“Giles!” Buffy stormed into his apartment, papers in hand. “Giles, I need to talk to you!”
Giles looked up from The Mythos of Central America (a fascinating read) and wondered, with some concern, what Buffy was panicking about. Was there some new demon emerging in Sunnydale? He profoundly hoped not; the so-called “commando guys” were causing him enough worries.
Buffy stopped in front of him, panting from having run all the way from campus. Now that she was here, though, she seriously didn’t want to admit what a Big Problem she had. Everything was weird enough with the engagement – did she have to say it was now a marriage?
Yes, you do, her conscience whispered. If you want guilt free Riley dating, you have to get a divorce. Her bad voice piped up with, are you sure we want Riley dating? Buffy decided to ignore the bad voice.
“Remember when Willow did her will-be-done spell?”
“And she made Spike and I get engaged?”
“Yes.” Giles wondered where this was leading.
“Spike and I kind of went beyond the engagement part.”
Giles frowned. Was she saying what he thought she was?
“We got married.”
Dear lord. She was saying what he thought she was. Giles had a sudden need for a drink.
“How could that possibly have happened?!”
“Well, remember how we went out to get the spell ingredients and didn’t come back for a long time? When we couldn’t get the stuff, Spike suggested that we elope and have a formal wedding later because so many people were giving us a hard time and then I said yes and then we found a justice of the peace and she married us and I didn’t tell you before because I thought that she was just humoring us and we weren’t really married and how do I get unmarried?”
Buffy paused to breathe. “Giles, I can’t be married! He’s Spike! My husband is SPIKE!”
At that moment, since things always had to get worse, Spike ambled into the room.
“What’s going on? Something nasty about to jump out of the shadows?”
“The only nasty thing here is you, Spike,” Buffy snapped automatically.
“Really, luv, you weren’t saying that a few days ago.”
“It was a spell!”
“The aftereffects of which I am only recently learning,” Giles broke in. It was always wisest to head them off before they began a full fledged spat. “Spike, are you aware that you are legally married to Buffy?”
Spike was very grateful he didn’t have to breathe; otherwise he would be doing some very undignified choking right now. While he had been amused with the idea of being married to the Slayer, he hadn’t actually expected the ceremony to have been fully legal.
“Married?” He squeaked, shook himself out of his stupor, repeating the in a more normal tone, “I’m married?”
“Yup,” Buffy replied, “Check out the license for William Blood Montgomery and Buffy Anne Summers. Apparently it’s all nice and filed away at the town hall.”
Spike stared at the piece of paper she held. It was very official looking. Bloody hell! He. Was. Married.
Huh. Oddly enough, he didn’t feel as grossed out as he ought to be. Having this sort of tie to the Slayer could potentially be interesting. Maybe even a little fun. Spike checked out Buffy, looking all flustered and upset. Make that VERY fun.
“How do we fix this?” Buffy asked desperately. “I can’t be married! I have a date with Riley next week! What am I’m going to say, guess what I did marry Spike?”
“Well,” Giles started slowly, “you could get a divorce. I am not sure about the legalities of getting one, but a visit to a local divorce lawyer would shed some light on the situation.”
“Okay, I can do that. How long does it take to get a divorce?”
“Some time. A few months, perhaps, for all the paperwork to be processed. I imagine that if you want to file one so soon after marriage it would be a good indication that you two are unsuited for each other.”
Listen to Giles. Giles is making sense. And if you start divorce proceedings, doesn’t it make it, like, legal to date and stuff? That’s what her dad had said, anyway. Not that her dad was the best judge of these things – he started “dating” about two years before her mom filed for divorce.
Talk to a lawyer, sign a bunch of papers, and this could be fixed by the end of the year. No problemo.
“What if I don’t want a divorce?”
Of course Spike couldn’t make this easy for her.
“What? I thought you were all about ‘eww, Slayer cooties’. Why would YOU want to stay married?”
“Maybe I like the idea of being married to the Slayer.” Spike leered at her. “There could be some definite benefits.”
“I’m your lawfully wedded husband, Slayer.” He smirked. “Maybe I like the idea of seeing if you’ll keep your vows. Since we’re married and all, you really shouldn’t be making dates with other blokes. Guess you’ll have to tell this Riley fellow to get lost. Can’t have you going off and committing adultery, Little Miss Righteous, now can we?”
If eyes could shoot daggers, Spike would be a pincushion. The problem was, he was right. As long as she was technically married to Spike, Buffy wouldn’t be comfortable dating Riley. After watching her parents’ marriage break up, she had too much respect for the institution to do that.
Buffy sometimes wished for an infusion of more Faith-like morals. Of course, if she was channeling her inner Faith, she’d be doing Spike and Riley. And she was not going to dwell on how fun it had been to do Spike.
Spike smirked, as if he had read her mind. Buffy flushed and focused her mind back to the situation at hand.
“Giles, I so need a divorce.” And was it just her, or was there something wrong with that statement? She was nineteen, dammit; she shouldn’t be married in the first place! Especially to evil, neutered (sexy) mortal enemy vampires. This sort of thing was supposed to happen on the soap operas her mom was addicted to. Not in real life!
“It is possible to get a divorce even when one party is against it,” Giles reassured her. “It will simply be more difficult.”
Buffy nodded, thanked him, and grabbed her papers before heading to the door.
“OW! Watch the nose, Slayer!”
Buffy smiled as she stepped off the stoop. Punching Spike always made her feel better.
“Hello, Riley? It’s Buffy,” she twirled the phone cord in one hand, listening to his effusive greetings and inwardly wincing as he spoke about how eager he was for them to go on their date.
“Riley, about dinner next week, I can’t make it.”
Murmurs of concern and suggestions for a new date.
“Something’s come up.”
What to tell him; something that would keep her options open without breaking her vows. Wait! Group date. Perfectly non-threatening dating action.
“Instead of going out to dinner, why don’t we hook up with some friends of mine at the Bronze?”
“Yeah, it’ll be a group thing.”
“Of course I want to spend time with you! It’s just that my last boyfriend, we went too fast and I don’t want to – ”
That’s sweet. He was cheerily bashing Parker and assuring her they had nothing in common. Points for that.
“Thanks for the thought. See you around? Good bye.”
With a sigh, Buffy put the phone back into the cradle. With any luck, she could keep her relationship with Riley at a non-state long enough to obtain a divorce.
She flopped onto her bed, wondering what the hell to do with this mess.
You know, logic voice told her, if you staked Spike you’re troubles would be over with. He turns to dust, you’re a widow, and you can go off and date whoever you damn well like.
Moral voice decided to put in its two cents. Killing Spike while he’s defenseless is wrong. Not to mention he’s your husband now. Isn’t there a law against killing your husband? Like, it’s extra special bad to do that?
But Spike is evil, logic voice insisted. How can killing an evil vampire be wrong?
The bad voice decided to pipe up. Why do we want to kill Spike? He makes life interesting. Not to mention if he gets dusted, there will be no more motel fun activities. And we liked motel fun activities! And the real thing would be much, much better than our dreams.
We are having no dreams! Moral voice started freaking. Logic voice nodded emphatically. There will be no more Spike centered thoughts! Bad bad voice!
Buffy groaned. At this rate, she’ll be as crazy as Drusilla. Which, given she was now married to Spike, had a certain irony about it.
“What’s wrong, Buffy?”
Buffy opened her eyes to see Willow standing over her with a concerned expression.
“Spike and I are married,” she announced.
“You’re not married. You were going to get married and I’m so very sorry about that but I broke the spell before any marrying took place!” Willow insisted frantically.
“Nope. In our lovely spell induced haze, we decided to elope. I just received a copy of the marriage certificate today. You are now speaking to Mrs. Buffy Summers Montgomery.”
“His last name is Montgomery?”
“Apparently. But that’s beside the point. Will, you’ve got to help me find a lawyer. I can’t stay married to SPIKE!”
“Okay. Calm down. Whatever you say, Buffy. Would you like some more cookies? I still have leftovers.”
Willow began to mentally tally how many cookies she would need to bake. Maybe a mountain’s worth? Making your friend get accidentally married to her mortal enemy was definitely a major league cookie event. She might even have to take out her great-aunt’s recipe for triple-chocolate mousse. A situation like this required the big guns.
A few days later, Buffy entered the offices of Edward Marcus Harmon, Attorney-at-Law. She carried the assorted papers detailing her marriage and sent up a plea to the Powers-that-Be that Harmon would be able to help her.
“Mr. Harmon will see you now,” the secretary told her.
Buffy entered his office nervously. Ed Harmon was sitting at his desk, a pleasant looking man with hair graying at the temples and a generous paunch.
“Miss Summers, it is? Please, sit down.”
Buffy sank into one of the chairs gratefully. This was even more nerve-wracking than facing the Master.
“Now, what seems to be the problem?”
“I want to get a divorce.” Simple enough, right?
“On what grounds?”
Good. He was being all businesslike about this.
“It was a mistake.”
“So, irreconcilable differences?”
“Totally. That’s the understatement of the year. Not just the year, the millenium. We are absolutely NOT supposed to be together.” Could she stress that strongly enough? Irreconcilable differences basically summed up why a vampire and a Slayer couldn’t be married. Especially the un-souled kind. Vampire, that is, not Slayer.
“If you feel so strongly that your marriage was a mistake, why did it happen in the first place?”
That would be a tough question, but she and Willow had worked out an acceptable excuse. It wasn’t exactly flattering, but it would hold up better than a do-thy-will spell.
“We were drunk. Someone suggested it and we went along with it.”
“ ‘We’ being you and your husband? What is his name?”
“Um,” Buffy checked her papers for it. “William Blood Montgomery,” she read.
Harmon was confused. “You have to look up your husband’s name?”
She shrugged. “I normally call him Spike. Besides, the only reason he’s my husband is because I did a VERY STUPID thing.”
“How long have you been married?”
“Maybe two weeks?” Buffy hazarded. “I started looking for a way out A.S.A.P.”
Harmon nodded. That fit in well with her “we were drunk” story. He proceeded to ask her some relevant questions – Had it been consummated; Was there any risk she was pregnant; What was William’s views on her desire for divorce?
“Yes; absolutely not; really complicated.”
What did she mean by the last one?
“I don’t think Spike’s doing back-flips over our marriage. But he thinks it’s funny that I’m trying to get a divorce. He’ll want to make it as hard as possible. Spike can be a real jack-ass like that.”
Interesting. After asking a few more questions, Harmon established that, according to Buffy Summers (she refused to use Montgomery) that she and William had gotten married while under the influence. They had known each other for some time; the bulk of their relationship was antagonistic. Her tone concerning him was a measure of respect mixed with a great deal of loathing. She was vague on their precise association; from what he understood William was the relative of her ex-boyfriend. Ms. Summers wanted her ties with him dissolved as soon as possible; she had begun a relationship with another man prior to her marriage with William and wanted the freedom to continue it.
Harmon had to admire her for her adherence to her moral code – many women would have viewed this as a nuisance and continued the relationship.
Assuring her he would start the proceedings, Harmon finally let the young woman leave. Within a few months she would be a free woman.