A/N: Dear Joss and Buffy writing team, we love you and kowtow to your awesomeness... but sometimes you just break our hearts and those of our beloved characters, so we rebel!
Here is a pseudo-canon re-write of "Hells Bells", which you lovely readers have been asking me for ever since I put it in my poll. Kudos to Forever-Furuba for corroborating that my preliminary ideas were worth turning into a story! Hope this meets (or even surpasses) all your expectations. Story title comes from Taylor Swift's song 'The Moment I Knew', which reminds me somewhat of the wedding's canon events. Lyrics (in some cases altered) will proceed some chapters.
Please review! I'll try to update once a week.
Ch 1: Used Up
- - I've got my eye on the door / Just waiting for you to walk in - -
Impressive, Spike thinks absently as he strolls through the heavy rain to the entrance of the Sunnydale Bison's Lodge, his steps slightly hampered by the high-heeled hussy he's got under one arm. S'pose I'm not the only sun-sensitive demon on the guest list. Wonder which witch brought on the cloudburst... no, probably neither, seein' as Red's on sabbatical with the mojo and Glinda probably hasn't got the power for somethin' this intense. No, more likely one of Demon Bride's kith or kin worked it out.
He's rambling. Even inside his head, it sounds stupid. But he mustn't think of her, or he'll spiral back down to that dark, empty place inside his heart... the inward embodiment of what his crypt now looks like, after she and Soldier Boy blew it to blackened smithereens.
All along, he'd thought that letting her use him... making her feel... was good for her, was helping her survive in this horrible Hell that her supposed true friends had dragged her back to. But he'd been wrong, so wrong that every time he thinks of her words it feels like a stake is being twisted through his core.
"I'm using you. I can't love you. I'm just... being weak and selfish..."
"Really not complainin' here..."
"... And it's killing me. I have to be strong about this. I'm sorry... William."
She'd even used his Christian name, treated him like a person, a rare enough phenomenon itself... but it was rejection all the same. He'd lain on the floor of his destroyed lower level for two days, curled into a fetal position, too shocked to even cry. It had taken all his inner strength to pull himself together and show up for this hoopla. Of course, to save face, he'd made a pit-stop at the seedy Fish Tank bar by the docks and found the sleaziest tart who'd made doe-eyes at him. All it had taken was a few kisses with his wicked, clever tongue and the promise of a good hard shag later tonight – which he really hoped he didn't have to uphold – to convince the skank to be his 'date' to the wedding.
Spike half-considers abandoning the Goth girl in the parking lot, his mouth going dry as they take the last few steps up to the door. Is this really what I want, for Buffy to see how low I've stooped to try to put her past me? Like anythin' in Heaven, Hell, or the Hellmouth could make me want her any less...
At least this bint and I don't stand out, is his only consoling thought as they cross the threshold; plenty of the wedding guests are considerably more freaky than a pale man in a leather coat with a pierced-and-tatted bimbo beside him. He glances around, hoping to slip into to some seats near the back, preferable behind some very tall demons, stay as invisible as possible...
Oh bugger. Spotted already.
Dawn approaches from the table of wedding gifts, wearing a dress that's color can be somewhat accurately described as 'little-green-men green'. Turning to face her – and wheeling around the Goth girl as he does so – Spike wrests his face into a look of casual indifference.
"Oh. Uh. Want you to meet my date."
Dawn offers her hand to 'the date', smiling politely, the spitting image of her ever-gracious mother.
"Hi, I'm Dawn."
"Uh-huh," is the only response from the hussy, her hand like a defrosted fish filet as she shakes Dawn's. Spike internally bristles at her impoliteness to the girl he considers a younger sister, but tries to keep up his cool.
"So, yeah. Anyway, that's my date. She's with me. My date for the wedding." Hell, please just open up your gob and swallow me. If I feel this stupid just from five seconds with her sister...
Dawn squints at him, confused by the emphasis he's putting on 'my date'. "Yeah, okay. Well, nice meeting you."
"Oh, hold on..." Spike digs in a pocket and unearths a twenty, which he presses toward Dawn. "Here... for the couple. Didn't know what to get 'em, so I figured... Know it's impersonal or whatever, but figured somethin' was better th'n nothin'."
"It's okay, Spike," smiles Dawn, still perplexed by how awkward and nervous he's acting. "A bunch of people give money and gift cards at weddings, at least I think they do. I don't remember if we went to weddings in LA."
"Ta, Niblet," he says, trying to smile back but only managing a strained grimace. "Well, uh... don't want to keep you. Sure you've got bridesmaiding to do."
"Yep. Anya is a total Bride-zilla," she grins, folding the twenty dollar bill in one hand. "I guess I'll... see you later?"
"Yeah. Reckon so."
"I'm glad you came, Spike," says Dawn genuinely, though her eyes narrow as they flicker to the Goth girl now tugging lightly at the collar of Spike's black dress shirt, as though to expose more of his ivory chest.
He chuckles hollowly. "Pro'ly the only one who is. Toddle off now, Niblet. Maybe I can catch one dance at the reception, eh?"
"Counting on it! Bye, Spike."
As Dawn wanders off through the mixed crowd of humans and demons, the skanky girl stares after her with a simpering frown. "You didn't date her did you?"
"No!" Spike retorts indignantly. Just her sister...
"Oh, good," the hussy giggles, tugging on Spike's ear lobe until he reluctant turns his head and plunders her expectant mouth...
"Now, let's go over the checklist one more time," Xander says stalwartly as he and Buffy emerge from the groom's quarters. "Number one..."
"... Don't let your dad near the bar," answers Buffy, closing the door behind them.
"Check. Number two..."
"...Don't let your mom near the bar."
"Hey Buffy!" calls Dawn, hurrying down the corridor toward them. "Spike's here, and he brought a total skank."
"Skank!" Dawn repeats emphatically. "A manic-panicked who he's like totally macking with right in the middle of the room." She tugs on Buffy's arm, forcing her and Xander to stop their progress. "I saw him shove his tongue –"
"Spike brought a date?" Buffy interrupts.
"Yeah," Dawn snickers, rolling her eyes. "Wait 'till you see her."
Buffy swallows, keeping her face as apathetic as she can manage. She hadn't expected him to come, hadn't heard... well duh, genius, you've been avoiding him. Kinda hard to expect an RSVP.... But now to hear that, after only two days since she'd walked out on him and ended their excuse-of-a-relationship, he's already shacking up with... another woman. He's moved on. So why haven't I?
"Guys," Xander reminds them, "I'd better go meet and greet."
"Uh, just go ahead," nods Buffy. "I'll... I'll be a second."
Dawn gives Xander a friendly punch on the arm as he walks past them, then slips her hand into her sister's and squeezes it.
"Fine," she lies. "Let's... go check on the bride."
To be continued. Please review!