Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

By Annegables
Author's Notes

Spike looked over the room of scattered belongings with a deep sigh. He could sense and smell the contained power of the Potentials, not to mention the actual Slayers. The noise of their “training” trickled over him as he involuntarily thought of the how all that power would feel as he drained them and then started as he quickly felt the pain such a thought now brought upon him.

Bollocks – how does she expect me to stay around this? He was well aware that his foray into unintentional killing had left behind in him a blood lust that was taking all of his somewhat limited self-control to contain. No chip – just a soul. Well – bugger it – people with souls don’t corner the market on not killing. He just didn’t have a lot of patience for her kindness to him right now. What was she thinking anyway? Giving him a chance to be a “ better man”. She “wasn’t ready for him not to be there”? She was giving him the chance to be Angel, that’s what she was really doing, whether she realized it or not. Well, he supposed she deserved a facsimile of her great love for all the times she had put her life on the line for the world. Hell – she deserved much more than that. She shouldn’t have had to deal with all the shit that everyone put her through or the shit that the Powers put her through, for that matter. And when he thought about how he had personally added to her issues he shuddered. That’s when he really felt this whole soul business – when he thought of Buffy. Sure all those murdered people were on his conscience but he wasn’t going to wallow in what had been his role in the world – not like that idiot, Angel. Yeah – he went a little temporarily insane there at the beginning but once the First lost its influence over him he knew he was not going to indulge in a useless phase of wandering for 100 years feeling sorry for himself. Not him. Leave that to the Poof. But when he thought about Buffy and how he tried to pull an Angelus on her – the stalking and the manipulating and the violence - that’s when he felt ill. Right down to his core. And there is where he would feel his brand new shiny soul.

And what a help that soul was being in this scenario. Turns out that an evil vampire is a lot more useful in apocalypse situations than a newly-souled vampire who is feeling the pain. Or maybe Xander had a point that Buffy liked a little monster in her man. He felt a little anger bubbling up inside him as he thought of what he went through to get this soul and how unimpressed Buffy seemed to be about it. Actually, when he finally told her she was more horrified than anything else, truth be told. Not the reaction he had been expecting at all. Never really thought about how it would remind her of the Great Foreheaded One until her first question to him had been “What if you lose your soul, too?” It was the way she had asked it, as if her insides were being torn out.

And now here he was actually feeling angry that she didn’t throw herself in his arms. Really – he was just as much a berk as all these other annoying people surrounding her. Always relying on her and never thinking of all she had been through. Suddenly he remembered how, out on the back porch, he had once offered to “thin the herd” for her amongst her friends. Really – it is amazing she never staked him! She had just given him a tired smile through a rather pained expression.

He felt the need for a cigarette, but this blasted soul made him feel he shouldn’t smoke in front of these impressionable children - not to mention that Buffy would knock him sideways. It was nice to have another smoker now that that crazy bitch Faith was around. She was a right dangerous one – Spike could sense that about her. More like himself than Buffy would ever be able to face, as her issues with souls were all bound up with Angel. But Faith recognized a fellow tortured soul in him and was more comfortable with him than all these innocents or the self righteous, depending on who you were speaking of, in this house. Not that Buffy appreciated Faith wanting to hang around him...a serious case of “I don’t want him but you can’t have him either” was going on. But after Faith had shared with him about the Angel and Riley situations, he can’t say he blamed Buffy for the possessive streak. He had felt the urge to strangle Faith when she spilled everything that had happened between her and Buffy; but then it occurred to him that he had done quite a few things to Buffy himself. Pot and kettle, as they say. Still Buffy couldn’t get that he and Faith both had the guilt thing going heavily for them and that made them more forgiving of each other. Misery loves company and some such rot.

He stepped onto the front porch and lit up. The sun had just set and he could hear the Potentials chattering up a storm. Mostly complaining about Buffy, actually. Anger bubbled up within him as he pondered their lack of understanding of her and what she had been through in her life. They should be respecting her, not questioning her. But then, her “friends” and Watcher sure weren’t helping with that. He was aware that he was a major issue; couldn’t help be aware – he was reminded of it as often as possible – as if he was incapable of discerning how everyone felt toward him! Well, now he and Angel had even more in common. Undergoing the Scooby silent treatment so that Buffy would hopefully kick them to the curb. And the Watcher disapproval. That was a real barrel of laughs.

These pathetic humans – who did they think they were showing such disrespect towards two powerful vampires? Could break them all in a minute if he wasn’t held back by the thoughts of one little Slayer. He and Angel could really compare stories. Or maybe not. He did kind of feel for Angel now, though he’s pretty sure Angel wouldn’t see it his way. Possessive berk. How Darla had ever put up with Angel’s dominating streak was beyond him. Though it was probably right up her alley if one thought about it. Which he did not, want to think about it, really. Bad enough all the memories that would haunt him occasionally in his dreams. Angelus had not made his descent into vampirism the most enjoyable experience. He snorted at that thought. Just what he could tell the Slayer about her beloved Angel’s relationship with himself would certainly make her take a new view of his Sire’s love of clothing. Unfortunately, it would also mess up himself and the Slayer. No – better to let sleeping dogs lie where innocent, well, not innocent at all but likes to pretend butter couldn’t melt in her mouth, Buffy wouldn’t have to know all the realities. Like her precious nancy boy having a mystical child with his sire. Wouldn’t that just tie her in a knot? He caught himself again. When would he sort out these issues with her – all wanting to love her and then getting angry inside with her? It was enough to confuse a normal vamp much less one who was recovering from brain surgery.

Suddenly the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he felt a real shift in power near him. Willow must be up to her old tricks with the protection spells again was his first thought when he heard footsteps behind him. He turned quickly into battle stance and then nearly staggered with the surprise before him.

“William, how are you? Anya told me of your change in status. How are you finding that soul? Does it suit you? You always were a fool for love.”

“Hello, Halfrek,” he ground out between his teeth. He hated that she knew so much of him and always seemed to be gently mocking him. He really, really did not need this right now. Come to think of it, no one needed this right now.

“Why are you here?” Wait – this was not good. Maybe he should try being polite. Had she heard Buffy and was here to wreak vengeance upon him? Or had he pissed off Anya one too many times? He looked around in panic for some help. Nothing like a vengeance demon to cause panic in a male! He was brought back around when he heard Halfrek laughing. What the deuce?

“No – you wretched man. I have been brought here by you, although I am hoping to have a good sit down with Anya. Who knows what will happen with her foolishly staying in Sunnydale during apocalypse season? Best have a good visit with her before I move on.”

She started off towards the front door before Spike could wrap his mind around her words. “Hey – come back here, you bint! What do you mean you are here for me?”

“Well – honestly we could hear you all over the place. And kindly do not call me a bint. I am old enough to know exactly what it means and how insulting you are being. And D’Hofryn has especially assigned me to you because I asked. I do still have a teeny bit of guilt about the whole Cecily thing and how you ended up a vampire because of your crush. So I thought if I could grant your wish for vengeance then maybe I could get rid of that teeny tiny bit of guilt! Not that I am responsible or anything. I was just doing my job,” she responded brightly.

Spike felt that wish for strangling her rise up in him. If he could just get his hands around her neck for a few minutes. It’s not wrong if she isn’t a human, right? Wait a second, bigger issue here. Must think.

“You could hear me clearly? Wanting vengeance on who?” Spike was genuinely confused. Sure, he had a whole boatload of issues from his long unlife, but he couldn’t think of anyone whom he wished vengeance on right this minute.

“Buffy?” questioned Halfrek hopefully. “I’ve never brought vengeance on a Slayer before. I wonder if it’s possible? Or would the Powers stop me?” she mused before heading right into the forbidden territory of Spike’s relationship with Buffy. “Anya told me all about what happened between you and Buffy.”

“You crazy witch!” Spike burst out while silently cursing all gossiping vengeance demons. “It’s Buffy that should be bringing vengeance on me for everything I did to her!”

“That strange. That’s not how Anya told the story. And I’m not a witch. Anyway, I am here as a special favor to do what your wish is. It’s a very special occasion as you are the first man I have ever responded to. So...let’s have it. Whom do you wish vengeance on?” Halfrek finished quite firmly.

Spike sat down with a bit of wonderment for the ironies of life. Honestly, why did this have to happen now when he had a soul? If he had this kind of opportunity in the past he could have sent quite a surprise to Dru when she cheated on him, or to Angelus when he took Dru from him. Xander for all those low blows over the years. Or...no, he shook himself. No. One should not call vengeance down just because it would be very refreshing! He had to figure this out calmly and convince Halfrek that it was a mistake. Only she spoke first.

“Well – this is not the first time that people are unaware that they wish vengeance. I just have to help you figure it out. Part of my job, really.” Halfrek sat herself down beside Spike and began earnestly questioning him. “Has anyone hurt you lately? Are you feeling ignored?”

Spike looked at her in frightened bemusement. “Good Lord, woman! What are you trying to do? No... no more than the rest of my life, really. I have spent most of my time lately bemoaning all the hurt I inflicted on all my victims. Especially how I hurt Buffy.”

“That’s it!” Halfrek positively crowed. Spike felt that this could only herald badness. He should really get into the house and get help before he accidentally wished them all into a...world without shrimp or something. Hell – the way he could screw up he might somehow end humanity without meaning to. He started to stand when Halfrek’s voice interrupted him.

“You are wishing vengeance for Buffy so that you might feel less guilt over her! How very William of you, Spike. We don’t get a lot of this but every once in awhile someone who truly loves wishes vengeance on behalf of his or her loved one. I simply must tell Anya when we are done – why she had this once involving Henry the Eighth. Simply appalling how Katherine was treated and her sister wished for Henry to never have a son. Such a lovely vengeance wish! Completely lacking in violence but so apropos, don’t you agree?” Halfrek expectantly looked to Spike to assent but he was still back at the ‘wishing for Buffy’ thing. He was sure he should have been paying attention. It never does to not pay attention around a vengeance demon. Shit – what was she waiting for him to say?

“So I could make a wish for Buffy?” Spike ventured somewhat timidly. He was honestly trying to wrap his mind around this.

“Yes, Spike” Halfrek answered rather huffily. “Fine, it’s all about Buffy. Anya warned me about that. Yes, you can make a vengeance wish for Buffy. Or any wish at all really as long as it’s on her behalf.”

Well, this was a fine kettle of fish! Getting a soul and the accompanying pain and guilt have brought me a wish. Who would have thought? Not just any wish, but a wish for Buffy. What would she want? What did Buffy really want? Heaven? But you can’t wish for someone to go to heaven. They actually have to die. Friends? No – she had those. Perhaps a few too many of those, actually. What about making the First Evil go away?

“Can I ask that the First Evil to go away?” Spike queried. “Or that Buffy be able to live a normal life?”

Halfrek looked a little sad as she looked at him. “No, Spike. Powers and responsibilities given by the Powers that Be cannot be changed – no matter what you wish Buffy will still be the Slayer, you will still be a vampire and Evil will still make attempts to take over the world.”

“Well, that sucks.” Spike lit up another cigarette. He figured he deserved another considering his present circumstances and company. Halfrek looked at him impatiently.

“Well, this is a right mess then because I just wish for Buffy to have what she deserves so...”

“DONE” said Halfrek smugly.

“SHIT!”

Spike began to viciously curse in every language and word he could think of. When would he learn with that woman? Couldn’t trust her further than you could throw her. What had he said exactly? I just wish for Buffy to have what she deserves. Okay – calm down. How bad can that be exactly? What surprised him was that he was still on the porch of Buffy’s house. Hope suddenly blossomed as he thought that maybe the wish had not taken place. But he had felt that power shift when Halfrek had said “done”. He started to curse again.

“Spike??”

If it hadn’t been for his vampire hearing he wouldn’t have heard the scared little voice. He stopped his tirade long enough to look around and see the little Chinese girl. He couldn’t think of her name, but the fear in her voice reminded him of the danger that still lurked for him around these girls. Wouldn’t want her to up and think he was out of control. He calmed himself and looked around. So the Potentials were still here. That meant the same situation was occurring. So that was good in a weird sort of way. And he was still here. That was also good in a weird sort of way. But how am I still here? If I wished for Buffy to have what she deserved then the last few years with him couldn’t have happened, could they? He suddenly remembered the Potential and looked over at her. She was just sitting on the front steps looking at him. Great. Just what he needed right now.

He stood up and turned towards the door but he just could not get his feet to move. He was more afraid than at any other time in his life and that was saying something. How did he manage to get into these messes? Oh yeah. Something to do with him being a drama queen every once in awhile. The Poof would never have been heard by D’Hofryn no matter how much pain he was in. He would be all stoical and stiff upper lip about it. Well, after this, Spike could see how that might be a better plan of action. Yeah, from here on in it was going to be....wait. It couldn’t be. He quietly took a deep breath. And expelled it in absolute horror. Buffy deserves that? Over my dead body! He jumped up and opened the door bursting into a group of people who all stopped talking at his rather bizarre entrance.

“Well – look who’s here everyone. It’s vampire Kramer! How are you feeling, anyway? Wanting to bite anyone yet?” Xander commented sarcastically from his seat on the floor where he was playing Life with Anya and several Potentials.

“Shut the door, Spike. I am winning a lot of money and I am trying to get rid of my children. They cost too much.” Anya muttered as she counted her way around the board. The Potentials playing with her looked at her in surprise, though Xander just smiled at her and started in on reminding her that children are a blessing.

Spike was trying to sift through the many voices and noises in the house to find out which way he should head. There it was. Upstairs. He rushed up the stairs and burst into her room.

“Really, Spike, must you go rushing about like that? It’s not like we have anywhere we can go anyway.” Angel said with annoyance. Spike simply stared and then shook his head. Well – this is how things would turn out, wouldn’t they? Angel and Buffy were on her bed though Angel took up most of it. He was laying back while Buffy was leaning sideways against his chest and they were surrounded by paper. Paper? He looked down and saw that it was research on the First.

“Spike, come give us a hand with this. You understand some of this stuff. I’ll give you a reward!” Buffy said using her come hither voice that he could never resist and a look in her eyes that he knew well.

His first instinct was to respond when it hit him that Buffy was flirting with him while Angel was watching. He turned quickly towards Angel expecting a fist in the face and instead caught a slightly disapproving look instead.

“Buffy, try to concentrate on this. It’s very important. If Spike comes over here nothing will get accomplished.” Angel said with a small look of smugness as he glanced up at Spike and then back at Buffy with a look that positively smouldered.

“But that’s half the fun, isn’t it? At least, it’s lots of fun for me!” Buffy retorted with a sexy little giggle. Angel dropped a kiss onto her nose and pulled her back onto his chest even further while looking up at Spike with a knowing glance that seemed to expect him to share in the amusement.

Spike thought he was going to pass out with shock. It was just too much. He could smell the arousal on them both as well and...well, not to put too fine a point on it – himself! He honestly needed to sit down. Right now. Buffy apparently “deserves” both Angel and himself? And Angel agreed to this? How had Buffy got into this relationship? More importantly what kind of nimrod was he to be sharing a woman with Angel again. And did sharing mean concurrently or...his mind was going to explode. He slipped down the wall and sat with a thud onto the floor. Angel and Buffy both were jolted out of looking longingly into each other’s eyes to turn their heads to Spike with surprise. God, thought Spike - that’s exactly what they had been doing. Looking longingly at each other! It was enough to make a bloke toss his cookies.

“What’s the matter, Spike? Has the First killed another Potential?” Buffy started to rise off the bed in a panic with Angel right behind her when they sensed he was not responding to their banter.

“No. That would be a right bright spot in my day compared to this!” griped Spike. Both Angel and Buffy came to a screeching halt in front of him and looked at him with their mouths open.

“What’s the matter with you, Spike?” Angel reached out and touched his arm and Spike jumped up with a look of indignation across his face.

Buffy reached out and put both her hands on Spike’s chest. Spike jolted a little and relaxed into her touch though he was looking at Angel’s face as he did. Never did to turn your back on Angelus especially when his girl was feeling you up in front of him!

“He’s not the First,” Buffy stated as she looked up into Spike’s eyes.

He remembered this feeling and...what...??

“You thought I was...well, yes, I guess you would with my behavior being a bit off, wouldn’t you?” Spike started angry and ended up resigned all within one sentence. He was starting to get his brain back working after the “we seem to be sharing Buffy” shock. Not that he hadn’t thought of various sexual escapades with Buffy over the years but this was a little over the top, to say the least. Not that he and Angelus wouldn’t share a woman back in the day but that they would share Buffy? And that Angel would allow it? What happened to Buffy’s inflexible rules about her men being...well, men and not vampires? It just boggled his mind.

The thing is that at the moment they were both staring at him as if he had two heads. So onto more important issues although for the life of him he couldn’t quite think of anything more important that what he was seeing in front of him. Right – vengeance wishes and Halfrek and...should he tell them what he did? What other changes had taken place? He was really starting to feel like he needed a good stiff drink. Make that a few bottles, actually, along with a fag. He started to feel around his coat for a cigarette and pulled out his lighter.

“What are you doing Spike? You know you can’t smoke in the house. Remember, impressionable teenage girls, blah, blah, blah.” Buffy said wearily with just a touch of irritation. Angel looked at him with frustration.

“Don’t make things harder right now, Spike.”

Angel playing the concerned daddy card just upped Spike’s anger levels. Not that he knew just why he was angry – just knew that he was and that if he could beat up Angel right now, he would. Just for the sheer pleasure of it.

“Oh – well, we both know I could always make you harder, Angel,” drawled Spike. He lit the cigarette nonchalantly while enjoying the twin looks of disbelief leveled at him by both Buffy and Angel.

He suddenly found himself hauled over to Angel’s side while Buffy jumped out his way. Angel did not look pleased. No – not pleased at all! And that just made him all sorts of happy inside.

“What is going on with you, William?” Angel asked through gritted teeth. A shitload of history was still between them. Good to know that things may be a some sort of romantic unholy trinity around here but there was still the same power plays going on between himself and Angel. Some things were just sacrosanct no matter if you were going to agree on loving the Slayer. But he supposed he ought to get back to the charade of caring about the world and such.

“Well – I hate to be the bearer of some news. Not sure if you’ll view it as good or bad as I haven’t sorted that bit out myself yet,” Spike announced as he took another deep drag.

Buffy reached out and grabbed the cigarette between her fingers and walked towards the bathroom turning around to beckon Spike with her hand as she went. Oh – goody! A pissed-off Slayer! Angel followed her and Spike as she put out his cigarette in the bathroom and led the two of them down the stairs. Spike could feel the Potentials' look at the three of them as they made their way through the house. The game was still progressing in the front room in its usual way if the noisy arguments were any indication. They made their way to the kitchen where Andrew was obviously boring Giles to tears with information that was neither needed nor wanted. Girls were everywhere around the house and Dawn could be seen trying to read in a corner.

Spike did a double take. So Dawn was still here and alive! How did that fit in with what Buffy deserved? Who had died in the Glory situation then? His sudden stop and look of confusion brought Giles attention to him. Although it was likely Giles was desperately looking for something to get him out of his conversation with Andrew. And how did Andrew fit in? Wouldn’t Buffy have had to go through dealing with those three wankers for Andrew to still end up here? His head was starting to actually be pained by all this. He brought his hands up over his face and moaned a little from the ‘information overload’ as Buffy would say.

“Is everything all right, Spike? Some aftereffects from the chip being removed?” Giles look of concern was tinged with a bit of ‘Please, God, not that’ that he could see was directed towards Buffy and Angel. “Perhaps Willow could try another healing spell for you?”

Spike did a double take. Literally. Stopped and stared. Giles cared about whether he was in pain? Since when? And, by all that’s holy, why?

“I can get him more of that otter blood and I could do my healing spell, Giles. I’m getting quite good at those.” Dawn’s voice carried in from the front room as she arrived in the kitchen in a typical teenage rush of arms and legs. Spike stared at her in consternation trying to work through this latest bit of info just as Willow sailed in right on Dawn’s heels.

“Oh, no, you don’t, Dawn! Any spells that you need, Spike, you go to Tara. Her healing spells are the strongest, anyway. Dawn, you know you have to stay strong for the portal we are going to need down in the Hellmouth. And we still don’t know when that’s going to happen.” Willow scolded in a loving and concerned tone though everyone knew that she had her ‘resolve’ face on.

“But, it’s Spike, Willow! We have to take good care of him so he can take good care of Buffy!” Dawn managed to imbue the last few words with a few eyebrow wiggles just so that everyone would know what she was referring to.

All eyes turned towards Buffy, who managed to look as though she wished she could be invisible, as Dawn giggled at her sister’s predicament. “Really, Buffy, I can’t believe you still blush about you guys!”

“That’s enough, everybody! Thanks for all the offers but Spike just wants to see how he does on patrol. We won’t go too far so that no one needs to worry.” Buffy shooed everyone back towards the front room and turned to the door.

Spike stayed rooted to the floor as he pondered the perplexity of vengeance wishes. So, “what Buffy deserves” seems to include both he and Angel as her lovers and protectors, a Watcher who is supporting her in her decisions, a sister that is useful in her fight, and two longtime friends who obviously support her. And Potentials who respect her if the whispering he could hear in the front room was anything to go by. Fascinating. Really, it was. And right off-putting to find Giles and Willow being so nice to him and, come to think of it, Xander hadn’t looked at him like something he would like to squish under his shoe when he had burst through the front door. Wait...did Willow say Tara would do the spells for him? Tara was still alive. How...

“Spike!” Buffy was calling him from the back yard. Spike was startled out of his ruminations and headed towards them. Angel naturally fell to her right side and Spike went to her left. It felt like this was an everyday occurrence. Of course, it would be, wouldn’t it? The fighting would hold them together. The power that was addictive and could only be understood by like creatures. The three of them were silent as they all listened to the noises around them trying to sense anything out of the ordinary.

“Ok, Spike. What’s going on with you?” demanded Buffy as she stopped in front of him with her arms folded. Great – it was ‘in charge’ Buffy. He watched as Angel’s trademark smirk appeared and was not surprised one bit when Angel’s body ever so slightly twitched. Yeah – that kind of behavior always turned Angelus on.

“I see you have replaced Darla, Angel,” Spike said calmly as he glared at Angel. Angel actually jumped a little with the shock of Spike’s comment and he immediately looked over at Buffy with concern etched in his face. Right, thought Spike. That would hurt Buffy, wouldn’t it? He had to start thinking the way this Spike would. They were expecting him to be all-supportive of this – what would you call it anyway? – threesome? ménage a trois?- unnatural supernatural alliance that the Council would try to....what had the Council said about this? Spike’s curiosity was momentarily peaked with the thought of Gile’s trying to explain this to his employers!

His attention was brought back to the present with a bang as Angel slapped the back of his head. And not lightly, either. Spike cursed at himself. The Great One is smacking me and calling me his pet namse and I am making Buffy cry. Could I make this any worse?

“I made a wish to a vengeance demon and I’ve changed things in this world.”

Apparently I can make this worse. Angel and Buffy were looking at him as if he had just dropped in from another planet. Suppose this isn’t really the best time to be bringing more bad news what with the whole Apocalypse situation going down, but what can I do?

Buffy reacted first and stepped closer to him. Icicles could have been hanging off the words as she said, “What wish?”.

Apparently neither Angel nor Buffy had any problem accepting the fact that he would do something this stupid. Not encouraging really. And he didn’t know where to start. He didn’t think either of them would react too well if he started talking about the disaster that was his relationship with Buffy. But how else would he explain his wish? And had Angel left her in this reality? If not, that particular tale would fall like a lead balloon as well. Well – in for a penny in for a pound. He turned and directed his words to Buffy.

“I made an accidental wish to a vengeance demon named Halfrek. Well, her name is neither here nor there, but the fact remains that I might have wished that you got what you deserved.”

He felt quite nostalgic as he watched her squish up her nose at him and utter one of her usual pieces of brilliance.

“Huh?”

“What do you mean, Spike? What made you wish that for her? Did you mean it with good will?” Angel asked, deeply serious and looking into Spike’s eyes in a manner that caused Spike some worry.

“Back off, Angel. I did it with all good intentions. Just things weren’t going too well for you, Buffy. When Halfrek offered me the wish I was trying to fix things for you and it just sort of ended up a little more generic than I had planned on. I fear that Halfrek might have been having a little fun at my expense.” The last bit was said begrudgingly as Spike hated to admit that she might have got one up on him. A teeny, tiny bit guilty, my ass.

“You wanted everything to be wonderful for me? That’s so...romantic!” Both Angel and Spike peered at Buffy in bewilderment as she smiled dreamily at Spike. Oh my god! Look at her! Just like Drusilla when Angel brought her that shopkeeper's heart. He met Angel’s glance, which held the same thought, and they both dropped their eyes guiltily. Spike felt downright jubilant at having finally one-upped Angel in the romance department, though. Not his fault it brought back memories of more painful times to see a woman go all ga-ga over something he had done. Frankly, he never thought he would see the day that Buffy’s eyes would alight on him with such appreciation and approval. He would like to just stand here and bask, actually. This was one of those undead moments that would be remembered with utter clarity no matter how long he existed. He leaned back on his heels to enjoy the look of his love all glowy and such.

“Snap out of it, Spike!! Buffy, you may find this romantic but the fact remains that we need to know what things were like before that Spike felt they needed to be changed.” Trust Angel to break up my moment in the sun, thought Spike bitterly.

“Were we together before you made the wish, Spike?” Buffy asked softly as she came to his side and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Spike nearly melted into her as he felt her love and acceptance. He hadn’t felt her touch in such a long time. And he had dreamt of her treating him like this. Only... Angel had not been watching balefully in his dreams. He jerked a bit from her and she looked at him with understanding.

“So, it was different then?” Buffy queried and then waited for him to explain. Spike looked long and hard at her. She was obviously exhausted and yet, had never appeared more beautiful to him. There was such care in her that was shining back at him. More importantly, there was love. More love than he had ever expected in his lifetime. His glance swung over to Angel. Angel’s eyes were on Buffy, and he looked as if he would give his unlife to make all this right. Angel turned his eyes to Spike and it was as if there had never been a single harsh word or action ever between them. They both gazed at Buffy, who was still in Spike’s arms.

Spike thought about these two powerful fighters who were burdened with another apocalypse and yet, were calm and happy with each other and everyone in the house. I could be part of this. I don’t have to have any of the past hanging over me. All gone like the wind had just blown it away.

Spike made his decision. A smile slowly came over his face as he realized that, in giving Buffy ‘what she had deserved’, he himself had gained more than he deserved! Some tale of moralistic turpitude in there somewhere, he thought. But he had allowed too much time to go by while he had been making life changing decisions and both his lovers, yes, his lovers were waiting for his reply.

“No, Buffy, it wasn’t that different. I was so in love with you that I wanted to give you everything I could.” And that was the truth, so to speak.

“Oh, well – I’m glad it didn’t change things too much then. Why don’t we go in and let Giles know so he can do some research on this.” Buffy made this charming pronouncement as she turned slowly towards the cemetery once more. Angel was still standing and looking at Spike with a heartfelt expression of appreciation across his face.

“Thank you, Spike. You can tell me later what really happened.” Should have known he would catch me in a lie. Never could get anything past Angelus. That’s good. Together we can figure out the consequences to this.

Angel’s shoulders seemed to have lightened and Buffy skipped towards him like a young girl, throwing herself into his arms. Angel caught her in such a practiced manner that Spike knew this was a nightly tradition and he listened as Buffy giggled and the two of them went into a snogging that would have put Angelus to shame. Haven’t seen or heard her like this since that first time I stalked her. Still – this is a downright shameful display to put on in front of me and, well, it’s making me wish we were in Buffy’s room right now. Wow – this is going to be a very confusing experience for me until I get used to this arrangement. Spike groaned audibly and Buffy and Angel looked up – she with a dazed expression across her face and Angel with a knowing grin. Shit – he can smell me. Wait a second. I used to be able to turn the tables on Angelus. It’s not like it wasn’t fun back in the day!

“Come,” drawled Angel with a seductive tone that Spike recognized from long ago. Both of them looked at him expectantly.

“Please, Spike?” Buffy unknowingly fulfilled several of his more romantic fantasies with those two words. She reached out her hand towards him.

The power within both of them called out to him intoxicatingly and Spike felt the blood within his body reach out to answer their call. He walked towards them and gently held Buffy’s hand within his own, lifting it to bestow a kiss just as if he was a knight of long time ago. Angel rolled his eyes but Buffy pulled him close, and the three of them embraced, unaware that the twilight was glowing about them casting moonbeams upon the remarkable tableau.

It is a far, far better thing that I do today...oh, who am I kidding! I’ve just landed arse over kettle into the best thing to ever happen to me. Halfrek, I think you just might have made up for a whole lifetime of misery. Oh...my...god – do Buffy and Angel kiss like this all the time? I need to ease into watching Buffy make love to Angel, really, I do. Would a little restraint be too much to ask? He recalled with perfect clarity the words he had once hurled at the two of them about real love being blood screaming inside you to work its will. I really wish I hadn’t been so spot- on about that. Shit...did he just...yeah, I’m love’s bitch, again.

The End

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Author's Notes:
Rating: PG
Summary: Spike makes a wish that has unusual consequences.
Setting: During End of Season Seven
Disclaimer: If they belonged to me I would have tried to keep the continuity up a bit more. Just saying!
Notes: Thanks for letting me try my hand at this! A big shout-out to Chrislee for all her hard work on the Marathon every year. I am aware that this is not true B/A but hopefully it will squeak in with the fact that Buffy and Angel are definitely together?

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