All Roads Lead To Rome - Chapter 13 - We Band Of Buggered
Taking a deep breath to compose himself, Xander walked back into Angel’s living room. “Howdy, boys and girls. Time for all good slayers and vampires to remember they have company,” he said, cheerily.
“Giles said to give you his regards, and that he’d be in touch. I’m thinking you made him uncomfortable with all the smoochies, and he feared that groininess was on the horizon.” Xander chuckled. “He did have a good suggestion, Buff. Said it might just be a good idea to call your sis, and let her know about Mr. Not-so-dusty before she finds out from Andrew. If she hasn’t already. Can you imagine a pissed off Dawnie showing up at Wolfram & Hart, all Rogue-like?”
Buffy disengaged herself from Spike’s embrace, cheeks flaring pink. “Oh, my god! I can’t believe I forgot all about Dawnie. She’s gonna pitch a fit that I didn’t call her with the Spike news.”
“Well pet, you were kind of distracted by my lovely self. She’ll just have to forgive you. Just hoping the Bit and I can get past…” Spike’s eyes lowered and his voice shaded into sadness, as he remembered the total destruction of their relationship by his own actions towards her sister.
Gently stroking the unhappy vampire’s cheek, Buffy murmured, “You don’t know how it was, Spike. Really. After the Hellmouth collapsed, and everyone had time to settle in and realize just how much they’d lost, Dawnie broke down. I mean, everything she ever knew was gone – her home, her friends, her stuff… even Mom’s grave.
“She cried for it all, but who she mourned most was you. Her best friend, her confidante, her hideaway from the evil big sister. She couldn’t get over the way things ended. Dawnie had been so angry because of the way she found out about… well, you know. And she told me she had threatened to set you on fire. She forgave you, Spike. You have to believe that. She just never got to tell you that, and it broke her heart.”
“Uh, guys?” said Xander, sheepishly. “Really, really sorry for my part in the hostilities. I should have just kept my mouth shut and let Buffy deal with it. I’m all 20/20 with the hindsight now, and I can’t change how bitter and angry I was then. I meant to hurt everyone as badly as I was hurting.” He sighed, “I hope it’s all in the past now, and we can all move on.”
“Mate, can’t say as how I was happy ‘bout you sticking your nose where it didn’t belong, but it’s over and done. Can’t change things either, and you know how much I’d take that whole business back if I could.” Spike felt Buffy’s hand squeeze his gently, and turned to the woman in his lap “Luv, I think it’s time we made that call.”
Buffy pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket, and punched in the numbers to reach her sister. “Hey, Dawnie! How’re you doing?” Hearing nothing but unintelligible mumblings, she tried again. “C’mon, Daaaaawn. I’ve got something important to tell you.”
“Gods, Buffy. Do you have any idea what time it is here?” whined Dawn. “You never take that into consideration when you travel.”
“Huh, it’s only 6:30 here, which means – ooops, 3:30 in the morning by you. Sorry sis, but I’ve got some really good news for you. Someone who needs to talk with you.”
“There is nobody I want to hear from at this hour of the morning,” Dawn mumbled. “But since I’m already up, who needs to talk to me so badly that time isn’t an issue?”
Taking the phone from the Slayer’s hand, the nervous vampire said, “’Allo, Bit. Got a mo’ for an old mate?”
Xander and Buffy shared a sympathetic look as they heard a wild scream pierce through the phone. Spike tore the receiver from his ear and winced in pain.
“Bloody hell, Niblet, you’re worse than that chip. I’ve got blood drippin’ from my ear thanks to that screech.”
“Oh my god, Spike. Is that really you? I mean, it sounds like you, but you’re dead - I mean, you always were dead, but then you were really gone. Like in particles. Poof!”
“Oi, snack size. M’not a poof. You must’ve Angel on the brain.” Spike pretended to complain, so relieved to hear the hope in his Bit’s voice that he was back amongst the unliving. “And yes, I did ‘poof’ in the Hellmouth, but that’s a story for another time. Just wanted you to hear it from us, first. Rather surprised the pup didn’t spill his guts by now.”
“Pup? Oooh oooh, you mean Andrew, right?” Dawn hesitated before she asked, “How long has he known, Spike? Is that why Buffy tore outta here with no note, no nothing? Giles was mumbling something about demons, and crazy slayers and all sorts of other things I’m sure he didn’t want my poor, innocent ears to hear, and.. I guess I’m all babbly right now and I’m sorry, but…”
“Dawn… pigeon, take a breath,” laughed Spike. “I’m sure you have loads of questions, and m’sure big sis and I will tell the tale, just not now. Don’t rightly know where we’ll be, so wait until we call you back with some definite plans, all right?”
“I’m soo sorry, Spike. I just need you to know that things’ll be okay between us. I mean, I want to hear your side about everything and I know there are things we both need to talk about – but I love you, and I need you to know that,” she cried. “I’m just happy I have the chance to let you know that, and I can’t wait to see you again.”
Letting out a breath he felt he’d been holding since Sunnydale, the vampire murmured, “Soon, pet. I promise. We’ll work it all out, and make with the personals. Miss you, too.”
Spike gently hung up the phone, and looked up at the teary faces of both Buffy and Xander, as tears fell softly from his own eyes.
"Hey Spike." said the brunet. "You asked me before why I did a what was it - a '180' on my feelings towards you, right? Well, you see how good you feel puttin' the mend on things with Dawn? That's what I was aiming for. Needed to fix things with most everyone, you included, in order to fix myself."
With a delicate sniffle, Buffy walked over to the teary-eyed blond and wrapped her arms around his waist. “So, glad that’s out of the way, Spike,” she said, looking up to catch his still teary gaze. “Dawn’s happy and you feel better about where you stand with her. Andrew gave us a break for once and kept himself muzzled.”
“Yeah, luv. S’truly a load off my mind. Pint-size and I have a lot of talkin’ to do. Just glad to know she’s open to it, and happy for it to happen.”
“She’s not so pint-sized anymore, Spike. She’s more, well, quart-y. I swear if she grows any more, she’s gonna hit the ceiling.” Laughing warmly, Buffy turned to her old friend and asked, “So, Xan… what’s next on your agenda? Gonna stick around for a while, or are you headed back to do the searchy thing again for more slayers?”
“Don’t really know what I’m doing, Buffster. Yesterday, I’d have told you different. I was sure that as soon as Sela was transferred to Giles’ protection, I’d have hot footed it back to Africa. Too many people here to deal with, and the noise and hustle – not for me so much.
“Never expected you to be here and even if I knew, we haven’t been hang buds for a long time. As for Spike? Hells, he wasn’t even on my list of possibilities. No offense, Fangboy, but you were dead-er than usual,” he said.
Spike just nodded, merriment evident in his eyes,
Xander continued. “Anyway, today I’ve got a whole different vibe going on. Pretty much due to you, Spike. This whole resurrection deal is getting rather commonplace, and I think I’d like to see the results through this time. Anybody willing to put me up for a couple of nights? I figure we can see what’s the what and talk about the what’s next.”
“I’m sure Peaches’ll be thrilled to put you up, mate. Bein’ as you two get along so well,” the vampire snickered. “No worries there, or you could stay with Rupes, unless he’s leavin’ tonight?” he inquired. “I’d invite you to stay at my basement for a change, but s’only one bed, and me and Buffy...”
Hand in the air as if to stop the words from coming out, Xander said, “Enough, Spike. Please, no visuals. Whatever you and Buffy end up doing, I don’t need the blueprints. Thanks for the offer, anyway.
“I’ll tell you what. Let me call Giles to make the arrangements, then we can all go out to dinner. Or pick up take out. Either way, my treat.”
“Sounds great, Xan,” said the petite blonde. “Let’s pick up some Chinese and head over to Spike’s. More cozy that way, and we don’t have to worry about people overhearing anything demony.”
All in agreement, the trio left Wolfram and Hart behind.
ETA: Lovingly beta'd by the brilliant willa_writes. Many **smooches** to you, pet!