Spike rose around midday feeling refreshed and at ease. He had been thrown for a loop when Giles mentioned that Buffy would be coming to Moscow. The last time he had seen her things had been strained to say the least and he wasn’t sure whether they would succeed in working together. He had enough shit on his plate but he knew that rebuffing any help would be foolish. ‘Sides his pride was something he had surrendered a long time ago when it came to the Slayer. He still thought of her as the Slayer even if she wasn’t the only one anymore. But she had been for so long and the fact that he had been besotted with the bint only added the feelings of her being the one. She was still the slayer and likely she would always be as long as she lived but she wasn’t the one any more. That was a liberating realisation for Spike. Still, fighting with Buffy got his juices flowing like no one else. After all this time fighting side by side he knew her moves as well as his own. Although, he could see she was rusty and out of practice. She might have a little one at home now, but she was still a Slayer. The light in her eyes when she fought and the pep in her step on the way to the pub showed that she knew that too. Vi’s little interference didn’t backfire too much. He reminded himself to give that silly bint a telling off for sticking her nose where it didn’t belong. There was little to do when the sun was up and Spike decided he would phone the Bit and see how she was keeping.
He reached for his cellphone and dialled Dawn’s number.
“Spike,” she squealed.
He chuckled. The Nibblet might be a grown woman but she could still act like a child on occasion. He missed her and her kiddies. He might be happy here in Moscow but they were like family to him.
“How are you?” she babbled. “How’s Buffy? Are you both alive?”
“Well one of us is dead.”
“Ah shut up.”
“We talked, got some things out in the open.”
“Wow, you talked. You’ve never been good at that.”
“That hurt, Bit. It hurt to the bone.”
“How are the little monsters doing?”
“Driving me spare.”
Spike smiled. “And Micheal? Is he treating you right?”
“You know Mike. He’s much better than I deserve.”
“I doubt that,” Spike said dubiously. “I like him but no man’s good enough for my little Bit.”
“How is the Dracula and Drusilla hunt going?”
“It’s going nowhere.” Spike sighed heavily. “We’re hoping Buffy’s appearance might drag one or both of them out.”
“Will you come back for the holidays?” she asked. “We’d love to have you for Christmas.”
Spike clucked his tongue. “I don’t know, pet. Let me think about it.”
“Okay – let me know.”
“I will, pet. And mind yourself and the little bits.”
Spike got off the phone feeling light hearted. Speaking with Dawn almost always put a smile on his face. He decided he was going to check if Vi was doing her daily workout. They had developed a routine over the past month as they found they worked well together. There was still some tension with some of the Slayers. The majority of the girls had forgiven him but some of them were still cold towards him. He couldn’t blame them really. He was just as angry at himself for his stupidity. Vi had been great even if she had been offended that he hid Dru’s presence. He poked his head into the training room and, sure enough, Vi was pummelling the punching bag.
“Come on in. I could do with a punching bag that punches back.”
Spike walked into the room. “Glad to be of service.”
“How did last night go with Buffy?” Vi continued to punch the bag.
“As well as could be expected,” Spike pulled the bag back just as her fist was about to connect to the bag. “Buffy and I were never good at the talkin’ thing.”
Vi raised a brow, “Shit sorted then?”
He nodded. “Shit sorted.”
She smirked, hands on her hips. “Remember that I’m always right the next time I ask you to do something.”
He rolled his eyes. “Maybe it worked out this time. But do me a favour, luv, and you’re your nose out of it next time.”
She stuck out her tongue.
An eyebrow rose, “Ready to get your pretty little arse kicked?”
“I think the question is are you?”
“Dream on, pet.” Spike curled his tongue.
An hour later, Spike and Vi were just about to leave the training room when Buffy walked in. She was wearing a pair of sweats and her hair was pulled off her face into a ponytail.
“Sorry,” Buffy said looking from one to the other. “Didn’t know there was anyone in here.”
Spike smiled. “It’s ok. We’re just leaving.”
“Great!” She flushed. “I don’t mean great you’re leaving..I mean… Actually, I don’t know what I mean. You can stay if you want.” She slapped her forehead. “Stupid mouth.”
He stifled a laugh at Buffy’s discomfort. “It’s alright, pet. I’m familiar with mouth in mouth disease.”
“We get it,” Vi added. “Listen, Buffy, there was something I meant to ask. Want to ask if you want to come out patrolling with me later?”
Buffy looked as taken aback as Spike was by the offer. He had just told the bint to keep her nose out of his business and here she was interfering again. He couldn’t even figure out what she was up to.
“Sure,” Buffy replied, with a smile that didn’t quite meet her eyes.
Spike and Vi left the room and once they were out into the corridor he rounded on Vi. “What’s that about then?”
“What do you mean?” Her butter didn’t melt look didn’t work on him.
“I don’t want you meddling,” he snapped.
“God, you’re so self-obsessed. Not everything is about you.”
Spike didn’t believe her; she couldn’t meet his gaze.
He narrowed his eyes, “I told you Buffy and I are over. I’d appreciate it if you’d listen for once.”
For some reason she looked like he slapped her. “You know what, Spike? Fuck you!” She walked off leaving him standing there puzzled to exactly what he did wrong. Women!
Spike’s good humour had vanished after the fight with Vi. He waited for a half hour before going to look for her to make peace but she had left the house. It was still bright and he couldn’t leave without bursting into flame, so he ended up watching the telly with Andrew. When the boy could shut up for more than five minutes he wasn’t such bad company for a nerd, though Spike would never admit it. They were streaming episodes of Dr Who. The rest of the Slayers got sick of their commentary and left them to it.
“That’s completely unrealistic,” Spike complained. “I refuse to believe a Dalek can be taken out by a sodding sonic screwdriver.”
“You’re just jealous because you don’t have one,” Andrew said. “All you have is your teeth.”
“Oi. What about my vampire strength? I could totally take that weedy little doctor.”
“And you have a cape.. I mean coat. You have a cool coat.” Andrew slurped his drink nosily. “You still couldn’t beat a Dalek.”
Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Buffy. “Have I been transported back in time into Sunnydale?”
The two heads turned to her.
“Andrew’s just the same but Spike’s been turned into a teenage girl.” She plopped down on the sofa between them. “What ya watching?”
“Doctor Who,” Spike said.
“Oh little one, you’ve missed much.” Andrew said. “Let me tell you the story of an alien. He’s chosen just like you, Buffy.”
Buffy and Spike shared an amused look as the boy began his lecture, “Nobody knows his true name and he travels through time and saves the world again and again.”
Spike felt in his jeans pockets to make sure he had his smokes. Finding them he said, “I’m going outside for a smoke.”
“I’ll come with,” Buffy said.
Andrew was still droning on and didn’t notice them leave.
Spike opened the door for Buffy and left her out first. “Thanks for rescuing me from the Incredible Bore inside.”
It was still light but the porch would shield him from direct sunlight.
“You looked like you were having a good time.”
Spike shrugged admitting nothing. “I s’pose you’ve checked in with the Poof. I was surprised that you left the little one behind.”
“Angel took Alice to see Conor back in the States,” Buffy explained. “I really miss her, so I jumped at the chance to get away and get reacquainted with Slayer!Buffy.”
“We could certainly do with the help,” Spike admitted as he sat on the doorstep.
She sat beside him. “I’m glad we cleared the air last night.”
“Me too, but don’t tell Vi. Don’t want to encourage her.”
Buffy smiled, “Remind you of a little sister, who used to be a green blob of energy?”
Spike nodded, “They’re both interfering bints.”
She started playing with her bracelet. “Are you – you know – seeing one another?”
He raised a brow, “Me and Dawn?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “No – you and Vi. You guys seem pretty close.”
Spike wondered what the bint was playing at. “We’re just good friends, not that it’s any of your business.”
“You seeing anyone?” he asked, taking a puff on the cigarette.
“No – having a kid makes dating difficult.”
Spike exhaled the smoke. “It would, at that.”
The door opened and Andrew popped his head out, “I was wondering where you guys had gone to. Do you want to play with the Wii? We could have like a tournament.”
“No, Andrew,” slayer and vampire chorused.
“We really should be trying to figure what old Vlad is up to. I think I should do the rounds of the demon bars while you girls are patrolling.”
“There won’t be any drinking involved?” Buffy teased.
Spike smirked. “Unlike you, pet, I can take my booze. I can my job and drink most demons under the table.”
“Can I come?” Andrew asked.
“Not unless I can use you as bait,” the vampire snarked.
“That could be fun,” the boy replied.
“Are you insane, Wells?”
“I know you wouldn’t let anything happen to me.”
“You’re still not going.”
“It’s so unfair,” Andrew moaned before slamming the door.
Spike turned to a giggling Buffy, “I lost macho vamp points, huh?”
It was dark before Vi returned. The whole gang bar Vi were gathering in the sitting room after she had sent Spike a text calling a meeting and said she would talk to him later. She was carrying a box full of books. She walked across the room and put it on the table.
“What’s this?” Spike asked.
Vi signalled to Buffy to come over. “A friend of mine called me and promised he had some books on the Gem of Amarra.”
“I asked Giles if he had anything before I came and he said they had found nothing in the Watcher files.”
“Probably blown up with the Watchers way back when.” Spike plucked a book from the box. “Pity we don’t have access to Wolfram and Hart any longer. Those wankers had access to everything.”
“Have fun with the books, tonight. Buffy and I are going slaying. The rest of you can work your way through these.”
Spike sighed, “So, it’s time to hit the books then? I was going to hit the demon bars.”
She smacked him on the chest, “I know your inner nerd is squealing in delight. You can’t hide the truth from me.”
“Oi watch it you cheeky bint. I could bleed you dry.”
“A cuddly vampire like you. I don’t think so.”
“Cuddly?” Spike echoed incredulously. “Now you’re in trouble, little girl.” Oh yeah he’d show her.
Buffy coughed. “I just uh go and get ready.”
Vi and Spike watched her leave, both feeling a little embarrassed. He didn’t mean to make her feel uncomfortable. Speaking of uncomfortable that reminded him of his fight with Vi.
“About earlier. Did I do something wrong?” Spike asked.
Vi shook her head. “No – you didn’t. I was upset over something and I took it out on you. It wasn’t your fault. I’m sorry.”
“Are you sure?” He took her hand and squeezed it. “I’ve heard and seen a lot of really bad things. Done ‘em in fact. Nothing that you can tell me will make me judge you. I might be many things but I’m not a hypocrite.”
“I’m fine, honestly. I just have some issues to work out.”
“So we’re good?” he asked.
“Yeah.” She smiled. He loved to see her smile and he was filled with warmth. She really was a great bird and completely out of his league.
To be continued…