Chapters 16, 17, and 18

Best Part of Breaking Up


Chapter 16:

Spike sat at his desk and angrily pounded on the keyboard of his computer. He was so frustrated. Why did this always happen to him? Did he have a ‘kick me’ sign on his back or something? That was the only way he could comprehend it. There had to be something seriously wrong with him. Maybe it was karma from his wilder days. Then again that had seemed like karma as well.

Maybe he was cursed. Maybe his great whatever had placed a curse on all Flannery’s and there was no getting out of it. Sado-masochist who was just glutton for punishment every time he fell in love.

Whatever the reason he was totally in the shitter. Last night was the best night of his life. He enjoyed Buffy’s friends. He had already liked Willow and Andrew. Warren and Oz were his kind of guys although they were totally different from each other. So everything had been great. Then Buffy has to invited him inside her apartment. He could see the look in her eyes that said it wasn’t just for coffee like it had been before.

No this time it was about something more and he, being the Sado-masochist that he was, was stupid enough to go inside. Oh maybe it was just the women, but sometimes it didn’t feel like it. Was there something wrong with him. Was he so unlovable that women just didn’t want him? Was he doomed to live his life alone and be the male version of that lady with all those cats?

All had been going so perfectly up until that point. Okay so after that point wasn’t so bad. Who was he really kidding it was the best after that point. He just wished he could remember it so vividly.



Spike looked deep into Buffy’s eyes and saw the lust that filled them. Yes she knew what she was doing and he could tell. It wasn’t the two glasses of champagne that were making her do this although those helped out a bit. No she wanted him. She really wanted him.

Spike took a deep breath and then said, “Yeah I’d like too.”

Neither was sure what to do at that point. This was the step. The defining moment that would decide all. Buffy took his hand in hers and held it tightly as she led him inside her apartment. When they were both inside Spike closed the door gently and turned back to face her.

The lust was definitely still there, but there was something else. Apprehension? Confusion? Doubt? Spike walked over to her and stared deeply into her eyes. At that moment the doubt was gone and all that was left was wanting. She wanted him and he wanted her.

Spike tilted his head slightly deciding it was his turn to initiate this kiss. Buffy was still unsure of herself. He had to reassure her that things were great. That all this was right. It was a slow sweet kiss, but it promised so much more.

Buffy pushed off his jacket and it fell to the floor making a small swishing noise. Her hands stroked along the planes of his back and couldn’t seem to find one spot to stop at. Spike’s hands remained wrapped around her waist pulling her closer as their kiss was deepened. His hands traveled up her arms and to her shoulders to push of the small shaw she was wearing. Buffy broke the kiss to take a deep breath. She looked up at Spike and saw his eyes closed and his mouth parted slightly as he took shallow breaths. He opened his eyes and saw her looking at him.

“You sure about this. We could always wait you know.” Spike said giving Buffy an out before he couldn’t control himself.

“I’ve never wanted anything more.” Buffy said pulling him closer to her.

They made their way, awkwardly, to her room discarding clothes as they walked along. They were down to their underwear when they had finally reached Buffy’s room. Spike gently pushed Buffy onto the bed and crawled on top of her. He began to kiss her neck and found himself exploring her body with his mouth. He placed open mouth kiss on every area of her body that his mouth touched.

His tongue would occasionally lick a certain part when he just couldn’t help himself. He expertly undid her bra and pushed it to the side and off of the bed. He experimented with her nipples sucking them and teasing them until they were hard little buds and Buffy was moaning loudly.

Spike’s thumbs found their way to Buffy’s underwear and slowly pulled them down her tanned legs throwing them over to where her bra lay. He looked at her face. Her eyes were tightly shut and she was biting her bottom lip to keep herself from moaning. There was a thin sheen of sweat on her forehead.

Spike ran his hand down the inside of her thigh and she parted them slightly allowing just enough room from him to slip between them. Spike quickly discarded his boxers and slid between her thighs. He slowly pushed inside of her until he was buried all the way.

Spike’s lips reclaimed Buffy’s in a bruising kiss. He set a slow pace and let his forehead rest on top of hers.

“Make it last. Please make it lasts. It’s been awhile.” Buffy whispered in his ear.

“I’ll make it last as long as you want.” Spike whispered back. They didn’t waste anymore breath talking.

End Flashback


Yeah it had lasted all right. They had taken each other all night long only stopping to catch their breath or regain their composure. It was like living in heaven or so Spike had thought. It was great. It was pure bliss for as long as it lasted. To bad it had to end so soon.


Buffy looked at Dawn. They were sitting on a seat in the public bus driving to Spike’s law firm. Dawn had already asked why Spike couldn’t drive them. She hated ride the bus and had pleaded with Buffy for them to just call Spike to pick them up. Not really wanting to go into the conversation Buffy told Dawn that Spike had an early appointment with one of his clients.

It seemed much better then ‘Your mother’s a whore who just ruined the best thing she ever had. Now eat your breakfast.’ Buffy was aware that that wouldn’t sound good to a six-year-old.

She was also aware that she was very stupid. Extremely so, that she had ruined her chances with Spike. The great guy that she wanted so badly and had openly admitted to wanting her just as badly. She hurt him and how could he ever forgive her for that. How could he ever just say ‘That’s okay. You were freaking out.

Let’s forget the whole thing and start at square one.’ Not likely. Their friendship might be down the drain as well. If anything she valued his friendship more then his body. She could care less if he wanted her that way as long as they were friends.

But no. She more then likely screwed that up as well. Wasn’t that just the Buffy pattern of things. Screw things up with the best guy she ever could find. Spike seemed so perfect in every way and he wanted her. Plain single mother her.

Just her and not in any other way. He had called her gorgeous and beautiful and perfect and made her feel that way. No one had ever made her feel that special. She screwed it up. She panicked.



Buffy woke up with strong arms wrapped around her tightly and a strong body pressed against her back. She felt a little sore, but in that good satisfied way that came after the most amazing night of your life. She felt the body shift in his sleep and the strong arms leave her waist. She turned to face the body she had woken up next to. Spike’s hair was sticking in weird directions and slightly returning to its natural curl. The bed head thing looked so great on him.

He was contently sleeping his chest heaving up and down as he breathed. His face, which was normally a bit hard and rugged, had riveted to a softer image. He looked younger in his sleep. He was so stressed out for such a young person and his facial features usually showed it.

Buffy lifted her finger to trace the planes of his face. He had such strong facial features that seemed to become relaxed as he slept. His jaw was no longer twitching with anger and his eyes held no black circles. He looked his age when he slept. He really was so very perfect. Okay so nobody was perfect, but he was really close to it. How long would it last though?

Riley was supposedly perfect before she married him. Buffy had a knack for picking the wrong guy. Why should this guy be any different? He presented a warm caring front, but what if it was just that. A front. What if he was really a monster?

Buffy began to panic now. She knew that her mind was playing trick on her. That she was setting up defense mechanisms, but what if it was true. This seemingly perfect guy could be putting up fronts. His kicked puppy dog look could be such an act. His parent issues and his girlfriend issues could all be part of a plan to get her into bed.

No, that couldn’t be possible. How could he get his whole family in on the deal? That would be a little twisted of them. They didn’t seem like they were that twisted and why go through all that work even if they were.

Then another thought dawned on her. if he really was this perfect then what were the chances that he’d stay with her. He would probably get bored with her after awhile. Sure he wanted a family and all those things, but he’d want to start them with someone who didn’t already have a family. He’d realize that she was dull and not worth his time and then leave her. It was that fear that drove her to violently shake Spike awake.

“Spike! Spike! Spike wake up!” Buffy yelled as she shook him.

“Hum? Wha’.” Spike said as he was shaken out of his sleep-induced haze. “Whas’ wrong.” He asked with concern.

“You have to leave.” Buffy said in a panicky voice.

“Why? Did someone call my cell phone? Is it Angel?” Spike asked his concern deepening.

“No you just have to go.” Buffy said without further explanation.

“Why?” Spike said puzzled.

“Because I said. I don’t do morning after well so you have to go. That’s my way of dealing with things. It’s less awkward that way.” Buffy said hiding the really reason as best she could.

“It really doesn’t have to be awkward. We could just you know start dating now.” Spike said with a little more vulnerability in his voice then he would have liked.

“No that would be not of the good. You really should go.” Buffy said pushing him off the bed. Spike landed with a ‘thunk’.

“I thought last night meant something?” Spike asked with a little more hurt then he would have liked.

“It didn’t. It was a stupid mistake. I can’t believe I put are friendship in danger like that. It was just… … … it’s been awhile and I needed some physical contact. You were there so, with my judgement impaired by a few drinks, invited you inside.” Buffy said more to herself then to Spike.

“So you’re saying I was just… … … convenient.” Spike said. “Yeah and I know that sounds awful, but that’s what it was.”

“So that’s it. Just a one night stand and it’s all over.” Spike said the hurt reflecting in his eyes and words.

Buffy could see that she was making a huge mistake. It was like the really Buffy was floating over her head watching and listening to her stay stupid things and the real Buffy wasn’t stopping it. Couldn’t stop it.

“I’m sorry if you thought it was something more. I lead you on and that was terrible of me. I shouldn’t have done that and I realize how wrong I was. I hope you can forgive me, but it will never happen again. Our friendship means more to me then a one night stand." Buffy said. Spike looked at her with puzzlement and then hurt when she called him a one-night stand.

“Fine whatever. You missed out Buffy.” Spike said picking up whatever clothes were in Buffy’s room and going outside. It took five minutes before Buffy heard the slamming of her front door and she was already crying silent tears.

End Flashback


Buffy had cried for a good long while before hearing the knock on her door. She remembered vaguely glance at her clock and seeing it was already eleven. She wiped her face and made herself looking as presentable as she could in her pajamas before going to the front door.

She had invited Cordy and the kids inside and played the nice host for a few minutes before Cordy said she had to go run errands. Then Buffy got dressed and ready to face Spike she knew she would have to. He was still her lawyer and if Spike was one thing it was professional. He wouldn’t let what happened come between the case.

So here she was with Dawn clutching tightly to her hand and looking up at her with a big smile on her face. She had to face the music sometime. She had complained about awkward mornings after and her she was ready to see Spike again. She had to present a cool calm front. Dawn didn’t expecting anything was up. Everything was fine in her little world. Oh to be young and oblivious.


“Hey Spike you’re here on a Sunday afternoon. That’s new.” Spike looked up to see Xander standing in his doorway.

“Well I have work to do.” Spike said looking back at his computer.

“I thought the boss was only supposed to have work on Sundays. It’s gods day you know.” Xander said.

“Yeah I know, but I have to prep a witness.” Spike said.

“You know you’re still thinking like a criminal lawyer. We don’t call it prepping we call it coaching. Big difference.” Xander said taking a seat in one of the chairs that were in front of Spike’s desk.

“Yeah I guess I do.” Spike said not bothering to look up from his computer this time.

“You know I may seem like I have a lot of money, but if you break that keyboard I will take it out of your paycheck.” Xander said.

“Oh sorry. Guess I am hitting the keys a little too hard.” Spike said.

“I could here them from my office.” Xander said. “Your office is two floors down from here.” Spike said.

“Okay so I exaggerated. I was up here to get a soda. Still doesn’t give you an excuse to kill one of my keyboards.” Xander said.

“Rough night last night.” Spike said.

“No I think someone just had a bad morning. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” Xander asked.

“Something like that.” Spike said.

“Well look I know we’ve never been exactly good friends. We haven’t been friends at all really. I think it’s slightly petty looking back on it. So if you ever want to talk, I’ll think that’s amazing because we just started this little olive branch thing, but I’ll be here. Right in this law office doing lots of paperwork.” Xander said getting up from his seat and walking over to the door.

“Offer me a better position.” Spike called out. Xander looked at him skeptically.

“I thought you hate it here.” Xander said slightly perplexed.

“I do, but offer me a better position.” Spike said. Xander could tell he was serious.

“Can’t really do that Spike. People would call it nepotism. You know Burris is next on the list to be bumped up a position.” Xander said.

“It’s okay. Wasn’t really thinking that you were going to do that anyway. Just a last minute ploy. Go ahead and get back to all your work.” Spike said returning his gaze back to his computer.

“Spike are you okay?” Xander said with really concern.

“Yeah I’m good. Things are great. Now if you don’t mind I actually have work to do.” Spike said.

“Yeah okay. I’ll see you later. Maybe as a peace offering I’ll be you lunch or well in this case a snack of some sort.” Xander said.

“Yeah that’ll be great.” Spike said. Xander left and Spike only had to wait a few minutes before Buffy and Dawn entered the office.

“Hey, we’re here.” Dawn said.

“Yeah we’re here.” Buffy said.

“Great let’s get started.” Spike said easily slipping into his professional tone.

This should be fun. Spike and Buffy thought.


“I think that’s everything. You don’t need to come in tomorrow. Just take a break tomorrow and try and relax. Testifying in court is a very stressful experience and I need you to be calm for Tuesday. You got that.” Spike said as they ended the very long ‘coaching’ session.

“I got it. We can go now?” Dawn asked.

“Yeah you can go now.” Spike said.

“Can you give us a ride home, Spike.” Dawn asked.

“Dawn I’m sure Spike has some work to do. Besides I already called Willow and told her to come pick us up.” Buffy said.

She had spent the entire time outside of the office wondering around the huge law firm. She had called Willow and Willow sensed something was wrong, but didn’t persist on the subject.

“Oh you could just call Willow and tell her that Spike could give us a ride. You can right Spike.” Dawn asked hopefully.

“No I can’t. Lot’s of work to do and one of my friends is offering to buy me some lunch. I haven’t eaten all day.” Spike said lying as best as he could. It wasn’t really a lie. He planned to take Xander up on the offer of food, but that could probably what until after he dropped them off.

“Oh that’s too bad. Well we’ll see you Tuesday then right.” Dawn said.

“Yeah that’s right.” Spike said.

“Cool. Dawn bounced out of her chair and out of the open door. “Bye Spike.” She called out from down the hallway.

“Bye Dawn.” Spike called after her.

Spike’s gaze stayed at the open door before going up to met Buffy’s gaze.

“You should go.” Spike said.

“Yeah I should go. Listen about this morning…”

“You don’t have to explain. I get it. One nightstand. Let’s just go back to being friends. Things were simpler then. You’re free to do whatever you want. Now I have a lot of work ahead of me so if you please.” Spike said motioning to the door. Buffy felt a piece of her self burn out when she heard him say those words. She really had missed her chance all because she was scared.

“Yeah, I’m free.” Buffy whispered as she exited his office


Chapter 17:

Mondays. How crappy were Mondays. Spike had lost count of just how crappy Mondays could be. It was the start of yet another workweek. Work. How crappy was work. Spike remembered a time when he loved coming into work even on a Monday.

Sure those days had ended in a blaze, but the feeling still lingered every time he opened the door to his new office with the fake wood desk and the poorly looking swivel chair. Yeah, before it had been real mahogany wood and a big comfy black leather chair high enough so that if it was turned around and Spike was sitting in it you wouldn’t see him.

It wasn’t just about material things. Sure it was a big part of what he missed at a huge corporate law firm, but he could do without the ocean view. It was that certain passion that inflamed him when he walked in the courtroom to keep someone from going to jail for a long time.

Criminal cases were a life or death situation and the thrill that he got from keeping someone from going to jail for the rest of their life was intoxicating. Hell, he’d even take putting the criminals away. He still had that same feel. Now, it was gone and when he walked into this office all he got was a stale feel. He wasn’t even that old.

That and a few other things were what made him find himself in front of Xander’s office.

“You can go in you know. He’s probably just slaving away in front of that computer filing paper work. I swear that man is only twenty-seven but he seems like he’s forty. He’ll be happy to get away from it for a little while.” Xander’s secretary said. Spike had never bothered to learn her name. It was Eve or Gwen or something like that.

“Yeah thanks.” Spike said.

“Anytime counselor.” The secretary said going back to the phones.

Spike took a deep breath and opened the door. Xander’s was in fact sitting in front of his computer running his fingers through his long brown hair. He did look forty.

“You look like shit.” Spike said. Xander looked up and gave Spike a small smile.

“Now I know where Anya gets it. You don’t look all that great yourself.” Xander said.

“I’m older.” Spike said.

“Have a seat.” Xander said. Spike sat down in one of the seats.

“What can I do for you?” Xander asked.

“I’m giving my two weeks notice.” Spike said.

“Really found another job that quickly. It’s only been, what a month.” Xander said.

“Yeah something like that. And I sort of found a job. Giles offered to make me partner of the new law firm he’s opening.” Spike said.

“Now I see why you wanted me to offer you a promotion. Well I can’t say it’s not a good trade in. Although isn’t Giles’s new firm in San Francisco.” Xander said.

“That’s right.” Spike said.

Xander looked at him curiously.

“That means you’d have to move to San Francisco.” Xander said.

“Yeah that’s right.” Spike said.

“Does the family know about this.” Xander asked.

“No, but who cares. Look I have to start my own life here. They didn’t expect me to live in Sunnydale my whole life did they? This is a big step in the right direction you know.” Spike said.

“What about Angel?” Xander said.

“I’ll come down every weekend.” Spike said.

“Right because as a criminal lawyer you have lots of free time.” Xander said sarcastically.

“You know it’s not always about them. This time, this one time I’d like it to be about me. What has Sunnydale got to offer me anymore? It’s been nothing but hell ever since I came to Sunnydale. I can’t stay here anymore.” Spike said.

“Okay I get that, but maybe you should rethink going so soon. Maybe wait a couple of weeks or months before leaving. I’m sure Giles will still offer you the job when you’re ready for it.” Xander said.

“No, I just can’t do it anymore. So I quit. I’m finishing off this case and that’s it. I’m leaving.” Spike said

“It’s your choice man.” Xander said.

“Yeah it’s my choice.” Spike said. He and Xander sat in silence for a few minutes before Xander spoke.

“You wanna know why I became a lawyer?” Spike looked at him for a few minutes before nodding his head.

“Well I wanted to do something with my life that was worth while. I wasn’t sure what that was at the time. I thought that maybe I’d become a doctor. Then one day when I was about six I came home to find my dad hitting my mother. You know I was too young to remember it ever happening before, but that was the first time that I’d seen it and the first time he hit me. My mom never left him and he just kept on hitting her and me until I got old enough to defend myself and then I just left. I went to college and tried to find something that I would be good at due to my experiences. I found family law.” Xander said.

Spike looked at him guiltily.

“It’s not your fault that you didn’t know about my past. Anya barely knows that much. Just enough for her to realize why I choose this type of law.” Xander said.

“Yeah well I guess I was a little screwed up to even really care.” Spike said.

“Yeah well we aren’t so different I guess. Father issues and all that. I just wanted to help the mothers that wanted to get away. So I get why you want to get back in the game. I remember you as an A.D.A and you were good at what you did. You have a passion for criminal law.” Xander said.

“So it doesn’t seem like I’m running away?” Spike asked.

“A little, but I think everyone needs to run away for a little bit. Helps them become the person that they turn out to be.” Xander said. Spike thought about that and then nodded.

“So I guess this is my official notice.” Spike said.

“Yeah now go back to work.” Xander said jokingly.

Spike got up and walked over to the door. “So did you mom ever leave your dad?” Spike asked. Xander stiffened noticeably and then answered.

“No they’re still together. They live in Nevada. I haven’t seen them since I went off to college.” Xander said. “Maybe you’re better off.” Spike said.

“Probably. I mean look at you. Your father never hit you and you still ended up screwed up.” Xander said.

“Probably more so then you.” Spike said.

“Probably. But then again every once in awhile you can be normal. You know just laid back and yourself. Keep that up.”


“Come in.” Willow called when she heard a knock on the door of her office. It was almost noon and that meant that Spike would be showing up any minute.

“Hey, Willow.” Spike said as he stepped into her office.

“Hey Spike I was expecting you.”

“Well I’m here.” Spike said.

“So what’s on your mind for this session.” Willow said.

“Um, well, I guess the fact that I’m leaving.” Spike said.

“What?” Willow said.

“I decided to take the job offer from Giles. I called him and he said that the job was still mine if I wanted it. I gave my two weeks notice to Xander and I’ll be leaving Sunnydale on Saturday to check out apartments.” Spike said.

“So you’re just packing up and leaving?” Willow asked trying to sound as professional as possible.

“Yeah I realized that Sunnydale has nothing more to offer me. I’ve been living here for what feels like my whole life and nothing’s getting any better. I really think that a change of venue will help. What about you? It doesn’t seem like I’m running away from my problems does it?” Spike said.

“Do you want that from a professional position or a friend one.” Willow asked.

“Both I guess. Not really looking to tell all of my friends yet. They’d talk me out of it so the professional one would be best, but you know put your friendly advice in there as well.” Spike said.

“Well as a friend I would tell you what the hell are you thinking you can’t leave Sunnydale. That’s where your life is.” Willow said.

“And as a professional.” Spike said.

“As a professional I think you should really think about taking some time off. Get away from all the craziness. You seem to be living your life for others rather then yourself and that isn’t very healthy. You need to be living your life for you and not to please others.” Willow said.

“Good so I’m doing a good thing here.” Spike said.

“Professionally yes, but I have to ask what sparked this sudden change. Saturday night you were saying that you would probably not do this now you’re doing it. Was there something really significant that happened between that time?” Willow asked.

“No not really.” Spike said a little too quickly.

“Nothing huge it’s just… I walked into my office today and I realized that that isn’t the life I want. I used to walk into my office, not the one at the law firm I’m working at, and feel a surge of energy. Like it felt right. I don’t get that feeling here.” Spike said.

“So you think that if you go to San Francisco you’ll find what you’re looking for?” Willow asked.

“No, not exactly what I’m looking for. You know my dream is to open my own law firm. I just think that this type of law is making me older.” Spike said.

“Older? How so?” Willow asked.

“Well not to be mean or ungrateful to Xander, but I don’t understand how he can do this. Family law is all about paperwork and numbers. It almost feels like I’m an accountant. I just don’t get it.” Spike said.

“You seem to be doing a good job at it.” Willow said.

“I do law well. I mean any kind of law, but criminal law is my passion. It always was been. I’m not qualified to do family law. I mean it’s all law, but it’s not something I take pride in.” Spike said.

“So you don’t love it like you loved criminal law?” Willow asked.

“Yeah, the feeling of loving to get up in the morning to go to work is lost on me.” Spike said.

“And there’s nothing else.” Willow asked.

Spike looked at her to see if she knew anything. No, she didn’t. She was just going on the therapist instinct. Spike stood up from his chair and started pacing around the room.

“You know I hate to leave my family like this. I mean they don’t exactly need me, but Angel’s sick and it would be nice of me to stick around. It’s just… you ever get the feeling that you’re older then you really are.” Spike said looking over at Willow.

“All the time especially when I spend a lot of time working.” Willow answered.

“Yeah well lately I’ve been feeling that way more often. I don’t know. It’s this feeling that I can’t shake off. I keep thinking I’m making the wrong decisions. Making the wrong moves and every time I do there’s someone there to rub it in my face. Always someone to make me feel worse.” Spike said.

“So you feel like you’re making the wrong decisions with your life. Like every step that you take is another mistake that someone’s going to call you on.” Willow said.

“It goes a little deeper then that. I used to feel that I had to atone for being so wild back when I was younger and maybe I overdid it a bit. I’m there for everyone out of what sometimes feels like guilt. Like I’m trying to make up for being so reckless in my younger age. I never really found the person I was supposed to be and now, at twenty-eight, I’m more confused then ever. I tried to conform into someone that people would approve of, but now that I think about it I didn’t change into someone I would approve of.” Spike said.

“Ah, I know what you mean. It’s the ‘Everyone loves Raymond’ complex.” Willow said.

Spike gave her a questioning look.

“I’m sure there’s a technical name for it, but I usual give that name to everyone. It’s so much easier to say then what ever medical do-hickeys they have for it.” Willow said.

“Seriously, are you really a psychiatrist.” Spike asked.

“Yeah, just a more down to earth one.” Willow said.

“All right so tell me about this TV complex I have going on.” Spike said.

“You want everyone to approve and like you. It’s fairly simple. You’re someone who does things to please others. Then you get lost when someone doesn’t approve.” Willow said.

“Is that your official diagnosis?” Spike asked.

“Well no. See you can’t really diagnosis someone if they’re keeping secrets from you. What triggered this self-reflection?” Willow asked. Spike looked at her as seriously as he could.

“Nothing I just sort of realized it.” Spike said.

“Oh puh-lease. You couldn’t have just realized it without a little help.” Willow asked.

“I swear I just realized it on my own. I’m smart like that.” Spike said.

“People who have this complex can’t just realize it on their own. People don’t like them so they conform. They don’t look back on their lives.” Willow said.

“Well I’ve always been a bit different.” Spike said.

“No one’s that different to break through the purposes of medical science.” Willow said.

“Your point?” Spike said.

“What happened yesterday that triggered this little self-reflection.” Willow asked. Spike thought back to yesterday.

Nothing much had happened. He left Buffy’s house, okay that was different, but it turned out to be just a one-night stand. Well at least that’s what they both had decided. He coached Dawn and then he went out with Xander to eat.



“So why’d you ask me to this lunch-almost-dinner.” Spike asked as he lightly placed his napkin on his lap.

“No reason, but as a peace offering. I figure I might as well eat sooner or later. With all the paperwork I have I don’t think I’ll be getting home anytime soon.” Xander said not looking up from his menu. They had stopped at a local burger joint called Paul’s Place.

“Yeah I guess so. Do you always work so late?” Spike asked taking a quick glance at the menu before deciding what he was going to eat.

“Yeah, Ahn hates it. She’s always talking about if I work so late how are we ever going to have kids. Ever since Angel got sick and she met that Buffy that you seem so fond of she wants to have kids.” Xander said.

“That such a bad thing. You guys should have kids while you’re still young.” Spike said.

“Listen to you. You sound like Grandfather Time. I’m twenty-seven and she’s twenty-six. We’re still reasonably young. I just don’t think that this is the best time in our careers to be having kids. I don’t come home until late in the night and she doesn’t come home all that early either.” Xander said.

“Well if you ask me your career is sound and so is hers. Most parents don’t spend loads of time with their kids anyway.” Spike said.

“Yeah, but I want to be the very best father I can be.” Xander said.

“Well there aren’t any guarantees you know. You just have to jump right in and hope that you’re making the right decision.” Spike said.

“So I’m just supposed to dive right in without a care in the world? Doesn’t seem very… logical.” Xander said.

“Parenthood isn’t supposed to be logical.” Spike said.

“Well it will be the way I do things.” Xander said.

“Don’t you hate feeling like Mister Logical all the time.” Spike said.

“Oh and you’re one to talk.” Xander said.

“What’s that supposed to mean.” Spike asked with a frown on his face.

“I’m not the most logical person sitting at this table.” Xander said.

“I’m not that logical.”

“Oh please. More so then me. I remember a time when you were out there and wacky. You used to go with the flow of things, but lately not so much.” Xander said.

“I got older.” Spike said defensively.

Xander let out a sigh. “You’re only a year older then I am. Please don’t try to tell me that you got older and matured.”

“Is that so hard to believe.”

“Well yeah. Spike you’ve never been immature I’ll give you that, but you’ve never been Mister Conservative. Look at you with your stylish two-tone hair set for the corporate world and your fancy suits. Laid back my ass.” Xander said.

“I’m just trying to act my age.” Spike said.

“And yet here you are telling me to not act mine. To just go for it and have kids. Why?” Xander said.

“’Cause I’d like some more nieces and nephews.” Spike said.

“You know that’s not what I mean.”

“What do you mean then, Xan.” Spike asked.

“I mean why the sudden change. It was brought on like a fast hurricane and all that was left was this new Spike. Corporate was never you.”

“Sure it was. I did it for a whole year.”

“No Spike it wasn’t you. Being a lawyer that’s you no denying that. When I met you, you were Mister Big-Shot A.D.A. You were so smug and too damn confident for your own good. I remember you never lost a case. Then one day you make the switch to corporate out of nowhere. I mean if it wasn’t bad enough that you had that hotshot girlfriend, but to turn corporate. I always knew that job wasn’t you, but we weren’t friends at the time so I kept my mouth shut, but I knew. There was something wrong with that picture.”

“I was trying to advance my career. You know that thing that’s keeping you from having kids. Do you even want kids.”

“Nice changing of the subject. Yes I want kids. Of course I want kids. Who doesn’t want kids? Everyone wants a family and kids and the American dream.” Xander said.

“Well then don’t let anything get in the way of that.” Spike said.

“I don’t plan to. I’ll have kids when I’m ready. Just like you’ll act like the real you when you’re ready.” Xander said.

“I act like the real me. This is the real me. After years of search I finally found him.”

“Well you better search some more because this Spike that sits in front of me is totally different from the one that’s supposed to be here.”

End Flashback


“Well okay maybe after having lunch with Xander I realized that I don’t exactly act like the real me.” Spike said.

“So Xander is what triggered it.” Willow said.

“Yeah that’s all that triggered it.

“Somehow I think that you’re using this whole thing as a cover from the real reason you want to leave. So tell me. What’s the really reason?” Spike sighed and sat down in one of the chairs.

“It’s not one specific reason. There are many reasons why I want to leave.” Spike said.

“What’s the biggest one.” Willow said.

“Okay now you’re badgering more like a friend then like a professional.” Spike said.

“Well I can’t help it if it comes out that way. In the short time that I’ve known you I’ve come to think of you as somewhat of a friend.” Willow said.

“Is that because I’m friends with Buffy or because you like me as a person.” Spike asked.

“Okay now who’s psychoanalyzing whom.”

“If you were to meet me on your own would you consider me a good guy.”

“I don’t know. I wasn’t put in that situation.”

“So the only reason you like me as a person is because of your friend.”

“No, I like you as a person because I got to know you. I’ll admit that I gave you a chance because Buffy said you were a good person, but I did get to know you on a deeper level. Kind of your therapist.”

“Yeah well I want to go somewhere where people don’t give me a chance because I’m the friend of a friend. There’s no room for growth in a small town like Sunnydale. Shoot almost everyone knows my name.”

“So you’re anti-cheers.”

“Again with the TV references. Yeah I guess you can say that.”

Willow looked down at her pad of paper. Usually she would jot down notes and things like that, but she hadn’t felt the need to with Spike. It didn’t hold any answers.

“Look I just think that the main reason you want to do this is to run away.” Willow finally said after a few minutes of silence.

“Yeah I guess I do want to run away.”

“From who or should I say what?”

Spike studied the redhead’s features. Where was a good answer when you needed one?

“I guess everything. My life’s kind of gotten old hat. I want to go some place and start new. Not be Spike. I want to find out who the hell William Flannery is. Is he someone I even like to be around? And I know how skitzo that sounded, but maybe it’s true. Maybe I don’t like me.” Spike said.

“And what if you find out that who you are right now is who you’re supposed to be. Do you like you right now.” Willow asked.

“Yeah I guess. Me right now is a cool guy, but there has to be more that I’m not tapping into. Something I’m missing that isn’t exactly making me whole. Whatever it is I need to find it before I go off and have a full life.” “So by moving to San Francisco you think you’ll accomplish that?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be answering my questions. You know saying helpful quotes and phrases. Aren’t you supposed to give your opinion.” Spike asked.

“Sure, but I need to know if this is what you really want.”

“It is. I’ve spent the better part of an hour saying that.”

“Okay then here’s my opinion. Something happened to you and not your lunch with Xander. It was something that made you insecure. Now lunch with Xander may have enforced that insecurity, but something happened before that. I need to know what that was before I can help you.” Willow said studying Spike intensely.

He fidgeted in his seat and didn’t look directly at her. He seemed to be battling with himself about telling her the truth or not. Then, a few minutes later, he looked up at her with slight determination on his face.

“IsleptwithBuffySaturdaynight.” He said quickly.

“You what?” Willow said not sure if she heard right.

Spike took a deep sigh and looked at her.

“I said I slept with Buffy Saturday night.” Spike said.

“Oh well that’s great.” Off Spike’s look she added. “That’s not great. Why is that not great? You two looked all good together. Why isn’t that great?” Willow asked.

“See it’s like this, Red. I had one of the best nights of my life and she wakes me up in the morning telling me to get the heck out and that it was a meaningless one-night stand. Said she hadn’t had it in a long time and basically told me that it meant nothing. So you see why the hell I’m anxious to get out of that town.” Spike said. Willow’s lips formed the perfect ‘oh’ shape, but no noise came out.

“Well I guess I see the reason now.” She said mentally remembering to kick Buffy when she saw her next.

“Do I have a ‘kick me’ sign on my back? Does it also say use me up really good and then just dump me ‘cause hell it doesn’t matter? His life is shit anyway. Honestly I’m asking you. I can’t really see my back.” Spike said.

“Not that I’ve seen.”

“I go after the wrong girl. I mean every time. Every bloody time it’s always the wrong girl. I’m like a magnet for the wrong girl. Always. I mean every relationship I’ve ever had has ended with me having that kicked puppy dog look on my face. I honestly think it’s me.”

“It’s not you.”

“How can it be them? How can at least four women be just total bitches? It can’t be them. I see a pattern don’t you. I go after the ones that’ll hurt me.”

“Spike it may feel like that, but that’s not true. You don’t go after the ones that hurt you. It just feels that way.”

“Really then why am I always the one that ends up feeling the burn. You know I wasn’t going to move because I actually thought that she might want to be with me. I was going to give up a great job because some chit might want to be with me. How stupid am I.”

“You’re not stupid. You just want love like everyone else.”

“You know I’m sorry to have to put you in this position. I know you can’t bad mouth your friend.” Spike said.

“Are you kidding? I would badmouth her if I could, but the best friend code has rules against that. I was the one sitting in the sidelines rooting you guys on. She’s so dumb some times.” Willow said.

“It’s not her fault. Maybe I rushed things. I don’t know. All I know is that I need to get out of Sunnydale. I need to start anew. I need to find a place that’s going to want me for me. Maybe San Francisco isn’t that town, but it can be. It’s whatever I make it right?”

Willow looked at Spike. He seemed really determined on starting anew. She knew there wasn’t anyway to talk him out of his decision. The only way to do that would be to show him that Buffy really did want him and she was just scared, but she couldn’t do that. She couldn’t force Buffy to admit something that she didn’t want to admit.

“Yeah it’s a new oyster.”


“Yeah you know that saying the world is your oyster.”

“Oh yeah I get it. Now the really hard part is yet to come. I have to convince my friends and family that this is a good decision without letting them know about Buffy. They’d just push it more and tell me to go after her.”

“And you couldn’t be persuaded to go after her?” Willow asked hopefully.

“See there’s the overly obnoxious friend stepping in. I wondered how long that was going to take to happen again. No I don’t think I could be persuaded.” Spike said.

“Why not.” Willow asked with a frown.

“There was a time when I wouldn’t have stopped pursuing her.” Spike said. “And now.”

“Now I think that I’m getting to old to go after girls. Love shouldn’t be that hard. I’m ready to give up on it fully. Just give me time.” Spike said.

“Wow welcome the old spinster.”

“I try. So what’s new with you.”

“Isn’t this about you?”

“Yeah well there’s like five minutes left so I thought I’d ask one of my friends what’s new in their life.”

“Well Buffy would kill me for telling you this before her, but well here it goes, I’m pregnant.” Willow said gleefully.

“Really that’s great. Does Oz know?”

“Yes I told him yesterday night. We went out to dinner and everything.”

“So how far along are you?”

“About a month or so. I’m so excited.”

“Yeah well kids are great. You’ll make a great mother. Just don’t psychoanalyze him or her to much.”

“I’ll try, but as a psychiatrist I have the ability to do that without even trying.” Willow and Spike shared a smile and a laugh before Willow was beeped on the intercom.

“Mrs. Osbourne your one o’clock is here.” The voice said.

“Okay send him in as soon as Mr. Flannery leaves this office.” Willow said into the intercom.

“Alright, ma’am.” The voice said.

“Jeez, why does she have to call me ma’am. I’m to young to be a ma’am.”

“Yeah well I’m too young to be a Sir, but I’m called it all the time. I should be going.” Spike said standing up and picking up his jacket.

“Yeah okay. I’ll see you before you leave right?”

“You can count on it.” Spike said walking over to the door.

“Oh and Spike.” Willow called. Spike turned around to face her.

“I do think that you should pursue her.”

“Really this speaking like a professional or as a friend.”

“A little bit of both actually. And no matter if you don’t like this William Flannery, there are people out there that do. Me being one of them. Don’t give up hope in love or Buffy.”

Spike closed his eyes and smiled. It was a small smile, but very noticeable. Not a smirk or a grin, but a smile. Willow wondered if she had ever seen him smile in the time that she knew him.

“Probably couldn’t even if I wanted too. Me and love, well let’s just say we get along just fine. It’s other people that are my problem. You take care now, ma’am.” Spike said bowing his head and walking out of the office.


Chapter 18:

Buffy couldn’t sleep another wink. She turned on her side to see what time it was. The big green numbers of her alarm clock flashed 5:30. She, Dawn and Andrew were due in court at eleven. She had plenty of time to sleep in, but her brain just wouldn’t stop working on overdrive. Today was it.

Today was the day Dawn testified in court. Today was the day that she found out for sure that Riley would never be able to touch her little girl ever again. She had faith in Spike and his abilities to get the job done, but it was still nerve wracking nonetheless. So it was time for a caffeine IV.

She slowly and silently got out of bed, put on her slippers and robe and made her way to her small kitchen all the while her mind trying desperately to focus on the case and only the case. Of course it wandered to Saturday night. It had only been a short while ago. Not even three days yet.

Despite what Buffy thought, meeting Spike the afternoon after the let done wasn’t at all awkward. Okay so she spent most of the time wandering the offices, but the part she stuck around for wasn’t awkward at all. It was straight forward and to the point. Spike still just wanted to be friends.

Yet there wasn’t any relief to that statement like there should have been. He said she was free. Free to do whatever the hell she wanted to do, but the only thing she wanted to do was virtually impossible.

She didn’t know anyone that owned a time machine. If she could just go back in time and change everything. Snuggled closer to him instead of pushing him away like she had. If she had just embraced the fact that he wanted her then maybe she wouldn’t feel so devastated.

Now she was left with that dull ache in her chest she had almost grown accustomed to and now matter what Spike said about being friends, Buffy wasn’t sure she could do that. Not after what was the best night of her life. It wasn’t just the sex, although that was beyond greater than greatest, the time before that had been fun.

Riley never got along with her friends like that. He had always butted heads with Andrew, thought Willow was way too psychoanalytic, and that Oz was strange with his stoic way of being. Spike got along with everyone and although he didn’t smile, which Buffy had come to learn was rare for Spike, he had a goofy grin on his face the whole time.

So to say Buffy had screwed up would be the understatement of the year. All her friends loved Spike. Even Dawn seemed to have taken a liking to him early on. She had ruined it. She wondered how much of a head start Willow would give her before hunting her down and kicking her ass. Maybe an ass kicking was in order.

“Mom what are you doing up? Do we have to go already?” Buffy turned around to see Dawn standing in the kitchen doorway rubbing sleep out of her eyes.

“No, I just couldn’t sleep honey. What are you doing up?”

“I couldn’t sleep either. I’m a little nervous.” Dawn said sitting down next to the dinning room table.

“Butterflies in your stomach.” Buffy said in her sweet mother voice.

“More like bats. Big ones that keep flying around making me almost nauseous.” Dawn said.

“Would you like some hot chocolate?” Buffy asked.

“Sure with extra little marshmallows please.” Dawn said.

“Coming right up.” Buffy said then proceeded to keep herself busy with making hot chocolate. Dawn was the only reason Buffy hadn’t gone out her mind thinking about Saturday night. She had to take care of Dawn so she hadn’t been able to let her mind wander.

“So I guess today’s it huh.” Dawn said after five minutes of silence had passed.

“Yes, are you sure you can do this?”

“Yeah I’m pretty sure. Spike said it would be pretty easy. Not like that time in kindergarten when I had to do that play. All I have to do is tell the truth. I can do that.”

“As long as you’re sure. I wouldn’t want you to do anything that you didn’t feel like doing. Spike’s right though. All you have to do is tell the judge exactly what happened when Spike asks you the questions. Just tell the truth.” Buffy said.

“I can do that.” Dawn said.

“Well if you’re sure that you can do that.”

“Yeah I am. Telling the truth is easy to do. All you have to do is put in words what happened. It’s like telling a story that actually happened.” Dawn said.

Buffy nodded silently and placed the hot chocolate in front of her daughter. Dawn took it in her little hands and drank greedily using a spoon every once in awhile to take out a marshmallow. She was so content with what was placed right in front of her. She was still a child and didn’t understand the ways of the world. Buffy began to play with her daughter’s beautiful long brown hair.

“Dawn are you happy here?” She asked. Dawn looked up from her mug.

“Yeah it’s okay.” Dawn said.

“You wouldn’t rather be at your old house.” Buffy asked.

“No it’s fine here. I like my room. It’s not as big as my other room, but it’s big enough. I can fit all my toys in it.” Dawn said.

Buffy smiled sweetly at her daughter’s simple logic. Of course she’d be happy if she had a room and a bed and a place to put her things. She was six. What would happen when she was twelve and outgrew her room? What if she started asking for things like a dog or a real yard? Right now she was happy. There was enough room for her and she was doing great. It was simple. Buffy longed for things to really be that simple.

“Why don’t I make us some breakfast.” Buffy said.

“Sure pancakes?”

“Yeah. Circles or funny shapes.”

“Funny shapes.”

“All right. One stack of funny shaped pancakes coming up.”

It smelled like antiseptic. Hospitals had that lingering smell of antiseptic. It was strong and powerful and almost overwhelming. The more and more Spike saw of this hospital the more and more he hated it. He wasn’t even really sure why he was here.

He had to be in court in about an hour and he really should be preparing. It was most likely going to be difficult for Buffy and Dawn. He had to be ready for the emotional strain it would put on the woman he had come to call his friend and her daughter.

Something had drawn him to Angel’s room though. Something had said to turn at the stoplight that led to the hospital. Something had made him walk inside the elevator, press the appropriate button, and walk over to the room his brother was in.

That same something was telling him to knock on the door no matter how hesitant he was. It was pushing at him to stop being such a wuss and just knock on the stupid door. He knew why he was here. He knew what his purpose was. He would be leaving this Saturday to look for a place and then leaving again after that, to stay.

Sucking in one last sigh, Spike knocked on the door. He heard the quiet ‘Come In’ from Angel and walked inside.

“Hey, Will, what’s on your mind?” Angel asked shifting himself so he was sitting rather then lying.

“Cordy here?” Spike asked working his way around the lump in his throat that had formed from the minute he walked into Angel’s room.

“Um, no she had to work and the kids had to go to school. Something wrong?” Angel asked.

Ever the fucking worrier. Here he is lying in a hospital with needles and tubes running this way and that and he’s worried about me. Just tell him already. Spike thought.

“Um, sort of. See I wanted you to be the first to know. Well, you aren’t the first, but I told Xander out of sheer necessity. Haven’t even told Wesley yet.” Spike said knowing that he was babbling.

“Out with it, William.” Angel said with just a tiny hint of annoyance.

“Giles asked me if I wanted to be a partner at the new law firm he’s opening up.” Spike blurted out. Angel looked at little confused as to why this news would be bad before saying,

“That’s good news isn’t it. Nothing to be fidgeting about.”

“Well, yeah, it’s good news. I mean it sounds like good news without all the messy details.” Spike said.

“What are the messy details?”

“The jobs in San Francisco.” Spike said.

“Oh.” Angel said quietly then looked as though he was in deep thought.

“Well are you going to take it?” Angel asked after about five minutes of silence.

“Yeah, I’m going to take it.” Spike said.

Both men were silent for a long time. Neither one knowing exactly what to say.

“What brought up this exciting new life altering decision?” Angel asked in that controlled voice he did so well.

“I just… I need a changed. Something that’s going to make a real impact on my life. I could use the experience. It’s a step in the right direction.” Spike said repeating what he had been trying to pound into his head for the last couple of days since making his decision.

“A change. Experience. What they don’t have jobs with experience here?” Angel said slightly losing the control.

“It’s a good thing Angel. You said so yourself.”

“Yeah that’s before I knew you would be moving away. This is really selfish of you.” Angel said.

“Yes, it is selfish. Don’t I get to be selfish every once in awhile. I’ve never been selfish in my whole entire life. Just let me do this one time. Please.” Spike said knowing that the desperate pleading was there but not caring.

“I know you’ve given up a lot for us, Will, but why now. Why couldn’t you just wait a little while? A month or so.” Angel asked realizing he was acting like the selfish one.

“If I stay any longer I’m never going to leave, Angel. I have to do this. It’s something I have to do. I just can’t stay here anymore. I tried, but I don’t know. I think I just need a little room to breathe.” Spike said plopping into the chair right next to Angel’s bedside.

“Yeah I get that. Um, I’m not exactly sure what else to do in this situation. No one’s ever moved away from me before.” Angel said in that lost little boy voice he hadn’t used in years.

He was scared, but more then scared he was sad. Sure there was a great deal of animosity between the two brothers when they were teenagers, but that soon dissipated after releasing they were both venting over the same loss just in different ways.

“I don’t know. Say hope you have a good time. Maybe good riddance just to be funny and sarcastic.” Spike said.

“Yeah okay I think I can do that. Have a good time, Will. Come back and visit. Oh yeah and Good Riddance.”

“We shouldn’t be this nervous. Buffy needs us calm.” Willow said yet again for the umpteenth time since Andy, Warren and she had taken their seats in the benches.

“Willow, you’ve said this already. You have to calm down.” Andrew said reasonably.

“How is it you two can just sit there and not feel the paralyzing fear?” Willow asked in an exasperated tone.

“We’re guys. We don’t do paralyzing fear. A little shrieking, yes, but paralyzing fear is for women.” Warren said trying to use levity to lighten the situation.

“Well I just feel like we should be doing more then just sitting here while Buffy and Dawn have to face something this huge. Should we go over there and offer comfort and support?” Willow asked.

“No I think Spike’s doing a pretty good job with that.” Andrew said pointing over to the three people in question.

Spike was talking in hurried hushed tones to both Buffy and Dawn. Dawn and Buffy were listening with full attention as he went over and over how things were supposed to go down.

“So all I have to do is tell the judge guy about what happened and everything will be just fine?” Dawn asked.

“Of course. Just tell the truth. Like how we practiced. No one’s going to try and hurt you or pressure you into lying. If the other lawyer does just look over my way and I’ll put an end to things.” Spike said.

“Okay I can do that.” Dawn said taking a seat next to her mother and giving off a thousand-mile stare.

Spike leaned over to Buffy and whispered in her ear, “Do you think she’ll be okay.” Buffy fidgeted slightly at Spike’s breath on her ear, but Spike chalked it up to nervousness.

Buffy gulped and then said, “Yeah, she’ll be fine. She’s a trooper.”

“Good, okay, it’s almost time to start.” Spike said watching as Dru, Riley and Joyce sat on the other side of the courtroom.

Joyce was sending Spike death glares as Riley and Dru both looked unusually pale even for someone who was naturally pale like Dru. Maybe Spike had freaked her out, which was a good thing. He had her on the ropes and it was a good feeling to know that she was going to loose and he was going to win.

“All rise.” The bailiff said and everyone in the courtroom rose. Here we go, Spike thought.

“So Mister Flannery, are you ready with your witness?” Judge Stevens asked.

“Yes, I call Dawn Summers-Finn to the witness stand.” Spike said as he watched Dawn climb out of her seat and walk over to the witness stand.

“Hello Dawn. Please state your name for the court.” Spike asked putting on his ultra sweet voice so Dawn would feel comfortable.

“Dawn Nicole Finn.” Dawn said her voice not quivering at all. She sounded strong and confident and Spike wanted to keep her that way.

“I’m going to ask you a few questions and I want you to answer them as honestly as you can, okay.” Spike said just like they had practiced.

“Okay.” Dawn replied.

“Good, now do you know what’s going on between your mommy and daddy?” Spike asked.

“Yes, they’re getting a divorce.”

“Do you know what a divorce is?”


“Do you know why you’re mommy and daddy are getting a divorce?”


“Why is that?”

“Because my mom and dad don’t love each other anymore.” Dawn answered.

“Now this is very important Dawn and I don’t want you to be afraid to answer me. Did you ever see your daddy hit your mommy?” Spike asked deciding that the faster it was over the faster Dawn could go back to a normal life.

“Yes.” Dawn replied in a low voice that was barely above a whisper.

“Was it more then once?”


“Please tell me what happened one of those times.” Spike said.

“Um, well, I had just gotten home from school. It was a little while ago. Mommy and daddy were arguing about something. Daddy was yelling at mommy and mommy was yelling back. Daddy grabbed mommy’s arm and twisted it really hard that mommy said ow. Then he threw her onto the ground and called her some very mean names.” Dawn said finishing her story with her head down.

“How many times did you see your daddy hit your mommy?” Spike asked.

“It was only one more time after that.”

“Can you tell me about that time?”

“Yes, it was Auntie Willow’s birthday and we were over at Auntie Willow and Uncle Oz’s house. We were having a barbecue. Everything was going okay and then mommy and daddy started yelling at each other. I don’t remember why. Daddy started throwing beer on mommy and calling her mean names again. Uncle Oz got up to go over to where they were to stop the fighting, but daddy had already slapped mommy a few times. By the time Uncle Oz got over there daddy was walking out of the gate and to his car.” Dawn finished telling her story with tears streaming down her cheeks and looked just above Buffy’s head.

“Okay now Dawn, its okay do you need a minute.” Spike asked.

“No I’m okay.” Dawn said shaking her head at Spike.

“How much longer after the barbecue did your mommy stay with your daddy?” Spike asked.

“She made him leave about a week after that. He didn’t come back right away after the barbecue.” Dawn said.

“Now this is the really important question. Did your daddy ever hit you Dawn?” Spike asked. Dawn swallowed and looked up at Spike. Her bottom lip was quivering and she was shaking slightly.

“Yes.” She said in a low voice.

“Can you tell the court what happened.”

“Yeah, daddy came home after the barbecue and he was really mad at mommy. Mommy told me that if he came home when she wasn’t around not to let him inside the house. He came and mom was next door at the neighbors house borrowing something and daddy came inside the house.”

Dawn stopped for a moment to catch her breath.

“Mommy had changed the locks, but daddy broke one of the windows. I was in the living room playing a game because I finished my homework early. Daddy came in and said that he was home and to give him a hug. I started backing up and was going to scream, but he grabbed me and said ‘don’t you miss your own dad. Aren’t you going to give your dad a hug?’. He started twisting my arm and it hurt a lot. Then he said that mommy was telling me lies and that he would never hurt me, but I never said that he would, but he kept twisting my arm and finally he smacked me on my face really hard.”

“How many times did he hit you?”

“Only twice. Mommy ran in and called the cops from her cellphone when she saw one of the windows was broken. She tried to pull him off of me and he let go of me and walked over to her. He started calling her names and she said that he better leave because she called the police. So he left and then we moved out of the house and into an apartment.” Dawn said.

“Thank you Dawn. I have no further questions your honor.” Spike said. The judge nodded his head.

“If it would please the court I would like to ask this witness a few questions of my own.” Dru said. “As you wish, Miss. Connelly.” The judge said.

“Hello Dawn. Did Mister Flannery go over what you were going to say before you got here?” Dru asked. Spike sat at the edge of his seat ready to stand up and object at any time.


“And you told him that everything you said right now was the truth.” Dru said.


“Dawn do you love your father?”

“Objection your honor. Relevance.”

“Sustain. Find another line of questioning, Miss Connelly.” The judge said.

“Dawn is what you said today in the courtroom the truth?”


“And your mommy didn’t tell you to say any of this?”

“No, she didn’t tell me to say this.”

“Dawn did you ever go to the hospital when your dad hit you.”

“No, mommy took care of it because she’s a nurse.”

“Did your mommy go to the hospital when she got hurt?”

“I don’t know. She went to work the next day and she bandaged up her on cuts.” Dawn said.

“Dawn, you know that lying in the courtroom is against the law.” Dru said.

“Was that a question your honor?” Spike asked.

“Stick to questions, Miss Connelly.

“Dawn do you know that lying in the courtroom is against the law.”


“And you still say that you aren’t lying.”

“I’m not.”

“But your mommy didn’t even go to the hospital and you said that she didn't take you to the hospital. There’s no way to prove that any of this happened.”

“Your honor she’s leading the witness.” Spike said.

“Miss Connelly, your line of questioning needs to be just that. A line of questions.”

“Sorry your honor.” Dru said looking as apologetic as possible.

“Dawn I’m going to ask this one more time. Are you lying?”

“No I’m not lying.” Dawn said tears running down her face faster.

“Then why is there nothing to show that what you’re saying is true?”

“You honor how can a six year old answer that question?” Spike said.

“Was that an objection?” the judge asked.

“Yes, it was an objection.”

“On what grounds?”

“The question clearly goes over the witnesses head.” Spike said.

“That isn’t ground for an objection.” The judge said knowing that this was hard, but having to abide by the rules of the court.

“You may answer the question, Dawn.” The judge said.

“I don’t know.”

“So there isn’t any evidence to back up what you’re saying, but you’re telling the truth.”

“Yes.” Dawn said still protesting that she wasn’t lying.

Spike could see the pain on her face. He looked over at Buffy to see her gritting her teeth and clenching her fists. He couldn’t do anything to stop what was going on. He really didn’t think Dru would be this vicious. He looked over to see Buffy’s mom and Riley visibly blanched. Maybe if he just waited she’d hang herself.

“Dawn if you were telling the truth there would be facts to say that you were telling the truth, but there isn’t anything. Now, did your mommy tell you to say that your daddy hit you?”

“No he did. Daddy please tell them that you hit me. Please make the lady stop. She’s mean.” Dawn said practically sobbing. Her small breath hitched in her chest as she tried to talk and cry at the same time.

“Please. I’m telling the truth. Im not lying.” Dawn said.

“But Dawn there isn’t anything that says you’re telling the truth.” Dru said in a too sweet voice.

“But I am. I’m not lying. I swear I’m not. Daddy please tell the lady I’m not lying. Please tell her to stop. I’m scared. Somebody help me.” Dawn said as she put her hands over her face and began to cry even harder.

Spike looked over at Riley who seemed to be battling inner demons. He was white as a ghost.

“I’m not lying.” Dawn chanted over and over again. Buffy’s hands were firmly placed on the arms of the chair. She gripped it so hard Spike thought it was going to break off.

“Dawn you have to calm down and answer the questions.” Dru said.

“I’m not lying. Daddy tell her I’m not lying.” Dawn looked directly at Riley who avoided eye contact.

“Don’t you love me anymore?” Dawn asked in a hurt voice.

“Your honor the witness is non-responsive.” Dru said.

“Maybe she wouldn’t be if you weren’t hounding her.” Spike said.

“Your honor you have to make the witness answer the question.” Dru said.

Dawn was reduced to sobs and hitches of breath. She couldn’t talk and Spike knew it. He also knew that Willow and Andrew were watching his ever move. And so was Buffy. She was looking for him to be the big savior and he wasn’t quite sure what to do.

“Your honor I don’t think you’re going to get an more answers out of Dawn today. It’s obvious that she visibly upset.” Spike said hoping the judge would see things his way and praying that he would take Dawn’s crying for what it was; the tears of someone that could believe their father wasn’t going to save them.

“Your honor I haven’t finished my questioning.” Dru said.

“No you have.” Spike turned to see Riley standing up.

“Dawn isn’t lying. I hit her and Buffy. Just please stop hurting her. She’s been through too much.” Riley said.

Spike almost admired him for sticking up for his actions, but that feeling went away as quickly as it came. He couldn’t admire someone that had lead his little girl to be so broken like Dawn was. He owed it to Dawn to do this. Dru looked visibly outraged obviously oblivious to the fact that her own arrogance had lead to her client’s outburst.

“You do realize that you’ve have lied to the court and that’s a serious penalty.” The judge said.

“Yes and I’m willing to take responsibility for that fact. Just stop hurting my little girl. I’m sorry for everything and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make things right.” Riley said.

“Dawn you may go back to your seat.” The judge said. He gestured for Dru to go back to her seat as well. Dawn ran over to her mother’s arms. Buffy held her close to her and tried to soothe Dawn’s sobs.

“Considering the nature of what you did Mister Finn, however honorable it is that you finally came clean, I think that what Mister Flannery originally said about custody was far to generous. The fact that you were willing to put your daughter through any of this knowing the truth is despicable. I would allow supervised visits, but I’m afraid that that is far too generous.” The Judge said.

“I’m sentencing you to pay some hefty finds and quite possibly do some jail time. After that you’ll go to anger management classes and in about three to six months we will come back here and consider giving you supervised visits. Court is dismissed and I would like to see you Mister Finn back here in the courthouse for further sentencing in two weeks.” Judge Stevens said banging his gavel and returning to his chambers.

Almost everyone in the courtroom let out a sigh of relief. Riley looked like he was about to faint at the news he had received. Joyce looked sorry and guilty. Spike turned to see Buffy looking at him with the utmost gratitude.

“Thank you. You really pulled through for us, Spike.” She said her eyes shining with unshed tears.

Spike gave her a small smile and said, “Hey I said I would.”

“I better get going. Dawn seems really shaken up. Andrew’s giving us a ride home. Thanks again for everything.” Buffy said taking his hand and squeezing it.

“Sure what are friends for.” Spike said. Buffy gave him another smile and then proceeded to make her way out of the courtroom.

“Buffy.” Joyce said as Buffy and the other’s were getting ready to leave.

“Not now mom.” Buffy said handing Dawn to Andrew to carry.

“I’m sorry for not believing you. I… I … I want to start fresh. Please say you’ll give me another chance.” Joyce said desperately.

“I’ll think about it.” Buffy said as she and the other’s exited the courtroom.

Riley came up to Joyce and put his hand on her shoulder.

“You stay away from me.” Joyce said.

“Joyce I’m…”

“No there’s nothing you can say that can change this. You hurt my little girl and then you turned her against me. You are not what Dawn needs.” Joyce said storming out of the courtroom.

Riley looked down at the floor for a second, looked up again, straightened out his suit and then walked out of the courtroom. Spike was packing up his things.

“Looks like you still can beat me.” Spike looked up to see Dru standing near him.

“Yeah I guess I can.”

“Celebrate by letting me by you dinner.” Dru said. Spike looked over to the doors of the courtroom.

“Yeah sure.”

Chapters 19, 20 and 21

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