Title: Did You Ever Know
Era/season/setting: Season 4, post-Something Blue
The torches on the walls continued as Buffy entered the first cavernous room. They only cast a dim glow, but they were bright enough for Buffy to see a door at the other end of the room with something that looked like a scoreboard above it. One of those really old school ones that baseball stadiums used to have in like the 50s… or whatever time period hadn’t had electricity yet.
There was a noise behind her and she jumped, turning to see the doorway she and Spike had just walked through disappear, leaving only more of the rocky cavern. Spike raised his eyebrows at it. “Right,” he said. “Westward ho, then.”
Buffy just stared at him, her mouth slightly open, wanting to demand that he be just as freaked by being trapped here as she was. But he didn’t notice, and just looked around with mild interest, before frowning as his eyes fell on the scoreboard. “What the bloody hell is that?”
“Spike,” she said, as he strode over to investigate. “I did not sign up for…” she gestured around her. “Whatever this is. You said there’d be pain, and fighting and stuff. Not that we’d get trapped in some room because we couldn't solve a damn puzzle!”
“Believe me, pet, I’ve got no interest in getting stuck forever with…” his words broke off absently as he reached for something white on the side of the wall. “With the Slayer…” he broke whatever it was off, and studied it. Then he looked up at the scoreboard again.
“What?” Buffy asked, curiosity getting the better of her. She made her way over to him and saw that he was holding a stack of cards. Not playing cards, but, like, flashcards or something. He handed her half without looking at her.
“Right then,” he said.
“What?” Buffy asked, and looked down at her cards.
He pursed his lips. “We’ve entered into a game of Trivial Pursuit, love, only the topics seem to be you and me.” He clucked his tongue. “Wish they’d given us time to study.”
“The topics are us?” Buffy looked at her cards again, and started to panic. “Wait...truth or dare…”
“Guessing this would be the truth portion,” Spike said. He slowly sat down on the dirt floor, and looked at his cards, then at the scoreboard. “We’ve got ten each. We need five correct on both sides to open the door.”
“Or what?” Buffy wondered.
He shrugged. “Or the door doesn’t open, I reckon.”
Buffy sat on the ground as well, but more because her legs had decided to stop working than anything else. She swallowed. “Oh,” she said. And then she kicked one of her legs out at him.
His head snapped up. “What the hell, woman, I didn’t know this was what was going to happen! Told you I thought we’d have to fight some hellbeast, or maybe that your veins would be ripped open and I’d have to refrain from lapping you up, or something of that ilk.”
“This is still your fault,” Buffy said, cheeks flaming in anger. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into this! I’m just gonna have to kill you when we get out of here anyway, I might as well do it now!”
“You do it now, and you’ll never leave!” he shot back.
Buffy sighed. "Yeah, I know that. Just get on with it!”
Spike grumbled, but he glanced down at his first card anyway. “Bloody hell,” he sighed. “When was the first time I saw you?”
Buffy relaxed slightly. Maybe they would be easy. Maybe this was really just a test to see whether they could make it through without killing each other. “Back of the Bronze,” she said smoothly. “October 1997. You saw me fighting another vamp.”
Spike sighed, and rubbed his forehead. “I knew you’d get that wrong.”
Buffy’s triumphant smile faded. “Wrong! How is that wrong?”
“Because I saw you inside first,” he said. “Dancing all suggestive like.”
“You were stalking me?” she snapped.
“Vampire!” he snapped back. “And yeah, given that I’d come to town with the intention of killing you, I was gonna watch you first, see how you moved….” he trailed off. “See how you danced…”
“Spike,” Buffy said.
Buffy nodded to the door, and he turned, realization dawning as he saw an “X” over one of the spaces in the scoreboard. “Wonderful,” he said, softly. “So they’re counting down to our doom for us. That’s ever so helpful.”
Buffy looked down at her cards with shaking hands. “Crap,” she said. “Uh...where did I go to high school in L.A.?”
Spike pinched the bridge of his nose, and fell onto his back, his knees tenting up. “Slayer, I don’t have a single buggering clue. Beverly Hills?”
“Hemery,” Buffy said crisply, glancing up to see another “X” on the board. “Go.”
Spike sighed, and looked at his cards again. “What’s my natural hair color?” He rolled his eyes, before closing them in defeat.
“You mean it’s not platinum blonde?” Buffy gasped, and grinned when she saw Spike give a tiny smile. “Uh, I don’t know. Real blonde?”
“No,” he said, flatly. “It’s light brown, and next time take the time to think about it before blurting out the first thing on your mind.” His eyes opened halfway. “Ask away.”
“Name three of my boyfriends,” Buffy said. She frowned, and pouted. “What is this, a list of security questions? Who came up with these?”
“Angel,” Spike said, and she looked up in confusion before realizing he was giving his answer. “Ford, Parker.”
“Wrong,” Buffy said, glaring at him. “Ford was my…” she cleared her throat. “Crush, and Parker was a one-night stand.”
Spike sighed. “How’s a bloke supposed to tell the difference?”
He looked at his cards again, and gave a defeated whimper. “You’re right, Slayer, you should just stake me now. Save us both from going down this list asking things we couldn’t possibly know about the other. It’s a kind of torture I’m just not familiar with.”
“No,” she said firmly. “You’re asking, and I’m going to get lucky on five of them, okay? What is it?”
He sighed. “What year was I sired?”
“1880,” Buffy said promptly.
Spike’s eyes flew open again, and he sat up and stared at her. “Was that… that a lucky guess?”
“Nope,” Buffy said. “I guess I was just paying attention when Giles was talking that day. Okay, here’s my next one. When did my parents split up?” She pursed her lips, angry that she’d just read that aloud, but when she looked up at Spike, he was still looking at her in bewilderment, and, if she had to put a name to it… touched. That she’d known when he was sired.
But then he cleared his throat, and growled. “There are no history books telling me about your past, Slayer. I don’t know, three years ago?”
“Four,” Buffy said quietly, and laid the card down. She looked up at him, and he looked away, down at his card. And then his face took on a worried look, and he swallowed several times before reading it.
“What was my first turning?” he asked, in a raspy whisper.
Buffy blinked. It bothered him, whoever it was. But... "I don’t know,” she said flippantly. “Uh… George Washington?”
He gave her a sour look, but she could see a tiny sparkle in his eyes. “I’m from England, you barmy chit. And he was dead long before 1880 anyway.”
“Oh, right,” Buffy said. “Um… who was it then?”
“Never you mind,” he snapped. “Ask your next one.”
Buffy glanced down. “What’s my middle name?”
He snorted, and mumbled something.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“Anne,” he said, in a raised voice. “Your middle name is Anne.”
She raised her eyebrows. “Aaaand, how do you know that, Mr. there-are-no-history-books-about-you?”
“Because of those sodding wedding invitations you were designing, that’s why,” he said.
“Oh.” Buffy paused, accidentally thinking back to that engagement, before again shoving it out of her mind. “Well… good for you for paying attention.”
“How could I not? It was actually a decent and respectable name, and I had to look twice to make sure I’d read it right.”
“Would you just leave my name alone already?” Buffy asked before she paused, and realized that, somewhere in there, he’d kind of complimented her middle name. Even if he’d done so by insulting her first.
He gave a kind of chuckle, and looked at his cards again. “How did I earn my nickname?” he asked.
“Tortured your victims with railroad spikes,” Buffy said. “And, can I just say? Ew.”
Buffy hastily looked down at her next card, ignoring Spike’s snickers. “Okay, here’s an easy one, lucky for you. What’s my Watcher’s first name?”
She waited for a second, and then looked back up in surprise. He was staring at her, a confused frown on his face. “Uh,” he said.
“Seriously?” Buffy cried. “You LIVE with him for Pete’s sake! How can you not know this?”
“Not like we’ve ever bloody discussed it!” Spike cried. “Um…” he waved his hands vaguely. “Edward?”
Spike snorted, and laughed. “Rupert?” Your high-and-mighty Council’s man is named Rupert?”
Buffy wanted to hit him, so very, very badly, but she restrained herself by thinking of how dead she was going to kill him when this was all over. She clenched the remaining cards in her hands and scowled, shooting daggers at him with her eyes.
His giggles eventually subsided, and he stared at her with mirth still dancing behind his eyes. “Oh, come on,” he said. “Don’t get all stake-happy now, love. The fun’s only just beginning.”
“Better be almost over,” Buffy said. “So get on with it. What’cha got next?”
“Who did Drusilla dump me for?” Spike asked. He grunted. “Well, now they’re just getting insensitive. Couldn’t have phrased it more delicately? Besides, there’s every possibility that I dumped—”
“Chaos demon,” Buffy said. “And then a Fungus demon.”
Spike froze, and looked up at her. And there was definitely a softer look in his eye. He’d definitely been touched by that. But he suddenly sniffed disdainfully and frowned at her. “Nice to see you’ve taken an interest in my misfortunes, pet. I’m sure you take great pleasure in knowing the Big Bad’s sore spots.”
Buffy raised her hands. “Not my fault that you wouldn’t shut up about the first one! Or that you picked a halfwit girlfriend to mention the other one.”
“Well,” Spike growled. “I didn’t know you were paying attention, that’s all.”
Buffy tossed her hair. “I think we’ve proved today that I am absolutely attention-girl. Sometimes. When I choose to be.” She held up her next card. “How old was I when I was called?”
Buffy raised her eyebrows. “Okay, that’s bordering on creepy, because I know I never told you that.”
“Angelus did,” Spike said casually. “He’d never shut up about you, when he was plaguing Dru and I. I heard all about how he watched you get Chosen.”
“Oh.” Buffy looked down. “He never told me… I mean, I didn’t know he talked about me. To you guys.”
“Slayer this, and Slayer that,” Spike said, nodding. “But did he ever bother to get around to killing you? Nope, he just went after the weaker ones on all sides of you. Likes to call it torture, destroying you from the inside, but everyone knows that’s just coward’s play. He knew you’d cut him down if he ever faced you head on.” He shook his head, sighing. “If I hadn’t been in that bloody wheelchair…”
“And we’re moving on,” Buffy said firmly. “It’s your turn.”
Spike looked down at his next card, and blinked expressionlessly a few times. “Am I currently dating Harmony?” he asked in a deadpan voice.
Buffy squinted. “Did they run out of interesting facts about you and are just fixating on your dating life now?”
“Answer the bloody question, Slayer,” Spike ground out.
Buffy squinted even harder as she looked at him. “Well,” she said slowly. “After your whole… castration incident I don’t think you would have come to me for help if you had a devoted, brainless, vampire slave to feed you and shelter you.” She shrugged. “So I’m going with no.” She smiled. “The funny question is, who dumped whom?”
Spike choked, and scoffed. “You saw the way that chippy was fawning over me. You think she would have let me go?”
Buffy sighed. “Yeah, I know, I get that she was your rebound and you were probably everything she ever dreamed of,” she said. “I really can’t see her breaking up with you.”
Spike raised his eyebrows at her in surprise. “Uh,” he said. “Yeah. I broke up with her. And that made coming to you the only option. Believe me, if I could have gone anywhere else, I would have.”
“I wish you had,” Buffy snapped.
“Yeah? Why’d you take me in then, Slayer, if I was gonna be such a bleeding inconvenience for you?”
Buffy pursed her lips until they turned white. “Because. I’m not a monster, Spike. And I needed information from you, anyway.”
“Not a monster?” Spike scoffed. “Right. That’s why you chained me up, and did a love spell on me!”
“That wasn’t my spell! That was Willow’s!”
“Same bloody difference, you lot are like a hive mind. If one of you does something, the others either know or contributed!”
“You think I wanted to…” Buffy flushed. “To spend all day… with you… with the kissing, and the..”
“No,” Spike snarled. “I think it was a ploy to get me whipped. Much less volatile than a truth spell, where I might spill all kinds of things you’d rather not know. But if I was a bloody white hat, I might be more inclined to tell you everything I know!”
Buffy blinked. “Spike, if you stretch any further your arm is going to fall off!”
“Fine, then just ask your next question, you bloody bitch!”
“Fine!” Buffy looked down at her card, and felt the heat leave her face immediately. She stared at it for a long time, willing it to be anything else. She would happily have answered any other question right now.
Well, not… not any other question, but this one was pretty awful.
“What?” Spike snapped. “Forget how to read there, Slayer?”
“Who was my first?” Buffy asked. That wasn’t the exact phrasing of the question, but she figured the cosmic rules of this game wouldn’t mind as long as it meant the same thing.
Spike snickered. “Ooh, here we are, now we’re getting interesting.” He rubbed his hands together gleefully. “Even though I haven’t a single buggering…”
He stopped when he saw her face. She’d gone completely white, and was staring down at the card, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth.
“Angel?” he asked, in a much softer voice than either of them were expecting. She gave a single, short nod, and Spike sighed. “He was… he never said that. That he took your virginity.”
“Well, he did,” Buffy said sharply. “Pretty even trade, don’t you think? He took my virginity, and I took his soul.” She tossed her head, and met him with a steely gaze. “What’s your next question?”
Spike’s eyes dropped to his lap, almost unwillingly, and he gave a twisted smile. “Huh,” he said softly. “Who is the one person that I love just as strongly as I hate them?”
“Well that’s a duh,” Buffy said. “Drusilla.” She glanced at the scoreboard, and blinked when another “X” appeared.
“Angel,” Spike said quietly.
“What the hell?” Buffy asked, frowning at him. “In what universe do you love Angel? And… more than Drusilla?”
“No,” he said, giving a bitter, almost manic laugh. “See, it’s not about loving him more. Right now, my hatred for Drusilla surpasses my love for her, but I still love her more. And Angel? I want him dead, I wish every kind of torture upon him, I’m glad he has some specific gypsy curse that makes him unable to ever be truly happy. I hate him with a fiery vengeance, but if you think that I don’t crave his affection and acceptance, his respect and approval just as much as you do, kitten…” He stopped and paused, taking an unneeded breath. “Then you’d be wrong.”
Buffy had no idea what to say to that. Honestly if Spike had just thrown a bomb at her feet, her world couldn’t have been more changed. It was weird to have that connection to Spike. To know that they were both someone Angel had turned away from, that they were both someone who looked up to him, in everything. Even if for completely different reasons.
“Is that a sire thing?” she finally asked. She already knew the answer.
He just nodded. “I hate him,” he whispered. “I don’t want him to have that hold on me, but…”
“I know.” Buffy gave a tiny smirk. “Who knew that Big Bads have daddy issues?”
He managed a snort, but he didn’t look at her quite as hatefully as he’d probably intended. He just sat up straighter, and put his shoulders back. “So, what’s next on this merry trip through Candyland, then?”
“When’s the last time I cried?” Buffy asked. She rolled her eyes. “Okay, that’s got to be the stupidest…”
“The night of Red’s spell,” Spike said, with no hesitation.
“Oh… that’s right, I cried when you proposed.” She rolled her eyes again. “Should have known right then it was a spell. I’m not gonna cry when someone proposes to me for real.”
“Not then,” Spike said. “Later. After it was broken. When you came back to tie me up.” He nodded assuredly. “You’d been crying then. I smelled it on you.” He tilted his head and smirked. “Wonder what brought on such an outpouring of salt, love?”
“One, that smelling thing you guys do is seriously icky,” Buffy said. “And two, none of your damn business.”
“Uh huh.” Spike smirked and read his next card. “Where were Dru and I before we came here?”
Buffy blinked, and Spike gave her a disapproving look. “Come on, love, you've only got one more chance after this!”
“Hey, I’ve gotten way more right than you!” Buffy said, having no idea if that was actually correct. “Uh, London?”
“Prague, you useless… that was a massive deal! There was this whole mob, surely you heard about it!”
“I don’t read Vampires Weekly,” Buffy said drily. She looked down, and read out, “Where did my parents send me when I first tried to tell them I was the Slayer?”
He snorted. “A looney bin, based on your mum’s reaction when we…” he again stopped when he saw her face. “Hang on… did she actually?”
“Yeah,” Buffy said briefly. She dropped that card as well as her final one. “Well, look at that. Congratulations, you got five with one question to spare.”
“I… it was just a guess,” he said quickly.
“I know,” Buffy snorted. “At least I know the answers I got right. You just keep guessing.”
“Your mum shouldn’t have done that,” Spike said angrily. “I thought better of her.”
“What was she supposed to do?” Buffy mumbled. “Hurry up, ask your million dollar question.”
He cleared his throat, opened his mouth, and then looked sick.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“You won’t get it,” he sighed.
Buffy crossed her arms. “You’ve said that before.”
“I know, but…” Spike squirmed, and looked up at her. “I want you to think very carefully about all you’ve heard of me, got it?”
“Spike, just ask the stupid question.”
He swallowed, and asked, all in a rush, “What are the names of the two Slayers I killed?” He squeezed his eyes shut, as if bracing for impact.
“Xin Rong, and Nikki Wood.”
There was a click of a door being opened, and Spike’s eyes shot open, and he looked wildly around the room. “Is that written somewhere?”
“No,” Buffy giggled. “I just know that, idiot. I’ve read up on your past, even if you have no idea of mine.”
He laughed delightedly. “I could bloody kiss you, you glorious…” he stopped, frozen.
Buffy eyes widened in horror, and she stood up, hastening towards the door. She stopped in front of it, and just stared. There was a mist in front of it, preventing her from seeing what was beyond.
Spike came up behind her. “What would your tenth question have been?” he asked casually.
“Uh,” Buffy said distractedly. “It wanted you to say my sister’s name. Which is super weird, because I definitely don’t have a sister.” She looked up at him. “I guess it was meant to be a trick question.”