Buffy Summers' Diary: The Return of Riley
Sequel to Buffy Summers' Diary
Note: Based upon the Bridget Jones Diary
Disclaimer: All things belong to Joss and Helen Fielding (and a little bit to John Donne).
Summary: Riley comes back for Hostile 17. Buffy's written in voice of Bridget Jones.
Calories 3000 (why does Willow insist on baking? Why?). Lottery
Ticket 1. Boyfriend Equivalent Kidnapped by Ex-Boyfriend and New Wife
V. confusing and ultimately horrifying day. Am currently on fifth
chocolate-chip-macadamia-nut treat and feel no better. Must try to
put thoughts in order and stop relying on chocolate to solve personal
Had worked day shift at DP, brought lottery ticket as investment
tool, and done quick patrol after dark. (Dawn is staying with Tara,
whom she prefers. Everyone prefers Tara, even me.) In Spike's
cemetery found no Spike--yes, of course swung by crypt, am woman in
thrall to Vampire Sex-god except for actual thrall. However, did
stumble, quite literally, across enormous dragony demon. Dragony
creature slithered off after I bruised its tail with my new boots,
destroying several trees in its wake. Demons have no respect for our
balanced eco-system or my fashion footwear, am convinced.
Would have called upon Xander and Anya for consultation and research
but their pre-wedding frenzy far more frightening than dragon thing.
I chose to put Slayer business on hold and retreat to home for
personal growth and being-with-me time. However, needed something to
do with self because self rather boring. Having just
finished "Slayers Who Love Vampires Too Much," I felt ready to
improve my mind further. Luckily Barnes and Noble was still open,
since I didn't have any more books at home.
I walked into the busy store and remembered who I used to be: high
SAT scores, interested in learning (although not long Victor Hugo
novels or, I find, Watcher-penned self-help volumes), lover of
poetry. That Buffy was not merely slayer, wage-slave, bad mother-
figure and thrall-girl. I wanted to be That Buffy again, and after
getting lost in several aisles (it's a huge warehouse space,
perfectly understandable), I found the poetry section. Also a blond
Vile boyfriend equivalent perusing the shelves.
"Thunderstruck" would not have been too extreme to describe my
feelings upon seeing Spike's hands (skilled, elegant hands, stop it,
stop it) flipping through a Penguin Classic. Unfortunately said
feelings caused me to fall into display of cookbooks on end of aisle,
resulting in somewhat sheepish vampire rescuing me from avalanche of
"Hello, love, you looking for me?" he said as he pulled me to my
feet. He looked as if he were going to follow this up with elaborate
story about being caught by mistake in poetry land when really
looking for "Nasty Plots Made Easy," but he clearly thought better of
it. For an Evil Vampire, he's a terrible liar and he knows it. So he
played to his strengths and, putting one hand up by my neck, backed
me up against a shelf.
"No, Spike, just wanting a book. New horizons, you know?" I said.
Witty quips are hard to come by when Sex-God's fingers are stealing
"New horizons, is it, pet?" he purred, hand going somewhere it
absolutely shouldn't. In public, anyway. I somewhat feebly pushed it
away, but it immediately returned. He put his mouth to my
ear. "'License my roving hands, and let them go, Behind, before,
above, between, below. O my America! my new-found-land, My kingdom,
safeliest when with one man man'd...'"
Well. Obviously one would have to be Slayer of Steel to resist that,
and am sorry to record that Spike was (my) heartbeat away from
seducing me into yet more public sex, when he added, "'Course, to do
this properly, you should be naked. That's what Donne intended, at
any rate." And then he did that curled-tongue thing which is at once
sexy and annoying. Vile Spike returneth.
It gave me the strength to push him aside rather sharply and begin a
short lecture on not being a stupid ass in bookstores, or indeed
anywhere. His eyes did that clouding-over thing which means he is
mentally chanting "patience, bloody hell, patience, bloody hell"
instead of following his instincts to go grrr or smack me hard on the
head with the Collected Works of Coleridge. He was trying, really.
And there likely would have been a return to poetry and snogging if
at that moment Willow and that loose-skinned friend of Spike's hadn't
seen us standing toe-to-toe, practically mouth-to-mouth.
"Buffy? And, and, and--" she stammered.
"Spike! Look who I found in New Fiction!" Clem burbled.
It was an awkward moment. No social guidelines exist to help one hide
one's boyfriend equivalent from one's magic-addicted best friend, who
unlike other best friend is not COMPLETELY blind. I called on
whatever Social Goddess tricks I had learned by reading "Seventeen"
as a girl: complimented her hair, encouraged magic-free excursion
away from Summers home, etc. Somehow I did manage to divert Willow
from what she really truly had seen, sending her and Clem away to the
cafe to continue their discussion of some Oprah novel.
This left me with Spike, for whom the "patience, bloody hell" mantra
had just run out. He smirked not at all pleasantly and said, "No,
don't tell me. The hellmouth would open if any Scooby or passing
demon should suspect that you're shagging the monster. Right." And he
turned away, snapping his duster behind him and striding away in
manner of Master Vampire.
I scurried after him with minimal attention to personal dignity,
scrambling through the front door after him. At the edge of the
parking lot I caught him by the arm, spinning him around hard. "What
the hell do you think you're doing, Spike?"
He looked at me as if I were mentally challenged. "I'm walking away
before I say something I can't take back, Slayer."
Slayer. He WAS mad. He hadn't called me that since...since a v.v. bad
moment right after our first night together. But what could have set
him off? He knew my concerns, why I didn't want anyone to know how
bad we were being. What was bothering him now?
He started moving again, into the vacant lot next to the bookstore. I
followed, repeating my question. He kept walking--really, most
infuriating vampire ever, and I don't have to read the Watcher
chronicles for verification. I grabbed his duster, yanked hard, and
wrestled him to the ground. Only natural at that point to climb on
top of him to make him stay.
"There ya go, love. You've got me, now what are you going to do with
me?" The truly disturbing thing was that he wasn't being suggestive
or sarcastic. He sounded as if he really wanted to know. And I had no
idea how to answer him.
Just at that critical juncture we heard the loud whirring of a
helicopter overhead, and a beam of light swung over us. A shout rang
from up above--"There!"
Spike tried to get up, saying urgently, "Soldier boys, Buffy. Got to
get away." But I didn't understand what he meant--stupid me--and I
didn't let him move. He pushed harder. "Buffy!"
"Buffy!" The voice from above echoed him. "Hold him for me!"
It was Riley. And out of the sky my Black Ops ex-boyfriend dropped.
He clearly meant it to be a cat-like move, landing on his feet and
running toward me, but I could only think how irritatingly like him
to interrupt something v. important. NO sense of timing.
"What do you want?" I asked. Not perhaps etiquette as the recommended
greeting to former lover, perhaps, but I was busy.
"That demon you've caught for us." And he zapped Spike with a taser I
hadn't noticed him carrying.
"Riley, what the hell are you doing?" I checked--Spike was out
cold. "What did you do to, to, him?" I almost said "my boyfriend."
"Good to see you too, Buffy," Riley snapped. "We're here in Sunnydale
to break a ring of demon-smugglers, and your associate here is
wanted." He tried to do a sneer at "associate" but couldn't pull it
off; I'd been hearing a proper sneer too long.
Spike was wanted by Riley's Black Ops people. Could he have done
something terrible? Of course he COULD, he's Spike, but found it hard
to believe he'd have had the time recently, what with constant
shagging and/or fighting, redecorating the crypt, trapped in Summers
house, etc. And he looked so beautiful and innocent lying unconscious
That did it. I jumped up and turned to give Agent Finn the sharp edge
of my tongue (not in sexual way), but he was looking up at another
soldier-figure descending from the 'copter. "Sam, over here!" he
Sam. Funny, didn't look like a...oh, SAMANTHA. New soldier-friend of
Riley's was pretty, even in fatigues, and she swanned over in manner
of owning the world. "Got it, honey? You're so fast."
"Yeah, Hostile 17's ready for containment." Riley bent down and put
his hands on Spike's duster. "Do you have the restraints?"
"What the HELL are you doing?" Had uncomfortable feeling I'd been
saying this a lot. Trapped in time loop again? Demon-inspired
nightmare? Looked around for arch-nemesiseses, but could only see
Riley and Sam. And unconscious Spike.
The helicopter whirred away as Riley busily wrapped Spike up. "You
heard me. Taking Hostile 17 in for questioning." He looked up. "Oh,
and may I introduce Agent Samantha Finn to you? Samantha, this is
Buffy, Buffy Summers."
Sam paused her mumbling into communication device. "Hi, Buffy! I've
heard so much about you. Can we do lunch tomorrow, the three of us?"
This woman--last name Finn? not sister, surely--and Riley were
kidnapping Spike, and here she wanted to fill up her social calendar.
V. confused and sad. I tried to think of something to stop the
madness, but all that came out was "Oh, sure."
"Yes, we'll tell you about the wedding and everything. I'll call you
in the morning," Riley said. He stood and waved at nondescript van,
which bumped into the lot. Then he heaved Spike's body over his
shoulder. Wanted to hit him v. hard and repeatedly in stomach so he'd
let Spike go, but couldn't seem to move. Probably spell. Must have
He and Sam put Spike, MY Spike, how dare they, in vehicle, then
clambered in. Riley made annoying "call you" hand-signal, then they
pulled away. I just stood there, looking at where Spike had been
taken. Likely would still be standing there if Willow and Clem hadn't
found me and brought me home, where I've been trying and trying to
figure out what happened.
Black Ops have Spike. Riley married to soldier-girl queen, and we
have lunch date tomorrow. Oh, and dragony thing on the loose. There's
not enough chocolate chips and macadamia nuts in the world to make
Calories 1800 (Chicken Parmesan, yum), Alcohol Units 1/2 (couldn't
trust myself not to spill Sauvignon Blanc on Smug Marrieds), Amazing
Rescue Plans 1
"I'm calling a Scooby meeting right now!" was my morning greeting
when I entered my kitchen. Dawn and Tara had returned from night of
Buffy-free fun and were making pancakes; Willow was making wistful
faces from a corner. They all turned to look at me and gasped. Well,
one can't be expected to remember to take off make-up when one's
boyfriend equivalent had been kidnapped, and I'd cried a bit so there
was some mascara drippage, and then during the two hours of sleep I'd
gotten, my hair had arranged itself in horns. Must have been
frightening. Still, appearance not important at the moment.
"What's wrong with you, Buffy?" Dawn asked.
"Spike was vamp-napped by Riley last night. Oh, and by Riley's new
wife, who's also a soldier-type. And I have to have lunch with them.
And there's a dragony thing crawling around Sunnydale, deforesting it
if nothing worse." There, all the news that's fit to tell. Grabbed
glass of orange juice from her hand and downed it, dehydrated from
hours of sniffling.
Dawn grabbed the glass back. "What are you doing here, and with my
juice? Go find Spike! You're not going to be a bitch about this, are
you?" Trust Dawnie to get to heart of problem and ignore all
Tara, more rational and armed with more information re the demented
carrousel ride which is my emotional state, intervened. She moved
Dawn away and looked at me sympathetically. "This is terrible on
every level, Buffy. I can call Xander and Anya to come over, but...
but...what do you want us to do?"
Must confess that of all the nasty horrible things which accompany my
sacred duty blah blah, the worst is that people always expect me to
plan, be in charge, organize. Why couldn't I have five minutes for
sympathy hugs and fun-shaped pancakes? But am terrible selfish
person. Spike was no doubt having less fun than I even if he deserved
it, which had yet to be established, and I hadn't told anyone except
Tara that I was wounded girlfriend equivalent here. Must rescue
Spike, must, and get through rest of what was already shaping up to
"Okay. Okay. We'll do this. Willow, go get Anya to help you research
dragony thing. And all I can tell you is it's a dragony thing, about
15 feet long, no flames but with a wicked powerful tail. Greenish." I
ignored Willow's grumble at being teamed with Anya--no time for
personal pettiness which is not mine. "Tell Xander that I need him to
get me some information about the abandoned army base outside town,
scope out if there's any activity there. Dawn, give me your cell
phone, I'm going to need it when I go check out Spike's crypt, see if
there are any clues to what he's been doing. I need information
before I go to lunch with Riley and spouse. Oh, and can you and Tara
stay here and monitor the home phone?"
Dawn handed me the mobile without comment, proving that even teen
girl bonded to wireless connection understood how dire the situation
was. And Tara stepped forward and said, "I'll make sure it all gets
done, Buffy. Now why don't you go take a shower, and I'll make you a
couple of funny pancakes for when you get down. Pigs are your
favorite, aren't they?"
Love Tara. Perhaps should rethink current Best Friend ranking.
Just sat here in Spike's thoroughly trashed bedroom (worse than what
we've done in our special private times, if can imagine) and had a v.
small weep. Horrible Black Ops broke just about every item in the
crypt, including the bed. I loved that bed, even if haven't precisely
spent much time in it.
Don't know what they were looking for, either. No sign of anything
shrieking "Big Bad lives here! Torture or dust now!" Useless to have
come here. Not helping anyone.
While having therapeutic moan, the cell rang. It was Dawn, eager to
be Queen of Information. "Buffy, Buffy, Xander says the base is
mostly boarded up, but there's activity in one section, minimal
security. There's a road there in case we have to go rescue Spike if
that's where he is, but I bet that's where he is, don't you? Willow
found the demon in a database--it's a Georgius demon, people-eater,
gross. Oh, and nocturnal. We probably can't find the lair 'til this
evening." There was a murmur in the background, and she
continued, "Right, almost forgot, thanks Tara. You're supposed to
meet Stupid Git Riley at Stephano's at noon, okay?"
Dawn just called Riley a stupid git. Had three immediate, conflicting
reactions: she'd been spending too much time with Spike
again; "stupid git" was in fact strangely satisfying after drama of
last year; desperately wanted to hear Spike say those words to
Riley's face, possibly followed by "pillock" or one of the thousand
British insults of which he is master.
"Oh, and Sophie called." Dawn brought me back from mental listing of
such insults and self-query of why they always sounded sort of sexy
in Spike's voice. "She was supposed to meet Clem for breakfast? But
she couldn't find him anywhere. She was wondering if you knew where
Oh look, the last straw. At least Spike had been notorious for years
as Scourge of Europe or similar, even if he'd been fighting on my
side for over a year. Stupid Git Riley (absolutely the mot juste,
bless Dawn) would not have known of his valorous accomplishments,
since S.G.R. had merrily run away in midst of my personal crisis. But
Clem! Other than People for the Ethical Treatment of Kittens, surely
nobody would want to kidnap pleasant loose-skinned demon, and I felt
sure it was Black Ops's fault.
Stupid Git and wife were going down. But first they would take me to
Classic. Lunch with S.G.R. and Sam went v. well, if one enjoys
jellyfish-sting-style remarks throughout appetizers and main course.
"Buffy, you're looking thinner. Must have been a hard year for you."
No, Riley, deaths (including my own) in family are picnic, just like
the ones you're so fond of. "Buffy, it's so hard to stay feminine and
still Slay every night. But really, your hair looks LOVELY." Thanks,
Sam, many people find it adorable...you posy Black-Ops boyfriend-
equivalent-stealing cow. Seriously, being Smug-Married by these
people was almost more than I could bear. Did I ever in my heart of
hearts want to be Mrs. Smug-Married Finn? Might have to revisit my
long-held belief in past desperate love of Riley. But I kept eye on
current goal and made suitable remarks in response, asking about
Belize, wedding, etc. I was Woman with a Plan.
Riley made it easy for me when coffee was brought at end of
meal. "So, tell me about Spike. He's still around and not dust, I
see. What were you doing with him last night? Does he still give you
information when you pay him?"
"Yes, he was going to be beaten into helping, in return for the usual
bucket of cash." Sorry, Spikey, blackening your already rather sooty
name is sacrifice for greater good, I thought. "We've got a slight
Georgius-demon problem, and I still need his assistance. He speaks
Georgius, you see." I crossed my fingers, hoping fervently that
dragony creature actually HAD language rather than just foul breath
"Oh, guess we couldn't help you there, we've never encountered that
kind of demon." Whew. Now wait for it, wait for it...Sam smiled at
me. "But we could take you to Spike if you like. Our people should
have finished the initial interrogation, and you could ask him what
you need to know."
Yesss! Am strategy queen! Managed to get exactly what I wanted, AND
had Riley pay for my lunch. While he was signing credit card slip, I
sneaked to the bathroom and called Xander and rest of Scoobies,
putting them on alert. It was time to implement Phase II of Helpful
Demon Rescue 2002.
In Black Ops stronghold, if can be so termed with only one external
guardpost and very few troops. On car ride here, by the way, found
out what Spike's Big Evil was supposed to be. He apparently had
traded with horrible Demon Tycoon (trafficker in weaponry, smaller
demon slaves, etc.) when he and Dru were last in Brazil; recently
captured Demon Tycoon, before Black Ops carelessly cut off his head,
had mentioned Spike as name to be reckoned with. That was all it took
to bring Riley and Co flitting back to my territory and my boyfriend
equivalent, although they had neither evidence or authorization to do
Is always a shock to run into Spike's past crimes, but this seemed so
clearly belonging to previous unlife that I wasn't fussed. Besides,
look what icky thing from MY past had crawled back into the picture.
No, not really time for me to judge.
Stupid Git Riley and Sam took me into v. small warehouse. In cage--
must take calming breath when think about it--in cramped, none too
clean cage, Spike and Clem were being held. Clem was trying to chat
with one of the two guards, but Spike lounged silently against wall.
A bruise discolored one temple, and he had dried blood coming from
his swollen mouth, apparently not from afternoon snack but from
That wounded mouth painfully split into a trademark smirk when he saw
me, and his voice was a little rougher than usual. "Ah, Slayer. How's
the happy reunion going? Come to gloat before delivering a nice stake
to the heart?"
What was his prob--oh. Of course. Not only had we been in a difficult
relationship moment right before his capture, but as far as he knew I
was in collusion with Smug-Married Soldier Nasties. And there they
were, with tasers and assorted instruments of vampire or demon death
ready to hand all around. While obviously wanted to throw myself into
his arms and then throttle him for being an ass, this situation
I stepped forward to the cage, and he sauntered forward so that we
were almost touching. Our eyes locked. "I'm not the gloating type,
Spike. I couldn't believe that you would betray me...the source of so
much cash over the past year."
"But--!" Clem started, but without taking his eyes from mine Spike
wrapped his hand around Clem's arm and twisted. Clem yelped and moved
back out of the way. You know, being with a smart guy is so
refreshing. With just one little clue ('cause everyone knows the boy
has gotten NO money from Scoobies in the past year), he realized I
was here to save him. He was working with me--and if there's one
thing clear in our whole tortured history, it's that the Buffy-Spike
alliance is practically unstoppable.
I looked back at the questioning faces of Stupid Git Riley and wife.
They wouldn't be easy to maneuver from this point. Spike snarled
theatrically (and a little over the top--must speak to him about
that), "Don't tell me. You're shocked and surprised at my bad
behavior. Slayer, I'm laughin'. So what are we waiting for, then?"
Wish I could have told him that our plan depended on the rising of a
Georgius demon and the good timing of Xander Harris. Just to see his
Have found Big Evil from the Master to the Mayor. Have lived on the
hellmouth for several years. Have managed to make it back after two
death scenes. Have worked several double-shifts at the DP. But never
knew true horror until forced to spend three hours with ex-boyfriend
and new wife in their tiny Black Ops kingdom, waiting for Xander's
call to tell us about Georgius menace.
Riley strutted in manner of turkey male, showing off admittedly cool
firepower and gassing about Fabulous Demon Kills in Central America
or similar. Sam mostly added small details to his tedious stories.
However, she also cornered me at one point to explain, kindly and
gently, that I hadn't appreciated or understood her honey-bunny when
he'd been with me but she would do a better job and I couldn't have
him back. Bit tongue quite hard to repress heart-felt reply along
lines of I wouldn't have him back on a bet, especially since now had
boyfriend equivalent who (although evil undead) comprehended things
like loyalty, poetry, foreplay, and personal satisfaction gained by
defeating bad creatures without using taxpayer dollars. But couldn't
tell her that without revealing my not-so-little secret.
Oh, and Spike was still languishing in cage. After our earlier mind-
meld and warehouse theater piece, he'd sort of slumped in corner. I
realized that not only had he been beaten, but horrible Black Ops
hadn't fed him. Mentioned quite casually, about seven times, that
vampire translator probably wouldn't work unless he got nourishment,
until finally Stupid Git stopped fondling weapon collection and
trotted off to fetch blood. I took that opportunity to sneak over and
whisper to Spike that he was supposed to speak Georgius--his scarred
eyebrow flew up, and he said, "You do realize, pet, that Georgius
demons don't actually have a language. It's basically just crash and
bash with those blokes." Gah! Just as I'd predicted.
Ooh, cell phone. Must be Xander. On to final phase of Helpful Demon
V. sad and confused, yet triumphant. Where to begin...
Right, Xander called as arranged. Tara had done tiny locator spell to
find lair of Georgius, and she, Xander, and Willow had taken Harris
construction van to do surveillance. (Anya pleaded off for wedding
business, and Dawn stayed with her. Will owe Dawn several thousand
dollars in hardship duty for this, as her evening activity involved
folding napkins in shape of swans.)
Xander reported when demon creature started making early-evening-
activity noises, and then I told Riley and Sam. They of course were
gung-ho to kill dragony thing, apparently feeling rather cranky at
not getting to dust Spike or decap Clem (who had been caught checking
Spike's crypt when Black Ops were busy demolishing it. Ooh, v. scary
loose-skinned guy). The Smug Marrieds conferred and felt they could
go after creature with just my added fighting skills and
the "translators," leaving helicopter people etc behind. Whew.
Off we went in their van, then: Riley and Sam in front seat, me in
middle, Spike and Clem seemingly chained up in back. I
say "seemingly"--kleptomaniac little sister, who I feel SURE was
tutored by certain bleached-blond baby-sitter although they claim
otherwise, had shown me a week ago how to fiddle with locks. Sad
statement about applicability of criminal skills to my everyday life.
It was easy to find demon lair in the end; we just followed line of
downed trees and power lines to an unpopulated area near the old
Initiative caves. Stupid Git waxed nostalgic about the good times
we'd had there, while Sam and I gritted teeth. Really, former
psychology major should not be so insensitive, nor should I be
surprised at said insensitivity. Have slept with him, after all.
When we arrived, as planned I got out first. Scoobies were waiting in
the one small section of trees left standing, and they pointed out
the cave from which a black mist was rising. "Talk about Eau de Demon
Funk," Xander said to me. "Now, remind me. When am I supposed to do
Oh for God's sake. "I told you, when--"
"Hi, Xander! Girls!" Riley said, looming behind me. Oh no no no no.
He wasn't supposed to interrupt before I could remind Xander of plan.
But here Stupid Git was, shaking Xander's hand and completely
screwing up the proper order of things.
Sam had gotten Spike and Clem out of the van, and I noted that at
least SOME individuals knew enough to follow the plot and pretend to
be chained up when they were supposed to be. Tara and Willow squeaked
when they saw them--why? couldn't have been surprise, had been
clearly laid out in plan--but Riley was asking Xander about T-joints
or some such imaginary item and didn't notice.
Spike tilted his head at me in inquiry, and I rolled my eyes and
shrugged. Apparently my foolproof strategy, which would have involved
misdirection, substitution, and a bit of lying (not from Spike, bad
liar), had been bombed from within. Let him see what he could come up
with, since I'd gotten us this far. He grinned, the familiar Vile
well-alright-then!-chaos-on-the-way expression which once would have
chilled my bones but now was strangely endearing.
He said politely to Sam, "Shall I begin?"
She got S.G.R.'s attention, and he carefully arranged the Scoobies
behind him. Then she shoved Spike roughly in the back and said, "Go
He staggered a bit at the blow. When he righted himself (deftly
managing to keep chains around wrists. Is good with chains), he
planted his feet wide and bellowed, "Oi! Oi, dragon!"
A rumbling issued from the cave. Dragony thing had heard him, as
probably had Giles in England. Possibly could have picked up bellow
Riley yelled, "What kind of Georgius language is that, Spike?"
Smirk. "Close enough for government work." Sam lunged at him and he
evaded at the last minute, sending her tumbling to the ground. Riley
started toward them, but as I pulled on his jacket Spike shouted his
usual battle-cry, "Heads up!"
And indeed it was heads--two heads, two Georgius demons, crawling out
of the cavern.
Time to set aside personal differences and focus on scaly things at
hand. As they crawled out, I breathed in and coughed. Apparently had
just met the baby one on the previous night. The bigger one was
easily twenty feet of smelly, cranky badness.
Of course my insane boyfriend equivalent shouted, "We call the big
one!" He threw off his chains, sprinted back to the van, and pulled
out two swords. "Here, love!"
I caught mine as he sent it my direction, then smacked the flat of it
on Riley's stone-stunned butt. "Go on, stupid git, you and Sam take
the little one." Perhaps shouldn't have said the "stupid git" part
out loud, not ladylike, but was under stress at time.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Tara and Willow holding
hands; hoped vaguely it was return of true love rather than magic pre-
show, but couldn't take time to inquire. Instead I took off after
Spike, who'd almost reached the bigger demon. "You want eyes or tail,
Neither was particularly attractive, but..."Eyes!" And from there our
work was laughably simple. Couple of front flips, a bit of jab jab
jab with swords, couple of punches in vulnerable portions of dragony
anatomy, slash cut slash, and voila! one ex-Georgius demon. Messy but
When we turned, however, we were in time to see the smaller demon's
tail whip forward and knock Riley out and off his feet. On the
backswing the tail caught Sam's taser, leaving her weaponless.
Really, it made me doubt these two had ever known the joy of full
Xander and Clem tried to get to Riley to pull him out of hungry
demon's path, but it cleverly felled a tree which they had to
scramble to avoid. Shot a glare at Spike, which he tried and failed
to ignore. With a "Oh, bloody HELL, Buffy!" he jumped over, slashed
one of the demon's arms, then dragged Riley out of reach of tail or
I rushed over to Sam. Tara had dropped Willow's hand, firmly told
her "No cheating, honey!", and magicked Mrs. Finn's weapon back to
her. "Get the eyes," I said, then climbed up on its back. When Sam
zapped the creature on the bridge of its nose--well within target
range--I was able to hack off its head. Now really was that so
Time to take stock. Stupid Git was moaning but awake, and Sam ran to
his side to offer wifely support. Willow and Tara were hugging.
Xander told Clem to forget about the five dollars he owed him from my
hell-birthday party's poker game, now that they were fightin' buddies.
And Vile Spike smiled at me lovingly. "Thank you, pet, for the rescue
and the violence," he said, doing that sexy hip thing he substitutes
for normal walking. He raised a hand, one of those skilled, elegant
hands (only barely smeared with Georgius goo), to my face to caress
I knocked it away. "No, not now! Someone could see." He knew what I
meant, I'd explained it often enough. His eyes changed color,
expression. Not the irritation or fury I usually got, but...bitter
disappointment. In me.
Couldn't think about that then, still had work to do. Walked over to
Riley and Sam, and waited 'til they looked up from Smug-Married
cuddlefest. "Now that you've actually seen Spike and Clem fight on
the side of right, may I assume that they're free to go and free from
any government-sponsored harassment?"
Riley looked away, as if I had disappointed HIM too, but after a bit
he said "Okay. Fine. We'll take their names off the list." He didn't
even bother to thank Spike for saving him. Sam just mumbled a "nice
to meet you," we said we'd exchange Christmas cards, and the two got
into their van and drove off. And good riddance to them. Didn't feel
so much as a hint of a shadow of a pang.
Collected Scoobies and auxiliary and got into Xander's vehicle.
Cleverly arranged it so I could ride in shadowy back with Spike (Clem
sitting up with Xander and chattering away on cell phone to Sophie;
in the middle seat Tara praising Willow for strength of mind and
Willow praising Tara for strength of spell). Took Spike's hand and
looked at him. If he wanted to thank me properly for saving him, he
could sneak a kiss or two or more in the dark. Instead he gazed at
our intertwined hands. Softly, seriously, as if resuming our
conversation of last night which had been so rudely
interrupted: "You've got me. Now what are you going to do with me,
Buffy? What do you want?"
What did I want? What did I want? I wanted to be That Buffy of
several years ago, who got to play as well as work, to read poetry
and care about clothes, to have worlds of possibility before her, to
have love and give it back. I wanted..."I want to be normal.
"See, there's the problem, love. You're not normal. You're
Cannot fully express how I loathe way he puts things, so crystalline
you'd think they could be seen through but really faceted and
shining, blinding. "Extraordinary?"
"Yes. And 'til you realize it, how amazing you are, I can't play our
game any more. No more secret cuddles, no more shag-fests in alleys
or shadows. And you've got to realize the second most important
Couldn't breathe v. well, what with tears choking and similar, but
managed to say, "What's that, Spike?"
He leaned forward and put his mouth against my ear, with his index
finger gently gently rubbing over my lips. "'I scarce believe my love
to be so pure As I had thought it was, Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass; Methinks I lied all winter,
when I swore, My love was infinite, if spring make it more.'" His
lips briefly replaced his finger. Then he looked out the back window
and banged on the door, saying, "Hey, whelp! Let me out here!"
The van slowed to a stop. Spike's gaze brushed my lips, then he gave
me one of those Vile smiles. He whispered, "What you've got to
understand, love, is that I'm extraordinary too."
Rest of drive was painful blur. So v. confused. When Xander pulled up
to Summers home, every light was on. Vaguely thought how Dawn would
have to hear Power Costs Money lecture again when felt less shaky.
But Dawn was out on the front porch, jumping and squealing. I could
hear her through the steel.
"Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, I was putting away your coat, from last night?
And something fell out of your pocket, and Anya was watching the
lottery, and, Buffy! Buffy! You won! We won!"