Banner art: okdeanna
Word Count: 675
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.
“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.”
He kissed her soundly. It was a brave new world, indeed, and they’d face it together.
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