the house, bingeing something or other.
Please read and hopefully enjoy. Comment as it hits you.
Whatever you recognize is not mine. I'm still obviously wending my way through
canon here and there.
Thank the Powers for the quiet, Buffy thought as she headed slowly but surely towards Restfield Cemetery. She could hardly believe she’d fought back against her closest friends – and it’d felt wonderful!
Buffy hadn’t realized how much their attitudes had grated on her psyche over the past few years. Sure, they meant well. Of course they did; they were good people. But still, that didn’t give them the right to make decisions for her. And it had been well past time for her to stand up and make sure they knew it.
Did she feel guilty about it? Yeah, just the slightest bit. And Buffy was sure there would be no small amount of censure in their looks the next time they got together. It’s just that, for the moment, her burden was lighter for her blowup.
A left turn at the Mandelbrott double headstone, then a right at the Barker crypt, and Buffy found herself right outside one of the larger crypts in Restfield. For some reason, Spike was scoping the place out. She hesitated, girding her loins and taking a deep breath, before she approached him.
“To what do I owe the pleasure of your company, Slayer?” he asked.
“I wanted to tell you about Dr. Lecher’s exam,” she said, unable to look him in the face. “I mean, not about the details, but about the results,” she added. “I just told the gang, and I thought it only fair to tell you.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, “what with my not being included in your merry band of Scoobies.”
Buffy snorted. “You wouldn’t have wanted to have been there tonight.” Then again… “Maybe you would have. Tonight was ‘let’s pile our opinions on Buffy’s head’ night.”
“And this is different how, you reckon?”
“I told them off,” she said, smugly.
Spike’s scarred eyebrow lifted towards his hairline. “That so?”
“It was so that!” Buffy laughed, though she hadn’t found it funny at the time. “Willow’s mouth gaped open like a fish.”
“And the boy?”
“Oh, he made his opinion known. He basically called me a ho for sleeping around and then, when I mentioned your help, he accused me of sleeping with you!”
“You know, he’s always had a bit of a thing for you. Doesn’t surprise me at all the bloke’s jealous as all get out.”
“Don’t think I didn’t call him on that one,” Buffy boasted.
Spike laughed. “Isn’t that somethin’,” he said, softly.
“I may be blonde, but I’m not blind.”
“Your little mates do know how baby vampires are made, don’t they?”
Buffy nodded. “It’s one of the first things we covered after they found out that vampires were real.”
“And they know that we can’t make babies the traditional way, what with our little swimmers bein’ dead and all,” he pushed further.
“Then why the bloody hell would that pillock think I got you up the duff?”
“If I interpret your strange Britishisms correctly – and you’re asking why he would think you got me pregnant – I mostly think he was just mouthing off. In the face of the unexplainable, Xander isn’t always at his coolest.”
“That git has no ‘cool’ whatsoever,” Spike grumbled.
“I’m afraid I have to agree. Xander is sweet, but as for having it all together… well… he tends to be a bit lacking.”
“So, Slayer… can we get to the point of our little talk? What did the doctor have to say?”
“He concluded that I am definitely pregnant – about 4-6 weeks,” she revealed.
“And how do you feel about that?” he asked gently.
“Well, it’s better to know for sure than worry about Willow’s mystical cancer theory,” she said, “but, until I see this doctor you and Giles found, I’m withholding any decisions.”
“Probably a smart move, pet,” he agreed.
Buffy opened her eyes and found herself standing in an empty hallway. Not home, not college…an empty intersection in Sunnydale High.
The school she and her friends had blown to smithereens.
She cocked her head at a faint sound: a little girl humming or chanting.
“Do you hear that?” Buffy said aloud.
Walking forward, she came across a young blonde – who couldn’t have been more than ten years old – wearing a long red dress and holding an ornately carved wooden box.
“Can't even shout. Can't even cry. The Gentlemen are coming by.
Looking in windows. Knocking on doors.
They need to take seven and they might take yours.
Can't call to mom. Can't say a word.
You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard.”
Buffy looked around, feeling a presence at her back, and almost screamed at the horrid vision she saw grinning at her.
She woke up with a start, wiping the drool from her lips, to find herself sitting next to Willow in a full classroom. Oh, god, she hoped her snoozefest hadn’t been noticed by anyone, especially Professor Walsh, also known as the Bitch Monster from Hell.
From the front of the room, the professor said, “So, I’ll see you all on Monday for a final review session.”
“Man, that was an exciting class, huh?” Willow nudged Buffy with her elbow.
“Oh, yeah… well.”
“And the last twenty minutes was a revelation – just laid out everything we need to know for the final. I’d hate to have missed that.”
“Just tell me I didn’t snore,” Buffy muttered, still embarrassed at having passed out.
“Very discreet, minimal drool,” Willow reassured.
“So, were you dreaming?”
“Yeah, it was kind of intense.”
As they left the classroom, Riley stepped out from behind a column. “Intense, really? ’Cause you seemed so peaceful,” he said as he fell into step with them.
“Of-of course it was only for a moment,” Buffy stammered, mortified that he’d noticed her sleeping.
“Right,” he said indulgently. Hey, you guys headed over toward Judd…”
“Er… student center,” Buffy corrected.
“Oh, great. So this dream…”
“You know, you guys go. I’m gonna go do the thing,” Willow said, awkwardly. “So I’ll see you after Wicca group. Bye!”
“Okay. Bye.” Buffy murmured.
“Bye,” Riley acknowledged. Turning to Buffy he said, “So, tell me about your dream. As a psych major I’m qualified to go ‘hmmm.’”
Buffy blushed hotly. “I really don’t remember it.”
“Well, did I appear at all in this dream?” he asked, all boyish charm.
“Not really,” she said. “Why would you?”
Clearly taken aback, he asked, “Are you sure?”
“Not even a cameo,” Buffy replied.
Shaking off her obvious rebuff, Riley asked, “So what have you got going on for tonight?”
“Patrolling?” Riley’s eyebrows rose.
“Uh… Petroleum,” Buffy corrected.
“Tonight you have crude oil?”
“And homework. What about you,” Buffy tried to push Riley off his line of thought.
“Oh, you know… grading papers.”
“Ah, that’ll be fun,” she said with a false tinkle of laughter.
“Not petroleum fun, but it passes the time.”
Damn, like a dog with a bone he won’t give up! “So, I uh…”
“Yeah?” he asked, hopefully. “I guess I won’t see you until…”
“Yeah,” Buffy said, feeling an unusual twinge of daytime nausea as Riley leaned in to kiss her. “What papers?” she asked, trying to hold her breakfast down.
“Papers?” Riley asked, confused.
“Um, grading… what papers? We only have the final.”
“You know, Buffy, a fella can get the wrong idea if, every time he tries to get close to you, you look like you’re gonna heave.”
“Sorry, Riley,” Buffy apologized, feeling bad/not bad.
Bewildered, Riley said, “I’ll see you then.”
“Yeah,” she said to the TA’s retreating back.
Giles walked around the chair, stretching the phone cord taut. ‘Can’t even cry. The Gentlemen are coming by’. It sounds vaguely familiar. You’re sure it’s… nothing you heard when you were a child?”
He could actually hear her eyes rolling back in her head in her reply.
“I’ve already told you as much,” Buffy insisted.
“Oh, alright. Nothing else?”
“Well, i-it could definitely be one of your prophetic dreams – or it could just be the eternal mystery that is your brain.”
“Look, I’ll check it out and, um, I’ll let you know if I find something, alright? Bye bye.”
Turning to Spike, Giles asked, “Have you heard of a group called the Gentlemen?”
“Group of what?” Spike asked, as he threw himself down onto the couch and crunched down on a cracker.
“The Gentlemen,” Giles pushed, rolling his own eyes.
“No,” the vampire replied. “We’re out of Weetabix.”
“We are out of Weetabix because you ate it all – again!”
“Get some more.”
“I thought vampires were supposed to eat blood.”
“Yep.” Spike continued to lie on the couch like a lump. “Well, sometimes I like to crumble up the Weetabix in the blood – gives it a little texture.” He opened a jar of peanut butter.
“Since the picture you just painted means I will never touch food of any kind again, you’ll just have to pick it up yourself.”
Giles pinched the bridge of his nose – hard. Another interminable day with his unwelcome, aggravating houseguest.
He looked up sharply as Anya walked through the door, unannounced.
“Well, I think we should talk about it now,” she snapped at Xander who was following close behind.
“Thanks for knocking,” Giles said sarcastically.
The exasperation dripped off Xander’s words. “If you don’t know how I feel about-”
“I don’t! This isn’t a relationship,” Anya argued heatedly. Apparently, this conversation had been going on for some time now. “You don’t need me. All you care about is lots of orgasms.”
Spike’s interest was piqued enough at Anya’s words that he sat up, a cracker hanging half out of his mouth.
Giles removed his glasses, rooting around in his pocket for his ubiquitous hankie.
Blushing beet red, Xander’s tone became hushed but urgent. “Okay… remember how we talked about private conversations and how they’re less private when they’re in front of my friends?”
“Oh, we’re not your friends,” Spike chimed in, continuing to munch on his treat. “Go on.”
“Please don’t,” Giles implored.
Anya stamped her foot. “This is important.”
“But why is it here?” Giles begged to understand.
“Mom said you wanted me to swing by?”
“Oh, oh yes! Well, I meant uh after sunset,” Giles said, remembering his earlier conversation with Xander’s mother. “Uh, I need you to take Spike for a few days.”
“What?” Xander responded.
“What?” came Spike’s rejoinder.
Not to be left out, Anya’s “What?” followed.
“I’m not stayin’ with him,” Spike insisted.
Giles tried for calm, but his patience was nearly at an end. “I have a friend who’s coming to town and I’d like us to be alone.”
“Oh, you mean an orgasm friend!” Anya said perkily.
Giles groaned inwardly. “Yes, that’s exactly the most appalling thing you could have said.”
Anya looked at him with an ‘I just spoke the truth so why are you so upset’ expression.
“He’s not roaming around,” Xander said vehemently. “He stays with me, he’s gonna get tied up again.”
“What about our romantic evening?” Anya whined.
“I’m not having these two shag while I’m tied to a chair three feet away,” Spike spat.
Giles sat, hitting his head with a closed fist in exasperation.
“That’s not exactly one of my fantasies either,” Xander agreed with Spike.
“So, you’re blowing off our evening because –”
Spike muttered something unintelligible.
“I don’t want him to come either,” was Xander’s final word on the situation.
And yet here we are, Spike thought, bitterly. Tied to a chair as monkey-boy climbs into bed in his delicates.
“Don’t see why I have to be tied up,” he whinged as Xander turned out the light.
“It’s just while I’m sleeping,” the git replied.
“Like I’d bite you, anyway,” Spike retorted.
“Oh, you would!”
“Not bloody likely!”
“I happen to be very biteable, pal. I’m moist and delicious.”
“Alright, yeah, fine, you’re a nummy treat.” Spike rolled his eyes, irritated. He’d been hanging with the Slayer way too long for comfort. Now he was copying her mannerisms. This just wouldn’t do.
“And don’t you forget it.”
After a few moments of silence, Spike (pitching his voice soprano in imitation of Anya) sing-songed, “Xander… don’t you care about me?”
“We never talk.”
Xander turned and held up a warning finger. “Shut up,” he said, emphatically.