I hope that anyone who enjoyed this fic is willing to pick it up again, and those of you new to it will be willing to embrace it.
This was meant to be my happy, fluffy, one-shot fic. The muse had other plans.
Title: What Dreams May Bring
Setting: Spoilers for anything BtVS, AtS Season 5 – Post Damage
Disclaimer: If they were mine, I’d treat them nicer than Joss ever did.
Feedback: Yes, please!
Archive: Ask me, nicely.
Warning: I had a dream, this is the result.
A/N: Unabashedly Spuffy with… well, read it. You’ll see.
Beta’d by: Willa
Summary: Buffy comes to LA to confront Spike for the first time and brings a surprise.
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He knew she was there as soon as he entered Wolfram & Hart’s massive lobby. He could single out her scent in a crowd of hundreds. Standing not more than twenty feet from him was Buffy Summers. The woman of his dreams and nightmares. Calm, ethereal, ~and yes, damn it, effulgent ! Still a perfectly serviceable word.~ she raised a perfectly sculptured brow as he stood there, gaping like a slack-jawed fool. She had put on some well needed weight, bringing back curves he hadn’t seen since she was an innocent sixteen year old dancing at the Bronze and he couldn’t tear himself away.
She smiled at him, obviously not shocked that he was back from the ashes. He should have known that silly git Andrew wouldn’t have been able to keep his mouth shut. It had been months, though. When did she find out and why did it take so long for her to let him know?
“It’s good to see you again, Spike,” she said softly. “I never thought I’d get that chance.”
A slight nod of his head indicated that he’d heard her. Spike stood there, paralyzed with indecision. He’d dreamt about seeing her again for so long. He wanted nothing more than to run to her and scoop her up into his arms, aching with the need to do so. The problem was the same as always – he had no clue as to her reaction. They were in the midst of a public space. Would she push him away? Drag him behind closed doors? There was no way he could deal with that again, so he stood his ground, trembling with the restraint to stay his feet.
Rolling her eyes in a motion so practiced it could have been predicted by anyone who knew her, Buffy was the first to break the stalemate by walking over to the stunned vampire and placing a kiss on his cheek.
“Look at you, pet. You’re stunning.” His eyes never left the vision before him as he circled around, finding the back view just as enticing as the front.
She blushed at the compliment, her cheeks flaring pink. “You don’t look half bad yourself, Mister. Resurrection becomes you.” A slight tremor ran through her body. “Spike, is there somewhere we can go? I really need to sit…”
He caught her before she hit the ground.
“Hey, Spikey,” said Harmony, who had silently appeared at his side. “Angel set her up in room 317 for as long as she’s here. Why don’t you take her there, and see if she needs anything.” Her nostrils twitched delicately. “And I’d check her out. Smells like she’s bleeding.”
Spike had been so shocked at seeing her that he hadn’t paid attention to his own senses. Yes, she smelled the same, but there was an undercurrent of fresh spilled blood, and something else – something indefinable. Taking the elevator, he reasoned he could always call a doctor if necessary.
Shifting the Slayer in his arms he attempted to open the door, finding it locked. Before he could turn to find an employee with a master key, the door was opened by – Dawn. Seeing Spike with a passed out Buffy in his arms, she urged them inside.
“What happened to my sister? Did you do anything or say anything to upset her?” The look on her face rivaled the Slayer’s best ‘tell me what I need to know and I might not stake you’ expression, one Spike was intimately familiar with from their early days.
“Nib – Dawn, I swear I didn’t say anything past ‘you look stunning’ before she said she wanted a seat and collapsed. And she’s hurt, bleeding from somewhere. There’s something else that I just can’t place. Do you know what’s wrong with her?”
Visibly relaxing, she said, “Don’t worry, she’ll be fine. It’s all sorta normal post… hey, did she say anything to you at all? And by the way, how come you never bothered letting us know you were back? We had to find out from Andrew. The little geek called from the plane and… you do know you can put her down on the couch now, yes?”
With a sheepish grin, Spike reluctantly settled Buffy onto the couch and turned to face his onetime friend, unsure of her reception. He didn’t have long to wait.
Dawn flung herself into his arms, hugging him tightly before pushing him away. “You know, you and Buffy have absolutely ruined life’s lessons on death for me. I mean, you die and come back. It’s hardly novel anymore.”
“Sorry, luv. Pretty much expected to remain ashes…” The vampire cut himself off when he realized he was apologizing for coming back to unlife.
“Moron,” she said, “You know that’s not what I meant. I’m glad to see you, Spike. Really I am. There’s just so much you need to know and I can’t believe she fainted before telling you.”
“Don’t blame the girl, Bit. You’re here and all conscious. Why don’t you fill me in?”
“Well, some of this isn’t mine to tell, but I’m sure Buff’ll fill in all the missing pieces when she comes to. Just promise me you won’t freak, ‘cause hearing this piecemeal isn’t the best way to go.”
“I’ll do my best, pet. Just tell me something before you’re old enough to be a granny.”
“Hmmpph. Fine, kill my sense of drama why don’t you? Anyway – we found out about you from Andrew months ago, and Buffy wanted to get on the Council’s jet right away. The problem was twofold. For one, Andrew said you promised to call – which you never did and for which you’re so not forgiven. For two, Buffy was advised against traveling. She had a condition that the doctors said took precedence over the stress of flying.”
At that precise moment, Buffy groaned as she sat up. Dawn immediately brought her some bottled water, and they whispered quietly for a moment before Buffy shooed her out of the room and beckoned to Spike to join her on the couch.
“Nice impression I made after all these months, huh? All eighteenth century swoony-girl. You must be so impressed. It’s not quite how I envisioned our first meeting, you know.”
“Thought about me, have you?”
“More than I ever thought I would. I mean, we waited for your call, and nada. I tried to give you your space – to respect your wishes. It just got harder and harder to leave things lying in wait.”
When she looked up to meet his eyes, her own brimmed with unshed tears. “I need to tell you something that’s very important. To you and to me. I will, no matter what, but I want to ask you something first. Do you still love me, Spike?”
“Stupid question, luv. I’ll always love you. That was never the question,” he said softly, unable to maintain eye contact.
“Yeah, I know. We made a damned mess of things… before. As opposed to now,” she said, brightly. “Any chance we might…”
Her question was interrupted by the lusty wails of a baby crying from the back room. Dawn popped her head out of the doorway to apologize. Buffy signaled for her to bring the baby into the main room.
“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, Spike. I wasn’t able to travel for the past two months because it wasn’t good for the baby, but see? As soon as I could, we hopped on the plane to…“
Spike’s posture stiffened, and his expression closed down. “So, didn’t wait too long to find you that normal existence you were harping on about. I s’pose you’re gonna introduce Papa to me now? Maybe we can be best mates and meet for dinner once a week, so’s I can play Uncle Spike to the sprout?”
“Gods, what is it with interruptions today? I just want to be able to finish a sentence without fainting or crying or…” She took a deep cleansing breath, knowing she’d hurt Spike unintentionally. “I’m sorry – I’m explaining this whole thing badly. Please let me finish. I promise it’ll be okay. Can you trust me on this? For now, until you hear all the facts?”
He nodded, reluctantly. He was never able to deny this woman anything, why fight it now?
Dawn brought the baby in, all dressed in soft grays and pinks with a snug little cap covering her hair. At a look from Buffy, she brought the baby over to Spike, encouraging him to hold her.
He gingerly accepted the little one, and looked at her sweetly smiling face. Wide blue eyes, delicate cheekbones – she reminded him of someone he used to know.
“So, Slayer – tell me about her Papa.” He tried to be cavalier about it, but tears prickled at the corners of his eyes.
“Her father is dead, Spike. He never knew I was pregnant. He died before I knew I was pregnant. She’s a miracle baby, for sure. In fact, Dawnie and I had a long discussion about her name, wanting to honor her missing father. We also decided to name her after her two grandmothers. May I present Miss Willa Joyce Anne Summers-Bennett.”
Spike was so wrapped up in sweet baby smiles, he didn’t pick up on the last name – at first.
“So, tell me about this Bartlett chap. You’ve said nothing past he’s dead.”
“We didn’t have a long standing relationship, Mr. Bennett and I. We just had a glimmer of promise before he died. I never even knew his last name until...” Seeing his expression she rapidly continued. “Hey – don’t you raise your eyebrow at me, buddy. Making me out to be a big ho ‘cause I didn’t even know the last name of the man I was sleeping with and wasn’t married. It wasn’t quite that type of relationship. It wasn’t like any relationship I’d ever had before and you know I’ve had some doozies.”
“Not judging, pet – entertain us.” He smirked.
That earned him a clip on the back of his head from Dawn.
“Anyway, being in England was a bonus for me, ‘cause there were birth records and all sorts of things to look up. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Bennett – Will – was British? No? Well, I found all his legal paperwork, and when Willa was born, we added his last name as a hyphen to mine.”
“Bloody hell!” he whispered softly, so’s not to disturb the little one in his arms. “My Mum! That’s who she reminds me of. No… there’s no way it’s possible. You said her father was dead…” he started, realizing how long he’d been played.
“You okay there, Sherlock? Technically, you’re undead and were dead and gone – until we heard otherwise from Andrew. She’s your daughter, William Matthew John Bennett and don’t you ever leave us again.”
Reaching over to remove the hat from their daughter’s head, Buffy laughed. “You know what’s really funny? Neither one of her parents is a natural blond, but look at the color of her hair. If it’s possible, her hair is whiter than yours.”
When the baby began to fuss, Buffy reached for her, opened the buttons on her blouse, and settled back to nurse. Spike sidled in close to mother and child, resting his head on Buffy’s shoulder to watch the miracle of his daughter ~his daughter~ suckle.
Neither knew what the future held in store for them, and were content at the moment just being together – a family for the very first time, captured on film thanks to Auntie Dawn.