Title: Right Kind Of Wrong (1/2)
Pairing: S/B (sorry Mel!) some refs to X/A, A/C, Fr/Gu, D/C
Rating: R (language and violence. God, I love Spike!)
Spoilers: Set after Season 7 of ‘Buffy’ and Season 4 of ‘Angel’ so yes.
Disclaimer: No one belongs to me, but to the almighty Mr Whedon.
Synopsis: Prequel to my A/C fic ‘You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This’ and covering the B/S pairing in that. Spike’s a bit mad (but attractively so) and Buffy gets written how she should be written. Nicely, and not a whine or a ‘poor me’ in sight.
A/N : Not a huge fan of this pairing but it needed to be written and the song was just MADE for them!
Dedications: My Angels, love you all, thanks for the concern and support. Jen, Ina, Queen C, Danel and Ianthe, love you guys too!
“’BIT! What the bloody hell do you think you’re doin’?”
Dawn Summers jumped guiltily and looked over her shoulder as Spike’s black CV pulled up outside the High School. The vampire leaned across the passenger seat and glared at the teenage girl. “In. NOW!”
Carlos and Kit exchanged looks and backed away from the glaring demon only to flinch as his head whipped round and he fixed them with furious blue eyes. “An’ you two. Move it!”
The three teenagers jumped again as Spike flung open the passenger door with enough force to have it spring back on its hinges and slam shut again. Dawn sighed and pushed back her freshly highlighted hair, “Spike, what is your deal?”
“Get in the bloody car before I get out and drag the lot of you in.”
Kit fiddled with her long brown hair and whispered nervously, “Maybe we should do as he says. He seems kinda pissed.”
Dawn waved a negligent hand through the air, “Pfft, he’s always pissed, that’s how we know he’s Spike.” She flashed him an unrepentant grin “Right Daddy Bear?”
“Get. In. The. Fuckin’. Car.”
The smile dropped away from her face and she pulled the car door open and jumped in gracefully as Carlos and Kit scrambled into the back seat. Spike barely waited for the doors to shut before he floored the gas and the car peeled away from the curb. Dawn hurriedly clipped her seatbelt into place and stifled a yelp as they hurtled round a corner on what felt like two wheels.
The demon took one hand from the steering wheel to shake a finger under her indignant nose, “Don’t you ‘Spike’ me ‘Bit. What did you three think you were playin’ at? Might as well as had a sign over you flashin’ ‘Nummy Treats For All, Get ‘Em While They’re Hot’.”
He cuffed her lightly round the ear ignoring her angry squawk and glared over his shoulder at Carlos in the back seat, “And you! What the bleedin’ hell were you thinkin’ letting my girl stand around a deserted bloody street like that?”
Carlos opened his mouth and then wisely closed it when Spike’s eyes narrowed in warning. The vampire shook his head in exasperation, “No matter how many times we tell you, you never bloody listen. When practice finishes you come straight home, NOT stand about gassing until it gets bloody dark.”
Dawn rolled her eyes and grinned into the rear mirror at her two friends as Spike went into lecture mode and blithely ignored him as he sent the CV careening round a corner into Kit’s street. He pulled up with a squeal of tires outside the Goth girl’s house and turned to shake another remonstrative finger under her nose. “I mean it, Queen of The Damned, you pull that stunt again and I’ll personally strangle you with your own entrails.”
Kit blanched at the image and then caught Dawn’s eye as her friend stuck her tongue out at the back of Spike’s head. Quick as a flash the vampire turned and captured the tongue and gave it a good, hard yank, bringing tears to Dawn’s eyes, “I don’t ‘ave a reflection ‘Bit, YOU do. I can see you in her eyes.” He turned his head to look at Kit again and kept hold of Dawn’s tongue, ignoring her strangled protests and batting hands, “You get in that house and you don’t come out till mornin’, got me?”
Kit opened her mouth in protest, “You can’t tell me what to do. You aren’t my mom!”
Spike narrowed his eyes, causing a lock of his newly longer hair to fall forwards, “No, I’m a demon. A demon who will beat the living crap outta you if you aren’t in that house all night long when I come and check.” He gave a smug grin, “You’re a junior Scoob now, we ARE the law.”
Dawn finally got her tongue free and swatted the back of Spike’s head, “ You’re grounding her? You can’t DO that.”
Spike nodded thoughtfully, “Ok, I’ll just tell the Slayer you three ignored her direct orders and ponced about at Hellmouth central till dark and get her to write a note home to your mums.” He grinned evilly, “Alright?”
There was a sudden silence in the car, and then Kit nodded, “Inside. Right. No problem. See you tomorrow guys.”
She hopped out of the car and scurried up the path to her door, pausing on the step to give a last wave and then disappeared inside. Spike pulled away from the curb and did a u-turn to head for Carlos’ house on the poorer side of town. The tense silence lasted until the teenage boy was sent into his own house with the same firm instructions to stay there until it was time for school and then Dawn exploded, “What the hell gives you the right to order me and my friends about? You don’t have the right to ground us. When I tell Buffy what you did she is SO gonna kick your ass. And you HIT me!”
Spike growled deeply and his eyes flashed gold in the streetlights as he turned his head towards his reluctant charge and she snorted in dismissal. “Oh yeah, that’s terrifying. The Big No-Biteeny. I’m sooo scared.”
Spike slipped into his demon face and snarled, “Don’t push me ‘Bit, I’m this close to turning you over my knee and smacking the life right outta you……….”
Dawn folded her arms and hissed, “Just try it and I’ll stake your formerly scary ass where you sit.” She jerked forward against her seatbelt as the car came to an abrupt halt, and for one awful minute she thought that the vampire was about to make good on his threat, then she saw her house through the window.
Without another word she jumped from the car and stalked to the door, nearly slamming it shut in Spike’s face when he made to follow her. He glared at the wood for a moment and then followed her into the warm hallway. From the kitchen came the sound of slightly off-key singing and he made his way down the hall, to be greeted by the sight of the Slayer as she bumped and ground her way through a song playing on the radio whilst stirring something on the stove.
“Ba-aaby, you’re the right kinda wrong,
Ye-ah baby you’re the ri-ight kinda wrong..”
She threw the wooden spoon she was holding into the air and twirled gracefully to catch it only to give a loud shriek as she spotted the grinning vampire in her kitchen doorway, “SPIKE!”
“Slayer.” He waited a beat. “Nice moves.”
Buffy glared at him. “Bite me.”
Spike wandered across to the refrigerator, pulled the door open and stuck his head inside. “Love to. Can’t.” His head came back into view and he waved a bag of chilled blood at her. “Mug.”
Buffy’s mouth fell open, “Moron!”
There was a short confused silence, Spike shook his head and said slowly, “No, have you GOT a mug. Not you ARE a mug. Are you feeling alright?” He cocked his head to the side a looked her over from head to toe, “You look a bit skinny, are you eating enough? You’re alright for money, right?”
Buffy flushed deeply, “We’re fine. And I am NOT skinny.” She turned to the counter beside her and fished Spike’s ‘Kiss The Librarian’ mug from the wooden cup tree. ‘Here.” Spike took the mug with a nod, routinely curled his lip in disgust at the cheerful message and ripped open the bag to pour the thick liquid in. He shoved the mug in the microwave, set the timer and then turned back to Buffy to find her still staring at him.
She opened her mouth, shut it and then shook her head, “Nothing. It doesn’t matter.” Spike frowned in confusion as she bent to pick the wooden spoon off the floor, threw it in the sink and took a fresh one from the drawer beside her. Buffy turned back to the bubbling pan on the stove and proceeded to stir as if her life depended on it, Spike made to speak and then turned as Dawn stomped into the room.
“Buffy, you have to do something about Spike. He totally embarrassed me in front of my friends, he grounded Kit and Carlos and behaved like a big jerk all the way home.” She folded her arms and glared at the blond vampire and said triumphantly, “And he hit me!”
Buffy continued to stir her spoon, “And what did you do?”
Dawn frowned, “I told him I’d tell you. He was so mean!”
Buffy closed her eyes briefly as Dawn’s voice skated perilously close to a whine and took a deep breath, “No, what did you do to make him hit you?”
Dawn and Spike had a brief competition on who could look more stunned at Buffy’s calm tone, which Spike won by a narrow margin and by virtue of not being an exploding cloud of ash, and then the young brunette spluttered, “What? I didn’t do anything.”
Buffy put her spoon down and turned to face her sister, “You’re telling me Spike hit you for no reason, absolutely no reason at all? Spike, who worships the floor you stomp on, just up and smacked you around for the ya-ya’s?” She narrowed her eyes at Dawn. “What. Did. You. Do?”
Spike got up and fetched his blood from the microwave, keeping his face turned away from both girls to mask his astonishment at Buffy’s reaction. He sipped from the mug and listened to Dawn splutter an explanation behind him. There was another small silence and then Buffy said coolly, “You’re lucky it was Spike who found you and not me. I’d have kicked the three of you home on the toe of my boot. You’re grounded just like the other two and for the rest of the week after school all of you report to the Magic Box for punishment duty.”
Spike turned around in time to see Dawn throw up her hands in disgust, “What? You’re taking his side? This is so not fair!”
Buffy shrugged, “That’s life.” She turned back to her cooking, “Go wash up for dinner.”
Dawn blinked and then glared daggers at Spike, “I HATE you, and I can’t believe she’s letting get away with this.”
Spike shrugged. “Me either.”
Dawn spun round and stormed out of the room. The sound of her feet crashing up the stairs echoed through the room, “And don’t think when you move in you can order me around. You aren’t my Dad!”
Spike’s mouthful of blood was spat clear across the kitchen as Dawn’s bedroom door closed with a bang. Buffy sighed irritably, “Damn it.” She turned to look at Spike as he wiped a dribble of blood of his chin and grinned ruefully, “I had this whole dinner thing planned to lull you into a good mood and a bottle of whisky and everything.” She bent to pull a brown paper bag out of a cupboard and waved it feebly in mid-air, “See?”
Spike tried to get his vocal chords to work and managed, “Wh…wh...wh….”
Buffy nodded resignedly, “I thought that’s what you’d say.” She walked across to him and snagged his arm, heading for the basement door, “Just don’t say anything until you hear me out, ok?”
Spike allowed himself to be pulled along in her wake and forced out a weak, “Not a problem, believe me.”
Buffy walked down the basement steps and opened one of two doors that Spike was sure hadn’t been there before. Buffy pulled him into the room and flung out an arm, “Ta-daa!” Spike looked around the space that had previously been a concrete bunker cum laundry room and blinked. The ceiling that had been home to a nest of pipes and cobwebs was now a smooth expanse of white plaster. Under his feet was an obviously worn, but still plush, deep red carpet that stretched from one soft cream wall to the other. A large double bed stood up against one wall with a midnight blue cover and various pillows and cushions thrown haphazardly on the top.
Buffy moved into the room and pointed to the triple wardrobe and dresser that stood side by side on the opposite wall, “We were going to get pine, but then Xander saw these at a garage sale and he thought they might be more your style.” Spike nodded speechlessly at the dark mahogany furniture that shone under the soft light from the lights fixed into the ceiling. Buffy pointed behind Spike and he turned to see tucked behind the still open door a matching writing desk, complete with a roll down top, reading lamp and leather high backed chair.
“We thought you might need somewhere you could sit to read and stuff, but if you don’t like that chair then we got you this one.” She stepped to the side and Spike saw a deep armchair in the same blue as the bedcover standing against the far wall, in front of a wall hanging in the same blood red as the carpet. Buffy moved to twitch the material aside and Spike blinked again as he saw a door come into view, “Xander came over with some of his crew last weekend and put this in.”
She turned the key and pushed the door open and Spike saw a short flight of steps in the moonlight leading up into the back yard “We thought if you took it, you’d like your own space. Y’know, your own way in and out. A bit of privacy.” She shut the door and turned to him with a bright smile, “So, what do you think? Are you interested?” Without giving him a chance to speak she rushed on, “Of course your book shelves and stuff aren’t getting here till the weekend, ‘cos Xander’s been kinda busy with everything lately, but he says he’ll definitely have them finished by Saturday.”
Radiating nervousness Buffy stepped forward and looked earnestly into Spike’s eyes, “I know most of the stuff isn’t new, even with the money the Watcher’s Council is giving me I still have a lot of debts to pay off, and we figured that old stuff wouldn’t bother you. You like old stuff, right? I mean, you ARE old, so we thought that you’d feel more at home.”
She tucked a wisp of flyaway hair behind her ear and gave an uncertain smile, “I know it’s the basement and everything but there was nowhere else that would fit. Me, Dawn and Willow are all upstairs so there’s no more bedrooms, and then there’s the problem of the whole sunlight thing. We needed somewhere you’d be safe in the day, and Xander soundproofed the laundry room so the noise of the washer shouldn’t bother you during the day when you’re sleeping…..”
Her eyes widened as Spike placed a gentle hand over her mouth in self-defence from the relentless flood of babble and he said hesitantly, “You want me to stay here?”
Buffy shook her head and tugged his hand away from her mouth, “Oh no.” Spike looked utterly bewildered until she said firmly, “We want you to live here.”
Spike actually staggered back a step in shock, something he’d be incredibly mortified over later, and looked utterly blank. Buffy reached for him in concern, “Spike? Are you ok?” He stared at her with empty blue eyes as she tugged him towards the bed and made him sit down, “Put your head between your legs and take deep breaths.” She giggled “Ok, dealing with a vampire here. Breathing deeply not a big help.” Buffy crouched by Spike’s leg and touched his arm gently, “Are you ok? Do you want me to get you some blood?”
Spike sniffed her hair and recoiled back, “You aren’t the Bot.”
Buffy shook her head slowly, “No, I’m the other-not-so-pleasant Buffy. Remember? Spike, you’re starting to scare me, are you having an attack?”
She peered into his eyes, searching for some kind of indication that he was still with her and not zoning out into one of his fantasy trips that he had been prone to when he first returned with his soul. She turned as she heard heavy footsteps on the stairs and Xander came into view.
“Xander, help me, there’s something wrong with Spike.”
Xander grinned, “There’s news hot off the press. Permission to say duh?” His eyes narrowed as he took in the empty look on Spike’s face and the way the vampire’s eyes stared down at the blonde Slayer at his feet. He moved forward and tugged Buffy to her feet, “Go get him some blood and call Will. She should be at the store. Tell her to get Ahn to drive her over here.” Buffy hesitated and Xander gave her an impatient shove towards the door, “Go now .” With one more glance at the catatonic demon on the bed Buffy ran for the door.
Xander waited until he heard her reach the top of the stairs and then he turned back to Spike. “Ok, blood boy, up and at ‘em. On your feet, soldier.” He tugged at Spike’s boneless arm and then gave the blond demon a sharp slap around the back of his head, “Hey, Forrest Gump, lets see a little action, huh?”
Spike’s eyes turned slowly upwards to blink disbelievingly at the dark haired man, “She wants me to live here.”
Xander bit back the sarcastic retort that rose in his throat as he saw the look of confused wonder in the sapphire blue eyes staring up at him. He sat next to Spike and said carefully, “Yes. We all do. Buffy needs some help and the rest of us already have somewhere to live.” He gave a lopsided grin and nudged Spike in the ribs “So we sat around and thought about it and we asked ‘Who do we know who’s a bum and has no life to speak of, that can deal with Dawn and do laundry? Hey, I know. Spike!’”
Xander frowned when the insult failed to get a reaction and said more seriously, “Buffy needs someone she can trust, to be here and help guard the home fires. You live in a high school basement and sleep on cardboard. We’ve been fixing this place up all month in secret, since Giles suggested it.” He looked around, “You don’t like it?”
Spike followed his gaze, “It’s all for me?”
On the stairs, Buffy’s eyes filled with tears at his awe-struck tone, she turned as a hand slipped into her’s and Dawn gave her a watery smile.
Back in the basement Xander swallowed the lump in his own throat and reminded himself he was, a) a manly man and b) he hated Spike. “Well, I don’t see any other loser vamps in here, do you?” He stood up and gestured around him, “You could say thank you.”
Spike blinked, “Why?”
Xander’s mouth fell open, “Because we gave up our last four weekends putting this little pad together for you and Buffy’s spent a lot of money…….”
Spike jumped up and shook his head, “No! No, I mean why me? Why would she want me after what I did?”
Xander huffed, “Because she’s forgiven you. Because you can be useful and you care about Dawn.” He paused for a few seconds and gave a pained grimace, “And because, against all strenuous objections on my part, you seem to have weaselled your way into this family. You’re a Scoob and that makes us responsible for you. What would the other white hats think of us if we let you stay in that crummy school for the rest of your unnatural life? We’ve gotta keep up appearances y’know.” He grinned, “This doesn’t mean I like you. I just helped out Buffy.”
Spike nodded, “It’s my soul, isn’t it?”
Xander cocked his head to one side and shrugged, “Sure, that makes things easier. We’re all a lot happier that the people living here are on the side of the angels, despite lacking in the pulse department.” He rolled his eyes and slapped Spike’s upper arm lightly. “Look, Buffy and the girls are worried about you. You live in that crummy hole, your mind’s bouncing all over the place and you could get found any moment. Here you can be all comfy, have three hot chicks fussing over you day and night and all the plasma you can swallow. Run with it.”
Spike turned in a slow circle, “I don’t understand why you’ve done this.”
Xander shrugged uncomfortably, “Buffy asked me.”
The vampire lowered his head and stared at the floor, “But after what I did do you, to Buffy and Anya……”
Xander stepped forward and took Spike by the shoulders to give him a quick, hard shake. “That’s over. Never, ever , speak of that again. If I never see your bare butt again it will be too soon, do you understand me?” Spike nodded.
“Good. Then let’s go upstairs and tell Buff she’s gonna have a cadaver living in her basement and eat some food. I’m starving.” He turned towards the door, paused, and turned back to say firmly, “Although if you even think about boinking Willow or Dawn, I will kill you dead.” Spike raised an eloquent eyebrow and Xander gave a twisted grin, “Dead-er. After patrol I’ll give you a lift to the school and we’ll pick up your things. Ok?”
Spike shrugged, “Sure. I’ll be up in a minute.”
Xander shrugged and made his way out of the room. Spike waited until he heard the door to the basement close and then went and softly shut the door to his room. He leaned against it weakly and looked slowly around at the wonderful gift he had been given. He raised an unsteady hand and raked it through his hair slowly, trying to assimilate his sudden, dramatic change in circumstances, whilst simultaneously fighting to keep himself together.
All the fear and loneliness that he had endured since regaining his soul showed on his face as he made his way to the bed and touched one finger to the soft cover. He began to shake uncontrollably as his face worked to fight back sudden tears. His knees gave way and he dropped like a stone to the floor, not hearing the door open and shut softly behind him.
Willow leaned back against the wooden panel, unconsciously echoing his pose of moments before, and her eyes filled with pitying tears as she looked at the shaking figure on the floor. She crossed silently to him and drew him into her arms, whispering softly when he tried to pull away.
“Sssh, it’s ok. Its just me, it’s ok.” Her fingers wove through his hair, deftly stroking his scalp and pressing his face against her shoulder. Spike sagged into her embrace and wound his arms round her like a small boy; Willow frowned as she caught the mantra he muttered over and over again.
“S’not real, s’not real, s’not real, s’not real…….”
Her fingers slipped beneath his chin and she lifted his terrified gaze to hers, “Spike. Spike, look at me. It’s real, I’m real. Calm down.”
He shook his head, “You’re not real, it’s not real. I’m in the basement and I’m safe. It’s not real.”
Willow bit her lip as she realised he’d sunk into the madness that no longer allowed him to identify reality from delusion. She cast an anxious look at the door and thought about calling for help then dismissed the idea. She smiled gently at the wild-eyed vampire and whispered, “Sleep.” Her hand drew lightly across his eyes and his body went slack in her arms. Slowly she eased him onto the floor, shrugged and figured in for a penny, in for a pound and floated him onto the bed.
Working quickly she pulled off his boots and duster, then tugged the cover to cover him partway. In sleep he looked unbearably young and Willow smiled as she looked down on him, then bent to brush a kiss over his forehead. She walked to the door and went to turn out the lights, then paused as she realised that if he woke up it wouldn’t do him any good to wake in an unfamiliar place in the dark. She slipped through the door and made her way up the stairs to have a talk with Buffy, clearly Spike was a lot sicker than any of them realised.
When Spike woke up he found himself lying in a soft, sweet smelling bed and warmer than he’d been in months. He turned his head and saw Buffy, curled under a blanket on a huge chair, asleep. He frowned as he tried to work out what was going on and then flinched as Buffy’s eyes snapped open and focused on him. She smiled and stretched slowly, “Hey, how are you feeling?”
Spike’s eyes flitted about the room anxiously and Buffy slipped off the chair to kneel by his bed. She smiled at him and said calmly, “Take your time. Will said you were a bit excited last night.”
“I’m still here.”
Buffy swallowed at the fearful voice, her heart sinking, as she heard no trace of the brash, cocky vamp Spike had been. She took a deep breath. “Yes. Spike this is real, it’s not make-believe.”
His hand tightened convulsively on the cover and Buffy reached instinctively for his arm, “Spike, listen to me. I know its been tough, and I’m sorry, but you have to try and focus. If you don’t want this, say, and we’ll figure something else out, but try and stay with me here.”
The vampire’s head rocked from side to side on the pillow, “Not real, not real, not real….”
“ Why aren’t I real, Spike? What makes me not real?”
Spike focused on the concerned face above him and whispered confidingly, “You think I don’t know, what you are, but I do. The Slayer wouldn’t touch a thing like me; I’m dirty, beneath them. I’m filthy with fear and hate, not meant for them, better to go, not be seen. Can’t be seen.”
Buffy swallowed her tears as the muscles clenched and unclenched beneath her hands, and tried to shut her ears as all the filthy, evil things that she had ever said to Spike were repeated back to her from his tortured mouth.
She bowed her head for a moment and then looked up with tears on her cheeks, “Spike, I’m sorry. I was the one that was beneath you. I didn’t value what you did, or what you sacrificed to stay with me and keep Dawn safe and I’m sorry.” Her hands came up to cup his face and she forced his eyes to hers, “I will make this better, I promise you. You’re safe here.”
She looked round as the door opened and Giles poked his head in. “Is he awake?”
Buffy swept her fingers quickly over her cheeks, taking away the traces of her tears and stood up, “Yup. He’s not making any sense though. I haven’t seen him this far gone before.” She glanced down at the quietly mumbling figure in the bed and frowned, “I think he’s broken.”
Giles joined Buffy at the bedside and slipped a comforting arm around her shoulder, “Not broken, just a little loose at the seams.” The older man sighed, “Are you sure you want this? He could make life very difficult for you, and the whole point of him being here was to help protect and care for Dawn. He can’t very well do that like this. Let me take him for a few days, just until he’s a little more focused.”
Buffy straightened her shoulders and her face tightened in resolve, “No, he’s my responsibility. I did this to him, this is my fault……..”
“Buffy, no, that’s not true.” Giles looked appalled at the conviction in his slayer’s voice and took her by the shoulders, “This is in no way your fault.”
“Oh yes, it is. You keep trying to shelter me Giles, but you can’t do that anymore. There are consequences to everything that happens, and the consequences for me are that when a person I misused and mistreated consistently is shown some kindness and some consideration and then goes into complete meltdown from shock, I get to look after them and fix what I broke.”
Buffy leaned down and brushed Spike’s hair from off his forehead, “I thought that I’d made things right when he came back, letting him see Dawn and help with patrol. I let myself be convinced that was enough, and I ignored the fact that he went home to a damp basement every night and no one ever saw him unless we wanted him to put his life on the line for us. I went right back to treating him like crap, without ever realising it, because I dressed it up in my version of appropriate kindness.”
She shrugged, “Even when we were making plans to build this room, I did it for us and not for him.” Her eyes filled again, “I heard him last night when he spoke to Xander and I’ve never heard loneliness and need like it. It’s not enough any more that we let him be with us when it suits us. If he fights with us, he’s one of us, all the way. He needs care, respect and understanding and he needs a home.” Buffy’s mouth twitched into a watery grin, “I think I can give him that.”
Dawn staggered through the open door clutching her portable TV. “Hey guys. I brought Spike a present. ‘Passions’ is on soon, I’m gonna watch it with him.” Her eyes rested on Spike for a moment and then fixed on Buffy, “Help me set it up? I don’t have much time.”
Buffy smiled. “Sure.”
Dawn put the TV down on the writing desk and unwound the flex, “Willow says she’ll sit with him later, there’s a bunch of old poems she wants to talk to him about.”
Giles watched the two sisters tune in the small television and then removed his glasses and began to polish, “I’ll come and sit with him tonight. There’s a fascinating documentary on about an archaeological dig in South East Asia. He might enjoy that.”
Buffy beamed gratitude at her Watcher, “I’m sure he will.”
Lying on the bed, Spike muttered on.
End Of Part 1.