Buffy hated buses. They stank, weird people, weirder than any demons, dwelled in their claustrophobic bellies. She cringed as the bleary tired drunk man lurched against her again.
She was so tempted to toss the offending man out the window at the going rate of 60 miles per hour. Buffy sighed. She just hadn’t wanted to ask Xander for his work truck. One because once she explained, he would want to go with her, then Willow, then Dawn and second, because she just didn’t know what to explain.
So, she took the bus and left a note. Maybe that wasn’t the most mature thing to do, but right now Buffy was beginning to doubt that her original thought had been rational, or mature, or noble. No, she had to go to LA, tell Angel that Spike and Dracula were together. And then, somehow stop whatever trouble Spike had gotten into and then keep him from getting killed by Angel for whatever trouble he had gotten into.
Oh thank god, only thirty more miles. Creep. Buffy shoved the drunk into the aisle. She struggled trying to get rid of the images of Spike laughing as Angelus sang, Buffy and Angel sitting in a tree …
“Okay, now where’s the squirt?” Spike leaned into Fred’s room, looking at the empty bassinet.
Fred turned and glared pulling on her shirt. “Knock, it’s polite, Angel always knocks.”
“The squirt?” Spike pointed. “Should we be gathering the troops or anything?”
Fred shoved on her glasses, not hiding the rolling of her eyes. “Angel came and got him last night.”
“Oh. Right. Poof’s son so poof takes him to be with him and the chit. Got it.” Spike shook his head still wondering how in the hell his grandsire got so lucky.
“Come on, William, I’ll fix you some breakfast.” Fred pulled at the blonde vampire.
Spike was tempted but he remembered. “You really can’t work the microwave?”
“Of course, I can. Anyway, there’s enough blood for a few mistakes.” She smiled.
Spike shook his hand away. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll wait for the chit.”
Fred turned. “So, you think Cordy will make breakfast for you, do you?”
“I…she warmed blood before for me.” Spike said defensively.
Fred gave a wide smile. “Then I’m sure she will do it again.”
“Good morning, all.” Cordelia came bounding down the stairs. Angel held Connor following close behind.
“Good morning,” Wesley and Fred called. Gunn and Spike grunted their heads in a nod.
“Spike, you look a little peaked, haven’t you eaten yet. Hey, you’re still wearing Angel’s coat.”
Spike squirmed. “What do you think, love? Short or long,” he twirled, deciding the hell with it. The chit always looked good. She had style, even in sweats and Peaches’ oversized shirt.
“I need to see the other one.” Cordelia scrunched up her face. Spike looked up at his grandsire glaring from the staircase and decided to take the elevator.
Angel nudged the young woman. “Cordy, that’s my coat. My favorite. Isn’t it bad enough you gave my other favorite to what’s his name Groo.”
Cordy swirled around. “Please, you never wore that coat, you said it was too snug in the shoulders, didn’t give you sword swinging range.”
Angel thought about it. “Groo had smaller shoulders than me.”
“Yeah, but he was taller.”
Angel growled. “Then that’s even worse. He was tall and weak shouldered.”
“Whatever, you say. As for the coat Spike is wearing you haven’t worn it since I told you it made your ass look fat.”
“You said my ass was cute.”
“Angel,” Cordelia whispered. “Did you or did you not just vamp violent all over Dracula?”
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You’re such a dork. You have a perfect ass, that coat just has a bad cut. Spike can pull it off because he has a skinny ass, well toned, and muscled, but small.”
“Hey. Should I be getting vamp violent?”
“Stupid.” Cordy leaned up and kissed the dark vampire.
“I don’t know, I’m thinking you owe me an apology.”
“Can it wait until after Connor’s fed?” She smiled.
Angel considered and nodded. Connor would be screaming for his bottle soon and that would just interrupt any apology session. “Okay.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes and headed into the lobby.
Angel trudged after her, son in arms.
“Love,” Spike came back, draped in his trademark long leather coat.
Cordelia pondered. “I honestly think I like that one better. It gives you more of a cool skulking look, and it swooshes really sexy. It’s more unique. Yeah. Definitely, sexy. But, you know, take the other one, it looks good too, you can start a collection of leather coats that you never wear just like Angel.”
Angel, Gunn and Wesley stared at Cordelia. Gunn went running to Fred, tugging at his coat. “Do I look sexy?”
Fred blinked. “Jean jackets don’t swoosh.” Fred blinked again, realizing her mistake. “But they’re really ‘hot’. Whoa, type hot.”
Gunn nodded, satisfied. “Cool.”
Wesley just stood, he hardly wore any type of jacket, maybe a cotton or LL Bean farmer style.
Cordelia dodged Angel’s grasping hand. “Wes, you look awesome in LL Bean, awesome.” She smiled knowingly. “Classy.”
Wesley slowly nodded. Fred came up. “Cordy’s right.” Wesley smiled and went to his books, he didn’t have anything to look up but he felt it prudent to hide his blush.
Angel grabbed at Cordelia, finally catching her. “Sexy? Long coats. Impractical, makes you trip. Sexy? Spike?”
“Angel, I will say this only one more time, so listen- you are not fat, you have a cute ass, you are sexy, drop dead mouth watering, and other parts watering- sexy, coat or no coat, clothes or no clothes, especially no clothes. Okay.” She whispered between clenched teeth.
“Okay,” Angel beamed. “Mommy thinks I’m sexy.” He cooed to his son.
“Angel,” Cordelia plucked Connor out of his arms. “Spike, do you want to hold him, have you eaten?”
“That sounded like an invitation to munch.”
“Very funny,” Cordelia arched her brow.
“No breakfast yet.” Spike kicked the floor.
Spike had been watching the byplay between the young woman and the vampire along with the others. He sighed as the little bundle was placed in his arms. Now what? Talk to the squirt that’s what the chit said to do before.
There was a young man from Kent
Whose tool was so long it was bent
So to save himself trouble
He bent himself double
And instead of coming- he went!
“Spike,” Angel growled. Gunn and Wesley coughed and Fred blinked as she computed the words. “Oh. I’m telling Cordy.”
“Hey, what? It was just a limerick.”
“She said keep stories G. That wasn’t G. Was it?” Fred turned to Angel, Gunn and Wesley.
“It was G, PG at the most. No nasty words or anything.”
“What did Spike do now?” Cordelia came back into the lobby holding two mugs of blood.
“He…” Fred started.
“Peaches…” Spike begged the other vampire to stop the young woman from telling Cordelia.
“Nothing, just telling Connor bad stories that he won’t do again.”
“Bad?” Cordelia raised a brow. “As in how bad? Spike, I told you that Angel was the hero.”
“It wasn’t like that, Cordy. It was a nasty…limerick.” Fred nodded.
“Hell, you aren’t a babbling brook, you’re a fuckin waterfall of tongue wagging.” Spike glared at Fred.
“Hey, don’t growl at her.” Gunn stepped forward.
“Growl? Did you hear me growl? She’s a blabbermouth.”
“Spike, give me Connor.” Cordy said.
“Love, it wasn’t bad, I swear.” Jerking the baby away from Cordelia.
“Spike, do you want your breakfast or do I throw it down the drain.” She waved the mug in the air.
Spike looked at Cordelia and then at Angel. That’s when he noticed the other vampire sipping on a steaming mug.
“Oh, well, why didn’t you say so, love.” Spike and Cordelia traded off burdens.
Spike spat the first mouthful of blood out. “What the hell?” He moved the mug back up to his nose, sniffing tentatively. “Cinnamon? I got cinnamon? Hey, I got cinnamon,’’ he smiled and took another swallow. “Shit, Peaches, this sucks.” Spike smiled as he drank more.
“You get use to it. Be thankful it’s not considered dinner, then it’s the hot sauce.”
Buffy just stood and stared. No one noticed her.
Not Angel, not Spike, not Cordelia, not Wesley or the other people that were strangers. She had been planning on barging in her presence, but the sight of Spike holding a baby rooted her feet to the doorway and cemented her mouth closed. She just watched.
Spike recited a bad rhyme to the baby in game face, Angel growled but not lunging. A brunette she had never seen threatened to tell on Spike to Cordelia as if that was a threat. But, it was. Buffy saw Spike stammer and Angel smirk.
The smirk reminded her of Angelus’ gleeful wicked humor- and ‘Buffy and Angel sitting in a tree…’ came flashing back into her mind. Buffy wanted to throttle the dark vampire for old times sake but she just stood wide eyed as Cordelia came into the room.
That couldn’t be Cordelia, the fashion queen of Sunnydale high. Still beautiful, but she was in sweats, a man’s shirt and had no make up on….and she was carrying two mugs, which could only contain blood. Buffy blinked as the Cordelia she didn’t recognize gave a mug to Angel with a soft smile and then handed one to Spike.
Cinnamon? Spike spat it out at first, but now he was drinking it as if it was the best thing in the world. Did Angel just make a joke? Where was she is? Buffy must have made a sound, because now the whole room was looking at her.
Cordelia glanced at the surprised face of Angel and Spike’s flabbergasted one. She shook her head and moved forward. “Buffy, hi. Coming in? Do or don’t but close the door one way or the other, sunlight bad for the complexion.” She nodded her head to the streams of sunlight that backed the pretty blonde and then to the two vampires, still gaping.
Angel gulped. “Hi. How are you? A visit?”
Cordelia slid up to the dark vampire. “Just remember, I’m part demon now, who knows what kind of violence I’m capable of yet. Don’t test me. It could very well put your vamp ones to shame.”
Angel blinked and looked at the lovely woman holding their son. “I’m just surprised. Cordy,” Angel whined at the raised brows. “Cordelia.” He moved after the retreating female.
“Hey, slayer.” Spike had taken the time to collect himself. He raised his mug. “What brings you here?”
Fred nudged at Wesley. “Is that the B- word?”
“Yes.” Wesley pushed at his glasses.
“Smaller that I thought,” Gunn shrugged.
Buffy ignored Spike and strode up to Angel. Angel was moving trying to place himself in front of the continuiously turning Cordelia. She glared, he begged. Buffy poked at Angel and after getting no response, grabbed the dark vampire and swung him around to face her. “Angel.”
“I said hi,” Angel jerked back. “Cordy.”
“Pfft. Oh, you so not wanting to claim me cause you OH so love me, Ha. Well, Connor’s mine. No backcees.”
“Cordy, you’re being stupid.”
“I’m being stupid, I didn’t trip over my tongue when the blonde presence walked in now did I?”
“Cordy.” Angel turned; ignoring Buffy’s tugs and glared at Spike. “Spike, take care of your mess.” Angel jerked his head towards Buffy. “Let me go.” He yanked again away from the blonde young woman.
“Mess?!” Buffy pulled back, using her strength to turn Angel again. “Mess? Mess, so ‘Buffy and Angel sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G, First came the love then the fuckin’, Now comes Angelus and some serious funin’, As death greets scoobs one by onein’, uh!”
“Uh,” Angel repeated, perplexed.
“Um, Peaches – Willies’, bathroom wall- uh, Angelus. ” Spike coughed.
Angel swung around. “What are you talking….OH.” Angel turned back to Buffy’s red face. “Sorry.” He shrugged.
“Angel!” Cordelia’s arm shot out.
Angel swung back around facing Cordelia. “Cordy, I was Angelus, I didn’t even remember…”
“Onein’? That’s not even a word.”
“She’s right, Peaches. I didn’t want to say anything at the time, but it really did suck.”
“It rhymed.” Angel protested.
“Serious funin’? And the chits right, onein’ just ain’t a word.”
“It was the sound, fuckin’, funin’, onein’. It worked.”
“What’s a scoob? And should Connor be hearing all of this?” Fred said.
“You’re right. Fred, please take Connor upstairs.” Cordelia held out the buddle in her arms.
“Cordy, it rhymed.”
“Angel, it was just bad, not even terrifying or funny.”
“Angel, Cordelia is right, Spike’s limerick was better.” Gunn nodded and jumped on the counter.
“It was not.”
“I’m afraid, I would have to agree.” Wesley nodded.
“What limerick? What did you say, Spike?”
Spike looked, the squirt was upstairs so he repeated it.
Cordelia considered saying the words again. “It’s better, much.”
“Angel, you’re sexier okay, vampolicious, Spike’s just better at the word stuff. You’re action manpire.” Cordelia smiled.
“Oh, Okay.” Angel grinned pulling the brunette to him. “I still think you owe me another apology on top of the last one, though.”
“Fine, but can it wait until after we deal with the blonde slaying bombshell that’s about to go off.” She whispered nodding to Buffy.
Angel stopped the descent of his head to Cordelia’s neck. “Oh, right.” He leaned up, standing straight, his hand still clasped around Cordelia’s waist. “So, Hi, sorry about that…”
“Really, Buffy, Angelus did a lot worse for you to be mad at, get over it. Or don’t. Why are you here?” Cordelia took over the conversation. “Not, that we aren’t happy to see you actually alive and all.”
Cordelia disentangled herself from Angel. “Dopey vampires aside, we all are very glad to see you alive,” she repeated sincerely.
Buffy blinked. She had never seen that smile on Cordelia, not to her. But it was real. It made her nervous. She glanced at Cordelia and Angel, who had moved back next to the young woman. His smile towards Buffy reflected the same sincerity.
But Angel wasn’t leaving Cordelia’s side. Buffy looked at Spike. Spike had looked the most comfortable she had ever seen, not jeering, not bitter, just okay. But, now he was nervous. It must be because he knew, she knew about Dracula. Buffy wouldn’t let Spike get away with what ever game he was playing.
“Spike, he came to meet Dracula.” She took a deep breath and waited for the fall out and questions to begin.
“Actually, Buffy, Spike came to talk to me and to warn me about Dracula being in town. Cordelia and I were already at the birthday party. So, Spike along with Wesley and Gunn- you haven’t met Gunn, that’s Gunn,” Angel pointed to the black man.
“Anyway, Spike helped us get out of the party alive and has helped us since.”
“Dead.” Cordelia said firmly. “And no longer of importance.”
“Hello, excuse me.”
Angel pushed Cordelia behind him and growled for Spike. Spike moved grabbing Cordelia. Gunn and Wesley moved to alert positions.
Cordelia struggled against the blonde vampire. “Let me go, you ass.” She jabbed and kicked.
“Chit, stay put. I’m not falling for your tricks this time.”
“Shut up. Angel, I told Mortimor he could stop by… granted I didn’t think he would, but I did.” She pushed, freeing herself from Spike.
“Cordy.” Angel growled turning on the young woman.
“Pfft. Angel, it’s Morty. Hey, have you decided what you want to do?”
Mortimor looked from Angel and Spike. “Miss, maybe I should…”
“Pfft, don’t mind them, they’re idiots. Come in. Coffee?”
“If Angelus…Angel, allows me.”
“Angel.” Cordelia demanded.
“Why are you here?” Angel ignored Cordelia and turned on the man, eyes flashing gold.
“Angel, Dracula is dead, Mortimor is alone, lost and I imagine very confused, he needs help and that’s what we do.” Cordelia glared.
“What the hell is going on?” Buffy yelled. Everyone was pretty much ignoring her and she didn’t have a clue what was happening. Who was the English new stranger that had everyone in an uproar.
And why was Spike protecting Cordelia? Buffy was going to lose it very soon, if she didn’t start understanding.
Mortimor jumped. “The slayer?”
“Yeah, old girlfriend of Angel’s and current pelvic partner with Spike. It’s the vamps of ‘Aurelius’ they have a knack for nailing the slayer.” Cordelia shrugged. “Though, Angel’s knack is now completely and only nailing the seer.”
“Cordy.” Angel’s glowering stopped after shooting a growl at Spike for letting her go. Angel hurried after the young woman leading the English gentlemen to the kitchen.
Buffy gulped trying to get her bearings. Had Cordelia just thrown out into the room that Buffy was sleeping with Spike? Buffy looked around. She had, but there was no reaction from anybody. Cordelia had said it outloud in front of everyone, but it was if no one heard… or cared. Angel just hurried, trailing after the Cordelia Buffy didn’t know.
Wesley was there, but she wasn’t even sure if she knew him. He wasn’t at all the same; sure he pushed at his glasses but he looked liked he fit, just like the man beside him and the woman that had gone upstairs with the baby did.
Buffy glanced back at Spike. He was fluctuating, going from looking okay to looking nervous. Something hurt inside of her as Buffy had a sudden flash that she was the one changing his mood. But she needed to understand and Spike was the only that she knew there, really knew, so she ignored the feeling. “Spike, what the hell is going on?”
“Nothing, slayer. I came and helped conquer, that’s all.”
“The baby? What were you doing holding a baby? And how do they know about…about…”
“The shagging?” Spike shrugged. “It came up in conversation. They’re okay with it, well, Peaches and the chit were really the only ones that knew, but they’re okay. As for the squirt, he’s my bleedin’ nephew, I can hold ‘em if I want. The chit said so. Didn’t she,” he turned to Gunn and Wesley.
“Yes.” “Yeah.” Both men nodded.
“Your nephew?” Buffy distracted completely from her dreaded secret that was common knowledge.
“Peaches’ kid, his and the chits. They said I could.”
Buffy shot an incredulous glance to Wesley. Wesley stayed firm. “Yes, Buffy, Angel did have a child and there is no doubting that Cordelia is that child’s mother. And Cordelia, as Connor’s mother and Angel, Connor’s father, both said that Spike was family.”
“Sure damn did.” Gunn nodded.
Spike barely looked at the two men, but the brief glance was sufficient. He had a family. He looked at Buffy. “The squirt’s my family. I can hold him if I want to.”
“Angel had a child with Cordelia? Impossible.”
“No. Prophecy. And Angel loves Cordelia.” Wesley shrugged fitting the truth to his purposes.
Buffy blinked, wanting to yell and go running after Angel and make him explain how he could have a normal life without her. Her feet started to move, and then stopped. She couldn’t have a normal life with Riley and she had loved him and he was normal, in a commando demon fighting way.
But in the human vs. demon arena, Riley was normal. But Buffy hadn’t been able to accomplish it. She looked back to the kitchen doorway through which Angel had disappeared. Buffy knew that she never thought ‘normal’ would be possible with the dark vampire. But their love had been real, oh so real, but a dream of something forbidden, because of Angelus. “Cordelia and Angel, how? Angelus? His soul?”
Wesley stepped up to field that one. “Angel’s soul has been anchored, he loves Cordelia.” He said simply. Wesley shoved aside his doubts about telling the young woman or his thoughts that Angel should be the one to tell her. Wesley pushed on his glasses and smiled firmly confident in his answer.
He would not take even the slightness chance that the vampire’s sure to be stammering and stuttering explanation of the truth to Buffy would hurt Cordelia. Buffy had to know.
Gunn moved up to add his two cents, though not exactly sure why. “Hard case love, tore Dracula to bits just for looking at her. The vamp’s got it bad. And also, Cordy’s Connor’s mother.”
“Spike?” Buffy turned to the one person that she had completely relied on since her return from heaven, dreaded secret or not. He always told her the truth.
“Buffy, Angel has a kid. Prophecy or whatever. He loves the chit. Really. I saw it. He does. He’d have told you himself, but he’s still a little rattled about the whole Dracula thing. He won’t be letting the chit out of his sight for a while. I’m sorry, love.”
“Angel, go away.”
“No.” He growled.
Mortimor squirmed in his seat waiting for the vampire to rip his throat out. He should be happy; that’s what he always wanted.
Except. The young miss had been right, watching the children play in the park, watching life past by him as he sat sipping designer coffee, he began to feel a glimmer that maybe it wasn’t too late for him. He had to ask the young woman how to do it. So he came. In his need, Mortimor had forgotten that the vampire that defeated Dracula protected her.
“Angel, Buffy is here. She has no idea why she’s here. I imagine at some point she will realize it’s because Spike wasn’t waiting on her hand and a foot for the last three days. But she will never realize that maybe that weirdness she is feeling could be love unless you go tell her it can be. Go. Tell her the truth”
“Angel, I trust you, are you worried that I can’t.”
Angel dropped to his knees cupping his strong hands around Cordy’s face. “I love you.”
“Then go tell Buffy that the love that you both shared opened you both up to a real future with people that could love you both with out strings or doubts or anything. Do it for me and do it for Spike. Let us both feel secure, finally. Being second best sucks.”
“Cordy, you aren’t…”
“Prove it to me later. Now go help Spike.”
“Miss, I truly don’t understand.”
Cordelia shrugged. “What do you want, Mortimor?”
“To learn to live again.”
“How do you plan to manage that?”
“I don’t know. Every thought, every feeling was centered around Dracula. I was hoping that you could help me.” Mortimor eyes remained on the table.
“Hmmph. Okay, I’ve a plan. Do you have any money? Of course not. Did Dracula? Did he leave a will? Nevermind. I’ve some from a vacation I never took, well, actually, it’s Angel’s, but he won’t mind. I’ll give it to you and I want you to book yourself on a Club Med get-a-way, not the hedonistic one that may be too close to memories needed to be forgotten, but the regular one. Enjoy, sun, people. If you are having problems with the whole getting a life thing- come back, I’ll put you to work helping the helpless. Deal?”
“Mortimor, why didn’t you want me to tell Dracula that I loved Angel.”
“He would have destroyed you.”
“I take it from your look and tone you mean worse than what he already had planned. Oh well, thanks for that.”
Angel walked out into the lobby. It wasn’t much different from when he left except Buffy and Spike were standing closer.
His hopes plummeted though at the sight, his grandchilde was ready to dance into the sun and the Buffy was confused and angry.
“Buffy, can I talk to you?” Angel said.
Buffy’s eyes shot up gratefully to the dark vampire as Spike’s glared.
“Office.” Angel gestured.
Wesley stepped forward than back. He was positive that no lovemaking would happen. But broken furniture? He moved again. Gunn pulled him back.
Angel passed Spike. “I trusted you with those I love.” He growled in a low whisper at the blonde vampire’s glare and attempt to block the path.
Spike stepped back.
“Bye, Morty, write.” Cordelia waved. She stood at the door for a moment and then moved back to Spike’s side. “Good, he did it. Angel can be such a dunce sometimes. Hey, you want to go see if Connor is asleep yet?”
“Chit, he’s in there with Buffy.”
“Yeah,” she shrugged. “Good thing, he loves me, uh.” She smiled.
“You told him to go.”
Cordelia shrugged again. “Hey, we both deserve to be number one, let the fairytale end once and for all. Let’s go see Connor. By the way, did I tell you thanks. If not Thanks.” Cordy tipped on her toes to grace a sweet kiss on the blonde vampire’s cheek.
“Buffy, let me start…please…and sit.”
Buffy sat agitated not knowing what she would hear, but knowing that it would change her perception of her future.
“Spike came three days ago. I wasn’t here when he arrived. I was taking Cordelia…nevermind….the important thing to you is Spike came to ask me to go back to Sunnydale and help you. He said you were lost didn’t know who you were anymore, he told me what you told him – about being ripped from heaven.”
“He didn’t have the right…”
“Buffy, you told him, not me, not Willow, not Xander, not Giles, you told him. And he only told me, because he thought I could help you. He wanted me to go and remind you what you are….a beautiful, courageous, strong, young woman.”
“He did? Were you? You didn’t.”
“Yes, he asked, and no I wasn’t going to go.” Angel grabbed the young woman as she leapt from the chair, pulling her back down. “I didn’t because it would’ve been a lie,” Angel held her down.
“ Not that you weren’t or are those things, but just that me going to you and telling you those things, promising you a love forever would be a lie. Because as much as I loved you, as much as I do care about you, as much as I know how wonderful you are- my life is here. I love Cordelia.”
“Cordelia?! How, she’s…” Angel put his hand over Buffy’s forming sentence.
“Buffy, I will warn you, I just fought Dracula, I’ve been going through some serious dark vamp instincts in the last couple of days. I’ve got Cordy back, so I’m happy, but if you do anything to threaten her or make her upset right now, I’m not really sure how I’ll react.”
“Buffy, I’m not saying this to scare you, or to belittle the love we shared, that was real, so real. But, what we had didn’t make it past Sunnydale, it didn’t and if you weren’t in such denial about your feelings for Spike you would know that.” Angel pulled Buffy back again.
“I hope you love him. For a soulless vampire, he deserves it. But if you can’t then please stop sleeping with him, it’s driving him nuts. And if he remains pouty and lost, then Cordy will ask him to move in to the hotel. And while, I don’t want to kill him, I don’t want him living here.”
Buffy jerked and glared. “You loved me, I loved you. How can you love Cordelia now?”
“Because for whatever reason I allowed her presence to enter my heart, and when Cordy takes a step she takes all. She was in my face for three years and in each one of those days she took over everything. She knows me Buffy. You have someone that does the same for you. The one you tell your secrets to. He’s there if you let him. I’ve given up and let Cordelia take over, I’m not sure I even had a choice in the matter. And honestly, I’m not sure you do either, you’re just denying the feelings, don’t. Or do. But, realize this, while I loved you and still care for you, I’m not some dream that you can avoid relationships for. My life is here, with my son and his mother that’s my reality and my dream. Hate me or thank me, it’s your pick. Just know that our time together was real but it’s over.” Angel got up.
Spike ran past as Angel shrugged through the doorway.
“Buffy, don’t let whatever the poof say get you down. He’s a poof, that’s all.”
“Spike, I want to go home. I took the bus here, can you drive me back, please.”
“Sure, okay. Hey, where are you going?”
“To say good bye.”
“Cordelia, I wanted to just say good bye.”
Cordy walked up closer. “Bye. Um, Bye, maybe some other time you can stay longer when there isn’t so many slams in your face sort of stuff. I really am glad you weren’t dead.”
“Yeah, I’m beginning to see how living is a plus. You have a son, congratulations. Take care of him and yourself….and Angel.” Buffy moved not knowing whether to hug or not. Cordelia moved and wrapped her arms around the blonde.
“I will…and you take care of Spike, he’s family you know.” Cordelia pushed up and smiled at Buffy.
Buffy scrunched her face. “Maybe.”
“He is. Go for it, keep him, look at his ass.”
Spike smirked at the low whispers as Angel growled.
“Angel, I’m saying good bye to our guests, be quiet. Oh wait, Spike, don’t leave yet.” She went running.
Wesley and Gunn came up.
“Buffy, nice seeing you, uh.” Wesley said then turned to Spike. “Thank you. I will admit you are the best of the lot.”
“Aren’t the others dust?”
“No, there’s still Drusilla. But even so, thanks.”
Gunn grunted. “You ain’t so bad for a vampire with bad musical taste.”
Spike growled. “I’m sending you a CD. You’re so pathetic.”
“Get out of here before I stake you.” Gunn shoved away. “Wait until I sign you up for 12 for 1 CD’s – my choice. They’re going to bury you. Ha.”
“Spike?” Buffy said, she had said her goodbyes to Angel, Cordelia, even Wesley, who was left? No one for her, but Spike still seemed to be lingering.
Angel came back into the room. “You’re going.” Buffy felt neglected again Angel wasn’t looking at her, but at Spike.
Angel nodded. “Cordy says you can come back anytime you want.”
“She likes me, she gave me cinnamon.”
Angel growled. “I’m sure it was just an over flow from mine.”
“Angel is jealous,” Spike laughed, in a singing tone.
“Spike.” Cordelia came forward arching her brows higher with each step closer to the blonde vampire.
“Shit, Peaches, what’s with that tone of hers.”
“I don’t know but it works.” Angel shuffled at the approaching brunette.
“Bye, Buffy, again. Spike, if you’re going, so, here.” She shoved a leather jacket in his hands.
“Angel, we already discussed this.”
“It’s yours, Spike” Angel patted the leather in the blond vampire’s arms. “Take care of it, it was my favorite.”
“Angel, don’t be a dork.” Cordelia hmmphed.
Spike looked around. “ I…”
“William, Connor wanted to say goodbye.” Fred bounded down the stairs.
Spike smiled, and then flashed a vamp face at the baby’s giggles. “I’ll tell you a better one next time.” He leaned up. “Bye, pet.” He smiled at Fred.
“Bye, William. Come back soon.”
Spike was almost to the door with Buffy, blanket ready for the dash to his car, when he was yanked back. He fell against Cordelia his hands going immediately around to keep her from falling.
“Chit, are you declaring?”
“Ass, No,” she hugged the vampire tight. “Thank you for everything, remember you have a home here.” She squeezed tighter.
Spike leaned up and touched a finger to her jaw. “You really want me dead don’t you, all the nakedness, touchy and feely.”
“No, Spike, I want you there for Angel, I don’t know exactly how long my demonness means, help him get to his redemption, promise me.”
“Love, you’ll be there but so will I, okay.” Spike kissed Cordelia’s forehead.
“Okay. Bye, get out of here, both of you, you’ve screwed up Connor’s schedule.”
Buffy didn’t say a word all the way back. She just stared out the window, not seeing any but her expression in the dark tinted windows. Every once in awhile in the silence, Buffy glanced over to the blonde vampire.
She didn’t understand.
A lot happened. Angel and Cordelia and Baby, big wow. But, even stranger was her reaction, she was hurt, mad, and that was understandable. But the sight of Cordelia giving Spike blood, a leather coat, promising him a family that was what made her whole being shake with worry and hurt.
Spike had been comfortable, hell he had been happy. She glanced back at the vampire that was driving her back home.
“Will you stay?”
Buffy leaned against the far passenger door. “Will you go back to LA? Cordelia said you were family.”
“She did, didn’t she?” Spike smiled. He glanced at the stillness that descended in the car. Buffy was curled up closer to the door.
“Are you going to leave me? I’m sorry, I just don’t know how.”
Spike jerked the steering wheel u turning the big vehicle to the side of the road.
“Buffy?” He leaned over her.
“I want a family.” Tears dripped from her big blue eyes.
“Love, you have one, and you do know how, you just have to remember who you are, please.” Spike leaned in wishing the young woman to believe him.
He had forgotten how vulnerable the slayer really was in his finding of a family.
“Are you family?”
“If you want me to be.”
Buffy studied the intense blue eyes of the vampire above her. “Maybe? Can I try, will you let me?”
“Oh, yeah,” Spike pulled himself up away from the body beneath him.
“Spike, will it ruin the mood if I say that if you make love to me- I might find that ‘maybe’ to be obsolete.”
“Oh, no.” Spike swooped in to capture her lips.
Many moments later Spike started up the car, amazed that Buffy wasn’t hating him or herself for what just happened. “Um, Buffy?”
“Mmm.” Buffy rubbed her head against the leather coated shoulder.
“Um, maybe, I don’t know, next weekend or something, we could come back up to LA, there’s this bar- Caritas, I know the owner. Cool, place. Maybe we could go? Maybe?” Spike squirmed a little.
Buffy leaned up and blinked. “Like, a date?”
Spike shrugged, he hadn’t really considered it that way, but okay. “Sure, yeah.”
“Maybe, okay, depends on Burger work schedule and whether Willow or Xander can stay with Dawn. But, the fake burger palace owes me and…well, Willow and Xander will understand when I tell them.”
“That I’m going on a date with you.”
“You’re going to tell them?”
“Have to, they’re family, like you.” Buffy moved in closer to Spike’s side.
Spike clenched the steering wheel straight, knowing that the grin on his face was goofier than Dork Angel’s had ever been.
“The site said two days,” Angel paced.
“Angel, not even counting the Connor factor, I’ve ended up on the floor, how many times? No. No more, Connor cuddling or sex until we get a bigger bed. You’ve been happy because you aren’t the one on the floor.”
“Cordy, I got on the floor.”
“That’s just it Angel, you GOT on the floor, I’ve had no choice. One minute I’m safely on the bed, the next whump on the floor. And of course you followed, you’re the one that thrust me there in the first place. Bigger bed, or else.”
“Two days, give me two days, please.”
“Maybe. You’ll have to do some major convincing though.”
“I can do that.” Angel grabbed for the naked beauty and laid her on the bed. “You’ll stay on if it kills me.”
“You’re already dead, big promise. Hmmph.” Cordelia laughed as she squirmed into his touch.
“Two days, I can do this, shut up and just enjoy.”