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The Soggy Witch Factor

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Spike jerked a hand basket from the neat pile just behind the sliding doors. The day had been a shit storm of emotions, so as soon as the sun was down he was out the door. Spike prowled the aisles of the CVS, looking where they kept the magazines and notebooks. Tara had called Rupert when they all woke up in the afternoon and tried to explain the situation to him best she could. That’d been fun.

Course, Rupes caught on pretty fast and had hightailed it down to Revello to have Red pack up her stuff, watching her like a hawk the whole time. Apparently he was taking her to some witchy clan back in jolly ole England to see if they could sort her out. The Whelp almost had a heart attack, walking in on that scene. He came by afterwards to the hotel to mumble his disbelief and ask if the two were alright. Fucking dumb question if you asked Spike, but it seemed to mean a lot to Tara. Probably thought the lot of them would desert her in favor of Willow.

Anyway, they were staying another night at the hotel, seeing as Rupert had to make arrangements for Red, get a flight booked, and make sure Anya could take care of the Magic Box. The entire day had been like a sap fest, so now he was here, going through notebooks to see if there was one Dawn might like.

Spike chose a sparkly orange notebook and then picked up some raunchy magazine to make him feel better about the amount of time he had spent in that stupid aisle. On his way to grab some snack food for Dawn he paused to grab some black nail polish, which he snuck into his coat pocket. If the Bit wanted to paint hers (and she probably would, if he was), she could deal with the color. He wasn’t going to spend 12 hours pickin’ through all the pinks and purples of the world. Still, imaging the Bit with black nails was just…weird, so he gave in and tossed some sparkly dark blue polish into the basket. He couldn’t recall if he’d ever seen Tara wear any.

Spike tossed a bottle of dark green into the basket. If she didn’t like it, Dawn could have it. She loved free stuff. The fucking place was a collection of distractions, and after riffling through the chip aisle like a raccoon (who knew they had Flammin’ Hot Cheetos? Bloody marvel.), Spike found himself staring at an entire row of stuffed animals. After a minute or two of imaging how much fun it would be to rip them all to shreds and wade in the fluff (then find the clerk, eat ‘im, and walk out with all the stuff he wanted), the idea of grabbing one for Dawn flit through his mind. It was stupid, but dammit, he wasn’t a fucking teddy bear, and maybe buying her one would help her with the whole snuggling up to the master vampire problem she had (he was still in denial that a small part of him had liked last night, in that older brother-ish sort of way he hadn’t experienced since he was a human).

Spike wandered through the deserted aisle, pulling out stuffed animals and shoving them back into the wrong places, looking for one that was right. Were elephants cool? Fuck, who gave a shit, an elephant was what she was going to get, and the size was pretty commendable. Go big or go home.

He had just declared himself finished when one of the most hideous things he thought he’d ever seen peeked out at him from the corner of his eye. Course, you had to stop and stare at a thing like that. Unless you were Anya—it would probably have sent her screaming and running out of the state in under ten seconds. Stuck in one of the huge bins was a long, five foot bunny, complete with the tan fur and the dumb whiskers, and the only reason he was still looking at it was because of Glinda.

Spike remembered, quite vividly now that he was standing there thinking about it, how it felt to wake up day after day without Dru next to him. It was lonely, shitty, and made him hate Dru even more for leaving him. The only reason he’d been able to deal was a large amount of tears, booze, and other women, and the only one Tara was indulging in was the tears, and he doubted she’d go any further than that. Still, the idea of having to pay for the fucking thing and then drag it through the parking lot and the hotel had him turning straight back around and heading for the cash register. No amount of soggy witch tears was going to get him to live through something like that.

Or so he’d thought. The ring on his thumb chose the perfect time to remind him of her. It was easy enough to ignore it and let it fade into the background, but once he thought about it, it came right back to the forefront. Spike looked up at the ceiling in irritation. Had he lived for a 126 years to get such a badass reputation just to have it ripped down in little but a few years? Apparently fucking so.

Spike stomped over to the bin, grabbed one of the rabbits around the neck and tossed the rest of it over his shoulder as if he was Santa. The REAL Santa tossed bodies over his shoulder instead of a bag of goodies, but whatever. After glaring dangerously at the pimply kid at the counter he tossed his purchases on the counter and barked out what cigarettes he wanted. As an afterthought, he tossed a Hershey’s bar and some Sourpatch kids up on the counter for Dawn and some more expensive looking chocolate bars for Tara. Chocolate was like the booze for good girls, right?

The nervous looking kid rung up all of the items, fumbling with the rabbit a bit when he tried to bag it. “That’s, uh, 61.59,” he stammered out as Spike grabbed the bags with one hand. Spike tossed a fifty and a ten on the counter and stormed out.

He didn’t even notice how this had been the longest amount of time he hadn’t thought about Buffy since he found out he loved her.