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Don't feel like waiting until Friday to post - so today I have for you
the second of five chapters of my little ficlet.

Once again, all hail my triumvirate of betas: Twinkles, mcrindle23 and
Stalwartsandall. They help to make me better.

Read and enjoy - all comments are welcome.

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Why was he doing this? He’d allowed himself to be bearded in his own den by his mortal enemy. And here people thought that Dru was the insane one.

Not that his nemesis looked like much at the moment; sitting demurely on a sarcophagus with her legs tucked under her bum. Soft tendrils of hair, free from its usual ties, floated around her face and neck. His borrowed shirt molded closely against her soft curves. Her hazel eyes…

Sod it all, this had to stop, and stop now! Any minute now he’d be writing sonnets about her perky tits – comparing the little ripe mounds with pillows or fruits. Or, possibly he’d start rhapsodizing about her little peach of an arse…

Spike growled his displeasure, loud enough to startle Buffy.

“What’s with the animal noises?” she asked, innocently tossing her hair and pulling her (his) shirt closer to her body.

“Nothing,” Spike growled, albeit softer this time. Needing to change the subject sharpish, he added, “So what’s the plan, Slayer?”

“Well, I need to know what happened to me, and soon,” she restated. “Last time I felt this helpless, I nearly died. And so did my Mom.”

Spike’s gut roiled. Not only had his Slayer been disadvantaged, but her mum – a good woman in his books – had nearly bought it as well. Swallowing down the anger, he asked, “Okay, so how do you wanna start?”

“We have to figure out what I’ve lost,” Buffy said, “before we can figure out how to get it back.”

Spike cocked his head, staring at her closely. “You want me to test you? Spar a bit and see what you have and don’t have?”

She nodded decisively. “It’s better than sitting here like a Fraidy-Buffy.”

“Sure you wanna do this in naught but my shirt, little girl?” he asked, the taunt loud and clear.

“Are you sure you can keep your eyes on the fight?” she taunted right back, scrambling off the stone bier with a saucy cock to her hip.

In answer to her question, Spike threw a powerful left at her head. Uncharacteristically, Buffy put up her arms to block his punch, instead of moving to avoid it.

“Tsk, tsk, Slayer,” Spike sneered, rubbing his temples at the slight warning his chip had issued. “One would think you’ve never come up against an opponent before. C’mon, then – come at me and let’s see what you’ve got. Free shot – I won’t move.”

Buffy took a deep breath, pulled back, and caught his chin with an uppercut, sending him halfway across the crypt.

“Oh, god, I’m so sorry,” she called out as she ran over and helped him up.

“So, you’ve not lost your strength,” Spike muttered, moving his jaw from side-to-side. “You still hit like a lorry.”

“That’s wonderful news!” she cried. “I still have my powers, so why can’t I fight back if I’m attacked?”

“Way I reckon it, seems like you’ve just forgotten how to fight: all the stuff you’ve learned over your tenure as slayer.” He paused, scratching the back of his neck, thinking hard. “Seems like it could be a spell. Made you forget what you know.”

“A spell? Who would… Willow!!” she exclaimed.

“Red!” Spike spat out at the same time. “she’s got form for botching up spells, Slayer,” he added. “Our ridiculous engagement, if you recall.”

“Ugh! Lips of Spike – how can I forget?”

“But why on earth would she risk workin’ another spell on you without your knowledge? Thought she’d learned her lesson after being propositioned by D’Hoffryn.”

“Oh, god!” Buffy cried out, sinking to the floor. “The forgetting spell! She mentioned it when she saw how upset we both were about being engaged. More on my behalf than yours,” Buffy admitted. “But I told her not to do it; I’d manage with the memories.”

“Couldn’t get me off your mind, pet?”

Buffy snorted – actually snorted like a little piglet. “I wanted to forget,” she said, “but I was willing to let time do the dirty work. There was no need for magic after the initial fiasco.”

“And there’s no way the little witch would go against your wishes? Do things her way, instead?”

“She does get stubborn when she thinks she’s right,” Buffy admitted. “But she’s my best friend. I trust her with my life.”

“Then maybe that’s on you, Slayer. Nobody with that kind of power should be trusted. They do as they see fit, and everyone else be damned. They talk themselves into thinking it’s the right thing to do, that they’re only ‘helping’.”

If it’s her,” Buffy said slowly, “she really didn’t mean to hurt me. She just wants me to be happy.”

“She might as well have wanted you dead,” Spike spat vehemently. “You’re the Slayer, for hell’s sake. You come up against oogy-boogies every single night. Not only did she take away your white-hat ability to help those in trouble, she took away your ability to defend yourself. She woulda been to blame if one of those fledges had gotten the better of you tonight, and your mum had woken up to find herself childless!”

Spike watched her expression as the truth sunk in. Holding back tears, she insisted, “We have to go to Giles. He can make with the revealing spell and find out what’s been done to me. And then we can confront Willow, if it’s her.”

If it’s her, she says,” Spike snorted. “Unlikely to be anyone else.”

“I can’t go out like this,” Buffy said, waving her hands over her scantily-clad body.

Spike rolled his eyes, and removed his duster. “Just a loan, mind,” he said, rolling up the sleeves so her hands weren’t swathed in leather.

As she pulled on her damp shoes and headed towards the door, Spike had an idea. He crept up silently behind her and took hold of her left shoulder.

Buffy immediately responded by reaching over her shoulder, grabbing onto his arm and tossing him once more through the crypt.

“I knew it!” Spike crowed from the floor. “Your body knows who you are and what you can do. It’s only your noggin that’s been emptied. Just need to find a way to retrieve the memories and you’ll be right as rain in no time.”

Buffy walked over and held out her hand to give him a lift. “That felt kinda good,” she said, through a broad smile. “Let’s go get my fight back.”

*****

Willow stared at her reflection in the mirror. A look of self-satisfaction lit her face and she felt as if she’d just outshone the whole class and gained Professor Walsh’s approval, the horrid old harridan.

Buffy’s bed was still empty; patrol must be rife with creatures of the night. She’ll come back exhausted, but at least her mind would be worry-free… thanks to her own intervention. The memory spell had actually been a breeze; a few smelly herbs, some beeswax candles and one of Buffy’s shirts were all that were needed. A simple chant – in English, for a change – and voila! All Buffy’s memories of her engagement to Spike were a thing of the past.

The possibility that she ought to have told Buffy she was gonna do the spell nagged at the corner of Willow’s conscience but she quickly batted it away. Buffy would be grateful in the long run and she wouldn’t have to cringe with discomfort every time she saw the pesky vampire and remembered having been all snuggly and wedding-planny with him.

Much better, Willow concluded, that she had cast the spell in secret, and could now just bask in the happiness that is peace-of-mind Buffy.

Happily humming to herself, Willow swept up the herbs, put away the candles, and placed Buffy’s shirt back in her drawer. Turning on her bedside light, the very-pleased-with-herself witchlet settled into bed with her English Lit book, and waited for Buffy to come home.




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