Chapter Eight

The stupid Riley line is courtesy of RoboShiflo. Hiya RoboShiflo! Any enjoyment gained from said long belongs to her ^_^.


Buffy lay curled up under her blankets, covered from head to toe in her yummy sushi pajamas. She and Spike had miraculously not run into the Scoobies on the way back to her dorm. The rest of the guys must still have been playing research party, not knowing the ghost thing has been stopped. Whatever. She had called Giles and told him she was okay.

She rubbed her cheek against the flannel sheet, thinking about how awkward it had been leaving Lowell House. Barring one misguided attempt to walk barefoot on cold grass, she had let Spike carry her from Lowell to the steps of her dorm. He'd tried to bring her upstairs, but the night guard hadn't let him. School rules or something.

Buffy wrinkled her nose. The guard's obvious opinion of them, her dressed only in Spike's jacket and Spike, well, being Spike, had almost gotten the guard punched. She had a feeling that Spike's lingering headache was all that stopped him.

That was weird, how white knight protectory Spike had gotten lately. First with Riley, then with the night guard.

Ugh. Riley. Why the hell had she had sex with him? Buffy knew there was no way in her right mind she would have done the whacky with him. And now she had one more complication in her screwed up life.

And she hadn't even screwed the right one.

"Buffy! Giles said you got out of the haunted house," Willow burst into the room, "but what really happened to you? We got all scared when the house kicked us out and Spike insisted on staying and then we found out what was going on with the house and - "

"Slow down, Wills. I don't really know what happened, exactly," Buffy blushed, "but Spike got me out okay." She blushed some more, with guilty feelings all around for the sex with Riley part of the story. And why was she feeling guilty? It's not like she owed Spike anything, right?

"You don't?" Willow flopped onto her bed. "See, Lowell used to be a house for runaways. And the lady who ran it, she was all ooh, you're evil little monsters and I will purify you. So she really screwed them up and made them all wonky, especially sexually, cause she had this whole thing about sex = bad. And now when their ghosty type selves start a-haunting, they make everybody do the whacky."

"Oh. That's, that's good."

Willow gave her a huh? expression.

"Well, that means the ghosts could have done a possessing type thing, right? And then certain people cannot be held totally responsible for their actions. And that would be a really, really good thing."

Now Willow was giving her the I know you have a secret so spill expression.

"And that would be a good thing because?"

"Because Spike found me having sex with Riley," Buffy blurted out.

"Is the Spike part or the Riley part the bad?"

"Do I haveta tell the truth?" she whined.


"The Riley part," Buffy admitted, staring intently at the covers. "That was so not an experience I want to repeat. And now Spike's all growly about it. I mean, I know he didn't like me dating Riley, but I wasn't actually ever, you know, going do anything."

Just two days ago Buffy had been saying she was with Riley 100% and Spike was the inconvenience. And now it was the other way around?

"And I can't believe I saw anything in Riley in the first place. Our non magicky kiss? Totally not cool. Big with the slobber, low on the passion. And I didn't even get all magicked up over him, I was thinking of Spike and it's just that he wasn't around and Riley was - "

Buffy paused, realizing what she just said. She buried her head into her pillow. "I'm a mess."

Willow had to agree. Her love life was nothing compared to Buffy's. At least she hadn't just admitted to having the hots for a formal mortal enemy who was currently her husband.

Take that, General Hospital!


Spike sat on his garbage dump scrounged couch in his crypt, drinking from his flask as he mulled over the night's events. Pity the chip had prevented him from showing that sanctimonious night guard not to judge other people like that. Particularly when the other people were him and Buffy.

Stupid night guard, not letting him carry Buffy to her room. Stupid chip not letting Spike punch the night guard. Stupid Riley, being, uh...stupid Riley!

The night guard was nothing comparing to what happened with that, that idiotic Soldier Boy. That really stuck in his craw. Seeing her, entwined with that loser, had been painful. And far too reminiscent of Dru with the Chaos Demon. And the Fungus Demon. And the -

Spike threw his whiskey across the room. Then he ran to pick it up before it spilled all over the floor.

Having safely retrieved the alcohol, he sat back down. He wished he knew what the hell the Slayer had been thinking. That there had been magic involved, there was no doubt. Spike had over a century under his belt, he knew magic when he saw it.

The question was, how much had been Buffy betraying him and how much had been the spell?

Before their kiss, Spike would have dismissed such questions. His bizarre connection with the Slayer was only for annoying her and not for anything else. Or so he had told himself.

Then came the argument at the lawyer's, and the kiss. The kiss which said, loud and clear, that he wasn't alone in this attraction.

And now he wanted the rest of it. Spike nodded firmly as he downed the whiskey. Buffy had chosen him over Soldier Boy, hadn't she? In a way. Sort of. Well, she hadn't made too big a fuss when he'd punched the guy. And she had left with him and had let him carry her.

That counted for something, didn't it?

It had to. It had to mean she and the git were over, that she was willing to give him a chance. Otherwise, Spike thought glumly as he took another swig, he would be even a bigger loser than the aforementioned git.

Lost in his musings (not brooding mind you, but musings, there is a very big difference), he didn't here Anya come in.

That didn't last long.

"I am glad to see you are recovering from your ordeal," a too chipper voice interrupted his thoughts. "To take on a haunted house would most likely be painful." Anya sat on the tomb opposite him. "That is why I only do research. It is boring, but less likely to be harmful."

"What are you doing here?"

"To make sure you're okay."

"I'm fine. Go away."

Silly Spike. Like Anya would listen. "I'm staying. Xander says that humans are supposed to be concerned about people they perceive as friends, meaning those they have something in common with. As a fellow ex- demon, I care about you."

Spike dragged his chair around so it didn't face Anya. Sometimes he was up to dealing with her. On the heels of finding Buffy with Soldier Boy, he was not.

Anya didn't take the hint. "Do you want to know what was happening at Lowell?"

"Some sort of haunting. Bunch of ghosties woken up and taking it out on the living."

"No. Well, in a way. A very repressed woman tried to raise equally repressed children there. They left emotional memories behind and that's what caused the haunting. Or at least that's what Giles said." Anya nodded firmly. "This confirms why sexual repression is inherently evil, as I'm always telling Xander."


"So, the haunts were making everyone be not repressed."

Spike growled. So the git had been what Buffy had wanted.

Anya cocked her head. A millennia of dealing with the romantically betrayed had taught her what that meant.

"Did Buffy have sex with someone not you under the influence of the ghosts?"

He didn't answer. She took it as a yes.

"Just because she had sex while sexually unrepressed doesn't mean she does not reciprocate your feelings," Anya tried, ever so awkwardly, to comfort Spike. "It could be she was aroused and initiated intercourse with the first willing male." Pause. "It was a male, right?"

"It was the git."


Spike nodded.

Well, that made things far more complicated. Buffy already had a relationship with Riley. Anya wrinkled her nose. She disliked the Initiative agent. His organization did not sound favorable for the continued health of an ex-demon like herself.

"Once you broke the ghosts' hold, did Buffy remain with him?"

"No." Spike jumped up and started pacing the room, agitated. "She left with me. Course, she was right pissed at the boy, with good reason. Soldier Boy got all insulting about our relationship. Practically called her a whore."

He kicked the chair, ignoring that he'd called Buffy that the first time he'd seen her dancing with the git. The chair broke. Oops. "I showed him. Took him down with one punch, the wanker."

"And Buffy was okay with this?"

Spike laughed. "Slayer fussed a bit, but not to much. Think I beat her to the punch, so to speak. You know?"

Anya did indeed know. "It does not sound like she prefers Riley over you," she added helpfully.

"You think so?"

"Yes, I do."

Huh. Guess he's not the only one who thinks he might have a chance. Maybe he'll even be able to convince the Slayer to forget about Soldier Boy once and for all.


"Can you believe it?!" Riley shouted as he paced the debriefing room. Forrest and Graham sat calmly in their chair, waiting for their friend to finish his rant.

"You're telling me that it was all some kind of sub-terrestrial phenomenon?"

"For the last time, Riley, whatever went on between you and Buffy was influenced by some kind of energy force that existed in Lowell House. That's what our resident brains say about the little fiasco that happened upstairs."

"You know what? I'm not even surprised. Figures that it would take something like that to get close to Buffy. She's been pushing me away for weeks." Riley kicked his chair. The chair, bolted down, didn't budge. "Ever since she found out I was in the Initiative and I found out she's the Slayer. Knew she had issues about that."

"You mean there's a civilian who knows about our operations?" Graham spoke up worriedly. "She needs to be contained."

"Buffy's not like that," Riley sighed, "She's something called a Slayer."

"That's only children's stories for little demons," Forrest corrected. "No such animal in real life."

"Not true. Buffy's the Slayer, I'm sure of that."

"With paranormal abilities?"


Forrest leaned back, a contemplative look on his face.

"But that's not the worst of it. Turns out, she's married!"

The other two men shot up, shocked by this revelation.

"Not only is she married, her husband is Hostile 17!"

"But the legends say the Slayer kills HSTs," Graham pointed out.

"Apparently this one doesn't," Riley griped. "He came in on us and acted like he was the injured party! Can you believe it? And Buffy took his side." He slammed his fist into the wall. "I don't know what I ever saw in that girl. What kind of person has a relationship with a hostile?"


Fascinating. Walsh watched the screen showing the debriefing room intently. Buffy Summers was the Slayer. Not only that, but a Slayer married to a sub-terrestrial? This could prove to be most useful information. Most useful indeed.