Title: Sad Song in His Heart - Chapter 2/3
Pairing/Characters: Spike/Buffy, Harmony, OC
Summary: What was Spike really thinking and feeling when he met up with Harmony in the bar at the end of Harm's Way? And why is it about to get him in a serious amount of trouble?
Spoilers: Spoilers for Harm's Way and the Season 8 retcon of The Girl in Question
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Just playing.
Word Count: 2003
Author's Note: This story is dedicated to aisalynn who encouraged the idea. Banner by the amazingly talent amyxaphania.
Buffy awoke with a jolt, groaning when she felt cold stone digging into her lower back. Since when did her queen-size bed complete with 700 thread count sheets feel like she was sleeping on the floor? She fumbled in the darkness, reaching out blindly for the lamp on the nightstand and smacked her palm into dust and pebbles scattering the rocky surface where her wood furniture should be. Huh?
Her eyes opened to near-pitch black darkness and she frantically reached to touch the ground beneath her. Oh god, where was she? Okay, stay calm. Don’t panic. Panicking is bad. Very bad. Slowing her racing heart with practiced deep breaths learned from hours of meditiation – thanks, Giles – she listened to the silent echo of air as it escaped her chest. Her eyes adjusted to the limited light and she realized that it was emanating in a wide circle around her. Turning on her side, she crawled towards the perimeter of light, searching for purchase on the stone floor with her hands.
Sitting up on her knees, her fingers inched forward, fanning out to touch the light hesitantly. Okay, she didn’t spontaneously combust. Good so far. She dropped her hand down to pull herself further into the light, but found nothing to hold onto and fell onto her face. Oomph. Spitting out dust and wiping her chin, she panted. Okay, where’d the floor go? Patting the ground, she inched forward till she found the edge of the stone as it dropped off where the light began. Curling her fingers around the stone’s edge, she dropped onto her stomach with legs outstretched to anchor her, pulling herself towards the light and slowly peeking down over the rim.
Gasping in shock, she jerked back and closed her eyes. Fire. She was surrounded by fire down below. Only fire and nothing else. Oh god, was this hell? Bracing herself and stiffening her spine, she sat up on her haunches and looked around at the perimeter of light illuminating the edge of the stone circle she was trapped on. She looked up, looked left, looked right and saw only darkness broken by the faint orange and yellow waves of light rising from below.
A spotlight suddenly blazed down onto another stone tower 20 yards in front of her and she saw the unmistakable outline of platinum blonde hair and a black leather coat. Spike. She eyed the abyss separating them and wondered how she could get enough momentum to reach him. Shaking her head at the impossibility, her shoulders drooped. Her breath caught in her throat, her eyes suddenly wet in the corners while impossibly dry in the center as her eyelids strained wide open.
Yes, she was in hell. Because that’s where he was. But how? And why now? It’d been almost eight months since he’d died in the Hellmouth. Eight months of not saying his name aloud since no one wanted to hear it but her, of crying into her pillow at night because it muffled her sobs and she wasn’t allowed to be weak in front of her army of slayers, of despairing she’d lost touch with her heart when she couldn’t cry anymore but still felt the gaping wound inside.
And then with crystal clarity, she knew what she was meant to do. Spike was alive here. Or whatever passed for existing in hell. And she’d been brought here to save him. He’d saved the world for her. Now it was her turn to bring him back. She smiled brokenly, eyes fresh with unshed tears. She would save him. Whatever rules applied in this dimension, she’d break all of them to set him free.
It was time for him to come home.
Buffy booted up with an electric jolt, sensors processing the temperature of the air and the CO2 to O2 ratio, analyzing the mixture of minerals that made up the surface she lay prone on. She scanned the last known data of her memory banks before having gone into hibernation mode and confirmed that her hibernation mode locale had been the NW corner bedroom of 1631 Revello Drive – October 1, 2001. Error. System dump of corrupted information in 3 – 2 – 1. Reboot to last known restore point of optimum performance.
1630 Revello Drive. Data confirmed with historical entry logs. Scanning for anomalies. Flag – software update imperative. Source of installation unknown. Manual system override. Installing now – memory log updates for October 2, 2001 – January 14, 2003 confirmed. Installing supplementary behavioral software – “Emoting Instructions Manual”, “101 Ways to Please Your Man”, “101 Ways to Express Your Love”, “Complete Buffy Syntax/Vocabulary/Grammar Key”, “How to Pun Like a Post-Modern Shakespeare” and “101 Spike Compliments Sure to Please”. Installation complete. General systems check.
Name: Buffy Anne Summers
Occupation: Slayer, Spike’s girlfriend.
Error. Adjusting priority level functions. Modifications complete.
Occupation: Spike’s girlfriend, Slayer.
Primary Objective: Direct Spike to target his love at Buffy X013e37-A.
Sensory input notification – unidentified light source 18.288 meters NNW from present axis point. Visual scan – identity confirmed as Spike aka William the Bloody aka Sex God aka boyfriend. Primary Objective engaged.
Buffy woke up with a jolt, startled by the unfamiliarity of her surroundings. She’d fallen asleep in her penthouse in Rome, exhausted from a night of dancing and being wooed by a certain dark and swarthy Italian. Groaning at the stiffness of her limbs, she sat up slowly and squinted in hopes of seeing something in the surrounding dark.
“Hello?” she called out. “Anybody here?”
No one answered. Where was she? Oh my god, she’d been kidnapped! She shivered as she remembered the scene from Silence of the Lambs with the lotion and the bucket and the rubbing and the hose. She was gonna die. Oh god, she was gonna die. She did not sign up for this shit. Andrew so hadn’t mentioned death-by-stalker-kidnapper when he’d read her the brochure.
Wait a sec. Breathe. She had Slayer strength now. No way some creepy ass psycho could take her when she was super strong and had instant kungfu skills. Okay, so maybe she hadn’t been training as much as the other new slayers who’d been called along with her in the past eight months, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t throw a punch without going all weak-wristed. Well okay, sometimes she jabbed with a limp wrist. But she’d heard even the real Buffy had done that for years after being called to protect the Hellmouth.
She smacked her forehead. No, doofus. She was Buffy. She even looked exactly like Buffy thanks to Andrew’s wicca voodoo. She was Buffy. She couldn’t forget or she’d slip up accidentally and blow her cover. Okay, right. She was Buffy. So what would Buffy do in this situation?
Buffy would totally kick ass. She bit her lip, looking around the darkness uncertainly. Erm, except she was alone so there wasn’t any ass to kick. Well, she was sure that Buffy would be ready to totally kick ass then. And she’d have a quip too. Yeah, maybe she should work on the quipping while she waited for the demons to attack.
Brushing off her jeans as she stood up, she wondered how she was fully dressed now when she’d went to bed in silky satin pajamas. Okay, not like that was important. At least she had clothes on. That was a definite plus.
But back to business. Quippage. Quippiness. Quips-a-hoy. Oh shoot, she had nothing. Epic fail, Buffy. She was finally put to the test and she couldn’t even come up with a good one-liner.
A light shone down on another rocky surface off in the distance and she tilted her head bemusedly when it lit upon a head of bleached white hair and a black leather coat that screamed emo-wannabe. This was what she had to face? Please. Talk about not even breaking a sweat.
“Hey, Bleached Biker Bozo!” she yelled, gyrating her head defiantly, waving him towards her with a cocky ‘come and get me’ gesture. “Get ready to learn what it means to face the Slayer!”
Spike eyes jerked open when a pair of red manicured fingers snapped in front of his face. Strangely enough, he was already standing like he’d been propped up. Shaking his muscles loose, he relaxed his stance and glared at the demon bitch smirking at him from a few feet away.
“Wakey wakey, babe. It’s time to start the game.”
Spike growled, bunching his muscles to attack her but found himself frozen in place.
The lady’s red eyes sizzled as she tsk-tsked with her hands. “Nuh uh, no attacking me. I really don’t like violence. I’m more about the love, honey. The passionate, can’t-live-without-it love.”
“All about the love, eh?” Spike drawled, fighting the urge to groan at the oncoming hangover as he began to forcibly sober up.
“Sure. Didn’t I just say that? You know, I really hate having to repeat myself, so can we save the droll mockery and sarcasm for another time?” She clapped her hands and three more spotlights shone down from above. “Besides, you’ve got enough on your plate as it is.” She pointed at the three women standing behind Spike, all frozen in motion like someone had pushed “pause” on their remote. Grasping Spike gently by the shoulders, she turned him to face the ladies before leaning in to nip gently at his earlobe. “Ready to play?” she purred huskily, dancing back to laugh as his enraged expression turned to shock.
“Buffy?” Spike shook his head, blinking rapidly. “Buffys?”
The lady in red grinned, letting loose a short giggle. “So what do you think? Looks like fun, right?”
“What the hell is goin’ on?!” Spike snarled.
“Ooooh temper. Relax, you’re going to need to keep your wits about you, sweetie.” She shrugged. “If you want to save the girl, that is. The woman you claim to love with all your undead heart.” She poked him in the chest. “You do love her, don’t you?”
“’Course I love her, you trampy whorish bitch.”
Her eyes flashed red in rage just as the fires below exploded up to shoot past Spike and all three Buffy’s across the abyss. Lady in red took a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting the fires calm both inside and without. Sighing, she looked at Spike in disappointment. “Oh, William. I expected more from you. Name calling? Especially calling a woman that. I thought you’d moved past it,” she chastened.
Chagrined, Spike rambled, “Sorry I …wait, not sorry! Just ‘cause you’re one grape shy of a fruit basket doesn’t mean I have to play nice.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How about you play nice because you don’t have a choice? Now watch your mouth and listen up. Rule numero uno – love is on the line. One of those Buffys is the real Buffy and you have to figure out which one is her. The catch? You pick wrong and they all die a fiery death. I’m sure you remember how that felt, right sweetie?” She smirked. “Oh, and they can’t see me or each other. Only you. They have no idea what’s going on and they’re probably scared out of their minds.” She snapped her fingers and a remote control appeared which she handed over to Spike. “Here – just point and click to start playing. They’ve been in a holding pattern ever since they first saw you.” Winking, she pinched Spike’s cheeks mockingly. “Have fun!”
And then she was gone. Spike stared at where Ms. Skanks-a-lot had vanished and turned to frown at the remote control in his hand. Looking at the three Buffys uncertainly, he pointed the remote control at the one on the left and hit “play”. She immediately jumped into motion, waving her hands at him and moving her lips furiously yet no sound came out. Huh. Raising his eyebrows, he hit the “mute” button.
“…face the Slayer!” she yelled.
Spike’s head rolled back, wide-eyed. “Um…Buffy? That you?”
“Duh, what are you stupid or something?”
He looked down at the remote as if it were a magic eight ball that could give him all the answers he needed. As for her question, he had a feeling all signs pointed to yes.