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Love Potion #9 Part 2 - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Love Potion #9 Part 2

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

Part 2

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.

Continued in PART THREE

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.

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41 comments or speak 2 me
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From: redwulf50 Date: April 30th, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Excellent Chapter

Love the way you set this up. Completely believable, totaly enthralling. Looking foward to more.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Excellent Chapter

Thank you! I could take until July to finish it according to the conditions of the community but I think that probably I'll have it completed within the next week or so.
gillo From: gillo Date: April 30th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Evil cliffhangerman!

This is working really well.I love Spike's exploration of whether he has to be evil or not, especially the Sauron reference.

The Dawn POV works well, though there are lines when you use "Mom" perhaps a little often. Tricky, I know.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I've gone back and changed 'Mom' into 'she' or 'her mother' in a couple of places. I wanted to avoid calling her 'Joyce' in any of the narrative, because that's not how Dawn thinks of her, and perhaps I did overdo 'Mom'.

There will be a different POV in the next chapter.
priscellie From: priscellie Date: April 30th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee, what a fun concept! I eagerly await the next chapter; this story is a delight!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I'm off work this week and I intend to post a chapter of something every day; there will be at least one more chapter of this included in those postings.
appomattoxco From: appomattoxco Date: April 30th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meep! Evil cliffhanger, wonderful chapter.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
adriana_is From: adriana_is Date: April 30th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Dude!! Whassup with the evil cliffhanger thingie??? Harsh, very harsh. :))

Looking forward to your next chappie.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
But I like Evil Cliffhangers!

Thank you!
quinara From: quinara Date: April 30th, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lots and lots of fun. :D
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
alwaysjbj From: alwaysjbj Date: April 30th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fabulous interaction between the three of them. One small thing (and only if you are concerned with canon) Dawn doesn't like marshmallows... when she was little Buffy had told her they were monkey brains... although I believe Buffy does like them so that would still give a reason for them to be there.

I see that Buffy and Angel are at their usual clueless best.

Really enjoying this and looking forward to the next chap.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 30th, 2006 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I'd completely forgotten about the 'monkey brains' exchange with Ben in Blood Ties; thanks for reminding me. I've amended the text accordingly.
debxena From: debxena Date: May 1st, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Nooooooo! Don't stake Spike ... or leave us waiting days until we find out how he didn't get staked :)

Enjoying having Dawn present. Interesting stuff.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

The cliffhanger's a little bit of a waste of time, really; I've specified that it's a Spuffy story, there hasn't been any yet, and so he can't get staked at this point.
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: May 1st, 2006 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
This is such a fun story! Between this one and your wonderful Xander epic you are seriously in a writing groove.

I'm enjoying this re-told season 3 immensely! Spuffy fan though I am I like Spike best when he has relationships other than Buffy-- he needs ties to the world IMO.

Very interested in your moral/ philospohical view of Spike; the whole "I'm evil, but I don't have to do evil things" is a take I haven't often seen, and one which makes good sense. Soulless Spike may indeed be evil; but his behavior is always a choice. Nicely done!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always been intrigued by the different rules governing Good and Evil. I think that we are defined by the choices that we make.

The potion of the title is based on a magical potion from the AD&D game as in 'Tabula Avatar'; a Potion of Clarity. It grants the power to see things with absolute clarity and thus grants the drinker Wisdom. So you will make wise choices; and Evil choices can never be wise, for although they may profit you in the short term you'll always suffer for them in the long term.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: May 1st, 2006 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
This ought to be interesting - plastic stake?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I wouldn't do that. It wouldn't make sense for Angel to be carrying around a plastic stake.
From: hezzabeth Date: May 1st, 2006 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
You know she can't really stake him; it's a Spuffy story and there hasn't been any yet.
From: averageshmoe Date: May 1st, 2006 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Since I read the tag that said Spuffy I'm not going to comment on the 'evil cliffhanger' besides saying that it is a very good evil cliffhanger.

What I'm far more interested in is reading your pre-teen Dawn. Most fics that have her in pre-season five stories seem to transplant her, shrill voice and attitude, into the setting and take a couple of inches off her height. Yours seems to be considerably more centered, not self-centered but rather quiet enough to be not only observant but also calm enough to know when to keep her big mouth shut.

I'm torn between believing that Joyce also picked up on Spike's little slip up about the identity of his new love and my memories of just how much went on around her during seasons one and two that she didn't pick up on. It's an argument that can go either way.

Ever thought about doing a story where Spike does everything he can to get Buffy and Angel together in a season three setting? Not out of any spirit of generosity, oh heavens no. Just in the firm belief that getting those two together would be the closest thing to a hellish existence without actually opening up the Hellmouth.

Sort of a 'Married with Vampires' thing.

Don't take any of that too seriously. It's late and I'm tired.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

I'm being guided in writing Dawn at 12 by memories of Katherine at 12.

The idea of writing a story in which Spike matchmakes for Buffy and Angel, even maliciously, has never occurred to me. Angel belongs with Nina (except when I'm feeling spiteful and pair him with Harmony).
drakontaskyria From: drakontaskyria Date: May 1st, 2006 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Oooh! Another lovely chapter. Fun with Mom, Lil' Sis and Spike. Since you said this is Spuffy, I'll forgive you leaving us hanging with the evil 'Buffy is about to stake Spike' cliffhanger. I shall, instead, concentrate on the fact that she's with 'the straddling' again. *g*

Nice work!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 1st, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ladypeyton From: ladypeyton Date: May 1st, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
lilred26x From: lilred26x Date: May 1st, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another update so soon. Very nice! From your comments in chapter one I thought you might not get the next part done so quickly. And now you're saying we should expect another chapter this week sometime. Certainly can't complain about that! ;)

I'm really enjoying this story. I was never a big fan of Dawn's on the show as she always seemed so whiny, but I have enjoyed her in some fanfic, this one included. I like the idea of including her in a season 3 fic. A very nice twist. And I know it won't happen, but a part of me thought, well now if Buffy stakes him, it would be an amusing and unexpected ending. Spike's plans really do always go wrong don't they! But, being a spuffy fan at heart, I don't really want that to happen of course. A very nice update!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: May 2nd, 2006 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! The next update is up now.

I can't claim originality for the idea of putting Dawn into an S3 fic; 'Insert Dawn Here' is a recognised genre of BtVS fanfic and at least one person has systematically gone through whole early seasons rewriting every episode on the basis of Dawn being there. Hopefully I'm putting an original spin on it.
41 comments or speak 2 me
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