Chapter Seven -- Time Goes By
Time to play ‘catch up’.
About three weeks had passed since ‘The Great Shower Incident’ as we are now referring to it.
The following morning, my Mom and Giles had come up to my room to check up on Spike. Much to their surprise, they found us kinda tangled up in each others arms.
Yeah. I’m not really sure how that happened. I felt him nestle up to me before I fell asleep, but nowhere in my memory do I recall scootching down and wrapping my arms around him.
You can imagine my surprise when I woke up to my Mom’s gentle cough and realized the position I was in. Spike must’ve heard her too cuz we both let go of each other at the same time and tried to put as much distance between us as possible.
I don’t need to bring up the fact that I hated the cold I felt when his warm body moved away from me.
Nope. I don’t need to mention that at all.
We both remained painfully silent as Giles sputtered and blushed and as my Mom mock-scowled at us. I don’t think that she would have admitted it then, but I think that she thought that the whole thing was kinda cute.
I’ll touch more on the ‘Mom thinking we’re cute together’ thing later, cuz trust me . . . it’s pretty interesting.
Anyhow, after that little discovery, my Mom thought it best that Spike should move down into the basement after he healed a little more and became more mobile. I didn’t argue with her.
I mean, I wouldn’t have minded camping out on the floor or even in the bed for that matter, but I still had to keep up my ‘Spike annoys the shit out of me’ front.
Sure, he still got under my skin at times. He was a cocky guy and I was a proud girl. We weren’t really supposed to get along that great.
But the weirdest thing? I was actually enjoying having Spike around. Him and I were alike in more ways than one. The major thing that made me feel closer to him was that he could relate to having some big-time life altering changes.
For him, it was being turned from a human into a vampire, and then back into a human. For me, it was going from ‘average Buffy’ to ‘Slayer Buffy’.
He would tell me about the changes and adaptations he had to make when he was first sired, and how Drusilla, Angelus, and Darla had coached him through that. He didn’t have to tell me about the changing and adapting he was doing as of late, cuz, well . . . I was there with him the whole time.
Me? I told him about how I had to hide my ‘Slayer-side’ from my parents, how I kept getting into trouble at school because my Slayer duties kept getting in the way, how I watched my first Watcher die, how I burned down the school gym, and lastly, how my behavior drove my parents apart.
Now, I hadn’t even told Willow about all of that stuff. She knew about the ‘school trouble’ part, but not about the more personal stuff. I guess I just never thought she’d understand.
Anyhow, back to the story.
So, Mom decided that Spike would set up residence in the basement. It wasn’t too bad down there, but it definitely needed some work.
He huffed and puffed and caved like a rotten melon when Mom and I hit him with the ‘double pout’.
Yeah. I didn’t come up with the pout on my own. I had my Mom to teach me the ways of the world and getting what I want. Never failed.
So, two days after Xander had stormed out of my house, he was back with his tools and materials and his own version of a pout.
After about a week, he had finished his work. I have to say: he did a pretty nice job. He enclosed the one corner of the basement with two sections of drywall, hence creating a nice sized room. He even installed and ‘indoor/outdoor’ carpet to make the room feel a little warmer.
My Mom even contributed. She bought a new bed and a dresser for the room, figuring that even if Spike left in the future, we’d have the room for guests to use.
Lastly, we took a last trip to Spike’s old crypt and moved the last of his stuff. His TV, a leather couch that he ‘borrowed’ from a furniture store, the rest of his clothes, and his other trinkets and whatnot. Needless to say, we did NOT let him bring that old, nasty Lazy-boy chair that he loved so much.
So, that was it. Spike was officially a resident of 1630 Revello Drive.
Not more than a day after we had moved the rest of his stuff out of his old crypt, I found some new squatters staying there while I was on patrol. Therefore, there really was no going back there for him.
By the time that his new room was done, Spike was coming nicely along in the healing department. The cuts and bruises on his legs and arms were almost completely healed. The only evidence left was some slight scarring, and even those seemed to be clearing up.
The wound from the stake in his chest was taking the longest to heal. It stopped re-opening and dried out a little, but it still looked pretty raw.
How did I know what it looked like?
Cuz I was still playing Dr. Buffy. I’m sure that Spike could’ve been taking care of his own wounds by then, but I kinda liked taking care of him. It made me feel kinda important and ‘in charge’ in a way that slaying didn’t.
Anyhow, he was healed enough to make the move into the basement. He seemed almost reluctant to go . . . like he didn’t want to leave the ‘safety’ of my room.
That’s when I did what I do best: I made fun of him.
After an hour of taunting him, calling him a ‘big baby’ and ‘little bitty Spikey’, he got up from my bed and made his way down the stairs pouting the whole way.
I loved the fact that we could still keep up our banter. His newfound humanity didn’t take away any of the cockiness or arrogance that had been there before. Sure, he was more serene and pensive, maybe even a little more quiet, but he was still the same old Spike.
And that made me happy.
He was literally speechless when he opened the door to his room and looked in. I don’t think that he expected us to do so much for him. He was probably expecting a dimly lit, damp basement with a cot against the wall.
Yeah, like I’d do that to him. A couple of us followed him in the room and watched him walk around it with a little grin on his face. He glanced at the candles on top of his dresser and Willow coughed to get his attention.
“Those are from me and Tara. The scent is supposed to soothe and calm.” She said with a small smile.
“Yeah, and they’re just pretty too.” Tara added shyly.
His eyes grew large when he discovered the Playstation sitting on top of his TV.
“The Playstation is my contribution.” Anya stated matter-of-factly. “Xander needs more male companions, and I figured that maybe you two could bond while beating each other senseless in these violent yet well-designed games.”
“I made the curtains!” Dawn beamed. “They’re black. I know that’s your favorite color.”
“Or lack there of.” I added. Heh. Buffy funny.
He plopped down on his bed and look up at us with an amused look on his face.
“The whole lot of you are crazy. Helping the very same ‘man’ that would’ve happily drained any one of you just a year ago. Bloody priceless.”
Cue nervous laughter.
I guess that we all kinda got used to the weak and kitteny Spike. Almost made us forget that he used to be a monster.
Picking up on our nervous laughter, he quickly continued.
“But, that was then. This is now. And I really do appreciate this, so . . . thanks.”
I don’t think any one of us doubted the sincerity in his voice.
As everyone turned and left the room to go back upstairs, I flopped on the bed next to Spike and exhaled loudly.
“This isn’t so bad, now is it Spikey? Not so big and scary. And if you feel ‘scared’, you can always come up and see me, and I’ll chase all the big scary things away.” I teased.
It was too fun to pass up.
“Bite your tongue, Slayer. Both you and I know I’m strong enough to hold my own, so you can just prance back up to your little girly room and leave me down here to do the manly stuff.”
I gave his leg a friendly slap before standing up and walking to the doorway, leaning on it.
“Yeah, I’ll go back up to my girly room, and you can stay down here with your candles and curtains and knitted afghan. Have fun, Spikey.”
I turned around to leave, but he called out my name. Slowly, I turned to face him, giving him the best ‘annoyed’ face that I could muster.
“All kidding aside . . . thank you. Really. I don’t deserve this.” He said quietly, causing me to smile softly at him.
I didn’t have to tell him that he did deserve it, cuz I wasn’t really sure if he did. He’d have to prove it to all of us what kind of person he wanted to be. Instead, I said the only thing that I could think of.
“That offer stands. Come up and see me whenever you want.”
And with that said, we shared a friendly smile before I turned around and went back upstairs.
I should probably fill you in on what Giles and Willow found out when they researched what had happened to Spike.
They managed to find out who the shaman was who worked the mojo. His name was Ra’el, and he was supposedly big time into the dark magicks.
That little fact kinda had everyone scared, cuz with the dark magicks, there is seldom an action that that doesn’t go without consequences or have some kinda crazy loophole. Some of us, Giles especially, were waiting for Spike to grow a tail or go all evil or something. But as the days went on and he seemed to be fairly stable and normal, we kinda let it go. At least for then.
Willow did a spell to see if the soul Spike had was actually his, or just some random one that Ra’el conjured. She also did another spell to see if his soul was bound, or if it had an ‘escape’ clause like Angel’s did.
Turned out that that not only was it the incredibly pure soul of ‘William’, but it was also his for good. Sex and ‘perfect happiness’ wouldn’t be a problem for him.
Or, at least, that’s what she told me. I mostly tried to pretend that I didn’t care. Cuz it really wasn’t any business of mine.
But it was good to know that he wasn’t going to go all ‘Big Bad’ on us any time in the near future. Kinda comforting.
And that’s basically all that we were able to find out during those three and a half weeks. There was no sign of Drusilla anywhere, so we figured that the issue was settled, at least for then.
She probably figured that he had died, and for me, that was a good thing. That gave her one less reason to visit Sunnydale, and that meant I had one less crazy bitch to deal with.
Anyways, back to what else happened during those three weeks.
Like I already said, about a good week to ten days was spent fixing up the basement.
Not that Spike got to help with that or anything. Basically, he just stayed in my bed and minded his own business during that time. He knew that we were fixing up a room for him, but he didn’t intrude.
While I was in class, he’d read a little, sleep, or watch TV.
Yeah, imagine that. Since I was about 8, I had been asking for a TV in my bedroom. Every time I ask, I got a resounding, ‘No’. But with Spike, it’s a whole different story. He didn’t even ask about a TV. My mom and Dawn just decided to put the one from my Mom’s bedroom in there one day.
It was kinda cool though. I’d come home from class and right away, I’d head up to my room. He’d always start complaining about being hungry, so I’d make him a sandwich or one of the other crazy concoctions that he liked. Then we’d sit on the bed and talk for awhile before turning on the TV and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
Now, I’ll deny it if you tell ANYONE, but Spike’s a pretty smart guy. He was always the first one to guess the phrase on Wheel of Fortune, and he knew basically every answer on Jeopardy.
It only made me feel slightly insignificant.
After all: he may have been able to beat me at Jeopardy, but I could still kick his ass six ways from Sunday.
Anyhow, after we’d watch our shows, I’d leave to go on patrol. Most nights, Willow would go with me. She always wanted a status update on Spike.
It was kinda cute. She kept a little notebook with his changing status in it. I made a comment on it once . . . called it her ‘Ode to Spike’or her ‘Love Poems to Spike’ book or something like that.
She just rebuffed me by saying that I was wrong, because I had those books in my own backpack.
I guess I didn’t see it then, but I’m pretty sure that she could tell that I was getting close to him. She’d never say anything for or against it, I’m guessing mostly because she didn’t want to hurt or offend me.
Anyhow, I’d return from patrol and shower and get changed for bed. That’s when the best part of my day would come.
I’d go back into my room and almost always find Spike half asleep. I’d plop onto the bed next to him and start asking him ridiculous questions, just to see how much he could comprehend in his half-sleep state.
That, plus he looked pretty cute with his eyes fluttering, trying to stay open and keep eye contact with me.
After about 10 minutes of my relentless questioning, I’d finally give up and turn out the lights, leaving the room in the soft glow of the silent TV.
I’d get back into bed next to him and crawl under the covers . . . and then it would happen. It never failed. Just when I’d get completely settled, I’d feel him scooch closer and pull me into his body, snuggling up before he’d finally drift completely off to sleep.
I pretended to be shocked the first few times he did it . . . but then I kinda started to expect it. And look forward to it.
And that’s how I knew that there was most likely something wrong with me. But I ignored the bad feeling and chose to just let things happen as they were . . . cuz it kinda felt nice.
Now I’ll zoom you forward just a bit, cuz this is where it starts to get kinda interesting.
Spike had been living in the basement for about a week. Believe it or not, it kinda became the ‘cool’ place to hang out. Almost every time when I would get home from classes, I’d walk down there to find Spike helping Dawn with her homework, or Willow doing some kind of check-up on him, or my Mom just chatting him up.
But one day, I walked in the house to hear yelling coming from the basement. I distinctly heard Spike, and it took me a second to figure out that the second voice was Xander.
I remember thinking, ‘Oh god, they’re gonna kill each other’.
I practically flew down the stairs, expecting to see one of them in a headlock or getting a wedgie.
So, I guess you can say that I was quite surprised and amused to walk in to find Xander and Spike sitting on one of those blow-up couches, Playstation controllers in their hands and a mess of soda cans and candy wrappers around them.
They didn’t even notice I was there until they heard me laugh at them.
“Hey Buff.” Xander greeted with a goofy smile. “Anya gave me games and food and told me to come and play.”
Then I really laughed.
“Ohhhh. And will you be staying over for dinner today Alexander?” I asked in my best ‘Mommy’ voice.
Suddenly, Spike started whooping and cheering, causing Xander to turn back to the TV and moan disappointedly.
“Buff, you made me die!” Xander whined as he tossed the controller down in a fit. “Spike, you were supposed to pause it!”
“You never said to pause.” Spike began with a wicked little smirk on his face. “You looked away, I beat your guy with my sword, and I won. End of story. Now hand over the Gummi Bears.”
Xander grumbled as he reached in his pocket and took out a pack of mushed up Gummi Bears. Reluctantly, he handed them over to Spike.
“Now say it, ponce.” Spike goaded, and Xander whined before saying,
“Spike is the Mortal Kombat King. Long live the king.” In a droll voice.
That literally had to be the FUNNIEST thing I had ever seen in my life. A month ago, they were trying to kill each other with angry words. Now, they were playing video games and acting like kindergarten buddies.
At that point, Xander got up from the couch and made his way over to me, giving me a peck on the cheek before leaving, claiming that Anya wanted him home in time for dinner.
Again with the hilarity.
I shook my head before I walked over to the couch and plopped down next to Spike. I gave him the biggest grin I could muster before I asked him, “Do you want me to call Anya and set up another play-date for tomorrow?”
“No, thank you.” He paused, looking incredibly embarrassed before continuing. “She already arranged it. He’s coming back tomorrow at 3:00.”
Again, I laughed out loud. “Spike, this is priceless. You do realize that I’m never gonna let you live this down, right?” I said as I laughed.
He pouted. “Yeh, well, you tell me that I should make nice, and demon-girl wants him to have more bloody man-friends, so it just so happens to work out. Plus, I kick his bum in Mortal Kombat, win lots of candy. It’s a great set-up.”
Snatching the Gummi Bears from his hand, I quickly tore the bag open and tossed two into my mouth before he could protest.
“’ey! Those are mine!” He yelled playfully as he tried to wrestle them away form me. I held the bag as far away as I could, searching out all the red gummi’s while fighting off his reaching hands.
“No!” He yelled. “Not the red ones! They’re my favorite!”
But he was too late. I had snatched out the three remaining red gummi’s and tossed two of them into my mouth, holding the last one teasingly just out of reach.
“Aww, does Spikey want the last red gummi?” I taunted.
“You know I do, luv.” He said, still reaching for it.
“That’s just too bad.” I said as I popped the last one in my mouth, holding it between my teeth and wiggling it at him.
He laughed as a devilish grin came up on his face.
“Yeah, too bad . . . for you.” He replied.
And the next thing I knew, his lips were on mine and we were fighting for that red gummi between my teeth.
When the Gummi Bear was long gone and his lips were still on mine, I finally realized something.
I was kissing Spike.
And the scary part? I liked it.