Timeline: Season 2 (After Passions) and later in season 7
Spoilers: AU from Beneath You (7.2). In this universe, Buffy takes Spike home
Disclaimer: All ME
Love me tender (13)
They had been just fine, in bed, holding each other, but then that had always worked. That he totally did it for Buffy, and vice versa, well, check! But every other conversation or encounter these past weeks and months had ended in frustrated silence or outright fighting, and that was really worrying him. They were so different. Slaying and shagging together was magic, but talk? Doing ordinary things with Buffy? He’d yet to see that work out.
He really couldn’t stand himself like this. He didn’t think that Buffy could, either. Waffling and fluttering like an old maid, or one of these ridiculous watcher blokes. Pull yourself together mate, he chided himself. No such thing as hundred percent certainty in life. You’ve gotta try! He stood up, squared his shoulders and walked on to number 1630. The house was dark, save for Buffy’s bedroom window. Should he climb in? Would she think that was romantic? She’d claimed not to be.
Spike ground his teeth in frustration. This wasn’t going anywhere. He knew he should just breeze in, kiss her until she squealed and make love to her all night long. But he’d promised himself there would be no lies, and asked the same of her. She would just have to deal with his doubts. He went in.
Buffy was lying in bed, waiting for her lover. That thought had a wonderful ring to it. Her beautiful demon lover, now complete with brand new soul, would come in, sweep her off her feet and make love to her all night long. She was lying here, in a freshly made up bed, showered and scented, in her most seductive silk nightie, ready for him. Shouldn’t he have been here already?
This was gonna be something. Better than last night, which’d had too much fear and mud and stink mixed in with the wonderfulness. She stretched her toes and fingers like a cat when she thought of the look on Spike’s face when it had finally penetrated she meant it (and the embarrassing crying had passed). That was the Spike she wanted, happy adoring Spike, who couldn’t believe his luck. She started flashing on other moments when she’d seen that look. When he’d seen her return from the dead, or in the derelict house, their first time …Buffy twisted under the covers. Why wasn’t he coming yet? She was totally ready for him!
She heard the door open and slow steps come up the stairs. Her heart sank, and a dismal choking feeling squeezed her lungs. Somehow, this did not sound like happy Spike bounding in. He entered her room slowly, again hovering in the door like last night. His entrance brought in a smell of cool night air mixed with motor oil. He just stood there staring at her with his eyes dark blue, saying nothing.
Buffy finally broke the silence.
“Well, come in, Spike! What are you waiting for?” She winced. That had come out a little less welcoming than she intended. She patted the bed, and tried to smile encouragingly. It felt a little strained and anxious though.
Spike dropped his bag and sat down heavily on the bed. He looked tired and his shoulders slumped. Buffy felt her own posture sag in response to his. This was clearly not going to be happy sex-fest but a Talk. She hated Talks. She never managed to say what she meant in the right way, so usually she made things worse. And with Spike, so far, she had always made things very much worse…
She scooted up to him and put her arms around him. Maybe an armful of warm girlfriend-flesh would make him feel better. Spike sighed deeply and put his forehead against hers.
“Buffy,” he started hesitantly, “You sure this is wise? Is this gonna work at all? It’s all been so bloody sudden…”
She jerked away from him “What? You changed your mind? You fall out of love with me today or what!?”
“Buffy, no…” He made a helpless gesture. His humble dejected air annoyed her no end.
“What’s with the hangdog look? You just radiate misery! After this morning, I didn’t expect you to come in here like this! You were happy! I was happy! And now this!”
“Yeah, well, maybe that’s because I’m an actual bleeding person, with my own feelings and motivations, and not some sex-robot who acts exactly like you sodding want it to!” His tone was getting louder, and that irritated her even more.
“You act like a bad copy of yourself! You used to be the kind of guy who used to go down fighting!”
“This is going sodding down, then?” Spike sprang up and started shouting, goaded into anger.
“No, I meant, where’s the bounce and the snark?
“You bloody well kicked them out of me, Buffy! I know you preferred the original version, you made that crystal clear, but you tormented him and beat him up and told him a thousand times he was evil and unclean until he believed it. You changed that Spike, Buffy, and I am the result of that change! And you’ll bloody well have to live with it!”
To his utter shock he discovered he was standing close to her with his hand raised. He thought he’d never ever be able to hurt her again, and here he’d been about to hit her, in the first trivial squabble that came along!
“No I don’t!” was on Buffy’s lips, but she managed to hold the fatal words in. She bit her lip and looked away from him. How had they progressed this far into a fight in so short a time? And what were they fighting about? She looked up, and saw him standing by the door, ready to leave.
“Spike,” she said, trying to sound reasonable, “where are you going?”
“Buffy, I almost hit you,” he said raggedly. I’m not fit to be around you, I’ll hurt you again.”
“Yeah, so what? We’re a couple, couples fight, no big.” There was a tremor in her voice.
“I doubt we’re a couple, Buffy.” His voice was hoarse. “There are so bloody many issues still between us. And living together is maybe a little premature.”
“No, it isn’t!” Buffy said firmly. She climbed off the bed and took a few purposeful steps towards him. “Spike, with our schedules, we never see each other. If we don’t live in the same house, and sleep in the same bed, there’s gonna be nothing good to balance all the bad memories. I wanna make new ones. I know we have to talk about stuff, the awful soul-searching stuff, only not now.”
Spike looked up, surprised at the certainty in her words. Buffy grabbed his arms and drew him towards the bed.
“Buffy, we just had a bloody awful fight. You can’t expect me to sleep here?”
“Yes! You live here now, remember? My mom told me never to let the sun go down on my wrath, so we’re gonna make up and sleep together!”
Spike sat down again, not as close as he had before, and ran his hand through his hair. He felt confused. Buffy was giving off so many mixed messages, the only ones coming through loud and clear were ‘you live here’ and ‘sleep in my bed’.
“Spike, I’ll say again, we’re together. People fight. That doesn’t mean you leave the house after every little misunderstanding!”
Buffy knelt down at his feet and started to undo his boots. Spike stared at her, bemused by her actions. A hitherto hidden aspect of Buffy’s personality? Maybe Willow was right, and she had needed a little infusion of the touchy-feely. This was not something he’d ever imagined his stern warrior doing.
“Come on, we’ll get you out of your clothes and in bed. You look tired, you need to sleep!”
Spike looked at Buffy’s pretty nightgown. “Not what you had in mind for tonight, huh?”
She pushed him hard, so that he toppled over on the bed. “Stop already with the self-flagellation, no more of it. You will sleep like a baby tonight, surrounded by five feet two inches of warm Buffy-therapy.”
Once Spike was undressed, he started to tug at Buffy flimsy nightdress. “Off with it, sweetheart. I want to feel your skin.” Buffy smiled happily. The resilient lover was returning. They crawled under the covers, and Spike nestled his head against Buffy’s soft silky breasts. She started gently teasing his curls out of their gelled rigidity, mindlessly stroking his hair and even scratching him behind his ears like a dog.
“Should I wag my tail, love?” Spike asked lazily.
“There’s no bad in that…”
Buffy had been right. Now that he lay in her arms, surrounded by the smells of her skin and hair, he could hardly remember what obstacles he had been agonizing about mere moments ago. All anxiety just seemed to drain away into nothingness.
Next day they went to pick up Spike’ stuff from Xander’s in Joyce’s SUV. Spike drove. Xander wasn’t in, and they quickly packed Spike’s few possessions. When Xander walked in, Spike was standing by the television, sorting DVD’s.
“Hey Spike, not working yet?”
“Just packing my things, Xander, I’m moving out.”
Xander’s mobile face showed surprise. “You found a place?”
Just then, Buffy’s voice called out from Spike’s room: “Spike, are the sheets yours or Xander’s?”
Xander’s eyes bulged and his mouth gaped like a fish. Spike had not expected this amount of shock. Most of the other Scoobies had twigged to him and Buffy ages ago, apparently, and it rather surprised him that Xander hadn’t. Yay to the great force of denial.
Buffy came in, carrying a box full of stuff. “Hi Xander,” she said brightly, but Spike easily detected the underlying brittleness.
Xander was regrouping. “So, Buffster, taking him off my hands again? Does he prefer the basement?”
Buffy went up to Spike and cleared her throat. “Spike’s not gonna live in the basement, Xander. He’s gonna live with me, like in we’re together.”
Xander took in the tableau, Buffy standing close to Spike, holding his hand.
“Oh no! This can’t be true! Please tell me it’s not true!” Xander begged.
“Sorry Xander. Well, no, I’m not sorry.” Buffy lifted her chin and faced Xander determinedly.
“Buffy, I don’t get it. Why would you tie yourself to a demon? A vampire? Never go out in the sunlight, kids, a life?”
“I was never going to get that anyway. Slaying is my life, Xander; it’s time I got used to that. Can you even imagine how lonely that is? Spike will be there for me, slay with me. He understands what it’s like.”
“Yeah, don’t mention the whole sex with vampires part, it might gross Xander out! You bet it does! How can you? After what he did to you!”
“Xander, that is for me to decide. You’re not the judge of me.”
Xander backed up a step and took a deep breath. He lifted his hands. “Buffy, I don’t know how to say this—“
Spike felt Buffy tense up.
“—but I guess it’s your call.” He seemed deflated. “Congratulations, Spike. You got the girl.” He moved to the kitchenette with heavy tread and opened the door of the refrigerator. “Beer, anyone?”
Spike nudged Buffy to indicate that she should accept. She guessed she shouldn’t spoil Xander’s gesture.
“Sure, I’d love a beer!” she said.
After a few beers, Xander helped them get Spike’s stuff to the car. At the last moment, Xander snatched the cowboy hat from the stand and put it on top of the box Spike was carrying.
“Why did Giles give you a white hat?” Buffy asked curiously. She tried it on, but it was far too big.
“Pretty straightforward symbolism, Buff!” Spike said. “I changed the color of my hat, in Western terms.”
“Aha!” Enlightened. “Thanks, Xander, see you tomorrow!” She lifted her chin to him because she was too burdened to wave.
“Live long and prosper!” Spike said.
Xander’s hand shot automatically out in the Vulcan salute, but under Buffy’s amused gaze, he changed it in mid-gesture to a quick run through his hair.
“So happy to know just what you guys were up to together,” Buffy said with a wink. Spike’s grin seemed to remain hanging in the hallway after he had left, like the Cheshire Cat’s.
Buffy checked herself in the mirror for the last time. Check! She drank some water from the tap. She took another last look in the mirror. Hair still good. She walked up and down the bathroom a few times, shaking her arms and hands loose, rotating her neck and shoulders. Hose: no ladders. Cleavage: discreet but inviting. Was the hair really okay? Not too contrived?
This was so hard. She didn’t think she’d ever been more scared in her life. She sat down on the rim of the bath. A momentary queasiness in her stomach needed a few minutes to settle down. Another look in the mirror. O God. This screamed ‘glammed up’. She ran into her bedroom, changed into old jeans and a sweatshirt and put her hair up in a ponytail. That lipstick was far too red. She took it off and replaced it with gloss. Her hands were like ice.
She closed her eyes and counted to ten. No more putting off. The decision was made. She went down the stairs slowly and walked towards the sound of voices. The whole gang was assembled round the dinner table, which was completely obscured by stacks of books and Willow’s notebook and its various cables. Nobody looked up when she came in. She sauntered round the table. Very, very casually she put her hands on Spike’s shoulders. She leaned forwards, into him, as if to see what he was reading and said:
“Hi guys, any progress?”
“Hello Buffy, no news yet,“ Giles said distractedly.
Nobody noticed, or anyway, nobody reacted. Buffy felt deflated. She started to knead Spike’s shoulders. No reaction, not even from Spike, who surely might have showed his appreciation of the huge step she was taking. She grew bolder, put her arms around Spike and started nibbling his ear. He twisted his head away from her lips.
Xander glanced up. “Leave the man alone, Buff,“ he chided her good-naturedly. “We’ve got a lot of work to do tonight.”
Spike patted his leg, without looking up, indicating that she might sit there. Buffy sat down on his left leg, and his arm snaked around her securely. She received a short sweet nibble in her neck, and then felt his attention return to his book. Was she going insane? No, everybody else must be! Here was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sitting on the lap of her vampire, in public, for the very first time, and nobody even deigned to notice?
She tried a book, but although everything else in her life might have changed, her ability to concentrate on arcane texts hadn’t improved, and she started to fidget.
“Buffy, sit still, “Spike growled into her hair. The vibrations of his deep voice set off a pleasant thrill down her neck, and she shivered slightly. She put her arm around his shoulders and started to play with the soft curls at his nape.
Spike stood up abruptly, steadying her when she almost fell down.
“We’re going for pizza,” he announced. “State your preferences, ladies and gents.”
He took her by the hand and pulled her out the front door very fast, stopping only to haul her behind the big tree that had seen so much.
Spike pushed her against the tree and proceeded to kiss her thoroughly, leaving her gasping for breath. Buffy pushed him away from her slightly, and complained into his T-shirt: “Nobody noticed! I was so scared, and nobody even saw what I did!”
Spike laughed happily, a sound so unusual she looked up in wonder. “They noticed alright, never fear! Their breath hitched, their toes curled, their goolies shrank to the size of raisins! They just didn’t want *you* to see their reaction, is all. And I don’t think Giles or Willow were surprised.”
“Hm. Xander knew, too.”
“Yeah, so who were you trying to shock? All this fear and clammy hands were for whom exactly?” He started nibbling the sensitive skin behind her ears.
“You, I guess.” She looked down on his curly head ruefully. “I thought you’d be really surprised, and pleased, and happy.”
“I am. What did you expect? You wanted me to ravish you right then and there?” He sucked her neck hard, making her tingle from lust.
“Well, yeah, a little ravishing would have been nice,” she said breathlessly.
“You have but to ask, my lady.” He tore at her sweatshirt, managing only to rip it slightly at the neck.
‘’Tough old thing, not like you usually wear,’‘ he muttered. Buffy giggled.
The front door opened. “Hey!” Dawn yelled. “No macking! We’re hungry!”
They froze for a moment, but minutes later they still stood there mindlessly rubbing and pushing their bodies together, Spike leaning against the tree and Buffy on tiptoe against him.
“Spike…” she breathed. “Come on, not here. We gotta do better than this tree. Reminds me of the past”.
“Some of my favorite memories are in the past, love. Like making you scream the first time.”
A visceral memory rose up in Buffy and made her womb quake. ”Aahh.”
Spike caught her even closer against him and rumbled in her neck. “Yeah. That good.”
Buffy tried to tug him towards the street. “One word: pizza.”
His hand moved enticingly around in her jeans, causing a catch in her breath and a quiver in her thighs. “One word: cell phone,” he said, holding it up. “We can stay here, release some tension, and intercept the pizza-boy when he gets here…”
"Your pizza-delivery has arrived!" Buffy announced. To her surprise, the big table in the dining room was empty of the books and computer stuff it had been covered with when they left.
Giles eyed the stack of pizza boxes Spike was carrying. "Beware of vampires, even if they come bearing gifts…" he murmured. Willow and Spike grinned appreciatively. The others, recognizing a reference that went straight past them, rolled their eyes collectively.
"The geek-o-meter is beeping loudly, eh Buffy?" Xander said.
"Yeah, the team seems about evenly divided between brains and brawn!" Buffy answered.
"Some of us are more well-rounded and have both!” Giles retorted huffily.
"Yeah, like Spike!" Buffy squeezed a well-rounded bit of brawn appreciatively.
The bell rang, and Buffy opened the door to Anya. She started to babble nervously as she followed Buffy into the dining room. “I ran into Giles, completely by accident, and he invited me to come.”
“Sure,” Buffy said with a shrug, “You’re part of the team, right? Besides, you know a lot about these Justice Demons, we need you.”
Anya patted her hair, smiled at everyone and maneuvered herself next to Giles. “So, what have you got?”
Giles handed her the amulet. She studied it curiously. “Yes, that does look like a Justice Demon amulet. Maybe I’ve even seen it before, a long long time ago. But it’s cracked, which means its owner is dead, and so we can’t call her up to undo the wish.”
“But Anya, you said I couldn’t have killed it!” Buffy protested.
“Something did,” Anya said, indifferently.
"Buffy and Spike, this confirms the conclusions we formed while you were away. Willow and I think that the change in your aura is something you will have to accept, and learn to work with. Even if it was meant as a threat to your functioning, so be it. The deeper emotions and the appearance of a stronger Slayer Spirit can be diverted in a positive way in your work, I’m sure."
Buffy slapped her hand on the table. “Unacceptable! I want it stopped.” All eyes turned to her. “Don’t look at me like that! I’m the victim here!”
“Welcome back, Buff!” Xander said. “You’ve been a little distracted all evening, what with the happiness, and the…thing Willow won’t let me talk about…and the getting of pizza …”
“Buffy, what exactly do you want stopped? I see no adverse affects of whatever happened at all?” Willow said curiously.
"No? But you've all heard what happened two nights ago! I can't risk that again!"
"What do you think the risks are, then, Buffy?"
Buffy had to think for a moment. “The time travel has got to stop. I wanna be here and nowhere else.”
The naked, tender look Spike directed at her made her squirm in embarrassment, and she lost the thread of her words. Xander and Giles exchanged identical revolted glances.
“And the whole Slayer Spirit smelly stuff is just way too squicky to live with.”
"Duh! Me acting like fly paper to whatever vampires come near me, or me accidentally staking Spike when I'm not in my right mind!"
From the looks on their faces, she guessed Giles had put it less baldly when explaining it to them.
"I guess both options would be less than… optimal," Willow conceded with a grimace.” However, what we mean, Buffy, is that the trance is something you should learn to control. You wouldn’t have to be afraid of changing in to the First Slayer or traveling through time."
"You think it’s the same thing?"
"Probably the same mechanism; you open up to a spirit from another time: one is the Slayer Spirit, that is present in every slayer; the other your own spirit from 1997." Willow said it as if it was self-evident.
"Oh. So how am I gonna control them both? "
“There must be some kind of access point in your psyche where you contact them. Best sever the link with your former self; she has had a positive effect on you, but I don’t think you need her anymore.” Giles spoke with the same assurance Willow had displayed.
"Are you sure it's positive? Shouldn't we reverse the effects? The intention may have been to harm her?" Spike said, looking concerned.
"You really want last year's Buffy back? Depressed, distanced from everyone, unhappy?” Giles asked, frowning.
No, obviously, he bloody well didn’t want that. He was too ridiculously happy right now.
The preparations for the trance began. Willow and Giles apparently had it all thought out. Chains played a large role in it; he and Buffy were going to be tied up, to prevent what Giles euphemistically called the ‘Slayer Effect’. Not his favorite way to use chains, but if putting on a performance in front of the Scoobies could be avoided, not a high price to pay.
“Okay, Buffy, it goes like this.” Willow explained. “You sit there, do your relaxation stuff, same as Giles taught you, and then try to call the Slayer Spirit. It doesn’t really matter what words you use, but you have to remember them and use the same ones every time.”
“How about ‘Rise, ancient slayer spirit, and obey my will?’” Dawn suggested.
“Pretty dramatic – but why not? Don’t forget: you’ll need ‘Be gone’ as well!” Giles reminded Buffy.
Buffy closed her eyes and started her breathing exercises. The chains were a little uncomfortable, but she managed to block their presence them out easily. All those hours of practicing with Giles were being put to good use after all. She used an image of descending stairs to reach a deeper level of trance. This time her mind showed her the downstairs of Spike’s crypt, as it had been before she destroyed it, instead of their own basement. Through the trance, she felt slight amusement at the tricks of her own subconscious, as if she didn’t know what it meant.
She lay down on Spike’s bed, envisaged a hole forming in the wall, and used Dawn’s silly words to summon to the Ancient Slayer. At first, nothing happened. Then she was hit by something slamming in to her at great speed, and then she was running after it, and it was too fast for her to catch.
To the Scoobies who sat anxiously watching Buffy breathe deeply, the change was immediately apparent. Buffy tensed up, hunching over a little in the chains. Her chin went down, her eyes opened and then narrowed, and her lips split in a feral grin. Her head swiveled like an automaton in Spike’s direction, even before her eyes were fully open. A low growl escaped her and her nostrils flared. She bucked at the chains, and only then seemed to notice the others in the room. She didn’t seem to understand, and couldn’t or wouldn’t speak. For some time, she kept trashing and wrenching at the chains fruitlessly. Then she stilled, somehow ominously. She kept her chin low and glared at Spike from under her brows, which seemed heavier than Buffy’s.
Spike made a strangled sound. The ordinary humans in the room turned their heads to him. His eyes had rolled up in his head, and he was straining at the chains just like the Slayer, bucking his hips in her direction. His teeth were bared, and the tendons in his neck stood out like ropes. He managed to overturn the chair and with tortuous movements of his knees, and jackknifing his body, he inched forward to the threatening form of the Slayer.
“Giles! What do we do! Will the chains hold? Do something!” Xander was panicking. The tension between the two writhing figures was thick enough to cut with a knife, and it was very uncomfortable to watch.
“Yes, yes, hold on, give me moment...” Giles nearly stuttered and with careful movements placed himself in range of the Slayer’s vision, whilst staying out of Spike’s reach.
“Buffy, listen to me!” he then said in a wholly different, commanding voice. ”I know you are in there. Tell her, Be gone! She is part of you and therefore subject to your will! Tell her, Be gone!”
A terrifying sound, half growl half scream issued from the mouth of the Slayer. She threw her head backwards and with a convulsive jerking movement of her body toppled the chair. She hit her head on the floor with a thud. Silence followed.
Spike stopped struggling and crawling forwards and could be heard to say caustically: “Well, people, what are you waiting for? Some help here would be nice!”
Xander went to turn up Spike and his chair. Giles and Willow bent over Buffy. She lay silently looking up at them, a very grim look around her lips.
“Okay, really scared here now. Tell me what you saw?”
They helped her up first. Giles tried to put into words what they had seen of the so-called Slayer-effect.
“What did it feel like, Buffy?”
Buffy described the sensation of running after the Slayer, and being unable to catch up with her until Giles’ voice had sounded.
“Running through you, eh?” Giles said thoughtfully. “I think we can work with that visualization. You will have to imagine restraining her inside your body, not letting her through. If you want to use her ferocity in a fight, you will need her inside, one being with yourself. Temporarily. Let’s try again.”
Buffy looked unhappy, but didn’t protest. “One thing guys, did you smell anything?”
Nobody had. Buffy looked relieved.
Spike raised his eyebrows. “Hell, yeah…Don’t you remember what I did?”
Suddenly Giles clapped his hand to his forehead. “I am such a blithering idiot! Spike will need to learn to control his reactions, too! Otherwise he’ll be no use in a fight alongside Buffy!”
Spike groaned. “You’re right, Rupert. Bollocks. Really not my thing, trances and suchlike.”
Teaching Spike basic trance techniques took some time. After several more tries Buffy was getting reasonably good in restraining the Spirit Slayer, although they still would have to test her in a fight. Spike could just barely control his mindless urge in the Slayer’s direction, and it took all his will and concentration. Fighting while the First Slayer was in residence would have to wait.
Dawn had long since gone to bed, and the others slumped on the couch in various poses of fatigue.
“You know, Spike, if I could stop the smell from starting up we could fight together with the help of the Slayer.”
“Sounds like a bloody brilliant idea, Buffy, starting and stopping that heavenly fragrance at will…” Spike said, and waggled his tongue at her suggestively.
Buffy was too tired to blush. “How can you even think of that, I’m totally beat.” She sagged in her chair, still chained, and yawned hugely.
Abruptly she sat up and called out, her voice sounding not at all tired anymore, ” Hey! Why am I chained up? Let me out, now!”
It took the weary Scoobies longer than usual to catch up.
“Is this young Buffy?” Giles asked, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
“Duh! You used to be quicker on the uptake, Giles! Getting old-agey on me?”
“I suppose so,” Giles admitted with a sigh. He supposed there could be no rest for him just yet. He sat down next to still chained down Buffy from 1998 and explained their suppositions and findings to her.
“I think I understand. Okay. Teach me to stop switching forward in time, now, while I’m still here.”
Giles sagged. “It’s been a really long night for us, Buffy. Could we…?”
When he saw the steely resolve in her eyes, he gave up. He cleared his throat and prepared a long exposition about trances. Spike coughed to get his attention and said: “Go on, Rupert, go stretch your legs and make yourself a nice cuppa. I’ll get her started.”
Giles escaped gratefully. When he returned a little later, refreshed by some fresh air and holding a good strong cup of tea in his hand, Buffy and Spike were deep into breathing exercises. Giles watched in the door opening without announcing his presence. Spike was a relentless taskmaster, and put young Buffy through her paces again and again, until he was satisfied. It was a peculiar sight, because they were both of them still chained up.
“Spike, I’m back. Where are Willow and Xander?”
“Freshening up, raiding the kitchen, that sort of thing. Let’s get on with it, the quicker she gets the hang of this, the sooner I’ll be in bed…” His face changed. “Bugger. It’ll be the cot for me until the real Buffy gets back, innit? Bugger.”
“Hey!“ Buffy said, with some alacrity. “My aim is to please, namely, never to return here! Don’t blame me!”
After several slowly improving attempts at trances they felt Buffy was ready to try out returning to her own time.
“Spike, be ready,” Giles warned. “This might go wrong; the Spirit Slayer could come through. If that happens, let’s see you command her to depart, you’ll be the one close to Buffy most of the time.”
Young Buffy went into trance. Out loud she said: “I’m leaving now for my own time.”
And she did. The moment regular 2003 Buffy returned she wilted visibly. “Giles, I want to be untied now. I slayed five vampires in the past, and I was already really really tired, I can’t take any more tonight.”
“Thank God,” Giles said, “I thought you’d never stop. I’m so glad you’re back. The young you has this incredible amount of bouncy energy, enough to drive a fellow around the bend.”
Spike added. “Not to mention a sister, two friends and a vampire.”
The Scooby gang, no longer able to sustain a late night as well as when they were sixteen, gratefully departed.
Continued in Love me true (14)