Best Part Of Breaking Up
*****Dedication: To all you reviewers and to my Aunt Lydia who took a liking to this story when I told her about it and threatened to lock me in a remote cabin when I would take a long time during reviews. Also a special thanks to my cousin/sister Josi who told me a I could write even when I had doubts.
“Furthermore Mister Finn I find that your actions are completely and indisputably unforgivable. The fact hat you have a history of brutalizing your ex-wife does not help your situation and I don’t fully think that your plea of forgiveness was nothing more then a thin charade for leniency. A jury of your peers has found you guilty and it is my job to provide your sentence. I feel that the maximum of five years in a state prison is what is needed for this crime. Mr. Finn please stand.” Buffy watched as Judge Anderson ordered Riley to stand up. Riley did so grudgingly with Drusilla pushing him to stand straight.
“Mr. Finn you have been found guilty of attempted murder in the second degree. I hereby sentence you to a term of five years in a federal state prison where you will be incarcerated for the full term with no chance of parole. Bailiff take Mr. Finn away.” Judge Anderson said to the bailiff standing on his left.
The bailiff walked over to Riley who was in a suit and in the middle of a heated argument with Drusilla over the outcome of the trial. The bailiff placed Riley in handcuffs and Buffy watched as he was carted away to prison.
The prosecutors were shaking hands with Dru as was common courtesy. After she was done congratulating them she grabbed her bag, straightened out her suit jacket and walked out of the courtroom.
“I’m sorry it couldn’t have been more. There wasn’t a way to bring up the child endangerment charges without bringing Dawn in. I think she’s had enough of courtrooms for the rest of her life.”
Buffy smiled pleasantly at Angel. He had been so helpful explaining all the little details of the case as best he could from the cop angle. He had been a little overwhelmed with the trial part not knowing much about how the proceedings worked. As top detective he didn’t have to involve himself with the trials.
There were people below him that dealt with that stuff. He had assured Buffy time and time again that Riley would be brought to justice. To him the system couldn’t fail. The system didn’t fail because if he thought that he would never be able to do his job.
Buffy was glad to have a shoulder to lean on during the trial especially the last few days when things seemed to be dragging on further then necessary. The prosecutors had gotten something to slip up about needing Dawn to testify to weigh heavier on Riley’s case.
Buffy didn’t want to have anything to do with that and Angel worked hard to make it so Dawn didn’t have to step foot in a courtroom where she’d have to testify against her dad. The judge was allowed to hear the evidence Judge Stevens had gathered to weigh on the sentencing, but the jury wasn’t allowed to hear any of it.
In the end the evidence didn’t matter. The jury had spent less then an hour deliberating before coming back with a guilty verdict. Everyone had been there at the time.
Andrew, Warren, Oz and Willow had crowded around Buffy when the verdict had come in and hugged her when it was a guilty one. They had missed the sentencing at Buffy’s request. They all needed to either find jobs, work or rest in Willow’s case.
Warren was taking some time off before applying to work at the Sunnydale Fire Department. Andrew was okay with that seeing as he was working with Wesley as a partner. So it had just been Angel and Buffy at the sentencing and Buffy couldn’t have been happier.
She had forged a real friendship with Cordelia and Angel over the time of the trial. There kids got along great and they seemed to get along just as well.
It was only slightly eerie that these were Spike’s friends, his family. Buffy knew had it not been for him she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet such great people. They were truly her friends in every aspect of the word.
“It’s fine. The bastard’s going to jail and that’s all that matters.” Buffy said.
“Yeah I guess it is. We’ve got that restraining order still working. I’ll be sure to keep it updated especially for when he comes out. Five years may seem like a lot of time, but it’s really shorter than you think.” Angel said.
“Thanks Angel. I know this must seem awkward…”
“No, not at all. I don’t know all of what happened between you and Will and that’s probably for the best. I don’t think I could be so close to you if I thought you had hurt my little brother in any way shape or form. I think you two are good for each other, but to stubborn to realize it.” Angel said.
“It can’t be that simple. I did hurt him Angel. I think it was really bad, but I still think he wants to be with me.” Buffy said.
“And I can guarantee you that he does. Will doesn’t give up on those he loves so easily. All I’m saying is that you need to give each other a chance. There’s no harm in that.” Angel said.
“I just don’t know.” Buffy said plopping back down in her seat.
Angel looked at her with an amused smile on his face. It was so obvious that she loved his little brother and the separation was killing them both. It was a good thing they were both so hard headed. It wouldn’t hurt one bit when they clashed heads.
“Buffy, I’m not the biggest advocate for true love… mostly because I don’t really believe in all that soulmates stuff. That’s all Will’s doing and I’m glad that he interfered because I love my wife and my family. I think you’ll see that if you give him a chance… if you give yourselves a chance… you’ll really like the end result.” Angel said.
Buffy looked up at him with a smile on her face. Angel lightly patted her shoulder and gave her a warm smile.
“I have to get going. Real police work to be done. You understand?” Angel said.
“Yeah, I’m okay. I’ll take the bus to work. It’s not like I haven’t done it before.” Buffy said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah I’m positive. Go, work, put the criminals away.”
Angel smiled and then walked out of the courtroom. Buffy stayed for a little while. So much of her life had happened now and it had all happened in a room similar to the one she was sitting in.
Courtrooms would never be the same for her. She picked up her purse and gave one last look around before exiting the courtroom. She walked in mindless steps hoping that she wouldn’t bump into anyone on her way out of the courthouse. There was just so much to think about. So much to absorb.
Buffy looked up to see Spike standing before her in a gray suit with a blue shirt and a maroon tie. His hair was died all bleach so that his roots weren’t showing. Glasses were perched on his nose hiding his blue eyes. He was carrying a leather briefcase in one hand and his keys in the other. He looked good.
“Spike.” She said in an almost whisper. They stood in an uncomfortable silence for a few minutes before Buffy broke it.
“You’re wearing glasses.”
“Oh, yeah, um… I ran out of contacts. Besides it’s good to go back to the glasses every once in awhile. Contacts dry out my eyes.” Spike said.
“You’re hair… it’s bleach-y… -er.” Buffy said wishing she didn’t sound so lame.
“Yeah, I decided to quit letting my roots show.” Spike said.
They eased into another uncomfortable silence and this time Spike broke it. “So, a month of not talking to me and all I get are your observations on my looks?”
“What are you doing here?” Buffy asked realizing how lame that question was after she had said it.
“I’m a lawyer. We work in buildings like this one. But really I’m here on a job interview. I was trying to get my old job as a prosecutor back. It’s not defense, but it’s criminal law and a step up from being a public defender.” Spike said.
“So you’re not moving to San Francisco?” Buffy asked. Spike sighed and looked down at the floor before looking back into Buffy’s eyes.
“No, there are too many things in Sunnydale left unsaid and undone. I couldn’t leave. Maybe it’s this place. Sucks me in all the time. Like I can’t leave because I’m a magnet and it’s a magnetic force. All I know is that I just couldn’t leave my life here the way it was.” Spike said.
“Any particular reason?” Buffy said knowing she was fishing for certain answers and hoping Spike would be clever enough to catch on.
“Well yeah. There were plenty. Angel’s still sick. I couldn’t leave him here without knowing for sure that he was going to be okay. There’s my friends. My issues with my dad. My niece and my nephew. They really need me right now.” Spike said not wanting to give Buffy too much power just yet.
“That it?” Buffy asked in a slightly defeated tone.
“No, I guess that isn’t all. There’s things with you. Things that haven’t exactly played out yet.” Spike said.
“Would you wait for me? To be ready I mean. Would you wait for me to be ready to love you?”
“You don’t already?” Spike asked completely throwing Buffy of course.
The truth was she did love him already. It was just something that had crept up on her. She loved him because he was him. He was Spike. He was great man someone she dreamed about.
Her prince charming finally come to rescue her from the torments of her boring life. Though Buffy wouldn’t admit that she needed anyone to help her it was nice to know that there was something to fall back on. She really did love him.
And by the look in his eyes he really loved her too. For some reason his love felt stronger then any Buffy had ever felt before. It was almost something tangible. Something she could touch.
“Is it that simple? Do we just say ‘I love you’ and everything turns out to be great? The world stops turning just for us.” Buffy asked.
“Well I don’t know about you, but I think if we do it right it should.” Spike said.
“There isn’t too many unresolved issues waiting to trip us up? Because if we wreck this I don’t think I could stand it. I’m weaker then I appear.”
“So am I. I don’t know what’s out there Buffy. I can’t offer you the perfect guarantee. I can only offer you my love… I just hope that’s enough.”
“I’m really messed up Spike. There’s a lot of baggage there.”
“Hey I’ve got my own baggage.”
“But if we do this it becomes a big pile of baggage. What if it gets in the way? What if old issues resurface? What if we can’t get passed them?” Buffy asked in a pleading tone.
Spike seemed to mull it over. In his heart of hearts he knew that he would never do anything to jeopardize his happiness with Buffy. It didn’t mean he hadn’t thought about the possibility of things not being the picture perfect image he had created in his mind.
There was a lot of stuff between them that weren’t good, but there was so much more stuff between them that was good. They could make the good stuff work for them if they tried, but that didn’t mean the old bad stuff wouldn’t resurface.
Spike walked over to Buffy and wrapped his arms around her waist. She didn’t once try to stop him and instead rested her head on his chest.
“Like I said I don’t have any guarantees. Maybe… we could start fresh. Forget all the bad things and try to focus on the good. Maybe if we start over… things could work out between us.”
“So it isn’t simple.”
“No I think it is relatively simple. I think it’s what we make it. So what do you say? Want a fresh start?” Spike asked. Buffy raised her head to see the blinding smile on Spike’s face. She felt herself smiling back.
“Yeah okay, I’d like that.” Buffy said.
Spike looked at her face and leaned down for a quick chaste kiss. It wasn’t anything that meant he wanted more. It was just a meeting of two lips. A slight peck almost and then it was over.
“We’ll just say that was the end of the other relationship and the beginning of the new one.” Spike said and Buffy smiled at him.
He disentangled himself from Buffy and straightened himself out.
“Okay, let’s do this right. Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m William Nathaniel Develin. My friends call me Spike.” Spike said holding out his hand for Buffy to shake.
“Hi, I’m Buffy Anne Summers.” Buffy said taking his hand in a handshake.
“So, Buffy, you lived in Sunnydale long?” Spike said laughing on the inside of how odd this all was, but knowing that it was the start of something new.
“Oh about six years. I just got out of a really bad marriage.” Buffy said.
“Oh that’s rough.” Spike said trying to sound sympathetic as if he didn’t know all the details of Buffy’s marriage.
“Yeah, but I had a really great lawyer that helped me win the case no problem. My ex-husband won’t be bothering me any time soon.” Buffy said smiling at Spike.
He smiled back at her and felt as though he were a teenager again with a crush on a pretty girl.
“So, Buffy I was just on my way to lunch. Care to join me? I know this really great little deli not too far from here. A good friend of mine told me about it. It’s a really nice place to eat.”
“Well that’s sounds lovely. Count me in.” Buffy said. Spike held out his arm for her and she laced hers through his. They walked arm and arm out of the courthouse with Buffy leaning against Spike’s shoulder.
“Spike, that’s an interesting nickname. Why don’t you tell me about it?” Buffy asked. Buffy listened as Spike went into the story she had already heard, but with a few added details.
Though it felt weird to hear it again it also felt different. This wasn’t conversation between two friends. This was a getting to know you conversation between two people who were dating because that’s what her and Spike were doing now. They were dating. They were putting their best effort into being together.
Spike was right, starting over from scratch was a good idea. There was just too much stuff from the other relationship to risk it interfering with such a newly formed bond. It was all crap anyway. Buffy knew they couldn’t avoid it for too long. It would always be there, but maybe when things were better, when they’re love for each other was stronger they’d be able to deal with the insecurities… together.
Because when there were moments like these, moments were they were walking arm and arm down the street talking about their lives, Buffy gushing over Dawn and Spike over his work and family.
Moments were they could laugh at silly jokes and talk about things and just gaze at one another with such love and devotion and passion. When there were moments like the one they were having right now as they walked to the deli they both knew for their first really date, all else could be forgotten.
Because the only important thing was that they had made it to where they were and it was the best thing that had ever happened to either of them.