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Whispers 1a/4

My first Spuffy fic, Whispers, has never been posted to my journal (it’s at seven_seasons ), so I am doing that now.  If you’ve already read it, there isn’t anything new.  I just wanted to have all my stories available on my journal.  Also, if anyone felt like making a banner for it, I wouldn’t say no :)

Title: Whispers
Chapter:
One, Part A ~ Words of Wisdom
Rating/Warning: NC-17 for sexual situations and blood play.
Summary: After Spike endures torture at the hands of Glory to protect the identity of the Key, Buffy is forced to reconsider everything she ever thought she knew about the vampire, leading to some startling revelations.
Setting: Season 5, immediately post-Intervention.
Disclaimer: The characters herein are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.  They are being used out of respect and admiration, and not for the sake of profit.  No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: This story is self-beta’d and I know that there are errors and other things that could be fixed to make it better.  However, this is the way it was first posted and I am leaving it be.  It was written for a seven_seasons  ficathon.
Banner: xtanitx 


Chapter One, Part A
Words of Wisdom

*~*

If there was one thing she knew, it was that Spike couldn't be trusted.  Punched, kicked, beaten to a bloody pulp, and heck, even dusted, but never, ever trusted.  Trusting Spike was tantamount to taking a cobra to bed and expecting to wake up alive in the morning.  Only an incredibly, no, ridiculously stupid individual would even consider placing the words Spike and trust in the same sentence without the buffering comfort zone of not or never or some other negative in between.  The mere idea was laughable, pure insanity.

 

And so, Buffy thought with no small amount of irritation, I am either incredibly insane or ridiculously stupid.  Perhaps both.

 

Yet the truth of the matter remained; somewhere in the span of the past few minutes, something inside her brain had undeniably shifted Spike toward the trust category.  Not unconditional trust; Spike may have proven himself today, but this trust in him was a new thing, something to be handled with care.  She couldn’t afford to throw all her faith into him blindly, but she knew now that she could count on him, at least as far as Dawn was concerned, and that was more than enough to induce one major wiggins — all the more significant for the fact that she hadn’t even used the word in years.

 

Her brain struggled to process this as she wandered, by rote, back toward the Magic Box.  Something niggled at the back of her mind, trying to call attention to itself, and she had the sneaky feeling that this elusive something had been patiently waiting for her to notice it for some time.  Was it a coincidence, then, that it should decide to take offense at being ignored at the precise moment she realized what Spike had done for her?  Buffy scoffed.  Of course it had something to do with Spike.  She’d learned over the years that such things rarely amounted to happenstance.

 

Her impending revelation had yet to coalesce into conceivable thought, though, and from experience, she knew she could not force it.  This something-I-already-know-but-haven’t-realized-yet had proven tenacious enough to draw her attention.  It would find its way out and she would have her epiphany, but in the meantime, she would have to resign herself to living with its whispering, intrusive, wake-me-from-a-dead-sleep-when-I-finally-figure-it-out presence.

 

She reached the Magic Box without remembering the journey.  The jingling of the bell at the doorway jarred her into full awareness, and she met the collective, anxious eyes of the assembled group, now minus one robot.  Buffy lingered in the doorway a moment, meeting their searching stares.

 

“So...?”  Dawn’s question, tentative, fearful, broke the strained silence.

 

Buffy sighed.  “He didn’t tell.”

 

They came immediately to life with a flurry of words; expressions of doubt, declarations of relief, all loud and noisy and blurring together and making her head ache.  It had been a thoroughly exhausting day.  She so did not need this.

 

“Guys!” she shouted, voice as edgy as she could manage, cutting through the din of their chatter.  “He. Did. Not. Tell.”

 

Clearly, they wanted to start up again, but the look on her face – she was reasonably certain she was glowering at them — held them in check.  They faced each other in a standoff of sorts, until Buffy relented.  “Giles?”

 

The Watcher had his glasses off and one hand pinching the bridge of his nose.  “Are you certain, Buffy?  It’s imperative that we know for sure.”

 

Buffy slipped into the chair across from Giles.  “I’m sure,” she assured him, casting a glance toward the other members of the group, knowing her expression carried her confidence.  She had no doubts, and they needed to see that.

 

“So he...fell for the Bot thing?” Dawn asked.

 

“Yeah,” she replied.  “Didn’t realize it was me until...later.  But I saw when he did, and Spike’s not that good of an actor.” 

 

Tara and Dawn were nodding quietly, while Willow looked contemplative.  Xander hadn’t quite bought it yet, judging by his scowl of disbelief.  Giles merely looked inquisitive, cleaning his glasses slowly.

 

“When I...as the Bot...offered to go and tell Glory myself, he made it abundantly clear that she could never find out,” Buffy continued, recalling Spike’s adamant insistence that Dawn’s secret remain that way.  “Probably would have fallen off that sarcophagus and crawled after me...it...if I’d insisted.”

 

“I don’t get it,” Willow remarked, leaning up against the counter with her arms crossed over her chest.  “Why would he do that?  To let Glory torture him...even a vamp can only stand so much.”

 

“Gotta say, Buff, it doesn’t make much sense,” Xander agreed.

 

Buffy sighed and sent Xander a meaningful look.

 

He understood at once, and his expression of doubt shifted into the angry, offended one he affected whenever the topic of Spike loves Buffy came up.  “Oh don’t tell me you think it has something to do with this...obsession of his?”

 

She so did not want to deal with this, and sighed heavily.  “Knock it off, Xander.”

 

Xander set his hand on her arm.  “Buff—”

 

Buffy patted his hand and then slipped her arm away.  “Yeah, it’s about me,” she admitted, speaking quietly, feeling reluctant to both admit to knowing how Spike apparently felt, and to talking about it.  “Whatever I think about that doesn’t matter right now.”

 

Xander scoffed.  “I kinda think it does, Buffy.”

 

This earned him an eye-roll and a scowl.  “He did something pretty good today and I think he deserves a little credit for it,” she snapped, realizing that she had moved from merely reassuring them about Spike to defending him from them.  “So knock it off, please.”

 

Xander shook his head and started to open his mouth to continue, when Anya’s arm disappeared under the table and Xander’s face scrunched into an entirely different expression altogether.  Buffy quickly averted her eyes and silently thanked Anya for her inappropriate, if timely, interruption.

 

“She has a point,” Tara said, coming to stand beside Buffy, one corner of her mouth turned up in amusement.

 

Leave it to Tara to just accept the truth behind something, without letting others’ opinions or preconceived ideas get in the way.  Buffy appreciated the show of support, and she and Tara exchanged a brief smile.

 

Giles had replaced his glasses onto his face, and turned to look at Xander, who was now scowling at Anya instead of Buffy.  “As much as it pains me to say so, I-I have to agree.”

 

“Well, I knew he wouldn’t tell,” Dawn insisted, though Buffy knew she’d had her doubts as much as any of them.

 

“I’ll admit, I thought he would’ve,” Buffy added.  “Kinda throws me more than a little that he didn’t.”

 

“Yeah,” Xander muttered, “me too.”

 

Conversation fizzled then, and Buffy’s thoughts drifted back to the battered vampire, and a flash of concern flickered through her brain.  It brought her no little sense of unease to be feeling concern for Spike, but what he’d done for her today hadn’t been merely good, it was down right noble of him.  He deserved some concern.  He’d earned it.

 

While she pondered what all this meant, that niggling in her brain reminding her constantly of its presence, the others resumed conversation around her.  She tuned them out, aware of it but not its subject, staring off into space in the vague direction of the centre of the table. 

 

“Buffy?”

 

She snapped her gaze up toward Giles, who, judging by the look of distress on his face, had been trying to get her attention for some time.  “Sorry...just thinking.”

 

Giles repeated his offer to order them all some take-out, as it had been a long day and they were undoubtedly hungry as much as tired.  Buffy nodded unenthusiastically while the others piped in with their dinner preferences.  They settled on Chinese, and while Giles headed to the telephone to place the order, Buffy stood and wandered into the training room.

 

She felt the urge to hit something, inspired, no doubt, by the conflicting thoughts and feelings, all revolving around Spike.  Everything she had ever been taught about vampires, Spike had just thrown in her face, laughing all the way.  That Spike would allow Glory to torment him for so many hours, enduring the agony of torture and the humiliating loss of control, when he so easily could have given her the answers and walked away unscathed pointed to just how much the vampire had changed. 

 

And as her fist connected with the punching bag, realization exploded inside her brain.  She dropped her fists and the bag swung back, knocking her off-balance and sending her tumbling into the mat.

 

“Buffy?”

 

She felt her cheeks colour with embarrassment, realizing by the amused upturning of Giles’s mouth that he’d witnessed the punching bag getting the better of her.  She tore her thoughts away from the brink of her epiphany to smile wearily at her Watcher.  “Lucky shot?”

 

“Of course,” Giles replied, thankfully saying nothing more on the subject.  “It seems that after the incident involving the Erlach demon last month, the Chinese place will no longer make deliveries to the Magic Box.”

 

Rising to her feet, Buffy cringed at that unpleasant memory.

 

“So,” Giles continued, stepping toward her now.  “I have reluctantly agreed to hold this impromptu dinner party at my flat...if you’re interested in joining us.”

 

Suddenly, the idea of being alone with her thoughts left her eager for the company, and she nodded.  “Let’s go get us some of that eggrolly goodness.”

 

*~*


>>Chapter One, Part B

Comments

( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )
peroxidelove
Mar. 22nd, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
Awesome start to what I'm sure's going to be an incredibly awesome story! I love the way you've written Buffy, perfect portrayal :) *rushes to next chapter*
abelina
Mar. 22nd, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Thank you! I hope you enjoy the rest of it! It's actually complete in several places, but to avoid spamming my f-list with multiple posts, I'm going to post a bit at a time. If you'd rather read it all, it's complete on all of the archive sites and as well there are links to it in my memories.
peroxidelove
Mar. 22nd, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
Complete?! Ooh! *scuttles off the memories*

Thank you!
abelina
Mar. 22nd, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
You're welcome :) This was actually my first Spuffy fic, I just never got around to posting it to my own journal until now.
( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )

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