This part contains spoilers for First Date
Here we are. Just the two of us
again. Sitting on the couch. Dead silent. Serious. ‘Time to get serious,’
that’s what Giles had said. It’s not fair. Things just got un-serious. I
glanced over at Spike, who was—of course—all serious-looking.
“I, uh…” he rubbed at his neck.
“Did you have a nice time?”
Yes… I think. Why am I not saying
that to him? Because I don’t want to… to say that. Time’s running out. Say
“Well, you know, dates are always
fun when there’s a buncha demons involved.”
He smiled… a small smile. Okay. I think that’s good. Wait,
smile’s gone now.
He faced me, looking me right in
the eyes, “I don’t… like him.”
I nodded, “Well, I don’t think he
likes you either.”
“Take off points for that, love…
pretty unoriginal to dislike me.”
“Hey!” I scooted lower, “Does that
make me a freak?”
His face lit up, and his eyes
wandered over me. Puzzling over me. What? Like that’s so unexpected? Yeah,
so I like you, Spike. So what? He blinked at my internal questions, and the warmer
smile came up… I felt my heart beat rise. A second later he was aware of it,
and immediately looked away and dropped the smile. He shuffled around a bit
before settling further away.
Always going away. Every guy…
every time. I still can’t believe he thought it was a good idea for him to
go. Why do they all think that? ‘Things are rough; I better run!’ Things
would only get harder if he left now. I’m not sure how… or why… but they
would. I need us all together right now. All around me. Why don’t you see
that? God, you see just about everything else.
His fingers gripped his other arm,
“Missed most of the fray tonight.”
“She wasn’t much of a fight,” my
hands clenched each other, “And you’re still kinda recover—”
I sat up, “You just got the chip out, Spike… It’s alright if you—”
“If I what?” he glanced over.
“Fail? If I don’t care? That’s not… it’s empty. If I can’t help… I’m
I shook my head. “It’s not like that.”
“Yes, it is.”
Roll the eyes and tell him he’s
wrong... That always solves it. Tell him he’s wrong… always used to solve
it. But I can’t do it anymore. He’s not wrong. I won’t do it again. So what
do I say instead? My hand was reaching out to him, and my whole body leaned
closer. I don’t know where the words came from.
“Believe me, Spike…” I rested a
hand on his knee, “It’s not.”
“Giles, it’s not like that!”
“I must say your decisions of late
have been all but inspiring.”
“You’re still mad about the chip?”
I followed him outside, “That’s what this is about? You think I’m against you,
“I believe you’re hiding things from me.”
“What? Giles, why would I—”
“I don’t know why, Buffy. Would
you care to tell me?”
He was leaning against the banister, staring at the setting sun. I
sighed at his back. “Look… you left… to make me stronger. You… you made me
like this. You pushed me up here, and now—”
“For God’s sake, Buffy! Do you not
recall what happened while I was away?”
“It’s different now.” I crossed my
arms as he turned around, “I know what I’m doing.”
His glasses were off. “There is
work to be done. We don’t have time for this… this nonsense.” He brushed past
I dropped onto the step. I felt
like I was sixteen again. Taking orders… Giles felt like I was sixteen again.
That’s why he’s acting like this. Looking after all those girls… he’s
forgotten that I’m not a girl. Not some potential… I’m the Slayer. I make the
rules. I’ve been the one doing it for years now… running things.
I hate that I yelled at him. I
hate when I have to get like that… all defensive with Giles. So why can’t I
just tell him? Because he doesn’t believe me…
“You alright, Slayer?”
I hadn’t realized it was dark
already. I could hear him step behind me and the click of the door.
I glanced over at the empty spot
next to me. Sit, Spike. Sit and listen to me… talk to me… help me.
But he didn’t sit. He stood right
behind me, and I could feel his eyes burning through my back. Finally, he
spoke; his words hushed, “Watcher makes a point. Time to get serious, yeah?”
Silence settled before I replied,
“I’ve been serious since I was a teenager.”
He sat now… close… and heaved a sigh. His shoulder touched mine,
and his head turned to watch me. He bit his bottom lip, careful not to speak.
He was waiting for me to say more.
I took a deep breath, “I’ve lived
longer than any Slayer. I’ve made choices… good and bad choices. I’ve… I’ve
Spike shut his eyes.
“And… if that doesn’t mean
anything… I mean, if that’s all that I am… Slayer. Choice. Death. Over and
“’Til it’s over…” his arm was
around me now. He didn’t pull me any closer… just draped the arm around my
back… fingers barely touching my sides.
We sat there a moment before my
thoughts blurted out, “I’m not backing down. No one is backing down.”
Spike’s arm dropped as he slid
away, and we both turned. Dawn stood in the doorway.
Spike stood outside, looking
stunned, “Just us? I thought Giles was—”
“Giles is busy with the books and
the potentials. Anya filled me in on where we’re going.”
He walked alongside me, “And, where
are we going?”
“Anya talked to a demon the other night. He told her The First was
preparing to start a ritual in the school basement.”
“We’re going there… tonight? Just
the two of us?”
“Apparently you’re the only one that’s worried.”
He pulled me to a stop, “Buffy, we don’t know what’s down there.”
“Spike, we were just down there last night!”
“We’re just gonna barge in on The
First’s ritual and kill us some Bringers?”
“We’re gonna kill us all the Bringers
“Alone? What about the witch?
Something she can—”
“She’s afraid to use her powers
against The First. Look, Spike, it’s just us. We have to do this.”
He sighed, following me again.
What’s he so worried about?
“What about the principal? Gonna meet us there? Let us in?”
A scowl, “Gonna bloody die.”
This time, I pulled him to a stop, “Don’t talk like that.”
He frowned. God, he really is worried. “I just can’t… can’t get
goin‘ like I used to, pet.”
Can’t get going? Spike, please.
You can take out a group of Bringers with me. Don’t be ridiculous. I pulled
on his arm, but he crossed them, stopping me again.
“Let’s go get the Watcher, then
we’ll head down.”
“I told you he’s busy!”
Spike stiffened. I tightened my
grip, but he didn’t budge.
“Fine.” I pushed him. He stumbled
back. “I’ll do it myself.”
I turned my back on him then,
heading for the school. Don’t look back. You know he’ll follow. He always
follows. It wasn’t until I stepped on the school’s lawn that I realized he
Continued in Part 13