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Title: Whose Torment Is This, Anyway?
Author: Rebcake
Banner art: okdeanna
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Word Count: 675
Rating: PG13
Summary: Six months after the battle of the Hellmouth, Buffy brings her team to Wolfram & Hart on a legal matter and finds that she’s been kept out of the loop in some important ways.
A/N: Contains reference to canon past Spike/Other. Beta'd by thepuddinhead! All the standard disclaimers apply.

Chapter One on DW / Chapter One on LJ
Chapter Two on DW / Chapter Two on LJ
Chapter Three on DW / Chapter Three on LJ
Chapter Four on DW / Chapter Four on LJ

Epilogue: Bumps in the road (or, Oh no he di’int)

They made it back to the Wolfram & Hart parking garage before 10 AM, after a latte stop. Scotland might have great honking castles, but drive-through cappuccino was still a far-off dream, and he’d been happy to make them a reality for his girl. After a sweet, foamy kiss in the elevator, he reluctantly let their clasped hands part. They peered around the elevator doors. No telephone chaos today, and nary a bloody teardrop in sight. They stepped out into the lobby, Buffy heading up the stairs toward the lab, while Spike made a beeline for Angel’s office.

“Blondie Bear!” trilled Harmony as he passed her desk. She tottered up to him on her ridiculous heels. “There you are! I’m so sorry I flipped out on you yesterday.” She started to fiddle with the collar of his coat. “Oooh. Look at that bite. If you want, I could kiss it all better. Finish what we started. Same time, same place?”

“Don’t think so, Harm,” he said, snatching her wrists and pushing her hands away. Too late. Buffy had changed course as soon as she heard Harmony. She stood just feet away looking at them both with murder in her eyes.

“Buffy! Hi!” said Harmony, an instant before the situation sank in. As soon as she realized that she was facing a very unhappy Slayer, she eeped, and backed away rapidly. “I’d love to catch up, but I’ve got to get down to HR, pronto! Great to see you!” She fled.

Buffy turned her laser eyes on him.

“Am I getting this right? You’ve been back in your body for less than 24 hours, and you already managed to get it on with Harmony?”

He opened his mouth, then snapped it shut again. He thought of apologizing, explaining, and possibly groveling, but in the end, he went another way.

“It wasn’t ‘getting it on’, it was a…hello.”

Her expression said, “Bastard!” more clearly than words. He wondered if this romance would be the shortest of his — soon to be ended — unlife. He was sure she had some stakes hidden in places that even his thorough search during their make out session in the Viper had missed.

He beckoned for her to follow him into the conference room. Once inside, he closed the door and turned to face the music.

“I don’t like this,” she ground out, glaring ferociously.

“Wouldn’t ask you to.”

“You’re not going to throw other stuff in my face are you? This won’t work if we get into some endless tit-for-tat spiral.”

“Tit-for-tat.” He arched a brow.

She glowered. “You know what I mean. We’ve got history. History I’d really not like to repeat. It’s not like I’ve never messed up with an ex, but I don’t want to keep going down those roads. Can we just be even?”

He took a chance and gathered her hands into his. She didn’t pull away.

“Not hardly. ‘Even’ is a silly idea. I’ll never be worthy. But I can promise to never make that mistake again.”

She searched his face and seemed to find what she wanted there.

“So…fresh start?”

“Fresh start,” he agreed.

She dropped into a chair. He hitched a hip onto the corner of the conference table. She took a deep breath.

“So, did you have any plans, now that you’re a solid citizen again?” she asked. He considered this.

“Had a lot of time to think, but didn’t have anything definite in mind. Thought I’d failed to breathe my last, you know? Thought I might try to track you down in Europe, but that’s right out.”

She grinned. “I always mess up your plans.”

“That you do.”

They smiled at each other. Buffy’s eyes grew bigger.

“Huh. I think we just had a fight. And nobody got punched. It’s a brave new world.”

He chuckled. “Day’s still young, Slayer. But, yeah, feels different. Good. You’re quoting Shakespeare, for one thing.”

“I am?”

He kissed her soundly. It was a brave new world, indeed, and they’d face it together.


This entry was originally posted at http://rebcake.dreamwidth.org/27684.html. Please comment here or there using OpenID.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hee! Nobody's perfect, right? Better to accept and move on, if you can. Thanks so much for the kind comments!
Oct. 7th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
Fic which addresses the Harmony-sleazy-shagging! So pleased. And awww, to Spike and Buffy finding a way to be honest without trying to kill each other.
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
In my head, whenever Buffy and Spike (or Spike and Anya) are going at it fully clothed, they are well and truly shagging. But the Spike/Harm fling in AtS was clearly interrupted before it went anywhere! Right? Please tell me I'm right! Heh.

But, yes, not Spike's finest hour. He's probably got a decade's worth of un-fine hours, but Buffy has a few of them, too. They've got to get past that if it's going to be a working relationship. There will probably be a few more bumps between now and then, though. ;-)

Thanks for commenting, sweetie!
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
Aw. I loved this little fic so much. :) Of course Harmony had to shoot her mouth off. Typical Spike to brazen it out when confronted. It was a hello. LOL.
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
It's just as well that Harmony let the cat out of the bag. Imagine what Buffy might have thought if she heard about it months later? Just like with Spike not getting back in touch, the longer you let things fester, the worse they get!

Really, Spike could have just begged for forgiveness and taken his lumps. But it's better for both of them if they start things on a more even keel, IMO.

Thanks for the nice comments!
Oct. 8th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
poor Harmony. she always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop. But hee. yeah, if the new spuffy relationship can handle indiscretions with Harmony, I guess it's solid enough to last!
aaaw look at 'em all acting like adults!
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Poor dear Harm. Such a tragic figure (and yet, so hilarious).

Eh, they both hurt each other a lot back in the "never really together" days. Now that they are together, it's time to man and woman up! (Wonder how long that'll last?)

I appreciate all your comments, so much! *cries like Holly Hunter in "Raising Arizona"* So. much.
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)

Loved this fic!

Thank you for sharing.

ps-I really liked that Willow hugged Spike and that he and Xander shook hands. That was wonderful to read, actually.

But what happened with Angel? :D

Edited at 2012-10-08 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad!

I really do like to think that the Scoobies accepted Spike onto the team. Maybe not Giles, but the rest of them. A lot of bygones went bye bye in the push to the final battle, including the Willow/Faith animosity. How could they not be happy to see a comrade make it back from certain death? (Though, of course, that happiness will be tempered with grief for other losses.)

Anyway, I'm being all serious, when what I should really be talking about is Angel!

Angel went back to the office, dropped the Cup in the lab, and is now brooding someplace. Spike and Buffy still haven't worked out how to act when Angel is around, and it will be weird for the next couple of years. Which isn't all that different from the last couple of years.

Spike intends to try very hard NOT to gloat, but his resolve crumbles whenever Angel calls him an idiot. However, the lines of communication between the Council of Slayers and Team Angel remain open, and some things go better in the coming months, including a mystic cure for Cordelia! Open and honest communications for the win!
Oct. 8th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
I had to comment on this comment as well as on the fic. I love that resolution to the triangle. Spike should have something to fall back on when Angel calls him an idiot.

Liked this story very much. I wish I could imagine Comics!Buffy ever being such a grown up, but sadly - nah. Not going to happen.
Oct. 8th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Heh. "Not such an idiot that I'd walk out on Buffy, though, am I?"

Yeah, this Buffy is not comics!Buffy. Woe. Really, I could live with any of the other nonsense in the comics if I could just believe in that Buffy. I can't.
Oct. 8th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
A coda! Whoo Hoo!

Oooh, I *love* it, sweetie. It's perfect!

Thank you!!
Oct. 8th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
You're so welcome!
Oct. 9th, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
I love how Buffy seems to evolved as a person in this. No punches for messing up with Harmony. Very good on her.

Oct. 9th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Well, she might not like it, but she doesn't have a lot of room to talk. Now that you mention it, that might not have stopped her, before. ;-)

This is just a tiny taste of the challenges that will face them, but hopefully they've both grown enough to deal with them as they come.

Thanks for commenting, sweetie!
Oct. 10th, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
So it was a "hello"? That was worth a giggle. Cute!
Oct. 10th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
That's his story, and I'm sticking to it! Lalalala... He's just lucky Buffy was so happy to see him. Another week and he wouldn't have got a pass that easily, I'm betting.

Glad to get a giggle. Thanks for letting me know this silly little thing amused you.
Oct. 17th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
A very amusing finale!
But really, you did a great job of addressing that particular slip...

Alright, this was really nice, what's next?
: )
Oct. 19th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
Oh, gosh! Do you mean more of this, of something new, or more of some other WIP? 'Cos I do have some things coming up in the next few months: more of the S/B souled-Dru story (Fire in the Soul) for seasonal_spuffy, a couple of one-shots I've been kicking around, and a possible smutty Halloween fic. Whew! But I have to admit that I can see a few things that I can do to extend this one a bit, too! Choices, choices!

Thanks for commenting, sweetie!
Oct. 29th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
I'm with relurker I'd love to see a sequel to this, should you ever be so inspired. You just write the two of them so well. I keep saying this, but I'm really impressed by how you characterize Buffy - tender and FIERCE. You don't "woobify" her or turn her into a bitch. (Well, yes she has her moments - she's entitled!)
Dec. 5th, 2012 10:36 am (UTC)
They smiled at each other. Buffy’s eyes grew bigger.

“Huh. I think we just had a fight. And nobody got punched. It’s a brave new world.”

Dec. 5th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Indeed! They managed to be so mature this time around! Wonder how long that'll last?

Thanks again for all your lovely comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed this.
Dec. 6th, 2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
With all their instinctive understanding of each other, you'd think they'd, well, understand each other better. It's very satisfying that you got them there in the end. Lovely story.
Dec. 7th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
With all their instinctive understanding of each other, you'd think they'd, well, understand each other better.

Hee! Good point. I think Buffy and souled!Spike share some qualities — primarily their fear that they are unlovable — that make it really easy for each to misread the other. At least one of them has to step outside their comfort zone to make things happen, and IMO that person has to be Buffy.

Glad you enjoyed!
Jul. 13th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
Adored this! You're gonna get me hooked on Spuffy, aren't you!?
Jul. 13th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting, sweetie!

To paraphrase Mae West, when choosing between two evils Spike ships, I like to pick the one I never tried before. Heh. It seems like there's good fic for every ship, and also not-so-good. If you'd like some recs, I'm here to enable!
Apr. 5th, 2017 08:28 pm (UTC)
“Am I getting this right? You’ve been back in your body for less than 24 hours, and you already managed to get it on with Harmony?”

He opened his mouth, then snapped it shut again. He thought of apologizing, explaining, and possibly groveling, but in the end, he went another way.

“It wasn’t ‘getting it on’, it was a…hello.”

I had no idea how much I wanted this until I read it. This was absolute perfection. I think I spent a good 10 minutes rolling the scene in my head, chewing at it, imagining the actors playing it out, rewinding and going at it all over again. Ah, the satisfaction... As far as reunion stories go, this story hit the spot just so. Your voices are unbelievable on point, your humour fantastically sharp and believable in terms of the show. I can't believe I haven't stumbled on this before (goodie for me). Thanks for the great (late) read!
Apr. 5th, 2017 09:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your very kind words!

I do try to keep the "voice" of the show most of the time, which means there should be some funny along with all the other stuff. It was satisfying, Spike getting to comment on some of her behavior, but Buffy is right — if things are going to be right with them, they can't keep dredging up past misdeeds. There's plenty to go around, but they've both grown since then.

I'm so pleased that you found this, enjoyed it, and let me know!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )



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