Character: Buffy/Spike, Willow/Kennedy
Summary: After a fight with a demon, Spike falls asleep and doesn't wake up. Willow, Kennedy, Dawn and Buffy go to LA to help.
Notes: Written for Fall 2020 round of seasonal spuffy will run on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth. Theme: Fairy Tales Retold
I don't read the comics and I don't know what happened in the post series-comics for Angel and/or Buffy. If you consider the comics canon, then it's AU since I'm making it all up.
"Hey, Willow… and woman I don't know." Angel got up from behind the concierge desk and went toward the door to greet the new arrivals. He had to admit that the speed with which they arrived annoyed him, or maybe hurt him. They'd never come for him. "Come in, and sit down."
"Hi, Angel. This is Kennedy. Nice to see you, well, alive, after that big apocalypse. What happened by the way? We were expecting the end of LA two years ago, or at least the end of you and then everything was fine," Willow said.
"So did we," Angel said, trying not to mention that if they were so worried, they could have helped, but they had refused to go near Wolfram & Hart. "We were ready for the end and then some government group with Buffy's ex showed up, and some other group with robots showed up, they both wanted me to work for them, it got messy. The Senior Partners decided that they could live with a few dead demons, even important ones. There are always more to take their place. They made us a deal. We'd be out of Wolfram and Hart, I'd agree not to work for either group, we don't attack them directly. They brought Weasley back to life and they gave us a hotel. Not as nice as the Hyperion Hotel, but it's big enough that we can all live here and work here while not being too close to each other, if you know what I mean."
"We got no deal, and no bringing Anya back," Willow said with a sigh.
"Coming back from the dead is overrated." Buffy dropped her bag and went to hug Willow and Kennedy. "Did you just get here?
Willow nodded. "You heard the recap, and hi, Dawnie." There were more hugs while Angel looked on. "The gang's back together. Except Xander. He says hi. He's still in Ivory Coast with Fatima."
"I hear they are talking about marriage," Dawn said. "And she's not a demon."
"Just a slayer," Buffy said. "So Angel, where can we set up? Place to stay, room to work, possibly see Spike? Has he woken up?"
"Did Weasley find anything?" Dawn asked.
"Do you have a witch to trace the magic?" Willow added.
"Don't mind them. They just try to see who speaks faster," Kennedy said with a grin, before kissing Willow.
"I'm used to them," Angel said with a tiny smile. It felt good to watch them interact again. It was familiar and yet now, like so much of his long life.
"Are you?" Buffy said with an inquisitive tone. "It's been a while."
"You make an impression," Angel answered. "And to answer the questions. He's still asleep, but we can't see any deterioration from the lack of feeding. Weasley hasn't found anything and we don't have a witch. I have one question. We've called plenty of times, end of the world events and no one has ever showed up. Now, I call Giles for suggestions and you four show up."
The four women looked at each other, before Buffy turned to Angel. "Because it's Spike; he's one of us."
That didn't hurt. Not even a bit. Angel kept repeating it in his head while he got them settled before showing them to Spike's room.
Angel opened the cracked door and entered the room. He leaned against the wall near the door, while Buffy was sitting on the side of bed, looking at Spike. "You're wrong, you know? He's not one of you. He's a vampire. Soul or no soul, he's annoying and he's more one of us."
Buffy turned her head and smiled. "You don't like him."
Angel shrugged. "Depends on the day. We have a long history."
"You also had a long life without each other. Besides, he can be one of us and one of you. We're easy and we don't play pissing contests, being women and all," she answered. Buffy was not going to get into an argument about who cared about Spike the most. They all wanted to cure him and working together would make things easier.
"Speaking of sharing, Willow and Dawn have set up with Weasley. They are a lot less books than I expected."
Buffy laughed. "Don't you start on that. It took us forever to convince Giles. Knowledge comes through ink, written on paper and bound between leather covers. He hated the fact that the Sunnydale High library had more computers than books, but then the council was killed and the library went up in smoke. Literally. He realized that digitizing the books keeps them safe and with Slayers all around the world, everyone can research things without making phone calls, sending faxes or - gasp - sending photocopies of books, which he suggested. Willow put a stop to that. So yes, now they have everything computerized."
"I'm surprised Dawn likes it so much, all that boring research when she could go out and-"
"And what? Fight?" Buffy would not have anyone giving Dawn any ideas. "I'm around to do that. Research is necessary and keeps her safe. Besides, she's realized that there's more to this fight than slayers. She's starting pre-med at NYU this September. She says we need a doctor more than a researcher. She's not wrong." Buffy got up and walked closer to Angel, searching for that feeling that had existed between them, that way they could read each other, but she couldn’t find it. "Meanwhile, I'm going out later today and see if I can find this monster, kick his ass and find a cure."
"You care about him." Angel looked at Spike and then back at Spike. "He's not-"
"What? Human? Like you? What, Angel?" Buffy asked, a little resigned. She had hoped to avoid this discussion, but apparently here they were, talking about a relationship that ended when she was just a kid and so much had changed. She had grown up.
Buffy chuckled. "I was just thinking that. Three years away from Sunnydale and everything connected to it gave me time to be normal, date normal people, grow up."
"Normal people. Funny you'd say that. I didn't think the Immortal would be your definition of normal," Angel said.
Buffy frowned at the answer. She didn't have time for his jealousy. "Not that it's any of your business, but that was business. He was creating his own little group, like the Master. I needed a way to get close to him. Not exactly your average vampire that you meet in Sunnydale's cemetery. Besides, getting close enough to stake him wasn't enough. I needed to know what he was planning and then I ashed him. What else would it be?"
"Andrew said-" Angel looked at Buffy confused.
"You think I'd tell Andrew the truth? The man can't keep a secret to save his life." Buffy shook her head and went back to the bed. Being near Spike made this conversation easier, even if he was as good as dead weight at the moment. "I can't believe you thought that after you and Spike, I'd start dating another vampire."
"Ah, stop with that. He's oblivious. It took him two years to realize what we all knew," Buffy said.
"That he's an idiot?" Angel put in.
"That he's gay," Buffy put in.
Angel stared at her. "So not the Immortal, but normal people and now you're here for Spike."
Buffy held his gaze for a moment and then sat back on the bed. She still kept her eyes on Angel while blindly put one hand on Spike's arm. "Europe was nice. I enjoyed the change. At the start, I felt guilty for leaving California, but it was gone when I started helping people all over Europe. Still, I realized something. You left me in 99. I was a teenager. In that time, I died twice, got a sister, gave my power to lots of slayers, adjusted to not being in heaven. I kept telling myself that one day things would calm down and the two of us would get back together, but now that there was no reason for us not to be away from each other, I didn't feel the need to be with you."
Angel crossed his arms. "I've been thinking of you."
"You have a girlfriend. Nina? The werewolf? So don't tell me that you were thinking of me." Buffy sighed. "Angel, we've been apart for nine years. That's a really long time. Maybe not for a vampire as old as you, but it's a long time for me, and let's face it, we had this perfect love or the idea of it. Easier to think of that than to deal with a real relationship, because you weren't there for the important part of my life, while Spike was there through all of it. Unsouled, able to hurt me, he was still there when I needed help or moral support, and when I was in Europe, do you know what I kept thinking? When something happened? I thought 'I should tell Spike'. Good or bad, I was thinking about sharing the moments of my life with him. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be mean. What we had was special, but we've been over for a long time. We've both been clinging to that memory, because it's easier than dealing with reality when you do the job we do."
Angel nodded. "I suppose. Cordelia… anyway, I need to go out on a case. I'll be back later. Hopefully, they'll find something I can kill."
Buffy didn't like to see him sad. It had never been her intention, but she wasn't that naïve teenager anymore and she couldn't keep things and let hope stay alive. "See you later."
"Buffy, you're back," Willow said when Buffy stepped into the hotel. They were sitting on the many couches filling the foyer.
Dawn scrunched her nose. "And you're covered in goo. You smell."
"You should take a shower," Kennedy added.
Angel stepped from the shadow, arms crossed. "Are you all right?"
"Do you see my boots? They are fine Italian leather and they are ruined. Of course I'm not all right." Buffy shook her head as she stared at her poor shoes. "Anyway, I was out, trying to find out who did this to Spike and I found this woman, real pretty with a flowery blue dress, sort of old style."
"Like the ones Anya used to wear when she wasn't a vengeance demon?" Dawn asked.
"Not the tight ones she wore as a demon. She looked hot in those. What?" Willow said when she saw people staring at her. "Just because she was engaged to Xander, it doesn't mean I couldn't look."
"Yes, like those dresses," Buffy continued as if there hadn't been an interruption. "Some demon was attacking her. I naturally stepped in and got myself covered in goo."
"Are we calling it a tie? You kill him, he ruins your boots? Is that the problem?" Kennedy asked.
"You'd think, but no. I start talking to this woman, I tell her that it's not safe, blah, blah. Then out of the blue, she says 'I did the right thing with Spike'. So you can imagine that I get a little annoyed."
"Or a lot annoyed. You ruined your boots to save her," Dawn pointed out.
"Exactly. She must have noticed the way I was gripping my axe, and she laughs. Then she says 'you're the slayer, the real one. You can't kill me child'. She called me child. So we talk some more," Buffy said.
"Talk? You showed more restraint than I would have and I don't even like Spike most days," Angel said.
"Talk, beat up, same difference. What was more annoying was that she tried to block me, but never attacked me. Anyway, at a certain point she does this levitating spinning thingy, like you see in the movies and her clothes turn all tight-"
Willow grinned. "See? Demon clothes."
"She looked hot too. The dress was tight, all black and red-."
"Buffy, focus," Wesley said.
"You're here, how long have you been here?" Buffy asked, confused. She hadn't seen anyone else before. She was a lot more upset that she thought.
"We were just sitting in the back." Gunn came to stand near Wesley with Illyria.
"Right, sorry, back to the story. Between blows, she says that she gave Spike a gift, like any Fairy Godmother would and I shouldn't be upset. The nerve. Gifts must be understood, and they aren't curses. She also said that I can't kill her, that she can't be killed and then she goes poof." Buffy sighed. "I don't know how much it helps with finding a cure, but that's how my evening went."
"Actually-" Dawn looked at Willow. "It can't be that easy, can it?"
"I think it is." Willow looked back to Buffy. "She is the Fairy Godmother. There are versions of her through history, long before Disney came up with its own version."
"In history, she's not as nice as the ones in the Disney films. And remember Maleficent was a Fairy Godmother too. The historical version has different names depending on the period of time and society, but there are some general traits that never change: she can't be killed and her gifts are more complicated than the fairy tales we know," Dawn explained.
"But, "Willow continued, "some things are also simple. You fall asleep and true love can wake you up."
"No, not true love," Buffy said. "She kept mentioning soulmates."
"That makes sense," Dawn said. "It's a gift. The right person kisses you and you've found the truest form of love."
"And all gifts come with a price; he's asleep and can't do anything to find that person," Willow said.
"That sounds crazy, even for LA," Angel said. "This isn't a Disney movie."
"No, but Disney based its films on fairy tales, which were based on popular stories," Wesley pointed out. "They didn't come out of nothing, and we know that many of the myths we know are based on truth."
"You're saying people need to kiss Spike until we find his soulmate, that's insane. It could take years, decades. And hello? Drusilla?" Angel pointed out.
"Good thing, he's dead already, and we can't do anything about crazy homicidal vampires. We just have to hope it's not her," Gunn said with a shrug.
"We could start with the people here. We all kiss him and see if it works before we start narrowing it down from billions of people," Dawn suggested.
"I'm not kissing Spike. We're not… I mean there was that one time-" Angel stopped talking. "I'm not doing it."
"I doubt Willow and I are his soulmates," Kennedy said.
"You're not kissing him," Buffy told Dawn. "That's just… so very wrong."
Dawn smiled innocently. "No, but you could. She – the Fairy Godmother - was talking to you about it, so maybe she thinks that you might be the one."
"That's not-" Buffy glared at Dawn. "I hate you right now." She looked at Angel and for a moment it felt more like a start of a battle than a way to find a cure. "I guess we're kissing Sleeping Beauty. After I take a shower."
All clean and in a new pair of boots, Buffy went to Spike's room. She wished they could do this a little more privately, but she supposed that Angel and his team cared about Spike as well. They were all there, waiting for her, and she couldn't send them away. She stepped inside the room with the bravery of a slayer and she ignored the fact that either way, this would be changing her relationship with Spike forever.
"If it doesn't work, we'll find a solution," Angel told her quietly, but everyone was so close that it was impossible for it to stay private.
"Right, finding Spike's soulmate on a planet with seven billion people while he's asleep. Piece of cake," she said, before sitting gingerly on the bed. "Here goes nothing." She leaned down and pressed her lips against Spike's. This was hardly the first time she had kissed him, but Spike was all emotion and passions, and it was strange to feel him unmoving under her until-
Spike's hand shot up, fingers tightening around her neck. Buffy gasped and her hands went to his wrist. Spike let go before she could do anything. "Buffy? What are you doing here? What am I doing here?" He frowned as he sat up and looked around. "Bloody hell, what is this? One of your geeky conventions in my room?" He turned and suddenly smiled. "Hey, Nibblet."
Dawn waved. "Hey, Spike. Glad to see you awake."
"What's the last thing you remember?" Buffy asked.
"I was out, patrolling and this woman was being attacked, so I saved her, being the Champion I am, because I totally do that now, save the helpless and all that rot. She didn't run away though. She stayed and we talked. I can't even tell you about what. It was-"
"Very easy to talk to her," Buffy said, knowing exactly how Spike had felt. "Like you were old friends and you can talk about anything."
"That's right. We jumped from topic to topic. She asked about me, and I don't even know how we got on the topic and I said 'I wish'-"
"Ha, that's your problem. Right there," Dawn said. "Haven't you learned never to wish when there are demons around?"
"Dawnie is right," Willow said. "It's not just vengeance demons you have to worry about. Remember that entire musical number that went on for days? Should know better."
"I haven't been singing, have I? I don't remember singing." Spike kept his focus on Buffy while he spoke.
"No, you didn't sing," she reassured him. "You were asleep. She cast a spell that would keep you asleep until your-"
"Right, we're leaving. Go, move, let's leave the room," Willow said, waving her hand. "We're done here. Nothing to see, move it along."
"Thanks, Willow," Buffy said softly. She waited until they were all out. Angel was the last one to leave and she could tell that he didn't want to go, but this was between her and Spike. Finally, the door closed and she relaxed a little. "The spell kept you in some sort of stasis. You didn't have to feed. You could have survived forever."
Spike sat astride on the bed and grabbed his boots. "So a kiss woke me up, like in the stories. I remember that part."
Buffy moved a little to give Spike some space, but soon they were sitting next to each other, their thighs touching. "Something like that. Not any kiss. Only the kiss from your soulmate would wake you up."
Spike stopped abruptly, only one boot tied and sat up. "Soulmates? You mean to say that we-"
"Are soulmates according to the Fairy Godmother or whatever her name is."
"Right, so you and Angel?"
"Apparently not soulmates," she said with a tiny smile. "It's not because of this demon, though. I knew it already and I told him before we even found out about the cure that it was over between us."
"Right, because of you and the Immortal," Spike said, trying to sound unbothered.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Don't you start! I staked him, so I'm not sure how eternal our love was."
"You did? Of course you did. I knew that you wouldn't be involved with him. I told Angel, but did he believe me? Of course not." Spike smiled at her. "So you and me? What happens next?"
"No idea," she said with a sigh. "I thought we'd have a chance to talk, dinner and a movie before a little violence on patrol, but this sort of ruins that, doesn't it? I really did want to try. I was going to call you when I got settled in New York. Dawn is going to school there and it's about time New York had a slayer again."
"New York, then? Sounds nice. I always liked the cold, the long nights. Vampire friendly, you know?" Spike said.
"I thought you'd say that. You could still come and we try to do this slow this time. No offense, but I'm not ready to settle for the happily ever after just because a demon said that we're soulmates." Buffy knew that their relationship would never be normal, but they could have their version of normal.
"I can help the helpless in New York and there haven't been burials in Manhattan since the mid-1800s. I can find some nice crypt in one of the historical cemeteries. No one ever goes there. It'll be nice and private," Spike suggested.
"Or since I'm getting an apartment, you could live with me? We'll get a two bedroom and you can keep your own bedroom." That was a good compromise, their own version of normal she figured.
"What about Dawn?" Spike asked confused.
"She's staying in the dorms. She wants the full experience." Buffy still wasn't sure about that one, but she trusted Dawn to be careful.
"And you want us to… live together?"
"Not the picket fence thing, I mean it is New York, I don't think there are picket fences, not that I've seen at least, but you know what I mean we're… us. We aren't exactly going to fancy restaurants. You don't even need to eat, plus I need a job." She sighed at the thought. That would be the hardest part. New York was expensive and patrolling tended to interfere with normal hours.
"We can both get jobs. Let's open our own investigation. We do it smart, not like Angel. We take the boring cases that support us while we help the helpless," he suggested.
"You really are enjoying stealing that – the help the helpless - from Angel, aren't you?" she said with a grin.
"You don't know how much! He hates it that I have a soul. Poor sod doesn't know what to do now that he's not special. Still my idea works," Spike said, laughing.
"We can do that or we can open a magic shop in the Village? Open in the afternoon, stay open at night. I'm sure we'll come up with something." Buffy knew they would. They were both very resourceful and failure was not an option. "What is it? You look-"
"Confused? We've barely talked for three years, Buffy, and now we're soulmates and you want to move in together. It sounds nice, but what if you change your mind again? I can't do this again. I love you, I've loved you all this time and you-"
"I don't know if I do, love you, not yet, but like I said, when I was in Europe, I thought of you, of sharing things with you, and I resisted the urge to call, because I wanted to see what would happen if we were apart, if I'd move one. It was fun at the start, but European men are so… laid back, not a care in the world. It was alluring at first and then it just became boring, but I never stopped thinking about you," she explained.
Spike snorted. "You forget, love, that Angel and I are both European and he's the King of Brooding. Everything is a worry for him."
"European men who were born in this century? You know we can talk all we want, but no explanation will satisfy you. I needed the time, Spike, and that was the only way for me to find myself." She got up, going for the door. "If you can't do this, I understand. I'll give you-"
Spike was suddenly behind her and spun her around. "I was playing hard to get. We both know that I have no pride when it comes to you. I missed you," he whispered.
"I missed you, too. Now will you- Oh never mind." She laced her hands behind his neck and pulled him closer so she could kiss him. It was sweet and different from how their sexual encounters had started in the past. This wasn't about sex, but a promise about the future.
Spike smiled as he opened his eyes. "The happily ever after isn't so bad."