Happy Birthday to yoggel, ladypeyton,& thedeadlyhook (& I hope your back is better!)
Here’s the second part of the Season 3 Spike/Buffy story that I’m writing for S3 month at seven_seasons. I’ll start posting it there in May but you can see it here first. This chapter is 2,925 words. Rating PG-13 so far, I think, but I’ll crank it up to R later.
Summary; during ‘Lover’s Walk’ the magic shop owner comes up with an alternative solution to Spike’s dilemma and he takes her up on it instead of kidnapping Willow and Xander. Things rapidly go AU from there.
Part 1 was HERE.
Love Potion Number 9
Dawn kept her eyes trained on the vampire. She’d been a little scared at first when he’d turned up. Buffy could totally kick the guy’s ass, yeah, but Buffy wasn’t here. Only he hadn’t done anything scary. Just talked. Acted pretty much like a regular guy.
She’d seen him once before, when he’d come to the house with Buffy, on the night when Mom and Buffy had had that big fight and Buffy had gone out and not come back for months. She’d been supposed to be in bed, only the cops had been looking for Buffy and there was all kinds of weirdness going on, and no way was she going to stay up in bed and miss everything. She’d watched from upstairs, quiet as a mouse, and Mom and Buffy hadn’t known that she was there. The vampire had. He’d turned those blue eyes on her and given her a long slow wink and then gone back to talking with Mom.
That time they’d been talking about vampires and Slayers and the world getting destroyed and people getting killed. This time they were talking about, like, normal things. It was almost boring. Scratch the ‘almost’, it was boring. Slushy romance stuff.
“Dunno how to act around a human girl,” the vampire told Mom. “Hundred and twenty years I was with Drusilla. Knew how to behave with her, yeah, but, tell the truth, she’s a right raving loon. Nutty as a fruit cake. Can’t see the things she liked going down well with a human.”
Mom opened her eyes very wide. “Yes, I see, Spike. I think, yes, the most important thing about trying to have a relationship with a human girl is, well, for you not to eat people. We humans tend to frown on that sort of thing.”
“Figured that out for myself, Joyce,” Spike said. “Gonna be hard, yeah, but I can do it.” Spike clenched his teeth hard together, stuck out his lips, and sucked in air. “Least, I think I can. Long as I can find blood somewhere else, that is.”
“I’m glad to hear that, Spike,” Mom said. Dawn thought that she sounded kind of relieved.
“Wouldn’t have eaten you anyway, Joyce,” Spike assured her. “You’re a real lady. And I got my invite to this house as part of a truce. Making use of it to eat you would have been wrong. Been a bad man, yeah, don’t mind admitting it, but when I make a deal I stick to it.”
Spike sounded like a gunfighter in an old Western movie, Dawn thought. The sort of guy who would shoot anybody but they had to draw first. Billy the Kid or whatever. Except for him being English.
“Okay, I worked out the ‘don’t eat people’ thing for myself,” Spike went on. “Few other things were bl- blatantly obvious.” Spike’s stumble on a word was accompanied by a glance at Dawn and she grinned. He must have been going to say ‘bloody’. “Opening the Hellmouth, ending the world, that sort of thing. ‘Course, that sort of game’s only for total pillocks anyway, never been my bag. Like this world, don’t I?”
“Yes, I remember that you teamed up with Buffy to stop Angel from ending it,” Mom said.
“Wasn’t gonna let the git blow the world up, no way, especially a month before the World Cup,” Spike said. “Anyway, I think I’ve got some of the no-noes sussed, but that’s not enough, is it? Need to work out some yeses. Last time I courted a girl was when Queen Victoria was on the throne. Things have changed a fair bit since then and I don’t know how far I can trust the telly. Scriptwriter makes the bird’s mind up for her so you can’t tell if the bloke’s really doing the right thing. Got any tips you could give me, Joyce?”
She tilted her head to one side and creases appeared on her forehead. Her mouth twisted first one way and then the other. “I’m not really up on current dating habits,” she admitted.
“What, the blokes your age in this town all blind, are they, Joyce?”
She laughed. “I’d like to believe that. I think they’re mostly already taken. Or else they turn out to be robot serial killers. Very well, Spike, I don’t mind giving you a few pointers. I’d need to know a little about the girl first, of course. Is she Brazilian? I’ve got no idea at all what the courtship customs are like down there.”
“Nah, she’s an American girl,” Spike replied. “Good girl, all respectable and that. Too good for me, I know, but a bloke’s got to give it a go.”
“How did you meet her?” Mom asked.
“Well, she was gonna be a victim, wasn’t she? Never quite worked out that way, and then Dru said that I wasn’t even trying, said that I fancied the bird more than wanted to eat her. Then Dru took up with this sodding Chaos Demon, didn’t she? All slimy antlers and that.”
“Eww,” Dawn said.
Spike flashed her a grin. “Couldn’t have put it better. Anyway, she said I was stuck on this other bird so she was going to see other blokes. So I thought I’d prove to her that I wasn’t bothered about the human girl, came back here and went to the magic shop, and the woman there gave me this potion. Was supposed to get rid of the feelings for the wrong bird and just leave me with feelings for the right one, y’know? Got another one that I was going to give to Dru to get the Chaos Demon out of her head. Don’t usually mess with magic, right, but I was drunk and I just went ahead. Drank the potion, fell asleep, and when I woke up I could see that Dru was never right for me. It’s the human bird who’s the one.”
Mom frowned. “So you’re under the influence of a love potion? Are these feelings for the human girl real?”
“It’s not the potion, Joyce,” Spike assured her. “Fell for the bird all on my own. The potion just made me realize it. I mean, this bird is a real bit of all right. Got guts and a sense of humor as well as being a gorgeous piece of talent. Dru’s got the looks but she’s a total sodding nutcase. Never cared for me the way I did for her. Well, she can stay with her Chaos Demon for all I care. Even if I don’t get anywhere with the human girl I won’t be going back to Dru.”
“I hope that you’re prepared to deal with disappointment, Spike,” Mom cautioned him. “Human girls tend to want families. A home life. Things that you can’t offer.”
“Cross that bridge when I come to it, Joyce. Not sure those are really on the agenda for this girl anyway. Just have to see. Gonna have a crack at it regardless. Faint heart never won fair lady, as they say.”
“Well, I’ll see what tips I can come up with,” Mom said. “I’ll need a little time to think. Would you like some coffee?”
“Love a cup, ta, Joyce,” Spike said. “Would prefer tea, but you Americans can never get the hang of brewing a decent cuppa.”
“I’ll see what I can do. Hot chocolate for you, Dawn?”
“Thanks, Mom, I’d love some.”
“Second thoughts, Joyce, fix me up some hot chocolate as well, if you would?” Spike said. “Haven’t had any of that for blo- for ages. Got any of those little marshmallows?”
“Marshmallows, Spike? Yes, I have. Buffy likes them. Hot chocolate for two, one with marshmallows. Actually I think that I'll have chocolate as well. And marshmallows, why not?”
"Eww, monkey brains!" Dawn said, and she wrinkled up her nose. Mom smiled at her, rolled her eyes at the 'monkey brains' description, and departed for the kitchen. Dawn was left alone with the vampire. Well, not that alone, it wasn’t like Mom was all that far off, but she wouldn’t be able to hear if Dawn spoke quietly.
“It’s Buffy, isn’t it?”
Spike rocked back in his chair. His eyes went totally huge and round. “What? Dunno what you’re talking about.”
“It totally is Buffy that you’ve fallen in love with. I can tell. I mean, who else would it be?” Dawn grinned wickedly.
“Shush, kid,” Spike said. His eyes flickered towards the kitchen. “It’s some completely different bird who you’ve never met and wouldn’t know.”
“As if I’d believe that.” Dawn rolled her eyes. “You love Buffy. You might as well admit it.”
Spike held up his hands with the fingers spread wide. “Oh, bollocks. Got me there. But you be quiet about it, bite-size. Don’t want your mum to know. Don’t think she’d be all that keen on me as a prospective son-in-law.”
“You want to marry Buffy. You want to marry Buffy,” Dawn teased. “I so have to tell her.” She giggled at Spike’s panic-stricken expression.
“No, please, don’t say anything,” Spike pleaded. He bit his lip. “Bet you’re too old to be bribed with lollipops, but I could maybe come up with something.”
“Okay, I’ll keep quiet,” Dawn said, relenting. She was pleased by his comment about her being too old for bribery with sweets. Angel, on the few occasions when he had deigned to notice her at all during the time that he was skulking around as Buffy’s secret boyfriend, had seemed to regard her as being about four. Spike’s attitude was a big improvement over that. She was a little surprised that he hadn’t threatened to bite her; although that wouldn’t have gone down well with Mom or Buffy, so maybe it wasn’t all that surprising after all. And she totally wouldn’t have believed that he meant it. “But you totally owe me, okay?”
“Okay,” Spike agreed. “Owe you one, pint-size.”
Mom emerged from the kitchen with three mugs of hot chocolate on a tray.
“You could help me with my homework,” Dawn suggested, as her mother was distributing the mugs. “I mean, you’re hundreds of years old, right? So you know all about old things like George Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt and Elvis and stuff.”
“Washington was a bit before my time, bite-size,” Spike told her. “Became a vampire in 1880. The year Garfield got elected President.”
“A cartoon cat was President?”
Spike sniggered and Dawn grinned back at him.
Mom did an eye-roll of her own. “You know better than that, Dawn.”
“Yeah, I know,” she admitted. “Garfield got shot, right?”
“Yeah, John and Odie were blo- very upset,” Spike said. “Leastways until John realized it was another chance to see that smart bird at the vets.”
Dawn burst out laughing and her mother laughed too.
“Oh, Spike,” Mom said, with a smile on her face, and she shook her head. “I don’t think you need any tips from me at all. Just be yourself. Well, don’t eat people, of course, but other than that I think your own personality will get you everything that you want.”
“You watch cartoons and read comic books? Really?” Dawn asked. “Even though you’re a vampire?”
“Yeah, ‘course I do,” Spike told her. “What, you thought I spend my time lurking in the dark doing the whole ‘I vant to drink your blood’ thing and sod all else? Nah. Like the telly, the flicks, rock music, y’know, and I like to read.”
A crease appeared between Mom’s eyebrows. “It’s hard to believe that you’re a vampire. Tell me, does this girl know that you’re a vampire? I wouldn’t recommend trying to keep it from her. Honesty is very important in a relationship. It would be bound to come out eventually and if you’d kept it from her it really would be a significant blow.”
Dawn fought very hard to keep her face straight.
“Oh, she knows,” Spike said. “She’s not happy about it, but she knows. Never tried to pretend otherwise. Not after the first couple of minutes anyway.”
“That’s good. Uh, talking of good, you’re such a human vampire, if you don’t mind me saying so. Do you have to be evil?”
Spike took a drink of his hot chocolate before replying. “Well, there isn’t any Sauron Lord of Darkness doing performance assessments, on me and saying ‘Spike, you haven’t been very evil this month, bad – well, not bad enough – boy, it’s a spell in the pits getting a pitchforking for you, mate’ or anything like that. Haven’t really got to be evil, not as such. Just, I drink human blood. Pretty much makes me evil in itself, dunnit?”
“You did say you were going to stop drinking blood,” Mom reminded him.
“Can’t just stop,” Spike pointed out. “No more than you could just stop eating. Promised to stop eating people, is all. Can buy blood at Willy’s place, I s’ppose. Maybe I could see if I can get hold of it from the hospital or whatever. S’ppose it gets past its use-by date, or whatever, and has to get thrown out. Could maybe fix something up so it gets thrown in my direction. Angel must have managed it somehow. Unless he was eating people on the sly, muggers or whatever? Nah, got to give the git credit, while he had his soul he was playing things straight. Apart from that bloke on the sub and that wasn’t his fault.”
“Sub? Submarine?” Dawn asked.
“Long story,” Spike said.
Mom’s forehead wrinkled again. “I’d rather not talk about Angel. So you could stop being evil if you could find an alternative way of supplying yourself with blood? That’s one of the barriers to the relationship overcome at a stroke.”
“Dunno about stopping being evil,” Spike said, “but I could stop doing evil. Whether that’d make me good or not, well, beats me. Might have a bit of a problem stopping nicking things, though. Can’t exactly get a proper job. Dead, no Green Card, nobody’d believe I’ve got a degree what with it being dated the year the Indians got Custer, can’t work outdoors in the daytime without turning to dust. Pretty much got to nick stuff to survive. And I like fighting. Dunno if I could stop altogether even for the S– human girl.”
“Degree?” Mom probed. Dawn had spotted Spike’s narrow escape from revealing that Buffy was the human girl in question but Mom didn’t seem to have noticed.
Spike hid behind the hot chocolate mug for a moment. “Hadn’t meant to mention that. Yeah, I had one once. Like I said, not exactly relevant any more.”
“You could be a boxer,” Dawn suggested. “I mean, you’re all strong and good at fighting and stuff, and they always have boxing matches at night, don’t they?”
Spike’s eyebrows climbed. Dawn noticed for the first time that a scar ran through one of them. “Not a bad idea, snack-size. Dunno about actual professional boxing, there’s all sorts of licenses and medicals and things, but there might be something going along those lines. Have to look into that.”
“In the short term,” Mom suggested, “I might be able to come up with something. We get some rather heavy things in the gallery sometimes and moving them can be a problem. I don’t like to bother Buffy, she has a lot to do between homework and Slaying, but it might be useful to be able to call on that vampire strength of yours sometimes and I could come up with some petty cash to pay you without too much creative accountancy. It wouldn’t be much but it might keep you going until you can find something better.”
Spike smiled at her. He did have a really nice smile, Dawn thought. “That’s decent of you, Joyce. I-”
At that moment there was an interruption. The door was thrown open to reveal Angel on the doorstep. He threw himself towards the room, hit an invisible barrier, and bounced off. He stood in the doorway, filling the frame, and growling.
Mom jumped up. She dropped her cup; Spike snatched it out of the air and set it down before any of the chocolate spilled. “Oh my God!” Mom cried. “Angel! Get out of here!”
Dawn ran to shelter behind Spike. “Get out get out get out!” she yelled.
“Don’t worry, poppet, he can’t get in,” Spike assured her. “Not invited.”
“You get away or I will stake you myself,” Mom threatened Angel.
“Spike,” Angel growled. “Joyce, you can’t trust him. Invite me in and I’ll deal with him.”
“I don’t trust you” Mom replied. “Get away right this minute.”
“Hi, Mom, I’m-” Buffy called, entering through the back door. “Spike! Mom, Dawn, get away from him!”
“He’s not the problem,” Mom began.
Buffy didn’t take any notice. She flung herself forward, caught Spike under the chin with her arm in a flying clothesline, and knocked him from the couch. She jumped on top of him, pinning his arms with her knees, and reached inside her woolen jacket for a stake.
“Buffy, no!” Dawn shouted.
“Buffy!” Mom added her voice to Dawn’s.
Buffy frowned and withdrew her hand empty of stakes. Dawn relaxed. Buffy turned her head towards the door. “I’m out of stakes. Angel, come in, and pass me a stake, ‘kay?”
Angel stepped in through the doorway. He threw a stake to Buffy and she snatched it out of the air. She turned back to Spike and brought the stake down.
Dawn covered her eyes and screamed.
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.