Today is my posting day over at seasonal_spuffy ... and I am again X-posting here.
"Helping The Helpless"
Starts during Season 3's episode "Helpless", then goes AU
Ratings - G
Word Count - 1862
Beta - mabel_marsters .... Thank you so much!
Disclaimer - I own nothing ... not even Spike!
Helping The Helpless
A/N – 1st line taken from the opening of Season 3 “Helpless”
“Lemme know if I'm not doing this right.”
“No mate. The pointy end goes in the bad guy. Like this!”
“Eww. Vampire tastes bad, Angel... SPIKE”
“Hello, cutie. You OK?”
“Yeah, Slayer. We’ve established it’s me. Do you need a hand getting up, or are you still choked with dust. Speaking of which, what happened there? You were almost injured by your own stake.”
“Spike,” Buffy said impatiently.
“OK, love. We’re not getting very far with this chat, are we? Let me help you up, all right. I’m going to help you to sit onto the bench, and then maybe you can catch your breath and tell old Spike what is going on.” Spike slowly helped Buffy to her feet, and carefully guided her round the playground to the bench, settled her down, and then stood in front of her.
“So, we’ve established that I’m Spike and you’re Buffy, but why you were sprawled under a vamp is still an unanswered question.”
“Umm, Spike ... “
“What do you want?”
“Oh, no you don’t. ‘Sides I asked first!”
“OK. I was fighting this fledge when suddenly I felt dizzy and the next thing I knew I was about to be stabbed. I really thought today was going to be my last day, again, when I sensed another vampire that felt older, so thought it was Angel. The rest you know.”
“Slayer, a fledge? What happened? Hang on, did you say dizzy?
“Yes, I don’t know why. I’ve had food, trained, everything. Life’s OK, well, sort of,” she finished on a mumble, although she knew that his hearing would have picked up her comment.
“Correct me if I’m wrong. Although with everything that went down, I doubt that I’ll have forgotten. It’s your birthday soon, isn’t it?”
“Yep” Buffy confirmed, suddenly getting excited again. “Dad’s going to take me to the Ice Capades, so can’t wait.”
“You learned the names of all the Watcher’s crystals yet?”
“No, not yet. Hey, how do you know about my training? Are you stalking me now? I thought you were off to torture Dru into loving you. So, why are you here?” Buffy remembered that when she had asked him a few minutes previously he had side-tracked her. Now she was feeling more like herself, she wanted answers ... and wanted them fast.
“Yeah, about Dru, long story, that. Don’t think you are up to hearing it today. How about we just walk you home and you tell me all about how Angel is.”
“Spike, something is seriously wrong here, and it’s not just me getting a headache. How about I just stake you, then I can walk quietly home without worrying about what you are doing.”
“Well, pet, if I’m with you, I won’t be out snacking on the good citizens, will I? And then you won’t get to find out what I know about you and your Watcher.”
As they had been talking Spike had slowly started walking Buffy back to Revello Drive. He was hoping that her normal state of annoyance where he was concerned would work in his favour.
“Spike, nothing about you makes sense. So, why do I want to find out what you’re babbling about?” Buffy muttered as they slowly walked home. She needed to find out both why she was weak, and the reason he was in town, but both could wait for the following day.
“Right then, love. Here we are, safe ‘n sound. You go in and get some sleep and I’ll see you in the library after school tomorrow. OK?” With that, Spike turned and melted into the night.
“Stupid vampire.” Buffy mumbled as she let herself into her home.
“What was that, dear?” Joyce had heard voices, but not clear enough to know who they were.
“Oh, I was just talking to myself, seeing as he wasn’t listening to a word I was saying.”
“Why didn’t you ask him in, Buffy? We could have had cocoa together, that would have been nice.”
“That’s it! I’m in the middle of a conspiracy. First I’m ill, and then everyone wants to be friends. I can’t cope, I’m going to bed. Night!” With that she staggered upstairs, and banged her bedroom door closed. Joyce slowly shook her head, and went back to the kitchen and her solo cup of cocoa.
There are certain places in the world that, whatever country you’re in, have the same ambience. A library is one of those. School libraries are even better, even more peaceful. Spike had made his way to the rendezvous in plenty of time, and had settled quietly down at the back of the room to wait for the slayer to arrive. He had a good view of most of the area, and was listening carefully for any approaching feet. As he expected, the room stayed empty for much of the afternoon.
As school finished there was the normal bustle of people leaving for freedom, and heading off with moans about homework. Whilst in the library itself peace and quiet reigned. Slowly Buffy’s friends made their way there and chatted to Giles about her illness. However, as there appeared to be no answers, and more importantly, no girl, they headed home with the promises to phone each other later. A few minutes after silence was restored, Buffy made an appearance. To Spike’s eyes she looked sad and tired, but most of all worried. Sitting at one of the tables, she rested her head on her folded arms and seemed to sink even further.
“Buffy.” Spike approached her quietly, with his hands open in the universal sign of peace. “How are you feeling today?” As he expected, she didn’t answer him, but just looked towards him with the acceptance that her fate was in his hands.
“It’s OK, Watcher” Spike spoke clearly to the silent bystander “I’m not going to hurt her, unlike some I could mention.” He finished on a harsh tone.
“Not another apocalypse!” Buffy mumbled to herself “I’ve already died, how much more do I have to do?”
“No, you’re OK, pet.” Spike slowly walked towards the girl as he spoke. He then settled himself in the next chair and waited for the questions to come.
The silence stretched, and for once Spike found the peace amusing. Normally he hated inaction; however in this case, he needed them to ask the questions. He had answers, but did not want to volunteer any information, until necessary.
“I thought you were heading back to Dru.” At long last Giles broke the silence, hoping to have some of his internal fears allayed.
“Well, plans change.” Spike decided that cryptic answers would suffice at present.
“So, what are these brilliant plans, now? Who have you kidnapped this time?” Again it was Giles taking the initiative in questioning.
“My plans are nothing to do with why I’m here now.”
“So, why are you here? Am I going to get a straight-forward answer?”
“You tell me, Watcher. I have a plan for my future, but at present I want to celebrate a certain person’s special day.” At this Spike deliberately looked towards the still silent girl, who appeared to be almost asleep. “Her coming of age, for want of a better phrase.” At this Spike turned to stare at the man.
Again the silence returned, but this time it was Spike who gently spoke next. “Slayer, how are you feeling now?”
“Mmm, OK, tired.” Was the mumbled answer he received, and so he returned his gaze to the other man. As the seconds ticked by, with no response, Spike knew that his eyes would be glittering with their golden hue. He had long ago realised that the joy of killing a slayer, had been that of the ultimate challenge; a fight that could go either way. So seeing how close this girl had come to being offed by a fledgling, had affected him deeply.
Without realising it Spike rested his hand gently on her back, and as the warmth of her body crept through him, his eyes returned to their blue tones. He felt more peaceful than he had done for years. The irony of the situation didn’t escape him, but he readily absorbed this transient calm, knowing that his life had already changed so much in the last few weeks.
Giles sat watching the two of them, the change in the vampire’s focus, and how much in harmony the two natural enemies appeared to be.
“So ...” Spike broke the silence suddenly. He hadn’t moved his focus, but just wanted Giles to be willing to admit his faults. He knew that a watcher-slayer relationship was special, so didn’t want to be the one to split them apart. Buffy would have a lot to cope with once the reason for her sudden illness was acknowledged, and he didn’t want to be the one to damage their bond any further. He slowly turned to lock eyes with the other man.
“OK” Giles recognised that the vampire knew of the Cruciamentum, and was not going to let Buffy take part in the ritual. As he realised that he would be breaking his word to the Council, a part of him felt sad to be breaking with years of training and tradition, but the greater part of him was glad that he had the perfect excuse to save the girl who he thought of as a daughter. “I’ll stop the ritual; she will soon recover her strength.”
“Really?” Spike couldn’t quite believe that Giles was admitting to the custom.
“Truly. And, thank you, Spike, I hadn’t the strength to do this without a push.”
Spike didn’t answer, just slowly rubbed his hand over Buffy’s shoulders to get her to wake up and concentrate on what was happening.
“Buffy, you OK? Shall I walk you home?” Spike quietly asked. Now that he knew that Giles was going to give in, he could afford to give the girl some time to recover before she had to confront the betrayal. “Come on, love. We are going to get you home so that you can go to bed and sleep.”
He slowly stood Buffy on her feet and headed towards the door, ignoring Giles, as his concentration centred on the girl in his self-imposed care. They slowly walked through the town, fortunately encountering neither Buffy’s friends nor her enemies. Once Spike had safely walked her to her front door, he knocked to alert Joyce that her daughter wasn’t by herself.
The door swung open and only Joyce’s gasp indicated her surprise at seeing Spike there. He helped Buffy through the opening, pleasantly surprised that the invitation hadn’t been revoked. Ignoring Joyce he kept manoeuvring the girl until she was upstairs, here she seemed to automatically move towards her room, at which point Spike let her settle on the bed and left the room.
He slowly walked down the stairs, to find an inquisitive mother waiting for him. As he spotted her, he smiled shyly, walked out of the front door, and into the night.