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A Breach of Confidence

Title: A Breach of Confidence
Prompt: What if Spike had told the Scoobies about him and Buffy during or after Normal Again?
Rating: PG
998 words exactly. Takes place mid-“Normal Again,” when Spike and Xander are fighting after Spike starts talking trash about Xander leaving Anya at the altar. The first line is from the episode, and then it goes AU from there.


“I created the sound of madness, wrote the book on pain
Somehow I’m still here to explain
That the darkest hour never comes in the night
You can sleep with a gun
But when you gonna get up and fight
For yourself?”
--Shinedown, “Sound of Madness”


“More than happy to beat you right through the pain, you pathetic pouf!” Spike snarled, taking a threatening step toward Xander. He tossed away his smokes and blood, shaking his sleeves back from his fists. “Me and Buffy, we have something together. All those nights… a great coward like you could never…”

Buffy couldn’t process the words coming from Spike’s mouth. She stumbled back against a headstone. “Stop! You guys, stop…” She sank to the ground, Willow at her side slipping an arm around her shoulders. The male aggression opposite them slowly ebbed. “Spike… how could you? How could you tell them?” Xander stared from Spike to Buffy to Willow, mouth open.

“Ah, Buffy? Are you with us?” Willow asked tentatively. There was no answer. Buffy’s gaze was glassy.

***
“You think he was telling the truth?” Willow asked Xander, pulling the door to the house shut. Xander’s face was troubled in the porch light.

“Well, my first answer would be no, and my second answer would be hell, no, but… her face. You saw how upset she was.”

“But it’s Buffy! And…Spike…”

“And words cannot express the ew.” Xander paused. “Think she’s gonna be ok?”

“I dunno. She was awake just now, but she won’t talk about it. Xander, why wouldn’t she tell us? If something was wrong, or if… if she needed help? Why Spike?”

“Maybe it has something to do with that demon. You know, waxy head guy.”

The door opened behind them and Tara joined them on the porch. “She was afraid,” Tara offered quietly. “She thought she’d come back… wrong. And she didn’t want to hurt you, Will. I don’t…don’t know why it was Spike, but he’s… he’s there, you know?”

“Tara? You knew?”

“She told me a while back.” Tara stood looking uncomfortable for a moment before she continued down the steps and out toward the sidewalk.

“A while? Well I guess that answers whether Spike’s telling the truth,” Xander muttered. “Hey evil undead!” he shouted in the general direction of the tree under Buffy’s window. True to form, Spike swaggered out from behind it, cigarette dangling from his lips, scowling. “Show me where to find this thing. We’re burning, um, moonlight.” Spike took a drag, then opened his mouth to speak, but Xander cut him off. “Ah-ah-ah! Just go. One more word about boinking Buffy and I’m going to stake you. Or hurl on your shoes. Or both.”

***
“Buffy?” The doctor leaned over her, gently shaking her shoulder. “Are you with us? Look at me, Buffy. You’re here. You’re in the real world.”

“No. I can’t go back. I don’t want to go back!” Buffy trembled violently in the corner. She leaned her head against the wall. “They all know, they can’t know. I can’t go back!”

“Buffy, breathe. In and out. Just breathe. You don’t have to go back. You can stay here. Breathe.”

“I don’t want to go back.”

“It’s ok. You can stay here, Buffy. You can be healthy again. You know what you have to do.”

***
Willow and Xander had been easy to lure into the basement. Dawn had been harder, but Buffy was determined. She had to go back. She couldn’t be here with them knowing those things about her… looking at her that way. It hurt her to trip Tara on the stairs and tie her up, but desperation won in the end. Buffy’s hands were shaking as she loosed the chains binding the Glarghk Guhl Kashma’nik and watched it launch itself at her friends. She retreated to her spot under the stairs, curling into a ball and wrapping her arms over her head, rocking, trying to go back before the screams started.

Bootsteps thundered on the stairs above her as Spike charged into the basement, smoke rising from his hair. Buffy found herself staring into her mother’s face for only a moment before flashing back to see the headless demon lying in a pool of purple slime. She peered past Tara, Willow, and Dawn, who were now crowding around her, to see Spike give the creature one last kick. He caught her eyes in one inscrutable look before disappearing back upstairs.

***
Buffy sat on the back step in the dark, ignoring the large mug in her hands. The step creaked as Spike settled himself next to her. “More antidote, then? Stuff didn’t look all that appetizing.”

“No.” She set the mug down. “Everyone’s acting weird around me. You know, since the attempted murdering. I don’t know if they can forgive me for not stopping it. Or for you rescuing them.” She stared off into the distance. “I don’t know why I’m even speaking to you, after what you did.”

“What I did? I killed the bloody bad guy. Kept you from doing what you’d regret, or have you forgotten?”

“You knew I wasn’t ready for them to know!”

“Except for Glinda. When you gonna admit..”

“That’s different, Spike! I was using you. And now it’s over. And you’re punishing me for it by involving my friends!” Spike rose suddenly. His face was hidden in shadow, but Buffy could see his hands clenched into white-knuckled fists. He blew out a breath.

“Punishing you? Slayer, I couldn’t dream up a punishment half as nasty as what you devise for yourself, and I know something about torment. Always the hero, always the sodding martyr. I didn’t want to hurt you. I wanted to set you free.” Spike turned away from her. “When you figure out what in bleeding hell you’re after-- when you’re ready to fight for it-- come find me.” She thought she saw his shoulders sag a little in defeat as he walked away.

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
missus_grace
Jan. 17th, 2012 08:28 am (UTC)
Nicely done, the way you inserted this little change into canon.

How much do I love that Xander didn't make too big of a deal about it?
mushroomgal
Jan. 17th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know it's not vastly different, but Spike blurting their secret in the heat of the moment just seemed to fit. I think Xander probably overreacted later talking to Buffy (think Entropy, etc), but I despise character-bashing and I think he cares enough to make sure Buffy's ok first.
kerry_220
Jan. 17th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
Just wish that was the way it did go.

Fans are way cleverer :)
mushroomgal
Jan. 17th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
We really would make good writers, wouldn't we? :) Glad you liked it.
slaymesoftly
Jan. 17th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
Ah .... so very much could have happened. I wonder what Buffy will do? Good job.
mushroomgal
Jan. 17th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
Hrmmm... what WILL Buffy do? I spy a plot bunny, but it disappears if I look at is straight on. Thanks!
tangwstyl
Jan. 17th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I so could have seen it going this way. In fact, this is better than the way it actually did go. Kudos. Very nice.
mushroomgal
Jan. 17th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm so glad you like it!
hello_spikey
Jan. 17th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
Wow - what a lot of stuff to fit in under 1000 words! Good job.

I could so see it happening like this.
mushroomgal
Jan. 17th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, editing it to fit was harder than writing the thing to begin with. Glad it still rang true.
quinara
Jan. 17th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like this! Not so different, and yet - calmer. Like things will actually change, rather than continue the way they've been before.
mushroomgal
Jan. 22nd, 2012 01:07 am (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it! I think calmer would be important to inducing actual change-- it's hard to have a productive discussion when you're as shocked and hurt as everyone was near the end of season 6.
shapinglight
Jan. 19th, 2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
That's a great twist on canon. Very believable.
mushroomgal
Jan. 22nd, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you!
alwaysjbj
Jan. 21st, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this. Such a little change, but it made it all sooo much better.
mushroomgal
Jan. 22nd, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked my remix.
brutti_ma_buoni
Jan. 21st, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Enjoyed this - less traumatic all round than Entropy, attempted murder notwithstanding. It feels very true to think that Buffy wouldn't simply fall back into Spike's arms when he told people; secrecy was only one part of why they didn't work at this point.
mushroomgal
Jan. 22nd, 2012 01:16 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I agree that at this point Buffy and Spike are much more broken than can be fixed just by coming clean to the Scoobies. When I rewatch the show, I really want Spike to take action and stand behind it without apology even if he's wrong though.
singedbylife
Jan. 25th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
Ooh nice, new spuffy fiction - like this one. And good to see that there are still fans out there. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one left.
mushroomgal
Jan. 26th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Nope, you're not alone. I was a latecomer to the fandom, and I'm so relieved to see that there's a outlet other than the comics (unimpressed so far, I'm afraid) for my "I don't want it to eeehhhhhnnnd!!" tendencies. I'm glad you liked it!
singedbylife
Jan. 27th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
Absolutely :-)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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