Chapter 1, It all started with a bang.
BECOMING, MAY 1997
It all started with a bang. The bang of Joyce’s car door that is. Buffy could tell her mother was upset when she pulled up outside the Revello Drive house. The Slayer just hoped that Spike would be a help instead of a hindrance. The truce was his idea after all.
“I have been looking all over for you!” Joyce said in a stern voice. She glanced at Spike. “Who is this man? Who is this, Buffy?”
Buffy opened her mouth to come up with a convincing lie when her mother continued to speak. She gave Spike a fleeting look, but the obstinate vampire wasn’t any help what so ever. He just smirked at her with mischief dancing in his blue eyes.
“He’s your boyfriend, isn’t he?” Joyce put her hands on her hips. “He’s why that other boy was so angry.”
Buffy glared at Spike who raised his eyebrow while he too waited for Buffy to answer her mother’s question. A memory from a few months before flashed through Buffy’s mind.
VALENTINE’S DAY, FEBRUARY 1997
Buffy gave the clientele of Willy’s bar a quick perusal before she crossed the room to the bar. It looked like even the demons had something better to do with their Valentine’s Day than she did. Of course, the male demons were probably all out trying to figure out why their females had gone Xander-happy that day. Buffy wrinkled her nose at how Xander-happy she had been. She was almost glad that Amy had turned her into a rat.
“What’ll you have, Slayer?” Willy asked. He just hoped what the Slayer wanted wasn’t to punch him in the nose. He was only human, and her punches hurt. She didn’t exactly look dressed for fighting. She looked like she was dressed for a trip to the gym, but Willy had learned that how she was dressed didn’t matter much. The Slayer was lethal at all times.
Buffy shrugged. “Heck if I know, Willy.” She looked at the bottles lining the wall behind the bar. “You got anything that tastes good, doesn’t last long, and my mom won’t smell.”
“Give the Slayer a Dragoonian Pale Moonrise.” A familiar voice rang out next to Buffy.
Buffy turned to find Spike in his wheelchair at a nearby table. She wondered how she’d failed to notice him in the room. Buffy noticed that he kept his scarred face in the shadows as if embarrassed by the burn marks. She was about to protest his suggestion.
“Good choice,” Willy commented.
Buffy leaned against the bar while she studied the vampire. “So, they let you out alone tonight, Spike?”
Behind the bar, Willy started mixing the drink that the injured vampire had suggested. He knew of nobody that was as volatile as these two creatures. If he was lucky they’d kill each other and leave him alone.
Spike’s sad, cynical voice muttered, “Too busy shaggin’ to worry about a crippled vamp, Slayer.” He took a long drink off the glass of amber alcohol in front of him. “Dru’s a bloody bitch.”
“Angel’s a … a darned poophead.” Buffy took a seat across from the vampire. Normally she would have been going for her stake, but two things stopped her. The first was that Spike didn’t look like much of a threat in his wheelchair, and the other was that he looked as unhappy as she felt.
Willy brought the Dragoonian Pale Moonrise out from behind the bar, and he set it on the table between the Slayer and the vampire. Then, he went to find a good hiding spot in case there was a fight.
Spike snorted. “Is that the best you can come up with, Slayer?”
“Well, I haven’t had centuries of practice like some people.” Buffy took a sip of the silvery, demonic drink in front of her. “Oh, this is yummy.”
Spike raised his drink. “Well, here’s to Valentine’s Day and lost loves.” He put the glass to his lips.
Buffy nodded in agreement while she swallowed another mouthful of the Moonrise. “I swear my next boyfriend is gonna be evil before we start on the smoochies.” She started to feel tingly all over, and her eyes fell to Spike’s lips.
Spike’s eyebrows shot up when the Slayer stared at his mouth, her pink tongue darting out to wet her own lips. “What are you thinking about, Slayer?” he asked.
Buffy’s gaze rose to Spike’s eyes. Then, she gave the vampire a cheeky grin. “You’re evil. Will you be my boyfriend?”
Spike let out a bark of laughter. “You know, Slayer. You’re an alright bird.”
The two mortal enemies spent a few hours chatting about anything and everything. Neither one thought about how they should be trying to kill the other. They were brought together by a foe bigger than both of them.
Finally Buffy turned back to her mother with her answer. “Yes, Mom. Spike’s my boyfriend.” She grabbed Spike’s hand in a death grip. “I dumped Angel to date him, and Angel got all stalker-y on us.”
Spike snorted. He couldn’t believe that Buffy went along with her mother’s suggestion. Did the woman have no clue as to what her daughter’s true identity was? By the look of confusion on Mrs. Summers’ face, Spike guessed she probably didn’t. How else would she jump to the conclusion he was dating Buffy?
“Were you with him when that girl was killed?” Joyce asked. “Can he tell the police that you had nothing to do with her death?”
“I uh …” Buffy gave Spike a ‘help me out here’ glare. “Can’t we take this inside?”
“I’m not sure how I feel about this,” Joyce replied. She stepped towards the porch.
Before anything else could be said, a vampire minion jumped out of the bushes on the other side of the porch. He pushed Spike and Buffy to the side before he started to jump towards Joyce. The Slayer grabbed the minion when he went by, slamming him into Spike. The bleached blond hit him a few times while Buffy took the time to pull out a stake. A particularly hard hit by Spike sent the vampire reeling into Buffy who staked him.
Spike sneered at the crumbling pile of dust. “One of Angel’s boys.”
“Yeah, probably watching one of us.” Buffy nodded.
“He won’t get a chance to tattle on us now.” Spike tilted his head. “Doesn’t she know what you are?”
Buffy shook her head. “Last time I brought it up they stuck me in the loony bin.”
“Buffy, what is going on?” Joyce asked in utter confusion.
Buffy looked at her mom. Maybe it was time to try telling Joyce the truth again. At least this time she could get Spike to do a demonstration for her. Buffy stepped closer to her mother. “Mom…” she hesitated for a moment. “I’m a vampire slayer, and my boyfriend? He’s a vampire.”
Joyce stared at her daughter in complete dismay. She blinked, and she shook her head. Not this again!