Chapters 10, 11, and 12

Best Part of Breaking Up


Chapter 10:

Spike woke up to the sound of his alarm clock and his dog licking his face. He pressed the snooze button as he always did and pushed Spot away from him. He set his clock for 18 minutes ahead from when he wanted to get up. It made him think that he was running late. It was something he had picked up from a psychology class he took in college. He was about to fall back to sleep when he heard her sigh.

He felt her arms rapped around his stomach. She was definitely asleep, but she was asleep in his bed. He wondered how that had happened. He remembered last night and how she had told him to go to sleep, but he had thought that she would leave after that. He had not expected her to stay and sleep in the same bed as him.

Spot stood there and looked at Spike. Spike knew that his dog expected him to get up and feed him, but he was wiped out. He also had Buffy to worry about. Spike could feel her breathing against his back. He didn't want to wake her and he could really use a couple more minutes of sleep. Of course if she got up before him and freaked out that would be the end of him. It just felt really nice to be sleeping in her arms. He decided that it would all be worth it somehow and feel back to sleep.


Buffy thought she had heard the alarm clock go off, but quickly dismissed it and fell back to sleep. This time she knew that she had heard an alarm clock. She saw Spike automatically turn it off and then fall back to sleep. She decided that she had better wake him up because it was already 6:30. Of course that was still early, but she thought that they position they were in was a little too close.

"Spike." Spike didn't hear her. He was sleeping soundly and didn't want to wake up. Buffy decided that she would have to speak up.

"Spike." He stirred, but didn't wake up. Buffy didn't want to scream, but she didn't see any other choices.


Spike shot up after he heard his name being yelled. Some part of his mind still thought that he was at Angel's house. He jumped up and headed out of the door until he realized that he was at home.

"Huh. I wonder who yelled."

"I did." Spike spun around. He had forgotten that Buffy was there.

"Oh, sorry Buffy I still thought that I was Angel's house. It kinda freaked me out."

"I could see that you were in a hurry to get some place. You bolted up and out like one of those cartoon characters. It was a little confusing at first."

"So what are you still doing here?"

"I had no way of getting home and I figured that I might as well sleep here." Spike was about to say in my bed, but thought better of it. She was obviously not mad or phased by what had just taken place and he figured that it would be better if he just shut up about it.

"So, do you want some breakfast. I'm pretty sure that there is some cereal and stuff."

"A bachelor with milk and cereal. What are the odds?"

"Well like I said, I'm a neat freak and there just isn't anything that I can do about it. I think it might be a mental disease." There was a nervous laugh that came from him and then there was silence. Eerie, awkward silence. It was almost deafening.

"Look Buffy, what I told you about the whole wanting to die thing."


"I need to know that it doesn't go further than this. Everyone just thinks that I screwed up. They would rather blame it on that then anything else. I never told them. I think that Wes knew and that was why he got all upset when I did it. I didn't tell him he just knew."

"I understand. I've never told Willow that I've had some suicidal thoughts. I think that everyone has them once in their life."

"Yeah well I don't want to be a statistic. I know that I was being stupid, but that still doesn't help my state of mind. I still think about it. I wonder if I was happier if I would think about it. Things just don't go right when your name is William David "Spike" Flannery."

Buffy looked at Spike. He truly did hate himself and his life. He wanted nothing more then his dad's approval, but not only that. He wanted something more. Something that no one had given him ever in his life. Buffy couldn't tell what that was, but she knew it was there. She could sense it. Even though he didn't even realize it.

"Spike look I think that you should sit down and talk about these things with a professional."

"Like a shrink?"

"Yeah. Willow is a psychiatrist and she would be willing to pencil you in for a quick appointment. It would be on the house." "You would get her to do it for free?"

"Yeah. She listens to my problems for free. If I paid her she would be a millionaire."

"I don't know Buffy. I don't like to talk to people about my problems."

"Come on. Think of it as talking to a friend. If I'm your friend then Willow would be your friend somewhere down the line."

"Okay, but after the trial. Now I think that we should get ready for our court date."


Spike sat in his seat in the courtroom. Oz had already testified and he hadn't lost his cool. Dru had drilled him with tons of questions to assassinate his character and he had stayed clam. It was an Oscar worthy performance. Spike could see it when he wanted to blow, but remained unemotional. Amy had testified and it seemed that Dru and Riley were thrown off by it. Amy had testified perfectly and things had gone smoothly from then on. Harmony's testimony was like icing on the cake. She was great at re-hashing the events and getting the medical bills everything seemed to be going his way until.

"Counselor. You have turned in your list of witnesses and Miss Collins you have decided to a rebuttal witness."

"Your honor I never received notice about a rebuttal." Spike said. He seemed shocked.

"Oh well then here is the name of the witness." He passed a paper to the bailiff and the bailiff passed the paper to Spike. He could hear everyone's breath in the courtroom. He could hear Willow whispering to Oz and Oz explaining to everyone what was happening.

Spike was almost fearful to look at the paper. He didn't want to know what named it had on it. Although he had a pretty good idea who it was. His fears were confirmed when he saw that the piece of paper said Joyce Schafer. Spike looked at the judge and said as formally as he could.

"I would like to know the relevance of that witnesses testimony." Judge Stevens could see that the young man was trying to avoid saying the witness's name so he played along.

"That witness happens to know Ms. Summers on a personal level and it would be relevant to the case to know someone else's perspective of the relationship that the plaintiff and the defendant had." Spike saw that the logic was airtight.

"Alright your honor I think that I would like to call a recess and wait until tomorrow to finish up my witness testimony."

"Recess granted." With that the day was done and he had to face Buffy's questioning face.

"So I see that you are shocked by the turn of events." Dru said. She was overjoyed to see Spike squirm.

"Answer me one question. What do you hope to accomplish with this little stunt?"

"Winning the case."

"Just because this happens doesn't mean you'll win."

"Your witnesses end tomorrow."

"There's always tomorrow." Dru stood there looking at Spike defiantly and then turned her back. She and Riley left.

"Spike what is it?" Buffy wanted to know what the big deal was.

"It seems that your mom is testifying on Riley's behave."

"No, Joyce wouldn't go that low." Willow said. Spike showed the five people the paper and they gasped.

"That bitch. Who the hell does she think she is?"

"Buffy calm down. We still have Andrew and you. I think we might stand a chance."

"Might. Are you kidding? She let you have those free hits earlier. Now she's going for the big guns and you won't be able to do anything about it. You lost." Buffy said. She wasn't angry at Spike, but more at what was happening.

"Look we haven't lost yet. And so what if she gave us those hits earlier. We hit her pretty well. I think that we still have a chance. I have one more trick up my sleeve."

"Okay then. We'll be here tomorrow for more testimony." Oz said.

"Right Mr. Flannery is right. This case still has a chance." Willow said.

"Okay then we are here to support." Amy said.

"I'll try to be here tomorrow Buffy. Count on that." Harmony said. The crowd dispersed and all that was left was Willow, Spike, and Buffy.

"Um, Will I think that we should get going. We will be on the clock in a few more minutes." Willow said. She tried to remain calm, but she didn't like the idea of helping this guy. She didn't know him. That was okay, but she could tell that Buffy liked him and, Willow knew that if he needed help that there was something wrong with him.

"Okay, Willow. Just let me get my stuff and I'll met you there." Willow left leaving Spike and Buffy alone.

"Spike I'm sorry about what I said earlier."

"Buffy its okay. You were upset and that was okay. I'm not upset. Here why don't you take my car and go home. Willow's office isn't too far. I want to walk. Take Dawn out to dinner." Spike handed her his car keys and then left. Buffy picked up his stuff and then left to knowing she had done something wrong.

* * * * * ** *

Spike sat on the leather sofa and was wringing his hands. He was extremely nervous at having to talk to a shrink. Even if he knew this shrink. Willow saw that he looked extremely nervous and decided that she would use her icebreaker to start off.

"I think that it would be good to start off with your childhood."

"Oh, I thought that you might say that. Sort of clich�."

"Clich�, but it helps build the trust." Spike couldn't argue with that logic.

"Well it is pretty much like a cry for me story. I moved here when I was seven and things were down hill from there."

"Where did you move from?"

"England. I was born there, but you can't tell unless I lay on the accent. I hide it most of the time."

"Why don't you speak with it?"

"The ridicule I received from the kids at school for one. Also I hate England. It symbolizes a life that I had and didn't want, then when I didn't have it I wanted it."

"That's very complex."

"Yeah well tell that to my mind."

"So let's start off with your family."

"Just a normal family. My brother is too overprotective, my little sister adores me, my mom is great."

"What about your dad?"

Spike was silent for a few minutes. Willow could see that he didn't like to talk about his dad.

"Well he kinda picks at everything to do with my life. He isn't really a loving and excepting guy. He tried, but gave up a little too quickly."

"So you two don't get along."

"That is kinda the understatement of the year. He hates me."

"I'm sure he doesn't hate you." "Well then he really, really doesn't like me."

"So, when did this disliking occur?" Spike thought. He really couldn't remember a time when his dad hadn't 'disliked' him.

Willow saw the look on his face and knew it well. His father and him never got along. Not even from the beginning. She had only a few patients who had that problem. For most there was a significant event that changed things.

"I guess we never really had much of a relationship. I think he only wanted one boy and one girl. He ended up with two boys and that didn't sit with him well. I never really questioned him about it. Like I said we don't have a relationship."

Willow thought for a minute and then wrote something on her note pad. The way she was sitting there and just analyzing him made him feel a little like a zoo animal in a cage. It took Willow a few minutes before she spoke again. She had to really think about her next question.

"How is your relationship with your mom?" Spike thought that the question came out of nowhere, but answered it.

"Good. It was always pretty good."

"So the only person you don't get along with is your dad?"


"Relationships are fine with other family members? With your friends?"

"Yeah. I have good relationships with everyone I know."

"What about your love life?" Spike went noticeably pale and coughed a little. She didn't even need him to answer her question.

"Well, they are pretty good. I haven't found the love of my life yet, but I'm still young."

"How many intimate relationships have you had." Spike reddened a little.

"What do you consider 'intimate'?"

"Well, lets separate them into category's. One group would be the long term relationships and one would be the small flings." Spike thought hard about the groups presented to him. He had didn't have that many flings, but he had even less long-term relationships.

"Well, I've had three long term relationships and maybe four flings. I really couldn't tell you for sure."

Willow thought about that for a moment. This guy had three long-term relationships, which wasn't that bad. She just needed to know how they ended.

"Well, for your age three is a good number. Why didn't any of them last?" Spike seemed a little hesitant to say why exactly. Willow waited for him to answer.

"Well, Faith, that was one of the long- term girls, I was young when I dated her and a little messed up. She was a partier and I was trying to get away from that."

"Did you love her?"

"I thought that I did at the time. She was a good friend before we hooked up and well she got me into the whole party thing. I think that was why I dated her. She showed me the way to a... easier way out."

"So, what about girl number two?"

"That was Cecily. We were together in college. Wes, that is my friend, set us up. He thought that she would be a nice girl for his unstable friend."

"So, why didn't that work out?"

"Well, she was nice a little to nice. Kinda hoity-toity. Thought that she was better then me and treated me that way. I really... liked her, but she treated me like shit and I had to get away from that. I told her about my indiscretions and she kinda started the whole 'holier then thou' bullshit."

Willow was almost afraid to ask about the third girl, but she didn't have to.

"The third was Dru. That was the one I thought would last. I... I thought that we were happy, you know. I thought that we were good and that things were fine. What did I know? I picked her because I knew she would treat me like shit. I set myself up."

"Why do you think that?"

"I know that because it was what I always did. I set myself up for a fall instead of trying to get someone who would love me for me. I tried the one who would make things go away and kill me in the process. I tried the one who thought that she was better then me. Then I tried the one that I knew wouldn't find me good enough. It's my pattern. It's easier that way. That way I know what to expect." Willow was surprised. Not most people were willing to admit that they set themselves up for failure. At least Spike was honest.

"Well, if you set yourself up for failure, why do you continue to do it?"

Spike was surprised by that question.

"I don't." He said in a little voice. Willow was reminded of a small child as he spoke. That was what he was. A small lost child that was looking for his way.

"I think that you do it because of your dad. Not because you are trying to find someone to approve, but your trying to find someone to hurt you. Someone that you will think that you love, but then breaks your image. You are looking for that because it's all you know. No matter how many family members and friends try to help you it's not the same. They aren't your dad. They can't be." Spike never thought about it like that. He knew that a lot of the time that he did set himself up for rejection, but he thought that it just fit with his life better and it was like a defense mechanism.

"If that's true then everybody that I love... they don't... I love them and they don't reject me. Never have actually and they say that they never will. So far they have lived up to that. If I'm setting myself up, then why do I have friends and family that will never reject me?"

Willow thought that the answer was quiet simple.

"Because you think that one day they will. Why else would you do those things when you were a teenager? You didn't just do them because your dad was an asshole, who never paid attention. It was partly because of him, but mainly because he let you down time and time again. You thought that everyone was supposed to be that way. When they weren't you tried to make them be that way. The thing was that you surrounded yourself with people that wouldn't leave and that hurt your theory."

"I can see where that would make sense. I'm not questioning your expertise, but it doesn't fit right. I don't know why, but I think that I didn't try to make them fail me." Willow eyed Spike with some suspicion. The guy had it more together then anyone gave him credit for. He had some theory as to why he had these people in his life, but they didn't go away. She wanted to hear this, even though she knew that her theory was right.

"Go on."

"Well, I know that my friends and family would never abandon me like the way my ex's have. I know that Wes would never do something like that, even if he were mad at me. I think that it's more about the person I care the most about. You know the person I trust. And I don't think it started with my dad, as I would like everyone and myself to believe. I think that it started with my grandfather. I cared the most about him and he... left. He left me when I needed him the most. Then my dad did the same thing. It was a pattern like you said, but only for the people I trusted the most." Willow thought that the theory was very well thought up.

"Are you sure that you aren't a psychologist in disguise?"

"Quiet positive. I just was thinking about it. My problem is just so," Spike thought hard about the right word. Willow decided to help him out,

"So, typical?"

"No not typical, just kinda run of the mill. It just feels a little different when you are the one going through it. All those years of projecting and getting nowhere. It was silly really. It didn't make any sense. I just needed to be me I guess."

"That wasn't the only problem though, was it? You tried to... hurt yourself." Spike looked a little shocked. He hadn't expected Buffy to tell Willow that. It wasn't something that you make public.

"Yeah I guess."

"Do you ever feel like doing that? Again?"

"No, well sometimes I feel like having a beer. Or two or seven. It's just something I have to live with. I mean I'm an alcoholic. It's what I was a while ago."

"So no suicidal thought?" "There was one. A little after... after things fell apart and I started to live this life. It was shortly after I lost my job and all that crap. I thought about what it would be like if I wasn't around to mess up people's lives. I thought about just going away for a while. It seemed like a good idea, but at the time I was drunk and I needed picking up. Wes and Angel did that for me. Made me stable me again."

Willow looked at Spike. He was a good guy who was trying to rise above his problem. He had one and there was no denying that. He didn't even deny it. All in all he was a good guy and she knew that Buffy would be lucky to have him. If only she could make the two of them see that.

She knew that Spike had said that he wanted nothing more then friendship, but she could see in his eyes and in his actions that it was different. She knew Buffy. If she hadn't already fallen in love with this guy then there was something seriously wrong with her. Sure he was a bit of a mess, but so was she. They fit perfectly together.

"So, Spike, tell me a little more about your life. It seems to be better then a soap opera." Spike smiled. It was easier to think of his life as a bad daytime soap opera then as his life.

"Well it all started January 19, 1976."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Spike had just sat down in his comfy chair at his loft. He had gone over to Buffy's, but Dawn had said that she was over at a neighbor's house. He got his keys from her and then left. After talking his mouth of to Willow he had come home to find a very hungry and annoyed Spot. Spike fed his dog and that sat down in front of his TV to have some quality time with the machine. He was watching whatever was on and eating some old Chinese food.

He had been thinking about his therapy session. He had told Willow most of his life story in a matter of sixty minutes. He didn't think that it would be that easy talking to a stranger about his life, but he found it oddly refreshing. It had been easier talking to her because she was a stranger. A stranger that couldn't tell anyone about what was said during the sessions. It was all confidential.

Spike took another bite of his noodles and changed that channel. He had been watching a special on lunchmeat and it was making him loose his appetite. Just then his phone rang.

Spike picked it up and answered it, "Hello." He said this very nonchalantly as he took another bite of his food.

"Spike, it's me Buffy. Dawn told me that you came by to get your car. Sorry that I wasn't there, but a neighbor's son just started taking some new medication and she needed my help. I was just calling to see how your appointment with Willow went."

"Oh it was fine. She asked me questions about my childhood and then there was this weird inkblot test. I said that they all looked like a cat." Buffy laughed at what was obviously a joke.

"That's terrible. A real live inkblot test huh?"

"Yes. It was kinda scary."

"So that was it?"

"Yeah the basics."

"So did you talk to Angel or Cordy at all today?"

Spike was silent for a moment. He hadn't even thought about Angel today.

"No I haven't. Must have slipped my mind. It's probably better anyway. I think that Angel is a little pooped out with everyone crowding him. I should give him and Cordy a chance to talk things out, right?"

"Yeah, you know, they do need to talk about how things are going to work. They also need some space."

"Yeah see they need some time to adjust."

"Well I hate to be a nag about things trial related, but I have to ask. What are our chances of winning this thing?"

"Pretty good considering. I think that we have enough testimony to throw theirs out of the water."

"Good because you know how anal I am about this. I really needed Dawn to stay with me and not have to go with Riley. It's really important."

"I know Buffy. Just calm down and let it flow. Things will be just fine."

Buffy knew that things would be okay, but she needed that reassurance.

"Okay then. Well I have to go because Dawn is nagging about having some ice cream. I don't think she'll stop if I'm talking on the phone."

"Alright I'll let you go. Otherwise she might eat the ice cream without waiting for an answer."

"See you later Spike."

"Bye." Buffy hung up the phone and Spike resumed watching TV. He really enjoyed talking to Buffy and he wondered why she had called. He decided that it wasn't worth thinking about and put it in the back of his head. For the time being at least.

Chapter 11:

Andrew had just gotten to Buffy's house. It was a small apartment building that wasn't nearly good enough for his stepsister and niece. He wanted to kill Riley for doing this, but thought better of it. He would do anything to keep Buffy safe. He knew that Buffy wasn't his real sister, but he still cared for her deeply. That was why he had rushed to Sunnydale. Getting off from work wasn't hard considering that he owned the medical practice. Getting away from his live-in boyfriend was another story. He could still here his talk with Warren in his head.


Andrew was packing his bags to go straight to Sunnydale right after he got off from work. He had been postponing telling Warren that he was leaving for a little while, but now he had to do it. He heard Warren get out of the shower and start to walk to their room. It was now or never Andrew thought. Warren saw the bags on the bed with clothes in them. He had always been a little afraid that Andrew would leave him, but he never really thought that he would.

"What's going on, Andy?"

"Um... I have to go to Sunnydale for a little while. It's Buffy she kinda needs me to go there." Andrew didn't look up at Warren when he said this. He was afraid that Warren would be a little upset at this news.

"Oh that's it. I thought that it was something life altering."

"Like what?"

Warren visibly tensed up. "Oh I thought that you were leaving or something."

"You don't think that I would leave you do you?"

"Well sometimes... it just seems that maybe... I don't know that you get irritated and want to leave."

"I get frustrated sometimes. All the work things and stuff."

"No it isn't just that. You get irritated with me."

"No, I don't."

"Don't try to deny it. I know you do. I know why also. It's because of my friends. It's because I won't tell them I'm gay." Andrew was silent for a little while. Warren knew that he had hit it right on the nose.

"Look, I don't really want to discuss this now. I have to leave now if I want to get in Sunnydale before dark. I promise that we can talk about this when I get back."

"Fine just leave."

"Warren don't do this."

"Do what? Act like you're just leaving in the middle of a discussion."

"You know what, why don't you come to Sunnydale tomorrow? We can talk this out more. I just have to leave. I'll see you later. I love you."

"Yeah sure."

Andrew just left after that. Now he wished that he had stayed and talked it out. He needed to know that Warren was okay, but Buffy had been top on his priority list. He got out of his car and walked the distance to Buffy's small apartment. He thought about how much of a change this had to be for both Buffy and Dawn. They had lived in a nice house and now they were living in a little apartment. Andrew got to apartment number 6 and knocked on the door.

Buffy had been waiting for Andrew to show up. It was already past the time that he said he would show up and that kinda bothered her. When she heard the knock at the door she hurried to answer it.

"Andrew, you're here thank goodness you made it."

"Where's Dawn?"

"Oh, she's asleep now. It is nine o'clock and she has school tomorrow. So how have you been?"

"Good actually. Things have been a little hectic, but I've been handling them with pace."

"You haven't changed much." Buffy looked at her stepbrother. He still had the same blonde hair and brown eyes. He hadn't changed anything in his appearance.

"What did you think that because I decided to come out of the closet that I would do it wearing some outrageous outfit and a new hair color?"

"I wasn't sure how the gay community worked. I thought that you all had to become hairstylist or something."

"No, but we don have to take an oath to stay gay for as long as possible." Buffy laughed.

"So are you nervous?"

"No not really. I just found out that my mom is going to testify against me. I didn't see that coming."


Buffy saw the look on Andrew's face saying that he knew that it must be hard, but also saying what was going to happen now.

"All we can do is just sit and wait. Riley's lawyer is letting us have all the witnesses we want with a get free card."

"What else can we do?"

"I don't know. Will, said that he had something up his sleeve."

"Oh the lawyer." Buffy heard the tone in Andrew's voice and looked at him with annoyance.

"Yes the lawyer."

"So have you tried to talk things out with him?"

"Yes, after that embarrassing kiss we had."


"Yeah. It was actually quiet a good kiss. I told him that it didn't mean anything and he agreed."

"He only agreed because he thought that that was what you wanted to hear." Andrew said sensing that Buffy was disappointed with the fact that this lawyer guy didn't see her that way.

"Look, Buffy, I'm the first one to say when you've picked Mr. All-Wrong. I was the first to say it with Parker and with Riley. I haven't met this guy, but I can tell that he must be a good guy. He doesn't want to take advantage of you during this tough time. He thinks that not having a relationship is what you want and he is just trying to go by your wishes."

"I guess that you might be right. I just don't know for sure."

"Trust me. Now if you don't mind I'm really tired and would like to get some sleep. Can you show me where I will be sleeping."

"Right here on the couch, unless you would like to check into a hotel. The couch is all I got."

"It is perfect."


Buffy woke up early with a feeling of uneasiness that she just couldn't shake off. She got up and walked all over her room. She didn't know what to do, but she knew that she couldn't go back to sleep. She looked at the clock that was on her bedside table. The red numbers flashed 5:30.

It was too early to start getting ready so she decided that it would be best to sit and wait. Wait until it was time to get Dawn ready and time to go to the courthouse. It would be a long wait, but she would have to do it. She decided that it would be okay if she went out into the kitchen and made some coffee. If she were really quiet then she wouldn't walk up Dawn or Andrew.

She silently made her way out into the living room and so Andrew sitting up with his hands rubbing his forehead. He looked tensed and stressed. Buffy took a step closer to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

"What's wrong?" She said, her voice dripping with concern.

"It's nothing."

"Nothing wouldn't make you look all stressed out."

"Yeah well I guess it's everything then. I just... I think that I'm a little too young to be having so much anxiety."

"Well, is it a combination of things or is one major thing surround by little things?"

"The latter actually. Remember how I was telling you about Warren?"


"Well he actually thinks that I would leave him. I'm wondering if maybe I should. We don't have much in common. I mean he's the big tough guy and I'm more of the intellect that would rather go to the museum then watch a football game."

"Opposites attract."

Andrew looked at Buffy. She was trying to cheer him up and so far her effort was only half-hearted. He could see that she had her own problems to deal with and he didn't wasn't to give her more of a burden.

"Well, Warren is going to come here today, hopefully. I really want to straighten things out between us. I really do love him."

"Yeah well why don't I make us some coffee?"

"No I try not to drink the stuff."

"Well I could really use a cup. My nerves are all outta whack."

"Okay then I'll just have a coke or something."

"In the morning?"

"I have to substitute the caffeine some how."

"Okay." Buffy got up and headed to the kitchen when she heard Andrew calling her.



"I'm really sorry that I started to break down in front of you. It's just that things have been so shitty lately. Of course you probably know all about shitty."

"Yeah I got a whole bag of shitty sitting outside of the front door if you care to take some."

"No I think that I have enough."


Buffy's hands were sweaty as she stepped inside the courtroom. Sure Andrew was there and things did seem a little easier with him there, but it was still nerve wracking. In the morning she had Dawn to take her mind off of the case, but now the butterflies were coming back even more. Willow had taken the day off to sit in the courtroom also. Then there was Spike. He was sitting on the plaintiff side of the courtroom shuffling through papers. He looked like he hadn't slept and was living on three cups of Starbucks coffee. Buffy and Andrew made their way to Spike.

Spike was trying to distract himself by shuffling papers. He wasn't really looking for anything, but he was a little jittery. That was what caf� lattes would do to you. He knew that he would have to use Dawn as a witness and that didn't sit right with him. Of course he would have to get Joyce to say the right words. If she didn't then there would be no chance for a rebuttal witness. Spike heard footsteps coming towards him and he looked up to see who it was. He came face to face with Buffy and a guy that he assumed was Andrew.

"Hey, just looking for bit of information 'fore we get started." Damn it you can't let your accent slip right now. Calm down everything is going to be fine. You just need to breathe. Like Willow said. Breathing is good. Spike started to speak again.

"I think that we will do just fine. Free evidence never hurt anybody. Even if the lawyer is trying to work and angle." Buffy knew that he was also nervous.

" Sp...Will this is Andrew. Andrew this is Will." Buffy was about to say Spike, but thought that it would be more professional if she said Will.

"Nice to meet you. I think that we have everything in order. I know that I didn't get to prep you, but you should be able to use common sense. Besides, we are getting free shots here."

Andrew was eyeing the lawyer, appreciatively. He could see the attraction Buffy held for this man. He was pretty good looking, although the suit didn't really fit him right. It clashed too much with his hair that had platinum blonde tips. Of course Andrew was deeply in love, but that didn't mean he couldn't look.

"Um... yeah Buff told me about that. I can't believe that Joyce would go so low. I know that she didn't know Riley's violent side, but it is staring her in the face."

"Yeah, well, there isn't much that we can do for that. I'm just hopping that she says what I need her to say."

"You've got a trick up your sleeve?"

"Just a little one. For now we have to play it cool."

"Cool as ice." Buffy said. Willow had been looking from her seat and thought that maybe it might be a good idea to join them. She also had to speak with Spike about the therapy session.

"Hey guys." She pulled Andrew into a big hug and Andrew responded by hugging her back.

"Andy it's so good to see you."

"Same here Wills."

"Later you, Buffy, and I should go do something. After this whole court thing today."

"Yeah that would be fun. We could get lunch or something."

"Yeah I know this place..." Buffy started to talk about a little caf� she knew about. Spike decided that he shouldn't listen to this conversation. It was of a personal nature and it didn't concern him. He sat down and continued to rummage through his papers.

"Hey, Spike, we were wondering if you wanted to come with us?" Willow said. Andrew had suggested it, to Buffy's annoyance and Willow thought it was a good idea.


"To lunch."

"Oh I thought that it was more of a close friend thing."

"Well you're a friend of Buffy's and we want to get to know you," Andrew said, "You've helped her through this tough time and I think that I owe you a lunch."

"Well I can't so no to a free lunch. Why don't you guys start to sit down now? It's almost time to start." Andrew went to sit behind Buffy and Spike and Willow leaned in to speak with Spike.

"Look I really think that we made some progress yesterday. I won't charge you for more sessions so let's discuss a regular meeting time."

"Okay." Willow then left to sit with Andrew.

Spike and Buffy sat in silence until Dru and Riley walked in. Dru briskly made her way to her seat with Riley following close behind. She looked over at to Spike and a forced smile. Spike smirked at her and she went back to looking at some papers. It seemed that looking at papers was the thing that lawyers did when they had nothing else to keep them busy, Buffy thought. She looked at Riley.

He seemed to be holding up just fine. He was clean-shaven and his hair was cut short. He was wearing a nice suit. Buffy had noticed that throughout the whole trial Riley had made it a priority to look nice. Usually he would be dressed in a normal pair of jeans and a shirt with beer stains on it. Buffy looked at the judge and stood. It would be a very long day, she thought and then sat down.


Spike sat in his seat looking at nothing in particular. Andrew had just given a good testimony, but it wasn't like Dru was making it hard. Spike had been right about one thing Buffy had been the dramatic effect factor. She didn't have to cry or anything like that for someone to realize that she wasn't lying. Of course they would have to deal with Buffy's mother. Spike had no clue about what she would say. All he knew was that he had to get her to say the right thing in order to use Dawn as a rebuttal witness against Dru's rebuttal witness. Spike was sitting in the restaurant thinking about nothing but the case until Willow asked him a question.

"So, Spike is it?"

"Um... Yeah." Spike said not really knowing what she had said.

"That's an interesting nickname. How did you get it?" Andrew asked. He wanted to know more about this man who Buffy said was perfect.

"Um... long story that I don't want to get into right now. Let's just say that someone called me it and it just stuck. Then of course it came in handy to have in the courtroom. Always nice to have a nickname when you're a A.D.A."

"Oh a mystery. Okay don't tell us if it's too personal. Just play a game of twenty questions with us." Andrew said.

"Yeah it'll be fun. But Buffy doesn't get to ask any questions because she knows a lot about you already. Only answering Andrew's and my question." Willow said.

"Why do I have a feeling that I will end up hanging myself."

"We won't kill you. Trust us."

"Okay what do you think they're going to do to me?" Spike asked Buffy who was sitting in the chair right next to him.

"I think that I would just answer the questions. They won't stop hounding you if you don't."

"Alright. Shoot, but not literally."

"Okay let me go first. Alright Spike um simple question where are you from?" Andrew said.

"Do you want a whole geographical map of my life?"

"Something like that."

"Okay well I was born in Britain and then when I was seven when we moved to Sunnydale. Lived here since then."

"Okay my turn. What are your hobbies and interests?"

"I have a few actually. I love to write and on the weekends I go out to the park with my dog and my niece and nephew. I also like to play the guitar and other musical instruments. I love to cook. Like cake and junk food, but also regular food too. I don't know if you call this a hobby, but I like to hang out with my family and friends."

"Oh nice answer. Andrew?"

"Okay let's see. Hum... I got one. Favorite movie of all time?"

"That's a tough one. The favorite ones always are. I hated the British movies so let me narrow it done to only a few American movies." Spike thought for a moment. He hadn't seen anything new besides Pokemon the Movie and he couldn't think of a movie he would classify as his favorite.

"When Harry Met Sally." The table exploded in laughter.

"What it's a good movie."

"A chick flick don't you think?" Willow said.

"Well you told me to pick one so I did. I'm not sure it's my favorite, but it's a good movie."

"Okay well I have a question. Why law?"

"Interesting question. Well I was always interested in arguing and I wasn't sure what type of career I could get with those skills. When I was a teenager I got into a lot of trouble and spent a lot of time in law offices. I grew to love it. Even though my school attendance wasn't spectacular my grades and tests scores were good and I worked hard to get into a good college. Declared law my major even in my freshman year. I just love being a lawyer. It's like the courtroom is my second home."

"Good a man who loves his job. That's always a good thing. All right so let me see best friend and why?"

"Hey that's two questions." Willow said.

"You can ask two after. Let the man answer." Andrew said.

"That's an easy one. That would be my best friend Wesley Wyndom-Pyrce. Why he's my best friend well that's easy too. We've known each other since we were really little. When his parents got divorced that was right around the time my parents wanted to move to America. His mom really didn't want to stay in Britain. She was American so she loved America. So we moved together. We've been best friends ever since."

"Okay so my turn to ask a question. I get to have two. Let me see one question would be what's with the hair."

"What's wrong with my hair?"

"Nothing it just clashes with the whole 'I'm a professional lawyer' look. Just wanted to know what was up with it."

"Well it used to be totally dyed bleached blonde. Kinda gave it that whole Billy Idol wannabe look. The D.A office didn't mind, but my professional job did. I let dye fade for that job, but when I got fired I decided I like the look a little so I dyed just the tips."

"Okay and here's another one. What is your big dream for life."

"To own my own law firm. I want it to be successful, but if it only makes enough to live on I won't care. Anything else?"

Willow and Andrew hounded them until they asked all twenty-one questions. It was more like twenty two question game because they had to make it equal. They asked him questions ranging from his likes and dislikes to where he went to school. Sometimes they would laugh at the ridiculous questions. It was nice for Spike to get away and have lunch with people who didn't know everything about his dark sordid past.

True Buffy and Willow knew some about his life, but not everything. Andrew had been very nice and he knew nothing about his life before. It was great. He could be himself around them and not have to walk on eggshells. Their food came and they ate with some light conversation and laughter. Buffy was quiet until Spike made her come out more. These were her friends after all. Lunch was finished and they were still enjoying each other's company.

Spike was sipping down his Cola and the others had wines in their hands when he heard Andrew say, "Why don't' you have a glass of wine, Spike?"

Willow and Buffy glanced at each other nervously.

"I thought we were done with the twenty-one questions." Spike said.

"It was just a question. Do you have to be in court after this?"

"No just try not to drink alcohol. Cutting down as much as I can."

"Yeah I really should to. Got rid of the coffee, but still have the bad habit of soda and wine. I think I've been drinking way too much lately."

"Yeah I know how that feels." Spike said. He was about to add more, but his cell phone rang. He pulled his cell phone out of his suit pocket and looked at the caller information. It was Cordy's cell.

"I have to get this. I'll be right outside." Spike said as he answered his phone and made his way outside.

"Okay so why haven't you jumped his bones yet?" Andrew asked as soon as Spike was out of hearing range.

"Andrew what kind of question is that?" Buffy said.

"The kind that is asking you why you haven't snagged up that hottie and gave him a reason never to leave you." Andrew said.

"I really don't want to get into this again. We are just friends. We can't take this any further, because I'm still married and we aren't at that point."

"Oh please you are so at that point. Shoot I'm almost at that point. If he was gay... lets just say that I would forget all about my loving boyfriend and take him for a ride." Andrew said.


"He's right you know. Boy if I weren't married I would be right there where Andrew's at. The man is hot, smart, funny, sweet, and he knows how to cook. He's fucking as close to perfect as anyone can come. Sure the issues are a thing, but who doesn't have issues. Buffy you need to scope that one up and fast."

"You guys are crazy. I just said that we aren't there and you are pushing this still. Look let me handle this on my own."

"Do you like him?" Andrew said.

"Yes of course. I would have to be gay not to. I mean look at him, but this is my life and I'm going to make my choices. If I want to take this slow then I well. If he likes me as well he'll wait."

"Just don't take forever. That is what a good guy looks like in case you weren't sure." Willow said.

"Okay changing the subject. What do you guys want to do after this?" Buffy said.

"Well Warren never called to say if he was coming or not. I was thinking that we should go to the mall. They do have a mall don't they?" Andrew said.

"Yes, Andy, we have a mall. I guess we could spend a day there. I have nothing better to do, how about you Buff." Willow said.

"Well it's almost two. If we stop by my house and pick up Dawn then of course she and I would be up for the mall." Buffy said.

"Good so we have a plan. Hang out and it'll be just like old times. Except there'll be a kid tagging along." Andrew said.

"It's really not that big a difference."


Spike took another drag from his cigarette. He had been arguing with Cordy for about five minutes now and it was riding thin on his nerves. He loved Cordy and he loved his brother, but they just didn't know when to give up.

"Cordy I don't know if I should." On the other end Cordy sighed.

"You're such and asswhole. Just come down and see your brother already." She couldn't believe Spike was being like that.

"Cordy after what happened last time... I just need to come when I feel like it."

"You don't want to make sure Angel's alright?"

"I didn't say that. I was planning to stop by tomorrow. It's just with work and all that I don't have time today."

"Okay I under..."

"Give me the god damn phone. Spike you better get your bony ass down here right this instant."

"Anya calm down."

"No I'm talking to my dickhead of a brother."

Spike could hear that Anya was mad and that everyone was trying to calm her down.

"Now you listen to me, William, you will get your ass down here and see your brother. Cordy has been under a lot of fucking stress and she needs a break. You're going to come down here and stay with Angel if it fucking kills you. You got it."

"Anya calm the shit down. I'll see what I can do."

"No you're going to do a helluva lot more then see. You're going to fucking do it. And don't tell me to calm my shit down. I'll do that when I want to. No get over here to the hospital in ten minutes or a I swear to god..."

"All right. Give me fifteen. Just be more calm when I get there."

"I'll try." Anya said hanging up the phone.

"Shit." Spike said. He hung up his cell phone and put it back in his jacket. He walked inside the restaurant and to the table that he was sitting at.

"Sorry to cut out so early, but I have to go to the hospital." Spike said picking up his suitcase.

"Is Angel okay?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah he's fine. Anya just wants to take Cordy and the kids away from the hospital for a little while and enjoy a good time. They need me to baby-sit. Never thought I'd baby-sit my older brother. Anyway sorry again."

"No it's okay. We were just about to leave right now as well. Have to pick up Dawn and then were headed out for some fun as well." Willow said.

"Okay well I'll see you guys soon." Spike said as he pulled out his wallet.

"No it's free remember." Andrew said.

"Okay, well bye."

"Bye." Spike said as he left the restaurant and headed for his car.

Chapter 12:

Spike walked down the long hallway to Angel's hospital room. Boy he hated hospitals. Everything about them screamed despair. He looked at the door to Angel's room. He took a deep breath and the opened the door. He saw Cordy, the kids, and Anya sitting in a chairs. They were laughing and joking around. He looked over at Angel. He was pale, but he looked happy.

"Hey everybody." Spike said.

"Spike you're here finally. We need to go know." Anya said.

"Ahn, give me a second." Cordy said.

"Kids say goodbye to daddy." Maddy and Connor went over to Angel and gave him hugs and kisses.

"Bye, kids."

"Bye, dad." They said as they followed Anya outside.

"Okay, now you're sure that you'll be okay right?"

"No it's fine, Angel. I'm good. Hurry up and go Cordy." Spike said dragging his seat next to Angel's bed.

"Okay I'm going. I'll see you later, honey." Cordy said. She gave angel a quick kiss on the cheek and walked away.

"So what's been going lately?" Angel asked.

"Peaches it's only been a few days."

"Hey I thought we were over the whole 'Peaches' thing."

"It'll be your nickname forever, Peaches. Just thought I shouldn't use it in front of everyone."

"Okay so you can keep the stupid nickname. Although I never knew where it came from."

"I don't know either. Just started to call you it one day."

"Boy you're a weirdo. So nothing new."

"Started seeing a therapist."

"What? Are things really that bad? You have to pay someone to listen to your problems?"

"First, yes things are pretty bad and I got all these things that I wish I could tell you, but I can't. Second, I'm not paying Willow. She's a friend of Buffy's and she agreed to do it for free."

"Oh Buffy." Angel said in that annoying 'I just figured something out' voice that Spike hated so much.

"What about Buffy?"

"Nothing. It's just great to see that you're still friends with her. Its just friendship right?"

Spike sighed loudly. "Yes we are just friends. How many times do I have to say this? We are just friends."

"Will, I know you better then you know yourself. I know you almost as well as Wes does. You like this girl. You may even be in love with her."

"No I'm not. It's just friendship." Spike said trying to convince himself more then trying to convince Angel.

"Right that's why you have that deer caught in the headlights look. William just admit that you really like her. I mean she's a great person. Everyone really likes her. She yelled at dad."

"What she yelled at dad!?"

"Yeah the last time you guys were here. She told him that he didn't deserve a son like you."

"Wow she didn't tell me that. Still that's what you do for friends."

"Still don't get it. You both have a thing for each other. I can see it. Call it wisdom."

"No I'll chalk it up the Demerol that they have to be giving you."

"Oh come on. Face it little bro, you're falling for this girl."

"Too much too soon. No I'm not falling for Buffy."

"Fine. Let me just say denial doesn't suit you."

"What's that mean."

"Well let me see every girl that you've been friends with has turned into a romantic thing. And you've always fallen for the bad ones too. I think I don't need to say anymore then that, but I will anyway. Faith was just wrong. She was bad made you do bad things. Cecily, well she just wasn't your type. She was snobby and that doesn't go with your laid back attitude. Dru, Dru was a bitch. She cheated on you and made you feel like you weren't good enough. Buffy isn't like that and if you aren't in love with her I'm going to think that you're a masochist."

"Look it's my life right. Let me take it at my own pace."

"Alright so let's say you take it at your own pace. What happens if she moves on? What happens then?"

"She said that she isn't ready for anything anyway. We both need some time."

"Will, you haven't been with anyone in over a year. Move on with your life."

"I'm trying."

"Well not hard enough."

"Look I thought you weren't here to judge. Maybe I just don't want to be with anyone right now. I'm just trying to get my life in order. How can I be responsible for anyone else?"

"You were always the one that said that you wanted to be married and have a big family with the a successful career. What happened to that guy?"

"He died. Okay he died. A long time ago too. He's been dead. I woke up and I realized everything doesn't come with a shitty picket fence and that life is tough. Just because when I was younger I had things mapped out doesn't mean that I can follow them now. Things change."

"Yeah I know things change. Do you think I planned to get sick? No, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to do everything that I wanted to do before then. Listen I'm happy and you aren't."

"Who said I wasn't happy?"

"I did. I can tell."

"I was never a happy person."

"You were a happy kid."

"I was a kid. Name the last time I showed happy emotions."

"Well they don't show, but I know when you're happy."

"So I may not be totally happy. I'm good. I'm having a nice life. Just let me figure things out on my own. I promise I won't screw up."

"I know you won't. I just want you to be happy. That's all."

"Well just let me figure out what happy is. I'm trying to be me first. Okay so that sounded a little Oprah-ish, but you get it. I have to figure out what I want out of life."

"Okay I get that. I mean just because I got married at twenty-two doesn't mean anything. You still have lots of time to find that one person. Although I think that you already found her."

"Let's change the subject. Let's talk about you. What's new with you?"

"I watched TV all day. Do you still watch Passions?"

"Tape it and then go home and watch it."

"Ha well I get to see it everyday."


"Alright so let's hit the mall food court. I need to put these down for a second." Willow said holding up a few bags. Shopping had gone well. Willow and Andrew had spent money and Buffy had bought Dawn an outfit.

"Mmm, mall food is so nutritious." Buffy said sarcastically.

"Come on mom I want to get a Happy-Meal." Dawn said dragging Buffy by the arm.

"Okay it looks like someone is hungry." Andrew said.

"I just don't like mall food." Buffy said. "It's not healthy."

"Oh come on Buff, when did you get all health hazard-y." Willow said.

"I've been like that since I had Dawn."

"Well come on let's go before she terrorizes all of Tokyo." Andrew said.

"Okay, so let's go." Buffy said.


"We can go to my house and I can cook dinner. Mall food isn't nutritious." Cordy said to Anya as they stood in line for the McDonalds.

"Cordy this is about getting away for a little while. Besides McDonalds isn't that bad." Anya said.

"Okay so we get the kids McDonalds, what do you want?"

"Some pizza I guess. How about you?"

"I think I'm going to get Mexican food. Maybe a burrito."

"Good. So we'll eat and then we'll do some more shopping."

"Okay. Kids what do you want?" Cordy asked her kids. When she didn't hear them answer she looked down to see that they weren't there.

"Madison! Connor! Anya where are they?"

"I don't know?"

"Oh my god! Anya we have to find them!" Cordy said running out of the line and calling her children's names.


"Connor come on! Mom is gonna kill us." Maddy told her little brother.

"I'm just looking at the dogs. I want a dog like Spot." Connor said ignoring his older sister.

"Kid, come on. We have to go." Maddy was getting really upset and she couldn't see her mother or Aunt Ahn anywhere.

"Come on can't we just look at the dogs for one more minute. And don't call me kid."

"You are a kid."

"Oh just because you're ten doesn't make you a grown-up. Now I want to look at the dogs. Go if you want to."

"I can't."

"Why not."

"Because if you get lost then I'll get in trouble. It's better not to spilt up."

"Well then stop whining. They'll come for us sooner or later."

"Yeah and after that mom'll blow a gasket." Maddy looked around to see if her mom or aunt were anywhere to be found. Just then she saw her. It was Dawn and her mom.

"Hey look its Dawn and Uncle Spike's new girlfriend."

"Dawn." Connor said and turned around to see.

"Oh someone has a crush." Maddy said in a singsong voice.

"Do not. I just think she's nice. Plus if Uncle Spike and her mom get married we'll be cousins."

"Whatever. Let's say hi when they pass."

Dawn pulled Buffy while Willow and Andrew followed behind. Dawn was looking through the stores as she made her way to the food court. She was looking at the pet store when she heard her name.

"Hi Dawn." Maddy said.

"Hey." Connor said.

"Connor! Maddy! Hi." Dawn said.

"Maddy? Connor? Where is your mom?" Buffy asked in a concerned voice.

"Oh doofus over here wanted to look at the dogs and got us lost." Maddy said.

"I'm not a doofus."

"You're a gigantic doofus. I don't know where Mom and Auntie Anya are."

"Buffy do you know these kids." Willow asked.

"Yeah this is Spike's niece and nephew."

"Oh where are they're parents?" Andrew asked.

"I don't know. Where were you going before you got lost?"

"The food court."

"Oh we were just going there. Come on we'll take you there." Buffy said. Just then she heard Anya and Cordy screaming for Maddy and Connor.

"Cordy over here," Buffy yelled. Cordy and Anya turned their heads and saw Buffy, Dawn, Maddy and Connor. Cordy ran over to them.

"What happened to you guys? I thought I told you never to separate from me in the mall." Cordy scowled.

"Sorry mom. It was Maddy's fault." Connor said.

"Oh no it wasn't. It was all his fault. He wanted to look at the dogs."

"You know she's a pathological liar." Connor said.

"You don't even know what that means."

"It doesn't matter just don't let it happen again. Oh thanks for finding them Buffy. Would you like to eat with us? We were just going to have McDonalds or something."

"Sure, that's all Dawn wanted anyway."

"Okay. Oh hi I'm Cordelia Flannery. Are you Buffy's friends?"

"Yes, I'm Willow Osbourne." Willow said.

"I'm Buffy's brother, Andrew Schafer." Andrew said.

"Oh come on let's go then." Buffy said.


"So you're a therapist. Who's your weirdest patient? Did you ever get one who thought they were a dog. Ever had a pathological liar?" Anya asked as she took a bite of her pizza.

"Well I don't ever have interesting patients and if there were any I wouldn't be able to tell you because of confidentiality." Willow told her.

"What do you do?" Willow asked her.

"Oh I'm a forensic examiner."

"Oh that sounds like an interesting job." Andrew said.

"Yeah it's okay. Makes good money. What about you?"

"Oh I'm a doctor."

"That's cool."

"What do you do, Cordelia?" Andrew asked.

"I'm a magazine editor and call me Cordy."

"So why are you here, Andrew. You said something about living in LA." Anya said.

"I'm here to testify against Riley, that's Buffy's ex-husband, and for moral support."

"Oh so you've met my brother."

"Oh Spike's your brother?"

"Yes, he is. What do you think of him."

"Well let me just say that he is one good-looking guy." Andrew said.

"Yeah that he is." Willow said.

"Yeah Spike is a nice looking guy. Smart and funny too." Cordy said.

"Yes he's a great guy." Anya said.

"We were trying to force Buffy to realize just how great he is." Andrew said.

"I know we were trying to do the same thing at a family barbecue that she went to. I really think that they would make a good couple. Spike really needs to get on with his life and he seems to really like Buffy." Anya said.

"Yeah well she really likes him. There's just so much mamba jumbo about them just being friends. It's all shit. They should just stop playing around and get it on already." Willow said.

"Willow!" Buffy said. "The kids are right there." Buffy said signaling to one of the kids tables they have in the mall.

"Oh Buffy they can't hear us. I think she's right though. Although it should be Spike who's doing the jumping, but he's always been the more passive type. She might as well jump his bones." Anya said.

"Well someone better jump someone's bones before they stay in this whole friendship denial stage. All I know is that Spike is a little gun-shy after his previous experiences." Cordy said.

"Yeah well Buffy is a little gun-shy as well. I mean her failed marriage has left her a little nervous about love and guys in general." Willow said.

"Yeah everyone is a little gun-shy. Can we please get of this subject." Buffy said.

"In a state of denial. Spike is in a state of denial as well. He was telling Angel about how he does like you, but you guys can't take it further then friendship. You both should really communicate better." Anya said.

"Okay really this is making me uncomfortable. If I can't avoid this then I'm just going to go over at sit at the kids table." Buffy said as she got up and walked over to the kid table.

"They really need to start talking more. I mean they both seem to be falling for each other." Cordy said.

"Yeah well like we just uncovered they are both a little gun-shy." Andrew said taking a sip from his drink.

"So did anyone see that special on the Discovery Channel." Cordy said.


"Hey kids how are the Happy Meals?"

"They're good. Are you my Uncle Spike's girlfriend?" Connor asked.

"No, my mom and Spike aren't together. Although I think they would make a cute couple. Spike would make a great step-dad."

"Yeah he's a good uncle." Connor said.

"So how come you aren't dating Uncle Spike." Connor asked.

"It's complicated." Buffy said.

"My mom said that there isn't anything complicated about love."

"Well there are just some things that make things hard to work out." Buffy couldn't believe that she was explaining herself to a six-year-old.

"My mom and dad are still married, but it's almost over. Soon she'll be single again and then maybe they could date. We'd be like cousins if they got married." Dawn said.

"Dawn I'm not getting married to Spike. We aren't even dating." Buffy said. She didn't want Dawn to think that Spike was anything more then a friend.

"I know, but if you were and you fell in love and got married then we'd be like cousins." Dawn said in a matter-of-fact voice.

"Yeah that would be cool. Then you could come over to our house for Christmas and Thanksgiving and holidays like that." Connor said.

"Yeah that would be cool. And then I could ride in Spike's car all the time."

"Did you meet Spot the dog?"

"No is it a good dog?"

"Yes, it's a yellow lab."

"Wow is it pretty?"

"Guy dogs aren't pretty. They're handsome. That's what Uncle Spike says." Buffy listened to the conversation and couldn't believe that six-year-olds knew her emotions better then she did.

"Just don't hurt him." Buffy looked across the table to see Maddy taking another bite of her cheeseburger.


"If you decided to stop denying everything don't hurt him and I can probably promise he'll do his best not to hurt you." Maddy said taking another drinking from her soda.

"What makes you think I'll hurt him."

"You probably won't, but you've been warned."

"Warned by an ten-year-old. What would you do to me if I did hurt him?"

"I'd be there to pick up the pieces. Everyone's been there to pick up the pieces. Daddy was there with the last girlfriend. She was a really mean lady."

"Really? How so." Buffy knew about Dru, but she won't to hear this girl's version of the story.

"She cheated on him."

"You know about that."

"Puh-lease I'm not two. I'm ten."

"You were eight or nine at the time."

"I was always smarter then my brother. I was more intuitive and sneakier. Listened in on phone calls and all that. Helps when you're always over at his house. He used to babysit Connor and me. When she moved into his house he would see us less. She said that she didn't like kids. I wanted to tell her where she could go, but I thought that I would get in trouble. I was glad when he finally saw that she was a bad lady."

"Well I would say that you're very smart for an ten-year-old."

"I try and look out for him, but I can't do it all the time. You seem nice and I know you like kids because you have a kid. Dawn seems cool too. I know Connor likes her. He seems to like you. Granted I'm not sure what that looks like, but trust me that he likes you that way."

"You're very insightful. Thanks."

"You're welcome. Just remember what I said. He doesn't need that again and from what Dawn says you don't either."


"You ever think about what it would have been like if you and Cordy had stayed together?" Angel said in a sleepy voice. He hadn't really been sleeping, but drifting and doing some serious thinking.

"Jesus Christ, you were supposed to be asleep." Spike said as he jumped up from his chair dropping some papers.

"I was just thinking. Do you?"

"Do I what?"

"Ever think about what it would be like if you and Cordy had gotten married."

"Where did that come from?"

"I don't know I was just thinking. I mean things would be very different."

"Cordy and I only went out a few times. We weren't right for each other. That's why I introduced her to you. She was more your type."

"Yeah I know and I'm glad you did, but things would be different."

"As much as I hate to say this Cordy was just a rebound girl."

"For Faith?"

"Yeah, we broke up when I was seventeen. I dated Cordy for a little while after that. She was the first girl I went out with after Faith. It would never have worked out anyway. She liked older guys and I'm a couple of months younger then her."

"You two didn't..."

Spike looked at his brother with a shocked expression.

"If you're asking if I had sex with your wife the answer is no. Like I said it was a few dates and I was just trying to deal with being somber and having a normal relationship."

"Good cause that would be very creepy. Just imagine it though. I mean I was busy at the time what with work and all. What if you and her had stayed together? You'd be Maddy's real dad instead of just her godfather."

"I'm fine with just being her godfather. I don't think that we would have gotten married even if we did stay together, though. I wasn't the marrying type back then and like I said it was a rebound thing."

"So you don't hold any feelings for her?"

"Okay what kind of question is that to ask? She's like a friend and she's my brother's wife. I love her as a friend and as a sister."

"Yeah, but you never wonder. I mean you've always been so concerned with everyone else's love life and not your own. Don't you wonder what would happen if you hadn't set me up with Cordy. Or Wes and Fred for that matter."

"Fred and Wes are soul mates and you and Cordy are soul mates." Spike said in a matter-of-fact voice.

"Oh that's sweet, but you know I doubt believe in that shit."

"Then why did everything turn out so perfect for you."

"You call lying in a hospital bed perfect?"

"You know what I mean. I believe in that shit as you put it."

"Yeah I know that for some weird reason you believe in it. It was just a simple question."

"I know, but Cordy and I weren't meant to be and Fred and I never even thought about each other like that."

"Yeah I know it was weird to ask. I was just thinking about how my family doesn't deserve this. If Cordy had been with you then she wouldn't have to go through this. Maybe if we had gotten that divorce. . . "

"No don't talk like that. That whole divorce thing was just a bad memory. Don't think about it."

"I know. It's just it was my fault that we were even thinking about it. I mean I was working so much and all that. You've seen those cop shows and how the cops always get a divorce and all that. It's actually very true."

"You stuck it out. You guys realized how much you loved each other and forgot about it."

"Yeah well I guess you're right. It's nice having you around to make me realize when I'm saying something stupid."

"Glad to be of service. Now go to sleep."

"Okay. Goodnight, Will."

"Goodnight, Angel."


"Okay well that was fun. We should do it again sometime." Cordy said.

"Yeah it was really interesting and I'm sure the kids would like to hang out again." Buffy said. The group had finally made their way to the parking lot. They were all still on the whole Buffy and Spike situation, but Buffy had come to ignore it.

"Yeah and then we could see Buffy squirm when we talk about her and Spike together." Willow said.

"Oh that would be great fun." Anya said, "We could also do it when Spike is there and see them both squirm"

"Oh that's hilarious." Buffy said sarcastically.

"Okay let's let Buffy off the hook for a little while. I was thinking that maybe Dawn could come over to the house on Saturday" Cordy said.

"Oh well I don't want to burden you what with the whole Angel thing." Buffy said.

"Come on mom please." Dawn said giving her mother the pout and the puppy dog eyes.

"Buffy I promise it won't be that big of a deal. Spike is coming over to the house and taking the kids out to the park and then the movies." Cordy said.

"Well okay then."

"Great that's going to be so cool." Dawn said.

"Well we better be going." Buffy said.

"Yeah see you Saturday."

"Okay. Bye Cordy. Anya."


Chapters 13, 14, and 15

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