Title: Out for a beer part 10/10
Rating: Hard R
Warnings: Slash, angst, AU, bits and pieces of seasons 5, 6 and 7.
Beta(s): twinsarein and skargasm for without these ladies there would be no fic.
Summary: Things get put to rights.
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, I just play with them. Joss Whedon owns them.
Word Count: Finished
Notes: ~thoughts~ I'd also like to give a very special thank you to my Betas. twinsarein who is a Smallville CLex writer mostly, so she just rocks for doing this for me! and skargasm who gave me the needed push to get this out of my head and onto the computer. You two ROCK!!
Xander had woken up nervous and jittery a few hours before sunset. He had lain in bed wrapped around Spike, not wanting to move. He felt safe and protected, curled up under the blankets around Spike.
Xander had woken up earlier and called into work, telling them that he was taking some personal time. His boss told him to take as long as he needed, and that he hoped everything worked out okay.
He was afraid for tonight. After the sun went down, Spike was going to leave and pick one hell of a fight with Buffy. Xander was terrified that Buffy was going to stake his lover, and he wasn’t sure how he was going to deal with that. ~Man has it only been a week that we’ve been together? It feels like a year,~ he thought.
Xander clutched Spike tighter to him. “I’ll be fine, Xan,” Spike said into Xander’s chest.
Xander closed his eyes, “You better be, Spike,” Xander said quietly.
Spike lifted his head and looked over Xander’s shoulder at the clock. 4:30pm glowed in the dark room. “Need to go, luv,” Spike whispered, then leaned down and kissed Xander.
Xander returned the kiss, putting everything he felt into the caress, not wanting Spike to leave here without knowing how Xander felt, without him having to say anything, yet.
Spike broke the kiss, breathing a little. “Go, Xander, or I won’t be able to let you leave,” Spike said, voice rough. Xander looked Spike in the eyes, and gently ran his fingers down one of Spike’s cheeks. “You keep away from any stakes, you hear?” Xander said firmly.
Spike nodded his head. “And you stay away from any stray spells, yeah?”
“Got it,” Xander replied, and very reluctantly let go of Spike and climbed from the bed.
Dawn had told Buffy that she was going to help with inventory at the Magic Box with Anya, so Buffy didn’t think much of it when Dawn had left. When she was out of sight of the house, she ran all the way to Xander’s house just as Giles and Xander were coming out of the Duplex.
“Buffy said she was going to patrol a few of the cemeteries as soon as it gets dark. Tara and Willow are still at the house, and I am going to the Magic Box now,” Dawn reported
“Alright, Dawn, come on, we’ll drop you off on the way,” Xander said, all three of them climbing into the truck.
They had dropped Dawn off at the Magic Box, then drove around town, till they got the call that Buffy had left the house. Parking the truck on the street, they got out and stood next to each other in front of the house.
“You ready for this Giles?” Xander asked.
“No, not really, but we must endure,” Giles replied, and pulled a bag from the bed of the truck and walked toward the house, Xander right behind him.
They stepped inside the house, and into utter chaos.
Xander stood frozen in shock. What he saw truly brought the meaning of fear home. His Willow, his best friend in the whole world looked Demonic. She stood in the corner of the living room, her back to the wall, her hair and eyes were pitch black, black veins stood out on her pale skin. She looked to be inside a bubble, and she was glaring hatefully at Tara.
Tara stood no more than ten feet from Willow; she was chanting words in an ancient language in a calm, even tone. Her hands were in front of her as if warding something off, her fingers spread as wide as she could get them.
Giles pulled items from the bag and stepped up next to Tara. “I bind you, Willow, from doing harm to others and to yourself,” Giles said loudly, and began wrapping strands of red hair around what looked like a voodoo doll. “I bind you, Willow, from doing harm to others and to yourself.”
Willow began screaming in rage. She beat against the bubble, her hair whipping around her, as her magic became almost a physical force.
Tara swayed on her feet as Willow threw more magic into the bubble.
Xander shook himself, and stepped up behind Tara. He placed his hands on her shoulders, giving her his support.
“I bind you, Willow, from doing harm to others and to yourself,” Giles said firmly, and with a whispered word, the doll caught fire.
Willow was thrown violently back into the wall, her screams of rage growing louder. “I bind you, Willow, from doing harm to others and to yourself,” Giles said for the last time, just as the flame turned a bright, white, blue. Willow’s screams faded as the black washed out of her. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she fell to the floor with a resounding thump.
The room was silent except for Tara’s chanting. Giles stepped up to the bubble, and placed his hand upon it. He could feel the power of Tara’s containment bubble; it was much stronger than he thought it would be. Letting his hand fall, he looked back at Tara and nodded his head sharply.
Tara let her chant die off slowly, as she lowered her hands to her sides. She would have fallen, but Xander had moved his hands to her waist. “Thank you, Xander.” she whispered, her voice sounding harsh to his ears.
“You’re welcome.” He said just as quietly, then very carefully picked Tara up and placed her on the couch, a few feet away.
When the bubble was gone, Giles picked up Willow. “Xander, move the coffee table, please.”
Xander pulled the coffee table well out of the way, and Giles laid Willow down on the floor. Giles then retrieved his bag upending its contents all over the floor. “I need salt. Plain salt.”
Xander went into the Kitchen, and came back with plain, ordinary, iodine salt, and held it out to Giles.
“No, I need you to walk around both Willow and I, pouring the salt in a circle. Make sure it is unbroken,” Giles told him.
Xander walked in a circle around them, pouring salt onto the carpet. He made several circles until the container was empty, and then went to the items that Giles had dumped on the floor and picked up four candles, each a different color.
“Now, place a candle just outside the circle, white for North, brown for South, green for East and blue for West, in that order. Once you do that, I want you to light them in the same order.”
Xander did as he was directed; placing the right candle in the right order to its place, then pulled a lighter from his pants pocket and lit the candles one by one. Once he was done, he moved to the couch and sat down next to Tara to wait.
Giles began to speak in a language that Xander was pretty sure was Demonic. Several minutes passed and nothing happened. ~nothing’s happening~ Xander thought, then he flinched back when the candle flames jumped, going from an inch to three feet in seconds. The flames danced as if alive, the colors of the flames began to change color, to that of their respective candle.
Wisps of colored smoke weaved from the candles in a strange tableau, weaving and dancing to the words Giles spoke, flowing down, around, and through Willow. Willow was lifted from the floor, to hang in mid-air, the smoke moving faster and faster around her. The smoke growing denser, as it rolled around and through her. The smoke grew so dense that you couldn’t see Willow anymore; then, suddenly the smoke was sucked inside Willow.
Then, a fine sheen of black ooze appeared on Willow’s skin, and slowly began to drip from her. Hitting the carpet with a hiss and crackle, disappearing after a few seconds, the black ooze began to fall faster till there was nothing left. Then the smoke slowly began to rise above Willow, swirling around in a tight maelstrom of colors, all blended together, and just as suddenly as it happened, it just drifted away as if a wind was blowing it away.
Willow gently drifted back down to the floor, and lay still, her breathing even and calm, as if asleep.
Giles let the words trail off, the magic slowly drifting away.
Xander jumped when a hand touched his arm. He looked over at Tara. “Break the circle, Xander,” She said softly. Xander blinked at her a minute, then pulled himself together and did just that, pushing his shoe across the salt, breaking the circle.
Giles slumped to the floor, breathing heavily. “Well done, Xander.”
“Huh, what did I do?”
Giles smiled proudly at Xander, “It was you who powered the spell, Xander.”
“The spell Giles used needed someone who loved Willow,” Tara said. Xander looked at her. “I’m not the only one who loves Willow,” Xander said.
Tara smiled gently at him, “No, you’re not. But it needed a different kind of love. What were you thinking when you made the circle, Xander?” she asked
Xander looked back at Willow. “That I wanted my Willow back. The loving, studious bookworm, who always put others first; not the Willow who believed she had to do everything or it would all be wrong.”
“The magic sensed that, felt your love and desire to have the taint removed from Willow,” Tara told him.
“Oh,” Was all Xander said.
Spike trailed behind Buffy, just out of reach of her senses, watching her as she methodically beat, dusted and killed whatever got in her way. Gone were the taunts, bad puns, and cheesy one liners. This was not the Slayer he was used to, this was something else. ~its good ‘m all full up on blood~
Spike wasn’t too sure if this was a good idea, but he would give Xander and Giles the time needed to get Willow put to rights. ~let’s get this done~ he thought. He pulled out a cigarette, and lit it. Blowing smoke up at the night sky, as he looked at the stars, he looked like any ol weird person standing in a cemetery, having a smoke and star gazing.
In reality, Spike was waiting out in the open for Buffy to see him, on her way out of this particular cemetery.
“Well, look at this, and here I thought this cemetery was done.” Buffy’s snide comment carried to Spike long before he saw her. But, Spike was prepared for her all the same.
“Bloody barmy, Slayer, been followin’ you since Restfield.” Spike said.
“Really, Spike. If you missed me that much, why didn’t you say so?”
“Sorry, Slayer, don’ miss you, got me someone better.” Spike replied, and jumped towards Buffy, who for her part was all ready, waiting, her stake, though, was still in her pocket. Spike caught her around the middle with a well aimed kick.
Buffy brought her hands up and grabbed Spike’s boot and twisted. Forcing Spike to twist with his foot, but Spike knew this, and used his other leg to tangle with hers, so that when he twisted, Buffy went with him.
They both hit the ground rolling; Buffy was up first and was on Spike before he could block her, taking a well aimed punch. ~just keep her busy, they said, hell this is goin’ to hurt~ Spike thought, and let Buffy go. Only blocking the blows that he knew were going to cause him too much pain.
For what felt like days, but might have only been an hour, Buffy and Spike danced around the cemetery. Between being thrown into crypts, and tombstones, both Spike and Buffy were bloody, bruised, but still fighting at the top of their game.
Never really losing ground, Spike bounced around, constantly moving, keeping Buffy moving and from really thinking. Not once had Spike really thrown a punch or kick with any strength behind it. Just enough force to have Buffy feel it, but not too much that she would grow tired of the fight and go for the stake that was still in her back pocket.
Buffy almost snarled at Spike, as another punch was blocked.
Spike backhanded Buffy, only to stop moving completely when the blow sent Buffy back several feet. Buffy stood hunched over with her hands on her knees, as if she were trying to catch her breath. Then she shook her head, and looked over at Spike.
Spike noticed Buffy’s eyes looked different; he frowned as she straightened up. “Spike, what…” Spike caught her before she could hit the ground. He held in his arms an unconscious Buffy. If Spike were the same Vampire he was before the chip, he would have had his third Slayer, but the chip had forced him to stop, made him see, and well, Xander wouldn’t like it very much, either.
Shifting Buffy in his arms, he reached into his pocket of his duster, pulled out the cell phone he had taken off a fledge sometime ago, and dialed Xander’s number.
Spike couldn’t hear any strange noises, “Luv, not distracting you?”
A sharp intake of breath, “Spike! You’re okay, right?”
Spike laughed, looking around the cemetery, ~works to my advantage. Reputation ‘n all~ he thought, “Yes, luv, just fine. Slayer, though, not too sure there, pet.”
“Why? What’s wrong? Better yet, where are you? I’ll come get you.”
“D’know, luv, was fightin’, keepin’ her busy, then she just stopped n passed out.” Spike said.
“Just now, luv, its why I called, yeah?”
“Huh, that’s weird, but good weird. Okay, now, where are you, Spike?”
“’M at Shady Hill.”
“Okay, I’ll be there in five.”
“See you soon, luv.” Spike said and hung up the phone, and put it back in his duster pocket. Spike then picked up Buffy and carried her to the entrance to Shady Hill Cemetery. “Bloody bad place for this.” Spike said as he came to a stop just at the entrance and gently laid Buffy down on a bench that was there for people visiting the cemetery.
So while he waited for Xander, Spike smoked and paced. Trying to figure out what happened, “Bloody strange, that. Just shakes her ‘ead then bloody passes out. Bloody not fair! Coulda passed out from the fight, know that hit wasn’t that ‘ard.” Spike ranted. Mumbling to himself, keeping an eye on Buffy, just in case she got up and wanted to fight again. Spike stopped his ranting when he heard Xander’s truck turn onto the street, and picked Buffy back into his arms and carried her to the vehicle.
Xander’s truck came to a screeching halt. Engine still running, he jumped out of the driver’s side and ran around to open the back door, just as Spike came up to the truck with Buffy in his arms.
Spike climbed into the back, and gently laid Buffy out on the back seat. Xander closed the door, and got back in the driver’s seat. “You guys look pretty torn up,” Xander commented.
Spike grunted. “Tends ta happen, luv, when you’re beating the shit out of each other,” Spike replied, then looked at Xander as he drove more carefully then he did getting there. “You all right, luv?”
Xander turned his head a little and smiled. “Yea, I’m all right, Spike. Whatever spell Giles used, worked. He said he would explain when we got back with Buffy.”
“Good,” was all Spike said, as he leaned back against the door. Buffy taking up most of the back seat, and he wasn’t about to put her legs in his lap; he was just too sore for it. The blood had helped a lot to put him back in fighting form, but it would have been better if he had had more then one day for it. ~might have been harder to hold back.~ Spike thought, wincing in pain, as Xander stopped the truck in front of the Summers’ house.
Giles was outside waiting from them, so it was Giles who opened the door for Spike. Very carefully, Spike got Buffy onto his lap and passed her over to Giles’ waiting arms. Giles looked at Spike then at Buffy. “Good,” Giles stated, then turned and went back into the house.
“Hey,” Xander said, lightly touching Spike on the shoulder. Spike smiled at Xander and stepped up to him, wrapping his arms around him, and just held on. Xander’s arms wrapped gently around Spike, not wanting to hurt him, and rested his head on top of Spike’s. “I’m glad you’re alright. Not that I was worried or anything.”
With a gentle squeeze and a kiss on the lips, Spike let Xander go. “Come on, luv, as fast as this gets done, faster we get home, yeah?”
“Right, but there will be no naked fun til you’re healed,” Xander told Spike.
“Whatever you say, Xan.”
With Tara’s help, Giles got Buffy lying down comfortably on the couch. Willow who was still laid out on the floor, still appeared to be sleeping. Tara had gotten the first aid kit, as well as warm water and a wash cloth to help clean and bandage Buffy.
“Remarkable. Spike, none of these injuries look very deep. A few days of rest shall do her fine,” Giles said, as Spike and Xander walked into the living room.
“Said I wouldn’t hurt her, Watcher.” Spike replied
“Yes, well, you are correct; Buffy is in excellent condition, under the circumstances,” Giles said, as he cleaned Buffy’s wounds.
“S’what happened?” Spike asked, leaning against the wall, not wanting to come farther into the room.
Giles finished patching Buffy, and Tara cleaned up the mess, as Giles took his glasses off and told them. “I used a soul cleansing spell. In essence, it cleansed Willow’s soul of any and all dark magic.”
“That’s it? So why is Willow still out and why is Buffy out, too?” Xander questioned
“Ah, now that is something I was not expecting to be honest. I expected that we would need to hold Buffy long enough for us to reach her. This outcome was much more fortuitous for us.” Wiping his glasses, and then placed them back onto his face. “When Willow resurrected Buffy, she used blood, which is not to say a bad thing. In this case, it connected Buffy to Willow in a way Willow did not expect. The blood became a tether, a connection which Buffy’s soul needed to return to her body.”
Tara came out of the kitchen with a tea tray, and placed it on the coffee table that was still up against the wall, and brought a cup of tea to Giles. “Mr. Giles,” She said politely.
“Ah, yes, thank you, Tara.” And sipped his tea. “Now if Willow had known what she was doing, then she would have broken the spell days after Buffy’s return. Unfortunately, I am afraid Willow did not know what she was doing, so the spell remained in place. Which I believe caused Buffy’s erratic Demonic behavior.”
“Huh, how so? ‘Cos I’m not seeing it,” Xander said, handing a cup of tea to Spike, who took it gratefully. “Thanks, luv.” Spike said softly.
“Yes, well, we know your understanding of magic, Xander, is very limited. I shall endeavor to simplify it. The longer the spell tied Buffy’s soul to Willow, the more unsettled Buffy’s soul became. Not being able to rest within one’s body may force many kinds of behaviors. When the spell cleansed Willow’s soul, it broke the tether, which I am presuming was when Buffy fell unconscious.” Giles finished the tea.
Sipping the tea, with eyes closed, Spike answered, “Barely hit her, knocked her back, acted like she was winded at first, then she looked at me like she didn’t know where she was or what we was doin’, then out she went.”
Giles was nodding through the explanation. “No less than expected. They both will be fine in the morning,” he said, standing up. “Xander, can you help get Willow upstairs, while I get Buffy, please.”
“Yea, sure,” Xander said. He went to Willow’s side and picked her up. Tara already going up the stairs to get their door. Once in their room, he laid her on the bed, and quickly left Tara to do the rest. He looked in and saw that Giles was tucking Buffy into bed fully dressed. With a shrug, he left Giles to that, and found Spike standing half in the doorway to the outdoors, smoking.
“So, pretty busy week, huh?” Xander said.
“Bloody nightmare, it was,” Spike replied, and flicked the butt out into the yard. “Everything worked out alright, got your mates back, yeah?”
Xander came down the stairs at a measured pace to stand in front of Spike at the door, “Well, Giles says they’ll be fine, but we’ll see.”
Spike stood straighter, face a blank mask. “Expect you’ll want me ta clear out, yeah?”
“Yea, ah…no. Sorry, bleachy, you’re stuck with me. Not going anywhere except home to sleep, ‘cos you no naughty touchy till you’re all better.”
Spike slumped in relief, a smile on his face. “Ready to go home, Xan. Rupert said ‘ed stay here?”
“Let’s go home, Spike. I’m tired.”
Walking to the truck, just before Spike got in he looked at Xander, “You know we never got that beer, Xander.”