of his family. He decided that once Buffy returned he would ask her what she thought of the suggestion. What the hell did Dru want and why did she wait until now to strike? It had been years since he had last seen her in L.A. and back then she had hinted that she would be seeing him again. It didn't make any sense at all to him. Why didn't Angel dust her when he had the chance? he thought angrily. Then, he sighed, because he knew it was for the very same reason he hadn't either. He wouldn't be making the same mistake again not when the children were in danger. He slammed his fist hard down on the table needing some release for his frustration.
"Daddy, what's wrong?"
He turned to see Emily looking at him with wide, frightened eyes. Shit.
"Nothing, pet," he lied. "Nothing at all. Shouldn't I be the one to ask you that question? What are you doing up?"
"I can't sleep, Daddy. Can you come and lie down for a while?"
He paused a moment, wanting to wait up for Buffy, but his little girl needed him and he would only be tearing his hair out while he sat there. He decided he would lie with them until Emily fell asleep and then if Buffy wasn't back he would get up. She squealed as he picked her up and threw her over his shoulders.
"Let's get to bed, poppet."
Spike dosed off despite himself and was awoken by the sound of the door creaking open. He looked up and Buffy was smiling in him.
"Is there room for me?" she asked a glint in her eye.
Spike looked and could see between the three of them they were sprawled right across the bed. "Sorry, love." He picked up Emily, who was spread eagled across the side of the bed Buffy usually slept in, and moved her to his other side making room. Buffy began to shimmy out of her clothes.
"Did you find Dru?" he asked, already knowing the answer to the question.
She shook her head as she slid into the bed beside him. "It's driving me mad that we can't find her. We'll have to ask Willow and see if there is anything she can do."
Spike sighed. "I can't believe I'm suggesting this, but maybe we should call Peaches. If he had been here tonight then he could have followed her scent."
He tried to keep the bitterness out of the tone. Either he failed or Buffy just knew him too well.
"Spike," she said quietly, "things would be a lot different if you were a vampire.."
"For one thing they wouldn't be here," he finished. "I know that. I just feel useless, you know."
"I have power and I can't do anything with it," she pointed out. "How do you think I feel?"
She grabbed his hand and squeezed it. "You're not useless. You're a great father and the kids need you. They need us to be strong for them."
He pulled her closer to him. "How on earth did I end up snagging you?"
"I reckon it must be a spell," she mumbled.
"Ah that's it," he said. "Love. And I think I might just be under that spell too."
"Yep – it makes you do the wacky."
He snorted and the two dissolved into low giggles, not wanting to wake up the children. They held each other tightly and it wasn't long before sleep took them.
The following morning Spike woke feeling refreshed. He felt Buffy stir beside him and he turned to look at her.
"Good morning, love," he said with a grin.
She yawned and stretched. "I guess it's time to get up."
"Unfortunately," he said wistfully.
He sat up in the bed and tried to extricate himself from Emily's grasp. She seemed to have decided to use him as a pillow sometime during the night. Buffy had already gotten out of the bed and was pulling on her clothes. He had a training first thing this morning, followed by another meeting with Dowling and some bloke who worked for the FBI. He really wasn't in the mood to head to work, but he had left early yesterday and he really needed this job. Dowling let him get away with a lot; he wasn't about to cause any more trouble for him. He reluctantly pulled on his tracksuit. Unfortunately, it was standard issue and he no choice in the matter. He already had a change of clothes in a duffel bag to change into after the training sessions. The rugrats were starting to wake up now. Emily was rubbing her eyes and Tommy pulled a pillow over his head trying to go back to sleep.
"Sorry, Tommy it's time to get up," Spike said.
"You heard your father," Buffy reiterated. She was so good with them and they listened to her. He was hopeless with discipline and they knew it, taking full advantage of his weakness. Nevertheless, he had a temper and when he was really angry they knew not to step out of line. The room was bathed in the morning light as Buffy drew back the curtains. Suddenly, Buffy gasped and Spike was at her side immediately. That's when he saw the doll. Miss Edith was sitting on the window sill, her glassy eyes staring at them. Drusilla must have been at the house during the night. The thought made his heart skip a beat. That bitch! With an angry roar he ran out the door and down the stairs grabbing a brush in the kitchen as he went. He went outside and used the brush to knock the doll to the ground. He picked the doll up from the ground and threw it against the wall causing the head to shatter into pieces. He felt a hand on his shoulder, but he pulled away.
"Are you out there, you bitch?" he shouted. "Are you watching? Did you see what I did to your bloody doll. I hope so, because if I catch you near my family again, I'll bash your head open."
He felt a strong hand pull him by the arm. "Spike!" Buffy looked furious. "Stop. You're scaring me. You're scaring the kids."
The look on her face brought him back to himself.
"Come back inside," she insisted and he let her guide him back inside.
"I'm sorry I lost it there," he whispered, once they were seated on the sofa. "I'm at my wit's end. I don't know what to do about it."
Buffy breathed deeply. "I know, and I feel the same."
Tommy and Emily were walking down the stairs. They both seemed a little shaken and he cursed himself for losing his temper.
"Was the bad lady back?" Emily asked. "Is that why you were shouting?"
"No, honey," Buffy said. "Daddy got a little frightened and he lost his temper. He didn't mean it."
Spike looked to the ground and shifted guilty for being the cause of his children's distress. He just hoped they didn't catch his words. He might be a man now, but there was still darkness in him. He didn't want his children to know that part of him, the part of him that had done so many evil things and hadn't gone away despite him being given a beating heart.
"Go get your breakfast," Buffy ordered the two children.
Once they were gone, she squeezed his shoulder. "Look at me!"
He turned his head to her. "I scared them, Buffy. I didn't mean to. The last thing I want for them to be afraid of me."
"You're overreacting again," she said. "They aren't afraid of you. They know something's wrong and you acting like this is just freaking them out."
"I'm sorry I'm acting all irrational," he snapped. "But when there's a crazy woman after your kids, being rational goes out the window. How can you stay so calm?"
"Calm?" Her eyes were stormy. "You think I'm calm? My head is aching, I feel sick to the stomach and all I think about is what will happen should your precious Dru get her hands on them."
Spike got to his feet. "My precious Dru? I knew it. You blame me for this. I'm just going to say goodbye to the kids, then go to work."
He popped his head into the kitchen. He tried for a smile but it ended up looking more like a grimace.
"See you, later," he said.
"Bye, Daddy," they chorused.
When Spike turned back, he saw Buffy was standing in front of him.
"Please, don't go away angry. I don't blame you, Spike. Never think that..ever. I just let my mouth run away in me."
He felt his fury abate with her words. "One of us, two of us," he admitted. "Truth be told, we're a good match. Nobody else would put up with us. We're too contrary."
She drew him to her for a hug and he basked in the feel of her against him. After a couple of moments he realised he was going to be late for work if he dallied any longer.
He pulled away reluctantly. "I hate to cut a cuddle short, but I'd better get along."
She sighed and walked with him to the door. He knew it was day time and Dru couldn't possibly be around. Still, his eyes swept the drive for anything suspicious.
"Crap!" Buffy was shaking her head. "She slashed your tires."
She gestured at the car and Spike groaned.
"Just take my car," Buffy said. "It's in the garage and she couldn't have got to that without an invitation."
"I think if she had an invitation the car would have been the least of her concerns."
She whacked him on the arm. "You know what I mean."
"Are you sure about the car? What will you do about getting the kids to school?"
Buffy shrugged. "I'll figure it out."
She ran inside, before coming back out with her keys and tossing them to him.
Spike arrived at the station just five minutes before his scheduled training session. He was heading for the gym, when he was called back.
Officer Martinez was standing at the reception desk with an A4 envelope. "This was left for you last night. Some pretty chica she was. Been playing away on the little mrs., have you?"
Spike was about to take a swing for him, when the man recognised the dangerous look in his eyes and held his hands up.
"Calm down, man. I was only kidding."
Spike lowered his fists and took the envelope from him. His hands shook, as he attempted to open the envelope. He pulled out a photograph and was stunned to see it was the one from his office. It was a picture of Buffy, himself and the kids, not that you would know that now. Dru had scratched out the faces of them all but him. He felt the bile rise in his throat and he knew if he had eaten that morning the contents of his stomach would be on the floor in front of him now. He dashed unseeing and made his way to his office to see what else the lunatic had done to his office. He could hear the concerned calls from behind him and he ignored them focusing only on his destination. He threw open the door and he could see that everything seemed to be undisturbed apart from the photo frame that had held the family photograph. The frame was face down on the desk. The way he saw it the damage to the photograph was a clear indication of intent, intent to harm his family. Again he was struck by his impotence. Suddenly, Spike heard the creak of the door opening and whirled around ready to attack. He let out the breath he had been holding in when he saw that it was only Dowling.
The detective's eyes were full of concern. "Man, what happened out there?"
Spike opened his mouth to speak before thinking better of it and handed the picture to Dowling instead. The defacing of the picture could explain it a lot better than he could himself. He watched as Dowling's eyes opened wide in horror. "Jesus," he heard him mumble. "Christ, Spike."
The shock of the situation was starting to ebb a little now and Spike needed to check in with Buffy to make sure they were all okay before doing anything else.
Spike picked up the phone. "I need to make a call to Buffy."
Dowling nodded and withdrew to give him privacy. Spike dialled Buffy's cell just in case she was already after leaving for school. The phone was picked up on the second ring.
"Spike," she said. "Do miss you me already?"
He could tell she was aiming for breezy, but he could pick up on the edge to her voice.
"Dru was in my office last night," he began. "She got hold of that picture I keep in a frame on my desk and defaced it."
"What do you mean defaced it?" Buffy asked sharply.
"She scratched out the faces," he explained.
His wife was silent on the other end of the phone. He didn't need to explain what he thought it meant. He was sure he and Buffy were on the same page. That bitch was threatening their kids and Buffy. He felt another bout of nausea coming on.
"I reckon it's time we called Angel," Spike said. "I know I brought it up last night. You never gave me an answer."
"I'll do it," she said softly. "I was going to do it anyway."
Spike sighed in relief. "I'm going to stay here and while I'm here, I'm going do what I can to see if there is anything at all on Dru. I can't sit around doing nothing and if this is all I can do then I intend to do it."
"Make sure you come home before its dark," she reminded him.
He winced a little at her request, the barb of inadequacy rearing its ugly head once more. He pushed it down and concentrated on the fact that she worried because she loved him.
To be continued..
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