Title: Secrets Kept
Artwork: Her fabulousness Blondebitz
Charachters: Spike, Buffy
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Adventure
Prompt: sb_fag_ends — Putting the boot in in Djibouti tamingthemuse — Making ends not quite meet
Disclaimer: Charachters belong to someone cleverer than I. Just having a free for all play with them. The sandbox is big enough for all of us.
Summary: Ten years post Chosen. Buffy found Spike, not dead, in a supermarket. Chapter 8 of ? Previous parts here.
"God, not now Peaches. Your bloody timing is as ever, just perfect!" Spike snarled.
"You called me, Spike!"
"Angel? Angel!" Buffy sprang up from the table in a blur of speed. "You lying, sanctimonious, deciding what's best for other people, asshole! I told you last time you did this to me I wouldn't be held responsible for my actions. I told you what I'd do to you if you ever played godfather with my life again. You just couldn't help yourself, could you? Had to keep me and Spike apart. You've got a family and still you think you know what's best for me."
She poked him in the chest on each sentence. She was beside herself with anger, though she wasn't sure if it was for the reasons she stated or because he'd just interrupted confessing Buffy who was finally getting stuff off her chest that had been laying inside her since the last year of the hellmouth. Things that she'd pushed down. Things that had pushed their way out in those few final moments when she'd held Spike's hand; when it had all been too late. Things she'd had to push down again; put aside when she'd got out and Spike hadn't. Now, tonight, she was on a trail of self discovery, finding out where she and Spike might meet. She was baring her soul and asking him to bare his. She was tasting a life she thought she could never have.
"Buffy." Angel raised his hands in surrender, stepping back under the onslaught of a pissed off Slayer, intent on putting the boot in. Why had he listened to his messages? Why had he come here? Nina had told him to leave it till tomorrow. Let things cool off. Find out what the story was. But he hadn't been able to. God, would he never learn to stay out of this girl's, this woman's, life?
"Buffy." Spike had slid out behind her and now stood at her back. He rested his hands on her shoulders. "Slayer. Don't blame the poof."
"Why, why shouldn't I, Spike?"
"Buffy, I asked him, I mean, I... I was sent back and I wasn't myself for a while. I told you that."
"What, you didn't know who you were but you somehow remembered me and asked him not to tell me about you?"
"Well, not exactly. No"
"Well, what exactly then. When did you come back this time?"
"A couple of months back. Maybe. Not sure." He looked to Angel.
"Buffy. We found Spike in an abandoned warehouse. He wasn't good. He didn't know who or what he was for a while."
"Yeah, he just told me that. So how long was a while?" She looked up into those big brown eyes she used to lose herself in. Now all she could see was betrayal. Again. He still saw her as the sixteen year old girl, he'd first seen all those years ago in Los Angeles.
"Look, maybe we should sit down. Or take this some place else." Angel looked around to see who else was in the restaurant. There was an old couple sitting up near the door. Two staff were behind the counter, watching them. One of them had a phone in her hand.
"I'm not going anywhere till you both come clean." She turned and sat back down in the seat she had vacated. Spike ran his hand through his hair in that achingly familiar way he had when he was not sure what he should do next. Angel just stared at some point over their heads. Then he motioned to Spike to slide into the booth and he sat on the end of the seat. He placed his hands on the table, clasping them together, looking at them as though he was studying an interesting text. Spike fiddled with the condiments, looking surreptitiously at Buffy from under his lashes.
"Well one of you had better start talking." She sat back against the red padded seat behind her and folded her arms.
"Well, as I said Nina and I were inspecting this empty warehouse over at the docks. Looking for storage near the port, for the supermarkets. You know a distribution centre. Good position, good size, great access. Nina's good at finding stuff like that. For the business. Got a good head on her for that sort of thing." He looked at Buffy when he felt her eyes burning into him. He cleared his throat. "Anyway, we found Spike. He was in a bit of a bad way. Seemed quite out of it. We realised he wasn't human. I wasn't sure about the soul at that point, so I kinda hit him over the head and knocked him out." Spike growled at this but didn't say anything. "Anyway, once we found out it was really him and he still had the soul and didn't seem intent on hurting anyone, we took him to one of our places and got him settled."
"Six months now, I guess."
"Six months and you couldn't pick up a phone? Just a quick word. Buffy, the love of your life is back. Buffy, the vampire who died for you, then came back and died for the world, AGAIN, is back. Buffy the man you've been mourning is here in my home?" She stopped, drew breath and tried to get herself under control.
Angel shrugged. It'd made sense back then to keep Buffy out of it, but now, he couldn't quite make it fit. Spike stared at Buffy, wonder on his face, at her words. He was as guilty as Angel. He should've called her, soon as his marbles lined up again. Knew it. Couldn't believe he'd made the same mistake again! Couldn't understand why he'd listened to this human version of his sire.
"Sorry, luv. I'm a coward. I shoulda called you soon as I came to me senses."
"Yes." She turned teary eyes to him. "Yes, you should have Spike."